Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends. - Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 104, 03 June 1993







RUSSIA



VOLSKY SUPPORTS PRESIDENT'S DRAFT CONSTITUTION. Arkadii Volsky,
president of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a
member of the centrist Civic Union political bloc, has praised
President Boris Yeltsin's draft of a new Constitution, saying
that it will make a move towards "political detente." Volsky's
remarks made to Russian and Japanese businessmen in Moscow, were
reported by Russian Television on 2-June, and contrast sharply
with the criticism leveled at Yeltsin's draft constitution by
Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, also a leader of the Civic
Union. -Wendy Slater

GOVERNMENT MEMBERS NAMED FOR CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY. First Deputy
Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko was quoted at a press conference
on 2-June by Russian agencies as saying that twenty-five-members
of the government would participate in the constitutional assembly
scheduled to open on 5-June. Among them will be Shumeiko himself,
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, and Deputy Prime Ministers
Sergei Shakhrai and Yurii Yarov, who will all act as coordinators
for the various sections of the assembly. Echoing Yeltsin's remarks
made on 1 June, Shumeiko refused to exclude the possibility that
the Congress of People's Deputies might adopt the new constitution,
and said that the Congress would "rehabilitate itself historically"
if it adopted the draft as a whole. -Wendy Slater

CHANGES IN GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL EXPECTED. Shumeiko also told
journalists on 2 June that Yeltsin is expected to sign a decree
within the next few days creating a presidential council for
personnel policy. The council would be headed by two close Yeltsin
allies: Shumeiko himself and Sergei Filatov, the head of the
president's administration. Shumeiko said that the system of
government appointments had become chaotic, but that in future
"no appointment to a top or middle-ranking official post will
be made in this country without endorsement by the council,"
Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported. Shumeiko also said that the question
of whether former Prime Minister Egor Gaidar would return to
government was "hanging in the balance." Gaidar himself, however,
said at a separate briefing on 2 June that he did not foresee
such a possibility under the present circumstances. -Wendy Slater


CENTRIST FORCES WIDEN POLITICAL BASE; INTERNAL DISAGREEMENTS.
Two of the parties in the centrist Civic Union, Rutskoi's People's
Party of Free Russia and the All-Russia Union Renewal formally
opened a coalition agreement to other political parties and organizations
on 2 June, ITAR-TASS reported. Another founding member of the
Civic Union, the Democratic Party of Russia, considering the
initiative to be a future election bloc in support of Rutskoi,
refused to participate. However, internal disagreements were
already apparent when the leader of "Renewal," Aleksandr Vladislavlev,
criticised Rutskoi's anti-government speech of 1 June, saying
that if it did not adopt a more centrist position, the coalition
would risk drifting "towards extremist forces." Among those signing
the coalition agreement on 2 June were the Socialist Party of
Working People, the Party of Labor, and the parliamentary faction
Smena-novaya politika. -Wendy Slater

INGUSH PRESIDENT MAY NOT ATTEND CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY. Ruslan
Aushev, president of Ingushetia, told ITAR-TASS on 2 June that
he would not take part in the constitutional assembly and any
other measures linked to the adoption of a new Russian constitution
if the Russian leadership did not adopt a decision guaranteeing
the start of the return of Ingush refugees to their homes on
the territory of North Ossetia. Aushev said that Russia's leadership
was so occupied with the struggle for power that it had forgotten
about solving the Ingush-Ossetian conflict and the explosive
situation in the Caucasus in general. If not action was taken,
he would be forced to appeal to the people and take a decision
about the future fate of his republic. -Ann Sheehy

KHASBULATOV, OTHER RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES DEPRIVED OF CHECHEN
CITIZENSHIP. Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev issued a decree
on 2 June depriving deputies from the former Chechen-Ingush ASSR
to the Russian parliament of their citizenship, ITAR-TASS reported.
The deputies include Ruslan Khasbulatov, chairman of the Russian
parliament, Dokku Zavgaev, former chairman of the Chechen-Ingush
parliament, and Aslambek Aslakhanov, chairman of one of the Russian
parliament's committees. The decree said the deputies has allied
themselves with reactionary forces with the aim of overthrowing
constitutional power and recovering their former positions. At
the end of May Khasbulatov issued an appeal to the Chechen people
to vote against Dudaev in the referendum on the future of the
presidency which the Chechen opposition intends to hold on 5
June and called on Dudaev himself to resign. -Ann Sheehy

