The burnt child shuns the fire until the next day. - Mark Twain
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 3, 5 January 1994

RUSSIA

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES INTO OLD PARLIAMENT BUILDING. Prime Minister 
Viktor Chernomyrdin and his deputies are the first government ministers to 
move into new offices in the renovated "White House"--the building 
occupied by the former Russian parliament until it was dissolved in early 
October. The chief of the government staff, Vladimir Kvasov, told 
Rossiiskaya gazeta of 4 January that President Yeltsin would also have 
offices in the "White House." The new parliament, the Federal Assembly, 
will meet in a split site; Kvasov said that since the Federal Assembly was 
not the legal successor to the old parliament, it had no right to the 
"White House," despite deputies' protests to the contrary. ITAR-TASS 
reported on 4 January that Orthodox Bishop Arsenii of Istra had blessed 
Chernomyrdin's offices; at the ceremony, icons were exchanged, and 
Chernomyrdin promised the return of 1,000 ancient icons to the Church. 
Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEWSPAPERS THREATEN TO STRIKE DURING SUMMIT. Editors of such major Russian 
newspapers as Izvestiya, Nezavisimaya gazeta, Komsomolskaya pravda, Moscow 
News and Segodnya are threatening to begin a strike on 10 January, AFP 
reported on 4 January. The purpose of the strike, which would coincide 
with the NATO summit, subsequent meetings between the US and Russian 
presidents, and the opening of the new Russian parliament, would be to 
protest against new Russian government regulations revaluing newspaper 
assets. Supposedly intended to prevent the privatization of state property 
at rock-bottom prices, the new regulations have caused sharp rises in 
property taxes and sent newspapers' production costs soaring. Elizabeth 
Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF TEAM TO ADVISE ON SOCIAL SAFETY NET. A six-member team from the 
International Monetary Fund is due in Moscow at the end of this week to 
advise on the creation of a more effective social safety net and to 
explore ways of funding it, an RFE/RL Washington correspondent reported on 
4 January, quoting IMF sources. The team will examine the newly available 
records of the main pension and social security funds: these had been 
controlled by the former Supreme Soviet and were not made available to the 
government or to external financial organizations. IMF officials report 
that they have no firm figures on the size of these extra-budgetary funds 
or their solvency. The IMF team is expected to recommend that transfer 
payments be more specifically targeted than has hitherto been the case. 
Robert Lyle & Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

DECREE ON PRIVATIZATION PUBLISHED. A presidential decree on the state 
privatization program, signed on 24 December, was published in the 4 
January issue of Rossiiskaya gazeta, ITAR-TASS reported. The decree sets 
deadlines for changes in relevant tax laws, the publication of a list of 
state enterprises transformed into joint stock companies, and the 
preparation other draft legislation on privatization. The decree also 
invalidates some parliamentary resolutions on privatization thought to be 
inconsistent with the government's program. The Financial Times of 5 
January reports that the decree specifies what enterprises are to be 
privatized and provides tax benefits for voucher investment funds. The 
government approved of the state privatization program "on the whole" on 
19 December. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

GOVERNMENT OPTIMISTIC ON 1994 INFLATION. An inflation rate of 12 % was 
recorded in December -- the lowest monthly rate since September, 1992 -- 
the Center of Economic Trends reported in Interfax on 4 January. The 
Ministries of Finance and Economics are predicting that inflation will 
drop gradually over 1994 to a 5% monthly rate by December 1994 and total 
around 200% for the year. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

PERSONNEL CHANGES IN THE RUSSIAN MFA. Interfax reported on 4 January that 
three new deputy foreign ministers have been named in Russia, all of them 
former ambassadors. Igor Ivanov, who was in Spain, has become first deputy 
foreign minister; Albert Chernyshov, who was in Turkey, has become deputy 
foreign minister; and Aleksandr Panov, who was in South Korea, will take 
the deputy foreign minister position vacated by Georgii Kunadze. For his 
part, Kunadze will take the ambassadorial posting in Seoul. There is some 
speculation that another first deputy foreign minister will be appointed 
to bring the total up to two, which is considered the norm in Moscow, 
although it has not been observed since the collapse of the USSR. Suzanne 
Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

