Друг - это тот человек, который знает о вас все и не перестает при этом любить вас. - Э. Г. Хаббард
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 21, 1 February 1994


presidential envoys, held in Moscow on 31 January, the head of the
presidential administration, Sergei Filatov, expressed concern
that candidates supporting reforms would probably be defeated at
the upcoming elections in regional and local representative
bodies. The elections are to be held in the spring.  According to
ITAR-TASS, Filatov said there were at least two reason for such a
pessimistic forecast: first, the mounting economic problems in the
regions and, second, the lack of unity in the ranks of democrats.
He said a section will be set up in the presidential
administration to work closely with regional parties.  Vera Tolz,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KOHL COMMENTS ON RUSSIA.  German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said that
he and US President Bill Clinton agreed in talks in Washington
that the United States and Germany must combine their efforts to
support Russian and East European progress toward stable
democracy. Kohl described this as a "gigantic" task. "For its
part, Germany has reached the limit of its ability to grant
financial and material aid for reform, and it is now up to other
countries to increase their contributions," Kohl said.  Later on
31 January Kohl met with Clinton for lunch and spoke to the US
state governors, Western agencies reported.  Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL,

ZHIRINOVSKY WHIPPING UP EMOTIONS. Continuing his tour through the
Balkans, Russian LDP leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told a gathering
in the Serb-occupied Croat town of Vukovar on 31 January, "if you
take a historical parallel, we are now living in 1935, when just
four years remained until World War II." He also said that
Russia's power would protect them from any attack by the West. A
protest against Zhirinovsky's visit was registered at the Russian
embassy in Zagreb by Vukovar's mayor in exile, Matej Jankovic, who
asked why official Moscow did not distance itself from
Zhirinovsky's comments, Western agencies reported.  Suzanne Crow,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BUDGET DEFICITS IN 1993 AND 1994.  Russian Central Bank Deputy
Chairman Aleksandr Khandruyev has confirmed that the consolidated
budget deficit in 1993 was 24.6 trillion rubles, Reuters reported
on 28 January. This is appreciably higher than the figure of 17
trillion rubles previously given by the Russian government, and
means that the deficit was equivalent to 14.4%, rather than 10%,
of the GDP.  The draft budget for 1994 has yet to be
published--Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's report on the
budget, scheduled for 31 January, has been postponed--but
preemptive bids have already been submitted for several big ticket
items of expenditure. An aide to First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg
Soskovets told ITAR-TASS on 28 January that 4.6 trillion rubles
had been set aside in the consolidated budget for wage payments to
coal miners.  And Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Zaveryukha
announced on the same day that 2.3 trillion rubles had so far been
allocated for farm support during the first half of 1994, but that
the sector needed 6 trillion rubles in subsidies.  Keith Bush,
RFE/RL, Inc.

DEFENSE R & D UNDERFUNDED. There was a shortfall of over one
trillion rubles in state payments for equipment and technology
supplied in 1993 by the research and development institutions of
the defense industrial complex, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 January.
This, it is claimed, means that the series production of many new
kinds of advanced weapons and military equipment that are superior
to their foreign analogs cannot be undertaken this year.  Keith
Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

International Labor Organization (ILO) on unemployment in Russia
was released on 31 January, an RFE/RL correspondent reported.  The
director of the study, Guy Standing, told RFE/RL that the real
level of unemployment in Russia is more than 10%, whereas the
official level is given as 1-2%.  "Only 16-17% of those without
jobs in urban areas even bother to register because the process is
so difficult, the benefits are too small, and the process gives
almost no help in finding a new job." The ILO has presented its
findings to the Russian government together with its
recommendations. These include the centralization of the
unemployment system to eliminate inequities and transferring the
provision of social benefits from enterprises to local
authorities.  Robert Lyle and Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

of Siberian regions, "Siberian Agreement," has chosen a new
chairman, Siberskaya gazeta reported (no. 2, 1994).  He is the
54-year-old governor of Omsk Oblast, Leonid Polezhaev. His career
has been spent in Karaganda (Kazakhstan) and in his native Omsk,
chiefly in the administrative branch of the regional soviet
(ispolkom). Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

January Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree prolonging
for two months the state of emergency in parts of North Ossetia
and Ingushetia, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. The decree was
approved by the Federation Council meeting in closed session, but
several amendments were suggested, and a special commission was
set up to report on the situation in the area.  After the session
Ingush President Ruslan Aushev repeated his calls for the
introduction of direct presidential rule in the Prigorodnyi raion
of North Ossetia and for the recall of the head of the provisional
administration, Vladimir Lozovoi, whom Aushev accuses of failing
to implement Yeltsin's decree of 13 December 1993 on the return of
the Ingush refugees to Prigorodnyi raion.  North Ossetian
President Akhsarbek Galazov described the debate in the Federation
Council as "unconstructive" and said Yeltsin's decree on extending
the state of emergency was not fully worked through and that some
of its points were legally completely illiterate.  Ann Sheehy,
RFE/RL, Inc.

