He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mind, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 20, 01 February 1993







RUSSIA



NATO, RUSSIAN GENERALS TALK OF COOPERATION. Russian Defense Minister
General Pavel Grachev and U.S. General John Shalikashvili, the
Commander-in-Chief of NATO forces in Europe, said at a joint
press conference in Moscow on 30 January that their armed forces
could collaborate in preventing local conflicts and in combating
the spread of nuclear weapons. Appearing on the Novosti newscast,
Grachev said that the two sides would work on ways to cooperate
in peacekeeping activities, in providing humanitarian aid, and
in search-and-rescue operations among other things. He also suggested
that they might hold joint staff exercises. ITAR-TASS quoted
Shalikashvili as saying it was quite probable that Russian and
NATO peacekeeping units would train together in the near future.
Doug Clarke

YELTSIN EASES ARMS SALES RULES. AFP reported on 30 January that
Russian President Boris Yeltsin had prepared a decree that would
reduce the amount of bureaucracy involved in foreign arms sales.
The decision was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Georgii Khizha,
who, along with Mikhail Malei, a presidential adviser, has been
pressing for increased Russian arms sales to compensate for the
67% cutback in domestic weapons procurement. AFP also reported
on 1 February that Malaysia is still considering the purchase
of 24-to 30-MiG-29 fighters, reportedly on offer from $12-million
to $20 million dollars each, a price much lower than comparable
Western fighters. John Lepingwell

CONCERNS OVER THE 1993 RUSSIAN BUDGET. The Russian parliament
has returned the 1993 budget submitted by the Russian government
for revisions, according to Reuters and various Russian news
agencies on 29-January. Beyond requesting additional details,
the parliament has asked that the government's anti-crisis program
be finalized before reconsideration of the budget. More concern
has been raised by a government document obtained by Reuters
which asserts that the existing budget calculations do not include
additional expenditures passed by the parliament recently, including
the doubling of pensions. The document states that the 1993 deficit
figure could be twice as high as is represented in the government's
present draft. Erik Whitlock

CHERNOMYRDIN STRESSES HIS COMMITMENT TO ECONOMIC REFORM. In speeches
to the meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,
on 30-31 January, Russian Prime Minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin
reassured his audience of Western business leaders of his commitment
to "radical" economic reform, according to Reuters reports on
the same days. He called for immediate foreign investment in
Russia's oil and gas industries, and for joint ventures in agriculture.
He urged the West to agree on a program to restructure Russia's
foreign debt, insisting that easing the debt burden was essential
to help his government combat hyper-inflation. When questioned
about the need to fight inflation by curbing Central Bank credits
to state industries, Chernomyrdin remained cautious, stressing
the need to avoid mass unemployment. Sheila Marnie

RUSSIA AND UKRAINE MAKE PROGRESS ON DEBT ISSUE. Russian Deputy
Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin and First Deputy Chairman of
the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, Ihor Yukhnovsky, have had
some success in resolving differences concerning the two nations'
repayment of the debt of the former Soviet Union, according to
Kommersant on 29 January. Russia has assumed the Soviet debt
obligations of all the other republics in exchange for their
relinquishing any claim on Soviet assets abroad. Achieving such
a deal with Ukraine has as yet eluded Russian negotiators. Meeting
in Kiev last week, Shokhin and Yukhnovsky were, however, able
to agree upon criteria by which Soviet assets abroad will be
valued. Resolving the outstanding issues of debt obligations
is one of the obstacles preventing Western creditors from approving
comprehensive debt restructuring for Russia. Erik Whitlock

BANNED OPPOSITION GROUP HOLDS MEETING. ITAR-TASS reported on
31 January that the national council of the outlawed pro-communist
and nationalist movement, the National Salvation Front, had held
its first session near Moscow. NSF leaders claimed that 33-Russian
regions and various political parties were represented at the
meeting, which resolved to prevent the ratification of the START
II disarmament treaty by Russia. NSF leader, Ilya Konstantinov,
told reporters that internal disagreements in the NSF had been
superseded by the "desire to unite in the struggle against the
present government". The Constitutional Court is due to rule
shortly on the legality of President Yeltsin's decree banning
the NSF. Wendy Slater

