When two people communicate, they each can be enriched - and unlike traditional resources, the more you share the more you have. - U.S. Vice President Al Gore
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 24, 4 February 1994

RUSSIA

RECOMMENDATION TO CHANGE LEGISLATION ON POLITICAL PARTIES. Officials have 
recommended to President Boris Yeltsin that the laws on political parties 
be amended, Interfax reported on 3 February. The authors of the memorandum 
called the current multi-party system "overblown" and recommended measures 
that, they said, would turn parties into "a mechanism for selecting 
professionals fit to work in the legislative and executive branches of 
government." The measures reportedly include tighter regulation of the 
registration of parties before elections, and stricter monitoring of the 
financing of political parties. Parties would reportedly be required to 
publish articles explaining their programs for "national development" and 
would not even be permitted to contest elections unless their programs 
"evoked some public response." Wendy Slater, RFE/RL, Inc. 

COUNCIL OF FEDERATION FEELS NEGLECTED BY CHERNOMYRDIN. The Council of the 
Federation has reacted negatively to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's 
decision to cancel his address to the upper chamber of the parliament 
because of his involvement in chairing a government session, Radio Rossii 
reported on 3 February. Deputies also criticized their speaker, Vladimir 
Shumeiko, for failing to secure Chernomyrdin's appearance. Instead of 
Chernomyrdin, economics minister Aleksandr Shokhin addressed the Council, 
while Chernomyrdin has been scheduled to speak at a later moment. The 
Council of the Federation has send a signal to the government that in the 
future it wants to give recommendations on correcting economic policy. 
Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. 

IZVESTIYA: KOZYREV, CHERNOMYRDIN DIFFER. An article in Izvestiya on 3 
February suggested that there may be disagreements between Foreign 
Minister Andrei Kozyrev and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin. Citing the 
difference in emphasis of the two politicians opposition to air-strikes 
against targets in Bosnia, Izvestiya said that "the foreign policy course 
associated with Andrei Kozyrev and broadly meeting with the support of 
Boris Yeltsin has apparently acquired a serious opponent in the shape of 
Viktor Chernomyrdin." The article cited the denial a high-ranking by 
Russian diplomat of fundamental disagreements between the ministers, but 
nonetheless concluded that Chernomyrdin, already campaigning for the 1996 
presidential elections, is trying to appeal to the conservative part of 
the Russian electorate. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA ESTABLISHES RELATIONS WITH MACEDONIA. ITAR-TASS reported on 3 
February that Russia and Macedonia have established full diplomatic 
relations. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Demurin said that 
the action was not directed against any other state and would contribute 
to "promoting stability in the Balkans as a whole." President Yeltsin made 
an impromptu announcement in Bulgaria in August 1992 that Russia 
recognized Macedonia. The establishment of full relations was delayed, in 
part, because of lack of support for Yeltsin's move in Moscow. Suzanne 
Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

SHOKHIN FOR STRICT FINANCIAL POLICY. Minister of Economics Aleksandr 
Shokhin told deputies in the Council of Federation that he will "take 
[Egor] Gaidar's position" should Prime Minister Chernomyrdin sign the 
agreement with Belarus on a single ruble zone, Ekho Moskvy reported on 3 
February. Gaidar had resigned earlier in protest over that policy. Shokhin 
also rejected the alternative economic program of some former Gorbachev 
advisors (Abalkin, Petrakov, Shatalin) saying that their recommendations 
emphasize exactly the opposite of what should be done. He stated that his 
ministry is preparing its own paper on economic reform in 1994, and that 
he will fight for a strict financial policy. Shokhin also spoke against 
new government subsidies to the agricultural sector. Alexander Rahr, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

FARM SUPPORT. On 3 February, the scale of future agricultural subsidies 
received much attention, according to Russian and Western agencies. The 
cabinet was reported to have approved, in principle, an allocation of 14 
trillion rubles for farm support in 1994, but called for a further review 
to be completed in a week's time. This amount is be set against projected 
budgetary revenues of not more than 80-100 trillion rubles, as cited by 
Biznes-TASS. It was not specified which prices were used. Economics 
Minister Aleksandr Shokhin touched upon the maintenance of agricultural 
subsidies in his speech to the Federal Council. But Andrei Illarionov, of 
the Working Center for Economic Reforms, argued that a further 14 trillion 
rubles would be needed to form the federal food funds and another 6 
trillion rubles would be requested to carry out spring operations, making 
a total of 34 trillion rubles. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. 

