We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 101, 28 May 1993







RUSSIA



COUNCIL OF MINISTERS APPROVES PRIVATIZATION DRAFT. The Presidium
of the Council of Ministers has approved the latest draft of
the much delayed 1993 privatization program, ITAR-TASS reported
on 27-May. President Yeltsin recalled the draft program from
parliament in late February in order to incorporate changes aimed
at giving regional authorities a greater role in the privatization
process. Deputy Chairman of the State Property Committee Dmitrii
Vasiliev told a press conference that the program now envisages
that questions regarding the privatization of 22,000, presumably
federally owned, enterprises will be referred to regional authorities.
The draft will also include further amendments put forward by
the ministers. Reuters reported that Yeltsin took the opportunity
of the ministerial gathering to criticize the government for
not taking advantage of the popular mandate for reform represented
by the results of the 25 April referendum and to move forward
aggressively with reform policies. -Erik Whitlock

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT UPHOLDS CONGRESS OVER MASS MEDIA. The Constitutional
Court has ruled that the resolution establishing parliamentary
control over the broadcast media, which was passed at the ninth
session of the Congress of People's Deputies in late March, is
in accord with the Constitution, various Western and Russian
agencies reported on 27-May. The ruling also upheld the Congress'
decision to abolish the Federal Information Center (FIC), the
body established by Yeltsin to oversee the Russian media and
considered by many to be largely responsible for his victory
in the referendum. Responding to the ruling, FIC chairman Mikhail
Poltoranin claimed that the court was "a political tool of the
parliament in the fight with the president and his policies,"
and the pro-Yeltsin daily, Izvestiya, whose independence was
recently upheld by the Constitutional Court, said that the ruling
would end the "semi-freedom of speech that journalists enjoyed."
However, the ruling may not apply immediately, since the court
also requested clarification of technical irregularities in the
Congress resolution. -Wendy Slater

RUTSKOI CLAIMS HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS INFRINGED. Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi issued a statement on 27 May claiming that
a campaign aimed at critics of the Russian leadership is also
attempting to remove him from power, Russian agencies reported.
His statement described the alleged campaign as "an unbridled
attack against those who . . . protest against the madness of
the crisis and Russia's breakup." Rutskoi linked the campaign
to his recent accusations of top-level corruption in the Russian
government. He also said that he will fight the restrictions
being imposed on his constitutional rights as vice president,
and may challenge them on constitutional grounds. Rutskoi's statement
follows President Yeltsin's apparent refusal on 26 May to allow
his deputy to use a Kremlin meeting hall for a press conference.
-Wendy Slater

FILATOV CRITICIZES PRESS REPORTS OF STATEMENT BY REPUBLICS. Sergei
Filatov, the head of Yeltsin's administration told Izvestiya
by telephone that the publication in Rossiiskaya gazeta and Nezavisimaya
gazeta of a political statement by the heads of 16-republics
allegedly adopted by them on the eve of the session of the Council
of the Heads of Republics on 26 May, was a gross falsification,
Izvestiya reported on 28 May. Filatov said it was aimed at discrediting
the president's initiative on the eve of the constitutional conference
scheduled for 5 July. Filatov claimed that the real statement
of the Council differed radically from that published in the
press and had nothing in common with its threatening tone. -Ann
Sheehy

WESTERN LOANS FOR OIL SECTOR. The European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development has decided to lend Russia $174 million to modernize
300 oil wells, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 25 May. The
project will be accompanied by technical assistance in the areas
of financial and operations management. According to the Financial
Times on 26-May, the United States government has provided a
$50-million loan to a Russian-American joint venture to help
develop an oil field in Russia's polar region. Erik Whitlock
and Jon Henderson

OIL JOINT VENTURE SHOWDOWN. A confrontation was expected to take
place on 27 May in Raduzhnii between the state-owned oil company
Varyeganneftegas and its Western partners in the leading oil
joint venture, the Financial Times reported on that date. Philbro,
the principal Western partner, has already invested about $115
million in the project but is now complaining that the Russian
side has threatened to stop payment of contracts, to halt payment
of locally employed US workers, to confiscate half of the output
and to stop efforts to obtain the necessary licenses and export
tax exemptions. The outcome of the negotiations is seen as indicative
for future Western investment in the vital energy sector. -Keith
Bush

