Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 90

Aleksandr Lebed and Svyatoslav Fedorov, who have for four months been negotiating with Yavlinsky over the possibility of uniting in a "Third Force" alliance behind a single candidate, are miffed over Yavlinsky’s flirtation with Yeltsin. They suspect they have been used to turn Yavlinsky into a more attractive candidate than he would have been on his own. Lebed announced on 6 May that he was not going to quit the presidential race and that the alliance with Yavlinsky was off. Fedorov’s supporters denied their candidate had ever agreed to stand down in favor of another member of the "Third Force" alliance, though they said consultations were continuing. (Interfax, May 6 and 7) In reality, the three have little in common politically. Some Russian commentators have called the "Third Force" a clever packaging job that has raised the profile of all three candidates and increased their credibility in the eyes of the electorate. So far, Yavlinsky appears to have been the chief beneficiary. If he now decides to ally with Yeltsin, the alliance will collapse.

Georgia Seeks International Solution to Abkhazia Problem.