One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try. - Sophocles
RFE/RL DAILY REPORT

NO. 240, 21 DECEMBER 1994

As previously announced, the RFE/RL Research Institute will close
at the end of December. The RFE/RL Daily Report will cease
publication with the issue of 23 December 1994.

A daily digest, similar to the RFE/RL Daily Report, will commence
publication at the beginning of January 1995 and will be available
both electronically, via Internet, and in hard copy. It will be
published by the Open Media Research Institute in Prague--a
public-private venture sponsored by the US Board for International
Broadcasting and the Open Society Institute. Contributors to the
Daily Digest will be the OMRI staff of some 30 country
specialists. The length of the new daily digest and the extent of
coverage will be comparable to the RFE/RL Daily Report. For more
information, contact the Open Media Research Institute, Motokov
Building, Na Strzi 63, 14062 Prague 4, the Czech Republic, tel.
0042-2-6114-2114, fax 0042-2-426-396, or send an e-mail to
OMRI-L@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu (NOT BEFORE 24 DECEMBER).

                              RUSSIA

CHECHNYA: MILITARY SITUATION. Russian forces, including spetsnaz
units, continued their slow advance toward Grozny from the north
against vastly inferior but, apparently, highly motivated Chechen
forces. Russian fighter-bombers and helicopter gunships attacked
both military and civilian targets in Grozny and several nearby
villages. In Grozny, the Russians continued showing a preference
for nighttime bombing. Western agencies cited Russian officers on
the ground as saying that the air force was using recently
developed bombs of higher accuracy; this was corroborated by
military analyst Pavel Felgengauer on NTV on 18 December,
crediting Russia's military industry for the achievement. Chechen
defenders downed two helicopters before reporting in the night of
20 to 21 December that their air defense had run out of
ammunition. Reports of violent robberies committed by Russian
soldiers were indirectly confirmed by the Internal Affairs
Ministry's spokesman in Moscow who said at a briefing, as cited by
Interfax on 20 December, that "armed bandits in Russian Army
uniform are on the move, attacking refugees and looting." Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

KOVALEV IN GROZNY. The veteran human rights campaigner and Duma
deputy Sergei Kovalev, who is also chairman of a human rights
commission attached to the Russian Presidency, has spent the last
week in Ingushetia and Chechnya and the last few days in Grozny in
order to assess the human costs of the invasion. In a statement to
the Russian and foreign public, reported by Radio Liberty on 20
December, Kovalev said the intervention in Chechnya was no longer
Russia's internal affair, given the massive loss of life. On 19
December Kovalev ascertained that there had been at least 43
civilian deaths as a result of that day's bombing of Grozny, Radio
Liberty's correspondent reported from the scene. Kovalev, who has
opposed the intervention all along, released to the media on 20
December the text of a letter to Boris Yeltsin appealing yet again
for an end to the bloodshed, for renouncing official
misinformation, and for political dialogue with Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev (whom Russian democrats consider legitimate).
Kovalev noted in his letter that he was being denied access to
Yeltsin (as he had been when still hoping to sway the president
prior to the invasion). In messages to Yeltsin made public during
the preceding days, Kovalev had in vain drawn attention to the
wanton destruction caused by Russian troops in the villages of
Osinskaya and Pervomaisk. Democratic deputy Viktor Kurochkin gave
an eyewitness account of the same events to the Duma, NTV reported
on 18 December. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

NO "MINIMAL BLOODSHED." On Russian Radio on 19 December the head
of the Afghanistan Invalid Veterans' Fund and secretary of the
Chamber of Public Organizations attached to the Russian
Presidency, Vasilii Sadovnikov, dismissed the notion that there
could be "minimal bloodshed" in Chechnya, giving a graphic
description of the carnage he had witnessed in Afghanistan and now
again in Chechnya. He, too, appealed to Yeltsin to stop the
military intervention. But Yeltsin's adviser Georgii Satarov
appeared to give the current official view when he told Ostankino
TV that civilian casualties are inevitable in an operation of this
kind (which he himself supported). He blamed it on the troops'
"front psychosis, that's a known thing...there is no escaping it."
Foreign Ministry official Vyacheslav Bakhmin took a similar line
on "unavoidable" violations of human rights of civilians,
including the right to life, by Russian troops in Chechnya.
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

