|The only certainty is that nothing is certain. - Pliny the Elder|
No. 6, 12 January 1993
RUSSIA KOZYREV: RUSSIA HAS BLOCKED LIFTING OF ARMS EMBARGO IN BOSNIA. "I think that the line taken by Butros-Ghali, Vance, and Owen is the most realistic one," [with respect to the fighting in Bosnia] Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said in an interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta on 13 January. Kozyrev said that Russia had managed to block the idea of lifting the UN arms embargo on Bosnia "simply through diplomatic maneuvering and without the use of a veto." Kozyrev characterized the use of veto power as a "personal defeat" for a diplomat, and he expressed satisfaction with the fact that Russia's efforts had prevented the issue from even coming to a vote in the UN Security Council. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. DISAGREEMENT IN RUSSIAN CABINET OVER PRICE CONTROLS. Newly appointed Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Fedorov was quoted by Izvestiya on 12 January as saying that the prices/profits control decree of 31 December was mistaken. The decree in no way reflected the general policy of the government and should be reconsidered, he added. Fedorov went on to criticize another of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's measures, namely the extension of soft credits. "If the subsidies do not promise to prove economically effective, the funds should rather be spent on social needs." According to RIA, as cited by Reuters, the list of goods subject to controls is being reconsidered by Economics Minister Andrei Nechaev and will be considerably reduced. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. GERASHCHENKO URGES WAGE AND PRICE FREEZE. In an interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta of 12 January, Russian Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko has urged a "voluntary" freeze on incomes and on the prices of certain categories of goods during the next few months. He repeated earlier calls for higher interest on savings deposits and for soft loans to support industry; he also maintained that the Russian Central Bank should remain subordinated to parliament. Gerashchenko further recommended more mortgage lending in order to create a vibrant housing market. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. ANOTHER SHARP RISE IN COST OF LIVING IN RUSSIA. Prices for 70 basic food items are reported to have jumped by an average of 9.5% in the first week of January, with meat prices rising 16% and those for milk and fruit 11%, according to AFP on 12 January. These price rises suggest that inflation is now at its highest since the January 1992 price liberalization (apart from the initial rises immediately following liberalization). The New Year price rises have been paralleled by deteriorating supplies of 55 of these food items (supply of meat and fish was down by 15-20%), and many shops are reported to be short of meat, dairy products, sugar, eggs and pasta. The minimum subsistence income for a single person is now estimated to be 4,766 rubles a month, 6.7 times the minimum one year ago. Sheila Marnie, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN OIL DISPUTE. A senior official of Ukraine's state oil and gas committee told Reuters on 12 January that Kiev may ask Moscow to pay world salaries to the 200,000 Ukrainian workers in Russian oilfields if Moscow insists on world prices for its oil. (The domestic price of Russian oil is around 5,000 rubles a ton, which is about 9% of the world price at current rates of exchange). Also under dispute is the quantity of Russian oil to be shipped to Ukraine in 1993. Russian oil shipments to Ukraine in 1992 totaled some 33 million tons, but projected deliveries in 1993 will reportedly fall to between 8 and 15 million tons. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. MOSCOW CRITICAL OF IRAQ. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said on 12 January that Iraq's capture of military hardware and equipment was a "naked violation" of UN resolutions. In a warning apparently intended for Iraq, Yastrzhembsky said that the situation is "explosive," and it would be "irresponsible" to play games, Interfax reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. POSSIBLE MOVEMENT IN RUSSIAN-JAPANESE RELATIONS. In the same briefing, Yastrzhembsky said the planned meeting in Paris on 13 January between Japanese Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev would be "purposeful" and would address "the most urgent problems in bilateral relations." Yastrzhembsky said that the ministers might even discuss plans for another attempt at a Yeltsin visit to Japan, Interfax reported. Meanwhile, in an interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta on 13 January, Kozyrev expressed more modest expectations of the meeting: "I expect the meeting [with Watanabe] at least to keep things ticking along." Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. DRAFT OF THE RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION DISCUSSED. On 12 January, President Yeltsin met with Council of Nationalities chairman Ramazan Abdulatipov to discuss the draft Russian Constitution. ITAR-TASS quoted Abdulatipov as saying Yeltsin's ideas would, if implemented, help to "improve nationalities policy in the Russian Federation." One of these ideas, according to Abdulatipov, is to "strengthen constitutionally the role of the Council of Nationalities in the legislative system." On the same day, the Russian Constitutional Commission met to discuss a draft of the main principles of the new Russian Constitution which are to be decided by referendum on 11 April. The commission decided that further revision of the document was needed, ITAR-TASS reported. The agency quoted the commission's deputy chairman Nikolai Ryabov as saying the final draft should be ready for publication by 25 March, in advance of the referendum. Ryabov criticized a suggestion made by Constitutional Commission secretary Oleg Rumyantsev to postpone the referendum. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. CRIME IN RUSSIA INCREASES. A spokesman of the Russian Ministry of the Interior has reported that in 1992, 588,000 more crimes were committed than in 1991, and 152,000 wanted criminals were brought on trial, according to ITAR-TASS on 12 January. The Ministry is particularly concerned about the problem of corruption among government officials and their role in the illegal export of fuel resources, raw materials, finished products and rare metals. At present more than 1,000 cases of corruption are being investigated. Crime on the railroads is also a growing concern. In a two-week operation on the North Caucasian railways, 300 serious crimes, including 13 cases involving the transport of illegal firearms, were detected. Sheila Marnie, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN GENERAL STAFF CHIEF ON CONSEQUENCES OF START-2. Colonel General Mikhail Kolesnikov told Interfax on 11 January that the START2 Treaty would not compel Russia to finance the creation of large-scale new weapons systems. While rejecting criticism at home that the treaty would force Moscow to duplicate the nuclear force structure of the US, Kolesnikov did admit that Russia's reduced reliance on the ground based nuclear component would logically enhance the role of its submarine-launched strategic missiles. The General Staff Chief also said that, as a result of Russia's economic problems, it behooved Moscow to sign as many treaties as possible that would contribute to reduced levels of military confrontation around the world. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CANDIDATES FOR BLACK SEA FLEET COMMAND? KRASNAYA ZVEZDA REPORTED ON 12 JANUARY THAT THERE ARE CURRENTLY FOUR CANDIDATES TO SUCCEED ADMIRAL IGOR KASATONOV AS COMMANDER OF THE DISPUTED BLACK SEA FLEET. The newspaper identified the four as follows: current First Deputy Commander of the Fleet, Vice Admiral Vitalii Larionov; First Deputy Commander of the Russian Pacific Fleet, Vice Admiral Vladimir Kalabin; First Deputy Chief of a naval academy, Vice Admiral Anatolii Oleinik, and the Chief of the naval faculty of the Russian General Staff Academy, Vice Admiral Eduard Baltin. The newspaper speculated that a final choice would be made at the upcoming meeting of Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kravchuk. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA & CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIA CONSIDERING JOINT NAVAL EXERCISES WITH NATO. During a recent visit to Severomorsk, on the Kola Peninsula, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev spoke to personnel from the Russian Northern Fleet. According to Krasnaya zvezda of 12 January, he announced that his ministry was currently examining a proposal to hold joint Russian/NATO naval exercises in the northern region. Kozyrev said that there was a need to improve the level of confidence between the navies of Russia, the United States, and other NATO countries. He called for greater predictability in naval activity, more contacts between different navies, and the abandonment of threatening and dangerous activities on the high seas. Doug Clarke TAJIK GOVERNMENT FORCES IN OPPOSITION STRONGHOLD. A spokesman for the Russian 201st Motorized Division stationed in Tajikistan told ITARTASS on 12 January that Tajik government forces had captured the town of Obigarm and disarmed opposition fighters there. The Garm region east of Dushanbe has been one of the main strongholds of the Islamic opposition during the Tajik civil war. The same day ITAR-TASS quoted Tajikistan's National Security Committee as saying that government forces were trying to reach Rogun, the site of a major hydroelectric project that was recently reported to be in opposition hands. According to Russian border guards, about 500 Tajik refugees have returned from Afghanistan, into which as many as 100,000 Tajiks are believed to have fled. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. UZBEK OPPOSITION LEADER TO BE TRIED. Representatives of the Uzbek opposition told Western journalists in Moscow on 12 January that Abdumanap Pulatov, head of Uzbekistan's Human Rights Association who was abducted by Uzbek internal affairs officials from Bishkek in early December, is to be put on trial on a charge of having insulted Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov. The charge is reported to be based on Pulatov's involvement in a demonstration in which two participants carried a portrait of Karimov with the caption: "Some Animals Eat Their Young." A Russian lawyer hired by Pulatov's family to defend him told the journalists that he has been denied access to his client. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. UZBEK OPPOSITION LEADER WARNS OF DANGER OF TAJIK-STYLE CONFRONTATION. Shukhrat Ismatullaev, cochairman of the opposition Birlik Movement in Uzbekistan, warned in an interview published in the 12 January issue of Nezavisimaya gazeta that Uzbek President Islam Karimov's repression of the Uzbek opposition is provoking the same kind of confrontation that led to the civil war in Tajikistan. Ismatullaev noted that the official reason given for his own expulsion from the university was the complicated situation in Tajikistan. President Karimov has explained government repression of the Uzbek opposition as necessary to prevent the spread of Muslim fundamentalism. Western-oriented opposition members such as Ismatullaev flatly reject Karimov's arguments. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL ASIAN DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING LIKELY TO BE CANCELED. A meeting of defense ministers of the Central Asian states scheduled for 15 January in Alma-Ata is unlikely to take place since CIS Armed Forces Commander Evgenii Shaposhnikov will not be attending, a CIS spokesman told Interfax on 12 January. The Central Asian defense ministers were supposed to meet to discuss how to handle the situation in Tajikistan. At the summit of Central Asian leaders on 3-4 January, the participants agreed that the states in the region must help Tajikistan end the civil war and restore its economy. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, RFE/RL, Inc. PEACE TALKS AWAIT BOSNIAN SERB APPROVAL. Radio Serbia and international media report on 13 January that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has conditionally accepted an international peace plan to end the fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He earlier rejected the plan but changed his mind under strong pressure from Serbian leaders Dobrica Cosic and Slobodan Milosevic. The three Serb leaders will take the plan back to the Assembly of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb Republic for approval. Karadzic told reporters he is confident the peace plan will be approved, but several key Bosnian Serb leaders say they will urge the assembly to reject them. International mediators greeted the development as a step forward, but expressed mixed feelings about the delay in the peace talks while the Bosnian Serbs deliberate. Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIAN NATIONAL SALVATION GOVERNMENT PLAN REJECTED. Borba reports on 8 January that most party leaders in Serbia have rejected an offer, made by federal President Dobrica Cosic in his televised address to the nation 6 January, to form a national salvation government. Spokesman for Serbia's ruling Socialist Party Ivica Dacic told the Belgrade daily that "a national salvation government would be no more than a distortion of the parliamentary system, because it is the prevalent practice that governments are formed by the parliamentary majority parties." Vojislav Kostunica of the Democratic Party of Serbia said the "conditions are not right for forming such a government" because the Serbian opposition would be "assuming responsibility for the devastating consequences of the policy of others." Vojislav Seselj, who heads the Serbian Radical Party, went a step further on 12 January, Radio Belgrade reports. Seselj said will ask the federal assembly later this month to call for Cosic's resignation. Earlier, on 7 January, Seselj accused Cosic of "sowing the seed of panic in the Serbian people" and suggested he resign. Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBS PURGE DISSIDENT JOURNALISTS. After their election victory Serbia's authorities have launched what appears to be a large-scale purge of dissidents from state-run radio and TV. Borba reported on 12 January that at least 100 prominent Belgrade TV journalists who refused to support the line of Serbia's ruling socialists and allied extreme nationalist radicals have been laid off. Another 70 journalists of Novi Sad TV and 50 Belgrade radio reporters have also been released. Authorities cite the media's economic problems as reason for the layoffs. Barbara Kroulik, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN PLACE NAMES FORBIDDEN IN VOJVODINA. The use of Hungarian place names will no longer be allowed on the air on Novi Sad Radio and TV, Radio Budapest reported on 12 January. The head of Novi Sad Radio and TV told employees that under the new rump Yugoslav language law geographical and official names may only be given in Serbian. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. DRNOVSEK TO FORM SLOVENIAN GOVERNMENT. On 12 January Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek was reelected by the republic's 80-seat National Assembly, receiving 48 votes of the 78 cast. He has the task of forming a new government and proposing a list of 15 ministers within the next 15 days. Drnovsek's Liberal Democratic Party is focusing its attention on negotiating with the Christian Democrats and Unity List in forming a coalition government. The new government must then win approval by the 40-seat upper house, the State Council. Radio Slovenia carried the report. Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS FOR SLOVAKIA, CZECH REPUBLIC. Slovak parliament spokesman Lubos Jurik announced on 12 January that the election of the first Slovak president has been set for 26 January. Jurik said Slovak Parliament Chairman Ivan Gasparovic has asked all political parties represented in the parliament to submit nominations at least six days before the election. Former Federal Assembly chairman Michal Kovac and Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Roman Kovac, both of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, have announced their intention to run and are considered the front runners. Jozef Prokes, a leader of the Slovak National Party, is also to run. In the Czech Republic, parliamentary leaders met on 12 January to discuss plans for the election of the first Czech president. CTK reports that most parliamentary factions would like to have the president elected by the end of January. Also on the 12th, leaders of the government parties met to discuss the Civic Democratic Alliance's proposal that the parties jointly support the candidacy of former Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel. CTK reports that the parties failed to reach an agreement. Jiri Pehe , RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARY ON VISEGRAD GROUPING. Reacting to Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's recent statement on the "artificial" nature of the grouping, Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Janos Herman recalled that the goal of the Visegrad Triangle was to promote the integration of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary into Europe. Herman said that "until now Budapest felt that the [grouping] was a valuable tool [to achieve this goal] , but it is now difficult to predict how this cooperation will evolve in the future," MTI reports. He stressed, however, that Hungary was ready to "update" its cooperation within the group. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN SALARIES. According to data published by the Central Statistical Office, the average Hungarian gross monthly salary at firms employing more than 50 persons is 25,795 forint (about $310), Radio Budapest and MTI report. Those working in the financial field earn the most at more than 40,600 forint. Salaries are the lowest in the textile industry--16,293 forint. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN PREMIER VISITS BRASOV. On 12 January Nicolae Vacaroiu paid a visit to a tractor factory in the country's second-largest industrial city. Radio Bucharest reports that Vacaroiu discussed ways to boost production and export with the plant's management. He suggested that potential buyers of farm equipment should be encouraged through a policy of cheap credits. But he added that, "in order to stimulate the [process of] association in the agricultural sector," such credits should in the first instance be granted to farmers' associations. Similar statements from President Ion Iliescu and other high-ranking officials have aroused fears that the current leadership seeks only to put a new face on communist-style collective farms. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA TO SPEED UP RETURN OF FARM LAND. In an interview in Demokratsiya of 12 January Bulgaria's new minister of agriculture, Georgi Tanev, renewed an ambitious pledge to speed up the return of farm land to former owners. Tanev stated that he will consider it a failure if the collectivized farm land cannot be returned before the end of March. The minister said his plans require changes in current legislation and some additional state funding, estimated by experts at 800 million leva [$30 million]. According to statistics published last week, only 12 million of the total 60 million hectares have so far been restored to previous owners. In order to bolster the finances of agricultural companies in the short term, Tanev told Demokratsiya he will try to persuade the government to release 3.2 billion leva [$130 million]. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA PHONES CLINTON. In a telephone conversation on the evening of 12 January, US President-elect Bill Clinton urged Polish President Lech Walesa to feel free to telephone him at any time. Walesa invited Clinton to visit Poland, Radio Warsaw reported. Walesa also backed a strong US military and economic presence in Europe. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. WACHOWSKI SAGA CONTINUES IN WARSAW. Further charges and countercharges were exchanged on 12 January as to the past affiliations of President Lech Walesa's chief of staff, Mieczyslaw Wachowski. A former close associate of the president, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has charged that Wachowski was and remains a secret police agent. Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski announced, however, that ministry records disprove Kaczynski's charge that Wachowski had taken part in an officers' course in 1975, or in any other internal affairs ministry course, for that matter. Polish TV noted that industry records confirm that Wachowski was employed full-time at a Gdynia paint factory from 1974-76. Meanwhile, the TV evening news broadcast a photograph of several men in shorts that Kaczynski insists shows Wachowski standing among participants in a police course. Kaczynski challenged Wachowski to take the matter to court. Louisa Vinton , RFE/RL, Inc. POLAND PONDERS VISAS TO LIMIT CRIME. Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski announced on 11 January that his ministry favors the introduction of visas for citizens of the former Soviet Union (with the exception of the Baltic States), Bulgaria, rump Yugoslavia, Macedonia, and Bosnia. Milczanowski explained that citizens of these countries cause much of the violent crime in Poland, especially that involving firearms. In another development, PAP reports that Poland will erect a customs post at the Legnica air base on 30 January to examine cargo removed from the country on Russian military aircraft. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. SUCHOCKA IN KIEV. On 12 January, during her working visit to Kiev, Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka and her Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kuchma signed a number of bilateral cooperation accords, Ukrainian Radio and TV report. These include agreements on mutual encouragement and protection of investment, on legal procedures at the Polish-Ukrainian state border, on prevention of dual taxation and tax evasion, and on cooperation in the sphere of science and technology. Other bilateral accords dealing with trade, economic contacts, and cooperation in the area of education were also signed by representatives of the responsible ministries. At a press conference Kuchma stressed the importance which Ukraine attaches to its western neighbor, describing Poland as a "strategic partner." In a significant step forward, Ukraine and Poland have also agreed to cooperate in seeking to reconcile long-standing differences in historical perceptions and in the preparation of history textbooks. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. KRAVCHUK IN ISRAEL. On 13 January Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk concluded his three-day official visit to Israel during which he signed a memorandum on mutual understanding and principles of bilateral cooperation as well as accords on Ukrainian-Israeli cooperation in the spheres of business, science, and culture. Speaking at an official banquet given in his honor by Israel's president Chaim Herzog, Kravchuk said that "through joint efforts . . . a new chapter is being opened in the history of relations between the Ukrainian and Jewish people," Radio Ukraine reported on 12 January. In a speech before the Israeli Knesset, reported by Israel Radio, Kravchuk emphasized that Ukraine seeks to cultivate cordial relations with Israel, but also reiterated that it wants to pursue a balanced Middle East policy and supports the Middle East process. During Kravchuk's visit, another demonstration took place in Kiev near the Israeli mission calling for the release of American John Demjanjuk, sentenced by an Israeli court as a former Nazi death camp guard. On 12 January The Times quoted Dmytro Pavlychko, head of the Ukrainian parliamentary commission on external affairs, as claiming that Demjanjuk was framed by the KGB and that it is time for Israel to release him. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. OFFICIAL ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN UKRAINE. Georgiy Zhivitsa, Ukraine's first deputy defense minister, explained the status of the former Soviet strategic nuclear weapons in Ukraine during an interview broadcast on the "Novosti" newscast on 12 January. He said that Ukraine does not control the nuclear weapons on its territory and likened the situation to that of Germany, where US nuclear weapons had been installed. Zhivitsa did say that Ukraine controls the "nonuse, dismantling, and reduction" of the weapons on its territory, something that he called "administrative control." Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. FIGURES ON SOVIET MILITARY PRESENCE IN LATVIA. According to data provided by the Northwestern Group of Forces and accepted by Latvia's Ministry of Defense, on 1 January some 27,000 Russian troops occupied about 70,000 hectares of land. These forces have 29 tanks, 73 armored vehicles, 12 antiaircraft artillery, 36 howitzers, over 2,500 automobiles, over 60 airplanes (of which 11 are transport), 11 helicopters, 12 submarines, about 130 ships (of which 29 are warships), Diena reported on 11 January. The Defense Ministry noted also that recently the NWGF has formed the 25th Motorized Rifle Brigade, parts of which are stationed in Dobele and Adazi; its formation is contrary to existing accords between Latvia and Russia. The ministry also enumerated over 20 Russian intelligence gathering groups that it says are active in Latvia. Dzintra Bungs , RFE/RL, Inc. DEATH SENTENCES COMMUTED IN LATVIA. Diena reported on 7 January that the Supreme Council Presidium decided on clemency for Imants Puenonvs and Andris Alksars, convicted of murder and sentenced to death. The Presidium is to examine the case of a third man sentenced to death in the near future. Recently Latvia has been criticized, most notably by Sweden, for maintaining a death sentence for those who have committed especially grave crimes; last year five criminals were executed for this reason. Andrejs Pantelejevs, chairman of the Supreme Council's commission on human and national rights, said that Latvia is aiming to follow more closely Western practices concerning criminal punishment and trying to avoid carrying out death sentences. Public sentiment, however, seems to be against abolition of the death sentence. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. 7,000 LAID OFF IN NARVA. Nearly 7,000 workers in the Estonian border town have received notice of their dismissal, BNS reported on 12 January. Some 6,000 workers at the Kreenholm textile manufacturing plant and nearly 800 at the former Soviet military plant Baltiets were ordered to take three months of compulsory leave starting 4 January. Kreenholm is facing a shortage of cotton from Uzbekistan, its supplier for decades, and demand for products made by Baltiets has dropped dramatically. The affected workers are receiving 180 kroons a month as compensation. Riina Kionka, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVAN INTELLECTUALS MEET. The Moldovan Intellectuals' Congress convened in Chisinau on 9 January with 3,500 in attendance. It was called by the Moldovan Writers' Union and other creative unions in opposition to recent proposals, endorsed by President Mircea Snegur, for a referendum to confirm Moldova's independence, which would bar the way to reunification with Romania. Terming the proposed consultation "a referendum against our own people," the congress denounced "Romanophobia" within the Moldovan government; came out against participation in the CIS; and called for Moldovan-Romanian "integration". It also called for an acceleration of economic reforms and for greater independence for the government-owned media. The supporters of Moldovan statehood as a transitory stage toward Moldovan-Romanian reunification prevailed upon those of the rump Popular Front which rejects statehood and urges a prompt reunification. Both viewpoints represent only a minority in Moldovan society, however. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. "DNIESTER" AND RUSSIAN MILITARY, SECURITY STRUCTURES. At a news conference in Tiraspol, reported by Basapress on 11 January, Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army, confirmed Russia's intention to set up a consular office there to grant Russian citizenship to all military personnel as well as "Dniester" residents wishing it. The announcement follows recent admissions that residents of this part of Moldova are being conscripted for military service in the Russian army. At the press conference Colonel Aleksandr Borisenko, commander of the 14th Army's "Delta" special unit, left the clear implication that the unit has been resubordinated to the "Dniester" Security Ministry (though it challenged the minister's personal authority). Colonel Vladimir Gorbov, formerly of the Moldavian SSR KGB and now serving with the "Dniester" Security Ministry, was introduced as an officer of Russia's Security Ministry. He confirmed previous public admissions that USSR KGB officers formerly active in the Baltic States now serve with the "Dniester" Security Ministry. Vladimir Socor , RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosibah & Charles Trumbull, RFE/RL, Inc.
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