Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 86

Kaliningrad/Koenigsberg region governor Leonid Gurbenko yesterday called for reducing Russian military forces in his region "in line with the reasonable sufficiency principle… to a level that is economically affordable." The regional government presently "deprives the civilian population in order to cover the military’s maintenance and food costs on credit," Gurbenko complained, adding that the central government’s debt to the region on that account has grown to 500 billion rubles. Gurbenko put the number of military personnel and dependents at one third of the region’s general population of over one million. (Interfax, April 30)

Oddly, Gurbenko had urged Moscow only a day earlier to claim the Memel/Klaipeda territory from neighboring Lithuania on the grounds that it was gained by the USSR from Germany in World War II, as was Koenigsberg itself. (See Monitor, April 30) Lithuania and Poland are particularly concerned over the concentration of Russian forces in that region.

Lukashenko Tries Building Iron Curtain.