This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joy, and cutteth griefs in half. - Francis Bacon
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 98, 25 May 1993







RUSSIA



PARTIES, ORGANIZATIONS INVITED TO CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY. One
hundred and seventeen political, trade union, and cultural organizations
have been officially invited to send their representatives to
the constitutional assembly which starts its work on 5-June,
Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 25-May. The political parties
are represented by 34-organizations, among them many radical
ones, such as the Liberal-Democratic Party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky
and the Conservative Party of Lev Ubozhko. The constitutional
assembly will include 16 democratic parties, 11 anti-Yeltsin
parties, and 4 centrist parties. According to a prelimary analysis,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin may count on strong support from
the membership of the session. The danger exists, however, that
radicals, such as Zhirinovsky could lead the assembly away from
constructive work. The constitutional assembly may become a test
for how a future new parliament will work. -Alexander Rahr

ATTENDANCE AT CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY. Radio Echo of Moscow learned
on 24-May from President Yeltsin's administration that to date
five republics and 12-krais and oblasts had confirmed their particiption
in Yeltsin's constitutional assembly. The republics are Dagestan,
Kalmykia, Bashkortostan, North Ossetia, and Komi. Almost all
the independent trade unions and the heads of administration
of 13-regions and representatives of 6 religious confessions
have also confirmed their participation. -Ann Sheehy

IMF LOAN FOR RUSSIA TO GO TO NEIGHBORS? RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME
MINISTER ALEXANDER SHOKHIN SUGGESTED AT A NEWS CONFERENCE IN
MOSCOW THAT THE BEST USE OF SOME $3-BILLION FROM THE INTERNATIONAL
MONETARY FUND (ANTICIPATED TO BECOME AVAILABLE TO RUSSIA SOON)
MAY BE TO TRANSFER IT TO OTHER CIS STATES SO THAT THEY CAN PAY
OFF BILLS TO RUSSIA, REUTERS REPORTED ON 24 MAY. Such a policy,
Shokhin said, would also permit Russia to charge its Commonwealth
neighbors world prices, instead of the current highly subsidized
ones, for oil and gas exports and, in turn, to reduce its own
debts to Western creditors -Erik Whitlock

YELTSIN ISSUES DECREE REGULATING MASS RALLIES. On 24 May, Russian
President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree stipulating stricter
procedures for groups wishing to obtain government permits to
hold mass rallies, Russian Television reported. The new regulations
follow violent clashes in Moscow on 1 May between the police
and communist demonstrators. The regulations, referred to in
the decree as "provisional instructions," require organizers
of demonstrations to submit a detailed request to municipal officials
between ten and fifteen days before the event. The application
must contain the date, the form and size of the rally as well
as the names of official organizers. The decree said government
officials could turn down requests if one rally would confict
with another simultaneous gathering, if a demonstration threatens
the normal operation of enterprises and public transport, or
if it threatens the rights and freedoms of citizens. -Vera Tolz


GAIDAR'S COMBACK MAY SPLIT GOVERNMENT. Presidential spokesman
Vyachselav Kostikov told journalists on 19 May that President
Boris Yeltsin will not return the former acting prime minister,
Egor Gaidar, to the present government because such a step could
split the cabinet. He said that Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi
has damaged his career and has no chance to win in future elections,
Izvestiya reported on 21 May. He stated that after the departure
of the Security Council Secretary Yurii Skokov, who opposed Yeltsin,
no major personnel changes are to be expected. He claimed that
Yeltsin should not repeat the previous mistake of meeting parliamentary
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov because the two politicians have different
legitimacies. Such a meeting could boost Khasbulatov's status,
he said. -Alexander Rahr

GAIDAR IN TOKYO; SPARRING OVER AID, VISIT, INDUSTRIAL COOPERATION.
In a meeting with former acting Russian Prime Minister Egor Gaidar
on 24 May, a senior member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic
Party called on Boris Yeltsin to apologize for twice canceling
planned trips to Japan, AFP reported. Hiroshi Mitsuzuka was quoted
as saying that an apology, and a visit, would do much "to restore
relations of trust" between the two countries. According to ITAR-TASS,
the two discussed ways of resolving the Kuril Islands dispute
and potential economic cooperation. On 20-May, AFP reported that
Japan would provide medical and food aid worth some 20 million
yen to inhabitants of the Kuril Islands. Meanwhile, AFP reported
out of Tokyo on 22 May that Japanese and Russian civil aviation
industry representatives have agreed to develop jointly engines
for supersonic aircraft. According to AFP, the Asashi Shimbun
reported the same day that the two sides had also agreed that
Russian managers would be trained in Japan, while Japanese engineers
would be granted access to Russian research facilities. -Stephen
Foye

