Осанка человека - фасад души. - Грасиан
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 12, 19 January 1994

CIS

KOZYREV STATEMENT AND DENIAL ON BALTICS. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei 
Kozyrev was quoted by ITAR-TASS (in English; ITAR-TASS in Russian did not 
carry details) on 18 January as saying during a speech to Russian 
ambassadors to the CIS and the Baltic states: "We should not withdraw from 
those regions which have been the sphere of Russian interests for 
centuries;" we should not fear the words "military presence." He also 
reportedly said that it is necessary for Russia to keep its military 
presence in former Soviet republics to prevent forces hostile to Russia 
from filling the "security vacuum." Notably, Kozyrev was reported to have 
included the Baltic states in what he described as a region of "vital" 
interest to Russia and one also poses a "major threat" to those interests. 
Kozyrev's aide, Galina Sidorova, was quick to deny that Kozyrev had 
included the Baltic states in his formulation, saying that the press had 
misrepresented his remarks. The Baltic aspect was the only part of the 
speech Sidorova disclaimed. Kozyrev has stated in public on a number of 
occasions (including in interviews with Izvestiya on 8 October and with 
Nezavisimaya gazeta on 24 November) that Russia intends to hold on to 
positions conquered over the centuries by maintaining military bases 
and/or peacekeeping operations in these areas. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

US QUESTIONS KOZYREV STATEMENT. Washington responded quickly to press 
reports of Kozyrev's statements. US State Dept. spokesman Mike McCurry 
said that the US embassy in Moscow was looking for a full transcript of 
Kozyrev's remarks. He noted that the United States has "told the Russian 
government repeatedly that we expect prompt withdrawal of all Russian 
troops from Estonia and Latvia," and that this topic was discussed during 
recent talks between Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton. McCurry said, "we 
don't accept any view that suggests Russia should assert or exercise a 
special role or prerogative . . . inconsistent with the UN charter, the 
principles of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and 
general principles of international law," Western agencies reported. 
Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA WARNS OF WARHEAD DANGER. At a press conference held by the Russian 
Ministry of Defense, General Colonel Evgenii Maslin warned that the 
nuclear warheads in Ukraine are becoming unsafe. According to ITAR-TASS 
and Ostankino TV of 18 January, Maslin called for the immediate 
commencement of warhead withdrawal and claimed that Russia could 
accomplish the withdrawal within one year. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEFENSE MINISTRY BACKS KRAVCHUK. Ukrainian Defense Minister Vitalii 
Radetsky on 18 January informed reporters that he supported the trilateral 
agreement, UNIAR reported. On the same day Reuters reported that the 
commander of the 43rd Missile Army (the strategic rocket forces located in 
Ukraine), Lt. General Vladimir Mikhtyuk, expressed concern over the 
condition of the warheads and suggested that they were becoming 
increasingly hazardous due to improper storage. The admission that the 
warheads may be dangerous contradicts other recent statements by Ukrainian 
defense officials. On 16 December UKRINFORM-TASS reported Mikhtyuk had 
summarized an official Ministry of Defense report on the weapons by noting 
that while there were problems, the situation was "under control" and he 
had dismissed warnings of a "second Chernobyl." The about-face suggests 
that the Defense Ministry is being enlisted in the effort to sell the 
accord to the Ukrainian parliament. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMPLEMENTATION OF DEAL AFTER MARCH? Interfax on 18 January reported that 
at a press conference on the same day, an arms control official in the 
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, stated that the 
trilateral deal would not be implemented until after START-1 was ratified. 
There has been no separate confirmation of this report. This would seem to 
delay implementation until after the 27 March election of a new 
parliament, after which President Kravchuk plans to resubmit START-1 for 
ratification. Those parts of the deal which have been publicly released by 
the US do not specify any starting point for implementation, an unusual 
omission in a formal agreement. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUS APPROVES CIS CHARTER. The Belarusian parliament on 18 January 
ratified the charter of the Commonwealth of Independent States but 
included two caveats, Radio Liberty's Belarusian Service reported that 
day. One caveat stated that the Belarus parliament must approve any 
participation by Belarusian troops in conflict areas; the other stipulated 
that any Belarusian troops sent to such areas must be volunteers. The 
opposition did not take part in the voting. So far six states have 
ratified the CIS Charter- Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, 
Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan- while Azerbaijan and Georgia are expected to 
ratify the agreement in the near future. At the Ashgabat summit CIS 
leaders extended the term of the ratification for the Charter for Moldova 
by three months. The deadline for its ratification had been 23 January 
1994. Elizabeth Teague & Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA

FEDOROV NOT ACCEPTING JOB OFFER. President Boris Yeltsin and Prime 
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin have been unsuccessful in keeping Finance 
Minister Boris Fedorov in the government, Russian and Western news 
agencies reported on 18 January. Fedorov was demanding the resignation of 
Central Bank head Viktor Gerashchenko and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr 
Zaveryukha as a condition for his staying on. Reports of the departure of 
Fedorov were greeted with dismay by reformers, many of whom forecast a 
dramatic increase in inflation in the near future. In a related story, 
Deputy Minister Aleksandr Shokhin, currently in charge of international 
financial issues, has been offered the post of Minister of the Economy 
that was vacated by Egor Gaidar on 16 January. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

 . . . AND RUBLE CONTINUES TUMBLE. As a result of recently introduced 
restrictions on the use of hard currency and growing uncertainty about the 
future of economic reform the ruble has lost about 20% of its value 
vis-a-vis the dollar over the course of the last week. On 18 January, in 
the wake of reports of Fedorov's departure, the ruble-dollar exchange rate 
at the Moscow Interbank currency exchange shot up from 1,402 to 1,504, 
according to various Russian and Western news agencies. Erik Whitlock, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN TO NAME SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE TO PARLIAMENT. In yet another sign 
that he is interested in establishing better working relations with the 
new parliament than he had with the previous one, President Yeltsin signed 
a decree establishing the post of personal representative to the 
parliament. Yeltsin's spokesman told AP on 18 January that the head of the 
presidential administration, Sergei Filatov, was instructed to define the 
duties of the representative and propose a candidate. The spokesman said 
the post will be occupied by a "very important figure," but he did not 
give any indication of who it might be. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

STATE DUMA ELECTS MORE COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN. On 18 January, the State Duma 
continued to elect chairmen of its committees, ITAR-TASS reported. 
Representatives of Russia's Choice will head four committees--on defense, 
on the organization of the work of the Duma, on information policy, and on 
health issues. Sergei Shakhrai's Party of Russian Unity and Concord will 
have control over three committees--on the CIS and ties with the Russians 
living abroad, on the problems of federation and regionalism, and on 
issues of local self-government. The chairmanship of two committees--on 
legislation and legal reform, and on agriculture--went to representatives 
of the Agrarian Party. Committees on international relations and on 
taxation went to representatives of YABLOKO. Communists will chair 
committees on security issues, and on activities of political and 
religious organizations; the New Regional Policy faction will control 
committees on nationalities issues, and on privatization. The committee on 
economic policy will be chaired by a representative of the Democratic 
Party of Russia. Zhirinovsky's LDP got control over five committees (see 
Daily Report no. 11). Zhirinovsky personally is not chairing any 
committee. He was initially expected to be in charge of the committee on 
geopolitics, but the post eventually went to another LDP 
representative--Viktor Ustinov. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA VOTES AGAINST CONSTRUCTION OF NEW PARLIAMENT BUILDING. The State Duma 
voted overwhelmingly on 18 January against government plans to spend 500 
million dollars on the construction of a new parliament building, Russian 
Television "Vesti" reported. A resolution supported by 365 deputies stated 
it was unreasonable to spend so much money on the building at the time 
Russia was facing a financial crisis. Egor Gaidar cited the decision to 
allocate money for the new parliament building as one of the reasons 
behind his resignation from the government. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOSCOW DUMA STARTS WORK. The Moscow city Duma (Moscow's new local 
government) was elected on 12 December and has begun its work, 
Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 12 January. Moscow was the first city to 
elect a new local government; Yeltsin has ordered that elections for local 
legislatures in other regions of Russia are to be held this spring, and 
preparations for these elections are getting underway throughout the 
country. Meanwhile, the Moscow city administration has forbidden a march 
to Red Square commemorating the seventieth anniversary of Lenin's birth 
that was planned for next Saturday (22 January) by hardline communist 
organizations, including "Working Russia." Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

