The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 93, 17 May 1993







RUSSIA



RYABOV BREAKS RANKS WITH KHASBULATOV. The conservative deputy
speaker of parliament, Nikolai Ryabov, has appealed to parliamentarians
not to reject President Boris Yeltsin's idea of holding a constitutional
assembly to approve the new constitution, ITAR-TASS reported
on 14 May. In doing so, Ryabov broke ranks with parliamentary
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov who has called Yeltsin's idea "criminal."
During Ryabov's speech to the parliament, Khasbulatov tried to
interrupt him several times but other parliamentary leaders,
such as the speakers of both chambers of the parliament, Venyamin
Sokolov and Ramazan Abdulatipov, and the leader of the Communist
faction, Sergei Baburin, supported Ryabov. After Ryabov spoke
and Khasbulatov's motions to nix the constitutional assembly
received only about 45 percent of deputies' votes, Khasbulatov
stormed out of the parliament. -Alexander Rahr

KHASBULATOV AND FILATOV SUGGEST COMBINING CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTS.
Following Ryabov's unexpected call for a compromise over the
means of adopting the new constitution, Khasbulatov, meeting
with foreign correspondents in Moscow on 15-May, indicated that
he is now prepared to countenance "some kind of joint draft"
of the president's and the parliament's versions for a new Russian
Constitution, Western agencies reported. However, referring to
Yeltsin's convening of local leaders on 5 June to discuss the
president's draft, he warned of the danger of being "drawn into
any kind of unconstitutional structures," claiming that Russia
could continue under its current constitution for another two
years and that the issue was being exploited by the presidential
side to divert attention from more serious problems. Meanwhile,
the head of Yeltsin's administration, Sergei Filatov, speaking
on 14 May at a meeting of the president's regional representatives,
added to the calls coming from the parliamentary side to combine
the two constitutional drafts, but suggested that the president's
version be used as the basic text. -Wendy Slater

YELTSIN MEETS MINISTRY OF SECURITY LEADERS. President Yeltsin
met with the senior leadership of the Ministry of Security on
15 May, according to ITAR-TASS. Yeltsin outlined the tasks of
the ministry in ensuring Russia's national security during its
political and economic transformation. He also called the ministry
to support his constitution and said his reforms secure Russia's
"powerful position in the world." The president categorically
rejected conjectures in the media concerning the resignation
of Viktor Barannikov from the post of the Minister of Security.
Although not reported, Yeltsin is believed to have also discussed
possible candidates for the post of Secretary of the Security
Council with the ministry's leadership. Few additional details
from the meeting were available. -Alexander Rahr

URANIUM DEAL WITH US REACHED? ON 14 MAY REUTERS REPORTED THAT
THE US AND RUSSIA WOULD SOON SIGN A DEAL UNDER WHICH RUSSIA WOULD
SELL ENRICHED URANIUM RECLAIMED FROM NUCLEAR WEAPONS FOR REPROCESSING
INTO NUCLEAR FUEL. The deal, which has been under negotiation
for over nine months, had been stalled by disagreements over
price and the sharing of the proceeds with Ukraine, Belarus,
and Kazakhstan. According to the Reuters report, Russia would
receive $780 per kilogram of low enriched uranium. Whether the
highly enriched uranium would be diluted in Russia or the US
was not specified. According to the report up to 500 tons of
highly enriched weapons-grade material may be sold under the
agreement. This suggests that the total deal could be worth approximately
$13 billion over the expected ten-year sales period. Reuters
also reported that progress has been made in resolving ongoing
disagreements between Russia and the US over uranium market share
and dumping charges. -John Lepingwell

INGUSH ADOPT SOVEREIGNTY DECLARATION. An extraordinary congress
of the peoples of Ingushetia on 15 May adopted a declaration
of state sovereignty declaring the Ingush republic a democratic
secular state, forming part of the Russian Federation on the
basis of the federal treaty, ITAR-TASS reported. The congress
also decided that Ingushetia should be a presidential republic.
At the congress Ingush president Ruslan Aushev said that he had
asked the Russian leadership to introduce a special form of rule
in the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia after the state of
emergency expires on 31 May. Aushev has consistently argued that
there can be no solution to the problem of the return of Ingush
refugees from the Prigorodnyi raion unless the federal authorities
take direct responsibility. -Ann Sheehy

