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No. 138, 22 July 1994
RUSSIA SOLZHENITSYN IS BACK. Once the most famous Russian exiles, the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn arrived at Moscow's Yaroslav railway station on 21 July at 8:45 PM (local time). The Nobel prize winner was greeted by a crowd of friends and other supporters as well as by a group of hard-core communist opponents. On the official side, a government delegation headed by Moscow mayor Yurii Luzhkov also waited at the station to meet the great writer. Both Luzhkov and Solzhenitsyn addressed the crowd from the rostrum built for this purpose at the station. The ceremony was broadcast live in the course of the 9 o'clock Ostankino newscast. Earlier that day, President Boris Yeltsin's press-secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov announced that the president intends to meet Solzhenitsyn soon. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. MOSCOW CLAIMS EXPANDED NATO THREATENS CFE TREATY . . . In what appears to be its latest attempt to obstruct the integration of Eastern European states into NATO and, at the same time, win desired changes in a key arms control treaty, Moscow has claimed that the expansion of NATO would violate the 1990 CFE (Conventional Forces in Europe) Treaty. RFE/RL reported on 22 July that Russian diplomat Vyacheslav Kulebyakin told arms negotiators in Vienna this week that the CFE Treaty had been intended to provide for a balance of forces between two blocs--NATO and the Warsaw Pact--and that the entry of Eastern European states into NATO would alter that balance. He said that the need for this balance still exists, despite the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. Kulebyakin also told reporters that the admission of Eastern European states into NATO is opposed by the Russian military leadership, and that Moscow intends to press at the highest levels--he mentioned Boris Yeltsin's upcoming summit with the US President--for the dissolution of all multi-lateral security groupings. Russia has long contested CFE sub-limits that constrain its plans to deploy more forces in the North Caucasus and the Leningrad Military Districts. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . BUT OFFERS COOPERATION PROPOSALS. Moscow's newly articulated opposition to NATO's expansion has apparently not stopped it from continuing to pursue proposals related to the vehicle for that expansion, the Partnership for Peace program. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Demurin told reporters in Moscow on 21 July that NATO experts have reacted positively to proposals contained in Russia's presentation document to the partnership program, Interfax reported. He said that consultations between Russian and NATO experts had revealed a common approach to the program; the Russian side, he added, said that its aim was to work out a broad program of cooperation that takes into consideration Russia's size and importance. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. GRACHEV CALLS FOR CIS DEFENSE ALLIANCE. While speaking to reporters following the signing of the defense agreements with Kyrgyzstan, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev described the CIS Collective Security Treaty as a mere formality and called for the creation of a real CIS defense union, Interfax reported. It was the Russian Defense Ministry under Grachev that in June 1993 effectively scuttled the existing CIS joint armed forces and its military command following disagreements that pitted Russia against the other CIS states over the shape that the defense organization should take. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. MILITARY LEADERSHIP DISOWN LEBED REMARKS. Russian Defense Ministry spokesmen, speaking to reporters on 21 July, said that Russian military leaders do not share with 14th Army commander General Aleksandr Lebed an affinity for the strongarm methods used by Chilean General Augusto Pinochet. Lebed's remarks appeared in a 20 July Izvestiya interview. The spokesmen nevertheless said that Lebed would not be disciplined. Lebed has a long history of making inflammatory political statements, always with impunity. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. DUMA AGAIN FAILS TO APPROVE PRIVATIZATION BILL . . . The State Duma voted twice on the government's post-voucher privatization program on 21 July, but failed to muster the 225 votes required to pass it in both attempts. The first ballot was 212 to 74, or just 14 votes short; the second was 196 to 100, ITAR-TASS reported. Opposition to the legislation remained strong despite the government's acceptance of proposed amendments. These included: giving the parliament the final say in the privatization of firms worth more than 200 billion rubles ($100 million); imposing a moratorium on the sale of land until a land law is adopted; and blocking the sale of health care and educational facilities. Debate was heated, with opponents calling the post-voucher plan "anti-national," and Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky arguing that privatization amounted merely to an attempt by illegal usurpers of power to build a "social base." He proposed instead a "special prison for reformers." Both Privatization Minister Anatolii Chubais and presidential staff-members again indicated that President Yeltsin is set to impose the program by decree. The government may prefer, however, to make a further attempt to browbeat the Duma into approving the bill, in order to spread the political responsibility for privatization as widely as possible. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . BUT APPROVES BAIKONUR TREATY. Despite the fact that many deputies had complained about the price Russia will pay to use the Baikonur space station in Kazakhstan ($115 million a year for the next 20 years) under a draft Russian-Kazakh agreement, the State Duma approved the treaty on 21 July, with only 4 deputies voting against approval, Interfax reported. Since Kazakhstan's parliament approved the measure last week, the treaty is now fully ratified, and may help bring to an end the tensions between the two states over Baikonur. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. GERMANY INSISTS SEIZED PLUTONIUM PRODUCED IN RUSSIA. The New York Times reported on 21 July that Germany's Federal Criminal Office in Wiesbaden has repeated its charge that two-tenths of an ounce of highly enriched plutonium, seized by German police in May in the German town of Tengen, had in fact been produced in Russia (see RFE/RL Daily Report, 17 July). Russian foreign intelligence spokesmen have denied that the material came from Russia. Leopold Schuster, the head of the criminal office, was quoted by the Times as saying that tests performed on the nuclear material by a nuclear research group in Karlsruhe demonstrated that it was of Russian origin. Schuster's remarks came at a news conference in Wiesbaden that followed a meeting with the heads of the organized crime units of the FBI, the Russian Interior Ministry, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Anti-Mafia Investigative Managing Board of Italy, the Times reported. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN ATTENDS GLAZUNOV'S EXHIBITION. On 20 July President Yeltsin visited the exhibition of the prominent nationalist artist Ilya Glazunov. Adored by the communist and ultra-nationalist opposition to Yeltsin, Glazunov's art is usually dismissed as kitsch by art critics. At the exhibition, Yeltsin spent twenty minutes longer then he initially planned, saying that Glazunov's pictures are close to his heart because of their "patriotic" content, adding that they make him to feel sure that "Russia will indeed revive." The president also viewed Glazunov's exhibition as the proper place to once again assert his intention to postpone withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia until that country resolves the problems of retired Russian military personnel living there. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA UN ENDORSES RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN ABKHAZIA. On 21 July the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the deployment of Russian peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia but at the same time increasing the number of UN observers there, Reuters reported. At a press conference in Moscow, Colonel-General Viktor Samsonov attributed the CIS defense ministers' collective refusal to commit troops for the Abkhaz peacekeeping mission to the fact that they had not been previously informed of the nature of the operation; Russian Deputy Defense Minister Boris Gromov told Interfax that the absence of CIS troops would not affect the outcome of the peacekeeping operation. Also on 21 July, the commander of the Russian peacekeeping force, General Vassili Yakushev, told Interfax that "decisive measures" could be taken against the 700 Svans living in the Kodori gorge in eastern Abkhazia who are refusing either to leave their homes or to surrender their arms on the grounds that 70 Russian peacekeeping troops are insufficient to protect them against a possible Abkhaz attack. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. TAJIK COMPLAINTS ABOUT RUSSIA. Tajikistan's Prime Minister Abduzhalil Samadov told the Tajik parliament on 21 July that Russia has been slow to honor its commitments to help the Central Asian state, Russian and Western sources reported. Samadov complained specifically of Russian reluctance to formally admit Tajikistan to the ruble zone. Russian financial officials have expressed reservations about a monetary union because of the weakness of Tajikistan's economy, which has been devastated by civil war and continuing raids by Tajik opposition forces on the Tajik-Afghan border. Samadov also complained that Russia and other CIS states are not prompt in delivering material for Tajikistan's industry, parts of which are nearly at a standstill as a result. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. KYRGYZ PARTIES, PRESS REACT. President Askar Akaev's calls for press restrictions and his attacks on the free press of Kyrgyzstan (see RFE/RL Daily Report of 18 July) have provoked a storm of opposition from the country's press and political parties. Interfax quoted a statement published on 20 July in Bishkek as saying, in part, "Freedom of the press and freedom of speech now belong to the citizens of Kyrgyzstan and are not a privilege or monopoly of the highest official in the country." The statement, signed by the leaders of the Ata-Meken (Fatherland) Party, the Kyrgyz Democratic Movement, the director of the Human Rights Bureau, and the editors of six major newspapers, criticized Akaev, the "guarantor of the Constitution," for arbitrarily calling into question fundamental human rights. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA, KYRGYZSTAN SIGN MILITARY AGREEMENT. The defense ministers of Russia and Kyrgyzstan, Pavel Grachev and Myrzakan Subanov, have signed a series of agreements on military cooperation, Interfax reported on 21 July. The main documents allow Russian citizens to serve in the Kyrgyz military; provide material assistance for Russian units in Kyrgyzstan; and help train and equip the Kyrgyz army. Grachev noted that the Kyrgyz military currently is not even able to carry out larger-scale military exercises. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS POLIO IN THE CIS. In a sign that the health crisis in the former Soviet Union is becoming worse, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) announced that the number of polio cases in the World Health Organization's European region, which includes the CIS, is on the rise; the increase stems mostly from the CIS countries, with two states, Azerbaijan (70 cases) and Uzbekistan (68 cases) accounting for over half of the 219 incidents registered in the European region in 1993, AFP reported. The USSR's collapse has entailed a significant worsening of the health care system, and has led to a severe shortage of medicines and vaccines, much of which were imported. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE IZETBEGOVIC SAYS "OUR YES IS NOW NO LONGER VALID." Is how the 22 July New York Times reports that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has effectively retracted his government's "unconditional acceptance" of the international peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Izetbegovic's announcement was evidently made in response to the tacit Bosnian Serb side's failure to accept the plan, and precedes a scheduled 30 July "contact group" Geneva meeting at which mediators are to discuss a course for the Bosnian peace process in light of current developments. Thus far, international reaction to the Serbs' unwillingness to accept the plan has been marked, at the very least, by an air of disappointment. On 21 July Reuters reported that US Defense Secretary William Perry, while visiting Tirana, described the Bosnian Serb behavior as disappointing, and added that a range of responses was now possible, including a lifting of the arms embargo against the Bosnian government. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . WHILE JOVANOVIC RESPONDS: BOSNIAN SERBS SHOW "POSITIVE ATTITUDE." While much of the international community has not responded favorably to the Bosnian Serb position on the latest peace offer, certain exceptions may be noted. Tanjug reports that rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovanovic, in what appears to be Belgrade's first official reaction to the latest developments in the Bosnian peace process, has said the Bosnian Serbs have not rejected the goal of a lasting peace and that in fact their latest response is highly constructive and stems from a "positive attitude . . . from each and every letter even regarding maps." In addition, on 22 July AFP reports that while Russia has been critical of the Bosnian Serbs, official Moscow reaction has been somewhat muted, and punctuated by calls for more time in which to discuss and decipher the real intent behind the Bosnian Serb position on the peace. Finally in other news, on 21 July agencies reported that US Defense Secretary Perry has canceled a trip to Sarajevo, in the wake of the closure of the airport after gunfire hit several UN planes. Instead, Perry travels to the Croatian capital, Zagreb. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. POLAND'S BENDER QUITS BROADCASTING COUNCIL. Catholic politician Ryszard Bender announced his resignation from the National Broadcasting Council, the body with constitutional responsibility for public and private broadcasting, on 21 July, PAP reports. Bender is one of President Lech Walesa's loyal allies; he had served as chairman since 1 March, when Walesa had attempted to oust Marek Markiewicz, the council's first chairman and guiding force, from the body. The Constitutional Tribunal later ruled the dismissal attempt unlawful, but Bender continued to serve as chairman. Bender said he was resigning because his council colleagues had treated him as a "paper chairman" and agreed to license a Catholic radio station only in provincial Skierniewice, rather than in Warsaw. Other members reported, however, that Bender's resignation was prompted by the council's opposition to his plans to accept paid travel from a Dutch cable television firm seeking a license to broadcast films (and pornography) round-the-clock in Poland. Fellow member Lech Dymarski said the council warned Bender that his planned trip smacked of corruption. Bender nonetheless departed for South Africa on 21 July. Meanwhile, former public TV chief Janusz Zaorski refused to confirm or deny rumors that Walesa plans to appoint him to replace Bender. Zaorski is also a Walesa loyalist. His appointment would likely disorganize the embattled council, which on 2 July survived a parliamentary review. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW POLISH UNEMPLOYMENT DATA. Poland's official unemployment rate leapt to 16.6% in June, thanks largely to the use of new statistical methods, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 22 July. The Main Statistical Office (GUS) has calculated that the Polish work force totals just under 14.8 million--433,000 fewer people than previously assumed. Total unemployment is 2,933,001. But even according to past methods, unemployment rose in June. This rise was attributed to the influx of new school graduates, many of whom register as unemployed as a matter of course before even looking for work, because of the mandatory three-month waiting period to receive benefits. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK-BULGARIAN AGREEMENTS SIGNED. Following talks between the Slovak and Bulgarian premiers, Jozef Moravcik and Lyuben Berov, respectively, bilateral agreements on education, scientific and cultural cooperation as well as the protection of investments were signed on 21 July. Berov arrived in Slovakia on 21 July for a three-day official visit, accompanied by the finance and industry ministers, representatives of three other ministries, and a group of businessmen, TASR reported. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAKIA'S ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PARTIES AGREE TO COALITION. Slovakia's three ethnic Hungarian parties --the Coexistence movement, the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement and the Hungarian Civic Party-- agreed on 21 July to form a coalition for the Slovak general elections, to be held on 30 September and 1 October, Radio Budapest and TASR reported. HCDM Deputy Chairman Pal Farkas noted the importance of the agreement for the Hungarian minority and said it was supported by more than 90% of the ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia. Ethnic Hungarians collected some 100,000 signatures for an appeal calling for such a coalition, which was also strongly advocated by Slovakia's ethnic Magyar mayors. In the June 1992 elections, no coalition accord could be reached because of differences between Coexistence and the Christian Democrats on the one hand and the liberal Civic Party on the other, and the Civic Party failed to gain representation in the parliament. Alfred Reisch and Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW HUNGARIAN RADIO CHIEF TO REINSTATE DISMISSED REPORTERS . . . Radio chief Janos Sziranyi pledged to reinstate the 129 radio reporters and journalists dismissed or sent into early retirement by former radio chief Laszlo Csucs in March 1994, MTI reports. Sziranyi apologized to the dismissed employees for the violation of their "professional and human dignity." He issued an appeal to prominent writers and musicians who protested against the dismissals by not allowing their works to be aired to again contribute to the radio's programs. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . WHILE NEW TELEVISION CHIEF DISMISSES TV REPORTER. At the same time, new TV chief Adam Horvath dismissed TV reporter Istvan Stefka who was in charge of the major evening news program Hirado on the ground that Stefka's program was politically biased and its professional quality was "zero." Horvath announced that he will conduct talks with the other Hirado reporters to determine which ones will be dismissed. The old TV and radio managements used similar arguments to conduct purges among the two institutions' employees. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. HORN MEETS WITH ROMANIA'S ETHNIC MAGYAR LEADER. Bela Marko, Chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania, held talks on 20 July in Budapest with Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn and Csaba Tabajdi, Political State Secretary in charge of minority affairs, Radio Budapest and MTI reported. Marko expressed satisfaction that the Hungarian government's program contained all the basic principles on minority rights considered essential by the HDUR. He quoted Horn as saying that the government would consult with the HDUR on the Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty. Tabajdi said that the treaty should declare that Hungary has no territorial claims and contain guarantees for the enforcement of minority rights. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. ILIESCU ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL. Romania's President Ion Iliescu was taken to a Bucharest hospital on 21 July 1994. According to a hospital manager, Iliescu was suffering from cramps in the abdomen and gall bladder area. The cause of the symptoms has not been established so far, and further tests are being carried out, a Reuters report said. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. CIVIC-LIBERAL ALLIANCE SET UP IN ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest reported on 21 July that the Party of Civic Alliance and the National Liberal Party had signed an agreement to form a civic-liberal alliance under the name of "The Liberals." Speaking to journalists after the ceremony, the presidents of the two parties, Nicolae Manolescu and Mircea Ionescu-Quintus, praised the move as a first step toward the unification of all liberal groups in Romania. The protocol specifies that the new alliance is placed under the umbrella of the Democratic Convention of Romania, the country's main centrist coalition. The NLP had formally quit the DCR in April 1992. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA URGED TO RESPECT GAY RIGHTS. In a statement released on 20 July, the international human rights group Amnesty International urged Romania to respect gay rights, Reuters report. AI voiced concern over a ruling last week by Romania's Constitutional Court which said that homosexuals could still be prosecuted for "causing a public scandal." According to AI, "such prosecution would be a violation of the non-discrimination principle provided in international human rights standards ratified by Romania." Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. "DNIESTER," KRAJINA SIGN FRIENDSHIP TREATY. The self-styled foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina, Milan Babic, and a "governmental delegation" from Transdniester signed a "friendship treaty" in Krajina's capital Knin, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 July. The Transdniester delegates expressed gratitude for the "recognition" of the "Dniester republic" as early as 1992 by Krajina and by the Bosnian Serb leadership. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA PROCLAIMS PERMANENT NEUTRALITY, BARS FOREIGN TROOPS. Moldova's Parliament adopted on 21 July in the second reading a large bloc of articles of the country's new constitution, whose successive drafts had been debated for several years. Local media report that in a crucial addition which was proposed only days ago, Parliament adopted an article declaring Moldova's "permanent neutrality." Furthermore, "Moldova does not admit the stationing of troops of other states on its territory." Submitted by the ruling Agrarian Democratic Party and designed to strengthen Moldova's position in demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops, the article was unsuccessfully opposed by deputies of the Socialist Unity Bloc which represents mainly Russian voters. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. FIRST PRIVATE TV CHANNEL LAUNCHED IN BULGARIA. Over the past week Bulgaria's first private TV channel has started trial transmissions in Sofia, BTA reported on 21 July. Nova Televiziya, which was recently granted a license to broadcast, will gradually be expanding its program with entertainment as well as news and feature programming. Meanwhile, BTA says representatives of two private companies seeking licenses appeared before the parliamentary Committee on Radio and Television on 21 July. While News Holding, owner of the widely circulated Standart daily and backed by Turistsportbank, wants to produce a news- and information-based channel called Tempo, a Bulgarian-Italian joint venture says Premiera would offer "family programming." Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENT CONFIRMS LUKASHENKA'S CABINET NOMINEES. At a special session the Belarusian parliament overwhelmingly approved President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's nominee for the post of prime minister, the head of the country's agro-industrial bank Mikhail Chyrhin, Belinform-TASS reported on 21 July. The parliament also approved the appointments of deputy prime ministers Uladzimir Harkun, Viktar Hanchar, Mikhail Myasnikovich and Syarhei Ling. Lukashenka's candidates for the posts of defense minister, Anatol Kastenka, foreign minister, Uladzimir Syanko, interior minister, Yurii Zakharanka, and KGB chairman, Uladzimir Yahorau, were also approved. The parliament did not approve Lukashenka's nominee for chairman of the constitutional court, Dzmitry Bulakhau. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN GAS DEBT. On 21 July Belarusian radio reported that Belarus's gas debt to the Russian gas enterprise Gazprom amounts to 636 billion rubles ($383 million). Gas supplies have been reduced to 33 and a half million cubic meters per day. Gazprom officials say that it is impossible to continue supplying the country with 35 million cubic meters per day as had been agreed to. Now that Lukashenka is president, the officials feel Belarus's policy regarding payment on its arrears will soon have to be clarified. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. RUKH CRITICAL OF KUCHMA OVER LANGUAGE. Kuchma's statement in his inaugural speech regarding making Russian an official language in Ukraine was criticized by a number of parties and organization, Interfax reported on 21 July. According to the critics, although Ukrainian is to remain the state language, as there is little difference between the definitions of "state" and "official" the country would, in effect, have two languages. The statement was signed by Rukh, the Ukrainian Republican Party, the Democratic Party of Ukraine, the Prosvita All-Ukrainian Community and by the head of the Ukrainian Cossacks. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS LAW ON DUAL CITIZENSHIP. On 21 July Ukrinform-TASS reported that the Crimean parliament adopted a law allowing dual citizenship in the peninsula in its first reading. The parliament is also discussing the issue of charging Ukraine and Russia for the use of its land by their armed forces in a closed door session, UNIAN reported on 20 July. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. KUCHMA DISMISSES INTERIOR MINISTER. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma issued a four page decree launching a war against crime on 21 July, Reuters reported. At the same time Kuchma dismissed the interior minister Andrii Vasylyshyn and replaced him with Volodymyr Radchenko. Radchenko had been a deputy chairman of the security service and headed its department charged with fighting corruption and organized crime. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. REPSE ON LATVIA'S PRIME MINISTERSHIP. Bank of Latvia President Einars Repse has said he would serve as Prime Minister in a coalition linking Latvia's Way and The Latvian National Independence Movement (LNNK). BNS quoted Repse on 21 July as saying he is honored by LNNK's offer of Prime Ministership but that he would not take the post if the LNNK forms a coalition with parties other than Latvia's Way because the LNNK would be forced to accept what he called a "leftist economy." Repse said he can serve only if he can implement a radically free-market economy with no compromises. Latvia's Way Deputy Chairman Indulis Berzins told BNS his party would support Repse as prime minister. The LNNK has until 25 July to decide whether it can form a government to replace the one led by Latvia's Way until its coalition with the Latvian Farmers Union collapsed in mid-July. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. TROOP WITHDRAWALS FROM ESTONIA HALTED. The headquarters of Russian forces in the Baltics announced on 21 July that it had suspended all troop withdrawals from Estonia. The Russian statement said military units and equipment which were ready for transport back to Russia are being returned to their original bases in Estonia. Earlier on 21 July, Russian defense ministry officials told RFE/RL in Moscow that dismantling work had been halted at the Russian naval base at Paldiski. The announcements came a day after negotiations between Russia and Estonia in Helsinki failed to resolve the issues delaying Russian troop withdrawal. Those issues are the future of the Paldiski Base and the status of Russian military retirees in Estonia. In response to these developments, the Estonian Foreign Ministry has urged Russian President Boris Yeltsin to meet soon with Estonian President Lennart Meri to resolve the latest dispute over Russian troop-withdrawal from Estonia. An Estonia foreign Minister official told RFE/RL on 21 July that the Estonian government had not been notified of the decision to halt the troop withdrawals. The official said that there are fewer than 2,000 Russian soldiers left in Estonia. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Keith Martin and Stan Markotich 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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