Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. - Mark Twain
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 131, 13 July 1993



RUSSIA



CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES DRAFT CONSTITUTION. 433 of 585
delegates at the Constitutional Assembly approved on 12 July
a draft constitution that had been worked out by a conciliatory
commission set up by the assembly in late June. Reuters and ITAR-TASS
said that the draft gives the president powers to dissolve the
parliament and call elections. It eliminates the vice-presidency,
now held by Yeltsin's opponent Aleksandr Rutskoi. Addressing
the delegates before the vote, President Yeltsin said "the new
Russia needs a new constitution." The president later told reporters
that he was satisfied with the draft constitution. The document
is now going to be debated in the parliaments of Russia's republics
and regions. Vera Tolz

REPUBLICS AND REGIONS UNHAPPY ABOUT DRAFT CONSTITUTION. A number
of Russia's republics and regions are still unhappy with the
division of power between federal, republican and regional bodies
as spelled out in the draft constitution, Russian and Western
agencies reported on 12 July. Several leaders of Russia's regions
(oblasts and krais) were dissatisfied with the fact that the
draft calls republics "sovereign states," whereas the regions
do not enjoy this status. Thus, the draft retains the present
inequality of status between republics and regions, regional
leaders complained. In turn, the deputy chairman of the parliament
of Sakha (Yakutia), Egor Larionov, objected to the clause in
the draft that gives the federal constitution and federal laws
priority over republican laws. Larionov also said that the Constitutional
Assembly was not a legislative organ and therefore its delegates
should not have voted on the draft constitution. The last word
should be given to republican and regional parliaments, he insisted.
Summing up the reactions of republics and regions to the draft
constitution, presidential spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov said
that getting the draft approved by local parliaments "may be
an even more strained stage" of the process than the actual drafting
of the document. Vera Tolz

KHASBULATOV AND RUTSKOI MEET NATIONALISTS. Parliamentary speaker
Ruslan Khasbulatov and Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi met a
group of Russian intellectuals, including nationalist writers
such as Aleksandr Prokhanov, Yurii Bondarev, Petr Proskurin and
other writers, poets and composers in the Russian parliament
building, Russian TV's Vesti newscast reported on 8 July. Khasbulatov
said that the parliament won't permit a deterioration of the
financial situation of the cultural sphere and asked the audience
for advice on how to act on this matter in the future. Rutskoi
was less outspoken but emphasized the need to take extraordinary
steps in politics. Prokhanov praised Khasbulatov and Rutskoi
for having joined ranks with the nationalist opposition to President
Boris Yeltsin. Alexander Rahr

RUSSIA OFFERS HELICOPTERS TO THAILAND. ITAR-TASS, quoting a Japanese
source, reported on 11 July that Moscow has offered to sell 20
Mi-17V military helicopters to Thailand to repay a debt of some
$65 million incurred by Russian rice purchases. On 6 July AFP
had reported a Russian offer to supply Thailand, traditionally
equipped by the US, with 33 Mi-17V helicopters. AFP said that
the deal was worth $130 million (at $3.9 million per helicopter)
and described it as a semi-barter deal for rice and cash. Whatever
the exact terms of the negotiations, the "food for weapons" offer
appears to be part of an emerging sales strategy devised by Moscow
to break into the Southeast Asian arms market. Earlier, Russia
reportedly agreed to accept some $1 billion worth of palm oil
from Malaysia as partial payment for a consignment of 18 MiG-29's.
Stephen Foye

SOBER PROJECTIONS FOR 1993. The Control and Budget Committee
of the parliament foresees a 12.5% decline in output in 1993,
Ostankino TV reported on 9 July. The committee expects wholesale
prices to rise by a factor of 10-12 and retail prices to increase
by a factor of 5-7 in the wake of deregulated fuel prices. Its
specialists predict a drop of 25% in the volume of personal consumption.
Keith Bush

CHANGE IN DEFENSE CONVERSION POLICY? A GROUP OF LEADING RESEARCH
INSTITUTES IN THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY HAS NEARLY COMPLETED THE REVISION
OF THE STATE POLICY FOR CONVERSION, ITAR-TASS REPORTED ON 12
JULY. The document referred to is presumably the draft conversion
program that was approved by senior cabinet ministers on 3 June.
The main departure from previous conversion guidelines appears
to be the recommendation that defense enterprises move rapidly
to market conditions by means of widespread privatization. Until
now, much or most of the defense industry has been kept off the
privatization schedule on secrecy and environmental grounds.
Keith Bush

