Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 19

In his first major interview on Russiantelevision in many months, Boris Yeltsin put forward his ideas on the elections,on Russian policy toward the Commonwealth of Independent States, and onthe current political scene inside Russia itself. Appearing on Russia’sindependent television channel May 24–a step that represents an indirect slapat the Russian parliament which had voted to reverse the privatization of thatstation–Yeltsin began by saying how happy he had been with the way in whichV-E Day had been celebrated. He said that even President Clinton had “tearsin his eyes” at the event. From now on, the Russian president said, there will bea military parade in Moscow every year on May 9, and the veterans committeethat arranged the parade will be given permanent status.

In other remarks, Yeltsin said he believed that relations betweenRussia and Belarus should be the model for future CIS integration, and notedthat he will be present at a ceremony abolishing the customs and border guardposts at the Russian-Belarusian border. He explained that he had vetoed theelection law, not to delay the elections but only because he believes thatsingle-member districts are better for the country than party list voting. And heacknowledged that he had been behind the creation of the two political blocsled by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Duma speaker Ivan Rybkin. Inan aside, he said that he now has excellent relations with Moscow mayor YuriLuzhkov, a man Yeltsin has criticized in the past and who may run for presidentnext year. Yeltsin said that Luzhkov is the best mayor in Russia and thatMuscovites must be very happy with him.

Moscow Has Not Set A Date To Sign PFP.