Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 170, 04 September 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON PEACEKEEPING FORCE FOR TAJIKISTAN. Last week
Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov, commander-in-chief of the CIS armed
forces, reached an agreement with Tajik President Rakhmon Nabiev
on sending CIS peacekeeping forces to Tajikistan. But on 3 September,
after the announcement of Nabiev's ouster, Shaposhnikov told
ITAR-TASS that it would be difficult to deploy a CIS peacekeeping
force in Tajikistan now. He said that CIS members must make every
effort to prevent the spread of the Tajik turmoil to other states,
but that the deployment of a peacekeeping force would require
that the opinions of all parties to the conflict in Tajikistan
be taken into account. Anti-Nabiev forces are unlikely to agree
to a peacekeeping force, which they see as Russian interference.
(Bess Brown)

CIS LEADERS SEE DANGER IN TAJIK CONFLICT. The presidents of Uzbekistan,
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia issued a warning on 3 September
to the government and political groups of Tajikistan, branding
the civil war in that country a danger to the Commonwealth, and
announcing that Russia and the Central Asian states intend to
intervene. The statement mentions as concrete dangers the large-scale
smuggling of arms from Tajikistan's southern neighbors and the
danger that Tajikistan could be taken out of the CIS and lose
its sovereignty. The only specific measure mentioned in the statement
was the sending of additional border troops to Tajikistan; the
implication was, however, that other types of intervention might
follow if the Tajiks cannot restore order themselves. (Bess Brown)


DEMONSTRATORS STILL HOLED UP IN PRESIDENTIAL PALACE. Western
agencies report from Dushanbe that the demonstrators who took
over the Presidential Palace were still holed up there on 3 September,
although they had released all their hostages. The militants,
from a Dushanbe youth group, say they refuse to leave before
the opening of the Supreme Soviet session scheduled for 4 September,
because their departure might mean that President Nabiev could
reestablish himself in power. (Bess Brown)

STRIKES IN UKRAINE CONTINUING. The strike action in Ukraine called
by the independent Association of Free Trade Unions, which is
disrupting rail and air transport, is continuing (see Daily Report,
3 September, 1992). Western and CIS agencies report that government
and union negotiators failed to reach agreement at their first
round of talks held in Kiev on 3 September. The government has
declared the strike illegal but has reportedly offered to drop
legal action against the organizers if they end their work stoppage.
According to Ukrinform-TASS, the government has also ordered
the Ministry of Defense to take over air traffic control. (Bohdan
Nahaylo)

CEASEFIRE AGREED IN ABKHAZIA. After several hours of tough negotiations
in Moscow, Russian President Yeltsin, Georgian State Council
Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze, Abkhaz parliament leader Vladislav
Ardzinba and representatives of the peoples of the North Caucasus
signed a ceasefire agreement on 3 September, whereby Georgia
will withdraw virtually all its troops from Abkhazia, leaving
only a small contingent to guard roads and railways. The ceasefire
is to begin at noon local time on 5 September, and a joint Russian-Abkhaz-Georgian
commission will be created to monitor it. Shevardnadze admitted
that the ceasefire agreement would be difficult to implement;
Ardzinba said he was not happy with the agreement, but expressed
hope that "Yeltsin will not permit the annihilation of the Abkhaz
people," ITAR-TASS reported. (Liz Fuller)

"REFORM" DEPUTIES CALL FOR KHASBULATOV'S OUSTER. A group of Russian
democratic parliamentary deputies, called "Reform," strongly
criticized the parliament's speaker, Ruslan Khasbulatov, at its
press conference on 2 September, and proposed his ouster. A coalition
leader, Leonid Volkov, was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying Khasbulatov
regularly exceeds his authority. The same day, a leader of the
Democratic Russia movement, Lev Ponomarev, said representatives
of the movement would propose to the Presidium of the Russian
Supreme Soviet that it discuss Khasbulatov's ouster at the presidium's
session scheduled for 7 September. (Vera Tolz)

