The last of the human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way. - Victor Frankl
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 61, 30 March 1993







RUSSIA

CONGRESS APPROVES NEW QUESTIONS FOR REFERENDUM. In its closing
session on 29 March, the Congress approved four questions to
be put to the 25 April referendum. They are: (1) Do you trust
the president of the Russian Federation? (2) Do you approve of
the social-economic policy carried out by the president and government
of the Russian Federation since 1992? (3) Do you deem it necessary
to hold early presidential elections? (4) Do you deem it necessary
to hold early elections for people's deputies? In the course
of the debate, the deputies decided not to include a date for
future elections (initially, they were proposed for November
1993), and, probably more importantly, they also omitted a reference
to the eventual replacement of the Congress with a single tier,
Western-style parliament. The Congress also decided to consider
the first two questions to be of a constitutional nature. This
means that over 50% of eligible voters must vote "yes" in order
for Yeltsin and his economic policies to be confirmed by popular
approval. Julia Wishnevsky , RFE/RL, Inc.

CONGRESS RESOLUTION WEAKENS YELTSIN. In the 29 March afternoon
session, the Congress passed by 535-votes to 213 (31 abstentions)
a resolution "on urgent measures to protect the constitutional
structure of the Russian Federation." Live TV coverage of the
Congress was broken off shortly before the resolution was adopted,
but the session was later reported by Western and Russian media.
The resolution accuses Yeltsin of being personally responsible
for increased confrontation in society and asks the parliament
to refer some of Yeltsin's recent decrees to the Constitutional
Court for a ruling on their constitutional validity; the decrees
are suspended until a ruling has been received. The institution
of presidential envoys in the regions was abolished, a move justified
by references to decisions taken at the previous two Congresses
that Yeltsin had "failed to implement." The resolution calls
on the president and prime minister to form a "coalition government-a
government of national unity;" and the government is instructed
to assume control over presidential structures which are considered
to be exercising governmental functions. The Federal Information
Center is also to be abolished. The document envisages the eventual
creation of a bicameral supreme legislature and clarification
of the status of the president and the Constitutional Court,
but says nothing on the future of the Congress. Wendy Slater,
RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN AND CONGRESS APPEAL TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. Both conflicting
sides-the executive and legislature-have applied for a ruling
by the Constitutional Court, contending that constitutional violations
have been made by the other side, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 March.
President Boris Yeltsin asked the court to rule whether the Congress
had violated the constitution during its unsuccessful attempt
to remove him from power, because it undertook impeachment without
applying to the Constitutional Court as required by the law.
The Congress meanwhile wants the court to consider whether Yeltsin's
remarks to a rally of proreform demonstrators on 28 March concerning
an attempted "communist coup" were legal. The Congress also forwarded
to the procurator's office a statement issued on 29 March by
presidential spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov in which he called
the legislature an "infernal machine." Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL,
Inc.

MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES PROTEST AGAINST PARLIAMENTARY CONTROL OVER
TV. The Congress's adoption on 29 March of a resolution envisaging
the establishment of "observer councils on TV and radio broadcasting"
attached to the parliament provoked strong objections from the
Ostankino and Rossiya radio and TV companies. Employees of the
two companies issued a statement saying that the action by the
Congress "actually opens the way to unrestricted interference
[by the parliament] in the professional work of journalists,"
ITAR-TASS and Reuters reported. The Congress's resolution on
the media also gives parliament the power to remove the producers
of individual programs and the directors of TV and radio companies
and bars representatives of the executive structures from interfering
in TV broadcasting. The struggle between the executive and the
legislature over television is intensifying in the face of the
forthcoming referendum. Commenting on this struggle, the editor-in-chief
of Nezavisimaya gazeta, Vitalii Tretyakov said "the two sides
in this struggle know their success or failure [in the referendum]
depends greatly on the mass media." Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

