|If you're sure you understand everthing that is going on, you're hopelessly confused. - Walter Mondale|
No. 124, 02 July 1993
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. RUSSIA GOOD NEWS AWAITS YELTSIN IN TOKYO? A JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL SAID ON 1 JULY THAT TOKYO WOULD NOT EMBARRASS BORIS YELTSIN OVER THE DISPUTED KURIL ISLANDS WHEN THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VISITS JAPAN DURING THE G-7 SUMMIT, ALTHOUGH THE ISSUE WOULD BE BROUGHT UP IN PRIVATE DISCUSSIONS. According to Reuters, Yeltsin is scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on 8 July and leave two days later, and is to meet twice with Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. Meanwhile, a commentary in Izvestiya of 1 July suggested that good news--in the form of measures to ease or remove Cold War era restrictions on high technology trade with Russia--awaited Yeltsin in Tokyo. Quoting an unidentified high-ranking US official, the commentary said that an easing of COCOM restrictions was one area where the US was looking to accommodate Moscow. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN TO EXTEND TEST MORATORIUM? ITAR-TASS REPORTED ON 1 JULY THAT RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN WAS EXPECTED TO MAKE A DECISION ON 2 JULY ON WHETHER TO FORMALLY EXTEND RUSSIA'S MORATORIUM ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTING. Yeltsin has called upon President Bill Clinton to join an extension of the moratorium--a congressionally sanctioned US moratorium on testing expired on 1 July. The current Russian position is that it will not be the first state to resume testing, according to Radio Rossii on 1 July. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. SVERDLOVSK OBLAST DECLARES ITSELF URAL REPUBLIC. The Sverdlovsk oblast soviet proclaimed the oblast the Ural Republic within the Russian Federation on 1 July, Reuters reported. Sverdlovsk oblast was one of four territories--two of the others were St. Petersburg and Vologda oblast--where the population voted in favor of republican status in polls held in conjunction with the all-Russian referendum on 25 April. Commentators had warned earlier that krais and oblasts might declare themselves republics if they were not given equal status with the republics in the Russian constitution. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE ON SHAPOSHNIKOV NOMINATION. Izvestiya of 1 July notes that while Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov was accused of corruption, the main reason for the vote against his appointment as secretary of the Russian Security Council was the view that he was a representative of the president. The article also notes that the First Deputy Speaker of the parliament, Yurii Voronin, already holds the ex officio seat on the Security Council. Khasbulatov's proposal that Valentin Agafonov also be appointed to the council thus represents either an attempt to replace Voronin or to increase parliament's representation on the council. It seems unlikely, though, that parliament has the legal right to appoint members not nominated by the president, or change the holders of the ex officio seats. John Lepingwell , RFE/RL, Inc. OIL OUTPUT TO BOTTOM OUT IN 1995? RUSSIAN FUEL AND ENERGY MINISTER YURII SHAFRANIK TOLD ITAR-TASS ON 1 JULY THAT UNDER FAVORABLE CIRCUMSTANCES OIL OUTPUT COULD STABILIZE IN 1995. Production in 1993 is expected to total about 340 million tons, down from 398 million tons in 1992. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. GRAIN HARVEST FORECAST. The president of the Roskhlebprodukt Corporation, Leonid Cheshinskii, told ITAR-TASS on 1 July that the Russian grain harvest in 1993 is expected to be 115.5 million tons, only slightly lower than last year's 117.7 million tons. Grain imports in 1992 totaled 28.6 million tons, while 16.5 million tons have been imported so far in 1993. Cheshinskii said that state purchase prices for grain will be raised, but did not put a figure on the new price range. To date, grain growers and consumer organizations have been unable to agree on prices. Keith Bush , RFE/RL, Inc. AMENDMENT TO LAW ON REHABILITATION OF REPRESSED PEOPLES. On 1 July the Russian parliament adopted an amendment to the April 1991 law on repressed peoples that extends to members of the deported nationalities the right to financial compensation already enjoyed by the victims of political repressions, ITAR-TASS reported. The Chairman of the Commission on Repressed and Deported Peoples Sergei Reshulsky said that up to May 1993 600,000 members of the deported nationalities had applied for financial compensation, and he thought another 400,000 or so would be eligible. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN SENDS GREETINGS TO FINNO-UGRIAN FOLKLORE FESTIVAL. On 30 June Yeltsin sent greetings to the participants in the 4th International Folklore Festival of Finno-Ugrian Peoples being held in the town of Khanty-Mansiisk, ITAR-TASS reported. Yeltsin said he was sorry he could not attend the festival, but the desire of peoples to preserve their uniqueness enjoyed his full support. Yeltsin's greetings seem to have been prompted by the interest being taken in Russia's Finno-Ugrian peoples by their fellow-Finno-Ugrians, the Hungarians and Estonians. The Hungarian president has been visiting Russia's Finno-Ugrian territories as part of an extended visit to Russia. In December 1992 the Estonian government discussed the possibility of using the "Finno-Ugrian factor" in relations with Russia, i.e. countering charges of Estonian discrimination against Russians with accusations of Russian mistreatment of its Finno-Ugrian population, and in April 1993 43 Estonian deputies and the Estonian president Lennart Meri sent a letter of protest to the Russian parliament over reports of the death of a Khanty activist. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. STEPASHIN CRITICAL OF PLANS TO EXPAND NATO. The chairman of the Committee on State Security and Defense, Sergei Stepashin in an interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta published on 2 July and summarized by ITAR-TASS, noted that any expansion of NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech republic would be tantamount to creating a "cordon sanitaire" around Russia. Stepashin also criticized what he considered to be attempts to dissolve his committee because of his opposition to Khasbulatov. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA GEORGIA DOWNS MILITARY HELICOPTER OF UNKNOWN IDENTITY. On 30 June Georgian Parliament Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze stated that Georgian forces shot down a military helicopter carrying weapons near the Georgian village of Mestia, Reuter reports. The helicopter, whose identity has not been determined, had crossed the border from the Russian Kabardino-Balkaria Republic. All 10 passengers were killed. The Georgian Ministry of Defense later announced that the helicopter had come from Tskhinvali in South Ossetia and was headed for Tkvarcheli in Abkhazia. Georgia has frequently accused Russia of supporting Abkhaz troops. The Russian Defense Ministry stated that it has no information about the incident, and that none of its helicopters are missing. Catherine Dale, RFE/RL, Inc. UZBEK OPPOSITION FIGURES ON TRIAL. Six opposition politicians, two of the six said to have been transported from their prison to the courtroom in an iron cage, went on trial in Tashkent on 1 July, Reuters reports. The six have been charged with "organizational activity directed toward the commission of especially dangerous state crimes"; the crimes carry a possible death sentence. Their "crime" was to plan the creation of an elected "Milli Mejlis" (national assembly), as an alternative to the current Supreme Soviet, which is dominated by former Communists loyal to President Islam Karimov. This is the latest in a string of political trials against Karimov's opponents; human rights groups within Uzbekistan and abroad have consistently complained about the detention and intimidation of opposition members. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. MINIMUM WAGE AND PENSION RAISED IN UZBEKISTAN. The minimum wage, pension and grant were raised in Uzbekistan from 1 July, according to Ostankino television on 30 June. The minimum wage will be approximately (sic) 11,000 rubles, the minimum pension more than 12,000 rubles, and the student grant about 9,000 rubles. Uzbekistan thus becomes one of the most generous states in the CIS. Sheila Marnie., RFE/RL, Inc. HEAVY FIGHTING ON TAJIK BORDER. After a week of intensive fighting which left at least 20 Tajik and Afghan infiltrators dead, the commander of the Russian border guards in Tajikistan has threatened to take measures to destroy weaponry on the Afghan side of the border. If the Russian forces do attack Afghan territory, it would be the first such attack since Soviet forces were withdrawn from Afghanistan in 1989. As Western and Russian agencies report, the Tajik government is now accusing the Afghan government of direct involvement, and is vowing to take "all necessary measures." The Russian border guards' commander also reported on unauthorized demonstrations in the Gorno-Badakhshon region; demonstrators called for the removal of Kazakh troops stationed along the region's border with Afghanistan, and for an independent state. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS OPPOSITION TO BLACK SEA FLEET AGREEMENT GROWING? SUPPORT VESSELS OF THE BLACK SEA FLEET ON 1 JULY WERE STILL FLYING THE RUSSIAN NAVAL ENSIGN, AS THEY APPARENTLY HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE MID-MAY, ALTHOUGH NO COMBAT VESSELS HAVE JOINED THE PROTEST. Nevertheless, reports indicate that opposition to the agreement is growing. Reuters on 1 July reported that Admiral Eduard Baltin, the fleet's commander, had stated in an interview that he opposed the decision to split the fleet, while Marshal Shaposhnikov has also argued that Ukraine should only receive 15-20% of the fleet, rather than half. Yeltsin and Kravchuk have responded to the criticisms by issuing a statement reaffirming their commitment to the agreement. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. KAZAKHS, RUSSIANS ARGUE OVER BAIKONUR. The defense ministers of Kazakhstan and Russia, Sagadat Nurmagambetov and Pavel Grachev, ended two days of talks on the Baikonur space center on 1 July without reaching an agreement on the center's future. According to Russian news agencies, Grachev said that Baikonur is and must remain a Russian military facility, and that only Russia has the technical expertise and financial means to continue operating the center. He rejected a Kazakh proposal for joint command of the center and of troops stationed there. Nurmagambetov, meanwhile, insisted that Baikonur belongs to Kazakhstan, as it is located on Kazakh territory; an unnamed Kazakh official suggested that exclusive Russian control was unacceptable to other CIS states which also have space programs. Both sides, attending the launching of a French-Russian crew, agreed further talks will be held and that the center will continue to operate. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BATTLE FOR MOSTAR CONTINUES. Fighting across Bosnia-Herzegovina presented a confusing picture again on 1 July, international media report. UN troops were forced to flee Mostar, Gorazde, and Zepce for safety. Croatian forces launched a counteroffensive around Mostar and claimed to have retaken some territory recently lost to the Muslims. The stakes are control of Herzegovina's main city and a nearby power plant, which is important because the disruption of the prewar Yugoslav power grid has put such sites at a premium. The BBC's Serbian and Croatian Services quote UN sources as saying that Serbs and Croats appear to be cooperating in fighting the Muslims near Zepce, while Serb artillery pounded Gorazde, an intended "safe area." Meanwhile, French General Jean Cot took command of the 25,000-strong UNPROFOR forces in the former Yugoslavia, and Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt said that Norway, Denmark, and Sweden will develop a joint force to protect the six designated safe areas in Bosnia. Bildt noted that Nordic cooperation has worked well among UNPROFOR troops in Macedonia. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. DRASKOVIC ON HUNGER STRIKE. Radio Serbia reports on 1 July that Vuk Draskovic, leader of the main opposition Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), said in an open letter to the public that he has started a hunger strike and is "prepared to die." Politika reports on 2 July that Draskovic's letter specified he was willing to die in order to "deprive my torturers the pleasure of seeing me suffer." He said he would refuse food and medicine and pleaded with Serbia's democratic opposition to unite. He concluded his letter saying it is his wish that after his death the SPO be headed by Slobodan Rakitic, a co-founder of the party. Draskovic along with his wife Danica were formally charged with criminal acts by Belgrade's Public Prosecutor on 30 June and will remain in prison another 60 days pending trail. The Draskovices were arrested on 1 June after violent anti-government protests in Belgrade. Both were severely beaten by police and are in a Belgrade clinic recovering from wounds. Doctors say that Vuk Draskovic's health worsened on 1 July. Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY CONDEMNS GREEK POLICY. As Greece continues to expel Albanian migrants -- up to 3,000 a day according to an AFP report on 1 July -- the Albanian foreign ministry has issued a harshly-worded attack on Greek policy. In the statement released by ATA, the Ministry reiterated claims made earlier this week that many of the deportees were "mistreated and beaten." The statement also claimed that Greek actions aim to "destabilize the south Balkans and aggravate and expand the crisis in the former Yugoslavia." Reports of clashes on 30 June between ethnic Greeks protesting the expulsion of an orthodox cleric and Albanian police near the southern Albanian city of Gjirokaster were denied as nothing more than "lies." Greek policy, the statement went on, aims at using the Greek minority in Albania to create tension between the two states "so as to satisfy the interests of Greek chauvinist circles." Speaking at a lunch honoring Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Athens, Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis was somewhat more conciliatory. He said he felt the present tension was only temporary, ATA reported on 1 July. Robert Austin, RFE/RL, Inc. ISTVAN CSURKA PUBLISHES ARTICLE ABOUT HIS PAST AS AN INFORMER. Hungarian right-wing politician Istvan