OIL AND GAS PRICES TO RISE. The price of normal grade gasoline
and fuel oil are expected to be doubled today, Russian and Western
news agencies reported on 27 May. The price hike follows a presidential
decree reversing a pre-referendum freeze on energy prices until
the end of the year at their March level. -Erik Whitlock

RUBLE FALLS. At the 27 May session of the Moscow Interbank Currency
Exchange, the ruble fell to 994 to the dollar. -Keith Bush

RUSSIA-TATARSTAN TALKS. Yeltsin's press office said on 27 May
that Yeltsin and Tatarstan president Mintimer Shaimiev had reached
mutual understanding in their talks that day, ITAR-TASS reported.
However, no progress seems to have been made on the crucial issue
of Tatarstan's status vis-a-vis the Russian Federation. The talks
are to be resumed in June. While progress on the key draft treaty
on the mutual delegation of powers seems to be stalled, subsidiary
agreements on environmental protection, higher education, the
transport of oil, and property were reported to be ready for
signature by the heads of government, and work on other agreements
to be in hand. -Ann Sheehy

KHASBULATOV CALLS ON DUDAEV TO RESIGN. Ruslan Khasbulatov, the
Chechen chairman of the Russian parliament, has issued an appeal
to the inhabitants of the Chechen republic to take part in the
referendum on 5 June which the Chechen opposition is holding
to decide the fate of the Chechen presidency. The appeal, which
was published in Rossiiskaya gazeta of 28 May, says the population
must take this opportunity to get rid peacefully of the criminal
and bankrupt regime of Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev. At
the end of his appeal, Khasbulatov calls on Dudaev to resign
voluntarily to avoid the danger of the blood feud which is still
practiced in Chechnya. -Ann Sheehy

COMMOWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES

CIS DEFENSE PROPOSALS. Although his proposals for reforming the
CIS armed forces were rejected at the last meeting of CIS Defense
Ministers, CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov is quoted
in the latest issue of Moskovskie novosti as saying that he will
continue to lobby for greater security cooperation among CIS
states. As reported by ITAR-TASS on 27-May, Shaposhnikov called
especially for the creation of the following integrated commands:
a "Yug" (South) air defense system that would include assets
from Russia, Kazakhstan, and the states of Central Asia; a "Kavkaz"
air defense system that would include Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan,
and Georgia; and a single unified command of anti-missile and
air defense assets under the name "Zapad" (West). Shaposhnikov
also warned that failure to increase defense cooperation in the
CIS could lead to instability and the creation of security blocs
in the former Soviet Union, as countries on Russia's periphery
gravitated toward their non-CIS neighbor states. -Stephen Foye


BLACK SEA FLEET DISPUTES WORSENS; OFFICERS UNIONS GETS INVOLVED.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov warned on 27 May
that ships from the Black Sea Fleet raising the Russian flag
might be expelled from Ukrainian territorial waters and their
crews deprived of any chance of receiving Ukrainian citizenship,
Ukrinform-TASS reported. On the same day, according to ITAR-TASS,
the militant and influential Union of Ukrainian Officers sent
an appeal to Ukrainian political leaders criticizing the "imperial
provocations" being perpetrated by Moscow through the fleet.
It also criticized the government for not reacting decisively
and warned that the Union might appeal to Ukrainian servicemen
to oppose the provocations. According to the same report, a similarly
strident appeal was sent to Russian political leaders by various
pro-Moscow groups in the Crimea. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



FORMER VICE PRESIDENT ON TRIAL IN UZBEKISTAN. Uzbekistan's former
Vice President Shukrulla Mirsaidov went on trial in Tashkent
on 27 May charged with nepotism and failing to carry out government
projects, the defendant told RL's Uzbek Service the same day.
Mirsaidov says that the charges are politically motivated; he
was removed from the vice presidency last year after clashing
with Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov. According to some
sources the dispute between the two concerned the rate of economic
reform in Uzbekistan; others said that the clash was personal.
Mirsaidov said that he persuaded the court to permit journalists
to attend the trial, but that the judge had ordered several people
to be removed from the courtroom, including the political officer
of the US Embassy. -Bess Brown

KYRGYZ AND UZBEK PRESIDENTS MEET OVER CURRENCY REFORM. Kyrgyzstan's
President Askar Akaev has met with Uzbekistan's President Islam
Karimov to put an end to the friction between the two countries
over Kyrgyzstan's introduction of its own currency and departure
from the ruble zone, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 May. Akaev was
reported to have apologized for not having notified Uzbekistan's
leadership in advance of his country's decision to leave the
ruble zone. At a press conference after their meeting, the two
presidents announced that a mechanism for regulating economic
issues between the two countries has been devised. Uzbekistan
had apparently feared that Kyrgyzstan would not honor its debts
to its CIS partners. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



POLISH GOVERNMENT FALLS-BY A SINGLE VOTE. The Sejm voted early
on 28 May to dismiss the government of Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka.
The government lost by a single vote: 223 voted for the no-confidence
motion, 198 against, and 24 abstained (abstentions count as "no"
votes). As government ministers had predicted, the outcome was
"accidental:" PAP reports that one coalition deputy, former justice
minister Zbigniew Dyka, arrived late and missed the balloting.
The vote followed a day of debate and a night of negotiations
aimed at winning support from individual opposition deputies.
In the debate, Solidarity condemned the government for building
"capitalism with an inhuman face" while the former communists
blamed three years of "Solidarity governments" for Poland's problems.
Democratic Left leader Aleksander Kwasniewski charged that "all
that remains of Solidarity's grand 'ethos' is the mustache."
No one proposed an alternative to the current government, however.
Several parties called for new elections. The government's chances
took a turn for the worse when Polish Peasant Party (PSL) leader
and former prime minister Waldemar Pawlak refused an eleventh-hour
offer to join the coalition, despite the coalition's willingness
to "rebuild" the cabinet. President Lech Walesa received Suchocka
warmly in the Sejm on 27 May but reportedly refused a meeting
with Pawlak. Walesa called Suchocka "the best prime minister
so far," prompting speculation that he may reappoint her to the
post. -Louisa Vinton

CONSEQUENCES AND IMPLICATIONS. Confusion prevailed after the
no-confidence vote about who now has the initiative: the Sejm
or the president. The constitution stipulates that, unless the
Sejm adopts a "constructive" no-confidence vote and chooses a
new prime minister "simultaneously" with the vote to dismiss
the existing government, the president has the next move. He
can either dissolve parliament and call new elections or accept
the government's dismissal and name a new prime minister. The
Sejm's interpretation of "simultaneously" differs from the president's,
however. The president has argued that Solidarity's no-confidence
motion was "unconstructive" from the start because it contained
no replacement candidate for prime minister. The Sejm leadership
has suggested, however, that the Sejm has until the end of its
current session to select a new prime minister, and only then
can the president take action. The radical Confederation for
an Independent Poland (KPN) nominated its own candidate, Andrzej
Ostoja-Owsiany, to replace Suchocka immediately after the no-confidence
vote, but further parliamentary action was suspended to give
the leadership time to ponder the constitutional implications
of "simultaneity." It is unlikely in any case that the fractious
opposition parties will agree on a single candidate, and Poland
may again face a long interregnum of uncertainty. -Louisa Vinton


BEROV SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. On 27-May the cabinet of Bulgarian
Prime Minister Lyuben Berov survived a vote of no confidence,
Western agencies report. Although the ballot was secret, the
government was apparently backed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party
and the predominantly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms.
No more than 76-legislators voted against Berov; 140 supported
him. The no-confidence motion was introduced by the UDF after
an incident on 13 May in which its group leader Stefan Savov
was struck to the ground during scuffles between demonstrators
and police. The UDF claims Berov is ultimately responsible and
should resign. Prior to the vote, the premier accused the anticommunist
coalition of using street demonstrations to destabilize the country.
Outside the National Assembly, thousands of UDF sympathizers
rallied against the government. -Kjell Engelbrekt

