Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends. - Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881
RFE/RL Daily Report
No. 81, 28 April 1994
                           RUSSIA

CIVIC ACCORD IS EXPECTED TO BE SIGNED TODAY. President Yeltsin
expects most political and public groups in Russia to sign his
agreement on civic accord on 28 April. The signing ceremony is
scheduled for 2 pm (Moscow time), and it will be attended by the
president, representatives of the government, Russias constituent
regions, political parties, trade unions and religious groups. The
accord is intended to avert political instability. There have been
a number of concessions in the draft to persuade regional leaders
and opposition groups to sign the document. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN DISMISSES HIS CRITICS FROM PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL. President
Yeltsin dismissed from the Presidential Council former Prosecutor
General Aleksei Kazannik and the chairman of the Russian Movement
for Democratic Reform (RDDR), Gavriil Popov. ITAR-TASS quoted on 27
April the executive committee of the RDDR as saying that it was a
mistake on the part of the president to purge his advisory board of
critics of his policies. Gavriil Popov, who used to be a leading
member of Yeltsins team in the early 1990s, has lately sharply
criticized the policies of the president and the government.
Aleksei Kazannik has bitterly attacked the president after
resigning from the post of prosecutor general over a disagreement
with the president about the State Dumas amnesty of the organizers
of the 1991 August coup and the October 1993 disturbances. Vera
Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

REACTIONS TO THE MURDER OF AIZDERDZIS. President Yeltsin has
condemned the killing of the banker and deputy of the State Duma
Andrei Aizderdzis as an attack on the institution of state power
and called for extraordinary measures in investigating the case,
Radio Rossii Novosti reported on 27 April. Members of the State
Duma remarked that the murder was politically motivated.
Aizderdziss newspaper, Whos Who, had just published a list of the
most influential criminal leaders in the country. The parliamentary
factions of economist Grigorii Yavlinsky and of Vladimir
Zhirinovsky demanded that the signing of the Civic Accord be
delayed in view of that tragedy. The factions of Russias Choice and
the Party of Russian Unity and Concord argued to the contrary.
Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA DISCUSSES DISMISSAL OF INTERIOR MINISTER. The State Duma
debated a proposal for the dismissal of the Interior Minister
Viktor Erin following the murder of Duma deputy Andrei Aizderdzis,
Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 27 April. The call for Erins
dismissal was made by the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party
Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Grigorii Yavlinsky, the leader of the YABLOKO
parliamentary faction, supported the motion for Erins dismissal. On
27 April, the Duma dropped its scheduled agenda in order to discuss
the problem of organized crime. Deputies demanded that Prime
Minister Chernomyrdin and Minister Erin comment on the crime
situation and the murder of Aizderdzis. Later in the day,
Chernomyrdin and representatives of the Interior Ministry and the
office of Prosecutor General addressed the session of the Duma. On
27 April, Erin told the Cabinet of Ministers that he was ready to
resign if his resignation would be in the interests of Russia,
ITAR-TASS reported. Chernomyrdin, however, said he would not accept
Erins resignation. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA COMMITTEE REJECTS DRAFT BUDGET. The State Dumas Economic
Policy Committee on 27 April proposed the rejection of the draft
federal budget for 1994, Interfax reported. In addition to its
alleged neglect of military conversion (noted below), the draft was
said to have reduced allocations to education, training, culture,
and basic research, and to have overlooked possibilities for
additional revenues. The committee further criticized the draft for
raising the deficit and for being predicated on the governments
earlier forecast of economic performance in 1994 rather than on a
more realistic projection that took the first quarters drop of 25
percent into account. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

DECLINE OF DEFENSE INDUSTRY DECRIED. The pressure on the government
to increase its support for the defense industry is mounting. The
defense workers who have been picketing the White House were
evidently disappointed by the lack of response and declared the
likelihood of a pre-strike readiness from 28 April. On 27 April,
the State Dumas Economic Policy Committee rejected the draft budget
for 1994 in part because it neglected military conversion, Interfax
reported. On the same day, Komsomolskaya pravda carried a long
interview with Viktor Glukhikh, chairman of Goskomoboronprom (the
State Committee for the Defense Industries). Glukhikh claimed that
the production of military hardware has declined by 78 percent
since 1991, and that output in February was 38 percent down on that
of February 1993. If the current draft federal budget for 1994,
which allocates 37.1 trillion rubles for the military-industrial
complex, is approved by parliament, up to 3 million defense workers
could be laid off this year, Glukhikh warned. Keith Bush, RFE/RL,
Inc.

