|Человеку надо искать человека, а не одиночества. - С. В. Сартаков|
No. 167, 01 September 1993
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. RUSSIA FILATOV ON FEDERATION COUNCIL. Sergei Filatov, the head of President Boris Yeltsin's administration, told ITAR-TASS on 31 August that the signing of the agreement on the creation of the Federation Council is scheduled for next week. Filatov said that, according to the draft constitution, the Federation Council would become the upper chamber of the new Russian parliament, and the present corps of deputies would become the lower chamber. In his opinion, in this way the reorganization of legislative power in Russia could take place smoothly without the holding of elections and revolutionary upheavals. The idea that Yeltsin's Federation Council could be turned into the upper house seems to be wishful thinking since any constitutional changes would require the approval of the Congress of People's Deputies. -Ann Sheehy RESHUFFLE IN SECURITY COUNCIL. In a move aimed at restructuring the operation of the Security Council, President Yeltsin has transferred two deputy secretaries of the Council, Yurii Nazarkin and Vladislav Nasinovsky, to different posts, according to ITAR-TASS on 31-August. Nazarkin, who had been in charge of the Security Council's Administration for Strategic Security, has now been named chief of the the Council's Administration for Coordination and Cooperation. Nasinovsky, formerly chief of the Council's Informational-Analytical Center, has become chief of the Information and Analysis Administration. Both men seem, however, to have been released from their functions as deputy secretaries of the Security Council. Yeltsin has still not appointed a new Secretary of the Security Council following the recent resignation of Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov. -Alexander Rahr RUTSKOI TO MEET ANGRY COAL MINERS. Local authorities in Vorkuta are worried about the upcoming visit of Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi to the coal miners of the region, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 August. They fear that Rutskoi's anti-Yeltsin speeches may only aggravate the political situation which has become very tense following the liberalization of coal prices just over a month ago. Some observers believe that Rutskoi may call upon the miners to strike and that such an appeal, if effective, may have serious consequences for the rest of the nation. -Alexander Rahr CONSERVATIVES MOVE AGAINST FOREIGN BUSINESS. The conservative leadership of parliament will sponsor a conference on "Entrepreneurship and Competiveness of Russia's Economy" in the Parliamentary Center at Tsvetnoi bulvar in Moscow on 9-11 September. The invitation letter states that the conference will have two goals: first, to work out practical methods for improving the "competiveness" of Russian enterprises vis-┤-vis foreign firms operating in Russia; and, second, to set up "organizational structures" for the "ousting of foreign capital" from Russia's market. A new organization-the "Union of Russian Entrepreneurs"-is also expected to be launched at the conference. -Alexander Rahr FEDERAL TREASURY TO IMPLEMENT BUDGET. A government decree has provided for the establishment of a Federal Treasury (kaznacheistvo), Kommersant-Daily of 31 August and The Financial Times of 1 September reported. This would be created within the Ministry of Finance, with branch offices at all levels of administration throughout the federation, and could take over the planning and execution of all aspects of the federal budget from the Russian Central Bank. The government is also said to be planning to reduce parliament's powers over the budget to just confirming it once it has been presented by the president. -Keith Bush YELTSIN SUPPORTS PROPOSAL FOR MORE CONTRACT SOLDIERS. Reflecting ongoing efforts by Russian political leaders to win support within the armed forces, Russian President Boris Yeltsin spent a full day on 31 August visiting troops and observing exercises in the Moscow Military District. Yeltsin told reporters that, despite facing financial problems, the Russian army remained "powerful, organized, and disciplined." ITAR-TASS, quoting Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, said that Yeltsin had also signaled his readiness to support a Defense Ministry plan for the recruitment of another 50,000 "contract" soldiers this year, with a further 150,000 to be added in 1994. Russia currently has approximately 110,000 soldiers serving on contract and, in the face of continuing manpower shortages in the conscript army, military leaders have repeatedly asked for additional funding to expand that number. According to Reuters, Grachev, who accompanied the President during his visit, had complained earlier in the day that funding shortages were raising tensions within the armed forces. -Stephen Foye ON REGULAR VISITS, MILITARY DOCTRINE. On 1-September Krasnaya zvezda, the Ministry of Defense newspaper, said that henceforth Yeltsin intended to spend one day each month visiting military units in an attempt to improve morale in the army. As summarized by ITAR-TASS, the newspaper also quoted Yeltsin as saying Russia's long-awaited military doctrine would be approved at the next meeting of the Russian Security Council. He said that work on the doctrine had already been completed. -Stephen Foye GRACHEV OFF TO GEORGIA, CENTRAL ASIA. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev was scheduled to leave on 1 September for a two-day working visit that will take him to Georgia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 August. Before leaving, Grachev suggested that he was unhappy over parliament's decision to forbid conscript soldiers from serving beyond Russia's borders and said that, at least partly for that reason, Russian troops in Georgia should be withdrawn or reduced considerably. Grachev said that he would discuss with Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze a proposal that would limit Russian soldiers in Georgia to three areas: Tbilisi, Akhalkalaki, and Adzharia. He reportedly also intends to propose that Georgia sign an agreement with Russia, similar to one concluded by Russia and Armenia, that would establish Russian military bases in Georgia (to be financed by Tbilisi). Georgia, it is worth noting, is not a member of the CIS. In Ashgabat, Grachev is to discuss Russian-Turkmen military cooperation, and in Tashkent, to discuss Uzbek and Kazakh compliance with the CFE Treaty. -Stephen Foye JAPAN PROTESTS RUSSIAN AIR INTRUSION. The Japanese government on 31 August lodged a protest against what it said was an intrusion into Japanese airspace by a Russian Ilyushin-20 reconnaissance aircraft, Kyodo reported. The plane reportedly ignored Russian-language warnings and continued to fly along the West coast of Hokkaido for about one minute, prompting the Japanese self-defense forces to scramble six air defense jet fighters in pursuit. Japanese sources said that the intrusion, which came amid worsening relations between Moscow and Tokyo, was the first confirmed intrusion by an Il-20. -Stephen Foye KOZYREV REASSERTS PEACEKEEPING LEADERSHIP CLAIM. Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told a Geneva conference on the protection of war victims on 31 August that "peacemaking" has become a central element in Russia's foreign policy and claimed credit (for Russia) for having stopped hostilities in the "Dniester republic" and South Ossetia. "While the international community is only approaching the first stage in the former Yugoslavia-termination of bloodshed-Russia and its neighbors have managed to fulfill this task. . . . " Kozyrev further claimed that Russia has made strenuous efforts to ensure that the principles of international humanitarian law are being observed throughout the former Soviet Union, RFE/RL's correspondent in Geneva reported. Kozyrev's statements can be read as a rebuttal to the argument that the United States has a role to play in facilitating political settlements of conflicts in areas which Russia views as its own sphere of influence. His arguments mark the continuation of Russian efforts to gain international recognition as a guarantor for stability in the region. -Suzanne Crow TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA AZERBAIJAN REFERENDUM RESULTS ANNOUNCED. Almost 93 per cent of the 3.7 million electorate participated in the 29 August referendum on public confidence in President Abulfaz Elchibey, of whom 97 per cent voted "no", ITAR-TASS reported on 31 August. Elchibey himself, in an interview with Turkish Radio and Television, again argued that the referendum was illegal, given that 25 per cent of the population have been displaced from their homes and that he had been given no access to the media to express his views. ITAR-TASS quoted a CSCE representative who monitored the voting as assessing it as "on the whole positive." -Liz Fuller IRAN TO SET UP REFUGEE CAMP ON AZERBAIJANI TERRITORY? AT THE REQUEST OF THE AZERBAIJANI GOVERNMENT, IRAN IS STUDYING THE POSSIBILITIES FOR SETTING UP A REFUGEE CAMP "WITHIN THE CONFINES OF AZERBAIJAN" FOR AZERBAIJANI CIVILIANS DISPLACED BY THE ONGOING ARMENIAN OFFENSIVE BETWEEN NAGORNO-KARABAKH AND THE AZERBAIJAN-IRANIAN BORDER, REUTERS AND ITAR-TASS REPORTED ON 31 AUGUST. According to an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry source, Armenian forces are advancing on the town of Kubatli, 7 km from the Armenian border. In an apparent attempt to bring pressure to bear on the Armenian government, Iran has mounted large-scale military exercises near its frontier with Armenia, AFP reported quoting Iranian radio. -Liz Fuller STALEMATE IN WESTERN GEORGIA. Addressing the Georgian parliament on 31 August, chairman Eduard Shevardnadze warned that the seizure by supporters of ousted president Zviad Gamsakhurdia of three towns in western Georgia and the blocking of rail connections to Tbilisi and Armenia could lead to "utter political and economic catastrophe", the Georgian Information Agency reported. In an apparent contradiction, Shevardnadze argued that he does not have the right not to restore order in the country, but that he will do everything possible to avoid a bloodbath. -Liz Fuller KAZAKHSTAN PROTESTS CHINESE NUCLEAR TESTS. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev told a congress of the Global Anti-Nuclear Alliance in Almaty of his country's concerns about the effects of nuclear testing at China's Lop Nor test site, Russian and Western news agencies reported on 30 August. The belief that Chinese tests are causing health problems in Kazakhstan is widespread in Almaty. Nazarbaev also appealed for Chinese help in dealing with the problems caused by its tests, complaining that Kazakhstan has already been left to deal singlehandedly with the effects of Soviet nuclear tests conducted on its territory. On other occasions he has tried to obtain promises of help from foreign states, particularly the US, in cleaning up the environmental and health problems caused by nuclear testing, sometimes asking for such promises in exchange for agreement to give up Kazakhstan's nuclear missiles. -Bess Brown DESERTION RATE REMAINS HIGH IN KAZAKHSTAN'S MILITARY. On 31 August Ekho Moskvy quoted Kazakhstan's Defense Minister Sagadat Nurmagambetov as saying that the problem of desertion from Kazakhstan's armed forces is taking on a mass character, with more than 3,000 deserters reported at present. Desertion has been a major problem in the armed forces of several Central Asian states since these countries created their own military establishments in 1992. General Nurmagambetov has frequently alluded to the problem in Kazakhstan, but implied in the statement quoted by Ekho Moskvy that the situation is worsening. He called for changes in the behavior of troop commanders. -Bess Brown CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE GENEVA BREAKTHROUGH IN THE OFFING? "THE CONFERENCE CONTINUES AND WE ARE EXPECTING THE MUSLIM SIDE TO SIGN THE WHOLE PACKAGE," BOSNIAN SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC SAID ON 31 AUGUST, INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORT. Mediator Lord Owen warned that unless Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic signs, Bosnia might be "cut in two," a suggestion which Karadzic reinforced when he added: "if they don't sign, we and the Croats could divide Bosnia in two." Izetbegovic, who wants more territorial concessions in areas such as Visegrad, Zvornik, and Prijedor where ethnic cleansing has taken place, and an access route to the Adriatic, sees, however, "no progress so far." The two warring parties nonetheless agreed on a cease-fire, an exchange of prisoners, collaboration to restore electricity, water, and gas in Sarajevo, a telephone hot line between Sarajevo and Pale, and an end to the media propaganda war. The agreement has not yet been signed. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali that Russia is ready to send peacekeepers to Bosnia if the plan is accepted. On 1-September Boutros-Ghali will meet with NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner. -Fabian Schmidt TUDJMAN AND MILOSEVIC MEET. Hina reports on 1-September that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman held separate talks in Geneva the previous day with his Serbian counterpart Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban. Tudjman is continuing his hitherto inconclusive efforts to gain Milosevic's concrete support for an all-encompassing agreement to regulate Serb-Croat relations and end the rebellion of Croatia's Serb minority, which Croatian officials say is nonetheless being beefed up militarily by Serbs from Bosnia and Serbia. Tudjman's talks with Boban were probably aimed at dealing with the concerns of Bosnian and other Croats left outside the boundaries of the newly proclaimed "Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna," which centers on western Herzegovina. Most of prewar Bosnia-Herzegovina's Croats lived outside those frontiers, but were generally not so militantly nationalistic as the Herzegovinians. -Patrick Moore UN CONVOY LEAVES MOSTAR. International media reported on 31 August that Muslims in Mostar finally allowed the nearly 60 Spanish UNPROFOR soldiers they had been blockading for almost a week to leave the city for Medjugorje, where the Spanish are