Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 36, 23 February 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.



RUSSIA



REFERENDUM ISSUES. Following a meeting with the conciliatory
commission, uniting representatives of the executive and legislature
and formed in order to find a way out of the present political
deadlock, First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko told
Radio Rossii "Novosti" on 22 February that the parliament is
likely to reject the constitutional agreement proposed by President
Boris Yeltsin. Observers believe that the parliament will call
for the convention of an extraordinary Congress of People's Deputies,
at which an attempt will be made to declare the referendum illegal.
Yeltsin is then expected to continue fighting for the referendum.
-Alexander Rahr

SPECULATION OVER YELTSIN'S FUTURE. Former Russian State Secretary
Gennadii Burbulis visiting the USA told policy-makers that he
expects Yeltsin to win the current political battle with parliamentary
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov. Observers linked his remarks with
the replacement on 22 February of Richard Armitage, coordinator
of US aid to the former USSR, over a recent prediction that Yeltsin's
"days in office were numbered." Also on 22 February, head of
the Russian Federal Information Center, Mikhail Poltoranin was
reported by ITAR-TASS as saying that Yeltsin's opponents had
reduced the president to a figurehead, and that Russia faced
fragmentation if his executive powers were not strengthened.
Meanwhile, Khasbulatov announced he was curtailing a four-day
visit to Finland, according to Finnish media. Commentators suggested
that his early return to Moscow was to prepare for the parliamentary
debate on the Russian Constitution scheduled for 25 February.
-Wendy Slater

OSTANKINO DEPUTY HEAD RESIGNS IN PROTEST AT INFORMATION POLICY.
Igor Malashenko, the first deputy chairman of Ostankino TV has
submitted his resignation to the chairman, Vyacheslav Bragin.
At a news conference, broadcast on both Russian TV channels on
22 February, Malashenko said that he opposed the transformation
of the state-owned TV network into the mouthpiece of one political
grouping. According to Malashenko, Bragin and the head of the
Federal Information Center, Mikhail Poltoranin, have engineered
the complete takeover of Ostankino by the "Democratic Russia"
movement and its daughter organizations. Malashenko voiced his
opposition to the appointment of Kirill Ignatev, former Organizational
Secretary of the pro-Yeltsin political coalition, "Democratic
Choice," as head of the newly-created department responsible
for Ostankino's personnel and political policies. He also announced
his opposition to what he characterized as Ostankino's propaganda
campaign to secure the success of Russia's forthcoming constitutional
referendum "at all costs". -Julia Wishnevsky

ARMY HOLIDAY MARKED. Celebrations marking "Defenders of the Fatherland"
day, formerly Soviet "Army Day," began on the eve of the holiday
at the army's central academic theater in Moscow, and continued
on 23 February. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, speaking at
the theater, suggested that the Soviet army's exploits should
once again be recognized in Russia. He also claimed that anti-military
tendencies evident since 1985 had corrupted young people and
led to the shabby treatment of veterans. Addressing the same
gathering, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev criticized those politicians
who, he said, strive to involve the army in politics. Among them
he numbered the leaders of the All-Army Officers Assembly which
met on 20-21 February. Rutskoi's and Grachev's remarks were reported
by ITAR-TASS on 22 February. Russian TV reported on 20-February
that, according to Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov,
the holiday would not be celebrated in Ukraine. -Stephen Foye


YELTSIN INTERVIEWED BY ARMY NEWSPAPER. A beleaguered Boris Yeltsin
used the occasion of the "Defenders of the Fatherland" day to
praise the military virtues of Russian servicemen in peacetime
and in war. In more substantive terms, Yeltsin lamented the endurance
of violence in Russia's conscript army and called for swifter
military reform. He said that Russia's military doctrine is still
being elaborated by the Security Council, but emphasized that
Moscow does not consider any country or coalition of countries
to be its adversary, and that it rejects the use of force as
a means of achieving political goals. Yeltsin said that the threat
of large scale war had been replaced by that of local conflicts,
a change that obliged Russia to build compact and highly professional
armed forces which are mobile and equipped with the most modern
weaponry. He emphasized that Moscow was working to protect the
living standards of servicemen, and listed measures taken by
the government to raise pay and build housing for them. He made
a special plea for the proper treatment of Afghan veterans. The
text of the interview, published in Krasnaya zvezda on 23 February,
was released by ITAR-TASS a day early. -Stephen Foye

