Наш жизненный путь усеян обломками того, чем мы начинали быть и чем мы могли бы сделаться. - А. Бергсон
RFE/RL Daily Report

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
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