RUSSIAN BUDGET DEFICIT MOUNTS. Addressing a Kremlin conference
on 24 August on the progress of regional economic reform, Russian
Finance Minister Vasilii Barchuk announced that the budget deficit
to date amounted to almost 1 trillion rubles, Radio Mayak reported.
He warned that the deficit threatens to rise to 2 trillion rubles
by the end of the year "which is tantamount to hyperinflation."
In current prices, the Russian GNP is thought to be something
like 15 trillion rubles. This would suggest that the budget deficit,
on an annual basis, is running at over 13% of GNP, i.e., well
over government projections and far higher than Russian commitments
to the IMF and G-7. (Keith Bush)

MORE ON RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, CENTRAL BANK RIFT. Central Bank Deputy
Chairman Voilukov said in an interview with Trud, summarized
by ITAR-TASS on 3 September, that the government's promises about
inflation and financial stabilization by the end of the year
were not realistic. Voilukov also said, apparently referring
to the issue of new credits during the rest of 1992, that the
economy would need an injection of 1.5 to 2 trillion rubles--much
more than the ceiling on credit creation demanded by the IMF.
In a related story, Interfax on 3 September reported that a Russian
parliamentary commission would soon consider a Yeltsin memorandum
explaining his veto of the Law on Currency Regulation. Many members
of the government consider that the law, passed on 14 July by
parliament, gives the Central Bank too much power in determining
hard currency regulations in Russia. (Erik Whitlock)

CAPITAL FLIGHT FROM RUSSIA. Unidentified "monetary sources" in
Moscow told Reuters on 3 September that over $5 billion in convertible
currency was stashed away in overseas bank accounts by Russian
exporters during the first half of the year. Other estimates
have put the amount of illegal holdings much higher. Russian
TV on 10 July quoted Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs figures
suggesting that deposits totaling $20 billion belonging to enterprises,
commercial organizations, and individuals were lodged in Western
banks. In March, the Russian government hired Kroll Associates
to help it track down and repatriate the billions of dollars
held abroad by enterprises and by former party and government
officials. (Keith Bush).

POLITICAL PARTIES GET ACCESS TO TV IN ST. PETERSBURG. As of 1
September, representatives of all parties and movements that
are active in St. Petersburg have been granted access to local
TV. Representatives of local political forces are now given an
hour of broadcasting time per week to express their views, Pravda
reported on 3 September. The Committee for Glasnost and Mass
Media at the St. Petersburg City Soviet is concerned about the
decision of the city TV management to grant broadcasting time
to all political parties, because some of them adhere to extreme
right-wing views. (Vera Tolz)

WILL YELTSIN MAKE IT TO JAPAN? An announcement from the Russian
Federation President's Security Service carried by ITAR-TASS
on 3 September said: "during the process of the preliminary study
of the issues connected with ensuring security for the Russian
president's visit to Japan, there have appeared a number of material
negative factors indicating the absence of a complete guarantee
of the security" for the Russian delegation during the 13-16
September visit to Japan. It is unclear whether security concerns
expressed on the Russian side are genuine or if they are meant
to prepare the ground for the cancellation of the visit--something
which conservatives in Russia have demanded over the last several
weeks. (Suzanne Crow)

ON CIS DEFENSE MINISTER MEETING. Serious differences between
Russia and Ukraine on the issue of control over nuclear weapons
appeared at the CIS Council of Defense Ministers meeting in Moscow,
Interfax reported on 3 September. Russia wants to be the only
state allowed to have its own strategic forces. Nuclear weapons
on the territory of other states should, in Russia's view, be
placed under the command of the Joint CIS Armed Forces until
they are removed or destroyed. Ukraine insists that the strategic
forces on its territory should be under the jurisdiction and
control of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. CIS defense ministers
are also experiencing difficulty agreeing on a concept of collective
security, since not all CIS states signed the Treaty of Collective
Security last spring. (Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIA TO DISPLAY TOP AIRCRAFT AT BRITISH SHOW. Aleksei Didenko,
an official of the Russian aviation industry, was quoted by ITAR-TASS
on 1 September as saying that Russia would display future civilian
aircraft and Russia's most modern fighters, bombers, attack aircraft
and helicopters at the upcoming Farnborough Air Show in Great
Britain. Among the aircraft listed to appear at the show was
the IL-78 strategic refueling aircraft. These aerial tankers
have been one of the many bones of contention between Russia
and Ukraine. The only regiment of these planes in the former-Soviet
airforce was located at Uzin, in Ukraine. Last March, Ukraine
"appropriated" this regiment and threatened to use the planes
as the basis of the republic's civil airline. (Doug Clarke)

