Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. - Mark Twain
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 152, 11 August 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN SIGNS LAW ON CLOSED TERRITORIES. Russian President Boris
Yeltsin signed a law on 10 August that closed all regions of
the country involved in developing, producing, storing or utilizing
weapons of mass destruction, processing radioactive materials,
and accommodating military or other facilities which require
a special security regime, ITAR-TASS reported. The law also reportedly
contains provisions on procedures for the creation or abolition
of such territories, for the redrawing of their borders, and
for determining their budgets, administrative agencies, and social
guarantees for their residents. The law is to go into effect
within 14 days of its publication, except for an article on the
budgeting, which will take effect on 1 January, 1993. (Stephen
Foye)

BLACK SEA FLEET COMMANDER HINTS HE MIGHT BE SACKED. Admiral Igor
Kasatonov, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, said in a 10
August interview with "Vesti" that he was satisfied with the
recent agreement on the Fleet worked out by Presidents Yeltsin
and Kravchuk. "I'm a serviceman and I will fulfill any orders,"
he said. Commenting on statements that the Ukrainians were trying
to get rid of him, the Admiral said, "No matter who wants to
get rid of me, we will have to work [together] for at least three
to four months." (Doug Clarke)

OFFICIAL DENIES CARRIER TO BE SOLD TO CHINA. Nikolai Kruglov,
the deputy head of the Mikolaev (Ukraine) administration, has
denied recent reports that the ex-Soviet aircraft carrier "Varyag"
would be sold to China. Kruglov acknowledged the Chinese offer,
but stressed that the fate of the ship had to be determined by
the governments of Russia and Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reported on
10 August. He said that a special commission had been formed
to study the situation and make recommendations to the two governments.
"Even if we wanted to sell the aircraft carrier...we couldn't
do so," said Viktor Antonov, Ukrainian Minister of Industry.
He explained that the ship was only 70% complete, and its construction,
and that of 30 other ships, had been suspended after Russia cut
off supplies to the shipyard. (Doug Clarke)

RUSSIAN-TATARSTAN TREATY READY BY END AUGUST? Commenting on the
current treaty negotiations between Russia and Tatarstan. Tatarstan
Vice-president Vasilii Likhachev said that Russia has agreed
to Tatarstan's demands on a number of issues and that, by the
end of August, the final text of the treaty will probably be
ready for presentation to the Russian and Tatarstan presidents,
Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 8 August. Valerii Tishkov, chairman
of the Russian State Committee for Nationality Affairs and a
member of the Russian delegation in the treaty talks, was less
optimistic. Tishkov said Tatarstan was still insisting on an
interstate treaty in the classic sense, which was unacceptable
to Russia. Tishkov suggested the issue could only be resolved
by a meeting of the two presidents. (Ann Sheehy)

NO POSTPONEMENT OF INDUSTRIAL UNION MEETING. The Russian parliamentary
faction "Industrial Union" has denied a request by President
Yeltsin to postpone the All-Russian session of manufacturers,
Interfax reported on 10 August. The faction's leader, Yurii Gekht,
said that it was pointless to postpone the meeting as 2,000 people
from 80 Russian regions had confirmed their participation, and
it would go ahead as planned on 13-14 August. Last week, it had
been announced that the session would be postponed to 17-18 September.
The meeting is expected to demand radical changes in the implementation
of the government's reform program. (Keith Bush)

PRICE OF RUSSIAN ENERGY EXPORTS TO CIS. The Russian cabinet meeting
on 6 August dealt primarily with the federation's trade and economic
relations with other CIS member states, including the payment
of arrears and the tightening of customs controls. According
to ITAR-TASS, Russian Economics Minister Andrei Nechaev told
the meeting that Russia would have earned an additional 540 billion
rubles during the first quarter of 1992 had it exported energy
carriers to the CIS at world prices. In the event, it earned
only 33.2 billion rubles. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN ECONOMISTS PESSIMISTIC. A poll of 563 government, academic
and business economists in Russia revealed that a majority sees
no recovery until at least 1994. The results of the survey, taken
by a Moscow University public opinion service and summarized
by ITAR-TASS on 10 August, show that only 11% think the economy
will stabilize this year and 15% next year. Some 53% of those
polled are "certain" that the government's program for converting
the ruble won't work, while 61% felt that the ruble would "soon"
be devalued to the rate of 200-250 to the US dollar. (Erik Whitlock).


