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. 87, 6 May 1994

RUSSIA


FALSIFICATION OF RESULTS OF DECEMBER VOTE ANNOUNCED. A special
team instructed by President Yeltsin to review the results of the
December 1993 parliamentary election and constitutional referendum
has found that turnout for the vote was only 46%, rather than over
50% as claimed by the Central Electoral Commission, Izvestiya
reported on 4 May. Yeltsin set up the team earlier this year to
reexamine the election results following the appearance in the
Russian press of numerous reports alleging fraud in the vote
count. The teams revelation means that the constitutional
referendum failed to pass, since at least half of the eligible
voters had to take part to make its results valid. However, on 5
May, Vladimir Mezhenkov, a spokesman for the presidential
administration, told reporters that the findings of the special
team will lead to neither new parliamentary elections nor a
referendum on the constitution. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN FAULTS CHUBAIS. The first item on the agenda at the
cabinet meeting on 5 May, according to ITAR-TASS and Interfax, was
a sharp ticking off by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin of those
ministries and departments which have not been carrying out
government decrees and decisions. Of 296 instructions, only 156
had been implemented. Heading the list of miscreants were the
State Property Committee and the Ministries of Economics and
Finance. This rebuke to Anatolii Chubais, the deputy prime
minister in charge of privatization, will add grist to the rumor
mill that foresees his ouster shortly after formal voucher
privatization ends on 30 June. Chubais has never been a favorite
colleague of Chernomyrdin, and he has many enemies among
legislators and apparatchiks. The chairman of the State Duma
committee on privatization told Interfax on 5 May that the
parliament may not approve the post-voucher privatization
legislation by 30 June, but Chubais was quoted as retorting that a
duplicate presidential decree would push the procedure through on
time. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW MEASURES TO STEM CAPITAL FLIGHT. Russia plans to introduce new
export certificates for oil, metals, and other goods, and to
deploy extra personnel at customs posts to reduce capital flight,
Reuters reported on 5 May, citing ITAR-TASS. The certificates
would be in addition to special export passports introduced on 1
January and, as the agency noted, will probably add another
bureaucratic hurdle for exporters. The scale of capital flight
from Russia in recent years has been variously estimated at
between $12 billion and $20 billion a year: some observers believe
that it has been greater than the inflow of Western assistance. It
is likely to continue as long as Russians are convinced that
foreign currencies or securities are more likely to store value
better than their own funny money. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

BANKRUPTCY PROMOTED. In an article in Rossiiskaya gazeta of 6 May,
summarized by ITAR-TASS on 5 May, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin
seeks to convince the skeptical majority that bankruptcy can be
good for you. He gently points out that bankruptcy proceedings do
not necessarily lead to the closure of an enterprise and to
driving its workforce onto the street. Chernomyrdins homily is
significant in that deeds and words promoting faster action on
bankruptcy have recently been left to other actors such as
President Yeltsin and economic adviser Aleksandr Livshits (see
Izvestiya and Segodnya of 21 April). That action in this sphere is
overdue is evidenced by the fact that, as of mid-March, bankruptcy
proceedings had been initiated against fewer than 50 industrial
enterprises and none had been forced into liquidation. In the
opinion of the general director of the Federal Bankruptcy Agency,
at least 8,000 enterprises should be declared bankrupt immediately
(see The Economist, 19 March 1994). Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

BUSINESSMEN SIGN CIVIC ACCORD. More than 100 Russian businessmen
and bankers signed the Civic Accord on 5 May, ITAR-TASS reported.
On 28 April 245 leading Russian politicians signed the accord, and
President Yeltsin announced that anyone could sign it later.
Interfax reported that while signing the accord on 5 May,
businessmen and bankers pledged to refrain from unjustified
production stoppages and to deal honorably with employees,
suppliers, and clients. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

