We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers. - Martin Luther King Jr
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 90, 12 May 1993



RUSSIA



YELTSIN FIRES SKOKOV AND KHIZHA. President Boris Yeltsin has
fired the Secretary of the Security Council Yurii Skokov and
Deputy Prime Minister Georgii Khizha, ITAR-TASS reported on 11
May. Skokov was regarded as one of the most powerful politicians
in Russia. He organized the work of the influential Security
Council and Council of Heads of Republics, and participated in
the country's major foreign and security policy decisions. But
in March, he publicly rejected Yeltsin's move to introduce special
rule. The head of the presidential apparatus, Sergei Filatov,
explained Skokov's departure with the fact that the latter "does
not support the President on many positions." Presidential press
secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov accused Skokov of having transformed
the Council of Heads of Republics into a "antipresidential meeting."
-Alexander Rahr

YELTSIN FURTHER DOWNGRADES RUTSKOI. President Yeltsin has reduced
the Secretariat of Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi to only six
officials, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 May. Rutskoi's secretariat
formerly consisted of forty officials. Yeltsin's press secretary
Vyacheslav Kostikov said that the reduction is connected with
the overall limitation of Rutskoi's duties. Yeltsin has released
Rutskoi from practically of all of his functions and left him
only the titular status of Vice President. Rutskoi was earlier
deprived of most of his body guards and his limousine. -Alexander
Rahr

YELTSIN COMMENTS ON PREPARATION OF NEW CONSTITUTION. Addressing
a meeting in the Kremlin on 11 May with leaders of Russia's regions
and republics, President Yeltsin said republics and regions should
be well represented in a Constituent Assembly which will be set
up to adopt a new constitution. On 11 May, ITAR-TASS quoted Yeltsin's
press secretary Kostikov as saying a Constituent Assembly could
be convened on 5 June to finalize the draft constitution, but
it would not be adopted yet. If a Constituent Assembly does gather
in less than a month, its members will have to be appointed by
the president and regional and republican leaderships rather
than elected by the people. The agency also reported that Yeltsin
suggested that after passing a constitution, the Assembly should
become one of the two chambers of a new parliament. -Vera Tolz


GORBACHEV FOR EARLY ELECTIONS. Former Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev has stressed the need to hold early presidential and
parliamentary elections, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 May. He also
stated that there is no sense in adopting a new constitution
for holding new elections since it would be sufficient to hold
them by making certain amendments to the old constitution. Gorbachev
dismissed the view that the present Congress is conservative
saying that the results of the referendum demonstrate that half
of the population support the Congress. Finally, he maintained
that he no longer expects the national-bolsheviks to become an
influential political force in the country. -Alexander Rahr

PROSECUTOR REQUESTS LIFTING OF DEPUTY'S IMMUNITY. The office
of the Russian prosecutor general requested that parliament strip
People's Deputy Gennadii Saenko of his parliamentary immunity
in connection with the investigation into the 1 May violence
in Moscow, Russian agencies reported on 11 May. Saenko, a leader
of the National Salvation Front, is named as one of the organizers
of the demonstration. The same day, President Yeltsin issued
a directive establishing a commission to investigate the 1 May
events, adding to those already established by the parliament
and the prosecutor's office. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
was named to head the commission, which is also to include the
interior and security ministers and the mayor of Moscow. The
commission, which is to report its findings within ten days,
was also charged with elaborating measures to prevent "potentially
harmful actions by extremist political forces." -Wendy Slater


RUSSIA USES UNSC VETO. Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution
on the financing of peacekeeping troops in Cyprus on 11 May.
The vote, 14 to 1, marked Moscow's first veto in the UNSC since
February 1984. Russia's permanent representative to the UN Yulii
Vorontsov said Russia's reasons for opposing the resolution were
purely practical (implying that Moscow could not afford the $2
million annual contribution to support UN peacekeeping forces
in Cyprus). As a result of the veto, these forces will continue
to be financed through voluntary contributions, Western agencies
reported. -Suzanne Crow

COMPENSATION FOR TOMSK-7 EXPLOSION. The inhabitants of Geogrievka,
which was smothered with a radioactive cloud after the 6 April
explosion at Tomsk7, are to receive 3,000 rubles each, ITAR-TASS
reported on 11 May. A further 1.8 million rubles will be given
to the Tomsk meteorological center to set up 7-radiation monitoring
stations within a 30-kilometer radius of the chemical plant used
for military purposes. -Keith Bush

