A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner. - Samuel Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 40, 01 March 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.



RUSSIA



YELTSIN CRITICIZES LEGISLATURE. Speaking at the second forum
of the centrist opposition coalition, Civic Union, on 28 February,
President Boris Yeltsin criticized the "dualism of power" between
the parliament and the government, according to ITAR-TASS. "In
Russia, another government-under the aegis of the parliament-is
working alongside the constitutional government. The President
can no longer tolerate this," he said. Russia's future lay in
an effective and balanced federation; the alternative was "either
dictatorship or anarchy." He called on the Civic Union and other
political forces including his supporters in "Democratic Choice"
to participate in work on a Russian Constitution. Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi then made a warmly-received speech to the forum
calling for "a radical change" in economic policy. -Wendy Slater


YELTSIN ON SPECIAL STATUS FOR RUSSIA, CONFEDERATIVE RELATIONS.
In addition to his remarks on the internal political situation,
Yeltsin told the Civic Union that Russia should have special
status on the territory of the former Soviet Union to monitor
conflicts and prevent ethnic clashes, Western media reported.
He added that he thought it was time for responsible international
organizations to grant Russia special powers as the guarantor
of peace and stability in the region. Yeltsin's remarks are certain
to arouse protests from at least some of the former Soviet republics.
He also said that Russia was prepared to establish confederative
relations with those former Soviet republics that were interested.
In December 1992, the Russian Congress of People's Deputies had
appealed to the former Soviet republics to establish a confederation
or some other kind of union. -Ann Sheehy

CIS DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET. Defense Ministry representatives
from the CIS states which have signed the Collective Security
Agreement met in Moscow on 27-February in order to discuss concrete
plans for promoting closer military integration. Armenia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan took part in the meeting;
Russia was represented by Deputy Defense Minister Boris Gromov.
According to ITAR-TASS reports, the secretary of the CIS Defense
Ministers' Council, Lt. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, said that all seven
documents on the agenda had been approved. Although details of
the agreements were not provided, the participants reportedly
decided to create a working commission charged with drawing up
proposals for implementing the Collective Security Agreement,
including the establishment of a single air defense system. On
28 February ITAR-TASS speculated that participants had discussed
a proposal to create a regional defense association in Central
Asia that would include the republics which formerly constituted
the Turkestan Military District. -Stephen Foye

DEMOCRATS URGE CREATION OF CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY. The "Democratic
Russia" Movement concluded its plenary session in Nizhnii Novgorod
with a resolution urging the creation of a Constituent Assembly
for the promulgation of a new constitution, Russian news agencies
reported on 28 February. The resolution supported calling a referendum
on the issues of the constitution and private land ownership.
The democrats' call to form a Constituent Assembly instead of
permitting the current parliament to draw up the new constitution
has, for the first time, been supported by Vice President Rutskoi,
according to ITAR-TASS on the same day. Speaking at the Civic
Union forum, Rutskoi said that a Constituent Assembly could be
formed on the basis of the Council of the Federation, the creation
of which had been proposed by President Yeltsin at the Civic
Union forum. -Alexander Rahr

YELTSIN MOVES TO THE CENTER? ON RUSSIAN TV "ITOGI" OF 28 FEBRUARY,
THE PRESENTER, YURII KISELEV, ASSESSED YELTSIN'S PRESENCE AT
THE CIVIC UNION FORUM AND THE "SOLEMNITY" OF HIS ADDRESS AT IT
AS AN INDICATION THAT THE PRESIDENT, ONCE AGAIN, IS MOVING TO
THE POLITICAL "CENTER." Kiselev noted that Yeltsin had chosen
to speak to the Civic Union congress rather than to the meeting
of his radical supporters in "Democratic Russia," held the same
day in Nizhnii Novgorod. Yeltsin had also failed to attend the
last congress of "Democratic Russia" held in Moscow in December
1992. Yeltsin seems anxious to prevent the Civic Union from forming
an alliance with the radical opposition; at the recent congress
of the revived Russian Communist Party, its leaders had declared
their willingness to come to terms with the Civic Union. -Julia
Wishnevsky