DRAFT 1993 BUDGET APPROVED. On 25 March, the parliament adopted
at a second reading the draft law "on the Russian Federation
budget system for 1993," ITAR-TASS reported. The draft basis,
incorporating some 118-amendments, is to be recalculated by the
end of April to take into account inflation and the indexation
of minimum wages, grants, pensions, and allowances. The then
Minister of Finances, Vasilii Barchuk, estimated the projected
budget deficit at 6.5 trillion rubles after the amendments had
been adopted. But the chairman of the parliamentary Commission
for Budget, Plans, Taxes, and Prices, Aleksandr Pochinok, told
Izvestiya that the deficit could reach 10 trillion rubles. The
Russian gross domestic product was said to be 15 trillion rubles
in current prices at the end of 1992. After three months of inflation
of around 25%, it is presumably now close to 30 trillion rubles.
Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW PARLIAMENTARY CHAIRMEN ELECTED. Towards the end of its session
broadcast on Russian TV on 29 March, the Congress approved Khasbulatov's
nominations for the posts of first deputy chairman and deputy
chairmen of the parliament. Vladimir Ispravnikov, chairman of
the parliamentary Supreme Economic Council, and Valentin Agafonov,
chairman of the parliamentary agrarian committee, were elected
as the two new deputy chairmen, while Yurii Voronin, a deputy
parliamentary chairman since November 1991, took over the post
of first deputy chairman, vacated by Sergei Filatov in early
1993 when he moved to become the head of President Yeltsin's
staff. Voronin, who by law is now ex officio a member of the
Russian Security Council, is supported by the right wing and
procommunist factions in the parliament. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL,
Inc.

PRO-YELTSIN DEPUTIES WANT TO BOYCOTT CONGRESS. Pro-Yeltsin forces
have decided to boycott the work of future Congresses by not
participating in voting procedures, ITAR-TASS reported on 29
March. The Coalition for Reform bloc has issued a statement,
signed by 42 deputies, that from now on, its members will participate
in the work of the Congress only as observers. The coalition's
spokesman, Sergei Kovalev, said that he believes a majority of
reformist deputies share this view. Sergei Yushenkov, a member
of the presidential staff and co-leader of the Democratic Choice
faction, stated that the Congress plans to strip those deputies
who work in the executive structures of their mandates. Alexander
Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA, IRAN SIGN AGREEMENTS. On 29 March, the first of a two-day
visit to Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and his
Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Velayati signed two documents:
a protocol on political consultations between the foreign ministries
of the two countries and an intergovernmental memorandum envisaging
visa-free travel for holders of diplomatic and business passports.
The ministers also initialed a document on the foundations of
relations and the principles of good-neighborly cooperation.
Following talks, Kozyrev said that Russia is prepared to sign
a nuclear cooperation agreement with Iran and to sell Iran nuclear
power plants. Velayati and Kozyrev also discussed a proposed
cooperation organization comprising Caspian Sea states, Russian
and Western agencies reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

OIL OUTPUT WILL CONTINUE TO DECLINE TO 1996. The Russian Energy
Ministry forecasts that crude oil production will continue to
shrink for the next three years, the Journal of Commerce reported
on 27 March. Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Konoplyanik said in
Brussels that volume would bottom out at 312-325 million metric
tons per annum in 1996. In 1991, 463 million tons were produced.
Konoplyanik would give no projections on oil exports, but said
that for the present, barter exchanges would be the modus operandi
for exporting to nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States,
since these nations lack the hard currency for which Russia would
prefer to sell. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

US ACADEMY RECOMMENDS CONVERSION AID. The US National Academy
of Science on 29 March released a committee report that recommended
a joint US-Russian program to support the conversion of the Russian
defense industry. The report proposed creating an agency that
would guarantee and broker shares for joint ventures in the defense
industry sector in order to facilitate Western investment in
conversion. The report, as summarized by Reuters, estimated that
the cost to the US government would be relatively small. John
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA


GEORGIA TO SUPPLEMENT RUBLES WITH COUPONS. The Georgian parliament
voted on 26 March to introduce coupons that will circulate in
parallel with the ruble pending the introduction of a new currency
unit, the lari, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Moscow
on 29 March. Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze
had originally opposed the introduction of coupons but finally
conceded that the move was inevitable, given the acute shortage
of rubles circulating in Georgia. Shevardnadze reportedly attributed
this shortage to a radical change in Russia's financial policy
towards Georgia. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

