When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 134, 16 July 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



CHERNOMYRDIN WANTS TRADE EXPANSION.-.-. Russian Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin, on the second day of a three-day visit to
Germany, told reporters in Bonn on 15 July that Russia, as never
before, is prepared for dialogue, compromise, and cooperation
with its foreign partners. The Russian minister noted that Russia
was interested in continuing to provide Germany with raw materials
and energy sources, but would like to expand into other forms
of trade as well. Chernomyrdin said he was "obviously dissatisfied"
with the reception of Russian goods in the EC market, saying
"we don't agree with the discrimination to which Russian products
are subjected." He cited machine tools, consumer goods, and textiles
as examples, according to an RFE/RL correspondent in Bonn. -Suzanne
Crow

.-.-.-AND GERMANY RESPONDS. According to Victor Vogt, head of
Foreign Trade Department of the German Chamber of Commerce and
Industry in Cologne, Germany is ready to go ahead with investment
in Russia, specifically with three joint ventures designed to
modernize Russia's energy infrastructure, but "it is up to [Russia]
to deliver the necessary conditions for the investments to proceed."
German businessmen told the Chernomyrdin delegation during talks
on 15 July that Russia needs to clarify which authorities (regional
or central) and which government agencies in Russian have the
power to make decisions, the Financial Times reported on 16 July.
-Suzanne Crow

KHASBULATOV MEETS WITH WESTERN JOURNALISTS. Ruslan Khasbulatov
chided Western journalists for their "one-sided" reporting of
the political situation in Russia at a press conference aired
on Russian television on 14 July. He again denied that the parliament
was anti-reform, pointing to the recent economic roundtable between
the government and parliament as proof of parliament's commitment
to reform. He dismissed the possibility of an early convocation
of the Congress of People's Deputies and called instead for a
national conference on the economy in order to determine future
economic policies. Khasbulatov also warned that efforts to undermine
the legislative branch were having a negative and destabilizing
impact throughout Russia, and called on the international community
to ensure the rights of national minorities in the Baltic States.
-Dominic Gualtieri

MORE ON ARMY'S MANPOWER PROBLEMS. Lt. Gen. Vladimir Bondartsev,
the first deputy chief of the Defense Ministry's organization-mobilization
directorate, was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 15 July as saying that
although Russia's spring draft targets had been fully met, the
army's enlisted ranks are still only 51% manned, leaving a total
shortfall of more than 700,000. Bondartsev estimated that following
the demobilization of some 320,000 draftees this fall, manning
levels among enlisted men would fall to 30-35% of the required
number, a level at which normal functioning of the army would
be impossible. He said that the Defense Ministry had requested
that medical and educational deferments be narrowed and that
approval of a draft law on alternate military service be delayed
until 1994-1995. Bondartsev also said that the recruitment of
109,000 contract servicemen had proven insufficient, and revealed
that the army had gone to the government with a request for an
additional 12 billion rubles in order to sign up another 50,000
contract soldiers. -Stephen Foye

RUSSIAN FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AGENCY REVIEWED. A parliamentary
commission, headed by the chairman of the Sub-Committee for Foreign
Security and Intelligence of the Committee for Foreign Policy
and Foreign Economic Relations, Evgenii Kozhokin, has confirmed
that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is abiding
by current Russian laws. At a press conference reported by ITAR-TASS
on 14 July, Kozhokin said that his commission, which consisted
of twelve deputies from different factions, had found that a
majority of officers want to continue working in the SVR but
that many others had quit their job for financial reasons. -Alexander
Rahr

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



RUSSIA ACTS ON TAJIK SITUATION. On 15 July Russia's parliament
approved an urgent order to the Russian government to take "all
necessary measures to protect and ensure the safety" of Russian
border guards in Tajikistan; it also ratified a treaty with Tajikistan,
signed on 25 May 1993, that creates a legal basis for Russian
troops to engage in combat operations, ITAR-TASS and Western
agencies reported. Citing "a threat to the national security
of the Russian Federation," President Boris Yeltsin threatened
unilateral action if parliament did not act quickly. Deputy Defense
Minister Konstantin Kobets implied that Russian forces, now authorized
to use aircraft and missiles, might attack bases in Afghanistan;
he said Russian troops would take action "on the entire territory
of the conflict," and acknowledged that "most of the weapon stockpiles
and terrorist training camps are in Afghanistan," AFP reported
on 15 July. Meanwhile, Krasnaya Zvezda compared the situation
to US attacks on Iraq, urging similar Russian strikes against
Afghanistan. -Keith Martin

