The discovery of a new dish does more for human happines than the discovery of a new star. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 69, 13 April 1993







RUSSIA



SHUMEIKO ON REFERENDUM. First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir
Shumeiko told Ostankino TV "Novosti" on 8 April that President
Boris Yeltsin will not conduct a parallel plebiscite to the 25
April referendum and will not challenge in the Constitutional
Court the Congress' stipulation that more than 50% of eligible
voters must vote in favor for the questions to be carried. Shumeiko
also indicated that Yeltsin had made an error in asking his supporters
to vote "yes" on all four questions. He said that Yeltsin's supporters
should not vote for early presidential elections, because this
might give the president's opponents an argument against him.
Shumeiko cited recent opinion polls which said that of those
people who want to participate in the referendum on 25 April,
more than 50% will vote in support of Yeltsin. -Alexander Rahr


CAMPAIGN AGAINST REFERENDUM. President Yeltsin's press secretary
Vyacheslav Kostikov issued a statement on 12 April, reported
by ITAR-TASS, which accused the parliamentary leadership of orchestrating
a campaign to discredit the forthcoming referendum, and the parliamentary
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov of "descending to outright lies."
Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi also came in for criticism:
his open opposition to Yeltsin's policies constituted "a political
nonsense." At a meeting of the Civic Union on 10-April Rutskoi
had criticized Yeltsin for having suggested that, should the
referendum result in a vote of confidence in the president and
in favor of early parliamentary elections, the Congress and parliament
should be dissolved. He had also praised the republic of Mordovia
for its recent decision to dissolve the post of executive president.
-Wendy Slater

VORONTSOV ON SANCTIONS. There is no connection between Boris
Yeltsin's political struggles and the delay of the UN Security
Council vote on new sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia, Yulii
Vorontsov said on 12 April. Vorontsov, Russia's permanent representative
to the UN, told reporters in New York that "Yeltsin will stay
in power, Yugoslavia or no Yugoslavia," adding "we are not coupling
any type of problems at home" with a new sanctions resolution.
Vorontsov said that Russia would vote in favor of new sanctions
if a peace agreement on Bosnia was not reached after another
15 days of international negotiations, RFE/RL's UN correspondent
reported. -Suzanne Crow

RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK AGREES TO LIMIT CREDITS? FINANCE MINISTER
BORIS FEDOROV ANNOUNCED ON 10 APRIL THAT THE RUSSIAN CENTRAL
BANK (RCB) HAD AGREED TO LIMIT CREDITS AND TO RAISE INTEREST
RATES, RUSSIAN AND WESTERN AGENCIES REPORTED. The three deputy
governors of the Bank who sit on the Credit Policy Commission
with the government had signed an agreement to limit the growth
of credits in the second quarter of 1993 to 30% more than the
credit issued in the first quarter, according to the New York
Times of 11 April. This is in line with Fedorov's stabilization
plan. However, the agreement may be short-lived. On 12 April,
RCB chairman Viktor Gerashchenko told parliament that the bank
plans to boost the money supply by 18% in each of the next three
months in order to provide credits to industry. -Keith Bush

RESOLUTIONS ON DEFENSE MATTERS. Continuing his efforts to build
support within the armed forces, Boris Yeltsin met with representatives
of Russian veterans' organizations on 9-April and promised to
improve the benefits available to them. On the same day, he issued
a resolution expanding benefits for veterans of the war in Afghanistan.
Both events were reported by ITAR-TASS on 10 April. On 9 April,
representatives of regional soviets meeting in Moscow issued
a public address to military, interior ministry, and security
officials calling upon them to act in accordance with the constitution
and to avoid involvement in politics. -Stephen Foye

MULTI-MILLIONAIRE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF KALMYKIA. A 30-year-old
multi-millionaire, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, was elected the first
president on Kalmykia on 11 April, the Russian and Western media
reported on 12 April. Preliminary results showed that Ilyuzhinov,
who is a deputy of the Russian parliament, had won over 65% of
the votes cast in a turn-out of over 80%. The other two candidates,
Maj. Gen. Valerii Ochirov, an Afghan war-veteran, and Vladimir
Bambaev, a former republican communist party boss, got 29% and
2% of the votes respectively. In an interview with Komsomolskaya
pravda on 9 April, Ilyumzhinov said that, if he became president,
he would immediately declare a moratorium on meetings, demonstrations,
and strikes; would disband parliament and the soviets at all
levels, and turn Kalmykia into a second Kuwait. -Ann Sheehy