KOZYREV ON SERBIA, INTERESTS. Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
told reporters on board his flight from Washington to Moscow
on 24 May that Russia must pursue a balanced approach in attempting
to settle the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. He admitted
that Russia has a "special affinity" toward Serbia, but insisted
that Russia's policies are balanced. During the same interview,
Kozyrev expressed outrage at on-going Croatian military action
in Mostar and described this activity as "cheating" on the peace
process, Mayak Radio reported. Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister
Vitalii Churkin traveled to Belgrade on 24 May to discuss the
new peace plan for Bosnia. Churkin met first with leader of the
Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic, Western agencies reported. -Suzanne
Crow

SECOND CONGRESS OF OSSETIAN PEOPLE. The Second Congress of the
Ossetian People, which ended in Vladikavkaz on 22 May, adopted
a number of documents concerning the preservation of the territorial
integrity of Ossetia, economic and political reforms, and questions
of national rebirth, ITAR-TASS reported. Particular attention
was paid to ways of integrating the economy of North and South
Ossetia. The speaker of the North Ossetian parliament, Akhsarbek
Galazov, reiterated that there could be no question of territorial
realignments in the foreseeable future. Altogether 644 delegates
took part in the congress, including representatives of the Ossetian
diaspora from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other parts of the
former USSR, as well as guests from Turkey and Sweden. -Ann Sheehy


STATE OF EMERGENCY IN DAGESTANI RAION. The situation remains
tense in the Khasavyurt raion of Dagestan where a state of emergency
was introduced for one month on 17-May, Ekho Moskvy reported
on 24-May. A dispute over land led to an armed clash between
local Dargins and Kumyks, in which one person was killed and
others wounded. -Ann Sheehy





COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



REPORTS THAT SOME CIS COUNTRIES WANT TO BECOME PART OF RUSSIA
DENIED. The head of the Russian government's press service Valentin
Sergeev said on 22 May that an Interfax report on 21 May that
Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had said in Ulyanovsk
that some CIS countries wanted to become part of Russia was incorrect,
ITAR-TASS reported. Tajik Foreign Minister Rashid Alimov said
that Tajikistan, also named in the report as one of these countries,
also issued a denial. -Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



UZBEK OPPOSITION LEADER FIRED. Nuclear scientist Damin Narzykulov,
one of the leaders of the Uzbek opposition movement Birlik, has
been dismissed from his post at the Uzbek Academy of Sciences
Institute of Nuclear Physics, according to a report from RFE/RL's
Uzbek Language Service. Narzykulov was told by the Institute's
director, Begzod Yulgashev, that he himself would have lost his
job had he refused to dismiss Narzykulov. -Liz Fuller

ELCHIBEY ORDERS CEASEFIRE IN KARABAKH. The head of the Azerbaijani
Presidential Press Service, Arif Aliev, announced at a press
briefing in Baku on 24-May that Azerbaijan had decided on a unilateral
ceasefire in Karabakh from 24-29 May, AzerTadzh reported. This
decision is intended to create conditions for the implementation
of the US-Russian-Turkish peace plan between 29 May-3 June. The
plan, which is scheduled to be signed on 26 May, provides for
the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the Kelbadzhar region
which they occupied in early April. -Liz Fuller

ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATION IN WESTERN GEORGIA. Supporters
of ousted Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia disrupted a ceremony
in the west Georgian town of Abasha on 23 May to mark the centenary
of the birth of Zviad's novelist father Konstantine and staged
a protest demonstration calling for the resignation of the present
Georgian government, ITAR-TASS reported. In a further manifestation
of public discontent, some 100-faculty members of Tbilisi State
University published an open letter to parliament chairman Eduard
Shevardnadze condemning flagrant human rights violations and
calling on Shevardnadze to resign. -Liz Fuller

INDIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS UZBEKISTAN. Addressing a news conference
in Tashkent on 24 May at the end of his two-day visit, Indian
Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao stated that India and Uzbekistan
had agreed to work together to combat "state-sponsored terrorism"
and arms and drug trafficking, Western agencies reported. The
two sides also signed agreements whereby India will provide $10
million in credits to Indian companies wishing to export to Uzbekistan
and to install technology enabling Indian television to be received
in Tashkent. -Liz Fuller

UZBEK PRESIDENT ACCUSES KYRGYZSTAN OF "SUBVERSION". At his joint
press conference on 24-May with the visiting Indian Prime Minister,
Uzbek President Islam Karimov denounced the introduction by Kyrgyzstan
of its own currency as "political subversion directed against
Uzbekistan," and threatened unspecified "definite and strong
measures" in retaliation, Western agencies reported. Uzbekistan
responded initially to the Kyrgyz decision by cutting transport
and telephone links with Kyrgyzstan, but restored them last week.
-Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



VOCAL OPPOSITION TO NEW PLAN FOR BOSNIA-.-.-. International media
on 24 and 25-May reported on the frequently negative discussion
in the United States and in Britain over the statement issued
on 22 May by the US, the UK, Russia, France, and Spain. The BBC's
Croatian Service on 24 May quoted passages from British editorials
using expressions such as: "Chamberlain" and "Greater Serbia
is now a reality." At the United Nations, Islamic member states
roundly condemned the proposal, while Bosnia's foreign minister
said that his government will not allow additional peace-keepers
to be stationed to protect the six "safe areas," which the Muslims
liken to reservations or concentration camps. The Croatian news
agency Hina on 25 May quotes a Bosnian government statement from
the previous evening arguing that the new plan increases Russian
influence in the Balkans. The Chicago Tribune reports remarks
by the director of UN relief operations in Bosnia, Jose Maria
Mendiluce, to the effect that the safe havens would be "ghettos"
and economically nonviable, requiring a massive effort by the
international community to keep them alive. Finally, the semiofficial
Croatian daily Vjesnik on 24 May condemned the five signatories
as being "powerless in trying to confront the violence, crime,
genocide, and fascism" in Bosnia. That same paper on 25 May says
that "the Washington five" have opted for Greater Serbia as a
stabilizing factor in the Balkans. -Patrick Moore

.-.-.-BUT ALSO SOME POSITIVE COMMENTS. Reuters on 24 May cited
a congressional source as noting that "no western leader was
prepared to put the kind of resources into the Balkans necessary
to roll back Serbian aggression." The 25 May New York Times quotes
a British diplomat as saying that the plan does not rule out
making the Serbs give up some of their gains later: "We must
take this one step at a time. First we adopt the resolutions,
and then we'll see," he said. Belgrade's Radio Yugoslavia ran
a commentary on 24-May in which it concluded that the new approach
shows that "things are moving toward reality." The Los Angeles
Times on 24 May quotes Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as
saying that the plan shows a "more realistic" orientation by
the international community, adding that President Bill Clinton
"is going to be a great president because he rejected the advice
of all these warmongers who wanted to push the US-.-.-. into
a Bosnian civil war." -Patrick Moore

TOP-LEVEL TURKISH DELEGATION IN CROATIA. Hina reported on 24
May that a Croatian deputy prime minister appeared with his guests
on television that evening. The Turks' apparent mission is to
promote harmony between Croats and Muslims, who have again clashed
in the past weeks in the Mostar area and elsewhere in Herzegovina.
Reuters notes that a peace panel that had brought the two sides
together in the Herzegovinian capital broke up when the Croats
accused the Muslims of not living up to an agreement on prisoner
exchanges and withdrawal of armed forces reached in Medjugorje
the previous week. The Croats added that the Muslims are stalling
for time and still hoping to attract international intervention
on their behalf. The Muslims replied by denying the charges and
inviting observers to come and verify their claims. Mostar is
now divided into a Croatian western half and a Muslim eastern
portion along the Neretva river, and on 25 May Hina quotes Croatian
church officials as claiming that the Muslims have destroyed
23 of 29-Croatian villages in the Neretvica valley since late
March. Finally, Reuters said on 24 May that UN officials report
that a current Serb offensive against Maglaj in north central
Bosnia could endanger the lives of 32,000 civilians trapped there.
-Patrick Moore

