Лишь очень немногие живут сегодняшним днем. Большинство готовится жить позднее. - Д. Свифт
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 9, 14 January 1994

CIS

TRILATERAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS AGREEMENT SIGNED. On 14 January, Presidents 
Clinton, Kravchuk and Yeltsin signed the trilateral agreement on the 
elimination of the nuclear weapons located in Ukraine. According to Radio 
Mayak, the agreement includes "a joint statement which has the status of a 
treaty, an appendix to it" and letters from the presidents. Presumably the 
letters spell out the security guarantees to be given to Ukraine. Mayak 
also reported that some 200 warheads will be transferred to Russia over 
the next ten months, and Reuters adds that during the same time period 
Russia will deliver 100 tons of nuclear fuel to Ukraine. At the press 
conference of Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin, Clinton noted that the SS-24 
ICBMs will all be deactivated within 10 months. Mayak reported that the 
agreement does not include a full timetable for the withdrawal of 
warheads, although the agreement does provide for their withdrawal "in the 
shortest possible time." Work on the timetable is continuing and reports 
indicate that the current draft timetable will apparently not be made 
public. (The defunct Massandra agreements between Ukraine and Russia of 
September 1993 provided for all warheads to be withdrawn in 24 months, 
suggesting that a rapid transfer of weapons is possible.) John Lepingwell, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

URANIUM AGREEMENT SIGNED. In addition to the accord on nuclear weapons, 
Russia and the US concluded a contract on uranium sales, which sets the 
terms for the sale of uranium from the dismantled warheads. Viktor 
Mikhailov, the Minister for Atomic Energy, told ITAR-TASS on 14 January 
that the uranium will come from some 20,000 warheads to be dismantled. The 
contract calls for Russia to sell up to 500 metric tons of highly enriched 
uranium to the US over a twenty year period, with total sales amounting to 
some $12 billion. The contract also apparently resolves an ongoing dispute 
between the two countries over market share for nuclear fuel. The US has 
been concerned that Russia was dumping its fuel, while Russia has been 
trying to expand its small 5-6% share of the world market. Yeltsin noted 
in his press conference statement that one reason for the difficult 
two-year long negotiations on uranium sales was Western fear of Russian 
technology and cheaper material costs. Reuters reports that the terms of 
the contract will be evaluated annually, to take into account fluctuations 
in demand and fuel price. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

KRAVCHUK FACES CONFRONTATION WITH PARLIAMENT OVER NUCLEAR DEAL. With the 
terms of the trilateral nuclear deal still not officially announced in 
Ukraine, the level of concern about a possible "sellout" by President 
Kravchuk and his disregard for parliament has been growing. On 13 January, 
Ukrainian and Western media reported that political leaders and 
legislators ranging from Oleksandr Moroz, the head of the neo-Communist 
Socialist Party of Ukraine, to Stepan Khmara, the leader of the radical 
nationalist Ukrainian Conservative Republican Party have voiced their 
skepticism, or, more often, their opposition, to a deal which they 
consider has been done behind their backs and which they suspect, as Rukh 
leader Vyacheslav Chornovil, put it, amounts to an act of "shameful 
capitulation." Deputies are also warning, as Bohdan Horyn, the deputy head 
of the foreign affairs commission, told Reuters, that Kravchuk's handling 
of the matter is leading to a "dangerous" confrontation with parliament on 
the eve of parliamentary elections in the country. As for the judicial 
force which Kravchuk's signature carries on international agreements, 
Article 114-5 of the Constitution of Ukraine states that the President 
"shall conduct negotiations and sign inter-state and international 
treaties of Ukraine, which come into effect after ratification by the 
Supreme Council (parliament) of Ukraine." Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA

FACTIONS DETERMINED IN STATE DUMA. Parliamentary groups and factions in 
the State Duma were determined in meetings on 13 January, Reuters and 
Interfax reported. Independent deputies united to form a group called "new 
regional policy" led by Vladimir Medvedev, an official in the oil 
industry. This group has 65 seats-many more than original figures for the 
independent deputies had indicated. The largest faction is still the 
pro-reform Russia's Choice, with 76 seats; the far-right Liberal Democrats 
have 63 seats; the Agrarian party 55; and the Communist Party 45. Then 
come two reformist groups: Sergei Shakhrai's Party of Russian Unity and 
Concord with 30 seats and Grigorii Yavlinsky's YABLOKO bloc with 25 seats. 
The Women of Russia has 23; and Nikolai Travkin's Democratic Party of 
Russia has fifteen. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc.

