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  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Interdependence, both political and economic, between the different parts of the Baltic Sea region is growing. This means that there is a strong case for cooperative strategies rather than policies based on zero-sum thinking. The positive outcome of the Latvian referendum should be regarded as a crucial building element to promote this cooperation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Maryland
  • Author: Rado Petkov, Rick Petree
  • Publication Date: 09-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The Communist dominated Duma sent a stern message to President Yelstin on September 7th by rejecting his nominee, Viktor Chernomyrdin, for the second time. The vote was 273 against and 138 for (with one abstention). While Chernomyrdin's showing improved substantially from the Duma's first ballot, he still fell far short of the 226 votes needed for Duma approval. Furthermore, his gains came largely from Zhirinovsky's nationalist faction, which has a crass history of trading votes to “the highest bidder.” Yelstin's opposition, on the other hand, benefited from the support of independent deputies comprising a group called “Regions of Russia”: their approval of Chernomyrdin dropped from 86% to 50% in the second round.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Allen Collinsworth, Robert Orttung, Rado Petkov, Rick Petree
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: At approximately 12.30 p.m. EST today, the Duma rejected Chernomyrdin's nomination as Prime Minister by an open ballot vote of 251-94 (with 105 abstaining). 226 votes are needed to confirm him. Chernomyrdin's own Our Home Is Russia party provided most of his support (64 votes). Zhirinovsky's party, the Liberal Democrats, abstained (49 votes). Analysts underscored the weakness of support for Chernomyrdin by noting that, in the first round of voting on the nomination of Prime Minister Kiriyenko five months ago, Kiriyenko polled 143 votes in favor. This was in secret balloting, however, which to some extent invalidates the comparison.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Rado Petkov, Rick Petree
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The latest private reports from Moscow indicate that the Duma is very likely to reject Viktor Chernomyrdin's candidacy for Prime minister next week. Tomorrow, Aug. 28 th , at 3:00 pm, the Duma and the Federation Council will meet to decide whether to recommend a vote on Chernomyrdin's candidacy. Whereas Chernomyrdin's chances are bleak, the fluid nature of current Russian political situation makes it impossible to firmly rule out his confirmation as prime minister, a post which he very much wants.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Rado Petkov, Rick Petree
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Since our Aug. 20th report, the situation in Russia has developed dramatically. On Friday (Aug. 21st), the lower house of the Russian parliament (the Duma) overwhelmingly called for Yeltsin's resignation and changes in the government and the leadership of the central bank. The Duma also passed a non-binding resolution demanding nationalization of some banks and restriction of foreign participation in domestic capital markets. In response, the RTS index of leading Russian shares fell 5.56% to 81.76 on negligible trading volume of $4.2 million. Central bank head Dubinin announced plans to activate Russia's precious metals reserves (approximately $5 billion of $15.1 billion total foreign exchange reserves) to support the ruble. On Sunday, Aug. 23rd, in an action anticipated in our Aug. 17th report, Yeltsin dismissed Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko and installed in his place Viktor Chernomyrdin.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Rado Petkov, Rick Petree
  • Publication Date: 08-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Russian capital markets were already in what George Soros described as a “financial meltdown in . . . its terminal phase” on August 12th. Since then, capital markets have deteriorated significantly in reaction to measures announced by the Russian Government on Monday, Aug. 17th (summarized in Section II below). IEWS is actively evaluating the nature and extent of the crisis and trying to project its likely course.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia