|Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead|
No. 112, 15 June 1994
RUSSIA YELTSIN AGAIN CALLS FOR SMALLER ARMY, ARMS EXPORTS. Echoing remarks he had made on 10 June, President Boris Yeltsin told regional leaders in the city of Blagoveshchensk on 15 June that Russia would reduce its armed forces from some three million (presumably a reference to the size of the army that Russia inherited in 1992) to 1.5 million men and women. The ITAR-TASS account of Yeltsin's remarks did not say whether the President had mentioned a timetable for the reductions. On 13 June Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said that the authorized strength of the army would be cut to 1.9 million by October of this year; he did not say if further reductions were planned thereafter. In Blagoveshchensk Yeltsin was also quoted as saying that the army did not require large quantities of hardware, but that it should possess equipment that contributed to its mobility and that could be sold competitively on the world market. He also suggested that the recent sale of aircraft to Malaysia had opened the door to the sale of military hardware to Thailand and Australia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. DEALING WITH THE KOREA CRISIS. Consultations between the US and Russia have intensified since the announcement by the North Korean government on 13 June that it was quitting the International Atomic Energy Agency. On 13 June US President Bill Clinton conferred by telephone on the issue with Russian President Yeltsin and a day later US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev held further talks, also by telephone. Western and Russian reports of the latest developments emphasize that the Russian government is trying to balance its support for the imposition of international sanctions against North Korea--an action urged by the US--with a continuing insistence on the convening of an international conference. Reuters quoted Yeltsin on 14 June as saying that "our proposal was to put to the [UN] Security Council simultaneously an international conference and sanctions, stage by stage." Reuters, quoting ITAR-TASS, reported that Clinton had expressed Washington's pleasure over "Russia's participation in solving the North Korean problem;" but Clinton also was said to have cautioned that "the conference idea should not become an impediment to action by the UN Security Council." Christopher and Kozyrev are to meet in Brussels on 15-16 June to discuss the issue further. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. SHUMEIKO ON PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. During his visit to Bulgaria, Chairman of the Federation Council Vladimir Shumeiko made critical comments about the Partnership for Peace program. Shumeiko claimed that the program's emphasis on weapons standardization was intended to bolster Western arms exports, and pointed out that Bulgaria's forces were equipped with arms of Soviet and Russian manufacture, according to a Reuters report of 14 June. Shumeiko's critical attitude towards the program suggests that the program may run into opposition in the Federation Council, even though the Council does not have any direct say on the issue of membership. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. CSCE ON RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING. Russian representatives rejected conditions proposed by the CSCE for international recognition of Russian peacekeeping operations in the CIS during a CSCE conference in Prague on 14 June, according to reports from RFE/RL correspondents. Despite a favorable report from CSCE observers on the conduct of Russian peace keepers in South Ossetia, tensions arose over clauses in a draft proposal stipulating that all sides in a conflict must agree to the introduction of peacekeeping forces and specifying that peacekeeping forces should not remain indefinitely. The disagreements over these key issues suggest that CSCE recognition of Russian peacekeeping efforts in the CIS will not be forthcoming in the near term. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. ZHIRINOVSKY DROPS LAWSUIT AGAINST GAIDAR. The leader of the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has withdrawn his libel suit against the chairman of the newly formed Russia's Democratic Choice party, Egor Gaidar, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 June. Zhirinovsky filed a lawsuit against Gaidar in April, because during the December's parliamentary election campaign Gaidar compared the leader of the LDP with Adolf Hitler. Zhirinovsky's lawyer said the LDP leader was withdrawing his suit because he was satisfied with the explanation offered by Gaidar, who said that he was drawing historical parallels and did not intend to insult Zhirinovsky. Nonetheless, Zhirinovsky's lawyer said he intended to file a new lawsuit against Gaidar, apparently on account of a recent article in Izvestiya where Gaidar severely criticized Zhirinovsky's views. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. PROSECUTOR WANTS TO BRING CASE AGAINST ZHIRINOVSKY. Meanwhile, the office of the Russian Prosecutor General asked the State Duma to allow a criminal case to proceed against Zhirinovsky, an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow reported on 14 June. The office needs the Duma to approve the waiver of Zhirinovsky's parliamentary immunity. A spokesman for the office told the correspondent that the prosecutor general wanted to bring Zhirinovsky to court to answer charges of propagating war and ethnic conflict; investigation of these charges brought forward against Zhirinovsky by members of Russian democratic organizations started in January. They stem from statements Zhirinovsky made during his election campaign and in his book, "Last Push for the South." Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN IN AMUR OBLAST. Yeltsin, who arrived in Amur oblast in the Russian Far East on 15 June, told local leaders that the time when the regions could live on subsidies from the state budget was a thing of the past. Old habits die hard, however, and ITAR-TASS said that the enterprise directors Yeltsin met with came forward not with market initiatives but a host of problems for the solution of which they required help from the center. Yeltsin, in his turn, promised the oblast 300 billion rubles to develop its energy complex and help in finding customers for its output, in particular fishing boats. Yeltsin nonetheless insisted that his recent decree on bankruptcies would be implemented. He also said the regions should take advantage of his recent decree on reforming the banking system, which allows them actively to attract the capital of foreign banks. The same day Yeltsin arrived in Tuva, which is 90 percent subsidized from the center. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RUSSIAN-MOLDOVAN TROOP TALKS: IS MOSCOW RELENTING? Following talks with Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov in Moscow on 14 June, Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev told Interfax that "Russia clearly understands that there must be no foreign troops in a sovereign state," but that a withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova is "complicated" and "will take time." Indirectly complimenting Moldova for moderation, Kozyrev said that "it is gratifying that no one has tried to tackle this issue unilaterally." The tenth round of bilateral talks on the issue has been brought forward to July instead of September as planned. Popov told Interfax that Russian troops in Moldova were a "Soviet legacy" for which "Moldova does not blame Russia." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. MOROZ ON TRILATERAL ACCORD. Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Oleksandr Moroz criticized the Trilateral Accord on nuclear disarmament on 14 June, implying that Ukraine should be offered greater compensation for disarmament. Moroz claimed that as a result of the breakup of the Soviet Union the US won an additional $18 billion in arms sales on the world market, according to Western press agencies. Thus, Moroz reasoned, Ukraine should be entitled to a 20% share of this additional profit. How these figures were derived, or how they relate to the Trilateral Accord is somewhat unclear. Moroz is running for president, but is trailing in the polls behind front-runners Leonid Kuchma and Leonid Kravchuk, Interfax reported on 14 June. As parliamentary speaker, however, Moroz may play a key role in moving the Non-Proliferation Treaty through parliament, if it is again submitted for consideration. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIAN PEACE KEEPERS TO BE DEPLOYED IN ABKHAZIA. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Georgii Kondratyev told a news conference in Moscow on 14 June that Russian 345th airborne regiment currently stationed in Gudauta, together with Russian forces from elsewhere in Georgia are to be deployed as of 15 June along the Inguri river that marks the frontier between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia, Western agencies and Interfax reported. Kondratyev argued that the agreement of the Russian Federation Council, which on 2 June narrowly voted against the dispatch of a Russian peacekeeping force to Abkhazia, was not needed to justify the deployment of troops already in the region, but that a second veto (at the Federation Council session on 21 June) could jeopardize the planned second stage of the peacekeeping operation. The UN observer mission in Georgia as yet has no mandate to monitor the movements of the Russian peacekeeping force, its commander told AFP on 14 June. Also on 14 June, the Georgian United Republican Party (created last week by merging the Republican Party, the Georgian Popular Front and Charter 91) protested the deployment of the 345th airborne regiment on the grounds that it had fought on the Abkhaz side in the battle for Sukhumi , Interfax reported. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. KAZAKH GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLED. Only a week after telling parliamentarians that the government would remain unchanged for the next 15 months, Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbaev, announced a major reshuffling of the government, ITAR-TASS and Reuters reported. Nazarbaev's decree of 14 June combines the ministries of foreign economic activity, industry and trade into one ministry of trade and industry. While no-one was named to the new post, the minister for foreign economic activity Syzdyk Abishev, who had been widely criticized within and outside of Kazakhstan, was moved to a senior position within Nazarbaev's cabinet. The ministry of energy and fuel, meanwhile, was split into ministries of oil and gas, and of coal and energy, respectively. Finally, the deputy prime minister in charge of privatization, Zhanybek Karibzhanov, was replaced, taking over the agriculture ministry instead. As a result of the reshuffle, two ethnic Russians, the ministers of agriculture and of trade, lost their jobs; so far, no additional Russians have been named to other posts. The change is seen as an attempt by Nazarbaev to placate the parliament, which had passed a (non-binding) motion of no-confidence in the government in late May. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. AKAEV ON STATE POWER, RUSSIANS. Kyrgyzstan's president, Askar Akaev told local government officials on 13 June that, while he himself favors democracy, strong state power was needed because "the people are not prepared for democracy"; reality had shown that democratic methods are ineffective during a difficult reform period. Interfax also quoted Akaev, largely recognized as the most democratic leader in Central Asia, as saying that those impeding economic restructuring would be dismissed, and accused parliamentarians of frightening off potential foreign investors through politically-motivated criminal investigations, a reference to a scandal involving the Kyrgyz government's negotiations with a Canadian company to export gold from Kyrgyzstan. Interfax also reported that Akaev had signed a decree on 14 June, making Russian an official language in predominantly Russian-speaking areas, and guaranteeing representation of minorities in state institutions; the president is increasing efforts to stop the out-migration of large numbers of Russian-speakers, many of whom occupy key positions in the economy and industry. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE MYSTERY DEEPENS OVER RUSSIAN HELICOPTER IN BOSNIA. One truism in the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession is that things are rarely what they seem at first glance. RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service reported on 14 June that the defection of two Russian pilots with their MI-17 helicopter the previous week remains shrouded in secrecy. Nobody in a position to know much about the incident, whether in Bosnia, Belgrade, Moscow, or at UNPROFOR headquarters in Zagreb, seems willing to talk to journalists about it. Open questions include: who are these pilots in the first place? What were the "presents" that the Russians brought with them when they left Serb lines and landed on Muslim territory at Zenica? Were they spare parts for other helicopters, or what? Why, moreover, has the Bosnian government failed to use the incident for propaganda purposes and chosen instead to order those in the know to hold their tongues? The London Times quoted one Bosnian officer as suggesting that neither the Russians nor the Serbs are the real problem for his side, adding with perhaps characteristically Bosnian complex thinking that "maybe it is the West who is our real enemy." In any event, the incident serves to underscore a Reuters report of 12 June that laments the "Bosnia fatigue" that has hit many international news organizations, prompting them to send their correspondents to other trouble spots around the globe. Reuters argues that vital developments may be going unnoticed by the outside world: "many a tree fell silently in the forest of the Bosnian war. Others may be falling now." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. CROATIA'S TUDJMAN VISITS SARAJEVO. On 14 June President Franjo Tudjman made a long-postponed trip to the Bosnian capital and met with his counterpart, Alija Izetbegovic. It was his first visit there since the war began in the spring of 1992, although the two men have frequently met elsewhere. Tudjman opened Croatia's new embassy, and the presidents discussed practical questions surrounding the joint Croat-Muslim federation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the confederation between that entity and Croatia. Broad guidelines for the federation have already been agreed, but problems remain, including setting up new administrative bodies in ethnically mixed territory. In a joint statement, Tudjman and Izetbegovic pledged to set up joint embassies in some third countries. Croatia will help Bosnia overcome its isolation by making its communications infrastructure available, while Sarajevo will help Zagreb bolster its ties to the Muslim world. The New York Times on 15 June and RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service the previous evening carried the report. Vecernji list on 15 June adds that he then went on to Vitez and Nova Bila in central Bosnia, where he made "brief" remarks to the public. Many Bosnian Croats blame Tudjman and his "Herzegovinian lobby" for last year's catastrophic conflict that destroyed numerous centuries-old Croatian communities there. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIAN TROOPS ENCROACH UPON MACEDONIAN TERRITORY. Unnamed police sources in Skopje have indicated that Serbian soldiers have set up a camp near the villages of Luke and Podrzionj in the vicinity of Kriva Palanka in northeastern Macedonia. They have occupied about 200-250 meters of Macedonian territory according to Nova Makedonija on 15 June. Macedonian troop strength in the area has been reinforced while UNPROFOR observers note that there appears to be a steady increase in the number of troops on the Serbian side. According to MIC of 14 June, the Serbian mini-occupation began about one month ago; Serb troops are digging and have allegedly taken over a Macedonian observation post. The meaning of this development is not clear. It could signal the onset of a more aggressive Serbian policy toward Macedonia. Duncan Perry, RFE/RL, Inc. TOP-LEVEL RUSSIAN DELEGATION IN SOFIA. A delegation led by Vladimir Shumeiko, chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament, has spent two days in the Bulgarian capital discussing political, military and economic relations. At a press conference held in the Russian embassy on 14 June, Shumeiko noted that the visit was not only aimed at strengthening ties between the parliaments but had a "state character," in that it would pave the way for a trip by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during autumn. The delegation met with all top Bulgarian leaders who afterwards stressed the similarities in positions on most issues. Several press reports nonetheless indicated that Shumeiko in separate talks had urged Sofia to help Russia enter the Council of Europe during its present chairmanship, and also expressed discontent that Bulgaria has become very supportive of NATO's Partnership for Peace plan. Speaking to journalists, he noted that the Bulgarian army will continue to depend on its old supplier--the Russian defense industry--for spare parts. Regarding economic relations, both sides agreed that considerable possibilities for expanded trade remain to be explored. Finally, Shumeiko acknowledged that Moscow is to be blamed for the fact that the issue of outstanding debts has not yet been resolved, as envisaged in bilateral agreements signed in 1992. BTA and Western news agencies carried the reports. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. THOUSANDS PROTEST IN BUCHAREST. Domestic and international media reported on 14 June that thousands of Romanian workers participated in a Bucharest street rally protesting falling living standards and slow economic reforms. Some 10,000 members of trade unions demanded, among other things, a 50% increase in salaries. A delegation of demonstrators was received by Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu who proposed to negotiate, provided the unions send a small team. The unions, however, demanded that a team of 40, representing all participants, take part in the negotiations and the talks were interrupted. There were also several other demonstrations in Bucharest, one by teachers protesting against low wages and the other by anti-communist and pro-monarchist participants commemorating the fourth anniversary of the miners' rampage in the capital. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN OPPOSITION WALKS OUT OVER PROPERTY BILL. The Romanian Senate continued on 14 June to debate a property restoration bill, in the absence of opposition deputies who walked out one day earlier (for the second time) in protest against the bill's provisions. An RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported that on 13 June the opposition issued a statement calling the government draft a "second nationalization." The statement also said that the opposition will boycott from now on the debates on the bill. The dispute mainly involves people who had more than one home confiscated by the communists. The government draft would return only one home and provide compensation for the others. The opposition wants all confiscated property returned. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN COALITION TALKS SUCCESSFUL. On 14 June the first phase of coalition talks between the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Alliance of Free Democrats ended successfully, MTI reports. The two parties agreed on the institutional guidelines for a coalition government and will continue talks on personnel matters. They have created the position of deputy prime minister for the Free Democrats, while the Socialist Gyula Horn will be the prime minister. The two parties also said that in case they cannot resolve an issue, they will set up a coalition reconciliation committee to settle it. The committee will consist of the prime minister, his deputy, the party chairmen, the parliamentary caucus leaders, and two independent delegates from each party. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAKIA SENDS LETTER OF INTENT TO THE IMF. On 13 June representatives of the Slovak cabinet and the National Bank of Slovakia sent the IMF a letter of intent, which is a commitment of the cabinet for gaining the stand-by loan. Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Brigita Schmoegnerova announced that the cabinet also sent an application for a loan from the European Union and the G-24 amounting to approximately $300 million, which should serve to secure the internal convertibility of the Slovak currency in the near future. Schmoegnerova denied that the cabinet had committed to extending the retirement age to 65 years in order to secure the IMF loan. On 14 June a World Bank mission arrived in Slovakia to prepare for a project focused on the restructuring of enterprises and the banking sector. Two other World Bank missions are currently working in Slovakia on projects concerning labor market restructuring and housing policy. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH FUGITIVE APPREHENDED IN ZURICH. Swiss police detained Boguslaw Bagsik, the mastermind of Poland's biggest banking scandal--the "Art-B affair"--at the Zurich airport on 14 June, PAP reports. The Polish justice ministry immediately announced plans to request Bagsik's extradition. Bagsik and his partner, Andrzej Gasiorowski, perfected a check-kiting scheme called the "oscillator" in 1989-91 that is believed to have bilked the Polish banking system of more than 4 trillion zloty (over $200 million). The two men came to public prominence in March 1991 when their firm, Art-B, purchased an entire year's production (30,000 tractors) from the troubled Ursus factory. The two fled to Israel in mid-1991 with a reported $30 million in cash. A former official in the president's office faces trial on charges that he alerted Art-B that arrests were imminent. Five banking officials, including former National Bank chief Grzegorz Wojtowicz, are now on trial for corruption or improper banking practices. Charges of embezzlement and bribery are pending against Bagsik and Gasiorowski, but prosecutors worried on 14 June that Bagsik's multiple citizenship might impede extradition from Switzerland. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. STEEL WORKERS MARCH IN WARSAW. About 2,000 striking steel workers from the Lucchini mill (Huta Warszawa) staged a protest march from their plant to Polish government headquarters on 14 June. The march was illegal, but police did not intervene, PAP reports. Warsaw Solidarity leader Maciej Jankowski took part. Strikers at the mill, which is 51% owned by the Italian Lucchini concern, are demanding pay raises and the rapid modernization of their plant. Meanwhile, in Silesia, the chairman of the board at the Huta Katowice steel mill, Emil Wasacz, submitted his resignation on 14 June rather than yield to pay demands from striking workers. The Katowice steel workers have been on strike since 1 June. Privatization Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek charged on 14 June that the strike there was illegal and the work of splinter union agitators from outside. He said that strike-related losses of 140 billion zloty ($6.4 million) had already cancelled out the steel mill's profits for 1993. Huta Katowice also has old debts of 5 trillion zloty. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. LUKASHENKA MAY BE OUT OF BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE. Aleksandr Lukashenka has run into trouble in his presidential campaign, Belarusian TV reported on 12 June. On 9 June some trucks and cars were stopped and confiscated for carrying campaign materials for Lukashenka printed in Germany. According to Belarusian electoral law, candidates are not allowed to accept any help from outside countries for their election campaigns; this includes accepting any printed materials from outside of the country's borders. At the same time it was reported that Defense Minister Pavel Kazlousky has filed a libel suit against Lukashenka over an article in Zvyazda in which Lukashenka accused the defense minister and the armed forces of corruption. If found guilty, Lukashenka may have to pay 30 million rubles out of his own pocket. The Central Electoral Committee is to decide whether he is to be disqualified as a presidential candidate. One other candidate, Henadz Karpenka, has already pulled out of the race after he failed to collect enough signatures from the electorate to be placed on the 23 June slate and 11 deputies retracted their support for his candidacy, leaving him short of the 70 deputy signatures necessary to qualify as a candidate. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. KRAVCHUK, KUCHMA ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. On 14 June Interfax reported on the election program of President Leonid Kravchuk. The program is called: "To strengthen the state and speed up reforms through civic concord." In it Kravchuk said that if elected he would make the adoption of a new constitution a priority. He also advocates sharing power with parliament to prevent the monopolization of power by any one body. In addition, Kravchuk supports broad economic independence for Ukraine's regions. Other aspects of the program include speeding up monetary reform and introducing the country's full-fledged currency, the hryvna. Kravchuk also believes it possible to have two official languages in the country, Ukrainian and Russian. On 13 June Kuchma reportedly criticized Kravchuk for the country's economic plight and said that if the Ukrainian leadership had heeded his call for leasing the Black Sea Fleet to Russia a year ago, nobody would be speaking of Ukraine having lost politically or economically over the issue. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. TWO ESTONIAN MINISTERS RESIGN. On 14 June Finance Minister Heiki Kranich and Culture and Education Minister Paul-Eerik Rummo submitted their resignations, BNS reports. The resignations have to be approved by President Lennart Meri, who is visiting China until 18 June. The ministers are members of the Estonian Liberal Democratic Party (ELDP) that withdrew from the ruling coalition after its proposal for a secret vote of confidence on Prime Minister Mart Laar was defeated by a vote of 18 to 13 with several abstentions. ELDP, Social Democratic Party, and Pro-Patria members opposed to Laar voted for the secret ballot but were defeated by members of the National Independence Party, Rural Center Party, and the Christian Democratic wing of Pro-Patria. Some 27 parliamentarians also called for a vote of censure on Interior Minister Heiki Arike for approving the sale of weapons to a buyer registered in Azerbaijan. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. CLINTON TO MEET BALTIC PRESIDENTS IN RIGA. On 14 June the White House announced that US President Bill Clinton, accepting an invitation from Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis, would meet with him and Estonian President Lennart Meri and Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas on 6 July in Riga, Reuters reports. During this first visit by an American president to the Baltic States, Clinton will discuss Baltic security issues, especially the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and Estonia, as well as economic support for continuing reform and investments for the Baltic States. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIAN DRAFT CITIZENSHIP LAW NOT ENDORSED BY CE REPRESENTATIVES. After consultations with representatives of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Latvia's State Minister for Human Rights Olafs Bruvers told Diena on 14 June that the draft law on citizenship, endorsed in its second reading by the Saeima on 9 June, did not meet CE approval; were this draft to become law, Latvia could not hope to be admitted to the Council. The objections are related to the retention of a kind of quota system for naturalizing persons not born in Latvia. Members of the Latvian parliamentary delegation, including Inese Birzniece and Maris Grinblats, said that much work needs to be done and that they would aim to postpone for a month the final round of discussions (previously scheduled for 22 June) by the Saeima of the third draft of the citizenship law. This would permit a thorough discussion of the draft law both by the population and the parliamentarians. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA PINS HOPES ON PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov told Basapress on 13 June and ITAR-TASS on the 14th that his country, as a signatory to NATO's Partnership for Peace, will shortly submit a specific plan for political and military cooperation with the alliance. Moldova, he said, particularly values the PFP's provisions for consultations with NATO if a partner country's national security and territorial integrity, or the stability of the region around that country, are threatened from outside. Popov gratefully acknowledged the North Atlantic Cooperation Council's support for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova. At the same time he voiced hope that Russia will join the PFP in order to avoid Russia's isolation or a redivision of Europe. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Dzintra Bungs and Patrick Moore 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. 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