You can't fake listening. It shows. - Raquel Welch
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 223, 22 November 1993



	Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.



CIS US, RUSSIA, REACT TO UKRAINIAN START DECISION. Both the US
and Russian governments reacted negatively to the Ukrainian parliament's
conditional ratification of the START-1 treaty. On 19 November,
State Department deputy spokesperson Christine Shelly told reporters
that the US is "seriously concerned" about the decision and noted
that it could "seriously delay or prevent entry into force of
START-1." She observed that "there are commitments on this and
we expect the commitments to be implemented." The Russian reaction
was even harsher. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev on
20 November told ITAR-TASS that the resolution left an "alarming
impression" and that Ukraine was leaving open the possibility
of not eliminating its weapons. He warned that Ukraine's actions
had created a situation that could disturb the entire system
of international relations. Both the US and Russia left open
a door for further negotiations, however, by emphasizing that
the parliament's actions did not necessarily reflect the position
of the Ukrainian government, and particularly the Ukrainian president.
-John Lepingwell

KRAVCHUK: RE-RATIFY IN MARCH? UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT LEONID KRAVCHUK'S
REACTION WAS ALSO NEGATIVE, ACCORDING TO A UKRINFORM-TASS REPORT
OF 20 NOVEMBER. Kravchuk noted that he still supported complete
nuclear disarmament and that he had also submitted the nuclear
non-proliferation treaty (NPT) for ratification even though the
parliament had not acted upon it. He claimed, however, that the
resolution had its "positive aspects." According to Reuters on
20 November, Kravchuk told reporters that he might resubmit the
START and NPT treaties to the new parliament that will be formed
after the March elections. The New York Times reported on 22
November, though, that Western diplomats are skeptical of Kravchuk's
commitments and noted that he did not campaign effectively to
push the agreements through parliament. Indeed, many of the conditions
in the parliamentary resolution have been previously enunciated
by Kravchuk and other government officials. -John Lepingwell


COST OF START-1 DETAILED. According to Ukraine's Deputy Prime
Minister Valerii Shmarov, the "exact fulfillment" of the START-1
treaty (in Ukraine's interpretation, elimination of 36% of launchers)
would cost some $1.6-1.7 billion dollars. However complete elimination
of nuclear weapons would cost some $3.8-billion. The former figure
is lower than previous estimates, while the higher figure (if
correctly reported) is $1-billion higher. Shmarov noted that
these estimates are based on world costs and prices-presumably
costs in the rapidly depreciating Ukrainian karbovanets would
be much lower. Shmarov made his comments during a news conference
broadcast by Ukrainian TV on 19-November. -John Lepingwell

RUSSIA



REGISTRATION OF PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES COMPLETED. Registration
of candidates for election to Russia's new Federal Assembly has
been completed, Central Electoral Commission officials informed
ITAR-TASS and Western agencies on 20 November. Candidates had
to submit signatures in support of their candidacies by midnight
on 19-November. Officials said a total of 1,880 candidates had
been registered. Of these, 483 will run for 176 seats in the
Federation Council while 1,397 will run for 224 seats in the
State Duma, which are to be contested by individuals rather than
parties. Elections to the Federation Council in Tatarstan and
Chelyabinsk Oblast will be postponed until March, since fewer
than the requisite three candidates registered in these two constituencies;
moreover, only three candidates were registered in 19 other constituencies
and the ballot may be canceled there if one candidate withdraws.
The Central Electoral Commission confirmed that no elections
to the Federal Assembly will be in Chechnya; the number of seats
to be contested has therefore fallen from the original 178-Federation
Council and 225 State Duma seats. -Wendy Slater

ELECTIONS POSTPONED IN TATARSTAN. Elections to the Federation
Council are having to be postponed in Tatarstan because only
two candidates were nominated for the two seats instead of the
requisite minimum of three, the Russian media reported on 20-November.
The election of a deputy to the State Duma from the Naberezhnye
Chelni constituency in Tatarstan also has to be postponed because
only one candidate was nominated. The elections will be rescheduled
for twelve weeks after 12 December. Tatar nationalist organizations,
which have strong support in Naberezhnye Chelni, are boycotting
the elections, and the top republican leadership is not standing
for election, as it is in many other republics. -Ann Sheehy

