Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 204

Seleznev’s opposition to the Berezovsky appointment was applauded by Gennady Zyuganov on behalf of the Communist faction in the Duma. Other Duma faction leaders also deplored the appointment, including leaders of the Yabloko and "Russia is Our Home" deputy groups. But some non-Communist Duma leaders expressed disquiet over Seleznev’s one-sided decision to boycott today’s meeting of the Consultative Council. They seemed disturbed over Seleznev’s decision to decide unilaterally over whether or not the Duma should be represented on such an important body. (RTR, October 30)

Chernomyrdin said he saw "nothing remarkable" in Berezovsky’s appointment. He pointed out that the Security Council is a consultative body and described as a positive step the recruitment of top businessmen to advise the president and the government. (Interfax, October 30) Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin also distanced himself from Seleznev’s position. He said Berezovsky would give up his commercial activities as long as he served on the Security Council and that his responsibilities would include finding sources of finance for the reconstruction of war-torn Chechnya. At a time when the state coffers are empty, Rybkin said, it is necessary to find "non-traditional" sources of finance. Rybkin also disagreed with Seleznev’s depiction of Berezovsky’s activities as "anti-Russian," saying he disliked the "subtext" of such epithets. (RTR, October 30)

In an interview with today’s Financial Times, Berezovsky talked openly of his role in the election campaign. He said he agreed with a group of other businessmen last spring that Russia’s fledgling private sector faced "mortal danger" from a possible Communist victory. A 10-member campaign team was established that included Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana Dyachenko and that was headed by Chubais. Berezovsky agreed he is a controversial figure, but attributed this to his reputation for plain-speaking and his views on issues such as privatization. (Financial Times, October 31)

Russia Balks at Missile Agreement.