The person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused. - Shirley MacLaine
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 186, 29 September 1994

                              RUSSIA

SUMMIT ARMS AGREEMENT. The United States and Russia have agreed to
accelerate the dismantling of nuclear weapons required under the
START-2 treaty, US President Bill Clinton announced on 28
September at the end of his two-day summit meeting with Russian
President Boris Yeltsin. Under the treaty the two countries have
nine years from the date of ratification to remove nuclear
warheads from missiles to be scrapped, but both sides now believe
the process can be completed in a shorter period. The two
presidents also signed an agreement on removing trade and
investment barriers and committed themselves to working together
to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. Clinton told a news
conference that Yeltsin had asserted his respect for the
independence and territorial integrity of Russia's neighbors. --
Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

PURGES EXPECTED IN YELTSIN ADMINISTRATION. The resignation of
Yeltsin's chief spokesman, Vyacheslav Kostikov, is expected within
two or three days, Nezavisimaya gazeta claimed on 28 September,
citing "more than just reliable sources in the Kremlin." A
successor to Kostikov has already been found, the newspaper added.
According to the same source, Yeltsin's speechwriter Lyudmila
Pikhoya and his foreign-policy adviser Dmitrii Ryurikov are in all
probability facing the same treatment. Other officials who have
been alleged by the media in the past few days to have fallen from
the president's favor because of their radical proreform views,
including Georgii Satarov, are more likely to survive. The report
in Nezavisimaya gazeta, which was picked up by other Russian
media, including ITAR-TASS, appeared amid a flood of similar
rumors, indicating a state of intrigue and arbitrary rule at the
top. Also on 28 September Komsomolskaya pravda published an
article, entitled "A Courtier," lambasting Sergei Filatov, the
head of the Presidential Administration, as an evil force who was
the real ruler of the country instead of Yeltsin. In a separate
development, an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow reported that
Aleksandr Yakovlev, the father of former USSR President Mikhail
Gorbachev's glasnost policy and currently the chairman of the
Ostankino radio and television company, had met Yeltsin on the eve
of the latter's visit to the US and that the two had agreed that
Yakovlev would resign from Ostankino in the near future. Many
journalists attribute the plight of the aforementioned officials
to an alleged increase in the influence of more conservative
associates of Yeltsin, in particular Mikhail Poltoranin (the
chairman of the State Duma Commission on the Press) and Yeltsin's
chief aide, Viktor Ilyushin. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

YELTSIN TO VISIT KIEV IN EARLY NOVEMBER. The precise date of
Yeltsin's visit to Kiev is to be decided in the course of the
summit of CIS member states that opens in Moscow on 21 October,
Dmitrii Ryurikov told ITAR-TASS on 28 September, adding that he
believed the event would take place "before mid-November." During
the summit Russia and Ukraine are expected to sign a treaty of
friendship and cooperation between the two states. Ryurikov's
preoccupation with the Kiev summit has been cited by officials
denying the existence of a split in Yeltsin's team as the reason
for his absence from the delegation to the US; and the interview
was interpreted later that day by Interfax as another such denial.
-- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

CHECHENS FROM CENTRAL ASIA TRY TO ORGANIZE TALKS. A group of
influential Chechens resident in Central Asia are in Moscow to
arrange talks between Russian government representatives and
Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev in the hopes of stopping the
escalation of tension between Moscow and Chechnya, Interfax
reported on 28 September. Having received promises of interest in
such talks from Russian officials, the group was headed for the
Chechen capital, Grozny, where fighting has been taking place in
the suburbs between opponents and supporters of Dudaev. According
to an AFP report of 28 September, Dudaev's forces have managed to
retain control of Grozny (see below). -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