PROCURATOR-GENERAL ON NORTH OSSETIAN-INGUSH CONFLICT. Procurator-General
Valentin Stepankov told KRIM-PRESS on 14 May that it was difficult
to arrest those suspected of crimes during the North Ossetian-Ingush
armed clash in October-November 1992 because local inhabitants
tended to regard the perpetrators as heroes. As a result, over
half the warrants for arrest and detention have not been obstructed.
Speaking about the report he will shortly present to Yeltsin,
Stepankov said that in the first five days of the disorders over
4,000 crimes were committed in which over 1,700 people took part.
2,500 house were burnt, and about 400 people disappeared without
trace. Stepankov referred to the hazards faced by the investigators,
several of whom have been killed. He was guarded about the prospects
for peace in the region, saying that, if order was to be restored,
agreement must be reached on disbanding paramilitary units and
the surrender of weapons. -Ann Sheehy

POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES IN CHECHNYA. Yaragi Mamodaev, recently
appointed prime minister of Chechnya by the Chechen parliament,
told ITAR-TASS in Groznyi on 15-May that Chechen president Dzhokhar
Dudaev had placed himself outside the constitution by his recent
actions and should step down. Dudaev had declared Mamodaev's
appointment illegal and had tried unsuccessfully on the night
of 13-May to force him and his team to relinquish the building
of the cabinet of ministers. Mamodaev claimed in his remarks
to the ITAR-TASS correspondent that his supporters were ten times
more numerous than those of Dudaev, but the dispute must be solved
by peaceful means, either on the basis of the constitution, a
shariat court, or through a referendum. In conclusion, Mamodaev
said Dudaev had done a great deal to win the independence of
the Chechen people, but very little to consolidate this independence.
-Ann Sheehy

MOSCOW FOR VANCE-OWEN IMPLEMENTATION. Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev held talks in Moscow on 16 May with Lord David
Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg. Following the meetings, Kozyrev
told reporters that Moscow favors the implementation of the Vance-Owen
peace plan regardless of the results of the referendum among
Bosnia's Serb population. "We don't have to wait until the last
Bosnian militant endorses the plan," Kozyrev said. He added that
the Vance-Owen plan should be implemented gradually. Deputy Foreign
Minister Vitalii Churkin said in Moscow on 15 May upon returning
from a tour through former Yugoslavia that Moscow will take decisive
measures to move the peace process in Bosnia forward. He stressed
that he did not have military action in mind, Russian and Western
agencies reported. -Suzanne Crow

JAPANESE-RUSSIAN RELATIONS: AN UPDATE. Japanese Foreign Minister
Kabun Muto said in Tokyo on 14-May that the normalization of
Japanese-Russian relations on the basis of a resolution of the
Kuril Island dispute and the signing of a peace treaty is a top
priority of the Japanese government, ITAR-TASS reported. Disagreement
on the territorial issue has led Boris Yeltsin to cancel planned
trips to Japan twice in the past year, and Tokyo has moved gradually
in recent months to soften its earlier insistence that aid to
Moscow be strictly linked to concessions by Russia on the issue.
Japan will host a meeting of the G-7 nations in July, and aid
to Russia is expected to figure prominently in the discussions.
Meanwhile, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone arrived
in Moscow on 15 May to begin a week-long visit during which he
is to meet with Boris Yeltsin. According to Reuter, Nakasone
has expressed his readiness to mediate between Tokyo and Moscow
on the territorial issue. -Stephen Foye

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



CIS HEADS CALL FOR ECONOMIC INTEGRATION. Following a plenary
meeting in Moscow on 14 May, the heads of virtually all the republics
of the Commonwealth of Independent States announced their intention
of moving towards greater economic integration through reducing
barriers on interrepublic trade and investment. Russian president
Boris Yeltsin speaking at the press conference after the meeting
said that "all state-participants of the Commonwealth expressed
[support] for creating an economic union." Only Turkmenistan
declined to sign the meeting's declaration, choosing to take
more time to study the issue. Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk
endorsed the objectives of further integration, but was wary
of using the term "economic union." Yeltsin mentioned that the
participants meant to produce the first formal documents and
"practical steps" towards creating the economic union by 1 July.
-Erik Whitlock