BAKU TURKIC SUMMIT POSTPONED SINE DIE. The summit of heads of state from 
Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey 
that was scheduled to take place in Baku on 21-22 January has been 
postponed sine die "for technical reasons", according to ITAR-TASS quoting 
an Azerbaijani presidential spokesman. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

KYRGYZSTAN JOINS CENTRAL ASIAN UNION. Kyrgyzstan has joined the economic 
union established recently by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, according to 
Interfax on 16 January and Reuters--citing Uzbek news sources--on 18 
January. A joint communiqu▌ released during Uzbek president Islam Karimov 
visit to Bishkek on 16 January indicated that the three nations would work 
to reduce tariffs in the region and coordinate fiscal and monetary 
policies. Karimov signed a number of other bilateral economic and cultural 
agreements on his visit to Bishkek. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

DISPUTE OVER DUAL CITIZENSHIP CONTINUES IN KYRGYZSTAN. The press service 
of Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev issued a statement on 18 January, 
reminding citizens that Akaev's proposal to introduce the possibility of 
dual citizenship must be submitted to the decision of the country's 
legislature, ITAR-TASS reported. Akaev suggested that at least temporary 
acceptance of dual citizenship could help reduce the fears of 
Russian-speaking citizens of Kyrgyzstan that they have little future in 
the country. Two of the major Kyrgyz parties, Asaba and Erkin Kyrgyzstan, 
have sharply criticized Akaev for his proposal. Kyrgyzstan's legislature 
rejected dual citizenship during the 1993 debates on the country's new 
constitution. Russia has pressured Kyrgyzstan, along with the other 
Central Asian states, to accept dual citizenship. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

KAZAKHSTAN BEGINS TO SET UP NAVY. Kazakhstan has begun acting on its 
earlier decision to create its own navy on the basis of its share of the 
USSR's Caspian Sea fleet, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 January. The 
Kazakhstani fleet is to be stationed near the city of Aktau on the 
Mangyshlak Peninsula. Ship-building yards are to be moved to Uralsk. Bess 
Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

DEADLOCK IN GENEVA TALKS. International media report on 19 January that 
the previous day's peace talks between the three Bosnian factions, plus 
Serbia and Croatia, ended in stalemate. The Washington Post quotes 
negotiator Thorvald Stoltenberg as saying that the atmosphere "has never 
been less conducive" to a settlement, and Bosnian UN ambassador Mohamed 
Sacirbey as noting that "we are not convinced things are moving in the 
right direction." The Muslims accuse the Serbs and Croats of being 
stubborn, while those two parties charge the Muslims with demanding too 
much land. One of the more bizarre disputes is that between the Croats and 
Muslims over the Adriatic port of Neum. The Muslims want it as their 
outlet to the sea, even though experts say it cannot be developed as a 
commercial port, but Croatia refuses to give it up lest Dalmatia be split 
in two, even though the ethnically Croat town is legally part of the 
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not Croatia. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