ELECTIONS OF CHAIRMAN BEGIN. The State Duma met in the afternoon of 13 
January to elect a chairman, ITAR-TASS reported. Ten candidates were 
proposed by the factions which had met earlier in the day; four of them, 
including LDP leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Anatolii Lukyanov, the 
former Supreme Soviet Chairman now on trial in the 1991 coup case, later 
withdrew their candidacies. In the vote which followed, Ivan Rybkin of the 
Agrarian Party and Yurii Vlasov, a nationalist who chairs a deputies' bloc 
called "Russian Way," came in first and second with 233 and 200 votes 
respectively. The final secret ballot between Rybkin and Vlasov will be 
held on 14 January. Both are known as opponents of Yeltsin's reformist 
policies. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc.

SHUMEIKO SAYS YELTSIN SHOULD SERVE SECOND TERM. In an interview with 
Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung on 13 January, newly-elected speaker of the 
upper house of the Russian parliament, Vladimir Shumeiko, said Yeltsin 
should serve a second term as head of state. (Yeltsin said earlier he 
would most probably not run as candidate in the next presidential 
elections.) Shumeiko argued that the buildup of the Russian presidency 
should not be interrupted. He said talk of Vladimir Zhirinovsky as a 
possible president means that the office does not yet have the respect it 
should get. He also argued that the communists are much more dangerous 
than Zhirinovsky. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHUBAIS TO KEEP HIS JOB. Boris Yeltsin has signed a decree aimed both at 
"ensuring the continuation of the privatization process" and at ensuring 
that Anatolii Chubais, chairman of the State Committee overseeing 
privatization, retains his post as deputy prime minister, Russian 
Television announced on 13 January. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin is 
expected to announce a government re-shuffle next week. Elizabeth Teague, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

LATEST ESTIMATE OF RUSSIAN UNEMPLOYMENT. Russia's Ministry of Labor says 
that the official data, which put the number of people out of work in 
Russia at around one million, seriously underestimate the number of 
unemployed. ITAR-TASS on 12 January quoted Vladimir Varov, deputy minister 
of labor, as saying the true number is between 4 and 5 million people, or 
5-6 percent of the workforce. Of these, one million are officially 
registered as unemployed while the rest are "working for bankrupt 
enterprises, living on state subsidies disguised as wages, and producing 
nothing that anyone needs." The Los Angeles Times noted on 13 January that 
the government feels "the economy now is in better shape than in the past 
to withstand the rigors of shedding inefficient state-supported 
industries," but, in the wake of Zhirinovsky's electoral success, it is 
even more fearful than before that speeding up reforms might provoke a 
popular revolt. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

YAVLINSKY PESSIMISTIC ABOUT REFORM. Interviewed on CNN on 13 January. 
reformist economist Grigorii Yavlinsky predicted that the person elected 
to the chair the lower and more influential house of the Russian 
parliament, the State Duma, will be a member of a group opposed to 
Yeltsin's reforms-probably the Agrarian Party which is informally allied 
with the Communist Party-and that this will provoke confrontation between 
the president and the parliament. Yavlinsky said that, because of the 
strong powers the new constitution vests in the president, the future of 
reform depends not on parliament, but on Yeltsin. But, he added, he 
doubted whether Yeltsin now has either the will or the ability to put 
reforms through. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

"PAMYAT" REFUSED OFFICIAL REGISTRATION. The Russian Ministry of Justice 
has refused to register the extremist nationalist and anti-Semitic 
organization Pamyat (Memory), Ekho Moskvy reported on 11 January. The 
reason cited was that Pamyat's charter contradicts Russia's new 
constitution, Article 13 of which prohibits "the fueling of social, 
racial, national, or religious strife." Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ABKHAZIA, GEORGIA REQUEST UN PEACEKEEPERS. On the third and final day of 
the current round of UN sponsored talks in Geneva, the Georgian and Abkhaz 
delegations reached agreement on the start of repatriation of Georgian 
refugees under the supervision of a UN peacekeeping force to Gali raion in 
southeast Abkhazia, and the creation of a demilitarized zone along the 
river Inguri which forms the border between Abkhazia and the rest of 
Georgia, Western agencies reported. The precise composition of the 
peacekeeping force was not determined, but both sides agreed on the 
inclusion of Russian troops. Talks will resume in early February in Moscow 
on the future constitutional status of Abkhazia. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

