What you can become, you are already. - Friedrich Hebbel
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 178, Part I, 13 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 178, Part I, 13 September 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Russian Media Empires V (In English and Russian)
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/rumedia5/index.html
A pre-election analysis of media owned by Russian government
and business entities.

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Headlines, Part I

* ANOTHER MOSCOW APARTMENT BUILDING RAZED IN EXPLOSION

* PUTIN, CLINTON DISCUSS CORRUPTION, ARMS CONTROL

* FORMER KAZAKH PREMIER ARRESTED IN MOSCOW

END NOTE: Giving Yalta A New Meaning
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RUSSIA

ANOTHER MOSCOW APARTMENT BUILDING RAZED IN EXPLOSION. Just
four days after an explosion destroyed an apartment house in
Guryanov Street in southeastern Moscow, a blast has leveled a
residential building on Kashirskoe Highway, also in the
southern part of the capital. At least 34 people are dead and
dozens of others missing following a powerful explosion at
5:00 a.m. local time on 13 September. A police spokesman
cited by AP said the incident is being treated as a suspected
bombing, while police chief Colonel General Nikolai Kulikov
has appealed for public help in finding a man who rented
premises on both Guryanov Street and Kashirskoe Highway,
Interfax reported. Last week, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
designated 13 September a day of mourning for the victims of
the Guryanov Street blast as well as for those killed in the
explosions at the Russian capital's Manezh shopping mall and
in the Daghestani town of Buinaksk. JC

YELTSIN URGES COUNTRY TO UNITE IN FACE OF TERRORIST THREAT.
Speaking on national television on 13 September, President
Yeltsin said that "terrorism has declared war on the Russian
people" and that it is therefore "necessary to unite all
forces of society and the state to rebuff the internal
enemy." He did not specify who that enemy is. Yeltsin also
noted that Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo has been
appointed head of an "operations headquarters" for fighting
terrorism and will coordinate the activities of the power
ministries. Earlier, at an emergency meeting in the Kremlin,
Yeltsin said that security will be tightened immediately in
all major cities, noting that particular attention should be
paid to nuclear power stations and other strategic
facilities, as well as oil depots and pipelines, ITAR-TASS
reported. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has cut
short his visit to Auckland, New Zealand, where he was
attending the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
summit, in order to return to Moscow. He called this latest
blast "a clear terrorist act." JC

DUMA TO DEBATE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN SOME REGIONS? State Duma
speaker Gennadii Seleznev has said that when the lower house
reconvenes on 14 September, it is expected to consider a
draft law on imposing a state of emergency in some regions,
ITAR-TASS reported on 13 September. Meanwhile, the chairman
of the Federation Council, Yegor Stroev, was reported to be
consulting with members of the upper house about convening an
extraordinary meeting over the situation in the country. Two
days earlier, on 11 September, Stroev had told Interfax that
"in view of the upcoming parliamentary elections," the
council would vote against declaring a state of emergency. JC

BASAEV DENIES CHECHEN INVOLVEMENT IN GURYANOV STREET BLAST.
In a telephone interview with AP on 12 September, Chechen
field commander Shamil Basaev denied that his men were
responsible for the 9 September explosion in Guryanov Street,
saying that it is "not our style" to kill civilians. The same
day, Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov told NTV that he is
"confident" that the blast was the work of "Chechnya, not
Daghestanis." "There should be no doubt that this was a
terrorist act," he commented. Investigators, meanwhile, are
still seeking to determine whether last week's explosion was
a deliberate act or caused by the mishandling of explosives
illegally stored in the basement of the building. Two people
have been detained in connection with the blast at Guryanov
Street, in which 93 people are now known to have died. JC

PUTIN, CLINTON DISCUSS CORRUPTION... Meeting on the sidelines
of the APEC summit in Auckland on 12 September, U.S.
President Bill Clinton and Russian Premier Putin discussed
the recent allegations of Russian corruption and money-
laundering. U.S. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger
quoted Clinton as saying he hopes that Russia will deal with
those allegations "because it could eat the heart out of
Russian society if the problem of corruption is not dealt
with." Putin commented that corruption is a "matter of
concern" for Moscow but suggested there are some political
dimensions to it, according to Berger. The U.S. official also
quoted the Russian premier as saying that Moscow and
Washington must develop a "cooperative approach" toward
dealing with the problem of money-laundering. JC

...AND ARMS CONTROL. Clinton and Putin also tackled the issue
of arms control, with the latter stressing that Moscow is
committed to trying to persuade the State Duma to ratify
START-2 but that achieving that goal will be "difficult."
Clinton, for his part, repeated the U.S.'s desire to amend
the 1972 ABM treaty so that it can deploy a system to protect
itself against possible attacks by such "rogue states" as
North Korea and Iraq. Putin reportedly said that he
understands Clinton's concerns but that they must be
addressed in such a way as to take into account the security
concerns of other countries. At a meeting in Auckland on 10
September with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov underlined Moscow's
continued opposition to the U.S. deploying a limited ABM
system, arguing that the 1972 treaty is the "cornerstone of
strategic stability" and should not be changed. JC

IVANOV SAYS RESTORING RELATIONS WITH NATO 'NOT ON THE
AGENDA.' Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov told Interfax in
Auckland on 10 September that restoring full fledged
relations to NATO is "not on the agenda today." He made the
remarks after meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Madeleine
Albright. Ivanov added that "if it becomes possible at the
OSCE summit in Istanbul in November to develop the main
principles for European security that presuppose strict
respect for the UN Charter and international law, there will
emerge a chance for gradual unfreezing of relations."
Interfax also quoted him as saying that the situation in
Kosova is "more complicated now" than before the NATO air
campaign against Yugoslavia. Ivanov argued that Kosova's
political future and the organization of civilian life
"appear extremely problematic today." FS

PUTIN ALSO MEETS WITH ZEMIN, OBUCHI. In talks with Chinese
leader Jiang Zemin in Auckland on 12 September, Putin
stressed the importance of developing bilateral trade and
economic relations, noting that there are a number of energy
projects in which Russia would like to participate, Russian
agencies reported, quoting Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov.
Discussions between the Russian premier and his Japanese
counterpart, Keizo Obuchi, the same day in the New Zealand
city side-stepped the issue of the Kuril Islands while
touching upon the pending Russian-Japanese peace treaty
formally ending World War II hostilities. Ivanov, who
participated in the talks, was quoted by Interfax as saying
that both sides are "patiently and consistently dovetailing
positions on cooperation." JC

YELTSIN ASKS UPPER HOUSE TO EXTEND BOSNIAN PEACEKEEPING.
President Yeltsin asked Federation Council chairman Stroev on
10 September to extend the term of the Russian SFOR
peacekeepers in Bosnia until 31 July 2000, Interfax reported.
The UN Security Council extended the mandate of SFOR to that
date on 18 June. FS

VOLOSHIN, CHUBAIS STRIKE BACK OVER SCANDAL ALLEGATIONS. In a
letter published in the 12 September issue of the Italian
daily "Corriere della Sera," Russian presidential chief of
staff Aleksandr Voloshin wrote that some media outlets have
launched an "unprecedented campaign" to discredit the Russian
Federation and its president, according to ITAR-TASS. Arguing
that all corruption allegations are "purely political,"
Voloshin commented that the "flow of lies must be stopped."
Meanwhile, in an interview with "Kommersant-Daily" on 11
September, former First Deputy Prime Minister and current
United Energy Systems head Anatolii Chubais "categorically"
rejected allegations made by Britain's "The Observer" that
the EES is linked to the main bank at the center of the Bank
of New York money-laundering scandal (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
7 September 1999). Chubais said that if the newspaper does
not publish a retraction, his company will file suit in
Britain. JC

PROSECUTOR SAYS BEREZOVSKII'S SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS FROZEN.
Nikolai Volkov of the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office
told NTV on 12 September that Swiss bank accounts belonging
to or linked with business magnate Boris Berezovskii have
been frozen, according to ITAR-TASS. Among other cases,
Volkov is investigating whether Berezovskii set up two
companies in Switzerland to misappropriate Aeroflot funds
totaling some $250 million. The state-owned airline is headed
by Valerii Okulov, who is President Yeltsin's son-in-law. JC

