The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 35, 22 February 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.







RUSSIA



KHASBULATOV ATTACKS YELTSIN. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov
told a gathering of legislators in Novosibirsk on 19 February
that the Russian Congress of People's Deputies remains the supreme
power in the country and implied that it was not he but rather
President Boris Yeltsin who had caused the present political
crisis by constantly attempting to extend his powers at the cost
of the legislature. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai told
Ostankino TV "Itogi" on 21 February that Khasbulatov heads a
collective body and is not entitled to conduct an independent
policy. He called on the parliament to clarify its position on
the constitutional agreement proposed by Yeltsin on 18 February
and warned of the danger that the conservative Congress could
bury the agreement. Alexander Rahr

OFFICERS' ASSEMBLY CONVENES. Serving and retired officers from
the armed forces, the Security Ministry, and the Internal Affairs
Ministry gathered in Moscow on 20-21 February, purportedly under
the auspices of the All-Army Officers Assembly. Stanislav Terekhov,
who heads the militantly nationalist Officers Union, and who
was the primary force behind convening the assembly, was elected
its chairman. The meeting was held in secret, and reports from
Moscow by Mayak Radio, Russian TV, and RIA provided only partial
accounts of the proceedings. It appears, however, that the meeting
was not endorsed by the Coordinating Council of the CIS All-Army
Officers Assembly, an official body created in January 1992,
and that the number of participants may have been quite small.
Speakers, who included Albert Makashov (described by the Officers
Union as potential president of a future national salvation government)
and a number of leading Russian Communists, called for Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev to resign. According to Russian TV, the
assembly also voiced opposition to reductions in military spending
and the size of the army, and to conversion. Terekhov claimed
that officers in the Russian General Staff and security organs
supported the Assembly's program. The Defense Ministry opposed
the convening of the Assembly. -Stephen Foye

PLANS FOR "ARMY DAY." The Officers' Assembly also called for
the "Soviet Army and working people to launch an offensive" on
23 February, which formerly marked Soviet "army day" and is now
designated "Defenders of the Fatherland" day. In 1992 the holiday
was also used by conservative forces to protest against the breakup
of the army and the consequences of political liberalization
as a whole, and was the occasion of violent clashes between demonstrators
and security forces in Moscow. Stephen Foye

GAZPROM PUTS PRESSURE ON UKRAINE. The giant Russian natural gas
monopoly is threatening to stop shipments to Ukraine, ITAR-TASS
reported on 19 February. Acting Gazprom Chairman Rem Vyakhirev
told a press conference in Moscow that Ukraine has not been paying
its bills since the first of the year and supplies will be cut
off this week. Vyakhirev also said that a telegram has been sent
to 17 of Gazprom's main European customers, stating that Russia
intends to maintain full deliveries to them, but warned them
to take measures in case Ukraine disrupts supplies in transit.
On 18 February according to the Financial Times, Ukrainian Prime
Minister Leonid Kuchma accused Russia of trying to bring about
"a full paralysis" of the Ukrainian economy. At the weekend he
embarked on a trip to the Central Asian states to secure oil
and gas supplies. -Erik Whitlock and Bohdan Nahaylo

LEADING PARLIAMENTARIAN URGES RETURN TO STATE ORDERS. Aleksandr
Pochinok, chairman of the Russian Parliamentary Committee on
the Budget, Plan, Taxes and Prices, has called for the reinstatement
of state orders to add some stability to the Russian economy,
according to Russian TV "Novosti" on 19-February. Speaking at
a meeting of state officials in Novosibirsk, Pochinok criticized
presidential decrees liberalizing free trade and said that broadening
the use of state orders would soften the current investment crisis
and strengthen state budget revenues. At present, state orders
and contracts are largely limited to the purchase of military,
energy, and agricultural goods. Pochinok also confirmed parliament's
intention to draft a law reestablishing the state liquor monopoly.
Erik Whitlock

REVENUES FROM ANTIMONOPOLY POLICY. Leonid Bochin, chairman of
the Russian State Committee for Antimonopoly Policy told a press
conference in Moscow on 19 February that fines on monopoly producers
for charging exorbitant prices produced 2.7 billion rubles of
revenue for the state budget in 1992, according to ITAR-TASS.
Total budget revenue in 1992 was about 4.6 trillion rubles. Bochin
also said that the committee was preparing a federal program
for supporting entrepreneurship. Erik Whitlock

