The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. - Thomas Carlyle 1975-1881
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 166, 1 September 1994

                              RUSSIA

YELTSIN, KOHL SPEECHES REFLECT DIFFERENT VIEWS. Russian President
Boris Yeltsin and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl both spoke at the
31 August Berlin ceremony marking the departure of the last
Russian soldiers from Germany. The points raised by each leader
illustrate that there remains at least a partial East/West divide
over how best to guarantee the future security of Europe. As seen
on Russian television, Yeltsin said he was confident a military
threat to Russia would never again come from Germany. The Russian
president, who did not once mention NATO in his lengthy remarks,
stated that it was the idea of European cooperation and the
democratic principles of the CSCE that had brought an end to the
Cold War and that it was the CSCE that would be able to "guarantee
security and stability all the way from Vancouver to Vladivostok."
Kohl, on the other hand, ignored the CSCE in his shorter remarks,
which were carried by ARD television, but noted that NATO had
reached out to its former opponents in its Partnership for Peace
program and that NATO and Russia would cooperate closely on both
the political and the military level.  Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

REACTION OF RUSSIAN MASS MEDIA TO TROOP WITHDRAWAL. In a
commentary on 31 August Rossiiskaya gazeta argues that the final
withdrawal of Russian troops from Europe marks the end of a
chapter in postwar history and will create a new geopolitical
situation in Europe that, in the twenty-first century, will be
defined by the new relationship between Russia and Germany. In the
opinion of Izvestiya, German-Russian relations following the troop
withdrawal will be more stable and positive. The newspaper
Segodnya reminds its readers that the Russian troops stayed in
Germany not only as the victors of fascism, but also as the
protectors of a totalitarian communist regime. Russian television,
meanwhile, interviewed the deputy director of the Europe
Institute, Sergei Karaganov, who said that the Soviet military
presence in Europe constituted an enormous economic burden for his
country. Russia's interests, he added, lie not in integration with
Europe but in remaining an independent geopolitical entity that is
not isolated from Europe.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

COMMUNISTS TO COLLECT SIGNATURES FOR EARLY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
On 31 August Ostankino Television showed footage of a news
conference held earlier that day in the press center of the State
Duma by the leadership of the Russian Communist Party. The
Communists elaborated the position of the communist faction in the
Russian parliament in regard to a proposal made by the speaker of
the Council of Federation, Vladimir Shumeiko, to prolong the
mandates of members of both houses for a further two years without
new elections; deputies were elected for a two-year term in
December 1993. According to the party's chairman, Gennadii
Zyuganov, his party opposes Shumeiko's idea (as do the
overwhelming majority of Russian politicians on all sides of the
country's political spectrum). Asked about the possibility of
prolonging the term of office of President Yeltsin, who was
elected for five years in June 1991, Zyuganov disclosed that the
Communist Party intended to collect signatures in favor of holding
new presidential elections next fall--that is, a few months before
Yeltsin's term expires.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN AND GERMAN SECRET SERVICES TO COOPERATE. Chancellor Kohl
and President Yeltsin approved a memorandum on cooperation between
the Russian and German security services in combating the
smuggling of nuclear materials, a spokesman for the Federal
Counterintelligence Service (FSK) told an RFE/RL correspondent in
Berlin on 31 August. The memorandum was signed in Moscow on 22
August during a visit by Chancellor Kohl's security coordinator
Bernd Schmidbauer and following a series of scandals concerning
the smuggling of fissile materials from Russian nuclear
installations. The FSK spokesman did not, however, give any
details of the agreement.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLZHENITSYN TURNS DOWN TOLSTOY PRIZE. According to Komsomolskaya
pravda of 30 August, the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has
declined the literary prize awarded him by the leadership of the
ultranationalist Union of Russian Writers. Following the collapse
of the August 1991 coup attempt, the RSFSR Writers' Union split
into three bodies reflecting its members' varying political
convictions. The union that awards the Tolstoy prize, named after
the great nineteenth-century Russian liberal Count Leon Tolstoy,
is notorious for its illiberal, procommunist, and anti-Semitic
statements. However, according to Komsomolskaya pravda, the Nobel
prizewinner did not attribute his decision to political reasons
but remarked only that there were many other writers in Russia who
needed it more.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE FOCUSES ON ECONOMIC SURVEILLANCE. Economic
intelligence has become a priority for Russian Foreign
Intelligence (SVR), agency spokesman Yurii Kobaladze told
ITAR-TASS on 31 August. In the past gathering economic data was
part of political intelligence, he said, adding that today the SVR
pays more attention to the situation on world markets and the
credibility of Russia's trade partners. While before we were
interested in what was going on in foreign Ministries of Defense,
now we are concentrating on Ministries of Finance, he remarked.
Kobaladze also said that his service was not "working against" the
former republics of the USSR but was carefully monitoring the
situation there.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

