President Boris N. Yeltsin got a glimpse of his next battle with parliament when he and his acting prime minister began talks with opposition leaders Wednesday on forming a new government.
The two spoke to Communist leaders of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in an effort to smooth the way for the confirmation votes they will need once Yeltsin begins announcing his candidates for ministerial posts.
The response was not encouraging.
Acting Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko, 35, with just seven months' experience in government, did not appear to have dazzled Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov.
"We cannot make any immediate conclusions," Zyuganov said after meeting with Kiriyenko for more than two hours. "He does not have full information, does not know the real situation in any field except the one he was dealing with."
Yeltsin fired his entire government Monday and appointed the little-known Kiriyenko to assemble a new Cabinet.