Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 7

Russian president Boris Yeltsin will hold his first official meeting of the New Year when he meets First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov today at his holiday retreat in the Valdai region. Yeltsin press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembsky has promised that television footage of the meeting will be made available; he said the president will return to work in the Kremlin on January 19 as planned. Yeltsin has not been seen in public, except for two pre-recorded and heavily edited television addresses, since he caught a viral infection in December.

Yeltsin’s absence has prompted concern about his health. As in the past, it has been accompanied by mounting and increasingly public friction between his ministers. Relations between Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and the Communist-dominated parliament have warmed while the influence of the reform wing has waned. Prosecutor General Skuratov confirmed yesterday that an official investigation is continuing into the "book scandal" in which First Deputy Premier Anatoly Chubais is implicated. (ORT, January 12) There are strong expectations that Yeltsin’s return to work will be followed by a cabinet re-shuffle.

Chechnya’s New Government.