We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 2, 05 January 1993







RUSSIA



YELTSIN AND CLINTON DISCUSS START-2. Russian President Boris
Yeltsin called U.S. President-elect Bill Clinton on 4 January,
and the START-2 treaty signed the previous day apparently was
the main subject of their 20 minute discussion. Interfax reported
that Clinton spoke highly of the treaty, describing it as an
historic event of the 20th century. UPI quoted Clinton spokesman
George Stephanopoulos as saying that Clinton pledged to work
for the early ratification of the new treaty and agreed with
Yeltsin that their representatives should soon begin discussions
on ways to further the cause of nuclear arms reduction. -Doug
Clarke

KOZYREV COMPARES START-2 TALKS TO CHESS MATCH. Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev said that Russian and American experts
negotiating the START-2 treaty required "psychological restructuring"
to get rid of some old stereotypes. As quoted by Interfax, he
likened them to chess players. "For the experts, the knight suddenly
began to move as the bishop does," he said. He pointed to the
"unprecedented" American agreement to allow Russia to keep some
of their SS-18 missiles silos. He explained that "for the Americans
everything connected with the SS-18 missiles symbolized the Soviet
military threat. That was fear bordering on schizophrenia." -Doug
Clarke

DOUBTS IN RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT ABOUT START-2. Yevgenii Kozhokin,
chairman of the subcommittee on international security and intelligence
in the Russian parliament, told an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow
on 4 January that START-2 had been signed without considering
all the financial, economic, ecological and technical complications
that could result from the treaty's implementation. Kozhokin
predicted that parliamentary ratification would be difficult.
-Hal Kosiba

RUSSIAN-UNITED ARAB EMIRATES SECURITY AGREEMENT SIGNED. After
signing a security agreement with high-level United Arab Emirates
(UAE) officials, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev cut short
his visit to the UAE on 4 January because of the death of his
father, but the Russian military delegation he headed is continuing
its mission. According to ITAR-TASS on 4 January, before he left,
Grachev said that Russia intended to contribute to ensuring peace
and stability in the region by supporting good neighborly and
friendly relations with all the countries there. According to
an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow on 4-January, Russia will deliver
air-defense systems, warplanes, and other military equipment
to the UAE as part of the agreement signed by Grachev during
his visit. The agreement also welcomes the presence of the Russian
Navy in the Persian Gulf, and it envisions regular consultations
between UAE and Russian officials on regional security issues.
Grachev told reporters that the Persian Gulf region was vital
to Russian interests, and that Russia would play a role "suitable
to a great power" there, according to ITAR- TASS on 4 January.
The delegation, now headed by Col. General Viktor Prudnikov,
the Commander-in-Chief of Russian Air Defense Forces, flies to
Kuwait on 5-January. Doug Clarke & Hal Kosiba

KHASBULATOV TOURS MIDDLE EAST. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov
is leading a high-level official delegation on a trip to Jordan,
Israel, and Egypt to promote Moscow's role in the Middle East.
ITAR-TASS on 3 January quoted Khasbulatov's press secretary Konstantin
Zlobin as saying that Russia should not let itself be overshadowed
in the Mideast peace talks by the United States. Khasbulatov
stated that his aim is to improve Russian-Arab parliamentary
ties. In Israel, he praised the signing of START II, calling
it a "breakthrough" which will not harm Russian interests. Alexander
Rahr

RUSSIAN MINI-CENSUS IN 1994. On 22 December, the Russian parliament
noted the deterioration of the demographic situation in the country,
ITAR-TASS reported. In this connection, the parliament adopted
a decision "On urgent measures for the study of the population
and demographic prospects of the Russian Federation." To obtain
an objective assessment of the demographic situation, a micro-census
will be held at the beginning of 1994; preparations for this
will begin in 1993. The next full all-Russian census will be
held in 1999. Keith Bush

TRANSCAUCASIA & CENTRAL ASIA



IRAN, AZERBAIJAN TO EXPAND TRADE TIES, COOPERATION. Azerbaijan
is set to become Iran's most important trading partners among
the successor states to the USSR, Azerbaijan Secretary of State
Panakh Guseinov told a news conference in Baku on 4 January following
his visit in late December to Teheran, where he signed a series
of bilateral trade, economic, scientific and cultural protocols.
Interfax quoted Guseinov as stating that Azerbaijani and Iranian
specialists will meet next week to discuss plans for the construction
of a railway through Iranian territory linking Azerbaijan with
Nakhichevan in order to circumvent the Armenian blockade. Iran
began supplying food and electricity to Nakhichevan last October.
Liz Fuller

