Ожидание радости тоже есть радость. - Г. Лессинг
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 17, 26 January 1994


FEDOROV RESIGNS. President Boris Yeltsin has accepted the resignation of 
reformist Finance Minister Boris Fedorov, Ostankino TV reported on 26 
January. Fedorov's conditions for remaining in the cabinet were rejected 
by Yeltsin. Fedorov had asked to keep the status of deputy prime minister 
and demanded the resignation of Central Bank chief Viktor Gerashchenko and 
the conservative Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Zaveryukha. The Financial 
Times reported on 26 January that Fedorov also expressed the wish to 
replace Gerashchenko as head of the Central Bank--a step for which he 
would have needed the approval of the State Duma. The future of Fedorov is 
not clear now. ITAR-TASS on 25 January quoted Kremlin insider sources as 
saying that Yeltsin may offer Fedorov a job as his main economic advisor. 
Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. 

Constitutional Court voted by seven to three in a secret ballot to 
reinstate their former chairman, Valerii Zorkin, as a court justice, 
Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 25 January. Zorkin had been forced to 
resign as court chairman after the violent dissolution of the Russian 
parliament in early October, which he had strongly opposed. In December, 
he was suspended as a court justice together with another member of the 
court, Viktor Luchin, for "political activities" incompatible with their 
status. Luchin was reinstated on 14 January after a brief hunger strike. 
Zorkin praised the decision to reinstate him, but denied that he wanted to 
regain the post of court chairman now held by Nikolai Vitruk. Wendy 
Slater, RFE/RL, Inc.

PRAVDA SUSPENDS PUBLICATION. The communist newspaper Pravda suspended 
publication on 25 January because of a dispute with its Greek business 
partner. Chief editor Viktor Linnik was quoted by AP as saying the 
newspaper will not be published for about a week and would, meanwhile, 
seek new partners in Russia. Linnik told the news agency that Greek 
businessman Yannis Yannikos who started to financially support Pravda in 
1992, was demanding full control over personnel matters and editorial 
policy of the newspaper. This was unacceptable to the newspaper's 
editorial board, Linnik said. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

MARSHAL OGARKOV IS DEAD. Nikolai Ogarkov, one of the most influential 
military figures in the Soviet Union during the last two decades of its 
existence, died on 23 January after a long illness, Krasnaya zvezda 
reported. He was 76 years old. Ogarkov, perhaps best known in the West for 
his defense of the shooting down of a South Korean airliner by the USSR in 
1983, served as USSR First Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of the 
General Staff from 1977 to 1984. A controversial figure throughout his 
career, he was influential in the formation of Soviet strategic arms 
control policy during the Brezhnev years and, more generally, for 
challenging much conventional thinking within the Soviet military 
community on the relationship between technology and military power. 
Described by many in the West as one of the Soviet Union's finest military 
intellectuals, he is believed to be the first technical services officer 
(rather than line officer) to rise to a leadership role in the General 
Staff. In his last years he emerged as an opponent to many of the 
liberalizing trends of the Gorbachev and Yeltsin periods. Stephen Foye, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

Commander-in-Chief of Russian forces in Germany, General Matvei Burlakov, 
told reporters on 25 January that German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and 
Russian President Yeltsin would attend a ceremonial farewell in August to 
mark the final departure of Russian troops from Germany, Reuters reported. 
He provided no details of the planned ceremony. Burlakov also said that 
the withdrawal of Russian forces continues on schedule, but criticized the 
slow pace of housing construction--financed by Germany--for officers 
returning to Russia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. 

Russian Navy, Admiral Feliks Gromov, told Interfax on 21 January that the 
dumping of liquid radioactive wastes by Russia into the Sea of 
Japan--operations that are strongly opposed by Tokyo--would be halted for 
at least a month or two. Gromov, who was visiting Vladivostok, also said 
that Russia should keep the disputed Kuril Islands. Meanwhile, on 22 
January the Russian Foreign Ministry issued an official protest against 
what it called the "mass violation" of its territorial waters by Japanese 
fishing boats. According to Reuters, quoting ITAR-TASS, Moscow claimed 
that more than fifty Japanese boats had entered Russian waters near the 
Kuril Islands on 21 January. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. 

