Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality. - Goethe
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 188, 4 October 1994

                              RUSSIA

CHECHNYA ROUNDUP. Military helicopters attacked the Chechen
village of Kalinovsky on 2 October, killing one person, according
to Russian and Western agencies citing the Chechen National
Information Department. A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman
denied any involvement. A similar helicopter attack was launched
on 3 October against a military post outside Grozny. In an
interview given to ITAR-TASS on 2 October, Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev stated that a detailed plan to defend Chechnya's
independence had been adopted by the Chechen Security Council the
previous day. He denied the existence of a political opposition in
Chechnya and laid the blame for the ongoing standoff on the
Russian leadership. On 3 October, ITAR-TASS reported that Chechen
Foreign Minister Shambeddin Yusef had sent a message to Turkish
President Suleyman Demirel requesting help in defending Chechnya's
independence. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

COMMUNISTS MAY JOIN THE GOVERNMENT, FILATOV SAYS. Interviewed by
Interfax on 2 October, the leader of the Russian Communist Party,
Gennadii Zyuganov, denied having discussed the possibility that
his party might participate in a coalition government under
current Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. The interview was
occasioned by a flood of speculation in the Russian media over a
statement by Sergei Filatov, the powerful head of the Presidential
Administration. Filatov had told a news conference the previous
day that representatives of the parliamentary opposition,
including some Communists, "may" be included in the government.
(The final decision as to who would enter the government, Filatov
added, would be determined by the candidates' qualifications,
rather than by their political affiliation.) Zyuganov, in turn,
told Interfax that he had indeed met Chernomyrdin recently but
added that they had discussed "other" (unspecified) matters, not
the formation of a coalition government. -- Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL Inc.

BOTH SIDES COMMEMORATE VICTIMS OF OCTOBER 1993 CONFLICT. The
anniversary of the bloody clashes between President Boris
Yeltsin's administration and supporters of the Russian parliament
on 3 and 4 October 1993 were marked by both sides with religious
services on Sunday, 2 October. On 2 and 3 October the communist
and ultranationalist opposition also held rallies, which were
attended by a few thousand supporters. Demonstrators carried
portraits of those killed by OMON riot police or shot in the
course of the tank fire on the parliament building, as well as
anti-government and anti-Semitic slogans. Addressing the crowd,
former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi and other prominent
hard-line politicians opined that the Yeltsin regime was doomed.
Activists collected signatures for early presidential elections.
For their part, Yeltsin's supporters, led by former Deputy Prime
Minister Egor Gaidar, held a conference in Moscow on 3 October to
commemorate the victims of the previous year's events. Outside the
conference rooms, Gaidar told Russian TV's "Vesti" that he had
acted correctly on the night of 3-4 October in calling on unarmed
Muscovites to resist the mob opposing Yeltsin. Had no civilians
arrived to defend democracy, Gaidar explained, the army would not
have defended it either. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN AGENCIES REFUTE ILLEGAL ARMS SALE CHARGE. In a joint
statement published by Interfax on 30 September, the Russian
Defense Ministry and the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK)
denied a recent German report that armaments and military
equipment from Russian troops in Germany had been sold illegally
to Serbia and other countries. The statement called the charge a
"rough invention" of a "provocative character." It had appeared in
the 25 September issue of the German weekly Bild am Sonntag, and
gave Bernd Schmidbauer, an aide to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, as its
source. The Russian statement said that Schmidbauer had
subsequently told FSK Director Sergei Stepashin by telephone that
neither he nor the German intelligence agencies had any such
information. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

