History is made out of the failures and heroism of each insignificant moment. - Franz Kafka
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 90, 11 May 1994

RUSSIA

YELTSIN'S VISIT TO GERMANY. Reuters reported on 10 May that German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl may offer to drop a controversial ceremony,
scheduled to be held in Weimar on 31 August, aimed at marking the
final withdrawal of Russian troops from the former East Germany.
The same report, coming on the eve of Russian President Boris
Yeltsin's arrival in Germany, said that German officials
nevertheless continued to insist that Russian forces be given a
send-off separate from that given to withdrawing Western troops.
An RFE/RL correspondent reported out of Bonn on 10 May, however,
that several groups, in both parts of the formerly divided
country, have objected to the government's unwillingness to
sanction a ceremony in which all four former occupying powers
would participate. Meanwhile, Interfax reported on 10 May that, in
addition to meeting with Kohl, Yeltsin is scheduled to hold talks
with German President Richard von Weizsaecker, Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel, Social Democratic Party chairman Rudolf Sharping,
and others. Among the non-military issues to be discussed are
Russia's large debts to Germany. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

KALININGRAD ALSO TO BE ON AGENDA? A "high-ranking" Russian
diplomat has told Interfax that the issue of Kaliningrad may also
be discussed during Yeltsin's visit, although he emphasized that
Moscow's attitude toward the region remains unchanged: "This is
Russian land, and we shall surrender it to no one." The diplomat
charged that while Germany had not raised the issue on an official
level, various German public organizations were "striving to
re-Germanize the territory that used to be German" and that "some
circles in Germany are trying to kindle the issue . . . in the
hope that in the future it will become possible to raise it
officially." Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

GERMAN INSTITUTES WARN AGAINST FURTHER CREDITS TO RUSSIA. On the
eve of Yeltsin's visit to Germany, three prominent German economic
institutes have warned against extending further credits to
Russia, Reuters reported on 10 May. In a report commissioned by
the German government, the institutes noted the accelerating fall
in Russian industrial output, and judged a complete collapse of
the industrial output to be possible. They recommended that the
Russian government reduce subsidies and close loss-making
enterprises. Outstanding Russian debts to Germany are estimated at
nearly $50 billion, and commercial arrears are put at $1.2
billion.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

UPDATE ON RUSSIAN-US JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE. ITAR-TASS on 10 May
quoted the Chairman of the State Duma defense committee, Sergei
Yushchenkov, as saying that conduct of a Russian-US joint military
exercise, scheduled for July, is a prerogative of the executive
branch, and that Yeltsin's earlier acquiescence to opposition in
the legislature "testifies to the weakness" of the president's
office. Presidential spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov replied, in
turn, that Yeltsin was simply trying to build consensus and denied
that the President had made any concessions. Meanwhile, the
Chairman of the Federation Council, Vladimir Shumeiko, told
ITAR-TASS that he favored holding the exercise as scheduled on
Russian soil, arguing that the US "is not an occupant but an
ally." Defense Minister Pavel Grachev also spoke in favor once
again of the exercise, describing it as a small but symbolic act
of US-Russian cooperation. "We must hold the drill for the sake of
those we are striving to protect by our peace-keeping operations,"
he was quoted as saying. Finally, Deputy Secretary of the Security
Council, Lt. Gen. Valerii Manilov proposed that the drill be held
in Germany or on Russia's Pacific coast.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL,
Inc.

RUSSIA OBJECTS TO BRCKO RESOLUTION. Reuters reported on 10 May
that the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Yulii Vorontsov, has
objected to a draft resolution that would require Bosnian Serbs to
freeze their positions around Brcko or be subject to air strikes.
Vorontsov reportedly called for the UN to send observers into the
region around the city and the corridor instead.  John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SPEAKER OF STATE DUMA ON RUTSKOI'S SPEECH. Ivan Rybkin, the State
Duma's speaker, called on the Prosecutor's Office to "look into"
former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi's speech on 9 May.
Addressing an opposition rally on the 49th anniversary of the
defeat of Nazi Germany, Rutskoi called for the ouster of
"Yeltsin's regime." The radio station, Echo of Moscow, quoted
Rybkin as saying on 10 May that in February of this year the State
Duma approved amnesty of the organizers of the October 1993
disturbances, one of whom was Rutskoi, on the condition that they
won't be involved in destabilizing activities upon their release
from prison.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

