The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger
RFE/RL DAILY REPORT

NO. 233, 12 DECEMBER 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIAN TROOPS INVADE CHECHNYA. On 9 December Russian President
Boris Yeltsin issued a decree ordering the Russian government to
use all resources at the state's disposal to disarm "armed
formations" in Chechnya and the region of the Ingush-Ossetian
conflict, ITAR-TASS reported; the decree stressed that actions
aimed at destroying the territorial integrity of the Russian
Federation were illegal under the terms of the Russian
Constitution. Liberal members of the State Duma sent a telegram to
Yeltsin urging him to desist from the use of force in Chechnya
that could turn Russia "from a democratic into a police state" but
postponed until 14 December voting on a draft resolution censuring
Yeltsin's Chechnya policy. On 10 December Russian military
aircraft bombed Grozny, and the Russian government announced that
Chechnya's land and air borders had been sealed. The leader of the
opposition Provisional Council Umar Avturkhanov was quoted by
Reuters as welcoming Yeltsin's decree and urging that it be
immediately implemented. Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev, for
his part, warned in an interview with Izvestiya cited by Reuters
that he no longer controlled the actions of Islamic guerrillas
from within Chechnya and from other Muslim countries who had vowed
to defend Chechnya. Both Dudaev and Avturkhanov affirmed their
readiness to participate in talks with Russian officials scheduled
to open in Vladikavkaz on 12 December, according to ITAR-TASS. On
11 December Russian Defense and Interior Ministry forces entered
Chechnya from Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and Dagestan and
proceeded toward Grozny, encountering virtually no resistance. A
Russian military spokesman told RFE/RL that the troops would seal
off Grozny but would not attempt to storm the city. Whether
Russian troops attempted to disarm the Chechen opposition is
unclear. The invasion was condemned as "idiotic" by Russian State
Duma Defense Committee Chairman Sergei Yushenkov in an interview
with RFE/RL. A group of deputies to the Federation Council
appealed to speaker Vladimir Shumeiko on 11 December to convene an
emergency session to debate the Chechen situation, according to
Interfax. In a written appeal, Dudaev called upon Russia "to step
back from the brink of war." In an address to the Russian people
carried by ITAR-TASS on 11 December, Yeltsin reiterated that "our
goal is to find a political solution" to the Chechen crisis. Liz
Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

INVASION OF CHECHNYA UNPOPULAR IN RUSSIA. In an interview with
RFE/RL on 11 December, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
noted that the Russian invasion of Chechnya was extremely
unpopular among all major political parties and the general public
in Russia. In a survey published by Interfax a few weeks ago, the
majority of respondents disapproved of the use of force against
Chechnya; only slightly over 20 percent approved. With a few
exceptions, the democrats, communists, and even Russian
nationalists all oppose the intervention. Last week, both chambers
of the Russian parliament voiced their opposition to the use of
force--a stand that differs considerably from that of the USSR
parliament at the time of the attempted military crackdown in the
Baltic States in 1990. Authoritarian regimes often attempt to
improve their popularity ratings by way of a small victorious war,
but such wars usually enjoy public support, at least in their
initial stages. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

ABKHAZ, NORTH CAUCASIANS, CRIMEAN TATARS SUPPORT DUDAEV. An
emergency session of the Congress of Caucasian Peoples opened in
Nalchik on 11 December and called for mass protest actions against
the Russian invasion of Chechnya, Interfax reported. Spontaneous
protest demonstrations also took place in Abkhazia, and members of
the Crimean Islamic Party and the Organization of the Crimean
Tatar National Movement stated their intention of recruiting
volunteers to fight in support of the Dudaev regime. Liz Fuller,
RFE/RL, Inc.

INGUSHETIA, DAGESTAN: RESISTANCE TO RUSSIAN ADVANCE REPORTED. At
least four Ingush civilians were killed and others were wounded
when local people in Barsuki, Ingushetia, attempted to stop a
Russian armored column en route to Chechnya. Several tanks were
burned out, and the column moved on under the protection of combat
helicopters. In Dagestan, another Russian armored column moving
toward Chechnya was reported to have been stopped at the border,
also by civilians, Interfax, AFP, and Reuters reported on 11
December. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

NORTH OSSETIA-INGUSHETIA: STATE OF EMERGENCY EXTENDED. Russia's
Council of the Federation approved on 9 December a revised version
of Yeltsin's 2 December decree (whose initial version it had
rejected) extending by two months the state of emergency in the
North Ossetian-Ingush conflict area. The text instructs Russia's
Security Council to consider proposals by the Federation Council
and by the North Ossetian and Ingush presidents on developing
measures to stabilize the region and to prepare conditions for
lifting the state of emergency. In addition, the Federation
Council created a commission to monitor the implementation of the
presidential decree jointly with the Security Council. Ingush
President Ruslan Aushev told Interfax on 9 and 10 December that he
found the amendments inadequate. The text appears to continue
favoring North Ossetia in that it does not stipulate that the
Ingush expelled from Prigorodnyi Raion must be allowed to return
to their homes in Prigorodnyi Raion. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

CONGRESS OF PERSECUTED PEOPLES. Ingushetia's capital Nazran hosted
on 9 and 10 December a Congress of Persecuted Peoples, attended by
representatives of Caucasian peoples that had been deported or
undergone other forms of collective repression under Soviet rule.
The congress called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from
Chechnya; for the resignation of "all of Russia's power
ministers," deemed responsible for using force against civilians
and against Chechnya's "legitimate government"; and for the
resolution of the crisis exclusively by political means. It also
created a special contact group with Chechnya and dispatched it
there, Interfax reported on 9 and 10 December. In addition, the
congress called on the UN Secretary General to define the
repression suffered by those peoples during the Soviet period as
genocide and to condemn it under the UN convention against
genocide. Addressing the congress, Aushev criticized attempts in
Moscow to "emasculate" Russia's 1992 law on the rehabilitation of
the repressed peoples by omitting the provisions on territorial
restitution and right of return. Such changes would adversely
affect the Chechen and Ingush, among others, while pleasing the
Moscow-backed North Ossetians. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

FEDERATION COUNCIL REJECTS LAW ON STATE SUPPORT FOR MEDIA. On 9
December the upper chamber of the Russian parliament voted down
the controversial Law on State Support for the Media, adopted
earlier by the State Duma. Like most Russian editors and
journalists, the Federation Council objected to the provision
stipulating that all subsidies, whether from private persons or
the state budget, must be administered by a monopolistic
supervisory council, to be composed of deputies of both houses of
the parliament and presidential representatives. Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN ELECTED PUBLIC TV GUARDIAN. At a meeting of shareholders
of Russian Public Television (formerly Ostankino) on 10 December,
Yeltsin was elected chairman of the companies' Board of Guardians.
Aleksandr Yakovlev, chairman of the Federal Broadcasting Service
and of the Ostankino Radio and TV Company, was elected chairman of
its Board of Directors. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN OVERRULES DUMA ON CONSTITUTION DAY. On 7 December the
State Duma voted against the president's proposal that 12
December, the anniversary of the new Russian Constitution, be
declared a holiday. The next day, 8 December, Yeltsin issued a
decree making 12 December a national holiday. Why Yeltsin spends
state money on maintaining the parliament is a mystery. Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

GROUND FORCES GENERALS CONTRADICT GRACHEV. Komsomolskaya pravda on
10 December carried an article stating that eleven top generals in
the Russian Ground Forces--including the commander-in-chief,
Colonel General Vladimir Semenov--had sent an appeal to the
parliament decrying the poor condition of the forces. The paper
contrasted this with the recent declaration by Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev that the military was fully combat ready. The paper
quoted the appeal as saying that without "immediate intervention
at the state level" the Ground Forces might not be able to carry
out their duties. The generals were quoted as saying that there
had not been a single divisional training exercise since 1992,
that the forces were drastically undermanned, that more than a
third of the helicopters were grounded, and that equipment was
inadequate. The paper ended by saying it was talking not just
about an attempt by a group of generals to stand up to Grachev but
also the complete disintegration of Russia's Army. Doug Clarke,
RFE/RL, Inc.

