MOSCOW (AP) _ The Russian military's budget director has been fired for failing to pay soldiers' wages on time and delays in building military housing and paying energy bills, a news agency said Friday.

President Boris Yeltsin issued a brief decree sacking Col. Gen. Vasily Vorobyov on Thursday after a meeting with Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, the Interfax news agency reported.

It cited chief presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev, who said Vorobyov was warned of the need to make sure the troops were paid on time and to meet the military's obligations to local power companies.

Energy companies on several occasions this fall have cut off electricity or heat to Russian military installations.

In one incident in September, a power cutoff to nuclear submarines on the coast of northern Russia nearly caused a serious accident when their reactors threatened to overheat.

Soldiers have been forced to wait up to three months for their paychecks, contributing to growing discontent in the armed forces.

Yeltsin also signed a decree that forbids power companies from cutting off power to military bases that can't pay their bills.