Logic, n. The act of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human understanding. - Ambrose Bierce
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 8, 13 January 1994

CIS

CLINTON, KRAVCHUK AFFIRM NUCLEAR DEAL. President Bill Clinton stopped for 
a two-hour visit with Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk on 12 January en 
route to Moscow. After their meeting, Clinton read a statement that 
affirmed that he, Kravchuk, and Yeltsin would sign an agreement on 14 
January committing Ukraine to eliminate its nuclear weapons. President 
Kravchuk stated that Ukraine "will not stand in the way of disarmament." 
Kravchuk explicitly referred to prospect of signing "documents" in Moscow 
on 14 January. (This comment was not translated on the CNN live broadcast 
of the conference.) However, Kravchuk did not appear to be selling the 
deal to the public even though the press-conference was broadcast live on 
Ukrainian TV. Western press agencies report that US administration 
officials emphasized that the agreement is complete and does not need 
further negotiating. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

QUESTIONS REMAIN ON DETAILS. On the issue of security guarantees, Clinton 
noted that Ukraine would receive the standard assurances against nuclear 
attack given to all non-nuclear signatories of the nuclear 
non-proliferation treaty, and that Ukraine would receive additional 
security through participation in the Partnership for Peace program and 
from economic assistance from the US and multilateral organizations. These 
assurances appear to fall far short of those demanded by Ukrainian 
parliamentarians, and unless they are supplemented by extensive Russian 
guarantees may be a substantial stumbling block in the way of 
ratification. President Kravchuk avoided answering a question concerning 
whether the agreement includes a deadline for removal of the weapons, a 
point upon which Russia has reportedly been insisting. On 13 January, 
ITAR-TASS reported that Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin had discussed 
nuclear weapons during their first meeting, although no details were 
given. The official schedule released by the Russian president's press 
office and carried by ITAR-TASS on 12 January, suggests that the 
trilateral agreement will be signed before 9:30 am (Moscow time) on 14 
January, apparently leaving little time for the three presidents to 
conduct further talks. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

KRAVCHUK BUNGLING THE SELLING OF THE NUCLEAR DEAL? Although the press 
conference given by Presidents Clinton and Kravchuk was broadcast live on 
Ukrainian TV, it provided few precise details about the trilateral nuclear 
deal and glossed over the key issue worrying Ukrainian lawmakers and the 
Ukrainian public: what provisions have been made in the agreement to allay 
Ukrainian concerns about their security and, in particular, Russian 
recognition of the inviolability of Ukraine's borders and its territorial 
integrity. Surprisingly, unlike President Clinton, Kravchuk did little to 
sell the deal to parliament and the country, to reassure lawmakers that 
Ukrainian national interests are not being sold out as suspicious critics 
fear, and to explain why he and his team have been so secretive about the 
agreement. Kravchuk's virtual disregard for the public relations aspect is 
reminiscent of his clumsy handling of the supposed deal that was made at 
the Massandra summit with President Yeltsin in September 1993, which 
resulted in accusations of his having "betrayed" the country and 
capitulated before Russia. In this case too, Kravchuk's failure to promote 
the benefits of the trilateral nuclear deal for Ukraine and to brief key 
lawmakers, has not helped matters. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIANS FEAR THEIR SECURITY CONCERNS STILL NOT UNDERSTOOD. Western and 
Ukrainian media are reporting that, in the absence of information about 
terms of the trilateral nuclear deal, Ukrainian lawmakers and officials 
suspect that Ukraine's security interests are being sold out and that the 
Clinton team does not fully understand why Ukraine and other Eastern 
European states fear Russia. For example, on 13 January the International 
Herald Tribune quotes Yurii Kochubey, the Ukrainian ambassador in Paris, 
as saying: "It is a mistake to think of Russia in literary terms, as 
Strobe Talbott does, [as] the people of Tolstoy and Turgenev," and to 
dismiss the strong support for Vladimir Zhirinovsky "as just a protest 
vote." Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN SUMMIT. Belarusian parliamentary head Stanislau 
Shushkevich was in Moscow on 12 January where he held talks with Russian 
President Boris Yeltsin, ITAR-TASS reported. The joint communiquŽ issued 
after the talks stressed that both sides agreed on the need for a new 
interstate Belarusian-Russian treaty on friendship and cooperation. 
According to the report, the focus of the talks was on economic 
cooperation. Ostankino, meanwhile, reported that the talks between Minsk 
and Moscow were necessary in order to remove barriers restricting 
cooperation "in what is essentially a single people." Roman Solchanyk, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA

CLINTON, YELTSIN START TALKS. Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin prefaced 
talks in Moscow on 13 January with two brief speeches. Clinton said that 
"Russia and the United States must work together to build a new future for 
Europe, on which a new future for our entire world depends." He also 
expressed his belief that "together we can work to lead a new security for 
Europe based on democratic values, free economies, the respect of nations 
for one another." Yeltsin referred to the meeting of the two presidents in 
Vancouver in 1993 as an event laying the foundation for US-Russian 
relations and called for the current phase of talks to be more "in-depth, 
practical, and global in nature." Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

US, RUSSIA TO DETARGET MISSILES? The Los Angeles Times reported on 13 
January that Russia and the US will sign an agreement providing for the 
retargetting of ICBMs so that they are aimed at ocean areas, rather than 
military or civilian targets. The agreement is intended to reduce the 
dangers associated with an accidental launch and has relatively little 
military significance since the missiles could be retargeted in a short 
period of time should tensions rise. Missiles in Ukraine would presumably 
also be covered under the agreement, although the retargetting would 
apparently have to be done by the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, since 
Ukraine does not have operational control over the missiles. Missiles 
aboard submarines would not be covered by the agreement. John Lepingwell, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

SHUMEIKO FAILS IN SECOND VOTING FOR COUNCIL SPEAKER. On 12 January, 
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko failed again to be 
elected speaker of the Council of the Federation, the upper chamber of the 
new parliament. Ostankino television reported that Shumeiko got 81 votes 
in the second round, 4 less than in the first round. He needs 86 to be 
elected. His only remaining competitor, Siberian industrialist Petr 
Romanov, received 2 votes less than Shumeiko in the second round, which is 
23 votes more than he got in the first round. The third attempt to elect 
the chamber's speaker will be made today. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY ACTION PROVOKES WALKOUT BY THREE PARTIES. Representatives of 
three political blocs--Russia's Choice, the Party of Russian Unity and 
Concord, and Women of Russia--walked out of an all-party meeting in Moscow 
because of the behavior of ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 
ITAR-TASS reported on 12 January. Zhirinovsky demanded that he be chosen 
to chair the meeting because his party received the largest number of 
votes in the elections on party lists to the State Duma. A representative 
of Women of Russia was also nominated as chairperson, but Zhirinovsky 
opposed her in a rude manner. The protesters later returned to the meeting 
after the remaining participants agreed on Nikolai Travkin of the 
Democratic Party of Russia as chairman. Many political leaders at the 
meeting warned that they would not put up with Zhirinovsky speaking at 
meetings, including those in the parliament, without requesting 
permission. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN'S NATIONAL SECURITY AIDE ON RE-ORGANIZATION OF SECRET SERVICES. 
Yurii Baturin, recently appointed as national security aide to Boris 
Yeltsin, told Nezavisimaya gazeta on 11 January that reform of the Russian 
security community will be based on a new concept of national security. 
Yurii Baturin, who was appointed to this newly created position 6 January, 
also said that he will be coordinating the operational activities and 
personnel policy of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Federal 
Counterintelligence Service (FSK) as well as the other Russian secret 
services. Yurii Baturin, who has degrees both in physics and law has been 
a legal adviser to Yeltsin for the past year. Earlier he worked in the 
office of former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev. During the years of 
"perestroika," Baturin made a name for himself as one of the drafters of 
the law on the mass media. He is also considered an expert on computer 
security and legislation on computerization. Explaining why the genesis of 
the new position, Baturin said that now almost all Russian secret services 
are subordinated directly to Boris Yeltsin and this re-organization 
requires a coordinator on an operational level. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

