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Yearbook 1997

Russian Federation. According to Countryaah, President Boris Yeltsin's faltering health once again brought concern to Russian politics. The Russian head of state started as well as ended the year with poor health and in between long periods of rest, reduced programs and increasingly more convalescent and rest homes instead of the Kremlin as a political base. The constitution foresees a situation where the president should be able to be dismissed if he is unable to work. A procedure for how this should be accomplished is under preparation.

1997 RussiaYeltsin showed clear tests of nepotism during the year. His daughter Tatyana Djatjenko was appointed official adviser. She, like the press spokesmen, had to devote much energy to correcting, explaining and dismissing many of the president's statements.

During the year, the Russian head of state dismissed several ministers and employees, including Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and Chief of Staff Viktor Samsonov. Yeltsin declared himself not only "dissatisfied, but also upset" that Rodionov failed to reform the armed forces. Six months later, Admiral Felix Gromov, head of the Russian navy, was also dismissed. Finance Minister Anatoly Chubajs was forced to leave the post of finance minister after an excessive advance payment for a book, but Yeltsin let Chubajs retain the post of first deputy prime minister. The financier Boris Berezovsky was forced to leave the post of secretary of the important Russian Security Council. The privatization minister Alfred Koch was also dismissed.

1997 Russia

The financial position of the Russian Federation had become more stable, although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stressed that tax collection needs to be improved. However, the IMF commended the Russian Federation's economic progress in general. During the year, reforms were started to rationalize the bureaucratic tax system.

In politics, the power measurement between the government and the communist-led state duma continued. Threats of distrust vote, the government managed to ward off. During the year, the Russian Parliament passed a controversial law on religious practice. The law was condemned by Catholics and Protestants as discriminatory. No religions that have been in the Russian Federation for less than 15 years may distribute religious material, own prints, etc.

During the autumn elections were held for the regional parliaments. A couple of trends were clear. Vladimir Zhirinovsky's ultra-nationalist party LDPR got fewer votes, while the Liberal parties of Russia's democratic elections, Jabloko and Our home is Russia got more votes.

Yeltsin spoke on several occasions about the need for a "multipolar world", which should be understood as not allowing the United States to have a monopoly on superpower status. The Russian Federation's new foreign policy aims to encourage a world with several centers of power, where the Russian Federation should be one.

During the year, the Russian Federation began to improve contacts with its neighbors. The many-delayed state visit to Ukraine was carried out and the controversial Crimean issue got its solution. China and Japan received special diplomatic attention and some old disputes were resolved. With Belarus, a union agreement was signed and with Lithuania a border agreement. President Yeltsin also visited Sweden, the first Russian state visit since 1909, when Tsar Nicholas II visited our country.

The new interest in neighboring countries can also be seen in the perspective of NATO's enlargement. Moscow recognized that NATO's deployment is a process that cannot be hindered. When NATO invited Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary as new members after the Madrid Summit, the Russian Federation's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Avdejev labeled NATO enlargement as "the biggest mistake of world politics since the Second World War". But that view was not alone. The Russian Federation's historic cooperation agreement with NATO can be seen as an expression of the Russian Federation not being isolated in the new European defense and security policy.

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