Conflict Studies Research Centre
Dr M A Smith
A Russian Chronology Oct-Dec 1997

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the UK Ministry of Defence.

Russian Foreign Policy: Chronology

October - December 1997


1 October 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin visits the Netherlands. He says that the OSCE and Council of Europe must turn into a central organisation in the field of human rights and comprehensive security in Europe.

1 October 1997 Yel'tsin says that attempts by any single state to block work on the development with Iran of a gas field in the Persian Gulf is intolerable.

1 October 1997 Iranís ambassador to Moscow denies that Russia is helping Iran to build an atomic bomb. He says that Russo-Iranian trade turnover is $450 mn, not including the Bushehr contract which is valued at $1bn. He gives details of other economic deals, including the development of an alumina plant.

1 October 1997 The Ministry of Atomic Energy states that it hopes for additional contracts to build new nuclear plants in Iran after Bushehr is completed.

2 October 1997 Igor Sergeyev returns from Maastricht where he has an informal meeting with NATO defence ministers. He discusses the work of NATO-Russia Joint Permanent Council.

2 October 1997 The Russo-Iranian permanent commission on economic cooperation meets in Tehran. There has been a growth of cooperation in metallurgy, power and transport. In 1996 trade turnover reached $400 million. Gazprom has signed a contract to develop the Southern Pars gas deposit in the Persian Gulf.

2 October 1997 The Foreign Ministry (MFA) denounces the Iranian airstrike against Iraq.

2 October 1997 The Belarusian presidential administration expresses outrage at the Russian ban on President Lukashenko's planned visit to the Lipetsk and Yaroslavl regions of Russia.

3 October 1997 The CIS Council of Defence Ministers meets in Moscow and discusses a draft 1997-2001 programme of military cooperation and a draft agreement on cooperative military personnel training.

4 October 1997 The Russian nationalities minister Vyacheslav Mikhaylov visits Estonia, and says that Estonia is injuring the rights of the Russian population there.

6 October 1997 UK prime minister Tony Blair visits Moscow.

6 October 1997 Russia signs an agreement with the London Club on restructuring Russia's debts to the Club.

6 October 1997 OECD Secretary-General Donald Johnston arrives in Moscow.

6 October 1997 Indian defence minister Singh Yadav arrives in Moscow on a five day visit.

7 October 1997 Yevgenny Primakov visits Azerbaijan.

8 October 1997 US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott visits Moscow for arms talks. He discusses START-2.

8 October 1997 MFA spokesman Georgy Tarasov calls for the pooling of efforts by states to deblock the Middle East conflict. He mentions Russia, the USA and the EU. He says that no one country should monopolise the role of peacemaker in the Middle East. Primakov will visit the Middle East in late October.

9 October 1997 The CIS Council of Heads of Government meets in Bishkek and approves a mechanism for implementing a plan to develop economic integration.

9 October 1997 CIS Security chiefs meet in Moldova to discuss the struggle against organised crime and espionage.

10 October 1997 Russia and Kyrgyzstan agree to set up a permanent intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.

10 October 1997 The Russo-Slovak economic commission meets in Moscow.

10-11 October 1997 The Council of Europe meets in Strasbourg. Germany, Russia and France agree to hold annual trilateral summits.

11 October 1997 Tajik radio reports Yel'tsin as saying he supports Tajik president Rakhmonov. Russia is preparing a range of documents on financial, military and technical cooperation with Tajikistan. Preparations are under way for a Russo-Tajik summit in Dushanbe.

11 October 1997 The Russian-Canadian intergovernmental commission holds its third meeting in Ottawa.

13 October 1997 The Russo-North Korean intergovernmental commission for trade and economc cooperation meets in Moscow. Russo-NK trade turnover in 1996 was $90 million, $10 million less than 1995.

14 October 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin holds meetings with his Moldovan countepart Ion Cebus in Moscow.

14 October 1997 The MFA dismisses Turkish concerns over the S-300 missiles being supplied to Cyprus.

14 October 1997 Iraqi oil ministry undersecretary visits Tatarstan. The Tatarstan leadership will help develop Iraqi oilfields. Tatneft grants a $50 million credit to Iraq.