SURVEY OF RUSSIAS TOP POLITICIANS. Viktor Chernomyrdin remains the
most influential politician in Russia according to the monthly
opinion survey of experts published by Nezavisimaya gazeta on 5
May. The second most influential politician in April was Boris
Yeltsin, and the third the speaker of the State Duma, Ivan Rybkin.
Moscow mayor Yurii Luzhkovs influence is increasing; he now ranks
fourth. The losers in the survey were the young turks in Russian
politics-Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai, the leader of
Russias Choice Egor Gaidar, and economist Grigorii Yavlinsky.
Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovskys influence has also fallen in
comparison with previous surveys. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

US DEFENSE TEAM PRESSES MOSCOW ON COOPERATION. A high-level US
delegation on 5 May ended two days of talks in Moscow that were
aimed at convincing Russia to pursue a strategic partnership with
the US. According to The Washington Post, US officials proposed a
number of new security ventures, including a joint peacekeeping
exercise to be held in the US which would focus on defending
against a simulated short-range missile attack, and a cooperative
research program on defense systems against short-range missiles.
To convince Moscow of their sincerity, US officials reportedly
presented a CIA briefing on perceived threats from regional powers
such as Iraq, while a US Air Force general detailed the US
short-range missile defense program. Ashton Carter, the head of
the US delegation, was said to have expressed confidence that
US-Russian peacekeeping exercises scheduled to be held in Russia
in July will take place as planned; he also acknowledged that
Russia as a powerful and important country . . . will have a
powerful and important role in [the NATO] Partnership for Peace.
Carter nevertheless rejected giving Russia such explicit status up
front. US officials were reportedly unable to convince Moscow that
the deployment of short-range missile defenses would not violate
the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) treaty, while Russian
participants were equally unsuccessfully in winning US approval
for changes in the CFE (Conventional Forces in Europe) treaty.
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

GENERAL STAFF CHIEF HITS NATO ON CFE. Russian General Staff Chief
Mikhail Kolesnikov said in a 5 May interview published by Segodnya
that Russias talks with NATO on altering CFE sub-limits had
reached an impasse and that NATO officials were deaf as a doorknob
to Moscows requests to deploy more troops in the North Caucasus
military district. According to AFP, Kolesnikov charged that the
treaty restrictions were pushing Russia into a corner and that
pressure on Moscow to comply with the treaty was making talks on
the NATO Partnership for Peace program particularly difficult.
This is not a partnership, Kolesnikov was quoted as saying; he
urged NATO to make one step, even a small one, towards us.
Kolesnikov said that General Staff First Deputy Chief Vladimir
Zhurbenko had held negotiations on this issue with NATO officials
during a recent trip to Brussels. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

GRACHEV TO VISIT NATO. Reuters, quoting the RIA news agency,
reported on 5 May that Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev
plans to visit Brussels on 24 May in order to present Russias
current views on the NATO partnership plan. The report quoted
Grachev as saying that while Russia should join the program, it is
necessary to take into consideration Russias size and might. Our
state is a superpower and one should not make equal all states
which join this concept. Grachev said that the views he would
present to NATO would first be approved by Boris Yeltsin. Stephen
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA TO EXTEND TEST MORATORIUM. ITAR-TASS and Western press
agencies reported on 5 May that Russia will extend its moratorium
on nuclear testing past its mid-1994 expiry date and will press
for a comprehensive test ban treaty to be signed by early 1995.
John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV ON BILDT VISIT. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
said that during talks with visiting Swedish Prime Minister Carl
Bildt on 5 May, Russia and Sweden both expressed support for
establishing a post of commissioner for human rights and national
minorities in the Baltic states. (In September 1993, the creation
of such a position within the ten-member Council of Baltic States
was proposed, and a candidate is expected to be nominated this
year.) Kozyrev also said that both sides came to the conclusion
that this is a pan-European problem and it must be settled in
accordance with the norms of the CSCE. The talks also focused on
the situation in Bosnia, ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL,
Inc.

