Имей сердце, имей душу, и будешь человек во всякое время. - Д. И. Фонвизин
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 1, 3 January 1994

RUSSIA
YELTSIN PLEDGES TO PROTECT RUSSIANS OUTSIDE RUSSIA. In his New Year's 
broadcast, Russian President Boris Yeltsin pledged to defend the interests 
of Russians living outside Russia's borders (by implication, in the 
countries of the former Soviet Union), saying that "on the basis of law 
and solidarity, we defend and will defend your and our common interests." 
The position of Russians living abroad was a constant complaint of the 
opposition to Yeltsin during 1993. Assessing the past year, Yeltsin said 
that there had almost been civil war in Russia. He was optimistic, 
however, about the adoption of the new Russian constitution which he said 
would be the foundation "for the construction of a democratic state and 
free society." Wendy Slater

CANDIDATES FOR STATE DUMA CHAIRMAN. The leaders of the principal political 
parties continued negotiations on 31 December over candidates for the 
chairmanship of the State Duma. Interfax reported that the meeting was 
attended by Yegor Gaidar (Russia's Choice), Grigorii Yavlinsky (the 
Yavlinsky-Boldyrev-Lukin bloc), Vladimir Zhirinovsky (the Liberal 
Democratic Party), Nikolai Travkin (the Democratic Party), Ekaterina 
Lakhova (the Union of Women of Russia), Mikhail Lapshin (the Agrarian 
Party), and Gennadii Zyuganov (the Communist Party). The Party of Russian 
Unity and Concord was not represented. The LDP, CP, and Agrarian parties, 
which control 43% of the parliamentary seats between them, want to 
nominate Ivan Rybkin, former leader of the Communists of Russia faction in 
the Supreme Soviet. His candidacy is opposed by Russia's Choice. Wendy 
Slater

PREDICTIONS OF CABINET RESHUFFLE. The government newspaper Rossiiskie 
vesti said on 31 December that a cabinet reshuffle is expected soon, 
Reuters reported. The newspaper suggested that the changes will increase 
the influence of the industrialist lobby at the expense of radical 
economic reformers such as Finance Minister Boris Fedorov. Interfax also 
suggested that there will be changes in the status of some ministers, and 
predicted that those who were successful in the recent parliamentary 
elections will be asked to choose between holding a government post or 
working in the new parliament. Interfax said that Deputy Prime Ministers 
Sergei Shakhrai and Aleksandr Shokhin were likely to resign, as was First 
Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko should he be elected speaker of 
the upper house of the new parliament. Wendy Slater

RUSSIAN REACTION TO TALBOTT NOMINATION. Izvestiya commented on 30 December 
that Strobe Talbott's nomination as Deputy Secretary of State marked the 
unusually rapid rise of a journalist through the ranks of diplomacy. On 
Talbott's politics, Izvestiya commented that Talbott's "main weakness 
according to his critics...is his excessively strong leaning toward Russia 
and his overestimation of its significance for the fate of this part of 
the world and the world in general." Izvestiya added that "surely more 
than anyone else in the U.S. political establishment, Talbott understands 
that Russia's peacemaking efforts in this part of the world are 
indispensable." On the same day, Pravda offered a similar summary of 
Talbott's stance on Russia's relations with its neighbors and also 
commented that Talbott's new job may have "far-reaching consequences for 
Russian-American relations." Suzanne Crow

WHO VOTED FOR ZHIRINOVSKY? Izvestiya on 30 December reported that, 
according to Moscow's respected All-Russian Center for the Study of Public 
Opinion, Zhirinovsky's supporters in the December elections came from two 
distinct groups. The first are young males aged between 25 and 40. The 
second group are also males, but they are older and less educated. Despite 
the difference in their ages, the groups share several characteristics. 
Most are blue-collar workers in state-owned industrial enterprises, 
earning average or higher-than-average wages. What distinguishes them from 
other members of the Russian population is their concern about the 
breakdown of law and order in Russia. While those who voted for the 
Communist Party were likely to complain about declining living standards 
in their own towns, Zhirinovsky's supporters complained more about the 
"anarchy" and "weak government" threatening Russia as a whole. Elizabeth 
Teague