CENTRAL ASIAN LEADERS DISCUSS REGIONAL COOPERATION. The presidents,
prime ministers and economic and cultural ministers of the five
Central Asian states met in Tashkent on 3 and 4 January to discuss
coordination of regional economic and financial policy, Russian
and Western news agencies reported. The participants agreed to
create a mechanism for ensuring that agreements between the states
are carried out, a goal that was proclaimed at similar summits
in 1992 but was never put into practice. At a press conference
after the summit, Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov spoke
in favor of the CIS and the ruble zone, but said that this did
not exclude the creation of a "Central Asian Common Market" with
unified customs, pricing and export policies. Bess Brown

PRACTICAL RESULTS OF TASHKENT SUMMIT. Among practical measures
to be taken as a result of decisions at the Tashkent Summit of
Central Asian leaders is the exchange of ambassadors by the Central
Asian states, Interfax reported on 4 January. As a step toward
establishing a common information region, the Tashkent TV and
Radio Center will be used as a base for transmissions to all
of Central Asia. Publication of a regional newspaper will be
started as well, also apparently in Tashkent. The Interfax report
did not indicate in what language the common information media
would function, nor was there any indication of how the great
variation in information policies in the Central Asian countries
would be handled: Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan exercise tight
state control, while Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan permit a wide
range of opinions to be aired. Bess Brown

KAZAKHSTAN IS ALSO PART OF CENTRAL ASIA. At the press conference
at the end of the Tashkent Summit on 4 January, the leaders of
the five Central Asian states asked that the term "Central Asia"
should be understood to apply to all five countries, Interfax
reported. They asked that the clumsy designation "republics of
Central Asia and Kazakhstan," a relic of the Soviet era, be dropped.
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev proposed that the
five states adopt as a common symbol a plane tree-an important
image in the folklore of the Central Asian peoples-with a single
root and five branches. -Bess Brown

SHEVARDNADZE CALLS FOR UN PEACEKEEPERS FOR ABKHAZIA. In an appeal
to UN Secretary- General Boutros Boutros-Ghali made public on
4 January and summarized by ITAR-TASS, Georgian parliament chairman
Eduard Shevardnadze calls for the immediate dispatch of UN peacekeeping
forces to Abkhazia. In an earlier appeal in mid-November, Shevardnadze
accused the UN Security Council of having failed to take any
concrete steps to end the fighting in Abkhazia following the
return of its fact-finding mission from the region in October.
Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



BOSNIA PEACE PROCESS IN RECESS. Radios Serbia and Croatia and
international media reported on 4 January that the UN-EC mediated
negotiations among the political and military leaders of Bosnian
Muslims, Serbs, and Croats and with the participation of the
rump Yugoslav and Croatian presidents recessed for Orthodox Christmas.
They are expected to resume next week. Conference cochairmen
Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen said that the three-day Geneva negotiations
were not in vain but that much more remains to be done. The talks
were suspended one day early after Serb leader Radovan Karadzic
and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic refused to sign UN-EC
proposals calling for an unconditional cease-fire, a new constitution,
and a map for the reorganization of the republic. Karadzic said
he needs time to consult with the parliament of the self-proclaimed
"Serb Republic in Bosnia" on details of the plan. Mediators said
that the major obstacle to a Bosnian peace agreement is the Serbs'
insistence on a separate Serb state within Bosnia- Herzegovina,
an idea the Muslim-dominated Bosnian government opposes. Izetbegovic
objects to some of the province boundaries on the map and said
his side is not ready to agree to a cease-fire until changes
are made. Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban signed the entire package
of proposals. -Milan Andrejevich

SERBIAN GENERAL SAYS MILITARY INTERVENTION WOULD ESCALATE WAR.
On 30 December Col. Gen. Zivota Panic, commander of the General
Staff of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, told reporters that if foreign
military intervention in the Balkans does take place, war would
very likely spread. He said the West ignores the fact that Serbs
and Montenegrins are prepared to defend "their fatherland" and
that they will not allow the Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia to become
victims "of genocide and extermination." Panic noted there is
no reason to use the federal army either in Serbia's predominantly
ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo or in the Muslim-populated
region of the Sandzak. He expressed his belief that armed conflicts
would not take place in these regions because "our people are
deeply aware of the possible consequences of armed interethnic
conflicts." Politika carried the report. -Milan Andrejevich

