Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 133, 15 July 1993







RUSSIA



CHERNOMYRDIN IN GERMANY. Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
started an official visit to Germany on 14 July. He held talks
in Bonn with German President Richard von Weizsaecker, Economics
Minister Gunter Rexrodt, and Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel. Prior
to departure for Berlin on 15 July, Chernomyrdin was scheduled
to meet with German business representatives in order to discuss
the improvement of commercial relations. Chernomyrdin has said
that there has been a falling-off in Russo-German trade and he
wishes to redress it, Western agencies reported. -Suzanne Crow


SECURITY COUNCIL TO DEAL WITH ENVIRONMENT. President Boris Yeltsin
has set up the Interdepartmental Commission for Ecological Security
of the Security Council and appointed his advisor on ecological
questions, Aleksei Yablokov, chairman of the commission, ITAR-TASS
reported on 14 July. The Security Council already has two other
interdepartmental commissions-one on foreign policy and one on
the struggle against crime. Yablokov's commission is supposed
to deal with the assessment of "internal and external ecological
threats" facing Russia as well as issues such as the safe destruction
of chemical and nuclear weapons. -Alexander Rahr

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT CURBS FOREIGN PREACHING. The Russian parliament
has passed a law requiring the accreditation of foreign religious
organizations, Izvestiya reported on July 14. The law, which
places limits on publishing, advertising and commercial activities
by foreign churches came in response to the explosion of proselytizing
on TV by foreign evangelists and a proliferation of foreign religious
groups. ITAR- TASS reported that the law had the strong backing
of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been concerned by the
spread of foreign religious influence. Liberal deputies warn
that the law represents a threat to religious freedom and plan
to appeal to the Constitutional Court to try to overturn it.
-Dominic Gualtieri

DRAFT LAW WOULD FURTHER DIVIDE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES.
A law proposed in the Russian parliament would ban people's deputies
from serving in the presidential administration and in all other
agencies of the executive branch, ITAR-TASS reported on 13 July.
Several prominent members of Yeltsin's team, including Deputy
Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai and the head of the presidential
administration Sergei Filatov, are deputies. The bill has the
backing of the Russian Unity parliamentary faction, which insists
that steps must be taken to strengthen the separation of powers
in Russia. According to Radio Moscow, there are nearly 150 deputies
currently working in the government and in presidential agencies.
-Dominic Gualtieri

ARMS EXPORTS CONTINUE TO FALL,-.-. . Segodnya's military commentator,
Pavel Felgengauer, reported on 13 July that figures recently
supplied by Moscow to the UN indicate that Russian conventional
arms exports in 1992 continued their sharp decline. With the
purchase of 26 Su-27 fighter aircraft valued at roughly $1.4
billion, China was Russia's major arms customer in 1992. Felgengauer
noted, however, that the deal was conducted almost entirely in
barter terms, under which Russia received Chinese-made consumer
goods as payment rather than hard currency. He also suggested
that the figures supplied by Moscow probably did not fully reflect
Russia's actual arms exports insofar as they excluded both equipment
supplied to Syria (much of it outfitted in Ukraine, in some cases
with parts from Eastern Europe) and weaponry sold through unofficial
channels. Felgengauer also noted that Russia had failed to provide
the UN with optional information on weapons reserves within Russia;
he suggested that the General Staff itself does not know how
much weaponry is now located on Russian territory. -Stephen Foye


.-.-.-PROMPTING CALLS FOR INCREASED MARKETING. An economist from
the US and Canada Institute has gone further than most in rejecting
any form of Western "cooperation" in regulating world arms trade
and in promoting Russian arms sales to any country with the necessary
cash. Writing in Rossiiskaya gazeta of 6 July, Sergei Samuylov
calls for a vigorous expansion of arms sales to earn convertible
currency in order to finance conversion, protect the cream of
the scientific and technical intelligentsia employed in the defense
industry, preserve national security, and safeguard sociopolitical
stability. Citing the case of the Uralvagonzavod plant, Samuylov
says that it needs to sell about 200 T-72 tanks for hard currency
if it is to survive and convert to civilian production. If it
cannot find "responsible" clients like Kuwait or Sweden, then
it should sell its wares to Libya, North Korea, or even Iraq.
-Keith Bush