Dzhokhar Dudaev said at a meeting of the Chechen Security Council
that drug traffickers, whether acting from selfish motives or at
the behest of "special services," should be liable to the death
penalty, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 January citing Chechenpress.
Dudaev has instructed the Chechen procurator general to draw up
the appropriate law. Chechenpress said that in Dudaev's view "it
is necessary to carry out several public executions for a start."
According to Interfax, Dudaev said that several offenders should
be shot without trial or investigation as a lesson to others. Ann
Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.


NO UN PEACEKEEPERS FOR GEORGIA . . . On 31 January the UN Security
Council renewed the mandate of the observer force currently
deployed in Abkhazia until 7 March, but UN Secretary-General
Boutros Ghali has ruled out the option of sending a UN
peacekeeping force to the region until "substantial progress" on a
political settlement is reached, Western agencies reported.
Meanwhile Russian deputy foreign minister Boris Pastukhov told
ITAR-TASS on 31 January that the meeting planned for this week in
Sochi to discuss implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding
signed in Geneva last December has been postponed due to the
failure of last week's meeting to come to an agreement on the
conditions for repatriation of refugees.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

one day after Armenia accepted the terms on the latest Russian
peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh which provided for the deployment
of Russian troops to enforce a 2-3 week ceasefire beginning 1
February, Azerbaijan's President Geidar Aliev rejected it, telling
the plan's architect, special envoy Vladimir Kazimirov, that it
was senseless to talk about a ceasefire while "the aggressor
continues to occupy Azerbaijani territory," Western agencies
reported. Aliev may be reluctant to condone a halt to hostilities
at a time when the Azerbaijani armed forces are slowly winning
back Armenian-occupied territory.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze expressed
dissatisfaction with the preparations for the 3 February visit to
Tbilisi of Russian President Yeltsin, Interfax reported.
Specifically, Shevardnadze ordered Tbilisi tailors to produce new
uniforms for the guard of honor as the present ones "do not meet
the required standard." The guards of honor themselves were deemed
"improperly trained" while the performance of the brass band was
so abysmal that it will be replaced by the military band of the
Transcaucasus Group of Forces. New motorcycles have been purchased
for the escort to and from the airport.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

political groups in Almaty--the Democratic Committee for Human
Rights and the radical Kazakh nationalist party Zheltoqsan--say
that the documentation of their registration with the Ministry of
Justice has vanished from their headquarters, ITAR-TASS reported
on 31 January. According to investigators there was no sign of a
break-in in either case.  The head of the Democratic Committee,
Oleg Abraev, told a press conference that he believes that
government forces seeking to harass the opposition are somehow
involved.  A parliamentary election campaign is in full swing, and
some Almaty journalists are reported to suspect that the two
groups are trying to gain publicity from the incident.  Bess
Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.


has a new parliament, the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (IPA) is
returning to life, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 15 January. The
assembly was set up in March 1992 by seven CIS members, with
headquarters in St. Petersburg, but fell under a cloud when the
chairman of its council, Ruslan Khasbulatov, was put behind bars
at the beginning of October 1993.  In the normal course of events,
Khasbulatov's term in office would have expired at the end of that
month. Nezavisimaya gazeta says that the IPA council plans to
elect a new chairman at a meeting in St. Petersburg in February.
The council is expected to decide to institute a rotating
chairmanship following Cyrillic alphabetical order (Russian being
the official language of the IPA); if so, the new chairman will be
the chairman of the Azerbaijani parliament, Rasul Guliev.
Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

military newspaper, Krasnaya zvezda, on 29 January reacted to
reports that some senior commanders of the Strategic Rocket Forces
located in Ukraine are swearing allegiance to Ukraine by warning
that this appeared a move towards complete takeover of the nuclear
weapons there. It also reiterated warnings that warheads are
becoming unsafe, claiming that 60% of the rocket forces units are
not combat ready because of a shortage of officers. It noted that
there are 500 nuclear warheads in the Pervomaisk warhead storage
facility, some 6-8 times more than the normal number. This number
is surprising. Only 200 warheads have been removed from the SS-19
ICBMs dismantled in 1993, with up to another 120 coming from
SS-24s that have been deactivated.  The figure of 500 warheads
suggests either that more warheads have been removed from ICBMs
than previously announced, or that there are "spare" warheads in
storage. If the latter is the case, the total number of warheads
in Ukraine could be noticeably higher (by 200-300 warheads) than
the standard estimate of 1,800 warheads derived from START
accounting rules.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

