No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. - Edmund Burke
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 167, 2 September 1994

                              RUSSIA

DUDAEV SUPPORTERS, OPPOSITION CLASH IN CHECHNYA. Opposition forces
led by Beslan Gantemirov, a supporter of Provisional Council
chairman Umar Avturkhanov, and troops loyal to Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev clashed in Urus-Martan Raion on 1 September,
according to Interfax and ITAR-TASS, which cited diverse figures
for the number of killed (7-11) and wounded (5-11); Dudaev's
troops were constrained to withdraw, leaving the opposition in
control of the raion. A spokesman for Ruslan Khasbulatov told
Interfax that the opposition troops have been put on a state of
alert, but that there was still "serious discord in the sphere of
political and military strategy and tactics" between Khasbulatov
and Avturkhanov; according to the Provisional Council, its forces
are blocking the entrance to Grozny on the left bank of the Terek.
Meanwhile, the Chechen Foreign Ministry has sent an invitation to
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev to attend the celebrations
on 6 September to mark the third anniversary of Chechnya's
independence. In an interview given to Segodnya on 1 September and
summarized by ITAR-TASS, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei
Shakhrai said that attempts to influence the situation in Chechnya
by using force were "useless" and that "there will be no military
intervention by Russia." Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

GOVERNMENT DRAFTS LAW ON TV COMMERCIALS. Legislation drawn up by
the Russian government on advertisements in the media places a
number of restrictions on television commercials, Russian TV
newscasts reported on 1 September. The draft law requires
television commercials to be truthful, responsible, and decent; it
bans advertising by unlicensed firms as well as indirect
advertising and limits advertisements of medicines, alcohol, and
tobacco. According to the newscasts, the draft also provides for
amendments to be made to the Russian Criminal Code. The move was
prompted by a series of scandals involving financial companies
such as MMM, the Russian House Selenga, and Tibet, all of which
have been heavily advertised on Russian television.  Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

FEDOROV CRITICIZES GAIDAR FOR "IMPOSING YELTSIN" AS JOINT
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE. Boris Fedorov, who held the post of minister
of finance in the government chaired by Egor Gaidar and is now
leader of the December 12 Liberal Democratic Union group in the
State Duma, was cited by Interfax on 31 August as suggesting that
Russian democratic politicians hold a conference in October or
November 1994 to work out a mechanism for nominating a joint
candidate for the 1996 presidential elections. According to
Interfax, Fedorov criticized Gaidar, leader of the Russia's
Democratic Choice party, for calling on democrats to nominate the
current president, Boris Yeltsin. By so doing, Fedorov said,
Gaidar "was in a way imposing a specific candidate on the
democratic forces" without having discussed "the essence of the
matter." Fedorov believes the best way to choose a common
candidate would be either to poll the electorate in five or ten
regions to find out who is the most popular contender or to hold
primaries on the US model.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN SAID TO HAVE APPOINTED "FASCIST" AS PRESS MINISTER. Issue
no. 35 of the liberal weekly Moscow News contains an article
entitled "Fascist Minister in the Government of [Viktor]
Chernomyrdin." The article is yet another portrait of Boris
Mironov, the chairman of the State Committee on the Press, who has
recently emerged as the man the Russian intelligentsia most loves
to hate. The article consists of quotes from Mironov, who
allegedly identified himself as "a Fascist" in one of his lectures
in Orenburg. Mironov is quoted as saying that he is "a hard-core
Russian nationalist," an opponent of democracy and press freedom,
and an advocate of strict governmental control over the media. He
reportedly believes that "the media are even more important for
the state than the army, therefore a strict hierarchy in the press
is necessary." He is also on record as having subsidized
publications of overtly anti-Semitic books while refusing
financial aid for publications of schoolbooks and scientific and
technical literature. On 1 September an RFE/RL Moscow
correspondent quoted Mironov as saying that Yeltsin had
recommended him for the post and that his policies had been
"approved by the very top [Russian leadership]." Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ANOTHER MAJOR ARMS PLANT FORCED TO SHUT DOWN. According to
ITAR-TASS of 1 September, the Tula Arms Factory has stopped
production for the first time in 300 years. Its workers have been
put on leave until the first of next month. They received no pay
in July and August, and only 40% were paid in June. The report
said the government owed the factory more than 15 billion rubles
(about $7 million.) It had been producing AK-47 assault rifles,
but had tried to switch to products for the civilian market. Its
production is reported to have fallen off by 97% over the past
three years. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

