Every man passes his life in the search after friendship. - Emerson
RFE/RL Daily Report

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 
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