Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends. - Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 18, 28 January 1993





RUSSIA



RUTSKOI FAULTS US ON IRAQ, WARNS ON FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Russian
Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi said in an interview with Interfax
on 27 January, "I am against the tactics of force against Iraq
being employed by the USA," referring to the "disproportionate
and sometimes ill-conceived deployment of the U.S. armed potential."
He also faulted the United States for allegedly failing to give
Russia ample notice of planned military actions taken against
Iraq. Rutskoi warned that similar actions by the United States,
which he described as unilateral moves taken under the banner
of the United Nations, must not be repeated in Yugoslavia, Interfax
reported. -Suzanne Crow

CHURKIN IN ZAGREB, WARNS TUDJMAN. AFP reported on 27 January
that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin told Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman to withdraw Croatian troops from territory
they have seized in the Krajina region. Otherwise, Churkin said,
Croatia may face UN sanctions, an idea raised by Russian officials
in Moscow during the last few days. According to Radio Croatia,
Churkin argued that the recently initiated Croatian military
operations are not in Croatia's interests. -Suzanne Crow and
Hal Kosiba

RUSSIA, UKRAINE END NUCLEAR TALKS. Two days of Russian-Ukrainian
talks on implementing the START-1 treaty and on ensuring the
safety of the strategic nuclear weapons in Ukraine ended on 27-January.
Interfax reports that the joint statement indicates the two sides
had made progress on preparing a draft treaty on the supervision
of strategic missile complexes. They decided that special groups
of experts should consider various options for dismantling, transporting,
and destroying the missiles now in Ukraine. CIS Commander-in-Chief
Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov told Interfax that it is possible
that Russia could provide some material compensation to Ukraine
for these strategic weapons, but he cautioned that when all the
expenses involved in dismantling the missiles were added up,
the cost to Russia might exceed the benefits it would receive.
Doug Clarke

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR ON THE CRIMEA. Russia's ambassador to Ukraine,
Leonid Smolyakov, told journalists in Simferopol that the recent
demonstrations in the Crimea should serve to speed up the search
for balanced political solutions to existing problems, Holos
Ukrainy reported on 27 January. Among the problems raised by
Smolyakov were dual citizenship and the referendum. He also noted
that the discussion of the status of Sevastopol in the Russian
parliament is "an exploratory process" and that no one intends
to claim Ukrainian territory. According to the ambassador, he
is not aware of a single case of forced Ukrainization, "including
in the Crimea." -Roman Solchanyk

RUSSIAN FARM SUPPORT DECREE. On 23 January, Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin signed a decree "On Emergency Measures for Financial
Support of the Agro-Industrial Complex of the Russian Federation,"
ITAR-TASS, Interfax, and Russian TV reported on 27-January. No
reason was given for the delay in publication. It calls for the
writing off of construction debts incurred by farms, the payment
of subsidies on livestock products delivered to the state, and
subsidies on fuel and energy used by farms. The decree says that
direct subsidies to farms will be replaced during 1993 by indirect
support in the form of guaranteed prices for produce delivered.
The additional cost to the federal budget was put at 160 billion
rubles. -Keith Bush

KHASBULATOV FOR NEW ELECTIONS IN 1994. Russian parliamentary
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov told a gathering of young politicians
and sociologists in Moscow that one should not overestimate the
significance of the new Russian Constitution, which is to be
adopted after the April referendum, because the Constitution
will have only a provisional character and will be altered with
time, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 January. Khasbulatov thus indicated
that a future parliament would continue altering the Constitution
during the next few months-as the Congress is doing now. He also
said that he is skeptical about the referendum because it casts
doubt on the Federation Treaty. Khasbulatov spoke out in favor
of early presidential and parliamentary elections in the spring
of 1994. -Alexander Rahr

TATARSTAN, SAKHA (YAKUTIA), AND APRIL REFERENDUM. Tatarstan President
Mintimer Shaimiev said at a press conference in Kazan on 27 January
that it would be sensible to sign the treaty between Russia and
Tatarstan before the April referendum on the basic provisions
of the Russian constitution, ITAR-TASS reported. Shaimiev said
that, without the treaty, the people of Tatarstan would not know
what they were voting for. There have been fears that some of
the republics of the Russian Federation will not participate
in the referendum, thus undermining the integrity of the federation,
and Shaimiev's remarks are clearly aimed at putting pressure
on Russia to agree to the treaty on Tatarstan's terms. According
to Radio Mayak of 27 January, the presidium of the Sakha Supreme
Soviet has reservations about the referendum, and more and more
people in the republic are against holding it. -Ann Sheehy