COT TO LEAVE YUGOSLAV POST. Reuters on 18 January noted that France 
confirmed that Gen. Jean Cot, the UN commander in the former Yugoslavia, 
will be replaced following his dispute with Secretary-General Boutros 
Boutros-Ghali, in which Cot called for the authority to launch air 
strikes. Elsewhere, CNN quotes other UN officials as saying that much of 
the Muslim population of Maglaj is suffering from malnutrition after 
months of being besieged by Serbs and Croats. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVENES FIRE 3,000 CROATS. Borba on 19 January reports that Slovene firms 
in border regions have sacked about 3,000 workers who are Croatian 
citizens in recent weeks. New Slovene policies require that preference be 
given to Slovenes in employment, although many of the Croats had been on 
the payrolls of their companies for years. The Belgrade daily says that 
the firings are really politically motivated and are just one more in a 
series of seemingly petty disputes between the two neighboring but 
mutually mistrustful republics. Still reporting from Ljubljana, the paper 
notes that Slovenia has told the United States that it is "interested and 
ready" to join the Partnership for Peace plan. Meanwhile in Zagreb, Novi 
list of 18 January reports on the government's campaign against three 
independent papers, namely itself, Globus, and Feral tribune. Finally in 
Skopje, the authorities have said that the accident-plagued airport there 
will now be used only for civilian traffic and will cease having any 
military function. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MACEDONIANS SEEM TO FAVOR EARLY NATIONAL ELECTIONS. "Bri-Ma," a joint 
venture with the Gallup organization, conducted a poll on holding 
parliamentary elections in November 1993. The results, reported by Vecer 
on 15 January and MIC on 18 January, indicate overall that 62% would 
support immediate elections. Some 1,036 people were in the sample and no 
margin of error was indicated. The data show that the current chief 
government coalition party, the Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia, 
would garner 22.8%, followed by the Albanian Party for Democratic 
Prosperity and People's Democratic Party with 18.4%, and the nationalist 
International Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for 
Macedonian National Unity with 11.2%. The newly formed Democratic Party 
would win 6.3%, the Socialist Party, 3.3%, and the Liberal Party 3.2%. 
Another 18.6% of the people polled were undecided, while 6.6% said they 
would abstain from voting. Regional differences in terms of party 
preferences were pronounced according to the survey. Analysts believe 
these results reflect the current popular consensus in Macedonia. Duncan 
Perry, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIVKOV'S SEVEN-YEAR SENTENCE UPHELD. On 18 January the Bulgarian Supreme 
Court rejected an appeal by communist ex-president Todor Zhivkov against a 
seven-year sentence passed by a Sofia court in September 1992. Although 
the defense had argued that Zhivkov in his capacity as head of state was 
immune to prosecution on such charges, the Supreme Court thereupon 
convicted the ex-dictator of having embezzled 21.5 million leva (then 
worth $24 million) in public funds, most of which was used to buy luxury 
presents for his closest entourage. While BTA said Zhivkov could be 
transferred to jail even within the next few days, Western agencies quoted 
lawyers suggesting that the court instead may decide that the 83-year-old 
Zhivkov, due to frail health, can serve the sentence as house arrest at 
his granddaughter's home, where he has lived since 1990. Kjell Engelbrekt, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

UN TO EASE TRAFFIC AT DANUBE RIVER CROSSING. The United Nations are 
working on a plan to ease road traffic jams at a Romanian-Bulgarian border 
crossing caused by the UN embargo against rump Yugoslavia, Reuters 
reported on 7 January. A UN program coordinator in Romania, Bernard Fery, 
said that delays of up to 24 hours occur between the Romanian port of 
Giurgiu and the Bulgarian port of Russe and are caused by traffic diverted 
from rump Yugoslavia. Work on more efficient customs checks for goods in 
transit is to be completed in two months, Fery said. He added the project 
was part of UN efforts to ease the impact of the sanctions on rump 
Yugoslavia's neighbors. Michael Shafir., RFE/RL, Inc.

NATIONALISTS LIKELY TO JOIN ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT. The vice chairman of the 
ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, Senator Doru Ioan Taracila, 
said the Party of Romanian National Unity, led by the controversial 
extreme nationalist mayor of Cluj, Gheorghe Funar, will probably join the 
government. Taracila told the press in Bucharest on 18 January that 
negotiations with the PRNU had been productive, an RFE/RL correspondent 
reported on the same day. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN BANK GOVERNOR URGES CLEAR POLICY. The governor of Romania's 
National Bank, Mugur Isarescu, said on 17 January that some of the 
country's leaders must stop their ambiguous approach towards economic 
reform, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Bucharest. Isarescu said "we 
either let the mechanisms of free market work freely, or we return to a 
super-centralized economy." Living with both kinds of economies, he added, 
would only lead to hyperinflation. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE RUSSIAN WEAPON DELIVERIES TO HUNGARY. Reuters reported on 18 January, 
quoting a Hungarian Defence Ministry official, that Russia is prepeared to 
settle its long-standing $800 million trade debt with deliveries of 
air-defence missiles to Hungary. The offer represented a change of mind by 
the Russians, who last year turned down a Hungarian missile request but 
supplied 28 MIG-29 advanced interceptor jets to cover about half the debt. 
The number of missiles to be delivered has not yet ben determined. Karoly 
Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc.

