Praise yourself daringly, something always sticks. - Francis Bacon
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 101, Part I, 25 May 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 101, Part I, 25 May 1999

A daily report of developments in Eastern and
Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central
Asia prepared by the staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty.

This is Part I, a compilation of news concerning Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Part II covers Central,
Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and is distributed
simultaneously as a second document.  Back issues of
RFE/RL NewsLine and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at
RFE/RL's Web site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline

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Headlines, Part I

* STEPASHIN FORMS ECONOMIC TEAM

* RUSSIAN STEEL EXPORTS PLUMMET, AS TALKS WITH U.S
INTERRUPTED

* TAJIK OPPOSITION THREATENS TO SUSPEND PARTICIPATION IN
PEACE PROCESS

End Note: NEW ARMS AGREEMENT AIMS TO EASE RUSSIAN FEARS
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RUSSIA

STEPASHIN FORMS ECONOMIC TEAM... Russian President Boris
Yeltsin on 25 May appointed Aleksandr Zhukov first deputy
prime minister with responsibility for the economy and
reappointed Mikhail Zadornov finance minister, NTV reported.
Zhukov, who is a member of the Russian Regions faction in the
State Duma and chairman of the Budget Committee, had earlier
turned down an offer of the post of deputy prime minister,
insisting that he be given a higher rank and that the
country's economic policy-making team be composed of "like-
minded" individuals. "Moskovskii komsomolets" reported on 25
May that the price Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin had to pay
to persuade Yeltsin to upgrade his offer to Zhukov is the
ceding of control over natural monopolies, such as Gazprom,
to the other first deputy prime minister, Nikolai Aksenenko.
JAC

...AS ZHUKOV SUGGESTS DEBT, BANK RESTRUCTURING TOP
PRIORITIES. In an interview carried on NTV on 24 May, Zhukov
said that if he accepts the position, he will focus on
solving the country's foreign-debt problem and restructuring
its banking system. According to "Kommersant-Daily" on 18
May, Zhukov spent 10 years at the Finance Ministry and
graduated from Harvard Business School. During his career in
the Duma, which began in 1993, he "never presumed to
criticize the government severely in public, while not
entirely hiding his entirely liberal economic views."
According to the daily, fellow deputies liked Zhukov's
ability to seek compromise, allowing him to usher the budgets
of three successive governments through the Duma. JAC

ZADORNOV TO KEEP CV READY? In its May issue, "Kontinent"
examined the record of dismissals of deputy prime ministers
and ministers from the federal government over the last seven
years and concluded that finance ministers have little job
security. The journal found that the posts of finance
ministers and chairman of the State Property Committee
experienced the highest turnover, with a total of nine
persons holding each of those posts from 1992-1999. Also
vulnerable were ministers of the economy, health, and fuel
and energy. Meanwhile, Nikolai Bordyuzha, former presidential
administration head, may be out of work again. Citing
unidentified sources," Kommersant-Daily" and Interfax
reported on 22 and 24 May, respectively, that Bordyuzha has
been dismissed from the post he only recently took over,
namely head of the State Customs Committee. JAC

CHERNOMYRDIN SAYS "NO CONSENSUS" OVER KOSOVA... Russian
special envoy to Yugoslavia Viktor Chernomyrdin told Russian
Television on 24 May that none of the international
negotiators on the Kosova crisis has made public details of
their talks last week because those negotiators "have not
reached a consensus yet and have nothing to show for all
their efforts." Chernomyrdin stressed that his negotiations
with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and
Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari were "complicated." He told
ITAR-TASS that the main stumbling blocks continue to be the
withdrawal of Serbian troops and the composition of an
international peace-keeping force. Chernomyrdin told AP later
that he persuaded Ahtisaari and Talbott last week to allow
Yugoslavia to leave some troops in Kosova to guard Serbian
"historical sites." Neither Talbott nor Ahtisaari has
mentioned any such agreement. The three are scheduled to
continue negotiations in Moscow on 26 May. FS

... CHARGES NATO WITH ARMING UCK. Chernomyrdin told ITAR-TASS
in Moscow on 24 May that NATO countries are arming the Kosova
Liberation Army. He also charged that the UCK has made $3
billion by selling illegal drugs. He offered neither proof
nor details. FS