REAL INCOMES ROSE IN 1993. Deputy Labor Minister Valerii Kolosov told a 
news conference on 3 February that money incomes rose by 1100% in 1993, 
while retail prices increased by 940%, Interfax reported. The incomes of 
the top 10% were 11 times higher than those of the poorest 10%. 13% of the 
population had incomes below the 36,000-ruble level estimated as being 
adequate, in December 1993, to purchase the minimum amount of foodstuffs, 
while 30% were said to be below the subsistence minimum of 50,000 rubles a 
year. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

DIRE WARNING ON VODKA SUPPLY. The directors of vodka and spirit plants met 
in Moscow on 3 February to talk shop, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported. The 
main grumble was that new taxes had raised production costs by more than 
one half, leading to an 80% drop in vodka output in January. They also 
complained that imported drinks and "plain substitutes" were being sold on 
the domestic market with virtually no controls. Unless the government 
reduced the burden of excise and other taxes, they warned, the domestic 
output of vodka and other liquors would cease. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS

UKRAINE RATIFIES START-1 . . . On 3 February the Ukrainian parliament 
voted overwhelmingly in favor of exchanging the instruments of 
ratification of the START-1 treaty and Lisbon protocol. The move came 
after a speech by President Leonid Kravchuk in which he stressed the 
dangers of keeping aging warheads in Ukraine and the threat of 
international isolation if Ukraine failed to live up to its non-nuclear 
commitments. Kravchuk also noted that he had just received a letter from 
US President Bill Clinton, promising a doubling of economic aid to 
Ukraine. There are some ambiguities in the parliament's decision. First, 
the 18 November 1993 resolution on START ratification specified that cuts 
of 36% in launchers would be made by Ukraine, although it allowed for 
greater reductions. In response to deputies' questions, Kravchuk implied 
that he would eliminate all nuclear weapons, but it is unclear whether 
this is parliament's intent. Second, Kravchuk noted that Ukraine did not 
wish to destroy its missile silos as called for by the treaty, suggesting 
that further negotiations on this matter may be necessary. The ambiguities 
in the resolution and the failure to debate the NPT apparently led to some 
confusion amongst deputies, with one noting that "I have no idea what we 
voted for," according to the 4 February Los Angeles Times. Details of the 
debate and resolution were carried by Ukrainian and Western press 
agencies. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . BUT DELAYS NPT ACCESSION. While the original draft resolution 
submitted to parliament for approval contained a point authorizing 
accession to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), deputies did not 
extensively debate or pass the item. Consideration of NPT accession has 
been referred to committee for further discussion, and may not be voted 
upon until after the March elections. The resolution passed by parliament 
upholds START-1, and rescinds the earlier ratification resolution's 
exclusion of Article 5 of the Lisbon protocol. (Article 5 commits Ukraine 
to NPT accession as a non-nuclear state in "the shortest possible time.") 
However, the security guarantees which Ukraine desires, and which were 
proffered in the trilateral agreement, are explicitly conditional upon NPT 
accession as a non-nuclear state. The original draft resolution's point on 
NPT accession contains additional statements asserting Ukrainian ownership 
of the components of the nuclear weapons, and noting that their presence 
in Ukraine does not violate the treaty. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEXT STEPS TO DISARMAMENT. The parliament's resolution opens the way for 
implementation of the trilateral agreement, which calls for an initial 
transfer of 200 weapons from Ukraine to Russia within the first ten months 
of implementation. It is likely that the instruments of ratification for 
START-1 will be submitted during Kravchuk's planned trip to Washington in 
March. In the meantime, a trilateral group of experts will meet to discuss 
details of compensation for tactical nuclear weapons--a crucial issue 
which has not yet been resolved. A timetable for the removal of all 
warheads from Ukraine must also be agreed upon. It also appears that 
Kravchuk must submit to parliament for ratification the Ukrainian-Russian 
agreement on compensation for strategic nuclear warheads signed in 
September 1993 at Massandra. Finally, both the US and Russia have made 
full implementation of START-1 conditional upon all parties acceding to 
the NPT. Belarus has already done so, and President Nazarbaev will deposit 
the instrument of ratification for Kazakhstan during his forthcoming visit 
to Washington in February. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. 

