Live all you can: it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had? - Henry James
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 210, 02 November 1993



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



COMMUNISTS SUBMIT CANDIDATES; MINOR PARTIES BOYCOTT. The Communist
Party of the Russian Federation (CP-RF), Russia's largest political
party, has formally submitted its list of 182 candidates for
the December elections, Interfax reported on 29-October. Heading
the list is party chairman Gennadii Zyuganov; other candidates
include editor of Sovetskaya Rossiya, Valentin Chikin; former
Pravda editor, Gennadii Seleznev; and former chairman of the
USSR Supreme Soviet Anatolii Lukyanov, currently standing trial
for his part in the August 1991 coup. Five small communist parties
meanwhile issued a statement calling for a campaign of civil
disobedience to disrupt the "imitation of elections on 12-December"
an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 29 October. One of the five
parties, the Russian Communist Workers' Party has in any case
been banned from participating in the elections because of its
part in the riots in early October. -Wendy Slater

YELTSIN DECREE FOR ELECTION CAMPAIGN. On 29 October, ITAR-TASS
and Russian television reported that President Boris Yeltsin
has signed a decree "On Informational Guarantees for Participants
of the Election Campaign of 1993." The decree is meant to ensure
equal access to the media, in particular to the state-owned radio
and television, for all candidates and political parties in the
forthcoming elections. To this end, the decree ordered a special
court to be set up to investigate complaints against the media.
Yeltsin's press office revealed that the president had appointed
judges to the court but no names were given. The decree also
urged the broadcasting media to report all news on the elections
in the beginning of newscasts and asked that newscasters refrain
from commenting on any such news. Yeltsin also ordered all Russian
radio and television companies to publicize the prices for the
air time they are to sell to candidates and parties within three
days of the decree. -Julia Wishnevsky

INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN JEOPARDY? ON 29 OCTOBER KOMMERSANT-DAILY
CITED THE CONCERN OF THE MOSCOW UNION OF JOURNALISTS, INTERNATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF WRITERS' UNIONS AND INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF
ARTISTS, OVER THE FATE OF THE INDEPENDENT TELEVISION (NTV). NTV,
the first independent television company in Russia to produce
its own newscasts, started broadcasting on the St. Petersburg
channel on 10 October. According to unconfirmed reports, the
Federal Information Center has put pressure on the management
of the St. Petersburg channel, urging them to sever their contract
with NTV, and thus deprive the company of air time. Also on 29
October, an Ostankino TV show, "Press-Express" alleged that the
authorities had secretly ordered the Russian Ministry of Communications
not to sell subscriptions for the Nezavisimaya gazeta, the independent
daily that regularly criticizes Yeltsin and his administration
from the liberal perspective. "Press-Express" added that the
authorities are continuing with their efforts to replace Vitalii
Tretyakov as the chief editor of Nezavisimaya gazeta. -Julia
Wishnevsky

HELSINKI WATCH LETTER ON PEACEKEEPING VIOLATIONS. Experts from
the Helsinki Watch human rights group have raised concerns about
Russia's role as a peacekeeper in the former USSR. Citing abuses
in Moldova, Georgia, and Tajikistan, the Watch urges Russian
authorities to stop elements providing military and financial
support to breakaway groups in parts of the former Soviet Union.
The Watch also charged that "Russia considerably overstepped
the limits of its good-will mission in Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan,
North Ossetia and Tajikistan." These concerns were expressed
in a letter to Boris Yeltsin as reported by Interfax on 1-November.
-Suzanne Crow

DEFENSE BUDGET FOR 1994. The defense budget for 1994 will probably
amount to six trillion rubles, although the Ministry of Defense
was hoping for 9 trillion rubles, Radio Rossii reported on 23
October. It was not specified which prices were used, but it
is assumed that these were prices of the last quarter of 1993.
Since the GDP in 1993 is expected to amount to around 120-trillion
rubles in the same prices and a further, albeit lesser, decline
in GDP is anticipated for 1994, this would suggest that defense
expenditure in 1994 will therefore amount to over 5% of GDP.
-Keith Bush