SHEVARDNADZE ENDORSES "PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE" BUT HEDGES HIS BETS. 
Speaking at a press conference in Ankara on the final day of his visit to 
Turkey, Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze welcomed as "fair 
but prudent" NATO's Partnership for Peace offer and stated that Georgia 
intends to enter into "close cooperation" with NATO, Western agencies 
reported. At the same time, Shevardnadze argued that closer cooperation 
between the CIS and the countries of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, 
such as the creation of a security system, would likewise serve as a 
factor for stability in the Caucasus and Eastern and Central Europe, 
according to ITAR-TASS. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW PARTY FORMED IN UZBEKISTAN. Dissident members of the Uzbek opposition 
Erk Party have founded their own political organization, the new group's 
Deputy Chairman Abdulqadir Zahidiy told an RFE/RL correspondent on 12 
January. The chairman of the new party, Istiqlal yoli (Path of 
Independence), is Shodi Karimov, a history professor who sought to take 
over the leadership of Erk from founder Muhammad Salih at the party's 
congress in 1993 and later published a lengthy attack on Erk in the 
official Uzbek parliamentary daily Khalq sozi. The new party will, 
according to Zahidiy, be a "positive" opposition, seeking consultation 
with the government rather than confrontation. Erk has been unable to 
re-register as a political party; Istiqlal yoli has already submitted an 
application for registration and its chances for acceptance of the 
application seem good. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

POLAND "MORE SECURE" WITH PARTNERSHIP. "Poland is more secure today than 
it was yesterday," Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski announced at a 
press conference held in Warsaw on 13 January to sum up the Prague summit. 
Poland's vocal campaign before the summit for a better offer from NATO had 
influenced the wording of the Partnership for Peace plan, Olechowski 
indicated, specifically in terms of the inclusion of Ukraine and the 
explicit declaration that NATO welcomes new members in the future. Prime 
Minister Waldemar Pawlak said that the Western powers had agreed to make 
up for the lack of explicit political guarantees with specific concessions 
on trade and economic cooperation. Poland's idea of a "partnership for 
growth" met with a warm reception, Pawlak reported, and US President Bill 
Clinton pledged to press Europe to open its markets to East European 
exporters. Emphasizing the lack of border conflicts in the region or 
minority problems in Poland, Olechowski predicted that work on the 
long-delayed bilateral treaty with Lithuania could be finished by the end 
of January. Lithuania is the only one of Poland's seven neighbors with 
which a treaty has yet to be concluded. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH DELEGATION ASSURES GERMANY OF STABILITY. Sejm Speaker Jozef Oleksy 
headed a parliamentary delegation on an official visit to Germany on 11-14 
January. Chancellor Helmut Kohl unexpectedly received the delegation on 13 
January. Oleksy, a leading figure in the postcommunist Democratic Left 
Alliance, took pains to convince German political and business leaders 
that the new leftist government is committed to stability and continuity 
in economic policy. "Although the opposition won the Polish elections, 
there was no earthquake," Oleksy said during a speech in Bonn on 13 
January. "We are a country of great political stability, in which 
extremist positions have been forced where they belong, to the margins of 
public life." The Polish delegation attended the Bundestag debate devoted 
to NATO's Partnership for Peace plan on 13 January. Kohl stressed during 
the debate that it is "inconceivable that the Polish-German border will 
permanently remain the boundary of the EU." German Defense Minister Volker 
Ruehe noted that joint maneuvers with NATO's East European partners could 
begin before the end of 1994. At a press conference on 13 January, Oleksy 
announced that a visit by Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak to Germany is in 
the works. PAP reports the visit could take place as soon as in early 
February. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARY PREPARES FOR PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. According to Ministry of 
Defense department head Csaba Kiss, ministry experts began already last 
October to work out plans designed to allow Hungarian soldiers to 
participate in the Partnership for Peace program, MTI reports on 13 
January. Kiss said that the aim is to bring defense planning into line 
with NATO norms and to strengthen civilian control over the military. The 
latter required closer cooperation in organizational matters between the 
Ministry of Defense and Hungarian Army Headquarters. Kiss said that 
Hungarian soldiers will receive special training for humanitarian aid and 
emergency missions in order to enable them to take part in peace-keeping 
missions not only as individual observers but also as independent 
subordinate units. The air defense system will also have to conform to 
NATO norms, which involves installing friend-foe identification systems in 
Hungarian planes and setting up a radar system on the ground that can 
communicate with NATO planes. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

