To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else. - Emily Dickinson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 225, 24 November 1993



	Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





CIS

RUSSIA HINTS AT ECONOMIC PRESSURE OVER START. Izvestiya on 23
November cited Russian foreign ministry officials as suggesting
that Russia might apply economic pressure to force Ukraine to
fully eliminate its nuclear weapons. An unnamed Russian official
described the Ukrainians as untrustworthy and suggested that
the conditions on ratification imposed by the Ukrainian parliament
were very similar to Kravchuk's position. Izvestiya suggested
that economic measures against Ukraine, such as reducing natural
gas deliveries, might not be directly or publicly linked to the
nuclear issue but might instead be justified by reference to
Ukraine's outstanding debt to Russia. -John Lepingwell

RUSSIA



FINAL NUMBER OF CANDIDATES. The Central Electoral Commission
has announced the final number of candidates to fight the constituency-based
seats in the new parliament, Radio Rossii reported on 22 November.
The final number is slightly higher than the previously announced
figure [see RFE/RL Daily Report no. 223], standing at 490 contestants
for seats in the upper house-the Federation Council-and 1,567
candidates for the half of the State Duma seats to be contested
in single-mandate constituencies rather than nationwide on party
lists. The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Nikolai Ryabov,
said the registration of candidates showed that Russian voters
were active and that Russian society was becoming increasingly
democratic. -Wendy Slater

YELTSIN BACKTRACKS ON INDEPENDENT TV. On 23 November, President
Boris Yeltsin issued a decree allocating six hours of broadcasting-time
a day to the independent NTV television network. NTV is the only
independent Russian TV network to broadcast its own news. According
to the provisions of the decree, state TV companies were to broadcast
educational programs in the morning, while NTV would go on the
air in the evening. Later the same day, however, Yeltsin annulled
the decree, citing the need to resolve conflicts of interest
between the parties involved, Reuters, ITAR-TASS and Ostankino
TV news reported. Earlier this month, various liberal newspapers
and creative unions accused the head of the Federal Information
Center, Mikhail Poltoranin, of attempting to close NTV down in
order to ensure the Center's control over all political broadcasts
in Russia. -Julia Wishnevsky

COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF BANNED NEWSPAPER. A Moscow district court
ruled on 23-November that the government acted illegally in suspending
the opposition newspaper, Sovetskaya Rossiya, after the October
disturbances, ITAR-TASS reported. The court said the newspaper
could resume publication within ten days if the Ministry of Information
did not appeal the decision. The editorial board of Sovetskaya
Rossiya had filed a suit against the Ministry of Information
after rejecting the government's proposal that it might resume
publication if it changed its title and chief editor. -Vera Tolz


CRISIS IN ENERGY SECTOR. Increased demand due to extremely cold
weather, billions of rubles in unpaid bills and strike threats
have sharpened the crisis in Russian energy sector, Russian news
agencies reported on 23 November. Anatolii Dyakov, president
of the company Unified Energy System of Russia, said that supplies
of coal, fuel and natural gas must be increased significantly
in order to meet energy shortages induced by recent cold temperatures
across the country. Yurii Shafranik, Minister for Fuel and Energy,
told the Commission on Operational Issues that the energy situation
was being aggravated by the fact that the Ministry of Finance
and Central Bank had issued only half of the credits earlier
promised to the industry (305 billion rubles, instead of 610
billion rubles). Shafranik told Reuters after the Commission
meeting that, since October, oil enterprises had cut their production
by 14,000 tons a day because customers were not paying their
bills. The inability of companies in the energy industry to collect
income from customers or inadequate financing from the state
has led to enormous pay backlogs. Among the labor groups calling
for strikes as a result are coalminers in several regions of
the country. They have set a date of 1 December for a work stoppage.
First Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar is to fly to Vorkuta
on 25 November to hold talks with the miners' representatives,
Interfax reported. -Erik Whitlock

