He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom. - J.R. Tolkien
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 213, 04 November 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

RUSSIAN FORCES FIRE AT GEORGIAN POSITIONS. The Russian Defense
Ministry announced on 3 November that Russian artillery and aircraft
had on the previous day attacked Georgian forces deployed in
Abkhazia. According to an Ostankino TV report, the attack came
in response to continued shelling by the Georgian forces of Russian
positions. Moscow said that those Georgian forces responsible
for the shelling had been neutralized, but that the Georgian
attacks had been resumed on 3 November (presumably by other Georgian
units). The Russian Defense Ministry said that its forces continue
to respond with artillery and air attacks. (Stephen Foye, RFE/RL,
Inc.)

GEORGIAN-RUSSIAN CONFRONTATION CONTINUES OVER AMMUNITION DUMP.
Interfax and Reuters reported on 3 November that arms and ammunition
seized by Georgian government troops from a Russian ammunition
dump on 2 November have not yet been returned, and Russian Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev stated that "If talks fail to bring positive
results I have no choice but to take a decision to unblock the
dump using troops--aviation, tanks, artillery and infantry."
Georgian Defense Minister Tengiz Kitovani said on local TV that
the dump had been seized on his personal orders and he accused
Russian troops of selling arms and ammunition from the dump.
In contrast to a statement by Eduard Shevardnadze that the Georgian
military was "playing with fire" by seizing the dump, Kitovani
said that "all this belongs to Georgia and we will not allow
all this out of the Republic [of Georgia]." Georgian officials
have repeatedly accused the Russian troops stationed in Georgia
of supplying arms to the fighters in Abkhazia. (Bess Brown and
Hal Kosiba, RFE/RL, Inc.)

ABKHAZ FIGHTING GEORGIANS IN SUKHUMI. On 3 November Abkhaz forces
were reported to be battling Georgian troops in the suburbs of
Sukhumi, according to Interfax. The agency's correspondent was
told that the Georgians were holding off the Abkhaz attacks,
though an unconfirmed report said that the Abkhaz were already
fighting inside the city. Georgia's State Minister for Abkhazia
Georgii Haindrava was quoted by Interfax as warning the Abkhaz
that if "atrocities" similar to the 1 November shelling of Sukhumi
reoccur, the Georgian side will reciprocate. On 1 November an
Abkhaz shell hit a Sukhumi bus station, killing three and wounding
sixteen. (Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.)

YELTSIN STATEMENT ON NORTH OSSETIA AND INGUSHETIA. In a statement
to the country, issued by ITAR-TASS and broadcast on 3 November,
President Yeltsin said that his decree declaring a state of emergency
in North Ossetia and Ingushetia had been adopted because thousands
of lives were threatened. He categorically rejected the idea
that what had occurred was a clash between the Ingush and Ossetian
peoples, maintaining that the conflict had been provoked by militant
nationalists, who started it not to find a just solution to a
complex territorial problem inherited from Stalin's time, but
to drag the people into a fratricidal struggle that would engulf
the whole of southern Russia. (Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.)

DUDAEV, SOUTH OSSETIA REACT. Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev
told reporters in Groznyi on 3 November that Ingush, Ossetian,
and Russian forces must be pulled back from the conflict zone
in North Ossetia, ITAR-TASS reported. He suggested that armed
formations of the Confederation of Caucasian Peoples or even
Cossacks could act as a buffer between the warring sides. In
the meantime there are plans for a partial mobilization of Chechen
forces to ensure that Chechnya can defend itself. An extraordinary
session of the presidium of the South Ossetian Supreme Soviet
on 3 November condemned the actions of Ingush extremists and
warned that if Ingush armed formations were not immediately withdrawn
from North Ossetian territory "the people of South Ossetia would
...take the necessary measures to repel the aggressors." (Ann
Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.)

YELTSIN AND CENTRIST LEADERS ANNOUNCE COMPROMISE. On 3 November,
President Yeltsin held talks with leaders of the Civic Union
to discuss the situation in Russia as the 1-December starting
date for the Congress of People's Deputies approaches. Vice President
Rutskoi, who is also member of the Union, attended the meeting.
The Union largely consists of managers of big state-owned enterprises,
and it demands changes in Russia's economic reform policy. The
Russian media quoted Yeltsin as stating after the meeting that
the Union's position on economic reforms is now close to his
own. Yeltsin told reporters that the Union appears ready for
cooperation with the president on the eve of the Congress, at
which heated debates between the president and the Communist
and Russian nationalist opposition are expected. Ostankino TV
quoted the leaders of the Civic Union as also saying that a "complete
agreement" on the course of reforms was reached at the meeting.
(Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.)