CROATIA'S DRAVA HYDROELECTRIC PLANT. According to Minister of
Construction and Environmental Protection Predrag Sibalic, Croatia
still favors the construction of another hydroelectric plant
on the Drava River, as agreed in a 1988 accord between Yugoslavia
and Hungary, MTI reported on 22 May. At the same time he called
for a preliminary environmental survey to preclude ecological
damage. Nandor Rott, chairman of Hungary's parliamentary environmental
protection committee, said he cannot imagine an ecologically
protected region where hydroelectric plants are being built.
Martin Schneider, the director of the European National Heritage
Foundation, said no more such plants should be built on the Drava
and called for the urgent creation of a Danube-Drava national
park. -Alfred Reisch

SERBIA APPLIES RESTRICTIONS ON REFUGEES. Radio Serbia reports
on 24 May that the government is applying new laws restricting
the influx and movement of Bosnian refugees. The measures, first
proposed in February, are to go into effect immediately. Unregistered
refugees are now to be sent to centers along the Serbian-Bosnian
border. Some 150,000 Bosnians are classified by Serbian officials
as unregistered foreigners "with no right to aid." (There are
officially 320,000 refugees from Bosnia, about 80% are ethnic
Serbs). Restrictions on freedom of movement, i.e. change of residence,
have also been applied on legally registered refugees as well.
Another new law stipulates that henceforth Serbia will only accept
refugees "from regions directly threatened by war." According
to Radio B92 the new refugee policy appears to be an effort to
ease the economic burden on the country of refugees and may also
signal Serbia's displeasure with the Bosnian Serbs' rejection
of the Vance-Owen peace plan. -Milan Andrejevich

SUCHOCKA REJECTS ULTIMATUM FROM FORMER COMMUNISTS. Polish Prime
Minister Hanna Suchocka responded on 24 May to the list of conditions
set by the former communist Social Democracy of the Polish Republic
(SdRP) as the price for supporting the government in the upcoming
no-confidence vote. She told journalists that the government
could not meet the conditions, in particular the demand to revise
the 1993 budget. "We could not promise Solidarity this," she
said, "and it would be unfair to give in now." The government
cannot yield to ultimatums, she added. The SdRP stiffened its
stance on 24 May, leading many observers to voice suspicions
that the party's "conditions" are little more than election campaign
slogans. Party chairman Aleksander Kwasniewski stressed nonetheless
that the party's conditions are intended as "topics" and not
as "ultimatums." In remarks reported by PAP, Suchocka assessed
the government's chances of surviving the no-confidence vote
at "50-50." She pledged to present the public with a "new offer"
in the form of a redrafted government program, should the cabinet
remain in power. -Louisa Vinton

CZECH GOVERNMENT BEGINS ISSUING SHARES. On May 24 the government
began issuing shares in almost 1,000 companies privatized under
the voucher scheme in 1992, international media report. The plan
involved nearly 278 million shares initially valued at 372-billion
koruny ($13.3 billion). More than 2 million individuals and 430
investment funds have until 30 June to exchange their privatization
vouchers for shares in companies. Shares can be traded on the
Prague Stock Exchange, which opened in March, or in periodic
auctions at 453 computer-linked trading offices that operate
without dealers and brokers. Recent surveys suggest that about
11% of individual shareholders plan to sell their shares immediately
to raise cash; about 25% want to sell later this year. Distribution
of shares was delayed by a dispute between the Czech and Slovak
governments over the division of former Czechoslovakia's assets.
On 12 May, the Czech government reversed its earlier decision
to block the distribution of shares to Slovak citizens, which
was designed to force the Slovak government to make concessions.
The 12-May decision opened the way for issuing shares to all
voucher holders. -Jiri Pehe

