The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
RFE/RL Daily Report
No. 103, April 28, 1994

                              RUSSIA

CIVIC ACCORD SIGNED. On 28 April, President Boris Yeltsin, Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, chairmen of the State Duma and the
Council of Federation, leaders of Russias republics and regions,
representatives of political parties and movements, trade unions
and religious organizations signed the Civic Accord, a document
that calls on all signatories to refrain from violence in pursuing
political goals. The signatories also promise not to call for
early presidential and parliamentary elections and to propose
constitutional changes only on a conciliatory basis. A special
conciliatory commission has been set up to monitor the compliance
with the accord by the signatories, ITAR-TASS reported. The Accord
will be in force for two years, which are regarded by the Russian
leadership as the most painful transition period. Vera Tolz,
RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSINS SPEECH AT SIGNING CEREMONY. During the ceremony of
signing the Civic Accord President Yeltsin said that the formation
of a new conciliatory commission means that a mechanism has been
created for solving emerging conflicts at an early stage,
ITAR-TASS reported on 28 April. He stated that the Accord could
mark the end of a century-long confrontation which had shaken
Russian society since the Civil War (1918-20). According to
Yeltsin, the genocide of Cossacks, forced collectivization, the
deportation of people, the bloody crackdown on workers in
Novocherkassk (1962), the August 1991 putsch, and the bloody
events of May and October 1993--were all the result of the curse
of the Civil War. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

THREE REPRESENTATIVES AT THE CEREMONY FAIL TO SIGN ACCORD. Out of
248 participants at the ceremony of signing the Civic Accord, 245
put their signatures under the document, the presidential
administration told ITAR-TASS on 28 April. Leader of the Russian
Communist Party Gennadii Zyuganov, chairman of the Vladimir oblast
legislature N. E. Vinogradov, and chairman of the Kemerovo oblast
legislature Aman Tuleev, refused to sign the document. All three
have been sharp critics of President Yeltsins policies. The
following politicians signed the Accord with reservations:
presidents and chairmen of parliaments of Tatarstan and North
Ossetia, chairman of the Chita oblast legislature, and several
trade union leaders. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

UNION OF 12 DECEMBER REGISTERED AS NEW PARLIAMENTARY FACTION. The
pro-reform Liberal Democratic Union of 12 December headed by
former Finance Minister Boris Fedorov has been officially
registered as a new faction in the State Duma, ITAR-TASS reported
on 28 April. The new faction comprises 39 deputies. Earlier this
year, Fedorov said his group decided to call itself liberal
democratic union in order to rehabilitate this name, which has
been misused by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose ultra-nationalist
party is also called liberal democratic. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

SPECIAL TEAM FORMED TO INVESTIGATE MURDER OF DUMA DEPUTY. The
Russian Interior Ministry, the Federal Counterintelligence
Service, and the Office of the Russian Prosecutor General, have
formed a joint team to investigate the murder of Duma deputy
Andrei Aizderdzis, Interfax reported on 28 April. The agency said
the Prosecutors Office has already established that it was a
contract killing. The murder provoked sharp debates in the State
Duma, which demanded that the government take emergency measures
to fight organized crime in Russia. President Yeltsin opened the
signing ceremony of the Civic Accord with a moment of silence for
Aizderdzis. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLLS SHOWS STEEP DROP IN YELTSINS POPULARITY. On 28 April
Interfax reported the results of surveys which indicate that
Yeltsins popularity has significantly dropped among the public. In
a poll conducted in April, 1,204 residents of various Russian
cities were asked whom would they vote for if only Yeltsin and
Zhirinovsky ran in the forthcoming presidential elections? Only
27% replied that they would vote for Yeltsin; 11% said they would
vote for Zhirinovsky; 51% said neither of them; and 11% were
undecided. In a poll conducted in March, 1,202 Russians were asked
with whom in the events of October 993 they sympathized. Only 20%
of the respondents sided with Yeltsin; 10% with the parliament; 6%
with the military and law-enforcement bodies; 4% with Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin; 42% took no side in the conflict;
and 18% were undecided. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