OPPOSITION DEMONSTRATES. On 12 December, members of the extreme opposition 
from the banned ultra-nationalist National Salvation Front demonstrated in 
front of the building where the State Duma meets. Russian Television's 
"Vesti" said the demonstrators demanded that the new parliament be 
disbanded and that new presidential elections be held this year in which 
all political parties may nominate their own candidates. They also 
demanded that former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi be released from 
prison and made president, and called for the arrest of First Deputy 
Premier Egor Gaidar. The same day, members of several nationalist 
organizations held a demonstration, pegged to President Clinton's visit to 
Moscow, in front of the US embassy in the Russian capital. The 
demonstrators demanded that the United States stop supporting Yeltsin and 
"cease interfering in the internal affairs of Serbia and Iraq." Vera Tolz, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA TO SELL SUBS TO NORTH KOREA? An RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow 
reported on 12 January, citing unnamed Russian officials, that North Korea 
has offered to buy four Foxtrot class diesel submarines from Russia's 
Pacific Fleet. The submarines would reportedly be cut up for scrap metal. 
Rusoboroneksport, the official arms trading company, would neither confirm 
nor deny the report. The South Korean Yonhap news agency, however, reports 
that the Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun has also reported the story and 
suggests that the subs could be refurbished and put to use. Russia has 
pledged not to provide North Korea with offensive arms, although the 
definition of what constitutes "offensive" may be rather nebulous. John 
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

KAZAKHSTAN TO GET ENVIRONMENTAL AID. Kazakhstan's Minister of Ecology 
Svyatoslav Medvedev told correspondents in Washington on 12 January that 
the World Bank has agreed in principle to give Kazakhstan $37 million for 
assistance with environmental problems, and the IMF and US Environmental 
Protection Agency will provide another $25 million, Reuters reported. The 
minister said that in addition to the grants, part of which are to enable 
Kazakhstan to devise its own environmental protection plans, an 
environmental cooperation pact between the US and Kazakhstan has been 
agreed upon during his current visit to Washington. Kazakhstan is very 
sensitive to ecological problems as a result of the environmental 
degradation it experienced during the Soviet era and has insisted that 
foreign firms engaged in oil exploration prepare environmental impact 
statements. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

BAIKONUR LEASE PROPOSAL? AFP reported on 12 January that Kazakhstani State 
Secretary Tuleibek Zhukeev had suggested that Russia pay Kazakhstan some 
$7 billion per year to lease the Baikonur space launch facility. The 
proposed sum would be prohibitively expensive for Russia. It is possible 
that the reports have misinterpreted the proposal, and that either the 
amount reported would be for a long-term lease, or that 7 billion rubles 
(some $7 million) is being requested as an annual lease payment. 
Kazakhstan and Russia recently signed an agreement providing for the 
leasing of Baikonur, but the detailed terms of the agreement must still be 
worked out. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CLINTON MEETS VISEGRAD LEADERS. On 12 January, US President Bill Clinton 
held a series of bilateral meetings in Prague with the heads of state of 
Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia, and met with the leaders of all Visegrad 
countries, including the Czech Republic, for lunch. There they discussed 
NATO's Partnership for Peace plan and American assistance to Eastern 
Europe. International media report that Clinton said that the plan is a 
way to integrate East European countries into Western structures and 
prepare them for eventual NATO membership. Clinton also gave assurances to 
Central European leaders that their security is important to the US. The 
NATO initiative was welcomed by all Visegrad leaders. However, CTK reports 
that Polish President Lech Walesa said during the lunch with Clinton that 
while the plan is a step in the right direction, "it is too short a step." 
He argued that "the idea of a common European house remains an unfulfilled 
dream" and that the idea of a divided Europe "is being born again." Czech 
President Vaclav Havel said in his speech that the Czech Republic is ready 
to start talks about participating in the Partnership for Peace 
initiative. In response to warnings by Russian politicians not to expand 
NATO eastward, Havel said that "we are an independent country which itself 
decides about its political orientation and affiliations," Austrian 
Television noted. Slovak President Michal Kovac welcomed the NATO 
initiative in his speech but warned against "competition among the 
Visegrad countries" for security guarantees. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CLINTON UNVEILS PLANS FOR US ASSISTANCE TO CENTRAL EUROPE. Speaking to 
journalists in Prague after his meeting with the heads of the Visegrad 
countries, President Clinton said that, besides the Partnership for Peace 
plan, the US will offer other forms of assistance to Central European 
democracies. The White House spokesman specified that the initiatives will 
include a significant expansion of programs of the Overseas Private 
Investment Company in Eastern Europe; sponsoring a conference on 
investment and trade in Central and Eastern Europe; supporting the 
Visegrad countries in their efforts to join the Organization for Economic 
Cooperation and Development (OECD); the founding of the so-called 
Democratic Network, which is to support the development of civil society 
in Central and Eastern Europe; providing technical assistance for 
international projects aimed at improving regional transport and 
communications infrastructure; and supporting projects in which more than 
one East European country will take part. The spokesman said that some 
$400 million will be made available by the US to support market-oriented 
and democratic reforms in Eastern Europe. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