CHERNOMYRDIN ON AUTARKY. During a tour of the northern Caucasus,
Prime Minister Chernomyrdin argued that Russia must be more self-sufficient
in manufacturing, Western agencies reported on 11 May. He repeated
earlier calls to reverse the fall in output saying, "Russia is
a great country that has everything necessary. We should produce
more ourselves-otherwise we will be obliged to drink our own
water from an imported package." He also stated that Russia is
not a "beggar," and that it should resist Western efforts to
keep it as a supplier of raw materials only. He said that unrestrained
purchases of Western technology are crippling Russian research
and development. He implied that restoring output was more important
than restricting credits. -Keith Bush

RUSSIA, TURKEY SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT. On 11 May,
Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and his Turkish counterpart,
Nevzat Ayaz signed an agreement providing for cooperation in
military training and arms production. While Turkey has already
agreed to purchase $75 million worth of Russian arms, the extent
of their likely cooperation in the armaments sphere is uncertain.
Not surprisingly, though, the two sides continued to disagree
over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At a press conference after
a meeting with the Turkish chief of staff, Grachev noted that
both Armenia and Azerbaijan were responsible for the conflict
and in a comment directed at Turkey, criticized states that are
supplying military assistance to Azerbaijan. That same day the
Azerbaijan defense ministry denounced Grachev's comments as "groundless"
and accused Grachev of making "pro-Armenian" statements. Grachev
also denied Russian involvement in the fighting in and around
Nagorno-Karabakh, and reported that the Russian airborne division
remaining in Azerbaijan would be withdrawn by the end of the
year. Grachev later departed Ankara to visit the Turkish 3rd
Army, located near the border with Armenia. The visit was reported
by ITAR-TASS, Reuters, and AFP. -John Lepingwell

CHERNOMYRDIN CHAIRS MEETINGS OF NORTH CAUCASIAN COORDINATING
COUNCIL. The ethno-political situation in the North Caucasus,
additional measures for regulating the Ossetian-Ingush conflict,
and the coordination of efforts to implement economic reform
were discussed on 11 May at a session of the North Caucasian
Coordinating Council chaired by Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin,
ITAR-TASS reported. The session, which was held in Nalchik, the
capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, was attended by the leaders of
four of the seven republics of the North Caucasus and of Krasnodar
and Stavropol krais and Rostov oblast. Ramazan Abdulatipov, chairman
of the Russian parliament's Council of Nationalities, said afterwards
that Yeltsin should make greater use of his powers to deal with
North Ossetian-Ingush problems as neither the Ingush nor the
Ossetian side was carrying out the agreements they had reached.
He also called for a more rapid decision on Ingushetia's frontiers.
-Ann Sheehy

PRESIDENT OF KABARDINO-BALKARIA CALLS FOR ASSISTANCE WITH REHABILITATION
OF BALKARS. At a meeting between Russian Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin and the Kabardino-Balkar leadership on 11 May, the
president of Kabardino-Balkaria Valerii Kokov said that the republic
was one of the few areas of southern Russia where the situation
was stable, ITAR-TASS reported. At the same time he asked for
assistance from the federal authorities "in implementing measures
to rehabilitate the Balkar people." The Balkars, who were deported
en masse in 1944, have been agitating for a separate territory
of their own. -Ann Sheehy

COMMISSION SET UP TO DETERMINE FRONTIERS OF INGUSHETIA. On 10
May, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin signed a decree on the creation
of a commission to determine the frontiers of the Ingush republic,
Ekho Moskvy reported. Ingushetia's frontiers with both North
Ossetia and Chechnya are disputed, and it is difficult to see
how a commission will resolve the issues, but without clear frontiers
it is difficult for Ingushetia to set up proper administrative
structures. On the same day, the Russian Procurator General Valentin
Stepankov said that the long-awaited reported on those responsible
for inflaming the North Ossetian-Ingush conflict would be issued
next week. He added that permission had been issued for the arrest
of more than 50 individuals, and that several investigators had
died in the course of the investigations. -Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



