Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 229, 01 December 1993







CIS MORE CHARGES OVER NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Western press agencies
on 2 December carried reports based on an article appearing in
the current issue of Moscow News in which Major General Vitalii
Yakovlev, deputy chief of staff of the Russian Defense Ministry's
Main Directorate for Nuclear Weapons, warns that it might be
unsafe, and even impossible, to dismantle nuclear warheads from
Ukraine if they have exceeded their six-year service life. He
also warned that the warheads in place could be used as "radiological
weapons" if the radioactive material were dispersed over a target
area. This latter argument lacks credibility, however, for if
Ukraine were to disassemble the weapons to remove electronic
blocking devices, it would almost certainly be able to reassemble
the fissile cores into functional fission weapons. Radioactive
wastes could also be used as "radiological weapons" even in the
absence of nuclear warheads, although the utility of such weapons
appears minimal at best. The general's remarks are evidently
part of a new Russian campaign to portray the condition of nuclear
warheads in Ukraine as unsafe, and thereby increase pressure
for their rapid transfer to Russia. John Lepingwell

RUSSIA

ZLENKO ANSWERS KOZYREV. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko
responded to the Russian foreign minister's attack on Ukraine's
START-1 ratification at the CSCE meeting in Rome on 1 December.
Zlenko's speech, however, appears to have been largely a restatement
of Ukraine's intent to become non-nuclear, together with a defense
of the conditions imposed on ratification. He noted, as has President
Kravchuk, that the weapons are part of Ukraine's "material wealth"
and that other states must discuss compensation and security
guarantees. Zlenko also claimed that the warheads in Ukraine
pose no safety threat. Summaries of his remarks were reported
by Radio Ukraine and an RFE/RL correspondent in Rome. In Kiev,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 1 December that Kravchuk
has denied a Washington Times report claiming that Ukraine is
trying to obtain launch authorization codes for its ICBMs. John
Lepingwell

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT SUSPENDS MEMBERSHIP OF ZORKIN
AND LUCHIN. On 1 December the Constitutional Court suspended
the membership of its former chairman, Valerii Zorkin, along
with that of another judge, Viktor Luchin. This move deprives
Zorkin and Luchin of their immunity from prosecution. In October,
Yeltsin's chief of staff, Sergei Filatov, threatened to put Zorkin
on trial for "having created the legal base" for the parliament's
uprising against the president. Citing the provision of the Law
on the Constitutional Court banning its judges from political
activities, the judges accused Zorkin of politicking in the form
of opposition to the president . Among the instances cited by
the Court, according to Russian television newscasts of 1 December,
was Zorkin's criticism of the draft constitution in the course
of his interview with the Ostankino TV show "Politburo" on 26
November. Luchin was blamed for having agreed to run for a seat
in the new parliament on the list of the pro-communist Agrarian
Party. Five judges reportedly voted for this decision and four
against. Julia Wishnevsky

KOSTIKOV SAYS CRITICISM OF DRAFT CONSTITUTION PERMITTED. Presidential
spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov issued a statement saying that
the proposed constitution would "inevitably" be amended after
the referendum, Reuters reported on 1 December. He stated that
constructive criticism of the draft constitution was acceptable
but that "groundless rejection [of the constitution] out of pure
party egoism and political revenge" was inadmissible. Kostikov
clearly wanted to deflect opposition charges, such as from the
bloc of economist Grigorii Yavlinsky, that President Boris Yeltsin
had behaved in an authoritarian manner when he told party leaders
that criticism of the draft constitution was forbidden. Alexander
Rahr

RUSSIA'S CHOICE FURIOUS WITH SHUMEIKO. Russia's Choice rejected
remarks made by one of its leaders, First Deputy Prime Minister
Vladimir Shumeiko, who had suggested banning parties that criticize
the draft constitution, AFP reported on 1 December. The leader
of Russia's Choice, Egor Gaidar, said that his bloc was absolutely
against such a proposal. Another democratic activist, world chess
champion Gary Kasparov, stated that Shumeiko's appeal resembled
a "provocation" and "harmed" Russia's Choice. The Arbitration
Court rejected Shumeiko's proposal. Alexander Rahr