YELTSIN ASKS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO INVESTIGATE PARLIAMENT.
Yeltsin's staff has requested the Russian Constitutional Court
to inform the president on unconstitutional decisions by the
Russian parliament, together with the Court's ruling on such
decisions, Russian TV "Vesti" reported on 27 February. Since
its establishment in October 1991, the Constitutional Court has
ruled unconstitutional only one decision of the parliamentary
Presidium but several of Yeltsin's decrees. Earlier in February,
it issued a ruling requesting Yeltsin "to improve the technical
quality" of his decrees. As a result, Yeltsin's radical supporters
began a campaign of criticism of the Constitutional Court, accusing
it of lack of objectivity and bias in favor of the parliament.
Julia Wishnevsky

ARMS EXPORTS PROMOTED. At a news conference in Moscow on 27 February,
reported by ITAR-TASS, Viktor Glukhikh, chairman of the Russian
State Committee for Defense Industries (attached to the government),
called for a radical shift in the approach to exporting arms.
The Russian defense industry could rapidly increase its exports
and compete successfully with Western firms. He lamented the
loss of traditional markets such as the former Warsaw Pact states,
Libya, and Iraq, and complained that Western competitors had
rushed to fill the vacuum created by UN embargoes. -Keith Bush


ESTIMATE OF 1993 BUDGET DEFICIT RAISED. On 26 February, the Russian
parliament approved in principle the draft budget for 1993, ITAR-TASS
and Reuters reported. Finance Minister Vasilii Barchuk put the
estimated deficit at 3.7-3.8 trillion rubles, or just over 8%
of GDP. He attributed the increase from 5.1% of GDP, as announced
in January, to soaring inflation. If standard Western accounting
measurements were employed, it is thought that the planned deficit
would total between 15 and 20% of GDP. The economic action plan
for 1993, signed by Prime Minister Chernomyrdin on 23-February,
had reiterated the necessity of keeping the budget deficit within
5% of GDP. -Keith Bush

EXPORT TAX PROPOSED. In the course of his presentation, Barchuk
asked parliament to approve a new 10% tax on all exports including
barter transactions, Reuters of 26 February and the Financial
Times of 27 February reported. The revenues from this tax would
be used "exclusively" for the repayment of the external debt
of the former Soviet Union. Russian exporters and foreign investors
reacted critically. The existing tax burden includes a 20% VAT,
royalties, export taxes, and other payments. Russia has assumed
the whole of the foreign debt of the former Soviet Union which
is believed to total some $86 billion at present. Repayments
due in 1993 originally totaled around $20-billion. This was reduced
to about $6.4-billion by creditor nations, but Russia has repeatedly
announced that it can repay only-$2.5 billion in 1993. Keith
Bush

RUSSIAN-GERMAN GROUPS FAIL TO REACH COMPROMISE. The Third Congress
of Germans of the former USSR which ended in Moscow on 28 February
failed to achieve a rapprochement of the positions of the two
main organizations of Germans, ITAR-TASS and Western media reported.
Heinrich Groth, chairman of the "Wiedergeburt" society which
favors emigration to Germany, said that the opposition had pretended
unity but had not been ready for compromise. Hugo Wormsbecher,
who heads the smaller Interstate Union of Russian Germans representing
those not intending to emigrate, told ITAR-TASS that at present
there was no basis for unification of the two branches of the
German movement. As a result, according to ITAR-TASS, the three-day
congress never managed to discuss the problems of those Germans
who want to stay in the republics of the former USSR. -Ann Sheehy


TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



KAZAKHSTAN-RUSSIA SUMMIT, AGREEMENTS. Kazakhstan's President
Nursultan Nazarbaev met his Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin
on 27 February to assess the results of talks between representatives
of the two governments, ITAR-TASS reported. A communique issued
after the meeting noted that both countries agree on the importance
of moving more quickly towards close cooperation in economic,
political, and military affairs within the framework of the CIS.
An agreement on bilateral military cooperation with the objective
of creating a unified defense "space" (prostranstvo) is to be
prepared over the next month. Also agreed were the introduction
of customs policies and further efforts toward a common ruble
zone. -Bess Brown

