...ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. - John F. Kennedy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 26, 8 February 1994

RUSSIA

MOSCOW OPPOSES PROPOSED BOSNIAN AIR STRIKES. A host of Russian government 
and parliamentary leaders on 7 February expressed doubts over the wisdom 
of launching air strikes against Serbian positions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
Reuters quoted Minister for Nationalities and Regional Policy Sergei 
Shakhrai as saying that such an escalation of the conflict could trigger a 
world war; Vladimir Lukin, chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs 
Committee, reportedly cautioned against blaming Serb forces outright for 
the 5 February mortar attack on a Sarajevo marketplace that left scores of 
dead and wounded. The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted in a similar 
fashion, calling for an investigation to determine who was responsible for 
the attack but cautioning that air strikes by NATO forces might worsen the 
situation. In comments reported by Interfax on 7 February, Foreign 
Minister Andrei Kozyrev criticized Western leaders for resisting earlier 
Russian proposals aimed at settling the conflict in Bosnia, and said that 
UN Secretary-General Butrus Butrus-Ghali had displayed "some prejudice" 
when he suggested the possibility of bombing Serb positions. Kozyrev 
called for convening all members of the UN Security Council to discuss the 
issue. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV AGAIN ACCUSES BALTIC STATES OF ABUSES. In an interview published 
by Newsweek (international edition) on 14 February, Russian Foreign 
Minister Kozyrev called upon the West to protest at what he described as 
"ethnic cleansing" against the Russian minority in the Baltic States. He 
said that a failure to do so would risk fueling the rise of fascists in 
Russia. Kozyrev also suggested that the threats to ethnic Russians in the 
Baltic States, and elsewhere, justified the continued basing of troops in 
those regions. Kozyrev's remarks were aimed at clarifying controversial 
comments he had made in January regarding Russia's national interests on 
the territory of the former Soviet Union. Despite claims to the contrary, 
a number of Russian military and political leaders have long linked the 
withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States to alleged human 
rights abuses in the region. Since the election of Vladimir Zhirinovsky to 
the Russian parliament, Kozyrev has also tried to convince Western 
audiences that a failure to accommodate Moscow on such issues would 
strengthen the hand of ultra-nationalists in Russia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, 
Inc. 

YELTSIN'S SECURITY ADVISOR TAKES HARSH POSITION. Presidential national 
security advisor Yurii Baturin told Der Spiegel on 7 February that it was 
the duty of Russia as a great power to protect ethnic Russians in the 
former Soviet republics if their rights were under threat, as in the 
Baltic states. He said that the US regards Russia as a developing country, 
and that it is not fitting for a great power to retract each time it is 
criticized. He predicted the re-integration of the republics of the former 
Soviet Union, but denied that there would be a new Soviet Union. He also 
said that President Boris Yeltsin views NATO's concept of Partnership for 
Peace with reluctance. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. 

JAPANESE LEADER ON KURIL ISLANDS DISPUTE. In what appeared to mark a 
softening of rhetoric from Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro 
Hosokawa told about 1,500 people at a Northern Territories Day rally on 7 
February that Japan would strive to normalize ties with Russia by solving 
the long-standing territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands, Reuters 
reported. Northern Territories Day, which marks an 1855 Russo-Japanese 
Treaty formalizing Japanese control over the four disputed islands, has 
traditionally been an occasion for Japanese politicians and nationalist 
groups to demand the return of the islands, which were lost to Japan 
following World War II. Hosokawa said that he thought the basis for 
resolving the dispute had been reached during Boris Yeltsin's visit to 
Tokyo last October, and a Foreign Ministry official said that the issue 
was expected to be discussed at working-level talks in Moscow on 21 and 22 
February. The dispute has also become an emotional political issue in 
Russia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

PRIME MINISTER'S ADVISOR RESIGNS. The director of the Prime Minister's 
Group for Planning and Analysis, Andrei Illarionov, submitted his 
resignation on 7 February. The text of his letter was made available to an 
RFE/RL correspondent. Illarionov, who is also first deputy director of the 
Center for Economic Reform, wrote that he had joined the government in the 
hope of conducting economic reforms "and not of burying them." He accused 
the present government of caving in to regional and sectorial lobbies, and 
he was particularly scathing about Chernomyrdin's support for Russian 
Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko. He indicated that he would go 
public with his criticisms, although it should be said that he has been 
remarkably outspoken whilst in office. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

WHY PAMFILOVA RESIGNED. Interviewed in Argumenty i fakty (No. 5, 1994), 
Ella Pamfilova said she resigned as Russian minister of social protection 
because she would not participate in the execution of policies which she 
did not support and for which she bore no responsibility. She said that 
she had been unable to obtain an audience with Prime Minister Viktor 
Chernomyrdin and claimed that the Russian government is now in the hands 
of people whose only aim is to "grab Russia's petrodollars" for 
themselves. Pamfilova alleged that the amount of money in the state 
pension fund is shrinking yearly and that there is a real danger that, 
when today's employees retire, there will be no money to pay their 
pensions. Pamfilova complained that, even as a minister, she was powerless 
to influence policy and was prevented from speaking out about social 
problems, for example the "suicide epidemic" among fathers unable to 
support their young families. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. 

NEW TAX RATES. Some of the revised tax rates, effective 1 January, have 
been set out in Rossiiskaya gazeta of 29 January. Profits tax has been 
raised from 32% to 35%, of which 13% will be allocated to the republican 
budget and 22% to the budgets of the components of the federation. Tax 
concessions for small enterprises have been expanded. An additional 
special tax of 3% is to be levied, like value-added tax, for the support 
of priority sectors of the economy, and a transport tax of 1% will go 
towards financing the development of road and rail transport. Keith Bush, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

PRIVATE FARMERS WARY ABOUT STATE DUMA. Members of the Association of Farms 
and Agricultural Cooperatives, the body representing private farmers, said 
at a press conference that the conservative-dominated State Duma has 
prepared a new law on agriculture which is directed against President 
Boris Yeltsin's October 1993 decree radically accelerating agrarian 
reforms, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 February. Private farmers, who now work 
6% of Russia's arable land and whose share in overall agricultural 
production is estimated at between 4% and 10%, said that the State Duma 
seeks to reintroduce state control over agriculture. According to the 
private farmers, the conservative agricultural lobby in the parliament is 
arguing that the current structure of Russian agriculture does not 
facilitate the introduction of private ownership of land. Alexander Rahr, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

PARLOUS STATE OF RUSSIAN SCIENCE. In a letter published in Sovetskaya 
Rossiya on 3 February, the biologist Professor A. Akifev said that the 
pure sciences in Russia today are plagued by three problems: first, state 
funding for scientific research has been pared to the bone; secondly, 
researchers are working in a vacuum since subscriptions to almost all 
Western scientific periodicals were canceled in 1993; thirdly, the average 
salary of a head of a scientific laboratory or institute is now only 
65,000 rubles a month. This puts scientists' salaries only slightly above 
the official subsistence level of 50,000 rubles a month. In fact, about a 
quarter of the Russian population now lives below that level, according to 
Izvestiya of 5 February. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY TO FINLAND? Finland's newly-elected President Martti Ahtisaari 
said that he would consider inviting Russian nationalist Vladimir 
Zhirinovsky to Finland's annual independence celebrations, Western 
agencies reported on 7 February. According to Ahtisaari, Zhirinovsky 
remains a threat only if he is isolated. Zhirinovsky had stated at one 
point during his parliamentary election campaign that Finland should 
become part of a new Russian empire. Other Western political leaders have 
shown reluctance to deal with Zhirinovsky at all. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, 
Inc. 

CIS

PROGRESS ON BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN MONETARY UNION. Interfax and Belinform-TASS 
reported on 7 February that, following a three-day meeting outside Minsk, 
Russia and Belarus have reached an agreement on a number of main points in 
the proposed monetary union between the two countries. They include the 
basic rules for mutual transactions between Russia and Belarus; agreement 
on a single pricing system within the republics, which would include 
energy prices; budgetary principles; and an exchange rate between the 
Russian ruble and Belarusian rubel. The agreements on the monetary union 
are to be signed during Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's visit 
to Minsk, which has been postponed until February 18 at the earliest. 
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

GEORGIAN SENTENCED FOR WOODRUFF MURDER. After a one-month trial, on 7 
February a Georgian court sentenced 21-year-old former soldier Anzor 
Sharmaidze to 15 years' imprisonment for the murder in August 1993, of CIA 
Tbilisi station chief Fred Woodruff, Interfax and Western agencies 
reported. Sharmaidze initially confessed shooting at the car in which 
Woodruff was traveling after it failed to stop when he tried to flag it 
down; he later retracted the confession which he claimed had been made 
under pressure. Sharmaidze's defense lawyer claimed that his client had 
been tortured. In a related development aimed at reducing lawlessness, 
parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze ordered compulsory drug tests for 
civil servants in the law enforcement ministries, according to Interfax of 
6 February. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT IN BRITAIN. Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan 
travels to London on 8 February for a four-day visit during which he is 
scheduled to meet with Prime Minister John Major, government officials, 
representatives of the EBRD, and Queen Elizabeth II, Western agencies 
reported. Ter-Petrossyan's talks will focus on possible joint economic 
programs and humanitarian aid, and on Armenia's foreign policy, 
specifically Nagorno-Karabakh. A leading Karabakh Armenian official 
recently charged that British Petroleum, one of the eight Western oil 
companies negotiating for rights to exploit Azerbaijan's Caspian oil 
wealth, is helping to finance the Azerbaijani military effort, Interfax 
reported on 2 February. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

NAZARBAEV: WEST ENCOURAGING AGGRESSIVENESS IN MOSCOW. In remarks reported 
by the Washington Post on 8 February, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev 
warned the West that neglect of the non-Russian former Soviet republics, 
particularly with respect to the provision of economic aid, risked 
"encouraging chauvinism and helping fascism" in Russia. Nazarbaev said 
that the West should stand up to what he described as the increased 
intrusiveness of late of Russian foreign policy. As examples, Nazarbaev 
cited Russia's new military doctrine and remarks by Foreign Minister 
Kozyrev indicating that Russia will defend ethnic Russians outside 
Russia's borders. The issue is an especially important one in Kazakhstan; 
approximately 40% of the population there is ethnic Russian. Nazarbaev 
also said that the West was missing an opportunity by not providing more 
aid to a Kazakhstan that has agreed to give up its nuclear weapons and 
that warmly welcomes Western investment. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

US AND EU BACK POSSIBLE AIR STRIKES IN BOSNIA. International media on 7 
and 8 February report at length that top American officials and EU foreign 
ministers have endorsed calls for making NATO air power available to the 
UN in the wake of the 5 February shelling of a Sarajevo marketplace that 
left 68 dead. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said that "the 
civilized world is outraged by the savage bombing" of the civilians, while 
his Belgian colleague, Willy Claes, felt that Europe "no longer [has] the 
right" to refrain from tough action. British Foreign Secretary Douglas 
Hurd, for his part, said that the shelling marked "a turning point," and 
added that the EU's "aim should be to bring about the immediate lifting of 
the siege of Sarajevo using all means necessary, including the use of air 
power." The BBC noted that Bosnian Serb leaders have again threatened the 
safety of UN peace keepers there in the event of air strikes against Serb 
positions, but the threat does not seem to have deterred the ministers 
from calling for firm action. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOUTROS-GHALI AWAITS NATO RESPONSE ON AIR STRIKES. International media 
reports continue their accounts, noting that UN Secretary-General Boutros 
Boutros-Ghali on 7 February asked NATO to prepare to use air power against 
artillery positions responsible for future outrages against civilians. 
Boutros-Ghali feels he has the authority to ask for this support without 
further Security Council deliberation because of that body's already 
existing Resolutions 824 and 836, which, respectively, declare Sarajevo to 
be a "safe area" and which allow the use of force to protect such areas; 
NATO ambassadors meet on 9 February. Bosnian Prime Minister Haris 
Silajdzic, meanwhile, warned the international community against making 
"empty threats," while mediator Lord Owen urged that Serb proposals for 
the demilitarization and internationalization of Sarajevo be considered. 
RFE/RL's Washington correspondent points out that ongoing "intense 
[Western diplomatic] consultations... are not expected to lead to any 
immediate action." Meanwhile back in the Balkans, RFE/RL's new South 
Slavic Service reports that conspiracy theories are alive and well in 
Belgrade, where there is apparently much speculation as to who or what is 
the "third force" that caused the Sarajevo shelling and thereby gave fresh 
impetus to calls for air strikes. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MIXED SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN REACTION TO SARAJEVO. In Southeastern Europe, the 
shelling of Sarajevo on 5 February triggered condemnation but apparently 
also deep concern. Romanian President Ion Iliescu, who throughout the 
Bosnian war has maintained close ties to Belgrade, told Reuters the 
shelling represents "a new barbarian act of terrorism" whose authors 
should be "identified and punished as they deserve." He added that the 
incident showed the urgent need for a peaceful solution to the conflict. 
Iliescu's Bulgarian counterpart, Zhelyu Zhelev, called the atrocity a 
"disgrace to Europe and the world." Zhelev reiterated his position that 
there will be no end to the war until the international community 
"intervenes decisively," though he stopped short of calling for Western 
military action. In Turkey, AFP says President Suleyman Demirel demanded 
airstrikes against Serb positions around the Bosnian capital while Prime 
Minister Tansu Ciller, who visited Sarajevo on 2 February, urged the 
lifting of the arms embargo against Bosnia. Greece, however, argued that a 
"Bosnian provocation" cannot be excluded and on 7 February asked its 
European Union partners to refrain from airstrikes in order not to trigger 
a wider Balkan conflagration. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

KOSOVO UPDATE. At least 35 Kosovo Albanians were arrested at a 
demonstration marking the Flame of January festival, which is dedicated to 
national martyrs, Rilindja reported on 2 February. Among the arrested are 
local leaders of the Democratic League of Kosovo, which is the ruling 
party in Kosovo's shadow government, as well as members of the shadow 
parliament and family members of those killed. The Council for the Defense 
of Human Rights in Kosovo said that all arrested were mistreated and some 
of them beaten until they lost consciousness. Meanwhile at Pristina's 
prison, an unspecified number out of a group of 19 inmates launched a 
hunger strike on 3 February. They had been arrested earlier on charges of 
planning an armed uprising and now demand the right to read the Kosovar 
Albanian newspaper Bujku in prison, which the police refused to grant. 
Rilindja carried the report on 4 February. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

PAWLAK REMOVES FINANCE MINISTER. After meeting with Polish Peasant Party 
(PSL) leaders on 7 February, Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak announced that 
he will accept the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance 
Minister Marek Borowski, PAP reports. Borowski submitted his resignation 
on 4 February in protest against the prime minister's refusal to consult 
personnel and policy decisions with him or his party, the Democratic Left 
Alliance (SLD). Such consultations were stipulated in the coalition 
agreement signed between the two parties when the government was formed. 
In remarks for Polish TV, Pawlak said "the coalition continues to 
function" despite Borowski's ouster. Talks between the two parties are 
scheduled for 8 February. Leaders of both parties played down the danger 
for the coalition, and SLD leader Aleksander Kwasniewski told reporters he 
is prepared to compromise. Still, the conflict has evolved into a test of 
strength between Pawlak and the SLD's liberal leadership over who has the 
upper hand in economic policy. Kwasniewski is likely to suffer a loss of 
face should he emerge from the coalition talks without important 
concessions from Pawlak. The conflict has ramifications for Poland's 
economic policy, as Borowski was viewed as the chief defender of "liberal" 
continuity against pressure for excessive spending from the PSL. The 
finance ministry is reserved for the SLD under the coalition agreement. 
Poland's "little constitution" empowers President Lech Walesa to make 
changes in the composition of the cabinet, on the prime minister's 
recommendation. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND, RUSSIA TO COOPERATE IN FIGHTING CRIME. Russian Interior Minister 
Viktor Yerin paid a three day visit to Poland on 5-7 February, PAP 
reports. The visit was organized to review the agreement between the 
Russian and Polish interior ministries that was signed in November 1992. 
Yerin was received by President Lech Walesa, who was on vacation in a 
Silesian ski resort, and later by Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak in 
Warsaw. At a press conference concluding the visit, Yerin and his Polish 
counterpart, Andrzej Milczanowski, vowed to increase cooperation in 
fighting organized crime, especially drug smuggling. Poland is considering 
purchasing Russian equipment for its police force, Milczanowski added. 
Russia and Poland will also complete an "inventory" of crimes committed by 
Russian citizens in Poland. With 667, Russians take second place on the 
list of crimes committed by foreigners in Poland in 1993, following 
Ukrainians (784) and preceding Germans (411). Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. 

HAVEL IN INDIA, KLAUS IN ISRAEL. Czech President Vaclav Havel, who is on 
an official visit to India, held talks with Indian Vice President Kocheril 
Narayanan, CTK reported on 7 February. Havel said after the meeting that 
India is a promising economic partner. CTK also reported that Havel 
expressed his support for a peaceful solution of the Kashmir conflict. 
Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec, who is member of Havel's delegation, 
told reporters that he discussed with his counterpart Raghunanandan 
Bhatiya military cooperation, which India wishes to continue. Meanwhile, 
Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, who is on an official visit to Israel, 
signed a joint statement on promoting economic cooperation with his 
Israeli counterpart, Yitzak Rabin, Czech Radio reported on 7 February. 
Klaus told reporters after the ceremony that the Czech Republic and Israel 
plan to soon create a free-trade zone. Earlier, Klaus met Israeli 
President Ezer Weizman, Knesset Speaker Shevah Weiss, and opposition Likud 
party's chairman Benjamin Netanyahu. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc. 

MECIAR'S REFERENDUM PLAN IS CRITICIZED. Given the disintegration of the 
parliamentary majority once held by the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia 
and its coalition partner, the Slovak National Party, Premier Vladimir 
Meciar has recently increased efforts to replace deputies who have left 
the two parties since the June 1992 elections. On 6 February the premier 
said on Slovak Television that the MDS will organize a referendum to 
decide if deputies who have changed parties should be expelled from the 
parliament. Christian Democratic Movement chairman Jan Carnogursky told 
Reuters on 7 February that Meciar's plans are "senseless," and that it 
would be better to hold early elections. Coexistence Chairman Miklos Duray 
also called for early elections on 7 February, while the biggest 
opposition party, the Party of the Democratic Left, has been calling for a 
new ballot for several months. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SLOVAK NATIONAL PARTY LEADER'S POSITION PRECARIOUS. On 7 February, during 
MDS-SNP coalition talks, Meciar asked SNP Chairman Ludovit Cernak to 
resign from his post as deputy chairman of the parliament, since Cernak 
has not followed the coalition agreement, TASR reports. Cernak, who split 
his party into two factions in December, lost a vote of confidence from 
the SNP executive council on 15 January, but refused to resign from his 
post as SNP chairman until after the party congress scheduled for 19 
February. On 6 February most local conferences of the SNP rallied behind 
the MDS-SNP coalition and called for Cernak's replacement as SNP chairman 
and his ouster from the party. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. 

CSURKA CRITICIZES US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT. Istvan Csurka, the leader of the 
small nationalist Hungarian Justice and Life Party, said that the recent 
State Department human rights report gave a distorted picture about 
Hungary, Hungarian radio said on 7 February. Csurka said in parliament 
that the report, which criticized government influence in Hungarian radio 
and television, was based on one-sided information and represented 
interference in Hungarian domestic affairs. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

