Forty is the old age of youth; fifty, the youth of old age. - Victor Hugo
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 209, 29 October 1993



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



COMMUNIST LEADER DOES WELL IN POLL. According to an opinion research
poll conducted during the Russian TV program "Obshchestvennoe
mnenie [public opinion]" on 28-October, 45 percent of the respondents
support the leader of the pro-democratic bloc "Russia's choice",
Egor Gaidar, and 38 percent the leader of the Communist Party,
Gennadii Zyuganov. Commenting on these results, Gaidar called
upon democrats to form coalitions. Twenty-one electoral blocs
have so far registered with the Central Electoral Commission,
ITAR-TASS reported on 28 October. The majority of these blocs
have been formed by democrats. The Central Electoral Commission
complained that several bloc leaders have already started their
campaigns in the mass media without having collected the necessary
100,000 signatures to be formally registered. -Alexander Rahr


ELECTIONS "A FAR CRY FROM DEMOCRACY," SAYS YAVLINSKY. Grigorii
Yavlinsky, the reform economist who leads a democratically-oriented
election bloc and who has also said he will stand for president,
criticized the forthcoming elections as "a far cry not only from
democracy but even from simple logic," Reuters reported on 28
October. Yavlinsky pointed out that the pro-Yeltsin Russia's
Choice bloc had virtually unassailable advantages over other
parties, since its list of candidates included key ministers.
He alleged that President Boris Yeltsin had "created a ministry
of elections under the name of the Central Electoral Commission."
Yavlinsky also said that the new parliament, elected on Yeltsin's
decree, will effectively become unconstitutional, since the new
Russian constitution is to be adopted by a referendum held simultaneously
with elections to the parliament, and not by the legislature.
-Wendy Slater

NEW CHIEF EDITOR FOR PRAVDA. Pravda, the former daily newspaper
of the Soviet Communist Party, will reappear on 2 November after
a four-week absence. Along with other newspapers accused of fomenting
violent opposition, Pravda was banned by the Yeltsin government
at the beginning of October. At first, the Russian Information
Ministry said the newspaper could reappear only if it changed
its name, chief editor and policies. Pravda's journalists refused
to change the name of the paper, which was founded by Lenin,
but they have replaced former chief editor Gennadii Seleznev
with Viktor Linnik, who was for many years the paper's correspondent
in Washington. Linnik told Radio Liberty's Moscow correspondent
he hopes to turn the paper into "an organ of civilized opposition."
Sovetskaya Rossiya, which was also banned in October and given
the same conditions if it wants to start publishing again, has
not yet appointed a new editor. Deputy Press Minister David Tsabria
said that the ban on Den, the extremist weekly newspaper of the
"spiritual opposition", would be referred to a court. -Elizabeth
Teague and Wendy Slater

TRADE UNION CONGRESS OPENS. An extraordinary congress of the
Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR, the old
"official" trade union center) opened in Moscow on 28 October,
ITAR-TASS reported. The keynote speech was made by acting chairman
Mikhail Shmakov, who for the past three years headed Russia's
largest regional union organization, the Moscow Trade Union Federation.
He was a strong critic of the policies of the former FNPR leadership,
which he castigated on 28 October as "constantly see-sawing between
political neutrality and open support from various political
trends." He said this was the reason for the failure of "social
partnership" between the Yeltsin government, employers' associations
and the Russian unions over the past two years. -Elizabeth Teague


URALS REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED. On 27 October, Sverdlovsk Oblast unilaterally
raised its status to that of a republic within the Russian Federation
by adopting a new constitution and proclaiming itself the Urals
Republic, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Regional governor
Eduard Rossel told Interfax he and the regional soviet would
govern the republic until gubernatorial and parliamentary elections
are held on 12-December. The region is Yeltsin's former power-base
and its population has remained loyal to him, but the proclamation
of the new republic was roundly condemned by Yeltsin's aide Nikolai
Medvedev, who said the decision demonstrated the lengths to which
some local soviets would go to stay in power. He predicted that
Yeltsin would order the dissolution of the soviet and hold its
members to account. -Elizabeth Teague