RUSSIA INTRODUCES NEW ID CARDS. Russian citizens will have to
wait until 1994 before their Soviet passports will be abolished
and replaced by Russian identification cards, ITAR-TASS reported
on 2 September. Moreover, it may take five-to-seven years to
introduce new Russian passports. The chairman of a sub-committee
of the parliamentary Human Rights' Committee, Mikhail Arutyunov,
said that the new identification cards will bear the citizens'
legal residence, but no state symbol, reference to ethnic origin,
family status, or criminal record. (Alexander Rahr)

YET ANOTHER CEASEFIRE IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. Armenian and Azerbaijani
representatives met on 3 September in the village of Kayan-Avan
on the border between the two countries and signed a ceasefire
agreement based on last week's Alma-Ata protocol, to take effect
on 15 September, ITAR-TASS reported. The upcoming round of CSCE-sponsored
talks in Rome beginning 7 September is to work out mechanisms
for enforcing the ceasefire. Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey
again ruled out independence for Nagorno-Karabakh and said that
autonomy for the region would be conditional on the creation
of a similar status in Armenia for Azerbaijanis displaced over
the past four years, AFP reported. In an apparent snub to Kazakh
President Nazarbaev, Elchibey stated that he considered mediation
efforts by international organizations preferable to those by
individual states, ITAR-TASS reported. (Liz Fuller)

MOLDOVA SOFTER ON RUSSIAN TROOP ISSUE. Petru Lucinschi, Moldova's
ambassador to Russia and the head of the Moldovan negotiating
group on the future of Russia's troops in Moldova, told Nezavisimaya
Moldova on 2 September that "unlike the Baltic states, Moldova
does not insist on an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops
and is prepared to reach agreement on the conditions of their
temporary presence on Moldova's territory." Lucinschi added that
Moldova would continue negotiating the terms of the eventual
troop withdrawal, but that it set a higher priority on economic
agreements with Russia. This signal of a weakening Moldovan position
on the troop issue is apparently linked to Lucinschi's recently
expressed anxiety, shared by the Moldovan leadership, about a
possible "Yugoslav scenario" on both banks of the Dniester (see
Daily Report, 2 September). (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVA SEES NEED FOR RUSSIAN GOODWILL. A political adviser to
President Mircea Snegur predicted to Interfax on 2 September
that should Chisinau fail to grant the left bank of the Dniester
a political status, as pledged by President Mircea Snegur recently
in Moscow, "there will be a renewed conflict followed by a Russian
economic blockade of Moldova, the deterioration of the Moldovan
economy, and the threat of a political coup." By the same token,
"many of Moldova's problems can only be resolved through Moscow's
mediation." Such assessments, as well as those of Lucinschi (see
item above) reflect the Moldovan leadership's growing sense of
vulnerability to Russia and its search for Russian goodwill in
the wake of Moldova's military defeats in the Dniester conflict.
(Vladimir Socor)

SNEGUR IN SWITZERLAND. Moldovan President Mircea Snegur paid
a visit to Switzerland for talks with Swiss Confederation President
Rene Felber and with banking circles, Moldovapres reported on
2 and 3 September. Snegur said at the end of the visit that Swiss
neutrality could be a model for Moldova, which also intends to
be a neutral state; and that Moldova could usefully study the
Swiss experience in political-administrative decentralization.
The Swiss side offered credits to support Moldovan pilot projects
in food processing and management training in 1993, with Swiss
experts to provide technical assistance in setting up the projects.
It was also agreed to set up a Swiss-Moldovan trading company
and bank. (Vladimir Socor)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

