To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else. - Emily Dickinson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 112, 16 June 1993







RUSSIA



CIS JOINT COMMAND ABOLISHED. CIS Defense Ministers meeting in
Moscow on 15 June abruptly decided to discontinue efforts aimed
at maintaining a unified defense structure on the territory of
the CIS and dissolved the CIS joint military command. According
to Russian and Western news agency reports, it was decided to
replace the existing CIS command on a temporary basis with a
downgraded body called the "joint staff for coordinating military
cooperation between the states of the Commonwealth." Col. Gen.
Viktor Samsonov, who had been serving as chief of the CIS main
staff, was named chief of the joint staff, apparently pending
confirmation by the CIS Council of Heads of State. If approved,
he is slated to serve until the end of this year. Samsonov told
ITAR-TASS that his first priority would be to strengthen contacts
between CIS Defense Ministries. He also said that there would
be no major changes in the structure of the existing joint armed
forces staff. The CIS joint command had been the direct successor
to the USSR Defense Ministry, and its dissolution, less than
two years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself, appears
to mark the final burial of that institution. -Stephen Foye

RUSSIA BEHIND THE BREAK-UP? FOLLOWING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE
CIS JOINT ARMED FORCES IN DECEMBER OF 1991 THE CIS MILITARY COMMAND
AND RUSSIA'S POLITICAL AND MILITARY LEADERSHIP HAD BEEN GENERALLY
UNITED IN THEIR EFFORTS TO USE THE CIS AS A MEANS OF MAINTAINING
DEFENSE TIES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION. That
situation began to change significantly in early 1993, however,
as the Russian Defense Ministry moved both to widen its control
over strategic forces and to push increasingly for bi-lateral
security relationships with other CIS states. The tension that
emerged between the Russian and CIS military commands also appears
to have been a result of Moscow's increasing unwillingness to
shoulder the financial burden for a CIS command structure that
it viewed as ineffectual. Moscow's decision to end support for
the CIS joint command was foreshadowed by the announcement on
11 June that CIS Commander-in-Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov had
been named Secretary of the Russian Security Council. Meanwhile,
rumors continued to circulate in Moscow that Russian Deputy Defense
Minister Boris Gromov, who appears to have been Russia's point
man in discussions on restructuring the CIS command, would eventually
emerge with greater responsibilities for Russia's security policy
vis-a-vis other CIS states. -Stephen Foye

KOZYREV SPEAKS AT VIENNA CONFERENCE. Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev spoke at the UN conference on human rights in
Vienna on 15 June and outlined Russia's priorities for international
humanitarian cooperation, ITAR-TASS reported. Among other things,
Kozyrev called for the creation of an emergency mechanism to
be at the UN's disposal to look into "gross and massive" violations
of human rights. Kozyrev also said it is necessary to develop
a means to protect the victims of armed conflict. These ideas
elaborate on themes Moscow has been diligently pursuing for a
few months at the UN. -Suzanne Crow

HOW NEW CONSTITUTION IS TO BE ADOPTED. Among the most difficult
issues still not agreed upon by the Constitutional Assembly is
how a final text of a new constitution is to be adopted. In a
letter addressed to President Yeltsin and parliamentary speaker
Khasbulatov, the secretary of the parliamentary constitutional
commission Oleg Rumyantsev called on the two branches of power
to "overcome their differences" and set up a joint group which
will work out the adoption procedure. ITAR-TASS quoted Rumyantsev
as saying on 15 June that the proposed group should elaborate
its plan by 15 July. -Vera Tolz

YELTSIN MEETS HEADS OF REPUBLICS AND ADMINISTRATIONS. Yeltsin
discussed the next steps in drawing up a new constitution with
the heads of administration of the krais and oblasts and at a
sitting of the Council of Heads of Republics on 15 June, ITAR-TASS
reported. The representatives of the krais and oblasts insisted
that the declaration to be presented to the plenary session of
the constitutional assembly on 16 June be changed to take note
of the compromise agreement they had already reached with the
republics to upgrade the latter to sovereign states and the krais
and oblasts to state-territorial formations. The amendment also
states that Russia's state structure "ensures its unity, decentralization
of state power and the right of a people to self-determination
within the Russian Federation." The head of administration of
Bryansk Oblast Yurii Lodkin said that the majority of heads of
administration also insisted on equal representation for all
subjects of the federation in the upper chamber of the new parliament,
instead of the presidential draft's allocation of half the seats
to the republics. -Ann Sheehy

