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

No. 32, 16 February 1994

RUSSIA

RUSSIA DIFFERS ON BOSNIA. During a question and answer session with 
reporters following meetings with visiting British Prime Minister John 
Major on 15 February, President Boris Yeltsin charged that "some people 
are trying to solve the problems in Bosnia without Russia . . . We shall 
not allow this to happen. Russia will take an active part in the 
negotiations in order to end the war in Yugoslavia through negotiations." 
Yeltsin's spokesman, Vyacheslav Kostikov, warned that NATO air strikes 
would be perceived in Russia as a false start for NATO's "Partnership for 
Peace" program. On the same day a Russian Foreign Ministry statement, 
circulated at UN headquarters in New York and reported by Russian media, 
claimed that NATO has no authority to decide alone on air strikes against 
Serb positions in Bosnia. It said that Russia supports the demands for a 
pullout of military hardware from the Sarajevo area, but rejects 
presenting such demands as an ultimatum directed against the Serbs. 
Indirectly attempting to claim a Russian veto right on NATO action, the 
statement contended that "the NATO Council has not been empowered to adopt 
decisions on the essence of the Bosnian settlement, including the decision 
to carry out air strikes in Bosnia. Such decisions must be adopted by the 
UN Security Council." Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

TURKEY DRAWS UP NEW SHIPPING RULES FOR STRAITS. Turkey has drawn up new 
rules for shipping passing through the Bosphorous and Dardanelles, which 
link the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and separate the European and 
Asian parts of Turkey, Reuters reported on 14 February. Russia will be the 
country most affected by the new rules, and a Russian delegation will 
visit Ankara on 22-23 February to discuss their implications. The new 
regulations, which will take effect in June, will require vessels carrying 
oil and dangerous cargoes to give 24-hours notice before entering the 
straits. Nuclear-powered vessels and waste-carrying ships will have to get 
special clearance from the Turkish authorities before passage. Turkey says 
it can no longer allow large-scale oil-shipping through the straits 
because of the danger of an environmental catastrophe to heavily-populated 
Istanbul and that other means must be found to convey what are expected 
soon to be heavily increased shipments of crude oil conveyed on Russian 
tankers. Turkey would prefer the oil to be transported by pipeline across 
Turkey; Russia wants to go on using the Black Sea. Elizabeth Teague, 
RFE/RL, Inc.

GENERAL STAFF CHIEF DENIES RUMORS OF RESIGNATION. General Staff Chief 
Mikhail Kolesnikov on 15 February denied published reports that he has 
resigned from his post over differences with Russia's Defense Minister and 
over his concern with what was described as the disintegration of the 
Russian army. Earlier that day Komsomolskaya pravda and Moskovskyi 
komsomolets had reported the resignation. Interfax of 15 February reported 
a Defense Ministry statement that quoted Kolesnikov as saying that "such 
publications are designed to sow enmity within the ministry leadership and 
weaken the armed forces . . . one of the country's most stable 
institutions." There have long been rumors of tensions within the military 
leadership, particularly between the General Staff and the Defense 
Minister's entourage; some sources have suggested that these tensions have 
worsened since military units were used in the assault on the parliament 
building on 4 October 1993. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA AND TATARSTAN SIGN INTERSTATE TREATY. On 15 February the presidents 
of Russia and Tatarstan, Yeltsin and Mintimer Shaimiev, finally signed a 
treaty on the mutual delegation of powers that had been more than two 
years in the making, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Sergei Shakhrai, 
Russian Minister for Nationalities and Regional Policy, described the 
treaty as "a substantial breakthrough in the promotion of federal 
relations." Tatarstan refused to sign the federal treaty in March 1992 and 
later in the same year adopted a constitution that proclaimed the 
supremacy of Tatarstan's laws and a special status for Tatarstan vis-a-vis 
the Russian Federation. Yeltsin stated at the signing ceremony that the 
treaty provides a formula for helping to eliminate problems between the 
central government and the constituent republics. The treaty describes 
Tatarstan as a state united with Russia on the basis of the constitutions 
of the two states and the new bilateral treaty. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN'S HEALTH LIKELY TO DELAY SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT. Presidential 
spokesman Anatolii Krasikov was quoted by Russian Television on 15 
February as saying that Yeltsin's continued poor health would likely force 
the postponement of his major speech in parliament scheduled for 18 
February. Yeltsin is to address both chambers of the Federal Assembly with 
his annual report on the social and economic situation in the country. 
Krasikov said Yeltsin was still recovering from a cold and doctors had 
advised him to stay at home. (The same day, other representatives of the 
presidential administration told RFE/RL that the speech had already been 
rescheduled for 24 February.) Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. 