NAVY DEPUTY CHIEF SAYS NATO CONTACTS WITH RUSSIA "SUPERFICIAL."
Admiral Igor Kasatonov--the deputy commander-in-chief of the
Russian Navy--told Interfax on 8 December that NATO countries were
maintaining only "superficial contact" with Russia and had not
changed their Cold War doctrine of military superiority. Kasatonov
pointed to a recent incident where North Fleet forces had detected
what he claimed was a US nuclear submarine in Russian territorial
waters in the Barents Sea. He charged that such incidents "make
mutual relations between the world's largest powers rather
problematic." Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN SPACE EFFORTS NEED MORE STATE MONEY. Yurii Koptev, the
director general of the Russian Space Agency, told a news
conference in Samara on 8 December that the Russian space industry
needed at least as twice as much support from the government as it
was now receiving. As quoted by Interfax, he said that more than
2.2 trillion rubles (some $670 million) were needed for research
and design work in 1995. Koptev was in Samara to celebrate the
100th anniversary of the Progress plant--builder of the "Soyuz"
medium-weight space booster. The plant is preparing to introduce a
follow-on "Rus" booster that will be able to put a heavier load in
orbit. "Rus" is being designed for use from Russia's Plesetsk
launch site, and its first launch is expected in 1997. Doug
Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN SECOND THOUGHTS ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM MOLDOVA. Russia's
Foreign Ministry, in a statement distributed by Russia's embassy
in Chisinau and reported by Basapress on 10 December, took issue
with Moldova's recent appeals for international monitoring of the
withdrawal of Russian troops, armaments, and ammunition from
Moldova. Monitoring should only be conducted by the Russian and
the Moldovan side, the Russian statement said. Moldova, however,
had pointed out in its appeals to the UN, the CSCE, the North
Atlantic Assembly, and several Western governments that it lacked
the means to monitor the withdrawal. Meanwhile, the troop
withdrawal agreement signed by the prime ministers on 21 October
is being thrown into question by Russian military and civilian
authorities. In the latest instance, Konstantin Zatulin, chairman
of the Russian Duma's Committee on CIS Affairs, said during a
visit to Tiraspol that the agreement would definitely be submitted
to the Duma for ratification. Zatulin met with "Dniester republic"
leaders in Tiraspol, bypassing Chisinau. The latter thought it had
signed an executive agreement not subject to parliamentary
approval, and it fears that the Duma's hard-line majority may kill
or shelve the agreement. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

HAS MILOSEVIC'S BREAK WITH BOSNIAN SERBS BEEN "A RUSE"? This is
the question posed by a lengthy article in the 10 December Los
Angeles Times and by a shorter piece in the International Herald
Tribune. The Los Angeles daily points to a growing list of
evidence, including anti-aircraft missile batteries cropping up
around Bihac and an apparently good supply of oil for Bosnian and
Krajina Serb forces. One diplomat said of Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic: "There's a good chance he's been
double-dealing and is involved in the Bihac stuff. I'm suspicious
as hell." The article notes that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev met not only with Milosevic on a recent visit to Belgrade
but also with Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic. It
concludes that "the fine hand of Belgrade...is increasingly
visible in the latest Balkan violence. [Diplomats] say they fear
that Milosevic has been maneuvering his Bosnian and Croatian Serb
pawns in a clever endgame." The goal is the establishment of a
greater Serbia. Elsewhere, The New York Times quoted the Croatian
foreign minister as saying that Russian missiles have reached
Serbian forces around Bihac via Montenegro. Finally, Reuters
reported that Belgrade has restored telephone links with Bosnian
Serb territory, and on 12 December Politika quoted the rump
Yugoslav foreign minister as calling for good relations between
Belgrade and Pale. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOSNIAN SERB FORCES CONTINUE CAT-AND-MOUSE GAME WITH THE UN.
International media reported on 10 December that Bosnian Serb
forces have freed the last of their UN hostages but continue to
deny fuel to UNPROFOR forces. This means there is no gasoline for
UN patrols in places like Sarajevo, Gorazde, and Srebrenica. The
11 December Los Angeles Times reported that the Serbs prevented UN
commander General Sir Michael Rose from visiting Bangladeshi
troops around Bihac. Rose then used a word many have employed in
recent days to describe the Serb treatment of UNPROFOR--namely,
"humiliation." The New York Times reported on 12 December that
Serbs the previous day hijacked UN fuel trucks and communications
vehicles and issued an order banning UN use of armored personnel
carriers to escort future convoys. UN spokesmen said such actions
were "totally unacceptable" and "outrageous." The BBC on 10
December noted that Croatia has admitted having regular troops on
Bosnian territory, but the UN withdrew its criticism of Zagreb
after the Croats pointed out that their involvement is at the
invitation of the Bosnian government. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