DAMASCUS ASKED FOR REPAYMENT OF DEBT TO FSU. During the visit of a
Russian delegation to Damascus, headed by First Deputy Prime
Minister Oleg Soskovets, the repayment of Syrias outstanding debt
to the former Soviet Union was discussed, Western agencies reported
on 27 April. Syria owes an estimated $10 billion for past supplies
of weaponry, and its economy and foreign trade minister was cited
by Reuters as saying that his country was determined to repay the
debt. Soskovets was said to have proposed the import of Syrian
goods such as food, medicine, and cotton, to meet part of the
payment due. Other debtors have not been as forthcoming as Syria.
In mid-1993, Russia was reported to be owed some $142 billion,
mostly by third-world countries, for past credits and deliveries
made by the FSU. Little of this is likely to be repaid. Keith Bush,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SYRIA, RUSSIA SIGN DEFENSE AGREEMENT; ASSURANCES TO ISRAEL. Syria
and Russia signed a military-technical cooperation agreement on 27
April that was described by Syrian Defense Minister General Mustafa
Tlass as a first step toward resurrecting the close relations that
existed between Damascus and Moscow during the Soviet period.
Details of the agreement, which was signed with Russian First
Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets, were not revealed, but Tlass
was quoted by AFP as saying that the deal indicated that Syria had
privileged relations with Russia and powerful friends in Moscow.
According to ITAR-TASS, Soskovets said that the agreement
demonstrated the desire of both sides to engage in systematic
military-technical cooperation. Meanwhile, in Moscow Deputy Russian
Foreign Minister Boris Kolokolov moved to reassure a visiting
Israeli delegation, led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, that
Russia intended to sell Syria only defensive weapons or spare parts
for weapons systems supplied to Syria before the breakup of the
Soviet Union in 1991. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUBININ SEEKS TO DIVERT STABILIZATION FUND. In an interview with
Reuters on 27 April, Acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin asked
that the $6 billion stabilization fund, conditionally promised by
the G-7, be redirected to financing a social safety net for Russias
poor, elderly, and unemployed. Dubinin put the request to the G-7
meeting in Washington on 24 April: he claimed that it was not
rejected out of hand and that it was being considered. Such a
request could put the G-7 and the IMF on the spot. When it was
originally announced, the offer of $6 billion for a currency
stabilization fund, via a special facility associated with the IMF,
was tied to rigorous preconditions which Russia seems unlikely to
meet, in much the same way as it has failed to meet previous
guidelines. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV, JUPPE TALKS ON BOSNIA. Continuing his talks on Bosnia on
27 April with Western officials in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev said following talks with his French counterpart,
Alain Juppe that there is an opportunity for real cooperation now
more than ever before. The same day, in response to questions about
how discussions with Warren Christopher had proceeded, Kozyrev
said: We are not starting from scratch; a very good foundation
already exists. Figuratively speaking, the field has been plowed
and, in principle, it is possible to complete the Bosnian
settlement process quickly enough, ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne
Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATEST ON RUSSIAN PARTICIPATION IN NATO PARTNERSHIP. Only days
after Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev suggested that Russia
had soured on participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace plan,
a Russian military delegation visiting Brussels was described by a
high-ranking NATO official as positively inclined toward the
program. According to AFP of 27 April, British Field Marshal Sir
Richard Vincent said that the head of the Russian Delegation,
General Staff First Deputy Chief Vladimir Zhurbenko, had shown no
hesitancy and had participated actively in a meeting of military
chiefs from NATO and former Warsaw Pact countries. Vincent
interpreted the development as a positive sign. Stephen Foye,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                                CIS