TRIPARTITE COMMISSION ON SOCIO-LABOR RELATIONS. The Russian tripartite
commission on regulating socio-labor relations (comprising representatives
of government, employer and employee organizations) has expressed
concern about work conditions for those employees working for
organizations financed directly from the state budget, Russian
television reported on 10 July. The commission noted that due
to under-financing there have been threats of strikes in the
health, education, and other branches. It was decided to call
an extraordinary meeting of the commission on 16 July, at which
the government is being asked to inform the members of its plans
for financing the so-called budget organizations. The commission
also supported the trade unions of the defense industry and atomic
energy branches in their request that financing of the nuclear
centers of Arzamas-16 and Chelyabinsk-70 be guaranteed and adjusted
for inflation. Sheila Marnie

RUSSIAN CONVERTIBLE CURRENCY LOAN TO CUBA. A Russian government
spokesman told an RFE/RL correspondent on 9 July that Moscow
plans to give Cuba a loan of $380 million to complete twelve
projects that were contracted before the collapse of the Soviet
Union. The loan was reportedly agreed to at recently completed
talks in Moscow between Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin
and Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Lionel Soto. Keith Bush

RUSSIAN CULTURE MINISTER OPPOSES RETURN OF NATIONAL TREASURES.
In an interview published in the latest issue of Newsweek, Russian
Culture Minister Evgenii Sidorov has reaffirmed his opposition
to the return by Russia of national cultural and historical treasures
to the non-Russian former republics. "I'm against it," he declared,
arguing that Russia in fact helped the non-Russian republics
"form their museums" from Russian collections and "reserves."
In February 1992 the leaders of all the CIS states signed an
agreement in Minsk on the restitution of national treasures to
the countries from which they were removed, but the Russian parliament
subsequently refused to ratify the accord. Ukraine, Belarus,
Moldova, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and other CIS states are continuing
to press for the return of their national treasures. Bohdan Nahaylo


TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ PEACE TALKS SUSPENDED. Russian Deputy Foreign
Minister Boris Pastukhov stated on 12 July that Russian-mediated
peace talks in Moscow failed to produce a ceasefire agreement
and have been suspended indefinitely, ITAR-TASS reported. On
12 July, Georgian and Abkhaz representatives presented the positions
of their leaderships regarding the ceasefire proposal worked
out on 9 July. While the two sides agreed with the provision
for troop withdrawal, the Abkhaz negotiators added a new condition:
that their parliament and other government institutions be allowed
to return to Sukhumi as soon as Georgian troops withdraw. Georgia
refused to consider this demand. On 12 July in Tbilisi, after
returning from a harrowing stay in the zone of conflict, Georgian
Parliament Chair Eduard Shevardnadze stated that a "Georgian
offensive is inevitable" if peace talks fail, Western press agencies
reported. Catherine Dale

RUSSIAN-KYRGYZ MILITARY AGREEMENT SIGNED. On 5 July, Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and Chairman of Kyrgyzstan's State
Committee on Defense Dzhanibek Umetaliev signed two agreements
on military cooperation between their two countries, Krasnaya
zvezda reported on 7 July. One agreement provides for either
country to lease land for military installations on the territory
of the other, with the rent to be paid in equipment and training.
Both sides also undertook to maintain supply systems for military
units and to place orders for equipment with local industries.
The agreements also covered social and legal protection and provision
of housing for military staff stationed on each other's territory.
Bess Brown

KAZAKHSTANI-RUSSIAN ESTRANGEMENT CONTINUES. On 10 July Radio
Rossii and Russian TV carried a report about the ongoing recriminations
between Kazakhstan and Russia, noting that the Russian information
media is accusing Kazakhstan of not honoring delivery agreements
and not paying its bills, while Kazakhstan accuses Russia of
trying to push it out of the ruble zone. The latter charge has
been articulated by Kazakhstani officials, most notably Prime
Minister Sergei Tereshchenko. The radio report noted that it
has become standard practice in Kazakhstan to blame every shortcoming
in the republic's economy on Russia, and claimed that this is
in accord with the instructions of a State Commission on National
Policy that was set up in June to define a national ideology
for Kazakhstan. Bess Brown