FINANCIAL WOES. Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin said his
Ministry did not have the money to pay coal miners' October and
November wages according to the agreement reached between the
government and the coal industry earlier this year, Interfax
and ITAR-TASS reported on 23 November. The reason given is a
shortfall of 300 billion rubles in expected state tax revenues
this month. The state coal enterprise, Rosugol, has put the Finance
Ministry's debt to the coal industry at 400 billion rubles. The
same day, the Minister of Agriculture, Aleksandr Zaveryukha said
the government owed the agricultural sector 800-billion rubles
and that it hoped to pay off that sum by 12 December.--Erik Whitlock


ZHIRINOVSKY ADVOCATES ABOLITION OF REPUBLICS. Vladimir Zhirinovsky,
leader of the misleadingly-named Liberal Democratic Party, sent
a message to his supporters on 23-November, Reuters and Interfax
reported, in which he stated: "We do not need the restoration
of the Soviet Union-this is why the Communists lost. We do not
need a CIS-this is why the democrats are losing. We need a Russia
within the borders of 1990 if not those of 1977." The party's
economic program proposes halting foreign aid and defense industry
conversion, and calls for a stronger state sector, reintroduction
of state orders and restoration of inter-enterprise links; a
bar on refugees in Russia and a ban on non-citizens trading in
Russian cities. Zhirinovsky also proposes that Russia's federal
structure should be altered by dissolving the 21 ethnic republics;
only the territorially based krais and oblasts should continue
to exist. -Wendy Slater

TRAVKIN WORRIED BY FALLING SUPPORT. Nikolai Travkin, leader of
the Democratic Party of Russia, told a press conference in Moscow
that he was concerned by the drop in his party's popularity shown
by recent polls, Interfax reported on 22 November. Nonetheless,
Travkin said, the party would not seek an alliance with other
parties during the upcoming election campaign. Calling the campaign
a test of the party's ability to hold its own, Travkin said that
if the party failed to win at least 5% of the vote, changes would
have to be made within it. -Elizabeth Teague

MILITARY DRAFT IN TROUBLE. According to an Interfax report of
23 November, the military draft in the city of Moscow is running
into difficulties once again. So far, only 32.5% of the required
number of conscripts have been inducted, despite efforts by both
the defense ministry and city authorities to increase the turnout.
The results also suggest that a decree issued by President Yeltsin
on 2 October, which eliminated some draft exemptions, and a similar
move by parliament earlier in the year, have not solved the conscription
problem. -John Lepingwell

KOSTIKOV WARNS LEADERS OF OCTOBER UPRISING MAY ESCAPE PUNISHMENT.
Vyacheslav Kostikov, press secretary for President Yeltsin, issued
a statement on 23-November reported by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
urging that the investigation against those accused of responsibility
for the violence on 3-4-October be brought to a swift conclusion.
He accused defense lawyers of deliberately delaying the case
and of "presenting the defendants as victims, and the defenders
of democracy against the Red-Brown coup as culprits." The case,
he said, risked replaying the long-delayed trial of those accused
of leading the 1991 attempted coup. Kostikov claimed that the
lawyers' tactics "hold a danger for society. People are becoming
disoriented about political morality; the concept of guilt for
serious state misdemeanors is blurred." -Wendy Slater



TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



RESIGNATION OF AZERBAIJANI PRIME MINISTER REPORTED. Radio Rossii
reported on 23 November that Azerbaijan's Prime Minister, Colonel
Suret Huseinov, has resigned. There has been no official confirmation
of the story from Baku. Huseinov, who led a rebel force against
the Baku government in early summer, was given the premiership
in a compromise. Also on 23-November, Reuters reported that the
official Kyrgyzstani daily Slovo Kyrgyzstana had carried a story
about the resignations of the ministers of justice and transportation
in the Central Asian republic, speculating that the two feared
that the upcoming parliamentary session would be "hot." -Bess
Brown