IVANOV SAYS NATO BOMBING CAUSED $100 BILLION IN DAMAGE.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told Interfax in Moscow
on 24 May that the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia has
so far caused material damage totaling $100 billion and has
left 1,200 civilians dead and more than 5,000 injured. He
added that more than 500,000 people have lost their jobs
because of damage to Serbia's economy. Meanwhile, Colonel-
General Anatolii Kornukov, the commander in chief of the
Russian Air Force, said the Yugoslav crisis has prompted
Russia's leadership to consider an increase in air-defense
spending, AP reported. FS

RUSSIAN STEEL EXPORTS PLUMMET, AS TALKS WITH U.S INTERRUPTED.
Russian steel exports to the U.S. plunged 40.8 percent in
April, compared with the previous month, "Rossiiskaya gazeta"
reported on 24 May. Meanwhile, U.S. and Russian trade
negotiators interrupted talks on steel trade in London on 21
May to study proposals, according to the Russian Trade
Ministry's press service, Interfax reported. An unidentified
source in the Russian company Severstal told the agency that
talks so far have brought some progress, such as on the
documents Russian enterprises will be required to present to
the U.S. to export hot-rolled steel. Severstal faces a 73
percent duty on its exports to the U.S. if no agreement is
reached between the two countries before 10 June, while
Novolipetsk and Magnitogorsk steel plants face 218 percent
and 150 percent duties, respectively, according to Interfax.
JAC

FOREIGN MINISTRY AGAIN URGES END TO UN SANCTIONS AGAINST
IRAQ. Responding to the UN Security Council resolution
prolonging humanitarian aid to Iraq for another six months,
the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 24 May
stating that "only the lifting of [UN] sanctions, instead of
the palliative of [again extending aid]," will resolve Iraq's
"humanitarian and socio-economic crisis," Interfax reported.
The statement added that Russia will "work toward that end"
and will also draw up a "new mechanism for monitoring Iraq's
non-manufacture of banned types of arms." JC

MORE GOVERNMENT STAKES IN ENERGY COMPANIES UP FOR SALE. Prime
Minister Stepashin signed a government decree authorizing the
sale of federally owned shares in the Khakassia Coal Company
(Khakasugol) and Krasnoyarsk Coal Company (Krasugol), ITAR-
TASS reported on 24 May. The government will sell 75.6
percent of its 51 percent stake in Krasugol and 81.7 percent
of its 51 percent stake in Khakasugol in single blocks at a
commercial tender. Two days earlier, Gazprom Deputy Chairman
Petr Rodionov told reporters that a 1.5 percent stake in
Gazprom owned by the government will be sold in the near
future. Rodionov said that Gazprom would like to acquire the
stake itself through one of its joint ventures formed by its
subsidiary Gazexport and Germany's Ruhrgas. However, Gazprom
official Sergei Dubinin said on 24 May that the joint venture
has already finalized a complex deal allowing it to acquire 1
percent of Gazprom shares in the form of ADRs (American
Depository Receipts), Reuters reported. JAC

RUSSIANS DIVORCING LESS, MARRYING LESS. The number of
divorces in Russia fell by almost 10 percent in 1998,
according to the State Statistics Committee, "Rossiya"
reported in its May issue. In 1998, there were 591 divorces
per 1,000 marriages. In addition, almost every third divorce
is requested by a couple that has been married for less than
five years. Data also show that the number of marriages is
declining and the number of single mothers increasing. In
1997, 25 percent of all mothers were single, compared with 20
percent in 1994. JAC

CENTRAL BANK CLEARED OF WRONG-DOING? Auditor Eleanora
Mitrofanova told Interfax on 24 May that the Audit Chamber
did not find any violations during its audit of the Central
Bank's Russian accounts. On 21 May, the Audit Chamber's board
approved the results of the audit and sent them to the
Central Bank and to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which is
conducting the Central Bank's 1998 audit. On 20 May, Central
Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko claimed that the auditors
found no violations in the Central Bank's dealings with the
Jersey Island firm FIMACO, ITAR-TASS reported. "The Moscow
Times" predicted on 25 May that since the overall audit is
being carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which is one of
the bank's own contracted auditors, the firm is unlikely to
find any evidence of wrongdoing by its client. JAC

