Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 106, 7 June 1994

                              RUSSIA

YELTSIN SAYS D-DAY EXCLUSION UNIMPORTANT. President Boris Yeltsin
told reporters on 6 June that Russia's exclusion from the
celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landing was
unimportant, because it will not interfere with present
Russian-Western cooperation, Russian Television reported. Yeltsin
added that Western allies were not invited to Russian 50th
anniversary celebrations of Soviet victories around the cities of
Stalingrad and Kursk. Yeltsin was commenting on criticism within
Russia of the Western allies' decision not to include
representatives of the former USSR in ceremonies marking the 6
June Normandy landing.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

FILATOV DENIES PREPARATION OF DECREE ON FOREIGN BANKS. In an
interview with Interfax on 6 June Chief of the President's
administration Sergei Filatov denied that President Yeltsin was
preparing a decree governing the operation of foreign banks in
Russia. Filatov said a decree on improving Russia's banking system
was being prepared, but this decree did not mention foreign banks.
Filatov's remarks were made in reaction to comments last week by
the chairman of the Russian Central Bank, Viktor Gerashchenko, who
said he expected by 8 June a presidential decree reducing
restrictions on the operation of foreign banks in Russia.
Restrictions on foreign banks were imposed by a presidential
decree in November 1993 in an attempt to protect Russian
commercial banks from competition. This decree among other things
barred foreign banks from dealing with Russian customers.  Vera
Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

FILATOV ACCUSES DUDAEV OF HAMPERING EFFORTS TO HOLD TALKS. On 6
June the head of the President's administration, Sergei Filatov,
accused Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev of destroying hopes of
talks between Dudaev and Yeltsin by his recent anti-Russian
statements, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Filatov stated that
Dudaev's behavior was strange in that it was Dudaev who had
requested talks with Yeltsin. It is not the first time, however,
that Dudaev has in effect ditched talks between Chechnya and
Russia when they seemed about to get off the ground. Filatov said
that Dudaev constantly needed a prop for his image of unbending
leader of Chechnya and had been trying to use a meeting with
Yeltsin for this purpose, but in the end had fallen back on the
usual stereotype of seeking an enemy in the person of Russia.
Filatov added that the search for ways to start talks with
Chechnya would continue.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

KHASBULATOV BANNED FROM CHECHNYA. A joint meeting of the Chechen
government, parliament, and security council has stripped Ruslan
Khasbulatov, the former speaker of the Russian parliament, Doku
Zavgaev, the last first secretary of the Chechen-Ingush oblast
party committee, and Yaragi Mamodaev, the head of the government
of people's trust not recognized by Dudaev, of their right to
reside in Chechnya, Interfax reported on 6 June. The joint session
adopted a resolution accusing the leaders of the Chechen
opposition of drafting plans in conjunction with the Russian
leadership to eliminate independent Chechnya. At the same time,
Interfax was told by a Chechen presidential official that the
Chechen government, parliament, and security council had advised
Dudaev to demand the extradition from Russia of Khasbulatov,
Zavgaev, and two other opposition leaders. That Khasbulatov could
make a political comeback via Chechnya is of concern not only to
Dudaev but also to the Yeltsin administration.  Ann Sheehy,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLZHENITSYN ON HIS IMPRESSIONS OF RUSSIA. In an interview with
Interfax on 4 June, Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said his
impressions after being back in Russia for just over a week were
about what he had expected. "Each territory has its difficulties,
but all of them mirror common Russian problems--first of all,
instability," he told the agency. The Nobel Prize winner said,
however, that his talks with many people left him optimistic that
the problems could be overcome. On 4 June, Solzhenitsyn, who is on
a train journey from Vladivostok across Siberia and through the
Urals to Moscow, had a stopover in the Far Eastern city of
Khabarovsk. On 6 June, President Yeltsin told reporters in Moscow
that he wanted to meet Solzhenitsyn to discuss the writer's
thoughts on the future of Russia, ITAR-TASS reported. Vera Tolz,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SHUMEIKO ADDED TO SECURITY COUNCIL. Vladimir Shumeiko, chairman of
the Russian Federation Council, has been made a member of the
Russian Security Council, Russian Television reported on 6 June.
Shumeiko's counterpart in the State Duma, Ivan Rybkin, was named
to the Council on 24 May. The Security Council now has 13 members.
Interfax reported on 6 June that the next meeting of the Council,
to be held on 8 June, will be devoted to questions related to
Russia's borders. The question of sending peacekeeping forces to
Abkhazia, a move that was defeated in the Federation Council on 2
June by one vote, may also be discussed. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL,
Inc.