BABURIN QUITS COMMITTEE POST. Sergei Baburin, the coordinator
of the opposition parliamentary faction, Rossiya, resigned from
the parliamentary Committee on Legislation on 15 June, Russian
agencies reported. His letter of resignation was read out at
the presidium meeting that day by parliamentary speaker Ruslan
Khasbulatov, who said that he was saddened by Baburin's action.
Baburin said he had resigned following the committee's recent
decision at a meeting on 15 June with the Human Rights and Defense
and Security Committees to work with President Yeltsin's Constitutional
Assembly. Baburin termed this "a blow at the parliamentary structures
of the political system." Chairman of the Legislation Committee
Mikhail Mityukov said at the presidium meeting that Baburin had
done virtually no work on the committee over the last three years.
-Wendy Slater


TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



HEIDAR ALIEV ELECTED AZERBAIJAN SUPREME SOVIET CHAIRMAN. After
a ninety minute heated debate, on 15 June the Azerbaijan National
Assembly (the rump parliament) voted by 37 votes to 3 to elect
Nakhichevan parliament speaker Heidar Aliev as chairman of the
country's Supreme Soviet, which was suspended in May, 1992, after
the advent to power of the Azerbaijan Popular Front, Azertadzh
and TASS reported. Meanwhile rebel troops under Colonel Surat
Huseinov continued their advance on Baku after Huseinov's deadline
for the resignation of Azerbaijan's President Abulfaz Elchibey
elapsed. There are contradictory reports concerning the degree
of resistance Huseinov is encountering in his advance on Baku.
Elchibey was quoted by Azertadzh as affirming that as democratically-elected
president he can be removed from power only by a national referendum.
On 15 June a spokesman for Russian President Boris Yeltsin expressed
approval of Aliev's election as Supreme Soviet chairman, characterizing
Aliev as "an experienced and authoritative politician" whose
advent to power would help improve Russian-Azerbaijani relations,
according to Russian Television. -Liz Fuller

TAJIK OPPOSITION FORCES DRIVEN FROM GORNO-BADAKHSHON. ITAR-TASS'
correspondent in Dushanbe reported on 13 June that local self-defense
forces in the self-declared Gorno-Badakhshon Autonomous Republic
drove 400-600 Tajik rebels from the region, and into the adjoining
districts of Garm and Komsomolabad. There is a tacit agreement
between the government in Dushanbe and authorities in Khorog,
Gorno-Badakshon's capital, that the region will not harbor or
support pro-Islamic rebels; in return, the central government
has said it will not send its own troops into the region. Despite
the agreement and the deployment of large numbers of CIS border
guards, hundreds of rebels, as well as some Afghan supporters,
have slipped into Gorno-Badakhshon's mountainous terrain from
Afghanistan. The situation in the region remains difficult: an
embargo has just been lifted and the Khorog-Dushanbe highway
reopened, but the fate of an estimated 70,000 refugees is uncertain,
as they fear persecution if they return to their villages. The
region's Pamiri population is predominantly Ismaili, and fought
alongside the pro-democratic, pro-Islamic forces in last year's
civil war. -Keith Martin

HUMANITARIAN AID MISSION TO ABKHAZIA UPDATE. Russia began on
15 June a large-scale mission to deliver humanitarian aid to,
and evacuate refugees from, the besieged Abkhaz cities of Sukhumi
and Tkvarcheli, ITAR-TASS reported. According to an agreement
between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, barges from the
Black Sea Fleet will transport buses and trucks filled with food
to Sukhumi, and will carry refugees back to Sochi. The land vehicles
will convey aid on to Tkvarcheli and will evacuate the approximately
5,000 citizens of that city who have signed up to leave. The
first barge sailed from Sochi late on the evening of 15 June
and is expected to arrive in Sukhumi by this afternoon. The entire
operation is scheduled to take 72 hours, according to ITAR-TASS.
On 14 June, Russian government spokesperson Valentin Sergeev
expressed concern over potential difficulties from continuing
artillery fire from both sides, and mines and destroyed bridges
along the road between Sukhumi and Tkvarcheli. -Catherine Dale