The newly elected president of the Crimean Autonomous Republic,
Yurii Meshkov, held a press conference in Simferopol on 31 January
at which he outlined the course he intends to follow, Ukrainian
and Western media reported.  Until now the leader of the
Republican Movement of Crimea, a Russian nationalist organization
which had been formed in the summer of 1991 to oppose Ukrainian
independence and support Crimea's remaining in the USSR (and,
subsequently, Crimea's rejoining Russia), Meshkov pledged to
restore "broken links" with Russia while at the same time
improving relations with Ukraine. "The first thing we will do is
conclude a military-political pact with Russia and greatly improve
our relations with Ukraine," he announced.  Confirming that he
intends to hold a referendum on 27 March on the peninsula's future
status, Meshkov said that there would be no violence or "hasty
steps," unless "outside forces" attempted to interfere in Crimea.
He added that he wanted the peninsula to be a bridge between
Ukraine and Russia and that the economic well-being of the Crimean
population would be his primary concern.  Speaking that same day
on Russian TV, Interfax reported, Meshkov claimed, however, that
"in spirit, the Crimean people have been and remain part of the
Russian people." Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

various Ukrainian political parties have been expressing their
concern about the implications of Meshkov's victory, Ukrainian
officials have reacted relatively calmly, Ukrainian and Western
media report. A presidential spokesman, Viktor Stelmakh, warned on
31 January that although President Kravchuk respected the right of
the Crimean voters "to elect who they want," he would not hesitate
"to annul any illegal act" (that is one which violated the
Ukrainian constitution or challenged Ukraine's sovereignty or
territorial integrity), carried out by Meshkov.  That same day,
Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk also
cautioned Russia against seeking to exploit the situation in
Crimea. He told reporters in Kiev that such action would
jeopardize the recently concluded trilateral nuclear deal which
was signed by the Russian, US and Ukrainian presidents in Moscow
on 14 January. Meanwhile in Crimea itself, Meshkov's main
opponent, Mykola Bagrov, has resigned as Chairman of the Supreme
Soviet.  Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

CRIMEAN TATAR REACTION.  Crimean Tatars are alarmed by Meshkov's
victory, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Cemiloglu (Dzhemilev) told a
press conference organized on 31 January by the Crimean Tatar
Mejlis (elected council), Ukrainian TV reported the same day.
Cemiloglu said that the Crimean Tatars would not recognize Meshkov
and for that matter, the constitution of the Crimean Autonomous
Republic also, if Meshkov continued to adhere to views which the
Crimean Tatars consider to be "chauvinistic and anti-Tatar."
Cemiloglu also criticized Kiev's policy toward Crimea, adding that
the Crimean Tatars have a right to expect the Ukrainian
authorities to adopt a "firmer" position as regards developments
in the peninsula.  Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

to a Reuters report of 31 January, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez
Drnovsek has suggested that relations between Slovenia and Croatia
are improving markedly. While issues such as outstanding border
disputes remain, Drnovsek said that a trade agreement between the
two countries should be inked next week and that normal relations
may follow in the near future.  Meanwhile, on Croatia's internal
political scene, signs suggest that the Istrian Democratic
Alliance (IDS), a regional party based in Istria that controls
local government and which is known for its advocacy of regional
autonomy, is showing signs of internal stress. On 1 February
Vecernji list, in an article titled "New Leadership Selected,"
comments on the political restructuring taking place within the
IDS caucus.  Earlier on 27 January party leader Ivan Jakovcic, in
a Novi list piece, discussed what he felt were some of the
"internal" problems facing the IDS which could lead to an internal
party split.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBIA POLITICAL UPDATE.  On 31 January the Serbian press reported
on Zoran Djindjic's election to the post of president of the
Democratic Party (DS). According to Borba, the leader of the
Democratic Party in the Serbian parliament, Djindjic, received 286
votes (to 69) in his bid for the DS presidency. Earlier, on 10
January Borba reported that Djindjic was coming under attack from
party insiders who objected to what was perceived as his
undemocratic and authoritarian style of leadership.  With this
win, however, Djindjic appears to be in full control of the party.
In other political developments, the leader of the Serbian Radical
Party, Vojislav Seselj, commented in a Globus interview that he
had no objections to a rapprochement between Croatia and the rump
Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, Seselj implied that such remarks ought
not be interpreted in such a way as to suggest that he was
abandoning his commitment to a Greater Serbia, which should
include parts of Croatia. He observed that no normalization in
relations between rump Yugoslavia and Croatia should be carried
out "at the expense of the interests of the [Republic of Serbian]
Krajina"--a section of Croatia controlled by rebel Serb forces.
Stan Markotich., RFE/RL, Inc.

