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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 communiquЋ 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
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