Foreign Ministry department chief Nikolai Solovev on 22 January denied 
South Korean reports alleging that Russia had offered to pay its debts to 
South Korea by providing it with arms or launching joint ventures for the 
production of modern weapons. However, Solovev confirmed that then Russian 
Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin had presented a package of 
proposals on military and technical cooperation to South Korean 
authorities during a visit to Seoul in August of 1993. South Korea, which 
buys most of its military hardware from the US, has reportedly not yet 
replied officially to the Russian proposal. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. 

BUDGET PROJECTION FOR FIRST QUARTER. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin 
told a gathering of regional leaders in Orel on 25 January that budget 
expenditures during the first quarter of 1994 would be kept at the level 
of the last quarter of 1993, Interfax reported. He announced the 
allocation of 4 trillion rubles "to pay off the state debt" to "the most 
important sectors," including 2.7 trillion rubles to the agro-industrial 
complex. The 4-trillion-ruble figure apparently relates to the budget 
deficit--variously reported as 6 trillion and 7.5 trillion rubles--carried 
over from 1993 in order to make a show of meeting IMF guidelines. 
Meanwhile, according to Interfax of 25 January, the deputy prime minister 
in charge of agriculture, Aleksandr Zaveryukha, continues to demand the 
allocation of no less than 40 trillion rubles in 1994 to bail out his 
troubled sector. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

RCB OFFICIALS ON 1993 DEFICIT, EXCHANGE RATE. In a speech in Orel on 25 
January chairman of the Russian Central Bank Viktor Gerashchenko said that 
the year-end (presumably federal) deficit was 17 trillion rubles, or 10.5% 
of GDP, according to Interfax and Ekho Moskvy. In what may have been a 
reference to the several trillion rubles reportedly sequestered by the 
Ministry of Finance over 1993, Gerashchenko claimed that the lower 
inflation rates witnessed at the end of the year were achieved "by the 
underfinancing of the economy." Deputy Chairman of the RCB Dmitri Tulin 
last week said that in the first three weeks of January the bank had spent 
$1 billion of its reserves to support the ruble. This compares to the $4 
billion use for such purposes over all of last year, according to Russian 
economist and Duma member Vasilii Selyunin quoted by Ekho Moskvy on 25 
January. Having jumped to over 1600 rubles to the dollar on 19 January on 
the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange, the exchange rate has settle down 
to 1540-1550 rubles to the dollar in the first half of this week. Erik 
Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

PAY RAISE FOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. A presidential decree has raised the 
salaries of government officials by 90% retroactively from 1 January, 
ITAR-TASS reported on 25 January. No estimate of the total cost of the 
increase was provided. The last pay raise for government officials was 
decreed on 6 December: this nearly doubled the minimum monthly salary from 
7,740 to 14,620 rubles. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

with the presidents of Tatarstan and Marii-El on 21 January, ITAR-TASS and 
Interfax reported. The chief topic of his talks with Tatarstan president 
Mintimer Shaimiev was the need to speed up work on the crucial treaty 
delimiting powers between Russia and Tatarstan, on which work is to be 
resumed shortly. Tatarstan Prime Minister Mukhammat Sabirov said in Kazan 
on 22 January that there was a good chance that Russia and Tatarstan would 
sign an agreement soon on relations between their budgets and banking and 
external economic activity, ITAR-TASS reported. He added that in two years 
of negotiations seven intergovernmental agreements had been signed; five 
more were in preparation. Yeltsin's talks with Marii-El President 
Vladislav Zotin centered on the political situation in the republic after 
the adoption of the new constitution and the development of "vertical" 
executive power. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

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, 


NAZARBAEV ON ECONOMY. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev told a 
meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on 25 January that 1994 should be the 
last year of economic decline in Kazakhstan, ITAR-TASS reported. Despite 
Nazarbaev's radical economic reform program to introduce a market economy 
as rapidly as possible, Kazakhstan has experienced continuous decline in 
output in all sectors since independence. Nazarbaev argued, however, that 
firms that have been privatized are improving their production figures, 
using this as an argument for speedier privatization. The report noted 
that freeing of prices, in the absence of strict budget and credit 
policies, has merely led to inflation. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.


