Acting Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko will outline his economic program in an address to parliament on April 10. After this the State Duma will vote whether to confirm him in office. Reuter reports that it has seen outline notes of what its informant says was Kirienko’s planned speech. While insisting there will be no fundamental change in Russia’s liberal economic course, Kirienko’s program will reportedly offer parliament a say in policymaking — something the Duma has not had in the past. (This may amount to no more than the commission about which Stroev spoke; see previous item.) Kirienko’s program also includes pledges to conduct a more active industrial policy, combat poverty and tackle mounting delays in public sector wages. (Reuter, April 8)
Kirienko has in recent days already made a very public show of promising action to bolster the state pension fund and alleviate wage arrears. (Izvestia, April 7) These measures are clearly calculated to appeal not just to the opposition-dominated Duma but to the population at large. With Communist party backing, Russia’s trade unions are planning a day of mass strikes and demonstrations tomorrow, April 9. If they follow the pattern set in previous years, tomorrow’s demonstrations are likely to be quite tame affairs. Kirienko, however, is clearly not taking any chances.
Yeltsin Says He Will Obey Court Ruling.