US OFFICIALS CONCERNED ABOUT RUSSIAN BEHAVIOR. An article by Paul 
Quinn-Judge in the Boston Globe on 5 January says that US government 
analysts believe "the highest levels of Russian government, including 
President Boris Yeltsin, are backing the use of military pressure against 
former Soviet republics," in an effort to destabilize and reassert 
influence in this area. This has raised concerns among top US officials 
about Russia's willingess to allow those states to develop independently. 
At the same time, US officials do not have reason to expect that members 
of the US administration traveling to Moscow for the 12-15 January summit 
will raise the issue with Yeltsin. According to officials cited 
anonymously in the report, there is circumstantial evidence that Yeltsin 
either endorsed or turned a blind eye to Russian military intervention in 
Abkhazia. If neither of these interpretations is correct, alternative 
explanations may be even more problematic. As the article notes, such 
alternative interpretations would include either that Yeltsin has been 
unaware of Russia's military involvement or that Yeltsin knew about it, 
opposed it, and was unable to block it. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN-CHINESE CROSS-BORDER TRADE ZONE PROPOSED. The Russian city of 
Blagoveshchensk and the Chinese city of Heilongjiang have agreed to set up 
a cross-border free trade zone, Xinhua and Reuters reported on 4 January. 
The zone, administered by a joint commission, would take in 10 square 
kilometers in each city. Within these boundaries, goods and currencies 
could circulate and be freely exchanged. The agreement must be ratified by 
the Russian and Chinese governments. According to a statement in December 
from the Russian embassy in Beijing, a precondition will be the 
construction by the Chinese authorities of a permanent bridge over the 
Amur River--which flows between the two cities--rather than the pontoon 
bridge currently envisaged. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA, TURKEY SIGN PROTOCOL ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Russian and Turkish 
officials signed a protocol on economic cooperation in Ankara on 30 
December embracing the fields of energy, transport and communications and 
construction, ITAR-TASS reported. The preceding talks covered cooperation 
in the field of satellite communications and defense conversion. A 
separate agreement covers the purchase by Turkey in 1994 of 1.5 million 
tons of Russian crude oil at less than world market prices, according to 
Anatolia News Agency of 26 December quoting the head of the state-owned 
Turkish Petroleum Refinery Company. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

MAFIA PENETRATION OF BUSINESS. There is no single consolidated center of 
criminal activity in Russia, but the organized crime networks have already 
learnt how to coordinate their actions at regional level, according to 
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Mikhail Egorov as quoted by ITAR-TASS 
on 4 January. Speaking at an international conference "For Fair Business," 
Egorov said that the criminal community currently controls up to 40,000 
state and private enterprises, in which it is laundering the capital 
derived from illegal drug trafficking, weapon sales, unlawful bank 
operations and illicit car dealing. Egorov, who also heads the criminal 
police, stated that his agency has registered up to 600-700 cases of 
racketeering, 10-15 cases of hostage-taking and from 30 to 35 armed 
clashes between criminal gangs each month. According to Egorov, one 
possible means of combatting the crime wave would be consolidation of the 
efforts of private security services and the MVD. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

DZASOKHOV WITHDRAWS FROM NORTH OSSETIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE. Aleksandr 
Dzasokhov, a former secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, said on North 
Ossetian television on 2 January that he was withdrawing his candidacy 
from the North Ossetian presidential race "in the interests of the further 
consolidation of society," ITAR-TASS reported. This leaves six candidates 
still running in the presidential elections, which are to be held on 16 
January. Dzasokhov was elected to the Russian State Duma from North 
Ossetia on a non-Party ticket. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASUS & CENTRAL ASIA

TAJIKISTAN ADOPTS NEW RUSSIAN RUBLE. On 4 January Tajik Television 
broadcast a decree of Supreme Soviet Chairman and head of state Imomali 
Rakhmonov ordering that as of 8 January, new Russian rubles will be the 
only legal currency in Tajikistan, Western news agencies reported. 
Small-denomination pre-1993 currency will also remain in circulation. The 
decree is in accord with an agreement reached in Moscow in November that 
subordinated Tajikistan's finances to those of the Russian Republic. In 
return for control of much of Tajikistan's budget, Moscow undertook to 
prop up the Central Asian country's failing economy. The television 
announcement said that citizens would not be able to exchange old rubles 
for new for the time being, and were urged to deposit their savings in 
state banks. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