CHECHNYA FIGHTING. Russian television and news agencies said that
on 27 September about 400 people loyal to President Dudaev had
attacked a stronghold of his opponents, the village of Znamenskoe,
leaving seven of their enemy's soldiers dead and 11 wounded (see
also yesterday's Daily Report). The opposition, however,
reportedly resisted the attack and in a counteroffensive from the
north and the south brought the battle to the outskirts of Grozny:
six civilians were killed in this counteroffensive. The opposition
claimed that they had captured four Lithuanian mercenaries, and
they alleged that about 200 mercenaries were fighting on Dudaev's
side. On the following day opposition troops captured Usman Imaev,
a pro-Dudaev official who combines the posts of Chechen
prosecutor-general and minister of justice; his fate remains
unknown, Ostankino TV noted on 28 September. Dudaev's troops, in
turn, shot down a Russian military helicopter that day; both crew
members died of their wounds a few hours later. -- Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIA'S BOOMING ARMS TRADE. Valerii Tretyak, deputy
director-general of the state-owned Rosvooruzhenie arms exporting
company, told a Moscow news conference on 28 September that Russia
would probably sell $4 billion worth of arms this year and he
expected 1995's contracts to come to $5-6 billion. As cited by
Interfax, Tretyak charged that the US was pursuing an open policy
of discrediting Russian armaments and using dumping practices to
retain its position in the world's arms markets. Despite this,
Russia was doing well in its traditional markets and exploring new
ones. He said that India and Brazil were interested in buying
tanks and armored personnel carriers and South Africa was planning
to buy Russian jet engines. In related developments, also reported
by Interfax, a Russian parliamentarian visiting the Philippines
said that the country's parliament was ready to allocate $350
million next year to import Russian weapons. While a high-ranking
Russian diplomat was cited as saying there were no reasons to
rupture Russia's long-established military-technical cooperation
with Iran, President Yeltsin told a Washington news conference
that Russia would honor a 1988 arms contract with Iran but would
sign no new arms deals with that country. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL
Inc.

MISSILE PLANT DEMANDS GOVERNMENT PAY ITS DEBTS. Avtomatika, the
Yekaterinburg plant that built the electronics for Russia's Buran
space shuttle, told Interfax on 28 September that it would not
resume work until the government had paid the 20 billion rubles
owing to it for work completed. An official of the plant said that
the Defense Ministry was its largest debtor. Avtomatika laid off
some 7,000 workers in early September. At present it is
functioning at only 25% capacity. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

MILITARY DISTRICT'S PLAN TO RAISE MONEY. Interfax reported on 28
September that the Far East Military District was trying to raise
money to build housing for its troops by selling or leasing 104
abandoned military garrisons. The plan hardly seems to be
producing a financial bonanza, as the district's logistics service
admitted it was having a hard time finding buyers. Most of the
garrisons are in remote areas and have been completely stripped of
everything that could be removed. Interfax said that some
buildings looked "like concrete boxes without roofs or floors." --
Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

PARLIAMENT SESSION POSTPONED IN GEORGIA. The 28 September session
of Georgia's parliament was postponed, and supporters of Georgian
leader Eduard Shevardnadze demonstrated in front of the parliament
building, demanding the dissolution of the legislature, Western
and Russian news agencies reported. Shevardnadze had threatened to
resign as chairman of the parliament and head of state because
opposition attacks on him were damaging Georgia's image abroad. He
met with his supporters in the parliament behind closed doors and
later went on Tbilisi TV to announce that the parliament would
discuss his resignation on 29 September. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL
Inc.

