We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us. - George Eliot
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 150, 09 August 1993







RUSSIA



PARLIAMENT SUSPENDS PRESIDENTIAL PRIVATIZATION DECREE. On 7 August
parliament voted overwhelmingly to override President Boris Yeltsin's
decree of 26 July "On Additional Steps to Protect the Rights
of Russian Citizens to Participate in Privatization," ITAR-TASS
reported. The presidential decree will now go to the Constitutional
Court for a ruling on its validity. Prior to the vote, Deputy
Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais called the resolution "economically
absurd, juridically unfounded, politically flawed, and devoid
of common sense." He indicated that the government had anticipated
the parliamentary vote and told reporters that countermeasures
had been prepared. -Keith Bush

HYBRID THREE-YEAR PLAN APPROVED. An expanded Council of Ministers'
session, with local and regional representatives in attendance,
approved on 6-August a draft medium-term program for the period
1993-96, ITAR-TASS and Western agencies reported. As summarized,
the document seeks to pursue a middle road, eschewing both further
"shock therapy" and a plan drawn up by First Deputy Prime Minister
Oleg Lobov that would have reinstated elements of the command
economy. The new program envisages stabilization by 1995 and
a resumption of growth by 1996. It allows for higher ceilings
on new credits than were agreed upon in May, yet restates earlier
targets for inflation and budget deficit limits. The draft will
be submitted to parliament. -Keith Bush

CHERNOMYRDIN REBUKES FEDOROV. Following the Council of Ministers'
session, Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin made it clear that
he would tolerate no further public criticisms of government
policy from Finance Minister Boris Fedorov, ITAR-TASS reported.
"If anyone else in the name of the government speaks out against
government policy, then he should find himself another job,"
Chernomyrdin told reporters. Fedorov has criticized the Central
Bank's ruble withdrawal while Chernomyrdin has supported it.
According to Radio Rossii, Fedorov also attacked the proposal
by Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Lobov to reassert greater government
control over the economy and to ease the current policy of limiting
credits to industry. Lobov's suggestions were developed in tandem
with the Russian parliament and they reflect a more cautious,
alternative approach to the economy which appears to be gaining
strength within the cabinet. -Dominic Gualtieri

CRISIS INTENSIFIES. Political scientist Aleksei Kiva, in an article
in Izvestiya on 7 August, called upon President Yeltsin again
to appeal directly to the people in order to fight the anti-reform
parliament. The deputy head of the presidential apparatus, Vyacheslav
Volkov, told Rossiiskie vesti on the same day that the Democratic
Russia Movement had asked Yeltsin to issue a decree on holding
parliamentary elections this autumn. The speaker of the Council
of the Republic of the Supreme Soviet, Veniamin Sokolov, told
the same newspaper that Yeltsin has lost his ability to rule
and that only a political alliance between the parliamentary
leadership, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and his two first deputies,
Oleg Lobov and Oleg Soskovets, could save the country. The co-leader
of the Civic Union, Aleksandr Vladislavlev, warned of a putsch
in Rossiiskaya gazeta of 7 August. -Alexander Rahr

FORGIVENESS FOR RUSSIA'S EXTERNAL DEBT? RUSSIA PLANS TO ASK FOR
MUCH OR MOST OF ITS EXTERNAL DEBT TO GOVERNMENTS AND BANKS TO
BE FORGIVEN. This was disclosed by Konstantin Kagalovsky, Russia's
representative at the International Monetary Fund, in an interview
with Reuters on 6 August. Russia has assumed the external debts
of the former Soviet Union, variously estimated to total between
$80 billion and $90 billion. Kagalovsky's argument is that the
money was given to the "Evil Empire" and was "completely wasted,"
but that it is now a burden for "democratic Russia" which does
not have the means to pay off all of the debt and will be forced
to default. Kagalovsky did not spell out how much of the external
debt Russia will ask to be written off, but he noted that Poland
had obtained a 50% reduction in its outstanding debt. -Keith
Bush

HERMES CREDIT GUARANTEES FOR RUSSIA HALTED. On 6 August, the
German Economics Ministry announced that it would no longer provide
Hermes export credit guarantees for German firms exporting to
Russia because of Moscow's poor payments record, Reuters reported.
In recent months, Hermes credit guarantees had been largely restricted
to securing Russian orders from firms in the eastern part of
Germany. Arrears in payments have been mounting, and some DM-500
million in interest payments alone will be due by the end of
September 1993. -Keith Bush