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



TAJIK GOVERNMENT FORCES STILL FIGHTING INVADERS. Tajikistan's
Foreign Ministry said on 15-May that Tajik government forces
assisted by Russian border guards are still fighting a group
of Tajik oppositionists who slipped across the border from Afghanistan
at the beginning of May, ITAR-TASS reported. The opposition group
was originally estimated at 350 persons, of whom 70 are known
to have been killed in clashes with government troops and Russian
border guards. Tajikistan's government is still expecting an
attack across the border by opposition forces who have reportedly
been assembling in the northern provinces of Afghanistan. In
the 15 May statement, the Tajik Foreign Ministry claimed that
the opposition was being supported in Afghanistan by "certain
foreign special services." -Bess Brown

YELTSIN, SHEVARDNADZE CALL FOR ABKHAZ CEASEFIRE. At their summit
in Moscow on 14 May Russian President Yeltsin and chairman of
the Georgian parliament Eduard Shevardnadze called for a cease-fire
in Abkhazia beginning 20 May, and the withdrawal from the combat
zone of heavy military equipment and artillery, Western agencies
reported. A ban on overflights of the region would follow beginning
25 May. Abkhaz parliament chairman Vladislav Ardzinba was quoted
by ITAR-TASS on 16 May as stating that Abkhaz forces are prepared
to cease fire "unconditionally" provided all Georgian troops
withdraw from Abkhazia. -Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



KARADZIC: VANCE-OWEN PLAN "NOW DEAD." Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic announced on 16 May that the Vance-Owen peace plan for
Bosnia-Herzegovina is "now dead" as a result of the overwhelming
rejection in a two-day referendum by Bosnian Serbs. He made the
statement after preliminary results released by election officials
indicate that over 80% of eligible voters took part and that
in most districts more than 90% rejected the plan. Voters reportedly
approved a second proposition: whether the self-proclaimed Serb
Republic of Bosnia should be independent and have the right to
unite with other states formed on the territory of the former
Yugoslavia [i.e., join with Serbia]. Officials results are not
expected until 18 May, but the international community views
the balloting as a sham, and Belgrade called it "ill-conceived."
Karadzic called for negotiations on a new plan to be brokered
by former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and former US Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger, saying they have a better understanding
of the situation. Serbian and international media carried the
reports on 16 and 17-May. Milan Andrejevich

POLITICAL FIREWORKS IN BELGRADE. Serbian and international media
reports on 14-May describe the tense joint session in Belgrade
of the Serbian, Montenegrin, and federal assemblies as a clear
indication of the rift between the Serbian-Montenegrin government
and Bosnian Serbs and their supporters in Belgrade. One deputy
from Serbia described the meeting to the RFE/RL Research Institute
as "unusually stormy, even by Serbian standards." Nearly half
the deputies walked out after a proposal by the Radical Party
that deputies, rather than faction leaders, be heard was voted
down. Those who left the assembly expressed opposition to the
peace plan. The remaining deputies adopted a declaration supporting
the Vance-Owen plan. Only small delegations of Serb officials
from Croatia and Bosnia attended the pan-Serb session. -Milan
Andrejevich

MLADIC THREATENS WEST; ARMY CRITICIZES SESELJ. Reuters reports
on 16 May that Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb army commander,
threatened retaliation if the West uses military action to force
the Serbs to accept the Vance-Owen plan. Any Western troops on
the ground would "leave their bones" in Bosnia, he reportedly
said. "If [the West] bombs me, I'll bomb London." He apparently
has in mind terrorist action, warning further, "there are Serbs
in London, there are Serbs in Washington." For the fourth time
in a week Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj threatened
the West by remarking on 16 May that Serbian and Russian volunteers
would attack Sarajevo if the West launched air strikes. Radio
Serbia reported on 14 May that the Federal Yugoslav Army has
issued a statement disavowing Seselj's recent threats of missile
strikes against civilian targets in Western Europe, avowing that
the armed forces of Serbia-Montenegro do not share his "enthusiasm
for war." -Milan Andrejevich

