We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 81, 29 April 1993







RUSSIA



YELTSIN TO UNVEIL FULL TEXT OF DRAFT CONSTITUTION. Chief of presidential
staff Sergei Filatov told reporters on 28 April that Boris Yeltsin
was planning to unveil the full text of the new draft Russian
Constitution at a meeting on 29 April with government ministers
and leaders of republics and regions of the Russian Federation.
The key points of the new draft constitution were made public
by Yeltsin on 23 April and published by Izvestiya the next day.
They indicate that the new draft gives the president a wide range
of powers, including the appointment of key government and judicial
officials, and substantially reduces the powers of the parliament.
ITAR-TASS quoted Filatov as saying a new constitution will be
a top priority for Yeltsin now that he has won a vote of confidence
in the referendum. Yeltsin advisers urge the president to first
seek support from regional leaders on the new Constitution. -Vera
Tolz

YELTSIN'S DECREE ON POLITICAL PARTIES. The presidential press
service announced on 28 April that Boris Yeltsin had issued a
decree "on additional measures to prevent the interference of
political parties and their structures in the activity of state
bodies, enterprises, institutions and other bodies," according
to ITAR-TASS. The decree was linked to the attempts "illegally
to resurrect the CPSU and CP of the Russian Federation" and to
the presence of party cells in state agencies and workplaces.
The decree orders local executive branches to act in accordance
with Yeltsin's 20 July 1991 decree which banned branches of any
political party from places of work. The executive was also ordered
to enforce decisions on the use of former communist party property.
According to Russian TV on 28 April, the decree orders federal
agencies to reregister political parties and movements in order
to ensure their formation on a territorial and not an institutional
basis. -Wendy Slater

TRAVKIN RESIGNS AS PEOPLE'S DEPUTY. The leader of the Democratic
Party of Russia (a founding member of the centrist Civic Union)
Nikolai Travkin announced on 28 April to the Russian press that
he had decided to resign from the Congress of People's Deputies.
His decision was prompted by the referendum results from Moscow
and St. Petersburg, which showed that most voters wanted new
parliamentary elections. He called on all people's deputies in
whose constituencies over half the voters had called for early
legislative elections to do likewise, and for people working
in executive bodies of power to be stripped of their mandates.
This, he said, would deprive the Congress of a quorum and force
fresh elections in the fall -Wendy Slater

PARLIAMENT WANTS OWN SECURITY SERVICE. The Russian parliament
on 28 April adopted a new law "On State Protection of Highest
Bodies of State Power", ITAR-TASS reported. The law allows parliament
to set up its own independent protection service. President Boris
Yeltsin had previously rejected the draft on the grounds that,
in his view, it contradicts the Constitution. Yeltsin argued
that the law should place all newly created federal bodies of
state security under his jurisdiction. Parliament rejected Yeltsin's
proposal. Should the law finally pass, the danger of armed conflicts
between the protection services of the president and parliament
emerges. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov had already
tried last year to challenge Yeltsin by setting up an independent
parliamentary guard which Yeltsin dissolved by decree. -Alexander
Rahr

PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM. On 28 April, the parliament
resumed the debate over the government's privatization program
that had been adjourned on 6 March. According to Reuters and
AFP, it passed a resolution condemning the program and ordering
an audit of the State Property Committee. Having voted to "consider
the privatization of state and municipal enterprises in 1992
as unsatisfactory," it demanded that the government repeal decisions
that were allegedly out of line with the privatization program
approved by parliament last year. Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii
Chubais, who is in charge of the privatization program, objected
to parliament's proposals, saying that they ignored the results
of the 25 April referendum. -Keith Bush

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES YUGOSLAV CONFLICT. On 28 April,
the Russian parliament discussed two draft resolutions on the
situation in former Yugoslavia. A resolution presented by Evgenii
Ambartsumov, Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on International
Affairs, and Foreign Economic Ties, said that sanctions against
Yugoslavia and possible military intervention are "counterproductive"
and would not lead to reconciliation and settlement, but to the
"continuation of the conflict and possibly to a new European
war." A resolution presented by Oleg Rumyantsev, secretary of
the parliament's Constitutional Commission, highlighted the geopolitical
character of the conflict. Rumyantsev argued: "The question of
support to new Yugoslavia is a question of the future of the
Russian Federation," ITAR-TASS reported. -Suzanne Crow