UZBEKS CUT GAS SUPPLY TO KAZAKHSTAN? WESTERN NEWS AGENCIES, QUOTING
AN ANONYMOUS GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, REPORTED THAT UZBEKISTAN HAD
APPARENTLY CUT ITS SUPPLY OF NATURAL GAS TO KAZAKHSTAN'S CHIMKENT
REGION BY MORE THAN 50% BECAUSE OF UNPAID DEBTS OF 8-BILLION
RUBLES (CA. $7.3 million). Uzbekistan, the CIS's third-largest
producer of natural gas, had also cut supplies to Kyrgyzstan
last month when that republic left the ruble zone; supplies were
resumed after talks between Uzbekistan's president Islam Karimov
and Kyrgyzstan's president Askar Akayev. -Keith Martin

UPDATE ON KYRGYZSTAN'S NEW CURRENCY. Kyrgyzstan left the ruble
zone and introduced its own currency, the som, one month ago;
the som is still not available in some regions of the country,
ITAR-TASS reported on 15 June. Students and university lecturers
received their first som only last Friday, after they threatened
to take to the streets in protest. Many enterprises have also
still not received the new currency. The som is slipping against
both the dollar and the ruble. The introduction of the new currency
continues to paralyze economic links between Kyrgyzstan and its
neighbors. In the meantime Reuters reports that three more of
the Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan,
are also preparing to introduce their own currencies. -Sheila
Marnie

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



RUSSIA SETS CONDITIONS FOR BELARUS TO CONTINUE GETTING RUBLES.
According to Belapan on 15 June, the chairman of the Russian
State Committee on Economic Relations with the CIS, Vladimir
Mashits, sent a telegram to the Belarus Central Bank in which
he stated the terms under which Belarus could continue to receive
Russian rubles after 1 July: the ruble be the only legal currency
in Belarus, the Russian Central Bank have the power to regulate
credit and cash, Belarus's banking laws match Russia's, Russian
laws be used to regulate commercial banks and hard currency operations,
Belarus join Russia's inter-banking system, and Russian bodies
assume control over the implementation of agreements. The acceptance
of the conditions will allow Belarus to continue receiving rubles
until 1-October. The Council of Ministers will decide next week.
Belapan reports that the spokesman for the Belarus National Bank,
Aleksander Makouski, said the conditions were unacceptable. The
Russians have tried for some time to unify monetary policy in
the ruble zone, but it is not clear why such an action would
have been taken so suddenly and apparently only against Belarus.
-Erik Whitlock and Ustina Markus

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



"BOSNIA IS EVERYTHING THAT HUMAN RIGHTS ARE NOT." These were
the words of Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic at the Vienna UN
Human Rights Conference on 15 June. As hand-to-hand fighting
in Gorazde continued, Silajdzic pleaded: "I demand . . . on behalf
of humanity, because this is a crime against humanity, to take
all measures to stop the genocide in at least the one town of
Gorazde." Silajdzic received a five-minute ovation, which was
a record for any single speaker at the meeting, and he was the
first to break the rule against discussing specific human rights
abuses, an RFE/RL correspondent reports. The 16 June Los Angeles
Times adds that Silajdzic's remarks "had the effect of yanking
[the conference] back to reality." Meanwhile, Hina quotes international
peace negotiator Lord Owen as saying on 15-June that no political
settlement will be imposed on the Muslims. On 16 June meetings
are taking place in Geneva that are expected to bring together,
in various combinations, the presidents of Serbia, Croatia, and
Bosnia; the Bosnian Serb and Croat leaders; and representatives
of the Croatian government and the Krajina Serb leaders. -Patrick
Moore

VIENNA CONFERENCE ALSO HEARS KOZYREV ON BALTICS . . . Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev supported US and other Western
nations' calls to set up a high commission on human rights to
help combat abuses worldwide. Speaking at the UN conference,
Kozyrev again blasted "aggressive nationalism" and criticized
the Baltic States for what he termed discriminatory practices
toward Russians and other ethnic minorities: "The lack of attention
to the rights of national minorities carries the risk of damaging
the Baltic region and turning Europe into a zone of special--although
lower and double, rather than higher--standards, "Western media
reported on 15 June. In a related development, Latvian Foreign
Minister Georgs Andrejevs was elected one of the vice chairman
of the conference. -Dzintra Bungs