REDUCED ROLE FOR CHURKIN? Statements from Moscow that Russian
Deputy Foreign Minister and special envoy to the former Yugoslavia
Vitalii Churkin will be replaced as Russian representative on a
working group discussing the conflict in Bosnia have raised rumors
that Churkins previously high-profile role in the Bosnian
negotiations is being reduced. Balkan expert Aleksei Nikiforov is
to serve as Russias representative in the working group.
Kommersant-Daily on 28 April speculated that Churkin may now be
paying for earlier criticism of the Bosnian Serbs and noted rumors
of his alleged differences with Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev.
Interfax of 28 April quoted Foreign Ministry spokesmen as saying
that henceforth Churkin will continue to serve as the presidents
special envoy to the former Yugoslavia, but that his presence will
be reduced and he will only be sent into the negotiations at
crucial junctures. Meanwhile, the same Interfax report quoted
presidential aide Dmitrii Ryurikov as denying reports that the
recent bloodshed in Gorazde signified a defeat for Russian foreign
policy. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV IN BONN TO DISCUSS BOSNIA POLICY. German Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel characterized in very positive terms three hours of
talks with Kozyrev that took place in Bonn on 28 April. According
to DPA, Kozyrev, arriving in Bonn following visits to Geneva and
Paris, presented plans for a major conference of foreign ministers
on Bosnia and emphasized Moscows readiness to cooperate on the
basis of partnership. In his own remarks, Kinkel expressed the
hope that the conference would be held in the near future. He also
said that Russia must continue to be involved in the peace efforts
and exert its influence on the Serbian side. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL,
Inc.

OFFICIAL ON POTENTIAL RUSSIAN REFUGEES. Foreign Ministry spokesman
Grigorii Karasin warned on 28 April that some six million refugees
and displaced persons could flood into Russia in the next two or
three years if, in his view, the situation for ethnic Russians
living in neighboring states does not change for the better.
According to Interfax, 150,000 out of 25 million ethnic Russians
living in these states had received Russian citizenship; Karasin
complained that tough and soft squeezing have already compelled
some two million to move to Russia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE OPTIMISM ON RUSSIAS NATO PARTICIPATION. Speaking to reporters
on 28 April, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Sergio Balanzino said
that Moscow was now emitting positive signals on its willingness
to sign onto the NATO Partnership for Peace program. Reuters
quoted Balanzino as saying that we hope that by summer we will
have another flag to add...namely the Russian flag. Balanzino,
whose optimistic remarks echoed those made a day earlier by
British Field Marshal Sir Richard Vincent, was speaking, AFP
reported, at the official opening of a coordination unit for the
partnership at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe
(SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

GROWING TRADE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND CHINA. According to a spokesman
for Russias Foreign Economic Relations Ministry, the total trade
turnover between Russia and China in 1993 amounted to $7.7
billion, an increase of 27.3% over the 1992 total, and was
expected to double by the year 2000, making China Russias major
trading partner, the Journal of Commerce reported on 28 April. The
ministry spokesman said that last years figure does not include
illegal trade conducted by private commercial travelers from both
countries, which the ministry estimated at 25% of the official
figure. More than 80% of the total trade is conducted between the
border regions of the two countries, the report said, with the
main impediment to increased trade volume being the low capacity
of the two existing railway crossings on the border. It added that
this year Russia will deliver to China some $290 million worth of
goods as payment for credit extended by Beijing in 1990; a
significant portion of the goods is believed to be military
equipment. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE SUPPORT FOR THE DEFENSE LOBBY. The chairman of the State
Dumas Defense Committee, Aleksandr Piskunov, has proposed an
increase in defense expenditure in 1994 from 37.1 trillion to 55
trillion rubles, Interfax reported on 28 April. Piskunov also
heads a working group for what is described as the classified part
of the governments draft budget that includes defense expenditure.
His interview conveyed the impression that the defense industry
has continued to produce and deliver military hardware far beyond
the scale authorized in the defense allocation in the draft
budget. Thus, during the first quarter of 1994, the debt of the
Defense Ministry to the defense industry was said to have grown
from 2.1 trillion to 4.7 trillion rubles. The speaker of the State
Duma, Ivan Rybkin, has urged President Yeltsin to discuss the
defense budget at the next session of the Security Council. Keith
Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

REPAYMENT OF FOREIGN DEBT IN 1994. According to the State Dumas
Committee on Budget, Taxes, and Finances, the Russian government
intends to repay $4.7 billion out of a total amount of $32 billion
due this year in principal and interest on its foreign
indebtedness, Interfax reported on 28 April. The total foreign
debt outstanding at the beginning of 1994 was put at over $80
billion: this figure excludes debt to East European countries and
commercial arrears. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

KARABAKH ARMENIANS ACCEPT CEASE-FIRE PROPOSAL. On 28 April the
Karabakh Armenian authorities agreed to the Russian proposal for a
cease-fire in the region of the Karabakh conflict, in accordance
with the agreement signed in Moscow on 18 February between the
defense ministers of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and
Nagorno-Karabakh, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported. The cease-fire
will take effect as of 00:01 hours on 29 April. Meanwhile a CSCE
delegation traveling in southwest Azerbaijan was subjected to
artillery fire by Armenian armed formations, but no casualties
were reported. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  CENTRAL ASIA AND TRANSCAUCASIA

MITTERRAND IN TURKMENISTAN. On 28 April, the second day of his
state visit to Turkmenistan, French President Francois Mitterrand
signed a treaty on friendship and cooperation with his host,
Saparmurad Niyazov, ITAR-TASS reported. Interfax quoted Mitterrand
as stating that France would grant Turkmenistan a credit of FF220
million for unspecified economic projects, and expressed interest
in greater cooperation in the oil and gas extraction industries,
aviation and agriculture. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER PROPOSES COMMON CIS CURRENCY. In a letter
to CIS government heads, Armenian Premier Hrant Bagratyan has
reiterated a proposal made at the CIS Moscow summit earlier this
month on the introduction of a common CIS currency, to be used
parallel with national currencies, in order to simplify financial
transactions between CIS member states, Interfax reported on 28
April. Bagratyan argued that such a currency would help stabilize
local currencies and block the growth of CIS member states debts
to Russia. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

US CONCERNED ABOUT MOVEMENT OF SERB WEAPONS. Reuters reports on 29
April from Jerusalem, where it is covering Secretary of State
Warren Christophers visit, that a senior US official expressed
concern that the Serbs are moving military equipment from Gorazde
and elsewhere to the narrow corridor they hold around Brcko. That
region is not a UN-declared safe area, but the official added that
theres a great deal of concern about movements toward Brcko and
thats something thats actively under review both in Brussels and
at the UN. Meanwhile in Washington, Congress voted on 28 April to
pass a non-binding resolution calling on President Bill Clinton to
lift the arms embargo on the Bosnian government to enable its
forces to defend themselves, international media said. In Oslo,
negotiator Thorwald Stoltenberg told Reuters that he sees the
present dividing line in Sarajevo and possibly all of Bosnia as
well turning into a de facto partition line on the model of Cyprus
and Lebanon. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBS CONTINUE TO HOLD PART OF GORAZDE. The New York Times reports
on 29 April that Serbian forces remain in the southern Gorazde
area of Zupcici, even though they are supposed to have withdrawn
under NATOs ultimatum. The Serbs say they must remain to protect
recently settled Serbian civilians. In Sarajevo, international
media said that the new contact group of Western and Russian
diplomats are continuing talks on possible resumption of peace
negotiations. They met on 28 April with UN commander Gen. Sir
Michael Rose, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, and Prime
Minister Haris Silajdzic. Meanwhile, CNN showed footage of Rose
and Silajdzic having a less than comfortable chat of their own.
The general was trying to smooth the ruffled feathers of the
Bosnian authorities following his remarks to British troops to the
effect that Bosnian forces had run at Gorazde and expected the
British to fight the Serbs for them. Rose apparently did not know
that the remarks would be publicly circulated on a video, but, in
any event, claimed in Sarajevo that his words were taken out of
context. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

