В двадцать лет царит чувство, в тридцать - талант, в сорок - разум. - Грасиан
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 13, 20 January 1994

RUSSIA

FEDOROV FUTURE UNCERTAIN, RUBLE PLUNGES. Speculation abounds concerning 
the composition of the new government under discussion between President 
Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Among the most important 
question marks is the status of Minister of Finance Boris Fedorov who, 
according to most Russian and Western news agencies on 19 January, has yet 
to receive a response to his refusal to accept a new position under the 
conditions offered him. Interfax, however, reported that a deal had been 
made, and that Fedorov would remain in his current post. The uncertainty 
caused by the government shake up continues to undermine the ruble, which 
on 19 January dropped in value against the dollar another 7% on the Moscow 
Interbank Currency Exchange. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SOSKOVETS, SHOKHIN TO STAY IN GOVERNMENT. Among the few firm decisions on 
the composition of the new Russian government was confirmation that Deputy 
Prime Ministers Oleg Soskovets and Aleksandr Shokhin would be offered 
posts. Government spokesman Valentin Sergeev said, according to Reuters on 
19 January, that Soskovets, former head of the Soviet metallurgical 
industry and a conservative figure close to Prime Minister Viktor 
Chernomyrdin, would be given the post of First Deputy Prime Minister; 
Shokhin would be offered the post of economics minister, recently vacated 
by Egor Gaidar. ITAR-TASS reported Shokhin as saying on 19 January that he 
had not finally decided whether to accept; The Guardian of 20 January, 
however, implied that both appointments were definite. Wendy Slater, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

YAVLINSKY WOULD ACCEPT MINISTERIAL POST; VOLSKY WOULD REFUSE. In the 
context of the ongoing negotiations on forming a government, two key 
figures revealed their attitudes to possible offers of ministerial posts, 
ITAR-TASS reported on 19 January. Grigorii Yavlinsky, the reformist 
economist who now heads the 25-member YABLOKO faction in the State Duma, 
said that he would agree to head a government which would take measures to 
overcome an economic crisis that he predicted for March. He said he would 
accept the hypothetical offer, however, only on condition that the 
president "did not interfere." Arkadii Volsky, meanwhile, the leader of 
the Russian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Union (RIEU), categorically 
refused to enter government. Speculation that he would be offered a post 
emerged on 18 January, when Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets attended 
an RIEU meeting. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEPUTY SPEAKER OF DUMA PROPOSES PACKAGE OF FEDERAL LAWS. First deputy 
speaker of the State Duma Mikhail Mityukov told the lower chamber of 
parliament on 19 January that following the approval of the new 
Constitution at the 12 December referendum, the parliament should move to 
adopt federal laws which would "clarify and confirm new political 
realities in Russia." Mityukov proposed the adoption of 58 laws, including 
those on referendum, formation and functioning of the government, the 
legal system, and the formation and activities of the Constitutional 
Court. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA INTENDS TO STRENGTHEN TIES WITH GOVERNMENT. The State Duma has 
decided to strengthen its ties with the government, ITAR-TASS reported on 
19 January. Deputies voted for devoting the last hour of each Friday 
session to discussion of the government's work. In debating the Duma's 
priorities in drafting legislation, the majority of deputies suggested 
that laws on economic issues should be at the top of the agenda. Before 
these laws are adopted, members of the government should discuss with the 
parliamentarians their concept of reforms, deputies decided. On 19 
January, the Duma also passed a resolution that recommended that the 
government promptly review its policy on agriculture. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES WEAPONS POLICY. Members of Russia's Security 
Council, meeting on 19 January, approved a program aimed at modernizing 
the country's military weaponry, Russian news sources reported. Addressing 
the session, which was said to have been the second devoted to problems of 
the military-industrial complex, were First Deputy Defense Minister (in 
charge of military-technical issues) Andrei Kokoshin, Chairman of the 
Russian State Committee on the Defense Sector and Industry Viktor 
Glukhikh, and Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov. In addition to the 
regular members of the Council, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets 
and recently appointed presidential Security Advisor Yurii Baturin were 
present; Interior Minister Viktor Yerin and Defense Minister Pavel Grachev 
were not. According to Security Council Deputy Secretary Valerii Manilov, 
priorities were established in terms of ensuring that Russia maintained an 
effective defense system, taking into account Russia's new military 
doctrine and a realistic assessment of both the threats facing the country 
and Russia's economic situation. Boris Yeltsin reportedly issued orders to 
the relevant ministries on implementation of the council's decisions, the 
details of which were not made public. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