15 October 1997 Russia and Japan have reached a political decision on the need to sign an agreement on fishing cooperation in the area of the Kuriles at the 12th round of fishing talks in Moscow. However they fail to conclude a deal (17 October).

16 October 1997 Russo-Chinese border demarcation is complete in the Far East border district.

16 October 1997 The MFA distances itself from an alleged meeting of Duma deputies with Osman Ocalan, a leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

16 October 1997 Russia and North Korea reach agreement on NK's debt to Russia.

17 October 1997 An official in the presidential administration says that the USA is not helping Russia to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Russia is worried over the US unwillingness to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment, and to regard Russia as a market economy.

17 October 1997 The Russian government denies it is failing to support Gazprom in the development of the Southern Pars gas field in Iran.

18 October 1997 The Russo-Lithuanian intergovernmental commission meets in Moscow and discusses trade. In the first six months of 1997, trade turnover was $803.5 million, 33% higher than the 1996 level. Turnover by the end of 1997 will reach $1.7 billion.

18 October 1997 The MFA denies allegation that Russia is helping Iran build ballistic missiles.

18 October 1997 The minister of atomic energy visits China amid fears of competition from US over contracts to build nuclear power stations in China.

19 October 1997 Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien holds talks with Yel'tsin in Moscow.

20 October 1997 Defence minister Igor Sergeyev announces that Lt GenViktor Zavarzin will be the Russian military envoy to NATO.

21 October 1997 The MFA expresses concern over US laser programmes as they fear that they could violate the ABM treaty.

21 October 1997 Russian minister of emegency situations Sergey Shoygu says that Russia will have talks on overhauling the Tajurah nuclear research centre, building a satellite gateway station and railway at a meeting of the Russo-Libyan trade and economic commission. Accords have been reached on broadening bilateral ties in the oil and gas sectors. A joint investment company and a Russo-Libyan bank will be set up. Libya owes Russia $2.4 billion. Shoygu says no grounds exist for sanctions against Libya.

21 October 1997 First deputy minister for economic relations and trade, Georgy Gabuniya says that Russia will negotiate hard for entry into the WTO in 1998. He says that EU and the USA currently apply 55 restrictions to Russian commodities and Russia loses annually $500 million to $1 billion in export revenues.

21 October 1997 Macedonia and Russia sign an oil protocol. Russia will deliver Macedonia 1 million tonnes of oil annually to the year 2000.

22 October 1997 India is to buy Russian submarines and frigates.

22 October 1997 The Interstate Council of Russia, Kazkahstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus meets in Moscow.

23 October 1997 The CIS heads of state and heads of government meet in Chisinau, Moldova.

24 October 1997 The Russian and Lithuanian presidents meet in Moscow. Yel'tsin issues a statement on security guarantees for the Baltic states.

24 October 1997 Yevgenny Primakov begins a tour of the Middle East. He visits Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan.

24 October 1997 Russia offers to supply natural gas to India and may consider extending a pipeline from Siberia.

25 October 1997 Azeri oil starts flowing from Baku to Novorossiysk via Grozny.

26 October 1997 Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Nikolay Kovalev visits Germany.

27 October 1997 Anatoly Chubays visits Britain to discuss economic relations.

28 October 1997 Minatom denies that it acquired two American supercomputers illegally, although the USA is unhappy about the acquisition.

28 October 1997 First deputy foregn minister Boris Pastukhov says some western states are claiming that the CIS is an area of vital western interests.

28 October 1997 The MFA denies Israeli claims that Russia is supplying missile technology to Iran.

28 October 1997 The MFA calls on Iraq to cooperate with the UN.

28 October 1997 Yevgenny Primakov calls for a greater EU role in the Middle East peace process.

29 October 1997 Yevgenny Primakov arrives in Cairo.

29 October 1997 Boris Nemtsov says Russia will continue with developing Iranian gas fields despite US opposition.

29 October 1997 A major personnel reshuffle is taking place in the MFA. Some deputy foreign ministers are being replaced.

