The essence of our effort to see that every child has a chance must be to assure each an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become, different- to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses. - John Fischer
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 55, 22 March 1993



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.

RUSSIA



YELTSIN'S ADDRESS TO NATION. President Boris Yeltsin appeared
on national TV and radio on 20 March to announce his response
to the recent Eighth Congress of People's Deputies which had
stripped him of many powers. He said that the Congress had demonstrated
the "revanche of the communist party nomenklatura," and had destroyed
the constitutional division of powers. He accused the Constitutional
Court of failing to act against the attack on the constitution.
Repeating earlier accusations of parliament's having assumed
governmental powers, Yeltsin announced that he as president had
to take responsibility for the country, and so had signed a series
of decrees, introducing "a special regime," and scheduling for
25 April a vote of confidence in the president and vice president,
together with a vote on the draft of a new constitution and on
a draft law on parliamentary elections. He said that the Congress
would cease to exist under the new constitution, but that Congress
and parliament would continue to sit until fresh elections, although
any decisions they took against the president's decrees or government's
resolutions would have no legal force. He listed urgent economic
measures which Prime Minister Chernomyrdin was being asked to
take, and said that the vertical system of executive power was
being reintroduced. Finally, he said that the Novosibirsk and
Irkutsk oblast heads of administration and a number of government
staff had been dismissed for infringing the law. Wendy Slater


PARLIAMENT STARTED THE PROCESS OF YELTSIN'S IMPEACHMENT? THE
EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT OPENED ON 21
MARCH TO CONSIDER PRESIDENT YELTSIN'S INTRODUCTION OF "A SPECIAL
REGIME" IN RUSSIA. The session, broadcast live on Russian TV,
adopted a resolution calling on the Constitutional Court to rule
on whether Yeltsin's decision was in accord with the constitution.
In his address to the parliament, Constitutional Court Chairman
Valerii Zorkin said that the court had on its own initiative
already begun a hearing on the constitutionality of Yeltsin's
decree. The extraordinary session of the Congress, which is constitutionally
empowered to impeach the president, is expected to open on 24
March. Russian Procurator General Valentin Stepankov said that
his office would probably prosecute those responsible for drafting
Yeltsin's decree as well as "those who signed it" when they receive
a copy of the text. Julia Wishnevsky

RUTSKOI CALLS YELTSIN'S DECISION "ANTICONSTITUTIONAL." Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi failed to support Yeltsin's decision to introduce
"a special regime." On 21 March, ITAR-TASS distributed Rutskoi's
letter to the president, written on the eve of Yeltsin's TV address,
in which the vice president urged the president not to sign the
decree "on a special regime." On 21 March, Rutskoi addressed
an emergency session of the parliament condemning Yeltsin's decree
as "anti-constitutional." The vice president called on the parliament,
however, "not to take hasty counter decisions to those announced
by the president," the Russian media reported. Vera Tolz

CABINET SUPPORTS YELTSIN AGAINST PARLIAMENT. The Cabinet of Ministers
has demonstratively supported President Boris Yeltsin in his
power battle with parliament. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin,
who himself had not been consulted or informed about the introduction
of a special regime, defended the measure in front of the parliament
on 21 March, ITAR-TASS reported. The whole cabinet attended the
extraordinary parliamentary session. Later, Chernomyrdin appeared
on national TV, surrounded by the ministers of defense, security,
and internal affairs, to emphasize the cabinet's support for
Yeltsin. In an extraordinary cabinet meeting, all ministers voted
in favor of supporting the introduction of "a special regime."
Only the Minister of Justice, Nikolai Fedorov, abstained. Alexander
Rahr

GOVERNMENT STATEMENT: SECURITY MINISTRIES BEHIND YELTSIN? WESTERN
SOURCES REPORTED ON 21 AND 22 MARCH THAT THE RUSSIAN MINISTERS
OF DEFENSE, SECURITY, AND THE INTERIOR WERE AMONG THOSE WHO SIGNED
THE 21 MARCH GOVERNMENT STATEMENT EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR YELTSIN.
According to ITAR-TASS, the statement lauds the efforts "of a
democratically elected president to prevent anarchy, chaos, political
confrontation, separatism, nationalism, and crime, [and] to preserve
the unity and integrity of the Russian Federation." The statement
also contained a declaration that the defense, security, and
interior ministers "remain loyal to constitutional principles"
and will "ensure order" without involving armed units subordinated
to them. In their remarks to parliament on 21 March, the three
ministers emphasized their "neutrality," a stand that again suggested
support for Yeltsin and that was criticized by Khasbulatov as
"toothless, vague, and non-committal." Stephen Foye