PARLIAMENTARY HEARINGS ON PRESERVING INTEGRITY OF RUSSIA. At
parliamentary hearings on "the integrity of the Russian Federation
and regional policy" on 22 February, the chairman of the Council
of Nationalities Ramazan Abdulatipov noted two tendencies in
regional policy, ITAR-TASS reported. On the one hand there was
supercentralization, and on the other the crumbling of the state
through the transfer of many powers to the subjects of the federation.
Abdulatipov maintained that at least 100 pieces of legislation
would be necessary to implement the federal treaty, and that
25 laws adopted in the last two years would have to be amended.
Further information was provided by the head of the Interior
Ministry's Main Administration for Ensuring Public Order, Maj.
Gen. Vyacheslav Ogorodnikov, who indicated the Tatar Public Center
in Tatarstan and the "Ural" organization in Bashkortostan as
examples of groups seeking independence outside the Russian Federation.
ITAR-TASS and other agencies quoted Ogorodnikov as saying there
were similar dangerous trends in Siberia's republics of Khakasiya,
Tuva and Sakha as well as some parts of the Northern Caucasus.
(In Siberia, the strongest separatist groups are to be found
in Tuva, whereas in Khakasiya and Sakha such groups seem to be
marginal.) -Ann Sheehy and Vera Tolz

WARNINGS FROM MINISTER OF FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS. At the
same hearings Russia's Minister of Foreign Economic Relations
Sergei Glazev said there could be no integral Russia if there
were different customs dues, different procedures for issuing
licenses, and different regimes for regulating foreign currency
in the various regions. Glazev described as "very dangerous"
the actions of some republics which are receiving foreign credits
against guarantees on their local resources. He said there were
many cases where Russia had suffered substantial damage because
of incompetent foreign trade activity at the local level and
suggested that ministers in the republics and the heads of krai
and oblast administrations should be made answerable at the federal
as well as at the local level. -Ann Sheehy

LAWS ON REFUGEES AND INVOLUNTARY RESETTLERS. On 19 February the
Russian parliament finally passed laws on refugees and involuntary
resettlers, ITAR-TASS reported. Refugees are defined as persons
who are not citizens of the Russian Federation, who have been
forced to leave their country of permanent residence, and who
have come or wish to come to Russia. They must apply for refugee
status immediately on arrival. Involuntary resettlers are Russian
citizens or other persons permanently resident on the territory
of Russia who are forced to leave their place of permanent residence
as a result of violence or persecution, or a real danger of persecution,
on grounds of nationality, religion, language, membership of
a social group, political convictions, mass violations of public
order, or other circumstances significantly infringing human
rights. -Ann Sheehy

CONTROVERSY OVER LAW ON LUSTRATION IN RUSSIA. On 19 February,
at the conference on the KGB in Moscow, former presidential advisor
on nationalities issues and a leading member of the "Democratic
Russia" movement, Galina Starovoitova, reiterated the movement's
suggestion that all former high-ranking officials of the KGB
and the CPSU be barred from government posts, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported. According to Moscow News no. 5, "Democratic Russia"
adopted a resolution on the issue earlier this year. Speaking
at the Moscow conference on the KGB, Starovoitova said the law
should not apply to former KGB and Communist Party officials
who "clearly abandoned totalitarianism in August 1991." Starovoitova's
proposal was strongly criticized by Aleksandr Tsipko, author
of the first articles in the official Soviet press to attack
Marx' views on communist society as utopian. In Starovoitova's
proposal, Tsipko attacked the wording "clearly abandoned totalitarianism"
as being vague and liable to lead to arbitrary action. -Vera
Tolz

