Some things have to be believed to be seen. - Ralph Hodgson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 104, 3 June 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIAN-SOUTH KOREAN SUMMIT. South Korean President Kim Yong-sam
arrived in Moscow on 1 June for a four-day official visit.
Following talks on 2 June, President Boris Yeltsin and the Korean
leader signed a joint declaration outlining new areas for
cooperation including regular exchanges of visits and the
establishment of a hotline. Yeltsin hailed the declaration as "a
new step forward in the course of our mutually beneficial
cooperation" following on the 1992 treaty on bilateral relations,
ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL Inc.

TRADE AND DEBT ISSUES. Economic relations dominated the talks
between the Russian and Korean leaders. Both expressed
satisfaction with the steady growth in trade and pledged to
increase it further. "We are interested in full-blooded economic
ties and would like to see investments by South Korean firms in
our economy increasing, especially in the Far East," Yeltsin said,
identifying defense conversion as a particularly advantageous area
for cooperation. Yeltsin admitted that Russia's debt to South
Korea, which he said amounts to "almost 1.4 billion dollars--400
million of which is outstanding debt," is a serious problem and
hampers the development and implementation of major projects. The
talks resulted in some understandings on the issue, Yeltsin said,
and he added, "I for one was given to understand that the
president of [South] Korea was sympathetic toward the issue of
postponing the debt, the start of the cancellation of the debt.
That is important for us," ITAR-TASS reported. Suzanne Crow,
RFE/RL Inc.

YELTSIN ON NORTH KOREA. At a news conference on 2 June, Yeltsin
answered questions on Russia's stance toward North Korea. He said
Russia's "main policy" is to keep North Korea in the nuclear
nonproliferation treaty and carrying out its obligations on
allowing inspections. Yeltsin said Russia favors the use of
political methods to solve the North Korean nuclear problem. He
added, "The interests of all interested parties should not be
infringed." On the question of Russia's treaty with North Korea,
Yeltsin said that, because of amendments to the treaty made in
1990, "there is no longer any rigid stipulation about our helping
or siding with the DPRK." According to an unnamed official quoted
by ITAR-TASS, Yeltsin told Kim Yong-sam that Russia will not renew
the treaty with North Korea when it comes up for review in two
years. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL Inc.

DON COSSACKS CONFRONT LOCAL AUTHORITIES. For three days about 150
Don Cossacks headed by their ataman have been picketing the
building of the administration of Rostov Oblast, demanding
immediate action on the rebirth of the Cossacks, ITAR-TASS
reported on 2 June. Their demands include the payment of 30
billion rubles to Cossack rural communities and Cossack farmers to
conduct spring sowing, financial support of Cossack fishery and
ecological protection, and talks on changing the status of the
structures responsible for defending Cossack interests in the
oblast's legislative assembly. Talks with the authorities have
reached an impasse, with the oblast administration saying that it
lacks funds and that questions of Cossack land use cannot be
decided in isolation, while the Cossacks are demanding immediate
implementation of presidential and governmental decrees on the
rehabilitation of the Cossacks. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL Inc.

CHECHNYA COMMEMORATES VICTORY OVER TSARIST TROOPS. On 1 June,
Chechnya celebrated the 152 anniversary of the routing of 18,000
Tsarist troops by 1,500 mountaineers during the Russo-Caucasian
War of 1817-64 with a march and fly-past, ITAR-TASS was informed
by the Chechnya's Information and Press Department on 2 June.
Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev said at the ceremony that the
ancestors of the Chechen people were a worthy example for the
present generation and the Chechen people was always ready to
defend its independence. The head of Chechnya's Press and
Information Department, Movladi Udugov, told Interfax that
Russo-Chechen relations were once again deadlocked and the
situation was now such that "Russia must either sit at the
negotiating table with Chechnya or destroy it by resorting to open
armed aggression." On 1 June, Dudaev introduced an indefinite
curfew throughout Chechnya in response to Russia's extension of
the state of emergency in Ingushetia, Interfax reported. Ann
Sheehy, RFE/RL Inc.

