Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone. - Edith Cavell 1865-1915 (Spoken to the chaplain who attended her before her execution by firing squad, 12 Oct. 1915.)
RFE/RL DAILY REPORT

NO. 190, 6 OCTOBER 1994


                              RUSSIA

FIRST DAY OF NEW PARLIAMENTARY SESSION. The autumn session of the
Federal Assembly opened on 5 October, a month later than scheduled
owing to repairs to its headquarters. In both chambers the day
began with the playing of the Russian national anthem and was
followed by the reading of a message from the president and
speakers' reports; little of substance appears to have been
accomplished. Only one question was on the agenda of the State
Duma--the schedule for the 264 laws that the lower chamber is due
to adopt during the current session. The deputies failed, however,
to agree upon the order of the bills to be considered, and the
vote was postponed until the next day. In the course of the
debates, the leader of the communist faction, Gennadii Zyuganov,
suggested that a bill on early presidential elections be given top
priority. For their part, members of the Council of the Federation
were unable to reach agreement on the single point on their
agenda--the continuation of the state of emergency in North
Ossetia, the republic that a year ago was the site of bloody
ethnic conflicts between two Caucasian nations. The state of
emergency, imposed by a presidential decree that the deputies were
to confirm, is to remain in effect until 2 December. The president
of North Ossetia, Akhsarbek Galazov, supported the measure, but
his Ingush counterpart, Ruslan Aushev, opposed it. After heated
debates during a closed session of the upper chamber, deputies
decided to postpone the issue until the following day. Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

COMMUNIST URGES INVESTIGATION OF YELTSIN FOR ALCOHOLISM. The State
Duma's opening session was relatively calm owing to a boycott by
Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party. The opposition
criticized the president and the government but in considerably
less forthright terms than those generally used by Zhirinovsky and
his supporters. Scandal erupted only when a communist deputy,
Viktor Ilyukhin, suggested that a parliamentary commission be set
up to investigate Yeltsin's drinking habits. Ilyukhin claimed that
the Russian president was suffering from alcoholism and was
therefore unfit for office. The charge was rejected by the rest of
the house following a speech by its chairman, Ivan Rybkin, who
pointed out that similar allegations had been made in the old
parliament, dissolved by presidential decree a year before, and
that they had proved counterproductive for Yeltsin's accusers.
Once a deputy USSR prosecutor-general, Ilyukhin gained nationwide
notoriety in 1991 when he formally leveled a charge of high
treason against the then Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, for
agreeing to the independence of the three Baltic States. Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE ON YELTSIN'S COALITION WITH THE COMMUNISTS. On 5 October an
RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow identified Egor Stroev as the
"Communist" the Yeltsin administration had in mind when talking of
"a coalition government." Stroev, now the elected governor of Orel
Oblast, served as the Communist Party agriculture chief during the
last part of the Gorbachev era. Meanwhile, the current leader of
the Communist Party, Gennadii Zyuganov, told Russian TV's "Vesti"
that his party would not agree to join the Chernomyrdin government
as long as the latter continued the "present disastrous course" of
market-oriented reform. For their part, the economists Grigorii
Yavlinsky and Boris Fedorov--liberal opponents of the current
reform course--told "Vesti" that the Chernomyrdin government was
already made up of Communists and that there was therefore no
point in making a fuss about the possibility of including others.
However, the very fact that the government wanted to embrace
members of the hard-line opposition, Yavlinsky added, proved that
the government felt "unstable." Ivan Rybkin, the speaker of the
State Duma, drew a different conclusion at a news conference also
on 5 October. The editor of the newspaper Liberal, published by
Vladimir Zhirinovsky's ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party,
asked Rybkin why Communists rather than LDP members had been
invited to join the coalition. Because one must be a good
professional and refrain from triggering scandals to qualify for
the post of government minister, Rybkin replied. Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIANS SINK JAPANESE FISHING BOAT. Russian border forces sank a
Japanese fishing boat on 4 October off one of the Russian-held
islands in the southern Kuril chain that is claimed by Japan. Vice
Admiral Nikolai Kudinov, commander of the Border Troops' naval
forces, told ITAR-TASS the following day that the crew of the
fishing boat had not responded to signals or warning shots. There
were no injuries. Kudinov said that 700 vessels--most of them
Japanese--had violated Russian territorial waters in the Far East
so far this year. His service would continue to defend the Russian
border, he said, and would not tolerate "the predatory plundering
of our resources." Kyodo announced on 5 October that the Russian
ambassador had been summoned to the Japanese Foreign Ministry to
receive a protest over the incident. It explained that the
Japanese had so far rejected a fisheries treaty with Russia for
fear that it might be interpreted as an acknowledgment of Russian
sovereignty over the disputed islands. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJAN COUP FAILS. Addressing a meeting of several hundred
thousand supporters in Baku's Azadlyg square during the evening of
5 October, Azerbaijan's president Heidar Aliev claimed that the
attempt to gain control of Gyandzha and several other cities in
what he termed a coup attempt orchestrated by Azerbaijan's enemies
abroad, had failed, and order had been restored, Russian and
Western agencies reported. In an address on Azerbaijani television
earlier that day, Aliev had named former President Ayaz Mutalibov
as being behind the coup. Some of the rebels had allegedly fled,
others were under arrest; three government troops had been killed
restoring control of the Gyandzha airport. Interfax characterized
the situation in Baku as relatively quiet and quoted National
Independence Party chairman Etibar Mamedov as affirming that the
threat of a coup attempt was over. Speaking at a news conference
earlier on 5 October, Prime Minister Suret Huseinov refuted
charges by Aliev that his supporters had participated in the
attempt to take control of Gyandzha; he claimed that local
residents dissatisfied with the corrupt local governor had
instigated the unrest. Also on 5 October, the Azerbaijani
parliament convened and approved the state of emergency imposed on
Baku by Aliev on 3 October. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