DEFECTING AMBASSADOR CRITICIZES KARIMOV. In an interview with
RL's Uzbek Service on 23 November, Uzbekistan's Ambassador to
the US, Muhammad Buhar Malikov, said he has applied for political
asylum in the United States because he can no longer live with
Uzbek President Islam Karimov's violations of basic human rights
and suppression of the opposition. He denied connections with
any Uzbek opposition group, saying he was acting only in accord
with his conscience after 40 years of state service in Uzbekistan,
including a stint as Minister of Justice. Malikov denied Uzbek
Foreign Ministry charges that he had misused government funds,
complaining that his embassy was so poorly financed that he did
not even have an entertainment budget. He also noted that groups
of Uzbek political emigres opposed to Karimov are forming in
the US, Moscow, Germany, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. -Azizullah
Aral and Bess Brown

TAJIK ISLAMIC LEADER DENIES ATTACK PREPARATIONS. Tajik Islamic
Renaissance Party Chairman Mohammadsharif Himmatzoda, interviewed
by AFP in his refuge in Kabul, was quoted on 23 November as denying
Tajik government charges that Tajik opposition forces are massing
in Afghanistan for an attack on Tajikistan. Himmatzoda said that
his group's military bases are all inside Tajikistan, and claimed
that these groups control a significant portion of the country.
He also denied that Afghan groups are providing military training
for the Tajik opposition, saying that the only assistance received
is from Uzbek oppositionists who have fled Uzbekistan. Himmatzoda
said he was willing to negotiate with the present government
of Tajikistan, but would not agree to share power with it. -Bess
Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL BLASTS RIGHTS SITUATION IN KOSOVO. The
BBC said on 24 November that human rights groups including Amnesty
International have issued a report strongly critical of Serbian
policies toward Kosovo's more than 90% ethnic Albanian majority.
Spokesperson Christine von Kohl said from Vienna that Serbian
abuses have been less flagrant than in Bosnia but that Albanians
still cannot obtain an education in state schools or medical
treatment in their own language, which has forced them to develop
alternative underground institutions instead. Borba reports that
the Kosovo Albanians reject any possible restoration of the province's
autonomy, which was destroyed by the regime of President Slobodan
Milosevic, because they feel that the Serbs themselves have ended
the former constitutional order once and for all. The president
of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, has
said that the Kosovars now have three options: neutrality, independence
in some arrangement with the Albanians in Macedonia, or union
with Albania. Finally, Borba goes on to note that Albanian pupils
and students in Kosovo plan to celebrate Albanian independence
day, 28 November, rather than rump Yugoslavia's national holiday
on the 29th and 30th, in yet another move to show that the Albanians
want nothing to do with Serbian public life. -Fabian Schmidt


CROATS PLAN TO REBUILD MOSTAR BRIDGE. Borba reports on 24 November
that a commission of experts has been set up in Zagreb to reconstruct
the historic structure over the Neretva that Croatian gunners
destroyed on 9 November. The commission chairman said that "every
stone will be returned to the place where it was 427 years ago."
The Croatian media have reported the destruction of the bridge
but have been reluctant to admit direct Croatian responsibility,
suggesting instead that it somehow just happened in the midst
of a war. Croatian military officials meanwhile have told Western
reporters that the Muslims had deliberately used the bridge for
military purposes. All three nationalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina
have traditionally identified with the bridge, and this year
the Croat republic pictured it on stamps while the local Serbs
have it on bank notes. There has been surprisingly little international
political fallout over the destruction of the famous bridge,
but Croatia seems anxious to set things right quickly nonetheless.
-Patrick Moore

NO PAPAL VISIT TO CROATIA? BORBA ON 24 NOVEMBER QUOTES VATICAN
RADIO AS SAYING THAT POPE JOHN PAUL II WILL NOT GO TO CROATIA
NEXT YEAR AFTER ALL. The Belgrade daily adds that the pope reportedly
deferred to Italian political circles angry over the sour state
of relations between Italy and Croatia following allegations
in the Croatian media and by politicians to the effect that Italy
has irredentist designs on Istria and Dalmatia. The Croatian
press had recently reported that the long-awaited papal visit
would come in 1994, although it was noted that the pope's wish
to visit Sarajevo would have to be postponed indefinitely. The
late President Josip Broz Tito was received by Pope Paul VI in
the Vatican, but the Yugoslav authorities repeatedly vetoed the
idea of a papal visit to Croatia out of fear that it could develop
into a celebration of Croatian nationalism. Since nationalists
came to power in Croatia in 1990, the leadership has openly hoped
that the pope would soon visit. -Patrick Moore