TROOPS GATHER FOR CONTROVERSIAL EXERCISE. A parade and the playing
of the Russian and American national anthems on 1 September at a
military airfield near Totsk set the stage for a joint
Russian-American military exercise to run from 2 to 10 September.
According to ITAR-TASS, none of the 500 soldiers involved will
have any weapons. Named "Peacekeeper 94," the exercise has had a
stormy history. It was originally scheduled for July, but
right-wing opposition in the Russian parliament prompted Yeltsin
to waver in his support. At one time it was to be moved to the
United States, but it was finally rescheduled for September in the
Totsk military complex in the Southern Urals--the site of a 1954
Soviet atomic weapons test. A contingent of procommunist
protesters is expected to picket the exercise. Viktor Anpilov,
leader of the Working Russian movement, told Interfax that 350,000
people had signed a petition protesting the presence of foreign
troops on Russian soil.  Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

FIRE AT RUSSIAN NUCLEAR INSTALLATION. A fire that broke out at the
nuclear reprocessing plant Mayak on 31 August was rapidly brought
under control, a spokesman for the State Committee for Nuclear
Safety, Yurii Rogozin, told ITAR-TASS on 1 September. Rogozin said
the incident posed no danger to the plant's personnel or to the
environment. The fire broke out during the reprocessing of a
nuclear fuel cassette at the Mayak plant in the city of Seversk
near Chelyabinsk. According to Mayak's management, the amount of
radiation released was below the danger level; and the fire is not
considered a "serious accident" on the international scale. Mayak
is one of three main nuclear weapons plants in Russia. Victor
Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

INGUSH CONGRESS CALLS FOR FEDERAL RULE. In a letter sent to
Yeltsin on 1 September, Ruslan Pliev, chairman of the Ingush
People's Congress, asked the Russian president to implement
measures to stabilize the situation in the region disputed between
Ingushetia and North Ossetia, which is currently under a state of
emergency. Specifically, Pliev requested that a legal assessment
be made of the clashes two years ago in Prigorodnyi Raion and
Vladikavkaz, which resulted in heavy casualties, and that a
permanent commission of the Federal Assembly be sent to the region
to monitor the implementation of presidential decrees. Pliev also
asked Yeltsin to reject any attempt to link the repatriation of
Ingush refugees to the situation in Chechnya.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,
Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KARABAKH TALKS RESUME. A further round of Russian-mediated talks
on a settlement of the Karabakh conflict opened in Moscow on 1
September, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported; attending were deputy
foreign ministers from Armenia and Azerbaijan, the permanent
representative in Armenia of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic, Russian special ambassador Vladimir Kazimirov, and
representatives from the CSCE Minsk group and the CIS Executive
secretariat. Although the previous talks last month culminated in
agreement on nine of a total of 17 points of a draft settlement,
the accord will not be valid until agreement is reached on all
points, according to a senior Azerbaijani diplomat quoted by
Interfax. Moreover, the CSCE is seeking to modify some of the
points in the draft. In a statement issued on 1 September and
summarized by ITAR-TASS, the Russian Foreign Ministry welcomed the
willingness of all sides in the conflict to continue to observe
the cease-fire concluded in May, but warned that "a flexible
approach and balanced mutual concessions" were needed in order to
achieve a political solution to the conflict. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,
Inc.

GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ TALKS FOCUS ON REFUGEES. The UN-sponsored talks in
Geneva on a political settlement in Abkhazia resumed on 31 August
without either Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov who
had hitherto represented Russia, or Dzhaba Ioseliani, the head of
the Georgian delegation. According to Interfax of 1 September,
Ioseliani had refused "on principle" to participate unless the
Abkhaz authorities allow the repatriation of Georgian refugees to
Abkhazia, and had pronounced his readiness to head a spontaneous
march of refugees across the border. On 1 September agreement was
reached in Geneva on a draft document stipulating conditions for
the refugees' return, Western agencies reported. US Ambassador to
the UN Madeleine Albright was quoted after meeting in Tbilisi on 1
September with Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze
that Abkhazia must allow the refugees to return in order to pave
the way for an agreement of Abkhazia's future status within
Georgia; she further affirmed that the deployment of Russian
peacekeepers in Georgia must be temporary and their actions kept
under international scrutiny. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