RUSSIAN ENTERPRISE DEBT REACHES 5 TRILLION RUBLES. The problem
of interenterprise debt that reached crisis proportions last
summer appears to be threatening the Russian economy again. In
an interview with Trud, published on 28 January the chairman
of the State Committee on Industrial Policy revealed that interenterprise
debt had reached five trillion rubles, or some 20% of GNP. Shurchkov
expects that in February another program of debt cancellation
and refinancing will have to be undertaken; this would be similar
to last year's measures that resulted in new credits totaling
hundreds of billions of rubles being issued to troubled enterprises
Shurchkov said, however, that most enterprises have now adjusted
to their new economic environment and that this will be the last
time the problem will emerge. -Erik Whitlock

RUSSIAN SECURITY MINISTRY ON WESTERN ESPIONAGE. The spokesman
for the Russian Ministry of Security, General Andrei Chernenko,
accused Western secret services of meddling in Russian internal
affairs and of encouraging separatist tendencies in various regions
of Russia, Western agencies reported on 27-January. Speaking
at a press-conference, Chernenko declined to name the secret
services involved, but said that about 10 foundations, directed
by former intelligence officers, are coordinating their activities
against Russia. Chernenko also cited the achievements of his
service in the struggle against corruption, smuggling, the proliferation
of dangerous weapons technologies, and drug trafficking. Over
200-senior officials have been arrested for corruption in 1992,
he added. -Victor Yasmann

NEW BLACK SEA FLEET COMMANDER TOUCHES BASE IN KIEV. According
to Interfax on 27 January, the newly appointed commander of the
Black Sea Fleet, Vice Admiral Eduard Baltin, held a short meeting
in Kiev on his way to his headquarters in Sevastopol. He met
with Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, who reportedly congratulated
him on his new appointment, and with Ukrainian Defense Minister
Konstantin Morozov. -Doug Clarke

RUSSIAN TRADE UNIONS DEMAND INCREASE IN MINIMUM WAGE. The Russian
Federation of Independent Trade Unions is demanding that the
minimum wage be raised from 2,250 to 4,400 rubles a month starting
on 1 February, according to ITAR-TASS on 26-January. Parliament
has already approved a resolution raising minimum pensions to
4,275 rubles per month from 1 February. The trade unions would
like the minimum wage to be raised gradually to the level of
the minimum subsistence budget, which they currently estimate
to be 6,500 rubles. They further demand that the minimum wage
be linked to inflation, and reviewed on a quarterly basis. Sheila
Marnie

AID PROGRAM FOR RADIATION VICTIMS IN THE URALS. The Russian Council
of Ministers has approved a program which envisages a series
of measures to help radiation victims in the Urals region, according
to ITAR-TASS on 27 January. It is estimated that 450,000 people
in the area are suffering from the effects of radioactive emissions
from the Mayak production association in the Chelyabinsk region,
to which they were exposed in the 1940s and '50s. The aid will
be financed from the federal budget, and will cost about 11.7-billion
rubles; 4.2 billion rubles will be spent on compensation payments
to victims of radiation exposure, 3.2 billion on the socio-economic
rehabilitation of the region, and 1.6-billion on health services.
The Mayak plant still produces plutonium and reprocesses wastes
from nuclear power stations. -Sheila Marnie

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



ARMENIA WARNS NEIGHBORS ON DANGER FROM NUCLEAR REACTOR. On 27
January Armenian Prime Minister Khosrow Arutyunyan warned the
governments of the CIS countries, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and
Turkey that the safety system at Armenia's Medzamor nuclear power
station near Erevan is "virtually out of control" as a result
of the power blackout caused by the 23 January explosion that
damaged the main gas supply pipeline through Georgia to Armenia,
ITAR-TASS reported. According to Ostankino TV, Armenia has appealed
to Turkey to supply electricity. In December, 1992, the Turkish
government reneged on an earlier agreement to supply electricity
to Armenia because of pressure from the opposition Motherland
Party. - Liz Fuller

