This is the true nature of home-- it is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from injury, but from all terror, doubt and division. - John Ruskin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 37, 23 February 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIA OPPOSES FURTHER ULTIMATUMS.  Special envoy Vitalii Churkin,
at a working meeting on Bosnia held near Bonn on 22 February,
discouraged the idea that the further use of ultimatums should be
used to bring peace to Bosnia.  "Sarajevo is a very special place
. . . .  The geography and social configuration are very different
from other parts of Bosnia," Churkin explained.  Meanwhile, at the
UN, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 22 February
saying that the first step on the part of the US and European
countries should be "to exert the necessary pressure on the
Bosnian Government to make it cooperate with the UN in unblocking
and demilitarizing Sarajevo." The statement said that it was the
Russian initiative that had convinced the Bosnian Serbs to pull
back and Russia's approach did not resort to "unilateral
ultimatums, ITAR-TASS reported.  Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

US PROTESTS SPYING.  US Secretary of State Warren Christopher
delivered an official protest to Vladimir Chkhikvishvili of the
Russian embassy in Washington over the recent discovery of an
alleged spy for the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation
in the US Central Intelligence Agency.  The alleged spy, Aldrich
Hazen Ames, worked from 1985 to 1988 in the CIA's Soviet
counterintellience branch during his 31-year career with the CIA.
He was arrested on 22 February after an investigation lasting ten
months, Western agencies reported.  Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

EXPANDED CABINET MEETING TO BE POSTPONED? The expanded cabinet
session scheduled for 25 February may be postponed, reported
ITAR-TASS of 21 February and Interfax of 22 February. The session,
to which regional leaders had been invited, was expected to
discuss the implications and ramifications of the president's
speech on 24 February, the government's economic program, and the
draft budget for 1994.  Interfax suggested that the
postponement--probably to 3 March--was attributable to the need
for more time to examine the presidential speech and in view of
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's scheduled visit to Finland on
26-28 February while ITAR-TASS noted that Chernomyrdin had a
severe cold.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF AND G-7 REVIEWS AFFECTED.  IMF Managing Director Michel
Camdessus has postponed a visit to Moscow, tentatively planned to
commence on 26 or 27 February, an RFE/RL correspondent reported.
Sources at the International Monetary Fund are quoted as saying
that there is "nothing to talk about," by which they are presumed
to mean that the 1994 budget is still being elaborated. The G-7
meeting near Frankfurt is still scheduled for 26 February; one of
the principal topics to be discussed is the economic program of
the Russian government.  Acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin,
Economics Minister Aleksandr Shokhin, and Central Bank Chairman
Viktor Gerashchenko have been invited to attend. Leaks from the
purported Chernomyrdin report cited by Kyodo on 22 February and an
Interfax interview of 21 February with Labor Minister Gennadii
Melikyan suggest that the Russian government is considering the
reintroduction of wage and price controls. This is unlikely to go
down well with the IMF and G-7.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

BANKS MINIMUM CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS RAISED. Effective 1 March, the
minimum capital requirement for new commercial banks will be
raised from its present 100 million rubles to 2 billion rubles.
This was announced at a news conference on 21 February by Dmitrii
Tulin, deputy chairman of the Central Bank, Russian agencies and
The Financial Times of 22 February reported.  Existing banks have
until January 1995 to increase their capital to 2 billion rubles.
>From 1999 the threshold will be raised to 5 million ECUs. Tulin
said that the aim of the measure was to protect depositors, reduce
money-laundering, and to help banks compete on the international
market.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

TURKISH-RUSSIAN GRIEVANCES.  Russia "is not quite satisfied" with
the amended regulations for the passage of shipping through the
Dardanelles and the Bosphorus proposed by Turkey earlier this
month, and advocates convening an international conference on the
issue, according to a senior Russian diplomat quoted by Interfax
on 22 February. The diplomat charged that Turkey was interpreting
"rather freely" the terms of the 1936 Treaty of Montreux,
specifically by arguing that large ships should wait their turn to
pass through the straits; he also criticized as "very complicated"
the procedure envisaged for nuclear-powered vessels.  Also on 22
February, the Turkish Foreign Ministry lodged a protest with the
Russian ambassador over a planned one-day conference on "The
History of Kurdistan" to be held in Moscow with PKK backing, AFP
reported citing the Turkish Daily News.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY APPEALS TO THE SECRET SERVICE OFFICERS.  The leader of
the ultra nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir
Zhirinovsky called on the officers of the security agencies to
"overcome all difficulties and hardships and to stay in their
positions," Ostankino television reported on 21 February.
Zhirinovsky said that he knows that presently many most qualified
officers are leaving the service, but he is urging them not to do
so, because their skills will be needed when he and his party will
come to power. He also called on the officers to register and
monitor "all those, who are selling out the interests of the
state." Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

