The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. - George Bernard Shaw
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 96, 21 May 1993





RUSSIA



PARLIAMENT SPLITS OVER CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY. At its 20 May
session, the Russian parliament decided to continue work on the
draft Constitution produced by its own Constitutional Commission,
rather than the draft prepared by Yeltsin's aides. According
to Russian television newscasts, the parliament also formed a
working commission to consider the possibility of taking part
in a constitutional assembly that Yeltsin has proposed to convene
in June to discuss his draft of a new Constitution. The legislature,
however, failed to come to any decision on the issue, as many
deputies, including the speaker, Ruslan Khasbulatov, argued that
the parliament should not be involved in any unconstitutional
activities, such as the aforementioned assembly, whereas Khasbulatov's
deputy, Nikolai Ryabov, as well as the chairmen of both chambers
have reasoned that lawmakers could not ignore major political
realities. Julia Wishnevsky

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT STARTS HEARING ON TELEVISION. The Constitutional
Court's hearing on the resolution on the state television, adopted
at the ninth session of the Congress of People's Deputies, began
on 20 May. The resolution provides for setting up a Supervisory
Committee to represent all political factions in parliament.
The Russian Information Minister, Mikhail Fedotov, argued at
the hearing that such a committee will reinstate censorship in
Russian television. Meanwhile, journalist Andrei Isaev told RFE/RL,
also on 20 May, that the program "Two versions," which was supposed
to demonstrate the pros and cons of calling a Constitutional
Assembly to adopt a new Russian Constitution, was banned on 19
May by the deputy chairmen of its "Political" studio, Leonid
Radzikhovsky, because he found the arguments of those who oppose
such an idea better presented than that those who support it.
Julia Wishnevsky

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UPHOLDS INDEPENDENCE OF IZVESTIYA. On 19
May, according to Russian TV newscasts, the Russian Constitutional
Court ruled unconstitutional the parliament's resolution on the
Moscow newspaper, Izvestiya. Once the property of the USSR Supreme
Soviet, the newspaper became independent following the August
1991 attempted coup d'etat; last year, however, the Russian legislature
suddenly attempted to deprive the paper of its independence and
to put Izvestiya under control of the Russian parliament. Julia
Wishnevsky

COALITION OF "CENTRIST FORCES" TO BE FORMED IN RUSSIA? ON 20
MAY THE CIVIC UNION HELD A CONFERENCE, AIMED AT FORMING A BROAD
COALITION OF ALL "CENTRIST" POLITICAL FORCES EXISTING IN RUSSIA.
Presided by vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi and the leader of
the Civic Union Vasilii Lipitsky, the meeting was attended by
the leaders of the Union of the Democratic Left. Russian television
coverage of the meeting also showed some prominent anti-communist
politicians, such as economist Stanislav Shatalin and philosopher
Aleksandr Tsipko present at the meeting. The participants signed
a resolution, stating their determination to prevent reinstatement
of totalitarianism and regime of personal power, as well as willingness
to call early parliamentary and presidential elections. They
agreed that a new centrist coalition will form a united bloc
for the next elections. Julia Wishnevsky

YELTSIN MEETS HEADS OF ADMINISTRATION. On 20 May, Yeltsin met
the new heads of administrations (governors) of several Russia's
regions elected to office on 25 April. Yeltsin promised to improve
his relations with the heads of administrations while examining
the situation in each region separately. According to Russian
Television newscasts, all the heads of the administrations present
at the meeting voiced their support for the activities of the
Russian president and approved his idea of adopting of a new
constitution by a constitutional assembly. Julia Wishnevsky

GORBACHEV MAY BE SUED FOR LIBEL. On 18 May, according to the
Russian television newscasts, the Moscow government announced
its intention to bring an action against former Soviet president,
Mikhail Gorbachev. According to the mayor's office the offending
remark occurred in Gorbachev's interview with Moscow Television,
in which he had alleged that the city's government had constructed
10 to 12 three-story mansions in the Moscow suburbs and urged
that the source of funding for building these dachas be investigated.
The spokesman denied the accuracy of Gorbachev's allegation.
Julia Wishnevsky

SHAKHRAI WARNS OF UNREST IF CONSTITUTION NOT ADOPTED. Russian
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai told the country's main
literary weekly, Literaturnaya gazeta, on 19 May that Yeltsin's
draft constitution must be adopted and new parliamentary elections
held to avoid a "revolutionary situation." He said that if a
constituent assembly as proposed by Yeltsin does not convene
to adopt a constitution, Russia will be driven to military dictatorship
or civil war. Both the president's associates and parliamentary
deputies have been issuing such warnings of upcoming civil war
recently. Vera Tolz

