|If you're sure you understand everthing that is going on, you're hopelessly confused. - Walter Mondale|
No. 185, 28 September 1994
RUSSIA FIRST DAY OF US-RUSSIAN SUMMIT FOCUSES ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS. The first day of summit talks between US President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin focused on foreign policy and security issues, including peace efforts in Bosnia and Nagorno-Karabakh, Western agencies reported on 27 September. A US official who asked not to be identified told correspondents that the first day's sessions had been "very positive." Other reports indicated that the talks had been friendly, with some unspecified disagreements. While the two presidents conducted their partly private discussions, the Russian foreign and defense ministers met with their US counterparts to discuss Ukraine and Moldova. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. ARBATOV, KORTUNOV ON YELTSIN'S UN SPEECH. Aleksei Arbatov, a Russian defense intellectual and State Duma deputy, told a Moscow briefing on 27 September that Yeltsin's UN speech the previous day had marked the return of the country's foreign policy to former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's "new thinking." He cautioned that speeches and summit declarations, however, were not the same as pursuing a policy, though "many people in the president's administration think so." Andrei Kortunov of the US and Canada Institute said at the same briefing that he had helped to write Yeltsin's speech. Yet he criticized it for proposing a "START-3" before START-1 had been implemented or START-2 ratified by the Russian parliament. Interfax reported on the briefing. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. YELTSIN ADVISER: "NATO'S TIME IS OVER." "NATO's time is over," Yeltsin's adviser on security matters Yurii Baturin has claimed, according to Ostankino TV news of 27 September. He was elaborating on Yeltsin's appeal in his address to the UN General Assembly the previous day for "a new mechanism of international power" under the aegis of the UN. According to the Russian president, such new structures would replace those established during the cold war when the world was bipolar. The statements of both Yeltsin and his aide seem to indicate Russia's concern over the role of the US as the world's only superpower and what they view as attempts by the West to enlarge NATO by letting former Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe join that organization. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. BURBULIS CALLS FOR YELTSIN'S "HONORABLE" RESIGNATION. The communist daily Pravda of 27 September quoted Gennadii Burbulis, once Yeltsin's right-hand man, as calling for the president's "honorable resignation." According to the newspaper, Burbulis told a news conference in Omsk that the country needed a new generation of managers and that Yeltsin had failed to create a team of reform-minded professionals. "I deem it necessary to help Yeltsin put an honorable end to his tenure as president," Pravda quoted Burbulis as saying. He reportedly added that Yeltsin needed assistance to "leave the game with dignity" and wished him "a good successor." -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. THE ALLEGED SPLIT IN YELTSIN'S ENTOURAGE. The exclusion from Yeltsin's delegation to the US of a number of his top aides--including the president's chief spokesman, Vyacheslav Kostikov, his foreign policy adviser Dmitrii Ryurikov, and his speechwriter Lyudmila Pikhoya (see the Daily Report of 26 September)--has aroused much speculation in the Russian media. Diverse democratic newspapers such as Izvestiya, Moskovsky komsomolets, and Moscow News commented on the event on 27 September; and the popular Russian TV observer Nikolai Svanidze opened that day's "Podrobnosti" with a reference to the rumors. Journalists have been offering two kinds of explanations. While the more serious newspapers such as Izvestiya attribute the fact to serious political disagreements between more liberal and more conservative aides of Yeltsin, others have claimed that the three had protested against the president's behavior during his recent visit to Germany (such as his attempt to conduct a German military orchestra and to sing a Russian folk song) and had been left behind in response, according to Svanidze. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. RYBKIN MEETS GORBACHEV. At a meeting with the speaker of the State Duma, Ivan Rybkin, Gorbachev welcomed the establishment in Russia of the new Russian Social Democratic Party, the former told Interfax on 27 September. According to Rybkin, the reason for their meeting was the desire of the former president to express his gratitude for the recent increase in his pension from 4,000 to more than 800,000 rubles--however belated the move might have been, Rybkin added. Rybkin denied having witnessed any evidence that Gorbachev had fallen out with his former top associate Aleksandr Yakovlev, who is the chairman of the new party's organizational committee. Even if there were differences between them, the two men were too sharp and experienced politicians to reveal these, Rybkin explained. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. CHECHNYA DEVELOPMENTS. According to Ostankino TV news of 27 September, the united forces of the Chechen opposition have encountered difficulty in resisting attacks by troops loyal to the republic's president, Dzhokhar Dudaev, near the villages of Bratskoe and Znamenskoe. Other sources, though, had claimed that the fighting between the president, who is seeking Chechnya's independence from Russia, and the opposition had already approached the outskirts of the capital, Grozny, the Ostankino news presenter added. On the same day Russian TV newscasts cited the Russian authorities as saying that they would not allow Dudaev to continue killing innocent citizens of Chechnya. Meanwhile, Russian railway services have been rescheduled so that trains can avoid entering Chechnya while traveling from Dagestan to the north of Russia, the newscasts reported. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. CHEMICAL WEAPONS STORAGE SITES DISCLOSED. Aleksandr Piskunov, the deputy chairman of the State Duma's Defense Committee, detailed the size and location of Russia's chemical weapons stockpile in a 26 September interview with Interfax. The declared 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons agents, he said, were stored in seven locations. The largest (7,520 tons) was in the town of Pochep in southwestern Russia near the borders with Belarus and Ukraine. Just under 7,000 tons were stored in the settlement of Maradykovsky in Kirov Oblast east of Moscow and a similar amount in the settlement of Leonidovka, Penza Oblast. Tiny Urdmurtia had just over 12,000 tons in two storage sites: Kambarka in the east and Kizner in the west. Gorny, some 200 kilometers east of Saratov, had 1,160 tons. The only storage site east of the Urals was at Shchuche (5,440 tons), just east of Chelyabinsk. Piskunov announced that the committee intended to hold hearings on the plans to destroy these stockpiles. He complained that not a single bill on chemical disarmament had been tabled in the Duma, nor had the 1993 international convention on chemical weapons yet been submitted for ratification. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN AGREEMENT ON RETURN OF MESKHETIANS. A delegation from Russia's Ministry for Nationality Affairs has signed a protocol with Georgian officials on cooperation in solving the problem of the return of Meskhetian Turks and others from Russia to Georgia, ITAR-TASS reported from Tbilisi on 27 September. The Meskhetians were deported in 1944 from their homelands on the Georgian-Turkish border. Many were resettled in Central Asia; after a massacre of Meskhetians in the Fergana Valley in 1989, a large number emigrated to Russia, but they hoped to be able to return to Georgia. The Georgian authorities were, however, reluctant to agree to the Meskhetians' return. The agreement with the Russian delegation indicates a change in Georgian policy. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. DISPUTE OVER DEATH OF DISSIDENT CLERGYMAN IN TAJIKISTAN. The former imam-khatib of the mosque in Kurgan-Tyube, Sayid Ashraf, was found dead shortly after his return to the city in the wake of his release from prison on 21 September, Interfax reported. Ashraf had been jailed in 1993 for antigovernment activity. The Tajik opposition insists that he was killed; but First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Abdulmajid Dostiev told Interfax that Ashraf had suffered a heart attack. Ashraf was one of the beneficiaries of an amnesty demanded by the opposition as a precondition to further peace talks with the government. Dostiev expressed concern that Ashraf's death could interfere with the implementation of a recent cease-fire agreement between the Tajik government and the opposition. A Western news agency quotes Human Rights Watch as asserting that Ashraf died in prison. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. CIS PROMINENT AMERICANS ON RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS. The Ukrainian-US Consultative Committee--which includes Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, and George Soros--convened in Kiev for a regular half-yearly meeting, Interfax and Radio Ukraine reported on 25 and 26 September, respectively. At a news conference Brzezinski noted that Ukraine's independence was important for "transforming Russia from an imperial state into a normal one." Russia might be strong enough to "swallow" neighboring countries, including Ukraine, but it would not be strong enough to digest them, Brzezinski was quoted as saying. Kissinger pointed out that for Russia to remain within its present borders was a prerequisite for developing US-Russian relations. Moreover, the transformation of the CIS into a new Union (as has sometimes been suggested by Russian officials) would not be in the interest of the US, Kissinger said. The group's communique stressed that "a strong Ukraine is a guarantee of stability and security in Europe." -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE HUNDREDS PERISH IN ESTONIAN FERRY DISASTER. Early in the morning of 28 September, the ferry "Estonia" sank in a storm off the southwest Finnish island of Uto with 679 passengers and 188 crew members on board, Western agencies report. The ferry, which was on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm, sank very quickly--some reports say in less than five minutes--with winds exceeding 90 kilometers per hour and waves topping nearly 20 feet. There is no official explanation as to why the German-built ferry sank. Five ferries and 20 helicopters rescued about 90 people, but there is little hope of finding other survivors because of very low water temperatures. President Lennart Meri has declared a day of mourning and formed an independent government commission, headed by Transport Minister Andi Meister, to investigate what appears to be the worst peacetime ferry disaster in European waters. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. IZETBEGOVIC SLAMS UN ARMS POLICY. Addressing the UN General Assembly, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic said "the free world neither supported nor defended freedom" in the face of Serbian-sponsored aggression against his embattled republic, international media reported on 27 and 28 September. He added that "justice has turned into injustice because the aggressor had weapons--which had been stockpiled over 40 years time--while the victim was unarmed, and its hands were kept tied." The latter reference was presumably to the UN arms embargo, which many in the US Congress want to see lifted next month. Under apparent pressure from its British, French, and Russian partners in the Contact Group, however, the Clinton administration has agreed to a compromise that would delay the lifting of the embargo for at least six months. The Bosnian government, which earlier received a US pledge of increased economic aid, reluctantly agreed. The UN commander in Bosnia, General Sir Michael Rose, called the delay "tremendous news." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. TUDJMAN ADDRESSES SECURITY COUNCIL. Vecernji list reported on 28 September that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman spoke the previous day to an informal session of the leading UN body. The session was organized by the Contact Group. Tudjman repeated his key positions, stressing that Belgrade must formally renounce any greater Serbian ambitions toward Croatia by recognizing that republic in its internationally accepted borders, which Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has in effect refused to do. Tudjman said Zagreb would not be responsible for starting any new trouble in the region but stressed that the international community must make sure that some of Croatia's demands for the restoration of its territorial integrity and the safe return of refugees to their homes are met within a fixed time frame. At issue is the renewal of the mandate of UNPROFOR in Croatia, which Zagreb feels has simply served to lock in Serb gains. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. POLITICAL TRIAL IN KOSOVO. RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service's correspondent in Pristina said on 28 September that a trial began there the previous day of Uksin Hoti. He is a leader of the Party of National Unity (UNIKOMB), which calls for a greater Albania and which the Serbs suspect of favoring armed rebellion, even though its program stresses "democratic methods and means." Hoti is UNIKOMB's chairman and has been in detention on charges of "separatism." The court case against him marks the first time in years that a leader of an ethnic Albanian party in the Serb-controlled but mainly ethnic Albanian province has gone on trial. A verdict may be delivered as soon as 28 September. -- Patrick Moore and Nenad Pejic, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS OF "COLD PEACE." Andrzej Olechowski, speaking at the UN General Assembly, warned that "cold peace" or, worse still, "hot chaos" might replace the Cold War as a result of nations' inability to overcome problems that were only now coming to the surface. He emphasized Poland's foreign policy aims to join NATO and the EU were not to perpetuate divisions in the world but to promote cooperation. In his concluding remarks, Olechowski asked the assembly to consider striking from the UN Charter clauses that refer to the former Nazi coalition states as "hostile states." -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc. CONFLICT BETWEEN POLISH FINANCE MINISTER AND BANK CHIEF RESOLVED? The Polish government discussed principles of monetary policy at a meeting on 27 September attended by President Lech Walesa and Polish National Bank Deputy Chairman Witold Kozinski. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko told the press that agreement had been reached on how to ensure that inflation did not rise above 17% by December 1995. He said that in the future base interest rates should not exceed the inflation rate by more than 2-3 percentage points. Both Walesa and Kolodko said the recent conflict between the bank and the Finance Ministry has now been overcome. Walesa, who has constitutional responsibility for nominating the bank chairman, claimed credit for the end of the hostilities, PAP reports. -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc. NO SOLUTION TO BROADCASTING COUNCIL CONFLICT. Walesa met on 27 September with the Sejm Presidium at the latter's invitation to discuss Walesa's recent decision to replace two members of the National Broadcasting Council: Marek Markiewicz and Maciej Ilowiecki. The two former Walesa associates, who are supported by most of the Sejm and a large number of Poles, have not accepted their dismissal and intend to continue performing their duties. Speaker Jozef Oleksy said the president's decision was predicated on "a very thin legal basis." Walesa insisted it had been "imperative" and denied he had been guided by low motives. The Presidium, enlarged by representatives of interested Sejm commissions, met later with the NBC, which agreed not to hold plenary meetings for at least one week pending the outcome of attempts to obtain legal clarification. Oleksy left open the question of whether the Sejm would consider bringing the president up before the State Tribunal should it transpire that the dismissals had violated the law. -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc. KLAUS RETURNS FROM FRANCE, HAVEL LEAVES FOR US. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus ended a five-day visit to France on 27 September, where he met with French leaders and participated in a conference of liberal economists in Cannes. Speaking to journalists after his return to Prague, Klaus said his talks with French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur on 27 September focused mainly on the future of the European Union. Also on 27 September, Czech President Vaclav Havel left for a six-day visit to the United States, during which he is to meet with American politicians and cultural figures. He will also receive an honorary doctorate from Stanford University. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. CZECH DEPUTIES REJECT PLAN TO ELIMINATE SENATE. The lower chamber of the Czech parliament rejected on 27 September a draft constitutional amendment providing for the abolition of the Senate, the parliament's upper house. CTK reports that members of all four government coalition parties voted to retain the Senate. The Czech Constitution, adopted at the end of 1992, stipulates that the parliament consist of two chambers. The former unicameral parliament of the Czech Lands automatically became the lower chamber of the new bicameral parliament after the split of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993. However, the lower chamber has since repeatedly failed to establish the Senate. The draft amendment rejected on 27 September is the second attempt to eliminate the upper house. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK PRESIDENT ON UPCOMING ELECTIONS. In an interview with Reuters on 26 September, Michal Kovac said that based on his experiences with foreign statesmen and businessmen, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar has been "the source of a certain distrust." He added that the possibility of his return to power has "renewed doubts among potential foreign investors." Kovac said he expects the parties that win the elections to nominate a new cabinet by 6 October. He also noted that the government will need to have a clear parliamentary majority. Kovac said if Meciar can build such a coalition, he will accept Meciar's proposal. But if not, he added, he will pick another group. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK ELECTION UPDATE. In a statement sent to TASR on 27 September, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia accused the Czech News Agency (CTK) of being "anti-Slovak" and criticized its coverage of the Slovak election campaign. In particular, the director of the MDS press and information department, Dusan Kleiman, criticized a CTK report, reprinted in the Slovak daily Sme on 27 September, that "misrepresented" Meciar. The party threatened to cancel the CTK correspondent's accreditation. Meanwhile, the Liberals announced on 27 September that they were withdrawing the party's list of candidates. They encouraged voters to support the Christian Democratic Movement and challenged other groups with less than 5% support in recent opinion polls to do the same. According to TASR on 26 September, the Slovak political group that has spent the most on advertising this year is the coalition of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the Peasants' Party. From January to 6 September, the coalition spent 3.58 million koruny. In second place was the Democratic Union with 2.07 million koruny, followed by the Democratic Party-Entrepreneurs' Party (1.75 million koruny), the Slovak National Party (1.08 million koruny), Common Choice (620,000 koruny) and the Christian Democratic Movement (522,000 koruny). -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN PREMIER PAINTS BLEAK ECONOMIC PICTURE. Addressing the new parliament, Gyula Horn of the Hungarian Socialist Party sharply criticized the record of the previous, right-of-center government, MTI reported on 27 September. In the last four years, 3 million people became poor and Hungary lost its comparative advantage vis-a-vis other Eastern European countries, Horn said. He also revealed that the heads of the IMF and the World Bank wrote to him describing Hungary's budget deficit as "critical." Horn also castigated the previous government's privatization and agricultural policy. Opposition party members criticized Horn's speech as meaningless rhetoric and pointed out that he failed to mention the communist legacy, which the previous government inherited in 1990. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. GEORGE SOROS RECEIVES HUNGARIAN STATE HONORS. President Arpad Goncz awarded the Hungarian-born US financier and philanthropist the medal of the Hungarian Republic, MTI reported on 27 September. The award was proposed by Prime Minister Gyula Horn, who was also present at the ceremony. Soros received the award for his efforts to modernize Hungary in the fields of science, culture, education, and health care. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. ILIESCU IN WASHINGTON. Romanian President Ion Iliescu is to conclude a two-day unofficial visit to Washington on 28 September, Romanian media report. On 27 September he met with US Senate majority leader George Mitchell and Wilfred Thalwitz, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia. On his last day in the US capital, Iliescu is scheduled to meet with Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, and Lee Hamilton, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES CORRUPTION. The Romanian government on 27 September debated the cases of corruption included in a special report by a parliamentary commission. The report is to be submitted to the parliament for discussion on 28 September. Radio Bucharest said the opposition will present its own report. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE MINISTER VISITS ROMANIA . . . Douglas Hogg arrived in Bucharest on 26 September for talks at the Romanian Foreign Ministry and a meeting with Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Adrian Nastase, Romanian media reported. Hogg is to meet with Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu in Bucharest on 28 September. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. . . . AND MOLDOVA. Hogg held talks in Chisinau on 27 September with Moldovan President Mircea Snegur, Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi, and Foreign Minister Mihai Popov, with whom he signed a statement on principles of bilateral cooperation, Reuters reports. He also met with Richard Samuel, the British diplomat who heads the CSCE's mission in Chisinau and plays a mediating role in the Chisinau-Tiraspol talks. Stressing "the great importance we attach to Moldova's sovereignty and independence," Hogg expressed satisfaction with the agreement initialed in August on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova. The agreement, which Russia has so far declined to sign, figured prominently in Hogg's talks with Moldovan leaders. Hogg also expressed Britain's willingness to facilitate Moldova's cooperation with the European Union and within the framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. MORE CHOLERA DEATHS IN UKRAINE. UNIAN reported on 27 September that the number of cholera cases in Ukraine had reached 478. Eleven people have so far died from the disease. Interfax reported that Ukraine's chief sanitation doctor, Viktor Maryevsky, has advised against traveling to Crimea. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. CRIMEAN PRESIDENT WILL NOT RESIGN. Yurii Meshkov has said he will not resign, Interfax reported on 27 September. As a solution to the political crisis in Crimea, parliamentary speaker Serhii Tsekov said he will submit his resignation if Meshkov does the same. UNIAN quoted Tsekov as saying that one of the biggest mistakes of the Republican Party of Crimea was supporting Meshkov in the peninsula's presidential elections. According to Tsekov, the main threat to Crimea's autonomy is Meshkov's presidency. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. UKRAINIAN-BELARUSIAN RELATIONS. Belarusian Television reported on 23 September that delegations from the Ukrainian and Belarusian Foreign Ministries have completed a third round of talks in Minsk on demarcating the border between the two countries. The next round of talks is to take place in Kiev. UNIAN reported on 26 September that the Belarusian ruble has stabilized on Ukraine's currency exchange, at approximately 14.3 karbovantsy. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. BELARUSIAN SUPREME SOVIET OPENS NEW SESSION. The Belarusian Supreme Soviet reconvened session on 27 September, Belarusian Radio reports. Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Mechyslau Hryb opened the session saying the top item on the parliament's agenda would be the country's economic crisis. Prior to the session, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka sent a letter to deputies in which he expressed his concern over Belarus's economy. He wrote that the situation demanded tough economic reforms and asked the deputies to support him on implementing these measures. Lukashenka also met with leaders of parliamentary factions, including Syarhei Navumchyk of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front, Mikalay Skarynin of the main conservative faction "Belarus," and Aleh Trusau of the social-democratic Hramada. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. BORDER GUARD COMMANDER APPOINTED IN BELARUS. Col. Vasil Markoukin, the new commander of the Belarusian border guards, took up his duties on 26 September, Belarusian Radio reported the next day. Markoukin served in the Hrodzensk border command and was deputy head of staff of the main border guard administration. In August Lukashenka appointed a commission to investigate the activities of the border guards. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. LATVIAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES THE UN. Addressing the UN General Assembly on 27 September, President Guntis Ulmanis emphasized the importance of the organization, especially in maintaining peace and security throughout the world. Ulmanis expressed gratitude to the UN for its role in facilitating the withdrawal of Russian forces from Estonia and Latvia in August but cautioned that Baltic security is still a problem because of the continuing Russian oversight of the Skrunda radar in Latvia, the transit of Russian military through Lithuania to Kaliningrad, and the nuclear reactors in the former Russian submarine base in Paldiski, Estonia. Ulmanis called on "the democratic Russia, which played a decisive role in the destruction of the 'evil empire' of the USSR, to assess together with Latvia the Soviet Union's actions against Latvia in 1940." He also urged both states to sign a document on the occupation of Latvia and its consequences for the people of Latvia. Ulmanis said such a document would serve to "harmonize the relations between the various nationalities residing in Latvia and, remove a heavy weight from Russia's unenviable burden" inherited from the USSR. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. CONFERENCE ON MIGRATION AND REPATRIATION IN LATVIA. An International Conference on Migration and Repatriation took place in Jurmala, Latvia, on the weekend, LETA reported on 26 September. Viktors Cernisovs of Latvia's Immigration and Naturalization Department said that in order to solve migration problems, the government must draft laws and draw up a migration program. He noted that while organizing the conference, the department had established good working relations with organizations such as the Association of Russia's Latvians and Korni, which supports the repatriation of Russians to their homeland. Sergei Yagodin of Russia's Federal Migration Service focused on the difficulties in Russia stemming from the rapidly increasing numbers of migrants and refugees, particularly from the Caucasus and Central Asia. He said that the Russian government was not prepared for this influx and that migration programs are being financed only sporadically. He added that one of the main tasks in Russia is to oversee the orderly flow of people across its borders. Some Russians picketed the conference and complained that Korni leaders had not provided them with services they had paid for in order to move to Pskov Oblast in Russia, Latvian press reported. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. 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