The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. - Plutarch
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 119, 25 June 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN, SHEVARDNADZE SIGN OSSETIA PEACE AGREEMENT. Talks in
Sochi on 24 June between Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Georgian
State Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze, and members of the
leadership of North and South Ossetia resulted in the signing
of an agreement on a ceasefire and the deployment of peacekeeping
troops on the border between South Ossetia and Russia, Russian
and Western media reported. Shevardnadze subsequently announced
that Russia and Georgia will establish full diplomatic relations
by the end of this month. (Liz Fuller)

RUSSIA DEMANDS END OF BLOODSHED IN GEORGIA, MOLDOVA. Yeltsin
said before his meeting with Shevardnadze, in Dagomys that Russia
cannot remain indifferent to the bloodshed in South Ossetia,
ITAR-TASS reported on 24 June. In his talks, Yeltsin was joined
by Russian Vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi, Interfax reported.
Meanwhile, the Moscow City Council has denounced the Georgian
and Moldovan use of force in South Ossetia and the Trans-Dniester
region and demanded an immediate halt to any bloodshed, Radio
Rossii reported on 24 June. The first deputy chairman of the
Moscow City Council, Sergei Stankevich, who spoke at the council's
session, said that 260 people have been killed in the fighting
in Bendery. (Alexander Rahr)

MORE EVIDENCE OF 14TH ARMY INVOLVEMENT IN BENDERY FIGHTING. In
Bendery on 22 June, special correspondent Chrystia Freeland of
the Financial Times (as cited by The Washington Post the next
day), reported that "tanks and soldiers of the 14th Army were
continuing to participate in fighting." In the Financial Times
of 24 June, the same reporter described how officers of the 59th
Division in Tiraspol issued new armored-personnel carriers to
soldiers of the "Dniester Guard" fighting in Bendery. Yeltsin's
nationalities adviser, Galina Starovoitova, was also cited by
The Los Angeles Times of 24 June as telling correspondents in
Moscow that Russian soldiers did participate in fighting against
Moldova. (Vladimir Socor)

RUSSIAN MILITARY OFFICIALS ADMIT TO SOME INVOLVEMENT. Colonel
Aleksandr Baranov, an assistant commander of the 14th Army and
the most senior Russian officer stationed in Bendery, was cited
by Western agencies on 22 June as saying that "some of the 5,000
Russian soldiers" stationed in the area had participated in the
fighting, but "the Army as a whole has not intervened yet," he
added. Meanwhile, The Independent of 24 June reported that a
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Colonel Nikolai Medvedev,
had admitted that 14th Army tank units crossed the Dniester on
20/21 June from Tiraspol to Bendery to fight the Moldovans. Another
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Colonel Ivan Skrylnik, was
cited by The Guardian on 23 June as saying that a Russian battalion
in Parcani near Bendery which also participated in the fighting
had just transferred from the 14th Army to the "Dniester Guard."
(Vladimir Socor)

WHO GAVE THE ORDERS? A Russian "government source" told The Independent
of 24 June that "the order for the 14th Army to engage was given
by the high command in Moscow, though the aim was to make a show
of force rather than to wage war." Baranov, Skrylnik, and Medvedev
for their part maintained that the units which participated in
the fighting had acted on their own initiative without orders
from above, but they portrayed the units' actions as justified
by the circumstances. US State Department spokeswoman Margaret
Tutwiler told reporters in Washington, as cited by The Baltimore
Sun and by an RFE/RL correspondent on 23 June, that "elements
of the 14th Army" did participate in the fighting, but it remained
unclear whether the orders had come from Moscow or from local
commanders. (Vladimir Socor)