HOUSING CONSTRUCTION DOWN BY TWO-THIRDS. Details on Russia's
mid-year performance continue to trickle out of Goskomstat. Construction
of housing was down 33% in the first six months of this year
as compared to the same period last year. The drop has been most
significant in rural areasnearly 50%. According to Interfax on
10 August, officials at Goskomstat predict total housing construction
by the end of the year will have fallen to a little more than
half of what it was in 1991. (Erik Whitlock)

ANOTHER ESTIMATE OF RUSSIAN UNEMPLOYMENT. The International Fund
for Economic and Social Reforms estimates that more than 5 million
persons will be registered in Russian job centers by mid-1993,
with 3.5 million being officially unemployed, Interfax reported
on 10 August. The Fund reckons that Russia at present has no
serious program for dealing with employment problems and that
it is basically pursuing a policy of "patching up holes." Most
official estimates of unemployment in Russia by the end of 1992
have been reduced from 6 million to 2 millionevidently in anticipation
of a relaxed credit policy and only partial implementation of
bankruptcy legislation. (Keith Bush)

MINISTRIES OF STATE SECURITY AND INTERNAL AFFAIRS JOIN PRIVATIZATION
COMMITTEE. "The Coordinating Committee for the Introduction of
Privatization Vouchers" includes representatives from the Russian
ministries of security, internal affairs and presidential state
and legal department (GPU), according to Ekonomika i zhizn, No.
31. Among them are the chief of MVD Main Administration for Economic
Crimes, Vyacheslav Saltaganov; the deputy security minister Nikolai
Lisovoi, and the deputy chief of the GPU, Andrei Voikov. (Victor
Yasmann)

RUSSIAN SECURITY MINISTRY TO PUBLISH NEW JOURNAL. The Russian
Security Ministry plans to publish its own journal called Sluzhba
Bezopasnosti, the ministry's spokesman Aleksei Kondaurov told
the RFE/RL Research Institute on 7 August. The editorial board
of the journal includes First Deputy Security Minister Nikolai
Golushko, Deputy Security Minister in charge of cadres Vasilii
Frolov, Deputy Security Minister in charge of science and technology
Anatolii Bykov. The journal intends to become a forum for discussion
about cooperation with other intelligence services, to provide
information on the day-to-day activities of the security ministry,
and to publish memoirs by former KGB officials. (Alexander Rahr,
Moscow)

NEW CONSERVATIVE COALITION IN BELARUS. BelInform-TASS on 10 August
reported the formation of a coordinating committee of social
and political movements and organizations supporting "political
and social stability in Belarus." The coalition includes the
Party of Communists of Belarus, the Fund in Defense of Servicemen,
the Republican Committee of Mothers of Servicemen, the Slavic
Council "White Rus," and others. A spokesman for the coalition
says that it will number half a million members, and that it
intends to take part in forthcoming parliamentary elections as
a bloc. The coalition has as its objective to resist "the breakdown
of the [Belarus] population according to nationality and preserve
the interethnic ties that have been formed over the centuries."
(Roman Solchanyk)

CAMPAIGN IN DEFENSE OF UKRAINIAN COMMUNISTS. The public action
committee, "For the Repeal of Anti-Constitutional Decisions on
the Banning of the Communist Party of Ukraine" has appealed to
the Ukrainian parliament, the constitutional court, and to political
parties, social organizations, and movements demanding that the
ban on the Communist Party of Ukraine and other "anti-constitutional
and discriminatory acts" directed against the party be lifted.
The appeal was reported by Ukrinform-TASS on 10 August. The party
was outlawed by the Presidium of the Ukrainian parliament on
30 August 1991. (Roman Solchanyk)

CRIMEAN COMMUNISTS OFFICIALLY REGISTERED. The Union of Communists
of Crimea has been officially registered as a "public organization,"
Ukrinform-TASS reported on 10 August. The group, which is led
by the former first secretary of the Crimean Obkom, Leonid Hrach,
claims to have 14 city and raion organizations and about 10,000
members and has as its main goal the facilitation and protection
of social, economic, and national and cultural interests. (Roman
Solchanyk)