FOREIGN CURRENCY BAN. At midnight on 31 December, the ban on all cash 
transactions conducted in foreign currency went into effect. The 
regulation, issued by the Russian Central Bank (RCB) in early October (see 
ITAR-TASS of 5 October), is designed to make all Russian stores and 
establishments accept only rubles for cash sales, although non-ruble 
credit and debit card purchases will be permitted. The RCB ban followed a 
regulation effective 1 March that Russian-made goods must be sold for 
rubles (Interfax, 25 January), an RCB ruling that Moscow hard-currency 
stores must accept rubles as well as foreign currency (ITAR-TASS, 10 
February), and considerable debate within the government on the wisdom of 
enhancing the acceptability of the ruble by decree. At this writing, no 
reports had been received on how the ban is working. Keith Bush

DEBT RESCHEDULING ARRANGEMENTS LAPSE. As the Financial Times of 31 
December noted, Russia's debt rescheduling arrangements with Western 
governments lapsed that day. Under an agreement reached in April 1993 by 
the Paris Club of creditor governments, more than $15 billion of the $20 
billion in capital and interest due in 1993 was rescheduled over ten 
years. But no rescheduling has been arranged for the roughly $16 billion 
due in 1994, as well as the additional arrears on payments due since 
April. The rescheduling agreement was also conditional on the conclusion 
of a standby agreement with the IMF by October: this condition was not 
met. Separate talks on the roughly $25 billion owed to Western banks have 
failed to produce any long-term rescheduling, and 90-day rollovers have 
been substituted. Keith Bush

QUESTIONS ON THE BUDGET DEFICIT. News reports suggest that the 
government's success in reining in the Russian state budget deficit to 10% 
of GDP is largely illusionary. On 24 December the Financial Times reported 
that the government would delay 6 trillion rubles of deficit spending, 
accounting for it in 1994, in order to meet commitments made to the IMF. 
This maneuver may explain a decree issued by President Yeltsin on 30 
December, according to Russian television, which requires the Central Bank 
to lend the government 7.5 trillion rubles in the first quarter of 1994. 
Various members of government including deputy prime ministers Oleg 
Soskovets and Aleksandr Shokhin, not to mention Russian Central Bank 
Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko, had admitted in recent weeks that the 
deficit target for the year was unrealistic. Erik Whitlock

CHECHEN CLANS POSTPONE CONGRESS FOR SECOND TIME. The Council of Chechen 
teips (clans and families) has put off its congress for the second time in 
order to avoid bloodshed, Interfax reported on 2 January. The congress, 
which was to demand early parliamentary elections, was originally to have 
met in Groznyi on 25 December, but over 800 delegates were prevented by 
armed supporters of President Dzhokhar Dudaev from reaching the meeting 
place. It was then rescheduled for 2 January in Shali, where the mayor was 
favorable to the congress and the local tank regiment said it would not 
allow Dudaev's supporters into the town. Dudaev responded by dismissing 
the mayor, and the commander of the tank regiment was persuaded to agree 
to Dudaev's order to open fire on delegates if the congress took place. 
The council's headquarters has announced that delegates will be given only 
a few hours' notice of the date and place of the congress to prevent 
Dudaev's troops arriving before the congress had reached a decision. Ann 
Sheehy

RALLY IN MAKHACHKALA DEMANDS DISMISSAL OF DAGESTAN PARLIAMENT. A rally in 
Makhachkala, held to mourn Arsen Bairamov, a murdered candidate for the 
Russian Federal Assembly who was backed by the Kumyks, Cossacks, and 
Russians, passed a resolution saying that it would ask Yeltsin to disband 
the Dagestan parliament which "has completely compromised itself and is an 
obstacle to the development of the republic," Interfax reported on 31 
December. The resolution referred to the wave of political assassinations, 
terrorism, and violence in the republic that has claimed dozens of lives, 
and claimed that members of some governmental bodies had contacts with the 
criminal world. It demanded that the results of the elections in Dagestan 
to the Russian Federal Assembly be declared invalid, and that a commission 
be sent to the republic to investigate its law enforcement agencies. Ann 
Sheehy