INTERNATIONAL REACTION TO EVENTS IN AZERBAIJAN. The Russian
government issued a statement on 5 October characterizing
Azerbaijan as "a neighborly, friendly state and a member of the
CIS," and condemning "unconstitutional actions against the legally
elected president," according to ITAR-TASS. The Turkish Foreign
Ministry similarly expressed support for Aliev, Reuters reported.
An RFE/RL correspondent quoted a US State Department spokesman as
calling on all sides in the standoff to work together for a
peaceful solution to the crisis. ITAR-TASS quoted an Armenian
presidential spokesman as expressing concern lest instability in
Azerbaijan jeopardize progress on a settlement of the Karabakh
conflict. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

ARMENIA JOINS PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. On 5 October Armenia became
the 23rd country to join the NATO Partnership for Peace, Western
and Russian agencies reported. At the signing ceremony, Foreign
Minister Vazgen Papazyan said that Armenia's membership of PFP
could help stabilize the situation in the Transcaucasus, but he
ruled out direct NATO participation in resolving the Karabakh
conflict. Deputy Foreign Minister Eduard Zuloyan told ITAR-TASS on
4 October that PFP membership would facilitate greater
participation by Armenia in the CSCE and the North Atlantic
Assembly and to modernizing and raising the effectiveness of the
country's armed forces. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

PREPARATIONS BEGIN IN TAJIKISTAN FOR UN OBSERVERS. A group of UN
technicians arrived in Tajikistan on 4 October, a Tajik Foreign
Ministry official told Interfax the following day, to examine
working conditions for UN military observers due to be stationed
in the Central Asian state. The observers are to monitor
compliance with a cease-fire agreement negotiated in September
between the Tajik government and the Tajik opposition, elements of
which are conducting guerrilla attacks on the Tajik-Afghan border
and inside Tajikistan aimed at dislodging the neo-communist regime
in Dushanbe. The cease-fire is to go into effect when the UN
observers are in place, but a date for their arrival has not been
made public. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

FORMAL START OF ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN TAJIKISTAN. The presidential
election campaign in Tajikistan formally begins on 7 October, but
there have already been complaints from the supporters of one
candidate, former Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullodzhonov, that
parliament chairman and present head of state Imomali Rakhmonov
has already begun campaigning, Interfax reported on 5 October.
Central Election Commission Chairman Kadriddin Giesov denied
knowledge of the complaints, or of charges that local authorities
were being pressured to support Rakhmonov's candidacy. According
to Interfax, four meetings have already been held in support of
Rakhmonov, who has been nominated by a variety of public
organizations including the official trade unions and youth
league. The only two candidates so far are Rakhmonov and
Abdullodzhonov, although some leaders of opposition groups have
expressed interest in taking part in the election. Bess Brown,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

"YELTSIN DOCTRINE," "KOZYREV DOCTRINE." Interviewed on Ostankino
TV on 5 October, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev termed
Yeltsin's views on Russia's integrationist role in the CIS, as
enunciated in the president's address to the UN General Assembly
on 26 September, "the Yeltsin doctrine," ITAR-TASS reported. In
that speech Yeltsin described the territory of the former Soviet
Union as a sphere of vital Russian interests and the newly
independent states as Russia's "blood relatives," and claimed a
special role for Russia as peacemaker. As with previous
"doctrines," such as the Brezhnev doctrine, its attribution to the
supreme leader is overstated, since the same views had been fully
enunciated earlier by other officials (albeit with the leader's
approval), in this case by Kozyrev himself. Indeed Nezavisimaya
gazeta of 5 October described the claim to a "Russian sphere of
influence" in the former Soviet space as "the Kozyrev doctrine."
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA CHALLENGES CSCE OVER KARABAKH. Yeltsin's special envoy for
Karabakh negotiations, Vladimir Kazimirov, told Interfax on 6
October that "Russia is not satisfied with the activity of the
CSCE's Minsk group" (which pursues a settlement under CSCE
auspices and of which Russia is a member, while Russia is
conducting a separate and rival set of negotiations with the
parties involved). "There are constant attempts to formalize the
Group's primacy, to emphasize the CSCE's leading role. . . . Some
countries are trying to use the CSCE as a cover for their
geopolitical interests, rather than as a conflict resolution
mechanism. Some people would like to minimize Russia's role and
exclude the CIS from the process," Kazimirov said. He disclosed
that he had expressed his objections in a message to the Minsk
Group's chairman, Jan Eliasson, but the latter's "reply written in
half-apologetic and half-aggrieved tones did not satisfy Russia."
At a recent meeting of the CSCE's Committee of Senior Officials,
Russia was criticized for undercutting the CSCE's Karabakh
mediation. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CRIMEAN PRESIDENT STRIPPED OF POWERS. The Crimean parliament voted
on 5 October by 67 to 5 to pass amendments to the Crimean
Constitution stripping Yurii Meshkov of his powers as head of
government, ITAR-TASS reported. Ministerial and key judicial
appointments will from now on be made by the legislature, and the
government will be headed by a prime minister backed by
parliament. Before the vote, Meshkov reportedly advised parliament
not to pass the amendments. He said the ongoing rift between
himself and parliament might lead to a clash between Crimea and
the Ukrainian authorities, resulting in the abrogation of Crimea's
autonomy. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELGRADE AIRPORT REOPENS. International media reported on 5
October that Belgrade airport formally reopened to international
air traffic and that Russian special envoy Vitaly Churkin arrived
on an Aeroflot flight to mark the occasion. He held talks with
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, whom he told that the
conditions for lifting the remaining sanctions include rump
Yugoslavia's recognition of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Washington Post ran a commentary, however, explaining in
figures that the international monitoring of Milosevic's declared
blockade of his erstwhile Bosnian Serb allies is highly
ineffective. Croatia, for its part, reminded Serbia's JAT airlines
that it has large outstanding debts to Zagreb airport and to
Croatian firms. Reuters noted that the European Union is now
considering new links with Croatia as a kind of compensation for
the partial easing of sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro. Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBS FORCE MORE MUSLIMS OUT OF EASTERN BOSNIA. Reuters and AFP
reported on 5 October that some 100 Muslim civilians from the
Rogatica area were brought by Serb forces to Muslim front lines
across a bridge in central Sarajevo. The Bosnian authorities had
been expecting prisoners to be released there as part of a
previously agreed exchange, and it was not immediately clear how
the expulsion of the civilians would affect the swap. Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

