Liberty of thought means liberty to communicate one's thought. - Salvador de Madariaga
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 19, 29 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN SURFACES IN NOVOROSSISK. Underscoring the importance
of CIS security issues to his political future, Russian Federation
President Boris Yeltsin paid an unexpected visit to the port
city of Novorossisk on 28 January to assure seamen there that
the Black Sea Fleet would not fall under Ukrainian control. The
visit explained Yeltsin's cancellation of several key meetings
scheduled for that day, including one with the Japanese foreign
minister. Yeltsin was accompanied by CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii
Shaposhnikov and the CIS naval commander, Vladimir Chernavin.
While the visit was officially explained as part of Yeltsin's
preparations for an upcoming session of the UN Security Council
and subsequent meetings on nuclear security problems, CIS and
Western accounts indicate that the primary purpose of the visit
was to assure naval officers that the fleet would remain under
CIS jurisdiction. (Stephen Foye)

MIDEAST CONFERENCE OPENS. Speaking at the opening of the Mideast
peace talks in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
said: "we have no intention of vying with anyone for ideological
influence or for spheres of military domination, and imperial
ambitions are alien to us." Kozyrev proposed that arms reductions
in the region become one of the main themes of future talks and
stressed that Russia maintains an interest in seeing peace come
to the region, TASS reported on 28 January. (Suzanne Crow)

KRAVCHUK ON THE CRIMEAN QUESTION. Referring to last week's decision
by the Russian parliament to examine the 1954 transfer of Crimea
from the RSFSR to Ukraine, Kravchuk told parliamentarians that
the Russian "imperial disease" would take time to pass. And in
an interview in the Italian newspaper Repubblica, the Ukrainian
President said that questioning the legal basis of Crimea's current
status would result in even greater territorial problems. In
this connection, Kravchuk suggested that Ukraine could claim
territory presently in Russia on the basis of its Kievan Rus'
legacy as well as Stalin's transfer of territory from Ukraine
to the RSFSR. (Roman Solchanyk)

KRAVCHUK REPLACES THREE MILITARY DISTRICT COMMANDERS. In a decision
that is almost certain to increase tension between Kiev and Moscow
over the armed forces, on 28 January Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk issued a decree appointing new commanders of Ukraine's
three military districts. As reported by Radio Kiev, General
Valentin Boriskin was named commander of the Kiev MD; Lieutenant
General Valerii Stepanov for the Carpathian MD; and Lieutenant
General Vitalii Radetskii for the Odessa MD. By the same decree,
Viktor Chechevatov, Viktor Skokov, and Ivan Morozov were relieved
of their duties. (Kathy Mihalisko)

STAROVOITOVA AS RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER? Sources close to the
Russian parliament speculate that state counselor Galina Starovoitova
could soon be appointed Russian Defense Minister, Radio Mayak
reported on 28 January. According to the newspaper Moskovskii
komsomolets, the report said, the potential appointment explains
Starovoitova's presence at the recent All-Army officers assembly.
(Stephen Foye)

CURRENCY CIRCULATION ORDER. The Presidium of the Russian Parliament
has passed a decree on the urgent normalization of currency circulation
in the Federation, Russian TV reported on 28 January. Effective
immediately, all enterprises are to keep their money in bank
accounts and all transactions are to be on a non-cash basis only.
Staff wages may be kept in an enterprise for a maximum of three
days. No explanation was monitored, but there have been widespread
reports of shortages of banknotes as retail prices and wages
have soared during the past few weeks. Although the printing
presses have been operating non-stop, they have been unable to
deliver enough of the existing denominations and have not yet
started to produce the higher denomination notes that have been
promised/threatened. (Keith Bush)