RUTSKOI, GORE DISCUSS REGIONAL CONFLICTS. The Vice-Presidents
of the United States and Russia discussed cooperation between
their two countries in the settlement of regional conflicts in
a telephone conversation on 29 January. ITAR-TASS reported that
the talks focused on conflicts in Bosnia and Iraq. For Russia,
Rutskoi was reported to have stressed that US-Russian cooperation
should be deepened in all fields. US Vice-President Al Gore reportedly
stated that US policy is giving priority to Russia and that Washington
is ready to do everything possible to promote democracy and economic
reform in Russia. Suzanne Crow

YELTSIN WANTS PARTNERSHIP WITH ASIA. Speaking before the Indian
parliament on 29-January on the final day of a three-day visit,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin said: "Our national interests
and our geopolitical situation make inevitable the steady presence
of our country in Asia." He said that Asia is a priority in Russian
foreign policy owing to Russia's "Eurasian" identity. Not discounting
the importance of ties with the West, especially in the realm
of disarmament, Yeltsin said "we seek a strong balance in our
relationship with both the East and the West," AFP reported.
-Suzanne Crow

DETAILS ON RUSSIAN-INDIAN DEBT DEAL. More details on the debt
agreement concluded between Russian President Yeltsin and Indian
Prime Minister Narasimha Rao emerged on 29-January. According
to the Financial Times, 63% of India's 380 billion- rupee (US$
13-million) debt to Russia is to be paid at an exchange rate
of 19.9 rupees per ruble; the rest at a rate of 31.57 rupees
per ruble. All India Radio reported that the 63% would be repaid
over a period of 12-years, while the remaining 37% is payable
over the next 45-years and carries no interest charges. Erik
Whitlock

JAPAN TO ASSIST WITH NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSAL. According to a 31
January report from ITAR-TASS, Japan will assist Russia in disposing
of radioactive waste (but not fissile materials) from dismantled
nuclear warheads, although it will not participate in the dismantling
process. Japan is said to be reluctant to provide financial aid
for dismantling, despite recent calls by Ukraine and Germany
for international funding of the disarmament process. John Lepingwell


RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT IN NORTH KOREA TO DISCUSS NUCLEAR CONCERNS.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgii Kunadze arrived in North
Korea on 29-January to discuss Russia's concerns over North Korea's
nuclear program, which is suspected of covertly developing nuclear
weapons. Kunadze, acting as Yeltsin's special representative,
noted on 1-February that the talks were "open and frank" and
had included a wide range of issues, including the need for a
new treaty basis for Russian-North Korean relations. Kunadze
stated that North Korea must comply with IAEA inspection requirements
as well as facilitate special inspections by South Korea. He
also urged North Korea to join the new chemical weapons convention.
The visit was reported by ITAR-TASS and Reuters on 29 January
and 1 February. John Lepingwell

RUSSIA'S POPULATION SHRINKING. According to the Russian State
Committee for Statistics, there was an absolute decline in Russia's
population in 1992, ITAR-TASS reported on 30 January. The population
decreased by 70,000 and now totals 148.6 million. The main reason
for the decrease is the lower birth rate (down by 11%), and the
higher death rate (up by 5%). Sheila Marnie

RUSSIA'S 1992 GRAIN HARVEST. According to the Russian State Committee
for Statistics, the country's grain harvest was up by 20% in
1992 on the previous year, ITAR- TASS reported on 31 January.
The 1992 grain harvest totaled 106 million metric tons, whereas
the 1991 figure was 88 million metric tons. The increase was
mainly due to better harvests in the Orlov, Sverdlov, and Orenburg
regions and the Tatarstan, Mordovian and Chuvash republics. -Sheila
Marnie

DIPHTHERIA EPIDEMIC IN RUSSIA? THE INCIDENCE OF DIPHTHERIA IN
RUSSIA IS REACHING WHAT THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION CALLS EPIDEMIC
PROPORTIONS, ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES OF
29-JANUARY. The number of new cases being registered is now approximately
500 per month, and the total recorded in November 1992 was 3,278.
The number of people affected by the disease was expected to
reach 4,000 by the end of 1992. Both Moscow and St. Petersburg
have more than 650 registered cases. The disease is also spreading
in other CIS states: Ukraine had 1,344 registered cases by November
1992. The spread of the disease is attributed mainly to the failings
of the Russian vaccination program for infants. -Sheila Marnie


