|Если когда-нибудь, гоняясь за счастьем, вы найдете его, вы, подобно старухе, искавшей свои очки, обнаружите, что счастье было все время у вас на носу. - Б. Шоу|
No. 195, 13 October 1994
RUSSIA YELTSIN FIRES FINANCE MINISTER IN WAKE OF RUBLE PLUNGE . . . Following the dramatic fall in the value of the ruble against the dollar, on 12 October President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree dismissing acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin, Western agencies reported. Chief of the presidential Administration Sergei Filatov told ITAR-TASS that a report submitted a week earlier describing the financial markets as calm was one of the reasons behind Dubinin's removal. Yeltsin also asked the State Duma to dismiss Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko, who admitted he had made "tactical miscalculations" in not intervening to prop up the ruble earlier. The Central Bank began to buy rubles at the close of trading on 11 October, and the currency regained about 5 percent of its value the following day, closing at 3,736 to the dollar. The parliament, however, supported Gerashchenko, delaying the vote on Yeltsin's request until at least 19 October. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc. . . . APPOINTS COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE. At a meeting of the Security Council on 12 October, Yeltsin said the collapse of the ruble was the result either "of sabotage or the manifestation of a policy of extreme irresponsibility . . . by the special groups of people who organized the ruble's disastrous fall," Interfax reported. He decreed the establishment of a state commission to investigate the collapse, appointing Security Council Secretary Oleg Lobov and Federal Counterintelligence Service Director Sergei Stepashin to head it. Stepashin later told Russian TV that he believed the crisis was an attempt to undermine Yeltsin and the government and said the investigation was well in hand. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc. STATE DUMA SCHEDULES VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT. Deputies in the Russian parliament's lower house voted on 12 October by 230 to 2 with numerous abstentions to hold a vote of no confidence in the government following the ruble debacle, AFP reported. State Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin said the motion was placed on the agenda at the insistence of the faction of the centrist Democratic Party of Russia. Communist and nationalist groups have been urging such a move for weeks. The deputies also voted to override a veto by Yeltsin on legislation laying down the rules for passing the 1995 budget. Yeltsin had rejected the law, which requires the government to adhere to a strict timetable when drawing up the budget, on the grounds that it would limit the cabinet's freedom of maneuver; it must now be passed with a two-thirds majority in the Federation Council. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc. KOZYREV, SHAFRANIK ON CASPIAN. On 12 October Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told the Moscow conference of deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral states that there was "no need to raise the temperature" over the contract signed last month between Azerbaijan and a consortium of Western oil companies, Interfax reported. Kozyrev said that he had spoken by telephone with Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev who had agreed that the Caspian was an asset to be shared by all littoral states; there were, Kozyrev continued, "no sharp irreconcilable differences" between Russia and Azerbaijan. ITAR-TASS on 12 October quoted Azerbaijan parliament chairman Rasul Guliev as stating that the discussion of ratification of the oil contract by the Azerbaijani People's Assembly would last at least one month. ITAR-TASS also quoted Russian Minister of Fuel and Energy Yurii Shafranik as affirming that his ministry supports Russian participation in the exploitation of the Caspian shelf. Shafranik argued in favor of elevating the Caspian Sea Cooperation Council (created in 1992 and now being heavily plugged by Russia) to the status of the main organ for coordinating all exploitation of the Caspian's mineral wealth at least until such time as the international status of the Caspian (i.e. whether it is a sea or a lake) is finally resolved. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. MIXED SIGNALS ON CHECHNYA. On 12 October the Chechen opposition Provisional Council issued a statement denying a report by Interfax on 11 October that quoted Provisional Council Chairman Umar Avturkhanov as criticizing as "divisive" the peace mission to Chechnya of former Russian parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov and affirming that the two men will continue to coordinate their efforts to resolve the crisis situation. ITAR-TASS on 12 October similarly quoted the deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Federation Affairs, Vladimir Lysenko, as stating that Russian deputies had no intention of holding separate talks with the Chechen parliament delegation currently in Moscow, as previously reported by Interfax. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. KOZYREV EXPECTED IN PERSIAN GULF. On 12 October Ostankino TV reported that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev would travel to Iraq on 13 October in an effort to calm tension in the Persian Gulf area. On 12 October an advance party of two envoys, First Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and head of the Foreign Ministry's Middle East Department Viktor Posuvalyuk, arrived in Baghdad for talks with officials. Meanwhile, Interfax quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Kolokolov as saying that Russia would intensify its efforts to ensure that no new sanctions were levied against Iraq. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA FOR "DIVISION OF LABOR" IN CSCE. Russia's chief delegate to the CSCE's review conference in Budapest, Yurii Ushakov, told RFE/RL's correspondent on 12 October that Russia would continue to promote its plan to confer on a reorganized CSCE (in practice on a new body of several states, including Russia, vested with veto rights) the role of "coordinating security operations of NATO, the Western European Union, and the CIS states" in the respective regions of the CSCE's area. Ushakov persisted in describing such a regional arrangement as "a division of labor," but many of its critics view it as a division of spheres of influence that has no chance of acceptance at the conference. In addition, many small countries object to a hierarchical system that would reduce their role. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. NATO TO OPEN OFFICE IN MOSCOW. NATO plans to open an information bureau in Moscow to improve the flow of information from NATO to the Russian leadership, Reuters reported on 12 October quoting sources at NATO headquarters. The bureau will open by the end of 1994, be located within the French Embassy, and have a staff of two; it will function initially for a trial period of one year. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. SERVICE FAMILIES EVACUATED FROM KURILS. Quoting the Defense Ministry's press office, Interfax reported on 12 October that some 1,200 military dependents had been evacuated by air from the quake zone in the Southern Kuril Islands. As many as 525 were said to have been flown to the Moscow region where they will be temporarily housed in the Moscow Military District. A total of 1,600 dependents--including 650 children--will be flown out of the quake zone by 16 October. The servicemen will remain on the islands to help in the restoration work. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TERESHCHENKO EXPLAINS RESIGNATION. Kazakhstan's former Prime Minister Sergei Tereshchenko, who resigned along with his government on 11 October, told a press conference the following day that a major reason for the cabinet's resignation was the Supreme Soviet's hostility to his economic recovery program, Russian news agencies reported. In May the Supreme Soviet tried to force the government out of office, claiming that Tereshchenko's anti-crisis scheme was not working and that living standards were continuing to decline. Tereshchenko told the press conference that he was particularly aggrieved over the legislature's creation of a commission to hunt for corruption among top government officials--he asserted that the Supreme Soviet would do better to spend its time legislating. As his government's main achievement, Tereshchenko cited the introduction of Kazakhstan's own currency. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. UZBEK DISSIDENT SONGWRITER ARRESTED. The well-known Uzbek singer and songwriter Dadakhan Hasan has been arrested in Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley, his wife told RFE/RL on 12 October. Dadakhan Hasan has long been a prominent member of the Uzbek opposition; prior to Uzbekistan's independence he organized his own opposition group in the Fergana area, but is now an active member of the banned Erk Democratic Party. Dadakhan Hasan's wife reported that she had been told by officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that her husband had been arrested because several rounds of ammunition were found in his car. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. REPATRIATION OF GEORGIAN REFUGEES GETS UNDER WAY. More than three months after the deployment of Russian peacekeepers along the frontier between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia and after numerous delays and objections by the Abkhaz authorities, on 12 October six Georgian families returned to Abkhazia's Gali Raion in accordance with the established procedures, AFP and Interfax reported. AFP cited the UNHCR representative overseeing the repatriation operation as criticizing the obstacles created by the Abkhaz government and stating: "We could easily have sent back 33,000 people." Also on 12 October, Interfax reported that two leading critics of Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze, former Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua, and former Defense Minister Tengiz Kitovani, had joined forces with Boris Kakubava, radical spokesman for the Georgian refugees from Abkhazia, to found a National Liberation Front of Georgia pledged to restore Georgia's territorial integrity. Kakubava has frequently advocated a military campaign to restore Georgian hegemony over Abkhazia. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. CIS RUSSIA DOES NOT WANT "SUPERVISION" OF ITS PEACEKEEPING. Russia's chief delegate to the CSCE review meeting in Budapest, Yurii Ushakov, told RFE/RL's correspondent on 12 October that his country would welcome CSCE support for, but not "supervision" of, its peacekeeping operations in the CIS area. (He also indicated that Russia would not want supervision from the UN either.) Russia seeks an agreement in which the CSCE authorizes peacekeeping by Russian or CIS forces in the former USSR, provides logistical, financial, and other "material" assistance to those operations, and supports Russian political mediation in the conflicts, Ushakov said. Other CSCE countries could send observers but not interfere with the Russian or CIS operations. His remarks reiterate demands that contributed to the scuttling in June of a draft agreement on a CSCE framework for Russian peacekeeping operations. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. MOLDOVAN-RUSSIAN TROOP TALKS: END OF THE TUNNEL? Russia's chief delegate to the troop talks with Moldova, ambassador Vladimir Kitaev, ended on 12 October three days of talks with officials in Chisinau to finalize the package of agreements on the withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova. The agreements had been initialed on 10 August 1994 following more than two years of negotiations, but Moscow then withheld its signature. Senior Moldovan officials told the RFE/RL Research Institute that only editorial refinements were made in the latest talks with Kitaev. Chisinau hopes that the documents can be signed on its leaders' visit to Moscow for the impending CIS summit; and it wants the documents to be signed by the prime ministers as executive agreements, not subject to parliamentary ratification. Some Russian officials, however, favor signature by the presidents, which would require parliamentary ratification, all but guaranteeing rejection in Russia's parliament. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. A POTENTIAL CATCH. The main agreement's latest version would appear to weaken the linkage, sought by Russia, between the troop withdrawal and a negotiated agreement on Transdniester autonomy. The two processes are now to be "parallel," instead of "synchronic." Moldova interprets the reformulation as meaning that the withdrawal can outpace the talks on autonomy and must be completed within the three-year period stipulated for the pullout, whereas no timetable is set for the autonomy talks. Russia's interpretation of this crucial point, however, will depend on factors beyond Moldova's control. Moldova has in any event submitted, after consultation with the CSCE mission, a plan for far-reaching autonomy for the Transdniester. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SEJM APPEALS TO WALESA TO STOP DESTABILIZING THE COUNTRY. By a vote of 305 to 18 with 22 abstentions, the Polish Sejm appealed on 12 October to President Lech Walesa to "stop actions that could lead to a state crisis." The appeal, issued by the centrist Union of Freedom and approved by both opposition and pro-government parties, emphasized that the "president's actions, violating the principles of the military's political neutrality and the independence of the national radio and television council, are destabilizing the constitutional order." There has been no reaction from the President's Office to this unprecedented parliamentary appeal, but President Walesa met before the vote with parliamentarians from the Union of Freedom in an attempt to defuse the conflict. Rzeczpospolita and Gazeta Wyborcza on 13 October report that the meeting featured a stormy discussion during which Walesa was severely criticized by his former colleagues and advisers. The president rejected the criticism, saying he would not "retreat" from his way of acting. "I am convinced that I am right," Walesa said, "all I do is for the sake of Poland and for honesty and patriotism." He added that "the law is one thing, but success another, and the two will have to be combined." -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. SERBS CONTINUE TO BLOCK ROADS INTO SARAJEVO. International media reported on 12 October that the UN is still unable to secure land access to the besieged Bosnian capital. The same day relief flights were also suspended following a mortar attack on the airport, apparently by government forces. Meanwhile, the ethnic cleansing of the Banja Luka area continues, and 212 mainly Muslim Bosnian refugees arrived in Croatia. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. DIFFERENCES AMONG SERBIA'S RADICALS? Politika reports on 13 October that three Serbian Radical Party deputies in the federal rump Yugoslav parliament who recently left the party have agreed to form a new political party, the Serbian Radical Party "Nikola Pasic." Pasic was a prominent Serbian nationalist and radical at the beginning of the 20th century, and the usurping of his name suggests the new political organization will have a largely nationalist program. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. TUDJMAN RESHUFFLES CROATIAN GOVERNMENT. Croatian media reported on 12 and 13 October that President Franjo Tudjman has once again reorganized the cabinet and made major changes in the staffing of his own office. Among the more important changes are the removal of Jure Radic as head of Tudjman's office and his appointment as deputy prime minister and to the key post of minister of development and reconstruction; Hrvoje Sarinic's departure as head of the national security office and his replacing Radic on Tudjman's staff; the naming of Krunislav Olujic to the security portfolio; and the departure of the unpopular minister of culture, Vesna Girardi-Jurkic, to a diplomatic posting, possibly to the Croatian embassy with UNESCO in Paris. Girardi-Jurkic is best known abroad for her campaign against the independent weekly Feral Tribune. Meanwhile, Reuters reported on 12 October that UN human rights envoy Tadeusz Mazowiecki condemned the continued practice of forced evictions from apartments. Ostensibly, former tenants of the Yugoslav People's Army are being cleared out to make way for war invalids from the Croatian Army. But in reality, those evicted tend to be non-Croats or members of the political opposition. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. CROATIA STAGES AIR AND SEA EXERCISES. Croatian Television on 12 October showed maneuvers in the Adriatic of navy ships and 12 MiG fighters, apparently the largest such exercise to date. It is unclear how the MiGs found their way into the country past the arms embargo, but Croatian guest workers and other emigrants abroad have contributed generously to their country's defense and Soviet-type weapons are abundant on the world's arms markets. The public display of force may be designed to reinforce Zagreb's statements that the Croatian military could retake the Serb-held territories if they wished and to reassure the population of the Dubrovnik and Konavle areas that the Croatian military can protect them from Serbs in nearby hills. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO REVIEW PARTY'S LISTS. At the request of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the Slovak National Party, the Constitutional Court will examine the validity of the Democratic Union's lists of signatures collected to qualify for the recent parliamentary elections, TASR reports on 12 October. Under the election law, all parties that did not take part in previous elections are required to gain a minimum of 10,000 signatures to compete. The statement submitted to the court claimed that the Election Commission examined the Democratic Union's lists carelessly and did not check the personal identification numbers of signatories, some of which were evidently faked. The MDS is hoping that the court will find the lists invalid and then distribute the Democratic Union's 15 parliamentary seats among the other parties represented in the legislature, thus giving the MDS-SNP coalition a parliamentary majority. But analysts believe it is more likely that the election as a whole would be invalidated and a new vote would have to be called. During the first meeting of the current coalition council since the elections, Democratic Union Chairman Jozef Moravcik on 12 October said his party considers the move "a manipulation" and "deception of the citizens." (The party won a total of 246,444 votes in the election, or 8.57% of the vote.) Meanwhile, stressing that his party will not enter a new coalition unless it has broad support, Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan Carnogursky said he considers the Democratic Union's participation in a future cabinet to be necessary. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. MDS PROTESTS SLOVAK CABINET'S PRIVATIZATION PROJECTS. The Movement for a Democratic Slovakia on 12 October issued a statement saying the cabinet of Premier Jozef Moravcik has violated basic principles of morality and political ethics by approving 12 privatization projects during its session the previous day, TASR reports. The statement continues to say that the political parties that form the Moravcik cabinet lost the elections and failed to win the mandate from voters that would have entitled them to make such decisions. It also noted that ministers representing the Christian Democratic Movement and the Party of the Democratic Left should realize that their participation in this process can complicate the discussions currently taking place on the formation of a new coalition government. The press department of the Moravcik cabinet responded by saying that the approval of these projects is in full harmony with the cabinet's authority. The projects were all given the go-ahead by the Privatization Ministry before the election, but their approval was delayed during the election campaign to avoid political misuse. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. AUDI FACTORY OPENS IN HUNGARY. The German Audi company on 12 October opened one of the world's most modern motor-assembling factories in Gyor, northwestern Hungary, MTI reports. President Arpad Goncz, Minister for Industry and Trade Laszlo Pal, Minister of Environment and Regional Development Ferenc Baja, and representatives of the Audi company were among the many guests attending the inauguration ceremony. Audi chose Gyor as the site of the factory from among 180 European locations. Audi management council head Herbert Demel said that through the Gyor investment, Audi has been able to gain a foothold in Central and Eastern Europe, which is of strategic importance to the company. Audi has invested 300 million German marks in the factory thus far and plans to invest a further 430 million by the year 2000. The factory will be capable of assembling 750 motors daily and currently employs 200 people. -- Edith Oltay, RFE/RL Inc. HOMELESS IN HUNGARY. The Hungarian Ministry of Welfare estimates that 20,000-25,000 Hungarians are homeless, MTI reported on 11 October. Some 10,000 live in Budapest, where accommodations are available for 2,000 and a further 500-600 can be given temporary quarters. Some 60 percent of the hostels for the homeless are run by Church and charity organizations. The Ministry of Welfare spends 450 to 500 million forint annually on the destitute. -- Edith Oltay, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN FRANCE. Romania's Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca on 12 October began an official visit to France at the invitation of his French counterpart, Francois Leotard. In a short interview with Radio Bucharest, Tinca said the visit was aimed primarily at boosting Romanian-French cooperation in the production of military equipment, including missiles and helicopters. Meanwhile, Romania's Chief of Staff, General Dumitru Cioflina, arrived on 11 October in Bonn to discuss ways to step up cooperation between the Romanian and German armies, as well as Romania's integration into Euro-Atlantic military structures. The next day, he visited aviation and missiles units in Bavaria. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc. MOLDOVAN REBUFF TO ROMANIA OVER "LIMITED SOVEREIGNTY." Reacting to Romania's recent red-carpet reception of Moldovan opposition leaders who advocate unification with Romania, the ruling Moldovan Agrarian Party's weekly Pamint si Oameni in its 3-10 October issue accused Romania of applying to Moldova the former USSR's "limited sovereignty" doctrine. It said the recent series of Romanian official statements challenging Moldova's choice of independent statehood and Bucharest's open support for Moldova's pro-Romanian opposition contradicted Romania's diplomatic recognition of Moldova and was causing concern among the Moldovan public. Irredentist pressures from Romania and the pro-Romanian opposition in Chisinau risk triggering a pro-CIS backlash in Moldova, the editorial said. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. "DNIESTER" LEADER HAILS RUSSIAN PAN-ORTHODOXISM. In an interview with the Moscow "red-brown" weekly Zavtra (no. 38/1994), "Dniester" leader Igor Smirnov, long known for his procommunist views, praised the Orthodox religious ideology of tsarist Russia. Declining the interviewer's oblique invitation to criticize Yeltsin as a would-be "tsar" (but criticizing Moscow for "selling out" the Baltics), Smirnov repeatedly credited the Russian empire and its "holy Orthodox faith" with "uniting a multitude of peoples and giving them the freedom to develop." He urged the rebuilding of "just such a great power" based on Greater Russian patriotism and orthodoxism. He also described the defense of the "Dniester republic" as a cause of "both the communists and monarchists." The interview was headlined "In Russia on the Dniester, " reflecting the view that this part of Moldova (situated 1,000 kilometers from Russia's border and where Russians constitute only one quarter of the population) should belong to a Greater Russia. Smirnov's statements follow a flirtation by some of his procommunist supporters in Moscow with conservative-nationalist and monarchist circles. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT PAVES WAY FOR EARLY ELECTIONS. International agencies reported that by a vote of 162 to 40 with 10 abstentions, the Bulgarian parliament on 12 October rejected the proposal by Dimitar Loudzhen, a former adviser to President Zhelyu Zhelev and leader of the minor New Choice party, to form a new government. Outgoing Prime Minister Lyuben Berov's administration resigned on 2 September. Parliament Chairman Alexander Yordan said the legislature's vote shows " a clear will to disband" the government and comes in the wake of the legislature's main parties' resolve not to form a working government. Yordanov has called upon Zhelev to name an interim cabinet and set an election date. Under the terms of the Bulgarian Constitution, an election must now be held within two months. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. ALBANIAN ORTHODOX LEADER ON THE WAY OUT. President Sali Berisha has announced that the head of the Albanian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Anastasios Janulatos, a Greek citizen, will have to step down under the country's new constitution, Rilindja reported on 11 October. Berisha explained this would be simply a "technical procedure," since Albania is a secular state and thus the "role of the temporary archbishop" of the Albanian Orthodox Church will end with the ratification of the new constitution. Anastasios was ordained Archbishop of Tirana in June 1992 and tasked with restoring the Albanian Autocephalous Church, destroyed under communist rule. His appointment caused a big stir in Albania. Berisha's statement on the bishop's forthcoming termination of duty will be considered another anti-Greek affront by Athens and will likely further upset the already poor relations between Albania and Greece. -- Louis Zanga, RFE/RL Inc. LITHUANIAN CURRENCY DEVELOPMENTS. By a vote of 49 to 4 with 17 abstentions, the Seimas on 12 October amended the Lithuanian Currency Law, passed in April, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reports. The government was stripped of the authority to choose the foreign currency to which the litas is pegged and set its exchange value, giving these rights to the Bank of Lithuania. It is hoped that the change will encourage foreigners to invest more in Lithuania. The country's decision to peg the litas to the US dollar from 1 April has allowed it to avoid the current problems caused by the devaluation of the ruble. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES ESTONIAN PREMIER-DESIGNATE. Bank of Estonia President Siim Kallas on 13 October will present to the parliament his political program and the criteria according to which he will choose his cabinet, BNS reported on 12 October. The parliament will then vote on his nomination as prime minister. The Pro Patria, Estonian National Independence Party, and Liberal Party factions as well as five Rural Centrist Party members have announced their support for Kallas. The Assembly Party, Rural Union, Rightist, and Royalist factions have already stated their opposition to him. Pro Patria faction chairman Tiit Sinissaar said Kallas is likely to gain confirmation with 40-45 votes, since some of the parliament's 101 deputies are not expected to vote. If the parliament does not approve Kallas, President Mart Laar will name another candidate. If the parliament rejects him, it will try to find another suitable candidate. And should this fail, new parliament elections will be called. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. LATVIA AND KYRGYZSTAN AGREE ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Latvian Economics Ministers Janis Zvanitajs and Kyrgyz Industry Minister Andrei Iordan signed in Bishkek on 12 October an agreement on trade and economic cooperation principles, Interfax reported. The ministers told journalists that the document lays the foundation for long-term economic cooperation between the two countries and that specific trade accords will be signed separately at some future date. Zvanitajs also expressed hope that, since the two countries' currencies are stable, the som will become convertible in Latvia soon. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. SITUATION OF LATVIAN DEFENSE FORCES. In the case of an armed attack, the Latvian Defense Forces and the Home Guard would be able to defend the country, National Armed Forces Commander Juris Dalbins told the press on 12 October, BNS reported. He conceded, however, that the capabilities of these forces are limited on account of scant technical provisions and insufficient training programs. Commenting on separate groups of the Armed Forces, Dalbins said the National Air Force "practically existed only on paper," the Navy is "in normal condition," and the land forces need to be reorganized. Dalbins did not touch on the need to reorganize the command structure of the armed forces to ensure clear lines of command. Diena on 11 October described the current situation as "confusion in the leadership of Latvia's military structures" and attributed the problems to contradictions in the existing laws on defense matters. -- 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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