SOCIAL COMPOSITION OF CANDIDATES. A preliminary list of 1,000
parliamentary candidates was published by the Electoral Commission
on 19 November, AFP reported that day. Of these, a total of 60-persons
had been members of the Russian Congress of People's Deputies,
which was dissolved by President Yeltsin on 21 September. 23%
of the preliminary registered candidates were heads of local
administrations or their deputies, or special envoys of the President.
22% were businessmen or directors of privatized industrial companies,
while 8% were managers of state-owned factories. 3.1% were journalists
and 1.2% were blue-collar workers. Unlike previous elections,
officials of the "power" ministries (defense, internal affairs
and security) are not highly represented among candidates. -Alexander
Rahr

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT AFFIRMS REFORM COURSE. Russian news agencies
on 19-November carried the Russian government's targets for economic
policy for the remainder of 1993 and 1994. Among the objectives
are: limiting the budget deficit to 5.5 trillion rubles in the
fourth quarter of 1993 and to 5% of GDP next year; reduced credit
growth, maintaining positive interest rates, and initiating the
auction of central bank credits; allowing central bank intervention
in the currency market only to smooth out fluctuations in the
ruble exchange rate, not to artificially sustain a fixed rate;
liberalizing tariff and non-tariff barriers; reducing restrictions
on land ownership and implementing bankruptcy; and facilitating
the transition of nations exiting the ruble zone, while working
towards CIS Economic Union in the longer term. -Erik Whitlock


MORE ON GOVERNMENT'S FISCAL AND MONETARY OBJECTIVES. Based on
earlier official statements, it seems that the government is
projecting a year-end budget deficit of 17-trillion rubles, amounting
to 10% of GDP. As part of the program of monetary austerity,
the Russian Central Bank is to hold its credit creation to 6
trillion rubles in the last quarter of this year. The policy
document is intended to free up the $1.5 billion in aid from
the International Monetary Fund which Finance Minister Boris
Fedorov has said might be approved as early at January 1994.
However, it is still not clear how realistic the government's
fiscal and monetary targets are politically or in terms of prior
financial commitments. Liberal Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii
Chubais now apparently shares the opinion of more conservative
critics that government had "gone a little too far" in its austerity
program, Interfax reported on 19 November. Chubais said a solution
would have to be found for the interenterprise debt problem and
that reducing interest rates should be considered. -Erik Whitlock


CEREAL HARVEST PREDICTION DROPS. The Russian agricultural ministry
is predicting that this year's cereal harvest will total 100
million tons, AFP reported on 18 November. Two months ago, the
ministry was predicting a record harvest of 125 million tons;
the ministry blamed the decrease on "financial difficulties in
the agricultural sector" and poor weather conditions. -Elizabeth
Teague

TRANCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

SHEVARDNADZE INAUGURATES OWN POLITICAL MOVEMENT. In an attempt
to gain a clear parliamentary majority, Georgian parliament chairman
Eduard Shevardnadze has launched an umbrella movement of smaller
political parties, "Citizens' Union." The founding conference
took place in Tbilisi on 21 November, Western agencies reported.
Shevardnadze, who was elected the movement's chairman, listed
as its goals the reassertion of Georgian control over Abkhazia
and implementation of radical economic reforms. The movement
will hold its first congress after expiry of the ongoing state
of emergency, which on 20 November was extended for a further
two months. Citing the results of an opinion poll published in
Svobodnaya Gruziya, ITAR-TASS reported on 19 November that 54.3%
of Georgians questioned favored the dissolving the present parliament
and holding new elections. -Liz Fuller

ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN TRADE ACCUSATIONS. Armenia and Azerbaijan
have blamed each other for an incident on 20 November during
which the convoy of Yeltsin's special envoy for Nagorno-Karabakh,
Vladimir Kazimirov, came under fire from Armenian territory at
a border crossing between the two countries, Western agencies
reported. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev condemned the
shooting as a barbaric act that required an official explanation.
Kazimirov was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying the episode "must
not halt progress" towards a settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
-Liz Fuller

UZBEK AMBASSADOR SAID SEEKING ASYLUM IN US. Uzbekistan's Foreign
Ministry has issued a statement that its ambassador to the United
States, Muhammad Babur Malikov, has asked for political asylum
in the US, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 20-November. US
authorities did not comment on the report, but a minister-counselor
at the Uzbek embassy in Washington told RFE/RL that the embassy
was looking into possible violations of travel regulations by
Malikov. The Foreign Ministry statement said Malikov had been
summoned to Tashkent on 8 November to respond to charges of misuse
of state funds but that he returned to the US without government
permission on 15 November. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



NO PEACE IN BOSNIA DESPITE TRUCE. On 21-November Tanjug and Western
news agencies reported fighting across Bosnia. In addition reports
confirm that aid convoys are having serious difficulty reaching
their destinations, largely because regional military authorities
have refused to stop blocking convoy routes. This situation exists
despite the fact that on 18 November the Croatian, Muslim, and
Serbian leaders in Bosnia met in Geneva and agreed that aid deliveries
should be allowed through. Harsh winter conditions are also playing
a role in hampering aid deliveries, and shipments could not arrive
in Sarajevo on 20-November because of snow. The potential for
escalating violence has presented itself yet again as Bosnian-Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic, according to a 22 November Borba report,
has hinted that some 20,000 Serbs living in the town of Tuzla
may have to be "liberated" because they are being maltreated
by the Muslim population. According to the Bosnian-Serb news
agency SRNA, Karadzic said that "it would be better for them
[the Muslims] to let the Serbs go than to force the Serb army
to liberate them." -Stan Markotich

BUT EC TO WORK FOR BOSNIAN PEACE. Meanwhile, on 22 November European
Community foreign ministers are to meet in Luxemburg to discuss
a new EC-backed peace proposal for Bosnia and the rest of ex-Yugoslavia.
The plan involves such elements as requiring the Bosnian Serbian
side to give up some land to the Muslims in exchange for a promise
to have sanctions eased against rump Yugoslavia. The proposal
is intended to solve outstanding differences throughout ex-Yugoslavia,
including the tensions between the Croatian government and Croatia's
rebel Krajina Serb population. So far at least one prominent
Western figure has openly expressed his pessimism about peace
prospects for Bosnia. According to Western media on 19 November,
peace mediator David Owen said that in Bosnia "military aims
come out first" and he suggested that Croatia was becoming involved
in Bosnian affairs, to the detriment of the peace process. -Stan
Markotich

REPORTED FIGHTING IN CROATIA. According to Western news agencies,
ethnic Serb troops in Croatia's breakaway and self-proclaimed
Republic of Serbian Krajina alleged on 19-November that Croatian
forces attacked targets in Krajina. On 21 November Western agencies
and Tanjug reported that Croatian forces and rebel Serbs in western
Slavonia, a part of the self-proclaimed Krajina republic, negotiated
a cease fire deal that will be in effect for ten days. It is
hoped that during those ten days a permanent ceasefire deal can
be negotiated. -Stan Markotich

ALBANIAN EXILED KING RETURNS . . . AND THEN LEAVES. According
to Gazeta Shqiptare on 21 November, Albania's exiled monarch,
King Leka I, returned briefly to his homeland on Friday and then
left on Saturday. According to Western media sources, the monarch
was asked to leave the country by authorities. The visit coincided
with the 50th anniversary of the legality movement, the political
arm of the monarchist movement founded during the second world
war. Leka is the only son of the self-proclaimed King Zog who
fled Albania in 1939 after the Italians invaded the country.
Leka continues to press for a referendum on the question of the
restoration of the monarchy. Reliable sources suggest that the
king enjoys very little support in the country. -Robert Austin