WILL TATARSTAN HOLD FEDERAL ELECTIONS IN MARCH? Tatarstan President 
Mintimer Shaimiev said in Kazan on 18 January that a bilateral agreement 
on mutual delegation of powers would be signed by Russia and Tatarstan by 
13 March when repeat elections to the Russian Federal Assembly are due to 
take place in Tatarstan, Interfax reported on 19 January. After the 12 
December elections, when no deputies were elected from Tatarstan either 
because not enough candidates were nominated or the turn-out was too low, 
Shaimiev said that he doubted that repeat elections could be held unless 
such an agreement was reached. The Coordinating Council of Tatarstan's 
Political Forces, which unites more than 30 nationalist organizations who 
were largely responsible for the boycott of the elections in December, has 
also issued a statement saying that the elections cannot be held on 13 
March unless an agreement is reached, Interfax reported on 19 January. The 
likelihood of an agreement actually being signed would appear to be low, 
however, given that there is no sign that either side is ready to 
compromise. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. 

JAPAN, TURKEY REACT TO RISE OF RUSSIAN NATIONALISTS. The Japanese daily 
Yomiuri said on 18 January that a planned visit to Russia by Japanese 
Foreign Minister Tsutomo Hata may be postponed because newly empowered 
Russian nationalists have taken a hard line toward Japan vis-a-vis the 
Kuril Islands territorial dispute, AFP reported. One of the purposes of 
the visit, which reportedly has not yet been rescheduled, was to prepare 
for a subsequent visit to Moscow by Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro 
Hosokawa. Meanwhile, Reuter on 18 January quoted Turkish Prime Tansu 
Ciller as saying that concern over "the Zhirinovsky factor in Russia" was 
one reason why Ankara had decided against redeploying more troops from its 
northern border to fight Kurdish guerrillas in southeastern Turkey. Turkey 
and Russia have clashed over differing assessments of developments in the 
Caucasus region, and bellicose remarks by Zhirinovsky directed at Turkey 
have added to the existing tensions. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TAJIK REFUGEES REPORTED UNDER ATTACK. The Tajik opposition center in 
Moscow told RFE/RL on 19 January that two Tajik opposition leaders in 
Afghanistan had reported three bombing raids on Tajik refugee camps in 
Afghanistan during January. The two opposition leaders, Saidabdulla Nuri 
and former spiritual leader of Tajikistan Akbar Turadzhonzoda, attributed 
the raids to the forces of Afghan Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum, who 
has developed close contacts with Uzbekistan. Uzbek President Islam 
Karimov has been one of the most active supporters of intervention against 
the Tajik Islamic-democratic-nationalist opposition. Many of the Tajik 
refugees in Afghanistan are supporters of the Islamic opposition. Bess 
Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS

KOZYREV ON RUSSIAN ROLE IN NEAR ABROAD. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei 
Kozyrev met with US Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering on 19 January to 
clarify his position on Russia's relations with the "near abroad," 
expressed during a conference appearance on 18 January (see Daily Report 
no. 12). Speaking to Interfax afterwards, Kozyrev reiterated his position 
that Russian troops would be withdrawn from the Baltic States, but noted 
that "An orderly withdrawal under the framework of agreements will 
contribute to consolidation of the sovereignty of those countries." 
Kozyrev also stressed that Russian military forces would remain in other 
states only under the terms of bilateral agreements, citing Tajikistan as 
a prime example. He argued that if Russia did not maintain a role in the 
"near abroad" the result would be chaos and a flood of refugees into 
Russia. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

...ON DEFENSE OF RUSSIAN SPEAKING MINORITIES. On 19 January, ITAR-TASS 
carried a detailed report, including a partial transcript, of Kozyrev's 
closing remarks at the conference, apparently in an effort to clear up the 
confusion caused by earlier ITAR-TASS reports. One of Kozyrev's main 
themes was the defense of Russian speaking people living in the near 
abroad. ITAR-TASS quotes Kozyrev as rejecting the use of force or 
ultimatums against other states, but insisting that Russia must not ignore 
the question of Russian minority rights. Kozyrev was particularly critical 
of Latvia's policy, which he said contradicted CSCE norms, and could lead 
to the "deportation of thousands of people." In such a case of "massive 
and crude violations of human rights we will react in a most strict 
manner" although he added that the issue must be resolved "calmly, without 
hysterics." He did suggest, however, that economic sanctions could be 
used, if necessary. While Kozyrev attempted to portray Russia's policy as 
a moderate one, between the extremes of total disengagement and forceful 
intervention, the stress on defense of Russian speakers was more explicit, 
stronger, and more contentious than in previous statements. John 
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. 

