The only thing one knows about human nature is that it changes. - Oscar Wilde
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 42, 03 March 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.







RUSSIA



YELTSIN AND KHASBULATOV ON EMERGENCY RULE. President Boris Yeltsin
indicated in a speech to a meeting of his supporters in the Democratic
Choice coalition that he does not feel obliged to obey the current
Russian Constitution because it has been so radically changed
since he swore his oath on it in 1991, Izvestiya reported on
3 March. Yeltsin stated that if the Congress of People's Deputies,
which is scheduled to meet on 10 March, rejects his proposal
on a constitutional agreement, he may conduct his own referendum
without asking permission from the parliament. Yeltsin did not
elaborate on how he would organize such a referendum. He also
hinted that he may take more extreme action such as introducing
emergency rule in Russia if the confrontation with parliament
continues. Meanwhile, the parliament's Presidium, chaired by
Ruslan Khasbulatov, has adopted a motion laying out the procedure
for parliament to declare emergency rule and strip the president
of all effective powers, the Financial Times reported on 3 March.
The move may have been in reaction to Yeltsin's hint about introducing
presidential rule. Alexander Rahr

RUSSIA TO AID IN BOSNIA AIRDROPS. The Russian Foreign Ministry
announced on 2-March that Russia will participate in the dropping
of humanitarian aid to Bosnia-Herzegovina. "The talks are not
going smoothly, and for their success it is necessary to create
a favorable political context, above all on the territory of
former Yugoslavia itself," the Foreign Ministry said. In an effort
to alleviate some of the suffering, Russia "will make its contribution"
to the airdrops currently being undertaken by the USA, ITAR-TASS
reported. Washington has said that it "warmly welcomes" this
move on Moscow's part. Meanwhile, The Times on 2 March carried
the latest in a series of reports that Russia had surreptitiously
supplied arms to Serbia. The Russian Foreign Ministry had denied
earlier such reports on 1-March, and US officials said that they
had no information on a Russian violation of the arms embargo,
ITAR-TASS reported on 1 and 2 March. Suzanne Crow

START-2 TREATY CRITICIZED, DEFENDED, IN RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT. Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev defended the START-2 treaty against
attacks from conservative deputies during a parliamentary hearing
on 2 March, according to Reuters and other Western news reports.
Critics of the treaty, including Maj. Gen. Boris Tarasov, Iona
Andronov, and Nikolai Pavlov, claimed that the treaty was unfair
and would give the US nuclear superiority over Russia. Kozyrev
and Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov defended the
treaty, noting that it would still provide a strong nuclear deterrent,
while encouraging other states (such as Ukraine) to eliminate
their nuclear capabilities. Kozyrev also claimed that Russia
needed to reduce its forces for financial reasons and warned
that rejection of the treaty would trigger a new confrontation
with the USA. The hearings marked the start of a treaty ratification
process that is expected to last approximately two months. -John
Lepingwell

YELTSIN SUGGESTS COOPERATION WITH COMMUNISTS. In an interview
published in the 2 March issue of Pravda, President Yeltsin said
that his appearance at the 28 February forum of the Civic Union
centrist opposition proved that he was "seriously reassessing
the role of Civic Union" and was prepared for dialogue "since
it [Civic Union] unites important political forces." He also
confirmed his willingness to meet with all political groups in
Russia "except fascist-oriented ones." The communist movement,
according to Yeltsin, was divided between fundamentalists, and
moderates whom he described as "more sober, with more common
sense." He envisaged the moderate communists as possibly joining
the Civic Union. Provided that they did not hinder reform, "especially
in the localities," Yeltsin said, "we must respect the communists,
as any other party or social movement." -Wendy Slater

"MINI-OPEC" ESTABLISHED. In Surgut on 2 March, representatives
from 12 former Soviet republics signed an agreement on the formation
of an intergovernmental council on oil and gas, Reuters reported.
Latvia and Turkmenistan were not represented, and the Estonian
delegation bore only observer status. What Kazakh Prime Minister
Sergei Tereshchenko described as a "mini-OPEC" has the basic
goal of ensuring adequate production and supplies among its members,
but will not seek to influence world markets. The agreement provides
for three institutional levels of cooperation: a council of heads
of government on oil and gas; a similar ministerial structure;
and a permanent secretariat to be located in Tyumen. No multilateral
agreement was reached on prices, nor did the Russian and Ukrainian
delegations resolve their dispute over the price of Russian gas
supplies. -Keith Bush

