President Boris Yeltsin has renewed his attack on Foreign Ministry, a top aide said, again raising a cloud over the political future of Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev. The 44-year-old Kozyrev, foreign minister for five years, has been under fire from Yeltsin and parliament over policy in the Balkans crisis where Russia’s voice has often been ignored by the United States and other Western powers. Chief presidential aide Viktor Ilyushin told Itar-Tass news agency that the ministry came in for harsh criticism at a Kremlin meeting on Tuesday between Yeltsin and his aides. Ilyushin said several ministries and government departments had been under fire at the meeting for "serious shortcomings in executive discipline." "Great disquiet was expressed in an exchange of opinions about the activity of the Russian foreign ministry," he added. Asked if this could herald changes in the ministry, Ilyushin added: "The president is not in the habit of acting blindly in personnel matters." Yeltsin last month said he was not satisfied with the way the foreign ministry drafted Russia’s policy on former Yugoslavia and said "consequences would be drawn" unless the ministry improved. (2)
Kozyrev a Lame Duck?