U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DISPATCH
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 1, JANUARY 3, 1994
PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
 
 
 
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:
 
1.  Ambassador Strobe Talbott Nominated As Deputy
Secretary of State
2.  Fact Sheet:  Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission
3.  Focus on Russia:  Highlights of Successful U.S.
Support for Market Reform
4.  Fact Sheet:  Safe and Secure Dismantlement of Nuclear
Weapons in the New Independent States
5.  Fact Sheet:  The Visegrad Group
6.  Country Profile:  Czech Republic
7.  Country Profile:  Hungary
8.  Country Profile:  Poland
9.  Country Profile:  Slovakia
 
 
ARTICLE 1.
 
Ambassador Strobe Talbott Named as Deputy Secretary of
State
Secretary Christopher, Ambassador Talbott
Remarks at a news conference, Los Angeles, California,
December 28, 1993
 
Secretary Christopher.  Good morning.  It's a wonderful
pleasure for me to be back home, and a day like this is a
very happy one for me in many respects.  I'm very pleased
to announce that I have recommended--and the President
has agreed to nominate--Ambassador Strobe Talbott to be
the next Deputy Secretary of State.
 
The President and I are both very enthusiastic about this
announcement.  We believe that Strobe will bring to the
office of Deputy Secretary the same kind of inspired
leadership that he has shown as Ambassador-at-Large and
Special Adviser on Russia and the New Independent States.
 
Strobe, as you know, has been the chief architect of our
Administration's policy toward Russia.  He has guided us
through a complex and unprecedented set of challenges
and, in the process, he has shown himself to be a gifted
strategic thinker and manager.  Working closely with me,
Strobe will continue to have a special responsibility for
Russia and the New Independent States as he takes on his
many other duties as Deputy Secretary.
 
Strobe is splendidly suited for this position.  In an
accomplished career as a journalist and author, he's made
his mark not only as an authority on Russia and arms
control, but as a thoughtful commentator on foreign
policy generally and on American politics.  In the course
of his 21 years at Time magazine, Strobe was diplomatic
correspondent, a columnist on foreign affairs, and
Washington Bureau Chief.  He knows more than simply the
workings of American foreign policy; he knows how
Washington works as well.
 
Strobe and I have been friends for 15 years.  I admired
his work as a journalist, we served together on the Board
of the Council on Foreign Relations, and now, of course,
we have worked very closely together over the course of
the last year.
 
I recommended him to the President because I have great
confidence in his ability, his knowledge of foreign
affairs, his integrity, and his character.  Having served
as Deputy Secretary myself, I can say with much assurance
that Strobe Talbott will make a lasting and unique
contribution to the architecture and the execution of
American foreign policy.
 
It's with great pleasure that I introduce to this
audience Strobe Talbott.  Strobe, congratulations.
 
Ambassador Talbott.  Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
Your confidence gives me hope that I can fulfill this
assignment.
 
Over the years that Secretary Christopher and I have
worked together in very close quarters and on some fairly
tough issues, I have had numerous occasions to admire his
judgment.  I just hope that his judgment is up to its
usual high standard in the personnel decision that he is
announcing today.
 
Mr. Secretary, I will do my best to vindicate the wisdom
of your selection of a Deputy, just as I will try to help
you in your difficult and important job in any other way
that I can.
 
In my career, I have been blessed with good bosses but I
have never had a better boss--and, indeed, I cannot
imagine a better boss--than Warren Christopher.
 
I would like to make two more points.  For me, one of the
best things about my experience in government has been
collaboration with the professionals of the Department of
State and the Foreign Service.  My new assignment will
enable me to broaden and deepen that collaboration across
a wider range of issues and I relish that prospect.
 
Finally, let me say just a word about what we bureaucrats
call "the inter-agency process."  This Administration has
attained and sustained a remarkable degree of
collegiality, of common purpose and good will among the
various departments and agencies dealing with foreign and
national security policy.
 
This has been largely a credit to Tony Lake, the
President's National Security Adviser, who, like
Secretary Christopher, is an old friend.  It gives me an
added--and I might say, much needed--reinforcement of
confidence that my new assignment will permit me to work
even more closely with Tony Lake; with his Deputy, Sandy
Berger; and with their colleagues at the National
Security Council staff to ensure that the American people
have the best possible stewardship of their national
interest.  Thank you.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 2
 
Fact Sheet:  Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission
 
At their summit meeting in Vancouver, Canada, April 3-4,
1993, President Clinton and Russian President Yeltsin
pledged to jettison the vestiges of the Cold War and
forge a new partnership between the United States and
Russia.  They particularly aimed to develop a program to
advance a new joint agenda in energy, space, and science
and technology to the benefit of both countries.  To
initiate this new cooperative venture, the two Presidents
agreed at Vancouver that both countries would focus high-
level attention on it.  This was the genesis of the
commission headed by Vice President Albert Gore and
Russian Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin.
 
First Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission Meeting, September
1993
 
On September 1-2, 1993, in Washington, DC, Vice President
Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin initiated the new
cooperative venture.  Its broad agenda included economic
and foreign policy issues, as well as the evolution of a
commercial partnership for the future.  During this round
of successful meetings, they accomplished a great deal in
the fields of space and energy.  Agreements signed
represent the leading edge of U.S.-Russian cooperation--
aimed at achieving broad market access for Russian high-
technology goods and efficient and low-cost cooperation
on long-term, complex projects.  They also agreed to
establish additional subcommittees to focus specifically
on environmental, scientific, energy policy, and defense
diversification issues.
 
Space Cooperation.  The two sides signed three joint
statements:  one on space cooperation, outlining a phased
approach for cooperation on human space flight and
development of a unified space station; a second on
cooperative environmental monitoring from space,
involving a joint study to determine the feasibility of
such programs; and a third on aeronautical sciences.
These agreements set a broad strategy for cooperation on
global environmental change and in the design of future
aircraft.  They also signed a commercial launch agreement
giving Russia access to the international launch services
market and a Memorandum of Understanding on the Missile
Technology Control Regime (MTCR) committing Russia to the
MTCR guidelines on the sale of high-technology goods and
services.
 
Energy and Investment Cooperation.  The agreements signed
in this area represent the joint intention of the parties
to strengthen economic cooperation and to increase trade
and investment significantly, especially in energy-
related projects.  The U.S. Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC) announced two major projects for
Russia to establish the first U.S.-Russian Investment
Fund to support privatization and to assist in oil well
restoration in western Siberia.
 
The two sides agreed that each government would name an
ombudsman to work together to overcome obstacles to
specific trade and investment projects.  They also signed
a memorandum to facilitate cooperation in fossil energy
development and a memorandum of understanding that will
lead to an expansion of exports to Russia currently
financed by Eximbank.  Finally, they agreed to launch a
joint study on nuclear reactor safety issues to determine
the most potentially productive joint work in the area of
nuclear safety.
 
Second Gore-Chernomyrdin Meeting, December 1993
 
Following up on the successful September meeting, the
Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission met again on December 15-16,
1993, in Moscow.  At this meeting, many of the programs
and joint projects set in motion the previous September
began to take on concrete shape.  Major accomplishments
were achieved in five broad areas.
 
Space Cooperation.  One of the highlights of the meeting
was a joint statement issued on space station
cooperation.  The statement, signed by Vice President
Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, covers activities
involving the U.S. space shuttle and the Russian Mir
space station, Russian participation in the International
Space Station, and contractual arrangements to facilitate
these programs.
 
The two sides signed a protocol calling for additional
manned flights to the Russian Mir space station and
extended time for U.S. astronauts there.  They also
signed a joint statement on aeronautics and space
cooperation, noting potential cooperation in the areas of
earth sciences and environmental monitoring and space
science.  The joint statement was accompanied by a
memorandum of understanding describing eight areas of
cooperation in fundamental aeronautical sciences.
 
Trade and Business Development.  In this area, the Vice
President and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin exchanged
instruments of ratification for a double taxation treaty,
effective January 1, 1994.  OPIC agreements totaling $135
million were signed,   providing the financial muscle to
stimulate significant U.S. private investment in the
Russian economy.  The two sides released a joint
communique on conformity of product standards to
facilitate trade in both directions.  They also signed an
interim memorandum for establishing American business
centers in Russia and issued a joint statement on the
future tasks of the Business Development Committee aimed
at identifying opportunities, resolving problems, and
expanding contracts leading to new trade and investment
projects.  Finally, they announced a joint energy project
to create a model Russian retail gasoline corporation, to
determine the commercial and legal conditions needed to
establish a privately owned and financed corporation.
 
Energy, Nuclear Safety, and Environment.  The Vice
President and the Prime Minister signed a milestone
statement of principles for nuclear safety cooperation,
with both governments committed to support and expand
bilateral and multilateral efforts to promote nuclear
safety.  The two sides also signed a nuclear liability
agreement providing a legal framework for U.S.
corporations involved in improving the safety of Russian
nuclear reactors.  An agreement for the Commodity Import
Program provides $125 million in grants for importing
U.S. gas technology and equipment to improve Russian
energy production and diminish the environmental impact
of gas production.  They also announced the formation of
an oil and gas technology center in the city of Tyumen, a
key Russian energy production site, to improve the
recovery of oil and gas and reduce production costs.
Finally, they signed a joint statement on environmental
cooperation involving 15 technical assistance projects to
begin immediately and another on alternative energy
studies.
 
Defense Conversion.  The Vice President and the Prime
Minister signed a memorandum spelling out the principles
guiding U.S. and Russian cooperation in the conversion
and diversification of defense industries. The two sides
followed this with a protocol to the existing Nunn-Lugar
defense conversion implementation agreement that provides
up to $20 million for direct conversion assistance for
the transition to civilian production of modular housing.
 
Science and Technology.  Vice President Gore and Prime
Minister Chernomyrdin signed a historic agreement
providing, for the first time, a framework for
cooperation in all fields of science and technology for a
10-year period.  A major achievement of the agreement is
a new bilateral framework to protect intellectual
property resulting from cooperative research and
development programs. The two sides also signed a related
memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the fields
of mining research and minerals information for a five-
year period. (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 3
 
Focus on Russia:  Highlights of Successful U.S. Support
for Market Reform
 
Immediate support for key market and democratic reforms
in Russia and the other new independent states of the
former Soviet Union is fundamental to a more secure world
now and throughout the next century.  U.S. assistance
focuses on the difficult transitions from centralized
economic control to market-based decision-making and from
centralized political structures to democratic government
currently underway in Russia.  Programs range from
sending long-term advisers to providing equipment and
financial assistance.
 
Supported by the Russian Government and people, the U.S.
assistance effort already has had a positive impact on
promoting market reform and democracy.  Following are
highlights of the success stories that typify U.S.
support for market reform.
 
Privatization of Russian Businesses.  Seventy-seven of 89
Russian regions receive direct U.S. support through the
Russian Government's privatization program.  The U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) provides
local grants to non-governmental organizations, such as
the Center for Citizen Initiatives of San Francisco that
organizes successful small business training programs.
Such efforts help develop policies and programs to divest
government assets and create regulatory environments to
promote foreign investment.
 
The best example of how Russia's economy is moving toward
an open market system is the progress in business
privatization:  More than 200 companies are being
privatized every week.  By the end of 1993, an estimated
70,000 small businesses will have been privatized.
 
For further information, contact:  Russell Porter, USAID,
202-647-4274.
 
 
Russian-American Enterprise Fund.  The U.S. plans to
capitalize the fund, created in September 1993, with more
than $300 million in foreign assistance appropriations
over the next three to five years.  The fund provides
capital vital to a growing private sector which now lacks
adequate financial services.  One focus will be on the
Russian Far East, to help catalyze the region's vast
business potential, including joint ventures with
American firms.
 
For further information, contact:  Russell Porter, USAID,
202-647-4274.
 
 
Peace Corps Volunteers in Business Development.  The U.S.
Peace Corps has 70 volunteers in Russia assisting in
small business development throughout the country.  The
primary focus of their work is to provide advice to small
and medium-size Russian businesses and to teach general
business skills, from accounting practices to marketing.
They also help organize seminars and trade shows and
teach classes on stocks, bonds, writing business
proposals, etc.  For example:
 
--  In July 1993, the Peace Corps sponsored an
international trade conference in Nizhniy-Novgorod in
which more than 200 Russian business representatives
participated in seminars with U.S. business leaders from
DuPont, Sprint, Apple Computer, and General Motors.
 
--  A Peace Corps volunteer in Artyom, just outside
Vladivostok, works with a Russian counterpart in a small
business center under city supervision to provide one-on-
one business counseling for local businesses.
 
--  Other volunteers assist local banks in Khabarovsk in
advertising, establishing correspondent banking
relationships, and developing a share prospectus.
 
For further information, contact:  Kristin Wennberg,
Peace Corps, 202-606-3010.
 
 
Risk Reduction and Alternative Financing.  The U.S.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) works to
reduce risks for U.S. businesses overseas and to provide
alternative financing.  Notably, several U.S. companies
have pioneered projects in Russia:
 
--  OPIC, along with the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance
Corporation (IFC), helped finance the first new major oil
field (the Ardalin oil field near the Barents Sea)
developed by a U.S.-Russian joint venture between Conoco,
Inc., and Arkhangelskogeologia.  This joint venture is
expected to generate $100 million in U.S. exports as well
as to create new American and Russian jobs.
 
--  OPIC provided $28 million in political risk insurance
and financial support for Texaco's $80 million investment
in an oil-well restoration project in western Siberia.
 
--  Paine Webber's Russia Country Fund is the first U.S.
Government-sponsored private investment fund.  It is
expected to generate about $300 million of investment in
Russia.  OPIC is contributing $50 million toward a $75 to
$100-million private investment fund sponsored by Paine
Webber to provide equity investment to new businesses in
Russia, with particular emphasis on energy and
environmental projects.  Final discussions are underway
concerning the Russian Government's contribution of an
additional $25 million to the fund which would then make
it the first joint Russian-American investment fund.
 
