There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't, and that is the wife who can't cook and will. - Robert Frost
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 71, 14 April 1994


RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY ON BOSNIA. Special envoy Vitalii Churkin
continued his mediation mission in the former Yugoslavia on 13
April. Returning to Belgrade after talks in Pale and Sarajevo,
Churkin said he believed that the Bosnian Serbs would cease
military actions around Gorazde. He dismissed as exaggerated
reports that UN peacekeepers were being held under house arrest by
Bosnian Serbs, arguing that the peacekeepers' detainment was "just
a matter of restricting their movements -- a reaction to the
airstrikes by the NATO forces." Meanwhile, on 13 April, the
Russian State Duma passed a statement by a vote of 262 to 2 that
condemned the airstrikes and called for an emergency session of
the UN Security Council. On the same day, Russian Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin called for the lifting of economic sanctions
against the rump Yugoslavia following the achievement of a
ceasefire, ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

KINKEL CRITICIZES RUSSIA. On 13 April, German Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel reiterated Germany's support of the use of airstrikes
on Serb targets near Gorazde, calling them "legitimate, necessary,
and correct." While expressing appreciation for Russia's
engagement in the Balkans, he criticized Russia for condemning the
implementation of UN resolutions for which Moscow itself had
voted, Bavaria Five Radio reported on 14 April. Suzanne Crow,
RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN CALLS VISIT A SUCCESS. At the end of a three-day visit to
Spain on 13 April, Boris Yeltsin hailed the visit as a fruitful
one. He highlighted in particular the signing of a comprehensive
treaty of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Other documents signed included agreements covering the expansion
of commercial ties and an accord for the establishment of a
telephone hot line. Yeltsin dismissed speculation about his health
during the visit, and he told reporters that they would be lucky
to enjoy such good health when they reach his age, ITAR-TASS and
Reuters reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

officials, echoing remarks made by Boris Yeltsin in Spain one day
earlier, suggested on 13 April that NATO airstrikes on Gorazde
could delay Russia's joining the NATO Partnership for Peace
program. In Moscow, a Foreign Ministry department head, Yurii
Ushakov, said that Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev would not go to
Brussels on 21 April to sign the partnership agreement as had been
planned. According to Interfax, Ushakov also confirmed that Moscow
had drafted a document to be presented to NATO that outlines a
framework for cooperation which, he said, had been cleared by the
Foreign and Defense Ministries, as well as the Foreign
Intelligence Service, but had not yet been officially approved by
Yeltsin. In his 12 April remarks Yeltsin had suggested that
Russian participation in the partnership was also tied to gaining
wider access to Western markets; he had earlier linked
participation to Russian membership in the G-7. Stephen Foye,
RFE/RL, Inc.

has apparently resumed the dispute over coverage of its activities
by the state-owned media, Ostankino TV news reported on 13 April.
(Criticism of the media as being heavily biased in favor of the
president had been a regular theme in the old parliament.) At the
13 April session of the Duma, Ostankino said, the deputies
acknowledged that coverage of parliamentary affairs has been more
balanced since the naming of a new leadership for state-run TV.
Some deputies, however, insisted that the time allocated to the
coverage of specific political issues be measured to ensure equal
treatment for various political factions. Mikhail Poltoranin, the
chairman of the Duma committee for Press and Information,
suggested that the deputies elected to the State Duma on party
lists get access to the federal media, while those elected in the
constituencies get access only to local media. Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

has launched an official legal investigation into the
circumstances surrounding the death of the last Tsar, ITAR-TASS
reported on 12 April. Nicholas II and his family were murdered by
the Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg in 1918, and their remains were
recently subjected to a forensic investigation by British and
Russian experts, who pronounced them to be authentic. Senior
prosecutor Vladimir Solovev told ITAR-TASS that, when the
Prosecutor's office has completed its investigation, the case will
be referred to a court, which will be asked to decide who among
the Bolshevik leaders gave the execution order. Then, a special
state commission will determine where the remains of the royal
family should be reburied. No explanation was offered as to why a
legal case is being opened at this juncture. Victor Yasmann,
RFE/RL, Inc.

