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Russia: Yeltsin Forms New Presidential Council

Moscow, 21 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin has decided to establish a new presidential council which will include the head of government, leaders of both houses of parliament and a top official in his administration, says Kremlin press spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky. Yeltsin wants these officals to adopt key decisions together, he said.

In a report carried by Itar-Tass, Yastrzhembsky quoted Yeltsin as saying today that "it is impossible to run in different directions at this moment." Yeltsin is awaiting to undergo heart surgery, planned for mid-November. Yastrzhembsky said the preparation for the operation is continuing and is going well.

Earlier today, the speaker of Russia's State Duma, Gennady Seleznyov said he and Yeltsin met today and had agreed on the formation of the new presidential council. Seleznyov said the council would "take fundamental decisions related to the interaction of the legislative and executive organs of power."

Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin believes that, "in the current situation, such meetings could become an effective mechanism to search for agreed solutions to the most important issues of the country's life."

Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin and Seleznyov agreed the council, which he described as a "permanent four" structure, would meet regularly. However, there is no schedule yet for the meetings between Yeltsin's representative, presidential administration head Anatoly Chubais, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, Seleznyov and Federation Council speaker Yegor Stroyev.