The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. - Thomas Paine
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 234, 08 December 1993







RUSSIA



ST. PETERSBURG MAYOR ON COMPOSITION OF NEW PARLIAMENT. St. Petersburg
Mayor Anatolii Sobchak expressed hope in an interview with ITAR-TASS
on 7 December that four pro-reform electoral blocs-Russia's Choice,
the Russian Movement for Democratic Reform (RMDR), the Party
of Russian Unity and Concord, and Grigorii Yavlinsky's bloc-would
set up a coalition in the new parliament. If these blocs agree
to unite, they will probably constitute a strong majority in
the parliament. Sobchak, who is a leading election candidate
of the RMDR, said, however, that such unity could not be guaranteed.
In the absence of unity among democrats, the president and the
government would find it very difficult to work with the new
parliament, Sobchak warned. -Vera Tolz

TRAVKIN CONCERNED ABOUT FALSIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS. Nikolai
Travkin, leader of the Democratic Party of Russia (DPR), attacked
President Boris Yeltsin at a meeting with journalists on 7 December,
AFP and Reuters reported. Travkin said that Yeltsin had forfeited
his moral authority by the violent suppression of the opposition
on 3 and 4-October. He also hinted that the election results
could be tampered with, because communists, among whom he numbered
Yeltsin, were "specialists in falsification." Travkin criticized
the new draft constitution and said that the structures to implement
it did not exist-a reference to the confusion in the security
forces on 3-4 October. The DPR, which could gain 8-12% of the
vote in the elections, would cooperate with the Civic Union and
possibly with reformist communists in the new parliament, party
leaders said. -Wendy Slater

YAVLINSKY CAMPAIGNING. Economist Grigorii Yavlinsky said that
if the draft constitution is approved in the referendum it has
to be subject to amendments, ITAR-TASS reported on 7-December.
He forecast difficult times for President Yeltsin in his relations
with the new parliament, saying that a genuine renewal of Russia
will occur only after presidential and parliamentary elections
are held in two years time. Yavlinsky stated that he favors the
creation of an influential property owning class and a change
in the government's regional economic policy, stressing that
reforms must be conducted from below. He also urged a change
in the government's policy of privatization. In his opinion,
the controlling package of shares should remain in the hands
of the real investor, not the workers' collective as is the case
today. -Alexander Rahr

SHAKHRAI: "NO STATE, NO ARMY". Russian Deputy Prime Minister
Sergei Shakhrai exposed the essential thinking behind the use
of regular military forces to quell ethnic conflict within the
Russian Federation. Speaking at a 7 December news conference
broadcast by Radio Rossii, Shakhrai said that the regular army
should be used to carry out internal political tasks (such as
in the North Caucasus) in the event that other units (internal
or security forces) were not capable of resolving the situation.
Shakhrai based his argument not so much on the Russian military
doctrine, which he complained was ambiguous on this point, but
on the need to maintain the integrity of the Russian state: "If
there is no state, there is no army," Shakrai said. -Suzanne
Crow

STRIKE ROUNDUP. According to Reuters, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS
reports received late on 7-December, relative calm prevailed
on the labor front. Miners at 12-of the 13 pits in the Vorkuta
region remained on strike, dissatisfied with a government offer
to repay 20% of back pay due. The mines were told to reclaim
the balance from defaulting consumer enterprises. Miners in the
Kuzbass were maintaining a strike alert until government pledges
were honored. One mine in Sakhalin was struck over back pay.
And gold miners in Khabarovsk threatened to commence a strike
on 11-December if the state did not reimburse them for back pay
arrears. -Keith Bush

PROGRESS REPORT ON CONVERSION. Viktor Glukhikh, the chairman
of the State Committee of the Russian Federation on the Defense
Branches of Industry (Roskomoboronprom), gave a progress report
on conversion/diversification on 7 December, ITAR-TASS reported.
Addressing a Moscow conference on economic reform and stabilization,
Glukhikh claimed that the production of civilian goods now accounts
for nearly 80% of the output of the military-industrial complex.
During the past two years, he said, state orders and financing
for military hardware had declined by a factor of 9, and defense
items now take up not more than 10-15% of the capacity previously
dedicated entirely to military production. (Glukhikh's pronouncements
on the degree of conversion/diversification have not always been
reconcilable with other sources of information) -Keith Bush

