The business of art lies just in this--to make that understood and felt which, in the form of an argument, might be incomprehensible and inaccessible. - Leo Tolstoy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 95, 19 May 1993







RUSSIA



POSSIBLE PERSONNEL CHANGES PREDICTED. The Ministry of Security
Viktor Barannikov may be replaced by his liberal deputy, Evgenii
Savostyanov, by the end of this month, Sovetskaya Rossiya reported
on 15 May, quoting a Radio Liberty correspondent. The newspaper
also stated that the Russian ambassador to France, Yurii Ryzhov,
is now considered by President Boris Yeltsin as best candidate
for the post of Secretary of the Security Council. In a recent
interview in Vek (#18), Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev accused
the former Secretary of the Security Council Yurii Skokov of
having attempted to transform the Security Council into an office
resembling a Central Committee department. Kozyrev suggested
that Skokov may in future become an ally of Vice-President Aleksandr
Rutskoi. -Alexander Rahr

STEPASHIN EMPHASIZES CENTRIST POSITION. The head of the parliamentary
Committee for Defense and Security, Sergei Stepashin, told the
independent Moscow newspaper Segodnya on 18 May that the new
Secretary of the Security Council will be nominated this week
and the composition of the apparatus of the council will be changed.
He complained about plans of the parliament's leadership to restructure
the legislature and to abolish his committee. He said that his
committee, which exercises parliamentary control over the army,
state security, foreign intelligence and interior ministry, is
staffed mainly with representatives of these institutions or
deputies who maintain on centrist political positions. He warned
that the polarization in Russian politics has "phased out the
centrist factions." Speaking about reorganizations in the Interior
Ministry, he suggested that the system of prison camps should
be reorganized. -Alexander Rahr

STEPASHIN SAYS START-2 RATIFICATION TO BE DELAYED. In his interview
with Segodnya, Stepashin noted that ratification of the START-2
treaty depended on a number of conditions. Stepashin suggested
that during the START-2 ratification process the treaty should
be supplemented by a protocol or a "gentlemen's agreement" committing
the US and Russia to further reductions in nuclear weapons. Stepashin
also suggested that the other three nuclear powers (China, France,
and Great Britain) might join the agreement as well. He also
stated that he expected START-2 ratification to be delayed until
the end of 1993 so that it does not become a victim of the current
power struggles in Moscow. The proposal for further reductions
is based on concerns that the restructuring of Russian forces
under START-2 will require both the destruction of old forces
and the deployment of an expensive new generation of weapons.
A further reduction in arms would reduce the number of new weapons
required. Stepashin's proposal at present appears unofficial,
but if it becomes a formal precondition insistence on it could
further slow or halt the ratification process. -John Lepingwell


STEPASHIN CLAIMS UKRAINE TRYING TO RETARGET NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
Discussing Ukrainian nuclear weapons, Stepashin pointed out that
START-2 ratification also depends upon Ukraine ratifying START1.
He alleged that Ukraine is attempting to retarget the nuclear
weapons located on its territory, and to break the security systems
that would prevent Ukraine from taking over launch control (or
"operational control") of the weapons. Stepashin stated that
experts from the Russian defense ministry estimated that this
process could take from 8-9 months to a year, which is consistent
with Western estimates. He also warned that Kazakhstan is watching
developments in Ukraine on this issue very closely. Similar charges
have been made before, but they have never come from such a highly-placed
source as Stepashin. Ukraine has denied that it is attempting
to gain control of the weapons. The Ukrainian parliament is expected
to debate the START1 treaty within the next few days, and Stepashin's
comments may be intended to influence that debate. -John Lepingwell


TRIAL OF COUP LEADERS PUT OFF. The trial of the August 1991 coup
organizers was put off again after resuming for only a few hours
on 18 May, Russian television reported The postponement resulted
from arguments made by the defense that the prosecution is not
independent, because its chiefs, the Prosecutor-General Valentin
Stepankov and his deputy Evgenii Lisov, have vested personal
interests in the case. The defense claimed that "Stepankov and
Lisov demonstrated that they serve political parties and the
country's leaders rather than the law." The judge, Anatolii Ukolov,
seemed receptive to the defense's arguments and appealed to the
parliament to address the issue and to confirm the "genuine independence"
of the prosecutors. The date of the next court hearing was not
set. -Julia Wishnevsky

