Единомыслие создает дружбу. - Демокрит
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 91, 13 May 1994


YELTSIN IN GERMANY. Shortly after his arrival in Bonn on 11 May,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with German President Richard
von Weizsaecker for a formal welcoming ceremony. Most of Yeltsin's
time was occupied with meetings with German Chancellor Helmut
Kohl, during which a wide range of topics were discussed. On 12
May Yeltsin met with the head of the German Social Democratic
Party (SPD), Rudolf Scharping, and the SPD's presidential
candidate, Johannes Rau. Scharping was critical of Kohl's stance
on the troop withdrawal issue, and stressed the importance of
continued German support for Russian reforms, German media
reported. The only formal agreement concluded at the summit was an
agreement, signed by the Russian and German foreign ministers on
11 May, providing for the installation of a "hot-line" between the
offices of the Russian president and German Chancellor. John
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

on 11 May announced that they had solved the symbolic, yet
politically charged, problem of a farewell ceremony for the last
contingent of Russian troops to leave Germany. Speaking at a joint
news conference broadcast on Germany's N-TV, the two agreed that a
ceremony marking the departure would be held in Berlin in late
August, rather than Weimar as Kohl had originally proposed. (A
"cultural event" will be held in Weimar at a later date.) This
solution represents a compromise--it does not grant the Russian
request for Russian troops to participate in a joint farewell
ceremony with the Western allies in Berlin. Yeltsin did not call
attention to this omission, however, and Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev stressed that the entire issue was resolved, according to
an ITAR-TASS report of 12 May.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

controversial topics, namely the repatriation of cultural
artifacts seized during and after World War II, appear to have
been less successful. The two leaders agreed to increase the
frequency of meetings of a bilateral committee established to
resolve the problem (it has only met once), with the next meeting
to be held before 15 June. Some reports had speculated that
Yeltsin would return the Gotha library of rare books during his
visit, but this gesture was apparently postponed, according to
Western press agencies.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

Yeltsin-Kohl summit was trade, since Germany is Russia's largest
trading partner. A deal announced on 11 May provides a German
guarantee to back up a DM500 million Russian order for railway
cars to be built in an eastern German factory. German Economics
Minister Guenter Rexrodt confirmed that Russia had offered to pay
part of its debt to Germany with deliveries of MiG-29 fighter
aircraft, but that he had declined the offer. (Germany inherited
some MiG-29s from the former East Germany. A similar arms-for-debt
swap has been implemented between Hungary and Russia.) Izvestiya
reported in its 13 May issue that Russian and European Union (EU)
negotiators have completed a draft agreement that will be
discussed by the EU early next week. The agreement would
reportedly last until 1997. German media report that the German
government is supporting a substantial relaxation of trade
barriers and tariffs in 1995, but barriers in the steel, textile,
and agricultural markets--those of primary importance to
Russia--are likely to remain.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

SECURITY ISSUES DISCUSSED. Speaking at the 11 May press
conference, Yeltsin stated that Russia would support Germany's
becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council "when such
a decision is taken." In exchange, Yeltsin pushed for German
support for the expansion of the Group of Seven (G-7) into the G-8
with Russian membership. Russian involvement in a successor
organization to COCOM was also discussed. A compromise on the G-8
proposal was reached, with the member states to discuss the issue
after this summer's G-7 meeting in Naples. On the topic of NATO's
Partnership for Peace program, Yeltsin appeared to confirm that an
agreement will be signed, but noted that more negotiations are
required. (Interfax reported on 11 May that a Foreign Ministry
official stated that an interdepartmental commission would examine
a draft protocol on 17 May.) John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA CRITICAL OF WEU. Reacting to a Western European Union (WEU)
decision of 9 May to extend "associate status" in the WEU to
members of the WEU's Forum of Consultation--the states of Central
and Eastern Europe, the Russian Foreign Ministry on 12 May issued
a statement noting that the decision represented an attempt to
"create a new model of military-political alliance in a limited
space in Europe." The statement called instead for the
strengthening of all-European institutions such as the CSCE,
according to an ITAR-TASS report of 12 May.  John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN STATEMENT ON YEMEN FIGHTING. The Russian government issued
a statement calling on the warring sides in Yemen to conclude a
cease-fire, and offering Russian assistance in reaching an
agreement, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 May. Russia is continuing to
evacuate approximately 900 Russian citizens from Yemen--at least
half had been evacuated as of 11 May, Interfax reported; an
additional two aircraft were sent to Yemen to pick up many of
those remaining on 12 May.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