PRESIDENTIAL SUMMIT PLANS ANNOUNCED. Reuters reported on 18 January that a 
Hungarian presidential spokesman said that the presidents of Germany, 
Austria, the four Visegrad Countries, and Slovenia will meet for an 
informal summit in the Czech town of Litomysl in the first part of April. 
The initiative came from Czech President Vaclav Havel. A senior Czech 
official said that the aim of the summit is to create warmer relations 
between neighboring countries and not to produce any pact or communique. 
Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE EXPERTS END VISIT TO SLOVAKIA. On 18 January CE experts 
held press conference following two days of talks with Slovak government 
officials led by Deputy Premier Roman Kovac, who is chairman of the 
governmental commission on public administration. Mario Martins, a member 
of the CE delegation, said "there are no disagreements between the experts 
from the Council of Europe and the Slovak Republic" and noted that plans 
for decentralization will improve the effectiveness of local 
administrations and improve relations between the state and the citizens. 
Martins noted the importance of creating a system for financing regions 
"which will ensure the needs of different language groups," thus 
guaranteeing the rights of minorities. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAKIA TO BID FOR WINTER OLYMPICS IN 2002. On 18 January the cabinet 
approved a proposal to enter Slovakia's candidacy for the 2002 Winter 
Olympics, TASR reports. The games would be held in the Poprad district in 
the High Tatra mountains in northeastern Slovakia. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

KOCARNIK ON CZECH BUDGET SURPLUS. Czech Finance Minister Ivan Kocarnik 
revealed that the country recorded a budget surplus of 1.1 billion koruny 
(about $36 million), Czech newspapers reported on 19 January. According to 
the minister, revenues totaled 358 billion koruny and expenditures 356.9 
billion in 1993. Moreover, he said, local self-governments recorded a 
budget surplus of anywhere between 4 and 6 billion koruny. Kocarnik 
praised the results, saying that in the context of the introduction of a 
new tax system, the budget surplus is an expression of success which 
"positively influenced the stability of prices and had an 
anti-inflationary impact." Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTRY KNEW NOTHING OF SKODA TALKS WITH IRAN. The ministry 
said it has not been informed about discussions of arms sales to Iran by 
the director of the Skoda heavy engineering company, CTK reported on 18 
January. A spokeswoman for the ministry said that Iranian officials have 
not approached her ministry at any point about such arms sales. Both she 
and the Iranian Embassy in Prague declined to comment on reports in the 
Czech media about a meeting between Skoda's director Lubomir Soudek and 
Iranian officials in Teheran last November. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH REPUBLIC APPLIES FOR OECD MEMBERSHIP. The Czech Republic has 
officially applied for membership in the Organization of Economic 
Cooperation and Development, CTK reported on 18 January. OECD's General 
Secretary Jean-Claude Paye said in Paris after receiving the application, 
that it was "logical" that the Czech Republic would seek membership in 
this prestigious organization, and said he was "pleased" by it. He pointed 
out that in the case of the Czech Republic there will not be any problems, 
but warned that the application proceedings can take several years. The 
only other post-communist country that applied for OECD membership is 
Hungary. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

CDP REMAINS MOST POPULAR CZECH PARTY. According to a recent opinion poll 
that was circulated by CTK on 18 January, 32% of Czechs would vote for the 
ruling Civic Democratic Party of Premier Vaclav Klaus if elections were 
held today. The CDP's coalition partner, the Civic Democratic Alliance 
would receive about 14%, followed by the Social Democrats with 13%. Only 
two other parties would gain more than the 5% necessary for representation 
in parliament, namely the Communists (with 9%) and the Christian 
Democratic Union (with 6%). Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

