A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner. - Samuel Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 46, 09 March 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.



RUSSIA



DEMONSTRATORS, GORBACHEV ATTACK YELTSIN. A crowd of communists
and pot-banging women demonstrated in Moscow on 8-March to commemorate
International Women's Day and attack the policies of Boris Yeltsin,
Reuters reported. Moscow police claimed that 1,000 attended the
rally, demonstrators themselves insisted the crowd numbered half
of a million, and RFE/RL's correspondent estimated that the turn
out was several thousand. In the critical days before the convening
of the Congress of People's Deputies, Yeltsin also came under
attack by ex-Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. Arguing that
Yeltsin's entire program had failed and that the Russian people
would not support his referendum, Gorbachev stated that neither
the army nor the people would support Yeltsin if he tries to
stage a "coup" against his parliamentary opponents. He called
for new presidential and parliamentary elections in June or September
1993, Western agencies reported on 5-March. -Alexander Rahr

RUTSKOI FOR PREMIER? PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN MAY BE SERIOUSLY
CONSIDERING FORMING A COALITION GOVERNMENT. Such an idea was
suggested recently by the chairman of the parliamentary Committee
for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Ties, Evgenii Ambartsumov.
According to Argumenty i fakty (No.8), Yeltsin may replace Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, with Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi.
In the past few weeks, Rutskoi has distanced himself markedly
from Yeltsin's opponents and portrayed himself as more loyal
to the president than last year. Rutskoi's appointment, if it
indeed happens, would please the Civic Union, a parliamentary
coalition whose support Yeltsin needs now more than ever. -Alexander
Rahr

ZORKIN DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM YELTSIN. The head of the Russian
Constitutional Court, Valerii Zorkin, told Der Spiegel (No. 10)
he thinks the adoption of a new constitution is not necessary.
He argued that the present constitution has been modernized since
April of 1992 and has only little in common with the old version
which existed under Leonid Brezhnev. He added that he is against
the idea of holding a referendum on a new Constitution and argued
that President Boris Yeltsin currently has enough powers to rule
the country. Zorkin claimed that last December Russia was on
the brink of the introduction of emergency rule and that the
Constitutional Court intervened to prevent it. He called for
a round table of democrats, centrists, and communists to solve
the present political crisis. Alexander Rahr

SHAKHRAI CALLS FOR SUPPORT FOR KHASBULATOV. Russian Deputy Prime
Minister Sergei Shakhrai said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy
radio on 6 March that it was essential to support Ruslan Khasbulatov,
chairman of the Russian parliament and President Yeltsin's main
adversary in the constitutional crisis. The balance of power
within the parliament had been destroyed, he said, since Khasbulatov
could no longer count on both the democratic and the communist
wings of the parliament. His position had been particularly weakened
when the parliamentary administration had come under the control
of the communist group, Shakhrai said. Khasbulatov needed support
in order to retain some balance of power within the parliament
and to forestall the coming to power of a "stronger, more authoritarian
figure." Wendy Slater

DEBATE ON RUSSIA'S PEACEKEEPING DRAFT. Debate of Russia's peacekeeping
proposal, presented to the UN Committee on Charter Review on
5 March, continues, the RFE/RL UN correspondent reported on 9
March. Thus far, no objection in principle has been raised, but
Finland has questioned the Russian draft and stressed that the
Russian proposal must be compatible with the goals of the UN
itself. -Suzanne Crow

MILITARY THREAT TO RUSSIA SEEN. An article in the February issue
of the Russian military journal Voennaya mysl' presents a detailed
exposition of Russian military threat perceptions. The NATO threat
figures prominently, particularly because of the Baltic States'
interest in joining NATO, but it places more emphasis on the
growing threat from Iran. Particular concern is expressed concerning
the growing influence of Islam, of which the recent civil war
in Tajikistan is cited as an example. It notes that Russia must
be the primary guarantor of "subregional security" and suggests
that Russia use all available means in case of a conflict, including
nuclear weapons. While the article does not identify the protection
of Russian minorities in other CIS states as a primary security
mission it otherwise implies that the Russian military has not
moved away from the rather tough stance called for in the draft
military doctrine published in mid-1992. John Lepingwell