FRENCH CHIEF OF STAFF TO BUCHAREST. On 13 January a high-ranking French 
military delegation headed by Admiral Jacques Lanxade started an official 
visit to Romania. Lanxade was received by President Ion Iliescu, Foreign 
Minister Teodor Melescanu and Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu. The talks 
focused on NATO's policy towards Eastern Europe and the recent Brussels 
summit, bilateral military cooperation, the Yugoslav crisis and other 
issues of mutual interest. In a separate development, Romania's main 
independent daily Romania Libera on 10 January quoted Spiroiu as saying 
that "it is in our interest to join [NATO] as soon as possible. However, 
it is not important if we enter [the organization], but rather that no 
discrimination takes place by accepting other countries form Central and 
Eastern Europe." The latter point is presumably a reference to the 
Visegrad states. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

MACEDONIA WANTS MEMBERSHIP IN NATO'S PROJECT. News agencies on 13 January 
quoted President Kiro Gligorov as telling visiting US congressmen that his 
country wants to join the Partnership for Peace plan. He sees this as a 
means of protecting Macedonia from "a spillover of war" from neighboring 
areas. The NATO project does not officially include any former Yugoslav 
republics, but Slovenia and Croatia generally see close relations with the 
Atlantic alliance as an integral part of their "joining Europe." Patrick 
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVA WISHES TO JOIN NATO'S PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. "Moldova wishes to 
cooperate more closely with NATO, to establish links with its 
structures...and to participate in the Partnership for Peace, which 
constitutes an important stage toward integration into the Euro-Atlantic 
security structures," the Foreign Ministry said in an official statement 
reported by Basapress on 13 January. Last month a Euro-Atlantic Center was 
inaugurated in Chisinau. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOSNIAN MUSLIMS MAY CALL FOR BOYCOTT OF NATO COUNTRIES' GOODS. Western 
news agencies on 13 January quoted Bosnia's UN Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey 
as saying that his country might ask other Muslim nations not to buy goods 
from NATO states and others that oppose lifting the arms embargo on the 
Bosnian Muslim forces. Britain and France have been especially outspoken 
against lifting the embargo, arguing that to do so would place their 
troops serving with UN forces there in jeopardy. The Sarajevo government 
has said repeatedly that all it wants in the way of outside military 
support is air strikes and a lifting of the embargo, thereby enabling 
Muslim ground troops to do their own fighting. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

CONTACTS BETWEEN BOSNIAN MUSLIMS AND THE ISLAMIC WORLD. Reuters reported 
on 12 January that foreign ministers of eight Muslim states will meet in 
Geneva on 17 January to give political support to the Bosnian Muslims in 
the peace talks slated to resume the following day. On 10 January, Western 
news agencies reported from Ankara that Turkish Prime Minister Tansu 
Ciller and her Pakistani counterpart Banazir Bhutto will go to Sarajevo in 
early February in a demonstration of solidarity with the Muslim cause. The 
Los Angeles Times quoted Ciller as saying that she wants "to draw the 
attention of the world one more time [to show] that this is simply a 
massacre.... It's a moral issue." The Bosnian Muslims are for the most 
part a highly secular people, but their leadership has sought close ties 
to both secular and religious Muslim countries alike, especially in the 
face of what the Bosnian Muslims regard as indifference on the part of 
Western countries to their fate. The Bosnian leadership has often been 
less than pleased with the amount of support the embattled republic has 
actually received from the Islamic world, but it continues to press 
nonetheless. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW SERBIAN CURRENCY ON MONDAY. As Bosnian Serb forces continued to pound 
Sarajevo and Srebrenica, and as Serbs and Croats in Croatia announced an 
extension of their Christmas truce to the end of January, Reuters on 13 
January quotes government economists in Serbia-Montenegro as saying that a 
new "gold dinar" will be launched on 17 January. The currency will be 
pegged to the German mark at one-to-one, but other economists say there is 
not enough gold or hard currency to back this latest attempt at stopping 
inflation, which rages at one million percent a month. The government 
blames international sanctions for the problem, but the Milosevic regime's 
neo-Stalinist economic policies and incessant printing of bank notes are 
more likely to blame. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN PARTIES WILL NOT JOIN COALITION WITH SERBS. Neither the ethnic 
Albanian Party for Democratic Action nor the Democratic Party of Albanians 
are ready to join a coalition with Serbian opposition parties, Borba 
reported on 13 January. These parties represent Albanians in southern 
Serbia proper, an area to the north of Kosovo. The daily quotes the 
president of the Democratic Party of Albanians, Zecerija Fazlju, as saying 
that this is what most party members want. Fazlju added, however, that 
when parliament actually meets his party might join a coalition. A 
possible coalition is most likely between the Albanian parties, both of 
which come from southern Serbian districts with an Albanian majority 
outside Kosovo, and with the Democratic Union of Vojvodina Hungarians. 
Ismet Sadiku, the leader of the Party for Democratic Action, already said 
in Borba on 5 January that "a coalition with Serbian political parties is 
out of the question." In contrast to the Albanians in southern Serbia, the 
Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo boycotted the elections and 
continue to boycott Serbian political life in general. Elsewhere, AFP on 
14 January quotes the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as urging European 
governments to accept asylum-seekers from Kosovo during the current 
winter. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