VIOLENCE MAY FLARE IN BOSNIA. International media continue to
report on what appears to be the possibility of escalating
violence in Bosnia.  According to a Reuters report of 31 January,
France's foreign minister, Francois Leotard, is convinced that all
three sides in the Bosnian conflict are preparing for what he
calls "all-out war." Recent reports issued by the Bosnian Serb
news agency SRNA confirm such fears, which suggest that all
able-bodied Bosnian Serb citizens "who can be mobilized will be."
In other news, three suspected of killing a British aid worker on
28 January were themselves killed on 31 January while attempting
to evade arrest in Sarajevo. Meanwhile, on 31 January the
international media reported on Russian nationalist and Liberal
Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky's visit to Serbian-held
strongholds in Bosnia and Croatia. According to AFP reports,
Zhirinovsky was cheered by several thousand people when he
remarked, during a stop in Bijeljina in northeastern Bosnia on 31
January, that NATO-backed airstrikes against Serbs were
unacceptable and that Russia "has the means to punish those who
dare bomb the Serbs." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

Minister Manfred Kanther paid a one-day visit to Poland on 31
January, in an apparent attempt to resolve differences over the
"readmission" agreement that provides for the return to Poland of
illegal immigrants who enter Germany from Polish territory.
Germany's ZDF television charged on the eve of the visit that
Poland uses various tricks to avoid taking into custody foreigners
caught on the border.  Kanther downplayed this report but conceded
that "certain difficulties" had arisen.  By Poland's count,
Germany returned 2,679 illegal immigrants between 1 July and 31
December 1993; it could have returned up to 10,000.  Polish
Interior Minister Andrzej Milczanowski claimed that only 28 cases
were disputed; Kanther said he did not intend "to quarrel over
numbers." In an effort to forestall further conflicts, the
ministers agreed to appoint liaison officers on both sides of the
border. Milczanowski added that Poland will soon begin deporting
captured asylum-seekers by plane to their country of origin.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

G-7 SUMMIT IN WARSAW? The G-7 countries plan to hold a ministerial
summit in Poland at the end of May, PAP reports. The summit will
deal with the role of the Central European countries in the world
economy along with GATT and other trade issues. US Commerce
Secretary Ron Brown, who proposed the idea on 27 January, also
announced that the US has designated Poland as one of its ten
major emerging markets (a list including India, Turkey, and
Indonesia but not Russia) as part of a new strategy to encourage
export. The Sejm's recent adoption of a long-delayed copyright
protection law had removed important obstacles to US investment in
Poland, Brown said.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

agreements with Poland and Hungary took effect on 1 February, PAP
reports. Signed in December 1991, the agreements are designed to
promote economic integration and pave the way to full EU
membership, at a still unspecified date. The trade portions of the
agreement have been in force since March 1992; these bind the EU
countries to remove most duties and quantity limits on industrial
imports from Poland and Hungary (steel, coal, and textiles are
important exceptions) by 1995. The EU has also agreed to lift
agricultural duties by 1995; Poland and Hungary have an additional
three to six years to do the same. The EU has reached analogous
agreements with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Rumania, and
Bulgaria, but these have not yet been ratified. PAP reports that
the EU had a combined trade surplus of $2.8 billion with the six
"associated" East European countries in 1993.  Poland's trade
deficit with the EU now amounts to $1 billion, officials report,
although the EU countries consume 56% of Polish exports.  In
related news, Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak is scheduled
to visit NATO headquarters and sign an agreement on Poland's
participation in the Partnership for Peace program during his
visit to Brussels on 2-3 February.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

statement on 31 January, the Hungarian government stressed the
"great importance" of the agreement for Hungary. It called the
country's integration into Europe an "historical imperative" to
which there was no alternative. On the same day, Gyorgy Csoti, the
deputy chairman of the parliament's foreign relations committee
and a member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum, called on
Hungarian leaders to begin without delay preparations for full
membership and to participate actively in the work of the EU's
political institutions. Speaking to journalists in Budapest, Csoti
predicted that negotiations about Hungary's full EU membership
could begin in 1996.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

conference, Csoti sharply criticized the embargo against rump
Yugoslavia and urged that it be revised, MTI reports. Csoti said
the embargo had only done harm and exposed the population of rump
Yugoslavia, particularly in Vojvodina, to extreme hardships.  He
condemned the embargo for creating inequality between the warring
parties and having inflicted a $1.3 billion damage on the
Hungarian economy, urging that a new system of sanctions against
rump Yugoslavia be worked out.  Csoti's statement came shortly
after a visit by Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky to Belgrade
where he discussed among other things the situation of the
Hungarian minority in Vojvodina.  Jeszenszky told the daily Magyar
Hirlap of 29 January that Hungary would support an initiative by a
group of countries to lift the embargo.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