headquartered. The Croat forces in the embattled Herzegovinian capital offered the Muslims what the BBC called an unconditional cease-fire, but the Muslims' response does not appear to be known yet. Meanwhile, the 1 September Washington Post reports that major fighting between Croats and Muslims could be imminent over Gornji Vakuf and nearby Prozor. The prize is a stretch of territory in central Bosnia that would enable the Muslims to link up with their holdings in Herzegovina and maybe even break the Croat grip on Mostar. One UN officer said of the Muslim forces that have been on the offensive against the Croats since the spring: "they almost have created a real army." -Patrick Moore SLOVENIAN PRESIDENT UNDER FIRE. Local dailies on 31 August published an open letter by Slovenian Defense Minister Janez Jansa in which he accuses President Milan Kucan of involvement in illegal arms trade. Jansa claims that Kucan mediated deals for Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic. He specifically accused Kucan of involvement in the smuggling of the more than 120 tons of arms intended for Bosnian Muslim forces that were discovered at Maribor airport in July. Initial results of investigations confirm that high-ranking Slovenian officials knew of the shipment. Jansa also charges that Kucan arranged for the training of Bosnian Muslim soldiers in Slovenia in mid-1992. However, the latest issue of Mladina publishes a copy of a contract signed by Jansa in August 1992 for Slovenia to provide training facilities and equipment for the Bosnians in exchange for a $2-million helicopter. Jansa has not responded to the Mladina story but went on to accuse Kucan of leaking state secrets and said he would launch criminal proceedings against Kucan for giving Mladina a copy of the document. The scandal has rocked the government and might force new elections in November. -Milan Andrejevich AHMETI, TRADE BANK OFFICIALS SENTENCED IN TIRANA. Following the recommendation last week of the prosecutor almost to the letter, an Albanian court sentenced former Prime Minister Vilson Ahmeti to two years in prison, Rilindja Demokratike reports on 1-September. Former Trade Bank officials, Agron Saliu and Agim Tartari received seven and six years, respectively. All three were accused of misuse of office when they paid French businessman Nicolas Arsidi $1.6 million to renegotiate Albania's foreign debt. The legal proceedings went relatively smoothly, and the prosecutor's office will gain momentum in the coming months with bigger fish to fry, including former president Ramiz Alia and the current leader of the Socialist Party, Fatos Nano. -Robert Austin SOLIDARITY ANNIVERSARY MARKED BY DIVISION. The celebrations in Poland to mark the anniversary of the Gdansk agreements in 1980 reflected the political conflict that has divided the movement since the collapse of communism. Speaking at the Gdansk shipyard on 31 August, President Lech Walesa said that the union created after the round-table talks in 1989 had little in common with the original movement. "We never recreated the unity destroyed by martial law," Walesa said. The president pledged not to allow a reversal in reforms, PAP reports. Walesa met at the shipyard with candidates from his Nonparty Reform Bloc, who endorsed expanding the powers of the presidency. Speaking at the union's separate celebrations in Warsaw, Solidarity chairman Marian Krzaklewski said that the union "will not be defeated or divided, even by the man who said those words," a reference to Walesa's famous motto about Solidarity. -Louisa Vinton SUCHOCKA WANTS ANSWER FROM NATO . . . Addressing a gathering of diplomats, politicians, and academics at the Eastern Studies Center in Warsaw on 31 August, Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka called for a clear decision by NATO on Polish membership, no later than at the alliance's winter summit. Insufficient involvement by NATO in the region, Suchocka added, would force Poland to seek an alternate security arrangement in East Central Europe. NATO's expansion to the east would stabilize the region and prevent possible conflicts, she argued. Suchocka identified Poland's three foreign policy priorities as: severing all remaining "imperial ties," a permanent return to Poland's roots in the West, and friendly cooperation with all neighbors. Poland's foreign policy is above party divisions, Suchocka concluded, and will thus remain stable after the elections. -Louisa Vinton .-.-.