UZBEK DISSIDENT THREATENED WITH TRIAL. Vasilya Inoyatova, one of
the few leaders of the opposition Uzbek democratic-nationalist
movement Birlik to remain active in Uzbekistan, has told foreign
journalists that officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
have accused her of "anti-state activities" and warned her to
prepare to face trial, Reuters reported on 1 September. The
charge, under Article 60 of the Uzbek Criminal Code, results from
police having caught Inoyatova in possession of two sacks
containing copies of the newspaper published illegally by the Erk
Party, another Uzbek group that, like Birlik, has been refused
registration by the Uzbek authorities and may therefore neither
function legally nor distribute its publications in Uzbekistan.
Inoyatova was sentenced to a prison term in 1993 after having been
found guilty of slandering President Islam Karimov, but was
immediately amnestied.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

TAJIKISTAN UPDATE. In an interview with Interfax on 1 September,
Tajikistan's head of state, Supreme Soviet Chairman Imomali
Rakhmonov, said an amnesty had been decreed by the presidium of
the Tajik parliament on 25 August that covered some members of the
Tajik opposition who have been accused by the present regime of
inciting civil war in 1992. Such an amnesty was one of the
conditions placed by the Tajik opposition in exile on resuming
talks with the government on ending the fighting between
government and opposition forces in Tajikistan and on the
Tajik-Afghan border.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC THREATENS TO BLOCKADE BOSNIAN MUSLIMS. On 2 September
Borba and international agencies report that the previous day
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic told the assembly of the
self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb republic that in a matter of days
Bosnian Serb forces would blockade Bosnian Muslim enclaves.
Karadzic, noting that Belgrade's own embargo against the Bosnian
Serbs had prompted the threat, said: "We have the full right to
impose sanctions against the Muslims, to prevent even a bird from
flying to them, until the world compels [rump] Yugoslavia to lift
economic sanctions." Meanwhile, the assembly called on the
international community to formulate a new peace proposal.  Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULAJIC: RUMP YUGOSLAVIA WILL NOT AGREE TO MONITORS. Meeting with
his Czech counterpart in Belgrade on 1 September, rump Yugoslav
Deputy Foreign Minister Radoslav Bulajic said Yugoslavia did not
agree to having international observers on its border with Bosnia.
It has been proposed that observers monitor traffic between Serbia
and Bosnian Serb-held territory in Bosnia. CTK reports Bulajic as
saying that Yugoslavia did not need observers because it was "a
trustworthy state." He added that their presence would violate the
sovereignty of Yugoslavia. Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander
Vondra replied that the Czech Republic supported the UN Security
Council's view that placing observers at the border was necessary.
Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

PAPAL VISIT TO SARAJEVO CONFIRMED. On 1 September Hina reported
that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic,
received Vatican confirmation of Pope John Paul II's visit to the
Bosnian capital. The pontiff is scheduled to arrive in Bosnia on 8
September and will meet with leaders of the Orthodox, Muslim, and
Jewish communities. Puljic told a press conference that the
highlight of the papal visit would be the celebration of Mass in
the former Olympic speed-skating stadium, which can accommodate
some 20, 000 people.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

ABDIC REFUSES TO HELP WITH REPATRIATION EFFORTS. According to
Reuters on 1 September, defeated rebel Bosnian Muslim leader
Fikret Abdic is still declining to urge fellow refugees, numbering
some 25,000, to return to the Bihac enclave in Bosnia. Abdic has
justified his refusal by saying he has no control over the
refugees, the majority of whom are on Serb-controlled Croatian
territory. Meanwhile, international agencies report that Adbic's
loyalists continue to fuel fears of reprisals at the hands of the
Bosnian government forces and are thereby frustrating the
repatriation process. Borba of 2 September reports that the UN has
persuaded 45 people to travel to Velika Kladusa under UN escort in
order to determine whether they should return. Moreover, UN
observers have reportedly found no cases of atrocities or human
rights violations committed by the Bosnian government forces in
the Bihac pocket. Fears exist that as long as Abdic and his
supporters continue to make it difficult for such information to
be disseminated, the refugee problem will persist.  Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

