Russian President Boris Yeltsin met yesterday with leaders of the State Duma to urge them to approve his government’s stabilization program, which parliament is due to debate today and tomorrow. In an effort to sweeten the pill, Yeltsin hinted that he will not run for re-election in the year 2000, saying he hoped another person would take over the reins of power. “I want Russia to start working calmly with a new president in the year 2000,” Yeltsin declared. (RTR, July 14) Yeltsin has been sending conflicting signals about his intentions for months. He still has plenty of time to change his mind: The Constitutional Court is not due until the fall to rule on his eligibility to run for a third term.
Yeltsin also assured the parliamentary leaders that the Duma would not be dissolved. He further promised to institute regular roundtable meetings between parliament and the government. In the past, such meetings have been held only at times of crisis. He urged the Duma to call off its efforts to launch impeachment proceedings, saying: “If I have to leave office early, you will all start fighting one another, and the whole country will be dragged into a fight.” Liberal Democratic Party and Russia is Our Home leaders Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Aleksandr Shokhin promised to do all they could to remove the impeachment issue from the Duma’s agenda, where it has been placed by the Communists and their nationalist and agrarian allies. (RTR, Itar-Tass, July 14)
RUSSIA’S COAL STRIKE POSSIBLY RUNNING OUT OF STEAM.