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT PROMISES SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. The
Russian government has passed a resolution announcing a series
of measures to support small businesses, ITAR-TASS reported on
17-May. The resolution envisages new draft laws, changes to existing
legislation and other actions to encourage entrepreneurship.
The measures will include guaranteeing the rights of entrepreneurs
and establishing a simpler process for registering new enterprises
and business activity of individuals. Enterprises working in
priority areas of the economy shall be given special government
assistance, in the form of tax relief, credit, promotion of foreign
trade activity, exemption from custom duties, etc. The priority
sectors listed seem fairly broad and include agriculture, production
of industrial and consumer goods, medicines and medical technology,
services, and certain construction activities. -Sheila Marnie


TOKYO, MOSCOW JOUST OVER KURILS. During a meeting with former
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in Moscow on 18 May,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin called for Tokyo to exercise
greater flexibility in resolving the long dispute over ownership
of the Kuril Islands. According to Kyodo, after the meeting Nakasone
quoted Yeltsin as saying that Russia's current economic difficulties
made it difficult for Moscow to make concessions on the issue;
Yeltsin reportedly urged Tokyo not to exert pressure on Moscow.
Meanwhile, Reuter reported on the same day that Russian Foreign
Ministry officials have denied a report published by Komsomolskaya
pravda on 14 May that alleges that the Foreign Ministry has prepared
a secret plan containing concessions on the territorial issue.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky denied the existence
of such a document. Komsomolskaya pravda reportedly received
its information from hardline parliamentarian Sergei Baburin.
Similar allegations of a secret plan to "give away" the islands
surfaced last summer prior to a planned visit by Boris Yeltsin
to Japan. -Stephen Foye

RUSSIAN BALKANS CAMPAIGN STALLS. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev held talks on 18 May with the presidents of Croatia,
Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, and rump Yugoslavia in an attempt
to gain support for gradual implementation of the Vance-Owen
peace plan. Kozyrev departed from Belgrade empty-handed and continued
to Rome for further talks with European leaders. Russia retracted
its earlier plan to convene a meeting of UN Security Council
foreign ministers for discussions of the Bosnia conflict owing
to reported U.S. opposition. Instead, Kozyrev will hold talks
with U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Western agencies
and ITAR-TASS reported. -Suzanne Crow

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



SHOKHIN: CIS ECONOMIC UNION MUST BENEFIT RUSSIA. Russian deputy
premier Aleksandr Shokhin stated on 18 May that a CIS economic
union should be set up in such a way as to benefit Russia, ITAR-TASS
reported. Shokhin, who was speaking with journalists about the
results of the CIS summit on 14 May, said many CIS states wanted
the economic union to be first and foremost a customs union in
order to obtain duty-free imports of Russian energy products.
Shokhin added that Russia would insist on fairly stringent criteria
for joining the union. Shokhin also said that Russia was trying
to explain to all the CIS states that an economic union would
mean a partial loss of sovereignty, and not only economic but
also political. -Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



AZERBAIJAN OPPOSITION FIGURE APPEALS FOR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION.
Nizami Suleimanov, chairman of the Independent Azerbaijan Party
and runner-up in last year's presidential elections, has appealed
to international human rights organizations for protection against
what he terms persecution by the Azerbaijani authorities, RFE/RL's
Azerbaijani Language Service reported on 14 May. Suleimanov claimed
he has received anonymous letters advising him to leave the country
and that he has been repeatedly summoned to the state prosecutor's
office for questioning concerning "fabricated allegations." -Liz
Fuller

REVISED KARABAKH PEACE PLAN UNVEILED. An amended version of the
CSCE-sponsored peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh drawn up in late
April by the US, Russia and Turkey was submitted to the Armenian
government and the Nagorno-Karabakh representation in Erevan
on 18 May, AFP reported. The new version proposes a withdrawal
of Armenian forces from Kelbadzhar under international supervision
between 29 May and 3 June, and a two-month ceasefire beginning
1 June; the earlier plan stipulated completion of the Armenian
withdrawal from Kelbadzhar by 14 May. Separate rounds of peace
talks in Geneva and Rome would follow in June: originally they
had been proposed for 17-22 May and 24-25-May. Azerbaijan has
accepted the proposal in principle; Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh
remain uncommitted. -Liz Fuller

