Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 118

Amid the crescendo of tall timber being felled in the Kremlin, the demotion of Boris Yeltsin’s National Security Advisor, Yuri Baturin, has been little noted. Baturin, who had occupied that post since January 1994, was replaced June 18 by Aleksandr Lebed and reduced in status to presidential aide. Aside from its connection to larger political issues, the demotion is of interest because Baturin and his staff had labored since January of 1994 to produce a national concept paper. That long-awaited document, entitled "National Security Policy of the Russian Federation (1996-2000), was signed by Boris Yeltsin June 13 and submitted with some election eve fanfare to the parliament for discussion. (Nezavisimaya gazeta, June 19. See Monitor, June 14)

Baturin is to remain in place for approximately one more month in order to bring Lebed up to speed on his new duties, but there is some question as to whether Lebed will embrace the national security concept or whether it is already a dead letter. Baturin has said that Yeltsin closely studied the document before signing it and that Lebed would therefore have to defend before the president any criticisms that he might have of it. (Nezavisimaya gazeta, June 20) But the announcement of the concept on June 13 smacked of electioneering — Yeltsin had long been criticized for not producing such a document — and it would not be surprising if, after a Yeltsin electoral victory, work on an entirely new document were to begin. Meanwhile, Baturin, who also served as Yeltsin’s advisor for legal affairs from June, 1993 until January, 1994, has not yet been assigned new duties.

Central Bank Backs Down.