OPPOSITION TO REFORM GEOGRAPHICALLY IDENTIFIED. An article entitled
"The Political Climate in Russia in 1991-1993" appears in issue
No. 9 of the journal Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya.
The work of three researchers, it analyses electoral and referendum
statistics to identify 29 republics and regions of Russia that
have consistently voted against Yeltsin's policies over the past
two years. Of these, 23 are clustered between the 48th and 55th
parallels, cutting an arc from the southern agricultural regions
of European Russia to the heavily industrialized regions of the
southern Urals. Only two regions where opposition to Yeltsin's
policies has been growing fall outside these latitudes, the researchers
say-the Northern Caucasus and Novosibirsk Oblast. -Elizabeth
Teague

TEMPORARY TAX AMNESTY DECLARED. A presidential decree signed
on 27 October declared an amnesty from sanctions on enterprises
for tax evasion through 30 November, Interfax reported. Those
enterprises which do not take advantage of the amnesty and which
are found to be in arrears for 1993 and previous years shall
be liable to fines 3 times greater than provided for in the tax
law. Regulations on obligatory disclosure by banks and lending
institutions of enterprise accounts have also been tightened.
-Keith Bush

SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON TAX-EVADING REGIONS. Another presidential
decree of 27-October imposes sanctions on republics and regions
which fail to transfer tax revenues to the central budget, ITAR-TASS
and Interfax reported. The Russian Central Bank is ordered to
withdraw the amounts in arrears from the regions' bank accounts.
Defaulting regions will be deprived of export quotas, centralized
imports, federal subsidies, and central credits. The decree is
said to be valid through 31 January 1994 and is attributed to
Russia's "extraordinary financial situation." -Keith Bush

BREAD RETAIL PRICES FREED IN MOSCOW. The retail prices of bread
are to be freed in Moscow on either 29 or 30 October, an RFE/RL
correspondent and Russian agencies reported. The price of a standard
white loaf is expected to rise to 220-240 rubles. The state subsidy
on bread retail prices was discontinued in mid-October, but some
city and local authorities have continued to subsidize the prices.
A bread allowance of 1,400 rubles a month has been payable to
poor Russians since 1 October. -Keith Bush

FORTY-TWO COAL MINES TO BE CLOSED. Deputy Fuel and energy Minister
Aleksandr Yevtushenko announced on 26 October that 41 deep coal
mines and one open-cast mine will be closed by the year 2,000,
Interfax reported. The mines in question produce 9-million tons
of coal a year or just 3% of total output but accounted for 26%
of all accidents in the coal industry. The estimated cost of
closure was put at 450-billion rubles in the prices of the second
quarter of 1993. -Keith Bush

POSSIBLE BARTER DEAL WITH CUBA. The Foreign Ministry said on
28 October that Moscow and Havana are discussing a possible oil-for-sugar
barter deal. The plan envisions the use of private companies
on the Russian side and a limited role for the central Russian
authorities. The Russian statement was issued after a meeting
between Foreign Trade Minister Oleg Davydov and Cuba's ambassador
to Russia, Rojelio Montenegro, Reuters reported. -Suzanne Crow


TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



GEORGIAN REBELS COUNTERATTACK. On 28 October forces loyal to
ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia launched a counterattack
and retook the town of Khobi that they had ceded to government
troops on 27 October, Western agencies reported quoting a Georgian
parliament spokesman. Meanwhile Mkhedrioni leader Dzhaba Ioseliani
called on the population of Zugdidi to surrender in order to
avoid a blood bath, according to Reuters. A spokesman for the
Georgian presidential press office claimed in a statement carried
on Georgian television that ten busloads of mercenaries from
Abkhazia had arrived in Zugdidi to fight on Gamsakhurdia's side.
Georgian television also reported that the body of Georgia's
air force chief, who had been abducted four weeks ago, was discovered
when government forces retook the town of Abasha. He had been
tortured and then executed. -Liz Fuller

RAFSANJANI IN BAKU. On the third and final day of his visit to
Baku, Iranian President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani signed fourteen
documents including a memorandum on the principles of friendship
and cooperation between Iran and Azerbaijan and agreements on
trade, commerce, banking, and scientific exchanges, ITAR-TASS
reported. Rafsanjani told a news conference in Baku before his
departure for Tehran that he had telephoned Armenian President
Levon Ter-Petrossyan, who had pledged that Karabakh Armenian
forces would observe a ceasefire in south-west Azerbaijan beginning
late on 28 October, AFP reported; Radio Tehran subsequently reported
that the ceasefire had taken effect. In Baku, Azerbaijani President
Geidar Aliev addressed an appeal to UN Secretary-General Boutros
Ghali to convene an emergency Security Council session to discuss
the renewed fighting, according to AFP quoting Interfax. -Liz
Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