. . . AND ILIESCU ON ROMANIA. Addressing the conference on 15
June, Romanian President Ion Iliescu touted his country's progress
in the field of human rights since December 1989. Iliescu claimed
that freedom of the press is complete and that a sweeping legal
reform is under way. He further pointed to the setting up of
a council for national minorities in Romania. Iliescu admitted,
however, that much remains to be achieved before basic human
rights are fully respected in Romania. Iliescu dwelt upon the
rights of ethnic minorities, saying that constructive approaches
must be found. -Dan Ionescu

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT CRISIS. On 15 May parliament failed to agree
on any of the draft resolutions, including one proposed by President
Leonid Kravchuk, to resolve the political and economic crisis
in the country that has been exacerbated by striking miners and
industrial workers in eastern Ukraine. Instead, according to
ITAR-TASS and Western agencies, lawmakers gave the government
until 16 June to produce an emergency economic recovery plan.
Prime Minister Kuchma told parliament that he supports a referendum,
but not on the issue of confidence in the president and parliament.
Instead, voters should decide "what kind of society we are building."
Kuchma also harshly criticized Russia, calling its policies with
regard to Ukraine as unfriendly. "We are being robbed because
of our weakness," he asserted. In the meantime, striking workers,
said to number about two million, continue to press their political
demands. The parliament is currently debating a way out of the
crisis. -Roman Solchanyk

BULGARIAN PROTESTS CONTINUE. Demonstrations aimed at toppling
President Zhelyu Zhelev continued on 16 June, Western and Bulgarian
media report. In Sofia for the second evening thousands of protesters
gathered outside the presidential office, urging Zhelev's immediate
resignation. Leaders of the Union of Democratic Forces--the opposition
alliance that has organized the demonstration--said they plan
to come back each evening this week. Foreign correspondents nevertheless
noted that many more people attended the first evening's demonstrations.
In the meantime, Zhelev's position is being supported by extraparliamentary
parties and the Bulgarian Socialist Party. BSP leader Jean Videnov
said he would stand by Zhelev and the government "against anarchy."
The UDF accuses Zhelev, its one-time leader, of collaborating
with the former communists. -Kjell Engelbrekt

BULGARIAN ECONOMY SUFFERS WITHOUT EC AGREEMENT. On 15 June the
government called on the European Community to ratify the association
agreement reached on 8 March. Prime Minister Lyuben Berov has
suggested that the delays in approving the association agreement
are hurting the Bulgarian economy by depriving his country of
badly needed trade opportunities. The economy, reeling under
the effects of the embargo imposed against rump Yugoslavia, has
recorded a high deficit during the early part of 1993. According
to Reuters, Bulgaria maintained a surplus of $102 million in
the first three months of 1992 but is struggling with a deficit
of $260.5 million accumulated during the first three months of
this year. -Stan Markotich

BELGRADE DEBATES SANCTIONS. According to Radio Serbia and B92
on 15 June, debate in both chambers of the rump Yugoslav Federal
Assembly has been focusing on how acceptance of the Vance-Owen
plan might bring about the lifting of UN sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro.
Slobodan Raketic of the opposition DEPOS said signing the plan
should be no condition for lifting sanctions--rather "the complete
cessation of the war [in Bosnia] is." Another deputy suggested
offering to allow the stationing of UN observers on both sides
of the border between Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina as one
possible quid pro quo for lifting the sanctions. Federal Foreign
Minister Vladislav Jovanovic, who is a leading candidate to succeed
ousted Dobrica Cosic as federal president, replied that the Vance-Owen
plan never envisioned observers on the Yugoslav side of the border
and added that "there is no need for us to offer something that
we were not asked to do." Opposition deputies from Serbia and
Montenegro made it clear that they consider the grave internal
situation is not exclusively due to the effects of international
pressures. It is more the result of the federation's "catastrophic"
policy, said Rade Bojovic of the Socialist Party of Montenegro,
suggesting that Montenegro might have to "save its people from
the abyss by means of a policy of its own." The session was also
marred by exchanges of insults. Democratic Party deputy Desimir
Tosic provided evidence that various Serb paramilitary formations
have been sent into Bosnia, Vojvodina, and Kosovo. Radical Party
head Vojislav Seselj, who has publicly boasted of sending "volunteers"
into these areas, reacted by calling Tosic "devious, a liar,
and a foreign agent." -Milan Andrejevich