US FEARS FLOOD OF IMPORTED RUSSIAN GUNS. US State Department
spokesman Mike McCurry said on 3 October that some 250 US firms
had asked for permission to import 7.6 million rifles and pistols
and more than 7 billion rounds of ammunition from Russia and other
countries of the former Soviet Union. Reuters quoted McCurry as
saying the trade could be worth more than $1 billion. Only 18,000
weapons were imported from the CIS in 1993. McCurry said the State
Department was recommending that the Treasury Department deny
approval for these imports while studies were carried out to see
what had spurred such growth in the market. He denied a report
that American firms would be allowed to import Russian arms as
"compensation" for Russia's decision to halt arms sales to Iran.
-- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIA WOULD NOT RULE OUT ARMS SALES TO IRAQ. In a report issued
by ITAR-TASS on 3 October, a high-ranking but unnamed official in
the Russian Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying that Russia
could not rule out selling military hardware to Iraq again once
the UN sanctions were lifted. The diplomat said that "our
conscience is clear" regarding the weapons used by Iraq in the
Gulf War, noting that even the Scud tactical missiles had been
modernized by Western experts. He said arms might be provided
"strictly on a selective basis," including equipment such as spare
parts and defensive weapons. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

OFFICIAL GLUM ON DEFENSE INDUSTRY PROSPECTS. State Defense
Industry Committee First Deputy Chairman Yurii Glybin told
Interfax on 29 September that Russia's defense industries needed
over $20 billion in foreign investments to recover but Western
investors were showing little interest in helping them. Glybin had
just attended an international conference on conversion. He
contended that short-sighted government policies had brought the
defense industries to the brink of total collapse. As an example,
he pointed to St. Petersburg's Kirov Works, which once produced
tanks but now have to manufacture kitchen utensils and plumbing
equipment to survive. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

CHURKIN NAMED AMBASSADOR TO BELGIUM. On 3 October ITAR-TASS
reported that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had appointed Deputy
Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin ambassador to Belgium. Russian
Foreign Ministry sources said that in his new role Churkin will
represent Russia's interests to NATO, the European Union, and
other international organizations. Churkin will lose his Foreign
Ministry post and role as special envoy to the former Yugoslavia.
Foreign Ministry official Aleksei Nikiforov is touted as the
likeliest candidate to succeed Churkin as Russia's representative
in the international "contact group" on Bosnia and Herzegovina. --
Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

STATE OF EMERGENCY IMPOSED IN AZERBAIJAN. Azerbaijani President
Heidar Aliev imposed a 60-day state of emergency in Baku on 3
October after a group of some 70 renegade OMON troops led by
deputy Interior Minister Rovshan Dzhavadov took Prosecutor-General
Ali Omarov hostage on 2 October to protest the arrest of three
OMON members in connection with the shooting in Baku on 29
September of two senior officials, Russian and Western agencies
reported. Dzhavadov also reportedly demanded the resignation of
Omarov and of the parliament speaker and minister of internal
affairs, and the convening of an emergency parliamentary session.
Omarov was released on 3 October following an exchange of gunfire
between OMON and government troops. In an address on Azerbaijani
TV, Aliev characterized the hostage-taking as a coup attempt by
forces intent on destabilizing the situation in Azerbaijan. -- Liz
Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION DATE SET IN KYRGYZSTAN. Kyrgyzstan's
President Askar Akaev announced on 29 September that planned
elections for the country's first post-independence parliament
will be held on 24 December, Interfax reported on 30 September. An
earlier decree issued by Akaev had announced that elections would
be held before the end of 1994 but did not give an exact date. A
referendum is to be held on 22 October to decide the future of the
parliament; Akaev wants a bicameral legislature, with one chamber
consisting of professional lawmakers. The constitution prescribes
a Soviet-style legislature that meets only for short periods. --
Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

PRESSURE ON KYRGYZ OPPOSITION. An official of the Bishkek
Humanities University, Timur Stamkulov, told an RL correspondent
on 30 September that he had been detained by National Security
(formerly KGB) officers who had questioned him for several hours
and offered him 3,000 som for information on the university
rector, Tursunbek Turgunaliev, who also heads Kyrgyzstan's Free
Democratic Party. Stamkulov managed to escape his captors and told
his story to local journalists as well as to the RL correspondent;
it appeared in the 3 October issue of Vechernyi Bishkek. The Free
Democratic Party is one of the oldest and most prominent of the
opposition groups in Kyrgyzstan. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

