Дружба - это спокойная и тихая привязанность, направляемая и укрепляемая привычкой, возникающей из долгого общения и взаимных обязательств. - Д. Юм
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 105, 04 June 1993







RUSSIA



PARLIAMENTARY PRESIDIUM MEMBERS SUPPORT CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY.
Ten members of the parliament's presidium issued a statement
on 3 June addressed to delegates to the forthcoming constitutional
assembly, describing it as the only way to produce a constitution
of civil accord and to halt the tension between the president
and the parliament, RFE/RL correspondents reported. In an interview
with RFE/RL on 3-June, deputy parliamentary speaker Nikolai Ryabov
repeated his criticism of the speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov, accusing
him of causing the confrontation between legislative and executive
to escalate and of discrediting the parliamentary process. Ryabov
said that parliamentary deputies are planning to introduce a
draft resolution next week imposing limits on Khasbulatov's parliamentary
activities. -Wendy Slater

OPPOSITION HOLDS CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY. Communist and nationalist
groups which oppose PresidentBoris Yeltsin held an alternative
constitutional assembly on 3-June, RFE/RL's Moscow correspondent
reported. The meeting was convened by the Public Committee for
the Defense of the Constitution, an umbrella group formed shortly
before the April referendum. Opposition groups participating
in the assembly pledged to hold protest rallies against the official
constitutional assembly, due to open on 5 June. Although several
groups presented their alternative draft constitutions, the majority
of the delegates spoke in favor of retaining the current constitution,
and denounced both the presidential and the parliamentary drafts
which are to be discussed at the official assembly. Delegates
adopted a resolution accusing Yeltsin of aiming to "establish
a personal dictatorship." -Wendy Slater

NEW PRO-YELTSIN PARTY ESTABLISHED. Moskovskie novosti no. 23
reported on the formation of a new political party, called the
Russian Union of 25 April, which has been set up to support Boris
Yeltsin. The initiator of the new party was said to be former
State Secretary and close Yeltsin aide, Gennadii Burbulis. Other
members of the group formed to establish the new party, whose
founding conference is scheduled for 12 June (Russia's Independence
Day), include Gorbachev's reformist former advisor Aleksandr
Yakovlev, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai and Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev. The new party considers that Yeltsin's victory
at the 25 April referendum has given a new impetus for the supporters
of radical reform and demonstrated the necessity for a complete
break with the old Soviet system of government. -Wendy Slater


YELTSIN SIGNS ANTI-INFLATION DECREE. Yeltsin has signed a decree
containing several measures to reduce inflationary government
spending, according to ITAR-TASS on 3 June. First, it suggests
federal and local government authorities freeze budget and off-budget
expenditures from 1 July. Second, it orders the Council of Ministers
in a two week period to reverse all federal decisions made that
would led to such increases in expenditure. Third, it calls for
revamping the indexing of "socially significant" expenditures.
The decree also delays all subsidies exceeding sums foreseen
in the present budget until after 1 August. -Erik Whitlock

CONVERSION PROGRAM APPROVED. On 3 June the Government Presidium
approved a 100-page draft program for the conversion of the defense
industry during the period 1993-95, ITAR-TASS reported. After
some amendments and additions, it will be sent to parliament
for approval Few details were released, but it appears to represent
the first comprehensive conversion program on offer since the
demise of the conversion portion of the "reform deepening" draft
presented on 3 July 1992 by then Acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar.
The new draft program is said to be predicated on total funding
amounting to 2 trillion rubles (in constant prices of 1993) and
$3 billion. It was not made clear where the hard-currency is
to come from. -Keith Bush

PRICE OF PRIVATIZATION VOUCHERS UP. For the first time since
their issue was launched in October 1992, the price of privatization
vouchers has risen during the past week above their nominal value
of 10,000 rubles, Reuters reported on 3 June. On that day, vouchers
were being traded at 11,500 rubles, after several months of trading
at around 5,000 rubles. The rise was attributed to the 8 May
presidential decree that barred investment funds from speculating
in vouchers. -Keith Bush

