|Velichajshee udovol'stvie, kakoe tol'ko mozhet chuvstvovat' chestnyj chelovek, - eto dostavlyat' udovol'stvie svoim druz'yam. - Vol'ter|
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 (A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in North America: Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907; Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 8000 Munich 22, Germany;.Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624; Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.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
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