CLASH BETWEEN LEZGINS AND AZERIS IN SOUTHERN DAGESTAN. Meetings of
several thousands of Lezgins and Azerbaijanis in Derbent in
southern Dagestan were into their fourth day, ITAR-TASS and
Interfax reported on 5 May. They were sparked off by a domestic
quarrel between some members of the two nationalities which led to
a clash in which two Lezgins were killed and several other people
injured. The protesters were demanding an end to the rampant crime
in the republic and the resignation of the local authorities. The
clashes coincided with a visit to Dagestan by Sergei Stepashin,
director of Russias Federal Counterintelligence Service, who
discussed the Lezgin problem and signed a protocol in Makhachkala
on 5 May with the Dagestani speaker and Dagestani prime minister
calling for speedy talks with Azerbaijan on establishing a
frontier and customs regime between Russia and Azerbaijan that
would facilitate contacts between the Lezgins living on both sides
of the frontier. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJAN REFUSES TO SIGN BISHKEK PROTOCOL. The CIS
Inter-Parliamentary Assembly-sponsored talks in Bishkek on the
Karabakh conflict ended on 5 May with the signing by the Armenian,
Nagorno-Karabakh, Kyrgyz, and Russian representatives of a
cease-fire protocol to take effect at midnight on 8 May, Interfax
reported. The Azerbaijani delegate refused to sign because several
of his proposals were omitted, including mention of the fact that
20% of Azerbaijans territory is occupied. The Russian
representative, Vladimir Shumeiko, chairman of the CIS
Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, said the primary obstacle to a
settlement was Azerbaijans refusal to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh
as a party to the conflict; he said it was illogical to propose
the deployment of international, rather than CIS, peacekeeping
forces to monitor a cease-fire given that the enclave is part of
the CIS. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

NO UN PEACEKEEPING TROOPS FOR ABKHAZIA. In a written report to the
UN Security Council, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali
conceded the urgent need for a peacekeeping presence in Abkhazia
to permit the return to their homes of refugees and displaced
persons, but ruled out the dispatch of UN peacekeeping troops
because of disagreements between the Georgian and Abkhaz
authorities over where and how such troops should be deployed,
ITAR-TASS reported on 5 May. As an alternative, Boutros-Ghali
suggested the dispatch to Abkhazia of a CIS peacekeeping
contingent that could subsequently become part of a UN presence
there when the necessary preconditions were reached. Liz Fuller,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

MUSLIMS WANT AKASHI TO GO. RFE/RLs Balkan Service reported on 5
May that Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic has demanded that
Yasushi Akashi be replaced as the top UN envoy dealing with the
crisis, adding that his government would no longer negotiate with
him. Akashi had agreed to allow some Serb tanks to pass through
the Sarajevo exclusion zone in the direction of Herzegovina in
return for the Serbs allowing a UN convoy to proceed to Gorazde.
Some confusion remains as to how many tanks actually went through
the zone and under what circumstances, but the Muslims were livid
at the prospect of the UN allowing Serbian armor to head for the
Konjic-Mostar area. That region was the scene of fierce clashes
between Croats and Muslims last year, but has been fairly quiet
since those two sides signed the Washington agreements in February
and March. A Bosnian government statement said that after its
passivity towards Serb aggression, the UNPROFOR has gone on to
play an active part in the aggression. The Washington Post notes
on 6 May that Akashi, [Gen. Michael] Rose, and their spokesmen
consistently have sought to play down the Serbs repeated
violations of the NATO-enforced exclusion zones. . . . UN
Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, however, defended Akashi
against the Muslims demands. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOSNIAN SERBS REJECT LAND-FOR-PEACE FORMULA. Reuters reported on 5
May that Bosnian Serb parliament speaker Momcilo Krajisnik has
rejected Western assertions that the Serbs could keep only 49% of
the republics territory as part of an eventual settlement. He
called the proposition a provocative offer. The Serbs, who make up
less than a third of Bosnias population, hold now 70% of its land
as a result of armed conquest and ethnic cleansing. They appear to
have definite plans of their own for the future, and the governor
of the rump-Yugoslav National Bank noted that we will become a
well-fed country from this war. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MARGARET THATCHER CALLS FOR TOUGH ACTION AGAINST SERBS. The 4 May
New York Times carries a commentary by the former British prime
minister entitled: Stop the Serbs. Now. For Good, in which she
urges a policy of air strikes coupled with lifting the arms
embargo on the Muslims. She notes that it is time to halt [Serb
aggression]-late, but not too late. We have the justification, the
interest, and the means. Mrs. Thatcher points out that this is not
a civil war but a war of aggression, planned and launched from
outside Bosnia using the Serbian minority within it. She had
advocated the lift-and-strike approach at the start of the
conflict, and says that, if her advice had been followed,
thousands of people would now be alive and in all probability the
Milosevic regime in Belgrade would have fallen. Similar tough
language can be found in the Washington Post, but coming from the
Danish commander whose tanks pounded Serb gunners on 28 April. Lt.
Col. Lars Moeller said of fighting in the Balkans: all sides are
full of a lot of macho bull . . . you have to adjust your behavior
accordingly. The UN should not bow its head to any of these
people. Once you do that, you lose your dignity and, even worse,
the other guy will keep walking over you. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