RUSSIA CONSIDERING APPOINTING ITS OWN KEN STARR? ITAR-TASS
reported on 24 May that the Federation Council's committee on
constitutional legislation and judicial problems is examining
a proposal to introduce the use of an independent prosecutor.
According to the agency, Russian legal experts have examined
the U.S.'s "law on government ethics," which is reportedly
designed to restrict the control of the U.S. presidential
administration over the investigation into abuses by its
officials. Some of the experts told the agency that the
Federation Council has the power to appoint an independent
prosecutor who could conduct investigations into high
officials without coming under undue pressure from those
officials. Speaking on the subject of embattled Prosecutor-
General Yurii Skuratov, Federation Council Chairman Yegor
Stroev said on 18 May that the Skuratov scandal "does not
benefit the country or the prosecutor's office" and "I can
only say that the Federation Council is gradually moving
toward strengthening the prosecutor's powers." JAC

TAX MINISTRY CALLS ZHIRINOVSKII A DEADBEAT. Less than a week
before the gubernatorial elections scheduled to take place in
Belgorod Oblast, in which he is a key contender, Vladimir
Zhirinovskii has been accused of owing the federal government
3.9 million rubles ($159,000) in back taxes, Interfax
reported on 24 May. The federal Tax Ministry accused the
Liberal Democratic Party leader of owing taxes on a large
number of assets such as apartments, houses, and other
buildings throughout the country that are used by his party.
Previously, Zhirinovskii had claimed that the houses belong
to the party and not to him. JAC

STUDENTS, PROFESSORS, TRASH HAULERS DEMAND PAYMENT ARREARS.
More than 1,000 professors and students at the Gorno-Altaisk
Pedagogical College in Altai Republic picketed the college's
administration building on 25 May to demand an eight-month
backlog of salaries and student grants, ITAR-TASS reported.
The total debt amounts to 1.1 million rubles ($45,000).
Meanwhile, in the city of Artem in Primorskii Krai, a strike
by more than 200 workers at a trash removal firm entered its
eighth day. The workers called the strike to protest nine
months of back wages, Interfax-Eurasia reported on 24 May.
According to the agency, large piles of trash are growing in
various neighborhoods around the city. JAC

STEPASHIN MOVES TO DEFUSE KARACHEVO-CHERKESS TENSIONS.
Russian Prime Minister Stepashin met in Cherkessk on 24 May
with the outgoing president of the Republic of Karachaevo-
Cherkessia, Vladimir Khubiev, Russian presidential envoy Ivan
Golubev, and the two rival candidates for the presidency,
Vladimir Semenov and Stanislav Derev, Russian agencies
reported. Stepashin announced after the meeting that Khubiev
and Cabinet of Ministers chairman Anatolii Ozov have resigned
voluntarily and that the chairman of the republic's
parliament, Igor Ivanov, will head a provisional government.
President Yeltsin has confirmed Ivanov's appointment. The
provisional government will remain in power until the Russian
Central Electoral Commission and Supreme Court rule on the
validity of the outcome of the disputed 16 May presidential
runoff election. Ingush President Ruslan Aushev expressed his
approval of Stepashin's "sensible" approach to defusing
tensions, according to Interfax. LF

MOSCOW, GROZNY PREPARE FOR YELTSIN-MASKHADOV MEETING. Russian
Premier Stepashin has instructed the Nationalities Ministry
to continue its preparations for the anticipated meeting
between President Yeltsin and his Chechen counterpart, Aslan
Maskhadov, Interfax reported on 24 May, quoting acting
Nationalities Minister Ramazan Abdulatipov. Abdulatipov added
that the talks will address "all aspects of political and
economic relations and the entire negotiating process." In
Grozny, Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Kazbek Makhashev told
Interfax the same day that the Chechen commission set up to
prepare draft documents for consideration at the Yeltsin-
Maskhadov meeting has completed its work. LF

