If you're sure you understand everthing that is going on, you're hopelessly confused. - Walter Mondale
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 33, 18 February 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



REFERENDUM ISSUES. President Boris Yeltsin has agreed to hold
an extraordinary Congress of People's Deputies in order to ratify
a future constitutional agreement between the legislative and
executive powers, Radio Rossii reported on 17 February. If such
an agreement on the division of powers between Yeltsin and the
parliament is reached and ratified by the Congress, the President
would be prepared to drop the idea of a referendum. Deputy Prime
Minister Sergei Shakhrai said at a press conference attended
by an RFE/RL correspondent that the constitutional agreement
envisages that the government will take full control over economic
policy (including the Central Bank) and the deputies will relinquish
the right to draw up the new constitution to a constitutional
assembly. -Alexander Rahr

MORE ON REFERENDUM. Shakhrai also suggested at the press conference
that the President might be prepared to yield some of his powers
in the areas of foreign policy, defense, and national security
to the parliament, various Western agencies reported. Within
the next two days, the parliament is scheduled to hear from its
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov on his meetings with Yeltsin and to
discuss proposals from the presidential side for solving the
constitutional impasse. -Wendy Slater

YELTSIN STRENGTHENS CONTROL OVER PERIPHERY. President Boris Yeltsin
has decreed that the presidential envoys-an institution which
had been formally abolished by the 7th Congress of People's Deputies-are
to become part of the local administrations from which they had
previously been separated, Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on 17
February. Yeltsin has also created an Administration for Territories
in the presidential structures, subordinated to the powerful
head of the presidential staff Sergei Filatov, to oversee local
leaders. Observers believe that the powers of the presidential
envoys have been increased by the new decree. New appointments
to the posts of envoys are expected, since many of the present
so-called prefects have been accused of corruption. -Alexander
Rahr

SHAKHRAI ON NATIONALITIES POLICY. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei
Shakhrai, who heads the State Committee for Nationalities Policy,
was reported by ITAR-TASS as saying on 17 February that it was
impossible to carry out a nationalities policy successfully as
long as the legislative and executive branches did not work hand
in hand. Addressing the Russian parliament's Council of Nationalities,
he said that the Federal Treaty was the basis of the State Committee's
nationalities policy. The impression that the committee did not
have a policy was due to shortcomings in the media. Shakhrai
said that "the unity and integrity of the Russian state must
be preserved at all costs," and that the multinational composition
of the Russian Federation must be changed from a weakness into
a strength. -Ann Sheehy

SIBERIAN ACCORD DEMANDS MORE POWER FOR SIBERIA'S REGIONS. Participants
in a two-day conference in Tomsk on 15-17 February held by the
Siberian Accord economic organization said that Siberia's regions
face an inevitable political battle with Moscow for more economic
autonomy and control over their vast natural resources. Siberian
Accord, set up two years ago, is the most influential economic
organization in the area. Yurii Nozhikov, governor of Irkutsk
Oblast, was quoted on 17 February by Russian and Western agencies
as saying that, despite its wealth of natural resources, Siberia
is often overruled by Moscow on issues of regional economic policy.
Vyacheslav Novikov, a representative of Krasnoyarsk Krai, said
that Yeltsin has yet to fulfill any of his promises on the redistribution
of power. On 16 February, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin,
visiting Tomsk, warned the meeting against demanding more power
for Siberia's regions from Moscow. -Vera Tolz

CHERNOMYRDIN RESTRUCTURES HIS APPARATUS. Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin has completed the restructuring of his government
apparatus, Kommersant daily reported on 17 February. The main
role in the staff of the Council of Ministers is being played
by the General Department, the structure and tasks of which resemble
those of a similar department in the former CPSU Central Committee.
Valerii Kurenkov, who has worked since 1978 in the Soviet government
apparatus, has been named head of the General Department. The
leaders of the other nine departments of the government apparatus
remain the same as under the former prime minister, Egor Gaidar.
-Alexander-Rahr