MOLDOVAN IDENTITY STRESSED, ROMANIANISM REBUFFED. Addressing on 5 February 
the inaugural congress of Moldova's Civic Alliance, sponsored by the 
country's political establishment, President Mircea Snegur rejected the 
Romanian view that Romanians and Moldovans are one people and should 
therefore form one state. While related to Romanians and speaking a common 
language, Moldovans are a distinct people entitled to having an 
independent state, Snegur argued, citing historical arguments and urging 
historians to focus on Moldova's centuries of statehood. Snegur also cited 
flaws of the interwar Romanian administration in Bessarabia as a further 
argument for separate statehood. He said that an independent Moldova 
offers a homeland to its citizens of any ethnicity and urged all to 
support the economic and political reforms currently under way. Moldova 
has a historic opportunity to be independent and democratic, not a 
Romanian or a Russian province, Snegur said. Attended by the country's top 
leadership, the congress issued an appeal to the people of Moldova to 
support independence and reforms. The pro-Romanian opposition is 
denouncing these statements as designed to win votes in the impending 
parliamentary elections. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN REACTIONS TO SNEGUR'S DECLARATIONS. A recent declaration by 
Moldova's President Mircea Snegur rejecting the idea of his country's 
reunification with Romania provoked an outcry among Romanian politicians 
and journalists. Reuters quoted a spokesman for the ruling Party of Social 
Democracy in Romania as predicting a setback in bilateral relations after 
Snegur's statement, which he described as "inciting" and "offending" and 
as "an attack on the integrity of our nation." Cornel Brahas, deputy 
chairman of the ultra-nationalist Party of Romanian National Unity, spoke 
of "an act of treason," while Ion Diaconescu from the National Peasant 
Party Christian Democratic accused Snegur of having remained "one hundred 
per cent a communist." Newspaper editorialists appeared equally angry with 
the statement. The independent daily Adevarul wrote that Snegur's speech 
was "a proof showing that the Russian empire is regrouping." Dan Ionescu, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVA'S POPULAR CONSULTATION RESCHEDULED. On 4 February Snegur issued a 
decree calling a "popular consultation" to confirm Moldova's independence, 
and scheduling that consultation for 6 March, Bassapress reported. 
Moldova's Central Electoral Commission had on 2 February resolved that it 
lacked a proper mandate for organizing the consultation simultaneously 
with the legislative elections on 27 February, as the parliament's 
Presidium had recently decided. Voters will essentially be asked whether 
they support independent Moldovan statehood. Although without legal 
consequences, the decision is being portrayed in Romania and by the 
pro-Romanian opposition in Moldova as designed to discredit the idea of 
Moldovan-Romanian unification. The Romanian Foreign Ministry's chief 
spokesman told a media briefing on 3 February that a plebiscite on the 
future of Moldova can only be valid if the people of Romania participates 
in it. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE DISARMING. The press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense 
reported that, in accordance with the terms of the treaty on Conventional 
Armed Forces in Europe, Ukraine has destroyed 603 tanks; 630 armored 
vehicles; and 175 airplanes. The report, published in Uryadovyi kuryer and 
other Kiev newspapers, said that the equipment was destroyed in 
mid-November 1993, and represents the first phase in the program of 
conventional arms reduction. Roman Solchanyk, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE TO JOIN PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. The New York Times reported on 7 
February that Ukraine has announced that it would join NATO's Partnership 
for Peace Program. Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko is scheduled to sign a 
document formalizing membership in the plan in Brussels on 8 February. 
Lithuania, Estonia, Poland and Romania have already enrolled in the 
program. The announcement follows parliament's decision last week to 
remove the conditions it had initially attached to Ukraine's adhering to 
the START-1 agreement. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

BLACK SEA FLEET COMMANDER MEETS CRIMEAN PRESIDENT. On 7 February the 
commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Eduard Baltin, met with the newly 
elected Crimean president, Yurii Meshkov, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. 
During the meeting Meshkov reportedly said that the fleet was the 
guarantee of stability in Crimea. He also said the Russian-Ukrainian 
dispute over its ownership must be resolved taking into account the 
opinion of the peninsula's population. where the fleet has its 
headquarters in Sevastopol. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. 

LATVIAN-RUSSIAN ACCORD ON SKRUNDA IN THE MAKING? On 7 February heads of 
the Latvian and Russian delegations, Martins Virsis and Sergei Zotov, met 
in Moscow to discuss issues related to the pullout of Russian troops from 
Latvia. Zotov said that Russia would agree to the complete withdrawal of 
its troops from Latvia by 31 August 1994 if Latvia allowed Russia to use 
the Skrunda radar for the next four years and dismantle it within the 
following 18 months. This appears to be essentially the compromise 
solution to the issue that had been suggested by US officials separately 
to both Russian and Latvian representatives. Ilgonis Upmalis told BNS on 7 
February that two Russian army units--medical and 
counterintelligence--have been transferred recently to Skrunda, where 
previously there was only personnel operating the radar and a 
transportation battalion. The next round of Latvian-Russian negotiations 
is scheduled for 14 and 15 February in Riga, Baltic media reported on 7 
February. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

EU-BALTIC STATES FREE TRADE ACCORDS. On 7 February in Brussels the foreign 
ministers of the European Union authorized the EU's executive commission 
to negotiate free trade agreements with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, 
Western agencies report. The creation of a free-trade zone with Estonia 
could be realized by the end of the year to coincide with the possible 
admission of Finland to the EU, but the negotiating mandate calls for a 
six-year transition period for Latvia and Lithuania since they had not yet 
reached the same level of development as Estonia. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Wendy Slater & Michael Shafir The RFE/RL Daily Report is 
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