KYRGYZSTAN RAISES BREAD PRICES. The effects of Kyrgyzstan's introduction
of its own currency on 10-May are becoming more apparent, according
to Russian and Western news agency reports on 11 May. As inhabitants
of the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan turn their rubles not into
som, the new currency, but into expensive purchases such as carpets,
electronic equipment and fabrics. Bazaar prices are reported
to have risen sharply. The official price of bread, according
to Reuters, was more than doubled on 11 May, with Vice-President
Feliks Kulov stating that Kyrgyzstan can no longer afford to
subsidize bread prices. Kazakhstan is reported to have stopped
financial transactions between firms in Kazakhstan and those
in Kyrgyzstan until Russia's Central Bank can set an exchange
rate for Kyrgyzstan's new currency. Uzbekistan's Cabinet of Ministers
has placed limitations on purchases of expensive items by non-citizens,
tightened rules on the export of valuables and given the Ministry
of Finance and Central Bank ten days in which to determine how
to handle financial obligations with Kyrgyzstan. -Bess Brown






CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



COUNCIL OF EUROPE AND THE BALTICS. On 11-May the parliamentary
assembly of the Council of Europe voted unanimously to approve
Lithuania's membership, Radio Lithuania reports. The vote on
Estonia's membership scheduled for on 13 May has created greater
controversy. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev sent a letter
last week to Secretary-General Catherine LalumiŹre calling Estonia's
membership "premature" and alleging that it discriminates against
its Russian minority. In spite of such allegations it is expected
that the CE Committee of Ministers will officially formalize
the admission of the two Baltic States on 14 May. Latvia's citizenship
law has also come under some scrutiny and Riga has been advised
that it must hold "free and fair" elections in order to meet
the CE's admittance standards. -Saulius Girnius

SLOVAKIA'S ENTRY POSTPONED? SPEAKING AT A PRESS CONFERENCE IN
BRATISLAVA ON 11 MAY, MIKLOS DURAY, THE LEADER OF COEXISTENCE,
AN ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PARTY REPRESENTED IN THE SLOVAK PARLIAMENT,
SAID THAT SLOVAKIA'S ADMISSION TO THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE WILL
BE POSTPONED BECAUSE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S RELUCTANCE TO ADDRESS
MINORITY PROBLEMS. There has been no official confirmation of
such a development; after a vote on 14 May, Slovakia and the
Czech Republic were expected to be admitted jointly in June.
Duray claims that the postponement was not caused by minority
parties, which have called CE's attention to minority problems
in Slovakia, but is a result of "fact-finding trips by various
expert commissions of various European institutions." Duray claims
that he was informed about the reasons for the postponement by
Slovak Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik, who said the CE objects
to limitations in Slovakia on using Hungarian names on birth
certificates and Hungarian names for villages and towns. The
CE is allegedly also concerned about plans for a new territorial
arrangement in Slovakia and the government's reluctance to grant
cultural and educational autonomy to minorities. -Jiri Pehe

ROMANIANS ALSO DISAPPOINTED. Romanian parliamentarians attending
the CE meeting said they are disappointed by the two preliminary
reports on Romania's request for admission, according to a Radio
Bucharest broadcast on 11 May. On that day the judiciary commission
of the CE Parliamentary Assembly discussed the reports in what
was described as a "severe" atmosphere. Among other things, the
reports say the Romanian Information Service does not fall under
parliamentary supervision, that the independence of Romanian
Television is doubtful, and that Romanian TV's new director-general,
Paul Everac, is notorious for "reactionary and anti-Semitic"
positions. The reports acknowledged that some progress has been
registered in Romania's treatment of its Hungarian minority,
whose demands have only partially been met. Despite significant
progress made on the path to democracy, says one report, there
are still impediments to Romania's admission, but these could
be done away with in a relatively short time, and Romania could
become a full-fledged member sometime in 1993. Radio Bucharest
quoted sources in Strasbourg as saying Romania will be admitted
to the Council of Europe in September the latest. -Michael Shafir.


KLAUS ON CZECH REPUBLIC AND EC. Speaking on Czech Radio on 11
May, Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus, just back from a three-day visit
in Spain, said that the European Community should create a special
interim status for the Czech Republic-"something between association
and full membership." Klaus argued that the time span between
signing the association agreement and becoming full member is
too long and "if nothing happens in between, we would feel frustrated."
On 10-May Klaus and Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzáles agreed
that the EC needs to make a "symbolic gesture" showing that it
is interested in accepting the Czech Republic and other countries.
An association agreement between the Czech Republic and the EC
is to be signed soon. -Jiri Pehe

HUNGARIAN-SPANISH FRIENDSHIP TREATY. On 11-May the Hungarian
parliament unanimously ratified the friendship and cooperation
treaty signed by the Hungarian and Spanish governments in 1992,
MTI reports. Under the treaty, the two countries are to cooperate
in the field of European integration, and Spain agrees to support
Hungary's effort to become a full member of the European Community.
-Edith Oltay

FIERCE FIGHTING CONTINUES IN MOSTAR. Reuters reported on 11 May
that shelling between Croats and Muslims resumed at mid-day in
the downtown area in the third straight day of the worst fighting
in Herzegovina's capital since the Croats expelled the Serbs
in June 1992. The Croats continued their exercise in ethnic cleansing
by removing Muslim civilians from their homes and taking them
to a nearby aluminum factory. The UN's Gen. Philippe Morillon
plans to talk to the two sides' commanders on 12 May to urge
them to respect existing cease-fire agreements. Croatia's news
agency Hina said on 11 May that President Franjo Tudjman has
met with his top military advisors and appealed for an end to
the fighting in Mostar, which the Croatian media have blamed
on "Muslim extremists." Tudjman also called for a Croatian-Muslim
summit in the embattled town. Hina adds on 12 May that Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic has appealed to the UN to make Mostar
a "safe area." According to the Washington Post, however, the
track record of safe areas is not very good, and the Serbs are
preventing the Muslims from returning to their homes in Zepa
in one such zone. Finally, Hina reports explosions at yet another
mosque in the Banja Luka area, which is controlled by Serbs.
-Patrick Moore

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE YUGOSLAV CRISIS. The BBC said on 11
May that President Bill Clinton has not ruled out the possibility
of sending of American ground troops to Macedonia as part of
a deterrent peace-keeping operation. Meanwhile in Croatia, local
media report that Albanian President Sali Berisha visited Zagreb
on 10 May and that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin
is due on the 12th. Finally, Nedjeljna Dalmacija on 5-May published
a poll on Croat attitudes toward future relations with the Serbs.
About 60% are opposed to making territorial concessions in Bosnia
in order to get back Serb-held areas in Croatia, but two-thirds
of the respondents believe that Croatia will recover these areas
through talks and not by force, although they add that such negotiations
must not be allowed to drag out. Over 70% feel that no massive
population transfers will be necessary to ensure a durable peace,
and almost 60% favor some kind of "loose customs and economic
links between Croatia and rump Yugoslavia." -Patrick Moore

ZIELENIEC WANTS TO DOUBLE CZECH UN FORCE. Czech Foreign Minister
Josef Zieleniec told reporters in Prague on 11 May that he wants
to double the size of the Czech force serving in former Yugoslavia,
from 500-to 1,000 soldiers. Zieleniec argued that it is the Czech
Republic's responsibility to increase its participation. Currently,
one battalion of 500-soldiers is serving with the UN peacekeeping
forces in Croatia. -Jiri Pehe

BELGRADE CALLS FOR PAN-SERB PARLIAMENT. Leaders of Serbia-Montenegro
have again appealed to Bosnian Serbs to accept the Vance-Owen
peace plan by calling for a joint session of the parliaments
of Serbia, Montenegro, federal Yugoslavia, and the self-declared
legislatures of the Croatian and Bosnian Serbs. According to
Belgrade and international media reports on 11-May, the appeal
is for the meeting to take place in Belgrade on 14 May; it is
aimed at undermining the Bosnian Serb referendum on 15-16 May.
Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic is quoted as saying that
"all Serbs are affected by the actions of their brethren in Bosnia,"
adding that the decision on the Vance-Owen plan "cannot be made
only by Bosnian Serbs but by all deputies" of the above-mentioned
parliaments. According to Belgrade Radio B92, if the session
were to convene, Bosnian Serb deputies would be outvoted, the
peace plan would be accepted, and "Milosevic will secure yet
another political achievement." However, the question remains
whether Milosevic can bring into the fold figures like Vojislav
Seselj, head of the Serbian Radical Party, regarded as the front
man of the Bosnian Serb war policy. -Milan Andrejevich