UZBEKISTAN, KAZAKHSTAN FORCED TO INTRODUCE OWN CURRENCIES? THE
FIRST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF UZBEKISTAN, SHERMAHAMAD URINBAYEV
HAS STATED THAT UZBEKISTAN IS BEING FORCED TO DITCH THE RUBLE
DUE TO RUSSIA'S UNCOMPROMISING MONETARY POLICIES, AND WILL HAVE
TO INTRODUCE ITS OWN CURRENCY VERY SOON, ACCORDING TO REUTERS
ON 9 JULY. Russia has apparently stopped supplying banknotes
and has begun to replace the old ruble notes with new-style rubles
which are meant exclusively for use inside Russia. The new Uzbek
banknotes have already been printed and will be called "sum,"
with the smaller denomination copper coins being called "tyiyn."
Russian television reported on 10 July that Kazakhstan has also
complained about the withdrawal of the old ruble banknotes. Many
enterprises are reported to be in a "pre-strike" situation due
to lack of cash, and many now think that the introduction of
a national currency is inevitable. Sheila Marnie

AKAEV IN MONGOLIA. President Askar Akaev of Kyrgyzstan completed
his first official visit to Mongolia on 12 July, ITAR-TASS reported.
He was in Mongolia on the official invitation of the head of
the Mongolian government, Punsalmagiyn Ochirbat. During his meetings
with the Mongolian side Akaev signed numerous agreements establishing
the legal basis for interstate relations between Kyrgyzstan and
Mongolia. Yalcin Tokgozoglu

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



WILL UTILITIES BE RESTORED TO SARAJEVO? INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORTED
ON 12 JULY THAT SERBIAN AND MUSLIM REPRESENTATIVES SIGNED A FRENCH-SPONSORED
AGREEMENT TO RESTORE WATER, GAS, AND ELECTRICITY TO THE BESIEGED
CAPITAL. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has said that he
will attend the Geneva peace talks if the pact is carried out.
The residents of Gorazde, however, may be less fortunate, since
their main overland supply center fell to the Serbs. By capturing
Trnovo, the Serbs can link up their strongholds east of Sarajevo
with those in eastern Herzegovina. Meanwhile, AFP quoted Franciscan
fathers in Konjic as saying that local Muslim bands are "systematically
massacring" the Catholic population and have looted Catholic
buildings. The fathers added that the 12,000 Croats there "are
in a desperate situation." Patrick Moore

ANGER IN DALMATIA OVER POSSIBLE LAND SWAP WITH SERBS. Political
fallout continues to plague Croatian President Franjo Tudjman
and his ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) over his remarks
on 5 July on a possible exchange of the Konavle region south
of Dubrovnik for the Serb-held strategic heights above the historic
town. On 12 July, Slobodna Dalmacija carried an open letter from
Tudjman to a popular young actress from Konavle, reassuring her
that the interests of all parts of Croatia were important to
him but not explicitly promising not to do a deal with the Serbs
at Konavle's expense. That same daily also ran a two-page biting
satire on the political situation and began by mocking Tudjman's
remarks of the previous week. Such treatment of the president
has been totally absent from the Croatian press since the HDZ
tightened its grip on the media and may well reflect opposition
within the party to Tudjman's proposals. Dalmatia has long-standing
and wider grievances against the Zagreb government, which it
feels has neglected the region's basic social and economic interests.
Patrick Moore

BULGARIAN DEMAND FOR SERBIAN TRANSIT CORRIDOR REFUSED. According
to a statement issued by the Bulgarian government, the US Ambassador
to Bulgaria Hugh Kenneth Hill informed Prime Minister Lyuben
Berov that a transit corridor allowing for the flow of goods
through Serbia to Bulgaria should not be allowed on the grounds
that it may serve to weaken the impact of the sanctions applied
against rump Yugoslavia, Reuters reported on 12 July. Bulgaria's
most important road and rail ties to the West pass through Serbia,
and Berov has asked the UN to regulate a route from Bulgaria,
through Serbia, and on to Szeged, Hungary. Bulgaria has sustained
economic losses since agreeing to enforce the UN sanctions against
rump Yugoslavia. Stan Markotich.

