|The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. - Thomas Carlyle 1975-1881|
No. 6, 11 January 1994
CIS NUCLEAR WEAPONS DEAL ANNOUNCED. Speaking in Brussels on 10 January, President Clinton announced that on 14 January he will meet with Presidents Yeltsin and Kravchuk in Moscow to sign an agreement on the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Ukraine and compensation for them. Clinton is scheduled to briefly meet President Kravchuk at Kiev's Borispol airport on 12 January to finalize the deal. Reuters on 11 January reported from Kiev that Ukrainian presidential advisor Anton Buteiko stated that negotiations are continuing. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE DETAILS ON DEAL. The text of the draft agreement has not been released, but Western press agencies have reported some details based on comments from US government officials. Earlier reports (including the RFE/RL Daily Report for 10 January) indicated that the agreement stipulates a three-year deadline for weapons withdrawal. However the Los Angeles Times on 11 January reported that no timetable is specified because the Ukrainian side was concerned it might anger parliament. Instead the agreement reportedly commits Ukraine to observing the START-1 treaty, which implies a seven year deadline for withdrawal. There is also an ambiguous commitment to transfer the "most dangerous weapons" first, which the US interprets as meaning the SS-24 warheads. The uranium from the Ukrainian warheads has been valued at some $1 billion by US administration sources, and most of it will reportedly be returned to Ukraine as nuclear fuel. The uranium will be diluted (blended down) in Russia, and processed into fuel in the United States by the US Enrichment Corporation (operated by the Department of Energy) for sale in the US and abroad over a 20 year period, according to an 11 January report by the Cox newspapers. Other sources suggest, however, that some fuel fabrication (and certainly that for Ukraine) will be done in Russia. It is also uncertain exactly what mix of cash, fuel, and debt relief will be provided to Ukraine and over what time period, but the reported total value of the deal seems lower than that expected by Ukrainian politicians and may be insufficient to make a significant short-term impact on Ukraine's collapsing economy. John Lepingwell , RFE/RL, Inc. REPORTS ON RATIFICATION ISSUES. Western reports suggest that the weapons deal will not have to be ratified by the Ukrainian parliament, but some ambiguities remain. The Cox newspapers report that the security guarantees to be provided by Russia and the US will only be given after Ukraine ratifies the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). So far the Ukrainian parliament has resisted even considering the issue of the NPT, and parliamentarians have argued for delaying ratification until 1995 when the NPT is up for review. The New York Times reports that some US administration officials have suggested that the agreement may be submitted together with the START-1 treaty to the new parliament to be elected in March. It is likely, however, that Kravchuk will try to avoid submitting the agreement for ratification unless forced to do so by parliamentary pressure. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN ANNOUNCEMENT OF NUCLEAR DEAL IS CAUTIOUS, MUTED. Caution and skepticism have characterized the reaction in Ukraine to the announcement of the trilateral nuclear deal. The official announcement by the Ukrainian president's press office which was read on Ukrainian TV in the evening of 10 January stated merely that an agreement had been reached that presidents Kravchuk and Clinton would hold a "consultative meeting" in Kiev on 12 January and that it would be followed by a trilateral Russian-US-Ukrainian summit in Moscow on 14 January "the aim of which is to complete recent trilateral negotiations." No official details about the terms of a deal have been provided. President Kravchuk's advisor on foreign affairs, Anton Buteiko, told Reuters that same evening that "from a legal point standpoint, a final agreement and the end of talks are two completely different things." Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS REEMPHASIZE WHO MAKES THE DECISIONS. With the precise details of the trilateral nuclear deal still unknown, leading Ukrainian legislators have reacted with skepticism and pointed out that if the preconditions set by parliament for Ukraine's nuclear disarmament are not met, President Kravchuk will, as before, not be able to deliver. Both Valentyn Lemish, the chairman of the parliamentary commission on defense and state security, and Dmytro Pavlycho, who heads the commission on foreign relations, were among those who promptly pointed this out, Reuters reported on 10 January. Given the mood in parliament and the country as a whole, legislators will need to be satisfied that Ukraine is being given firm guarantees for its security and territorial integrity, especially by Russia, and adequate compensation (including for the warheads from tactical nuclear arms which Ukraine transferred to Russia in 1992), before they are likely to agree to any deal ridding the republic of nuclear weapons. Since independence was achieved, political power in Ukraine has gradually shifted to the parliament, and President Kravchuk has been reduced in many respects to barely more than a ceremonial head of state. In fact, the Ukrainian president has just publicly expressed his frustration with parliament's control over the nuclear disarmament process in a very candid interview published in the latest issue of the newspaper Ukrainska hazeta. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA PARLIAMENT OPENS. Russian President Boris Yeltsin spoke at the opening session of the Council of the Federation and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin at the opening session of the State Duma, Russian media reported on 11 January. Chermonmyrdin said that there will be no continuation of shock therapy reform in Russia. Yeltsin's speech was designed to encourage close cooperation with regional representatives in the Council of the Federation in order to neutralize strong opposition from communists and pro-fascist forces in the State Duma. Observers think that the first conflicts in the State Duma will arise over the question of economic reform and the election of the speaker of the lower parliament. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. ZHIRINOVSKY PREPARES FOR PARLIAMENT WORK. The parliamentary faction of the Liberal Democratic Party held its first meeting on 10 January, Ekho Moskvy reported. The leader of the faction, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, told journalists that his party favors a strong presidency and a strong parliament. He said his party will not seek a firm bloc with any other faction. According to the parliamentary rules, the eldest deputy in the Duma is charged with giving the opening speech. The eldest deputy is a 69 year-old professor Georgii Lukalo, a member of Zhirinovsky's party. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS DECREE ON GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE. Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 10 January that President Boris Yeltsin has signed the decree on the structure of the Russian government. The decree reduces the number of deputy prime ministers from nine to four, two of them first deputies. The number of ministers was reduced from about 30 to 23; the government will also comprise 24 state committees and 20 federal agencies. Yeltsin instructed Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to nominate candidates for ministerial posts within a week. According to an ITAR-TASS report, the provisions of the decree mean that some agencies, including the defense and interior ministries, the intelligence services, and information and broadcasting services are subordinated directly to the president. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc. PARTICPANTS OF 1921 KRONSTADT UPRAISING FORMALLY REHABILITATED. On 10 January Yeltsin decreed the rehabilitation of those sentenced for resisting the Bolshevik monopoly of power in the 1921 uprising in the city of Kronstadt. The news was announced at a briefing by Aleksandr Yakovlev, the head of the presidential commission on rehabilitation of the victims of political oppression (who also chairs the state committee on broadcasting). At the briefing, Yeltsin's spokesman, Vyacheslav Kostikov, revealed that the exoneration of the Kronstadt sailors had been deliberately timed to coincide with the opening of the new parliament, because, Kostikov said, the communist faction of deputies was eager to start the investigation of the bloody dissolution of the previous Russian parliament by troops loyal to Yeltsin in October 1993. "Dear Bolsheviks, as you criticize the president and democracy," Interfax quoted Kostikov as saying, "please keep looking back at the trace of blood you have left in history and learn some lessons." Not only communists but also members of the liberal Yavlinsky-Boldyrev-Lukin bloc, called for the investigation of the October 1993 events by the State Duma. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. STATE SECURITY ORGANS ARRESTED 20 SPIES IN 1993, PREVENTED RECRUITMENT OF TOP OFFICIALS. Sergei Stepashin, Deputy Director of the Federal Counterintelligence Services, said that over the last year 20 agents of foreign secret services were arrested, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 January. Among the arrested spies were agents of Western intelligence services, as well as agents from the Baltic states and Georgia, he added. Stepashin also claimed that there were efforts to recruit top Russian official sas spies and that these cases were reported directly to Boris Yeltsin. According to Stepashin the officials who had illegal contacts with foreign secret services already are released from their duty by the chief of the presidential administration, Sergei Filatov. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA RISING ETHNIC TENSIONS IN KYRGYZSTAN. Kyrgyz President Akaev's proposal that dual citizenship be permitted in Kyrgyzstan has been attacked by the influential Kyrgyz nationalist party Asaba, Radio Mayak reported on 7 January. The report asserted that Russian-speaking industrial workers have been particularly hard-hit by economic decline in Kyrgyzstan and suggested that at least a temporary possibility of dual Russian-Kyrgyzstani citizenship and reconsideration of the state language law may be the only way Akaev can enlist this segment of the population to support him. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. SHEVARDNADZE: ABANDONING RUBLE WAS "A MISTAKE". In an interview given to Georgian radio on 10 January, Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze rejected a statement by parliament speaker Vakhtang Goguadze, who was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 10 January as categorizing the situation in Georgian as "catastrophic," and arguing that the only solution lay in enlisting Russian economic and military help. Shevardnadze conceded that the introduction last year of the coupon in tandem with the ruble had been "a costly error," but insisted that Georgia needed several months to consider whether to rejoin the ruble zone, Interfax reported. Initially introduced at par with the ruble, the value of the coupon had plummeted by late December to 100:1. Liz Fuller , RFE/RL, Inc. MYSTERY STILL SURROUNDS GAMSAKHURDIA'S DEATH. The circumstances of the death of ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia and the whereabouts of his body are still unclear. ITAR-TASS suggested on 8 January that, contrary to claims by Gamsakhurdia's widow that he had committed suicide, he may have died of natural causes related to diabetes. On 10 January Interfax quoted a Georgian Interior Ministry official as stating that Gamsakhurdia's body was being guarded by his followers in a village in western Georgia, and his widow as claiming that the Georgian authorities had confiscated the body and were refusing to release it for burial in Chechnya. ITAR-TASS, however, quoted Chechen Foreign Minister Shamsuddin Yusef as stating that the Georgian authorities had given permission for Gamsakhurdia to be buried in Chechnya. Shevardnadze likewise told Interfax that it was for Gamsakhurdia's family to decide where he should be buried. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE POLAND ACCEPTS NATO PLAN, WITH RESERVATIONS. In remarks following a cabinet session on 10 January, Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski summed up Poland's appraisal of the Partnership for Peace plan as "too small a step in the right direction," PAP reports. Meeting together with President Lech Walesa, the cabinet hailed the opportunity to take part in NATO's defense structures but expressed "deep reservations" about the alliance's failure to set a timetable or define criteria for full membership. "Membership in NATO remains a strategic goal," the official statement stressed. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak was authorized to endorse the partnership idea during the Prague summit, but the government put off any binding decision on Polish participation until full details of the plan are provided. Walesa refused all comment after the cabinet meeting. The president feels that NATO is committing a "serious error" in bowing to Russian objections, Olechowski explained. Arguing that Poland's standards are no worse than Greece's when that country joined NATO, Olechowski called for full Polish membership within the next few years. In interviews earlier in the day, Walesa urged NATO to present Russia with the same conditions it plans to apply to aspiring East European members, in order to test its reliability as a partner. Olechowski also announced that Russian extremist Vladimir Zhirinovsky will be permitted to enter Poland but will be deported if he violates national interests. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA CRITICIZES CZECHS. In an interview published in Lidove Noviny on 10 January, Polish President Lech Walesa harshly criticized Czech leaders over their reluctance to pursue a joint strategy with the other Visegrad countries (Poland, Hungary and Slovakia) in trying to gain NATO membership. On 7 January, Czech Defense Minister Antonin Baudys declined to attend a meeting in Warsaw of the Visegrad countries' defense ministers, called to coordinate the four countries' approach to NATO membership. Other Czech leaders have repeatedly doubted the value of the Visegrad grouping. "Public opinion will not forgive the Czech politicians," said Walesa." They are committing a mistake, which will cost us all something." Referring to the upcoming summit of the Visegrad countries' leaders with US President Bill Clinton, Walesa said that he was disappointed that Czech officials were meeting with Clinton separately, rather than jointly with the other Visegrad countries. "If the talks fail, we will have to say that the [Czech] organizers are to be blamed," said the Polish president. Walesa argued that a joint strategy of the Visegrad countries "is necessary because the regional grouping has over 60 million inhabitants, which carries a certain weight. As individual states, we are too small." Responding to Walesa's criticism, Czech President Vaclav Havel announced that he wants to discuss the matter with Walesa when they meet on 13 January. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said on 10 January that Walesa was right when he accused the Czech Republic of placing its own interests above the joint aims of the Visegrad group. He argued he would be a bad Czech politician if he did not place Czech interests above joint aims. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBRIGHT, SHALIKASHVILI MEET CZECH LEADERS. On 10 January, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, and General John Shalikashvili, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with top Czech officials, including Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, Foreign Affairs Minister Josef Zieleniec, and Defense Minister Antonin Baudys. Speaking to reporters after the meeting with Klaus, Shalikashivili said that "any threat to East European countries subscribing to the NATO's Partnership for Peace plan would be considered a threat to the United States." He explained that "while the Partnership for Peace does not extend specific security guarantees, it does in fact provide for a consultative process if a partner-member feels its security threatened." Albright told reporters that Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic "enthusiastically support the Partnership for Peace plan" and that she expected Poland also to endorse the plan. Albright said that the US would welcome a common statement from the Visegrad countries on the results of the NATO summit in Brussels on 10 January, which endorsed the Partnership for Peace plan. Jiri Pehe , RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER POSITIVE TO PARTNERSHIP. In an interview with Bulgarian TV on 10 January, Bulgarian Defense Minister Valentin Aleksandrov said the Partnership for Peace plan "offers a basis for the integration of European armed forces." Asked how Bulgaria can benefit from the plan, Aleksandrov said the military intends to fully utilize the "considerable opportunities" offered by NATO. While acknowledging that the scheme will not provide security guarantees, Aleksandrov remarked that the kind of guarantees formerly given by the Soviet Union can no longer be obtained. But he also called the idea that Greece, Turkey or Romania would launch a military attack on Bulgaria "preposterous," adding that the army could handle any aggression originating from the former Yugoslav republics. Aleksandrov said another advantage of the scheme, from his perspective, is that none of the four Visegrad countries in terms of actual membership "is put ahead of us." Meanwhile, the 11 January issue of the daily 24 Chasa, citing differences between the government and President Zhelyu Zhelev over the role of the Military Cabinet attached to the Office of the President, claims Aleksandrov is contemplating resignation. Kjell Engelbrekt , RFE/RL, Inc. TENSIONS IN LATVIA OVER DETENTION OF RUSSIAN GENERALS. On 10 January Russian delegation leader Sergei Zotov told the press in Riga that the Russian-Latvian talks on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia, scheduled to resume that day, cannot begin before Latvia clears up questions concerning the detention of Maj. Gen. Nikolai Tailakov, deputy commander of the Russia's Northwestern Group of Forces, and Maj. Gen. Anatolii Vodopyanov. On 9 January the two Russian officers were taken into custody by local Latvian authorities in Riga's Vidzeme district on the grounds that they hindered the Latvian takeover and guarding of buildings that the Russian forces were scheduled to vacate. The two generals were handcuffed and taken in the direction of the Latvian-Russian border; it is not clear if they actually left Latvia. The action, ordered by the Vidzeme district council chairman Andrejs Rucs, was protested by the Russian ambassador Aleksandr Rannikh and by Commander of the NWGF Leonid Mayorov; and it prompted Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev to put the Russian troops in Latvia and near the Latvian border on alert. Upon the intervention of Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis and the National Security Council, the two generals were released on 10 January. The incident, deplored in statements both by the Latvian president and the Foreign Ministry, is being investigated; reportedly criminal charges will be brought against Rucs and he will be dismissed from