Придет день, когда мы убедимся, что в наиболее личном заключено самое общее... - Р. Эмерсон
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 45, 08 March 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



CONGRESS' AGENDA. At the end of its working day of 5 March, the
parliament set both the date and agenda of the next Russian Congress
of People's Deputies, which was scheduled to open on 10 March.
The agreed agenda consists of only two points: (1) On the referendum
to be held on 11 April 1993; (2) "On the observance of the Constitution-the
basic law of the Russian Federation-by the highest bodies of
power and officials of the Russian Federation." The second question
includes a hidden threat of impeachment of the president -the
post defined in law to be the Russian Federation's "highest official"-
on the grounds that four of Yeltsin's decrees had been ruled
unconstitutional by the Russian Constitutional Court. The entire
session was broadcast on Russian TV on 5 March. -Julia Wishnevsky


KHASBULATOV REJECTS YELTSIN'S PROPOSALS. Russian parliamentary
chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov on 5 March rejected the president's
proposals for constitutional agreement as "an ultimatum," Western
news agencies reported. Khasbulatov's deputy Nikolai Ryabov said
that to accept Yeltsin's proposals would mean parliament's "signing
a death warrant" for itself and for the whole proposed future
system of representative power in Russia, because, he said, Yeltsin's
proposals are effectively a list of demands that parliament reduce
its own power and deprive itself of autonomy. Khasbulatov accused
the executive branch of power of "aggressive behavior" and said
that although he favored cooperation "the basis for cooperation
is dramatically narrowing." -Alexander Rahr & Wendy Slater

REFERENDUM QUESTIONS REVEALED. The four questions which Russian
President Boris Yeltsin wants to put to a nationwide referendum
in April were unveiled by his spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov on
7-March, Russian and Western agencies reported. The first question
asks whether Russia should be a presidential republic. The other
three questions, outlined by First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir
Shumeiko on 5 March, ask whether Russia's supreme legislature
should be the bicameral parliament rather than the Congress of
People's Deputies; whether Russia's new constitution should be
adopted by a constituent assembly; and whether citizens should
have the right to buy and sell land. The document was sent to
parliament on 7-March. -Wendy Slater

GOVERNMENT "FULLY SUPPORTS" YELTSIN. Speaking after the 5 March
Cabinet meeting, presidential spokesman Kostikov told ITAR-TASS
that the Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had declared
the government's united support for the President. At the meeting,
Chernomyrdin warned that the parliament was increasingly taking
over the functions of government. He said that his government
had always received "solid, powerful support" from the president,
contrasting this with the "detailed surveillance" which it felt
itself to be under from the legislature. -Wendy Slater

GRACHEV BANS EXERCISES IN MOSCOW REGION. Radio Rossii and Nezavisimaya
gazeta reported on 5-and 6 March, respectively, that the Russian
Defense Minister has banned all exercises, as well as movements
of troops and military equipment, in the Moscow region during
the forthcoming Congress of People's Deputies. The order was
given during a meeting on 5 March with officers of the Moscow
Military District. Grachev reportedly issued the order to avoid
suspicions that the army is involved in intrigues related to
the political battle between the executive and legislative branches.
-Stephen Foye

YELTSIN ORDERS CREATION OF ANOTHER MEDIA ORGANIZATION. On 5 March,
President Yeltsin ordered the creation of a council to protect
freedom of speech and to foster "democratic culture" within the
mass media, ITAR-TASS reported. The decree names twelve council
members, including Vladislav Starkov, editor-in-chief of the
popular weekly Argumenty i fakty, and chairman of Russia's Union
of Journalists Vsevolod Bogdanov. The same day, Russian Minister
of Information Mikhail Fedotov issued an official statement,
accusing journalists of abusing their right to inform by fanning
social tensions, spreading rumors, slanders and insults. The
minister was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying that many journalists
violated the law on the press and professional ethics and that
their actions had increasingly drawn attention of the courts
and the procurator's office. Fedotov complained that not all
journalists understood that the abolition of censorship did not
mean the freedom to use abusive or uncensored language. Vera
Tolz

YELTSIN SEEKS SUPPORT FROM ENTREPRENEURS. President Boris Yeltsin
told Russian entrepreneurs that though he has sought many ways
to solve the current political conflict , the parliament has
rejected his offers, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 March. He said that,
at present, Russia has two cabinets of ministers-the Supreme
Soviet and the government itself. He stated that a new law must
be adopted which divides the functions of the executive and legislative
branches of government. Yeltsin further noted that entrepreneurs
should be interested particularly in the political stability
which is needed to attract foreign investors. Yeltsin urged entrepreneurs
to become more active in trade with East European and Asian countries.
He stated that Russia will be restored as a great power in economic
but not military terms. -Alexander Rahr

OFFICERS FIRED IN CONSCRIPT MALTREATMENT SCANDAL. The Russian
Navy has disciplined a number of officers after reports that
malnutrition among naval conscripts in the Pacific fleet had
resulted in several deaths, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 March. Captain
2nd Rank V. Geshelev, commander of a radiotechnical school, and
Captain 2nd Rank A. Rostovsky, commander of a communications
school, were both relieved of their posts, while the head of
the medical service of the Pacific Fleet, Colonel V. Kucheryavenko,
was discharged into the reserves. The Commander of the Pacific
Fleet, Admiral Gennadii Khvatov and the Chief of Rear Services
for the Pacific Fleet, A. Ryzhenko, were both harshly reprimanded
for the incident. -John Lepingwell

PARLIAMENT CRITICIZED OVER MILITARY DRAFT SHORTFALLS. On 2 March
General Staff Chief Col. Gen. Mikhail Kolesnikov warned parliamentarians
that the recently passed law "on military obligations and service"
was precipitating a potentially catastrophic shortfall in draftees
for the Armed Forces. According to Krasnaya zvezda of 5 March,
Kolesnikov said that only 15% of the total Russian draft contingent
had been inducted in 1993. He blamed the legislature for the
fact that some 80% of draft aged men now received deferments,
and said that provisions in the military service law would compel
the army to discharge twice the usual number of draftees this
coming fall. He also said that a proposed law "on alternative
military service," apparently now under consideration, would
considerably worsen the army's manpower problems. Kolesnikov
urged that certain provisions of the military service law be
put into effect only in 1997, after the new Russian army has
been fully formed. -Stephen Foye

PLANS FOR MOBILE FORCES OUTLINED. Rossiiskie vesti on 5 March
published a report on plans being developed by the Russian military
leadership for the creation of a new service branch: the Mobile
Forces. The report makes clear that the exact composition, structure,
and tasks of the Mobile Forces remain the subject of debate.
Draft concepts have apparently been developed by both the General
Staff and the Airborne Forces, with the existing service branches
also offering recommendations. The Mobile Forces, to be based
in the Volga and Ural Military Districts, will be ready for rapid
deployment to trouble spots anywhere on the Russian border. According
Airborne Forces commander Col. Gen. Evgenii Podkolzin, Airborne
units will make up roughly 60% of the Mobile Forces. He said
that "peacekeeping operations" will be among their functions.
According to the report, a proposal has been made to base the
Mobile Forces on two types of forces: Fast Reaction and Rapid
Reaction forces. -Stephen Foye

GRACHEV ON ARMY POLITICS, NORTH CAUCASUS. Interviewed by Rossiiskie
vesti on 6-March, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev again said that
he intended to keep the armed forces out of politics. Grachev
also rejected allegations of incompetence and corruption leveled
by opponents on the left and on the right, charging that both
the parliamentary group "Reform of the Army" and the ultra-nationalist
"Officers Union" are more interested in gaining publicity than
in making concrete proposals aimed at furthering military reform.
The interview is most interesting, however, for what Grachev
said about the status and intended composition of Russian troops
in the North Caucasus. Two airborne and two motorized brigades
have apparently already been formed in the region, while another
airborne division and various military transport and army aviation
units are said to be on the way. They are to form the core of
the North Caucasus Military District's mobile forces. Grachev
also said that Russian troops would withdraw from Georgian territory
- including Adzharia and Abkhazia - only upon the signing of
an intergovernmental agreement. He accused the Georgian government
of failing to act responsibly on the matter. -Stephen Foye