CROATIAN UPDATE. Hina reports on 16 June that Serbs the previous
day shelled the Biograd and Zadar areas. Exchanges of prisoners
and civilians are nonetheless continuing between Serbs and Croats,
and the International Herald Tribune notes that the Croats have
handed suspected Muslim war criminals over to the Serbs. Finally,
Vecernji list on 15 June ran a poll that suggests that Croats
are becoming increasingly pessimistic about their own personal
economic situations and about the chances for an early improvement
in them. -Patrick Moore

WALESA TO SET UP A NEW POLITICAL GROUP. Polish President Lech
Walesa confirmed in an interview with PAP on 15 June his intention
to set up a new political group to present candidates in the
forthcoming parliamentary election. The group is to be called
the Nonparty Bloc to Support Reforms and will consist of four
task-oriented subgroups: employees, employers, farmers, and local
administrators. If elected, the deputies from the bloc are to
concentrate on legislation in their areas of competence and promote
reforms there. Walesa said that he will explain the organization
and the electoral role of the bloc in a nationwide address. The
concept is similar to an arrangement used by the Polish authorities
in the 1930s, an arrangement that has been frequently regarded
as authoritarian and undemocratic. -Jan de Weydenthal

POLAND, LITHUANIA SIGN MILITARY AGREEMENT. On 15 June in Vilnius
the Polish and Lithuanian ministers of national defense, Janusz
Onyszkiewicz and Audrius Butkevicius, signed an agreement on
bilateral military cooperation. PAP reports that the agreement
concerns cooperation between military institutions, particularly
in maintaining control over the air space and the area of the
Baltic Sea. In addition the agreement envisages the expansion
of contacts between military establishments of the two countries,
periodic consultations and exchanges of visits, and joint social
meetings. Poland has similar agreements with all other neighboring
countries. -Jan de Weydenthal

POLISH ECONOMY IMPROVES. The Polish government announced on 15
June that the number of unemployed in May dropped by 0.7% in
comparison with April: there were 2,624,000 unemployed or 14.2%
of the total work force. During the five months of 1993 prices
for consumer goods and services rose by 38.1% in comparison with
the comparable period of 1992. In the first quarter of 1993 the
number of private companies with both foreign and domestic capital
increased by several thousand, while that of state-owned enterprises
diminished from 7,344 at the end of 1992 to 6,838 at the end
of the quarter. -Jan de Weydenthal

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT IN SLOVAKIA. Egon Klepsch arrived
in Slovakia on 14 June for an official visit. TASR reports that
he met with Parliament Chairman Ivan Gasparovic, President Michal
Kovac, and Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. On 15 June Klepsch
told the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee that an association
agreement between the European Community and Slovakia will be
initialed on 23 June and could be signed by 1 July. He also said
that the European Parliament could ratify the agreement at its
September session. -Jiri Pehe

GERMANY, SLOVAKIA PLAN CLOSER MILITARY TIES. German Defense Minister
Volker Ruehe and his Slovak counterpart, Imrich Andrejcak, agreed
in Bonn on 15 June to intensify cooperation between the two countries
in the military field. German media report that the two ministers
also discussed the security situation in Europe, the situation
in the former Yugoslavia, and the problems in shaping a new European
military structure. Andrejcak, Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik,
and Parliament Deputy Chairman Peter Weiss are in Bonn to participate
in the opening of the new Slovak Embassy. -Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PRIVATIZATION MINISTER RESIGNS. TASR reported on 15 June
that Lubomir Dolgos has resigned. Dolgos says that his resignation
is a reaction to the 12 June vote of no-confidence in him by
the leadership of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia.
Dolgos is a high-ranking official of the party. He has repeatedly
criticized the Meciar government for slowing down or blocking
important privatization projects. It is expected that his position
will be offered to the Slovak National Party, with whom the MDS
plans to form a formal coalition. -Jiri Pehe