RUSSIAN REACTION. As of 13:00 Moscow time on 4 February there had been no 
official Russian reaction to the Ukrainian parliament's move. While the 
debate was covered on late evening news shows on 3 February, by 4 
February, Ostankino TV in its 9:00 broadcast devoted only 15 seconds to 
the accord, instead emphasizing Crimean President Yurii Meshkov's 
prospective meeting with President Kravchuk, and a meeting of societies 
representing the interests of Russians living in the "near abroad." 
Subsequent Russian and Ostankino TV broadcasts are not even mentioning the 
resolution. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN IN TBILISI. On 3 February a Russian delegation headed by President 
Boris Yeltsin made a one-day visit to Tbilisi, the high point of which was 
the signing with Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze of a 
bilateral treaty on friendship and cooperation, together with 24 other 
agreements on trade and economic ties, scientific and cultural 
cooperation, the status of Russian border guards in Georgia, and military 
basing rights, Russian and Western agencies reported. Talks also covered 
the ongoing conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the possibility of 
Georgia joining the ruble zone; at a joint press conference with 
Shevardnadze, Yeltsin said a working group would be formed to address the 
latter issue, according to ITAR-TASS. Both Shevardnadze and Yeltsin 
expressed satisfaction with the visit, which Shevardnadze characterized as 
important for the establishment of peace and stability throughout the 
Caucasus, Georgian Television reported. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SHOKHIN ON MONETARY UNION WITH BELARUS. The Russian economics minister, 
Aleksandr Shokhin, has said that the package of documents on the 
unification of the monetary systems of Russia and Belarus has not yet been 
prepared, and that is why the unification agreement cannot be signed 
during Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's upcoming visit to Minsk, 
Interfax reported on 3 February. Shokhin said he had learned about 
Chernomyrdin's visit from the media and that he had never given his 
consent to signing the agreement. The proposed terms of the union have 
been reported as being favorable toward Belarus at Russia's expense, and 
were one of the reasons Egor Gaidar cited for resigning as Russia's 
economics minister. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. 

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BEEHIVE OF DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITY ON BOSNIA . . . International media report 
on 4 February that the UN Security Council has warned Croatia to withdraw 
its reported 3-5,000 troops in Bosnia or face "serious measures," which 
may mean sanctions. The Washington Post notes, however, that the 
imposition of sanctions might prompt Croatia to retaliate against the UN's 
Zagreb-based operations or against the 200,000 Muslim refugees in that 
republic. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic said 
on 3 February that the 10 February session of the Geneva peace talks is 
likely to be "another abortive session that wastes time" and that he 
consequently will not attend. A Bosnian delegation nonetheless will attend 
out of a sense of duty and will be headed by Prime Minister Haris 
Silajdzic, Reuters reports. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . KOSOVO AND MACEDONIA. On the other side of the Atlantic, the 
president of the self-styled Republic of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, and Prime 
Minister Bujar Bukoshi met briefly on 3 February with US President Bill 
Clinton. Rugova told news agencies that Clinton showed "concern and 
understanding" for the situation in the Serbian province with a more than 
90% ethnic Albanian majority. The Kosovar leader claimed the Albanians are 
subjected to "violence, discrimination, and even apartheid," and that 
consequently Kosovo "is ready to explode." He pointed out that his goal is 
"an independent and neutral Kosovo. Neutral means open to both Serbia and 
Albania to avoid conflict between these two nations." And in neighboring 
Macedonia, Nova Makedonija and the Belgrade Borba report on 4 February 
that Russia will send an ambassador to Skopje within a month as part of 
its policy of promoting stability in the Balkans. Moscow recognized 
Macedonia in August 1992 but only now is setting up full ties. News 
agencies said that Greece "expressed displeasure" over the decision. 
Meanwhile, Nova Makedonija also says that the Czech Republic has agreed to 
recognize Macedonia and will soon send a delegation to Skopje. Finally, 
Borba notes that Slovenia is "thinking over" the possibility of 
normalizing relations with rump Yugoslavia, where it has extensive 
business interests. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. 