                               CIS

HARDENING RUSSIAN LINE ON TREATIES WITH CIS STATES. In Kiev for
talks on the draft state treaty, Ryurikov insisted that the treaty
must provide for dual Ukrainian-Russian citizenship in order to
"facilitate the legal defense" of ethnic Russians in Ukraine and
"offer an additional guarantee to persons who don't want to break
links with Russia," ITAR-TASS reported on 28 September. Given the
absence of any problems in the situation of Ukraine's ethnic
Russians, the demand illustrates Russia's use of minority issues
to limit the sovereignty of CIS states. In a new twist to the
argument, Ryurikov said that dual citizenship "is a basic position
of Russia's policy not only toward Ukraine but also toward the
other CIS states"--a potentially dangerous thesis, since it may
lead Russia to demand concessions on this or other issues from all
CIS states indiscriminately lest exceptions for some be invoked as
precedents by others in their defense. On the same day ITAR-TASS
quoted Feliks Kovalev, Russia's special envoy to Georgia, as
saying that Russia "has no intention of considering ratification"
of the Russian-Georgian treaty (which provides for Georgia's
territorial integrity) "until the resolution of the
Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts." Indirectly
acknowledging that Russia has itself been a party to those
conflicts in all but name, Georgia's ambassador to Russia,
Valerian Avdadze, reacted to Kovalev's statement by saying (as
cited by Interfax on 28 September) that "Georgia's independence
depends to a great extent on Russia's position. Georgia will be
independent if Russia wants it, and vice versa." Russia similarly
refuses to consider ratification of the treaty with Moldova signed
by Yeltsin and Snegur back in 1990, which enshrines the principle
of territorial integrity while saying nothing about dual
citizenship. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIA INSISTS ON NEW CASPIAN SEA DOCTRINE. Reinforcing Russia's
demands regarding an issue that had proved contentious at the
Washington summit, the Russian Foreign Ministry again challenged
the contract recently signed by an international consortium to
develop Azerbaijan's offshore oil fields. Spokesman Mikhail
Demurin asserted at a briefing that "the Caspian Sea and its
resources are the object of joint use of all coastal states,"
Interfax reported on 27 September. Demurin served notice that
Russia was preparing an agreement among the riparian states on
regional cooperation in the Caspian Sea, based on the "joint use"
concept. The presumably moderate Foreign Ministry has overruled
other government agencies on this issue, to the surprise of
Russian oil industry officials (who are pleased with Russia's 10%
stake in the consortium's contract) and international observers
alike. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

"PEACEKEEPING" FORCE CUT IN MOLDOVA PROPOSED. Moldovan Defense
Ministry officials told the RFE/RL Research Institute that
Russian, Moldovan, and "Dniester republic" representatives had
been conferring in Bendery in the last few days on a Russian
proposal to reduce the size of the tripartite peacekeeping force
in Moldova. Moldova had agreed in principle but only on condition
that the additional "Dniester" units, introduced into the security
zone with Russian acquiescence in violation of the armistice
convention, leave the area. The Russian side had countered that
the units in question were a "legitimate" defense and "border"
force of the "Dniester republic," as opposed to the "unlawful" one
described by Moldova. Chisinau fears being left face-to-face with
trigger-happy "Dniester" troops that can only gain militarily and,
especially, politically from renewed direct confrontation. --
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

ESTONIAN FERRY DISASTER. The Rescue Control Center in Turku,
Finland, said only 141 of the 964 people aboard the ferry
"Estonia" have been rescued, Western agencies report. The ferry
sank on 28 September off the southwest coast of Finland. Forty-two
bodies have been found, leaving 781 passengers and crewmen missing
and presumed dead. The number of people on board, however, may
have been higher. Both Swedish Television and Estonia's KUKU radio
reported on 29 September that more than 1.000 people were on
board. The cause of the disaster has not been determined, although
some survivors said water poured in through one of the ramp doors.
-- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

LONDON AND MOSCOW WELCOME HALF-YEAR DELAY ON BOSNIAN ARMS EMBARGO
. . . Britain and Russia have endorsed the proposal to wait six
months before raising the issue of lifting the arms embargo
against the Bosnian government. News agencies on 28 September
quoted British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd as saying: "I
welcome the decision of the Bosnian government to accept that now
is not the moment to lift the arms embargo." Such a move, he said,
would have been "a policy of despair." Russian President Boris
Yeltsin suggested that the idea might be tabled indefinitely: "Now
the Bosnian Muslims think they have to wait six months . . .
perhaps we can decide once and for all that this [lifting of the
embargo] should not be done," he commented. -- Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL Inc.

. . . AS DOES WASHINGTON. The Financial Times on 28 September
quoted US Secretary of State Warren Christopher as saying "five or
six months could be very important in trying to persuade the
Bosnian Serbs that they should accept the peace plan. . . ." He
added that the idea to delay lifting the embargo came from the
Bosnians. The New York Times on 26 September, however, said that
President Clinton began to search the previous day for a "way out
of a promise [on lifting the arms embargo] that threatens to
divide the United States from Russia and other allies." The
Sueddeutsche Zeitung on 28 September suggested that if the Muslims
came around to supporting the delay, President Alija Izetbegovic
would merely be following "his master's voice." -- Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL Inc.