TENSIONS BETWEEN SLOVENIA AND CROATIA. RFE/RL's South Slavic
Language Service reported on 5 October that a new electoral
boundaries law was passed by the Slovenian parliament on 3 October
that included four Croatian villages in Slovenian voting
districts. The Croatian legislature on 5 October sharply condemned
the move, which Slovenian Foreign Minister Lojze Peterle said was
against Slovenian government policy. The 6 October Zagreb dailies
are nonetheless angry about the perceived provocation from the
Slovenian parliament, which Vecernji list suggests has its roots
in the ambitions of certain Slovenian nationalist politicians.
Slovenia and Croatia have had uneasy relations since independence
in 1991, ostensibly because of a host of unresolved border and
economic issues, including the status of Croatian guest workers in
Slovenia, Slovenian property rights in Croatia, Croatian deposits
in the Ljubljanska Banka, funding of the Krsko nuclear reactor,
and the exact land and maritime boundary between the two
republics, with the related question of Slovenia's access to the
open sea. These issues, however, could be resolved in a few weeks
with a measure of statesmanship and good will. The real reason for
the tensions is deep mutual mistrust stemming from the perception
of each side that the other left it in the lurch during its 1991
war against Belgrade. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT PLANS TO IMPOSE CONTROL OVER PRESS AGENCY.
Rzeczpospolita on 6 October reports that the government is
preparing a law that would place the Polish Press Agency (PAP)
under the control of the Prime Minister's Office. The report said
the agency will not be privatized and will be overseen by a Board
of Directors appointed by the head of the Prime Minister's Office
and a Program Board named by the prime minister himself. The
agency would be obliged to "popularize the positions [taken by]
the parliament, the president, and the Council of Ministers." It
would be financed through grants provided directly by the Prime
Minister's Office. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH PRIME MINISTER IN PHILIPPINES AND SOUTH KOREA. During a
stopover in Manila on 5 October, Vaclav Klaus met with Philippine
Deputy Prime Minister Joseph Estrada to discuss economic
cooperation. CTK reports that several Czech firms will participate
in major development projects in the Philippines. The same day
Klaus met with South Korean President Kim Jong-Sam in Seoul. They
discussed economic cooperation and focused on South Korea's
interest in helping modernize the Czech telecommunications system.
Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT ADDRESSES COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Addressing the
Council of Europe Assembly on 5 October, Michal Kovac noted that
Slovakia has fulfilled all the recommendations made by the council
when it joined the organization. He also stressed Slovakia's
willingness to sign the council's convention on minorities, which,
he said, should be recognized as setting standards for all
European nations. At the same time, Kovac said any form of
territorial autonomy for ethnic minorities in Slovakia would mean
"political destabilization." Slovakia supports individual rather
than collective rights for minorities, he noted: "Only freedom of
an individual can guarantee freedom of a state." On returning to
Bratislava, Kovac said at a press conference that he "can imagine"
cooperation with Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman
Vladimir Meciar as premier; however, both need to take steps to
repair mutual relations. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

MECIAR ON FUTURE SLOVAK GOVERNMENT. In an interview with Slovenska
Republika on 5 October, Meciar said the results of the elections
are "problematic" since his party did not gain a majority. But he
noted that the MDS will look first to the Slovak National Party
and the Association of Slovak Workers to form a coalition, since
their platforms are the closest to his party's. Meciar also said
he would ask the Constitutional Court to rule on the legitimacy of
the Democratic Union's participation in the elections, claiming
that the party did not have 10,000 valid signatures when it
registered. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