SHANIBOV AGAINST CONFEDERATION OF PEOPLES OF CAUCASUS HAVING OWN ARMED 
FORCES. The president of the Confederation of Peoples of the Caucasus 
(CPC) Musa Shanibov has said that the creation of the confederation's own 
armed forces was in breach of the federal and republican constitutions and 
that the decision to appoint a commander and chief of staff of such 
forces, adopted at a CPC congress in Groznyi in early December, must be 
suspended, Interfax reported on 31 December. Shanibov said that the 
confederation has no forces of its own, and volunteer units fighting in 
Abkhazia were placed under the command of the Abkhaz defense ministry. Ann 
Sheehy
CIS
UKRAINE WANTS TO BEGIN SWAPPING WARHEADS FOR NUCLEAR FUEL. Trilateral 
talks between Ukraine, Russia and the United States on the issue of 
Ukraine's nuclear disarmament were due to be resumed in Washington on 3 
January, according to the Los Angeles Times and UNIAR of 2 January. The 
newspaper reported that it had been told by Ukrainian Vice Premier Valerii 
Shmarov that while the tricky negotiations about meeting Ukraine's 
concerns about security and proper compensation continue, Ukraine is still 
prepared to begin handing over some of its nuclear warheads to Russia in 
return for nuclear reactor fuel and that it intends to propose a trial 
swap on this basis. Shmarov also hinted that Ukraine would like to see 
reciprocal gestures from the US, suggesting that "if we take off ten 
weapons, be so kind as to reduce ten weapons that are now aimed at us." 
Bohdan Nahaylo

UKRAINE AND RUSSIA AT ODDS OVER AFGHAN POW NEGOTIATIONS. A spokesman for 
the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Grigorii Karasin, has criticized 
Ukraine's proposal for using an ethnic and selective approach to resolve 
the issue of former Soviet POWs in Afghanistan, Interfax reported on 28 
December. He made the statement with reference to a meeting between 
Ukrainian representatives and leaders of the Islamic Party of Afghanistan 
led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. The meeting 
focused on freeing former Soviet servicemen of Ukrainian nationality held 
by the faction. Karasin pointed out that Moscow favored the interaction by 
all CIS states in any resolution as stated in the CIS agreement of 28 
April 1993 which envisions joint measures for finding and freeing 
prisoners-of-war regardless of their nationality or citizenship. He 
pointed out that the leaders of ten CIS countries, including Ukraine, had 
put their signatures on the document. Ustina Markus
TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA
NIYAZOV IN IRAN. Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad Niyazov arrived in 
Tehran on 2 January for an official visit that is to include the signing 
of ten cooperation agreements, Western and Russian news agencies reported. 
Among the issues to be discussed are cooperation in the development of 
Turkmenistan's gas and oil resources: Niyazov told reporters at Tehran's 
Mehrabad Airport that Turkmenistan hopes to tap Iran's expertise in 
various fields. The two countries have developed excellent relations since 
Turkmenistan became independent. When questioned earlier if he did not 
fear Islamic fundamentalism promoted by Iran, Niyazov denied that there 
could be any danger. Bess Brown
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
FIGHTING IN SARAJEVO CONTINUES. The international media report that the 
shelling of Sarajevo continued throughout the New Year weekend, with the 
heaviest fighting coming on New Year's Eve, and that the city has once 
again been left without water and electricity. On 1 January Sarajevo Radio 
stated that at least five persons were killed and 38 injured in clashes 
the previous night. Western agencies reported that on 1 January a building 
used by UN troops was shelled and badly damaged, but there were no 
casualties. On 3 January Reuters reported that the Bosnian Muslim 
government has threatened to besiege the Lasva Valley in central Bosnia 
should the 65,000 Croats in the region fail to leave peacefully. In his 
New Year's address, reported by Sarajevo Radio, Bosnian President Alija 
Izetbegovic exhorted Muslims to fight against the forces of "destruction" 
and expressed his regret that the Western powers were not doing their 
utmost to end the fighting in Bosnia. In an interview on 3 January on 
Deutschlandfunk, Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic called on the 
international community "to do its duty" and intervene in the Bosnian 
conflict in support of the Muslim side. Stan Markotich

COT DEPLORES SITUATION IN BOSNIA. On 1 January AFP reported that the UN 
commander in former Yugoslavia, General Jean Cot, stated that he was no 
longer willing to let the UN troops in Bosnia be the targets of 
"humiliation and deception" by the three warring factions. Cot told AFP he 
was preparing to deal with the situation, but did not elaborate. According 
to the general, all three sides were guilty of disrupting the UN 
peacekeeping efforts but the Serbs' "humiliation of the armed 
representatives of the international community has reached its limits." 
Stan Markotich