Csurka has published a three-page article about his own past. It appeared in Magyar Forum, a paper closely associated with him, Radio Budapest reported on 1 July. Csurka said that in 1957, as a 23-year old young man, after months of internment and prison, he signed a document stating that he would agree to being an informer for the Interior Ministry's III/III section that collected information on citizens. He believed at the time that signing the statement was the only way he could become free again. He has denied, however, ever having supplied information on anybody. After a general amnesty in the early 1960s, he was released from this duty. Csurka said that Prime Minister Jozsef Antall knew about the affair and told him that the opposition Alliance of Free Democrats probably also had a copy of the Ministry's Csurka "folder." Antall therefore urged Csurka to reveal to President Arpad Goncz the truth about his past. Csurka has recently been expelled from the ruling Hungarian Democratic Forum and helped to found the Hungarian Justice Party that advocates, among other things, the investigation of politicians' political pasts. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUS PARLIAMENT VOTES NO CONFIDENCE IN SHUSHKEVICH. Parliamentary chairman Stanislau Shushkevich lost a vote of confidence 168 to 27, Reuters reported on 1 July. However, the vote was not legally binding because a quorum was not present, according to an RFE/RL correspondent quoting deputy Sergei Navumchuyk. The opposition boycotted the vote, which was called after some deputies accused Shushkevich of not ratifying a CIS security pact even though he claimed to have done so. Shushkevich has alienated conservative deputies by pursuing an independent course for Belarus and allegedly failing to implement agreements which would bring the republic closer to Russia. Susan Stewart, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK NATIONAL PARTY DROPS OUT OF OPPOSITION TALKS. In a move that signals closer ties between the Slovak National Party (SNS) and Prime Minister Meciar's ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, the SNS formally withdrew from opposition negotiations on 1 July, TASR reports. Members of the opposition parties, which include the Christian Democratic Movement, the Party of the Democratic Left, the Coexistence Party and the Alliance of Democrats, said the SNS "did not keep an agreement" which the opposition made to unite and take control of the Slovak government. The four opposition parties agreed to continue their negotiations. Meanwhile, in a SNS press conference on 1 July, the party leadership said their reason for leaving the opposition talks is that they learned the program of the Hungarian minority parties is "totally different" from the SNS program. SNS deputy chairman Anton Hrnko said he is "disenchanted" with the Council of Europe for recommending that Slovakia cancel the Benes-decree, a 1945l law ruling that the Hungarian minority in Slovakia bore collective guilt for the events of World War II there. Hrnko also claimed that "Hungary should apologize for its genocide policy against the Slovaks from 1867 to 1989." Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HAVEL FINDS AGREEMENT ON BORDER ISSUES DURING VISIT TO SLOVAKIA. Czech President Vaclav Havel held talks with Slovak President Michal Kovac during a one-day visit to Slovakia on 1 July. The Czech and Slovak foreign ministers held parallel negotiations. CTK reports that the two sides agreed to reinforce the Czech-Slovak border by creating checks for persons as well as goods; the agreement, however, must be approved my the Slovak cabinet. At a press conference following the negotiations, Havel stated that Czechs and Slovaks would only be required to show a national identification card. Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec said that both sides were in agreement regarding the countries whose citizens would be required to obtain visas; both sides expressed the need to coordinate their visa policies. The Czechs emphasized that they never intended to force the abolishment of existing Czech-Slovak agreements or make "one-sided" moves regarding the border. Havel said that the Czech call for a reinforced border is in no way intended as a political move: "It is not at all in the interest of the Czech Republic to push Slovakia away from us." As the new German asylum laws went into effect on 1 July, the Czechs now face a potential wave of asylum-seekers who, having transited through the Czech Republic, may be returned by Germany. Reinforcing the Slovak border is therefore seen as a crucial step in controlling the inflow of economic refugees. Milada Vachudova, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA'S ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES CHARTER. President Walesa's Council for Economic Development announced on 1 July a 12-point "Charter of Economic Principles" that