Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 107

More than two weeks after Boris Yeltsin issued several major decrees aimed at transforming Russia’s armed forces, the Russian Duma defense committee chairman announced yesterday that the parliament would hold a series of closed hearings on military reform. According to Lt. General Lev Rokhlin, the hearings will be arranged in three stages, all to take place from July 1-18. The hearings are to cover three issue areas: the development of the armed forces during the period of military reform; the equipping of the armed forces and development of the defense industrial sector; and the formulation of recommendations to the president for short-and long-term military policy. (Interfax, June 3) The decision to schedule the hearings in July suggests that the communist party faction may not make military reform a big campaign issue in the first round of the presidential election, as party leaders had earlier suggested they might.

According to Rokhlin, the parliament is also close to completing a draft law that would establish a new permanent Military Council, attached to the president’s office. The council would make decisions in the areas of defense and security policy, and would be responsible for coordinating the activities of Russia’s various military agencies. (Interfax, June 3) Boris Yeltsin suggested recently that he would propose that the General Staff fulfill the role of interdepartmental military coordinator. (See Monitor, May 30)

Moscow Looks to Maintain Ties with New Delhi.