WHY HAS YELTSIN SUPPORTED LEBED? According to Nezavisimaya gazeta
of 30 August, Yeltsin's decision to support Lieutenant General
Aleksandr Lebed against the top military command, disavowing its
plan to reduce the 14th Army and to ease Lebed out of the
military, was made on the advice of security and
counterintelligence officials. They reportedly argued that the
planned measures would severely damage the president's domestic
political standing, that Lebed was in a position to "blackmail"
the authorities by threatening to resign, and that the 14th Army
might refuse to obey Moscow, choosing to become "autonomous," if
Lebed were replaced.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

LIBERALS FOR LEBED. Throughout the affair, Lebed has been
supported by liberal Russian media. Nezavisimaya gazeta, for
example, in the above-mentioned commentary, expressed regret that
Lebed did not command Russia's troops in the Baltic States, for he
might have prevented their "shameful withdrawal" (as he resists a
Russian pullout of Moldova). It chastised "practically all Russian
generals" for meekly allowing "agreements to be prepared for
Yeltsin's signature which damage Russia's national security." The
generally pro-Yeltsin and proreform Russian TV, which has
repeatedly given Lebed the opportunity to challenge his superiors
and civilian authority, commented on 30 August that the liberal
media have boosted Lebed's image just as the liberal press "made"
Kornilov in 1917. "We journalists, just like all citizens, long
for a good [military] boot, and Lebed fits the bill perfectly."
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

INTELLECTUALS CALL FOR NO DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION TO YELTSIN. On 30
August Izvestiya carried an appeal signed by 13 prominent cultural
figures calling on the Russian intelligentsia to unite. The
document asserts that Russia has no need of a "democratic
opposition" to the current regime and urges all democrats to vote
for the same candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections.
The thirteen say the appeal is in response to the "not guilty"
verdict returned by the Supreme Court's Military Collegium in the
trial of General Valentin Varennikov, the only organizer of the
attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991 to have
faced trial. According to Novaya ezhednevnaya gazeta, democratic
politicians rallying in front of the former parliamentary building
to mark the third anniversary of the putsch on 20 August called on
President Yeltsin to dissolve the Russian Supreme Court.  Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

DOCKING FAILURE THREATENS RUSSIAN SPACE PROGRAM. A commentator
writing in Izvestiya on 1 September said that a failure on the
third attempt to dock the space ferry Progress M-24 with the Mir
orbital space station could wipe out the entire program of Russian
manned space flights. The Progress vehicle is carrying 659
kilograms of food, water, oxygen supplies, and scientific
equipment. A faulty computer is blamed for the failure of the two
previous docking attempts. Mir crew commander Aleksandr
Malenchenko will make a final attempt at manual docking on 2
September. Should that fail, the Mir crew would have to be
returned to earth within a few weeks. Plans for an October visit
to the space station by a European Space Agency astronaut would
have to be abandoned, and the Russian Space Agency would have to
pay what the commentator called ruinous damages for American and
Japanese equipment that would be lost should the Progress ferry
not be recovered.  Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEFENSE PLANT SENDS WORKERS HOME. The "Yurii Gagarin" aircraft
plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur announced that it was sending as many
as 70% of its staff on forced vacation for two months beginning 1
September. According to Interfax of 31 August, the enterprise is
in dire financial straits because the Defense Ministry has refused
to take delivery of half of the aircraft it had ordered. The plant
produces the Su-27 fighter. The plant's management hopes to
alleviate its money problems by selling combat aircraft abroad.
The employees who are kept on will build the prototype of the S-80
multipurpose turboprop transport--a contract which also involves
the Defense Ministry. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