SOLZHENITSYN ON RUSSIA. Ostankino TV's "Itogi" program of 7 March
featured a letter from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to Vladimir Lukin,
Russia's ambassador to the United States, in which Solzhenitsyn
argued the present destruction of the country had begun in 1930
and had accelerated since 1985. The current reforms, though essential,
had been carried out unthinkingly and had impoverished the people.
Solzhenitsyn called for a strong president, "elected by the people,
standing outside and above political parties." He said Russia's
size and diversity demanded its presidency be no weaker than
the U.S. presidency. He warned of the danger of "rash political
change," and of "abandoning the course towards plenipotential
presidential power." -Wendy Slater

CHECHEN LEADERSHIP THINKS AUSHEV'S ELECTION WILL REGULARIZE RELATIONS.
The head of the Chechen Information Service, Movladi Udugov,
citing Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev, told ITAR-TASS on 8
March that Ruslan Aushev's assumption of office as the first
president of Ingushetia and the creation of other power structures
in Ingushetia should regularize relations between the Chechen
and Ingush. He acknowledged that the frontier between the two
republics was disputed in places, but said the Chechen and Ingush
would be able to resolve the issue without outside assistance.
Both sides claim Malgobek and Sunzha raions. Udugov rejected
reports that Dudaev's hasty departure from the Ingush administrative
center, Nazran, had been due to a cooling of relations with the
Ingush leaders. He said Dudaev could not stay for the banquet
because of the Muslim fast. -Ann Sheehy

PRICES WITHIN CIS. According to data released by the Russian
Ministry of Economics and published in Rossiiskie vesti on 26
February, prices used in trade during 1992 between Russia and
other former Soviet republics were distorted. Unit prices of
goods imported from Kazakhstan were 60-70% of world prices, while
Russian exports to Kazakhstan averaged 30-40% of world prices.
It could be argued that this imbalance resulted in a transfer
of $2.8-billion from Russia to Kazakhstan. Similarly, Ukraine
benefited by some $7.5-billion. Russia's trade with the other
former Soviet republics in 1992 (excluding the Baltic States)
registered a positive balance of 750 billion rubles. -Keith Bush


TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



AZERBAIJAN, TURKEY TO SIGN PIPELINE DEAL. Turkish Foreign Minister
Hikmet Cetin and Azerbaijan's oil minister Sabit Bagirov are
to sign an agreement in Ankara on 9 March on construction of
an oil pipeline from Baku via Iran to the oil terminal of Yurmutalik
on Turkey's Mediterranean coast, Western agencies reported. Construction
will take two years, at an estimated cost of $1.25 billion. Turkey
had reportedly favored an alternative route via Armenia, but
this option was rejected by Azerbaijani President Abulfaz Elchibey.
-Liz Fuller

NORTH OSSETIAN SUPREME SOVIET RECOGNIZES SOUTH OSSETIAN INDEPENDENCE.
On 6 March the North Ossetian Supreme Soviet recognized South
Ossetia as an independent state, ITAR-TASS reported. The Georgian
parliament abolished South Ossetia's status as an autonomous
republic within Georgia in December 1990; in January 1992, a
referendum was held in South Ossetia in which 99% of the participants
voted in favor of the region's secession from Georgia and unification
with North Ossetia within the Russian Federation. -Liz Fuller


POWERS OF KAZAKHSTAN'S CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO BE LIMITED? THE
COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION OF KAZAKHSTAN'S SUPREME SOVIET IS PREPARING
CHANGES TO THE LAW CREATING THE COUNTRY'S CONSTITUTIONAL COURT,
RADIO ROSSII REPORTED ON 7 MARCH. A proposal has been made to
deprive the Court of the right to decide the constitutionality
of legal acts adopted prior to the election of the court or to
pass judgment on whether high-ranking officials have observed
the constitution if the issue of their removal from office has
been raised. Kazakhstan's Constitutional Court has been very
independent and very activist in its decisions, declaring unconstitutional
at least two presidential decrees. So far it has succeeded in
warding off attempts to limit its powers. -Bess Brown

