Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 37

Speculation continues about the future of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, back in Moscow for talks with the IMF after a two-week vacation. The latest rumor is that in March, Chernomyrdin will be appointed head of YeltsinÕs campaign team. This will require him to step down from the premiership, making way for someone not identified in the public eye with painful reforms. First Deputy Premier Oleg Soskovets, who at present heads a shadowy Kremlin presidential campaign headquarters, is tipped for possible promotion should Chernomyrdin be shunted aside. The Duma has so far sent Soskovets three invitations asking him to clarify the role of the campaign headquarters. The Duma is unsatisfied with SoskovetsÕs written reply, which told parliament, in effect, not to concern itself with the matter. The Duma has now invited Soskovets to come to the Duma in person on Friday, following President YeltsinÕs scheduled state of the nation address to a joint session of the two houses of parliament. (3)

Russian-Indian Arms Trade to Double in 1996.