BOSNIAN SERBS REJECT CALL. Radio Serbia reports on 12 May that
Bosnian Serb leaders have rejected Milosevic's appeal. They are
sticking to their decision to hold a referendum first, but agreed
to take part in the joint legislative session in Belgrade after
that vote. Referendum officials also announced that preparations
for the referendum have been completed, and UN officials have
been asked to monitor the balloting. On 11 May, however, UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali announced that the UN will not recognize
the results. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic
expressed extreme anger at Belgrade's decision to restrict aid
to Bosnian Serbs, but said that reports of travel restrictions
are untrue, which seems to confirm Serbian Prime Minister Nikola
Sainovic's denial that such restrictions have been imposed. Karadzic
and his delegation traveled to Belgrade on 11-May, unimpeded
at the Serbia-Bosnia border. Borba reports on 12 May, that the
Bosnian Serb delegation in Belgrade declined Milosevic's lunch
invitation, citing urgent business. Belgrade TV continues to
portray Bosnian Serb leaders as greedy adventurists, while a
spokesman for Karadzic protests "all of our leaders are modest
people." -Milan Andrejevich

PROGRESS IN GREEK-MACEDONIAN CRISIS. Macedonian President Kiro
Gligorov and Greek Foreign Minister Michalis Papaconstantinou
are both in New York for talks on the continuing Greek-Macedonian
dispute over the official name of the ex-Yugoslav republic and
other trappings of the country's independence. Gligorov met with
UN negotiator Cyrus Vance on 10-11 May and may talk with Papaconstantinou
later this week, according to MILS. In the meantime, high-ranking
Greek politicians have been holding intensive discussions on
means of resolving the outstanding disagreements. The next few
days appear to be critical to ending the dispute. -Duncan Perry


BULGARIAN COMMANDER RESIGNS. Lt. Gen. Lyutskan Lyutskanov, commander
of Bulgarian Land Forces, has resigned. After several weeks of
growing tension between himself and Chief of General Staff Gen.
Lyuben Petrov and Defense Minister Valentin Aleksandrov. During
a meeting with President Zhelyu Zhelev on 11 May, Lyutskanov
asked to be relieved of his duties. He served two years as commander
before Aleksandrov charged him with incompetence, corruption,
and failure to separate his work from his political convictions.
He is the eighth Bulgarian general to be dismissed since the
new government took office in late December. -Kjell Engelbrekt


SLOVAK, POLISH DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET. Slovak Defense Minister
Imrich Andrejcak held talks with his Polish counterpart, Janusz
Onyszkiewicz, in Bratislava on 11-May. TASR reports that the
two ministers discussed plans for a meeting at the end of May
of the defense ministers of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland,
and Slovakia. Andrejcak and Onyszkiewicz agreed on the need for
effective cooperation of the four Visegrad Group countries in
"all spheres." -Jiri Pehe

WALESA APPEALS FOR STRIKE TALKS. Solidarity Chairman Marian Krzaklewski
warned the president on 11 May that the union will ask for a
no-confidence vote in the government if there is no breakthrough
in the general strike by teachers and health care workers, Polish
TV reports. In comments to reporters, Walesa expressed disappointment
in Poland's teachers and advised against testing the government's
strength too often. In a blander statement issued after the meeting,
Walesa appealed to the government and the union to resume talks
"aimed at stabilizing the situation in the country" and asked
the government "to show understanding for the difficult situation
of budget employees and review the state's financial possibilities."
Krzaklewski told journalists, however, that the union will not
return to the bargaining table until the government makes specific
proposals to remedy the strikers' grievances. The union's education
and health branches complained on 11 May that the initial round
of talks in Warsaw were a manifestation of the government's "completely
unnecessary arrogance," PAP reports. The government has refused
to grant wage increases beyond what the 1993 budget allows. -Louisa
Vinton