JOINT ENTERPRISES TO BE REREGISTERED IN UZBEKISTAN. Joint enterprises
in Uzbekistan that engage in foreign trade are being re-registered
and required to replace the word "Soviet" with "Uzbek" in their
names, Radio Mayak reported on 7 March. Such firms are also forbidden
to use stamps with the seals of either the USSR or the Uzbek
SSR. The reason given for the order, which could involve considerable
inconvenience and expense for the affected firms, is that enterprises
engaged in foreign trade should make quite clear that Uzbekistan
is an independent state. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



BOSNIAN UPDATE. The 9 March Los Angeles Times says that US administration
officials have rejected suggestions by UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali that the world body could send forces to Bosnia
to force Serbs out of some occupied territories assigned by a
settlement to others. The American position is that UN forces
can implement a mutually agreed peace accord, but not impose
an unwanted settlement, the Washington Post adds. Meanwhile in
Brussels, Western news agencies reported on 8 March that the
EC has agreed on moves aimed at tightening sanctions against
Serbia-Montenegro, but the Los Angeles daily quoted analysts
as describing the measures as "relatively modest." The EC set
a deadline of two weeks for the Serbs to accept the Vance-Owen
peace plan or face the increased sanctions. Finally, the 15 March
issue of Time magazine presents the following statistics for
the fighting in Bosnia since May 1992: 130,000 killed; 20,000
raped; 70,000 detention camp inmates; 740,000 refugees within
Bosnia; and one million more outside that republic. -Patrick
Moore

BLEAK PICTURE FOR THE CROATIAN ECONOMY. Croatia's economy has
been badly dislocated since Serbian-led forces went on the attack
in 1991, with factories destroyed, power systems disrupted, transportation
links cut, and the Dalmatian coast's vital tourist industry crippled.
Problems have been compounded by the loss of traditional markets
in Serbia, other former Yugoslav republics, and in Eastern Europe,
and by a government approach to privatization that seems primarily
aimed at rewarding supporters of the current ruling party rather
than at promoting efficiency. The 8-March Die Presse said that
the Croatian government now estimates economic reconstruction
costs at well over $20 billion in a program to be completed by
1997. Last year saw production and employment dive by 30% and
the inflation rate for the year hit 1,000%. Prices for textiles
rose by over 4,000%, and production in high-tech industries dropped
by 70%, while iron and steel were virtually not produced. On
top of this, Reuters reports that electricity supplies to the
Dalmatian coast are to be cut from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, shutting
most factories in the process. The region badly needs to restore
local power supplies, either through more rainfall or else the
restoration of power grids across Serbian-held territories. The
Split daily Slobodna Dalmacija frequently runs articles suggesting
that Zagreb is not doing enough to help relieve Dalmatia's monumental
economic problems. -Patrick Moore

VISEGRAD FOREIGN MINISTERS IN BRUSSELS. The foreign ministers
of the Visegrad Group-Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak
republics-met with a number of NATO and EC officials in Brussels
on 8 March, Western agencies report. Polish Foreign Minister
Krzysztof Skubiszewski reminded the group that the strategy of
the Eastern European countries is to gain EC membership. While
these countries are happy with the political dialogue that has
been established, he said, they are not satisfied with their
access to European markets. Hungarian Geza Jeszenszky reported
that political and trade cooperation among the Visegrad Four
is "alive and well." The situations in Russia, Ukraine, and the
former Yugoslavia were also on the agenda but, according to Danish
Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen, who chaired the meeting,
East-West trade problems and restrictions on Eastern European
imports were not discussed. Charles Trumbull

KNAZKO ALLOWED TO TRAVEL. The Slovak government, meeting on 8
March in the absence of Premier Vladimir Meciar, reversed its
earlier decision and allowed Foreign Minister Milan Knazko to
travel to Brussels for the Visegrad meeting. The government press
department informed the media that Meciar had been consulted
prior to the decision. On 1-March the government banned Knazko
from traveling to Brussels amid growing disputes between him
and Meciar. After a highly public series of moves and statements,
on the morning of 8 March-shortly before the government announced
its decision to let Knazko go-TA SR reported that Deputy Premier
Roman Kovac would make the trip in place of Knazko. Some Slovak
dailies are speculating on the morning of the 9th that the government's
change of mind might signal a truce between Meciar and his foreign
minister. -Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PREMIER IN LONDON. Speaking to reporters during his visit
to London on 8-March, Vladimir Meciar said that a devaluation
of the Slovak currency is not necessary. Rumors that the economy
is in poor shape are untrue, Meciar argued, and the balance of
payments between Slovakia and the Czech Republic is stable. [However,
the Czech Central Bank announced on 8 March that a 1.5-billion-koruny
Slovak trade deficit has arisen during the first three weeks
of the Czech-Slovak currency separation and that the bank is
therefore revaluing the Czech koruna by 2% against the ecu, the
currency unit used to settle trade between the two states. The
revaluation of the Czech koruna will make Czech goods more expensive
in Slovakia.] Meciar also told journalists in London that he
would welcome anybody who wants to monitor the observance of
the rights of the Hungarian ethnic minority in Slovakia. Meciar
said that he could only wish that Slovaks living in Hungary enjoyed
at least one half of the rights enjoyed by ethnic Hungarians
in Slovakia. -Jiri Pehe

