Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. - Nathaniel Hawthorne
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 33, 17 February 1994

RUSSIA

RUSSIA PERSISTS IN OPPOSING AIR STRIKES. In a telephone conversation with 
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on 16 February, Russian President Boris 
Yeltsin reiterated Russia's rejection of the UN plans to use air strikes 
against Serbian positions in and around Sarajevo. Meanwhile, Deputy 
Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin continued touring the Yugoslav successor 
states attempting to circumvent the air strike option. He claimed that the 
situation in Sarajevo is "quite good" and warned that the use of air 
strikes would "escalate the Bosnian conflict," ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne 
Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA OPPOSES REDEPLOYMENT OF PEACEKEEPERS. A resounding no was the 
response of Russian diplomats and military officials to the UN request for 
redeployment of a battalion of Russian peacekeepers from Croatia to 
Bosnia. Churkin said that Russia would not entertain such a redeployment 
when Russia's preferences for the resolution of the conflict were not 
being considered. Radio Rossii reported on 16 February that Russian 
commanders in Croatia had received orders from Moscow to stay put. Suzanne 
Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA, UK AGREE TO DE-TARGET NUCLEAR WEAPONS. A joint statement issued by 
Russia and Britain on 15 February said that the two countries had agreed 
not to aim their nuclear weapons at each other, Reuter reported. The 
accord, similar to one reached earlier by the US and Russia, calls for the 
missiles to be retargeted by 30 May of this year. A second agreement 
specified that joint military exercises by the armed forces of the two 
countries would begin sometime in 1995. ITAR-TASS reported that British 
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Douglas Hurd and 
Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev had conferred on promoting military 
cooperation between the two countries; the two also reportedly discussed 
NATO's Partnership for Peace Program. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA TO PUBLISH FULL MILITARY DOCTRINE? General Klaus Naumann, German 
Army Inspector-General, was quoted by Die Zeit on 16 February as saying 
that Moscow appears to be warming to the NATO Partnership for Peace 
Program and, as a means of building confidence, is considering publishing 
the full text of the Russian military doctrine that was approved last 
fall. To date, only a summary of the doctrine has been made public. 
Naumann, who addressed officers of the General Staff Academy during an 
official visit to Moscow, reportedly emphasized that "NATO is the only 
working defense organization in Europe," that it "must not be weakened 
under any circumstances," and that only NATO member states would decide on 
the admission of new members. He added that to demonstrate appreciation 
for Russia's new openness Bonn was considering offering Russia 
unrestricted access to the Bundeswehr's secret defense concept. Stephen 
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. 

WRAP-UP ON KOLESNIKOV RESIGNATION RUMORS. The Russian Defense Ministry 
newspaper, Krasnaya zvezda , quoted General Staff Chief Mikhail Kolesnikov 
on 16 February as calling reports of his resignation a "fabrication" and a 
development that had "disgusted" him. Kommersant-daily for its part 
speculated on 16 February that the rumors of Kolesnikov's departure may 
been part of a plan to discredit the Defense Ministry at a time when 
advisors to the President are considering launching a reorganization of 
the military command structure that would shift some responsibilities from 
the Defense Ministry to the General Staff and subordinate the latter body 
directly to the President's office. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE STUDYING CIS COUNTRIES. The Chief of the Analytical 
Administration of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), General 
Mikhail Dmitriev, told Russian Television on 12 February that his unit is 
responsible for briefing the Russian president and government and 
preparing psychological profiles on foreign leaders, including those of 
the other CIS states. However, Dmitriev denied that his unit is engaged in 
spying on the former republics of the USSR and claimed that all the 
analysis is prepared outside the countries concerned. Dmitriev said many 
veterans have left the SVR for leading posts in banks, joint ventures, and 
commercial firms, but that new recruits are coming from the best Russian 
institutions such as Moscow State University, the Institute of the World 
Economy and International Relations, and the Institute of Oriental 
Studies. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW INVESTIGATION INTO MIRZAYANOV CASE. The Moscow City Court has ruled 
that Vil Mirzayanov, the Russian scientist accused of betraying state 
secrets concerning the production of Soviet chemical weapons, must remain 
in jail while a fresh investigation is conducted into the charges against 
him, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 February. Mirzayanov argues that the case 
against him is unconstitutional since the list of state secrets itself 
remains classified. Meanwhile, Boris Yeltsin has issued a decree 
identifying 38 federal bodies which have the right to classify information 
as a state secret, ITAR-TASS reported on 13 February. They include the 
Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, Nuclear Power, Economy, 
Finance, and Civil Defense, as well as the law enforcement and security 
agencies. The publication of Yeltsin's decree may signify an attempt on 
the part of the President to distance his administration from the 
Mirzayanov case. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