TREASURY BONDS AUCTIONED. The Russian Central Bank held its first
treasury bond auction on 18 May, Russian and Western agencies
reported. Officials see such sales eventually replacing inflationary
lending from the Central Bank as the chief means of financing
Russia's enormous state budget deficit. The face value of the
non-interest bearing, three-month bonds is 100,000 rubles. According
to Rossiskaya gazeta on 21 May, the bonds were generally sold
to primary brokers at a discount of 16.8% or 83,200 rubles. In
order for the bonds to be more broadly traded, however, they
will presumably be more sharply discounted to compensate investors
for the current, significantly higher, three-month inflation
rate more fully. The bank raised 750 million from the sales and
reportedly has plans to auction off another 500-600 billion rubles
worth by the year's end. Even still, the amount will represent
only a small share of the Russian state budget which at present
stands, officially, at 7-8 trillion rubles. Erik Whitlock

PARLIAMENT PASSES AMENDMENTS TO LAW ON DRAFT. According to an
ITAR-TASS report of 19 May, the Russian parliament has voted
to amend the law on military service that it passed just a few
months ago. The amendments place an upper age limit on the draft
deferment for secondary and technical school education and remove
deferments for students in non-accredited educational institutions.
The law will also now allow the Russian military to recruit citizens
of CIS states if Russian troops are deployed on their territory
in accordance with an inter-state treaty. (Russian forces are
already doing so in some states, and even in the "Dniester republic.")
The Russian military estimates that this will make another 117,000
men liable for the spring call-up, but given the high rate of
draft-dodging, this seems unlikely to solve the personnel shortfall
problem. John Lepingwell

US-RUSSIAN TALKS ON BOSNIA. U.S Secretary of State Warren Christopher
and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev moved toward agreement
on joint cooperation in a peace plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina after
a second round of talks on the evening of 20 May, RFE/RL's Washington
correspondent reported. Christopher told reporters after the
talks that discussions had produced accord in several areas.
ITAR-TASS reported that Kozyrev will have a meeting with U.S.
President Bill Clinton on 21 May. Both Christopher and Kozyrev
refused to give details of the areas of agreement prior to talking
to the foreign ministers of Britain and France. Suzanne Crow


SHAIMIEV SAYS TATARSTAN WILL DISCUSS DRAFT CONSTITUTION. The
Tatarstan parliament voted on 19 May to include on its agenda
the question of examining the draft Russian constitution, which
it had rejected on 17 May, ITAR-TASS reported. The decision was
taken after a speech by Tatarstan president Mintimer Shaimiev.
Shaimiev told ITAR-TASS that Tatarstan's participation in the
discussions was in accord with its parliament's call for the
treaty-constitutional relations of Tatarstan with Russia to be
enshrined in the Russian constitution. Shaimiev said that, as
a member of the working group set up by Yeltsin to work on the
draft, he would defend the stance of Tatarstan and the other
republics as regards the state structure of the Russian Federation.
Ann Sheehy

DUDAEV TO DECLARE CHECHNYA AN ISLAMIC REPUBLIC? UNCONFIRMED REPORTS
THAT CHECHEN PRESIDENT DZHOKHAR DUDAEV WAS IN BEIRUT FROM 16-18
MAY WHERE HE "TOOK PART IN A MEETING OF RELIGIOUS FIGURES OF
THE ISLAMIC WORLD" HAVE REVIVED RUMORS IN GROZNYI THAT DUDAEV
MAY BE PREPARING TO DECLARE CHECHNYA AN ISLAMIC REPUBLIC AND
HIMSELF IMAM, ITAR-TASS REPORTED ON 20 MAY. Dudaev's aim would
be to win the fanatical believers over to his side in his conflict
with the opposition. Another report by ITAR-TASS on 20 May from
Groznyi said that the government of national trust headed by
Yaragi Mamodaev, which was recently organized on the initiative
of parliament and the opposition, was becoming a real force in
the republic against the background of "the complete paralysis
of the presidential structures." Ann Sheehy CIS