INVESTMENT FUND VICTIMS TO BE REIMBURSED. A deputy chairman of
the State Property Fund (GKI) told a news conference on 7 December
that 107,000 voucher holders who had invested in the "Technical
Progress" investment fund could exchange their shares for new
vouchers to be invested in any of 23 other investment companies,
Interfax reported. The GKI will guarantee the newly issued vouchers
which will be available through 1 January. The "Technical Progress"
fund declared bankruptcy in November and suspended repayments,
provoking a large protest demonstration in Moscow. -Keith Bush


YELTSIN AND NORTH CAUCASIAN LEADERS SIGN JOINT STATEMENT. At
the end of their meeting in Nalchik on 7 December, Yeltsin and
the leaders of the North Caucasian republics, except Chechnya,
and of Krasnodar and Stavropol krais and Rostov oblast signed
a joint statement (ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported) setting the
following conditions for defusing tension in the region: Ingushetia
must give up its territorial claims on North Ossetia, while North
Ossetia must abandon its stand that it is impossible for Ossetians
and Ingush to live together; all refugees must be allowed to
return to their homes; all illegal armed groups must be disarmed;
the federal government must determine its position as regards
Chechnya, the main destabilizing factor in the region, and a
constructive dialog must be started with all public groups and
the Cossack movement brought into line with the presidential
decree on Cossacks. Ingush president Ruslan Aushev commented
after the meetings with Yeltsin that the chief result was that
the wall of unpleasantness between North Ossetia and Ingushetia
had begun to melt. -Ann Sheehy

NORTH CAUCASIAN LEADERS CALL FOR APPROVAL OF DRAFT CONSTITUTION.
Although in the past most of the North Caucasian leaders have
expressed criticism of the draft Russian constitution, at the
meeting with Yeltsin in Nalchik all agreed to call on voters
to support it. Yeltsin's press secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov
told journalists after the session that Yeltsin had ordered the
Secretary of the Security Council Oleg Lobov and the Minister
of Security Nikolai Golubushko to draw up plans to define and
control the Chechen border and take control of the railway line
passing through Chechenya to prevent bandit attacks. In a move
that the North Caucasian leaders said would create a very good
impression, Yeltsin agreed that local farmers should be paid
immediately for grain sold to the state-at present they are owed
billions of rubles. Kostikov said that the pile-up of refugees
in the Kuban and Stavropol krai, which has been fuelling inter-ethnic
tensions, was also discussed. -Ann Sheehy

PRIME MINISTER OF SAKHA WILL VOTE AGAINST CONSTITUTION. Vyacheslav
Shtyrov, vice-president and prime minister of Sakha (Yakutia),
said in Yakutsk on 7 December that he would vote against the
draft Russian constitution on 12 December, IFX reported. He said
the document was too serious for its adoption to be rushed and
that it was fraught with conflict between Moscow and the provinces.
Shtyrov also criticized the economic policy of Russia's Choice,
which he said was a policy of economic destruction rather than
shock treatment. Sakha's president, Mikhail Nikolaev, has expressed
approval of the draft constitution. -Ann Sheehy

DAGESTANI CANDIDATE FOR FEDERATION COUNCIL SHOT DEAD. Bagavutdin
Gadzhiev, a candidate in the 12 December elections to the Federation
Council and president of the council of the "Dagestan" commercial
and investment corporation, was shot dead as he was leaving work
in Makhachkala on 6 December, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 December.
Two other people died with him. Gadzhiev headed the republican
ministry of trade for 20 years until its abolition in 1992, and
his extensive connections, popularity, and concrete election
platform, aimed at improving living standards, made him a strong
candidate. It is not known whether his murder was due to this
fact or was simply a settling of old scores. In the past two
or three years a number of prominent figures in Dagestan have
been shot dead. -Ann Sheehy

