|On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers. - Adlai Stevenson|
No. 198, 18 October 1994
RUSSIA EXPLOSION AT MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS . . . A bomb blast at the offices of the radical democratic newspaper Moskovsky komsomolets killed the investigative journalist Dmitrii Kholodov and wounded one of his colleagues, Russian media reported on 17 October. The bomb was hidden in a suitcase that Kholodov had retrieved from a left-luggage locker at a Moscow station after being told it contained documents on corruption in the military. According to the newspaper's chief editor, Pavel Gusev, Kholodov was deeply involved in an investigation of corruption in the former Western Group of Forces in Germany, including illegal arms sales. Gusev also said that Kholodov was prepared to give evidence to the commission investigating the case. Kholodov frequently reported on CIS "hot spots"--in particular, on Chechnya, to which he devoted his last article. Moskovsky komsomolets has been unusually critical of the involvement (denied officially) of the Russian army, MVD troops, and the secret services in the Chechen crisis. President Boris Yeltsin sharply condemned the journalist's murder as an act of terrorism and ordered Internal Affairs Minister Viktor Erin to oversee the investigation personally. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. . . . AND BURIAL OF SENIOR MVD OFFICER MURDERED BY GANGSTERS. Several hundred people attended the funeral of Colonel Nikolai Perevozshchikov, deputy minister of internal affairs of the Udmurt Republic, who had been assassinated by gangsters in Izhevsk, Ostankino Television reported on 17 October. Perevozshchikov, his wife, and their two children were killed on 8 October when masked gunmen broke into their apartment in the middle of the night and opened fire with machine guns. Perevozshchikov was known to be a tough opponent of the mafia and was the MVD officer responsible for fighting organized crime in the region. According to the Ostankino report, one of Perevozshchikov's killers was detained, but three others escaped. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. KOZYREV FAILS TO WIN SUPPORT FOR IRAQ STAND. On 17 and 18 October international media reported that during a 17 October appearance before the UN Security Council Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev had failed to win support for the idea of lifting the embargo against Iraq following Iraqi recognition of Kuwait's borders. Kozyrev was critical of Iraq's recent troop build-up near the Kuwaiti border, stating that the development fostered "a dangerous situation," according to The New York Times of 18 October. Nevertheless, he also stressed that Iraq seemed to have no intention of launching an invasion of Kuwait and that therefore it was reasonable to believe that Baghdad would be prepared to recognize Kuwait's territorial integrity--a development that, in Kozyrev's opinion, could pave the way for the international community to lift sanctions against Iraq. US Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright, perhaps the most outspoken critic of Kozyrev's presentation, urged the council to "categorically reject" Kozyrev's views since it was not in the international community's interest to "reward [Iraqi aggression] with half measures." -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. KOZYREV SEES BILLIONS IN RUSSIAN SALES IN MIDDLE EAST. The Russian foreign minister told journalists aboard his plane on 16 October that he saw the possibility of Russia concluding business deals worth billions of dollars with the Gulf countries, especially in arms. As reported by ITAR-TASS, Kozyrev noted that Russia already had "military-technical cooperation agreements" with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates and said that Russia was ready to supply arms to Saudi Arabia. Once the UN sanctions against Iraq were lifted, he added, normal cooperation with that country could resume. Kozyrev also said it was important to have the same sort of military confidence-building measures in the region as were in place in Europe; agreements that limited the size and scope of military maneuvers, for example. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. VISIT OF BRITISH QUEEN. The historic visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Russia was marred by violations of protocol when Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin failed to come to the airport to meet the British monarch and UK Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, news agencies reported from Moscow. According to the reports, Chernomyrdin chose to continue his vacation in Sochi, and the Queen was welcomed instead by First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kozyrev was also absent, reporting on the results of his visit to the Persian Gulf to the UN General Assembly in New York. Russian observers attributed Kozyrev's absence to differences between the British-American and Russian positions on the question of lifting the UN sanctions against Iraq. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. Berlusconi's Negotiations With Yeltsin. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has expressed support for Russia's desire to become a full-fledged member of the G7 group of industrialized nations, ITAR-TASS reported on 15 October. During their negotiations, Yeltsin and Berlusconi discussed Russian-Italian economic ties and cooperation in combating organized crime. The two men also agreed on a concept for expanding the permanent membership of the UN Security Council, under which several new "semi-permanent" members would join the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China. The new members, which Berlusconi said would include Italy, would participate in the Security Council on a rotating basis. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. GROZNY REPORTED CALM. The situation in Grozny on 17 October was reported by Russian agencies to be "calm" following the offensive of 15-16 October by opposition troops; a mass meeting in support of President Dzhokhar Dudaev was continuing. A spokesman for the military command of the opposition Provisional Council told ITAR-TASS that the weekend offensive was merely "a dress rehearsal" intended to assess the reaction of Dudaev's forces and the problems of military operations in a densely populated urban environment. Chechen government military spokesmen claimed that the offensive had been halted by the Chechen voluntary unit that had fought in Abkhazia in 1992-1993. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. STATE COMMISSION FOUND NO "PLOT" BEHIND RUBLE COLLAPSE. The report of the state commission set up by Yeltsin under the auspices of the Russian Security Council to investigate last week's currency crisis is expected to be published later this week, Russian TV newscasts and news agencies announced on 16 October. The report does not confirm the "conspiracy" theory of Yeltsin's spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov and other top Russian officials, who had blamed the meteoric rise of the US dollar and the ruble's collapse on Russian commercial banks that finance Yeltsin's political opponents--i.e., the Communists and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. ASSEMBLY OF CIVIC ACCORD POSTPONED. ITAR-TASS and Interfax cited on 17 October the president's chief of staff, Sergei Filatov, as saying that the Assembly of Civic Accord would be postponed until 10 December. Earlier this month, Yeltsin had decreed that the gathering would be held on 22 October, but a number of prospective participants, including Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Ramazan Abdulatipov, asked for it to be delayed. The influential chair-man of the Industrial Union, Arkadii Volsky, told Moscow radio on 16 October that he thought it was inopportune to discuss the civic accord between the vote of confidence in the Russian government to be held in the State Duma on 21 October and industrial action scheduled by Russian trade unions for 27 October. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA WANTS TO LIMIT SUBMARINE PATROL AREAS. Lieutenant General Gennadii Ivanov of the Russian Defense Ministry told Interfax on 17 October that Russia would raise the issues of reducing the patrol areas for strategic nuclear submarines and of limiting the antisubmarine forces that could enter such areas in arms talks with the United States. Ivanov heads a working group meeting this week in Moscow with a US group to discuss the implementation of the START-1 treaty, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear safety. Such restrictions were first proposed by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in 1982 and have been opposed consistently by the United States. Ivanov said that "if a stage of confidence has begun in our relations . . . there is no need to patrol each others' coasts." -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. URANIUM SAID TO BE BOUND FOR IRAQ SEIZED. Russian Television reported on 17 October that the authorities in Moscow had that day seized 27 kilograms of uranium reportedly destined for Iraq. The account indicated that several Iranian businessmen were planning to buy the uranium for $1.5 million and then resell it to Iraq. The uranium was discovered in the trunk of a car belonging to one of the businessmen and was said to be Uranium-238 with some Uranium-235 mixed in. Uranium-235 is the fissile isotope of uranium used in atomic bombs. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA WOULD BUILD SPACE LAUNCH PAD IN GUYANA. Anatolii Kiselev, general director of the Khrunichev research center, told Interfax on 11 October that Russia would like to build a launch pad for its new generation of heavy space booster--Proton-M--at France's Kourou space facility in French Guyana. Kiselev said he would like to avert future rivalry between Russian and French spacecraft makers; France's Aerospatiale controls much of the market. The Proton series has been in use for 30 years and is touted as the cheapest and most reliable heavy space system in the world. It has been launched solely from the Baikonur cosmodrome, although Kiselev indicated that launch pads for the Proton were being constructed at Plesetsk, in Russia. Late last year, the Russians explored the idea of building Proton launch sites in Papua New Guinea in cooperation with an Australian firm. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. CIS MORE TALK ABOUT THE BLACK SEA FLEET. Ivan Zaets, the deputy chairman of the Ukrainian parliament's international affairs commission, told Interfax-Ukraine on 17 October that Russia was delaying the division of the Black Sea Fleet on purpose. He particularly criticized Russia's demand for naval bases in Ukraine, saying these would threaten Ukraine's territorial integrity. On the Russian side, Admiral Igor Kasatonov, former commander of the Black Sea Fleet and now first deputy commander of the Russian Navy, was quoted by Interfax as saying he did not see any way of solving the issue in the near future as it had become the "subject of speculation by individual political figures in Ukraine." He added that, in his view, Ukraine was on the brink of economic collapse and did not need the ships. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. BLACK SEA, NATO SHIPS TO BE IN MOCK EMBARGO. The Black Sea Fleet press center told Interfax on 17 October that naval vessels from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, France, and the United States would be involved in a joint naval exercise in the Black Sea on 20-26 October. The highlight of the exercise was to be the imposition of a mock naval embargo, during which the participants would search for and intercept an embargo running ship, then capture and inspect it. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES OVER MACEDONIAN ELECTIONS. AFP on 17 October reported from Skopje that CSCE observers had "found a number of irregularities, some potentially serious" in the first round of the presidential and parliamentary elections on 16 October. They urged the Macedonian authorities to "urgently correct this situation" so that the second round, scheduled for 30 October, "could be considered adequately free and fair." Problems centered on incomplete voter lists and confusion, resulting from a change in electoral boundaries, over which polling station was the proper one for which voters. Politika on 18 October quotes a CSCE spokesman as saying that sloppiness rather than deliberate manipulation by the authorities was at the root of the problems, but AFP cited nationalist opposition leader Ljupco Georgievski as demanding that the vote be canceled because there were "too many irregularities." Local media reported that President Kiro Gligorov appeared to be trouncing Georgievski by a margin of more than 4-to-1. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. FRANCE CALLS FOR NEW YUGOSLAV-AREA SUMMIT. International news agencies said on 17 October that French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told Le Figaro that the time was ripe for a meeting of Presidents Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudjman, and Alija Izetbegovic. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic would be excluded, and the purpose would be to restart the momentum for Bosnian peace efforts. The Croatian press recently reported that a secret meeting between Tudjman and Milosevic had taken place or would take place soon, but nothing seems to have come of these reports. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. SERBS HIJACK FIVE TRUCKS OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES. The BBC reported on 17 October that Bosnian Serb forces at a Sarajevo checkpoint stopped and hijacked a convoy carrying supplies from the World Health Organization. The goods were destined for a warehouse where they were to have been divided up between government- and Serb-controlled parts of the city. Reuters, meanwhile, quoted UN spokesmen as saying that UNPROFOR has ruled out force as a means of evicting some 500 government troops from the demilitarized zone around Mt. Igman. The Serbs have given the government forces until 20 October to leave the mountain. Away from the capital, UN and Bosnian government sources said that Serb forces shelled the government-held, mainly Muslim town of Bihac in the northwest. Finally, Reuters on 14 October reported that a new hero has appeared in Sarajevo, namely a comic-book star called Bosman. Formerly a clean-cut young Sarajevan, Bosman emerges to fight "grotesque, bearded Serb cetniks [who] swig plum brandy . . . and quote lines from poems written by . . . Karadzic." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. MONTENEGRO REOPENS FERRY LINK TO ITALY. Borba reports on 18 October that the Bar-Bari line has reopened, after being closed by UN sanctions for 28 months. Montenegrins gave the ship Sveti Stefan a heady send-off on 17 October. As yet another result of the easing of sanctions on 5 October, the rump Yugoslav airline JAT is slated to reopen flights to Rome on 22 October. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. FIRST CASE OF CHOLERA REPORTED IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Borba and Politika on 18 October report that the first case of cholera has been discovered in the rump Yugoslavia. Politika says that while it is uncertain if this is an isolated case, there is no reason to believe an epidemic will follow. The 60-year-old patient has reportedly been declared "clinically healthy" by medical authorities and is thought not to pose a health risk. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH SOLDIERS GO TO HAITI. Fifty soldiers from the crack Polish anti-terrorist unit on 18 October are to join the multinational force in Haiti, formed to protect that country's fledgling democracy, Polish media report. The departure has been delayed for days owing to financial and logistical problems. The Polish participation in the Haitian operation is highly unpopular in Poland. The soldiers are to train Haitian police in maintaining public order. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. STRIKE AT SKODA PLANT. Workers at the automaker Skoda held a one-hour strike on 17 October. CTK reports that the union, representing 13,000 of Skoda's 17,000 employees, said it will take more drastic action unless its demands, including guaranteed employment levels, are met. The Skoda management announced earlier this year that it would cut the company's work force by 800 when Skoda starts producing a new model later this fall. Workers are also concerned about other changes taking place at Skoda, as the German company Volkswagen moves to expand its 31 percent stake in the company to a majority share. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. BROAD COALITION STILL POSSIBLE IN SLOVAKIA? Movement for a Democratic Slovakia member Sergej Kozlik said on 17 October that the next round of coalition talks should not take longer than 10 days, TASR reports. President Michal Kovac had given MDS Chairman Vladimir Meciar until 18 October to report on the results of the coalition discussions. Meanwhile, Lubomir Fogas of the Party of the Democratic Left said in a press conference on 17 October that his party's council will hold an extraordinary session to decide whether to join a coalition government. Stressing that Slovakia needs a cabinet with wide social support, Fogas said he believes it is still possible to create a coalition involving the MDS, the Christian Democratic Movement, and the PDL, with the tacit support of the Slovak National Party and the Association of Slovak Workers. A coalition involving both the MDS and the Democratic Union now seems impossible. Responding to the MDS's petition to the Constitutional Court questioning the Democratic Union's eligibility to run in the recent parliamentary elections, the Democratic Union on 14 October lodged a complaint with the court demanding an examination of the MDS's alleged violation of the election law. State-run Slovak Television had broadcast the party's standpoint on Meciar's inability to vote on the first day of the elections. The Democratic Union is still pushing for a continuation of the current government. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK UNEMPLOYMENT STATISTICS. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs reports that Slovakia's unemployment rate fell 0.12 percent in September, to 14.28 percent. The number of jobless was less than 10 percent in four districts and more than 20 percent in nine, with the highest rate (27.34 percent) in Rimavska Sobota, TASR reports on 17 October. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Julius Brocka, in a speech to a conference on women in Vienna on 17 October, said Slovak women account for only 42.2 percent of total employment, representing a decline of 5.1 percent since 1990. But 1994 was the first year in which the unemployment rate for women fell below that for men. Despite the high level of education among Slovak women, many are unable to acquire management positions. Women account for only 21.6 percent of the business community and only 16 percent of parliamentary deputies. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. POSTELECTION OPINION POLL IN SLOVAKIA. In a poll carried out by Slovak Radio from 3 to 10 October asking respondents to name those top politicians in whom they have trust, Association of Slovak Workers' Chairman Jan Luptak came first with 48.8 percent. Luptak was followed closely by parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic, President Michal Kovac, and Premier Jozef Moravcik. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar was in seventh place with 39.7 percent. Party of the Democratic Left Chairman Peter Weiss came eighth (32.3 percent); Slovak National Party Chairman Jan Slota was 10th (26 percent); and Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan Carnogursky finished 12th (23.1 percent). The respondents were asked to choose from among a list of 21 politicians and were allowed to express trust in an unlimited number. They were also asked to express confidence in political parties. The ASW came out on top with 47.1 percent, followed by the MDS (38.4 percent), the Democratic Union (34.5 percent), the Green Party (33.7 percent), the SNP (30.4 percent), the PDL (28.2 percent) and the CDM (26.3 percent), Slovak media reported on 14 October. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. NO HUNGARIAN MEDIA LAW BEFORE 1995. Talks on Hungary's media law between the Hungarian Socialist Party and Alliance of Free Democrats, under way since late August, ended without an agreement on 17 October, MTI reported the same day. This means that no media law will be submitted this year by the government to the parliament. AFD parliamentary faction leader Ivan Peto said his party was ready to reach an agreement, unlike the HSP. The coalition partners disagreed over whether Hungarian Radio and Television should function as a public corporation or a joint-stock company, over how to select radio and television directors, and over the future of the Danube satellite television program for Hungarians abroad. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN CONSUMER PRICE INDEX, BUDGET DEFICIT. The Central Statistical Office reports that Hungarian consumer prices rose 2.3 percent in September 1994 compared with the previous month and 18.9 percent compared with twelve months ago, according to MTI on 17 October. The biggest price increase over the past year were for foodstuffs (25.1 percent)--particularly meat, meat products, and coffee. The Finance Ministry announced the same day that Hungary's budget deficit at the end of September reached 214.3 billion forint, with revenues of 802.1 billion and expenditures of 1.016 trillion forint. A total of 56 billion forint is needed in December to reduce Hungary's domestic debt. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN AIR FORCE UPGRADING SOON TO BE COMPLETED. Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti announced on 17 October that the electronic modernization of Hungary's air force, through the installation of the so-called identification-friend-or-foe system, will be completed in December, MTI reported. Following a December 1992 agreement with the US government, the system has been built into 109 Hungarian military aircraft at a cost of 1.1 billion forint. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER IN ROMANIA. Rafik Al-Hariri arrived in Romania on 17 October for a two-day visit, Radio Bucharest announced the same day. He met with Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu and Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu. Al-Hariri said he wanted to pave the way for Romanian companies to take part in Lebanon's postwar reconstruction projects. The visit comes two weeks after the Lebanese premier unveiled details of an $11 billion plan to reconstruct Lebanon, which suffered heavy damage during the 1975-1990 civil war. On 18 October, Al-Hariri is scheduled to hold talks with President Ion Iliescu and sign accords on economic and trade cooperation. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. NPT DEBATE IN UKRAINE. Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk has said that Ukraine's joining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty depends on security guarantees from other nuclear powers, Ukrainian Television reported on 16 October. He added that he hoped the issue of guarantees would be resolved at a meeting on security and cooperation in Europe scheduled to take place in Budapest at the end of this year. Parliamentary Speaker Oleksander Moroz told ITAR-TASS on 17 October that once Ukraine was given adequate security guarantees, the ratification of NPT would proceed "automatically." He also said Ukraine would probably have ratified the treaty long ago if its ratification had not been laid down as a condition each time an economic project was discussed. Such demands, he added, are humiliating for Ukraine. Moroz also criticized the NPT as an imperfect document and said he supports convening an international conference to draw up a new general agreement better able to contain nuclear proliferation. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. CRIMEAN COMMUNISTS WANT REFERENDUM ON GOVERNMENT. Leonid Hrach, leader of the Communist Party of Crimea, has announced that his party plans to collect signatures in support of holding a referendum on confidence in Crimea's parliament, Ukrainian Radio reported on 14 October. Hrach said he did not believe a new parliament would be made up of coalition parties. He believes that a new parliament would be dominated by only one political force--the Party of Economic Revival of Crimea. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. FRANCHUK URGES MAXIMUM ECONOMIC AUTONOMY FOR CRIMEA. Crimean Prime Minister Anatolii Franchuk told journalists that Crimea can pull itself out of its economic crisis if Crimeans seriously work on their economy and stop "playing politics" between Ukraine and Russia, Ukrainian Radio reported on 16 October. He said what the peninsula needed was "maximum economic independence" rather than political autonomy. As for his relations with Crimean President Yurii Meshkov, Franchuk said he has always been "very correct" with him and will continue to be so. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. MINIMUM WAGE DOUBLED IN BELARUS. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 17 October passed a decree doubling the minimum wage of state employees to 20,000 Belarusian rubles (just over $3). He also promised additional benefits for pensioners and the unemployed, various agencies report. The decree includes servicemen and officers, whose wages are 2.5 times lower than their Ukrainian counterparts and five times lower than their Russian equivalents. Lukashenka also allocated 30 billion rubles to the agricultural sector but said the measure, due to take effect on 1 November, will not fuel inflation since other budget expenditures will be cut. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER IN LITHUANIA. Jose Ayala Lasso on 17 October concluded a two-day visit to Lithuania during which he met with Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius and other ministers as well as representatives of national minorities and non-government organizations, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports. While noting that all reports show that "human rights are respected" in Lithuania, Ayala said the country should ratify the international conventions on racial discrimination, torture, and refugees. He also discussed Lithuania's preventive detention law, capital punishment, and the lack of an appeals court. He offered his organization's assistance in preparing new legislation. Ayala will travel to Latvia and Estonia later this week. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT VISITS LATVIA. At the start of a two-day state visit to Latvia, Mario Soares met with Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis, Prime Minister Maris Gailis, and parliament chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs. Soares and Ulmanis discussed developing bilateral ties and trade. Soares also assured his Latvian counterpart that Portugal supports Latvia's drive for associate membership in the European Union and admission to the Council of Europe, BNS reported on 17 October. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT REELECTS LEADERSHIP. With its term of office due to expire soon, the Estonian parliament on 17 October voted on its leadership, Baltic media reported. Ulo Nugis was re-elected as speaker and Tunne Kelam and Edgar Savisaar as deputy speakers. Nugis, considered a potential candidate for prime minister, told the press that though it was not his ambition to become premier, he was nonetheless prepared to take over as head of the government to avert a constitutional crisis in Estonia. President Lennart Meri must name another candidate for the post of prime minister by 20 October. His first nominee was rejected by the parliament last week. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIANS IN ESTONIA APPEAL FOR REPATRIATION AID. The Union of Russian Citizens in Estonia and the Russian Community of Estonia on 15 October adopted a document calling on Russian President Boris Yeltsin to set up a migration office within the Russian embassy in Tallinn. The appeal says the office is needed to provide assistance to Russians who want to repatriate to their homeland. Representatives of the two organizations told BNS that the appeal would be also sent to Chairman of the Russian State Duma Ivan Rybkin, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, Russian Ambassador to Estonia Alexander Trofimov, and the Federal Migration Board in Moscow. Meanwhile, Toivo Klaar, head of the Estonian Foreign Ministry's political department, met with senior Russian Foreign Ministry officials in Moscow on 13 and 14 October to discuss bilateral relations. The talks, described by both sides as "fruitful," were the first higher-level contacts between the two countries after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia in August. -- 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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