Хорошее употребление времени делает время еще более драгоценным. - С. Ричардсон
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 7, 12 January 1994


CHAOTIC OPENING SESSION OF STATE DUMA. The first session of the lower 
house of Russia's new parliament on 11 January saw chaotic scenes as 
deputies argued over points of procedure, Western and Russian agencies 
reported. Following a speech by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, on 
behalf of President Yeltsin, in which he said that the government had 
prepared 100 bills to be submitted to the Duma, the 430 deputies present 
spent the day deciding on the minimum number of deputies required to 
register as an official group. Russia's Choice blocked attempts by the 
Liberal Democrats and Communists to set the minimum at 50, saying that 20 
deputies was a more suitable number. Repeated votes reached a compromise 
figure of 35. The argument was relevant only to the large number of 
independent deputies in the Duma; the smallest party faction stands at the 
14 deputies who were elected from the Democratic Party of Russia's party 
list. Wendy Slater

CHERNOMYRDIN CALLS FOR NEW REFORM PHASE. In his address before parliament 
carried by Russian television on 11 January, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin 
said that the "preconditions had emerged for the transition to a new stage 
in economic reform." Chernomyrdin announced that the focus of government's 
activity would now shift toward creating "favorable work conditions" for 
Russian goods producers and social policy. He noted that changes to follow 
from Yeltsin's decree on the structure of the government (issued 10 
January) would improve its policy-making. Claiming that the majority of 
the measures that the government would now undertake were included in the 
pre-election programs of many of the parties and blocs, the prime minister 
concluded that there was a real basis for cooperation between the 
government and parliament. Erik Whitlock 

DISPUTE OVER SPEAKER OF DUMA. Since the negotiations to elect a speaker 
prior to the opening of the Duma had failed, the first session was chaired 
by the oldest deputy present, Georgii Lukava of the LDP. Western 
newspapers reported that he lost control of proceedings, and that deputies 
crowded onto the podium demanding that he be replaced. It was finally 
agreed that the sessions would be chaired in rotation by the 3 oldest 
deputies: Lukava, Vladimir Bokov of the CP-RF, and Sergei Kovalev of 
Russia's Choice, ITAR-TASS reported. The Duma also elected ex-presidential 
aide Sergei Stankevich of the Party of Russian Unity and Concord to chair 
an interim 20-member secretariat. This will consist of five commissions 
and will deal with procedural matters. The Duma went into recess, on the 
suggestion of PRUC chairman Sergei Shakhrai, and will resume on 13 
January. Wendy Slater

FEDERATION COUNCIL'S FIRST SESSION. In contrast to the confusion in the 
State Duma, the first session of the Federation Council (the upper house 
of the new parliament) was calm, Western agencies reported. In his opening 
speech to the deputies, who represent Russia's regions and republics, 
President Yeltsin called for cooperation between the executive and the 
legislative branches of power. The deputies spent the day holding a secret 
ballot for the nomination of a chairman. First Deputy Prime Minister 
Vladimir Shumeiko led the nominations with 78 of the 161 votes; he was 
followed by a Krasnoyarsk factory director Petr Romanov (13 votes); 
Sverdlovsk leader Eduard Rossel (10); and former industry minister 
Aleksandr Titkin (6), according to ITAR-TASS. The final vote is to take 
place on 12 January; to be elected speaker, a candidate needs an absolute 
majority of votes. Shumeiko told Interfax that he will resign his 
government post if he is elected speaker. Wendy Slater

Federation Council on 11 January, Yeltsin dwelt at length on Russia's 
relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States, stressing that 
Russia is "a great power" called upon to play the role of "first among 
equals" as regards the other former Soviet republics. "Our countries are 
growing closer together," Yeltsin asserted. "Each understands more and 
more clearly that alone it cannot cope with or survive the difficult 
problems it faces." Yeltsin's speech was reported in Rossiiskaya gazeta on 
12 January. Ґ Elizabeth Teague