ARE THE SERBS ARMING THE MUSLIMS AGAINST THE CROATS? ONE OF THE
KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN BOSNIA THIS YEAR HAS BEEN THE COLLAPSE OF
THE TRADITIONAL MUSLIM-CROAT ALLIANCE; ANOTHER HAS BEEN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF THE MAINLY MUSLIM BOSNIAN ARMY INTO A REAL FIGHTING FORCE.
AFP on October 29 quotes unnamed local sources and UN officials
as suggesting that the two developments might not be unrelated,
and that the Serbs have, in fact, been selling weapons to the
Muslims for their war against the Croats in central Bosnia and
near Mostar. Serb forces have also engaged in cooperation with
local Croat authorities to facilitate transportation of refugees
and possibly of troops as well. Croat and Muslim politicians
have traditionally regarded each other as allies against a more
numerous Serb enemy, and many observers both inside and outside
the former Yugoslavia have seen the destruction of that alliance
as a major Serb strategic victory. The ultimate goal would likely
be to isolate the Muslims in tiny pockets in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
leaving the way open for a Serbian conquest of Dalmatia and reducing
Croatia in the process to a rump state about the size of Slovenia
and based around Zagreb. -Patrick Moore

NEW CHRISTIAN DEMOCRAT LEADER ELECTED IN KOSOVO. The head of
the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Christian Democrats, Lazer Krasniqi,
has been replaced by Mark Krasniqi as party-leader, Rilindja
reported on 27 October. The paper quotes a party representative
as saying that the decision is a "tribute to the unity of the
party and to the elimination of tendencies toward disintegration
on the Albanian political scene in Kosovo." In July Lazer Krasniqi,
who lives abroad, was accused by local party members of being
undemocratic. The new leader stressed the importance of the "national
question," or ethnic Albanian unity, adding that "cooperation
with other parties, especially with the biggest party, the Democratic
League of Kosovo," will improve. The parties in Kosovo are committed
to non-violence and have sought to establish a working political
consensus because Serb repression has prevented the parliament
of the self-proclaimed republic from meeting even though it was
elected in May 1992. Meanwhile, according to Rilindja, human
rights abuses continue in the province, as do police raids for
arms. Tanjug on 28 October said that Serb authorities have charged
19 Albanians with plotting armed rebellion. Elsewhere, Politika
reported on 27 October that sharp differences have emerged between
recent Serbian immigrants and long-term Serbian and Montenegrin
inhabitants of Kosovo. Following talks between politicians representing
Albanians, Serbs, and Montenegrins, the native Slavs accused
the immigrants of collaboration with the Albanians. -Fabian Schmidt


ROMANIA AND THE EMBARGO ON RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. A Romanian passenger
ship detained in Belgrade for more than a week was allowed on
28-October to dock to obtain food and water, an RFE/RL correspondent
and Radio Bucharest reported. The vessel Danube Star was detained
eight days ago by two Serb nationalist groups, The White Rose
and New Byzantium, in protest against the UN sanctions on rump
Yugoslavia. The groups demand that Romania release four Serbian
barges held in the Danube port of Braila, which had been carrying
goods banned under the sanctions. In a related development, Reuters
reported on 28-October that Romanian customs are battling gasoline
smuggling on the border with rump Yugoslavia, where hundreds
of smugglers are storming the frontier in attempts to make big
profits by selling gasoline on the black markets in Serbia. A
customs post chief told Reuters that on 23 October some 200 Romanians
carrying gas cans smashed the windows of the checkpoint and forced
their way through the customs barrier. -Michael Shafir

CZECHS CELEBRATE NATIONAL HOLIDAY. Speaking at Prague Castle
at ceremonies celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding
of Czechoslovakia-a national holiday in the Czech Republic but
no longer in Slovakia-President Vaclav Havel said the Czech future
lies in democracy, belief in universal values, and "genuine Europeanness."
CTK reports Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus as saying Czechs will
be able to face future challenges if they strip their new patriotism
of "pompous phrases and theatrical gestures." Earlier in the
day, a crowd of more than 2,000 people cheered as Havel laid
flowers at the Equestrian statue of St. Wenceslas in Prague's
Wenceslas Square. After Havel left, members of the extreme-right
Republican Party, a strongly anti-Havel group, started a rally
which was interrupted by a group of skinheads who attacked the
Republicans. After the rally ended, the skinheads fought police;
several were detained. -Jiri Pehe