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT TO DEBATE NUCLEAR DEAL. Ukrainian Deputy Foreign 
Minister Boris Tarasiuk commented on 19 January, according to AFP and 
Interfax, that a detailed agreement with Russia concerning the disassembly 
and transport of missiles still has to be concluded. He dismissed 
suggestions that Russia could transfer all the weapons from Ukraine in one 
or two years, suggesting that such a rapid transfer would lead to unsafe 
conditions in Russian storage areas. Ostankino TV reported on 20 January 
that a major political battle is brewing in Ukraine, where the deal is 
scheduled to be debated by parliament at the session which opens today. It 
also reported that Russia is prepared to transfer the liquid fuel (heptyl) 
from the SS-19 missiles for storage in Russia. Western sources have 
reported that Russia and the US have developed a process for turning the 
toxic fuel into commercially valuable chemicals. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

CIS GRAPPLES WITH PROBLEMS OF MIGRANT LABOR. Negotiators from ten CIS 
member-countries ended three days of talks in Minsk on 13 January, 
ITAR-TASS reported. They are preparing a draft intergovernmental agreement 
covering migrant labor within the CIS, which is scheduled to be signed at 
a meeting of heads of CIS governments in March. The collapse of the USSR 
has created a legislative vacuum as regards migrant labor, with particular 
problems being posed by pension rights and medical insurance for migrant 
workers. CIS member-countries also plan to reinstate a system of quotas, 
as was the case in the USSR. At present, migrant workers are not 
registered and are open to abuse: they often work long hours and ignore 
safety standards. The only CIS-country with which Russia at present has an 
agreement covering migrant labor is Ukraine, but even that is not 
preventing an uncontrolled exodus of thousands of skilled workers from 
western Ukraine in search of better-paid employment in Russia, Moscow News 
reports (No. 1, 1994). Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

ARE SERBS AND CROATS GANGING UP ON MUSLIMS? International media on 19 
January report that two parallel agreements were signed by Serbs and 
Croats in Geneva on taking the first steps toward establishing political 
and economic relations by setting up "official representations" or 
"bureaus" in each others' capitals. One text was signed by the foreign 
ministers of Croatia and rump Yugoslavia, while the other involved the 
foreign ministers of the self-proclaimed Croat and Serb mini-states in 
Bosnia-Herzegovina. The two agreements are, however, cryptic and raise 
more questions than they answer. The Zagreb-Belgrade pact will apparently 
restore telephone links, but it is not clear if it will lead to Croatia's 
two main demands of Serbia. These are: the recognition of Croatian 
sovereignty in its Tito-era borders and hence the acknowledgment by 
Belgrade that the Krajina Serbs are an internal affair of Croatia; and the 
restoration of highway, pipeline, and other infrastructure links. Krajina 
representatives have already told news agencies that they alone can speak 
for their people. Perhaps more telling, however, is the agreement between 
the Bosnian Serbs and Croats as reported by Vecernji list on 20 January. 
This states that "between them there are no outstanding questions that 
cannot be solved by peaceful means," and notes that each will set up a 
"bureau" to deal with the other by 15 February, as in the Zagreb-Belgrade 
text. But the Croats will set up their office in Sarajevo and the Serbs 
theirs in Mostar; in other words, the Croats appear to be honoring Serb 
claims to the Bosnian capital, while the Serbs seem to be acknowledging 
the Croat claims to that of Herzegovina. Both sets of claims, moreover, 
can only come at the expense of the Muslims, and Muslim spokesmen have 
told reporters that they feel the new agreements are at their expense. It 
remains to be seen, however, what the two pacts will mean in practice, and 
to what extent they might be tactical ploys of the respective signatories. 
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. 