TIRANA ACCUSES ATHENS OF DECLARING "COLD WAR." President Sali
Berisha's ruling Democratic Party has issued a declaration titled
"Albania and the Albanian Question Are Holy," Rilindja reports on
30 August. The document criticizes Athens for the current conflict
between the two countries, triggered by an espionage trial of five
ethnic Greeks. It says that Greece has "declared cold war on
Albania" and lambasts "certain" Albanian politicians and forces
that have joined ranks with the Greek "ultranationalists." In
particular, it accuses leaders of the opposition Socialist Party
of being "deeply anti-Albanian and anti-democratic" for taking the
side of the five ethnic Greeks standing trial. The aim of the
declaration may be to deepen a split within the Socialist Party
caused by the pro-Greek stand of some of its leaders on the
current Athens-Tirana conflict. Meanwhile, Western agencies report
that Berisha on 1 September appealed to members of the UN Security
Council to intervene with Athens to stop the ongoing expulsion of
illegal Albanian immigrants.  Louis Zanga, RFE/RL, Inc.

SEJM UPHOLDS ABORTION VETO. The Sejm has failed to override
President Lech Walesa's veto on amendments to the Penal Code that
would have allowed abortion on economic and social grounds, PAP
reports on 2 September. The pro-abortion lobby failed by 42 votes
to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary to reject a
presidential veto. The result was expected to be closer after an
acrimonious debate the previous day over the implementation of the
January 1993 law on family planning, protection of the human
fetus, and abortion. All four ministries (health, education,
labor, and justice) involved in its implementation were criticized
for their performance. Although the law remains in force, emotions
are likely to continue running high. The left-wing Labor Union has
already announced its intention to revive the idea of a national
referendum on abortion. The Freedom Union, the only party to have
recommended a free vote on the issue, is on the verge of a split,
as a result of the party Presidium's efforts to prevent the
militant pro-abortion campaigner Barbara Labuda from spoiling the
middle-of-the-road image that the party strives to project.  Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

WARSAW PROSECUTOR REBUKED. At a press conference on 30 August,
Deputy Prosecutor General Stanislaw Iwanicki criticized the Warsaw
Prosecutor's Office for failing to follow up immediately on press
revelations about the activities of protection gangs in Warsaw's
Old Town. PAP quoted Iwanicki as saying that statements made by
restaurant owners should have prompted immediate investigations.
As this was not the case, available evidence is insufficient to
bring charges against suspected racketeers. A representative of
the Katowice Prosecutor's Office, responsible for investigating
charges of corruption at the highest levels of the Poznan police
force, said the findings so far largely confirmed the allegations,
first made by Gazeta Wyborcza in March 1994.  Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

MECIAR MEETS WITH FOREIGN JOURNALISTS. On the occasion of the
incumbent Slovak parliament's final session, former Premier
Vladimir Meciar met with foreign journalists, CTK reported on 1
September. Criticizing the current government's privatization
program, which includes a second wave of coupon privatization,
Meciar said he would have to "start over again" after the
elections. He said the coupon method did not create real owners,
adding that he preferred management and employee buy-outs.
Stressing the importance of strong ties with the Czech Republic,
Meciar said Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus had "confirmed his deep
sense of democracy" by negotiating with the government
"legitimately elected" rather than the one that took power after a
parliamentary "putsch." Meciar said the current government had
done nothing to improve Slovak-Hungarian relations and stressed
the need for Hungary's recognition of the current border. Meciar
also criticized the Slovak Constitution, according to which the
president is elected by the parliament. He emphasized that the
president--who, he said, is not subject to control under the
present system--should be reduced to a figurehead or a
presidential system should be introduced whereby he would be
popularly elected. On the upcoming elections, Meciar said his
party was "stronger than in 1992" and was likely to win enough
votes to avoid having to form a coalition government.  Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN DRUGS FOR UKRAINIAN ARMS. The Hungarian and Ukrainian
defense ministers initialed an agreement in Budapest on 31 August
calling for Hungary to trade drugs worth 30-40 million forint
($275,000 to $370,000) for military spare parts from Ukraine. As
reported by Reuters, Hungarian Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti
explained the barter deal was more favorable to Hungary than
paying in dollars. Keleti also said the two countries planned to
hold small joint military exercises. Ukrainian Deputy Defense
Minister Anatolii Lopata was quoted as saying that the two wanted
to strengthen their friendship "not just in the short term but for
centuries." Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN STEEL WORKERS ON STRIKE. Some 1,400 steel workers at the
Otel Inox plant in Tirgoviste (about 80 kilometers northwest of
Bucharest) went on strike on 31 August, an RFE/RL correspondent in
Bucharest reported. The strikers, who are demanding more pay,
claim they earn less than workers in similar industries elsewhere
in Romania. A spokesman for the steel plant said the company could
not afford to increase wages, since it was making a loss.
Negotiations between management and strikers continued on 1
September, but Radio Bucharest reported that no agreement had been
reached so far.  Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