AUSHEV INAUGURATED AS INGUSH PRESIDENT. Major-General Ruslan
Aushev, a highly-decorated Afghan war hero, was inaugurated on
7 March as the first president of Ingushetia, ITAR-TASS reported.
Aushev said that Ingushetia needed a strong executive power,
and he would like a government of young professionals to conduct
economic policy and wage a merciless war on crime. He said that
it would be a mistake to hold parliamentary elections-scheduled
for 11 April-in the near future, and even questioned whether
a parliament was the best form of legislative power for Ingushetia.
He reiterated that Russian troops should be withdrawn from Ingushetia
and that part of the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia should
be returned to the Ingush. The largest delegation at the inauguration
was the Chechen, headed by Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev,
whose speech was met by "stormy applause." Russia was represented
by the head of its parliament's budget and planning commission,
Aleksandr Pochinok. -Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



TAJIK GOVERNMENT FORCES TAKE OPPOSITION STRONGHOLDS. Tajikistan's
Minister of Internal Affairs, Yakubzhon Salimov, told Khovar-TASS
correspondents on 6-March that government troops had finally
captured the Ramit Gorge east of Dushanbe from opposition forces
who have been holed up in the area for more than a month. Salimov
also stated that the government is currently in control of many
settlements in the Garm region, one of the most important strongholds
of the Islamic opposition; the last such claim by a government
figure was followed by the proclamation of an autonomous Islamic
republic in Garm. The "autonomous republic" seems to have disintegrated,
but Salimov admitted that the government is still engaged in
negotiations with opposition forces in Badakhshan to persuade
armed groups in that region to surrender their weapons. -Bess
Brown

TAJIK LEADER VISITS BEIJING. Tajikistan's head of state, Supreme
Soviet Chairman Imomali Rakhmonov, began an official visit to
Beijing on 7 March, Khovar-TASS reported. It is Rakhmonov's first
official trip outside the CIS since assuming his present post.
More than ten agreements on Chinese-Tajik cooperation were to
be signed during Rakhmonov's visit, including one authorizing
airline service between Dushanbe and Beijing. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



MORE ETHNIC CLEANSING IN EASTERN BOSNIA. International media
reported on 7 and 8-March that UN and Bosnian officials fear
that tens of thousands of Muslim refugees may try to converge
on the industrial town of Tuzla as Serbs consolidate their hold
on embattled areas between that center and the Serbian border.
One official told Reuters that Tuzla could degenerate "into lawlessness
and disorder," and mentioned to the 8 March New York Times that
Serbs are trying to force an exchange of Tuzla Serbs for eastern
Muslims as a condition for opening an evacuation corridor, thereby
making the UN a de facto partner in ethnic cleansing. Meanwhile,
UN commander Gen.-Philippe Morillon visited Cerska and Konjevic
Polje on 5-6 March after a harrowing journey. He said there is
hunger and destitution there but no sign of the previously reported
massacres. Bosnian army commander Sefer Halilovic on 7 March
told Western agencies that the Serbs, who had taken Cerska, had
tricked Morillon, and he should return for another inspection.
But the 8 March the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes Morillon
as saying that he is an "old soldier who knows the smell of death,"
which he did not find at Cerska. Patrick Moore

BOUTROS-GHALI SAYS UN MAY HAVE TO USE FORCE TO IMPLEMENT A SETTLEMENT.
Echoing his remarks made to the London Times on 3 March, the
UN secretary-general told ABC TV on 7 March that the world body
may have to launch a "major operation" if any Bosnian settlement
is to stick. Other UN officials told the 8 March New York Times
that the previous failures of the warring commanders to keep
agreements made by their nominal superiors would probably make
the use of force inevitable if any new agreement is not to become
a dead letter like its predecessors. Meanwhile, peace talks at
the UN were suspended on 6-March when Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic left the talks without an agreement having been reached.
Finally, on 7 March the pope received the mayor of Sarajevo and
said that it is never to late to rebuild the city and begin a
new life, Vatican Radio reports. -Patrick Moore