SERBIAN ECONOMIC NEWS. On 6 May Borba continues its coverage of
the Serbian opposition Democratic Partys (DS) economic programs
under the heading Legally, Quickly, and Equitably. The story,
summarizing the DSs stated position on privatization, reports on a
party-sponsored round table discussion dealing in part with the
state of the economy. Earlier, on 5 May, Borba had reported on DS
leader Zoran Djindjics economic platform under the headline:
Privatization-the Last Chance. In another story, on 5 May Reuters
reported on statements made by Dragoslav Avramovic, current
governor of rump Yugoslavias national bank. According to
Avramovic, the rump Yugoslav economy will be able to weather the
effects of international sanctions and the national budget deficit
should be eliminated by 24 June. On 6 May, however, The Economist
expressed strong reservations about predictions for a speedy
recovery of the rump Yugoslav economy, dubbing the current
situation the purported economic miracle. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL,
Inc.

KOSOVO UPDATE. In the Serbian province of Kosovo arrests and
police raids against members of the ethnic Albanian majority have
continued in recent days. Rilindja reported on 4 May that a family
in Mitrovica was evicted from its home of 12 years. Elsewhere, the
police arrested people while supposedly searching for arms in
Kacanik, Pristina and small villages. An Albanian man, who had
served in the Yugoslav army in Split in 1988, was arrested in
Budakovo and brought to the barracks even though he was disabled
thanks to injuries received during his military service. Meanwhile
on 1 May, the police harassed a soccer match of the first league
clubs of the self-declared Republic of Kosovo in the
Pristina-Flamurtari stadium. Elsewhere, internationally wanted war
criminal Zeljko Raznatovic, or Arkan, repeated his threat to expel
ethnic Albanian Kosovars to Albania, allegedly to make room for
Serbian refugees, adding that he will also deport the Kosovar
President Ibrahim Rugova to his reserve homeland, Albania. Fabian
Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLIDARITY REJECTS TRIPARTITE FORMULA. Meeting in Gdansk on 5 May,
Solidaritys national leadership demanded direct, bilateral talks
with the government. The union rejected negotiations in the
tripartite commission, as it is an advisory body whose opinions
are not binding on any party, PAP reports. A union statement also
complained that public television is not presenting Solidaritys
positions accurately. Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski told
reporters that the unions protest action will culminate on 6 May,
with strikes planned in hundreds of plants. Four coastal shipyards
are to strike for eight hours. Krzaklewski also threatened that
the brown-coal strike at Belchatow may be renewed, in retaliation
for the governments refusal to abandon all wage controls. Some of
Krzaklewskis remarks suggested that Solidaritys strike fund is not
large, and that this has limited support for the strikes.
Scattered railway strikes were reported on 5 May; strikes
continued at 20 hard-coal mines. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH SENATE APPROVES WAGE CONTROLS. The Senate voted on 5 May to
approve legislation restoring limited wage controls on firms with
at least 80% state ownership. The vote was 51 to 14, with 8
abstentions, PAP reports. The Senate endorsed an amendment that
would make the wage controls valid only until the end of 1994, in
keeping with the governments recent offer to the trade unions. The
bill now returns to the Sejm for consideration in its amended
form; if approved there, it then moves on to the president for
signing. This procedural delay means that the new controls are
unlikely to take effect until 1 July. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH COALITION EXPANDS INFLUENCE. A second deputy minister from
the ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) has been appointed to a
presidential ministry, Polish TV reports. Prime Minister Waldemar
Pawlak named Zbigniew Sobotka to the post of deputy internal
affairs minister on 4 May, ending weeks of speculation on the
subject. Sobotka, a steelworker by training, served as one of the
token workers on the communist party Politburo from 1988-90; since
1989 he has concentrated on parliamentary work on police matters.
The appointment drew immediate criticism from the Union of Labor,
whose leader said it signals the return of the nomenklatura.
Danuta Waniek (SLD) was named deputy defense minister on 26 April;
Marek Siwiec (SLD) is to become deputy foreign affairs minister by
1 July. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY IN PRAGUE. On 5 May Douglas Hurd,
British Foreign Secretary, told journalists in Prague, where he
had arrived for a two-day visit, that the expansion of the
European Union and NATO to the East will be Europes main task for
the rest of the century. CTK quotes Hurd as saying expansion will
take place not all at once but gradually, using existing
agreements. At the same time, Hurd said that he could not foresee
the EU seriously considering further expansion before a scheduled
1996 conference reviewing EU institutions. Following his meeting
with Hurd, Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus told reporters that the
Czech Republic will apply for EU membership before 1996. Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

