We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us. - George Eliot
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 178, 16 September 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

SITUATION IN TAJIKISTAN. Authorities in Kulyab Oblast have accused
opposition forces of killing nine people and taking ten hostages
in a gun battle on 14 September, ITAR-TASS reported the following
day. The invaders apparently came from Kurgan-Tyube Oblast, which
has been attacked repeatedly by fighters from Kulyab who support
deposed President Rakhmon Nabiev. Ostankino TV's evening news
reported on 14 September that Tajikistan's leading Muslim cleric,
Kazi Akbar Turadzhonzoda, has protested the decision of opposition-controlled
Tajik TV to stop rebroadcasting Russian TV programs. The head
of Tajik TV claimed that Russian reporting on events on Tajikistan
was distorted. The kazi agreed, but objected to "an information
famine." (Bess Brown)

SITUATION IN ABKHAZIA STILL "EXTREMELY COMPLICATED". The tripartite
commission charged with monitoring the Abkhaz peace agreement
met in Adler on 15 September and drew up an accord on the disengagement
of Abkhaz and Georgian forces in north-west Abkhazia and a new
ceasefire agreement to take effect at midnight on 15 September,
ITAR-TASS reported. Addressing the State Council in Tbilisi,
Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze said that he had informed Russian
President Boris Yeltsin by telephone that Abkhazia was violating
the ceasefire agreement. Shevardnadze characterized the situation
in Abkhazia as still "extremely complicated" and stated that
Georgia's military contingent in the region would be strengthened.
(Liz Fuller)

RUSSIA REJECTS UN EXPULSION OF YUGOSLAVIA. Russian Foreign Ministry
spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said on 15 September that Russia
opposes the idea of isolating rump Yugoslavia by expelling it
from international organizations such as the United Nations.
He noted that Russia could use its veto power during a vote at
the UN to block the expulsion of Yugoslavia, ITAR-TASS reported
on 15 September. This statement is in line with remarks made
by Milan Panic in late July, apparently based on discussions
during the CSCE summit in Helsinki. Panic was quoted by Izvestiya
on 31 July as saying: "President Boris Yeltsin promised me that
if necessary, Russia will use its veto one hundred times in the
UN Security Council to oppose a resolution on the exclusion of
Yugoslavia." (Suzanne Crow)

CIS INTERPARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OPENS. The Interparliamentary
Assembly of the CIS has gone into its first session in Bishkek,
ITAR-TASS reported on 15 September. Parliamentary delegations
from Armenia, Belarus, Kazhakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan--the
CIS states which have signed the agreement on the creation of
the Interparliamentary Assembly--are participating. A delegation
from Uzbekistan, which also signed the agreement, did not arrive
for the first session. The parliamentary delegations are being
headed by the speakers of the parliaments of the CIS member states.
The Assembly will discuss the development of interstate relations
inside the CIS, the role of parliaments in the social protection
of the population, and general economic problems. (Alexander
Rahr)

KHASBULATOV ELECTED HEAD OF INTERPARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY. Russian
parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov has been elected Chairman
of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, ITAR-TASS reported on
15 September. Khasbulatov will preside over the work of the Assembly
for one year. It has also been decided that St. Petersburg will
become the seat of the Interparliamentary Assembly. The statute
of the Assembly was adopted and agreement has been reached on
the creation of permanent Assembly commissions on cooperation
in legal, economic, humanitarian, ecological and military affairs.
(Alexander Rahr)

BANKER WARNS AGAINST RUSSIAN DEBT REDUCTION. The managing director
of the prestigious Washington-based Institute of International
Finance, Horst Schulman, announced at a news conference that
offering Russia debt relief would be a mistake. According to
a RFE/RL correspondent reporting on 16 September, Schulman asserted
that such action would send a very unfavorable message to both
creditors and debtors around the world: "in the face of what
is clearly [a] very unsatisfactory performance," debt relief
would be viewed as "an entitlement program" for Russia. In Schulman's
opinion, Russia has not done enough to pay its foreign debts.
He cited Russia's reluctance to raise domestic prices for oil,
a policy which would restrict domestic demand and free up supplies
for hard-currency sales. (Erik Whitlock/Robert Lyle)

