|We may live without friends; we may live without books; But civilized man cannot live without cooks. - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton|
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 assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in North America: Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907; Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 8000 Munich 22, Germany;.Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624; Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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