UPDATE ON BOSNIA, CROATIA. On 25 January Bosnian Croat troops claimed to 
have captured the Muslim village of Here, in central Bosnia. HINA reports 
that all civilians were allowed to evacuate the village, while Muslim 
sources contend that some 25 civilians had been massacred. Although no 
independent confirmation of the alleged massacre has yet been made Ejup 
Ganic, Bosnian Vice President, sent a protest to Croatian President Franjo 
Tudjman concerning the alleged killings. In Strasbourg, French Foreign 
Minister, Alain Juppe, called for international diplomatic action to 
develop a new initiative to end the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina through 
negotiation and noted that the US and Russia must aid Europe in pressing 
for a settlement. Vitalii Churkin, Russia's foreign minister, also called 
for action to force the sides to negotiate in earnest. Meantime, Thorvald 
Stoltenberg, UN mediator at the Bosnian peace talks, told the Council of 
Europe that more peacekeeping troops must be committed to Bosnia if a 
settlement is sought. Elsewhere, Reuters and AFP report that in Krajina, 
Milan Martic, a supporter of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, was 
declared the winner with 51% of the vote in a runoff election against 
Milan Babic who garnered 49%, for president of this Serb held region of 
Croatia. Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH STOCK BOOM CONTINUES. The newly-privatized Bank of Silesia made a 
record debut on the Warsaw stock market on 25 January, with share prices 
soaring to 6,750,000 zloty from the initial purchase price of 500,000 
zloty in the first day of trading. Demand was overwhelming when shares 
went on sale in December; 800,000 people submitted orders for a total of 
16 million shares, but most buyers received only three because of the 
limited number of shares available to small investors. The record jump in 
value and the profits allegedly made by bank managers and employees who 
obtained shares on preferential terms prompted the Sejm's privatization 
commission to demand an official inquiry. On 24 January, shares in the 
Rafako boiler company sold out in a single day of public offerings, 
despite the government's last-minute decision to raise the share price 
from 700,000 zloty to 1,200,000. In some cases, would-be buyers waiting in 
"social lines" formed as early as November 1993 were elbowed out of the 
way by hired thugs, leading officials to pledge to find a fairer means of 
selling shares. Finance Minister Marek Borowski indicated on 24 January 
that the government intends to impose a "transaction fee" of less than 1% 
on stock market transactions. Meanwhile, the International Finance 
Corporation (the World Bank's private sector affiliate) reported on 25 
January that the Warsaw exchange was "far and away the best performing" 
stock market in the world in 1993, with average gains in dollar values of 
787%. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SLOVAK PRESIDENT IN WARSAW. Opening a three-day official visit to Warsaw 
on 25 January, Slovak President Michal Kovac said that good relations with 
Poland are one of the basic principles of Slovak foreign policy. He also 
endorsed regional cooperation. "The Visegrad group is the best instrument 
to achieve NATO membership for Poland and Slovakia," Kovac said. Kovac 
thanked President Lech Walesa for his determined stance on the Partnership 
for Peace plan; Walesa awarded Kovac a Polish medal of honor. Bilateral accords on cross-border cooperation and environmental protection were not 
signed as scheduled, however, because of "technical problems" apparently 
arising on the Slovak side. Kovac also met with Prime Minister Waldemar 
Pawlak and Cardinal Jozef Glemp. The Slovak president is scheduled to meet 
on 26 January with parliamentary, business, and banking officials, PAP 
reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

Yugoslav Premier Milan Panic and Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar described 
as fake a letter that was purportedly sent by Panic to Meciar. TASR 
reports that the letter, which was first sent to the office of Slovak 
President Michal Kovac, contains Panic's response to an alleged Slovak 
offer to sell arms in violation of the UN embargo on weapon supplies to 
states of the former Yugoslavia. The purported "Panic letter" thanks 
Meciar for an alleged offer to sell arms and ammunition to the rump 
Yugoslavia but says Russia has made a better one. On 25 January the Slovak 
government discussed the letter, which is said to have been mailed from 
the Czech city of Plzen, while government ministries met Slovak media 
representatives to deny the authenticity of the document. The government 
also instructed Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik to meet Western 
ambassadors in Bratislava to brief them on the "embarrassing provocation." 
In a phone interview with RFE/RL from California, a spokesman for Panic 
said the letter is a forgery and an attempt to discredit Panic's peace 
efforts. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

press conference in Bratislava on 25 January, Pal Csaky, chairman of the 
caucus of the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement in the Slovak 
parliament, said that his party and the largest ethnic Hungarian 
party--Coexistence--have sent a letter to the Council of Europe in which 
they complain about what they see as Slovakia's failure to fulfill 
commitments which the country accepted when it became a CE member. As 
examples, Csaky cited alleged imperfections in a Slovak law allowing the 
use of foreign names, obstacles to the use of Hungarian names for 
traditionally Hungarian towns, and what he termed "a discriminatory 
language law." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. 