Union announced plans to help Balkan countries revitalize regional
transportation, which has nearly collapsed as a result of United
Nations sanctions against former Yugoslavia and military
operations in Bosnia, Western agencies report. In a statement, the
EU Commission said it is prepared to commit 100 million Ecu ($112
million) in an effort to establish alternative trade routes
through neighboring states. The proposals, which so far envisage
two transport corridors--one linking Austria with Greece and
Turkey, and another through Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and
Ukraine--will be presented at the ongoing Vienna meeting of the
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.  The Commission
said that the corridors, coupled with a standardization of customs
procedures, could help drastically reduce queues at national
borders.  Reportedly, the EU also considers to financially support
the improvement of the main road network in Romania and Albania,
as well as a new bridge between Romania and Bulgaria.  Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

that on 29 January Romania and Bulgaria signed an accord on
military cooperation.  Aside from creating the basis for joint
military operations, Romanian Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu
told a press conference that the agreement would allow for
cooperation in the field of military education and sports
activities. When asked about their views on the United Nations
embargo against rump Yugoslavia, Spiroiu and Bulgarian Defense
Minister Valentin Aleksandrov acknowledged that they differed.
Whereas Romania favors a relaxation of the present sanctions,
Aleksandrov said his government believes they should remain in
place.  Later the same day, Aleksandrov was received by President
Ion Iliescu.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

opposition party, the National Peasant Party--Christian
Democratic, criticized on 31 January the decision of the ruling
Party of Social Democracy in Romania to accept nationalist and
far-left groups as partners in a future coalition government. An
RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest quoted NPPCD Vice President Ion
Diaconescu as saying that such a coalition could lower the
government's credibility abroad.  The criticism came two days
after the Democratic Convention of Romania, an opposition alliance
including the NPPCD, denounced the PSDR for seeking to maintain
its monopoly on power by cooperating with anti-reformist forces in
parliament. In a related development, the Socialist Labor Party
(the former Communists) said that its participation in a possible
coalition cabinet "would imply not only support to the government,
but also control over it." Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

cited by Moldovapres, Basapress and Interfax on 31 January as
saying that Moldova would not adhere to any military agreements
within the Commonwealth of Independent States "because it strives
to attain the status of a genuinely neutral state." This position,
if maintained, would mark a retreat from Moldova's goal of
association with, and eventual membership, of NATO.  Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs is meeting with leading American
officials in Washington from 30 January to 1 February on security
and defense matters, including the pullout of Russian troops from
Latvia.  Two principal issues await resolution before a
Latvian-Russian agreement can be signed on the pullout of the
remain troops by 31 August 1994: Russia's desire to maintain
control over the Skrunda radar and the rights and privileges of
some 30,000 retired Soviet officers residing in Latvia.  The New
York Times reported on 29 January that American and Russian
officials discussed these issues in Moscow at the time of the
Clinton-Yeltsin meeting and that they had arrived at a compromise
on both of them. Concerning Skrunda, Western and Latvian press
reported on 26 and 29 January, Latvia's president Guntis has
suggested holding a referendum to decide whether Latvia should
allow Russia to lease Skrunda for a number of years.  Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

Eduardas Vilkelis told Respublika that a European Union mission
visiting Vilnius last week had made it clear that the second half
of a 100 million Ecu ($112 million) loan should be distributed
through commercial banks and not through the state credit
commission, BNS reported on 31 January.  To be signed within two
weeks, the loan agreement for 50 million Ecu will mention specific
investment projects, probably the modernization of the Klaipeda
port, the Elektrenai power station, the Mazeikiai refinery,
Lithuanian railroads, as well as the building of the Via Baltica
highway. Reportedly, the EU experts recommended that Lithuania
amend its laws on the Central Bank and commercial banks and better
implement its bankruptcy law.  They also inquired about the
suggestion by Premier Adolfas Slezevicius that Lithuania establish
a currency board and peg the litas to a foreign currency.  Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]

  Compiled  by Ustina Markus and Kjell Engelbrekt
The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research
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