PAMFILOVA QUITS AFTER ALL. The reformist Minister for Social Affairs, Ella 
Pamfilova, has decided to quit the government, Ostankino TV "Novosti" 
reported on 16 February. Pamfilova, a leading member of the radical 
reformist movement Russia's Choice, wanted to leave earlier but Prime 
Minister Chernomyrdin rejected her resignation. Pamfilova stated that in 
the present composition of the government she cannot do anything for the 
poor. She said that Chernomyrdin's government may fall in the next 
two-three months and that she does not want to be part of a team which 
"builds a bridge to power for [Vladimir] Zhirinovsky." She maintained that 
the government could become viable again if radical reformers, such as 
Egor Gaidar and Boris Fedorov, would return. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY PLANS HIS OWN RADIO. Russian ultranationalist Vladimir 
Zhirinovsky plans to set up his own radio in Russia, Komsomolskaya pravda 
reported on 15 February. Negotiations on broadcasting have been conducted 
with two radio stations--"Avto-radio" and "Vozrozhdenie." The expenses 
involved are said to pose no problem for Zhirinovsky. "Radio 
Zhirinovskogo" is to start broadcasting this coming April and feature 
musical programs for different generations of Russians and psychotherapy 
consultations. Observers note that Zhirinovsky seeks to raise his 
popularity with a view to the presidential elections. Meanwhile, 
Zhirinovsky's faction in the Duma proposed banning Radio Liberty 
broadcasts on the territory of the Russian Federation, Independent 
Television reported on 16 February. A majority of the deputies voted down 
the proposal. Alexander Rahr and Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

DISSENT IN ZHIRINOVSKY'S PARTY. Two senior members of Zhirinovsky's 
Liberal Democratic Party are leaving the party's parliamentary faction, 
Reuters reported on 16 February. Viktor Kobelev, a member of the party's 
Supreme Council, told the State Duma that he and fellow-deputy Aleksandr 
Pronin were quitting the faction to protest against statements made by 
Zhirinovsky, particularly during his foreign trips. Kobelev, who said 
Zhirinovsky's "crazy tricks" were not sanctioned by the party, added that 
he intended to stay in the party and could only be dismissed by a party 
congress. He said the party's next congress is due in April. Elizabeth 
Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. 

POPULATION DECLINE CONTINUES. Reports published recently indicate a marked 
decline in the population of Russia and suggest a continuation of this 
trend through the end of the century. From Roskomstat's preliminary data 
for 1993, as cited by RIA of 3 February, The Financial Times of 14 
February, and ITAR-TASS of 15 February, it appears that in 1993 there were 
1.4 million births and 2.2 million deaths. Because of inward migration of 
Russians from the "near abroad," the net fall in population was limited to 
500,000. The decline is attributed primarily to economic upheaval, the 
breakdown in health services, and the deteriorating environment. The head 
of the Labor Ministry's Department of Human Resources reckons that the 
fertility index will remain at around 1.5 until the end of the century, 
whereas an index of 2.11 would be necessary to maintain the population. 
Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. 

RUSSIA HIT BY STRIKE WAVE. Russia is experiencing a wave of industrial 
protests with miners, teachers, ambulance drivers, and lumber workers all 
striking or threatening to strike, many of them demanding payment of back 
wages. Construction workers in the coalmines in Vorkuta, who had been 
occupying their pits since 9 February, returned to the surface on 14 
February. Many of them had fallen ill from the cold underground, Interfax 
said. Promised they will receive their back pay for November and December 
on 21 February, the mineworkers have suspended their strike but are 
threatening to resume their protest above ground on 1 March if the wages 
are not paid. Miners in Partizansk in Russia's Far East have been on 
strike for four days, while miners in Rostov-on-Don and in the Kuzbass are 
threatening to strike if they are not paid back wages soon, AFP reported 
on 15 February. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS

RUSSIAN DUMA GROUP AGAINST RUSSIA-BELARUS MONETARY UNION. The "Union of 12 
December" deputies' group in the Russian Duma has said that monetary union 
with Belarus would adversely affect Russia's finance, ITAR-TASS reported 
on 16 February. According to one of its members, deputy Vadim Boiko, the 
union would cost Russia several trillion rubles and would lead to at least 
a 5% increase in inflation. While opposing monetary union, the "Union of 
12 December" said they did support close political and economic ties with 
Belarus which would be in both sides' interests. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, 
Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

GAMSAKHURDIA TO BE REBURIED IN CHECHNYA. The Georgian and Chechen 
authorities reached agreement on 16 February on the disinterment of the 
body of ousted President Zviad Gamsakhurdia from his present burial place 
in western Georgia and its transport to Grozny for reburial there on 23 
February, Reuters reported. Georgia has now dropped its insistence on an 
autopsy by international experts prior to reburial. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, 
Inc. 

RUSSIAN-ARMENIAN ECONOMIC AGREEMENT SIGNED. Russian Prime Minister Viktor 
Chernomyrdin and his Armenian counterpart Hrant Bagratyan signed a trade 
and economic cooperation agreement in Moscow on 16 February under which 
Russian will supply Armenia with goods to the value of US$141.3 million, 
ITAR-TASS reported. Energy supplies to Armenia for 1994 will remain at the 
level for 1993; the agreement does not provide for Russian credits to 
Armenia. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

UZBEK-RUSSIAN TV DISPUTE. Uzbekistan interrupted rebroadcast of Russia's 
Ostankino TV and of Russian TV for most of the day on 15 February, 
Ostankino news reported the same day. The Uzbek Ministry of Communications 
justified the action on the grounds that Ostankino and the Russian TV 
Companies were in debt to the ministry. Earlier, broadcasts of Russia's 
ITA had been interrupted by Uzbek authorities for nearly a week. An 
official of the Uzbek Ministry of Communications told Ostankino that the 
dispute was financial--not only has the ministry not been paid 
approximately one billion rubles for its services, but no agreement for 
1994 has been concluded. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. 

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

GREECE BLOCKADES MACEDONIA AGAIN. In a move evidently intended to both 
pressure the Republic of Macedonia into concessions and assuage popular 
dissatisfaction in Greece with the recent recognition of Macedonia by 
major EU states, Russia and the US, Greek Prime Minister Andreas 
Papandreou on 16 February imposed an economic blockade on Macedonia that 
will preclude the shipment of all goods to and from the port of 
Thessaloniki except food and medicine according to Reuters and Nova 
Makedonija. This is the second embargo imposed by Greece on Macedonia in 
two years. Macedonian officials, who have been willing to hold discussions 
with Greece, are bewildered by the action. The blockade, as well as the 
closing by Greece of its consulate in Skopje, is likely to further impact 
negatively relations between Athens and its European and North American 
allies. Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc. 

NEW WAVE OF SERB VIOLENCE IN WESTERN BOSNIA. While international attention 
has been focused on the Serb guns around Sarajevo, Bosnian Serbs have been 
conducting a new campaign of intimidation and violence, including rape and 
murder, aimed at driving some 60,000 Muslims and Croats out of the Banja 
Luka area. UN and refugee relief officials told The New York Times on 17 
February that "this is criminality on a huge scale . . . It's absolutely 
sanctioned by local leaders. It's very well organized, and they try to 
keep it well hidden. . . . With no one watching, God knows what the Serbs 
will do. And they blame the Muslims for everything." Patrick Moore, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

DJILAS SAYS WEST HAS NO STRATEGIC VISION IN BOSNIA. On 16 February, 
Milovan Djilas talked to RFE/RL's new South Slavic Service about the 
conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The prominent analyst of Yugoslav affairs 
and former dissident feels that Belgrade will not step in to help the 
Bosnian Serbs in case of air strikes except to provide arms and supplies. 
Djilas adds that the rump Yugoslav army "would not get involved and would 
not fight NATO forces." He also notes, however, that air strikes will not 
solve the problem because the West has no strategic concept for the area 
and will not intervene on the ground in a measure necessary to restore the 
Bosnian state. Instead, Djilas feels that some sort of federation of 
Muslim, Serb, and Croat states will emerge there, but adds that the US and 
Russia will be decisive in any settlement. Those two powers, he concludes, 
are already closer in their policies than many think and should now begin 
to agree on a common policy for the region. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. 