ANOTHER BLOW AGAINST MEDIA FREEDOM IN CROATIA. News agencies
reported from Zagreb on 9 December that the chief editor of
Vjesnik, Kresimir Fijacko, has been sacked by the paper's new
owner, a bank run by people close to the ruling Croatian
Democratic Community (HDZ). Fijacko, who turned Vjesnik from a
semi-official government mouthpiece into a critical voice, slammed
his firing as "a purely political move." Similar takeovers have
been used by the government of President Franjo Tudjman to muzzle
other independent publications, like the weekly Danas and the
daily Slobodna Dalmacija, which now toe the line of the HDZ, as do
most of the print and virtually all of the electronic media.
Fijacko's successor, Ante Ivkovic, says "our primary interests are
Croatian national interests, and there is nothing above them."
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

CONSOLATION PRIZE FOR SLOVENIA? International media reported on 9
December that Slovenia has sought admission to the dwindling
European Free Trade Association. That body has been drained of
members over the years as countries like Great Britain or Austria
left for what is now the EU; it currently consists only of
Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland. Slovenia is
considered the former Yugoslav republic with the best credentials
for closer economic and social integration with Western Europe,
but Italy has vetoed Slovenia's attempts to win associate-member
status in the EU. Rome has tried to reopen the question of
compensation for Italians who lived in what is now Slovenia prior
to the end of World War II. Ljubljana says that the matter was
settled by a 1975 treaty and that it has reemerged only because of
domestic Italian political pressures from the far Right. Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH PREMIER SATISFIED WITH EU SUMMIT. Rzeczpospolita and Gazeta
Wyborcza on 12 December report that Waldemar Pawlak was "pleased"
with the results of the European Union summit in Essen on 9 and 10
December. In particular, he welcomed the summit's decision to go
ahead with high-speed rail and road projects that provide for EU
investments in Poland. Pawlak noted that West European leaders
stopped short of setting a precise timetable for entry
negotiations but emphasized that Poland's active and sustained
efforts to join the union may make those negotiations easier. Jan
de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND AND SOUTH KOREA TO INTENSIFY ECONOMIC COOPERATION.
Presidents Lech Walesa and Kim Young-Sam on 9 December announced
an agreement to build a joint-venture auto plant in Poland and
strengthen economic ties in general. No details on the projects
were released during Walesa's visit to Seoul, but Rzeczpospolita
on 12 December reported that the South Korean automaker Hyundai
planned to construct a plant near Gdansk and that Daewoo might be
interested in a joint-venture agreement with some Polish vehicle
manufacturers. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH PREMIER ON EU. Speaking at the European Union summit in
Essen on 9 December, Vaclav Klaus said that joining the EU is his
country's main strategic goal. He also noted he was glad "we are
approaching the moment when the final residuals of the Cold War
division of Europe will be overcome." Klaus and the leaders of
five other Central and East European nations were invited to hear
the EU's plans for gradually admitting their states into the
organization. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