CZECH-GERMAN COOPERATION. Czech Defense Minister Antonin Baudys
and German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe signed an agreement
on military cooperation in Bonn on 24-May. German media report
that the agreement provides for regular exchange of information
and security questions, humanitarian aid operations, and environmental
protection. It also envisages the development of contacts between
troops stationed on both sides of the Czech-German border. In
another development, the Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs announced
that Germany and the Czech Republic concluded a draft agreement
on 24-May on providing technical help to the Czech Republic to
control the tide of refugees expected after Bonn tightens its
laws on asylum-seekers. Reuters reports an Interior Ministry
spokesman as saying that Germany has promised equipment for all
Czech borders, including that with Slovakia. The spokesman said
that the agreement will not be formally signed "unless a tight
border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia is put up." -Jiri
Pehe

ILIESCU URGES CRACKDOWN ON CORRUPTION. At a press conference
on 24 May Romanian President Ion Iliescu read out a statement
condemning rampant corruption in his country and calling for
a crackdown in order to protect fledgling democracy and the market
economy. Iliescu also urged Parliament to pass tougher legislation
against corruption and crimes. On the other hand, he accused
the opposition and the press of trying to undermine the authority
of state institutions by exaggerating cases of official corruption.
Iliescu's statement came after several weeks of revelations in
the press about mafia-style corruption in ministries and other
central bodies. The scandal broke after Gen. Gheorghe Florica,
former head of an anticorruption unit, exposed some serious cases
of racketeering and tax evasion in Evenimentul zilei, Romania's
largest-circulation daily. Last week, Prime Minister Nicolae
Vacaroiu also vowed to step up action against corruption in Romania.
-Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN BROADCAST UNIONS TO VOTE ON STRIKE. The Free Trade Union
of Romanian Radio and Television called on all employees in the
state-run electronic media to vote on 25 May on starting a general
strike beginning 27 May. Union representatives told journalists
on 24 May that the organization seeks higher wages, a collective
labor contract, and fundamental changes in the Romanian Radio
and TV administrative board. Rank-and-file employees say that
management in both facilities-and especially in the TV network-is
still packed with former Communist officials. Romania has experienced
a wave of strikes and protests since 1 May, when state subsidies
for basic products and services were eliminated, leading to dramatic
price hikes. -Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES "TURKIFICATION" OF POMAKS. The report
by a parliamentary commission investigating allegations of "forced
Turkification" of Pomaks-Bulgarian Muslims-living in southern
Bulgaria on 21 May provoked heated discussions in the National
Assembly. The commission noted that it found no proof of "gross
violations" against the right of citizens to determine their
own ethnic identity, but accused local leaders of the mainly
Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms of having pressured
Pomaks to renounce their "Bulgarianness." The commission called
on parliament to prosecute local authorities guilty of such alleged
practices, declare invalid all statistics on ethnicity compiled
in the affected regions, and cancel an earlier government decision
to open Turkish-language schools in the area. MRF deputies said
the commission had clearly exceeded its mandate. -Kjell Engelbrekt


UKRAINE, POLAND ON REGIONAL SECURITY SYSTEM. During an official
visit to Ukraine this week Polish President Lech Walesa agreed,
but without notable enthusiasm, to study a proposal for a regional
security system advanced by Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk,
Reuters reported on 24 May. The plan includes almost every Central
and East European state except Russia: the three Baltic States,
Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland,
Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Kravchuk is an avid supporter
of such a collective security system and reportedly secured the
support of Hungarian Prime Minister Joszef Antall earlier this
year. Polish media report that Walesa was extremely reserved
in responding to Kravchuk's security proposals, apparently reflecting
Polish concern that alternate arrangements not detract from the
country's chief security priority, membership in NATO. A number
of bilateral agreements were signed, including one on the "readmission"
of asylum-seekers crossing borders illegally and another on economic
cooperation. On 25-May Walesa is scheduled to meet Prime Minister
Leonid Kuchma, who remains in office after parliament refused
to accept his resignation last week. -Ustina Markus and Louisa
Vinton

HUNGARY AGAIN PROPOSES ASSOCIATE NATO MEMBERSHIP. Speaking at
the Berlin meeting of the North Atlantic Assembly, the vice chairman
of Hungary's parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Gyorgy
Csoti, proposed the establishment of a NATO associate membership
that would take into account Russia's security interests, Radio
Budapest and Reuters report on 24 May. "A way should be found
that would institutionally guarantee the security of the countries
in the Central European region," Csoti said. On 23 May, Hungarian
Prime Minister Jozsef Antall, on a visit to Copenhagen, said
that Hungary's security would be best served if it maintained
the closest ties possible with NATO and joined the European Community.
-Alfred Reisch