RUSSIAN FARMERS DEMONSTRATE. Farmers gathered outside the Russian
government building in Moscow to demand economic assistance,
various Russian and Western news agencies reported on 15 September.
In particular, the demonstrators called for more investment in
the agricultural sector, tax and debt relief, as well as low-interest
loans. Reports variously estimated the number of participants
at between four hundred and two thousand. According to ITAR-TASS,
the demonstration lasted an hour and a half. The protest follows
a similar action in August that was viewed as largely ineffective.
Interfax quoted demonstrators as saying that this was their "last
soft action," and that they would use more serious methods in
the future if the government did not respond to their demands.
(Erik Whitlock)

VOLSKY CRITICIZES PRIVATE BUSINESS SPECIALISTS. President of
the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Arkadii Volsky,
stated that about one and a half million specialists are duplicating
various intellectual and business activities in countless fictitious
enterprises, Voice of Russia reported on September 13. Although
these people have created an enormous number of foundations,
analytical centers, consulting bureaus, and middleman companies,
the result of all this activity is next to zero, Volsky was quoted
by Voice of Russia as telling Patriot (no.35). Voice of Russia
accused Volsky of being a high-level KGB officer, a charge it
has made frequently in the past. (Victor Yasmann)

COMMUNIST PARTY HEARINGS RESUME WITH EXPERT TESTIMONY. After
a six-week recess, the Russian Constitutional Court resumed the
hearings on the status of the communist party on 15 September.
Opening the session, court chairman Valerii Zorkin said that
13 legal experts would testify on whether the communist party
is a true political party and whether the Russian Communist Party
(RCP) is independent from the Soviet Communist Party (CPSU),
Interfax reported. Zorkin noted that six of these experts have
given written opinions supporting the Russian president's ban,
while seven other experts contend that the ban was illegal. The
court is also expected to examine the question of who owned and
disposed of party property. Meanwhile, Valentin Kuptsov, the
former RCP first secretary, asked the court to legalize the party
temporarily until the court reaches a verdict, Russian and Western
agencies reported. (Carla Thorson)

NATIONALIST PARTIES RESUME PICKETING OF OSTANKINO. On 15 September,
representatives of extreme Russian nationalist parties resumed
their picketing of the Ostankino TV station demanding daily broadcast
time on Russian TV, ITAR-TASS reported. Their picketing of Ostankino
first started this past summer, and it led to the opposition
obtaining broadcast time on a monthly basis; now they want more.
(Vera Tolz)

YELTSIN HOLDS TALKS WITH TATARSTAN PRESIDENT. On 15 September,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin held talks in Moscow with the
Tatarstan President, Mintimer Shaimiev, ITAR-TASS reported. The
agency quoted Yeltsin's press office as saying the two presidents
discussed preparations for a draft treaty on the division of
functions between the Russian central and Tatar authorities.
The Russian and Tatar authorities agreed in July to prepare a
treaty on Tatarstan's sovereignty and its union with Russia.
(Vera Tolz)

ORDERS FOR MILITARY HARDWARE TO GROW. ITAR-TASS reported on 11
September that state orders by the Russian government for military
hardware in 1993 will be higher than in 1992. No specifics on
the orders were provided. The increase was attributed to the
need to maintain the scientific and intellectual level of the
defense sector, and to reduce the effects of Russia's general
economic decline. The decision was reportedly reached at a closed-door
meeting of Russian government officials and leaders of the military
industries on 10 September. (Stephen Foye)

RUSSIA OFFERS TO SELL WARSHIPS TO THE PHILIPPINES. A spokesman
for the Philippine Navy said on 11 September that Russia had
offered to sell fast attack craft, corvettes, and minesweepers
to the Philippines. According to the Chinese Zinhua news agency,
the spokesman said that the offer had come during a meeting that
day in Manila between a Russian delegation and the chairman of
the Philippine Navy's weapons board. The agency also quoted Philippine
Air Force chief, Brigadier Gen. Leopoldo Acot, as saying that
a proposal to purchase MiG-29 jet fighters from Russia was being
"carefully studied." (Doug Clarke)