MECIAR SCORES DECISIVE VICTORY IN SLOVAK ELECTIONS. Slovak media
report that in elections held on 30 September and 1 October, seven
groups passed the 5% hurdle needed to gain representation in the
Slovak parliament. The winner was former Premier Vladimir Meciar's
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, whose coalition with the tiny
Peasant Party won 34.96% of the vote, significantly higher than
all recent opinion polls suggested. The Common Choice coalition
(composed of four left-wing parties) came a distant second with
10.41%, which was much lower than expected. The three-party
Hungarian coalition followed with 10.18%, the Christian Democratic
Movement with 10.08%, the Democratic Union with 8.57%, the
Association of Slovak Workers with 7.34%, and the Slovak National
Party with 5.4%. The Democratic Party failed to gain entry into
the parliament, winning only 3.42% of the vote. According to
preliminary results, the MDS, together with its previous partner,
the SNP, won 69 seats in the 150-strong parliament, while the
current coalition government, together with the Hungarian parties,
won 68. Turnout among Slovakia's 3,876,555 eligible voters was
75.65%. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

DISCUSSIONS ON NEW SLOVAK GOVERNMENT BEGIN. President Michal Kovac
is to meet with party leaders on 4 October for discussions on
forming a new coalition government. Since both the MDS and the
current coalition government failed to gain an overall majority,
they are now dependent on the support of the far-left Association
of Slovak Workers to form a government. But in a 2 October Slovak
Television discussion, ASW Chairman Jan Luptak said his party
preferred to remain in opposition. While there have been calls for
creating a broad coalition consisting of the MDS, Common Choice,
the Christian Democratic Movement, and the Democratic Union, the
last three are unlikely to accept Meciar as premier--a condition
stipulated by the MDS. A split within Common Choice's largest
party, the Party of the Democratic Left, remains a possibility,
and the leftist-oriented faction might support an MDS-SNP cabinet,
which would likely give Meciar a slim parliamentary majority. --
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

MECIAR BARRED FROM VOTING ON FIRST DAY. Although international
observers did not note any major irregularities in the Slovak
elections, it was reported that election lists in many precincts
were incomplete. Voters not on the lists were turned away and
prevented from voting. Meciar was among those in the Bratislava
constituency who were turned away from the polling station on 30
September. Slovak Television reported the incident and quoted an
MDS statement calling it "an attempt to manipulate the
parliamentary elections." The Slovak Election Commission, as well
as several political parties, later called the television report
"a violation of the election law," which bans media campaigns
during voting. The commission resolved the problem of unlisted
voters on the evening of 30 September by allowing them to
participate if they met other requirements laid down by the
election law. Meciar was able to cast his ballot on 1 October.
Analysts say the television report may have influenced a
significant number of undecided voters to support Meciar. --
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

SUNKEN ESTONIAN FERRY FILMED. An investigation team from Finland,
Sweden, and Estonia released at a press conference in Turku,
Finland, on 3 October the preliminary findings from viewing 16
hours of video pictures of the sunken ferry "Estonia," Western
agencies report. The footage showed that the forward bow visor of
the ferry was fully separated from the ship and that the inrushing
water caused the sinking. The team said it could not yet explain
what had caused the visor to break off. It added that there were
137 survivors and about 810 persons still missing. Only 100 bodies
have been recovered to date. The report prompted five Scandinavian
shipping companies to order the permanent sealing of the front
visors of their ferries, allowing the loading and unloading of
vehicles only through stern or side doors. -- Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL Inc.

UN MEDIATORS SAY SERBIA HAS CLOSED ITS BORDER TO BOSNIA. The BBC
reported on 4 October that UN officials have certified that
Belgrade has cut off traffic to Bosnian Serb territory. This paves
the way for a partial lifting of sanctions against
Serbia-Montenegro on a 100-day trial basis. In recent weeks,
however, The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and
the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung have all reported massive
cross-border traffic, usually in the form of helicopter flights at
night. The BBC broadcast quoted experts as asking whether the
approximately 140 monitors, who have been on the job for less than
a month, are really in a position to confirm that the border is
truly closed. Former US State Department official George Kenney
added that there are merely "tactical differences" between
Belgrade and Pale and that Serbia will support the Bosnian Serbs
with troops if the Bosnian Serbs' military position becomes
difficult. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

SERBS SHELL MOSTAR. Bosnian Serbs renewed shelling Herzegovina's
major city after more than a year of letting the Croats and
Muslims compete for control in the area, Reuters reported on 3
October. One UN source said the Serbs had been "sitting in the
mountains and waiting for the outcome of the semi-finals." Mostar
and the Neretva valley, which leads down to the Adriatic, are
claimed but not fully controlled by the Serbs, who badly want an
outlet to the sea. Reuters reported the previous day on the
Serbian propaganda war aimed at destabilizing the Muslim-Croatian
federation. News agencies noted on 3 October, moreover, that the
Serbs had not made good on their pledge to allow UN relief convoys
to pass through their territory, although the picture remains
somewhat confused. Reuters added that the Serbs now demand a role
in running Sarajevo airport. Finally, AFP reported on how French
UN peace-keepers prevented 300 Bosnian government troops from
crossing a demilitarized zone on Mt. Bjelasnica, near Sarajevo,
during the night of 2-3 October. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

PERRY WANTS TOUGHER POLICY ON AIR STRIKES. International media
reported on 3 October that US Secretary of Defense William Perry
has called for clearer, tougher guidelines from the UN to enable
NATO to strike Bosnian Serb targets. Reuters quoted him as saying
that "it is important to maintain pressure on the Bosnian Serbs
[through] a robust program of air strikes." He wants action
against multiple targets and with little or no warning. When asked
whether tougher policies could be expected, however, UN diplomat
Yasushi Akashi said: "I cannot comment on that." NATO countries
with peace-keepers on the ground are also reluctant to tighten the
policy on air strikes. But The Economist on 1 October quoted Perry
as saying that NATO air strikes should prevent the Serbs "from
taking advantage of their heavy-weapons advantage on the ground."
-- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

WALESA APPEALS FOR SOLIDARITY SUPPORT. Speaking at Solidarity's
national convention on 2 October, President Lech Walesa appealed
for the union's support in the 1995 presidential election by
proposing the formation of a "proreformist federation." He noted
that such a federation would unite the union with other right-wing
groups under his leadership and would be capable of defeating the"
post-communist" government coalition. The delegates applauded
Walesa's criticism of the left-wing government but stopped short
of endorsing his proposal for a federation. Solidarity chairman
Marian Krzaklewski told Gazeta Wyborcza on 3 October that the
union would not enter into any "federation" with other political
groups and would refrain from directly endorsing individual
presidential candidates. Walesa aides told Gazeta Wyborcza on 4
October that the president plans to criticize the government in a
major public address scheduled for the very near future. -- Jan de
Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.

POLISH PREMIER TO APPROVE PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM. Prime Minister
Waldemar Pawlak announced on Polish Television on 2 October that
he would approve the mass privatization of industrial enterprises.
The privatization program--prepared by the former government of
Hanna Suchocka and partly implemented in 1993--foresees the
gradual privatization of 460 state enterprises through the
establishment of National Investment Funds, to be administered by
both Western financial institutions and Polish managers. In order
to launch the program, Pawlak has to sign off on the release of
some 100 enterprises for privatization, which he refrained from
doing for months. The premier told the nationwide audience that
the delay was prompted by his distrust of "foreign firms," which
"do not bring their own capital but will have the right to manage
[Polish] enterprises." Faced with widespread criticism in the
media and attacks by various political groups, Pawlak promised
that the government would discuss the matter "very soon." If the
government accepts the program, he would give his approval, he
noted. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.