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



KYRGYZSTAN EXPLAINS POSITION ON ISRAEL. Kyrgyzstan's President
Askar Akaev has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali seeking to clarify his statements during his visit
to Israel in January, ITAR-TASS and an RFE/RL correspondent reported
on 19 February. Akaev said in the letter that Kyrgyzstan supports
the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and state
sovereignty, and that the establishment of diplomatic relations
between Kyrgyzstan and Israel will depend on the outcome of Arab-Israeli
peace talks. Akaev made statements in support of Palestinian
independence during his visit to Israel, but the attention of
the world press was diverted by his promise to open an embassy
in Jerusalem, as few countries have been willing to do. Iran's
leadership was so incensed by Akaev's promise that a planned
visit to Kyrgyzstan by the Iranian foreign minister was abruptly
canceled. -Bess Brown

GEORGIA DECREES MOBILIZATION OF YOUNG MEN AGED 18-25. The Georgian
government has decreed the callup of all young men aged 18-25
to serve in the armed forces, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 February.
The Georgian parliament passed a law in late December, 1992,
on compulsory military service for all young men reaching the
age of 18. -Liz Fuller

NIYAZOV'S PERSONALITY CULT. Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad
Niyazov, who has encouraged an extensive personality cult of
himself since Turkmenistan became independent, has now asked
that the practice of naming farms, factories, streets, military
units and major waterworks after him be stopped, ITAR-TASS reported
on 19 February. Although Niyazov has argued that the cult is
in keeping with local tradition and helps to buttress the population's
understanding of Turkmenistan as an independent entity, observers
outside Turkmenistan have been critical of the practice, especially
in connection with Turkmenistan's dismal human rights record.
Niyazov's halt to further manifestations of the cult coincides
with the arrival in Ashgabat of former US Secretary of State
Alexander Haig on 21 February. ITAR-TASS reported that Haig would
be exploring opportunities for US firms to invest in Turkmenistan
and that Niyazov plans an unofficial visit to the US in March.
-Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



UN BACKS WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL. International media on 22 and 23
February said that the UN Security Council voted unanimously
on 22 February to adopt a French proposal to set up a tribunal
to investigate war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. Resolution
808 noted that "widespread violations of international humanitarian
law-.-.-. including-.-.-. 'ethnic cleansing'-.-.-. constitute
a threat to international peace and security." The secretary-general
is to submit specific proposals for the group to begin its work,
which will deal with crimes committed by and against all nationalities,
but the resolution alluded to the special plight of Muslim women
raped by Serbs as part of a systematic political campaign. The
current project differs from the Nuremberg tribunal in that the
war is still going on; the main object of investigation will
be the apparent military victors; no suspects have been formally
indicted or arrested; those placed on trial will not be able
to avoid responsibility by saying that they were only carrying
out orders; and the UN is a peace-maker, not a belligerent. -Patrick
Moore

BOSNIAN UPDATE. International media reported on 22 February that
relief shipments began arriving again in Sarajevo after the city
government gave its permission. Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Bosnian
Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as saying in Zvornik that Muslims
and Serbs could never live together in Bosnia again "as brothers"
following what Serbs said was the mass killing of 38 Serbs by
Muslims. Karadzic called the dead "our martyrs killed in a horrifying
way," while the local Orthodox bishop described them as "warriors
who died in defense of their religion and the Serb nation-.-.-.
Serbs will never be slaves to Turks [Muslims] or Ustashas [Croats]."
-Patrick Moore

CZECH PREMIER VISITS SLOVAKIA. Vaclav Klaus arrived in Bratislava
on 22 February for a one-day visit, the first official trip since
the breakup of Czechoslovakia. Klaus met with Premier Vladimir
Meciar and other members of the Slovak government. CTK reports
that among the issues discussed during the meetings were questions
of the division of former federal property, including the assets
and debts of the Czechoslovak State Bank. Citing the continuing
migration of people in Europe as a reason, Klaus told the Slovak
cabinet that the Czech Republic will have to set up formal controls
along its border with Slovakia. Klaus further said that the Czech-Slovak
customs union will remain the main pillar of bilateral relations.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Meciar, Klaus said
that Slovakia is expected to obtain the sole right to represent
the former Czechoslovakia in the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros dam dispute.
He suggested that the Czech parliament will yield its rights
in the dispute soon. Meciar suggested that Slovakia restrict
its imports because its hard currency reserves are falling fast.
Meciar said that restrictions, in the form of import duties,
would apply only to goods being purchased with hard currency,
and not to imports from the neighboring Czech Republic. -Jiri
Pehe