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT OPENS. The sixth session of the Ukrainian
parliament opened on 15 September against a background of unresolved
economic problems and the opposition's determination to force
new parliamentary elections and the dismissal of the present
government. Western news agencies reported on 15 September that
Prime Minister Vitold Fokin, in a message read to the lawmakers,
warned that the economy is in an "extremely deep crisis." Fokin
said that the government's new economic reform plan was still
being discussed and would be presented to parliament no later
than 28 September. The lawmakers were met by protesters at the
parliament, which has become almost traditional for each new
parliamentary session. (Roman Solchanyk)

BELARUS TO RATIFY CFE TREATY. Belarus President Stanislav Shushkyevich
told German leaders on 15 September that his government would
ratify the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty by the
end of the year. Shushkyevich was visiting Bonn and his remarks
were reported by Western agencies. The treaty, signed by the
members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and
the former Warsaw Pact--including the successor states to the
USSR--sets limits on five categories of conventional weapons
allowed between the Urals and the Atlantic. The agreement came
into force on 17 July 1992 even though two of the 29 signatories,
Armenia and Belarus, had not yet ratified it. They were given
120 days to complete the process. (Doug Clarke)

NAZARBAEV PROMOTES ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Kazakhstan's President
Nursultan Nazarbaev told a meeting of industrialists in Alma-Ata
that political ambition is prevailing over economic rationalism
in the CIS, and he will propose to the CIS summit in Bishkek
that supragovernmental structures be created in the Commonwealth,
Russian TV reported on 14 September. On 15 September, the Russian
economics minister, Andrei Nechaev, and the chairman of Kazakhstan's
State Economics Committee, Tleukhan Kabdrakhmanov, signed a protocol
on economic cooperation between the two countries, ITAR-TASS
reported. This agreement provides for prognoses of socio-economic
development, cooperation in currency and credit policy, and various
joint mining and environmental projects. Nechaev did not lend
encouragement to a pet project of Nazarbaev, the creation of
a supranational currency authority. (Bess Brown)

"DNIESTER" MOLDOVAN TEACHERS TO STRIKE FOR LATIN SCRIPT. Most
teachers in Moldovan schools controlled by "Dniester" Russian
authorities are protesting against the recent "Dniester" edict
on languages, which imposes the Russian alphabet on the "Moldovan"
(i.e. Romanian) language in place of the Latin alphabet (see
RFE/RL Daily Report, 10 September). The teachers have announced
plans for a general strike beginning on 20 September, Radio Rossii
and DR-Press reported on 14 and 15 September, respectively. (Vladimir
Socor)

"DNIESTER REPUBLIC" CONTINUES CREATING STATE STRUCTURES. The
"Dniester republic Supreme Soviet" decided to set up a customs
system for the would-be republic, Interfax reported on 11 September;
it began functioning on 15 September, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported
on the 16th. The same source reported that Moldova's television
relays located on the left bank of the Dniester have been taken
over by the "Dniester" authorities. On 14 September, Interfax
reported that the "Dniester republic" intends to introduce its
own citizenship. Since 2 September, using the breathing spell
gained through the ceasefire and the protective cover of Russian
troops, ostensibly in Moldova to carry out impartial peacekeeping
duties, the "Dniester republic" has also proceeded to set up
a government with full-fledged ministries, including those of
Defense and State Security; announced the establishment of its
own air force and border troops, and the intention to create
its own professional army; it has also formed its own banking
system. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVA FEELS CHEATED. An unnamed senior official of Moldova's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representing Moldova on the Joint
Control Commission which nominally supervises the Russian peacekeeping
forces on the Dniester, "expressed concern over certain activities
of that body...The presence of the peacekeeping forces is being
used by the Tiraspol leaders to consolidate illegal state structures
in the Dniester area." The Moldovan official called for "a rigorous
control of the [Russian-Moldovan ceasefire] convention by international
bodies...to avoid arbitrary or hostile interpretations," Rompres
reported on 13 September. The statement, the first of its kind
from Moldova since the convention was signed on 21 July, appears
to reflect the apprehension that Snegur's gamble in accepting
the deployment of Russian peacekeeping troops in Moldova in exchange
for Russian promises to restrain the "Dniester" secession, is
backfiring against Moldova. (Vladimir Socor)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

