The weekend brought sharply conflicting signals from President Boris Yeltsin and Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky over whether or not they will forge an alliance in the presidential election. Yeltsin, swinging through Russia on a highly successful campaign trip, was upbeat. "We are uniting!" he told voters in Astrakhan on Saturday. Yeltsin said he hoped to ally not only with Yavlinsky, but also with reform-oriented candidates Aleksandr Lebed and Svyatoslav Fedorov. As to Yavlinsky and Lebed, Yeltsin said, "these hopes are based on my personal conversations with them…. I will also meet with Svyatoslav Fedorov, and I hope that all three will join the presidential team." (Interfax, May 11)
…While Yavlinsky Still Plays Hard to Get.