30 October 1997 Clinton and Yel'tsin have a telephone conversation on world politics.

30 October 1997 French prime minister Lionel Jospin visits Moscow.

30 October 1997 Austrian chancellor Viktor Klima visits Moscow. He discusses Austria and NATO.

31 October 1997 Russia proposes a Middle East peace code.

31 October 1997 Russia condemns Iraq's decision to expel US arms inspectors with UN teams.


1 November 1997 Yel'tsin holds talks with Japanese prime minister Hashimoto in Tokyo. Yel'tsin says that the Russo-Japanese peace treaty will be signed before 2000. Russia and Japan will extend defence contacts.

3 November 1997 British defence secretary George Robertson visits Moscow.

4 November 1997 Russia and Iran border chiefs hoods talks on border cooperation in Tehran.

5 November 1997 The Federation Council ratifies the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Duma did so on 31October 1997.

6 November 1997 The MFA says that it wants more consulates in CIS countries.

5 November 1997 Yevgenny Primakov urges a diplomatic solution to the Iraq-UN conflict.

6 November 1997 Russia expresses concern about Turkish military manoeuvres in northern Cyprus.

9 November 1997 Yel'tsin starts his state visit to China. A border demarcation agreement is signed. Gas supplies to China are discussed.

10 November 1997 The MFA urges Iraqi compliance with the UN special commission for the liquidation of Iraqi mass destruction weapons. It also warns against the use of force.

10 November 1997 Russian defence minister Igor Sergeyev meets in Moscow with his Portugese counterpart and praises the Russia-NATO partnership.

11 November 1997 Yel'tsin's press secretary, Sergey Yastrzhembskiy says that Russia believes that Iraq must provide every opportunity for the UN disarmament commission to do its job in Iraq, but Russia opposes using the UN Security Council as cover for attacks on Iraq.

11 November 1997 Russian foreign minister Yevgenny Primakov visits Japan.

11 November 1997 The MFA says that Turkey must withdraw forces from Iraq.

11 November 1997 The Chechen president is to visit the USA. This visit has not been coordinated with the MFA.

12 November 1997 MFA experts say Russia may back new sanctions against Iraq if Iraq fails to change her stance on the UN commission on destroying weapons in Iraq.

13 November 1997 Russia tells the UN that there are no ground for suspecting that Iraq has nuclear weapons.

13 November 1997 At talks in Tokyo, the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers agree to set up a new structure to prepare a Russo-Japanese peace treaty.

13 November 1997 The Iranian oil minister arrives in Moscow for talks.

13 November 1997 Boris Nemtsov says that Azerbaijan should use both the Russian and Turkish pipelines for exporting its oil.

14 November 1997 The Duma passes a resolution rejecting the use of force against Iraq.

14 November 1997 The first deputy premier Anatoly Chubays visits Ukraine for talks on the economy.

14 November 1997 The FSB arrests an Iranian citizen in Moscow for trying to buy missile technology blueprints.

15 November 1997 Russia and Iran sign a memorandum on the details of a $2 billion contract for developing Iran's southern Pars gasfield.

16 November 1997 Yel'tsin and Clinton discuss Iraq over the telephone.

16 November 1997 Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma arrives in Moscow.

17 November 1997 Russia expels an Iranian Embassy official.

17 November 1997 The Russian and Danish foreign ministers discuss the security role of the OSCE in Moscow.

18 November 1997 Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz holds talks with Yevgenny Primakov in Moscow.

18 November 1997 Ivan Rybkin, secretary of the Security Council holds a meeting with visiting FBI chief Louis Freeh.

19 November 1997 Marek Swiec, head of the national security bureau of the Polish President's office, arrives in Moscow for talks.

20 November 1997 British and Russian security chiefs hold talks in Moscow.

21 November 1997 Yevgenny Primakov visits Brazil. He supports the idea of a Latin American state becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

20 November 1997 The UN Security Council supports the Russian initiative on Iraq.

20 November 1997 Russo-Estonian border talks take place in Tallinn. Russia accuses Estonia of intransigence.

22 November 1997 Yel'tsin and Clinton discuss the Iraq crisis by telephone.

23 November 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin visits Vietnam.

24 November 1997 Russia and Israel sign a protocol on expanding trade ties.

24 November 1997 Yel'tsin sends a greeting to the Asia Pacific Economic Forum which is meeting in Vancouver.

24 November 1997 The MFA welcomes North Korean participation at the Korea talks in Geneva due to start on 9 December. The goal of the talks is to draft a document to replace the 1953 armistice document.