"POLITICAL POLICE COURT TRIALS AGAINST ALBANIANS, MUSLIMS IN
KOSOVO AND SANDZAK". This is how Borba on 22 November described
court decisions against two groups of 15 and 19 Albanians in
Kosovo and an additional 25 Muslim citizens of Novi Pazar, a
town with a Muslim majority in Sandzak along the Serbian border
with Montenegro. Borba concluded that the charges of preparing
an armed uprising were trumped up because among the first Albanian
group charged no weapons were found except for one pistol for
which the owner had a license. The Belgrade daily added that
"the whole quantity of weapons found among the groups in Novi
Pazar and Pristina was smaller than that which the government
distributed to just one Serbian farm." Borba concluded that the
court's decision makes it obvious that the investigations were
set up to be used against the ethnic Albanian Democratic League
of Kosovo and the Muslim-dominated Party for Democratic Action
in Sandzak. -Fabian Schmidt

"ARKAN " STARTS ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN VOJVODINA. Zeljko Raznatovic
"Arkan" is the leader of the newly founded ultranationalist Party
of Serbian Unity, but is better known abroad as an internationally
wanted war criminal for his activities in Croatia and Bosnia.
He has now started his party's campaign for the December elections
in Pancevo, a town in Vojvodina, Politika reports on 21 November.
According to his economic program, Raznatovic said that after
the sanctions are lifted he expects prosperity in Serbia, summing
up his approach as "work, work and only work." "The unification
of all Serbian lands, to prevent genocide against the Serbs"
is how he described his party's major aim, and he repeated, in
reference to Kosovo, Vojvodina and Sandzak, "that all those who
are loyal to Serbia are equal citizens, but the Serbs will never
tolerate citizens loyal to another entity [as part of] their
country. Those who look to Tirana, Budapest and Iran should pack
their bags." -Fabian Schmidt

UPDATE ON POLISH SECURITY CHIEF. At a press conference on 23
November, Interior Minister Andrzej Milczanowski denied that
there had been any political pressure, either from the government
or from the president's office, for the resignation of Jerzy
Konieczny, head of the State Security Office. One day earlier,
Konieczny himself told members of the ministry's Political Advisory
Committee that he believed his "mission was complete." The committee
approved his resignation by three votes to three, with two abstentions,
PAP reported. It approved the appointment of his deputy Colonel
Gromoslaw Czempinski, who described himself as "hailing from
the Security Service school of the 1970's," by six votes in favor
and two abstentions. Colonel Henryk Jasik was simultaneously
approved as the candidate to replace deputy minister Krzysztof
Zabinski, a member of the Liberal Democratic Congress which lost
its parliamentary representation in the recent elections. The
nominations have still to be formally approved by the prime minister.
-Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

PAWLAK ANNULS SUCHOCKA'S NOMINATIONS. Polish Prime Minister Waldemar
Pawlak has annulled the nominations made by his predecessor Hanna
Suchocka to the selection commission that will be appointing
members to the National Investment Funds responsible for managing
privatized enterprises. Suchocka had been criticized for making
the nominations shortly before handing over the reins of government
to the postcommunist coalition. Gazeta Wyborcza, which reported
Pawlak's decision on 23 November, quoted unofficial sources.
-Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

BIELECKI FOR EBRD. The Chairman of the Polish National Bank Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz has proposed former prime minister Jan Krzysztof
Bielecki for the post of Polish representative on the Supervisory
Council of the European Bank of Research and Development (EBRD),
Rzeczpospolita reported on 23 November. Poland also represents
Bulgarian and Albanian interests in the EBRD's top body. The
post became vacant after Jan Winiecki resigned on 2 November,
protesting that Pawlak's government would lead the country to
"economic ruin." PAP quoted Bielecki as saying that he did not
treat the post as a government appointment but as an opportunity
to ensure real support for Poland's economic reforms. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka


CZECH, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. The Czech and German foreign
ministers, Josef Zieleniec and Klaus Kinkel, have discussed the
Czech Republic's integration into European security, political,
and economic structures, CTK reports on 24 November. Zieleniec,
who is visiting Bonn, welcomed NATO's "partnership for peace"
proposal and also appreciated that the prospects of association
between Central European countries and the West European Union
"are becoming more real." Kinkel expressed Bonn's hope that friendly
relations between Germany and the Czech Republic can now develop
in a similar way as have postwar relations between Germany and
France. In a discussion with Bundestag legislators, Zieleniec
again rejected any negotiations between representatives of the
expelled Sudeten Germans and the Czech government. Jan Obrman


HAVEL SIGNS DEFAMATION LAW. Czech President Vaclav Havel has
signed a new law making defamation of the government, parliament,
or constitutional court punishable by up to two years in prison,
CTK reports on 23 November. The legislation is part of a package
of new laws aimed at combatting crime in the Czech Republic.
After the singing ceremony Havel expressed dissatisfaction with
the defamation law, arguing that it is too vague. The president
said that failing to sign the law would have delayed the implementation
of the package as a whole, but asked the constitutional court
to revise it. Jan Obrman

KOVAC SAYS SLOVAK OFFICIALS LACK POLITICAL CULTURE. In a 22 November
television program, President Michal Kovac said insufficient
political culture of leading representatives is the main reason
why Slovakia is seen as an unstable country abroad. He said Slovakia
is also seen as unstable because of "the behavior of our chief
politicians and the inappropriate manner of solving different
interparty political questions." Kovac complained that the government
does not allow criticism of its programs. Stating that of the
four Visegrad countries, Slovakia has the least foreign investment,
Kovac said that this is because the country is not entirely trusted
and that Slovakia looks from the outside like a country whose
domestic political situation is unstable. -Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS CRITICISM. On 23 November President
Arpad Goncz rejected the parliamentary criticism of his assessment
of the situation of the Hungarian electronic media, MTI reports.
Goncz had told the Italian daily La Stampa that radio and television
have become mouthpieces of the government. Replying to the charge
that his statement damaged Hungary's reputation, Goncz said that
"it was not so much the La Stampa article or similar statements
abroad that hurt the interests of Hungary and its government
but the political processes that prompt the writing of such articles."
Goncz regretted that his offers of mediation between political
parties to resolve the conflict around the electronic media have
been rejected by the coalition parties. The largest opposition
party the Alliance of Free Democrats issued a statement condemning
the coalition's "new attack" against Goncz, and warned that the
government can only achieve a "Pyrrhic victory in the media war
which hurts not only the interests of Hungarian democracy and
the citizens but is also against the government's own interests."
-Edith Oltay

DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION THREATENS TO BOYCOTT NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATIONS.
In a press release broadcast by Radio Bucharest on 22 November,
the main opposition alliance, the Democratic Convention of Romania,
said that if the authorities will not make their position clear
towards King Michael's request to be granted an entry visa till
24 November, the convention will not participate in the national
day celebrations in Alba Iulia, on 1-December. The former monarch
expressed the wish to participate in the celebrations but the
authorities have been procrastinating on their decision, while
dropping hints that the visa will be denied. The president of
the DCR, Emil Constantinescu, told Radio Bucharest that the DCR
leaders will request a meeting with President Iliescu on the
matter. The meeting takes place on 24 November. In a related
development, the leadership of the Democratic Party (National
Salvation Front) said in a press release broadcast by Radio Bucharest
on 23 November it will not share the podium at the 1 December
celebrations with "those who had launched political persecutions
and are endangering the state ruled by law and democratic liberties."
Petre Roman's party says it will participate in the celebrations
"unofficially" and "among the people." -Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT RAISES GASOLINE PRICES AGAIN. Gasoline prices
rose again in Romania on 23 November. The increase, by one-fifth,
comes on top of a price hike early last month. The price of gasoline
has now increased 60 percent in less than two months. Radio Bucharest
and western agencies reported that hundreds of car owners rushed
through a thick layer of snow on the night of 22 to 23 November,
after the radio announced that prices would go up at midnight.
A liter of gasoline now costs 400 lei (about 34-cents at the
official exchange rate). -Michael Shafir

