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RFE/RL Daily Report

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 
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