Yeltsin's memoirs in Russian newspapers have so far been very
critical. On 30 April, the once pro-Yeltsin Komsomolskaya pravda
published on its front page a sarcastic article dismissing
Yeltsin's recollections as a mere "historical novel" and claiming
that only tyrants--namely Mao, Hitler and Brezhnev--had published
memoirs before their retirement. On 7 May, Nezavisimaya gazeta
published a long analysis by its chief editor, Vitalii Tretyakov.
After examining various passages in the book, Tretyakov concluded
that Yeltsin condemned his political opponents for the kind of
behavior, for which he praises himself. Tretyakov alleged that
Yeltsin has no other policy but the pursuit of power and that
Yeltsin would be prepared to sweep away or crush who stood in the
way. Presumably in order to counterbalance such critique, Russian
Television hastily replaced on 10 May another scheduled show with
an interview with Yeltsin, which was already aired by ABC
television on the occasion of the publication of the Russian
president's memoirs in the USA.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

TIGHTER BUDGET SCALES FIRST HURDLE. After some initial wavering,
the State Duma on 11 May passed on first reading the draft federal
consolidated budget for 1994, Interfax and other Russian agencies
reported. The revised draft envisages revenues of 124.5 trillion
rubles, expenditures of 194.5 trillion rubles, and a "maximum
deficit" of 70 trillion rubles. Planned revenues are to be raised
primarily through a higher rate of VAT and by boosted excise
duties, while most of the jump in anticipated expenditures will go
to farm support. Acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin claimed
that the higher deficit represented 9.6 percent of GDP, implying a
GDP in 1994 of some 730 trillion rubles, whereas earlier
pronouncements and calculations had assumed a GDP of 620 trillion
rubles. (Another instance of shifting goalposts?) The big loser
during this round was the defense lobby: it had called for a 50
percent boost in defense expenditure largely on the grounds that
actual military spending during the first quarter was well above
target and represented an annual total of 55 trillion rather than
the 37.1 trillion rubles prescribed. A second reading of the
budget is set for 2 June, when the headings of revenue and
expenditure will be discussed in more detail.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL,

LAW PASSED ON FOREIGN CREDITS. On 11 May the State Duma passed on
first reading a law on the limits to foreign credits to be
accepted by Russia and to Russian credits to other countries. From
the wording of the Interfax coverage, it appears that new credits
accepted in any given year shall not be permitted to exceed the
total sum of Russia's repayment of debt service in that year. In
1992, it was reported, Russia received a total of $10.5 billion in
official and commercial credits. In 1993, that figure declined to
$4.5 billion, while a further $2.8 billion is expected in 1994.
Details were also given of past Russian credits to India, Cuba,
Algeria, and Pakistan. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

sitting on 12 May, the cabinet approved "on the whole" a draft
federal anti-epidemic program for the period 1994-97, Interfax
reported. The head of the State Sanitation Control Agency
justified the comprehensive program on the grounds of the growing
number of immigrants, the deterioration in health care, and the
sharp increase in imports of poor quality, harmful goods. The
draft program provides for the establishment of a network of
sanitary control posts at the borders, at sea and air ports, and
at railway stations. Expenditures on checkpoints and laboratories
in 1994 were estimated by the Ministry of Finance to be 26 billion
rubles or roughly $14 million at current rates of exchange--not a
large sum in view of the reported increases in the incidence of
diphtheria, tuberculosis, cholera, and other horrors.  Keith Bush,
RFE/RL, Inc.


Armenia and Azerbaijan and the commander of the Karabakh army
signed an agreement at midnight on 11 May on a cease-fire to take
effect at midnight on 12 May, Interfax reported. Speaking at a
press briefing in Moscow on 12 May a Russian Foreign Ministry
spokesman greeted the cease-fire. Russian special envoy for
Karabakh, Vladimir Kazimirov, told Interfax on 11 May that he was
in favor of a summit between the Armenian and Azerbaijani
presidents in Moscow once negotiations on a draft settlement of
the conflict had made progress. Also on 11 May, Azerbaijani
opposition parties denounced parliament speaker Rasul Guliev for
signing the Bishkek protocol on the grounds that its ratification
would signify the de facto recognition by Azerbaijan of the
self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and create the
foundations for the stationing of Russian troops on Azerbaijani
territory, according to Interfax. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