UKRAINE SAYS GRACHEV REMOVING UKRAINIANS FROM MILITARY. On 28 April
a UNIAN correspondent reported that the Russian defense minister,
Pavel Grachev, had issued instructions to remove officers of
Ukrainian descent from the Russian army. The order came after talks
on the division of the Black Sea Fleet broke down on 22 April.
Grachev reportedly stormed out of the negotiations and flew back to
Russia without informing his Ukrainian hosts or his own entourage.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  CENTRAL ASIA AND TRANSCAUCASIA

STATUS OF KARABAKH CEASE-FIRE. A spokesman for Azerbaijani
President Geidar Aliev told Interfax on 27 April that the
Azerbaijani leadership welcomes the cease-fire proposal made by
Russian Defense Minister Grachev the previous day after talks with
Azerbaijani parliament chairman Rasul Guliev. The Karabakh Armenian
authorities in Stepanakert, however, said that they would not
accept the cease-fire offer unless Aliev himself guaranteed that
hostilities would cease. In response to a request from Grachev to
influence the Karabakh Armenians, Armenian President Levon
Ter-Petrossyan reportedly said that he was unable to do so and that
the final decision on whether or not to accept the cease-fire lay
with Stepanakert, according to Interfax. Liz Fuller , RFE/RL, Inc.

LI PENG IN ALMATY. Speaking at a news conference in Almaty on 27
April, Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng denied that China aspired to
fill the political and economic vacuum in Central Asia, but
admitted that his country sought more extensive ties with the
region, Interfax and AFP reported. In talks with Kazakh Prime
Minister Sergei Tereschenko, Li discussed prospects for expanding
bilateral trade and for establishing a free economic zone on their
common border. Meanwhile a spokesman for the Russian Foreign
Ministry told ITAR-TASS on 27 April that the Sino-Kazakh border
agreement signed on 26 April will not affect the ongoing talks
between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and the PRC on
the western section of the former Sino-Soviet border. Liz Fuller,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KURDS PROTEST RUSSIAN-TURKISH ARMS DEAL. The Kurdistan Peoples
Committee in Moscow has issued a statement protesting the deal
signed in Moscow on 25 April between the Turkish and Russian
Defense Ministers on the purchase by Turkey of Russian artillery
and armored vehicles on the grounds that this is tantamount to
Russia giving the green light to the genocide of the Kurdish
people, Interfax reported. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

NEW SERB OFFENSIVE ABOUT TO BEGIN AT BRCKO? International media on
28 April suggest that Serb soldiers and weapons leaving the Gorazde
area are headed for the vicinity of Brcko, a good way to the north.
The presumed object is to expand and strengthen the land corridor
leading from Serbia to the occupied territories in Bosnia and
Croatia. The Washington Post cites officials as calling the
weaponry militarily significant. The New York Times quotes UN
commander Gen. Sir Michael Rose as saying that it is very possible
they are preparing aggressive acts. The guns could be heading for
their next offensive... If somebody wants to fight a war here, a
peacekeeping force cannot stop it. Meanwhile, the BBC quotes Rose
as also having had unkind words for the Muslims, whom he accused of
running away from Serb forces in Gorazde in the hopes that the UN
would fight their war for them. He also charged them with inflating
casualty figures and reports on damage, an accusation he had made
on 3 April but which was subsequently disputed by UN staff in the
east Bosnian town. The New York Times says that Bosnian Prime
Minister Haris Silajdzic has already challenged Roses view that the
Serbs have complied with NATO demands at Gorazde, and that a video
of Roses latest statements on the Muslim forces is circulating in
Sarajevo while the generals staff tries to play down the remarks.
Finally, the Security Council has authorized 6,000 more
peacekeepers to protect safe areas in Bosnia, but Rose said this
still is not enough. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

NIXONS PARTING ADVICE ON BOSNIA. The Baltimore Sun of 27 April
marked the funeral of former President Richard M. Nixon by quoting
his latest statements on Bosnia and other international problems.
He said: one of Americas most conspicuous and unnecessary foreign
policy failures is the carnage in the former Yugoslavia. Nixon
called for the lifting of the weapons embargo on the Muslims to
enable them to defend themselves. Meanwhile in Paris, AFP quotes
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe as demanding the immediate and
unconditional release of 11 French aid workers the Serbs have held
near Sarajevo for over two weeks. In the Bosnian capital itself,
300 people took part in a happening sponsored by art students to
protest any plans to partition the city. Their theme was dont let
the river divide people. Elsewhere in Sarajevo, Reuters reports
that the British embassy was opened by Charge dAffaires Robert
Barnett, who describes himself as an advocate of a sleeves-up
diplomacy. Finally, HINA says that Bosnian Croats and Muslims have
agreed on a formula for dividing ministries between them in a
future Bosnian cabinet. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