WALESA LOBBIES NATO IN FINLAND. "Poland is determined to join
NATO; we are an independent country and no one is going to tell
us what to do," President Lech Walesa told a press conference
in Helsinki on 28-October. Walesa was responding to recent statements
by Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev opposing NATO's expansion.
Poles are realists, Walesa added, and understand that the decision
on NATO membership is not theirs alone. During the first day
of his two-day official visit to Finland, Walesa discussed security
issues and the situation in Russia with Finnish President Mauno
Kovisto, Polish TV reports. Kovisto stressed Finland's desire
to maintain its neutral status and its disinclination to join
the Atlantic alliance. Walesa was accompanied on the visit by
three members of the new government: Foreign Minister Aleksander
Olechowski, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Luczak, and Foreign
Trade Minister Leslaw Podkanski. The president laid a wreath
at the graves of Finnish soldiers lost in the "Winter War." He
was scheduled to meet with the Finnish prime minister on 29 October.
-Louisa Vinton

POLISH COALITION CONSOLIDATES CONTROL IN SENATE. The Polish Senate
selected new commission chairmen on 28 October, PAP reports.
Deviating from the practice in the Sejm, where parties received
chairmanships in rough proportion to their share of parliamentary
seats, in the Senate the new ruling coalition took control over
all twelve standing commissions. Five posts went to the Democratic
Left Alliance (SLD), seven to the Polish Peasant Party. The coalition
controls 73 of 100 Senate seats. The coalition's move drew protests
from the other parties represented in the Senate. In electing
an SLD representative chairman of the human rights commission,
SLD leaders said that the "internee ethos" (a reference to the
parliament's focus on rectifying human rights abuses committed
during the communist and martial law periods) should no longer
dictate the commission's priorities. In other political news,
the Liberal Democratic Congress (KLD), which failed to clear
the 5% threshold in the recent elections and thus won no seats
in the Sejm, announced an initial decision to merge with the
Democratic Union. The final decision on the merger will come
at the KLD's congress in November, PAP reports. Louisa Vinton


HUNGARIAN MEDIA WAR ESCALATES. On 28 October the deputy chairmen
of Hungarian Radio and Television appointed new chief editors
to replace those recently suspended from their posts, prompting
a new wave of protests, MTI and Radio Budapest report. The chief
editors of radio channel Kossuth and the TV's chief editors of
domestic news threatened to "take all legal measures" at their
disposal unless radio and TV deputy chairmen Laszlo Csucs and
Gabor Nahlik withdrew their appointees by noon 1 November and
by noon 29 October, respectively. The protesting chief editors
argued that the new appointees have a progovernment bias. The
radio chief editors argued that the appointee to the post of
deputy chief editor Klara Babiczky had violated the rules of
objective reporting during the 1990 election campaign and is
a regular contributor to the weekly Magyar Forum which is edited
by Istvan Csurka. Government spokeswoman Judit Juhasz said that
personnel and program changes fell under the jurisdiction of
the TV and radio deputy chairmen, and denied charges by the opposition
that the deputy chairmen had consulted with the government on
the issue. The National Federation of Journalists warns that
in the absence of Prime Minister Jozsef Antall (who is in Cologne
for medical treatment) the deputy chairmen of radio and television
have "slipped out of all legal controls" and called on parliamentary
parties to take steps to appoint new radio and television chairmen
acceptable to all sides. -Edith Oltay

