Moscow, 11 September 1998 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin said today he is confident that Yevgeny Primakov will be confirmed as prime minister. Yeltsin said in a national television address that Primakov can rely on support from both the Kremlin and parliament. The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, is scheduled to vote on Primakov's candidacy for the premiership
today. Yeltsin also said he is confident Primakov will be able to pull Russia out of its economic crisis. He said the government will need to reduce prices, restore the banking system and protect savings. He urged Russians to be patient with their hardships.
Yeltsin nominated Primakov, a veteran diplomat and acting foreign minister, to
the premiership yesterday, after his initial choice, Viktor Chernomyrdin, was
rejected twice by the Duma. At talks with Yeltsin today, Chernomyrdin vowed to
Primakov told political leaders prior to the confirmation debate and vote that
his government would need time to tackle Russia's economic problems. The
Communists, who lead the largest bloc in the Duma, reiterated they will back
Primakov in the Duma vote.
The Kremlin announced today that Yeltsin has proposed former Central bank
chairman Viktor Gerashchenko as the new head of the bank. And Communist Party
leader Gennady Zyuganov said he and Primakov had agreed that Yuri Maslyukov, a
Soviet-era economic official, will join the government as first deputy prime
Also today, Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Russia will
take steps to make its outstanding interest payments to Germany and some other
Kasyanov said Russia will make full payments as soon as tax and customs tariff
revenues are back to normal. He said Russia was observing other sovereign debt
payments on their due dates.
The German Finance Ministry earlier today said Russia had missed almost all of
a payment equivalent to $475 million. It was due August 20.