CIVIC UNION DEMANDS CHANGES IN RUSSIAN CABINET. At the same meeting,
the leaders of the Civic Union repeated their demand for changes
in the Russian cabinet of ministers, Western and Russian media
reported on 3 November. After some discussion, President Yeltsin
and the leaders reportedly agreed that acting Prime Minister
Egor Gaidar should retain his position. The Union demanded, however,
that many other top officials leave. According to Interfax, they
are Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, Privatization Minister Anatolii
Chubais, Information Minister Mikhail Poltoranin, Deputy Prime
Minister Aleksandr Shokhin, International Economic Relations
Minister Petr Aven and Minister of Economics Andrei Nechaev.
The leaders of the Union also recommended the elimination of
the "unconstitutional" position of Russian state secretary, held
by Gennadii Burbulis, the agency reported. (Vera Tolz, RFE/RL,
Inc.)

CIVIC UNION ON ITS STRATEGY, YELTSIN, GAIDAR. Aleksandr Vladislavlev,
one of the leaders of the Civic Union, told Komsomolskaya pravda
on 3 November that although previously Gaidar had rejected any
compromise, he now is prepared to alter his reform course along
the lines proposed by the Civic Union. He stated that one of
the major tasks of the Civic Union was to split the national-patriotic
movement and to gain the support of more moderate, reform-minded
members of such groups for a centrist policy. He argued against
the introduction of presidential rule and moves to suspend the
parliament. Russian TV reported on 3 November that Yeltsin agreed
to participate in the congress of the Civic Union scheduled for
mid November. (Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.)

RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC RELATIONS. Ukrainian Deputy Prime
Minister Viktor Pynzenyk announced on 3 November that Russia
and Ukraine have concluded an agreement on settling debts, Reuters
reported. The deal involved a credit of 227 billion rubles to
Ukraine to pay for Russian oil, gas, and other key products through
the end of 1992. It should preclude any shortfall in supplies
of Russian oil at Ukrainian refineries. Talks are continuing
on the sharing out of the convertible currency debt of the former
Soviet Union. (Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.)

THE RETURN OF ADMINISTERED PRICES? Both chambers of the Russian
parliament on 3-November adopted on first reading a draft law
"On the Principles of Price Formation," ITAR-TASS and Interfax
reported. The draft provides for the establishment of a federal
price committee that would be fully empowered to conduct a flexible
price policy. A member of the parliamentary reform coalition
told Interfax that the draft legislation clearly contradicted
market principles since it represented the virtual revitalization
of Goskomtsen (the State Prices Committee). He stressed that
the law was "totally unacceptable," since it stipulated the "rigid
regulation of pricing at all levels of municipal and federal
power." (Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.)

RUSSIAN INTERENTERPRISE DEBT ON THE RISE AGAIN? Central Bank
Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko said in an interview on Russian
TV on 2 November that, according to bank estimates, the sum of
interenterprise debt may total a trillion rubles by the end of
the year. The figure seems to contradict the previously reported
reduction of such debt from over three trillion rubles in July
to around 600 billion by the end of September achieved through
a process of mutual debt cancellation sponsored by the bank.
Gerashchenko did not provide a clear cause for the persistence
of the problem, but hinted that it was the government's fault
for not adequately recapitalizing financially troubled enterprises
over the course of the attempted debt resolution. (Erik Whitlock,
RFE/RL, Inc.)

COMMANDER PLAYS DOWN IRANIAN ACQUISITION OF SUBS. Captain Mikhail
Abramov, commander of a Russian anti-submarine destroyer in the
Persian Gulf, told reporters on 3-November that the acquisition
by Iran of 3 Russian kilo-class submarines had not changed the
military balance in the region and was not a source of concern
to the Russian military leadership. (On 8 October Interfax had
reported that at least some high ranking Russian defense officials
had opposed the sale because they felt it did not serve Russia's
national interests). Abramov's vessel, the Admiral Vinogradov,
was in the Gulf participating in naval exercises with US, British,
and French vessels as part of a UN effort to enforce sanctions
against Iraq. (Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.)