CROATIAN PRESIDENT CLAIMS PEACE POSSIBLE IN 1994. According to Vecernji 
list of 31 December, President Franjo Tudjman, in his New Year press 
conference, speculated that 1994 might be a year for peace and could see 
the end of hostilities in Bosnia. While reaffirming his commitment to 
working for peace, however, Tudjman in an interview with Croatian TV on 30 
December also renewed the threat of invading Bosnia and Herzegovina should 
Muslim forces continue their attacks against ethnic Croats. On 31 December 
Bosnian Prime Minister Silajdzic, speaking on Sarajevo Radio, charged that 
the Croatian military was already involved in Bosnia. On 2 January Reuters 
reported that the Croatian Helsinki Committee alleged that the Croatian 
army is drafting men of Bosnian ancestry to fight in Bosnia, forcibly and 
against their will. The Croatian government has flatly denied these 
allegations. Stan Markotich

GREEK-MACEDONIAN ISSUES. Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov in a year-end 
speech before the parliament on 30 December said that Macedonian 
sovereignty is vital to Greece. According to Nova Makedonija, he expressed 
the hope that his country would soon become part of the CSCE and NATO's 
"Partners for Peace" program. On 1 January Greece took over the presidency 
of the European Union. Diplomats are waiting to see how Greek Prime 
Minister Andreas Papandreou, who will chair the EU, approaches the 
Macedonian issue. AFP reported on 2 January that some 8,000 demonstrators 
in northern Greece protested the diplomatic recognition accorded Macedonia 
by several members of the EU, including Germany, Great Britain, France, 
Denmark, and the Netherlands. Duncan Perry

WALESA MAKES SOMBER NEW YEAR'S ADDRESS. In a televised New Year's address, 
President Lech Walesa expressed the hope that the "year of promises" 
marked by the 1993 elections would not be followed by a "year of 
disappointment" in 1994. Walesa said that the first chapter in the history 
of the Polish Third Republic had been closed with the transfer of 
governmental power from the Solidarity elite to the postcommunist forces. 
Solidarity's bitter election defeat was unjust, Walesa said, but its 
contribution would be more favorably assessed with the passage of time. He 
expressed the hope that the forces now in power would demonstrate the 
wisdom to repair what needs fixing without destroying what has begun to 
bear fruit. Louisa Vinton

CHARGES FILED AGAINST RAKOWSKI, POLISH GENERALS. The Warsaw prosecutor's 
office filed criminal charges against former Prime Minister Mieczyslaw 
Rakowski on 30 December, PAP reports. Rakowski, the Polish communist 
party's last first secretary, is being charged with illegal currency 
dealings in connection with the CPSU's secret loan of $1.2 million and 500 
million zloty to the Polish party before its final congress early in 1990. 
On 8 December, an investigation into the role of current Labor Minister 
Leszek Miller in repaying the loan was dropped. The Warsaw prosecutor's 
office on 31 December also pressed new charges against the two secret 
police generals who are now on trial for supervising the 1984 murder of 
Father Jerzy Popieluszko. The two generals, Wladyslaw Ciaston and Zenon 
Platek, and five other former police officials now face charges of 
"running a criminal organization" in 1981-84 with the purpose of 
intimidating and repressing Catholic priests and opposition activists. 
Ciaston was head of the communist security police; Platek ran the 
notorious Fourth Department, which conducted surveillance of the Catholic 
Church. A verdict in the Popieluszko murder trial is expected in March. 
Louisa Vinton

POLISH MINERS' STRIKE SETTLED. Miners at the bankrupt Boguszow barite mine 
suspended a week-long occupation strike on 31 December, after an agreement 
was reached between the Lower Silesian Solidarity organization and the 
Ministry of Industry. In the terms of the settlement, the government 
agreed to provide 20 billion zloty ($943,000) to the Walbrzych Regional 
Development Foundation to help restructure the Boguszow region, fund 
overdue wage payments to the miners, and prepare the indebted Boguszow 
mine for sale at auction. The Boguszow miners struck for the entire month 
of November; after three days back on the job, they began a new strike on 
8 December. Louisa Vinton