DESERTERS FACE DEPORTATION TO CROATIA. International media in recent days 
have reported on up to 100,000 Croatian refugees in Germany who face 
deportation to Croatia after their current residency permits expire on 30 
April. Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic asked his German counterpart 
Klaus Kinkel to stagger out the return in phases, Reuters reported on 27 
January. German human rights groups have noted that among those possibly 
affected by the deportations are thousands of draft-age men who have 
declared themselves to be refugees rather than deserters or contentious 
objectors. The Frankfurter Rundschau mentioned as many as "some thousands 
of deserters." International media in recent days have noted that both 
Serbia and Croatia have been dragooning young men to serve in Bosnia. 
Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

ARRESTS OF MUSLIM LEADERS IN THE MONTENEGRIN SANDZAK. In the mainly 
Muslim-populated region of Sandzak, the leader of the Party of Democratic 
Action (SDA) of Montenegro, Harun Hadzic, and at least seven other members 
of the Muslim-dominated party and the Muslim National Council have been 
arrested on allegations of planning an armed uprising. According to 
Politika on 2 February, "large quantities of weapons" were found in 
Hadzic's yard. Hadzic, a former deputy to the Montenegrin parliament, is 
currently serving as the president of the SDA in both Serbia and 
Montenegro because Serbian authorities have threatened to arrest his 
counterpart on the Serbian side, Sulejman Ugljanin. That man left for 
Turkey in November 1993, when the last wave of arrests took place in 
Sandzak on the same charges. After that the SDA did not participate in 
December's Serbian elections. Among the recently arrested people are also 
Hakija Muratovic, the SDA leader in Beran, and Isid Skenderovic, a party 
secretary in the same town. He supposedly led a paramilitary secret 
organization and was leader of an alleged Muslim "general staff." The SDA 
says that the charges are a political frame-up. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, 
Inc. 

OWEN AND STOLTENBERG IN BUCHAREST, SOFIA. International mediators Lord 
David Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg on 3 February discussed in Bucharest 
the conflicts in former Yugoslavia with Romanian leaders, including 
President Ion Iliescu and Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu. Radio 
Bucharest reported that the talks focused on the effects on Romania of the 
UN sanctions against the rump Yugoslav federation and ways to unblock 
negotiations on the war in Bosnia. Later that day, Owen and Stoltenberg 
arrived in Sofia where President Zhelyu Zhelev stressed that a peace 
settlement needs to take into account the security of the entire region. 
Dan Ionescu and Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

MORE UPHEAVAL IN POLISH CABINET. Miroslaw Stec, the director of the Public 
Administration Bureau in the Council of Ministers Office (URM), resigned 
his post on 2 February, PAP reports. Stec had worked in the URM, the 
ministry responsible for public administration and local government, since 
1991. His resignation was a protest against the policies of URM chief 
Michal Strak, who has been widely criticized for an overly centralized and 
politicized approach to the public administration. Stec said the 
government has no idea of how a proper state should be structured, while 
the URM's "piecemeal" changes in the administration rule out any systemic 
reform. Strak's "biggest mistake," Stec added, was not so much his 
wholesale removal of voivodship chiefs (16 of 49 have been replaced since 
October) but the appointment of local party bosses to take their place. 
"This destabilizes the work of the public administration," Stec charged. 
In other cabinet troubles, Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak and SLD leader 
Aleksander Kwasniewski met on 3 February to discuss the Prime Minister's 
unilateral decision to fire Deputy Finance Minister Stefan Kawalec. The 
SLD saw the firing as a slight to Finance Minister Marek Borowski, who was 
said to have threatened to resign in protest against the decision. Both 
Pawlak and Kwasniewski were reported by the Warsaw papers on 4 February to 
have also discussed the manner of decision-making within the coalition. 
This marks the most serious conflict within the left-wing coalition since 
the formation of the government. Louisa Vinton and Jan de Weydenthal, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

PRIVATE, NATIONWIDE TV OPENS IN CZECH REPUBLIC. The first nationwide 
private television channel in the Czech Republic--NOVA TV--starts 
broadcasting on 4 February. The station, which was licensed to broadcast 
nationwide one year ago, will initially broadcast 19 hours daily. Czech 
Television will be its main competitor. The chief financial backer of NOVA 
is the Central European Development Corporation, headed by Mark Palmer, a 
former US Ambassador to Hungary. Other financial partners are the Czech 
Savings Bank and a group of investors led by Vladimir Zelezny, the 
station's general director. NOVA will not be the first commercial station 
in the Czech Republic. The Italian-financed channel Premiera has been on 
the air since May. However, it reaches only Prague and parts of southern 
Bohemia. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SLOVAK OPPOSITION WILL TRY TO OUST MECIAR. Opposition leaders said on 3 
February that they will call an extraordinary parliament session this 
month to cast a vote of no-confidence in Premier Vladimir Meciar, Reuters 
reports. The announcement came after a parliamentary session ended in 
deadlock, as members of the ruling coalition, made up of the Movement for 
a Democratic Slovakia and the Slovak National Party, walked out. Although 
the coalition officially has 79 deputies, a faction of the SNP, including 
Chairman Ludovit Cernak, no longer supports the MDS and did not leave the 
session. Thus, after the walk-out, 76 of 150 deputies remained in the 
parliament, which is enough to pass legislation, TASR reports. The crisis 
occurred when the parliament named Cernak moderator of the discussion on 
the government's proposed amendments to the large-scale privatization law, 
thus depriving parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic of "his right" to chair 
the debate. The opposition criticized the government's amendments, saying 
"they would result in a concentration of power." (Meciar is currently 
acting as privatization minister and chairman of the National Property 
Fund.) The chairmen of all parliamentary parties will meet before the 4 
February session to try and resolve the deadlock. In an interview with 
TASR later that evening, Meciar said he did not consider the current 
situation "a crisis" and claimed that the coalition has "enough votes" to 
pass the cabinet's privatization proposals. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. 

NATO TEAM IN SOFIA, BUCHAREST. A top-level NATO team headed by Assistant 
Secretary General Gebhardt von Moltke spent 2 February in Sofia, and 3 
February in Bucharest, discussing details of the Partnership for Peace 
plan, as well as enhanced military cooperation including future military 
exercises. In Bulgaria the delegation was received by President Zhelyu 
Zhelev and in Bucharest by Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu. Both countries have 
been positive about the NATO scheme and its implications and on 26 January 
Romania became the first former communist country to sign a partnership 
agreement with NATO. In a separate foreign relations development, Romania 
and Iran on the same day signed a trade agreement aimed at strengthening 
commercial exchanges between the two countries. The agreement came at the 
end of a two-day visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, who 
on 1 February signed a similar deal with Bulgaria. Kjell Engelbrekt and 
Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN AIR FORCE IN SORRY STATE. On 3 February Lt. Gen. Miho Mihov, 
Commander of Bulgaria's Anti-Aircraft Defense and Air Force, warned that 
as much as 80% of the country's entire air force might be unflightworthy 
by the end of 1994. Mihov told BTA that at present some 30% of the 
military aircraft and 46% of the helicopters are beyond repair, and only 
8% of the aircraft belong to the so-called fourth generation of aviation 
technology, as opposed to 50-55% in neighboring states. Aside from 
outdated equipment, he said the chief current problem is the lack of young 
and motivated staff, especially pilots, who are leaving for better-paid 
jobs in the private business sector. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN DIFFICULTIES OVER CFE. The deputy foreign minister, Aleksandr 
Sycheu, has said that Belarus is having financial difficulties 
implementing the next stage of the Conventional Forces in Europe 
disarmament agreement, Interfax reported on 3 February. Under the 
agreement some 1,200 tanks, 600 armored vehicles and 80 military aircraft 
must still be discarded by Belarus. Belarus had put forward a proposal to 
set up a fund for the dismantling of conventional weapons in the summer of 
1993. The idea was supported by Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia and 
Armenia. According to Sycheu, the foreign and defense ministries of Great 
Britain, France and Germany did not support the idea, but preferred 
bilateral contacts on the subject. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN DAILY SAYS ATTACK ON MOLDOVA AUTHORIZED BY MOSCOW. Corroborating 
earlier avowals by Yeltsin's adviser Sergei Stankevich and other Russian 
officials, Rossiiskie Vesti of 2 February dismissed as "a legend" the 
notion that Russia's Gen. Aleksandr Lebed had acted on his own in 
unleashing his 14th Army against Moldova in 1992. "Only now, summing up 
all the facts, we have come to understand: every step of that Army's 
commander was authorized by the hierarchy of Russia's Ministry of 
Defense." To have done otherwise "would have meant incurring the anger of 
millions of compatriots and losing a valuable strategic outpost oriented 
toward the Balkans." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. 

