In good news for Russia’s reform wing, Prime Minister-designate Sergei Kirienko is said to have invited a number of leading economists to draft variants of the government program that Kirienko will submit to the State Duma on April 3. (Russian agencies, March 30) According to these unconfirmed reports, those invited to submit drafts include the Institute of the Economy in Transition, headed by former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, and the smaller Institute of Economic Analysis, headed by maverick economist Andrei Illarionov. Illarionov has consistently criticized the government from a liberal standpoint. Also said to be engaged in the drafting process is outgoing minister without portfolio and veteran reform economist Yevgeny Yasin. All those involved are expected to submit their drafts to Kirienko during the course of this week. Kirienko says he will submit a program covering the next two years, that is, until the next presidential election. (Russian agencies, March 27 and 30) Gaidar’s institute was actively involved in drafting the economic reform program that Yeltsin unveiled when last he reshuffled the government in the spring of 1997. Many of the measures called for in that report, such as reining in the power of the monopolies, ran into fierce bureaucratic resistance and were not realized by the Chernenko government.
Stepashin Appointed Acting Interior Minister.