The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. - Plutarch
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 164, 27 August 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



RUTSKOI READY TO ANSWER CORRUPTION CHARGES. Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi issued a statement on 26 August saying that he was prepared
to respond to the allegations of the presidential commission
on crime and corruption. ITAR-TASS and Reuters reported that
the vice president had demanded that the Moscow city procurator
look into the accusations of "links to a Swiss bank account."
Rutskoi warned that should the allegations prove unfounded, he
would consider filing charges for slander against members of
the commission. The chairman of the commission, Andrei Makarov,
had accused Rutskoi of corruption on TV on 24 August. -Wendy
Slater

CIVIC UNION CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT'S ECONOMIC POLICIES. At a centrist
Civic Union bloc news conference on 26 August, reported by Ostankino
and Russian TV, representatives criticized the government's economic
policy for being dominated by "market dogmatism." They called
for increased state participation, and for more dialog over economic
policy. They also accused the government of yielding to strong-arm
tactics, particularly from the miners. They said this caused
financial instability and harmed vulnerable sections of the population.
A member of the Civic Union's political consultative council
warned of an ongoing, unregulated, structural shift in the economy,
which resulted in damage to the consumer sector and an increased
role for the export of raw materials. -Wendy Slater

DEADLINE FOR WITHDRAWAL OF SMALL-DENOMINATION BANKNOTES EXTENDED.
The Central Bank announced on 26 August that the deadline for
the withdrawal of small-denomination pre-1993 banknotes has been
extended from 31 August until 31-December 1993, ITAR-TASS reported.
The notes, for 10 rubles and less, are still much in demand for
bus fares, subway tokens, newspapers, etc. -Keith Bush

MOSCOW MAYOR TO RETAIN PROPISKA SYSTEM. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov
was quoted by Russian TV news on 26 August as saying that he
does not intend to implement the "Law on the Russian Citizen's
Entitlement on the Freedom of Movement, Choice of Whereabouts
and Residence within Russia." The law replaces the residence
permits (propiska) system with a German-style registration of
residents and is due to come into force in October. Luzhkov said
that the capital has already suffered from a flow of immigrants
from other parts of the republic, and the law would open the
door for "strangers with money." Luzhkov suggested that the parliament
adopted the law out of self-interest, since it would enable parliamentary
deputies to settle in Moscow. The existing system of residence
permits was adopted under Stalin. In 1991, the USSR Committee
of Constitutional Surveillance tried to rule the system unconstitutional
but the Moscow authorities refused to implement the ruling. -Julia
Wishnevsky

YELTSIN STATEMENT ON BOSNIA. President Boris Yeltsin issued a
statement in Prague on 26 August on the crisis in Bosnia offering
Russia's tacit approval for what is emerging in Geneva as a settlement
of the conflict. The statement characterized the current stage
of discussions on a settlement for Bosnia as extremely important,
and hailed the achievement of this moment as the result of hard
work on the part of the international community and the "vitally
important concessions from all the warring sides." The statement
concluded with an appeal to all of the parties to move toward
peace in Bosnia and stability in the former Yugoslavia and the
Balkans, ITAR-TASS reported. -Suzanne Crow

KUNADZE ARRIVES IN JAPAN; TOKYO NAMES AMBASSADOR. Deputy Foreign
Minister Georgii Kunadze arrived in Tokyo on 27 August to begin
two days of talks in preparation for a visit by Yeltsin that
is tentatively scheduled for mid-October, AFP reported. Yeltsin
has twice previously canceled official visits to Japan, and recent
hard-line remarks by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on the
Kuril Islands dispute have once again raised tensions. Meanwhile,
the Tokyo Shimbun reported on 25 August that the resignation
of Japan's current ambassador to Russia, Sumio Edamura, has been
accepted by the Foreign Ministry. He is to be replaced following
the Yeltsin visit by Japan's current ambassador to Italy, Koji
Watanabe. -Stephen Foye

