ÓŃ”‘Ō—›Ń— ÷…ŕőō ”Ō◊Ň“ŘŃŇ‘”— ‘ŃÕ, «ńŇ ŌőŃ őŇŕŃÕŇ‘őŃ. - ž. Ó. ŰŌŐ”‘Ō 
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 4, 7 January 1994

RUSSIA

RUSSIA’S RESPONSE TO LITHUANIA’S APPLICATION TO NATO. On 5 January Russian 
Presidential press secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov announced that Yeltsin 
was alarmed by the prospect of NATO expanding to admit new members from 
Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States, Interfax reported. Kostikov 
argued that since the new military doctrine of democratic Russia rules out 
any manifestations of aggressiveness in its foreign policy, the motives 
cited for seeking NATO membership “are unconvincing”, and that encouraging 
the tendency to expand the bloc system contradicts declared intentions to 
build relations on the principles of trust, partnership, and equilibrium. 
On 6 January Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin told a 
news briefing that the speed with which Lithuania had applied for NATO 
membership “looks odd and counterproductive.” While asserting that 
opposing Lithuania’s move did not mean that Russia regards the Baltic 
States as being in its sphere of influence, Karasin said that they were 
part of the “near abroad,” “a sphere of Russia’s vital interest.” He said 
that there were no changes in Russia’s foreign policy and that the rights 
of ethnic minorities in these countries, including Russian speakers, have 
“naturally remained in the forefront of our attention.” • Saulius Girnius

ESTONIA, LATVIA SUPPORT LITHUANIA ON NATO MEMBERSHIP. On 5 January the 
Latvian Foreign Ministry issued a statement supporting Lithuania’s bid for 
NATO membership and stressing the need for realistic security guarantees 
from NATO for all states that have expressed the wish to become NATO 
members. The statement also emphasized that cooperation with NATO is a 
priority of Latvia’s foreign policy, which envisages Latvia’s gradual 
integration into the political and military structures of NATO. Latvian 
Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs explained that Latvia does not foresee 
applying for NATO membership in the next six months since Russian troops 
are still deployed on its territory. Estonian president Lennart Meri said 
that his country understands the urgency that Lithuanians are giving to 
the NATO question and will follow with interest how NATO responds to 
Lithuania’s bid, Interfax and Western agencies reported on 5 January. 
• Dzintra Bungs

EDITORS MEET CHERNOMYRDIN, CALL OFF NEWSPAPERS STRIKE. The editors of 
major newspapers and leaders of Russian journalists’ organizations decided 
on 6 January after their first meeting with Prime Minister Viktor 
Chernomyrdin to call off their planned strike, Russian television 
newscasts reported. The editors had previously announced they would 
suspend publication of all pro-reform Russian newspapers from 10 —17 of 
January—i.e., during the Yeltsin-Clinton summit and opening sessions of 
the newly elected State Duma. The rationale given for the strike was the 
government resolution raising six times the costs of printing and 
distribution of the newspapers. At the meeting, Chernomyrdin agreed to 
suspend the resolution temporarily and to set up a joint committee 
together with the editors and journalists’ organizations to resolve their 
financial problems. • Julia Wishnevsky

IMF & WORLD BANK MEMORANDUM ON RUSSIAN ECONOMIC REFORM. On 5 January, the 
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank released a joint memorandum 
on Russian economic reform ahead of President Bill Clinton’s visit to 
Moscow, Western agencies reported. The five-page document reaffirms their 
known position on the pace of reform. “Despite announced policy 
intentions, Russia has pursued an extremely gradual approach to the 
reduction of inflation. Experience elsewhere suggests that this is not an 
effective way of minimizing economic hardship or maximizing political 
support”. Russia needs to impose hard budget constraints on state 
enterprises in order to control budget deficits and inflation. The thrust 
of the memorandum is that the Russian authorities should speed up the pace 
of reform, not slow it, as has been suggested by certain members of 
President Clinton’s administration. To ameliorate the impact of massive 
lay-offs resulting from the closure of unviable plants, the memorandum 
advocates a “targeted social safety net” rather than global subsidies on 
food and energy. • Keith Bush 