KYRGYZ PRIME MINISTER SAYS UZBEKISTAN TO DROP SANCTIONS. Kyrgyzstan's
Prime Minister Tursunbek Chyngyshev told RFE/RL on 18 May that
Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov has promised to drop measures
taken by Uzbekistan against Kyrgyzstan in retaliation for the
latter's introduction of its own currency. Reuter, quoting a
journalist in Bishkek, reported the same day that Karimov had
pledged to restore communications links and energy supplies that
had been reduced or cut off over the weekend. The border between
the two countries had been closed, according to Reuter, but is
to be reopened. Uzbekistan resorted to these drastic measures
because it feared that Kyrgyzstan would not honor its old debts.
-Bess Brown

UN OFFERS HELP TO TAJIKISTAN. The head of a group of UN observers
in Tajikistan, Liviu Bota, told a gathering of government officials
and journalists in Dushanbe that UN experts are prepared to help
the country draw up a new constitution, law on elections and
other legal documents, ITAR-TASS reported on 18-May. Bota also
expressed understanding for the political situation in the country,
but warned that the effects of the civil war in 1992 are no justification
for human rights violations. The present government of Tajikistan
has dealt harshly with its opponents, jailing and, according
to some accounts, torturing those opposition leaders it has been
able to capture and issuing arrest warrants for others, claiming
that the nationalist-democratic-Islamic opposition bears sole
responsibility for the civil war. Most recently, international
human rights groups have protested the arrest of noted poet Bozor
Sobir. Bota's rebuke of the government for its human rights record
drew the usual response, that those who have been arrested are
guilty of criminal acts. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



CROATS AND MUSLIMS REACH AGREEMENT. International media report
on 19 May that delegations led by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman
and his Bosnian counterpart Alija Izetbegovic reached an agreement
the previous night to begin implementing the Vance-Owen plan
in the areas under their control. International mediators Lord
Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg led the talks in Medjugorje between
the nominal allies whose forces have clashed again in the past
two weeks amid mutual recriminations. The Croatian news agency
Hina on 19 May quotes Herzegovinian Croat leader Mate Boban as
saying that the latest agreement, which includes a cease-fire,
is "nothing new" but merely a reaffirmation of previous ones.
Izetbegovic noted that he hopes UNPROFOR troops can take up positions
soon in the Konjic area, where the Croats claim that Muslims
are attacking them. Elsewhere, the Washington Post says that
Bosnian Serbs have advanced "a set of radical new demands" as
prerequisites for any Balkan peace. One includes the forced exodus
of "tens of thousands of Muslims" from eastern Bosnia. -Patrick
Moore

CROATIAN UPDATE. The BBC and Hina report on 19-May that the Croatian
government and Serbian rebels concluded a cease-fire the previous
day. It is slated to take effect on 20 May, with more talks scheduled
for the 26th. The BBC quotes UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali
as warning that UNPROFOR troops in Croatia might have to be withdrawn
if the warring sides do not improve their conduct toward the
peace-keepers, whom the Croats in particular accuse of bias.
On another political front, the Croatian and Slovenian prime
ministers led high-level delegations for an informal meeting
near their common border on 15-May. Vecernji list of 17 May described
the talks as an ice-breaking, get-acquainted session behind closed
doors. There are a number of mainly economic and frontier problems
between the two countries, but these could be cleared up quickly
if the main issue, namely mutual mistrust, could be overcome
by statesmanship and good will. Each side accuses the other of
having left it in the lurch during the Yugoslav army's war against
them in 1991. Meanwhile in Split, Western news agencies on 18
May reported that the Croatian authorities are taking legal measures
to prevent the satirical publication Feral Tribune from reappearing.
Finally, the 19 May Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung carries an
appeal by Croatian Cardinal Franjo Kucharic for peace in Bosnia.
He says he cannot apportion blame in the conflict between Croats
and Muslims, but he clearly warns the Croats not to behave toward
the Muslims like the Serbs have behaved toward both groups. Kucharic
adds that the Herzegovinian Croats must bear responsibility for
any harm their actions bring upon the Croatian cause internationally.
-Patrick Moore

