Peace is indivisible. - Maxim Litvino
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 207, 31 October 1994

Note: There will be no Daily Report Tuesday, 1 November 1994

                              RUSSIA

SOLZHENITSYN ADDRESSES STATE DUMA. Nobel prize winning writer
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn addressed the State Duma on 28 October,
telling the deputies that Russians feel oppressed and humiliated by
corrupt authorities who have no sympathy for the pains being felt
by the country. Solzhenitsyn said there is no democracy in
post-communist Russia, adding: "Today we have an oligarchy since
power belongs to a limited number of people." In his 45-minute
address, the writer listed the painful problems that have
accompanied the changes currently underway in Russia. In each case
he offered solutions to the problems, including the revival of
"zemstvo"--i.e., grassroots self-government bodies that existed in
pre-communist Russia. He also urged closer ties between four former
Soviet republics--Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan; and
suggested that Russia leave states, such as Tajikistan and
Azerbaijan, to join the Muslim world. Solzhenitsyn's speech
received a lukewarm response from Duma deputies. -- Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA BRANDS GOVERNMENT'S PERFORMANCE "UNSATISFACTORY." On 28
October the State Duma adopted by an overwhelming majority a
resolution branding the performance of Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin's government "unsatisfactory." The vote followed the
failure of Chernomyrdin's opponents to collect the necessary 50
percent of the total membership of the Duma in the vote of no
confidence in the government (altogether 194 deputies voted against
the government, 54 for it on 27 October, and 55 abstained.)
According to Ostankino TV news, deputies were inspired to return to
the agenda of the previous day by the one-sidedness of Russian
Television reports on the 27 October session of the Duma. -- Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

ANTI-INFLATIONARY BUDGET FACES STRONG OPPOSITION. The austere 1995
budget proposed by the government will require the severe financial
discipline of all state bodies, including the defense sector, where
expenses will be drastically cut, Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin said on the television program "Itogi" on 30 October.
The government, however, considers this budget realistic and will
follow the guidelines it sets out, Chernomyrdin said. The director
of the Center for Strategic Analysis, Dmitrii Olshanskii, said that
adoption of Chernomyrdin's budget will have no less significance
for the Russian economy than did the reforms of Egor Gaidar in
January 1992. In the budget, the government has decided to cease
subsidies for debt-ridden industry and to gap the state budget
deficit by attracting international loans and the savings of the
people. Olshanskii said this will cause fierce resistance in the
Duma. Economist Grigorii Yavlinsky, the leader of the liberal
Yabloko faction, which supports democratic opposition to the
Yeltsin's administration, said that Chernomyrdin's budget is
unenforcable, adding that Chernomyrdin's promise to keep inflation
at a monthly rate of one percent in 1995 is no more realistic than
the old promise of the Soviet leadership to build communism by
1980. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA'S CHOICE SUPPORTS YELTSIN; DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA'S SUPPORT IN
DOUBT. Several Russian political entities had meetings with their
supporters during the weekend of 29-30 October, according to
Russian Television newscasts and news agencies. Addressing
activists of the Moscow city organization of the Democratic Russia
movement on 29 October, its leader, Egor Gaidar, said that he
"categorically opposes the transition of Russia's Democratic Choice
Party into opposition to President Boris Yeltsin." Also on 29
October, Lev Ponomarev, co-chairman of another democratic party,
Democratic Russia, opined that Democratic Russia, whose support was
crucial in Yeltsin's victory in the first Russian presidential
elections of 1991, has yet to decide whether to support him in the
next elections, scheduled for 1996. In contrast, Grigorii
Yavlinsky, leader of the liberal Yabloko faction in parliament,
told an audience in the southern Russian city Rostov-on-Don on 30
October that his supporters will form the democratic opposition to
Yeltsin. According to the Russian TV program "Vesti," Yavlinsky
elaborated on his disagreements with Gaidar and called for early
presidential elections to be held in 1995. -- Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