CENTRAL BANK RAISES DISCOUNT RATE. On 14-July, the Russian Central
Bank (RCB) raised its discount rate for commercial credits to
170% (from 140%) and its rate for overdrafts of correspondent
accounts to 340% (from 280%), ITAR-TASS reported. A bank official
claimed that this move meant that the RCB had met the provision
of the joint government-RCB agreement of 24 May to the effect
that "the Bank's discount rate shall be fixed at a level not
more than 7-percentage points lower than the interbank market
base rate." -Keith Bush

UPDATE ON THE NEW MINIMUM WAGE. The Russian parliament passed
a law on 14 July which raises the monthly minimum wage to 7740
rubles effective from 1 July, according to ITAR-TASS on 14 July.
Since 1 April the minimum wage has been set at 4375 rubles a
month. In a speech justifying the rise, Mikhail Zakharov, president
of parliament's commission on social policy, pointed out that
the previous minimum was 3 times lower than the current national
subsistence minimum, and that prices for basic goods and services
have doubled since April. Government representatives are reported
to be against the increase. In particular, Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin has stated that the move will increase state spending
by more than 3 trillion rubles beyond that envisaged in the original
budget plans. Also wage rises automatically lead to a rise in
retail prices, and therefore add to the inflationary push. -Sheila
Marnie

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



ABKHAZIA REJECTS GEORGIA'S ULTIMATUM. Responding to the Georgian
ultimatum issued on 13-July demanding that Abkhaz troops pull
back from the area around Sukhumi, the Deputy Chairman of the
Abkhaz parliament, Sokrat Dzhindzholia, stated that "Abkhaz troops
liberated the villages of Akhalsheni and Shroma from the occupiers,"
and therefore Abkhazia has no intention of returning them to
the "aggressors," ITAR-TASS reported. The Chairman of the pro-Georgian
Abkhaz Defense Council, Tamaz Nadareishvili, said on Georgian
Radio on 14 July that the Abkhaz rejection leaves little further
room for negotiation and warned that "tomorrow we shall see a
turning point," Reuters reported. The ultimatum expired at midnight
on 14 July. -Catherine Dale

SHAKHRAI PROPOSES ABKHAZ SOLUTION. Speaking on 13 July in Sochi
at a meeting with heads of Caucasian republics and regions devoted
to problems in the North Caucasus, Russian Deputy Prime Minister
Sergei Shakhrai proposed using a tri-lateral peace-keeping force
to settle the Abkhaz conflict in a manner similar to that employed
in South Ossetia, where Russian, Georgian, and North Ossetian
troops were deployed one year ago, ITAR-TASS reported. He added
that Russia could act as a guarantor of Abkhaz autonomy within
the Georgian state. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov
had earlier rejected the South Ossetian model as inappropriate
as he returned from a trip to the conflict zone, according to
ITAR-TASS on 21 May. He argued that people who had fought one
another for so long would not be able "to stand shoulder to shoulder
as peacekeepers." -Catherine Dale

RUSSIAN TROOPS RETAKE TAJIK POST. Western and Russian news agencies
report that Russian border guards, supported by troops of Russia's
201st Motorized Rifle Division and Tajik Interior Ministry forces,
took back a Tajik post near the Afghan border early on 14-July.
The post had been attacked and destroyed by Tajik rebels and
Afghan mujaheddin, killing some 28-Russian soldiers, 6 Tajik
Interior Ministry troops, between 100 and 200 civilians, and
an undisclosed number of rebel fighters. Russian Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev asked the Russian parliament to allow the rapid
deployment of more troops, aircraft, and heavy weaponry; the
parliament approved in principle, during an emotional debate,
but postponed a final decision until 15 July. Afghanistan's Foreign
Minister, in an RFE/RL interview, rejected Tajik and Russian
claims that the Afghan 55th Motorized Division was involved.
-Keith Martin

KYRGYZSTAN'S SOM. The introduction of a new national currency,
the som, in Kyrgyzstan last May has helped reduce inflation,
according to a Reuters report on 13 July. The monthly inflation
rate dropped to 17% in June compared to 21% in May. (The Kyrgyz
government is trying to bring monthly price increases down to
about 10% by the end of 1993.) However, industrial output has
suffered, and about 14 factories have shut down since the som
was introduced. The country's foreign suppliers have refused
to accept the new currency, and supply contracts with Russia,
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been interrupted. Suppliers demand
payment in rubles, but the Kyrgyz Central Bank is reluctant to
change the som into rubles. At official exchange rates the som
has appreciated against the dollar and the ruble since May; it
now trades at 240-rubles to one som and 4.4 som to one dollar,
compared to 200-rubles and 5 som in May. However on the black
market, one som trades for about 150-rubles, and one dollar is
worth 7.7 som. -Sheila Marnie