HUNGARIAN MINORITY PARTY PROTESTS ANTONESCU STATUE PLANS. The
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania protested on 28 October
against a plan to erect a statue of the country's World War II
military dictator, Marshal Ion Antonescu, in the Transylvanian
city of Tirgu Mures, an RFE/RL correspondent and Radio Bucharest
reported on the same day. A statement released by the HDFR said
that the city's residents do not need the dubious distinction
of being the only Romanian city to honor a man who "led the country
into a useless war eastwards and slaughtered thousands of Jews."
But the HDFR is apparently not fully informed: on 22 October
Radio Bucharest had reported that in the southern town of Slobozia
a statue of the former leader had already been erected at the
initiative of the Marshal Antonescu League, and earlier, on 7
October, the daily Vremea had reported the statue in Slobozia
was placed in front of the local police inspectorate. Marko Bela,
the president of the HDFR, said at a press conference carried
by Radio Bucharest that the plan to erect the statue had not
been approved by the town hall or the city council, being a private
initiative of the Association of War Veterans (which has close
links to the Marshal Antonescu League). Earlier, however, a street
in Tirgu Mures was named for Antonescu despite protests from
residents and the Jewish community. -Michael Shafir

STOLOJAN CRITICIZES GRADUALISM IN REFORMS. In what appears to
be a veiled criticism of the policies of the Vacaroiu government,
former prime minister Teodor Stolojan, now a World Bank economist,
told the Romanian-US Economic Council in Washington on 28-October
that Romania cannot afford the waste of gradualism in implementing
reforms, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. He said gradualism
"usually increases the social costs of transition." Stolojan
said privatization in Romania is "blocked in a political and
bureaucratic game" which puts the entire economic reform in jeopardy.
-Michael Shafir

SLOVAKIA TO RECEIVE WORLD BANK LOAN. National Bank Governor Vladimir
Masar, presently in Washington, told TASR on 28 October that
negotiations with the World Bank were successful, and an $80-million
loan should be on the way. The loan will be used to support Slovakia's
balance of payments so that hard currency reserves will not be
drained by paying for imports. The bank also pledged to assist
with the implementation of social welfare reforms. -Sharon Fisher


MOLDOVAN REFORMS PRAISED AT WORLD BANK MEETING. Held in Paris
on 28-October, the first meeting on Moldova of the World Bank-sponsored
Consultative Group, comprised of the Western donor countries
and the main international financial institutions, reviewed "the
impressive reforms that are under way in Moldova," the World
Bank's press release said. The group agreed that "although relatively
little known to the international community," Moldova has moved
faster than other ex-Soviet republics in its stabilization and
structural reform programs, eliminated preferential credits,
reduced price subsidies, "made significant movement toward market-based
foreign exchange operations," and enacted and began implementing
the privatization program. "All members expressed strong support
for Moldova's reform program, emphasized the national consensus
that has been reached on market reform...and stated that Moldova
merits generous support from the international community because
of the strength of the program [and] its demonstration effect
in the region." The World Bank had announced on 22 October a
new, $60-million loan on favorable terms to Moldova. -Vladimir
Socor

IMF, WORLD BANK BOLSTER BALTIC ECONOMIES. Baltic media reported
on 28 October that the IMF has approved additional credits of
$32 million to support economic reform in Estonia. One half of
this amount will be available immediately; the rest will be provided
under normal stand-by credit facilities and may be drawn on until
March 1995. Valdis Freidenfelds of the Latvian Finance Ministry
told the press that the World Bank has agreed to help Latvia
implement a complex program of banking and industry reform. He
explained that the debts of state-owned industries to the Bank
of Latvia will be transferred to one institution and restructured;
once the indebted enterprises are able to resume production,
they will have to repay their debts. -Dzintra Bungs

BULGARIA SEEKS CLARIFICATION ON KOHL STATEMENT. BTA reports that
the Bulgarian foreign ministry on 28 October requested additional
information-without specifying from whom-on remarks by German
Prime Minister Helmut Kohl that Balkan states should not be allowed
to become full members of the EC. Kohl's remarks, which were
reportedly made at a conference of German industrialists on 26
October, have reinvigorated a heated debate on Western attitudes
toward Bulgaria triggered by criticism of Sofia's minority policy
made by the new US ambassador in early October. Deputy foreign
minister Valentin Gatsinski commented that Kohl's statement appears
to be in line with similar remarks made by European politicians
who would like to see a "terraced Europe," adding that others
seek to include the entire continent in the EC. Gatsinski said
he expects the foreign ministry to issue an official reaction
in the next few days. Sources in the chancellery of the German
premier told RFE/RL on 28 October that Bonn in principle supports
EC enlargement eastwards but that potential members must demonstrate
"a proven track record of democracy." They added that, "in this
respect, the Central European states and the Baltics are clearly
ahead." -Kjell Engelbrekt