PRESIDENTIAL CONTROL OVER EXECUTIVE STRENGTHENED. Yeltsin has issued a 
decree which strengthens presidential control over the federal bodies of 
executive power, ITAR-TASS reported on 15 February. The decree stipulates 
the creation of a new Administration for the Federal Civil Service which 
will deal with personnel appointments in all federal organs of the 
executive power. The new administration will become a major part of the 
presidential apparatus, headed by Sergei Filatov. Filatov stated that 
according to the new Constitution, the President is no longer the 
functional head of the government. He said that, apart from the 
Administration of Federal Civil Service, new departments for economic 
analysis, finance, and foreign affairs have been set up in the 
presidential apparatus to provide the President with control over 
government policy. The Minister for Nationalities' and Regional Politics, 
Sergei Shakhrai, has charged that the President's interference in the 
government's sphere may cause unnecessary tensions within the executive 
branch. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN TASKS HIS DEPUTIES. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin has 
assigned the areas of responsibility to his deputies, ITAR-TASS announced 
on 15 February. Responsibility for investment and the defense industry 
goes to First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets, who will also 
coordinate the activities of the 15 government ministries and state 
committees. As for the three Deputy Prime Ministers, Aleksandr Zaveryukha 
is responsible for agriculture; Anatolii Chubais continues to oversee the 
privatization program; and Yurii Yarov is responsible for social policy 
and for government liaison with political parties and social 
organizations. Economics minister Aleksandr Shokhin will coordinate 
economic reform and Russia's relations with the other members of the CIS. 
Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. 

DEFENDANT SAYS GORBACHEV APPROVED OF STATE OF EMERGENCY. Former secretary 
of the CPSU Central Committee, Oleg Shenin, said former Soviet President 
Mikhail Gorbachev approved of the imposition of a state of emergency in 
August 1991, Western agencies reported on 15 February. Shenin is one of 
the defendants at the trial of the organizers of the GKChP (the State 
Committee on the State of Emergency). On 15 February, Shenin told the 
trial that on 18 August 1991, two future GKChP members, Valentin Varenikov 
and Oleg Baklanov, consulted with Gorbachev over the imposition of the 
state of emergency in parts of the USSR and obtained his approval. The 
defendants at the trial are accused of imposing the state of emergency 
without Gorbachev's consent. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. 

POOR SAFETY RECORD OF NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY. On 15 February, the Federal 
Nuclear and Radiation Safety Oversight Committee released its first annual 
survey as an independent body with enhanced powers, The Los Angeles Times 
of 16 February reported. The chairman of the watchdog agency told a Moscow 
news conference that, in 1993, 20,000 safety violations had been recorded, 
78 enterprises temporarily closed down, 232 officials reprimanded, and 437 
workers flunked on safety quizzes. None of the country's 29 nuclear 
reactors has all the right equipment for preparing radioactive waste for 
burial, and existing preburial storage facilities are expected to fill up 
within 2-3 years. The Ministry of Defense was criticized for occasionally 
refusing to allow the inspection of its facilities and for not recognizing 
the authority of the civilian agency. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. 

VODKA IMPORT DUTIES TRIPLED, EXCISE DUTIES REDUCED. On 15 February, Prime 
Minister Chernomyrdin ordered a reduction in excise duties on domestically 
produced vodka from 90% to 85% (i.e., the level obtaining prior to 23 
December) and raised import duties on foreign vodka from 100% to 300%, 
Russian and Western agencies reported. RIA was quoted as saying that the 
new measures would halve the retail prices of domestic vodkas and triple 
the prices of imported brands. The reduction was made in response to the 
halt in production at more than half of the vodka and liquor plants and a 
big drop in budget revenues. The share of imported alcoholic beverages in 
1993 in the domestic market was said to have reached 45%, Interfax 
reported. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. 