CONFERENCE ON THE KGB IN MOSCOW. A conference on the KGB, organized
by former Soviet dissidents in Moscow on 19-21 February, issued
a resolution calling for the abolition of all former KGB structures
which have been preserved in the present Ministry of Security.
The resolution said that a new secret service should be established,
which should not employ former KGB officials. Principal speakers
at the conference included former KGB General Oleg Kalugin, former
KGB chief Vadim Bakatin, heads of various parliamentary investigative
commissions on KGB activities, and several well-known human rights
activists. The Ministry of Security itself was represented by
Col. Aleksei Kandaurov who faced tough questions from the audience.
Subsequent conferences on the KGB are planned for May and autumn
1993. Alexander Rahr

YELTSIN DECREE ON ARMS EXPORTS. President Yeltsin has issued
a decree establishing guidelines for the export of military hardware
and expertise, as well as outlining procedures for the transfer
of raw materials, equipment, and dual-purpose technology to any
foreign state, including those of the CIS, ITAR-TASS reported
on 19 February. The text of the decree was not available. The
measure is reportedly aimed at ensuring compliance with UN weapons
embargoes and at protecting Russia's national interests. The
vague wording of the report suggests that inter-departmental
or ministerial disagreements over such issues are to be resolved
in the Security Council, while final authority for making decisions
on embargoes is vested in the President's office. Stephen Foye


MOSCOW ON SANCTIONS AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. The Russian Foreign
Ministry issued a statement on 19 February regarding possible
policing action to enforce UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia.
"Any actions involving Western European Union warships in the
Black Sea and the adjacent Danube basin or any other actions
of that nature" should be approved in advance "by Russia, as
a Black Sea state which has direct interests in this region,"
the statement said, as reported by ITAR-TASS. On 21 February
in an interview with ITAR-TASS, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
declared Russia's support for the strict observation of sanctions.
Despite pressure from the Russian parliament for Moscow to start
supplying humanitarian aid to rump Yugoslavia, Kozyrev stated
that Russia would not make unilateral moves in this direction
because such actions would run counter to UN decisions. Suzanne
Crow

MINERS: STRIKE ACTION STILL THREATENED. The 500 miners at the
Vorgashorskaya mine in Vorkuta, who had joined an underground
sit-in in protest at the arrest of their leader, Ivan Guridov,
ended their protest on 17-February after Guridov was released
on bail. The miners have again voted overwhelmingly to have him
as director of the mine, but his appointment still has to be
confirmed by the Ministry of Fuel and Energy. Work at the mine
was resumed on 20 February, but the miners threaten to resume
the strike if Guridov's appointment is not approved. Meanwhile,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported that miners in the Kuzbass region
have been voting on whether to strike. A decision is expected
on 23-February. President Yeltsin is reported to be preparing
a decree to meet the miners' demands, the main ones being that
their wages be linked to inflation, and that renovation of the
mines begin. Sheila Marnie

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



AZERBAIJAN DEFENSE MINISTER RESIGNS. Azerbaijani Defense Minister
Rahim Gaziev offered to resign at a closed session of the Azerbaijan
Milli Mejlis (People's Assembly) on 19-February at which he was
blamed for recent military setbacks suffered by Azerbaijani troops
in Nagorno-Karabakh, Western agencies reported. His offer was
accepted the following day by Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey,
who on 21-February appointed Afghan veteran Maj.-Gen. Dadash
Rzaev to replace Gaziev; Rzaev is the fifth Minister of Defense
since the post was created 18 month ago. Both the Italian Foreign
Ministry and the Azerbaijani President's office have expressed
concern that the new Armenian offensive may jeopardize the next
round of Karabakh peace talks due to open in Rome this week.
Liz Fuller

SHEVARDNADZE ANGERED BY RUSSIAN AIRRAID ON SUKHUMI. Georgian
parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze flew to the Abkhaz coastal
town of Sukhumi on 21 February following an overnight airraid
by Russian warplanes on the town in which one person was killed
and eight injured, Western agencies reported. A Russian Defense
Ministry spokesman said that the raid was aimed at military targets
in retaliation for Georgian shelling of a Russian unit the previous
day. Shevardnadze condemned the raid as "barbarous" and vowed
that Georgia would make "an adequate response." Liz Fuller