YAVLINSKY REJECTS RUSSIA'S CHOICE CALL FOR UNITY. The pro-Yeltsin
election bloc Russia's Choice again called on all democratic
groups to unite behind single candidates in the 12 December elections,
Reuters reported on 1 December. The bloc's spokesman, Nikolai
Arzhannikov, proposed that all democratic blocs agree on a single
candidate in each electoral district. Leaders of the bloc had
already said earlier that they were concerned that reform opponents
might win in some constituencies if the democrats remained fragmented.
On 1 December, liberal economist Grigorii Yavlinsky, a leader
of the Yavlinsky-Boldyrev-Lukin bloc, rejected Russia's Choice
proposal, saying his people would not unite with "government"
parties which fail to admit their mistakes. Vera Tolz

RUSSIA RETURNS TO EASTERN EUROPE. A report in Nezavisimaya gazeta
of 1 December raises some interesting questions about Russia's
current foreign policy strategy: "Russian diplomats were mistakenly
accused of not having a clearly thought out concept of foreign
policy," says the report, referring to the criticisms of Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev's policies voiced frequently
in 1992 and early 1993. On the contrary, "there was a concept
then, only it couldn't be made public" because it would have
irritated Western partners. Now, says the paper, that concept
has been coordinated and brought to life giving Russia's diplomacy
an entirely "new tone." The author contends that Western reluctance
to embrace Eastern Europe is being used by Russia to expand its
influence in the region. Suzanne Crow

FURTHER SUBSIDIES ANNOUNCED. Meeting at Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin's vacation residence in Valdai on 30 November, key
cabinet ministers and other officials approved the allocation
of further subsidies totaling nearly 1.5 trillion rubles, Interfax
reported on 1-December. The defense complex was awarded about
500 billion rubles, the agroindustrial complex 435-billion rubles,
the coal industry 244 billion rubles, and the northern regions
278.4 billion rubles. Those present were said to have provided
for a 1.5 trillion-ruble increase in budget revenues, although
no details were supplied on how this was done. It was claimed
that the projected budget deficit in 1993 remains unchanged at
10% of GDP. Observers were quoted as labeling the exercise a
pre-election handout. Keith Bush

MELIKYAN ON INCOME DIFFERENTIATION. Minister of Labor Gennadii
Melikyan disclosed some interesting figures on the increasing
income differentiation in Russia in an interview with Trud on
1 December. Melikyan said that the highest wage in Russia now
exceeds the lowest by 26 times-up from a difference of 5-6 times
in 1991. Melikyan claimed that such a broad differentiation is
unknown in developed market economies and said that the government
should use tax and minimum wage policy to narrow it. He noted
that the minimum wage is now at 7,740 rubles per month as compared
to a minimum cost of living of 40,000 rubles and an average wage
of 100,000 rubles. Given the current dire state of public finances,
there was no hope of indexing the minimum wage to increases in
the cost of living, the Labor Minister said. Erik Whitlock

YELTSIN TO VISIT NORTH CAUCASUS? BOTH ITAR-TASS AND INTERFAX
CARRIED REPORTS ON 2 DECEMBER THAT YELTSIN MIGHT BE VISITING
INGUSHETIA AND NORTH OSSETIA ON 6 DECEMBER. Interfax said that
he would go first to Ingushetia, then to the disputed Prigorodnyi
raion of North Ossetia, and finally meet North Caucasian leaders
in Vladikavkaz. It seems doubtful that a visit by Yeltsin could
break the stalemate between North Ossetia and Ingushetia over
the return of Ingush refugees to Prigorodnyi raion, but Yeltsin
may feel that he could gain votes in favor of the draft Russian
constitution, to which there is considerable opposition in the
North Caucasus. Yeltsin's only previous visit to the North Caucasus
was in March 1991 in connection with Ingush demands for the return
of Prigorodnyi raion. Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

COSSACK UNITS TO BE FORMED. The Ministry of Defense has issued
an order to start recreating Cossack formations in the Russian
armed forces, Radio Mayak reported on 29 November. It is proposed
that a special Cossack parade uniform be introduced, and that
the historic names of Cossack ranks be restored. Radio Rossii
reported on 1 December, citing RIA, that frontier units made
up entirely of Cossacks would soon appear on Russia's frontiers.
They would be created primarily where Cossacks have traditionally
resided, but also on Russia's frontier with the Baltic republics.
Ann Sheehy