SERBIA UPDATE. On 16 February Reuters reported that Russia's envoy to the 
former Yugoslavia, Vitaly Churkin, held talks with Serbian President 
Slobodan Milosevic about the crisis in Bosnia and the possibility of NATO 
using air strikes against Bosnian Muslim positions. Churkin reportedly 
failed to give details about the substance of his talks with Milosevic. 
Reuters also reports that Vuk Draskovic, Serbian opposition political 
leader, predicts air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs will only serve to 
trigger a broader conflict. Draskovic did add, however, that he is 
confident the Bosnian Serbs will comply with the NATO ultimatum, thereby 
averting the air strikes. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. 

BULGARIA AND THE BOSNIAN CRISIS. On 16 February President Zhelyu Zhelev 
responded to a letter by Suleiman Demirel, his Turkish counterpart, in 
which the latter had asked for Sofia's political support for Western 
military intervention in the Bosnian war. In his response, Zhelev 
reiterated the Bulgarian position that all Balkan states should stay out 
of the conflict in former Yugoslavia. He described the NATO ultimatum as 
"a final and extreme warning to those forces in Bosnia which refuse to 
accept UN Security Council resolutions and are blocking the peace 
negotiations." On the same day, Bulgaria and Greece signed a program on 
military cooperation in 1994. Greek Chief of General Staff Adm. Hristos 
Lamberis stressed that the agreement should not be seen as directed toward 
a third party. Meanwhile, Trud of 16 February reported that Angel Dimitrov 
has now been installed as Bulgaria's first ambassador to the Republic of 
Macedonia. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIA AND THE UN EMBARGO. Following charges in the media that the 
government is neglecting to enforce the UN sanctions against rump 
Yugoslavia, recent days have seen a spate of new initiatives. Special 
forces detachments have been stationed at border crossings and on 15 
February Transport Minister Kiril Ermenkov announced a cabinet proposal 
that the ministries of Transport, Finance and Interior establish a set of 
joint control mechanisms. On 16 February Bulgarian customs officials said 
that in 1993 goods worth nearly 51 million leva ($1.4 million) were seized 
at Kalotina, the main border crossing with Serbia. On the same day Expres 
quoted the head of the UN monitoring mission, Henning Stanislawski, as 
confirming that individual Bulgarian officials have participated in 
sanction-breaking schemes. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. 

TUDJMAN APOLOGIZES TO JEWS. The 16 February Washington Post says that 
President Franjo Tudjman has formally apologized in a letter to officials 
of B'nai B'rith for casting doubts on the Holocaust in his book Wastelands 
of Historical Reality. Because of that book and some of his public 
statements about Jews, Tudjman's presence at the April 1993 Holocaust 
Museum dedication angered many. Tudjman now says that "it is in terms of 
my evolving relationship with and increased understanding of the Jewish 
people that I now realize the hurtfulness of certain portions of this book 
and the misunderstanding they have caused." The Post adds that B'nai 
B'rith representatives point out "that despite the controversy over his 
book, Tudjman has had good relations with Croatia's tiny Jewish population 
and with Israel. . . ." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

STALEMATE IN SLOVAK PARLIAMENT CONTINUES. On 16 February, in the first 
session since the deadlock over a privatization law led leaders to adjourn 
the parliament on 4 February, the parliament remained stalemated. Although 
the cards have largely turned in favor of the opposition parties, the 
opposition still lacks enough support to pass its proposal for early 
elections, since changes to the constitution require 90 votes. While all 
parties agree that early elections will be necessary (the next elections 
are not scheduled until June 1996), Meciar prefers that they be held in 
June 1994, while the opposition wants to wait until November. Opposition 
parties need more time to prepare and have argued that the budget would be 
less strained if they are held simultaneously with November local 
elections. Both proposals, Meciar's and that of the opposition parties, 
were defeated on 16 February, TASR reports. Meciar said that if his 
proposal is not passed by 21 February, he will start collecting the 
350,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on the issue, CTK reports. 
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