CROATIAN STRIKE UPDATE. Reuters said on 27 April that high school
teachers had agreed to end their strike in return for a compromise
pay package. A union leader said that many teachers had been
threatened with dismissal and that Education and Culture Minister
Vesna Girardi-Jurkic had issued a work obligation order that would
force teachers to work as in wartime or a state of emergency. That
same day, however, university professors and researchers launched a
pay strike of their own. The action involves some 8,500 staff at
the universities in Zagreb, Osijek, and Rijeka. The government has
claimed that it cannot afford the hikes, but Globus of 29 April
suggests that the hard-currency fortunes and properties somehow
acquired by leading right-wing members of President Franjo Tudjmans
party would be enough to keep 16,666 high school teachers well-paid
for a month. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBIA UPDATE. On 28 April, under the headline Guaranteed Net Wage
for April Is 30 Dinar, Politika reports on the Serbian legislatures
current efforts to reform the Serbian economy, ravaged by earlier
inflationary fiscal policies and international sanctions. The
cornerstone of the purported ongoing efforts to stabilize the rump
Yugoslav economy remains the super dinar, the currency launched on
24 January and pegged to the German Mark at an exchange rate of
one-to-one. Meanwhile, on 28 April Borba reports on remarks made by
the ultranationalist leader of the Serbian Radical Party and former
ally of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Vojislav Seselj, in
which he predicts a split in the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia
and an imminent spectacular collapse of the regimes current
economic policies. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN HUNGER STRIKE IN TETOVO, MACEDONIA. Eight Albanian
dervishes in the predominantly Albanian town of Tetovo commenced
their 8th day of hunger strike protesting the Macedonian
governments order to vacate a building which serves as a Muslim
cloister (tekke) and is situated in a restaurant and hotel complex.
Albanian political leaders seem to support the hunger strikers, who
so far have experienced no health problems, according to Flaka on
27 April. The strike could become a political cause celebre for
Albanians. Ismije Beshiri and Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT OPPOSES STRIKE BLACKMAIL. Solidarity launched a
new attempt at a nationwide protest strike on 28 April, PAP
reports. In an official communique released on 27 April, the
government called the unions brown-coal strike a threat to Polands
energy security and warned that widening the protest could negate
the chance for economic growth. In the prime ministers opinion,
there is no justification for a national strike, the statement
read. The government criticized the union for rejecting its offer
of talks and declared that it would staunchly oppose making
economic life anarchic. Despite this tough statement, Polish TV
noted that cabinet ministers were shunning the press and seemed
anxious to avoid having to present the governments views in public.
Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski charged that the statement was
written in the totalitarian language of the 1980s. The former
official OPZZ federation (a member of the Democratic Left Alliance)
attempted to straddle opposition and government by rejecting the
strikes as a political game but demanding the removal of Industry
Minister Marek Pol. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND GETS FINANCE MINISTER. President Lech Walesa accepted the
candidacy of the left-wing economist Grzegorz Kolodko for finance
minister and deputy prime minister on 27 April, PAP reports. Walesa
met with Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak after his return from a
two-day official visit to Lithuania. Referring to the coal strikes,
Walesa appealed to Pawlak to undertake immediate measures to halt
the destabilization of the economy and the state. The crucial
economic posts have been vacant since Marek Borowski resigned in
protest at the prime ministers waffling on economic policy in early
February. Walesa then vetoed the first replacement candidate,
Dariusz Rosati, prompting a long stand-off with the Democratic Left