POLAND SEALS "PACT ON STATE FIRMS." As Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka
looked on, representatives of the government, the unions, and
the employers' confederation signed the tripartite "pact on state
firms in transformation" on 22 February. Solidarity and the former
official trade unions signed in separate ceremonies, one hour
apart. Negotiations on the pact were begun in July and completed
in November but the signing was delayed because of the December
miners' strike and tension over the terms of the 1993 budget.
Labor Minister Jacek Kuron hailed the pact as "a step in the
direction of a social order based on social contracts" while
Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski said it would improve both
"social dialogue" and economic efficiency. In other economic
news, President Lech Walesa signed the 1993 budget into law on
22 February. -Louisa Vinton

THE PACT: WORKERS' CONSENT A PREREQUISITE. The "pact on state
firms," a package of draft legislation that must still make its
way through the parliament, is designed to win workers' assent
to rapid privatization and restructuring. It gives firms six
months to decide on a privatization plan, after which the government
has a free hand to order structural changes; offers the work
force 10% of the shares in their firms at no charge and control
over one-third of the board of directors; simplifies debt-relief
and employee leasing operations; and expands the issues subject
to collective bargaining. Firms that move rapidly to privatize
and settle their debts will be released from the excess wages
tax. Workers are required to settle on a single body to represent
them and accept wage limits negotiated centrally. The unions
have agreed to limit consumption increases to one-half of the
economic growth rate; the remainder is earmarked for investment.
Some economists and members of the business community have criticized
the pact as "remedial basket-weaving" for state workers, but
its signatories hail it as a reasonable compromise that takes
into account Poland's sociopolitical realities and shifts workers'
attention from making demands on the state to taking an interest
in the fate of their own firms. -Louisa Vinton

LIBERAL FORMATIONS MERGE IN ROMANIA. The National Liberal Party-Youth
Wing and the National Liberal Party-Democratic Convention were
merged in line with a decision adopted by congresses held by
both on 19 February. The new party will be called the Liberal
Party. It will also be joined by a dissident group recently expelled
from the National Liberal Party. On 20 February the Liberal Party
elected Vintila Bratianu president of its National Council and
Horia Rusu executive president of the party. -Michael Shafir


BULGARIA-ISRAELI HISTORICAL COMMISSION REPORT. The Bulgarian
government led by Bogdan Filov (1940-43) was responsible for
genocide, a joint Bulgarian-Israeli historical commission said
on 22 February. Throughout World War-II Bulgaria resisted Nazi
pressure to surrender its 50,000 Jews, but Filov's cabinet organized
the deportation of 11,363 Jews from Macedonia and Thrace-then
occupied by Bulgaria-to concentration camps in Germany and Eastern
Europe. The deportations were carried out by German troops in
March 1943. A member of the commission told BTA that some of
the officials involved were tried and convicted by the People's
Court set up by the communist regime. -Kjell Engelbrekt

"DNIESTER REPUBLIC" REWARDS LEADING RUSSIAN SUPPORTERS. The presidium
of the "Dniester republic supreme soviet" has awarded a personal
Nagan revolver to Russian Supreme Soviet Vice Chairman Nikolai
Ryabov "for his considerable contribution to the strengthening
of the Russian Federation's cooperation with the 'Dniester republic',"
Basapress reported on 20 February, citing the Tiraspol media.
Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army in
Moldova, on 18 February was handed the keys to Bendery at a ceremony
in that right-bank city controlled by Russian and left-bank forces.
As reported by Basapress citing "Dniester" media, the award was
for Lebed's merits in "introducing 14th Army units in Bendery
prior to the arrival of the peacekeeping forces." This acknowledgment
confirms the intervention of 14th Army units in driving Moldovan
forces from Bendery last June. -Vladimir Socor