SHEVARDNADZE TO STAND AS PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE. Georgian State
Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze told the newspaper 24 in
an interview that he would stand as a candidate in the Georgian
parliamentary elections to be held on 11 October, ITAR-TASS reported
on 10 August. Whether Shevardnadze will stand as an independent
candidate, or as a representative of a political party, was not
specified. (Liz Fuller)

COMMANDER OF ARMENIAN ARMY NAMED. ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August
that Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan has appointed Lt.
Gen. Norad Ter-Grigoryants as first deputy defense minister of
Armenia and commander of the Armenian Armed Forces. Ter-Petrossyan
remains armed forces commander-in-chief. According to ITAR-TASS,
Ter-Grigoryants is 56 years old and had served previously as
the deputy chief of the USSR ground forces main staff. He also
reportedly headed an operational group in the Turkestan Military
District and then served on the staff of the 40th Army in Afghanistan.
(Stephen Foye)

UZBEKISTAN LIMITS CONTACTS WITH TAJIKISTAN. Moscow TV on 9 August
reported that starting on 10 August passengers would be removed
from Dushanbe-Tashkent trains at the Uzbek border unless they
could demonstrate that they had official permission to enter
Uzbekistan. According to the report, the Dushanbe authorities
are considering the action to be yet another indication of Uzbek
fears that Tajikistan will export Islamic revolution; it could
also be intended to stop the flow of Uzbek-speaking refugees
from Tajikistan. (Bess Brown)

TAJIKISTAN TO SELL ENRICHED URANIUM? "Ostankino" TV reported
on 9 August that, according to Megapolis Ekspress, Tajik businessmen
are planning to sell enriched uranium abroad and representatives
of various states, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey
and Pakistan have made inquiries. When a similar story emerged
in the Moscow media early in 1992, Tajik officials angrily denied
it and commented that Tajikistan had no enriched uranium to sellits
mines are exhausted and the country has no enrichment plant.
(Bess Brown)

TAJIKISTAN TO HAVE OWN CURRENCY? Although Tajikistan wants to
remain in the ruble zone, authorities in Dushanbe are considering
introduction of a national currency, the "Somon," and have consulted
a Canadian firm about printing banknotes, according to ITAR-TASS
on 10 August. The same firm was approached on the issue of setting
up a joint enterprise to print official documents and passports.
(Bess Brown)

ANTI-MONOPOLY LAW IN UZBEKISTAN. Uzbekistan's anti-monopoly law
reportedly went into force on 8 August, according to Russian
TV on 7 August. The law places restrictions on prices set by
firms presently enjoying monopolies and forbids government authorities
to engage in commercial activities, or serve in any capacity
in non-governmental enterprises. The law is one of several statutes
signed recently by President Islam Karimov that are intended
to encourage the development of private enterprise in the republic,
including foreign trade and investment. As of 1 August, all tariffs
on imports were abolished until 1994, along with customs duties
on imported food, medicines and medical equipment. (Cassandra
Cavanaugh)

UZBEK CONSUMPTION OF MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS DOWN. Results of
a study by the Uzbek Republican Center for Sociological Research,
according to Russian TV on 9 August, revealing that 4.5% of Uzbeks
have stopped eating meat entirely, while the majority of the
have begun to consume meat, milk and fresh vegetables only once
or twice a week. According to official statistics in the former
Soviet Union, Uzbeks consume much less meat than Russians, averaging
only 8 kilograms per capita annually compared to an all-Union
average of 67 kg. The data from the study will be used to calculate
the cost of a basic market basket of products, which the government
will use to determine the necessary level for price subsidies.
(Cassandra Cavanaugh)

