Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 8

Reactions in Moscow to Primakov’s appointment were generally favorable. Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Chernyshev called Primakov an "optimal" choice, an assessment echoed by Yeltsin’s foreign affairs advisor, Dmitri Rurikov. Given the reactions of leaders of political parties represented in the Duma, his appointment appears unlikely to face opposition in parliament. However, it was unclear that these leaders’ assessments of Primakov fully coincided. Vladimir Lukin of Yabloko characterized Primakov as a professional and a pragmatist who was unlikely to change Russia’s current policy orientation in any significant manner. Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, on the other hand, praised Primakov personally, but suggested that the recent election had produced a popular mandate for change in foreign policy. Zyuganov said his party’s assessment of the new foreign minister would depend on the latter’s willingness to embrace that mandate. Ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky praised Primakov as the best possible choice and predicted that he would "turn Russia’s foreign policy toward the Arab world, India, and China."

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