I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of my existence, and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. - James Joyce
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 75, 20 April 1994


YELTSIN STATEMENT ON BOSNIA . . . Russian President Boris Yeltsin
issued a statement on the conflict in Bosnia on 19 April calling
on the Bosnian Serb leadership to "fulfill its promises given to
Russia" to stop the attacks and withdraw from Gorazde, and to
enable UN forces to come into the area. Yeltsin called for a
summit meeting of Russia, the United States, the European Union,
and representatives of the UN and instructed his Foreign Ministry
to start preparations for such a meeting, ITAR-TASS reported. In
contrast to other Russian statements of late, it did not name NATO
airstrikes as part of the problem in Bosnia. Indeed, Yeltsin
praised the efforts of the "United Nations and other members of
the international community." His statement fell short of what
press reports had predicted in the late afternoon of 19 April,
namely, that he would announce Russia's complete disengagement
from the peace process in the Balkans. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . INTERNAL DEBATE ON BOSNIA? Russian media were eager to
report the possibility of a heated controversy brewing in the
Russian government over what to do about the Bosnian Serbs, the
question of lifting sanctions, and Russia's role as a mediator in
the Balkans. Some surmised that a dispute had developed between
Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin and Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev; Churkin denied this. Others suggested that the
dispute was broader and involved competing ideas from all sides. A
meeting of the Russian Security Council is scheduled to be held on
20 April, and Bosnia is on the agenda. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

April, according to Russian TV newscasts, Yeltsin met with the
acting chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court Nikolai
Vitruk. The two reportedly discussed ways of passing a new law on
the Constitutional Court and on methods of choosing candidates for
the vacant positions of its new judges. Earlier in April, the
State Duma refused to approve the bill on the Constitutional Court
drafted by Yeltsin's supporters, arguing that it would turn the
Court into an instrument of personal power of the president. The
Constitutional Court has been inactive since October 1993, when
Yeltsin suspended its activities because the Court had ruled
unconstitutional his decree disbanding the old Russian parliament.
Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

SHUMEIKO'S NEWS CONFERENCE. On 19 April, Russian TV newscasts
reported that Vladimir Shumeiko, the chairman of the Russian
parliament's higher chamber, the Council of the Federation, held a
news conference on the prospects of the Civic Accord agreement.
The document, Shumeiko said, will be signed on 28 April in the
Kremlin by the majority of those invited. The draft agreement on
Civic Accord includes, among other things, a proposal banning
introducing any amendments to the Russian constitution, and
Shumeiko no doubt intends to sign it on behalf of the Council of
the Federation. Nonetheless, in the course of the conference he
suggested that the constitution be amended to make the work of the
chamber's members permanent rather than part-time as is currently
the case. Shumeiko also proposed thatYeltsin run for a second
term, saying that "one more term would only benefit Russia." On
the question of Russia joining NATO's Partnership for Peace,
Shumeiko said that the main condition for doing so is the ability
for Russia and other nations involved to work and implement
decisions jointly, Interfax reported. Julia Wishnevsky and Suzanne
Crow., RFE/RL, Inc.

MEETINGS WITH ARAFAT. PLO leader Yasser Arafat concluded meetings
in Moscow on 19 April securing Russia's agreement to help set up a
police force in areas which are scheduled to come under
Palestinian control as the Middle East peace process comes into
being. Boris Yeltsin stressed Russia's commitment to the peace
process and his press service issued a statement saying that
"establishing a lasting and fair peace was and remains a strategic
priority for Russia in this region of vital importance." For his
part, Arafat said that Russia should play a part in monitoring the
implementation of peace accords, Russian and Western agencies
reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEFENSE SPENDING TOO LOW. According to General Yurii Merkulov, the
present level of funding for the Russian armed forces is too low.
Merkulov, who spoke at hearings in the Russian State Duma on 19
April, said the current level of funding necessitates so many cuts
that Russia will be without nuclear weapons by the end of the
century, Mayak radio reported on 20 April. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL,

President Yeltsin has released Boris Nemtsov from his duties as
the president's representative in the Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast,
Ostankino TV newscast reported on 19 April. According to
"Novosti," Yeltsin acted on Nemtsov's own request. Nemtsov had
combined his position as Yeltsin's representative with that of the
Oblast governor, to which he had also been appointed by the
president. While having resigned the former post, Nemtsov has
apparently retained his governorship. Simultaneously, Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin approved of the blueprints for land
privatization in the Russian Federation based on the Nizhnii
Novgorod model. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