POLITICAL CRISIS IN SLOVENIA. One month after Slovenia's first
general elections since gaining independence in 1991, the main
political parties remain sharply divided on how to form a coalition
government. New elections as early as March might be called if
no agreement is reached within a week. Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek,
head of the Liberal Democrats, and former Prime Minister Lojze
Peterle, the Christian Democrat leader, are accusing each other
of power-grabbing and political back-stabbing. At issue are 15
cabinet posts in Drnovsek's new government. No party enjoys a
simple majority, and the three largest groups-the Liberal Democrats,
the Christian Democrats, and the Unity List (a coalition of left-wing
parties headed by the former communists)-are the most likely
coalition partners. President Milan Kucan has asked that negotiations
resume 7-January. -Milan Andrejevich

GREECE RESIGNED TO RECOGNITION OF MACEDONIA? HAVING FAILED TO
GAIN DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND THE
US, THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA HAS TURNED TO THE UN SEEKING ADMISSION.
According to an article published in the Greek newspaper, Kiriakatiki
Elevtherotipia, on 3 January, at least some Greek diplomats seem
to expect Macedonia's admission to that international body. They
fear the US will at best abstain when the issue comes to a vote
in the Security Council. -Duncan Perry

GREECE OPPOSES MILITARY INTERVENTION IN BOSNIA. AFP reports that
Greek Foreign Minister Virginia Tsouderou met with the Albanian,
Bulgarian, and Romanian ambassadors in Athens on 31 December.
The object was to create a consensus against outside military
intervention in the former Yugoslavia, including intervention
by Balkan countries. The move came as the US, France, and Great
Britain contemplate intervention in Bosnia to halt the war there.
-Duncan Perry

MECIAR "MISTRUSTS" HUNGARY. At a meeting with officials of the
new Slovak Ministry of Defense on 4-January, Slovak Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar outlined the "three major problems that have
caused concern in Slovakia." He said that the continuous discussion
in political circles in Hungary about the Trianon treaties, the
controversy over the hydroelectric plant at Gabcikovo, and Hungary's
acquisition of $800-million worth of military parts from Russia
are significant challenges to Slovakia. "No army needs such quantities,"
Meciar pointed out, but at the same time he said that he has
been assured by officials that Hungary will "under no circumstances
use military force against Slovakia." The prime minister also
said that Slovakia will soon have to decide whether it wants
to become neutral, join NATO, or become member of a potential
new Central European security structure. Meciar added that neutrality
could create more problems than it might solve. -Jan Obrman

CZECH, SLOVAK REPUBLICS APPLY FOR UN MEMBERSHIP. The two successor
states to Czechoslovakia formally applied for UN membership on
4 January, agencies report. A senior UN official confirmed that
the applications were sent to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
He also said that both republics are likely to be admitted by
acclamation by mid-January. The admission of the Czech Republic
and Slovakia will bring the number of UN members to 180. -Jan
Obrman

POLISH MINERS RETURN TO WORK. All but one of Poland's 65 coal
mines had returned to work by the morning of 5 January, PAP reports.
Striking miners heeded the Solidarity strike committee's recommendation
to suspend the strikes but maintain "strike readiness." The miners'
return to work signifies acceptance of the agreement reached
between the strike committee and the government on 31 December.
The agreement allows for limited wage hikes as soon as the government's
restructuring program takes effect, but the size of any raises
was made dependent on the financial condition of individual mines.
The government refused to fund wages from the state budget, but
pledged over two trillion zloty ($144 million) for mining investments.
An official ban on the export of coal imposed during the strike
was set to be lifted as soon as the strike ended. Welcoming the
strike's conclusion, a government spokesman on 4 January called
the agreement a "joint success": the miners had gained recognition
for some demands while the government had secured acceptance
for its plan to restructure Polish mining. -Louisa Vinton

INVESTIGATION OF HUNGARIAN TV PRESIDENT COMPLETED. MTI reports
that Justice Minister Istvan Balsai, the government-appointed
commissioner investigating charges brought against suspended
TV President Elemer Hankiss, completed his work on 31 December.
Balsai issued a report on 4 January stating that the government's
grounds for suspending Hankiss were justified because the state-owned
television used state funds to finance independent business ventures.
Hankiss, as head of the institution, had ultimate responsibility
for resource allocation. The report was sent to a government-appointed
council handling the matter. The council has eight days to decide
what action to take based on the undisclosed recommendation of
the Balsai report. -Judith Pataki