MINOR COMMUNIST PARTIES UNITE. ITAR-TASS reported on 6 January that 
Russia’s five minor communist parties have decided to form a Union of 
Communist Parties. The All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, the 
Russian Communist Workers’ Party, the Russian Party of Communists, the 
Union of Communists, and the Leninist Platform of the Communist Party of 
the Russian Federation are tiny splinter groups of the former Russian and 
Soviet Communist Parties and refused to participate in the December 1993 
elections. According to the leader of the Union of Communists, Aleksei 
Prigarin, their reason for uniting now is their opposition to Russia’s 
major Communist Party, the CP-RF, which gained 65 seats in the new 
parliament. Prigarin said that the CP-RF had adopted a social-democratic 
standpoint. • Wendy Slater

OPPOSITION GROUPS WILL DEMONSTRATE AGAINST NEW PARLIAMENT. The Moscow city 
government decided to permit rallies by some hardline opposition groups to 
mark the opening of the new parliament, AFP reported on 5 January. The 
Russian All-People’s Union, led by parliamentary deputy Sergei Baburin, 
the National Salvation Front, and the Communist Workers’ Party, which were 
both banned after the October events, are to be allowed to picket the new 
parliament when it meets for its first session on 11 January. However, the 
city authorities refused the groups’ requests to be allowed to demonstrate 
in front of the Kremlin and to march through the city center. Baburin’s 
group plans to hold a demonstration on 9 January in front of the former 
parliament building in commemoration of the forcible dissolution of the 
Congress of People’s Deputies in early October. • Wendy Slater 

VOLKOGONOV ON MILITARY. President Yeltsin’s advisor on military affairs, 
Dmitrii Volkogonov, told Krasnaya zvezda in an interview published on 
5 January that reports of a sweeping reorganization of the Ministry of 
Defense were just rumors. Several Russian newspapers have carried reports 
suggesting that Yeltsin is planning to subordinate the General Staff 
directly to himself, while leaving the defense minister with only 
non-operational responsibilities. Reports have indicated that this move 
was being considered in response to the military’s slow reaction to the 3 
October violence. Volkogonov also noted that he felt that the Russian 
military should move very slowly towards a civilian defense ministry and 
that a rapid civilianization of the ministry would increase instability. 
• John Lepingwell

NO IMMUNITY FOR DEFENDERS OF THE AUGUST 1991 COUP TRIAL. The defenders at 
the August 1991 coup trial, former speaker of the USSR parliament Anatolii 
Lukyanov and the collective farm chairman Vasilii Starodubtsev, who were 
elected to the State Duma on 12 December 1993, will not enjoy immunity at 
least as far as this case is concerned, the military collegium of the 
Russian Supreme Court decided on 5 January. The trial was resumed that day 
and again postponed until 10 January. The Russian television newscasts of 
5 January broadcast part of the address of Lukyanov’s lawyer, Ganrikh 
Padva, reading a letter from Yeltsin to his client, in which Yeltsin 
congratulates Lukyanov on his election success and expresses his hopes for 
future cooperation in the Duma. On the following day, however, ITAR-TASS 
distributed a statement of Yeltsin’s press office, claiming that the 
letter in question was a standard text addressed to every deputy elected, 
rather than Yeltsin’s personal appeal to Lukyanov as the newscasts had 
implied. • Julia Wishnevsky

GOSKOMFEDERATSIYA TO BE REORGANIZED? “Sources in presidential circles” 
told Interfax on 6 January that the State Committee for Federation Affairs 
and Nationalities was likely to be subsumed in a new structure headed by 
Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Yarov. The committee is at present headed by 
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai, whom most commentators agree is 
likely to be dropped from the government. Shakhrai himself told Interfax 
on 6 January that there was a plan to subordinate the committee to the 
presidential administration. Shakhrai angered the administration further 
on 5 January when he held a meeting with deputies to the State Duma from 
the republics and 15 of them agreed to set up a group to nominate Shakhrai 
as speaker. An anonymous member of the presidential staff accused Shakhrai 
of engaging in divisive activity, Interfax reported on 6 January. • Ann 
Sheehy 

MEDVEDEV ON REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTIONS. Nikolai Medvedev, head of the 
department for territories of the presidential administration told 
Interfax on 6 January that experts in the department had called on Yeltsin 
to set up a commission to bring the constitutions of the republics into 
line with the federal constitution. The Chechen, Sakha, and Tatarstan 
constitutions adopted some time ago, and also the Bashkortostan and Tyva 
constitutions which have only just been adopted all violate the Russian 
constitution in many respects, while Mordovia remains a soviet socialist 
republic in spite of instructions to drop “soviet, socialist” from its 
title. Medvedev said the matter was urgent in view of the fact that 
elections to many republican parliaments were being held in the near 
future. He did not indicate, however, what sanctions would be used to make 
the republics conform. • Ann Sheehy

