Wherever there is love, there is peace. - Burmese proverb
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 63, 01 April 1993



RUSSIA



FILATOV SUGGESTS ADDITIONAL QUESTION FOR REFERENDUM. The head
of the presidential staff, Sergei Filatov, told journalists on
31 March that the Boris Yeltsin's supporters would be taking
steps to promote the referendum scheduled for 25 April, various
Russian media reported. He said that the questions to be put
to referendum omit the issue of the new Russian Constitution,
and suggested that the presidential side "would like the parliament
to agree to including this question on the ballot sheets." Wendy
Slater

KHASBULATOV, NECHAEV ON CHERNOMYRDIN. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan
Khasbulatov criticized Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin in
an interview on Ostankino TV on 31 March for continuing to pursue
the "shock therapy" reforms of his predecessor, Egor Gaidar.
He accused Chernomyrdin of ignoring the decisions of the parliament.
Andrei Nechaev, who has recently been released from the post
of economics minister, also criticized Chernomyrdin for appointing
only officials connected with the old Gosplan structures to the
Cabinet of Ministers. He told Moskovsky komsomolets on 31 March
that Chernomyrdin should streamline the cabinet. In his opinion,
only a dictatorship could resist the pressure to which the cabinet
is exposed from the parliament, the central bank, and the agrarian
and industrial lobbies. Alexander Rahr

ABDULATIPOV MEETS YELTSIN ON ANNIVERSARY OF FEDERAL TREATY. The
chairman of the Russian parliament's Council of Nationalities
Ramazan Abdulatipov met Yeltsin on 31 March, the first anniversary
of the signing of the federal treaty, to discuss ethnic relations
in the Russian Federation, ITAR-TASS reported. Abdulatipov told
a press conference afterwards that, in his view, Yeltsin's entourage
is failing to translate the president's support for the federal
treaty into practical political and legal measures. Abdulatipov
also brought up Yeltsin's 15 March decree on concessions to the
Cossacks, which has aroused considerable concern in some quarters.
Abdulatipov said that he discussed with Yeltsin the question
of making changes to the decree. Ann Sheehy

RUSSIA WANTS TO CHANGE CFE? THE WASHINGTON TIMES REPORTED ON
31 MARCH THAT RUSSIA IS QUIETLY SEEKING CHANGES IN THE TERMS
OF THE CFE TREATY IN ORDER TO DEPLOY MORE MILITARY FORCES IN
THE WAR-TORN CAUCASUS REGION. Quoting unnamed American diplomatic
sources, the newspaper said that Russian officials have argued
that ethnic violence in the South, and particularly in Georgia,
threatens its security and that it must deploy the additional
forces to protect its interests. The issue was reportedly discussed
by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev during a recent meeting. Russian Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev touched on the issue at a press conference
in early March when he suggested that Russia's shifting geo-political
situation might compel it to request changes in the force sub-limits
allowed by CFE, without altering the overall weapons ceilings.
Stephen Foye

DEFENSE MINISTER, DIPLOMAT ON BALTIC WITHDRAWAL. During a visit
to St. Petersburg on 31 March, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev
said that his 29 March speech at NATO had been distorted. Novosti
quoted Grachev as specifying that the withdrawal of troops from
Lithuania will be carried out, but that the pullout from Estonia
and Latvia will be done only after the signing of relevant treaties.
According to the same Novosti report, 29 units are to be withdrawn
to the Leningrad Military District from the Baltic States. In
remarks reported by BNS on 30 March, Russian diplomat Aleksandr
Udaltsov said that Grachev's 29 March speech had not revealed
anything unexpected. He too mentioned alleged problems in negotiating
the pullout with Estonia and Latvia, but argued that the long
election campaign in Lithuania had held up negotiations there
as well. Stephen Foye