MORE ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONS IN EREVAN. Tens of thousands
of Armenians demonstrated in Erevan on 20 February, protesting
against appalling economic conditions, made worse by an attack
on the main gas pipeline through Georgia on 19-February which
cut supplies for the third time within a month, and calling for
the resignation of Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan. A
second demonstration on 21 February called on the Armenian government
to recognize the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR).
Participants also protested against US criticism of the recent
Armenian offensive in Karabakh, according to ITAR-TASS. Ter-Petrossyan
has stated that Armenia will recognize the NKR only after another
foreign state has done so. Liz Fuller

TAJIK GOVERNMENT FORCES TAKE OPPOSITION STRONGHOLDS. ITAR-TASS
and Western journalists reported on 21 February that Tajik government
troops had taken control of several strongholds of the pro-Islamic
opposition the previous day. These included Garm, Komsomolabad,
Tadzhikabad and Tavildar Raions and the Romit Gorge in the mountains
east of Dushanbe. The Gorge has been the site of several weeks
of fighting between pro- and anti-government forces. Tajik head
of state Imomali Rakhmonov appealed to the population of the
captured regions to work with the government to restore the country's
economy. On 20-February Khovar-TASS reported that 5,000 Tajik
refugees have returned from Afghanistan, but some 50,000 remain.
The same day Rakhmonov met UN representatives to discuss efforts
to repatriate the refugees who fled to Afghanistan in December
and early January to escape reprisals by pro-government troops.
Bess Brown

CENSORSHIP IN TAJIKISTAN. The government in Tajikistan has opened
an attack on opposition publications, Russian TV reported on
18 February. Quoting Moskovskiye novosti, the TV report said
that nine opposition newspapers and journals have been closed.
Five journalists have been killed and ten have disappeared without
trace. The deaths and disappearances of the journalists probably
occurred during the fighting and are unlikely all to be due to
the present government. However, many journalists have had to
leave Tajikistan, and the chief of Tajik Radio and TV under the
Communist-opposition coalition government of 1992 has been arrested
along with four of his subordinates. Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



UN ACTIVITIES IN YUGOSLAV CRISIS. A UN relief convoy reached
the besieged eastern Bosnian town of Zepa on 21 February after
waiting to pass through Serb checkpoints since the 17th. International
media also report that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
said on the 21st that her agency will resume relief shipments,
which she ordered halted the previous week. Elsewhere, eastern
Bosnian officials appealed to the Bosnian government to lift
its ban on further aid shipments to Sarajevo until the UN succeeds
in supplying eastern Bosnia as well. Finally, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported from the UN on 20 February that the Security Council
has authorized that body's military contingents in Croatia and
Bosnia, UNPROFOR, to use "necessary defensive means" under certain
circumstances. The Council also warned Croatia that it faces
UN sanctions if it does not stop its current offensive against
Serbian-held parts of Croatia. -Patrick Moore

PARACHUTE DROPS FOR BOSNIA? MAJOR US DAILIES ON 22 FEBRUARY REPORT
THAT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION WILL SOON ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR
A PARACHUTE DROP OF SUPPLIES INTO EASTERN BOSNIA. The Bosnian
authorities have long called for such a measure, but some also
fear that Washington may limit its new initiatives to the air
drop, which they regard as insufficient by itself. Some media
accounts question whether such shipments could be delivered safely
or accurately, or whether political problems might arise if the
Serbs were to accuse the aid missions of supplying the Bosnians
with weapons. -Patrick Moore

TURKISH PRESIDENT WARNS OF BALKAN CONFLAGRATION. International
media on 20-February said that Turgut …zal ended his Balkan diplomatic
mission that took him to Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, and Croatia.
…zal said that he continues to be "worried that the increase
of pressure from Serbian chauvinism-.-.-. will set the Balkans
on fire," but added that he and his hosts hope that regional
cooperation can prevent the conflict from spreading. The Turkish
president still feels that military intervention under UN sponsorship
is necessary to solve the problems in Bosnia, however, noting
that the chances of ending that conflict otherwise are "meager."
-Patrick Moore

YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT POSTPONES TRIP TO ROMANIA. A spokesman for
the Romanian Foreign Ministry announced on 19 February that President
Dobrica Cosic of rump Yugoslavia was postponing a visit to Bucharest
scheduled for the weekend. The rump Yugoslavia's embassy said
Cosic had health problems. The visit has been rescheduled for
25 February. The visit will be one of a series of high-level
contacts between Romania and Balkan countries, all apparently
connected with the conflict in former Yugoslavia. -Michael Shafir


UN SANCTIONS BITE SERBS. According to reports on Radio Serbia
on 17-18 February, the federal Statistical Office and Belgrade's
Market Research Institute released January production data showing
overall industrial output in Serbia down almost 37% from a year
ago. Some major manufacturing firms registered declines as high
as 73%, and no company reported an increase in January output.
Surveys of major companies show raw material stocks are either
exhausted or seriously depleted. The UN sanctions are being blamed
for more layoffs throughout Serbia. Some factories report that
80-90% of the work force has been laid off. Dobrivoje Perovic,
deputy mayor and chairman of the Belgrade Crisis Committee, warned
that fuel reserves are slowly running out. He added that the
shortage of heating oil has forced local officials to close schools
throughout Serbia in order to guarantee supply only those amounts
needed for public transport and community services. The shortage
of medicines and vaccines is blamed for the sharp rise in the
death toll among the elderly and newborn. A Pristina daily reports
that the Belgrade authorities are closing public health clinics
in Kosovo and say there have been 10 deaths from scarlet fever.
Radio Croatia and Bosnia have even alleged an outbreak of smallpox
there. -Milan Andrejevich

ANTI-MUSLIM DEMONSTRATIONS IN MACEDONIA. Violence broke out in
two days of anti-Muslim demonstrations in Skopje on 20 and 21
February according to AFP and ORF. Protesters, supporters of
two xenophobic nationalist political parties-the Internal Macedonian
Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party of Macedonian National
Unity and Movement for Pan-Macedonian Action-oppose construction
of a camp in the Gjorgje Petrov section of the city meant to
house refugees from the Bosnian conflict. Demonstrators fear
that additional Muslims in Macedonia will tilt the ethnic balance
in the country in favor of Albanians and other Muslims against
Christian Orthodox Macedonians, who constitute about two-thirds
of the population. Police used tear gas against several hundred
rock-throwing demonstrators on 21 February and about a dozen
police, firefighters, and protesters were hurt in the weekend's
violence. -Duncan Perry

POLISH BUDGET AWAITS WALESA'S SIGNATURE. The Senate voted on
19 February, 54 to 19 with five abstentions, to accept without
amendment the 1993 budget approved by the Sejm a week earlier.
The Senate vote concluded the parliament's work on the budget;
only the president's signature is now required. Most of the senators
from Solidarity were absent during the vote, perhaps fearing
the grilling that Sejm colleagues who supported the budget are
now facing from angry union members. Despite the atmosphere of
urgency surrounding the budget, the president seemed in no hurry
to sign it into law; a spokesman told PAP on 20-February that
Walesa has thirty days to sign, "so we should wait patiently."
In other parliamentary business, the Senate voted to restore
the possibility of joint taxation for married couples, satisfying
the chief demand of the Silesian coal miners who struck on 18-February.
In a more controversial decision, the Sejm voted on 19 February
to impose a complete ban on cigarette and alcohol advertising
in Poland, while the Senate decided to count beer among the alcoholic
beverages requiring a license to sell. -Louisa Vinton

POLAND LOWERS INTEREST RATES, SIGNS "ENTERPRISE PACT." The Polish
National Bank cut interest rates by three to four percentage
points on 20-February, PAP reports. National Bank chief Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz said that positive economic results in 1992
and declining inflation made the reductions possible. Further
interest rate cuts can be expected about every two months in
1993, provided positive economic trends continue, she added.
In other economic news, PAP reported that the trade unions, the
government, and employers' organizations will sign the tripartite
"pact on state enterprises" negotiated last fall on 22 February.
The pact is designed to win workers' support for the accelerated
privatization and restructuring of state firms. -Louisa Vinton