GEORGIA, ABKHAZIA, REACH PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT. Two
days of negotiations in Geneva under UN auspices ended on 1 December
with the signing by Georgia and Abkhazia of an eight-point "memorandum
of understanding", Western agencies reported. The agreement,
characterized by Swiss mediator Edouard Brunner and by Russian
Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov as an important step
toward a political settlement of the Abkhaz conflict, commits
both sides to desist from using force during continued negotiations
and provides for the exchange of all prisoners, the return of
refugees, the deployment of additional international observers,
and the preparation by UN and CSCE experts of proposals on Abkhazia's
future status pending renewed negotiations in Moscow or Geneva
beginning 11 January 1994. Liz Fuller

CSCE FAILS TO AGREE ON KARABAKH FORMULATION. Participants in
the CSCE foreign ministers' annual conference in Rome failed
on 1 December to reach agreement on the wording of a statement
on Nagorno-Karabakh after Armenia objected to a reference to
Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, and Azerbaijan similarly
protested a proposed Armenian reference to the right to self-determination,
according to an RFE/RL correspondent. Armenian Foreign Minister
Vahan Papazyan had earlier criticized Azerbaijan's rejection
of the latest CSCE timetable for stabilizing the situation, noting
that the Karabakh Armenian authorities had agreed to it under
pressure from Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan. Azerbaijan's
Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov had criticized the CSCE mediation
effort as consistently biased toward Armenia. Liz Fuller and
Roland Eggleston

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

RUSSIAN NATIONALIST GROUP IN KAZAKHSTAN TO APPEAL FOR DUAL CITIZENSHIP.
The small but vocal Russian nationalist movement "Lad," headquartered
in Almaty, plans to appeal to the heads of state of Russia, Ukraine,
Belarus and Kazakhstan to conclude an agreement on dual citizenship,
ITAR-TASS reported on 1 December. The group is presumably responding
to expressions of concern by Russian political figures over the
fate of Russians living outside the Russian Federation in the
successor states to the USSR. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev raised the issue of dual citizenship, which Kazakhstan
does not accept, during his recent visit to that country. Kazakh
officials and intellectuals have reacted angrily to what they
perceive as Russian meddling in Kazakhstan's fragile interethnic
peace. Bess Brown

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ON SERBIA. According
to an RFE/RL correspondent, the last session of the Conference
on Security and Cooperation in Europe foreign ministers' meeting,
which opened in Rome on 30 November, was delayed on 1 December
by disagreements over the final communique. According to a conference
spokesman, disagreement focused in part on the issue of the lifting
of sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, with US and Germany divided.
In another development, The New York Times of 2 December reports
that the US and Great Britain have blocked a Russian plan to
provide rump Yugoslavia with natural gas to be used to heat homes,
hospitals and schools during the harsh winter months. Since all
resolutions of the UN sanctions committee must be endorsed unanimously,
the US and British stand has effectively killed the Russian plan
for now, the daily notes. Stan Markotich

DIPLOMATIC EVENTS CONCERNING MACEDONIA. Stevo Crvenkovski, Macedonia's
Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a letter sent to UN Secretary
General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and released in Nova Makedonija
on 2-December, called for UN assistance in resuming talks with
Greece on outstanding bilateral differences. Greek Prime Minister
Andreas Papandreou indicated that he was unwilling to negotiate
with Macedonia so long as that state included the word "Macedonia"
in its official name. On 1 December during the CSCE's Rome meeting,
Greece again blocked Macedonia's entrance into that organization.
Meanwhile, MIC and AFP reported that Greece's foreign policy
was criticized on 1 December by the general assembly of the Western
European Union meeting in Paris. Member states called upon Athens
to recognize Macedonia. The organization may be contemplating
deferring the vote on Greece's full membership in that body until
after the Greek-Macedonian dispute is resolved. Duncan Perry


