Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 184

Russian president Boris Yeltsin was full of energy yesterday as he visited the Volga city of Nizhny Novgorod. There, he created a sensation by hinting that he may run for a third term in office. His response to journalists asking whether he intended to run again — that "My friends and associates in Moscow have forbidden me to speak on this subject. Three years remain before the next presidential election. You are asking me the question too early" — may have been intended a joke, but it provoked immediate interest in Russia and abroad. (Itar-Tass, October 2) As recently as September 1, Yeltsin had said he would not run again, but in recent weeks the Russian media have been full of speculation that he might do otherwise. (Itar-Tass, October 2)

There has also been widespread speculation that Yeltsin will respond to the Duma’s footdragging over the 1998 federal budget by dissolving parliament and calling fresh elections. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin is due to address the Duma on October 8 and give an account of the situation in the economy in the first nine months of the year. First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov indicated earlier this week that, although the government is prepared to implement the budget while bypassing parliament, it remains quite ready to compromise with the Duma. "A bad budget is better than no budget at all," Nemtsov said. (Itar-Tass, October 2) The Duma’s first deputy speaker, Vladimir Ryzhkov, told journalists that dissolving parliament was a real possibility but that fresh elections would not resolve Russia’s present problems. He said quite a few opposition parliamentarians would welcome pre-term elections now, unlike the situation in the spring when deputies were ready to do almost anything to avoid dissolution. Ryzhkov pointed out that, under the constitution, "If the opposition wins the election, which is a possibility, the new, oppositional Duma will get immunity for a whole year and be able to do just as it pleases." (Itar-Tass, October 2)

Moscow: Iran Tried to Procure Russian Missile Technology.