Minister Rashid Alimov told Interfax on 12 May that the next round
of peace talks between the Tajik government and opposition in
exile are expected to take place in early June. The talks are to
be held in either Teheran or Islamabad. Alimov criticized
opposition assertions that the Tajik government is not serious
about negotiations but intends to build up Russian military
presence in the country in order to crush the opposition by force.
On 11 May Ekho Moskvy reported that the Tajik Islamic opposition
in Afghanistan had issued a statement that it was considering
ending armed attacks on the Tajik-Afghan border.  Bess Brown,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

reported on 11 May that the two sides overcame an impasse in their
talks at the American embassy in Vienna and that they will sign a
final document on the 14th. The agreement spells out the vital
details for putting into practice the principles signed in
Washington in February and in March. The new text gives the
Muslims four cantons and the Croats two, with two additional
cantons being multi-ethnic, namely those of Mostar and Travnik.
The Croats apparently backed down from earlier demands that Vitez
in central Bosnia be an exclusively Croat canton, and it will be
joined instead to a large multi-ethnic unit including Gornji Vakuf
and Kiseljak. The first president of the federation will be a
Croat, while the vice president and prime minister will be
Muslims. The Muslims will have 11 cabinet positions to the Croats'
6. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

developments surrounding the Bosnian crisis, French Foreign
Minister Alain Juppe visited Washington to try to persuade the
United States to help impose a settlement. He said that French
forces would not spend another winter there under the present
circumstances. On 12 May UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali met with other top UN officials concerned with
Bosnia and urged "more pressure" on the three sides to make peace.
That same day in Washington, the Senate passed a measure urging
the US to lift the arms embargo against the Bosnian government,
but the bill stands little chance of becoming law. On 13 May a
meeting of Russian and Western foreign ministers is slated to take
place in Geneva to discuss a common strategy in the wake of the
activities of the new "contact group." Meanwhile at the front, the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 13 May reports heavy Serb
shelling of Tuzla's residential areas and of Muslim villages near
Zvornik. On 11 May Tuzla's mayor told the Berlin Tageszeitung that
the UN should take charge of the Serb's corridor across northern
Bosnia to enable all parties to have free access to trade and
supplies.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

Balkan Service reported that five Croatian civilians had been
killed by armed Serbs in a UN-controlled zone near Daruvar.
Meanwhile from Slovenia, on 10 May the Belgrade Politika reported
on a talk with former foreign minister and prominent politician
Dimitrij Rupel in which the Slovene warned against setting up a
European "center" based on the EU while consigning the Balkans to
the "periphery." He also repeated the standard Slovene position
that theirs is not a Balkan country but should rather be treated
together not with Croatia or other former Yugoslav republics but
with Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Some Slovenes,
however, see an advantage in their former Yugoslav links, and
Borba on 10 May reported the foreign ministry has urged parliament
to approve opening an embassy in Sarajevo. The move comes in the
wake of the visit by an economic delegation to Bosnia, and the
Slovene businessmen expect lucrative reconstruction contracts
there once the fighting stops.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