- KLAUS, HOWEVER, IS LESS BULLISH. In an interview with Czech Radio on 31-August, Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus observed that NATO had been established under the conditions of a bipolar world and that the organization "has outlived itself to some degree." Klaus said that it is not decisive for the Czech Republic whether "someone will admit us or not admit us [to NATO]," but how his government will evaluate the security situation in Europe. The Czech leader indicated that there might be security alternatives to NATO and said that he is paying close attention to the aims of other security initiatives in Europe. -Jan Obrman SLOVAK MAGYARS' LETTER TO THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Local and international media report that leaders of Slovakia's Hungarian minority sent a letter to the Council of Europe on 31 August complaining about unkept promises about minority rights by the Slovak government. The letter states that on 23 June the Slovak parliament pledged that Slovakia would observe recommendations of the CE on improving minority rights. The letter points out that instead of keeping their promises, the Slovak authorities ordered the removal of Hungarian-language road signs and that a law on allowing the use of Hungarian first and last names was returned to the parliament by the president on the recommendation of the government. The letter also calls attention to the decreasing numbers of Hungarian teachers in Slovakia. Julius Bardos, a spokesman for the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement, told the media that repeated attempts to engage in a dialogue with Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar on minority issues have been rebuffed. He said that ethnic Hungarian parties felt they had to appeal to an international body. -Jiri Pehe EUROPEAN CONSERVATIVES CONVENE IN BUDAPEST. The European Democratic Union-some 130-leaders of conservative parties from 35 countries, including German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock-begin a three-day conference in Budapest on 1 September, MTI reports. Eastern European countries will be represented by Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka, Albanian President Sali Berisha, Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar, as well as leaders of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, and Slovenian, Czech, and Slovak parties. This is the first time in history that the European Democratic Union is holding its meeting in an Eastern European country. The conference is scheduled to discuss European integration, security, and environmental questions and the strengthening of East European democracies. The EDU will also discuss the cooperation of the member countries of the Visegrad Group and their integration into the European Community. Hungary is represented at the meeting by Prime Minister Jozsef Antall and the Chairman of the Christian Democratic Peoples' Party Laszlo Surjan. -Judith Pataki CENSURE MOTION AGAINST ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT. Opposition deputies put forward a censure motion on 31 August. The motion followed a two-day debate on corruption by a joint session of the two parliament chambers. The proposed motion calls on the government to "disavow corrupt officials and uproot corruption" and gives the executive six days to sack three ministers named in the recent corruption scandal or else face a no-confidence vote. During the debates, broadcast by Radio Bucharest on 31 August, Party of Civic Alliance chairman Nicolae Manolescu criticized the majority position as reflected in the draft report of the parliamentary commission that investigated corruption, telling the deputies that in December 1989 "we had terror without terrorists" and now "we have corruption without the corrupt." Former prime minister Petre Roman attacked the government, saying it has stifled investigations by the anticorruption commission. -Michael Shafir BULGARIA SEEKS TO SOLVE "BAD CREDITS" CRISIS. At a special session on 31 August, the cabinet adopted a package of measures aimed at eliminating most of the 120 billion leva ($4.5 billion) in debts owed by companies to several banks in the form of credits. According to BTA, the proposed solution has emerged from consultations with companies, trade unions, and government agencies as well as with the World Bank and the IMF. Under the arrangement, the government will assume all credits released until the end of 1990, estimated to about 65 billion leva. The debts of Bulgarian companies are to be transformed into government bonds, set either in leva or dollars. After a five-year grace period, the bonds would be repayable over 25-years. -Kjell Engelbrekt SPECIAL POWERS FOR UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT ASKED. During the parliamentary session on 31 August, which was broadcast live by Ukrainian Radio, Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma called for special powers for himself and President Leonid Kravchuk in order to tackle the country's economic problems. Among his requests were the power of the president and government to issue