|He who knows nothing is nearer the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. - Thomas Jefferson|
No. 203, 25 October 1994
RUSSIA SENATORS CONFIRM MOST CONSTITUTIONAL, SUPREME COURT JUDGES . . . Russian TV newscasts reported on 24 October that Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, approved the eight judges nominated by President Boris Yeltsin to the Russian Supreme Court. But the council approved only three of the six candidates nominated by Yeltsin for vacancies on the Constitutional Court. A secret ballot was used in the vote on all of the candidates. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. . . . BUT REJECT ILYUSHENKO AS PROSECUTOR-GENERAL. At the same session, the Federation Council once again refused to confirm Aleksei Ilyushenko as Russian Prosecutor-General. According to ITAR-TASS, 76 senators voted for and 72 against Ilyushenko at the 24 October session, with 90 "yes" votes necessary for confirmation. (Prior to the vote, some liberal newspapers--such as Nezavisimaya gazeta on 19 October and Obshchaya gazeta on 21 October--accused Ilyushenko of having committed "crimes against justice" and abuse of office.) The Federation Council also failed to confirm Ilyushenko as Prosecutor-General in April when Yeltsin first nominated him for the office. Since then he has served as acting Prosecutor-General, although the constitution does not make provision for this. According to 24 October TV newscasts, Ilyushenko will continue to serve as acting Prosecutor-General. This provides his judicial opponents with the opportunity to dispute and take to court virtually every decision made by Ilyushenko's office, since by law he is not entitled to serve in that office. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. STALEMATE IN CHECHNYA. Interfax reported on 21 October that opposition forces attacked, and claimed to have wiped out, two minor government posts northwest of Grozny. Opposition Provisional Council Chairman Umar Avturkhanov issued an appeal to the Russian leadership to intervene in Chechnya in order to prevent further mass killing of civilians by troops loyal to President Dzhokhar Dudaev. Former Russian parliament chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov told a rally of supporters at his headquarters in Tolstoi-Yurt that he will not leave Chechnya until Dudaev has been ousted. The situation on 22-23 October was reportedly calm. On 24 October, the chief of the Chechen armed forces called on the opposition to desist from confrontation and unite with the government to meet the "external threat," Interfax reported. The deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council, Ramazan Abdulatipov, issued an appeal to Russian and Chechen political leaders to step up their efforts to bring about an end to hostilities in Chechnya. Also on 24 October, a group of Chechen elders gathered in Tolstoi-Yurt and called on Dudaev to resign; they also called on parents to withdraw their sons from the Chechen armed forces. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA WANTS PART OF NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR DEAL. A "high-ranking official" from the Foreign Ministry, who asked to remain anonymous, told ITAR-TASS on 22 October that Russia would like to be part of the international consortium headed by the United States that will provide so-called light-water nuclear reactors to North Korea. The previous day the United States and North Korea signed an agreement in which North Korea pledged to freeze its present nuclear program in return for two light-water nuclear reactors to replace its present heavy-water units. The latter can produce plutonium--a fissile material used in nuclear weapons. South Korea and Japan have already indicated they would meet most of the cost of the project. The Russian official noted that the Soviet Union had signed an agreement with North Korea in 1985 to supply a light-water reactor. He also said that Russia wished to contribute to the establishment of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. GERMAN THINK-TANK ON RUSSIAN ARMED FORCES. The Frankfurt-based Institute for Soviet Studies claims that the Russian armed forces are more than twice as large as the official figures show. In a report published in the 23 October issue of the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the institute reported that Russia had 4.8 million men under arms instead of the 2.3 million officially claimed. The institute estimated that the Defense Ministry controlled 2.57 million personnel as opposed to the 1.7 million credited to it in the recent annual report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). The remainder were in the various paramilitary forces, such as Interior Ministry troops, Border Forces, and Civil Defense units. In most categories the Frankfurt figures were significantly higher than the IISS estimates. The former, for example, said there were 370,000 interior troops while the IISS put their strength at 180,000. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. YELTSIN URGED TO VETO NEW MEDIA LAW. On 21 October Vladimir Shumeiko, the speaker of the Federation Council, asked Yeltsin to veto a law preventing state bodies from sponsoring newspapers or journals other than simple information bulletins. The law was passed by the State Duma last year but then rejected by the upper house; the Federation Council's decision was subsequently overturned by a two-thirds majority in the Duma. At present, Viktor Chernomyrdin's cabinet and the president's administration publish two national daily newspapers--Rossiiskaya gazeta and Rossiiskie vesti--as well as a number of journals and magazines. Both newspapers are subsidized heavily by the state. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. ZHIRINOVSKY WINS CASE AGAINST MOSCOW NEWS. Vladimir Zhirinovsky has won a libel case against Moscow News, ITAR-TASS reported on 23 October. Last month the leader of the extremist Liberal Democratic Party won a similar case against Izvestiya and Egor Gaidar, who had publicly called Zhirinovsky a "fascist." In the past two years Zhirinovsky has won over 30 legal cases against prodemocracy national and regional mass media. One of the reasons for his success is the absence of a definition of "fascism" in Russian law. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA AND NATO TO EXCHANGE MILITARY MISSIONS. The Russian Foreign Ministry told Interfax on 24 October that Russia and NATO are planning to exchange military missions as part of the Partnership for Peace (PFP) program. While the details need to be worked out, Russia would probably send an army colonel to the PFP coordination cell at NATO's military headquarters in Europe near Mons, Belgium. In exchange, a NATO military representative might be attached to the Russian General Staff, the foreign ministry representative said. Earlier this month NATO announced it would open an information bureau in Moscow by the end of the year. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. DIRECTOR OF RED ARMY THEATER ATTACKED. On 22 and 23 October Russian TV reported that Leonid Kheifets, the director of the Red Army Theater in Moscow, had been attacked earlier in the week. According to the reports, Kheifets' attackers broke into his apartment in central Moscow and severely beat him; they demanded that he never visit his theater again. According to Nezavisimaya gazeta of 22 October, Kheifets had been asked to hand the theater building over to a business concern but had refused to do so. The newspaper added that the theater still officially belonged to the Defense Ministry and that Defense Minister Pavel Grachev supported the demands of Kheifets' foes. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIA DEMANDS RESPONSIBILITY FOR KARABAKH PEACEKEEPING. At a closed meeting of the CSCE in Vienna on 24 October to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian delegate Vladimir Shustov demanded that the CSCE abdicate to Russia responsibility for achieving a settlement of the conflict, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Shustov made the demand on the grounds that the Minsk Group that was set up in 1992 to mediate a settlement of the conflict had never been given legal status. Shustov called on the CSCE to draw up a legal mandate for the peace negotiations in which Russia would be given prime responsibility in settling the conflict, with the CSCE playing a supporting role. Also on 24 October, Ukrainian Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov told Interfax that the CSCE had asked Ukraine to provide a contingent of peacekeeping troops for Nagorno-Karabakh. -- Roland Eggleston and Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA MODIFIES STANCE ON AZERBAIJAN OIL DEAL. Speaking on Azerbaijani TV on 23 October, President Heidar Aliev said that Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had assured him that Russia "will not hinder" implementation of the contract signed on 20 September between Azerbaijan and a consortium of Western oil companies to exploit three major Caspian Sea oil deposits, Interfax reported. Chernomyrdin emphasized the importance of cooperation on ecological issues and fishing in the Caspian, The deal had been strongly criticized by both the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Ministry for Environmental Protection. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. CIS SECURITY ISSUES AT CIS MEETING. Meeting in Moscow on the eve of the CIS summit of 21 October, the Councils of Foreign and of Defense Ministers of CIS member states discussed what Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev termed "strengthening the Commonwealth's peacekeeping role in its zone of responsibility." The forums discussed a "collective peacekeeping" operation within the CIS framework in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. Armenia voiced readiness to send "a limited military contingent and observers," Tajikistan a motorized platoon, and Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan observers. The contributing states would also bear the costs of their participation in the operation. Russia favored the earliest possible sending of "peacekeepers" from other CIS states, as "in this way the operation would have an international status." The commander of CIS (in fact mainly Russian) "peacekeeping" troops in Tajikistan, Colonel-General Valerii Patrikeev, pledged to step up military support to Russian border guards there, as "the borders of Tajikistan are the borders of the CIS." He supported a plan to send 16,000 "peacekeeping troops" to Tajikistan, where "today we have only half that number." Also on the margins of the CIS summit, Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS) and Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security signed a cooperation agreement, with Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev attending the ceremony. FIS announced that Kyrgyzstan becomes the ninth CIS member state to have signed such an agreement, leaving Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan as the only holdouts. Interfax reported on these developments from 20 to 24 October. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA, MOLDOVA SIGN TROOP WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENTS. In Moscow on 21 October, after two and a half years of negotiations, an agreement on the withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova was signed by Prime Ministers Viktor Chernomyrdin and Andrei Sangheli. The text is not yet available, but the document is known to provide for the troops' withdrawal from Moldova within three years of the signing. The Defense Ministers, Pavel Grachev and Pavel Creanga, signed several accompanying agreements, including one on legal matters relating to the "Russian military units temporarily stationed in Moldova" and another on the activity of Russian "air force units temporarily stationed in Moldova" and the use of Tiraspol airport by Russia's military transport aircraft. Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov told a news conference, reported by Interfax on 22 October, that Moldova will give the officers of the 14th Army "every opportunity" to serve in Moldova's army. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE IS A DIPLOMATIC BREAKTHROUGH IN THE OFFING FOR CROATIA? International media reported on 24 October that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman has agreed in principle to a French proposal to meet with his Serbian and Bosnian counterparts to promote peace. He added, however, that such a session must be sponsored by the international "contact group" and that it must promote Serbia's recognition of Croatia's borders. Elsewhere on the diplomatic front, the Croatian and Serbian press in recent days have been full of reports suggesting that a settlement may be in the offing between Croatia and its Serb insurgents, who occupy about a quarter of the republic's territory. Borba said on 24 October that the latest in a series of meetings between the two sides could take place in Zagreb on 27 October. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on 22 October that secret meetings have been under way for some time. AFP on 24 October quoted UN envoy Yasushi Akashi as saying that under "a complex and ambitious plan" Croatia would be federalized, with the Serbs apparently having their own laws, an army under joint command, and a Serb currency. It is to be assumed that Croatia would benefit from the return of peace and the restoration of infrastructure links. Ranking Croatian officials told RFE/RL, however, that no plan could be imposed on Zagreb and that Croatia could not accept any arrangement that did not provide for refugees from Serb-held territories to return to their homes. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. SITUATION AROUND SARAJEVO TENSE. CNN reported on 25 October that some 100 of the 500 Bosnian troops stationed in the Mt. Igman demilitarized zone left the area the previous day. As they withdrew, however, they shot at French UN forces, who returned the fire. There were no casualties. It is not clear whether the remaining 400 men will obey the UN order to leave or whether the UN will agree to government demands that the UN secure the safety of a nearby supply road. Meanwhile, the Serbs have reneged on an earlier pledge to give free passage to UN fuel convoys to Gorazde and Zepa, allowing instead only a token shipment through their lines. The BBC added on 25 October that Muslim forces near the demilitarized zone staged a commando raid on nearby Serbs, who called the attack unprovoked and unjustified. Hina reported that Serb forces had intensified artillery pressure on Gradacac in northern Bosnia, a strategic town where the Croat and Muslim defenders' alliance held even during the worst days of 1993. In another example of Croatian and Muslim cooperation, Prime Ministers Nikica Valentic and Haris Silajdzic left together on 24 October for a visit to some south Asian Islamic countries. The International Herald Tribune reported on 19 October that 15 US officers arrived in Sarajevo to help promote the integration of Bosnian Croat and government forces. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. HOW HOSTILE IS THE MILITARY TOWARD MILOSEVIC? The New York Times on 25 October runs an article on discontent in Serbia's military with Slobodan Milosevic's presidency. A number of soldiers with relatives in Serb-held Bosnia and Herzegovina are opposed to the president's seeming break with the Bosnian Serb leadership, the article claims. But the main cause of discontent is the issue of wages: Serbian soldiers reportedly receive less pay than policemen. The article suggests that this situation may be partly due to Milosevic's plan to increase his personal power by building up the police as a counterweight to the military. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. MACEDONIAN OPPOSITION REPEATS CALL FOR ELECTION BOYCOTT. Politika reports on 25 October that the Macedonian nationalist VMRO-DPMNE and smaller opposition parties have demanded that the 16 October elections be declared null and void and that a new vote be held. They added that they will otherwise boycott the second round of parliamentary elections, slated for 30 October, to fill 110 of the 120 legislative seats. Borba said on 24 October that the Macedonian Election Commission had rejected the complaints. European observers noted there were irregularities on 16 October but said they were not deliberate. They also maintained that they could be corrected in time for the second round. President Kiro Gligorov of the Alliance for Macedonia handsomely trounced his opponents in the first round and has been reelected. The New York Times on 24 October concluded that "the main message of the elections has been that the Slavs and ethnic Albanians of this impoverished country have shown little appetite for nationalist sloganeering after two years of watching the horror of the Bosnian war on television." Meanwhile, Macedonian and Greek sources now predict a breakthrough in the troubled relations between those two neighbors, the Athens-based Balkan News wrote on 23 October. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. KOSOVO UPDATE. Zeri on 19 October profiled Fehmi Agani, deputy leader of the main ethnic Albanian political group, the Democratic League of Kosovo. The newspaper said the former university director and sociologist can be described as someone who "does not look for a role in Albanian or Kosovar politics but nonetheless claims one." Agani advocates a "policy of survival aimed at managing ongoing conflicts" and is opposed to "radical approaches or revolutionary marches." Even though Kosovar President Ibrahim Rugova still heads the party, Zeri described Agani as the party's "first hand." The newspaper noted that both politicians have become indispensable to the Democratic League of Kosovo: much energy has expended building up Rugova's image over the past four years, while Agani has carved a role for himself as Rugova's chief ideologue. -- Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH CATHOLIC BISHOPS WANT MORAL VALUES IN NEW CONSTITUTION. Polish Catholic bishops on 24 October appealed for moral values to be enshrined in the country's new basic law, currently under debate in the parliament, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 25 October. They are demanding, in particular, that the new constitution provide for the protection of human life from the moment of conception as "the basis for all human rights and the foundation of democracy." They also want to see guaranteed religious instruction in state schools, the protection of the family and marriage, and compliance with Poland's agreement with the Vatican on Church-state relations. The bishops noted that the state should remain neutral with regard to religion but should not be explicitly secular. Its relations with the Catholic Church, they stressed, should reflect the principles of "independence and autonomy" rather than a complete separation between Church and state. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. NEW POLISH CONSTITUTION WILL PROVIDE FOR PRESS FREEDOM. Representatives of the media and the government agreed on 24 October that the new constitution, rather than separate legislation, should provide guarantees of freedom of information, Rzeczpospolita and Gazeta Wyborcza reported the next day. This agreement was in response to recent attempts to curtail freedom of information through legislation on state secrets. A restrictive law on state secrets has been rejected by the Senate, after being approved by the Sejm. It is highly unlikely that a new attempt will be made in the face of growing opposition in both the government and the media. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. CZECH REPUBLIC EXPELS ANGOLAN AMBASSADOR. Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec on 24 October ordered Angolan Ambassador Manual Quarta Punza and other diplomatic staff to leave the country within 72 hours, CTK reports. The ministry said the reason for the expulsion is that the Czech embassy in Angola can no longer perform its functions. The Czech embassy was occupied by Angolan troops on 21 October amid a dispute over embassy rights dating back to the 1970s. Angola says its embassy building in Prague is inferior to that used by the Czech embassy in Luanda. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. CZECH-ROMANIAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus on 24 October signed a free trade agreement with his Romanian counterpart, Nicolae Vacaroiu, during the latter's two-day visit to the Czech Republic. The agreement, which takes effect on 1 January, provides for duty-free exchange of more than 50% of industrial commodities traded between the two countries, CTK reports. The two leaders also signed a protocol validating agreements signed between former Czechoslovakia and Romania. Klaus praised Vacaroiu's efforts to ensure debt payment, noting that Romania recently paid off half its $20 million debt to the Czech Republic. He also said he favored Romania's membership in the CEFTA group. Meanwhile, Vacaroiu said Romanian economists were analyzing the Czech model of privatization and would seek to apply it in Romania. Vacaroiu is to meet on 25 October with Czech President Vaclav Havel, Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec, and other officials. Meanwhile, Czech Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Ivan Kocarnik on 24 October signed an accord in Tallinn with Estonian acting Finance Minister Andres Lipstok on protecting investments and avoiding double taxation. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Deputy Chairwoman Olga Keltosova on 24 October announced that a third round of coalition talks will take place after the opening session of parliament, to be held on 3 November. When asked if the party would set up a cabinet even if it finds no partner other than the Slovak National Party, Keltosova said "What else would be left for us to do? That is the only possibility." Meanwhile, Association of Slovak Workers Chairman Jan Luptak, in an interview with TASR on 23 October, said he would give tacit support to any government that meets his party's requirements but noted he favored abiding by the constitutional order. Luptak also said his party is against Slovakia's entry into the EU and NATO. In other political news, the campaign for Slovakia's local elections, to be held in mid-November, began on 24 October. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. CONTINUED INTEREST IN SLOVAK COUPON PRIVATIZATION. Despite the preelection promise of Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar to slow down the second wave of coupon privatization, Slovaks have continued to show an interest in buying coupons. More than 1.46 million Slovaks have registered, and many more are expected to do so as the registration deadline of 30 November approaches, TASR reported on 24 October. In Bratislava alone, more than 184,000 people have applied to become coupon-holders. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. NEW TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION SET UP IN ROMANIA. The Confederation of Democratic Trade Unions was set up in Bucharest following a meeting of 34 trade unions on 22 and 23 October, Romanian media reports. The founding of the new organization comes in the wake of a split in the Fratia National Confederation of Free Trade Unions. Victor Ciorbea, a former co-chairman of Fratia NCFTU, was elected leader of the new organization, which will work closely with the opposition but remain politically independent. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. UPDATE ON ROMANIAN CHOLERA OUTBREAK. Romanian health authorities say four Romanians have died of cholera and the number of confirmed cases totals 78, Radio Bucharest reported on 24 October. Three of the victims were elderly and were also suffering from other diseases. The fourth victim, a man in his 40s, died in Turkey. The Romanian authorities have identified that country as a source of infection. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. CONTINUED MOLDOVAN UPROAR OVER ROMANIAN STATEMENTS. Nicolae Andronic, deputy chairman of the Moldovan parliament, told Radio Chisinau on 19 October that "the Romanian leadership's statements regarding eventual unification . . . may activate those elements in Moldova who favor joining the CIS collective security system, possibly resulting in the introduction of CIS collective forces on the Moldovan-Romanian border." Dumitru Diacov, chairman of the Moldovan parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission, told Interfax on 21 October that Romania may force Moldova "to turn to international organizations with an appeal to defend Moldova's independence" against Romania. The leadership of Moldova's ruling Agrarian Democratic Party said in a statement carried by Moldovan media on 22 October that the election defeats of pro-Romanian groups had "radicalized Romania's position toward Moldova." It went on to say that Romanian leaders "have made increasingly clear their wish to unite the former Romanian territories into a Greater Romania, and that must be assessed as a violation of the principles of the UN and the CSCE on the inviolability of borders as well as an attempt to revise history." -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CALLS FOR LANGUAGE REFERENDUM IN BELARUS. The Belarusian Central Commission on Elections and Referendums has been approached by an initiative group seeking a referendum on granting Russian the status of official language, along with Belarusian, according to reports by Belarusian Television on 21 October. The group also wants a referendum denouncing the Belavezha agreement of 1991, which dissolved the USSR and created the CIS. But Ivan Likhach, secretary of the Central Commission, said the proposed referendum questions contravene Belarusian law, which states that questions violating the rights of Belarusian citizens or the country's sovereignty, culture, or language may not be put to the vote. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT IN CANADA. AFP on 24 October reported that Leonid Kuchma signed six agreements on consultation and cooperation in economic and military affairs with Canada. At the same time, Canada announced it would provide Ukraine with a US $17.6 million technical assistance package to support economic and political reform in Ukraine. Kuchma, on a five-day visit to Canada, met with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and other cabinet members. He also is scheduled to meet with representatives of the G-7 and Ukrainian emigre representatives. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. SEVASTOPOL WILL NOT PAY TAXES TO KIEV. Viktor Semenov, head of the Sevastopol City Council, has said the city is in a grave economic situation and cannot afford to hand over tax revenues to Kiev, Ukrainian Television reported on 21 October. He noted that almost all taxes will be withheld from Kiev regardless of whether the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers is agreed. Semenov also said the city was exploring the possibility of receiving credits from Russia. Sevastopol has so far failed to pay almost 1 trillion karbovantsy into the national budget. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. IMF APPROVES LOAN FOR LITHUANIA. The International Monetary Fund on 24 October approved a $201 million loan to Lithuania to be made available over the next three years, Reuters reports. It projected economic growth in Lithuania to reach 1.5 percent in 1994 and 6.75 percent the following year. The loan is expected to help the country push ahead with economic reform and bring down inflation to 20 percent in 1995. Lithuania is the first Baltic country to have its three-year economic memorandum accepted by the IMF. This should help Lithuania obtain loans from other international financial institutions that may help cut local interest rates to about 30 percent by year's end. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH PARLIAMENT SPEAKER IN LITHUANIA. Josef Oleksy on 24 October met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Ceslovas Jursenas, in Vilnius to discuss issues related to the implementation of the recently ratified friendship treaty. Oleksy proposed setting up bilateral commissions on border cooperation and on preparing a free trade treaty. He then met separately with Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius and President Algirdas Brazauskas. Olesky welcomed Brazauskas's proposal for holding a summit meeting of the Baltic States and the Visegrad group. Oleksy, in a speech to the Lithuanian parliament broadcast live by Radio Lithuania on 25 October, stressed the need to prepare and ratify a free trade treaty as quickly as possible. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. APPOINTMENT OF NEW LATVIAN DEFENSE COMMANDER POSTPONED. Gundars Zalkalns, military adviser to Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis, told Diena on 24 October that the appointment of a new commander of Latvia's Defense Forces to replace Col. Dainis Turlais has been postponed. This suggests that the ongoing reorganization of the military leadership has not been completed. The Defense Ministry says the Defense Forces staff will continue to operate until replaced by personnel from Latvia's National Armed Forces. Juris Dalbins of the Home Guard was recently endorsed by the parliament to head the National Armed Forces. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. [As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Jan Cleave and Pete Baumgartner) 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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