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Monitoring Monday, 9 August, 1999, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Stepashin's statement to government
Russia's outgoing Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin told his government on Monday that he had pledged his loyalty to President Boris Yeltsin at the meeting where he was dismissed.

Russian Public TV showed Mr Stepashin, looking downcast and stony-faced, making a statement to the government.

Russia crisis
"In the morning, I went to see the president. He signed a decree on my dismissal. He thanked me for my good work and dismissed me," Mr Stepashin said.

"Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the Secretary of the Security Council and director of the Federal Security Service, has been appointed acting prime minister. I regard him as a decent and worthy man. I should like to wish him good luck - really good luck - because he has everything else.

'We kept a grip'

"I expressed my view of my dismissal to Boris Nikolayevich [Yeltsin] frankly. It is his right. He is the president and the supreme commander-in-chief. I told the president that I have been, am and will be together with him until the end.

"I sincerely thank that man for bringing me, a mere boy, into big politics.

"As for our work, I think that these three months have not been in vain. We kept a grip on the situation within the country.

"The rouble did not collapse, as many people were predicting. We were trusted. I realised that in the USA and in Sarajevo people believed that there was a civilised government, not a corrupt one.

"The main thing now is that we should act in a constitutionally legal way. The elections must take place on time.

"I don't think anyone will deceive our people any longer, even if anyone wanted to.

"I am confident that that is not only my position, but also that of the president," Mr Stepashin told the government.

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Listen to the translation of Sergei Stepashin's speech
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09 Aug 99 | Europe

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