|A host is like general: calamities often reveal his genius. - Horace|
No. 72, 15 April 1994
RUSSIA RUSSIA POISED TO REJECT NATO PARTNERSHIP? In remarks made to reporters on 14 April, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev suggested that recent NATO airstrikes in Bosnia and other complications have led Moscow to reconsider its participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace program. Indeed, AFP quoted an unnamed Western diplomat in Moscow as saying that "Russia will never sign the partnership agreement," because "NATO will never give in to Moscow's demands and Moscow will not drop those demands." The diplomat also suggested that by the year 2000 most East European states would be full-fledged members of NATO, while Russia would remain outside the alliance. Given the mixed signals that Moscow has been sending on this and other foreign policy issues, such categorical conclusions may be premature. Kozyrev nevertheless gave grounds for thinking that a turning point of sorts may been reached in Moscow; he was quoted by AFP as saying that "Russia's partners in the West, especially in NATO, have not yet found correct solutions" to accommodate Moscow's participation in the program. AFP reported out of Washington on 15 April that US State Department officials had expressed concern over the significance of Kozyrev's remarks. Meanwhile, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 14 April that four committees of the Russian Duma--all dominated by deputies from Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party and from the Communist Party--have expressed their opposition to Russian participation in the NATO partnership. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CHERNAYEV: KOZYREV DOCTRINE IS A PROVOCATION. Anatolii Chernayev, formerly a foreign policy adviser to then Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, wrote in the 14 April edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the "Kozyrev doctrine . . . reeks of Zhirinovsky." Chernayev said the type of foreign policy that would best meet Russia's national interests is one which is oriented toward supporting economic reforms. The idea of accumulating political and other kinds of presence "now here, soon there" will result only in the appearance of being a great power, but not in a true great power status. "True greatness can be achieved only through unflagging efforts to achieve the material well-being of the country and to renew of its sense of spiritual worth. Only then can civilized, even good relations between Great Russia and the near and far abroad . . . take shape." Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc., RFE/RL, Inc. ARBATOV WARNS OF COLD WAR REVIVAL. The 14 April Nezavisimaya gazeta contained an article by Georgii Arbatov, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' USA and Canada Institute. According to Arbatov, the cold war between Russia and the West is not yet completely over and may be resumed again. Arbatov thinks it unwise for the US to evaluate the prospects for Russian-American relations solely in terms of personalities in the Russian government or economic indicators. He believes that Western policy makers would be better advised to consider other processes underway in the country: including the state of Russia's armed forces; Moscow's policy toward other former Soviet Union republics; the development of democracy and free speech; the level of openness in Russian politics; and the state of the disarmament treaties between Russia and the US as well as the chances of their ratification by the parliament. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. REFORMERS SET UP LIBERAL-DEMOCRATIC UNION. "Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party has acquired a namesake," Russian TV "Vesti" announced on 14 April. The newscast was referring to a decision by the "12 December" parliamentary faction to transform itself into the Liberal Democratic Union. The change was announced at a news conference held by the faction's leaders--former Russian Minister of Finances Boris Fedorov and businesswoman Irina Khakamada--held in the State Duma earlier that day. According to the "Vesti" anchor, the leaders of the Union have chosen its name deliberately, with the goal of rehabilitating a concept of liberal democracy which has been compromised by Zhirinovsky and his allies. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. LITTLE PROGRESS AT NORTH OSSETIAN-INGUSH TALKS. The second round of talks between North Ossetian President Akhsarbek Galqazov and Ingush President Ruslan Aushev in Nalchik on 14 April on the implementation of Yeltsin's decree of 13 December 1993 on the return of Ingush refugees to the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia produced little in the way of results. A member of the working group from North Ossetia told ITAR-TASS that the main outcome was a detailed discussion of the preamble of an agreement on the principles of implementing the decree. This would seem to present an insuperable stumbling block since North Ossetia is insisting that Ingushetia renounce any claims to the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia, which Ingushetia is unwilling to do. The talks are to be continued later. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN DEPUTY MINISTER CALLS FOR RECOGNITION OF DUDAEV. Russian Deputy Minister of Economics Valerii Fateev suggested in an interview with Interfax on 14 April that the Federation Council must recognize the legitimate character of the rule of Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev, arguing that Dudaev has been in power for three years now. He also called for an urgent renewal of talks between Russia and Chechnya. Fateev, who headed a Russian parliamentary delegation that recently visited the zone of the Ossetian-Ingush conflict, met Dudaev on his own initiative. He described attempts by the Russian leadership to negotiate with the Chechen opposition and to make the signing of a bilateral agreement conditional on early parliamentary and presidential elections in Chechnya as "of no use to Russia." Ann Sheehy , RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIAN SPOKESMAN ARRESTED IN KAZAKHSTAN. Journalist Boris Suprunyuk, who has been active as a spokesman for the Russian community in North Kazakhstan Oblast, has been arrested in the oblast capital Petropavlovsk on a charge of inciting interethnic discord, Western and Russian sources reported on 13 and 14 April. The charge was raised in July 1993 but Suprunyuk ignored it and continued his journalistic activities. Most recently Suprunyuk had reported on tensions between Cossack villagers and Kazakh authorities in Taldy Kurgan Oblast. Siberian Cossack leader Viktor Ochkasov was quoted by Interfax as predicting that Suprunyuk's arrest would cause a further deterioration in relations between Kazakhs and Russians in Kazakhstan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS CIS FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET . . . On 14 April the Council of CIS Foreign Ministers met in Moscow to discuss a draft declaration on the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of borders of CIS member-states. ITAR-TASS and Interfax said that Armenia, which drafted and proposed signing an alternative declaration, would likely refrain from signing the Council's declaration. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev described the declaration as "a useful document giving lie to the speculations that the CIS is some kind of neoimperialist club." Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . FAIL TO AGREE ON MINORITY RIGHTS. At the same meeting, the Council of Foreign Ministers discussed a draft convention on the protection of the rights of national minorities, but significant controversy arose, once again, over the purpose of the document. A number of CIS members view the convention with suspicion, believing it could give Russia a blank check to use force for the protection of ethnic Russians outside of the Russian Federation when it deems their rights have been violated. Andrei Kozyrev remarked, "we are getting closer to approval of the convention, although it is a painful and difficult process." According to ITAR-TASS, the ministers decided the draft convention needed more study. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS FLAG? The flag proposed by the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly was accepted by the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers on 14 April. The Council will recommend the flag be approved at the summit meeting of the CIS heads of state on 15 April. According to Andrei Kozyrev, the flag is "something like the United Nations flag," as it symbolizes "humanitarian ideals, unity and common goals," Interfax reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET ON CIS SECURITY, NATO. Delegations representing the Defense Ministries of eleven CIS states (Moldova was absent) met in Moscow on 14 April under the chairmanship of Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. According to Interfax, participants adopted documents on the establishment and functioning of what the report called the CIS Common Security Council. The heads of delegations of those states party to the CIS Collective Security Treaty also reportedly adopted a draft joint declaration that provides for increased defense-related cooperation and that states their position on participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace Program. On that second point, the declaration was described as characterizing the partnership program as a real alternative to the enlargement of NATO; it envisions the CIS Collective Security Treaty as eventually being included in an integrated European security system and as part of an analogous system in Asia. The documents adopted at the meeting were expected to be approved by the CIS heads of state on 15 April. Interfax reported that the heads of state would also consider the appointment of a new CIS commander of peacekeeping forces in Tajikistan--Col. Gen. Valerii Patrikeev (former commander of the Transcaucasus Military District)--who would replace the current commander, Boris Pyankov. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS SUMMIT OPENS IN MOSCOW. The 12 member-states of the CIS gathered in Moscow on 15 April to discuss economic and trade agreements, cooperation between the CIS and other international organizations, stabilization of the situation in Tajikistan, the establishment of collective peacekeeping and the naming of a commander of these forces, and the protection of borders and human rights. Heads of all CIS states except Kazakhstan attended. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, claiming illness, sent Vice President Yerik Asanbayev to represent his Central Asian country, ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. EURASIAN UNION IDEA FAILS. While claiming to be ill, Nazarbaev's absence can perhaps be understood as a quiet protest to Russia for rejecting his idea, put forth in March 1994, to create a Eurasian Union. According to Nazarbaev, by establishing a new organization to succeed the organizationally weak CIS, a new level of cooperation and integration could be achieved. The response of Russian officials was, for the most part, unenthusiastic. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai supported the idea and drafted a confederacy agreement. Significantly, Shakhrai was not on the list of representatives of Russia to attend the CIS summit, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Suzanne Crow , RFE/RL, Inc. BLACK SEA FLEET: MORE ALLEGATIONS AND DENIALS. Russian television Ostankino reported that Ukraine's foreign minister, Anatolii Zlenko, said in an interview that the Odessa incident was the fault of Odessa municipal authorities. The press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement denying that Zlenko had made such a remark or that the interview had even taken place, Ukrainian television reported on 14 April. That same day ITAR-TASS reported that Ukrainian authorities in Odessa evicted from their apartments eighteen naval officers of the disbanded 318th division and their families because the officers had refused to swear allegiance to Ukraine. Ukraine then purportedly denied a Black Sea Fleet vessel, dispatched to pick up the families, access to the port. The press service of the Ukrainian navy has characterized this account as a misrepresentation of events and has said that Ukraine's defense ministry is taking responsibility for evacuating the families. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN SERBS MOVE AGAINST UN PERSONNEL. International media reported on 14 April that Serb forces were detaining or holding at least 155 UN troops or officials, including a group of 14 Canadian peacekeepers. They also trapped between 20 and 30 soldiers at Krivoglavci near Sarajevo by putting mines around them. The Bosnian Serb authorities banned American journalists from their territories, and declared UN commander Gen. Sir Michael Rose persona non grata. Serb forces continued trying to retake their heavy weapons previously placed under UN control, and brought up a tank into the exclusion zone in an effort to intimidate the peacekeepers. The Los Angeles Times quoted a UN official as saying "It is time to use massive force against the Serbs." Patrick Moore , RFE/RL, Inc. CLINTON TELLS SERBS NOT TO REGARD UN AND NATO AS COMBATANTS. International media on 14 April quoted the American president as telling Serbs they would be "making a mistake" in treating those two organizations as enemies. He said they were simply trying to protect "safe areas" and were not taking a partisan role in the conflict. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vitaly Churkin met with Serbian leaders including President Slobodan Milosevic and said he now had a "good foundation" for an overall ceasefire. Similar optimism was expressed by international negotiators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg, whom the Serbs appear to have welcomed back to the negotiating process, but a BBC commentator was skeptical. Meanwhile in Bosnia itself, NATO warplanes flew low over the besieged Muslim enclave of Tuzla, which eventually put an end to Serb shelling. Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic in Washington remarked that NATO should now turn to bombing Serb arms supply routes, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. GREEK-ALBANIAN TENSIONS EASE. Reuters reported on 14 April that Albanian President Sali Berisha, in a letter to the EU, distanced himself from earlier claims that the Greek government was involved in the incident on 10 April in which a Greek band killed two Albanian soldiers. He agreed to a Greek proposal for an investigation, but appears to want not a bilateral effort as Athens had proposed but rather an independent one by the EU. A Greek government spokesman called Berisha's statements "undoubtedly positive." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIA'S MEDIA BAN. Following ultra-nationalist groups which articulated support for Belgrade's 12 April announcement banning the US network CNN and the French news agency AFP, other extremist groups, notably the Serbian communist party, have voiced support for Belgrade's action. On 14 April The Guardian reported that other foreign journalists may also be thrown out of rump Yugoslavia. On 15 April, an essay in Vecernji novosti, entitled "Poison in the Pen," tried to prove the international media, primarily Western dailies, have falsified or intentionally distorted the Serb role in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, echoing remarks by Information Minister Slobodan Ignjatovic. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT ALLOWS UNPROFOR EQUIPMENT. On 15 April the National Assembly voted to endorse a UN request for a one-time transit through Bulgaria of equipment destined for the UNPROFOR forces in Macedonia. Following strong protests from some politicians--arguing that the question affects national security--the issue was submitted to parliament, even though the request was initially endorsed by the government. BTA says 117 deputies voted in favor, and 92 against. Whereas the UDF, the MRF, and the recently formed Independence parliamentary groups supported the request, the BSP opposed it. Meanwhile, in Macedonia, the Bulgarian Education and Science Minister Marko Todorov prematurely ended a visit after having refused to sign an official protocol differentiating between the Bulgarian and Macedonian languages. While recognizing the state as such, Bulgaria rejects the notion that Macedonians constitute a separate nationality. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. KINKEL IN ALBANIA. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel visited Albania on 14 April, international media report. Germany had supported Albania's accession to the CSCE, and now Kinkel has endorsed the integration of Albania into the Western European Union, the European Union (EU) and NATO, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on 13 April. Since November 1992 Albania has had a trade and cooperation treaty with the EU. Albania also wants membership in the Council of Europe, but a stable legal system is a precondition. FAZ said Kinkel would urge Tirana to follow a policy of moderation in the Kosovo conflict. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. KOSOVO UPDATE. The president of the Kosovar "shadow state," Ibrahim Rugova, met with officials from Albanian local councils and urged that his and other parties cooperate more closely with these bodies, Rilindja reported on 13 April. The Kosovar Parliament's President Ilaz Ramajlin said in an interview, published in the same paper the day before, that since the Kosovar parliament has not met since 24 May 1992, it should either do so soon or else transfer its powers to Rugova. The legislators have so far met only in small groups due to harassment by the Serb authorities. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. KOHL ENDORSES POLAND'S UE, NATO QUEST. At the start of Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak's two-day official visit to Bonn on 14 April, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl pledged his country's wholehearted support for Polish membership in the European Union and NATO. Pawlak expressed concern that Poland's imports from Germany exceed the value of its exports. Germany is Poland's largest trading partner; total trade turnover between the two countries rose from DM 6 billion in 1989 to DM 18.3 billion in 1993, PAP reports. Construction Minister Barbara Blida accompanied Pawlak, in the hope of persuading the German government to ease the high payments that were imposed on Polish building firms operating in Germany to prevent them from undercutting domestic competition. Since 1992 the number of Polish construction workers employed in Germany has dropped from 40,000 to 10,000, Polish TV reports. Pawlak also met with German parliamentarians and business representatives on 14 April and is scheduled to solicit investment in Poland's auto industry during a visit to a Daimler-Benz plant on 15 April. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. ECONOMIC CONFUSION IN POLISH COALITION. A series of reversals on wage controls has underlined the ruling coalition's inability to settle on a coherent economic policy. After Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak reversed his own stance and announced on 13 April that the government would not submit to the parliament a new version of the tax on excess wages for at least a month, sixteen deputies from Pawlak's Polish Peasant Party (PSL) submitted on 14 April legislation identical to that prepared by the government. The PSL deputies said they are worried that the lack of any wage controls in state firms could fuel inflation. They claimed not to have informed Pawlak before taking action. Polish TV reported, however, that coalition leaders had in fact secretly agreed on 12 April to have the deputies rather than the government submit the new popiwek legislation, perhaps to enable Pawlak to evade trade union anger. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. PARIS CLUB REDUCES POLAND'S DEBT. The Paris Club of government creditors formally reduced Poland's foreign debt of $33 billion by a further 20%, (about $8 billion) on 15 April, PAP reports. This was the second stage in the 50% debt reduction agreement reached in 1991. Approval for the second stage depended on Poland's compliance with its standby arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for March 1993-April 1994. The IMF gave official approval on 25 March, but the Paris Club delayed its decision for two weeks. No official reason for the delay was given, but press reports indicated that the Paris Club was awaiting the signing of the 1994 budget and comparing the terms it offered with Poland's recent debt-reduction agreement with the London Club of commercial creditors, which agreed on 11 March to reduce Poland's $13.2 billion debt by 45%. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. KLAUS ON RESTITUTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY. At a press conference in Prague on 13 April, Czech Prime Minster Vaclav Klaus said the government had prepared a bill to return property seized from Jews by the Nazis. The bill would affect only persons who can prove their property was seized for "reasons of racial persecution" and who filed a claim for reparation after 1946. That year a law to return property taken by the Nazis was passed but never implemented because of the communist putsch in 1948. Under the government bill, only property that is currently in the possession of the state would be returned; persons whose property is now in the possession of municipalities or has been privatized would receive financial compensation. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK ECONOMIC STATISTICS. According to a Slovak Statistical Office report released on 13 April, industrial production fell by 2.3% in February, compared with the previous month, but was 3.2% higher than in February 1993. Production in the construction industry dropped 6.4% in comparison with January 1994 and 14.9%--with February 1993. The volume of cargo transport increased by 1.1% in February, compared with the previous month, and retail sales were 20.4% higher than in February 1993. The share of private firms in industrial production reached 21.7% in February, up from 20.3% in January; in the construction industry, this figure rose from 61 to 62.9%. Employment in industry as a whole rose 0.8% over January's figures and in private firms 4%. In February the average monthly salary in firms with more than 25 workers fell 2.6% from the previous month to 5,409 koruny. Real wages fell by 3.3% in industry, 4% in construction, 1.5% in trade and 4.7% in transport in comparison with January. On 14 April Finance Minister Rudolf Filkus stated that 18,161 billion koruny were owed in outstanding taxes and said the cabinet would work on controlling the tax system and preventing tax evasion. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN-ROMANIAN FRIENDSHIP TREATY NEGOTIATIONS. Delegations of the Hungarian Socialists Party, led by Gyula Horn, and the Party of Social Democracy of Romania, led by Oliviu Gherman, met in Hungary on 14 April to discuss the bilateral friendship treaty that has become bogged down over wording concerning guarantees for the Hungarian minority in Romania and inviolacy of borders. MTI reported that the two parties were confident they could resolve the problems, although that same day Magyar Nemzet reported Hungarian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Janos Herman as denying that Hungary had received any new wording suggestions, counter to what his Romanian counterpart Mircea Geoana had said one day earlier. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc. PARIS CLUB APPROVES RESCHEDULING OF BULGARIAN DEBT. Early on 14 April negotiators representing the Paris Club of creditors agreed to defer payment on Bulgaria's approximately $1.5 billion government debt, BTA reports. According to the country's third such agreement with the Paris Club, the debt will be rescheduled over 11 years, following a 7 year grace period during which Bulgaria will only pay interest. Previous, unpaid interest installments are being transferred to the principal debt. The governor of Bulgaria's central bank, Todor Valchev, said in a radio interview that the terms of the agreement reached shows that both creditors and the international financial institutions supported the deal. Former Finance Minister and UDF's deputy faction leader Ivan Kostov predicted that a framework agreement on Bulgaria's $9.3 commercial debt would be pending within the next few days. Kostov also acknowledged the delegation's success in persuading the creditors not to write up the government debt, which could have happened if the issue of Bulgaria's loans with the former GDR had been raised. The deal will have to be ratified by each creditor government separately. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA CRITICIZES MOLDOVA'S DECISION TO JOIN CIS. Reuters reported on 14 April that the Romanian government had criticized neighboring Moldova for its decision to join the Commonwealth of Independent States. It quoted a statement released by the foreign ministry in Bucharest saying that "the natural place of the Republic of Moldova as an independent and sovereign state is in the big family of European nations and by no means in Euro-Asian structures." The statement added that "the foreign policy acts recently adopted by the parliament of Moldova seem to show a tendency towards the latter." The newly-elected Moldovan parliament voted last week to join the CIS. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSDNIESTER REPRESENTATIVE IN MOLDOVAN CIS DELEGATION. For the first time a representative of the self-styled Transdniester republic--Vice-Premier Viktor Sinev--has been included in the Moldovan delegation to a CIS summit, Interfax reported on 14 April. Transdniester State Secretary Valerii Litskai said agreement had been reached on this at the talks between Moldovan president Mircea Snegur and Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov on 9 April and was due to the need for joint actions in solving economic problems. Litskai suggested that Moldova's ratification of the republic's membership in the CIS and the CIS economic union had made it possible. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES CE. On 14 April Algirdas Brazauskas became the first Baltic president to make a speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Radio Lithuania reports. Introducing Brazauskas, its president Miguel Martinez said Lithuania had successfully arranged the withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory and should serve as an example for other countries on how to solve ethnic problems. Brazauskas stressed that "Lithuanian security is inseparable from European security." He regretted that "while claiming to defend the rights of Russian-speakers, Russia is using economic levers and in fact exacerbating their economic condition." The two countries signed a most-favored nation trade agreement in November, but Russia has not yet ratified it and by imposing higher duties has made the export of many goods impossible. Brazauskas urged accepting Latvia to the CE and said "the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and Estonia by 31 August would be an adequate reflection of Russia's willingness to seek a peaceful settlement of disputable issues with its neighbors." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIA ACCUSED OF PLANNING TO DEPORT RUSSIAN-SPEAKERS. On 13 April speakers from Estonia at a meeting in Moscow of the Congress of Russian Communities claimed that the Estonian government had plans to start deporting Russian-speakers and establishing a concentration camp at Rummu, BNS reported on 14 April. They criticized the complexity of the application process for permanent resident status, which includes numerous questionnaires and compulsory AIDS and psychiatric tests. The speakers said they face dismissals from jobs, deprivation of property, and direct deportation, and asked the Congress "not to allow a serious inter-ethnic conflict to break out in Estonia." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. KUCHMA THROWS DOWN GAUNTLET. While 112 out of 450 seats in the Ukrainian parliament still have to be filled in a third round of voting, the campaign for the presidential election on 26 June has effectively begun. On 14 April the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Businessmen (UUIB) held an extraordinary congress in Kiev at which it nominated former prime minister Leonid Kuchma as its candidate, Ukrainian media reported. In his speech to the congress, Kuchma, who is the president of the UUIB, accused the current leadership of Ukraine of "economic nationalism." The congress issued an appeal to the Ukrainian delegation at the forthcoming CIS summit in Moscow to negotiate Ukraine's entry to the CIS economic union as a full, and not simply associate, member. Though often depicted as a reformer, Kuchma's record as prime minister was disappointing and his approach to reform remains cautious, being based on cementing closer economic ties with Russia. A representative of the military-industrial complex, he enjoys considerable support among industrial directors and the Russian-speaking population. With his popularity currently riding high, Kuchma is considered a leading contender for the Ukrainian presidency. Meanwhile, UNIAN reported that the Kiev branch of the Union of [Military] Officers of Ukraine, a national democratic pressure group which has 7 representatives so far in the new parliament, announced on 14 April that it intends to nominate former defense minister Kostyantyn Morozov as its candidate for president. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc., RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Stephen Foye & 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. 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. 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