COMMEMORATION OF 1989 EXODUS OF EAST GERMANS FROM PRAGUE. A plaque
was unveiled at the German Embassy in Prague on 30 September to
mark the fifth anniversary of the exodus to the West of thousands
of East Germans who had taken refuge at the embassy. CTK reported
that German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel and his predecessor,
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, attended the ceremony. Kinkel said the
exodus by train to West Germany showed Gustav Husak and Erich
Honecker, the communist leaders in Czechoslovakia and East
Germany, that people living in the East badly wanted freedom and
self-determination. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN CONSTITUTION CHANGED IN OPPOSITION'S ABSENCE. MTI
reported on 30 September that deputies from all four opposition
parties walked out when voting began on a constitutional amendment
to voting procedures for local elections. But the ruling
Socialists and Free Democrats, who have a parliamentary majority
exceeding two-thirds, voted to change the constitution. This was
the first time since the 1990 democratic changes in Hungary that a
constitutional amendment was passed in the absence of the
opposition parties. Spokesmen from the four opposition parties
claimed that while the amendment will simplify procedures for
local elections, it will also improve the election chances of
incumbent left-of-center mayors, who were first elected in 1990.
The Smallholders' Party, in particular, objected to the amendment,
saying it came only weeks before the elections. The parliamentary
parties met on 3 October with President Arpad Goncz, who urged a
compromise but rejected opposition pleas to send the law back to
parliament. Goncz also announced that new local elections will
take place on 11 December. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT POSTPONES ENERGY PRICE HIKES. The Hungarian
cabinet has postponed increasing the price of electricity and
natural gas, MTI reports. It was originally planned that a 30%
increase would be introduced incrementally. But MTI reports that
the hike will take place in one step sometime next year. -- Karoly
Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN DIPLOMATIC ACTIVITY. Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu
and Viorel Hrebenciuc, secretary-general of the government and
coordinator of the National Minorities Council, received
separately on 3 October a delegation from the European Union.
Talks focused on European integration, possible cooperation
projects, Hungarian-Romanian ties, and relations with the national
minorities, Rompres and Radio Bucharest reported the same day.
Also on 3 October, Melescanu received Ives Berthlot, executive
secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe. -- Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

CRACKS IN THE ROMANIAN OPPOSITION. The Party of Civic Alliance
said in a statement broadcast by Radio Bucharest on 30 September
that the Democratic Convention of Romania's decision to suspend
the Social Democratic Party's membership in the alliance for 30
days was "unstatutory." It also warned against the danger of
creating within the DCR a "personality cult" of its president,
Emil Constantinescu. The PCA had voted the previous day against
the decision, which was taken following a letter sent by Sergiu
Cunescu of the SDP to the DCR leadership. Cunescu criticized
Constantinescu and the decision-making process in the alliance. He
also said the decision to suspend his party was "childish, full of
inaccurate accusations and anti-democratic." -- Michael Shafir,
RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN NATIONALIST PARTY CRITICIZES FOREIGN MINISTER. The Party
of Romanian National Unity criticized Foreign Minister Teodor
Melescanu on 30 September for speaking out against a letter from
Romanian parliamentarians protesting the appointment of Alfred
Moses as US ambassador to Bucharest. Ioan Gavra, the deputy
chairman of the PRNU, told an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest
that Melescanu had gone "far beyond" his jurisdiction and made
"unconstitutional remarks." Melescanu had called the PRNU
initiative to send the letter "irresponsible." Gavra said the
foreign minister had "no right to comment on lawmakers' opinions"
and added that President Ion Iliescu was wrong to link the letter
with an attempt to undermine his meeting with US President Bill
Clinton. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

THREE WORKERS DIE IN ROMANIAN STEEL PLANT BLAST. Three workers
were killed and four injured in an explosion at the country's
largest steel plant, which caused the release of a stream of
liquid crude iron, Radio Bucharest reported on 30 September.
Government spokesman Ioan Rosca was quoted by RFE/RL's
correspondent in Bucharest as saying the same day that there was
still an "immense and uncontrolled" stream of crude iron at the
Galati steel plant. Rosca said investigations were hampered by
excessive temperatures and the cause of the accident has not yet
been identified. He added that the steel company hopes it will not
have to close the whole plant. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIA RESTRICTS ENTRIES FROM INDIA; CHOLERA UPDATE. The Romanian
Health Ministry is to demand proof that anyone arriving by plane
from India has spent at least six days in quarantine as a
precautionary measure to stop the spread of pneumonic plague,
Romanian Television announced on 2 October. Minister of Health
Iulian Mincu was quoted the same day as saying there were now 24
confirmed cholera cases in the country and 42 suspected cases. The
minister said no suspected cholera cases have been reported in the
last four days. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