on 25 January, Andrej Hrico, the editor-in-chief of Domino, a weekly 
published in Kosice, said that a city prosecutor has charged him with 
"defaming the republic and its representatives." The charges leveled 
against Hrico stem from the fact that last summer his magazine published a 
letter by a reader, saying that "as long as various opinion polls in 
Slovakia are topped by people, such as [Prime Minister Vladimir] Meciar, 
[Democratic Left Party Chairman Peter] Weiss, [Culture Minister Dusan] 
Slobodnik, [Parliament Chairman Ivan] Gasparovic, [Slovak Ambassador to 
Prague Ivan] Mjartan, [Constitutional Court Chairman Milan] Cic and the 
[two] Kovaces (presumably the Slovak President Michal Kovac and Deputy 
Prime Minister Roman Kovac), we cannot live well in Slovakia." The reader 
argued that "these people are political wimps, scoundrels without 
characters, who harm Slovakia." Hrico told CTK that last year he had been 
interrogated twice in connection with the letter, but that prosecutors 
originally intended to charge the author of the letter. However, they 
found out that the author did not sign the letter with his own name. An 
official at Kosice's Prosecutor Office told CTK that she would not comment 
on the case but said that the request to start the investigation was 
"probably made by the office of the president." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

Magyar Hirlap reported on 21 January that both Hungary and Poland are 
planning to set up so-called European Association Councils to supervise 
the implementation of the two countries' association agreements with the 
European Union, signed in December 1991. The report says that Greece, 
which currently holds the EU presidency, has proposed that the founding 
sessions of the councils are scheduled for 7 and 8 March. In each country, 
the councils would operate at cabinet-level. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

Ruml and his Romanian counterpart George Danescu have signed a so-called 
readmission treaty which provides for illegal immigrants to one country to 
be returned to the respective other, Czech TV reported on 25 January. 
According to Ruml, as many as 4,000 Romanian citizens attempted to cross 
the Czech border illegally in 1993. This nevertheless represents a 
significant decrease over the figures of 1992, when more than 16,000 
Romanians crossed the Czech border without proper documents. The two 
interior ministers also agreed to cooperate in the struggle against 
organized crime. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc. 

become on 26 January the first country formally to sign onto NATO's 
"Partnership for Peace" program. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry told 
an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest on 25 January that Foreign Minister 
Teodor Melescanu will sign the necessary documents in Brussels the next 
day. The government had endorsed the plan on 14 January, saying it 
considers it the first step toward eventual admission as a full member in 
NATO. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

Labor Party--the former Communist Party--has announced that it wants to 
join a coalition with the ruling minority Party of Social Democracy in 
Romania and the Party of Romanian National Unity, Reuters reported on 25 
January. SLP vice chairman Tudor Mohora said his party proposed joining 
the coalition to President Ion Iliescu, who has been sympathetic to the 
proposal. Mohora said the new coalition could set up a government as early 
as 1 March. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

radio on 25 January, Bulgarian Prime Minister Lyuben Berov called on 
members of the National Assembly to contribute to the country's economic 
stability by adopting the 1994 budget until mid-February. Berov warned 
that in case the deadline is not kept, Bulgaria could be facing serious 
economic problems in the form of steeply rising inflation and less support 
from foreign financial institutions such as the G-24 group of economically 
highly developed states and the International Monetary Fund. While 
acknowledging that the draft budget prepared by the government includes 
several unpopular measures, he argued that increased spending on pensions, 
health care, education and other items would only exacerbate Bulgaria's 
financial difficulties. Berov also said that the apparent alternative to a 
speedy adoption of the budget is to call a new general election. In a 
first comment, the leader of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces, 
Filip Dimitrov, told BTA that he long had considered early elections the 
only reasonable option to what he described as raging "economic chaos" and 
the cabinet's "incapability to maintain public order and security for the 
citizens." Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