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT PREDICTS LIKELY OUTCOME OF PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTIONS. Speaking in the northern town on Dilijan, Robert
Kocharian said that depending on the results of the 30 May
parliamentary elections, he will invite representatives of
the Miasnutyun bloc and the Dashnak Party to form a new
government, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported on 24 May. Most
observers believe those two groups will be the largest
factions within the new parliament. Kocharian stressed that
the next government must reflect the balance of political
forces within the parliament. He added the new cabinet should
pursue a more forceful economic policy rather than "engage in
empty debates." Kocharian had earlier expressed his support
for both Miasnutyun and the Dashnaks, and he suggested that
he is seeking to defuse tensions between them. He also denied
that the popularity of Miasnutyun's two leaders, Defense
Minister Vazgen Sargsian and former Armenian Communist Party
First Secretary Karen Demirchian, constitutes a threat to his
own position. LF

AZERBAIJAN SAYS U.S. KNEW OF CHINESE ROCKET SALE TO ARMENIA.
State Foreign Policy Adviser Vafa Guluzade was quoted by
AzadInform on 24 May as rejecting the denials by Armenian
Defense Minister Sargsian and his Russian counterpart, Igor
Sergeev, of Guluzade's allegations that Armenia has acquired
eight Typhoon rocket systems from China (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 19 and 21 May1999). Guluzade added that the
Chinese ambassador in Baku has confirmed that the sale took
place and that U.S. envoy Stephen Sestanovich, who visited
Baku on 22 May, said that the U.S. has information about the
deal. Members of Azerbaijan's Turkic Nationalist Party and
that party's youth organization picketed the Chinese embassy
in Baku on 24 May to protest both the reported rocket sales
and Beijing's oppression of its Uighur minority, Turan
reported. The opposition Democratic Bloc, formed by 17
parliamentary deputies, has also demanded that Armenia return
the rockets to China, Turan reported on 21 May. LF

DATE OF AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT'S RETURN HOME UNCLEAR. Heidar
Aliev arrived in Ankara on the evening of 20 May to undergo a
further medical examination at the military hospital where he
was treated for bronchitis in January, ITAR-TASS reported. On
23 May, Aliev traveled to the resort of Antalya to recuperate
from recent heart by-pass surgery, where he will remain for
some 10 days, Reuters reported on 24 May, quoting
presidential administration member Ali Hasanov. On 22 May,
Reuters had quoted an unnamed presidential aide as saying
that Aliev hopes to return to Baku for Azerbaijan's
Independence Day, on 28 May. LF

GEORGIAN OFFICIALS IDENTIFY MORE SUSPECTS IN FOILED
ASSASSINATION BID. Interior Minister Kahka Targamadze on 24
May said that "several dozen" parliamentary deputies and
members of the Defense and National Security Ministries were
involved in the foiled plot to kill President Eduard
Shevardnadze and seize power in Georgia, Caucasus Press
reported. Prosecutor-General Djamlet Babilashvili named
former National Security Minister Igor Giorgadze as having
masterminded the plot. Giorgadze fled Georgia after having
been accused of an attempt to kill Shevardnadze in August
1995. His whereabouts are unknown. Intelligence Department
head Avtandil Ioseliani said that the Georgian authorities
were aware late last year that a new coup was being planned,
but he denied that the CIA was the source of that
information. LF

KAZAKH OPPOSITION PARTY REPORTS REPRISALS AGAINST HUNGER-
STRIKERS. Unnamed leaders of the Orleu Party said after
visiting the southern city of Taraz that 12 employees of the
town's phosphorus plant who launched a hunger strike to
demand the payment of back wages were dismissed from their
jobs on 20 May, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported on 25 May.
Two of the strikers were fined, one jailed for five days, and
the remainder reprimanded by the local court. In Karaganda,
10 inmates of a local prison stabbed themselves in the
stomach in a protest at allegedly intolerable conditions, AP
reported. LF

KAZAKH PRESIDENTIAL PARTY LOBBIES FOR ALLIES. Former Prime
Minister Sergei Tereshchenko, who now heads the OTAN party,
which serves a support base for President Nursultan
Nazarbaev, has repeatedly tried to persuade the leadership of
the Pokolenie (Generation) movement, which seeks to defend
the interests of the elderly, to join a bloc that would
contend the parliamentary elections later this year, RFE/RL's
Kazakh Service reported. Pokolenie leader Irina Savostina
said she declined the invitation as the movement does not
wish to participate in elections. LF

