Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 186

Russian first deputy prime minister Anatoly Chubais presented the draft 1998 federal budget to the Duma’s Budget Committee yesterday and told journalists afterwards that, though passage would be difficult, he expected the Duma eventually to approve the government’s draft. He acknowledged that Grigory Yavlinsky’s Yabloko faction would vote against, as it did against the 1997 budget, but said the majority of deputies were prepared to compromise with the government. Chubais said that many questions were raised during his discussion with the Duma committee, but he described some of the proposals as "absolutely reasonable" and said the government would take them into account.

The Budget Committee decided to recommend that the Duma reject the budget, but not to do so out of hand and instead to refer the government’s draft to a joint parliamentary-governmental conciliation commission. (RTR, Itar-Tass, October 6) Yavlinsky told journalists yesterday he doubted whether a conciliation commission could come up an acceptable draft. He predicted that, like last year, negotiations would result in agreement by the government to hike state spending and that the final document would be worse than the first. In such circumstances, he said, Yabloko might try, as in the spring, to move a vote of no confidence in the government. (Itar-Tass, October 6)

British Prime Minister Completes Moscow Visit.