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Russia: Chubais Concerned About Weakening Central Power

Moscow, 29 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin's chief of staff, Anatoly Chubais, told a meeting of regional representatives in Moscow today that he was concerned by signs of weakening central control over Russia's 89 regions.

Chubais said he had spoken to Yeltsin by telephone this morning on the matter and added that the current situation, where regions continued to pass laws contradicting the federal constitution, was "unacceptable." Chubais said this was the result of the "weakness of Russian state power." He added that it was necessary to create a single system to analyze legislation and suspend regional laws running counter to the constitution.

Chubais said "serious discussions" with the heads of local regions and presidents of autonomous republics on the issue would soon be held. Chubais urged regional representatives to prepare the "necessary documents for talks" with Yeltsin.

Yeltsin has canceled all his appointments this week for a final batch of medical tests ahead of his planned heart surgery.