CASE OF THE AUGUST 1991 COUP LEADERS CLOSED. The court proceedings
have been ended against all of the accused leaders of the August
1991 coup except Army General Valentin Varennikov, Russian TV
newscasts and Interfax reported on 10 May. It is the final closure
of the case. The military collegium of the Russian Supreme Court,
which had tried the former top Soviet officials for having
attempted to oust the then USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev in
August 1991, stopped the proceedings earlier this year, due to the
amnesty declared by the State Duma. The prosecution, however,
protested the decision and the case was reopened. In the meantime,
Varennikov, issued a statement rejecting the amnesty. On 10 May, a
new military judge, Viktor Yaskin, confirmed the earlier decision
to apply the amnesty to all of the accused except Varennikov.
According to Interfax, Yaskin is currently studying the 152
volumes of evidence in order to prepare for Varennikov's trial.
Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

CONFLICTING REPORTS ON BOOST TO DEFENSE EXPENDITURE. A
"well-informed source" in the State Duma's Committee on Budget,
Taxation, Banking, and Finance Committee told Interfax on 10 May
that the Duma's defense committee had recommended a boost in
defense expenditure in 1994 from 37.1 to 55 trillion rubles. The
recommendation was said to have been approved by President
Yeltsin. Other sources in the budget committee confirmed this in
interviews with an RFE/RL correspondent, and officials in the
president's administration told RFE/RL that the increase had been
coordinated with the legislature and with the Ministries of
Economy and Defense last week. However, an unnamed high-ranking
official in the government assured RFE/RL that there would be no
change in defense expenditure in 1994. Parliament had been
scheduled to debate the draft budget for 1994 beginning on 11 May,
but this may be delayed because of disagreements and the lack of a
quorum in the budget committee on 10 May.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL,
Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TURKMENISTAN JOINS NATO PARTNERSHIP. Turkmenistan joined the NATO
Partnership for Peace program on 10 May, becoming the first
Central Asian state to do so, Western and Russian news agencies
reported. Turkmen Vice-Premier Boris Shikhmuradov, who signed the
Partnership documents at NATO headquarters, was quoted by
ITAR-TASS as saying that Turkmenistan was not looking for help
from NATO but rather for partnership on the basis of mutual
benefit, and sees membership in the Partnership program as a
further confirmation of its independence and acceptance by the
international community. Turkmenistan is already discussing
training of officers and other types of military cooperation with
NATO members, according to Shikhmuradov. Other Central Asian
states are still weighing membership in the program.  Bess Brown,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

SENIOR DUMA OFFICIAL ON POLICY IN "NEAR ABROAD." Interviewed in
Nezavisimaya Gazeta of 5 May, Konstantin Zatulin, Chairman of the
Duma's Committee for CIS affairs, introduced himself as "an
admirer of empire if this means imperial peace . . . [and] a tool
for peacekeeping." A policy based on "spheres of influence . . .
is unrelated to whether one is a democrat or not . . . Policy
toward CIS is Russia's internal policy," he added. He called for
bilateral "special treaties that would codify the special
relations of the near abroad states with Russia." Besides
protecting ethnic Russians in those states, Russia must see to it
that "where ethnic minorities reside compactly, they must be
granted autonomy and the state must become federative. The special
status of regions inhabited by ethnic minorities must be backed by
Moscow's guarantees." Zatulin specifically targeted Abkhazia,
South Ossetia, eastern and southern Moldova, eastern Ukraine,
Crimea, and northern Kazakhstan; and implied that the settlements
should be accompanied by bilateral alliance treaties between
Russia and Moldova and Ukraine on the Russian-Georgian model.
While still mistrustful of Russia's Foreign Ministry, Zatulin
observed that the "Foreign Ministry has sharply changed its
position, and our official positions are practically the same."
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

