|Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece. - Vladimir Nabokov|
No. 204, 26 October 1994
RUSSIA YELTSIN MEETS CHERNOMYRDIN, REGIONAL LEADERS. At a meeting between President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on 25 October, ITAR-TASS reported that the two leaders mainly discussed the draft of the 1995 state budget that will be submitted to the State Duma later this week. They also reportedly discussed relations between the central government and Russia's autonomous regions, as well as the government's relations with trade unions. The session was followed by Yeltsin's meeting with regional leaders, at which the draft state budget was submitted to them. Interviewed during the course of the latter meeting that day by Ostankino TV news, the president of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev, opined that the heads of Russia's republics find the draft overcentralized. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. GRACHEV ON MILITARY STRENGTH AND HIS FUTURE AS DEFENSE MINISTER. Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev told Interfax on 25 October that Russia would have 1,914,000 people in the armed forces at the end of the year. He also indicated that President Boris Yeltsin had signed a decree the previous day which called for the military to be cut to 1.7 million by the end of 1995. Grachev, who in the past has said that military strength should not drop below 1.9 million, gave assurrances that the president's decision would be carried out. Commenting on a recent German newspaper report that there were 4.8 million troops in the Russian military (RFE/RL Daily Report, 25 October), he said that "one should trust the defense minister, not such reports." Grachev said he did not intend to resign despite the media attacks against his leadership, but he did not rule out the possibility of a "presidential decision on his future in the post," i.e., that he could be fired. He spoke against appointing a civilian as defense minister, saying that "the army will not understand this," and predicting that in such a case many officers would resign. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. KHASBULATOV'S HEADQUARTERS UNDER SIEGE. Interfax reported that a contingent of volunteer fighters from Gudermes raion loyal to Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev are laying siege to the headquarters of former Russian parliament chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov in Tolstoi-Yurt to protest the killing by Khasbulatov's men of three Gudermes residents. The three were apprehended on suspicion of perpetrating a car bomb explosion in Tolstoi-Yurt on 23 October. The volunteer fighters are demanding the surrender of Khasbulatov and opposition leader Ruslan Labazanov and their supporters. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. PETR ROMANOV NAMED LEADER OF IRRECONCILABLE OPPOSITION. The parties and groups of the irreconcilable anti-democratic opposition bloc have chosen Petr Romanov as their national leader and joint candidate for the 1996 Russian presidential elections, ITAR-TASS reported on 24 October. Romanov, who has the same surname as the last Russian tsar, is director of a large chemical concern in Krasnoyarsk and deputy chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council. The 50-year-old Romanov is not as well known as other leaders of the anti-Yeltsin opposition bloc that includes former vice president Aleksandr Rutskoi and Gennadii Zyuganov, the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The irreconcilable opposition, which held its national congress in Kaliningrad in August, includes a wide variety of nationalist and communist organizations as well as defectors from democratic groups such as Valerii Zorkin, former chairman of the Constitutional Court, Sergei Glaziev, former minister of foreign economic trade, and philosopher Aleksandr Tsypko. Romanov told an RFE/RL correspondent that his goal is to "unite all left and right non-systemic opposition forces on a centrist position in the interest of the Russian people." He also added that his main competitor during the presidential elections will not be Boris Yeltsin, but Vladimir Zhirinovsky. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT OVERRIDES YELTSIN VETO FOR FIRST TIME. By a two-thirds majority vote on October 25, the Federation Council overrode Yeltsin's veto of the Russian budget bill. The vote in the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, followed a similar two-thirds majority vote in the Russian parliament's lower chamber, the State Duma. According to Russian TV newscasts, it was the first instance of the parliament overriding a Yeltsin veto since parliament was elected in December 1993. According to "Vesti," the law will bring an end to the current situation, "where the country lives without a budget, while officials distribute the taxpayer's money for bribes." According to the law, the government should have submitted the 1995 budget in September. The law also requires the government to submit the draft budget to the State Duma at the beginning of each quarter, which is particularly important in view of the swiftly-rising inflation rate in Russia. At the end of its 25 October session, the Federation Council rejected a law on corruption approved by the State Duma earlier this month. A Russian TV newscast quoted the senators as saying that the law does not include legal norms necessary to fight corruption in Russia. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. YAVLINSKY CALLS FOR EARLY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Liberal economist Grigorii Yavlinsky told RFE/RL on 25 October that democratic opposition to the Russian government in the State Duma sees no point in placing a "vote for no confidence" in Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's government if such a vote is held on 27 October as scheduled. The executive power in Russia, Yavlinsky continued, belongs to President Yeltsin, not to Chernomyrdin. Yavlinsky told RFE/RL that the Yabloko faction, which he leads, is going to submit a proposal to the Duma that details the laws on elections that the parliament has to adopt in order to call early presidential elections. According to Yavlinsky, the next presidential elections should be held on the same day as the elections for seats in the new parliament, scheduled for 12 December 1995. This date is six months earlier then when the presidential elections are to be held in accord with the constitution (12 June 1996). Yavlinsky is often named in opinion polls as a front-runner candidate for president. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY, CHERNOMYRDIN AT ODDS OVER AZERBAIJAN OIL DEAL. On 25 October an unnamed senior Russian foreign ministry official cast doubts on the credibility of Azerbaijan President Heidar Aliev's statement the previous day that Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had assured him that Russia does not oppose the implementation of the $7 billion deal signed between Azerbaijan and a consortium of Western oil companies (RFE/RL Daily Report, 25 October), Interfax reported. The official reiterated the position outlined previously by the Russian Foreign Ministry, namely that existing agreements on the Caspian Sea do not provide for its division into national sectors, which can be effected only with the consent of all Caspian littoral states. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. TWO KILLED IN ABKHAZ FIGHTING; TALKS POSTPONED. An Abkhaz soldier and a Georgian gunman were killed on 25 October when armed Georgians attacked an Abkhaz military post in Gali raion, Interfax reported quoting a spokesman for the Abkhaz Defense Ministry. Following talks in Tbilisi on 25 October with Georgian Parliament Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze, the head of the Russian peacekeeping troops deployed along the Georgian-Abkhaz border, Major-General Vasily Yakushev, told journalists that he had not made the statement attributed to him in Pravda of 21 October that Abkhazia should become a part of the Russian Federation. Also on 25 October, the Abkhaz Ambassador to Moscow, Igor Akhba, stated that the UN-sponsored talks on Abkhazia's future political status due to take place in Geneva from 25-27 October had been postponed until November at the Georgian government's request. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. CIS RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS TO REMAIN IN TAJIKISTAN. Last week's CIS summit gave its approval to extending the mandate of the Russian peacekeeping force in Tajikistan until at least 30 June 1995, Reuters reported on 25 October quoting Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Grigory Karasin. The Russian contingent deployed on the Tajik-Afghan border will remain there until the end of next year. Briefing reporters in Islamabad on the current third round of UN-sponsored talks between the Tajik government and the opposition, UN mediator Ramiro Piriz-Ballon said that the government still rejected opposition demands that the presidential elections and referendum on a new constitution scheduled for 6 November be postponed, but he expressed cautious optimism that the ceasefire due to expire on 6 November would be extended, according to ITAR-TASS. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. LOOPHOLES, AMBIGUITIES IN RUSSIAN-MOLDOVAN TROOP AGREEMENT. Senior Moldovan officials told the RFE/RL Research Institute that the Russian-Moldovan agreement on the "status and terms of withdrawal" of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova, whose text has not been made public, has not come into force and may not do so for some time, despite having been signed by the prime ministers of the two countries on 21 October. The three-year term for the withdrawal begins only from the moment of the "entry into force," not the signing. Article 23 of the agreement, added in final negotiations at the insistence of the Russian side as a condition for signing, stipulates that the agreement comes into force only after "the sides will have notified each other about the completion of domestic state procedures." These procedures are not specified, but this article may well open the door for submitting the agreement to parliamentary ratification, which would probably doom it in the Russian parliament. Article 2 ambiguously stipulates that the pace of the withdrawal will "take into account technical possibilities and the time needed to create accomodations for the troops at place of their rebasing." The same article, moreover, stipulates that "practical steps toward the withdrawal shall be synchronized with the political resolution of the Dniester conflict within three years," a linkage potentially enabling the Russian side to delay the withdrawal or to pressure Moldova into a damaging settlement as a price for that withdrawal. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. "PEACEKEEPING" UPDATE. Russian TV reported that Lieutenant-General Leonid Ivashov, Secretary of the Council of Defense Ministers of CIS member states, told a news conference on 24 October that the CIS summit of 21 October made little headway toward mounting joint "peacekeeping" operations in conflict areas within CIS states. Ivashov blamed the modest results partly on "purely financial questions about apportioning the expenses involved," but stressed that "the main obstacles have to do with the political ambitions" of certain CIS member states whom he did not name. Ivashov, on the other hand, praised Tajikistan for its willingness to become involved in such operations. Georgian Parliament Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze, for his part, welcomed the decision at the summit meeting to confer a CIS mandate on the Russian "peacekeeping" operation in Abkhazia. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. "DNIESTER" GUNRUNNING TO CRIMEA. The Russian 14th Army's city commandant for Tiraspol, Colonel Mikhail Bergman, told the press that his soldiers intercepted a shipment of 150 automatic weapons bound for Simferopol in the Crimea, Reuters reported from Tiraspol on 24 October. A senior officer of the "Dniester republic's" Internal Affairs Ministry was caught with the shipment and arrested by the army. The military command had previously called attention to covert contacts between "Dniester" and Crimean secessionists. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE HAS MILOSEVIC ABANDONED THE KRAJINA SERBS? The Croatian and Serbian press continue on 26 October to speculate that some sort of breakthrough is in the offing that would affect Croatian territory held by Serb rebels. Reuters quotes Slobodan Jarcevic, the Krajina Serbs' representative in Belgrade, as saying Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic "has told us to find a solution with the Croats because [rump] Yugoslavia is in a very difficult economic situation. The difference between us is this: Milosevic thinks we can stay within Croatia with a high degree of autonomy but we do not think so. We will build our state outside Croatia and merge with the [Bosnian] Republika Srpska." Croatia's representative in Belgrade, Zvonimir Markovic, added that "Milosevic has put his program for greater Serbia to one side, leaving Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia without the support they once had." Meanwhile, Vjesnik quotes a UN commander in Zagreb as reporting that the cease-fire in Krajina has been suffering a "gradual erosion." Finally, AFP says the coalition government in Krajina has split after the Serbian Democratic Party's parliament deputies ousted speaker Branko Vojnica, who belongs to the Serbian Radical Party. The Radicals were the Democrats' coalition partner and are linked to accused war criminal Vojislav Seselj. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT AND UN AGREE ON DEMILITARIZED ZONE. International media reported on 25 October that the two sides reached an agreement on evacuating the remaining 400 government troops from the demilitarized zone by 27 October. They will be protected from Serb gunfire by UNPROFOR troops, but no agreement has yet been reached over the Bosnian government's demand that the nearby land route to Sarajevo be secured. In other UNPROFOR news, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali said Turkish and Pakistani troops could replace British and French ones if London and Paris withdraw their forces, as they have threatened to do if the arms embargo is lifted on the Bosnian government. Reuters also said the UN is investigating charges of corruption and black-marketeering against UNPROFOR, especially its Russian contingent, which the Croats regard as a major source of illicit supplies to the Serb forces. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. BOSNIAN POLITICAL PARTIES WANT ROSE OUT. British dailies report on 26 October that all eight parties in the Bosnian parliament have called for the replacement of the senior UNPROFOR officer in Bosnia, General Sir Michael Rose of Britain. The parties said on 25 October that they want "an impartial, objective commander, one who will implement UN resolutions on the ground and who will be a UN official and not a general who protects the interests of his government." Rose is widely regarded by the Bosnian government and even by some UN staff as pro-Serb. In Bosnia and Croatia, both Britain and France are generally believed to favor their traditionally ally, Serbia, against what London and Paris supposedly see as a German-backed Croatia and an US-supported Bosnia. Boutros Ghali, however, told the BBC that he has "full confidence in General Michael Rose. . . . He has done wonderful work." Meanwhile, The Independent reported on 25 October that Rose will be replaced in January by another British officer, Major General Rupert Smith, who led the First British Armored Division in the Gulf War. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. SERBIAN RADICALS LOSE IMMUNITY. Borba on 26 October reports that four prominent members of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, including its controversial leader Vojislav Seselj, were stripped of their parliamentary immunity following a vote in the federal legislature. The move was in response to the four deputies' uncivil conduct. Radical deputy, Drasko Markovic, who threw a glass of water at parliament speaker Radoman Bozovic in May, did not have his immunity revoked. Seselj is currently serving a 30-day prison sentence for spitting at Bozovic in September. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. KOSOVAR SHADOW STATE CLAIMS TV STATION. The self- proclaimed Republic of Kosovo argues that the Pristina Radio and Television Station should serve the needs of the shadow state, Borba reported on 24 October. Kosovar President Rugova accordingly plans to appoint a board of directors. But Borba does not say how the Kosovars intend to realize their plans, since the station is a Serbian institution broadcasting both in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian. Meanwhile, in Pristina the trial of three members of the economic council of the Republic of Kosovo continues. They are charged with challenging the territorial integrity of Serbia by helping build the shadow state, Rilindja reported on 20 October. -- Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN BELARUS. Andrzej Olechowski arrived in Minsk on 26 October for talks with top Belarusian officials. Polish-Belarusian economic relations have recently taken a turn for the worse: bilateral trade totaled $320 million in 1992, $218 million in 1993, and this year's figure is expected to be even lower. Poland also has experienced difficulties with the opening of a consulate in Hrodna, where a large number of Poles reside. Gazeta Wyborcza on 26 October reports that Belarusian officials do not plan to discuss this issue with Olechowski during his current visit. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. CZECH POLICE CHIEF TO BE DISMISSED. Czech Internal Affairs Minister Jan Ruml has asked the government to dismiss Stanislav Novotny, head of the Czech police, CTK and Reuters reported on 25 October. A spokesman for the ministry said the reason for the dismissal was "a question of professionalism" but did not elaborate. Novotny and the police force have been under intense criticism since two German tourists died in separate clashes with Czech police in September and October. Novotny told CTK on 25 October that the main dispute between him and Ruml involved police funding. He said he believes the police need an independent budget and sufficient funds to perform their task well. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS. Representatives of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the Slovak National Party on 25 October met for another round of coalition talks. SNP Deputy Chairwoman Eva Slavkovska said that even if her party is not directly represented in the new cabinet, it will continue to support the MDS. MDS Deputy Chairman Sergej Kozlik said because of uncertainties within the PDL, the MDS will have to hold informal discussions with both the PDL and its individual deputies, TASR reports. Also on 25 October, top representatives of parliamentary groups met for a second time to discuss the first session of the parliament. They agreed only, however, to set up eleven parliamentary committees. Gasparovic said the final round of talks will be held on 2 November, one day before the parliament convenes. Finally, Coexistence Chairman Miklos Duray on 25 October said his party "certainly will not be in the cabinet," noting that the failure of Common Choice, the Christian Democratic Movement, and the Democratic Union to invite representatives of the Hungarian coalition to a meeting on 22 October confirms that those parties have discontinued discussions with the Hungarians. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK CABINET APPROVES MORE PRIVATIZATION PROJECTS. The Slovak cabinet on 25 October approved 12 of the 16 projects submitted by Privatization Minister Milan Janicina. The projects approved include the Satur travel agency, several food and beverage producers, a cement manufacturer, and part of the energy firm Zapadoslovenske Energeticke Zavody. Janicina rejected a comparison between the privatization procedures of the current cabinet and those of former Prime Minister and MDS Chairman Vladimir Meciar, noting that Meciar virtually stopped privatizing for two years and restarted only after the fall of his government was inevitable. The current cabinet, however, has been approving projects since June--in full compliance with the law. Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan during the same session discussed Slovakia's application for membership in the OECD. Kukan said the cabinet would prefer Slovakia to apply by 15 December to avoid falling behind the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, TASR reports. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN OFFICIAL SAYS AUTONOMY INEVITABLE FOR MINORITIES. Csaba Tabajdi, political secretary in charge of Hungarian minorities, said at an international conference in Budapest on 24 October that autonomy is inevitable for minorities, MTI reported. He charged that the international community is not sufficiently defending minority rights. Tabajdi also argued that without autonomy, minority problems cannot be solved because autonomy does not promote but rather prevents separatism. Meanwhile, Laszlo Tokes, Hungarian minority representative in Romania, and Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn patched up their political differences during a meeting in Budapest. Horn said there should be no doubt about the Hungarian government's commitment to supporting the Hungarian minority in Romania. Tokes, for his part, expressed doubt about Romania's resolve to protect minority rights, even if these are included in bilateral treaties. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. DUTIES DOUBLED ON HUNGARIAN FOOD IMPORTS. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced that import duties on 280 food items will double as of 1 November, MTI reported. The decision was prompted by the government's desire to protect domestic producers and reduce Hungary's chronic trade deficit, which reached $2.8 billion in August 1994. The new duties will affect the equivalent of some 16% of the food items imported in 1993. Industry and Trade Minister Laszlo Pal said the move has long been advocated by Hungarian producers and fiercely resisted by foreign suppliers. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. COUNCIL OF EUROPE HEAD IN BUCHAREST. Council of Europe Secretary-General Daniel Tarschys on 25 October began an official visit to Romania, Radio Bucharest reports. Tarschys, who held talks with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, is scheduled to meet with President Ion Iliescu, Justice Minister Gavril Iosif Chiuzbaian, other senior Romanian officials, and leaders of political parties. The visit coincides with the opening of a CE Information and Documentation Center in Bucharest. Romania, which was admitted to the Strasbourg-based organization one year ago, is currently playing host to a CE-sponsored conference on the European legal framework and human rights. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc. LIBERATION OF NORTHERN TRANSYLVANIA COMMEMORATED. Romania on 25 October marked the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Carei, the last settlement in Northern Transylvania to have been freed from Hungarian rule after Romania joined the Allied Forces in August 1944. The ceremony in Carei was attended by President Ion Iliescu, Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca, and other high-ranking officials. Iliescu, in an address broadcast by Radio Bucharest, voiced concern at what he described as "the reappearance of forces calling for a revision of frontiers and glorifying those empires that blocked for centuries the evolution of peoples in this area." He added, nevertheless, that Romania's cooperation with Hungary should not be overshadowed by "the remembrance of old conflicts." He pleaded instead for a rapprochement between the two countries. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc. ALBANIAN REFERENDUM LOOMS. President Sali Berisha is almost single-handedly waging a campaign for a referendum in early November on the country's new constitution. Rilindja on 24 October reported that Berisha, addressing a crowd in the northern region of Shala-Dukagjini, urged Albanians to vote in favor of the new basic law. Meanwhile, Alleanca on 25 October reports that the number of parties opposing the new constitution has risen to eight, most of which are tiny, including several rightist parties. US Senator Denis De Concini, returning from a recent trip to Tirana, expressed the hope that "the new constitution, if approved by the referendum, will not be just a document but will uphold the rights and freedoms . . . of the basic democratic institutions," Zeri i Popullit reported on 25 October. It is expected that the constitution will receive referendum approval. -- Louis Zanga, RFE/RL Inc. PRICES TO BE DECONTROLLED IN UKRAINE. The Ukrainian government has agreed to decontrol prices on a number of commodities in line with President Leonid Kuchma's economic reform program, Ukrainian Television reported on 24 October. Kuchma's program has been accepted in principle by the Supreme Council. The commodities and services singled out for price liberalization are coal, gas, electricity, rents, bread, and baby food. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. BELARUSIAN LEADERS ON RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir have made contradictory statements on what Belarus expects from relations with Russia. Belarusian Radio on 24 October said Lukashenka told the Japanese newspaper Nikhai keidzai that Belarus does not consider monetary union with Russia as important as the continued supply of cheap raw materials. He added that if Russia and Belarus can come to an arrangement whereby Belarus continues to be supplied with Russian oil and gas, he would no longer insist on monetary union. Chyhir, on the other hand, is quoted by Belinform-TASS on 25 October as saying that Russia's demands to be paid in full for its gas and oil to Belarus are perfectly justified. He pointed out that Russia cannot afford to play the "good uncle" and freely hand out credits to the former Soviet republics. Chyhir also noted that Belarus is obliged to pay off its energy debt using foreign loans. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA CUTS OIL TO BELARUS. Interfax on 25 October reported that the Russian contracting corporation Roskontrakt has officially notified the Belarusian government that it will have to reduce oil supplies because of Belarus's unpaid debt. As of 1 October, the debt stood at $44 million. Roskontrakt was to supply 6 million tons of oil to Belarus in 1994 in exchange for goods, but Belarus has been unable to keep to its side of the bargain. Meanwhile, the country's gas debt amounted to $405 million as of 24 October. Tzvetomir Sarokhan, deputy director of Beltranshaz, said Belarus is prepared to repay part of this debt by building the Belarusian stretch of the proposed Yamal-Western Europe gas pipeline. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT IN PARIS. Algirdas Brazauskas on 25 October began a two-day visit to Paris at the invitation of UNESCO Director-General Frederic Mayor. Brazauskas, in a speech to the UNESCO executive board, noted the importance of culture and education in strengthening democracy and urged increased exchanges between Eastern and Central European experts. He also met with Prime Minister Eduoard Balladur and Senate Speaker Rene Monory, Radio Lithuania reports. Brazauskas is to meet on 26 October with President Francois Mitterrand and Minister for European Affairs Allain Lamassoure. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. FORMER OMON LEADER IN LATVIA FREED BY RUSSIAN COURT. Diena on 21 October reported that Czeslav Mlynnik, one of the leaders of the OMON forces in Riga, has been freed by a St. Petersburg court. Mlynnik was tried on several charges, including illegal possession of weapons and document falsification. But since he was found guilty on only some counts and was detained while the case was investigated, the court gave him a prison sentence equivalent to the amount of time he was detained: nine months and nine days. Latvia has issued an arrest warrant for Mlynnik because under his leadership OMON forces committed numerous crimes against people and property in Latvia in 1990 and 1991. The Latvian authorities have been unable to bring to trial those OMON members suspected of crimes because they left in the fall of 1991 for Russia and other parts of the former USSR where local authorities oppose their extradition to Riga. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. LATVIA, ESTONIA EXPAND ECONOMIC TIES WITH CZECH REPUBLIC. BNS on 25 October reported that accords on the protection of investments and the avoidance of double taxation have been signed in Tallinn and Riga. The Czech delegation to the Baltics was headed by Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Kocarnik. Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis told Kocarnik he expects Latvian-Czech relations to develop further after he meets with Czech President Vaclav Havel in Prague on 7 December, Diena and BNS reported on 25 October. Havel has invited all three Baltic presidents to visit the Czech Republic in December. -- 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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