GRACHEV DISMISSAL DENIED. A Russian newspaper article alleging
that Defense Minister Pavel Grachev is to be dismissed before
7 November has been emphatically denied by presidential spokesman
Vyacheslav Kostikov, Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported on 29 October.
The article, published earlier on the same day by Moskovsky komsomolets,
claimed that Grachev would be replaced either by General Boris
Gromov or General Konstantin Kobets, both of whom are currently
Deputy Defense Ministers. Kostikov called the report "groundless,"
and said that it was aimed at "aggravating relations between
the President and the Defense Minister." He stressed that the
army had been a "major stabilizing factor in the crisis conditions
of the transition period." Since the 3-4 October events, speculation
has been rife that some in the President's office were upset
over what was alleged to be Grachev's hesitancy in supporting
Yeltsin. -Stephen Foye

KALUGIN DETAINED IN LONDON. Former KGB general Oleg Kalugin was
detained by police at London airport in connection with the murder
of Bulgarian dissident Georgy Markov in 1978, Russian TV and
western agencies reported on 31 October. At the time of Markov's
murder allegedly by the Bulgarian secret service, Kalugin was
in charge of the counterintelligence unit of the KGB Foreign
Intelligence. According to his earlier interviews, he took part
in a decision-making meeting which discussed a Bulgarian request
to the KGB to help with the assassination of Markov. Following
the intervention of the Russian embassy, Kalugin was released.
Kalugin, in London to take part in a BBC television documentary,
denied his involvement in the Markov's affair and expressed his
willingness to cooperate with the British authorities who plan
to question him again this week. -Victor Yasmann

CONFLICT OVER URALS REPUBLIC. The constitution of the self-declared
republic, which has proclaimed itself on the territory of Sverdlovsk
Oblast, has been published in the local press in Ekaterinburg,
ITAR-TASS reported on 31 October. The new republic calls itself
the 22nd republic of the Russian Federation but does not intend
to make use of all the prerogatives of a republic, such as its
own army, citizenship and currency. The establishment of the
new republic was immediately criticized by the Constitutional
Assembly currently meeting in Moscow and by Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin. Chernomyrdin said the population of the oblast
had not been consulted and that the republic was the idea of
"power-hungry local officials." -Elizabeth Teague

TATARSTAN AND THE ELECTIONS. Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev
says the ruling elite of Tatarstan are not going to stand as
candidates in the elections to the Russian Federal Assembly,
Radio Rossii reported on 29 October. Shaimiev added that he thought
that Yeltsin might be making a mistake in having the Federation
Council elected since many appointed heads of administration
could be elected to the Council and the president would to a
large extent lose his power over them. In the meantime, the Tatarstan
TV and radio company has started a campaign against participation
in the elections. Candidates from the democratic bloc are having
great difficulty in getting the requisite number of signatures
to stand. -Ann Sheehy

CONSTITUTION AND FEDERAL STRUCTURE. The federal structure of
the Russian Federation continues to be the subject of sharp differences
in the work on the draft constitution. Anatolii Sobchak, coordinator
of the public chamber of the constitutional assembly, warned
on 1 November that, if the wishes of the republics that they
be defined as sovereign states were not met, they could boycott
the elections and referendum on the constitution, thereby throwing
doubt on the legitimacy of the adoption of the new constitution,
ITAR-TASS reported. Nevertheless he thought that the words "sovereign"
and "state" should be removed. At the same time, he thought that
a split should not be risked over words if the constitution defined
correctly the relationship between the federal authorities and
the subjects of the federation. The same day the constitutional
arbitration body, set up to resolve differences between the different
groups of the assembly, decided that the concept of the sovereignty
of the republics should be removed, since it is unnecessary as
they are recognized as states. -Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



FIGHTING CONTINUES IN WESTERN GEORGIA. On 29 October Georgian
government troops retook Khobi, Western agencies reported. Armenian
President Levon Ter-Petrossyan said Armenia would not send troops
to join a Russian-Armenian-Azerbaijani force intended to protect
rail links through Georgia, according to Reuters. On 29 October
Gamsakhurdia's forces launched a counter-offensive and retook
Khobi and Senaki, inflicting heavy losses on the civilian population.
They also opened fire on Russian troops guarding a bridge near
Senaki. On 30 October Abkhaz defense minister Sultan Sosnaliev
denied allegations that Abkhaz forces were fighting on Gamsakhurdia's
side, Interfax reported. On 1 November Georgian government troops
again occupied Senaki and were advancing on Khobi. -Liz Fuller


ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN. Iran, Turkey and Azerbaijan called on the
UN Security Council on 29 October to convene a session to discuss
the renewed fighting in southern Azerbaijan, Western agencies
and Radio Tehran reported. Also on 29 October, Nagorno-Karabakh
parliament chairman Karen Baburyan told AFP that the Armenian
authorities in Stepanakert would consider ceding part of the
territory recently occupied in return for Azerbaijani recognition
of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as an independent
republic. Armenian forces backed by tanks took the town of Zangelan
on 29 October, inflicting heavy losses on the Azerbaijani defenders,
and are advancing west into Beylagan, Western agencies reported.
A new round of CSCE-sponsored talks on a political solution to
the Karabakh conflict is to begin in Vienna on 2 November. -Liz
Fuller

TURKMENISTAN INTRODUCES ITS OWN CURRENCY . . . On 1 November
Turkmenistan introduced its own currency, the manat, which will
trade initially at two to the US$, or one manat to 500 rubles.
The population may change a maximum of 30,000 roubles. Turkmen
deputy prime minister Valery Ochertsov was quoted by Reuters
on 1 November as predicting that the introduction of the manat
should bring down inflation from 25 per cent per month to 2-3
per cent. Turkmenistan had a considerable trade surplus in 1992
and the government has set aside $300 million to support the
new currency. -Liz Fuller

. . . AND KAZAKHSTAN MAY DO THE SAME. Kazakh First Deputy Prime
Minister Daulet Sembayev told journalists on 1 November that
Kazakhstan "is being pushed out" of the ruble zone because Russia
is imposing conditions which it knows Kazakhstan cannot fulfill,
and is considering introducing its own currency, the tenge, in
January, Reuters reported. Sembayev said Kazakhstan might also
revise its position on an economic union with Russia; it will
apply to the IMF for help to back the tenge. -Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



CZECH REPUBLIC ELECTED TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL. The UN General
Assembly elected the Czech Republic to represent the post-communist
European states on the 15-member Security Council starting in
January, international media reported on 30 October. In the final
round of the secret ballot, the Czech Republic received 127 votes
from 174 delegations present and voting; Belarus, its only competitor,
received 47 votes. There have been indications that the Czech-Belarus
contest for the Security Council seat produced bilateral tensions
between Prague and Minsk. Due to the alphabetical rotation of
the presidency, the Czech Republic will preside over the Security
Council in January. -Jan Obrman

CHAOS IN VARES. International media reported on 1-and 2 November
that the situation has become increasingly chaotic in and around
Vares in central Bosnia. The mainly Croat-inhabited town is slated
to be given to the Muslims, who have surrounded it, under the
terms of the apparently dormant international peace plan. Both
sides have reportedly behaved brutally in the fighting, taking
few if any prisoners. Last week Croat forces were said to have
killed off much of the civilian population of the Muslim village
of Stupni Do, and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman has since
condemned the action and promised an investigation. Meanwhile,
Reuters on 2 November quotes UN mediator Thorvald Stoltenberg
as saying he "cannot understand how the three parties cannot
agree on a mere 2.7% of territory [for the Bosnian peace settlement]
while thousands are getting killed. . . . " -Patrick Moore

UNPROFOR MISCONDUCT? NEWSDAY REPORTS ON 2-NOVEMBER THAT ITS PULITZER
PRIZE-WINNING CORRESPONDENT ROY GUTMAN HAS COMPLETED A SIX-MONTH
STUDY DOCUMENTING INVOLVEMENT BY UNPROFOR PERSONNEL IN THE SEXUAL
ABUSE OF MUSLIM WOMEN IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. Serb paramilitaries
reportedly supplied the women and other entertainment at places
like Sonja's Kon-Tiki, a combination restaurant, hotel, and brothel
near Sarajevo. Gutman's study notes that the UN personnel failed
to investigate a concentration camp operating near Sonja's and
quotes a former commander of the camp and other Serb witnesses
on the presence of UNPROFOR men at the brothel. Bosnia's UN ambassador
Muhamed Sacirbey said the charges constituted war crimes and
that those guilty should be brought before a tribunal. A UNPROFOR
spokesman in Sarajevo called the report "disinformation," but
a UN official in New York promised that the story would be fully
looked into. Sacirbey has appealed to Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros Ghali for a full investigation and a public report. -Patrick
Moore

