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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Liberal Tells Yeltsin To Stop Interfering

A top government official and supporter of Boris Yeltsin on Monday warned the president, as well as the parliament, to stop interfering in the work of the cabinet.

First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko told a roundtable meeting of parliamentary and political party leaders that interference and political infighting were keeping the government from successfully carrying out reforms.

"It is impossible to conduct reforms without the agreement of all the branches", he said. "We must not interfere in each other's affairs".

His comments reflected the stress to which the government has been subjected as it battles the country's rapid economic decline.

Shumeiko accused parliament of adopting resolutions that fuel inflation, and said that the Central Bank and pension fund must come under the government's control.

The government presented its draft economic reform program for 1993 last week, calling for a tight monetary policy to control spiraling inflation.

The roundtable, the second of a series planned between government, parliament and political leaders on resolving Russia's economic crisis, was also attended by Nikolai Ryabov, the deputy parliament speaker; Marshal Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, commander of the armed forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and centrist political leaders including Nikolai Travkin and Vasily Lipitsky.

Shumeiko also told the gathering that the government would continue to plan for a referendum on the separation of powers in Russia, sounding a lone voice among a growing number of political leaders who are against the nationwide April vote.

"We no longer have leading forces like the Communist Party", Shumeiko said. "For this reason, we need a referendum if only to define the political form of what we want to have".

Support for the referendum has dwindled rapidly in recent days, as politicians have warned that the vote could lead to anarchy and to Russia's disintegration. Critics argue that the majority of Russians, who are preoccupied with daily survival and disillusioned with political fighting at the top, are likely to ignore the vote.

"The main thing is the economic crisis", Ryabov said at the roundtable. "The referendum will set off further divisions and intensify the political and economic crises".

Yeltsin and parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov were scheduled to sit down this week to try to reach a power-sharing agreement to resolve the constitutional crisis. It was not clear whether they would, however, after Yeltsin left Monday for a vacation.

In a separate conference across town, Yeltsin supporters met to propose their own solutions to the economic and constitutional crisis.

They said they were convening separately in protest at the roundtable, which they said had been the initiative of Khasbulatov.

"We need a real roundtable to lead the country out of the crisis", said Pyotr Filippov, radical leader of the parliamentary privatization committee. "We cannot allow a specific side to be represented by the name of roundtable'".

Others attending the conference included former Moscow Mayor Gavriil Popov and Viktor Sheinis, a member of the Constitutional Commission.