Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 92

Later that same day, Yavlinsky poured cold water on the idea, saying "I have neither the intention nor the desire to join the presidential team." Yavlinsky dismissed Yeltsin’s statement as "a publicity stunt," saying the president "has no reason to make such statements except for the sake of his own election campaign." (Interfax, May 11) As recently as May 9, however, Yavlinsky indicated that he was willing at least in principle to make a deal with Yeltsin. He told the BBC that day that he and Yeltsin were going to discuss "a first in Russian history — a coalition between the government and the democratic opposition." As his price for entering an alliance, Yavlinsky is believed to be demanding that Yeltsin 1) end the war in Chechnya, 2) sack top officials such as defense minister Pavel Grachev and head of the presidential administration Nikolai Yegorov, believed to have been responsible for the decision to invade Chechnya, and 3) give Yavlinsky assurances that, as prime minister in a post-election government, he would have the power to appoint his own cabinet. (Until now, Yeltsin has named the government himself.) It will be not be easy for the two men to reach an agreement, given such conditions. Even if an agreement is reached, time is running short for them to present their program to the electorate.

"Third Force" Maneuvering.