To appreciate nonsense requires a serious interest in life. - Gelett Burgess
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 2, 4 January 1994

RUSSIA

ZHIRINOVSKY DEMANDS CABINET CHANGES. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of 
the extreme right Liberal Democratic Party which gained 70 of the 450 
seats in the lower house of the new parliament, said on 3 January that 
five or six members of the current Russian government should be replaced, 
together with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. (A cabinet reshuffle is 
expected to be announced soon by President Yeltsin). As Prime Minister, 
Zhirinovsky suggested the little-known head of administration of Omsk 
oblast, Leonid Polezhaev, who was elected to the Federation Council as an 
independent in the two-mandate Omsk constituency. At a press conference on 
14 December, Aleksandr Vengerovsky had been introduced as the Prime 
Minister in the LDP's "shadow cabinet." Zhirinovsky, whose remarks were 
reported by Reuters, also said that his party would act as "a third force" 
in the parliament, bridging the gap between radical reformers and 
communists. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY TO VISIT ARMENIA. The leader of Russia's Liberal-Democratic 
Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, is to visit Armenia in mid-January at the 
invitation of the Council of Armenian Intellectuals, Interfax reported on 
30 December quoting Armenian press sources. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN TROOPS COSTING GERMAN GOVERNMENT BILLIONS. According to German 
authorities, the illegal activities of Russian soldiers based in Germany 
"have cost the German government billions of marks in the past two years," 
AFP reported on 1 January. Although German authorities were reported to be 
well aware of what was going on, the extra-territorial status that the 
Russian troops enjoy and the unwillingness of Russian military commanders 
to cooperate were said to have impeded efforts at investigation and 
prosecution. Cheating on the VAT (value-added tax), from which Russian 
troops are exempt, was said to be by far the most common means of 
defrauding the German state. The AFP report also claimed that some of the 
70,000 Russian soldiers still stationed in Germany had formed ties with 
Russian mafia groups, and that instances have been reported of sales of 
weapons to German criminals and to neo-Nazi groups. The report also 
suggested that it is not uncommon for Russian soldiers to bribe their 
commanding officers in an effort to avoid being sent back to Russia. 
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEFENSE PERSONNEL DIRECTORATE TO BE REDUCED. The Russian Defense Ministry 
decided on 30 December to reduce radically the number of generals 
currently working in the Defense Ministry department responsible for work 
with military personnel and to downgrade the status of the department as a 
whole, ITAR-TASS reported. Forty such generals were said to be in the 
department. According to the same report, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev 
had criticized the leadership of the department in comments made on 29 
December, although he praised the work of rank-and-file personnel officers 
and said that the changes would not affect them. The department for work 
with military personnel was in many ways a successor to the Soviet Army's 
Main Political Administration (abolished following the August 1991 coup), 
and continued to serve as a home for former political officers. Stephen 
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

TREATIES AT RISK? A long article in Nezavisimaya gazeta of 29 December 
written by Vladimir Trofinov, a newly-elected delegate to the Russian 
Federation Council, contains a critical review of the many treaties that 
may be brought before the new Russian parliament for ratification. (Under 
the new constitution, treaties need only a majority vote to be passed but, 
given the new balance of forces in the parliament, such a majority may be 
difficult to muster.) Trofinov is particularly critical of the START-2 and 
Open Skies treaties, as well as agreements with the US intended to fund 
Russian scientists and to assist in nuclear weapons dismantling. In 
addition to these treaties, which he considers to be both undesirable and 
unlikely to pass, he notes that parliament may again consider a law 
empowering it unilaterally to renounce international treaties. This law 
passed its first reading in July 1993. If passed it would no doubt be 
vetoed by President Yeltsin, and it may also be unconstitutional. 
Nevertheless the article highlights the potential for the new parliament 
to disrupt the development of Russian foreign relations through its 
ability to block agreements. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

FIRST CASES ON OCTOBER 1993 BLOODSHED IN MOSCOW SENT TO COURT. The office 
of the Russian Prosecutor General has completed investigating the first 
two cases in connection with the events of 34 October in Moscow, 
ITAR-TASS reported on 30 December. The cases are those of two minor 
supporters of the rebel parliament, Ivan Loshchilin (41) and Andrei 
Belikov (34), both of whom were reportedly arrested on 3 October during 
the armed assault on the headquarters of the Moscow Mayor and Ostankino TV 
tower. According to ITAR-TASS, Belikov and Loshchilin have been denied 
release on bail and are awaiting trial in confinement under Article 218 of 
the Russian Criminal Code ("Illegal Possession of Arms"). Julia 
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