ARMS EXPORT CHIEF SACKED. Prime Minister Chernomyrdin announced
on 6 August that the head of Oboroneksport, Russia's largest
state arms exporting agency, has been dismissed for abusing his
office, Reuters reported. The announcement came during a cabinet
session devoted to corruption in foreign currency dealings. Reuters
reported that officials from the exporting agency had said that
the dismissal actually occurred a month ago, but that the reasons
for it had not been revealed. The same officials reportedly said
that Karaoglanov had been replaced by Major Gen. Valentin Trofimov,
although that report has not been confirmed. Trofimov had been
heading another of the three main exporting agencies that are
subordinated to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations.
According to a recently published US Congress study, Russian
arms export revenues continued their slide in 1992, but it is
unclear if Karaoglanov's dismissal heralds a shake-up among the
personnel that oversee such sales. -Stephen Foye

KURIL ISLAND RESIDENTS NOT OPPOSED TO JAPANESE TAKEOVER. The
results of a poll published by a Japanese newspaper on 8 August
indicated that roughly 70% of Russian residents on the four disputed
Kuril Islands support the idea of all or some of the islands
reverting to Japanese rule. Reuters reported that the survey,
which was conducted by a private Russian institute, showed that
only 20% of the residents were firmly opposed to the return of
the islands to Japan. A third of the islands estimated 10,000
residents reportedly said that the four islands should be returned
to Japan on the condition that the rights and benefits of the
Russian residents are protected. The poll was conducted in May
and June of this year and was said to involve 404-residents of
the island. -Stephen Foye

YELTSIN GRANTS PARDON TO BREZHNEV'S SON-IN-LAW. Yeltsin has granted
a pardon to Yurii Churbanov, a leading figure in a notorious
corruption case of the late 1980s, Russian television newscasts
reported on 7 August. Married to the daughter of the late Soviet
leader Leonid Brezhnev, Churbanov served as the first deputy
minister of internal affairs in the administration of his father-in-law.
Under Gorbachev, Churbanov was accused of involvement in the
so-called "Uzbek" corruption network and sentenced to twelve
years of imprisonment; he has served slightly more than half
of this term. Churbanov appears to owe his early release to the
influence of Andrei Makarov, who was Churbanov's defense counsel
at his trial in December 1988. Last month Yeltsin put Makarov
in charge of the department responsible for rooting out corruption
in Russia. -Julia Wishnevsky

YAROV ON SOCIAL POLICY. Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Yarov, in
a talk on the priorities of social policy, has stated that the
vast majority of Russian citizens should be guaranteed a per
capita income level which is not lower than the minimum subsistence
level, and stressed the need to increase the role of the state
in regulating wages, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 August. He also
called for a stricter system of taxing individual incomes and
increased tax rates for the higher income brackets. Yarov stated
that 33.3 million citizens currently receive pensions and social
benefits, and that from 1 August the minimum pension has been
15,620 rubles a month, and the maximum 52,633 rubles. Yarov considers
the existing mechanism for indexing pensions to be unsatisfactory,
and proposes that it be replaced by "compensation payments of
a fixed amount," which would be the same for all pensioners.
On the problem of unemployment, Yarov stated that apart from
the official 1% unemployment rate, about 4-5% of the workforce
are affected by hidden unemployment, i.e. they are on compulsory
leave or short time. -Sheila Marnie

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT RESIGNS. Prompted by parliament's refusal
to approve the national budget, Georgian Prime Minister Tengiz
Sigua announced the resignation of his government on 6 August,
ITAR-TASS reported. Parliament named Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze-who
warned on 6 August that only an "emergency regime" could save
Georgia from its current crisis-interim prime minister, giving
him until 20-August to form a new cabinet. A year of fighting
in the separatist region of Abkhazia and Russia's recent decision
to invalidate most pre-1993 rubles have produced economic chaos
in Georgia. The resignation of the government follows a spate
of recent attacks by armed militiamen against civilians in open-air
markets in Tbilisi. -Catherine Dale

GEORGIAN TROOPS BEGIN WITHDRAWAL FROM ABKHAZIA. In accordance
with a plan worked out by the joint commission to settle the
Georgian-Akbhaz conflict after the signing of a ceasefire agreement
on 27-July, Georgian heavy artillery and armored vehicles began
to withdraw from the Gumista river front on 7 August, ITAR-TASS
reported. Infantry units are scheduled to be withdrawn on 9 August,
and all troops should be withdrawn by 12 August. Both sides report
that the ceasefire is generally holding, despite reports from
the Abkhaz Defense Ministry of heavy fighting near Sukhumi. Meanwhile,
an advance team of eight UN military observers arrived in Tbilisi
on 8 August to begin monitoring the ceasefire, Western agencies
reported. -Catherine Dale

CIS

CENTRAL ASIAN-RUSSIAN SUMMIT ON TAJIKISTAN. The heads of state
of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan met with Boris Yeltsin
on 7 August to seek a solution to the conflict on the Tajik-Afghan
border, Western and Russian agencies reported. In a declaration
issued at the end of the meeting, the summit participants committed
themselves to increasing the numbers of their troops guarding
the border, promised additional military, economic and humanitarian
aid to Tajikistan, and threatened retaliatory measures if outside
attacks on the border continue. The declaration also called for
a political settlement to the conflict. A separate declaration
on the inviolability of borders that commits the signatories
to prevent activities by individuals or groups on their territory
seeking to alter borders was also signed by the summit participants.
-Bess Brown

KAZAKHSTAN, UZBEKISTAN AND RUSSIA TO FORM UNION. On 6 August,
Russian, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan agreed in principle to form
a ruble monetary union, various Russian new agencies reported.
The official declaration, signed in Moscow, called upon each
of the signatory nations to work out details of a unified monetary
regime and endorse appropriate agreements in the course of the
next two weeks. A formal pact will then be presented for approval
by each of the nations' parliaments. The union is to represent
a "ruble zone of a new type securing the effective functioning
of a common monetary system," the declaration read. The signatories
emphasized that the arrangement is open to other states' participation
as well. The heads of the three signatory nations plus Kyrgyzstan
also signed a document calling for a meeting of CIS member states
on 7-September to discuss the creation of the economic union
proposed on 14 May. -Erik Whitlock

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



BOSNIAN WRAPUP. Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic claimed his
forces are withdrawing from the strategic mountains Bjelasnica
and Igman outside Sarajevo, international media report on 9 August.
After talks on 8 August with UN commander Gen. Francis Briquemont,
he said that he would make a "phased withdrawal" to hand the
positions over to UN troops. A UN spokesman said, however, that
the Serbs' removal of two tanks and several heavy guns from Mt.
Igman appears to have been a case of "clever stage management"
and added "there is no sign of the Serbian forces' withdrawing."
Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic warned that the Geneva negotiations
will collapse unless NATO intervenes within days: "I can say
if there are no air strikes, then there is no peace process,
no negotiations." Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said on
8 August that his forces would open two roads into Sarajevo on
9 August to permit humanitarian aid convoys and commercial traffic.
He also offered to help a group of 2,000 peace activists who
wanted to reach Sarajevo but had given up because of Serbian
fighters' threats. The activists received a letter from a Bosnian
Serb official already on 7 August, demanding that they bring
Serbs out of Sarajevo in return for safe passage. The group,
fearing being taken hostage, now plans to try to get to Mostar
and stage a sit-down protest against the war. -Fabian Schmidt


ALBANIA-KOSOVO BORDER INCIDENT. On 8 August Rilindja Demokratike
reports that Serbian border forces entered Albanian territory
near the Kosovo border on the 6th and shot an Albanian border
guard and a local villager. In another incident the same day
an Albanian border guard was allegedly shot and killed. According
to ATA on 8 August, Albanian Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi
sent a letter of protest to the UN calling for an emergency meeting
of the Security Council and asking that an UN observers mission
be sent to the borders with the Serbian province of Kosovo. Serreqi
asserted that it is clear that Serbia's aim is to create "new
tensions" and sow seeds for a new, broader conflagration in the
Balkans. The official Yugoslav position, according to Reuters
on 7 August, is that armed Albanian forces entered Serbian territory
and clashed with a Yugoslav Army patrol. Border incidents are
increasing in this region. -Robert Austin

CROATIAN OPPOSITION TO LEAVE PARLIAMENT? OPPOSITION CONTINUES
TO GROW TO PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN'S AUTHORITARIAN RULING STYLE,
HIS PARTY'S TOTAL DOMINATION OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND HIS POLICY
OF COOPERATING WITH THE SERBS IN BOSNIA AGAINST THE MUSLIMS TO
PARTITION THAT REPUBLIC. Following last month's joint meeting
of opposition parties and a subsequent common declaration, Vjesnik
of 9 August reports that the opposition now wants to be included
in all "strategic decisions," especially in those involving the
"key problem" of relations between Serbs and Croats throughout
the former Yugoslavia. If the authorities continue in their "autocratic
fashion" and do not change their Bosnia policy, the opposition
threatens to walk out of parliament and set up a shadow legislature.
They can presumably count on support from liberal members of
Tudjman's party as well, since that party is widely believed
to be on the verge of splitting into at least two factions. -Patrick
Moore

CARDINAL KUHARIC ALSO WANTS MORE OPEN GOVERNMENT. Croatia's primate,
Franjo Cardinal Kuharic, gave an interview to the 8 August Vecernji
list in which he continued to speak out on political issues.
The Croatian Roman Catholic Church emerged from 45-years of communist
rule much weaker than its counterparts in Poland or elsewhere
in Central Europe, and only in May did the cardinal begin regularly
addressing political issues in public. Like the legislative opposition,
he also called for greater openness and democracy in government
and a reversal of the current Bosnia policy. Kuharic argued that
ethnically-mixed Bosnia requires "a special kind of civilization"
in its future constitutional system in which the law of the jungle
will be excluded. He reminded the Croats that their country lost
its international moral capital from having been a victim of
aggression in 1991 by subsequently committing aggression against
the Muslims. Finally, the cardinal urged a more cooperative attitude
on both sides in solving the current problems between the Zagreb
authorities and the autonomy movement in Istria. -Patrick Moore


SOLIDARITY OPENS ELECTION CAMPAIGN. Solidarity's Warsaw region
opened its election campaign on 6 August with radical declarations.
Warsaw region leader Maciej Jankowski threatened to organize
street demonstrations and strikes if what he called "thieving
privatization" is not halted immediately. Jankowski charged that
"there is no democracy in Poland." He called government reports
of an economic upturn a "swindle." The state, he said, is plundering
its citizens' resources instead of providing welfare. Commenting
on the departure from the union of a number of leading activists
who supported the government, Jankowski said that "now people
can vote for Solidarity because all the rats have left and the
union has purged itself." The union's election slogan, PAP reports,
is "the state-a friend to people." -Louisa Vinton

RUSSIAN TROOPS DEPART POLAND, DISPUTE LINGERS. Russian troops
from the special communications brigade at Rembertow left Poland
on 6 August, PAP reports, but the dispute that prompted Russian
Gen. Leonid Kovalev to call a unilateral halt to the withdrawal
on 3 August was not resolved. No protocol governing the transfer
of the Rembertow base to the Polish authorities was signed. Kovalev
refused to transfer control over two buildings to the Poles,
demanding instead that Poland designate them as the site for
the Russian military mission that is to supervise the troop transit
from Germany. Representing the Polish government, Gen. Zdzislaw
Ostrowski said that Poland would sign a protocol accepting control
over the entire site or none at all. The presence of a foreign
military enclave on a base now designated for use by Polish special
forces would be unacceptable, Ostrowski added. About 1,500 Russian
soldiers and dependents now remain in Poland. -Louisa Vinton


MIGS TO ARRIVE IN HUNGARY IN AUTUMN. State secretary in the Ministry
of Defense Laszlo Szendrei announced that the 28 MiG-29 interceptor
aircraft Hungary is to receive in return for partial cancellation
of former Soviet debts will arrive in October and November, Pesti
Hirlap of 7 August reports. The planes, worth $760 million, are
about one-half of the former USSR's trade debt with Hungary.
Szendrei said that Kecskemet has been chosen as the base site
because the ministry deems it militarily and politically wiser
to station the aircraft in central Hungary away from the border,
MTI and Radio Budapest report. Some neighboring countries have
expressed concern about the strengthening of Hungary's military
power through the new aircraft, although even with the MiGs Hungary's
defenses remain below levels allowed by the European Conventional
Arms Limitations Agreement. Szendrei said that Hungary has no
intention of selling the planes to a third country and stressed
that the aircraft will replace aging MiG-21s currently stationed
in Kecskemet. -Edith Oltay

HUNGARY'S INTERNAL STATE DEBT. According to data published by
the Ministry of Finance and the Hungarian National Bank, the
amount owed by the state to the HNB and to purchasers of treasury
bills and state bonds is expected to reach 2,840.1 billion forint
($29-billion) at the end of the year, MTI reported on 8-August.
This would amount to an annual increase of 669.4 billion forint
($6.9 billion) in state debt and comprise 80% of the GDP. State
indebtedness began to significantly increase in 1990 when state
debt amounted to 1,357.2 billion forint. ($14 billion) The state
debt resulted from the increase in budget deficit and state expenditures.
-Edith Oltay

JIU VALLEY UPDATE. On 8 August the Romanian government again
urged striking miners in the Jiu Valley to go back to work. It
said it appreciates the miners' contribution to the economy and
is aware of their difficult conditions, but no extra funds can
be approved to meet their demands. The government also said salaries
will not be paid during the strike, Radio Bucharest reports.
The management of the state controlled mining company in the
Jiu Valley asked that the strike there be declared illegal. A
government spokesman told RFE/RL on 6-August that the company
made its request to the Supreme Court, which will decide on 9
or 10 August. President Ion Iliescu was quoted by Radio Bucharest
on 6 August to say that the miners in the valley should go back
to work, although the government has no money to meet their demands.
Radio Bucharest said on the same day that a strike of the locomotive
drivers, originally called for 5 August, has been postponed until
11-August. Yet miners in the Comanesti area went on strike on
6 August to protest nonfulfillment of contractual obligations
by the government. -Michael Shafir

GREEK SHIPPING TAKEOVER DECLARED ILLEGAL IN ROMANIA. On 6 August
a local court in the port of Constanta ruled that a controversial
plan for a Greek company to buy a controlling interest in Romania's
Petromin shipping company is illegal, Radio Bucharest reports.
The court said the Forum Maritime company failed to provide its
promised contribution to Petromin's capital assets. An RFE/RL
correspondent in Bucharest said the Constanta prosecutor's office
challenged the purchase on grounds that Forum Maritime violated
the terms of the purchasing contract. The deal had been harshly
criticized by some opposition parties and in the media, both
for allowing foreign control over a strategic asset and for the
low price ($300 million) of the sale, and there were hints that
financial irregularities were also involved. Some local media
commented that the court ruling was an elegant way for the government
to cancel the deal. -Michael Shafir

BULGARIA WILL NOT CUT INTEREST RATES. In a Reuters interview
published on 6-August, Todor Valchev, the governor of Bulgaria's
central bank, said Bulgaria's political and economic situation
is too unstable to permit the lowering of the prime interest
rate, presently set at 48%. Valchev suggested that an interest
rate cut might have the unwanted consequence of destabilizing
the lev. According to Valchev, a current budgetary deficit, lower
than anticipated revenues, and calls by the opposition Union
of Democratic Forces for early elections have already combined
to create some instability. Valchev argues that the role of the
central bank is primarily to guarantee the internal and international
stability of Bulgaria's currency, a strategy that most observers
so far view as successful. For 1993 the annual inflation rate
is nonetheless estimated to end above 60%. -Stan Markotich

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT TO REVIEW REFERENDUM DECISION. Will the
referendum in Ukraine on confidence in the president and parliament
scheduled for 26 September actually be held? Society seems increasingly
split on this issue. Ukrainian Radio reported on 6 August that
the Presidium of the Supreme Council is continuing to receive
requests from local authorities and political and social organizations
that the referendum be cancelled. The decision to hold the referendum
was made under pressure from striking miners. Accordingly, the
presidium has called a session of parliament for the third week
of August to review the decision. Reports from the Donbas indicate,
however, that miners' leaders are saying that they will call
for new strikes if the referendum is cancelled. -Bohdan Nahaylo


KRAVCHUK-YELTSIN MEETING POSTPONED. Radio Ukraine reported on
8 August that the meeting between the Ukrainian and Russian presidents
on the Black Sea Fleet scheduled for 8-10 August has been postponed
until September because the various documents were not ready.
-Bohdan Nahaylo

UNEMPLOYMENT IN BELARUS. Specialists are forecasting that by
the beginning of 1994 the number of unemployed will be 700,000
(which would imply an unemployment rate of 12-13%), according
to an ITAR-TASS report on 3 August. In the first six months of
1993, 96,882 unemployed citizens registered with the state employment
service, which implies a much lower unemployment rate of 1-2%.
In the same period 8,371 people were granted the status of unemployed
in Minsk alone, of whom 6,508 (77%) were women, and 5,023 (60%)
were forced to turn to the employment service due to layoffs.
A further increase in the number of unemployed is expected this
autumn, when school leavers and higher education graduates will
swell the ranks of the unemployed. -Sheila Marnie

MOLDOVAN POLITICAL CRISIS. The parliamentary minority's success
on 4 August in blocking ratification of Moldova's limited and
conditional membership of the CIS, which is supported by a substantial
majority, has triggered a severe political crisis. The voting
has dramatized the pro-Romanian minority's ability to frustrate
any legislative action because any bill must be approved by an
absolute majority of all 331 deputies, including absentees. The
boycott of the parliament by "Dniester" deputies and the irregular
attendance of others has thus artificially maximized the opposition's
strength, enabling it permanently to block the adoption of a
constitution and bills on multiparty elections, the rights of
ethnic minorities, and Transdniestria and Gagauz autonomy. For
the session due to convene on 10-August, the majority has collected
145 signatures of the 166 technically needed for the parliament
to dissolve itself. Should that motion fall short, the majority
threatens to resign en masse in order to force the holding of
new elections. President Mircea Snegur and Parliament Chairman
Petru Lucinschi have endorsed the majority demands. All sides
expect that new elections would further weaken the pro-Romanian
groups and unblock the constitutional and legislative processes.
-Vladimir Socor

NEW ESTONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER. Baltic media reported on 6 August
that Juri Luik, minister without portfolio and head of the Estonian
delegation for negotiations with Russia, has been temporarily
assigned the duties of defense minister. The appointment follows
the resignation of Hain Rebas, who quit because the government
refused to take action against a protest by a rebellious infantry
unit. That same day the commander of that mutinous unit, Asso
Kommer, announced that his company had been placed under the
guidance of the Defense Forces' General Headquarters. -Dzintra
Bungs

NO PROGRESS IN LITHUANIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS. Lithuanian delegation
head Virgilijus Bulovas told a press conference on 7 August that
the talks on Russian troop withdrawal in Moscow on 5-6 August
were unsuccessful, BNS reports. He rejected Russian charges that
Lithuania proposed a completely new version of the agreement,
noting that Lithuania only offered changes in the agreement's
12th article dealing with compensation for damages under Soviet
occupation. Russia said that the compensation issue should not
be part of the withdrawal agreement, but agreed to begin talks
on it within a month. Bulovas advised President Algirdas Brazauskas
not to meet Russian President Boris Yeltsin until Russia formally
announces its position on compensation. -Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN, LATVIAN PRESIDENTS MEET. On 7-August Estonian President
Lennart Meri welcomed his Latvian counterpart, Guntis Ulmanis,
in the village of Valgeranna. The two discussed the withdrawal
of Russian troops from their countries, problems of population
migration, and areas of further cooperation, especially the establishment
of a unified Baltic energy infrastructure. Baltic media report
that a tripartite Baltic summit may take place at the end of
August. -Dzintra Bungs

PARFENOV WANTS COMPLETE REHABILITATION. Arriving in Moscow on
6 August to a festive welcome, Sergei Parfenov told the press
and his supporters that he wants to be completely cleared of
the charges-abuse of power-for which he was imprisoned in Latvia.
The former deputy commander of the OMON forces in Riga claimed
that he had been sentenced by "radical nationalists" in Riga
and said that he had told the Latvian authorities who processed
his extradition to Russia that they should "pray to their non-Russian
God that we don't come back." BNS reported on 7 August that Russian
President Yeltsin sent a message of thanks to the Latvian president
for his assistance in the transfer to Russia of Parfenov and
other Russian citizens to serve their sentences in their homeland.
Yeltsin pardoned Parfenov upon his arrival in Russia. -Dzintra
Bungs

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ann Sheehy 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),
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Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-20036
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Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications
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