TALKS ON TIGHTENING CZECH-SLOVAK BORDER. Czech and Slovak media
report that officials from both countries have begun talks on
the tightening of the common border. The talks come in the wake
of recent announcements by the Czech government that it wants
to turn the border into a standard one with controls on passports.
Reuters quoted Czech officials on 8 March as saying that the
Czech decision is prompted by efforts to keep out immigrants
from third countries on their way to Germany. Czech Foreign Minister
Josef Zieleniec and Slovak Foreign Minister Milan Knazko are
expected to meet in Brussels on 9 March to discuss the tightening
of border controls. -Jiri Pehe

MOST CZECHS AGAINST THE PARTITION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA. An opinion
poll conducted by the Institute for Public Opinion Research at
the beginning of February showed that 51% of Czech citizens now
think that the split of Czechoslovakia was unnecessary. Some
40% of the respondents said it was necessary. The results of
the poll, published by CTK on 24-February, show there has been
a shift in the feelings of people about the split; in December
1992, a poll conducted by the same organization showed that 50%
of the respondents thought that the split was necessary and 43%
thought it was unnecessary. -Jiri Pehe

BULGARIA, EC SIGN ASSOCIATION ACCORD. On 8-March Bulgaria became
the latest East European country to reach an association agreement
with the European Community, Western agencies report. At the
signing ceremony in Brussels, Prime Minister Lyuben Berov said
he hopes the accord will "impart a new quality" to relations
with the EC. Negotiations stalled in the autumn as Sofia sought
greater market access for its agricultural products, but an agreement
was reached in December that provides for a gradual opening of
markets in both directions, financial and technical assistance
to the Bulgarian economy, and regular political consultations.
The EC agreement with Bulgaria is similar to those struck earlier
with Poland, Hungary, (then) Czechoslovakia, and Romania. An
interim trade accord will be in force until the association agreement
is ratified by the EC and Bulgarian legislatures. -Kjell Engelbrekt


POLAND WINS IMF APPROVAL. In a unanimous decision, the International
Monetary Fund approved a new one-year agreement with Poland on
8 March. The agreement, which is to be signed next week during
Finance Minister Jerzy Osiatynski's visit to Washington, makes
available $655 million in new loans. One-fourth of these are
earmarked to service Poland's foreign debt. The new agreement
replaces the original three-year pact that was suspended in the
fall of 1991 when inflation and deficit limits were exceeded.
The IMF's seal of approval makes possible a further reduction
in Poland's debts to foreign governments; the negotiation of
a debt-reduction agreement on Poland's $12 billion in commercial
debts; and the use of the $1-billion "stabilization fund" to
recapitalize banks. The agreement requires Poland to reduce its
budget deficit from the 1992 level of 7.2% of GDP to 5% of GDP;
to bring inflation down from 45% to 32%; and to hold social security
payments to a constant proportion of the budget. Osiatynski told
journalists that the IMF praised Poland's "pact on state firms"
as an innovative attempt to improve the functioning of state
firms and accelerate privatization. The government's "mass privatization"
program was also praised. -Louisa Vinton