YUGOSLAV ARMY TANK DRAGGED FUEL TANKER FROM ALBANIA. A tank from the 
rump-Yugoslav army crossed the Albanian border from Montenegro to pull a 
contraband fuel tanker out of the mud, Reuters reports on 12 January. 
There was no official comment from the Albanian government on the 
incident, which was monitored by villagers near the town of Moriqani. The 
government claims to enforce the embargo against Serbia-Montenegro, but 
Reuters quotes the Albanian daily Lajmtari as saying that fuel containers 
cross the Montenegrin border every day. The Albanian police nonetheless 
seized a Greek ship carrying 1,200 tons of gasoline bound for Montenegro 
in the port of Vlore on 11 January. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

CRIMEAN ELECTIONS. Elections to the post of president of the autonomous 
Crimean republic are scheduled for this Sunday, January 16. Six candidates 
have been registered by the local electoral commission, and all but one, 
the current parliamentary speaker Mykola Bahrov, have said that they do 
not preclude a change in the peninsula's status, Radio Ukraine reports on 
13 January. The political parties supporting a pro-Russian orientation 
have formed the "Russia" electoral bloc, and there have been rumors that 
these groups will withdraw their presidential candidates in favor of a 
single pro-Russian candidate in order to increase their electoral chances. 
Meanwhile, the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, which earlier resolved to boycott the 
elections, has now decided to support Bahrov. Roman Solchanyk, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH NEWSPAPER EDITOR RESIGNS, CITES INTERFERENCE. Jaromir Setina, 
editor-in-chief of the Czech daily newspaper Lidove Noviny, has resigned 
in protest over what he described as editorial interference from the 
newspaper's new majority owner. In a statement published in Lidove Noviny 
on 13 January, Setina said that Ringier AG, the Swiss publishing company 
that acquired 51% of the
newspaper in November 1993 and has significant holdings in 16 other Czech 
newspapers, had taken steps which threatened the newspaper's independence. 
Ringier's board of directors and the Ringier company denied the charges in 
statements published next to Setina's statement. Lidove Noviny was founded 
in 1893, banned by Communists in 1943, and was revived illegally in 1988 
by Czech dissidents, including current Czech President Vaclav Havel and 
former Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier. It returned to daily, legal 
publication in 1989, following the fall of the communist regime. It 
currently sells 100,000 copies daily. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK NATIONAL PROPERTY FUND OFFICIALS RESIGN. On 13 January seven 
officials of the National Property Fund (FNM) resigned from their posts, 
including FNM presidium Vice President Ladislav Melcicky, as well as the 
chairman and five members of the FNM Executive Committee. Premier Vladimir 
Meciar, who has been serving as president of the FNM presidium, said the 
officials complained of centralized executive power, which has led to a 
slower transfer of property rights. Meciar said stronger authority of the 
presidium was necessary; the FNM has held irregular board meetings in 
major joint-stock companies because the Executive Committee "did not 
ensure the transfer of property rights in accordance with the FNM 
presidium's requirements." Meciar said the resignations also relate to 
problems with the Slovak Insurance Company (SP), which according to him 
has taken several steps without informing the FNM presidium. SP Chairman 
Vladimir Horvath rejected suspicions that the SP has violated the law. Jan 
Kato, current deputy chairman of the FNM Executive Committee, was 
appointed its new chairman; other committee members will be elected on 17 
January. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SQUABBLING IN SLOVAK NATIONAL PARTY. A 10 January statement of western 
Slovak representatives of the Slovak National Party, in which they accuse 
SNP Chairman Ludovit Cernak of secretly negotiating with ethnic Hungarian 
parliamentary leaders about the removal of Premier Vladimir Meciar, has 
brought further strain in the party. The SNP, which is the coalition 
partner of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, announced a split on 22 
December, and recent squabbling threatens the government's parliamentary 
majority, which is now only 79 of 150 seats. On 11 January Cernak accused 
SNP Honorary Chairman Jozef Prokes, an alleged author of the statement, of 
working against the SNP's executive leadership. Expressing frustration 
with MDS policies, Cernak said the creation of his SNP faction shows "that 
not all deputies of the SNP are in the group which defends only the 
interests of the MDS," TASR reports. In a 13 January meeting of the SNP 
parliamentary deputies with representatives in the former Czechoslovak 
Federal Assembly, the former federal parliamentarians expressed their 
distrust in the current SNP leadership. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIA TO BUY UP COMMERCIAL DEBT? Returning from a two-day meeting with 
representatives of commercial creditors in Frankfurt, on 13 January 
Finance Minister Stoyan Aleksandrov told reporters that Bulgaria may seek 
to resolve its considerable debt problems by purchasing liabilities 
directly from the country's major creditors. Aleksandrov said that, if 
parliament lends its support, the government will launch an international 
campaign to promote the repurchasing scheme, as well as to persuade some 
creditors to invest in Bulgaria. Bulgaria owes more than $9 billion to its 
commercial creditors and the debt is currently sold for slightly above 35 
cents per owed dollar on the open market. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