TAJIK UPDATE. Fighting continued on both sides of the Tajik-Afghan
border on 15 July. ITAR-TASS reported two further attacks on
Russian border posts near the site of the large assault on 13
July that were repelled without any Russian casualties. Radio
Kabul on 15 July again denied that Afghan fighters were involved
in the fighting, and said that at least seven people were killed
in an Afghan town attacked by unknown forces on the Tajik side
of the Pyandzh river, which separates the two states. Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev is expected to arrive in the border
area on 16 July to assess the situation, AFP reported. -Keith
Martin

KAZAKHSTANI RESPONSE TO SLAVIC AGREEMENT. Kazakhstani State Counselor
Tulegen Zhukeev told Izvestiya's correspondent in Kazakhstan
that the economic integration agreement between Russia, Ukraine,
and Belarus contains many points proposed over recent months
by President Nursultan Nazarbaev to strengthen the CIS-and now
Kazakhstan itself is excluded from the agreement. Zhukeev's complaint
that it was Nazarbaev who called for the organization of an economic
union, the creation of coordinating bodies and a single customs
union was published in the 15 July issue of Izvestiya. The Kazakhstani
official was reacting to Russian demands that the Central Asian
states choose between association with the Slavic states and
the Economic Cooperation Organization. -Bess Brown

ERK'S RESPONSE TO THE NEW SLAVIC UNION. The Erk (Will) Democratic
Party of Uzbekistan believes that the three Slavic states of
the CIS want to push the Central Asian states out of the Commonwealth,
said the spokesperson of the Erk Party, Dilaram Ishaqqizi, speaking
with the RFE/RL Uzbek Service on 13 July in a telephone interview
from Tashkent. Erk said that "although these [Slavic] states
have not signed an official agreement, right now they are saying
'it is impossible for Central Asia to enter [this union]'." Ishaqqizi
added that "whatever happens, the funeral of CIS is being held.
In the near future we will see who will grab on to the corpse
[of the CIS]." In a related development, on 13 July the Turkish
daily Milliyet said that the purpose of this new union is to
bar Turkish influence from Central Asia. -Yalcin Tokgozoglu

ABKHAZ UPDATE. Although Abkhaz separatists refused to comply
with a Georgian ultimatum demanding that Abkhaz troops pull back
from Sukhumi by midnight on 14 July, Georgia has yet to launch
its promised "massive offensive." ITAR-TASS quoted the Georgian
forces press center in Abkhazia as saying that the front remained
quiet but Georgian troops are being redeployed and have begun
naval patrols. The Abkhaz Defense Ministry stated that both sides
continued to shell enemy positions through 15 July, and that
Abkhaz troops still hold the villages of Shroma and Akhalsheni
near Sukhumi. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris
Pastukhov met with Georgian Parliament Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze
in Tbilisi on 15 July, and with the head of the Abkhaz Supreme
Soviet Vladislav Ardzinba on 14 July in Gudauta, in an effort
to arrange a ceasefire, ITAR-TASS reported. -Catherine Dale

RUSSIAN ARMY BACKING ABKHAZIA? ON 18 JULY MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI
CARRIED AN INTERVIEW WITH A FORMER RUSSIAN OFFICER WHO CLAIMED
TO BE FIGHTING AS A MERCENARY FOR ABKHAZ SEPARATISTS. The officer,
who said that the Abkhaz forces included a number of Afghan veterans
and Cossacks, characterized relations between Russian and Abkhaz
military units as "brotherly." He implied that Russian Defense
Ministry statements claiming neutrality were largely for public
consumption, and claimed that the success of Abkhaz forces was
due at least in part to the advice rendered by Russian officers.
The officer claimed that Russian officers had acted out of bitterness
towards Shevardnadze for his role in the dissolution of the USSR
and out of anger at the treatment of Russian military personnel
by the Georgians. He suggested that many in the Russian General
Staff favored supporting Abkhazia. -Stephen Foye


COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



TENSIONS MOUNT OVER SEVASTOPOL. On 16 July, Ostankino TV reported
that Sevastopol officials were deploying additional security
forces in preparation for a planned mass demonstration in support
of the city's joining Russia. Ekho Moskvy reported that the Ukrainian
ambassador to Moscow has warned that a group of Russian parliamentarians
planning to visit the city will not be allowed in. On a more
conciliatory note, Dmitrii Pavlychko, the head of the Ukrainian
parliament's foreign affairs committee, told Radio Ukraine on
15 July that he has proposed a meeting between Ivan Plyushch
and Ruslan Khasbulatov, the speakers of the two parliaments,
to try to resolve the dispute. -John Lepingwell

RUSSIA TO PROPOSE NUCLEAR WEAPONS AGREEMENT,-.-.-. According
to Krasnaya zvezda of 14 July 1993, the Russian government has
approved a draft agreement on nuclear weapons elimination that
will be proposed to Ukraine. The draft calls for Russia to reprocess
the highly enriched uranium from the nuclear warheads into reactor
fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants. Russia would assume
responsibility for the long-term storage of other nuclear components,
and during the dismantling process would maintain and service
the weapons. As reported, the agreement appears to lack any provision
for security guarantees or explicit recognition of Ukrainian
ownership of the weapons, both likely preconditions for Ukrainian
acceptance. In its basic outlines the draft appears similar to
the agreement that Izvestiya on 28 June claimed was to have been
signed during Prime Minister Chernomyrdin's visit to Ukraine
in late June. -John Lepingwell

.-.-.-AND SOME MISSILES MAY ALREADY BE DEACTIVATED.-.-.According
to ITAR-TASS, Izvestiya reported on 15 July that Russia and Ukraine
had already signed an agreement to deactivate some nuclear weapons.
Work to remove warheads from 5 ICBMs at the Pervomaysk base (where
both SS-19s and SS-24s are based) was reported to have begun
on 15 July. Izvestiya claims that up to 10 ICBMs are to be deactivated
under the terms of the agreement. -John Lepingwell

.-.-.-BUT WHO'S MINDING THE WEAPONS? The Russian draft agreement
calls for the special "nuclear-technical" troops now guarding
nuclear weapons sites in Ukraine to be subordinated to the Russian
Ministry of Defense. According to testimony given before a subcommittee
of the US. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 24 June by Bruce
Blair, a nuclear weapons expert at the Brookings Institution,
these troops are administratively subordinate to Ukraine but
are supposedly operationally subordinate to Russia. Thus, in
theory, they would only release the warheads on Moscow's orders.
It is therefore unclear whether the proposed agreement represents
a significant change. However, the explicit subordination of
these troops to Russia may well be a stumbling block, given Ukraine's
resistance to the stationing of Russian troops on its soil. -John
Lepingwell

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



DRASKOVIC VOWS TO FIGHT ON. Vuk Draskovic was released from a
Belgrade neurological clinic on 15-July. According to Radio B92
and international media, the head of the opposition Serbian Renewal
Movement (SPO) told supporters he will renew his fight against
the regime of Slobodan Milosevic by uniting all Serbian opposition
parties: "United, we shall force Milosevic to resign and free
Serbia of its isolation, hunger, poverty, and torment-.-.-."
Doctors have advised Draskovic to rest for the next two months
and undergo therapy to deal with the effects of severe beatings
by police and a nine-day hunger strike. Draskovic and his wife
were arrested 2 June after violent antigovernment demonstrations
in Belgrade. The couple were pardoned by Milosevic on 9 July,
but Draskovic still faces criminal proceedings for having attacked
a policeman. -Milan Andrejevich

FEDERAL YUGOSLAV GENERALS "RETIRED." Belgrade and international
media report on 15 July that nearly a third of the Federal Army
generals and admirals face retirement in a move to "rejuvenate"
the military command structure. Other details such as the names
of those facing retirement and those to be promoted and the exact
numbers involved were not specified in the announcement by the
Supreme Defense Council (Federal President Zoran Lilic, Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic, and Montenegrin President Momir
Bulatovic). It is estimated that about 40 officers will be replaced
and that Chief of Staff Gen. Zivota Panic, under fire in parliament
for alleged corruption, will retire at the end of July. This
would be the second major wave of retirements since early 1992
and is regarded by some as a further consolidation of Milosevic's
power. Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj, who accused Panic
and four other high-ranking generals of corruption and disloyalty
to Serbia, told Radio Serbia on 15 July that he is "shocked"
by the "unacceptable pensioning off of a large group of generals
who are steeped in corruption," and who should be removed and
taken to court. -Milan Andrejevich