RUSSIA ASSERTS INTERESTS ON LOWER DANUBE. On 19 February an unnamed
"representative" of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told
ITAR-TASS of the Ministry's reaction to a possible use of a West
European Union flotilla to monitor shipping in the Danube delta
for compliance with the trade embargo against Serbia. The representative
said that any such action "in the Black Sea area and adjacent
Danube basin requires prior agrement with Russia as a Black Sea
power which has direct interests in that region." On 12-February
ITAR-TASS had also cited V.-Adm. Eduard Baltin, Russian commander
of the Black Sea Fleet, as referring to "traditional Russian
interests" in opposing alleged plans by several West European
countries to monitor shipping in the Western Black Sea and the
lower Danube. The nearest Russian territory lies some 800 kilometers
from the delta since Ukraine succeeded the USSR as riparian to
the Danube and the Western Black Sea, alongside Romania to whom
most of the delta belongs. -Vladimir Socor

ANOTHER ROMANIAN-UKRAINIAN TERRITORIAL ISSUE. According to Radio
Bucharest Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, accompanying President
Ion Iliescu on an official visit to NATO headquarters, updated
for La Libre Belgique of 18 February the status of Romania's
claim to Serpents' Island in the Western Black Sea (that sea's
sole island). Taken by the USSR from Romania in the late 1940s,
and lying atop undersea oil and gas deposits, the island has
been officially claimed by Romania since Iliescu publicly requested
its return from Gorbachev in 1991. Russia, however, is now telling
Romania that the issue falls within the competence of Ukraine,
Melescanu said. Romanian territorial claims on Ukraine also include
northern Bukovina, the Hertsa district, and southern Bessarabia.
-Vladimir Socor

UKRAINIAN APPEAL ON PROPERTY OF FORMER SOVIET UNION. In the latest
move in the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the
allocation of debts and assets of the former Soviet Union, the
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has appealed for external support
for its position, Reuters reported on 22 February. An official
statement sent to all states that have assets of the former Soviet
Union on their territory asserted that "Ukraine does not recognize
Russia's claims to be the single state which has rights over
the former Soviet Union's property abroad." The statement urged
the foreign states to reject Moscow's attempts to take over the
property until the dispute is resolved. -Keith Bush

"INTERFRONT" MOVEMENT CRYSTALLIZING IN CRIMEA. Russian procommunist
forces in Crimea seeking the restoration of the USSR have formed
a "Edinstvo" (Unity) bloc, Ukrainian TV reported on 19-February.
The founding organizations are the Union of Communists of Crimea
and the Sevastopol and Saksa branches of the Socialist Party
of Ukraine (formed by former members of the banned Communist
Party of Ukraine). Meanwhile, on 20 February, the founding conference
of the Russian Party of Crimea was held in Simferopol, Ukrainian
and Russian media reported. Its aim is to campaign for Crimea
to become part of Russia. -Bohdan Nahaylo

UKRAINIAN DEMOCRATIC COALITION HOLDS FORUM. On 21 February, the
newly-formed broad Ukrainian democratic coalition, "The Anticommunist,
Antiimperial Front," held an "All-Ukrainian Forum" in Kiev, in
which representatives of about 30 political parties and organizations
took part, Ukrainian media report. The coalition's aim is to
protect Ukraine's independent statehood and democracy against
what it perceives as threats from the resurgent procommunist
forces in Ukraine and pressure on Ukraine to integrate more fully
in the CIS. -Bohdan Nahaylo

UKRAINE BOLSTERING ECONOMIC TIES WITH CENTRAL ASIAN STATES. Prime
Minister Leonid Kuchma is continuing a week-long visit to the
Central Asian states aimed at strengthening economic cooperation
with them, and in particular, securing supplies of oil and natural
gas, Ukrainian media report. On 19-February Kuchma met with Uzbekistan's
president Islam Karimov and on the following day signed a number
of bilateral cooperation agreements, including one providing
for Ukrainian participation in the development of Uzbekistan's
natural gas and gold mining industries. On 22 February Kuchma
signed agreements with Kazakhstan, including one on cooperation
in the development of Kazakhstan's oil and gas industries. During
his visit to Alma-Ata Kuchma also proposed close cooperation
in space research between Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Russia. He
apparently has also managed to secure half a million tons of
oil and half a million tons of grain from Kazakhstan as emergency
supplies. -Bohdan Nahaylo

