|We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome|
No. 83, 2 May 1994
RUSSIA INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT PLUNGES IN FIRST QUARTER. The Ministry of Economics has released final data on the slump in industrial output during the first quarter of 1994, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 April. Not only was the quarterly drop the highest since the outset of the Yeltsin administration, but the decline was accelerating. When compared with the corresponding months of 1993, industrial production was lower by 23.1% in January; 24.1% in February; and 27.4% in March. Machine-building appears to have been the hardest hit, with output in March down by 44%. It will be recalled that the draft budget for 1994 is predicated on a drop in GDP of 8%. Government spokesmen have called for increased state support for endangered sectors of industry--which will presumably add to the budget deficit. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. AGRICULTURAL MACHINE-BUILDERS CALL FOR HELP. The leaders of more than 40 major agricultural machine-building enterprises have published an open letter to President Yeltsin calling for help, Interfax reported on 29 April. The letter claimed that tractor production was down by 81% during the first quarter of 1994, compared with the same period of 1993, and that output of some other equipment has dropped even more sharply. They requested credits of 250 billion rubles to tide them over until other organizations paid arrears due; a freeze on fuel prices for two years; and higher customs duties on imported agricultural machinery. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW DIRECTIVE ON RUSSIAN BASES ABROAD. Rossiiskaya gazeta on 29 April published the text of a directive, signed by Boris Yeltsin on 10 April, that orders the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries to continue work on the establishment through bilateral agreements of military bases or military facilities on the territory of other CIS states. According to an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow, unnamed Foreign Ministry personnel suggested that the directive is part of a plan aimed at allowing Russia to form a "zone of stability" on its borders and to protect more effectively Russia's interests in the "near abroad." A similar directive published on 7 April caused an outcry when Latvia was among the nations listed as a possible site for a Russian military base. Russian authorities claimed at the time that the reference to Latvia was an error, and possibly a deliberate provocation, and said that the issuing of the document would be investigated. RFE/RL's Moscow correspondent reports that no results of the investigation have been public. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CHURKIN ON BOSNIA. Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin arrived in Oslo on 28 April and held talks the next day with Norwegian Foreign Minister Bjorn Tore Godal on ways to settle the Bosnian crisis. Churkin also met with the co-chairmen of the Coordinating Committee of the International Conference on Former Yugoslavia, Thorvald Stoltenberg and Lord Owen, to discuss Russia's plan to hold a ministerial, and possibly a summit, meeting on the Bosnia crisis with Russia, the European Union, the United States, and perhaps the UN in attendance, ITAR-TASS reported. (The warring parties would not be invited to attend the meeting.) Meanwhile, a delegation from the Russian State Duma which recently returned from a visit to the former Yugoslavia said that sanctions against rump Yugoslavia must be lifted as soon as an agreement on a ceasefire comes into effect. In a statement issued on 29 April, the parliamentary group also said that the arms embargo would need to remain in place, Interfax reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. KOZYREV ON BOSNIA SETTLEMENT, POLITICS. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said in an interview published in the 30 April edition of Segodnya that Russia considers a joint approach by the European Union, the United States, and Russia to be the best way to solve the Bosnian crisis. He expressed satisfaction that the Western countries had "not become locked into forcible positions," and reiterated his support for both a ministerial meeting and summit meeting on Bosnia. Kozyrev also spoke on the question of his shift in foreign policy views. He explained that as a democrat he felt constrained to take into account public opinion on foreign policy matters. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. MAY DAY DEMONSTRATIONS IN MOSCOW. More than 10,000 people demonstrated in Moscow on 1 May, demanding changes in government policy and President Yeltsin's ouster, the Russian media reported. The demonstration, which transpired peacefully, was organized by the Russian Communist Party and the trade unions. (Last year, a May Day demonstration in Moscow resulted in violent clashes between demonstrators and the police.) Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. COMMENTS ON THE CIVIC ACCORD. Members of the government and leaders of the majority of political parties in Russia praised the signing on 28 April of the Civic Accord as a means of stabilizing Russian society. The leader of the Republican Party, Vladimir Lysenko, signed the accord, despite his membership in the YABLOKO parliamentary faction whose leadership dismissed the accord as meaningless. In contrast, the recently created opposition movement Accord for Russia held a press conference on 29 April during which it criticized the document for not specifying concrete ways of getting Russia out of its economic crisis. The press conference was organized by long-standing critics of Yeltsin and his policies, including Communist leader Gennadii Zyuganov, according to Ostankino TV's "Novosti" news program. The press conference was also attended by two members of the Democratic Party of Russia, Stanislav Govorukhin and Sergei Glazev, who criticized the accord despite the fact that the Democratic Party's leadership had signed it. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. RUTSKOI TO SET UP NEW MOVEMENT. Former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi told Independent TV on 1 May that he plans to create a "social patriotic movement" where he will exercise "iron discipline" and not allow any dissent. He remarked that with the movement's help he wants to "come to power." He further stated that the Civic Accord signed on 28 April in the Kremlin was no more than a deal between President Boris Yeltsin's allies--Rutskoi had not been invited to the signing ceremony. Rutskoi also said that he is writing a book entitled The Crash of the Empire in which he intends to reveal compromising information about many of Yeltsin's current aides. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. DISSATISFACTION OVER PLANS FOR WITHDRAWAL FROM GERMANY. The commander of Russian military forces in the former East Germany, General Matvei Burlakov, has called for a joint ceremony to mark the withdrawal of Russian and Western troops from Germany and has criticized Bonn for scheduling separate ceremonies. According to AFP on 29 April, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has proposed that the final withdrawal of Russian troops be marked on 31 August while a separate ceremony for the troops of the Western allies, to be attended by the leaders of the United Kingdom, France, and the US, would be held on 8 September. Reuters reported on 29 April that, according to Burlakov, Boris Yeltsin intends to press personally for a joint ceremony during a visit to Bonn in May (to mark the withdrawal of foreign forces from Berlin) and during the July meeting of the G-7. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA, SOUTH KOREA SIGN DEFENSE MEMORANDUM. The Defense Ministers of South Korea and Russia, Rhee Byoung-tae and Pavel Grachev, respectively, on 29 April signed a "memorandum of understanding on bilateral military exchanges" that will promote contacts between military personnel of the two countries, international press agencies reported. As part of the agreement, Russian General Staff Chief Mikhail Kolesnikov will visit South Korea later this year. During the talks in Moscow, Grachev reportedly expressed concern over North Korea's nuclear development program and, according to Reuters, said that Russia was ready for "full-scale military cooperation" with Seoul, a position that was later repeated by Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev during his own talks with Rhee. According to ITAR-TASS, Grachev also presented Rhee with what was described as a new proposal for the creation of a collective security system in the Asian-Pacific region. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TAJIK OPPOSITION GRABS UZBEK MILITARY PLANE. Tajik opposition fighters seized an Uzbek military plane at the Khorog airport in Gorno-Badakhshan on 1 May and carried off its cargo, which Uzbekistan's Ministry of Defense said consisted of "humanitarian aid," ITAR-TASS reported. The seizure was reported to have been carried out by a group calling itself the Tajik Self-Defense Forces. Sympathy for the Tajik Islamic opposition has been strong in Badakhshan; according to ITAR-TASS, military sources in Dushanbe suggested that opposition groups in Badakhshan may have established contacts with "certain forces," presumably with similar orientation, in Uzbekistan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CSCE READY TO MONITOR KARABAKH CEASEFIRE. Fighting continued in the Karabakh region on 29 April, adding to tens of thousands of refugees from Azerbaijani territory northeast of Karabakh, Reuters reported. Russian special mediator Vladimir Kazimirov told Interfax that the ceasefire planned for 29 April failed to take effect because the Karabakh Armenians gave their assent to a proposal made by Russian Defense Minister Grachev in February, which envisaged disengagement of the warring sides and creation of a security zone, whereas last week's proposal was merely for a ceasefire. Meanwhile a CSCE delegation traveled from Baku to Stepanakert for talks with the Armenian authorities on 30 April on enforcing an eventual ceasefire and a political settlement to the conflict; Interfax quoted a CSCE spokesman as stating that the CSCE could have observers in place within three days of conclusion of a long-term ceasefire. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. ALIEV FIRES INTERIOR MINISTER, PRESS SECRETARY. Azerbaijan President Geidar Aliev fired Interior Minister Vagif Novruzov on 29 April, reportedly for condoning corruption and "political activities" within the ministry, and replaced him with Ramiz Usubov, former police chief in Aliev's home base of Nakhichevan, Reuters reported. On 1 May, Aliev fired his press service chief Tofig Abasov, a protege of former secretary of state Lala-Shovket Gadzhieva, for incompetence, according to Interfax. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CONFUSION OVER GYANDZHA COUP TRIAL. The trial of a group of former Azerbaijani security officials accused of instigating the attack in early June 1993 on the Gyandzha headquarters of rebel colonel Suret Huseinov that culminated in the ouster of President Abulfaz Elchibey, failed to open as scheduled on 29 April, apparently because Azerbaijani Popular Front supporters blocked the courtroom and demanded the release of the accused, Interfax reported. On 30 April the men were released on bail. The trial of several other members of Elchibey's leadership, including former parliament speaker Isa Gambar, is to resume on 2 May. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. GEORGIAN OPPOSITION THREATENS "REVOLUTION." Opposition deputies in the Georgian parliament, including radical Irakli Tsereteli, have called for new parliamentary elections in Georgia on the grounds that "there is no longer any link between the parliament and the people," Interfax reported. Over the past four months, the parliament has passed only three laws; incidents of physical violence between deputies have been reported. Tsereteli, who was prominent in opposition demonstrations against the Gamsakhurdia leadership in September-October, 1991, threatened a revolution if the situation fails to improve. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE DANES BLAST SERB POSITIONS. International media reported on 2 May that Danish UNPROFOR forces near Tuzla shot 72 rounds from state-of-the-art Leopard tanks at Serb forces during the night of 29-30 April, killing nine. The Serbs had reportedly provoked the Danes by firing four anti-tank missiles, which had come close to the Leopards and which a UN spokesman said "did not miss their targets deliberately. These are not toys," AFP reported on 1 May. The BBC added that the Serbs threatened reprisals, warning the Danes that "we know where you sleep." Media sources agreed that it was one of the toughest UN responses to attack during the Bosnian conflict, and the BBC quoted UN officials as saying that "the Serbs got what they deserved." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. UN WARNS AGAIN OF BUILDUP NEAR BRCKO. News agencies on 30 April quoted UN spokesmen as saying that Serb forces continued to group around Brcko to expand their corridor linking Serbia with its conquests in Bosnia and Croatia, while Muslim forces also arrived in apparent hopes of cutting that same land bridge. Newsday on 1 May quoted the mayor of Gorazde as rejecting a UN plan for the town, saying it would simply solidify the gains the Serbs had recently gotten by force. AFP that same day reported from Mostar that two American journalists had been killed by a mine and a third wounded. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. IZETBEGOVIC WANTS A TRULY REGIONAL SETTLEMENT . . . RFE/RL's Balkan Service on 29 April quoted Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic as saying that any treatment of the Bosnian crisis must take into account all problems in the region. These include Serb threats to Croatia, Slavonia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and especially Sandzak, he added. The Service also noted that Kosovo Albanian President Ibrahim Rugova told reporters that the Albanians expect to have contact with international mediators dealing with Bosnia, and that Serbian police harassed a group of Albanian students in Kosovska Mitrovica for listening to a popular song, "Sarajevo, my love." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . AND URGES TUDJMAN TO COME TO SARAJEVO. Meanwhile in the Bosnian capital itself, Izetbegovic on 30 April wrote to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman that time had come to speed up the federation process between Muslims and Croats before "adversaries" could "torpedo" it. Izetbegovic outlined key issues, such as maps and leaderships for the proposed cantons. The Balkan Service also noted on 1 May that the Muslims have drawn up a list of concerns, including treatment of Muslims and mosques in the Livno area as well as the behavior of Croatian hard-liners in Herzegovina, such as Defense Minister Gojko Susak. Finally, Reuters reported that Croatia has agreed to back Bosnian calls for the lifting of an arms embargo against that republic. Croatia had formerly been Bosnia's main arms supplier, but deliveries were reduced to a smuggled trickle after the Croat-Muslim conflict broke out a year ago. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW OPPOSITION PARTY FORMALLY LAUNCHED IN CROATIA. International media reported on 30 April that about 200 left-of-center dissidents from the ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) officially set up the Croatian Independent Democrats (HND) at a meeting in Zagreb. The president of the new organization is lower house speaker Stipe Mesic, while his upper house counterpart Josip Manolic is his vice president. They blasted Tudjman for authoritarianism and a catastrophic and even criminal policy in waging war with the Muslims, and hit out against corruption and war profiteering. They also slammed the treatment of the HND by the media that are close to the HDZ. They welcomed all democratically-minded HDZ members to join them, and called for cooperation with "all democratic parties," Vecernji list reports on 2 May. Elsewhere on the opposition front, Vjesnik on 2 May reports that right-wing politicians from the Croatian Party of [Historic] Rights (HSP) were attacked with hammers in the Herzegovinian town of Siroki Brijeg. The HDZ has long regarded the HSP as a threat from the right and has hounded its leaders. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. ARKAN ATTACKS ALBANIANS. According to a 30 April Reuters report, citing Borba, the accused war criminal and ultranationalist Serbian leader Zeljko Raznatovic, alias Arkan, once again denounced ethnic Albanians living in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Arkan reportedly alleged that thousands of illegal immigrants have flooded into Kosovo from Albania, and they, along with Kosovar leader Ibrahim Rugova ought to be deported. Arkan emphasized that some 700,000 must be returned to Albania, and that only those who regard themselves as "loyal citizens of Serbia" should be permitted to stay. In other news, on 1 May three rump Yugoslav ships reportedly interfered with the activities of European military vessels in the Adriatic after NATO officials boarded a Maltese-registered tanker attempting to break sanctions imposed on the rump Yugoslavia. The tanker, heading towards the Montenegrin coast, was carrying an estimated 45, 000 tons of fuel oil. The incident ended peacefully, with the apprehended tanker being towed to an Italian port and the three rump Yugoslav vessels leaving the scene following the arrival of Italian aircraft. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. BERISHA IN BULGARIA. In the first official visit of an Albanian President in 40 years, Sali Berisha spent 27 through 29 April in Bulgaria. Agencies reported that two accords on the protection of investments and economic and trade cooperation were signed, and that Berisha's meetings with Bulgarian officials dealt with bilateral ties and the conflicts in the Balkans. Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev pointed out at a press conference that the Albanian state is the key to maintaining peace on the peninsula. Zhelev also said that he did not agree with Berisha on the usefulness of sending Turkish peace keepers to Bosnia as Turkey could become a party to a possible broader conflict. Zhelev added that both Sofia and Tirana view the continued stability of Macedonia as crucial. Berisha pointed out, however, that the Macedonian leadership must guarantee and enhance the rights of the Albanian community there. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. GREEK-ALBANIAN RELIGIOUS ROW. A religious row erupted between Greece and Albania on 30 April, with Athens accusing its northwestern neighbor of barring Orthodox believers from celebrating Easter in public. Agencies quoted Albanian officials as confirming that a Good Friday procession in Tirana had been canceled but that the measure was exclusively motivated by concerns about traffic disruption. In addition, the Albanian Foreign Ministry issued a statement warning that any attempt on the part of Greece to speak in the name of the Orthodox religious community would be regarded as interference into Albania's internal affairs. The incident first prompted Athens to cancel a scheduled meeting between Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias and his Albanian counterpart Alfred Serreqi on 3 May, at which they were to discuss the killing of two Albanian border guards by Greek terrorists on 10 April. However, on 1 May Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou told a private Greek radio station that, since the Albanian authorities allowed Easter mass to be held in public on 30 April, the meeting would probably take place. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ACCORDS SIGNED ON RUSSIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM LATVIA. On 30 April the Russian and Latvian presidents as well as prime ministers signed an accord stipulating the pullout of Russian troops--Russian media speak of about 12,000 soldiers, while Latvian estimates tend to be lower--from Latvia by 31 August 1994. As President Guntis Ulmanis told Latvian TV on 29 April, the Latvian side wanted to have President Boris Yeltsin's signature on that document, even if this and related accords did not require the signatures of the heads of state. Three other accords and a protocol were signed by Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs and Russian Deputy Premier Oleg Soskovets; they dealt with Russia's maintenance of the radar at Skrunda for several more years, social guarantees for Russian military retirees in Latvia, and related issues. All of the agreements--the full texts have not yet become available--must be ratified by the Latvian and Russian parliaments. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN CONDEMNS STALINIST CRIMES AGAINST LATVIA. While meeting with his Latvian counterpart on 30 April, the Russian president addressed the issue of Stalinist crimes committed against Latvians, saying that "we condemn these acts against the autonomy of the Republic of Latvia." Ulmanis thanked Yeltsin and said that these words would help many people in Latvia to overcome the psychological and other barriers between the two countries. The two leaders also discussed ten economic accords, including the granting of most-favored nation status for purposes of trade; these accords could be signed when Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin visits Latvia later this month. Yeltsin also told the press that Russia does not have any military interests in Estonia; he added that Russia intends to pullout out its troops but that the proper legal accords are needed, Russian and Western media reported on 30 April and 1 May. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN SAYS RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA ARE "COLD". Reacting to accusations of the Party of Civic Alliance, according to which President Ion Iliescu betrayed Romanian national interests by intensifying relations with Russia, presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu said that these relations can "at best be defined as cold," Radio Bucharest reported on 29 April. Chebeleu added that there are "no perspectives" for a visit by Russian President Yeltsin to Romania "in the near future." On 28 March, Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca and his Russian counterpart Pavel Grachev signed a military cooperation agreement in Bucharest. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. VISEGRAD COUNTRIES TO SPEED UP REMOVAL OF CUSTOMS BARRIERS. The trade ministers of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak republics announced that their countries will speed up the process of removing customs barriers among them, MTI reported. According to a protocol signed on 29 April in Budapest, lower tariffs will go into effect on 1 July, regardless of when the four parliaments will ratify the agreement. Hungary will see its agricultural export tariffs to Poland reduced by 50% and its export quotas expanded. According to the protocol, preferential trade tariffs between the four countries will be achieved by 1998, rather than 2001 as initially planned. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK AND HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTERS MEET. On 1 May, the Slovak and Hungarian prime ministers, Jozef Moravcik and Peter Boross held an unofficial meeting in Komarno and Komarom, MTI reported. The two leaders discussed controversial bilateral issues, such as the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, the Gabcikovo dam and the establishing of new border crossings. At a news conference following the meeting, the two prime ministers announced that they will set up a joint committee which will identify existing bilateral problems between Slovakia and Hungary and set deadlines for dealing with them. Both parties described the meeting as a positive step. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. PAWLAK: STRIKES THREATEN GROWTH. In an address to the Sejm on 29 April, Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak called the current strike wave "economic disorganization" that threatens to undermine healthy economic trends. Pawlak hailed Poland's first-quarter economic results; he took credit for the fact that production is growing at its highest rate in 20 years and inflation is at its lowest level in 7 years. (On taking office, Pawlak had compared the economy to a car speeding toward an abyss.) Acknowledging that the removal of wage controls entails "the real risk of a return of inflation," Pawlak endorsed new wage legislation awaiting approval by the Senate and the president. Pawlak suggested that wage controls could have been lifted had Solidarity not declared its national strike campaign. Solidarity in 1980-81 was "the bearer of our shared dreams," Pawlak noted, "but times have changed and so has Solidarity." Pawlak also complained of media "censorship," apparently in connection with Polish TV's refusal on 27 April to read the full text of an official statement on the strikes. The Sejm accepted Pawlak's report by a vote of 188 to 82, with 14 abstentions. Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski called the address "confrontational." In his first speech to the parliament after being appointed by President Lech Walesa on 29 April, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko denied that the government lacks an economic program. Poland can make an economic leap forward if everyone works rather than strikes, he said. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. COAL STRIKE SUSPENDED . . . Industry Minister Marek Pol and striking brown-coal miners signed an agreement early on 30 April in Konin, PAP reports. The strike was suspended the same day; the miners agreed to provide power plants with enough coal for at least one-and-a-half shifts. The government agreed to offer brown-coal miners improved pension benefits and to forego any strike-related sanctions. The brown-coal strike is formally to end when the government responds to Solidarity's national demands on wage controls, the "pact on state firms," and tax revisions. The tripartite commission (representing unions, the government, and employers) is to discuss these demands on 4 May. Strikes continue at 19 hard-coal, zinc, and lead mines, although miners largely remained at home for the May holidays. Warning strikes and small protests were held in many cities on 29 April, PAP reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . BUT SOLIDARITY SHARPENS PROTESTS. Despite the settlement of the brown-coal strike, Solidarity's national protest committee called for a general strike by all union members on 4-6 May, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski told reporters on 1 May in Kalisz that the only way the government can halt the protest is by providing a timetable that "clearly shows people that issues will be solved once and for all and quickly." Labor Minister Leszek Miller expressed surprise at Solidarity's decision to escalate protests, as the union's representatives had agreed on 29 April to use the tripartite commission as a forum for negotiating their national demands. Miller stressed that Solidarity must negotiate in tandem with Poland's other trade unions. Solidarity's representative at the tripartite commission indicated that continued strikes are seen as a means of forcing the government to the negotiating table. At a rally in Gdansk on 29 April, Gdansk shipyard union leader Jerzy Borowczak told protesters that "August 1980 must be repeated." Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH PARLIAMENT VOTES TO RETURN JEWISH PROPERTY. The Czech parliament amended the restitution law to allow the return of Jewish property that had been seized by the Nazis during World War II. The restitution law previously covered only people whose property was confiscated after the communist putsch in 1948. The amendment applies to individuals, not to Jewish communities. In February, the parliament rejected a law on the return of Jewish property after deputies representing Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party introduced last-minute amendments restricting the scope of restitution--a step opposed by CDP's coalition partners. In March, the government announced it will return property currently possessed by the state, but said it could not return property that has come to the possession of municipalities or has been privatized. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. KRAVCHUK REGISTERED AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. Interfax reported on 29 April that Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk has been registered as a candidate in the 26 June presidential elections. Kravchuk has been calling for a postponement of the elections until a constitution is passed and the division of power between parliament and the president settled. Ukrainian radio reported that the former Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma, has also been registered as a candidate, as has Viktor Pynzenyk, the former economics minister. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ELECTED. The extraordinary 14th session of the Belarusian Supreme Soviet has elected a constitutional court, Belarusian Television reported on 28 April. The court is to have 11 judges each elected for an 11 year term. So far 9 judges have been chosen, three of whom are women. The chief justice of the court is to be proposed by the president and approved by parliament. Until then it will be presided over by the most senior judge, in this case Valeri Tikhinya. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by John Lepingwell and Jan Obrman The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, 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, is available through electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU. This report is also available by postal mail, as are the other publications of the Institute, and by fax. RFE/RL NEWS BRIEFS, an edited compendium of items first published in the Daily Report, is distributed along with the RFE/RL RESEARCH REPORT, a weekly journal providing topical analyses of political, economic and security developments throughout the Institute's area of interest. Longer analyses are available in a monograph series, RFE/RL STUDIES, and brief analytic summaries appear monthly in the RESEARCH BULLETIN. 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