Ukrainian parliament put off debating the trilateral nuclear deal signed 
by President Kravchuk in Moscow on 14 January and left parliamentary 
commissions struggling to reach a consensus on this matter as well as on 
the formal proposal by the Ukrainian president that Ukraine join the 
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. President Kravchuk appears to have won 
the backing from the influential speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Ivan 
Plyushch, who in effect told deputies that Ukraine had been left with no 
choice but to join the NPT. On 26 January, parliament began the day by 
resuming the debate on the main principles of the government and 
administration of Ukraine, an issue which is to be put to a referendum as 
the prelude to the adoption of a new constitution. The session is being 
broadcast live by Ukrainian Radio. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN KGB CHIEF DISMISSED. On 25 January the Belarusian parliament 
voted in a closed session to accept the interior minister Uladzimir 
Yahorau's resignation and to dismiss the KGB minister, Eduard Shyrkouski, 
various agencies reported. Deputies voted 195 against Yahorau and 31 in 
his favor; on Shyrkouski the vote stood at 187 against and 41 in his 
support. 174 votes are needed to force a dismissal. A vote was also held 
to dismiss the Prosecutor General, Vasil Shaladonau, but it did not pass 
with 138 deputies voting against him while 98 voted for. The dismissals 
were connected with the "Lithuanian case" which has been the main subject 
of parliament's discussions since last week, and has also brought on calls 
for confidence votes in the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Stanislau 
Shushkevich, and the Prime Minister, Vyacheslau Kebich. Ustina Markus, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

security chiefs dismissals, Belapan reported that the chairman of the 
Belarusian Social Democratic Assembly, Aleh Trusau, said the proceedings 
were a "usurpation of power," and stated that the Belarusian Popular Front 
opposition would not participate in the voting. In this way Trusau said he 
hoped the parliament would be two or three votes short of the number 
needed for the dismissals. According to Interfax, the chairman of the 
legislation commission, Dmitry Bulakhau, said that the dismissals are "a 
prelude to a more serious political showdown which will involve the 
republic's top figures." Shyrkouski and Yahorau were considered to be 
among Shushkevich's few allies in the conservative government and liberal 
deputies say the allegations were a ploy to isolate the chairman. 
Shushkevich himself expressed disgust over the proceedings which he said 
were a tactic to delay discussing more important matters, including 
setting a date for and drafting the legislation for March elections, 
Belinform-TASS reported. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

RFE on 25 January, Zosim Bodiu, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the 
Agrarian Democratic Party--currently Moldova's largest--said that his 
party would work toward turning Moldova into a "demilitarized zone." The 
idea, contemplated until now only privately in the leadership of the 
Agrarian and some other political parties, entails disbanding Moldova's 
still nascent army and pledging the country's neutrality. In exchange for 
such radical measures, Moldova would demand the withdrawal of Russian 
troops from its territory and the disbandment of the "Dniester" Russian 
forces as part of an overall political settlement of the Dniester 
conflict. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. 

Justice Minister, Egils Levits, and the head of the Department on 
Religion, Antons Seiksts, welcomed in Riga a delegation from Estonia led 
by Interior Minister Heiki Arike and a Lithuanian delegation headed by the 
government's Counselor for Religious Affairs Petras Plumpa, BNS and Diena 
reported on 25 January. Their discussions revealed that Lithuania and 
Estonia lead Latvia regarding the introduction of religious classes in 
schools, while Latvia is ahead with its legislation and mechanism of 
property return to religious organizations, the Justice Ministry's press 
service reported. Latvia's law on religious organizations was adopted in 
1990, Estonia's in 1993 and Lithuania's has not yet been adopted. The 
officials agreed that the activities of some non-traditional religious 
groups in the region have became a source of concern in recent years. 
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

Social Democratic Party (LSDP) Chairman Aloyzas Sakalas told a press 
conference that the party's board had charged its parliament faction to 
begin efforts to hold a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Adolfas 
Slezevicius, Radio Lithuania reports. Since the LSDP has only six 
deputies, it will have to find 22 other deputies to support holding the 
vote. The charges against the government include allowing illegally 
acquired money to be converted to the national currency, the litas, and 
non-fulfillment of government pledges to prepare programs designed to 
promote investments and the reconstruction of state industry. Construction 
and Urban Planning Minister Algirdas Vapsys has applied for retirement as 
from 3 February and Economics Minister Julius Veselka has also expressed a 
desire to resign. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

COST OF LIVING IN ESTONIA. The Estonian Statistics Department has 
announced that the consumer goods and services on average cost 89.8% more 
in 1993 than in 1992, BNS reported on 25 January. Individual spending on 
consumer goods increased 79% as compared to the previous year (food by 
70.1% and other goods by 91.8%), while prices on services rose 135.7%. The 
cost of living in the fourth quarter of 1993 rose 9.1% with the greatest 
increases in spending on health care (16.8%), housing (12.4%), and 
clothing (11.7%). Saulius Girnius, 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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