REPUBLICS AND CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY. There is little sign that
the republics are taking a more favorable view of the presidential
draft constitution as the constitutional assembly nears. True,
the North Ossetian parliament voted nearly unanimously on 2-June
that the presidential draft should serve as the basis of discussion,
but the chairman of the North Ossetian parliament Akhsarbek Galazov
said the federal treaty must permeate the constitution from the
first to the last article, ITAR-TASS reported on 3 June. The
Karelian parliament said that neither the presidential not the
parliamentary draft could serve as the basis for the new constitution;
the federal treaty should form the basis, Russian television
reported on 1 June. Vladimir Shjtygashev, chairman of the Supreme
Soviet of Khakassia, said in Megapolis-Ekspress of 2 June that
Khakassia would not be sending any representatives to the assembly.
The parliament was tired of holding emergency sessions at Moscow's
whim, and in any case he did not see the need for the assembly.
-Ann Sheehy

COUNCILS OF SUBJECTS OF FEDERATION TO BE CREATED IN MAIN FEDERAL
MINISTRIES. The Russian government has adopted a decision to
create in the main federal ministries and departments councils
in which representatives of the executive power of the subjects
of the federation will participate, Radio Rossii reported on
1 June. The creation of the councils is an attempt to improve
regional policy in accordance with the federal treaty. It will
potentially give the republics and regions some say in the functioning
of the ministries but also involve them in responsibility for
their decisions. -Ann Sheehy

YELTSIN FAILS TO HONOR PRE-REFERENDUM PROMISES TO STUDENTS. Russia's
students are threatening action in protest against the government's
failure to implement the presidential decree on raising grants
and other social measures for students, according to Russian
television on 1 June. This decree was one of Yeltsin's many pre-referendum
promises which, in the post-referendum period, are proving difficult
to finance. The student grant was to be raised to over 7,000
rubles a month, but in many higher education establishments students
still receive less than 2,000 rubles. Students living away from
home were also promised free travel home for the holidays, but
there is as yet no provision for this. -Sheila Marnie

LATEST FIGURES ON CRIME. Goskomstat has released the latest statistics
on growth in crime, according to a report in Rabochaya tribuna
on 2 June. 371,000 criminals were arrested from January to April
1993, 12% more than in the corresponding period in 1992. 120,000
of these were homeless, and 11,000 were unemployed. A total of
904,000 criminal acts were registered, 7% more than in 1992.
On average, 608 crimes were committed for every 100,000 inhabitants.
One in five crimes were serious, and 8,700 involved the use of
firearms. 37,500 crimes were committed against the individual;
there were 77,000 cases of assault and robbery, 520,000 cases
of theft of state, public and personal property, and 41,600 economic
crimes. Minors were involved in 68,00 criminal acts, 8% more
than in 1992. "Group" criminal acts numbered 95,000, an increase
of 23%. 46% of all crimes were solved. -Sheila Marnie

EXPORT LICENSES WITHDRAWN. The Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations
has revoked the right of 94-Russian enterprises and joint ventures
to acquire licenses for exporting so-called strategic goods,
Kommersant-Daily reported on 2 June. Export licensing is the
chief tool Russia uses to control the flow of strategic goods-e.g.
energy products and metals- out of the country. Those on the
Ministry's penalty list which include some very large Russian
companies will not be eligible for such export licenses until
next year. The action was taken when the companies failed to
present the necessary financial documentation after repeated
requests by the Ministry. -Erik Whitlock

ARMS EXPORT LICENSE GRANTED TO KALASHNIKOV FACTORY. According
to an AFP report of 2-June, a factory in Udmurtia which produces
AK-47 Kalashnikov automatic rifles has become the first defense
plant to receive an arms export license. The plant reportedly
has up to $150 million in foreign orders pending. -John Lepingwell


COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



CIS COORDINATING COMMITTEE MEETS. The recently created Consultative-Coordinating
Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States held its
first meeting in Minsk on 1-June, various Russian and Bela-russian
news agencies reported. The committee elected Russian deputy
Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin to be its first chairman and
discussed other organizational questions, and, according to an
RFE/RL correspondent, set the date of 30-June for considering
a first draft of the treaty on economic union that was called
for by the heads of the CIS states on 15 May. Russian radio reported
that Georgia's vice premier Avtandil Margiani confirmed his country's
intention to participate in the economic union. Georgia is not
formally a member of the Commonwealth. -Erik Whitlock

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



TAJIK REBEL ATTACK IMMINENT? VARIOUS REPORTS INDICATE THAT A
JOINT TAJIK-AFGHAN REBEL ATTACK, LAUNCHED FROM AFGHAN TERRITORY,
MAY BE IMMINENT. Western agencies reported on 1 June that Tajikistan's
Foreign Ministry spokesman had told the press of a rebel field
commanders' meeting in Afghanistan to plan the attack; representatives
of the Russian border guard units, while not reporting any major
crossings so far, are said to be prepared for a rebel offensive
in the coming days. In a separate report, the Far Eastern Economic
Review of 3-June reports that 2,000 Tajik rebels are being trained
by Afghan mujaheddin leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's forces in Kunduz,
near the Tajik border and are poised to launch an offensive in
coordination with other Tajik and Afghan groups. The article
notes that former Afghan Defense Minister Ahmed Shah Masud, an
ethnic Tajik, is also training several hundred Tajik militants;
Masud had formerly held a neutral position in the conflict. Leaders
of the Tajik Islamic Renaissance Party, including the former
Tajik mufti, Ali Akhbar Turadzhonzoda, are reportedly in Jalalabad
to coordinate the efforts of the various groups. In the past,
there has not been any substantial coordination of efforts between
the rebel groups. -Keith Martin

KAZAKH AND GEORGIAN LEADERS MEET. Georgia's Parliament Chairman
Eduard Shevardnadze and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev
were due to conclude three days of meetings in Alma-Ata on 2-June,
ITAR-TASS reported. On 1 June, the two leaders signed a general
bilateral agreement and about twenty specific agreements on various
issues. Nazarbayev is reportedly very interested in the possibility
of using Georgian Black Sea ports for the export of oil from
Kazakhstan. Shevardnadze was due to continue on to China for
an official visit on 2 June. -Keith Martin

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



COSIC BLASTS MILOSEVIC, SESELJ, OPPOSITION. In a lengthy statement
carried by Tanjug on 2 June and covered on independent Studio
B TV and Radio B92, ousted federal Yugoslav President Dobrica
Cosic speculated on the causes for his dismissal. He spared no
sharp words in criticizing his political opponents. During his
year-long tenure as president, he said, he was subjected to "vulgar
attacks by nationalist extremists, specifically the Radical Party
[of Vojislav Seselj]." He also complained of "deceitful intolerance"
on the part of the ruling Socialists, and said that on a daily
basis he was obstructed in everything he tried to do, especially
by the opposition leaders and the tabloid press. Cosic directly
blamed Slobodan Milosevic for orchestrating his ouster using
the parliament in what he called "a state coup." Milosevic, whom
Cosic called "an ideological student of Stalin and Lenin," can
no longer "tolerate my opposition to his policies and to his
tyrannical will." Cosic also denied discussing preparations for
a military coup with the Yugoslav army command. On the question
of whether or not he violated the Constitution, Cosic noted,
"I did more than what the Constitution required." -Milan Andrejevich


KOSOVAR WRITERS ON HUNGER STRIKE. A group of 26 leading ethnic
Albanian writers and journalists have entered the tenth day of
their hunger strike, a Kosovar spokesperson told RFE/RL on 3
June. The protest is led by Adem Demaqi, who holds the European
Parliament's Sakharov Prize and is also known as "the Nelson
Mandela of Kosovo." The writers want an end to Serbian-imposed
censorship in the province, which is over 90% Albanian in population
but ruled from Belgrade with an iron hand. The protesters also
seek reforms at Panorama (formerly called Relindja), Kosovo's
leading publishing house, where new regulations make it difficult
if not impossible for Albanian writers' works to appear. -Patrick
Moore