GRACHEV ON ARMY, GEORGIA. Speaking to reporters on 2 March, Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev once again criticized nationalist groups
for trying to involve the army in political struggles. Grachev,
who said that the army remains "the last guarantor of stability"
in Russia, also denied that he faced significant opposition within
the army itself or that he would soon be replaced as Defense
Minister. While Grachev has consistently been criticized by liberals
for allegedly dragging his feet on military reform, more recently
he has faced even harsher criticism from militant nationalists.
Their primary complaint appears to involve Grachev's oft-stated
support for Boris Yeltsin. At the same news conference, reported
by ITAR-TASS and Russian TV, Grachev criticized Georgian President
Eduard Shevardnadze for his allegations that a recent trip by
Grachev to the North Caucasus had had a destabilizing effect.
He said that Shevardnadze had been informed of the trip twenty-four
hours in advance. Stephen Foye

RUSSIA TO PUNISH RECRUITMENT OF MERCENARIES? ON 1 MARCH, RUSSIAN
TV NEWSCASTS REPORTED, THE PRESIDIUM OF THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT
APPROVED A DRAFT LAW ON MERCENARIES AND SENT IT FOR SCRUTINY
TO THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSIONS AND COMMITTEES. The draft suggests
including in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation a provision
banning the recruitment, arming, financing, training, and hiring
of mercenaries. Such offenses would be punishable with up to
ten years imprisonment. The draft was submitted to the parliament
by the Russian Prosecutor-General Valentin Stepankov, who told
the Ostankino TV program "Itogi" on 28 February that the new
law will cover the recruitment of Russian hirelings both for
armed conflicts in the former Soviet Union's republics and for
wars outside the former USSR, such as that in the former Yugoslavia.
Julia Wishnevsky

RUSSIAN ARMS EXPORTS TO CHINA. Quoting unnamed diplomatic sources,
Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported on 3 March that
Peking had purchased at least 100 S-300 air defense complexes
and that installation of the system's missile launchers had already
begun. The report said that the Chinese armed forces are also
trying to purchase other sophisticated missile systems from Russia,
including an AWACS air-borne early warning air defense system.
They were also said to be eager either to purchase, or to acquire
licensing for the production of Su-27 and Su-27K fighter aircraft.
Russia is reported to be conducting vigorous training programs
for Chinese flyers. The newspaper said that China had given up
the idea of buying an aircraft carrier from either Russia or
Ukraine, and that it was considering instead the idea of producing
its own. China's accelerated arms acquisition program is part
of a broader arms race that is beginning to take shape in the
Asia-Pacific region. -Stephen Foye

PROTECTION FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENT. President Yeltsin has signed
a decree "On the Creation of an International Agency for Insuring
Foreign Investments in the Russian Federation Against Noncommercial
Risks," ITAR-TASS reported on 2 March. Vice-President Aleksandr
Shokhin will head the agency. -Keith Bush

RUBLE FALLS SHARPLY. At the 2 March session of the Moscow Interbank
Currency Exchange, the ruble fell to 649 rubles to the dollar,
against 593 rubles at the last trading on 25-February, despite
heavy intervention by the Russian Central Bank (RCB). Volume
of trade reached a record $92.5 million. Biznes-TASS attributed
the precipitous drop to reports that the RCB was considering
the reimposition of a fixed exchange rate. Other sources pointed
to the continuing high rate of inflation and to political instability
in Russia. -Keith Bush

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



PROGRESS IN CSCE KARABAKH TALKS. A formal Karabakh peace conference
could be convened in Minsk as early as August 1993, the deputy
chairman of the CSCE-sponsored preparatory peace talks in Rome
told Reuters on 2 March. Tentative agreement was reached during
the final round of talks on 2 March on a document calling on
all sides in the conflict to desist from further hostilities.
The plan is to be ratified by the CSCE Council of Senior Officials,
which is scheduled to meet in Prague in April, after which international
observers are to enforce a ceasefire in the area and supervise
the return of refugees, the withdrawal of "foreign troops," and
the disarming of "armed bandits." -Liz Fuller

RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN TALKS ON ABKHAZ CEASEFIRE. Four days of talks
in Moscow between Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministry officials
resulted in an agreement on the need for a political solution
to the Abkhaz conflict, according to a statement released by
the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted by ITAR-TASS on
2 March. Georgia has agreed to a Russian proposal for a ceasefire
in the Gumista River area in order to make possible the evacuation
of the seismic monitoring station and Russian military facilities
in Eshera. Liz Fuller

AGRICULTURE MINISTER FIRED IN KYRGYZSTAN. Kyrgyzstan's President
Askar Akaev has fired his Minister of Agriculture, Karypbek Asanov,
Western and Russian news agencies reported on 2 March, quoting
Kyrgyz journalists. Radio Moscow said that Akaev had accused
the ministry of sabotaging agricultural reform and endangering
the spring sowing campaign. Agricultural production, still the
most important branch of Kyrgyzstan's economy, declined sharply
in 1992 and the government has made it a top priority to stop
the downward slide. The reports did not make clear whether Asanov
opposed Akaev's privatization plans for agriculture. Bess Brown


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



CERSKA FALLS TO SERBS. International media on 2-March reported
that Cerska, the Bosnian enclave that received the initial US
relief air drops, has fallen to Serbian forces. The 3 March New
York Times quotes a UN spokeswoman as saying that local ham radio
operators told of Serb soldiers' "plundering and killing, burning,"
adding that refugees have taken to the roads. The Los Angeles
Times calls the Serb offensive "a blatant snub of Clinton," and
the BBC said it shows the Serbs' determination to press ahead
with their strategic plans regardless of world opinion. Bosnian
president Alija Izetbegovic called the offensive "incompatible"
with the ongoing peace talks, while negotiators Cyrus Vance and
Lord Owen said that they "strongly deplored" the Serbs' conduct.
-Patrick Moore

NEW WAVE OF ETHNIC CLEANSING UNDER WAY. On 2 March Reuters and
the BBC said that Serbian forces in northern and central Bosnia
are stepping up the expulsion of non-Serbs, primarily Muslims,
from areas under Serbian control. This is apparently part of
a process of consolidating territorial holdings in which all
sides are engaged, but is most pronounced in the case of the
Serbs, who control 70% of the republic's land area. The BBC mentioned
the expulsion of thousands in the Banja Luka area, while Reuters
said that Glamoc and Mrkonjic Grad have also been targeted. Patrick
Moore

SERBIAN TROOP MOVEMENTS IN KOSOVO. On 2-March Radio Croatia reported
significant movements of federal Serbian troops along the Kosovo-Albanian
border and within the predominantly Albanian-populated Serbian
province itself. According to a statement by the Democratic League,
Kosovo's main party, a large number of tanks and infantry left
their barracks in Kosovska Mitrovica and Slatina and positioned
themselves on the outskirts of several towns mainly inhabited
by Albanians. Some army reserve units were reported to have harassed
civilians. Meanwhile, on 2-March Albania denied reports from
Belgrade that it is making military preparations to defend Kosovo's
Albanians, but did not rule out future intervention, according
to Reuters. In an attempt to refute Belgrade's charges, Albanian
President Sali Berisha invited international reporters to tour
military and border installations. -Milan Andrejevich

SERBIA ENDS DANUBE BLOCKADE. On the evening of 2 March Serbian
vessels suddenly ended their blockade of the Danube, Western
agencies report. For eight days no ships had been allowed to
pass west of the Romanian-controlled Iron Gates lock. Protesting
against the Romanian policy only to let through vessels without
cargo in accordance with the UN embargo, the Serbs had been demanding
the right to move freely between Serbian ports. The blockade
ended as Romania formally sought UN Security Council support
to help end the Serb action. Hungary, which had several ships
blocked on the river, also asked the Security Council for help.
Bulgaria branded the Serb blockade on 2 March as "unlawful and
irresponsible." Michael Shafir and Kjell Engelbrekt

