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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/18/1997

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Kremlin Removes Speculation From Pomp

Gone are the days when Western envoys scrutinized the holiday or funeral lineups of officials atop Lenin's Mausoleum for clues to who is in and out of favor at the Kremlin. Now the government is making all that plainly clear in a new order of protocol for hosting foreign dignitaries. The decree includes an updated ranking of Russian officials to make sure they know just where to stand in the reception line. In case there was any doubt, the new decree specifies President Boris Yeltsin as Russia's most important official. He is followed by the prime minister and the speakers of the Federation Council and the State Duma. The chairman of the Constitutional Court ranks fifth, followed by the heads of the Supreme Court and the Arbitration Court. The prosecutor general ranks eighth, making him ceremonially more important than the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. But the church patriarch outranks the head of the presidential administration and the secretary of the Security Council.

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