CRITICISM FROM WORLD BANK. World Bank President Lewis Preston
has sharply criticized Russia for its inability to use much of
the money already allocated to it, and the Russian Central Bank
(RCB) for its failure to get a grip on inflation, Reuters reported
on 31 March. Preston's condemnation of the Russian authorities
for failing to get their act together came one day after similar
criticism by the IMF's resident representative in Moscow (see
the RFE/RL Daily Report for 31 March). He warned that the World
Bank will not be able to go ahead with loans for Russian agriculture
or help in modernizing its banking system until the country acts
to stabilize its economy. Preston laid much of the blame on RCB
Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko: "nobody's been able to reform him."
On a more positive note, IMF Deputy Managing Director Richard
Erb said on 31 March that the plan of economic priority measures
drawn up by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Fedorov and approved
"in principle" by the presidium of the government on 25 March,
could provide a "solid base" for Russian cooperation with the
IMF. Keith Bush and Robert Lyle

NONPAYMENT OF TAXES. According to a calculation by the Biznes
i banki newspaper, cited by ITAR-TASS on 23 March, the annual
nonpayment of taxes in Russia probably amounts to more than 40%
of all planned tax revenue. This scale of default is presumably
separate from, and additional to, deliberate withholding of taxes
by regions and localities. It should be viewed in the context
of a possible combined budget deficit for 1993 exceeding 30%
of GDP. (see the RFE/RL Daily Report for 30 March). Keith Bush


INTEREST RATES RAISED. The biggest savings bank in Russia, Sberbank,
is to raise its interest rates from 1 April, Reuters reported
on 31 March. Interest on instant-access accounts will earn 40%
annual interest (twice the previous rate), and one-year deposits
will earn 100% annual interest, up from 60%. The new rates will
still be negative: inflation in 1992 was said to be 2,632%, and
monthly rates so far this year have reportedly been 28%, 25%,
and 12%. Keith Bush

MINERS POSTPONE STRIKE ACTION. The Kuzbass and Vorkuta coal miners
have decided to postpone strike action scheduled to begin on
1 April, according to an RFE/RL correspondent on 31 March. The
Independent Miners' Union has recommended that strike action
be avoided in the period leading up to the referendum, ITAR-TASS
reported on the same day. The Kuzbass miners have apparently
decided to boycott the April 25 referendum, as they favor a strong
presidency as the only way to ensure that reforms are implemented.
The Vorkuta miners, on the other hand, will be campaigning for
Yeltsin in the referendum. According to Novosti on the same day
the miners consider that their demands are being blocked by the
parliament rather than the government. Sheila Marnie.

FURTHER PROTESTS AGAINST CONGRESS DECISION ON MEDIA. The Moscow
Union of Journalists has said that it will apply to the Constitutional
Court to rule on the legality of the Congress of People's Deputies
recent decision to put the state-financed broadcasting media
under parliamentary editorial control. On 31 March, ITAR-TASS
quoted a statement from the union which said that the Congress'
decision represented a return to the "Bolshevik era of open censorship."
On 30 March, the management of both channels of Russian television
also said that it intended to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
Vera Tolz

RUSSIAN COMMUNIST PARTY REGISTERED. Various Russian media reported
that the revived Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which
held its founding conference on 13-14 February, had been officially
registered as a political party with the Russian Ministry of
Justice on 24 March. At a press conference on 31 March, the leader
of the CP-RF, Gennadii Zyuganov expressed confidence that the
party, which he claimed numbered 600,000 members, was capable
of influencing political events. He said that the CP-RF was working
with other parties toward the April referendum. Zyuganov described
the 29th CPSU Congress, held on 26-27 March in Moscow when the
Union of Communist Parties--CPSU was formed, as premature. He
advised first the official registration of communist parties
in all the former Soviet republics before the formation of an
international union of communist parties. Wendy Slater

SALES OF US ENERGY EQUIPMENT EASED. The board of directors of
the World Bank agreed on 30 March to revise its "negative pledge
clause" rules that had been a major hurdle to Ex-Im Bank financing
of US oil and gas industry sales to Russia, the Journal of Commerce
reported on 31 March. The waiver will mean that the World Bank
will not stand in the way of collection of collateralized loans
guaranteed by the Ex-Im Bank. Normally, the World Bank enjoys
priority in collecting an overdue debt from a debtor country.
The World Bank, together with the EBRD and export credit agencies,
is reported to be considering a $1.3 billion credit package for
Russia to help develop the Tyumen oilfields. Keith Bush