AZERBAIJANI SECRETARY OF STATE RESIGNS. Azerbaijani Secretary
of State Panakh Guseynov submitted his resignation on 29 March
in protest at remarks by Azerbaijan's Interior Minister Iskander
Hamidov, Azertadzh reported. Hamidov reportedly insulted unnamed
members of both the government and the opposition during a live
TV debate in which Guseynov participated; Guseynov had also protested
at an incident in which Hamidov beat up a leading member of the
Social-Democratic Party. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

KYRGYZ PRESIDENT EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR YELTSIN. Kyrgyz President
Askar Akaev sent a telegram of support to Boris Yeltsin early
on 29 March describing the Russian President as the guarantor
of reform in all the former Soviet republics, according to Radio
Mayak. A separate telegram was sent by Kyrgyz parliament speaker
Maritkan Sherimkulov to the Russian Supreme Soviet chairman Ruslan
Khasbulatov urging him to refrain from actions that might jeopardize
democracy. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

GRACHEV ANNOUNCES HALT TO BALTIC TROOP WITHDRAWAL. At a meeting
of North Atlantic Cooperation Council defense ministers on 29
March, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev reportedly announced
that the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States
will be suspended. According to Western press reports, Grachev
attributed the decision to insufficient housing for returning
servicemen and their families. There has not yet been any other
official Russian government commentary on the statement, however.
Yeltsin announced a halt to the withdrawal in late October, pending
conclusion of withdrawal agreements with the Baltic states, yet
a slow exodus of troops continued nonetheless. Grachev's statement
may just be a reiteration of that position, rather than a new
decision. There are reportedly 35-50,000 Russian troops in the
Baltic States. Grachev is to meet with NATO Supreme Allied Commander
John Shalikashvili on 30-March at NATO headquarters. -John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTIC REACTION. Estonian Defense Minister Hain Rebas and Lithuanian
National Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius made a joint statement
in Brussels after Grachev's speech saying that it conflicts with
international law, Baltfax reported on 29 March. Rebas said that
in spite of Estonia's losses under Soviet occupation, his country
will be glad to help build housing and develop necessary infrastructure
for Russian forces withdrawn from Estonia. Butkevicius had a
meeting with Grachev that evening and will return to Lithuania
on 30 March, Radio Lithuania reports. Butkevicius and Grachev
signed an agreement on 8 September 1992 by which the Russian
troops are to leave Lithuania by 31 August 1993. No official
reaction from Riga has yet reached the mass media. -Dzintra Bungs
& Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

VISEGRAD DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET. The defense ministers of the
Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Poland met for the first
time in Brussels on 28 March on the eve of the NACC meeting,
Western agencies report. Seeking a common stand on security policy
matters, the ministers noted that the success of the reform process
in Russia is important for the security of all of Europe. They
said that the NACC provides good opportunities for the NATO states
and their partners to coordinate their efforts in the areas of
crisis prevention, crisis management, and peacekeeping, and expressed
their readiness to contribute to the building of a new security
system in Europe. CTK reports Czech Defense Minister Antonin
Baudys as saying that in striving for a possible association
with NATO, each of the Visegrad countries will act on its own,
but that their attitudes toward NATO membership are very similar.
According to MTI, Hungarian Defense Minister Lajos Fur said his
country and NATO are getting closer and that NATO's annual workshop
will meet this year in June in Hungary. -Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL,
Inc.