US OPENS INFORMATION OFFICE IN CLUJ. Radio Bucharest reported on 13 
January that the United States opened an information office in 
Cluj-Napoca, the main city in Transylvania. The bureau's mission is to 
provide information about the US to the Romanian public, especially in the 
fields of culture, education, science and trade. It has no consular powers 
and is not entitled to issue visas. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVA FACING RUSSIAN DUAL CITIZENSHIP DEMAND. The daily Observatorul de 
Chisinau published on 12 January a document submitted by the Russian side 
through the CIS Secretariat at the CIS summit in Ashgabat last month, 
opening the way for granting Russians residing in CIS member states the 
citizenship of the Russian Federation in addition to the citizenship of 
the given state. The detailed document seems to have been leaked by 
Moldovan officials to expose the move, which the government itself had 
kept from the public. Moldova has until now opposed such dual citizenship 
as an abridgment of sovereignty, and sidestepped the issue at Ashgabat; 
but its position appears to be weakening in the face of Russia's recently 
intensified demands for dual citizenship. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN MOVEMENT IN LATVIA FOR RETURN TO RUSSIA. Interfax reported on 8 
January that 140 Russian families living in Latvia have addressed a letter 
to US President Clinton expressing their desire to reestablish permanent 
residence in Russia. They ask the president to facilitate their return by 
providing assistance in the building of a construction materials factory, 
creamery, and a meat packing plant in the Pskov region, which borders on 
Latvia. The families belong to a movement, called Korni (Roots), that aims 
to facilitate the repatriation of Russians to their homeland and they 
stress that they do not want to be "a blind weapon in the hands of 
nationalists like Zhirinovsky and his party." Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, the 
movement's leader, said that about 5,000 persons are ready to leave Latvia 
for Russia. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT BANS CASINOS. On 11 January the Seimas prohibited 
gambling and casinos by adopting several amendments to the law on 
enterprises, BNS reported on 12 January. On 27 July the government had 
issued a decree authorizing the establishment and licensing of casinos, 
slot machines, and lotteries from which it expected to receive about 11-12 
million litai ($3 million) in revenues per year. Finance Minister Eduardas 
Vilkelis told a press conference that he hoped that President Algirdas 
Brazauskas would not sign the amendments, noting that foreign investors 
had agreed to invest $12 million in privatizing the Lietuva Hotel only if 
it had a casino. The ban on gambling had been proposed by the right-wing 
opposition, whose leader Gediminas Vagnorius said that he was sure that 
casinos would be established in the future when legal institutions worked 
more effectively and then "only in certain territories." 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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Updated: 1998-11-

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