--  With OPIC insurance assistance and a $6-million grant
from USAID's Food Systems Restructuring Project, TPC
Foods has formed a joint venture with two Russian
partners, KPRS and Dolryba, to establish and operate
retail and wholesale food distribution complexes in the
Russian Far East.  The project is expected to generate
$23 million in U.S. exports.  It also will create new
jobs in the U.S. and Russia and will dramatically improve
the availability of food products in the Russian Far
East.
 
For further information, contact:  Jon Haber, OPIC, 202-
336-8409; Russell Porter, USAID, 202-647-4274.
 
 
Banking System.  The chairman of the Russian-American
Enterprise Fund (and former president of New York's
Federal Reserve Bank) organized a seminar on market
banking principles for more than 250 senior-level banking
officials from the new independent states in 1993.  This
was part of a $5-million bankers' training program to
promote the development of a stable banking system, a
fundamental requirement for integration into the world
economy.
For further information, contact:  Russell Porter, USAID,
202-647-4274.
 
Energy Use and Safety.  The U.S. Department of Energy
(DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) aim to
improve the energy efficiency of all energy production
areas as well as safety standards and practices in the
nuclear power industry.   In particular:
 
--  The NRC works closely with its Russian counterpart
Federal Nuclear and Radiation Safety Authority (GAN).  It
has helped GAN to keep at least one unsafe plant from
restarting until corrective action was taken; to deliver
and install previously unavailable computer and
communications equipment; and to develop an emergency
support center to improve regulatory enforcement and
analyze serious accidents.
 
-- The Department of Energy has been key to developing
emergency operating instructions for nuclear reactor
models (VVER-440/213, VVER-1000, and RBMK) with marginal
safety factors.  It also is heavily involved in providing
training and equipment for use in nuclear safety
programs.
 
For further information, contact:  Jim Noble, State
Department,
202-647-5649.
 
 
Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT)
Program.  This Department of Commerce program provides
hands-on business training in U.S. firms to managers and
scientists from the new independent states.  With USAID
funding, Commerce awards grants to American companies to
defray costs of hosting an executive intern for three to
six months of business training.  Of 165 executives who
came to the U.S. for SABIT training, 123 completed their
training, and many more are scheduled.
 
The Vice President of R.S. Means Company, which hosted an
intern from the Moscow-based company Co-Invest, stated
that "this very modest program will very likely pay major
dividends for our company and will result in a
substantial service to the construction industry in
Russia. . . ."  The Co-Invest intern organized a
conference after her return to Russia to share her new
knowledge with her Russian colleagues.
 
For further information, contact:  Cynthia Anthony,
Commerce Department, 202-482-0073.
 
 
Business Feasibility Studies.  U.S. Government support
for feasibility studies is an effective way to help U.S.
firms gain access to the export opportunities represented
by capital projects.  For example:
 
--  The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA) awarded a
$200,000 feasibility study to AMO Zil, a major Russian
truck manufacturer.  This support was key to AMO Zil's
subsequent joint ventures (announced in December 1993)
with a major U.S. manufacturer, Caterpillar, which faced
competition from Renault (supported by the French
Government).   One joint venture will provide fuel-system
components and the other will manufacture diesel engines
in Russia.  Each  will stimulate U.S. exports by
providing major components and capital equipment from
Caterpillar plants in York, Pennsylvania, and Pontiac,
Illinois.
 
--  In July 1993, the TDA provided a grant to
Permnefteorgsintez (PERM) for hiring ABB Lummus Crest of
Bloomfield, New Jersey, to conduct a feasibility study on
modernizing the PERM Refinery.  In this case, the U.S.
company faced competition from Italian and German firms.
As a result of the feasibility study, PERM chose to use
U.S. technology to modernize two major process units and
awarded major engineering contracts to Texaco Development
Corporation and Lummus Crest.  Lummus Crest expects to
negotiate additional engineering contracts and to source
much of the equipment and materials from the United
States.
 
For further information, contact: Ted Arnstein, TDA, 703-
875-4357.
 
 
--  Through cooperative efforts of the U.S. Department of
Commerce, OPIC, and TDA, a TDA feasibility study was
awarded to the mayor's office of Cherepovets, Russia, in
October 1993 for a housing project using expertise from a
U.S. company, Delta Heights, and steel from the company's
mill.  As a result, several other potential commercial
projects are being discussed with city representatives.
 
--  A small, female-owned Minnesota company, Cornerstone
International Group, has begun exporting commercial
popcorn equipment and supplies to Russian entrepreneurs
with marketing assistance from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) and the Commerce Department's Business
Information Service for the Newly Independent States
(BISNIS).  Last year, it expanded operations to begin
growing and processing U.S. hybrid popcorn in Russia.
The first crop was harvested successfully in October 1993
outside Krasnodar.  The company also has a pending
request for agribusiness financing with USAID's Food
Systems Restructuring Program.
 