GRACHEV REMARKS TO PARLIAMENT. In addition to asserting the army's
neutrality in his remarks before the parliament on 21 March,
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev complained that the army was becoming
increasingly politicized and appeared to lay the blame for that
development primarily on the legislature and the Procurator General's
Office. Grachev, who said he had spoken by telephone earlier
that day with military district and fleet commanders, cautioned
that tensions among military personnel in the Moscow region were
rising. He warned that these developments could result in bloodshed
and raised the specter of nuclear or chemical arms being used
in the event that real hostilities broke out. Grachev's speech
was broadcast by Russian TV. Stephen Foye

REACTIONARY OFFICERS' GROUP CRITICIZES GRACHEV, YELTSIN. Grachev's
remarks appear to have been inspired at least in part by a meeting
of reactionary officers held in the parliament center on 20 March.
According to a Russian TV "Vesti" report later that day, the
gathering, described as a meeting of the Moscow Military District
All-Army Officers Assembly, was in fact organized by the leader
of the arch-conservative Officers' Union, Stanislav Terekhov.
Terekhov accused Grachev of high treason and declared that the
army could not remain outside politics. According to "Vesti,"
the group expressed its support for Khasbulatov. On the same
day, Austrian TV reported that right wing officers would like
to see Grachev replaced by Gen. Vladislav Achalov, a former deputy
defense minister who was arrested for participation in the August
1991 attempted coup. Achalov was quoted as saying that the army
would protect parliament should Boris Yeltsin declare a state
of emergency. Achalov is now an advisor to Khasbulatov. Stephen
Foye

CIVIC UNION PROMOTING RUTSKOI AS NEXT PRESIDENT. Speaking after
an emergency meeting of the Civic Union, its leader Nikolai Travkin
said the bloc is promoting Rutskoi as Russia's next president
in the wake of the parliament's decision to challenge Yeltsin's
decree on a special regime. Travkin was quoted by Western agencies
on 21 March as saying that Rutskoi's chances of becoming head
of state "have never been so strong." The Civic Union criticized
Yeltsin's declaration of special rule. Another leader of Civic
Union, Arkadii Volsky, said that he suspects Yeltsin's decree
will be modified in the next few days. Volsky added, however,
that he believes Yeltsin does have the right to hold a referendum
on Russia's future. Vera Tolz

MORE SUPPORT FOR YELTSIN. Former Russian State Secretary Gennadii
Burbulis, co-leader of Democratic Russia Galina Starovoitova,
and Lithuanian opposition leader Vytautas Landsbergis told the
RFE/RL Research Institute on 21 March that they regard the introduction
of a special regime in Russia as the only way to save reform.
According to Burbulis, Yeltsin should have introduced special
rule earlier. He said that Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai
was the author of Yeltsin's decree. Burbulis strongly criticized
Rutskoi's opposition to Yeltsin and said that the latter should
now resign as vice president. He said that the heads of administration,
whom he had personally selected in 1991, will support the president.
He predicted that the parliament will lose the battle because
it has no serious alternative leader who can challenge Yeltsin
as president today. Alexander Rahr

REACTIONS TO SPECIAL REGIME. The leaders of Western industrial
nations have supported Boris Yeltsin's measures, arguing that
they regard the Russian president as the major guarantor of reform,
Western news agencies reported on 21 March. No Western politician
condemned his actions. Some leaders, such as US President Bill
Clinton, appear to have been previously informed by Yeltsin of
his decision to introduce special rule. Meanwhile, Yeltsin's
supporters and opponents lined up for demonstrations in Moscow,
but the number of demonstrators appeared to be relatively low--about
2,000 on each side. The Civic Union appealed to its supporters
to refrain from demonstrations. Democratic Russia plans to hold
a mass meeting in support of Yeltsin on 28 March. Meanwhile,
reactions in Russia's regions were mixed as some local soviets
expressed opposition to the introduction of "a special regime."
Alexander Rahr

GORBACHEV SUGGESTS EARLY ELECTIONS. In an interview with RFE/RL
on 20 March, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev condemned
Yeltsin's declaration of "a special regime" in Russia as a demonstration
of the "lack of respect for the highest organ of power, which
is the Congress according to the Constitution." Gorbachev said
that early elections rather than a referendum could solve the
crises he attributed to the mistakes in implementing market-oriented
reform. Julia Wishnevsky