ALEKSANDR LEBED: RUSSIAN ARMY IN DISARRAY. In a wide-ranging
interview published by Pravda on 24-August (see also Daily Report
of 25 August), the controversial commander of Russia's 14th army
in Moldova charged that the Russian army is in lamentable condition
and that assertions by the military leadership to the contrary
have no basis in reality. Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed's criticism
is significant: he has long been viewed as an ally of Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, with whom he served in Afghanistan,
and he is respected as a strong figure by many in the armed forces.
Lebed claimed that in May of last year the Defense Ministry summoned
him to Moscow and, in an effort to quiet his criticism, recommended
that he leave the 14th army and begin studies at the General
Staff Academy. He also said that defense related legislation
passed in Russia is useless because its provisions are not enforced;
criticized the parliament for laws that drastically reduce the
army's available conscript pool; claimed that many units withdrawn
from abroad are in disarray and not battle-worthy; and called
for Russia to export more arms. -Stephen Foye

RUSSIAN OFFICER CORPS CONTINUES TO SHRINK. Deputy Defense Minister
Valerii Mironov told reporters on 21 August that the defense
ministry expects some 25,000 Russian officers to be pensioned
off this year, RIA reported. Of more importance to the future
of the army, Mironov said that over the past year and a half
more than 44,000 officers under the age of 30 had left the armed
forces. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

MORE ON FEDERATION COUNCIL. The head of Yeltsin's administration,
Sergei Filatov, has said that the Federation Council could meet
for its first session as early as the beginning of September,
Echo of Moscow radio station reported on 25 August. It has now
been decided that the council will be created not by presidential
decree but by the signing of an agreement by the subjects of
the federation. The chairman of the parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov,
will be invited to participate in the work of the Council. According
to Rossiiskie vesti of 26 August, some of the regions would be
happier if the Council was created jointly with the parliament.
Indeed, the Novosibirsk oblast soviet decided on 26-August that
it would not delegate representatives to the council on the grounds
that its creation would violate the constitution, ITAR-TASS reported.
-Ann Sheehy AZERBAIJAN CEASEFIRE TALKS COLLAPSE. Telephone negotiations
between Azerbaijan Deputy parliament chairman Afiaddinn Dzhalilov
and Nagorno- Karabakh Foreign Ministry representatives failed
to lead to the hoped-for talks on a ceasefire because of "unrealistic
demands" by the Azerbaijani side, Reuters reported on 26 August
quoting a Karabakh Armenian spokesman. Also on 26 August, Azerbaijan
handed over 29 Armenian prisoners to the International Red Cross
"in respect for international humanitarian norms" according to
a statement by Azerbaijan parliament chairman Geidar Aliev. Aliev
further stated that 2,804 Azerbaijanis were registered as missing
or prisoners, and he accused Armenia of mistreating Azerbaijani
prisoners. -Liz Fuller

TAJIK UPDATE. UN Special envoy Ismat Katami held talks with Iranian
deputy foreign minister Mahmood Vaezi in Tehran on 25 August
on resolving the Tajik conflict, AFP reported quoting Iranian
press reports. Katami expressed gratitude for Tehran's mediation
attempts and affirmed that the only way to end the Tajik crisis
is to call an immediate ceasefire and begin negotiations between
the warring parties. Also on 25 August, a Tajik court sentenced
Ajit Aliyev, a member of the outlawed Islamic Revival Party,
to death on charges of terrorism, banditry and treason for his
part in last year's fighting, Reuters reported. A new Popular
Party, the professed aim of which is to unite all forces in favor
of a secular democratic state and the transition to a market
economy, is being created in Tajikistan; its chairman is first
deputy Supreme Soviet chairman Abdulmadjid Dostiev, according
to ITAR-TASS. At present the Communist Party is the only legally
registered party in the country. -Liz Fuller

CIS

THREE OPTIONS FOR THE CIS. In an interview with The Financial
Times of 27 August, the deputy head of the Russian state committee
that deals with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
outlined three possible options for economic relationships and
cooperation in that body. The first envisages a 10-year treaty
that would provide for the gradual construction of an economic
union. The second option would be a fast-track agreement for
"intensive economic integration" in the form of a common trading
area without internal customs barriers and with a common currency,
along the lines of the "Slavic Union" presently being discussed
between Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The third variant, which
could be combined with either of the first two, would be a currency
union. -Keith Bush