ELECTIONS TO FEDERAL ASSEMBLY FIXED FOR 13 MARCH IN TATARSTAN AND 
CHECHNYA. The Central Electoral Commission has fixed 13 March for the 
election of deputies to the Federal Assembly from Tatarstan and Chechnya, 
ITAR-TASS reported on 6 January. Chechnya refused to hold the elections on 
12 December on the grounds that it was not part of Russia, and official 
Groznyi described the latest announcement as an ultimatum that would 
aggravate confrontation, Interfax reported. No deputies were elected from 
Tatarstan on 12 December either because not enough candidates stood or the 
turnout was too low for the elections to be valid. There is nothing to 
indicate that the nationalists, with the tacit support of the leadership, 
will not be equally successful at sabotaging the elections on 13 March. • 
Ann Sheehy 

CIS

NUCLEAR WARHEADS NEGOTIATIONS, WARNINGS. According to the UNIAR press 
agency, trilateral negotiations in Washington between Ukrainian, Russian, 
and US delegations on the dismantling of Ukraine’s nuclear weapons have 
made progress. It is expected that further discussions will be held during 
President Clinton’s forthcoming visit to Russia, even though no visit to 
Kiev is planned. Krasnaya zvezda on 5 January published an interview with 
Stanislav Voronin, a chief designer of nuclear weapons, in which he 
reiterated warnings that the warheads in Ukraine are in increasingly 
dangerous condition. Voronin’s comments on warhead maintenance schedules 
and dangers were more specific than previous such warnings. He also noted 
that continued nuclear testing would be desirable to field improved 
nuclear weapons, including those incorporating new safety features. • John 
Lepingwell

BELARUS CLOSER TO RE-ENTERING RUBLE ZONE. Belarus and Russia will sign 
agreements unifying the two countries’ monetary systems in the second half 
of this month, according to an official statement released after a meeting 
between Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Prime Minister Viktor 
Chernomyrdin, and Belarusian Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kebich on 5 
January. Kebich said the Belarusian rubel would be exchanged for the 
Russian ruble at a rate of 1 to 1 over a period of three to six months, 
but gave no indication of when the process might begin, ITAR-TASS 
reported. Andrei Illarionov of the Russian government’s Center for 
Economic Reforms, according to Interfax, warned that the two countries’ 
monetary union would be achieved at the expense of Russia’s macroeconomic 
stability—an opinion common among the radical reformers in the Russian 
government. • Erik Whitlock

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

GAMSAKHURDIA’S DEATH: WAS IT SUICIDE? Confusion still surrounds the 
circumstances of the death of ex-President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. The initial 
Interfax report of 5 January quotes his widow as claiming that he 
committed suicide in the village of Dzhikaskari near Zugdidi on 31 
December, as an act of defiance against the current Georgian leadership, 
after being surrounded by unidentified persons. The press service of the 
Mkhedrioni paramilitary organization, as cited by ITAR-TASS on 6 January, 
claimed that Gamsakhurdia had been wounded in fighting in Chechnya on 31 
December and died on 5 January. Reuters quoted an aide to Gamsakhurdia as 
claiming he had seen him alive on 1 January. After reportedly receiving 
confirmation of Gamsakhurdia’s demise on 5 January from a visiting Chechen 
delegation, Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze sent a 
procuracy investigating team to Western Georgia on 6 January to clarify 
what had happened, Western agencies reported. Shevardnadze played down the 
significance of Gamsakhurdia’s death, but reportedly raised no objections 
to his being buried next to his father and sister in the grounds of their 
Tbilisi home. • Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CZECH DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS NO TO VISEGRAD MEETING. Speaking to reporters 
in Prague on 6 January, Czech Defense Minister Antonin Baudys said that he 
would not attend the 7 January meeting in Warsaw of defense ministers from 
the Visegrad countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech 
Republic). The meeting was called to discuss joint strategy in seeking 
NATO membership. Baudys said the Czech government does not believe it 
would be useful for the Visegrad group to coordinate their positions on 
seeking NATO membership. “Prague does not want to create any new 
groupings,” said the minister. Meanwhile, in Poland, Hungary, and 
Slovakia, some politicians and news media have criticized the Czech 
Republic, in particular Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, for resisting 
Visegrad group cooperation and thwarting efforts to hold a joint meeting 
of all leaders of the Visegrad group countries with US President Bill 
Clinton during his visit to Prague on 11 and 12 January; instead, 
bilateral meetings between Clinton and the heads of Visegrad countries are 
planned. • Jiri Pehe