RUSSIA SQUEEZES OIL EXPORTS TO UKRAINE. Russian Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin announced on 17 February that, because of
the fall in Russian oil production, exports to Ukraine will be
drastically cut this year, various Russian news agencies reported.
Chernomyrdin, speaking at the Tomsk Oil-Chemical Complex, said
that the maximum amount of deliveries to Ukraine may be 15 million
tons for the entire year. This is less than the quantity delivered
in the first half of 1992 alone. Chernomyrdin implied that the
reduction would break an earlier agreement with Ukraine, according
to which Russia agreed to export 25 million tons. In a related
story, Deputy Prime Minister Shokhin told a press conference
on 17 February reported by Kommersant and Western news agencies
that Russia may have to increase its natural gas rates for European
customers as Ukraine is demanding transit tariffs higher than
the international norm. -Erik Whitlock

CIS DEFENSE CHIEFS APPROVE DRAFT DOCUMENTS. CIS Chiefs of Staff
meeting in Moscow on 17-February approved draft regulations on
the organization of classified and coded communications in the
CIS joint armed forces, ITAR-TASS reported. Only Moldova failed
to sign the agreement. A document on the principles of operational
planning which would govern the use of CIS military forces was
signed by all attending members except for Russia. Col. Gen.
Viktor Samsonov, CIS Chief of Staff, who chaired the meeting,
said that Moscow was leaning toward signing the agreement. All
documents were said to be advisory and are to be considered later
by the Council of CIS Defense Ministers. -Stephen Foye

DEFENSE MINISTRY GROUP OPPOSES NEW START PROPOSAL. The Director
of the Russian Defense Ministry's Central Scientific Research
Institute has labeled as "premature" a recent proposal by two
parliamentary committees calling for strategic arms reductions
beyond those contained in the START-2 Treaty. Colonel Vladimir
Dvorkin told ITAR-TASS on 16 February that Defense Ministry experts
believed that attention should first be focused on ratifying
and implementing the START-2 Treaty, a view that has also been
expressed by representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
While Dvorkin embraced the START-2 Treaty, he cautioned that
further negotiations might be necessary to limit "destabilizing
factors" which, he felt, might emerge following planned reductions
in strategic forces. These factors included the deployment of
anti-missile defense systems and the creation of a coalition
of nuclear states opposed to Russia. -Stephen Foye

DEFENSE MINISTRY CREATES NEW TECHNICAL COUNCIL. Russian Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev has ordered the creation of a Council
for Military-Technical Policy to develop the military's procurement
policy and to coordinate the activities of governmental agencies
and defense enterprises in this same area, ITAR-TASS reported
on 17 February. First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin,
who liaises between the Defense Ministry and the defense industrial
complex, has been named as chairman of the committee. The report
did not disclose the committee's membership. -Stephen Foye

GORBACHEV FOR PRESIDENT? FORMER SOVIET PRESIDENT MIKHAIL GORBACHEV
DOES NOT INTEND TO RUN FOR THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENCY, HIS SPOKESMAN
VLADIMIR POLYAKOV TOLD RFE/RL ON 18 FEBRUARY. But Gorbachev may
reconsider and stand for election if the "social-political situation"
in the country were to require it or if public organizations
were to call on him to return to politics when and if people
become frustrated with the policies of Boris Yeltsin. Polyakov
also said that, at present, Gorbachev wants to devote himself
fully to public and research activities within his foundation.
Leading democratic activist Arkadii Murashov and centrist politician
Dmitrii Ragozin firmly believe that Gorbachev will put forward
his candidacy at the next presidential elections. -Georgii Krichevsky
and Alexander Rahr

VOUCHER RIP-OFF IN ST. PETERSBURG. The authorities in St. Petersburg
are investigation the case of some 350,000 citizens who have
been defrauded of their privatization vouchers, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported on 15 February. The employees of two Russian firms are
suspected of disappearing with the enormous quantity of vouchers
after presumably promising to invest the vouchers on their owners'
behalf. The investigation began after the victims of the swindle
blocked roads in the city in protest on 12 February. -Erik Whitlock


CHECHEN PARLIAMENT REJECTS DUDAEV DECREE. The Chechen parliament
on 17-February rejected the decree of Chechen president Dzhokhar
Dudaev ordering a plebiscite on a new constitution on 19 February,
ITAR-TASS reported. The parliament also lifted the state of emergency
extended by Dudaev a week ago and decreed that a referendum be
held on 27-March in which citizens would be asked whether Chechnya
needed sovereignty and independence, and which form of rule they
would like. Five opposition deputies had accused Dudaev of trying
to introduce presidential rule with his proposed new constitution.
This was denied by Dudaev, who said on Chechen TV on 17 February
that his new constitution only took note of changed circumstances
and would, in any case, have to be adopted by the parliament.
-Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