POLISH PRIME MINISTER COMPLAINS ABOUT EC FOOT-DRAGGING. On 2
June Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka sent a letter to all European
Community member-countries in which she called for the speedy
opening of negotiations on Poland's full integration into the
EC and the expansion of trade through opening of EC markets to
Polish products. In the letter, made public by PAP on 3 June,
Suchocka said the June EC summit in Copenhagen "should propose
procedural steps effectively preparing [Central European countries]
for full membership in the EC." She said that such negotiations
should start in 1996. In addition, Suchocka emphasized that the
EC has until now benefited from trade with Poland and other Central
European countries and that this should change in accordance
with the 1991 association agreements, which stipulated that Polish
products would have an easier access to EC markets. She suggested,
moreover, that the EC change its role in aid for Central Europe
(the PHARE program) from one of advising on technological problems
(through the use of Western experts) to direct involvement in
investment and support for small and medium size enterprises.
In a commentary on the letter made public by PAP on 3-June, Foreign
Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski added that "we ask that the EC
[concentrate its efforts on] creating European unity rather than
building in Western Europe a fortress of rich and well organized
countries." -Jan de Weydenthal

POLISH-VATICAN CONCORDAT. On 1 June the Polish government accepted
the text of the concordat between Poland and the Vatican. The
agreement was reported by PAP as having accepted that relations
between the state and the Catholic Church in Poland are rooted
in the principles of mutual independence and autonomy. The state
agrees to recognize religious marriages as legally valid and
accept teaching of religion in schools according to programs
prepared by the Church. The two sides will set up a special commission
to regulate the Church's financial status in the new economic
system. After the agreement is signed by Poland's minister of
foreign affairs, it must be ratified by the president acting
with the approval of the parliament. -Jan de Weydenthal

HUNGARY PASSES OMBUDSMAN LAW. On 1 June parliament accepted with
a two-thirds majority a bill to establish the institution of
ombudsman in Hungary, MTI reports. The ombudsman is to be elected
for a six-year term, extendible one time, by a two-thirds majority
of parliament and will function independently from all other
branches of power. He must be highly qualified and cannot hold
other jobs while in office. It will be the ombudsman's duty to
investigate complaints about the constitutionality of procedures
against individuals. -Judith Pataki

MIGS FOR BUDAPEST. The press office of the Hungarian Defense
Ministry issued a statement saying that Hungary will receive
MiG-29 interceptor aircraft from Russia as was agreed upon last
November. MTI reported on 2 June that, the agreement calls for
Russia to supply about $800 million worth of military equipment
in partial payment of its $1.6 billion debt to Hungary. The ministry
said that the draft of the present agreement on the delivery
of the planes would soon be submitted to the government for approval.
The ministry took pains to emphasize that, with these new aircraft,
Hungary will have acquired the same type and kinds of equipment
that all other neighboring countries (with the exception of Austria)
already possessed during the time of the Warsaw Pact. -Judith
Pataki

HIGH AIDS FIGURES FOR ROMANIA DENIED. On 2-June the Health Ministry
denied reports in Western media that there are 3 million HIV-positive
cases in Romania. In a statement broadcast by Radio Bucharest,
the ministry expressed "indignation" over what it described as
an "act of disinformation" aiming at "discrediting [Romania]
in the eyes of the whole world." The report originally appeared
in a Danish daily and was picked up by the Frankfurter Rundschau
in its 2 June issue. Rompres has said that no statistics are
available on the number of HIV-positive cases in Romania, but
says 2,235 people already suffer from AIDS-of these 2,100 are
children under 13. -Dan Ionescu

VAN DER STOEL IN ROMANIA. CSCE High Commissioner for Minorities
Max van der Stoel arrived on 2 June in Bucharest for a one-week
visit. Van der Stoel is scheduled to meet President Ion Iliescu
and Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu and other officials. On his first
day in Bucharest, he held talks with Romania's Foreign Minister
Teodor Melescanu. The CSCE official told Radio Bucharest that
his visit aims at investigating the situation of ethnic minorities
in Romania. -Dan Ionescu

HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN ROMANIA, BULGARIA. The US President's
annual report to Congress on implementation of the Helsinki Final
Act and other CSCE documents says respect for human rights has
improved significantly in Romania over the period 1-April 1992-31
March 1993. The report, released on 2-June, describes last September's
presidential and parliamentary elections as fair and praises
freedom of speech and the press in Romania. According to an RFE/RL
correspondent in Washington, the report also lauds cautious progress
toward a market economy but says that civil control over the
Romanian Intelligence Service has not been clearly established
and that significant problems remain in the treatment of ethnic
minorities, notably Hungarians and Gypsies. The report calls
the human rights situation in Bulgaria "very good" and is especially
positive about efforts to restore all rights to the country's
ethnic Turks, who between 1984 and 1989 were subject to an government-sponsored
assimilation campaign. The report nonetheless criticizes a Bulgarian
constitutional ban on parties with an ethnic and religious character,
as well as "de facto discrimination" against Gypsies. -Dan Ionescu
and Kjell Engelbrekt

CIA DIRECTOR IN SOFIA. James Woolsey, head of the Central Intelligence
Agency, is on a discreet visit to Bulgaria. After photos of Woolsey
appeared in the daily Trud, the US Embassy on 2 June confirmed
his arrival. Whereas BTA reports that Woolsey has held talks
with President Zhelyu Zhelev, Trud says he also spoke to Prime
Minister Lyuben Berov, Defense Minister Valentin Aleksandrov,
Interior Minister Viktor Mihaylov, as well as counterintelligence
chief Brigo Asparuhov. Trud speculates that the visit, the first
of a CIA Director to Bulgaria, means that the US might want Sofia
to play a more active role in solving the Yugoslav crisis. Western
agencies say Woolsey also paid a low-visibility visit to Poland
before arriving in Bulgaria. -Kjell Engelbrekt

"DNIESTER REPUBLIC" DEMANDS ROLLBACK OF MOLDOVAN INDEPENDENCE.
At a meeting between the respective commissions of the Moldovan
parliament and the "Dniester republic" Supreme Soviet to negotiate
a settlement of the conflict, the Dniester side presented new
positions, seemingly unrelated to the conflict, on top of the
now-standard demand to turn Moldova into a confederation of three
states (Moldova, Dniester, and Gagauz). As reported by Basapress
on 1-and 2 June, Tiraspol now also demands that Moldova rescind
parts of its 1991 declaration of independence, join the CIS (which
Moldova has declined to do except for economic arrangements),
and renounce its army. The breakaway republic's newly appointed
chief delegate to the talks is Supreme Soviet vice-chairman Anna
Volkova, a settler from Russia and former lecturer on scientific
socialism known for her vocal opposition to Gorbachev's and Yeltsin's
reforms. -Vladimir Socor

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT CRISIS. None of the four proposals presented
to parliament on 2-June to resolve the constitutional crisis
received the two-thirds majority necessary for their passage.
The crisis began when Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma offered to
resign after parliament did not extend his extraordinary powers
to press economic reform. President Leonid Kravchuk proposed
taking control of the government and eliminating the post of
prime minister. Many deputies have accused Kravchuk of seeking
too much personal power, but meanwhile the government is largely
powerless. Parliament Chairman Ivan Plyushch is quoted by Reuters
as saying, "There is no crisis of power in Ukraine; the president
and government are acting within the constitution." -Ustina Markus


UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT BEGINS START DEBATE. Debate has begun on
the ratification of START-1; Ukrainian Radio began broadcasting
the proceedings live on 3 June. The debate opened with a report
from Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko and the head of a parliamentary
group dealing with the formulation of Ukraine's policy on nuclear
weapons. US Secretary of Defense Les Aspin is expected in Kiev
next week to confer on the issue. -Bohdan Nahaylo

CZECH DEPUTIES IN KIEV. A delegation of Czech parliament deputies,
headed by its chairman Milan Uhde, arrived in Kiev on 31 May
for talks with members of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, Czech
media report. The parliamentarians from the two countries discussed
the possibility of a Central European security zone with President
Leonid Kravchuk on 2 June. Delegation member Jiri Payne was quoted
as saying before departure that the Czech Republic aims to establish
or renew contacts with key countries and that Ukraine holds a
special importance not only as a transit territory for the exchange
of goods and energy between East and West, but also as an important
trade partner in its own right. A bilateral treaty between the
Czech Republic and Ukraine is also almost ready for signing.
-Jan Obrman and Charles Trumbull

SHUSHKEVICH ON CIS COLLECTIVE SECURITY PACT. In a letter dated
28 May Belarus Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich
clarified the republic's position on the CIS collective security
pact, Nika and Radiefakt reported on 1-2 June. The letter stated
that the use of Belarusian troops beyond the country's borders
is only permissible through a decision by the republic's Supreme
Soviet. Furthermore, Belarus has the right to discontinue its
participation in the collective security system from the moment
all Russian military and strategic forces have been withdrawn
from its territory within the parameters of its international
agreements and obligations. -Ustina Markus

LATVIANS, RUSSIANS SIGN ACCORDS. Ten accords related to the pullout
of Russian troops from Latvia were signed in Moscow on 2 June.
Agreement was not reached, however, on the completion date of
the troop withdrawals or on the future of Russian strategic facilities
in Latvia. One agreement permits the resumption of Russian oil
exports transported across Latvian territory via the Samara-Ventspils
oil pipeline. Interestingly, the Latvian Supreme Council's rejection
of a bilateral accord signed in mid-May concerning the conversion
of Russian military plants did not cause the talks to break down
as some had feared. Nonetheless, chief Russian negotiator Sergei
Zotov said that his country may present the issue of Latvia having
rejected a bilateral accord for international arbitration. -Dzintra
Bungs

MORE AUTHORITY FOR RUSSIA'S BALTIC NEGOTIATORS. In order to make
negotiations more effective, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
has extended the authority of Russian negotiators such that delegation
heads now may sign, rather than initial, agreements with Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania and may advise the Russian Foreign Ministry
on issues raised at the negotiations, Baltic media reported on
2 June. -Dzintra Bungs

ESTONIAN HOUSING FOR RUSSIAN TROOPS. Difficulties have cropped
up in financing the construction of housing for Russian military
personnel leaving Estonia, Baltic media reported on 2 June. Following
a meeting in Tallinn with Estonian officials, Col. Valerii Nikitin,
head of the construction department of the Baltic Fleet, charged
that Estonia is apparently not ready to move on its promise.
The Russians came to Tallinn bearing blueprints and documents
for housing projects in St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Pskov, Ostrov,
and Ust Lug. The Estonian Foreign Ministry replied that Estonia
has not changed its decision to help with the construction, but
progress is being blocked by insufficient funds. The commander
of Russia's Baltic Fleet, Adm. Vladimir Egorov said 1,500 apartments
are needed for the departing Russian military. -Dzintra Bungs


LITHUANIA DECIDES ON PLATFORM OIL TERMINAL. On 2-June the government
decided not to build a land-based oil terminal, but one built
on a floating platform, Radio Lithuania reports. The platform
terminal will be considerably less expensive, costing about $90-million,
and can be built in about a year and a half while one on land
would have cost more than $300-million and taken three to four
years. The site for the terminal will be determined at a later
cabinet meeting. The site at Karklininkai was rejected for ecological
reasons, leaving only Butinge and Melnrage as possibilities.
-Saulius Girnius

ENERGY PRICE INCREASE IN LITHUANIA. On 2 June Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius announced that the price for a kilowatt/hour
of electric energy would rise from 6.5 to 8-coupons (Lithuania's
provisional currency), Radio Lithuania reports. The higher rate
was prompted by an increase in the costs of atomic fuel cassettes
for the nuclear power plant at Ignalina. A cassette that had
been purchased for 11.5 million rubles ($20,000) will now have
to be paid in hard currency ($60,000). -Saulius Girnius

FOOD PRICES DECLINE IN LITHUANIA. Prices for food decreased by
3-5% in May, BNS reported on 1-June. The drop was prompted by
the decision not to apply the 18% value-added tax to cheese and
some meat products. The tax is now not applied to any food products.
Increased agricultural production, especially dairy, and greater
stockpiles in meat processing plants also helped lower prices.
Filomena Jaseviciene, deputy economics minister and head of the
Price and Competition Board, predicted that food prices will
rise in the fall and approach world market prices as Lithuania
introduces its currency, the litas. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Keith Bush 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).
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