SOLDIERS TO PATROL MOSCOW STREETS? MOSCOW MAYOR YURII LUZHKOV
HAS CALLED FOR SOLDIERS TO ASSIST MOSCOW POLICE IN PATROLLING
HIGH-CRIME AREAS, ESPECIALLY LATE AT NIGHT, ACCORDING TO ITAR-TASS
ON 29-JANUARY. Joint military-police patrols were originally
introduced by Gorbachev and their reinstatement reflects a growing
crime rate in the city. -John Lepingwell

OFFICER ARRESTED IN SUSPECTED ATTEMPT ON YELTSIN'S LIFE. The
Moscow Military Prosecutor has detained a Russian army officer
on suspicion of having planned to assassinate President Yeltsin,
ITAR-TASS reported on 30 January. Major Ivan Kislov, who deserted
from his military unit in Khabarovsk, was arrested in a government
building with two home-made bombs and a knife in his possession.
Kislov told his interrogators that by killing Yeltsin he would
have contributed to the "cause of socialism". Further investigation
of Kislov's case will be carried out by the Russian Ministry
of Security. Victor Yasmann

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



KAZAKHSTAN WANTS OPEC OBSERVER STATUS. Western agencies reported
on 31-January that Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev
told correspondents during the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland, that Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan want to set
up an organization of petroleum producers similar to OPEC. The
three CIS states intend to try to coordinate their export policies,
he said. Nazarbaev added that Kazakhstan is seeking observer
status with OPEC; while his country does not want to be dependent
on OPEC, he said, it does want to be in "the family of oil producers."
Bess Brown

GEORGIA REQUESTS UN PEACEKEEPING TROOPS FOR ABKHAZIA. On 29 January
the chairman of the Georgian Committee for Human Rights and Inter-Ethnic
Relations, Sandro Kavsadze, asked the UN Security Council to
deploy UN peacekeeping troops along the Russian-Georgian border
to prevent a further deterioration of the situation in Abkhazia,
ITAR-TASS reported. Security Council chairman Yosio Hatano registered
concern at the situation in Abkhazia and called for an immediate
cessation of hostilities and compliance with the 3-September
ceasefire agreement; the Security Council undertook to send two
new fact-finding missions to Abkhazia to evaluate the political
situation and to investigate charges of human rights abuses.
Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



BOSNIAN PEACE TALKS MOVE TO NEW YORK. International mediators
at the Geneva Conference on the former Yugoslavia will meet with
UN representatives in New York to seek formal Security Council
endorsement of their Bosnian peace plan. Lord Owen expressed
hope that if any warring faction still rejects the plan, the
council will act to impose a settlement. He said that could be
done by political, economic or military means. Owen did urge
the EC and US not to impose stricter sanctions against the rump
Yugoslavia and not to lift an arms embargo on Bosnia-Herzegovina
while there is still hope for a negotiated settlement. Although
the entire plan was not agreed to, each of the three ethnic groups
accepted one or more elements. The Croats signed the three parts
of the accord-a general statement of principles, a detailed map
for partitioning, and a cease-fire. Bosnian Serbs oppose some
aspects of the map, and the Muslims refuse to sign the cease-fire
and reject the map. Bosnian President Aljia Izetbegovic explained
that he would never agree to a partition of the republic that
awards "the biggest slaughterhouses of ethnic cleansing" to the
Serbs. He also said he did not sign the cease-fire because he
feels the UN will not effectively collect the heavy weapons of
the Serbs. Radios Bosnia and Croatia and international media
carried the reports. -Milan Andrejevich

CROATIA PRESSES ON. Radio Serbia reported on 31-January that
Croatian forces continued their offensive against the self-proclaimed
Republic of Serb Krajina. Serbian sources also claim that Croatian
troops are massing in western Slavonia, and thousands of civilians
have been evacuated from the area. Ethnic Serb leaders are demanding
that the UN act within two days to compel the withdrawal of Croatian
forces from territory recaptured in their recent offensive. Croatia's
President Franjo Tudjman told a rally of supporters in Split
on 30-January that Croatian troops would recapture more key points,
including Serbian-held towns such as Knin and Benkovac, if UNPROFOR
fails to restore Croatian authority in "the Republic of Serb
Krajina." Tudjman told Der Spiegel that he will announce further
military action against rebel Serbs and will not extend the UN
mandate in Croatia if the UN fails to disarm Serb militia and
repatriate displaced Croats. -Milan Andrejevich

