Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. - John Lennon
RFE/RL Daily Report

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
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