TENSIONS IN KRASNODAR KRAI. The third Congress of the Shapsug
people opened in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on 28 May,
ITAR-TASS reported. The Shapsugs were the largest of the western
Circassian tribes of the Northern Caucasus until the mid-1860s
when, following Russia's victory in the Caucasian War, most of
them were forced to flee to Turkey. Now numbering around 10,000,
they have begun to agitate for the restoration of the Shapsug
Autonomous District, abolished in the 1930s. Their demands have
been rebuffed by the authorities in Krasnodar Krai, who also
complain that their region is being swamped with refugees from
Transcaucasia. The local authorities say they are receiving no
help from Moscow to resettle the refugees, of whom there are now
about 600,000 in Krasnodar Krai. At the beginning of May, the
Krasnodar administration announced that, in future, "citizens of
the near abroad and stateless persons" would be allowed to enter
the region only if they were in prior possession of a permit
issued by the krai authorities (Izvestiya, 4 May). They did not
say how the ban would be enforced. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL Inc.

PLAN FOR RESETTLING RUSSIAN RETURNEES. A Russian government
adviser told Reuters on 1 June that the Russian government has
drawn up a plan for the resettlement of as many as 11 million
ethnic Russians, should that many decide to migrate to Russia from
the other Soviet successor-states. (According to the 1989 census,
some 25 million ethnic Russians were living outside the Russian
Federation in that year; since then, some 2 million are estimated
to have migrated to Russia. Most experts predict that a total of
no more than about 6 million ethnic Russians are likely to decide
to move to Russia.) Sergei Afanasev, Deputy Chairman of a special
commission charged with advising the government on resettlement,
told Reuters the plan calls for resettling the migrants in Central
Russia and Siberia--including Tver, Novgorod, Yaroslavl and Omsk
Oblasts. He said resettlers would receive land for farming and tax
benefits and other help to build homes and start businesses. He
said the resettlement areas would also be open to those Russians
who are, in increasing numbers, leaving the cities of Russia's Far
North as a result of the reduction of state subsidies for
residents of those areas. The resettlement plan still has to be
approved by both government and parliament. Elizabeth Teague,
RFE/RL Inc.

SOLZHENITSYN BEGINS TRAIN JOURNEY. Russia's most famous returnee,
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, left Vladivostok on 1 June on the first
leg of a train journey that will take him back to Moscow for the
first time since his exile by the Soviet authorities 20 years ago.
His 60-day journey will take him across Siberia and through the
Urals. Meanwhile, speculation is building in the Russian and
Western press that Solzhenitsyn might decide to embark on a
political career. Solzhenitsyn himself has denied any political
ambitions, but commentators note that the disillusion of the
Russian public extends to virtually all the country's present
political leaders and that Solzhenitsyn could be the only public
figure capable of inspiring popular confidence. Elizabeth Teague,
RFE/RL Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN FEDERATION COUNCIL OPPOSES RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS FOR
ABKHAZIA. Meeting in closed session on 2 June, the upper chamber
of the Russian parliament rejected by one vote Yeltsin's request
for the dispatch of a contingent of Russian troops to Abkhazia as
part of a joint CIS peacekeeping force, ITAR-TASS and Interfax
reported. The chairman of the Federation Council's Committee on
Defense and Security, Petr Shirshov, told Interfax there is as yet
no adequate juridical basis for the deployment of Russian troops
beyond Russian borders. Federation Council deputy speaker Ramazan
Abdulatipov said the Council should have supported Yeltsin, and
that the issue required urgent resolution. CIS Executive Secretary
Ivan Korotchenya told Interfax on returning from his tour of the
Transcaucasus and Central Asia on 1 June that Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan had all expressed support
for the CIS peacekeeping operation, while Russia's Deputy Defense
Minister Georgii Kondratyev told Interfax on 2 June that Russian
army divisions from the Leningrad and Volga Military Districts had
received special training for the mission and were ready to take
up their posts. Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry has lifted
the economic sanctions imposed on Abkhazia last September,
according to Interfax of 2 June. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

