|Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece. - Vladimir Nabokov|
No. 174, 13 September 1994
RUSSIA RUSSIA TO KEEP UP PRESSURE ON ARMS TREATY. Russia intends to keep fighting for changes to the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, according to an interview with a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Defense published by Interfax on 12 September. While Russia is willing to live with the overall limits assigned to it by the treaty, it has been demanding more weapons in its flank regions--the Leningrad and North Caucasus Military Districts--than the treaty allows. The diplomat termed these flank quotas unbalanced and discriminatory. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev indicated that, if Russia were given concessions on the flanks, it would be prepared to cut considerably the number of troops and arms in Kaliningrad Oblast. By a quirk in the terms of the treaty, Russia is allowed to keep large amounts of military equipment in this region--equipment that was planned for the Russian divisions in Eastern Europe when the treaty was being negotiated. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. NO BASES FOR RETURNING TROOPS. During a visit to Smolensk on 12 September Grachev described two divisions repatriated to Russia's Moscow Military District as having to move "into an empty field." According to ITAR-TASS, he has released four billion rubles to build a compound near Yelnya for the 144th Motorized Rifle Division, which has been withdrawn from Estonia. A tank division relocating to Boguchary needed similar assistance. Grachev said that, while the Moscow Military District had once been a source of reinforcements for frontline troops, its units would in the future have "autonomous combat assignments." Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. STATE POLICY ON BROADCASTING A PRESSING PROBLEM. A conference of the International Committee on Broadcasting Policies opened in St. Petersburg on 12 September, according to the Russian TV program "Vesti." The committee was founded four years ago by former US President Jimmy Carter and the head of the Soviet Union of Journalists, Eduard Sagalaev, who both attended the conference. The meeting is taking place amid rumors revealing growing public concern over the future of Russian broadcasting. The chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Press, Mikhail Poltoranin; the acting chairman of the State Press Committee, Vladimir Volodin; Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin; and even President Yeltsin himself are regularly being accused of seeking to attack the freedom of the press. On 10 September Novaya ezhednevnaya gazeta cited "usually well-informed sources" as saying that Yeltsin had offered the post of chairman of the Ostankino radio and television company, currently occupied by Aleksandr Yakovlev, to Leonid Kravchenko. Kravchenko--who had held this post until the August 1991 abortive coup and who is generally considered to have been one of the most conservative officials to have served under Mikhail Gorbachev--has reportedly accepted the offer, on condition that Russian Television, which is currently independent, be subordinated to him as well, by merging it with Ostankino Television. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. ANOTHER MAJOR DEFENSE PLANT IN TROUBLE. Interfax reported on 9 September that the missile electronics manufacturer Avtomatika, in Ekaterinburg, had shut down its missile systems factory and furloughed nearly 7,000 of its 15,000 workers until 1995. The company developed the electronics for the Buran space shuttle. The immediate cause of the closure was the plant's failure to pay its water bills, which led to its water supply being shut off. Avtomatika has not been paid by the Russian Ministry of Defense for work it has completed. The company will continue to manufacture consumer goods. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. PROFIT FROM THE ARMS TRADE. Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov, President Boris Yeltsin's representative with the Rosvooruzheniye arms trading company, told Interfax on 12 September that Russia had received $2.2 billion of profits in 1993 from selling arms and expected to do better in 1994. He said that, while the Soviet Union had delivered about $15 billion worth of arms overseas in the mid-1980s, much of the deliveries had been on 50-year credit terms. Many of the recipients had built up huge debts that they were now trying to pay off in spoiled wine or bananas, Shaposhnikov complained. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. CONGRESS OF RUSSIAN LAWYERS OPENS IN MOSCOW. According to Russian Television news reports of 12 September, the aim of the Congress of Russian Lawyers, which opened in Moscow that day, is to merge the existing three organizations representing defense lawyers in Russia into a single body, with a view to providing better protection for their interests. Among those present in the congressional presidium was the Russian minister of justice, Yurii Kalmykov. The Ministry of Justice controlled the bar under Soviet rule; and both people who have headed that ministry in Russia since August 1991 are on record as having advocated that the ministry should exercise control over defense lawyers in their country. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. PARTY OF THE MAJORITY CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY AND DELAYED ELECTIONS. Activists from Partiya Bolshinstva (the Party of the Majority) have begun collecting signatures in Moscow and other Russian cities for a referendum calling for presidential and parliamentary elections to be postponed until 1998 and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy in Russia, the party's spokesman Andrei Klochkov told an RFE/RL correspondent on 12 September. The Party of the Majority was created this summer by the St. Petersburg businessman Vyacheslav Grechnev, to be the party of "stability, law and order, and patriotism." The party views the 12-year-old Count Georgii Romanov as a possible candidate for the Russian throne, with Yeltsin acting as regent, Klochkov explained. Several Russian politicians--including the head of the Council of the Federation, Vladimir Shumeiko, and the mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatolii Sobchak--have already indicated their support for a constitutional monarchy. Shumeiko also suggested postponing the elections, which aroused controversy among Yeltsin's supporters and opponents alike. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. JOINT RUSSO-JAPANESE MANEUVERS. Russian and Japanese naval forces will hold joint exercises on 14 September to practice coming to the aid of flyers and sailors in distress, according to an ITAR-TASS announcement of 12 September. A large Japanese helicopter-carrying patrol ship arrived in Vladivostok that day to take part in the exercise. It will be joined by several ships and aircraft of the search-and-rescue service of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The agency said that this would be the first such joint exercise between the two countries. Meanwhile, Russian coast guard units have continued to fire on fishing vessels encroaching Russian territorial waters around the southern Kuril islands, which are claimed by Japan. ITAR-TASS reported on 12 September that several fishing boats had been detained after a Border Troops patrol ship and helicopter had "fired for effect" when the vessels ignored warning shots. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA NOT PREPARED TO DEAL WITH IRAQ IN NEAR FUTURE. According to AFP and Reuters accounts of 12 September, recent reports, originating in the Iraqi media and suggesting that Russia was now prepared to arrange deals with Iraq worth an estimated $10 billion, were false. While acknowledging that Moscow and Baghdad had concluded an agreement on 9 September with a view to possibly restoring trade, Russian officials said that any actual trade would have to wait until such a time as sanctions against Iraq were lifted. Foreign Ministry official Aleksandr Kalugin said that for Russia to begin trade immediately "is at present completely ruled out." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TAJIK GOVERNMENT DELEGATION MEETS WITH OPPOSITION. A Tajik government delegation traveled to Tehran on 12 September for discussions with the Tajik opposition in exile and representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Interfax and Western agencies reported. The discussions are to prepare for a resumption of formal negotiations between the Tajik government and the opposition later in September. In keeping with a Tajik government promise to the opposition, a senior official, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Abdomazhid Dostiev, heads the government delegation. The opposition side is represented by Said Abdullo Nuri, who heads the self-appointed government-in-exile; Tajikistan's former top Muslim clergyman Akbar Turadzhonzoda; and Chairman of the Coordinating Center of Democratic Forces Otakhon Latifi. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. KYRGYZSTAN UPDATE. Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Soviet is holding an emergency session to decide whether to resign en masse and dissolve the parliament, Russian news agencies reported on 13 September. Earlier more than half the deputies had announced their refusal to attend a session scheduled for later in September that was to set a date for parliamentary elections. The previous day Interfax reported that five democratic political parties had withdrawn from the umbrella Congress of Democratic Forces in a dispute over attacks on President Askar Akaev by another congress member, Erkin Kyrgyzstan. The five parties announced they were setting up a centrist alliance to support Akaev; Erkin Kyrgyzstan is joining with the communist party to set up a formal opposition. In an interview on 12 September Akaev warned that the communist party still enjoyed considerable support in Kyrgyzstan and would try to take power in the upcoming elections. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. FORMER GEORGIAN NATIONAL BANK GOVERNOR COMMITS SUICIDE. Demur Dvalishvili, a longtime ally of parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze and as finance minister in the 1980s one of the architects of Georgia's pioneering economic reforms, died in hospital on 9 September after shooting himself following preliminary questioning by the Interior Ministry concerning the illegal extension of credits by the Georgian National Bank, of which he resigned as chairman last year, Reuters and Interfax reported. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RESULTS OF THE PRIME MINISTERS' MEETING. The 9 September meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the CIS states did not bear out forecasts that Leonid Kuchma's election as Ukrainian president and Azerbaijan's military defeats would make those countries more amenable to Russian proposals for supranational integration in the CIS. Kiev's delegation said on written instructions from Kuchma that Ukrainian participation in the new CIS Interstate Economic Committee would be limited to matters of interest to Ukraine, in line with its associate status in the CIS economic union. Kiev's delegates also criticized the Russian hosts for attempting to accelerate the proceedings unduly, "which is inadmissible when the survival of nations is at stake" (Interfax, 10 September) and objected to institutions that would "limit our sovereignty." Ukraine declined to join the planned payments union. Moldova agreed to join the IEC provided that body did not exercise executive powers or take binding decisions. Azerbaijan and Turkmenia declined to sign the documents on both the IEC and the payments union, objecting to provisions on supranational coordination and the transfer of the states' sovereign powers to those structures. The two countries also declined to sign the meeting's memorandum and long-term plan on CIS integration. Armenia, Belarus, and Georgia on the other hand emerged as the prime advocates of economic integration, the first two calling additionally for the establishment of CIS citizenship. Disappointing a number of states seeking the restoration of their traditional access to the Russian market, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said that Russia would await "the necessary preconditions" (likely to include political ones) before removing the Russian tariff barriers to those countries' goods. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE CRIMEAN PRESIDENT SEEKS TALKS WITH PARLIAMENT. In an attempt to resolve the crisis between the executive and legislative branches, Crimean President Yurii Meshkov has offered to hold talks with the suspended parliament if it rescinds amendments to the Crimean Constitution and Law on the President curtailing his powers, ITAR-TASS reports on 12 September. But he does not intend to allow the parliament to resume its work before the referendum on the peninsula's new constitution, which he has decreed will be held in April 1995. Crimean deputies have been meeting in an emergency session in the Prosecutor-General's Office since 11 September, when Meshkov suspended the parliament and local councils and assumed all powers. On 12 September deputies regained access to local broadcasting stations but were still locked out of the parliament building. Deputy Parliamentary Chairman Viktor Mezhak said deputies had decided to march on the building. Crimean Minister of State Affairs Viktor Minin was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 12 September as saying agreement had been reached with Ukraine's Interior Ministry and security service that these bodies would remain neutral and interfere in Crimean affairs only if "disorder" broke out. Minin also said Meshkov was ready to do everything, "even quit his presidential post," to avert violence. Ustina Markus and Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. KUCHMA PROPOSES SOLUTION TO CRIMEAN CRISIS. On 12 September ITAR-TASS quoted Crimean Parliamentary Chairman Serhii Tsekov as saying Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has proposed a solution to the conflict between Crimea's parliament and President Yurii Meshkov. According to Tsekov, Kuchma has come up with a so-called "zero" option whereby Meshkov would rescind his 11 September decrees and the parliament would revoke its amendments curtailing Meshkov's power. Tsekov said Kuchma had suggested that one of his representatives mediate in negotiations between Meshkov and the parliament; these talks would be held on neutral territory. In a statement issued by his press service, Kuchma offered to dispatch a high-level negotiating team from Ukraine's central government to resolve the crisis. Kuchma said he had to remain neutral and added that "both sides bear responsibility for the events." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. EU ADMINISTRATOR OPENS MOSTAR BRIDGE. On 12 September EU administrator for Bosnia and Herzegovina and former German mayor Hans Koschnik opened a UN-constructed bridge in central Mostar, Hina reports. The new structure replaces one destroyed during fighting between ethnic Croats and Muslims and linking Croatian and Muslim parts of Mostar. Koschnik, who is the alleged victim of a 10 September assassination attempt in which a rocket was fired through his hotel window, said he hoped the new bridge represented "a step forward to normalization" in interethnic relations. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. UPDATE ON BIHAC FIGHTING. On 11 September Western agencies reported calm in the Bihac pocket of northwestern Bosnia, where Bosnian Serbs, supported by rebel Serbs from Croatia's Krajina region, have recently engaged Bosnian government troops in what was described as "intense" and "fierce" fighting. AFP reported that UN commander General Michael Rose warned the Serb attackers on 10 September that there would be NATO air strikes against them if they continued with their offensives against the town of Bihac. It remains unclear, however, whether the temporary calm was in response to General Rose's threat. On 12 September the relative calm was again shattered, with extensive artillery exchanges between Serb and Muslim forces reported by Western agencies. The shelling of the town Bihac has reportedly not resumed. Meanwhile, Borba on 13 September reports that Serb and Muslim forces have clashed in other areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. PAWLAK COURTS VOIVODSHIP ASSEMBLIES . . . At a meeting with chairmen of voivodship local government assemblies on 10 September in Warsaw, Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak said the government wished to increase the powers of the voivodship assemblies by giving them responsibility for specialized areas such as sanitation, environment, inspection of schools, and roads, PAP reports. These areas are currently administered by the inefficient and much-criticized local agencies of the central government. The assemblies perform a purely coordinating role, while the local gmina councils wield the real power. Pawlak's Polish Peasant Party is strongly represented in the assemblies, where the peasant lobby is better able to promote rural interests. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . WHILE MUNICIPALITIES CRITICIZE PAWLAK. The prime minister also suggested that the pilot scheme whereby Poland's 46 largest municipalities have taken over many administrative functions from the central authorities should be extended to smaller towns. At a separate meeting held the same day in Cracow, mayors of the 46 municipalities sharply criticized Pawlak's local government policies. Gazeta Wyborcza on 12 September quoted Cracow mayor Jozef Lassota as saying these policies would result in "a hybrid system, with [islands of] self-government surrounded by centralized institutions hailing from the communist past." The mayors deplored the fact that they had not received their promised share of central budget funds. They also claimed that since January 1994, when the pilot scheme went into effect, the municipalities had had to pay additional costs totaling 458 billion zloty ($20 million). Some were already considering opting out of the program in view of the estimated shortfall of 2 trillion zloty ($90 million) in 1995. The mayors demanded a greater share of tax revenues and continuation of public administration reform--in particular, the introduction of the powiat (or intermediary level of local government). Pawlak's party is opposed to the powiat, fearing it would put rural areas at a disadvantage. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. SECRET POLICE OFFICER ON PAROLE. Former secret police Colonel Adam Pietruszka, sentenced in 1985 to 25 years' imprisonment (subsequently reduced by an amnesty to 15 years) for instigating and aiding three of his subordinates in the murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, was released on parole on 9 September, PAP reports. Pietruszka has consistently maintained he was a scapegoat. The Wroclaw voivodship court rejected the prosecutor's demand that he serve his full sentence, giving credence to prison officials who pointed to his "exemplary behavior and progress in rehabilitation." Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH-SLOVAK TRADE AGREEMENT UNDER PRESSURE. Meeting in the Moravian city of Brno on 12 September, Czech Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Kocarnik and his Slovak counterpart, Brigita Smoegnerova, discussed the 1993 Czech-Slovak trade agreement establishing a joint clearing account. Under this agreement, if one country's trade deficit exceeds 130 million ecu, it has to pay the amount in excess of that limit in hard currency. At the beginning of September, Slovakia's trade surplus with the Czech Republic totaled 208 million ecu. Kocarnik has ruled out a devaluation of the Czech koruna, while Slovak officials have rejected Czech pressure to lift an import surcharge of 10%, which Slovakia introduced in March, or revalue the Slovak koruna. Prior to the 12 September meeting, some Czech and Slovak officials suggested that the clearing account be abolished. However, after the meeting the trade agreement remained in force. Slovak Finance Minister Rudolf Filkus told journalists in Brno that the clearing account may be abolished, as both countries' hard-currency reserves are now large enough to conduct bilateral trade without it. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. CRIME IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC DOWN. Czech media report that in the first six months of 1994, crime dropped by 9% in comparison with the same period of 1993. While in the first half of 1993, police registered 194,777 criminal offenses, only 177,105 were registered in the first six months of this year. The Ministry of Internal Affairs reports this is the first time since the overthrow of the communist regime, in November 1989, that the overall crime rate, as well as rates for many categories of crime, has dropped. On the negative side, in the first six months of 1994 the total damage caused by crime was some 13 million koruny higher than in the same period of 1993. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. LORD CHANCELLOR IN PRAGUE. Lord Mackay of Clashfern arrived in Prague on 9 September at the invitation of Supreme Court Chairman Otakar Motejl. Lord Mackay presides over the British parliament's upper chamber (the House of Lords) and is cabinet member responsible for judicial affairs. He was to discuss with Czech officials differences and similarities between the Czech and British legal systems. On 12 September Lord Mackay met in Brno with Motejl and Zdenek Kessler, chairman of the Constitutional Court, and held talks in Prague with Justice Minister Jiri Novak. On 13 September he is to meet with President Vaclav Havel. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARY STAYS AWAY FROM NATO EXERCISES. Hungarian Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lajos Erdelyi told MTI on 12 September that his ministry lacked the necessary funds for the army to participate in the "Cooperative Bridge 94" maneuvers in Poland. He said two Hungarian observers would attend instead. The exercises are the first under NATO's Partnership for Peace program in which former East bloc countries are participating. At the opening ceremony, US General George A. Joulwan noted that the exercises "mark the beginning of a new chapter in the history of NATO and Europe," Western news agencies report. The exercises are regarded as a step toward preparing some former East bloc countries for eventual NATO membership. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN FINANCE MINISTER ON THE ECONOMY. Speaking at the Financial and Accounting College in Budapest on 12 September, Laszlo Bekesi estimated that the Hungarian economy needed some $10 billion in capital investment to recover, MTI reports. He was confident that Hungary would be able to attain a mid-term three-year loan agreement from international financial organizations and would have access to loans with favorable terms and interest rates. Bekesi also estimated that the country needed to draw around $1 billion from international financial markets to make up this year's state budget deficit, which is expected to exceed 9% of gross domestic product. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. SEVEN ARRESTED FOR ARMS DEALING IN ROMANIA. Romania's deputy police chief, Major General Costica Voicu, told journalists on 12 September that seven persons were in custody in connection with the attempted sale of missile parts to foreigners. Radio Bucharest quoted Voicu as saying the seven had been arrested last week in the town of Turnu Severin, on Romania's border with Serbia. The suspects, all Romanian nationals, were in possession of 11 Romanian-made fuses for ground-to-air missiles, which they allegedly wanted to sell for about $23,000. The police were continuing to investigate the intended destination of the weapons, Voicu added. He also disclosed that organized crime was on the rise in Romania. In a further development, Voicu announced that another item of precious treasure stolen last year from the Jewish Museum in Budapest was recently found in Romania. Three persons were detained in connection with the art theft. Most of the missing 230 objects have been recovered and returned to Budapest. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. SEMINAR FOR WAR CORRESPONDENTS IN BUCHAREST. A seminar on "Journalists in War Zones and Conflict Regions" took place in Bucharest on 9 and 10 September. The meeting was sponsored by the Vienna-based International Press Institute and the Romanian Broadcasting Society. Radio Bucharest reported that the 70 journalists taking part discussed the dangers facing war correspondents and the precautions that should be taken. The journalists were addressed by Romanian Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca, who said his ministry offered self-protection courses to Romanian correspondents working in conflict areas such as Somalia and Rwanda. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. LUKASHENKA ESTABLISHES NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka set up a National Security Council on 9 September, Interfax reports. Permanent members include Lukashenka, State Secretary Viktor Sheiman, Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir, and Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Vyacheslau Kuznetsov. Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Mechyslau Hryb was not appointed to the council, although he had headed the National Security Commission under Vyacheslau Kebich's government before being elected Supreme Soviet chairman. His exclusion is attributed to his close association with that government and the former prime minister. Hryb is also reportedly at odds with Lukashenka over some presidential decrees. On 8 September he criticized a decree of 4 August placing real estate previously controlled by the government--including public buildings, hotels, and national parks--under the jurisdiction of the President's Office. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. CHOLERA REPORTED IN BELARUS. One person in Belarus has been diagnosed as suffering from cholera, Interfax reported on 11 September. The individual had reportedly been to Turkey before being hospitalized in Minsk. People who had been in contact with him on the train from Turkey are being examined. Over the past month, cholera has been reported in Russia and a number of other CIS countries. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVAN-ROMANIAN DISPUTE OVER CITIZENSHIP. Moldovan officials have told the RFE/RL Research Institute that Romania recently granted citizenship to at least 2,000 Moldovan citizens. This information was withheld from the Moldovan authorities, enabling the recipients to keep their Moldovan citizenship. Moldovan law prohibits dual citizenship unless a treaty dealing with the issue has been signed. Chisinau resists such arrangements with Russia or Romania for fear that Moldovan citizenship would disintegrate if these countries (and possibly also Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Turkey) granted citizenship to their kinsmen in Moldova. Bucharest has ignored Chisinau's requests to cease this practice and argues that it is merely restoring Romanian citizenship to Moldovans who lost it through the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia. Such an argument is inconsistent with Romania's official recognition of Moldovan sovereignty over that territory. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA PROPOSES MILITARY ACCORDS WITH BALTICS. Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev told journalists on 10 September that his country plans to strengthen Baltic security by signing bilateral or multilateral military cooperation accords with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, Interfax reports. Grachev said Russia is prepared to develop the same kind of military cooperation as has been worked out with Denmark. Last week Moscow and Copenhagen signed an agreement providing for joint military exercises, closer civil and military links, and the exchange of information. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIA HOPES FOR CSCE SUPPORT ON BORDER ISSUES. Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar has told the parliament that he is pinning his hopes on the CSCE to help find a solution to the Estonian-Russian border problems. Since the signing in July of the bilateral accords on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia, Russia has pressed ahead with the unilateral demarcation of what it perceives to be its border with Estonia. This border encompasses Estonian territory annexed by the RSFSR after World War II. Laar added it would be difficult to raise this issue at the UN, where the backing of at least 10 states is required. As for the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Estonia needs Russia's consent to take the issue there, BNS reported on 12 September. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. 4,000 RUSSIAN SERVICEMEN STILL IN LATVIA? Interfax and LETA reported on 9 September that according to Latvian estimates, there are about 4,000 former Russian servicemen still living with their families in Latvia. These troops were discharged from the military after 28 January 1992 and were supposed to leave the country before 31 August 1994, when the last Russian army units withdrew. Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs said that although he expects many of them will attempt to stay in Latvia and legalize their presence there, they must leave for Russia by 31 December 1994. Russian sources indicate that there are only 1,115 Russian servicemen in Latvia. Because of their continued presence in that country, the Latvian agency supervising the withdrawal of the Russian troops will continue its work. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Eileen Downing and Jan Cleave 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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