DANUBE SAGA. Three more tugboats passed into Serbian waters on
the Danube on 29 and 30-January, Radio Bucharest and Romanian
TV said. The tugboats ignored summons by Romanian port and frontier
authorities, including attempts by helicopter and patrol speed
boats to stop them. Radio Bucharest and Romanian TV reported
on 31 January that two Yugoslav tugboats had blocked the harbor
lock at the Iron Gate navigation system complex. After long arguments,
the tugboats withdrew and will probably unload their cargo at
the Serbian port of Prahovo. On 29 January the Security Council
urged Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine to respect the trade embargo
and reminded Sofia and Bucharest of their obligation to intercept
vessels carrying oil for rump Yugoslavia. On 29 January the Romanian
government examined the developments and decided that it will
again request international assistance in the form of UN commissions
to monitor the approaches to Romanian territorial waters. Presidential
spokesman Traian Chebeleu said on 29 January that the government
will do everything in its power short of using military force
to stop the convoys, Rompres reported on the same day. Minister
of Foreign Affairs Theodor Melescanu said on 29 January that
although Romania had received "favorable responses to requests
for speed boats, "the sources of the offers are geographically
far" which makes the whole issue practically "theoretical." -Michael
Shafir

POLITICAL FIREWORKS IN BELGRADE. Serbia's opposition will not
be represented in the federal assembly's upper house, the Chamber
of Republics. Deputies to the lower Chamber of Citizens, dominated
by the Socialist Party and Serbian Radical Party, abolished a
provision that representation in the upper chamber be based on
party strength in the lower chamber. Deputies from seven opposition
parties walked out in protest. Of the 20 seats representing Serbia
in the Chamber of Republics, 12 are held by Socialists and 8-by
Radicals. Leaders of DEPOS (the main opposition coalition), the
Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians, and the small Democratic
Party have announced that they might form a "shadow parliament"
to counter the undemocratic practices of the Socialist-Radical
dominated legislatures. Politika and Studio B TV carried the
reports on 29 and 30 January. -Milan Andrejevich

DAVOS: KRAVCHUK PROPOSES NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT FUND. Speaking to
the World Economic Forum in Davos on 30 January, Ukrainian President
Leonid Kravchuk proposed the establishment of an international
fund to finance nuclear disarmament. ITAR- TASS reports that
German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe is very receptive to the
idea. Kravchuk also spoke to reporters about nuclear arms issues.
RIA on 31-January quoted him as saying that the nuclear weapons
in Ukraine do not belong to Ukraine and the republic does not
claim them, but "the assets invested in their creation are our
common property." He said that Russia should admit that these
nuclear weapons are not its exclusive property. Kravchuk estimated
the value of the fissionable materials in the warheads in Ukraine
at $6 billion and said Ukraine wants some compensation for them.
-Doug Clarke

DAVOS: KLAUS ON REGIONAL COOPERATION. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav
Klaus discussed the so-called Visegrad Quadrangle and future
Czech-Slovak relations with journalists in Davos, agencies reported
on 31 January. He said that while cooperation among the Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland makes sense because all
these countries are undergoing similar problems, "it would not
benefit the rest of the world" if they establish a new institution
with "buildings, representatives, and secretaries." Klaus has
repeatedly pointed out that the goal of Czech foreign and economic
policy is to join the EC and that focusing on cooperation with
non-EC members could distract from that aim. Klaus also pointed
out that the Czech Republic has a vital interest in a "normal,
flourishing, stable Slovakia" and pledged to do the best "to
ensure that." He also said that all investments of Slovak citizens
in the Czech Republic will be protected and that the Czech Republic
has a fair chance to become "a normal European country" within
two or three years. -Jan Obrman

DAVOS: BALTIC COORDINATION. On 31 January Latvian Prime Minister
Ivars Godmanis expressed regret that although his government
had signed free-trade agreements with Sweden and Finland, none
yet exist with Estonia and Lithuania, Reuters reports. He said
that the Baltic States should try to get more joint investment
projects rather than competing against each other in setting
up new industries and installations. Lithuanian Finance Minister
Eduardas Vilkelis noted that different approaches to trade and
taxation are hindering Baltic cooperation. Swedish Prime Minister
Carl Bildt supported the call for better cooperation, noting
the success of the Nordic Council. -Saulius Girnius