NAGORNO-KARABAKH TALKS RESUME. The CSCE-sponsored talks aimed
at preparing for a Karabakh peace conference resumed in Rome
on 26 February after a five-month break, Western agencies reported.
The chairman Mario Raffaelli expressed hope that agreement could
be reached on one of three draft documents outlining conditions
for a ceasefire. Meanwhile fierce fighting continued on 27 February
between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Karabakh for control
of the Sarsang dam. On 26 February ITAR-TASS quoted a Russian
Ministry of Defense spokesman as again rejecting Azerbaijani
charges that Russian troops were fighting in Karabakh on the
Armenian side. According to an unconfirmed report by Radio Mayak
on 28 February quoting the Ailur News Agency, Armenian President
Levon Ter-Petrossyan has stated that Armenia and the self- proclaimed
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic are ready for an immediate and unconditional
ceasefire. -Liz Fuller

GRACHEV IN GEORGIA. Visiting Russian military facilities in Abkhazia
and Adzharia on 26-27 February, Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev said that he had no plans to meet with Georgian leaders
to discuss the Georgian parliament's demand for the withdrawal
of Russian troops from Abkhazia; Grachev said this issue should
be resolved by negotiations between the governments of the two
countries, ITAR-TASS reported. Grachev again denied that Russian
troops were interfering in Georgia's internal affairs; he said
that the purpose of his visit was merely to demonstrate support
and concern for the Russian troops in Georgia. Meanwhile fighting
intensified between Abkhaz and Georgian forces in Abkhazia's
Ochamchire raion. -Liz Fuller

JITTERS IN DUSHANBE, RUSSIAN SECURITY MINISTER VISITS. Although
the authorities in Dushanbe have dismissed rumors of an impending
attack on the Tajik capital by the opposition on 5-March, policing
of the city has increased and passports are being checked, ITAR-TASS
reported on 26 February. On 27 February the same source reported
that Russian Minister of Security Viktor Barannikov was visiting
Russian border troops stationed on the Tajik-Russian border.
According to the report, reinforcements were already arriving
from Uzbekistan. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



US BEGINS BOSNIAN AIRLIFT. On the night of 28-February to 1 March,
three US military cargo planes parachuted food and medical supplies
to the Gorazde area of eastern Bosnia, where leaflets had earlier
been dropped. Pilots later told international media that no shots
were fired at them. On 28 February a US government team arrived
in Zagreb to begin work on identifying aid needs in Bosnia. Meanwhile
in Bosnia itself, vice president Ejup Ganic succeeded in persuading
Croatian military commanders to stop blocking supply routes connecting
Croatia with areas held by Bosnian government forces. Croat field
commanders had accused the Muslims of staging a coup against
their own leader, Alija Izetbegovic, but the New York Times suggested
that some Croat politicians in Bosnia might be trying to make
trouble for Izetbegovic themselves. -Patrick Moore

BOSNIA AS KUWAIT OR LEBANON? THE 28 FEBRUARY CHICAGO TRIBUNE
SAID THAT TURKISH PRIME MINISTER SULEYMAN DEMIREL ON 26 FEBRUARY
URGED INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION IN BOSNIA ON THE MODEL OF OPERATION
DESERT STORM, NOTING THAT "WHAT WAS DONE TO END THE OCCUPATION
OF KUWAIT SHOULD BE DONE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA TODAY." Demirel
added that, although America cannot be the world's policeman,
it should take the lead in Bosnia since "Europe won't do too
much," and in Warsaw, Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev urged
"energetic Western intervention" lest Bosnia become "Europe's
Lebanon." Meanwhile on 28-February, the New York Times said that
Izetbegovic had met with Vice President Al Gore, and that same
paper the next day quoted Secretary of State Warren Christopher
as saying that Serbian conquests may "never be able to be rolled
back to the situation where [matters were] a year and a half
ago." -Patrick Moore

NEGOTIATIONS ON LIFTING DANUBE BLOCKADE. On 28 February a delegation
of the rump Yugoslavia headed by Transport Minister Milan Vujicic
met Romanian negotiators in an effort to put an end to a five-day
blockade of the traffic in the Iron Gates sector of the Danube.
Some 65 Serbian tugboats and barges have formed a barricade,
bringing river traffic to a halt. The move, which appears to
come in retaliation for Romania's refusal to let Yugoslav vessels
pass through Romanian locks at the Iron Gates water power station,
was denounced by the UN Security Council on 27 February as a
"deliberate and unjustified act of interference." Romanian President
Ion Iliescu called Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on 26
February to complain about the blockade, Radio Bucharest said.
-Dan Ionescu