WAVE OF REFUGEES. Russia's Minister for Emergency Situations
Sergei Shoigu told a media briefing in Moscow on 20 December that
some 100,000 people had fled from Chechnya in the preceding 10
days, Interfax reported. The figure is eight times as high as the
estimate offered the preceding day by Russia's Migration Service
(see the Daily Report of 19 December). According to Shoigu, 64,000
refugees are in Ingushetia, some 30,000 in Dagestan, 3,000 in
Vladikavkaz, and 2,000 to 3,000 in Stavropol Krai. Russia's
Federal Counterintelligence Service Director Sergei Stepashin,
Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Egorov--who is also Yeltsin's
special representative for Chechnya--and other officials continue
urging the population to flee for its life and accept relocation
by the Migration Service, raising fears of another deportation.
The refugees are unable to flee to either Georgia or Azerbaijan,
as, under a decree issued on 20 December, the Russian government
has reinforced its troops on the border with those countries, and
banned cross-border movement by civilians, vehicles of all types,
and goods in either direction. Radio Mayak's political commentator
observed on 20 December that, "apparently, the processes of
willing exodus or deportation have already begun. Russia's forces
have chosen the tactic of displacing the population. The 400,000
inhabitants of Grozny are being urged to leave the city, but where
are they to go? Where are they going to push Chechnya's population
in general?" Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

OCCUPATION PLANNING UNDER WAY. In connection with the plan to
introduce temporary direct rule from Moscow in Chechnya, senior
Russian officials have told the media in recent days that they are
in the process of selecting Chechen figures for posts in the new
structure. For the top position reserved for a Chechen native,
Federation Council Chairman Vladimir Shumeiko has endorsed Doku
Zavgaev, Izvestiya reported on 20 December. Zavgaev was the CPSU
Central Committee first secretary in Checheno-Ingushetia until
1991; he supported the August 1991 putsch and was ousted by
Dudaev. More recently Zavgaev has been employed in Yeltsin's
Presidential Administration, and he supports the Russian
intervention. According to Moskovskie novosti (no. 63, 11-18
December), Zavgaev is a member of the most influential clan in
Nadterechnyi Raion, which has served as a base for Dudaev's
opponents and the Russian intervention; Zavgaev's brothers are
reported to play a major role in that raion. Under the headline
"Puppeteers in Search of Puppets," the same analysis did not rule
out the candidacy of Umar Avtorkhanov, the nominal leader of the
Provisional Council created and armed by Moscow in Nadterechnyi
Raion to oppose Dudaev. Another claimant is Salambek Khadzhiev,
head of a shadowy "Chechen national salvation government"
described by Interfax on 19 December as slated to form the
territorial organs of power under the direct administration to be
formed by Nikolai Egorov. In Izvestiya of 20 December, the head of
the Chechen Elders' Council, Said-Akhmed Azizov, insisted that "we
have our own state with its organs, and any attempts to saddle us
with outsiders will lead not to peace but to war." Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL Inc.

TATARSTAN PARLIAMENT AMENDS CONSTITUTION. After what were
described as lengthy and tempestuous debates, the parliament of
Tatarstan voted to amend the republic's constitution to pave the
way for a reform of the legislative branch, Pravda reported on 17
December. The legislative organ has been renamed the State
Council. Elections to this bicameral body, which will consist of
130 deputies, will take place on 5 March 1995. Particularly
contentious was the issue of whether local territorial
administrators should be elected or appointed; a compromise was
reached whereby local soviets will be consulted before a candidate
is appointed by presidential edict. Charles Carlson, RFE/RL Inc.

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE ON PAYMENTS TO SUPPLIERS. First Deputy Prime
Minister Anatolii Chubais told reporters in Moscow on 20 December
that Yeltsin had signed a decree requiring companies to pay for
goods and services within three months of delivery or completion;
defaulters will face state penalties dependent on the amount of
nonpayment. The decree will take effect on 1 January. Payment
problems have deprived enterprises of investment capital and
resulted in falls in production and delays in the payment of
wages. Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc.

