In the effort to give good and comforting answers to the young questioners whom we love, we very often arrive at good and comforting answers for ourselves. - Ruth Goode
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 197, 17 October 1994

                              RUSSIA

CHECHEN OPPOSITION ATTACKS GROZNY, THEN WITHDRAWS. Opposition
forces blew up an army barracks and ammunition depot in the
suburbs of Grozny on 14 October and launched helicopter attacks on
the city on 15 October followed by a major ground offensive, but
then retreated in the early morning hours of 16 October, Russian
and Western agencies reported. Former Russian parliament chairman
Ruslan Khasbulatov, who on 15 October appealed to the Chechen
population to avoid further bloodshed, termed the withdrawal "a
criminal error," according to AFP. Opposition Provisional Council
Chairman Umar Avturkhanov told ITAR-TASS that 18 supporters of
President Dzhokhar Dudaev had been killed in the attack on Grozny,
which he described as a reconnaissance operation; a spokesman for
the Chechen armed forces said that the opposition had lost 40 men.
According to Interfax, Avturkhanov said that the opposition would
launch a further attack on Grozny within a few days. The situation
in Grozny on 16 October was reportedly calm. Dudaev again blamed
the Russian military for the attack on Grozny, ITAR-TASS reported.
-- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

KOZYREV TOURS PERSIAN GULF AREA. On 16 October international media
reported that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev had
concluded his tour of Persian Gulf states and was leaving for UN
headquarters in New York. Kozyrev's aim in visiting the Middle
East was to defuse the crisis in the Gulf region prompted by Iraqi
troop movements on the border with Kuwait. A Russian-Iraqi
proposal calling for the removal of international sanctions
against Iraq in exchange for that country's recognition of
Kuwait's borders was rejected by the US, while Saudi King Fahd
said during Kozyrev's visit to his country that it was improper to
seek to reward Baghdad for its aggression. On 16 October the UN
Security Council voted unanimously to demand that Iraq withdraw
its troops from the Kuwaiti border. Moscow had hoped to delay the
vote until Kozyrev could present a report on his meetings with
Saddam Hussein, but Russia did vote for the resolution. -- Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

Queen ELIZABETH II Visits Russia. On 17 October Britain's Queen
Elizabeth II arrived in Russia for a historic four-day visit,
agencies reported. According to President Boris Yeltsin's foreign
policy adviser Dmitrii Ryurikov, the Queen's visit is in
recognition of the progress Russia has made in democratization and
reform. The royal itinerary includes visits to both Moscow and St.
Petersburg, where the Queen will be accompanied by Yeltsin. The
Queen's spokesman made it clear, however, that she would not take
part in any ceremonies connected with the reburial of the remains
of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. Yeltsin personally was
responsible for destroying the place of execution of the Tsar and
his family in Ekaterinburg when he was obkom secretary there.
Various Russian monarchist organizations expressed their
enthusiasm for the Queen's visit. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.

GERASHCHENKO RESIGNS. On 14 October Viktor Gerashchenko stepped
down as head of the Russian Central Bank after being asked to
resign by Yeltsin, Western and Russian agencies reported. His
departure had long been sought by radical reformers and was
finally forced by the wild fluctuations in the value of the ruble
earlier in the week. Former First Deputy Prime Minister Egor
Gaidar and former Finance Minister Boris Fedorov are among those
touted as possible successors. Fedorov has also been suggested as
a possible replacement for Andrei Vavilov, appointed interim
acting finance minister on 13 October. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL
Inc.