BLACK SEA FLEET PRESS CENTER ACCUSED OF DISINFORMATION. In a very
unusual report in its 6 May issue, Izvestiya accused the fleet's
press center of spreading false reports in order to inflame
tensions on the peninsula. The article focused on a report of an
assault on fleet commander Admiral Baltin's wife, which had led
Baltin to threaten that the fleet would find the alleged
assailants itself. According to Izvestiya the report was false,
but was played up by the fleet's press center. Izvestiya further
claims that the fleet's press center "sorts" journalists according
to whether they are favorable or unfavorable to the fleet's
interests--falling into the latter camp are Radio Liberty,
Reuters, CNN, Ukrainian press agencies, and presumably Izvestiya
as well. In conclusion, the article claimed that the fleet's chief
spokesman, Andrei Grachev was a "source of untrustworthy
information" and that his press center attempted to "manipulate"
press agencies in order to raise tensions between Russia and
Ukraine.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

"WAR OF NERVES" OVER FLEET CONTINUES. What Izvestiya termed a "war
of nerves" continues over the Black Sea Fleet. Negotiations over
the basing of the Russian share of the fleet have bogged down and
on 10 May in an interview broadcast on Radio Moscow, Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev reasserted his stance that
Sevastopol should be the main base for the Russian fleet, with
additional bases at Balaklava, Feodosiya, Kerch, and
Donuzlav--Ukraine has been insisting that it only be based at
Sevastopol. A small conflict also arose over the 9 May
celebrations--Admiral Kasatonov, the former commander of the Black
Sea Fleet (and now First Deputy Commander of the Russian Navy) had
been invited to attend the ceremonies, but Ukrainian authorities
denied him an entry visa, Interfax reported on 6 May. In a
telegram to the Sevastopol authorities sent in honor of the
anniversary, President Yeltsin noted that the city "is one of the
national sacred places for all Russians" while Crimean President
Yuri Meshkov on 9 May reportedly called Sevastopol the "glory" of
Crimea, Russia, and the Black Sea Fleet, and called for calm in
the peninsula Interfax reported on 7 May and 9 May respectively.
John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UN SAYS SERBS VIOLATE GORAZDE STATUS. RFE/RL's Balkan Service
reported on 10 May that UN spokesmen said that Bosnian Serbs are
still blocking a UN medical convoy headed for the besieged eastern
Muslim enclave. The Serbs are also keeping troops and heavy
weapons in the exclusion zone. UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi has
urged Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to respect the zone
against further "deterioration." On 11 May, the Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung reported that troops loyal to western Bosnian
kingpin Fikret Abdic are attacking Bosnian government troops near
Bihac. They are using heavy weapons apparently supplied by the
Serbs. Elsewhere, Serb news agencies reported alleged Muslim and
Croat attacks on Serb-held Brcko. The Guardian suggested on 9 May,
however, that the Serbs are trying to convince Western journalists
that they are in danger of being attacked in their vital supply
corridor in north Bosnia, although UN sources have suggested that
it is the Serbs who are getting ready for an offensive.  Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOSNIA PLANS TO PROSECUTE WAR CRIMINALS. AFP reported on 11 May
that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina is moving ahead in
compiling evidence about war crimes during the two-year-old
conflict. The government's official commission has bureaus in half
a dozen European cities to collect data. They are primarily
concerned with the principal policy makers who actually issue the
orders, such as Radovan Karadzic, General Ratko Mladic, parliament
speaker Momcilo Krajisnik, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic,
and Serb paramilitary leaders Vojislav Seselj and "Arkan." They
have also targeted Yugoslav army commanders General Zivota Panic
and General Blagoje Adzic. Finally, Newsday reported on the new
French film, "Bosna!", which charges that President Francois
Mitterrand knew about the Serb concentration camps in Bosnia but
did nothing. President Alija Izetbegovic reportedly told him about
the camps five weeks before Newsday broke the story in August
1992.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SANDZAK MUSLIMS AND SERB PARTY MOVE CLOSER TOGETHER. The leaders
of the opposition Serb Renewal Movement in Sandzak (SPO), Tihomir
Petrovic and Branislav Ivanovic, have demanded guaranties for the
safe return of the leader of the Muslim Party of Democratic Action
(SDA) in Sandzak, Sulejman Ugljanin. Politika carried the report
on 11 May. Ugljanin has been in exile since police issued a
warrant for his arrest early last year. According to Politika, the
Serb Radical Party of the internationally-wanted war criminal
Vojislav Seselj charged the SPO with moving close to the SDA. Both
the SPO and SDA expressed the same opinion about the trial of 25
Sandzak Muslims, who are charged with organizing separatist plots.
Ivanovic said that the Serb regime has deliberately exaggerated
the danger of an armed uprising by Sandzak Muslims. Meanwhile,
defense lawyer and former Kosovo Albanian politician Azem Vllasi
agreed, saying that only "stupid people could want to found a
state in that ravine from Pesteri to Novi Pazar." Fabian Schmidt,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBS REPEAT CALL FOR ARREST OF RUGOVA. Milos Simovic, the Serb
administrator of Kosovo, has called for the arrest of the
president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, Ibrahim
Rugova, international media reported on 11 May. Simovic also urged
a ban on the main Albanian political grouping, the Democratic
League of Kosovo, arguing that the party was guilty of "four years
of anti-constitutional and anti-Serb activities." He added that
Rugova had in effect invited "occupation forces" by calling for an
international protectorate and UN peacekeepers for Kosovo.
Recently Rugova has modified this position, saying that he wanted
a "civil protectorate" but did not say what he meant by "civil."
Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELGRADE BANK OFFICIAL INTERVIEWED. On 11 May the daily Borba
reported on an interview with the rump Yugoslavia's national bank
deputy governor, Ratko Banovic, under the headline "To Liquidity
Overnight." Banovic, using the interview as forum for defending
the bank's anti-inflation policies, stressed the now-familiar
refrain that the "super-dinar", the national currency launched on
24 January 1994 and pegged the deutsche mark at a value of
one-to-one, remains the key to the country's financial and
economic stability. Banovic emphasized that the new currency is
now "much stronger." Western economists have argued, however, that
with rump Yugoslavia's industrial production lagging and the
international sanctions in place it may be only a matter of time
before hyperinflation resurfaces as the defining characteristic of
the rump Yugoslav economy.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