LEADER OF NEO-NAZI STORM-TROOPERS ARRESTED. According to Interfax of 2 
January, the Moscow police have arrested Aleksandr Barkashov, the leader 
of the paramilitary Russian National Unity grouping, who had been in 
hiding since the fall of the Russian parliament in October 1993. The 
Russian media have depicted the RNU as a neo-Nazi group of armed 
storm-troopers, and quoted Barkashov as having frequently voiced his 
admiration of "Adolf Aloizovich" Hitler. Wearing black uniforms with the 
swastika emblem, members of the RNU were sighted during the bloody attack 
on Ostankino TV tower and the office of the Moscow Mayor on 3 October. 
Along with other RNU members, Barkashov went underground after the fall of 
the Russian White House two days later. In December, Barkashov was fired 
at from a passing car while walking on a Moscow street. Interfax said that 
he had been arrested in hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for his 
wounds. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

BORDER TROOPS ARE SEPARATED FROM STATE SECURITY SYSTEM AND SUBORDINATED TO 
PRESIDENT. President Yeltsin has signed a decree on the creation of the 
Federal Border Service-Chief Command of the Russian Federation Border 
Troops, ITAR-TASS reported on 30 December. The new Service will be 
subordinated directly to the Russian President and will be headed by the 
present Commander-in-Chief of the Border Troops, Andrei Nikolaev. After 
the disbanding of the KGB in 1991, the Border Troops, which for seventy 
years had been an element of the state security organs, became a separate 
entity; in 1992, however, they were reincorporated into the Ministry of 
Security. Now, following the dissolution of the Ministry of Security, the 
border troops have regained their independent status. The latest 
re-organization is seemingly modeled on the Independent Corps of Border 
Guards created by Tsar Aleksandr III in 1893. In October, 1993, the 
Russian Border Troops celebrated the date of creation of their tsarist 
predecessors as their own jubilee. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

BAKATIN, YAVLINSKY CRITICIZE DISSOLUTION OF MINISTRY OF SECURITY. Vadim 
Bakatin, who was briefly head of the USSR KGB in 1991, has expressed his 
doubts concerning Yeltsin's decree dissolving the Ministry of Security. In 
an article published in Novaya ezhednevnaya gazeta on 28 December, Bakatin 
rejects as wishful thinking the argument cited in favor of abolition, 
pointing out that the lack of a concept of national security was not the 
fault of the agency, but of the present political leadership. He also 
stated that without additional political decisions it will be impossible 
to draft the structure and functions of the newly created 
counterintelligence service. Grigorii Yavlinsky, the leader of the 
"Boldyrev-Yavlinsky-Lukin" bloc, termed Yeltsin's measure a 
"propagandistic move." Writing in Nezavisimaya gazeta on 25 December, 
Yavlinsky stressed that the successor to the Ministry of Security will be 
subordinated directly to the Russian President. Yavlinsky rejected claims 
of involvement in political surveillance as a valid reason for dissolving 
the old Ministry, arguing that the monitoring of political opponents by 
security services can be authorized by the leadership of any country. 
Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS

CLINTON-KRAVCHUK MEETING IN THE OFFING? Citing an "informed source," 
Interfax of 3 January reported that President Clinton has written to 
Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk inviting him to meet with the US and 
Russian presidents during their upcoming summit in Moscow in mid-January. 
If the current trilateral talks in Washington between Ukraine, Russia and 
the US on Ukrainian nuclear disarmament (see the RFE/RL Daily Report of 3 
January 1994) are successful, such a meeting would provide the opportunity 
for the signing of an agreement "on basic questions of nuclear 
disarmament." Ukraine's insistence that Moscow and Washington address 
Kiev's crucial interests concerning security and compensation before it 
disposes of the nuclear arsenal on its territory have strained 
US-Ukrainian relations and led to the cancellation of meetings between 
Clinton and Kravchuk. Reuters, also of 3 January, however, quotes "a 
Ukrainian official" as commenting that it would be inappropriate for 
Kravchuk to go to Moscow for such a meeting, that a meeting between 
Clinton and Kravchuk in Minsk would be "a more acceptable option," and, 
that "the best means of proceeding would be for Clinton to come to Kiev." 
Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