KOSOVO ALBANIANS TO BOYCOTT SERB ELECTIONS. Leader of the Democratic
League of Kosovo and president of the self-proclaimed Republic
of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, announced that Albanians there will
not take part in the 4 December parliamentary elections, Borba
reports on 29 October. Meanwhile, Veton Surroi, leader of the
Parliamentary Party of Kosovo, the next biggest Albanian grouping,
discussed the advantages and disadvantages of a boycott in the
same paper. Surroi said that "the Kosovo Albanians lost the political
initiative a long time ago. Instead of invention and creativity
in political behavior, they reached a level of mourning and looking
to the world's political sky," on the grounds that "under a military
police state there are not even the basic conditions for democratic
elections." The Socialist Party of Serbia in Kosovo has meanwhile
elected Vojislav Zivkovic as new party leader, replacing Zivorad
Igic, Politika reports on 29 October. Zivkovic, a member of parliament
and journalist for the Pristina paper Jedinstvo, is also expected
to run in the elections. Kosovo's population is over 90% ethnic
Albanian. -Fabian Schmidt

RESURRECTED MONTENEGRIN ORTHODOX CHURCH ANGERS SERBS. On 31 October,
several thousand pro-independence Montenegrin nationalists declared
Antonije Abramovic leader of the re-established national church
in Montenegro. Abramovic, an Orthodox archimandrite from Edmonton,
Canada, was chosen in Cetinje, the former capital of the Kingdom
of Montenegro and considered the cradle of Montenegrin culture.
Belgrade and international media say the action is another sign
of a deepening rift between Montenegro and Serbia. While the
ceremony unfolded, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church
met about 100-meters away in a special session, a move which
angered Montenegrin nationalists and prompted authorities to
send in massive police reinforcements to prevent possible riots.
Although no violence was reported, Montenegrin church officials
and leaders from the republic's secessionist movements described
the Synod's session as a provocation part of an effort to assimilate
Montenegro into a greater Serbian state. The Serbian Orthodox
Church dismissed the new Montenegrin Church as illegal, saying
it was only whipping up secessionism. -Milan Andrejevich

POLAND'S ECONOMIC BOOM CONTINUES. Poland's Main Statistical Office
reported on 29-October that, judging from third-quarter economic
results, growth trends remain strong. At the end of September
industrial production was 6.9% higher than in the same period
in 1992, while GDP was up about 4%. Nineteen of twenty-three
industrial branches reported higher output, Rzeczpospolita reports.
At the same time, 15.4% of the work force was unemployed, with
the jobless rate as high as 27% in some voivodships. Half of
the unemployed have lost their right to benefits, and 45% have
been without work for over a year. Data on real wages point to
growing income disparities, with laborers and pensioners losing
ground and farmers and entrepreneurs gaining. The central planning
office reported on 29 October that the private share of the economy
continues to grow. By September, private firms accounted for
92% of employment and 88% of sales in retail trade; 85% of turnover
in construction; and 46% of employment and 37% of turnover in
industry, PAP reports. -Louisa Vinton

POLISH-BRITISH AIR TRAFFIC HALTED. Direct air traffic between
Poland and Britain was suspended at midnight on 30 October after
Poland refused to allow British Airways to double its weekly
flights to Warsaw from seven to fourteen, Polish TV reports.
The Polish transport ministry rejected Britain's demand, arguing
that more frequent BA flights would lure business away from the
Polish national airline, LOT. In retaliation, the British government
banned LOT flights into London and canceled BA flights to Warsaw.
Passengers traveling between London and Warsaw are now being
offered connections through other European cities. -Louisa Vinton


SLOVAK JEWS PROMISED HELP TO REGAIN PROPERTY. The World Jewish
Congress has promised to help Slovak Jews reclaim properties
seized before and during the Second World War, when Slovakia
was an ally of Nazi Germany, Reuters reports on 1 November. The
pledge was announced at a joint press conference of Slovak Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar, WJC Secretary General Israel Singer,
and WJC Vice Chairman for Political Affairs Naphtale Lavie. The
WJC officials were in Slovakia for a two-day visit at the invitation
of the Meciar government. Under a new Slovak restitution law,
Jewish property seized since 2 November 1938 can be reclaimed.
According to TASR, WJC President Lesslie Keller, who was also
member of the delegation, expressed "satisfaction with the democratic
development in Slovakia." TASR also reported that Keller promised
to help initiate cooperation between Western businessmen and
Slovakia. Jan Obrman