TAX SCARE FOR JOINT VENTURES. According to The Journal of Commerce
of 28 January, Russian government officials have been reassuring
foreign partners in oil joint ventures that the stiff new taxes
and currency regulations pertaining to oil exports are not meant
to apply to them. The reassurances have, however, stopped short
of denying that the new measures will affect them. The export
tax, as written, applies to virtually all natural resources and
raw materials, including oil. Western oil executives reckon that
it could add nearly $5 a barrel to their expenses in exporting
crude from Russia. The measures can only exacerbate the continuing
uncertainty over proposed joint ventures, such as the Chevron
project at Tengiz. (Keith Bush)

SAKHALIN OIL AND GAS CONTRACT AWARDED. The Russian Ministry for
Ecology and Natural Resources has awarded a Japanese/American
consortium the right to assess and develop oil and gas reserves
off Sakhalin island, The New York Times reported on 29 January.
The companies involved are the Mitsui Corporation, Marathon Oil
Co., and McDermott International Inc. The value of the project
has been put at $8-10 billion. It is estimated that the fields
hold about 100 million tons of oil and over one trillion cubic
meters of gas. The success of the venture is thought to hinge
on Japanese financial assistance, which could depend on the resolution
of the northern territories issue. (Keith Bush)

JAPAN OFFERS EMERGENCY AID TO RUSSIA. Japan's $100 million in
emergency food aid originally promised for the Soviet Union will
now be given to the Russian Federation, Western agencies reported
on 28 January. The aid will come in the form of loans from the
Export-Import bank of Japan. According to unidentified Japanese
government sources, if other former Soviet republics want assistance
from Japan, part of the $100-million will be lent through Russia.
Details of such an arrangement were not provided. (Suzanne Crow)


RODIONOV ON GENERAL STAFF ACADEMY. In an interview published
by Krasnaya zvezda on 28-January the head of the General Staff
Academy, Colonel General Igor Rodionov, called for creation of
a single military science for CIS member states and proposed
that his academy become the center for training CIS officers.
At the same time, he proposed subordinating the school to the
Russian government and turning it into the "Academy of National
Security and Defense of the Russian Federation." (Stephen Foye)


HOMELESS SERVICEMEN. Nearly 286,000 families of servicemen across
the CIS currently lack housing, Sovetskaya Rossiya claimed on
24-January. With the final withdrawal of troops from Eastern
Europe and the discharge of thousands of officers as a result
of force reductions, the number of ex-servicemen and family members
lacking housing will grow to a million people, the report added.
As summarized by TASS, the newspaper said that a short-sighted
policy on military reductions, together with price liberalization,
will leave thousands of officers on the edge of poverty. (Stephen
Foye)

OMSK: TANKS FOR SALE. The Sunday Times (London) reported on 27
January that leaders in the Siberian city of Omsk are looking
to sell tanks and other military hardware as a means of solving
local economic problems. Some 1,500 tanks were reportedly stored
near the city as a result of CFE cuts and the Soviet withdrawal
from Eastern Europe. The newspaper reported that local military
leaders also have urged sales, hoping to use the revenues to
improve conditions for military personnel. The report notes that
other Russian cities are currently engaged in similar activities.
A TASS report on 22 January said Yemen and South Ossetia had
expressed interest in purchasing tanks. (Stephen Foye)

THE END OF THE LENIN LIBRARY. The Lenin Library (second largest
in the world) has been renamed the "Russian State Library" in
accordance with Yeltsin's edict, "Vesti" announced on 27-January.
"Vesti" quoted its new director, Igor Filippov, as saying that
the state will be unable to finance the library and that its
management should rely on sponsorship and commercial activities.
Before the revolution, the library bore the name of its founder,
Count Rumyantsev. During the Gorbachev era, the library had problems
because of mismanagement, lack of funds, and anti-Semitic outbursts
by employees in the Library's manuscripts department. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