CIS KOZYREV WARNS UKRAINE ON FLEET, NUKES. Ending a lull in the
diplomatic battle over the Black Sea Fleet, Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev, told reporters on 7 December that Sevastopol
had always been a Russian naval base and would remain so. While
not actually claiming the territory, he insisted that the Massandra
agreements providing for Ukraine to hand over the fleet to Russia
in exchange for debt relief be honored. Kozyrev also reiterated
that Russia would "not allow" another nuclear state on its borders
Overall, Kozyrev's comments appear to represent another increase
in tensions between the two states, and he implied that relations
would not become normal until Ukraine makes a number of concessions
to Russia and fulfills the Massandra agreements. The comments
were reported by Interfax. -John Lepingwell

ANOTHER WARNING TO UKRAINE. Russia is treating Ukraine's continued
possession of nuclear weapons as a matter requiring urgent remedy,
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin said at a
briefing on 7 December. Karasin said that a "consensus against
Kiev's maneuvers on giving up its nuclear weapons" is developing
in the international community. He also advised Kiev to consider
this international reaction, especially in Europe, ITAR-TASS
reported. -Suzanne Crow

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



BHUTTO PROPOSES JOINT PAKISTAN-IRANIAN INITIATIVE ON NAGORNO-KARABAKH,
TAJIKISTAN. In an interview given to the Tehran Times on her
arrival in Tehran on 7-December on an official visit, and summarized
by ITAR-TASS, Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto proposed
that Pakistan and Iran "should coordinate their efforts to draw
up a joint strategy to halt Armenia's aggression in Azerbaijan."
Bhutto also offered to cooperate in providing assistance to Azerbaijani
refugees, and reaffirmed Pakistan's interest in restoring peace
in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. -Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



SERBIAN RADICAL LEADER ENDORSES POST-ELECTION COALITION. According
to a Borba report of 6 December, the ultra-nationalist leader
of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), Vojislav Seselj, announced
that his party would enter a parliamentary coalition to keep
his erstwhile allies, Serbian President Milosevic's Socialists,
out of office. Elections are scheduled for 19-December. Seselj,
however, rejected the idea of entering into a coalition with
other parties before the votes have been counted, arguing that
"it would not be wise for the opposition to unite now because
of differences in party programs." Seselj suggested that a post-election
parliamentary union could be forged with the Democratic Party
and the Democratic Party of Serbia. He also discussed the economy,
which he described as being in ruins. Seselj said that an entry/exit
border tax of DM 100 could bring in some DM 3 billion yearly;
those funds, he added, could be used "to finance the armed forces
and state institutions." -Stan Markotich

SANDZAK MUSLIM PARTY TO BOYCOTT SERBIAN ELECTIONS. The steering
committee of the Party of Democratic Action in Sandzak has decided
not to participate in the Serbian elections, scheduled for 19-December.
The region has a slight Muslim majority and is divided between
Serbia and Montenegro. According to Borba on 3 December, the
general secretary of the Muslim-dominated party said that "under
conditions of massive raids and arrests, of political trials,
and with the threat of arrest against party leader Sulejman Ugljanin,
there is not the slightest chance for free and fair elections."
He also charged the government with trying to prevent his party
from conducting an election campaign. Meanwhile, two other parties
have been founded in Sandzak: the Union of Sandzak Yugoslavs
and a party called "Josip Broz Tito." Borba adds that both parties
are under "the patronage of the government." -Fabian Schmidt


TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER ON BALKAN MISSION. International media
have been reporting on the visit of Hikmet Cetin to Tirana on
6 December, to Skopje the following day, and to Sofia on the
8th. He stressed to reporters before leaving Ankara that Albania,
Macedonia, and Bulgaria are important for both Balkan and European
security, but the media have also noted that Albania and Macedonia
have problems with Turkey's traditional rival, Greece. The new
nationalist PASOK government has most recently threatened to
close its border with Macedonia, which would leave that country
all the more dependent on its links to Serbia, formerly its largest
market. Part of Cetin's mission is to promote projects to improve
east-west road and rail links that would connect Istanbul, Sofia,
Skopje, and Durres, thereby reducing the importance for the countries
in question of their links to Serbia and Greece. In Tirana, Cetin
also promised to help integrate Albania into NATO, and in Skopje
he said he would renew Ankara's efforts in Washington on Macedonia's
behalf. Turkey is a major financial backer of Albania and was
the first country to recognize Macedonia, both of which were
part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries until the Balkan Wars
of 1912-1913. In Sofia he will attend a meeting of 11-foreign
ministers from the Black Sea region on 9 December. -Patrick Moore


POLISH NATIONAL BANK WARNS GOVERNMENT. Meeting with business
representatives in Warsaw on 7-December, Polish National Bank
(NBP) chief Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz criticized Prime Minister
Waldemar Pawlak for making spending pledges that are "impossible
to fulfill" and cautioned the government not to force increases
in the money supply. To keep inflation at the planned level of
23% in 1994, she said, the NBP can finance no more than 30-trillion
zloty ($1.5 billion) of the budget deficit. "If the government,
which has a majority in the Sejm, imposes [on the bank] an amount
that is five trillion higher, inflation will be four per cent
higher," she warned. In case the government succeeds in increasing
the money supply, she added, the NBP will counter by raising
interest rates, a move that would hamper inflation but also dampen
growth. Gronkiewicz-Waltz criticized recent proposals from within
the government for a more rapid devaluation of the zloty to encourage
export. PAP reported on 7 December that positive trends are evident
in foreign trade, despite a $1.95 billion deficit at the end
of October: exports are growing, imports falling. -Louisa Vinton


POLISH GOVERNMENT PLANS PERSONNEL SHAKE-UP. Public administration
chief Michal Strak indicated after a cabinet session on 7 December
that the Pawlak government plans to scuttle the administrative
reform program drafted by ousted Premier Hanna Suchocka, PAP
reports. Suchocka aimed to streamline the state bureaucracy,
decentralize the administration, and build an apolitical cadre
of civil servants in order to prevent personnel upheaval with
every change of government. Strak said the new government intends
to "tidy up" rather than reform the state administration. He
also indicated that the governing coalition intends to replace
the government's representatives in more than a dozen voivodships
and install figures loyal to the new governing coalition. Only
10 of 49-voivodships are certain to be exempt from personnel
changes, he said. Local government officials meeting in Warsaw
on 7 December expressed fears that the new government is restoring
an over-centralized administrative system. -Louisa Vinton

POLAND REJECTS RUSSIA'S QUALMS ON NATO. At a press conference
on 7 December, Deputy Defense Minister Jerzy Milewski dismissed
Russia's objections to eventual Polish membership in NATO, PAP
reports. Milewski, who also heads President Lech Walesa's National
Security Office, said that NATO membership remains one of Poland's
chief strategic goals for the 1990s. Poland will not alter its
security policy "one bit" in reaction to Russian statements criticizing
the proposed expansion of NATO. Russian fears of Polish NATO
membership are groundless, he said, because Russia is a country
"threatened by no one." -Louisa Vinton

CZECH PARLIAMENT PASSES 1994 BUDGET. On 7-December parliament
approved the country's budget for 1994. Of the 200 deputies,
111-deputies voted for and 52 against the budget; the rest were
either absent or abstained. All deputies of the government coalition
parties as well as all deputies of the Liberal National Social
Party voted in favor of the budget; all deputies representing
the opposition parties voted against the measure. CTK reports
that the budget is balanced, with both the revenues and expenditures
set at 381 billion koruny. The Czech army will receive 27 billion
koruny in 1994; 42 billion koruny will be spent on education
and 139 billion koruny on social welfare and unemployment benefits.
Also on the 7th, the parliament voted to increase salaries of
government members, parliament deputies, judges, state attorneys,
and public notaries by 24%, despite the fact that the government
had imposed strict wage controls on most companies in June. The
salary of the prime minister will increase from 31,000 koruny
to 38,500 koruny a month. -Jiri Pehe

CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS WIN LOCAL SLOVAK BY-ELECTIONS. On 7 December
the Slovak Electoral Commission announced the results of local
government by-elections held in 52 villages and 27 districts
on 4-December. The turnout was relatively low, with 39.25% of
the eligible voters casting their ballots. A total of 41 mayors
and 48 deputies were elected. The Christian Democratic Movement
won 10 mayoral posts, compared with 9 for the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia, 5 for the Party of the Democratic Left,
2 each for the Slovak National Party and the Movement of Farmers,
1 each for the Coexistence Movement and the Christian Social
Union, and 11 for non-party and independent candidates. In the
elections of deputies, the CDM won 19 posts; the MDS 12; the
PDL 5; Coexistence and the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement
4 each; the Democratic Party and the Romany Civic Initiative
1 each; and independent candidates 2. -Sharon Fisher

LEXA CHARGED WITH DEFAMATION OF SLOVAK PRESIDENT. On 7 December
a public prosecutor charged Privatization State Secretary Ivan
Lexa with defamation of the Slovak Republic and its president,
Michael Kovac, TASR reports. The charges result from Lexa's recent
newspaper interviews, along with statements made at a cabinet
press conference, in which he questioned Kovac's morals, competence
and work methods, and alleged that "circles close to Kovac" were
involved in suspicious business practices. Lexa's attacks on
Kovac came after the latter refused to appoint him as privatization
minister in November. If found guilty of slander, Lexa could
be sentenced to a two-year jail term. -Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS NEW DEFENSE LAW. The Hungarian National
Assembly adopted by an overwhelming majority (with only one vote
against and one abstention) a new defense law, and amended the
constitution to bring it in accordance with the law's provisions,
MTI and Radio Budapest report. Under the law, the government
will be able to mobilize the armed forces against air raids,
airspace violations and other foreign intrusions without asking
for prior approval from the president of the republic or imposing
a state of emergency. This provision comes in response to the
violation of Hungarian airspace in the past by the warring parties
in former Yugoslavia. The law stipulates that it is the task
of the government to supervise the armed forces directly or through
the minister of defense and to define the basic principles of
national defense. The law keeps military service at 12-months
but reduces the length of civilian service from 22 to 18 months.
Persons will be able to postpone military service if only they
have to provide for their family; those whose siblings died during
military service will not be drafted. In recent years there has
been an increase in the number of suicides among draftees. -Edith
Oltay

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION SUBMITS NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION. On 7 December
Romania's opposition parties submitted to parliament a no-confidence
motion against Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu's left-wing minority
government. The motion, which is backed by the Democratic Convention
of Romania, an alliance of the country's main centrist forces,
and by the Democratic Party-National Salvation Front, focuses
on economic hardship and chaos in Romania. It accuses the cabinet
of having caused a collapse of economic reform, poverty and a
loss of credibility among the public. The Romanian opposition
has tried and failed with three no-confidence motions this year.
According to Radio Bucharest, dissatisfaction with the cabinet's
policies is also growing among the traditional parliamentary
allies of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, including
the Socialist Labor Party (the re-born communist party), and
the chauvinistic Party of Romanian National Unity. The SLP reportedly
circulated its own motion urging the government to announce anti-crisis
measures within two weeks to shield the nation from hardship.
-Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN-EC TRADE ACCORD APPROVED. On 7-December the European
Community finally approved an interim accord regulating bilateral
trade with Bulgaria until ratification of an EC association agreement
signed in March, BTA and Reuters report. The deal was originally
to be enforced on 1 June, but internal EC differences over voting
rules blocked its approval for over 6 months. Since it includes
provisions on how EC Commission decisions on anti-dumping cases
can be overturned, the temporary accord came to be regarded as
a precedent that needed careful consideration. The Bulgarian
foreign ministry, which had repeatedly deplored the delay, welcomed
the decision, noting that it will allow Bulgaria to reactivate
its trade with Western Europe. A foreign ministry official said
that the accord, which offers Bulgarian exports preferential
access to the EC's internal market, will be enforced as from
1 January. -Kjell Engelbrekt