MOLDOVA "DOTTING THE I'S" ON ROMANIA. Dumitru Diacov, chairman of
the Moldovan Parliament's Foreign Relations Commission, said the
misconception that Moldova had to be treated "almost like a part
of Romania" had helped delay Moldova's international recognition
and admission to European institutions, ITAR-TASS reported on 30
September. Moldova's Agrarian parliamentary majority, however, has
"dotted the i's" regarding relations with Romania," Diacov said.
"The world must know that Moldova has firmly chosen independent
statehood," he added. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

SOCIALIST PARTY AHEAD IN BULGARIA? An opinion poll conducted by
Bulgaria's National Center for Social Opinion Studies suggests the
Socialist Party would win half the parliamentary seats if early
elections were held under the current electoral law. The poll,
released to the press on 29 September, shows that the Socialists
would win 24.6% of the vote and the Union of Democratic Forces
17.8%. The director of the polling organization told a press
conference in Sofia on 29 September that "if the small parties
which do not pass the 4% barrier necessary for gaining seats in
the parliament are ruled out, as current electoral law stipulates,
the votes for the Socialists in the parliament would amount to
50.4% or 120 seats." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

FURTHER WAGE INCREASES IN ALBANIA. Tirana intends to increase the
wages of federal employees by 10%, Gazeta Shqiptare reports. This
follows a 30% increase in January, which largely benefited higher
income earners. The latest increase, however, is aimed at
offsetting the erosion of real income by inflation among the
country's lower earners. The average monthly wage for federal
employees in Albania is 4,204 lek and the minimal wage 2,400 lek
(84 lek to one US dollar). Wages in the police force have
increased most steeply, from 1,776 lek in 1992 to 5,420 lek in
1993. Gazeta Shqiptare comments that, despite repeated increases,
wages have not kept pace with inflation and that more raises will
be necessary. -- Louis Zanga, RFE/RL Inc.

UKRAINE TAKES ANTI-PLAGUE STEPS. Interfax and Reuters reported on
3 October that all 101 passengers on a Ukrainian airliner have
been quarantined for a six-day period for fear that they may have
come in contact with plague victims in India. The aircraft, on a
scheduled flight from New Delhi, was re-routed from Kiev airport
to a military base about 130 kilometers west of the Ukrainian
capital. Indian officials insist that the plague is being brought
under control and have remarked that all passengers and crew on
the Ukrainian craft have been issued a clean bill of health.
Ukrainian health officials, however, have stated that given the
recent cases of cholera in the country, they do not want to take
any chances with a possible plague epidemic. Reuters also reports
that Ukraine has banned flights to India and requested the
Ukrainian embassy in New Delhi to "find [Ukrainian] nationals and
send them home for observation." -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

LITHUANIAN PREMIER IN ISRAEL. Accompanied by Lithuania's culture,
justice, and defense ministers, Algirdas Slezevicius arrived in
Israel on 2 October for a four-day visit. Slezevicius and his
Israeli counterpart, Yitzhak Rabin, signed a cultural and
scientific cooperation agreement, Radio Lithuania and Western
agencies reported on 3 October. At a press conference, the
Lithu-anian premier apologized for the Nazi persecution of Jews in
Lithuania and said his country would seek the extradition of
87-year-old Aleksandras Lileikis, who has been accused by the US
Justice Department of signing death warrants for 40,000 Lithuanian
Jews. Slezevicius will also meet with President Ezar Weizman and
leading Knesset officials. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT WANTS "NEW RELATIONS" WITH RUSSIA. Returning to
Riga on 3 October after attending the UN General Assembly, Guntis
Ulmanis said Russia must recognize Latvia's occupation by the USSR
so that the issue can be laid to rest and new relations
established between Moscow and Riga, Diena and Interfax reported.
Ulmanis emphasized that Latvia did not demand any material
compensation from Russia. He said "the moral aspect is more
important: it would be sufficient if the two countries gave a
general assessment to what happened and started to build
good-neighborly relations without mutual accusations." Ulmanis
said Russian President Boris Yeltsin's visit to Latvia next spring
would be the first step toward opening a new chapter in
Latvian-Russian relations. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

[As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Jan Cleave and Penny Morvant)
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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