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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'I Am Ready for Any Dialogue'

The following are extracts from the speech given by President Boris Yeltsin on Thursday at the Congress of People's Deputies in the Kremlin as translated by the Federal News Service.


Esteemed People's Deputies,


I have come to this Congress with the hope that we will have enough wisdom, courage and will, for the sake of Russia and of our voters, to find accord and begin joint constructive work. Frankly, yesterday brought about a lot of disappointment. . . .


. . . This draft (the latest proposal for power sharing) gives me profound concern about the fate of Russia, primarily because it leaves nothing of that minimum accord which has existed until now. The draft proposes that the legislative and executive branches be put out of balance to an even greater extent. and this will inevitably split Russian statehood, weak as it is. . . .


. . . I am asking myself: do the MPs realize what they are doing? Do they realize what kind of a responsibility they are assuming? . . . I am in favor of strong presidential power in Russia. But not because I am a president, but because I am firmly convinced that without this Russia will not be able to survive or revive its economy.


. . . If the conflict is not resolved by the existing institutions of legislative and executive power, neither of them will prevail, but a third force will destroy Russia. . . . I repeat, I am ready for any version of dialogue, tor accord in any legal form. . . .


. . . If the Congress continues with the policy of confrontation, if the fragile agreement which we now have is destroyed, then we must chose referendum. It is the only means to resolve our conflicts. . . . Not just I or you need accord - accord is necessary to the future of Russia. It is my belief that if we stop whipping up tensions and hysteria, we will be able to start working calmly together. . . .