• ACI Russia

08/18/1998 06:16:30 Russia's Lebed calls for emergency parliament meet

MOSCOW, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Russian regional governor Alexander Lebed, a likely future presidential candidate, called in televised remarks on Tuesday for a special session of the upper house of parliament to discuss Russia's economic crisis. "The government has recognised its ability and admitted that Russia is bankrupt," Lebed said on Russian public television. The governor of the Siberian territory of Krasnoyarsk was speaking after Russia on Monday announced what was effectively a rouble devaluation and a default on some foreign debt repayments for 90 days. "Sorting out the situation I have intentions to call for an emergency meeting of the Federal Council because now it is obvious that the regions are bearing colossal losses," he said. The upper house consists of regional leaders and has traditionally been more supportive of President Boris Yeltsin than the Communist-dominated State Duma lower house. A former national security adviser ousted in 1995, Lebed is a fierce critic of the government of Yeltsin and considered a leading possible candidate in the 2000 presidential race. The State Duma on Monday decided to interrupt its summer recess to gather in emergency session on Friday.

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