MORE ON CIS DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING. Komsomolskaya pravda reported
on 25-August that CIS Defense Ministers, meeting in Moscow a
day earlier, heard a report by recently named Russian Border
Forces commander Andrei Nikolaev in which he said that conditions
on the Afghan-Tajik border were getting worse by the day. Participants
reportedly agreed that it was necessary to dispatch more troops
to the region before the onset of winter. Disagreements also
broke out over who was to command the coalition force in Tajikistan:
Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev proposed Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr
Sokolov, who has headed a Russian task force in Tajikistan. Other
views prevailed, however, and Col. Gen. Boris Pyankov, a former
CIS deputy commander to Evgenii Shaposhnikov, was named. Participants
also clashed over the manner of deploying troops, with a quota
system finally chosen over a proposal to assign each participating
state a sector and to allow that state to determine the forces
required. All decisions remain subject to approval by the CIS
Council of Heads of State. -Stephen Foye

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



YELTSIN IN PRAGUE . . . Russian President Boris Yeltsin concluded
his roughly five-hour-long visit to the Czech capital and left
for Bratislava on 26 August, Czech media reported. Yeltsin's
tight schedule included talks with Czech President Vaclav Havel
and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, the signing of a cooperation
treaty, and the laying of flowers at the memorial of a woman
killed 25 years ago during the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The friendship and cooperation treaty signed by the two presidents
is similar to the one between Czechoslovakia and the Russian
Federation of April 1992 (that was initialed, but never ratified).
It does, however, not include a provision that made it impossible
for either of the contracting parties to make its territory and
logistical support available to potential "aggressors" against
the other. Various Czech politicians declared that any such provision
would limit the Czech Republic's sovereignty and might complicate
the country's admission to NATO. Yeltsin pointed out after the
signing ceremony that Russia "has no right" to hinder the Czech
Republic's joining of any organization, indicating that Moscow
will not object a possible Czech admission to NATO. Havel stressed
in an interview after Yeltsin's departure that the ratification
of the treaty was crucial as it will effectively put an end to
the totalitarian nature of relations between the two countries.
He speculated, however, that there might be problems in the Russian
parliament with its ratification. -Jan Obrman

.-.-. AND BRATISLAVA. In the Slovak capital Yeltsin and President
Michal Kovac signed a treaty on friendly relations and cooperation
to promote closer economic, cultural and social ties, TASR reports.
Although the treaty does not include an apology for the Soviet
occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the preamble includes a
condemnation of "totalitarianism-.-.-. that manifested itself
in the trampling of the principles of international law in 1968."
The controversial Article 4 of the treaty, which states that
neither nation will provide its territory for a third party's
aggression against the other, was dropped following protests
from Slovak opposition parties. Yeltsin also met with Prime Minister
Meciar, with whom he discussed economic cooperation and forms
of repayment of Russian debts to Slovakia. The two leaders also
discussed cooperation between arms-producing factories. An agreement
on military cooperation between the two states, promising closer
defense and security relations, was also signed by defense ministers
Pavel Grachev and Imrich Andrejcak. According to CTK, the agreement
states that Slovakia will be guaranteed spare parts for military
equipment as well as the possibility to use Russian military
space for training operations. -Sharon Fisher

RUSSIAN-CZECH TALKS. Several members of Yeltsin's delegation,
including Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev; Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev; and First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Council of
Ministers Oleg Lobov, held talks with their Czech counterparts.
At a meeting with Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec, Kozyrev
pointed out that the Czech Republic is a sovereign state and
that it thus has the right to join any organization it wishes
to. At the same time, Russia will welcome Czech support in the
intensification of relations between the Council of Europe and
Russia, Kozyrev said. Defense ministers Grachev and Antonin Baudys
agreed to discuss a joint commission to produce spare parts for
Soviet-designed military equipment. Both ministers expressed
satisfaction at the prospect of cooperation between the two sides.
Lobov discussed Russia's debt to the Czech Republic with Finance
Minister Ivan Kocarnik and Trade Minister Vladimir Dlouhy and
agreed to set up a joint commission in September. -Jan Obrman