SLOVAKIA WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN MILITARY ACTION IN BOSNIA. At
a farewell ceremony for a 418member unit of the Slovak Army
departing for their mission in Croatia, Slovak President Michal
Kovac ruled out Slovak participation in any possible military
action in Bosnia, TASR reported on 14 May. Kovac said that "Slovakia
is too young to dare participate" in military action. He added
that participation is also ruled out by the concern about the
fate of the Slovak minority in the former Yugoslavia. -Jan Obrman


BULGARIA IMPLEMENTS UN SANCTIONS. The government on 14 May froze
all Serbian and Montenegrin financial assets in the country and
announced it will start enforcing the tightened United Nations
embargo. Although the cabinet already on 26 April declared the
country's readiness to enforce the stricter sanctions, for unknown
reasons it originally issued no new instructions to customs authorities.
Since the beginning of May there have been growing signs that
sanction-busters have used the delay to transport prohibited
goods to rump Yugoslavia. A CSCE monitor said that raw materials,
such as iron ore, steel, cement, and phosphates have lately reached
Serbia via the Danube. Customs controls will now be reinforced,
but last week's reports by BBC and domestic press that smugglers
are systematically using back roads along the border with Serbia
suggest that some supplies will continue to come through. -Kjell
Engelbrekt

NATO REJECTS HUNGARIAN REQUEST. Hungary's informal request several
weeks ago to receive NATO security guarantees and antiaircraft
missiles against possible Serbian attack, was quietly declined,
Reuters reported on 14 May. Hungary was worried about the security
of its only nuclear power station at Paks and reprisals against
the 400,000 ethnic Hungarians living in the Vojvodina. NATO sources
said that Hungary was told that it was protected by the UN Charter
and that NATO could not go further. Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky
is holding consultations with NATO officials about the matter
between 17 and 19 May in Brussels. Hungary is a front-line state
in the strengthened UN economic embargo against Serbia. -Karoly
Okolicsanyi

POLISH STAND-OFF CONTINUES. As Solidarity's parliamentary caucus
drafted its motion of no-confidence in the government, Prime
Minister Hanna Suchocka attempted to reopen negotiations. Responding
to a telephone request from the president, the prime minister
proposed a new round of talks with Solidarity for 18-May. Solidarity
rejected that date as "too late" and demanded that the government
present its proposed "solutions" to the problems of striking
teachers and health care workers before any negotiations begin.
The prime minister's spokesman rejected all "preconditions."
Suchocka and the labor and finance ministers met with the Solidarity
caucus for two hours on 15 May, but apparently without bringing
the two sides closer. Solidarity's national leadership meets
in Gdansk on 17-May to decide whether to accept the government's
offer of talks "without preconditions." Gazeta Wyborcza reports
that the prime minister will address the nation on 17 May. A
one-hour strike by railway workers is scheduled for 18 May. -Louisa
Vinton

SEJM REJECTS GOVERNMENT REPORT ON STRIKES. Reporting to the Sejm
on the strike situation on 14 May, Deputy Prime Minister Pawel
Laczkowski categorically ruled out wage increases for striking
teachers and health care workers. The government welcomes negotiations,
he said, but the unions must recognize the principle that "the
government cannot spend more than what it has." Revising the
budget, as the opposition demanded, would not increase the funds
at the government's disposal. Yielding to wage demands would
show "extreme irresponsibility." Threats by radical activists
to overthrow the government, bypass the parliament, and oust
the president, he warned, are inconsistent with democracy. In
the debate that followed, the opposition charged the government
with decimating education and health care. The government coalition
charged Solidarity with "bolshevism" and aspiring to the "leading
role" once held by the communist party. The Sejm rejected Laczkowski's
report on 15-May by a vote of 169 to 151. The vote has no practical
impact, but provided what Laczkowski called a "foretaste of a
no-confidence vote." -Louisa Vinton

MECIAR BEGINS US VISIT. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar
has left for a five-day unofficial visit to the US, TASR reports
on 17 May. In an interview with Slovak TV on the 16th, Meciar
said that he will discuss issues such as "the future world order
and security systems, international cooperation, and Slovakia's
place in the world." Slovak officials have informed journalists
that Meciar will meet with high-ranking representatives of the
IMF and the World Bank and individual congressmen. Meciar is
accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Roman Kovac and Foreign
Ministry State Secretary Jan Lisuch. -Jan Obrman

