Kremlin press secretary Dmitri Yakushkin told CNN today (October 30) that a panel of ten legal experts will look into changing the Russian Constitution and possibly reinstate the position of vice president. The panel, which will be announced in November, will consider a wide range of ideas. It will not, however, consider anything that “radically” changes the president’s powers, such as his current control over the defense and security ministries, Yakushkin said. He also said that Russia will remain a presidential republic and not return to a parliamentary system.
Meanwhile, Russian President Boris Yeltsin left Moscow today for a vacation in the Black Sea coastal resort town of Sochi. Before leaving, Yeltsin met at the airport with Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov. Primakov briefed Yeltsin on his two trips this week: to Vienna for a Russian-European Union summit, and to the Caucasus for talks with Aslan Maskhadov, president of the breakaway Chechnya republic (Russian agencies, October 30).
DIAMONDS–PRIMAKOV GOVERNMENT’S BEST FRIEND. ”