NEW FEDERAL YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT TAKES SHAPE. Radio Serbia reports
on 2-March that the rump Yugoslav Federal Assembly elected Montenegrin
Radoje Kontic as Prime Minister. Kontic previously served as
deputy prime minister in Milan Panic's government. Key ministers
elected are Pavle Bulatovic, a Montenegrin, as defense minister,
Vladislav Jovanovic, a Serb, as foreign minister, and Djordje
Blagojevic, a Serb, as interior minister. Jovanovic served as
Serbian foreign minister and federal foreign minister. The remaining
cabinet members are expected to be elected on 3-March. The election
of the new federal government has been delayed for nearly six
weeks because of Montenegrin demands for equal representation
in the government. -Milan Andrejevich

KOVAC INAUGURATED AS SLOVAK PRESIDENT. Michal Kovac, who was
elected the President of Slovakia on 15 February, was sworn in
on 2 March. The inauguration ceremonies were attended by Hungarian
President Arpad Goncz, Polish President Lech Walesa, Austrian
President Thomas Klestil, and Czech President Vaclav Havel. Ukrainian
President Leonid Kravchuk was unable to attend but congratulated
Kovac in a telegram. Slovak media report that in his inauguration
address Kovac said that Slovakia is in the second-best position,
after the Czech Republic, of all postcommunist countries in Europe.
Despite the republic's economy being "sick and crippled," he
said, the country has qualified specialists and an able work
force. He also said that Slovakia has chosen the road of a "social
market economy." Speaking to reporters after his inauguration,
Kovac said that he does not share the fears of some Slovak politicians
that Hungary would "want to use its armed forces in any other
way than described in its military doctrine." Kovac also said
that the institutionalization of the Visegrad Group "was inevitable,"
and that the group should set up its own headquarters and institutions.
-Jiri Pehe

KOVAC DECLINES TO COMMENT ON KNAZKO. The Slovak president declined
to tell reporters in Bratislava on 2 March whether he would comply
with Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's request to recall Foreign
Minister Milan Knazko. Knazko, the chief opponent of Meciar in
the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, said on Slovak
TV on 1 March that Meciar will try to have him fired on 3 March.
Under the constitution, the prime minister cannot recall the
foreign minister; he can only propose that the president do it.
Meciar called on Knazko to resign at the beginning of February.
On 24-February, Kovac praised Knazko and said that any minister
who does a good job can rely on his support. Knazko told CTK
on 2-March that he does not think that the president would recall
him without acquainting himself first with an evaluation of the
work of his ministry that is being prepared by the foreign committee
of the Slovak parliament. Jiri Pehe

HAVEL MEETS MECIAR. Meciar received Czech President Vaclav Havel
in Bratislava on 2-March for discussions on the tightening of
border controls between the Czech and Slovak Republics. Speaking
to reporters after the meeting, Havel said that he told Meciar
that his republic's reasons for increasing controls are practical
and not political. He also said that such a step must not be
unilateral and must be based on a mutual agreement. Havel also
informed the journalists that earlier in the day he discussed
with the presidents of Austria, Poland, and Hungary cooperation
within the Visegrad Quadrangle. Havel argued that the group's
activity should reflect the new situation in Central Europe,
and that its members should aim at concrete cooperation instead
of general political declarations. Jiri Pehe

CZECH CONSUMER PRICES UP BY 8.5 PERCENT IN JANUARY. The Czech
Statistics Office says consumer prices in the Czech Republic
went up by an average of 8.5% over the previous month, CTK reported
on 1-March. Prices of food increased by 8.2%, those of nonfood
items by 6%, and those of services by 12.7%. Compared to January
1992, the consumer prices in the Czech Republic increased by
21.2%. The price hikes were caused by the introduction of a new
tax system in January. Jan Obrman

HUNGARY AND VISEGRAD. The Visegrad cooperation scheme has only
partially fulfilled its aims but this does not mean it should
be terminated, Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky said
in an interview in the 1-March issue of the Prague daily Rude
Pravo. He disagreed with Czech Foreign Minister Jozef Zeleniec's
view that the Visegrad scheme was created at the initiative of
the West and said that while the members' entry into the EC could
be coordinated, the demand for admission would not have to be
made jointly. Hungarian Minister of International Economic Relations
Bela Kadar told Radio Budapest on 1 March that the free trade
agreement serves as an incentive for Hungarian and Slovak enterprises
and entrepreneurs to expand cooperation as well as an opportunity
to show that Hungary and Slovakia are able to work jointly, thereby
contributing to the security and political stability of East
Central Europe. Alfred Reisch

SLOVAK REPLY RE GABCIKOVO. In a letter to the Hungarian foreign
ministry, Slovak State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Jan Lisuch
has expressed Slovakia's readiness to discuss with Hungary the
final text of the joint request to the International Court of
Justice at the Hague to take up the matter of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros
hydroelectric project, MTI reports on 2-March. Lisuch wrote that
as soon as the official text of the Czech Republic's withdrawal
from the project is received, Bratislava and Budapest can set
the date of their next meeting. Hungary is still awaiting a reply
to the 5-February letter of Prime Minister Jozsef Antall to his
Slovak counterpart Vladimir Meciar in which Antall expressed
the hope that Slovakia will accept the EC's compromise solution
regarding the distribution of the Danube's water between the
two countries. Hungarian observers are calling these latest developments
foot-dragging on Slovakia's part. -Alfred Reisch

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES SECURITY POLICY CONCEPT. With only
one no vote, Hungary's parliament approved the basic principles
of Hungary's national security, MTI reported on 2 March. The
document, based on a consensus achieved by all six parliamentary
parties, ensures a long-term approach that will not be affected
by the results of the 1994 general elections. The concept states
that Hungary has no "enemy image" and considers as partners all
countries respecting the basic principles of international law.
Hungary sees its security guaranteed primarily by the attainment
of full membership in the EC, NATO, and the Western European
Union. It considers the guaranteeing of the rights of Magyar
minorities a basic requirement for good relations with its neighbors;
in this connection, it rejects any changes of borders by force
and any artificial modification of the ethnic make-up of populations.
-Alfred Reisch

ROMANIAN COURT ORDERS RELEASE OF COMAN. Romania's Supreme Court
has ruled that Ion Coman, a military adviser to Nicolae Ceausescu,
jailed for 25 years in connection with the death of some 100
people during the 1989 uprising against the former regime in
Timisoara, should be temporarily released on health grounds,
Western agencies reported on 2-March. The court acted to release
him for four months. Coman's lawyer must present new medical
data on his health condition by mid-May. -Michael Shafir

ROMANIA DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN MOLDOVAN COUP PREPARATIONS. In
a message read over Radio Bucharest on 2 March by government
spokeswoman Doina Jalea, Bucharest said an article in the Cernauti
daily Bucovina on 23 February and carried by ITAR-TASS on 27
February, which alleged Romania is training "professional terrorists"
for this and for actions in northern Bukovina and other parts
of Ukraine, is an "invention" aimed at undermining not only Romania's
relations with Moldova, but also with Russia, Ukraine, and other
states. In a separate release, the Romanian Information Service
denied involvement in these preparations and said the allegations
amount to "disinformation" aimed at breaking the "fragile democratic
course" in that country. The RIS added, however, that, "should
antiterrorist bases in Romania" be used to train Moldovan citizens,
this would occur only as a result of an agreement between the
two countries' recognized authorities, and with their knowledge.
The RIS also denied information printed by the London weekly
Observer that Serb and Russian generals had met in Romania to
conclude an agreement on Russian arms delivery to Serbia or Krajina
Serbs. Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES NEW CONSTITUTION. Debate began on
2 March on the draft of a new constitution that will replace
the heavily amended basic law inherited from the Soviet period.
Parliament is expected to complete the first reading and adopt
the document this month, then to submit it to popular debate.
The second reading and the adoption of the final version are
projected for April, to be followed by a referendum in May. President
Mircea Snegur and the parliamentary majority expect the referendum
to confirm not only the document itself but also Moldova's choice
of independent statehood as distinct from unification with Romania.
The draft provides for a semipresidential system of government,
but during the debate parliament will likely seek greater powers
for itself. -Vladimir Socor

SECOND ROUND OF UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS. On 2
March negotiating teams from Russia and Ukraine met near Moscow
to discuss issues concerning the maintenance, and eventual removal
of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. The Russia delegation was headed
by Ambassador at-Large Yurii Dubinin, with Col. Gen. Boris Gromov
as the senior military officer on the delegation. According to
ITAR-TASS, both Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and CIS
Commander Evgenii Shaposhnikov, have been complaining about Ukraine's
unconstructive attitude towards the talks, and have been threatening
to issue a communique officially criticizing Ukraine's stance.
-John Lepingwell

