|When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves. - Katherine Mansfield|
No. 40, 28 February 1994
RUSSIA AMNESTY TAKES EFFECT; PROSECUTOR RESIGNS IN PROTEST. The State Duma's amnesty resolution was published on 26 February and led immediately to the release from prison of the leaders of last October's parliamentary rebellion, Ostankino TV's "Novosti" reported. Among those released from Lefortovo Prison were former Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov and former Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi. The same day, Russian Procurator-General Aleksei Kazannik resigned in protest against the releases, which he said had not been coordinated with the law enforcement agencies. Aleksei Ilyushenko has been appointed acting Procurator-General in his place, TASS reported on 27 February. Alexander Rahr and Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. HARD-LINERS IN COMBATIVE MOOD. One of those released, the leader of the "Working Russia" movement Viktor Anpilov, was quoted by Russian TV on 26 February as saying, "If I find when I leave prison that prices have fallen and people are living better, then [President Boris] Yeltsin will have been right. If not, I shall resume the struggle." Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov told Der Spiegel (no. 9) that the amnesty was "a compromise." He said it enjoyed broad support not only in the Russian parliament but also in society. Yeltsin, he went on, has already adopted many of the policies espoused by Rutskoi. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. ZHIRINOVSKY AND RUTSKOI. Izvestiya on 25 February argued that the politician most threatened by Rutskoi's arrest is not Yeltsin but Zhirinovsky. The newspaper predicted that many of those who voted for Zhirinovsky in last December's elections will now switch their allegiance to Rutskoi, who remains very popular among conservative voters. Zhirinovsky, who has himself predicted that the next presidential race will be between himself and Rutskoi, went to Lefortovo Prison to greet Rutskoi on his release, but Rutskoi refused to speak to him, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 February. Rutskoi's aide Andrei Fedorov told Reuters on 27 February that Rutskoi came out of prison "in combative mood" and is likely to stand in the next presidential elections. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. TEREKHOV FREED, BUT NOT AMNESTIED? Stanislav Terekhov, leader of the nationalist Russian Union of Officers, told Interfax on 27 February that he had been freed from prison but that criminal proceedings against him would continue. Terekhov was arrested on the night of 23-24 September for his alleged role in an attack on the CIS Joint Armed Forces headquarters. The attack left two dead. Terekhov, whose case is being handled by the Military Prosecutor's Office, said he had been charged with theft and illegal possession of firearms, resisting arrest, and organizing a civil disturbance. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CONTINUED FALLOUT ON SPY CASE. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 25 February posing counterarguments to Washington's outrage over the Ames spy case. Pointing out that the US investigation of Ames had gone on for ten months, the MFA contended that "this was sufficient time for us to be contacted directly and for them to share their anxieties with us before making them public." The Ministry warned that the "political consequences of this story give cause for concern." Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev described the spy case as a provocation, saying it proved "there are people not only in Russia" who oppose the development of partnership between Washington and Moscow. Moscow has not yet commented directly on the US expulsion of Russian embassy counselor Aleksandr Lysenko, Russian agencies reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. MOSCOW HINTS AT RETALIATION IN AMES AFFAIR. Yurii Kobaladze, who heads the press bureau of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), said Russia may retaliate by expelling American diplomats from Moscow, Ostankino TV reported on 26 February. Kobaladze said the Russian reaction to the case should be expected this week, but that it will be the political leadership, not his agency, that would decide what the response should be. Meanwhile, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, Mikhail Kolesnikov, admitted that Ames was a Soviet spy. "Ames worked in the United States for Russia. He protected Russian interests," Kolesnikov was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying on 26 February. Kolesnikov's statement suggests that Ames may have been an agent of military intelligence, the GRU, which is subordinated the General Staff. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN REACTION TO HEBRON. Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev expressed his condolences to PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat on 26 February over the slayings in Hebron. Kozyrev had a conversation with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and expressed concern over developments in the occupied territories. According to ITAR-TASS, Kozyrev expressed the hope that neither side would give in to provocations by extremists. He said the search for an all-embracing peace in the Middle East would continue. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE RUSSIAN TROOPS TO BOSNIA. By a vote of 118 to 2, Russia's Federation Council on 25 February approved a proposal by Boris Yeltsin to send an additional 300 Russian peacekeeping troops to the former Yugoslavia. That same day, according to Interfax, the commander of Russian Airborne Forces, Col. Gen. Evgenii Podkolzin, told reporters in Moscow that the new troops would be split between the Russian contingents currently serving in Croatia and in Sarajevo. He added that the Russian forces had suffered two deaths in their two years in the former Yugoslavia, Interfax reported. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. GENERAL STAFF CHIEF COMMENTS. At the same news conference, General Staff Chief Mikhail Kolesnikov said that the "trust factor" between Serbs and Russians--not the threat of bombing--had played the key role in reaching a decision on the demilitarization of Sarajevo and that the West should demonstrate greater understanding of the relationship between the two peoples. As reported by AFP and Interfax, he reiterated that Russia had opposed the NATO threat of airstrikes and said that Moscow would have considered the action, had it been carried out, "a violation of [Russia's] rights and interests." He added that excluding Bosnian Serbs from talks aimed at forming a Croat-Moslem confederation was "illegal," and urged them to "raise their voices" against the talks, which were planned for 26 February. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. NATO LEADERS WORRIED BY DEVELOPMENTS IN RUSSIA. Reuters reported on 27 February that NATO leaders are concerned by the bellicose attacks on the West increasingly being voiced by Russian leaders and by the danger that this development may undermine NATO's "Partnership for Peace" program. NATO diplomats are apparently concerned that their hopes of expanding cooperation with Russia may run aground on these tensions. The alliance plans to hold joint peacekeeping activities with some Eastern European countries later this year in connection with the "Partnership for Peace" plan, but NATO leaders reportedly fear that even these small-scale undertakings could upset Russia and lead to a strengthening of nationalist forces in that country. The US, UK, and Spanish ambassadors to NATO were scheduled to arrive in Moscow on 28 February (and subsequently to visit Ukraine and Moldova) to confer on the "Partnership for Peace" plan. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. OFFICERS TRANSFERRING TO RUSSIAN ARMY. Moskovsky komsomolets, quoting "reliable sources," reported on 25 February that in 1993 some 3,000 officers--including more than 1,000 from Kazakhstan, 800 from Belarus, and 1,000 from Ukraine--have transferred from other CIS states to the Russian Armed Forces. Pilots and rocket officers were said to constitute the majority of the transfers. According to the report, the officers were attracted by higher salaries in Russia; the report speculated that the flow of officers, especially from Kazakhstan, was likely to increase in 1994. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. G-7 MEETING DISCUSSES RUSSIAN ECONOMY. Stabilization of the Russian economy and progress in its reform were among several topics addressed by the 26 February meeting of G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors near Frankfurt. According to Western and Russian agencies, the Russian officials who attended--Messrs. Dubinin, Shokhin, and Gerashchenko--repeated earlier pledges to reduce inflation and the budget deficit and to build on progress towards marketization achieved during the past two years. For their part, their Western interlocutors repeated previous conditional pledges of moral and financial support for the reform process, without committing any new money. Both sides laid especial emphasis on the need to provide a comprehensive and adequate social safety net. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. DEFENSE EXPENDITURE IN 1994. Aleksandr Pochinok, deputy chairman of the Duma's Committee on Budget, Taxation, Banking, and Finances, told a news conference on 25 February that defense expenditures of nearly 40 trillion rubles have been appropriated in the 1994 draft budget, Interfax reported. Pochinok stated that the Ministry of Defense had requested an appropriation of 50 trillion rubles. The 40-trillion figure was said to represent roughly one-third of total budget revenues [sic] of 118 trillion rubles. From a Finance Ministry pronouncement, also cited by Interfax on 25 February, it may be extrapolated that the budget planners are reckoning on a 1994 GDP of about 1100 trillion rubles. This would put planned defense expenditure at around 3.6% of GDP. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA ABKHAZ-GEORGIAN TALKS DEADLOCKED. The third round of UN-sponsored Georgian-Abkhaz negotiations ended in Geneva on 25 February without substantive progress on conditions for the return of the 200,000 Georgian refugees who fled the region in September, 1993, or on the future status of Abkhazia within Georgia, Russian and Western agencies reported. Russian mediator Boris Pastukhov characterized the Abkhaz refusal to compromise over conditions for the return of refugees as unjustifiable, but greeted both sides' readiness to establish a permanent commission to formulate conditions for the restoration of legal-state relations between Georgia and Abkhazia, according to ITAR-TASS. A fourth round of talks will begin in New York on 7 March. Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze told Interfax on 26 February that a renewal of hostilities in Abkhazia was inevitable unless progress was made towards a political settlement of the conflict. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. TURKMENISTAN TO RESUME GAS SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE. According to a Ukrainian government statement issued on 26 February, Turkmenistan is to resume supplying gas to Ukraine in return for food shipments and other consumer goods, Reuter reported. Turkmen authorities had shut off gas supplies to Ukraine because the latter state had not paid its debts for gas shipped in 1993 and 1994. According to the Ukrainian statement, Ukraine has already paid part of its debts in convertible currency. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. TAJIK GOVERNMENT COURTS TRADITIONALISTS. In an apparent effort to court segments of the Tajik population for whom traditional morality remains strong, Tajikistan's government has banned the broadcasting of erotic films on state TV, AFP, quoting Interfax, reported on 25 February. All broadcasts that might offend national traditions and generally-accepted moral standards are prohibited. State media are also forbidden to advertise alcohol or tobacco. Until a new law on information media is adopted, independent broadcasters must subordinate their programming to the state media. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN SERB AIRCRAFT SHOT DOWN. Reuters and AFP report that 4 planes, believed to be Bosnian Serb Galeb F-4 light attack craft, were shot down by 2 US F-16 fighters near Banja Luka on 28 February. The 4 planes were reportedly flying from bases within Bosnia, and Western sources say they were shot down because they ignored NATO orders to land. A NATO spokesman said the planes had ignored NATO calls issued in compliance with the enforcement of a no-flight ban over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnian Serb military officials have expressly denied that any of their planes have been shot down, while Col. Slobodan Stojanovic from the rump Yugoslav army told reporters that "We can not confirm that four planes were downed over Banja Luka." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. BOSNIAN CEASE-FIRE BREACHED. On 27 February international media reported that while the situation around the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo remained generally calm, violations had been observed in a cease-fire between the Bosnian Croatian and Muslim sides that went into effect on 25 February. Western agencies and Sarajevo Radio reported that shelling had taken place in the Muslim section of Mostar. The radio also reported shelling in the Muslim enclaves of Bihac and Maglaj, but the accounts are unconfirmed. Meanwhile, AFP and Radio Sarajevo said that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has formally objected to the UN against having any additional UN peace keepers from Russia posted in Bosnia. According to the radio, Izetbegovic has remarked that the current contingent of 400 Russian troops posted around Sarajevo have behaved in a pro-Serb manner, thereby upsetting many residents of the city. Vecernji list reports on 28 February on talks between Croatian foreign minister Mate Granic and Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic held in Washington. According to Reuters, the talks, which focus on a possible Croatian-Muslim Bosnian state, will continue for a third day on 28 February. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIAN ECONOMIC, POLITICAL UPDATE. On 26 February Politika extensively reported on economic developments in rump Yugoslavia. According to one headline, Serbia's "February Inflation Rate [is] One Percent." What is being credited for this seemingly fantastic financial turnaround is the economic strategy formulated by Dragoslav Avramovic, Serbia's newly appointed bank governor and the architect of the "super dinar," the new Serbian currency pegged to the value of the DM. On 25 February Borba carried excerpts of an interview with Avramovic, where he pledged "to defend the dinar" in his capacity as governor. Prior to the introduction of the "super dinar" rump Yugoslavia's monthly inflation rate had been estimated at about 3 million percent. Meanwhile, on 26-27 February Borba reports on Socialist Party of Serbia efforts to form a government of national reconciliation that would include members of opposition parties. The daily notes that the recent talks involved the newly appointed SPS prime minister, along with some members from the Democratic Opposition of Serbia, representatives from the Democratic Party, and the ethnic Hungarian party based in the province of Vojvodina. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA CRITICIZES SEJM, BROADCASTING COUNCIL. Meeting with journalists at Gdansk TV headquarters on 25 February, President Lech Walesa argued that the best alternative for Poland is a "presidential system" of government, not because he wants more power but in order to permit effective decision-making. Continuing his attacks on the parliament, Walesa said he plans to draft his own constitution, "together with the majority" of the public that is not represented in the Sejm. Walesa again endorsed lustration and decommunization and had new criticism for the National Broadcasting Council. The president suggested that the private TV license awarded to PolSat should be withdrawn and hinted that he had obtained compromising materials on PolSat's owner, Zygmunt Solorz, from Poland's State Security Office. Questions have been raised recently in the Polish press about Solorz's finances and past affiliations, but no hard evidence has been presented against him. Broadcasting council chairman Marek Markiewicz stressed that Poland's state security organs had not provided the council with any negative information on PolSat. Walesa also criticized the "imperialist aims" of some Russian politicians. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. POLAND'S SILA-NOWICKI DIES. The attorney Wladyslaw Sila-Nowicki, a legendary figure in Poland's anticommunist opposition, died on 25 February, PAP reports. Sila-Nowicki, who was 80, fought in the Home Army and took part in the Warsaw Uprising. Arrested in 1947, he survived four communist death sentences and served nine years in prison. He was one of the few attorneys to defend political prisoners in the 1970s and 80s. In 1980, he was a co-author of Solidarity's statutes and long served as an advisor to Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. He later broke with Walesa. In 1989, he attempted to reactivate the Christian-Democratic Labor Party. In recent years, he had helped defend the two former secret police generals on trial for the 1984 murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMAN KOVAC RESIGNS FROM SLOVAK GOVERNMENT. Deputy Premier Roman Kovac submitted his resignation to the Slovak president on 25 February, TASR reports. Kovac, along with Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik, recently broke away from the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia to found the Alternative of Political Realism, which is aimed at forming a coalition government without Premier Vladimir Meciar. Meciar asked President Michal Kovac to dismiss the two ministers on 16 February, and Moravcik handed in his resignation on 24 February. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY'S NATIONAL CONVENTION. MTI reported on 27 February that at a one-day meeting of the HSP, Chairman Gyula Horn offered political cooperation to the Association of Free Democrats. AFD Chairman Ivan Peto, who had been invited to the meeting, received a standing ovation by the HSP's 377 delegates. The deputy chairman of the Hungarian Social Democratic party and representatives of the media were also warmly received at the meeting, which was the last before the 8 May general election. Horn said that only a social-liberal government coalition could bring a permanent (political) change for Hungary. He sharply criticized the present government, which, he said, ruined agriculture, gave up control of privatization, and wasted state wealth. He also defended HSP's election pact with MSZOSZ, which is Hungary's largest trade union. In a reference to his party's communist past, Horn emphasized that the HSP does not want to "go back;" he added that "we are not happy if nostalgia guides people at the elections." Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA ADOPTS 1994 BUDGET. After a second and final reading on 27 February, the Bulgarian National Assembly approved the 1994 state budget by a 128 to 73 vote, agencies report. The budget envisages expenditures of 133,836 million leva ($3,550 million) and revenues amounting to 100,167 million ($2,660 million). In an interview with BTA, an official of the International Monetary Fund described the 903 million leva deficit, which represents 6.7% of the gross domestic product, as acceptable. He also confirmed that the Bulgarian government is now in a position to sign its third loan agreement with the IMF, which is expected to release a $150 million tranche by the end of March. In addition, a $100 million World Bank structural adjustment loan is believed to be forthcoming. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. NATO EXTENDS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO BULGARIA. During a visit to Bulgaria on 25 February, NATO Deputy Secretary General Robin Beard announced plans to establish an aid and supply program for the Bulgarian armed forces. Beard told Western and Bulgarian media in Sofia that during 1994 military experts from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands will conduct seminars with Bulgarian army officers on issues concerning military planning, organization and defense procurement programs. After Hungary, Bulgaria is the second former East bloc state which has been offered such assistance. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN COALITION TRAVAILS. The deputy chairman of the Party of Romanian National Unity, Ioan Gavra, said on 25 February that the formation of the new coalition, initially planned for 1 March, has been postponed, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Bucharest. Gavra said his party and the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania decided to delay the governmental reshuffle until after the strikes scheduled for 28 and 29 February. The real reason for the delay, however, appears to rest elsewhere. The president of the opposition Democratic Convention of Romania, Emil Constantinescu, told an RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest that the DCR has agreed to renew negotiations with the PSDR, though the talks, he added, would not necessarily lead to a new government. Constantinescu was quoted by the daily Evenimentul zilei on the same day as saying that the DCR considers that its priority is the implementation of its program, rather than getting governmental portfolios. In turn, the executive president of the PSDR, Adrian Nastase, was quoted by the same daily as saying his party would be willing to accept the formula of a PSDR minority government supported in parliament by the DCR and the Democratic Party-National Salvation Front. This formula would exclude the PRNU, considered by the democratic opposition to be extremist. Meanwhile, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the chairman of the chauvinist Greater Romania Party, whose negotiations with the PSDR were broken off, claimed on 25 February at a press conference that the GRP had never supported the PSDR in parliament; rather, he said, it had supported premier Nicolae Vacaroiu personally, who was "an honest man" and not a member of the PSDR. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN STRIKES. Members of the Cartel Alfa and the Fratia labor unions begin on 28 February a two-day strike demanding political steps toward privatization, higher minimum salaries and better social benefits, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reports. A spokesman for the Cartel Alfa told the correspondent on 25 February that President Ion Iliescu has suggested he might mediate this week in the negotiations between the unions and the government. But the spokesman said the strike is taking place anyway, following the failure of earlier negotiations. The spokesman also said a third labor confederation, the National Labor Bloc, has decided not to participate in the strike, after having initially supported it. Internal administrative problems were said to be the reason for the withdrawal. The Cartel Alfa strike is affecting the steel and mining industries, as well as chemistry, electrotechincs, transportation and services; the Fratia participation is affecting the health care system and public transport. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA TO CONTINUE REFORMS WHATEVER THE ELECTION RESULTS. On the eve of the legislative election held on 27 February, President Mircea Snegur told foreign journalists in Chisinau that Moldova would continue political and economic reforms and cooperation with the West whatever the election's outcome. He also announced that he would travel to Brussels shortly to sign his country's accession to NATO's Partnership for Peace program, Basapress reports, citing a presidential communique. The complete election returns are expected within three days of the election date. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. KRAVCHUK MODIFIES HIS POSITION ON NOT SEEKING REELECTION. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk held a press conference in Kiev on 25 February at which he left open the possibility of his seeking reelection in the presidential elections in June and, implicitly, of these elections having to be postponed. He explained that his decision to run would depend on several factors, the most important of which are the following: that the parliamentary elections scheduled for 27 March, and the expected subsequent runoff elections, produce a working parliament, and a new government has been appointed; and, that the powers of the presidency, and the division of powers in general, have been more clearly defined. Kravchuk's statements, carried by Radio Ukraine, appear to mark a shift away from his announcement made earlier last week in an interview for RFE/RL that he had decided not to seek reelection. Kravchuk is scheduled to visit the United States on 3-5 March. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN POLICE SEEK RUSSIAN COLONEL. On 25 February Lithuanian police in Klaipeda went to the apartment of Russian Colonel Vitalii Egorov to arrest him for anti-Lithuanian activities during the attempted coup in the USSR in August 1991, Interfax reported on 27 February. Egorov had headed the political department of Third Coastal Defense Division in Klaipeda whose commander Major General Ivan Chernykh told Interfax that Egorov had been warned about the planned arrest and was hiding. Chernykh said that the Russian Foreign Ministry should intervene since Egorov's position in the army in 1991 allowed him to do no more than purely "explanatory work." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. CHANGES IN NATIONAL COMPOSITION OF LITHUANIA. The Lithuanian Statistics Department announced that the republic's population early this year was 3,739,000, of whom 2.6 million or 95% of the adult population were Lithuanian citizens, BNS reported on 22 February. Due to emigration and a low birth rate of 12.5 per thousand inhabitants, the population declined by about 12,000 since 1 January 1993. The number of births in 1993 exceeded the number of deaths by only 640, BNS reported on 23 February. Cardiovascular diseases accounted for 54% of deaths, cancer for 16%, and accidents, including poisonings, for 14%. Since 1989 Lithuania's population increased by 64,000; over the same period, 107,000 people emigrated and 50,000 immigrated. The share of ethnic Lithuanians increased from 79.6% in 1989 to 81.1%. The share of Russians declined from 9.4% to 8.5%, of Belarusians from 1.7% to 1.5%, of Ukrainians from 1.2% to 1.0%, of Jews from 0.3% to 0.2%, and of other nationalities from 0.8% to 0.7% while the share of Poles remained stable at 7.0%. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. MOSCOW POSTPONES LATVIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS. Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs said that bilateral negotiations, scheduled to resume on 28 February, have been postponed at Moscow's request. He noted that the meeting of experts late last week brought no progress on such outstanding issues as who should be included in the accords on social security of retired military. Russia wants that all military retirees in Latvia be included, while Latvia insists that only those who retired in Latvia before Russia took over the command of the ex-USSR armed forces, i.e. 28 January 1992, should be considered. Birkavs said that the Russian side might try to turn this into a human rights issue. He also expected that the 1940 Soviet occupation of the Baltic States would become a subject in future Latvian-Russian talks. Chief Russian negotiator Sergei Zotov on 24 February told Ostankino TV that if Latvia continues to seek international recognition that the Baltic states were occupied by the USSR in 1940, there can be no talk of signing an accord on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia, Diena reported on 25 and 27 February. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. RIGA "MISREAD" YELTSIN'S INVITATION. According to Russian Foreign Ministry official Aleksandr Udaltsev, President Boris Yeltsin's letter of 21 February to his Latvian counterpart Guntis Ulmanis, has been understood by some circles in Riga as an invitation for the two heads of state to meet and iron out differences. Udaltsev told Interfax and BNS on 25 February that "Nothing can be farther from the truth. The letter is chiefly about the position of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia. It expressed Russia's serious concern over that issue." Udaltsev explained that a summit might take place only after delegations of the two countries have prepared a package of agreements on the pullout of Russian troops from Latvia and related issues, which the presidents then could discuss and sign. Diena reported on 27 February that Ulmanis had not yet responded to the letter. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Elizabeth Teague and Dan Ionescu The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU, on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. Requests for permission to reprint or retransmit this material should be addressed to PD@RFERL.ORG. Such requests will generally be granted on the condition that the material is clearly attributed to the RFE/RL Daily Report. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: In North America: Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907 Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783 Internet: RI-DC@RFERL.ORG Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer Publications Department RFE/RL Research Institute Oettingenstrasse 67 80538 Munich Germany Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624 Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648 Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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