MOST CASUALTIES IN BENDERY SAID TO BE MOLDOVANS. "Dniester republic
state secretary" Valerii Litskay dismissed the count of over
1,000 killed, given by the "Dniester republic" press center and
widely quoted by the media, as "far from reality" and estimated
the number at 400, Interfax and Reuters reported on 23 June.
Grigore Marakutsa, the ethnic Moldovan figurehead chairman of
the "Dniester republic Supreme Soviet," told a news conference
in Moscow that the casualties were around 500, adding that some
60% of them were Moldovans, Radio Rossii reported on 23 June.
(Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON RUSSIAN PRESSURES. Moldovan President Mircea
Snegur has rejected Yeltsin's and Rutskoi's denunciations of
Moldova's attempt to relieve the besieged Bendery police after
4 policemen had been killed and 11 injured, and to restore the
legal order there. "Under their logic, they might as well reproach
President Bush for restoring order in Los Angeles," Snegur told
the Moldovan Parliament, as cited by Moldovapres on 23 June.
"With the 14th Army occupying the left bank of the Dniester,
Russia has begun an undeclared war against Moldova," Snegur said;
"our state is being destroyed by the Russian military, Cossacks,
and mercenaries." But "I will not be frightened and will not
bow my head to the Russian leadership's threats," Snegur said.
(Vladimir Socor)

KRAVCHUK ASSESSES DAGOMYS SUMMIT. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk told reporters upon his arrival in Kiev that his meeting
with Boris Yeltsin marked a "turning point" in relations between
Ukraine and Russia, Radio Ukraine reported on 24 June. Above
all, said Kravchuk, he and the Russian president finally succeeded
in placing relations between the two countries on an "interstate"
level. In a subsequent press conference, Kravchuk stressed the
friendly atmosphere at the meeting and emphasized that a new
approach had been found to the contentious Black Sea Fleet issue,
Radio Mayak reported on 24 June. Some observers, however, are
suggesting that the glowing atmospherics emanating from the Dagomys
summit obscure the seriousness of existing problems that continue
to plague relations between the two CIS giants. (Roman Solchanyk)


PRAVDA SAVAGES ARMS AGREEMENT. A commentary by Viktor Nikolaev
published in the 23 June Pravda called the strategic arms agreement
reached in Washington on 16 June an outright "capitulation" to
the United States by Moscow and charged that the Russian delegation
had willfully allowed itself to be "duped" by the Americans.
Nikolaev bemoaned in particular the future loss of Russian SS-18
missiles, and charged that in general the accord destroyed the
"system of equal security" built up over many decades. On the
same day CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov offered
half-hearted support for the agreement, affirming that there
was no alternative to disarmament but also arguing that it was
important to maintain parity and to guard against what the report
called "all-out reckless disarmament." He also waffled on a question
concerning the extent to which the military leadership participated
in the decision to approve the agreement. His comments contrasted
sharply with those of Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev.
(see Daily Report of 23 June). (Stephen Foye)

CIS SPOKESMAN ON UKRAINIAN STRATEGIC FORCES. Lt. Gen. Leonid
Ivashov, identified as secretary of the Council of CIS Defense
Ministers, told ITAR-TASS on 24 June that control over CIS strategic
forces in Ukraine was one of the key issues discussed in Dagomys
on 23 June. Ivashov admitted that no accord was reached, but
said that progress on the issue was nevertheless made and that
talks will resume on 2 July in Moscow, prior to a meeting of
CIS defense ministers. The disagreement has grown out of Ukrainian
attempts to establish "administrative" control over strategic
forces located in the republic, a development that has angered
CIS and Russian defense chiefs. (Stephen Foye)

RUSSIAN-BELARUSIAN DEAL ON DEFENSE? Radio Rossii reported on
24 June that, according to the "Nega" news agency, there are
plans for Russia to finance a series of defense enterprises in
Belarus and to restore several state orders for military goods
first established during the Soviet period. The report also made
vague reference to a bilateral military agreement that will allegedly
be signed by the two sides. The agreement is reportedly being
crafted to avoid contradicting elements in the Belarusian legal
code that prohibit the country from joining any sort of military
bloc. (Stephen Foye)



GAMSAKHURDIA COMEBACK ATTEMPT FOILED. Four people were killed
and 26 injured when Georgian National Guard detachments retook
the Tbilisi TV tower, which had been occupied for six hours by
supporters of ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, in
the early afternoon of 24 June. Georgian militia leader Dzhaba
Ioseliani condemned the comeback attempt as "insane," according
to Interfax; Georgian Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua said that Georgia
would demand Gamsakhurdia's extradition from Chechnya, Western
agencies reported. State Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze
was quoted by ITAR-TASS as stating that the coup attempt was
intended to prevent his planned talks with Yeltsin in Sochi on
South Ossetia; Shevardnadze was forced to delay his departure
for Sochi because of the incident. (Liz Fuller)