SHUSHKEVICH YIELDS ON CIS COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY. The speaker of the 
Belarusian parliament, Stanislau Shushkevich, has apparently finally 
signed the CIS collective security treaty, Interfax reported on 3 January, 
citing the executive secretary of the CIS, Ivan Korotchenya. Shushkevich 
had strongly opposed Belarus' accession to the treaty on the grounds that 
it endangered his country's sovereignty even after the dominantly 
conservative Belarusian parliament voted for it in April 1993. Interfax, 
which implied that harsh economic realities are forcing Shushkevich to 
modify his position on relations with Russia and within the CIS, also 
reported that Shushkevich plans a visit to Moscow shortly to meet with 
President Yeltsin. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL ASIA & TRANSCAUCASUS

KARIMOV IN INDIA. Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov began a three-day 
visit to India on 3 January, during which a series of agreements, 
primarily on trade and economic relations, is to be signed, Russian and 
Western news agencies reported. An Indian source close to the government 
was quoted by ITAR-TASS as commenting that that inclusion of heads of 
recently privatized industries in Karimov's delegation indicated that 
Uzbekistan regards cooperation with India as part of the process of 
privatization. Soon after independence Uzbekistan sought to strengthen its 
traditional ties with India as a trading partner. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

AZERBAIJAN ASKS TURKEY TO TRAIN MORE OFFICERS. During a visit to Ankara in 
late December Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov asked Turkish 
Chief of Staff General Dogan Gures for greater Turkish assistance in 
training officers for the Azerbaijani army, according to Reuters citing 
Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Turkey, Mehmet Aliev. Aliev disclosed that a 
limited number of Azerbaijani officers and cadets are already being 
trained in Turkey. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SHELLING OF SARAJEVO CONTINUES. On 4 January Western agencies report that 
the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo continues to be the target of heavy 
shelling. According to estimates, at least 15 people, including children, 
died and 30 were wounded on 3 January in what appeared to be a major 
Bosnian Serb offensive against Muslims. AFP reported on 3 January that the 
UN commander of forces in former Yugoslavia, General Jean Cot, speaking on 
French TV, said his forces are prepared for defensive military action, if 
the UN grants consent. Cot was particularly critical of the Bosnian Serb 
side, which, he said, is causing the greatest problems for international 
troops in the area. On 4 January Borba noted that Croatia's foreign 
minister Mate Granic and Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic meet in 
Vienna on 4 January to discuss territorial disagreements and humanitarian 
questions. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

OLECHOWSKI LOBBIES BONN ON NATO. Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej 
Olechowski made a one-day working visit to Germany on 3 January to present 
Poland's case in advance of the upcoming NATO summit. Olechowski's private 
meeting with foreign minister Klaus Kinkel lasted over an hour, PAP 
reports. Olechowski stressed that Poland expects the NATO summit to give 
the Visegrad countries a clear signal that membership in the alliance is 
possible. Even if it cannot come quickly, Olechowski said, the West should 
specify the conditions and a timetable for NATO membership. Kinkel pledged 
to act as Poland's advocate during the summit but was circumspect about 
the prospects for success. While NATO is in principle open to new members, 
Kinkel said, in practice membership will be extended to the new 
democracies of Eastern Europe much more slowly than these countries 
desire. Kinkel insisted that Moscow holds no veto power over NATO but 
added that Russia must not be made to feel isolated. Louisa Vinton, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND STEPS UP NATO OFFENSIVE. In response to the apparent US policy 
shift on NATO expansion and new Western empathy for Russian interests, 
Olechowski and President Lech Walesa have intensified their campaign to 
win international support for Poland's position. In an article in 
Frankfurter Rundschau, Olechowski warned that, by refusing the Visegrad 
countries full membership, NATO will encourage the belief "that the West 
wants to keep them indefinitely in a ‘gray area' of insecurity." In an 
interview with the Washington Post on 4 January, Walesa drew parallels 
with the interwar appeasement of Nazi Germany, calling the West's approach 
"short-sighted and irresponsible." "Fifty years ago when we were shouting 
about the crimes at Katyn, no one wanted to listen because it was more 
comfortable that way, to sip coffee and make pacts with Stalin." Walesa 
said the "partnership for peace" proposal is a good idea but for a 
different era. He called on NATO to take decisive steps and extend 
security guarantees eastward, in order to avoid leaving an enticing vacuum 
in the heart of Europe. The very fact that Russian officials express 
irritation at the idea of NATO expansion, Walesa added, is proof that 
Russia does not genuinely accept its neighbors' sovereignty and 
independence. A Demoskop poll conducted in Poland in December showed that 
70% of those surveyed feel Russia presents a military threat to Poland; 
18% do not. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