RELIEF PLANE DOWN IN BOSNIA. Relief flights into Sarajevo were
halted on 3 September and the airport was closed on the 4th after
an Italian relief plane crashed 20 miles west of the embattled
Bosnian capital en route from Split. The crew of four was killed,
and four US helicopters searching for the wreckage were turned
back by ground fire, the New York Times reports. The cause of
the crash is not clear, but mechanical failure was suggested
by Italian TV, while Bavarian Radio has speculated about a ground-based
rocket attack. Tanjug reports that a letter from the headquarters
of the Bosnian Serb forces to UNPROFOR commander Satish Nambiar
categorically denies that the plane was shot down by its forces
and claims that the area of the crash is controlled by Croat
Muslim forces. Reuters reports that Turkey is willing to send
troops and the US has offered logistical support, possibly including
air cover, for aid convoys in Bosnia. (Charles Trumbull)

GENEVA CONFERENCE OPENS. The international conference on former
Yugoslavia, jointly sponsored by the United Nations and the European
Community and cochaired by Cyrus Vance of the US and Lord Owen
of the UK, opened on 3 September. The conference will remain
in permanent session and has divided its activities into six
working groups: on Bosnia-Herzegovina, confidence building measures,
humanitarian issues, economic problems, minorities, and legal
issues. Opening statements by the cochairman, widely reported
in the press, stressed the long-term nature of the conference's
work and warned against expectations of quick solutions. (Charles
Trumbull)

PANIC ON THE OFFENSIVE. Milan Panic, prime minister of the rump
Yugoslavia, told a news conference on 3 September that he will
take the offensive in the Federal Assembly on 4 September. He
stressed that he will directly attack the "old guard" by speaking
the truth: "the time of lies, swindles, and cheating is over."
He said that it will only be a matter of time until Yugoslavia
will be respected again on the international scene. Panic declined
to comment on whether the initiative to submit a no-confidence
motion in his government was a consequence of his sacking of
Deputy Interior Minister Mihail Kertes, a Socialist hard-liner
("the politically dead," in Panic's phrase). Panic deflected
the question of whether Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
and Socialist Party chairman Borisav Jovic were behind the motion
of no-confidence He also announced that he is going to Kosovo
on 5 August for talks with leaders of ethnic Albanian parties.
Radio Serbia carried the report. (Milan Andrejevich)

ARMY, STUDENTS SUPPORT PANIC. The prime minister also told reporters
that he enjoys the full support of the Yugoslav armed forces.
Panic, who is also federal defense minister, said that he has
been in frequent contact with the military adding "I can sense
whether or not someone supports me. I believe the entire Army
supports me." Panic also said that he enjoys the support of students
and called on them to stay at home and not to gather outside
the Federal Assembly building in Belgrade for the 4 September
session that will discuss the work of the Yugoslav delegation
at the London conference. (Milan Andrejevich)

SLOVAK CONSTITUTION SIGNED. In a ceremony at the Bratislava castle
on 3 September, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar and Parliament
chairman Ivan Gasparovic signed Slovakia's new constitution which
was adopted on 1 September. The constitution went into effect
immediately after the signing ceremony, but some of its provisions
are frozen until 1 January 1993 to avoid clashing with federal
laws. Federal Prime Minister Jan Strasky and Milan Uhde, chairman
of the Czech National Council, attended the ceremony. CSTK reports
that delegates representing ethnic Hungarians walked out of the
ceremony in protest against what they see as insufficient protection
of minority rights in the constitution. Speaking to reporters
in Prague, Jan Kasal, a deputy chairman of the Czech National
Council, said that "by adopting a full constitution, Slovakia
has [in effect] quit the federation." (Jiri Pehe)