TEACHERS' STRIKE DISRUPTS EXAMS. Graduation exams were canceled
in 10% of Poland's high schools on 11 May because of the teachers'
strike, according to education ministry figures. The government
had earlier rejected Solidarity's demand to postpone the exams,
and their staging became something of a test of strength for
the union. Turnout for the exams suggests that support for the
strike varies by region. In 21 of Poland's 49-voivodships, exams
were held in all schools, while in 5 voivodships more than half
of the schools boycotted the exams. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka
and Education Minister Zdobyslaw Flisowski visited a Warsaw school
where exams began as scheduled. Meanwhile, the government convinced
representatives of the striking Walbrzych region to resume restructuring
talks in Warsaw on 12 May. A quibble over the wording of a government
resolution on the region's future sparked the strike there. Initial
talks were suspended on 10-May when the government's negotiator
resigned from his post after union representatives claimed he
offended them. Industry Minister Waclaw Niewiarowski is now chairing
the talks. The strikers apparently abandoned their demand that
the government send a delegation to Walbrzych when the prime
minister agreed to attend the talks scheduled for 12 May. -Louisa
Vinton

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT, TRADE UNIONS COOPERATING. A press conference
was held in Kiev on 11 May in connection with the signing of
a tariff agreement between the government and the Trades Union
Federation, Ukrainian Radio reports. After two-weeks of difficult
negotiations, a 20-page agreement was signed at the end of April
by 12 of the 13 trade union leaders who took part, the leader
of the independent coal miners' union being the exception. The
accord provides a mechanism for social protection in the event
of price rises and guarantees certain basic welfare rights. Welcoming
the agreement, the head of the Trade Unions' Federation, Oleksandr
Stoyan, declared that: "Ukraine has chosen its path-the path
of social partnership and not conflict and confrontation." Ukrainian
Radio commented that the government could now no longer take
any major decision on price policy without prior agreement with
the trade unions. -Bohdan Nahaylo

HUNGARIAN-UKRAINIAN TREATY RATIFIED. On 11-May parliament voted
223-39-17 to ratify the friendship and cooperation treaty with
Ukraine signed by the two governments in 1991, MTI reports. The
vote was preceded by heated debates in parliament as some parliamentary
deputies, mostly belonging to the governing coalition, objected
to a provision of the treaty that "neither party has nor will
have territorial demands against the other" on the ground that
it dashes the hopes of Hungarians abroad for any future "peaceful
settlement." The government defended the treaty arguing that
it is beneficial to Hungary's interests, and improves the situation
of Ukraine's ethnic Magyars by providing guarantees for minority
rights and autonomy. -Edith Oltay

HUNGARY, TATARSTAN SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENT. An agreement on
economic cooperation between Hungary and Tatarstan for 1993-98
was signed in Budapest on 11 May as part of an official visit
by Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev, ITAR-TASS and MTI report.
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Trade Bela Kadar and his counterpart,
Savkat Arslanov signed the document. Under the agreement, the
Tatar side will deliver 1.5 million tons of crude oil annually
and Hungary will export industrial and agricultural products
to the Tatar Republic. Shaimiev said that an earlier economic
agreement, Tatarstan's first with a foreign country, had been
fulfilled to the letter, and trade turnover with Hungary had
exceeded $235 million in 1992. He went on to say that Tatarstan
is keen to expand direct economic and trade relations with foreign
countries. Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall expressed the
hope that Hungarian-Tatar trade will double this year. -Edith
Oltay and Ann Sheehy

MOLDOVAN, "DNIESTER" LEADERS MEET. Moldovan President Mircea
Snegur, Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi, and Prime Minister
Andrei Sangheli met at their initiative on 10 May near Tiraspol
with Igor Smirnov and other leaders of the insurgent "Dniester
republic." According to a joint communique carried by the Moldovan
media, the sides agreed to continue the political dialogue both
at the leadership level and through the existing joint commission,
to refrain from the use of force and from any "destabilizing"
steps, and to work in joint expert groups toward the reestablishment
of disrupted economic ties. It was emphasized that the issue
of Moldova's state structure is central to the political settlement
of the conflict. This is not the first meeting initiated by the
Moldovan leadership with the breakaway leaders, but the latter
insist on having a full-fledged state on both banks of the Dniester
with its own army and security services. Moldova has offered
territorial-administrative autonomy for left-bank areas. -Vladimir
Socor

NEW SERIES OF LITHUANIAN MONEY. On 10 May a new series of 500-note
coupons (Lithuania's provisional money) was issued that will
be better protected against counterfeiting, Radio Lithuania reports.
The new coupons, which depict a pair of wolves rather than a
bear, reveal their value when exposed to ultraviolet light. More
than 11,000 forged copies of the old 500-note bills have been
discovered. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ustina Markus and Charles Trumbull









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