HUNGARIAN DEMOCRATIC FORUM CONSIDERS "PEACEFUL SEPARATION." Tamas
Katona, state secretary in the prime minister's office, says
a special committee made up of three members from the HDF presidium
and the right-wing faction led by Istvan Csurka will meet on
31 May to discuss the "peaceful separation" of the latter from
the forum, MTI and Radio Budapest reported on 27 May. This separation
must be done so as not to endanger Hungary's stability and to
enable the government to complete its four-year mandate, Katona
said. At a separate press conference, the HDF's two leading liberal
deputies, Jozsef Debreczeni and Istvan Elek, rejected the charge
that the liberals were responsible for the party's current crisis
and the resignation on 26 May of HDF executive chairman Lajos
Fur. The main conflict, they say, is between the party's centrist
forces led by premier Jozsef Antall and the national populist
faction led by Csurka. The prompt departure of Csurka is necessary
so that the HDF can regain its image as a modern center-right,
Western-type conservative government before the l994 elections.
-Alfred Reisch

KOSOVO HUNGER STRIKE. ATA and Radio Croatia reported on 27 May
that journalists and intellectuals are staging a hunger strike
in Pristina to protest the "elimination" of the Albanian-language
daily Rilindja by the Serbian government. Most prominent among
the protesters is human rights activist Adem Demaci. The strike
is taking place in the building where Rilindja was published.
Serbian Information Minister Milivoje Pavlovic recently explained
that the daily will now be completely under Serbian control and
will reappear at newsstands, but not as "a tribune of the Albanians."
Meanwhile, Serbian parliamentarian and paramilitary leader Zeljko
Raznjatovic, alias Arkan, has called for a state of emergency
in the Serbian province and the expulsion of Ibrahim Rugova,
president of the self-declared Republic of Kosovo. -Milan Andrejevich


RUMP YUGOSLAV ECONOMY FACES TOTAL BREAKDOWN. Experts and government
officials in Belgrade warn that the rump Yugoslav economy might
be faced with a complete economic breakdown within six to twelve
months. After a year of UN sanctions, it is estimated that Yugoslavia
has lost some $25 billion in revenue. Federal Foreign Trade Minister
Milorad Unkovic told Tanjug that the UN sanctions have had disastrous
consequences: the country's gross domestic product dropped $12
billion in the past year and the total value of foreign trade
fell by $9 billion. Unkovic added that collecting the $4 billion
of debts owed to Belgrade, mainly by developing countries, has
also been hampered by sanctions. Half the employable population
is out of work, he said. Government statistics show that industrial
output fell 40% in the first five months of 1993 compared with
the same period in 1992. Already crippled by two years of war,
inflation continues to skyrocket-in May it rose 205%. On 26 May
the National Bank issued a 5-million-dinar note, worth about
$10 on the black market. Radio Serbia and Reuters carried the
reports on 27 May. -Milan Andrejevich

CATHOLIC CHURCH-BOSNIAN CROAT ROW. Radio Croatia and Western
agencies report on 27 May that disagreements have erupted between
Croatia's Catholic Church hierarchy and Bosnian Croat leader
Mate Boban over an appeal issued earlier in the week by Cardinal
Franjo Kuharic for "peaceful coexistence" between Croats and
Muslims. Kuharic also condemned Bosnian Croats for actions against
Muslims, telling Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic that Croats
bear at least some responsibility for the conflicts in Bosnia.
In a letter published by Hina on 26 May, Boban replied, "This
is not a time of coexistence [with Muslims]. It is time for something
else, otherwise we will all perish." He continued, "Don't lecture
us about Christian principles, Your Eminence, because we imbibed
them with our mother's milk." Ivan Zvonimir Cicak, head of the
Croatian Helsinki Committee, remarked that Boban's letter is
"unprecedented" and cautioned that the clout of the Catholic
Church in Bosnia-Herzegovina should not be underestimated. -Milan
Andrejevich