Ossetian-Ingush conflict zone on 12 April when North Ossetians
took 66 Ingush hostage, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported on 13
April. The hostages were seized when a column of Ingush refugees
being returned to villages in Prigorodnyi raion was blocked by
Ossetians on its entry into Vladikavkaz. The Ossetians demanded 6
Ingush hostages in order to exchange them for 3 Ossetians they
claimed had been taken hostage earlier. Stones were thrown at the
head of the Provisional Administration Vladimir Lozovoi when he
intervened.. All but five of the Ingush hostages have now been
released, and the talks between the North Ossetian and Ingush
presidents, Akhsarbek Galazov and Ruslan Aushev, are to go ahead
as planned in Nalchik on 14 April. A representative of the
Provisional Administration told Interfax that Lozovoi had made a
tough statement on the incident on 12 April during a meeting with
Galazov, saying that he did not intend to bargain over the release
of the Ingush hostages. Ann Sheehy ., RFE/RL, Inc.

a former top aide to Boris Yeltsin, said on 13 April that the
seizure of the Kuril Islands from Japan was an aggression by
Stalin and that Russia would eventually have to come to terms with
returning the islands, Interfax reported. His remarks are unlikely
to be well received in the State Duma, where sentiment has
generally run strongly against making concessions to Tokyo on the
territorial issue. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN TO VISIT CHINA. Quoting Foreign Ministry sources, AFP
reported on 13 April that Russian Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin plans to visit China at the end of May. The ministry
said that several bilateral agreements would be signed during the
visit, but did not elaborate. First Deputy Prime Minister
Aleksandr Shokhin is also scheduled to visit China, to attend a
session of a Russian-Chinese governmental commission on economic
cooperation, AFP reported. Dates for the trip were not provided.
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

commander-in-chief of Russia's Air Force, Col. Gen. Petr Deinekin,
was quoted by Interfax on 13 April as saying that the number of
Russian military aircraft would be cut by one-third in 1994, with
the reductions apparently to come mainly from the disbanding of
military units being withdrawn from the former Soviet republics.
Deinekin claimed that combat capabilities would nevertheless be
maintained by equipping the air forces with a new generation of
aircraft. He said that the Defense Ministry would no longer use
obsolete planes. If true, Deinekins remarks suggest that new
battles may be looming over Russia's defense procurement budget.
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.


PROGRESS OF TAJIK TALKS IN MOSCOW. Tajik government and opposition
delegations have issued a joint statement and agreed on an agenda
for further talks that are supposed to end the fighting in
Tajikistan, Tajik Foreign Minister Rashid Alimov told Interfax on
13 April. The agreed-upon agenda covers, in addition to cessation
of fighting, the repatriation of Tajik refugees in Afghanistan and
the participation of all Tajiks regardless of political persuasion
in the constitutional process in Tajikistan. Alimov was cautiously
optimistic about the outcome of the first round of negotiations;
he said that a time and place for further talks have not been set.
Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

Abdudzhalil Samadov told Interfax on 13 April after meetings with
his Russian counterpart Viktor Chernomyrdin that his country has
confirmed its intention to become a partner in the
Russian/Belarusian economic union and ruble zone. A preliminary
understanding has been reached between Russia and Tajikistan on
unification of monetary systems; after his discussions with
Chernomyrdin Samadov signed an agreement on a Russian loan of 80
billion rubles to Tajikistan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.


have again issued contradictory reports, this time regarding the
12 April meeting between Russian naval commander Admiral Feliks
Gromov and the Ukrainian deputy foreign minister, Borys Tarasyuk.
According to an Interfax report from 13 April, Gromov announced
that the two sides had agreed to resolve the Black Sea Fleet
dispute in the spirit of the Massandra accords. One interpretation
of the Massandra accords is that Ukraine agreed to surrender its
share of the fleet to Russia in exchange for debt forgiveness on
its energy arrears. Ukraine has denied this interpretation, saying
that such an exchange had been proposed but never agreed to.
Ukrainian radio reported that Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign
Affairs had issued a statement refuting Gromov's announcement. The
ministry maintains that any new agreements must be reached on the
basis of the Yalta, Dagomys, and Zavidovo accords, as well as
those reached at Massandra. In other news, ITAR-TASS reported that
servicemen from the 318th division of the Black Sea Fleet have
begun taking loyalty oaths to Ukraine and that Ukraine is
incorporating the unit and its equipment into the Ukrainian navy.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

REACTIONS TO MONETARY UNION. An RFE/RL correspondent reported on
13 April that the chairman of the Belarusian national bank,
Stanislau Bahdankevich, has said that the Russian-Belarusian
monetary union is unconstitutional. Bahdankevich had been opposed
to the provision of the union which gives the Russian central bank
the sole right to issue rubles. This, he said, permits a foreign
power to impose its rule on Belarus. The agreement had also come
under criticism from some Russian officials who worry that the 1:1
exchange for the weaker Belarusian ruble will fuel inflation. As
Interfax reported on 13 April, because individuals will only
receive the favorable exchange rate for the first 100-200,000
rubles (currently the Belarusian ruble trades at 18,600 to the
dollar), Russia's liability would appear to be very limited. The
agreement has yet to be ratified by the Russian and Belarusian
parliaments. The Belarusian prime minister, Vyacheslau Kebich, has
said he believes Belarusians would support the union if it were
put to a national referendum. As for Russia, the deputy prime
minister, Aleksandr Shokhin, said that the document would only be
presented to the Duma for ratification after the Belarusian
government gave official information on amendments to the current
agreement. The specifics on a number of issues have not been
worked out in the present document. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.


GUNFIRE BREAKS SARAJEVO TRUCE. Western news agencies on 13 April
said that gunfire apparently from Serb positions, including those
set up in the downtown Jewish cemetery, temporarily shattered the
month-old ceasefire in the Bosnian capital. AFP quoted a UN
spokesman as saying that local Serb forces also tried to reclaim
their heavy weapons now under UN control. Meanwhile in Zagreb,
Reuters reported that UN human rights envoy and former Polish
Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki had denounced the Serb forces
around Gorazde for razing "at least 30 villages in their current
offensive, killing and terrorizing Muslim inhabitants." Those
Serbs, for their part, told Ukrainian officials that they would
not allow any peacekeepers other than Ukrainians into the besieged
Muslim enclave. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

April quoted US Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine
Albright as telling an audience at the Holocaust Memorial Museum
that "we oppose amnesty for the architects of ethnic cleansing.
Many of those who perpetrated crimes will be punished." A similar
message went out to a group of Croatian women's organizations from
Zvonimir Separovic, who heads the government group dealing with
war crimes. Vjesnik on 14 April also quotes him as saying that the
UN has a list of 55,000 concrete cases and is ready to move on
3,000 of them. The problem of war criminals also arose in the
letter that President Franjo Tudjman sent to his Bosnian
counterpart Alija Izetbegovic and which appeared in Vecernji list
on 13 April. Tudjman called for a mutual exchange of prisoners and
acknowledged that the Muslims had already raised war crimes
charges against some of the Croats. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

nationalistic organization of Serbian war reporters on 13 April
congratulated the government for banning CNN and AFP, saying that
the authorities should go further and clamp down on Serbian
independent media. They mentioned the daily Borba, the weekly
Vreme, the B-92 radio, and Studio B television. Information
Minister Slobodan Ignjatovic explained the ban to news agencies,
saying that he had "decided to undertake legal measures against
foreign correspondents who conduct a ruthless media war against
[rump] Yugoslavia from its territory." His move brought protests
from the 200 foreign correspondents in Belgrade, as well as from
the US and French governments. AFP said it would continue to cover
developments in the region, and the opposition Serbian Renewal
Movement charged that the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic
was trying to "isolate the country from the rest of the world." In
another development, the Belgrade authorities announced that UN
peacekeepers would henceforth require a visa to enter its
territory. Borba on 14 April quoted Serb legislators as calling
the NATO actions around Gorazde "an attack on all Serbs." Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

returning from rump Yugoslavia, the Vice President of the Russian
Parliament, Aleksandr Vengerovsky, said that the Serbian
government is ready to accept a Russian navy base in the
Montenegrin Bay of Kotor, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 9 April.
There does not appear to be any statement yet from the Montenegrin
side, but Vengerovsky, the deputy leader of the nationalist
Liberal Democratic Party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said that
Belgrade will make an offer soon. The Bay of Kotor is of high
strategic value and is considered one of the finest natural
harbors in the world. Vengerovsky also mentioned the idea of
settling some 200,000 Russians, mainly retired army officers, in
the Serbian occupied territories in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Meanwhile,
Croatia is reportedly ready to offer the key Adriatic islands of
Vis and Lastovo to NATO as part of its efforts to forge close
links with the alliance and with Washington, but President Franjo
Tudjman dodged the question at a news conference, saying that the
issue is a "military secret," Die Welt reported on 11 April.
Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

SHAKEUP IN THE SLOVENE MILITARY. Delo on 5 April and Borba on 6
April reported on apparent purges underway in the scandal-ridden
Alpine republic's military establishment following the sacking of
the controversial and combative Defense Minister Janez Jansa on 28
March. Jansa and his supporters have charged that President Milan
Kucan and others from the former communist establishment are
conducting a political vendetta against "new people" brought in by
the former dissident. Jansa's critics, however, argue that he
appointed individuals without sufficient professional
qualifications, simply on the basis of personal loyalty to
himself. Among them were Brig. Gen. Anton Krkovic and his deputy
Darko Njavro, the men in charge of the special unit known as
MORIS, which was responsible for the violent incident that
ultimately led to Jansa's ouster. His successor, Jelko Kacin,
appears to be determined to press ahead with what has come to be
known as the "dejansaization" of the military. Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

UPDATE ON GREEK-ALBANIAN IMBROGLIO. International media reported
on 13 April that Albania had asked Greece to reduce its embassy
staff in the latest fallout following the death of two Albanian
soldiers at the hands of a Greek band on 10 April. Greece, for its
part, denied responsibility and called for a joint investigation,
Reuters said. Albania's Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi called the
incident "a grave violation of Albania's sovereignty and
territorial integrity," while the Greek Foreign Ministry charged
that "the Albanian side is solely responsible." Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

representatives of Poland's major trade unions on 13 April, Prime
Minister Waldemar Pawlak announced that the government may abandon
plans to introduce a revised tax on excess wages (popiwek), PAP
reports. The parliament abolished the original tax, over the
government's objections, as of 1 April. President Lech Walesa
vetoed the bill meant to replace it on 31 March, and the Sejm
failed to override the veto. Pawlak argued at the time that some
form of wage control is essential in state firms to prevent a new
surge of inflation. The government completed work on an urgent
revised draft on 12 April; this version took into account the
president's objections and was set for submission to the Sejm on
20 April. Pawlak explained his reversal on 13 April by arguing
that there has been little evidence of undue wage growth in state
firms since the tax was abolished. Some economists have argued,
however, that it is too early to tell and that abandoning all
controls is too big a risk, especially in the case of monopolists.
Pawlak said that the government will probably take this risk,
however, "because we can count on the responsible cooperation of
both unions and managers." Pawlak's apparent change of heart on
the popiwek seems to reflect confusion and lack of coordination on
economic policy within the coalition government. Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

Journal report on 14 April that a private American radio station
called Central Europe Today (CET) will start broadcasting to the
Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland on 18 April. The
station will have studios in Budapest and will broadcast--in
English--via satellite. The project will be financed by the World
Up Incorporated company, whose president told CTK that the main
objective of the new radio station is "to bring the nations of
Central Europe closer to one another." He also said that the four
Visegrad countries "care more about their individual relations
with the West than about regional affairs" and that the new radio
station wants to fill this gap. The new station's programs will be
carried by four private radio stations--Radio Metropolis in
Prague, Radio Kolor in Warsaw, Radio Twist in Bratislava, and
Radio Bridge in Budapest. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

approved on 13 April the new government's policy statement and
passed a vote of confidence in the cabinet of Premier Jozef
Moravcik, TASR reports. Deputies of the Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia and the Slovak National Party criticized the statement,
although they claimed that 80% of the statement reflected the
Meciar government's policies. Even so, the policy statement won
the support of 80 deputies. Alliance of Democrats Chairman Milan
Knazko said "the new Cabinet will prove in a relatively short time
that cooperation and a different political culture can exist in
Slovakia." Also on 13 April the parliament appointed Jozef Olej
and Milan Hudan as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of
the Supreme Auditing Office. Marian Vanko and Peter Sokol, who
held the two posts under the government of Vladimir Meciar, were
removed from office on 24 March on corruption charges. Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOVAC CALLS MECIAR "DANGEROUS." During an appearance in the Czech
television program "21" on 13 April, Slovak President Michal Kovac
said "if in the future Vladimir Meciar should become head of the
Slovak government, it could be considered dangerous for Slovakia."
The style, methods and means used by Meciar endangered Slovak
interests, Kovac said, asserting that Meciar was not able to solve
economic problems which should normally have been possible to
overcome. Furthermore, citizens had lost faith in politics and
public officials under Meciar's leadership, and their
dissatisfaction had grown. In a 13 April interview with CTK, Kovac
said that should the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia win the
next elections, he would prefer to appoint any member of the party
other than Meciar to be prime minister. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL,

left for a visit to the US and Canada, where he will meet with US
Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Canadian Premier Jean
Chretien and Canadian Foreign Minister Andre Ouillet. Kukan will
also meet with representatives of both countries' parliaments,
business circles and ethnic Slovak associations. Sharon Fisher,
RFE/RL, Inc.

of Romania's two-chamber parliament signed a petition urging the
authorities to allow exiled king Michael to visit Romania at the
end of April. All signatories are members of opposition parties,
an RFE-RL corespondent in Bucharest said on 13 April. Michael and
his wife Anne had applied for Romanian visas to spend Orthodox
Easter in the West Romanian city of Timisoara. Michael, who was
forced into exile by the Communists in 1947, made one successful
trip to Romania two years ago when he was cheered by huge crowds
of well-wishers. Several other attempts to visit his home country
over the past four years have been blocked by Romanian
authorities. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

threaten a strike over pay which could disrupt broadcasting and
international communications. A radio union leader told Reuters on
13 April that the unions demanded an average monthly wage of
190,000 lei ($113). Romania's national monthly salary is
officially estimated at 137,000 lei ($82). The deadline set by the
unions for reaching an agreement with the country's radio
communications authority was 14 April. According to the same
source, employees of Romtelecom, Romania's telephone operator, are
seeking similar pay rises and have threatened to join the radio
communications workers' strike. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

BEROV BACK IN HOSPITAL. Prime Minister Lyuben Berov, who underwent
major heart surgery in March, was forced to return to hospital on
13 April after developing clinical symptoms of hepatitis. Deputy
Premier Evgeni Matinchev told Bulgarian TV that Berov is in
quarantine and might--if tests confirm the preliminary
diagnosis--have to stay there for up to eight days. His return to
hospital will apparently lead to a postponement in plans to
reorganize the government. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

Birkavs said at a news briefing that Latvia will not take part in
further negotiations with Russia until Russian president Boris
Yeltsin officially withdraws his 5 April decree on negotiating a
military base in Latvia, Interfax reported on 13 April. He said
that if Yeltsin did not do so, "Latvia will channel its entire
activities toward the West" to obtain the swift and complete
withdrawal of Russian troops in Latvia. Birkavs said that Latvia
will demand that the agreement on social guarantees for Russian
military pensioners include a provision for their voluntary
repatriation, financed from a special Latvia-controlled
foundation, sponsored by Latvia, Russia, and third countries. He
also said that he would meet on 15 April with his Estonian
counterpart Mart Laar to coordinate their countries' relations
with Russia. On 13 April he asked Italian ambassador Umberto
Pestalozza to support Latvian proposals to the CSCE on the
repatriation of military pensioners, the monitoring of the Skrunda
radar station by CSCE experts, and the regeneration of the
environment around Skrunda. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT IN DENMARK. Lennart Meri began a three-day
official state visit to Denmark on 12 April, Western agencies
report. He was officially welcomed by Queen Margrethe. On 13 April
at the opening of an exhibition of Estonian crafts he declined a
glass of champagne saying that he had sworn to abstain "until the
last Soviet soldier has left" his country. In a meeting at the
Danish Chamber of Commerce and Industry he discussed the state of
economic relations between the two countries. Estonian Foreign
Minister Juri Luik, who is accompanying Meri, held talks with his
Danish counterpart Niels Helveg Petersen and received promises of
Danish support in getting as favorable terms as possible for
Estonia in its free trade with the European Union. During the
visit Meri will also hold talks with Prime Minister Poul Nyrup
Rasmussen and open the new Estonian embassy in Copenhagen. Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

Povilas Gylys flew to Caracas at the start of an 18-day trip to
South America and the US, Radio Lithuania reports. On 13 April
Gylys and his Venezuelan counterpart will sign an agreement for
visa-free travel for diplomats. In Caracas he will also meet with
President Rafael Caldera, the parliament chairman, and other high
officials. He will then fly to Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina for
talks on increasing political, economic, and cultural cooperation;
he will sign several agreements. During the visits to the four
South American countries he will also meet with their local
Lithuanian communities. On 27 April he will arrive in Washington
for talks with Secretary of State Warren Christopher, various
Congressmen, and members of the National Security Council. On 28
April he will attend the official opening of the Lithuanian
consulate in New York and hold talks with UN Secretary General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali the following day. He will return to
Lithuania on 30 April. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

center reported that, according to its data, the Communist Party
of Ukraine gained 75 seats in the recent elections, followed by
Rukh, which won 26 seats. This differs from the returns reported
by the Central Electoral Commission, which gave the communists 86
seats and Rukh 20 seats. The results for other parties and blocs
are: Socialist Party--12; Peasant's Party--11; Ukrainian
Republican Party--9; Inter--Regional Bloc for Reform--6; Congress
of Ukrainian Nationalists--6; Union of Officers of Ukraine--5;
Democratic Party of Ukraine--4; Labor Party--3; Party of the
Democratic Rebirth of Ukraine--3; Civic Congress--2; Ukrainian
Conservative Republican Party--2; social democrats--2; Christian
democrats--2; All-People's Rukh--1; and UNA-UNSO--3. Roman
Solchanyk, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Anna Swidlicka & Stephen Foye
The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research
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