BELARUS DEFENSE MINISTER IS APPOINTED. Petr Chaus, former chief
of staff of the Baltic Military District and, since December,
Belarus minister for defense affairs, was chosen on 28-January
to head the recently created Belarus Ministry of Defense, BelTA-TASS
announced that day. His closest rival for the post was the current
commander of the Belarus Military District, General Kostenko.
On 21 December, the BelaPAN news agency released information
on Kostenko's actions during the August coup that demonstrated
his readiness to carry out the orders of the State of Emergency
Committee. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KRAVCHUK ASKS PARLIAMENT FOR EXPANDED POWERS. Ukrainian President
Leonid Kravchuk addressed the opening session of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet on 28 January and requested additional powers
to push through economic and political reforms, Radio Kiev and
Western agencies reported. Arguing that reforms were often blocked
on the local level, he urged deputies to amend the constitution
so as to enable him to appoint his own representatives. The Ukrainian
leader also expressed his support for Prime Minister Vitold Fokin,
who has come under fire for the ineffectiveness of economic reform.
At the present juncture, he said, it would be unwise to change
the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers. (Roman Solchanyk)


UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY DOUBLING ITS SIZE. Radio Kiev announced
on 28 January that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is doubling
the number of its personnel and will shortly be moving to the
former building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of Ukraine. Radio Kiev also reported that there was a shortage
of suitable premises in Kiev for new embassies of the more than
90 foreign states which have now recognized Ukraine's independence.
(Bohdan Nahaylo)

MILITARY COUNCIL TROOPS TAKE POTI. Georgian Military Council
troops took the Black Sea port of Poti early on 28 January after
a day of fighting in which at least six people were killed and
twenty wounded, Western news agencies reported on 28 January.
The town of Zugdidi is still in the hands of Gamsakhurdia's supporters
who have refused to negotiate with the Military Council and vowed
not to surrender. (Liz Fuller)

HELICOPTER SHOT DOWN OVER NKAO. At least 40 people, including
women and children, were killed on 28 January when a civilian
Azerbaijani helicopter flying from Agdam to Shusha in Nagorno-Karabakh
was shot down by a heat-seeking missile fired from the Armenian
village of Shushkent, TASS and Interfax reported that day. (Liz
Fuller)

KAZAKHSTAN DENIES NUCLEAR SALES STORIES. The foreign ministry
of Kazakhstan has issued a denial of stories that have appeared
in the foreign press claiming that the Central Asian state is
selling nuclear weapons, according to a KazTAG-TASS report of
28 January. The statement accused the inventors of such stories
of damaging Kazakhstan's reputation in the eyes of the world
community. The same day Radio Dushanbe broadcast a statement
by Tajikistan's Defense Committee rejecting a claim by an Afghan
resistance leader that the Tajik government is supplying weapons
to the Afghan government. (Bess Brown)

KGB CHIEF APPOINTED TURKMEN DEFENSE MINISTER. Soviet news agencies
reported on 28-January that Turkmenistan's KGB chairman Danatar
Kopekov has been named to head the defense ministry created on
27 January. Kopekov, who has headed the Turkmen KGB since March
1991, is the first Turkmen to hold that post in at least 20 years.
The new ministry is to be responsible for Turkmenistan's internal
affairs troops, national guard and civil defense, and will serve
as a link between former Soviet forces stationed in Turkmen-istan
and the CIS central command. (Bess Brown)

UZBEKISTAN ASSUMES JURISDICTION OVER MILITARY. UzTAG-TASS reported
on 28 January that Uzbekistan's Supreme Soviet has adopted a
resolution placing military units of the former USSR and military
schools located on its territory under the jurisdiction of Uzbekistan.
Strategic forces remain directly subordinate to the unified CIS
command. According to the report, the resolution was adopted
in recognition of the fact that as of 1 February, general purpose
forces will no longer be financed by former all-Union bodies.
(Bess Brown)

SNEGUR REAFFIRMS MOLDOVAN STATE INDEPENDENCE. In an interview
with AP, released on 27 January, Snegur said that reunification
with Romania was "a very long time away." While Romania and Moldova
have "largely the same history and the same language," nevertheless
"there are two Romanian states. Two," Snegur was quoted as saying.
He was further quoted as saying that "a large majority of Moldovans
prefer independence after centuries of control by Russians, Turks,
and even their Romanian relatives." (Vladimir Socor)