ETHNIC HUNGARIANS DEMAND GUARANTEES FROM OPPOSITION. After months of 
trying to push forward legislation protecting the rights of the Hungarian 
minority in Slovakia, Hungarian parties have been excluded from the 
opposition's plans for a new coalition government, which is to include all 
parliamentary parties except those of the Hungarian minority. Still, the 
opposition depends on the support of the 14 ethnic Hungarian deputies to 
achieve a majority in the 150-member parliament. After the Hungarian 
deputies voted against the opposition's proposed law for early elections 
on 16 February, Party of the Democratic Left Chairman Peter Weiss surmised 
that Meciar had made a deal with the Hungarians in order to garner their 
support. This speculation, however, was denied by Arpad Duka-Zolyomi of 
the Coexistence Movement, who said that his party wanted to work with the 
opposition but that it first demanded guarantees for participation in the 
new government, CTK reports. Even with the support of the ethnic 
Hungarians, the opposition has only between 83 and 86 deputies, still 
short of the 90 votes needed to change a constitutional law. Sharon 
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. 

MECIAR ASKS KOVAC TO DISMISS TWO MINISTERS. On 16 February Slovak 
President Michal Kovac received a request from Premier Vladimir Meciar 
asking him to dismiss Deputy Premier Roman Kovac and Foreign Minister 
Jozef Moravcik, TASR reports. Meciar justified the move by saying that the 
MDS leadership had voted no-confidence in both. Meciar proposed that 
Moravcik be replaced by Jozef Prokes, who is now deputy premier and 
honorary chairman of the Slovak National Party, while Kovac's 
responsibilities would be divided among other ministers. Sharon Fisher, 
RFE/RL, Inc. 

CZECH-SLOVAK CONFLICT OVER FOOD IMPORTS SOLVED. The Council of the 
Czech-Slovak Customs Union met on 16 February in an extraordinary session 
to discuss Slovakia's recent decision to require certificates of approval 
from Slovak authorities for each shipment of food entering the country. 
Most of the food imported to Slovakia comes from the Czech Republic. The 
meeting of the Council was attended by Czech and Slovak ministers of 
economy, agriculture, finance, and industry. The Council decided that 
Slovakia will cancel the measures and will return to the arrangement used 
before 11 February, when the new Slovak rules were introduced. Under the 
arrangement certificates of health issued for Czech food products by Czech 
authorities are automatically recognized by Slovak authorities and vice 
versa. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

LAST-MINUTE SPARRING BEFORE POLISH BUDGET DEBATE. After meeting with the 
ruling coalition's members in the Sejm's budgetary commission on the eve 
of the 1994 budget debate, Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak succeeded 
in overcoming resistance within the coalition to the proposed 1994 budget, 
Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 17 February. Various lobbies, spurred on by 
respective ministers, fought up until the last minute to increase 
budgetary expenditure. The final version of the budget that will be 
recommended to the Sejm proposes no additional revenues and approves, with 
minor shifts, the revisions introduced by the government itself after 
Finance Minister Marek Borowski resigned. These left the deficit unchanged 
at 83 trillion zloty ($3.9 billion) while raising both revenues and 
spending by 3 trillion zloty ($140 million). Pawlak pledged to revise the 
budget after the second quarter if the growth and inflation rates remain 
constant. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. 

REPORTS ON POLISH ARMS SALES TO CIA DENIED. Allegations in The Washington 
Post of 14 February that Poland secretly sold modern Soviet military 
technology to the CIA in the 1980s have caused a stir in Poland. Defense 
Minister Piotr Kolodziejczyk said on Polish TV that the claim was "a gross 
provocation against the Polish army, and others as well." Gazeta Wyborcza 
on 16 February quoted Kolodziejczyk as saying the article was "a 
journalistic monstrosity." The daily speculated, referring to Polish 
sources in the South African Republic, that Polish arms might well have 
reached the CIA via Angola and South Africa, since Angola was Poland's 
most important arms trading partner in Africa in the 1980s. Anna 
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. 

ROMANIAN BANKER DISMISSED. Romanian and Western media on 16 February 
reported that Dan Pascariu had been sacked from the position of president 
of the Romanian Bank for Foreign Trade. Pascariu, a main architect of 
post-communist banking reforms in Romania, is on record for having 
resisted government interference in his bank's credit and spending 
policies. He becomes the latest Romanian reformer to be forced out of a 
senior position for having differed with conservatives in the ruling Party 
of Social Democracy in Romania over economic policies. The Financial Times 
quoted a senior London-based banker as saying that the Pascariu's removal 
was a "very serious" matter. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. 