Boris Yeltsin, Grigorii Yavlinsky, and Egor Gaidar remain the most
popular Russian politicians, although their ratings have fallen in
the past four months, ITAR-TASS reported on 19 April, citing the
results of an opinion poll held in Moscow earlier that month.
According to the survey, 13% of Muscovites trusted Yeltsin in
April (as opposed to 19% in December 1993); 11% trusted the
economist Yavlinsky (10% in December 1993), and 10% trusted Gaidar
(26%). They were followed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky (6%) and former
vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi (5%). Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai, Moscow mayor
Yurii Luzhkov, and the leader of the Russian Communist party,
Gennadii Zyuganov, received 4% each. All the aforementioned
politicians are often mentioned as possible candidates in the
forthcoming presidential elections. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

of the Federation Council Vladimir Shumeiko told journalists in
Moscow on 19 April that he believed that the "Shevardnadze
experience" could be replayed in Chechnya, Interfax reported.
(After being prominent on the all-Union scene, Eduard Shevardnadze
returned to his native Georgia and became the Georgian leader in
1992.) Shumeiko said that the return of Ruslan Khasbulatov, former
chairman of the Russian parliament and "Chechnya's recognized
leader," to his native Chechnya could alter the political
situation there. He added that Khasbulatov's statements that he
was giving up politics did not necessarily mean that he would
leave the political scene altogether. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

NATIONWIDE CENSUS TO BE HELD IN 1999. Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin signed a government decree on 15 April on the holding
of a nation-wide census in 1999, Interfax reported on 19 April.
Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.


meeting in St. Petersburg, Russian and Belarusian officials have
disagreed over the issue of currency emission, Reuters reported on
19 April. According to the terms of the monetary union signed on
12 April, there is to be only one center which can issue currency,
namely, the Central Bank of Russia. This provision has been
criticized by several Belarusian officials, including the chairman
of the national bank of Belarus, Stanislau Bahdankevich, who said
that this contradicts the Belarusian constitution. The Belarusian
first deputy prime minister, Mikhail Myasnikovich, said that
Belarus has won new concessions from Russia that allow the
Belarusian national bank to coordinate the emission of currency
and monetary policy with Russia. Russian deputy finance minister,
Andrei Kazmin, refuted this statement, saying that the Belarusian
national bank would be subordinate to the central bank of Russia.
At the meeting, the EBRD agreed to give Belarus $45 million for
reconstruction projects in the country, Belarusian radio reported.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.


PROGRESS OF TAJIK PEACE TALKS. The Tajik opposition delegation to
the peace talks that have been going on in Moscow with
representatives of the Tajik government is proposing that the
second round of talks be held in either Tehran or Islamabad,
ITAR-TASS reported on 19 April. The opposition is also dropping a
demand that Tajik head of state Imomali Rakhmonov be present. The
two sides still disagree on an agenda for the second round: the
government delegation gives priority to stopping the fighting on
the Tajik-Afghan border and the repatriation of Tajik refugees,
while the opposition wants the ban on opposition parties lifted
and a non-partisan state council set up. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

UZBEK-CHINESE AGREEMENTS. Agreements on a Chinese loan and
material assistance to Uzbekistan and on air traffic and trade
cooperation were signed during Chinese Premier LI Peng's official
visit to Uzbekistan, Russian and Western news agencies reported on
19 April. Li described the growing trade between China and the new
Central Asian states as a resurrection of the ancient Silk Route.
At a dinner in Li's honor, Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov
praised China's economic reforms and described the country as a
force for stability in the region. Western agencies interpreted
Karimov's remark as a signal that Uzbekistan will not permit Uigur
separatists to operate from its territory. Bess Brown, RFE/RL,

NAZARBAEV ASKS FOR MORE POWERS. On 19 April, the opening day of
the first session of Kazakhstan's newly-elected professional
legislature, President Nursultan Nazarbaev asked for additional
powers for himself and his government, Western agencies reported.
Nazarbaev said he wants to be able to issue decrees without
parliamentary approval in order to speed up important decisions on
economic and social issues. He also asked for constitutional
amendments that would permit the president to nominate judges and
prosecutors, and also proposed an amendment that would make it
possible for parliament to impeach the president, or for the
president to dissolve parliament. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.