--  With BISNIS marketing assistance,  a small U.S.
company, Eagle Bear Associates, organized the
establishment of American Farm Centers in several regions
in Russia by forming a partnership with Chrysler
Corporation, Emerson Electric, Grain Systems, Inc., and
the National Steel Corporation.  These centers will use
U.S. technology, equipment, and management expertise to
improve grain yields, storage methods, and repair
facilities.  They also will employ military personnel to
construct low-cost housing  and livestock shelters
throughout Russia.
 
For further information, contact:  BISNIS, Commerce
Department, 202-482-4655; Dan Stein, TDA, 703-875-4357.
 
 
Private Sector Farms and Agribusiness.  One of the
largest components of U.S. technical assistance has been
in agricultural and related agribusiness projects.  About
800 U.S.  volunteers in USAID's Farmer-to-Farmer Program
are being placed in Russia during 1992-94.  This program
develops innovative, grassroots approaches to marketing,
processing, distribution, storage, and credit problems
facing Russian farmers and rural entrepreneurs.  For
example,
 
--  Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers under the Tri-Valley
Growers agribusiness grant from USAID arranged for the
successful shipment of poultry breeding eggs to a new
private hatchery at the Lobenko farm in the Sakhalin
oblast of the Russian Far East.  These volunteers
provided training, identified and reduced risk factors,
and initiated use of the incubation equipment.  This
effort led to the first competition faced by the state-
owned poultry monopoly.  The volunteers also recommended
improved livestock production practices for cattle and
swine that have resulted in increased efficiency.
 
For further information, contact:  John Fasullo, USAID,
703-351-0227.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 4
 
Fact Sheet:  Safe and Secure Dismantlement of Nuclear
Weapons in the New Independent States
 
The U.S. Congress established the Nunn-Lugar program
authorizing Department of Defense funds to be spent in
the new independent states of the former Soviet Union for
the non-proliferation and safe and secure dismantlement
(SSD) of nuclear weapons.  The Defense Department has
notified Congress of intent to commit a total of $790
million (as of November 1993) in the form of 36
implementing agreements with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia,
and Ukraine, and Congress has authorized additional
funds.
 
SSD assistance is an important tool in facilitating the
denuclearization of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine and
the dismantlement of weapons in Russia.  Preventing
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is another
important goal; the U.S. will continue to use its
assistance for this critical problem as well.
 
Belarus.  Following Belarus' ratification of the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty, the U.S. offered $65 million in SSD
assistance in addition to the $11 million provided by
agreements already concluded.  As a result, the U.S.
signed agreements with Belarus in August 1993 on export
control, environmental restoration, and defense
conversion totaling $59 million and is continuing to
explore with Belarus the best use of the remaining $6
million of the package.
 
Kazakhstan.  In December, the U.S. and Kazakhstan signed
an umbrella agreement and implementing agreements on
export control, government-to-government communication
links, material controls and accounting, strategic
nuclear delivery vehicle (SNDV) dismantlement, and
emergency response for a total of $85 million.  The two
sides also signed a joint letter of intent that calls for
a U.S.-led survey of the damage at the former nuclear
test site near Semipalatinsk.  The first meetings in this
effort were held in November 1993.
 
Russia.  The U.S. has signed 11 agreements with Russia
totaling $374 million in assistance.  The two top
priorities for this assistance have been strategic
nuclear delivery vehicle dismantlement and construction
of a storage facility for fissile material removed from
dismantled weapons.  Recent discussions have focused on
concluding agreements on export control, as well as a
chemical weapons destruction lab.
 
Ukraine.  Following the signing of the SSD umbrella
agreement in October, the U.S. signed five implementing
agreements with Ukraine in November and December:  export
control, government-to-government communication links,
material controls and accounting, strategic nuclear
delivery vehicle dismantlement, and emergency response.
The SSD umbrella agreement recently entered into force
through an exchange of diplomatic notes; assistance in
specific project areas will begin soon.  n
 
SSD Projects by Country
                                            Obligations*
                                            ($ millions)
RUSSIA
Armored blankets                          5.00
Railcar security                          20.00
Emergency response                    15.00
Material controls                        10.00
Storage containers                      50.00
Facility design                            15.00
Facility support                          75.00
Export controls                             2.26
Science center                            25.00
Chemical weapons                       25.00
SNDV dismantlement                 130.00
Military to military contacts        9.20
Arctic nuclear waste                  10.00
Chemical demilitarization lab     30.00
Defense conversion                      20.00
Subtotal                                    441.46
 
UKRAINE
Emergency response                      5.00
Communications                            2.40
Export controls                             2.26
Material controls                          7.50
Science center                            10.00
SNDV dismantlement                 135.00
Military to military contacts        3.90
Reactor safety                            11.00
Subtotal                                    177.06
 
BELARUS
Emergency response                      5.00
Export controls                           16.26
Communications                           2.30
Environmental restoration          25.00
  (Project Peace)
Defense conversion                      20.00
SNDV dismantlement                     6.00
Military to military contacts        1.50
Subtotal                                      76.06
 