FIGHTING CONTINUES EAST OF DUSHANBE. Tajik government troops
were still battling opposition fighters in the Ramit Gorge east
of Dushanbe on 27 January, ITAR-TASS reported. The government
forces insisted that their opponents are well-armed but have
little hope of maintaining resistance for long, because there
is practically no way out of the gorge. Tajikistan's Deputy Minister
of Internal Affairs told an RFE/RL correspondent that the government
had given the opposition fighters in Ramit Gorge, whom he identified
as supporters of the Islamic Renaissance Party, until midnight
to surrender. The official estimated that some 600 opposition
fighters were in the Ramit Gorge. - Bess Brown

UZBEK MUSLIM LEADER ATTACKS TAJIK CLERICS. Mufti Muhammad-Sadyk
Muhammad-Yusuf, chairman of the Muslim Religious Board for Central
Asia, complained to Interfax on 27 January that he had repeatedly
warned Tajikistan's religious leaders not to become involved
in politics and had even made them sign forms to that effect.
He also criticized the Islamic Renaissance Party, a major element
in the anti-Communist opposition in Tajikistan. A parallel organization
in Uzbekistan with the same name remains illegal but is reported
to be flourishing in some parts of Uzbekistan, particularly the
Fergana Valley; the party is seen as a threat by Uzbekistan's
political leadership and its official Muslim leadership as well.
- Bess Brown

NEW DIPLOMATIC MOVES ON NAGORNO-KARABAKH. On 23 January Mario
Raffaelli, who chaired the five abortive rounds of preliminary
talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan aimed at paving the way
for a CSCE peace conference on Nagorno-Karabakh, traveled to
Baku and Erevan to consult with the presidents of Armenia and
Azerbaijan, ITAR-TASS reported. Ter-Petrossyan subsequently stated
that Armenia would agree to an unconditional ceasefire, but that
if Azerbaijan imposed new conditions, then the leadership of
the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic had the right to do so too. On
26 January Azertadzh quoted Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofik
Gasymov as proposing new steps for resolving the Karabakh impasse,
specifically the withdrawal of "all foreign troops" from the
territory of Azerbaijan, a 120 day ceasefire, and the stationing
in Lachin raion and "in the conflict zone" of CSCE observers.
Armenia is unlikely to agree to withdraw from the Lachin corridor
linking Armenia with Karabakh, as this would leave the beleaguered
population of Stepanakert without reliable supplies of food and
medication. -Liz-Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



SLOVAK PARLIAMENT AGAIN FAILS TO ELECT PRESIDENT. The National
Council of the Slovak Republic failed for a second time to elect
a president on 27 January. Roman Kovac, the candidate of the
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia won 78 votes in the 150seat
legislature, 12 short of the necessary three-fifths majority.
His only contender in the second round, Milan Ftacnik of the
excommunist Party for a Democratic Left, received 31 votes. Agencies
report that 30-deputies abstained and 7 others cast invalid ballots.
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar indicated after the voting that
the MDS is "not united" and that a struggle against his party
is now being carried out even within its own structures. He accused
the foreign minister and MDS Deputy Chairman Milan Knazko of
"grossly violating party discipline." The next round of the presidential
elections will be held on 15 and 16 February. The MDS nominated
a new candidate, the former chairman of the Czechoslovak Federal
Assembly, Michal Kovac (who is not related to Roman Kovac). -Jan
Obrman

HAVEL SUPPORTS MILITARY INTERVENTION IN BOSNIA. In the first
interview with the Czech Press Agency CTK after his election,
President Vaclav Havel said that the Czech Republic should "support
the idea of an international military intervention in Bosnia,"
CTK reported on 27 January. Havel said that the Czech Republic
should soon send out a "strong and clear message" to this effect.
The President added that Czech "foreign policy should be based
on the principle of responsibility for developments in the world
and particularly in Europe. We will do ourselves a great service
if we make it clear that we care about events around us." Havel
also said that while he did not agree with the Czech government
on all aspects of foreign policy, he expects no problems in cooperating.
-Jan Obrman