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULING ON MORDOVIA. In another rebuff to
Yeltsin, the Constitutional Court ruled on 3 June that the decision
of the Mordovian parliament to abolish the presidency and vice-presidency
was in accord with the delimitation of powers between the Russian
Federation and its constituent republics enshrined in the Russian
constitution, ITAR-TASS reported. The court also ruled that point
1 of Yeltsin's decree of 14-April in which he ordered that the
Mordovian president continue to exercise his powers until the
constitutional court gave its ruling was in violation of the
Russian constitution. The deposed Mordovian president Vasilii
Guslyannikov told a press conference in the Mordovian capital
Saransk that the ruling was not a legal but a political decision,
that neo-Communists dominated the constitutional court, and that
he was still intending to take part in Yeltsin's constitutional
assembly. -Ann Sheehy

RULING VIOLATES HUMAN RIGHTS, SAYS COURT MEMBER AMETISTOV. Ernest
Ametistov, a member of the Constitutional Court, echoed Guslyannikov's
opinion that the court's ruling was a political decision. In
an interview with ITAR-TASS on 3 June Ametistov, who has expressed
his disagreement with previous rulings of the court, said that,
while the Mordovian parliament had the right to adopt a law reforming
the system of executive power, its deprivation of a popularly-elected
president of his powers violated the rights of the republic's
citizens. Another judge, Anatolii Kononov, said the ruling created
an unfortunate precedent, making it virtually impossible to challenge
republican laws on the grounds of their constitutionality vis-€-vis
the Russian constitution, Ekho Moskvy reported. -Ann Sheehy

DEPUTY PREMIER FEDOROV ON DEMANDS OF REPUBLICS. Deputy Prime
Minister Boris Fedorov told foreign correspondents at a dinner
in Moscow on 2 June that he was more concerned about relations
between Russia and Tatarstan than those between Russian and Ukraine,
AFP reported on 3 June. Fedorov said that Tatarstan, Bashkortostan,
Sakha (Yakutia), Chechnya, and Karelia had made a series of unacceptable
demand including the exclusive right to levy taxes and to launch
their own currencies. Fedorov insisted that there must be a single
federal taxation system and, warning of "major upheavals ahead,"
said that he would never sign a document that would lead to the
break-up of Russia. -Ann Sheehy

CHECHEN PARLIAMENT TAKES STEPS TO PREVENT OBSTRUCTION OF REFERENDUM.
The Chechen parliament adopted a decree on 3 June aimed at preventing
obstruction by supporters of Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev
of the referendum on the future of the presidency scheduled for
5 July, ITAR-TASS reported. The decree allow the creation of
additional, including mobile, polling stations. It also states
that where provisions for voting have not been made or there
is likely to be obstruction, voters may vote in any constituency
regardless of their place of residency. -Ann Sheehy

BURYAT PARLIAMENT DECLARES SPLITTING UP OF REPUBLIC IN 1937 UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
A session of the Buryat parliament on 3 June declared the splitting
of the republic in three parts in 1937 to be unconstitutional,
Ekho Moskvy reported. The Buryats have been agitating for some
time for its reunification. -Ann Sheehy

GOVERNMENT MEETS STUDENTS' DEMANDS. One day before students had
threatened to take their protest to the streets, an agreement
was reached with the Russian government, according to which the
promises of grant increases made in a pre-referendum presidential
decree would be honored. An agreement was signed on 3 June by
the government, the Russian association of student trade union
organizations (RAPOS), the Ministry of Finance and the Committee
for Science and Higher Education, according to ITAR-TASS. The
agreement states that higher education establishments are obliged
to pay immediately grants and food subsidies owed to students
for April and May. By 15 June the government promises to make
available the necessary financial means to pay summer travel
grants. A representative of the St. Petersburg students stated,
however, that the agreement has come too late to stop the protest
planned for 4 June. -Sheila Marnie

MINERS ISSUE ANOTHER STRIKE WARNING. The independent miners'
union of the northern town of Vorkuta has once again issued a
strike warning to the government, due to the latter's failure
to honor branch wage tariff agreements and other provisions of
labor law and collective agreements. According to ITAR-TASS on
2 June, the miners have put forward a set of demands to the government,
and if these are not met, plan to stage an indefinite strike
beginning 10 June. The miners are demanding that the government
meet wage tariff agreements and pay subsidies by 5 June (miners
have not yet been paid wages for April); clear payments between
miners and their contractors, including the state railways (the
government has raised the cost of rail freight transport); provide
funds by the 10th day of every month for payment of wages and
subsidies; arrange a meeting between the miners' representatives
and President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Chernomyrdyn by 10 June
to discuss the future of the coal industry. -Sheila Marnie