TOMSK-7 AFTERMATH. In the wake of the explosion on 6 April at
a nuclear processing plant in Tomsk-7, investigators were sent
from Moscow on 10 April to determine the cause of the accident
and the extent of contamination in the fallout area (120 square
kilometers at the latest count). Russian and Western agencies
reported that negligence had contributed to or caused the explosion
and that a small amount (500 grams, according to Rossiiskaya
gazeta of 10 April) of plutonium was involved, despite earlier
denials. Environmental organizations and officials tended to
disagree with the nuclear power and nuclear safety authorities
on the degree and harmfulness of the contamination. The Russian
Atomic Energy Agency on 12 April invited specialists from the
IAEA in Vienna to visit the accident site to check the situation
for themselves. The head of the Tomsk oblast administration complained
that media reports had caused panic in the area, where the population
had started to take iodine to prevent radiation sickness. He
said that there had been cases of iodine-poisoning among children.
President Yeltsin issued a decree on 9 April that demanded higher
safety standards at all military and civilian nuclear installations.
-Keith Bush

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

YELTSIN HOPES FOR REBIRTH OF COSSACKDOM IF HE WINS REFERENDUM.
On 10-April Yeltsin sent a message to the Council of Atamans
of the Cossack Hosts of Russia in which he said that the rebirth
of Russian Cossackdom was one of the outstanding phenomena of
democratic Russia, ITAR-TASS reported. Yeltsin said that he thought
that after the referendum, "which you and I with the whole people
should win," the artificial obstacles on the path to the rebirth
of Cossackdom would be eliminated by their joint efforts. Yeltsin's
decree of 15 March on the restoration of the traditional rights
of the Cossacks has provoked considerable concern and has been
suspended by the Russian parliament pending its examination by
the Constitutional Court. -Ann Sheehy

RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN TALKS MAKE MINIMAL PROGRESS. Four days of talks
in Sochi between Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and his
Georgian counterpart Tengiz Kitovani ended on 9 April with a
recommitment to the agreement reached in February on the withdrawal
of all Russian troops from Georgia by the end of 1995, ITAR-TASS
reported. Progress was also reached on unspecified measures towards
resolving the conflict in Abkhazia, but three crucial issues
remain unresolved: the status of the Russian seismic monitoring
facility in Eshera near Sukhumi; the presence of the 345th Russian
regiment in Gudauta, the headquarters of the Abkhaz parliament;
and guarding the Russian-Georgian border. -Liz Fuller

GAMSAKHURDIA SUPPORTERS HOLD DEMONSTRATION IN TBILISI. Between
3,000 and 5,000 supporters of ousted Georgian president Zviad
Gamsakhurdia held a demonstration in Tbilisi on 9 April, the
anniversary of the declaration of Georgian independence and of
the brutal suppression by Soviet troops of a pro-independence
demonstration in 1989, ITAR-TASS reported. No "excesses" were
reported. -Liz Fuller

FIGHTING CONTINUES IN SOUTHERN AZERBAIJAN. Fighting between Armenian
and Azerbaijani forces resumed on 9 April following the abortive
announcement of a Russian brokered ceasefire, Western agencies
reported. On 10 April, Azerbaijani forces launched counterattacks
against Armenian villages in the north-east and south-east of
Nagorno-Karabakh; the Armenian Foreign Ministry protested at
what it termed an Azerbaijani incursion into the Armenian raion
of Kafan, near the Iranian border, on 10 April in which eight
Armenian troops were killed. Armenian forces continued the artillery
bombardment of Fizuli, southeast of Nagorno-Karabakh. -Liz Fuller