POLITICAL VERDICT IN KOSOVO. RFE/RL's South Slavic Language
Service's correspondent in Pristina said on 28 September that the
trial of Uksin Hoti, a leader of the nationalist Party of National
Unity, ended after only two days. Hoti was found guilty of
promoting "separatism" and sentenced to five years in jail. --
Patrick Moore and Nenad Pejic, RFE/RL Inc.

MACEDONIAN ALBANIAN PARTIES CONTINUE TO FIGHT OVER NAME. As
national elections loom in Macedonia, two hostile factions are
continuing to battle over the right to keep the name of the
largest ethnic Albanian party, Rilindja reported on 23 September.
The Party of Democratic Prosperity split into two factions at the
second party congress on 1 February, mainly over the issue of
cooperation with the government. Since then, both groups have
claimed to be the legitimate successor to the PPD. The faction led
by Abdurrahman Haliti, which continues to participate in the
coalition government, launched legal proceedings against the group
headed by Arber Xhaferi. Meanwhile, Menduh Thaci, the deputy
leader of Xhaferi's wing, has brought a lawsuit against Haliti's
group. Both factions have the same program and say they will
participate in the elections, scheduled for 16 and 30 October. The
court case is expected to open early next month. -- Fabian
Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc.

SEJM ROUNDUP. The current Sejm session, which began on 29
September, is primarily devoted to urgent legislation connected
with the government's "Strategy for Poland" package, PAP reports.
At the urging of the postcommunist National Trade Union Alliance
(OPZZ), which claimed the unions were not consulted about the bill
on budget sector wages, the deputies voted to remove the draft law
from the agenda. In subsequent meetings with deputies of the
Polish Peasant Party and leaders of his own Democratic Left
Alliance, the author of the "Strategy," Deputy Premier and Finance
Minister Grzegorz Kolodko, denied the OPZZ's allegations and
appealed for the coalition deputies' support. The Democratic Left
Alliance joined forces with the opposition Freedom Union in
demanding that the bill on the amendment of the state officials
law be considered together with new legislation on the civil
service and not rushed through parliament as "urgent" legislation.
The deputies also debated bills aimed at reforming family and
unemployment benefits. At the suggestion of the Labor Union, the
Sejm voted to consider an amendment to the broadcasting law that
would deprive the president of the prerogative of appointing the
chairman of the National Broadcasting Council. This move was
prompted by the ongoing conflict between the president and the
council. -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc.

PRAGUE RANKS 16TH IN SURVEY OF EUROPEAN BUSINESS LOCATIONS. In a
survey of the best European business locations published by the
Financial Times on 27 September, Prague placed 16th, ahead of all
other East European cities as well as West European capitals such
as Lisbon, Vienna, and Athens. Warsaw ranked 17th, Budapest 22nd,
and Moscow 29th. London topped the list, followed by Paris and
Frankfurt. The survey was based on interviews with 500 executives
in nine European Union countries. The newspaper says Prague's
greatest advantage is that "it is the beautiful capital of a
politically stable country full of hardworking, educated and
skilled people able to produce high-quality items at wage rates
roughly 10 per cent of those in neighboring Germany and
Austria."-- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAKIA REGULATES MEAT PRICES. The Slovak Finance Ministry
announced on 28 September that ceilings would be imposed on meat
prices beginning the next day in order to solve irregularities in
the meat market, TASR reported. Also on 28 September, the import
surcharge on beef and potatoes was temporarily removed. These
steps follow drastic increases in meat and potato prices owing to
shortages. Hospodarske noviny on 28 September claims the price
increases are a result of difficulties in the agricultural sector;
prices have reached the current level because it is the only way
to prevent producers from making losses and to motivate them. The
government is clearly concerned about the political consequences
of recent price hikes in light of the parliamentary elections
scheduled for 30 September and 1 October. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL
Inc.

