|A friend is a gift you give yourself. - Robert Louis Stevenson|
No. 128, 08 July 1993
RUSSIA NO MENTION OF KURILS IN G-7 DECLARATION. The political declaration issued on 8 July by leaders at the G-7 Summit did not mention Russia's dispute with Japan over the future of the Kuril Islands, Reuters and AFP reported. Japanese government spokesmen in Tokyo explained the concession by arguing that the G7 political declaration made in Munich last year, which did address the issue, was still valid. During preparatory meetings for this year's summit, Japanese leaders reportedly pushed for another reference to the dispute, but they were opposed by other G-7 member states. The G-7 nations had first called upon Russia to resolve the issue at their summit in Houston in 1990; Russia has argued that the dispute should be negotiated on a bilateral basis. Boris Yeltsin, who arrived in Tokyo on 8 July, nevertheless expressed his readiness to discuss "all issues" with Japanese leaders, including the Kurils, Kyodo reported. Yeltsin expressed regret for having twice canceled visits to Japan, but said he took the actions because of Tokyo's insistence that Moscow turn over the disputed territory. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. US OFFER OF NUCLEAR SAFETY AID? EUROPEAN OFFICIALS AT THE G-7 SUMMIT ARE QUOTED BY REUTERS OF 8 JULY TO THE EFFECT THAT US PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON HAS OFFERED THE SUM OF $100 MILLION TO IMPROVE THE SAFETY OF NUCLEAR REACTORS IN THE FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS AND EASTERN EUROPE. It will be recalled that the European Community offered some $600 million for the same purpose at the G-7 summit in Munich in July 1992. Owing to reported internal EC squabbles and to Russian reluctance to provide accident insurance, the aid effort started only in June 1993. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN STRENGTHENS ANTI-CRIME COMMISSION. President Boris Yeltsin has set up a powerful new body in the presidential executive structures--the Interdepartmental Commission of the Security Council for the Struggle against Crime and Corruption. While the commission was first formed in January 1993 under the leadership of Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi (who was subsequently relieved of its leadership) the final regulations of the body were just published in Rossiiskie vesti on 6 July. The commission appears to have been upgraded and made more powerful, suggesting that Yeltsin is to give higher priority to fighting crime. The work of the commission will be guided by the president and the secretary of the security council and it will consist of four permanent members: the prime minister, the secretary of the security council, the procurator-general and the first deputy chairman of the parliament. Other key officials will be granted ordinary membership. The commission is supposed to meet on a monthly basis. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN INVITES REGIONAL POLITICIANS TO WORK IN CENTER. President Boris Yeltsin has issued a decree asking the Russian government and the president's administration to recruit more representatives of the regions into the federal executive structures, Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on 7 July. Yeltsin's step is a result of the growing influence of the regions and their politicians in Russian politics. The decree also stipulated that housing should be provided in of Moscow for politicians and specialists from the regions invited to work there. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. FEDOROV ON EXCHANGE AND INTEREST RATES. In an interview published in Nezavisimaya gazeta on 7 July, a day when the ruble strengthened further to 1,055 to the dollar, Deputy Prime Minister Boris Fedorov opined that the current ruble-dollar exchange rate could be maintained until September, and possibly until the end of the year. Fedorov stated that it was not the government's job to bring the exchange rate down to 600 rubles to the dollar, but to maintain it at its present level for a long time. In order to make the ruble fully convertible, he maintained, it was necessary to move to positive interest rates. As long as people receive negative interest rates, they will exchange their rubles for dollars, property, and goods. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE FORGERIES OF BANKNOTES AND VOUCHERS. At a news conference on 6 July, reported by Reuters, an official of the Department of Economic Crime of the Ministry of the Interior reported a large increase in the seizure of forged banknotes and vouchers. During the first five months of this year, more than half a million dollars and 20 million rubles in forged banknotes, plus forged privatization vouchers worth 19 million rubles, have been seized. Most of the forgeries had been produced on copying machines, and the official proposed measures to regulate the use and the importation of photo-copiers. In a move that is possibly related, an RFE/RL correspondent quoted the Russian Central Bank's press service on 6 July to the effect that the Bank has started to withdraw from circulation Soviet-era banknotes printed between 1961 and 1991. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. LABOR UNREST. A warning strike has been held by the miners of a large wolfram-molybdenum combine in Buryatiya, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 July.The miners are demanding wage rises, the right to tax privileges and state subsidies. The strikers are also demanding of the local authorities that prices for food products and industrial goods be regulated, that residential housing be guaranteed uninterrupted supplies of hot water, and that more effort be made to combat crime. In the meantime the Russian Federation of Independent Trade Unions has decided to picket the government building in Moscow over the critical situation in the timber industry. It claims that there is a danger of production stoppages and mass unemployment at timber processing enterprises. Russian radio reported on 6 July that strife is also imminent in the higher education sector: the union of university rectors has decided to hold a meeting for higher education employees on 1 September, when it will push for collective action and possibly a strike in the second half of September. Sheila Marnie, RFE/RL, Inc. SAKHA INTENDS TO INTRODUCE STATE OF EMERGENCY. The leadership of Sakha (Yakutia) intends to introduce a state of emergency if the republic does not receive within the next two to three weeks credits to lay in the necessary raw materials, industrial goods, and food supplies before the rivers, the main supply routes, freeze in September. Sakha Vice-President Vyacheslav Shtyrov told ITAR-TASS on 7 July that the situation was "extremely critical;" only 12-36 percent of the necessary supplies had been brought into the republic so far. Without a credit of 238 billion rubles in the third quarter, the government will have to mobilize all local financial resources, including those of commercial banks and enterprises, and sell diamonds on the internal market, Shtyrov said, adding, however, that Sakha would fulfil its obligations to deliver raw diamonds to De Beers. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE OBJECTS TO STATE STATUS FOR RELIGIONS IN KALMYKIA. The Russian Ministry of Justice said on 6 July that granting state status to individual confessions was only likely to aggravate interconfessional and interethnic relations, ITAR-TASS reported. The ministry was commenting on the granting of state status to Buddhism and Christianity in Kalmykia with effect from 6 July, announced by the Kalmyk president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in Ulan-Ude on 2 July. An official of the Ministry of Justice said Russia was a secular state that treated all religions and religious organizations as equal before the law. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTER WARNS OF BREAK WITH RUSSIA. On 7 July, Georgian Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua told journalists in Tbilisi that Georgia would recall its ambassador from Moscow if Russia did not stop supplying the Abkhaz separatists with arms, equipment, and ammunition, ITAR-TASS reported. Sigua called the current trilateral peace talks in Moscow a "deliberate procrastination". Meanwile, Andrei Dzhergenia, the chief Abkhaz negotiator at the talks, was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 7 July as stating that Abkhazia would soon sign an agreement worked out by all sides, which stipulates a ceasefire and withdrawal from Abkhaz territory of both Georgian troops and volunteers from the North Caucasus. Catherine Dale, RFE/RL, Inc. ARMENIAN OPPOSITION CALLS ON PRESIDENT TO RESIGN. Only 15,000 people, rather than the anticipated 500,000, participated in a demonstration in Erevan on 7 July organized by the radical Association for National Self-Determination to demand the resignation of President Levon Ter-Petrossyan and the dissolution of parliament, AFP reported. In an open letter to Ter-Petrossyan, ANSD leader Paruir Hairikyan accused him of falsifying elections and imposing media censorship, according to ITAR-TASS. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. GAS DISPUTE SOURS UZBEKISTAN-KAZAKHSTAN RELATIONS. Heads of town and raion administrations in Kazakhstan's Shymkent Oblast met in the oblast center to discuss how to deal with the crippling natural gas shortage resulting from Uzbekistan's steep reduction in the amount of natural gas shipped to Shymkent, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 July. According to Uzbek authorities, Shymkent Oblast owes Uzbekistan eight billion rubles; the reduction in the gas supply, which occurred in mid-June, was supposed to force payment, but Shymkent, suffering from declines in both industry and agriculture, has little hope of meeting Uzbekistan's demands. Sources in Almaty report that the gas dispute is turning popular opinion in Kazakhstan