RUSSIAN OFFICER KILLED IN TAJIKISTAN. A Russian major stationed
in Tajikistan with the 201st Motorized Division was abducted
from his quarters by unknown persons and has been found murdered
in Kofarnikhon Raion, a former opposition stronghold, ITAR-TASS
reported on 17 February. Military officials said they believed
that the murder had been committed by supporters of the Islamic
opposition. The murders of three Russian soldiers outside Dushanbe
in December were also credited to the Islamic opposition. Islamic
and democratic forces in the Tajik civil war of 1992 accused
Russian troops stationed in Tajikistan of at least secretly supporting
pro-Communist forces; now, the Russian division officially supports
the constitutional, conservative government in Dushanbe, making
itself a likely target for opposition attacks. -Bess Brown

JAPANESE INTEREST IN KAZAKHSTAN. Japan's Mitsui-Mitsubishi consortium
submitted the winning bid to build an oil refinery on Kazakhstan's
Mangyshlak Peninsula, ITAR-TASS reported on 17 February, and
construction of the necessary infrastructure, including power
lines, roads, and housing, is already underway. The first section
of the refinery is expected to go into operation less than two
years after construction begins. The report noted that Japanese
firms are also interested in joint ventures in Kazakhstan to
extract and refine minerals, iron, and non-ferrous metals. They
have also offered to provide equipment to increase the capacity
of the rail border crossing on the Kazakhstan-China frontier.
According to Western business reports, Japanese firms also plan
to construct a pipeline to ship Central Asian oil to Japan. -Bess
Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

GAMSAKHURDIA DENIES HE PLANS TO EMIGRATE. Ousted Georgian President
Zviad Gamsakhurdia told an RFE/RL correspondent on 16 February
that reports that he is planning to leave his current quarters
in Grozny and emigrate to the West are untrue, and that this
disinformation has been circulated by the present leadership
in Tbilisi in order to discredit him. -Liz Fuller

UN AGENCY TO STOP RELIEF SHIPMENTS TO BOSNIA. International media
reported on 17 February that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Sadako Ogata announced that her organization would suspend further
aid operations for Sarajevo and most of the rest of Bosnia. She
said that all three sides had been playing politics with the
relief work. French General Philippe Morillon, the commander
of UN peace-keeping forces in Bosnia, said, however, that his
men would keep trying to get aid through to two beleaguered mainly
Muslim towns in eastern Bosnia. Elsewhere in eastern Bosnia,
Western agencies reported that Serbs claimed that Muslims had
brutally killed 20 men, but journalists said that it was impossible
to determine exactly what had happened at Kamenica, or who the
dead really were. Finally, the BBC quoted UN officials as denying
earlier reports that starvation in eastern Bosnia had become
so acute that the living were reduced to eating corpses. -Patrick
Moore

TURKISH PRESIDENT CONTINUES BALKAN DIPLOMATIC TRIP. The 18 February
New York Times reports on Turgut Ozal's whirlwind tour that has
already taken him to Bulgaria and Macedonia. On 18 February he
goes on to Albania, and later to Croatia. The daily sees the
initiative as part of a broader development in the Balkans aimed
at preventing the spread of the Bosnian war across the rest of
the peninsula. According to the Times, "the trip is clearly intended
to put Europe on notice that Ankara has a strong interest in
Macedonia and other Balkan countries.... This is Turkey's link
with Europe, and the Turks are telling both Serbia and Greece
'hands off.'" Turkey is now Macedonia's most important trading
partner. Reuters on 17 February quoted a senior European diplomat
as saying that "the crumbling of the Soviet empire has opened
a vast area of instability from the Adriatic to the Chinese border.
In between, there's only one country we can rely on-Turkey."
-Patrick Moore