CIS

RUSSIA TO INCREASE OIL SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE AND BELARUS? In an apparent 
about-face in its policy towards its gas debtors, Russia may increase oil 
supplies to Ukraine and Belarus in the first quarter of 1994, Interfax 
reported on 16 February. The reason is the surplus of oil in Russian 
refineries and pipelines due to customers' insolvency. According to 
Transneft, the state company responsible for oil deliveries across the 
former USSR, 8.6 million tons of surplus oil have accumulated in its 
storage systems. Experts say that the oil distribution situation has 
deteriorated because of bureaucratic complexities in oil export and 
customs clearance, failure to supply oil for state purposes, and 
protracted storms in Russian ports, apart from the financial crisis. As a 
result, the delivery of as much as 2 million tons of oil to Ukraine and 
Belarus may prove to be the only solution. The report added that the 
recipients would not be required to pay for the oil in advance and the 
customs procedures would be streamlined. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. 

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJAN SUPPORTS PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister 
Hasan Hasanov has written to US Secretary of State Warren Christopher 
expressing his country's support for NATO's Partnership for Peace program, 
Interfax reported on 15 February. Hasanov explained that Azerbaijan's 
positive assessment of the program was based in part on its endorsement of 
the principle of the inviolability of existing frontiers. Liz Fuller, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

NAZARBAEV IN THE US. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev spent his 
second day in Washington meeting with economic and financial officials, 
including the US Secretaries of Commerce and the Treasury, the president 
of the World Bank, and the managing director of the International Monetary 
Fund, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 16 February. Although the US 
officials declined to discuss the substance of their meetings with the 
Kazakhstani president, presumably the implementation of increased US 
assistance to Kazakhstan was discussed. In a meeting with US businessmen 
on 14 February, Nazarbaev pointed out Kazakhstan's need for help in 
developing its transportation system. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CONFUSION CONTINUES OVER WESTERN DEMANDS ON SERBS. International media 
report on 16 February that differences have yet to be fully resolved 
between UN and NATO officials over the nature of the "control" to be 
placed on Serb artillery under the terms of the Atlantic alliance's 9 
February ultimatum. UN commanders on the ground appear to favor electronic 
monitoring of the weapons, while their NATO counterparts seem to stress 
that control must be total and physical. The Washington Post and The New 
York Times suggest that the US has come to accept a compromise not far 
from the UN commanders' position. The Post says that the Serbs might be 
encouraged simply to move their weapons outside the Sarajevo area, to "be 
used without NATO interference against other territory held by Bosnian 
Muslims." Reuters on 15 February notes that the point has not been lost on 
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who said that "certainly we should 
withdraw some weaponry . . . and we may need those pieces elsewhere, not 
for offensive purposes, only for defensive purposes." Bosnia's ambassador 
to Brussels, Nedzad Hadzimusic, countered by saying that any move short of 
taking physical possession of the guns "stinks." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

PAPOULIAS MEETS MILOSEVIC. On 15 February Serb media reported extensively 
on Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias' statements to the press after 
his meeting with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Tanjug reports that 
Papoulias said that the purpose of his visit to Belgrade was to work for a 
peaceful resolution of the Bosnian conflict and to find the means of 
averting NATO airstrikes against Bosnian Serb positions. He stated that 
Athens has profound reservations about the use of NATO forces against the 
Bosnian Serbs, because air strikes could cause an escalation in the 
Bosnian fighting or even trigger a wider Balkan conflict. He added that a 
lasting peace in Bosnia could only be achieved when all sides involved in 
the conflict were prepared to compromise. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. 