CIS

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON SEVASTOPOL. On 14 July the
Ukrainian parliament passed a resolution condemning the Russian
parliament's resolution declaring Sevastopol a Russian city.
The Ukrainian resolution denounced the Russian move as breaking
norms of international law and contravening Russia's obligations
as a member of the UN, CSCE and other international organizations.
It also stated that the Russian resolution has no juridical validity
in Ukraine and called for the financing of Sevastopol to continue
to be provided by Ukraine. The resolution urged that talks with
Russia intended to clarify Ukraine's position be continued. The
text of the resolution was broadcast by Ukrainian Television.
-John Lepingwell

ALL QUIET IN THE BLACK SEA FLEET? WHILE ITAR-TASS REPORTED ON
THAT APPROXIMATELY TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE GATHERED IN SEVASTOPOL
ON 12 JULY TO SUPPORT THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT'S RESOLUTION, THE
CITY AND THE FLEET APPEAR TO BE RELATIVELY CALM. An article in
Narodna armiya of 14 July, the newspaper of the Ukrainian Ministry
of Defense, partly explains this by refuting a number of Russian
assertions concerning the fleet. According to the article the
fleet is now 80% manned by Ukrainian citizens and in 1993 Ukraine
provided 13-out of 14 billion rubles spent on the fleet. It also
claims that only 67 of the 129 officers attending the Officers'
Assembly in late June voted for the raising of the Russian naval
ensign on 1 July, despite calls to do so by the assembly's presidium
(largely consisting of senior officers appointed by the fleet's
previous commander). While the article's claims are difficult
to verify, they do suggest that the rift between senior officers
and other fleet personnel is greater than suggested in the Russian
press, and might partly explain the lack of wider participation
in the "war of the flags." -John Lepingwell

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



SERBS, CROATS FIGHT AGAIN IN CROATIA. International media report
on 15 July that fresh fighting broke out the previous day in
at least two areas of Croatia. Serbs shelled Karlovac, which
is just south of Zagreb, for the first time this year. Shooting
was reported around the Zadar airport at Zemunik and elsewhere
in that area where the Croats staged Operation Maslenica in January.
It is not clear who began the latest round in a district where
sporadic shelling has gone on all year, but tensions have been
high in view of Croat plans to reopen the airport and the Maslenica
bridge route on the Dalmatian coast on 18 July. By insisting
that it will open the two structures and keep them open, the
Croatian government seems to have both placed its domestic credibility
on the line and issued a challenge to the Serbs at the same time.
UN officials have noted that both sides have been bringing up
reinforcements, and a Russian mediator has gone to the area.
-Patrick Moore

DID THE CROATS SHELL THE MOSTAR BRIDGE? INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORT
THAT BOSNIAN TV ON 13 JULY SHOWED FILM FOOTAGE OF THE HISTORICAL
STONE BRIDGE IN MOSTAR BEING HIT BY SHELLS. The 427-year-old
footbridge, which is the best known architectural sight in Mostar
and classified as a protected monument by UNESCO, was damaged
but not destroyed by fire from Croat tanks during fighting on
6-7 July against the Bosnian army. The bridge is the last remaining
link over the Neretva between the two parts of the town. The
film was the first proof that the bridge is a casualty in the
latest conflict. Meanwhile Croat forces have launched a new wave
of "ethnic cleansing" in Mostar. According to Sadako Ogata, the
head of the UN High Commission for Refugees, tens of thousands
of people have been evicted from their homes. UN spokesman Peter
Kessler said Croat forces had gone "hog wild" in Mostar and are
evicting all Muslims from the predominantly Croat western side
of the town. The Washington Post carried the report on 15-July.
-Fabian Schmidt

