Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 109

At the Duma´s October 6 session, only 248 deputies voted to override Boris Yeltsin´s September 14 veto against the Duma´s August 12 bill that would have terminated Russia´s compliance with international economic sanctions against rump Yugoslavia. Three hundred votes, or two thirds of the total, would have been required for passing the motion to override the presidential veto. Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Afanasiyevsky had argued in the chamber before the vote that overriding the presidential veto would damage both Russia´s and Yugoslavia´s interests. Following that vote, the Duma passed 255 to 0 without debate a softer version of its own August 12 bill. Submitted by Anatoly Lukyanov of the Communist Party faction, the modified language provides for a "gradual" (rather than immediate) termination of Russia´s compliance with the sanctions and resumption of official contacts among Russian and Yugoslav "political bodies." In an apparent attempt to defuse confrontation, Yeltsin had himself quoted by Duma chairman Ivan Rybkin that he as president deemed the sanctions against rump Yugoslavia "senseless in their essence and in their every point." (3)

Russia´s executive branch of government has recently conducted active talks with rump Yugoslavia on resuming economic relations as soon as the international sanctions are lifted. The Duma´s revised position no longer challenges the government´s and probably lays this political issue to rest until after the parliamentary elections.

Joint Exercise To Go Ahead After All.