24 November 1997 Igor Sergeyev attends a meeting of North European defence ministers in Norway. He criticises the Baltic states for rejeting Russia's security guarantee offer. He signs a cooperation agreement with his Norwegian counterpart.

25 November 1997 Gennady Zyuganov begins a tour of the Middle East. He will visit Egypt and Iraq and Jordan. He defends Russia's peace efforts over Iraq.

25 November 1997 Russia's representative to NATO, Lt-Gen Viktor Zavarzin meets the NATO Military Committee chairman Klaus Naumann. They discuss issues of the Permanent Joint Council (PJC).

26 November 1997 Russia joins the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organisation.

26 November 1997 Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari visits Moscow. He favours Russia signing border treaties with Latvia and Estonia.

28 November 1997 Yevgenny Primakov meets Central American foreign ministers in Costa Rica.

28 November 1997 The Russian MOD expresses concern over the US development of high precision weapons.

29 November 1997 The French and Russian presidents discuss the Middle East and Iraq by telephone.

29 November 1997 Russian and Algerian officials discuss economic ties in Algeria.

29 November 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin and Turkish minister of state Gunes Taner discuss Russian gas supplies to Turkey.

30 November 1997 German Chancellor Helmut Kohl arrives in Moscow for talks with Yel'tsin. He and Yel'tsin discuss the first Franco-German-Russian summit which will be held in Yekaterinburg in the first half of 1998.


1 December 1997 The Russia-EU Political Cooperation Aagreement comes into force.

1 December 1997 The Bulgarian foreign minister, Nadezzhda Mikhaylova, visits Moscow.

2 December 1997 Yel'tsin begins a three day visit to Sweden.

2 December 1997 Patriarch Aleksey II is prepared to work to organise a meeting with the Pope, according to Vasily Likachev, deputy chairman of the Federation Council who had a meeting with Pope John Paul II. Yel'tsin will visit Rome in 1998.

2 December 1997 Yel'tsin makes proposals in Sweden about unilteral warhead reductions. He also repeats his offer of a security guarantee to the Baltic states. A gas pipeline agreement is also signed.

2 December 1997 A MFA official calls for Iraq's export quota to be raised within the framework of the oil for food agreement with the United Nations.

2 December 1997 Yugoslav prime minister Radoje Kontic visits Russia. He will sign an agreement giving Yugoslvai a 150 mn credit against goods. An agreement on trade and military cooperation will also be signed.

2 December 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin visits Belarus.

3 December 1997 Deputy foreign minister Viktor Posuvalyuk visits Israel.

3 December 1997 Russian defence minister Igor Sergeyev attends a meeting of the NATO-Russia PJC, plus a session of the Euro-Atlantic Permanent Council.

3 December 1997 Col-Gen Leonid Ivashov, of the MOD main directorate for international military cooperation expresses scepticism about NATO peacekeeping.

3 December 1997 Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Aleksandr Moroz visits Moscow. He discusses trade relations with Viktor Chernomyrdin.

3 December 1997 Yevgenny Primakov says that Baltic security guarantees do not have to be unilateral. The USA could also be a guarantor.

3 December 1997 A cooperation plan is signed in Brussels by the Russian and US defence ministers.

3 December 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin has talks in Moscow with Yugoslav prime minister Radoje Kontic. He says that it would be premature to withdraw peacekeepers

from the Balkans. On 4 December 1997, the Russian and Yugoslav defence ministers sign a cooperation plan.

4 December 1997 Gazprom expresses concern over gas destined for Central Europe being removed from pipelines in Ukraine.

4 December 1997 Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze has talks with the Russian Ambassador to Georgia, Feliks Stanevskiy, over the moving of a Russian border post into Georgian territory.

5 December 1997 Deputy foreign minister Georgy Mamedov and US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott discuss START-3 prospects in Washington.

5 December 1997 The NATO-Russia PJC discusses military cooperation plans, including Bosnia peacekeeping, joint exercises, the work of the Russian military mission to NATO, and the opening in 1998 of NATO's military mission in Moscow.