$90-MILLION IMF GRANT FOR SLOVAKIA. Emanuel Zervoudakis, the
head of an International Monetary Fund delegation that just concluded
its trip to Slovakia, told journalists in Bratislava on 15 June
that an agreement was signed to provide Slovakia with $90 million
in loans. The IMF has also decided to establish a permanent mission
in Bratislava; Andreas Georgiu has been named the head of the
mission. Asked whether Slovakia will devalue its currency in
an effort to boost its hard currency reserves, Zervoudakis said
that "Slovakia itself will chose means to meet IMF conditions."
He revealed that his delegation sanctioned the Slovak government's
plans to introduce import duties on a temporary basis. -Jiri
Pehe

MILITARY SERVICE IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC CUT. The Czech parliament
approved a government proposal on 15 June to shorten mandatory
military service from 18 to 12-months. CTK reports that some
20,000 conscripts who have already served 12 months will be discharged
on 29 July, when the new law takes effect. The move is part of
plans to cut the army from more than 100,000 troops to some 65,000
by 1996. -Jiri Pehe

IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN HUNGARY. Ali Akbar Velayati is paying
a two-day official visit to Hungary, MTI reports. He met with
President Arpad Goncz, Parliament Speaker Gyorgy Szabad, and
Minister of International Economic Relations Bela Kadar. Steady
growth of trade between the two countries was noted. Velayati
said that mutual support by the two countries in the international
scene is important. -Karoly Okolicsanyi

VISEGRAD COUNTRIES TEST STAND-ALONE ENERGY SYSTEM. MTI reported
that the Visegrad countries--Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and
Slovak Republics--tested their independent electric energy system
recently. The ten-day test was prompted by a cutoff of energy
supplies from the CIS. One of the CIS lines was under repair
while the other experienced operational difficulties. The test
was originally scheduled only for September. The Visegrad countries
are planning to join the West European energy system, UCPTE,
by 1996. -Karoly Okolicsanyi

STRIKE HAMPERS RAIL TRAFFIC IN ROMANIA. A railway strike continued
to affect traffic for a second consecutive day. Transport Minister
Paul Teodoru said in an interview with Radio Bucharest on 15
June that only 25% of the passenger trains and 20% of the freight
lines are running. International trains are also affected. The
strike, which started on 14 June, was staged by unions representing
engine drivers and maintenance staff pressing for an increase
of the monthly wage. The government accepted negotiations with
the unions in the town of Brasov. A spokesman for the transport
ministry put the costs of a single strike day at 18-20 billion
lei ($27-30 million). -Dan Ionescu

BELARUS GOVERNMENT COMPROMISES WITH TRADE UNIONS. ITAR-TASS reported
on 15 June that negotiations between the government and the Federation
of Trade Unions of Belarus ended on 14 June with the government
apparently acquiescing to union demands on mitigating the effects
of the price hikes introduced earlier this month. The price increases,
which were attributed to Russia's increased fuel prices, sparked
a series of protest strikes and demonstrations. The government
has agreed to take measures to insure enterprises and individuals
against the effects of increased prices and taxes on rents and
fuel, restructure unproductive enterprises, protect workers jobs,
and assign the enterprises appropriate taxes and credits. It
was also agreed that in the September Supreme Soviet session
legislation to lower taxes for enterprises involved in economic
development will be placed on the agenda. In addition, the government
agreed to establish a fund for the needy and work out a minimum
wage system indexed to inflation. -Ustina Markus

FINLAND POSTPONES TRANSFER OF BOATS TO ESTONIA. Baltic media
reported on 11-15 June that Finland has postponed the ceremonial
transfer of patrol boats to the Estonian border guard "for technical
reasons" apparently related to internal Estonian developments
involving the border guard and the interior ministry. Andrus
Oovel, general director of the Border Guard Department, was dismissed
from his post last week, and Minister of Internal Affairs Lagle
Parek is currently under heavy criticism in parliament. The Estonian
border guard has been under the jurisdiction of the Ministry
of Internal Affairs. -Dzintra Bungs

RUSSIA POSTPONES MILITARY EXERCISES IN LATVIA. Responding to
Latvian protests, the leadership of Russia's Northwestern Group
of Forces has decided to postpone the exercises planned for 21-25
June, Radio Riga reports. The Latvian side objected in particular
to the timing of the exercises, since they would fall during
midsummer celebrations, when most Latvians go to the countryside.
Though the Latvians wanted the exercises to be cancelled, the
NWGF says it will hold them sometime in July. -Dzintra Bungs


[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Dzintra Bungs and Charles Trumbull



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