SERBIAN OPPOSITION FAIL TO UNITE. Belgrade TV reports on 1 December
that after three days of negotiations leading opposition parties
have failed to agree to run on a single list against the ruling
Socialists. The five-party coalition Democratic Opposition Movement
(DEPOS), which initiated the talks, blamed leaders of the Democratic
Party of Serbia (DSS) and the Democratic Party (DS) for their
inability to unite. DEPOS insisted that all democratically-oriented
parties temporarily gave up their interests for the good of Serbia.
DS leader Zoran Djindjic agreed that the opposition unite, but
said such efforts should not be hastily made prior to the 19
December parliamentary election. DSS President Vojislav Kostunica
remarked that opposition parties differ widely in their understanding
of democracy and the settlement of the Serbian national question.
The Serbian Radical Party did not attend the talks. Meanwhile,
Belgrade TV aired pre-election campaign spots for numerous opposition
parties after the main evening news. Prior to that broadcast
Socialist Party candidates said it would be inappropriate to
engage in an expensive election campaign while the population
starves. Last weekend DEPOS candidates campaigned in Belgrade
by handing out free loaves of bread, while opposition candidates
focused their activities by campaigning in the rural areas where
the Socialists and Radicals enjoy broad support. Milan Andrejevich


SERBIA'S SOARING INFLATION. According to figures released by
the Federal Statistics Office on 1 December, the November inflation
rate for Yugoslavia was 20,190%. Mirjana Rankovic, deputy director
of the federal agency, told reporters the hourly rate was 0.7%
and the daily rate 18.7% and that annual inflation is running
at 286 billion per cent. Economists in Belgrade say the inflation
figures are nearing those recorded in Germany following World
War I. The National Bank of Yugoslavia announced it has withdrawn
five bank notes and issued a new 500 million dinar note worth
$6, Belgrade TV reported. Milan Andrejevich

POLISH BUSINESS CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT. At a press conference
on 29 November leaders of the Business Centre Club (BCC), one
of the three most important business groups in Poland, criticized
the government's plans to raise income tax rates and warned that
they would act as an anti-stimulant. The politicians were accused
of causing confusion in the economy by changing regulations and
preferring "a large state with a bloated budget," Rzeczpospolita
reported on 30 November. According to Chairman Marek Goliszewski,
the BCC is prepared to cooperate with the government, though
it has had no response from Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak to
its suggestion almost a month ago that he establish an Entrepreneurs
Council to advise the government on economic legislation. Goliszewski
called for the reactivating of the government's Office for Small
Business at least until such time as an economics ministry could
take responsibility for the entire economy. Representatives of
the Polish Employers' Confederation, which includes both private
and state employers, said at a separate press conference on 30
November that the tax increases would stunt investment and lead
to still greater unemployment, PAP said. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka


SENATE SPEAKER COMPLAINS ABOUT MEDIA. Senate Speaker and member
of Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak's Polish Peasant Party (PSL),
Adam Struzik complained that media reports about the premier's
choice of a beauty queen as press secretary and his recent hunting
expedition amounted to "a huge attack against the governing coalition
and the PSL in particular," PAP reported on 30 November. The
hunting expedition in the company of Minister of State Mieczyslaw
Wachowski, President Lech Walesa's right-hand man, occasioned
much comment because hunting is still perceived by many Poles
as a rich man's pastime, favored especially by corrupt communist
officials in the 1970s. Gazeta Wyborcza wrote on 29 November
that, in order to go hunting, Pawlak had turned down an invitation
to attend a charity concert, claiming "important matters of state
and previous commitments." It also expressed surprise at the
hunters' use of Mercedes limousines when only a few weeks earlier
the government had opted in favor of Polish-produced Polonez
cars as part of a campaign against conspicuous consumption. Pawlak
still enjoys top ratings in popularity polls. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka


CATHOLIC PRESS AGENCY INAUGURATED. The Catholic Information Agency
(KAI) inaugurated a regular service of news and commentary on
1 December in Warsaw, in the hope of "breaking down the wall
of mutual misunderstanding and mistrust that has arisen over
the past four years between the institutional Church and most
of the media," as Director Marcin Przeciszewski said. The agency,
which was organized at the initiative of the Polish Episcopate,
is an autonomous agency with a lay management, although five
bishops sit on its Programming Council. It was set up with the
support of the US Episcopate. It aims to cover not only all aspects
of religious life throughout the countries of Central and Eastern
Europe and the former Soviet Union but also problems of general
interest to people "who are seeking the meaning of truth and
values that give dignity to human life," Bishop Jozef Zycinski
told PAP. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