MAVRODI HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE. On 14 October in the prestigious
Moscow House of Journalists Sergei Mavrodi, the president of the
controversial MMM joint-stock company, held his first news
conference since his release from custody the previous day; he had
been arrested earlier in the year on suspicion of tax violations.
Hero-worshipped by MMM shareholders, Mavrodi is currently running
for a seat in the State Duma and cannot be rearrested without the
parliament's approval. According to Russian TV's "Vesti" on 14
October, Mavrodi thanked Zhirinovsky's ultranationalist Liberal
Democratic Party for helping MMM supporters to bring about his
release. (He apparently made no mention of other political groups,
such as the Democratic Russia Movement, that had also taken up the
cudgels in his defense.) "Vesti" also cited Mavrodi as saying he
planed to transform the Union of MMM Shareholders (believed to
have up to 100,000 members) into a political party. -- Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN REFUGEES. On 13 October Segodnya published a long article
by ethnographer Vladimir Kozlov condemning what he called
"alarmist" tendencies in the coverage of refugee problems in the
Russian media. Kozlov took issue with the widespread belief that
all 25.3 million ethnic Russians and the slightly more than 3
million other peoples of the Russian Federation currently residing
in the "near abroad" could be viewed as potential refugees.
According to Kozlov, 25 percent of all refugees in Russia come
from Tajikistan, 15 percent each from Georgia and Azerbaijan, over
13 percent from Chechnya and Ingushetia, and 6-8 percent from
Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. He pointed out that only
1.5 percent came from Latvia and Estonia, which are systematically
accused of discrimination in the Russian media. He added that most
refugees were highly qualified Russian-speakers from big cities,
remarking that even the US would be envious of such high-caliber
immigrants. Meanwhile, in another Russian newspaper, Obshchaya
gazeta, Andrei Fadin contended that the plight of "Russians in the
near abroad" was being used by the authorities to further their
goal of restoring the empire and that they planned to use Russian
minorities as a "fifth column" in the countries of their
residence. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

IRAN RUSSIA'S LARGEST ARMS CUSTOMER IN 1993. According to the
second annual UN arms register, published on 13 October, Russia
exported 100 tanks, 80 armored combat vehicles (ACVs), and one
warship to Iran in 1993, making the latter Russia's largest arms
customer. The Russians also reported the export of 20 tanks, 35
ACVs, and 14 large-caliber artillery systems to Angola, as well as
115 ACVs to Turkey, 95 to the United Arab Emirates, 12 to
Bangladesh, and 20 to Uzbekistan. Thirty-three combat aircraft
were exported: 28 MiG-29s to Hungary and five to Slovakia. Both
these deals were in partial settlement of outstanding Soviet debts
to Hungary and Slovakia, so Russia would have earned no money from
them. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

MILITARY WARNS OF DANGERS FROM LACK OF MONEY. An unnamed Defense
Ministry source told Interfax on 15 October that lack of money to
dispose of outdated weapons properly could lead to accidents; he
gave as an example 85 nuclear submarines retired but still at
their former bases. He said that the Finance Ministry owed the
military about 9 trillion rubles and that the lack of funds would
mean housing could be provided to less than half the number of
officers for whom it had originally been planned. The following
day Admiral Oleg Erofeev, the commander of the Russian Northern
Fleet, warned that a "catastrophic situation" was developing as
his fleet prepared for the winter. He said that his units had only
51 percent of the diesel fuel they needed and that there was not
enough money to pay for water or electricity. -- Doug Clarke,
RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN AND US FIRMS SIGN SPACE CONTRACT. Interfax reported on 15
October that Lockheed Corporation and Russia's Khrunichev State
Space Research and Scientific-Production Center had signed a
contract that day for Khrunichev to build the first component of
the planned Alpha international orbiting space station. This
component--an airtight compartment--would involve some 60 Russian
and several Ukrainian plants. The unit will eventually be launched
by a Russian Proton booster from the Baikonur space center. --
Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

RAKHMONOV REQUESTS UN ELECTION OBSERVERS. Tajikistan's head of
state, Supreme Soviet Chairman Imomali Rakhmonov, has asked UN
Secretary- General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to send observers to
monitor the presidential election and referendum on 6 November,
ITAR-TASS reported on 15 October. Rakhmonov appears to prefer UN
monitors to those from the CSCE, perhaps because of CSCE criticism
of the draft constitution that is to be the subject of the
November referendum, and also of Tajikistan's election law. The
CSCE decided at a meeting in Vienna on 6 October not to send
observers to monitor the Tajik election. ITAR-TASS noted that the
Tajik opposition was continuing to refuse to take part in the
election on the grounds that opposition groups had had no chance
to nominate a candidate. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