COMPROMISE ON DEFENSE BUDGET? According to an AFP report of 6
June, the speaker of the State Duma, Ivan Rybkin, has suggested
that the defense budget could be increased from the currently
planned figure of 37 trillion rubles, but not to the 55 trillion
level allocated by the Federation Council in its budget
deliberations. Rybkin noted that most of the increase would go to
"military-related scientific work" that could also be useful for
conversion. On a related note, an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow
reports that Boris Yeltsin is planning to hold a new round of
talks this week with parliamentary leaders to discuss the impasse
over the budget. Yeltsin has reportedly supported the defense
ministry's request for increased funds and therefore may push for
a sum closer to that proposed by the military.  John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA, MALAYSIA FINALIZE MiG DEAL. A Russian delegation led by
First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets finalized the long
awaited sale of 18 MiG-29 jet fighters to Malaysia on 7 June,
ITAR-TASS and Western agencies reported from Kuala Lumpur. The
sale was estimated at more than $500 million, roughly a quarter of
which will be paid by Malaysia in palm oil. The first aircraft is
to be delivered in April 1995. The deal represents a significant
breakthrough for Russia's troubled defense sector. Southeast Asia
is one of the fastest growing arms markets in the world, but the
region's strong anti-communist past and reliance on Western
weapons systems had hindered Moscow's efforts, as had
disorganization in Russia's sales efforts. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ARMS SALE TO BRAZIL. In another breakthrough for Russian arms
dealers, Brazil has signed a contract for the purchase of about
110 shoulder-held ground-to-air Igla ("Needle") missiles and
launchers, to be delivered by the end of 1994, Reuters reported on
6 June. The deal, said to be part of a $2 billion trade accord
signed last year, is the first arms purchase that Brazil has made
from Russia. The two countries also agreed to station military
attaches in each other's capital cities, the report said.  Stephen
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

CONTINUING CONFUSION OVER PEACEKEEPERS FOR ABKHAZIA. In his weekly
radio address on 6 June, Georgian parliament Chairman Eduard
Shevardnadze stated that he had been informed by telephone by
Russian President Yeltsin that the question of deploying CIS
peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia "is practically solved" and that
details of the operation are currently being clarified, Reuters
and Interfax reported. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Georgii
Kondratev, who is responsible for the Russian peacekeeping force,
characterized the situation in Abkhazia as explosive and argued
for the swiftest possible deployment of peacekeeping troops. Ekho
Moskvy radio on 6 June cited Dzhaba Ioseliani, head of the
Georgian delegation to the talks on a settlement of the Abkhaz
conflict, as claiming that the deployment of Russian peacekeeping
troops in Abkhazia had begun that day. Meanwhile the Abkhaz
Embassy in Moscow adduced the delay in deploying a peacekeeping
force along the border between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia as
grounds for postponing for six days the UN-sponsored talks on a
political solution to the Abkhaz conflict that were due to open in
Geneva on 9 June, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported.  Liz Fuller,
RFE/RL, Inc.

PRESS FREEDOM IN KAZAKHSTAN. On 6 June Kazakhstan's State
Prosecutor Zharmakhan Tuyakbaev formally warned the country's
information media that publication or broadcast of materials that
would stir up interethnic tensions is strictly forbidden,
ITAR-TASS reported. Tuyakbaev complained that certain media have
been "misusing the freedom of the press," and his office has been
obliged to issue warnings, but some media continue to stir up
interethnic differences, he asserted. The only specific example
cited of using information media to stir up interethnic tensions
was the accusation of members of the Kazakh intelligentsia that
poet and politician Olzhas Suleimenov abandoned the interests of
his own people when during the recent parliamentary election
campaign he proposed the creation of a confederation of Russia and
Kazakhstan.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