RUSSIA FAILS TO BROKER CEASEFIRE; AZERBAIJAN APPEALS TO IRAN.
On 9 April representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh
parliament denied an ITAR-TASS report of the previous day that
Russian defense Minister Pavel Grachev had mediated a ceasefire
agreement during talks in Sochi. On 8-April, a leading Turkish
military official said additional troops had been deployed along
the Turkish-Armenian border, but on 9 April Prime Minister Suleyman
Demirel was quoted in the Turkish press as ruling out military
intervention. The Turkish parliament subsequently voted to send
a group of human rights monitors to Azerbaijan, according to
ITAR-TASS. On 9 April Armenia welcomed an offer by Russian President
Yeltsin to mediate a settlement in Karabakh; no response was
forthcoming from Azerbaijan, which on 11-April sent secretary
of state Panakh Huseinov to Tehran for talks with Iranian officials.
Iranian President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani stated that Iran was ready
to take "concrete measures" to safeguard its security, but also
that Iran was ready to cooperate with any other countries to
bring about a peaceful settlement; there is confusion as to whether
Azerbaijan has requested military assistance from Iran or merely
humanitarian aid. On 12 April the Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed
concern over the fighting in Karabakh and called for an immediate
cessation of hostilities, ITAR-TASS reported. Also on 12 April,
the US urged Armenia to exert pressure on the Karabakh Armenian
community to end the fighting, according to an RFE/RL correspondent.
The prime ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan are scheduled to
meet for talks in Moscow on 13 April. -Liz Fuller

CENTRAL ASIAN SUMMIT NOT TO TAKE PLACE ON 22 APRIL. ITAR-TASS
reported on 10 April that its correspondent in Ashgabat had been
informed that the summit of Central Asian heads of state scheduled
for 22-April in the Turkmen capital will not take place. Turkmen
President Saparmurad Niyazov's press service, which supplied
the information, seemed uncertain whether the summit was being
deferred or canceled, but ITAR-TASS speculated that this information
might emerge during scheduled visits of other Central Asian heads
of state to Turkmenistan. Niyazov has publicly expressed doubts
about the importance or usefulness of a regional "common market,"
preferring bilateral relations. -Bess Brown

FORMER PRESIDENT OF TAJIKISTAN DIES. Tajikistan's former president,
Rakhmon Nabiev, was buried in his native Khodzhent on 12 April
in the presence of the country's top leadership, Russian and
Western agencies reported. Nabiev was found dead, victim of a
heart attack, on the previous day. He was a former republican
Communist Party chief who succeeded in making a political comeback
after Tajikistan's independence in 1991; he was elected to the
post of president in November 1991 in what was generally considered
a fair election, but proved unable to cope with the pressures
exerted by the democratic-nationalist Islamic opposition. He
was forced from office at gunpoint (he said) in September 1992.
Two months later he told the conservative legislature that he
was willing to resume the presidency, but the Supreme Soviet,
despite overseeing a conservative restoration, confirmed Nabiev's
removal and abolished the presidency. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



NATO BEGINS TO ENFORCE NO-FLY ZONE OVER BOSNIA. International
media reported on 12 April that NATO aircraft have begun enforcing
the UN's ban dating from October 1992. Also on 12 April, Serb
gunners broke the cease-fire by shelling Sarajevo and Srebrenica,
killing over 50 in that east Bosnian town. On 9 April Bosnian
Serb commander Gen. Ratko Mladic again denied a UN request to
send Canadian troops to the besieged enclave, saying that it
would be "over my dead body," the New York Times reported the
next day. Also on 10 April, the Los Angeles Times quoted "one
outraged UN official" as saying that the UN "was set up" when
Serb forces on 9 April found ammunition on board a relief shipment
destined for Sarajevo. Finally, on 8 April the World Court ordered
rump Yugoslavia to "prevent . . .the crime of genocide" in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
the BBC said. -Patrick Moore

CROATIAN GOVERNMENT SETS DOWN DOMESTIC STRATEGY. Vjesnik of 6
April and Slobodna Dalmacija of 8 April reported on the guidelines
set down by new Prime Minister Nikica Valentic for his administration.
The centerpiece will be reinvigorating the economy, including
launching a massive public works program within 30 days to repair
the infrastructure and employ up to 30,000 persons. While saying
that bringing down inflation was one of his goals, Valentic made
clear that "complete financial discipline" would not be imposed
at the cost of reviving the economy, whose main pillars are agriculture
and tourism. He also noted the need to solve the drastic energy
problem, but cautioned against hasty solutions. The Prime Minister
seemed to suggest that regional districts would be effectively
subordinated to the central government, and added that cabinet
ministers would be asked to deposit a list of their properties
with the president. This appears to go less far in dealing with
the problems of corruption and conflict of interest than had
proposals for a public declaration by all ministers of their
properties and their memberships in organizations and supervisory
bodies. -Patrick Moore