SECRET MEETINGS BETWEEN KLAUS AND MECIAR? CTK AND VARIOUS CZECH
DAILIES REPORTED ON 28 AND 29-JANUARY THAT CZECH AND SLOVAK PRIME
MINISTERS VACLAV KLAUS AND VLADIMIR MECIAR HELD TWO SECRET MEETINGS
(ONE ON 19 JANUARY, THE SECOND ON 27 JANUARY). The meetings were
reportedly confirmed by individual members of both governments.
The talks reportedly focused on the division of former federal
property and the split of the Czechoslovak currency. Some political
parties represented in the Czech parliament have expressed dismay
about the secrecy surrounding the meetings and called for an
involvement of the parliament. Rumors were further fueled by
a report in the respected Mlada Fronta dnes daily of 30 January
that claimed Meciar asked Klaus for $345 million in financial
aid. The paper also said that the Czech National Bank and two
parties of the four-party ruling coalition are categorically
opposed to the request. On the same day, however, Klaus dismissed
the report as being based on a misunderstanding. -Jan Obrman


WARSAW DEMONSTRATORS DEMAND WALESA'S OUSTER. Several thousand
opponents of the president, shouting "Down with Walesa," "Lustration,"
and "Bolek to Moscow," marched on Belweder on 29 January. Estimates
of crowd size varied from two to seven thousand. At the head
of the march were Center Alliance leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski,
former defense minister Jan Parys, and Freedom Party leader Kornel
Morawiecki. Kaczynski told the crowd that Walesa is "not our
president-.-.-. but the president of the Reds," and called for
new presidential and parliamentary elections. Former Prime Minister
Jan Olszewski and former Internal Affairs Minister Antoni Macierewicz
did not attend, prompting speculation that the movement to unseat
Walesa is divided over the wisdom of street demonstrations. Demonstrators
burned a mustached figure in effigy; most participants thought
it was Walesa, but Kaczynski insisted it represented presidential
chief of staff Mieczyslaw Wachowski. Several reports said the
demonstrators, mostly male and most over 50, were aggressive;
some shouted anti-Semitic slogans. Walesa was out of town during
the demonstration. -Louisa Vinton

POLISH SENATE APPROVES RESTRICTIVE ABORTION BILL. After two days
of procedural discussions, the Senate voted, 35 to 34, to accept
unamended the abortion bill passed by the Sejm. The bill now
goes to the president for signing. Proposals to make the bill
more restrictive or more liberal were all voted down. An amendment
to permit abortion when the pregnant woman faces a "difficult
life situation" failed by a single vote. As it now stands, the
bill bans all abortions except when the pregnant woman's life
or health is threatened (as affirmed by three doctors); when
the fetus is severely damaged; and when the pregnancy results
from rape or incest (as certified by a prosecutor). Doctors who
perform abortions in other situations face two-year prison terms.
Some senators thought the bill a reasonable compromise; others
insisted it sanctioned murder, on the one hand, or violated women's
rights and dignity, on the other. -Louisa Vinton

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION DRAFTS PROPOSALS. The Alliance of Free Democrats,
Hungary's largest opposition party, has worked out a 15-point
package for the months remaining before the 1994 general elections,
MTI reported on 30 January. According to party chairman Ivan
Peto, the proposals do not constitute an election program and
could even be adopted by the coalition government. They include
ideas such as the preparation by independent research institutes
of an objective situation report and an economic forecast, a
report after four months by the finance minister on the fulfillment
of the 1993 budget, and the provision of sufficient means to
the local governments by the 1994 elections. The Free Democrats
favor reducing the number of seats in parliament from 386 to
250 to make its functioning more effective and less expensive,
and expressed their support for Romanian human rights activist
Doina Cornea, who is under pressure in Romania for alleged antistate
subversion. -Alfred Reisch

