A statement released by the presidential press service following a January 4 meeting between President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin stressed the populist side of their discussions. Chernomyrdin was reported to have briefed the president on "steps the government is taking to ensure that back wages and pensions are paid," while Yeltsin called on his prime minister "to improve executive discipline of all levels." (11) The two men also reportedly discussed power-sharing agreements currently being negotiated between the federal government and a number of Russia’s constituent republics and regions, including Sverdlovsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaliningrad and Krasnodar. Yeltsin was said to have expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of certain envoys in the Russian regions and to have decided to replace some of them.
Also January 4, Chernomyrdin chaired a cabinet meeting at which Economics Minister Yevgeny Yasin presented a plan for the future development of Russian industry. The plan, which calls for concentrating state investment in high-tech, environmentally-friendly production, is line with the electoral policies advocated by "Russia is Our Home". Yasin reportedly told the meeting that the government aims to achieve a radical improvement in the ecological situation. He later told a press briefing that the December inflation rate of 3.2 percent was the lowest monthly rate of the last three years and signaled the government’s determination to maintain its anti-inflation policy in 1996. (12)
Estonia Expects Greater Russian Pressure in 1996.