BERISHA CRITIC JAILED FOR 6 MONTHS. Rilindja Demokratike reports
on 13 July that Idajet Beqiri, leader of the tiny Albanian National
Unity Party, was sentenced on 12 July to 6 months in prison for
insulting and slandering the Albanian President Sali Berisha.
Beqiri, whose party includes hardline nationalistic communists,
had suggested that Berisha was installing a fascist dictatorship
in Albania. Robert Austin

ALBANIA RECEIVES $15 MILLION LOAN. Rilindja Demokratike reported
on 11 July that Albania has received funds from the International
Development Association (IDA), an affiliate of the World Bank,
to aid in the construction of new homes. According to an RFE/RL
correspondent's report on 13 July, the Albanian government will
contribute $25 million to the project, while the US Agency for
International Development has offered a $1.5 million grant to
pay education costs for employees of Albania's National Housing
Agency and the Ministry of Construction, Housing and Territorial
Planning. The IDA loan is interest free. Robert Austin

BRITAIN EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE OVER SEVASTOPOL. Ukrainian
TV reported on 12 July that the British ambassador in Kiev handed
the Ukrainian foreign minister a note from the British government
describing the Russian parliament's claim on Sevastopol as "irresponsible."
The note reportedly said that "there can be no question as to
Ukraine's sovereignty over Sevastopol, just as there can be no
question about the principles of the territorial integrity recognized
by the CSCE." Bohdan Nahaylo

MOLDOVA, UKRAINE CONSULT ON SEVASTOPOL ISSUE. Ukraine's ambassador
to Moldova, Vitalii Boiko, has "expressed confidence that Moldova's
President, parliament, and government will take a stand" on the
Russian Supreme Soviet's claim to Ukraine's port city Sevastopol,
Basapress reported on 12 July. The ambassador was received that
day by Moldova's First Deputy Foreign Minister Ion Botnaru to
discuss that issue. Vladimir Socor

ZLENKO OUTLINES UKRAINIAN SECURITY POLICY. In an article published
in Holos Ukrainy on 10 July 1993, Foreign Minister Anatoliy Zlenko
set out his blueprint for Ukrainian security policy, stressing
the importance of creating a collective security zone stretching
from the Baltic to the Black Sea. He argued that existing groups,
such as the Visegrad group, need to be "widened and deepened."
While Zlenko did not mention Russia directly, he rejected Russia's
claim to a special role in peacekeeping and regional security
in the former USSR. Zlenko noted that the new North Atlantic
Cooperation Council was an important development but he was also
critical of NATO for not moving quickly enough to reform itself
to deal with the post-Cold War environment. While the article
did not address the issue of nuclear weapons in any detail, Zlenko
did reiterate Ukraine's intention to become a non-nuclear state,
provided security guarantees are provided by the permanent members
of the UN Security Council. John Lepingwell

RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS QUESTION BALTIC TREATIES. Baltic media reported
on 12 July that the presidium of the Russian Supreme Soviet has
endorsed a proposal denouncing the 1920 peace treaties with Estonia
and Latvia, and sent it to the Supreme Soviet for consideration.
The principal reason for this step seems to be the Russian lawmakers'
desire to legalize the annexation by the RSFSR under Stalin of
districts from the two Baltic states, in violation of the 1920
treaties. While both Latvia and Estonia want the annexed lands
to be returned to their jurisdiction, Estonia has taken a much
more active stand on this issue. Dzintra Bungs

LATVIA PROTESTS RUSSIAN TROOP EXERCISES AND POLLUTION. On 12
July the Latvian Foreign Ministry sent two protest notes to the
Russian Embassy in Riga. One note protests the holding of Russian
military command exercises in Dobele on 13-15 July. The second
note demands information on the chemical composition and precise
location of the chemical weapons that were dumped in the Baltic
Sea after 1945; this information is essential to cleaning up
the Baltic, Diena reported on 12 July. Dzintra Bungs

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS ALIEN LAW. President Lennart Meri signed
on 12 July the revised version of the law on aliens. One important
change provides that registered residents need not repeat the
registration process every five years. Meri said that the revisions
brought the law into line with similar legislation in other European
countries, Estonian media reported. Dzintra Bungs