MIRZAYANOV RELEASED FROM PRISON BUT STILL FACES TRIAL. Vil Mirzayanov,
the Russian scientist arrested on 22 October for disclosing secret
information concerning Russia's chemical weapons program, was
released from prison on 2 November, but the charges against him
apparently have not been dropped. Mirzayanov wasted little time
before again blasting the authorities. He told Reuters that the
$25 million promised by the United States to help Russia destroy
its chemical stocks would probably be used by Russia for further
illegal research in chemical warfare. Mirzayanov said he was
confident he would be found innocent, claiming that he had not
revealed "any serious state secrets." (Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.)


NEW UKRAINIAN CABINET OF MINISTERS MEETS. Radio Ukraine reported
on 2 November that the newly-formed cabinet of ministers met
to discuss priority tasks. The government adopted a decision
to prepare within ten days documents for the parliament concerning
increasing minimum wages and pensions. It also focused its attention
on the agricultural sector, instructing the appropriate ministers
to deal with the problem of securing fuel in order to complete
the harvest. Every minister was instructed to present proposals
on economic reforms in his area of responsibility. (Roman Solchanyk,
RFE/RL, Inc.)

RUSSIAN NAVY WANTS TO USE UKRAINIAN SHIPYARDS. The Russian government
collegium which met on 3 November was reported to have discussed
an agreement with Ukraine on "Cooperation on the Construction
and Repair of Vessels and Naval Equipment for the Russian Navy."
ITAR-TASS quoted Admiral Feliks Gromov, the commander in chief
of the Russian Navy, as saying that agreement had to be reached
"very soon" on the proposal, which had been discussed in the
context of the bilateral negotiations over the Black Sea Fleet.
Six major shipyards which once supported the Soviet Navy are
in Ukraine, including the only one in the former Soviet Union
capable of building aircraft carriers. (Doug Clarke, RFE/RL,
Inc.)

KOZLOVSKY ON BELARUSIAN MILITARY REFORM. Belarusian Defense Minister
Pavel Kozlovsky said in an interview published by Krasnaya zvezda
on 3 November that while the Belarusian conscript army would
remain multi-national, the proportion of ethnic Belarusians was
gradually increasing within the officer corps. He said that by
the middle of next year it was expected that approximately one-half
of all the officers would be Belarusian. He also revealed that
some 10,000 Belarusian officers currently serving outside the
republic had filed requests to transfer to Belarus, but that
Minsk was pursuing a policy of repatriating these officers gradually,
over a period of six to seven years. Kozlovsky's comments were
summarized by ITAR-TASS. (Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT ON DRAFT TATAR CONSTITUTION. The Russian parliament's
Council of the Republic adopted a resolution on 2 November drawing
attention to the fact that the draft Tatarstan constitution contains
several articles enshrining the separation of Tatarstan from
the Russian Federation, ITAR-TASS reported. The resolution urged
the Tatarstan parliament to postpone adoption of the constitution
until after Tatarstan had signed a treaty with Russia and to
amend the draft to show that Tatarstan is part of the Russian
Federation. (Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.)

DUSHANBE UNDER RUSSIAN GUARD. Tajik General Mukhriddin Ashurov,
commander of the Russian motorized division stationed in Tajikistan,
told ITAR-TASS on 3 November that his troops had assumed responsibility
for maintaining the curfew in Dushanbe, in addition to guarding
key buildings and manning roadblocks on all approaches to the
city. Ashurov said he had given orders that the troops were to
use force against any group attempting to enter the capital.
A Western agency reported the same day that some 70,000 residents
of Dushanbe have fled to Badakhshan, the southeastern region
that has stayed out of the fighting between pro- and anti-government
factions. A meeting between Central Asian leaders and Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev that was to have been held on
3 November to discuss the Tajik situation was rescheduled to
the following day. (Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.)