GEORGIA'S MILITARY DOCTRINE. Citing "well-informed sources in
Tbilisi," Interfax reported on 14 October that the Georgian
leadership intended to integrate the semi-autonomous National
Guard into the country's armed forces, apparently in response to
the creation by opposition political figures, including former
Defense Minister and National Guard leader Tengiz Kitovani, of the
National Union for the Liberation of Abkhazia, which aims to
restore Georgian hegemony over the breakaway region by military
means. Kitovani was said to have circulated his draft of an
"exclusively defensive" military doctrine for Georgia, which
provides for the expansion of the army from 15,000 to 20,000 men.
This draft and alternatives will be debated by the Georgian
parliament. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

MORE REPERCUSSIONS IN AZERBAIJAN. On 14 October the Azerbaijan
People's Assembly voted to arrest former Prime Minister Suret
Huseinov on charges of treason in connection with his involvement
in the attempted coup earlier this month, Interfax reported;
according to parliament chairman Rasul Guliev, Huseinov failed to
meet with President Heidar Aliev as scheduled on 10 October and
his present whereabouts are unknown. Agriculture Minister Muzamil
Abdullaev and Security Minister Nariman Imranov have also been
arrested on suspicion of complicity in the coup attempt, Interfax
and Western agencies reported on 16 October. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL
Inc.

                               CIS

SUMMIT NOT TO DEAL WITH MILITARY COOPERATION. Although originally
on the agenda, the draft concept for collective security of the
nine CIS states that have signed the Treaty on Collective Defense
will not be considered at the CIS summit on 21 October, Interfax
reported on 16 October. The draft concept had been initialed by
the foreign and defense ministers of eight of the nine states on
20 June; only Uzbekistan had reservations. Interfax was told that
Russia had proposed that the concept be dropped from the agenda.
The same sources also said the CIS leaders would not discuss
expanding military cooperation. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

KIEV HARDENS POSITIONS ON BLACK SEA FLEET. Interfax reported on 14
October that the latest Russian-Ukrainian talks on sharing the
assets of the Black Sea Fleet had produced practically no results.
The next day, Ukrainian officials announced--at least for public
consumption--rather extreme positions on the issue. Volodymyr
Mukhin, the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament's commission for
defense and state security, was quoted as saying that the
Ukrainian delegation was proceeding from the principle that all
the military fleets of the former Soviet Union should be divided
up, not just the Black Sea Fleet. He said that Ukraine's share of
the Soviet Navy amounted to 96 percent of the Black Sea Fleet, so
"the Russian side can take its 4 percent--one single vessel--right
now, and the question will be over." An unnamed Ukrainian diplomat
told the agency that the defense and international affairs
commissions of his country's parliament were of the opinion that
the previous agreements between Presidents Yeltsin and Kravchuk
contradicted Ukrainian interests and could not be used as the
basis for further talks. The diplomat said the Ukrainian
delegation had "reconsidered its line" as a result of the
commissions views. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT, APPOINTS INTERIM
PREMIER. President Zhelyu Zhelev on 17 October dissolved the
Bulgarian parliament, paving the way for early elections, RFE/RL's
Bulgarian Service reports. The previous day the president
appointed economist and Privatization Agency head Reneta Indzhova
as prime minister. Indzhova, the first woman to be appointed
premier in Bulgaria, is charged with presiding over a newly
appointed caretaker government. Zhelev said elections will take
place on 18 December. The government of Lyuben Berov resigned in
early September. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

MACEDONIAN ELECTIONS TAKE PLACE AMID CONTROVERSY. International
media reported on 16 October that the first round of the
presidential and parliamentary elections have taken place in
Macedonia. Exit polls suggest that, as expected, President Kiro
Gligorov will easily be reelected. But incomplete data show that
only 41% of the electorate voted, which is 10% less than the
number required for the presidential election to be valid. There
were also reports of irregularities, with polling lists going
missing. The leading Albanian-language daily in Skopje indicated
on 14 October that the ethnic Albanian minority would participate
in the election, but it is not clear how many Albanians voted. The
Albanian minority constitutes 20-40% of the republic's population
(statistics vary widely) but has been plagued by political
in-fighting in recent months. It has also charged the authorities
with manipulating citizenship laws so as to disenfranchise 150,000
potential Albanian voters. Official election results are expected
on 17 October, but whatever they show, they are likely to be
challenged by the losers. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

BOSNIAN UPDATE. Reuters on 16 October quoted Bosnian Prime
Minister Haris Silajdzic as accusing the international community
of "pandering to the Serbs and ignoring the plight of Sarajevo."
The prime minister said the outside world was treating the siege
of Sarajevo as "a natural catastrophe [not as] a man-made
catastrophe." He demanded more NATO air strikes. Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic, for his part, said no territory "that the
Serb soldier has liberated and protected should be surrendered."
Meanwhile, government forces remained in the demilitarized zone
near Sarajevo, while Serb forces tried to take the high ground in
the Cemerska Planina area, to the north of the zone. Finally,
Ismet Spahic, deputy to the republic's leading Muslim cleric
Mustafa Ceric, denied reports that Ceric tried to ban all sales of
pork in Sarajevo. Spahic claimed the ban would apply only to those
shops selling meat to Muslims. It is difficult to see what is
actually meant in practice, however, since most meat shops in the
city are not organized along religious lines and since bacon is a
staple of the Bosnian diet in winter, which is now setting in. --
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

RENEWED INFLATION IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA? Reuters on 17 October
reports that National Bank Governor Dragoslav Avramovic's economic
recovery program may be heading for trouble. The price of many
basic consumer items has doubled in the past several months,
according to the report. Nonetheless, Avramovic continues to
maintain that inflation is well under control. An unidentified
Western diplomat observes that Avramovic can apparently defend his
economic program only by concealing crucial facts. "There's
suspicion that the [government] figures are being cooked to make
the programme look good," he said. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

CENTRAL EUROPEAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS APPEAL FOR SPIRITUAL REVIVAL.
Following a three day conference in Warsaw, Central Europe's
Catholic bishops on 15 October issued an appeal to other European
Christian Churches to cooperate in bringing together all European
nations through a "new evangelization" that would take into
account contemporary issues and problems. Emphasizing the need for
such an approach, the bishops said "mere changes in the [region's]
economic and political system are not sufficient to overcome
completely the vestiges of the totalitarian system. There is a
need to restore the basic moral values and bring about a deep
moral and spiritual . . . revival." The Warsaw daily Gazeta
Wyborcza on 17 October reported that the conference focused on the
importance of ecumenism in today's Central Europe, particularly in
relations between the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches. -- Jan
de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.

POLISH ECONOMY AFTER NINE MONTHS. According to government reports,
the Polish economy registered a growth in exports (15.8% over the
same period in 1993) and production in the first nine months of
1994. Inflation continues to be a major obstacle to economic
progress, threatening to exceed 30% by year's end (in September
alone it reached 4.2%). Germany has remained Poland's main trade
partner (accounting for 34% of exports and 27% of imports), but
the most dynamic growth in exports was with Russia (66.8% over the
same period in 1993). A recent World Bank report predicts annual
growth in Poland of about 5% over the next five years, although it
expresses concern about the continuing preponderance of the state
sector in the economy and advises that inflation be trimmed. --
Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.

