Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with the speakers of the two houses of the Russian parliament yesterday and agreed to convene roundtable talks. The talks, to be held on April 7 with politicians from across the spectrum, will focus on the composition of the next government and its policies. (RTR, April 3) In return, the Duma suspended its vote, originally scheduled for today, on Yeltsin’s nomination of Sergei Kirienko as prime minister. The Duma is now expected to discuss Kirienko’s nomination on April 8.
Yeltsin’s concession has temporarily defused the standoff between president and parliament that threatened earlier in the week to plunge Russia into a full-blown constitutional crisis. However, it has the unwelcome effect of prolonging the present state of uncertainty and paralysis. It also means that Russia is about to enter its third week without an effective government. This can only be bad news for the struggling economy.
Russian Prime Minister Ponders Economic Agenda.