TAJIK OPPOSITION DENIES CHARGES. In a statement released on 6
June, the Tajik opposition in exile rejected charges that it was
responsible for the recent assassinations of Russian officers in
Dushanbe. The statement, signed by the leader of the Islamic
opposition, and former religious leader of Tajikistan, Ali Akbar
Turadzhonzoda, instead blamed the incidents on "intrigues by the
forces which are not interested in resolving the conflict
peacefully," according to Interfax. The opposition also criticized
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Anatolii Adamishin for comments
he made last week, accusing it of increasing its demands before
the next round of peace talks. Turadzhonzoda's statement said
Adamishin's remarks "conflicted with the truth," since the
opposition has not departed from its initial proposals of December
1993, and called on Russia to be more neutral if it wishes to
retain any legitimacy as a mediator in the conflict.  Keith
Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN-MOLDOVAN TROOP TALKS RESUME. The ninth round of bilateral
negotiations on the status and terms of withdrawal of Russia's
14th Army from Moldova begins on 7 June in Moscow. Under way since
1992, the talks have failed to produce agreement on a start of the
withdrawal by 1 July 1994 as Moldova had demanded. Russia now
links the withdrawal to a grant of de facto sovereignty to the
"Dniester Republic," unacceptable to Moldova and at variance with
a CSCE plan for autonomy which Moldova has accepted. In the
preliminaries to the ninth round, Moscow again rejected Moldova's
proposal that CSCE observers attend the talks. Moldovan officials
have told Basapress in recent days that they will now demand
financial compensation for the 14th Army's use of Moldovan land
and resources since 1 April 1992 when the Russian Federation
assumed jurisdiction over that army.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA CEASEFIRE TALKS BEGIN. On 6 and 7 June international media
report that Bosnia ceasefire talks, delayed for several days
because of Bosnian Muslim objections to the presence of Bosnian
Serb forces around the Muslim enclave of Gorazde, opened on 6
June. UN envoy Yasushi Akashi met with representatives of the
Bosnian Muslim government and the new Bosnian Muslim-Croat
federation, while meeting separately with Bosnian Serb delegates.
Media accounts stress that currently the parties are divided by a
disagreement over the length of a ceasefire truce. While the
Muslim side has dropped demands for a 100 kilometer exclusion zone
for heavy weapons in central Bosnia, it continues to press for a
temporary, four-week ceasefire. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic is reportedly pressing for a permanent ceasefire. Reuters
and AFP report that the new president of the Muslim-Croat
federation, Kresimir Zubak, is refusing to agree to any permanent
ceasefire deal for fear that such an arrangement could freeze
existing military borders, leaving the Bosnian Serb side in
control of about 70% of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, Akashi
has tabled a proposal for a four-month ceasefire. Talks are to
resume 7 June.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBIAN CHURCH PRESSES MACEDONIAN CHURCH. In a second ultimatum
sent to the Macedonian Church leaders on 6 June, the Serbian
Orthodox Church's Holy Synod has demanded that the Macedonian
Church "reenter the church canon establishment," according to
MILS. The Macedonian Church, established as an autocephalous
church in 1967, has been regarded by many Macedonians as an
affirmation of their national identity. Serbian efforts to force
it under the Serbian Church jurisdiction may be part of a strategy
to undermine Macedonian independence. Meanwhile in New York, UN
Secretary Boutros-Boutros Ghali presented a report to the Security
Council detailing the Greek-Macedonian negotiations. Talks begin
again on 13 June.  Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN PREMIER IN ZAGREB. On 6 June Romania's Prime Minister
Nicolae Vacaroiu started a three-day official visit to Croatia,
Radio Bucharest reports. Vacaroiu is heading a large delegation,
including Transports Minister Aurel Novac, Trade Minister Cristian
Ionescu, Health Minister Iulian Mincu, secretaries of state at
various departments, as well as businessmen and journalists.
Vacaroiu, who met his Croatian counterpart Nikola Valentic, is