CZECH AMBASSADOR MISHANDLED BY UKRAINIAN POLICE. The car of Czech
Ambassador to Ukraine Pavel Masa was stopped by Ukrainian
policemen during the diplomat's trip to Zaporizhzhya Oblast. CTK
reports that according to witnesses, the drunken policemen
threatened the car's driver with a gun and used abusive language
toward the passengers, including the ambassador. They also tried
to enter the car, threatening passengers with machine guns and
leaving only after they received the sum of money they had
demanded. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAK COALITION TALKS CONTINUE. The Republican Council of the
Party of the Democratic Left on 15 October voted to retain the
party's current leadership, with Peter Weiss as chairman, TASR
reports. Weiss said his party disagrees with attempts to dismiss
President Michal Kovac as well as other politically motivated
changes to the constitutional system. He also noted that the PDL
will consider participating only in a broad coalition government.
The PDL's stance will complicate the efforts of the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia to form a government. MDS member and
parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic on 14 October said his party
and the Slovak National Party, which are expected to win the tacit
support of the Association of Slovak Workers, were still looking
for a fourth partner. ASW Deputy Chairman Jan Kocnar said in an
interview with TASR on 15 October that his party remains firm
about its decision not to participate in a new cabinet but said it
is willing to confirm in writing its support for a new governing
coalition--on condition that the ASW does not support laws opposed
to workers' interests. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN PREMIER, ETHNIC LEADERS REASSURE EACH OTHER.
Parliamentary deputies from the Hungarian Democratic Union of
Romania met on 14 October with Hungarian Premier Gyula Horn, MTI
reported. They admitted that they initially had reservations about
the new Budapest coalition government and feared it would seek to
improve relations with Romania at the expense of the Magyar
minority there. Today, they said, those who trust the new
government outnumber those who still distrust it. Horn said
Hungary would oppose any development violating Magyar minority
rights and added that Romania's education law was indeed in
violation of those rights. The chairman of Hungary's parliamentary
committee on human rights and minority issues told HDUR deputies
that Hungary's new law on self-administration for minorities could
lead to a breakthrough in the minorities' efforts at achieving
various forms of autonomy. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN CHURCH LEADER VISITS HUNGARY. The head of the Romanian
Orthodox Church, Bucharest Patriarch Teoctist, arrived in Hungary
on 16 October for his first visit ever to that country , MTI
reports. He dedicated an Orthodox church at Mehkerek, Bekes
County, where most of Hungary's 25,000-strong Romanian minority
live. The patriarch is to meet with President Arpad Goncz, Culture
Minister Gabor Fodor, and representatives from Hungary's Office
for National and Ethnic Minorities on 17 October. -- Alfred
Reisch, RFE/RL Inc.

BRITISH COUPLE SENTENCED IN ROMANIAN BABY-SMUGGLING CASE.
International media reported on 14 October that a Bucharest court
found the British couple Adrian and Bernadette Mooney guilty of
attempting to smuggle a five-month-old baby out of the country in
July. The couple were sentenced to two years and four months in
prison. Their lawyer said she will immediately appeal the
sentence. The court also sentenced three Romanians involved in the
smuggling to two years and eight months each. The baby's unmarried
parents were given one-year prison terms, which they will begin
serving when they turn 18. The court granted the British embassy's
request that the couple remain free pending the appeal, but they
were prohibited from leaving Romania. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL
Inc.

ROMANIA LOSES ANOTHER SOVIET-MADE PLANE. Radio Bucharest announced
on 15 October that another Soviet-made jet crashed near the
southern town of Alexandria. The radio said this was the ninth
crash this year, but Reuters quoted a Romanian official as saying
the plane--a MiG-21--was the tenth to crash in 1994. A military
commission has been set up to investigate the incident. -- Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIA SAYS NEW CHOLERA OUTBREAK TRACED TO TURKEY. Rompres on 16
October quoted health authorities as saying they have traced the
recent outbreak of cholera to Turkey. Almost 100 Romanians have
been diagnosed as suffering from the disease. The Health Ministry
reports that border officials at Vama Veche, southern Romania,
have stopped 23 people with cholera symptoms from entering the
country. All were Romanian workers at a brick factory near
Tekirdag, close to the Turkish-Bulgarian border. Fourteen were
found to be suffering from the disease. The ministry also reports
there has been an outbreak of cholera in the village where the
factory is located. Of the 80 or so Romanians who work there, one
has died and seven have been hospitalized. -- Michael Shafir,
RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN-MOLDOVAN DISPUTE OVER ILIESCU STATEMENT. Romanian
President Ion Iliescu, speaking at the international Forum for
Romanian Spirituality, which convened on 15 and 16 October at
Herculane, said the participants from "Bessarabia" (that is, the
Moldovan Republic) were not "diaspora Romanians but rather hosts
of this gathering." He went on to note that "Bessarabia" was a
second Romanian state and that it was "sad" that "some contest the
Romanianness of the Bessarabians and the Moldovans." Iliescu also
explained that historical Moldova was "more than today's Republic
of Moldova" and that the Moldovans had "never considered
themselves a nation different from the rest of Romanians."
Reacting to the statement, President Mircea Snegur was quoted by
Radio Bucharest as saying he is attempting "not to complicate
things" and wants to expand bilateral ties at all levels. At the
same time, he noted he was "duty-bound to implement the will of
the people," as expressed in a poll earlier this year. -- Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO LIFT BAN ON PRIVATIZATION. Ukraine's
parliament has failed to agree on changes to existing
privatization mechanisms that would lift the 3-month ban on
privatization, Reuters reported on 14 October. Privatization was
suspended in July because deputies charged that the process was
riddled with corruption and out of control. Failure to proceed
with privatization may delay, if not jeopardize, a $360 million
loan from the IMF as well as credits being negotiated with the
World Bank. The debate is to continue after new proposals on the
privatization process have been drafted. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL
Inc.