CHILE, RUSSIA SIGN COOPERATION DECLARATION. The Presidents of
Chile and Russia signed an 11point declaration on mutual relations
and cooperation in Moscow on 3 June, ending a period of nearly
20-years of hostility that began with the ouster of Chile's Marxist
President Salvadore Allende in 1973 and his replacement by Augusto
Pinochet. According to Reuters, the declaration included agreements
on combating drug-trafficking, on cultural exchanges, and on
promoting trade and economic cooperation. Cooperation in the
defense field is also envisioned; President Yeltsin said that
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev would visit Chile and that Russia
could supply Chile with air defense weapons systems, including
the sophisticated S-300 system. Yeltsin and Chilean President
Patricio Aylwin compared their two countries' transitions from
totalitarian to democratic political systems. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



AZERBAIJANI LEADERSHIP FORESTALLS PROTEST DEMO BY OUSTED INTERIOR
MINISTER. Armored vehicles and military patrols were deployed
in Baku during the early morning of 3 June, according to Azertadzh
and ITAR-TASS. Secretary of State Ali Kerimov attributed the
move to the extension of the state of emergency imposed in early
April following the seizure by Armenian forces of Kelbadzhar.
Other sources posited a connection between the increased security
measures and the announcement by ousted Interior Minister Iskander
Hamidov that he intended to convene a demonstration-forbidden
under the state of emergency-on 5 June to protest the Azerbaijani
leadership's cadre policy. Hamidov told the executive committee
of the Azerbaijan Popular Front late in the evening of 2 June
that he had decided not to go ahead with the protest, but the
Azerbaijani leadership evidently preferred to play safe given
Hamidov's unpredictability. -Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



START-1 DEBATE BEGINS IN UKRAINE-.-.-. The long-awaited debate
in the Ukrainian parliament on ratification of START-1 and adherence
to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) got off to a stormy
start on 3 June. The first part of the debate was broadcast live
by Radio Ukraine. Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko opened with
a strong plea to lawmakers to move forward with the confirmation
of Ukraine's nonnuclear status by ratifying both treaties. He
argued that the country has neither the technical nor material
resources to maintain and control nuclear weapons on its territory
and that it risks international isolation if it decides to retain
a nuclear deterrent. Zlenko also stressed, however, that nuclear
disarmament remains conditional on there being adequate international
guarantees for Ukraine's security as well as compensation to
offset the enormous cost of eliminating the nuclear weapons.
Neither of these conditions have been met, he said, and the Ukrainian
Foreign Ministry is concentrating its efforts in these areas.
-Bohdan Nahaylo

.-.-.-AND RIFT AMONG LEADERSHIP EMERGES. The debate reveals that
not only parliament and society-but also the leadership-are split
over the nuclear weapons issue. Zlenko's report was sharply criticized
by deputies representing all shades of political opinion, including
the democratic chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs
commission, Dmytro Pavlychko, all of whom explicitly or implicitly
accused the foreign minister of yielding to external pressure
instead of defending Ukraine's interests. One of Rukh's leaders,
Ivan Zayets, pointed out that "there is not a single document
guaranteeing our security. . . . Not a penny from the West and
not a single agreement on compensation." According to Western
agencies, at a closed session that evening, Prime Minister Leonid
Kuchma proposed a temporary compromise solution known to have
the support of at least a third of the deputies: that Ukraine
ratify START-1 (which has a seven-year time frame) but for the
moment retain control over 46 ICBMs, which Ukraine considers
not to be covered by the treaty. As for the NPT, Kuchma noted
that France has not ratified this treaty either and that it expires
in 1995. Kuchma's proposals, coming in the midst of a major political
crisis, conflict with the position hitherto held by the leadership,
including President Leonid Kravchuk. The debate is continuing
and is likely to be long and difficult. -Bohdan Nahaylo