MOSCOW DENIES IT WANTS VETO OVER CASPIAN OIL PROJECTS. On 2 June
Interfax quoted an unidentified senior Russian government official
as denying a report in The Financial Times of 31 May, according to
which the Russian government had informed the British Embassy in
Moscow in late April that Russia was demanding the right to veto
Caspian sea oil projects. Such a move that would jeopardize the
activities of foreign consortiums in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
The official termed the report "ludicrous" given that "the bulk of
the oil extracted on the Caspian shelf will be exported through
Russia." Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KILLINGS CONTINUE IN TAJIKISTAN. Within hours of the 31 May
killing of a Russian officer in Dushanbe, a Russian officer in the
service of Tajikistan's Defense Ministry was assassinated, Russian
media reported on 2 June. Soon after, the bodies of two more
Defense Ministry officers, and two unidentified female corpses,
were found in a Dushanbe apartment. Three of the four slain
officers were lieutenant-colonels; the fourth was a major.
Interfax reported on 2 June that a Russian border guard was killed
on the Tajik-Afghan frontier by a "foreign-made" landmine. While
Tajikistan's Deputy Defense Minister dismissed speculation that
the murders were politically motivated, it is likely that they are
related to the forthcoming peace talks in Tehran. Certain
government and opposition groups are interested in derailing a
peace deal, while some Tajik officials have been trying to
persuade the Russians to take a harder line against the
opposition. RL's Tajik Service has learned that the Tehran talks,
originally scheduled for 7 June, have, on the Tajik government's
insistence, been put off until 15 June. Keith Martin, RFE/RL Inc.

AKAEV IN EUROPE. Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev, on an
official trip to Europe to seek investment for his country,
attended the ceremony in Brussels on 1 June at which Kyrgyzstan
signed up for the NATO Partnership for Peace program, Western
agencies reported. A separate agreement on trade, economic
assistance and political ties was signed with the European Union.
In an interview with the Belgian daily Le Soir, as quoted by
ITAR-TASS, Akaev claimed that Kyrgyzstan is the only CIS state to
have effected the transition to a market economy in accordance
with the criteria set out by the IMF and World Bank. Akaev invited
European investors to participate in developing Kyrgyzstan's rich
mineral resources. Bess Brown , RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN TALKS SUSPENDED. On 2 June RFE/RL's South Slavic Language
Service reported that Bosnian ceasefire talks scheduled to open 2
June were suspended. A key condition for Bosnian Muslim
participation was the removal of an estimated 150 Serb soldiers
from the exclusion zone around the Bosnian Muslim enclave of
Gorazde. As of 2 June, Bosnian Serb forces, which Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic had said would be moved back, failed to
comply with the condition, prompting the delay in negotiations. On
2 June AFP reported that UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi had said
talks could begin on 3 June if the troops in question are pulled
back. On 3 June, however, conflicting reports about the situation
around Gorazde emerged, with Reuters noting that a UN spokesman in
Sarajevo has said about 150 Serb military personnel, in plain
clothes, continue to remain in the exclusion zone. Irrespective of
the outcome of the current round of talks, Bosnian Muslim
officials have said they will attend talks with representatives of
the European Union, the United States, and Russia on 4 June. Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

KARADZIC APOLOGIZES FOR SHELLING. On 1 June international media
reported that UN peacekeepers at Tuzla airport requested air
support after being shelled, but promptly canceled the request
after being telephoned by Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic,
who apologized for the attack. Reuters reported that Karadzic
called the shelling "a mistake" and vowed that it would be
stopped. In other news, on 3 June international media report that
the UN commission constituted to collect evidence on war crimes in
the former Yugoslavia has filed its final report. The New York
Times of 3 June reports that with respect to the issue of ethnic
cleansing, the commission has observed that Serb practices were
undertaken "with extreme brutality and savagery in a manner
designed to instill terror in the civilian population." Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

PARLIAMENT VOTES DOWN DRAFT LAW ON ELECTIONS. The Czech parliament
failed to adopt a draft law on parliamentary elections, Czech
dailies report on 3 June. Although the draft was presented by
members of the ruling coalition, only 31 deputies voted in favor.
Observers consider this a victory for the opposition which
repeatedly tried to abolish the second chamber of the parliament,
the Senate. It is widely believed that it will be now impossible
to hold elections for the Senate this year as planned. Moreover,
it is possible that the Senate will be abolished altogether.
Interior Minister Jan Ruml was quoted as saying that "failing to
adopt the law probably means the end of the Senate." According to
a recent opinion poll, more than 45% of the Czech population is
opposed to the creation of the second chamber of the parliament,
Mlada Fronta Dnes reported on 2 June. Only 18% of the respondents
said that they favor the Senate, while 37% expressed no opinion.
Jan Obrman, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN DEMOCRATIC FORUM LEADER RESIGNS. The Executive Chairman
of the Hungarian Democratic Forum Sandor Lezsak resigned on 1 June
following a meeting of the party's presidium, MTI reports. Lezsak
was not only a founding member of the Forum that ruled Hungary
during the past four years, but the party itself was founded in
Lezsak's backyard in the small town of Lakitelek. Lezsak told
reporters that he resigned because he no longer felt he had the
support of the party's leadership following the Forum's bad
showing in the May national elections. A program of renewal
presented by Lezsak to the presidium was rejected by some
presidium members. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL Inc.