KAZAKHSTAN
Emergency response                       5.00
Communications                             2.30
Export controls                              2.26
Material controls                           5.00
Military to military contacts         0.40
SNDV dismantlement                    70.00
Subtotal                                       84.96
 
GENERAL
Support/assessment                     10.00
 
TOTAL                                         789.54
 
*Proposed as of November 10, 1993.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 5
 
Fact Sheet:  The Visegrad Group
 
On February 15, 1991, the leaders of Poland,
Czechoslovakia, and Hungary signed a declaration at a
summit in Visegrad, Hungary, pledging cooperation on
matters of common concern.  Though never formally
institutionalized in a permanent structure, that
cooperation nevertheless has yielded results in
ministerial consultations, cooperation on border issues,
and, most notably, a regional free-trade agreement signed
in 1992.
 
The Visegrad partners have progressed significantly in
the transformation to free-market economies and viable
democracies.  They have attracted considerable Western
investment in the region and have seen significant growth
in their respective private sector economies.  This
progress has not been trouble-free:  Unemployment remains
a problem, and some reforms, including those of banking
systems and privatization of the largest state
enterprises, still lie ahead.
 
Following the January 1, 1993, dissolution of
Czechoslovakia, both the Czech Republic and Slovakia
became participants in the Visegrad group.  The group
also has become attractive to countries not currently
part of it:  Ukraine and Slovenia have expressed interest
in closer association with Visegrad members.  The
Visegrad members also have formed the Central European
Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA).  It is intended to
stimulate trade in Central Europe by lowering remaining
tariff barriers among members as they open their markets
to the European Union and the European Free Trade
Agreement through associations and trade agreements.
CEFTA's transitional trade provisions are being phased in
from March 1993 through January 2001, when all non-
agricultural tariffs and all non-tariff barriers will be
eliminated.
 
The U.S. has commended Visegrad and CEFTA as valuable
initiatives in regional cooperation that might serve as
models for others.  The U.S. views such cooperation as
enhancing the value of each of the participating states
as a potential partner in broader European and
transatlantic institutions.  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 6
 
Country Profile:  Czech Republic
 
Geography
Area:  78,864 sq. kilometers; about the size of Virginia.
Cities:  Capital--Prague (pop. 1.2 million).  Other
cities--Brno (385,000), Ostrava (327,000), Plzen
(175,000).
Terrain:  Low mountains to the north and south, hills in
the west.
Climate:  Temperate.
 
People
Nationality:  Noun and adjective--Czech(s).
Population (est.):  10.5 million.
Annual growth rate:  0.1%.
Ethnic groups:  Czech (95%), German, Romany, Polish,
Silesian, Slovak.
Religions:  Roman Catholic, Protestant.
Language:  Czech.
Education:  Literacy--99%.
Health:  Life expectancy--males 68 yrs., females 75 yrs.
Work force (5.2 million):  Industry, construction, and
commerce--47%.  Government and other services--41%.
Agriculture--11%.
 
Government
Type:  Parliamentary republic.
Independence:  The Czech Republic was established January
1, 1993 (former Czechoslovak state established 1918).
Constitution:  Signed December 16, 1992.
Branches:  Executive--president (chief of state), prime
minister (head of government), cabinet.  Legislative--
Chamber of Deputies (formerly the Czech National
Council), Senate (to be elected in 1994).  Judicial--
Supreme Court, Constitutional Court.
Political parties:  Civic Democratic Party-Christian
Democratic Party (ODS-KDS), 76 seats; Left Bloc
(Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia [KSCM]-Democratic
Left [DL], 35 seats; Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party
(CSSD), 16 seats; Liberal Social Union (LSU), 16 seats;
Christian Democratic Union-Czech People's Party (KDU-
CSL), 15 seats; Association for the Republic-Republican
Party of the Czech Republic (SPR-RSC), 14 seats; Civic
Democratic Alliance (ODA), 14 seats; Movement for
Autonomous Democracy in Moravia and Silesia (HSDMS), 14
seats.
Suffrage:  Universal at 18.
Administrative subdivisions:  Two regions--Bohemia and
Moravia; seven administrative districts and Prague.
Flag:  Blue triangle on staff side; upper white band,
lower red band.
 
Economy
GDP (1993 est.):  $30 billion.
Nominal per capita income (est.):  $3,000.
Natural resources:  Coal, coke, timber, lignite, uranium,
magnesite.
Agriculture:  Products--wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley,
hops, potatoes, sugar beets, hogs, cattle, horses.
Industry:  Types--iron, steel, machinery and equipment,
cement, sheet glass, motor vehicles, armaments,
chemicals, ceramics, wood, paper products, footwear.
Trade (1993 est.):  Exports--$9 billion:  machinery iron,
steel, chemicals, raw materials, consumer goods.
Imports--$10.6 billion:  crude oil and petroleum
products, chemicals, manufactured goods, food stuffs.
Major markets/suppliers--Austria, Belgium, Common- wealth
of Independent States, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland,
Switzerland, United States.
Exchange rate (January 1994):  30 Czech crowns=US$1.
 
