08/13/1998 11:12:41 Yeltsin plans first public visit in month
MOSCOW, Aug 13 (Reuters) - President Boris Yeltsin will
appear in public for the first time in a month on Friday when he
interrupts his summer holiday to pay a short visit to Novgorod,
a former Russian capital in the northwest of the country.
Local officials said Yeltsin plans to visit the historic
city's Kremlin fortress, as well as a local factory making
televisions and a slaughterhouse and meat-processing enterprise.
Yeltsin has been on holiday the northwestern Valdai lakeland
for most of the time since July 18, even though the country
continues to suffer from a financial crisis that provoked
further sharp falls in Russian shares on Thursday.
Throughout his presidency Yeltsin has swung between periods
of active rule and virtual absence from the public stage.
He left on holiday after international creditors agreed to
lend Russia another $22.6 billion to help stabilise the economy.
But investors remain nervous. The central bank on Thursday
rejected a call by financier George Soros to devalue the rouble,
and the RTS1-Interfax share index was down 10.84 percent at 1110
Yeltsin last publicly toured a city on June 19, when he went
to Kostroma, 350 km (200 miles) northeast of Moscow. There he
criticised local leaders and said they were partly to blame for
the country's economic crisis.
On July 18, he attended the reburial of the country's last
tsar, Nicholas II and his family in St. Petersburg.
He is expected to arrive by helicopter in Novgorod from
Valdai where he is vacationing 120 km (75 miles) away. He will
stay about three hours, officials said.