Russian president Boris Yeltsin cut short his Black Sea vacation and returned to Moscow yesterday evening, reportedly disgusted by poor weather which spoiled his holiday. This morning, the president made a nationwide radio address in honor of May Day, a public holiday throughout the CIS. Yeltsin urged his compatriots to forget their problems during the holiday. May Day is not only the Day of International Solidarity of Working People, it is also a holiday for "those who are tired of politics," the president said. Yeltsin’s admonitions notwithstanding, demonstrations are being staged today throughout Russia and the rest of the CIS. (Itar-Tass, May 1)
Earlier yesterday, Yeltsin met with Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov to discuss the situation in the North Caucasus in the wake of the fatal bombing in Pyatigorsk. In an apparent rebuke to Kulikov, who called after the blast for Moscow to halt negotiations with Chechnya, Yeltsin urged Kulikov to focus on preventing such incidents in future. Kulikov for his part said the federal authorities will not try to isolate Chechnya and are ready to cooperate with the Chechen authorities. He said there are no plans to move additional troops to Stavropol krai.
Meeting later with First Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov, Yeltsin gave his preliminary approval to a decree requiring civil servants to declare their incomes and those of their family members. Yeltsin is expected to sign the decree, which is part of his latest bid to curb corruption, on May 10. (RTR, April 30)
Top Russian Officials in Chechnya for Talks.