GRACHEV SAYS NEW DOCTRINE IS READY. Russian Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev stated on "Ostankino" TV on 29 April that the new
Russian military doctrine is ready for discussion. According
to Grachev the doctrine must be approved by the Defense Ministry
Collegium, the Russian Security Council, and parliament before
it can take effect. Grachev made the comment while returning
from Brussels where he had participated in a meeting of defense
ministers from NATO, Central Europe, and the CIS. -John Lepingwell


JAPAN TO AID RUSSIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS DESTRUCTION. According to
an ITAR-TASS report of 29-April, the new Japanese government
budget will include $100 million to help finance the dismantling
of Russian nuclear weapons. On 28 April the agency reported that
a delivery of Kevlar blankets and other material intended to
enhance the security of the nuclear destruction process had been
received from the US. -John Lepingwell

GOLD OUTPUT DOWN. Russian Goskomstat data on gold output was
presented to parliament on 28 April, ITAR-TASS reported. Production
fell from 142 tons in 1991 to 130 tons in 1992. Gold output during
the first quarter of 1993 was down by 6 tons compared with the
first quarter of 1992. -Keith Bush

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



CIS MEETING IN MINSK. CIS heads of government meeting in Minsk
on 28 April agreed to create a consultative committee to coordinate
economic policies among member states, ITAR-TASS reports. The
meeting resolved that a council composed of CIS deputy prime
ministers responsible for economic issues would meet once monthly
to discuss economic cooperation. The agreement is subject to
final approval by CIS heads of state, who are scheduled to meet
next month. Ukraine initialed the agreement with the proviso
that the council would deal exclusively with economic issues.
On other matters, it was agreed to form a council for cooperation
on agricultural matters and an interstate council for a television
and radio company and participants discussed mutual payment settlements.
The meeting also considered stabilization of the situation along
Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan -Roman Solchanyk

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



CSCE, UN DISCUSS NAGORNO-KARABAKH. On 28-April the CSCE meeting
in Vienna drew up a statement condemning what was termed as the
seizure of Azerbaijan's Kelbadzhar raion by unnamed "occupying
forces" and calling for their withdrawal as a precondition for
resuming peace negotiations; 25 countries including the US supported
the statement which was twice vetoed by Armenia, according to
an RFE/RL correspondent. The UN Security Council is likewise
considering a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of
"foreign and local Armenian forces, whether regular or irregular"
from occupied territory in Azerbaijan. On 28 April the UN released
an appeal by the Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UN, Hassan Hassanov,
to the Security Council to condemn Armenia's "open aggression".
In a second appeal, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofik Gasymov
said that a UN Security Council resolution condemning Armenia
would be "a reliable guarantee of the liberation" of occupied
territories, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. -Liz Fuller

TAJIK ARMED OPPOSITION FORCE OPERATING IN TAJIKISTAN. An armed
group of some 300 Tajik oppositionists and their Afghan supporters
which succeeded in slipping into Tajikistan from Afghanistan
a week ago is still intact near the southern town of Shurabad,
Reuters reported on 28 April. The information was obtained by
a Dushanbe journalist from Russian border troops responsible
for guarding the Tajik-Afghan border. A few days earlier ten
members of the group were killed by Russian border guards, but
border troops admit that they have been unable to capture the
rest of the force.

RUSSIAN OFFICER ON ROLE OF RUSSIAN TROOPS IN TAJIKISTAN. Colonel
Anatolii Ivlev, deputy commander of the Russian 201st Motorized
Rifle Division that has been stationed in Tajikistan throughout
that country's civil war in the latter half of 1992, was quoted
by ITAR-TASS on 28 April as rejecting Tajik opposition charges
that the Russian military is interfering in Tajikistan's internal
political conflict. Ivlev insisted that the Russian troops had
maintained strict neutrality throughout the civil war and were
not bombing opposition strongholds. The latter charge has been
directed by some Tajik opposition and Russian liberal sources
against the Uzbek military operating in Tajikistan. Ivlev warned,
however, that armed Tajik opposition groups crossing from Afghanistan
would be repulsed He also rejected a Tajik opposition claim that
more than 300 Russian soldiers and many officers had been killed
in the course of punitive actions against the Tajik population,
but said that Russian troops would react with force to any armed
attack directed against them or to terrorist acts against the
Russian-speaking population. -Bess Brown

