|На крыльях времени уносится печаль. - Жан де Лафонтен|
No. 95, 19 May 1994
RUSSIA DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR SUPPORTING RUSSIANS IN FSU. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Grigorii Karasin announced on 18 May that his ministry had produced a draft set of guidelines on supporting Russians in the other Soviet successor states as well as a draft program on urgent measures to be undertaken during the course of 1994. The stated aim is to bring about the integration of Russians into the life of the host state while preserving the Russians' own cultural identity. The guidelines include coordination of work with other concerned Russian ministries, Karasin said. Also being discussed is the creation of a governmental commission composed of various ministries, parliamentary committees, and public organizations concerned with ethnic Russians in the former Soviet republics, Interfax reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN'S MESSAGE ON CAUCASIAN WAR ANNIVERSARY. On 18 May ITAR-TASS carried the text of a message from Russian President Boris Yeltsin to the peoples of the Caucasus marking the 130th anniversary of the end of the 25-year Caucasian war of conquest of the North Caucasus by Tsarist Russia. The president's administration evidently thought it politic that he mark the anniversary, but the message recalls the unwillingness of the Soviet Union to acknowledge the reality of the conquest. Yeltsin states that not only the Russian empire, but Great Britain, France, Iran, and Turkey bear their share of moral responsibility for the sufferings of the mountain peoples. Referring to the frequent rewritings of the history of the war in the Soviet period, he says that it is now possible to give an objective treatment of the war as a valiant struggle by the peoples of the Caucasus not only for survival on their native soil but also for the preservation of their culture. In other words, he completely fails to mention that it was a struggle to maintain their independence. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE ON THE HORIZON? Several leading Russian newspapers on 18 May speculated on more upcoming personnel changes in the executive branch. Nezavisimaya gazeta suggested that Presidential Administration head Sergei Filatov may soon be replaced by the Secretary of the Security Council, Oleg Lobov. Komsomolskaya pravda reported that Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov, who defended President Yeltsin from the hard-line putschists in August 1991, may become Deputy Prime Minister in charge of military affairs. Rossiiskie vesti says the leader of the Democratic Party of Russia, Nikolai Travkin, recently appointed minister without portfolio, is going to replace Aleksandr Zaveryukha as Deputy Prime Minister in charge of agriculture. Federation Council chairman Vladimir Shumeiko, who played a role in the recent replacement of the Minister for Nationalities and Regional Policy Sergei Shakhrai, proposed that Travkin's status in the government be enhanced. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. SOLZHENITSYN AND RUSSIAN DEMOCRATS. Galina Starovoitova, a co-leader of the reformist "Democratic Russia Movement" told Radio Mayak on 15 May that she welcomes the return of the writer and Nobel Prize Winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to Russia. She stated that Solzhenitsyn may promote the emergence of a non-extremist patriotism in Russia. She said that the members of former "Interregional Group of Soviet Deputies"--the first official political organization of democrats in the former USSR, set up in 1989 by the late Andrei Sakharov and Boris Yeltsin, among others--decided to hold a revival meeting in Moscow soon and invite Solzhenitsyn as a guest speaker. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. SAFETY OF MOSCOW'S RESEARCH NUCLEAR REACTORS. More than 50 research nuclear reactors are currently functioning in Moscow. None of them is equipped with safety features such as containment shields. This was disclosed by the former head of the Moscow inspection unit of the State Atomic Supervision Committee at a news conference on 18 May, Interfax reported. The former official, Vladimir Kuznetsov, termed the situation with respect to safety precautions at the Moscow reactors "disastrous." It was not reported why Kuznetsov had left the inspection unit. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. INCIDENCE OF DRUG ADDICTION IN FSU. The International Association for the Struggle Against Drug Addiction and Narkobusiness announced that there are 6 million registered drug addicts in the former Soviet Union but estimated that the actual total is ten times greater, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 May, citing Nezavisimaya gazeta. The Moscow-based, nongovernmental association further estimated that, during the past ten years, the number of drug-related crimes had tripled, while the quantity of drugs confiscated had risen by a factor of thirty. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. CONFLICTING REPORTS ON PILOTS' STRIKE. The union representing most flight personnel in Russia claimed that its members had commenced an open-ended walkout at 22 airports on 18 May, while the Ministry of Transportation asserted that only 38 out of 1,200 scheduled flights had been delayed, Russian and Western agencies reported. The Prosecutor General's office filed a lawsuit against the union on the grounds that the strike was illegal. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA KARABAKH MEDIATION UPDATE. In a statement issued on 18 May, Azerbaijan's Minister of Defense reaffirmed that the sole reason for his failure to sign the protocol on a ceasefire in Karabakh signed by his Armenian, Karabakh, and Russian counterparts in Moscow on 16 May was "technical insufficiencies" that were being clarified by groups of experts, reports ITAR-TASS. Meanwhile in the course of an Azerbaijani parliament debate, parliament speaker Rasul Guliev defended his decision to sign the Bishkek protocol on Karabakh, which has been criticized by the opposition as bestowing de facto recognition on the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Guliev argued that it is merely a statement of intent and does not need to be ratified by the parliament. In Moscow, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Georgii Kondratev told Interfax that there will be no further meeting between the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian defense ministers; Kondratev reiterated his Minister Grachev's threat that Russia will give up all attempts at mediation if Azerbaijan declines to sign the ceasefire protocol. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. GERMANY EXTENDS DM10 MILLION CREDIT TO GEORGIA. Germany has granted Georgia the first instalment of a DM10 million credit earmarked for support of the agroindustrial complex, Interfax reported on 18 May. This in turn is the first instalment of the DM 30 million credit that Germany agreed to extend to Georgia last year. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. TAJIK-RUSSIAN RUBLE ZONE EXPECTED IN JUNE. The chairman of Tajikistan's National Bank, Kayum Kavmidinov, told ITAR-TASS on 18 May that he expects a ruble zone embracing Russia and Tajikistan to be set up by mid-June. Kavmidinov based his prediction on the outcome of talks between Tajikistan's head of state and top Russian leaders in April. He denied that the bank plans to issue a national currency with national symbols; earlier in the week Russia's Acting Minister of Finance encouraged Tajikistan to issue "national coupons" and expressed strong reservations about the planned Tajik-Russian monetary union. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. UZBEKISTAN SEEKING JAPANESE INVESTMENT. Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov, in Japan on an official visit, called on that country to invest in the development of Uzbekistan's natural resources and tourism, AFP reported on 18 May. He appealed for Japan to apply its advanced technology in developing mining industries, citing specifically gold, copper and zinc extraction and claiming that Uzbekistan's mineral resources are worth more than $3 trillion. Karimov was quoted as saying that he had also discussed the opening of an air route between the two countries as a means of increasing economic ties. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE ON UZBEK ARRESTS. Mamura Usmanova, head of the Tumaris women's group associated with the Uzbek opposition movement Birlik, told RFE/RL on 18 May that contrary to a statement by the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's press department, she had not been detained by Uzbek authorities. The Russian official had expressed the ministry's concern that four Uzbek opposition activists were reportely detained to prevent their participation in a human rights conference in Kazakhstan. Usmanova said Birlik activist Talib Yakubov and Mikhail Ardzhinov, head of a human rights group in Uzbekistan were indeed arrested; Usmanova did not know if the fourth activist mentioned in the Foreign Ministry statement had been detained. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS BELARUS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON MERGER WITH RUSSIA. One of the frontrunners in the presidential race in Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, called in a speech to the Russian State Duma for reuniting Russia, Ukraine and Belarus into a single state, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 May. He also called for "acknowledging" that the creation of the CIS had been a "mistake." The chairman of the Duma's Committee for CIS Affairs, Konstantin Zatulin, distanced himself publicly in the Duma's name from Lukashenko's remarks, as did the liberal-reformist Russia's Choice faction. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA TO "COMPROMISE" ON RUSSIAN TROOPS? The ninth round of negotiations on "the status and the terms of withdrawal" of Russian troops, scheduled for mid-May, has been postponed by several weeks, Interfax reported on 18 May. Fitful for the past two years, the talks are deadlocked over the Russian side's political and other conditions. In an unprecedented announcement, Chisinau said that it might accept certain (unspecified) "compromises" in order to unblock the talks. Losing confidence in the prospect of an internationally-backed solution, vulnerable to economic leverage, and facing Russia one-on-one in the negotiations, elements in the Moldovan leadership consider settling for a treaty-regulated "temporary" stationing of Russian troops as relatively preferable to the current fait accompli of an unregulated, open-ended troop presence. President Mircea Snegur's recent statements indicate that he for one insists on an early and unconditional withdrawal. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. KAZAKHSTAN, RUSSIA SIGN INTELLIGENCE AGREEMENT. The heads of Russia's Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) and of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee signed in Almaty on 17 May an agreement to increase bilateral cooperation in areas related to counterintelligence, terrorism, drug trafficking, and corruption. The agreement is seen as a deepening of an initial agreement signed in Moscow in March 1992, and may also signal a warming of relations between the two governments. ITAR-TASS quoted FSK head Sergei Stepashin as saying that, unless Russia aided other CIS states in the building of counterintelligence services, "others" would do so. At a press conference both officials acknowledged that numerous obstacles to greater cooperation remain, but did not describe them. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev termed the agreement an important example of greater cooperation that should be continued in other areas of Russian-Kazakhstani relations. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE FRENCH CHARITY RANSOMS AID WORKERS FROM BOSNIAN SERBS. RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service reported on 18 May that a private French aid group paid $44,000 to free 11 of its workers held by Bosnian Serbs, although the French government was opposed to the deal. The Serbs said they freed the hostages as a gesture to help renew friendship with France, a traditional ally of Serbia. Meanwhile, the UN canceled three flights to Tuzla following the Serb shelling of the newly reopened airport and the subsequent refusal by civilian pilots to fly there. Elsewhere, on the eve of a gathering in Washington by US, UN, EU, and Russian diplomats to discuss the "peace process," the speaker of the Bosnian Serb parliament made it clear that his side does not accept the new territorial arrangements brought by mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg. Momcilo Krajisnik said that the plan favors the Muslims and Croats. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SHADOW BOXING CONTINUES IN CROATIAN PARLIAMENT. Zagreb and Belgrade dailies report on 19 May on the current session of the Croatian Sabor, now entering its third day. The governing Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) is trying to replace the speakers of both houses of the legislature, who broke away from the HDZ in April to form the Croatian Independent Democrats (HND). They were joined by some other deputies and have attracted great attention in the media, although the HDZ continues to top the opinion polls. The HDZ still has a majority in parliament, too, but its preponderance is greatly reduced and the reinvigorated opposition is backing the HND leaders Stipe Mesic and Josip Manolic. In an interview with Vecernji list, Mesic suggested that he might leave the speaker's post but on his own terms. The legislative session is important because it could lead to the emergence of new political constellations, particularly if additional HDZ left-wing or centrist deputies back Mesic and Manolic. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. "SESELJ: WE WILL POUR WATER ON BOZOVIC UNTIL HE COOLS OFF." This is how Borba of 19 May headlines its coverage of an incident, which nearly erupted into a full blown fist fight between Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) deputies in the federal parliament of rump Yugoslavia the previous day. What triggered the incident was the decision by parliamentary president Radoman Bozovic to deny SRS deputy Drasko Markovic access to a microphone after the SRS deputy began implicating Socialist deputies in political and criminal scandals. Out of desperation, Markovic reportedly dowsed Bozovic with a glass of water, causing SRS leader Vojislav Seselj, present during the exchange, to defend the action, thereby escalating tensions. In a post-incident press statement Seselj said, in response to the charge that efforts were underway to bar him from the federal parliament: "There is no basis for doing this. Throwing water on someone is not a criminal affair and [Serbian President] Slobodan Milosevic can send tanks to the parliament . . . to throw me out." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. PATRIARCHS VISIT MONTENEGRO. On 18 May RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported that Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II, and his Serbian counterpart Pavle, visited Montenegro where Alexei met with Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic. In the capital Cetinje the Patriarchs were met by about 2,000 protesters objecting to what they felt was the political role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in defending what a protest letter labeled "Serbia's communist regime." Montenegro's own Orthodox Church, founded in Cetinje in 1993, has as yet not won recognition from any other Orthodox Church. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. RUGOVA MEETS BERISHA IN ALBANIA. Dita Information reported that Albanian President Sali Berisha and Ibrahim Rugova, President of the self proclaimed Republic of Kosovo, met in Tirana on 17 May. They discussed the situation in Kosovo and the Balkans and agreed that dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade is critical, though they noted that such dialogue must be mediated by some third party. They also noted that the preservation of an independent Macedonia is essential for regional stability. Ismije Beshiri, RFE/RL, Inc. GREEK-MACEDONIAN DELIBERATIONS HALTED. The second round of talks mediated by UN negotiator Cyrus Vance has been halted until after 13 June, following the completion of European Parliament elections, according to Nova Makedonija's 19 May edition. That same issue carried a story that the US has proposed a package solution to the Greek-Macedonian dispute which includes officially calling the Republic of Macedonia "North Macedonia." MILS said on 18 May that US President Bill Clinton telephoned Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou seeking his approval of the proposed compromise. Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc. MOCK REACTS TO ZIELENIEC REMARKS. Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock said that he fully supports the position of Czech President Vaclav Havel on the expulsion of the German minority from Czechoslovakia after WW II, the Austrian Press Agency reported on 18 May. In March 1993 Havel said that the expulsion of Germans "was based on the principle of collective guilt" and is thus comparable to the "violent deportations of Jews, Tatars and other nationalities, or to the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia." Mock pointed out that remarks of that sort gained Havel a moral authority throughout the world. The Austrian foreign minister was reacting to Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec's remarks of 17 May in which he expressed dismay about comparisons between the expulsion and the ethnic cleansing made by Mock in a recent interview with the Sudetendeutsche Zeitung. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc. MAJORITY OF CZECHS FAVORS NATO MEMBERSHIP. According to a new survey conducted by the STEM agency, a majority of Czechs supports NATO membership, Mlada fronta dnes reported on 19 May. More than 56% of the respondents said that they favor the Czech Republic's membership in the organization, while 43% said that they are opposed (of which 12.6% are "categorically opposed"). While 40% of those asked said that they do not want the Czech Republic to become a neutral state, 19% were in favor of neutrality. In a similar survey conducted in March 1990, 67% of the Czechs supported neutrality, 9.2% said the country should remain member of the now defunct Warsaw Pact, and only 5.6% were in favor of joining NATO. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc. "SCREENING" IN FULL SWING BEFORE ELECTIONS. The Czech Interior Ministry is expecting a flood of applications for screening candidates who are competing in the upcoming local elections for possible ties with the former State Security Agency (StB), Rude pravo reported on 19 May. According to the report, about 80,000 new applications are expected in the next three months, as candidates are legally required to present a report on whether they were StB collaborators or not. So far, the Interior Ministry has handled 240,000 individual requests for such reports by Czech citizens because many employers demand them. About 4% of the applicants were identified as "agents" or "collaborators" of the StB. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK OPINION POLL RESULTS. In an opinion poll conducted by the Slovak Statistical Office from 2-10 May, 75% of respondents said they would certainly or probably take part in the elections, TASR reported on 18 May. Respondents were asked which party they would support if elections were to be held in May, and five parties reached the 5% limit needed to gain representation in the parliament. The Movement for a Democratic Slovakia had the support of 27% (down from 32% in April), followed by the Party of the Democratic Left with 16%, the Christian Democratic Movement with 11%, the Coexistence-Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement coalition with 7% and the Democratic Union of Slovakia (DEUS) with 5%. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for 30 September and 1 October. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAKIA'S POLITICAL PARTIES PREPARE FOR ELECTIONS. Reacting to the decision of the Christian Democratic Movement of 30 April to allow members of other right-wing parties to run on its list, the Entrepreneurs Party on 18 May declined the offer. The party's deputy chairman, Ivan Sykora, said the CDM's initiative "does not represent a real basis for unification of the right-wing parties" and said his party would have to find other partners. Meanwhile, Pal Csaky of the HCDM expressed concern that the CDM's plan might cause the party to lose potential voters and encouraged the right-wing parties to establish a wide, open coalition. NDP Chairman Ludovit Cernak announced that his party would decide in June whether to join a pre-election coalition with DEUS or to be listed on the CDM's ticket. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ON FORMER COMMUNISTS. Peter Boross told a press conference on 18 May that influential Western political circles, whom he did not name, are unhappy about the victory of the former reform communists, the Hungarian Socialist Party, in the first round of the elections, MTI reports. He said that while he sought to reassure these circles that the process of reform would not be reversed, he himself was worried about a return of old-style communists under an HSP government. Referring to struggles between reform oriented technocrats and old party apparatchiks in the HSP, Boross said that he was watching with great interest how the HSP will be able to resolve its internal conflicts. He warned that if the new government follows the example of the communist government of 1988-1989 and fails to take unpopular economic measures it will ruin the country again. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH AMBASSADOR REJECTS ALLEGATIONS. PAP reported on 18 May that Poland's ambassador to Russia since November 1989, Stanislaw Ciosek, has denied that he ever advocated intervention by Warsaw Pact forces to quell the Solidarity movement in 1980-81, and has formally asked the prosecutor general to examine the allegations leveled against him in an article in the daily Zycie Warszawy on 17 May. The allegations, which could give rise to treason charges, are apparently based on information contained in a special report on East German Stasi archives that is to be presented by the Gauck Commission to the German Bundestag on 17 June. The Ministry of Justice, which has not yet taken an official stand in the case, is considering applying to the German government for a copy of the Gauck report. Ciosek, who belonged to the top communist party leadership in the 1980s, does not deny he had contacts with East German diplomats but rejected suggestions that he had advocated intervention as imprecise and a distorted interpretation of his intentions at the time. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA AT MONTE CASSINO: EUROPE'S DEBT TO POLAND. Speaking at Monte Cassino on the 50th anniversary of the Polish victory on 18 May, President Lech Walesa noted that the graves of Polish soldiers there are evidence that Poland is owed its rightful place in Europe. This theme was echoed in a special message from Pope John Paul II, who stressed that Poles fought in 1944 for a free Europe as the key to an independent Poland. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, and several thousand veterans attended the ceremonies. In Rome, Walesa met afterward with Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. Mishaps plagued the anniversary. The "Mazovia" tour operator who organized travel for most veterans disappeared on 14 May in Rome with at least $50,000 in cash; he was being sought by Interpol. Elderly veterans who paid $300 to travel to Italy reported spending 30 hours on a bus without pausing for meals or rest. Pawlak's automobile was involved in a fender-bender in the torrential downpour that accompanied the ceremonies. A Sejm commission demanded an investigation into the funding of the ceremonies and the selection of participants in the government delegation. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. WHILE BULGARIA'S GOVERNMENT CRISIS DEEPENS . . . On 18 May Prime Minister Lyuben Berov submitted his long-awaited, revised government line-up for approval by the National Assembly. To the surprise of many deputies, Berov proposed as his deputy Rumen Gechev, an economist and a member of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, whose name had been dropped during previous consultations; he had also selected two largely unknown personalities for the positions of trade and justice ministers. Berov also said there would be two new ministries, one for power supply and one for communication. After the session, the caucuses of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms--which originally provided Berov with the mandate--and the New Union for Democracy stated in a joint declaration that they could not accept the proposal which transforms the current "government of experts" into a cabinet of the BSP. Early on 19 May, BTA quoted Deputy Premier Evgeni Matinchev as saying that if the parliamentary majority backing the present cabinet can not unite on a common formula today, Berov can chose between suggesting another set of changes or handing in his resignation right away. A non-confidence vote against Berov is also scheduled for 19 May. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . THOUSANDS OF BULGARIANS JOIN STRIKE. Meanwhile, the Confederation of Trade Unions in Bulgaria has launched nationwide strikes, with employees in the public transport, health care and trade sectors, as well as the light, chemical and arms industries, laying down their tools for one or several hours. Agencies quote CITUB officials as putting the number of participants in the strikes to 130,000, not counting people who joined protest rallies in cities and towns. BTA reports that the second major union organization, Podkrepa, is not backing the CITUB's demands for the government to offer compensation for growing inflation, saying that in the long run the strikes will contribute to a further decrease in real wages. However, the smaller Independent Trade Unions--originally a splinter group of Podkrepa--called on its members to support the strikes. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ELECTS SPEAKER. On 18 May Oleksander Moroz, the leader of the Ukrainian Socialist Party and a presidential candidate, was elected speaker of the new Ukrainian parliament after receiving 171 votes out of 322 cast. His closest rival was Vasyl Durdinets, a close ally of President Leonid Kravchuk, who got 103 votes. After his election Moroz said he did not exclude the possibility of moving the presidential elections to a later date, which the leftist bloc, which the Socialist Party belongs to, has so far opposed. According to Ukrainian radio, there are rumors in the Supreme Council that the leader of the national democrats, Vyacheslav Chornovil, and Moroz have come to an agreement to postpone the elections. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES RATED. On 18 May Belarusian radio broadcast the analysis of the Belarusian Institute of Scientific and Technical information on the popularity rating of the country's presidential candidates. The prime minister, Vyachelsau Kebich, led with an 18.3% approval rating; Aleksandr Lukashenka came in second with 17.1%; the leader of the Party of Communists of Belarus, Vasil Novilau, came in third with 6.7%; Stanislau Shushkevich followed with 5.1%; the opposition leader Zyanon Paznyak was approved of by only 4.6% of the respondents; the leader of the Party of Popular Accord was supported by 2%. Over one third of those polled said they had not yet made up their mind as to who they would support. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. KOZYREV ON BALTIC TERRITORIAL CLAIMS AGAINST RUSSIA. BNS reported on 18 May that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev wants to raise the issue of Baltic territorial claims against Russia at the meeting of the Council of the Baltic Sea States in Tallinn on 24 and 25 May. Kozyrev told the press that the Baltic States should not have any territorial claims against his country, regardless of the historical background of those claims. After World War II, some territory from Estonia and Latvia was unilaterally transferred by Moscow to the Russian Federation and this has been one of the issues in the recent Estonian-Russian and Latvian-Russian negotiations. Kozyrev also spoke unenthusiastically about Finnish mediation in these talks, saying that Russia needs no mediation, but participation. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLES LIKELY IN THE BALTICS. Changes in government are being seriously considered in all three Baltic States. In Lithuania, plans have been drawn up to add 5 new ministerial positions to the government structure. In Latvia, criticism of the government of Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs has increased and there is strife among the members of the ruling coalition in the parliament: Latvia's Way (which Birkavs represents) and the Farmers' Union. Instability also grew as a consequence of the accusations that two members of Birkavs government had cooperated with the KGB. In Estonia, Prime Minister Mart Laar wants to sack Defense Minister Indrek Kannik and Laar is being backed by the Pro Patria parliamentary faction, BNS reported on 18 May. The Pro Patria party council, however, wants all of the members of the Laar government to resign. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Vladimir Socor and Michael Shafir 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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