CONTROVERSY ABOUT BORDER INCIDENT BETWEEN SERBIA AND MACEDONIA.
Rump Yugoslav authorities responded to Macedonian allegations
that the two policemen and one soldier allegedly abducted in
Macedonia by Serbs from the former Yugoslavia on 17-November,
actually made an incursion into Serbian territory and were there
detained. The three claim they had been beaten and that the Serbs
attempted to force them to sign documents claiming responsibility
for the incident. Vecer reports that this incident should come
as no surprise given that the government has permitted the building
of many gas stations near the Serbian frontier. -Duncan Perry


AIR CRASH IN MACEDONIA KILLS 115. A Soviet-made YAK 42 airplane
with 116 crew and passengers on broad crashed near the Ohrid
airport at around 23:00 on 20 November. En route from Geneva
to Skopje, the Avioimpex aircraft was diverted to Ohrid because
of foul weather. Described as a nightmare, the disaster scene
was inaccessible, much of the wreckage in flames when rescue
workers arrived. Of the 116-on board, according to MIC, only
one man survived, with serious injuries. The plane was leased
from Ukraine and had a Ukrainian flight crew and Macedonian service
crew. This is the second airplane crash in Macedonia this year.
-Duncan Perry

PRICES RISE IN POLAND. Announcing another round of price increases
for gas, electricity and central heating as of 1 December, the
last of staggered rises provided in the 1993 budget by the previous
government, Poland's Finance Minister Marek Borowski said that
he was trying to limit their impact for domestic consumers. The
schedule for increases of government-controlled prices was disrupted
by the government changeover but any further delays in implementation
would result in "loss of liquidity and excessive burdens for
the budget," according to a communique published on 19 November.
Borowski told World Bank representatives in Warsaw that Poland
would continue increasing energy prices to world levels, but
at a slower rate than originally agreed, PAP reported on 19 November.
Other increases include: spirits by 15% on 22 November, and cigarettes
by about 500-zloty a pack on 29 November. Gasoline and diesel
fuel prices, which rose at the beginning of November, will remain
stable until the end of the year. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

SPECULATION SURROUNDS RESIGNATION OF SECURITY CHIEF. Speculation
continues about the circumstances of the still unconfirmed resignation
of the head of the State Security Office (UOP), Jerzy Konieczny.
Gazeta Wyborcza wrote on 20 November that Konieczny was moved
to resign in connection with the case of the former head of the
Gdansk UOP office, Adam Hodysz. Hodysz, famous as the only secret
policeman known to have cooperated with Solidarity under communist
rule, was dismissed in August at the urging of the president's
office, which claimed he was a potential weak link in security.
Konieczny reportedly stood up for Hodysz, thus earning disfavor
in the eyes of President Lech Walesa's minister of state Mieczyslaw
Wachowski. Interior Minister Andrzej Milczanowski, who was away
from Poland last week, has apparently not accepted Konieczny's
resignation yet. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

MILEWSKI WANTS DEFENSE COMMITTEE. Head of the National Security
Bureau and now also first deputy defense minister, Jerzy Milewski,
told a meeting of retired army officers on 19 November that the
government was considering establishing a Committee for Defense
Matters within the Council of Ministers Office, alongside the
already existing committees for economic and social matters.
The committee would be chaired by the prime minister, with the
chief of the National Defense Committee (also Milewski) as secretary.
Its aim would be "to integrate defense and security tasks," and
serve as the formal "extension" of the NDC in the government,
because there is no such link at present, Milewski said, as quoted
by PAP. The defense ministry is one of the three so-called "presidential
ministries" over which President Walesa has claimed control in
order to be able to exercise his constitutional powers in this
sphere. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