FINAL BREAKDOWN OF NEW SLOVAK PARLIAMENT. The Slovak Election
Commission announced on 5 October the distribution of the 150
parliamentary seats following the recent elections, TASR reports.
The Movement for a Democratic Slovakia-Peasant Party coalition has
61 seats, the Common Choice coalition 18, the Hungarian coalition
and the Christian Democratic Movement 17 each, the Democratic
Union 15, the Association of Slovak Workers 13, and the Slovak
National Party 9. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES OBJECT TO NEW ELECTION LAW. Hungary's
opposition parties have objected to the new law on local elections
passed by parliament on 30 September and signed by President Arpad
Goncz on 5 October, MTI reports. The new law simplifies election
procedures and lowers the turnout threshold required to validate
the elections. The opposition parties fear that the new law will
give the ruling Hungarian Socialist Party (former Communists) an
advantage in the upcoming local elections, scheduled for 11
December. Tamas Deutsch, caucus leader of the opposition Alliance
of Young Democrats, noted that during the Horn government's first
80 days in office, the process of "changing the regime has been
interrupted." The opposition parties hoped the president would not
sign the law. But Goncz said that he believed no consensus could
be reached and that the local elections would have to be postponed
if he did not sign. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

KING MICHAEL TO VISIT ROMANIA? Opposition Senators Alexandru
Paleologu and Ioan Diaconescu announced on 5 October that the
exiled Romanian monarch plans to arrive in Romania on 7 October to
participate in a seminar marking the 50th anniversary of the
overthrow of Marshal Ion Antonescu's regime. Paleologu said King
Michael, "as the author and one of the main witnesses of the
events," had to be present. RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest
quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mircea Geoana as saying the same
day that no application for a visa has been received by the
Romanian embassy in Switzerland, where the king resides. He also
commented that the Romanian government considered the visit
inappropriate. Paleologu had earlier quoted the king as saying he
had no intention of contesting the present constitutional order of
the country. Upon his return from Strasbourg, President Ion
Iliescu told Rompres he would not intervene to change the
government's decision. The former monarch, he said, was a foreign
citizen who needed a visa and would have to give a good reason to
obtain one; alternatively, he could apply for his citizenship to
be restored. Iliescu noted that King Michael had done neither.
Instead, he claimed, he continued to "address the Romanian people
as if he were talking from the throne," despite the fact that in
Romania "only the people are sovereign." A spokesman for the
former monarch in Geneva said King Michael is due to arrive in
Romania on a scheduled Air France flight on 7 October. Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

FIRST OFFICIAL CHOLERA DEATH IN ROMANIA. An official at the
Ministry of Health told RFE/RL's Bucharest correspondent on 5
October that a 60-year-old cholera patient died on 30 September in
a Bucharest hospital. This is the first officially-acknowledged
cholera death in Romania since the disease broke out there. The
victim was a resident of a village some 150 kilometers north of
Bucharest. A nine-year-old child died last week in a hospital for
the mentally retarded in Nicoresti, near Galati. The authorities
have not acknowledged that the child died of cholera, although it
has been confirmed that other children in the hospital have
contracted the disease. The Romanian authorities say many cholera
patients contracted the disease while visiting countries such as
Ukraine and Turkey. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

FOUR ARRESTED IN ROMANIA FOR POSSESSING RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL. The
Romanian authorities say four Romanians have been arrested for
stealing and planning to sell a radioactive substance, Western
agencies and Radio Budapest reported on 5 October. Military
prosecutors are investigating the case. An official at the
Ministry of Defense said the substance is not uranium and will be
determined by laboratories. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVA REBUFFS ROMANIAN STEPS ON CITIZENSHIP. On the ground that
Moldovan law precludes dual citizenship (except under special
interstate treaties), the Moldovan authorities have begun
canceling the passports of Moldovan citizens who have also taken
up Romanian citizenship, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 October. Moldovan
citizens who receive Romanian passports must renounce Moldovan
citizenship, officials told the agency. They accused Romania of
showing "flagrant disrespect" for Moldova by ignoring repeated
requests for information on the matter. Some 2,000 Moldovans are
known to have received Romanian passports in violation of Moldovan
law. Their motives are mostly economic, such as the desire to
acquire property in Romania, although there have been a few
politically motivated cases, the officials said. Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT URGES WESTERN ROLE IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION.
Addressing an international conference in Sofia on NATO's
Partnership for Peace and its role in the Balkans, Mircea Snegur
called for using that program and NATO institutions as a framework
for conflict resolution in the postcommunist area and for
promoting stability there, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 5
October. He said regional security has paradoxically become more
complicated with the end of the cold war, justifying the desire of
most postcommunist states for NATO support through the Partnership
for Peace and Euroatlantic bodies. Moldova, he noted, realizes the
importance of negotiation and compromise in resolving conflicts
and is proposing autonomy for its Transdniester and Gagauz
regions. Snegur also commented that ethnic separatist movements in
general must be condemned as they generate unstable would-be
ministates, potentially threatening many European countries, since
most are multiethnic. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA TO CONSENT TO PULLOUT FROM MOLDOVA? Stressing in the same
speech the importance of the withdrawal of foreign troops from
ex-Soviet states, Snegur anticipated that an agreement on the
pullout of Russian troops from Moldova would be signed this month,
Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported on 3 and 4 October, respectively.
Unidentified officials at the Russian Foreign Ministry told
ITAR-TASS on 5 October that the bilateral document "is being
examined by the Russian government, is practically ready for
signing" and "may be signed this month." Since initialing the
agreement on 10 August, the Russian side has repeatedly signaled
its unwillingness to sign it. Moldova is concerned that further
procrastination by the Russian government may prompt the Russian
parliament to demand that this executive agreement be submitted to
it for ratification. Observers believe such a scenario would spell
the end of the agreement. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN EXODUS STOPPED. An estimated 15,000 Albanians were kept
from fleeing the country from the port of Durres, situated some 30
kilometers west of the capital Tirana, Reuters reported on 5
October, citing Albanian police sources. One observer said most of
the people attempting to leave were "from 10 to around 35 years
old but . . . 70 percent were teenagers." In a comparable episode
in 1991, after the collapse of Albania's communist regime, some
20,000 people attempted to flee the country from Durres. Most of
those who reached Italy were sent back by the Italian authorities.
Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

MURDER TRIAL OF LITHUANIAN JOURNALIST BEGINS. The trial of four
people charged with the murder on 12 October 1993 of Respublika
deputy editor Vitas Lingys began at the Lithuanian Supreme Court
on 5 October, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reports. The trial,
presided over by Supreme Court judge Vytautas Greicius, assisted
by two other justices, is to be conducted under very tight
security. Prosecutor General Arturas Paulauskas, who is heading
the prosecution, read the indictment. Three of the accused admit
their guilt. One of them, Igor Akhremov, has testified that he
fired three bullets at Lingys on the orders of Boris Dekanidze,
the son of the alleged head of the Vilnius mafia. Akhremov said he
complied with Dekanidze's orders out of fear for his life.
Dekanidze has denied any guilt, and his lawyers tried
unsuccessfully to delay the proceedings. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL,
Inc.

NEW COMMANDER OF LATVIAN ARMED FORCES. The Saeima endorsed Juris
Dalbins on 5 October as commander of Latvia's National Armed
Forces, BNS reports. Dalbins replaces Colonel Dainis Turlais. The
new commander was born in 1954, graduated from the Institute of
Sports in 1979, completed military command courses with the US
armed forces in Germany, and recently served as deputy staff
commander of Latvia's Home Guard. He told the press that his first
task is to establish the headquarters of the National Armed
Forces, which will coordinate the work of the forces. He added
that in the future the Home Guard will perform the functions of
territorial troops. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE LEADERS SUPPORT LATVIA'S ADMISSION.
Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Daniel Tarschys and
Parliamentary Assembly President Miguel Martinez have expressed
support for Latvia's admission to the Council of Europe in early
1995. The process could be formally completed at an extraordinary
session of the council's Ministerial Committee, the top executive
body of the council. The final decision, however, rests with the
foreign minister of Cyprus, who will be presiding over the
committee's January session, Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis
Birkavs told BNS on 4 October. The idea to convene the Ministerial
Committee came up during talks between Birkavs and Tarschys.
Latvia, however, is not seeking extraordinary acceptance in the
council, since this could set a precedent for other states,
including Russia, Birkavs pointed out on his return to Riga on 5
October. Meanwhile, Russia continues to question Latvia's
qualifications for membership in the Council of Europe. Russian
representative Vladimir Lukin, expressing dissatisfaction that his
country's objections have not been endorsed by the council's
political affairs committee, said "we now feel like a third-rate
country," Diena reported on 5 October. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

(Compiled by Penny Morvant 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
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