ATTACKS ON GORAZDE CONTINUE. International media report that
Bosnian Serb attacks against the Muslim town of Gorazde continued
at least into the early hours of 20 April. Reports from 19 April
indicate that Serb machine-gun and heavy artillery fire
intensified throughout the course of that day. The headquarters of
the UN High Commission for Refugees was struck at least twice by
Serb artillery. On 20 April The Chicago Tribune notes that 26
people were killed in Gorazde, and 92 wounded. On 19 April Radio
Sarajevo said that Serb forces had launched poison gas attacks on
Gorazde, but these reports remain unconfirmed. Meanwhile, UNPROFOR
spokesman Major Rob Annik said NATO airstrikes against Serb forces
around Gorazde are effectively ruled out, given the Serb forces'
proximity to civilian populations, Reuters reports. The New York
Times of 20 April indicated, however, that US President Bill
Clinton has approved of using greater NATO power to protect
Gorazde and other "safe areas." Finally, on 19 April Tanjug
reported that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic responded to
Russian officials' disparaging remarks about the Bosnian Serb role
in escalating the current violence by attempting to minimize them.
Speaking about remarks made by Russian special envoy Vitaly
Churkin, Karadzic said they were made under "pressure" and "as a
result of an emotional reaction." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBS RETURN GUNS TO UN. International media reported on 19 April
that as many as 100 rebel Serb soldiers seized 18 anti-aircraft
guns from about 50 French soldiers near Sarajevo. The guns had
been placed under UN auspices, in accordance with the terms of the
Sarajevo cease-fire agreement. According to accounts, the French
soldiers were overpowered and threatened with force if they had
offered resistance. The Los Angeles Times of 20 April describes
the Serb seizure of the weapons as part of "the campaign of
harassment and humiliation of UN forces." AFP and Reuters on 20
April report, however, that the Serbs, following negotiations,
have surrendered at least 13 of the seized guns and have also
begun freeing UN personnel detained in response to the recent NATO
airstrikes. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

reported that British Prime Minister John Major added his voice to
the list of those who are protesting rump Yugoslavia's ongoing
crackdown on foreign journalists. Speaking before the House of
Commons, Major observed: "I deplore that restriction of press
freedom, and we have made the Belgrade authorities aware of our
views." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

on 19 April expressed his conviction that the worsening situation
in Bosnia would not affect Hungary's security, MTI reports.
According to Fur, Hungary would continue its past military and
foreign policy of staying away from the conflict. The 1992 accord
with Serbia prohibiting overflights in a 10 to 20 km zone along
the two countries' common border was still in effect, Fur said,
adding that the Hungarian Army's air defenses had been upgraded in
the past four years. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

LILIC CANCELS VISIT TO ROMANIA. President Zoran Lilic of the rump
Yugoslav federation has canceled a visit to Romania due to the
latest developments in Bosnia, a Reuters correspondent in
Bucharest reported on 19 April. Lilic was scheduled to participate
in the 21-24 April Crans Montana Forum conference in Bucharest.
During the planned visit, he was expected to sign a friendship
treaty with Romania. But earlier on 19 April, a spokesman for the
Romanian Foreign Ministry announced that the document would not be
signed this week. The postponement seems to have come in response
to the wave of international protests over the Bosnian Serbs'
offensive against Gorazde. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

supplies destined for US and Scandinavian troops on a peacekeeping
mission in Macedonia, has been held up in Bulgaria, agencies
report. On 19 April the Director General of Bulgaria's State
Railways, Atanas Tonev, told Bulgarian TV that he is not prepared
to allow the cargo to be--as planned--reloaded on trucks and then
transported out of the country until the payment issue has been
satisfactorily settled. Tonev said the fee offered by the Dutch
firm responsible for the transport of the UN equipment is both
insufficient and "humiliatingly low." The supplies, which include
14 armored personnel carriers, 4 trucks, plus other vehicles and
equipment, were earlier held up several hours at the
Bulgarian-Romanian border, when Bulgarian customs officials
discovered that several seals had been broken. At that point, the
Bulgarian side insisted on signing a formal protocol with Romanian
officials documenting that the incident occurred before the
shipment entered Bulgarian territory. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL,

