Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin has reacted with anger to yesterday’s threat by Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev to boycott meetings of the new "permanent four" consultative body, which was due to meet today for the first time. Complaining that the row threatens to disrupt plans for managing the country during President Yeltsin’s upcoming surgery and recuperation, Chernomyrdin called for "unity, not people playing games." in order to deal with the country’s many serious problems. (BBC World Service, October 31; Interfax, October 30)
Seleznev declared yesterday that he would boycott the meeting unless presidential aide Anatoly Chubais resigned his post. Chubais, Seleznev said, was responsible for the appointment of banker and financier Boris Berezovsky as deputy secretary of Russia’s powerful Security Council. Seleznev accused Chubais of usurping power during Yeltsin’s sickness and of handing state power over to a clique of bankers and financiers that had bankrolled Yeltsin’s election campaign this past summer.
Communists Support Speaker’s Stance, Others Waver.