TRANSCAUCASIA & CENTRAL ASIA

GORBACHEV CALLS ON CLINTON TO CONTINUE FUNDING RFE/RL. Speaking
on 20 March at the celebrations in Moscow of the 40th anniversary
of Radio Liberty's first broadcasts to the Soviet Union, Gorbachev
called on the Clinton administration to continue funding Radio
Liberty. Gorbachev said the radio station is a "stabilizing influence
in an unstable time," and that it is very necessary as Russia
seeks to transform itself from a totalitarian state into a democracy.
Vera Tolz

GRACHEV ACCUSES GEORGIA OF TRYING TO INCITE RUSSIA. A Russian
war plane was downed by Georgian anti-aircraft fire near Sukhumi
early in the morning of 19 March, killing the Russian pilot,
Western agencies reported. A Georgian military spokesman claimed
the plane was on a bombing raid, while the head of the Russian
Air Force press service told journalists that the plane was trying
to prevent two Georgian warplanes from attacking a Russian military
target in Abkhazia. Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze
made a personal appeal to Russian President Boris Yeltsin to
take decisive action to halt the "senseless conflict" between
Russia and Georgia. On 20 March ITAR-TASS quoted Russian Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev as accusing Georgia of "using all means,
including fraud and provocation" in order to draw Russia into
the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict. Addressing a news conference in
Tbilisi on 21 March, Shevardnadze warned that Russia "was facing
civil war," and expressed his support for Yeltsin's course of
action as "the only way out of the situation," Western agencies
reported. Liz Fuller

UZBEKISTAN PROMISES TO REMAIN IN RUBLE ZONE. Uzbekistan's President
Islam Karimov has promised Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
that Uzbekistan will remain in the ruble zone, ITAR-TASS reported
on 20 March. Chernomyrdin was in Uzbekistan to discuss economic
cooperation and to sign a number of agreements, including one
on credit and monetary policy. One of the most important issues
for Russia is ensuring dependable supplies of cotton for Russian
textile mills which have nearly come to a halt at least twice
in the last year because of price and currency disputes between
Uzbekistan and Russia. Karimov promised Chernomyrdin that Uzbekistan
will honor all its earlier agreements on supplying cotton to
Russia. Bess Brown

TIES BETWEEN XINJIANG AND CENTRAL ASIAN STATES ENCOURAGED. China's
Foreign Minister Qian Qichen was quoted by Xinhua on 19 March
as telling National Peoples' Congress deputies from the Xinjiang
Uigur Autonomous Region that Xinjiang should expand economic
ties with the Central Asian states. Qian was quoted as warning
that the present cross-border trade in consumer items from China
will decline as the Central Asian economies become stronger,
and China may find itself cut off from the Central Asian market.
China initially reacted with caution to the independence of the
Central Asian states, perhaps fearing that the Turkic-speaking
peoples of Xinjiang would be affected by the model of new neighboring
Turkic-speaking independent states. In the course of 1992, however,
China established diplomatic relations with the new states and
actively sought to develop trade ties. Qian's statement to the
Uigur deputies suggests that the Chinese government is confident
of its control of the situation in Xinjiang. Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



EASTERN EUROPE SUPPORTS YELTSIN. In addition to quick expressions
of support from the USA, Canada, Japan and the EC nations, most
Eastern European governments and leaders indicated on 21 March
that they too stand behind the beleaguered Russian leader's decision
to rule by decree. The Hungarian government says it sees Yeltsin
as the best guarantee for democracy and the resolute carrying
out of the country's transition process, Foreign Minister Geza
Jeszenszky told Radio Budapest. The Russian parliament, Jeszenszky
said, is not yet a fully democratic institution and Yeltsin's
desire to ask the Russian people what kind of political system
they want is "perfectly justified." CTK reported that Czech President
Vaclav Havel said that he believes Yeltsin's decision will help
to solve the political crisis in Russia. He also said that "it
is in the interest of the entire world that Russia does not abandon
the road toward democracy and a market economy." Warsaw Radio
reports a Polish Foreign Ministry statement saying that Warsaw
is watching the events in Moscow with "gravity and concern" and
expressing optimism that the authorities will be able peacefully
to resolve the crisis "in the spirit of the observance of law
and democracy." In Sofia presidential spokesman Valentin Stoyanov
explained to Bulgarian Radio that Yeltsin's "formal nondemocratic
act was provoked by the need to stop the creeping communist restoration
being carried out by old legislative institutions. Petre Roman,
leader of Romania's ruling National Salvation Front, was more
cautious in a statement to Romanian Radio: Likening the situation
to the time of the August 1991 coup in Moscow, Roman continued,
"In my opinion, our country should openly support the democratic
process and the persons and forces favoring democracy." Charles
Trumbull & RI staff

SUPPORT FROM THE BALTICS. Baltfax reported on 21 March that Lithuanian
Seimas chairman Ceslovas Jursenas said that leaders in the republic
support Yeltsin since he will observe Russia's international
commitments. Latvia's ambassador to Russia Janis Peters noted
that his country is interested in a stable, democratic Russia
which in his opinion Yeltsin personifies. Estonian Prime Minister
Mart Laar after talks with former Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar
Karlsson said that they both support Yeltsin in his efforts to
overcome the power crisis in Russia. Saulius Girnius

KRAVCHUK CALLS FOR MODERATION. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
issued a statement expressing the "serious concern" of the Ukrainian
leadership and the people over developments in Russia, Ukrinform-TASS
reports on 21 March. Stating that he "decisively" supports the
reformist course of the Russian leadership, Kravchuk said that
one could not agree with a situation whereby the popularly elected
president and the legislature were seeking to deprive each other
of power "without consulting the people." The statement calls
on the president, the parliament, the government, and all citizens
of Russia to show "wisdom and moderation" in the difficult situation.
Roman Solchanyk

KNAZKO RECALLED, TWO NEW MINISTERS APPOINTED. Slovak Foreign
Minister Milan Knazko was recalled from his post by President
Michal Kovac on 19 March, Slovak and international media report.
Following his ouster, Knazko told reporters that he was recalled
because "I became inconvenient to the cabinet because I did not
have the same opinions, especially those of the prime minister."
According to Knazko, "authoritarian ways of solving problems
started to play a larger role in governing the country." Prime
Minister Meciar had accused Knazko of incompetence and of failing
to represent Slovakia's interests abroad. Kovac told Slovak TV
on 19 March that he moved against Knazko in order to prevent
a political crisis. He said that Meciar threatened to resign
as prime minister if the president did not force Knazko out.
Since a new government would have been difficult to form, Meciar's
resignation, argued Kovac, could have forced the holding of new
elections. Also on 19th, Kovac appointed Jozef Moravcik, the
last foreign minister of Czechoslovakia before it split on 1
January 1993, the new Slovak minister of foreign affairs. Jaroslav
Kubecka, who was the last Czechoslovak minister of economy, was
appointed Slovak minister of economy, to replace Ludovit Cernak
who resigned earlier in the day. Jiri Pehe

RUMP YUGOSLAV ARMY HELPS CUT OFF SREBRENICA. The 22 March New
York Times reports that the federal forces are working in tandem
with Bosnia Serb forces to seal off the eastern Bosnian Muslim
enclave. The Serbs have repeatedly denied any connection between
Belgrade's forces and those in Bosnia, but many foreign observers
have long noted the close cooperation between the two in pursuit
of a greater Serbia. Meanwhile, international media said on 19
March that a UN aid convoy finally got through to Srebrenica
after being held up for days by Serbs, and the following day
the UN evacuated nearly 700 Muslims from the besieged town. The
BBC said that the Serbs had probably agreed to the move because
the evacuation was in keeping with Serb plans to "cleanse" the
area of Muslims. The Muslims seek refuge in Tuzla, from which
over 200 Serbs are expected in turn to be evacuated. The operation
is directed by the UN commander in Bosnia, Gen. Philippe Morillon,
who is now well into the second week of his hands-on involvement
in Srebrenica, which some Serbs have now dubbed "Morillongrad."
Patrick Moore

DANUBE UPDATE. Romania has asked the UN Security Council to rule
on a demand by rump Yugoslavia to allow its barges to pass through
the Iron Gates Two dam. Belgrade claims Romania has no right
to hold up Yugoslav "domestic traffic" on the Danube. On 19 March
Radio Bucharest quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mircea Gioana,
who said Romania had sent a letter to the Security Council's
sanctions committee requesting clear instructions whether the
barges are covered by the sanctions. Meanwhile, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported on 19 March that the United States is providing six
patrol boats to Romania and Bulgaria to help enforce the sanctions.
Radio Bucharest quoted a State Department spokesman, who said
that the boats, three to each country, will reach Constanta on
9 April, accompanied by a team of instructors. The unarmed boats
are of the "Whaler" type and can operate in any weather. Michael
Shafir