ASPIN TO MEET WITH MOROZOV. US Secretary of Defense Les Aspin
is to meet with Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov
in Kiev on 6 June. He is expected to propose a new package of
economic and political incentives to induce Ukraine to ratify
START and adhere to the NPT. The visit is apparently intended
to show Ukraine that Washington has adopted a new approach towards
Kiev that goes beyond concern over Ukraine's nuclear arsenal
and extends to cooperation on a wider range of issues, US newspapers
reported on 3-4 June. Aspin's visit to Kiev will follow a meeting
with Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev in Germany. -Ustina
Markus

RUSSIA CUTS OIL SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE. Reuters reported on 3 June
that a senior official of the Ukrainian State Oil and Gas Committee
stated that Russia has cut oil supplies to Ukraine to one-fifth
of its already reduced levels because of Ukraine's debt arrears.
Government ministries said Ukraine is receiving 15-20,000 tonnes
of oil per day instead of the normal 80-100,000 tonnes. Four
of the country's six refineries have received nothing since Wednesday,
and the largest facility at Lisichansk had to shut down operations
10 days ago. Ukraine needs 40 million tonnes of oil annually,
of which only half was expected this year from Russia. Moscow
claims Kiev owes $2.5-billion for past deliveries, but Ukrainian
officials dispute this figure. The debt dispute was further complicated
when Moscow announced that, retroactive to 1 April, it will charge
Ukraine world prices for oil. Last week Russian and Ukrainian
delegations said they were close to signing an agreement on the
price and transport of oil. On 3 June, however, Russian President
Yeltsin threatened economic sanctions against CIS members who
failed to pay their debts, ITAR-TASS reports. -Ustina Markus


UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
is due to meet in Kiev on 4 June with President Kravchuk and
other Ukrainian officials, Ukrainian Radio reported on 3 June.
He is expected to arrange a meeting of the two presidents on
the escalation in tensions concerning the Black Sea fleet. After
his meetings in Kiev, Kozyrev will go on to Sevastopol with his
Ukrainian counterpart, Anatolii Zlenko. -Bohdan Nahaylo

SERBIA UPDATE. Local and international media report on 3-4 June
that Vuk Draskovic, leader of the opposition Serbian Renewal
Movement (SPO), and his wife, were tortured and severely beaten
by police on 2 June. Borba alleges Draskovic and his wife were
also given 60-day jail sentences for inciting the violent protests
on 1-2 June that left one policeman dead and 32 people injured.
SPO officials and Draskovic's lawyer deny the Borba report, but
an SPO statement says Draskovic suffered a broken arm and facial
injuries and appeared barely conscious when police dragged him
across a courtyard at the time of his arrest on 2 June. Radical
Party leader Vojislav Seselj described allegations of Draskovic's
beating as "very amusing." The public prosecutor has asked Serbia's
Constitutional Court to ban the SPO on the grounds that the party's
activities have "blatantly abused constitutional freedoms." -Milan
Andrejevich

SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE ON BOSNIAN SAFE AREAS TODAY. International
media report on 4 June that the French-sponsored resolution has
been modified at the request of nonaligned nations to make it
clear that setting up the six areas is not an end in itself but
the first step toward a political solution along the lines of
the Vance-Owen plan. Muslim countries in particular felt that
establishing the safe areas would be tantamount to assigning
the Bosnian Muslims to reservations and awarding victory to the
Serbs. In Bosnia UN forces commander Gen. Philippe Morillon said
that the Bosnian Serb political leaders had agreed to let military
observers into the besieged town of Gorazde, which is slated
to become a safe area, but it was not clear whether Gen. Ratko
Mladic's troops would let them pass, the New York Times says.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung adds that local ham radio
operators in Gorazde report that the Serbs have intensified their
shelling not only of that town but of the strategic transportation
hub Gradacac as well. Hina quotes the Turkish foreign minister
as calling for a tough, clear international policy against "Serbian
aggression." Finally, the BBC's Serbian and Croatian Services
report that international mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg
met with Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic on 3 June and will
talk with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and Bosnian Croat
leader Mate Boban on 4 June. Patrick Moore

