Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov announced yesterday that the Communists and their nationalist allies in the State Duma have collected 177 signatures of Duma deputies in support of their bid to impeach President Boris Yeltsin. This is well over the 150 signatures required by the constitution. Leading members of the upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, immediately dissociated themselves from the impeachment bid, however, suggesting that the bid has little chance of success. This did not deter the communist faction from publishing a twelve-page document listing the grounds on which it and its allies intend to launch proceedings against the president. The document accuses Yeltsin of “serious crimes” (treason and “serious felonies” being the only causes admitted by the constitution as grounds for impeachment). They include destroying the Soviet Union, undermining Russia’s territorial integrity and defense capability, ruining the national economy, increasing poverty and unemployment, provoking a demographic decline, illegally disbanding parliament in 1993 and waging war against Chechnya in 1994. (Itar-Tass, May 20)
POSSIBLE SANCTIONS AGAINST GAZPROM WAIVED.