CIS INTERPARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY TO MEET ON 23 MAY. The third
plenary session of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (IPA)
will open in St. Petersburg on 23 May, ITAR-TASS reported on
19 May. There are more than 20 items on the agenda, among the
more important of which are recommendations for legislation on
such matters as foreign investment. The session will also discuss
raising the defense capability of the CIS states, and ecological
concerns. Representatives of Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Ukraine,
who are not members of the IPA, will take part as observers.
It will be the first time that Ukraine has attended a plenary
session of the IPA. Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA ND CENTRAL ASIA

ABKHAZ, GEORGIANS ACCUSE EACH OTHER OF VIOLATING CEASEFIRE. Georgian
Defense Ministry officials charged on 20 May that Abkhaz forces
had violated a ceasefire due to take effect at midnight the previous
day, Western agencies reported. Abkhaz parliament chairman Vladislav
Ardzinba was quoted by Russian Radio as claiming that his forces
had been ordered to comply with the ceasefire, but that Georgian
troops continued to bombard Abkhaz positions along the Gumista
River. Meanwhile Russian President Yeltsin's special envoy in
Abkhazia, Boris Pastukhov, held talks with Abkhaz and Georgian
representatives in Gudauta and Sukhumi on 19-20 May. Liz Fuller


NAGORNO-KARABAKH REJECTS NEW PEACE PROPOSAL. The representative
in Erevan of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Manvel
Sarkisyan, stated on 20 May that the NKR had rejected the US-Turkish-Russian
proposal for a settlement of the Karabakh conflict because Turkey
was violating UN resolution 822 on Karabakh by preventing the
delivery of humanitarian aid to Armenia, AFP reported. A second
NKR official was quoted on 19 May as saying that any peace plan
sponsored by Turkey was unacceptable. Liz Fuller

AZERBAIJAN PARLIAMENT CRITICIZES NAKHICHEVAN-ARMENIAN RAPPROCHEMENT.
In the course of a stormy debate in the Azerbaijan National Assembly,
parliament deputy speaker Tamerlan Karaev condemned as "a betrayal
of the people's interests" the agreement signed on 14 May on
the Armenia-Nakhichevan border by Nakhichevan parliament chairman
Geidar Aliev and the first deputy chairman of the Armenian parliament,
Ara Sarkisyan, Assa-Irada reported on 19 May. The two sides agreed
to work towards a lasting ceasefire along their shared frontier
and a halt to the economic blockade of Nakhichevan. Aliev, who
is increasingly perceived as a potential replacement to Azerbaijan's
ineffective president Abulfaz Elchibey, has repeatedly been criticized
for conducting an autonomous foreign policy without consulting
the Azerbaijani leadership in Baku. Liz Fuller

OPPOSITION GROUP SURRENDERS IN TAJIKISTAN. A group of 26 anti-government
fighters has surrendered to the Tajik authorities, ITAR-TASS,
quoting an official of Tajikistan's National Security Committee,
reported on 20 May. The official said that a number of such small
groups of anti-government fighters continue to exist in the mountains;
they represent no real threat to the state, in his opinion, but
they destabilize the regions in which they are active and terrorize
the local inhabitants. The previous day, Khovar-TASS reported
that Tajikistan's State Prosecutor has finished his investigation
of the four opposition parties and movements that attempted to
oust the country's Communists and their supporters in 1992. The
present government accuses these organizations --the Islamic
Renaissance Party, the Democratic Party, and the nationalist
movements Rastokhez and Lali Badakhshan--of fomenting the civil
war. Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



KUCHMA RESIGNS. Following parliament's failure to renew his special
powers, Ukrainian Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma announced his
resignation on 20 May, Western agencies report. The same day
President Leonid Kravchuk proposed taking over as head of the
cabinet with executive powers, abolishing the post of prime minister,
and creating a new vice presidency. Such a reorganization would
give the president and his government the powers necessary to
proceed with implementing economic reforms. The Supreme Soviet
has not yet decided whether to accept Kuchma's resignation and
accept Kravchuk's constitutional changes. Ustina Markus

