|It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time. - Sir Winston Churchill|
No. 70, 13 April 1994
RUSSIA SHAKHRAI ON GORAZDE. Russian officials continued to criticize the use of airstrikes near Gorazde on 12 April. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai said that the casualties of the strikes included not only the Bosnian Serbs but also Russian reformers. "The airstrikes hit not only Serb targets but also the internal political situation in the Russian Federation: Nationalists are the only force that stands to gain from them in Russia," Russian and Western agencies reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. POSSIBLE LINKAGE OF GORAZDE AND NATO PARTNERSHIP. Ivan Rybkin, the chairman of the State Duma, said on 13 April that the airstrikes "could be an obstacle to Russia joining NATO's Partnership for Peace." Similarly, Boris Yeltsin, currently on a state visit to Spain, suggested linking the airstrikes to Russia's participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, saying, "we are so far not making a direct link . . . but we are in no hurry to sign." He threw the target signing date of 21 April into question when he repeated the same sentence in response to a followup question on whether Russia still planned to sign on that date, Russian and Western agencies reported. An Izvestiya commentary of 13 April predicted that Yeltsin, if forced to choose between ties with the United States and the Bosnian Serbs, would not put US-Russian ties at risk. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. DUMA REACTION. The Russian State Duma issued a statement on 12 April demanding the halt to "unilateral and unauthorized use of military force by NATO." The statement also called on other parliaments and countries around the world to become involved in the peace efforts in Bosnia, ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. ZHIRINOVSKY ISSUES NEW THREATS. Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, speaking at a session of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, claimed that Russia has its own understanding of democracy and that therefore a majority of Russians were against joining the Council of Europe and NATO, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 April. Zhirinovsky was also quoted as saying that "it was not yet known where the borders of Russia would be" and that the world would have to "accept Russia's decision on this." In other remarks, he said that "we will not allow the West to experiment on Russia anymore" and asserted that Russia would "stop this process of entering Europe." Zhirinovsky also said that if he becomes president of Russian he will "tear up" the Partnership for Peace Program with NATO. The previous day Zhirinovsky had thrown clumps of dirt and spat at Jewish protesters who called him a fascist outside the Council of Europe building . Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN THINKS WORST IS OVER IN RUSSIA. Russian President Boris Yeltsin told the Spanish parliament during the second day of his visit to Spain that Russia has passed through the initial and most difficult stage of its transition to a free market based democracy and that, in terms of the reform process, the worst was over, Russian TV reported on 12 April. Yeltsin also stated that the stamina of the Russian people has not been exhausted and the nation was still capable of revival. However, he said that "vices from the past" remain strong and must be overcome through "huge moral, intellectual and physical efforts." Yeltsin assured the audience that the "spirit of national conciliation will become decisive in Russia's political climate." Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. GOVERNMENT MAKES PAYMENT TO RUSSIAN COALMINERS. The Russian government has begun paying back wages to coalminers and the secretary-general of the Independent Coalminers' Union, Eduard Kinstler, told Reuters on 12 April that this meant that the national strike called for 13 April will probably not take place. Kinstler said the government has so far paid one-quarter of the money owing and promised that the rest of the money will be paid by the end of April. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. FORMER PRAVDA EDITOR DIES. Academician Viktor Afanasev, former chief editor of the main communist party newspaper Pravda, died on 10 April at the age of 70, ITAR-TASS reported the following day. Once one of the most influential journalists in the USSR, Afanasev served as the chairman of the Union of Soviet Journalists and was a member of the boards of many powerful party, state, and academic bodies. He was appointed the editor of Pravda in 1976 by Leonid Brezhnev but was fired in October 1989, after Pravda published a translation of an article attacking Boris Yeltsin, then the leader of the opposition to USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet parliament. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. PARTICIPANTS OF STUDENTS RALLY DETAINED. Ostankino TV news reported that 12 April was marked by students rallies in several major Russian cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. The students demanded an increase in their stipends, promised to them in a decree issued by Yeltsin a year earlier, on the eve of the April 1993 referendum on public confidence to the Russian president. As with many such promises made to various categories of underpaid Russian citizens, the provision of the decree on students has never been implemented. In the course of the students' rally in Moscow, the "Novosti" anchor said, some participants were detained for having disturbed public order. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. SOUTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO MOSCOW. South Korean Foreign Minister Han Sung-Joo arrived in Moscow on 14 April to begin a two-day visit devoted primarily to discussions on dealing with North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons program. According to AFP, Han is to meet with his Russian counterpart, Andrei Kozyrev, to discuss a Russian proposal for the convening of an international conference, the aim of which would be to resolve the dispute over Pyongyang's refusal to allow international inspectors access to two sites in North Korea where nuclear weapons development programs are thought to be underway. Moscow has opposed sanctions or the use of force by the international community as a means of compelling North Korea to allow the inspections, and, in an especially harsh statement, on 29 March AFP quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Panov as saying that Russia would provide military backing to North Korea under the terms of a 1961 treaty if the latter fell victim to "an aggression that it did not provoke." Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. GENERAL STAFF CHIEF TO CHINA. Russian General Staff Chief Mikhail Kolesnikov arrived in Beijing on 11 April to begin a four-day official visit, during which he is scheduled to meet with a number high ranking military and political leaders. As ITAR-TASS noted, the visit falls under the auspices of a Sino-Russian military agreement that calls for increased contacts between the two armies, and reflects the warming of relations that has occurred between Russia and China in recent years. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS NO PROGRESS IN BLACK SEA FLEET TALKS. Russian-Ukrainian talks on the Black Sea Fleet ended on 12 April without resolving problems related to the fleet's division and without any clarification of the Cheleken incident. The Russian delegation was headed by special envoy Yurii Dubinin and Admiral Feliks Gromov, while the Ukrainians were headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk. Ukrainian radio reported that the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Eduard Baltin, blamed Ukraine's navy and defense ministry for heightening political tensions and breaking the Massandra accords. The Ukrainian Congress of National Democratic Forces issued a statement saying that the vessels of the Black Sea Fleet are acting in the interests of a foreign power and ignore Ukraine's laws which state that all property on Ukraine's territory belongs to Ukraine. Ukraine has also been highly critical of Russian media coverage of the Cheleken incident. According to an article in Ukraine's military daily, Narodna armiya, and Ukrainian television, the Black Sea Fleet press service has been spreading "provocative lies" and disinformation regarding the incident. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN-BELARUSIAN MONETARY UNION SIGNED. On 12 April Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, and his Belarusian counterpart, Vyacheslau Kebich, signed the long-awaited agreement on monetary union, various agencies reported. The agreement stipulates that the move towards monetary union will occur in two stages. The first stage will take place on 1 May with the lifting of trade and customs restrictions between the two countries. At this time Russia will also be allowed the free use of strategic arms installations in Belarus. The second stage, which is still to be approved by the Russian and Belarusian parliaments, will allow Belarusians to exchange their Belarusian rubles for the Russian ruble at a 1:1 rate. The Russian central bank would then have the sole right to issue currency and conduct monetary policy. The chairman of the Belarusian national bank, Stanislau Bahdankevich, had been opposed to this condition and reportedly declined to sign the agreement. The agreement makes Belarus the second republic, after Tajikistan, to return to the Russian monetary system. The agreement has met with criticism in both Russia and Belarus, where some officials view it as detrimental to their respective national interests. Former Russian Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov was reported to have said that the agreement would be detrimental to Russia unless accompanied by political unification between the two states. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN GAS SUPPLY NEGOTIATIONS. Russian and Ukrainian officials met on 12 April in Moscow to discuss the settlement of Ukraine's debt to Gazprom, Interfax and AFP reported. The delegations were led by Gazprom chairman Rem Vyakhirev and Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Valentyn Landyk. Ukraine has paid $87 million of the $100 million it promised to pay by 10 April. The country's total debt had been $900 million. According to Vyakhirev, Ukraine has agreed to pay a further $600 million of its debt by June in cash and through shares in its oil and gas facilities. In return, Gazprom has promised to guarantee gas deliveries through the summer. The next round of talks on fuel supplies are to be held in Kiev on 10 May. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIANS POLLED ON MONETARY UNION, GAS CUTOFFS. On 7 April Interfax reported the results of an opinion poll taken in March. Russians were asked whether it would be worthwhile to have a monetary union with Belarus or Ukraine even if it meant further economic hardships for Russia. In response, 21% said it would be worthwhile to have such a union with Belarus; 42% said there was no need for it; and 29% were undecided. With regard to economic union with Ukraine: 31% said it was worth additional economic hardships; 44% said there was no need for it; and 25% were undecided. On the question of enduring additional hardships for the sake of political unification with Belarus or Ukraine, almost one third said they were ready to put up with the hardships, although most respondents said they were not willing to jeopardize their well-being for the well-being of Ukrainians. A final question asked whether it was correct for Russia to reduce gas supplies to Ukraine over non-payment of debts: 72% agreed that this action was appropriate; 17% disagreed with the action; and 11% were indifferent. On 8 April Interfax reported that the Belarusian prime minister, Vyacheslau Kebich, has said that Belarusians may be asked their opinion on the monetary union during the 23 June presidential elections. In Kebich's opinion, most Belarusians would favor such a union. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN SERBS DEFIANT . . . International media reported on 12 April that Serb leaders ended contacts with the UN, isolated UN personnel in Serb-held areas, and were less than forthcoming about the fate of a Dutch UN observer who had disappeared in Serb territory near Zepa. Civilian leader Radovan Karadzic snubbed a UN delegation, going off to tour the front lines and play chess with his military chief, Ratko Mladic. Karadzic's purpose was apparently both to show firm resolve and to end rumors that Mladic had been sacked. Karadzic told his soldiers: "the UN has made a catastrophic mistake. We have won. That is why they are angry at us. You aren't barefoot Somalis. You are one of the best-prepared armies in Europe," according to the New York Times of 13 April. Mladic added that "anything that flies and opens fire [on Serb forces] will be shot down," Borba reported. The Los Angeles Times quoted diplomats as saying that "the Serbs will keep probing and probing to see where the limits are." Finally, Borba said that Serbian ultra-nationalist and internationally sought war criminal Vojislav Seselj had gone to the Gorazde front. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . AS IS SERBIA ITSELF. On 12 April Belgrade's official "Radio Yugoslavia" charged that "the UN has become an instrument for NATO's conquest of the world, step-by-step," adding that "American bombs cannot force us to our knees." Tanjug, meanwhile, reported that CNN and AFP would lose their accreditation on 13 April for "satanizing the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Serbian people." Politika on 13 April presented popular reactions to the air strikes, with the League of Serbian Labor Unions calling them "the crudest abusiveness." The reaction was similar in Montenegro, with some politicians seeing the hand of Turkey and Austria, two historic enemies of the Serbs, at work. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINE "REGRETS" NATO RAIDS IN GORAZDE. The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's press department, Yurii Sergeev, said at a weekly briefing for journalists that Ukraine "regretted" that NATO had to resort to force in Bosnia and that Ukraine had not been consulted before the NATO bombings of Serb positions around Gorazde, Western and Ukrainian agencies reported on 12 April. Ukrainian UN peacekeeping troops are shortly to be deployed in this area. Sergeev called on all parties to make a "maximum effort" to stop the bloodshed. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA ON NATO AIR STRIKES. On 12 April the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a cautiously worded statement on the recent NATO air strikes against Serb positions outside Gorazde, BTA reports. The statement partly echoed an earlier declaration issued on 21 February in connection with the expiry of NATO's ultimatum over Sarajevo. On the one hand, the ministry spokesperson said NATO's use of force demonstrates the international community's determination to enforce UN resolutions and protect UN troops, and should thus be seen as a strong signal to the warring parties to resume peace talks. But the ministry also expressed "serious concern" that the air strikes may have reduced the prospects for a peaceful settlement in the Bosnian war. By and large, pro-UDF media have been supportive of NATO's use of force--though sometimes saying that it comes too late--while the pro-Socialist press has tended to condemn the actions. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE YUGOSLAV AREA. Vjesnik on 13 April reported that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman had written to his Bosnian counterpart Alija Izetbegovic to ask for the immediate release of detainees on both sides. Politika noted the death in Sarajevo of Branko Mikulic, a former Yugoslav prime minister and veteran communist politician. Vjesnik and Vecernji list also discussed the postponed talks between Croatia and its Serb rebels, warning the Serbs that their only future is as part of Croatia and that infrastructural links must be restored as soon as possible. Finally, the independent Novi list on 12 April reported on a new political movement called Libertas, which had opened contacts to prominent opposition politicians, including Tudjman's enemies within his own party, like upper house speaker Josip Manolic and his lower house counterpart Stipe Mesic. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIA WANTS GREECE CONDEMNED FOR STATE TERRORISM. International media reported on 12 April that Albanian President Sali Berisha accused the Greek government of promoting terrorism and general instability in the Balkans in the wake of the killing of two Albanian soldiers on 10 April by a Greek irredentist band. Berisha blasted the Athens authorities as having adopted a policy of "bands and blockades," the latter a reference to Greece's unilateral embargo against Macedonia, which had led to an EU court case against Athens. Reuters reported on 13 April that Tirana had called on the UN Security Council to condemn Greece for "state terrorism" over the border incident. Albania has also ordered the Greek consul general in Gjirokaster to leave the country and recalled its own ambassador to Greece. Athens, in turn, expelled the first secretary of the Albanian embassy. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA SIGNS 1994 BUDGET . . . Polish President Lech Walesa signed the 1994 budget into law on 12 April, PAP reports, despite earlier threats to veto the bill. During a meeting with reporters from the Catholic daily Slowo in March, Walesa charged that the budget failed to fulfill the coalition's campaign promises; society might feel cheated, he said. He acknowledged, however, that there is no economic alternative to the budget. Walesa's decision pleased coalition leaders but angered Solidarity, which had organized a strike campaign to force the government to amend the budget to increase social spending. The union leadership expressed irritation that the president had not chosen to meet with them before deciding whether to sign the budget. Walesa may have decided that the international opprobrium and economic destabilization inevitable after a budget veto would outweigh the political gains to be won in his ongoing battle with the coalition. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . BUT THREATENS VETO OF LOCAL ELECTION LAW. Meeting with his local government council on 12 April, the Polish president announced that he plans to veto the amended electoral law for local government bodies. Walesa said the new law, amended at the behest of the two coalition parties, would overly politicize the local elections. He proposed postponing the elections for a year. The amended law emphasizes party lists and proportional voting rather than majority voting for specific candidates; it is widely believed to favor the coalition parties. Walesa seemed concerned to block a potential coalition triumph in elected local government bodies, which are now the last bastion of the broad Solidarity movement. The president also objected to the bill's ban on election campaigning in churches. Episcopate General Secretary Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek immediately applauded Walesa's planned veto, as did most representatives of local government bodies. Because of legislative time constraints, a presidential veto would mean that elections would either take place on schedule, in May or June 1994, in accordance with the old law (last used in May 1990), or be held under a new law but at a later date. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH STOCK MARKET PLUNGES. Share values in all 24 firms quoted on the Warsaw stock exchange fell the maximum of 10% on 12 April, PAP reports. This was the second session in a row in which average share prices fell over 10%. The market index dropped to 10,701 points, just over half the record high of 20,760 reached just a month before, on 8 March. Sellers outnumbered buyers by a factor of five to one. Attempting to reach a balance, exchange officials announced they were lifting the limit of 10% growth or decline in each firm's share value per session, for the next three sessions (14-19 April). Brokers agreed that the crash was the result of panic and a "herd mentality" on the part of hundreds of thousands of small investors. Exchange Chairman Wieslaw Rozlucki reminded investors that there are no economic reasons for the deep plunge in share prices. "All gains and losses are only paper ones until shares are sold," he added. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH DEFAMATION LAW ABOLISHED. CTK reported on 12 April that the Czech Constitutional Court abolished a penal code provision permitting prosecution of individuals for defaming the parliament, the government, the constitutional court, and public officials. President Vaclav Havel had asked the court to abolish the defamation law, which was left unchanged when the Czech parliament amended the communist-era penal code in November 1993. The court decided to retain those provisions of the penal code that prohibit defamation of the republic and the president. Moreover, the court retained Articles 154 and 156 of the Penal Code permitting prosecution of individuals for slandering or grossly offending a state organ or public official; Havel had not asked the court to abolish these articles. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. HAVEL NAMED LIBERTY MEDAL WINNER. Czech President Vaclav Havel has been named winner of the 1994 Philadelphia Liberty Medal for contributions to principles of liberty, Reuters reports. Havel is to receive the $100,000 prize in a ceremony in Philadelphia on 4 July. The chairman of the international selection commission for the prize told journalists on 12 April that Havel is "a symbol to the world of the successful pursuit of cultural and political freedoms." Havel had "inspired the 'velvet revolution' which returned his country in 1989 to democratic liberties, civility, and market economy." He also cited Havel's role in the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia, which he described as "a model for other countries struggling with ethnic differences." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. TALBOTT VISITS SLOVAKIA. US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott made a one-day working visit to Bratislava on 12 April, TASR and Reuters report. Meeting with President Michal Kovac, Premier Jozef Moravcik, Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan and parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic, Talbott said the US wants to forge closer military and economic ties with Slovakia. Noting anxiety in Slovakia and Poland about becoming a "gray zone" between the West and Russia, Talbott said that Slovakia "is not in a security vacuum" and expressed hopes for a united Europe. He said Slovakia has received $145 million in US aid since 1989 and promised that more aid will flow. Talbott said a US business center will soon be opened in Bratislava. Kovac gave Talbott an invitation for US President Bill Clinton to visit in August to mark the 50th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. MORAVCIK ADDRESSES THE SLOVAK PARLIAMENT. During the 12 April parliament session, Premier Jozef Moravcik discussed the government's policy statement and the current political situation, TASR reports. Moravcik said the new government will bring back the values expressed during the November 1989 "velvet revolution," including the protection of individual rights and freedoms. He said that it would be dangerous to open the question of borders, and expressed his hope that Slovakia will sign border agreements with its neighbors, particularly Hungary. Moravcik said that the new government was formed as a result of the inability of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and its coalition partner, the Slovak National Party, to work harmoniously with other political parties. The MDS's methods had led to loss of international credibility and economic collapse. The resignations of many of its founding members, including Michal Kovac, Roman Kovac, Milan Knazko, Rudolf Filkus and Lubomir Dolgos, had changed the character of the party, Moravcik said. Since the June 1992 elections 18 parliamentary deputies have left the MDS and others are still wavering. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN OBSERVERS IN HUNGARIAN AIRSPACE. Romanian observers are flying over Hungary between 12 and 16 April as provided by the Romanian-Hungarian Open Sky Agreement, MTI reported on 13 April. The agreement was signed by the two countries on 11 May 1991 as a confidence building measure, and there have been several observation flights by both countries since that time. Pictures made by the observer planes are handed to both parties. There has been significant international interest in the implementation of the agreement, with American, Austrian, German, and Dutch experts evaluating the results. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN AUSTRIA. Teodor Melescanu arrived in Vienna on 11 April to seek Austrian support for Romanian membership in the European Union. In an interview broadcast by Radio Bucharest on the same day, Melescanu said he expected Austria to become one of the most ardent supporters of EU's expansion eastwards. Radio Bucharest also quoted him as saying that the potential of cooperation between the two countries was immense. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. UNEMPLOYMENT UP IN ROMANIA. The governmental news agency Rompres reported on 11 April that 1,287,000 people were registered as unemployed in Romania (11.3% of the work force, up from 11.1% last month). Rompres noted that unemployment was higher among women and young people, who represented some 56% and 30% of the total, respectively. According to the latest figures released by the government, between 10,000 and 12,000 people are losing their jobs in Romania every week. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN HELSINKI GROUP RESPONDS TO CRITICISM. Following criticisms by influential historians Nikolay Genchev and Antonina Zhelyaskova in the domestic media, Krasimir Kanev of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee on 12 April told Bulgarian radio that he feels the organization's most recent report provided an accurate description of the present human rights situation in the country. Kanev specifically rejected the claim that the Helsinki Committee had offered a one-sided view of minority-related problems, saying that the intention was to focus on the social problems of these groups, not on their political or other views. He also noted that defending the civil rights of Bulgarian citizens who identify themselves as Macedonian cannot be equated with support for separatism. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIAN PRESIDENT IN FRANCE. On 12 April in Paris Guntis Ulmanis held talks with Prime Minister Edouard Balladur and Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Latvian-Russian relations, Diena reports. France suggested that Latvia use the European Security and Stability Pact, the so-called Balladur plan, whose inauguration is scheduled for 26-27 May in Paris. The plan outlines the role of third countries in settling disputes between two other countries. Ulmanis did not say which country Latvia would choose to mediate its talks with Russia, but Juppe said that France would be ready to accept the role. Ulmanis also sent a letter to Saeima chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs asking him to postpone the extraordinary session of the Saeima on 15 April he had requested since Russian President Boris Yeltsin had not yet responded to Ulmanis' request that he officially recall his decree of 5 April on holding negotiations for establishing a military base in Latvia. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. QUESTIONS ABOUT UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS. Observers, including representatives from the UN and the CSCE, have raised "serious concerns" about the fairness of Ukraine's parliamentary elections, the Washington Post and the New York Times reported on 12 and 13 April, respectively. According to the latter, the international observers "cited pressuring of rural voters, a politicized, poorly functioning central electoral commission and instances where access to polling stations was denied to foreign observers." The Washington Post reported that, according to the independent Elections '94 Monitoring Service in Kiev, there was "systematic and widespread corruption" and complaints about ballot-rigging have also been received. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. "ILLEGAL" ACTIONS OF CRIMEA'S PRESIDENT. The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice has issued a statement criticizing Crimea's President Yurii Meshkov for his continued "illegal activities," Ukrainian television reported on 12 April. According to the statement, Meshkov issued decrees sacking Crimea's security chief and the local minister of interior and replacing them with his own candidates. The firings, says the statement, are outside the competence of the Crimean president. In the meantime, Meshkov's press service issued its own statement, arguing that Kiev is attempting to deprive Crimea of "real power and authority." The document urges that local institutions and organizations ignore the recently appointed presidential representative in Crimea. Roman Solchanyk, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Stephen Foye and Anna Swidlicka 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. 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