HELMUT SCHMIDT OFFERS ADVICE ON BOSNIA. In the 29 April issue of
Die Zeit, former German Chancellor Schmidt says that there are
basically only three models for dealing with the Bosnian conflict.
One involves imposing a lasting peace and would require at least
100,000 soldiers, while the second option would focus on calming
and containing problems on a case-by-case basis, as the European
governments did up to the time of the First World War. This
approach would, however, necessitate concepts and leadership . . .
[both of which] are missing in the West. The third possibility is
that of letting things go on as they will, but that obviously has
little to do with morality and human rights. Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CHETNIKS TO REORGANIZE, JOVANOVIC INTERVIEWED. On 29 April Borba
reports that the Serbian Chetnik Movement, the organization
implicated in paramilitary activities and ethnic cleansing
campaigns throughout former Yugoslavia, will redefine its
relationship to ultranationalist Vojislav Seseljs Serbian Radical
Party (SRS). According to the report, the Chetnik organization
will be formally disbanded, with its membership being integrated
directly into the SRS. In other news, Borba of 29 April continues
its coverage of Belgrades ongoing media crackdown and publishes a
list of the names of the foreign journalists who have been banned.
Finally, on 29 April the Washington Post reports on rump Yugoslav
Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovanovics recent remarks about peace
prospects in former Yugoslavia. According to the report,
Jovanovic, and by implication the Serbian and rump Yugoslav
governments, would accept the creation of a larger state that
would incorporate both Croatia and Serbia. Nevertheless, Jovanovic
stressed that an easing of sanctions against rump Yugoslavia would
be a necessary precondition for an end to fighting in Bosnia. Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

NO PROGRESS IN GREEK-MACEDONIAN DISPUTE. Despite the ongoing
efforts of UN mediator Cyrus Vance and US envoy Matthew Nimetz, no
progress has been reported in reaching an agreement between Greece
and the Republic of Macedonia. According to Nova Makedonija and
MIC, Greece is not prepared to lift the trade embargo unless
Macedonia pledges to drop the Star of Vergina from its flag and
officially disavows purported territorial aspirations which Athens
claims are contained in the Macedonian constitution. Greece is
willing to postpone the resolution of the controversy around
Macedonias name. Macedonia prefers not to put this matter off and
seems unprepared to change its flag at this time. The negotiators
are nevertheless hoping to forge a preliminary agreement wherein
both sides make concessions. UN Secretary Boutros Boutros Ghali
was scheduled to meet separately with Greek Prime Minister Andreas
Papandreou and Macedonian Foreign Minister Stevo Crvenkovski in
New York on 28 April but no reports concerning the outcome have
been received. Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT TO DECIDE ON US OVERFLIGHT REQUEST. On 28
April the government decided to refer to the National Assembly a
request of the US Embassy in Sofia for air passage of 10 F-16
fighter planes over Bulgarian territory. Government spokesman
Raycho Raykov told BTA that the Defense Ministry and the General
Staff had suggested approval of the request, while the Transport,
Interior and Foreign ministries advised the government to refer
the issue to parliament. Raykov also revealed that the request had
been submitted on 11 April and that the overflight had originally
been scheduled for 28 and 29 April. The National Assembly,
however, is to take a recess until 11 May. Two weeks earlier, a
request to transit military equipment to United Nations peace
keepers in Macedonia prompted heated parliamentary debates, with
the Bulgarian Socialist Party saying that Sofia in effect was
abandoning its policy of non-interference in the Balkan conflict.
Much of the current controversies have centered around whether the
transit of military equipment or fighter planes--in this case
without munitions--can be regarded as foreign troops and
consequently, in accordance with the 1991 constitution, need
approval by parliament. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLIDARITY STRIKES. Solidarity claimed that 1,500 workplaces
answered the unions national protest call on 28 April, Polish TV
reports. Most plants held four-hour warning strikes. Government
sources said that 10,685 miners in 17 hard-coal mines had joined
the 4 brown-coal mines already on strike. More protests are
expected on 29 April. Warsaw Solidarity leader Maciej Jankowski
addressed a small demonstration outside the Sejm, charging that
Poland is not a country of social justice or respect for the law,
which means that it is not truly democratic. Several
non-Solidarity mining unions condemned the strikes as harmful and
political. Industry Minister Marek Pol negotiated with striking
miners for 15 hours in Konin on 28 April. Talks were suspended
when the unions demanded that the government pledge to implement
the pact on state firms by a specific date; the talks resume on 29
April. The unions resolved to supply enough coal to power plants
to produce one-third the normal electricity until 2:00 p.m. on 29
April. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

