The Kremlin’s struggle to reassert control over Russia’s regions by making an example of the maverick governor of Primorsky krai, Yevgeny Nazdratenko, took a new twist yesterday when Nazdratenko met for the first time since 1994 with his arch-rival, Vladivostok mayor Viktor Cherepkov. No details of the meeting were published. (NTV, June 18) Under Moscow’s present game-plan, both men are to be dismissed, paving the way for early elections and the appointment of new administrators to manage the troubled region. The fact that neither Nazdratenko nor Cherepkov wants to lose his post seems to have persuaded the two to bury their differences and might even encourage them to put up united resistance to Moscow. The regional electoral authorities also oppose fresh elections; they issued a statement yesterday pointing out that the krai’s charter provides for early elections only in the event of death or voluntary resignation by the official in question. (NTV, June 18) The upper house of the Russian parliament will try to break this logjam when it debates the issue this week.
Meanwhile, 100 desperate schoolteachers stormed the mayor’s office in Vladivostok yesterday and occupied two floors of the building. They were demanding the payment of wage arrears and protesting the news that they will not be paid any holiday money. (Itar-Tass, June 18)
North Korean-Russian Talks End Inconclusively.