NO "VIETNAM SYNDROME" FOR THE CROATIAN MILITARY? THE 23 FEBRUARY
VJESNIK REPORTED ON A TALK WITH ZELJKO DOSEN, THE HEAD OF THE
CROATIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY'S DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY PSYCHOLOGY.
Dosen says that Croatian fighters in the wars against the Yugoslav
and Serbian military since 1991 lack the self-doubts and problems
that could later lead to the psychological difficulties generally
known as "Vietnam syndrome." He argues that the Croats have both
a strong morale based on patriotism, and a clear sense of purpose
that they are fighting to free their own country from an occupier.
He adds that the Croatian army as an organization is a highly
professional body and is not motivated largely by a desire to
preserve its privileges, as the former Yugoslav army was. All
these factors, Dosen feels, make for a confident and combat-ready
force. The military has nonetheless established a telephone hot
line for soldiers or members of their families who might be having
problems. -Patrick Moore

SEJM PRESIDIUM SURVIVES DISMISSAL VOTE. The Sejm voted on 5 March
to reject a motion by the former communist Democratic Left Alliance
(SLD) to remove the Sejm leadership. The current presidium was
voted into office after the 1991 parliamentary elections and
reflects the constellation of forces that supported former Prime
Minister Jan Olszewski rather than the current governing coalition.
The vote was a lopsided 230 to 124. The SLD charged the Sejm
presidium with bias and incompetence, and argued that the two
largest caucuses, the SLD and the Democratic Union, should have
their representatives on the presidium. SLD deputies told Gazeta
Wyborcza that they will now try "salami tactics" and demand the
removal of leadership figures one by one, starting with Deputy
Speaker Andrzej Kern, who has been embarrassed by allegations
of sexual misconduct in a steamy expose called Erotic Immunities.
-Louisa Vinton

CHURCH/STATE ISSUES SURFACE IN SEJM. In other parliamentary business,
the Sejm voted on 6 March to restore the possibility of joint
taxation for married couples. This provision, initially rejected
by the Sejm, was restored by the Senate amid protests from Silesian
miners. The Sejm voted to extend preferential tax status to single
parents as well. In addition, the Sejm reversed an earlier decision
and restored tax breaks for religious denominations. The Christian
National Union has argued that the removal of these privileges
would cause tension in Church-state relations. Meanwhile, Gazeta
Wyborcza reports that 169-deputies signed a petition calling
for a cross to be hung in the Sejm next to the Polish state seal.
Work is also reported underway to convert a room in the Sejm
into a chapel. Outside the Sejm, the Warsaw regional prosecutor
ruled that a billboard advertisement put up by the Benetton clothing
firm, showing a nun kissing a priest, does not violate the law.
PAP reported this story on 5 March. -Louisa Vinton

KNAZKO WRITES TO SLOVAK PRESIDENT. Speaking at a meeting with
journalists on 6-March, Foreign Minister Milan Knazko said that
on 3 March he sent a letter to President Michal Kovac, in which
he asked him to help resolve his dispute with Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar. Knazko told reporters that the letter also asks
for help from Ivan Gasparovic, the chairman of the Slovak parliament,
and Ivan Laluha, the chairman of the parliament's foreign relations
committee. On 1 March, Knazko told Slovak TV that Meciar will
ask the president to dismiss Knazko from his post. On 6 March,
Knazko also said that the government's disapproval of his planned
trip to Brussels seriously harms Slovakia's interests. He argued
that the presence of a different Slovak delegate at the 8-March
meeting of CSCE foreign ministers in Brussels may be misunderstood
as a lack of interest by Slovakia. -Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PREMIER ON THE ECONOMY. Vladimir Meciar told Slovak TV
on 7 March that the social character of Slovak economic reform
will differentiate it from the Czech model. All citizens, institutions,
and enterprises must cooperate to halt the country's economic
decline, Meciar said; the government cannot reverse the situation
by itself. He said that at a recent meeting in Stara Tura economics
ministers and experts agreed that the Slovak economy will be
market-oriented and will respect social and environmental safeguards.
On 3 March Meciar said that Slovakia is abandoning radical reform
devised by Czech Premier and former federal Finance Minister
Vaclav Klaus. -Jiri Pehe