RUSSIA WANTS IN ON KAZAKHSTAN GAS FIELD. Kazakhstan's Deputy
Minister of the Oil and Gas Industry Bulat Elemanov was quoted by
Interfax on 30 August as saying that Kazakhstan and Russia intend
to set up a working group to draft joint agreements on the
development of the Karachaganak gas field in northwestern
Kazakhstan. For months Russian officials have been pressuring
their Kazakhstani counterparts to allow Russian firms a share in
exploiting the field after British Gas and Italy's AGIP won an
international competition for the right to develop the gas
deposit. Russian participation at Karachaganak was among the
issues raised at a recent meeting between Russian Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin and Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Sergei
Tereshchenko.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

SECOND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE REGISTERED IN TAJIKISTAN.
Tajikistan's Central Electoral Commission has registered former
Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullozhonov as a candidate in the
upcoming presidential election, Interfax reported on 31 August.
Earlier in the week the commission reported that Abdullozhonov's
documentation had been lost. At least one region of Tajikistan,
the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, which supports
Abdullozhonov, was considering boycotting the election if there
was only one candidate. The first candidate, who registered with
no difficulty, was the present head of state, Supreme Soviet
Chairman Imomali Rakhmonov.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

UZBEKISTAN TO RECEIVE INDIAN TV. India's Ambassador to Uzbekistan,
D. Mehta, has presented the Uzbek State TV and Radio Company with
technical devices that will permit the reception and rebroadcast
of Indian television programs, which will begin imminently,
Interfax reported on 31 August. An agreement on the exchange of TV
programs between India and Uzbekistan was made during Indian
Premier Narasingha Rao's visit to Tashkent in 1993. Presumably for
Uzbek viewers Indian TV programs will help fill the gap that will
result from the loss of most Russian TV programming because of a
dispute over financing between Uzbekistan and the Russian state
system. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

RUSSIAN TROOPS LEAVE ESTONIA, LATVIA. Russian forces left Estonia
and Latvia on 31 August, as announced by Russian and other media
in advance. Though their departure formally marks the end of
Moscow's military presence in the two countries, several thousand
Russian military personnel and their families remain there. Before
leaving Riga, Commander of Russia's Northwestern Group of Forces
Lt. Gen. Fedor Melnichuk told President Guntis Ulmanis that those
officers (who, according to Latvian estimates, number at least
1,115) decommissioned in Latvia after Russia took over command of
the Soviet military on 28 January 1992, would leave by the end of
the year. As for the Russian naval officers formerly stationed in
Tallinn who had recently complained of being decommissioned
illegally in Estonia, authorities in Moscow said most had homes in
Estonia and had been issued Estonian visas, Interfax reported on
31 August. This would seem to suggest they would not be pulled out
of Estonia. More than 200 Russian specialists remain to dismantle
the atomic reactors at the Paldiski submarine base in Estonia and
more than 600 specialists continue to man the radar station in
Skrunda, Latvia.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTIC, WESTERN LEADERS WELCOME RUSSIAN TROOP DEPARTURES. In a
statement issued on 31 August, US President Bill Clinton said the
departure of Russian troops from Germany and the Baltic States
brought to an end a chapter in post-World War II history and
opened the door to a new era of regional stability and
cooperation. Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt sent letters of
congratulation to the presidents of Estonia and Latvia. Welcoming
the new security situation in the region, Bildt promised increased
economic aid to the Baltics. In a joint statement, the presidents
of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia said that for the first time
since 1940 the three Baltic States were becoming true masters of
their own affairs. This, they added, offered the possibility of
combining efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and
improve the quality of life.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

KRYLOV: RUSSIA HAS WAYS OF INFLUENCING BALTIC STATES. As the
Russian troops were leaving Estonia and Latvia, Russian Deputy
Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov warned that Russia had "generally
accepted political, moral, economic, and other ways" of
influencing the Baltic States, if they violated the rights of the
Russian community. He told Interfax that Russia would expect
assistance from those countries that had insisted on the
withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltics. Krylov said
military steps should be the last resort. At the same time Krylov
noted there was no reason at present to assume that agreements on
the rights of the Russian community in the Baltics would not be
observed. He added that Russia would remain in touch with ethnic
Russians, primarily those who kept their Russian citizenship. He
said those who accepted local citizenship would pose a greater
problem.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