HAVEL'S NEW YEAR SPEECH. In a New Year's message broadcast on Czech radio 
and television, President Vaclav Havel said the country's economic 
transition can now be considered irreversible. The Czech Republic's most 
important achievement in 1993, he said, was the sustained high tempo of 
change from a centrally planned economy to one based on the free market. 
He called on the government to use the planned state administrative reform 
to give municipalities and regions more power; and to introduce 
legislation on nonprofit organizations. Havel also argued that the most 
important goal now is to build "civil society." The Czech people knew, he 
said, that national awareness could not be the sole purpose of a nation's 
existence. The experience of World War II and the Yugoslav conflict had 
shown Europe the dangers of believing in an ethnically pure state. Havel 
also warned against belief in the possibility of establishing a 
religiously pure state, noting that this had led to religious 
fundamentalism in some Muslim countries. Jiri Pehe

FORMER CZECHOSLOVAK AMBASSADOR TO US DIES. Rita Klimova, one of the most 
prominent figures of the "velvet revolution" in 1989 and former 
Czechoslovak Ambassador to the US, died on 30 December at the age of 62. 
Klimova had taught political economics at Prague's Charles University in 
the 1960's but was expelled from the Communist Party and fired from her 
job during purges that followed the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia 
in 1968. Klimova, who spent her childhood in New York and was a fluent 
English-speaker, worked in the 1970's and the 1980's as a translator for 
dissident publications. She became a spokesperson for the opposition 
movement during the "velvet revolution." She was named ambassador to the 
United States at the beginning of 1990. Shortly after her arrival in the 
US she was stricken by leukemia. At her own request, she was replaced as 
ambassador in September 1992. Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK-RFE TALKS END IN DEADLOCK. Talks between Slovak authorities and 
Radio Free Europe on 30 December ended without agreement and are scheduled 
to resume in late January. Slovakia's Transportation and Communications 
Minister Roman Hofbauer plans to cut RFE broadcasts from medium-wave 
transmitters in Slovakia. RFE says its contract for use of these 
transmitters is binding until the end of 1995. Hofbauer told RFE officials 
that its programs were biased against the government. RFE Director Robert 
Gillette, who met in Bratislava with Hofbauer and other officials, said 
that RFE broadcasts "meet high standards of objectivity, fairness and 
accuracy." Sharon Fisher

KOVAC ASSESSES SLOVAKIA'S FIRST YEAR. In his New Year's address on Slovak 
radio and television on 1 January, President Michal Kovac said that 
Slovakia's existence is "an irreversible fact" which should be recognized 
even by those who had regretted its creation. Noting that gloomy 
predictions of economic collapse had not materialized, he complained about 
the unstable political situation: political scrambling and scandals had 
discredited politics in public eyes, while "the failure to unite political 
and nonpolitical forces" had created additional problems. Kovac advocated 
the creation of "a broad coalition government which would mobilize all the 
best brains of [Slovak] society in order to solve problems and complete 
tasks." On 1 and 2 January, several members of opposition parties said 
Kovac's address was "realistic," TASR reports. Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN SOCIALISTS LEAD IN OPINION POLL. According to a poll published 
in Magyar Hirlap on 29 December, five months before the forthcoming 
general election, the Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) is leading public 
opinion polls for the first time since the democratic changes. HSP took 
the lead from the Association of the Young Democrats (AYD), according to 
the poll conducted at the beginning of December by Median Inc. The 
reform-communist HSP tallied 19% support among the respondents; followed 
by the AYD with 15%, the Association of the Free Democrats (the largest 
opposition party in parliament) with 10%, and the ruling Hungarian 
Democratic Forum with 9%; 19% of those polled were undecided and 8% did 
not reveal their party preference. Karoly Okolicsanyi

BULGARIAN GYPSIES DEMAND BAN ON "FASCIST" ORGANIZATIONS. At a meeting on 
30 December in Sliven in eastern Bulgaria, several influential Bulgarian 
Roma lobby groups agreed on an open letter demanding a ban on all 
"fascist" parties and organizations, BTA reports. The letter, which was 
endorsed by the United Roma Alliance, the Democratic Roma Union, and the 
Roma Intellectuals, was evidently prompted by a number of recent public 
appearances by Father Gelemenov, leader of the openly racist Vazrazhdane 
organization. Leaders of all three Roma formations qualified the views of 
Gelemenov as "extremely dangerous." Gelemenov said, in an interview with 
Trud on 29 December, that he has abandoned traditional nationalism for the 
Nazi ideology, and that he favors "subordinating" the country's Gypsy and 
Turkish minorities to the Bulgarian majority. The Roma leaders also 
criticized Bulgarian media, including state television, for having 
repeatedly offered Gelemenov opportunities to air his extremist views. 
According to the final count of the December 1992 census, 313,000 
Bulgarian citizens say they belong to the Roma minority. Kjell Engelbrekt

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION SAYS RULE BY DECREE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The main 
opposition alliance, the Democratic Convention of Romania, said in a 
statement released on 30 December that the law allowing the government to 
rule by decree during the January parliamentary recess is 
unconstitutional, Reuters reports from Bucharest. DCR President Emil 
Constantinescu said the alliance has appealed to the Constitutional Court. 
An RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported that the DCR called for a 
new opposition alliance, to oppose the anti-reform process. On the same 
day, the Permanent Bureau of the Chamber of Deputies announced that a 
special session of the chamber will convene on 3 January at the request of 
118 members of the opposition. Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN COALITION TALKS. Following a meeting between representatives of 
the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania and of the nationalist 
Party of Romanian National Unity on 29 December, the PRNU vice chairman, 
Ioan Gavra, said the two sides had agreed on a "government pact" and on 
ways of implementing it, Radio Bucharest said. Each side will be 
represented in the executive according to its parliamentary strength. He 
added that the distribution of portfolios will be discussed next week and 
that "the new government formula" should be ready in January. Meanwhile, 
President Ion Iliescu is continuing talks with other political formations. 
It is unlikely that the Democratic Convention of Romania, the main 
opposition alliance, will agree to join a government set up according to 
the formula announced by Gavra. Michael Shafir.

BALTIC PRESIDENTS WANT RUSSIAN TROOPS WITHDRAWN IN 1994. In a joint New 
Year's statement, the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania urged 
Russian President Boris Yeltsin to complete the pullout of all Russian 
troops from the region, as promised, in 1994, Interfax reported on 1 
January. They expressed regret that part of the Russian forces still 
remain in Latvia and Estonia. They added that while each of the Baltic 
countries could claim domestic political and economic achievements in 
1993, several important goals have yet to be attained. Dzintra Bungs

MERI CRITICIZES YELTSIN'S SPEECH. Estonian President Lennart Meri told the 
press on 1 January in Tallinn that Russian President Yeltsin's New Year 
speech was "most unfortunate and unusual" and called on the West to 
condemn it. Meri criticized especially those statements that suggest 
Russia has "chosen to use the aggressive policies of the former Soviet 
Union," and added that Russia's leadership may be using the election 
success of nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky as an excuse to adopt a 
tougher policy toward the former Soviet republics. Meri also took issue 
with Yeltsin's affirmation of Russia's intention to defend Russians living 
outside its borders, Western media reported on 1 January. Dzintra Bungs

LITHUANIA TO OPEN CONSULATE IN KALININGRAD. Lithuania will open a 
consulate in Kaliningrad this month, Radio Lithuania reported on 3 
January. Kaliningrad plans to establish an economic office in Vilnius, 
comparable to one that the Lithuanian Ministry of Industry and Trade will 
open in Kaliningrad. Saulius Girnius

ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN LITHUANIA. Consumption of oil increased from 1.106 
million tons in 1992 to 1.186 million tons in 1993, BNS reported on 29 
December. Due to soaring prices the consumption of natural gas decreased 
from 3.4 billion cubic meters to 1.6 billion cubic meters. Electricity 
consumption decreased by 25%, from 9.84 billion kilowatt hours in 1992 to 
7.34 billion kilowatt hours in 1992. In the early part of the year 
electricity use was 60% below comparable 1992 levels, but grew rapidly in 
the second half reaching 99% of the December 1992 level by the end of the 
year. Saulius Girnius

REFERENDUM ON UKRAINE'S POLITICAL SYSTEM? During a meeting with 
representatives of the Ukrainian media on 30 December, President Leonid 
Kravchuk said that he planned to appeal directly to the people and call 
for a referendum on the type of political system Ukraine should have on 27 
March, the same day as the forthcoming parliamentary elections. He noted 
that during three years' work the present parliament had been unable to 
adopt a democratic constitution reflecting the new political realities, 
even though two drafts had been prepared and presented for its 
consideration. To end the deadlock and open the way for political and 
economic reforms, Kravchuk reaffirmed the need for a Law on [Political] 
Power, defining the nature of Ukraine's political system and the division 
of powers at the center, and between the center and the regions. Once 
again, he opted for a compromise between presidential and parliamentary 
systems. Bohdan Nahaylo

[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Elizabeth Carlson & Anna Swidlicka



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