TENSE SITUATION IN SANDZAK. On 27 February armed gunmen stopped
a train at the Strpci railroad station in the predominantly Muslim
region of Sandzak, seizing up to 40-passengers on their way from
Belgrade to Bar. On the 28th Western agencies said all the hostages
were Muslims, but Radio Serbia said Serbs and Croats were also
among those taken. The fate of the hostages is unknown. Sandzak's
Muslim Party of Democratic Action said the kidnappers wore uniforms
of supporters of Zeljko Raznjatovic, a Serb paramilitary leader
and legislator known as Arkan, who has been denounced as a war
criminal by the US State Department. In October 1992 17 Muslims
traveling by bus were kidnapped in the same area and taken to
Serb-controlled areas in Bosnia, where Muslim sources say they
were killed. The latest incident comes amid reports in Borba
that several Muslim homes and businesses have been destroyed
and as many as five Muslims killed earlier in the month near
Priboj. Sandzak Serb and Muslim opposition parties are demanding
that the federal Yugoslav Army secure the border with Bosnia
to prevent a spillover of the violence there. -Milan Andrejevich


RUGOVA CRITICIZES UNHCR. Radio Croatia on 26-February reports
that Ibrahim Rugova, president of the self-proclaimed republic
of Kosovo, implicitly accused the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
of being instrumental in what he called Belgrade's "silent ethnic
cleansing" in the Serbian province. Rugova, on a three-day visit
to Paris at the invitation of a committee of French intellectuals,
told a news conference that Belgrade, "with the help of UNHCR,"
is placing large numbers of Serbian refugees from Croatia and
Bosnia in Kosovo. At the same time, Rugova said, more than 300,000
of Kosovo's 90% Albanian community are either being forced to
emigrate by the Serbian authorities or are fleeing obligatory
military service. Rugova added that Serbian "cleansing" also
involves the closing of schools and universities with campuses
transformed into camps for relocated Serbian refugees. -Milan
Andrejevich

DISAGREEMENT OVER QUALITY OF CZECH-SLOVAK BORDER. The Czech and
Slovak ministers of internal affairs, Jan Ruml and Jozef Tuchyna,
hold different views concerning the character of the Czech-Slovak
border, CTK reports. After a meeting in Prague on 26-February,
Ruml said that the Czech Republic intends to establish a protected
international border, while Tuchyna defended a more liberal attitude.
He said that there should be some form of control, but that Slovakia
is not interested in a regular border between the two republics
as it does not want to prevent the freedom of movement of its
citizens. Ruml reportedly responded that his remarks were not
aimed at the free movement of Slovak citizens, but rather at
gangs of smugglers and illegal immigrants from third countries.
Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar was quoted as saying later
that due to disagreements between the two governments, it is
currently impossible to sign a treaty on the character of the
common border. He said that traveling to the Czech Republic from
the territory of Slovakia is at the moment "worse than to any
other country." Jan Obrman

CZECH SOCIAL DEMOCRATS ELECT NEW LEADER. At its party congress
on 27 and 28-February the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party
renamed itself the Czech Social Democratic Party and elected
Milos Zeman its new chairman, Czech TV reports. Zeman, a former
communist and the most outspoken representative of the far left-wing
of the party, received 212 of a total of 407 votes in the second
round of the voting and replaced Jiri Horak who headed the social
democrats since the fall of the communist regime in late 1989.
Some observers predicted that the election of Zeman might lead
to the defection of many moderate social democrats or even to
a split of the party. With the obvious aim to prevent such a
split, the delegates elected Zeman's main contender for the party
leadership, the moderate Pavel Novak, to the post of deputy chairman.
After the election, Zeman announced that he will try to create
what he termed a "realistic bloc" of left-wing parties to effectively
challenge the government of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus. He added
that under his leadership the social democrats will "go after
the throat" of the current Czech government. -Jan Obrman

NATIONAL GUARD FOR POLAND? AT A MEETING ON 26-FEBRUARY THE NATIONAL
DEFENSE COMMITTEE DISCUSSED THE FORMATION OF A NATIONAL GUARD,
WHICH WOULD ALSO BE USED "TO ELIMINATE THREATS ARISING IN TIMES
OF PEACE," ACCORDING TO A REPORT IN RZECZPOSPOLITA. The formation,
which would include 22,000 soldiers by the year 2000, would be
directly subordinate to the president. A draft law will be submitted
by President Lech Walesa in due course. Observers believe that
it will meet with strong resistance in parliament, which is wary
of excessive presidential control. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

MAGYAR ETHNIC LEADERS FROM ROMANIA VISIT HUNGARY. A delegation
of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania headed by Chairman
Bela Marko and Honorary Chairman Laszlo Tokes held talks in Budapest
on 26 February with President Goncz, Prime Minister Antall, and
Foreign Minister Jeszenszky, MTI reports. In a subsequent joint
statement, the two sides agreed to establish closer, regular,
and institutionalized relations. The federation intends to play
a constructive role in Romania's democratization process and
in the improvement of Hungarian-Romanian relations. Hungary will
not interfere in the federation's policies but will support its
legitimate aspirations, including internal self-rule in accordance
with Romanian and international law. The two sides will do everything
to promote the early signing of a Hungarian-Romanian state treaty,
an interstate minority protection agreement, and Hungary's law
on national minorities, which also covers the country's Romanian
minority. They agreed that the matter of Magyar minorities living
abroad should not be used for party politics and electoral purposes.
Alfred Reisch

ROMANIA'S NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY ELECTS NEW LEADER. A three-day
country-wide conference of the National Liberal Party ended on
28 February in Brasov with the election of Mircea Ionescu-Quintus
as the party's new chairman. A former minister of justice in
Theodor Stolojan's coalition government, Ionescu-Quintus replaces
Radu Campeanu, whose controversial policies are largely blamed
for having split the party and led to its defeat in the September
1992 general elections. On 27 February the convention unanimously
voted the merger of the NLP with the New Liberal Party, one of
the many splinter groups within the liberal movement. On 20 February
two more liberal groups-the National Liberal Party-Democratic
Convention and the Liberal Party-Young Wing- decided to form
the Liberal Party. The stated goal of these separate moves is
to reestablish the unity of the liberal movement. The NLP, one
of the country's "historical" parties, was restored in January
1990 after decades of communist interdiction. -Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN-EFTA NEGOTIATIONS CONCLUDE. On 26 February Bulgaria
and the European Free Trade Association ended negotiations on
a mutual trade agreement, the Financial Times reports. When ratified,
the accord will provide for free trade in several economic sectors,
such as industrial goods and processed foods. Trade barriers,
however, will only be lowered gradually. According to the present
time plan, the EFTA agreement will be signed this spring and
come into force on 1 July. -Kjell Engelbrekt

HUNGARY, UKRAINE SIGN NEW ACCORDS. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk paid an official visit to Hungary on 26 and 27 February,
MTI and Radio Budapest report. Following Kravchuk's talks with
President Arpad Goncz and Prime Minister Jozsef Antall, the two
countries signed four new agreements on border crossing matters
and agricultural cooperation. An intergovernmental committee
on economic, trade and technical cooperation headed by the two
countries' foreign trade ministers is to meet in April. Hungary
and Ukraine agreed to hold regular high-level meetings to promote
stronger security in the area and stressed the importance of
regional cooperation, schemes, such as the Carpathian Euro-region
set up in mid-February. Budapest expressed its support for Ukraine's
inclusion in the various projects of the Central European Initiative
and called Ukraine's treatment of its Magyar national minority
a model for the entire region. -Alfred Reisch

KRAVCHUK ON RENEWAL OF SOVIET UNION. Kravchuk has also warned
of a "military catastrophe" if attempts to revive the Soviet
Union in Russia are successful. In an interview in the current
issue of Der Spiegel, he said that such an attempt to change
Russia would lead to a war more terrible than in the former Yugoslavia.
Over the weekend the Ukrainian leader told a press conference
in Budapest that Europe needs new security arrangements to cope
with the collapse of the Soviet Union. -Roman Solchanyk

CHORNOVIL WARNS OF RUSSIAN DANGER. The leader of Rukh, Ukraine's
main opposition movement, Vyacheslav Chornovil, is quoted by
Western news agencies on 27-February as saying that "imperialist"
strivings in Russia pose a security threat to Ukraine. Chornovil,
who is visiting the United States, maintained that it would be
in the West's interest to extend aid and security guarantees
to Ukraine in the face of Russia's "internal collapse." Chornovil
met with AFL-CIO head Lane Kirkland and is scheduled to meet
with State and Defense Department officials. -Roman Solchanyk