EXTREMISTS WANT NEW STATUS FOR TRANSCARPATHIA. According to the
Prague correspondent of the Sźddeutsche Zeitung on 22 May, the
Ruthenian (Rusyn) Association of Subcarpathia set up a "provisional
government" in Ukraine's Transcarpathian Oblast on 19-May. This
body intends to ask the UN and foreign governments for recognition
that Transcarpathia, which belonged to Hungary until 1920 and
to Czechoslovakia until 1945, be recognized as an independent
republic or, through a referendum, be reunited with Slovakia.
According to CTK and Radio Budapest, the self-appointed Ruthenian
officials, most of whom live in Slovakia, claim that Ukraine's
goal is first to deprive the Ruthenians of their minority and
nationality rights and then to annex Slovakia. -Alfred Reisch


MORE RUSSIAN FLAGS OVER BLACK SEA FLEET. More ships of the Black
Sea Fleet are showing their true colors, with over 100 vessels
now flying the Russian naval ensign, ITAR-TASS reported on 24
May. Most of the ships involved are reportedly support vessels.
It is unclear whether combat vessels are going to participate
in the action. Russian TV on 25 May reports that an officers'
assembly of a submarine division has called for a summit meeting
between Yeltsin and Kravchuk to discuss the fleet with the head
of the Crimean parliament attending as a "equal participant."
The sailors of the division reportedly threatened to take "adequate
measures" (presumably raising the Russian naval ensign) if a
summit is not held. ITAR-TASS also reports that the commander
of the Ukrainian navy, Boris Kozhin, has been relieved of his
post, and will be replaced by V-Adm. Vladimir Beskaravainii,
who is currently serving in the Russian navy as commander of
a submarine division of the Northern Fleet. There has not as
yet been any official Ukrainian confirmation of either Kozhin's
dismissal or the new appointment. -John Lepingwell

SWEDISH DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS LITHUANIA. On 24 May Anders Bjšrck
traveled to Vilnius, where he held talks with Defense Minister
Audrius Butkevicius, President Algirdas Brazauskas, and Prime
Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, Radio Lithuania reports. Bjšrk
visited Riga and Tallinn on 16-18 May. The talks focused on security
cooperation and nonmilitary assistance from Stockholm to help
improve control of the borders. A proposal was made to create
a joint Baltic system that would enable effective control of
the air and sea space. -Saulius Girnius

RUSSIA HALVES GAS SUPPLY TO LITHUANIA. On 23-May the St. Petersburg
enterprise Lentransgaz halved the supply of natural gas to Lithuania
and threatened to cut off supplies completely if debts of about
21-billion coupons ($40 million) are not paid by 1 June, Radio
Lithuania reports. Zenonas Vistinis, director general of Lietuvos
Dujos, the state gas enterprise, suggested that the debt could
be paid using foreign loans, but Lithuania will need to implement
strict measures to persuade consumers to pay their energy bills.
In recent weeks Lithuania has been receiving about 3.5 million
cubic meters a day. -Saulius Girnius

ADAMISHIN TO ESTONIA. On 24 May Russian First Deputy Foreign
Minister Anatolii Adamishin began a three-day visit to Estonia
by holding talks with Prime Minister Mart Laar and Foreign Minister
Trivimi Velliste, BNS reports. The aim of the visit is not to
sign any concrete documents but to learn more about Estonia's
attitude to interstate relations. Laar expressed his willingness
to discuss construction of housing for departing Russian troops,
and Adamishin did not deny the possibility that the troops might
leave Estonia by the end of the year. On 25 May Adamishin will
meet with President Lennart Meri and on 26 May will travel to
Narva where there is a predominantly Russian population. -Saulius
Girnius

RUBIKS NOT ON HUNGER STRIKE. Earlier this month imprisoned former
Latvian Communist Party leader Alfreds Rubiks threatened to start
a hunger strike on 21-May if he were not allowed to take part
in the campaign for a seat in the Latvian parliament. The Latvian
Supreme Court turned down his request, but Rubiks has not started
the hunger strike, prison officials told Diena on 24 May. -Dzintra
Bungs

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Suzanne Crow and Charles Trumbull









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(A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the
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