MEETING OF BALTIC AND NORDIC FOREIGN MINISTERS. On 31 August the
foreign ministers of the Baltic States and the Nordic Council
(Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland) met in the
Lithuanian seaside resort of Palanga, BNS reports. They welcomed
the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and Estonia and
focused on three main issues: European cooperation and
integration, regional security and stability, and cooperation
between the Baltic and Nordic countries. The ministers decided to
form a joint expert group to examine the possibility of giving
Nordic consular assistance to Baltic citizens in countries where
there are no Baltic consular representatives. The meeting did not
issue the expected joint communique calling for the
demilitarization of Kaliningrad, although Swedish Foreign Minister
Margaretha af Ugglas said the Russian military concentration there
was "an absolute anomaly . . . incongruous with stability."
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILOSEVIC SAYS HE MAY AGREE TO MONITORS. On 31 August Reuters and
Belgrade dailies reported that Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic has expressed willingness to have some 400 international
monitors along Serbia's border with Bosnia and Herzegovina who
would monitor traffic between Serbia and Bosnian Serb-held
territory in Bosnia. However, he attached certain conditions: the
monitors would have to come from "friendly" states such as Russia
and Greece, would not be permitted to wear uniforms, and would
have to be chaperoned by rump Yugoslav police officials. Borba
noted that Milosevic had also called for "observers" along
Croatia's border with Bosnia as a guarantee that arms did not
reach Bosnian government forces. Milosevic's willingness to accept
the monitors comes in the wake of recent meetings with Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who, Reuters reports, is seen by
Belgrade as the greatest potential advocate, within the ranks of
the "contact group," of Milosevic's reported offer. AFP reported
on 31 August that France had tacitly backed Kozyrev's calls for
holding a "contact group" meeting to discuss possible responses to
Belgrade's blockade of the Bosnian Serbs.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL,
Inc.

BOSNIAN SERBS CUT LINKS WITH SERBIA. On 31 August Reuters reported
that Bosnian Serbs had severed financial links with rump
Yugoslavia in what one Bosnian Serb source described as
retaliation for Belgrade's embargo against the Bosnian Serbs. The
same unidentified source also told Reuters that "our next move is
either to issue new currency or coupons." Bosnian Serbs had
adopted the rump Yugoslavia's "super dinar" in January. Meanwhile,
the self-styled Bosnian Serb parliament is slated to meet on 1
September in order to rubber-stamp the results of the 27-28 August
referendum, which overwhelmingly rejected the international
"contact group's" peace plan for Bosnia. It is also expected that
the Bosnian Serb parliament will reiterate its somewhat dubious
commitment to the peace process. Finally, international media
report that sniping incidents and shootings continue in and around
Sarajevo.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

MUSLIM WARLORD REJECTS REFUGEE REPATRIATION PLAN. On 31 August
Hina reported that deposed Muslim warlord Fikret Abdic had
rejected a plan for the return of some 25,000 refugees to Bihac
enclave, in northeastern Bosnia. The plan, backed by the US and
supported by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, envisages
establishing a UN-supported refugee center in Velika Kladusa.
Abdic's response came at a meeting arranged by UNPROFOR and
attended by head of Croatia's Office for National Security Hrvoje
Sarinic, US ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, and UNPROFOR
Civil Affairs head Sergio de Mello. Zagreb, for its part, has
pressed for the refugees' repatriation.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL,
Inc.