LEBED WANTS STRONGER "DNIESTER" STANCE. The commander of Russia's
14th Army in Moldova, Maj. General Aleksandr Lebed, addressed
on 31 October in Tiraspol the conference of the Joint Council
of Work Collectives (OSTK), the Russian communist organization
which forms the single strongest political force in the "Dniester
republic", Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 3 November. Lebed
denounced as "servile" the "Dniester" leadership's recent proposals
to Chisinau concerning the delimitation of powers between them
(which called for turning Moldova into a confederation, i.e.
short of full and formal secession of the "Dniester republic").
Lebed further charged that the "Dniester" leadership was becoming
bureaucratized while allowing its "republican guard" (its main
military force) to "die a slow death." Lebed also urged OSTK
to become a political party. (Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.)

Central and Eastern Europe

PANIC BARELY SURVIVES NO CONFIDENCE VOTE. Milan Panic, the Prime
Minister of the rump Yugoslavia, has narrowly survived a second
vote of no confidence. On 3 November, the Chamber of Republics,
the upper house of the Federal Assembly, rejected a censure motion
against Panic introduced by the ultranationalist Radical Party,
which is close to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's ruling
Socialists, one day after the Chamber of Citizens (lower house)
adopted the no confidence motion by a vote of 93 to 24. The legislative
action is widely regarded as part of a power struggle between
the moderate Panic and Serbia's hardline president, Milosevic.
The vote in the upper house fell four votes shorts of the 21
needed to carry the upper chamber, which is made up of 20 representatives
from Serbia and 20 from Montenegro. The vote was 17 in favor
of the censure motion and 18 against. Two deputies abstained,
two were absent and there was one blank ballot. As in early September,
Montenegrin delegates in the upper house backed Panic. Radio
Serbia and international media carried the report. (Milan Andrejevich,
RFE/RL, Inc.)

REACTIONS. Shortly before the vote, leaders of Montenegro's ruling
Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) vowed to back Panic, who also
received the support of federal President Dobrica Cosic and most
opposition parties in Serbia. Radio Serbia reported that supporters
saw Panic as Serbia-Montenegro's best hope for ending U.N. sanctions
against the federation. Svetozar Marovic, general secretary of
the DSP, said: "We don't see any reason to censure Panic." Milan
Gajovic, leader of the DSP deputies, added that his 20-member
group in the upper house would oppose Panic's ouster, saying
his departure would be a "catastrophe." Panic has angered Serbian
nationalists by his efforts to end the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
as well as his pledge to restore some autonomy to Kosovo, a region
with a 90% Albanian population. The latest move comes ahead of
general and presidential elections slated to begin 20 December.
(Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc.)

BOSNIA ROUNDUP. Peace talks over the constitutional order of
Bosnia and Herzegovina are to resume in Geneva on 4 November.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will attend despite earlier
reports that he would pull out of the negotiations. Bosnian Serbs
have rejected a UN-EC draft plan to set up autonomous regions
chiefly on geographic and economic criteria and not on an ethnic
basis. Karadzic has proposed dividing Bosnia into ethnic units,
with the Serbs receiving the two-thirds of Bosnia's territory
which they have taken in more than seven months of fighting.
Radio Croatia reported on 3 November that Croatia's President
Franjo Tudjman rejected UN appeals to accept some 4,000 thousand
Bosnians who have fled the Bosnian town of Jajce. Tudjman explained
his republic was already overburdened with 700,000 refugees and
that outlays for refugees was already the second largest single
item in the Croatian state budget. The Jajce refugees have been
turned back by Croatia's border guards. Finally, EC mediator
Lord Owen hinted on 3 November that it might be necessary to
impose international sanctions against Croatia because of the
"apparent ethnic cleansing by Croatian forces" perpetrated against
Bosnian Muslims and Serbs. Owen made the comment on London's
Channel Four TV news. (Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc.)

SLOVAK EX-COMMUNISTS WILLING TO JOIN MECIAR'S GOVERNMENT. Petr
Weiss, the Chairman of the Party of the Democratic Left (PDL--the
former Slovak Communist Party), offered to form a coalition with
the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (MDS) of Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar, Radio Bratislava reported on 3 November.
Weiss claimed that the MDS had not "sufficient numbers of cadres
to run Slovakia singlehandedly," and called on its leaders to
admit their errors and alter somewhat their program of government.
At the same time, Weiss criticized the Slovak government for
allegedly damaging Slovakia's image by some "unprofessional and
undiplomatic moves." The PDL is the second strongest party in
the Slovak parliament. (Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.)