QUESTIONS SURROUNDING PRIMAKOV VISIT TO PRAGUE. The four-day
visit (12-15 May) to the Czech Republic of Evgenii Primakov,
director of Russia's foreign intelligence service, attracted
considerable interest in the Czech press. A joint press conference
by Primakov and Czech Interior Minister Jan Ruml scheduled for
14 May was canceled, and spokesmen merely informed journalists
about an agreement to share information on organized crime, including
drug and arms trafficking. In a commentary published on 15-May,
Mlada fronta dnes claimed that no other foreign intelligence
official had spent so much time in Prague since the toppling
of the communist regime and no other had been granted an audience
with the Czech foreign minister and a deputy prime minister.
The editorial pointed out that if the two sides exclusively discussed
organized crime, then police officials should have been involved
which, the daily said, was not the case. Rude pravo reported
on the same day that Czech officials demanded a list of Czech
KGB collaborators. According to the paper, Primakov turned down
the request for the time being. -Jan Obrman

HUNGARY ABOLISHES OFFICE OF DEFENSE INDUSTRY. The government
decided the abolish the Defense Industry Office and incorporate
its function into the Ministry for Industry and Trade, MTI reported
on 14 May. The 40-member office was set up in December 1991,
but most enterprises belonging to it are under bankruptcy procedures.
Karoly Okolicsanyi

ILIESCU IN SLOVENIA. On 14-16 May Romanian President Ion Iliescu
paid the first ever official visit of a Romanian head of state
to Slovenia. He held talks with President Milan Kucan and other
Slovenian officials. Negotiations were begun on a basic treaty
and embassies in each other's capitals. A considerable part of
the discussion was developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other
parts of former Yugoslavia. Radio Bucharest quoted Iliescu as
stating that Romania is willing to back the efforts of the international
community to find a peaceful solution to the Bosnian conflict;
Iliescu and Kucan agreed that the Vance-Owen plan is the only
possible point of departure. Iliescu was scheduled to meet Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic on 16 May. Izetbegovic could not
come to Ljubljana, reportedly for security reasons, and Iliescu
hopes to see him in Zagreb, where the Romanian president travels
on 17-May. -Michael Shafir

MACEDONIA AND THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE. The Council of Europe granted
the Republic of Macedonia nonvoting membership on 14 May. Macedonia's
three representatives will be permitted to join in Council debates
and participate on commissions but will not have a vote, according
to AFP. -Duncan Perry

MACEDONIA DEVALUES CURRENCY. The Macedonian denar was again devalued
on 16-May, only a week after it became the sole currency of the
republic, MILS and Western agencies reported. The new exchange
rate is 12.94 denars to the German mark, as compared with the
previous rate of 8.028. The new rate takes effect on 17 May.
The devaluation is meant to bring the exchange rate in line with
the black market rate. -Duncan Perry

BULGARIAN JUSTICE MINISTER DIES. Misho Valchev has died after
an heart attack, BTA reported on 15 May. An expert on commercial
law and especially foreign trade issues, the 73-year-old Valchev
was appointed minister in December 1992. -Kjell Engelbrekt

SHUSHKEVICH CRITICAL OF CIS COLLECTIVE SECURITY PACT. In an article
printed in a number of Belarusian newspapers on 14 May, Supreme
Soviet Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich criticized Prime Minister
Vyacheslau Kebich, Foreign Minister Pyotr Krauchenka, Defense
Minister Pavel Kazlouski, 20-parliamentary deputies, and 3 directors
of military-industrial enterprises for their support of the CIS
collective security pact. The Supreme Soviet approved membership
in the CIS security pact last month on the condition that Belarus
retain control of its own troops. Since then Shushkevich has
been calling for a national referendum on the issue. Shushkevich
accused supporters of the pact of trading sovereignty for cheap
oil. He said this would reduce Belarus to being a satellite and
would still not guarantee the cheap oil or that Belarus would
not have to participate in military operations in trouble spots
outside the republic. The article was apparently the first time
Shushkevich specifically and publicly named the supporters of
the pact. -Ustina Markus