MECIAR ON SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS. At a three-hour meeting
on 1 December representatives of the Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia discussed with Bratislava citizens several pressing
issues, including that of the Hungarian minority. In response
to questions about threats of military attack by Hungary, Meciar
said "no military force is threatening Slovakia, and we are not
threatening anyone." Meciar said that because Hungary and Slovakia
are both aimed at joining the European Union, the two countries
are striving to improve cooperation. At the same time, however,
he accused ethnic Hungarian politicians in Slovakia of purposely
increasing tension between the two nations, and said that "any
attempt to change the borders would mean a new war." He assured
his listeners that Slovakia is able to protect itself, even though
"it has not invested as much in armaments as has Hungary," TASR
reports. Sharon Fisher

MDS MEMBERS ON SLOVAK MEDIA. Also at the MDS rally, Minister
of Culture Dusan Slobodnik attacked the media. He was quoted
as saying that "the majority of journalists were educated by
the communist party" and are now trying to restore Czechoslovakia.
"These journalists knowingly damage the Slovak economy," Slobodnik
claimed, and their reporting hurts the "reputation and trust
of Slovakia abroad." And Premier Meciar deplored what he described
as the hatred with which some journalists attack representatives
of the government and the MDS, accusing the media of "crossing
the boundaries of decency." Meciar also spoke of a list which
he said he received from the late Roman Zelenay before his death
which includes the names of 40 journalists allegedly paid by
foreign or domestic political forces to write against the government.
He added that, in case those suspicions were confirmed, the names
would be made public, TASR reports. Sharon Fisher

ROMANIANS SPLIT IN NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATIONS. Thousands of Romanians
marked the national day with competing rallies on 1 December-one
sponsored by the opposition alliance, the Democratic Convention
of Romania in Bucharest, the other by the authorities in Alba
Iulia. The DCR president, Emil Constantinescu, read out a proclamation
of the alliance at the Bucharest rally. Among other things, the
proclamation said the dire state of the nation at present was
"the result of the incompetence and the corruption of a minority
that strives to monopolize privilege and power," Radio Bucharest
reported on the same day. Western agencies said many of the participants
in the Bucharest rally shouted pro-royalist slogans and held
portraits of former king Michael, whom the authorities banned
from attending the celebrations. In his speech in Alba Iulia,
president Ion Iliescu attacked those who are "wasting our energies
in sterile confrontations and divisions that have no base in
reality"-an obvious hint to the opposition's decision not to
participate in the official celebrations. Romanian television
reported an incident at the end of the official rally, when police
forces hindered representatives of the opposition, who had refused
to be on the podium but attended the ceremony privately, from
marching together with sympathizers to the headquarters of the
Democratic Party-National Salvation Front. It was stated that
the route chosen by the opposition representatives was one of
"maximum restriction, protected by special troops." Michael Shafir.


BULGARIAN MINERS LAUNCH STRIKE. Several thousand Bulgarian ore
miners went on strike on 1 December, complaining that their interests
have long been neglected by the government. Representing miners
within the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria
(CITUB), Pencho Tokmakchiev told Reuters that while some 9,000
had laid down their tools for one hour, over 1,000 miners were
already on permanent strike. The miners are reportedly demanding
that the government should speed up the payment of overdue wages;
they have also asked for a comprehensive policy on mining to
be drawn up. The CITUB has said that it is prepared to step up
strikes in case the cabinet fails to meet the demands within
two weeks. Meanwhile, the second-largest Bulgarian trade union,
Podkrepa, has declared it may join the strike. On several occasions
during the past weeks Podkrepa strongly criticized the government's
overall performance as having "totally failed" to implement the
original reform plan. Government officials have stated that talks
with unions have begun. Kjell Engelbrekt

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT REOPENS DEBATE ON POLICE FILES. On 1 December
the Bulgarian National Assembly voted in favor of reopening the
debate on secret police files, a controversial issue which has
repeatedly been removed from the parliamentary agenda. BTA reports
that nine deputies voted against, while 89-abstained and 110
supported the motion. No more than two members of the former
communist Bulgarian Socialist Party, which makes up the largest
caucus, backed the idea of reopening the debate. Lyubomir Pavlov
of the Union of Democratic Forces, the author of a draft law
offering the public access to the files, called the files a time
bomb which should detonate "the sooner the better." Pavlov said
the content of many files has already leaked out to people involved
in organized crime and is being used to influence the outcome
of business deals and political trials. Kjell Engelbrekt

RUSSIA REITERATES ACCUSATIONS AGAINST BALTICS. On 1 December
Russia's UN ambassador Yulii Vorontsov once again accused Estonia
and Latvia of violating the human rights of their Russian-speaking
populations and urged passage of Russia's draft resolution calling
upon Estonia and Latvia to "fully implement the recommendations
by impartial international experts" on human rights. Addressing
the UN General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee.
Vorontsov claimed that Estonia has set up a mechanism for deporting
some 44,000 retired ex-Soviet military servicemen and dependents,
and that some 1,000 deportation orders have been drawn up in
Latvia. "We cannot remain indifferent to the fate of hundreds
of thousands of our fellow citizens," he added, as cited by an
RFE/RL correspondent. Meanwhile at a conference in Moscow on
the fiftieth anniversary of the Big Three conference in Teheran,
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that only
the international community can influence Estonia and Latvia
to guarantee the rights of their Russian-speaking population,
BNS reported on 1 December. Lavrov stated that the main aim of
Russia's foreign policy is the struggle with "aggressive nationalism"
and claimed a role for Russia as peacekeeper on the territory
of the former USSR. Dzintra Bungs

CSCE WANTS RUSSIAN TROOPS OUT OF THE BALTICS. On 1 December,
the CSCE foreign ministers urged Russia to speed up its troop
pullout process from Estonia and Latvia. They also called on
Russia to present a specific timetable for the withdrawal process,
Baltic and Western agencies reported on 1 December. Dzintra Bungs


RUSSIAN-ESTONIAN SUMMIT DISCUSSED. Vasilii Svirin, head of the
Russian negotiating team with Estonia, arrived in Tallinn on
1 December to discuss with his Estonian counterpart and Defense
Minister Juri Luik issues related to an Estonian-Russian summit
and a timetable for the withdrawal of Russian troops. That same
day in Moscow, Russian officials including Foreign Ministry spokesman
Grigorii Karasin criticized Estonia for continuing its claims
on former Estonian territory attached by the USSR after World
War II to Russia's Pskov region. Karasin accused Tallinn of aggravating
bilateral relations. Dzintra Bungs

BELARUS ASSOCIATION FAVORS PRESIDENCY. Interfax reported on 1
December that the largest association in the Belarusian parliament,
the conservative "Belarus" with over 120 members, spoke in favor
of the introduction of the presidential institution. The address
called for introducing a presidency will grant greater possibilities
to the executive, which is an important condition for improving
the situation in the country. In addition, a strong elected president
would ensure the normal functioning of state administrative bodies
and other institutions during future elections to the Supreme
Soviet and local councils. The address stressed the need to hold
presidential elections in the spring of 1994. Ustina Markus

KEBICH MEETS CHERNOMYRDIN. Belarusian Prime Minister Vyacheslau
Kebich met with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin at
a Russian government retreat in Valdae on 1 December, Interfax
and ITAR-TASS reported. Their discussions focused on developing
further economic ties, Belarus's entry into the ruble zone, and
its energy debt to Russia. The meeting follows last week's ratification
by Belarusian deputies of a monetary union agreement which the
two prime ministers signed in September. Since its signing, Deputy
Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar is said to have set new conditions
for Minsk. According to the president of the National Bank of
Belarus, Stanislau Bahdankevich, Gaidar insists that Belarusian
legislation be amended to allow for the creation of a common
market for land, property and securities. Ustina Markus

UKRAINE'S EASTERN REGIONS GRANTED MORE AUTHORITY. On 29 November
President Leonid Kravchuk issued a decree granting authorities
in the regional state administrations of Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk,
Zaporizhzhya, and Luhansk, the right to manage property owned
by the state, Interfax reported on 1 December. This "experiment"
is to last from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 1995. Interfax
reports that local observers view the decree as a measure to
weaken separatist tendencies in the regions which are populated
mainly by Russian speakers. Ustina Markus



[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Roman Solchanyk and Dan Ionescu





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