08/27/1998 17:57:47 Russia faces a day of major decisions
MOSCOW, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Russia faces a day of important
meetings on Friday which may have a major impact on political
developments in a country hit by a severe economic, financial
and political crisis.
1/ The managing council of the State Duma (lower house of
parliament) is expected to meet at 0600 GMT to decide on the
date to hold debates on the confirmation of Viktor Chernomyrdin
as Russia's new prime minister.
Chernomyrdin, whom President Boris Yeltsin has named acting
prime minister, is holding frantic consultations with key
parties in the communist-dominated chamber in search of a
compromise on the line-up of his new government and its course.
Chernomyrdin said he would stick to market reforms while
opposition parties in the Duma want him to form a coalition
government and restore elements of tough state control over the
economy typical of the Soviet era.
The Duma also wants to redraft the constitution to boost its
own authority at the expense of the president's current sweeping
powers and put the government largely under parliamentary
Presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said on Thursday
Yeltsin deemed the redistribution of powers proposed by the Duma
exaggerated but added that the parliamentary proposals were
The final shape of debated documents -- joint economic and
political declarations, which are due to be considered by the
Duma council on Friday -- remain unclear.
2/ Yeltsin is due to meet visiting Bulgarian President Petar
Stoyanov at 0600 GMT and the Kremlin said he might talk with the
press after the meeting.
3/ Yeltsin, who has so far failed to spell out his vision of
how to fight the Russian crisis, is due to meet Chernomyrdin to
discuss the financial situation in the country, where virtually
all markets have come to a halt and the population is buying
foreign currency in panic.
4/ Yeltsin is also due to meet his acting foreign minister,
Yevgeny Primakov. On their agenda:
- the forthcoming summit with U.S. President Bill Clinton
- the situation in Serbia's rebel region of Kosovo, and
- the situation on the southern borders of the post-Soviet
Commonwealth of Independent States approached by Afghanistan's
radical Taleban forces.