HAVEL ADVISER NAMED CULTURE MINISTER. Pavel Tigrid, an adviser to Czech 
President Vaclav Havel, was named to replace former Culture Minister 
Jindrich Kabat who resigned last weekend, Czech TV reported on 19 January. 
Tigrid, 76, left Czechoslovakia in 1948. He worked for Radio Free Europe 
in Munich and headed a small emigre publishing house in Paris. He 
published contributions of many dissident authors, including Havel. He 
returned to Czechoslovakia in 1989 to become member of Havel's 
presidential collegium of advisers. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECHS TO GIVE LITHUANIA FREE WEAPONS. Czech Defense Minister Antonin 
Baudys said that his country will give redundant 
weapons and military technology free of charge to Lithuania, Western 
agencies reported on 19 January. Baudys made the announcement after his 
return from a three-day visit to Lithuania. He said that the Czech 
Republic has "an interest in Lithuania having a strong army." Baudys added 
that a Lithuanian delegation will come to Prague soon to work our concrete 
details of the proposal. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SWEDISH DEFENSE MINISTER IN BRATISLAVA. Anders Bjorck, concluding a 
two-day official visit to Slovakia on 19 January, held talks with his 
Slovak counterpart Imrich Andrejcak, as well as with Foreign Minister 
Jozef Moravcik and other officials, TASR reports. Andrejcak and Bjorck 
discussed increasing military cooperation, and Bjorck offered Slovak 
soldiers the opportunity to attend training centers in Sweden. Both 
officials expressed their interest in joining the NATO Partnership for 
Peace initiative. Speaking about the possibility of NATO air strikes in 
Bosnia, Bjorck said they should be used only as a last resort. Bjorck told 
Slovak parliamentary deputies that NATO "must be more flexible" and that 
Slovakia "should become a full-fledged NATO member." Sharon Fisher, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

CE, CSCE DELEGATIONS VISIT SLOVAKIA. Council of Europe Parliamentary 
Assembly Chairman Miguel Angel Martinez arrived in Slovakia on 19 January 
for a three-day visit, just a day after a group of CE experts assisting 
with plans for Slovakia's decentralization left Bratislava, TASR reports. 
Martinez, who was invited by the Slovak parliament, proposed to parliament 
chairman Ivan Gasparovic that the Slovak delegation in the CE assembly be 
enlarged to ensure better contacts with other member countries. The two 
also discussed Slovakia's minority problems, although Martinez noted that 
the trip was not "an inspection." Also on 19 January CSCE high 
commissioner for minorities, Max Van der Stoel, began a two-day visit to 
Slovakia to meet with President Michal Kovac, Premier Vladimir Meciar, 
Foreign Minister Moravcik, and ethnic Hungarian leaders. Van der Stoel is 
preparing for an upcoming visit of CSCE experts who will examine the 
status of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia and the Slovak minority in 
Hungary. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER CONCLUDES DOMESTIC POLITICAL TALKS. Hungarian 
media on 19 January reported that Peter Boross ended three days of 
consultations with nine political parties in Budapest. Boross briefed the 
party leaders about his talks with President Clinton in Prague. The date 
of the next general election in May and the coming parliamentary agenda 
was discussed as well. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. 

FASCIST PARTY ORGANIZED IN BUDAPEST. Wire services report, quoting a 
article in the 19 January issue of Nepszabadsag, that an extreme-right 
party named World National Popular Rule has been organized in Budapest. 
The registry court confirmed that the party is legally registered. The 
party's members are mostly skinheads and it has only small, fringe 
followings; it wants to rehabilitate the Hungarian Arrow Cross fascist 
leader Ferenc Szalasi, who led a reign of terror when his party was put to 
power by the German occupiers in 1944. The party also denies that the 
Holocaust ever took place and wants to run in the next general election. 
Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc.

HOPE AND PROBLEMS IN BULGARIA. French President Francois Mitterrand made a 
one-day visit to Bulgaria on 19 January, five years exactly following his 
last trip there. Speaking before the parliament he praised Bulgaria for 
becoming a "truly democratic" country and apologized for the delay in the 
ratification of Bulgaria's associate status with the EU. He also pledged 
to seek to move that along while aiding Bulgaria in meeting its debt 
obligations to Western lenders, agencies report. In the economic sphere, 
commercial banks in Bulgaria halted trading of the lev, whose value had 
again tumbled against the dollar. The Central Bank set the exchange rate 
at 38 to the dollar on 19 January, while one year ago the rate was 24.45 
leva to the dollar. A continuing fall in the lev's value could impair the 
government's planned austerity program. Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc. 