Alliance (SLD). It appears that Walesa reached a bargain with SLD
leader Aleksander Kwasniewski during a session with SLD
parliamentarians on 20 April. Rosati withdrew on 26 April. Kolodko
was the SLDs leading candidate for finance minister when the
coalition government was formed last October, but Pawlak at the
time apparently rejected his 44 theses (Rzeczpospolita, 28
October). Kolodko, a communist party member from 1969-90, heads the
Institute of Finances at the Main School of Commerce (formerly
SGPiS). Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA YIELDS ON PRESIDENTIAL MINISTRIES. The Walesa-Kwasniewski
bargain seems to entail the appointment of deputy ministers from
the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) to the ministries of defense,
foreign affairs, and internal affairs. Walesa has the
constitutional right of general supervision over these presidential
ministries; he initially rejected the idea of coalition deputy
ministers, on the grounds that they would politicize the
ministries. The SLDs Danuta Waniek was named deputy defense
minister on 26 April, PAP reports. Waniek, a political scientist
with legal training and a womens rights activist, will have
responsibility for legislation, contacts with parliament, and
military courts. Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski pledged on 26
April to name the SLDs Marek Siwiec as a deputy minister by 1 July,
provided the government approves his plan to separate political
posts from the diplomatic service. Siwiec now serves on the
National Broadcasting Council. Speculation continues as to
candidates for the internal affairs ministry. Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARY WELCOMES BRITISH-GERMAN PROPOSAL. According to defense
ministry spokesman Lt.Colonel Lajos Erdelyi, Hungarys state leaders
knew about the proposal made at the 27 April London summit by
British Premier John Major and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to
hold joint British-German-Hungarian peacekeeping exercises in
Hungary in 1995, MTI reports. Erdelyi said the ministry welcomed
the proposal which, however, can be implemented only after Hungarys
government and parliament give their approval to the presence of
foreign military units to Hungary. Hungary in February joined NATOs
Partnership for Peace program, which in addition to consultations
and the harmonization of defense planning also includes joint
exercises. The Hungarian foreign ministry announced on 28 April
that the government was ready to hold experts talks about the
proposal and agrees with the full inclusion of NATO bodies in its
planning. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK FOREIGN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS. On 27April the press department
of the Slovak cabinet said that Premier Jozef Moravcik will not
attend the conference organized by Hungarian liberals on 30 April
in Visegrad, Hungary because of previous commitments, TASR reports.
Hungarian Premier Peter Boross had hoped to meet with Moravcik on
that day as well. In other developments, Slovak Foreign Minister
Eduard Kukan began an official visit to Spain on 27 April, meeting
with Spanish Premier Felipe Gonzales, King Juan Carlos I and
Foreign Minister Javier Solan. Discussions focused on the
transition to democracy and a market economy, as well as on
integration into West European political, economic and security
structures. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAKS TO DEMAND CERTIFICATES FOR IMPORTS. Starting on 1 May
Slovak customs officers will require all producers of agricultural
and food products exported to Slovakia to show certificates
assuring that safety and health requirements have been met, TASR
reports on 27 April. Lubomir Sutek, chairman of Slovakias Office
for Normalization, Metrology, and Testing, said that requirement of
certificates does not violate any GATT rules, nor does it
jeopardize the customs union with the Czech Republic. Still, on 27
April Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus expressed his disappointment with
the requirement, saying that the certificates will not only affect
Czech exporters but also Slovak consumers, who will have to deal
with higher prices. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