INFLATION SURGES IN POLAND. Prices rose 5.6% in the month of December 
alone, Rzeczpospolita reported on 18 January. Following a 3.9% rise in 
November, this new upsurge in inflation has alarmed many Polish 
economists. Although the price situation was under control before the new 
government took power, the upturn in prices at year's end has meant that 
annual inflation (December 1992 to December 1993) reached 37.6%, well in 
excess of the target of 32%. In another disturbing development, wages rose 
15.3% in December alone, following a 7% rise in November. Although real 
wages fell overall by 3.2% in 1993, in the final quarter of the year they 
grew in real terms by 14.6%, creating the threat of further high inflation 
in the first months of 1994. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE ON THE ARREST OF LITHUANIAN COMMUNISTS. On 17 January Lithuanian 
Prosecutor General Arturas Paulauskas held a press conference, broadcast 
live by Radio Lithuania, on the arrests of Mykolas Burokevicius and Juozas 
Jermalavicius. He noted that the two leaders of the banned Communist Party 
had been arrested in Minsk and handed over to Lithuania in accordance with 
the mutual legal assistance agreement between Lithuania and Belarus that 
went into effect on 11 September 1993. Lithuania has submitted requests to 
Belarus for the extradition of more Lithuanian Communists. The two men, 
claiming to be "professional revolutionaries," refused to sign 
interrogation records. They are charged with aggravated murder and high 
treason and if convicted would face sentences ranging from 15 years 
imprisonment to the death penalty. On 18 January Burokevicius, who is 
suffering from several heart diseases, was transfered to the Lukiskes 
prison hospital. Belarus Communist Party First Secretary Viktor Chikin 
protested what he termed the kidnapping of people by Lithuanians. The 
Communist Party faction in the Russian Duma distributed a statement 
protesting the detentions, but by a majority of votes were denied the 
opportunity to read out the statement before the chamber, Interfax 
reported on 18 January. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT LITHUANIA. On 18 January during a telephone 
conversation Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk accepted the invitation 
of his Lithuanian counterpart Algirdas Brazauskas to visit Lithuania in 
February, Interfax reports. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN AND LITHUANIAN PREMIERS MEET IN TALLINN. On 18 January Adolfas 
Slezevicius, accompanied by his industry and trade minister, energy 
minister, and defense ministry officials, on an unofficial visit to 
Tallinn discussed cooperation in energy matters, control of air space, and 
weapons purchases with Estonian Mart Laar, Radio Lithuania reported on 19 
January. The premiers will hold talks with their Latvian counterpart 
Valdis Birkavs in Jurmala on 19 January. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTIC LEADERS ON GAIDAR'S RESIGNATION. Estonian premier Mart Laar viewed 
Gaidar's resignation from the Russian government as a step backwards in 
the reform policy pursued by Russia. Latvian president Guntis Ulmanis 
expressed regret over the resignation because in his opinion Gaidar's 
economic policy was rational and specific. Premier Valdis Birkavs, 
however, said that Gaidar's resignation was a matter of Russia's internal 
politics; he felt that it would not have much effect on Russian-Latvian 
economic contacts, which have declined significantly over the past two 
years, Interfax reported on 18 January. Nonetheless, in 1993 Russia was 
still Latvia's principal trade partner, Diena reported on 17 January. 
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN REACTION TO CLINTON-YELTSIN PRESS CONFERENCE. Latvian President 
Guntis Ulmanis has expressed concern over President Clinton's and 
President Yeltsin's statements at a press conference in Moscow that was 
aired by Ostankino TV on 14 January. He told the press on 17 January in 
Riga that Latvia does not violate human rights as it was implied in the 
press conference. He added: "I would not like to think that two 
super-powers have finally decided the future of smaller states." Dzintra 
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN ADVISER ON RUSSIAN POLICY TOWARD MOLDOVA. Russia's Presidential 
Council member Andranik Migranian writes in Nezavisimaya Gazeta of 18 
January that the conflict in Moldova "has played a great role in changing 
the Russian establishment's understanding of Russia's role in the 
post-Soviet space." After Russia's 14th Army in Moldova became "actively 
involved in the conflict," Russia's Foreign Ministry and radical 
democratic circles were concerned that adverse international reactions 
would folow. "The West, however, feared that any strong response to Russia 
over the 14th Army's actions . . . may overburden the ruling democrats, 
and therefore refrained from any serious demarches against Russia; 
whereupon the Russian Foreign Ministry's position in turn shifted toward 
the unconditional defense of the Dniester republic . . . Today practically 
all political forces in Russia share similar positions toward Moldova." 
The "Dniester factor," moreover, "nudges the Moldovan leadership toward 
joining the CIS." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

ANOTHER NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE AGAINST SHUSHKEVICH? Speaking on national 
television on 17 January, the Chairman of Belarus' Supreme Soviet, 
Stanislau Shushkevich, said he knew some deputies were planning to try to 
force his resignation at the parliamentary session on 18 January, Interfax 
reported. Henadz Kazlau, the coordinator of the conservative "Belarus," 
parliament's largest faction, said that more than 100 signatures had been 
collected in support of a no-confidence vote against Shushkevich. Ustina 
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Patrick Moore & Stephen Foye

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

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Updated: 1998-11-

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