President Sali Berisha told Reuters that his Bulgarian counterpart
in 1991 helped to avert a looming conflict concerning the former
Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. During a visit to Austria, Berisha
said Zhelyu Zhelev's refusal three years earlier to participate in
a meeting called by Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis
and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to discuss the future of
Macedonia had served to defuse fears of an emerging
Greek-Serbian-Bulgarian axis on the peninsula. He said he had
discussed the matter with Zhelev when visiting Sofia during April,
and thanked him for refusing to attend the meeting, which as a
result was canceled altogether.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRIBUNAL RULES AGAINST WALESA. Poland's Constitutional Tribunal
ruled on 11 May that President Lech Walesa had wrongly interpreted
Article 7 of the broadcasting law as allowing him to dismiss Marek
Markiewicz as Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council
insofar as the right to appoint could not be assumed to include
the right to dismiss. The tribunal did not, however, make clear
whether the ruling invalidates Walesa's subsequent decision to
appoint Ryszard Bender in place of Markiewicz. Walesa's legal
adviser Lech Falandysz told reporters that the ruling would not
affect the status quo because it could not be applied
retroactively. There is some pressure on Bender to "do the
honorable thing" and resign but Bender's own intentions are
unclear. Walesa dismissed Markiewicz on 1 March claiming that his
decisions went against the spirit of the broadcasting law. The
dismissal gave rise to fears that Walesa is trying to restrict the
broadcasting council's independence.  Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ROW OVER POLISH TV NEWS. Walesa's spokesman Andrzej Drzycimski
complained to NBC Chairman Bender that public television under its
new management has become careless, tendentious and
unprofessional, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 12 May. Drzycimski's
ire was aroused specifically by the fact that the main television
news program failed to report on the president's visit in Estonia
on 10 May, but he claimed that TV News' treatment of the head of
state was generally "scandalous." Television Information Agency
chief Jacek Bochenek expressed "deep shame" at the incident and
suspended the editor responsible. News staff protested. The new
management of public television has vowed to ensure objective
information, free from political interference, but is finding it
difficult to reconcile its statutory responsibility to present
objectively the activities of government agencies with its pledge
to guarantee full freedom of expression to individual journalists.
The controversies have apparently prompted the NBC to reverse its
previous stand on TV access for political parties by recommending
in a draft ordinance that public television introduce a regular
weekly slot in which parties would present their views on issues,
Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 13 May. TV chief Wieslaw Walendziak
said, "It would be nonstop electioneering." Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLIDARITY STILL DEFIANT. Solidarity's National Commission (NC)
voted on 11 May to continue its protest action until the
government agrees to discuss the union's grievances in bilateral
talks rather than in the tripartite commission that includes
representatives of all the unions and employers, PAP reported.
Solidarity claims that the government is consistently violating
agreements it has already signed with the union. The NC voted to
stage a mass demonstration in Warsaw on 27 May in preference to a
national strike, which local activists believe would lack support.
Meanwhile, striking coal miners agreed to go back to work after
the government made concessions on most of their demands. The
government did not, however, agree to pay for the strikes,
although the strikers will be given an advance on the
understanding that they will work it off. Solidarity lacks the
funds to pay the strikers, although Polish legislation stipulates
that employers are not obliged to pay for the time lost through
strikes. One of Solidarity's major demands is the final abolition
of the wage control tax. Walesa confirmed on 12 May that he would
"listen to the people" and veto the latest version of the wage
control bill.  Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

bank announced that it is lowering its basic interest rates as of
13 May, PAP reports. The drop--one and two percentage points-- was
justified by lower inflation in the first quarter and in April, as
well as a considerable increase in bank reserves. The drop was
smaller than originally anticipated because of uncertainty about
wage controls and the possible effect on inflation in the next few
months. The commercial banks are expected to follow suit.  Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on 11 May, Slovakia hopes
that the new government in Hungary will be "ready to hold a
constructive dialogue" and that it will have "a realistic approach
towards the possibility of resolving bilateral issues," TASR
reports. Also on 11 May the Foreign Ministry announced its
intention to hold discussions on temporary water management on the
Danube, proposing that talks be held on 18 to 19 May in
Bratislava. The two countries have been quarreling over the issue
ever since Slovakia diverted the river in 1992 to feed the
Gabcikovo dam.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

Richard Vincent visited Bratislava from 11 to 12 May to meet with
top Slovak officials, including Defense Minister Pavol Kanis,
Premier Jozef Moravcik and Commander of the Slovak Army,
Lieutenant General Julius Humaj. The goal of the visit was to
discuss Slovakia's participation in the Partnership for Peace
program, as well as cooperation within the North Atlantic
Cooperation Council (NACC), TASR reports. Vincent said that NATO
views Slovakia as an active member of the NACC and as a potential
NATO partner.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

survey of 1,009 people published on 12 May by the Hungarian daily
Magyar Hirlap found that 53% of the respondents felt it would be
bad for the country if the Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP) led by
Gyula Horn would emerge from the second round of national
elections on 29 May a winner of an absolute majority. The HSP won
the first round on 8 May by taking about a third of the seats on
the party list and is leading in some 160 out of the 176 districts
on the individual list. While some 14% of the respondents said
that a HSP majority would be good for Hungary, 10% declared
themselves "neutral," and 23% said that they did not know. The
survey was taken by Szonda Ipsos, a Hungarian media opinion survey
company.  Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

GYULA HORN LEAVES HOSPITAL. On 12 May HSP Chairman Gyula Horn left
the Miskolc hospital where he has been treated since he had a car
accident on 5 May, MTI reports. The accident, which occurred only
three days ahead the 8 May election, left Horn with a concussion,
a broken wrist and damaged cervical vertebra. Doctors described
Horn's condition as "rather good" but said he must remain under
medical care in his home.  Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

