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Newsline - January 6, 2000




RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE RESPONSIBLE FOR MOSCOW BOMBINGS?

"The Independent" on 6 January reported that it has acquired video footage shot in Grozny last month in which a man claiming to be an officer with Russia's Military Intelligence (GRU) said the GRU, along with the Federal Security Service (FSB), was responsible for the August bombing of apartment buildings in Moscow and Volgodonsk. The bombings have served as the rationale for launching reprisals against Chechnya. The officer gave his name and rank and said he had been captured by the Chechens on the border between Chechnya and Daghestan. A Defense Ministry official told the British daily that the report is "rubbish" and part of an information war being waged by the Chechens. LF

CHECHEN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR THREE-DAY CEASEFIRE...

Aslan Maskhadov has called for a three-day ceasefire throughout Chechnya from 9-11 January, according to an appeal sent to the Russian leadership by a member of the Chechen representation in Georgia on 5 January. Maskhadov said the ceasefire is needed because of the critical level of chemical contamination in Grozny which has resulted from the Russian air bombardment of a chemical plant in the city and the use of chemical weapons by Russian forces, Reuters and Caucasus Press reported. Maskhadov also called on the OSCE to send observers to Chechnya. LF

...WHICH MOSCOW REJECTS

Speaking in Moscow on 5 January, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff Colonel-General Valerii Manilov rejected as "disinformation and lies" Maskhadov's statement that Russian forces have used chemical weapons in Chechnya, according to Reuters. He added that "there can be no truce," and that "the only way to end the bloodshed is for the fighters to stop their senseless resistance." A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman told ITAR- TASS that it is the Chechen side, not the federal forces, that is using chemical weapons. First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Koshman, who is the Russian government representative in Chechnya, also denied that Russian troops have use chemical weapons in Grozny but added that the Chechens have done so on three occasions. LF

RUSSIA'S CAMPAIGN SEASON STARTS

The Federation Council on 5 January approved 26 March as the date for the presidential elections by a vote of 145 to 1. Central Election Commission Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov told "Rossiiskaya gazeta" on 5 January that he expects the campaign for Russia's presidency to begin on 6 January. He added that 21 March will be the last day of the campaign. JAC

ALL RUSSIA ABANDONS PRIMAKOV FOR PUTIN

Vladimir Yakovlev, a founding member of the All Russia movement, on 5 January said All Russia's political council has decided to back acting President Vladimir Putin for the presidency. Yakovlev added that he will meet with Fatherland-All Russia (OVR) leader Yevgenii Primakov. Yakovlev's remarks followed comments by Oleg Morozov, secretary of the OVR Coordination Council, the same day that Primakov should run independently of OVR (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 January 1999). ITAR-TASS reported on 5 January that regional branches of the Assembly of Russian Nations in the republics of Daghestan and Udmurtia and the oblasts of Orenburg and Voronezh have called on All Russia to support Putin's candidacy. Deputy OVR headquarters chief Sergei Yasztrezhembskii earlier accused ITAR-TASS of biased coverage in favor of the Kremlin (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 November 1999). JAC

YAVLINSKII TO COMPETE FOR PRESIDENCY...

Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii on 5 January said he intends to run for president despite the fact that acting President Putin's victory may already be a foregone conclusion, Interfax reported. Yavlinskii said "there are millions of people in Russia who don't want to vote for either [Communist Party leader Gennadii] Zyuganov or Putin." When asked about fellow Yabloko member Sergei Stepashin's opinion that all reformist groups might back Putin, Yavlinskii said he respects the right of his allies to have a "personal opinion." Stepashin recently won a State Duma seat in a single-mandate district in St. Petersburg. JAC

...AND ZYUGANOV WILL JOIN HIM

Communist Party activists on 6 January announced that they have nominated their leader, Gennadii Zyuganov, as the party's candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, Interfax reported. On the same day, Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleev, who ran as the fourth candidate on the Communist Party's federal list in the State Duma elections, said he believes Putin has a better chance of winning than Zyuganov. He added that "although Zyuganov and I are friends, it is necessary to think about who is more prepared to govern the country." Tuleev supported a number of Unity candidates in the State Duma elections. JAC

MEETING ON DUMA POSTS EXPECTED SOON...

Faction leaders in the newly elected State Duma agreed to meet on 11 January to discuss dividing up the legislature's committee chairmanships among the factions. Vladimir Zhirinovskii, who leads the Zhirinovskii Bloc, said "all faction leaders have agreed to reduce the number of committees in the next Duma." Zhirinovskii added that his Liberal Democratic Party will strive to have an independent deputy elected as Duma speaker. State Duma deputy Gennadii Raikov of Tyumen Oblast said some 46 deputies from single-mandate districts have already agreed to join the People's Deputies group. Raikov said earlier that this group would support Putin's government (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 December 1999). JAC

...AS CHAIRMAN'S SLOT CONSIDERED KEY

Newly re-elected State Duma deputy Aleksandr Shokhin told "Segodnya" on 5 January that the next key fight in Moscow will be over the post of Duma speaker because of the approaching presidential elections. He predicted that the Communist will support OVR leader Primakov for the post, while Unity, the Union of Rightist Forces, and Yabloko will support former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin. He concluded that "the possibility of an independent candidate being elected speaker is hardly plausible, as the speaker is the third most important position in a state that is going to become a strong state." In the past, Shokhin accurately predicted both the dismissal of the Primakov government and former President Boris Yeltsin's resignation. Shokhin suggested that a winning formula for Putin would be to avoid revealing his political character or any policy specifics until after the elections. JAC