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES UN. Eduard Kukan told the UN
General Assembly on 28 September that Slovakia can be
characterized by "respect for democracy, human rights and an
economic environment based on free-market principles." He said
Slovakia is interested in establishing the best possible relations
with neighboring countries based on bilateral agreements. He also
stressed the importance of close cooperation with the US and the
need to maintain relations with the countries of the former Soviet
Union. Kukan noted that the general agreement on the basic
priorities of Slovakia's foreign policy signals that the world can
count on Slovakia as a "truthful and reliable partner," TASR
reports. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN DIPLOMAT ATTACKED IN TEHERAN. A Hungarian commercial
attache was in a critical condition after unknown intruders
attacked both him and his wife in their Teheran apartment early on
27 September, MTI reports. The diplomat's wife was killed in the
attack. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc.

STOLTENBERG AND OWEN IN BUDAPEST. Thorvald Stoltenberg and David
Owen, co-chairmen of the International Conference on Former
Yugoslavia, met with Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn, MTI
reports. Topics discussed included losses suffered by the
Hungarian economy owing to the UN's trade embargo on rump
Yugoslavia. Owen said that according to UN regulations, countries
whose economies are adversely affected by an UN embargo are
entitled to compensation. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARY BANS SALES OF POWDERED PAPRIKA. Owing to widespread lead
contamination, the Hungarian government has banned the sale of
powdered paprika, Western agencies report. The poisonous material,
which was "added" by criminal gangs and used as an artificial
coloring to improve the appearance of low-quality paprika, has
made dozens of people ill. The ban, however, is in effect only at
markets and outdoor fairs. Officials say controls at the country's
two largest producers, which provide all Hungary's paprika
exports, are adequate. The police report that 18 people have been
arrested for selling contaminated paprika. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi,
RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT BEGINS DEBATE ON CORRUPTION. Radio Bucharest
broadcast on 28 September the opening of the parliamentary debate
on corruption following the submission of a report by a special
investigative commission to a joint session of the parliament's
two houses. The opposition members of the commission presented
their own views. Reuters reported the debate was stormy, with
politicians trading insults and accusations. A substantial part of
the report is taken up by accusations of corruption directed at
members of the former government of Petre Roman and at Roman
himself. Opposition politicians, on the other hand, accused the
commission's chairman, Romulus Vonica, of ignoring corruption
cases in the incumbent government of Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu. --
Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER IN ROMANIA. Nickica Valentic began a
two-day visit to Romania on 28 September. Valentic is heading a
delegation of government officials and businessmen. Radio
Bucharest reported the same day that he was received by Premier
Nicolae Vacaroiu, with whom he discussed bilateral ties and the
conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Valentic is also to meet with
President Ion Iliescu. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN RADIO DIRECTOR GENERAL RESIGNS. Eugen Preda, director
general of Romanian Radio, resigned effective 29 September.
Foreign and domestic observers credit Preda with having
transformed the radio into an independent and objective station
and having promoted, after 1989, many young people to prominent
positions. No reason for the resignation was given in Preda's
"letter of departure" to his colleagues, broadcast by Radio
Bucharest on 28 September. However, Preda is known to have been
nominated for a position on the new board of directors of the
state-owned Romanian Broadcasting Company and cannot hold both
posts. Preda has often been the target of attacks in the extreme
nationalist press, mainly because of his Jewish origins. In his
letter, he urged his peers to continue safeguarding the radio's
image as a "public service" reflecting the interests of Romanian
"civil society" and to reject any attempted interference by the
state. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER PROPOSED. The New Choice Party, a small
centrist group, has proposed former Defense Minister and
Presidential Adviser Dimitar Loudzhev as prime minister. President
Zhelyu Zhelev asked the New Choice Party to form a government
after the two largest groups in the parliament--the Socialist
Party and the Union of Democratic Forces--refused to do so. Both
parties want early parliamentary elections. The previous
government of Prime Minister Lyuben Berov resigned on 2 September.
New Choice Party Chairman Ivan Pushkarov told journalists in Sofia
on 28 September that his party knew its chances of success were
slim but that the alternative of early elections would be "a
disaster for the country." Loudzhev said he would announce his
proposed cabinet after consultations with various political
parties. He added that his party would look for coalition partners
among both former communist and anti-communist groups. -- Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

