Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 72

Andrei Nikolaev, the former head of Russia’s Federal Border Service, elected to the State Duma on April 12, says that he intends to set up a centrist political party to campaign in the 1999 parliamentary elections. (Itar-Tass, April 13) Nikolaev said deputies from Moscow and the trade unions would form the nucleus of what he hopes will turn into a broad movement able to attract smaller centrist parties into its orbit. Nikolaev said his ally, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, could set up a similar "centrist nucleus" in the upper house of the Russian parliament. Luzhkov backed Nikolaev’s parliamentary bid, while Nikolaev has frequently expressed his support for Luzhkov. (Itar-Tass, April 13)

Also setting up their own political party are a group of senior citizens. They held the first congress of the Pensioners’ Party in Moscow on April 14. (RIA news agency, April 14) The party claims a potential base of forty million Russian retirees, most of whom at present vote for the Communist party.

Russia Will Not Attend G-7 Meeting in Washington.