GOVERNMENT RECOMMENDS TALKS. Solidaritys ultimatum for a timetable
outlining the governments plans to satisfy union demands went
unanswered. Labor Minister Leszek Miller argued in the Senate on
28 April that Solidarity had abandoned talks and launched strikes
because it had lost the privileged position it enjoyed under past
governments. Negotiations are not as spectacular as strikes and
demonstrations, Miller said. He expects Solidarity to submit its
demands at a meeting of the tripartite socio-economic commission
on 29 April. The government cannot permit excessive inflation, he
stressed. Deputy Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz told
reporters that the government will not yield to union demands
phrased as a dictate. President Lech Walesa urged the government
to act swiftly. In general I oppose strikes, the president said.
Although Ive been in many strikes, that was only when there was no
other way to solve problems. Prime Minister Pawlak made the
oblique comment that many problems can be solved on the condition
that many people, including unions and workers, show
responsibility. Speaking for the Church, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek
cautioned that strikes are a last weapon to be used only in truly
exceptional situations. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE DELAY ON POLISH WAGE CONTROLS. Despite pleas from the finance
ministry, the Senate opted not to consider wage control
legislation on 28 April. This legislation, approved by the Sejm on
22 April, is designed to replace the excess wages tax that expired
on 1 April. President Lech Walesa vetoed an earlier version of the
bill. The Senate attributed the postponement to procedural
problems, but pressure from Solidarity seemed to be the real
explanation, as one of the demands of the current strikes is
complete wage freedom. The Senates failure to take up the bill
effectively postpones reimposition of wage controls until 1 June,
at the earliest. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak has argued that
excessive wage growth is not a threat, but Deputy Finance Minister
Ryszard Pazura told a Senate commission on 27 April that he is
alarmed at the current rate of wage growth. Central Planning chief
Miroslaw Pietrewicz echoed this concern on 28 April, warning that
industrial surveys indicate that wage growth is very serious. Lack
of wage controls could extinguish economic growth, he said.
Grzegorz Kolodko, the economist who will be named finance minister
and deputy prime minister on 29 April, told reporters he
identifies with the governments stance on strikes and wage
controls. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN EXTREMISTS REESTABLISH HUNGARIST MOVEMENT . . . The
leaders of World National Popular Rule Party, the Hungarian
National Front, and the Alliance of the Victims of Communism,
Albert Szabo, Istvan Gyorkos, and Kemal Ekrem, reestablished on 12
April the Hungarist Movement, according to Nepszava of 28 April.
The leaders told a press conference on 27 April that they
identified themselves at least partially with the Arrow Cross
Party of Ferenc Szalasi the spiritual leader of the Hungarist
Movement who led a reign of terror when his party was put to power
by the German occupiers in 1944. Gyorkos said that the movement
was needed because of the strengthening of left-wing parties and
because the current parties did not represent Hungarian interests.
He denied that the Hungarist Movement had been responsible for the
Holocaust in Hungary and expressed doubts that 600,000 Hungarian
Jews had perished. Gyorkos accused Jews of trying to discredit
Hungary at home and abroad. The Hungarist leaders stressed that
the Hungarist Movement...considers itself an operating
organization irrespective of any court registry decision. Edith
Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . AND ARE CONDEMNED AND ARRESTED. Prime Minister Peter Boross
and the presidium of the Hungarian Democratic Forum condemned the
Hungarist movement. Boross stated that organizations [whose
policies had led to] a national tragedy have no place in Hungarian
public life, MTI reported on 28 April. Hungarian Justice and Life
Party co-chairman Istvan Csurka called statements of support for
his party by Hungarist leaders a provocation, and a dirty
political trick orchestrated by political forces who were
interested in portraying his party as an extremist organization.
He stressed that the HJLP had no ties whatsoever to the Hungarist
groups. MTI reported on 29 April that police had taken Szabo and
Gyorkos into custody and that proceedings have been initiated
against them for inciting against the community. Edith Oltay,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PM COMMENTS ON SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS. Slovak Prime
Minister Josef Moravcik said that Slovakia and Hungary must
resolve their disputes over border and minority issues to ensure
future membership in the European Union, Reuters reported on 28
April. Moravcik said that a Slovak-Hungarian border treaty was
important for stability in Central Europe and would increase the
credibility of the two countries as they pursue EU membership.
Hungary formally applied for full EU membership last month and
Slovakia intends to follow suit later this year after its
associate EU membership has been ratified. Slovakia and Hungary
have argued over the status of minorities in their respective
countries as well as over other issues, including the
controversial Gabcikovo-Nagymaros dam for several years. Jan
Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