URANIUM AGREEMENT BEING RECONSIDERED? THE SYNDICATED COLUMNISTS
ROWLAND EVANS AND ROBERT NOVAK REPORTED ON 31 MARCH IN THE WASHINGTON
POST THAT RUSSIA IS TRYING TO REOPEN NEGOTIATIONS ON AN AGREEMENT
TO SELL HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM TO THE US, WHERE IT WOULD BE
DILUTED AND REPROCESSED FOR USE AS NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL. According
to the report, the Russian government would now like to perform
the dilution and reprocessing within Russia, rather than in the
US. This would presumably reduce the cost of the process, and
perhaps increase Russian profits. It is unclear whether the Russian
side would agree to verification of the process by Western observers,
since the agreement is more of a commercial pact than an arms
control accord. John Lepingwell

ARRESTS IN THE PACIFIC FLEET. After stating that "heads would
roll" after the gross mistreatment of conscripts in the Pacific
Fleet resulted in four deaths, Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev reportedly dismissed the commander of the fleet, Admiral
Gennadii Khvatov. However, a few days after the reported dismissal,
Khvatov stated he had never received the order. ITAR-TASS on
30 March reported, however, that the a Russian deputy chief military
procurator has been sent to investigate the incident and that
six servicemen have been arrested, including Khvatov's senior
assistant. Five other servicemen are also under investigation,
and Khvatov himself has been interrogated. The procurator noted
that at first the Defense Ministry had not handed the results
of the initial investigation to the local military procurator,
but that it is now being more forthcoming. On 31 March, Krasnaya
zvezda reported that the Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral
Feliks Gromov had arrived to investigate the status of the fleet
and that Vice-Admiral Georgii Gurinov is likely to be appointed
the new Pacific Fleet commander. John Lepingwell

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

RUSSIA'S DEMOGRAPHIC SITUATION. The Russian State Statistical
Committee reports that deaths continued to exceed births in Russia
in the first two months of 1993, according to ITAR-TASS on 30
March. In January and February the number of deaths were 50%
higher than the number of births. In Moscow and St. Petersburg,
there were 2.6 deaths for each birth, and overall deaths exceeded
births in 70 regions of the Russian Federation. The decline in
the Russian population is expected to continue throughout this
year. Sheila Marnie

TURKEY CONDEMNS NEW ARMENIAN KARABAKH OFFENSIVE. Armenian infantry
and armor continued a two pronged attack on 31 March in the Kelbadzhar
raion northwest of Lachin, in the area of Azerbaijan that divides
Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia, Turan News Agency reported. The
Armenian forces are reported to have taken up to 40 villages
in the past five days in an attempt to establish a second land
corridor linking Armenia and Karabakh; Azerbaijan sent helicopters
to the raion center of Kelbadzhar to begin evacuating the civilian
population, according to Azertadzh. Meanwhile, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported that Azerbaijan's ambassador to the UN has informed
the Security Council of the latest Azerbaijani Karabakh peace
proposal unveiled by Foreign Minister Tofik Gasymov at informal
CSCE sponsored talks in Geneva. The proposal comprises the demilitarization
of Nagorno-Karabakh and the return of displaced persons to their
homes. . A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement of 31 March condemned
the new Armenian offensive as "irresponsible," and called for
an immediate halt to Armenia's aggression and the withdrawal
of Armenian troops from the territory they have occupied. Liz
Fuller

CURFEW, STATE OF EMERGENCY IN TAJIKISTAN. A curfew and state
of emergency were imposed in the Kurgan-Tyube oblast of Tajikistan
on 31 March amid fears of mutual reprisals by kinsmen and forces
loyal to the two Popular Front leaders killed in a dispute two
days earlier, Western agencies reported. The funerals of the
two men took place on 31 March. A Russian Foreign Ministry statement
summarized by ITAR-TASS called on the Tajik people to do "everything
necessary to avoid a spiral of violence" in order not to jeopardize
the process of stabilization. Liz Fuller



CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE


SECURITY COUNCIL VOTES TO ENFORCE NO-FLY ZONE IN BOSNIA, EXTEND
MANDATE IN CROATIA. International media report that the UN's
top body voted on 31 March to authorize NATO planes to shoot
down any aircraft violating the flight ban on Bosnia it imposed
last October. There have been nearly 500 confirmed violations
to date, including a Serbian bombing run. The 1 April New York
Times says that the resolution is of more political than military
importance and is designed to pressure Bosnian Serbs into agreeing
to the UN-sponsored peace settlement. The vote came soon after
the Security Council voted to extend the mandate of UNPROFOR
troops in Croatia until the end of June. The text, as reported
by Borba on 31 March, stresses that the UN-administered but actually
Serb-controlled areas in question are part of Croatia, but Zagreb's
earlier demands that the extension include a specific timetable
for returning Croatian administration and refugees to these areas
went unheeded. Croatia's UN ambassador Mario Nobilo told Vjesnik
that the reference to the areas' being part of Croatia dashed
any Serbs hopes that Serb control could continue indefinitely,
but Nobilo conceded that Croatia could attain its other goals
only "slowly." Finally, the 1 April New York Times says that
UN special negotiator Cyrus Vance, who has been instrumental
in both the Croatian and the Bosnian talks, will resign soon
and be replaced by former Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorvald
Stoltenberg, who, the newspaper says, "knows the Balkans well."
Patrick Moore

BOSNIANS CRUSHED IN SREBRENICA STAMPEDE. International media
reported on 31 March that at least six people, mainly children,
were killed as a result of a rush to board 14 packed UN trucks
taking Muslim refugees from the embattled town to the relative
safety of Tuzla. Bosnian crowds are not known for their discipline
even in the best of times, and panic appears to have ensued among
the refugees who felt that this was their last chance to escape
certain death at the hands of advancing Serb forces. The 1 April
Los Angeles Times says that the UN has suspended further evacuations
until an orderly procedure can be set up, and adds that the Srebrenica
authorities also suspended the operation, which, the Muslims
feel, aids the Serb policy of ethnic cleansing. That policy appears,
moreover, to have been stepped up in northern Bosnia in recent
weeks while international attention was focused on the eastern
part of the republic. The BBC's Croatian service on 31 March
quoted UN officials as saying that about 300 Muslims and Croats
arrive in Croatia from Bosnia daily, adding to the burden of
600,000 refugees with which the Zagreb government must deal.
Finally, the 1 April Chicago Tribune says that food, fuel, and
heavy weapons are regularly reaching Bosnian Serbs from Serbia.
Patrick Moore

ROMANIA DETAINS SHIPS ON THE DANUBE. Romania has detained one
Russian and one Hungarian ship, both carrying iron ore. Iron
ore has been recently added to the list of goods on which the
embargo against Serbia and Montenegro is applied. A spokesman
for the ministry of transport quoted by Rompres on 31 March said
the ships were detained in Galati because they did not have UN
Security Council approval to sail with their cargo upstream towards
rump Yugoslavia. MTI reports, however, that the Hungarian ship
is carrying iron ore from Ukraine for a steel works in Hungary,
and says that Hungarian officials have demanded the vessel's
release. Michael Shafir

WEU PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA. Hartmut Soell, the president of the
West European Union, addressed a joint session of the two chambers
of parliament on 31 March. Soell said the WEU appreciates Romania's
position on the embargo against rump Yugoslavia and would support
Romania's request for equipment needed for making the embargo
more efficient, as well as its request for compensation for the
losses suffered as a result of enforcing the embargo. In a speech
carried live by Radio Bucharest Soell added that in order to
promote Romania's integration into European structures, European
security interests must be taken into consideration. He alluded
to differences concerning both Bucharest's policies towards national
minorities and its positions on Romanian minorities living outside
the country (a veiled reference to Moldova). The WEU delegation
met president Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, Foreign
Minister Theodor Melescanu, Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu
and other officials. Michael Shafir

SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO PRAGUE TERMED "SUCCESS." Speaking
at a press conference on 31 March, at the end of Slovak President
Michal Kovac's visit to Prague, Czech President Vaclav Havel
and Kovac both said that they made progress toward resolving
bilateral conflicts. Kovac said that the two countries agreed
to sign, possibly as early as15 April, treaties on the division
of those assets of former Czechoslovakia that are still undivided.
Havel said that "it is in the interest of the Czech Republic
that Slovakia is going in the same direction." He also said that
"it is not in our interest to build a dividing line between the
Czech Republic and Slovakia that would become a dividing line
between West and East." Both presidents expressed support for
cooperation among members of the Visegrad group--Poland, Hungary,
the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Havel, however, warned that
membership in the group should not limit the scope of action
of its members: "Each state should be accepted as member of the
European Community when it is ready. Such a state cannot wait
for the others." Jiri Pehe

AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT VISITS HUNGARY. Thomas Klestil arrived in
Budapest on 31 March on a two-day official visit, Radio Budapest
and MTI report. President Arpad Goncz thanked Klestil for the
farm trade agreement with Austria signed on 26 March which paved
the way for Hungary signing a few days later a treaty with the
European Free Trade Association. Prime Minister Jozsef Antall
said that both countries want to strengthen stability in the
area through bilateral and regional cooperation in such areas
as controlling illegal immigration, international crime fighting,
and environmental issues, and play a constructive role in ending
the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia. According to Klestil,
Hungary's road to Europe goes through Austria, which is interested
in having a stable and prosperous neighbor on its eastern border.
Alfred Reisch

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT ENDS DEFENSE LAW DEBATE. Debate on the basic
principles of Hungary's national defense closed on 30 March after
a six-party consensus was reached, MTI reports. The document
states that Hungary will take into account the security interests
of its neighbors and that its army cannot possess weapons of
mass destruction. While a military draft will be retained for
the time being, several deputies felt that the number of draftees
can be reduced by at least 25% in the next two years, as can
the length of military service. Alfred Reisch

HUNGARY REFORMS HIGHER MILITARY EDUCATION. By the middle of this
year the Defense Ministry will work out a program to reform military
higher education, Col. Jozsef Hollo told Radio Budapest on 30
March. The program will take into account the need to train a
professional army and will be linked to the reform of Hungary's
higher education system by the year 2000. Hungary plans to set
up a university for national security and military science, which
will also train civilian defense and security experts. A training
center for international peacekeeping forces for military personnel
from the entire region will also be established soon in Hungary,
Hollo said. Alfred Reisch

UKRAINIAN WARNING ON BLACK SEA FLEET. On 31 March the Ukrainian
Defense Ministry issued a statement warning that it is considering
asking parliament to renounce the 1992 Yalta agreement with Russia
under which the fleet would be jointly commanded by the two countries
until 1995. The statement accuses the Russian side of violating
the agreement by unilaterally redeploying equipment and giving
orders. The statement comes at the same time that Russia is apparently
adopting a tougher stance towards Ukraine on military issues.
John Lepingwell

MOROZOV, GRACHEV ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN UKRAINE. At the North
Atlantic Cooperation Council meeting on 29 March, Defense Minister
Konstantin Morozov clarified Ukraine's position concerning nuclear
weapons. According to Ukrainian Radio of 30 March, he urged NATO
to take a more active role in assisting Ukraine with the elimination
of nuclear weapons, rather than just telling Ukraine to do so.
Morozov proposed that a working group be established to estimate
costs and propose funding for the disarmament process. Morozov
also suggested that the West assist in integrating Ukraine into
a ballistic missile early warning network. The recent negotiations
with Russia over the elimination of nuclear weapons, stated Morozov,
achieved nothing more than demonstrating Russia's tough stand
on the issues. As a precondition for Ukraine's denuclearization,
Morozov called for the US and Russia to sign an agreement recognizing
Ukraine's borders and territorial integrity and pledging not
to use military or economic threats against Ukraine. The UN Security
Council would also be expected to endorse the agreement. According
to an ITAR-TASS report of 31 March, Russian Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev called for the West to take tougher measures to
get Ukraine to eliminate the nuclear weapons on its territory,
warning that they are becoming increasingly unsafe. The statement
was rejected by Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk,
who called Grachev's comments part of "a policy of blackmail
and intimidation." John Lepingwell

WOULD UKRAINIAN TECHNOLOGY SUFFER IF KIEV YIELDS NUKES? AS SUMMARIZED
IN THE 25 MARCH ISSUE OF THE MILITARY NEWSPAPER NARODNA ARMIYA,
A RECENT CONFERENCE OF THE RADICAL NATIONALIST UKRAINIAN NATIONAL
ASSEMBLY DEVOTED TO THE ISSUE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS HEARD NUMEROUS
ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF UKRAINE'S "NUCLEAR MUSCLES." Conference
participant Oleksandr Kovalenko, a former staff member at the
Institute of Nuclear Studies who currently works in the Cabinet
of Ministers, bemoaned the "poor state of the Ukrainian military-industrial
complex and basic sciences" and said that the destruction of
the nuclear arsenal under the terms of START-1 would accelerate
the decline of Ukrainian science and technology. UNA consultant
S. Artemenko warned that compromises with Russia or the US would
be a sign of weakness and could lead to an escalation of demands
on Ukraine. Artemenko further maintained that American military
doctrine bears witness to "the impossibility of a nonnuclear
strategy." Kathy Mihalisko

LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVED. On 31 March the Seimas approved
the government program of Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius
by a vote of 73 to 27 with 21 abstentions, Radio Lithuania reports.
This step confirmed the nomination of his Cabinet of 16 ministers
of whom only three had not been ministers in the government of
his predecessor, Bronislovas Lubys. Saulius Girnius

PALECKIS APPOINTED ADVISOR TO LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT. Former Lithuanian
Communist Party secretary Justas Vincas Paleckis, who has joined
the Social Democratic Party, has been appointed foreign affairs
adviser to President Brazauskas, BNS reported on 30 March. The
appointment was unexpected since his party is in opposition to
the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party. Saulius Girnius

POSSIBLE NEW CHAIRMAN OF LDLP. On 28 March Lithuanian Democratic
Labor Party leaders Povilas Gylys, Justinas Karosas, Gediminas
Kirkilas, and Jurgis Kuncinas, rumored to be competitors for
the party's chairmanship at its Congress on 17-18 April, met
with President Algirdas Brazauskas, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service
reports. It was decided that the best candidate would be Prime
Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, who suspended his membership in
the party's council upon learning that he would be prime minister.
At the Seimas session on 31 March he said that he had decided
to remain in the council. Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA ENDS PARTICIPATION IN SURGUT MEETING. The government
has reemphasized that the participation of Albertas Sinevicius,
the minister of industry and trade, in the talks on the multilateral
agreements with CIS republics on oil and natural gas extraction
(held on 2 March in Surgut) was only as an observer and does
not signify Lithuania's adherence to the agreements, BNS reported
on 30 March. The opposition in Lithuania fiercely condemned participation
by a Lithuanian representative. President Brazauskas has stated
that Lithuania will satisfy its oil needs with bilateral agreements
and will not join any post-Soviet union. Saulius Girnius

ESTONIA PROTESTS SEIZURE OF HYDROGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT. On 30 March
Prime Minister Mart Laar said that his country is protesting
the removal by the Russian ship Kompas of hydrographic equipment,
as well as over 20 tons of navigation and other equipment, including
four buoys. Laar said that removal of property is illegal under
the Estonian-Russian treaty of 17 December 1992, which states
that such materials must be handed over to Estonia, BNS reported
on 30 March. Dzintra Bungs

LATVIAN, ESTONIAN, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTERS TO MEET? THE DEFENSE
MINISTERS OF LATVIA, TALAVS JUNDZIS, AND ESTONIA, HAIN REBAS,
TOLD THE PRESS THAT THEY NOW ANTICIPATE MEETINGS WITH RUSSIAN
DEFENSE MINISTER PAVEL GRACHEV TO DISCUSS RUSSIAN TROOP WITHDRAWALS
FROM THE BALTIC STATES. Grachev reportedly said that the pullouts
depend directly on talks with his Baltic counterparts. It is
not clear when these meetings will take place. The next Estonian-Russian
negotiations are scheduled for 67 April in Nakhabino, near Moscow.
Russian delegation leader Vasilii Svirin was optimistic about
the progress of those talks, while the Estonian delegation head
Juri Luik noted that unexpected problems have cropped up. He
said that Estonia will not make concessions of issues of principle,
BNS reported on 29-31 March. Dzintra Bungs

FIRST LATVIAN ELECTION LIST SUBMITTED. On 31 March the Anticommunist
Association submitted its list of parliamentary candidates--about
a dozen for each district--to Latvia's Central Electoral Commission.
The association, whose program was adopted on 13 February, calls
for the "deoccupation, decolonization and debolshevization" of
Latvia. It is the first group formally to submit its candidates
for the June elections, BNS reports. Dzintra Bungs

As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Wendy Slater and Charles Trumbull





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