14TH ARMY TO GET NEW STATUS? Elsewhere, Gen. Lebed told an officers' 
assembly that the 14th Army is to be reorganized this year, possibly by 
being given the status of an "operational group" or a force based abroad. 
According to a Basapress report from Tiraspol, citing the 14th Army's 
weekly Soldat Otechestva, Lebed said he would nonetheless remain in 
command. "Dniester republic" Supreme Soviet chairman Grigorii Marakutsa 
for his part told Interfax on 3 February that negotiations are underway 
with Russia's Defense Ministry concerning compensation to Tiraspol for the 
14th Army's use of military housing and services provided by the "Dniester 
republic." Meanwhile the Moldovan-Russian troop talks are deadlocked. 
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. 

ESTONIA JOINS PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. On 3 February Foreign Minister Juri 
Luik signed the documents enrolling Estonia in NATO's Partnership for 
Peace program. Luik stressed that "Estonia considers eventual NATO 
membership to be part of the wider framework of European integration. It 
is crucial for stability in Europe." Luik also called on Russia to 
withdraw its remaining troops from his country, Western agencies and 
Baltic media reported. On 3 February Latvian leaders signed the formal 
application for membership in the Partnership for Peace program and 
Latvia's admission is expected to be expedited quickly. Lithuania was the 
first Baltic State and second East European state to have enrolled in the 
program. Since the program was established in January, NATO has increased 
its attention on the Baltic States. NATO representatives have visited 
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and Baltic representatives have visited 
NATO headquarters to discuss specific security issues. Dzintra Bungs, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

STILL NO DEFINITE PLAN FOR RUSSIAN TROOP PULLOUT FROM ESTONIA. BNS of 2 
February noted that while some progress had been made at the most recent 
Estonian-Russian negotiations, Russia failed to produce a detailed 
timetable for the withdrawal of its troops from Estonia. Estonian Foreign 
Ministry expressed surprise, since President Yeltsin and other Russian 
officials had spoken of the imminent presentation of a timetable. Russian 
delegation head Vasilii Svirin told journalists that Moscow "did not 
consider it necessary to present the schedule," since it did not agree 
with Estonia's stand on Russian military retirees. Svirin complained that 
Estonia wants Russian servicemen who retired in that country after 20 
August 1991 (the date of the restoration of the independent Republic of 
Estonia) and their families (altogether about 35,000 persons) to leave and 
the other Soviet military retirees (with their families, they number about 
44,000) to give "humiliating" pledges, such as swearing that they no 
longer work for the Russian army or secret service. Svirin also complained 
that Estonia was not cooperating with Russia over marking the common 
borders. The next round of talks are to take place in Tallinn on 1-2 
March. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. 

ESTONIA'S NEGATIVE TRADE BALANCE. According to data of the Bank of 
Estonia, in 1993 Estonia's imports amounting to 11,967.5 million kroons 
($860 million) exceeded exports worth 10,596.9 million kroons, BNS 
reported on 1 February. Estonia's trade deficit with Finland, the leader 
in both categories, was 2,139.9 million kroons. Estonia had a trade 
surplus of 504.3 million kroons with its second greatest partner, Russia. 
Textiles, food, and vehicles were the leading exports while machines and 
equipment, mineral products (fuels), and vehicles were the most important 
imports. Estonia traded with 116 countries, having a positive trade 
balance with 70. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN-FINNISH CUSTOMS COOPERATION, POLISH DELEGATION. On 3 February 
in Helsinki Vitalijus Gerzonas, the director of the Lithuanian Customs 
Department, signed a cooperation agreement with his Finnish counterpart, 
BNS reports. The agreement, which is Lithuania's first with a Nordic 
country, provides for exchange of information, joint actions in preventing 
violations of customs regulations, and cooperation in training 
specialists. In a separate development, a Polish delegation headed by 
secretary of state in the president's office, Andrzej Zakrzewski, on 1 and 
2 February held unofficial talks with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Povilas 
Gylys President Algirdas Brazauskas. Radio Lithuania reported that 
Zakrzewski brought new versions of several articles in the long negotiated 
friendship and cooperation treaty that has bogged down due to Lithuanian 
demands that it includes a condemnation of the Polish seizure of Vilnius 
in 1920. The talks did not deal with the situation of the Polish minority 
in Lithuania. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. 

[As of 1200 CET]

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