ABKHAZ MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS ATTACKED. On 24 June armed
formations subordinate to the Abkhaz-dominated parliament of
the Abkhaz ASSR together with two ethnic Abkhaz senior government
officials stormed the Ministry of Internal Affairs headquarters
in Sukhumi and beat up the minister, Givi Lominadze (an ethnic
Georgian) and two of his deputies, ITAR-TASS reported. Lominadze
had refused to give up his post despite parliament's decision
to fire him last month. The "Democratic Abkhazia" faction in
the Abkhaz parliament, which represents the autonomous republic's
majority Georgian population, blamed Abkhaz separatist circles
for exacerbating tensions in the region. (Liz Fuller)

VOLSKY CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT. The leader of the "industrialists
union," Arkadii Volsky, told Rossiya (no. 26) that he does not
intend to join the present government which, according to him,
is torn by battles for power and positions. He criticized the
government for the lack of leadership and program as well as
its failure to fight growing corruption. He stated that the newly
appointed deputy prime ministers, Vladimir Shumeiko, Georgii
Khizha and Viktor Chernomyrdin will defend the interests of the
production managers in the government. He favored a referendum
on ownership of land but spoke against the law suit against the
CPSU. He called upon the president to announce a general amnesty.
(Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIA TO ANNOUNCE "REFORM-DEEPENING STAGE." Vladimir Mau, an
economic adviser to the Yeltsin government, told ITAR-TASS on
24 June that the second stage of the Gaidar reform program will
be presented to a cabinet collegium meeting on 25 June. Mau described
this as "the reform-deepening stage." He claimed that the first
stage, the stabilization of the economy is already "nearing completion."
(Many Russian and Western observers would take issue with this
assertion). Among the second stage's aims are a reduction of
the budget deficit to 3-5% (of the GDP) and lowering inflation
to below 5% a month. The second stage is to be implemented in
1992-95. (Keith Bush)

IMF CONCESSIONS TO RUSSIA? There were widespread reports in the
Western press on 24 June that the IMF is preparing to advance
roughly $1 billion as a first credit tranche to Russia before
the G-7 summit in July. the Financial Times of 24 June stated
that the IMF has accepted a two-year timetable for Russian energy
prices to rise to world levels. It has softened its insistence
that the Russian budget be balanced in 1992 without external
aid and dropped its demands that all former Soviet republics
remain within the ruble zone. However, the IMF is reported to
be firm on withholding any stabilization fund until conditions
are such that it will not need to be drawn upon. (Keith Bush)


SOVIET DEBT REPAYMENT. Ahead of the meeting of the steering committee
representing 600 Western creditor banks scheduled for 25 June,
the Western press have disclosed details of the repayment to
date of the debt of the former USSR. According to The Wall Street
Journal of 24 June, Soviet principal debt repayments due in 1992
amount to $10-11 billion, while repayments of interest and supplier
credits due this year total $4 billion. No principal has been
repaid this year, and only one-sixth of the interest due to banks
and official creditors during the first five months of 1992 has
been repaid. The total convertible currency debt of the former
Soviet Union at the end of 1991 is estimated at $65 billion.
(Keith Bush)

CASUALTIES IN MOSCOW DEMONSTRATION. Seventy six persons have
been injured during the demonstrations in front of the "Ostankino"
television center, among them--twenty eight policemen, Krimpres-TASS
reported on 24 June. In the absence of the head of the Moscow
police, Arkadii Murashov, who is on vacation in the Philippines,
the acting chief of the Main Administration of Interior Affairs
of Moscow, Anatolii Egorov, stated that the militia forces were
acting strictly in accordance with the law when they broke up
the authorized hardliners' demonstration in front of the television
center on 22-23 June. The Moscow City Council has reportedly
set up a special commission to investigate the events. (Alexander
Rahr)

