It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. - Samuel Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

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.






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

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