SERBIAN TUGS DEFY ORDERS TO STOP. In a statement released on
27 January and carried by Rompres, the Romanian government said
it has ordered authorities to take all measures provided for
by the resolutions of the UN Security Council, including measures
of constraint in order to stop the Serbian barges carrying fuel
up the Danube. The statement said the government will seek CSCE
and Security Council assistance in acquiring the technical means
to enforce the embargo. According to Reuters, however, government
spokeswoman Doina Jalea said Romania does not support the use
of force against the Serbian barges. Meanwhile, Romanian TV said
on 27 January that four Serbian tugboats pulling barges continue
to defy Romanian orders to stop and are heading towards Serbia.
One convoy has already reached the Serbian section of the Danube.
Meanwhile, in a Foreign Ministry statement on 27 January, Bulgaria
declared that it can not halt sanction-breakers without Romanian
assistance. BTA reports that Bulgarian and Romanian customs officials
had conferred two days earlier in Vidin, only to establish that
both sides lack the means to halt the barges by force. -Michael
Shafir and Kjell Engelbrekt

CROATIA SITUATION UPDATE. Radios Croatia and Serbia report on
27 January that fighting has intensified between Croatian and
Serbian forces in areas under UN protection. A Serbian counter-offensive
has recaptured several villages around the town of Maslenica.
Croatian and Serbian troops are building their forces in key
areas of the "Serbian Republic of Krajina." The UN Security Council
issued a statement on 28 January saying the fighting in Croatia
is "in flagrant violation" of a binding resolution demanding
an end to the violence by Croats and Serbs. UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali said that the risk of a serious escalation
of the conflict between Croats and Serbs in Croatia is "extremely
high" and that Croatia's action places the entire peace process
in the region in jeopardy. Western media reports say the fighting
has raised the possibility that the UN might withdraw from Croatia.
-Milan Andrejevich

BOSNIAN SITUATION UPDATE. On 28 January Radios Bosnia and Croatia
reported intense fighting between Croats and Muslims and Serbs
and Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Bosnian Croat leader Mate
Boban and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, who agreed to
a truce in Geneva on 27 January, said that the conflicts between
them benefit only the Serbs. Meanwhile, the international-mediated
peace talks are said to have stalled. Izetbegovic reiterated
his warning that he will pull out of the negotiations if the
situation in both Bosnia and Croatia continues to deteriorate.
-Milan Andrejevich

INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS. On 27 January Turkish President Turgut
…zal accused the Security Council of a double standard because
it enforces resolutions against Iraq, but not against Serbia.
According to the Boston Globe, …zal warned he might ban US warplanes
patrolling the no-fly zone in northern Iraq from using bases
in Turkey if the UN does not act decisively to halt Serb aggression
against Muslims. US dailies report the Clinton administration
is reviewing policy in what one official quoted by the Washington
Post described as a "comprehensive wall-to-wall approach" to
every aspect of the Balkan crisis. Meanwhile, more than 100 well-known
figures, including former Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan,
and former British Prime Minister Thatcher, have sent an open
letter to President Clinton urging an end to "the attempted genocide"
of the Bosnian people. The letter was published in the Washington
Times on 27 January. -Milan Andrejevich

POLISH JUSTICE MINISTER SUSPENDED. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka
ordered Justice Minister Zbigniew Dyka on a month's forced leave
on 27-January. She had announced two days earlier that she had
"lost confidence in the leadership of the prosecutor's office."
The justice minister is ex officio the prosecutor general. The
source of Suchocka's displeasure was the "reprehensible" decision
to assign a prosecutor involved in the political trials of the
1980s to the slander investigation in connection with allegations
that President Lech Walesa's closest aide, Mieczyslaw Wachowski,
was a secret police agent. The prosecutor in question, Jacek
Andrzej Kaucz, had demanded a ten-year sentence for Wroclaw Solidarity
leader Wladyslaw Frasyniuk during the martial law period. Leaders
of the Christian National Union-Dyka's party-told reporters on
27-January that they agreed with the suspension but said it could
have consequences for the ruling coalition. -Louisa Vinton

POLISH ABORTION DEBATE MOVES TO SENATE. The Senate is expected
on 29 January to vote on amendments to the restrictive abortion
law passed by the Sejm on 7 January. The commissions assigned
to review the law have reached dramatically different conclusions.
The legislative commission voted on 19-January to propose a total
ban on abortion, with the only exception being a "direct threat"
to the pregnant woman's life. Other amendments would impose prison
sentences on women who induce abortions themselves and oblige
local governments to provide "information about conscious procreation,"
rather than contraceptives, as the Sejm's version stipulates.
The human rights commission, on the other hand, proposed liberalizing
the Sejm draft by permitting abortion for women in "difficult
life situations" and striking the provision giving the fetus
the legal status of a person. Gazeta Wyborcza calculated on 20
January that the proponents of the restrictive bill slightly
outnumber supporters of the liberal version. -Louisa Vinton

