Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 125

Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Sysuev told a press conference yesterday that President Yeltsin might dissolve the Duma after it returns from its summer recess. Sysuev, who has responsibility for welfare issues, deplored the Duma’s refusal to approve the government’s proposed spending cuts and warned that the "situation will be even more difficult in the fall, and the question of replacing the Duma may be raised by the executive branch in a very tough way."

Sysuev’s remarks were downplayed by Yeltsin’s press secretary, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, who said the president had "no plans" for such an action. Yastrzhembsky did, however, say that Yeltsin intends to "give an assessment" of the Duma’s activity within the next two days. He said the president would also be replying to an open letter in which Duma deputy Lev Rokhlin accused Yeltsin of personal responsibility both for the impoverished state of the armed forces and for Russia’s disastrous military intervention in Chechnya (see item that follows). Yastrzhembsky said the government had already promised that, as soon as pension arrears are paid off at the end of this month, it will give priority to defense. He added that Yeltsin plans to leave Moscow on holiday around July 10. (RTR, June 25)

Duma Leader Issues Inflammatory Call to Armed Forces.