VISEGRAD LEADERS HOLD BILATERAL TALKS. A number of bilateral meetings 
between the leaders of the Visegrad countries took place on 12 January 
during and after the summit with Clinton. Speaking to journalists after 
his meeting with Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus, Slovak Premier Vladimir 
Meciar said that the Partnership for Peace initiative represents the same 
opportunity for all Eastern European countries. In a reference to Polish 
President Lech Walesa's criticism of the Czech Republic over its 
reluctance to coordinate its efforts to join NATO with the other Visegrad 
countries, Meciar said that "all steps that the Czech Republic has made 
have been made to protect the Czech Republic's political and security 
interests and are fully legitimate." Meciar argued that the criticism was 
"one-sided, simplistic, and that Slovakia does not identify with it." 
Klaus argued that differences between Poland and the Czech Republic over 
the Visegrad cooperation "are not as great as some formulations by Polish 
leaders indicate." Klaus said that the Czech Republic is currently looking 
for "a common denominator" of Visegrad cooperation. A spokesman for Havel 
told the media after Havel's meeting with Walesa that "both sides reacted 
positively to the Partnership for Peace initiative" and that Walesa did 
not "raise any objections against the Czech Republic's individual approach 
to NATO and the Partnership for Peace initiative." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA VOICES DOUBTS TO CLINTON. Asked by reporters about the Partnership 
for Peace plan at the conclusion of the Prague summit, the Polish 
president gave a diplomatic answer. "Sometimes small is beautiful," Walesa 
said. During bilateral talks with the US delegation, however, Walesa was 
more straightforward about Poland's reservations. As he put it in his 
lunchtime toast, Poland's historical experience has taught it to believe 
in facts rather than declarations. Declarations alone are like a "necktie 
for a coffin;" the real point is to translate declarations into facts. 
Clinton reportedly assured Walesa that the US is directly concerned for 
Poland's security and that the NATO plan is meant to open doors rather 
than erect barriers to future membership. Quoting an unnamed member of the 
Polish delegation, Gazeta Wyborcza claims that Clinton even made an 
explicit pledge to Walesa: "if Poland is threatened, NATO's border will 
move eastward to the Bug [River]." Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, taking 
part in his first foreign visit since taking office, stressed the need for 
a "partnership for growth" to supplement the NATO plan; he urged the US to 
pressure the EU to dismantle trade barriers. "Ultimately, it is the 
economy that will determine the defense potential of each of our 
countries," Pawlak said. PAP reports that Clinton accepted Walesa's 
invitation to visit Poland, reportedly on 12-13 July. US Vice President Al 
Gore is also scheduled to attend ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary 
of the Warsaw Uprising later in the summer. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOVAC MEETS WITH CLINTON. On 12 January Slovak President Michal Kovac met 
in Prague with Clinton to discuss the Partnership for Peace initiative, 
TASR reports. In a press conference Kovac said the initiative "opens the 
doors to all the former socialist countries equally, and it is their 
business as to how they will use this opportunity." Foreign Minister Jozef 
Moravcik said Slovakia is ready to sign the document immediately. Sharon 
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

JESZENSZKY WELCOMES HUNGARIAN-NATO MILITARY EXERCISES . . . Hungarian 
Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky told a press conference in Prague on 12 
January that he welcomed the possibility of Hungarian troops conducting 
joint exercises with NATO military forces, possibly within six months, 
Western news agencies report. He said that such exercises "would give a 
signal to the Hungarian people that the security of Central Europe is 
important to the United States and its allies." Jeszenszky spoke following 
a meeting of the presidents of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech 
Republic with Clinton. The Hungarian minister said that holding exercises 
in Hungary would require the approval of parliament but was confident that 
both parliament and public opinion would be in favor of the exercises 
because of their political implications for Hungarian security. Edith 
Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

