Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 42

In a nationwide radio address this morning, President Boris Yeltsin had harsh words for the Russian government, saying he has serious doubts about whether it will be able to meet the targets of this year’s federal budget. Yeltsin said he signed the budget into law on February 26 only in order that the country should not be without legislation. But, he said, he will exercise more control in the future over the drafting of budget provisions. (BBC World Service, February 28) Yeltsin’s words will add fuel to speculation about the possible replacement of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. A cabinet shuffle is expected to be announced next week but there is so far no clue as to what changes will be made. The one thing that is clear is that Yeltsin is determined to reassert his authority after being sidelined for seven months by illness.

Draft of Yeltsin’s Address to Parliament Leaked to Press.