KILLINGS OF RUSSIANS IN TAJIKISTAN. Nine Russian Baptists and a Russian 
Orthodox priest were murdered in the Dushanbe area in the last two days of 
1993 and Tajik authorities are being very sparing with information about 
the crimes, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 January. The priest was killed soon 
after he conducted a religious service for members of the Russian 201st 
Motorized Rifle Division, which forms the core of the CIS peacekeeping 
force in Tajikistan. Neighbors of the murdered Baptists told ITAR-TASS 
that they questioned the official version according to which the deaths 
were connected with a robbery; according the neighbors, nothing valuable 
was stolen. Tajik official reticence to discuss the recent killings may be 
motivated by fear of further frightening the Russian inhabitants of the 
country and provoking even greater Russian interference in Tajikistan's 
internal affairs.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

IRAN TO RESUME KARABAKH MEDIATION. Iran is to undertake a new attempt to 
mediate a settlement of the Karabakh conflict at the request of the 
Armenian and Azerbaijani leaderships, according to AFP of 4 January citing 
an interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati in Resalat. 
Two Iranian-brokered ceasefires in Nagorno-Karabakh in the spring of 1992 
were violated almost before the ink had dried. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

LITHUANIA ASKS TO JOIN NATO. On 4 January President Algirdas Brazauskas 
announced on national television that he had sent a formal request for 
membership in NATO to that organization's Secretary General Manfred 
Woerner, Reuters reports. Brazauskas said that "Lithuania positively 
evaluates the Partnership for Peace initiative," and its prospects for 
NATO membership should become clearer after his visit to Brussels on 27 
January. NATO officials confirmed receipt of the letter and said the 
application would be considered in due course. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON NATO. Povilas Gylys announced on 4 January 
that he had sent a letter to US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, 
expressing the desire for closer cooperation in the fields of national 
security and defense, as well the need for greater US economic investment 
in Lithuania, Radio Lithuania reports. Gylys pointed out that, although 
Russian troops had withdrawn from Lithuania, it was still in a security 
vacuum. He described the presence of Russian troops in Latvia and Estonia 
and their concentration in Kaliningrad as destabilizing factors, and 
Russia's treatment of the Baltic States as part of the "near abroad" as 
unacceptable. Lithuania considers NATO a future guarantee for its security 
and hopes that the Partnership for Peace initiative might lead "from 
partnership to membership." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA ASSAILS WESTERN "SNOBBISM." In an interview with BBC television on 
4 January, Polish President Lech Walesa accused the West of "desertion" in 
backing away from NATO membership for the new democracies of Eastern 
Europe. Walesa argued that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had sensed "the 
indecision and egoism of the West" and retracted his assent to NATO's 
expansion. Comparing the current situation to 1939, he charged the West 
with failing to heed the lessons of history. In an attempt to counter such 
apprehension, the US dispatched Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. John 
Shalikashvili and UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright on a persuasion mission 
to Warsaw, Bratislava, Budapest, and Prague in advance of the upcoming 
NATO summit. Shalikashvili and Albright arrive in Warsaw on 7 January, PAP 
reports. In comments to the press on 4 January, Shalikashvili defended the 
Partnership for Peace plan, arguing that enthusiastic participation could 
eventually open the way to "serious talks" with NATO. Asked about Walesa's 
criticism, Shalikashvili suggested that expanding NATO rapidly would 
create destructive new divisions in Europe. PAP reports that the four 
Visegrad defense ministers are scheduled to meet in Warsaw on 7 January in 
advance of the NATO summit and reportedly plan to issue a joint 
communiquŽ. Media reports have hinted at disunity among the Visegrad four; 
there has been speculation that the Czech government will try to give the 
Prague talks a bilateral focus, rather than negotiate in tandem with the 
other three Visegrad partners. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON NATO MEMBERSHIP. Asked by Hungarian 
Television on 4 January to comment on reports that US President Bill 
Clinton had allegedly said Hungary and the other CEE nations should not 
consider NATO as a future partner, Defense Minister Lajos Fur said that 
such reports reflected a temporary stage of the debate in the US. Sooner 
or later, he said, "the countries belonging to NATO must realize that it 
is impossible to create general European security without guaranteeing the 
security of Central and Eastern Europe." Foreign Ministry Spokesman Janos 
Herman said that Hungary accepts the US sponsored Partnership for Peace 
program and "strives to fill it with real content." Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