HAVEL DISCUSSES BOSNIA. Czech President Vaclav Havel told Czech
Radio on 11 December that it was "almost shocking" that at the
recent CSCE summit in Budapest, "top representatives of Europe
were unable to agree on a joint resolution [on the situation in
Bosnia] that would condemn several bandits." But he did note that
it would have been "unrealistic to expect that Russia, Croatia and
Bosnia could agree on a joint resolution." Havel added that the
failure to adopt such a resolution does not necessarily mean the
overall work of the CSCE will be adversely affected. Jiri Pehe,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECHS LIKE SLOVAKS, DISLIKE GYPSIES. The results of a recent
opinion poll conducted by the Institute for Public Opinion
Research indicate that Slovaks are the most-liked minority in the
Czech Republic. A total of 65 percent of Czechs had a positive
attitude toward Slovaks, while only 7 percent of the poll's 877
respondents displayed a negative attitude toward them. Conversely,
68 percent of the respondents revealed a negative attitude toward
Gypsies; only 5 percent said their relations with Gypsies were
good. The respondents were generally well inclined toward Poles
and Germans, although 20 percent said they disliked Germans. Only
14 percent were well inclined toward Vietnamese, 13 percent toward
Russians, and 10 percent toward citizens of Balkan states. The
poll's findings, published by CTK on 7 December, confirm the
results of previous polls. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PREMIER-DESIGNATE FORMS COALITION. After ten weeks of
political stalemate following the parliamentary elections on 30
September and 1 October, Slovak Prime Minister-designate Vladimir
Meciar on 11 December signed a coalition agreement with the
extreme-right Slovak National Party and the left-wing Association
of Slovak Workers. Together, the three parties hold 83 seats in
the 150-member parliament. Meciar was ousted twice as prime
minister, most recently in March following a parliamentary
no-confidence vote. Meciar told a 11 December press conference
that his government will pursue integration into Western
structures. Both the SNP and the ASW have expressed doubts about
the value of European integration and NATO membership. But SNP
Chairman Jan Slota argued on 11 December that his party has never
rejected joining NATO and is "interested in Slovakia's integration
into the EU." ASW Chairman Jan Luptak said "one has to distinguish
between the opinions of the [coalition] parties and the government
as a whole." According to Meciar, the new government should be
able to work out its program and draft state budget within one
month of its appointment. He said he wanted to meet with both
Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus as soon as possible to resolve
important bilateral issues and Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn
to resolve disagreements. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEMOCRATIC UNION WARNS OF NORMALIZATION IN SLOVAKIA. The
Democratic Union of outgoing Slovak Prime Minister Jozef Moravcik
issued a statement on 11 December saying it was seriously worried
that "a normalization process" had been launched when the Slovak
Parliament set up a special committee to investigate the union. It
claimed that such a process would return Slovak society to the
situation that had existed before November 1989. The Democratic
Union noted that since the parliamentary elections at the
beginning of October, it had been under attack and "its legitimacy
questioned." Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
and its allies set up the special committee at a parliament
session on 3-4 November to investigate whether the union had
collected the 10,000 valid signatures necessary for participating
in the elections, despite the fact that the party won more than
200,000 votes in the elections. Before the special committee was
set up, the Constitutional Court and the Central Electoral
Commission ruled that the 10,000 signatures were valid. The
Democratic Union also argued in its 11 December statement that the
MDS's actions are "a clear sign of the destruction of Slovakia's
democratic system." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

INDEPENDENTS PREVAIL IN HUNGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. According to
the preliminary results of Hungary's second free municipal
elections since 1990, independent candidates won 2,573 of the
3,146 mayoral posts, MTI reports on 12 December. They were
followed by the Hungarian Socialist Party (107), the Alliance of
Free Democrats (55), the Alliance of Young Democrats and the
Christian Democratic People's Party (44 each), the Independent
Smallholders' Party (36), and the Hungarian Democratic Forum (23).
Independent candidates won a total of 15,176 local government
mandates, followed by the HSP with 1,614, the AFD (608), and the
AYD (470). Incumbent Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky (AFD) held on to
his office with 66.2 percent of the vote, ahead of the opposition
candidate Janos Latorcai (28.7 percent) and HSP candidate Etele
Barath (26 percent). Opposition candidates won 12 of Budapest's
district mayoralty races, the AFD five, and the HSP four. The
united conservative opposition parties, especially the Young
Democrats, fared better than in the May 1994 parliamentary
elections. Voter turnout was 43 percent. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL,
Inc.

HUNGARIAN NUCLEAR PLANT MANAGEMENT REPLACED. At an extraordinary
meeting of the co-owners of the Paks Nuclear Works Inc. on 9
December, the plant's entire management was replaced, MTI reported
the same day. Laszlo Marothy was appointed board chairman for the
next three years, and Istvan Szabo, Janos Marton, and Zoltan
Szatmary were named board members. Marothy and Szabo have held
leading positions at Paks for decades. The reason for the
dismissal of general manager Erno Petz was not disclosed. Alfred
Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

WORKERS' PROTEST CONTINUES IN ROMANIA. A protest staged by
thousands of industrial workers in the town of Resita entered its
sixth day on 11 December. Radio Bucharest reported that
demonstrators gathered outside the offices of local authorities
and chanted anti-government slogans. They insisted that Premier
Nicolae Vacaroiu come to Resita and talk to them. Vacaroiu is
scheduled to receive a government commission's report on the
protest on 12 December. Steel and heavy industry workers in Resita
are complaining about delays in wage payments and falling living
standards. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN-ROMANIAN DISPUTE. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma told
a news conference in Kiev that he told President Ion Iliescu
during a conversation at the CSCE summit in Budapest that the
bilateral treaty under negotiation must "codify Ukraine's
territorial integrity and the inviolability of its borders."
Kuchma made his remarks in response to the Romanian parliament's
repeated territorial claims, UNIAN reported on 7 December. The
negotiations toward the bilateral treaty are stalled by the
Romanian Foreign Ministry's demands for the inclusion of language
that would imply a Romanian right to recover territories currently
in Ukraine and Moldova. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT IN UKRAINE. During a three-day official visit
to Ukraine from 8-10 December, Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev
said that bilateral relations "are not overshadowed by any
problems" and that Bulgaria "highly values Ukraine's foreign
policy for its positive, stabilizing role in Europe," UNIAN and
ITAR-TASS reported. He called for a new era of cooperation between
the two countries, saying that "we must develop relations anew, on
market principles." Zhelev, accompanied by a high-level
delegation, signed agreements to boost military and trade ties.
Eight cooperation accords were signed in the energy, air and
overland transportation, shipping, and other sectors, including a
special agreement on "military-technical cooperation" and repairs
of Bulgarian naval ships in Ukraine's docks at Nikolaev. Zhelev
also visited the Black Sea port of Odessa, where he met with
representatives of the Bulgarian population in southern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma told journalists in Kiev on 10
December that he and Zhelev resolved problems related to Russian
gas supplies transiting Ukrainian territory. Ukraine in November
admitted to siphoning off Russian gas deliveries bound for
European countries, including Bulgaria. Vladimir Socor and Jan
Cleave, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS. President Algirdas Brazauskas told a
press conference in Vilnius on 9 December that he met with his
Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, during the CSCE summit in
Budapest, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reports. Brazauskas noted
that the talks on military transit and bilateral trade became
stalled after Russia expressed dissatisfaction with Lithuanian
military transit regulations, due to go into effect on 1 January.
He said that Foreign Ministry officials would resume talks soon
and probably prepare a transit agreement. Brazauskas said he would
telephone with Yeltsin to settle any matters the negotiators were
unable to solve. Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius discussed
similar matters with his Russian counterpart, Viktor Chernomyrdin,
in a telephone conversation on 8 December. The two leaders agreed
to meet in Moscow in mid-January. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN TEACHERS ANNOUNCE GENERAL STRIKE. Following a five-day
warning strike, the teachers' trade union on 9 December announced
a general strike beginning 12 December. They threatened to remain
on strike until the government meets its demands, BNS reports. The
teachers are demanding a 16 percent wage increase as of 1 January
1995, changes in pensions, and improved funding for schools.
President Guntis Ulmanis, while supporting the teachers' demands,
urged them to return to work and argued that striking would not
help their situation. Finance Minister Andris Piebalgs said it
might be possible to find an additional 7 million lati for
teachers in the 1995 budget, but not the 11.8 million lati that
the union is demanding. The government will discuss the teachers'
strike at its regular meeting on 13 December. Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA STOPS OIL DELIVERIES TO ESTONIA. Rudolf Puks, head of Eesti
Energia's fuel department, said the Russian government's 2
December decree ordering that fuel oil exports to Estonia be
halted until 1 April 1995 may cause heating prices to rise in
Estonia, BNS reported on 9 December. He added that because there
are no indications yet that Russia plans to halt gas shipments to
Estonia, Eesti Energia will convert its boiler houses to use gas.
This move will raise the costs for households, since gas energy is
more expensive. The oil stoppage is not expected to have a
significant effect on industrial production, because most
enterprises use domestic shale oil for fuel. Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]
 By Jan Cleave and Penny Morvant
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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Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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