Constitutional Court judge, has gone on hunger strike to protest the 
failure of the court's judges to come to a decision on his position, 
Luchin's legal counsel Mikhail Moiseenko told Interfax on 11 January. 
Luchin was suspended from the court, together with its former chairman 
Valerii Zorkin, on 1 December 1993, because of his alleged political 
activity. Luchin is accused of having participated in communist party 
congresses and in the election campaign. However, he withdrew his 
candidacy from the Agrarian party on 15 November, according to Moiseenko. 
Zorkin is reported to disapprove of Luchin's action. Ґ Wendy Slater

the Israeli newspaper Maariv on 11 January, Vladimir Zhirinovsky asserted 
that he had never hidden the fact that his father was Jewish, AFP reported 
that day. "I am proud of my father, my mother, and my motherland Russia," 
Zhirinovsky stated. Elizabeth Teague

Sobchak has alleged that Vladimir Zhirinovsky holds the rank of captain in 
the KGB active reserve and that the Liberal Democratic Party he heads was 
created by the former KGB on the orders of the Politburo. In an interview 
with the St. Petersburg weekly Chas pik (No. 1, 1994) Sobchak said Mikhail 
Gorbachev told him in 1990 that the Politburo had decided to set up a 
number of front political parties in order to create a "directed" 
multi-party system and compromise any truly democratic or liberal parties 
that might emerge in the future. According to Sobchak, Gorbachev 
instructed the KGB to find suitable "leaders" for such parties and 
Zhirinovsky was one of those selected. Sobchak, who was a member of 
Gorbachev's Presidential Council, offered no explanation in the Chas pik 
interview as to why he failed to publicize this information during the 
recent election campaign or even earlier. Victor Yasmann 

GRAIN IMPORTS DOWN. In 1993, 10.4 million tons of grain were imported via 
the Eksportkhleb trading organization, Interfax reported on 6 January. 
This was the lowest total for many years, and was attributed to fairly 
good domestic harvests in 1992 and 1993, and to the shortage of hard 
currency. An even lower import total is expected for 1994. Keith Bush
IS THERE A DEAL OR NOT? At a meeting with the press, on 11 January a 
spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that no final 
agreement on the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Ukraine had yet been 
reached. According to a recording of his remarks broadcast by Radio 
Ukraine, the spokesman said that details of the security guarantees had 
yet to be settled. He noted that if all outstanding issues were resolved 
at the trilateral meeting on 14 January, that a "document" could be 
issued, otherwise the meeting would have a "consultative nature." He 
observed that it "at this stage it is better to speak about a document 
rather than an agreement or treaty." Interfax on 11 January reported that 
the spokesman confirmed that any international agreement would be subject 
to ratification by parliament. On the same day a "high ranking official" 
in the Russian Foreign Ministry told Interfax that "it is essential that 
in Moscow Ukraine indicate the exact date when no nuclear weapons will be 
left on its soil." The Russian statement conflicts with earlier Western 
press reports indicating that no deadline will be specified in the 
agreement because of Ukrainian resistance. However, the Los Angeles Times 
of 12 January reports that Clinton and Kravchuk will discuss a deadline 
for dismantling during their meeting on 12 January. It therefore appears 
that the deal is not finalized, although pressure on all sides to reach an 
agreement is undoubtedly high. John Lepingwell

been no formal confirmation in Ukraine that a trilateral nuclear agreement 
has indeed been made. According to the head of the secretariat of the Rukh 
democratic opposition party, Mykhailo Boichyshyn, however, on 10 January 
President Kravchuk acknowledged that an "agreement has already been 
signed" during celebrations of his 60th birthday, Ukrainian TV's 
independent Channel 7 reported on the evening of 11 January in the UNIAR 
newscast. Boichyshyn also said that legislators had still not been 
informed of the details of the deal. Noting that Kravchuk's signature on 
any nuclear accord would have no judicial force, Rukh's leader Vyacheslav 
Chornovil and other lawmakers are continuing to point out that agreements 
signed by the Ukrainian president become valid only after they are 
ratified by parliament. Meanwhile, on 11 January President Clinton phoned 
Kravchuk to thank him for his courage in negotiating an agreement on 
nuclear arms, Western media reported. Ґ Bohdan Nahaylo 
ABKHAZ-GEORGIAN TALKS IN GENEVA. The second round of UN-sponsored 
negotiations on a political settlement of the Abkhaz conflict opened on 10 
January in Geneva. The main subjects of discussion will be the return to 
their homes of some 200,000 Georgian refugees who fled last year's 
fighting, which Georgia claims is being hindered by Abkhaz troops, and the 
future political status of Abkhazia. In an interview with ITAR-TASS UN 
mediator Edouard Brunner said that while Georgia insists on preserving its 
territorial integrity but is prepared to offer Abkhazia autonomy, Abkhazia 
demands either total independence or a federal agreement with Georgia. Liz 