NON-STOP COAL TALKS IN WARSAW. Talks lasting through the night of
10-11 May failed to yield agreement in efforts to settle strikes
affecting 19 hard-coal mines, PAP reports. Representatives of five
unions are taking part in talks at the industry ministry. The
sticking point appears to be Solidarity's demand that striking
miners receive normal pay for strike days. Mining management wants
the miners to treat the strike as vacation. When Solidarity
unionists hinted that a dozen buses full of angry miners were
approaching Warsaw, police cordons were erected in front of the
ministry. These buses never arrived, but in Katowice several
hundred miners occupied mining administration headquarters and
remained there overnight. Meeting in Gdansk on 10 May,
Solidarity's national leadership resolved to lodge a formal
complaint before the International Labor Organization, on the
grounds that the government has failed to fulfill its obligation
to limit unemployment. The union is to decide on 11 May whether to
attempt a showdown with the government, continue its current
"creeping" protest, or suspend the strikes until July. Returning
from a two-day visit to Estonia, President Lech Walesa said that
he is willing to mediate between Solidarity and the government.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT CHOOSES ECONOMIC PLAN. Meeting at a wooded
government resort for a second day of closed deliberations on 10
May, the Polish government chose the "basic" version from among
different economic plans presented for 1994-97. Deputy Prime
Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko told journalists
that this version provides for 22% growth in GDP in the next four
years. Along with "dynamic" growth, the program projects expansion
of export, lower inflation (14% in 1997) and unemployment (14% in
1997), and higher real wages. Kolodko said the program will
emphasize "investments in human capital" and macroeconomic
stabilization, to be achieved through "fiscal discipline" (the
deficit in 1997 is to be less than 2% of GDP). This time it was
Health Minister Jacek Zochowski who bicycled out to reporters
waiting outside the fence surrounding the resort grounds, to
convey the government's priority concern for culture, health care,
science and education. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

LOT TEAMS UP WITH AMERICAN. After months of talks with various
international airlines, the Polish national carrier LOT has chosen
American Airlines as its "strategic partner." A memorandum of
understanding signed in Warsaw on 10 May provides for extensive
cooperation in scheduling, reservations, advertising, servicing,
promotion, and training. Peter A. Pappas, president of AMR (AA's
European affiliate), told reporters that AA plans to treat Warsaw,
rather than larger airports such as London or Frankfurt, as its
"gateway to Eastern Europe." AA will not itself fly to Warsaw but
instead make use of LOT connections. LOT has 37 aircraft and 4,300
employees; it flies 1.2 million passengers per year and serves 53
destinations, PAP reported. LOT pilots staged a two-hour warning
strike at Okecie Airport on 11 May, demanding better pay and
benefits. The strike delayed 10 flights.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL,
Inc.