KLAUS ON NATO. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus told reporters in Prague 
on 6 January that his government accepts the US Partnership for Peace plan 
to be submitted at the NATO summit in Brussels on 10 and 11 January. Klaus 
said his government “accepts the USA’s gradual approach to NATO 
cooperation with Eastern and Central European countries.” Responding to 
Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s appeal against NATO membership for 
Central European countries, Klaus said he was aware that NATO’s possible 
expansion eastward “is a sensitive question for Russia,” and noted that 
the question is not of immediate importance because “no one is offering us 
NATO membership.” The premier expressed understanding for the cautious 
approach of the West to NATO expansion, saying that unlike “the small 
countries” of Central Europe, Russia is a superpower that must be 
respected. • Jiri Pehe

ROMANIA WELCOMES ALBRIGHT REMARKS. The Romanian Foreign Ministry expressed 
satisfaction with what it called the United States’ intention to treat all 
East European countries as equally important strategically. A spokesman 
for the ministry, quoted by Radio Bucharest on 5 January, said this 
intention was reflected in remarks made by Madeleine Albright, the United 
States’ UN ambassador in a 4 January interview with Radio Bucharest, in 
advance of her visit to Romania and several other East European countries. 
The spokesman also said that last month’s letter from President Ion 
Iliescu, reiterating Romania’s desire to join NATO, had been well received 
by officials of the alliance. • Michael Shafir

ALBRIGHT IN CROATIA. On 5 January the international media reported on 
Albright’s arrival in the Croatian capital of Zagreb for talks with 
President Franjo Tudjman and other government officials. Albright warned 
the Croatian government against becoming directly involved in the Bosnian 
war, as such a move could lead to UN sanctions being applied against 
Zagreb. Tudjman has repeatedly said that Zagreb would intervene in Bosnia 
should Croat civilians continue to feel threatened by Muslim troops. The 
Croatian media emphasized Albright’s visit to a mass grave near the city 
of Vukovar, a city controlled by rebel Serbs. Vjesnik on 7 January quoted 
Albright’s remark that it was very important for her to see what she saw. 
Albright pledged US support for the prosecution of alleged war criminals. 
In other Croatian developments, on 6 January Reuters reported that the 
editor of The Feral Tribune, one of only a few independent Croatian 
papers, has been arrested for failing to fulfill his military obligations. 
• Stan Markotich

LEADERS TALK PEACE WHILE SHELLING OF SARAJEVO CONTINUES. Western agencies 
report that some of the heaviest Serb shelling of Sarajevo took place on 5 
January. That same day Croatian foreign minister Mate Granic and Bosnian 
Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic, emerging from two days of talks in Vienna, 
issued a joint declaration in which they vowed to make “firm efforts” to 
halt the Bosnian war but stopped short of announcing that a concrete 
ceasefire deal had been reached. According to Reuters, the plan hammered 
out between Granic and Silajdzic is to be discussed at a Bonn summit 
meeting on 8 January attended by Croatian President Tudjman and Bosnian 
President Alija Izetbegovic. On 6 January Izetbegovic, speaking over 
Bosnian state radio, asked the UN to intervene against the Bosnian Serbian 
side in order to end the shelling of Sarajevo. • Stan Markotich

BOSNIA CONSULTATIONS IN BUDAPEST. On 5 January, David Owen and Thornvald 
Stoltenberg, returning from a Belgrade peace mission as representatives of 
the European Union and the United Nations Organization, stopped over in 
Budapest for consultations with Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza 
Jeszenszky, MTI reports. Jeszenszky told reporters that Owen and 
Stoltenberg are aware of the economic burdens imposed on Hungary because 
of the Yugoslav sanctions. According to Jeszenszky, Hungary has lost up to 
one billion dollars. • Judith Pataki