EC MOVES TO EXCLUDE SERBIA-MONTENEGRO FROM UN. Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, the US, and Islamic Conference member states will apparently
join Britain and the EC in taking steps this week to bar Serbia-Montenegro
from holding the former Yugoslavia's seat in the UN and related
organizations. International media reported on 15 and 16 September
that it is not yet clear whether Russia will agree to such a
ban. Serbia-Montenegro call themselves "Yugoslavia" but the state
remains internationally unrecognized, largely because its creation
is widely regarded as an attempt by the Belgrade authorities
to claim much of the legitimacy and assets of Tito's now defunct
federation. For its part, Serbia-Montenegro says that it does
not see how it can continue to participate in a UN-backed peace
process if that organization excludes Belgrade from its work,
the BBC said on 16 September. (Patrick Moore)

"NO-FLY ZONE" OVER BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA? International media also
report that the Security Council is expected to consider stetting
up a "no-fly zone" on the Iraqi model over the troubled republic.
Of the combatants, only Serbian forces have aircraft, and they
have been accused of shadowing UN relief flights as a way of
obtaining cover on bombing missions against Bosnian and Croatian
forces. Peace envoys Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen on 15 September
deplored Serb air attacks the previous day on four Muslim-controlled
towns in Bosnia, Western news agencies report. UN peace-keeping
operations chief Marrack Goulding said that the attacks show
how urgent it is to set up the "no-fly zone." Meanwhile, 68 badly
injured Bosnian refugees were taken by air from Banja Luka to
London for treatment. The Red Cross had selected them from numerous
inmates of Serbian "detention centers." (Patrick Moore)

CROAT-MUSLIM CONFLICTS IN BOSNIA. Radios Serbia and Slovenia
report on 14 and 15 September that there has been a rise of clashes
between Croatian and Muslim militia in towns in Herzegovina.
In the Bosnian towns of Prozor and Vitez, local education officials
decided that instruction in primary schools will be based on
those in Croatia. Muslims have protested the decision saying
Muslim children would not attend schools modeled on those of
another state. The majority population in Vitez is Muslim, but
all authority is in the hands of the Croats. On 14 September
Radio Bosnia-Herzegovina reported the republic's Constitutional
Court passed a decision saying that the establishment of the
"Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna" on 18 November 1991 was
illegal. The Bosnian authorities have also earlier condemned
successionist moves by Serbian groups. Vecerniji list on 15 September,
however, quoted Bosnia's vice president as playing down reports
of tensions between Muslims and Croats. (Milan Andrejevich)

MACEDONIAN BORDER SECURITY TIGHTENED. As a response to the ongoing
Bosnian war and fear that it might spread to the Republic of
Macedonia, the Skopje government has decided to strengthen security
along its 240-km border with Serbia, Reuters and Makpres report.
The move came just after a CSCE mission recommended patrols along
the border to help head off expansion of the war there. Evidently
only main highways until now have had border checkpoints. Military
personnel will soon begin construction of defense facilities
along the border according to Nova Makedonija. The CSCE patrols,
which would augment the frontier guard force, may be composed
of civilian observers. (Duncan Perry)

SERBIAN PREELECTION SCENE. On 14 September round-table talks
between the rump Yugoslav government and opposition parties resulted
in the adoption of parts of a declaration on the electoral system
and the financing of upcoming elections. The adoption of these
documents will be placed on the federal assembly's agenda on
18 September. The remaining aspects of the declaration referring
to the role of the media are also slated for debate soon. Meanwhile,
Zoran Andjelkovic, a leading official in the ruling Socialist
Party (SPS) stated on 15 September that Slobodan Milosevic, in
addition to his candidature for SPS chairman, will run as "the
SPS candidate in the forthcoming elections for the most responsible
state functions in the republic." Andjelkovic did not elaborate.
Radio Serbia carried the reports. (Milan Andrejevich)