TWO GERMAN BANKS REQUEST PROBE INTO POSSIBLE MONEY-
LAUNDERING. In its latest issue, the German weekly "Der
Spiegel" reports that two of Germany's biggest banks,
Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank, have asked German
prosecutors to examine whether Russian account-holders have
engaged in money-laundering, dpa reported on 11 September.
According to the news agency, both banks have handed over
lists of all dubious transfers by firms and individuals under
investigation in the U.S. Last week, Deutsche Bank head Rolf
Breuer said he could not rule out that his bank has been used
by Russian money-launderers. JC

SKURATOV SAYS HOME SEARCHES WERE INTENDED TO 'SCARE' HIM.
Following searches at his apartment and dacha last week,
suspended Prosecutor-General Yurii Skuratov told "The Moscow
Times" of 11 September that those measures were "designed to
scare" him. "This is a reaction to the degree of frankness I
had allowed myself in recent interviews with the media,"
Skuratov commented (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September
1999). JC

YELTSIN URGES ACCESSION TO INTERNATIONAL CRIME CONVENTIONS.
President Yeltsin has told Prime Minister Putin and other
senior officials that Russia must do more to join European
anti-crime conventions and an international commission
combating money-laundering, Interfax reported on 10
September. The president also urged his representatives in
the two houses of the parliament to push for ratification of
European conventions on extraditing criminals and on mutual
assistance in investigating criminal cases. JC

RUSSIA TO PARTICIPATE IN Y2K MONITORING CENTER IN COLORADO.
Moscow has accepted an offer to station military officers at
a joint monitoring center in Colorado that will observe
missile warning data during the year 2000 transition, AP
reported on 11 September, citing an unidentified Pentagon
senior official. Between 10 and 20 Russian officers are to be
placed at the Y2K Center for Strategic Stability, which will
close down after the New Year. An agreement on Russia's
participation in the project is to be signed during U.S.
Defense Secretary William Cohen's visit to Moscow on 13-14
September, the news agency reported. JC

SVERDLOVSK GOVERNOR RE-ELECTED. Eduard Rossel was re-elected
as governor of Sverdlovsk Oblast, ITAR-TASS reported on 13
September. According to preliminary results, Rossel garnered
some 64 percent of votes in the 12 September run-off, while
Aleksandr Burkov, an oblast Legislative Assembly deputy and
leader of the leftist regional movement May, won 27 percent
support. Turnout was estimated at 36 percent. JC

PRIMAKOV BEATEN OUT BY BREZHNEV, ANDROPOV. Asked whom among
living and deceased politicians they would elect as
president, Russians taking part in a nationwide survey by the
Public Opinion Foundation opted for two late Soviet leaders,
according to Reuters, citing NTV. Leonid Brezhnev and Yurii
Andropov both gained 12 percent support, while former Prime
Minister and current leader of the Fatherland-All Russia bloc
Yevgenii Primakov came a close third, with 10 percent
backing. Russian Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov and
Josef Stalin received the same rating, 7 percent, while
Moscow Mayor Luzhkov garnered 6 percent and Lenin 3 percent.
JC

RUSSIANS OBJECT TO SPLITTING KARACHAEVO-CHERKESSIA. Almost
4,000 ethnic Russians, together with some Karachais, attended
a demonstration on 10 September in republican capital,
Cherkessk, to protest demands by the republic's minority
Cherkess population to divide the republic into Karachai and
Cherkess entities, Interfax reported. Russians are the
largest ethnic group, acounting for some 42 percent of the
region's 441,000 population; Karachais account for 31 percent
and Cherkess less than 10 percent. Some speakers at the rally
argued that if the republic is divided, the Slav populations
should also receive territorial autonomy including Cherkessk,
which the Cherkess also claim. On 11 September, supporters of
Cherkessk Mayor Stanislav Derev (a Cherkess) ended the
protest meeting they began two weeks earlier following a
ruling by the republic's Supreme Court that the 16 May
presidential election victory by General Vladimir Semenov (a
Karachai) is valid, Caucasus Press reported. One of Semenov's
supporters was hospitalized with gunshot wounds following an
attack on 9 September, Interfax reported. LF

MASKHADOV SEEKS LEBED'S SUPPORT TO END DAGHESTAN WAR. Chechen
President Aslan Mazkhadov has written to Krasnoyarsk Krai
Governor Aleksandr Lebed proposing that they meet in the
Daghestani town of Khasavyurt to try to avert "another large-
scale war" between Russia and Chechnya, Interfax reported on
11 September. Lebed, then Russian Security Council secretary,
and Maskhadov, then commander of the Chechen forces, signed
an agreement in Khasavyurt three years ago ending the war in
Chechnya. Maskhadov suggested that tensions between Moscow
and Grozny stem from Russia's failure to fulfill the
provisions of the Khasavyurt agreement. He added that
Chechnya could become Moscow's most important partner in the
North Caucasus. Maskhadov also denied any Chechen government
involvement in the ongoing fighting in Daghestan, which he
blamed on armed groups subordinate to Russian State Duma
deputy Nadir Khachilaev. LF

CHECHEN FIELD COMMANDER WITHDRAWS FORCES FROM NOVOLAKSK.
Shamil Basaev said on 12 September that his forces have been
withdrawn completely from Daghestan's Novolaksk Raion,
Reuters reported. He also denied any connection with the
recent explosions in Moscow. On 10 September, Russian forces
had dislodged the Chechen militants from the Novolaksk
village of Gamiyakh. The following day, a Russian military
helicopter crashed during a combat msission over the vilage
of Duchi. Also on 11 September, Interfax quoted the Russian
Interior Ministry as stating that the Wahhabi leader of the
contested village of Karamakhi has been arrested. LF

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT MEETS IN YALTA WITH AZERBAIJANI, GEORGIAN
COUNTERPARTS. Robert Kocharian met for half an hour on 10
September on the sidelines of the Baltic-Black Sea summit in
Yalta with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Heidar Aliev, to
discuss the Karabakh conflict. It was the third meeting
between the two men within two months (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
18 July and 23 August 1999). Kocharian told journalists after
the talks, which according to Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma were held "in a very friendly and comradely
atmosphere," that the discussion was "interesting" and
"another step forward in the negotiating process," Reuters
reported. Kocharian also met with Georgian President Eduard
Shevardnadze on 10 September to discuss regional affairs
prior to Kocharian's planned visit to Georgia next month,
Caucasus Press reported. LF

AZERBAIJANI OPPOSITION PROTESTS SENTENCE ON JOURNALIST. The
Azerbaijan Popular Front Party issued a statement on 10
September condemning as "inhumane and unfair" the suspended
sentence handed down the previous day on Irada Huseynova, a
journalist with the Russian-language newspaper "Bakinskii
bulvard," Turan reported. The statement termed the sentence
part of the campaign of repression of the media by the
Azerbaijani government. Huseynova was found guilty on charges
of having slandered parliamentary deputy Djalal Aliev,
brother of the president (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September
1999). On 9 September, the international journalists
organization Reporters sans Frontieres wrote to Azerbaijani
Minister of Justice Sudabah Hasanova protesting the sentence
on Huseynova. LF

GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT DEPUTY STRIPPED OF IMMUNITY. Parliament
deputies voted overwhelmingly on 9 September to strip Boris
Kakubava of his deputy's immunity, removing the obstacles to
his arrest on suspicion of involvement in the most recent
foiled assassination attempt against President Shevardnadze,
Caucasus Press reported on 10 September. Georgian police
detained eight people in May in connection with that
undertaking (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 May 1999). Kakubava is
also charged with maintaining criminal contacts with former
Georgian security chief Igor Giorgadze, who is wanted in
connection with the August 1995 bid to kill Shevardnadze.
Kakubava claims to represent the interests of part of the
ethnic Georgians who fled Abkhazia during the 1992-1993 war
(see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 1, No. 37, 10 November
1998). LF

FORMER KAZAKH PREMIER ARRESTED IN MOSCOW... Akezhan
Kazhegeldin was detained by Russian police at Moscow's
Sheremetevo airport late on 10 September on his arrival on a
flight from London. He was hospitalized several hours later
with a suspected heart attack. He told RFE/RL's Kazakh
Service in a telephone interview from his hospital bed the
following day that he had planned to return to Kazakhstan to
visit the cities of Atyrau and Oral following the publication
in "The Washington Times" of an article by Kazakhstan's
ambassador to the U.S., Bolat Nurghaliev, saying that
Kazhegeldin is free to return to Kazakhstan and no legal
proceedings will be brought against him there. Reuters quoted
a spokesman for the Russian Prosecutor-General's office as
saying that Kazhegeldin would be handed over to the Kazakh
authorities if the latter produced an arrest warrant. A
spokesman for Kazakhstan's National Security Committee said
the decision on whether or not to demand Kazhegeldin's
extradition would depend on his state of health. LF

...APPEALS TO YELTSIN. In a 12 September letter addressed to
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Kazhegeldin said that his
life may be endangered if he is extradited to Kazakhstan,
Reuters reported. Kazhegeldin said that the charges of tax
evasion brought against him by the Kazakh authorities are
without foundation, and intended solely to prevent his
participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections. He
appealed to Yeltsin to enable him to return to his temporary
home in Switzerland. On 9 September, Kazakhstan's Central
Electoral Commission had refused to register Kazhegeldin as a
candidate for the 10 October poll (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10
September 1999). LF

KAZAKH OPPOSITION CONDEMNS ARREST. Members of Kazhegeldin's
People's Republican Party of Kazakhstan picketed the Russian
Embassy and the National Security Committee building in
Almaty on 11 September to protest his arrest, RFE/RL's bureau
in the former capital reported. Around a dozen of the
protesters were arrested. At a press conference in Almaty the
same day, the party issued a statement condemning
Kazhegeldin's arrest as involvement by undemocratic forces in
Russia in the suppression of dissent in Kazakhstan, according
to Interfax. Other opposition party leaders, including
Serikbolsyn Abdildin (Communist Party) and Seydakhmet
Quttyqadam (Orleu) endorsed the protest statement. LF

U.S. TO CUT AID TO KAZAKHSTAN? Washington may cut financial
aid to Kazakhstan, which now stands at $75 million per year,
in retaliation for the sale of MiG fighters to North Korea,
Interfax reported on 10 September, quoting an unnamed U.S.
Embassy official in Astana. On 12 September, Kazakhstan's
foreign minister, Qasymzhomart Toqaev, issued a statement
saying that the government had no prior knowledge of that
sale which, he continued, was the result of a "criminal and
irresponsible" violation of the existing export control
system, according to Reuters. Toqaev added that the
government is "truly sorry about what has happened." LF

KYRGYZSTAN SEEKS TALKS WITH GUERRILLAS. Kyrgyz human rights
activisit Tursunbek Akunov, who on 10 September relayed to
the Kyrgyz government in Bishkek the demands put forward by
ethnic Uzbek guerrillas who took four Japanese geologists and
some Kyrgyz police officials hostage in southern Kyrgyzstan
three weeks ago, returned to Batken on 12 September to try to
arrange unofficial negotiations with the guerrillas, RFE/RL's
Bishkek bureau reported. Akunov had told the RFE/RL bureau on
10 September that the guerrillas' leader had assured him that
they bear no grudges against Kyrgyzstan, but want simply to
obtain the release of Muslim colleagues imprisoned in
Uzbekistan. Kyrgyz Deputy Defense Minister Valentin Verchagin
said on 10 September that some of the hostages may have been
taken to neighboring Tajikistan, but all are alive and well,
according to Interfax. Defense Minister General Esen Topoev
met in Batken on 11 September with Uzbek Defense Minister
Khikmatulla Tursunov and a Kazakh government representative
to discuss the hostage situation. LF

TAJIK OPPOSITION DENIES LINKS WITH UZBEK HOSTAGE TAKERS.
Leaders of the United Tajik Opposition (UTO), have rejected
claims published in the official Uzbek press that the ethnic
Uzbek guerrillas responsible for the hostage-takings in
Kyrgyzstan are acting on orders, and receive arms and
ammunition from the UTO (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September
1999), ITAR-TASS reported. In a statement released in
Dushanbe on 10 September, the UTO rejected those allegations
as fabrications aimed at undermining peace and concord in
Tajikistan. It also said that the UTO is making every effort
to resolve the situation in southern Kyrgyzstan, which it
describes as the direct consequence of the policies pursued
by the Uzbek leadership, acording to Asia Plus-Blitz. LF

TURKMENISTAN EXPRESSES INTEREST IN DEFENSE COOPERATION WITH
CHINA. Turkmen Defense Minister Batyr Sardzhaev, who recently
ended a 10-day visit to China, has expressed an interest in
defense cooperation with that country, Interfax reported on
10 September quoting an unnamed Turkmen government source.
Sardzhaev named personnel training and the use and repair of
military hardware as areas of particular interest. LF

TURKMEN POLITICAL PRISONER DIES IN JAIL. Khoshali Garaev, who
was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment in 1995 on charges of
conducting anti-state activities, has died in unclear
circumstances, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reported on 11
September. Garaev's relatives were informed of his death by
prison officials in the Caspian town of Turkmenbashi. Amnesty
International has said it has what it calls strong evidence
that Garaev was a political prisoner jailed to prevent him
from associating with exiled opponents of President
Saparmurat Niyazov. LF

END NOTE

Giving Yalta A New Meaning

By Paul Goble

	Yalta, the place where Moscow and the West divided
Eastern Europe in 1945, is now the symbol of the new and
independent role the countries between Russia and Germany and
the Baltic and Black Seas hope to play in the future.
	On 10-11 September, 14 presidents and other senior
officials from these and adjoining countries met there to
promote cooperation among themselves, to denounce the
emergence of any new dividing lines in Europe, and to demand
that no decisions about them be taken without them.
	This, the third international conference in a series
launched in Vilnius in 1997, represented the latest and most
dramatic effort by these countries to repudiate the great
power politics that dominated thinking at the Yalta
conference in 1945.
	At that first Yalta conference, Soviet leader Josef
Stalin, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, and British Prime
Minister Winston Churchill effectively created new spheres of
influence in Europe without consulting any of the nations
thus affected.
	From that decision, one that has many precedents in
European and world history, many once independent and proud
peoples were consigned to Soviet rule for nearly half a
century. And none of those affected has ever forgotten or
forgiven either that meeting or its results.
	Now, and largely as a result of the efforts of these
nations themselves, they are once again in a position to be
the active subjects of history rather than its mere objects.
	And thus virtually all of the leaders there echoed in
one way or the other the words of Ukrainian Foreign Minister
Borys Tarasyuk who said that " Yalta-99 has done away with
the spirit of Yalta-45."
	But that celebratory spirit was undercut not only by the
tight security arrangements surrounding the meeting but also
by expressions of genuine concern about whether the goals of
Yalta II, as some of the leaders described it, were likely to
be achieved anytime soon.
	Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, the host of this
year's meeting, pointedly appealed to the European Union not
to create a new "paper curtain" of travel restrictions in
place to the now-collapsed "Iron Curtain" of the Cold War.
	Such restrictions on the "free movement of law-abiding
citizens of states aspiring for European integration," Kuchma
suggested, could effectively divide the continent in ways
that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for states
once submerged in the Soviet empire to recover.
	Then, Estonian President Lennart Meri called attention
to one of the problems that many of the other leaders only
alluded to. While the countries of this region are now the
subjects of history, he said, "none of us are simply
subjects."
	As a result, the Baltic leader continued, his country
and its neighbors "remain its objects as well, driven hither
and yon by larger forces and larger states." Because of that,
Meri said, the countries of this region cannot take anything
for granted but must work together to defend their interests.
	And finally, in words that confirmed both the fears and
the appeals of Meri and the others, the Russian
representative at the Yalta meeting used the occasion to
oppose the expansion of a Western institution that many of
the countries in this region hope to join.
	Speaking on 10 September, Russian First Deputy Prime
Minister Viktor Khristenko argued that "NATO's further
expansion--including the Baltic states--would lead to the
creation of new division lines and would in no case assist in
the consolidation of security."
	Khristenko's appeal in itself reflects the continuing
view of many in Moscow that it and no one else should play
the dominant role in this region, a role that Stalin believed
the West had ratified at the first Yalta conference.
	But at the same time, Khristenko made these comments in
a city that is now part of an independent Ukraine and to an
audience consisting of leaders of countries who have either
gained or regained their independence from Moscow.
	And that fact demonstrates more clearly than anything
else just how much the world has changed since 1945 and how
significant Yalta II in fact was, both as a symbol of those
changes and as an expression of hope for the future.
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1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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Updated: 1998-11-

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©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole