Moscow, 23 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - The chair of the federation council, Yegor Stroyev, says that a declaration passed by the chamber today does not in any way mention Security Council deputy secretary Boris Berezovsky.
Stroyev said the declaration expressing concern about the situation in the North Caucasus did not mention Berezovsky by name. Stroyev said the document warned about the dangers of arming what he called the "peaceful population" in the region.
Stroyev's comments come after Russian news agencies issued a report based on a draft version of the declaration which condemned Berezovsky's statements in support of arming Russia's Cossack population. The original declaration called for Berezovsky to step down, but was removed in the final version.
The declaration, passed by a vote of 103 to 3, warned of a possible military conflict erupting in the North Caucasus and called on the government to take all measures to protect Russia's territorial integrity.
The Cossacks are descendents of settlers who helped Russians conquer the territories in the North Caucasus in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Cossacks say they need arms to protect their lands from Chechen separatists.
Stroyev also condemned recent attempts by the State Duma to pass a resolution to force President Boris Yeltsin to step down because of ill health. He said it had no sense to continue debating such a resolution, which he said violated the constitution.