ZHELEV AGAIN DENIES MILITARY BUILDUP. On 21 March President Zhelyu
Zhelev renewed assurances that no Bulgarian troops are being
moved to the Serbian border. Zhelev told Bulgarian Radio that
there are "absolutely no grounds" for suspecting Sofia of military
preparations, but that Bulgaria might have become a pawn in "a
game played between those who insist on military intervention
by NATO in ex-Yugoslavia and those who believe [the conflicts]
should be solved by political means." He pointed out that Bulgaria,
in order to disprove similar allegations, at an earlier point
invited several military attaches to inspect the border by helicopter.
Zhelev also called "anachronistic" an idea put forward by a deputy
to the Russian parliament to form an association of states belonging
to the Byzantine cultural area. Kjell Engelbrekt

POLISH COALITION DIGESTS PRIVATIZATION DEFEAT. After the narrow
defeat of the government's "mass privatization" package in the
Sejm on 18 March, the fate of both the program and the ruling
coalition remained unclear. An extraordinary cabinet meeting
scheduled for 22 March is expected to determine whether the government
will make a new attempt to push the mass privatization program,
in preparation for over two years, through the parliament. Privatization
Minister Janusz Lewandowski offered to step down after the vote,
but Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka expressed her continued support
for him and his policies. The Christian National Union issued
reprimands to nine of its deputies who broke rank to vote against
the program. Parliamentary wags expressed relief that Defense
Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz, who pushed the wrong button by
mistake during the vote, did not have nuclear weapons at his
disposal. Some coalition members advocated seeking support from
the former communist Democratic Left Alliance; others proposed
lobbying the post-Solidarity opposition parties; and still others
argued that new elections were the only option, given the coalition's
lack of a stable parliamentary majority. The Sejm on 19 March
discussed but postponed a vote on a new election law, which aims
to limit fragmentation by setting a 5% threshold (8% for coalitions)
for parliamentary representation. Louisa Vinton

GUILTY VERDICT IN WALESA SLANDER TRIAL. A regional court in Brzeg
handed down guilty verdicts on 18 March in the case of two students
accused of slandering President Lech Walesa, Gazeta Wyborcza
reports. Although the prosecutor had demanded suspended prison
sentences, the students were sentenced instead to modest fines.
The students admitted to having called Walesa an agent of the
communist secret police during demonstrations in June and November
1992, but claimed the trial was "dishonest" because no attempt
was made to examine the president's files. The court cited similar
statements made by prominent politicians as an extenuating factor
in the sentencing. Louisa Vinton

HUNGARIAN POLICE SET UP FRAUD SQUAD. Hungarian police have set
up a new financial crime unit to trace tax and customs fraud,
illegal trade, computer crime, and money laundering, Radio Budapest
and Western news agencies reported on 16 March. The head of the
unit, Erno Kiss, said it is needed because the number of fraud
and embezzlement cases has grown sevenfold in the past three
years. He said that the new unit's work is hindered by loopholes
in legislation and the lack of an efficient banking information
system that could help trace fraud. Kiss urged banks to report
any suspicious money transfers. Edith Oltay

HUNGARIAN, ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. Geza Jeszenszky and
Teodor Melescanu met in Gyula, Hungary, MTI on 20 March 1993.
A Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the issues discussed
included the opening of new border crossings, development of
economic relations, minority problems, and the basic treaty between
the two countries. According to the Hungarian side, too much
emphasis was given to the border issue by the Romanians, since
Hungary had already signed international agreements about the
unchangibility of the present borders. Melescanu said in a Hungarian
TV interview that agreement has to be reached by the two countries
so Romania can be integrated into Europe; Romania expects Hungary's
support in this regard. The atmosphere of the meeting was described
by MTI as relaxed. Karoly Okolicsanyi

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS CENSURE MOTION. By a vote of 260
to 192 on 19 March Parliament rejected a motion of censure proposed
by the opposition against the Vacaroiu government. The debates
were interrupted by a scuffle provoked by the remarks of Corneliu
Vadim Tudor, a senator from the extreme nationalist Greater Romania
Party. Michael Shafir

