|History is made out of the failures and heroism of each insignificant moment. - Franz Kafka|
No. 15, 24 January 1994
RUSSIA DEMOCRATIC REFORM MOVEMENT NEEDS NEW NATIONAL LEADER. Neither Gaidar, nor Yavlinsky nor Shakhrai can be considered candidates for the post of Russian president, Russian TV newscasts of 22 January quoted Anton Antonov, a member of the Russian Democratic Reform Movement (RDRM) Executive Committee, as saying at the constituent conference of the RDRM Moscow inter-regional branch. According to Antonov, leaders of the blocs, incapable of commanding more then 6 to 16 percent of the vote during the parliamentary elections, could not count on a victory in the presidential elections. The prime task of the democratic forces today, Antonov added, is to advance a candidate capable of consolidating the democratic forces for the elections of Russia's second president. (The RDRM failed to win the necessary 5 percent of the vote to gain access to the parliament during 12 December 1993 elections to the State Duma, although the movement counted among its ranks a large number of Russia's prominent politicians, including St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii Sobchak.) At the conference it was announced that the second national RDRM congress would be held on 29 and 30 January 1994. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. DEMOCRATS IN SEARCH OF CONSOLIDATION. Russian reformers are searching for a way to consolidate all democratic forces into a single movement. The leader of Russia's Choice, Egor Gaidar, appealed for a serious reconstruction of the democratic movement and the creation of a "new civic movement [novoe grazhdanskoe dvizhenie]", ITAR-TASS reported on 22 January. Lev Ponomarev, co-chairman of the Democratic Russia Movement, said the new organization would be open to all reformers and should overcome the split in the democratic forces. He stated that the new movement should endorse its candidates at future elections. The new movement proclaims as its priority the building of a civil society and the need to improve the socio-economic situation of the workers. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. NATIONALISTS FOUND BLOC IN NOVOSIBIRSK. Several right-wing groups founded a new bloc, "Fatherland," at a meeting in Novosibirsk on 23 January in preparation for local elections due on 27 March. The bloc's main aim, according to Interfax, is "to protect the political and economic interests of ethnic Russians." The bloc comprises the Novosibirsk branches of the Constitutional Democratic Party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the National Salvation Front, and representatives of the local Cossack community. A Cossack spokesman, Alexander Lyulko, told Interfax that "the victory won in December's elections by the LDP shows that the Russian people, particularly those who live in the Novosibirsk oblast, are attracted by national-patriotic , not democratic ideals." Unofficial results gave the LDP over 22 percent of the vote in Novosibirsk oblast in December's parliamentary elections. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc. WESTERN ADVISORS TO GOVERNMENT PULL OUT. High profile Western advisors to the Russian government, Jeffrey Sachs and Anders Asland, have sent a letter to President Boris Yeltsin saying that they will no longer offer such services, various Russian and Western news agencies reported on 21 January. "We can no longer help the Russian government. The aims and the policies announced by the prime minister are strongly opposed to our own concepts," Sachs and Asland wrote in a statement released to the press. Government spokesman Valentin Sergeev suggested that the departure of the two advisors would not have a great effect on the new government, ITAR-TASS reported the same day, as Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin does not use the services of Western advisors. Sergeev added that Chernomyrdin considers that "the mechanistic transfer of methods of Western economies to Russian soil cause much more harm than help." Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc. PRAVDA: GRACHEV TO BE REPLACED. Quoting an unidentified "high-ranking officer in the CIS military staff," Pravda on 22 January reported that Defense Minister Pavel Grachev is expected to be replaced as part of the government's current reshuffling. The report claimed that members of the High Command had demanded the change because of Grachev's responsibility for involving the army in the 4 October assault on the parliament building. It added that the forty-five year-old Defense Minister had only recently been in the hospital for treatment of heart problems; rumors of a similar sort have circulated in the past. The Pravda report, which suggested that First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin was in line to replace Grachev, remains unconfirmed. Nevertheless, many military commanders were apparently only very reluctant participants in the 4 October events. At the same time, members of the President's entourage have accused Grachev of not acting decisively enough on that occasion. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. SHAKHRAI DECLINES POST IN GOVERNMENT AFTER ALL? Former Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai has decided not to take up the post of minister for nationalities and regional policy that he had been offered, Interfax reported on 21 January. Shakhrai told Interfax that he could not be a member of the cabinet when vital regional and nationalities issues were discussed without his participation. Interfax, citing "well-informed sources on the governmental staff," said Yeltsin had transferred responsibility for talks with Tatarstan to Vice-Premier Yurii Yarov; that Yarov and head of the presidential administration Sergei Filatov had conferred with regional leaders without asking Shakhrai to join them; and that Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had met a representative of the Chechen president against Shakhrai's advice and in his absence. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. STRENGTHENING OF CONTROL OVER PERIPHERY. The head of the presidential administration, Sergei Filatov, was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 21 January as saying that the presidential control structures at the local level should be strengthened. He said that the institution of the "presidential envoys" will be reviewed. Presidential envoys have failed to implement political decisions on the local level and should, according to Filatov, in future be appointed after consultations with local administration heads. Filatov said that additional control mechanisms could soon be set up to implement presidential decisions at the local level. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. PARLIAMENT ON SERBIA. The Russian State Duma passed a resolution on 21 January calling for Russia's representatives at the United Nations to start a campaign to end sanctions against Serbia and expressing concern about NATO discussion of possibly bombing Bosnian Serb targets. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev responded that the parliament's resolution was not binding on the Russian leadership. Kozyrev pointed out that the president, not the Duma, is responsible for foreign policy and that the Duma cannot give orders to the executive branch. Kozyrev's comments were made in an interview with Radio Liberty's "Liberty Live" program on 21 January. The parliament's resolution resembles the kind of activity undertaken by the old parliament which brought it into conflict with the policies of the executive branch. Duma deputies apparently do not feel deterred taking this kind of action despite the fact that the new constitution trims their prerogatives in foreign affairs. Indeed, it appears that Duma deputies may pay little heed to the constitution, as did their predecessors. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. GERMANS CONCERNED ABOUT RUSSIAN INTENTIONS. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl telephoned Yeltsin on 21 January to discuss changes in the lineup of the Yeltsin government and remarks last week by Foreign Minister Kozyrev about Baltic troop withdrawals. A senior aide to Kohl said that Kozyrev's remarks had caused "concern" in Bonn. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said that he is "somewhat worried" and invited Baltic foreign ministers for consultations on 9 March. The talks will focus on the Baltic states' entry into the EU and their growing concern over Russia, RFE/RL's correspondent in Bonn reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. SAKHA PRESIDENT CRITICIZES RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. Sakha (Yakutia) President Mikhail Nikolaev has called the Russian government's lack of "a precise concept" one of the major negative factors in its activity. In an interview with Interfax on 21 January, Nikolaev said that the tough approach to fighting inflation practiced by Gaidar and former Finance Minister Boris Fedorov had been completely misguided. He then went on to complain that there was virtually no mechanism for implementing decrees on the regions, citing in particular Yeltsin's year-old decree on implementing the Federal Treaty with respect to Yakutia. He said that the Council of Ministers had neglected the regions because of its preoccupation with other matters. Ruslan Abdulatipov, chairman of the Council of Nationalities of the former Supreme Soviet, said in an Interview with Interfax the same day that the monetarist policy pursued by Gaidar and Fedorov had threatened Russia's integrity. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS MORE BELARUSIAN MISSILES SENT TO RUSSIA. Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandr Stytchev said in a meeting with the Western European Union (WEU) that Belarus has now sent 34 of its 81 strategic missiles to Russia for destruction, as well as all of its short- and medium-range nuclear missiles, Reuters reported on 21 January. Stytchev went on to say that Belarus hoped to be free of nuclear weapons by the end of 1996. He also called for closer links between Belarus and the WEU, and urged the West to grant more aid for the dismantlement of its conventional weapons. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA INTERETHNIC RELATIONS IN KYRGYZSTAN. A Kurultai (Assembly) of the People of Kyrgyzstan opened in Bishkek on 21 January charged with uniting the ethnic groups that make up Kyrgyzstan's population in finding solutions to the country's economic, cultural and social problems, ITAR-TASS reported. The following day President Askar Akaev met with representatives of various ethnic groups to appeal for consolidation of the country, the same source reported on 22 January. Kyrgyzstan has been under pressure by Russia, on which the Central Asian state has become increasingly dependent, to institute dual citizenship for those who wish to be citizens of Russia as well as of Kyrgyzstan. Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who visited the Central Asian states in late 1993 to press for dual citizenship for Russian-speakers, stopped in Bishkek on 23 January to discuss the situation of the Russian-speaking population of Kyrgyzstan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. ETHNIC RELATIONS IN KAZAKHSTAN. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev was quoted in the semiofficial daily Kazakhstanskaya pravda on 22 January as saying that any attempt to stir up interethnic enmities in Kazakhstan should be punished with all the severity of the law, ITAR-TASS reported. To this end a Council on Citizen's Rights has been established, answerable directly to the president, with primary responsibility for drafting of laws against inflaming interethnic tensions and insulting the national dignity of citizens. Both Kazakh and Russian nationalists in Kazakhstan are convinced that such efforts to maintain interethnic peace are aimed at them. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. ECONOMIC REFORMS ADVANCE IN UZBEKISTAN. Western and Russian news agencies reported on 22 January that a decree of Uzbek President Islam Karimov had been published that day, allowing sales by auction of state-owned shops and service establishments along with the land on which the establishments are located. The decree was hailed as a major step forward in Uzbekistan's privatization program, which has lagged behind those in many other former Soviet republics. Citizens of Uzbekistan and foreigners may bid for the properties without disclosing the sources of the funds they are bidding. Restrictions on import and export of foreign currency have been lifted, and customs tariffs on all goods imported into Uzbekistan are to be removed as of 1 July 1995. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BRIQUEMONT SLAMS UN FOR INACTION. Belgian Lt. Gen. Francis Briquemont on 23 January gave Reuters a farewell interview as he leaves his command of UN forces in Bosnia. His superior, Gen. Jean Cot, has also resigned his post ahead of schedule. Both men are fed up with the UN's refusal to take action, particularly airstrikes against those attacking their troops, saying that the world body has lost credibility in the process. Briquemont noted that "it's not possible to peacekeep in a country at war," and the BBC on 24 January quotes him as saying that "you cannot [do the job] with resolutions, but with action." Meanwhile in Rome, AFP on 23 January reports Pope John Paul II also called for deeds, saying that "arms must not be silent when they are escorting essential goods to people who are dying of hunger" or other humanitarian relief. In Sarajevo itself, Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic on 22 January wrote to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to demand airstrikes against Serb positions following the killing of six children, who were playing when hit by a mortar shell, presumably fired from Serb positions. International media added, finally, that an incomplete UN investigation of corruption by UNPROFOR forces reveals evidence of some abuses but suggests that the worst charges are either unfounded or have been corrected. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. MUSLIMS IN CROATIA CALL FOR CROAT-MUSLIM RECONCILIATION. Vecernji list on 24 January reports on a call over the weekend by the Croatian branch of the Muslim Party for Democratic Action (SDA), which met in Rijeka. The SDA argues that the current fighting between the two traditionally allied peoples is the result of "greater Serbian imperialist policies" and must be stopped in keeping with Croats' and Muslims' "most vital interests." The party, headed by Semso Tankovic, says that any problems can and must be solved through orderly institutional channels. That same Zagreb daily also notes that Foreign Minister Mate Granic has announced that Croatia plans to apply soon to join NATO's Partnership for Peace program, claiming that Croatia's military has no Warsaw Pact traditions and is set up on the same basis as Western armies. Former Yugoslav republics were neither explicitly included nor formally excluded in NATO's offer, and Macedonia and Slovenia have already said they want to sign up. Meanwhile, international media reported on 23 January that a second round of voting was under way in the breakaway Serb regions of Croatia. The presidential vote pits Milan Babic, who suspects Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic of selling out the Krajina Serb's interests, against pro-Milosevic Milan Martic. Some Serbian political experts said in the 21 January Vesti that last week's Serbian-Croatian agreement is at the expense of the Krajina Serbs. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. "REVIVAL OF THESES ON THE DIVISION OF KOSOVO." This is how Politika on 21 January described a discussion between the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, and the newspaper Zeri. The Belgrade daily added that Rugova's remarks that "a division of Kosovo and Metohija is unacceptable to Albanians" only served to draw attention to the issue. According to Politika, the idea of a division "has been received very well in France, England, Germany and Italy," and the paper shows a map, taken from an Italian journal called Limes, which proposes the division of Kosovo with a possible border that would cut Pristina in two; give Pec to Montenegro; the territory in the north of Pristina, which contains the mining center of Trepca, to Serbia; and the southern part to the Albanians. Politika claims that this idea is supported by former rump Yugoslav President Dobrica Cosic, who already in 1991 openly raised the question of partition. In theory, partition should give Serbia important cultural sites while saving the population centers for the Albanians, but the latter claim that the Serbs are really interested in the province's mineral wealth. Elsewhere, the Albanian exile Republika published a map of a "united Albania" in the November-December edition, which includes large parts of Montenegro (including Podgorica), Serbia, and Macedonia (including Skopje). Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. OLECHOWSKI LISTS THREATS TO POLAND. Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski reported to the Sejm on relations with NATO and potential foreign policy threats on 21 January. "Poland is not threatened by war," Olechowski said. The nation's territorial integrity is secure and "we have no enemies." Treaties with all neighbors (except Lithuania) guarantee the inviolability of borders and protect minority rights. Poland's association agreement with the EU takes effect in February. Regional cooperation is developing, however slowly. "Poland is not isolated." On the minus side, however, Poland could find itself on edge of a "reborn empire," subject to economic pressure and vulnerable to the effects of post-Soviet destabilization. New ecological disasters could also threaten. Olechowski expressed guarded satisfaction with the recent NATO summit but repeated Poland's unhappiness with the lack of a timetable or clear criteria for membership. The alliance's explicit opening to new members was a success, but NATO's expansion will unfortunately depend as much on the European security equation as on the preparedness of individual candidates. Olechowski's appeal for continued domestic unity on foreign policy goals met with a positive response; the Sejm vote to accept his report was 215 to 10 with 29 abstentions. Olechowski arrived in Washington for a working visit on 23 January. He is scheduled to discuss the Partnership for Peace plan with US officials and lobby for investment in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH CONSULATE OPENED IN KALININGRAD. In the first diplomatic ceremony to be held in Kaliningrad since 1939, the Polish consulate moved on 21 January from the two small hotel rooms it had occupied since May 1992 to more spacious premises on the top floor of the local welfare office. Poland is the only country with a diplomatic office in Kaliningrad, PAP reports, but Lithuania and Germany are planning to open consulates soon. The consulate's main task is to assist Polish businesses active in the region and aid the 5,000 ethnic Poles resident in Kaliningrad. Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Iwo Byczewski and Kaliningrad governor Yurii Matochkin signed an agreement on economic cooperation between Kaliningrad and Poland's northeastern voivodships. Matochkin announced that Poland is involved in the greatest number of joint-ventures in Kaliningrad (222 firms), while Germany leads the way in the amount of capital invested. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN DELEGATION IN SLOVAKIA. On 23 January, a delegation from the Hungarian Democratic Forum, led by Executive Chairman Sandor Lezsak, concluded a three-day visit to Slovakia, during which it met with representatives of ethnic Hungarian groups. Speaking at a news conference in Bratislava on 23 January, Lezsak said Hungary and Slovakia are still far from a compromise on a dispute over the status of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia. He argued that a compromise is unthinkable unless Slovakia recognizes the basic rights of its Hungarian minority. Lezsak praised what he called "the high political culture of representatives of the Hungarian minority" and accused Slovak leaders of using these representatives as "hostages." Miklos Duray, the chairman of Coexistence, the largest Hungarian group in Slovakia, told Slovak Radio on 23 January that CSCE and Council of Europe officials who recently visited Slovakia and positively evaluated Slovakia's policies on ethnic minorities, "received one-sided information, apparently from Mr. Meciar." On 21 January, the Slovak Foreign Ministry rejected statements made recently by Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky in an interview with the Polish weekly Polityka. In the interview, Jeszenszky expressed doubts about Slovakia's will to fulfill the commitments which the country had accepted when it became a CSCE and CE member. The Slovak Foreign Ministry said Jeszenszky should not put himself in the position of arbiter. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA CONCERNED ABOUT KOZYREV STATEMENTS. Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said on 21 January that Romania is concerned about Russian military intentions, following the statements attributed to Russian Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev last week, according to which he was opposed to the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltics and other ex-Soviet states because of Russian vital interests in the region. Melescanu was quoted by Reuters as telling reporters in Bucharest that the Romanian government "is studying the remarks with maximum concern and in their full complexity." He said Romania was seeking to clarify exactly what Kozyrev meant by Russia's sphere of "vital interests" and how this affected Romania's and Europe's strategic interests. On the other hand, presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu was quoted by Radio Bucharest to tell reporters President Ion Iliescu did not wish to "react hazardously" before the precise content of Kozyrev's declarations had been clarified, since, according to Russian foreign ministry sources, the declarations might have been distorted in reporting. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. FUNAR'S PARTY DEMANDS FOUR PORTFOLIOS. At a press conference following a meeting of the Party of Romanian National Unity leadership, the PRNU president, Gheorghe Funar, said his formation's demands for joining the coalition were four portfolios in the government: the ministries of justice, transportation, communication and agriculture. The PRNU also demanded that its members be designated prefects and ambassadors in proportion with the party's strength in parliament, Radio Bucharest reported on 22 January. Funar said the government must agree to these demands or the PRNU would withdraw its support in parliament. One day earlier the executive president of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, Adrian Nastase, said a decision to bring the PRNU into the cabinet might harm Romania's image abroad, but was preferable to an early election or a coalition with the Democratic Convention of Romania. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ZHELEV URGES POLITICIANS TO FIGHT ORGANIZED CRIME. On 23 January President Zhelyu Zhelev called on the legislature and government to crack down on organized crime and uncover corruption in political parties and state institutions. In an address broadcast by Bulgarian TV, Zhelev said politicians must "stop washing their hands with declarations . . . [and] . . . pass the necessary laws and point out corrupt politicians within their own ranks." But he also criticized the government for passively watching the crime situation deteriorate, saying it has to reassert its rule. In his first open attack against the government, Zhelev had on the previous day said the cabinet has to learn to ignore the views and interests of one or another political force and to start "banging with its fist on the table in order to deliver what it has promised to do." Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINE'S CRIMEAN CRISIS CONTINUES. The tension in Ukraine in connection with developments in Crimea is growing, Ukrainian and Western media indicate. Late on 20 January the prominent Crimean Tatar representative, Iskender Memetov, died of wounds two days after unidentified gunmen had opened fire on a group with which he was (See RFE/RL Daily Report, 20 January.) He is the latest victim of what appears to be a wave of politically motivated killings during the controversial presidential election campaign in the peninsula. The leader in the presidential election held in Crimea on 16 January was Yurii Meshkov, a pro-Russian candidate who has been hostile toward both Kiev and the Crimean Tatars. The runoff election is scheduled for 30 January. On 20 January the Ukrainian parliament hurriedly amended the Ukrainian Constitution to enable President Leonid Kravchuk to overrule any actions of the Crimean Autonomous State which contradict Ukraine's constitution and laws. Legislators are due to resume debating the Crimean crisis when parliament reconvenes on 25 January. The central issue is the legality of Crimea's law establishing a presidency. Last week Kravchuk sacked his representative in Crimea, Ivan Yermakov, who himself had unsuccessfully run for the presidency of the peninsula and increasingly criticized Kiev. On 24 January the head of the State Security Service, Yevhen Marchuk, became the latest Ukrainian official to express concern about the situation: he warned on Ukrainian TV about the destabilizing character of the political conflict in Crimea. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. CONFIDENCE VOTE IN SHUSHKEVICH SUSPENDED. On 21 January the Belarusian parliament postponed indefinitely a confidence vote in the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Stanislau Shushkevich, Reuters and RFE/RL correspondents reported on 21 and 23 January. Nonetheless, many politicians say his days in office are numbered. On 25 January the parliament is to resume the debate on whether or not to remove the Minister of the Interior, Uladzimir Yahorau, and the Minister of KGB, Eduard Shyrkouski. The two are accused of having acted improperly in allowing two Lithuanians wanted for their part in storming the Vilnius television tower in 1991 to be handed over to Vilnius. The leader of the opposition, Zyanon Paznyak, has accused the parliamentary majority of using the "Lithuanian case" as an excuse for getting rid of Shyrkouski and Yahorau. The two officials had been critical of Prime Minister Vyacheslau Kebich's government and had accused Kebich and other officials of corruption. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA ASKS RUSSIA TO DISAVOW ZHIRINOVSKY'S THREATS. Basapress reports that Moldova's Foreign Ministry in a diplomatic note handed over on 21 January asked the Russian government to distance itself from ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky's remarks in an interview on 18 January on "Dniester republic" TV. Reportedly, Zhirinovsky urged that Russian troops stay in Moldova indefinitely and said that the "Dniester republic" eventually will be included in the Russian Federation through political, diplomatic, economic, and military means. Recently Zhirinovsky referred approvingly to the Russian military commander there as Russia's "governor" of that region. The Moldovan note expressed concern that such remarks could exacerbate tension in the region, jeopardize the political resolution of the Dniester conflict, and adversely affect the ongoing negotiations on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CLINTON TELEPHONES ULMANIS. In a twenty-minute telephone call on 20 January, US President Bill Clinton told his Latvian counterpart Guntis Ulmanis that the US continues to support the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Latvia during 1994. According to Diena and a White House press release of 21 January, Clinton expressed hope that the outstanding issues related to the troop pullout, such as the Skrunda radar which Russia still wants to control for several years, would be resolved in order to permit a speedy conclusion of the troop withdrawal accord. Clinton also said that the United States does not link human rights issues with matters concerning the troop pullouts. After the conversation, Ulmanis said he feels convinced that no secret agreement which could pose a threat to Latvia's sovereignty was made between Russia and the United States when Clinton recently visited Moscow. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. FRENCH MINISTER VISITS THE BALTIC STATES. On 22 January France's Minister for European Affairs Alain Lamassoure concluded his three-day visit of the Baltic States in Riga. In Latvia, he told that country's leaders that France would help Latvia during the talks on the conclusion of treaties on free trade with the EC countries and expressed support for French technical assistance to the Latvian Defense Ministry. Throughout his meetings with the Baltic leaders, Lamassoure said that France favored granting Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania an associate member status in the Western European Union and Baltic participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace program; he also stressed the inadmissibility of any new partitioning of Europe into blocs. In Vilnius Lamassoure said that Lithuania should have the same security guarantees as other states in Central and Eastern Europe have and suggested that Lithuania join every European organization of which France is a member. He emphasized that security for Lithuania and the other Baltic States means security for all other European countries, Interfax reported on 21-23 January. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Roman Solchanyk and Kjell Engelbrekt The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU, on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. Requests for permission to reprint or retransmit this material should be addressed to PD@RFERL.ORG. Such requests will generally be granted on the condition that the material is clearly attributed to the RFE/RL Daily Report. 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