GREECE'S FEARS OVER CRISIS IN RELATIONS WITH ALBANIA. In an
interview with Greek Television on 31 August, Foreign Minister
Karolos Papoulias spoke candidly about the government's deeper
fears over the present crisis in relations with Albania. He
suggested Turkey might be trying to open "a new front . . . on the
Greek-Albanian border." In detailing Athens's concerns, Papoulias
noted that Tirana and Ankara had recently developed increasingly
close ties and that Turkey, in accordance with a bilateral
agreement signed last year, had begun training Albanian police and
army staff and had offered to deliver military equipment. Speaking
on his return from Cyprus--since 1974 the focal point of
Turkish-Greek confrontation--he said Greece believed Ankara was in
effect acting behind the scenes to boost its influence both in
Albania and elsewhere in the Balkans. In a related development the
previous day, Russia's Foreign Ministry deplored the fact that
growing Greek-Albanian tensions seemed to contradict the trend of
reducing regional tensions. It urged both sides to try and settle
bilateral disputes.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA CALLS FOR TEAM SPIRIT. On the 14th anniversary of the 1980
Gdansk agreement that gave rise to the Solidarity movement,
President Lech Walesa attended Mass at the Basilica of St. Brygida
and laid a wreath at the monument to fallen Gdansk shipyard
workers, PAP reported on 31 August. Walesa told Solidarity members
that their movement had achieved independence and democratic rule
for Poland. He added, however, that democracy did not provide
automatic solutions but only the opportunity to make choices.
Things were much more complicated than Solidarity had imagined 14
years ago, he said. Walesa stressed that the achievements of the
last five years should be measured against the devastation of the
previous 50 years. Expressing concern about certain regressive
trends since the postcommunist election victory in 1993, Walesa
called on all those who hailed from the Solidarity tradition to
show "new solidarity." "There are too many fouls on our field," he
said, "and not enough team play." Pluralism and differences of
opinion were good but did not exclude "the outstretched hand" for
which all Poland was waiting, he noted.  Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SEJM APPROVES 1993 REPORT. The Sejm voted to approve the
government's financial report for 1993 by 278 votes to 23, with 61
abstentions, PAP reported on 31 August. The debate, though lively
and critical, was less politically slanted than the previous
year's discussion, which had turned into a political condemnation
of the ousted government of Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka rather
than an evaluation of how the annual budget had been implemented.
The deputies were strongly critical of the performance of the
Polish National Bank, whose chief executive was appointed by
President Lech Walesa. Nonetheless, the vote was 156 in favor of
approving the report, with 79 against and 23 abstentions.  Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ASKS CZECHS, SLOVAKS FOR APOLOGY.
Speaking at a press conference in Prague on 31 August, Hungarian
Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs said the Hungarian people would
appreciate it if the two successor states of former Czechoslovakia
"asked for forgiveness in connection with injustices against
Hungary after World War II," when Hungarians were declared by
Czechoslovakia to be "a nation that bears collective guilt for war
crimes." Kovacs said "psychological and legal" steps could redress
this "injustice." He added that some legal measures had already
been taken but that "Hungary is still waiting for an apology."
Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS FROM SLOVAKIA. A National Bank of Slovakia
(NBS) spokesman said Slovakia's trade surplus with the Czech
Republic totaled 208 million ecu at the end of August. Under the
Czech-Slovak trade agreement, if one country's trade deficit
exceeds 130 million ecu, the debtor country has to pay the amount
in excess of that limit in hard currency. Thus, the Czech Republic
now owes Slovakia 78 million ecu in hard currency, TASR and CTK
reported. On 31 August the NBS released a report on financial
developments in the first half of 1994. Total inflation for the
first six months was 4.1%, while the bank's foreign-currency
reserves (excluding gold) rose $239.7 million to $716.5 million by
30 June. The Slovak Statistical Office reported that GDP increased
4.4%, compared with the first half of 1993, mainly as a result of
growth in exports and consumption. As of 30 June, Slovakia's
budget deficit was 10.5 billion koruny, mainly because of its
large trade deficit with the Czech Republic earlier in the year.
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIA COMPLAINS ABOUT TREATY TALKS WITH HUNGARY. Mircea Geoana,
a spokesman for the Romanian Foreign Ministry, told journalists on
31 August that there had been little progress recently in
negotiations with Hungary over a bilateral cooperation treaty.
Geoana said Hungary had failed to respond to proposals made by
Romania in 1993. He expressed hope that the negotiations would be
given a boost by the visit of Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor
Melescanu to Budapest starting 5 September. Romania insists that
the treaty include a clause on border inviolability, while Hungary
wants Romania to commit itself to observing the rights of the
Magyar minority in Transylvania and the Banat.  Dan Ionescu,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT ADOPTS ANTI-CRIME PACKAGE. On 30 August the
Bulgarian cabinet approved an anti-crime package providing for an
additional 5,000 police officers, the setting up of an
intergovernmental crime prevention working group, the release of
50 million leva for technical equipment, and an improved
retirement scheme for employees of the Interior Ministry, BTA
reports. Speaking to journalists after the cabinet meeting,
Interior Minister Viktor Mihaylov said "billions of leva" would
probably be required to combat crime in Bulgaria but the adopted
package was the best the ministry could offer under existing
financial constraints. As if to underline the seriousness of the
crime issue, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, head of the country's Sports Union
and deputy chairman of a civil initiative against crime, was shot
to death the same day in a Sofia street. While some regard
Tsvetanov's self-defense group Zashtita as complementing the
limited resources of the police, others say it is involved in the
same kind of racketeering and smuggling activities that it has
vowed to oppose.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

