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Russia: Yeltsin Promises Decisive Rule After Inauguration


Moscow, August 9 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's President Boris Yeltsin, sworn in for a second term today, pledged to continue "in a spirit of decision and firmess" the task he had begun when he was first elected president five years ago.

Yeltsin, looking stiff and speaking slowly for less than a minute, did not deliver an anticipated inauguration address as he was sworn in during a 16-minute-long Kremlin ceremony.

But the Kremlin news service quoted Yeltsin as saying at a banquet toast during a reception following the ceremony that he wants "to rule in the interests of all Russians, and I mean all, as we all share the same country." The press service said Yeltsin also appealed for the strenghtening of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The reception, attended by CIS leaders and other guests, was closed to the press, but news agencies quoted Western participant as saying Yeltsin looked much healthier than at the inauguration ceremony. Correspondents report he did mention events in Chechnya.

Yeltsin's aides say he will now take a vacation in order to rest from the fatigue of the electoral campaign.

At the inauguration ceremony, a leaflet was distributed highlighting Yeltsin's platform, which included his pledge of support to civic initiatives and formation of a civilized multi-party system with a view to protecting civil rights. The leaflet is quoted by Interfax news agency as saying the armed forces will be reformed, jobs programs will be created and incomes will be protected from inflation.

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