TURKMENISTAN'S COMMUNISTS CARRY ON. Radio Mayak reported on 24
June that the chairman of the Organizational Committee to Restore
the Communist Party of Turkmenistan had told Interfax that his
group approved a decision to take part in the 29th Congress of
the CPSU to be held in Moscow in July, though they have not yet
decided if they will attend as observers or as foreign guests.
Turkmenistan's Communist Party changed its name to Democratic
Party last year and became more strongly oriented toward Turkmen
national interests. According to the organizational committee
chairman, some 800 people, mostly pensioners, have formed a group
to restore the former CP. (Cassandra Cavanaugh)

KAZAKHSTAN'S COMMUNIST'S TO BE REGISTERED. Hard-liners who have
already "restored" Kazakhstan's Communist Party won a victory
on 24 June when Kazakhstan's Supreme Court ruled that the Ministry
of Justice's refusal to register the Communist Party of Kazakhstan
is illegal, and ordered the ministry to register the party within
10 days, "Vesti" reported. The ministry had refused to register
the party on the grounds that it was likely to cause interethnic
tension. (Cassandra Cavanaugh)

KAZAKH OPPOSITION PERSEVERES. Members of some of Kazakhstan's
opposition parties are continuing their protest action in front
of the Supreme Soviet in Alma-Ata despite the removal of their
tent city by MVD troops, Radio Rossii reported on 24 June. The
demonstrators, who began their action on 16 June, are demanding
the resignation of members of parliament representing communist
organizations, and the formation of a coalition government including
members of the opposition. President Nursultan Nazarbaev has
refused to accede to any of their demands or to meet with them.
(Cassandra Cavanaugh)

MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS IN TAJIKISTAN. The Tajik opposition has
demanded that the country assume jurisdiction over the CIS troops
stationed on its territory, ITAR-TASS reported on 24 June. State
Defense Committee Chairman Bakhrom Rakhmanov, counted as one
of the opposition ministers, has complained that the government
is very slow in forming its own military, although the newly-appointed
commander of the Dushanbe garrison has pointed out that money
is lacking. As long as the situation of the military remains
unresolved, it is unlikely that effective action can be taken
against armed bands who continue fighting in various parts of
the country. (Bess Brown)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

NEW SLOVAK GOVERNMENT. The Slovak parliament named the Slovak
cabinet in Bratislava on 24 June, foreign agencies report. Twelve
out of the 14 members come from the Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia (HZDS). Jozef Tuchyna, former communist general, now
the new Interior Minister, is without party affiliation. Ludovit
Cernak whose portfolio combines economy, industry, trade and
tourism, was selected from the secessionist Slovak National Party.
Vladimir Meciar, the new Slovak premier. later said that the
HZDS does not want to split Czechoslovakia and that the Civic
Democratic Party's leader Vaclav Klaus and other Czech officials
are forcing them in that direction by presenting an "either-or"
situation. Meanwhile, Klaus said he has chosen five candidates
for the new transitional federal government. Meciar has yet to
announce the five Slovak candidates. (Barbara Kroulik)

NEW SLOVAK MINISTER ON HUNGARIAN MINORITY. According to Milan
Knazko, Slovakia's new foreign minister, there is no Hungarian
minority problem in Slovakia, Radio Budapest reported on 24 June.
For Knazko, autonomy for national minorities is out of the question.
He said Slovakia is determined to complete the construction of
the Gabcikovo dam and power plant on the Danube (Hungary unilaterally
denounced last month the relevant 1977 state agreement with Czechoslovakia).
Also, the new Slovak National Council (parliament) failed for
the first time to elect an ethnic Magyar as one of its vice chairmen
--a post that usually went to the Magyar deputies' group. (Alfred
Reisch)

SERB POLICE ARREST ALBANIAN LEGISLATORS. Western news agencies
said on 24 June that Serbian police had arrested five ethnic
Albanian legislators in Kosovo, where the population is over
90% Albanian. The parliamentarians were elected in a 24 May vote
declared illegal by Serb authorities, who keep Kosovo under tight
repression. On 23 June police blocked the legislature's opening
session in an Islamic college, and now have jailed the five for
60 days for "an anti-constitutional act endangering the territorial
integrity and constitutional order of Serbia." Western and Croatian
media have speculated recently that the beleaguered Serbian regime
might try to provoke some sort of conflict in Kosovo to rally
Serbs behind it in a fight with the Albanians and possibly other
peoples of Islamic heritage in the neighboring Sandzak region.
(Patrick Moore)