Walesa on 19 April accepted an offer to meet with the Democratic
Left Alliance (SLD), the largest party in the parliament and the
senior partner in the ruling coalition, on 20 April. Walesa
explained that he "never refuses invitations...from organized
social forces that have more than five or ten serious members."
Walesa's formulations were a veiled affront to SLD leader
Aleksander Kwasniewski. It is not clear whether this meeting will
ease the conflict that has left Poland without a finance minister
or a coherent economic policy for more than two months. In an
interview with PAP, Walesa again criticized a constitutional
amendment proposed by coalition deputies that would enable the
Sejm to appoint ministerial candidates rejected by the president.
He repeated his threat to block such legislation by building a
popular movement to force the dissolution of the parliament.
Walesa added that he will soon set off on a tour of Poland to take
this message to the public. The SLD's spokesman noted wryly that
the last time Walesa embarked on such a campaign, his listeners
showed no interest in the constitution and wanted to discuss wages
and benefits. The Sejm leadership moved to ease tensions on 19
April by postponing consideration of the amendment until mid-May.
Walesa also criticized Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak for setting
a date for local elections without consulting him first. Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

debated the issue of anti-inflationary wage controls for five
hours on 19 April without coming to a decision, PAP reports. The
cabinet restricted two hours of its deliberations to ministers
only. Following the Sejm's failure to override a presidential veto
of a bill designed to replace the tax on excess wages (popiwek)
that was lifted on 1 April, the government adopted revised wage
control legislation on 12 April. The following day, however, Prime
Minister Waldemar Pawlak told union leaders that "life goes on
even without the popiwek" and indicated that the government will
not submit the new legislation to the parliament. Polish TV
reports that the economic ministers favor reimposing wage controls
on state firms to prevent inflation, while Pawlak and public
administration chief Michal Strak are opposed. Pawlak told Polish
Radio on 20 April that he wants a pledge from trade union leaders
not to demand excessive wage increases in exchange for shelving
the wage controls. Meanwhile, deputies from Pawlak's party have
proposed a legislative draft identical to the version Pawlak has
put on hold; the Sejm is to give it a first reading on 20 April.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

Schifter who is on an official visit to the Czech Republic
discussed economic and security relations with Czech government
officials, CTK reported on 19 April. After a meeting with
Economics Minister Karel Dyba, Schifter told journalists that US.
government assistance to the Czech Republic will be cut because
the country is now "more or less an equal partner" of the United
States. He added that the Czechs now need "equal cooperation
rather than assistance." Schifter also held a meeting with First
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandr Vondra to discuss cooperation in
security matters. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

was dismissed from his post as director of the Slovak state news
agency, TASR, and replaced by deputy director Ivan Melichercik.
According to government officials, Kleiman was removed because of
his "many professional mistakes," including TASR's funding of the
loss-making Republika daily, which is a strong supporter of former
Premier Vladimir Meciar and his party, the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia. Melichercik is expected to present a proposal
for the privatization of the paper. National Democratic Party
Chairman Ludovit Cernak said that while he is not against the MDS
keeping control of the paper, "they will have to pay for it on a
normal basis." Although Kleiman insisted that his firing was
politically motivated, Cernak said this was not the case. The
cabinet had been discussing the issue for several days, and
according to TASR of 13 April, the Party of the Democratic Left
was hesitant to remove Kleiman and other personnel, for fear of
being blamed for conducting political purges. Sharon Fisher,
RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . AND REMOVES DISTRICT CHIEFS. Also on 19 April the cabinet
approved a proposal to remove the chiefs of 26 district offices
who had signed a statement criticizing President Michal Kovac's 9
March parliamentary address which sparked Meciar's fall. Although
the district chiefs are supposed to be politically neutral, they
stated support for Meciar and called Kovac's speech "a crude
attack on parliamentary democracy." On 12 April the cabinet
challenged the signatories to resign, but the officials refused to
do so, TASR reports. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

Chairman Horn met in Slovakia on 19 April with Prime Minister
Jozef Moravcik and on 18 April with Peter Weiss, Chairman of the
Slovak Party of the Democratic Left, MTI reports. Horn said his
party would like to achieve a "historical reconciliation" with
Hungary's neighbors, including Slovakia, by means of a state
treaty that would recognize the inviolability of borders and full
guarantees for the rights of Slovakia's Hungarian minority,
including administrative and cultural autonomy. Moravcik disagreed
with Horn on the minority issue but promised to speed up his
government's response to the EU experts' proposal on the
distribution of the Danube's water in the two countries' dispute
over the Gabcikovo dam. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