RESHUFFLE OF ECONOMIC POLICYMAKERS TIPPED

Acting President Putin on 5 January appointed Viktor Ivanov as deputy head of the presidential administration. Ivanov has previous experience in the chemical and petrochemical industry. "Segodnya" speculated the same day that additional dismissals are in the offing and that the likely targets are Viktor Khristenko and Nikolai Aksenenko, both first deputy prime ministers, and Economics Minister Andrei Shapovalyants. The daily predicts that Deputy Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin will be named to replace Khristenko and that Communications Minister Leonid Reyman is due for some kind of promotion or, at the very least, increased influence due to his good personal relationship with Putin. Putin's acting Press Secretary Mikhail Kozhukhov told Ekho Moskvy that a number of personnel shifts are being contemplated. He added that, in the economy, Putin believes the state needs to find "a balance between the spontaneous market and state control." JAC

CENTRAL BANK RECOMMENDS TIGHTENING HARD CURRENCY CONTROLS...

Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko told "Vremya MN" on 5 January that he believes Russia's exporters should be required to sell all the foreign currency they earn back to the state. Gerashchenko said additional state-sponsored measures are necessary to compensate for the "seasonal decrease in the hard-currency receipts of exporters," and to help prevent a fundamental revision of the 2000 budget and a resetting of monetary and credit policy targets. Under the current law, exporters must convert 75 percent of their hard currency earnings into rubles. JAC

...AS GOVERNMENT PREPARES FOR NEXT ROUND WITH IMF

First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko on 5 January said the Russian government hopes to submit a report on its finances in 1999 to the IMF in January, Reuters reported. After that, the timing and format for the negotiations between the government and the IMF on Russia's 2000 budget and monetary policy will be set. The fund has previously expressed its opposition to almost any kind of currency controls. On 6 January, Khristenko called Gerashchenko's proposal "fully realistic." According to ITAR-TASS, Putin said that such a measure "should be accompanied by stronger controls on foreign exchange/exports [transactions] and should not inflict damage on the country's exporters." JAC

SIBERIAN REPUBLIC ADOPTS ENGLISH AS ONE OF ITS 'WORKING LANGUAGES'

President Mikhail Nikolaev of the Republic of Sakha (formerly known as Yakutia) has signed a decree that makes English a mandatory language for instruction in schools as well as one of the "working languages" at official functions, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 January. According to the decree, the measure is necessary because of "the intensification of inter-state communication, the broad adoption of advanced information technologies, and Sakha's desire for integration into the world economic community, as well as for the creation of a cadre of workers who meet international standards." Ministers and department heads have been instructed to provide English lessons for their staffs. Sakha is perhaps best known for its extensive diamond production. JAC

PETS BACK ON THE MENU

Acting President Putin on 5 January vetoed a bill on cruelty toward animals that would have prohibited the eating of pets among other acts (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 December 1999). According to Reuters, Putin rejected the legislation on the grounds that animals are already protected by existing legislation. The increasingly pro-Kremlin ITAR-TASS reported on the same day that Putin has exchanged e-mails with animal rights activist and former film star Brigitte Bardot on the issue of animal rights. Putin reportedly wrote, "I hope that in the new millennium --thanks to the devotion of people like you--humankind will be gentler and more courageous. That means taking greater care of the weak and defenseless." JAC

CLARIFICATION

On 3 December, "RFE/RL Newsline" reported that Israel was backing Russia on Chechnya. In fact, according to a statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on 23 December, Israel supports efforts to combat terrorism but Foreign Minister David Levy told Moscow Israel has expressed its regrets about the loss of lives during the Russian campaign and hopes for a political solution by peaceful means.




ANOTHER OFFICIAL DETAINED IN CONNECTION WITH ARMENIAN PARLIAMENT SHOOTINGS

Harutiun Harutiunian, the deputy director of Armenian National Television, has been detained in connection with the 27 October murder of eight senior officials, Caucasus Press reported on 6 January, citing ITAR- TASS. Fourteen other people have been charged in connection with the shootings. LF

INVESTIGATION INTO AZERBAIJANI PRISON RIOT COMPLETED

Police have completed an investigation into the January 1999 mutiny at the high-security Gobustan jail, Turan reported on 5 January (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 and 11 January 1999). Twenty-three prisoners and one prison guard have been charged in connection with the incident, in which a group of prisoners seized hostages and demanded transportation to leave the country. One hostage and two prisoners, including former Army General Vahid Musaev, were killed when Interior Ministry troops stormed the prison. LF

GEORGIAN COUP SUSPECT DIES IN JAIL

Former Georgian National Security Ministry official Temur Papuashvili died in prison on 5 January, Caucasus Press reported the following day. Forensic expert Levan Chichua said the probable cause of death was acute pneumonia. Papuashvili was one of seven people charged with planning a coup d'etat in Georgia last May (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 May and 30 December 1999). Papuashvili had refused to give any evidence during his interrogation. LF

KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT HOSPITALIZED

Nursultan Nazarbaev is receiving treatment at the Presidential Clinic in Almaty after catching a cold during the New Year's Eve celebrations in Astana, RFE/RL's correspondent in Almaty reported on 6 January. For the past week, northern and central Kazakhstan have experienced temperatures of -42 degrees Celsius. At least five people have frozen to death. LF

TWO KYRGYZ OPPOSITION PARTIES ALIGN...

