Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 88

The final appointments to the new Russian government, originally promised for May 5, are now promised for tomorrow (May 8). Arguments are continuing over, first, what role Ivan Rybkin will play in the new government and, second, what post will be offered to the “Russia is Our Home” parliamentary faction (ROH). ROH faction leader Aleksandr Shokhin is angling to be put in charge of the new and potentially powerful ministry of trade and industry, which will assume the responsibilities of the former foreign trade ministry, now abolished, as well as some of the functions presently belonging to the ministry of the economy. (RTR, May 6)

Ivan Rybkin, previously deputy premier with responsibility for the CIS, is currently shuttling between Moscow and the North Caucasus in an effort to secure the release of President Yeltsin’s envoy to Chechnya, who was abducted last weekend. Both Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko and presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky made it clear yesterday that Rybkin will remain in the government. He may be given the post of first deputy foreign minister with responsibility for relations with the CIS, or he may be appointed presidential envoy to the Caucasus–the job hitherto done by former Deputy Premier Ramazan Abdulatipov, who otherwise looks likely to be dropped from the government. (RTR, May 6)