MECIAR CRITICIZES COALITION PARTY. On 20-November, Slovak Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar criticized the Slovak National Party,
a new coalition partner of his Movement for a Democratic Slovakia,
for failing to adhere to coalition agreements. In an interview
with Slovak Radio, Meciar said that some SNP deputies voted with
the opposition to oust Health Minister Viliam Sobona on 17 November.
The premier argued that the vote of no confidence against Sobona,
his close associate, "was not an act of political reason but
hatred." According to Meciar, this incident shows that the coalition
agreement between his party and the SNP "does not guarantee the
government a majority support." Meciar also criticized statements
made by several SNP leaders who on 18 November rejected the coalition
with the MDS. Their criticism suggests that the party is deeply
divided and could split; some of its leaders have suggested they
may leave the party over the coalition agreement with the MDS.
-Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK TV HEAD RECALLED. Slovak media report that on 19 November
the Slovak parliament, acting at the recommendation of the Board
for Slovak Television, recalled Slovak Television Director Peter
Malec from his post. Malec offered his resignation at the beginning
of November after the parliament replaced seven members of the
board with members of Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia and the Slovak National Party. Although Malec did not
give official reasons for his resignation, Slovak media have
speculated that he did so in protest against the board's interfering
with his work. -Jiri Pehe

CZECH DEFENSE MINISTER AGAINST NEW VISEGRAD STRUCTURES. Speaking
at a press conference in Washington on 19 November, Czech Defense
Minister Antonin Baudys said that efforts "to create a political,
economic, or military bloc between the Czech Republic, Hungary,
Poland, and Slovakia" do not make sense and "there is not a single
reason for it." According to Baudys, this does not mean that
"the Czech Republic cannot have good bilateral relations with
these countries." The minister admitted that all four countries
have common problems inherited from the time when they had been
Soviet satellites but argued that today their economic and political
developments differ. -Jiri Pehe

CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE MEETS IN HUNGARY. The foreign ministers
of Hungary, Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Macedonia,
Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, and the Czech first deputy foreign
minister met in Debrecen on 20 November, MTI reports. Parliamentary
delegations from CEI countries conferred in Szeged on 19 and
20-November. Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky said
that the CEI should make clear to Western countries that Central
Europe is not an place of conflict but a region where countries
cooperate on their way toward Europe. In a communique issued
at the end of the meeting, the foreign ministers called on the
Bosnian Serb army to end the siege of Sarajevo and urged the
Bosnian Serb army and the Croatian Defense Council to end the
fighting in central Bosnia. The communique declared that minorities
should be granted the right to "self-government" in areas where
they form a majority, and cultural autonomy in regions where
they are in a minority. Jeszenszky reported that Moldavia and
Ukraine have applied for CEI membership while Belarus, Bulgaria,
and Romania expressed interest in cooperating with CEI work groups.
The CEI parliamentary delegations urged a more intensive dialogue
between the CEI foreign ministers and the parliamentary groups.
-Edith Oltay

KOLESNIKOV: BULGARIA FACES ISLAMIC THREAT. Informing parliament
on his talks with the chief of Russia's General Staff and Deputy
Defense Minister Gen. Mihail Kolesnikov, Bulgarian Defense Minister
Valentin Aleksandrov said the visitor had warned Bulgaria that
Islamic fundamentalism is becoming more aggressive and that Bulgaria,
along with ex-Yugoslavia and Albania, lies "within the scope
of Turkey's ambitions," BTA reported on 19-November. Aleksandrov,
who in May surprised Bulgaria's military and security establishments
by suggesting that Turkey could qualify as Bulgaria's "strategic
rear," told the National Assembly he disagreed with Kolesnikov
but that the latter had insisted he has evidence that the "restructuring"
of the Balkan region will continue. On the same day 24-Chasa
quoted the Russian visitor as saying that Moscow would raise
no objections in case Bulgaria decided to join NATO. -Kjell Engelbrekt


