|The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. - Dolly Parton|
No. 125, 05 July 1993
RUSSIA KOZYREV DEFENDS STANCE ON RAIDS. In an interview with Ostankino television's "Itogi" program on 4 July, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev defended Russia's acceptance of US justifications for its cruise missile strike against Iraq in late June and rejected claims that Russian foreign policy was simply following the lead of the United States. He stressed that Moscow had been presented with detailed evidence from Washington that US prestige and security had been damaged, and Russia accepted these arguments. Kozyrev also noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry had provided the parliament with such evidence. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. LEAD-UP TO THE G-7 SUMMIT. US President Bill Clinton told foreign journalists on 3 July that "the commitment to do more for Russia" at the G-7 summit "will be clear, substantial, and generous." US Secretary of State Warren Christopher told a news conference on 2 July that the US wants Russia to have closer ties with the G-7 but he "would not expect to see Russia as a member of the G-7 or to make it a G-8." Egor Gaidar told ITAR-TASS on 3 July that President Yeltsin will undoubtedly raise the issue of his country's access to Western markets at the summit. And Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk has written to the leaders of the G-7 nations appealing to them not to overlook Ukraine when they discuss aid issues with Russian President Yeltsin and repeating a request for a $1.5 billion stabilization fund. Keith Bush , RFE/RL, Inc. SOMBER FORECAST BY GOVERNMENT CENTER. During the weeks leading up to the G-7 summit in Tokyo, most Russian government spokesmen have been emphasizing the positive aspects of economic performance: the industrial slump has bottomed out, monthly inflation rates are falling, and stabilization is in sight. In contrast, Yakov Urinson, the director of the government's Center for Economic Activity, painted a far more pessimistic picture for The Financial Times of 2 July. He forecasts a drop of 13-15% in industrial output in 1993, followed by a decline of 3-7% in the GDP in 1994. Economic growth could resume in 1995. In Urinson's opinion, only if the government maintains moderately restrictive credit policies, begins to focus social welfare payments, and launches an industrial policy, can inflation be kept down to 950-1,150% in 1993, with the monthly rate falling to 5-7% by the end of the year. Urinson puts the blame for the continuing economic crisis on a government that contains "people with diametrically opposed views on reforms." Keith Bush , RFE/RL, Inc. "RUSSIA'S CHOICE" TO HOLD PLEBISCITE ON CONSTITUTION. Leaders of the newly created pro-Yeltsin reformist bloc "Russia's Choice," Egor Gaidar and the head of the presidential apparatus, Sergei Filatov, held a press conference where they spoke in favor of early parliamentary but not presidential elections. They also announced intentions to hold a plebiscite on who is entitled to adopt the new Russian Constitution, Ostankino TV newscasts reported on 4 July. The "Russia's Choice" questionnaire, which was reportedly published in the weekly Argumenty i fakty, consists of two questions: (1) whether the citizens agree that the Congress of People's Deputies, is not to be trusted with the task; and (2) whether they think that the new Constitution should be adopted by a referendum or by a constitutional assembly to be elected specially for this deed. According to the existing constitution, the results of such a plebiscite will not be legally binding. Julia Wishnevsky and Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. SVERDLOVSK OBLAST GOVERNOR THREATENS TO WITHHOLD BUDGET PAYMENT. The head of the administration of the Sverdlovsk region (oblast), Eduard Rossel, said the region would withhold payments from the Russian budget if it was not recognized as a republic by Moscow, Russian and Western agencies reported on 2 July. (On 1 July, the Sverdlovsk regional council proclaimed that the region had become the Ural republic.) The agencies also quoted the chairman of the regional council, Anatolii Grebenkin, as saying the region would ask the next session of the Russian Congress of People's Deputies to approve its status. So far President Boris Yeltsin has not made any statement on the developments in the Sverdlovsk region, but the head of the presidential administration, Sergei Filatov, condemned the creation of the Ural republic as a "serious blow" to Russia's constitutional reforms. (Currently, the Constitutional Assembly is attempting to find a compromise between Russia's republics which want a new constitution to identify them as "sovereign states" and regions which want the same rights as the republics.) Vera Tolz , RFE/RL, Inc. DEPRIVED OF BODYGUARDS, JUDGES ARE THREATENED. Since 23 June, when President Yeltsin deprived the Russian Constitutional Court of bodyguards, its members, including the judges Vladimir Oleinik and Nikolai Seleznev, have systematically been threatened, Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 29 June. After the Constitutional Court had ruled unconstitutional a large number of his decrees, Yeltsin took away the judges' bodyguards, as well as the state dacha and official limousine of the chairman, Valerii Zorkin. According to Komsomolskaya pravda, there have been also attempts to enter the headquarters of the Constitutional Court as well as of the private apartment of its secretary, Yurii Rudkin, by force. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. MANPOWER LEVELS FALLING RAPIDLY IN RUSSIAN ARMY? IN A LONG INTERVIEW PUBLISHED BY NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA ON 2 JULY, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON DEFENSE AND STATE SECURITY, SERGEI STEPASHIN, CLAIMED THAT DRAFT PROBLEMS HAVE LEFT THE RUSSIAN ARMY TODAY SHORT SOME 910,000 MEN. He also said that 580,000 draftees were scheduled to be demobilized this year (including 322,000 in the fall, when two draft contingents will be released from duty), while 180,000 new recruits would begin serving. The result, Stepashin claimed, was that following the fall draft, the Russian armed forces would have 630,000 officers and only 540,000 conscripts. Aside from the obvious imbalance that situation would create in the forces, it would also mean that, even with 100,000 contract soldiers (they don't appear to be included in Stepashin's figure for officers), the Russian armed forces would number less than 1.3 million, a drastic decline that would be lower than the 1.5 million level planned for 1995. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. DEPUTY MINISTER OF SECURITY ARRESTED FOR CORRUPTION. Nikolai Lisovoi, one of the deputies of Minister of Security (MB) Victor Barannikov, has been arrested on corruption charges, reported Argumenty i Fakty No. 26, 1993. Lisovoi was responsible for the financial, supply, construction and medical divisions of the MB. According to the weekly, his arrest is linked to the criminal case against the commander of the Tenth Air Defense Army, Yuriy Aleksandrov. (Last year, Lt.-Gen. Aleksandrov and his deputy, Maj. Gen. Vladimir Makaid were dismissed from their positions for embezzlement of public funds and bribery. Makaid was subsequently arrested). Argumenty i fakty did not report how Lisovoi was connected with the officers of the Tenth Air Defense Army, but he was until 1991 deputy commander for logistics and supply of the Air Defense Forces. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA ABKHAZ FORCES LAUNCH MAJOR OFFENSIVE. A Georgian parliament statement, reported by Reuters on 4 July, said that Abkhaz forces had downed a Georgian Su-25 attack aircraft. This is the latest incident in the Abkhaz offensive, launched against Sukhumi late on 1 July, in which at least 30 people have been killed and 126 wounded. The Georgian Defense Ministry asserted that on the night of 1-2 July, 2,000 Russian servicemen from the 14th Army crossed the Psou River into Abkhaz territory. The Russian Defense Ministry strongly denied the accusation and stated that the 14th Army remains in Moldova, where it is based. Reuters also reported that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev warned both sides on 4 July that Russia would exert the "harshest" economic pressure against any side refusing to sign the deal worked out at recent talks in Moscow. The agreement provides for a cease-fire, recognition of Abkhaz autonomy, and maintenance of the territorial integrity of Georgia. Meanwhile, the Georgian parliament on 2 July granted its Chair, Eduard Shevardnadze, special powers to issue decrees and to appoint and dismiss all cabinet ministers except the prime minister. At Shevardnadze's request, the UN Security Council met on 2 July to discuss the conflict and called for an immediate cease-fire, ITAR-TASS reported. Catherine Dale, RFE/RL, Inc. AZERBAIJAN'S NEW LEADERSHIP CONSOLIDATES POWER. Azerbaijani security forces attacked several thousand supporters of ousted President Abulfaz Elchibey in Baku on 3 July, but subsequently withdrew and allowed the demonstration to proceed, Western journalists reported. Elchibey himself was quoted by Turkish TV and Radio as calling for new parliamentary elections. Also on 3 July, the Azerbaijani National Assembly approved the appointment of proteges of acting president Geidar Aliev as Ministers of Security and the Interior. Meanwhile Armenian forces continued to advance on the town of Agdam just east of Nagorno-Karabakh; Azerbaijani Prime Minister Surat Huseinov called for a general mobilization and threatened "the heaviest punishment" for deserters. Addressing the National Assembly on 3 July, Aliev accused Armenia of taking advantage of Azerbaijan's political instability and thus jeopardizing the CSCE mediation attempt, ITAR-TASS reported. Whether a scheduled visit by CSCE mediator Mario Raffaelli to Baku on 5 July will go ahead as planned is not clear. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS CIS SUMMIT POSTPONED. The Armenian president's press secretary Aram Abrahamyan told a press conference on 2 July that the CIS summit scheduled for 16 July in Erevan had been postponed, Armenian radio reported. The reason was that the agreement on setting up an economic union, which was to be the most important item on the agenda, was not yet ready. Abrahamyan said it was hoped that a version of the document would be drawn up by the end of the summer. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. BLACK SEA FLEET AGREEMENT DEBATED. On 2 July, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev was quoted by ITAR-TASS as suggesting that a joint Black Sea Fleet would be preferable to splitting the fleet and suggested that changes in the 17 June Moscow agreement on the fleet might be necessary. Grachev's comments echo those of Admiral Eduard Baltin, the fleet's commander, and are a striking indication of the lack of military support for the agreement. The same day Radio Rossii reported that the Russian naval ensign was still flying on 220 support vessels, the Ukrainian naval ensign had been hoisted on 3 vessels, while combat vessels are still flying the Soviet-era flag. On 3 July, Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov responded to Grachev's comments, noting that they contradicted previous agreements and asserting that Ukraine intended to uphold the Moscow agreement and create its own fleet, UKRINFORM reported. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SERBS POUND SARAJEVO. International media reported on 3 July that some 1,500 shells hit the embattled Bosnian capital from nearby Serb positions on that day. The BBC said it was the worst such attack in over a month. CNN reported on 5 July that local medical personnel warn of impending epidemics following the continued destruction of Sarajevo's power- generating plants and the consequent breakdown of water- pumping facilities. Elsewhere in Bosnia, international media reported over the 3-4 July weekend that Serbs and Croats continued to cooperate in operations directed against Maglaj, a Muslim-held town on the republic's main north-south road. Finally, in Serb-controlled Banja Luka more explosions took place at local mosques, two of which were destroyed. Earlier in the spring, Serbs placed explosives in and demolished the city's two most historic mosques, which were international cultural properties registered with UNESCO. Some Bosnian Serb nationalists are determined not only to drive out the Muslim population but also to remove all physical traces of Bosnia's Ottoman and Muslim heritage, including place names, buildings and cemeteries. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. DRASKOVIC SUPPORTERS RALLY. On 4 July more than 5,000 supporters of the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) leader Vuk Draskovic demonstrated in Belgrade demanding the release of the jailed opposition figure and his wife. It was the third protest rally since the Draskovices were arrested on 2 June during violent anti-government riots. Both were severely beaten by police. On 3 July some 15 members of his party and another 30 supporters began a hunger strike in Belgrade to press for the Draskovices release and reports on 5 July say SPO members in other parts of Serbia are joining in the action. Meanwhile, Vojislav Seselj, leader of the nationalist Radical Party told Borba on 3 July he feels "very sorry" for Draskovic and expressed the hope that he would be released soon to resume his career as a best-selling author. Belgrade media reported that Draskovic met Seselj and had asked for his help. Draskovic denied the report. Serbia's Pen Club named Draskovic an honorary member on 2 July. Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIAN - GREEK RELATIONS REMAIN STRAINED. Reuters reported on 4 July that Albanian President Sali Berisha called the Greek actions "shortsighted" but nevertheless hoped that good relations could be maintained. The leader of the Albanian Orthodox Church, who has offered to mediate in the dispute, called on both countries "to stop violent acts," according to Reuters on 4 July. The Archbishop also claimed that Tirana has threatened to ban foreigners from serving in the Orthodox Church. The Albanian government's decision to expel an Orthodox priest on 25 June for allegedly promoting Greek separatism in southern Albania and Greece's subsequent decision to begin deporting all Albanians illegally working in Greece has put tremendous strain on relations between the two countries. Robert Austin, RFE/RL, Inc. BRZEZINSKI VISITS SLOVAKIA. The former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski arrived in Bratislava on 3 July for a two-day unofficial visit, which included meetings with Premier Vladimir Meciar and President Michal Kovac. Assessing Slovakia's degree of "economic and political evolution," Brzezinski classified Slovakia as being in the second league, behind Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia. Although "optimistic" that Slovakia can "overcome the transformation process in the next decade," Brzezinski expressed concern that some Slovak politicians "tend to underestimate" the difficulties which Slovakia faces. Meciar disagreed with Brzezinski's ranking, and said it is his goal to persuade others that "Slovakia's path to democracy and a market economy is irreversible," TASR reports. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK PREMIER REJECTS BORDER TALKS WITH CZECHS. Although 1 July talks between Czech and Slovak presidents Vaclav Havel and Michal Kovac ended in agreement to open border negotiations, Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar rejected this possibility. Meciar claimed that "strengthening border controls would violate existing treaties between the Czech and Slovak republics;" the two nations do not need an "iron curtain" dividing them, CTK reported on 2 July. Havel said on 4 July that negotiations between the two presidents could add impetus to resolving the border question as well as other Czech-Slovak issues; he expressed hope that Meciar would agree with their approach. Stronger border controls are being pushed by the Czech Republic as a result of Germany's strict asylum law, which went into effect on 1 July. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. OPPOSITION TO WAGE CONTROL IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. A decision taken by the Czech government on 30 June to control wage increases beginning 1 July has been strongly criticized by several groups. The move has created discord within the ruling coalition as ministers of the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) voted against the measure. ODA's Vice Chairman Libor Kudlacek suggested at a press conference on 2 July that wage control in this form could be ineffective and counterproductive. The Confederation of Employers and Entrepreneurs (KZP) echoed Kudlacek's concerns at a press conference on 2 July and charged that the decision contradicts several legally binding accords as well as the Czech constitution. KZP claimed that the measure is unwarranted, given the stability of the Czech economy. The trade unions have also voiced intense opposition to the measure, CTK reported. Milada Vachudova, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK REACTION TO CE RECOMMENDATIONS. In his regular radio address on 2 July, Premier Vladimir Meciar said that Slovakia's entry into the Council of Europe "proves" it is a country "with a democratic legal order," TASR reported. Although Meciar said Slovakia "will observe every right of the national minority," he declared "disagreement" with the CE's recommendation that the 1945 Benes-decrees be abolished. Meciar said that the decrees mainly concern the Czech Republic, CTK reported on 4 July. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. NACC SEMINAR CONCLUDED IN PRAGUE. A three-day seminar held by the NATO Cooperation Council ended in Prague on 2 July, CTK reported. The seminar examined several facets of peace- keeping missions and explored how NATO should cooperate with its partners in future missions. Czech participants hailed it as the most important initiative of the Czech Republic within the framework of the NACC this year. Milada Vachudova, RFE/RL, Inc. CSURKA ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF NATIONAL MOVEMENT. On 3 June, the national congress of the Hungarian Road Circles (HRC), elected former Hungarian Democratic Forum (HDF) presidium member Istvan Csurka as its chairman, MTI reported. Csurka founded the HRC as a movement last February in order to gather popular support for his political ideas, which emphasize "national solutions" to Hungary's problems and the creation of a "Hungarian Hungary." Csurka and some of his followers have recently been expelled from the HDF because their views were found to be incompatible with those of the party's centrist leadership. Csurka denied charges that the HRC called for a revision of Hungary's borders with neighboring states where ethnic Hungarians live stressing that "the movement does not want territories but demands the "preservation of [Hungarian] souls," meaning a preservation of Hungarian identity. He declared that the movement would assist the election campaign of the recently established Hungarian Justice Party (HJP) which he characterized as the HRC's "own child." The HJP was set up by Csurka and followers including rebellious HDF deputies. The acting chairman of the HJP Lajos Horvath told the congress that the HJP will be "the HRC's extended arm in parliament" following the 1994 elections. Csurka conceded that HRC members are "pretty much alone in today's Hungarian society" but stressed that "this condition will not last much longer and society will understand the movement's call." Edith Oltay , RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH ELECTION CAMPAIGN. The pre-election political landscape in Poland is still confused as election coalitions, aimed at overcoming the 5% threshold for individual parties, begin to take shape. According to PAP reports of 2,3 and 4 July, several weaker parties are running their candidates on the lists of parties expected to win more than the 8% threshold for coalitions. The former Solidarity labor union deputies. cast off by the union, are not running as a bloc: of the prominent personalities, Wojciech Arkuszewski and Jan Rulewski will run for the Democratic Union and Bogdan Borusewicz is expected to announce his decision to run for President Walesa's nonparty reform bloc. The right-of-center opposition to the outgoing Suchocka government, which recently founded a coalition called the Polish Union, has run into trouble over the formation of an election committee. Jan Olszewski, leader of the Movement for the Republic and potential leader of the coalition, refused to join the committee, accusing the remaining parties and two of his own members of acting without consultation. Anna Sabbat- Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. EMBARRASSMENT OVER POLISH COUNCIL OF EUROPE APPOINTEE. The leader of the Polish delegation and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, Andrzej Wielowieyski, told PAP on 3 July that the decision of the assembly's Law and Human Rights Commission to appoint Wlodzimierz Cimosiewicz to be a rapporteur on the legislative and practical aspects of decommunization in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe was "accidental and ill- considered." Cimosiewicz, a member of the Polish delegation, although not formally a member of the successor to Poland's communist party, is, nonetheless, a leader of the postcommunist Democratic Left Alliance and was the former communist's candidate for president in 1990. Six other members of the Polish delegation had submitted a formal protest against the appointment on 1 July. Wielowieyski said that no-one should be "a judge in his own case" and hoped that a compromise solution might be found. Anna Sabbat- Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT, OPPOSITION TRADE ACCUSATIONS. In a statement broadcast by Radio Bucharest on 2 July, Romania's government sharply attacked both the opposition and the independent press for allegedly staging a "slander campaign" in connection with charges of corruption against high-ranking officials and other controversial issues. The statement, which denounced criticism by the opposition as "unfounded, tendentious and disparaging," listed what the cabinet saw as positive developments in the economic and social field since it came to power last November. On 3 July Romania's main opposition parties responded by a declaration rejecting the cabinet's standpoint as "absurd." The declaration, signed jointly by the parties belonging to the Democratic Convention of Romania and the Democratic Party (National Salvation Front), accused the cabinet of boasting about "imaginary achievements," while trying to put the blame for multiple failures on the opposition. It concluded the cabinet should resign in view of growing public mistrust in its activity. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA WELCOMES CLINTON'S LETTER TO THE CONGRESS. Romania's Foreign Minister welcomed on 3 July the letter addressed by US President Bill Clinton to the Congress on the previous day in support of the ratification of the US-Romanian trade agreement, initialed in May 1992 in Bucharest. The agreement includes mutual granting of the most-favored-nation trade status. During a reception on 3 July at the US embassy in Bucharest, Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu described Clinton's letter as "a beautiful present" to Romania. on the eve of the US National Day. President Ion Iliescu also attended the reception. US-Romanian ties were clouded recently by attempts by Romania's Military Prosecutor to reinstate a prison sentence against former Romanian diplomat Mircea Raceanu. Raceanu, who currently lives in the United States, had been convicted as an US spy under Nicolae Ceausescu's regime in 1989. On 2 July Iliescu's spokesman Traian Chebeleu said on Radio Bucharest that the case against Raceanu had been officially closed, adding that it was not clear whether the prosecutor's move was "a mistake, incompetence or something else." Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINE ASSERTS OWNERSHIP OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. The Ukrainian parliament on 2 July voted 226 to 15 in favor of an amendment to a document on Ukraine's foreign policy objectives that asserted that the nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory are Ukraine's property. According to a Reuters report, the amendment was offered by Dmitri Pavlychko, the chairman of the parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, during the document's second reading. A third reading will be necessary before the document is officially adopted. The amendment appears to stop one step short of declaring Ukraine a nuclear weapons state, for it does not assert Ukraine's right to operational control over the weapons. Ukraine has been claiming for the past year that it owns the components of the weapons, but that since it does not fully control them it is not a nuclear-weapons state. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. "DNIESTER REPUBLIC" CLAIMS SUPPORT FROM PRO-RUSSIAN FORCES IN UKRAINE. Nicolae Andronic, head of Moldova's delegation to the talks with the "Dniester" leaders, told the Social- Democrat weekly Respublika on 3 July that in recent negotiating sessions the "Dniester" side has openly claimed to enjoy support in Crimea and the Donbass and Odessa regions of Ukraine, and that it has predicted that their cooperation will eventually lead to the formation of "Novorossiia". This is the most explicit admission to date of Tiraspol's otherwise known links with the influential pro-communist and Russian-oriented forces in southern and eastern Ukraine, which have supported the idea of creating an autonomous "Novorossiia" region that would include also the "Dniester republic." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. LUCINSCHI SCORES RUSSIAN SUPPORT FOR "DNIESTER REPUBLIC". Interviewed in the weekly Rossiia, no. 25, Moldovan Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi (former Moldovan CP leader and CPSU Politburo member) observed that if Russia recognizes Moldova as a state, it ought to abide by "the appropriate norms," but that it had continued to maintain direct economic, political, and military ties with a part of the state. Lucinschi said such a policy "violates all international rules." He also asked whether Russian policy sought to help Moldova's Russian minority through cultural and educational programs or "with the gun." Russia ought to have a clear policy on this issue, he said, concluding, "We don't ask for much, only that we be respected as a state." Vladimir Socor , RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIA TO MODIFY ITS ALIEN LAW? THE LAW ON ALIENS PASSED BY THE ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT ON 21 JUNE WILL PROBABLY BE AMENDED IN THE WAKE OF THE STRONG PROTESTS AMONG THE RUSSIAN COMMUNITY IN THE REPUBLIC AND IN RUSSIA. President Lennart Meri has delayed signing the law, awaiting comments from experts of the CSCE and the Council of Europe. On 1 July, after visiting predominantly Russian-inhabited areas in northeast Estonia, CSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel sent a letter to Meri recommending various amendments to the law. After a visit to Tallinn on 4 July, during which he met with Estonian leaders, Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt expressed his support for the recommendations and indicated that some amendments would be made, Baltic and Western media report. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY CHAIRMAN VISIT TO BALTIC STATES. After a three-day visit in Latvia, the Chairman of the UN General Assembly Stoyan Ganev arrived in Lithuania on 4 July, Radio Lithuania reported. In Riga Ganev held talks with Latvian parliament chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs and other high officials, as well as the commander of the Northwestern Group of Forces Leonid Mayorov and Russian ambassador to Latvia Aleksandr Rannikh. Ganev noted that Russia was failing to comply with the 25 November UN resolution calling for the complete, early, and orderly withdrawal of its troops from the Baltic States. There was no policy of discrimination against minorities in Latvia and any violations could be handled at the local level. On 5 July Ganev meets with President Algirdas Brazauskas and Seimas chairman Ceslovas Jursenas. Before departing to Tallinn on 6 July he will hold talks with Lithuanian foreign and defense ministers. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka and John LepingwellRFE/RL Daily Report
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.