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Russia: Yeltsin's Radio Address Tomorrow To Focus On Three Themes

Moscow, 13 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin's spokesman says the president's radio address to the nation tomorrow will focus on Chechnya, the Consitution, and problems with pension payments.

Spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky told Interfax news agency today that Yeltsin will speak forcefully on the need to protect pension payments to Russia's elderly. Yeltsin last week criticized the head of the Pension Fund, Vasily Barchuk, for saying that pensioners might not receive all their payments.

Yastrzhembsky also said Yeltsin will talk about relations between Moscow and Chechnya, following yesterday's inuaguration of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov. Finally, he said Yeltsin will reiterate his position on the question of Constitutional reform.

Yeltsin has rejected calls by opposition leaders for changes to the Constitution to transfer more power to the legislature.

Yastrzhembsky said Yeltsin's speech will be broadcast at 1100 Moscow time (0800 GMT) tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Itar-tass quotes Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroyev as saying today that Yeltsin will deliver his annual address to parliament on March 5.