GREEK MACEDONIAN TALKS. Cyrus Vance and Lord David Owen met separately
in New York with Greek foreign minister Mihalis Papaconstantinou
and Macedonian deputy prime minister and acting foreign minister
Stevo Crvenkovski, on 12 April in an effort to resolve the differences
between their two countries. Among the isssues remaining are
establishing an official name for the UN's newest member, which
was admitted to that body under the temporary designation, "The
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and the matter of Greek
unhappiness with Macedonia's choice of a flag. According to Reuters,
the discussions are also expected to deal with confidence-building
measures meant to lessen tensions between Athens and Skopje.
The mediators hope to conclude deliberations by the time Vance
retires at the end of April. Media were cautioned to expect little
information during the coming weeks in light of the highly senstive
nature of the deliberations. -Duncan Perry

DLOUHY IN MOSCOW. On 10 April Czech Minister of Industry and
Trade Vladimir Dlouhy returned from an official three-day visit
to Moscow, Czech Television reported. He signed a new bilateral
treaty on trade and a series of other documents on economic,
scientific, and technical cooperation. Jan Obrman

MECIAR RALLIES FOR THE SUPPORT OF EX-COMMUNISTS. Slovak Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar met with leaders of the ex-communist
Party of the Democratic Left to discuss the party's possible
support for his minority government, Slovak media reported on
9 April. At the meeting it was agreed that representatives of
the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (MDS) and the PDL
would regularly meet to discuss political issues; Meciar and
Peter Weiss, the chairman of the PDL said this was necessary
because the difficult situation in Slovakia might result in "right-wing
extremism." While MDS officials signaled their interest in employing
more PDL members in the diplomatic corps and in the state administration,
both Meciar and Weiss rejected the creation of a coalition between
the two largest Slovak political parties. The meeting between
leaders of the two parties was apparently prompted by the decision
of 8-MDS deputies in the Slovak parliament to leave their party
and join a new parliamentary group headed by former foreign minister
Milan Knazko. In a televised address to the nation on 11 April,
Meciar compared the "betrayal" of the MDS deputies to the betrayal
of Jesus Christ by Judas. -Jan Obrman

FURTHER DECREASE OF CZECH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. The Czech Ministry
of Labor and Social Affairs released a report on 9 April, saying
that the unemployment rate has been continuously decreasing in
the past months and fell below 3% in March, CTK reported. A ministry
spokesman indicated that there was a lack of workers in many
places, saying that the unemployment rate in Prague was at 0.3%.
The ministry expected, however, an increase of unemployment later
this year owing to the privatization process and the new law
on bankruptcy. A ministry official said that the rate could reach
8% nationwide and up to 28% in certain regions in the second
half of the year. Jan Obrman

CZECHS AND SLOVAKS CLOSE BORDERS TO EC PRODUCTS. The Czech Republic
and Slovakia have joined Poland and Hungary in banning imports
and transit of livestock and meat products from the EC, CTK reported
on 12 April. The decision followed an EC ban introduced last
week on imports of live animals, meat, milk, and dairy products
from Eastern Europe until 10-May, allegedly designed to prevent
the spread of the hoof and mouth disease. The Czech foreign ministry
declared that the EC's decision was unjustified and amounted
to protectionism. Deputy Foreign Minister Pavel Bratinka told
CTK that the ban made little sense as EC inspectors recently
found that the disease did not exist in the Czech Republic. Virtually
all Czech parties called on the government to issue a strong
protest to EC representatives. Slovakia joined the initiative
without any official comment. Jan Obrman

HUNGARY BANS LIVESTOCK AND DAIRY IMPORTS FROM EC. On 8 April,
Hungary banned imports of livestock and dairy products from the
European Community and Austria, MTI reports. Hungary's move came
following the EC's ban on meat and dairy products from most countries
of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to stop the spread
of hoof and mouth desease. Austria and Poland also joined the
ban. Hungarian government spokeswoman Judit Juhasz expressed
'"shock" over the EC's ban and predicted that it will result
in substantial financial lossess for Hungarian agriculture. Pointing
out that EC experts have recently certified that Hungary was
free of the disease, Juhasz accused that EC of imposing the ban
out of "trade political considerations." The Hungarian government
also protested against Poland's move to join the ban but has
not yet taken countermeasures. -Edith Oltay