CORNEA'S SUMMONS CONFIRMED. The Bucharest city prosecutor's office
confirmed on 29-January that Doina Cornea has been summoned to
appear to defend herself against charges of undermining state
power. The office said the charges where brought in connection
with statements made by Cornea on 27 September 1992 but did not
specify who filed the complaint. It said at this stage Cornea
was not incriminated and she was still "presumed to be innocent."
At a press conference on 29 January presidential spokesman Traian
Chebeleu deplored the summons as "ill-timed," referring to the
expected visit of a parliamentary delegation to the Council of
Europe. -Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENTARY LEADERS RESIGN. Parliament Chairman Alexandru
Mosanu and three of the most senior members of the Parliament
Presidium resigned on 29-January in the face of majority demands,
apparently backed by President Mircea Snegur, for a referendum
to confirm Moldova's independence and for the election of a new
parliament. The four favor a gradual unification with Romania
and they are concerned that the proposed referendum would block
it, and that new elections would deprive supporters of unification
of even their residual strength in parliament. -Vladimir Socor


MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT IN FRANCE. On an official visit to France
on 28-30 January, Mircea Snegur and President Fran¨ois Mitterrand
signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation. Snegur also held
separate talks with other senior French officials. Snegur said,
as cited by an RFE/RL correspondent, that Moldovan-Romanian unification
is neither possible nor desired, since only 5% of Moldovans want
it. France pledged to support Moldova's entry into the Council
of Europe and closer links to the EC, Reuters reports. Foreign
Minister Roland Dumas announced that France will open an embassy
in Chisinau shortly and praised Moldova's "efforts to live in
peace with its neighbors," ITAR-TASS reports. Noting the common
origins of their languages, the sides agreed to expand cultural
and educational exchanges. Snegur also signed the Paris Charter
of the CSCE. -Vladimir Socor

MORE FERMENT IN THE CRIMEA. Several thousand communists rallied
in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol on 31 January, demanding
restoration of Russian control over the Crimea and reversal of
Kiev's market-oriented economic reforms, Reuters reports. Demonstrators
are said to have chanted Russian nationalist slogans. The previous
day, according to Ukrinform-TASS, the Second Extraordinary Congress
of the All-Crimean Movement of Voters adopted, among others,
resolutions demanding that the Crimean government rescind its
moratorium on a Crimean referendum, supporting those arguing
for the administrative subordination of Sevastopol to Russia
and the unity of the Black Sea Fleet, and criticizing the Ukrainian
leadership for not signing the draft CIS charter. -Roman Solchanyk


PLANS FOR "ANTI-COMMUNIST, ANTI-IMPERIAL" FRONT IN UKRAINE. The
Congress of National Democratic Forces held a press conference
in Kiev on 29-January that discussed its initiative to form an
"anticommunist and antiimperial front" in Ukraine, Ukrainian
TV reports. The organizers called attention to the activation
of those forces intent on depriving Ukraine of its independence
and regaining power for the Communist Party. The proposed front
has called for a mobilization of democratic forces to oppose
such plans. -Roman Solchanyk

NEW RUSSIAN ORGANIZATION IN ESTONIA. Russian-speakers in Estonia
held the founding congress of a new umbrella organization on
30 January, BNS reports. Without citing specific evidence, the
Russian-speakers' Representative Assembly adopted a statement
calling on both the Estonian and Russian parliaments to end violations
of Russian-speakers' rights in Estonia. According to reports,
the assembly intends to defend the interests of Russian-speakers
and work together with Estonian leaders to draft legislation
affecting the rights of the Russian-speaking population. The
organization appears to have been founded in preparation for
local elections to be held later this year. All permanent residents
of Estonia, regardless of citizenship, are eligible to vote in
local elections. -Riina Kionka

SWEDEN DETAINS REFUGEE BOAT FROM LATVIA. Radio Riga and Western
agencies reported on 23 and 24-January that the captain and crew
of a fishing trawler from Latvia transporting some 80 Kurdish
and Arab refugees were detained in Gotland by the Swedish authorities.
Earlier that week the Latvian-based freighter Priekule transported
some 400-Kurdish refugees to Gotland, where its captain and crew
were also detained. Refugees arriving in Latvia-mostly by train
from Russia-reportedly use the services of criminal organizations
in Russia and Belarus to reach Scandinavia. Both the Latvian
and Swedish authorities are seeking ways to stop this illegal
traffic of refugees. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Wendy Slater  and Charles Trumbull








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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


©1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole