The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it. - Franklin P. Jones
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 28, 10 February 1994

RUSSIA

UPROAR IN RUSSIA; BOSNIA IMBROGLIO LEAVES MOSCOW DEFIANT, ISOLATED. In a 
development likely to test Russia's friendly relations with the West, 
Russian political leaders of all persuasions lined up on 9 February to 
oppose a NATO proposal calling for air strikes against Serb positions in 
Bosnia. The dispute has left Russia isolated diplomatically; at the same 
time, the perception in Russia that Moscow's wishes have not been taken 
into account in UN deliberations could, over the longer term, threaten 
President Boris Yeltsin's already unsteady political authority at home. 
For the time being, however, the issue appears to have united Russia's 
usually fractious political elites. "The President, the government, and 
the State Duma are one in opposing any bombing," Reuters quoted Evgenii 
Ambartsumov, a prominent centrist deputy, as saying. That impression was 
reinforced by debate in parliament on 9 February, where deputies ranging 
from the liberal Egor Gaidar to the militant nationalist Vladimir 
Zhirinovsky registered opposition to the proposed air strikes. 
Zhirinovsky, just back from Serbia, made what Western agencies described 
as a sometimes hysterical speech in which he warned, among other things, 
that the launching of air strikes against Bosnia would amount to a 
declaration of war against Russia. He also called for the withdrawal of 
all foreign forces from the former Yugoslavia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. 

YELTSIN, FOREIGN MINISTRY WORK TO HEAD OFF STRIKES. President Yeltsin, 
said by aides to be working from his country dacha because of a cold, 
conducted urgent consultations with world leaders by telephone on 9 
February in an effort to avert the threatened military strike on Bosnia, 
Western and Russian sources reported. It was not revealed which 
governments he had contacted. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, 
speaking to reporters in Kazakhstan, again urged world leaders to consider 
Moscow's proposal to make Sarajevo a UN protectorate rather than launching 
the air attacks. Kozyrev said that Russia would consider sending its own 
troops as part of the effort to implement the plan. "We say yes' to a 
security zone, yes' to withdrawal of artillery and heavy weapons from this 
security zone . . . but no' to escalation of the conflict by resorting to 
air strikes," Kozyrev was quoted as saying by Reuters. According to the 
Los Angeles Times, Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin was scheduled 
to present the Russian plan for the demilitarization of Sarajevo at talks 
in Geneva on 10 February. On the same day, Reuters (quoting Interfax) 
reported that another Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Anatolii Adamishin, 
said that Russia might call an emergency meeting of the UN Security 
Council to discuss the issue. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN MEDIA ON SARAJEVO. Ostankino and Russian TV reports of the 
Sarajevo market attack and NATO's ultimatum have carefully avoided giving 
any credence to the Western charge that the deaths were caused by a 
Serbian mortar attack. For example, Ostankino TV's news broadcasts of 9-10 
February referred to an "explosion" in the market, claiming that 
"ballistics experts" had concluded that the shell could not have come from 
Serb-controlled territory and suggesting that it was fired from a nearby 
Muslim-controlled area. It also gave substantial coverage to Serbian 
claims that the explosion was a "terrorist act" carried out by Muslims in 
order to force NATO into action. "Similarly, Reuters reports that the 
military newspaper Krasnaya zvezda of 10 February carries a lead article 
propounding the allegation of Muslim responsibility for the deaths." John 
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. 

RUSSIAN CONCEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY MADE PUBLIC. President Yeltsin will 
present a new concept of national security in his address to the joint 
session of the Russian parliament next week, Pravda of 9 February 
reported. The concept, compiled from several alternative drafts, puts the 
emphasis on domestic threats to national security rather than external 
factors. Among such threats, the documents lists the danger of new ethnic 
conflicts on Russian territory and in the "near abroad;" the social 
instability caused by economic hardship; the pervasive corruption of the 
state administration and the penetration of organized crime into the 
federal government bodies; and the appalling ecological conditions in many 
areas of the Russian Federation. The authors of the concept believe that 
the current situation may require "the introduction of provisional 
presidential rule under parliamentary control." Finally, the concept 
reiterates the Kremlin's negative attitude towards the incorporation into 
NATO of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Victor Yasmann, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

PRESIDENTIAL PARTY TO BE SET UP. President Yeltsin has chosen his 
associate from the early days of the Russian democratic movement, Lev 
Shemaev, to coordinate the creation of his new presidential party, 
according to Segodnya of 9 February. The new party is being formed with 
support of the presidential administration and regional executive 
structures. Shemaev said the party would endorse Yeltsin's candidacy for 
the next presidential elections. He remarked that the party wants to work 
out a concept for Russia's economy for the next 10-15 years. He stated 
that representatives of the industrial lobby, bankers, entrepreneurs, as 
well as moderate reformers, are invited to join the party, but he excluded 
the participation of such politicians as Gennadii Burbulis, Sergei 
Shakhrai and Arkadii Volsky in the formation of the new party. Alexander 
Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SHOKHIN FOR LIMITED PRICE CONTROLS. On 9 February, the Economics Ministry 
held a four-hour long discussion of various alternative economic programs, 
Russian and Western agencies reported. The alternative scenarios examined 
included the Shatalin-Abalkin-Petrakov plan, the Glazyev-Lvov program, and 
Evgenii Saburov's blueprint. Summing up the discussion, Economics Minister 
Aleksandr Shokhin declared his support for limited price controls on such 
items as energy and rail transport, but was against a freeze on prices and 
wages and he also rejected any suggestion of reintroducing a fixed 
exchange rate for the ruble. Shatalin's proposals were scheduled to be 
presented to the State Duma on 10 February. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. 

KHANIN CALLS FOR RETURN TO COMMAND ECONOMY. Russian economist Grigorii 
Khanin, well-known for his critical analyses of official Soviet and 
Russian statistics, told an ITAR-TASS correspondent on 8 February that the 
attempt to create a market in his country had proven a total fiasco. The 
economy is "fifteen centimeters" from an abyss, and the embryonic market 
institutions in the nation are merely soap bubbles that could soon burst. 
Khanin suggested that the best idea would be to recreate temporarily 
Gosplan, Gossnab and other structures of the command economy. Erik 
Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

PLANS FOR RESCHEDULING IN 1994. According to The Journal of Commerce of 8 
February, the Russian government has allocated $6.4 billion in the draft 
budget for 1994 towards the repayment of a total of $28 billion in 
principal and interest due this year on the external debt of the former 
Soviet Union. The government evidently plans to reschedule the balance. 
Moreover, it is hoping to receive new credits amounting to $6.3 billion, 
including $2.5 billion from international financial institutions. In 1993, 
Russia repaid $2.5 billion out of about $20 billion due. Keith Bush, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

CHUBAIS CRITICIZES LUZHKOV. The day after Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov's 
denouncement of the national privatization program, Deputy Prime Minister 
and Chairman of the State Property Committee Anatolii Chubais called 
privatization in Moscow a "complete fiasco," Interfax reported on 9 
February. Chubais said that a mere 12 large enterprises, or 2% of the 
planned total, had been privatized in Moscow. This compares with a 
national average of more than 65%. "I cannot be responsible for Moscow 
privatization," Chubais is quoted as saying, "[it] is run personally by 
Mayor Yurii Luzhkov." Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc. 

PLANS FOR RUSSIAN NUCLEAR FORCES. Izvestiya on 9 February reports that 
Russia's future strategic nuclear forces will be primarily based on the 
SS-25 "Topol" single-warhead ICBM and a follow-on variant. According to 
Academician Lev Volkov, approximately 30-40% of the ICBMs will be deployed 
on mobile launchers--the rest will be in silos. Volkov noted that some 900 
launchers would be deployed, fewer than the maximum allowed under the 
START-2 treaty. Volkov did not provide any information on prospective 
submarine-based systems, although he criticized their safety record as 
compared to land-based missiles. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS

SHUMEIKO GETS CIS POST. Vladimir Shumeiko, chairman of the upper chamber 
of the Russian parliament, has been elected chairman of the 
Interparliamentary Assembly (IPA) of the Commonwealth of Independent 
States, ITAR-TASS reported on 8 February. The assembly, which groups 
parliamentarians from eight CIS-members, is meeting in St. Petersburg. 
Shumeiko is the second representative of the Russian Federation to hold 
the post. He replaces Ruslan Khasbulatov, whose term of office would have 
expired at the end of October last year even if Boris Yeltsin had not 
clapped him behind bars at the beginning of that month. Elizabeth Teague, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS CONCLUDE. Reports from Interfax and Reuters on 9 
February suggest that the first round of Ukrainian-Russian talks on 
implementing the trilateral agreement have indeed made progress. The talks 
are centering around six draft bilateral agreements. Ukrainian Deputy 
Prime Minister Valerii Shmarov told Interfax that the talks were 
"difficult" but that they were being carried out in a "good-natured" 
atmosphere. AFP reported on 10 February, citing the Ukrainian Foreign 
Ministry, that a preliminary package of agreements is to be submitted to 
the two presidents for their approval. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIANS DEMANDING CUT OF KAZAKH OIL DEALS. Russia is demanding hefty 
shares of the revenues from the multibillion dollar oil and gas 
development projects launched in Kazakhstan over the last year in exchange 
for the use of its pipelines for export purposes. Citing sources in the 
Kazakh fuel industry, AFP reported on 9 February that the Russians might 
demand as much as 40% of the revenue from sales of oil and gas from the 
Kazakh-British-Italian facility under construction in the Karachaganak 
field. The Guardian reported on 28 January that the Russians were 
demanding 20% of the revenue from the Kazakh-Chevron joint venture in 
Tengiz. Chevron officials have said that the joint venture is able to 
export only one-third of its current production owing to lack of transport 
capacity. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc. 

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KOZYREV MEETS NAZARBAEV. Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev met with 
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev and Foreign Minister Tuleutai 
Suleimenov on 9 February, and stated afterward that there had been a 
concurrence of opinion on outstanding issues between the two countries, 
Russian news agencies reported. Russian-Kazakhstani working groups are to 
be formed to deal with questions of dual citizenship, military 
cooperation, and the future of the Baikonur space complex. Agreement 
between the two sides may not have been as complete as Kozyrev claimed, 
however: in an interview published in the 9 February issue of 
Komsomolskaya pravda Nazarbaev reiterated his opposition to dual 
citizenship, proposing instead that individuals who emigrate to Russia 
receive that citizenship, while residents of Kazakhstan hold Kazakhstani 
citizenship. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

NATO GIVES SERBS ULTIMATUM . . . International media report on 9 and 10 
February that NATO ambassadors meeting in Brussels agreed after difficult 
discussions to give Bosnian Serbs until 21 February to move their 
artillery 20 kilometers from Sarajevo or place it under UN control; the 
alternative is to face airstrikes if the UN so requests. Canada had 
concerns for the safety of its 2,000 soldiers in Bosnia, and Greece 
opposed the airstrikes entirely but agreed not to veto the proposal, the 
BBC says. US President Bill Clinton stated that "Nobody should doubt 
NATO's resolve. NATO is now ready to act." Meanwhile, the UN brokered a 
cease-fire between Serbs and Muslims in Sarajevo in which the Serbs agreed 
to pull back their heavy guns. The track record of such agreements gives 
ground for skepticism. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . BUT SARAJEVO HAS ITS DOUBTS. The BBC reports on 10 February that the 
initial reaction in the Bosnian capital to the ultimatum was not 
optimistic. Observers noted that the NATO decision affects only Sarajevo 
and not the broader conflict, and that Serb artillery can still hit the 
city from 30 to 40 kilometers anyway. It was also pointed out that Serbs 
had put their heavy guns under UN control in Krajina, too, but then simply 
took them back when attacked by the Croats in January 1993. Bosnian Serb 
leader Radovan Karadzic, for his part, said that his men will "shoot down 
every plane we can." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELGRADE REACTS TO SARAJEVO MASSACRE. Belgrade's official reaction to the 
Sarajevo marketplace bomb was one of condemnation. Serbian opposition 
party leaders denounced the bombing as an act of barbarism while Serbian 
President Slobodan Milosevic, speaking on TV in Novi Sad on 8 February 
declared that "those killed and injured in Sarajevo were not the victims 
of war, but of war criminals." Yet on 9 February, AFP, citing Politka, 
reported that officials from the rump Yugoslav army supported Bosnian Serb 
leader Radovan Karadzic's interpretation of the incident. The army 
officers categorically denied that the bombing was the work of Bosnian 
Serbs, blaming instead Bosnian Muslims for detonating explosives causing 
deaths and injuries. Meanwhile, on 10 February Tanjug reports that 
Belgrade's official reaction to the possible NATO airstrikes is being 
withheld until later in the day. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIA OPPOSES AIR STRIKES IN BOSNIA. A foreign ministry spokeswoman told 
Reuters on 9 February that Bucharest continued to believe that "the use of 
force [in Bosnia] can only bring more tragedy and loss of human life." The 
spokeswoman added that Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu would 
express Romania's concern at the Geneva gathering of ministers from 
countries bordering former Yugoslavia. Romanian officials are expected to 
discuss the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina with Croatian President Franjo 
Tudjman during his visit to Romania, scheduled for 14-16 February. Dan 
Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. 

JOURNALISTS TO BOYCOTT THE GENEVA TALKS? Few observers of the Wars of the 
Yugoslav Secession seem to find the matter so odious as those who have to 
write about it regularly, and now it appears that some journalists intend 
to make their feelings felt. The Berlin Tageszeitung reports on 9 February 
that journalists accredited to the UN's Geneva offices are considering 
boycotting reporting at least the arrival of the delegations slated to 
join in the Bosnian peace talks on 10 February. The journalists want to 
protest the fact that talks are going on about "confidence-building 
measures" when people are being massacred. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVENE-CROATIAN RELATIONS ON THE MEND. Borba on 8 and 9 February reports 
on the meeting in Zagreb on 7 February between Slovenian Prime Minister 
Janez Drnovsek and his Croatian counterpart Nikica Valentic. A number of 
economic issues between the two countries have been settled or are about 
to be resolved, including Croatia's debts to Slovenia's Krsko nuclear 
plant and the Ljubljanska Banka's obligations to its Croatian depositors. 
Outstanding issues include mainly a number of border-related questions, 
especially maritime frontiers, but much mistrust remains between the two 
former Yugoslav republics in the wake of mutual accusations of betrayal in 
their respective wars of independence in 1991. Vjesnik on 22 January 
suggested that Slovenia is anxious to put its relations with Croatia in 
order to make itself more acceptable to the West for membership in 
Partnership for Peace and the EU. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

IS THE HARMONY OF KOSOVAR ALBANIAN PARTIES HISTORY? The Kosovar Albanian 
newspaper Bujku broke a taboo and recently wrote "in detail and openly" on 
the conflicts within and among the various ethnic Albanian parties in 
Kosovo, Borba says on 8 and 9 February. The largest party is the 
Democratic League of Kosovo, which got about 90% of the votes in the 
underground elections in May 1992. The original article was written by the 
controversial Shkelzen Maliqi, the former leader of the Social Democratic 
Party of Kosovo, who had to resign and leave the party after he proposed 
the participation of Kosovar Albanian parties in the Serbian elections of 
December 1993. According to Borba, Maliqi said that "all Kosovar Albanian 
political parties have turned to factionalism and the forming of groups, 
that individuals fight for power' that does not really exist, and that all 
this is aimed at simulating real democratic political life in Kosovo." He 
added that one was facing "grotesque forms of combining democratic 
rhetoric with the traditional authoritarian ways of doing things." The 
Kosovo Albanians have hitherto taken great care to preserve an outward 
facade of unity, but the Borba articles suggest that much fighting over 
ideology and policy as well as among personalities has been going on 
behind the scenes. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

JESZENSZKY CALLS EMBARGO OF SERBIA BANKRUPT. At a hearing of the 
parliament's foreign relations committee, the Hungarian Foreign Minister 
Geza Jeszenszky said the embargo against Serbia is not working, Hungarian 
radio reported on 9 February. Jeszenszky also said that the pressure on 
the Hungarian minority in Serbia had eased recently. Hungary will be the 
first to welcome the lifting of the embargo against Serbia if Belgrade 
will fulfill the requests of the international community, he added. 
Budapest, however, will not make unilateral moves in this direction. 
Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLIDARITY STAGES PROTEST MARCH IN WARSAW. An estimated 40,000 unionists 
participated in a protest march in Warsaw on 9 February, Polish TV 
reports. The march was organized by the Solidarity union to protest the 
government's proposed 1994 budget and other economic policies. Right-wing 
party leaders took part; many demonstrators shouted anticommunist slogans. 
The high turnout marked a reversal in the union's fortunes; it was the 
first show of strength since Solidarity unwittingly brought down the last 
government in May 1993. Solidarity Chairman Marian Krzaklewski stressed 
that the protest was "social" rather than "political" but threatened to 
move against the government should the union's demands go unanswered. He 
said it is unacceptable for real wages to continue to decline as Poland 
enjoys its third year of economic growth. The union's demands include: a 
halt to energy price hikes; increased spending on welfare and unemployment 
programs; a 2% hike in real wages for industrial workers; and passage by 
15 March of all legislation embodying the "pact on state firms" negotiated 
by the last government. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. 

POLISH GOVERNMENT PREPARES WAGE CONTROLS. Meeting on 8 February, the 
Polish cabinet approved draft legislation designed to impose new wage 
controls on state firms. The controls are deemed necessary to hold down 
inflation and prevent wage-driven bankruptcies but they are also 
politically sensitive, as the two parties now in power campaigned against 
them in past parliaments and elections. In December the Sejm ignored 
government pleas and voted to abolish the existing "tax on excess wages" 
[popiwek ] by the end of March; since then many firms have simply ceased 
paying the tax. The cabinet has given the new draft an "urgent" tag in 
order to put new limits in force by 1 April. Firms without debts to the 
state treasury will be able to choose among four methods for setting wage 
levels; indebted firms will face a government-imposed limit. The bill will 
affect 5,600 firms employing 1.8 million people, PAP reports. In a sop to 
the unions, the draft bill includes a clause allowing the government to 
impose the tax on private firms when wage growth threatens the "balance of 
state finances." Both the OPZZ federation and Solidarity immediately 
condemned the government's proposals. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

ARRESTS IN CONNECTION WITH 1956 HUNGARIAN MASSACRE. The Budapest Attorney 
General's office said "a number of persons" were arrested in connection 
with an ongoing investigation regarding the 1956 massacre in Eger, MTI 
reported on 4 February. On 12 December 1956 police fired into an unarmed 
crowd, killing eight persons. These are the first arrests ever made in 
connection with the crushing of the 1956 revolution. Justice Minister 
Istvan Balsai rejected charges that the move was politically motivated. He 
said only those who are guilty, and especially "war criminals," should be 
apprehensive. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SLOVAKIA SIGNS PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE PLAN. On 9 February Slovak Premier 
Vladimir Meciar, along with Deputy Premier Jozef Prokes and Defense 
Minister Imrich Andrejcak, traveled to Brussels to sign the Partnership 
for Peace agreement with NATO, making Slovakia the seventh country to join 
the initiative. Before leaving for Brussels Meciar told TASR that the 
signing of the agreement is the first step in building Slovakia's 
Euro-Atlantic security orientation. Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik, who 
was scheduled to accompany Meciar, was forced to stay in Slovakia because 
of back problems. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. 

IMF SAYS SLOVAK ECONOMY SHOWS POSITIVE SIGNS. Concluding a four-day visit 
to Slovakia on 8 February, IMF Executive Director Jacques de Groote said 
that Slovakia is likely to receive a stand-by loan and that the IMF will 
decide on this issue in the near future. Noting that the rate of inflation 
and unemployment are lower than anticipated by the IMF, de Groote said 
Slovakia should begin to see economic revival in 1995, TASR reports. 
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