FARMERS PROTEST IN WARSAW. Meeting in Warsaw on 8 March, Rural
Solidarity's national leadership decided to stage an "active
protest." The form of the protest will be decided in a few days'
time. Before the union's leadership convened, some 500 farmers
marched in Warsaw to demand limits on agricultural imports, low-interest
loans, debt-relief, and control over the privatization of food
processing plants and collective farms. Rural Solidarity Chairman
Roman Wierzbicki told PAP that "the determination and disappointment
of farmers has attained its zenith due to the worsening economic
situation." The leadership nonetheless voted down a motion to
reprimand union representatives in parliament who voted for the
1993 budget. Rural Solidarity's political arm, the Peasant Alliance,
belongs to the government coalition; its former chairman is agriculture
minister. A union leader told PAP that Rural Solidarity is itself
in desperate straits, with debts amounting to 1.5 billion zloty
($94,000). -Louisa Vinton

HUNGARIAN BUSINESSMEN IN POLAND. According to a 8 March Radio
Budapest report, 36-presidents and representatives of Hungarian
industries, led by newly appointed Industry and Trade Minister
Janos Latorczai, are in Warsaw for a Hungarian-Polish economic
forum and in order to inaugurate relations between firms in the
two countries. The businessmen are seeking ways to take advantage
of the free trade agreement among the Visegrad Group that went
into effect on 1 March. -Judith Pataki

SNOW CAUSES CHAOS IN ROMANIA, BULGARIA. Heavy snowstorms in Romania
and Bulgaria have brought daily life virtually to a standstill.
Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu called an emergency
meeting of key ministers and a telephone conference of local
government officials to discuss the emergency. The mayor of Bucharest
banned private cars without four-wheel drive from the roads and
parking on main roads. He appealed to citizens to help clear
the snow. International flights and traffic on the Danube were
also interrupted, Radio Bucharest said on 8 March. Reuters reports
that Sofia airport remained opened to international flights,
but roads north to the Danube ports of Ruse and Silistra and
west to Macedonia are blocked. The Black Sea port of Varna has
been closed since 7-March. Electricity, phone lines, and water
supplies have been cut off in parts of northeast Bulgaria. A
Transport Ministry official said were the heaviest snowstorms
in the past 10 years. -Michael Shafir

ROMANIA BLAMES EPIDEMICS ON POLLUTED WATER. Health Minister Iulian
Mincu said water pollution and poor medical facilities were responsible
for last year's hepatitis, smallpox, diarrhea and tuberculosis
epidemics. Radio Bucharest reported on 8 March that Mincu told
Parliament that the epidemics killed 220-people. He said water
treatment plants are not working in half the towns, and industrially
polluted water is a problem in rural areas. The government has
announced a public investment campaign to modernize sewage systems
and water treatment plants in 1993. -Michael Shafir

HUNGARIAN, ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS TO MEET. Hungarian Foreign
Ministry Spokesman Janos Hermann confirmed on 7 March that a
meeting between Hungarian Foreign Minister Jeszenszky and his
Romanian counterpart Teodor Melescanu will take place in the
next few weeks, Radio Budapest reports. Hermann did not say when
and where the meeting will take place. He was reacting to a report
in Magyar Szo, a Hungarian language paper printed in Romania,
that claimed that the meeting will take place soon in the Hungarian
town of Gyula. Top item on the agenda will likely be the basic
bilateral treaty. -Judith Pataki

"DNIESTER" UKRAINIANS CALL ON KIEV FOR SUPPORT. The first congress
of Ukrainians in Moldova's area on the left bank of the Dniester
was held in Dubasari on 7-March. The group appealed to Ukraine
to grant citizenship to ethnic Ukrainian residents there, support
Ukrainian-language education and cultural activities, and contribute
to determining the territory's political status, Moldovan media
report. Ukrainian activists in the area have recently formed
Povernenye [Return], an organization that advocates the area's
transfer from Moldova to Ukraine (it was part of the Moldovan
Autonomous Republic within Soviet Ukraine from 1924 to 1940).
The Soviet census of 1989 found 40.1% Moldovans, 28.3% Ukrainians,
and 25.5% Russians in this area, which is currently under the
control of the Russian element as the "Dniester republic." The
Ukrainians' growing assertiveness fractures the bloc they once
formed with the Russians and undermines Russian claims to protecting
the "Russian-speaking population" in eastern Moldova. -Vladimir
Socor