The Ar-Namys (Dignity) Party and the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan held separate congresses in Bishkek on 5 January at which they announced the formation of an electoral alliance for the 20 February parliamentary poll, RFE/RL's bureau in the Kyrgyz capital reported. The parties also drew up a joint list of 19 candidates to contest the 15 seats in the new parliament that will be allocated under the proportional system. Ar-Namys, which is the second largest party in Kyrgyzstan, is barred by law from setting up a separate party list as the party was formed less than one year before the election date. LF

...KYRGYZ OPPOSITION LEADER WOOS RUSSIAN MINORITY...

Former Bishkek Mayor Feliks Kulov, who is chairman of the Ar-Namys Party, told the estimated 700 delegates at the party congress that, if elected, he will campaign to have the Russian language formally recognized in the Kyrgyz Constitution as one of the country's official languages, according to ITAR- TASS. Kulov also said Ar-Namys will try to ensure as much representation as possible for the country ethnic minorities in the new parliament. He noted that almost all of the deputies in the outgoing parliament are ethnic Kyrgyz. LF

...FACES CRIMINAL CHARGES

The Kyrgyz Prosecutor-General's Office has launched criminal proceedings against Kulov on charges of illegally confiscating almost half a million liters of spirit valued at $1.5 million from the Khimsintez company in 1996, when he was governor of Chu Oblast, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported on 5 January. Kulov said at the time that the spirit had been imported illegally. LF

TURKMEN PRESIDENT FIRES DEPUTY PREMIER

Saparmurat Niyazov has dismissed Deputy Prime Minister Khudaiberdy Orazov, accusing him of professional failings and immodesty in his private life, Interfax reported on 5 January. Niyazov specifically criticized the shortfall in tax collection, which he said has had a negative impacts on macro-economic reforms. A former chairman of the Central Bank, Orazov was appointed deputy prime minister responsible for the economic and finance ministries and the banking sector in a May cabinet reshuffle aimed at increasing foreign investment (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 May 1999). Niyazov appointed current Central Bank Chairman Seitbai Kandymov to replace Orazov as deputy prime minister. LF

TURKMENISTAN TO BOOST OIL PRODUCTION

Turkmenistan will produce some 10 million metric tons of oil and gas condensate in 2000, which is 3 million more than in 1999, Interfax reported on 5 January, citing unnamed Turkmenneft officials. The country will also export 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas, of which 20 billion will go to Russia and 5 billion to Iran. Under a 10-year economic development program adopted last July, Turkmenistan plans to expand annual oil output to 30 million tons by 2010. LF




BELARUSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS DEMAND LUKASHENKA'S RESIGNATION

More than 20 activists of the Belarusian Human Rights League and the Belarusian Human Rights Association gathered in the reception room of the presidential administration on 5 January to demand Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's resignation, Belapan reported. They signed a petition reminding Lukashenka of his electoral pledge to resign if he failed to introduce order in the country, stop price hikes, improve living standards, return lost Soviet-era savings, and punish corrupt officials within a year. The petitioners said Lukashenka has failed to meet those promises and said he should follow Boris Yeltsin's example. JM

BELARUSIAN OFFICIAL SAYS PUTIN STRENGTHENING UNION OPPONENTS

Syarhey Posakhau, Belarus's permanent representative to the CIS, on 5 January said acting Russian President Vladimir Putin's first steps as head of state have given rise to concern over the future of the Belarus-Russia Union, Belapan reported. Posakhau said Putin has strengthened the hand of the union's opponents, such as Anatolii Chubais and First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksenenko. Posakhau added that Putin has also slowed down the process of setting up the supranational bodies called for in the union treaty. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER KILLS PREVIOUS CABINET'S DRAFT LAWS

Viktor Yushchenko has withdrawn 161 draft laws submitted to the parliament by the former cabinet of Valeriy Pustovoytenko, Interfax reported on 5 January. Cabinet secretary Viktor Lysytskyy said the "lion's share" of the bills will not be changed in any essential way since Yushchenko will follow "the strategy of reforms" that was defined by President Leonid Kuchma in October 1994. "The point is to accelerate, deepen, and strengthen some reform parameters, to implement in a more consistent way what was determined several years ago," Lysytskyy noted. JM

COUNCIL OF EUROPE PRAISES UKRAINE FOR MOVE TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY

The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on 5 January hailed the Ukrainian Constitutional Court's ruling that the death penalty is unconstitutional (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 January 2000). "The decision...is a welcome step forward in the honoring of Ukraine's obligations and commitments as a member-state of the Council of Europe," the council's president, Lord Russell Johnston, said in a statement. He also praised Ukraine's recent adoption of new laws on political parties and its ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. JM

ANOTHER UKRAINIAN RUKH PARTY REGISTERS

The Justice Ministry has registered the Ukrainian Popular Rukh, a party consisting of Yuriy Kostenko's faction in the original Rukh, Interfax reported on 5 January. It is the 90th political party registered in Ukraine. According to its activists, the party has 20,300 members in all regions of the country. The other Rukh faction, led by Hennadiy Udovenko, is registered under the name of the Popular Rukh of Ukraine. JM

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE REACHES DOUBLE DIGITS IN LITHUANIA

The unemployment rate in Lithuania reached double figures at the turn of the year for the first time since the restoration of independence. As of 1 January, 10 percent of the workforce is out of work, an increase of 0.5 percent over the previous month, ELTA reported. The unemployment rate one year ago was 6.9 percent. The Northern Akmene region has the highest rate at 19.7 percent, followed by the Salcininkai region next to Belarus with 19.3 percent and the Lazdijai region adjacent to Poland with 18.6 percent. The jobless rate in Vilnius is 6.9 percent, while the rate in Lithuania's second city Kaunas is 7.1 percent. Labor experts in Lithuania believe the national unemployment rate will remain below 10 percent for most of 2000. MH

