In addition to Shakhrai’s attacks, Chernomyrdin seems to have suffered other reverses in recent days. One is the appointment of Oleg Lobov as Yeltsin’s special representative for Chechnya with overall control of policy. Chernomyrdin’s policy on Chechnya has been more flexible and less reliant on force than Lobov’s. In the third apparent setback for the prime minister, the Yeltsin administration has apparently arranged the creation of a new regulatory superagency, the Federal Energy Committee, to oversee the fuel and energy sector which forms Chernomyrdin’s power base. The FEC is empowered to control oil and gas production, transportation, and marketing, including pipeline access and price setting. In addition, it will have power over the income and tax situations of oil and gas enterprises. The new agency will be controlled by the Economics Ministry, which is closely connected to the presidential administration, Segodnya reported August 30.
Zhirinovsky Sees Lebed, Rutskoi as Main Competitors.