|Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy|
No. 169, 03 September 1992
SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR NABIEV APPARENTLY OUT. Tajik Radio announced in the early morning of 3 September that the Presidium of Tajikistan's Supreme Soviet and its Cabinet of Ministers had issued a statement declaring no confidence in President Rakhmon Nabiev and removing him from power because of his failure to end the crisis that threatens to destroy the country. The statement also said that Nabiev has not tried to create solidarity among the country's political parties; rather, he has lost credibility with the leaders of other states, thereby damaging Tajikistan's interests, and has taken refuge with the military units of another country (CIS officers deny this). A session of the Supreme Soviet has been called for 4 September, presumably to rafity Nabiev's removal and to choose an interim successor. (Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.) NAVZHUVANOV RESIGNS. Tajik Minister of Internal Affairs Mamadaez Navzhuvanov resigned on 3 September, according to ITAR-TASS, saying that he refused to take part in fratricidal wars and saw no way out of the current situation. Navzhuvanov, who is counted as an opposition sympathizer, threatened to resign in August if internal affairs troops were to be used to put down by force factional fighting in southern Tajikistan. His resignation, which he may withdraw now that Nabiev has been ousted, would probably contribute further to unrest in Tajikistan. (Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.) ABKHAZ UPDATE. Georgian State Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze flew to Moscow on 2 September for talks the following day with Russian President Yeltsin and Abkhaz and North Caucasian representatives. Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandre Kavsadze told ITAR-TASS on 2 September that Georgia would condone Abkhaz autonomy as long as it did not jeopardize Georgia's territorial unity; he rejected the proposed deployment of CIS peacekeeping troops in Abkhazia as "unnecessary." Meanwhile, Georgian and Abkhaz troop commanders in Abkhazia agreed to a temporary ceasefire late on 2 September, according to ITAR-TASS and Interfax. (Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.) MAJOR STRIKE UNDERWAY IN UKRAINE. On 2 September, supporters of Ukraine's independent Association of Free Trade Unions began a major strike action for better pay and working conditions as well as for the same legal recognition enjoyed by the former Communist trade unions. Among those who heeded the call to strike were thousands of train drivers, pilots and air-traffic controllers, with the result that, as CIS and Western agencies reported, many of Ukraine's railway stations and airports were paralyzed. Some coal mines have also joined the strike. According to Western agencies, the leaders of the strike have threatened to make political demands if their grievances are not promptly redressed. (Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL Inc.) RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK'S RESERVES LOW. The acting chairman of the Russian Central Bank, Viktor Gerashchenko, said on 2 September that the bank had spent more than $650 million so far this year to support the ruble, Interfax and Western agencies reported. "We are not giving up the practice of hard-currency interventions, but we can run out of money at any moment." Gerashchenko announced that the bank has, at most, $100 million left in convertible currency reserves to support the ruble. He reiterated his conviction that the money used to prop up the ruble's exchange rate would have been better used to repay some of the former Soviet Union's convertible currency debt. Gerashchenko also said that he favors making Russian exporters convert all of their hard-currency revenues into rubles. (Keith Bush, RFE/RL Inc.) CHANGES IN RUSSIAN ENERGY PRICES IMMINENT? At a meeting with economic counselors from foreign embassies in Moscow on 2 September, Russian Economics Minister Andrei Nechaev said that a government decree reviewing energy prices has been prepared and should be signed very shortly, Russian and Western agencies reported. The decree will be "a decisive step towards liberating fuel prices. It does not mean that prices will go up further but they will be given more freedom, with certain limitations." At the current rates of exchange, the domestic Russian prices for energy-carriers are 10- 15% of world prices. The Russian government has committed itself to bringing domestic prices up to world levels within the next two years or so. (Keith Bush, RFE/RL Inc.) MORE DETAILS ON RUSSIAN PRIVATIZATION. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais told a gathering of industrial managers on 31 August that because of inflation, privatization vouchers with a nominal value of 10,000 rubles will be worth 150,000-200,000 rubles once large-scale privatization gets under way, Interfax reported. Chubais told ITAR-TASS in Chita that the privatization program was being impeded by local officials. He also mentioned complications due to unresolved problems between Moscow, Tatarstan, and Chechnya. (Keith Bush, RFE/RL Inc.) RECOMMENDATIONS ON RUSSIAN EXPORT CURBS WITHDRAWN. The Russian Central Bank has reversed its recommendation, circulated at the end of June, to Russian enterprises "to limit exports" to other CIS members, Interfax reported on 31 August. The original recommendation arose from the perceived need to curb the growing arrears in payment to Russian suppliers. The decision to reverse the recommendation was taken after the Russian Antimonopoly Committee accused the central bank of exceeding its powers. (Keith Bush, RFE/RL Inc.) SOLZHENITSYN ON KGB AND PRESENT REGIME IN RUSSIA. "An amalgam of former Party functionaries, 'quasi-democracts,' KGB officers and 'black market' wheeler-dealers, which are gaining power now [in Russia], represents a dirty hybrid unseen in the history of the world," said Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in a film that was screened on prime time Ostankino TV on September 2. According to Solzhenitsyn, the KGB has only changed its facade and colors while retaining its networks and influence, particularly in the provinces. He labled as a "cunning lie" the thesis that the exposure of KGB informers would lead to a "witch hunt." "Without the purification of our society, there will be no democracy for this land," he said. Finally, Solzhenitsyn called on Russian journalists to confess that they have supported totalitarianism by spreading lies for decades, rather than concentrate solely on reporting the sins of others as they are doing now. (Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.) CONFLICTING VIEWS ON THE KURILES DISPUTE. Although the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers said on 1 September that their two countries had moved closer to an agreement on the Kuril Islands dispute, the contentious issue seemed far from solved when President Yeltsin met Japanese Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe the next day. Yeltsin's spokesman, Vyacheslav Kostikov, was quoted by UPI as saying that the Russian president "evaded a discussion of the matter" during the 35-minute meeting. ITAR-TASS quoted Kostikov as saying that the Japanese position on the islands "has only complicated a solution to the issue and inflamed public opinion passions both in Russia and Japan." (Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.) RUSSIA WILL CONTINUE ESPIONAGE ABROAD. "We are going to carry out our intelligence work, when and whereever necessary," said the former Chief of the KGB's "Illegal" Foreign Intelligence Department, Vadim Kirpichenko, in an interview with Patriot, (no. 34.). Kirpichenko, who is now the Director of the Advisory Group at Russian Foreign Intelligence Headquarters, was for many years in charge of Administration "C" within the First Main Administration. Administration "C" was responsible for directing KGB officers working abroad under false identities as foreign nationals. Kirpichehko also revealed that Russian Foreign Intelligence has lost power vis-a-vis the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). During the Gorbachev period, the KGB took part in foreign policy decision-making together with the MFA; today its activities are more restricted than before to the area of intelligence collection. (Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.) DIPLOMATIC MANEUVERING OVER KARABAKH CEASEFIRE. Italy is hoping that Azerbaijan will follow the example of Armenia and the government of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and consent to formalize the abortive NagornoKarabakh ceasefire agreed to late last month and allow international monitoring of it, Reuters reported on 2 September. Italy is due to host a new round of preparatory peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh beginning 7 September; the previous round of talks ended in deadlock on 5 August. Speaking at a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Djakarta on 2 September, Armenian Foreign Minister Raffi Hovanissian called for UN sanctions against Azerbaijan if it declined to participate in talks on resolving the Karabakh conflict. He also called on the international community to extend diplomatic recognition to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. (Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.) MOUNTAIN PEOPLES' CONFEDERATION AND ABKHAZ TALKS. The Confederation of the Mountain Peoples' of the North Caucasus on 2 September denounced the leaders of the North Caucasian republics due to take part in the Abkhazian peace talks in Moscow on 3 September, the Western and Russian media reported. A Confederation spokesman Danour Zantaria, cited in Kuranty, called the North Caucasian officials "former leaders of the nomenklatura who no longer control the situation," The Confederation has suspended the despatch of volunteers to Abkhazia until the outcome of the talks is known. (Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL Inc.) NAZARBAEV'S FIVE PROPOSALS FOR BISHKEK. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev told a meeting of Moscow's chief newspaper editors in Alma-Ata that he would make five proposals at the CIS summit in Bishkek on 25 September, Izvestiya reported on 2 September. They are: to organize a coalition council of economic cooperation, to create a banking union based preferably on a supranational currency, to form the CIS economic court, to enhance the role of the CIS interparliamentary assembly and get more CIS states to join it, and to build a defense union, which, he said, could be most economically established within the framework of the Commonwealth. Nazarbaev has, in fact, been pushing some of these proposals at summit meetings for some time. (Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL Inc.) KARIMOV AND COLLECTIVE SECURITY PACT. In an interview on CIS TV on 1 September, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said that when Uzbekistan signed the collective security pact, it envisaged Russia guaranteeing security in the Central Asian region. He warned that, if Russia does not understand this, "then its distant frontiers will become its near frontiers." Karimov signed the pact in May chiefly out of concern over the political instability in neighbouring Tajikistan. (Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL Inc.) RUSSIAN AND UZBEK TV BROADCASTS STOPPED IN TAJIKISTAN. ITAR-TASS reported on 2 September that the head of Tajik Television, Mirbobo Mirrakhimov, had ordered that rebroadcasts of Russian and Uzbek TV be stopped in Tajikistan because of the complicated situation in the country. Mirrakhimov's decision suggests that anti-Russian sentiments have increased in Tajikistan since rumors spread that President Nabiev took refuge at a CIS military base to escape demonstrators who seized his official residence and took many government officials hostage. (Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.) YELTSIN-SNEGUR MEETING. The Russian and Moldovan Presidents, Boris Yeltsin and Mircea Snegur, met one on one in Yeltsin's working cabinet in the Kremlin on 1 September for the fourth time in the space of two months. A press release via ITAR-TASS spoke of "a very warm, friendly, and businesslike atmosphere devoid of tensions of any kind." Yeltsin offered to serve as intermediary between Chisinau and Tiraspol concerning the future political status of the left bank of the Dniester. Accepting Yeltsin's offer, Snegur confirmed that Moldova was prepared immediately to grant the right-bank city of Bendery the status of a free economic zone (an offer Moldova had made to Bendery and the left bank already in 1991) and to negotiate the political status of the left bank "provided that the territorial integrity of our state is maintained," Snegur told Moldovapres. Snegur also hoped that a bilateral economic agreement "with specific targets" will be concluded for 1993. (Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.) MOLDOVAN MILITARY ISSUES ALSO DISCUSSED. The press release added obscurely that Russia and Moldova were discussing "military issues, as well as the question of a gradual withdrawal of [Russia's] 14th Army" from Moldova. (The wording apparently reflects Russia's current attempt to link the issue of troop withdrawal to that of "military cooperation" with Moldova). The sides agreed to appeal jointly to Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to cooperate in the supply of Russian military units in Moldova and, subsequently, to help faciliate their withdrawal through Ukrainian territory. Russia has agreed to withdraw this year a paratroop regiment stationed in downtown Chisinau and a pontoon regiment based on the Dniester. (Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.) "DNIESTER REPUBLIC" CELEBRATES. A mass rally and military parade-- attended by Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army-- were held in Tiraspol on 2 September, the second anniversary of the proclamation of the "Dniester Soviet Socialist Republic." Its president, Igor Smirnov, said in his address that "the republic has survived only thanks to Russia and the 14th Army," RFE/RL correspondents reported. While taking issue with Yeltsin's stance on Moldova's integrity, Smirnov was also quoted as announcing that Russia would provide 2 billion rubles in credits to the "Dniester republic" for the purchase of grain and other agricultural commodities. Both Smirnov and the "Dniester Guard" commander, Maj. Gen. Stefan Kitsak, claimed victory over Moldova and reiterated that the would-be republic would build its own, professional army. "The Dniester republic's strategic course toward forming the Dniester state is not subject to change," Smirnov said as cited by DR Press. (Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.) CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN UPDATE. The BBC said on 2 September that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has ordered his men to put their heavy artillery around Sarajevo under UN supervision, but he added that the Serbs would want to use it in self-defense. The UN has begun talks with the Bosnian government, which controls relatively few heavy weapons, about registering its big guns as well. The BBC said that UN officials doubt that the Serbs will really show or register all their weapons and suspect that large reserves are hidden in the wooded hills and mountains. Western news agencies report heavy fighting around Gorazde, where the siege has just ended. Serbian fighters told journalists that many Serbian civilians had been massacred by Muslims in and around Gorazde since then, and reporters are now seeking independent confirmation of the accounts. Local Serbs said that Karadzic had sold them out by agreeing to lift the siege. Talks begin in Geneva on 3 September in the first follow-up meeting to the London Conference of 26-28 August. (Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.) COSIC PRAISES PANIC'S PERFORMANCE. Dobrica Cosic, president of the rump Yugoslavia, sent a letter to deputies of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and the Serbian Radical Party in the Federal Assembly expressing his dissatisfaction over their intention to subject Prime Minister Milan Panic to a confidence vote. Cosic describes the demand "as hasty, [and] politically damaging." Cosic praised Panic saying "his new-style foreign policy and impressive communication skills show the peaceful, democratic face of our forsaken, isolated country." Cosic admitted Panic could be criticized fro his work with the federal assembly but warned that passing a vote of no confidence now "would seriously jeopardize results achieved at the London conference." Radio Serbia carried the report on 2 September. (Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL Inc.) SOCIALIST CALL TO DROP CONFIDENCE VOTE. After receiving Cosic's letter, on 2 September the executive committee of the SPS recommended that deputies seeking a vote of no-confidence in the Panic government drop their motion-- if Panic is willing to accept "well-intentioned and substantiated criticism and political warnings." SPS chairman Borislav Jovic said there are good reasons why the Federal Assembly should evaluate the federal government's performance. Jovic denied reports that he and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic had planned the confidence vote. On 31 August a faction within the SPS and all deputies representing the nationalist Radical Party called for the vote, charging that Panic had betrayed Serbia's interests at the London conference. (Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL Inc.) FORMER POLISH PRIME MINISTER FOUND MURDERED. Former communist prime minister Piotr Jaroszewicz and his wife were found dead in their Warsaw home on 2 September. According to PAP reports, Jaroszewicz was strangled and his wife, a former journalist in a communist party paper, was shot with a hunting rifle. The police provided no indication of the motives for the crime. Jaroszewicz began his political career in the Soviet-sponsored Polish army during the war and then switched to civilian government administration. He became a deputy prime minister in charge of international economic policy in 1952 and was appointed head of the government in December 1970. He was forced to resign this post in early 1980. After the imposition of martial law in December 1981, Jaroszewicz was interned alongside other former communist leaders on charges of abuse of power. He was never tried and, having been released in late 1981, lived in Warsaw as a pensioner. In 1991 he published his memoirs in which he blamed both the Soviet and Polish communist governments for Poland's problems and difficulties. (Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.). DUBCEK REGAINS CONSCIOUSNESS. A physician in Prague, where Alexander Dubcek is hospitalized after a car crash, said that Dubcek regained consciousness following a three-hour spine operation on 2 September but his condition remains serious. Former Czechoslovak president Vaclav Havel visited Dubcek in the hospital and had a short conversation with him. (Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.) HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN SLOVAKIA. Geza Jeszenszky met with Slovak officials in Bratislava on 2 September, Czechoslovak and Hungarian media report. Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar said that Hungary would like to conclude an agreement with Slovakia on the treatment of ethnic minorities, but Slovakia "has reservations" and looks to Hungary first to provide an example by good treatment of its Slovak minority. Slovak Foreign Minister Milan Knazko said that Hungary could be one of the first countries to recognize an independent Slovakia. Knazko also said that one meeting with Jeszenszky will not be enough to solve the Slovak-Hungarian dispute over the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric project. Jeszenszky told Radio Budapest the same day that his government "understands" Slovakia's efforts toward attaining independence and will accept any decision taken by the Slovak and Czech peoples regarding their future. He said Slovakia's independence provides "great opportunities" for deepening bilateral relations in all fields, notably the economic, and for solving contentious issues such as the Danube dam. Jeszenszky said Hungary would welcome a mutual agreement about ways to coexist reached among Slovakia's citizens of Slovak, Magyar, and other national origin. (Jiri Pehe & Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc.) ETHNIC HUNGARIAN DEPUTIES EXPLAIN WALKOUT. According to the Magyar deputies in Slovakia's parliament, the new Slovak constitution adopted on 1 September does not guarantee the protection of Slovakia's national minorities, Radio Budapest reported on 2 September. Miklos Duray, chairman of the Coexistence Political Movement, said the constitution should not have been adopted. Bela Bugar, chairman of the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement, said the Magyar deputies walked out of parliament to protest the narrowing of minority rights after none of the amendments submitted by the Magyar deputies was accepted. (Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc.) TOKES STARTS PROTEST FAST IN ROMANIA. Laszlo Tokes, the Magyar bishop in Oradea of the Reformed Church in Romania whose defiant refusal to leave his parish in Timisoara sparked the December 1989 uprising against the communist regime, began a fast in Timisoara on 2 September. In a message to Radio Bucharest Tokes demanded justice for the victims of the uprising and punishment for those guilty of "genocide." He called for investigations of the violent incidents in Tirgu Mures and Bucharest in 1990 and for the freeing of Magyars sentenced in connection with ethnic clashes in Tirgu Mures and elsewhere. Tokes demanded that those guilty of persecuting the leadership of his church in 1989 be brought to account and insisted upon a clarification of the circumstances of the death of two prominent community leaders under Ceausescu. (Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.). ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY APPROVES SEARCH FOR MASS GRAVE. Agreement has been given to search an army base in Vladeni, Transylvania, for a mass grave alleged to contain the remains of people executed by the communist regime, the independent news agency Arpres reported on 2 September. A spokesman for the ministry quoted by Reuters said that the excavation was demanded by the Association of Former Political Detainees, which believes that executed anticommunist member of the resistance were buried there. (Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.). SOME KGB FILES RETURNED TO LATVIA. In accordance with an agreement signed between Latvia and Russia on 3 August, some 3.4 tons of KGB archival materials covering about 20,000 cases have been returned to Latvia, Latvijas Jaunatne reported on 29 August. The materials were stored in Ulyanovsk. Vilis Stals, general director of Latvia's archives, said that these materials would help in the rehabilitation of Latvian citizens who were detained in the Soviet Gulag after World War II. (Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.) BULGARIAN GENERAL DENIES COUP RUMORS. On 2 September, Bulgaria's Chief of General Staff Col. Gen. Lyuben Petrov categorically denied what he termed "rumors" of a military coup to overthrow the democratically elected government, BTA reports. Petrov said the army is "a national, non-party, state institution" which "neither does, nor will take part in political struggles." Coup rumors, he charged, represent an attempt to shake public confidence in the Bulgarian army. (Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL Inc.) BALTIC PRIME MINISTERS TO MEET. The three Baltic prime ministers have selected 11 September as the date for discussion of further Baltic cooperation, BNS reports. Estonia's Tiit Vahi, Latvia's Ivars Godmanis, and Lithuania's Aleksandras Abisala will meet in Tallinn that day to talk about cooperation in customs, border, and visa questions as well as trade issues. The three will also touch on relations with the CIS and Russia. (Riina Kionka, RFE/RL Inc.) INDUSTRIAL UNREST WANES IN POLAND. Leaders of six radical labor organizations met on 2 September in Warsaw to prepare a joint strategy to force the government to talk with them on current economic policies. According to a report in Rzeczpospolita, the radical leaders concluded that strikes would not make the government change its policies and appealed for mass demonstrations in front of government offices. They stopped short of providing the date for the demonstrations, however, and one of them remarked that "society is not ready at this time to stage mass protests." There was no immediate response from the government. (Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.) TATARSTAN DELEGATION IN VILNIUS. On 2- 3 September a delegation from the Republic of Tatarstan headed by Vice President Vasilii Likhachev paid an unofficial visit to Lithuania and held talks with Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, Prime Minister Aleksandras Abisala and other officials on creating better economic ties, Radio Lithuania reports. (Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.) LITHUANIAN, LATVIAN EMIGRATION FIGURES. In the first six months of 1992 3,826 people immigrated to Lithuania and 12,210 emigrated, Gimtasis krastas reports in its 27 August- 2 September issue. Some 3,545 immigrants are from former Soviet republics, including 2,101 from Russia, 435 from Belarus, and 330 from Ukraine, while 183 came from other foreign countries. Of the emigrants 11,469 are from former Soviet republics and 741 from other foreign countries. According to data from the Latvian State Statistics Committee, 17,300 persons left Latvia during first half of 1992. Compared with the same period last year, emigration from Latvia rose 170% while immigration declined by 69.5%. The net population decline has resulted, in part, due to emigration abroad, including the USA, Israel, Germany, and the CIS states, Latvijas Jaunatne of 29 August reports. (Saulius Girnius & Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.) MILLIONS OF RUBLES TRANSPORTED TO RUSSIA. On 2 September the Latvian Supreme Council discussed a case involving the transport of over 337 million Russian rubles out of Latvia in an unregistered railroad car, Radio Riga reports. Latvian authorities discovered the scheme on 28 July and arrested Sergei Trofimov, who at that time said that 4 billion rubles had already been transported out of Latvia in recent months. The case, which may involve currency transactions at some Latvian banks, is being investigated by special group of the Supreme Council. (Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.) AIDS PREVENTION IN ESTONIA. Representatives of the World Health Organization told Estonian public health authorities on 2 September that it may be too late to start an effective AIDS prevention program there, BNS reports. Program officers from the WHO European Bureau noted that 21 HIV carriers had been identified in Estonia, but "the society is not yet aware of the danger of AIDS." A physician from the Estonian Anti-AIDS Association told reporters that the AIDS prevention program adopted last April in Estonia is virtually bankrupt, but WHO officials said Estonia could not expect any technical or financial aid for a program until it joins WHO. (Riina Kionka, RFE/RL Inc.) ESTONIAN BORDER GUARDS STOP IRAQIS. Estonian border guards stopped 10 Iraqi refugees from boarding an Estonian Air flight bound for Stockholm on 1 September, ETA reports. According to Viktor Hansen, chief of the Tallinn Border Authority, the Iraqis were carrying professionally-forged Swedish, Norwegian, and Nicaraguan passports with forged Estonian visas and were apparently seeking to settle illegally in Sweden. Hansen said the refugees will be sent back to Latvia and Russia, from where they had arrived. (Riina Kionka, RFE/RL Inc.) ROMANIA AND THE IRAQI CRISIS. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has "taken notice of the activities recently initiated by the USA and its partners" south of the 32nd parallel in Iraq, a spokesman said on 2 September. Radio Bucharest reports that Romania shares the view that the developments were prompted by Iraq's refusal to allow access to southern Iraq to UN observers and supports implementation of Security Council Resolution 668. (Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosiba & Charles Trumbull
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