|U filosofov i detej est' odna blagorodnaya cherta - oni ne pridayut znacheniya nikakim razlichiyam mezhdu lyud'mi - ni sotsial'nym, ni umstvennym, ni vneshnim. - A. T. Averchenko|
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 THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in North America: Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907; Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 80538 Munich, Germany;.Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624; Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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