HUNGARIAN INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION DROPS AGAIN. MTI reported on
30 December that industrial production between January and October
last year dropped to 88.3% of the level for the same period of
the previous year. The worst month was January, when production
reached only 75.6% of the previous January's level. Sectors worst
hit were metallurgy and engineering, where output dropped 30%.
Least affected was the food industry. Exports in 1992 reached
a relatively satisfactory 97.2% of the previous year's level,
primarily because of a large increase in exports in such areas
as the building industry, where a 43.3% increase was registered.
-Judith Pataki

ACUTE WATER SHORTAGE IN BUCHAREST. The Romanian capital has reportedly
been short of water since 24-December because of thick ice on
the Arges River, its main source. Ice has blocked the city's
water-pumping system. In interviews with Radio Bucharest and
Western agencies on 4 January, Mayor Crin Halaicu described the
situation as "dramatic." He said freezing in the pipe network
has already caused considerable damage and added that modernization
of pumping stations and pipes has had to be put off because of
financial constraints. According to the Romanian TV, only 20%
of Bucharest's normal water consumption needs was covered on
4 January. Only two hours' worth of water reserves are on hand.
-Dan Ionescu

GERMANS IN ROMANIA GET NEW NEWSPAPER. Ethnic Germans in Romania
will have a new daily newspaper beginning on 5 January. The Allgemeine
Deutsche Zeitung fr Rumnien (General German Newspaper for Romania)
replaces Neuer Weg (New Path), published in Bucharest since 1947
and under communist control until three years ago. The editorial
staff of Neuer Weg has moved to the new daily, where the publication
will make use of modern equipment supplied by the German Foreign
Ministry. About 110,000 ethnic Germans are believed to be living
in Romania, down from nearly 360,000 in 1977. -Dan Ionescu

BULGARIA'S NEW ECONOMIC POLICY UNCLEAR. Extensive interviews
with the new ministers of finance and trade in Otechestven vestnik
of 4 January have left Bulgarian business leaders uncertain about
what kind of economic policy the newly approved government is
likely to pursue. Since many think the previous government fell
because of its austere economic policies, observers were surprised
to hear Stoyan Aleksandrov-the new finance minister- say that
in the main he approves of the work of his predecessor, Ivan
Kostov. Aleksandrov confirmed that the "monetarist" reform approach
will be maintained and warned of stronger measures to fight inflation.
At the same time he said he may have to permit a larger budget
deficit than international financial organizations might wish.
Meanwhile, contrary to the policy declaration by Prime Minister
Lyuben Berov, Trade Minister Valentin Karabashev said he opposes
protectionist measures in order to safeguard Bulgarian industry.
-Kjell Engelbrekt

KOZLODUY REACTOR CLOSED FOLLOWING LEAK. A leaking generator forced
the management of the Bulgarian nuclear power plant at Kozloduy
to shut down reactor No. 2 on 4 January , AFP reports. The 440-megawatt
unit recently underwent a year-long overhaul costing $34-million;
it was put back on line in mid-December. BTA quotes plant spokeswoman
Yordanka Stoyanova as saying that radiation leakage remains within
acceptable norms and that reactor No. 2 is likely to be restarted
on 11 January. -Kjell Engelbrekt

LOZORAITIS DECLARES CANDIDACY. On 4 January Stasys Lozoraitis,
Lithuanian ambassador to the US, submitted the necessary documents
and a security deposit of 41,450 coupons (Lithuania's provisional
money) to become a candidate for president, Radio Lithuania reports.
The nine right-of-center political parties that form the Homeland
Concord expressed support for Lozoraitis, whose candidacy was
proposed by center parties. Republican Party Chairman Kazimieras
Petraitis also registered as a candidate, raising the number
to four (the two others are Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party
Chairman Algirdas Brazauskas and former Lithuanian Social Democratic
Party Chairman Kazimieras Antanavicius). -Saulius Girnius

ESTONIA-RUSSIA TALKS DELAYED. Preparations for summit talks and
a meeting of the prime ministers of the two countries are being
delayed for "objective reasons," Estonian foreign ministry official
Ago Tiiman told Baltfax on 4 January. The delay follows the recent
changeover in the Moscow government. Estonian and Russian border
guard experts will, however, begin talks in Pskov on 6 January.
Estonia is expected to propose a temporary control line at the
border and the granting of permanent passes to property owners
in frontier areas to ease border-crossing formalities. The agenda
will also include the return of Kurds who entered Estonia illegally
from Russia. -Saulius Girnius