KRAVCHUK AT THE MOSCOW SUMMIT. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk,
appearing at the news conference of CIS heads of state after
the summit, said that Ukraine had "always" favored economic integration
of the CIS states. At the same time, he said he has reservations
regarding the term "economic union," because there are those
for whom the term "union" has negative connotations. As a result,
he continued, Ukraine proposes that another formulation be arrived
at without rejecting the idea of economic integration. The Ukrainian
leader also noted that he is pleased with President Boris Yeltsin's
stage-by-stage approach to the process of economic integration.
On security issues, Kravchuk said that Ukraine will, for the
time being, take part only in the military technical aspects
of collective security. -Roman Solchanyk

YELTSIN-SNEGUR MEETING. Yeltsin and Moldovan President Mircea
Snegur held a previously scheduled official meeting on 15 May,
in connection with the CIS summit. According to the communique
as reported by Basapress, the two noted with satisfaction that
the ceasefire on the Dniester is holding and "highly appreciated
the activity of the Russian-Moldovan-Dniester peacekeeping forces."
Yeltsin urged the parties to the conflict to agree expeditiously
on "a special status of the Transdniester region within the structure
of the Republic of Moldova" on the basis of a delimitation of
powers between them. Yeltsin and Snegur agreed that "the withdrawal
of Russian troops from Moldova will be synchronized with the
establishment of the Transdniester's special status." Chisinau
has long offered the Transdniester a substantial degree of autonomy,
but the Russian insurgent leaders there, supported by Russia's
14th Army, insist on full statehood in a confederal arrangement
with Moldova. Snegur's apparent endorsement of the Russian-dominated
peacekeeping mechanism and linking the withdrawal of Russian
troops with the political settlement of the Dniester conflict
are major concessions, which the Moldovan leadership'are necessitated
bylack of international attention and support for Moldova. -Vladimir
Socor

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT TO DEBATE START-1. The Presidium of the
Ukrainian Parliament has placed START-1 on the agenda for the
18-21 May session, with the debate likely to be conducted towards
the end of the week, according to a Radio Ukraine report of 14-May.
The parliament is also to discuss the draft military doctrine
and foreign policy concept. The debate appears to have been brought
forward in the wake of Ambassador Strobe Talbott's recent visit
to Kiev, since earlier reports had indicated the treaty would
not be discussed until June. The parliament was expected to conduct
a number of hearings before voting on the treaty itself. It thus
appears possible that the initial plenary debate on the treaty
might not result in a final vote and that further hearings might
be required. -John Lepingwell

TALBOTT VISIT TO ESTONIA. After visiting Russia, Ukraine, Armenia,
and Azerbaijan, on 14 and 15 May a US delegation, headed by Strobe
Talbott, President Bill Clinton's advisor on affairs in the former
Soviet Union, spent two days in Estonia, BNS reports. The delegation
held meetings with President Lennart Meri, Prime Minister Mart
Laar, and representatives of the Russian-speaking community.
Talbott stressed US support for the speedy and complete withdrawal
of Russian troops without conditions. He praised Estonia's radical
economic reforms, noting that could serve as a model for other
former Soviet republics. -Saulius Girnius

BELARUS, INDIA AGREE ON COOPERATION. Prime Minister Vyacheslau
Kebich signed agreements with India on defense, science and technical
and economic cooperation, Reuters reported on 14 May. Kebich
was in New Delhi on a three-day official visit. Kebich earlier
spent two days in the United Arab Emirates discussing trade and
economic relations with a view toward promoting UAE investment
in Belarus, Postfaktumradie reported on 12 May. -Ustina Markus


VALUE OF LITHUANIAN COUPON RISES. The exchange rate for the coupon
(Lithuania's provisional currency) has improved against hard
currencies, Radio Lithuania reported on 14-May. For example,
one US-dollar was worth about 500 coupons compared to 550-560
coupons earlier in the week. It is doubtful that the higher value
of the coupon can be maintained, since the increase was not prompted
by any improvements in Lithuania's economy, but by an increase
in the supply of hard currencies. Reacting to the requirement
that banks transfer 12% of their hard currency reserves to the
Bank of Lithuania hard-currency account, many commercial banks
sold hard currencies. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Erik Whitlock and Charles Trumbull









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