SERB-CROAT CONFLICT HEATING UP. International media report on
15 and 16 July that the UN Security Council, Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and the chief UN civilian official in
the Yugoslav area have all warned Croatia not to go ahead with
plans to reopen the Maslenica bridge and Zemunik airport on 18
July. The Serbs object in particular to Croat plans to reopen
the bridge with a ceremony and have vowed to attack the place
with their well-positioned artillery. The UN, for its part, regards
the Croat move as a violation of an agreement calling for the
withdrawal of Serb and Croat troops from the area. The Croatian
government, however, has staked its domestic political prestige
on reopening the bridge and airport, which are key factors in
reinvigorating the devastated Dalmatian economy. In particular
the symbol of the bridge featured prominently in the ruling party's
election campaign last winter as they ran on the slogan "we will
put our house in order." Meanwhile, Serb forces continued to
subject Karlovac to the worst shelling since the 1991 war, and
the Los Angeles Times reports on 16 July that the Serbs are "threatening
to attack-.-.-. Zagreb with Scud-type missiles." -Patrick Moore


BOSNIAN UPDATE. The Serbian forces besieging Sarajevo permitted
the restoration of natural gas service after a cutoff last month,
international media reported on 15 July. Three diesel tanker
trucks with 75 tons of fuel were allowed into Sarajevo one day
after the visit by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. After
a deal between Serbian and Bosnian leaders, water is again flowing
into the western districts of Sarajevo, but restoration of electricity
hinges on further delicate talks. Meanwhile, according to Bosnian
Radio, Croat forces launched a heavy-infantry attack on Mostar.
The Bosnian army said "several thousand" missiles hit Mostar.
A UN spokesman said no food aid has reached the Muslim side of
Mostar for months and the 30,000 residents there have only two
communal water taps, both exposed to sniper fire. -Fabian Schmidt


KLAUS RECEIVES LETTER FROM ANTALL ON MINORITY RIGHTS. On 15 July,
the eve of the Central European Initiative (CEI) summit in Budapest,
Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus noted that he has received
a letter from Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall expressing
misgivings about the rights accorded to the Hungarian minority
in Slovakia, CTK reports. Klaus indicated that the Czech government
has prepared a response to Antall's letter, expressing its belief
that Slovak legislation is up to European standards and stating
that the Czech Republic does not want to be "pulled into any
specific disagreements regarding this issue." -Milada Vachudova


CZECH COMMUNISTS PROTEST LAW CONDEMNING COMMUNIST REGIME. The
Czech Communist Party has sent a letter to the European Court
of Human Rights, Amnesty International and other international
organizations protesting a law on the illegitimacy of the communist
regime passed by the Czech parliament on 9 July. The letter charges
that the law violates basic human rights and sidesteps international
standards of justice by including collective guilt and enabling
retroactive prosecution. The law states that the CPCS and other
groups were criminal organizations whose ideology was designed
to suppress democracy and human rights. -Milada Vachudova

CZECH-SLOVAK AGREEMENTS READY FOR SIGNATURE. At the 15 July session
of the Commission for the Division of Former Czechoslovak Property,
Czech and Slovak finance ministers Ivan Kocarnik and Julius Toth
prepared for signature agreements on the transfer of state assets
and liabilities, the transfer of state guarantees, and the division
of obligations to the former USSR, TASR reports. Toth said the
amount of assets of the former Czechoslovak State Bank under
contention has been reduced by 6.6 billion koruny; the two ministers
agreed to an international audit to divide the remaining 18.1
billion koruny. Unresolved issues include the division of the
1992 state budget deficit. Toth also brought up the issue of
the use of the name "Czechoslovakia" in company trademarks. -Sharon
Fisher