TURKISH BROADCASTS UPSET BULGARIANS. In a statement released on 1
September, Bulgaria's Telecommunications Committee accuses Turkey
of broadcasting in violation of international agreements. The
committee says it turned down five Turkish requests regarding
frequencies in early 1994, but it notes that the Turkish
authorities seem to be allowing the broadcasts to take place. The
Bulgarian press has repeatedly reported that Turkish TV and radio
can be received loud and clear in southeastern Bulgaria and that
the broadcasts sometimes interfere with local programs. Also
controversial are the apparently illegal rebroadcasting
installations set up in many areas in Bulgaria inhabited by ethnic
Turks. Bulgarian nationalists say these installations must be torn
down.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE TO PARTICIPATE IN NATO EXERCISES. On 1 September
Ukrinform-TASS reported that a mechanized unit from the
Transcarpathian Military District was to participate in military
exercises in Poland within the framework of NATO's Partnership for
Peace. Units from 13 countries will be participating in the
exercise. The Ukrainian unit will be cooperating directly with
English, Dutch, and Romanian units.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

BRIEFING FROM UKRAINE'S PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION. Dmytro
Tabachnyk, head of the president's administration, held a briefing
on 31 August at which he summarized President Leonid Kuchma's
latest decrees, Ukrainian Radio reported. According to Tabachnyk,
on 23 August Kuchma issued a decree on corruption and other
economic crimes. The decree created a special operation unit and
the Council of National Security, both of which are to tackle
economic offenses. Kuchma has also passed decrees regulating
external economic activity and increasing servicemen's pay by
one-and-a-half times.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

LUKASHENKA DISMISSES KGB DEPUTY CHAIRMEN. Belarusian President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka has issued a decree dismissing the first
deputy chairman of the KGB, Valery Artsikau, and another deputy
chairman, Ivan Minko, Belarusian Television reports on 31 August.
The decree did not specify who would be replacing them. Also,
Interfax reported on 1 September that the KGB had resumed its
investigation into the alleged assassination attempt against
Lukashenka in June during the election campaign. At the time, the
KGB and law enforcement agencies dismissed the shooting as a
publicity stunt on Lukashenka's part.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