scheduled to see President Franjo Tudjman and other senior
Croatian officials. Talks are expected to focus on ways to boost
bilateral economic relations. HINA reported that during their
meeting, Vacaroiu and Valentic broached the topic of opening a
free trade zone in the port city of Rijeka, and tentatively agreed
to open talks on coordinating trade policy vis-a-vis third
markets. Several agreements, including one on protecting mutual
investments, are expected to be signed during the visit.  Dan
Ionescu and Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROAD SIGN LAW TO BE PASSED BEFORE SLOVAK ELECTIONS? At an
extraordinary session of the coalition council on 6 June, the
issue of the road sign law, which the parliament failed to pass by
one vote on 3 June, was debated, TASR and CTK reported. Premier
Jozef Moravcik said that the coalition partners and the two ethnic
Hungarian parties represented in the parliament are working on a
new agreement concerning the road sign bill, which could be ready
as early as 8 June. Bela Bugar, chairman of the Hungarian
Christian Democratic Movement, confirmed Moravcik's statement and
expressed his readiness to find the solution. Noting that all
political parties in the parliament have already agreed on the
need for bilingual road signs, Moravcik expressed his belief that
the parliament will pass the law during the current election
period. Moravcik said the ethnic Hungarian parties will continue
to support the government.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT ASKS HORN TO FORM GOVERNMENT. Arpad Goncz told
a news conference on 6 June that Hungarian Socialist Party (HSP)
chairman Gyula Horn accepted the offer to be nominated as the new
prime minister. Goncz said that he expects the new parliament to
convene on 28 June, at which time he will officially announce
Horn's nomination. HSP, the party of the former reform communists,
won the absolute majority in the May national elections, and a
special party congress on 4 June confirmed Horn as the party's
nominee to lead the new government. Although the HSP has enough
mandates to form a government alone, the party's leadership
offered a coalition to the liberal Alliance of Free Democrats in
an effort to broaden its base of support. The AFD accepted the
offer and coalition talks are to begin on 7 June.  Edith Oltay,
RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA, MITTERRAND HONOR POLISH SOLDIERS. Polish President Lech
Walesa and his French counterpart Francois Mitterrand laid wreaths
at the Polish military cemetery in Urville-Langannerie on 6 June,
in ceremonies marking Poland's contribution to the Normandy
invasion. Most of the 650 Polish soldiers buried at the cemetery
fought in Gen. Stanislaw Maczek's First Armored Division, which
numbered over 16,000 men. Most fell in the battle of Falaise.
Maczek, who is now 102, sent a message praising Polish veterans.
Polish TV broadcast the ceremonies live. The TV commentary
reflected a mixture of pride that Poland had finally been included
in Allied commemorations and bitterness that the country had so
long been denied its rightful place in the victors' camp. The
commander of the Polish navy, Admiral Romuald Waga, told PAP on 6
June that the Partnership for Peace program has its roots in the
Normandy invasion.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW TWIST IN POLISH VETERANS' SCANDAL. As these sober
commemorations were underway in France, the mishaps that plagued
ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the battle of Monte
Cassino in May continued to cast a pall in Warsaw. Stefan
Sulimierski, the owner of the Mazovia travel agency that botched
arrangements for thousands of elderly veterans, landed in the
intensive care section of a military hospital on 4 June.
Sulimierski claimed to have fallen victim to a knife attack the
previous evening in the toilet of a train bound for Szklarska
Poreba. Doctors refused to give details of the incident but denied
rumors that the wounds were self-inflicted. On 14 May Sulimierski
had disappeared from Rome with $40,000 in cash; he claimed later
to have been kidnapped to Tunisia. Slovak and Italian tour
operators have since turned up in Warsaw--the Slovaks with
bodyguards--to demand repayment from Mazovia. The prosecutor's
office is investigating charges that Mazovia embezzled funds from
veterans.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