EC PHARE PROGRAM AID TO SLOVAKIA. The ambassador of the European
Community Commission to Slovakia, Leopoldo Giunti, and Slovak
Foreign Affairs Minister Jozef Moravcik signed an agreement in
Bratislava on 15 July that provides Slovakia with 1.4-billion
koruny in aid for the year 1993, TASR reports. Moravcik said
the sum will be used for the development of the private business
sector, human resources, and infrastructure, as well as for the
General Technical Aid Fund (EURO-GTAF). -Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT BANS VILLAGE'S CURFEW FOR GYPSIES. On 15 July
the east Slovak village of Spisske Podhradie's curfew for "Gypsies
and other suspicious persons" was declared unconstitutional,
Reuters reports. Implemented in an effort to reduce crime, the
legislation caused an uproar in Slovakia, as representatives
of 17 minority and human rights groups protested. Deputy Premier
Roman Kovac previously asked village mayor Frantisek Slebodnik
to abolish the curfew, but Slebodnik refused, saying there is
nothing the police can do since Gypsies "sleep during the day
and steal at night." Local chief of police Slavomir Lach said
the regulation is "probably illegal but effective-.-.-. we have
not noticed any crimes or violations" since the law went into
effect in early July, TASR reported on 10-July. -Sharon Fisher


SLOVAK COALITION DISCUSSIONS TO CONTINUE? ACCORDING TO SLOVAK
NATIONAL PARTY DEPUTY CHAIRMAN PETER SOKOL, THERE IS NO OBSTACLE
TO SIGNING A MUTUAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SNP AND THE RULING
MOVEMENT FOR A DEMOCRATIC SLOVAKIA, TASR REPORTS ON 15 JULY.
Sokol also said the SNP "does not consider the number of cabinet
posts important, but the common philosophy of progress in political
stabilization, as well as an agreement on economic aims." However,
the daily Praca reports on 15 July that the two partners have
taken a "10-day time out" since the coalition agreement was not
completed on time. The paper quotes Meciar as saying he has "five
methods to solve this possible political crisis," though observers
note that early elections may be the only solution. -Sharon Fisher


SUCHOCKA: GOVERN NOW, CAMPAIGN LATER. At the latest in a series
of press conferences held to report on the government's work,
Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka said on 15 July that she
will enter the election campaign "extremely late." Suchocka heads
the Democratic Union list for the Sejm in Poznan. Campaigning
now, she told reporters, would interfere with the government's
work. Refusing comment on the president's recent statements promoting
his Nonparty Bloc to Support Reform, Suchocka said that her press
conferences are held to discuss government policies, not her
own political views. On other issues, Suchocka reported that,
as part of its plan to push ahead with the "pact on state firms"
and other economic programs despite the lack of a parliament,
the government will choose a final list of firms for mass privatization
by the beginning of September. Antitrust Office chairman Anna
Fornalczyk will be appointed to head the "selection commission"
that will choose management firms for the program. Suchocka expressed
satisfaction that the introduction of the VAT had not prompted
a surge in prices and said the reform of Poland's taxation system
will be completed within two years. -Louisa Vinton

POLAND GIVES LITHUANIA ARMS. During celebrations on 15 July to
mark the 583rd anniversary of the Polish-Lithuanian victory over
the Teutonic Knights at Grunwald in 1410, Polish Defense Minister
Janusz Onyszkiewicz presented his Lithuanian counterpart Audrius
Butkevicius with ten armored transport vehicles and other military
supplies and equipment. "The greatest sign of trust that can
be shown a neighbor is to present him with arms," Butkevicius
commented. Lithuania's armed forces now number about 12,000 soldiers,
PAP reports. -Louisa Vinton

HUNGARIAN LIBERAL OPPOSITION PARTIES SIGN CAMPAIGN PACT. Hungarian
Radio reports that the leaders of the two largest opposition
parties, the Association of Young Democrats and the Association
of Free Democrats have signed an election pact in preparation
for the spring general election. The unusual agreement improves
the prospects for the leaders of both parties, because it stipulates
that they will not run against each other in individual districts.
In other districts if, in the first round of the election, one
candidate receives 5% more votes than the other party's candidate,
the latter will not run in the second round. The two parties
also agreed to consider forming a coalition in case of election
victory, but excluded the possibility of cooperating in a coalition
with either the present ruling coalition parties or with the
Hungarian Socialist Party. The two parties also agreed to extend
an offer of cooperation in the first round of elections to the
new Party of the Republic, which is not now represented in parliament
but which has as its head the highly popular Janos Palotas. -Karoly
Okolicsanyi

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT OFFERS MINERS BIG PAY RISES. In a statement
read on Radio Bucharest on 15 July, the Finance Ministry said
the government could offer striking Jiu Valley coal miners wages
70% higher than last month's average salary. Additional resources
are being sought to subsidize more pay increases for miners,
who initially demanded that their salaries be tripled. In a first
reaction to the announcement, Victor Ciorbea, leader of the National
Confederation of Romania's Free Trade Unions-Fratia, warned the
government that preferential treatment for miners would lead
to social discontent and more tension among different social
categories. -Dan Ionescu