FINAL RESULTS OF THE RUSSIAN ELECTIONS ARE STILL NOT PUBLISHED.
The final report of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) on the
results of the 12 December 1993 Russian parliamentary elections
has not appeared yet in the Russian media. In an article in Novoe
vremya (no.  7), the journal's deputy chief editor and former
human rights activist Kronid Lyubarsky expresses fear that the
report will never be published. The report is supposed to include
the final voting figures for each electoral district of the
Russian Federation. The voting figures distributed by the CEC and
news agencies were not complete and also contradictory.  The
publication of the report was promised in a resolution that was
issued by the CEC on 25 December 1993 and published in Rossiiskaya
gazeta on 28 December. Moreover, a resolution on the electoral
procedure, signed by Yeltsin in November, stipulates that the
final report on results of the elections is published within a
month after the elections take place.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

PARTIES PREPARE FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. While the split in the
ranks of radical reformers appears to have deepened, other parties
have succeeded in streamlining their structures. The recent
congress of the centrist Democratic Party of Russia decided to
strengthen its structures for the presidential elections,
Kommersant daily reported on 22 February.  The leader of the
party, Nikolai Travkin, did not exclude the possibility to run for
presidency.  The right-wing Russian All-People's Union has also
taken the step to transform itself into a centralized party.
Hard-liner Nikolai Pavlov said that the leader of the Russian
All-People's Union, Sergei Baburin, should be nominated as a
candidate for president.  Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

UKRAINE SAYS RUSSIA NEGLECTING RIGHTS OF UKRAINIAN MINORITY. The
Ukrainian Minister for Nationalities and Migration, Oleksandr
Yemets, has accused Russia of ignoring the needs of its largest
minority--the Ukrainians, Reuters reported on 22 February. "We
feel the cultural and national needs of Ukrainians (in Russia) are
poorly satisfied," he told a conference in Kiev.  Comparing the
extensive cultural and national facilities which Ukraine's
11-million-strong Russian minority enjoys, Yemets said that "There
is not a single Ukrainian school in Russia," even though there are
many areas where Ukrainians live compactly.  He said that his
ministry had received complaints from Ukrainians in Russia that
some local authorities were openly hostile to attempts to
establish Ukrainian schools.  Ukrainians in Russia have also been
pressing for the opening of Ukrainian cultural centers and radio
and TV programs in Ukrainian.  According to the 1989 census there
were 4.4 million Ukrainians in the RSFSR but Yemets claimed that
the real figure is between six to 10 million.  Bohdan Nahaylo,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KIEV RESPONDS ON NUCLEAR MISSILES CHARGE. Ukrainian officials
expressed dismay and some confusion on 22 February over charges,
made public earlier that day, that Kiev is interfering with
Russia's ability to assure control over--and the safety
of--nuclear missiles based in Ukraine. The charges, which
pertained particularly to the swearing of oaths of loyalty to
Ukraine by some officers within the 43rd Missile Army, were made
by Russian strategic forces commander-in-chief Igor Sergeev in a
letter to Defense Minister Pavel Grachev.  In Kiev, Ukrainian
Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Bizhan said that Kiev was in no way
interfering with Moscow's operational control over the nuclear
weaponry, and that officers taking the Ukrainian oath of loyalty
had done so voluntarily. According to Reuters and Interfax,
Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk echoed Bizhan's
remarks and suggested that there might be forces in Moscow trying
undermine good relations between the two countries.  Stephen Foye,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ALL STRATEGIC BOMBERS OUT OF KAZAKHSTAN; TALKS ON THOSE IN
UKRAINE. The commander-in-chief of Russia's Air Force, Col. Gen.
Petr Deinekin, was quoted by Interfax on 22 February as saying
that the last four Russian Tu-95MS (NATO designation: Bear H)
bombers had been moved from Kazakhstan to Russia. They had been
based near Semipalatinsk. Deinekin said that a total of 40
Tu-95MS's had once been stationed in Kazakhstan and that several
obsolete Tu-95's, manufactured in 1955, would remain at the
Semipalatinsk airfield. Deinekin said that "none of the CIS member
nations outside of Russia is capable of keeping the air force
component of the strategic nuclear forces operational" because
they lacked the necessary financing and expertise. Ukraine
continues to possess strategic bombers; Deinekin said that only a
few were operational and that heretofore unsuccessful talks
continued between Russia and Ukraine on the redeployment of these
aircraft.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AKAEV MEETS YELTSIN.  Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev met in
Moscow with his Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin on 22 February
to discuss relations between the two countries, Russian news
agencies reported. Akaev has been under pressure from Russian
government leaders to institute dual citizenship, which Akaev has
argued that he cannot do without parliamentary approval.  He is
eager to stop the emigration of non-Kyrgyz from his country, and
brought to Moscow a package of proposals to make residence in
Kyrgyzstan more attractive for the Russian-speaking population.
Kyrgyzstan is susceptible to Russian pressure on the issue of
Russian-speakers' rights because of the country's economic
dependence on the Russian Federation.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