RUEHE FAVORS EXPANSION OF NATO. In a 26 March lecture in London,
German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe said NATO must place transatlantic
partnership on a new footing and should start immediate talks
on absorbing rather than excluding new members from both Eastern
and Western Europe, Reuters reports. "We must not exclude our
neighbors in the East" from NATO's security structures, Ruehe
said, but he ruled out Russian membership because of that country's
"unmatched potentials" and geostrategic situation. -Alfred Reisch,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CROATIAN GOVERNMENT REPLACED. International media reported from
Zagreb on 29 March that President Franjo Tudjman has accepted
the resignation of the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Hrvoje
Sarinic. This government was in office for little more than seven
months, and was backed by a strong majority of Tudjman's Croatian
Democratic Community (HDZ) in both houses of parliament. Sarinic
was generally seen as an executor of Tudjman's policies rather
than as a leader in his own right. His government's resignation
seems designed to placate popular anger over a series of financial
scandals that many feel underscore the broader problem of the
emergence of a new corrupt nomenklatura based in the HDZ. The
government was also unpopular because of a 2,300% annual inflation
rate that has reduced much of the population to a near-poverty
level, massive power cuts in Dalmatia that crippled industry
and lamed the vital tourist trade, and what is often perceived
as a high-handed style of ruling that has left unions without
a voice in some key social programs and led to a muzzling of
the press. A new government is expected to be announced shortly
under Nikica Valentic, head of the state oil company INA. -Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MUSLIM REFUGEES REACH TUZLA. The BBC said on 30 March that a
UN convoy from the embattled Srebrenica enclave reached Tuzla
under appalling conditions that saw some of the 2,000 refugees
die en route. The people were mainly women, children, elderly,
wounded, or infirm, and were packed so tightly into their vehicles
that they had to stand the whole time. Elsewhere in Bosnia, the
latest cease-fire seems to be holding, while in New York UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali called on the Security Council to endorse
the Vance-Owen peace plan as a means of putting further pressure
on the holdout Bosnian Serbs to sign the document. Western news
agencies quoted Russian officials as also urging the Serbs to
agree to the plan, while at the same time confirming Russia's
reluctance to agree to any new UN measures to increase pressure
on Serbia, such as a proposed resolution aimed at enforcing the
no-fly zone over Bosnia. -Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARY, BULGARIA SIGN ACCORD WITH EFTA. On 29 March in Geneva
Hungarian Minister of International Economic Relations Bela Kadar
and Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Valentin
Karabashev signed trade agreements with the seven-member European
Free Trade Association. The accords will take effect on 1 July
and cover industrial goods, processed agricultural products,
and fish. They will permit EFTA to move faster in abolishing
trade barriers. Kadar was quoted as saying that the agreements
show that EFTA recognizes that Eastern Europe needs "trade, not
aid." According to an MTI report, EFTA member states account
for 15% of Hungary's exports and 20% of its imports and the accord
will enable Hungary to export 80% of its industrial goods without
custom duties and quantitative limitations and result in preferential
treatment for its agricultural products and foodstuffs, resulting
in $45-50-million in benefits for Hungary annually. Otechestven
vestnik reports that in all, Bulgaria exported 2.7 billion leva
($102 million) worth of goods to EFTA countries last year and
imported some 5.4 billion leva ($203 million) EFTA has concluded
similar agreements with the Czech and Slovak Republics, Poland,
and Romania. -Charles Trumbull & Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.


POLISH COALITION SEEKING NEW PARTNERS? THE WEAKNESS OF THE RULING
COALITION REVEALED IN THE SEJM'S RECENT DEFEAT OF MASS PRIVATIZATION
LEGISLATION HAS SPURRED NEW ATTEMPTS TO COURT THE OPPOSITION;
THESE HAVE IN TURN CAUSED FRICTION WITHIN THE COALITION. After
review by the cabinet on 30 March, the government hopes to put
a revised version of mass privatization on the agenda of the
Sejm's next session, which begins 1 April. Privatization Minister
Lewandowski said on 26 March that mass privatization is too important
a program to be choosy about the source of votes in its favor.
He criticized the coalition's nationalist right and remarked
that "at least one can talk to the [former communist] deputies
because they understand something about economics," PAP reports.
Democratic Union floor leader Bronislaw Geremek said on 27 March
that his party is holding talks designed to bring the Polish
Peasant Party (PSL) into the seven-party coalition. A "wise contract"
with proreform deputies from the postcommunist Democratic Left
is also possible, he argued. In an interview with Radio Zet on
30 March, PSL leader Waldemar Pawlak acknowledged talks were
underway, but said that "no decisions will be made in the immediate
future." Finally, the small Conservative Party rejected any bargain
with the Democratic Left and called instead for new talks with
the right-wing opposition. -Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH CORRUPTION CASES GO TO COURT. After lengthy investigations,
indictments have been lodged in two of Poland's most infamous
corruption cases. The former director and deputy director of
FOZZ, the government agency set up at the tail end of communist
rule to repurchase Polish foreign debt, have been charged with
embezzling more than $5 million and causing losses to the state
treasury of another $80-million, PAP reported on 25 March. On
26 March, a first indictment was filed in the Art-B banking scandal.
One of those facing prosecution is Grzegorz Wojtowicz, the national
bank chief in 1991, who is charged with causing losses to the
state of 138 billion zloty ($8.3 million) through improper supervision
of the banking system. In addition, bankrupt Polish tycoon Janusz
Lekszton was arrested on charges of fraud on 28 March. Finally,
Maciej Zalewski, chairman of the Sejm's defense commission, resigned
from parliament on 29 March after a mysterious auto accident.
Zalewski's immunity had already been lifted in connection with
his alleged ties to Art-B. -Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

HAVEL AGAIN CONDEMNS EXPULSION OF GERMANS. After a number of
Czech politicians criticized President Vaclav Havel for the remarks
he made in Austria in mid-March concerning the expulsion of 3.5
million Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovak territory after May-1945,
he delivered an emotional statement to journalists on 29 March,
CTK reports. The justification for the expulsion of Germans,
Havel emphasized, was based on an assumption of collective guilt
or on merely belonging to an ethnic group and therefore did not
differ fundamentally from instances elsewhere of the expulsions
of Jews, Tatars, Lithuanians, and other nations. Havel also said
that Czechs failed to integrate ethnic minorities and failed
to reckon equitably with the Slovaks during the interwar period
(1918-38). Many Czechs, directly or indirectly, collaborated
with the Nazis, were indifferent to the annihilation of Jews,
and brought the communists to power, he noted. Havel said that
the Czechs should learn to confront their own history and understand
that, while they behaved no worse than other nations in the past,
neither did they behave better. He added that to say unpopular
things and initiate a discussion about failures of the past was
among his duties. -Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc.

CEAUSESCU AIDES APPEAL FOR LIGHTER SENTENCES. Four high-ranking
officials under former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu-Ion
Dinca, Tudor Postelnicu, Emil Bobu and Manea Manescu-appeared
in a Bucharest court on 29 March to appeal sentences handed down
in 1990. They are currently serving life terms on charges of
genocide for their role in suppressing the December 1989 anticommunist
revolt in which more than 1,000 people were killed. A prosecutor
asked the Supreme Court to change the charges of genocide to
complicity in aggravated murder. He also said that the court
should consider the possibility of granting the four extenuating
circumstances in view of their advanced age, deteriorating health,
and deeds for the country previous to the revolt. -Dan Ionescu,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN PREFECTS' NOMINATION STIRS MORE CONTROVERSY. Radio Bucharest
reported on 29 March that three senators from the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania, including its president Bela Marko, protested
during a Senate session against the appointment of ethnic Romanian
prefects in the counties of Covasna and Harghita, where Magyars
are in majority. Five Senators representing leftist and nationalist
parties defended the cabinet's decision by emphasizing its right
to make a free choice of prefects. According to an editorial
in the 29-March issue of Uj Magyarorszag, a Budapest daily close
to the Hungarian government, the Romanian prefects' appointment
comes as "a cold shower" after the meeting of the two countries'
foreign ministries on 20 March. The editorial notes that it is
not the first time that Bucharest has "tightened the screws"
internally after displaying "the semblance of conciliation" at
a bilateral meeting-a stance which cannot lead to the improvement
of Hungarian-Romanian relations -Alfred Reisch & Dan Ionescu,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KUCHMA SEEKS TO REASSURE UKRAINIAN FARMERS. Ukrainian Prime Minister
Leonid Kuchma has been touring farming regions and promising
more support for agriculture. The spring planting is jeopardized
by the country's acute shortage of oil and fuel for transport,
most of which comes from Russia. Even though the government recently
announced that 80% of the oil to be imported from Russia after
a recent deal between Kiev and Moscow would go to the countryside,
Kuchma revealed on 29 March on CIS TV that Ukraine has not received
oil from Russia for three days due to an apparent major breakdown
in an oil pipeline. -Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN DELEGATION AT BAIKONUR. A parliamentary delegation
visited the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan to explore the
prospects for cooperation between Ukraine and Kazakhstan in the
space field, Ukrainian TV reported on 27 March. Ukraine, which
hopes to pursue its own modest space program, has the scientific-technological
expertise in this sphere and a rocket building center in Dnipropetrovsk,
but lacks launching facilities. The delegation watched the launch
of a Ukrainian-built Zenith satellite launching rocket. -Bohdan
Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