MASSIVE SECURITY FOR CLINTON IN PRAGUE. About 3,000 Czech security 
personnel will be deployed in Prague during the visit of US President Bill 
Clinton on 11 and 12 January, CTK reported on 4 January. According to 
Interior Ministry spokesman Jan Subert, more than 200 American security 
men will be responsible for protecting Clinton alone. Subert said the 
security plan includes helicopter patrols and divers in the Vltava River 
if Clinton decides to cross the historic Charles Bridge in the heart of 
the Old Town. CTK also reports that some 735 rooms have been reserved for 
the American delegation in the 800-room Atrium hotel. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

BOSNIA DEVELOPMENTS. On 4 January Croatian foreign minister Mate Granic 
and Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic met in Vienna to discuss 
outstanding differences. International media report that both leaders 
described their 5-hour long talks as constructive, and promised to meet 
again on 5 January. Silajdzic told reporters that he and Granic had agreed 
that the city of Mostar should be placed under international control, and 
expressed hope that agreement on other outstanding questions might be 
reached. According to Slobodna Dalmacija of 5 January, Silajdzic dismissed 
recent Croatian fears that the Bosnian government has designs to force 
Croats out of central Bosnia by observing that "Croats live there [central 
Bosnia] and must and shall continue to live there." He also attempted to 
minimize recent Croatian government threats of armed intervention against 
Muslim forces by describing them as "unfortunate diplomatic excursions." 
European Union mediator Lord Owen, speaking to the BBC on 4 January, just 
before his arrival in Vienna, observed that international troops based in 
Bosnia could be withdrawn in spring if the warring parties continue to 
demonstrate the lack of a genuine commitment to peace. Also, on 4 January 
international media reported that the UN commander in Bosnia, Lt. Gen. 
Francis Briquemont, who has been critical of the UN presence in Bosnia, 
has resigned. Briquemont cited only personal reasons as leading to his 
decision. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILOSEVIC SUGGESTS 1994 MAY BE A YEAR OF PROMISE. On 4 January Politika 
reported Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's New Year message to the 
public. Milosevic stressed that 1994 could be the year that brings peace 
to the former Yugoslavia, and pledged that his policies, aimed at such 
objectives as lowering inflation, would be tailored to tackle the tough 
economic problems facing average citizens. Developments early in the new 
year suggest that the president's commitment to economic renewal may 
shortly be put to the test. On 4 January Belgrade Radio reported that the 
staff of a suburban hospital is planning to resume a strike suspended only 
for the holiday season. Meanwhile, Tanjug reports that striking coal 
miners in Kolubara, whose work stoppage caused power shortages throughout 
Serbia during the last week of 1993, may be arrested and tried for 
sabotage. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

CETIN AND DEMIREL ON TURKISH BALKAN POLICY. Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin, 
assessing foreign policy developments in 1993 and making projections for 
1994, said that "Ankara has enhanced its relations in the Balkans." He 
added that "through the Balkans we are connected to Europe, through the 
Caucasus to Central Asia, and through the Black Sea to Russia and 
Ukraine," the Turkish Daily News reported on 1 January. Nonetheless, Cetin 
complained about continued Greek obstruction in relations between Turkey 
and the European Union, and called for a solution to the Greek veto 
problem. The daily suggested "that Ankara was satisfied with seeing Greece 
alienate itself internationally through its behavior." Western agencies 
reported that Turkish President Suleyman Demirel sent letters to various 
heads of state and government following his meeting with Bosnian Prime 
Minister Haris Silajdzic on 29 December. Demirel urged that "all the 
participants at the Geneva peace talks adopt a determined attitude against 
the Serbian and Croatian side" and emphasized that, should the Geneva 
talks end with nothing having been resolved, there would be no argument 
left to support the arms embargo on Bosnia-Hercegovina. Demirel also 
called for a more active role by the Islamic world in the Bosnian crisis. 
Fabian Schmid, RFE/RL, Inc.

GREEK PRESIDENCY TO FOCUS ON RESOLVING BOSNIA CRISIS. A French daily on 4 
December quoted Greek European Affairs Minister Theodoros Pangalos as 
saying that finding a solution to the conflict in Bosnia will be Greece's 
chief priority during its 6-month presidency of the European Union. 
Pangalos told Ouest-France that if the Bosnian crisis is not resolved by 
springtime, the belligerents might launch new military operations. He also 
promised that the Greek presidency will try to encourage a common Balkan 
and European approach to the problem and not "do what Greece 
[fundamentally] wants to do," that is, pursue Athen's traditional 
pro-Serbian stance. While Panagalos again deplored the 1991 recognition of 
Bosnia by EU states, which he said had worsened the situation, he rejected 
the idea that Athens might use its presidency to seek a reversal of last 
month's recognition of Macedonia by most EU states. Kjell Engelbrekt, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK BANK TO PAY DEBT TO CZECHS. On 4 January Slovak National Bank 
spokesman Juraj Matejovsky told CTK that Slovakia will repay the money 
owed to the Czech Republic according to the payments clearing agreement in 
effect since February 1993. As of 31 December 1993, Slovakia had exceeded 
the credit limit of 130 million ecu by 39 million ecu. Matejovsky said 
this amount will be repaid by 15 January. NBS Vice Governor Marian Jusko 
said on 3 January that the bank had tried to stop this development in 
December by devaluing the Slovak koruna by 5% in relation to the Czech 
koruna, the maximum devaluation allowed by the agreement. Jusko noted that 
Slovakia had a positive trade balance with the Czech Republic until August 
1993 partly because Slovak companies had savings in Czech banks. This 
money was later exhausted, Jusko said, and a negative trade balance 
developed. Slovak Deputy Premier Sergej Kozlik told TASR on 4 January that 
creating a strong export policy is one of his economic priorities. Sharon 
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

KLAUS ON BUDGET, GDP. Speaking to journalists in Prague on 4 January, 
Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said that the Czech Republic's budget in 
1993 ended with a 500 million koruny ($17.2 million) surplus. According to 
Klaus, budgetary receipts were 357 billion koruny, which is about 3 
billion more than had been expected. A balanced budget has been approved 
for 1994. Klaus also said preliminary GDP estimates showed zero growth in 
1993; 2% growth is expected in 1994. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECHS INTRODUCE VISAS FOR SOME TRAVELERS. The Czech Foreign Ministry 
announced on 4 January that as of January 15 travelers from parts of 
former Yugoslavia and four former Soviet republics will need visas to 
enter the Czech Republic. The affected countries are Serbia, Montenegro, 
Bosnia-Hercegovina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Tajikistan. Jiri 
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN RULING PARTY ON COALITION. The executive president of the ruling 
Party of Social Democracy in Romania, Adrian Nastase, said at a press 
conference on 4 January that his party continues to be open to dialogue 
with the opposition in view of setting up a new governmental coalition, 
but that the opposition shows obstinacy and lack of good will. According 
to Radio Bucharest, Nastase said his party is considering moving into 
opposition: developments elsewhere showed that a brief respite from 
government might be of advantage. New elections would probably solve 
nothing and end in the same hung legislature, but the PSDR, he said, does 
not reject any possibility. According to Reuters, Nastase disagreed with 
the demand of the Democratic Party--National Salvation Front that 
extremist political formations be left out of a future coalition. The 
"so-called extremist parties," he said, have a right to participate 
because people voted for them. Nastase also accused former king Michael of 
trying to interfere in Romania's political life and called for steps 
against the former monarch. In November Nastase said his party would draft 
a law barring Michael from returning to Romania for the next 15 years. 
Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIA FAILS TO FULFILL PRIVATIZATION PLAN. Daniel Branzan, a spokesman 
for the State Ownership Fund, told Reuters' Bucharest correspondent on 4 
January that Romania has failed to fulfill its 1993 privatization plan. 
Only 244 state-owned small and medium-sized companies, less than half of 
the planned 550 companies, passed into private hands last year. Michael 
Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION SETS STRIKE DATE. Bogdan Hossu, president of the 
Alfa trade union confederation, one of Romania's three large labor unions, 
told an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest on 4 January that his union will 
hold a nationwide strike on 3 February. Hossu's announcement is the first 
firm date set for the labor protest announced by all three labor 
confederations last month. The unions demand the resignation of the 
government and formation of a national unity government. Michael Shafir, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS ON EMBASSY BUILDINGS. On 4 January Lithuanian 
Deputy Foreign Minister Albinas Januska held talks in Moscow with his 
Russian counterpart, Boris Pastukhov, on the return of buildings in Paris 
and Rome now used by Russia that had served as Lithuania's embassies 
before World War II, BNS reports. The talks, described as "constructive 
and positive" by a press release of the Lithuanian embassy in Moscow, mark 
the first time that Russia considered returning the buildings. The meeting 
also discussed Russia's desire to get better facilities for its embassy in 
Vilnius. Januska also met with another Russian counterpart, Sergei Krylov, 
and discussed Lithuanian-Russian relations, particularly problems related 
to Kaliningrad. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTIC BATTALION ENVISAGED. During his visit to Riga, Danish Defense 
Minister Hans Haekkerup told Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs that he 
appreciates the idea of establishing a Baltic peacekeeping battalion. He 
said that "the formation of this battalion is a suitable start for the 
integration of the Baltic States into NATO," BNS reported on 4 January. 
The idea of creating a Baltic battalion was formally endorsed by the 
chiefs of the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian defense forces at their 
meeting in Tallinn on 20 November 1993. They agreed that the 650-men 
peacekeeping unit, whose working language would be English, would be 
placed at the disposal of the UN, and would be used in operations outside 
the former Soviet Union. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT CONCERNED ABOUT YELTSIN'S NEW YEAR SPEECH. Diena 
reported on 3 January that Latvian president Guntis Ulmanis was "more 
embittered than pleased" about the content and tone of Russian president 
Boris Yeltsin's New Year address. Ulmanis, according to his press 
secretary Anta Busa, was particularly concerned about Yeltsin's 
reiteration of Russia's intention to defend the rights of Russians living 
outside their homeland and his failure to confirm the complete withdrawal 
of Russian troops from the Baltic States in 1994. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

NON-CITIZENS IN ESTONIA, LATVIA MAY USE SOVIET PASSPORTS. Baltic media 
reported on 30 December 1993 and 3 January 1994 that in 1994 both Estonia 
and Latvia will continue to register and recognize Soviet foreign 
passports of foreigners residing in those countries. In Estonia a 
registered Soviet passport remains valid until 12 July 1995 or until the 
person's residence permit expires. In Latvia, where a law on aliens has 
not yet been promulgated, foreign passports of the former USSR will 
continue to be issued in 1994 to residents who are not Latvian citizens. 
For travel abroad, Latvian citizens will have to obtain a Latvian 
passport. Through December 1993, about 520,000 Latvian passports were 
issued to the approximately 1,720,000 citizens of Latvia, according to 
Latvian Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesman Janis Vidzups. Dzintra 
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

KRAVCHUK'S NEW YEAR ADDRESS. In his New Year address on Ukrainian TV, 
President Leonid Kravchuk described 1993 as a very difficult year for his 
country. Despite the absence of any "serious successes" in economic and 
political reform, "peace, bread and democracy" had been safeguarded. 
Kravchuk noted that important measures had been taken by the government at 
the end of the year to stabilize the economic situation, and he called for 
a referendum to decide Ukraine's political system and break the political 
deadlock resulting from the lack of a clear division of powers. Kravchuk 
said that "acute political issues" connected with nuclear weapons, the 
Black Sea Fleet and relations with Russia needed to be resolved in 1994. 
He expressed the hope that Russia, too,would have enough "wisdom and 
goodwill" to ensure "normal, goodneighborly relations" between Ukraine and 
Russia. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

NOTICE

The RFE/RL Daily Report will not appear Thursday, 6 January

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Elizabeth Fuller & Anna Swidlicka

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

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