ANOTHER UZBEK ACTIVIST SENTENCED.  RFE/RL's Uzbek Service learned
on 22 February that Safar Bekjan, an activist of Uzbekistan's
opposition Erk Party, has received a three-year jail sentence for
allegedly having stolen a gold coin from a museum in the town of
Ellikkala in Khorezm Oblast.  Bekjan was arrested in Tashkent in
July 1993 and has been awaiting trial ever since.  He and other
Erk activists insist that he is innocent and that the charge was
politically motivated, as have been numerous court proceedings
against members of the Uzbek opposition since mid-1992, when the
Uzbek government began a harsh crackdown on the opposition.
Sentences handed down after late 1993 appear to be harsher for
previously they often included suspensions.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL,
Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA UPDATE.  On 22 and 23 February the international media
report extensively on a meeting in Bonn between Western and
Russian officials dealing with the situation in Bosnia.  AFP says
that all in attendance agreed to cooperate in working towards
peace, but Tanjug adds that Russian officials have urged against
the future use of ultimatums. In other news, Reuters reports that
5 Swedish peace keepers were injured on 22 February when a shell
exploded in the Moslem enclave of Tuzla. According to Reuters,
this incident may have prompted UN commander for Bosnia Lt. Gen.
Sir Michael Rose to ask for air strikes as a way of defending the
peace keepers, but ultimately UN envoy Yasushi Akashi was not
contacted with the request.  Meanwhile, the Belgrade press on 23
February covers rump Yugoslav reactions to the developments in
Bosnia.  According to Borba, federal Prime Minister Radoje Kontic
has said that ultimatums will fail to bring peace in Bosnia, while
Politika reports that Democratic Opposition of Serbia leader Vuk
Draskovic maintains peace will not come to Bosnia until all three
sides involved in the conflict are disarmed.  Stan Markotich,
RFE/RL, Inc.

UN TROOPS BLOCKED AT BOSNIAN-CROATIAN BORDER. On 22 February AFP
reported that UN troops were being dispatched to a region at the
Bosnian-Croatian border in order to aid fellow peace keepers.  On
18 February rebel Serb forces from Croatia sealed off a UN peace
keeping post, effectively blockading a contingent of Nepalese
peace keepers and taking control of a transit route on the Sava
River.  On 23 February Borba, citing Reuters, reports that UN
officials have called for jets to fly overhead the Serb positions,
but only in order to "intimidate the Serbs." The call for air
cover came when officials learned the Serbs were calling in tanks
to reinforce their position.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