POLAND’S BUDGET DEBATE BEGINS. After twelve hours of debate on 6 January, 
the Sejm voted overwhelmingly on 7 January to send the government’s 
proposed budget for 1994 to commission, PAP reports. A final vote is 
expected in February; in the meantime, the government’s draft has legal 
force. The government plans revenues of 610 trillion zloty ($28 billion), 
expenditures of 693 trillion ($32 billion), and a deficit of 83 trillion 
zloty ($4 billion), or 4.1% of GDP. The economy is expected to grow 4.5% 
in 1994, with investment rising 6%; exports, 6%; and imports, 2.5%. 
Inflation is expected to drop to an average of 27%. Agriculture is to be 
the main beneficiary of new tax and privatization revenues. Finance 
Minister Marek Borowski warned that domestic debt servicing will cost 82 
trillion zloty ($3.9 billion), equal to the entire deficit, while 
servicing Poland’s foreign debt will consume a further 30 trillion zloty 
($1.4 billion). Borowski warned state firms that the excess wage tax is 
still in force and that debt relief will be extended only to those firms 
in good standing with the treasury. (Many state firms stopped paying taxes 
when the new government took power.) Borowski indicated that the 
government is under pressure from leftist forces to impose a tax on stock 
market gains but warned that this would likely reduce rather than increase 
budget revenues. • Louisa Vinton

BUDGET DEBATE SHOWS COALITION’S WEAKNESS. The government’s proposals met 
with criticism from opposition and ruling parties alike, although only the 
Confederation for an Independent Poland demanded its outright rejection 
and threatened to take the budget battle “to the streets.” The forces 
associated with former Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka argued that the new 
government is overstating revenues and underestimating spending. The new 
draft assumes that 20 trillion zloty ($930 million) more can be collected 
in revenues than the original version of the budget formulated by the 
Suchocka government. Although Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander 
Kwasniewski led off the debate by arguing that “in the economy there are 
no miracles,” numerous deputies from the ruling parties—particularly trade 
unionists and Polish Peasant Party members—criticized the government’s 
draft for allotting insufficient funds to such areas as education, 
agriculture, defense, and social welfare. • Louisa Vinton

UPDATE ON MEETING OF ETHNIC HUNGARIANS IN KOMARNO. Laszlo Nagy, chairman 
of the extraparliamentary Hungarian Civic Party in Slovakia, told TASR on 
5 January that his party “does not identify” with the Association of the 
Zitny Ostrov Towns and Villages, which meets on 8 January in Komarno to 
discuss territorial autonomy in southern Slovakia. Nagy offered to serve 
as mediator between Slovaks and Hungarians to “remove mutual distrust.” At 
a press conference on 5 January, Eva Mitrova, head of the Slovak Foreign 
Ministry’s mission to the Council of Europe, said that a delegation of CE 
experts will arrive in Slovakia on 17 January to help draft a law on 
regional administration. Mitrova said this will “guarantee that the 
proposal will be acceptable to all parties,” and suggested the Komarno 
meeting be postponed until after the CE experts’ visit. CE Secretary 
General Catherine Lalumiere, who was invited to the Komarno meeting by 
Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Vojtech Bugar, will not 
attend, nor will other top CE officials, TASR reported on 6 January. 
• Sharon Fisher

UDF AND BSP LEADERS CONSIDER PARLIAMENT’S VIABILITY. On 5 January, the 
Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Jean Videnov, was received by 
his main opponent in Bulgarian politics, Filip Dimitrov of the Union of 
Democratic Forces. A BSP spokeswoman said after the highly unusual meeting 
that the two discussed primarily how to ensure the proper functioning of 
the National Assembly, whatever political turbulence 1994 might bring. 
According to a UDF statement, Dimitrov told Videnov that the parliamentary 
order would best be served by early general elections, which are scheduled 
for 1995. Dimitrov reportedly agreed with the BSP leader that there is no 
need for the special law on the status and tasks of caretaker cabinets, 
and he said the coalition supports amendment of the constitution to that 
effect. There was no agreement on the BSP’s proposal to change the rules 
for electing jurists to the Supreme Judicial Council—which would prompt 
the replacement of the UDF-oriented BJC chairman and the Prosecutor 
General. Dimitrov called the proposal unconstitutional, but Videnov made 
it clear the BSP would not reconsider its position. Videnov also refused 
to answer Dimitrov’s direct question whether the BSP will continue backing 
the present government. • Kjell Engelbrekt

BULGARIA’S CENTRAL BANK DEFENDS THE LEV. On 5 January the Bulgarian 
National Bank doubled the interest rate on short term deposits in order to 
defend the steeply falling national currency. Reuters reports that the BNB 
raised the interest rates from 27% to 53% after the value of the lev had 
fallen to a record low, 35 against one dollar. Despite the measure, on 6 
January the dollar was traded for 36.2 lev and bankers told Otechestven 
vestnik that they believed the negative trend would not change without a 
more decisive intervention on the part of the BNB. • Kjell Engelbrekt

PETRE ROMAN RULES OUT COALITION WITH THE PSDR. The leader of Romania’s 
opposition Democratic Party-National Salvation Front, Petre Roman, said at 
a press conference on 6 January that his party will not join in a 
coalition with the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, an RFE/RL 
correspondent reported from Bucharest. Roman also said Romanian membership 
in NATO was “vital, but hardly possible,” the major obstacle being that 
Romania was not a true democracy. He blamed the nationalist and extreme 
Left parties for the delay in democratization. • Michael Shafir

10,000 RUSSIAN TROOPS STILL IN LATVIA? Ilgonis Upmalis, head of the office 
on monitoring Russian forces’ departures from Latvia, told Diena on 5 
January that there are about 10,000 Russian troops in Latvia: 217 units, 
stationed in 288 military facilities; in addition there are still 25 
Russian warships and 8 submarines in Latvia’s waters. Upmalis said that 
Latvia has accepted 31 August 1994, as proposed by Russia, for the final 
troop withdrawal. BNS reported on 6 January that the next round of talks 
on the pullout of Russian troops from Latvia is scheduled to start in 
Jurmala on 10 January. • Dzintra Bungs 

LITHUANIAN AGRICULTURAL STRIKE. On 6 January Prime Minister Adolfas 
Slezevicius met with Jonas Ciulevicius, head of the Lithuanian Union of 
Farmers, to discuss the threatened strike by farmers, scheduled for 10 
February, BNS reports. Farmers plan to cease milk and meat deliveries to 
food processors who are slow to make payment, and organize direct sales in 
public markets. Ciulevicius said the meeting was successful and if the 
agreements reached in the talks were implemented, the strike would not be 
held. Slezevicius asked Agriculture Minister Rimantas Karazija to carry 
out the agreements by 1 February. • Saulius Girnius

UKRAINIAN TV IMPLIES US SNUBBING UKRAINE. A terse announcement on 
Ukrainian TV on 6 January, that is, on Ukrainian Christmas eve, informed 
viewers that US President Bill Clinton will not be meeting with Ukrainian 
President Leonid Kravchuk during his visit to Europe next week. It added 
that the US State Department had announced “that the Clinton 
administration intends to keep relations with Ukraine on a low level until 
the issue of Ukraine’s nuclear disarmament is resolved.” • Bohdan Nahaylo

FURTHER SPLIT AMONG UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX. On 5 January, the Kiev newspaper 
Nezavisimost carried a statement by five hierarchs of the Ukrainian 
Orthodox Church of the Kievan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) announcing that they 
are going over to the rival Ukrainian Orthodox Church which remains loyal 
to the Moscow Patriarchate. Stressing that they remain committed to the 
idea of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the bishops, led by 
Metropolitan Antonyi (Masendych), accused Metropolitan Filaret, a 
controversial figure who is widely regarded as being the real power behind 
the patriarchal throne of the UOC-KP, of abusing power and church rules, 
and of failing to secure canonical recognition of the UOC-KP from the 
Patriarch of Constantinople after it broke away from the Russian Orthodox 
Church. Defenders of the UOP-KP, such as parliamentary deputy Oles 
Shevchenko, maintain that the real reason for the new split is the 
thwarted personal ambition of Metropolitan Antonyi, who last year failed 
to be elected Patriarch of the UOC-KP. There is also a third Orthodox 
church—the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church—which sees itself as 
the continuation of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox church, which was 
persecuted and then suppressed under Stalin and his successors. • Bohdan 
Nahaylo

UKRAINE PREPARES FOR ELECTIONS. Preparations are underway in Ukraine for 
parliamentary elections on 27 March and a presidential election in Crimea 
on 16 January. According to the head of the Central Electoral Commission, 
Oleksandr Yemets, who was interviewed on Radio Ukraine on 6 January, 20 
political parties intending to field candidates in the parliamentary 
elections have been registered to date. The largest of these are the 
Communist Party of Ukraine with 122,560 members, the Peasants’ Party 
(65,970), the Popular Movement of Ukraine, or Rukh (50,518), and the 
Christian-Democratic Party (30,095). In the autonomous Crimean republic, 
the presidential campaign is entering its final stages. Six candidates 
have been registered, and several more are still reported to be collecting 
the 5,000 signatures necessary for registration. Several of the registered 
candidates are representatives of pro-Russian or pro-Communist parties. 
The Crimean Tatar Mejlis, or Council, has called for a boycott of the 
elections and official Kiev and the Ukrainian media are following 
developments with considerable nervousness. • Bohdan Nahaylo

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Elizabeth Fuller & Anna Swidlicka

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

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