JAPAN OPENS EMBASSY IN TALLINN. BNS reports that the Estonian
Foreign Ministry press service has announced that Japan will
formally open its embassy in Tallinn on 1 January. Embassies
in Riga and Vilnius are planned later. Ambassador Kurokochi presented
his credentials to Arnold Ruutel, the chairman of Estonian Supreme
Council on 14 June 1992, while still residing in Helsinki. -Saulius
Girnius

POLITICAL CONFLICT IN LATVIA. Speaking on Latvian TV on 2 January
Valdis Krisbergs, deputy chairman of the Latvian Union of Entrepreneurs
and president of the Auseklis company, charged the government
of Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis of corruption, BNS reported
on the 4th. At a meeting of the Supreme Council Presidium Godmanis
announced that he intends to bring libel charges against Krisbergs,
who later retorted, "If I am wrong I will apologize, but if I
am right I will furnish all available evidence." Parliament deputy
Ivars Silars called for an investigation by the parliament commission
for combating corruption established last year. The Krisbergs
issue was expected to dominate a closed cabinet meeting on the
4th. -Saulius Girnius

UKRAINIAN POLITICAL LEADERS REJECT PROPOSED CIS CHARTER. President
Leonid Kravchuk held a consultative meeting in Kiev on 4 January
with Ukrainian political leaders to discuss policy toward the
CIS in general and the proposed new CIS Charter in particular.
At the meeting, which was given broad coverage on Ukrainian TV,
Kravchuk stressed his opposition to the proposed charter, describing
it as instrument designed to transform the CIS into the old union.
He declared that he would "continue to fight not only against
the old empire, but also against any attempts" to restore it."
He argued that just as Russia is pursuing its own national interests
in seeking to remain "a superpower" and be the leading force
in the CIS," Ukraine also has its own national interests to protect,
of which the safeguarding of its independence and sovereignty
are paramount. All but two of the 26 representatives of various
Ukrainian political parties and movements who spoke at the meeting
were reported to have supported this position. -Bohdan Nahaylo.


NEW UKRAINIAN APPOINTMENTS IN ENERGY SPHERE. President Leonid
Kravchuk has set up a presidential commission on nuclear energy
policy, Ukrainian Radio reported on 4 January. It is to be headed
by Viktor Baryakhtar. A new minister for energy and electrification
has also been appointed-Anatolii Hrytsenko. -Bohdan Nahaylo

BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER ON START-2. Parliament Chairman
Stanislau Shuskevich has welcomed the US-Russian START-2 treaty
but said that all countries with nuclear weapons should have
been represented at the talks, Belinform and Western agencies
reported on 4 January. Shushkevich also reiterated his country's
commitment to getting rid of the nuclear weapons on its territory.
-Bohdan Nahaylo

NEW BELARUSIAN ARMY TAKES OATH. On 31 December more than 100,
000 servicemen of the new Belarusian army took an oath of loyalty
to the Republic of Belarus, local and Western media report. -Bohdan
Nahaylo

"DNIESTER" PRESIDENT ACKNOWLEDGES RUSSIAN MILITARY CONSCRIPTION.
Igor Smirnov told Rossiiskaya gazeta on 25 December 1992, "Dniester
residents are being conscripted into, and serving with, the 14th
Army" and that he regards that Russian Army as a "compatriot
army" and that its presence there has been "legalized." Allegations
of 14th Army conscription on Moldovan territory have appeared
for some months in the local media, but Smirnov's statement is
the first open acknowledgment by local leaders and marks another
step toward redefining the 14th Army as a "home" force in order
to avoid its withdrawal from Moldova. -Vladimir Socor

LEBED ACCUSES UKRAINE. Addressing a session of the "Dniester
Republic" Supreme Soviet, Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, commander
of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, charged that "on orders from
the Kiev leadership, Ukrainian special services have made repeated
attempts to discredit the 14th Army," Basapress reported from
Tiraspol on 30 December. Lebed has previously called on Ukraine
to rejoin Russia in a single state, but this marks the first
time that Lebed publicly lashed out at Kiev. Ukraine has indicated
that it regards the 14th Army's presence on its border as a serious
security problem. -Vladimir Socor

MEN OF THE YEAR IN KIEV AND MINSK. The residents of Ukraine's
capital have chosen the country's new tough prime minister, Leonid
Kuchma, as their "Man of 1992," Ukrainian Radio reports. Meanwhile,
across the border in Belarus, the residents of Minsk chose President
George Bush as their man of the year, Belarusian Radio announced
on 3 January. -Bohdan Nahaylo

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Hal Kosiba and Charles Trumbull










[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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