MOLDOVA PROTESTS ARMISTICE VIOLATIONS. A meeting of the joint
(Russian-Moldovan-"Dniester") armistice commission broke down
after Moldova protested against violations of last year's Yeltsin-Snegur
armistice convention. It charged that Russian peacekeeping troops
tolerate the introduction of "Dniester" military units, including
"border guards" manned by Russian Cossacks, in the demilitarized
zone and aggressive picketing of the last remaining Moldovan
police building and court house in Bendery, also in violation
of the security zone regime. Moldova's statement, made public
on 18 March, again complained that the Russian peacekeeping troops
provide a cover for the formation of unlawful "Dniester" state
and military structures. Vladimir Socor

MOLDOVA--"ASSOCIATE, NONSIGNATORY MEMBER" OF CIS. On an official
visit to India, President Mircea Snegur told a news conference
in New Delhi that Moldova's relationship to the CIS is that of
an "associate member, nonsignatory of the charter" and that Moldova
"does not desire the transformation of the CIS into a political
or a military organization," Rompres reported on 19 March. Vladimir
Socor

UKRAINE TO MARK SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF FAMINE. A decree issued
by President Leonid Kravchuk provides for the official marking
of the sixtieth anniversary of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine,
Ukrinform-TASS reports on 19 March. The famine, which is widely
recognized as having been organized by Stalin, will be marked
in September 1993. Roman Solchanyk

GERMANY AGREES ON LEGAL ASSISTANCE WITH BALTICS. On 16 March
in Vilnius Lithuanian Deputy Justice Minister Stasys Sedbaras
and German Federal Justice Ministry official Peter Wilkitzki
signed a protocol on legal assistance in criminal cases, BNS
reported on 19 March. The protocol calls for legal cooperation
in accordance with the Criminal Law Convention of the Council
of Europe, exchange of information on persons suspected of crimes,
and holding talks on the return of stolen property. Lithuania
has signed similar agreements with Poland, Russia, Belarus, Moldova,
Latvia, and Estonia. The following day a similar protocol on
legal assistance between Germany and Latvia was signed in Riga.
Latvia's Minister of Justice told the press that the protocol
does not have the status of a formal accord, pending the Council
of Europe's recognition of Latvia joining the Council's convention
on legal assistance, but he added that German officials are assuring
the Latvians that the Council has already given the go ahead,
BNS reported on 18 March. Saulius Girnius & Dzintra Bungs

ESTONIA CANCELS COMMON VISA AGREEMENT WITH BALTIC STATES. Prime
Minister Mart Laar announced on 18 March that the Estonian government
has unilaterally decided to back down partly from the common
visa agreement with Latvia and Lithuania signed in March 1992,
BNS reported on 19 March. The reason for the move was those two
countries' failure to effectively control their eastern borders.
Now, citizens of about 40 countries will be able to enter Estonia
with Latvian or Lithuanian visas, but all others will have to
obtain separate Estonian visas. The implementation of the ruling
will become effective in two weeks after the Estonian Foreign
Ministry sends formal notification to Latvia and Lithuania. Saulius
Girnius

LITHUANIA ASKS FOR EXTRADITION OF PARFENOV. Latvian Prosecutor
General Janis Skrastins has received a formal request from his
Lithuanian counterpart, Arturas Paulauskas, for the extradition
to Lithuania of former Riga OMON deputy commander Sergei Parfenov,
currently serving a jail sentence in Latvia, BNS reported on
19 March. The request was in part prompted by an article in Respublika
of 5 March that claimed that Parfenov participated in the attack
on the Lithuanian customs post at Medininkai on 31 July 1991
during which seven customs officials were murdered. Lithuania
expects that it will need about three months to question Parfenov
on the OMON attacks on the Medininkai and other customs post
on the Latvian-Lithuanian border. Saulius Girnius

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN HUNGARY. According to domestic and foreign
economic reports on 10 March, several major companies and banks
are extending their activities into Hungary. For an undisclosed
sum PEPSICO, the US food and drink group, has acquired a 79%
interest in FAU, a leading Hungarian soft drink company, and
said it will invest $115,000,000 in the Budapest area in the
next five years. FAU had previously produced Pepsi products under
licence for the Budapest area. The Hotel Duna Intercontinental
has been sold to the Marriott Hotel Group for $52,000,000 in
a deal said to have been financed by an Austrian bank. The French
hotel group ACCOR, has reportedly entered the final stage of
talks with Hungary's privatization authorities for the acquisition
of a 51% stake in Pannonia, the country's main midmarket hotel
chain. Finally, the Bayerische Hypotheken-und-Wechselbank, established
with starting capital totaling DM 20,000,000, began its activities
on 10 March in Budapest. Judith Pataki

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Wendy Slater and Charles Trumbull



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