RUSSIAN COMMANDER ON FUTURE OF BALTIC FLEET. Claiming that it
was "insulting to him" that Russia would soon lose its finest
ports on the Baltic Sea, Baltic Fleet Commander Vladimir Egorov
nevertheless admitted that it is now expedient to withdraw the
fleet from Tallinn, Liepaja, and Riga. Egorov said that in the
future the fleet would be based at Baltiisk in Kaliningrad and
at Kronstadt, off the coast of St. Petersburg. He disclosed that
the fleet will be reduced by 39% and suggested that his primary
task involves maintaining the fleet as a fighting force. His
comments, published in Krasnaya zvezda on 2 March, were summarized
by ITAR-TASS. Stephen Foye

POLISH JUSTICE MINISTER STILL UNDER CLOUD. Prime Minister Hanna
Suchocka extended the enforced vacation of Justice Minister Zbigniew
Dyka by ten days on 1 March, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. Dyka was
sent on a month's forced leave on 27 January. The official rationale
cited at the time was the "reprehensible" assignment of a prosecutor
involved in the political trials of the 1980s to the investigation
of charges that President Lech Walesa's closest aide is a secret
police agent, but the justice ministry has been criticized for
other failings. Citing unofficial sources, both Gazeta Wyborcza
and Rzeczpospolita reported on 2 March that the prime minister
intends to dismiss Dyka. She apparently put off the decision
until after the justice minister's party, the Christian National
Union, held its national congress. Meanwhile, another scandal
broke in Warsaw with the arrest on 26-February of Wojciech Dobrzynski,
the director of the Center Alliance's parliamentary office, on
charges of soliciting a 1.5-billion-zloty ($96,000) bribe from
a gasoline-importing firm. -Louisa Vinton

BANK OF LITHUANIA CHAIRMAN RESIGNS. On 2-March Vilius Baldisis
submitted his resignation to President Algirdas Brazauskas, Radio
Lithuania reports. The resignation must be accepted by the parliament,
which has more than once failed to pass no-confidence votes against
him. Dissatisfaction with Baldisis had been based on delays in
introducing the republic's currency, the litas, and his changing
of the conditions of their printing in 1992 without the approval
of the government. He denied all the charges made against him
and said that he would be willing to work at some other post
in the bank. -Saulius Girnius

MAZEIKIAI OIL REFINERY STOPPED AGAIN. Not having received any
crude oil since 22-February, the oil refinery at Mazeikiai has
been closed for three days, BNS reported on 2-March. An agreement
with the St. Petersburg concern Lukoil had been signed in January
to provide the refinery with 6 million tons of oil this year,
but none has been sent, apparently because the Russian government
has not yet given Lukoil permission to do so. Saulius Girnius


LATVIA, FRANCE SIGN FRIENDSHIP TREATY. On 2-March in Paris French
President Fran¨ois Mitterrand and Latvian Supreme Council Chairman
Anatolijs Gorbunovs signed a friendship and cooperation treaty.
Mitterrand said that France remains at Latvia's side to help
close the gap that separates it from real sovereignty, particularly
in the military domain. Gorbunovs urged France not to support
Russian President Yeltsin's recent suggestion that Russia be
granted special powers to stop conflicts in the former Soviet
Union and stressed that the presence of the Russian Army is one
of the main destabilizing factors in the political and economic
life of Latvia, Baltic and Western agencies reported on 2-March.
Dzintra Bungs

"BALKAN ROUTE" SUPPLIES EUROPEAN DRUG MARKET. Recent arrests
in Bulgaria indicate that the notorious "Balkan route," long
favored by smugglers, remains the main supply channel for the
European drug market. On 1 March another 5.7 kg of heroin were
found in a car heading for Germany, bringing heroin seizures
over the last month to 74 kg, Reuters reports. Kosta Bogatsevski,
the chief inspector of the Interior Ministry, told a press conference
in Sofia that in 1992 the Bulgarian police intercepted a total
of 47 narcotics consignments, mostly containing heroin, with
a net weight of 747 kg. Bogatsevski, who recently spent a week
at a conference in Vienna devoted to the problems of drugs trafficking,
said Western specialists estimate some 80% of all narcotics found
in Western Europe have entered via the "Balkan route." Kjell
Engelbrekt

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









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