CROATS UNEASY OVER BOSNIA AND SERBIA. The 16 February New York Times says 
that, while Croats across the political spectrum have applauded the NATO 
ultimatum, officials fear that the Atlantic alliance might be tempted to 
use the same tactics against Croats, if they work on Serbs. It is also 
feared that the Serbs or Muslims may turn their attention to Croat 
positions once hostilities around Sarajevo end. The main topic in the 
Croatian press in recent days, however, is the controversy surrounding the 
naming of Veljko Knezevic as Belgrade's new ambassador to Croatia. 
Knezevic is an ethnic Serb from Croatia and a former director of Zagreb 
television, and his appointment appears to throw cold water on Croatian 
hopes that Serbia might be ready to turn its back on the Krajina Serbs and 
recognize Croatia's Tito-era borders. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

TUDJMAN IN ROMANIA. Croatia's President Franjo Tudjman arrived on 14 
February in Bucharest for a three-day visit, Radio Bucharest reports. On 
the same day, he discussed bilateral relations and the conflicts in former 
Yugoslavia with his Romanian counterpart, Ion Iliescu. The two countries 
are expected to sign a friendship and cooperation treaty and a series of 
bilateral agreements. Tudjman's visit came in response to the visit paid 
by Iliescu to Zagreb in June 1993. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. 

MACEDONIAN DEVELOPMENTS. The International Monetary Fund has reportedly 
approved a loan of about $17 million to aid Macedonia's economic reforms 
in 1994, according to an RFE/RL correspondent. A similar amount may be 
forthcoming in six months if Macedonia's reform program is effective. 
Regarding external issues, MIC reported on 15 February that Greece has 
pledged to cease blocking Macedonia's admission to the CSCE. Meanwhile, 
Reuters reported on the same day from Greece that opposition to 
recognition of Macedonia continues, as tens of thousands rallied in front 
of the US consulate in Thessaloniki to protest the US' recognition of the 
Republic of Macedonia. Demonstrators, who threw eggs, coins and other 
objects at the consulate building, chanted "Clinton has betrayed the Greek 
People" and "Macedonia is Greek, "according to a Politka report. The 
demonstration was allegedly sponsored by the local Greek Orthodox Church. 
Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc. 

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER CONTRADICTS KLAUS ON BOSNIA. Speaking on TV station 
Nova on 15 February, Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec said that he 
is convinced that the Czech Republic must "at least symbolically" support 
the NATO ultimatum to warring parties in Sarajevo. Zieleniec said that "it 
is not possible to see NATO countries as potential partners and allies 
and, at the same time, to distance ourselves from them at a time when they 
are making difficult decisions." Zieleniec said that Sarajevo is a city 
that "is experiencing horrible things, a city that is being strangulated." 
According to the foreign minister, air strikes may alleviate the situation 
and "that is why I support the NATO action." Zieleniec's statements 
appeared to contradict the stand of Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus who 
has said that an outside intervention could escalate the war and that air 
strikes against Serb positions would be "unfair." Klaus has argued that 
there are no clear battle-lines and fronts in Bosnia and, "therefore, it 
is difficult to determine who fired which grenade." Klaus's statements 
have been criticized by some of his party's coalition allies, who have 
called for a resolute Western action in Bosnia. President Vaclav Havel 
expressed support for the NATO ultimatum and a possible military action on 
13 February. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW CZECH LAW ON WEAPONS EXPORTS. The Czech Parliament passed a law on 15 
February dealing with the export of weapons. The law sets rules for 
granting licenses to weapons exporters. CTK reports that under the law 
weapons exporters must be legal entities based in the Czech Republic, who 
have obtained a license from the ministry of industry and trade. The 
license must be approved by the foreign, defense, and interior ministries. 
The law forbids trading in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons of mass 
destruction. It provides for penalties of up to 8 years in prison and a 
possible fine for anyone found guilty of violating its provisions. Jiri 
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE IN MECIAR ON 17 FEBRUARY? On 15 February Party of the 
Democratic Left Deputy Chairman Milan Ftacnik told Reuters that the 
opposition should agree on a list of shadow ministers by 16 February and 
that a no-confidence vote in Premier Vladimir Meciar is expected the 
following day. Meanwhile, Meciar has been increasing calls for early 
elections, which he wants to hold in June (other parties prefer to wait at 
least until the fall), and he said on Slovak Television that if the 
parliament rejects a June poll, a referendum would be held. The issue will 
be discussed during the 16 February parliamentary session, but the support 
of at least 90 deputies will be needed for the law to pass, TASR reports. 
In a 15 February Slovak cabinet meeting concerning privatization, Meciar 
demanded that Deputy Premier Roman Kovac and Foreign Minister Jozef 
Moravcik leave the session (both have signed on to the Alternative of 
Political Realism faction within the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, 
aiming to form a broad coalition government without Meciar). Both Kovac 
and Moravcik have been expelled from the MDS by Bratislava district 
committees, but Kovac said he is waiting for the decision of the party 
congress, which is scheduled for March. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT COMMENTS ON CURRENT SITUATION. On the occasion of the 
first anniversary of his election as president, on 15 February, Michal 
Kovac held a press conference, which included discussions of the present 
crisis. Kovac said he was "dissatisfied" with the level of cooperation he 
has with Meciar, saying that his demands for greater participation "have 
not been met with great understanding." He also said he has not yet 
received proposals for the dismissal of Roman Kovac and Moravcik and has 
told Meciar that such plans could "evoke further doubts about Slovakia and 
its policy." Finally, Kovac encouraged MDS deputies to join the new 
coalition government, rather than the opposition, in the case of Meciar's 
defeat in a no-confidence vote. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV DELAYS SLOVAK VISIT. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev made 
a last-minute change in his schedule for an upcoming tour of Greece and 
the Visegrad countries. Originally scheduled to begin his trip with a 
visit to Slovakia on 16 and 17 February, on 15 February it was announced 
that he would postpone his visit to Slovakia until 24 February. No 
explanation was given. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA ADVOCATES PRESIDENTIAL RULE. In a 15 February interview with PAP, 
President Lech Walesa said that in the current transition period Poland 
required a more effective executive subordinated to the president. 
Commenting on conflicts in the ruling coalition, he said that parliament 
should be concerned with legislation and control of the executive, and not 
waste energy on forming a majority to govern; that should be the 
president's worry. Walesa prophesied that popular disaffection would shake 
the government, possibly forcing new elections and prolonging the 
political instability of the last four years. He gave himself three or 
four months to decide whether to build around himself a "strong bloc which 
will sweep the lot--president, premier and government." Anna 
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. 

LARGE STATE FUNDS LOST IN HUNGARIAN FINANCIAL SCANDAL. The Hungarian State 
Securities Supervision suspended Lupis Brokerage House Inc. from trading 
activities for allegedly squandering an estimated two billion forints 
($19.6 million) of investors' money, The Wall Street Journal, and MTI 
report on 16 February. Investors with outstanding claims against Lupis 
include the Hungarian Defense Ministry, with about 800 million, the 
Interior Ministry with 100 million, and the state railway corporation MAV, 
with about one billion forints. Brokers have been pushing the government 
for over a year to introduce new regulations by amending the Securities 
Act to avoid such scandals. The strong banking lobby, however, which still 
hopes to turn back the clock and regain securities trading rights for 
Hungary's banks, opposes such legislation. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc. 

BULGARIA'S MRF PARTY DISSATISFIED WITH CABINET. Over the past weeks 
leading members of the mainly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms 
have expressed growing dissatisfaction at the way the government led by 
Lyuben Berov has handled issues crucial to the Bulgarian Turkish minority, 
such as the tobacco farming industry and labor market policies. On 15 
February MRF leader Ahmed Dogan met with Berov and called on the 
government to abandon its plans to further centralize tobacco 
manufacturing and instead help reorganize it according to current world 
market conditions. Dogan also asked that the measures be coupled with an 
active labor market policy in the regions affected. In turn, the MRF 
leadership is apparently under increasing pressure. Following four 
previous defections of parliamentary deputies and extensive media coverage 
of discontent among followers, on 15 February legislator Sherife Mustafa 
formally resigned as MRF Deputy Chairwoman. On the same day Ibrahim 
Tatarla and Arif Mustakla were elected new Deputy Chairmen, while caucus 
leader Yunal Lyutfi retained that position. Because of defections from all 
parliamentary groups, the MRF no longer holds the balance of power in the 
National Assembly. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

