Addressing Foreign Ministry staff yesterday, Boris Yeltsin lauded newly appointed Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov as an "experienced statesman and professional…who knows organizational work and is a person of broad vistas, honesty, and decency." Yeltsin said the transfer of Primakov from the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) to the Foreign Ministry did not foreshadow any fundamental changes in Russian foreign policy. Yeltsin was also quoted as saying that "the future of (Russia), its interests, and the effectiveness of our reforms will largely depend on external conditions, on relations between Russia and the international community." Although Yeltsin had suggested prior to the resignation of Andrei Kozyrev that the former foreign minister might continue to play a significant role in Russian diplomacy, his remarks yesterday seemed to foreclose that option. Yeltsin faulted Kozyrev specifically for having failed to develop coherent policies on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia and, in reference to criticism that Kozyrev had been overly pro-Western and had neglected Russian interests elsewhere, for imbalances in Russia’s general foreign policy orientation.
…While Moscow Reacts Favorably to Appointment.