REPORTS, DENIALS IN CRIMEA. On 31 August Uniar and Interfax
reported that Crimean President Yurii Meshkov was preparing a
decree suspending the Crimean parliament and scheduling a
referendum on its future for 7 November. These reports were denied
by Meshkov's press office, which said there were no plans to issue
such a decree. Meshkov and the Crimean parliament recently have
been engaged in a power struggle. On 30 August Ukrainian Radio
reported that the Presidium of Crimea's parliament had ruled that
Meshkov's decrees regarding the security services on the peninsula
were unconstitutional and the armed units of the services illegal.
The Presidium recommended that the security services no longer be
financed and that a decision be made ordering them to vacate their
premises.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE PREPARING LANGUAGE LAW. According to Ukrainian Radio on 30
August, the proposed law on languages would make Ukrainian the
state language, while Russian would be an official language. The
proposal also states that any language may be an official language
if speakers of it live in Ukraine. Despite the leniency toward the
status of other languages, all citizens would be required to learn
Ukrainian and government officials would have to demonstrate a
good command of Ukrainian. Granting Russian the status of an
official language has been viewed negatively by nationalists and
even led to a fight in the parliament in July (see RFE/RL Daily
Report, 27 July).  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBRIGHT STRESSES US SUPPORT TO MOLDOVA ON RUSSIAN TROOPS.
Visiting Chisinau on 31 August, US Ambassador to the UN Madeleine
Albright told President Mircea Snegur and local media the US
regarded the withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova as "a
matter of primary importance." Welcoming the troop withdrawal
agreement, recently initialed by Russia and Moldova, as "an
important step," Albright said the US and the international
community closely followed this issue. She also noted the
withdrawal must be orderly and complete. During her forthcoming
visit to Moscow, she would stress that the troop withdrawal was
important not only for Moldova but also for Russia's peaceful and
democratic development. Albright discussed with Snegur steps to be
taken in "international organizations that can influence Russia to
withdraw the 14th Army." Joining in Snegur's condemnation of
"separatism," Albright handed over a message from President
Clinton stressing once again support for Moldova's independence,
territorial integrity, and democratic development. The US "highly
approves" of Moldova's political and economic reforms, she said.
Albright's remarks and the official release were reported by
ITAR-TASS, Reuters, and an RFE/RL correspondent. Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

DNIESTER RUSSIANS "MORE RUSSIAN THAN THOSE IN RUSSIA." "Dniester
republic" leader Igor Smirnov told Russian TV on 30 August that
his constituents insisted on maintaining Russia's military
presence in that part of Moldova "because we are more Russian than
some of those who live in Russia." Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed,
commander of Russia's 14th Army, told the same TV program that
"Dniester" leaders displayed "mendacity and drunkenness"
compounded by "criminal behavior." Smirnov, a native of Khabarovsk
who came to Moldova only in 1985, and other "Dniester" leaders
have claimed to be "more Russian" to Russian media. But in Moldova
they insist they are part of the "multinational Dniester people,"
which "forms the basis of the Dniester republic." Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Penny Morvant and Jan Cleave
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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