GREECE STICKS TO BLOCKADE. Rejecting criticism by the 11 other
member states of the European Union on the previous day, Greece on
22 February defended its blockade against the Republic of
Macedonia aimed at pressuring the country into amending the
constitution which Athens says includes territorial claims and
removing a symbol claimed to be Hellenic from its flag. Responding
to several countries that have questioned the legality of the
Greek measure under EU law, government spokesman Evangelos
Venizelos said the Treaty of Rome allows member states to impose
sanctions against a country which is "provoking international
tension." Venizelos told Reuters that Skopje must meet the Greek
demands before a dialogue can be resumed.  In The Hague Macedonian
Foreign Minister Stevo Crvenkovski said his government is not
prepared to enter direct talks while being threatened in this
manner.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND'S WALESA ON THE WARPATH. Launching an angry attack on
"postcommunist" forces on 22 February, President Lech Walesa
announced that he is withdrawing his representative from the
parliamentary commission charged with drafting a new constitution.
In voting down his constitutional proposals, Walesa said, the
parliament had "spurned the possibility of cooperation." In an
interview with PAP, Walesa added that the former communists,
tolerable when in the minority, have become too strong and are
returning to the discredited methods of the past. The president
vowed to carry out lustration and decommunization, reversing his
past position on the subject.  Coalition leaders dismissed
Walesa's charges as a first offensive in his campaign for
reelection in 1995, designed to muster the support of right-wing
forces and play on public dissatisfaction with the government.
Walesa announced plans to stage rallies across the country.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH-LITHUANIAN TREATY COMPLETED. After more than a year of
negotiations, Poland and Lithuania agreed on the text of a
bilateral friendship and cooperation treaty during a fifth round
of talks in Warsaw on 22 February. Lithuanian officials said the
treaty could be signed as early as March, PAP reports. The major
hitch in the negotiations--Lithuania's demand for a formal
condemnation of Poland's occupation of Vilnius in 1920--was
apparently overcome when both sides agreed to mention no dates or
historical figures in the preamble to the treaty.  Lithuania is
the one remaining neighbor with which Poland has yet to sign a
treaty.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV IN POLAND.  Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev began
a two-day working visit to Cracow on 22 February, PAP reports.
Talks with Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski were devoted
to security issues. Kozyrev argued that NATO's expansion should
not be the chief focus of the Partnership for Peace, but
Olechowski repeated Poland's conviction that "if it is not
possible to build a Europe without divisions, the Partnership
could lead to NATO's embracing just a few countries." Olechowski
further stressed Poland's desire for friendly relations with a
"democratic and wealthy Russia." The two ministers signed an
agreement binding each side to finance and protect the other
partner's grave sites, war cemeteries, and monuments located on
its own territory. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH PREMIER ON RESTITUTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY, SUDETEN GERMANS.
Speaking to journalists in Prague on 22 February, Czech Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus said that he had met with Jiri Danicek,
chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities, and with chief
rabbi Karel Sidon to discuss the restitution of Jewish property.
(See RFE/RL Daily Report of 22 February) Klaus told the two that
his government will not submit a new law but will act to return
all former Jewish property that is now in the possession of the
state and will appeal to municipalities to return Jewish property
that has come to their possession.  Commenting on his statements
published on 21 February in the German daily Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung on the Czech-German controversy surrounding the
issue of some 3 million Sudeten Germans who were expelled from
Czechoslovakia after World War II, Klaus repeated his stand that
the Czech government opposes "the collective solution" and prefers
to deal with Sudeten Germans on "an individual basis." Klaus's 21
February statements were criticized by Germany's Christian Social
Union, a member of Bonn's ruling coalition.  A party spokesman
termed Klaus's solution a "soap bubble." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN LIBERAL PARTIES ENTER INTO ELECTORAL COALITION.  On 22
February the Alliance of Free Democrats, the Alliance of Young
Democrats, the Agrarian Alliance, and the Liberal Civilian
Alliance of Entrepreneurs signed an agreement to support each
other's candidates in the May national elections, MTI reports.
Under the agreement, the parties will support in the second round
of the election the candidates who received the most votes in the
first round.  The agreement does not bind the parties to enter
into a coalition following the elections.  The parties' leaders
told a press conference that their parties now form the largest
electoral group in Hungary.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT IN BUDAPEST. Egon Klepsch met on 21
and 22 February with Premier Peter Boross, President Arpad Goncz,
and high ranking Hungarian government and parliamentary officials,
MTI reports. Klepsch supported closer cooperation between the
Hungarian parliament and the European Parliament's committees.  In
a speech to the Hungarian parliament, Klepsch praised Hungary's
internal stability and the country's progress in building a
parliamentary democracy.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARY AND ITALY SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT.  Hungarian
Defense Minister Lajos Fur and his Italian counterpart Fabio
Fabbri signed on 22 February in Budapest a cooperation agreement
between their two countries' armed forces, MTI reports.  The
accord includes the mutual exchange and training of officers,
continuous military consultations, and cooperation between
military intelligence services and military industries.  The two
sides will examine the possibility of joint military exercises
which will depend on the development of Hungary's relations with
NATO in the framework of the alliance's Partnership for Peace
program. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN RULING PARTY TALKS AGAIN TO THE OPPOSITION.  On 22
February the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania conducted
talks with the opposition Democratic Party-National Salvation
Front.  Romanian Television first said that the talks were aimed
at exploring a new coalition, but later, in what seems to have
been the result of pressure exerted by the PSDR, said the talks
had dealt with the possibility of concluding a "political and
social pact." The democratic opposition insists that no such pact
can be concluded without setting up a new coalition. DP-NSF Vice
Chairman Adrian Severin said after the talks that he was "neither
optimistic, nor pessimistic," as this was just the beginning of a
possible future cooperation. At a separate PSDR press conference
it was stated that the setting up of a coalition including the
Greater Romania Party and the Socialist Labor Party was no longer
on the agenda, following the announcement of the two formations
that they had suspended coalition talks. Discussions are
continuing for finalizing the coalition agreement with the Party
of Romanian National Unity.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH DEFENSE MINISTER IN ROMANIA. A military delegation headed
by Poland's Defense Minister Piotr Kolodziejczyk began a three day
visit to Romania on 21 February. Radio Bucharest said on 22
February that Kolodziejczyk was met by President Ion Iliescu,
Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu and other officials. In talks
conducted with Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu, the two sides
concluded that they have "an identical understanding" of the need
to restructure their armies in order to make them "compatible with
the armies of democratic states" as a means of "ascending to
European collective security structures." Michael Shafir, RFE/RL,
Inc.