DEMONSTRATIONS OVER HUNGARIAN TV PRESIDENT. According to a 14
September Radio Budapest report, two demonstrations are being
organized involving Elemer Hankiss, the president of Hungarian
TV. Hankiss was dismissed by Prime Minister Jozsef Antall earlier
this year, but President Arpad Goncz refused to sign the dismissal
order. The first demonstration--against Hankiss--is organized
by the Committee for Free Hungarian Information, which includes
some journalists, members of the World Federation of Hungarians
Fighting in 1956, and some chapters of the Hungarian Democratic
Forum and the Christian Democratic Peoples' Party. The demonstration
will start next Saturday and, organizers say, will last until
Hankiss remains in office. The second demonstration--in support
of Hankiss--is organized by artists and reportedly more resembles
a picnic than a political event. (Judith Pataki)

ROMANIA TIGHTENS VISA RULES FOR THIRD WORLD. Romanian Interior
Minister Victor Babiuc announced on 15 September that Romania
will tighten visa regulations for 24 countries in an effort to
curb illegal immigration. Under the new rules, citizens of those
countries need an invitation from a Romanian citizen or firm,
and these must assume financial responsibility for the visitors.
Albania is the only European country on the list; the others
are mostly Arab and Third World countries. Western agencies quoted
Babiuc as saying that many foreigners are using Romania as a
springboard to the West. There are currently some 30,000 foreigners
in Romania who have overstayed their tourist visas. (Dan Ionescu)


NATIONALIST PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BESIEGED IN TIMISOARA. Some
2,000 protesters jeered Romanian presidential candidate Gheorghe
Funar in Timisoara. Funar, the mayor of Cluj, is running on the
ticket of the Party for Romanian National Unity (PRNU), the political
arm of the extreme nationalist Vatra romaneasca ("Romanian Hearth")
organization. The protesters shouted "Communist" and "Fascist"
and threw fruit and vegetables at Funar while he was laying a
wreath at a monument outside the cathedral in Timisoara to honor
those killed in the December 1989 revolution. Many carried signs
hailing the Democratic Convention, the main opposition alliance.
Radio Bucharest carried a PRNU statement condemning the incident.
(Dan Ionescu)

GORBUNOVS IS LATVIA'S INTERIM HEAD OF STATE. On 15 September
the Supreme Council ruled that the chairman of the Supreme Council
will serve as head of state until the Saeima (parliament) convenes.
Saeima deputies are still to be elected and an election date
has not been set, though elections are expected to take place
in the fall of 1993. The functions of the head of state are representational.
This decision supplements the law on the duties and functions
of the Supreme Council that was adopted on 5 August and does
not grant new powers to Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs,
Radio Riga reports. (Dzintra Bungs)

PRESIDENTIAL POLL IN LITHUANIA. On 15 September BNS reported
on the results of a poll conducted in late August and early September
by the Sociological Research Laboratory of the University of
Vilnius. The leading candidate for president is parliament chairman
Vytautas Landsbergis with 31% of the poll, followed by Lithuanian
Democratic Labor Party chairman Algirdas Brazauskas with 19%
and Lithuanian chargé d'affaires in Moscow Egidijus Bickauskas
with 5%. When asked who they would like to see in the new parliament,
20% of the respondents mentioned Brazauskas, 18%--Landsbergis,
and 12%--Bickauskas. BNS gave no margin of error for the poll.
(Saulius Girnius)

IMF APPROVES FIRST CREDIT FOR LATVIA. On 15 September Latvia
became the first of the former USSR republics to achieve a full
stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund, making
it eligible to draw loans of up to about $81 million over the
coming year. The credit is meant to support a comprehensive economic
reform that includes continued price liberalization and a speeded-up
privatization process. The IMF says that without outside help
Latvia's "decline in output and employment could be significantly
larger than anticipated," RFL/RL correspondent reported on 16
September from Washington. (Dzintra Bungs)