ZHELEV INTERVIEWED. On 15 July Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev
spoke about a number of political issues in an interview to RFE/RL
in Sofia. He said he felt the judiciary was at fault because
communists were not held accountable for their misdeeds while
in office, noting that neither he as president nor the parliament
could perform the duties of a prosecutor. He also suggested that
the opposition coalition, the Union of Democratic Forces, despite
the fact that it had formed Bulgaria's first postcommunist government,
has now succeeded in turning itself into "a marginal political
force" and had alienated itself from erstwhile parliamentary
supporters such as the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and
Freedoms. Blaga Dimitrova's recent decision to resign from the
vice presidency, Zhelev said, is "a huge political mistake."
-Stan Markotich

UKRAINIAN-TURKISH DEFENSE ACCORD. On 14-July Ukraininan Defense
Minister Konstantin Morozov and his Turkish counterpart Nevzat
Ayaz signed a memorandum of mutual understanding, Ukrainian TV
reported on 15 July. The accord paves the way for an agreement
on defense ministry cooperation that is currently being completed.
An RFE/RL correspondent quoted Ayaz as saying that Turkey is
willing to support Ukraine if it wishes to join NATO. Both ministers
stressed that the geopolitical situation has made military and
technical cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine essential. -Susan
Stewart

LATVIA ADOPTS LAW ON COUNCIL OF MINISTERS. Following heated debates
and a walkout by the Independence Movement, Concord for Latvia,
and Democratic Center Party factions, late on 15 July parliament
reinstated the 1925 Law on the Council of Ministers. A coalition
of Latvia's Way and Farmers' Union pushed for the law. It is
they who want to form the new government, which will consist
of 12 ministries: defense; foreign affairs; welfare; justice;
state reform; finance; economics; internal affairs; education,
culture, and science; agriculture; transportation; environmental
protection; and regional development. Diena reported on 15 July
that it is possible that the majority coalition will present
its ministerial candidates as early as the next plenary session
of the parliament that is scheduled for 20 July. -Dzintra Bungs


KOHTLA-JARVE WILL NOT HOLD OPINION POLL. On 15 July the Kohtla-Jarve
city council decided to reject a proposal to hold a poll on local
autonomy, arguing that it would be a violation of the Estonian
Constitution, Baltic media report. Kohtla-Jarve, which has a
Russian-speaking majority, will thus not follow the example of
its neighbors, Narva and Sillamae, which plan such referendums
on 16-17 July. -Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER IN ISRAEL. On 13 July Mart Laar on an
official visit to Israel held talks with Foreign Minister Shimon
Peres. At a meeting with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Laar expressed
satisfaction with the agreement to purchase armaments and ammunition
worth $50 million from Israel, Radio Lithuania reported on 15
July. The two signed an agreement on cultural, scientific, and
educational cooperation. Laar said he was surprised to learn
that Estonia was the only Baltic State that has officially declared
its intention to restore Jewish property nationalized by the
Soviets. -Saulius Girnius

CRIME DOWN, UNEMPLOYMENT UP IN BALTIC. According to data of the
Ministry of Internal Affairs, since March the number of crimes
in Latvia has been declining (5470 in March, 4938 in April, 4607
in May and 4572 in June) but violent crimes have been rising
and the number of murders has doubled during the first half of
this year as compared with the number for the same period in
1992. The RFE/RL Latvian Service reported on 15 July that during
the first half of 1993 some 28,345 crimes were committed in Latvia,
32,025 in Lithuania, and 18,960 in Estonia, but the crime rate
was highest in Estonia (124 crimes committed per 10,000 residents-compared
with 108 in Latvia and 85 in Lithuania). Diena also reported
on 13 July that about 65,900 persons have been officially registered
as jobless and that the unemployment figure nationwide has risen
to 4.6%. On 1 July the unemployment rate in Lithuania remained
at 1.5% with 32,242 people officially registered as unemployed
(an increase of 755 from 1 June), Respublika reported on 8 July.
-Dzintra Bungs and Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET]	Compiled by John Lepingwell and Charles Trumbull





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