LAMASSOURE IN BRATISLAVA. French Minister for European Affairs
Allain Lamassoure visited Slovakia on 1 November, where he met
with President Michal Kovac and Premier Vladimir Meciar. During
his stay, Lamassoure expressed his support for Slovakia's admission
into European structures and informed Meciar about the plan of
French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur to deal with the situation
of ethnic minorities in Europe. While Meciar stressed that Slovakia
supports preventive diplomacy to cope with minority issues, he
said his country is not ready to accept provisions for collective
rights for ethnic minorities proposed by the Balladur plan, TASR
reports. -Jan Obrman

REVISED HUNGARIAN GDP NUMBERS FOR 1994. The government revised
the GDP growth estimate of 1-to 3% for 1994, given in the summer
as the basis of the first budget proposal, MTI reported. The
new numbers estimate GDP in 1994 to maintain the 1993 level,
without any growth, although industrial output grew by 3.4% in
the first eight months of 1993. Foreign trade in 1994 was projected
to have about 2 to 2.5 billion dollars deficit, more than in
the earlier version. Net debt service will amount to 9% of GDP,
according to the newest estimate. -Karoly Okolicsanyi

ROMANIA PROMISES TO PAY RUSSIAN GAS DEBT. Prime Minister Nicolae
Vacaroiu says Romania will pay Russia $25 million this week to
ensure a continuation of natural gas supplies. Vacaroiu discussed
the payment at a cabinet meeting on 29 October, Radio Bucharest
reported. One day earlier Industry Minister Dumitru Popescu said
on television that Romania is $40 million behind in its payments
for Russian natural gas, and it faced the danger of not getting
any gas at all unless it paid the debt to Moscow. But there are
conflicting reports about the size of the debt. The director
of the Russian state company Intergaz told an RFE/RL Moscow correspondent
that Romania has promised to pay $30-million in the next few
days and another $13 million by year's end. Yet the chief of
the Russian trade mission in Bucharest told a local correspondent
of RFE/RL that the total debt is $42 million and Vacaroiu has
promised to pay about half by the end of October. He said the
pledge prompted Russian authorities to promise gas delivery for
the winter. -Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN TRADE UNIONS THREATEN PROTEST. Two of Romania's major
trade union confederations threatened on 29 October to launch
mass protests after the government rejected pay demands and said
a monthly minimum wage of 40,200 lei ($39) was its final offer,
Radio Bucharest and Reuters reported. The Fratia Confederation
issued a statement denying a television report that it had agreed
to the government's offer during negotiations and called for
a rally on 18 November to protest the lack of social protection
for workers in the face of rising prices. The National Council
of Free Trade Unions also said it was dissatisfied. Government
spokesman Mihai Rosca said the government's offer was final under
the present economic circumstances. In a related development,
a presidential spokesman said on 29 October that President Iliescu
was concerned about the high prices demanded by merchants for
food, especially meat, and intended to ask parliament and the
government to take measures to prevent extensive profiteering.
-Michael Shafir

CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN ROMANIA. A Romanian doctor said on 29 October
that one man has died of cholera and at least 19 other cases
of the disease have been reported in the Danube river delta,
Western agencies report. The head of the contagious diseases
hospital in Tulcea said all the cases were from an isolated village
in the delta, and the victims became ill after drinking contaminated
water. The outbreak of the disease had first been reported in
the daily Romania libera on 23 October. -Michael Shafir

