On June6 the deputy head of the Russian presidential administration,Yevgeni Sevastyanov, traveled to Primore in Russia’s Far Eastto explain the new powers granted last week to President Yeltsin’srepresentative in the region, former Primore Federal SecurityService chief Lt. Gen. Viktor Kondratov. (See Monitor,June 6) Sevastyanov said Kondratov has been given "unprecedented"powers in Primorsky krai to distribute all federal funds, allocatefish and timber export quotas, and oversee all hard currency transactions.(Kommersant-daily, June 7; NTV, June 8)
Sevastyanov told a stormy meeting of top regional officials thatthe decision to strip Governor Yevgeni Nazdratenko of many ofhis powers was taken because of mismanagement of the region’senergy system, misuse of federal funds, and complaints from foreignand Russian businessmen about the criminalization of the region.Sevastyanov said 25 billion rubles ($4.3 million) had gone missingfrom the 80 billion rubles allotted for the payment of wages toteachers and doctors in April. He warned that if Nazdratenko interfereswith Kondratov’s work he will be removed as governor.
Nazdratenko claims he is the victim of a political campaign orchestratedby First Deputy Premier Anatoly Chubais. The autocratic governoris not without friends, however. The same day Aleksandr Lebedsent him a telegram urging him to "stand firm, because allRussia is watching you and believes in you." (NTV, June 8)In the past, Nazdratenko has been able to rely on the supportof regional business circles. Apparently confident that he enjoyscontinuing local support, Nazdratenko has threatened to call asnap gubernatorial election. (Interfax-Eurasia, June 6) In thelast election, held in December 1995, he won over 60 percent ofthe vote.
Russian Parliament Ratifies Russia-Belarus Union.