KOSOVAR WRITERS END HUNGER STRIKE. The BBC's Serbian Service
said on 4 June that a group of 23-ethnic Albanian journalists
and writers led by Adem Demaqi ended their hunger strike the
previous day. They began their action on 25 May to demand an
end to censorship and to stiff limitations on Albanian-language
publishing in the Serbian-ruled province with a more than 90%
Albanian majority. The Albanians said they had received assurances
from a CSCE representative that improvements will be forthcoming,
even though the hunger strikers' demands have not yet been met.
Patrick Moore

MACEDONIA: QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NAME AND US TROOPS. According
to UN documents made public on 3 June, UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali supports the idea of Macedonia changing its name
to "Republic of New Macedonia," Reuters reports. Neither Skopje
nor Athens appears ready to accept this name, however. Greece
favors the name "Slavo-Macedonia," but, Macedonia's non-Slav
minorities, notably the Albanians, would find this unacceptable.
Meanwhile, parliamentary leader Stojan Andov has indicated that
Macedonia might welcome deployment of US troops in his country
as a means of checking the spread of the conflicts in the former
Yugoslavia to that republic, MILS and AFP report. Andov said
he hopes the violence can be halted through diplomatic means,
thus avoiding the need for a US military presence. -Duncan Perry


SUCHOCKA PLEDGES TO CONTINUE REFORMS. Speaking at a press conference
on 3 June reported by PAP, Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka said
that the government remains determined to continue reforming
Poland's economic and financial systems. In particular, she reportedly
pledged to "implement immediately" measures designed to privatize
state enterprises that are possible under existing laws and to
continue the program of mass privatization of industrial plants,
to continue reforms of the banking system, and to work on reorganization
of Polish industry and agriculture. Suchocka also said that the
government will introduce VAT on 5 July as scheduled, and will
continue to introduce changes in the administrative and educational
systems in accordance with the existing laws. She said that the
government remains open to contacts with labor unions but only
with regard to current issues. The government will make every
effort to diminish unemployment by introducing tax incentives
for potential investors in particularly affected areas. Finally,
she said the government will not interfere in the electoral campaign
for parliament, but remains opposed to "slanders and lies" that
"ought to be dealt in accordance with the law." Suchocka said
that she might also run for seat in the parliament, but emphasized
that she "would not like her actions as prime minister to be
regarded at this moment as the inauguration of the election campaign."
-Jan de Weydenthal

MECIAR OPPOSED TO EARLY ELECTIONS. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar is opposed to early elections in Slovakia that have been
demanded by several opposition parties, TASR reports on 3 June.
At a meeting with citizens in Zvolen, Meciar said that new elections
would "solve nothing." The prime minister also rejected a broad
coalition, arguing that he cannot imagine "[Miklos] Duray sitting
next to [Ludovit] Cernak, or [Peter] Weiss sitting next to [Jan]
Carnogursky and myself." He made it clear that the excommunist
Party of the Democratic Left, probably the most vocal advocate
of early elections, turned down his offer to join the ruling
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia in a coalition. Meciar also
informed the participants in the meeting that the "fall of the
Slovak economy" will be halted in early 1994 "at the latest"
and that German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel declared that Slovakia's
perspectives "are better" than those of all other countries in
the region. -Jan Obrman

NATO WORKSHOP IN BUDAPEST. High-ranking NATO officers, diplomats,
UN officials, and military experts began a three-day meeting
in Budapest on 3-June on NATO's crisis management ability. MTI
reports that the meeting, the tenth, is taking place within the
framework of the organization's 1993 military-security workshop
and the first time in a country that is not a NATO member. The
conference is cohosted by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and
the Ministry of Defense. Prime Minister Jozsef Antall opened
the session and President Arpad Goncz will also meet with the
participants. The Defense Ministry used the occasion to report
on the transformation of the Hungarian army. The seminar is also
being attended by Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu.
-Judith Pataki

HURD IN BULGARIA. On the second leg of his tour to three Balkan
countries, British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd arrived in
Bulgaria on 3 June. In Ruse, after crossing the Danube from Romania,
Hurd told BTA that he was impressed by the joint efforts by Bulgarian
authorities and Western customs officers to uphold the UN embargo
on the river. Hurd later held discussions with Lyuben Berov,
Prime Minister and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs. Besides
the war in ex-Yugoslavia, the talks covered the expansion in
bilateral trade and relations with the EC. After meeting President
Zhelev on 4 June, Hurd will go on to visit the Republic of Macedonia.
-Kjell Engelbrekt