decrees, cancel decrees, and appoint cabinet members without parliament's approval. He also asked for control of Ukraine's central bank, (which would give the government control over the country's money supply), and for a halt to state credits for industry and agriculture. Parliament, he said, should confine its activities to drafting a new constitution to be ready before elections next March. -Ustina Markus KUCHMA CRITICAL OF POLISH-RUSSIAN PIPELINE. In the same session Kuchma criticized the new $10-billion project between Poland and Russia to transport Russian gas to Western Europe via Poland, thereby circumventing the existing pipeline in Ukraine and depriving the country of revenue from transit fees. Kuchma said the project, finalized by presidents Lech Walesa and Boris Yeltsin last week, is "anti-Ukrainian" and that the government must make every effort to see that it is cancelled. Earlier this month Ukraine and Russia agreed on a payment scheme for Ukraine for Russian gas and oil. Part of the plan envisages Ukraine paying for Russian gas by its earnings from transit fees. The Russian-Polish deal jeopardizes this income and is especially irksome since Kuchma blames the country's economic crisis on rising energy prices. -Ustina Markus BELARUS POLITICAL, ETHNIC ORGANIZATIONS DECRY PROCOMMUNIST ACTIVITIES. The leaders of a dozen organizations this week signed an appeal for "civic accord" in response to the increasingly visible and coordinated activities of procommunist groups in Belarus. Signers of the appeal included the Belarusian Popular Front, the Social Democratic Society and United Democratic Party, an independent trade union council, the Union of Poles, and associations representing the Ukrainian, Jewish, and Tatar minorities. Special attention was drawn to an ongoing campaign, in which the communists have taken an active role, to grant Russian equal status with Belarusian, currently the only state language. The appeal also condemned a meeting planned for 11 September of the so-called "Congress of Peoples of Belarus," which is expected to call for the nation to renounce its independence in favor of confederation with Russia. In August members of the parliament's procommunist faction met in Moscow with Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov for talks centering on the prospects for confederation. Supporters of the faction speak openly of Belarus's "reunification" with Russia. -Kathy Mihalisko MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT IN MOSCOW. On an impromptu visit to Moscow on 31 August and 1 September, Mircea Snegur is conferring with Boris Yeltsin on the deadlocked issue of the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova, which is due to be discussed at a new round of bilateral talks in early September. Snegur is also again asking Yeltsin to intercede in Tiraspol for the six Moldovans, on trial for their lives on charges of terrorism, to be remanded to a lawful Moldovan court, Basapress reports. -Vladimir Socor RUSSIAN TROOPS LEAVE LITHUANIA WITHOUT SIGNING DOCUMENTS. On 31 August the official withdrawal of the Russian army from Lithuania was completed when a train carrying a military unit from Kaunas crossed into Belarus, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports. The train's departure from Kaunas was postponed by the nonarrival of the commander of the Northwestern Group of Forces, Col. Gen. Leonid Mayorov, who also failed to come to the parliament in Vilnius to sign documents formally noting the completion of the withdrawal. Nikolai Obertyshev, the Russian ambassador, stood in for Mayorov but lacked the authority from the Russian military to sign the documents. Nevertheless, Lithuania marked the absence of foreign military forces on its territory for the first time in 53 years with thanksgiving Masses and other celebrations. -Saulius Girnius BALTIC, NORDIC COUNCIL FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. On 31 August in Visby, Sweden, foreign ministers Trivimi Velliste (Estonia), Georgs Andrejevs (Latvia), and Povilas Gylys (Lithuania) attended a regular meeting of the Nordic Council foreign ministers that discussed the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States, Reuters reports. Velliste said that Estonian and Latvian officials will meet their Russian counterparts on 14-15 September to discuss the stalled withdrawal of troops. He expressed optimistically that the withdrawal could be completed by Christmas. Andrejevs, however, did not share his optimism, noting that there is evidence that the Russian troops are preparing to spend at least one more winter in Latvia. -Saulius Girnius [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Erik Whitlock 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). 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