PRAGUE POLICE ARRESTS LEADING ITALIAN MAFIOSO. A leading member of the 
Italian Mafia was arrested in the Mala Strana district, CTK reported on 9 
February. A drug division police squad seized Eugenio Buontempo as he was 
leaving a wine bar. The report said that a Naples court had issued an 
international warrant for Buontempo's arrest. The warrant cited bribery 
and blackmail charges. According to CTK, Czech intelligence services had 
been cooperating with Italian secret police in the Buontempo case since 
1992. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN SENATE APPROVES AGREEMENT WITH IMF. After ten hours of heated 
debate, Romania's Senate approved on 9 February a government agreement 
with the International Monetary Fund. The vote was 76 to 16, with 36 
abstentions. The agreement calls for resolute reforms in Romania's 
economy, including new tax policies; strict budget control; freeing of 
interest, and money exchange rates, as well as consistent privatization 
programs. The vote in the Senate ended a two-month dispute among Romania's 
political parties. The opposition said it did not trust the government to 
implement the reforms required by the IMF. Romania's Chamber of Deputies 
had approved the accord on 8 February. Radio Bucharest covered extensively 
the Parliament's separate sessions. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

BEROV DEFEATS FIFTH NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. The government of Prime Minister 
Lyuben Berov survived on 9 February its fifth no-confidence vote since it 
was formed 13 months ago, Bulgarian and Western media report. Just as the 
previous four, the motion had been introduced by the opposition Union of 
Democratic Forces, this time accusing the cabinet of having failed to curb 
crime and stop Mafia-type organizations to assume control over part of the 
economy. In a secret ballot, the National Assembly rejected the motion by 
135 votes to 89, with three abstentions and one vote declared invalid. 
Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT CONSIDERS 1994 BUDGET. While Berov undoubtedly has 
been strengthened by the vote, his government faces new challenges as the 
1994 budget proposal is being reviewed by parliament. Opening discussions 
on the first reading on 8 February, Prime Minister Lyuben Berov called on 
legislators to consider the proposal "sensibly" instead of seeking "cheap 
effects and [short-term] political benefits." Berov argued that, in order 
for Bulgaria's relations with international financial 
institutions--primarily the International Monetary Fund and the World 
Bank--to develop as planned, the budget should be passed by 16 February. 
Although both the Economic Committee and the Budget and Finances Committee 
suggested that the government draft had been based on an overoptimistic 
estimate of Bulgaria's economic performance during 1994, BTA said all 
parliamentary committees recommended approval of the proposal on its first 
reading. A 6.7% budget deficit and a 35-40% annual inflation rate are 
envisaged in the present draft. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY REFUTES SAUDI REPORTS ON FLEET. In an article 
appearing in Uryadovii Kurier on 8 February, the Ukrainian defense 
ministry corrected a report printed in the Saudi Arabian newspaper 
Ash-Shark Al-Ausat on Ukraine's willingness to sell a substantial part of 
its naval inheritance to countries in the Persian Gulf region. The report 
had said Ukraine was willing to sell missiles and torpedoes, and had 
proposed that Iran buy a submarine. The defense ministry stated this was 
misinformation aimed at compromising Ukraine in the eyes of the 
international community. At the moment Ukraine does not control any part 
of the naval forces of the former Soviet Union, so there cannot even be 
any talk of selling battle ships and such equipment, it said. Ustina 
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

INFLATION IN ESTONIA INCREASES. The Estonian Statistics Department 
announced that the consumer price index increased 5.5% in January, BNS 
reported on 7 February. This is the largest monthly increase since the 
9.2% rise in November 1992. In the last two months of 1993 the index rose 
4.1% and 4.0%, respectively. The rise was due to a 10.8% increase for 
transport and communications, 6.7% for leisure activities, 5.9% for 
housing, 4.7% for food, and 3.1% for manufactured goods. Saulius Girnius, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTIC-NORDIC COOPERATION GROWS. More than 80 parliamentarians from 
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden 
met in Riga on 4 and 5 February to work out the details of further 
Baltic-Nordic cooperation on social, economic, legal, environmental, 
educational, scientific, and cultural spheres, BNS reported on 4 and 5 
February. The participants discussed specific projects, such as the 
possibility to introduce a common visa regime for the Baltic and Nordic 
countries, energy supplies (including plans to build a gas pipeline from 
Norway) and the establishment of the Via Hansa and Via Baltica highways. 
In Riga it was announced that the Nordic Council had granted the Baltic 
States half a million US dollars to implement various cooperation 
programs. Furthermore, the Nordic Council is expected to allocate 
additional funding for Baltic cooperation in its 1994 budget. Dzintra 
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

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