BULGARIA TO TIGHTEN CONTROL OF WESTERN BORDER. Government officials
said on 19 November that Bulgaria is preparing measures designed
to put an end to violations of the UN embargo against rump Yugoslavia.
The Bulgarian government, which earlier in November received
praise from Western monitors for its commitment to upholding
the sanctions, has so far done little to halt the flow of petty
smugglers regularly crossing the Bulgarian-Serbian border. As
the embargo has gradually tightened elsewhere, reports say the
remaining checkpoints have become jammed by sanction-busting
peddlers, most of whom are smuggling fuel. A foreign ministry
official told Reuters that the government is drawing up new instructions
for customs officials who will be authorized to stop known offenders
from entering Bulgarian territory. Similarly, gas stations located
near the border will be asked not to fill canisters or bottles
with fuel. Three days earlier, however, Prime Minister Lyuben
Berov indicated that both Bulgaria and Romania may back a Greek
initiative aimed at easing the effects of the embargo. Berov
complained that Balkan countries thus far have only received
moral support for their support of the sanctions, despite that
they are all taking a heavy economic toll. Berov said Bulgaria,
which according to official estimates has lost $3-billion due
to the embargo, needs "something more concrete." -Kjell Engelbrekt


POLITICAL PARTY MEETINGS IN ESTONIA. On 20-November a general
meeting of Estonia's ruling coalition, the National Assembly
"Pro Patria," reelected Prime Minister Mart Laar as its chairman,
BNS reports. Nominated by the Christian Democrats, Laar defeated
Conservative division candidate Enn Tarto 103 to 72 with 9 invalid
ballots. The meeting elected an eight-member council and court
of honor. The same day a new political party, Estonian National
Progressive Party, held its founding meeting that elected Ants
Erm as its chairman. Erm had been a leading figure of the National
Independence Party. -Saulius Girnius

PARLIAMENT ELECTION IN LITHUANIA FAILS AGAIN. On 21 November
parliamentary elections in the Kaisiadorys district for the seat
President Algirdas Brazauskas gave up on being elected president
were unsuccessful, Radio Lithuania reports. Only about 36.5%
of eligible voters participated and just as in an earlier attempt
on 20 June when 30% of the voters had participated, the necessary
40% participation limit was not reached. -Saulius Girnius

LATVIA PRIME MINISTER ON RUSSIAN RADAR. On his return from the
UN General Assembly session Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs
rejected Russia's offer to withdraw its army by September 1994
if allowed to retain its radar station at Skrunda for six more
years, BNS reported on 20 November. He said that under certain
conditions Latvia may allow the radar to operate for two more
years. -Saulius Girnius

BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO PASS ECONOMIC MEASURES. After
a two-week debate on the economy, three proposals on resolving
Belarus' economic crisis failed to muster a majority of votes
in 250-member chamber, Reuters reported on 19 November. Two motions,
submitted by both conservatives and nationalists, called for
the resignation of one or both of the two top leaders, Prime
Minister Vyacheslau Kebich and the chairman of parliament, Stanislau
Shushkevich. The third proposal, prepared by parliamentary commissions,
proposed limits of six percent of GNP for the budget deficit
and 10 percent for monthly inflation. It received 100 votes,
the most of the three. Official statistics show that the Belarusian
economy is contracting, with production at about 85-percent of
last year's levels and monthly inflation at 30 percent. -Ustina
Markus

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT PASSES DEBT RESOLUTION. On 20 November Ukrinform
reported that the Ukrainian government passed a resolution in
order to deal with the country's debt to Russia for natural gas
and oil. The resolution frees a series of Ukrainian enterprises
from the added cost of export customs duties imposed in 1993
on goods going to the Russian state gas and oil ventures Gazprom
and Rosneft, as well as other Russian energy enterprises. According
to a report by Interfax on 19 November, Ukraine's debt to Russia,
as of November 15, was 714.6 billion rubles. This included 490.7
billion for gas, 206.3 billion for oil, and 17.6 billion for
petroleum products. Ukraine's gas debt to Turkmenistan amounted
to 85.8-billion rubles. -Ustina Markus

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Elizabeth Teague and Jan B. de Weydenthal





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