DIFFICULTIES WITH LITHUANIA-RUSSIA TRADE AGREEMENT. During a
meeting in Moscow on 18 September, Lithuanian Prime Minister
Aleksandras Abisala and Russia's acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar
were expected to sign a long-term trade agreement. On 15 September,
citing unofficial sources, BNS said that the meeting had been
postponed to 22 September at Lithuania's request. Deputy chairman
of the Lithuanian Parliament Ceslovas Stankevicius, who heads
the state delegation for negotiations with Moscow, had earlier
told BNS that although agreements on mutual accounting and payments
were ready for signing, Russia's proposals on trade required
further discussion since Russia suggested quotas and licenses
that would allow it to introduce certain limitations that were
unacceptable since Lithuania wanted a real "free trade agreement."
(Saulius Girnius)

EC TALKS ABOUT BALTS. The European Parliament in Strasbourg has
delayed a vote on commercial and trade agreements with the Baltic
States by one month. Europarliament socialist delegate Gary Titley
from the UK told an RFE/RL correspondent on 15 September that
the vote was delayed because of concern over Estonia's constitutional
referendum, citizenship law, and election law. Officials from
the Europarliament Secretariat, however, told the RFE/RL Estonian
Service on 16 September that the delay is "purely technical."
The draft agreement was submitted to the Foreign Trade Commission,
which must approve all agreements before they are considered
by the parliament. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA'S JOBLESS RALLY FOR "HUMAN RIGHTS." About 1000 demonstrators
rallied in support of "human rights" in Narva on 15 September,
Estonian TV reports. The demonstration, organized by a group
calling itself the Estonian Association of the Unemployed, demanded
that the government "restore economic ties with Russia and CIS
member states in order to cut unemployment" in formerly all-union
factories, BNS reports. Unemployment in Estonia is currently
at an all-time high of 0.5%. Over 90% of Estonia's current trade
is with CIS member states. (Riina Kionka)

POLISH GOVERNMENT SAVORS VICTORY IN FSM STRIKE. As the FSM auto
plant began preparations to resume production, Deputy Prime Minister
Henryk Goryszewski commented that "for the first time, a strike
has ended in something other than a victory for the strikers;
this time, the public and its democratic state won out." The
strikers abandoned all wage demands and accepted the terms of
an agreement negotiated between the management and the trade
unions on 29 July, shortly after the strike began. This gives
them limited raises as soon as Fiat takes over the plant. Workers
will also receive loans from local authorities. Management has
agreed not to take disciplinary action against strike participants,
and to consider rehiring the 347 strike activists fired during
the strike. Both sides agreed to help speed Fiat's assumption
of control. (Louisa Vinton)

POLAND'S ECONOMY GROWS, BUT SO DOES DEFICIT. Poland's industrial
output in August was 6.8% higher than in August 1991, the Main
Statistical Office reported on 14 September. Industrial production
for the first eight months of 1992 was just 0.8% below last year's
level. Economists from the Main Trade School reported that Poland
had not experienced the typical summer slowdown in economic activity.
Prospects for the rest of 1992 are good: firms and banks report
that new orders are up, while indebtedness and inventories are
down. Investment in machines and equipment rose in August for
the first time in a year. Deputy Finance Minister Wojciech Misiag
said on 14 September that the government had already decided
to ask the Sejm to revise the 1992 budget to deal with the larger
than predicted deficit. Misiag said a 30 trillion zloty ($2 billion)
shortfall was likely. PAP reported that the unemployment rate
at the end of August was 13.4%. More than one-third of the unemployed
are not entitled to benefits. (Louisa Vinton)

POLISH DEFENSE MINISTRY OPPOSES LUSTRATION. Deputy Defense Minister
Bronislaw Komorowski told the Sejm's defense commission on 15
September that passage of the "decommunization" laws now under
consideration would mean "the loss of virtually the entire command
structure of the Polish army." Only two generals--one the military
bishop, the other an academic worker--would survive the process.
Noting that 14,000 officers had been removed in 1990-91, ministry
officials argued that further cuts would undermine Poland's defense
capability. Proponents of lustration charged the defense ministry
with attempting to remove the army from parliamentary supervision,
but a majority of the Sejm commission seemed to agree that the
armed forces deserved special treatment. The commission thus
asked to participate in deliberations on the six draft bills
now before the Sejm. (Louisa Vinton)


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