CSURKA NOT ELECTED AS HDF VICE PRESIDENT. Istvan Csurka, controversial
writer and leader of the right-wing faction of the ruling Hungarian
Democratic Forum, failed to be elected by the party's presidium
as one of the six party vice presidents, MTI reports. In December
1992 the HDF temporarily suspended the posts of vice presidents
in order to blunt criticism of the party in connection with the
activities of Csurka, then one of the vice presidents. The selection
of the vice presidents and the HDF executive chairman, second
in command after party chairman Jozsef Antall, took place three
days after the HDF's national meeting. Minister of Defense Lajos
Fur, incumbent HDF executive president, was reconfirmed in that
post. -Karoly Okolicsanyi

ESTONIAN-HUNGARIAN TALKS IN BUDAPEST. Prime Ministers Mart Laar
of Estonia and Jozsef Antall of Hungary met in Budapest on 27
January 1993, MTI reports. They agreed to set up a joint economic
committee to encourage bilateral trade. Laar said Estonia is
interested in studying Hungarian experience in privatization
and Soviet troop withdrawal experiences, he said. There was also
mention of a possible Finnish-Estonian-Hungarian summit meeting.
Antall and Laar also called for measures to protect the Khanty,
a Finno-Ugric people related to both the Hungarians and the Estonians,
who live around Russia's oil-producing Tyumen region. The visit
is the first ever to Hungary by an Estonian head of state. -Karoly
Okolicsanyi and Riina Kionka

SPIROIU ON RELATIONS WITH HUNGARIAN ARMY. Romanian National Defense
Minister Nicolae Spiroiu says his ministry and the Hungarian
Defense Ministry both express a desire to cooperate in ironing
out trouble spots between the two countries. In an interview
with RFE/RL on 27 January, Spiroiu said they hope to set an example
for political relations between the two states. A Hungarian Foreign
Ministry delegation is currently in Bucharest conducting talks
on a bilateral treaty. -Michael Shafir

KOZLODUY INCIDENT WAS "SERIOUS." Bulgarian energy experts on
27 January said the fire at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant
in late September was the most serious incident in the history
of the plant, BTA reports. Georgi Stoilov, Deputy Chairman of
the Union of Power Engineers, told a press conference in Sofia
that Kozloduy officials and the National Electric Company had
intentionally played down the consequences of a fire in the backup
electric equipment in the sixth reactor. Stoilov dismissed the
official investigations as "biased" and said the UPE will now
initiate its own probe into the circumstances and effects of
the incident. -Kjell Engelbrekt

HOXHA TRIAL ENDS. The 71-year-old Nexhmije Hoxha, widow of former
communist strongman Enver Hoxha, has been sentenced to nine years
in prison for misappropriation of some 750,000 leks (somewhat
under $100,000 at the official rate) in state funds between the
time her husband died in 1985 and 1990. Chiefly at issue were
funds used for the Hoxha family's living expenses. The prosecution
had sought a 14-year sentence, but the judge justified the lesser
term on the basis of her age and the state of her health. Mme.
Hoxha's codefendant, Kino Buxheli, who was in charge of attending
to the personal needs of the communist leadership, received a
four-year sentence. The trial was the first for any member of
Albania's former communist elite. -Charles Trumbull

KUCHMA EVALUATES HIS GOVERNMENT. Ukrainian Prime Minister Leonid
Kuchma held a press conference in Kiev to mark his first hundred
days in office, Ukrinform-TASS reported on 27 January. In the
next few days the Cabinet of Ministers will present parliament
with its economic reform package, said Kuchma. He also told journalists
that there can be no return to the old administrative-command
system and that Ukraine should cooperate with all of the former
Soviet republics on the basis of mutual benefit. -Roman Solchanyk


UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT OPPOSES GOVERNMENT DECREES. Parliament has
called for important modifications of recent governmental acts
concerning economic reform, Interfax reported on 25 and 27 January.
On 25 January Parliament adopted in principle a draft decree
on the social-economic situation in the country that recommended,
inter alia, that the government reestablish fixed prices for
some necessities, such as milk, butter, salt, sugar and vegetable
oil. On the 27th parliamentarians urged restrictions on the resale
of land bought from state enterprises for private commercial
use. Parliament also recommended the government amend recent
government decrees on leasing so that current lease-holders receive
special privileges for retaining such contracts. -Erik Whitlock


MORE ON ABKHAZIA-"DNIESTER" ALLIANCE. Valid for 10 years, the
Abkhazia-"Dniester" treaty of friendship and cooperation provides
inter alia that "in the event of a threat of military attack
against either of them, the sides will immediately consult with
a view to taking measures to repel the aggression," Basapress
and ITAR-TASS reported on 26 January. The "Dniester republic
Supreme Soviet" ratified the treaty that day, in the presence
of a delegation of hard-line deputies of the Russian Supreme
Soviet, Izvestia reported on 26-January. Moldovan Parliament
Vice-Chairman Victor Puscasu told ITAR-TASS on 25-January and
Interfax on the 27th that the move is intended by proimperial
circles in Moscow to undermine Moldova and Georgia, and that
these two countries are not about to violate international law
by making pacts [against Russia] with, for example, Chechnya
or Tatarstan. -Vladimir Socor

MORE THAN 40% OF RUSSIAN TROOPS OUT OF BALTIC. Col. Gen. Leonid
Mayorov, the commander of the Northwest Group of Russian Forces
stationed in the Baltic republics, said in an interview published
by Krasnaya zvezda on 27 January that more than 40% of his troops
have been withdrawn to Russia. Western analysts have estimated
that roughly 135,000 Soviet troops were once stationed in Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania. Mayorov added that every officer and warrant
officer withdrawn has been assigned housing in Russia. He complained
that Estonia and Latvia has not been as understanding regarding
the withdrawals as has Lithuania. There, he explained, the servicemen's
apartments could be privatized, allowing his men to sell or exchange
their apartments for living space elsewhere. -Doug Clarke

BALTIC, FRENCH DEFENSE MINISTERS TO COOPERATE. BNS reported on
26 January that representatives of the defense ministries of
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania signed a trilateral defense accord
that will create a permanent Baltic defense council. Their next
meeting is planned for 24 February in Tallinn. A French delegation
headed by Defense Minister Pierre Joxe also participated in the
two-day Baltic defense seminar in Riga and it is expected that
France and Latvia will soon initial an agreement on cooperation.
Latvia has already signed similar accords with Estonia, Lithuania
and Poland. -Dzintra Bungs

LITHUANIAN BANK HEAD SURVIVES THIRD VOTE. On 26 January in a
secret ballot the Seimas voted 62 to 11 with 13 spoiled ballots
on a no-confidence measure against Bank of Lithuania Chairman
Vilius Baldisis. Since 71 votes were needed, he remains in office.
This was the third attempt to depose Baldisis, the other two
having been instigated last year by then Prime Minister Gediminas
Vagnorius. Since the Seimas failed to accept the voting results,
the question will be raised again, perhaps even after the presidential
elections on 14-February, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports.
-Saulius Girnius

FOUR PARLIAMENTARY FACTIONS IN LATVIA. On 26 January the Supreme
Council amended the regulations concerning the formation of parliamentary
factions. Henceforth, factions can be registered if their membership
consists of at least one-tenth of all the deputies. Currently,
there are 179 deputies at the Supreme Council and four factions:
People's Front with 55 deputies, Satversme (Constitution) with
33, Lauku (Agrarian) with 20, and Ravnopravie (Equal Rights)
with 18. This means that about 73 deputies are not members of
any faction. -Dzintra Bungs

NARCOTICS FROM ASIA TO EUROPE-VIA ESTONIA. Police in Estonia
seized over 28-kilos of narcotics in raids during 1992. According
to a BNS report on 27 January, about 75% of the seized narcotics
were found in Tallinn and were bound for the West. Because of
its proximity to Finland, Estonia has become a major transit
point for illegal drugs originating in Central Asia and the Caucasus
and bound for Western Europe. -Riina Kionka

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosiba and Charles Trumbull








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