|Esli mozhesh' idi vperedi veka, esli ne mozhesh', idi s vekom, no nikogda ne bud' pozadi veka. - V. YA. Bryusov|
RFE/RL DAILY REPORT
NO. 191, 7 OCTOBER 1994
RUSSIA FINANCE MINISTER ORDERED TO PAY ARMED FORCES. After Defense Minister Pavel Grachev complained that he did not have enough money to prepare the armed forces for the winter, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets ordered the finance minister to work out within 24 hours a schedule to clear the government's debts to the military. According to Interfax on 6 October, Grachev said the Defense Ministry had received only 38% of the defense spending approved by the parliament. He reported that the military were owed 3 trillion rubles for food, weapons, and other supplies and that oil companies would no longer supply fuel to the military because of 600 billion rubles in unpaid fuel bills. Grachev said the armed forces needed to spend a further 150 billion rubles to prepare barracks for the winter season and 730 billion to buy fuel. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. PRESIDENT'S REPRESENTATIVES TO TAKE OVER MEDIA CONTROL. On 6 October the head of Yeltsin's Administration, Sergei Filatov, presided over a conference of the president's regional envoys, held behind closed doors, Russian TV newscasts reported that day. The participants discussed the failure of the provincial media to convince the population of the correctness of presidential and governmental policies. They apparently agreed that the heads of local administrations (governors)--who with a few exceptions were appointed by President Boris Yeltsin--were responsible for cases in which publications sympathetic to the opposition received preferential treatment. The conference concluded that government newspapers should be subsidized. "In view of the forthcoming elections," the Russian TV report continued, the participants felt also that it would be appropriate to transfer control over the media's financial resources from the governors to the president's representatives. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. GORBACHEV: "YELTSIN RULES RUSSIA IN AUTHORITARIAN WAY." In an interview with Moscow News (no. 43), former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev accused Yeltsin of ruling Russia in an authoritarian fashion. Gorbachev reiterated his opposition to the extension of either the parliament's or the Russian president's term of office, saying that this would put an end to democracy in Russia. The Nobel peace prizewinner described the president's use of tanks against the parliament in October 1993 as completely unjustified. He also stressed once again the need for a democratic alternative to the Yeltsin regime, adding that the Social Democratic Union, currently being set up by his former closest associate, Aleksandr Yakovlev, could not play such a role. Along with Russia's Democratic Choice (led by former Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar), the SDU, Gorbachev said, was intended to provide yet another support base for the current regime rather than a real alternative. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. FOUNDING CONGRESS OF SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC UNION TO OPEN IN DECEMBER. According to ITAR-TASS on 6 October, the founding congress of the Social Democratic Union, organized by Ostankino Radio and TV Company head Aleksandr Yakovlev and other prominent politicians of the Gorbachev era, will open in December. The agency quoted the organizers as expressing concern over what they termed "the real threat of a bureaucratic transformation of democracy" and over "the seizure of power by government officials, who tend to ignore the law." The Social Democrats have also criticized the government's alleged tendency to tolerate the growth of neo-Fascism, racism, and chauvinism in Russia. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. FEDERATION COUNCIL REJECTS YELTSIN'S DECREE ON OSSETIA-INGUSHETIA. The Federation Council again failed on 6 October to approve Yeltsin's decree of 4 October extending for a further two months the state of emergency currently in force in the region of the Ingush-Ossetian conflict, Russian and Western agencies reported. Interfax quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai as expressing the hope that a compromise solution could be reached on 7 October, although he characterized the positions of the North Ossetian and Ingush deputies as "poles apart." Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. KURILS EARTHQUAKE DESTROYS MILITARY FACILITIES. Interfax reported on 6 October that three servicemen had been killed and many military facilities destroyed during the recent devastating earthquake in the disputed southern Kuril Islands. The agency said that storage facilities containing arms and military equipment had been completely destroyed in Kunashir Island, which is only some 25 kilometers from Japan. "Armaments are lying all around," it reported. Some 85% of the military facilities on Shikotan--another of the islands claimed by Japan--were destroyed, while communications, water, and electricity were cut on the island of Iturup. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. HEAD OF US 6TH FLEET VISITS RUSSIAN BLACK SEA PORT. Admiral Joseph Prewar, commander of the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, visited the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk aboard the missile cruiser Belnap, Interfax reported on 5 October. Admiral Pyotr Svyatashov, Black Sea Fleet chief of staff, noted at a welcoming news conference that the Belnap visit was the thirteenth by a US ship to the Black Sea this year and said that this was evidence of the greater attention NATO was paying the CIS. Prewar countered that NATO ship's entered the Black Sea only when invited by countries in the region. He also announced that there would be a joint naval exercise involving Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, and NATO ships in late October. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA AZERBAIJAN'S PRIME MINISTER DISMISSED. On 6 October Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliev issued a decree dismissing Prime Minister Suret Huseinov from his post for his alleged involvement in the attempted coup of 3-4 October, Western and Russian agencies reported. At the beginning of a parliamentary session convened to approve the decree, Huseinov again protested his innocence, although he conceded that some of his relations might have been implicated, and said that he would not resign; the parliament approved Aliev's decree anyway. Aliev also replaced as Procurator General Ali Omarov, who reportedly suffered serious injuries during his abduction by renegade Interior Ministry forces. Corroborating the hypothesis that Aliev exaggerated the seriousness of the threat to his position to get rid of Huseinov, who in an interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta on 22 September had criticized both Aliev's leadership style and the signing of the Western oil deal, Azerbaijan Social Democratic Party leader Araz Ali-Zade told Interfax that the clashes in Gyandzha were no more than infighting between rival clans. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. BADAKHSHAN OPPOSITION CALLS FOR ELECTION BOYCOTT. A coalition of opposition groups in Tajikistan's autonomous region Gorno-Badakhshan has declared that it will boycott the presidential election and referendum on a new constitution that have been scheduled for 6 November, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 October. A spokeswoman for the Badakhshani opposition group explained that the boycott decision was based on the group's assessment that it would be impossible to have a free and democratic election: too many Tajiks are still refugees abroad, the candidates nominated so far represent only a single region, and the country is too unstable. Tajik head of state Imomali Rakhmonov's press secretary told Interfax the same day, however, that it was unlikely that the Badakhshani legislature had voted to boycott the election, though he admitted that it would be difficult to conduct the election in Badakhshan because of the political and economic situation in the region. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. MALAYSIAN PREMIER VISITS TURKMENISTAN. Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, on a state visit to Turkmenistan, has told Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov that his country plans to participate in development projects in Turkmenistan, ITAR-TASS reported on 5 October. The visit is the first by a top Malaysian official to the Central Asian country. Leaders in several Central Asian states have cited Malaysia as an important development model, and some have visited the country. Malaysia, in the view of its prime minister, can help Turkmenistan develop a functioning market mechanism and is prepared to offer, in addition to investment, a privatization program that would not endanger reform by being too hasty. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS SQUARING THE CIRCLE ON THE CIS. At a press conference reported by Ostankino TV and Rossiiskaya gazeta on 4 and 5 October, respectively, Yeltsin said that Russian troops "might stay with basing rights in some CIS member states, but only at their request." He said that Russia "faces the complex task of guaranteeing the rights and interests of millions of our compatriots without violating international norms . . . of facilitating a solution to these problems in ways painless to the population insofar as possible, and consistent with national security interests." Chastising politicians who call for "quick" and "primitive" solutions, Yeltsin felt that in the wake of his US visit and UN address, "international public opinion understands better that we are motivated not by alleged imperial ambitions but by compassion and by vital necessity." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. UNIFICATION OF FORMER SOVIET SPACE SEEN AS PREORDAINED. "The creation of a new state on the territory of the former Union" is "a historically ordained necessity" and is "quietly understood as such" in the CIS and the Baltic States, argued an article in the reformist Nezavisimaya gazeta of 30 September. It blamed resistance to the idea of the "unification" of post-Soviet states on "the ambitions of a few heads of government and individual political leaders, kinglets obsessed by national exclusiveness in their self-proclaimed kingdoms." They do not accept that Russia's neighbors "are Russia's blood brothers and in many cases also brothers in religion. . . . Let no one sow confusion with the word 'empire,' something that we are and always were anyway." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY ATTACKS ENERGY MINISTRY, AZERBAIJAN OVER INTERNATIONAL OIL DEAL. Interviewed by Interfax on 3 and 5 October, the Russian Foreign Ministry Legal Department's first deputy director, Yakov Ostrovsky, again accused Azerbaijan of unlawfully extending its jurisdiction over certain Caspian oil fields that are to be developed under Azerbaijan's 7.5 billion dollar contract with an international consortium. Ostrovsky announced that Russia would soon present proposals to the riparian states for a multilateral agreement on the exploitation of Caspian resources. He also accused Russia's Fuel and Power Ministry and its chief, Yurii Shafrannik, personally, of failing to coordinate its position with that of the Foreign Ministry and damaging Russian interests by approving the terms of Russian participation in the project. "Anything like this would previously have cost a person his Party membership card," the spokesman said. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE NEW CRIMEAN PREMIER NAMED. Interfax reported on 6 October that the Crimean parliament voted unanimously to appoint Anatoly Franchuk as prime minister and head of government. Franchuk, who has a degree in economics, was formerly minister of state enterprises and is a close friend of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma. He has pledged that his top priority will be economic reform. Meanwhile, Crimean President Yurii Meshkov denounced Franchuk's appointment as illegal, Reuters reported. The row between the parliament and Meshkov resulted in the passage on 5 October of constitutional amendments effectively stripping Meshkov of his powers as head of government. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. MUSLIMS MASSACRE SERBS NEAR SARAJEVO. International media report on 7 October that French peacekeepers the previous day found the bodies of 16 Bosnian Serb soldiers and four nurses near Sarajevo. Many of the corpses had been mutilated. UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi met with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic to discuss the incident, which observers feared would prompt Pale to cancel its recent agreements on easing the renewed siege of Sarajevo. The New York Times quotes Vice President Ejup Ganic as saying "our guys there just wiped them out [but] we are not in the mutilating business like the Serb side is." Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said the Serbs would retaliate in a manner of their own choosing. Borba reports on 7 October that an exchange of 128 Serbs and 166 Muslims was competed in Sarajevo the previous day and that 55 Serbs left the Muslim-controlled Gorazde enclave. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. PURGE IN RUMP YUGOSLAV MILITARY? The Financial Times reports on 7 October that three top officers have "retired," prompting speculation that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic is removing senior military personnel opposed to his policies toward the Bosnian Serb leadership. The officers are navy chief Admiral Dojcilo Isakovic and army commanders General Jevrem Cokic and General Bozidar Djokic. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. JOVANOVIC CALLS FOR "COMPLETE LIFTING" OF SANCTIONS. Following his meeting with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali in New York on 6 October, rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovanovic told journalists that the biggest steps toward peace throughout former Yugoslavia would be made only after the international community lifted all sanctions. He said recent international efforts to forge peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina provided a solid foundation for advancing the peace process. Jovanovic also repeated the claim that Serbia under President Slobodan Milosevic is genuinely interested in regional peace without any territorial annexations. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVENIA REPORTS PROGRESS IN DISPUTE WITH CROATIA. Reuters on 7 October quotes Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek as saying that progress is being made in that country's border dispute with Croatia but that a final agreement is unlikely before the end of the year. The ongoing discussions also include the questions of Croatian deposits in the Ljubljanska Banka and financing the Krsko nuclear reactor. Drnovsek called both these questions "technically complicated." Tensions between the two neighbors flared up on 3 October, when the Slovenian parliament passed an election district law that included four Croatian villages on the Slovenian rolls. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. MACEDONIAN ELECTION UPDATE. The two rival wings of Macedonia's largest ethnic Albanian party continue to fight over the right to use the party's name. Arber Xhaferi, leader of the nonparliamentary group of the ethnic Albanian Party of Democratic Prosperity, has denied that his faction has applied to register under a new name, Flaka e Vellazerimit reported on 30 September. But he did admit that "some sympathizers of our party" have applied to officially use the name "New Party of Democratic Prosperity" to guarantee their "equal participation" in the elections on 16 October. At the same time, Xhaferi stressed that his leadership still claims to be the legitimate one for the whole party. The Albanian Party of Democratic Prosperity split in two in February, chiefly over the question of continued participation in the government. The faction in favor of participating has launched legal proceedings against Xhaferi's wing to force it to change its name. Meanwhile, the final candidates for the Macedonian presidency are incumbent President Kiro Gligorov and Ljupco Georgievski of the radical nationalist VMRO-DPMNE. A candidate of the Democratic Party of Turks failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, Borba reported on 30 September. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. APPEAL FOR IMPROVED ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDING IN EASTERN EUROPE. Meeting in Luxembourg, environmental ministers from the European Union, the Scandinavian nations, and the six Eastern European states that have applied for EU membership appealed on 5 October for "an extensive exchange of information on environmental policies" to provide for better funding for environmental projects in Eastern Europe. The ministers also called for "better coordination [of funding] with international finance institutions" and the "extensive use of co-financing" for specific projects. Western agencies report that between 1990 and 1994 the European Union allocated $418 million for environmental projects in the six East European countries. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. WARSAW RESIDENTS AGAINST POLISH ROLE IN HAITI. Fifty percent of Warsaw residents are opposed to Polish participation in the US military intervention in Haiti, according to an opinion poll published in Gazeta Wyborcza on 6 October. Thirty-one percent are in favor and the rest undecided. The newspaper said the percentage of those opposed would be much higher in the nationwide poll. The Polish government has agreed to send a detachment of soldiers to Haiti to take part in the international security force there. The Polish troops will assist in training the Haitian police. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. MECIAR ACCUSES KOVAC OF ACTING AGAINST CONSTITUTION. In a letter to Slovak President Michal Kovac dated 5 October, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar and his pre-election coalition partner, Pavel Delinga of the Peasant Party, said they believe their parties "will succeed in forming a cabinet that will have the necessary parliamentary support and thus guarantee stabilization." The two leaders also accused Kovac of violating the constitution by calling coalition talks on 4 October rather than immediately appointing Meciar as prime minister. Presidential aide Milan Zemko on 6 October rejected Meciar's criticism, saying that because party leaders were invited but not required to attend, the talks cannot be judged unconstitutional. If the MDS thought otherwise, it should not have sent representatives to the meeting, he argued. Zemko said the president called the meeting because of his responsibility to appoint a cabinet that has a chance of winning majority support in the parliament. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. TALKS ON NEW SLOVAK COALITION CABINET GET UNDER WAY. TASR reported on 6 October that the Christian Democratic Movement is holding coalition talks with all parties that won parliamentary seats in the recent elections. Olga Keltosova of the MDS said after bilateral discussions that her party and the CDM managed to find "some common space." But at a press conference the same day, CDM Chairman Jan Carnogursky said his party will not form a coalition with any group that would attack or take legal steps against the president. Following talks between the MDS and the Slovak National Party on 6 October, SNP Chairman Jan Slota said the two parties agreed that all further steps taken by one partner regarding the formation of a coalition government would have to be approved by the other. Slota said he would not cooperate with the Hungarian coalition or with the Democratic Union. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN MILITARY TO SUPERVISE HUNGARIAN TANK REDUCTIONS. A team of eight Romanian soldiers and military experts is due to arrive in Hungary soon to supervise the reduction of Hungarian tanks, MTI reported on 6 October. Under the European agreement on the reduction of weapons, Hungary has to dismantle 510 tanks over the next three years to comply with the quota assigned to Hungary. Hungarian experts supervised a similar operation in Romania earlier this year. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN OFFICIALS: KING MICHAEL WILL NOT BE LET IN. Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu on 6 October said he had no information about former King Michael's intention to arrive in Romania the next day. Vacaroiu was quoted by Radio Bucharest as saying that Romania was a country based on the rule of law and "until now the former sovereign has not asked me to grant him a visa." The radio also quoted Minister of Interior Doru Ioan Taracila as saying that in a law-based state no one can be granted something for which he has not asked. Taracila was referring to the fact that the former monarch has not asked the authorities to grant him an entry visa and intends to request one at Bucharest airport, according to international press reports. Reuters quoted presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu as saying on 6 October that the former sovereign can expect a repetition of his failed attempt in 1990 to return to Romania if he arrives without a visa. Four years ago, the exiled king was escorted out of the country within hours. Rompres, citing AFP, said the former king has arrived in Paris from Switzerland and intends to fly to Bucharest as planned, on 7 October. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON CORRUPTION. A joint session of the Romanian parliament adopted on 5 October a resolution condemning the cases of corruption cited in a parliamentary commission report. The resolution says the allegations of corruption will be referred to the authorities, for possible prosecution. It also states that the legislature is committed to passing laws on fighting corruption. The investigation commission will continue its work until the end of the year. Deputies from the ruling coalition parties last week accused members of former Prime Minister Petre Roman's government of concluding contracts for personal gain. Opposition deputies on the commission rejected the accusations and submitted a separate report. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. URANIUM SMUGGLING IN ROMANIA. A Romanian Defense Ministry spokesman said on 6 October that the radioactive material confiscated last week was, in fact, uranium, according to RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest. Earlier reports had claimed that it was a substance other than uranium. Four people have been detained. The spokesman told a news conference that the four kilograms of uranium confiscated were not enriched enough to be used in weapons. He said preliminary investigations showed the material came from one of Romania's two nuclear facilities and was intended for use at the country's first nuclear power plant, at Cernavoda, when it begins operating next year. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIAN COURT CUTS SENTENCES FOR GREEKS. International media reported on 6 October that an Albanian appeals court reduced the sentences handed down to five ethnic Greeks by one to two years. The politically active Greeks were sentenced for spying in the wake of an incident in April after Greek-speaking gunmen killed two Albanian soldiers at a boot camp near the Greek-Albanian border. Athens has been vocally involved in the court case, which it wanted thrown out altogether. A Greek government spokesman called the mere reduction in the sentences disappointing and a lost opportunity. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIA INTRODUCES WAGE-PRICE CONTROLS. The Albanian government and the Independent Trade Unions have agreed to introduce controls on wages and prices, Gazeta Shqiptare reports. Beginning January 1995, a price index for 24 basic goods will be instituted. The government and the trade unions will meet every six months to adjust wages and pensions to reflect hikes in the prices of the 24 basic goods. Frequent wage increases and other measures have failed to safeguard real incomes, especially those of low earners. It is hoped that the new wage-price controls will help protect the incomes of federal employees and the large number of unemployed people. Louis Zanga, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENT ENDORSES LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESTRUCTURING PLAN. RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reported on 6 October that the Belarusian parliament has endorsed most of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's plan that includes phasing out all village and urban district councils. In addition, the power to appoint chairmen to city and regional councils will be removed from those bodies and transferred to the president. The stipulation that council chairmen appointed by the president would receive no payment was reportedly rejected by the parliament. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVAN SCHOOL PROTESTERS MARCH ON TIRASPOL. Some 1,000 parents of Moldovan schoolchildren in Bendery marched on 4 October from that city to nearby Tiraspol to demonstrate for several hours outside the House of Soviets of the "Dniester republic," where they were joined by Moldovan parents from Tiraspol, Moldovan media reported. The demonstrators were protesting administrative and financial sanctions by the "Dniester" authorities against the last few Moldovan schools still resisting orders to use the Russian rather than Roman alphabet for writing and teaching in the Moldovan/Romanian language. "Dniester" Russian officials dismissed the demonstrators' demands by pointing to their "law," which virtually precludes the use of the Roman alphabet in the region's schools and public life. Picketing of schools and other protests have continued since the beginning of the school year at the last remaining Moldovan schools in Tiraspol, Bendery, and Rabnita. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN PREMIER DISCUSSES ISRAEL VISIT, TRAVELS TO MINSK. Adolfas Slezevicius on 6 October told journalists that his recent four-day visit to Israel was his most successful foreign trip to date, BNS reports. The two countries signed agreements on legal cooperation, promotion and protection of investments, and cooperation in culture, education, and science, He corrected Western press reports claiming he said Lithuania would change its law to allow individual Jews to regain property confiscated by the Nazis and Soviets. The planned changes, he stressed, would restore property rights not to individuals but to religious groups as a whole. Slezevicius will travel to Minsk on 7 October for talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Mikhail Chyhir, on economic and political issues. He will also give Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka an official invitation from Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas to visit Vilnius. Lukashenka's visit is unlikely to take place before the two countries reach an agreement on settling their common border. The main stumbling block to such an accord is the fate of the Adutiskis railway station. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. THREE CANDIDATES FOR ESTONIAN PREMIER. President Lennart Meri has received the views of the parliament factions on three possible candidates for prime minister, BNS reported on 6 October. Premier Mart Laar was defeated in a no confidence vote on 26 September. The three candidates are Bank of Estonia President Siim Kallas, former prime minister and Chairman of the Assembly Party Tiit Vahi, and parliament chairman Ulo Nugis. Meri is required to present a single nominee by 10 October. Kallas is the most likely candidate, since he reportedly has the backing of the Pro Patria, National Independence Party, Moderate, and Liberal Democratic Party factions. Pro Patria faction adviser Andres Herkel denied charges that Pro Patria reached an agreement with the Centrist Party faction whereby the latter would vote for Kallas and in exchange receive support for the election of its chairman Edgar Savisaar as parliament chairman on 17 October. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. DECLINING UNEMPLOYMENT IN LATVIA. Diena reported on 6 October that 6.1 percent of Latvia's active labor force (or 5.6 percent of the entire working-age population) are unemployed. This represents a decline of 0.2 percent over the end of August. Long-term unemployment is put at 35,838, and some 81,327 people are seeking jobs. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. RIFKIND, LUIK ON NATO AND THE BALTICS. During his visit to Vilnius earlier this week, British Defense Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and his Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevicius, signed a memorandum on military cooperation, BNS reported on 6 October. The document is similar to the ones signed a few days earlier in Riga and Tallinn. Commenting on the Baltic States' prospects for joining NATO soon, Rifkind said the three countries should now focus on their participation in the Partnership for Peace program and on attaining associated membership in the European Union. Estonian Foreign Minister Juri Luik, during his visit to the US, urged that the Baltic States be granted NATO membership--along with Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary--if a decision is made to expand NATO. He also stressed that the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltics was an important "step toward achieving security in the Baltic region. But it was only the first step. The problem of Baltic security has not yet been solved, not by far," BNS reported on 6 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 Division, is available through electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU Inquiries about specific news items should be directed as follows (please include your full postal address when inquiring about subscriptions): Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 Fax: (202) 457-6992 Internet: REEDB@RFERL.ORG Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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