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE YUGOSLAV AREA. Croatian Radio said
on 24 June that legislative and presidential elections will take
place on 2 August. President Franjo Tudjman currently tops polls
in the republic and seems likely to be reelected. Meanwhile in
Strasbourg, talks are slated for 25 June between the presidents
of Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, together with EC peace
negotiator Lord Carrington. The Bosnian leader may not be able
to leave besieged Sarajevo, however, and his foreign minister
is likely to take his place. The Serbian foreign minister said
on 24 June that he did not see much chance of the talks making
progress, anyway. Finally, the 25 June Washington Post reports
on a growing mood in Europe for military intervention in the
crisis. (Patrick Moore)

PAWLAK'S SUPPORTERS HESITATE. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak's
largest parliamentary ally, the tripartite "little coalition,"
debated late into the evening on 24 June whether to join the
new cabinet or merely support it from the sidelines. Citing "unofficial"
sources, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 25 June that the coalition
had opted in the end to delegate its representatives to the cabinet,
a decision the newspaper predicted would lead to defections from
the coalition's senior partner, the Democratic Union. Pawlak
told an earlier press conference that, in the event of a rebuff
from the "little coalition," he planned to draw up a cabinet
list in consultation with President Lech Walesa. In either case,
the cabinet would include experienced figures from parties opposed
to him as well as supporters. The prime minister also discussed
fiscal policy with former Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz,
whose book 800 Days--Controlled Shock went on sale on 24 June.
Some 1,500 people waited in line for hours to have their copies
autographed. "The economy's biggest problem is politics," Balcerowicz
told reporters. (Louisa Vinton)

ILIESCU ON MOLDOVA. Before leaving to attend the Istanbul meeting
of heads of state to discuss cooperation in the Black Sea region,
Romania's President Ion Iliescu told reporters on 24 June that
the key to lasting peace in Moldova was the withdrawal of the
former Soviet 14th army. A Foreign Ministry spokesman refuted
statements by an official of the self-proclaimed breakaway Dniestr
republic who said that Romanian troops participated in the fighting
in Moldova. Meanwhile, students staged a protest outside the
Russian embassy in Bucharest demanding a political solution to
the conflict. Local media carried the stories. (Mihai Sturdza)


APPEAL TO PROTECT BULGARIANS IN DNIESTR REGION. On 23 June the
Bulgarian foreign ministry appealed to the Moldovan government
to "guarantee the security" of the estimated 100,000 ethnic Bulgarians
living there, BTA reports. Foreign ministry officials told Reuters
that a Bulgarian family of five had been killed in clashes between
Moldovan government forces and Dniestr separatists on the previous
day, and that the safety of 15,000 Bulgarians in the towns of
Parkany and Bendery was endangered. Already last month Sofia
expressed concern that Moldova's Bulgarians could become involved
in ethnic fighting. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT TO MODIFY ECONOMIC PROGRAM. A draft law
prepared by the government to revise the annual budget indicates
that the government's economic program will have to be substantially
modified because the pace of economic recovery is slower than
expected, MTI reported on 24 June. Government forecasts that
economic growth would begin and personal consumption increase
this year are not likely to be fulfilled. Industrial production
increased only marginally since the all-time low last December,
and personal consumption continued to decline. The government
now expects an annual budget deficit of over 178 billion forint
instead of the 70 billion originally calculated. The Ministry
of Finance predicted that slow domestic demand, high interest
rates, and the slow pace of privatization would keep the gross
domestic product around the 1991 levels. (Edith Oltay)

POLAND'S RADICAL FARMERS REMOVE ROADBLOCKS. The leader of the
radical farmers' union Self-Defense, Andrzej Lepper, announced
late on 23 June that all the roadblocks erected to force the
government to assist indebted farmers would be dismantled. After
meeting with Prime Minister Pawlak on 23 June, Lepper said that
his organization had decided to suspend its protest to give the
"peasant prime minister" time to form a government. Rzeczpospolita
reported on 24 June that only 23,000 of Poland's 2.1 million
farms have difficulty meeting interest payments; and only 4,500
of these are faced with foreclosure. (Louisa Vinton)