BSP CONGRESS REELECTS LEADERSHIP . . . On 6 June the 749 delegates
attending the 41st congress of the Bulgarian Socialist Party
reelected as Chairman Jean Videnov and appointed another 106
Socialists as members of the Supreme Council. In the election to
the council, Videnov himself received the broadest support of all
candidates, with 642 votes against 75. The elections of Yanaki
Stoilov and Valeri Petrov were almost equally uncontroversial,
while Videnov's still influential predecessor Aleksandar Lilov had
to settle for being approved by 543 votes to 174. Meanwhile,
ex-Premier Andrey Lukanov and four well-known BSP moderates lost
their positions in the body. The votes were taken after several
hours of delays due to procedural complications as well as to
protracted discussions about the different candidacies.  Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . AND CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS. According to DPA reports on 7
June, the congress concluded on 6 June with the passage of a
resolution calling for early elections. The congress resolved that
the BSP's continued support for Prime Minister Lyuben Berov's
non-partisan government will be contingent on the government's
composition and policies after an impending shuffle, and the BSP
will not press for elections until after the government has
implemented the next stage of its reform plan and concluded a
debt-restructuring deal with Western banks. Initially, the
congress was scheduled to have ended on 5 June.  Stan Markotich
and Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

FRENCH DEFENSE MINISTER IN ROMANIA. On 2 and 3 June Francois
Leotard paid an official visit to Romania, Radio Bucharest
reported. Leotard held talks with his Romanian counterpart
Gheorghe Tinca and Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu. The
discussions focused on ways to improve bilateral military
cooperation, as well as on issues related to regional and European
security. Leotard, who was also received by President Ion Iliescu,
said at a press conference that France wants to boost military
cooperation with Romania. He singled out aircraft, anti-aircraft
weapons, anti-tank technology and military communications as major
areas for possible cooperation. Leotard also proposed a joint
exercise by the French and Romanian navies. He further answered
questions referring to the conflict in former Yugoslavia and to
the so-called Balladur plan for stability in Europe.  Dan Ionescu,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ANDREJEVS OFFERS RESIGNATION AS MINISTER AND DEPUTY. On 6 June the
Latvian Foreign Ministry issued a statement announcing that Georgs
Andrejevs had sent letters of resignation to Prime Minister Valdis
Birkavs and Saeima chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs, the RFE/RL
Latvian Service reports. He was one of five deputies whose
mandates the Saeima had suspended on 27 April, after charges of
collaboration with the KGB were made. Andrejevs admitted that he
had begun working for the KGB in 1963, but said that he had not
committed any crime. In a press release, he said that under
current circumstance, "a sizable number of citizens who are loyal
to the idea of Latvian independence--mostly representatives of the
intelligentsia--may be barred from taking part in building our
country." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIA, ESTONIA NEAR EU TRADE ACCORDS. On 6 June Lithuanian
President Algirdas Brazauskas said that a treaty on free trade
between Lithuania and the European Union would be initialed on 27
June, Interfax reports. He expressed the hope that Lithuania would
become an associate member of the EU this year. At a press
conference in Tallinn Estonia's chief negotiator with the EU Priit
Kolbre, said that almost all issues, except for textiles, had been
settled in the last round of talks on 2-3 June in Brussels with
the EU. He thought that the differences could be settled and that
a free trade treaty would be initialed in late June or early July.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIA EASES TRAVEL FOR FOREIGNERS. On 6 June Population Minister
Peeter Olesk told a press conference that President Lennart Meri
had signed a law approving temporary travel documents for
noncitizens, BNS reports. The government is now drafting rules for
travel documents that would allow about a half million foreigners
who have Estonian residence and work permits or are registered as
permanent residents to leave and return to Estonia once every six
months. The travel document, however, will not be used as a
domestic identity card.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

KRAVCHUK EDGES KUCHMA IN PRE-ELECTION POLL. In a poll of Ukraine's
voters conducted at the end of May by the Kiev International
Institute of Sociology, Leonid Kravchuk appears to have taken a
lead over his strongest rival, former prime minister Leonid
Kuchma, in the country's presidential race. Among respondents who
said they definitely intended to vote on 26 June, 27% preferred
Kravchuk; 20% preferred Kuchma; and 11% said they would cast their
ballot for the socialist speaker of parliament, Oleksandr Moroz.
Earlier polls conducted in April had given Kuchma the lead. Ivan
Pliushch continues to have a surprisingly poor showing (only 4%
would vote for him, according to the May poll results), despite
predictions in the Ukrainian media that the contest would come
down to Kuchma and Pliushch Jaroslaw Martyniuk and Kathy
Mihalisko, RFE/RL, Inc.

NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN KIEV. The foreign minister of the
DPRK, Kim Yong-Nam, arrived in Kiev on 6 June for an official
visit, Ukrainian radio reported. During the visit Kim is to meet
with Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, parliamentary speaker
Oleksandr Moroz, and foreign minister Anatolii Zlenko. Discussions
are to focus on developing bilateral relations and economic
cooperation. UNIAN reported Kim saying that the DPRK intended to
become a nuclear-free state, but also dismissing threats of
sanctions and international pressure as having any effects on its
nuclear program. Pyongyang has denied that it attempts to develop
atomic weapons, but refuses letting the International Atomic
Energy Agency fully to inspect its nuclear sites.  Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL, Inc.

HEAD OF BELARUSIAN NATIONAL BANK CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT. The
chairman of the Belarusian National Bank Stanislau Bahdankevich
has sent a letter to the government critical of its credit
policies, Belarusian radio reported on 6 June. According to the
letter, the credit emission for 1994 that has been issued against
the bank's recommendation is the reason that the Belarusian
currency has been falling in value "without an end in sight."
Bahdankevich had been critical of the agreement on monetary union
with Russia. On 31 May Interfax reported that two supporters of
the union, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Ivan Bambiza and
First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich were placed by
the government on the board of the Belarusian National Bank.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]

  Compiled by Bess Brown and Jan de Weydenthal
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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