NO EASTER VISIT FOR KING MICHAEL. Western agencies reported on 28
April that the Romanian authorities have blocked plans by Romanias
exiled former monarch to spend the Orthodox Easter in the town of
Timisoara. George Antoniade, an aide to King Michael, said the
talks with the authorities on the kings private visit had
collapsed because the king could not accept Bucharests demand that
he drop Timisoara (where the 1989 uprising began) and visit
elsewhere in Romania, as a guest of the government. Radio
Bucharest quoted Antoniade as saying at a press conference that
the organization and the program of the visit were becoming more
and more restrictive. Earlier, the radio broadcast a communique of
the government, according to which King Michael had agreed to the
private character of the visit, as well as to state that he had no
intention to contest the existing constitutional order in the
country. The government said that it had proposed in a gesture of
goodwill to guarantee the good organization and unfolding of the
visit and expressed regret that the authorities openness for
dialogue was not reciprocated. Bucharest had also offered a
special aircraft to fly Michael to Romania but Antoniade said he
refused to use that costly privilege . . . while the Romanian
people live in dire economic and financial straits. Michael
Shafir., RFE/RL, Inc.

DEPUTIES BACK KEBICHS PRESIDENTIAL BID. On the first day of the
extraordinary session of the Belarusian Supreme Soviet Prime
Minister Vyachelsau Kebich received enough signatures from
parliamentary deputies to support his bid for the presidency,
Belarusian radio reported on 27 April. 70 deputies signatures are
required for a nominee to be placed on the presidential slate or
100,000 Belarusian citizens signatures. Two other nominees
attempting to collect signatures in parliament are the leader of
the Party of Peoples Accord, Henadz Karpenka, and the BPF
opposition leader, Zyanon Paznyak. Paznyak has almost no chance of
gathering enough signatures in parliament since opposition
deputies hold only 10% of parliaments seats. Opposition groups had
been critical of the electoral law since they saw it as favoring
the candidacy of Kebich, practically the only nominee who was
assured sufficient parliamentary support so that he would not have
to pursue a signature campaign. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEPUTIES CALL FOR POSTPONEMENT OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN
UKRAINE. On 27 April UNIAN reported that a group of newly elected
parliamentary deputies have been gathering signatures in support
of a motion to postpone the 26 June presidential elections. So far
they have collected around 130 signatures, representing roughly
one-third of the deputies. According to UNIAN, since President
Leonid Kravchuk asked parliament to postpone the elections until a
constitution is passed and presidential powers delineated, support
for the motion has increased. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENTS TO MEET THIS WEEKEND. Western and
Latvian media reported on 28 April and 29 April that a meeting
between the Russian and Latvian presidents will take place in
Moscow on 30 April. It is expected that accords on the withdrawal
of Russian troops will be signed by Boris Yeltsin and Guntis
Ulmanis, since the Russian and Latvian experts meeting in Jurmala
had finished work on the four documents on 28 April. Meanwhile
Sweden has pledged $ 1 million to help dismantle the Russian radar
station at Skrunda and US specialists have outlined programs for
the construction of housing in Russia for the Russian troops
leaving Latvia, BNS reported. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN-US TRADE TREATY SIGNED. Lithuanian Foreign Minister
Povilas Gylys signed a treaty with the United States on trade
relations and the protection of intellectual property. The accords
also confer the most favored nation trade status for both
countries, BNS reported on 28 April. While in Washington, Gylys
met with several US officials, including Nichol Burns of the
National Security Council; they discussed security issues of the
Baltic region. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Ustina Markus & Edith Oltay
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