SLOVAK-UKRAINIAN MILITARY AGREEMENT SIGNED. On 28 October Slovak
Defense Minister Imrich Andrejcak began a two-day official visit
to Ukraine, TASR reports. During the visit Andrejcak and his
Ukrainian counterpart Vitalii Radetsky signed an agreement on
military cooperation, which Andrejcak stressed was not a military
pact. According to Radetsky, the new military-political situation
in Central Europe made it impossible for countries to guarantee
their security under old accords. The military agreement is a
supplement to the bilateral friendship agreement signed in late
June. Andrejcak also met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
and Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko. Ustina Markus and Sharon
Fisher

US-BELARUS MILITARY AGREEMENT. US Defense Secretary Les Aspin
and Belarusian Minister of Defense Paval Kazlouski signed a memorandum
in Washington providing for regular high level US-Belarus military
meetings and setting up a defense working group, Reuters reported
on 28 October. The US signed similar agreements with Russia and
Ukraine this year. -Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN UKRAINE. On 27 October a Belarusian
military delegation headed by the former minister of defense
affairs paid a one-day visit to Ukraine, UNIAN reported. The
delegation was met by Ukrainian defense minister Vitalii Radetsky
and deputy defense ministers Ivan Bizhan and Ivan Oliinyk. The
topic of discussion was military cooperation between Ukraine
and Belarus in 1994. -Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN WRITERS WORRIED ABOUT INTERNAL SITUATION. The Ukrainian
writers' weekly, Literaturna Ukraina, on 28 October published
an appeal to President Leonid Kravchuk adopted at a recent plenum
of the Council of the Writers Union of Ukraine (WUU). In the
late 1980s the WUU spearheaded the movement for democratization
and national renewal in Ukraine. The appeal expresses concern
that "progressive reforms" are being blocked by "old economic
and political structures" and that this is causing a sharp fall
in living standards and social tensions. It also calls on the
president to take steps to rectify "the catastrophic state of
Ukrainian book publishing, the decline of national cinema and
theater, and the shortage of [Ukrainian] school textbooks," and
to ensure that the Law on Languages, which recognizes Ukrainian
as the state language, is observed. -Bohdan Nahaylo

ESTONIA EXPECTS RUSSIAN TROOPS OUT IN 1993. Estonian Foreign
Minister Trivimi Velliste told the press on 28 October that about
4,000 Russian troops still remain in Estonia, but that they could
depart by the end of 1993 if Russia makes the appropriate political
decision. Velliste noted, however, that the Russian navy's nuclear
training center in Paldiski is a separate issue, but that the
partial dismantling and removal of the cores of the nuclear reactors
there could be completed by the spring of 1994. Velliste added
that in the later stages of the dismantling process, Russian
experts could participate and come to Estonia with civilian visas.
A similar schedule could also be followed at the ammunition depot
at Naissar, Baltic media report. -Dzintra Bungs

ESTONIAN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENTS TO MEET IN NOVEMBER? BNS REPORTED
ON 28-OCTOBER THAT PREPARATIONS HAVE BEGUN FOR A MEETING BETWEEN
ESTONIAN PRESIDENT LENNART MERI AND RUSSIAN PRESIDENT YELTSIN,
POSSIBLY ON 8, 9, OR 10 NOVEMBER. Discussions concerning such
a meeting were held in Moscow on 26-October between Russia's
Deputy Foreign Minister Churkin and the chancellor of the Estonian
Foreign Ministry. BNS did not specify the proposed agenda for
a Yeltsin-Meri meeting, but Meri earlier this month told the
press that he would like to sign an accord on the pullout of
Russian troops from Estonia when he meets Yeltsin. -Dzintra Bungs


US DOES NOT LINK CITIZENSHIP ISSUES WITH RUSSIAN TROOP PULLOUT.
The US Embassy in Riga issued a statement rejecting some Western
agency reports suggesting that Washington links the withdrawal
of Russian troops from Latvia to the citizenship status of non-Latvians.
BNS of 28 October, quoting an embassy spokesman, said that the
US government supports the unconditional and prompt withdrawal
of Russian military forces from the Baltic States. -Dzintra Bungs


[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ustina Markus and Louisa Vinton

NOTICE: The RFE/RL Daily Report will not appear Monday, 1 November.





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