points the way to prosperity for citizens, PAP reports. Walesa called on members of the council to review existing economic legislation in view of bringing it in line with the charter. He said it could serve as the basis on which party political programs could be developed. Andrzej Olechowski, chairman of the council and member of the Program Council of the Nonparty Bloc to Support Reforms, said that the charter did not constitute a program in itself but that the bloc's economic program would certainly respect its principles. The charter is predicated on private ownership and freedom of contract. It says that the free market must be regulated by law. It also addresses the issues of openness and competitiveness, taxation and public finance, partnership, consumer protection, and the social safety net. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH MEDIA AND THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN. At a press conference on 1 July, Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council Marek Markiewicz, answering a complaint that public TV had become "a mouthpiece" for Walesa's nonparty reform bloc, said that the council would call for "a clear delineation between carrying out a public office and electioneering." The council was aware that all of the state agencies were violating that principle, he added. Some of the members of the council itself were still debating whether to run in the elections; most had decided against doing so for reasons of professional integrity. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH DEPUTY PREMIER ON CHINA VISIT. Deputy Premier Henryk Goryszewski told PAP on his return from China on 30 June that he had received "a rich offer of cooperation, particularly in the area of investment." Bilateral trade had collapsed in 1991 after the changeover to hard currency trading, and Goryszewski's visit aimed to revive economic relations. China is said to be interested in Polish power plant installations, mining equipment and rolling stock. Poland hopes to sign a bilateral trade agreement with China in early 1994. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON ESTONIA. On 1 July the Russian parliament adopted (160 votes for and 2 abstentions) a resolution giving the government two weeks to implement a package of measures against Estonia, including the suspension of Russian troop withdrawals, Baltic media report. The government was also told to inform the UN, the CSCE, and the Council of Europe about Estonia's allegedly discriminatory policy toward national minorities. The Estonian Foreign Ministry responded by charging that Russia was trying to bring Estonia back into its sphere of influence and added that the resolution contradicts the final act of the CSCE Helsinki meeting of July 1992. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIA STILL NOT RECEIVING GAS FROM RUSSIA. On 30 June Zenonas Vistinis, the director general of Lithuanian Gas, told a press conference in Vilnius that at the request of Lentransgaz he had sent it a list of 81 companies that have been consistently paying for the 1 million cubic meters of gas a day they have been using, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports. The promise by Lentransgaz officials that gas would be restored to them on 29 June was not fulfilled. He noted that Lithuanian Gas would not continue its policy of getting credits from Lithuanian banks since the 25% interest rates charged for them were too excessive. He also said that Belarus and Kaliningrad should repay their debts to Lithuania for electricity and rail transit directly to Lentransgaz. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN PREMIER MEETS SHAKRAI. On 1 July Adolfas Slezevicius, accompanied by Minister of Industry and Trade Kazimieras Klimasauskas and Deputy Minister of Energy Saulius Kutas, held talks in Kaliningrad with Russian Deputy Premier Sergei Shakrai, Radio Lithuania reports. A protocol on economic interaction between the two countries was signed and after another round of negotiations a trade agreement should be signed. The talks dealt with reconciling Lithuania's debt for gas and Russia's debt for electricity and transit of goods. They also discussed the procedure of non-visa entry and exit for Kaliningrad residents via Lithuania and closer cooperation against crime. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. FURTHER DELAY IN RUBIKS TRIAL IN LATVIA. On 1 July the trial of former Latvian Communist Party First Secretary Alfreds Rubiks accused of conspiring to seize power in 1991 was adjourned until 12 July due to the illness of one of the judges, BNS reports. The trial that officially opened on 14 June has not actually started since Rubiks refused to answer any questions claiming that he should have immunity as an elected Saeima (parliament) deputy. On 30 June the Latvian Supreme Court, at a session attended by Bill Bowring of the International Human Rights Committee as an observer, decided to ask the Saeima not to confirm Rubiks as a deputy until his trial is concluded. The first session of the Saeima on 6 July will decide whether to agree with the request. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. CORRUPTION REPORT RELEASED IN ROMANIA. A preliminary report on corruption involving high-ranking Romanian officials was released on 30 June. The report, which was prepared by an ad hoc commission of the parliament's two houses, appears to confirm some of the cases disclosed last April by Gen. Gheorghe Florica, former head of the Financial Police. The most frequent charges are influence-peddling and abuse of office. Among those named are Viorel Hrebenciuc, secretary general of the government, Rear-Admiral Cico Dumitrescu from the Interior Ministry, and Finance Minister Florin Georgescu. The report also questions the role of Interior Ministry George Ioan Danescu in some dealings. On 1 July the opposition failed to gather the required minimum of 119 signatures to call for an extraordinary session of parliament on corruption. A no-confidence vote in Nicolae Vacaroiu's cabinet has thus been delayed until September, when parliament reconvenes. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIANS JOIN UN OPERATION IN SOMALIA. A UN report from Mogadishu says that the advanced party of a Romanian field hospital, consisting of 12 persons, arrived there on 1 July. Other staff members are expected to reach the Somali capital on 2 July. In an interview with Radio Bucharest, Col. Ion Dragusin, commander of the military facility, said that the hospital was primarily for the UN troops and would grant medical assistance to Somalis only in "special cases." Dragusin added that the costs of the operation, which he put at about 7 billion lei (some $9.5 million), were taken care of by Romania. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN AMBASSADOR TO MOLDOVA APPOINTED. Romania recognized and established diplomatic relations with Moldova from the day of the proclamation of Moldova's independence in August 1991, but failed until now to appoint an ambassador owing to second thoughts about Moldovan independence if it was not to lead to unification. Romania was until recently represented in Chisinau by a charge d'affaires, but Moldova requested that charge Ion Bistreanu be replaced after he made a number of pro-unification statements; Bistreanu has since been promoted ambassador to Ukraine. Finally on 28 June, Marian Enache, a political confidant and legal adviser to President Ion Iliescu, presented his credentials as Romanian Ambassador to Moldova to President Mircea Snegur. Rompres commented that "the appointment dispels speculations . . . that Romania was not going to appoint an ambassador because of Bessarabia's status as a historic Romanian province." A Rompres profile of Enache said that "he gained prominence in Romanian political life . . . for his equilibrium and moderation" and "reasoned speeches." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA JOINS ROMANIA IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECT. On 1 July Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Neycho Neev announced that his government and Romania's have agreed to build two bridges across the Danube. One will link Vidin to Calafat while the second will run between Oryahovo and Bechet. The estimated cost of each structure is approximately $120 million, and both bridges should be built within about the next four years. The project is expected to relieve congestion along a heavily traveled route which "links Central Europe, several former Soviet republics and the middle east," reports Reuters. Bulgarian and Romanian officials are to meet next week to discuss technical matters and the question of financing. Stan Markotich , RFE/RL, Inc. NUCLEAR SAFETY IN BULGARIA. On 1 July Bulgaria's Cabinet agreed to step up security features around the Kozloduy nuclear power facility. The measure, designed to discourage thieves from stealing the plant's copper wire power lines, may save lives. According to official police statistics, at least twenty people died last year while attempting to steal power lines, and two of them were killed at that plant. Contrary to speculation, Chairman of the National Electric Company Dyanko Dobrev said that the plant's proximity, a distance of 100 kilometers, to the Serbian border played no role in the decision. Reuters carried the story. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Patrick Moore and Saulius Girnius THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in North America: Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907; Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 80538 Munich, Germany;.Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624; Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.RFE/RL Daily Report
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