 . . . AND SEES NO BASIS FOR BILATERAL TREATY WITH SLOVAKIA. At the same 
press conference Jeszenszky said that "it would be a mistake and 
hypocritical to sign a treaty when there are so many unresolved problems." 
The major problems are the question of the treatment of the Hungarian 
minority in Slovakia and the dispute over the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros 
hydroelectric project. As Jeszenszky put it : "when agreement is not 
possible even on more border crossings we cannot have agreement on bigger 
issues." At a separate meeting with journalists in Prague, Meciar said 
that the minority question should be solved within an evolving set of 
European norms, and criticized Hungary for giving prominence to the 
minority question, saying that Hungary's attitude helped neither Slovakia, 
Hungary nor the unity of the Visegrad countries. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN REACTIONS TO NATO SUMMIT. Reports in national media on 12 and 13 
January indicate that most Bulgarian politicians and commentators regard 
the outcome of the NATO summit in Brussels favorably. BTA says that 
leading decision-makers on national security matters, such as President 
Zhelyu Zhelev, Chief of the General Staff Lyuben Petrov, Prime Minister 
Lyuben Berov and other cabinet members, on 12 January met to request 
Zhelev to sign the documents certifying Bulgaria's participation in the 
Partnership for Peace plan, and to decide that a working group attached to 
the government will begin preparing a concrete proposal on cooperation 
with the alliance. In a letter sent to NATO Secretary General Manfred 
Woerner before the summit--though made public only on 12 January--Zhelev 
called the alliance "the sole organization disposing of real capabilities 
to defend democratic values and maintain security and stability in the 
Euroatlantic area." Distributed by BTA on the previous day, a declaration 
of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry welcomed the NATO initiative as a 
"qualitative new step" in the relations between NATO and the intended 
members of the Partnership. The declaration also said that the scheme is 
being understood a first stage toward full membership. Madeleine Albright, 
the US administration's special envoy regarding the NATO initiative, is 
due in Sofia on 13 January. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

CROATS ACCUSE MUSLIMS OF USING POISON GAS. Vjesnik on 12 January quotes 
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman as telling journalists at his press 
conference in Bonn following talks with Bosnian Muslim leaders that Muslim 
forces are using poison gas in their current offensive against central 
Bosnian Croat villages. The charges were spelled out in more detail by 
Bosnian Croat commander Gen. Ante Roso in Slobodna Dalmacija, but UN 
personnel told Reuters that there was no independent confirmation of the 
Croats' allegations. Tudjman presented Muslim leaders on 10 January with 
an extensive package deal aimed at regulating long-term political, 
economic, and defense relations between the two peoples, which he claimed 
the Muslims had agreed to in private. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic 
has since told Reuters on 12 January, however, that he "would have kissed" 
the Croat proposals had they been made a year ago, but that now it was too 
late. He also demanded that the Serbs give up all the land they have taken 
from the Muslims, claiming that the Muslims now have 200,000 men in the 
field and mean business. A commentary in the 12 January Sueddeutsche 
Zeitung notes that the Muslims have now realized that "only the results of 
war count at the Geneva peace talks" and are accordingly pressing ahead 
with their offensive against the Croats in central Bosnia. Slobodna 
Dalmacija on 13 January quotes Bosnian Roman Catholic bishops as telling 
Tudjman that 440,000 Croats in that region have become refugees out of a 
prewar population of 830,000. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

VATICAN BLASTS "UTTERLY SHAMEFUL COWARDLINESS" OVER BOSNIA. The 13 January 
New York Times quotes a document from the Rome-based Pontifical Council 
for Justice and Peace as saying that "the international community must do 
everything possible not to let the problem of minorities be solved by the 
expulsion, transfer, and, still less, extermination of peoples. There are 
collective abdications that assume the macabre form of utterly shameful 
cowardliness." Meanwhile, Pope John Paul II urged "all forms of actions 
aimed at disarming the aggressor" in Bosnia, but Church spokesmen denied 
that he was explicitly endorsing NATO's possible air strikes against Serb 
targets. The NATO proposals, moreover, would have to be endorsed by UN 
Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, international media note, but 
Boutros-Ghali told Le Figaro on 12 January that he had "no idea" as to how 
NATO's threat could be carried out and has ordered a study on the topic. 
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIA PLANS NATIONAL AIR LINKS. The Albanian Transport Ministry plans to 
provide domestic air links between Tirana and Vlora from March 1994 on, 
Rilindja Demokratike reports on 9 January. The existing military airports 
in both cities and later also in Kukes and Gjirokastra will be revamped 
for civilian traffic. The newspaper adds that the equipment of Tirana's 
and Vlora's airports is of high quality by Albanian standards, but that 
the two airports still have to be equipped with modern technology to be 
used for civil aviation. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