SEVASTOPOL UKRAINIANS TO CONVENE. Preparations are under way
for a Congress of Ukrainians of Sevastopol, Radio Ukraine reported
on 8 March. The organizational committee has prepared a draft
program, which underscores that the main objective of the congress
is to seek cooperation with various political parties and movements
and with all nationalities in the city. Sevastopol has recently
witnessed meetings and demonstrations in connection with a Russian
parliamentary inquiry into its status. -Roman Solchanyk

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEE DISCUSSES START-1. A standing
subcommittee of the parliament started hearings on the START-1
treaty on 5 March, according to reports by Ekho Moskvy and Ukrainian
TV. The subcommittee heard testimony from legal experts that
Ukraine is not at present a nonnuclear state and that it should
be entitled to compensation for the fissile materials contained
not only in the nuclear weapons located in Ukraine, but also
from a proportion of those located elsewhere in the former Soviet
Union. The experts also argued that the Ukrainian declaration
of state sovereignty is not a binding document under international
law, and thus no other state has the right to demand Ukrainian
nuclear disarmament. -John Lepingwell

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS. Officials of both countries admit the
ninth round of interstate talks has yielded little progress,
Baltic media reported on 5-6 March. Russian Admiral Feliks Gromov
told naval officers that Estonia's new leadership has assumed
a harder line, which in turn has evoked a tough statement from
the Russians. Estonians are unhappy about Russian military installations
(about 300 belonging to the army and 6 to the navy) still operating
on their territory and their unwillingness to address itself
to the cleaning up the environmental damages they have left.
Recent estimates indicate that there are still about 6,000 Russian
troops in Estonia. -Dzintra Bungs

NORWEGIAN HELP FOR HOUSING. Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister
Helga Hernes told her Latvian counterpart Martins Virsis that
her country is prepared to finance the construction of housing
for commissioned officers of the Russian army withdrawn from
the Baltic States. Similar offers have been expressed by Danish
and American officials, Baltic media reported on 5-6-March. -Dzintra
Bungs

PREPARATIONS FOR LATVIAN ELECTIONS. During the past week, Latvia's
National Independence Movement convened for its sixth congress
and announced some of its candidates-including Andrejs Krastins,
Odisejs Kostanda, Eduards Berklavs, and Aleksandrs Kirsteins-for
parliament. Together with the Environmental Protection Club,
the Green Party will compile a "green" list of candidates. A
"Russian" list is being drawn up jointly by the Baltic Constitutional
Party and the Center for Democratic Initiative; it is not yet
clear if the Ravnopravie coalition, led by Sergejs Dimanis, will
also join. The parliamentary faction Satversme elected Indulis
Emsis, Aleksandrs Kirsteins and Girts Krumins as its leaders,
replacing Janis Vaivads, who recently became a board member of
the parliamentary election coalition Latvijas Cels (Latvian Way),
and cochairmen Olegs Batarevskis and Einars Cilinskis. Batarevskis
and Cilinskis are expected to run on the "green" ticket, Baltic
media reported 5-8 March. -Dzintra Bungs

LITHUANIAN AMBASSADOR TO MOSCOW. A proposal by Foreign Minister
Povilas Gylys that Romualdas Kozyrovicius, former Minister of
Material Resources and now president of the Baltijos Birza commodity
exchange, be appointed ambassador to Moscow was approved by the
Seimas Foreign Affairs Committee on 8 March, the RFE/RL Lithuanian
Service reports. President Algirdas Brazauskas is expected to
make the appointment in the near future. While the opposition
approved the candidacy, the committee could not agree on the
composition of the Lithuanian delegation for negotiations with
Russia and the suggestion that Deputy Economics Minister Vytas
Navickas be its head. -Saulius Girnius

OPINION POLL IN LITHUANIA. A recent poll by Baltic Surveys indicates
that President Algirdas Brazauskas is the most popular statesman
in Lithuania, BNS reported on 8 March. Prime Minister Bronislovas
Lubys, Deputy Seimas Chairman Egidijus Bickauskas, ambassador
to Washington Stasys Lozoraitis, Seimas deputies Romualdas Ozolas
and Kazimieras Antanavicius, and National Defense Minister Audrius
Butkevicius followed. Among institutions, the Church enjoys the
most trust, followed by the mass media, the government, and the
Seimas. Economic matters remain uppermost in the mind of the
populace, followed by social problems. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Suzanne Crow and Charles Trumbull



THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
(A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the
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