SITE FOR KLAIPEDA OIL TERMINAL DECIDED. After almost 18 months
of discussion, the Lithuanian government has given its final
approval for the oil terminal needed for importing oil, BNS reported
on 22 February. The site will consist of three parts: fuel oil
reservoirs to replace the current oil terminal in Klaipeda, reserve
facilities to be constructed at Melnrage, south of Klaipeda,
and the main reservoirs to be situated in Kopustai, 10-km. from
the coast in the direction of the oil refinery at Mazeikiai.
The construction will cost about $300 million and take about
four years. -Saulius Girnius

SEIMAS APPROVES PRESIDENT'S FLAG. The Seimas approved on 18 February
Lithuania's presidential flag, purple in color with the country's
coat of arms carried by a griffin and a unicorn, Radio Lithuania
reports. The flag is to be raised over the left wing of the parliament
on 25 February when Algirdas Brazauskas is sworn in as president.
Questions have been raised whether the parliament should have
been concerned with the flag when other more important issues,
such as the budget for 1993, the vote of nonconfidence in Bank
of Lithuania chairman Vilius Baldisis, and the appointments of
the eight remaining judges to the Constitutional Court have not
been settled. -Saulius Girnius

COMMUNISTS FROM LATVIA TO ATTEND CPSU CONGRESS. Igor Lopatin,
member of the bureau of the League of Communists in Latvia, told
the press that five members of his organization will attend the
29th CPSU Congress in Moscow scheduled for 25-26 March, BNS reports.
Lopatin, who is also one of the organizers of the CPSU congress,
said that the recent Russian Communist Party congress was a first
step toward the restoration of the CPSU as a union of communist
parties of independent states that emerged on the territory of
the former USSR. -Dzintra Bungs

RUSSIAN DEPUTIES, ZOTOV ON TROOPS IN BALTICS. After visiting
units of Russia's Northwestern Group of Forces in Latvia on 17-20
February, a group of Russian deputies led by Vitalii Urazhtsev
told the press of widespread discontent among the troops and
corruption at all levels. They warned of possible unrest among
Russian military personnel-which they estimated at 200,000 in
the Baltic States-especially if they are withdrawn to Russia
without adequate attention to their welfare, Baltic media reported
on 22 February. Sergei Zotov, leader of the Russian delegation
for talks on troop pullouts from Latvia, said that at the next
round of talks, scheduled for 17-19 March in Moscow, he wants
to focus on accords related to the social security for servicemen
being withdrawn, civilian employees at military facilities, and
their families; the signing of such accords is a condition for
resuming troop withdrawals, suspended in accordance with Russian
President Boris Yeltsin's directive of 29 October 1992. -Dzintra
Bungs

ESTONIA ASKS CSCE HELP IN BORDER DISPUTE. Estonia plans to ask
the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe to mediate
an ongoing territorial dispute between Russia and Estonia over
areas annexed by the Russian Federation in 1945. According to
BNS of 22-February, Foreign Minister Trivimi Velliste discussed
the plan during a parliamentary hearing on the topic that day.
Velliste said Russia is refusing to return lands amounting to
5% of the territory and 6% of the population of the interwar
republic, whose boundary with Russia was set out in Tartu Peace
Treaty of 1920. Estonia will reportedly ask the CSCE to appoint
a special official to moderate the dispute. -Riina Kionka

COST OF LIVING KEEPS RISING IN LATVIA. Data from the State Statistics
Committee in January shows that the minimum consumer basket,
calculated for the goods and services that are least expensive
and most in demand, was 6,872 Latvian rubles, of which 3,333
rubles went for food. The average wage in state and municipal
industrial enterprises was 7,998 Latvian rubles, in state offices-6855
rubles, and private offices and enterprises-8570 rubles, Baltic
media reported on 20 February. -Dzintra Bungs

EASTERN ENVIRONMENTAL MINISTERS PLEDGE COOPERATION. Environmental
ministers from 21-former Soviet republics and East European states
have registered their deep concern about environmental degradation
in their region and pledged cooperation in combating it, an RFE/RL
correspondent reported on 22 February. The ministers drafted
the statement at the end of a three-day conference in Florida,
hosted by private American organizations. They agreed to enhance
the reporting of pollution and illegal trade in hazardous wastes,
and to harmonize environmental legislation, standards, and norms.
The ministers appealed for Western assistance to fight the harmful
legacy of their former Communist governments. -Mort von Duyke
and Keith Bush

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











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