POLISH AGRICULTURE MINISTER RESIGNS. Agriculture Minister Gabriel
Janowski resigned on 8 April in protest against what he termed
the government's "economically flawed" decision to set guaranteed
minimum prices for wheat and rye at a level lower than the market
rate. Accepting Janowski's resignation, Prime Minister Hanna
Suchocka simultaneously dismissed two of his deputies. She appointed
another deputy, Janusz Bylinski, to head the ministry. Bylinski,
like his predecessor, is a member of the small Peasant Alliance
that belongs to the government coalition. According to PAP, Janowski
said that the minimum prices had been one of the four conditions
set by the party for remaining in the coalition. The party's
leadership will discuss its continued membership in the coalition
on 16 April. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

POLLS IN BALTIC STATES. Opinion polls taken in the Baltic States
on 23-29 March indicate considerable differences in the popularity
of its leaders, BNS reported on 8 April. Latvian parliament chairman
Anatolijs Gorbunovs was viewed positively by 51%, negatively
by 26% with 23% unsure. Similar ratings for Lithuanian President
Algirdas Brazauskas were: 41, 14, and 45%, for Estonian President
Lennart Meri: 38, 43, and 19%, for Latvian premier Ivars Godmanis:
22, 57, and 22%, for former Lithuanian premier Bronislovas Lubys:
40, 16, and 43%, and for Estonian premier Mart Laar: 43, 42,
and 15%. In Estonia the activities of the parliament and government
were viewed positively by 37 and 40% and negatively by 51-and
49% . In Latvia both institutions were viewed negatively by 71%
and positively by only 9%. In Lithuania 26% viewed the parliament's
work as positive, and 37% as negative. while the government's
work was viewed positively by 26% and negatively by 20%. -Saulius
Girnius

BALTIC STATES OFFER ON HOUSING FOR RUSSIAN SOLDIERS. On 8 April
the Council of the Baltic States issued a joint statement signed
by the three heads of state welcoming the plan by US President
Bill Clinton to help Russia by building housing for its withdrawing
military personnel, Radio Lithuania reports. The statement notes
"We are ready to meet with American and Russian officials at
any time and in any place to discuss participation in this program."
-Saulius Girnius

ANDREJEVS SEES VISIT TO US AS SUCCESSFUL. Latvian Foreign Minister
Georgs Andrejevs described his meeting with US Secretary of State
Warren Christopher on 8 April in Washington as successful, BNS
reported on 12 April. Andrejevs noted that Christopher had told
him that it would be incorrect to view President Clinton's lack
of comment on Yeltsin's statements in Vancouver about the human
rights situation in the Baltic States as tacit consent. Christopher
backed the Latvian request for international observers at the
next round of Latvian-Russsian troop withdrawal talks and said
that the US would cut in half the US humanitarian aid to Russia
if a clearcut withdrawal schedule were not presented by 1 October.
During the visit a Latvian-US fishing pact allowing Latvian ships
to fish within 200 miles of American coasts was also signed.
-Saulius Girnius

STEPASHIN VISIT TO LITHUANIA. Sergei Stepashin, the chairman
of the Defense and Security Committe of the Russian parliament,
completed a three-day visit to Lithuania on 8-April, Radio Lithuania
reports. After meetings with President Algirdas Brazauskas, Seimas
chairman Ceslovas Jursenas, opposition leader Vytautas Landsbergis,
and other government officials, Stepashin said that the main
aim of his trip to establish serious relations between the parliaments
of the two countries was fully achieved. He noted that since
Lithuania showed a "constructive civilized European approach"
to human rights and national minorities the pullout of Russian
troops wold proceed on schedule. Brazauskas also told him that
he would be willing to meet Yeltsin before the 25 April referendum
to sign joint protocols on the troop pullout and their property.
-Saulius Girnius

BELARUS: PARLIAMENT OPTS FOR CIS SECURITY PACT. The Belarus Supreme
Soviet on 9 April overrode the objections of parliamentary chairman
Stanislau Shushkevich and voted to strengthen ties with Moscow
by joining the CIS collective security agreement, concluded in
Tashkent on 15 May 1992. According to Belinform-TASS, the vote
instructing Shushkevich to sign the pact "with certain reservations"
was 188 in favor, with 34 against and 30-abstentions. Reuter
reported on 9 April that Government ministers had firmly backed
joining the CIS pact during the debate, and Foreign Minister
Pyotr Kravchenko was quoted as saying that "collective security
does not contradict the principle of neutrality." On 7 April,
according to Reuter, Defense Minister Pavel Kozlovsky had criticized
Belarus' existing policy of neutrality, and said that the rupture
with Moscow had left the Belarus armed forces a shambles. Summing
up the feelings of those opposed to the Pact, Shushkevich warned
that the decision, which calls for a united defense policy with
Moscow, could undermine Minsk's relations with other neighboring
states. -Stephen Foye