BALTIC STATES



SQUABBLES OVER FORMING GOVERNMENT. Old rivalries have come to
the fore again over the formation of Estonia's new government.
In a Postimees interview of 27-January, Congress of Estonia chairman
Tunne Kelam put in his bid for the government to include those
movements not represented in the Supreme Council: "it is clear
that formation of the new government is not possible without
the support of the Committee of Estonia." But former Prime Minister
Savisaar's Popular Central Party issued a statement, carried
by BNS that day, strongly disagreeing with any plans to incorporate
Kelam's group-led by the Estonian National Independence Party-into
the new government. Tiit Vahi is expected to announce his cabinet
on 30-January. (Riina Kionka)

TROOP WITHDRAWAL TALKS POSTPONED AGAIN. Radio Riga reported on
28-January that the talks, scheduled for this week, between Russian
and Baltic officials on the withdrawal of the armed forces of
the former USSR from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have been
postponed. The reason given for the indefinite postponement by
Moscow is the illness of the Russian delegation's leader, Deputy
Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai. Interviewed by Moscow TV on 28-January,
Maj. Gen. Vladimir Lopatin, repeated the proposal that some former
Soviet army troops remain stationed in the Baltics for mutual
defense. In a related development, BNS of 28-January corrected
the troop figures in the Baltics that it had reported on 25-January
to a total of 128,000 of which 28,000 are officers and 13,000
praporschiki. (Dzintra Bungs)

ESTONIA PASSES MILITARY SERVICE LAW. The Estonian Supreme Council
on 27-January passed a law outlining military service, BNS reported
that day. The law foresees mandatory service of no more than
18-months for all male citizens aged 18-28-and provides for 24-months
of alternative service for those who do not wish to serve in
the military for ethical or religious reasons. Those who have
already served in the armed forces of a foreign country, for
instance the Soviet Union, are exempt. Exemptions are also provided
for invalids, persons who must care for an invalid, sole breadwinners,
and other categories. (Riina Kionka)

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT SESSION. On 28-January the Lithuanian Supreme
Council voted to annul a government decree that authorized the
establishment of a government television channel, Radio Lithuania
reported on 29-January. The session also voted not to discuss
laws on the powers of the Lithuanian president. Sajudis secretary
Alfonsas Vaisnoras told RFE/RL that Sajudis was disappointed
by this decision, because passing laws on the president's powers
might have obviated the necessity for a referendum on the question.
Sajudis has already gathered more than 310,000 signatures (300,000
are needed) in favor of such a referendum. (Saulius Girnius)


ENERGY CRISIS IN LATVIA WORSENS. Latvian media attribute the
current economic crisis in the country as stemming primarily
from an inadequate supply of gasoline and other petroleum fuels.
Russia, heretofore the principal supplier, has been steadily
reducing, even curtailing, shipments to Latvia since last year,
despite agreements to maintain them. Radio Riga reported on 28-January
that trainloads of fuel for Latvian cities are being held up
at the border by Russian authorities. Diena reported on 23-January
about fuel shortages in the countryside as well, which in turn
would hamper the transportation of foodstuffs to the cities and
create higher consumer prices. Public transportation throughout
Latvia has been significantly reduced. (Dzintra Bungs)

OIL CUT OFF TO LITHUANIA DUE TO "TECHNICAL REASONS." On 28-January
Lithuanian Energy Minister Leonas Asmantas said his Russian counterpart
Vladimir Lopukhin had told him that the cutoff of oil to the
refinery in Mazeikiai was due to "technical reasons" because
"there are no other ostensible reasons for the cutoff," Western
agencies reported. The two ministers are attending a conference
in London, "Opening Up the Russian Oil Industry." Asmantas said
that he told Lopukhin that if oil supplies were not restored,
Lithuania would be forced to cut electricity exports to Kaliningrad
Oblast and Belarus. (Saulius Girnius)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