FOUNDING CONGRESS OF RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC UNION HELD. The
founding congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Union was held
in Moscow on 30 October, Russian TV's "Vesti" program reported. The
Union, embracing a number of moderate left-wing groupings, was
attended by 170 delegates and chaired by State Duma Deputy Vasilii
Lipitsky, once the right-hand man of former Russian Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi. In their addresses, the leaders of the new
political movement formulated the aim of the Union as the need to
replace the current Russian regime by peaceful means; they also
ruled out the possibility of a return to a communist past and
called on delegates to find a "third way" for the country's future
development. According to "Vesti" the speakers also mentioned the
task of ridding the newly established opposition movement of the
"extremists in its ranks." Among the guests of the congress were
former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and the Chairman of
Russian trade unions, Mikhail Shmakov. In his address to the
gathering, Gorbachev welcomed the constituent congress as "an event
of colossal importance," urging its participants "to overcome minor
differences because the country and the people need a consolidating
force." -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOMI REPUBLIC APPEALS TO ARCTIC ORGANIZATION FOR HELP WITH OIL
SPILL. The president of the Komi Republic and the governor of the
Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug have appealed to the multinational
Northern Forum for help in cleaning up the oil spilled from a
pipeline in the Russian arctic, Radio Rossii reported on 29
October. The appeal said rivers in the Pechora basin had been
"heavily polluted." Estimates of the amount of oil spilled have
varied from 14,000 to 300,000 tons. The Russian Ministry for
Emergency Situations says that media reports have exaggerated the
scale of the disaster. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL, Inc.

GROUND FORCES IN CRITICAL STATE. Colonel-General Vladimir Semenov,
commander of Russia's Ground Forces, told a Moscow news conference
on 28 October that if funding and procurement for his forces
continued at the current rate they would soon deteriorate to the
level of a Third World army. According to Interfax he said that not
a single division-level exercise had been held since 1992 and
helicopter pilots were flying only 30 hours per year instead of the
required 100 hours. He expected his forces to lose one-third of
their helicopters before the year 2000 since replacements were not
being purchased. Semenov said that while there were 620,000 billets
in the ground forces, only 351,000 were filled. -- Doug Clarke,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KILLED FSK OFFICER WAS INVESTIGATING DMITRII KHOLODOV CASE. The
officer of the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK), Mikhail
Chekanov, who was killed by an explosive device on 27 October, was
one of the investigators in the case of murdered journalist Dmitrii
Kholodov, Moskovskii komsomolets reported 28 October. Chekanov was
a specialist on explosive devices in the FSK's Moscow
administration and died trying to disengage a bomb planted at a
local company. As an expert, Chekanov was co-opted to the
investigation of the murder of Moskovskii komsomolets reporter
Kholodov, who was killed by a bomb explosion at Moskovskii
komsomolets offices on 18 October. After the explosion at the
newspaper, Chekanov and his colleagues were the first to arrive on
the scene; later on, however, the FSK people specializing in this
type of crime were pushed away from the investigation and the case
was transferred to the Office of Procuracy and the MVD. -- Victor
Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV ON PEACEKEEPERS IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Interfax on 30
October reported that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said
Russia would withdraw its peacekeepers from the former Yugoslavia
if NATO obtained the "decisive say on the possible use of force."
According to Kozyrev, if any organization apart from the UN had the
final word on the use of force it would signal a fundamental change
in peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia. This, he said,
could change the operations from a UN mission into a NATO mission,
thereby prompting a possible Russian withdrawal. -- Stan Markotich,
RFE/RL, Inc.

INDIA INTERESTED IN RUSSIAN JETS, SUBMARINES. Quoting a spokesman
for the Rosvooruzheniye arms export company, Interfax on 28 October
said that the sale to India of 50 MiG-29M jet fighters and ten
diesel submarines would be discussed during Indian Defense Minister
K.A. Nambiar's current visit to Russia. The arms company would
neither confirm or deny Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev's
earlier remarks that Russia might offer India the aircraft carrier
Admiral Gorshkov. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEFENSE WORKERS SUSPEND HUNGER STRIKE. Seventy-three workers at the
Spetstekhnika joint-stock company in Ekaterinburg (a component of
Uralmash), who went on a hunger strike on 24 October, suspended
their action three days later when the company began paying their
wages for April and May and promised to disburse the additional 2.5
million rubles owed in back pay by the end of November, Interfax
reported. As well as the payment of back wages the strikers had
demanded the dismissal of the plant director, whom they accused of
refusing to accept new orders and the reorganization of the
company. They wanted it to be put under government control and
attached to the Uralvagonzavod plant in Nizhnii Tagil, the largest
tank factory in the world and their main customer. A further 2,000
Spetstekhnika employees were reported to have picketed the offices
of the Sverdlovsk Oblast Soviet in support of their colleagues'
demands. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TAJIK TALKS EXTENDED. The third round of UN-sponsored talks in
Islamabad between the Tajik government and the opposition,
originally scheduled to close on 28 October, was extended in the
hope of reaching an agreement on prolonging the ongoing ceasefire.
But on 30 October the talks were stalled over government objections
to the opposition's demand for the release of 50 political
prisoners, according to ITAR-TASS and AFP. On 28 October, the Tajik
parliament cancelled the decision to impose a state of emergency in
Gorno-Badakhshon after it was criticized as unconstitutional by the
chairman of the parliament's committee on legislation and human
rights, Interfax reported. (28 October Daily Report) -- Liz Fuller,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KYRGYZ ECONOMY IN CRISIS. Reviewing the performance of the Kyrgyz
economy during the first nine months of 1994, Prime Minister Apas
Dzhamagulov told the government on 27 October that although the
implementation of a tough financial and fiscal policy had succeeded
in reducing the inflation rate from 3 percent in July to 0.2
percent in September, the economic situation remained "complicated
and ambiguous," Interfax reported. Specifically, GDP for
January-September 1994 fell by 27.5 percent compared with the
corresponding period for 1993, industrial output was down 25.8
percent, and agricultural production down 12 percent. In addition,
the fall in industrial production is contributing to growing
unemployment; Dzhamagulov said 229,000 people from a total
population of 4.6 million are out of work . -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,
Inc.

BOUTROS-GHALI IN AZERBAIJAN. On 29 October UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali arrived in Baku for a three-day visit on the
first stop of a tour of the Transcaucasus, Russian and Western
agencies reported. During an open meeting on 30 October with
Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov, Boutros-Ghali called for
the withdrawal of ethnic Armenian forces from occupied territories
in Azerbaijan in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
Addressing reporters after talks with Azerbaijan President Heidar
Aliev on a variety of issues including the economic situation and
the plight of the estimated one million Azerbaijanis displaced from
their homes by the Armenian incursion, Boutros-Ghali suggested that
the UN assume responsibility for coordinating the parallel efforts
by the CSCE and Russia to mediate a settlement of the Karabakh
conflict. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES OFFENSIVE. Following a weekend of
frequent and often contradictory reports from the battlefields of
Bosnia, the Washington Post writes on 31 October that mainly Muslim
government forces are attacking the Serbs at no fewer than 16
points throughout the country. The government's nominal allies, the
Croats, are providing little support, and population exchanges
continue between Muslim and Croat areas, a point that Borba also
emphasizes. The government troops have nonetheless managed on their
own to cut off and besiege Bosanska Krupa to the east of Bihac. If
the town of 60,000 falls, it would be the biggest single gain for
the government forces since the Serbs launched the war early in
1992. Reuters said on 30 October that Krajina Serb forces were
massing on the border with Bosnia, but they do not yet appear to
have come to the aid of Bosnian Serb forces. -- Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BIG VICTORY IN THE OFFING FOR MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT. Reuters and
Borba report on 31 October that President Kiro Gligorov's governing
Alliance for Macedonia seems well on the way to a big win in the
second round of voting for 110 out of 120 legislative seats. Exact
figures will not be available until later on in the day, and it is
not clear whether the turnout on 30 October was higher or lower
than in the first round on 16 October. It nonetheless seems certain
that the nationalist opposition, by launching a boycott of the
vote, has handed the new parliament to Gligorov's supporters and
their Albanian allies. The opposition has promised that its
"campaign of civil disobedience has started and will continue," but
its supporters may be asking whether it was really worthwhile to
forfeit any role in the legislature, where they previously held a
quarter of the seats. It is also being asked whether the opposition
will succeed in forcing new, early elections. Greek and other press
reports across the Balkans suggest, however, that Gligorov and the
Greek government will take advantage of his new mandate to solve
the outstanding differences between themselves. -- Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SESELJ TO SPEND MORE TIME IN PRISON. Borba of 29-30 October and
Reuters on 28 October report that the ultranationalist leader of
the Serbian Radical Party, Vojislav Seselj, received on 28 October
an additional three months in prison. Seselj, who was just
completing a thirty-day prison term for spitting on the federal
parliament's speaker, was handed the additional jail term for his
participation in a near brawl in the federal rump Yugoslav
legislature in May. Originally Seselj received an eight-month
suspended sentence for his role in attempting to incite the brawl,
but an appeal has resulted in the extended jail term. -- Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL EUROPEAN AND EU FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN BRUSSELS. Foreign
ministers from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic,
Bulgaria, and Romania meet on 31 October in Brussels with their
counterparts from the 12 EU member countries and the four states
slated to enter the EU at the beginning of 1995 (Sweden, Norway,
Finland, and Austria) to discuss the union's eastward expansion by
the end of the decade, international agencies reported. This is the
highest level meeting between the Central Europeans and the EU so
far, and it is designed to provide a forum for serious political
discussions on ways to start bringing the Central European states
into the Western organization. All six Central European states hold
associate membership in the union. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL,
Inc.

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER TO STAY ON IN GOVERNMENT. Foreign Minister
Andrzej Olechowski announced on 29 October that he would "suspend"
his resignation and continue as head of Polish diplomacy pending
the determination by the Constitutional Tribunal of the legality of
his earning two separate salaries from government institutions.
Olechowski told Gazeta Wyborcza on 31 October that he needed to
maintain links between his current position as foreign minister and
his professional career as businessman, that the law is imprecise,
and that accusations directed against him might have been
politically motivated. He added that if the tribunal provides a
different interpretation of the law, he will resign. Olechowski was
accused on 27 October of impropriety in receiving separate
compensation from the ministry and a state-owned bank. He also
admitted receiving a separate compensation for chairing a local
council in one of Warsaw's districts. Olechowski's resignation has
been generally seen within the Polish political establishment as
complicating political relations within the governmental coalition,
as well as those between the president and the government. -- Jan
de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARY TO PROSECUTE THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR 1956 KILLINGS. On 28
October the Budapest Military Prosecutor's Office pressed charges
against three pensioned army officers for killing two
revolutionaries in 1956, MTI reports. The prosecutor's office based
its case on the confessions of the accused, eyewitness accounts,
and archival documents. Under Hungarian law, the killing of unarmed
demonstrators in 1956 falls under the category of war crimes or
crimes against humanity and those responsible can be prosecuted.
Although the Hungarian Constitutional Court approved a year ago a
law on the prosecution of communist officials responsible for the
1956 killings, prosecution has proceeded at a very slow pace
because of lack of evidence and the advanced age of those involved.
It is estimated that some 1,000 unarmed demonstrators were killed
by communists in 1956. -- Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