POLAND'S MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY TO SUPPORT RE-ELECTION OF PRESIDENT

Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) leader Leszek Miller on 5 January said there is no better presidential candidate in Poland than the incumbent Aleksander Kwasniewski, PAP reported. During a meeting of SLD leaders with the president, Miller pledged that his party will back Kwasniewski's re-election bid. However, Kwasniewski has yet to announce officially that he will run for president in this year's elections. The president is Poland's most popular politician, with polls showing that some 70 percent of Poles say he has performed his duties well. JM

SOLIDARITY CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO HELP CHECHEN REFUGEES

The Solidarity trade union on 5 January appealed to the government to allow people from Chechnya to enter Poland and obtain refugee status, PAP reported. Solidarity activist Jacek Smagowicz said Poland must "do something concrete" about the situation in Chechnya "rather than registering events passively" or else it will share "responsibility for that crime." He added: "We have helped Greek Communists in the past and Kosova residents quite recently, so why shouldn't we help Chechens?" JM

CZECH PREMIER, OPPOSITION LEADER HOLD SECRET MEETING

Prime Minister Milos Zeman and opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) leader Vaclav Klaus on 5 January met secretly in the government office to discuss ODS demands for a cabinet reshuffle, according to a 6 January "Pravo" report cited by CTK. The leadership of Zeman's Social Democratic Party is scheduled to meet with the ODS leadership on 7 January to discuss the future of the so-called opposition agreement between the two parties. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Rychetsky told "Pravo" that Klaus and Zeman did not discuss any specific cabinet changes at their 5 January meeting. MS

CZECH GOVERNMENT APPROVES CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFT AMENDMENT

The cabinet on 5 January approved a draft amendment to the constitution which, if passed by the parliament, would allow the cabinet to send Czech soldiers abroad and allow foreign troops to be stationed in the country without the prior approval of the legislature. Government spokesman Libor Roucek said the bill would allow the cabinet to take such steps for up to a maximum of 60 days. He added that the draft amendment stems from the Czech Republic's international agreements on joint defense and its participation in peacekeeping operations. In June 1999, the parliament rejected a similar amendment on the grounds that it gave the cabinet prerogatives to issue special decrees with the force of law. There is no such provision in the new draft, CTK reported. MS

CZECH PROSECUTOR DROPS CASE AGAINST FAR-RIGHT LEADER

A Prague district prosecutor has stopped a criminal proceedings against far-right National Alliance leader Vladimir Skoupy, CTK reported on 5 January. Skoupy was charged with defaming a people and inciting racial hatred after he questioned at a 28 October demonstration whether the Holocaust actually took place. District prosecutor Petr Cibulka told Czech Television on 5 January that Skoupy's speech was "neither rudely insulting, nor belittling" and could not be considered a crime because Holocaust denial is not punishable under Czech legislation. Jewish Federation leader Tomas Kraus told Czech Television that his organization will "do everything" to have a law against Holocaust denial added to the Criminal Code. Government Human Rights Commissioner Petr Uhl said Holocaust denial is "not only an insult to the Jewish people but to mankind as a whole." MS

NEW SLOVAK PARTY LEADER PROUD TO HAVE 'NO IDEOLOGY'

Robert Fico, chairman of the recently established Smer (Direction) Party, on 5 January told the Czech daily "Pravo" that his party has "no ideology," which gives it an advantage over other parties. Fico said he does not rule out cooperation with any other political party and added that Smer's aim is to be part of the next coalition government. He said he does not believe those politicians who claim they have no such ambitions. Fico also said that within one month of its establishment, Smer has obtained the backing of some 8 to 12 percent of Slovak voters. He said this justifies his decision to leave the Party of the Democratic Left. MS

FINNISH OFFICIAL SAYS NO SLOVAK ROMA GRANTED ASYLUM

Jussi Ilvesmaeki, the director of the Finnish Immigration Office, on 5 January told CTK that he does not think any of the nearly 160 Slovak Roma who recently arrived in Finland has a chance of being granted political asylum. Ilvesmaeki said a total of 1,300 Roma have come to Finland since last year. He said 620 of them have already left because they either "changed their mind" about requesting asylum or were "forcefully deported." MS

HUNGARIAN COALITION PARTY STILL UNHAPPY WITH MEDICAL PRACTICES BILL

The leadership of the Independent Smallholders' Party has expressed reservations about a bill on privatizing medical practices, which was approved by the cabinet on 4 January. Party chairman Jozsef Torgyan told Hungarian television that the coalition partners have not yet reached an agreement on the bill. He said the Smallholders will submit a series of amendments to the bill in parliament next week. The parliament failed to pass the bill in December after the Smallholders refused to take part in the vote (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 December 1999). Analysts say the dispute over the bill is part of ongoing discussions between the senior coalition partner FIDESZ and the Smallholders over positions in state-owned companies. MSZ

NATO CLOSES BASE IN SOUTHERN HUNGARY

NATO closed its military base in Pecs, which the alliance had used to supply its peacekeeping troops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungarian media reported on 5 January. The closure is part of NATO's efforts to streamline its operations in the Balkan country. MSZ




MONTENEGRIN OFFICIAL CALLS FOR REFERENDUM ON INDEPENDENCE

Deputy Premier Dragisa Burzan on 5 January said the Montenegrin government's platform for redefining relations with Belgrade has been "completely superseded, and it is impossible to create a joint state with Serbia," the Serbian news agency Beta reported, citing the Banja Luka newspaper "Nezavisne Novine." Burzan said in an interview that a referendum on independence from Belgrade "must be held." He said the international community should know that "Montenegro is economically independent, that it can survive as an independent state, and that its independence would not cause a repeat of the instability in the region." PB

DINAR CIRCULATION IN MONTENEGRO DECREASES SHARPLY

Dimitrije Vesovic, the Montenegrin official in charge of the republic's money supply, said on 5 January that the introduction in November of the German mark as a parallel currency has been successful and that the supply of dinars in the economy has sharply decreased, the newspaper "Pobjeda" reported. The paper said Montenegro may phase out use of Yugoslavia's official currency by the end of this month. PB

GRANIC CHOSEN BY HDZ AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE...

The Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) on 5 January chose Foreign Minister Mate Granic to be the party's candidate in the country's upcoming presidential election, HINA reported. Some 96 percent of the several hundred delegates gathered at the party's general assembly voted for Granic. The delegates also named party hardliner Vladimir Seks to be acting president of the HDZ until a party congress next month. The post is viewed as a reward for Seks for giving up his ambition to be the party's presidential candidate. "Vjesnik" and "Jutarnji list" reported signs of a split in the party between hardliners and reformists at the congress, with reports of HDZ members exchanging bitter personal charges in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections in which the party lost its majority. PB

...AS EIGHT OTHERS REGISTER FOR ELECTION

Granic, front- runner Drazen Budisa, and Stipe Mesic, who was once a member of the former Yugoslavia's federal presidency, lead a pack of nine people who will run for president on 24 January, AP reported on 5 January. Also entering the race were former Justice Minister Zvonimir Separovic, ex-legislator Ante Prkacin, right-wing candidates Ante Djapic and Tomislav Mercep, sociologist Slaven Letica, and businessman Ante Ledic. Campaigning is scheduled to begin on 8 January. Budisa and Granic are considered the favorites. PB

IZETBEGOVIC CONGRATULATES CROATIAN OPPOSITION

The Muslim member of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, congratulated Croatia's Social Democratic Party and the Croatian Social Liberal Party on their parliamentary victory, the Croatian news agency HINA reported on 5 January. Izetbegovic said he is convinced that the win will "mark a new chapter in the cooperation and good neighborly relations between our two countries." Meanwhile, in Tuzla, U.S. members of the NATO-led peacekeepers oversaw the destruction of thousands of weapons from the demilitarized area of Brcko. U.S. Colonel Wallace Matteson said the destruction of Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim weapons from Brcko is "going well." PB

KLEIN DECRIES FAILURE TO ARREST KARADZIC

Jacques Klein, the head of the UN mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, on 5 January said indicted war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic remains at large due to a lack of political will to arrest him, Reuters reported. Klein said that if Karadzic had been arrested "three or four years ago, we would be much further along in the peace process." He said Karadzic demonstrates "the impotence of the West in the face of evil." The NATO-led Stabilization Force has arrested 16 war crimes suspects in Bosnia so far, but more than 30 others remain at large, including Karadzic and his military commander during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, Ratko Mladic. PB

SERBIAN POLICE OFFICER REJECTS MEDAL FROM MILOSEVIC

Belgrade Police Captain Slobodan Pajic refused to accept a medal from Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on 5 January, saying the government's policies had failed in Kosova, the independent daily "Blic" reported. Pajic refused the Knight's Sword, saying he doesn't "deserve any medal since innocent Serbs and non-Albanians are still being slaughtered in Kosovo." He said many men from the Belgrade brigade "were either killed or wounded...(and) several of them have gone crazy because they were not prepared for such a conflict." In other news, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the release of Australian Branko Jelen, who worked for the humanitarian organization CARE and spent the last nine months in jail on espionage charges. Jelen was released on 31 December. PB

YUGOSLAVIA FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST NATO MEMBERS

The Yugoslav embassy in The Hague on 5 January said the country has filed a lawsuit in the UN International Court of Justice that accuses eight NATO member-states of violating international law with the alliance's air campaign against Yugoslavia last year, AFP reported. The suit charges the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Holland, and Canada of "using force against a sovereign state" and of failing "to prevent the genocide" of Serbs and non-Albanian ethnic groups. The court dismissed an earlier case filed against the U.S. and Spain, saying it has no jurisdiction in the matter. PB

KOSOVAR LEADER SAYS ALBANIAN AGENTS WORKING IN KOSOVA

Bujar Bukashi, head of the self-styled "Kosova-Albanian government," said on 5 January that Albanian agents are in Kosova trying to destabilize the province, dpa reported. Bukashi, who lives in a self-imposed exile in Germany, said the agents work for the Albanian secret service and are "walking freely on the roads of Prishtina." Bukashi is involved in a long-running dispute with Albania's current Socialist leaders, who backed the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) during its armed insurgence against Serbian forces and now support former UCK leader Hashim Thaci, who is Bukashi's rival. PB

MURDERS CONTINUE IN KOSOVA

A spokeswoman for the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosova said on 5 January that three people were murdered in the province over the last two days, the Serbian news agency Beta reported. Nadia Jones said a Serb was killed in Kosovska Kamenica and that two ethnic Albanians were murdered, one in Shtime and the other in Peje. She said police have arrested a suspect in the Peje murder. PB

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT MEETS ARAFAT

Emil Constantinescu on 5 January met in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat and invited him to visit Romania, an RFE/RL correspondent in Jerusalem reported. They agreed to set up a commission to examine ways of increasing cooperation. Constantinescu on the same day concluded the official part of his visit to Israel by meeting with a group of local businessmen. He then traveled to Jericho with Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist, where they both laid the ceremonial first stone of a Romanian religious establishment on a piece of land that Arafat personally set aside for that purpose. Constantinescu and Teoctist are participating in a unique 6-7 January gathering of representatives from 14 Orthodox churches to celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of Christianity. Also in attendance are the presidents of Belarus, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, as well as former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. MS