GYULA HORN SLAMS COMPENSATION PROCESS. Gyula Horn, the chairman of
the Hungarian Socialist Party that won a landslide victory in the
May national elections, criticized the country's compensation
program for victims of property expropriation and political
oppression. Foreign media report on 1 June that Horn, in an
interview given to the weekly 168 Ora, criticized the scheme in
which over one million people have received compensation coupons
that could be used to buy land, state-owned property, and council
flats. Horn said that black marketeers took unlawful advantage of
the situation, while the vast majority of the people were
irritated by the scheme because they had been left out. Prior to
the elections, Horn said that his party would respect the
compensation law and finish the compensation process as soon as
possible. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL Inc.

WALESA TO RUN FOR SECOND TERM. In an interview with PAP on 1 June,
President Lech Walesa announced that he will run for a second term
in the 1995 presidential elections. Walesa said that the
"postcommunists and all those who attack me" had offered an
incentive to "fight again." Defending his record, Walesa said he
has good ideas on how to solve Poland's problems; the trick is
getting the public to listen to them. He stressed that he will not
support any party in the local government elections on 19 June. In
a public opinion survey reported by the CBOS polling firm on 1
June, only 6% said they consider Walesa the best candidate for
president. Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski
remains the front-runner for president, with 16% support, followed
by Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak, with 9%, and Foreign Minister
Andrzej Olechowski, with 7%. Tied with Walesa at 6% are: former
Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski and Nonparty Reform Bloc
leader and heart surgeon Zbigniew Religa. Walesa won election to a
first term in December 1990 with 74% of the vote. Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL Inc.

CONFLICT IN POLAND'S NONPARTY REFORM BLOC. Walesa distanced
himself from the Nonparty Reform Bloc (BBWR), the political
coalition set up at his urging for the 1993 parliamentary
elections. The BBWR failed to capture public enthusiasm and barely
managed to reach the 5% threshold for representation in the Sejm.
However, the party's leading figure--the heart surgeon Zbigniew
Religa--won election to the Senate with over 500,000 votes, more
than any candidate in the 1993 elections. Religa has since
attempted to mold the BBWR into his own political vehicle, and has
even hinted that he will run for president in 1995. While
expressing support for Walesa, Religa also argued recently that
Poland needs an "educated" president. On 1 June, Religa announced
his resignation from the BBWR, citing differences with the bloc's
leadership. He retracted his decision later the same day. Religa
says he wants the BBWR to choose a distinct orientation and become
a full-fledged political party. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc.

POLISH ARMY RETURNS TO CORPUS CHRISTI SERVICES. In a return to
precommunist traditions, Polish military formations took part in
Corpus Christi celebrations in Warsaw on 2 June, Polish TV
reports. President Lech Walesa took part in the Warsaw procession,
which returned to the route followed in the interwar years. Over
10,000 people joined the Warsaw procession. In his sermon,
Cardinal Jozef Glemp argued that the Church is a "friend of the
nation . . . [and] of the state, tested for centuries." "No
rational person rejects the hand of a friend," he said. He
expressed confidence that "the Church's proposal of friendship" to
contemporary Poland will be accepted and that Church and state
will not simply "coexist--because that is too little--but work
together for the common good," PAP reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL
Inc.

POLISH PROSECUTOR PROBES MONTE CASSINO SCANDAL. On prosecutor's
orders, Warsaw police searched the headquarters of the "Mazovia"
travel bureau on 1 June, PAP reports. Prosecutors opened an
investigation into the embezzlement of funds from World War II
veterans who hired Mazovia to travel by bus to 50th anniversary
ceremonies at Monte Cassino. Mazovia's owner, Stefan Sulimierski,
disappeared before the ceremonies and resurfaced two weeks later,
claiming he had been kidnapped to Tunisia, drugged, and robbed of
$40,000. On 1 June, Sulimierski demanded police protection after
Slovak tour operators arrived to force payment of unpaid hotel
bills and threatened to kidnap him to Bratislava. Police refused,
citing high costs. Sulimierski's questioning was interrupted by an
anonymous bomb threat. The saga has prompted calls for the
dismissal of officials at the Veterans' Office, who apparently
recommended Sulimierski's services. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc.

BULGARIA EXPECTS MAJOR DEBT WRITEOFF. On 1 June a Bulgarian
government official said prospects seem good that an agreement
involving a 47.2% reduction of $8.16 billion owed to commercial
creditors can be reached by the end of the month. At a press
conference in Sofia Deputy Finance Minister Dimitar Kostov told
BTA that creditor banks and financial institutions representing
91% of the money owed have now sanctioned the deal, which
envisages a nominal writeoff of $3.8 billion. In all, Bulgaria's
commercial debt amounts to $9.27 billion. If the agreement is
concluded, it would oblige Bulgaria to repurchase 12.5% of the
debt, transform 27% into front load interest reduction bonds, and
60.5% into discount bonds. Kostov said the government expects to
have to make an initial payment of some $720-750 million, to be
followed by annual installments of $250-270 million over the next
seven years. He also said that budgetary revenues will probably
have to exceed expenses by 4-5% in order for the country to keep
up with the payments. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN SECURITY DELEGATION IN BULGARIA. A delegation headed by
the Chairman of Russia's National Security Council, Oleg Lobov, is
in Bulgaria to discuss challenges to national security in the
post-Cold War setting and cooperation between the arms industry of
the two states. When meeting with Bulgarian President Zhelyu
Zhelev on 31 May, Lobov read out a personal message from Boris
Yeltsin reaffirming Moscow's commitment to the 1992 bilateral
treaty and noting some positive trends in recent economic
relations: Yeltsin quoted figures that trade turnover rose by 20%
in 1993 after having fallen steeply in 1990-92. Later that day,
Lobov and Deputy Prime Minister Evgeni Matinchev initialed an
agreement on establishing an intergovernmental commission for
cooperation in the defense industry sector. On 1 June the Russian
delegation traveled to Kazanlak and Sopot to inspect arms
factories. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIA REPLIES TO KOENIG-JANNSON REPORT. On 26 May the Romanian
Foreign Affairs Ministry replied to the negative report presented
to the Council of Europe by the two rapporteurs of the council,
Friedrich Koenig and Gunnar Jannson earlier in May, Radio
Bucharest said on 2 June. The ministry said many parts in the
report were "outdated," while other parts were "inaccurate or
distorted, due to certain biased sources of information." It said
that parliament and the government will make every effort to
implement "as soon as possible" the remaining unfulfilled
obligations Romania had assumed when joining the council. At the
same time, the ministry said that "in its present form" the
council's "system of reports" was "outdated as a procedure for
verifying" the implementation of the obligations assumed by the
council's new members. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

EDUCATION BILL STIRS DISPUTE IN ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT. The debate on
the new education bill, which began on 1 June, stirred disputes in
the Chamber of Deputies. The Hungarian Democratic Federation of
Romania faction called the bill unacceptable. They rejected in
particular the draft bill's stipulations that teaching of history
and geography, as well as civic education, must be conducted in
the Romanian language in all schools, including those of national
minorities. HDFR chairman Bela Marko said at a press conference on
the same day that President Ion Iliescu has been asked to mediate
on this matter and that the HDFR had demanded from its allies in
the Democratic Convention of Romania support for its position. On
the other hand, deputies representing the extreme nationalist
Greater Romania Party called the bill too liberal and asked for
school uniforms to be restored, an RFE/RL correspondent and Radio
Bucharest reported the same day. Gabriel Tepelea, who represents
the National Peasant Party Christian Democratic, said religion
classes in schools should be compulsory, rather than optional.
Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN NATIONALISTS TO GET GOVERNMENT POST? The vice chairman of
the Party of Romanian National Unity, which is headed by the
extreme nationalist Cluj mayor Gheorghe Funar, said on 1 June that
one of his members, Valeriu Tabara, may soon be appointed Minister
of Agriculture. Ioan Gavra said the appointment "was likely, but
not definite," an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Bucharest.
The PRNU has signed earlier this year an agreement with the ruling
Party of Social Democracy in Romania to join the coalition but the
agreement was never implemented, partly due to warnings from the
West. The PRNU has threatened to withdraw support from the PSDR in
parliament if it will not be offered ministerial portfolios.
Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT'S RESOLUTION ON CRIMEA. Ukraine's parliament
met on 1 June to discuss the problem of Crimea, various agencies
reported on 1 and 2 June. President Leonid Kravchuk proposed the
creation of a constitutional court with the power to annul any
Crimean legislation that contradicts Ukraine's constitution. The
proposal was welcomed by the Chairman of Crimea's parliament,
Serhii Tsekov, but Ukrainian deputies rejected it as vague and
irresolute. Instead, deputies voted 241 to 38 in favor of creating
a parliamentary commission which will be given two weeks to change
Ukraine's laws so that the country can annul actions by Crimean
authorities. At the moment, Ukraine can only suspend motions
passed by Crimea. Deputies also asked Kravchuk to present them
with a list of measures next week which can be taken against
Crimean authorities if they fail to observe Ukraine's
constitution. While deputies did not issue any new ultimatums to
Crimea, they affirmed their insistence that Crimea rescind the
1992 constitution that it voted on 20 May to reintroduce and which
is responsible for sparking the current dispute. Interfax on 2
June quoted Crimean President Yurii Meshkov as saying the move to
restore the 1992 constitution had not yet come into effect because
he had not signed it. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

