|Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened. - Sir Winston Churchill|
No. 210, 30 October 1992
SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR YELTSIN HALTS BALTIC WITHDRAWAL. President Boris Yeltsin on 29 October signed a decree halting all Russian troop withdrawals from the Baltic states. Yeltsin tied the move to the need to provide "social guarantees" for troops in the Baltic states and to difficulties the Russian government is experiencing in its efforts to provide housing for the withdrawn forces. He ordered the Russian government to draft temporary withdrawal agreements within three days time for presentation to the Baltic states. Yeltsin also tied the fulfilment of Russian trade agreements with the Baltic states to the resolution of the withdrawal dispute. The "protection of minority rights" of Russians in the Baltic states was also implicitly tied to the decision, although Yeltsin apparently did not make resolution of this issue a condition for the withdrawal. The decision was reported by Interfax and ITAR-TASS on 30 October. (John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.) RUSSIA TO TAKE RUSSIAN MINORITY RIGHTS ISSUE TO UN. Russia will raise the issue of protection of Russian minority rights in the Baltic states in the UN, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 30 October. President Yeltsin called for the Foreign Ministry to draft an appeal to the UN at the same time that he announced the cancellation of troop withdrawals from the Baltic states. On 8 October, in a meeting with workers at Ostankino TV, Yeltsin suggested making a Russian troop withdrawal conditional on the Baltic states guaranteeing minority rights for their Russian inhabitants. The new Russian position on these issues appears to be the first manifestation of the new tougher foreign policy Yeltsin called for in a speech to the Foreign Ministry on 27 October. For their part, the Baltic states have repeatedly asked the UN to send fact-finding missions to their countries to look for alleged human rights abuses; the first such mission arrived in Latvia two days ago. (John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.) STATUS OF RUSSIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM THE BALTIC STATES. Yeltsin's decree halting the Russian pullout from the Baltic states follows a Defense Ministry announcement on 20 October that the withdrawal of forces which lacked housing in Russia would be suspended. At the time, however, the Defense Ministry claimed that the overall withdrawal plan would proceed, with all forces to be withdrawn by the end of 1994. Estimates of Russian forces in the Baltic states vary, but the US State Department estimates that 40% of the 130,000 troops originally stationed there have been withdrawn. An additional 25,000 were to have been withdrawn by the end of 1993. Russia has concluded a preliminary agreement with Lithuania on troop withdrawals; however, the process of codifying it as a formal treaty has apparently stalled because of Russian misgivings. (John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.) FRONT VOWS TO RESIST YELTSIN. Members of the now prohibited National Salvation Front said that President Boris Yeltsin's ban of their organization was unconstitutional and that they will therefore ignore the decree, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 October. Western agencies reported a Front leader urging supporters to "go to the factories, garrisons and the streets...Defend our dying and humiliated Russia." State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis said the Russian leadership was considering the introduction of emergency rule in order to fight "revanchists." According to Radio Rossii on the same day, Burbulis referred to "centrists", apparently meaning the Civic Union, as part of the revanchist opposition. (Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.) COMMENTS ON POSSIBILITY OF PRESIDENTIAL RULE. Acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar and his deputy, Aleksandr Shokhin were quoted by ITAR-TASS on 29 October as saying that President Boris Yeltsin will not introduce emergency rule in the country, although many of his advisors were urging him to take that step. Members of the "Democratic Center" faction, which is part of the Civic Union coalition, said that presidential rule can successfully be introduced only in Moscow, and not in other parts of Russia. The Russian Movement of Democratic Reform, which supports presidential rule, called for the immediate adoption of a transitional constitution which would regulate politics in Russia before a new constitution could be worked out. (Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.) YELTSIN PREPARED TO COOPERATE WITH CIVIC UNION. Russian President Boris Yeltsin told Argumenty i fakty (no. 42) that he is drafting a major document on the future statehood of Russia and that he wants to hold a referendum on the constitution and on land ownership next spring. Yeltsin also noted that he is prepared to cooperate with the Civic Union "as soon as it works out a constructive economic program." The leader of the Civic Union, Arkadii Volsky, was quoted in The Financial Times on 29 October as saying that Yeltsin should make changes in his administration and replace acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar, because the latter lacks appropriate authority. Volsky added that the Civic Union would go into opposition if Yeltsin does not meet it demands. (Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.) RUSSIA CALLS FOR MORATORIUM ON KURIL NEGOTIATIONS. The Russian government on 29 October called for a one to two year moratorium on discussions with Japan over the disputed Kuril islands. According to Interfax and Reuters reports on 30 October, presidential spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov called for the moratorium because of "intensifying emotions" concerning the issue on both sides. Kostikov also suggested that Japan's agreement to the moratorium would help facilitate planning for Yeltsin's postponed visit to Japan. The move apparently came after Japan announced a new $100 million aid package to the CIS, with an emphasis on the Russian Far East. Japan recently lodged a strong protest over a Russian government proposal to develop the Kuril islands as part of a Sakhalin special economic zone. (John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.) PARLIAMENTARY GUARD INITIALLY REFUSED TO DISARM. The parliamentary guard, banned by a presidential decree, resisted its takeover by interior ministry authorities, and the head of the guard, Ivan Boyko, had to be summoned to the Izvestiya building to disarm his men, Izvestiya reported on 29 October. The paper also revealed that some time ago, when Yeltsin ordered Ministry of Interior security forces to replace parliamentary guard units posted around the constitutional court, Boyko ordered his men to use force to protect their positions at Staraya ploshchad. Boyko reportedly only relented when the special KGB unit Alfa was deployed. (Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.) TENTATIVE APPROVAL FOR RUSSIA'S 1993 BUDGET. The Russian government on 29 October approved "on the whole" the draft budget for 1993, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. It was not immediately clear in which prices the absolute figures were given--they seemed to be second-quarter prices--but the highlights were the budget deficit and defense allocations. The budget deficit, calculated according to the IMF guidelines, was said to be 10% of GNP during the first nine months of 1992 and it could rise to 15% of GNP by the end of the year. The deficit for 1993 is projected at 6-7% of GNP. Defense expenditure in 1993 is to represent 15.3% of the budget, against 16% in 1992. (Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.) RUSSIAN EXPORTS "STABLE." Acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar said that Russian exports have stabilized at $3 billion a month since May and should be able to maintain that level, ITAR-TASS reported on 28 October. Gaidar claimed this as one of the government's main achievements in its economic reform program. In a related issue, the 28 October issue of The Journal of Commerce quotes two US Department of Energy officials as saying that Russian oil exports are substantially under-reported. Off-the-books export transactions may exceed one million barrels per day on occasions. (Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.) GOSKOMSTAT RELEASES THIRD QUARTER RESULTS. Figures released by the Russian State Statistical Committee (Goskomstat), and summarized by ITAR-TASS on 29 October, show accelerating production decline and inflation. Russian industrial production fell 17.6% in the first nine months of this year alone (as compared to the 13% fall over the twelve month period between mid-year 1991 and mid-year 1992). Consumer prices have increased by 1210% since December of last year. Although wages over the same period rose only 560%, the report noted that in recent months they have grown almost as fast as retail prices. Moreover, Goskomstat confirmed that the fiscal and monetary austerity of the first half of the year ended in the third quarter as state financial support for the agro-industrial complex, conversion and social programs significantly increased. (Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.) GOSKOMSTAT GIVES LATEST FIGURES ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY. Goskomstat also reported that there were 367,500 unemployed registered with the state employment service on 1 October, according to an ITAR-TASS report on 29 October. This is approximately five times higher than the 69,000 registered at the beginning of the year, but implies an unemployment rate of less than 1%. However, there are currently other forms of hidden unemployment, such as the widespread practice of putting workers on extended unpaid leave, or on reduced working hours. According to the ITAR-TASS report, about two million industrial workers were affected by this type of unregistered unemployment in August 1992. About 30% of the population have a monthly per capita income of under 2,000 rubles, and 1.5% under 1,000 rubles, i.e. considerably lower than the new minimum wage of 2,250 rubles. (Sheila Marnie, RFE/RL, Inc.) NEW RUSSIAN REGULATIONS ON RETAIL TRADE. Two state documents were issued on 29 October adding new regulation to retail trade in Russia. The Central Bank published instructions forbidding the sale of goods on the Russian market for hard currency unless the goods were originally imported from abroad, Interfax reported. This action may be considered part of the state's attempt to combat the dollarization of the Russian economy. The same day, President Yeltsin signed a decree requiring all businesses engaged in retail trade to obtain a license from local government agencies Such licensing will provide a means to control what is widely considered price gauging of consumers by retailers. (Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.) AID TO CIS DISCUSSED AT TOKYO CONFERENCE. Representatives from nearly seventy nations and twenty international organizations met in Tokyo for a two day conference on economic assistance needs of the CIS countries and how to provide assistance more effectively, various Western agencies reported on 29 and 30 October. The United States and Japan used the opportunity to announce new multi-million dollar aid packages. The United States added another $100 million dollars in food aid to the $9.2 billion of aid in various forms already dispersed or promised to the CIS over the 1991-1993. Japan also announced a $100 million dollar assistance package targeted at the Russian Far East and the Central Asian republics. Japan has already distributed or promised $140 million in aid to the CIS. (Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.) BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS REFERENDUM. The Belarusian parliament, after three days' discussion, voted on 29 October against holding a referendum on the dissolution of parliament and conducting new elections in December, Belinform-TASS reported. The lawmakers decided that laws were violated during the campaign to gather signatures for the referendum. At the same time, the parliament voted to hold parliamentary elections in March 1994, that is, before the current parliament's term ends. Parliamentary Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich characterized the move as a concession to those who favored a referendum. (Roman Solchanyk, RFE/RL, Inc.) TAJIKISTAN SEEKS FOREIGN AID. The chairman of the Tajik Supreme Soviet's Foreign Economic Relations Committee, Yakub Babazhanov, told a Reuters correspondent on 29 October that Tajikistan desperately needs Western help. Babazhanov is in Tokyo attending an international conference on aid to twelve of the former republics of the USSR. He commented that the need to get food and medical supplies to parts of Tajikistan most affected by the fighting in that country must take precedence over discussions of cooperation with international financial institutions on the creation of a market economy. Western news agencies reporting on the Tokyo conference say that Japan is reorienting its interest from Siberia to the Central Asian states. (Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.) CENTRAL ASIAN LEADERS ATTEND SUMMIT IN TURKEY. The presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as Azerbaijan, are attending a conference of state leaders in Ankara, Interfax reported on 28 October. Tajikistan was also invited to participate but was unable to do so. Among the issues to be discussed is Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's plan for an Asian counterpart to the CSCE. (Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.) "DNIESTER" LEADER ESCALATES DEMANDS ON MOLDOVA. "Dniester Republic President" Igor Smirnov told Nezavisimaya gazeta of 22 October that he had notified Chisinau that negotiations toward a settlement of the conflict were conditional on Moldova's adherence to the CIS and the ruble zone. (Moldova plans to introduce a national currency and envisages a loose association with the CIS for a transitional period). This marks the first time that the "Dniester republic" publicly links the settlement of the conflict to Moldova's attitude to the CIS. The statement will undoubtedly be seen in Moldova as a further indication of coordination between Moscow hardliners and Tiraspol. Smirnov also reiterated the demand for turning Moldova into a confederation in which the "Dniester republic" would have full-fledged state structures and its own armed forces. The would-be republic is already well along in creating its own army, internal security apparatus, and border guard. (Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.) CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE ESTONIA CONDEMNS YELTSIN'S DECREE. Estonian President Lennart Meri reacted sharply to his Russian counterpart's decree of 29 October suspending troop withdrawals from the Baltic states. In remarks televised in Finland that evening, Meri said Boris Yeltsin's statement "is in contradiction to the responsibilities which Russia has taken on itself" toward the Baltic states. Meri called on CSCE foreign ministers to take up the matter at their upcoming Stockholm meeting in order "to seek a constructive solution in a situation where the foreign policy statements of the Russian Federation often contradict each other." Meri also reaffirmed Estonia's commitment to human rights: "As President of the Republic of Estonia, I once again confirm that human rights are guaranteed to all residents of Estonia, and that citizenship rights are so liberally guaranteed to all Estonian citizens that these could be a model for many European states, including Russia." (Riina Kionka, RFE/RL, Inc.) COSTS OF CONSTRUCTION OF HOUSING FOR DEPARTING TROOPS. According to Russian estimates, over 47 billion rubles are needed to build housing in Russia for officers and their families leaving the Baltic States. Currently, 6914 Russian officers are supposed to leave Estonia, 17,899 to leave Latvia, and 9408 to leave Lithuania. Several Western countries have offered financial aid to Russia to construct such housing, once a troop withdrawal accord is hammered out, BNS reported on 29 October. Russia's draft 1993 budget allocates 5 billion rubles for troop withdrawals from the Baltic States, Interfax reported on 29 October. Diena reported on 28 October that a company in the Latvian town of Aluksne has started to construct a village in Russia to accommodate returning Russian troops. (Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.) WHERE ARE PROZOR'S MUSLIMS? The Daily Telegraph reported from Prozor in central Bosnia on 29 October on the aftermath of the fighting between Croats and Muslims that began 10 days before. The paper said that many Muslims, especially the men, had simply disappeared, while columns of women, children, and the elderly still make their way through neighboring wooded hills in search of caves for protection. The British daily added that the Muslims are "in a frozen exile with no shelter, little food, and seemingly no one to relieve their plight." Prozor now has no Muslims following what Muslim refugees said was an attempt to consolidate the Croats' position in anticipation of a partition of the republic with the Serbs. The Croats first claimed that "Islamic extremists" had provoked the fighting, but Zagreb's Vecernji list of 28 October placed the blame on alleged pro-Serb elements among the Muslim military. (Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.) SERBS TAKE STRATEGIC BOSNIAN TOWN. International media said on 29 October that Serbian forces took Jajce in west-central Bosnia on the Banja Luka-Sarajevo road after a siege lasting weeks. The Serbs will now be able better to link up other areas they have taken. Jajce was one of the few major towns still controlled by Croat-Muslim forces, and is of symbolic importance as the place where Tito launched his program of Yugoslav federalism in November 1943. Meanwhile, Western agencies quoted Croatian President Franjo Tudjman as urging Bosnian leaders to let their republic be divided along ethnic lines. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, for his part, continued his aid-seeking tour of Islamic countries, stopping in Iran. He urged the Muslim world to be more generous and assertive in helping his embattled republic. Finally, the 30 October Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes a German-based human rights group investigating cases of genocide as saying that 500 people die daily of hunger or malnutrition in Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.) VANCE, OWEN, PANIC IN KOSOVO. International mediators Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, accompanied by Milan Panic, Prime Minister of the rump Yugoslavia, traveled to Kosovo in an attempt to avert conflict in the ethnically-divided area. Some progress was reported in new talks, mediated by Vance and Owen, between Panic and Ibrahim Rugova, the Kosovo Albanian leader and self-styled president. Panic agreed to reopen primary schools using the Albanian-language on 2 November, with secondary schools reopening the following day. Rugova described the talks as the "start of negotiations over Kosovo." Rugova refused, however, to meet with local Serb leader Milos Simovic. (Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc.) RUMP YUGOSLAVIA AND MACEDONIA AGREE ON MUTUAL RECOGNITION. Radio Serbia reports on 29 October that Panic and Macedonian leaders agreed in Skopje that the two governments should decide on mutual recognition as soon as possible. Both sides stated that they have no territorial claims against each other and pledged closer economic relations. They also agreed that the Serbian minority in Macedonia and Macedonians in Serbia-Montenegro will have the same human and ethnic rights as all other citizens. Vance and Owen also attended the meeting. They later flew to Tirana for talks with Albanian President Sali Berisha on Kosovo's future and other regional issues. (Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc.) CZECHOSLOVAK-HUNGARIAN AGREEMENT ON GABCIKOVO. Czechoslovak and Hungarian media reported on 29 October on the terms of the agreement designed to resolve the dispute over the Gabcikovo hydroelectric dam project. The agreement was reached during the London summit of the "Visegrad Triangle." Czechoslovakia pledged to stop diverting the Danube as of 31 October, provided this step was recommended by a tripartite commission formed of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the European Commission. Work would halt until at least 15 November while the commission prepares a report. MTI reports that an urgent inspection was to take place at Gabcikovo on 29 October. Hungarian Secretary of State Janos Martonyi told an RFE/RL correspondent that Czechoslovakia and Hungary had agreed "on accepting to submit the case with all its aspects to binding international arbitration or to the International Court of Justice." (Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.) MECIAR ATTACKS HUNGARY, HUNGARY PROTESTS. Speaking at a press conference in Prague on 29 October after his return from the London summit, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar sharply criticized the current Hungarian political scene where, he said, "one can hear nationalist, anti-Semitic, and even fascist slogans." He said that not only Slovakia but also other neighbors of Hungary are alarmed by this state of affairs. Meciar also claimed that "more and more often calls for the revision of the Treaty of Trianon are coming from Budapest." Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus distanced himself from Meciar's statements. Hungarian Secretary of State Janos Martonyi, speaking in Budapest, described Meciar's statements as "interference in Hungary's domestic affairs," CSTK reported. Former Slovak Prime Minister Jan Carnogursky, said at a press conference in Bratislava that the current Hungarian government of Jozsef Antall is "threatened by nationalist forces" and that the attitude of West European politicians toward the Gabcikovo dam project is influenced by efforts to maintain stability in Hungary. Carnogursky said that the Gabcikovo dam project must be completed. (Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.) CZECHS AND SLOVAKS SIGN ACCORDS ON FUTURE COOPERATION. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar signed 16 agreements on 29 October defining mutual relations between the Czech Republic and Slovakia after Czechoslovakia splits on 1 January 1993. CSTK reported that the signing ceremony took place at the Prague airport after the two prime ministers returned from the London summit of the Visegrad Triangle leaders. The agreements include those on creating a customs union and on retaining a common currency after 1 January 1993. The agreements will now be sent to the Czech and Slovak republican parliaments for ratification. (Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.) UDF RENOMINATES DIMITROV, ATTACKS ZHELEV. On 30 October, one day after the Prime Minister's resignation, the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) again nominated its chairman Filip Dimitrov to head the government. Reporting from an emergency meeting of the UDF leadership, Reuter said Dimitrov was asked to make a new attempt to form a government and to reappoint some of his former ministers. UDF leaders sharply attacked President Zhelyu Zhelev, a co-founder of the coalition, blaming him for helping to bring down the cabinet. UDF spokesman Mihail Nedelchev said Zhelev no longer represented the UDF. In a statement, Zhelev responded that he remained true to the main objectives and the political platform of the coalition. (Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.) ROMANIA'S HDFR PROTESTS AGAINST FOREIGN MINISTRY INSTRUCTION... The Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (HDFR) expressed "consternation" at a recent instruction issued by the foreign affairs ministry. In a communique released to Rompres on 29 October, the HDFR says the instruction, which had been sent to prefectures, violates the principle of local autonomy and displays "centralizing, totalitarian" features suggesting the danger of a communist "restoration." The instruction says that any contacts between local government structures and foreign officials must be approved by the ministry in advance. It was issued after Hungarian officials made