KARIMOV IN GERMANY. Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov began
an official visit to Germany on 28-April, meeting with his German
counterpart, Richard von Weizsaecker, Chancellor Helmut Kohl
and economic officials, Western and Russian news agencies reported.
Karimov was scheduled to sign agreements on protection of investments
and on cultural exchanges and educational scholarships. On 29
April he is to meet with Mercedes-Benz officials, presumably
to discuss a joint venture to be set up by the German automotive
firm in Uzbekistan. German government spokesman Dieter Vogel
was quoted as saying after Karimov's talks with Kohl that the
two leaders had high hopes for bilateral economic relations.
In addition to Mercedes-Benz, German chemical firms are interested
in investing in Uzbekistan. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



BOSNIAN UPDATE. Major American dailies report at length on 29
April about the ongoing discussion within the US government about
policy toward Bosnia. Meanwhile at the UN, the BBC says that
a Security Council delegation just back from the war-torn republic
recommends that Sarajevo, Tuzla, Zepa, and Gorazde be made safe
areas like Srebrenica. Reuters carries a report on fighting between
Croats and Muslims in a number of areas in central Bosnia and
eastern Herzegovina. The item also notes that the Serbs have
stepped up the shelling of Gradacac, a key transportation hub
in northern Bosnia that plays a strategic role in Serb plans
for a corridor across the area to link up Bosnian and Croatian
Serb-held territories with Serbia proper. The town is largely
Muslim but the Croatian military are leading the defense. Finally,
Politika on 29 April discusses the appeal by the presidents of
Serbia, Montenegro, and rump Yugoslavia to the Bosnian Serbs
to sign the Vance-Owen plan. -Patrick Moore

ETHNIC CLEANSING IN THE SANDZAK. Reuters on 29 April carries
a story about renewed attempts by Serbian irregulars to remove
the Muslim population from areas in the Sandzak near the Bosnian
border. Favored methods appear to be kidnapping and especially
arson, with a preference for burning victims alive in their homes.
Local Muslim leaders said that "war could erupt at any time.
The only way to keep the peace is to have UNPROFOR troops here
and on the border with Bosnia." The Muslims have a slight majority
in the Sandzak, a historic Ottoman province now divided between
Serbia and Montenegro with Novi Pazar as its main city. In 1992
Serbian irregulars led by a man called Cuko launched a campaign
of ethnic cleansing against Muslims in the Priboj region. -Patrick
Moore

VACAROIU: ROMANIA WILL UPHOLD SANCTIONS BUT AVOID CONFLICT. Prime
Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu says Romania will implement to the
full the strengthened UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, Western
agencies reported on 28 April. Speaking after returning from
a visit to Greece, Vacaroiu said that the main issue is "not
to provoke a possible conflict" between Romania and rump Yugoslavia.
He said both his country and Greece consider military intervention
in Yugoslavia "inopportune." Transport Minister Paul Teodoru
was reported by the Romanian media to have said on 27 April that
the latest sanctions against rump Yugoslavia would put 20,000
Romanians out of work, and the European Community ought to compensate
Romania for its losses. Western agencies reported on 28-April
from the UN that the Sanctions Committee will deploy 140 observers
at various strategic ports on the Danube to monitor river traffic.
From Bucharest it was reported that representatives of the West
European Union met with Foreign Ministry officials to discuss
the possibility of deploying German patrol boats on the river,
in line with a decision adopted by the WEU on 5-April. -Michael
Shafir

MACEDONIAN DEVELOPMENTS. The CSCE granted the Republic of Macedonia
visitor status on 28 April in the hope that full membership will
soon be granted, according to an RFE/RL correspondent at the
Prague CSCE meeting. Admission hinges on finding an official
name for the Republic of Macedonia that Greece will accept. On
27 April Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis reportedly informed
UN negotiator David Owen that Greece can not accept the name
Nova Makedonija ("New Macedonia") as proposed in a ten-page draft
agreement. Rather, he prefers "Upper Macedonia" according to
Greek newspapers and MILS. -Duncan Perry

WILL CROATIA'S RULING PARTY SPLIT? FOR SOME WEEKS A KEY POLITICAL
QUESTION IN CROATIA HAS BEEN WHETHER THE CROATIAN DEMOCRATIC
COMMUNITY (HDZ) LED BY PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN MIGHT SPLIT INTO
A RIGHT-WING FACTION LED BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR SEKS
AND A LIBERAL ONE UNDER PARLIAMENT SPEAKER STIPE MESIC. The rift
and a corruption scandal involving some of the main protagonists
helped bring down the government at the end of March, and Tudjman
has been trying to hold the HDZ together. The clash of the two
factions has involved "dirty tricks," including revealing parts
of the protagonists' communist-era police files, and possibly
the use of fists as well, according to Die Presse of 26 April.
The independent Zagreb daily Globus of 9 April ran a poll showing
that, in case of a split, the liberal faction would probably
attract three times the number of voters as the conservative
one. If the HDZ were to become two or more parties, as has happened
to several similarly broad-based coalitions elsewhere in Eastern
Europe, none of the successors would probably be strong enough
to hold the near monopoly of control over most of public life
that the HDZ has. -Patrick Moore

CZECH OFFICIALS CRITICAL OF EC PROTECTIONISM. In an interview
with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 29 April, Czech Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus criticizes West European states for blocking
the entry of competitive East European exports to their markets.
Klaus says that as soon as an East European product is exported
successfully, Western Europe reacts with increased duties, quotas,
and contingencies. He argues that these protectionist steps are
being taken at the behest of special interest groups. In another
development, the EC has agreed to lift its ban on imports of
meat and dairy products from Eastern Europe, but set a number
of conditions, such as 15day quarantine period for imported
livestock, blood tests, and the introduction of codes to prevent
counterfeiting veterinary certificates. An official at the Czech
Ministry of Agriculture told Reuters on 28 April that "we accept
the conditions, although in fact they are not much different
from an import ban." -Jiri Pehe

CONTROVERSY OVER EC GRAIN TO LATVIA AND ESTONIA. BNS reported
on 28 April that Estonia may not permit the unloading of 5,000
tons of fodder grain from Italy. Authorities fear that the grain,
part of EC humanitarian aid, may carry the hoof-and-mouth disease
virus. In Latvia, controversy has arisen over EC rye shipments.
Farmers there argue that such humanitarian aid shipments undercut
their ability to sell their own grain and the rye should be returned.
The issue is especially sensitive, because the Latvian government
still owes the farmers millions of rubles for unpaid agricultural
products. Some legislators have called for the resignation of
the Agriculture Minister Dainis Gegers, who told Diena on 28-April
that the EC rye shipments would be accepted but not sold, rather
they would be stored as part of the country's grain reserve.
Gegers also promised quick repayment of debts to the farmers
from EC aid funds. Diena noted that if Latvia refuses to accept
the rye, the EC might suspend future humanitarian aid shipments.
-Dzintra Bungs

COUNCIL OF EUROPE COMMISSION IN ROMANIA. The Council of Europe's
legal and human rights committee made a three-day visit to Romania,
during which it met with President Ion Iliescu and several government
officials and minority leaders, MTI and Radio Budapest reported
on 28 April. According to Hungarian deputy Csaba Tabajdi, a member
of the commission, the group's draft report will be finalized
in May. While the commission does not oppose Romania's admission
to the Council of Europe. It feels Bucharest must still fulfill
a number of requirements in the area of political democratization
and measures against anti-Semitism. Tabajdi said both Hungary
and Romania's ethnic Magyar party, the Hungarian Democratic Federation
of Romania, find Romania's admission desirable and support it,
but the latter would like the drafting of adequate minority and
education laws and the bringing to justice of the real organizers
of the March 1990 ethnic clashes in Tirgu Mures. -Alfred Reisch


MAY STRIKE IN ROMANIA. Nearly one million members of trade unions
have signed up to support a general strike planned by the main
trade union confederations for 5 May, an RFE/RL correspondent
reports from Bucharest. A spokesman for President Iliescu told
Radio Bucharest on the same day that the president is worried
about the possible effects of the strike and is ready to mediate
between the government and the unions, following an appeal to
do so addressed to him by several unions. The spokesman said
the modalities of the mediation have yet to be established, and
added that a meeting between Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu and leaders
of the unions planned for 29 April is the result of the president's
efforts within this mediation framework. -Michael Shafir

POLISH COALITION LOSES PARTNER. After weeks of threats and warnings,
the Peasant Alliance (PL) withdrew from the governing coalition
on 28 April, two weeks after the party's chairman resigned from
his post as agriculture minister. The party instructed its two
remaining ministers to resign as well, Polish TV reports. [One
of these, the minister responsible for the government's contacts
with parties and organizations, decided to leave his party instead.]
The PL's decision followed a coalition meeting held to discuss
the party's conditions for remaining in the government. The PL
had demanded increased subsidies for agriculture and protectionist
trade policies. The PL controls only 19 seats in the Sejm, and
other coalition partners noted that the party's deputies had
often voted against the government. The PL's departure nonetheless
underlines the government's minority status; the ruling coalition
now commands only 177 of a total 460 seats in the Sejm. -Louisa
Vinton

SEJM RESTORES COSTLY PENSION BONUSES. In another blow to the
government, the Sejm voted on 28-April to restore pension bonuses
for workers employed in "hardship" occupations and to raise the
minimum pension from 35% to 40% of the average wage. The vote
was 195 to 162 with 15 abstentions. The debate on this issue
dates back to 1991, when the Sejm agreed to abolish the bonuses.
The Constitutional Tribunal declared this decision unconstitutional.
The Sejm reintroduced the bonuses in February, despite the government's
objections. The Senate then eliminated them again, but the Sejm
vote overturns the Senate's revisions. The government estimates
the cost of this decision at an unaffordable 23 trillion zloty
($1.4 billion). Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka commented on 28
April that "this decision cannot be implemented." Finance Minister
Jerzy Osiatynski told PAP the government will ask the Constitutional
Tribunal to declare the Sejm vote unconstitutional on the grounds
that it violates the 1993 budget. The president could also be
asked to veto the bill. -Louisa Vinton

SUCHOCKA GOVERNMENT IN JEOPARDY? THE GOVERNMENT'S DEFEAT ON THE
PENSIONS ISSUE AND THE COALITION'S LOSS OF THE PEASANT ALLIANCE
HAVE PROMPTED SPECULATION THAT NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS MAY
BE INEVITABLE. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka commented on 28
April, however, that "the coalition has not collapsed. Responsibility
for the state continues to bind it together." Opposition parties
nonetheless predicted the government would fall, while coalition
parties argued that the cabinet would continue to muddle through
with the support of shifting majorities in the Sejm. The vote
on the much-delayed mass privatization program, expected on 30
April, poses a crucial test for the coalition, which now has
the firm support of only four caucuses: the Democratic Union
(57 deputies), the Polish Liberal Program (48), the Christian
National Union (44), and the Polish Convention (28). The government's
fate may rest with this vote. -Louisa Vinton

APPLICATIONS FOR CZECH CITIZENSHIP. At a press conference in
Prague on 28 April, officials of the Czech Ministry of Internal
Affairs announced that in 1992 the ministry received 51,000 applications
for Czech citizenship, 46,000 of them from Slovak citizens. Between
1 January and 15 February 1993, some 63,000 Slovak citizens who
had permanently resided in the Czech Republic applied for Czech
citizenship. -Jiri Pehe

HUNGARY POSTS FOREIGN TRADE DEFICIT. According to Minister of
International Relations Bela Kadar, Hungary's foreign trade,
after adjustments, posted a $470-million deficit during the first
quarter of 1993, MTI and Radio Budapest report on 28 April. Exports
stood at $1.8 billion, a 28.7% drop compared to the same period
of last year. Imports were $2.5-billion, a 5% decrease compared
to the first quarter of 1992. Exports to EFTA countries fell
by 33% and those to developing countries by 9%; agricultural
exports fell by 44%, but represented only a 6% drop in total
exports. Kadar attributed the drop to the political and economic
uncertainty and to protectionist tendencies in the West. The
fact that several Hungarian firms stood on the brink of bankruptcy
also contributed to the fall in exports. At the same time, another
$400 million worth of foreign capital entered Hungary during
the first three months of 1993. -Alfred Reisch

BULGARIAN DRAFT BUDGET PAST ANOTHER HURDLE. On 28 April the Budget
Committee recommended that the National Assembly adopt the 1993
draft budget prepared by the finance Ministry, BTA reports. With
a planned deficit of 27.5 billion leva, or roughly 8%, the committee
said it considers the overall macroeconomic calculations realistic.
It nevertheless urged the government to accept a number of specific
changes in the budget, several of which are aimed at tightening
fiscal policy. The committee also asked the cabinet to make another
effort to cut costs in the state bureaucracy. -Kjell Engelbrekt


MRF REJECTS CHARGES OF "TURKIFICATION." The predominantly Turkish
Movement for Rights and Freedoms has rejected any involvement
in alleged attempts to "Turkify" Bulgarian Muslims, BTA reported
on 28-April. Responding to speculation in the media that MRF-dominated
local authorities are trying to force Bulgarian Muslims to declare
themselves ethnic Turks, the Central Council of the MRF released
a declaration arguing that all citizens should determine their
own ethnicity and religion. The MRF nevertheless said it is confident
that the mayor of Satovcha village, who was recently charged
with pressuring Bulgarian Muslims to change their names, is innocent.
The MRF suggested that the real reason behind the allegations
is rising ethnic tension in regions inhabited by Muslims. -Kjell
Engelbrekt

KIEV DENIES NUCLEAR STATUS. Radio Ukraine on 28-April broadcast
a Foreign Ministry statement that Yurii Kostenko's recent comment
that Ukraine is a nuclear weapons state was his own opinion,
and not Ukraine's official position, which holds that Ukraine
is a nonnuclear weapons state. Kostenko holds posts as minister
for the environment, head of the team negotiating with Russia
over the disposition of nuclear weapons, and head of the Ukrainian
parliamentary group holding hearings on START-1. Additional hearings
on the treaty have been scheduled, according to an RFE/RL correspondent,
and they are likely to result in postponing the final vote on
START-1 for up to several months. -John Lepingwell

UKRAINE PROPOSES NEW COLLECTIVE SECURITY SYSTEM. On 28 April
at the CSCE meeting in Prague, Ukraine presented a proposal for
the creation of a collective security system that would include
Central European countries, the Baltic States, and Ukraine. Russia
and Belarus would apparently not be excluded from the system,
but were not listed among the initial members. Ukraine's proposal
was presented in a closed session of the meeting, but the Ukrainian
delegation leader, Volodymyr Lapitsky, discussed the concept
with an RFE/RL correspondent. The proposed collective security
body would supplement the existing CSCE framework, and could
be introduced in stages, with the participating states first
declaring their interest in enhancing security in the area, and
then moving on to cooperation in the security and military fields.
A key element of the system would be the renunciation of all
territorial claims and the recognition of current borders. -John
Lepingwell

LATVIAN LEGISLATION ON RESIDENCE PERMITS. Voting 68 for and 23
against, the Latvian Supreme Council on 28 April adopted a compromise
version of the two bills on temporary residence permits for persons
whose stay in Latvia is connected with the Russian military presence.
The permits, valid for up to one year, will be issued also to
family members of active or retired military personnel who settled
in Latvia after 4 May 1990. The legislation does not affect citizens
of Latvia or their families. Two groups of demonstrators-one
for and one against the legislation-gathered that morning near
the parliament building. Janis Dinevics, head of the Latvian
delegation for talks with Russia on the withdrawal of its troops,
said that the legislation would regularize the status of some
13,000 persons in Latvia and may be also acceptable to the Russian
side. -Dzintra Bungs

PATRIARCH ALEKSEI VISITS ESTONIA. Patriarch of Moscow and all
Russia Aleksei II arrived in Tallinn on 28 April, BNS reports.
Aleksei told the press that the Patriarchate has decided to grant
the Estonian Orthodox Church organizational independence and
that only canonical relations with Moscow will be preserved.
He added that the statutes and the administration of the Church
would still have to be approved by the patriarch. Recently Estonian
Orthodox Church activists had suggested that the Estonian church
align itself with the Greek Orthodox Church rather than Moscow.
The Tallinn eparchy includes 83-congregations. -Dzintra Bungs


[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Ustina Markus and Charles Trumbull





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