MECIARS PARTY STEPS UP ATTACK ON GOVERNMENT. In recent days the
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia has become increasingly
critical of the current governing coalition. During a 4 May public
meeting of the MDS and the Slovak National Party, attended by
7,000 people, former Premier Vladimir Meciar accused Deputy
Premier Roman Kovac of having accepted a $5 million bribe from a
US firm and claimed that Christian Democratic Movement Chairman
Jan Carnogursky held talks with US President Bill Clinton in
February 1993 concerning the reunification of Czechoslovakia.
Similarly, TASR reports that in the 4 May parliament session the
MDS and SNP brought forward a motion of no-confidence in Kovac.
The motion was not passed, but Premier Jozef Moravcik said the
move demonstrates the wretchedness of political culture of certain
deputies and political groups. In a press conference on 5 May,
former Justice Minister Katerina Tothova warned that the present
coalition may try to delay parliamentary elections. When asked
about Kovacs alleged bribe, Tothova said the MDS did not want to
stir up the issue before it could be properly investigated. Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

GYULA HORN SERIOUSLY WOUNDED IN A CAR ACCIDENT. The leader of the
Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) Gyula Horn had a serious car
accident on the evening of 5 May. MTI says Horn is suffering from
a brain concussion, a broken wrist and minor cervical vertebra
damage. The accident occurred as the HSP is leading polls ahead of
the first round of Hungarys general election on 8 May. Horn, whose
car rammed a truck when returning from a campaign appearance in
Miskolc, is expected to be hospitalized for several weeks. The
police are investigating the incident. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL,
Inc.