"BERLIN WALL" GOING UP IN MOLDOVA. A decree by "president" Igor Smirnov, 
reported by Russian and Moldovan media on 11 February, requires all 
visitors who are citizens of "other states" including Moldova to enter and 
exit the "Dniester republic" only through the latter's customs and 
checkpoints at its "state border," undergo passport and visa control 
there, and specify in writing the purpose of their visit. The "border" 
takes in the major right-bank city of Bendery, mostly held by the 
left-bank forces. The establishment by force of a "border" between the two 
parts of Moldova and the introduction of Dniester "border troops" in the 
security zone constitute major violations of the 1992 armistice convention 
and of Russian "peacekeeping" commitments, but the Russian side has 
blocked a response by the armistice control commission. Moldova views the 
emergence of a "Berlin Wall" on the Dniester as a grave violation of the 
human rights of its citizens and as further evidence of the "Dniester 
republic's" lack of interest in settling the conflict. Vladimir Socor, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

POLITICAL STRIKES IN BELARUS. On 15 February a one-day general strike was 
held in Minsk, various agencies reported. The strike had been called by 
the Belarusian Strike Committee following the removal of Stanislau 
Shushkevich from office as the chairman of the Supreme Soviet. Among the 
demands presented to the new Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Mechyslau 
Hryb, were calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Vyacheslau Kebich's 
government, the formation of a provisional government, early parliamentary 
elections in March 1994, the granting of 15 minutes of broadcast time 
every night on Belarusian TV to the Strike Committee, as well as measures 
to improve the lot of workers. Estimates of the number of workers striking 
varied between 2,000 and 20,000. Hryb refused to meet openly with the 
Popular Front opposition or the Strike Committee. The organizers said they 
would broaden their strike if the government did not resign by 22 
February, when parliament is to meet again. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. 

BALTIC BATTALION--NOT FOR "HOT SPOTS." At their meeting in Riga the Baltic 
defense ministers discussed common security issues and formed working 
groups to deal with specific tasks: Estonia will head a group on military 
training and weapons standardization according to NATO regulations; 
Latvia--air space and border control; and Lithuania--information and 
communications systems. A new working group on the Baltic peacekeeping 
battalion is to meet in Estonia on 21 February. Commander of the Latvian 
armed forces Col. Dainis Turlais said that the battalion, to be comprised 
of one brigade each from Estonia, Latvia, and Latvia, is not intended for 
peacekeeping operations in "hot spots," such as Bosnia; the immediate goal 
of the battalion, said Turlais, is "to acquire modern experience during 
joint maneuvers with NATO states and the member states of the Partnership 
fro Peace program, and to create a single defense space in the region," 
Interfax, BNS, and Diena reported on 15 February. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, 
Inc. 

RUSSIA TO MARK ITS BORDERS WITH ESTONIA UNILATERALLY? Russian Foreign 
Ministry official Sergei Prikhodko told Interfax on 14 February that if 
Tallinn persists in its territorial claims on Russia and continues to 
evade discussions on border demarcation, Moscow will have to mark the 
border unilaterally. While insisting that this "does not mean an ultimatum 
to Estonia or a threat to seal the border," Prikhodko noted that the 
existing situation "complicates the work of services designed to guard the 
border and protect Russia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the 
activity of customs officials." Recently other Russian officials, 
including Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin, made similar statements 
to the press regarding the border, failing to point out that the border 
question is among the still unresolved issues on the agenda of 
Russian-Estonian talks. The problem stems from the fact that Moscow wants 
to mark the border that existed between the Estonian SSR and the RSFSR, 
while Estonia wants Moscow to recognize the validity of the 1920 
Estonia-Russian peace treaty (which was never revoked and which also 
defined the borders between the two countries) before any discussion of 
new borders can start. After the USSR incorporated the Baltic States in 
1940, some territory from Estonia and Latvia was annexed by Russia. 
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIA REJECTS PROSTITUTION LEGALIZATION. On 15 February the Estonian 
parliament rejected a bill that would have introduced a licensing system 
for prostitutes, Reuters reports. Although Prime Minister Mart Laar 
expressed support for the bill in November 1993, a public outcry at home 
and abroad, particularly in Scandinavia, forced him to change his 
position. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Vladimir Socor and Michael Shafir The RFE/RL Daily Report is 
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