NEW ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SETS POLICY PRIORITIES

Petre Roman on 5 January said European integration and his country's efforts to fulfill EU criteria for membership are his ministry's top priorities. Roman said the new Department for European Integration in the Foreign Ministry will be headed by Eugen Dijmarescu, formerly Romania's ambassador to Japan. Dijmarescu will hold the rank of deputy minister, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. He also said that EU Commission Chairman Romano Prodi will visit Bucharest on 13 January and will participate in a Romanian cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, the Central Statistical Board on 5 January said Romania's GDP in 1999 dropped by 5.4 percent compared with the previous year. MS

OSCE 'WORRIED' BY RUSSIA'S POSITION OVER TRANSDNIESTER MILITARY EVACUATION

General Roman Hormoza, deputy chief of the OSCE mission to Moldova, on 5 January said the OSCE is "worried" by Russia's decision to link the evacuation of its military arsenal from the Transdniester with a political settlement on the special status of the separatist republic within Moldova, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Hormoza said Russia's stance is "unjustified." He said the arsenal that was left in the Transdniester after the evacuation of the former 14th Army far exceeds the needs of the present Russian contingent in the region. According to OSCE data, there are some 20 tons of military equipment for every Russian soldier the Transdniester. Hormoza described the ratio as "unmatched in any other military contingent in the world." He added that the OSCE is worried by the position of the Transdniester separatists, who do not accept the agreements that were reached at the Istanbul OSCE summit last year. MS

FORMER DEFENSE, SECURITY MINISTER APPOINTED MOLDOVAN SECURITY SERVICE CHIEF

President Petru Lucinschi on 5 January appointed Valeriu Pasat to head the newly-created Information and Security Service, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Pasat served as defense minster from January 1997 to May 1999. Since then, he has served as national security minister. MS

BULGARIA MAKES APPEAL TO ITALY OVER DETAINED SHIP CREW

Bulgaria on 5 January asked Italy to speed up its investigation into the case of a Bulgarian cargo ship that was detained in Italy in December 1999 after 321 illegal migrants were discovered on board. Foreign Ministry spokesman Radko Vlaikov said the captain claims that migrants hijacked the ship when it stopped in northwest Turkey and forced the crew to sail to Italy. Vlaikov said Bulgaria wants a "fair investigation" into how the migrants got on board and whether the crew assisted them, Reuters reported. MS




WHO'S WHO IN RUSSIA'S NEW STATE DUMA


By Julie Corwin

Russia's Central Election Commission on 29 December released the final results of the State Duma elections held 10 days earlier. The following table shows those parties and movements that managed to surpass the five-percent barrier as well as the percentage of votes they captured. Also listed are the deputies that were elected on their parties' federal list and in single-mandate districts. As more information comes in on deputies' party affiliations and as deputies switch parties, RFE/RL will update this list on its website, . Additional changes should also be expected on 19 March when eight regions must hold a second round of elections. (Also, for a more complete listing of single-mandate district results, see "RFE/RL Russian Federation Report" 5 January 1999).


Communist Party of Russia (KPRF) 24.29 percent of total votes
Total seats: 123
Deputies (67 seats from federal list)


