Talking to NTV yesterday, Yeltsin backed down from his earlier threat that he would reshuffle the cabinet following today’s state-of-the-nation speech. (NTV, February 16) Last month, he threatened that "one or two" cabinet ministers would lose their posts, giving rise to speculation that the "young reformers," First Deputy Premiers Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov, were about to lose their jobs. Today Yeltsin said merely that, if the current government could not carry out the tasks set for them, they would be replaced. (BBC, February 17) For the time being, the "young reformers," who only a few weeks ago seemed to have lost their influence irretrievably, remain in the game.
Duma to Give Budget Final Reading this Week.