SOLIDARITY VOTES TO BRING DOWN POLISH GOVERNMENT. Solidarity's
National Commission voted overwhelmingly on 19 May to instruct
the union's parliamentary caucus to submit a motion to dismiss
the government. The vote was 76 to 3 with one abstention. A motion
for a no-confidence vote, with 53 signatures, was duly submitted
to the Sejm late on 19 May. The constitution requires a one-week
waiting period before the Sejm can consider the motion. The union
opted against calling an immediate general strike, and instead
set up a committee to make preparations should the no-confidence
vote fail. A handful of speakers, including parliamentary caucus
leader Bogdan Borusewicz, argued that bringing down the government
would merely promote instability and that future governments
might be more hostile to Solidarity, but these arguments fell
on deaf ears. Rzeczpospolita reports that the unionists referred
to the government as oni [them], the term used in the past for
the communist authorities. In a rather bizarre move, the union
forbade its parliamentary representatives from participating
in the formation of a new government should the Suchocka cabinet
fall, on the grounds that the union should stay out of politics.
Louisa Vinton

THE CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS. To succeed, Solidarity's no-confidence
vote will require an absolute majority of the deputies present
for the vote (abstentions count as nay votes). According to PAP's
reckoning, the government can count on support from the coalition's
177 members, while 123 members of the opposition will almost
certainly support the motion to dismiss the government. The stance
of the remaining 150 deputies is unclear, but the government's
fate is likely to rest in the hands of the 59 deputies from the
postcommunist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD). The SLD has already
offered to support the government in return for agreement to
hold early parliamentary elections. The government has hinted
it is willing to bargain on this issue. Should the government
fall in the no-confidence vote, President Lech Walesa would have
two options: to dismiss the government or dissolve the parliament.
Should the Sejm fail to elect a new prime minister on the same
day it votes down the government, the president gets the first
chance to nominate a new candidate. Should the government survive
the no-confidence vote, no similar motion could be lodged for
three months. Louisa Vinton

SOLIDARITY'S WARSAW REGION ON STRIKE. Many observers attribute
the escalation of hostilities between Solidarity and the government
to rivalry between radicals and moderates within the union. Warsaw
region leader Maciej Jankowski, who is widely seen as a rival
to union chairman Marian Krzaklewski, has demanded not only the
ouster of the government but the dissolution of the parliament.
Solidarity's Warsaw region declared a general strike on 20 May,
and public transportation workers walked out on 21 May. Jankowski
claimed that most major plants were affected, but the regional
strike committee announced that only 30-35% of Solidarity locals
took active part in the strike. Local plant directors reported
that the protest was limited in most cases to symbolic measures
that did not interfere with production. Rzeczpospolita's editorial
for 21 May argued that the Warsaw strike suggested that Solidarity's
"thundering threats could prove to be merely a distant echo of
past glory." Louisa Vinton

UDF SUBMITS NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION. Some 74 legislators of the
Union of Democratic Forces have demanded a vote of no-confidence
against the Bulgarian government, local dailies reported on 20
May. The demand was accompanied by a declaration accusing Prime
Minister Lyuben Berov of being ultimately responsible for clashes
between police and UDF demonstrators in front of the National
Assembly on 13 May. UDF group leader Stefan Savov was struck
to the ground during the scuffles. Some observers say the confidence
vote might be taken before the end of May. Kjell Engelbrekt

BOSNIAN SITUATION UPDATE. On 19 May Bosnian Serb officials announced
the final results of the two-day referendum: 96% rejected the
Vance-Owen peace plan and 96% backed the creation of an independent
Serb state in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Bosnian Serb assembly adopted
what it calls a "peace declaration," saying the Bosnian Serbs
have halted all military activities and are ready to launch peace
initiatives. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic says Serbs
would be willing to accept a confederation with Croatian and
Muslim state units but emphasized that both Croats and Serbs
prefer the establishment of their own "independent states with
the right to link themselves to their mother countries." The
Bosnian Serb chief of general staff Gen. Manojlo Milovanovic
repeated Gen. Ratko Mladic's threat to bomb London, saying that
this "is the view of the general staff." He added that while
"the whole world knows that we cannot reach London or New York
with our aircraft . . . [there are] Serbs in London, New York,
Australia, and wherever they are needed." Elsewhere, Bosnian
Croats say the latest cease-fire has been "seriously violated"
by Muslims in Konjic, Vitez, and Travnik. Mostar is reporting
relative calm as UN Commander Philippe Morillon oversees the
release of civilians detained there. An UNPROFOR spokeswoman
says ethnic cleansing in the Mostar area has assumed "large-scale
proportions." No major violations of a cease-fire between Bosnian
Serbs and Muslims have been reported. Radios Serbia and Croatia
carried the reports on 19 and 20 May. Milan Andrejevich