FIRST REFERENDUM POLLING STATION OPENS IN NARVA. On 12 July the
first of 15 planned polling stations for the referendum on local
autonomy to be held on 16 and 17 July was opened at the Narva
city executive committee offices, Baltic media report. Any permanent
Narva resident, regardless of citizenship, unable to vote on
those days is thus provided an opportunity to participate in
the referendum, which will be considered valid if a majority
of the residents participate. Estonian officials, including the
Chancellor of Justice, have called the referendum unconstitutional.
CSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel
was assured by the Estonian government that it would not use
force to halt the referendum and by the Narva and Sillamae city
councils that they would comply with any decisions on the referendum
by the Estonian Supreme Court. Saulius Girnius

WEIZSAECKER ENDS VISIT TO ESTONIA. On 12 July, before returning
to Germany, President Richard von Weizsaecker held talks with
representatives of the Russian speaking minority in Estonia and
with the parliamentary deputy chairman Tunne Kelan, Baltic and
Western media report. At a press conference with President Lennart
Meri, Weizsaecker said that Germany would not interfere in Estonian-Russian
relations, but, if asked, would use "quiet diplomacy" to improve
them. He hoped that Estonia could act as a "hinge" between Western
Europe and Russia. He said the Russian troops in Estonia should
be withdrawn. Meri noted that Estonian laws are now in full compliance
with the European system of justice. At his meeting with President
Boris Yeltsin on 10 July, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl had said
that his country would pursue the role of "advocate" for the
Baltic States, supporting their independence, transformation
into market economies, and integration into European institutions
such as the EC and NATO, according to a report in the Sueddeutsche
Zeitung. Saulius Girnius

JUPPE IN PRAGUE. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is on an
official visit to the Czech Republic, Czech Radio reported on
12 July. He met with President Vaclav Havel, Prime Minister Vaclav
Klaus, and Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec to discuss the European
integration process. Juppe pointed out that, despite various
problems, West European states will try to open their markets
to the new European democracies and announced that France will
seek to help the Czech Republic establish closer ties to NATO.
Juppe also discussed a French proposal to hold a Conference on
European Stability. The conference would include discussion of
the situation of ethnic minorities in European countries. Jan
Obrman

CONSTITUTIONAL JUDGE RESIGNS BEFORE APPOINTMENT. Pavel Mates,
a former Czechoslovak constitutional judge who was scheduled
to be appointed as one of the judges of the Czech Constitutional
Court by President Vaclav Havel later this week, has withdrawn
his candidacy, Czech radio reported on 12 July. Mates was approved
by the Czech parliament along with twelve other candidates. Officially,
the reasons for his decision remain unknown; Mates merely explained
that he did not feel "psychologically fit." Newspapers have speculated,
however, that he decided to withdraw after Cesky denik recently
published excerpts from articles he wrote in the 1970s, justifying
expropriations after the Communist take-over and analyzing "the
election system in bourgeois Czechoslovakia." Jan Obrman

UNEMPLOYMENT GROWTH IN SLOVAKIA. The Slovak Ministry of Labor
announced on 12 July that unemployment reached 12.48% at the
end of June. The announcement, quoted by TASR, said that during
June the number of unemployed increased by 13,500 to a total
of 318,082. The highest unemployment rate was in the district
of Rimavska Sobota, with 21.90%, while the lowest rate was in
Bratislava, with 4.27%. At the time of the Czech-Slovak split
on 1 January, Slovakia's unemployment rate was 10.4%. Sharon
Fisher

POLISH RIGHT-WING COALITIONS VIE FOR SUPPORT. With only seventy
days remaining until the parliamentary elections in September,
party alliances remain fluid, especially on the Right. Lengthy
negotiations failed to bridge the gap between the two parties
likely to compete for the anti-communist vote: former Prime Minister
Jan Olszewski's Movement for the Republic and Jaroslaw Kaczynski's
Center Alliance. The two parties had orginally agreed to head
up a broad coalition of "national-patriotic" groups called the
Polish Union. The ensuing battle for control between the two
leaders prompted a split, however, and Olszewski left to form
a rival coalition, called the Coalition for the Republic. On
11 July, Olszewski scored a first success by winning over the
small Peasant Alliance to his coalition. The Peasant Alliance,
which defected from the government coalition in May, had originally
agreed to run with the conservative Christian National Union
but apparently demanded too many seats on that party's lists.
The Christian National Union has since resolved to run alone.
Olszewski told reporters that right-wing groups must join forces
to thwart "a united front by the postcommunist Left," but his
conditions appear to rule out any rapprochement with Kaczynski.
The disorganization on the Right contrasts sharply with the calm
and self-confidence expressed by parties of the postcommunist
Left. Louisa Vinton

POLISH ELECTION COMMISSION RULES ON COALITIONS. The election
law's high thresholds--5% for parties, 8% for coalitions--have
posed a dilemma for small parties like Olszewski's. Forming an
election coalition runs the risk of raising the threshold too
high for success, but few party leaders have been willing to
exercise the self-restraint needed to submerge their groups entirely
in another party to qualify for the 5% threshold. A ruling issued
on 12 July by the State Election Commission seems likely to enable
most coalitions to qualify for the lower threshold, however.
The commission's ruling essentially leaves the official designation--as
"party" or "coalition"--to the discretion of each group registering
candidates. Groups that register as individual parties to qualify
for the 5% threshold are still entitled to run candidates from
other parties on their lists, and to identify them as such. This
tactic would violate the spirit but not the letter of the election
law. As Rzeczpospolita put it in a headline on 13 July, "You
Can Outfox the Election Law." Louisa Vinton

POLAND AGREES TO REPAY SLOVAK DEBT WITH COAL. According to an
agreement reached on 12 July between Polish Premier Hanna Suchocka
and Slovak Deputy Premier Roman Kovac, Poland will repay the
Slovak portion of its $85 million debt to Czechoslovakia with
coal. Although Poland had an agreement to repay both the Czech
and Slovak republics in this way, the Czech Republic has now
refused to accept such a form of payment, CTK reports. During
his two-day visit to Poland, Kovac also discussed increased economic
cooperation with Deputy Prime Minister Henryk Goryszewski, TASR
reports. Kovac said three agreements were necessary to revive
mutual trade: on investment protection, on limitation of double
taxation, and on trade payments. Sharon Fisher

ALLIANCE OF FREE DEMOCRATS JOINS LIBERAL INTERNATIONAL. The Hungarian
opposition party Alliance of Free Democrats (AFD) has become
a full member of the Liberal International, Radio Budapest reported
on 12 July. The decision must be confirmed by the congress of
the Liberal International in Reykjavik next year. At an AFD press
conference on Monday it was announced that the Liberal International's
executive committee will hold its next session in Budapest from
26 till 28 November, MTI reports. Judith Pataki

CRISIS HANDLING OF HUNGARIAN INDUSTRY. On 12 July, the Hungarian
Industry and Trade Minister Janos Latorczai said that Hungarian
industry will need crisis-handling policies until 1995, when
a period of stabilization until the year 2000 might set in, MTI
reported. Latorczai spoke at a Hungarian Foreign Trade Employees'
Conference at the Ministry for International Economic Relations.
Latorczai said that the growth in GDP would be between zero and
3% from 1993 till 1995 and 4-5% from 1996 to 2000. At the same
meeting, Interior Minister Peter Boross denied that 87 trade
offices in 66 countries would be either closed down or merged
with the diplomatic missions there. Judith Pataki

CSCE INTERCEDES FOR "TIRASPOL SIX." The annual session of CSCE's
Parliamentary Assembly in Helsinki passed a resolution expressing
concern over the fate of the six Moldovans facing the death penalty
on charges of "terrorism" by a "Dniester republic" court, and
urging that the six be handed over to the lawful Moldovan authorities,
Moldovapres reported on 11 July. The Chairman-in-office of CSCE's
Council, Swedish Foreign Minister Margaretha af Ugglas, issued
a similar statement, expressing concern that the Tiraspol trial
heightens tensions in the area, Moldovapres reported on 7 July.
Vladimir Socor

BELARUSIANS HOLD WORLD CONGRESS. The first World Congress of
Belarusians was held in Minsk on 9-11 July, Belarusian media
and Reuters report. Some 800 delegates representing the eight-million-strong
Belarusian diaspora set up an association called "Batkauvshchina,"
or Homeland, which will be dedicated to defending the Belarusian
national identity. The Congress gave a standing ovation to the
democratic speaker of the Belarusian parliament, Stanislau Shushkevich,
who is battling with the conservative parliamentary majority.
Bohdan Nahaylo

[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
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RFE/RL Daily Report

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