SERBIA APPLIES NEW RESTRICTIONS ON REFUGEES. In May Serbia approved
laws to limit the influx and movement of refugees from Bosnia
and Croatia. According to Borba on 13-July, a new set of measures
will now require that all refugees in the country between the
ages 18 to 60 be gainfully employed. The measure will affect
more than 200,000 people, and violators could face the loss of
their refugee status, meaning forfeiture of all state benefits.
The elderly, sick, and women with children under 7 are exempt.
The government refugee commissioner's office announced that it
has found jobs in the agricultural, tourist, lumber, and construction
sectors. Sava Ivanic, assistant to the Commissioner on Refugees,
told Borba that the measure is an attempt to prevent the total
collapse of Serbia's aid relief system and also forces refugees
to become less reliant on the state. There are currently some
555,000 refugees in Serbia. Officially 320,000 are from Bosnia;
about 80% are ethnic Serbs. -Milan Andrejevich

WALESA DEFENDS BBWR, SOLIDARITY FIGURES WAVER. At a press conference
on 14-July, Polish President Lech Walesa defended his Nonparty
Bloc to Support Reform (BBWR) but denied he is taking part in
the election campaign. Without the BBWR to mop up support from
disgruntled voters, he said, the postcommunist Left would win
the elections, the parliament would remain fragmented, and the
largest parties would once again be unable to form a stable government.
The 12-former Solidarity parliamentarians who recently decided
to run on the BBWR list admitted to having second thoughts on
14 July. Some may remain in the BBWR; some will run on the Democratic
Union ticket; and some may return to the union fold. Expressing
the general ennui that has overcome many political leaders, former
Solidarity caucus chairman Bogdan Borusewicz said he is undecided
and may not run at all, PAP reports. Meanwhile, the Constitutional
Tribunal ruled on 14 July that election candidates face no legal
consequences for submitting false "agents" declarations, despite
their moral imperative to tell the truth. The 1993 election law
requires candidates to submit a statement saying whether they
collaborated with the communist secret police, but the declarations
will not be verified in any way. The tribunal ruled that false
declarations cannot be used by voters to demand the invalidation
of election results. -Louisa Vinton

EC LIFTS POLISH MEAT EMBARGO. The European Community has lifted
its embargo on the import of Polish livestock and meat products.
The decision took effect at midnight on 14-July. After three
months of talks, Poland agreed to impose some of the rigorous
controls demanded by the EC after contaminated meat from Croatia
was discovered in Italy, but Polish negotiators expressed satisfaction
at obtaining an "elastic interpretation" of EC quarantine and
transport requirements. Poland's losses from the EC import embargo,
which was imposed on 7 April, are estimated at $30 million, or
one-third of Poland's expected meat export revenues for the entire
year, Polish TV reports. The embargo was perceived in Poland
as a protectionist measure designed to shield EC producers from
Eastern European competition. -Louisa Vinton

SIKORSKI'S REMAINS TO BE MOVED TO POLAND. President Lech Walesa
ordered on 13-July that the remains of Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski,
Poland's wartime commander-in-chief and prime minister of the
Polish Government-in-Exile, be transferred to Poland for burial
at Cracow's Wawel castle, PAP reports. Sikorski died in a mysterious
plane crash at Gibraltar in 1943. After Sikorski's death, the
exile government resolved that the general's body would return
to Poland only after the country regained independence. The communist
authorities made numerous fruitless attempts to pressure the
British government to agree to the transfer of Sikorski's remains.
By Walesa's order, Sikorski's remains will travel to Poland on
17-September, the anniversary of the Soviet invasion in 1939.
The ceremonies will give the president prominent media play just
two days before the elections. -Louisa Vinton

CZECHS BEGIN PASSPORT CONTROLS ON SLOVAK BORDER. Czech border
police began checking and stamping the passports of all foreigners
crossing the Czech-Slovak border at 13-road and 7 rail crossings
on 13 July. A spokesperson for the Czech government announced
that all foreigners without visas, valid passports, or "sufficient
funds" will be refused entry. The travel of Slovak citizens to
the Czech Republic, however, will not be affected. Czech Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus said that these checks are experimental;
the government still hopes to conclude a consensual agreement
with the Slovak government. Interior Minister Jan Ruml had announced
on 8 July that controls at the border would not be strengthened
until after 20-July. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, who
has opposed negotiations to normalize the border, officially
agreed on 14 July to hold talks with Klaus at the Central European
Initiative meeting in Budapest on 16 July, CTK reports. -Milada
Vachudova