Gennadii Zyuganov
Gennadii Seleznev
Vasillii Starodubtsev
Aman-Geldy Tuleev
Ivan Zakharov
Valentin Kuptsov
Gennadii Semigin
Sergei Glazev
Zhores Alferov
Yelena Drapenko
Ivan Melnikov
Ashot Sarkisyan
Valentin Chikin
Aleksandr Davydov
Vladislav Yurchik
Sergei Reshulskii
Nikolai Bindyukov
Vladimir Kasakovtsev
Svyatoslav Sokol
Vitalii Yuzhilin
Vladimir Nikitin
Nikolai Gubenko
Sergei Nigkoev
Sergei Potapov
Nikolai Benediktov
Vladimir Kalyagin
Viktor Zorkaltsev
Valerii Shituev
Aleksandr Shulga
Aleksandr Mikhailov
Igor Annenskii
Viktor Peshkov
Sergei Zolotilin
Valentin Nikitin
Aleksandr Salii
Nikolai Sapozhnikov
Rifkhat Shakirov
Evgenii Kosterin
Aleksandr Kruglikov
Alevtina Aparina
Nikolai Daikhes
Nikolai Arefev
Leonid Ivanchenko
Boris Kibirev
Evgenii Marchenko
Viktor Kolomeitsev
Aleksandr Gamenenko
Igor Rodionov
Khapisat Gamzatova
Yurii Burlutskii
Aleksandr Shabanov
Vladimir Kadochnikov
Dmitrii Soldatkin
Vasillii Kislitsyn
Aleksandr Kravets
Leonid Maevskii
Vladimir Chertishchev
Vitalii Safronov
Anatolii Chekis
Sergei Proshchin
Viktor Vidmanov
Sergei Levchenko
Aleksandr Svetsov
Gennadii Gamza
Valentin Knysh
Valerii Saikin
Aleksandr Kubaev
56 elected in single mandate districts
Grigorii Senin (Adygei)
Zoya Vorontsova (Altai Krai)
Ivan Aparin (Altai Krai)
Leonid Korotkov (Amur)
Vasilii Shandybin (Bryansk)
Petr Rogonov (Bryansk)
Petr Svechnikov (Chelyabinsk)
Valentin Shurchanov (Chuvashia)
Vladimir Tikhonov (Ivanovo)
Sergei Shtogrin (Jewish Autonomous Oblast)
Pavel Burdukov (Kaluga)
Vyacheslav Boiko (Kaluga)
Nina Ostanina (Kemerovo)
Vladimir Pashuto (Krasnodar)
Aleksandr Burulko (Krasnodar)
Aleksandr Tkachev (Krasnodar)
Vitalii Sevastyanov (Krasnodar)
Petr Romanov (Krasnoyarsk)
Nikolai Ivanov (Kursk)
Vladimir Toporkov (Lipetsk)
Ivan Kazanov (Marii El)
German Titov (Moscow Oblast)
Svetlana Savitskaya (Moscow Oblast)
Ivan Nikitchuk (Nizhnii Novgorod)
Gennadii Khodyrev (Nizhnii Novgorod)
Anatolii Chekhoev (North Ossetia)
Nikolai Kharitonov (Novosibirsk)
Lyubov Shvets (Novosibirsk)
Oleg Smolin (Omsk)
Yurii Nikiforenko (Orenburg)
Aleksandr Labeikin (Orel)
Vladimir Grishukov (Primore)
Svetlana Goryacheva (Primore)
Boris Danchenko (Rostov)
Nikolai Kolomeitzev (Rostov)
Nadezhda Korneeva (Ryazan)
Valentin Romanov (Samara)
Valerii Rashkin (Saratov)
Sergei Afanasiev (Saratov)
Ivan Zhdakaev (Sakhalin)
Dmitrii Abramenkov (Smolensk)
Anatolii Lukyanov (Smolensk)
Ivan Meshcherin (Stavropol)
Vladimir Katrenko (Stavropol)
Vasilii Iver (Stavoropol)
Valerii Vorotnikov (Sverdlovsk)
Aleksei Ponomarev (Tambov)
Tamara Pletneva (Tambov)
Anatolii Artemiev (Tula)
Ivan Khudyakov (Tula)
Vyacheslav Zorkin (Tver)
Tatyana Astrakhankina (Tver)
Yurii Maslyukov (Udmurtia)
Viktor Pautov (Vladimir)
Aleksandr Kulikov (Volgograd)
Ruslan Gostev (Voronezh)


UNITY (23.32 percent of total votes)
Total seats: 72
Deputies (64 from federal list)


Sergei Shoigu
Aleksandr Gurov
Frants Klintsevich
Valerii Komissarov
Oleg Kovalev
Aleksandr Belyakov
Vitalii Lednik
Vladimir Platov
Aleksandr Bezdolnii
Aleksandr Shelekov
Igor Dines
Aleksei Alekseev
Sergei Lobov
Leonid Belyaev
Aleksei Ogonkov
Lyubov Sliska
Vladimir Grachev
Vladimir Klimov
Oleg Utkin
Yurii Rodinov
Vladimir Semenov
Stepan Shorshorov
Sergei Apatenko
Nikolai Sorokin
Sergei Strelchenko
Viktor Borodai
Maksim Korobov
Vasilii Teterin
Boris Martynov
Gadzhimet Safaraliev
Nikolai Zalepukhin
Vladimir Tarachev
Akhmed Bilalov
Sergei Zhitinkin
Vasilii Chermushkin
Abdul-Vakhed Niyazov
Vyacheslav Reznik
Anatolii Sobolev
Nikolai Tabachkov
Yurii Tsybakin
Aleksandr Chuev
Vladimir Karetnikov
Aleksei Tomov
Vladimir Lushin
Kurban-Ali Amirov
Vladimir Koptev-Dvornikov
Vladimir Vshivtstev
Kaadyr-Ool Bicheldei
Aleksandr Kobal
Bashir Kodzoev
Vasilii Kuznetsov
Vladimir Pekhtin
Evgenii Galichanin
Antonina Romanchuk
Aleksandr Fedulov
Elvira Ermakova
Vladimir Bykov
Aleksandr Yashin
Boris Zubitskii
Pavel Kobalenko
Aleksandr Kosarikov
Boris Gryzlov
Viktor Pleskachevskii
Vasillii Bolkovskii
8 deputies elected in single mandate districts
Aleksandra Burataeva (Kalymkia)
Tatyana Yakovleva (Ivanovo)
Petr Rubezhanskii (Kemerovo)
Ivan Ivlev (Kemerovo)
Nikolai Botka (Leningrad)
Galina Strelchenko (Novosibirsk)
Aleksandr Karelin (Novosibirsk)
Nikolai Loktionov (Tyva)


FATHERLAND-ALL RUSSIA (OVR) (13.33 percent of total votes)
Total seats: 67
Deputies (37 seats from federal list)