against Uzbekistan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. NATO DELEGATION ENDS VISIT TO CENTRAL ASIA. A delegation of NATO experts traveling under the aegis of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, headed by Turkey's ambassador to NATO, Tugay Ozceri, has wrapped up a visit to all Central Asian republics except Tajikistan, ITAR-TASS and Russian media sources reported on 6 July. At a news conference in Almaty, the delegation's last stop, Ozceri stated that the purpose of the visit had been to gather information about the Central Asian states and to inform their leaders about new concepts within NATO. He was also reported to have invited Kazakhstan to open a mission in Brussels, an offer to which it has not yet responded. According to the reports, NATO is interested in Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev's attempts to set up an Asian collective security system along the lines of the CSCE. It is unclear what role Russia and China would play in such an organization; China has not responded to Nazarbaev's proposal. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. ECO MEETING IN ISTANBUL. The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is currently meeting in Istanbul; the group's members are the five Central Asian states, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to a 7 July Reuters report, the leaders of these countries have agreed to establish a bank to foster trade and investment, a regional airline, a shipping company and a reinsurance firm. Turkey's President Suleyman Demirel also stated that the ECO members would cooperate on questions of the environment, transportation, and drug enforcement. The ECO issued a statement condemning Armenian "aggression" and calling on Armenian forces to withdraw from Azeri territory. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE CROATIAN POLICE RAID RIGHT-WING PARTY HQ. Vjesnik of 8 July reports that 200 police from special units converged the previous afternoon on Starcevic House, the office of the Croatian Party of [Historic] Rights (HSP). The Croatian authorities maintain that the party does not have a proper deed to the property, but the HSP says that the "scandalous move" is part of a campaign by the ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) to hound the HSP out of existance. The authorities provided no briefings for journalists, and the police took and smashed the camera of Vecernji list's photographer as he tried to take pictures of HSP paramilitaries being shoved into police vans. Previously the government had banned the paramilitary organization and incorporated its units into the Croatian army. It had also put HSP leader Dobroslav Paraga and some of his deputies on trial for "terrorism," meaning allegedly plotting a coup against President Franjo Tudjman. The HDZ-controlled media have played up reports of factionalism in the HSP. The HSP took only seven percent of the vote in the 1992 parliamentary elections, but it is the sole threat to the HDZ from the Right and has proven electoral appeal in districts near the front lines. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. CROATIA TO REOPEN STRATEGIC BRIDGE ON 18 JULY. President Tudjman announced on 7 July that the temporary pontoon structure at Maslenica will be ready for traffic in eleven days, as will be the Zadar airport. Securing this area was the object of the army's Operation Maslenica in late January, and the bridge is considered vital for the economic well-being of Dalmatia and its tourist trade. Dalmatia has felt neglected by the Zagreb government, and tourism, once Croatia's prime earner of hard currency, has sharply declined. Serbian artillery positions, however, still threaten the bridge and much of the Dalmatian coast, according to a Vjesnik report on 8 July. That paper also reported the continuing political uproar over Tudjman's 5 July statement on possible exchanges of territory between Croatia and the Bosnian Serbs. The leading opposition Croatian Social Liberal Party's spokesmen told a press conference on 7 July that such a move would be a "strategic and tactical mistake" and could hit Croatia "like a boomerang." Opposition leaders and mainstream politicians from within the HDZ have repeatedly warned Tudjman that he cannot insist on maintaining Croatia's own territorial integrity against the rebel Serbs if he joins in the partition of neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is also an internationally recognized state. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIAN OPPOSITION THREAT ACTION. Radios Serbia and B92 reported on 7 July that deputies of the Democratic Movement of Serbia (DEPOS) decided to suspend their participation in the federal and republican assemblies until the leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) Vuk Draskovic is released from prison. Other democratic opposition parties in Serbia and Montenegro were called upon to join the boycott. DEPOS, a coalition that includes the SPO, also stated that it would stage massive protests throughout Serbia until Draskovic and his wife are freed. SPO Vice President Slobodan Rakitic said that protest meetings will be held "regardless of whether the authorities allow them or not." He also said that DEPOS officials, Draskovic's wife, the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle, and former federal President Dobrica Cosic have been pleading with Draskovic to end his hunger strike. Doctors treating Draskovic said his condition was rapidly deteriorating. In a related matter, a statement by Russian President Boris Yeltsin's press secretary said Russia is "adding its voice to growing demands to release Draskovic, at least pending trial." Milan Andrejevich , RFE/RL, Inc. BELGRADE DAILY'S UNCERTAIN FUTURE. Borba, the only independent daily in rump Yugoslavia, faces nationalization, according to the latest issue of Belgrade's independent weekly Vreme. Borba' is a joint-stock company and no single investor owns the majority of shares. Vreme explained that the daily's problems arose from a power struggle over the post of director several months ago. Also, the editorial and managerial boards are at odds over the financial state of the daily, thus risking a government takeover. A recent memorandum by Acting Director Dusan Mijic forbids Borba's employees from talking to the media under pain of dismissal. Borba's Washington correspondent Slobodan Pavlovic wrote in the Washington Post on 5 July that the paper failed to obtain permission from the Treasury Department to publish a US edition aimed at the more than half million Serbian Americans. Pavlovic stressed that Borba's objective information and commentaries would pose a formidable challenge to the regular six hour satellite program of Belgrade TV in the US.Milan Andrejevich, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIAN PRESIDENT ELECTED. On 7 July, in the third ballot, the Saeima elected Guntis Ulmanis of the Farmers' Union as Latvia's president. In the first ballot the previous day Ulmanis had received only 12 votes, finishing last among three candidates. Latvia's Way, the largest bloc in the parliament,whose candidate, Gunars Meierovics, had received 35 votes in the first round, apparently withdrew its candidate to the advantage of Ulmanis in order to strengten its coalition with the Farmers' Union. In the second round Ulmanis received 46 votes, five short of the majority required. In the third round, however, some members of the Latvian Christian Democratic Party, which has strongly opposed the coalition, decided to support Ulmanis, the RFE/RL Latvian Service reports. Ulmanis, as the only candidate, was elected president by a vote of 53 to 26. Ulmanis, born on 13 September 1939, is an unknown figure. A great nephew of the last president of independent Latvia, Karlis Ulmanis, he spent the years 1941 to 1946 in exile in Siberia. From 1965 to 1989 he was a member of the Communist Party. In 1992 he became a member of the board of the Bank of Latvia. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN REFERENDUM POSTPONED. Parliamentary speaker Stanislau Shushkevich agreed at a parliamentary session on 7 July to postpone until the fall the referendum he had requested on Belarus adhering to the CIS collective security pact, ITAR-TASS reported. Shushkevich said a referendum on the new constitution would probably have to be held then in any case. Forty-five opposition deputies issued a statement on 7 July condemning the unsuccessful attempt by the parliamentary majority on 1 July to remove Shushkevich from the post of speaker. Stating that the majority would renew its efforts to get rid of Shushkevich, the statement suggested that the referendum should also include a question on early elections. Shushkevich survived the vote against him on 1 July because there was not a quorum. Ann Sheehy , RFE/RL, Inc. RENEWED CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS IN BULGARIA. On 7 July parliamentary representatives of the opposition coalition, Union of Democratic Forces, formally filed a request for early elections with the Chairman of the National Assembly. According to an RFE/RL correspondent in Sofia, parliament is expected to debate the motion next week. If it passes, elections will be slated for a date prior to 14 November 1993. The current parliament, elected in October 1991, is not yet at the half way point of its four-year term. Stan Markotich., RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAW ON NAMES. On 7 July the Slovak parliament passed a law allowing minorities to register their names in their mother tongues, TASR reported. Of the 105 deputies who participated in the secret ballot, 77 were in favor, 13 were against and 15 abstained. The law follows the Council of Europe's recommendation that Slovakia extend its minority rights legislation. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. LAW ON MINORITIES. The Hungarian Parliament passed on 7 July a bill on the rights of national and ethnic minorities, designed to provide cultural and political protection for the country's over 1 million minorities, MTI reports. The bill was passed by a vote of 304 to 3, with 8 absentions, after nearly two years of emotional debates which aimed at creating a law that could serve as an example for neighboring countries where ethnic Hungarians live. Under the law, national and ethnic minorities are defined as any group with at least 100 years of residence in Hungary and with its own language and culture. The law stipulates that the choice of identity is voluntary and guarantees the use of names and education in the mother tongue. It declares that minorities have a right to set up their own cultural and heritage organizations including "local and national self-governments," ensuring their cultural autonomy. The law stipulates that a "national and ethnic minority fund" be set up within a year to assist the minority self-governments. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET AND VAT. On 7 July, the Hungarian parliament approved by a vote of 179 to 131, and 5 abstentions a supplementary budget for 1993, MTI reports. The budget provides for a deficit of some 213 billion forint or 29 billion forint higher than originally projected. In a seperate vote, the parliament agreed by a vote of 172 to 137, and 8 abstentions, to raise the VAT on a wide range of goods from 6% to 10% and 25%, effective August 1. The supplement to the budget was needed to meet the requirements of the IMF for further credits, and the raising of the VAT served to provide part of the funds for the supplement. The vote represents a major victory for the government and for the largest governing party, the Hungarian Democratic Forum, which has recently lost deputies through defections and expulsions, raising questions about whether the government can muster a parliamentary majority. Both the opposition and the HDF's coalition partners criticized the raising of the VAT as putting excessive burdens on the population. The Christian Democratic People's Party, a member of the coalition, succeeded in getting the VAT draft amended to exempt medicine from the tax through 1994. Edith Oltay , RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUS PREPARES TO INTRODUCE OWN CURRENCY. The Belarussian parliament has authorized the government and the Central Bank to introduce a separate currency if no agreement is reached on monetary policy with Russia, Reuters reported on 7 July. However, according to the Central Bank chairman, Stanislav Bogdankevich, any new currency would still be linked to the ruble in some way. Russia has recently reduced supplies of rubles to Belarus, which already uses it own parallel currency for accounting purposes and for 80% of cash transactions. Russia has been putting increasing pressure on Belarus to either coordinate monetary policy with Moscow or to leave the ruble zone; Western financial institutions have been advising Belarus to do the latter. The Belarus parliamant has also approved a scheme to distribute privatization cheques. Sheila Marnie, RFE/RL, Inc. KRAVCHUK CRITICIZES ECONOMICS MINISTRY FOR ENERGY PRICE HIKES. Reuters reported on 7 July that the Ukrainian economics ministry had sent a telegram to local authorities advising that the price of gas, fuel oil and electricity would increase by 2.5-3 times. President Leonid Kravchuk protested the ministry's actions, claiming that the decision had not been collective and instructing Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma to "punish guilty parties" in the government. However, Deputy Economics Minister Viktor Kalnik defended the decision, saying that the ministry wnister Viktor Kalnik defended the decision, saying that the ministry was authorised to raise energy rates in response to a Russian increase in oil and gas export prices, which have more than doubled. According to Kalnik, the decision was taken "to ensure our energy industry was not totally stopped". He added that the full cabinet of ministers would examine the increases later this week and that it was unclear whether they would be imposed. Susan Stewart Leonid Kravchuk has evinced his support for Ukraine declaring itself the owner of the nuclear weapons on its territory, according to Reuters reports of 7 July. He also noted, however, that Ukraine should maintain its commitment to eliminating all its nuclear weapons. Reuters also indicated that Kravchuk may be abandoning his previous intention to push for a vote on the START-1 treaty before the September referencum. On 8 July Reuters reported that Ukrainian Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma had publicly called for Ukraine to declare itself temporarily a nuclear-weapons state. While the claim to ownership is not so new and is rather ambiguous, the suggestion that Ukraine declare itself a nuclear-weapons state implies that it might also take over full operational control of the nuclear weapons. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN TREATY. Ukraine and Russia have begun to prepare a full scale treaty on friendship and cooperation, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 7 July. Delegations from both sides met in Kiev on 6 July to discuss details of the accord, which has been under discussion for more than a year. Russia's chief negotiator Yurii Dubinin said that the treaty will include all aspects of Ukrainian-Russian relations that have emerged in the post-Soviet period. The need to sign a full scale pact was affirmed once again at the recent Ukrainian-Russian summit. Roman Solchanyk, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH-RUSSIAN MILITARY AGREEMENT SIGNED. Polish Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz and his Russian counterpart Gen. Pavel Grachev signed an agreement on military cooperation in Moscow on 7 July, PAP reports. The agreement provides for technical cooperation and the exchange of specialists and information. Poland has already signed analogous agreements with its other eastern neighbors. Onyszkiewicz assured Grachev that, regardless of changes on the Polish political scene, any future Polish government will strive for good relations with Russia. Grachev endorsed the idea of a Baltic region security arrangement but ruled out meetings with all Baltic defense ministers because of "problems in relations with Latvia and Estonia." He also stressed Russia's satisfaction with the course of the troop withdrawal from Poland. On 6 July, Pravda had accused Polish officials of "fascist" brutality in their treatment of departing Russian troops. According to Pravda, Polish customs inspectors subjected "Russian officers--the sons and grandsons of the liberators of Poland" to "demeaning procedures" reminiscent of the Nazi era, merely to unearth a few bottles of smuggled vodka. Customs inspections of departing troops have only been possible since January 1993. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN-LITHUANIAN AGREEMENTS SIGNED. On 7 July delegations headed by Ukrainian and Lithuanian prime ministers Leonid Kuchma and Adolfas Slezevicius met in Vilnius and signed an agreement on land and air transport, allowing Ukraine to use the port of Klaipeda, and Lithuania to ship goods to Central Asia, Radio Lithuania reports. Other agreements on postal relations, legal cooperastion, and establishing embassies in the capitals were also signed, but differences on the more important free trade treaty were not resolved. It is, nonetheless, expected to be signed in Kiev later this month. Kuchma also held talks with President Algirdas Brazauskas before returning to Kiev in the evening. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVAN-UKRAINIAN TIES ADVANCE. A large Moldovan delegation, headed by Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi and including Moldova's Ministers of Internal Affairs and National Security, visited Ukraine's Odessa Oblast on 5 and 6 July. A large part of this oblast belonged successively to Moldova, Bessarabia, and Romania until World War II. The sides--"and particularly the Moldovan side," ITAR-TASS reported--reaffirmed respect for existing borders. According to Basapress, they discussed bilateral cooperation by border guards (especially important for Moldova considering Ukraine's role in stopping infiltration of Russian armed groups into Transdniester), customs, and railroads officials; identified potential joint ventures; and examined the possible use by Moldova of Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odessa and the (formerly Moldovan) Danube port Ismail, which the Moldovan delegation visited. It was also announced that the sides had recently agreed on student exchanges involving ethnic Moldovans from Odessa Oblast and ethnic Ukrainians from Moldova; the Moldovan delegation met with local ethnic Moldovan students and teachers. Lucinschi urged more active Ukrainian participation in a political settlement of the Dniester conflict. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. BUCHAREST ON ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN TIES. Mircea Gioana, a spokesman for the Romanian Foreign Ministry, told journalists on 7 July that Romania was interested in improving ties with neighboring Hungary. The spokesman criticized, however, a recent statement by the Hungarian Foreign Ministry for allegedly trying to put the blame for difficulties in mutual relations on the Romanian side. Gioana said that the delay in signing a bilateral treaty was mainly caused by Hungary's refusal to accept a clause on the two countries renouncing any territorial claims on each other. He also expressed dismay over Budapest's insistence on its right to have a privileged relation to Hungarian minorities in other countries, without specifying that those minority groups should remain loyal to the state in which they live. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Anna Swidlicka and John Lepingwell 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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