HDF PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS ELECTS NEW LEADERSHIP. The parliamentary
caucus of the ruling Hungarian Democratic Forum held a three-day
meeting in Balatonkenese starting on 5 March in order to discuss
important political, economic, agricultural, and educational
problems and to elect a new leadership, MTI reports. According
to faction leader Imre Konya, for the 8-member leadership the
101 deputies sought to elect deputies pledged to carry out the
resolutions of the recent HDF congress. No deputies with extreme
liberal or populist views-notably Istvan Csurka, Istvan Elek
and Ferenc Grezsa-won election into the leading organ, although
populist Bertalan Andrasfalvy, recently dismissed culture and
education minister, will be among the leaders. The leadership
of the HDF caucus has the following members: Andrasfalvy, Lajos
Bako, Gyula Kiss, Huba Kozma, Ferenc Kulin, Laszlo Salamon, Gyula
Takacsy, and Imre Laszlo Toth. -Judith Pataki

KISSINGER IN HUNGARY. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
met with Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky on 7 March, MTI reports.
Kissinger is in Hungary to give a talk at the World Tourist and
Travel Conference held in Budapest between 8-10 March. Kissinger
will also talk with President Arpad Goncz and Prime Minister
Jozsef Antall. -Judith Pataki

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT IN LIVE INTERVIEW. On 6-March President Arpad
Goncz, in a live interview on Radio Budapest, said that prior
to signing the recent laws on crimes committed under communism,
he will send the texts of the laws to the Constitutional Court
to decide their constitutionality. Goncz said that he has not
made up his mind yet about the request on 6 January that the
chairmen of Hungarian Radio and Television, Csaba Gombar and
Elemer Hankiss, be dismissed. In a separate statement on 8-March
Goncz noted that the two-month grace period for the resignations
has now expired and he considers Gombar and Hankliss the legitimate
incumbent chairmen of the media organizations. Goncz also said
that his own legal position vis-ˆ-vis the army and the Defense
Ministry must be made clear: according to the Constitution, Goncz
is commander in chief of the armed forces, but the Constitutional
Court has already sought to limit his powers. -Judith Pataki


GREATER ROMANIA PARTY HOLDS FIRST CONGRESS. At the first congress
of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party in Bucharest
on 6 and 7 March, Senator Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the party's leader,
demanded a crackdown on the Hungarian Democratic Federation of
Romania, accusing it of plotting a Yugoslav-style breakup of
Romania. He also attacked HDFR honorary president, Bishop Laszlo
Tokes, for declaring that the Hungarians of Romania are being
subjected to "ethnic cleansing" and suggested he should be deported.
Tudor praised Nicolae Ceausescu as a patriot and said the revolt
that overthrew him in 1989 was an "armed attack" against Romania
by the former Soviet Union and Hungary. The GRP leader pledged
support for the Vacaroiu government, provided it takes the GRP's
views into account. Radio Bucharest, Rompres, and Reuter carried
Tudor's statements. On 7 March, the GRP adopted a new party statute
and program and unanimously reelected Tudor as chairman. -Michael
Shafir

COUNCIL OF EUROPE OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA. Friedrich Koenig, one
of the rapporteurs for Romania on behalf of the Council of Europe,
arrived in the Romanian capital on 6 March, Radio Bucharest reports.
He is accompanied by two other council rapporteurs. They will
examine Romania's request for full Council of Europe membership.
-Michael Shafir

UNEMPLOYMENT IN ROMANIA. According to data released on 3 March
by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, there were 1,025,717
persons unemployed on 1 March. Radio Bucharest said the number
of unemployed has risen by 75,875 since 1 February and the unemployment
rate has grown from 8.5 to 9.2% of the total work force. -Michael
Shafir

UDF PREPARES FOR CONFERENCE. During the weekend of 6-7 March
most parties and member organizations of the Union of Democratic
Forces met to discuss their strategies for the upcoming national
conference scheduled for 13-14 March. UDF Chairman Filip Dimitrov
told a BTA correspondent in Veliko Tarnovo that new elections
are likely soon, but first it must be clarified what authority
each institution in the coalition enjoys. Since last fall the
UDF National Coordinating Council has been on a collision course
with its parliamentary group, which has been more prone to compromise
with the other two factions. The conflict sharpened after the
UDF government lost power last November when some of the coalition's
lawmakers decided to support the new government. -Kjell Engelbrekt


BULGARIAN TV DIRECTOR BACKS DOWN. Militsa Traykova, acting General
Director of Bulgarian TV, on 5 March revoked the dismissal of
Stefan Dimitrov, the head of the first channel. According to
BTA, Traykova announced her decision following pressure both
from personnel and the parliamentary Committee on Radio and Television.
In a comment on the same day, the committee said Traykova "exceeded
her powers" by ordering major personnel changes. The committee
further demanded that a new General Director be selected before
31-March. -Kjell Engelbrekt