RUSSIA BREAKS POLISH BARTER DEAL. Polish Minister of Foreign
Economic Cooperation Adam Glapinski was told on 28-January in
Moscow that Poland would have to renegotiate the oil and barter
deal for 1992 signed on 24-December, Polish and Western media
reported. The $2.8-billion deal guaranteed Poland 8.1-cubic meters
of natural gas and 5-million tons of oil in return for foodstuffs,
sulfur, coal, and pharmaceutical goods. According to Lopukhin,
the Polish-Russian agreement "was not signed in a normal way"
since the Economy Ministry, which signed the barter agreement,
had not consulted with Lopukhin's Energy and Fuels Ministry,
which monitors availability of energy resources. Pending renegotiation
Russia has slashed natural gas deliveries to Poland by half,
causing stoppages in steel mills, foundries, and in chemical
and glass plants. Glapinski said he expects adequate deliveries
to be reinstated within a week. (Roman Stefanowski)

POLISH-UKRAINIAN TALKS. Back from a visit to Kiev, Polish Deputy
Foreign Minister Jerzy Makarczyk told PAP on 28-January that
he is returning "with a Polish-Ukrainian treaty practically ready
for signing." The treaty, said Makarczyk, guarantees equal and
sovereign relations between the two countries. Talks ended the
same day in Warsaw between Polish Environment Protection Minister
Stefan Kozlowski and his Ukrainian counterpart Vasyl' Kostytsky.
They discussed the protection of common hydrographic features,
means to combat pollution across borders, and the setting up
international parks and reservations on both Polish and Ukrainian
territory. (Roman Stefanowski)

DEFENSE INDUSTRY PROTESTS. On 28-January Poland's defense industry
trade unions have formed a National Protest Committee and instructed
it to enter into talks with Prime Minister Jan Olszewski by 15-February.
According to PAP, the defense industry is demanding payments
for military equipment delivered to the army last year and insists
the government place its orders now for the current year. The
unions also demand that the government reduce the list of countries
to which exports of military equipment are banned, pay the industry
for last year's deliveries to the USSR, and compensate it for
the losses incurred when contracts with Iraq and Yugoslavia had
to be broken. (Roman Stefanowski)

ANOTHER HAVEL PROPOSAL TURNED DOWN. The Czechoslovak parliament
on 28-January turned down a proposal from President Vaclav Havel
to give the president power to dissolve the parliament. Havel
sought that power to prevent a constitutional impasse that could
split the country. Talks between the Czech and Slovak parliaments
to draft new constitutions are deadlocked. Havel's proposal got
only about half the votes needed. He said later that the rejection
of the proposal was expected and that the issue should be dealt
with in the new constitution being drafted. This is the fourth
of the five constitutional amendments proposed by Havel in November
to have failed. One last proposal, an electoral law favoring
reforms of proportional representation, has yet to be acted on.
(Barbara Kroulik)

HUNGARIAN COURT RULES ON PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENTS. The Constitutional
Court ruled on 28-January that the president must endorse candidates
submitted by the prime minister for high state posts within "a
reasonable time" or give reasons for refusing to endorse candidates.
The court had already ruled in September that the President may
only block such appointments if "the democratic functioning of
the institution in question is seriously threatened" by the proposed
appointment. President Arpad Goncz has for several months blocked
Prime Minister Jozsef Antall's nominations to fill vice presidential
posts at Hungarian Radio and Television, creating a political
uproar. (Edith Oltay)

WHERE IS ROMANIA'S HEAVY WATER? A Norwegian team of experts has
left for Bucharest to look into the whereabouts of 12.7 tons
of heavy water sold by the Norsk Hydro company to Romania in
1986. Romania was suspected of having sold the heavy water to
India, Western media said on 28-January. Oslo forbade further
exports in 1988, when allegations were circulating that several
countries were manufacturing atomic bombs using Norway's heavy
water. (Mihai Sturdza)