IMPASSE ON NAME FOR MACEDONIAN REPUBLIC CONTINUES. Greek officials
on 27-May rejected a confidence-building package proposed by
UN mediators Vance and Owen that includes a proposed new name
for the Republic of Macedonia, according to AFP and Reuters.
Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis at the same time
noted that progress has been made and called for a continuation
of UN mediation. He indicated a willingness to engage in direct
talks with authorities in Skopje. The UN admitted the new republic
using the temporary designation "Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia," pending agreement between Greece and Macedonia on
a new name. Reportedly, the name proposed by the UN team was
"New Macedonia." -Duncan Perry

MONTENEGRIN ECONOMY NEAR COLLAPSE. Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic
warned on 26 May that Montenegro's economy is also facing collapse
because of UN sanctions, which also directly threaten all other
vital political, social, and security functions in the country.
The situation is critical: Montenegro has 68,000 unemployed workers,
70,000 pensioners, and 65,000 refugees-this in a state with a
working population of just 400,000. Sanctions have cost Montenegro
$277-million in revenue; businesses have lost $130 million in
exports, $90-million from tourism, and $57 million from shipping.
Seeking ways to ease the situation, Montenegrin Foreign Minister
Miodrag Lekic told his Italian counterpart in Rome on 27 May
that his republic would accept UN monitors along its border with
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Radio Serbia carried the reports. -Milan
Andrejevich

MECIAR RESPONDS TO CZECH NOTE. On 26 May the Slovak ambassador
to Prague delivered an official diplomatic note to the Czech
government explaining recent remarks by Premier Vladimir Meciar
that seemed to imply a threat to Czech oil supplies. Czech officials
protested in mid-May after Meciar was quoted in a German magazine
suggesting that because Czech oil pipelines run through his country,
Slovakia would have extra leverage in negotiations aimed at dividing
former Czechoslovak assets. The note explains that Meciar did
not mean to imply any threat to Czech oil supplies and considers
the issue a misunderstanding. CTK reports that the Czech Ministry
of Foreign Affairs accepted the explanation. -Jiri Pehe

KLAUS IN BONN. On 27 May Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus met
in Bonn with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. CTK reports that
the two politicians examined the possibilities for Czech membership
in the European Community. They also discussed an intermediate
stage in the Czech Republic relations with the EC that would
precede full membership. Klaus was in Bonn to receive the Ludwig
Erhardt Prize for his economic writings. Jiri Pehe

CZECH BROADCAST CHAIRMAN RESIGNS. Daniel Korte, head of the Czech
Board for Radio and Television Broadcasting, resigned from his
post on 27 May in protest against what he described as a growing
tendency among some Czech politicians to reduce the board's powers
and strip it of its independence. He also gave up his membership
in the board. The board was established in April 1992 as an independent
body to issue radio and TV licenses and ensure compliance with
media laws. In February 1993 it came under attack from some leading
politicians after it had issued a license to CET-21, a Czech
television company with strong US backing. Opponents felt the
decision was "politically dangerous," citing not only the company's
foreign backing but also the fact that some of CET 21's founders
were Slovaks or politicians who had lost the June 1992 elections.
In his letter of resignation, carried by CTK, Korte writes that
"it has become clear that Prime Minister Klaus and some parliamentary
deputies favor greater government control of the content of Czech
broadcasting." This would be a step backward, Korte said, and
"I am not going to participate." -Jiri Pehe

TV STRIKE IN ROMANIA. Romanian television employees went on strike
on 27 May, demanding an 80% pay increase and changes in the way
broadcasting is funded and administered. The Council for Radio
and Television filed a request for an injunction, claiming that
the Free Trade Union of Romanian Radio and Television had violated
the law regulating strikes and asking the Supreme Court to order
an end to the action. Radio Bucharest announced that the hearing
will be held on 30 May. -Michael Shafir

HUNGARIAN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES PLAN DEMONSTRATION. The Cooperation
Forum of Trade Unions, comprising unions representing over 550,000
public employees, plans to hold a peaceful demonstration on 1
June in Budapest, MTI announced. The action is in protest against
the government's decision to postpone the introduction of a new
wage system for public employees from 1 January 1994 to 1 January
1995 on the grounds that the state cannot afford the necessary
45-billion forint. -Alfred Reisch