MKHEDRIONI TO DISARM? Members of the Mkhedrioni paramilitary formation 
have agreed voluntarily to surrender their arms by 15 January, according 
to ITAR-TASS. Any member who refuses to comply will be turned over to the 
law enforcement organs. The rationale cited for the move was to preclude 
further accusations that Mkhedrioni members have committed armed robberies 
and muggings. Originally founded as a civil defense-type unit, Mkhedrioni 
has been implicated both in reprisals against the civilian population and 
in illicit narcotics dealing and running the black-market in gasoline. Liz 

Uzbekistan have agreed to abolish customs tariffs on trade between the two 
countries and to create a common market by 2000, the presidents of both 
states told reporters in Tashkent on 10 January, Reuters reported on 11 
January. According to the two, the agreement provides for free movement of 
goods, services, capital and labor between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and 
coordination of fiscal and customs policies. Kazakhstan's President 
Nursultan Nazarbaev described the agreement as abolishing borders between 
the two countries. Bess Brown 

five Central Asian countries met in Nukus, capital of Karakalpakistan, on 
11 January to sign an agreement on the creation of a fund to save the Aral 
Sea and a three- to five-year program designed to improve the 
environmental situation in the Aral Basin, Interfax reported. Kazakhstan 
and Uzbekistan, the countries most affected by the desiccation of the Aral 
Sea, have tried to attract international attention to the problem and 
assistance in dealing with it by warning that the destruction of the Aral 
poses a threat to the world's climate. Foreign observers have complained 
that Central Asian projects center on mitigating the immediate effects of 
the catastrophe rather than on long-term plans for restoration of the sea. 
Bess Brown


CLINTON ARRIVES IN PRAGUE. On 11 January President Bill Clinton arrived in 
Prague, where he is to hold talks with the leaders of the Visegrad 
countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic) on 12 
January. International media report that on the 11th, Clinton met with 
Czech President Vaclav Havel and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus to discuss 
Czech-American cooperation and NATO's Partnership for Peace plan. 
Clinton's meeting with Havel was followed by discussions among other 
high-ranking US and Czech officials. Speaking to the media after his 
meeting with Clinton, Havel welcomed the Partnership for Peace plan, 
describing it as "good and fair." He said that it was "an open door for 
all, with each choosing their own speed to go through it." Clinton said 
that it was possible that some countries may be able to enter NATO earlier 
than others after joining the Partnership for Peace initiative. Later, 
Clinton was shown the sights of Prague by Havel, and both presidents 
visited a Prague pub, where Clinton spent an hour chatting with an elderly 
Czech couple who were his hosts in 1970. Clinton also went to a Prague 
jazz club and accepted an invitation to play the saxophone. Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK DELEGATION LEAVES FOR PRAGUE. On 11 January the Slovak delegation 
headed by President Michal Kovac left for Prague to meet with Clinton and 
the heads of the other Visegrad countries, TASR reports. Other delegation 
members include Premier Vladimir Meciar, Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik, 
Deputy Premiers Jozef Prokes, Sergej Kozlik and Julius Toth, Economy 
Minister Jan Ducky, Health Minister Irena Belohorska and Defense Minister 
Imrich Andrejcak, as well as ambassador to the Czech Republic Ivan Mjartan 
and designated ambassador to the US Branislav Lichardus. In an 11 January 
press conference, Moravcik announced that the cabinet unambiguously 
supports the Partnership for Peace initiative. Sharon Fisher