WORLD BANK APPROVES LOAN FOR ROMANIA. In a statement broadcast by
Radio Bucharest on 27 April, the Romanian cabinet announced that
the executive board of the World Bank had approved on the previous
day the release of a second installment of a structural adjustment
loan from 1992 which is worth $140 million. According to the
communique, the decision had been taken without objections, in view
of the fact that Romania had fulfilled all 17 conditions contained
in the original agreement with the Washington-based bank. The move,
the statement added, amounted to a de facto unblocking of foreign
credits for Romania after a break of more than one year and a half.
Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

BEROV ON POLICY PRIORITIES . . . Bulgarian Prime Minister Lyuben
Berov took the parliament floor on 27 April to outline the
priorities of his administration. News agencies quoted Berov as
emphasizing the need to bring about a turnaround in the economy, as
well as to bolster national security. He said the government would
have to stem inflation but at the same time find ways of
compensating the work force for the fall in real wages. He said
that a recent decision to impose price-controls on another 12
foodstuffs--bringing the total number to 23--was one example of
this policy, and that he would personally meet with the trade
unions to discuss other possibilities. Regarding privatization,
Berov said that the many delays have not been caused by the
government, but by the National Assembly. To speed up the
privatization process, he called on parliament to approve a
government proposal on mass privatization. He also urged support
for preparations of a settlement on Bulgarias nearly $13 billion
foreign debt. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . AND THE PENDING GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION. But Berov also
offered some hints about the upcoming cabinet reshuffle. With one
deputy premier to focus on privatization and another on foreign
economic relations, plus a regular minister to deal with the debt
issue, Berov said the new line-up will reflect the cabinets current
priorities. Moreover, by publicly airing dissatisfaction about the
implementation of the privatization laws and the situation in the
Bulgarian army, he seemed to be preparing the parliament and the
public for the replacement of Deputy Premier and Trade Minister
Valentin Karabashev and Defense Minister Valentin Aleksandrov.
Presumably as a result of this criticism, Karabashev on 28 April
handed in his resignation, BTA reports. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL,
Inc.

TOP BULGARIAN JURISTS DISSATISFIED WITH PARLIAMENT. Three leading
Bulgarian jurists, Supreme Court Chairman Ivan Grigorov, Prosecutor
General Ivan Tatarchev, and Director of the National Investigating
Service Ani Kruleva, on 26 April called a press conference to
express their strong dissatisfaction over the slow pace of legal
reforms. BTA quoted the three as recalling that 100 days have now
passed since the Supreme Court handed over to parliament a draft
law including 10 amendments to the Penal Code aimed at making the
struggle against crime more effective, but that the draft has so
far only reached the Legislative Committee. Kjell Engelbrekt,
RFE/RL, Inc.

EU PLANS AID PACKAGE TO UKRAINE. At an EU meeting on 27 April the
European Commission discussed an aid package to help the Ukrainian
economy, the Financial Times reported on 28 April. The measures
under consideration addressed in particular the countrys energy and
agricultural problems. The EU proposed helping Ukraine complete two
new nuclear reactors at Rivne and Khmelnytsky on the condition that
Ukraine close down the Chornobyl reactors. Plans were also drawn up
for a 100 million Ecu ($113 million) food aid package which is to
be spent on fertilizer, seed and machinery to help overcome
problems in food supplies. The food aid package requires the
approval of 12 EU member states. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

MANDATE OF FIVE LATVIAN DEPUTIES SUSPENDED. During a heated
discussion that lasted well into the early hours of 28 April the
Latvian Saeima decided to suspend temporarily the mandate of five
deputies who have been accused of collaboration with the KGB. The
final decision will be made after the cases are brought to court
and a verdict is handed down. The five deputies are: Georgs
Andrejevs, Edvins Inkens, and Andrejs Silins of Latvias Way; Aivars
Kreituss of the Democratic Party; and Roberts Milbergs of the For
Fatherland and Freedom association. Inkens, who has also been
serving as minister for special assignments, told Diena of 27 April
that he will resign from that position until his name is cleared by
the court. The situation of Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs is
not clear since he is currently in the United States for medical
treatment. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN PREMIER: MOST ALIENS TO GET RESIDENCY PERMITS. Prime
Minister Mart Laar told Russian journalists in Tallinn on 27 April
that he expects most aliens who were permanent residents of Estonia
as of 1 July 1990 to be granted permanent residence permits, BNS
reported. He added that under the aliens law those people are
entitled to the permits and nobody would deprive them of the right.
He denied categorically charges made periodically by Russian
leaders that Estonia intends to deport Russians or grant
citizenship on the basis of ethnicity. That same day in Moscow,
however, Russian deputy foreign minister Boris Pastukhov told BNS
that the primary task of Russian diplomacy is to defend the legal
rights of their compatriots abroad. Pastukhov also renewed
accusations that Estonia and Latvia deprived their Russian-speaking
populations of their elementary rights; he claimed that these
people live in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Abudullah
Mikitayev, chairman of the citizenship commission at the Russian
presidents office, told the press that the best solution to the
problem for Russia would be the conclusion of a treaty with Estonia
and Latvia on dual citizenship, like the treaty with Turkmenistan.
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Ustina Markus & Edith Oltay
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