EXCHANGE OF ACCUSATIONS AT THE WORLD COURT. On 26 August lawyers
for rump Yugoslavia told the World Court in the Hague that their
government has no territorial ambitions in Bosnia-Herzegovina
and denied having "paramilitary [forces] of any kind, either
within or outside its territory," international media report.
Legal adviser to the Bosnian government Francis Boyle replied:
"It's a total lie, you know it and I know it," and asked the
court to declare any partition invalid. "We'll be carved up by
the great powers and eaten for breakfast unless the court acts.
We will be eliminated as a people and a state," Boyle said. Rump
Yugoslavia accused the Muslims of plundering homes, raping women,
and other atrocities and asked the court for protection against
Muslim forces: "The terror the Serbs are now exposed to is the
same as during the World War," a senior Yugoslav diplomat said,
while Bosnia urged the court to declare the Geneva peace process
illegal because it was aimed at forcing Bosnia to accept the
results of genocide. -Fabian Schmidt

MORE PROTESTS IN CROATIA AGAINST PARTITION OF BOSNIA. President
Franjo Tudjman has apparently opted for joining the Serbs in
what amounts to a division of the neighboring republic in return
for a seemingly illusive grand deal to redraw former Yugoslav
republican boundaries between Serbs and Croats. His approach
has long been criticized by the opposition and by many in his
own party as shortsighted and as fatal for the traditional Croat-Muslim
alliance against the common and more numerous Serb enemy. Now
Cardinal Franjo Kuharic has criticized the partition in a letter
to Foreign Minister Mate Granic, Vecernji list reports on 27
August. He says that the plan does not take into account the
numerous historic Croatian communities in central Bosnia who
will now find themselves under Muslim or Serb rule. Implicit
in the cardinal's message is that the partition marks the triumph
of Herzegovinian Croat interests over those of all other Croats,
a point he first made in public in May and for which he was sharply
attacked by Herzegovinian Croat leader Mate Boban. Meanwhile,
Vjesnik reports that Croatia's labor unions have jointly slammed
the partition as endorsing "Serbian fascism and ethnic cleansing"
and as hurting Croatian interests by giving the Serbs a strategic
land corridor across northern Bosnia. The unions also called
for a renewal of the alliance with the Muslims against a common
foe. Finally, in Mostar Muslim civilians continued on 26 August
to block the departure of a UN aid convoy, international media
report. -Patrick Moore

UN TO INVESTIGATE CORRUPTION CHARGES IN SARAJEVO. The BBC's Serbian
and Croatian Services on 27 August quote UN spokesmen as saying
that UN police officials are beginning an investigation of accusations
against UNPROFOR troops in the Bosnian capital, particularly
against French and Ukrainians. Charges range from dealing in
cigarettes and food on the black market to running prostitution
rings to selling heroin with the help of local gangsters. French
spokesmen have denied the possibility of widespread involvement
by their soldiers. Similarly, the head of peacekeeping operations
in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, Col. Viktor Bezruchenko, dismissed
the allegations as an attempt by Bosnian officials to discredit
UN troops. He conceded that there have been incidents of black
marketeering in cigarettes and food, but denied that the 400-man
Ukrainian battalion has been involved in selling fuel, drugs,
or weapons. Since the deployment of Ukrainian troops in Sarajevo,
13 have been sent home for black market activities-the equivalent
of a dishonorable discharge. Other UNPROFOR troops in Karlovac
have been caught dealing in drugs, while some Russian officers
gave Serb forces illegal access to heavy weapons. -Patrick Moore
and Ustina Markus

BULGARIAN CRITICIZED FOR MEETING YUGOSLAV OFFICIALS. An RFE/RL
correspondent reported that the government has officially disapproved
of a 25 August meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Neycho Neev
and four high officials from rump Yugoslavia and Serbia. Neither
Prime Minister Lyuben Berov nor the Foreign Ministry had advance
knowledge of the meeting. There were no statements about the
subject of the meeting. BTA reports that on 26 August Bulgarian
Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitar Ikonomov left for Zagreb on a
trip that will also take him to Slovenia, Macedonia, Greece,
and possibly Serbia. Bulgarian officials say there is no connection
with the meeting attended by Neev. Ikonomov also told 24 Chasa
that a meeting between the Serbian and Bulgarian prime ministers,
which Sofia last week said was imminent, will not take place
until "common ground" has been identified. -Stan Markotich

COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCE OF NEXHMIJE HOXHA. In her second appeal
this year to reduce her 11-year sentence, Nexhmije Hoxha has
again been unsuccessful. The widow of Albanian dictator Enver
Hoxha, she was originally sentenced to 9 years in prison for
abuse of funds but had the sentence increased after her first
appeal. Reuters reports on 26 August that Judge Avni Shehu said
that the 11-year sentence is "just and lawful." Nonetheless her
codefendant, Kino Buxheli, had his sentence reduced from 4 to
3 years. In a rare interview in the Albanian paper Republika
on 26-August, Nexhmije Hoxha declared that she and Enver "worked
like slaves" and dedicated their whole lives to the fatherland.
She also noted that her husband's main preoccupation had been
the "freedom and sovereignty of Albania." As to "successes" under
Enver's rule, she pointed to the emancipation of youth and women.
-Robert Austin

HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY PROGRAM. On 26-August the Socialist
Party published its policy plan, the basis for its election program,
MTI reports. The program calls for a market economy accompanied
by modern social policies and foresees good relationships with
Hungary's neighbors. While accepting current borders, Hungary
would at the same time demand that the rights of Magyar minorities
be observed. The Socialists support membership in the European
Community and an expanding relationship with NATO and believe
that membership in these organizations should be decided by a
referendum. The HSP supports the reform of the state budget,
privatization with equal opportunities for everyone, legal security
and state support for agriculture, and the reduction of unemployment.
The party calls for a direct election of the president and an
expansion of his power. -Judith Pataki

LALUMIERE IN ROMANIA. On 26 August Council of Europe Secretary-General
Catherine Lalumiere began a three-day official visit to Romania.
According to Western agencies, Lalumiere is expected to decide
whether Romania is politically ready to join the council this
autumn. She discussed economic, political, social, and legal
issues with Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, Foreign Minister
Teodor Melescanu, and Justice Minister Petre Ninosu and will
meet President Ion Iliescu and other leaders on the 27th. Dan
Ionescu

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT TO GET CONFLICTING REPORTS ON CORRUPTION.
A special parliamentary committee investigating allegations of
corruption in high offices is likely to present two conflicting
reports when parliament convenes on 30-31 August in an extraordinary
session. At a press conference on 26-August, panel members belonging
to the ruling party and its allies openly disagreed with those
of the opposition over the results of their investigation. A
preliminary report released by the panel on 30 June, which exposed
widespread influence-peddling and abuse of office, appears to
have been considerably watered down in the meantime. The commission
has been investigating corruption allegations first made public
by the former head of the Financial Guard, Gen. Gheorghe Florica.
The Prosecutor's Office, which is generally seen as a conservative
stronghold, already cleared 10-persons blacklisted by Florica
on corruption charges. -Dan Ionescu

LEBED ACCEPTS CANDIDACY FOR "DNIESTER" PARLIAMENT. Lt. Gen. Aleksandr
Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, who is currently
on leave in Moscow, has accepted a bid to run for a seat in the
"Dniester republic" Supreme Soviet in a forthcoming by-election,
Ekho Moskvy and Tiraspol media monitored in Chisinau reported
on 24-25 August. This recalls the standard Soviet practice whereby
army commanders sat in the Supreme Soviets of the republics in
which their armies were stationed. It also reflects the view
in Russian nationalist circles that this area of Moldova is in
essence a part of Greater Russia. -Vladimir Socor

POLISH PRIVATIZATION CONFLICT RAGES ON. A Warsaw appeals court
on 26 August overturned a ruling by a lower court that had ordered
Supreme Control Chamber chief Lech Kaczynski to apologize to
Privatization Minister Janusz Lewandowski for having suggested
that state firms are deliberately being sold off for less than
their value. The appeals court ruled that the dispute is not
covered by a clause in the new election law that requires the
judicial system to rule on "false accusations" in the election
campaign within 24 hours. Lewandowski said he plans to sue Kaczynski
for slander under normal procedures, but the ruling is a clear
blow to the embattled privatization minister, who has become
the chief target for opposition criticism in the election campaign.
Hailing the ruling, Kaczynski threatened to urge prosecutors
to investigate "criminal mismanagement" at the privatization
ministry and hinted that Lewandowski should resign. -Louisa Vinton


POLAND SETTLES DISPUTE OVER RUSSIAN MILITARY MISSION. Polish
Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz announced on 26 August that
the Russian military mission charged with overseeing the withdrawal
of troops from Germany through Poland will be located at the
Warsaw site initially requested by the Russian command. The location
of the mission caused a dispute earlier in August that briefly
interrupted the troop withdrawal from Poland. Polish authorities
initially demanded that the mission be located in the Russian
embassy. The issue was settled during Russian President Boris
Yeltsin's visit to Poland on 25-August, PAP reports. -Louisa
Vinton

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT DIVIDED OVER REFERENDUM, REFORMS. Parliament
is continuing to debate whether or not to hold the referendum
on confidence in the Supreme Council and the president scheduled
for 26 September. Many of those who spoke, including President
Leonid Kravchuk and Parliament Speaker Ivan Plyushch, called
for new elections instead of the referendum. There is strong
opposition from the procommunist deputies to this alternative
proposal, however. Parliament is also due to receive the latest
set of proposals from Leonid Kuchma's government aimed at stabilizing
the deteriorating economic situation and giving impetus to reform.
In the meantime, according to Ukrainian TV, seven democratic
political parties have called for a special national assembly
to adopt a new constitution, arguing that the present deadlocked
parliament is incapable of leading the country out of its political
and economic crisis. -Bohdan Nahaylo

RUSSIA CUTS GAS SUPPLY TO UKRAINE. Gazprom, the Russian state
gas monopoly, cut gas supplies by 25% because of unpaid bills,
Reuters reported on 26-August. A Gazprom official was cited by
ITAR-TASS as saying that supplies will be cut to 50% of normal
by the end of the day. Earlier this month President Kravchuk
reached agreement with Boris Yeltsin on a barter plan whereby
Ukraine would provide farm products and help develop energy resources
in Siberia in exchange for Russian oil and gas. The effect Gazprom's
actions will have on this accord are unclear. Over the past month
Belarus and others of Russia's clients have also had to deal
with gas cuts. Earlier this week Russia agreed to restore supplies
after Belarus agreed to pay off a quarter of its 100-billion-ruble
debt. Ukraine's debt reportedly stands at 600 billion Russian
rubles. -Ustina Markus

BELARUS OFFICIAL URGES RATIFICATION OF CIS TREATY. Henadz Danilau,
state secretary of the Committee on Crime and National Security,
told Vo slavu rodiny that participation in the CIS collective
security pact is the only correct way to insure Belarus's security
and sovereignty. The statement was made in connection to the
upcoming meeting of CIS heads in Moscow in September. Danilau
went on to say that an economic union with Russia is desirable
since the country is oriented eastwards, towards other Slavic
states. Participation in the security pact would also help the
army acquire technical supplies and training. Despite the Supreme
Soviet's vote in favor of participation, Supreme Soviet Chairman
Stanislau Shushkevich still refuses to sign the CIS pact, arguing
that it is a betrayal the country's sovereignty in exchange for
Russian oil. -Ustina Markus

CE PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT IN LITHUANIA. On 26-August Council of
Europe Parliamentary Assembly President Miguel Angel Martinez
held talks with Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas and
other top officials, Radio Lithuania reports. The talks focused
primarily on Russian troop withdrawal, with Martinez agreeing
with Brazauskas's decision to deal with the situation by seeking
a dialogue. Martinez restated the CE's position that a foreign
army can not remain in a country when the people and government
are opposed to its presence. -Saulius Girnius

FINNISH EXPERT ON BALTIC SECURITY VACUUM. Lt. Col. Erkki Nordberg,
who recently surveyed Baltic regional security for Finland's
National Defense College, told the press in Stockholm on 26 August
that there is a military vacuum in the Baltic States: the Russian
forces are retreating and NATO is not making any moves in the
area that give concern to Moscow. He estimated that it will take
at least 10 years for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to build
up their own defense capabilities. Should the relationship between
Russia and NATO deteriorate and should a crisis develop in the
Baltic, a dangerous situation could arise, Nordberg said. He
added that Russia will benefit if the Baltic States boost their
own defense forces because no other power can then enter the
region. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Ustina Markus and Charles Trumbull







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