MOLDOVA MOURNS WAR CASUALTIES. Moldova observed a day of national
mourning on 10 August to commemorate the victims of the war on
the Dniester. Religious ceremonies were held throughout Moldova
except in areas held by "Dniester" insurgents. In a message to
the people of the republic, President Mircea Snegur deplored
"the senseless and barbaric war which has been imposed upon this
peaceful land" and asked the people to "forgive me for not having
been able, as your president, to protect young [soldiers'] lives
from this calamity," Moldovapres reported. Meanwhile, the cease-fire
is holding and no casualties have been reported since 1 August.
(Vladimir Socor)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE ON BOSNIA RESOLUTIONS? The international
media on 10 and 11 August continued to be filled with reports
of alleged atrocities at mainly Serbian-run camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina
and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. Bosnian Serb officials
announced on 10 August they would soon close two of the supposedly
worst centers, but some Western reporters said that prisoners
were simply being moved around among camps previously opened
to limited inspection. Meanwhile in New York, the US, Britain,
France and Belgium hope to bring to a vote perhaps on 13 August
two resolutions in the Security Council. One, circulated on 10
August, authorizes the use of force "nationally or through regional
agencies or arrangements" to ensure delivery of relief supplies
"to Sarajevo and wherever needed in other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
The other demands "immediate, unimpeded, and continued access
to camps" and urges local authorities "in particular those of
Serbia and Montenegro and all military forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina"
to end human rights abuses. Finally, as the debate continues
in the Western press about what the international community can
and should do in Bosnia, 12 US Air Force cargo-handling specialists
arrived at Zagreb airport to help the UN relief effort. (Patrick
Moore)

RUSSIAN STANCE ON YUGOSLAVIA. Statements by the leaders of a
Russian parliamentary delegation currently in Serbia indicate
sympathy for Serbia. Evgenii Ambartsumov, chairman of the Committee
on International Affairs and Foreign Economic Ties, told ITAR-TASS
on 10 August that the purpose of the trip is to overcome the
one-sided position that the international community has adopted
in the Yugoslav conflict. "We intend," he added, "to make efforts
to dispel some myths, particularly the myth of the concentration
camps on the territory of Yugoslavia." Constitutional Affairs
Committee chairman Oleg Rumyantsev said Russia should adopt a
much more active position regarding aid to the new Yugoslavia,
especially "during such a dangerous time, when the threat of
foreign military intervention is real," TASS paraphrased. Both
parliamentarians criticized the MFA's handling of the Yugoslav
crisis. Ambartsumov said Russia's position on Yugoslavia may
change at the international conference on Yugoslavia to be held
in London. (Suzanne Crow)

PANIC IN ATHENS AND TIRANA. Radio Serbia and international media
on 10 August report that the prime ministers of Greece and the
rump Yugoslavia support an EC-sponsored international conference
in Belgrade on the future of Kosovo. Constantine Mitsotakis and
Milan Panic said in Athens also talked about the independence
of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Panic said
Yugoslavia would recognize the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina
if Bosnia had a "legitimate government" in which Muslims, Serbs,
and Croats are equally represented. In Tirana Panic assured Albanian
prime minister Aleksander Meksi that the violence in Bosnia will
not be repeated in Kosovo. He announced that the Kosovo conference
will be held as early as next week and will be attended by the
Yugoslav government, leaders of Kosovo's Albanians, and Greece
as the EC observer. Meksi said his government supports the right
of Kosovo's Albanian majority to self-determination. Panic is
reportedly willing to discuss autonomy but not full self-government
for the Serbian province. Hundreds of protesters in Tirana greeted
Panic waving Albanian flags and denouncing Serbian president
Slobodan Milosevic. Last month Milosevic and Yugoslav president
Dobrica Cosic rejected a British proposal for an EC conference
on Kosovo. (Milan Andrejevich)

KOSOVO TO RECEIVE SERB REFUGEES? Slobodan Popovic, Serbia's commisioner
for refugees announced that the city of Belgrade can no longer
handle the flood of displaced Bosnian Serbs and that most refugees
will now be resettled to other parts of Serbia, many in Kosovo.
On 10 August Radio Serbia reported that Popovic acknowledged
that resettling Serbs into Kosovo is risky and did not exclude
the possibility of violence. The Serbian Red Cross is concerned
that the transfer of some of Belgrade's 140,000 Serb refugees
into Kosovo will inflame political tensions. Meanwhile, Ibrahim
Rugova, the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo,
repeated his call for UN military forces as the only means of
averting major violence between Albanians and Serbs. In an interview
with the Berliner Zeitung on 10 August, Rugova stated the the
danger of ethnic war in Kosovo has become "awfully great." (Milan
Andrejevich)