Yegenii Primakov
Yurii Luzhkov
Vladimir Yakovlev
Yekaterina Lakhova
Stanislav Govorukhin
Boris Gromov
Farida Gainullina
Boris Pastukhov
Gennadii Kulik
Tatyana Dmitrieva
Vladimir Medvedev
Andrei Isaev
Zainulla Bagishaev
Konstantin Kosachev
Anatolii Tyazhlov
Elena Kondakova
Andrei Kokoshin
Viktor Kulikov
Viktor Semenov
Ivan Grachev
Aleksei Aleksandrov
Aleksandr Sizov
Viktor Opekunov
Nikolai Bulaev
Nikolai Chuprina
Valentin Pashin
Valentin Luntsevich
Valentin Bakiev
Mikhail Bugera
Rafael Khakimov
Mikhail Rokitskii
Nikolai Merkushkin
Vyacheslav Bolodin
Aleksandr Popov
Mogomedkadi Gasanov
Mikhail Zalikhanov
Nadezhda Azarova
30 deputies elected in single-mandate districts
Mikhail Lapshin (Altai Republic)
Aleksandr Piskunov (Arkhangelsk)
Ragib Gimaev (Bashkortostan)
Khalil Barlybaev (Bashkortostan)
Midkhat Khakimov (Bashkortostan)
Bato Semenov (Buryatia)
Vitalii Shuba (Irkutsk)
Viktor Grishin (Mordovia)
Valerii Draganov (Moscow city)
Sergei Shirokov (Moscow city)
Valerii Grebennikov (Moscow city)
Igor Lisinenko (Moscow city)
Georgii Boos (Moscow city)
Valerii Ryazanskii (Moscow city)
Aleksandr Zhukov (Moscow city)
Sergei Shokhin (Moscow city)
Nikolai Kovalev (Moscow city)
Martin Shakkum (Moscow oblast)
Yurii Lipatov (Moscow oblast)
Maksim Vasiliev (Moscow oblast)
Artur Chilingarov (Nenets)
Igor Rudenskii (Penza)
Sergei Chikulaev (Perm)
Valentina Ivanova (St. Petersburg)
Oksana Dmitrieva (St. Petersburg)
Nikolai Sukhoi (Saratov)
Fandas Safiullin (Tatarstan)
Oleg Morozov (Tatarstan)
Flyura Ziyatdinova (Tatarstan)
Anatolii Golubkov (Ulyanovsk)


UNION OF RIGHTIST FORCES (SPS) (8.52 percent of total votes)
Total seats: 29
Deputies (24 seats from federal list)


Sergei Kirienko
Pavel Krasheninnikov
Boris Nadezhdin
Gasan Mirzoev
Sergei Kovalev
Eduard Vorobev
Konstantin Remchukov
Egor
Oleg Naumov
Grigorii Tomchin
Aleksandr Shubin
Sergei Yushenkov
Ivan Fedotkin
Lyubov Glebova
Nikolai Brusnikin
Vladimir Yuzhakov
Vladimir Golovlev
Vadim Bondar
Andrei Selivanov
Aleksandr Fomin
Yurii Kurin
Boris Titenko
Artur Myaki
Margarita Barzhanova
5 deputies elected in single-mandate districts
Boris Nemtsov (Nizhnii Novgorod)
Viktor Pokhmelkin (Perm)
Yulii Rybakov (St. Petersburg)
Irina Khakamada (St. Petersburg)
Vera Lekareva (Samara)


ZHIRINOVSKII'S BLOC (5.98 percent of total votes)
Total seats: 18
Deputies (17 seats from federal list)


Vladimir Zhirinovskii
Oleg Finko
Yegor Solomatin
Aleksei Mitrofanov
Mikhail Musatov
Aleksandr Novikov
Igor Lebedev
Konstantin Vetrov
Sait Gutseriev
Vladislav Demin
Vladislav Ignatov
Vladimir Semenov
Leonid Slutskii
Yurii Mamonov
Aleksei Guzanov
Stanislav Zhebrovskii
Suleiman Kerimov
I single-mandate deputy elected
Mikhail Gutserev (Ingushetia)*


YABLOKO (5.93 percent of total votes)
Total seats: 20
Deputies (16 seats from federal list)


Grigorii Yavlinskii
Vladimir Lukin
Vychelslav Igrunov
Tatyana Yarygina
Igor Artemev
Aleksei Melnikov
Aleksei Arbatov
Sergei Miktrokhin
Aleksei Mikhailov
Viktor Kushchenko
Nikolai Travkin
Sergei Ivanenko
Yurii Shchekochikhin
Aleksandr Shishlov
Yelena Mizulina
Valerii Ostanin
4 deputies elected in single mandate districts
Mikhail Zadornov (Moscow city)
Mikhail Emelyanov (Rostov)
Sergei Stepashin (St. Petersburg)
Sergei Popov (St. Petersburg)


PARTY OF PENSIONERS (1.95 percent)

Aleksandr Shimanov (Leningrad)


OUR HOME IS RUSSIA (1.19 percent)
9 Deputies elected in Single mandate districts


Vladmir Ryzhkov (Altai Krai)
Vladimir Pevtsov (Bashkortostan)
Yurii Ten (Irkutsk)
Oleg Korgunov (Saratov)
Svetlana Gvozdeva (Sverdlovsk)
Valerii Yazev (Sverdlovsk)
Nikolai Piskun (Taimyr)
Yurii Konev (Tyumen)
Viktor Chernomyrdin (Yamalo-Nenets)


CONGRESS OF RUSSIAN COMMUNITIES AND YURII BOLDYREV MOVEMENT (0.61 percent)


Dmitrii Rogozin (Voronezh)


MOVEMENT TO SUPPORT THE ARMY (0.58 percent)


Viktor Ilyukhin (Penza)
George Kostin (Voronezh)


BLOC OF GENERAL ANDREI NIKOLAEV AND ACADEMICIAN SVYATOSLAV FEDOROV (O.56 percent)


Gadzhi Makhachev (Dagestan)
Andrei Nikolaev (Moscow city)


RUSSIAN NATIONAL UNION (0.37 percent)


Sergei Shashurin (Tatarstan)
Anatolii Greshnevikov (Yaroslavl)


RUSSIAN SOCIALIST PARTY (0.24 percent)


Vladimir Bryntsalov (Moscow oblast)


SPIRITUAL HERITAGE (O.10 percent)


Valerii Vorotnikov (Sverdlovsk)


*LDPR member


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