Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 90

Yeltsin and Yavlinsky are engaged in an elaborate courtship dance. Like all such rituals, it may come to nothing, but it is clear that mutual attraction is strong and both candidates are aware that they need each other. The two met for two hours on May 5, after which both expressed interest in further negotiations. The bargaining over terms is being conducted quite openly: Yavlinsky’s associate, Vyacheslav Igrunov, has said that Yavlinsky would be prepared to join Yeltsin in return for the post of prime minister with the power to appoint his own government. Yeltsin’s team countered that the most Yavlinsky will be offered is a deputy premiership (something Yavlinsky has already rejected). Now there is speculation in the Russian press that incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin will be called upon to make the supreme sacrifice and give up his job to Yavlinsky prior to the election. Writing in Kommersant-daily on May 7, Natalya Arkhangelskaya details the history of the Yeltsin-Yavlinsky courtship, from the first approaches made by Yavlinsky to Yeltsin following the Duma elections last December to the personal letter Yavlinsky reportedly sent Yeltsin at the end of last month, laying down the terms on which the Yabloko leader would be prepared to do a deal.

"Third Force" in Disarray.