CHARTER 77 CEASES TO EXIST. One of the best-known and most efficient
democratic opposition groups in the former Communist Bloc, Charter
77, formally ceased its activities on 3 November. CSTK reported
that many sympathizers of the group (it had no formal members)
gathered in Prague and released a statement saying that the movement
had played a pivotal role in opposing oppression under communism
but that it "was no longer applicable in present day conditions."
Although Charter 77 had tried to continue its activities after
the toppling of the communist regime, public interest in the
movement began to fade and funds became short after George Soros,
who had provided considerable sums of money in the past, halted
his financial support. Former Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel,
and a number of other high-ranking post-communist officials were
among the signatories of Charter 77 that had been established
in 1977 by Czech and Slovak dissidents. (Jan Obrman, RFE/RL,
Inc.)

DRAFT LEGISLATION ON PUNISHMENT OF 1956 CRIMES. Hungarian Justice
Minister Istvan Balsai has reviewed a draft law to punish those
who had committed crimes during the 1956 revolution, MTI and
Radio Budapest reported on 3 November. Investigations would be
initiated by the Budapest Prosecutor's Office ex officio. The
draft would classify crimes committed in 1956 as war crimes and
crimes against humanity which would mean that they were not subject
to the statute of limitations. (Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.)


POSSIBLE NEW APPOINTMENTS AT HUNGARIAN RADIO AND TELEVISION.
After months of unsuccessful negotiations on the future of the
Hungarian media between representatives of the six parliamentary
parties, the government has now come up with a new proposal aimed
at overcoming the continuing impasse. The current heads of Hungary's
state owned radio and television would be dismissed on 9 November
and deputies would temporarily run radio and television as acting
chiefs. The present deputy chief of Hungarian Radio, Laszlo Csucs,
would remain in his post while film producer Sandor Sara would
be appointed to run television. No names of prospective candidates
for chairmen were mentioned. The dismissals must be approved
by President Arpad Goncz, who already on a previous occasion
refused to sign. (Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.)

FORMER BULGARIAN MINISTERS SENTENCED TO PRISON. Former Bulgarian
Premier Georgi Atanasov and former Minister of Economics and
Planning Stoyan Ovcharov were sentenced on 3 November to ten
and nine years imprisonment, respectively, Bulgarian and Western
agencies reported. Charged with gross embezzlement while serving
in communist governments between 1986 and 1990, Atanasov and
Ovcharov consistently claimed they were innocent and that the
trial was politically motivated. Although they admitted having
granted 210,000 leva (then $100,000) to orphans of communist
partisans killed in World War II, the ex-ministers rejected all
accusations concerning misappropriation of state funds. When
the money was allocated in the late 1980s, the orphans were all
above 40 years old. (Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.)

ILIESCU RECEIVES DIPLOMATS. On 3 November Romania's re-elected
President Ion Iliescu received heads of diplomatic missions in
Bucharest. The reception was attended by outgoing Prime Minister
Theodor Stolojan, Senate president Oliviu Gherman, Chamber of
Deputies' president Adrian Nastase, and leaders of parties represented
in the Parliament. In his address, broadcast by Radio Bucharest,
Iliescu called for better relations with all countries with which
Romania has diplomatic ties, and especially with other European
states. Iliescu seized the opportunity to defend his government's
program that had been read in the Parliament on 30-September.
He also pledged to support democracy and market economy in Romania.
(Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.)

ESTONIA TO REVIEW CITIZENSHIP BILLS. The Estonian government
plans to review the citizenship law with an eye to liberalizing
that bill, BNS reports on 3 November. The government is reportedly
to introduce a bill in parliament that will define more exactly
the language skills required of would-be citizens in order to
eliminate potential subjectivity in assessing the skills. The
government-sponsored bill would also establish the conditions
of state assistance for those learning Estonian. (Riina Kionka,
RFE/RL, Inc.)

LATVIAN, ESTONIAN UNEMPLOYMENT UP. The number of jobless in Latvia
continues to rise, BNS reported on 3 November. By the beginning
of this month, some 6,300 people were unemployed in Riga alone.
Meanwhile, Estonia reported that some 8,500 people officially
registered as unemployed. (Riina Kionka, RFE/RL, Inc.)