KLAUS: CZECHS A NON-LEFTIST' ISLAND. Speaking on Czech Radio on 11
May, Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus said that the Czech Republic is
becoming a "non-leftist island" in Central Europe following the
victory of former communists in the first round of Hungary's
parliamentary elections. In Klaus's view, the defeat of Hungary's
center-right coalition was due to uninspiring politicians and a
lack of policies to carry through the transformation from
communism. The prime minister further argued that the victory of
leftists in Hungary was not due to "the strength of their ideas"
but, rather, bad policies "of the other side of the political
spectrum." According to Klaus, the results of the Hungarian
elections must be respected.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK CABINET ON MINORITIES AND BUDGET. At a press conference on
10 May, the Slovak cabinet announced that it had approved an
amendment to the law on the country's official language, allowing
towns and villages with a minority population reaching 20% or more
to post bilingual signs. According to Interior Minister Ladislav
Pittner, the bill meets the standards established by the Council
of Europe upon Slovakia's admittance last June. The bill will
concern 549 towns and villages, and 6.6 million koruny have been
designated from the state budget for its implementation. It will
now move on to the parliament for discussion. At the same press
conference, Finance Minister Rudolf Filkus stated that the 1993
budget deficit, which officially amounted to 23 billion koruny,
actually reached 31.8 billion koruny because of the settlement of
the negative trade balance with the Czech Republic, as well as
extra spending needed for health and education. Filkus said the
cabinet is considering issuing state bonds, TASR reports.  Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

VACAROIU BEGINS LATIN AMERICAN TOUR . . . On 10 May Romanian Prime
Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu left Bucharest for a ten-day tour of
Brazil, Paraguay and Peru. He is accompanied by a delegation of
mainly economic experts and businessmen. In an interview with
Radio Bucharest, Vacaroiu said the main purpose of his trip is to
look for new markets for Romanian products. "We must compensate
for the loss we suffered with the abolition of the CMEA and
replace it with an intensified activity in Latin America, the
Middle East and Asia," Vacaroiu said. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . AS OPPOSITION ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO SUE HIM. Romania's
opposition Liberal Party 93 plans to sue Prime Minister Vacaroiu
and Finance Minister Florin Georgescu, an RFE/RL correspondent and
Radio Bucharest reported on 10 May. The party Chairman Horia Rusu
accused Vacaroiu and Georgescu of misusing public funds by
delaying the passage of this year's state budget. The budget is
now being discussed in the parliament.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ROMANIAN REACTION TO HUNGARIAN ELECTIONS. The Executive Chairman
of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, Adrian
Nastase, said the good showing of the Socialist Party in the first
round of the Hungarian elections was likely to bring about an
improvement in the relations between the two countries, an RFE/RL
correspondent and Radio Bucharest reported on 10 May. At a press
conference in Bucharest, Nastase expressed the hope that the new
Hungarian government will be easier to deal with in concluding the
pending friendship and cooperation treaty between the two
countries. A passage of the treaty has so far been prevented by
controversies over the Hungarian demand for a provision on the
protection of minorities in Romania and a Romanian demand for a
clause on the inviolability of borders.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL,
Inc.

