Russia’s 2000 presidential election began this weekend with an announcement by liberal economist Grigory Yavlinsky that he will be a candidate. Yavlinsky dismissed the predictions of Gen. Lev Rokhlin that presidential elections will be held earlier than 2000. He said that President Boris Yeltsin is in "excellent physical and mental shape." "When I meet the president, I see the same Yeltsin I knew in 1991," Yavlinsky added. (NTV, Itar-Tass, September 20) Other potential candidates, including First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov and Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, have in recent days denied they are planning to run.
Duma Adopts Revised Draft of Religion Bill.