GREEK TRADE UNIONS VOLUNTEER TO BLOCK OIL DELIVERY TO MACEDONIA. The union 
at the Esko refinery in Salonika has decided to suspend the delivery of 
oil to the refinery in Skopje, Rilindja reports on 8 January. The decision 
is meant as a protest against the establishing of diplomatic relations 
between Macedonia and several EU countries. According to Rilindja the 
unionists said that "none of our products will reach that country." 
Elsewhere, The Daily Telegraph on 10 January quoted the British ambassador 
to Macedonia, Tony Millson, as saying: "the oil trains are still coming 
through from Salonika, otherwise we wouldn't be sitting here with the 
lights on." Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

ILIESCU MEETS DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION LEADERS. President Ion Iliescu on 12 
January discussed Romania's social, political and economic crisis with 
leaders of the main opposition group, the Democratic Convention of 
Romania. Iliescu rebuffed DCR proposals for a broad coalition government 
and early elections, suggesting that changes at the top could only disrupt 
the work of government and that new elections would probably not alter the 
balance of power in parliament. DCR Chairman Emil Constantinescu, on the 
other hand, insisted that the democratic opposition is ready to accept 
political responsibility within a new governmental formula. Radio 
Bucharest covered the meeting extensively, which was part of a series of 
consultations between Iliescu and parties represented in parliament. In 
another development, the president on 12 January signed a bill authorizing 
the government to rule by decree during this month's parliamentary recess. 
Opposition leaders had challenged the law before the Constitutional Court, 
which rejected their plea on 11 January. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOME PROGRESS IN LATVIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS. Both the Latvian and Russian 
delegation leaders, Martins Virsis and Segei Zotov, told the press on 12 
January that basic agreement had been reached on the status of the Skrunda 
radar site , but that the two sides had not agreed on the duration of 
Russian jurisdiction over the radar. Concerning the detention of the two 
Russian generals that preceded the talks, Zotov said that Russia had 
reacted adequately. Diena reported on 12 January that Andrejs Rucs, who 
had ordered their detention, had voluntarily gone to the state prosecutor 
earlier that morning and had been thoroughly questioned. Pending further 
investigation, his testimony has not been made public. From the available 
information in the Latvian media, several questions emerge about the 
incident: the takeover of the residential buildings of the Russian 
military was planned by the Riga district officials some time ago and the 
Northwestern Group of Forces was reportedly notified of these plans on 6 
January, but the NWGF commander Leonid Mayorov claims that he learned of 
the plans only on 10 January after the two generals were already on their 
way to the takeover site; to date high-ranking Russians officers had not 
been present at such takeovers and it is, therefore, remarkable that two 
generals came to take part in this takeover; furthermore, Latvian TV was 
informed of the takeover in advance and covered it, while the state 
security officials were apparently not informed or did not react to the 
information that was available. Further investigation is expected to shed 
light on these and other questions. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc., RFE/RL, 
Inc.

RUSSIAN ARMY IN MOLDOVA CHARGED WITH HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. 
Representatives of human rights monitoring organizations, including 
Helsinki Watch, told a news conference in Moscow of incidents of brutality 
toward civilians committed by Russian troops in newly independent states, 
AFP reported on 12 January. In a recently released report, "Human Rights 
and Russian Military Involvement in the 'Near Abroad,'" Helsinki Watch 
found that the Russian government's responsibility for facilitating the 
escalation of human rights abuses by its military is "perhaps clearest" in 
Moldova. Listing evidence of military support to the "Dniester republic" 
by Russia's 14th Army and the resulting "numerous violations of 
international humanitarian law," Helsinki Watch noted that the Russian 
government had not only failed to discipline those responsible but had 
even promoted or awarded medals to some of them. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Patrick Moore & Suzanne Crow

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

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