KIEV'S ETHNIC CULTURAL SOCIETIES. In an interview broadcast by
Ukrainian Radio on 29 March, the director of the Kiev city administration's
department for ethnic and language questions, Maria Domyslevska,
revealed that there are currently 46 "national-cultural societies"
registered in the Ukrainian capital. To the extent that the economic
crisis in the country permits, all of them enjoy the backing
or support of the Ukrainian authorities. Among the most recent
societies to be registered are two Polish ones, a Czech one,
and German and Kyrgyz cultural centers. Quite a few ethnic libraries,
or special sections in libraries, and ethnic schools or classes
have been opened in the city, including a Jewish school in the
Minsk district and a Polish "gymnasium," as well as libraries
of Jewish literature and of the literature of the Turkic peoples.
According to the Soviet census of 1989, 72.5% of Kiev's population
are Ukrainians, 20% Russians, 3.9% Jews, 1% Belarusians and 0.4%
Poles. -Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc.

KEBICH PROMOTES CIS ECONOMIC UNION AND COLLECTIVE SECURITY. In
the past few weeks, Belarusian Prime Minister Vyacheslau Kebich
has been actively engaged in a campaign to support an economic
union and a collective security system within the CIS. Speaking
on Belarusian TV on 18 March and in a series of meetings with
the country's industrialists, Kebich has condemned the rupture
of economic relationships throughout the former Soviet Union
and maintained that his Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh counterparts
are also in favor of an economic union. For the first time since
the establishment of the CIS, the government is also fully endorsing
the principle of collective security. Parliamentary chairman
Stanislau Shushkevich is known, however, to be opposed to that
idea in that it could violate Belarus's stated goals of neutrality
and nonparticipation in military blocs. -Kathy Mihalisko, RFE/RL,
Inc.

BELARUS AND THE RUSSIAN "TROJAN HORSE." According to representatives
of the Belarusian military-industrial complex interviewed in
Zvyazda on 24 March, Russia does not view the question of economic
union as "separate from the issue of collective security." This
and other statements in the Belarusian press suggest that Moscow
is applying pressure on fuel-starved Belarus to conform its evolving
military doctrine to the security concerns of the Russian Federation.
On 3 March, in an article entitled "Is there a Trojan Horse in
Minsk?" the parliamentary organ Narodnaya hazeta reported on
the pro-Russian activities of some military officers based in
Belarus. -Kathy Mihalisko, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLITICAL ACTIVITY OUTLAWED IN BELARUSIAN ARMY. Belarus's newly
adopted law on the status of servicemen, which allowed military
personnel to take part in political activities in their free
time, was amended on 26 March by decision of the Supreme Soviet.
Servicemen will no longer be permitted to engage in such activities
even while off-duty, though they still maintain the right to
vote in elections. The move is widely seen as directed against
the Belarusian Association of Servicemen, a patriotic organization
that promotes Belarus's independence. The association also advocates
the formation of a Baltic-to-Black Sea region security agreement
as a defense against possible Russian aggression. -Kathy Mihalisko,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATES LITAS PRINTING. On 29 March
the Lithuanian Prosecutor's office announced that it will start
investigations into the printing by the US Banknote Corporation
of Lithuania's new currency, the litas, Radio Lithuania reports.
Charges have been made that Vilius Baldisis, the former chairman
of the Bank of Lithuania, changed the terms of the contract without
proper coordination with the government, but the office had been
unable to get the needed documentation until Baldisis resigned.
On 28 March the new bank chairman, Romualdas Visokavicius, said
on Lithuanian TV that the litas is extremely poorly protected
against forgery and that it would be only introduced after Lithuania
is well prepared to accept foreign investments. -Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Wendy Slater and Charles Trumbull





THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
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31 March 1993 1 31 March 1993 1 RFE/RL Research Institute RFE/RL Daily Report, No. 62 RFE/RL Research Institute RFE/RL Daily Report, No. 62 

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

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