KYRGYZSTAN CUTS WATER SUPPLY TO KAZAKHSTAN. First Deputy
Prime Minister Boris Silaev announced in Bishkek on 24 May
that the water supply to the Jambyl and Chimkent regions of
neighboring Kazakhstan from the Kara-Bura reservoir in
Kyrgyzstan was halted a week ago, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau
reported. According to Silaev, the governments of Kyrgyzstan
and Kazakhstan agreed last year that Kazakhstan would supply
Kyrgyzstan with 560,00 metric tons of coal in 1999 in return
for water from the Kara-Bura reservoir, but Kazakhstan has
not sent any coal to Kyrgyzstan so far this year. Nor has the
Kazakh leadership informed Kyrgyzstan when those deliveries
will be made. Kazakhstan cut gas deliveries to Kyrgyzstan for
several days last week to protest Kyrgyzstan's failure to pay
outstanding debts (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 May 1999). LF

DEATH TOLL IN KYRGYZ ECOLOGICAL DISASTER HIGHER THAN
ORIGINALLY REPORTED? Jengish Jylkybaeva, a physician at the
National Hospital in Bishkek, told RFE/RL last week that she
recently visited Barskoon, the site of the spill of toxic
chemicals in May 1998. Jylkylbaeva said that local records
indicate that 22 people have died in the village over the
past year, compared with a total of 40 deaths in the
preceding four years. In two cases, the cause of death was
given as cyanide poisoning. The Kyrgyz authorities say that
only four people died as a result of the disaster. Speaking
at a press conference in Bishkek on 24 May, First Deputy
Premier Silaev defended as "adequate" the compensation
agreement signed in January 1999 bu the Kyrgyz government and
the Canadian Cameco Corporation, whose Kumtor subsidiary was
responsible for the spill of chemicals. Parliamentary deputy
Jypar Jeksheev argued last week that $3 million was
insufficient to compensate all victims (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 24 May 1999). LF

TAJIK OPPOSITION THREATENS TO SUSPEND PARTICIPATION IN PEACE
PROCESS. In a statement issued on 24 May, the United Tajik
Opposition said that its further participation in the
Commission for National Reconciliation "is meaningless"
unless the Tajik leadership immediately meets several key
demands, ITAR-TASS and AP-Blitz reported. One of those
demands is to increase the UTO's share of posts in national
and local government bodies to the 30 percent provided for in
the 1997 peace accord. The UTO is also demanding 30 percent
representation in banks and foreign embassies; naming UTO
commander Mirzo Zioev as defense minister; legalizing
opposition political parties and media outlets; and releasing
93 jailed opposition fighters. Several of those demands were
contained in an earlier ultimatum to President Imomali
Rakhmonov by UTO chairman Said Abdullo Nuri, who returned to
Dushanbe from Iran on 21 May (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 May
1999). The UTO also proposed a timetable for compliance with
its demands by mid-July. LF

TURKMEN PRESIDENT RESHUFFLES CABINET. Saparmurat Niyazov
named a civilian, Batyr Sardjaev, as defense minister on 24
May, replacing General Gurban Kasymov, who has been appointed
minister of justice, ITAR-TASS reported. Sardjaev oversaw the
military and law enforcement agencies from 1994-1996, when he
was placed in charge of the oil and gas sector. Niyazov
termed the Turkmen army one of the best armed in the entire
CIS, but he added that the quality of training of its troops
requires improvement. Niyazov also named Deputy Premier Yelly
Kurbanmuradov to take over Sardjaev's former duties
overseeing the oil and gas sector and former Central Bank
chairman Khudaiberdy Orazov as deputy premier with
responsibility for the banking system, according to Interfax.
LF

END NOTE

NEW ARMS AGREEMENT AIMS TO EASE RUSSIAN FEARS

By Roland Eggleston

	The U.S., Russia, and 28 other countries are putting the
finishing touches on a new European security agreement
intended to limit the possibility of a surprise military
attack with conventional weapons.
	The basic agreement, reached in Vienna on 30 March after
years of negotiations, places restrictions on the deployment
of battle tanks, artillery, and armored vehicles in
individual European countries from the Atlantic to the Urals.
The final text is expected to be signed in Istanbul in
November by heads of government attending an OSCE summit
meeting.
	A senior U.S. negotiator, who spoke on condition of
anonymity, told RFE/RL that one of the main goals of the new
agreement is to defuse Russian concerns about a possible
concentration of Western tanks, artillery, and armored
vehicles in the three new NATO member states: Poland,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic. "NATO has made several
concessions to ease Russian fears", he said, adding that
"there are special restrictions on the number of both
national and foreign forces which can be deployed in these
countries on a permanent basis."
	On the other hand, the new agreement also prevents
Russia from increasing its permanent forces in Kaliningrad
Oblast, which borders Poland and Lithuania, or in Pskov
Oblast, which borders Estonia. Belarus also accepted
restrictions on the military forces that may be deployed on
its territory.
	Another part of the agreement allows Kazakhstan to
station a limited number of tanks, artillery, and armored
vehicles at the northern end of the Caspian Sea to protect
its oil installations. Kazakhstan is the only Central Asian
country that is a signatory to the treaty, and the area
around the north of the Caspian is the only part of the
country covered by the document.
	In legal terms, the new agreement is an update of the
1990 Paris Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe, which cut
the number of battle tanks, artillery, and armored vehicles
held by NATO and the former Warsaw Pact.
	Much of the 1990 treaty remains unchanged in the new
agreement. But amendments were necessary because it sought to
balance NATO and the now defunct Warsaw Pact. The new
agreement focuses on individual countries and the number of
tanks, artillery. and armored vehicles that may be deployed
in them by either national or foreign forces.
	The agreements allow each country both a national
ceiling and a so-called "regional" ceiling. The former is the
total number of its own forces. The latter is the maximum
number of foreign forces that may be deployed on a permanent
basis. The same system applies to artillery pieces and
armored vehicles.
	Part of the special arrangements made to reassure Russia
about the new NATO members is that the "regional" total in
these countries will be the same as the "national" total.
This restricts the possibilities for deploying foreign NATO
forces on their territory. Belarus has accepted a similar
restriction, which NATO negotiators believe will prevent a
build-up of Russian forces there.
	In addition, the three new NATO members have agreed to
reduce the size of their national forces in the next few
years.. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic were in any
case planning such reductions. A European negotiator told
RFE/RL: "The structure of the armed forces in these countries
was based on their being units of the Warsaw Pact. As members
of NATO, the call is for smaller, more mobile forces."
	NATO, however, insisted on flexibility in these
arrangements to allow for rapid assistance in times of
crisis. This part of the agreement allows reinforcements to
be sent to another country under threat. In most cases, the
initial reinforcement would be limited to a single brigade,
which, in NATO terms, means about 150 tanks, 100 artillery
pieces, and 250 armored vehicles. If the situation worsens,
two brigades may be sent.
	The ceiling on the deployment of foreign forces may also
be temporarily increased in certain other situations,
including joint military exercises under the Partnership for
Peace program. In these cases some equipment may be moved
from one country to another.
	Restrictions on the number of foreign forces deployed in
a single country may also be lifted temporarily for military
exercises that are not part of the Partnership for Peace
program. But this exception is surrounded by restrictions to
ensure that the exercises cannot be turned into a threat
against another country.
	The negotiators have also agreed that the normal limits
can be exceeded when military forces are supporting
peacekeeping operations with a mandate from the UN or the
OSCE. In such cases, the size of the forces deployed is
determined by the mandate.
Finally, the negotiators in Vienna agreed on the thorny issue
of the size of the forces that can be deployed in the so-
called "flank" areas: St. Petersburg Military District and
the Caucasus. Ten countries are affected by the agreement on
the flanks.
	Initially, Russia wanted all restrictions lifted on its
deployment of forces in these flank regions, particularly the
Caucasus. Under the final agreement, in certain circumstances
the "territorial" limit of national and foreign forces in
these regions can be exceeded by the temporary deployment of
one brigade in the region.
	The agreement also allows for temporary arrangements
allowing countries in the flank region to amend the limits in
favor of another country. Negotiators say that in certain
circumstances, this would allow Russia to increase the size
of its forces in the flank region but only if other countries
reduced their own numbers.

The author is a senior RFE/RL correspondent based in Munich.

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