NIXON IN PRAGUE. Former US President Richard Nixon arrived in
Prague on 20 February for a short private visit. He met with
President Vaclav Havel, Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, and other
Czech officials.Following their meeting, CTK reports, Klaus quoted
Nixon as saying that the Czech Republic has made the biggest
progress of all postcommunist countries and an aide to the Czech
president said Nixon hailed the reforms being implemented in
the Czech Republic. Nixon told reporters in Prague that the main
objective of this and similar trips is to call attention of the
American public to Eastern Europe. He said he opposes the policy
of concentrating only on American domestic problems. Nixon argued
that the post-communist countries of East-Central Europe should
become part of European economic and security structures as soon
as possible. -Jiri Pehe

IMF-SLOVAK TALKS REPORTEDLY BREAK DOWN. Reuters quoted Western
sources in Bratislava on 20-February as saying that talks between
International Monetary Fund and government officials have broken
down in a dispute over the devaluation of Slovak currency. International
experts have been urging Slovakia to devalue its currency to
make its goods more competitive and protect its hard currency
reserves. According to Reuters' sources, the IMF found the officials
"unwilling to make the political step of devaluation." The IMF
team was in Bratislava to discuss the possibility of giving Slovakia
a $100-million standby loan. On 21 February Premier Vladimir
Meciar said on Slovak TV that the fact that two weeks after the
Czech-Slovak currency separation the Slovak currency has not
been devalued "is a success." Meciar said the discussion surrounding
the question of devaluation puts "psychological pressure on citizens
and entrepreneurs." -Jiri Pehe

HUNGARY TO INCREASE LEVEL OF DANUBE. Gyurko Janos, the environmental
protection minister-designate, said in a radio interview on 19
February that Hungary will act unilaterally to increase the water
supply in the old bed of the Danube. Slovakia diverted the river
into Slovak territory at Cunovo in October 1992 to supply the
Gabcikovo hydroelectric canal and dam system. Bilateral negotiations
to frame a joint appeal to the International Court of Justice
for arbitration were unsuccessful. Gyurko said that Hungary is
planning to activate the completed but unused weir at Dunakiliti
in order to address the environmental catastrophe now facing
the old Danube area because of the lack of water. Slovakia currently
diverts 80% of the Danube water into the new channels. -Karoly
Okolicsanyi

RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE CHIEF IN HUNGARY. Yevgenii Primakov, the
head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, visited Hungary
on 19 February 1992, MTI reports. He had talks with his Hungarian
counterpart, Tibor Fuzessy, and Prime Minister Jozsef Antall.
Topics of the talks included joint actions against terrorism,
illegal drug trafficking, and organized crime, and ways to prevent
smuggling of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Political
issues of the region were also discussed. -Karoly Okolicsanyi


FUNAR BANS FOREIGN FLAGS AND ANTHEMS. Gheorghe Funar, the Romanian
nationalist mayor of Cluj, has banned foreign banners and anthems
in the city, Western agencies quoting the local radio station
reported on 20 February. The move, the latest in a series of
anti-Hungarian measures, is likely to increase tensions between
Romanians and ethnic Hungarians. Radio Cluj quoted Funar as saying
that "the obstinate way" Hungarians express their ethnic identity
"through the symbols of the Hungarian state jeopardizes the unity
of the Romanians." -Michael Shafir

ROMANIA ADOPTS DRAFT BUDGET FOR 1993. On 19 February the government
adopted the budget for 1993, Radio Bucharest announced. The budget
must be approved by the parliament. Finance Minister Florin Georgescu
said the budget includes what he called a "healthy deficit" aimed
at renewing state investment to create jobs. He added that the
draft budget has been discussed with IMF experts, "who gave their
agreement in principle to the deficit level." The deficit is
targeted at about 4% of GDP-up from 2.3% in 1992. Minister of
State Misu Negritoiu, who heads the Council for Coordination,
Strategy, and Economic Reform, said at the government's press
conference on the same day that living standards will not rise
in 1993. Unemployment will keep rising and its level might reach
15%, he said. (According to data released by the National Statistics
Board on 19 February, unemployment is now 8.8% of the active
population). Negritoiu also said the government will stick to
its plans to remove all remaining subsidies on consumer goods
and energy on 1 May 1993. According to forecasts, inflation in
1993 will be 80%-less than half last year's rate. -Michael Shafir