ZHELEV CONCLUDES ISRAEL VISIT. BTA reports that President Zhelyu
Zhelev on 8-December returned from a three-day official visit
to Israel. During this first ever visit by a Bulgarian head of
state, Zhelev held talks with his counterpart Ezer Weizman, Prime
Minister Itzhak Rabin, representatives of the parliamentary parties,
as well as with Palestinian leaders. On 6 December he addressed
the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, where he spoke about the
strong bilateral ties existing through the some 50,000 Bulgarian-born
Jews living in Israel. Zhelev also signed accords on mutual protection
of investments, easing of visa regulations, and a memorandum
confirming that both countries intend to prepare further agreements
on cooperation in agriculture, tourism, and elimination of double
taxation. Similar to other communist states, Bulgaria severed
relations with Israel following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and
did not restore them until 1990. -Kjell Engelbrekt

ESTONIAN-TURKISH AGREEMENT SIGNED. On 7-December in Ankara Estonian
and Turkish Presidents Lennart Meri and Suleyman Demirel signed
a "friendship and cooperation" agreement, similar to one signed
in 1924, Western agencies report. Meri, accompanied by armed
forces commander Maj. Gen. Aleksander Einseln, Economy Minister
Toomas Sildmae, and other officials and businessmen, had visited
Jordan on 2-5-December where he held talks with King Hussein.
On 5-7 December the delegation was in Kuwait at the invitation
of Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber as-Sabah. The aim of the visit
to the three countries was to establish closer economic and cultural
ties as well as discussing political and security issues. Meri
will return to Estonia on 8 December. -Saulius Girnius

FINNISH PRIME MINISTER VISITS LITHUANIA. On 7 December Esko Aho
traveled to Vilnius for a one-day visit, Radio Lithuania reports.
Talks with his counterpart Adolfas Slezevicius focused on widening
economic, political, and cultural cooperation between the two
states as well as on regional security and the Via Baltica highway
project. Finland's commercial and economic ties with Latvia and
Estonia are significantly larger than with Lithuania. Aho also
met President Algirdas Brazauskas and extended him an official
invitation from President Mauno Koivisto to visit Finland in
the near future. -Saulius Girnius

LATVIA TO OFFER JUDGES LIFELONG APPOINTMENTS. The Latvian Saeima
(parliament) decided to grant the country's judges lifelong appointments
starting next year, BNS reported on 7 December. Legal Committee
Head Aivars Endzins noted that there is an acute shortage of
judges: positions for 20 regional court judges, 38 administrative
judges, and 3 Supreme Court judges are now vacant. The staff
deficit will increase by 54 judges after the creation of the
district court system next year. -Saulius Girnius

MIGRATION TO AND FROM LITHUANIA. In January-August 1993 13,500
people emigrated from Lithuania while 2,200 immigrated to settle
as permanent residents, Baltfax reported on 6 December. The bulk
of the emigrants consisted of Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians,
mostly over 40 and pensioners. The emigrants also included 550
ethnic Lithuanians, about 30% of whom migrated to the West. About
800-of the immigrants were ethnic Lithuanians from Siberia, North
Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus and about the same number
were from mixed families of descendants of exiled Lithuanians
and locals. In 1992 about 106,900 people emigrated from and 84,700
immigrated to Lithuania resulting in a population decrease of
about 22,200. -Saulius Girnius

BEZKOROVAINY ON UKRAINE'S NAVY. The commander of the Ukrainian
navy, Vice-Admiral Volodymyr Bezkorovainy, said in an interview
that progress has been made in establishing the national navy,
Ukrainian television reported on 6 December. Unlike other branches
of the armed forces, the navy had to be built up from almost
nothing. Today, almost twenty naval units are functioning. The
construction of vessels continues and the navy now has six new
ships. -Ustina Markus

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













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