COUNTDOWN TO HUNGARYS PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION. It is unclear how
Horns car accident will affect the HSPs popularity. According to
the latest polls before the opinion survey moratorium, Hungarian
media said the reform-communist HSP was favored to win the
elections with 38%, riding on widespread dissatisfaction caused by
the radical economic reforms. The Alliance of the Free
Democrats-the largest opposition party in the last parliament-was
projected to garner 14%, the Young Democrats 10%, the Smallholders
and the Christian Democrats 9% each, and the ruling Hungarian
Democratic Forum 12%. In this second free election after the
collapse of the communist regime, 7.8 million voters will choose
between 15 parties and 4,600 candidates. Out of 386 parliamentary
seats, 176 are distributed on single majority districts, while 152
regional and 58 national party list candidates will compete about
the rest according to a proportional system. The second round
takes place on 29 May. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN PARTIES EXCHANGE INSULTS OVER CORRUPTION. Radio Bucharest
and Reuters reported on 4 and 5 May that the Romanian Party of
National Unity and the Democratic Party-National Salvation Front
exchanged insults and accused each other of corruption. The
scandal was triggered by accusations of the PRNU vice chairman,
Ioan Gavra, a member of the parliamentary commission set up to
investigate possible power abuse by officials who are suspected of
having taken over houses owned by the state. Gavra said widespread
abuse had been revealed under both the Petre Roman and the
Stolojan governments, which had fostered nationwide corruption and
that prosecutors have been asked to investigate the matter. In
turn, Adrain Severin, vice-chairman of Romans DP-NSF said that the
issue at stake was not corruption, but an attempt by fascist
parties to defame the entire [democratic] political class and the
fledgling democracy. He also said the DP-NSF had urged prosecutors
to lay charges on the PRNU for its involvement in the notorious
Caritas investment pyramid racket. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF DELEGATION VISITS ROMANIA. Maxwell Watson, the chief IMF
negotiator with Romania, was received on 5 April by President Ion
Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu and other Romanian
officials. Watson, who heads a delegation of IMF, was said by
Radio Bucharest on 5 May to have had a last exchange of opinions
with his hosts before the IMFs Executive Boards meeting that will
discuss the stand-by accord with Romania. He told a Radio
Bucharest correspondent that he had registered with satisfaction
the adopted macroeconomic stabilization measures, the drop of the
inflation rate against last year, and the stabilization of the
exchange rate. Should this trend continue, Watson was quoted to
have told Vacaroiu, Romanias image among foreign investors was
likely to radically change. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

TOP BULGARIAN PRIVATIZER SPEAKS OUT. In an interview with Bulgaria
National Radio on 5 May, the Chairman of the Supervisory Council
of the Agency on Privatization, Nikola Katsarski, expressed deep
skepticism regarding the selling out of Bulgarian state property
over the foreseeable future. In explaining the slow pace of
privatization in the country, Katsarski mentioned flaws in the
legislation, an almost total lack of foreign investments, the
absence of a well-functioning financial system, as well as the
unwillingness of the government and parliament to remedy the
situation. He said he believes another important factor is that
those who control the domestic capital continue to wait for the
economic crisis to deepen, so that the prices on state property
will become lower. He also said the failure to close down
unprofitable state enterprises-a law to that effect has not yet
been passed by parliament-has reached absurd proportions. In an
unusual move on 5 April, the government declared the bankruptcy of
34 companies. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION UPDATE. On 3 May Interfax
reported that the Belarusian prime minister, Vyacheslau Kebich,
has collected over 100,000 signatures from Belarusian citizens in
support of his presidential candidacy, in addition to 150
signatures from parliamentary deputies. Belarusian radio reported
on 5 May that the leader of the Party of Communists of Belarus,
Vasil Novikau, has also succeeded in collecting over 100,000
signatures in support of his candidacy. There are 19 registered
contenders and among those progressing in their signature
campaigns are the former chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Stanislau
Shushkevich; the leader of the Belarusian Popular Front, Zyanon
Paznyak; and the head of parliaments former anti-corruption
committee, Aleksandr Lukashenka. All have reportedly collected
30-70,000 signatures. The signature collection will continue until
14 May. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS RESUME. The 19th round of Estonian-Russian
talks started in Lohusalu, near Tallinn, on 5 May. The two sides
tried to agree on a date for the complete withdrawal of Russian
troops from Estonia; they also discussed other, less controversial
topics, such as cooperation in education. Earlier, the Russian
side had indicated willingness to pull out its troops by 31 August
1994 if Estonia agrees to social guarantees for the approximately
10,000 retired Russian servicemen residing in Estonia, and about
$23 million for the construction of housing in Russia for the
troops returning there. The Estonian delegation head Vaino Reinart
told BNS that his country believes that the withdrawal of troops
must not be tied to other issues. Both Estonian and Russian
officials indicated that they were not optimistic about the
results of this round of negotiations insofar as troops withdrawal
issues are concerned. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by John Lepingwell and Kjell Engelbrekt
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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