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Russia: Yeltsin, Chernomyrdin Discuss Army's Problems

Moscow, 12 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russia's President Boris Yeltsin, a week after his multiple bypass heart surgery, discussed Russia's defense problems today with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin as the military pressed for more money for the armed forces.

Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin discussed the problems of the armed forces in a telephone conversation with Chernomyrdin from the Central Clinical hospital, where the president is recovering.

Earlier today, Defense Minister Igor Rodionov said Russia is politically and economically unstable and warned that poor military readiness could have dire consequences for the security of the nation.

Rodionov was speaking at a meeting of Russia's top military officials held in Moscow to discuss the results of combat training.

Rodionov, who has been campaigning for better funding for the army, was quoted as saying that Russia's armed forces "have reached a borderline, beyond which any further fall in their combat readiness may lead to unpredictable, catastrophic consequences."