08/28/1998 18:31:58 Text of Yeltsin's television interview
MOSCOW, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Following is a Reuters
translation of President Boris Yeltsin's interview with
state-owned Russian Television on Friday.
Q. Boris Nikolayevich, what are, in your opinion, the ways
out of the crisis in which Russia's economy has found itself?
A. First of all, I think it is now necessary to concentrate
on fulfilling the programme which has been made during the
stabilisation period. And second, to solve the problem of
personnel. These are the two main key items. Having solved them,
we will solve the problem.
Q. As far as the crisis itself, how deep is it? Because it
is obvious that the banks are suffering greatly. And how much
are people suffering?
A. Of course, now it would be naive to say 'we will take
measures,' and so on and so forth, so that people do not suffer.
But nevertheless, I, as president, am obliged to say that we
will take all measures to ensure that people's savings do not
Q. Prices, Boris Nikolayevich. People are worried, what will
happen with prices? What about that?
A. Of course, I cannot say that prices will not rise, but I,
as president am obliged, and should do, what is needed so that
this will be minimal in extent. Minimal. We must do all the
maximum possible to get out of this situation.
The central bank and the government have orders. Everything
is spelled out, what to do and how to do it, which direction to
act in. Everything. We must strictly fulfill that which is
Of course, everyone knows that by nature I am an optimist.
It's true. Otherwise it is not interesting to live at all. But
here I say that I simply believe myself. I believe that it is
possible to accomplish, otherwise I myself find it uninteresting
Q. Boris Nikolayevich, it seems as though you believe not
only in yourself, but in (acting Prime Minister) Viktor
Stepanovich (Chernomyrdin) as well. Back when he resigned from
the position of prime minister you reproached him to a certain
extent, for exceding his political powers. Now he has received
yet more political powers. This is contradictory, is it not?
A. There are two mistakes in your question. The first
mistake is that he had some excessive political powers -- more
correctly he did not have them, but had decided to take them.
Because of that, let's say, he suffered at my hand.
But here I want to say, at that time he did not use even all
those political powers he had. He didn't use them. And never was
there an instance, not one, when I reproached him, 'why are you
taking certain powers?' No. So to say now that he has been given
so much power, that is also not correct. Now he has been given
exactly as much power as is laid out for an ordinary prime
minister in any developed country.
To use them correctly, that is also a very important
question. Not to throw oneself from one side to another. Not to
use them in some interests -- passing interests -- under any
circumstances. To solve strategic problems, consult with the
president. Everything else, is up to you.
Q. Boris Nikolayevich today you had a meeting with
Chernomyrdin, (speaker of the upper house of parliament Yegor)
Stroyev, and (Moscow Mayor Yuri) Luzhkov. What is the result of
A. I expected this meeting would play a great role. It could
have led to a negative outcome, finishing with nothing, but we
have very responsible and strong (people.) Stroyev and Luzhkov
are people of the state, with a state outlook. They understood
and agreed on the candidacy of Chernomyrdin. If they support
him, one may say that very many (people) support him.
Q. If you permit, a question about you. In the last days
there have been rumours and talk of your resignation. Simply,
can you comment?
A. It is very difficult to remove me and, considering my
character, it is practically impossible. Impossible. In general,
I would like to say that I am not going anywhere. I am not going
to resign. I am going to work. As is laid down, according to the
constitutional term. In 2000 a new president will be elected and
I will not take part in that presidential election.
Q. Boris Nikolayevich, nevertheless the Duma is trying
somehow or other to force you to resign. And you are suspected
of wanting to dissolve the Duma. Is it possible to work jointly
with the lower house of parliament under such circumstances?
A. You know, I cannot link these two questions. Not for
ethical or political or human motives. It is impossible. I am
not going to dissolve the Duma. I have had no attention of
dissolving the Duma and I do not have such an intention now. No
matter how had they try to intimidate me, I am not going to