MDS SUPPORTS MECIAR AS PRIME MINISTER. On 29 October the Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia Republican Council authorized Vladimir
Meciar to accept the nomination to form a government, TASR reports.
The council also nominated Ivan Gasparovic to continue in his post
as parliament chairman. Still, the MDS's hopes of forming a
majority government were dimmed that same day, when the Party of
the Democratic Left Executive Council issued a statement saying
that there is "no threat" of a split in the party and demanding a
temporary end to all public statements on internal party matters.
The council maintained that no agreement on forming a cabinet has
been reached with the MDS and said it would not support the MDS's
calls to set up a commission to investigate the president's
activities. Thus far, the only PDL members to express openness to
forming a coalition with the MDS have been Defense Minister Pavol
Kanis and Economics Minister Peter Magvasi. -- Sharon Fisher,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KOVAC ASKS SLOVAK PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN TO CALL IN ALTERNATES.
President Michal Kovac sent a letter to parliament chairman Ivan
Gasparovic on 28 October asking him to summon substitute deputies
to replace current government members in the opening parliamentary
session, scheduled for 3 November, TASR reported. That same day,
the Christian Democratic Movement leadership decided that it would
invite the alternates regardless of Gasparovic's decision on the
issue. If Gasparovic, who is a member of the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia, does not immediately call in alternates to
replace the 15 cabinet members who have been elected to the
parliament, the session could continue with 135 deputies, which
would give the MDS and the Slovak National Party a majority and
would thus allow the two parties to choose the new parliament
chairman and vice chairmen, as well as the chairmen of
parliamentary committees. According to the Slovak Constitution, a
government member cannot simultaneously hold the position of a
parliamentary deputy. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLICE, EXTREMISTS CLASH IN PRAGUE. Skinheads and anarchists
clashed in Prague during the commemorations of the founding of
Czechoslovakia on 28 October. The rival groups hurled cobblestones
and firecrackers at each other over the heads of police trying to
keep them apart in Old Town Square. CTK reports that body guards of
Miroslav Sladek, the leader of the extreme-right Republican Party,
wounded a television reporter. Later, Jan Vik, the vice chairman of
the party and a deputy in the Czech parliament, was injured during
a scuffle in which police tried to remove Sladek from the Saint
Wenceslas Statue in the center of Prague. Vik fell from the statue
while police were grappling with Sladek's bodyguards, and he lay
unconscious on the pavement until taken to a hospital by ambulance.
A statement issued by the party on 29 October called the police
action a brutal intervention, claiming it was the cause of Vik's
injury. CTK quotes a Prague police official as saying Sladek
grossly insulted police and encouraged others to attack them.
According to the spokesman, Sladek's behavior caused the brawl in
which Vik fell to the street. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOUTROS-GHALI THANKS ROMANIA FOR BALKAN STAND. UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who ended a three-day visit to Romania on 29
October, thanked that country for its "diplomatic assistance" in
backing UN efforts for a peaceful solution in former Yugoslavia.
The statement was made at a press conference after a meeting with
Romania's President Ion Iliescu on 28 October. It also included a
reference to Romania's contribution to the UN peace-keeping
operations in Somalia. Romania had sent a medical unit there, whose
mission ended on 26 October. Radio Bucharest quoted Boutros-Ghali
as saying that the UN was "studying" Romania's request to be
compensated for losses incurred by the Embargo against Serbia and
Montenegro. He warned however that the "process could take a lot of
time" and that compensation must not necessarily take the form of
financial reimbursement. Romania says its direct and indirect
losses because of the Yugoslav crisis amount to some $7 billion. --
Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

SENIOR NATO OFFICIAL TO ROMANIA. A high-ranking NATO official,
Admiral Leighton Smith Jr., who is commander of the allied forces
in Southern Europe, visited Romania on 28 and 29 October, Radio
Bucharest reports. At a press conference on 29 October, the chief
of staff of the Romanian army, Col. Gen. Dumitru Cioflina, said
that Admiral Smith's talks with Romanian army leaders focused on
continuing cooperation within the NATO's Partnership For Peace
program. Romania was the first country to enroll in the PFP program
in January this year. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

CONDITIONS ON RUSSIA'S DEBT DEFERRAL TO UKRAINE. The head of the
Russian foreign ministry's economic cooperation department, Pavel
Smirnov, said that Moscow was willing to defer defer payment on
$635 million of Ukraine's debt until 1 February 1995 under certain
conditions, Interfax reported on 30 October. The conditions he put
forward were that Ukraine accept the "zero option" in regards to
the division of the former Soviet Unions debts and assets. This
would mean that Ukraine hand over its share of former Soviet assets
in exchange for relief on its 16% share of Soviet debt. Smirnov
also said he wanted Ukraine to deposit $10 million in an authorized
Russian bank to facilitate future debt payments, and said that
Ukraine must join the Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear
state if it expected international aid. Ukraine's total foreign
debt stands at $4.3 billion. Russia is its largest creditor with
$2.7 billion owed to it. The bulk of this sum, $1.75 billion, is
owed to Gazprom for natural gas supplies. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL,
Inc.

MOROZ REELECTED LEADER OF UKRAINIAN SOCIALIST PARTY. On 30 October
ITAR-TASS reported that the Ukrainian parliamentary speaker,
Oleksander Moroz, has been reelected leader of the Socialist Party
of Ukraine. There were no rivals for the leadership. After his
reelection, Moroz said the SPU intends to continue cooperating with
other left-wing parties as no party is strong enough to dominate
the political scene. In particular, Moroz said he would cooperate
with the communists, since this is the largest party in Ukraine and
holds the most parliamentary seats. Moroz went on to say that the
SPU did not intend to boycott President Leonid Kuchma's program for
pulling the country out of its economic crisis even though the
program was capitalist in nature. Instead, the SPU would try and
make social issues a priority within that program. -- Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

CRIMEA'S REPUBLICAN PARTY SPLITS. The Republican Party of Crimea
has split into two factions; one supports President Yurii Meshkov,
the other upholds the parliament, ITAR-TASS reported on 30 October.
The party had supported Meshkov in his campaign for the presidency
largely because of his platform to reunite Crimea with Russia. At
an extraordinary meeting called by 14 leading members of the party,
it was resolved that Meshkov had betrayed the interests of the
party and was pursuing policies which accommodated Kiev. A number
of Meshkov's supporters in the Crimean presidium were expelled from
the party, including Petro Morhunov, Serhii Nykulyn, Oleksander
Melnikov and Vyacheslav Bally. At the same time, it was decided to
consider accepting parliamentary speaker and Meshkov's main
opponent, Serhii Tsekov, into the party. A statement was issued
which said that while the Republican Party of Crimea did not want
to cause any complications for Russia, it could not accept Kiev's
position towards the peninsula which says that Crimea is an
internal affair of Ukraine. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

LUKASHENKA IN MOSCOW FOR MEDICAL TREATMENT. On 29 October Interfax
reported that the Belarusian president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, flew
to Moscow for medical treatment. Lukashenka suffers from
radiculitis, which affects the spine. Lukashenka was hospitalized
in September because of his back problem. It is not known how long
he will remain hospitalized in Moscow. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL,
Inc.

DUMA ENDORSES LATVIAN-RUSSIAN ACCORDS. On 28 October the Russian
State Duma approved the Latvian-Russian accords related to the
withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and the status of Russian
military retirees, Baltic media reported. The ratification of the
withdrawal accords was supported by 255 of the 450 deputies, while
the agreement on social guarantees for Russian military pensioners
and their families living in Latvia was endorsed by 279 deputies.
The accords were signed by the Latvian and Russian presidents in
Moscow on 30 April and most of the troops from Latvia were pulled
out before 31 August. The Latvian parliament approved in principle
the ratification of the accords earlier this month, and the final
vote of approval is expected in the second half of November. --
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER RESIGNS. On 28 October Minister
of Internal Affairs Girts Kristovskis resigned following the escape
of 18 prisoners from the Daugavpils Griva prison, Baltic media
reported. In July 89 prisoners escaped from a prison in Jelgava and
about one third of them are still at large. Prime Minister Maris
Gailis, who accepted the resignation, will take on the duties of
internal affairs minister until a new minister is appointed. Baltic
media reported that other top officials in the Internal Affairs
Ministry may also submit their resignations soon. -- Dzintra Bungs,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIA, US SIGN DEFENSE COOPERATION MEMORANDUM. On 28 October in
Washington Lithuanian National Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius
and US Defense Secretary William Perry signed a memorandum on
cooperation between the defense ministries of the two countries,
Radio Lithuania reports. Linkevicius, accompanied by General Staff
Head Lt. Col. Valdas Tutkus and Navy Flotilla Head Commander
Raimundas Baltuska, began his official visit to the US on 23
October. He was acquainted with the work of the Pennsylvania
National Guard and visited the coast guard base at Portsmouth. On
27 October he toured the Naval Academy at Annapolis. -- Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Pete Baumgartner and Ustina Markus)
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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