Yeltsin vows to defend his government British are told of ouster plot

November 11, 1992|By New York Times News Service

LONDON -- President Boris N. Yeltsin of Russia told the British Parliament yesterday that he was willing to assume emergency powers, if necessary, to thwart a cabal of militant nationalists and former Communist officials who he says are plotting to oust him.

Ending a high-profile, two-day state visit to Britain intended to demonstrate Western support for his beleaguered government, Mr. Yeltsin won a standing ovation after his speech before members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, an honor that even Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the former president of the Soviet Union, was never accorded.

"We must directly recognize there are in our country forces interested in a revanchist coup," declared Mr. Yeltsin, who loosely described his opponents as remnants of the former Communist Party, nationalists and "political adventurers."

He warned that he was ready to use "the power granted me by the people" to block any attempt at overthrowing his government, but he derided the threat posed by his political opposition.

He described it as "nothing but a theater of shadows, in which the ghosts of the past are giving their farewell performance."

He also strongly defended his decision to use Russian troops to deal with the ethnic rebellion in southern Russia.

"Timidity and delay in taking decisions lead to chaos and turns against the peaceful population," Mr. Yeltsin said.

In his final day in London, Mr. Yeltsin plunged into a crowd to shake hands with office workers in London's financial district and traveled to Buckingham Palace to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth II, whom he invited to visit him in Moscow.

A spokeswoman at Buckingham Palace said the queen accepted "in principle," but no decision has yet been made when, or if, she would travel to Russia.

Mr. Yeltsin's 36-hour swing through London produced a flurry of political and economic agreements between the two countries, nearly all of them more symbolic than substantive, as well as ringing declarations affirming the two countries as democratic allies.

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