Yeltsin sacks close ally of Gaidar

MOSCOW (AP) - President Boris Yeltsin yesterday dismissed a close ally of the former acting prime minister, Yegor Gaidar, from his post as the government's chief of staff. He replaced Alexei Golovkov with Vladimir Kvasov, who was recommended by Mr Gaidar's successor, Viktor Chernomyrdin. No further details were immediately available on Mr Kvasov's background.

After hardliners in the Congress of People's Deputies last month forced President Yeltsin to replace Mr Gaidar with Mr Chernomyrdin, an industrial manager from the Soviet era, there was fear among some deputies that key Gaidar allies would be forced from the government. Mr Gaidar had been the architect of President Yeltsin's free-market reforms. All key members of Mr Gaidar's team remain in the Cabinet, however, except the Foreign Economic Relations Minister, Pyotr Aven.