Principal Government Officials
President--Vaclav Havel
Prime Minister--Vaclav Klaus
Foreign Minister--Josef Zieleniec
Ambassador to the United States--Michael Zantovsky  (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 7
 
Country Profile:  Hungary
 
Geography
Area:  93,000 sq. km. (36,000 sq. mi.); about the size of
Indiana.
Cities:  Capital--Budapest (est. pop. 2 million).  Other
cities--Debrecen (220,000), Miskolc (208,000), Szeged
(189,000), Pecs (183,000).
Terrain:  Much of Hungary is flat, with low mountains in
the north and northeast and north of Lake Balaton.
Climate:  Temperate.
 
People
Nationality:  Noun and adjective--Hungarian(s).
Population (1991 est.):  10 million.
Ethnic groups:  Magyar 92%, Romany 3%.
Religions:  Roman Catholic 68%, Calvinist 20%, Lutheran
5%.
Languages:  Magyar 98%.
Education:  Years compulsory--to age 16.  Attendance--
96%.  Literacy--99%.
Health:  Infant mortality rate--15/1,000.  Life
expectancy--males 67 yrs., females 75 yrs.
Work force (5 million):  Industry and commerce--49%.
Services--27%.  Agriculture--19%.  Government--5%.
 
Government
Type:  Parliamentary democracy.
Constitution:  August 20, 1949.  Substantially revised in
1989, amended in 1990.
Branches:  Executive--Council of Ministers.  Legislative-
-Hungarian National Assembly (386 members, 4-yr. term).
Judicial--Supreme Court and Constitutional Court.
Principal political parties:  Hungarian Democratic Forum
(center); Alliance of Free Democrats (center left);
Independent Smallholders' Party (center right);
Socialists (reform communists); Federation of Young
Democrats (center left); Christian Democratic People's
Party (center right).
Administrative subdivisions:  19 counties plus capital
region of Budapest.
Flag:  Three horizontal stripes--red, white, and green.
 
Economy
GDP (1992):  $32 billion.
Annual growth rate (1992):  -4.5%.
Per capita income (1992):  $3,200.
Natural resources:  Fertile land, bauxite, brown coal.
Agriculture/forestry (16% of GDP):  Products--meat, corn,
wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, vegetables, fruits,
sunflower seeds.  Arable land--51%, of which 71% is
cultivated.
Industry/construction (40% of GDP):  Types--machinery,
buses, and other transportation equipment; precision and
measuring equipment; textiles; medical instruments;
pharmaceuticals.
Trade (1992):  Exports--$10.7 billion:  machinery, buses,
and other transport equipment, medical instruments;
pharmaceuticals; textiles, other consumer manufactures;
agricultural products.  Major markets--Germany, Austria,
Slovakia, Italy, U.S., France, Commonwealth of
Independent States.  Imports--$11 billion:  raw
materials, energy, machinery, transport equipment.  Major
suppliers--Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Commonwealth of
Independent States.
Official exchange rate (1992):  About 83 forints=US$1.
 
 
Principal Government Officials
President--Arpad Goncz
Prime Minister--Peter Boross
Foreign Minister--Geza Jeszenszky
Ambassador to the United States--Pal Tar
Ambassador to the United Nations--Andre Erdos   (###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 8
 
Country Profile:  Poland
 
Geography
Area:  312,680 sq. km. (120,725 sq. mi.); about the size
of New Mexico.
Cities:  Capital--Warsaw (pop. 1.7 million).  Other
cities--Lodz (851,000), Krakow (744,000), Wroclaw
(637,000), Poznan (586,000), Gdansk (461,000).
Terrain:  Flat plain, except mountains along southern
border.
Climate:  Temperate continental.
 
People
Nationality:  Noun--Pole(s).  Adjective--Polish.
Population:  38 million.
Annual growth rate:  0.4%.
Ethnic groups:  Polish 99%, Ukrainian, Belorussian,
Jewish.
Religions:  Roman Catholic 95%, Eastern Orthodox, Uniate,
Protestant.
Language:  Polish.
Education:  Years compulsory--8. Attendance--97%.
Literacy--98%.
Health:  Infant mortality rate--13/1,000.  Life
expectancy--males 68 yrs., females 77 yrs.
Work force (17 million):  Industry and construction--37%.
Agriculture--28%.  Trade, community services, transport,
communications--18%.  Government and other--17%.
 