BULGARIA FIGHTS HOOF-AND-MOUTH VIRUS. On 27 May the Bulgarian
government ordered local authorities to take all precautionary
measures to prevent the spread of the highly contagious hoof-and-mouth
disease, BTA reports. The cabinet called for the immediate destruction
of infected animals and the sealing off of the Simeonovgrad region
in south central Bulgaria where the virus was discovered earlier
this week. Although the FAO and other international agencies
were notified immediately, government officials fear that the
news could prompt the European Community to prohibit import of
Bulgarian livestock, meat, and dairy products. -Kjell Engelbrekt


RUSSIA WILL NOT CUT OIL TO BELARUS. Leonid Smirnov, head of the
Russian Fuel and Energy Administration, has denied that Russia
intends to cut supplies of oil to Belarus, Radiefakt reported
on 27 May. Rumors that Russia would cut deliveries began after
Russia decided to increase the price of its oil to former Soviet
republics to world levels and remove subsidies at home. Smirnov
categorically denied reports that Russian plans to cut supplies
of oil to Belarus by two-thirds; he said that Russia will adhere
fully to the schedule of deliveries agreed upon for 1993, which
include 16-million tons of crude oil, 50,000 tons of gasoline,
750,000 tons of diesel, and 400,000 tons of fuel oil. -Ustina
Markus

LITHUANIAN RELATIONS WITH KALININGRAD. On 27 May Seimas deputy
Romualdas Ozolas, a member of the Lithuanian negotiating delegation
with Russia, criticized his country's policy toward Kaliningrad
as "vague," Radio Lithuania reports. Ozolas, the chairman of
the Center Movement and deputy prime minister in 1990-91, said
that Lithuania's efforts to pressure Russia to demilitarize Kaliningrad
had failed and the region could become a serious stumbling block
in negotiations with Moscow. He noted that Lithuania has failed
to designate a consul to Kaliningrad, although an agreement on
exchanging consuls had been reached. -Saulius Girnius

SAJUDIS CALLS FOR SUSPENSION OF SEIMAS DEPUTY. On 26 May the
council of the Sajudis parliament appealed to President Algirdas
Brazauskas, the Supreme Court, and the Main Election Commission
to suspend Seimas deputy Kazys Bobelis on the grounds that he
had been elected illegally, Radio Lithuania reports. Article
56 of the Constitution explicitly states that a deputy cannot
be bound by an oath or pledge to a foreign state. The Sajudis
group says that the United States still considers Bobelis a citizen
despite his many avowals that he renounced his US citizenship.
It is unclear if the appeal will be heeded, for Bobelis appears
to have the backing of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party,
which helped elect him chairman of the Seimas Foreign Relations
Committee. Saulius Girnius

LATVIA SUBMITS TWO PROTEST NOTES TO RUSSIA. On 27 May the Latvian
Foreign Ministry submitted protest notes to the Russian embassy
concerning the continuing violations of Latvian airspace by Russian
planes; 314 violations have been registered since the first of
January 1993. The second note complains about continuing delays
in ratifying an accord on trade and economic cooperation initialed
by the two sides in October 1992. -Dzintra Bungs

BALTIC ASSEMBLY, ECONOMISTS MEET IN RIGA. Baltic parliamentarians
met in Riga on 27 May to discuss future modes of cooperation,
the formation of a Baltic council of ministers along the lines
of the Nordic model, and the current situation in the Baltics,
Diena reports. The participants agreed to stress topics such
as the need for collective security and cleaning up hazardous
war materials dumped in the Baltic Sea when the Baltic Sea states
meet in Warsaw on 2-5 June. A two-day conference of leading Baltic,
Polish, and US economists started in Riga on 27 May. They focused
on ways to ease the transition to a market economy in Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania, but especially on privatization, government
subsidies, and monetary policies. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Sheila Marnie and Charles Trumbull









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