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No. 199, 19 October 1994
RUSSIA CHERNOMYRDIN DENIES HAVING SUBMITTED HIS RESIGNATION. The 8:00 p.m. edition of Russian Television's newscast "Vesti" on 18 October cited the radio station Ekho Moskvy and the independent television channel NTV as saying that Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had submitted his resignation to President Boris Yeltsin. Later in the same program, the newscaster reported that Chernomyrdin's press secretary, Viktor Sergeev, had called the studio to say that the prime minister, on vacation in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, had denied the allegation in the strongest possible terms. Speculation regarding Chernomyrdin's future has surfaced following his failure to interrupt his holiday to meet Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Russia. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. JOURNALISTS SHOCKED BY ASSASSINATION OF REPORTER . . . Several organizations of Russian journalists met on 18 October to voice their outrage over the murder of Dmitrii Kholodov, a reporter for Moscow's most popular daily, Moskovsky komsomolets, who had been investigating corruption in the military (see Daily Report of 18 October). Speakers asked the journalists to set aside their political differences and unite against "the criminal structures that rule the country"; Russian newscasts the same day called on Muscovites to attend Kholodov's funeral on 20 October. The Russian Union of Journalists and organizations of Afghan war veterans have offered a large reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for planting the suitcase bomb that killed Kholodov and wounded another reporter at the offices of Moskovsky komsomolets on 17 October. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. . . . BLAME THE AUTHORITIES. The chief editor of Moskovsky komsomolets, Pavel Gusev, and other journalists have blamed Kholodov's assassination on the Federal Counterintelligence Service (former KGB) and the Russian High Command, pointing the finger at Colonel General Matvei Burlakov, former commander of the Western Group of Forces in Germany and now a deputy defense minister; Defense Minister Pavel Grachev; and even President Yeltsin. Gusev, who is also the chairman of the Moscow branch of the Journalists' Union, told RFE/RL that Yeltsin had invited a number of editors to a meeting to discuss Kholodov's assassination later in the week, but he had not been asked to attend. Burlakov, meanwhile, refuted Gusev's charges, denying once again that the Russian forces in Germany were guilty of corruption and arms trafficking. According to Interfax on 18 October, he said that the conduct of the forces in Germany had been checked by three presidential, 20 parliamentary, and 18 other commission during the last three years. He offered condolences to Kholodov's family, saying: "We are mourning the man who died doing his combat duty." -- Julia Wishnevsky and Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. OTHER EXPLANATIONS OF JOURNALIST'S MURDER. Various commentators have speculated that Kholodov's murder was linked to his coverage of the recent crisis in Chechnya (he was Moskovsky komsomolets's special correspondent in Grozny) rather than to his investigation into corruption in the military. Kholodov is also said to have came across information about a secret camp the military allegedly uses to train criminals for service in regional "hot spots," according to Segodnya of 18 October. Gusev told an RFE/RL correspondent that his newspaper knew the name of a secret camp near Ryazan and was going to publish a report about it. Meanwhile, Federal Counterintelligence Service experts said the explosive device left in Kholodov's suitcase showed that his murder was the work of professionals. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. YELTSIN NOMINATES ILYUSHENKO AS PROSECUTOR-GENERAL. According to Interfax of 18 October, Yeltsin has submitted a proposal to the Federation Council nominating Aleksei Ilyushenko for the post of Russian prosecutor-general. Earlier this year, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament refused to approve Ilyushenko's nomination, and he has been serving as acting prosecutor-general since then. In his capacity as head of the presidential control commission, Ilyushenko cleared the commanders of the Western Group of Forces in Germany of charges of corruption and illegal arms sales, thereby overturning the findings of Ilyushenko's two predecessors, Valerii Makharadze and Yurii Boldyrev, and of German intelligence. Ilyushenko was also involved in the controversial corruption charges leveled against former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi at the start of the latter's confrontation with Yeltsin in the summer of 1993. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. NEW CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN APPOINTED. On 18 October ITAR-TASS announced the appointment of Tatyana Paramonova as acting chairman of the Russian Central Bank. Formerly deputy chairman of the bank, Paramonova was identified by Russian television commentators that day as a protege of her controversial predecessor, Viktor Gerashchenko. Yeltsin also issued a decree setting up a National Banking Council to be chaired by the chairman of the Central Bank ex officio, according to Russian television newscasts. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. SECURITY COUNCIL DENIES INVOLVEMENT OF COMMERCIAL BANKS IN RUBLE CRISIS. The Russian Security Council under the chairmanship of Yeltsin met on 18 October to hear a report from the commission set up to investigate the causes of the collapse of the ruble on 11 October, Ostankino Television reported. According to the commission's chairman, Security Council Secretary Oleg Lobov, and his deputy, Federal Counterintelligence Service Director Sergei Stepashin, the sharp drop in the value of the ruble value was caused by general downward trends in the Russian economy, not by a "plot" or "negligence." Among the factors cited were the continuing sharp declines in industrial output this year, the artificially high rate of exchange of the ruble vis-a-vis the dollar, and the lack of coordination between the Central Bank and other financial authorities. The Security Council, however, did not find that Russian commercial banks were responsible for destabilizing the ruble, as representatives of the government and the presidential administration had maintained. -- Victor Yasmann and Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. DUDAEV ISSUES ULTIMATUM. Speaking on local television on 18 October, Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev assured the opposition that their safety would be guaranteed provided that they lay down their arms and surrender within three days, ITAR-TASS reported. Chechen Interior Minister Ayub Satuev had earlier told Interfax that government forces controlled the whole of Chechnya with the exception of the headquarters of opposition leaders Beslan Gantemirov and Umar Avturkhanov in Gekhi and Znamenskoe. Chechen Vice President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev argued that there was no point in the Chechen leadership attempting to negotiate with any of the opposition leaders given that they were "chained dogs whose master in is Moscow." Chechnya was ready, he said, to negotiate with Moscow "as an equal partner." An opposition spokesman denied government charges of demoralization among the opposition following their retreat from Grozny on 16 October and reaffirmed the opposition's commitment to topple Dudaev, Interfax reported. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. DUMA COMMITTEE WORRIED ABOUT CHEMICAL WEAPONS. The chairman of the State Duma's defense committee, Sergei Yushenkov, told Interfax on 18 October that his committee planned to ask President Yeltsin to speed up the submission of draft laws on chemical disarmament. He said the committee's recent closed hearings on the preparations for destroying Russia's 40,000 metric tons of chemical weapons agents showed that the preliminary measures taken so far were "slack and inefficient." Yushenkov said that no destruction technology had been fully developed and that there was no central management or control of the program. He warned that by 2003-2007, when the destruction is scheduled to start, many of the weapons would be in an extremely dangerous condition. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. GERMAN COMPANY TO AID IN PLUTONIUM DISPOSAL. Interfax reported on 18 October that the German conglomerate Siemens hoped to develop jointly with Mayak of Chelyabinsk-65 a pilot plant to process plutonium removed from Russian nuclear weapons. Mayak is Russia's largest producer of weapons-grade plutonium. The pilot plant would produced what is called MOX mixed oxide) fuel, a mixture of weapons-grade plutonium and natural or depleted uranium that can be used in some nuclear power reactors. The report said that Siemens intended to continue talks with Mayak after a detailed analysis of unspecified proposal made by Chelyabinsk-65 nuclear engineers. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. ZOTOV NAMED SPECIAL ENVOY TO FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. On 18 October ITAR-TASS reported that career diplomat Aleksandr Zotov had been named special envoy to the former Yugoslavia, replacing Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin. According to Foreign Ministry sources, Zotov will take up his post in the near future. Churkin is to become Russian ambassador to Belgium, an office that will require him to represent Russia's interests in NATO and other international organizations. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA CRACKDOWN CONTINUES IN AZERBAIJAN. Following the firing on 17 October of four more government ministers in connection with last month's failed coup, Azerbaijan's President Heidar Aliev stated in a TV address on the eve of the third anniversary of the adoption of the Constitutional Act on Azerbaijan's independence that his leadership would continue to implement "the most resolute measures" against "reactionary forces," Interfax reported. Aliev further accused former Prime Minister Suret Huseinov, whose whereabouts remain a mystery, of "turning the cabinet into a hotbed of crime." -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. TURKIC SUMMIT IN ISTANBUL. Heads of state of the Turkic-speaking countries--Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan--opened a two-day summit in Istanbul on 18 October, Western news agencies reported; some Turkish sources were of the opinion that the gathering would reaffirm cultural and economic ties but would be short on substance. A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman told Reuters that Turkey saw the summit as a demonstration of Turkey's special relationship with the new Turkic states. Uzbek President Islam Karimov told journalists before his departure for the summit that he hoped the gathering would further the economic and cultural integration of the Turkic-speaking world, but noted that many of the documents signed at the previous Turkic summit in 1992 had remained on paper. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. UZBEK OPPOSITIONISTS TO BE TRIED FOR TREASON. On 18 October the RFE/RL Uzbek Service learned from sources in the opposition Erk Democratic Party in Tashkent that six party activists are to be put on trial for treason on 25 October. Erk spokeswoman Dilarom Ishakova reported that she and five other Erk officials had been ordered to appear in court to answer charges of antigovernment activity similar to those applied to several Erk activists in 1992. Erk has been severely harassed by the Uzbek government since mid-1992 and has been banned since late 1993 when the government refused to allow the party to reregister. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SERBS HIT GORAZDE AID CONVOY. International media reported on 18 October that Bosnian Serb gunners fired at a UN relief convoy heading for Gorazde in eastern Bosnia, killing a driver and wounding one person. Gorazde is a mainly Muslim enclave and also a UN-declared "safe area." The Daily Telegraph on 19 October says that British troops asked for an air strike in response to the attack but that UN headquarters turned down the request on the grounds that "there was no clearly identifiable target. Instead, a strong protest was lodged with the Bosnian Serb leaders in Pale." On 17 October, Serb gunners hit Bihac, another "safe area." The VOA reported the next day that casualties were involved. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. HIJACKED RELIEF TRUCKS REMAIN CAPTIVE. Serbs said on 18 October that their hijacking of a UN medical convoy near Sarajevo the previous day had been a "mistake." But they have yet to release the convoy and return the supplies, as they said they would. From Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia, yet another "safe area," the Society for Threatened Peoples said on 18 October that medical supplies have run out but that UNPROFOR troops there "cannot or will not" do anything to help. Finally, Tanjug reported from Jajce that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic predicts that the "contact group's" plan for Bosnia will be changed in the Serbs' favor. He said compromises depend on all sides, "most of all on the United States and the other big powers which needed this war." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. "GIVE FORCE A CHANCE." The VOA reported on 19 October on the current debate in the United States on policy toward Bosnia. One school has coined the slogan "give force a chance," on the grounds that years of diplomacy have not brought the aggressor around to a peace settlement. One expert said that a new strategy could involve extending the no-fly zone to ground warfare, making any Serb tank actually used in combat liable for destruction by NATO forces. He added that tanks would be easy to find and destroy and that this would help bring the Serbs to the conference table. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. IS PRISON RADICALIZING SERBIA'S RADICALS? Borba on 19 October reports on comments made by Tomislav Nikolic, one of ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj's lieutenants. Nikolic says the fact that Seselj is currently serving a 30-day prison term for assaulting federal parliament speaker Radoman Bozovic may be radicalizing the party's rank and file. Nikolic, who views Seselj's prison sentence as politically motivated, warns that if the authorities prolong his sentence beyond 29 October, "there will be nothing to keep us [Radicals] from taking to the streets to express our dissatisfaction." Meanwhile, Politika probes the behavior of Radical deputies during legislative debates over the past several months. It notes that since May Radical deputies have thrown a glass of water at Bozovic and spat on him. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. INCREASED TENSIONS AMONG TOP KOSOVO ALBANIANS. Fehmi Agani, deputy leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), has resigned, Rilindja reported on 17 October. Agani expressed discontent with the composition of the party's Central Committee following the LDK congress on 14 July. After the congress, several young people were appointed to the committee in what appeared to be an attempt to make the LDK a "nonideological party." Agani recently offered and then withdrew his resignation in protest over what he regarded as diluting the leadership with inexperienced young people. In another development, a recent meeting of the LDK's Central Committee approved the "federalization" of the party's structure. Decisions from now on are to made by consensus, Zeri reported on 5 October. -- Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc. PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT IN POLAND. Mario Soares said in Warsaw on 18 October that his country supports Poland's plans to join NATO and the European Union. Rzeczpospolita on 19 October quotes Soares as emphasizing that "Poland's presence in NATO will constitute a step toward peace and security in Europe." Gazeta Wyborcza said the same day that Poland's contacts with Portugal will help the former to reach its goal of joining Western organizations. The Portuguese government has consistently argued that the issue of Polish, Czech, Hungarian, and Slovak membership in the EU should be approached cautiously, perhaps out of concern that the Central European countries' admission would make it more difficult to sell Portuguese products within the EU. Portugal is also concerned that the Central Europeans will demand economic aid from the union. Portugal has until now been one of the main recipients of EU aid. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. HAVEL ON JEWISH VICTIMS OF NAZISM. Speaking at the unveiling of a memorial in the city of Ostrava on the 55th anniversary of the first transport of Czech Jews to a Nazi concentration camp, Czech President Vaclav Havel on 18 October warned that every concession to racist bullies threatens to start a new cycle of horror. Reuters and Czech media quote Havel as saying that by not confronting evil from the outset, "what we risk is that either we are unable to confront it later or that we can confront it only with new human victims." Havel added: "Somewhere, deep in the last casual anti-semitic remark or involuntary racist statement, is raised the spectre of a gas chamber or pogrom. . . . In every concession to a bully is raised the danger that a new wheel of horrors will begin to turn." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK COALITION TALKS CONTINUE. Following the second round of coalition discussions between the Christian Democratic Movement and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, the CDM on 18 October said the two parties did not reach agreement on the basic questions it considers necessary for forming a coalition. It added that the talks were over and that it had decided to join the opposition. The MDS, however, said it did not rule out the possibility of resuming talks, TASR reports. Meanwhile, negotiations between the MDS and the Slovak National Party also took place on 18 October. SNP Chairman Jan Slota said the search for another coalition partner continues and he called the current meetings with the Association of Slovak Workers "quite successful." Ignoring the request from Slovak President Michal Kovac to report on the results of the coalition discussions by 18 October, Dusan Kleiman, head of the MDS Press and Information Department, said the MDS will brief the president only after talks are completed. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET. Hungary's parliament on 18 October approved by a vote of 203 to 23 with one abstention the 1994 supplementary budget, MTI reported. The central budget deficit is to be raised from some 329.5 billion forint to 339.9 billion. Central budget expenditures will rise to 1.6 trillion forint, an increase of some 188 billion. Revenues will amount to 1.3 trillion forint. Finance Minister Laszlo Bekesi says the aim of the supplementary budget is to create the conditions for policy measures aimed at stabilizing the Hungarian economy and introducing structural changes. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. SPANISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN HUNGARY. Javier Solana visited Hungary on 16 and 17 October to attend ceremonies honoring the late Spanish diplomat Angel Sanz Briz, who saved thousands of Jews in Hungary in 1944. Solana held talks with President Arpad Goncz, Parliament Speaker Zoltan Gal, and his Hungarian counterpart, Laszlo Kovacs. MTI quotes Solana as telling his hosts they could always count on Spain's "understanding and support" for Hungary's efforts to integrate with Europe. He also proposed the creation of a joint committee to study Spain's experience in such efforts. Kovacs, for his part, urged increased bilateral trade but said he hoped Hungary's trade deficit with Spain could be reduced. Trade between the two countries amounts to $300 million a year. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN COALITION PARTNERS CHOOSE JOINT CANDIDATES. The ruling Hungarian Socialist Party and Alliance of Free Democrats have reached an electoral cooperation agreement for the December local elections in the city of Szeged, southern Hungary, MTI reported on 18 October. Istvan Szalay, a college teacher, is their joint candidate for mayor. In addition, four HSP and three AFD joint candidates will run in Szeged's seven electoral districts. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN FOREIGN TRADE. The Central Statistical Office reports that Hungary's foreign trade registered a deficit of 270 billion forint ($2.6 billion) during the first eight months of 1994, according to MTI on 18 October. Imports at current prices amounted to 926 billion forint, up 35% on the first eight months of 1993. Exports totaled 655.5 billion forint, a 30% increase over the same period of last year. While imports from the EU and Eastern European countries increased, those from EFTA and developing countries were down. Exports to the EU countries grew most rapidly, while those to Eastern European and developing countries increased slightly. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES NEW PENAL CODE. Disagreement between Romania's Left and Right has prevented the adoption of an article in the new penal code that would have prohibited fascist and communist propaganda. The left-wing parties argued that the proposed article would introduce extremism through the back door by banning communist propaganda. After what Radio Bucharest described on 18 October as "a verbal dispute [that came] close to turning into a fistfight," the two sides agreed to another version of the article that prohibits "propaganda promoting the setting up of a totalitarian state." Those who disseminate such propaganda are liable to receive prison sentences of between six months and five years. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIA REVISES PROPOSED BANK REGULATION. The Romanian National Bank has revised a proposed regulation on controlling hard-currency accounts, Romanian Television reported on 18 October. The bank announced that the new regulation will apply only to companies and individuals authorized to act for companies. It did not say when the new rule will go into effect. The original draft, proposed last month, said all holders of hard currency accounts must reveal the source of the funds and state the purpose for each withdrawal. Several commercial banks protested this would undermine the confidence of their customers. The National Bank said it needed to tighten control over hard-currency accounts to combat the black market and restore confidence in the Romanian leu. Many Romanians change their savings into Western currencies. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. CARITAS BOSS TO REMAIN IN ROMANIAN PRISON. A Romanian court rejected a request by the owner of the Caritas money-making pyramid scheme to be released on bail, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 18 October. Ion Stoica will remain in prison until his trial begins. He asked to be released so that he could straighten out the company's financial situation and compensate investors who lost money. More than 40,000 depositors are suing Stoica. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT LIFTS BAN ON CP. The Ukrainian parliament voted 201 to 105 to lift the ban on the Communist Party of Ukraine on 18 October, international agencies reported. The move to relegalize the party was initiated by Ukraine's new Communist Party, registered in 1993. Its leader, Petro Symonenko, said the party is not raising the issue of having its former property restored at the moment. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. ANOTHER CHERNOBYL REACTOR TEMPORARILY CLOSED. Reuters and Interfax on 18 October reported that Ukraine shut down Chernobyl's third reactor after a crack was detected in one of its pipes. Officials said no radiation escaped. Chernobyl's first reactor was shut down on 8 October for routine maintenance, so no reactors are currently working at the power station. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. NEW CABINET APPOINTMENTS IN BELARUS. Belarusian Radio on 17 October reported that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka had appointed new cabinet ministers. Former Minister of Property. Heorhiy Badzey was named minister of property and privatization. Uladzimir Hancharenka was appointed minister of communications and information. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. BELARUSIAN NATIONAL BANK ON FALL OF BELARUSIAN RUBLE. Mikalai Luzhin, head of the hard-currency department of the Belarusian National Bank, has said that the fall in the value of the Belarusian ruble against other currencies is not due to any moves by Moscow, Belarusian Radio reported on 17 October. Luzhin said the fall was caused by the Belarusian National Bank's buying up large sums of hard currencies on the country's currency exchange. All hard currency in Belarus passes through the Minsk exchange, and the national bank acquires as much as possible to pay for essential imports. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. BELARUSIAN-MOLDOVAN TRADE AGREEMENT RATIFIED. A free trade agreement between Belarus and Moldova was ratified by the Belarusian parliament on 17 October, Belarusian Television reported the same day. The agreement lifts trade barriers and tariffs and resolves the issue of transporting goods through Moldova or Belarus to third countries. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. ESTONIA RECEIVES $10 MILLION LOAN FROM WORLD BANK. The World Bank on 18 October increased its loans to Estonia to $90.4 million when it approved a $10 million loan to help the republic's economic reform program, Western agencies report. The program, also financed by the Estonian government and Sweden, will provide long-term credits to financial enterprises being restructured and help commercial banks reduce their credit risks by increasing training in credit evaluation and risk asset management. It will also help stabilize the financial sector by restructuring and then privatizing the North Estonian Bank, the only remaining state-owned bank in the country. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. LITHUANIAN-POLISH RELATIONS. Seimas Chairman Ceslovas Jursenas on 18 October signed the resolution ratifying the Lithuanian-Polish friendship and cooperation agreement, approved by both parliaments on 14 October, Radio Lithuania reports. He said Presidents Algirdas Brazauskas and Lech Walesa agreed in a telephone conversation on 17 October that it was a priority task to sign a free trade agreement between the two countries as soon as possible. The presidents reaffirmed their intention to step up efforts to develop cooperation among all Central European countries seeking membership in the European Union and closer integration between Baltic and Visegrad countries. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. LITHUANIAN LAWMAKERS VISIT RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT. Seven Seimas deputies on the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee ended a three-day visit to Moscow on 18 October, Radio Lithuania reports. They met with Russian State Duma chairman Ivan Rybkin, members of several factions, and a deputy foreign minister. Many Russian deputies agreed it was essential to normalize economic relations by ratifying the most-favored-nation trade agreement, signed in November. The lawmakers also discussed the situation of Kaliningrad and military transit to it, the status of minorities in the two countries, the return of Lithuanian embassy buildings in Rome and Paris, as well as the question of Baltic security. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. ESTONIA, LATVIA STILL SEEK EXACT INFORMATION ON RUSSIAN SERVICEMEN. Ugis Sulcs of Latvia's Citizenship and Immigration Department told BNS on 18 October that none of Moscow's lists of Russian servicemen in Latvia is precise or complete. He said the Latvian authorities have discovered, among other things, that at least 1,342 Russian servicemen must leave Latvia, while the list provided by Moscow contains only 1,115 names. Meanwhile, the caretaker Estonian government on 18 October ordered the Citizenship and Migration Department to take steps to limit the illegal residence of retired Russian military personnel and their family members in Estonia. Acting Prime Minister Mart Laar said "some of these people have already been detained and sent out of the country," BNS reported. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. SWEDEN TO HELP RETIRED RUSSIAN MILITARY LEAVE ESTONIA. Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen, on an official visit to Estonia, met with President Lennart Meri and acting Prime Minister Mart Laar, BNS reported on 18 October. She said the new Swedish government wants to further improve bilateral relations and confirmed her country's intention to provide financial aid to retired Russian military personnel wishing to leave Estonia. Hjelm-Wallen also said Sweden would help finance measures to clean up pollution in the vicinity of the former Russian naval base at Paldiski. -- 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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