BELGRADE CRITICIZES OZAL. The federal foreign ministry of the
rump Yugoslavia issued a statement on 17 February sharply criticizing
Turkish President Turgut Ozal. According to Radio Serbia, the
foreign ministry said that Ozal's anti-Yugoslav statements and
his personal campaign against the Serbian people threaten normal
bilateral cooperation between Turkey and Yugoslavia. The ministry
also cautioned that Ozal's speech last weekend in Istanbul can
only serve to "pour fuel on the fire in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
The ministry's statement described Ozal's speech and Turkey's
advocacy of a military solution in Bosnia as "hostile in spirit
and word" and representing "an unheard of and impertinent challenge
to peace." -Milan Andrejevich

KOSOVO ALBANIAN LEADER SEEKS TO STOP CONFLICT FROM SPREADING.
The 17-February Washington Post says that Ibrahim Rugova, the
president of the self-proclaimed Kosovo Republic, has told his
American hosts that foreign troops are needed there to prevent
the Serbs from transforming the current "quiet ethnic cleansing"
into a Bosnian-type war. The paper quoted a State Department
official as saying that developments in Kosovo are "an issue
of continuing concern," but "not yet a trigger for US action."
An RFE/RL news correspondent also noted that an official of that
agency said that Washington would respond forcefully to Serbian
aggression against Kosovo, where the more than 90% Albanian majority
is ruled under a tight regime from Belgrade amid a virtually
total absence of human and civil rights. -Patrick Moore

BULGARIA BACKS US POSITION ON BALKAN WAR. In a statement issued
on 17 February, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry welcomed direct
US involvement in attempts to resolve conflicts in former Yugoslavia.
While reaffirming the need for international organizations-primarily
the UN, NATO, and CSCE-to assume responsibilities, the document
says Bulgaria shares the US view that Russia should be persuaded
to take a more active role in multilateral peace efforts. The
statement also expresses Bulgarian appreciation for the stationing
of UN forces in Macedonia in order to prevent the conflict from
spreading to the east and south. In talks with US Ambassador
Hugh Kenneth Hill, Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev said he
hopes the new US position will speed up the resolution of the
crisis in former Yugoslavia. -Kjell Engelbrekt

MACEDONIA REJECTS NAME COMPROMISE. In an address to parliament
on 16 February, President Kiro Gligorov rejected the UN compromise
proposal to use the name the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
in order to gain admission to that world body. He also rejected
a French arbitration offer. Gligorov is caught between vocal
opponents of a naming compromise and its supporters. In an editorial
entitled "Ignoring Reality," Nova Makedonija cautioned that compromise
is necessary and that leaders must "put party interests aside."
Greece's foreign ministry charged on 17 February that Gligorov's
decision demonstrates the new republic's "disdain for the international
community," according to AFP. Greece now "declares itself obliged
to take all appropriate measures to defend its national and historic
rights and the security of the country," the report said. -Duncan
Perry

ILIESCU AT NATO. Romanian President Ion Iliescu said his country
was determined to enforce the UN embargo against former Yugoslavia
but that Romania "cannot intervene by force" to halt Yugoslav
ships, because this would cause an environmental catastrophe
on the Danube and risk widening the Balkan conflict. Meeting
with NATO officials in Brussels, Iliescu said that Romania wants
to build closer ties with NATO and aspires eventually to join
the alliance. Radio Bucharest reported on 17 February that Iliescu
emphasized that Romania is an island of stability and closer
ties with NATO would "protect the security and peace interests
of the Romanian people and the whole region." NATO Secretary
General Manfred Woerner praised Romania's "constructive approach"
in backing the sanctions and said NATO would offer encouragement
to help Bucharest apply them. He also praised Romania's progress
toward democracy and a market economy. Iliescu also met with
EC Executive Commission President Jacques Delors and European
Parliament President Egon Kleps. -Michael Shafir

DANUBE SAGA. Officials from Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine meet
in Bucharest on 18-February to discuss enforcement of the UN
embargo on the Danube. Western sources report that customs and
border guard officials will discuss specific joint measures.
An RFE/RL correspondent reports from Washington that the US has
offered patrol boats to Romania and Bulgaria to help stop ships
from violating the sanctions on rump Yugoslavia. -Michael Shafir