office, Diena, BNS, and Interfax reported on 10 January. The Latvian Foreign Ministry said that the interstate talks had resumed on 11 January. Dzintra Bungs SLOVAK PARTIES ON HUNGARIAN MINORITY. On 10 January several Slovak political parties commented on the 8 January gathering of ethnic Hungarians in Komarno. The Christian Democratic Movement said "the ethnic principle is not a decisive criterion for determining a country's territorial and administrative arrangement" and proposed restoring the historical regional arrangements, which take into consideration "not only ethnic, but also geographic, economic, and cultural" criteria. Western Slovak representatives of the Slovak National Party issued a statement calling the Komarno meeting "open aggression of the great Hungarian chauvinists" who have the goal of rejoining southern Slovakia to Hungary. The group accused SNP Chairman Ludovit Cernak of secretly negotiating with ethnic Hungarian parliamentary leaders about plans to remove Premier Vladimir Meciar "at the time when Slovak territorial integrity and independence are threatened." Cernak denied the allegations, TASR reports. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CROATIAN-BOSNIAN TALKS? While participants at the Brussels summit continued on 10 January to debate NATO's proper course of action in the Yugoslav crisis, the presidents of Croatia and Bosnia ended two days of talks in Bonn. Western news agencies reported, however, that the Croats suggested that a ceasefire had been reached, while the Bosnian Muslims said that all that had been achieved was an improvement in the atmosphere. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman launched a surprise initiative aimed at a global reordering of relations between the Croatian and Muslim communities in the neighboring republic, which follows a similar package proposal he unveiled last 1 November. Vjesnik of 11 January says that Tudjman's new plan calls for a ceasefire and a series of closer economic and political ties, especially if the Bosnian Serbs join up with Serbia. Fighting between Croats and Muslims nonetheless continued in central Bosnia, and Vjesnik adds that the frontiers in that embattled region and the fate of Mostar remain the key issues dividing Muslims and Croats. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. KOSOVO UPDATE. The Council for the Defense of Human Rights in Kosovo said that it noted 13,431 cases of human rights violations in the Serbian province in 1993, Rilindja reported on 7 January. According to the human rights group, during that year 15 ethnic Albanians were killed by Serbian police and 14 wounded. At the same time some 2,305 people were arrested but just 62 were charged with crimes under the penal code. Raids allegedly took place on 1,994 families' houses and 1,777 people said they had been physically tortured. As the main targets of raids the paper mentioned members of ethnic Albanian political parties or other cultural, educational and scientific institutions. Violations against children have been claimed in 172 cases. Elsewhere, the Kosovar Albanian leadership has protested at the UN and the International Conference on Yugoslavia against a newly introduced tax of DM 10 for each person and DM 30 for each car that leaves rump Yugoslavia, Rilindja also noted. The measure is seen as being primarily directed against the frequent travels of Kosovars to Macedonia and Albania. Fabian Schmidt , RFE/RL, Inc. DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION OF SERBIA SPLITS. According to reports carried in Borba and Politika on 11 January, eleven members of the coalition Serbian Democratic Opposition (DEPOS) have officially announced their intention to sit in the Federal Assembly of the rump Yugoslavia as independents. In an "open letter" dated 10 January, the representatives cited fundamental differences with the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), a coalition member, and its leadership as being major factors behind the decision to break ranks. According to the eleven, the SPO is no longer a democratic, but a "pseudo nationalistic," party. SPO General Secretary Vladimir Gajic, contending that in reality the eleven representatives "abandoned the SPO back in April 1993," opposes the notion of allowing the representatives to act "autonomously" and has called for their removal from the assembly. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. CHARGES AGAINST ZORAN DJINDJIC FROM INSIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. One of the founders of the rump Yugoslav Democratic Party, Ljubomir Tadic, charged the party's President Zoran Djindjic with "usurping" information channels to promote policies that he favors but which are not those of the party, Borba reported on 10 January. In a letter, 20 party members including the party's vice president and other party officials, stated that "the party is compromised and its democratic role is limited by the absence of any control over its financial and material activities as well as over issuing statements that suggest major political decisions in the party, [but that are really made] without consultation and consent of competent party bodies." The conflict seems to be a result of Djindjic's style of leadership and specifically stems from his recent statement about the possibility of a coalition with the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN TELEVISION HEAD RESIGNS. Paul Everac, the controversial director general of Romanian Television, submitted his resignation on 10 January, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest and local media reported on the same day. Everac asked that assistant director general Dionisie Sincan be named interim manager until a permanent successor is chosen by Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, who has two weeks to decide whether or not to accept Everac's resignation. Everac said he was resigning because he had not been given support and because of his failure to solve tensions at Romanian Television, whose head he had been appointed about one year ago. Since early January, Everac had been harshly criticized by the television unions, by the opposition, but also by the parliament's commissions that oversee the activity of television. The criticism had been triggered by a documentary aired on 30 December and by what had been termed as a "vulgar, tasteless" program written by Everac and aired on New Year's Eve. The documentary, alleging that former King Michael was responsible for the execution of Romania's wartime leader, Marshal Ion Antonescu, had been handed to Everac by the leader of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party, Corneliu Vadim Tudor. Tudor said the documentary had been viewed by at least seven members of the government, but the government declined to accept responsibility for its airing. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN OPPOSITION ALLIANCE WANTS EARLY ELECTIONS. The Democratic Convention of Romania, the country's main opposition alliance, says Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu should be dismissed and replaced by a cabinet of experts whose job would be to prepare early elections, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Bucharest on 10 January. The statement was issued before leaders of the DCR met to decide whether to attend a meeting with President Ion Iliescu as part of the consultations to seek a way out of the country's political and economic crisis. Several parties members of the alliance sent letters to Iliescu announcing they would not attend the meeting separately after presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu said on 7 January that the DCR had been set up as an electoral alliance and did not represent anybody any longer. Following some clarifications from the presidency, the parties decided to attend the meeting together, Radio Bucharest announced on 10 January. The date is yet to be set. However, the atmosphere is tense, and a communique released by Chebeleu on 10 January accused DCR President Emil Constantinescu of having offended the head of the state in earlier declarations. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIAN PRESIDENT AGREES TO NEW MINISTERS. In his address to the Estonian parliament on 11 January, President Lennart Meri agreed to appoint all the new ministers proposed by Prime Minister Mart Laar but suggested that instead of appointing new ministers Laar himself should have resigned - according to Estonian law this would have brought down the government. Meri said Laar should not have made changes in the cabinet at a time when it was necessary to concentrate on Estonia's foreign policy in light of the NATO summit and developments in Russia. Nonetheless, after the speech, Meri signed an order appointing Juri Luik as foreign minister, Indrek Kannik as defense minister, Heiki Kranich as finance minister, and Toivo Jurgenson as economics minister, RFE/RL's Estonian Service reported. The signature is expected to dissipate the political crisis that had arisen over what some Estonian politicians felt was the president's assumption of more authority than granted him by the law when Meri did not agree to all the proposed cabinet changes. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT SENDS BACK INCOME DECLARATION LAW. On 10 January Algirdas Brazauskas told a press conference, broadcast live by Radio Lithuania, that he was sending back to the Seimas the law on income declaration by state officials that it had passed on 23 December. He declared that the law contradicted the constitutional principles of equality before the law since it applied only to state officials and not the whole population. Brazauskas said nonetheless that he was willing to declare his income and property "even today." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Suzanne Crow & Patrick Moore
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