MOLDOVAN PREMIER ATTACKS ROMANIA'S IRREDENTISM. Moldovan Prime Minister 
Andrei Sangheli told ITAR-TASS on 16 February that "they in Bucharest must 
understand once and for all that Moldova is an independent state. We are 
brothers, but each has his own home and lives by his own laws." Noting 
that "the overwhelming majority of our republic's citizens oppose 
unification with Romania," Sangheli complained of Romania's "two-faced 
policy toward us: they talk to us about recognizing our independence but, 
behind our back, they claim that our republic is a part of Romania." 
Endorsing President Mircea Snegur's recent address which stressed the 
Moldovan as distinct from Romanian identity and Snegur's call for a 
plebiscite to confirm independent Moldovan statehood, Sangheli condemned 
the "disrespectful," "slanderous," and "hysterical" reactions in the 
Romanian media. He also rejected as "interference in the affairs of our 
independent state" the Romanian Foreign Ministry's 3 February statement 
which claimed that a Moldovan plebiscite can only be valid if the people 
of Romania participates in it--a claim that Romania's Foreign Ministry 
reiterated on 16 February. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVAN-RUSSIAN TROOP TALKS DEADLOCKED. The eighth round of 
Moldovan-Russian talks on "the status and terms of withdrawal" of Russian 
troops from Moldova, which had been postponed three times since November 
at Russia's request, will not be held on 16 and 17 February either, 
Moldova's Ambassador to Russia, Anatol Taran, told Moldovan TV on the 
15th, as cited by Basapress. Taran observed that Russia "deliberately 
delays" the withdrawal of its 14th Army from Moldova and seems intent on 
maintaining its military presence in Moldova and other parts of the former 
USSR. On 10 February Rossiiskaya Gazeta published the unilateral Russian 
draft of a Russian-Moldovan "Agreement on matters of jurisdiction and 
mutual legal assistance related to the temporary stationing of Russian 
Federation troops on the territory of Moldova," accompanied by the text of 
a decision by Yeltsin approving the draft and ordering Russia's Ministry 
of Defense to sign it in the name of Russia, ruling out any amendments "of 
a substantive nature." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

FINANCIAL WOES IN UKRAINE'S ARMED FORCES. The Ukrainian military daily, 
Narodna Armiya, reported on 16 February that the Ukrainian army is barely 
surviving financially. Gen. Ivan Shtopenko told the daily that the army 
has received less than 10% of funds allotted to it so far this year and 
that personnel and their families are living at subsistence levels. The 
Ministry of Defense had requested 63.7 trillion karbovantsy (approximately 
$1.8 billion) for the 1994 defense budget, but was given only a fraction 
of that figure. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. 

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY BACKS TROOP PULLOUT FROM BALTICS. After meeting 
with the foreign ministers of the three Baltic States and top Latvian 
leaders, British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd told the press in Jurmala 
on 16 February that the withdrawal of Russian troops from their countries 
is a right on which they are entitled to insist. Hurd also indicated that 
Britain would join the Nordic countries in helping to train the Baltic 
peacekeeping battalion which is planned to operate under the auspices of 
an international body, such as the United Nations. According to Hurd, the 
best way for the Baltics to reintegrate into Europe is through trade and 
he said that London is ready to assist in this and other matters of 
reintegration, Baltic and Western media reported on 16 February. Dzintra 
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTIC FREE-TRADE AGREEMENT. The free-trade agreement, signed by the prime 
ministers of the Baltic States on 13 September 1993 in Tallinn, will come 
into effect on 1 April, BNS reported on 16 February. In January, 
Lithuania's parliament ratified the agreement that is similar to the 
agreements the three states have signed with Finland, Sweden, Norway, and 
Switzerland. The agreement abolishes all customs duties and quotas on 
imported goods, but places restrictions on some exports to encourage 
domestic industries to use local raw materials. Latvia will place export 
tariffs of 20-100% on gypsum, limestone, raw hides, and timber. Lithuania 
will maintain exports duties on raw hides, glands, and some types of 
timber. Estonia may place quotas on exports of oil shale, gravel, clay, 
and quartz sand. The agreement will stay in force indefinitely and the 
three states will set up a joint commission to supervise its activity. 
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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