DIVISION AMONG CZECH COALITION PARTIES ON CHURCH PROPERTY. At
a press conference on 14-July, Christian Democratic Party (KDS)
Chairman Vaclav Benda described the delays in implementing a
partial restitution of church property and a transformation of
the relationship between the churches and the state as foolish,
damaging both. According to KDS Vice Chairman Miroslav Tyla,
a clear rift among the coalition partners was evident at a meeting
on 13 July: the KDS, the Christian Democratic Union and the Civic
Democratic Alliance in opposition to the Civic Democratic Party
(ODS) of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus. The ODS advocates beginning
the process of restructuring church-state relations by enacting
relevant legislation. The other parties protest that this would
cause great delay; they argue that the restitution of property
should come first. Benda declared that, given the state of church
property, "the opposite approach would be truly murderous for
all of the churches," CTK reported. -Milada Vachudova

SLOVAK RADIO DIRECTOR SAYS GOVERNMENT IS MEDDLING. On 14 June
General Director Vladimir Stefko accused the government of trying
"to weaken Slovak Radio in order then to control it altogether"
after parliament passed a law to cut advertising time drastically
on the radio's most popular channel, Rock FM, Reuters reports.
The law, passed on 14 June by a margin of 61 votes to 15, was
intended "to give small private stations a chance to compete,"
parliamentary supporters say. The present state budget, however,
provides Slovak Radio with only about 14% of the station's needs.
The law also includes a provision permitting the Slovak Council
for Radio and Television to give licenses to private stations.
-Sharon Fisher

LEADING ROMANIAN DAILIES TO IGNORE CABINET ACTIVITIES? IN A STRONGLY
WORDED STATEMENT RELEASED ON 13 JULY, THE ROMANIAN JOURNALISTS'
ASSOCIATION CALLED ON THE PRESS TO IGNORE GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES.
The statement described Nicolae Vacaroiu's cabinet as a "moribund"
and "lacking authority," and questioned the moral integrity of
some of its members. The association urged its members not to
cover any cabinet activity for a while, "as if [the government]
did not exist," thus responding to what the group described as
the authorities' indifference to press reports on corruption
and inefficiency. On 14 July Petre Mihai Bacanu, the association's
president, said that the boycott will start on 17 July and might
last as long as two weeks. Romania's main dailies, including
Romania libera, Adevarul, Evenimentul zilei and Tineretul liber,
as well as the news agencies Arpress and AM Press have reportedly
joined the protest already. -Dan Ionescu

ILIESCU CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST EXTREME RIGHT. On 14 July Radio
Bucharest broadcast a letter dated 10 July from Romanian President
Ion Iliescu to General Prosecutor Vasile Manea Dragulin urging
Dragulin to take action against extreme right-wing groups and
the spreading of fascist propaganda. Iliescu denounced the publication
of Hitler's Mein Kampf in Sibiu last spring and asked that the
book be withdrawn from shops. He further requested the authorities
to check the legality of such right-wing parties as the National
Right Party, the Party for the Homeland, and the Movement for
Romania, which he said, are trying to revive the spirit of the
interwar Legionary Movement. Iliescu's letter comes amidst growing
criticism from the democratic opposition of cooperation in parliament
between his Party of Social Democracy in Romania (former Democratic
National Salvation Front) and two ultranationalist groups, the
Greater Romanian Party and the Party of Romanian National Unity.
These two parties, whose ideology is reminiscent of Nicolae Ceausescu's
national-communism, are known for viciously attacking ethnic
minorities, including Hungarians, Gypsies, and Jews. -Dan Ionescu


BULGARIA: POLITICAL UPDATE. On 14 July parliamentary representatives
of the opposition coalition Union of Democratic Forces filed
a motion of no confidence in the government. According to an
RFE/RL correspondent, the UDF has taken the action because it
regards a recent government decision to withhold foreign debt
payments to international banks as unlawful. Meanwhile, in a
14 July interview with Reuters, President Zhelyu Zhelev said
he supports the idea of early parliamentary elections. Economic
progress has been impeded by political wrangling, he said, and
the holding of elections sometime next year could break the political
deadlock. -Stan Markotich

BTA DIRECTOR'S DISMISSAL RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL. According to
an RFE/RL correspondent in Sofia, a 3 June decree from Prime
Minister Lyuben Berov's cabinet firing Ivo Indzhev, the director
of the BTA news agency, is unconstitutional. In handing down
its ruling on 14 July, the Bulgarian Supreme Court observed that
the government has no authority to exert control over the news
agency. This latest court decision marks the sixth time in the
past five months that a government decree has been overruled.
-Stan Markotich

MITSOTAKIS CONCERNED OVER GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA. According
to a 14 July Reuters report, Greek Prime Minister Constantine
Mitsotakis has accused Albania of mistreating the Greek minority
living in southern Albania. This is the latest move in the deterioration
of relations that started when the Albanian government expelled
an Orthodox cleric for allegedly promoting Greek separatism.
Greece responded with the forced expulsion of thousands of illegal
Albanian immigrants. Mitsotakis, while emphasizing that Greece
wants good relations with Albania, has called for the reinstatement
of the expelled cleric and improvements in Greek minority rights.
Albanian President Sali Berisha has repeatedly stressed that
Albania guarantees the rights of the Greek minority but that
irredentist activity will not be tolerated. -Robert Austin

DID KRAVCHUK REQUEST CANCELLATION OF REFERENDUM? ON 13 JULY WESTERN
AGENCIES REPORTED THAT UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT LEONID KRAVCHUK HAD
ASKED PARLIAMENT TO CANCEL A CONFIDENCE VOTE IN HIS ADMINISTRATION.
An RFE/RL correspondent in Kiev reported on 14-July, however,
that a spokesman for Kravchuk denied this, but added that Kravchuk
believes holding the referendum is unconstitutional. According
to Ukrainian TV, quoting Parliament Speaker Ivan Plyushch, 19-of
24 parliamentary commissions favor further discussion of Kravchuk's
observations on constitutionality. -Susan Stewart

UKRAINE PLANS INCREASE IN OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION. The government
has ordered the State Oil and Gas Committee to raise the production
of oil by 20% and gas by 40% by the year 2000, Reuters reported
on 14 July. The increases will be effected with the help of new
technology. Ukraine hopes to buy 90% of its oil and 60% of its
gas from Russia in 1993. Last week Ukraine agreed to pay Russia
$80 per ton for oil, a price that will increase to $100 a ton
beginning in December 1993. -Susan Stewart

RUSSIAN-ESTONIAN NEGOTIATIONS. On 13-14 July the 13th round of
talks between Estonia and Russia were held in Tallinn, Baltic
media report. At a press conference the Russian and Estonian
delegations heads Vasilii Svirin and Juri Luik noted that 3-5
agreements were prepared for signing at the next round, but Russia
had not presented a withdrawal schedule with specific deadlines.
It was apparently agreed that Russia will pay Estonia $200 million
in compensation for arms seized in 1940, and options on the removal
of the nuclear reactors at Paldiski were discussed. Svirin again
asserted that changes in the recently-signed Estonian law on
aliens are only cosmetic; he demanded that this and other Estonian
laws that he considers discriminatory be changed. Meanwhile,
the Estonian Foreign Ministry has protested to Russian Ambassador
Aleksandr Trofimov that the public endorsement of the upcoming
referenda on the establishment of autonomous zones in Narva and
Sillamae by the Russian consul in Narva constitutes interference
in Estonia's internal affairs, Estonian and Russian media reported
on 14 July. -Saulius Girnius and Dzintra Bungs

RUSSIAN OFFICIALS ADMIT TO SOVIET INVASION OF BALTICS. In an
interview carried by Radio Riga on 14 July, Latvian Foreign Minister
Georgs Andrejevs spoke of Latvia's protest over the proposal
of the presidium of the Russian Supreme Soviet to denounce the
1920 peace treaty between Soviet Russia and Latvia. Andrejevs
noted that Russians-for example, Russian envoy to Latvia Aleksandr
Rannikh and Foreign Ministry official Aleksandr Udaltsov-are
now saying openly that Soviet forces invaded the Baltic States
in 1940 (heretofore, such terms had been used only by the Balts).
Rannikh said the invasion invalidated Moscow's 1920 peace treaties
with both Estonia and Latvia whereby Moscow renounced all territorial
claims on the two countries and guaranteed the borders. This
interpretation of the treaties bolsters Moscow's argument for
keeping the existing Russian-Latvian and Russian-Estonian borders-and
retaining areas annexed by the RSFSR in 1944-45 from Estonia
and Latvia. In a related development, Vasilii Svirin, head of
the Russian delegation at Russian-Estonian talks, claimed in
Tallinn on 14-July that the 1920 Estonian-Russian peace treaty
is not valid because Estonia ceased to be a subject of international
law in 1940, an opinion generally not shared in the West during
the postwar decades. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by John Lepingwell and Charles Trumbull





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