IMPASSE OVER BULGARIAN-EC TRADE DEAL CONTINUES. On 23 November
Foreign Ministry expressed "deep concern" that the European Community
has again failed formally to approve a temporary trade agreement
with Bulgaria. The ministry stated that further delays might
prompt Bulgaria to demand a revision of the terms of trade laid
down in the agreement. Although the trade deal reportedly was
removed from the agenda of the EC Council of Ministers's meeting
on 22 November so that the session could deal exclusively with
developments in former Yugoslavia, Bulgarian dailies on 24 November
speculate that the primary cause of the delay is that several
European governments seek to stop the influx of cheaper East
European products into the EC market. The interim accord, which
is to regulate trade relations until Bulgaria's association agreement
is finally ratified by all EC parliaments, was originally to
be enforced by 1 June. Bulgaria says that as a result of the
postponements it has suffered losses totaling $200 million. -Kjell
Engelbrekt

ESTONIA OFFERS RESIDENCE TO FORMER MILITARY. On 23 November the
Estonian government issued a decree establishing the procedure
for granting residence permits to retired foreign military personnel
and their families, BNS reports. Anyone who retired from the
military before 20 August 1991 and was born before 1 January
1930, has a spouse or minor child who is an Estonian citizen
or legal permanent resident, or the Estonian government deems
his presence in Estonia to be necessary can apply for a residence
permit. The retirees must submit applications to the Immigration
Bureau by 12 July 1994. -Saulius Girnius

LATVIAN GOVERNMENT FAVORS REFERENDUM ON CITIZENSHIP LAW. On 23
November the Latvian Cabinet declared that once the parliament
passes a citizenship law, it will urge the president and parliament
to submit it to a national vote in a referendum, Baltfax reports.
On 25 November the parliament will hold the first reading of
the draft law on citizenship proposed by the ruling coalition
of Latvia's Way and the Farmers' Union factions that requires
10 years residency and knowledge of the Latvian language. Other
proposed laws have stricter requirements and quotas for citizenship.
-Saulius Girnius

BELARUSIAN FUEL RESERVES ALMOST USED UP. The Belarusian Minister
of Energy Valentyn Herasimau told the budget planning committee
of the Supreme Soviet that the country had completely used up
its fuel supplies and is running on state reserves, which will
only last another week, Belinform reported on 23 November. He
went on to say the problem is due to payment difficulties. Belarus
now owes a total of 140 billion rubles for gas, oil and other
energy supplies. 28 billion rubles of this sum is owed to Russia
for fuel. Belarus's debts to the Baltic states have been settled.
-Ustina Markus

BELARUS OPPOSES RUSSIAN, US PRESSURE ON UKRAINE'S NUCLEAR STANCE.
Belarusian Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Stanislau Shushkevich,
criticized Russian attempts to pressure Ukraine into becoming
a non-nuclear state. He said the best way for Russia and the
US to proceed in convincing Ukraine to give up its weapons is
to show the advantages that would accrue from doing so, Reuters
reported on 23 November. The statement was made in the run up
to US President Bill Clinton's visit to Belarus in January, during
which Belarus hopes to secure half of a $400 million fund set
up by the US Congress to help in disarmament in the former Soviet
republics. Belarus has also been seeking more favorable terms
from Russia on its energy debts, a problem Ukraine is also facing.
-Ustina Markus

NOTICE The RFE/RL Daily Report will not appear Thursday, 25 November.



[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Elizabeth Teague and Jan B. de Weydenthal









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