ROMANIAN ECONOMIC UPS AND DOWNS. Official data published on 28-January
show that from October 1990 to December 1991 the price of city
transportation and train tickets shot up by 620%, airway fares-1,140%,
radio and TV taxes-400%, international mail-560%, and hotel rooms-900%.
Subsidized prices for electric energy, heating, rents, and monthly
transportation tickets did not change. Reportedly 5,633-foreign
companies invested a total of $156.3-million in Romania during
1991. The four top investors are France's Phoceenne de Metallurgie
($14.5-million) and Bouygue ($8-million), US Colgate-Palmolive
($7.5-million), and Germany's Siemens ($6.5-million). Of several
hundred tons of gold owned by Romania in 1946, only 80-tons were
left at the end of 1991. (Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT ASSAILED ON ECONOMY. For the past several
days the Confederation of Labor Podkrepa has been calling for
the resignation of Minister of Finance Ivan Kostov and Minister
of Industry and Trade Ivan Pushkarov because the economic reform
program is stagnating. On 27-January their call was supported
by the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CITUB) which
further demanded the resignation of the ministers of transport
and agriculture. On 28-January the National Coordinating Council
of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) and the UDF parliamentary
caucus discussed the situation at separate sessions. They confirmed
their support for the government but said it should speed up
its work, according to the BTA report. (Rada Nikolaev)

BULGARIAN-US MILITARY RELATIONS. On 27-January visiting US Secretary
of the Air Force Donald Rice met President Zhelyu Zhelev and
Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov and conferred with Minister of
Defense Dimitar Ludzhev. BTA quoted the guest as saying that
Bulgaria's position during the Gulf war had marked the first
step in cooperation in the sphere of security. He brought a letter
from Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney offering to include Bulgaria
in an international program of military education and training.
The US has earmarked $75,000 for training Bulgarian officers,
and it was reported that US experts will visit soon to settle
details. At a press conference Rice ruled out US aid for the
Bulgarian Air Force in the near future, saying that military
cooperation between the two countries was still in its initial
stage. (Rada Nikolaev)

MORE UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDS UN PEACE PLAN FOR YUGOSLAV AREA. Western
media on 28-January quoted UN Under Secretary-General Marrack
Goulding as saying that he had failed to persuade Milan Babic,
the Serb leader in Croatia's Krajina region, to accept the UN
peace plan. It calls for stationing peace-keeping forces in Krajina
and other Serbian-inhabited areas, which Babic rejects since
it treats those districts as part of Croatia, whereas Babic's
"government" has declared its independence from that republic.
Goulding also reported "one or two" points of disagreement in
his talks with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. The 29-January
Los Angeles Times calls the peace process "effectively deadlocked."
Goulding said that a meeting of the Security Council will discuss
further steps, and added that he thought that the cease-fire
is generally holding well enough to merit sending in a peace-keeping
force. Meanwhile in Prague, senior CSCE officials agreed to grant
Slovenia and Croatia observer status, but CSTK said that representatives
of the Serbian-dominated rump Yugoslav government blocked their
full membership. (Patrick Moore)

MASSIVE EAST EUROPEAN EMIGRATION TO SOUTH AMERICA? The 27-January
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that Argentina, Chile,
Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela have told the EC that they are
willing to open their doors to East European emigration in return
for financial assistance. Spain, which acts as liaison between
the Community and Latin America, backs the proposal and will
present it in Brussels. All five countries were traditional goals
for European emigrants earlier in the century and would now welcome
new European settlers, especially to settle in their sparsely-populated
rural areas. Uruguay says it is particularly interested in Balts,
while Chile would like Yugoslavs and Volga Germans. Other countries
mentioned Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians as likely candidates.
(Patrick Moore) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson &
Charles Trumbull









The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in USA: Mr. Jon Lodeesen or Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6900; fax: (202) 457-6992 or -202-828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or in Europe: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 8000 Munich 22; Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2642; fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: Pubs@RFERL.ORG 1992, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. DAILY REPORT

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