IMF READY TO COMPROMISE ON POLAND'S DEFICIT. Michel Deppler,
the deputy director of the IMF's European department and chief
of its negotiating mission to Poland, said on 3-November that
the chances for economic growth were as important as the size
of the budget deficit in negotiations with the Polish government
on a new agreement with the IMF. According to Gazeta Wyborcza
of 4 November, Deppler added that the deficit is not as big an
impediment to an agreement as is generally thought. Poland's
1992 deficit is expected to reach 8% of GDP, well over the 5%
target set at the beginning of the year. The IMF's biggest worry,
Deppler indicated, was inflation, now running at monthly rates
exceeding last year's levels. The IMF wants assurance that rising
prices are the consequence of the summer's drought rather than
wage increases. Deppler met in Warsaw on 3 November with Finance
Minister Jerzy Osiatynski.He told reporters that much detailed
work still remained but that an agreement could be reached by
the end of his visit, which is to last ten days. (Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.)

FINANCIAL TIMES TO COOPERATE WITH BULGARIAN BUSINESS WEEKLY.
On 3-November the British Financial Times signed an agreement
on exclusive publishing rights for Bulgaria with the Balgarski
Biznes weekly, BTA reported. Morris Gent, Deputy Director of
the Financial Times Syndicate, said the reasons for selecting
Balgarski Biznes as partner were the publication's "objectivity,
seriousness and pragmatism." (Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.)


CHURKIN TO BALTS: DISREGARD YELTSIN'S DECREE. Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Vitaly Churkin has advised Estonia to disregard
the order issued by President Boris Yeltsin last week to halt
the withdrawal of troops from the Baltic states. Churkin, who
concluded his two-day visit to Tallinn with a press conference,
made three points: first, that Yeltsin's decree did not change
in principle the process of troop withdrawals; second, that the
decree was part of a working document meant only for internal
use and not intended for wider dissemination; and third, that
Russia would not link troop withdrawals to alleged "human rights
abuses." When asked whether Russia had found evidence of such
abuses, Churkin said he trusted the Estonian government's ability
to guarantee human rights. He declined to comment when asked
why recent statements from the Foreign and Defense Ministries
and the President's office appeared to contradict one another.
The RFE/RL Estonian Service reported Churkin's remarks. (Riina
Kionka, RFE/RL, Inc.)

SMUGGLING RAMPANT AT RUSSIAN-ESTONIAN BORDER. Russian customs
officials at the Narva-Ivangorod frontier seized some 3.3 million
rubles worth of unlicensed goods bound for Estonia in October
alone. According to BNS of 3 November, most of the seized goods
were metals, food, medicines and alcohol. This year, customs
officials have stopped some 414 tons of mostly non-ferrous metals
at the border. Estonia is currently the world's sixth largest
exporter of non-ferrous metals. (Riina Kionka, RFE/RL, Inc.)


NATO OFFICIAL IN LITHUANIA ON PREPARATION OF SEMINAR. On 2 November
Erika Bruce, the director of the NATO press and information department,
visited Vilnius to make preparations for a seminar on "The Baltic
Region in the New Europe" to be held on 26-28 November in Vilnius
and gave a lecture at the Lithuanian National Defense Ministry.
On 3-November she held talks with its deputy minister Sarunas
Vasiliauskas who told the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service that she
had expressed interest in the recent Seimas elections and noted
that the agreements with the IMF on Lithuania's economic policies
could not be changed. (Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.)

RUSSIAN ARMY COLUMN HALTED AT LATVIAN BORDER. On 2 November a
Russian column of 21 trucks and a bus heading for Riga were turned
back at the Latvian-Lithuanian border because they did not have
the necessary documentation for entering Latvia, BNS reported
on 3 November. The Russians referred to an "agreement" with the
Latvian Defense Ministry, but its officials denied any knowledge
of such an "agreement." (Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.)

BORIS YELSIN TO VISIT HUNGARY. According to Foreign Ministry
Spokesman Janos Herman, Russian President Boris Yeltsin will
pay an official visit in Hungary on 10 November. Yeltsin is expected
to sign several important documents during his Budapest visit:
a declaration that guarantees the protection of minority rights,
an agreement on the exchange of documents about the 1956 revolution,
an agreement on the return of art, and an intergovernmental agreement
on cultural and educational cooperation. Another document that
should settle the disputed issues involving the cost of Soviet
troop withdrawal will also be signed. The report was carried
by MTI on 3 November. (Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.)

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Hal Kosiba & Anna Swidlicka








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