MOLDOVA PULLED TOWARD CIS. Moldovan Parliament Vice-Chairman
Victor Puscasu, a close ally of President Mircea Snegur, told
Interfax on 1 November that the lame-duck legislature would convene
for a special session in December to ratify Moldova's membership
of the CIS, as requested by Snegur and recommended by the Parliament's
Presidium. Puscasu voiced confidence that the Alma-Ata agreement
and subsequent documents, confined to the economic sphere and
including the treaty of Economic Union, would get enough votes
for ratification. He stressed, as did Premier Andrei Sangheli,
that failure to ratify the documents would lead to the loss of
the Russian and CIS markets through the imposition of prohibitive
taxes and tariffs on Moldovan agricultural exports, and also
to the loss of access to Russian raw material and fuel supplies,
Interfax reported on 29 October. Meanwhile, Romanian President
Ion Iliescu's spokesman Traian Chebeleu told a news conference
on 29 October that Moldova is "under constant pressure" to join
the CIS "by forces both within and outside Moldova," Radio Bucharest
reported on 29 October. Chebeleu also said Romania is "quite
embittered" by Moldova's ingratitude for Romania's economic assistance.
-Vladimir Socor

FIRST BULGARIAN PEACE KEEPING MISSION A FIASCO? AN ARTICLE IN
THE 29 OCTOBER WASHINGTON POST SAYS THAT OUT OF ALL THE 16,000
MILITARY PEACE KEEPERS STATIONED IN CAMBODIA PRIOR TO AND DURING
RECENT DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS THERE, THE BULGARIAN COMPONENT WAS
CLEARLY THE MOST "DISRUPTIVE FORCE." According to the report,
several United Nations missions to Cambodia have been criticized
for inefficiency, incompetence, or criminal behavior, but no
single nationality has been as heavily attacked as the Bulgarians.
UN and diplomatic sources are quoted as saying that up to a fourth
of the original battalion was made up of convicts. Bulgarian
authorities have so far described the mission as largely successful,
despite the fact that as many as 10-of the country's 1,300 peace
keepers died in Cambodia. -Kjell Engelbrekt

ALBANIAN PRESS HIGHLIGHTS. Both Aleanca and Zeri i Popullit on
31 October published a letter from the New York-based Committee
to Protect Journalists appealing to President Berisha not to
sign Albania's new press law unless it allows for the free flow
of information. The law was passed in the Albanian parliament
with the support of the Democratic Party and has received considerable
criticism from both inside and outside of Albania. Zeri i Popullit
also notes on 31-October that former Prime Minister Vilson Ahmeti
has been taken from house arrest to a Tirana prison. Lastly,
Koha Jone reports on 30 October that Albanian businessman Marsel
Skendo, who is considered one of the richest men in Albania,
has been arrested for falsification of documents. -Robert Austin


PERSONNEL CUTS IN UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES. Minister of Defense
Vitalii Radetsky issued an order to cut Ukraine's armed forces
down to 380,000 by 1-January 1994 and to 250,000 by the end of
1995, UNIAN reported on 29 October. These are greater cuts than
those recently approved by the Supreme Council, which pledged
to reduce the armed forces to 420,000 by the end of 1995 and
to 200,000 by the year 2000. Currently Ukraine's armed forces
are the second largest in Europe, after Russia's, numbering 525,000,
although higher numbers have sometimes been reported. -Ustina
Markus

PARLIAMENTARIANS ENDORSE THE CREATION OF BALTIC COUNCIL. On 31
October sixty Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian parliamentarians
meeting in Tallinn concluded their third joint session. They
endorsed the creation of a Baltic Council, an idea that had been
proposed in September at a meeting of the presidents of the Baltic
States. The council would serve as an instrument for increased
cooperation among the three Baltic States and would coordinate
legislation and policy on ecology, energy, economy, communications,
culture, education, social issues, science, defense and security,
and foreign policy. The parliamentarians decided to establish
a Baltic Information Bureau in Moscow and also discussed security
issues, especially the possibility of the Baltic States becoming
full members of NATO and the withdrawal of Russian troops from
their territories, Baltic media reported. -Dzintra Bungs

HELSINKI WATCH ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN LATVIA. Following a visit to
Latvia, leaders of the US-based Helsinki Watch organization said
on 29 October they gave Premier Valdis Birkavs a list of what
they considered to be violations and irregularities in the implementation
of human rights in his country. Baltic media reported that most
of the criticism had to do with the registration of non-Latvians,
especially members of the Russian military and retired members
of the Soviet armed forces and their families, by the Citizenship
and Immigration Department in the period March 1992 to March
1993. Helsinki Watch also expressed objections to a recent Latvian
legislation, stipulating that non-citizens get 90% of the state
pension. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ustina Markus and Sharon Fisher











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