LITHUANIA PREPARES FOR NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA. On 10 August
Minister without Portfolio Gediminas Serksnys, the coordinator
for negotiations with Russia, told the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service
that Lithuania is changing 7 of the 14 members in its group of
experts delegation due to the Russian decision that the talks
will cover wider issues than just Russian troop withdrawal from
Lithuania and is bringing in more legal experts. Serksnys was
pessimistic about the planned meeting on 11 August since the
head of the Russian delegation, Viktor Isakov, has made the "odd
suggestion" that the delegations "exchange opinions" on the progress
of the groups of experts working on various bilateral questions.
Serksnys fears that this indicates that the Russian side was
only prepared to discuss issues and not make concrete decisions,
probably explaining as in past meetings that it lacks the authority
to do so. (Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIA DEMANDS APOLOGY. The Estonian government on 10 August
agreed with the findings of a special commission investigating
the 2 August incident at a former Soviet naval installation that
"Russia is entirely responsible for the incident and an official
apology is in order." Commission chairman and state minister
Uno Veering told BNS that the commission regards the Russian
military's use of force in Tallinn "a denial of Estonia's sovereignty
that constitutes a gross violation of international law." Russian
authorities maintain that Estonia provoked the incident in which
two soldiers were injured. (Riina Kionka)

RUSSIAN NAVY PLANS TALKS ON SHIP WITHDRAWAL FROM BALTIC. ITAR-TASS
on 10 August reported that Adm. Vladimir Chernavinonce the head
of the CIS Navy but now identified as a Russian admiralarrived
in Kaliningrad that day. He leads a delegation of Russian naval
officers whose mission is to "monitor combat training of the
Baltic Sea Fleet" but he and his group will also discuss questions
pertaining to the withdrawal of Russian ships from the territory
of the Baltic States, according to an official of the fleet's
press center. (Doug Clarke)

ESTONIA-PETERSBURG AGREE ON REEMIGRATION. A joint Estonian-Petersburg-Leningrad
Oblast commission has agreed in principle to guidelines paving
the way for reemigration into Russia. According to BNS on 10
August, Russia is willing to take reemigrants, but cannot foot
the bill. Leningrad Oblast, for its part, has agreed to make
available land and to sell housing under construction to the
reemigrants. A final agreement is expected to be ready for signing
by 20 August. (Riina Kionka)

JURKANS: LATVIA'S CITIZENSHIP LAW NOT LIKELY IN 1992. Latvia's
foreign minister told the press on 7 August that it is unlikely
that Latvia will adopt a citizenship law this year, BNS reports.
He pointed out that a "law on citizenship is not merely our internal
affairforeign policy and especially our relations with Russia
greatly depend on our domestic policy. We cannot permit the appearance
of a large number of residents without citizenship in Latvia."
He added that "many people came to Latvia from Russia without
realizing that they had come to a state that was once an independent
country. Our duty is to understand the fate of these people,
who, like we, are victims of the [Soviet] system." (Dzintra Bungs)


DIGNITARIES TO ATTEND TOMASEK'S FUNERAL. According to Western
agencies, "diplomatic sources" in Prague said on 10 August that
the funeral of Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek on 12 August will be
attended by a number of high foreign and local dignitaries, including
a number of heads of state. Presidents Thomas Klestil of Austria
and Lech Walesa of Poland plan to attend the ceremonies at St.
Vitus Cathedral in Hradcany Castle, as do Prime Minister Jozsef
Antall of Hungary and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. According
to the reports, Kohl is also scheduled to meet with Czech prime
minister Vaclav Klaus. Tomasek, who played a key role in toppling
the communist regime in 1989, will be buried in the tomb of Prague's
bishops in St. Vitus Cathedral. (Jiri Pehe)