media reported on 19 April that Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers
started a two-day official visit to Romania. Lubbers, who is
accompanied by Foreign Minister Pieter Kooijmans, discussed with
Romanian President Ion Iliescu and Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu ways
of expanding bilateral political and economic ties. The foreign
ministers of the two countries, Kooijmans and Teodor Melescanu,
signed an agreement on guaranteeing and protecting mutual
investments. In a separate development, Armenian Foreign Minister
Vahan Papazian discussed with Iliescu the wars in Bosnia and
Nagorno-Karabakh. The two agreed that their countries should use
their influence to help solve the conflicts. Papazian is on an
official visit in Romania until 24 April. Western agencies further
report that Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser
Arafat is expected to arrive in Bucharest on 20 April. Arafat, who
will attend the Crans Montana conference, is scheduled to hold
talks with Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres on the peace
process in the Middle East. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

that a flaw in the cooling system at the Chornobyl nuclear power
plant has forced the number three reactor to shut down. The report
said the incident did not present any danger to plant workers or
the environment. The plant should have been shut down at the end
of 1993, but the energy crisis in Ukraine prompted parliament to
keep it running. On 9 April it was reported that the Ukrainian
government had agreed in principle that the plant should be shut
down, although this could only be done if alternative energy
supplies became available. Reuters reported on 19 April that the
EU president, Theodoros Pangalos, said that help with Chornobyl
would be included in a broader plan of economic aid for Ukraine to
be drawn up by the European Commission. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL,

IRAN CRITICIZES UKRAINE. The Iranian oil minister, Gholamreza
Aqazadeh, has criticized Ukraine for the lack of progress in
implementing a two year old agreement on trading Iranian oil for
Ukrainian goods. Iran was supposed to supply Ukraine with five
million tons of oil in 1992 and four million in 1993 by pipeline
via Azerbaijan. In exchange Ukraine was to give Iran scrap iron
and other materials. Ukraine's foreign minister, Anatolii Zlenko,
acknowledged that there have been problems in implementing the
deal, but stressed that continued cooperation would produce
concrete results. Zlenko had been on an official visit to Iran on
17-18 April. During the visit the Iranian foreign minister, Ali
Akbar Vilayeti, promised to help in securing the release of
Ukrainian POWs from Afghanistan, although he said it has been
difficult because of the continued fighting, Ukrainian radio and
Reuters reported on 18 April. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

agreement on cooperation in the sphere of intelligence activity
was signed in Kishinev between Evgenii Primakov, director of
Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, and Vasilii Kalmoi,
Moldova's Minister of National Security, ITAR-TASS and Interfax
reported. The two countries will coordinate their activities in
combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, and the
illegal arms trade, as well as in other matters of mutual
interest. Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service has already signed
similar agreements with six other CIS member states, namely
Armenia, Belorus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

reported on 19 April that Latvia's president, Guntis Ulmanis, has
accepted the invitation of his Russian counterpart to meet in
Moscow on 21 April to discuss Latvian-Russian relations and to
sign accords on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia.
Ulmanis said that he was prepared to sign three of the four
initialed accords related to the Russian troop pullout but would
not sign the accord dealing with social guarantees for retired
Soviet and Russian military residing in Latvia because he believes
it to be unacceptable to most Latvians. Latvian Prime Minister
Valdis Birkavs told the RFE/RL Latvian Service on 19 April that if
Latvia does not endorse the accords, it risks prolonging the
presence of Russian troops on its territory for an indefinite
period of time. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

Estonian Border Protection Department, told Paevaleht on 18 April
that next summer modern monitoring equipment will be installed
along Estonia's borders. He said that most of the 2,200 persons
currently guarding the borders are equipped only with binoculars
and automatic rifles. Kouts noted that the "control line with
Russia" was the most difficult segment of Estonia's land
boundaries. He pointed out that currently Estonia is being used as
a transit zone for illegal migration, which has developed into a
profitable business. Kurds tend to enter Estonia by crossing the
Narva River from Russia; from Estonia, they try to reach the
Scandinavian countries. BNS and Interfax reported on 18 April that
Estonia is also considering establishing an internment camp for
illegal immigrants and refugees. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

CONGRESS OF THE LATVIAN GREENS. At its fifth congress on 16 April
in Riga, the Green Party analyzed the current situation in Latvia
and sought ways to make a greater impact--its current membership
is estimated at under 150--on the upcoming local government
elections scheduled in May. The "greens" intend to form joint
lists of candidates with members of Latvia's National Independence
Movement and the National Forces coalition. The congress delegates
elected three co-chairmen: Juris Zvirgzds, Olegs Batarevskis, and
Janis Kalvins, Diena reported on 18 April. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL,

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Roman Solchanyk & Edith Oltay
The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research
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