BULGARIA TO REJECT DEBT DEAL. Bulgaria will not accept a new
debt proposal as outlined by foreign creditors, Finance Minister
Stoyan Aleksandrov told Reuters in Sofia. Returning from Washington
on 21-February, Aleksandrov said officials of both the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank consider the current proposal
"unserviceable." The next round of negotiations with Bulgaria's
commercial creditors is due in Frankfurt on 1 and 2 March, but
important elements of the proposed deal have been provided beforehand.
Commenting his contacts with the IMF, Aleksandrov said he hoped
a new one- or two-year agreement could be signed in March or
April. Earlier the Bulgarian Finance Minister had indicated he
might want to do without IMF support in case it raises objections
to a larger budget deficit, tentatively set at 8%. -Kjell Engelbrekt


MOLDOVAN-UKRAINIAN MILITARY AGREEMENT SIGNED. Drafted and initialed
in January, a Ukrainian-Moldovan agreement on military cooperation
was signed by the defense ministers, Generals Konstantin Morozov
and Pavel Creanga, in Chisinau on 19 February. According to the
communique cited by Moldovapres, the agreement provides for the
creation of a common air defense system of the two countries;
exchanges of intelligence; joint maneuvers, drills, and tactical
studies; cooperation in the training of military personnel; mutual
support in repairing and servicing military equipment; and sharing
experience in the creation of national armies. Most of these
cooperative activities would in practice amount to a one-way
street of Ukrainian assistance to Moldova. President Mircea Snegur,
who conferred with Morozov, predicted that "this agreement will
help ensure stable peace in this region of Europe." The known
provisions of this agreement are much more far-reaching than
the known provisions of the Moldovan-Romanian military agreement
signed in December 1992. -Vladimir Socor

PRIVATIZATION BEGINS IN LVIV. The first sale of state shops and
restaurants began on 20-February, Reuters reports. The International
Finance Corporation helped organize the sale of 70 small businesses
by auction, and prices are reported to have soared far beyond
their assessed value. A hardware store, for example, had been
valued at 150,000 karbovantsi, but was bought for 48 million
karbovantsi by the staff collective. It is planned to privatize
60% of all small state enterprises in Lviv by the end of 1993.
-Sheila Marnie

NEW CHAIRMAN OF LITHUANIAN DEMOCRATIC LABOR PARTY. On 19 February
the Council of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party elected
the party's first deputy chairman Gediminas Kirkilas as the party's
acting chairman, replacing Algirdas Brazauskas, who was required
to resign after being elected president, Radio Lithuania reports.
Kirkilas, born in 1951, graduated from the faculty of journalism
of Vilnius University in 1978 and served in various party posts
since 1982. He was defeated in the Seimas elections in Vilnius,
but gained a seat from the party list. The new party chairman
will be elected at the party Congress to be held in Vilnius on
17-18 April. -Saulius Girnius

SAEIMA DEPUTY COUNT SET. The Latvian Central Electoral Commission
announced that 24 deputies from Riga, 26 from Vidzeme, 20 from
Latgale, 14 from Kurzeme, and 16 from Zemgale will be elected
in the parliamentary elections scheduled for 5-6 June, Diena
reported on 19 February. The Saeima will consist of 100-deputies.
-Dzintra Bungs

SWEDISH-ESTONIAN RELATIONS WARM. During a 20-February meeting
in Stockholm, Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt told his Estonian
counterpart Mart Laar that Sweden is willing to help train Estonian
defense, border, and police forces, BNS reports. Bildt also said
Sweden will help Estonia clean up mines and explosives left by
withdrawing Russian troops by training sapper units, and would
support efforts to clean up environmental hazards at Sillamae
and Paldiski. Bildt also proposed two programs for loans and
export credits for Estonia, saying that Sweden is satisfied with
Estonia's economic policy. -Riina Kionka

ESTONIAN MONOPOLY ON METALS EXPORTS. The Estonian government
on 19 February imposed a state monopoly on the buying, export,
and reexport of scrap ferrous metals, BNS reports. The government
is reportedly planning to cut taxes on metal imports and exports,
hoping to cash in on customs duties from metal trade that heretofore
went undeclared. -Riina Kionka

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Wendy Slater and Charles Trumbull



THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
(A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the
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