PAWLAK BEGINS REMOVING LOCAL OFFICIALS. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak 
dismissed voivods in five of Poland's 49 voivodships on 31 December, PAP 
reports. The five voivods (the government's local representatives) 
belonged to or sympathized with parties that are now in the opposition or 
did not gain seats in the Sejm. Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 3 January that 
Pawlak plans to replace at least thirty-one voivods, largely to satisfy 
pressure from local organizations of the two ruling parties, the Polish 
Peasant Party and the Democratic Left Alliance. Such personnel changes are 
politically sensitive, as the opposition argues that the voivodship 
appointments should be apolitical and immune from upheaval with every 
change in government. The coalition counters that personnel changes are 
inevitable, as the elections reflected a dramatic shift in political 
support at the voivodship level. The SLD finished first in 29 districts 
and the PSL won 20 (of a total 52 districts, most of them with the same 
boundaries as the voivodships). Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAKIA EXCEEDS CREDIT LIMIT IN TRADE WITH CZECHS. CTK reported on 3 
January that Slovakia has exceeded the credit limit of 130 million ecu set 
under the payments clearing agreement between the Czech Republic and 
Slovakia. The clearing system for payments between the two countries was 
established in February 1993 when the Czech Republic and Slovakia 
abandoned their joint currency and established separate ones. Under the 
system, if one country's trade deficit with the other exceeds 130 million 
ecu, the debtor country has to cover the amount in excess of the limit in 
hard currency. The interest rate for the 130 million ecu credit line is 
5%; credits over this amount are subject to a 10% interest rate if the 
amount in excess of 130 million ecu is paid within 15 days of exceeding 
the limit; after 15 days the interest rate is increased to 15%. According 
to Czech officials, Slovakia had exceeded the 130 million ecu credit line 
by some 40 million ecu by the end of December and has until 15 January to 
pay back the 40 million ecu in hard currency. Czech and Slovak trade and 
financial experts meet in the next few days to discuss the situation. Jiri 
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS ISRAEL. On 3 January Jozef Moravcik arrived 
in Israel at the invitation of his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres. 
Before leaving, Moravcik told Slovak Radio that the visit constitutes "the 
first step towards normalization of bilateral ties." Moravcik is 
accompanied by Economy Minister Jan Ducky and National Bank Governor 
Vladimir Masar, in addition to parliamentary deputies, businessmen and 
bank officials. The delegation will discuss increased cooperation in the 
economic, agricultural and scientific spheres. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

CERNAK FAVORS BROAD COALITION. On 3 January Slovak National Party Chairman 
Ludovit Cernak told CTK that he favors creating a broad coalition 
government over "trimming" the present government, which includes Premier 
Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the SNP. Cernak 
said that the Christian Democratic Movement's proposed dismissal of 
transport minister Roman Hofbauer over the RFE controversy is "only a 
partial solution" and that his party supports President Michal Kovac's 
proposal for a broad coalition. Last month the SNP split into two 
factions, the national democratic faction, led by Cernak, and another, led 
by Marian Andel, which supports Meciar. Meanwhile, Alliance of Democrats 
Deputy Chairman Rudolf Filkus told CTK that his party also supports a 
broad coalition government. Filkus said the best candidates for premier 
would be Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik or Deputy Premier Roman Kovac. 
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAKIA'S ETHNIC HUNGARIAN LEADER ON AUTONOMY. In the 29 December issue 
of Slovensky Denik, Bela Bugar, chairman of the Hungarian Christian 
Democratic Movement in Slovakia, rejected suspicions that representatives 
of the Hungarian ethnic minority in Slovakia are striving for new borders 
or secession. "It is not possible to create ethnic borders in Slovakia 
because southern Slovakia is ethnically mixed," said Bugar. He expressed 
concern that the regions where most Hungarians live could be "artificially 
diluted" through the planned administrative reforms. He warned that 
attaching areas inhabited mostly by Hungarians to "purely Slovak" regions 
could lead to the creation of administrative units in which the Hungarian 
minority would account for less than 20% of the population. Bugar also 
reacted to recent statements by Miklos Duray, chairman of Coexistence, the 
largest ethnic Hungarian party in Slovakia, who expressed interest in 
"regional autonomy." Bugar said such an idea was acceptable if Duray meant 
that powers will be given to all new administrative regions--regardless of 
whether they are purely Slovak or mixed. But if Duray "has in mind the 
kind of regional autonomy practiced in South Tyrol, there is no sense in 
even talking about it because the Slovak side and various European 
institutions lack the political will for such a step." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