DOGAN WRITES UDF. In a letter delivered to the parliamentary group
of the Union of Democratic Forces on 22 February, the Chairman of
the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Ahmed Dogan, says he is
deeply concerned about the progress of political and economic
reforms and would favor a resurrection of the previous alliance
between the mainly Turkish MRF and the UDF. Dogan writes that the
government's failure to launch an effective privatization scheme,
delays in the land reform, and continued decline in production,
are signs that the reform process has ground to a halt, and that
the "leftist forces" [evidently the Bulgarian Socialist Party] are
consolidating their positions in society.  As quoted by BTA, UDF
faction leader Stefan Savov expressed skepticism regarding the
MRF's overtures but said any concrete proposals would be
considered.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

SNEGUR SAYS YELTSIN TO MEDIATE DNIESTER CONFLICT.  Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur on 22 February informed US Ambassador to
Moldova Mary Pendleton, that Russian President Yeltsin has offered
to mediate negotiations between Chisinau and the "Dniester"
leaders, a communique of the Moldovan presidency announced (as
cited by Basapress).  In the communique, Yeltsin suggested that
the negotiations "may take the recommendations of the CSCE Mission
to Moldova as a basis." The Mission has drafted a plan for a
devolution of some powers from Chisinau to Tiraspol, falling well
short of federalization, let alone the confederalization demanded
by the insurgent leaders.  Snegur added that the new Parliament,
due to be elected on 27 February, will examine draft laws on
special status for the Transdniester and Gagauz areas as a top
priority.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SEEKING SUPPORT IN BONN.  After
visiting Slovakia, on 22 February Ukraine's Foreign Minister
Anatolii Zlenko began a two-day official visit to Germany, German
and Ukrainian media report.  He was received by his German
counterpart, Klaus Kinkel, who promised continued economic support
for Ukraine and for the integration of the country into European
security structures. Calling on Kiev to continue nuclear
disarmament and speed up economic reforms, Kinkel said that Bonn
backs European Union efforts to help Ukraine and called for a
partnership and cooperation accord between Ukraine and the
European Union.  Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

KRAVCHUK ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT SEEK REELECTION.  The Ukrainian
media and political figures are commenting widely on President
Leonid Kravchuk's sudden announcement made at the end of last week
in an interview for RFE/RL that will not seek reelection in the
presidential election scheduled for 26 June, that is three months
after parliamentary elections.  Kravchuk says that he does not
want to be made a scapegoat by the new parliament for the
country's economic and social difficulties.  Apart from his waning
popularity and failure to obtain additional powers from parliament
to deal with the economic crisis, some commentators are explaining
Kravchuk's decision by his fear that if the socialist and
communist forces win convincingly in the parliamentary elections,
they will reduce the powers of the presidency even more, or even
do away with the institution entirely. Kravchuk is scheduled to
report to parliament on 23 February, together with the acting
prime minister and director of the National Bank, on the state of
the economy.  Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA PREPARES TO MARK UNILATERALLY BORDERS WITH ESTONIA.  On 22
February Russian Foreign Ministry official Sergei Prikhodko
reiterated his country's intention to mark the Russian-Estonian
border.  He was quoted as saying that "the Foreign Ministry is
preparing decisions to demarcate the borders unilaterally."
Prikhodko explained the move as having been motivated by Estonia's
unwillingness to discuss the issue; recent incidents between
Estonian border guards and Russian citizens; and by persons who,
he said, incited the local people to accept Estonian citizenship.
Interfax also reported on 22 February that before discussing
border issues, Estonia wants Russia to recognize the validity of
the Russian-Estonian peace treaty of 1920 that stipulated the
borders between the two countries.  Estonian politician Tunne
Kelam pointed out that once Moscow recognizes the treaty, which
has never been revoked, then Estonia's "position can be more
flexible in this respect and take into account the interests of
today." Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN, BELARUSIAN PREMIERS SIGN EIGHT ACCORDS. On 21 February
Latvia's Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs and his Belarusian
counterpart Vyacheslau Kebich signed in Minsk eight accords
outlining specific modes of cooperation between their two
countries. One of the agreements deals with trade and economic
cooperation and another one permits Belarus to transport through
Latvia special cargoes, including weapons for excport. The two
sides also agreed to ease border-crossing regulations for people
living in the border area and to establish a working group to mark
that frontier.  Birkavs said that Latvia will guarantee the human
rights of Belarusians living there but will not grant citizenship
to citizens of Belarus since Latvia does not endorse dual
citizenship, BNS and Diena reported.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

CSCE HIGH COMMISSIONER IN ESTONIA.  On 21 February in Tallinn Max
van der Stoel, the CSCE high commissioner for Ethnic Minorities,
met with Estonian Foreign Minister Juri Tuik, Population Minister
Peeter Olesk, Ants Paju, President Lennart Meri's representative
at the round table talks on ethnic minority issues, and
representatives of Russian-speaking organizations, BNS reports. On
22 February he traveled to Narva where he held talks with Narva
mayor Raino Murd and other local officials, and met with the CSCE
monitors' mission in Narva. On 23 February he will meet with Prime
Minister Mart Laar and Mart Piiskop, the head of the Citizenship
and Migration Department.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

PERSONNEL CHANGES IN BELARUS.  Belarusian Premier Vyacheslau
Kebich has abolished the Anti-Crime and National Security
Committee, Interfax reported on 17 February. Instead, a new post
in the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of National Security,
has been established with conservative deputy Henadz Danilau as
its chairman. Kebich also established a new department for the
coordination of administrative bodies' activities with another
conservative, Valeri Paulau, as its head.  On 22 February, the
Supreme Soviet elected Ivan Bambiza, secretary of its planning and
budget commission, as deputy chairman of the parliament.  It also
approved Henadz Lavitsky, KGB counterintelligence chief as the new
KGB chairman and first deputy interior minister, Uladzimir Danko
as Minister of the Interior. Saulius Girnius and Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL, Inc.

 [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled  by  Saulius  Girnius  and Dan Ionescu
The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research
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