UKRAINIAN OFFICERS UNION STAKES OUT HARDLINE POSITION. Meeting
in Kiev on 10-11-April, members of the influential Union of Ukrainian
Officers adopted a resolution that called for the following:
maintenance of Ukraine's status as a nuclear power; suspension
of the Yalta agreement that regulates Russian and Ukrainian activities
with respect to the Black Sea Fleet; and the discharge of all
officers not taking an oath of allegiance to Ukraine or who are
in some fashion obstructing the construction of a Ukrainian national
army. The results of a survey were disclosed at the meeting which
reportedly revealed that some 80% of Ukrainian officers surveyed
were prepared to take extreme measures if their social problems
were not resolved, while only 30% were said to have expressed
strong loyalty to independent Ukraine. Defense Minister Konstantin
Morozov addressed the assembly, which elected as chairman Maj.
Gen. Aleksandr Skipalsky. Ukrinform-TASS reported on the meeting.
-Stephen Foye

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT PRESENTS DRAFT BUDGET . . . On 8 April Bulgaria's
Finance Minister Stoyan Aleksandrov presented a 1993 draft budget
to the National Assembly. Envisaging an eight per cent deficit,
the budget may be barely acceptable to international financial
institutions, notably the International Monetary Fund. Before
releasing more credits, the IMF wants the Bulgarian parliament
to pass a budget and to adopt legislation on bancruptcy and value-added
tax. The proposed budget foresees an annual inflation rate of
60%, which even Prime Minister Lyuben Berov admitted was probably
too optimistic. -Kjell Engelbrekt

. . . AND HAS NOW SPENT 100 DAYS IN OFFICE. The budget was introduced
to the Bulgarian parliament on the 100th day of Berov's cabinet
in power. In the 12-April issue of Demokratsiya, the Union of
Democratic Forces parliamentary group presented a detailed criticism
of the government's performance thus far. The UDF caucus warned
that the lack of a stable parliamentary majority ready to accept
full responsibility for the actions of the cabinet could "politically
destabilize" the country. Leaders of the Bulgarian Socialist
Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which are supporting
the government, advocated limited changes in the cabinet. They
particularly urged Berov to appoint a Minister of Foreign Affairs,
a post he currently holds himself. -Kjell Engelbrekt

BULGARIA HALTS DEMOLITION OF RED ARMY MONUMENT. Following scuffles
between police and large groups of elderly comunists, the Bulgarian
government on 12 April suspended the demolition of a 40-metre
(120 feet) Red Army monument in Sofia's city center, Western
agencies report. Protesting the decision to dismantle the monument-taken
by the UDF-dominated city authorities-a BSP spekesman declared
that the act amounted to an attempt to "rehabilitate fascism
and renouncing the antifascist opposition." In another statement,
Russian Ambassador Aleksander Avdeev warned that the fate of
the monument would "not be viewed indifferently by Russians,
since millions of our people died in the struggle against fascism."
Avdeev also called on Bulgaria to keep its obligations under
the Russian-Bulgarian friendship treaty signed last year, according
to which objects of historic or cultural value to any of the
two parties should be maintained. -Kjell Engelbrekt

WAVE OF WORKERS' PROTESTS IN ROMANIA. On 12 April tens of thousands
of workers joined rallies and warning strikes across Romania
to protest the government's economic policies and deteriorating
living standards. Some 15,000 people shouted anti-government
slogans in central Bucharest, while trucks and buses blocked
the downtown area bringing traffic to a near still-stand. The
blockade was organized in spite of a ban on the use of state-owned
vehicles for strikes and rallies staged by the trade unions,
issued by the cabinet on 9 April. Radio Bucharest reported similar
protests from Sibiu, Constanta, Tirgu-Mures and other Romanian
cities. The rallies were the first major trade union challenge
against Nicolae Vacaroiu's minority left-wing government since
it took office in November 1992. Romania's main trade union confederations
further threatened to stage a nationwide strike on 20 April if
the government goes ahead with plans to eliminate all state subsidies
for staples and basic services as for 1-May. -Dan Ionescu

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Wendy Slater and Jan B. de Weydenthal









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1 No. 6, January 12, 1993 RFE/RL Daily Report RFE/RL Daily Report No. 6, January 12, 1993 1

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