IRAQ AGREES TO REPAY $1.5 BILLION DEBT TO BULGARIA. Bulgarian
government officials told Reuters on 10 May that Iraq has declared
its intention to repay a $1.5 billion debt which accumulated
during the 1980s. Deputy Trade Minister Nikola Nikolov said
Baghdad, which ceased all payments to international creditors
during the Gulf War, has agreed to resume repaying its debts to
Bulgaria as soon as the United Nations embargo against Iraq is
lifted. In accordance with an agreement reached in 1990, the bulk
of the debt is to be repaid in the form of oil deliveries. Nikolov
made the statement after a session of the joint Bulgarian and
Iraqi Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation, which began in
Sofia on the same day. In April, Sofia signed economic cooperation
accords with Libya and Iran. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT CALLS IN RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR. On 9 March
Estonian President Lennart Meri summoned Russian ambassador
Aleksandr Trofimov to demand an explanation of the comments made
by Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev on 6 May that Russian
troops will not be withdrawn from Estonia before an agreement on
social guarantees for military pensioners is signed, Interfax
reported. Trofimov said that he will try to obtain the required
explanation as soon as possible. In another development, Estonian
Prime Minister Mart Laar departed for a working visit to Great
Britain where he will meet with Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd,
Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Douglas Hogg, former
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and members of the British-Baltic
parliamentary group. The discussions will focus on the withdrawal
of Russian troops from Estonia. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA CONCLUDES VISIT TO ESTONIA. Polish President Lech Walesa
left for Warsaw on 10 May after a two-day visit of Estonia.
Speaking in Tartu that day, he said that the current problems of
the Russian-speaking population in the former Soviet republics
were due to Stalin's ethnic policy; he stressed that ethnic
minorities must be loyal to the countries in which they live.
Walesa also urged Russia to move away from a policy of dictate
toward a policy of partnership in its relations with Estonia. The
Polish President reportedly also discussed with his Estonian
counterpart Lennart Meri ways to expand Polish-Estonian
cooperation. Meri thanked Walesa for his support for Estonia's
demand for a Russian troop withdrawal by 31 August, Interfax
reported on 10 May. Earlier this spring, Walesa visited Latvia and
Lithuania.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

HEAD OF ESTONIAN NAVY APPOINTED. Western and Baltic media reported
on 10 May that a retired naval officer of the Swedish Navy,
Lieutenant Commander Veljo Paerli, had been appointed by Estonian
President Lennart Meri to be chief of staff of Estonia's Navy.
Paerli (61), who was born in Estonia, had reportedly been in
charge of the Swedish Navy intelligence service in the port of
Visby on Gotland at a time when the Soviet fleet was very active
in the Baltic Sea.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN US. A military delegation led by
the Belarusian Chief-of-Staff, General Mikala Churkin, will be
visiting the US from 11-17 May, Belarusian Television reported on
10 May. The purpose of the visit is for the Belarusians to become
familiar with the duties of the US National Guard and reserve
forces. The delegation is to meet with the Chairman of the
Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff, General John Shalikashvili, and the
Commander of the US Army, General Gordon Sullivan.  Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT MEETS. The newly elected Ukrainian parliament
met for the first time on 11 May, Ukrainian Radio reported. It is
expected that President Leonid Kravchuk will ask deputies to delay
the presidential elections, a move which the Leftist Bloc has said
it will try to prevent. The collection of signatures in support of
presidential candidates ended on 6 May. According to Interfax from
10 May, five candidates received the necessary number of
signatures (100,000 in all the 27 electoral districts and at least
1500 in 18) to be placed on the 26 June slate. These include
Kravchuk, the former Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma, the former
Speaker of Parliament Ivan Plyushch, the Minister of Education
Petro Talanchuk and the leader of the Socialist Party Oleksandr
Moroz. In other news, Ukrainian Radio reported that a
parliamentary centrist bloc has been formed. The bloc includes the
Rukh group, and two other groups called "Derzhavnist," (Statehood)
and "Za Reformy Dlya Narodu" (For Reforms for the People).  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT MEETS. The first session of the Crimean
parliament met on 10 May, Ukrainian Radio reported. The session
was opened by the deputy from Sevastopol, Oleksandr Kruhlov, who
voiced the rhetorical question, "How long will we continue to put
up with the artificial detachment of Crimea from its motherland
Russia?" The newly elected speaker of the Crimean parliament is
the head of the Republican Party of Crimea, Serhii Tsekov. He
advocates statehood for Crimea and its integration with the CIS
which he believes should be transformed into a federation or
confederation. The parliament also began forming its working
groups. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

NOTICE:        The RFE/RL Daily Report will not appear tomorrow,
                12 May 1994.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Dzintra Bungs and Jan Obrman
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Updated: 1998-11-

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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole