Жизнь не в том, чтобы жить, а в том, чтобы чувствовать, что живешь. - В.О. Ключевский
RFE/RL Daily Report

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

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

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