SLUGGISH PRIVATIZATION IN ROMANIA. Curierul national wrote on
23 June that out of 1,600 companies singled out by the government
for privatization in 1991, only 190 had been earmarked for sale
thus far. The remaining firms should reportedly be dealt with
during this summer. At the end of 1991, only 95 joint companies
with a total capital of 10.4 billion lei had been created out
of former state enterprises. (Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIAN ARMY REORGANIZATION. On 23 June, the government adopted
a general concept for a new national security policy, and outlined
the basic features of the envisaged reorganization of the armed
forces, BTA reported. The reforms are to take place in three
stages: by 1993 an extensive restructuring of the military organization,
including the establishment of a more flexible brigade structure
(with 3,000 to 3,500 men in each unit) will be completed; by
1995 troops will be retasked; and before the year 2000 the weaponry
is to be replaced or updated. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

MORE BORDER VIOLATIONS IN HUNGARY. The national commander of
the Hungarian border guards, Balazs Novak, told MTI on 24 June
that over 13,000 border violators were caught by border guards
in the first five months of the year, an increase of 20% over
the same period last year. Most border violators, some 12,000,
were caught along the Romanian and Austrian border. An increasing
number of foreigners are smuggled through the border by groups
specializing in the smuggling of people. In the same period,
some 400,000 foreigners, mostly Romanian citizens, were turned
back at the border because they lacked travel documents and money.
(Edith Oltay)

ROMANIAN POLICE REPORTS. The General Inspectorate of the Police
communicated on 24 June that from January 1991 to end of April
1992 it had uncovered 22 cases of drug trafficking involving
25 foreign citizens. The seizures included 14.2 kg of heroin,
13.2 kg of cocaine, and 11 kg of opium. During the same period,
the police confiscated 792 kg of mercury illegally acquired by
259 Romanians, 245 kg of dynamite and astralite, and more than
25,000 electric and pyrotechnic devices which were also on offer
on the black market. Three groups illegally in possession of
224,530 kg of nuclear fuel have been arrested as well. Local
media carried the stories. (Mihai Sturdza)

BILDT URGES TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BALTICS. Writing in Die
Welt, Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt said that the continued
presence of Russian troops in the Baltic States is "an anomaly
in today's Europe" and a source of unrest. Concerning Russian
statements that the troops cannot leave the Baltics unless other
countries finance the construction of housing for them in Russia,
Bildt said he finds it hard to accept that "Great Russia" is
not able to handle this matter alone. Bildt noted that Russia's
attitude toward the Baltic States is a test "of the depth and
earnestness of the policy of the new Russia as it concerns respect
for its neighbors," AFP reported on 24 June. (Dzintra Bungs)


SORSA PROPOSES ROUNDTABLE ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL. Former Finnish
Prime Minister Kalevi Sorsa, in his capacity as chairman of the
disarmament council of the Socialist International, expressed
concern over the tendency of Russia to withdraw troops from the
European continent, and move them "into our vicinity," Reuters
reported on 24 June. Considering such troop deployments as a
temporary measure, Sorsa emphasized that this "interim stage
must be as brief as possible." Also concerned about the lack
of a timetable for the pullout of the ex-USSR troops from the
Baltic States, Sorsa said that Finland would like roundtable
talks on the nearby Russian troops--some are deployed along the
Russian-Finnish border--under the auspices of the CSCE meeting
in Helsinki in July. (Dzintra Bungs)

BUT RUSSIA WANTS TO CALM "HYSTERIA" OVER TROOP WITHDRAWAL. Requesting
that his name be withheld, a Russian Foreign Ministry official
told Baltfax on 24 June that Russia intends to take measures
to neutralize "the hysteria surrounding the issue of Russian
troop withdrawal from the Baltic States." He was referring to
proposals by Lithuanian officials that a resolution on the ex-USSR
troops withdrawal be included in the final document of the upcoming
CSCE meeting. He reitereted the Russian view that the withdrawal
issues, including the schedule, should be resolved in bilateral
talks between Russia and each of the Baltic States. (Dzintra
Bungs)

[as of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Carla Thorson and Michael Shafir



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