FROM ONE TO TWO RUSSIAN ARMIES ON THE DNIESTER? KOMSOMOLSKAYA
PRAVDA OF 26 FEBRUARY REPORTS THAT THE "DNIESTER REPUBLIC" IS
WELL ADVANCED IN FORMING ITS OWN ARMY. It currently consists
of 7,000 salaried soldiers recruited from local Russian paramilitary
organizations, Cossacks and other volunteers from Russia, and
fresh local conscripts (the article omits mention of personnel
transferred from Russia's 14th Army). Russian and "Dniester"
military salaries are equivalent, and the two forces conduct
joint exercises, the article notes. That 14th Army's commander,
Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, claimed in Izvestia of 26 February
that most of his servicemen will not withdraw to Russia because
they are "Dniester" natives (a standard argument by Russian generals
against withdrawing the Army from Moldova; in fact it consists
overwhelmingly of natives of Russia and other parts of the former
USSR). -Vladimir Socor

KOZYREV BLASTS ESTONIA. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
has again alleged that Estonia is discriminating against Russian-speakers
there, according to ITAR-TASS reports. While visiting Copenhagen
on 27 February, and in a follow-up statement released in Moscow,
Kozyrev accused the Estonian government of seeking to remove
the entire Russian-speaking population by having given its passive
support to a small organization-known as the Decolonization Front
of Estonia-that aims to ease repatriation of those Russians who
wish to leave. Kozyrev said the government's policy may damage
Russian-Estonian relations. For their part, Estonian government
officials have said repeatedly that there no plans to deport
non-Estonian citizens and has encouraged all current noncitizens
to make a choice to become citizens of Estonia, Russia, or some
third state. -Riina Kionka

SAJUDIS ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN. On 27 February the parliament elected
Juozapas Algirdas Katkus as its new chairman, replacing Juozas
Tumelis, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reported on 28 February.
Katkus is a Seimas deputy who had served as the chairman of Sajudis
Council in Kaunas. Sajudis Honorary Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis
made the main address in which he criticized the Lithuanian Democratic
Labor Party and called on Sajudis to become a political party,
"Union for the Rebirth of the Homeland." The parliament passed
a resolution approving the proposal and formed a six-member committee
that included Landsbergis and Center Movement leader Mecys Laurinkus
to present to the next Sajudis parliament session in a few months
more concrete plans for the party. Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN ELECTION COMMISSION CHAIRMAN RESIGNS. On 27 February
Vaclovas Litvinas, chairman of the Main Elections Commission,
resigned after the body decided not to comply with Supreme Court
rulings giving the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party three more
Seimas seats, Radio Lithuania reports. The majority said that
the court has no right to change its decisions, since they were
approved by the Seimas and three Sajudis candidates were sworn
in as deputies. It also noted that although the court agreed
that there were voting violations it did not call for new elections.
-Saulius Girnius

TWO MORE ELECTION COALITIONS IN LATVIA. On 28 February Radio
Riga announced the formation of two new groups that will field
candidates for the Latvian parliamentary elections in June. The
Ravnopravie or Equal Rights coalition is led by Sergejs Dimanis,
who used to head a parliamentary faction of the same name in
Latvia's Supreme Council, will work to defend the rights of Russian
speakers in Latvia and aims to create a new Latvia rather than
work toward the full restoration of the interwar Republic of
Latvia. The other coalition, called Latvijas Cels, was formed
by leading politicians (including Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs
Gorbunovs, Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs, and Deputy Janis
Vaivads) and Latvians in the West, notably the World Federation
of Free Latvians. The coalition's platform is still being hammered
out. -Dzintra Bungs

CRIME IN BALTIC STATES IN 1992. In 1992 crime in the Baltic States
increased, Baltfax reported on 13-February. The greatest number
of crimes was in Latvia (61,871) with 56,615 reported in Lithuania
and 41,254 in Estonia. The number of crimes in the three republics
per 10,000 inhabitants was 321.7, 150.5, and 264 respectively.
The number of economic crimes was highest in Lithuania (2,554),
followed by 1,169 in Latvia, and 445-in Estonia. The Lithuanian
authorities were the most successful in solving crimes with a
rate of 35.5% about double the rate in Estonia of 18.2%, with
Latvia in between at 25.6%. -Saulius Girnius

[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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