Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s representative to the State Duma, Aleksandr Kotenkov, surprised everyone when he told a Moscow press conference yesterday that the president dismissed the government of Viktor Chernomyrdin last month in order to forestall a plan by the parliament to hold a no-confidence vote in the government. (RTR, April 27) When Yeltsin dismissed the government on March 23, he said he was doing so because it was “lacking dynamism.” His action provoked a month-long crisis during which the Duma twice refused to approve Yeltsin’s choice of a new premier. Kotenkov claimed yesterday that Yeltsin’s action was intended to ward off the much longer crisis that would have ensued had the Duma been able to pursue its plan of voting no confidence in the government. Though Kotenkov’s version of events was not borne out by any other Kremlin insiders yesterday, it would explain why it was that, when Yeltsin dismissed Chernomyrdin and his colleagues on March 23, he had no replacement at hand.
WASHINGTON RAISES ALARM OVER RUSSIAN-INDIAN MISSILE COOPERATION.