Government
Type:  Republic.
Constitution:  July 22, 1952 (as amended).
Branches:  Executive--head of state (president), head of
government (prime minister), council of ministers
(cabinet). Legislative--bicameral parliament: lower
house--Sejm, upper house--Senate.  Judicial--Supreme
Court, provincial and local courts.
Political parties:  Poland held parliamentary elections
in September 1993.  Government formed by coalition of SLD
and Polish Peasants Party.
Suffrage:  Universal at 18.
Administrative subdivisions:  49 provinces (voivodships).
Flag:  Two equal-sized horizontal bands of white (upper)
and red (lower).
 
Economy
GNP (1992 est.):  $69 billion.
Economic growth rate:  4%.
Per capita GNP:  $1,800.
Natural resources:  Coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas,
silver, lead, salt.
Agriculture:  Products--grains, sugarbeets, potatoes,
livestock, oilseed.
Industry:  Types--machine-building, iron and steel,
extractive industries, chemicals, ship-building, food-
processing, glass, beverages, textiles.
Trade (1992):  Exports--$16 billion:  machinery and
equipment, coal, minerals, metals.  Major markets--
Germany, U.S., U.K., Switzerland.  Imports--$15 billion:
machinery and equipment, fuels, minerals, metals,
agricultural and forestry products.  Major suppliers--
Germany, Russia, U.S., U.K., Italy, Switzerland.
Exchange rate:  21,000 zlotys=US$1.
 
Principal Government Officials
President--Lech Walesa
Prime Minister--Waldemar Pawlak
Foreign Minister--Andrzej Olechowski
Ambassador to the United States--vacant
Ambassador to the United Nations--Zbigniew M. Mlosowicz
(###)
 
 
 
ARTICLE 9
 
Country Profile:  Slovakia
 
Geography
Area:  49,030 sq. km.
Cities:  Capital--Bratislava (pop. 445,100).  Other
cities--Kosice (237,000), Nitra (90,100), Presov
(89,700).
Terrain:  High mountains to the north, low mountains in
the center, hills to the west, Danube river basin in the
south.
Climate:  Temperate.
 
People
Nationality:  Noun and adjective--Slovak(s).
Population:  5.3 million.
Annual growth rate:  0.4%.
Ethnic groups:  Slovak 86%, Hungarian 11%, Romany 1.5%,
Czech 1%, Ruthenian, Ukrainian, German, Moravian, Polish.
Religions:  Roman Catholic 60%, Protestant, others.
Language:  Slovak.
Education:  Literacy--99%.
Health:  Life expectancy--males 67 yrs., females 75 yrs.
Work force ( 2.3 million):  Industry, construction,
commerce--61%.  Government and other services--29%.
Agriculture--9.5%.
 
Government
Type:  Parliamentary republic.
Independence:  Slovakia was established on January 1,
1993 (former Czechoslovakia established in 1918).
Constitution:  September 3, 1992.
Branches:  Executive--president (chief of state), prime
minister (head of government), cabinet.  Legislative--
National Council of the Slovak Republic (150 seats).
Judicial--Supreme Court, Constitutional Court.
Political parties:  Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS), 66 seats; Democratic Left Party (SDL), 28 seats;
Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), 18 seats; Slovak
National Party (SNS), 14 seats; Coalition of Hungarian
Parties (Coexistence plus Hungarian Christian Democratic
Movement (MKDH)), 14 seats; Alliance of Democrats (AD), 8
seats; independent deputies, 2 seats.
Suffrage:  Universal at 18.
Administrative subdivisions:  Three administrative
districts and Bratislava.
Flag:  Three horizontal bands of white (upper), blue
(middle), and red (lower), with heraldic insignia near
staff consisting of double white cross on red field above
blue base.
 
Economy
GDP (1992):  $9.3 billion.
Nominal per capita income (1992 est.):  $1,900.
Natural resources:  Antimony, mercury, iron, copper,
lead, zinc, magnesite, limestone, lignite.
Agriculture:  Products--milk, eggs, poultry, cattle,
hogs, potatoes, oils, grains, vegetables.
Industry:  Types--iron and steel, chemicals, light
industry, food processing, engineering, building
materials.
Trade (1993 est.):  Exports--$5 billion:  iron and steel,
chemicals, plastics, nuclear power equipment, vehicles,
textiles, oils, cement.  Imports--$4.8 billion:  crude
oil and petroleum products, manufactured goods.  Major
markets/suppliers--Czech Republic, Germany, Austria,
Russia, Hungary, Italy, Ukraine.
Exchange rate (1993):  33 Slovak crowns (Sk)=US$1.
 
Principal Government Officials
President--Mihal Kovac
Prime Minister--Vladimir Meciar
Foreign Minister--Jozef Moravcik
Ambassador to the United States-- Vacant (designee--
Branislav Lichardus) (###)
 
END OF DISPATCH VOL 5, NO 1.

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