UKRAINIAN LANDLORDS AGAINST SEPARATING RENTAL PROPERTIES FROM
PRIVATIZATION PROCESS. The Union of Landlords and Entrepreneurs in
Ukraine is categorically opposed to separating rental properties
from the privatization process, Ukrainian Radio reported on 13
October. The union argues that it is in the landlords' interest to
treat rental properties as private businesses. There are fears
that draft legislation on rental properties will be further
delayed and and that such properties will not be treated as
business enterprises if they become a separate issue. President of
the union Viktor Milyuvsky says the proposed law not only violates
the rights of 2.5 million property owners in Ukraine but also
contravenes international conventions on business and
discrimination. The union is to meet with State Treasury officials
on 20 October to try to resolve their differences. -- Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRIME MINISTER IN US. Belarusian Television on 13
October reported that Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir arrived in
Washington to meet with US government officials and
representatives of the World Bank and IMF. Western officials want
to discuss economic reform in Belarus. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL
Inc.

LITHUANIA, BELARUS AGREE ON DISPUTED RAIL STATION. Belarusian
Deputy Foreign Minister Stanislau Ahurtsau told BNS on 14 October
that a compromise was reached the previous day on the Adustiskis
railroad station. Belarus is to have control over the station's
main track and three service tracks, while Lithuania will receive
the station building and one service track. The resolution of this
last disputed border issue should accelerate the signing of a
bilateral border agreement, to be discussed at the next round of
border talks in Vilnius on 26 October. The agreement will go into
effect when signed by the two countries' presidents and ratified
by their parliaments. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

NUCLEAR FUEL RODS LEAVE ESTONIA. Juri Tikk, the Estonian
government's special representative in Paldiski, said the nuclear
fuel rods from the two reactors at the former submarine base at
Paldiski were taken by train without incident from Estonia to
Russia on 15 October, Western agencies reported on 16 October.
Under an agreement signed on 30 July, Russia must complete the
dismantling of the reactors by 30 September 1995. -- Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN OFFICIAL OBJECTS TO LATVIA'S ADMISSION TO COUNCIL OF
EUROPE. Deputy Speaker of the Russia Federation Council Ramazan
Abdulatipov sent a letter to the CSCE High Commissioner Max van
der Stoel, published in Nezavisimaja Gazeta on 14 October, arguing
Latvia must not be admitted to the Council of Europe until its
ethno-political situation has improved. Abdulatipov claimed that
"Latvia's admission to the CE would mean that Western countries
support Latvian radicals' ethnic cleansing policy." He also said
it would be perceived in Russia as support for Latvia's
territorial claims against Russia and further complicate Russia's
unfavorable political situation. The Latvian Embassy in Moscow
issued a statement the same day rejecting Abdulatipov's charges as
"irresponsible" and "untrue." It noted that Latvia was not
advancing territorial claims against Russia and that such
statements are misleading. The embassy also pointed out that some
325,000 ethnic Russians have been granted Latvian citizenship and
that the figure will grow as a result of naturalization, BNS and
Interfax reported on 14 and 15 October. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL
Inc.

LATVIA AND EGYPT TO COOPERATE IN TRADE AND TECHNOLOGY. Latvian
Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs and Egyptian Ambassador to Latvia
Hamdy Mohamed Ibrahim Nada on 12 October signed a cooperation
accord in trade, technology, and science. LETA reported the next
day that an intergovernment committee will be formed to coordinate
efforts. The following day, Nada met with Latvian President Guntis
Ulmanis and discussed the opening of a Latvian embassy in Cairo.
-- 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
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RFE/RL, Inc.
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Washington, DC 20036
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Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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