BTA DIRECTOR OUSTED. Ivo Indzhev, the head of the Bulgarian Telegraph
Agency, has been sacked. Quoting government spokesman Raycho
Raykov, Ekspres on 4-June reports that Indzhev was removed because
of his "negative attitude toward state institutions-mainly the
president and the government." Raykov said the cabinet is particularly
critical that BTA disseminated allegations originating in the
Spanish daily ABC that Prime Minister Berov had tried to prevent
visiting King Juan Carlos from addressing the Bulgarian parliament.
Indzhev is being replaced by 56-year-old Stefan Gospodinov, a
former BTA commentator and the current head of the Kurier news
agency. -Kjell Engelbrekt

ROMANIAN PANEL ON CORRUPTION. On 3 June parliament approved the
makeup of a 13-member commission to investigate allegations of
corruption at the top of the government. A scandal broke in May
when the former head of a special anticorruption unit, Gen. Gheorghe
Florica, accused 18 high-ranking officials of systematically
impeding investigations of corruption in their ministries. Radio
Bucharest reported that the panel would present a preliminary
report by 30-June and a final one before the end of the year.
-Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN THE US. A high-ranking delegation
headed by chief of staff Lt.-Gen. Dumitru Cioflina arrived in
Washington on 1-June and was received on the 2nd by Gen. Colin
Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Radio Bucharest
said that the 45-minute meeting focused on regional security,
military cooperation, and the conflict in former Yugoslavia.
Radio Bucharest quoted Cioflina as saying that the delegation
also had a brief unofficial exchange of views with President
Clinton while visiting the White House. On 6-June the Romanian
delegation will leave for Canada. -Dan Ionescu

ROMANIA RALLIES AGAINST TIRASPOL TRIAL. Romanian media report
on 2-3 June that the Romanian Foreign Ministry has rejected accusations
of "an anti-Russian propaganda campaign underway in Romania"
made by Russian Foreign Ministry officials concerning the trial
of six Moldovans in Tiraspol on charges of terrorism. The Romanian
spokesman described those criticisms as "a resuscitation of the
Soviet-imperial theses." Terming the defendants "Romanian patriots,"
the spokesman urged Russia to show concern over the "judicial
travesty" in Tiraspol, rather than over Romania's steps to save
the defendants' lives. On 3 June Romanian President Iliescu appealed
to human rights organizations in the West, denouncing the Tiraspol
trial as taking place "under the control of pro-Soviet forces
of the ex-Red Army." Last week Romania's parliament said that
the trial is adversely affecting Romanian-Russian relations.
-Vladimir Socor

BALTIC STATES WANT TO JOIN EC IN 1993. After meeting in Jurmala
on 2 June, President Lennart Meri of Estonia, Latvian Supreme
Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs, and President Algirdas
Brazauskas of Lithuania issued a communique stating that they
are sending a request to the European Community to admit the
three states as associate members. They would like the request
to be included on the agenda of the EC summit scheduled for 21-and
22 June, Baltic media reported on 3 June. -Dzintra Bungs

CE REPRESENTATIVES TO OBSERVE LATVIAN ELECTIONS. Radio Riga reports
that a delegation of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly
arrived in Riga on 2 June to observe and assess the elections
taking place on 5-6 June. The 62-member delegation with representatives
from 7 countries will form 5 groups to pay random visits to polling
stations throughout the country. They will report their findings
on 7 June. -Dzintra Bungs

ESTONIAN LOCAL ELECTION LAW SIGNED. On 3-June President Lennart
Meri signed the local elections bill passed by the parliament
on 19 May, Baltic media report. A provision allowing only Estonian
citizens to run as candidates was strongly protested by the local
councils of Narva and Sillamae as violating the human rights
of the Russian-speaking population who are noncitizens. Meri
noted that the parliament's decision had been in part influenced
by the very slow progress in withdrawing Russian troops from
the republic. The law, he argued, should help convince more people
to acquire Estonian citizenship. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Keith Bush and Charles Trumbull



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