ILIESCU IN BELGRADE. On the last leg of his visits to former
Yugoslav republics, Romanian President Ion Iliescu held talks
in Belgrade on 19 May with the president of the rump Yugoslav
federation, Dobrica Cosic, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic,
and with the president of Montenegro, Momir Bulatovic. Radio
Bucharest quoted Iliescu as saying Romania opposes foreign military
intervention in Bosnia and supports a phased implementation of
the Vance-Owen peace plan, in spite of its "imperfections." Iliescu
repeatedly emphasized that his country wants a quick solution
to the sanctions problem, because the cost to Romania is very
high. An adviser to president Cosic was quoted by Western agencies
as saying Iliescu had offered his country's "good services" for
the purpose of achieving a normalization of relations between
the former Yugoslav republics. Michael Shafir

WEU SIGNS DANUBE BLOCKADE ACCORD. In Rome on 20 May Bulgaria,
Hungary, and Romania signed accords with the Western European
Union to tighten the Danube blockade on rump Yugoslavia. They
also agreed on steps to help enforce the blockade. The WEU will
provide nonmilitary boats and manpower to patrol the Danube.
The three East European signatories will contribute manpower
to the patrols, in addition to those already established on the
river. Meanwhile, on 19 May a spokesman for the Romanian Ministry
of Foreign Affairs rejected the accusations included in a diplomatic
note from the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry one day earlier.
The note and the Romanian response were carried by Radio Bucharest.
The Ukrainians accuse Romania of illegally detaining 76 shipments
of iron ore in Galati and 34 other ships with miscellaneous cargoes
in Calafat. Kiev says that the ore shipments had been on the
river before iron ore was added to the list of UN-embargoed goods.
Bucharest says the Security Council resolution came into force
on 26 April, when the Ukrainian transports were in Romanian territorial
waters; Romania has asked the sanctions committee to rule on
the matter. Michael Shafir

OWEN IN MINSK, KIEV. Following a meeting with International mediator
Lord David Owen in Minsk on 20 May, Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislau
Shushkevich said that participation by Belarusian troops in UN
peacekeeping forces in former Yugoslavia would not be in conflict
with the country's neutrality, Western agencies report. Shushkevich
went on to say that the government and parliament would first
have to examine such a move and that any soldiers taking part
in such a mission would be volunteers. Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg
met with President Leonid Kravchuk and other Ukrainian officials
on 20 May to discuss the implementation of the peace plan. Owen
told reporters that the UN-backed plan is not dead despite its
rejection by Bosnian Serbs in a referendum last week. He asked
Ukraine to help implement the plan by sending more personnel
to join the UN peace-keeping forces. Ukraine already has about
400 troops in former Yugoslavia. Ustina Markus

CZECH REPUBLIC PROTESTS MECIAR'S REMARKS. On 19 May, the Czech
Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed a note to the Slovak Embassy
in Prague, demanding that Premier Vladimir Meciar explain his
remarks in a recent interview with Der Spiegel. In the interview
Meciar answered a question about Slovakia's claim on some of
the former federation's gold reserves currently held by the Czech
Republic by pointing out that Czech energy supplies are delivered
via gas and oil pipelines across Slovak territory. The spokesman
said that Czech Foreign Ministry officials are "extremely concerned
that the remark is an implied threat to use the pipelines as
leverage to extract concessions from the Czech Republic in Czech-Slovak
talks on the division of former Czechoslovakia's assets. Jiri
Pehe

MECIAR IN WASHINGTON. An RFE/RL correspondent reports that Vladimir
Meciar, on an unofficial visit to Washington, told reporters
on 19 May that his country will temporarily increase weapons
exports to help pay for the eventual conversion of Slovakia's
arms industry. The Slovak Premier said that the resumption of
arms production will not reach even 50% of the republic's former
output levels and the increased production will be maintained
only long enough to raise the funds necessary to be used for
long-term conversion of the arms industry. Meciar also said that
Slovakia's economic orientation toward Western markets is irreversible,
but that his nation still has not won the international recognition
and support it needs to achieve success. During his visit, Meciar
met with US officials as well as with representatives of the
International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, pushing for greater
recognition and loans from the two financial institutions. Jiri
Pehe

HUNGARIAN JOURNALIST UNION ON RADIO AND TV. The steering committee
of the National Federation of Hungarian Journalists (MUOSZ) condemned
as "professionally, legally, and ethically unacceptable" recent
personnel and organizational changes by Hungarian Radio and TV
deputy chairmen, MTI reported on 19 May. MUOSZ charged that radio
and TV have been taken over by "political forces from which the
government has already distanced itself in other spheres of political
life," a reference to the radical group within the Hungarian
Democratic Forum. Warning that public radio and TV could be used
as a "one-sided tool in the election campaign," MUOSZ urged that
a law governing the supervision of public radio and television
be enacted as soon as possible. A group in MUOSZ protested, however,
that the steering committee failed to consult the membership
about its statement and charged that MUOSZ violated its bylaws
by interfering in daily politics. Edith Oltay

MOLDOVANS ON TRIAL IN TIRASPOL. Six members of the local chapter
of the Moldovan Popular Front are currently on trial in the "Dniester
republic" in Tiraspol, charged with the killing of two local
militia officers in last year's fighting and with having plotted
with Moldovan security services (albeit unsuccessfully) to blow
up various public buildings and assassinate "Dniester" leaders.
The six have been under arrest since May 1992 but local authorities
have taken a full year to bring them to trial. One of the accused
has agreed to testify for the prosecution while the other five
totally reject the charges. The local Russian media have created
an incendiary atmosphere around the trial, and local Russian
communist groups are conducting a signature campaign for the
death penalty. Vladimir Socor

LITHUANIAN-RUSSIAN NEGOTIATIONS. On 20 May Virgilijus Bulovas,
the head of the Lithuanian negotiating team, told a press conference
that the Russian troop withdrawal remains on schedule although
ammunition from two depots will be withdrawn later, Radio Lithuania
reports. No agreements were signed during the talks on 18-19
May because the Russian side lacked authorization to do so. Both
sides set priority issues for the next round of talks to be held
in Moscow in the first part of June that also include a most-favored-nation
trade agreement and the transfer of navigation equipment to Lithuania.
The question of reparations for the losses Lithuania suffered
under 50 years of Soviet occupation will be discussed only after
the completion of the troop withdrawal Saulius Girnius

ESTONIA PASSES LOCAL ELECTIONS LAW. On 19 May, by a vote of 52
to 9 with 1 abstention, parliament passed a law on local elections
that are scheduled for 17 October, BNS reports. Noncitizens and
citizens of other countries are allowed to vote if they have
been residing in the election area for the past five years, but
can not run as candidates. Estonian citizens, 18 years and older,
can be candidates and are allowed to vote if they have been local
residents since the beginning of the year. Saulius Girnius

DESPITE SCANDALS, LATVIA TO GET PHARE AID. In its efforts to
get to the bottom of the $400-million promissory note scandal,
the Latvian Supreme Council heard the report of Ilze Jurkane,
the former president of Latvia's Investment Bank, on 18 May.
Jurkane admitted to procedural errors in the issuance of the
notes, for which she resigned. As a consequence of this affair,
the EBRD has suspended further credits to Latvia until September.
On 19 May, however, the European Commission announced that it
is allocating $18 million from its PHARE fund for programs to
reform the banking sector, modernize public administration, deal
with unemployment, and restructure the Latvian agricultural sector,
an RFE/RL correspondent in Brussels reports. Dzintra Bungs

ZOTOV: TROOPS WILL LEAVE LATVIA ON RUSSIA'S TERMS. On 20 May
Sergei Zotov, head of the Russian delegation for talks on the
withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia, told the press that
his country considers Latvia's desire to have all the troops
out by the end of this year to be an ultimatum; he stressed that
the troops can be withdrawn when the conditions are suitable
for Russia. Withdrawal is linked with housing, social welfare
guarantees for servicemen, and other basic matters, Zotov said.
The latest round of Latvian-Russian talks is to conclude today
in Jurmala with the signing of several specific accords. The
next round is set for 31 May in Moscow, Baltic media report.
Dzintra Bungs

TEACHERS' STRIKE IN LITHUANIA ENDS. On 20 May a conference of
teachers decided to end the strike for higher wages they had
begun on 13 May, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports. The number
of strikers and affected schools had already declined by about
a half, and a further continuation of the strike would have disrupted
the entire school year, since final exams begin in early June.
The strikers will suffer serious financial losses since their
summer salaries will be based on May salaries that do not include
the days they were striking. On 17 May Prime Minister Adolfas
Slezevicius established a committee--excluding representatives
of the strikers--to recommend by 31 May ways to solve education
problems. Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Erik Whitlock 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
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