OPPOSITION CANDIDATE ON ROMANIAN ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN. Emil Constantinescu,
presidential candidate for the Democratic Convention, met on
10 August with supporters in Suceava. The convention regroups
Romania's main opposition parties and organizations. Radio Bucharest
quoted Constantinescu as saying that "the inflation of presidential
nominees, just like the inflation of parties, aims at diverting
public attention from the serious problems of society." More
than 20 candidates will compete on the tickets of different parties
and alliances in the presidential race scheduled for 27 September.
There are currently some 150 parties in Romania. (Dan Ionescu)


PROTEST AGAINST FORMER KING'S VISIT TO ROMANIA. On 10 August
the Timis county chapter of the Democratic National Salvation
Front (DNSF) issued a statement protesting the decision of Nicolae
Corneanu, Orthodox Metropolitan of the Banat, to invite Romania's
exiled King Michael to attend religious celebrations at Timisoara
on 15 August. The communiqué, which was read on Radio Bucharest,
described Michael's planned visit as "a provocation aiming at
destabilizing the country" during the current electoral campaign
and called for its cancellation or postponement. The DNSF, which
split from the ruling National Salvation Front in April this
year, nominated president Ion Iliescu as its candidate for the
27 September elections. (Dan Ionescu)

CZECHOSLOVAK RESPONSE ON GABCIKOVO. Czechoslovak federal prime
minister Jan Starsky's letter to Hungarian prime minister Jozsef
Antall was given to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry yesterday,
MTI reports. It represents the first official response to Hungary's
unilateral cancellation in May 1992 of the 1977 interstate treaty
regulating the construction of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric
dam system. Details of the letter were sketchy, but according
to a radio report no new ideas were proposed. A willingness to
negotiate was expressed, but the Czechoslovaks did not indicate
a willingness to suspend construction. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)

RADICAL POLISH UNIONS TRY TO POLITICIZE STRIKES. Poland's radical
unions have made a further move to take control over and politicize
the several strikes in Poland. The National Interunion Negotiating
and Strike Committee, set up by the leaders of five postcommunist
unions and Solidarity 80 at the Polska Miedz copper combine on
7 August, met at the Fiat auto plant in Tychy on 10 August, supported
the auto workers' illegal strike, and drew up a list of 21 demands.
The committee called on the government to begin negotiations
on these demands by 14 August, failing which, the radical unions
will begin organizing a nationwide general strike. The 21 points,
which include such sweeping demands as a departure from the current
privatization law, protection of the domestic market against
"the flood of foreign capital," elimination of taxes paid by
enterprises, and the cancellation of enterprises' debts and cash
flow problems, are intended to be reminiscent of the 21 demands
of the Interfactory Strike Committee in Gdansk in August 1980
that paved the way for the rise of Solidarity. The government
has rejected such comparisons as unfounded. (Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka)


POLAND'S BUDGET NEEDS REVISION. Finance minister Jerzy Osiatynski
told journalists on 10 August that the critical state of public
finances most evident in the increasing budget deficit has necessitated
a revision of this year's budgetary legislation. The amendments
should aim to reduce expenditure and provide new sources of income,
possibly by the issue of additional state bonds. He promised
to introduce systemic measures to overcome the state budgetary
crisis next year. At the same time, Osiatynski said that the
general state of the Polish economy suggests that it is stabilizing.
(Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka)

UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. According to new data, released
by the Czech Ministry of Labor on 10 August, unemployment in
the Czech Republic has dropped by about 0.2% in comparison with
May. There are now 140,167 unemployed people, or 2.67% of the
work force, in the Czech Republic. In Prague the rate of unemployment
is only 0.3%. In contrast, there are about 338,000 unemployed
people, or 13.5% of the work force, in Slovakia. (Jiri Pehe)


CIS DRUGS PASS THROUGH LATVIA. According to Aleksandr Kostenko
of Latvia's Internal Affairs Ministry, Latvia is being used as
a transit point by drug traffickers from the CIS to Scandinavia
and Western Europe, BNS reported on 7 and 10 August. He said
that Latvia lacks the facilities and the professional expertise
to halt "the drug mafia," which specializes in ephedrine, poppy
seeds, and opium. During the past year 148 drug-related crimes
have been committed in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)


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