ROMANIA AND UKRAINE TRADE ACCUSATIONS. Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor 
Melescanu accused Ukraine of violating the rights of the Romanian ethnic 
community there. In an interview with the daily Curierul national quoted 
by Reuters on 19 January, Melescanu said: "I cannot watch indifferently 
the degradation of Romanian vestiges and historical monuments in Ukraine 
and measures preventing the free expression of Romanian opinions there." 
Melescanu quoted a recent decision by Ukrainian authorities to ban the 
Romanian-language publication Plai romanesc. Romanian community leaders, 
Reuters said, have also complained about the removal of Romanian monuments 
and restrictions imposed on their churches in northern Bukovina, which was 
Romanian territory from the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy until it was 
annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister, 
Mykola Zhulinski, told Reuters on the same day that statements such as 
Melescanu's hurt Ukraine's reputation, adding that his country is 
concerned itself by the situation of Ukrainians in Romania and the fast 
process of assimilation. He said Ukraine seeks a constructive dialogue 
with Romania. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER PROTESTS NATIONALIST'S ACCUSATIONS. Nicolae 
Spiroiu has asked the chairman of the Romanian Senate to investigate 
criticism directed at him by Corneliu Vadim Tudor, a senator and the 
chairman of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party, an RFE/RL 
correspondent reported on 19 January. Tudor wrote in his weekly Romania 
mare that the defense minister has "used blackmail and subversive 
maneuvers to be the only minister who has stayed in office during three 
governments," had been "a member of the Soviet plot that killed 
Ceausescu," and "is responsible for taking the national defense industry 
to ruins." In a letter published in the army's weekly Armata Romaniei, 
Spiroiu calls Tudor's allegations "calumnious and insulting" and asks the 
Senate's Discipline Commission to decide whether the allegations "are 
compatible with the status of a senator." Earlier, Spiroiu revealed that 
Tudor had unsuccessfully tried to have his brother, who is a colonel in 
the army, promoted to the rank of general by trying to use influence with 
the defense minister. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

DISSENT BUILDS IN POLISH COALITION. As the Sejm has begun considering the 
government's proposed budget for 1994, friction between the "liberals" and 
"socialists" in the ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) has come into 
the open. Fifteen deputies, most from the former official OPZZ union 
federation, announced the creation of a "workers' defense group" on 14 
January, PAP reports. The group's leader, OPZZ deputy chairman Stanislaw 
Wisniewski, announced that the group will accept only deputies "with a 
backbone" who will not submit to pressure from SLD leader Aleksander 
Kwasniewski. Wisniewski, considered the chief rival of the OPZZ's more 
moderate chairman, Ewa Spychalska, charged that the SLD's economic 
policies are not "leftist" enough. He pledged on 19 January to preserve 
the SLD's unity, however. Dissent has also emerged within the Polish 
Peasant Party (PSL), where activists have charged Prime Minister Waldemar 
Pawlak with "dictatorial" methods. Pawlak quashed a challenge from below 
on 15 January, when the party leadership opted not to vote on banning the 
simultaneous holding of party and state posts. Pawlak is PSL chairman and 
parliamentary floor leader as well as prime minister. Louisa Vinton, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

POLISH LABOR MINISTER OPPOSES GOVERNMENT POLICY. The SLD's "socialist" 
wing has an ally in Labor Minister Leszek Miller, who has recently donned 
the mantle of a leftist opposition within the cabinet. Pursuing a 
well-publicized quest for additional funding for social welfare programs, 
Miller was one of two cabinet members to vote against the proposed budget 
in December. In an appearance before the Sejm's economic policy commission 
on 18 January, Miller complained that the proposed budget will "prevent 
him from fulfilling his responsibilities," and he left the defense of 
government spending plans to a finance ministry official. Miller told 
Rzeczpospolita on 12 January that the government's proposed budget "is not 
worth dying for." He has lobbied for a tax on stock market transactions as 
a means of securing new funds; the finance ministry rejects such a tax as 
counterproductive. Commenting on 20 January that "it is unprecedented for 
a minister to disagree with his own government yet not resign," 
Rzeczpospolita concluded that Miller's behavior reflects a deliberate 
government strategy designed to convince the public that the rights of the 
unemployed, pensioners, and the needy are being defended. Louisa Vinton, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

