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Thursday, September 10, 1998 Published at 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK

World: Europe

Yeltsin nominates Primakov

Yevgeni Primakov has gained the approval both of the president and of parliamentary deputies

Allan Little: Mr Primakov "a reluctant prime minister"
Russian President Boris Yeltsin has nominated the Foreign Minister, Yevgeny Primakov, to be prime minister, in an attempt to end the political stalemate in Moscow.

Russia crisis
This follows the withdrawal of acting Prime Minister Viktor Chernomydin after talks early on Thursday with Mr Yeltsin.

Mr Chernomyrdin said: "If it is Chernomyrdin that is the stumbling block, I shall divest myself of these powers. Russia has had enough shocks this century."

The BBC's Robert Parsons: "Mr Primakov is highly respected in the west"
The Communist party, which dominates parliament, has welcomed the choice of Mr Primakov.

"This is the most reasonable decision, and Primakov will undoubtedly receive the support of the state Duma," the communist Speaker of the Duma, Gennady Seleznev told the Interfax news agency.

Diplomat with no expertise on the economy

Mr Primakov is a career diplomat and a former member of the Soviet politburo.

He has no track record on economic matters, having been principally concerned with foreign affairs.

Richard Lister: West sees Primakov as "a wily political operator"
But BBC Moscow correspondent Alan Little says Mr Primakov is one of the few members of the current government who can claim real achievements, having created a role for Russia in world politics and won the respect of Western leaders.

[ image: Viktor Chernomyrdin: Stood down]
Viktor Chernomyrdin: Stood down
In the past two weeks, Mr Yeltsin has twice nominated Mr Chernomyrdin as prime minister, only to have the nomination convincingly defeated by the lower house of parliament, the Duma.

If the president's choice of candidate were to be rejected again, the president would have to dissolve parliament and call an election.

Mr Yeltsin's choice of a new candidate came as it became increasingly obvious that Duma deputies would reject Mr Chernomyrdin a third time.

Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov threatened impeachmeant proceedings against Mr Yeltsin unless the president found a different nominee for the prime minister's post.

Mr Primakov originally said he did not want the job of prime minister, a feeling shared by most of the candidates proposed by party leaders for the post.

Our correspondent says that Mr Primakov has never shown any presidential ambitions, which will make it easier for him to take the tough and unpopular decisions which are likely to be part of his role as prime minister.

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