visits to Transylvania that had not been coordinated with the Romanian foreign affairs ministry. The HDFR says the instruction is unconstitutional and infringes on the rights of ethnic Hungarians. (Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.) ...BUT MINISTRY REJECTS PROTEST. In a declaration issued on 29 October and broadcast by Radio Bucharest, the Romanian foreign ministry rejected the HDFR protest. The ministry claimed its instruction was in line with the law on local autonomy. It charged that the use of the term "Transylvania" by Hungarian officials was aimed at creating the false impression that Transylvania is a separate administrative unit in Romania. Abuse of the term by the Hungarian authorities, the ministry says, constitutes an attempt to "separate Transylvania from the rest of Romania." (Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.). ROMANIA'S ETHNIC HUNGARIANS ON "COMMUNITY AUTONOMY." At a press conference covered by Radio Bucharest on 29 October, HDFR leaders admitted that the "community autonomy" proposed in their declaration of 25 October lacked precise definition but said this was an "offer" which must now be discussed in detail with the Romanian ethnic majority. HDFR president Geza Domokos said the HDFR believes that the notion does not violate the Romanian constitution, despite the claims of those who have attacked the declaration. HDFR honorary president Bishop Laszlo Toekes said the HDFR must never forget that its political goals will never be achieved without support from the ethnic Romanian majority. Radio Bucharest said the HDFR representatives emphasized that self-administration does not mean secession and that secession was "impossible in any case." (Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.). YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SENDS HUNGARY 1956 DOCUMENTS. Yugoslav Federal Republic President Dobrica Cosic sent Hungarian president Arpad Goncz copies of original documents on the 1956 revolution, MTI reported on 29 October. The previously unknown documents include a letter from then Prime Minister Janos Kadar to Edward Kardelj, the deputy president of the executive council of the Yugoslav Federal People's Republic. Kadar writes that "the Hungarian government...repeats in writing what it had declared orally on numerous occasions: that it does not wish to take reprisals against Imre Nagy and his group for their past activities." The rest of the documents deal with the situation of Hungarian politicians and their family members at the Yugoslav embassy in Budapest. (Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.) TALKS OPEN ON POLISH "SOCIAL PACT." Talks between the government and the trade unions on the proposed "pact on state firms" began in Warsaw on 29 October. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka opened both the morning session with Solidarity and the afternoon talks with the former official OPZZ federation and twelve other unions. Suchocka urged both groups to mediate between the public and the government and help persuade workers to accept the pact. Solidarity '80 refused to take part, and two postcommunist miners' unions walked out in protest during the first session. Spokesmen for the remaining unions stressed their commitment to a negotiated settlement but complained that the government's stance on economic questions was too rigid. (Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.) LAST SESSION OF CURRENT LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT. On 29 October the Lithuanian Supreme Council held what was probably its last session, as it ceases to exist when at least two-thirds of the new Seimas (94 deputies) is elected, Radio Lithuania reports. This will happen after the second round of the elections, which have been postponed from 8 November to 15 November. During the session, the Civil Code was amended to increase the maximum fine that courts can impose for insulting the honor and dignity of individuals in the mass media from 30,000 coupons to more than 500,000 coupons. Another law declared that important Lithuanian archives are the state's property regardless of where they are and cannot be destroyed or removed from Lithuania. Control over the archives was delegated to the newly established Population Genocide Investigation Center. (Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.) NEARLY 30,000 LEAVE ESTONIA. Almost 30,000 people emigrated from Estonia during the first nine months of this year. According to ETA, citing the Estonian Board of Statistics, the number of emigrants this year is triple that for the same period last year. Most of those who left--over 28,000--headed for the former Soviet Union, and the overwhelming majority emigrated from Tallinn, Kohtla-Jarve, and Narva. (Riina Kionka, RFE/RL, Inc.) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosiba & Louisa Vinton
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