HUNGARIAN OFFICIALS ON GABCIKOVO. Prime Minister Jozsef Antall
has categorically denied that his government ever suggested to
the Slovak government that the Gabcikovo plant could be opened
even if Hungary stopped building its section of the Danube project.
According to Radio Budapest, Antall was replying to a statement
by Vladimir Meciar, who said that such an offer had earlier been
made to Czechoslovakia by Hungary. Minister without Portfolio
Ferenc Madl, in a interview in the 2 September issue of Magyar
hirlap, noted Czechoslovakia's contradictory statements regarding
the Gabcikovo dam, namely that it is ready to bring the issue
before the International Court of Justice in the Hague and will
soon divert the Danube. Should Czechoslovakia proceed, Madl said,
Hungary will ask the ICJ to require its northern neighbor to
suspend work. The contentious issue is sure to come up again
when Antall meets with Meciar in Budapest on 9 September. Since
a year of bilateral talks have brought no progress, Hungary hopes
both countries will agree to apply jointly to the ICJ, Madl said.
(Judith Pataki & Alfred Reisch)

GOVERNMENT STATEMENT ON THE HUNGARIAN POLITICAL SCENE. In connection
with the political tensions after the appearance of a critical
political essay by Hungarian Democratic Forum vice president
Istvan Csurka, the government adopted a statement during its
3 September session, local media report. The statement condemns
political hysteria and increasingly harsh rhetoric in domestic
public life. In a reference to President Arpad Goncz's refusal
to sign the dismissals of the top leaders of Hungarian Radio
and TV, the statement condemns arbitrary interpretation of the
constitution. In reference to the Csurka essay, the government
attacked what it called extremist political views burdened by
prejudices, firmly rejecting endeavors of any orientation characteristic
of totalitarian states, intentions running counter to general
moral values, human and minority rights, the UN spirit and charter,
or the government's international obligations. The government
promised to do everything necessary to safeguard the constitutional
order. The statement expressed hope that all political forces
will make efforts to easing confrontations. (Judith Pataki)

ROMANIAN REACTIONS TO TOKES'S PROTEST FAST. President Ion Iliescu
released to the media an open letter addressed to the Magyar
bishop Laszlo Tokes. Iliescu rejects as unfounded Tokes's accusations
of government laxity in prosecuting those responsible for anti-Hungarian
actions. Among other things, the letter claims that the ethnic
clashes in Tirgu Mures in March 1990 were "fomented from abroad"
and began when "massive groups" of Hungarian citizens visiting
Romania "behaved in an objectionable manner." Iliescu says Tokes
is resorting to "spectacular gestures" that could be dangerous
for the country's tranquillity before the elections. The Democratic
National Salvation Front, on whose ticket Iliescu is running
in the elections, accused Tokes of staging the fast on the orders
of the CIA and other intelligence services, according to Reuters.
And the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party said the action
signals "the beginning of a series of diversions" that could
"lead to ethnic clashes and bloodshed" before the elections.
(Michael Shafir)

ROMANIAN-UKRAINIAN TALKS. Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Anatolii Zlenko arrived in Bucharest on 3 September and signed
with his Romanian counterpart Adrian Nastase an agreement on
cooperation in culture, science, and education as well as two
consular conventions. Rompres said the agreements facilitate
the "creation of conditions" conducive to the satisfaction of
"the cultural and religious requirements" of ethnic Romanians
in Ukraine and Ukrainians in Romania. Zlenko was also received
by Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan, with whom he discussed economic
links. On 2 September Radio Bucharest reported that a Romanian
delegation from Chernovtsy had complained that the Romanian minority
in Ukraine "does not enjoy rights equal to those extended to
other ethnic minorities." (Michael Shafir)

BULGARIAN PREMIER ON COUP RUMORS. On 3 September Bulgarian Prime
Minister Filip Dimitrov rejected rumors of a military coup as
"further attempts to create turmoil," BTA reports. Dimitrov said
he finds the idea that incumbent UDF leaders would prepare a
coup "insane." He said there is something paradoxical about people
who on the one hand "were concerned" about heightening political
tension while at the same time "labor to increase it." On 3 September
several major dailies carried reports of alleged coup preparations,
mostly based on anonymous sources. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

RUSSIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL SCHEDULE FROM LITHUANIA SET? On 3 September
National Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius said on local TV
that it appeared that in their two-day meetings in Moscow Russian
and Lithuanian delegations agreed on a troop withdrawal schedule
acceptable to both sides, Radio Lithuania reports. Work on the
schedule is not yet complete, but should be finalized by 8 September
for the meeting between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Lithuanian
Parliament Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN ECONOMICS MINISTER'S PRESS CONFERENCE. On 3 September
Minister of Economics Albertas Simenas told a press conference
that the government has approved an economic political memorandum
to the IMF detailing its economic policies for 1993, Radio Lithuania
reports. An IMF council meeting in October is expected to approve
$287 million in credits for the fiscal year. Simenas also noted
that discussions on economic relations with Russia have become
more efficient, and draft economic and accounting agreements
should be ready for signing by mid-September. At present Russia
owes Lithuania 10.7 billion rubles for goods delivered while
Lithuania owes Russia 4.7 billion rubles. (Saulius Girnius)

DEPUTIES FORM INTERREGIONAL COUNCIL IN ESTONIA. A group of eight
longtime pro-Soviet Supreme Council deputies has formed a body
called the Estonian Interregional Deputies' Council, BNS reported
on 3 September. The deputies, most but not all of whom are non-Estonians
ethnically, say they will continue to represent what they call
their disenfranchised voters. The deputies--Aksinin, Israelian,
Lebedev, Gusev, Kuznetsov, Sakharov, Panfilov and Annus--told
BNS that they will work within the new Estonian constitution.
This is the second such group formed so far in Estonia to represent
the interests of noncitizens who cannot vote in this month's
parliamentary elections. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO US. Jaan Manitsky will make an official
three-day visit to the US starting 15 September, BNS reports.
Manitsky will meet with Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger
to discuss trade and investment and Estonian-Russian relations.
Manitsky is also set to meet with members of Congress and senators.
(Riina Kionka)

LATVIA STRUGGLES WITH THEFT OF NONFERROUS METALS. In order to
stop widespread theft, the Latvian government has ruled that
as of 1 September only two state firms will be permitted to purchase
nonferrous metals in Latvia and resell them abroad. Moreover,
on 26 August the Ventspils prosecutor's office ordered a ship
owned by the British-based World Trading Company to remain in
port until investigation is completed concerning its load of
nonferrous metals that it was to take out of Latvia on behalf
of Klints, a company registered in Latvia. According to BNS of
2 September, the metals are worth about $250,000. Thefts of valuable
nonferrous metals continue unabated, however. During the night
of 29 August thieves removed 25 bronze plates from gravestones
of German POWs in Riga. Recently the plaque was stolen from the
monument in honor of Col. Oskars Kalpaks, hero of Latvia's 1918-19
fight for independence, BNS and Radio Riga reported on 2 and
3 September. Criminal organizations are believed to be buying
up the metals for resale abroad for hard currency. (Dzintra Bungs)


IS ESTONIA BECOMING A DUMP? A number of recent reports have drawn
attention to Estonia's increasingly difficult environmental state.
According to Sweden's Sydsvenska dagbladet on 2 September, 4
million tons of uranium ore waste (including a reported 1,200
tons of pure uranium) have been dumped into an artificial lake
near Sillamae, an important Russian-run nuclear industrial site
in Estonia. BNS reported on 3 September that it will take several
days to clean up an oil spill caused by a collision of two railway
tank cars near Tallinn harbor. The harbor is currently under
a light film of oil which is not expected to harm sea life. Finally,
German ZDF TV reported on 3 September that German industrial
waste is being exported to Estonia under the guise of humanitarian
aid. A Westphalian company has reportedly shipped at least 500,000
tons of used tires to Estonia in this guise. Other German wastes,
including sewage sludge, car paint, and used lubricants, has
also reportedly been sent to Estonia. (Riina Kionka)

CHINA'S TRADE DEBT TO HUNGARY SETTLED. After two years of negotiations,
China's foreign trade debt to Hungary of 106 million Swiss francs
($85 million) has been purchased from Hungary's National Bank
by the Hungarian private firm Autotrade for an undisclosed sum.
It will be paid in two installments within one year, MTI reported
on 2 September. Autotrade, which has ties with 16 Chinese companies,
will purchase Chinese goods for the same amount, its chairman
Gyorgy Matrai announced. (Alfred Reisch)


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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