EBRD APPROVES ENERGY CONSERVATION PROJECTS IN BELARUS. The
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has agreed to
finance energy conservation projects in Belarus, Belarusian
Television reported on 30 August. Belarus is in the midst of an
energy crisis because it cannot afford to pay for its gas and oil
supplies. However, as much as 30-35% of these resources are wasted
since enterprises are not fuel efficient and no conservation
measures have been introduced. Conservation plans are to be drawn
up and sent to the bank's headquarters in London for approval. It
is hoped that credits for the projects will be granted by next
spring.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN-MOLDOVAN BORDER INCIDENT. On 30 August Romanian Senator
and Socialist Labor Party leader Adrian Paunescu caused a
disturbance at the Romanian-Moldovan border at Leuseni, the main
crossing point, the press service of Moldova's National Security
Ministry (responsible for border guards) said on 1 September. When
asked by the Moldovans to show his passport and to tone down his
companions' rowdy behavior, Paunescu, seconded by a busload of
Romanian supporters, shouted "traitors to Romania" and "Soviet
swines" at Moldovan border guards and customs officials. He also
threatened to "hang the officers on border posts after the
reunification [of Moldova with Romania]." They obstructed
international traffic for three hours before returning to Romania,
spitting at Moldovan border guards as they left. Romania's
Minister-Counsellor in Chisinau, Mihai Rujoiu, who was called to
the scene, "used language not much different from that of the
scandalmongers." Addressing Romania's Senate on 1 September,
Paunescu accused Moldova of waging an "anti-Romanian campaign" and
persecuting pro-Romanian circles. Paunescu, formerly Nicolae
Ceausescu's court poet, is now a press baron and influential
politician allied with President Ion Iliescu and his government.
He had been accompanied to the border by journalists for both
government and presidential dailies.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN OIL SHIPMENTS TO LITHUANIA RESUME. On 30 August Lithuanian
Energy Minister Algimantas Stasiukynas and Bronislovas Vainora,
the director general of the Mazeikiai oil refinery, held talks in
Moscow with Lukoil President Vadim Alegperov and Russian Energy
Minister Yurii Shafranik, Radio Lithuania reported on 31 August.
The refinery ceased operations on 20 August, when Lukoil cut off
supplies of crude oil owing to difficulties in Russia's oil
industry. It was agreed that Lukoil would supply Mazeikiai with
300,000 tons of oil each month for the rest of the year. The
refinery is expected to resume operations on 3 September. Although
a contract was signed with Lukoil for 6 million tons of oil in
1994, it appears the refinery will receive only 2 million tons
this year. The energy ministers also agreed that Lithuania would
supply electricity to Kaliningrad, receiving 0.3 cubic meters of
natural gas for each kilowatt of electricity.  Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIA, GERMANY SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT. On 1
September Lithuanian and German Defense Ministers Linas
Linkevicius and Volker Ruehe signed in Bonn a military cooperation
agreement on the exchange of information and military training,
Radio Lithuania reports. Germany has signed similar agreements
with eight other East European countries (Poland, the Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, and
Ukraine) and plans to do the same with Latvia and Estonia. The
ministers stressed the importance of the withdrawal of Russian
troops from their countries. Ruehe was quoted as saying that it is
now important to cooperate with Russia on the basis of friendly
relations. The NATO Partnership for Peace initiative, he said,
should assume central importance. Two Lithuanian military officers
are now training at the Bundeswehr Leadership Academy in Hamburg,
and five more will attend next year.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL,
Inc.

MORE THAN 2,000 RUSSIAN TROOPS STILL IN LATVIA. Diena reports that
according to Latvian estimates, more than 2,000 Russian soldiers
and military specialists remained in the country on 1 September.
As Ludis Povilonis of the office monitoring the pullout of Russian
troops from Latvia told Diena, it is impossible to provide an
exact figure because the Russian authorities have not reported,
for example, the number of specialists and troops at the Skrunda
radar station or how many soldiers and sailors decommissioned in
Latvia after 28 January 1992 had not returned to Russia. Before
his departure for Russia, First Deputy Commander of Russia's
Northwestern Group of Forces Lt. Gen. Fedor Melnichuk assured
Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis that these people and their
families would be withdrawn by the end of the year. However, this
task will be complicated by the fact that some soldiers and
officers decommissioned in Latvia have illegally obtained Latvian
residence permits. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN OFFICIALS ON RATIFICATION OF TREATIES WITH ESTONIA,
LATVIA. On 1 September senior Russian officials told Interfax that
they expected the Russian Duma to ratify the treaties with Estonia
and Latvia on the withdrawal of Russian troops from those
countries and the status of Russian military pensioners there.
They said that if Estonia and Latvia failed to ratify those
accords, it would be considered an unfriendly act and Moscow would
react accordingly. Mark Urnov of President Boris Yeltsin's office
said that if the Latvian and Estonian parliaments did not ratify
the agreements, one possibility would be to introduce economic
sanctions, as well as "international political measures," against
both countries. He said such measures were more effective than
maintaining some kind of military presence in the Baltics. The
same day an unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official told
Interfax that while there were no guarantees that the Russian,
Estonian, and Latvian parliaments would ratify all bilateral
agreements, he believed the Duma would endorse the documents. He
pointed out that Moscow's reaction depended on "subsequent moves
by Estonia's and Latvia's leadership." Dzintra Bungs, 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