BERISHA ENDS VISIT TO ROMANIA. RFE/RL's Romanian Service reported
on 11 May that Albanian President Sali Berisha had ended his visit
to Romania as the guest of his counterpart, Ion Iliescu. It was
the first top-level contact between the two countries since the
fall of communism and probably since long before, given that
former communist leaders Nicolae Ceausescu and Enver Hoxha had
little use for each other. The Berisha-Iliescu meetings produced a
friendship treaty, which the Romanian leader said would help make
the two countries "factors of stability" in the Balkans. Berisha,
for his part, noted that it was necessary to show that the
peninsula is not just "an arena for fights." Both countries border
the former Yugoslavia, but Romania is sympathetic to its
traditional ally, Serbia, while Albania regards Belgrade as the
oppressor of the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo.  Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

Chief-of-Staff General Dumitru Cioflina that Bucharest intends to
make good on its plans to move its military away form a
conscript-based force to a smaller but more professional one. He
hopes to have half of the army on professional contracts by the
end of the decade, by which time the force would be reduced from
the current 270,000 to 200,000. Also on 12 May, Foreign Minister
Teodor Melescanu said that Romania the day before had signed the
so-called 11th protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights
in Strasbourg. The document enables persons to appeal to the
Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights after all appeals
to domestic courts are used up.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

Bulgaria became the first ex-communist country to assume the
rotating presidency of the Council of Europe. In an interview with
BTA, Foreign Minister Stanislav Daskalov said Bulgaria during its
6-month chairmanship will seek to further "all major activities"
of the CE and "particularly those implementing the decisions of
the October 1993 summit in Geneva" (where CE states agreed to
promote "democratic security" throughout the continent, to fight
racism and intolerance, and to reform the European Court of
Justice). The Chairman of Bulgaria's delegation to the
Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, Asparuh Panov, told Darik
Radio that the most delicate problem the Bulgarian presidency is
likely to face concerns Russia's wish to join the organization.
Panov said the entrance of Macedonia and Albania into the CE is of
considerable interest to Bulgaria, since these two countries play
an important role for the stability of the Balkans.  Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

13 May that Prime Minister Lyuben Berov is still trying to put
together a cabinet line-up which will be acceptable for a majority
of the Bulgarian parliamentary deputies. On the previous day Berov
distributed an updated version of his original program to those
parliamentary factions which he hopes will support him, but said
he would not present a complete list of ministers before 16 May.
Several papers say he now seems to have little room for
maneuvering and that the government therefore could remain largely
unchanged. On 12 May the opposition Union of Democratic Forces
raised the stakes by introducing a motion of no-confidence against
Berov, saying his cabinet has already demonstrated it is unfit to
govern. UDF Chairman Filip Dimitrov said he expects the
vote--which would be the sixth over the past year--to take place
within one week.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

reported on 11 May that the leader of the Belarusian Popular
Front, Zyanon Paznyak, succeeded in gathering over 100,000
signatures qualifying him for the presidential slate along with
the prime minister, Vyacheslau Kebich, and the head of the Party
of Communists of Belarus, Vasil Novikau. The final day for
submitting signatures in support of candidates is 15 May. In other
news Interfax reported on 12 May that presidential hopeful
Aleksandr Lukashenka has accused the chairman of the Supreme
Soviet, Mechyslau Hryb, of having connections with the local
Mafia. According to Lukashenka, Belarus's KGB has audio and video
tapes showing Hryb with representatives of criminal structures.
The chairman of the KGB, Henadz Lavitsky, has denied that the KGB
has any such materials and said that Lukashenka's statement "is
too cheap even for a primitive political provocation." Lukashenka
has been basing his presidential campaign on his personal fight
against corruption in government. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

Defense ministers--Indrek Kannik of Estonia, Valdis Pavlovskis of
Latvia, and Lynas Linkevicius of Lithuania--joined France's
Defense Minister Francois Leotard in singing pacts on military
cooperation, Western and Baltic media reported. According to the
pacts, France would offer military training to the Baltic States;
there would also be an exchange of officers and military
observers, as well as joint military exercises. Earlier this week
the Baltic States signed similar accords with the Western European
Union.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

Department announced that the rate of inflation in April was 1.6%,
Radio Lithuania reported on 9 May. In the first three months of
the year the monthly inflation rates were 4.8%, 2.9%, and 3.3%. In
April the prices on personal care products and medical services
grew most, by 6.9% with transportation and communication fees
increasing 6.7%. Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Labor Exchange said
unemployment in April was 3.1%, which is 0.1% lower than in March.
Women made up 62.3% of the unemployed and 65.7% of the unemployed
were blue-collar workers. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

  Compiled by Dzintra Bungs and Kjell Engelbrekt
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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