5 December 1997 Russia joins the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.

5 December 1997 Deputy foreign minister Viktor Posuvalyuk holds talks in Syria and Jordan.

5 December 1997 MFA spokesman Gennady Tarasov says that Iraq is no longer a threat to her neighbours.

7 December 1997 Russia participates in the second session of the conference of the organisation for the prohibition of chemical weapons.

8 December 1997 Albanian Foreign minister Paskal Milo visits Russia. Several cooperation documents are signed.

11 December 1997 The head of the Russian Federal Border Service Andrey Nikolayev says he is against moving the border post which was moved 1300 metres into Georgia this year.

11 December 1997 A Russian national joins the UN Special Commission on the disarmament of Iraq.

15 December 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin visits Turkey. A gas pipeline deal is signed.

16 December 1997 Foreign minister Yevgenny Primakov arrives in Brussels for talks. He repeats opposition to NATO widening. He calls for a European security charter.

16 December 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin has signed a ruling to approve a draft agreement with Libya on cooperation in the oil gas and power engineering industries.

16 December 1997 Anatoly Chubays visits India in the hope of boosting Russo-Indian trade. Trade turnover in 1997 is unlikely to exceed $1.3bn, compared with $2bn in 1995.

18 December 1997 Defence minister Igor Sergeyev visits Belarus.

17 December 1997 Interior minister Anatoly Kulikov visits Iran.

17 December 1997 Yel'tsin issues a decree to set up a commission to cooperate with NATO and oversee the fulfilment of the NATO-Russia Founding Act. It will be headed by Yevgenny Primakov, and will include senior military officials.

19 December 1997 Russia welcomes the decision of the OSCE council of ministers in Copenhagen to approve work on a European Security Charter.

19 December 1997 Russia and Armenia create a joint venture for gas exploration.

19 December 1997 Russian defence minister Igor Sergeyev sees NATO widening and US supremacy as the main threats to Russian security.

29 December 1997 Boris Nemtsov arrives in China. Russia and China sign a contract on building a nuclear power station in Jiangsu province.

30 December 1997 Deputy prime minister Valery Serov visits Russian peacekeeping forces in Bosnia.

31 December 1997 The USA will give Russia $2.2 mn to finance the disassembly of a chemical plant in Volgograd.

31 December 1997 The Minister for Foreign Economic Relations, Mikhail Fradkov, says that Russia's trade turnover for 1997 is 1-2% up on 1996 at $134-136 bn. Exports stood at $85-86bn, and imports at $49-50 bn. Russia has 50 trade missions abroad and 42 trade counsellors' departments.

31 December 1997 Yel'tsin sends a message to Uzbek President Islam Karimov, expressing concern over Uzbekistan's attitude towards CIS integration.

Russian Domestic Politics: Chronology

October - December 1997


1 October 1997 Aslan Maskhadov accuses Moscow of not honouring various Russo-Chechen agreements. Russian officials are expelled from Chechnya.

2 October 1997 Yel'tsin warns regional leaders of the Great Volga Association that they have no right to issue invitations to foreign leaders.

2 October 1997 Yel'tsin refuses to rule out standing for a third term as president.

3 October 1997 Yel'tsin attacks the Duma in his weekly radio address.

6 October 1997 Yabloko says it will vote against the 1998 budget.

6 October 1997 Aleksandr Lebed' says he intends to stand in the next presidential election.

7 October 1997 The CPRF Duma faction submits an offical request for a no confidence vote in the government.

8 October 1997 The Duma says that the activity of the Russian government in fulfilling the budget in the first nine months of 1997 is unsatisfactory.

8 October 1997 Sergey Yastrzhembskiy says that Yel'tsin could run for a third term as president.

9 October 1997 Yel'tsin says he will not stand for a third presidential term.

9 October 1997 The Duma rejects the 1998 budget in its first reading. There is speculation that Yel'tsin may dissolve the Duma and call for fresh Duma elections.

10 October 1997 The Security Council issues a statement on the results of Russo-Chechen talks in Sochi. The Duma will hold hearings on drafts of the future Russo-Chechen treaty on 14October 1997.

11 October 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin says he will not compromise with the Duma on major budget figures.

11 October 1997 Yury Luzhkov says he will not run for president in 2000. Grigory Yavlinskiy says that he will.

12 October 1997 Boris Nemtsov says he is too busy to think about running for president.

13 October 1997 A Chechen delegation due to go to Moscow for Duma hearings cancels its trip, as it would mean that Chechnya has to account for itself to Russia. Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev says that the Chechen draft treaty is unacceptable as it makes Chechnya independent. Lev Rokhlin says that Yel'tsin has to recognise Chechnya, but says that he will not as this would mean that he would have to resign.

14 October 1997 Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin addresses the Duma with a confidential report on Chechnya.

14 October 1997 The first deputy minister of fuel and energy Sergey Kiriyenko says that Azeri early oil will start to be pumped along the northern Russian route to Novorossiysk on 7 November 1997. The chairman of Chechen Southern Oil Company, Kozh Akhmed Yarikhanov, says that the Chechen part of the Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline will enter operation in 10 days time.

15 October 1997 The Duma decides to postpone the no-confidence vote in the government until next week.. The vote was scheduled for today. Anatoly Chubays says if the government loses the no-confidence vote then Viktor Chernomyrdin will step down.

15 October 1997 Viktor Chernomyridn and the leaders of Ingushetia and North Osetia sign a programme of joint action to overcome the consequences of the Ingush-Osetian conflict.

17 October 1997 Yel'tsin appoints Aleksandr Ageyenkov as a deputy secretary of the Security Council.

18 October 1997 The CPRF Central Committee holds a plenum. It decides to go ahead with the no-confidence motion in the Duma. Yabloko will also press ahead with the no-confidence motion.

20 October 1997 Yel'tsin meets the prime minister and the chairmen of the Duma and the Federation Council. Chernomyrdin announces the setting up of a permanent round table with parliament.

20 October 1997 Federation Council chairman Yegor Stroyev says that Yel'tsin is ready to sign the bill on the government of the Russian Federation into law. This will give the Duma the right to dismiss the entire government.

21 October 1997 Gennady Zyuganov says that his conversation with Yel'tsin was fruitful and Yel'tsin met opposition demands halfway. Zyuganov wants Yel'tsin to sign the law on government into force.

21 October 1997 Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev says that the no-confidence motion will probably be dropped.

22 October 1997 Interfax reports Gennady Seleznev as saying that the no confidence motion has been droped from the Duma agenda.

22 October 1997 Gennady Zyuganov addresses the Duma, and withdraws the no confidence motion.

22 October 1997 Zyuganov says that the opposition in the Duma will soon prepare proposals on forming a coalition government.

24 October 1997 Russo-Chechen talks take place in Moscow on a treaty.

25 October 1997 The DVR rejects an election alliance with Yabloko. Yegor Gaydar says that the DVR should begin a dialogue with the NDR, but says it is premature to talk of an alliance with the NDR.

28 October 1997 Yel'tsin signs a decree to counter political extremism. It will be coordinated by Sergey Stepashin, minister of justice.

30 October 1997 Yel'tsin signs power sharing agreements with five regions. They are Kirov, Murmansk, Yaroslavl, Ulyanovsk, Astrakhan. So far 35 power-sharing agreements have been signed.

30 October 1997 Worker protests take place in Maritime Province.


1 November 1997 Left-wingers meet in Moscow to revive the Soviet Communist Party. Viktor Anpilov chairs the organising committee.

2 November 1997 Yel'tsin's doctors meet and give him a clean bill of health.

3 November 1997 The Security Council meets to discuss Russian national security interests in the Caucasus.

5 November 1997 Yel'tsin dismisses Boris Berezovskiy as deputy secretary of the Security Council, apparently at the behest of Anatoly Chubays and Boris Nemtsov.

5 November 1997 The Interior Ministry (MIA) sets a up a new mobile force, based on units in Stavropol'.

5 November 1997 Boris Nemtsov sees the formation of a middle class as a key priority.

8 November 1997 Deputy interior minister Petr Mishchenkov retires.

8 November 1997 Yel'tsin appoints Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov as commander in chief of the navy in place of Admiral Feliks Gromov.