ONLY 23% OF CRIMEANS SUPPORT MESHKOV. Ukrainian Television
reported on 27 September that only 23% of Crimeans support Crimean
President Yurii Meshkov. Roughly the same percentage of Crimea's
deputies back Meshkov. They reason that if the Crimean parliament
does not reach a compromise with Meshkov, Kiev will take away the
peninsula's autonomous status. The leader of the Kurultai faction,
Refat Chubarov, responded to this argument by saying it would be
better for Crimea to have the status of an oblast rather than
independence under Meshkov's rule. Negotiations between Meshkov
and the Crimean parliament are continuing. -- Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL Inc.

BELARUSIAN RUBLE TO BECOME SOLE LEGAL TENDER. The head of the
National Bank of Belarus, Stanislau Bahdankevich, said that
beginning next month, the Belarusian ruble will be the only legal
tender in the country, Belarusian Radio reported on 27 September.
Shops will no longer be allowed to sell goods for hard currency
and will operate along the lines of those in Russia. Bahdankevich
said the country's new currency would be introduced once the
monthly inflation level fell to 7% or less. -- Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL Inc.

MOLDOVA UNCERTAIN OF ROMANIAN "SINCERITY." Returning from a visit
to Moldova, British Foreign Office Minister Douglas Hogg told a
news conference in Bucharest on 28 September that he had taken a
close look at Romanian-Moldovan relations. An RFE/RL correspondent
reported that Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov told Hogg that
Moldovan-Romanian relations "depend on [both] sides' sincerity.
Romania persists in viewing the Republic of Moldova as Bessarabia"
(Romania's way of implying that Moldova is a Romanian province).
Hogg said he had asked Bucharest about its attitude toward Moldova
and received "reassuring" answers. Reuters quoted Hogg as telling
the Bucharest news conference that his "reason for going to
Moldova was to reinforce its sovereignty and independence." The
same agency on 22 September quoted Romanian President Ion Iliescu
as saying, after talks with pro-Romanian oppositionists from
Moldova, that Moldova's independence was meant to apply vis-a-vis
Moscow, not vis-a-vis Romania. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

NEW US AMBASSADOR TO LITHUANIA. James W. Swihart presented his
credentials to President Algirdas Brazauskas on 26 September, BNS
reported the next day. He told journalists that his primary task
in Lithuania will be to coordinate economic assistance, strengthen
trade ties, and promote investments. He noted that economic reform
in Lithuania is progressing more slowly than in Estonia and Latvia
but assured Lithuanians that there has been no discussion on
ending US economic assistance to Lithuania. Swihart praised the
recent statement by Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius apologizing
to Jews for their sufferings during World War II and promising to
prosecute Nazi war criminals. He also rejected claims in a
Washington Times article that Russia and the US intend to divide
spheres of influence and that the US will continue its traditional
policy of supporting and strengthening Baltic independence. --
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

LATVIA CONCERNED ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Addressing a seminar on
ways to control illegal migration and the concomitant social and
legal problems, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Gailis said about
40,000 people entered Latvia illegally in 1993--ten times the
number who entered Finland, for example. Gailis noted that more
recent figures suggest illegal migration to Latvia is increasing.
He said Latvia should create data bases, improve the
communications systems of border guards, promote contacts with
appropriate agencies in neighboring countries, and revise
migration-related laws, Diena reported on 28 September. -- Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT MEETS HEADS OF STATE IN NEW YORK. After
addressing the 49th session of the UN General Assembly, Guntis
Ulmanis met with several heads of state to discuss issues of
common interest. Recalling with pleasure his visit to Riga, US
President Bill Clinton expressed satisfaction to Ulmanis over the
withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and said he was convinced
that Latvia would never again be relegated to any sphere of
influence. Russian President Boris Yeltsin urged for a more active
dialog between his country and Latvia. He also discussed with
Ulmanis the possibility of visiting Riga in 1995. Ulmanis received
invitations to visit Romania and Ukraine in the near future,
Latvian media reported on 28 September. -- 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
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