|Be slow of tongue and quick of eye. - Cervantes|
No. 202, 24 October 1994
RUSSIA FEDERATION COUNCIL EXPECTED TO APPROVE NEW CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES . . . According to Segodnya of 20 October and Rossiiskie vesti of 21 October, the Federation Council is expected to approve President Boris Yeltsin's nominees for the Constitutional Court on 24 October. The nominees are Mikhail Mityukov (deputy chairman of the State Duma, representing Egor Gaidar's Russia's Choice faction), Vladimir Tumanov (a Duma deputy from the progovernment Party of Russian Unity and Concord), Valerii Savitsky (identified by Rossiiskie vesti as the only Russian jurist who approved Yeltsin's decree on combating organized crime, branded "unconstitutional" by other Russian lawyers and human rights activists), Olga Khokhryakova (a specialist on labor and social security law from Yeltsin's native city of Ekaterinburg), Mikhail Krasnov (an adviser to Yeltsin's aide Yurii Baturin), and St. Petersburg judge Vladimir Yaroslavtsev. Should the candidates be approved, the Constitutional Court, which was suspended following Yeltsin's showdown with the parliament in October 1993, will be able to resume its work. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. . . . AND TO CONFIRM ILYUSHENKO AS PROSECUTOR-GENERAL. The upper chamber of the Russian parliament is also expected to approve the appointment of Aleksei Ilyushenko, Yeltsin's candidate for the post of prosecutor-general. Yeltsin first asked the Federation Council to confirm Ilyushenko's appointment earlier in the year, but to no avail. For the past few months Ilyushenko has served as acting prosecutor-general, although this goes against the constitution. On 23 October Russian TV said the Federation Council's committee on constitutional matters had recommended that Ilyushenko's appointment be confirmed. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS CHARGED WITH INSULTING DEFENSE MINISTER . . . According to Russian media, on 21 October the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office brought charges of libel and defamation (oskorblenie) against the daily Moskovsky komsomolets following an appeal by Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. Staff of the newspaper have accused Grachev and his deputy, Matvei Burlakov, of involvement in the assassination of Dmitrii Kholodov, who had exposed corruption in the military. The immediate reason for Grachev's request was the publication in the daily on 20 October of documents pertaining to a criminal case brought against the general by the military prosecutor a few years ago. Grachev had been accused of appropriating for his own use two large Mercedes bought with money allocated by the German government for housing army officers leaving Germany; the case was closed when Grachev said Yeltsin had given his consent to the arrangement. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. . . . AFTER DUMA REQUESTS INVESTIGATION. The 21 October session of the State Duma opened with a statement by Nikolai Stolyarov calling on Grachev to report to the legislature on the moral state of the Russian military or resign. (Stolyarov is a prominent moderate reformer, who served as a deputy USSR defense minister and later as deputy to the liberal KGB reformer Vadim Bakatin.) Stolyarov also said that the article published in Moskovsky komsomolets on 20 October was an insult to all who had ever served in the Russian army. On 23 October Russian TV said the defense minister had agreed to give a report to the Duma later this month. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. GRU FILES SUIT AGAINST MOSKOVSKY KOMSO-MOLETS. Fedor Lodygin, the chief of military intelligence (GRU), said that neither he nor his agency had any connection with the murder of Kholodov, Russian television reported on 21 October. According to Lodygin, reports in Moskovsky komsomolets that the 16th "spetsnaz" brigade of the GRU was training "paid killers from the criminal underworld" at its base in Chuchkovo were groundless. The GRU, Lodygin said, is a foreign intelligence service and does not operate in Russia or any other CIS country except Tajikistan. He added that the armed forces respected the work of Kholodov. (In fact, shortly before his death Kholodov had been awarded a medal by the Border Troops.) Lodygin went on to say, however, that the accusations made by the chief editor of Moskovsky komsomolets, Pavel Gusev, were an "insult to the GRU" and that he would bring charges against him. Meanwhile on 22 October Moskovsky komsomolets "exposed" documents about a commercial company founded by Grachev and other senior officers. In fact, this information had already appeared in the ultranationalist newspaper Den in 1992. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. SUSPECTS IN CASE OF MURDERED DUMA DEPUTY DETAINED. Novaya ezhednevnaya gazeta reported on 21 October that Moscow police had arrested six people in connection with the murder of State Duma deputy Andrei Aizderdsis, shot outside his house last April; two other suspects escaped abroad. The murder of Aizderdsis caused an uproar at the time, and the Duma demanded the resignation of MVD Minister Viktor Erin. Yeltsin defended Erin, but promised a full investigation of the case. According to the investigators' report, Aizderdsis, a banker, was killed by his own bank's security personnel, when he dismissed them. It failed to mention that Aizderdsis had ceased his business activities when he was elected to the Duma. He also owned a publication entitled Who Is Who that frequently exposed corruption and illegal banking practices. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA KYRGYZ VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR BICAMERAL PARLIAMENT. On 22 October Kyrgyzstan held a referendum on the creation of a new bicameral parliament to replace the existing Supreme Soviet and on legitimizing constitutional amendments by means of a referendum, Interfax and Western agencies reported. According to preliminary results, voter participation was over 86%, of whom 72.9% voted in favor of a new two-chamber parliament, thus paving the way for new parliamentary elections, scheduled for 24 December. The Legislative Assembly will have 35 deputies elected from regional constituencies; it will sit permanently and draft legislation, according to Reuters. The House of Representatives will have 70 members, each oblast providing a certain number; it will convene twice yearly. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. AZERBAIJAN'S EX-PREMIER RESURFACES. Former Prime Minister Suret Huseinov, dismissed on 6 October for his alleged complicity in the failed coup against President Heidar Aliev, issued a statement on 21 October addressed to the UN and to foreign embassies in Baku affirming his innocence and accusing Aliev of mass persecution of his opponents and of appropriating for his family's use 5% of the income from the oil deal recently signed with a Western consortium, AFP reported. Also on 21 October the Turan News Agency claimed that the Russian intelligence service had that evening spirited Huseinov and former Defense Minister Rahim Gaziev (who escaped from a maximum security prison in Baku in late September) out of the Gebele radar base in northern Azerbaijan where they had been hiding to the Russian Federation. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. CIS CIS SUMMIT: ECONOMIC DECISIONS. Meeting in Moscow on 21 October, the heads of the twelve member states of the CIS signed a diluted version of the Russian-initiated agreement to establish the Interstate Economic Committee (IEC) as the executive body of the CIS Economic Union. With a Collegium and permanent staff in Moscow, the IEC is meant to be the first supranational body of the CIS and exercise coordinating and managerial powers delegated by the signatory states. Yeltsin, however, acknowledged at the concluding news conference that "the question of delegating the powers has yet to be resolved" (Interfax, 21 October), some of the states being unwilling to renounce sovereign prerogatives or yield control over some vital economic infrastructures on their territories, as Russia had proposed. Proposals to empower the IEC to impose sanctions for alleged breach of contract failed to pass owing to opposition from most states. Voting in the IEC is to reflect each country's share in funding IEC operations, with Russia accounting for 50% of both funding and votes. But major decisions on trade and finance will require a majority of 75%, while decisions on economic matters deemed "strategic," including customs or monetary unions or a common market, will require "consensus" (implying a right of veto or nonparticipation by individual states). Ukraine, Moldova, and several others appended reservations to the agreement stating that the IEC could not override national legislation. Yeltsin's offer to task Russia's Ministry for CIS Economic Relations with performing the functions of the IEC's multilateral staff, pending the latter's formation, apparently did not pass. The pro-integration Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko sharply criticized Yeltsin's proposals to appoint former Belarusian Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kebich IEC chairman and to locate the IEC headquarters in Moscow instead of Minsk, the statutory location of CIS institutions. Lukashenko managed to block the first but not the second proposal. Another major agreement at the summit, one establishing a payments union of CIS states facilitating mutual convertibility of currencies, was adopted by nine of the prime ministers, the exceptions being those of Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Ukraine said it would adhere to the payments union after its national currency was introduce (which is not expected soon); but Ukraine, Moldova, and several other states have signaled their intent to retain full national control over monetary policy. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. POLITICAL DECISIONS. The meeting approved a draft convention, initially proposed by Russia but amended since, on protecting the rights of national minorities. Initial reports suggest that the document focuses on individual, rather than collective rights and that it bows to "generally accepted international standards"--phrasing that should safeguard against unilateral Russian interpretations in the future. The signatories commit themselves to observing linguistic, cultural, and religious rights and supporting educational institutions and media of minorities. The heads of state also approved unanimously a joint program to celebrate in May 1995 the 50th anniversary of the victory over Nazism and honor the war dead and veterans. Describing the program as "a unifying factor for the CIS," Yeltsin evoked "the sacred things that united us in the past" and that subsumed the member states of the CIS to one "Fatherland" and one "people"; but other leaderships were guided by different priorities (mainly domestic political consolidation along ethnic and generational lines) in agreeing to the program. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. MILITARY DECISIONS. The summit's military agenda was less ambitious than previously announced. By decision of certain heads of state (not specifically or completely listed in initial reports) the mandate of the "peacekeeping" forces in Tajikistan was prolonged to June 1995. According to the same incomplete reports, the prime ministers of most states initialed a memorandum on CIS development and a long-term plan for CIS integration envisaging in the military sphere the formation of a CIS collective security system and a common military-strategic space, joint defense of borders and joint "peacekeeping" operations, the formation of a CIS force for rapid deployment under international mandate, cooperation in the production of military hardware, and the standardization of weapons. Reportedly, Ukraine agreed to participate only within the framework of its own legislation; Moldova ruled out participation in any political or military undertakings; and Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan did not initial the documents. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Foreign Minister Gennadii Udovenko announced that their country would send cease-fire monitors to the Georgian-Abkhaz theater and would consider a possible role in keeping with "Ukrainian interests in several zones of such conflicts." Kiev's decision (which is subject to parliamentary approval) revises its previous abstention from such a role and may be welcomed by several parties eager to limit Russia's virtual monopoly in "peacekeeping" operations in CIS states. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE STANDOFF ON MT. IGMAN. International media report on 24 October that an impasse continues between UN negotiators and the Bosnian military. The UN insists that some 500 Bosnian government troops evacuate the demilitarized zone affecting Mt. Igman, near Sarajevo. The Bosnian military refuses to do so until the UN guarantees the safety from Serb artillery attack of a main supply road to Sarajevo in the area. The UN previously evicted some government forces from the zone and destroyed their earthworks. The Serbs, who earlier gave the government troops until 20 October to leave the area, are now apparently awaiting the outcome of the UN's latest efforts. Meanwhile, RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service reported on 23 October that UN negotiators have had better luck with the Serbs than with the Muslims and that the Serbs have agreed to unblock routes for supply convoys, including fuel trucks. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. HAS KARADZIC THWARTED A COUP IN THE MAKING? The Guardian on 22 October and Serbian dailies the previous day suggested that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has prevented a coup by Bosnian Serb military and police officials loyal to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Karadzic supporters in the Bosnian Serb Interior Ministry reported the recent arrest of "an illegal group which committed several crimes with the goal of crippling the functioning of state institutions." Ever since the tactical differences in pursuing greater Serbian goals emerged between Milosevic and Karadzic this summer, there has been speculation that Belgrade might use elements in the Bosnian Serb military to overthrow Karadzic. Attention has centered on Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic and on the leadership in Banja Luka, but the latest purge has apparently affected a variety of military and police officials, including the security and intelligence service known as Typhoon. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF SERBIA WARNS OF ECONOMIC PERILS. Borba on 24 October reports that the opposition Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) has issued a statement warning that the rump Yugoslav economy may be headed for a renewed bout of inflation. The DSS maintains that there is a real danger of "a new price explosion, with catastrophic consequences for the economy and citizenry." Bank Governor Dragoslav Avramovic on 20 October admitted that rapid economic growth and demands for credits were fueling inflationary trends. But he remains committed to pursuing inflation-fighting policies. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. WALESA AND PAWLAK IN US. President Lech Walesa and Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak on 22 October attended a meeting in Buffalo of the Polish-American Congress commemorating the organization's 50th anniversary, but they neither met nor talked to each other. Polish media report that Pawlak may have wanted to use his US visit to secure the reputation of a well-connected politician capable of winning US economic and political support for Poland. They also report that Walesa intended to prevent that from happening. The president was quoted by Rzeczpospolita on 24 October as saying he--"a fighter against communism"--came to Buffalo to thank the congress for its support in the struggle against the communism and that Pawlak--"although not a communist himself"--was not the best person to do so. Gazeta Wyborcza on 24 October reports that Walesa may have gained the upper hand, at least in terms of making an immediate impact on the congress's participants. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. BREAKTHROUGH IN POLISH-RUSSIAN TRADE TALKS. Leslaw Podkanski, Polish minister in charge of foreign trade relations, said at a press conference on 21 October that Poland and Russia are likely to agree to waive their respective debts during Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin's forthcoming visit to Warsaw. Poland owes Russia 4.4 billion transfer rubles and $2 billion dollars, while Russia is due to repay Poland about 7 billion transfer rubles and $366 million. The debts date from before 1991 and have hampered trade between the two countries. Their elimination could open the way for a major expansion of bilateral trade relations. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. CZECHS WORRIED ABOUT CRIME. An opinion poll released by the Institute for Public Opinion Research on 20 October shows that 98% of the 1,017 respondents thought crime is the most pressing problem in the country, CTK reports. Ninety-five percent considered corruption and organized crime serious problems, while 92% saw the environment as a major issue. Only 47% regarded relations with Slovakia as an important issue and only 38% considered coexistence with Gypsies as problematic. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. FORMATION OF NEW SLOVAK GOVERNMENT DELAYED. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar on 22 October said a new cabinet will not be formed before the first session of parliament, scheduled for 3 November. He added that he favors its formation only after the current government submits its 1995 budget bill, Reuters reports. Referring to the decision of the Christian Democratic Movement to end the coalition discussions and join the opposition, Meciar said he considers it the party's right. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. DIFFERENCES EMERGE WITHIN PDL. Party of the Democratic Left Deputy Chairman Pavol Kanis, during coalition discussions between the MDS and Common Choice on 21 October, said it was a historic mistake that his party's deputies voted to dismiss Meciar's government in March. In an interview the following day, PDL Chairman Peter Weiss said the MDS suggested that a committee be established to investigate the activities of President Michal Kovac. Weiss said the MDS "cannot assume that the PDL will monitor the activities of such a committee and participate in the cabinet at the same time." Meanwhile, PDL member Brigita Schmoegnerova has said in an interview that she will give up her parliamentary seat if the PDL forms a coalition with the MDS, Sme reported on 21 October. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAKIA'S FIRST REFERENDUM INVALID. Slovakia's first referendum, which took place on 22 October, was declared invalid owing to a low turnout. A total of 93.64% of participants replied "yes" and 3.97% "no" to the referendum question "Do you agree that a law should be passed on proving the sources of money used in privatization?" But according to official figures, only 773,624 out of 3,874,407 eligible voters, or 19.96% participated. The constitution states that a referendum is valid only if at least half of all eligible voters participate and if it is approved by at least half of all those who vote. The Democratic Union, Christian Democratic Movement and Hungarian coalition all questioned the need for such a referendum, arguing that a law was passed in August dealing with privatization projects. The parties that demanded the referendum failed to run a media campaign. Association of Slovak Workers Chairman Jan Luptak, who initiated the referendum, did not vote because he was attending a conference outside Slovakia. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. EUROPEAN LOANS TO HUNGARY. Hungarian Finance Minister Laszlo Bekesi and Wolfgang Roth, vice president of the European Investment Bank, have signed a three-year agreement in Budapest, MTI reports. The new loan package to Hungary will total some 500 million ecu ($392 million), mostly for the further development of telecommunications, the energy sector, railroads, and the Budapest subway. The EIB has already provided Hungary with 400 million ecu over the last three years. Roth, after talks with Prime Minister Gyula Horn, said a 2-billion ecu loan to Hungary was also discussed. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. BUDAPEST PROTESTS CRIME WAVE AGAINST ITS IRANIAN DIPLOMATIC COMPOUND. Hungary has protested to the Iranian ambassador in Budapest the third attack at its Teheran compound, MTI reported on 21 October. In the latest incident, unknown perpetrators on 19 October robbed, ransacked, and set fire to the Hungarian consul's apartment. The attacks have seriously disrupted the day-to-day operations of the embassy, the Foreign Ministry said. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. LILIC IN BUCHAREST. Zoran Lilic, the president of rump Yugoslavia, arrived in Bucharest on 21 October for talks with his Romanian counterpart, Ion Iliescu. At a joint press conference the next day, Iliescu said Belgrade had taken "bold steps" and Serb leaders "a great political risk" by severing ties with the Bosnian Serbs, Radio Bucharest reported. He added that "if the international community does not show open support now by lifting the embargo against Belgrade, this may encourage extremist elements." Lilic said the only way to establish peace quickly in Bosnia is "to lift sanctions and allow the return of the Yugoslav Federation to the international fold." He also noted that the two countries will implement bilateral trade and cooperation agreements as soon as the UN lifts its embargo against Belgrade. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT IMPOSES FOOD PRICE CONTROLS. The government has ordered controls on the prices of six main food items to combat steadily rising costs, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Bucharest on 21 October. The decision requires producers and retailers to agree on set prices for eggs, milk, sugar, cooking oil, pork, and chicken. President Ion Iliescu and the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania have publicly blamed retailers, saying they are making too high profits. Meanwhile, the European Union on 21 October announced it will grant Romania 25 million ecu, Rompres reported the same day. The funds will be used to improve Romania's transportation system and especially to repair rural roads. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIA GROUNDS MiG-21s. The Romanian Air Force has decided to ground all MiG-21s pending the results of an investigation now under way. The decision came one week after another MiG-21 crashed. Air Force commander Major General Ion Stan told Romanian Television on 21 October that the force so far this year has lost 16 planes and helicopters as well as 18 pilots. Nine of the lost aircraft were MiG-21s. Stan said this was a "tragic record." -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. MOLDOVAN OUTCRY CONTINUES OVER ILIESCU STATEMENT. Responding to a recent statement by Romanian President Ion Iliescu in which he referred to Moldovans as Romanians and Moldova as the Romanian Bessarabia, Moldovan President Mircea Snegur told Interfax and Moldovan Television that Iliescu's "baseless assertions" may generate anti-Romanian feelings among Moldovans and that "Moldova's leadership will bear no responsibility for the consequences." Under Snegur's chairmanship, Moldova's Supreme Security Council on 20 October "carefully analyzed ways of ensuring the state's security in connection with certain irresponsible statements from outside, posing claims to our country's territory," Moldova Suverana reported the same day. Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli told CSCE Secretary-General Wilhelm Hoynck in Chisinau on 21 October that "recent statements by Romanian officials, including Iliescu, who rejects the very notion of an independent Moldovan state and people, cause bewilderment and concern and do not help the goal of stabilization and security building in this sensitive area," Interfax reported on 21 October. Dumitru Diacov, chairman of the Moldovan Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission, told Interfax the same day that Romania may force Moldova "to turn to international organizations with the appeal to defend Moldova's independence" against Romania. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. BULGARIAN BANK CHIEF CALLS FOR RAPID PRIVATIZATION. Bulgarian Central Bank Governor Todor Valchev, speaking at an international seminar on privatization in Sofia on 23 October, called for the country's banking system to be privatized. Valchev said state-run banks are contributing to economic decay by continuing to lend to debt-ridden firms. Reuters quoted Valchev as saying that "losses sustained by a rushed privatization would be far less than losses sustained by the wild plundering of financial resources." -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ON NPT. Leonid Kuchma, during talks with Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds at Ireland's Shannon airport, said he had submitted a document to the parliament on Ukraine's joining the Nonproliferation Treaty and hoped this would speed up the process of approving the treaty, Interfax reported on 23 October. Kuchma then proceeded to Ottawa for a five-day visit to Canada. Reuters on 21 October quoted Gloria Duffy, US deputy assistant secretary of state, as saying the US hopes that Ukraine approves the NPT agreement before Kuchma visits Washington in late November. One of the stumbling blocks to Ukraine's ratifying the treaty has been the demand by some Ukrainian officials that a separate document guaranteeing Ukraine's security and borders be drawn up in exchange for its accession to NPT as a non-nuclear nation. Duffy said the US believes the NPT agreement already contains sufficient guarantees. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. KIEV TO OFFER AID PACKAGE TO CRIMEA. Interfax on 24 October reported that a Ukrainian commission led by Deputy Prime Minister Evhen Marchuk arrived in Crimea to discuss an aid package to help the peninsula deal with the cholera outbreak and water shortage resulting from the summer drought. The aid package, which also includes assistance for Crimea's defense industries and banking structures, is reportedly linked to Ukraine's demand that the Crimean constitution be brought into line with Ukraine's by 1 November. The proposed package was reportedly agreed on during recent talks in Kiev between Ukrainian officials, Crimean parliament speaker Serhii Tsekov, and Crimean Prime Minister Anatolii Franchuk. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. KUCHMA CONFIRMS STRUCTURE OF NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on 22 October signed a decree on the structure of the Presidential National Security Council, Ukrinform-TASS reported. The council is to have 16 members, including President Kuchma, Prime Minister Vitalii Masol, Deputy Prime Minister Evhen Marchuk, Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov, and Presidential Adviser on National Security Volodymyr Horbulyn. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. ESTONIA, RUSSIA SIGN EDUCATION ACCORD. Estonian Culture and Education Minister Peeter Olesk and Russian Education Minister Evgenii Tkachenko signed on 21 October in Moscow a bilateral accord on cooperation in education, BNS reported the next day. Olesk also had talks at the Russian national press committee, discussing opportunities for supplying Estonia with Russian language textbooks and periodicals. With Russian Culture Minister Evgenii Sidorov, Olesk coordinated a program for cultural events until 1996 that includes the arrangement of art exhibitions and book shows in both countries and performances of Estonian theaters in Russia and vice versa. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. SENIOR NATO OFFICIAL VISITS BALTIC STATES. Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Northwestern Europe Richard Johns completed a five-day tour of the Baltic States in Vilnius on 21 October, Radio Lithuania reports. Johns, who was appointed to his post on 1 August, met with the defense ministers and other military officials of the three states, primarily to discuss cooperation through the Partnership for Peace Program. He assured President Algirdas Brazauskas that NATO would keep supporting Lithuanian security and noted that the problems of the Kaliningrad region called for more discussion and cooperation programs. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ESTONIA. Douglas Hurd, visiting Tallinn on 21 October, said "we welcome Estonia into European institutions," Western agencies reported. Commenting on Russia's concern over the desire of all three Baltic States to become full-fledged members of NATO, Hurd said the Baltics are not a threat to anyone and stressed that NATO would gradually expand. Asked whether being a NATO member would provide Estonia with security guarantees in the case of a Russian threat, Hurd pointed out that Estonia's "independence is not be trampled on by anybody" and that "the present Russian government has no nostalgia for the Soviet past." He also said that Britain was prepared to push forward with the integration of postcommunist countries into the European Union, despite calls by some EU members for more attention to be paid to the Mediterranean countries and North Africa. -- 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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