9 November 1997 An opinion poll organised by the Public Opinion Foundation, gives the following ratings for presidential candidates:

Yel'tsin 7%

Yavlinskiy 8%

Lebed 8%

Luzhkov 8%

Nemtsov 14%

Zyuganov 20%

In the run off vote, Nemtsov 38% versus Zyuganov 29%. 1500 people were polled on 1-2 November 1997 in 29 regions.

9 November 1997 The Chechen section of the Azerbaijan-Russia oil pipeline goes into operation.

12 November 1997 Aleksandr Minkin of Novaya Gazeta alleges that Anatoly Chubays and other ministers have received huge advances for a book they are writing on the history of privatisation. He alleges bribery.

14 November 1997 Defence minister Igor Sergeyev gives a news conference on military reform.

14 November 1997 Yel'tsin dismisses Aleksandr Kazakov as first deputy head of the presidential administration. He will remain chairman of the board of directors of Gazprom.

15 November 1997 Yel'tsin dismisses deputy prime minister and minister of state property Maksim Boyko. Anatoly Chubays tenders his resignation over the book scandal. Yel'tsin rejects this.

20 November 1997 Anatoly Chubays is replaced as finance minister by Mikhail Zadornov. Boris Nemtsov is replaced as minister for fuel and energy by Sergey Kiriyenko.

20 November 1997 Viktoriya Mitina is appointed as deputy head of the presidential administration.

24 November 1997 Yel'tsin insists that Anatoly Chubays will remain first deputy prime minister.

25 November 1997 Yel'tsin tells the Security Council that there are too many military institutions in Russia.

25 November 1997 The head of the Government Communications Service (FAPSI), Alexander Starovoytov gives an interview in Argumenty i Fakty.

28 November 1997 Viktor Chernomyrdin says that he is not opposed to opposition participation in government.

29 November 1997 Interior minister Anatoly Kulikov says that Chechnya's aggressive policy is undermining stability in the Northern Caucasus.

30 November 1997 Aslan Maskhadov says that when Yel'tsin visits Chechnya in January, he will be treated as a foreign leader.


1 December 1997 Aleksandr Shokhin of NDR says he is against CPRF participation in the government.

3 December 1997 Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin meets Aslan Maskhadov in Grozny to discuss Russo-Chechen relations.

5 December 1997 The Duma adopts the 1998 budget at its first reading.

5 December 1997 Interior minster Anatoly Kulikov says that MIA troops will be cut by 37,000 by the end of 1997.

5 December 1997 Aleksandr Lebed' says he is open to an alliance with Yury Luzhkov and Grigory Yavlinskiy. He calls for Yel'tsin's resignation. He criticises Yel'tsin's announcement of military cuts made in Stockholm. He say the armed forces should not be less than 1.2 million

6 December 1997 A hotline will be set up between the Russian and Chechen presidents.

9 December 1997 The Justice Ministry is to be directly subordinated to the president.

10 December 1997 Yel'tsin is hospitalised due to a cold.

17 December 1997 Yel'tsin dismisses two generals of the Airborne troops, first deputy commander Aleksandr Chindarov and the deputy commander responsible for training paratroopers, Lt Gen Viktor Sorokin.

17 December 1997 The C in C of Strategic Missile Troops, Col-Gen Vladimir Yakovlev, says that all nuclear missiles have now been detargeted.

17 December 1997 Yel'tsin approves the principles of national security.

19 December 1997 Yel'tsin returns to work after his cold.

19 December 1997 The director of the Russian Federal Border Guard Service, Andrey Nikolayev, has resigned. Aleksandr Tymko is appointed acting director.

20 December 1997 Fazit Gazizullin is appointed property minister.

21 December 1997 Yel'tsin vetoes the law on corruption passed by the Duma and Federation Council.

22 December 1997 Chechen forces attack a Russian army barracks in Buynaksk, Dagestan.

23 December 1997 In an interview in Izvestiya, Anatoly Chubays suggests that he may resign soon. He discusses the budget and tax collection.

24 December 1997 Deployment of the new Topol-M ICBM commences.

30 December 1997 The Dagestan MIA reports that Chechen forces are being built up on the border areas with Dagestan.