OIL PRODUCTION FALLS. Output of crude oil in 1994 fell by 11
percent in comparison with last year from 354.6 million tons to
314 million, according to preliminary data from the Fuel and
Energy Ministry cited by Interfax and Western agencies on 19
December. Output is expected to decline still further in 1995 to
295 million tons. But while oil production has been falling since
the late 1980s, exports have grown. In the first 11 months of
1994, 87.8 million tons were exported outside the former USSR, a
15 percent increase over the same period in 1993. Penny Morvant,
RFE/RL Inc.

GOVERNMENT TO STIMULATE PRIVATE INVESTMENT IN INDUSTRY. Russian
Economic Minister Evgenii Yasin told the first Congress of Russian
Businessmen on 19 December that the government planned to
stimulate private investment in industry by a scheme of mixed
public-private financing, Interfax reported. The state would cover
20 percent of the costs of projects carried out by a private
companies to the tune of 1 trillion rubles in 1995. Penny Morvant,
RFE/RL Inc.

MINISTER UNHAPPY WITH US URANIUM DEAL. Atomic Energy Minister
Viktor Mikhaylov told Segodnya defense correspondent Pavel
Felgengauer that there had been little progress on substantive
issues during the recent round of talks between US Vice President
Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.
Felgengauer wrote in the 17 December issue of his paper that
Mikhaylov was particularly unhappy about the Americans' failure to
implement a 1993 agreement by which the US was to buy processed
Russian uranium containing 500 tons of weapons-grade uranium from
dismantled nuclear weapons. He quoted the minister as saying, "we
have not delivered one gram under this contract, and under the
scheme proposed by the Americans, we shall not implement it at
all." Mikhaylov complained that the US had unilaterally worsened
the terms of the agreement. He also said that the Americans had so
far "not allocated a single cent" of the $95 million promised to
reinforce security measurers at nuclear installations. Doug
Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

JOINT VENTURE RECEIVES US MONEY FOR CONVERSION PROJECT. The
Moscow-based Nauka scientific and industrial enterprise and its
joint-venture partner--the American firm Hamilton Standard--were
guaranteed $15.5 million by the US Overseas Private Investment
Corporation in a 16 December Moscow ceremony. The joint venture
will produce, service, and repair air conditioners for Russian
civilian airliners using Nauka technology once used to produce
pressure control systems for MiG jet fighters. Joint venture
officials hoped the air conditioners could eventually be exported
and installed on Boeing and Airbus airliners. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL
Inc.

                               CIS

SOVIET ADMIRALS AGAINST SPLITTING FLEET. Interfax on 20 December
reported that more than 20 admirals of the former Soviet Navy had
issued a statement in Sevastopol calling for a moratorium on
dividing the Black Sea Fleet between Russia and Ukraine. The
statement claimed that the division had been ordered in order to
please "national-separatist forces" and had weakened the combat
capability of the fleet and endangered Russia's southern frontier.
The admirals said that completing the split would mean the end of
the fleet. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA CEASEFIRE TO TAKE EFFECT BEFORE CHRISTMAS . . . Following
three hours of talks with Bosnian Serb leaders at their
headquarters in Pale, former US President Jimmy Carter on 20
December announced that Bosnian Muslims and Serbs would begin a
ceasefire within 72 hours and seek to negotiate an end to the war
by 1 January, international agencies report. Carter, speaking at
Sarajevo airport in the presence of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic and Bosnian Serb commander Ratco Mladic, stressed that UN
peacekeepers would monitor the ceasefire under a deal guaranteeing
the free movement of aid to civilians. He noted that negotiations
would aim at a four-month end to the fighting but failed to say
what would happen if agreement was not reached by New Year's Day.
Reuters reports that US Secretary of State Warren Christopher gave
a cautiously favorable assessment of Carter's Bosnia mission,
saying it would be a "positive step" if his efforts led to a
ceasefire but declining to make any further comment. The New York
Times on 21 December says that some administration aides sounded
skeptical about the ceasefire deal and quotes a senior Whitehouse
official as saying "What has [Carter] accomplished that hasn't
been accomplished in Bosnia 10 times before and then disintegrated
in a few hours or days?" Carter, who visited Bosnia on a private
mission undertaken at the initiative of the Bosnian Serbs, flew
from Sarajevo to Belgrade the same day to brief Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL Inc.

. . . BUT FIGHTING CONTINUES IN BIHAC AND SARAJEVO. International
agencies report that two Serbian rockets hit the northwestern
Muslim town of Bihac on 20 December. A UN military spokesman was
quoted as saying that one of the rockets fell along the front line
and the other near the center of the town. At least 14 civilians
were wounded. Bihac is one of six cities and towns in Bosnia
designated a "safe area." Sarajevo Radio reported the same day
that three people were killed, 45 wounded, and 1,000 left homeless
when artillery shells flattened part of the town. Meanwhile, the
first UN aid flight in a month landed at Sarajevo airport after
Bosnian Serbs gave security guarantees. The airport was closed in
November after a confrontation between Bosnian Serbs and UN
peacekeepers over NATO airstrikes against Bosnian Serb forces
attacking Bihac. Military flights to the Bosnian capital resumed
last weekend. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL Inc.

MORE EQUIPMENT BUT NO MORE TROOPS FOR BOSNIAN PEACEKEEPERS.
Meeting in The Hague on 20 December, military chiefs of countries
contributing to the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia decided to
send more equipment but no more troops to the war-torn republic.
General Bertrand de Lapresle, overall commander of UNPROFOR in the
former Yugoslavia, was quoted by AFP as saying he needs more
engineers to improve roads and bridges, more medical evacuation
equipment, and a better means of delivering humanitarian aid. But
De Lapresle stressed that his proposals did not signify any
"toughening up" of the Bosnian peacekeepers' role, nor "any change
in the nature of their mission." Russian envoy Vitalii Churkin
noted there was no discussion of NATO airstrikes in retaliation
for Bosnian Serb actions against UN troops. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL
Inc.

BELGRADE HOSTS SKODA GENERAL-DIRECTOR. Politika reports that on 20
December rump Yugoslav Premier Radoje Kontic and Serbian Premier
Mirko Marjanovic met with Lubomir Soudek, general-director of the
Czech Republic's main heavy engineering company, Skoda Concern
Pilsen. Discussion focused on Skoda's possible cooperation with
rump Yugoslav firms once international sanctions against Belgrade
are lifted. Skoda is involved in projects ranging from the
manufacture of heavy engineering products to equipping nuclear
power stations. Stan Markotich and Steve Kettle, RFE/RL Inc.

WALESA MEETS WITH COALITION LEADERS. President Lech Walesa on 21
December met with leaders of the government coalition in an
attempt to resolve political differences, Polish media reported.
Shortly before, he vetoed the bill on wages in the public sector,
arguing that the legislation is too restrictive. At the meeting,
which was broadcast by national television, the president
criticized the government for what he called its reluctance to
privatize state enterprises and return private property illegally
nationalized by the Communists. Walesa added he was prepared to
use his veto to force changes in government policy. The government
defended its program and suggested that Walesa's actions were
politically motivated. Polish media have speculated that the main
purpose of the meeting was to prepare the ground for the
forthcoming presidential elections. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.

INCIDENT ON POLISH-BELARUSIAN BORDER. One Belarusian border guard
was seriously injured and three others detained by Polish
authorities in a night-time border incident near Bialystok on 18
December, Rzeczpospolita on 21 December reported. The incident
occurred when the Belarusian guards accidentally crossed the
Polish border in pursuit of a group of African and Asian illegal
immigrants, who had dug a tunnel across the border and entered
Poland. The Belarusian guards ran into a group of Polish soldiers,
who had been alerted by the Belarusian border unit in Grodno about
the illegal immigrants. In the generally chaotic situation, the
Belarusian guards opened fire on the Poles. Rzeczpospolita on 21
December said the incident may lead to more effective bilateral
cooperation in border matters. The newspaper also reported that 21
Somalians, 14 Sri Lankans, and 7 Bangladeshis have been caught by
the Poles and will be sent back to Belarus. Jan de Weydenthal,
RFE/RL Inc.

CZECH OFFICIALS ON SEIZED URANIUM. Interior Ministry spokesman Jan
Subert told journalists on 20 December that the nearly three
kilograms of uranium recently seized from a Czech nuclear
physicist and two citizens of the former Soviet Union was
definitely of nuclear-weapons grade. He said the first tests
performed on the seized material showed that it was 87.5 percent
enriched uranium 235, which, he noted, can be used to ignite the
thermonuclear part of a warhead. Subert added that both the
quality and the quantity of uranium confiscated by Czech police
surpassed any seizure elsewhere. Meanwhile, an RFE/RL
correspondent in Washington reports that US experts are conducting
their own analysis of the seized uranium to confirm it is
weapons-grade material. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

CZECH PREMIER ON PLANNED STRIKE. The Bohemian-Moravian Trade Union
Chamber, the largest labor union alliance in the Czech Republic,
has decided to go ahead with a 15-minute warning strike on 21
December to protest a bill on pensions. The draft law, which was
proposed by the government, envisages changes in paying into the
social security system. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said on
Czech Radio on 20 December that the government "does not intend to
react to the strike at all" and "has already taken a clear stand
on the bill," which must be debated thoroughly by the Czech
parliament before it can become law. The prime minister recently
said it was "unbelievable" that the unions planned a strike over
what the government sees as a civic rather than a labor issue.
Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

CZECH ATTITUDES TOWARD ROMANIES. Almost 50 percent of the Czech
public is in favor of restrictive measures against Romanies,
according to an opinion poll released on 20 December by the Center
for Empirical Studies. The willingness among Czechs to distinguish
between individual Romanies and Romanies as an ethnic group is
limited. Of the poll's 1,911 respondents, 47 percent rejected the
proposal that Romanies should not be judged as a group and that
"there are many decent people among Romanies." A total of 46
percent said they were in favor of Romanies as an ethnic group
being subjected to stricter laws than the rest of the population.
Some 18 percent strongly disagreed with such an approach, while 36
percent partly disagreed. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT ON RELATIONS WITH MECIAR. Michal Kovac said in
Kosice on 20 December that his attitude toward Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar was "fine" and their relations improving. The
president noted that both he and Meciar have taken steps toward
reconciliation and that their relations should continue to improve
in the future. Kovac rejected suggestions that he considers Meciar
his enemy, but he admitted that he and the prime minister differ
over a number of issues. The president also rejected the
suggestion that he should have resigned from his post after
Meciar's impressive election victory in October. He said that
according to a recent opinion poll, more than 60 percent of
Slovaks are opposed to his ouster. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

FURTHER PERSONNEL CHANGES IN SLOVAKIA. The Slovak government on 20
December recalled 27 directors of district offices, which
constitute the backbone of state administration, TASR reports.
They were replaced by officials who in March were recalled from
these posts by the former government of Jozef Moravcik after
criticizing President Michal Kovac and defending Vladimir Meciar's
ousted administration. The Moravcik government argued at the time
that, as civil servants, district directors are not allowed to
take political stands. Slovak Interior Minister Ludovit Hudek told
journalists on 20 December that the current government has no
complaints about the recalled district directors but that it deems
it necessary to "rehabilitate" the officials punished by the
previous government for "their courageous civic attitude." Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAKIA'S COUPON PRIVATIZATION TO START IN JANUARY? Slovak Deputy
Prime Minister Sergej Kozlik told Slovak Television on 20 December
that 23 January is the first possible date for starting the second
wave of voucher privatization. The privatization program was
postponed by Kozlik on 14 December, one day before it was due to
start. The Meciar government claimed the program was ill-prepared.
Kozlik again argued that the second wave had major technical and
organizational flaws. He said the government is currently making
an inventory of firms to be included in the second wave. Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN HUNGARY. Croatian Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Minister Mate Granic, on an official visit to
Hungary on 19-20 December, met with several high ranking
officials, including Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs and
President Arpad Goncz, to discuss bilateral issues and the
situation in the former Yugoslavia. Hungary and Croatia want to
expand cooperation in the area of minority rights, join the
European Union and NATO, establish free trade zones, and review
military affairs, including the establishment of a hot line
between the two countries. The highlight of Granic's visit was the
signing of the Central European Initiative document on the
protection of minorities. Representatives of the CEI and of other
countries were present at the signing. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIA'S NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY TO REJOIN CENTRIST OPPOSITION
ALLIANCE. The Democratic Convention of Romania, the main umbrella
organization uniting centrist opposition parties, approved on 20
December the National Liberal Party's request to rejoin the DCR.
The NLP left the DCR before the 1992 elections. Meanwhile, the
Liberal Party '93, another DCR member, has announced its intention
to run on a separate list in the 1996 general elections. It will,
however, back a joint candidate in the presidential elections, due
to be held in 1996. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIA SEES LEGAL BROTHELS AS WAY TO FIGHT AIDS. Romanian Health
Minister Iulian Mincu told a news conference that opening
legalized brothels must be considered a means of combating AIDS,
Reuters reports on 21 December. Brothels are illegal in Romania
but prostitution is widespread. AIDS in Romania is largely
confined to children, who account for 93 percent of the 2,847
cases of full-blown AIDS. However, doctors fear an imminent
explosion of the disease among adults. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS WANT TO FORM GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY.
The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) wants to form a government of
national unity, despite its absolute majority in the new Bulgarian
parliament, Standart reported on 21 December. The BSP's National
Council is scheduled to meet after Christmas to discuss the
party's policies. But even in a coalition government, the
Socialists expect to control the Ministries of Internal Affairs,
Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Foreign Trade. BSP leader Zhan
Videnov said at a news conference on 20 December that he ruled out
cooperation with the Union of Democratic Forces, the Socialists'
main rival (which won 69 seats), but that he would try to form a
coalition with smaller parties. Osman Oktai, deputy chairman of
the predominantly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (15
seats), said his party would not participate in a coalition with
the Socialists. Leaders of the Popular Union (18 seats) were also
skeptical about the possibility of forming a coalition with the
former Communists. And Georgi Ganchev, leader of the Bulgarian
Business Bloc (15 seats), said he was "doubtful" about a coalition
with the BSP. Stefan Krause and Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

CORRUPTION CHARGES IN BELARUS. In a report submitted to the
parliament on 20 December, the leader of Belarus's independent
unions Sergei Antonchik claimed there was widespread corruption
among the present administration, international agencies and
Interfax reported. Antonchik said Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka should dismiss several government officials, including
Premier Mikhail Chigur. He accused Lukashenka of having allocated
$14 million in state funds to his aide Ivan Tsitsiankou to build a
private business center in Minsk. Tsitsiankou, along with two
other aides also charged with corruption, subsequently resigned.
Antonchik also claimed that corruption has worsened since
Lukashenka took office. Denying that his administration was
corrupt, Lukashenka stated he would not resign. He said the
corruption allegations are "a smoke screen to force him from
office" and announced that he has asked the prosecutor-general to
give a legal assessment of Antonchik's report. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL
Inc.

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS. Estonian Prime Minister Andres Tarand
said in Finland on 16 December that Estonia was prepared to make
concessions in its border dispute with Russia if the latter
recognized the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920 as the international
treaty under which the Estonian state was inaugurated. Vello
Saatpalu, chairman of the parliament Foreign Affairs Commission,
said no European country would support Estonian claims for land in
Russia because it would open a Pandora's box for other territorial
claims. Opposition leaders said Tarand's comment was politically
ill-timed and would make it more difficult to reach a compromise
in talks with Russia, BNS reported on 20 December. The Tallinn
Union of Russian Citizens also released a statement that day
urging Russia not to recognize the treaty, which it claimed "laid
the foundation for repressions against Russian citizens" Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

WORLD BANK LOAN FOR ESTONIA. Agate Dalton, head of the Estonian
Finance Ministry's international cooperation department, said the
Estonian government had completed negotiations for an $18 million
World Bank loan and authorized Finance Minister Andres Lipstok to
sign it, BNS reported on 20 December. The deal should be concluded
after the World Bank board of directors approves the loan at its
meeting on 19 January. The money will be used to build a bioclinic
for Tartu University, purchase medical equipment, and organize
training programs. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

LITHUANIAN SUPREME COURT CHAIRMAN APPOINTED. The Seimas on 20
December voted unanimously to approve President Algirdas
Brazauskas's nomination of Pranas Kuris as chairman of the
Lithuanian Supreme Court, BNS reports. The 56-year-old Kuris was
justice minister from 1977 to 1990, ambassador to Belgium, and
from April 1994 a judge at the European Human Rights Court.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

(Compiled by Penny Morvant and Jan Cleave)
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
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Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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