SURANY SLOVAKS PROTEST HUNGARIAN AUTONOMY DRIVE. On 2 January Slovaks from 
the southern town of Surany, a Slovak enclave in a region dominated by 
ethnic Hungarians, held a meeting to protest the Hungarian's demands for 
territorial autonomy. The meeting, which was attended by more than 500 
people, including three deputy prime ministers, was held in advance of an 
assembly of ethnic Hungarians in southern Slovakia, which will be held on 
8 January, and will discuss the autonomy issue. Chairman of the Matica 
Slovenska cultural organization, Jozef Markus, said Slovakia "cannot exist 
happily" unless its territorial integrity is preserved. He called the 
creation of an autonomous territory for a single nationality a "sick and 
impossible idea." The meeting adopted a "Memorandum of Slovaks from 
Southern Slovakia," calling on state authorities to prevent "the illegal 
consequences" of the 8 January assembly. It asked the Slovak parliament to 
pass a law protecting the state language and the republic's integrity. 
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIA FACES COAL SHORTAGE. On 3 January a government official confirmed 
that Bulgaria will need an additional two million tons of coal in 1994 to 
make up for a shortfall caused by Ukraine's recent decision to suspend 
deliveries. Dyanko Dobrev of the National Electric Company (NEC) told 
Reuters that current plans are to replace the Ukrainian high-quality coal 
by increased imports from Russia, and, possibly, from South Africa. 
Ukraine, which ceased coal exports because of a domestic energy crisis, 
cut power supplies in November for the same reason. Last year a similar 
agreement between Kiev and Sofia was abandoned and Bulgaria was forced to 
purchase large amounts of coal on the world market. This time Ukraine has 
promised to resume deliveries when its own needs have been met. In Sofia, 
AFP quoted the NEC as announcing that tenders for modernizing four 440 
megawatt reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant will be opened on 4 
March. The program is being funded by the nuclear safety fund of the 
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Kjell Engelbrekt, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

FORMER SECURITATE HEAD RELEASED FROM PRISON. The Romanian Prosecutor 
General's office announced on 3 January that Iulian Vlad, former head of 
the Securitate secret police, had been released from prison a week 
earlier, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reports. The official said 
Vlad was released, after serving one third of his twelve-year sentence, on 
grounds of age, health and good conduct during his imprisonment. Michael 
Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENTARY DISPUTE. The special session of the Chamber of 
Deputies convened at the request of the opposition will not debate the 
legality of the law empowering the government to rule by decree during the 
January parliamentary recess. Radio Bucharest said on 3 January that the 
government-backing majority decided the debate cannot take place before 
the Constitutional Court rules on the matter on 11 January. In an open 
letter to President Ion Iliescu released to the press on the same day, the 
Democratic Party--National Salvation Front protested against rule by 
decree. The party also asked the president to mediate a pact between 
political parties, trade unions and other organizations. The party's 
deputy leader Adrian Severin said the pact must exclude all extremist 
parties and promise social peace for a year or two, to help complete 
market reforms. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

KING MICHAEL: ROMANIAN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BETRAYED. In a New Year message 
broadcast by RFE's Romanian service, former king Michael said the hopes of 
the Romanian people have been betrayed in the aftermath of the revolution 
that toppled Nicolae Ceausescu. "Despite efforts from abroad to help you 
fight for dignity, freedom and prosperity, our country continues to wallow 
in misery," the king said. He added that he wants to return to Romania to 
"build a better future together." Michael Shafir., RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIA'S INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION. The 1993-1994 economic survey of the 
Estonian Economics Ministry showed that in the first nine months of 1993 
the country's industrial production amounted to 10.36 billion kroons ($762 
million), BNS reported on 30 December. This represents a 32.4% decline, 
compared to the same period in 1992, and a 60% decline, compared to 1989. 
State and municipal enterprises produced 6.55 billion kroons (63.2% of the 
total). As of 15 October the Estonian enterprise register listed 7,434 
manufacturing companies and 72 mining enterprises of which only about 
4,000 were actually working. Investments in new and existing enterprises 
amounted to 5.59 billion kroons of which less than 900 million kroons came 
from abroad. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

OPINIONS DIFFER ON ESTONIA'S BORDERS. A poll commissioned in December 1993 
by the Tartu daily Postimees shows that 53% of the Estonian respondents 
support the restoration of Estonia's pre-World War II borders with Russia, 
while 40% are prepared to accept a compromise. The attitudes of 
non-Estonian respondents differed significantly: 69% felt that Estonia 
might accept a compromise and only 15% backed the restoration of the 
border as set in the Tartu Peace Treaty. The poll indicated that, should 
the question of borders be put to a referendum and all residents of 
Estonia over the age of 16 allowed to vote, 39% would support the 
restoration of the pre-war borders while 52% would accept a compromise. 
The poll used a sample of 1000 respondents of whom 62% were Estonians, 31% 
Russians, and 7% members of other nationalities. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

NEW COMMANDER AT ESTONIAN BASE. Colonel Raul Luks was appointed commander 
of the Paldiski submarine training base on 1 January, BNS reported on 3 
January. Luks was formerly deputy chief of staff of the Estonian Defense 
Forces. The Russian 93rd naval training base and its two nuclear reactors, 
as well as about 500 Russian soldiers still remain in Paldiski. The 
commander's task is to promote the withdrawal of the Russian forces and 
nuclear reactors; secure cooperation between Estonian defense forces, 
border guards, and the police at Paldiski; prevent the looting of vacated 
Russian military facilities; and oversee the establishment of Estonian 
laws in Paldiski, whose population consists mainly of aliens and the 
Russian military. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

INTERNATIONAL RUSSIAN TRAINS TO GO AROUND LITHUANIA. At the end of 
December Russian authorities redirected the Moscow-Bialystok rail link to 
by-pass Lithuania, Radio Lithuania reported on 3 January. From 1 February 
trains running between St. Petersburg and Berlin or Warsaw were also 
redirected via Belarus. The primary reason for the change appears to be 
the unscheduled delays (often lasting several hours) caused by Lithuanian 
Border Guards and customs officials. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

OIL REFINING IN LITHUANIA. Gediminas Kiesus, deputy director of the 
Mazeikiai oil refinery, announced a contract with the Russian oil company, 
Lukoil, for 6 million tons of crude oil in 1994, BNS reported on 3 
January. A similar contract was signed for 1993 but the refinery received 
only 3 million tons from Lukoil and refined slightly over 5 million tons 
during the year, above the record low of 4.9 million tons in 1992, but 
less than half its annual refining capacity of 12 million tons . The 
refinery hopes to receive about 8 million tons of oil in 1994. Saulius 
Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIA REDUCES GAS TARIFFS. Diena reported on 29 December that natural gas 
prices to consumers have been reduced by 15%, according to the Energy 
Department of the Economics Ministry. The reduced prices are retroactive 
to 1 October 1993. Heating costs, however, will go up in the Latvian 
capital; Riga city authorities announced that consumers will be charged 32 
santimi per square meter of residential space, up from the rate of 20 
santimi per square meter that had been set in October. Dzintra Bungs, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIA, DENMARK SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION PACT. Latvian Defense Minister 
Valdis Pavlovskis and his Danish counterpart Hans Haekkerup signed a 
bilateral military cooperation agreement in Riga on 3 January, BNS 
reports. The pact is for an indefinite period of time and takes effect 
immediately. It will promote mutual consultations and the exchange of 
information and knowhow in tackling defense and security issues, including 
strategic planning, peacekeeping, and civil control over the military. 
This pact is the first between Latvia and a NATO state and the first 
between Denmark and a Baltic state. Haekkerup expects to visit Lithuania 
in March and Estonia in June. Commenting on the continued presence of 
Russian forces in Latvia, Haekkerup told the press that no country should 
leave its troops in a foreign territory against the will of the people. 
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Elizabeth Fuller & Anna Swidlicka

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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