EC-BROKERED TALKS FAIL TO BREAK GABCIKOVO DEADLOCK. EC-brokered
talks between Hungary and Slovakia have failed to break a deadlock
over the future of the controversial Gabcikovo dam project, agencies
reported on 17 February. The EC's external political relations
commissioner Hans van den Broek was quoted as saying that the
talks "proved conducive to defusing tensions," but that more
efforts are needed by both sides to resolve the dispute. Van
den Broek called on Hungary and Slovakia to agree without delay
to submit the case to the International Court of Justice. Hungary
and Czechoslovakia jointly launched the Danube dam project in
1978 but Hungary withdrew unilaterally in 1989 over fears of
severe environmental damage. -Jan Obrman

SILESIAN MINERS BACK ON STRIKE. A Silesian regional strike committee
set up during the December miners' strike decided on 17 February
to "revoke the suspension" of that strike and called a "strike
action." PAP reported that 25 coal mines were on strike by the
morning of 18 February. Railway workers in Silesia staged a limited
half-hour protest, and steel workers were scheduled to strike
for an hour. The protest action has Solidarity's backing. The
Silesian miners are angered at the Sejm's recent decision to
eliminate the possibility of joint taxation for married couples
and the government's prediction that real wages will drop 2%
in 1993. Solidarity Chairman Marian Krzaklewski met with Prime
Minister Hanna Suchocka on 17 February to discuss public sector
wages. Suchocka agreed to open negotiations with the union, but
stressed that the 1993 budget restricts available funds. She
pledged, however, that any excess revenue would be allocated
to employees paid from the state budget. Meanwhile, confusion
and conflict within the government coalition led the Sejm on
18 February to drop from its agenda a planned debate on the government's
request for the right to issue decrees with the force of law.
-Louisa Vinton

IMF AGREEMENT FOR POLAND IN MARCH. After meeting with Polish
Finance Minister Jerzy Osiatynski in Warsaw, a high-ranking IMF
official predicted that formal approval for a new agreement with
Poland would come in early March. The agreement was initially
negotiated in November 1992, but final approval was delayed until
the government secured parliamentary approval for the 1993 budget.
Daniel Kaeser, an IMF executive director, told Reuters that "the
Fund is very interested in having an agreement with Poland, which
has come through a very remarkable adjustment effort and looks
very much like a success." The IMF agreement will enable Poland
to tap some $800 million in credits. -Louisa Vinton

POLLUTED CZECH TOWN THREATENS GENERAL STRIKE. The heavily polluted
town of Chomutov threatened to close the town to all traffic
and call a general strike unless the government takes immediate
environmental measures, Czech Television reported on 17-February.
Following several days of a smog emergency in Prague and northern
Bohemia, Chomutov local authorities sent letters to President
Havel, the government, and lawmakers demanding that all coal-burning
power plants receive purification devices within two years. Other
north Bohemian towns announced similar initiatives, and students
of several schools in the region threatened to hold a boycott
of classes unless the government acts quickly. Czech Prime Minister
Vaclav Klaus said on 16 February that the completion of the controversial
Temelin nuclear power plant in southern Bohemia will allow the
government to close down all major coal-burning power plants
by 1997. -Jan Obrman

UKRAINE'S COLD WINTER OF DISCONTENT CONTINUES. Against the background
of a deepening economic crisis and rising prices, the Ukrainian
leadership is also faced with growing social discontent and protest.
The situation in the Ukrainian capital has been aggravated by
a strike for higher pay by public transport workers which began
on 16-February, Ukrainian media report. Meanwhile, President
Kravchuk continued his visit to the Donbass, where he is appealing
for support of the government's policies. According to Radio
Ukraine of 17 February, he told workers in Kramatorsk that if
the Kuchma government were toppled, "we will be unable to form
another government." Stressing that Ukraine cannot realistically
rely on any outside help, he also warned against blaming all
of the country's difficulties on Russia. The two neighbors would
have to learn to live side by side in friendship, though with
each defending its own interests. -Bohdan Nahaylo

UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY CHANGES. Lieut.-Gen. Ivan Oliinyk
has been dismissed from his post as Ukrainian Deputy Defense
Minister for armaments, ITAR-TASS reported on 16 February. The
dismissal reportedly came for abuse of office. Meanwhile, Ukrainian
President Leonid Kravchuk has appointed Lt. Gen. Vladimir Antonets
as commander in chief of Ukraine's recently united Air Force.
According to Ukrinform-TASS, Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin
Morozov has established two new deputy commander in chief posts
for the Ukrainian Air Force; Lt. Gen. Valerii Vasilev will head
the Aviation forces while Lt.-Gen. Mikhail Lopatin was named
commander in chief of Air Defense Forces. Krasnaya zvezda reported
on 6 February that the proposal to combine the two air branches
was a controversial one, and that Antonets was himself the initiator
of the reform. -Stephen Foye

ANDREJEVS ON LATVIA'S DEMOGRAPHIC SITUATION. Addressing the UN
Commission on Human Rights in Geneva on 15 February, Latvia's
Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs noted that the Baltic States
are still dealing with the consequences of World War II on a
daily bases, especially Estonia and Latvia where the effects
of the Soviet policies of colonization and Russification are
a source of many problems. Recalling that Latvia lost more than
35% of its total pre-1940 population as a consequence of World
War II and the policies of the Soviet regime, he pointed out
that only 7% of Latvia's population gain of 27% between 1959
and 1989 was due to the growth of the indigenous population-most
of the remainder were new settlers arriving from the USSR. Andrejevs
said that Latvians are becoming a minority in their territorial
homeland and that they suffered discrimination under the Soviet
regime; while stressing that affirmative action is needed to
correct the wrongs of the past, he said that such a policy would
not affect the rights of Latvia's stateless residents or foreign
citizens. -Dzintra Bungs

EDUCATION IN 16 MINORITY LANGUAGES IN LATVIA. Latvian Foreign
Minister Georgs Andrejevs also informed the UN Commission on
Human Rights on 15 February that Latvia now has 34 cultural societies
representing national minorities and offers public school education
in sixteen minority languages. Under the Soviet regime, in 1988,
school education was provided only in Russian and Latvian. Andrejevs
also expressed concern about the fate of the approximately 210,000
Latvians living in Russia, where there are no Latvian schools,
newspapers, or radio programs; moreover, Russia's laws hamper
ethnic Latvians residing there from registering as citizens of
Latvia. As an example Andrejevs cited the Russian tax law which
stipulates that citizens of other states must pay their taxes
in hard currency. -Dzintra Bungs

BALTIC FREE TRADES ZONE STILL IN THE PLANNING. Baltic media reported
on 16 February that the formation of a Baltic free trade zone
and a single customs area will take some time, primarily because
the trilateral economic agreements between Estonia, Latvia, and
Lithuania have not yet been adopted. What is more, Latvia and
Lithuania still have to adopt their own currencies. Estonia has
already signed free trade agreements with EFTA countries, while
the Latvian port city of Ventspils is still seeking ways to become
a free trade zone, but there is not yet a coordinated effort
to form a common Baltic free trade zone. -Dzintra Bungs

FIRST JUDGE OF LITHUANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHOSEN. On 17
February an extraordinary session of the Seimas approved the
first of nine judges to sit on the Lithuanian Constitutional
Court. The court will accept the oath of Algirdas Brazauskas
as President on 25-February, Radio Lithuania reports. In a secret
ballot the Seimas approved the nomination of 50-year old lawyer
Juozas Zilys, the head of the parliament judicial department,
but rejected the other two candidates, Liudvikas Sabutis and
Stasys Staciokas, proposed by Supreme Court chairman Mindaugas
Losys. -Saulius Girnius

SWEDISH ASSISTANCE TO LITHUANIA. On 16 February Foreign Minister
Povilas Gylys participated in the opening ceremonies of Lithuania's
embassy in Stockholm and held talks with his Swedish counterpart
Margaretha Af Ugglas, Radio Lithuania reports. On 17 February
Sweden's Nuclear Inspectorate Agency announced that it would
give $4 million to improve safety at the atomic power plant in
Ignalina by installing fire-proof doors and remote-control equipment.
-Saulius Girnius

MOLDOVA REPORTS OIL, GAS FINDS. Moldovan government officials
have told the media in recent days that oil and gas deposits
have been found in the southern part of Moldova. According to
the officials, geological findings indicate that the deposits
may be sizable. Moldova, however, lacks the means for further
exploratory drilling and for commercial exploitation of the deposits,
the officials said. -Vladimir Socor

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Wendly Slater and Louisa Vinton





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