UKRAINIAN FACES ESPIONAGE CHARGES IN WARSAW. The first trial in Poland of 
an alleged spy from one of the countries of the former Soviet Union opened 
in a Warsaw military court on 19 January, Polish TV reports. Maj. Anatolij 
Lysenko of the Ukrainian intelligence service faces charges of spying for 
Ukraine and recruiting agents on Polish territory. Lysenko was arrested by 
the Polish State Protection Office (UOP) in August 1993, while entering 
Poland with his family; he says he was bringing his son to Poland for 
medical treatment. The Ukrainian foreign ministry and security service 
deny that Lysenko was in Poland on official business. Lysenko was turned 
in to Polish authorities by Janusz Bojarski, a 23-year-old Pole who was 
arrested by Ukrainian customs officials for smuggling and was apparently 
persuaded to provide information on political and religious developments 
in Poland's eastern voivodships and the mood of the ethnic Ukrainian 
minority there. During the first day of the trial, Bojarski retracted 
incriminating statements made during police interrogation and contended 
that his contacts with Lysenko had been "private" in nature. Louisa 
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

PROTESTS IN BELARUS ON CAPTURE OF LITHUANIAN COMMUNISTS. On 19 January at 
a closed session of the Belarus Supreme Soviet, Interior Minister 
Uladzimir Yahorau said that former Lithuanian communist leaders Mykolas 
Burokevicius and Juozas Jermalavicius had been detained in Minsk on 15 
January by local police in the presence of two Lithuanian police officers, 
Reuters and Interfax report. He admitted that the police did not have 
arrest warrants, but the matter had been discussed by his ministry and the 
prosecutor's office. About 100 Communists picketed the KGB headquarters in 
Minsk, protesting the arrests. KGB Chairman Eduard Shirkouski told the 
session that the KGB had not been involved in the operation and 
Prosecutor-General Vasil Shaladonau said that the government had not been 
informed in advance of the arrests and that he had not approved them. 
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN MAY. Diena reported on 13 January that 
earlier that day the Saeima had adopted a law on the election of district 
(rayon), town and county councils, and set the date of the next elections 
for 22 May. According to that law, the electorate will consist of citizens 
of the Republic of Latvia who are at least 18 years old, and who are 
registered as residents of that locality or who own property there. 
Candidates for office must also be citizens of Latvia, residents for at 
least 12 months of the locality where they are running for office, and at 
least 21 years old. The Saeima is still considering a new law on local 
governments. Diena reported on 17 January that since the draft law 
proposed by the Council of Ministers is unsatisfactory to the association 
of local governments, that organization has drafted its own law for 
submission to the Saeima. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. 

MOLDOVA WORRIED BY RUSSIAN POST-SUMMIT STATEMENTS. Moldovan President 
Mircea Snegur's Chief Political Adviser, Viorel Ciubotaru (a leading 
Social-Democrat) commented to RFE/RL on 19 January on the statement by 
Yeltsin's Presidential Council member Andranik Migranian that, at the 
summit just held in Moscow, "the US side has confirmed Russia's special 
role in maintaining stability in the post-Soviet space" (ITAR-TASS, 17 
January); and on Kozyrev's post-summit statement that "Russia's vital 
interests are concentrated in, and being threatened from, that space", and 
that Russia intends to "maintain its military presence" there (Ostankino 
and Russian Televisions and Interfax, 18 January). Ciubotaru said that 
these statements "arouse profound concern in Chisinau. Russia's 
peacekeeping role in the former USSR has been demonstrated in Georgia and 
Moldova where Russian forces started, coordinated, and then stopped 
military conflicts, seizing areas from those states and serving to 
pressure them to integrate politically into the CIS. Tajikistan is a 
special case but it illustrates the same tendency of imperial restoration 
which, if successful, may lead back to a bipolar world." Vladimir Socor, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

TWO KILLED IN ATTACK ON TATAR LEADER IN CRIMEA. Two persons were killed 
and eleven injured in a gunfire attack on a prominent Tatar, Iskander 
Memedov, on 19 January, agencies reported. Memedov is an economic advisor 
of the chairman of the Crimean parliament, Mykola Bahrov. According to 
Lilya Budjurova, a member of the self-appointed Moslem parliament set up 
by the Tatar community in Crimea, the attack was politically motivated. 
Memedov was among the injured. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE AND BELARUS SIGN MILITARY AGREEMENT. On 18 January military 
delegations from Ukraine and Belarus signed an agreement on military 
cooperation in Minsk, Belarusian television reported. The agreement is 
similar to the one signed between the two countries on 17 December 1992, 
and sets the agenda for military contacts for 1994. Deputy Defense 
Minister Maj. Gen. Vasiliy Dzyamidzik signed the agreement on behalf of 
Belarus, while Ukraine was represented by deputy defense minister of 
armaments, Col. Gen. Ivan Olinyk. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

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