UKRAINIAN COMMUNIST CONFERENCE. Communists from throughout Ukraine
held a conference in Donetsk on 6-7 March and resolved to seek
the relegalization of the Communist Party of Ukraine, ITAR-TASS
and Western agencies report. Among the delegates were eight members
of the newly formed Social Justice parliamentary faction. The
coordinator of the group, well-known poet Borys Oliinyk, said
that the issue of relegalization will be considered by the parliament
this month. -Roman Solchanyk

KRAVCHUK ON RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk told Ostankino TV on 7 March that Ukraine seeks friendly
and equal relations with Russia, ITAR-TASS reports. Appearing
on the program "Live Dialogue," the Ukrainian leader also said
that he is prepared to cooperate with those communists who support
the interests of Ukrainian statehood. -Roman Solchanyk

UKRAINE REJECTS RUSSIAN ACCUSATIONS CONCERNING START-1. Radio
Ukraine on 6 March reported that Yurii Kostenko, the head of
the delegation negotiating with Russia over the terms of nuclear
disarmament, rejected Russian complaints that the Ukrainian side
is dragging out the negotiations. Kostenko noted that a Russian
Foreign ministry statement distorted the state of the negotiations
and violated agreements on their confidentiality. On 7-March,
President Leonid Kravchuk again restated that Ukraine will ratify
START-1 and become a nonnuclear state but called for further
security guarantees and financial assistance for disarmament.
-John Lepingwell

ESTONIA CONCERNED ABOUT PALDISKI REACTOR, SUNKEN RUSSIAN SHIPS.
Minister of the Environment Andres Tarand told the press on 6
March that about 100 Soviet and Russian ships have been sunk
off the Estonian coast in recent years, many with their tanks
full of fuel and some possibly containing dangerous chemicals;
should one start to leak, the whole Baltic area would be affected.
On a visit to London on 4-March, Foreign Minister Trivimi Velliste
drew attention to the danger stemming from two nuclear reactors
at the Russian naval base at Paldiski. Estonia wants the reactors
dismantled and removed and is trying to obtain help from IAEA
experts, despite the fact that Russia had been objecting to enlisting
outside help in this process. Juri Liime, leader of the working
group on the Paldiski naval base, noted, however, that recently
Russia had become more receptive to the idea since it did not
seem to have the expertise required to handle the task successfully,
BNS reported on 6 March. -Dzintra Bungs

RUSSIAN ARMY VIOLATING LATVIAN AIR SPACE. According to data gathered
by the Latvian Defense Ministry, the Russian military made 222
unauthorized incursions into Latvia's air space during January
and February 1993. Three army transport vehicles and three naval
vessels also entered Latvian territory illegally. In addition,
during the same period, over 70 Russian servicemen were detained
on Latvian territory and expelled. Most were brought to Latvia
on missile carriers from Kaliningrad, Baltic media reported on
5-March. -Dzintra Bungs

LATVIA BRINGS IN FIRST LATI, LITHUANIA ISSUES MORE COUPONS. On
5 March Latvia issued the first 5lati bank notes, valued at
1000 Latvian rubles. This was first step in the gradual process
of switching over to its own currency from the interim currency,
the Latvian ruble. Radio Riga reports that the introduction proceeded
smoothly. Baltic media reported on the 6th that the Lithuanian
Bank has decided to issue new coupons (serving as temporary money)
in a denomination of 200 to help settle payments with the population
and also that the police have discovered a cache of some 530,000
false coupons in Vilnius. No date has been set for Lithuania
to switch over to its own currency. -Dzintra Bungs

LITHUANIA HOLDS RECORD FOR PETITION. Vytautas Navaitis, the director
of the Factum Agency that registers Lithuanian records, said
that the next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records will
include the world's largest petition, 5,218,520 signatures from
all over the world collected in four months in 1990, demanding
the recognition of Lithuania's independence from the USSR. BNS
reports that the book will also include a photograph of the presentation
of the petition to then Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis.
Lithuania holds three other records in the book as well. -Saulius
Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Dzintra Bungs and Charles Trumbull











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