Russian Republic leader Boris Yeltsin said he is ready to end his personal feud with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to save the nation, the independent Interfax news agency reported Saturday.
"Personal relations are personal relations, while we are the leaders of two state structures, the Russian state and the Soviet Union," the agency quoted Yeltsin as saying. "That means if we do not work together, the Union will just collapse."Yeltsin told Soviet reporters on Thursday that he is ready to cooperate again with Gorbachev because the Soviet president had no longer placed total reliance on conservative forces such as the KGB security police and the army as he did during the winter.
"Gorbachev demonstrates a determined position with respect to the continuation with the reforms," Yeltsin said. "This means that we can work together at this very serious and important moment of the current stage of the development."
Yeltsin, who only two months ago called for Gorbachev's resignation, said he was now prepared to work with the Soviet president on the basis of the April 23 joint declaration the two signed, along with the leaders of eight other Soviet republics, to end the nation's economic and political crisis."I consider that the compromise reached in connection with the statement of the 10 gives us an opportunity to work together," he said.
But he warned that Gorbachev would be finished if he backs away from cooperation this time, alluding to Gorbachev's scuttling of 500-day market economy plan he worked out with Yeltsin in August but then let die in the Supreme Soviet, the central legislature, in the fall.
"Whoever is the first to deviate from this document will be ruined," Yeltsin said.
Alluding to his past struggles with Gorbachev, including the Soviet leader's attempt to kill his political career in 1988, Yelstin said renewing cooperation was difficult for him. "The statement of the 10 is undoubtly positive, though for me, personally, it has not come easily."
But the Russian Federation leader rejected the notion that he suffered "a political loss" by signing the document with Gorbachev.
The burly Siberian said one of the tacit agreements was to start immediately to work on separating the functions of the federal government and the republics, but he was not specific as how the new compact between the republics and Moscow could be constructed.