MESHKOV DENIED ADDITIONAL POWERS. An RFE/RL correspondent reported
on 2 June that the Crimean parliament had rejected an appeal from
President Meshkov for the power to rule by decree. Meshkov
reportedly asked for the powers so that he could push through
economic reforms. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

LAST RUSSIAN SHIPS LEAVE LATVIA. On 1 June the last three Russian
warships left the port of Liepaja completing the withdrawal of the
Russian Navy from Latvia, Interfax reports. The farewell
ceremonies for the ships that will be stationed in Baltiisk were
attended by Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs and Russian ambassador
Aleksandr Rannikh. Russian warships will have to give seven days
notice to enter Latvian waters in June and thirty days
subsequently. Military installations occupied about a third of the
Liepaja port which will become a strictly commercial port. Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT IN LITHUANIA. At a press
conference on 2 June ending his three-day visit to Lithuania, Egon
Klepsch said that the European Parliament supports Lithuania
becoming an associate member of the European Union, Radio
Lithuania reports. In a speech at the Seimas earlier that day
Klepsch said that Lithuania could become an active mediator and
contribute to the peaceful development of the Baltic Sea region.
Talks with President Algirdas Brazauskas focused on the
demilitarization of the Kaliningrad region and both agreed that
the West was paying too little attention to Ukraine. During his
visit Klepsch also met with Seimas Chairman Ceslovas Jursenas,
Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys, and Archbishop of Vilnius Audrys
Backis. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

ESTONIAN ARMY COMMANDER OFFERS RESIGNATION. On 2 June Maj. Gen.
Aleksander Einseln, commander in chief of the Estonian armed
forces, announced that he had asked President Lennart Meri to
accept his resignation because of dissatisfaction with the
activities of Prime Minister Mart Laar, BNS reports. In February
Laar held talks with Israeli military officials on close
cooperation in defense matters without consulting Einseln, who
described Laar's information on them as "unethical, if not a
downright lie." Former Defense Minister Indrek Kannik had also
complained about Laar's talks with Israel. Laar, however,
succeeded in getting Meri to approve Urmas Arumae as the new
Justice Minister, replacing Kaido Kama who had been fired along
with Kannik two weeks ago. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

MORE ON BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE. On 1 June Belarusian radio
reported on the election platform of Vasil Novikau, the leader of
the Party of Communists of Belarus. Novikau was said to intend
again to provide the population with all aspects of social
protection and consumer subsidies. He also was reported to have
called for the return of the former USSR and promised to "give
value back" to the country's currency. His program was close to
that of the Agrarians' candidate, Aleksandr Dubko. The communists
say they can work together with the two other leftist candidates,
Vyacheslau Kebich and Aleksandr Lukashenka, but are not prepared
to cooperate with the non-leftist candidates, Stanislau
Shushkevich and Zyanon Paznyak. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Elizabeth Teague and Jan de
  Weydenthal
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Publications Department
RFE/RL Research Institute
Oettingenstrasse 67
80538 Munich
Germany
Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2632
Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648
Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG

Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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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