WALESA: "PAPER GUARANTEES ARE WORTHLESS." Interviewed by Polish TV before 
his departure for Prague, President Lech Walesa once again expressed his 
dissatisfaction with the Partnership for Peace proposal. Poland has no 
choice but to accept what has been offered, however, he said. Predicting 
that his talks with Clinton will be "difficult," Walesa vowed to press for 
more ambitious measures to reduce the "terrain of uncertainty" in Central 
Europe. Poland will continue to press for full integration into European 
structures, he said, because "paper guarantees of security are worthless." 
Walesa argued that his "propaganda offensive" in advance of the NATO 
summit had been successful, in that it alerted Western public opinion to 
the security needs of the region and forestalled an even less satisfactory 
outcome. Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski was more sanguine, arguing 
that the partnership plan will in fact improve Poland's security by 
putting some of NATO's military facilities at its disposal. Olechowski 
expressed disappointment at the breakdown of cooperation among the 
Visegrad four, however. Continuing his verbal sparring match with Czech 
Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus over Prague's decision to negotiate 
independent of its Visegrad partners, Walesa said "the Czechs would go 
along even if Brussels offered them membership in the Soviet Union," 
Polish TV reports. Ґ Louisa Vinton

Geza Jeszenszky told a press conference that the Partnership for Peace 
plan offered East European countries a direct road to full NATO 
membership, and pledged that Hungary will take advantage of the 
opportunities the plan offered, MTI reports. He said that the plan offered 
an "appropriate perspective" to East European countries which had to go 
through a long evolutionary process to attain full NATO membership. 
Jeszenszky encouraged the Visegrad countries to launch separate 
"diplomatic offensives" to attain their common goal of full NATO 
membership arguing that such approach has proven more effective than joint 
declarations. Edith Oltay 

ILIESCU HAILS NATO PLAN. In a statement read on Radio Bucharest on 11 
January, Romanian President Ion Iliescu praised NATO's plan. Iliescu 
called the Brussels decision "historic," and said it would help Romania 
and other former communist countries in Eastern Europe consolidate their 
national security. He added that Romania was "ready to assume all 
responsibilities" to join in the plan and the NATO alliance in the future. 
In separate comments, Petre Roman, a former prime minister and chairman of 
the opposition Democratic Party--National Salvation Front, described this 
week's NATO decisions as "disappointing" and appealed to the Western world 
"not to block the way for [Romania's closer] cooperation" with NATO. Dan 

Ministry has issued a statement welcoming the plan adopted at the NATO 
summit in Brussels, Ukrainian Radio reported on 11 January. Praising the 
scheme for not creating "new lines of division in Europe," it describes it 
as "an instrument for the evolutionary broadening of the [NATO] alliance 
eastward." It calls the arrangement a "timely and promising step in the 
right direction" which provides "all interested countries" with the 
opportunity to begin developing "political and military cooperation with 
NATO." Ukraine, it asserts, "has great interest in the development of such 
cooperation" and intends, through its "active participation" to contribute 
to this process. Ґ Bohdan Nahaylo

President Algirdas Brazauskas instructed the government to start 
"immediate preparation" to sign a partnership document with NATO, BNS 
reports. In a statement issued by the Lithuanian embassy in Brussels, 
Brazauskas said that partnership "paves the way to the full integration of 
Lithuania into NATO political-military structures." At a press conference 
in Tallinn, Prime Minister Mart Laar said that Estonia was interested in 
the plan and would prepare and submit to NATO its formal position within 
the next few days. Estonian membership in NATO was also discussed at the 
parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission. It then approved in a 6-2-1 vote 
a draft resolution to parliament asking Estonian President Lennart Meri to 
write a formal application for NATO membership. Ґ Saulius Girnius 
LATVIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS RESUME. After apologies to Russia by the Latvian 
prime minister and foreign minister for the detentions and subsequent 
release of two Russian generals by local Latvian officials, the 
Latvian-Russian talks resumed at 10 am on 11 January. The principal topic 
of discussions was the Skrunda radar site, which Russia has claimed as 
being essential for its security. The Russian delegation proposed 
shortening Moscow's jurisdiction over the radar from six to five years. 
Diena reported on 11 January that the Latvian side is formulating its 
response; previously it had indicated willingness to consider three years 
if Russia met other conditions regarding the withdrawal of its forces from 
Latvia by 31 August 1994. Diena also reported that Riga's Vidzeme district 
chairman, Andrejs Rucs, who ordered the detention of the Russian generals, 
had been dismissed from office and the city's Mayor Andris Teikmanis would 
assume the duties of running the Vidzeme district until new elections are 
held there. The Latvian state prosecutor's office said that it has been 
unable to interrogate Rucs since he has managed to elude police 
surveillance and his whereabouts are not known. Dzintra Bungs

NATO WARNS BOSNIAN SERBS. International media reported on 11 January that 
the summit of the Atlantic alliance voted to warn Serbs of possible air 
strikes unless they permit the reopening of Tuzla airport, allow a change 
of UN peace-keeping units in Srebrenica, and end the siege of Sarajevo. 
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic dismissed the measure and added that 
NATO is jeopardizing the Bosnian peace process by challenging the Serbs. 
The BBC quoted Bosnian Serb commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, who has 
previously threatened to bomb London, as warning NATO that it could be 
starting "World War III." Meanwhile, his forces have intensified their 
shelling of Sarajevo. Patrick Moore

Rilindja on 10 January, Dr. Zydi Bilalli, a member of the executive 
committee of the Party for Democratic Prosperity, explained his departure 
as being the result of discontent over current party policies. "With these 
policies we cannot improve our constitutional and legal status," Bilalli 
said, adding that the only gain the Albanians had made within the last 
three years is that they "can sing (...) and speak freely" now. He was 
referring to the fact that the Macedonian constitution defines Macedonia 
as a state of all it's citizens, while the Albanian hard-liners want 
Albanians to be explicitly named as having a status of "people of the 
state" co-equal with the Macedonians. Bilalli urged that "leadership 
changes must not be just formal but qualitative " as well, and said that 
the upcoming party congress should elect "a leadership with clear aims, 
professionally prepared and with a clear national orientation." Already in 
early December party leader Nevzat Halili, General Secretary Mithat Emini, 
and other party officials who are also members of parliament resigned in 
the face of nationalist accusations that their policies had proven 
ineffective in obtaining the desired special constitutional status for 
Albanians. Fabian Schmidt 

Ministry's staff on 11 January, President Mircea Snegur outlined the goals 
of Moldova's foreign policy for the near term, Basapress reported. The 
goals include full membership of the Council of Europe, preparation of 
association agreements with the EU and EFTA, joining the Central European 
Initiative (a move supported by Hungary in particular), strengthening ties 
with the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and ascertaining the terms 
and conditions for joining NATO. On the bilateral level, the goals include 
close relations with Romania, the USA, West European countries, and Russia 
(in that order) and "finalizing the negotiations for a complete and 
undelayed withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova." The agenda reflects 
the Western orientation of Snegur and the Social Democrat-dominated 
foreign policy apparatus. Vladimir Socor

appointed Dumitru Popa to run Romanian State Television, Radio Bucharest 
reports. Popa succeeds Paul Everac who resigned on 10 January following 
criticism by opposition parties and television staff. The 53-year-old Popa 
is a former communist-era prosecutor and journalist, who worked for the 
party daily Scinteia. He was named to the post by Prime Minister Nicolae 
Vacaroiu; his last position was that of chief of the government's 
information department. Dan Ionescu

to the Hungarian parliament's human rights committee and to the 
government's National and Ethnic Minority Office, four organizations 
representing the interests Hungary's Slovak minority asked for funding to 
publish their own journal, MTI reported on 11 January. The organizations, 
the Free Organization of Slovaks, the Slovak Youth Organization in 
Hungary, the Slovak Folklore Association, and the Federation of Slovak 
Writers and Artists in Hungary complained that their views were excluded 
from the Slovak-language weekly published by the Federation of Slovaks in 
Hungary (FSH). The organizations protested that only the FHS's journal 
receives state funds, and urged that negotiations begin about establishing 
a second Slovak-language weekly. Edith Oltay

SMUGGLING ACROSS LAKE SHKODER. During the night "Lake Shkoder turns into a 
maritime highway," Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 8 December. According to 
the Tirana-based paper, the smugglers bring lots of oil, cigarettes, and 
alcohol across the Albanian-Montenegrin border in little ships. The 
Albanian Defense Ministry seems unable to prevent the trade, which 
according to CSCE monitors takes place in cooperation with Montenegrin 
police, customs, and army personnel, because the Albanians have little 
equipment and no navy to work with. The Albanian authorities nonetheless 
managed to confiscate 11,000 liters of kerosene in only a week, the 
newspaper said. Even so, relations between Tirana and Podgorica have 
improved since the visit of Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic in 
September although Albania enforces sanctions against rump Yugoslavia. 
Fabian Schmidt

POLISH SEJM PASSES COPYRIGHT BILL. By a vote of 408 to 1, the Sejm 
approved much-postponed copyright legislation on 7 January, PAP reports. 
The bill, which replaces legislation dating back to 1952, is designed to 
protect all forms of intellectual property from unauthorized duplication. 
If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the bill will impose 
stiff sanctions, including prison terms of up to five years, on copyright 
"pirates." The lack of legal provisions to combat the organized 
duplication and sale of videocassettes, musical recordings, computer 
programs, and the like had threatened to make Poland a haven for pirates 
and a pariah among publishing and recording nations. Ґ Louisa Vinton

National Bank for the second time in three days raised the prime interest 
rate in order to stop the depreciation of the lev. The BNB said in a 
statement that the decision to raise the interest rate from 53% to 56% was 
intended to break "the speculative demand for hard currency." BNB chief 
economist Lyubomir Hristov told Reuters that it is vital that Bulgarians 
retain confidence in their currency, but acknowledged that the measure 
would have negative repercussions on the affairs of bank clients, 
financial institutions, as well as on the government's planned budget 
policy. Other economists said they saw little value in the second rate 
hike, which prompted several owners of imported goods stores to shut up 
shop, saying that they would lose money if they went on selling while the 
lev is falling steeply. BNB Director Todor Valchev told Bulgarian TV that 
the underlying factors for the depreciation of the lev are rising 
inflation, shrinking domestic production, the growing budget deficit, 
political instability, and the lack of external financial support for 
economic reforms. By close of business on 10 January, observers agreed 
that the currency market seemed to have calmed down. Kjell Engelbrekt

Lithuanian Prime Ministers Valdis Birkavs and Adolfas Slezevicius along 
with energy and other ministers held talks in Nica, Latvia on the 
construction of an oil terminal at Liepaja, Radio Lithuania reported on 11 
January. They approved the project with Lithuania having a 51% share and 
discussed Latvia obtaining a share in the oil refinery at Mazeikiai. The 
ministers also talked about a treaty on the maritime borders between the 
two countries which will be discussed further at their planned meeting in 
Riga on 19 January. Lithuanian Energy Minister Algimantas Stasiukynas said 
that his country would continue to build an oil terminal at Butinge since 
the shallowness of the passage to the Liepaja terminal would make it 
unsuitable for large tankers. The three Baltic energy ministers will meet 
in Riga on 12 January to discuss the creation of a Baltic consortium for 
oil terminals. Ґ Saulius Girnius

government appointed Juri Tikk, an advisor to the Defense Ministry, its 
special envoy to Paldiski where the Russian navy has a nuclear submarine 
training center, Interfax reported on 7 December. Paldiski is the only 
place in the country where local elections were not held on 17 October 
1993, primarily because local officials had not handed over resident 
files. It is estimated that the town has about 6,000-7,000 inhabitants of 
whom about 200 are Estonian citizens. Tikk was given two weeks to draft 
proposals for solving the town's problems and the justice ministry the 
same period to forward proposals on the legal basis for local 
self-government. The Interior Ministry was instructed to register the 
town's resident by the end of March. Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET]
Complied by Suzanne Crow and Patrick Moore

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