ILIESCU IN CROATIA. On 18 May Romanian President Ion Iliescu
continued his official visit to Croatia. He met Croatia's Premier
Nikita Valentic and Foreign Minister Zdenko Skrabalo, with whom
he discussed the Yugoslav situation. Radio Bucharest reported
that Iliescu also discussed ways of boosting bilateral economic
relations with local businessmen at the Zagreb Chamber of Commerce.
Iliescu returns to Romania today after a stopover in Belgrade
to meet with Serbian and federal officials. -Dan Ionescu

MORE BOSNIAN SERB RECRIMINATIONS. On 17-May Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic apologized for a warning by army commander Gen.
Ratko Mladic on the 16th that any Western military intervention
against the Bosnian Serbs would result in the bombing of London,
and implying that Serbian terrorists could strike in Washington
as well. Reuters and Radio Serbia quote Karadzic as calling the
threat "idiotic and irresponsible." Mladic is not authorized
to make statements or decisions of this nature, he said, warning
that the commander could face disciplinary action. According
to Radio Serbia on 18 May, Karadzic now intends to ban all officers
from making political or strategic statements. -Milan Andrejevich


GOVERNMENT-SOLIDARITY TALKS SUSPENDED. Solidarity's spokesman
pronounced as "unsatisfactory" government proposals made during
lengthy talks on 18-May, PAP reports. The government proposed
making a one-time payment in October to teachers, health care
workers, and other public servants, with the exact amount to
be set by a joint union-government commission that would conduct
a review of public finances at mid-year. The government also
invited the union to take part in drafting the 1994 budget, presumably
so that the interests of the "budget sphere" could be better
taken into account. Finally, the government offered to set up
a joint commission to review all unresolved disagreements with
the union. A cabinet session was held during a break in negotiations.
Reporting on the strike situation, Deputy Prime Minister Pawel
Laczkowski predicted that surplus revenues would be available
later in the year, but that the size of the surplus was hard
to judge. The government has repeatedly pledged to devote any
surplus to education and health. Solidarity's National Commission
meets today to assess the government's stance; both a no-confidence
vote and a general strike have been threatened in the event of
the government's failure to meet the union's demands. -Louisa
Vinton

ANTI-WALESA PROTESTERS MARCH IN WARSAW. Demonstrators shouting
"Down with Walesa!" "Traitors!" and "Down with Suchocka!" marched
through Warsaw on 18 May. Police estimated the crowd at 1,500;
the organizers said 5,000 participated. The march, organized
by a dissident local Solidarity organization, was disavowed by
the union leadership. Two former ministers from the Olszewski
government-Jan Parys and Adam Glapinski-were on hand. PAP reports
that the demonstrators, confused by Warsaw landmarks, shouted
"Thieves!" at police forensic headquarters rather than the government's
offices. Some anti-Semitic slogans were also heard, PAP reports.
-Louisa Vinton

WHAT IS WALESA'S GAME? THE PRESIDENT'S POSITION ON THE POLITICAL
IMPLICATIONS OF THE STRIKE REMAINS AMBIGUOUS. For the second
day in a row, Walesa met on 18 May with representatives of the
Network, the informal organization of Solidarity locals from
large industrial plants. Press speculation has long identified
the Network as the likely basis for a "presidential party," should
Walesa take that step. Network activists urged the president
to form a "nonpartisan government of experts" and hinted that
Andrzej Olechowski, the president's economic adviser who was
present at the meeting, would be a suitable candidate to head
such a government. "The current government is a spent force,"
the Network argued, adding that the Sejm is incapable of forming
a better one. In extensive comments reported by PAP, Walesa did
not address the Network's proposals directly but stressed that
no government would be able to solve Poland's problems instantaneously.
"We are always interrupting something," Walesa said. "The time
has come for more lengthy governing. Society needs stability,
but the authorities need stability as well." Almost unnoticed
in the day's events, the president signed into law the government's
mass privatization legislation, Polish TV reports. Mass privatization
will transfer 600 state firms to national investment funds; shares
in the funds will be distributed to the public for a nominal
fee. -Louisa Vinton

POLISH-RUSSIAN TRADE TALKS. Returning from three days of trade
talks in Moscow on 18-May, Deputy Prime Minister Henryk Goryszewski
reported agreement on the joint construction of a gas pipeline
from Russian to Europe through Polish territory. Goryszewski
said the location of the pipeline would enable Russia to make
its natural gas exports to Europe independent of relations with
Lithuania and Ukraine. In return, Poland would receive guaranteed
supplies of natural gas. The two sides failed to reach agreement
on questions of mutual indebtedness, however. Both sides accept
a "zero-sum" solution in principle, but Poland is pressing for
separate compensation for construction work performed in the
Soviet Union. The role of hard currency in current trade also
remained unresolved. Poland rejected Russian proposals to conduct
trade in "national currencies," as this would amount to Polish
subsidies for Russia's economy. Negotiations at the presidential
level may be required to settle the two issues. During talks
with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin, a tentative
date for Russian President Boris Yeltsin's visit to Poland was
set. The visit will take place after the G-7 summit in Tokyo
in July, most likely in September, PAP reports. -Louisa Vinton


CZECHS WEIGH PROTEST OF MECIAR REMARKS. Foreign Minister Josef
Zieleniec told Czech TV that the government is considering a
protest of Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's remarks in
which he linked federal property distribution disputes between
the two successor states of Czechoslovakia with energy supplies
to the Czech Republic. Meciar said in the latest issue of Der
Spiegel that the fact that Czech energy supplies pass through
Slovakia lends weight to Slovak claims on former Czechoslovak
gold and other property. He added that the Czech economy could
not survive more than ten days if deliveries were disrupted.
Zieleniec pointed out that Meciar's remarks are "absolutely unusual
between states, which desire to be on good terms" and that the
dispute over former federal property has been "greatly aggravated"
by them. -Jan Obrman

SLOVAK EXCOMMUNISTS WANT EARLY ELECTIONS. At its regular press
conference, representatives of the ex-communist Party of the
Democratic Left, the second strongest political party in Slovakia,
indicated that they will call for early elections, Slovak Radio
reported on 18 May. The party's Deputy Chairman Pavol Kanis made
it clear that early elections will "not be a waste of time or
money," adding that the same could not be said about a continuation
of Prime Minister Meciar's rule. Kanis also said that the one-party
government has been unsuccessful and that it is time for a broad
coalition to assume responsibility in Bratislava. The PDL has,
so far, spared Meciar's minority government a major defeat in
the parliament and the prime minister has exerted considerable
effort to form a coalition with the PDL. The next congress of
the excommunists, scheduled for 22 and 23-May, will probably
decide whether Meciar's government will receive continued support.
-Jan Obrman

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES CRACKDOWN ON CORRUPTION. During
a cabinet meeting on 18 May, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu
urged government financial officials to step up efforts "to destroy
corruption rings and big smuggling networks." Radio Bucharest
read a communique in which the cabinet stressed his determination
to combat corruption in the economy, social life and administration.
It also pledged to take tougher legal steps against tax evasion
and smuggling. The statement singled out Constanta as the area
"most affected by corruption and smuggling" and said that customs
control would be tightened in that Black Sea port. The cabinet's
reaction came after repeated allegations in the media that government
officials have abused their offices to help or cover up illegal
transactions, smuggling, tax evasion, and bribery. The communique
dismissed such accusations as groundless and spoke of a "disloyal
campaign against some members of the cabinet" in the media. -Dan
Ionescu

BULGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: TURKEY NO THREAT. Addressing a two-day
seminar on national security issues in Sofia, Defense Minister
Valentin Aleksandrov on 18 May said Turkey might qualify as Bulgaria's
"strategic rear," BTA reports. Noting that in the entire postwar
period Turkey has shown no signs of "aggressiveness or intolerance"
toward Bulgaria, Aleksandrov said a concrete military threat
is more likely to originate from the west [where Macedonia and
Serbia are located]. Another attendee at the seminar, Nikolay
Slatinski, a national security expert and UDF deputy, called
on state agencies to coordinate policy-making on security problems.
-Kjell Engelbrekt

KRAVCHUK APPOINTS NEW MINISTER FOR CONVERSION. Ukrainian Radio
reported on 18 May that President Leonid Kravchuk has appointed
Dmytro Chernenko as Minister of Machine-Building, the Military
Industrial Complex and Conversion. The former minister, Viktor
Antonov, has gone into retirement, but the reasons for his sudden
departure have not been stated. -Ustina Markus

KUCHMA REPORTS ON THE ECONOMY. The Ukrainian parliament resumed
its plenary meetings on 18-May and heard Prime Minister Leonid
Kuchma report on the work of his government in introducing economic
reform, Ukrainian TV reports. Kuchma, stressing the need for
strong executive power, asked for an extension of his extraordinary
powers to issue economic decrees for another full year. Stabilization
of the economy, according to the government head, would require
another two to three years. Lawmakers are scheduled to debate
Kuchma's proposals over the next few days. -Roman Solchanyk

BELARUS CONSIDERS REFERENDUM. The Supreme Soviet agreed to put
the issue of a national referendum on its agenda as a new session
opened in Minsk, Radiefakt reported on 18 May. The proposal presented
by Parliament Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich asks citizens to
vote on Belarusian participation in the CIS collective security
pact and on disbanding the Supreme Soviet and holding early elections.
Parliament also agreed to discuss changes to the Constitution
and a draft law on private land ownership supported by Shushkevich.
The deputies refused, however, to put a media law supported by
Shushkevich on their agenda, the RFE/RL Belarusian Service reports.
-Ustina Markus

GRACHEV IN LITHUANIA. On 18 May Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev began a visit to Lithuania, Baltic media report. In his
talks with President Algirdas Brazauskas he said that although
Russia had no wish to delay the withdrawal of Russian troops
past the 31-August deadline, the shortage of railroad cars might
make this necessary. Grachev visited army facilities in Kaunas
and held talks with the Latvian and Estonian defense ministers.
He said that Russian troops could leave Latvia by the end of
1994-except from the Skrunda radar station, the Liepaja naval
harbor, and the communication center near Ventspils-if appropriate
agreements are signed. Russian troops could leave Estonia by
the end of this year if unspecified "necessary compensation"
is paid. On 19 May Grachev will meet with Seimas Chairman Ceslovas
Jursenas, Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, and defense officials
before departing. -Saulius Girnius

RUSSIAN-LITHUANIAN NEGOTIATIONS. On 18 May, after a seven-month
break, negotiations between Russia and Lithuania resumed in Vilnius,
Radio Lithuania reports. Virgilijus Bulovas now heads the much-changed
Lithuanian delegation. Russia has stressed the need to sign a
general political agreement, which Russian President Yeltsin
earlier refused to sign. Working groups have approved agreements
on pensions for former servicemen and military transit from Germany
through Lithuania. -Saulius Girnius

LATVIAN DEPUTIES WANT GODMANIS OUT. Reflecting the growing public
dissatisfaction with the government, 20 deputies from various
parties and parliamentary factions are calling for a vote of
no-confidence in Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis. They are especially
dissatisfied with the government's economic performance and propose
that until a new government is formed, the chairman of the Supreme
Council fulfill also the duties of the prime minister. The Supreme
Council is expected to review Godmanis's performance on 25 May,
Radio Riga report. -Dzintra Bungs

RUBIKS RUNS FOR LATVIAN PARLIAMENT. Alfreds Rubiks, former Latvian
Communist Party leader, is one of the candidates for a seat in
parliament on the Ravnopravie ticket. Rubiks has told the press
that he plans to start a hunger strike on 21 May unless he is
released from detention so that, like other candidates, he can
do some actual campaigning. Rubiks, detained in connection with
the failed August 1991 coup and efforts to overthrow the government
of Latvia, is expected to be brought to trial in mid-June. Election
laws do not preclude his running for parliament while in detention,
Diena reports. -Dzintra Bungs

NOTICE: The RFE/RL Daily Report will not appear tomorrow, 20 May.

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Erik Whitlock and Charles Trumbull





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