|We have to understand the world can only be grasped by action, not by comtemplation. The hand is more important than the eye....The hand is the cutting edge of the mind. - J. Bronowski|
No. 135, 19 July 1993
RUSSIA YELTSIN SUBMITS DRAFT CONSTITUTION TO PARLIAMENT. President Boris Yeltsin has forwarded to parliament a draft constitution drawn up by the Constitutional Assembly, Russian and Western news agencies reported on 16 July. In an accompanying message the president called on parliament not to turn the debates over the draft into a political struggle. The executive secretary of parliament's Constitutional Commission, Oleg Rumyantsev, proposed on the same day that a joint working group of deputies and assembly's delegates be set up to work out a final draft to be submitted to the Congress of People's Deputies for adoption. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov said the Congress might debate the constitution in November, but not earlier. Meanwhile, the Russian media continue to discuss alternative ways of getting the new constitution adopted without having to submit it to Congress for approval. -Vera Tolz PARLIAMENT DEFIES GOVERNMENT ON DEFENSE BUDGET. The parliament on 17 July rejected a government proposal to allocate just over 6.3 trillion rubles for defense in 1993, and voted instead for a defense budget of over 8 trillion rubles, ITAR-TASS reported. Aleksandr Pochinok, chairman of the parliament's Plans, Taxes, Budgets and Prices Commission, argued that the government proposal would have precluded meeting funding requirements for the recently passed Russian Law on the Status of Servicemen and other legislative acts on the armed forces. Venyamin Sokolov, chairman of the Council of the Republic, said that a failure to increase defense expenditures would doom the Russian defense industrial sector. Both statements reflect arguments that have been used in the budget debate by Defense Ministry officials, who have strongly criticized the plan drawn up by the Finance Ministry. -Stephen Foye PRICE OF PRIVATIZATION VOUCHER SOARS. On 15 July, the price of privatization vouchers rose from around 10,500 rubles to about 13,000 rubles, Reuters reported. This was the first week when the quoted price has risen above the face value of 10,000 rubles since October 1992, when distribution and trading began. During the past nine months, the price had dropped as low as 4,000 rubles. The breaching of the psychologically important 10,000-ruble level came in the wake of optimistic pronouncements by government spokesmen and Western institutions on signs of stabilization in the economy. -Keith Bush US-RUSSIAN DEAL ON ROCKET SALE TO INDIA. US and Russian negotiators, working late into the evening on 15 July, reached an agreement that will allow Russia to sell some rocket engines to India, but will limit the transfer of related technology, Reuters reported. The agreement came on the eve of the imposition of sanctions by the US against the Russian space firm Glavkosmos and the Indian Space Research Organization. The two agencies had originally signed the contract, estimated at $350 million, in January of 1991. Indian officials expressed their regret over the decision and, according to AFP on 19 July, the leader of India's main opposition party urged the government to build nuclear weapons in response. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 July that the general director of Glavkosmos, Yurii Koptev, had signed an agreement the day before with NASA officials aimed at increasing US-Russian cooperation in manned space flights. -Stephen Foye TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TAJIKISTAN: RUSSIANS COME . . . . A high-level Russian military delegation, led by Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, was in Tajikistan on 16 and 17 July to coordinate a response to intensified attacks by Afghan-backed Tajik rebels, Russian and Western agencies reported. Grachev toured the border area where 24-Russian-led soldiers were killed on 13 July. Calling the cross-border attacks "an undeclared war against Russia," he promised to punish those who led the 13-July attack, and to strengthen Russian forces in Tajikistan. The first additional troops arrived on 17 July. Tajikistani and Russian military officials criticized other CIS leaders, especially in Central Asia, for not contributing to the response. Meanwhile, Tajikistan's Supreme Soviet chairman, Imomali Rakhmonov, appealed to the UN to force Afghanistan to stop the rebels and their Afghan backers. -Keith Martin . . . AND AFGHANS COMPLAIN. Terming the beefing up of Russian forces on the Tajik-Afghan border "a kind of intervention," the Afghan cabinet has sent letters to the UN and to Russia's Supreme Soviet, demanding that the deployment be stopped. In the letter to Moscow, the cabinet writes, "We have not forgotten the past 14-years," referring to the Soviet invasion and occupation. Reuters on 18 July quoted Afghanistan's presidential spokesman as saying that about 360 Afghans were killed or wounded, and 6,000 lost their homes, when their villages near the Tajik border came under Russian artillery attacks on 15-16 July. Russian and Tajikistani officials deny any attack took place. The Iranian press, meanwhile, has warned Russia that it faces a new "Afghanistan scenario" if it stays in Tajikistan, AFP reports. -Keith Martin TURKISH REACTION TO SHOKHIN. On 17 July Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued a reaction to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin's assertion that the Central Asian states will have to choose between the new association that includes Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), ITAR-TASS reported. The Turkish Foreign Ministry asserted that the ECO, of which Turkey, Iran and Pakistan are founding members and which was joined by Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and the Central Asian states in 1992, is neither a customs union nor a common market. The three founding members have signed a protocol on a reduction of customs duties on some items, but Azerbaijan and the Central Asian states have not indicated a desire to do likewise. -Bess Brown ELCHIBEY BLAMED FOR INSTIGATING GYANDZHA REVOLT. On 15 July the Azerbaijan National Assembly heard an interim report on the findings of its commission to investigate the circumstances of the attack by government troops on the headquarters of Surat Huseinov's private army in Gyandzha on 4 June, ITAR-TASS reported. Former Defense Minister Dadash Rzaev was quoted as stating that he received direct orders to disarm Huseinov's men in a telephone call from President Elchibey personally; Rzaev added that he had not told the entire truth to the investigating commission as members of his family had received anonymous threats. Ex-Prime Minister Panakh Guseinov and former Procurator-General Ikhtiar Shirinov were likewise implicated in the attack. -Liz Fuller CRACKDOWN ON AZERBAIJAN OPPOSITION INTENSIFIES. On 16 July Azerbaijan National Assembly chairman Geidar Aliev claimed that he had learned of plans by the Azerbaijan Popular Front to assassinate him, Reuters reported; a Front spokesman denied this. During the evening of 16 July, Musavat Party chairman and former National Assembly speaker Isa Gambarov and two former security ministers were arrested for their alleged role in the attack on Surat Huseinov's private army in Gyanzdha in early June; the Musavat Party convened a press briefing on 17 July and denounced Gambarov's arrest, according to an RFE/RL correspondent in Baku. Also on 17 July, police broke into the headquarters of the Azerbaijan Popular Front, beat and detained a number of Front officials, and ripped out telephones and fax machines, according to Reuters quoting the Turan News Agency. The building was then sealed and is being guarded by police. A demonstration that evening by Front supporters was violently dispersed by police; 45 demonstrators were detained and released on 18 July. According to a statement released by the Azerbaijani mission in Moscow on 18 July and quoted by ITAR-TASS, Azerbaijan Popular Front "guerrillas" fired grenades at the 28th police station in Baku on 17 July, injuring six policemen. -Liz Fuller GEORGIANS LAUNCH INCONCLUSIVE ATTACK. The press center of the Georgian Armed Forces in Abkhazia announced on 16 July that Georgian troops had launched a full-scale attack against Abhaz formations in the villages of Shroma and Akhalsheni near Sukhumi, in response to the Abkhaz refusal to comply with the Georgian ultimatum to withdraw from the Sukhumi area, ITAR-TASS reported. According to Reuters on 18-July, the Abkhaz Defense Ministry stated that the Georgian assaults had proved inconclusive, and that Abkhaz forces still held critical strategic positions in the hills above the city. Meanwhile, after rejecting on 16 July a proposal for resolving the conflict worked out by Russian Special Envoy Boris Pastukhov with the Abkhaz side, Georgian Parliament Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze flew to Sukhumi on 18 July to give Pastukhov Georgia's latest proposal. -Catherine Dale CIS ON CIS REINTEGRATION. The well-known political scientist Igor Klyamkin told Ostankino TV on 18 July that the issue of reintegration of former Soviet republics will soon be put on the top of the political agenda. He named the Civic Union as the major initiator of this move. He recalled that the Civic Union had suggested holding a referendum in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus on the creation of an economic union. He stated that the prime ministers of these countries later agreed to such a union, thus making the referendum redundant. He also mentioned the proposal of Civic Union coleader Arkadii Volsky to hold a congress of all industrial and entrepreneurs' unions of the former USSR in Tashkent. According to Klyamkin, the CIS agreement signed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on December 1991 may soon be altered. -Alexander Rahr UKRAINE REJECTS RUSSIAN CRITICISM OF NUCLEAR STANCE. The Ukrainian government has rejected criticisms, issued on 16 July by the Russian Foreign Ministry, of Ukraine's claim to ownership of nuclear weapons. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman had claimed that Ukraine was unable to maintain the weapons, was breaching international agreements, and that Russia did not threaten Ukraine. According to a Reuters report of 17 July, Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma noted that after Ukraine had returned tactical nuclear weapons to Russia in early 1992, Russia had in turn concluded a deal to sell the uranium from the warheads to the US. Reuters also reported that Ukrainian government sources have confirmed an Izvestiya article which stated that warheads are being removed from 10 SS-19 ICBMs, although the warheads are apparently to remain in Ukraine. -John Lepingwell SEVASTOPOL UPDATE. Ostankino TV's Novosti newscast on 16 July referred to the situation in Sevastopol as "explosive" and claimed that the Ukrainian 32nd Army Corps, located in Simferopol and the "Berkut" spetsnaz troops had been placed in a state of combat readiness. Similar reports have been issued in the past, indicating rising tensions and fears of violence in the region. However, only about 6,000-8,000 demonstrators turned out on 16 July to support Russia's claim to Sevastopol, a smaller turnout than had been expected. They called for the local council to be disbanded, new elections to be called, and the withdrawal of Ukrainian military units from the area. On 18 July, ITAR-TASS reported that Rukh had called for the Moscow agreement on splitting the Black Sea Fleet not to be ratified since it would set a dangerous precedent by allowing Russian troops to be stationed in Ukraine. -John Lepingwell CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE REFERENDUM RESULTS IN ESTONIA. On 16 and 17-July over 90% of referendum participants in Narva and Sillamae expressed support for declaring their towns autonomous territories within Estonia. According to Baltic and Russian media of 18 July, voter participation in the municipally organized referendums was about 54% in Narva and 61% in Sillamae. The organizers had said the referendums would be binding if more than 50% of electorate voted. Since many irregularities were noted in the voting and ballot-counting processes, the actual turnout figures are likely to be lower. The Estonian government claims that less than half of the eligible voters participated. On 18 July Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar thanked the predominantly Russian residents of the two towns for maintaining calm and promised that the government would strive to improve the economic situation, particularly since both towns have been heavily hit by unemployment. The impact of the referendums is still not clear, since the municipal governments have not stated specifically what they intend to do afterward and the Estonian authorities consider the referendums illegal. -Dzintra Bungs YELTSIN ADVISER WARNS ESTONIA. In an interview with a Russian daily quoted by PAP on 18 July, Sergei Stankevich, a political adviser to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, warned that if Estonia does not accept the validity of the referendums,"Russians in Estonia could take on Russian citizenship. And Russia has the right to defend its citizens, without making use of the services of international defenders of human rights." Stankevich blamed the Council of Europe and other international organizations for the rise in ethnic tension in northeastern Estonia. -Louisa Vinton CENTRAL EUROPEAN SUMMIT IN BUDAPEST. The two-day meeting of the nine-member Central European Initiative (CEI) ended in Budapest on 17 July, agencies report. The leaders of Italy, Austria, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina endorsed Bosnia's territorial integrity and called for a new session of the London con-ference, after an immediate cease-fire, to halt the bloodshed there. They also admitted Macedonia as a new member. The nine leaders decided to call a conference on minority rights, but rejected more far-reaching proposals from Hungary. CEI members also agreed that one of the aims of the organization is to support democracy in states striving for economic transformation and integration with Europe. The construction of a "Baltic-Adriatic highway" was also discussed. The CEI agreed to cooperate with four states interested in membership: Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. There were clear differences of opinion among the nine leaders over the CEI's value. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said the CEI is of little use if it limits itself to issues such as highway construction, while, in remarks to Polish TV, Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka disagreed, affirming the organization's step-by-step approach to regional problems. -Karoly Okolicsanyi and Louisa Vinton CONFLICT CONTINUES OVER ANTALL LETTER. While the CEI summit was in progress, a Hungarian government spokesman on 16 July rejected the Czech prime minister's interpretation of the letter sent to him by Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall concerning minority rights in Slovakia. Klaus claimed on 15 July that Antall had asked for Prague's assistance in pressuring Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar to improve the situation of the 600,000 strong Hungarian minority there. Also on 16 July, the Slovak prime minister said that the purpose of Antall's letter was "to create an anti-Slovak atmosphere prior to the CEI summit." On 18 July, Meciar told Slovak Radio that "owing to Czech support," the Slovak delegation at the CEI summit succeeded in defeating attempts to make the CEI adopt legal rules for treating minorities." -Karoly Okolicsanyi and Jiri Pehe SLOVAKS, HUNGARIANS DISAGREE AT CEI MEETING. During the CEI meeting in Budapest, Slovak and Hungarian prime ministers Vladimir Meciar and Jozsef Antall met to discuss "all disputable issues" between the two countries, TASR reports. The two disagreed on national minorities and the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros dam. Meciar said Slovakia is "open to wide cooperation with Hungary" based on "economic, social, and foreign policy" and not on minority interests. Antall's recent letter to Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus requesting support for Hungary in condemning Slovak minority policy was not a topic of discussion; however, Meciar said before leaving for the meeting that it is "not proper to invite a foreign official into one's country and deliberately make things unpleasant." Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Jozef Moravcik called Antall's letter "unfair." Meciar also said that if Hungary continues its arms build-up, Slovakia "would have to take retaliatory measures." According to Reuters, Meciar is considering accepting arms worth $180 million as a portion of Russia's debt payment. Hungary recently reached a similar deal with Russia, accepting 28 MiGs as repayment for $800 million of debt. -Sharon Fisher CZECHS, SLOVAKS STRIKE BORDER AGREEMENT. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and his Slovak counterpart Vladimir Meciar agreed to introduce controls along the 250-kilometer border of the two successor states to Czechoslovakia, Czech TV reported on 17-July. According to the report, the agreement was struck at a late-night meeting between the two prime ministers in Budapest (where they attended the CEI summit). Klaus told journalists on 18 July that while citizens of third countries will be checked at the border, "we will not change anything for citizens of either the Czech Republic or Slovakia." Klaus added that the agreement represents a "practical solution," as it can be implemented immediately without a new ratification process for the bilateral treaties between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Czech leaders have repeatedly asked their Slovak counterparts to introduce border controls to stem the flow of migrants trying to enter Germany. A new German asylum law enables Bonn to return asylum seekers to countries through whose territory they entered Germany. -Jan Obrman TUDJMAN REOPENS MASLENICA BRIDGE. International media reported on 18 July that the Croatian president led a ceremony marking the inauguration of a pontoon structure to replace a vital north-south road link destroyed in the 1991 war. He earlier reopened Zadar's airport at Zemunik, which had been closed to civilian aircraft for two years. Serb shelling had forced a brief postponement of the Maslenica ceremony, but the UN brokered a compromise whereby the bridge and airport will remain safe and open but under UN control. Additional terms stipulate that the Croat military must withdraw by 31 July. Vejsnik of 17-July quotes Tudjman as calling the bridge "our necessity," and the 19 July issue reports him as saying at the ceremony that its reopening marks the restoration of Croatian sovereignty "step by step." -Patrick Moore BOSNIAN UPDATE. Reuters of 19 July reports that Bosnian Croat forces will try to deport about 10,000 Muslim male detainees and have asked the UN to run a giant transit camp. The UN refused, stressing that it will not take part in ethnic cleansing. The Croats evicted the civilian detainees from their homes in Mostar over the past three weeks and interned them. A source said: "almost every night has been a kind of Kristallnacht in downtown Mostar since early May," and armed Croats blew up mosques there. Meanwhile, Serbian troops broke through Bosnian defenses southwest of Sarajevo. The New York Times reports that President Alia Izetbegovic said that his government may have to accept "the inevitable" and agree to the partition of the country into three "ethnic states." In a joint statement on 18 July, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and his Croatian counterpart Franjo Tudman argued that: "the only way to achieve permanent peace" lies in establishing "three republics within the scope of a confederation... All speculation about a partition...between Croatia and Serbia is entirely unfounded." The International Herald Tribune carries the story from Geneva on 19-July. -Fabian Schmidt KOSOVO ALBANIANS WARN POLICE ACTIONS COULD IGNITE CONFLICT. In statements on 16 July, Kosovo Albanian leaders warned that further violence against political and labor activists in the Serbian province could result in clashes between Serbian security forces and the population, which is 90% Albanian. The Kosova Independent Trade Union charged that since 6 July, Serb police had arrested and "physically and mentally harassed" 198 union members in five Kosovo towns. Bujar Bukoshi, the self-styled prime minister of the "Republic of Kosova," issued a communique with a similar warning. He added that Serbia's refusal to renew the CSCE mandate in Serbia-Montenegro has "given a free hand to the forces of the Serbian Army to intensify their pressure" on Albanians. He again called for the US and UN to send peacekeepers to the region. Ibrahim Rugova, president of the "Republic of Kosova," also renewed his appeal for international protection of the province, to prevent Serb police repression from igniting a war. He added that Kosovo "is not Serb and cannot be Serb." Radios Serbia and Croatia carried the reports. -Milan Andrejevich ALBANIAN PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO MITSOTAKIS. Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, who last week proposed six conditions for the normalization of relations with Albania, received an angry reply from Albanian President Sali Berisha. According to Rilindja Demokratike on 17 July, Berisha reiterated his charge that Greece is trying to destabilize the region. In response to concerns about the status of the Greek minority in Albania, Berisha again stressed that Albania continues to "guarantee all rights and basic freedoms" to that minority. More importantly, Berisha accused Greece of interfering in Albania's internal and external affairs and reminded Greece that "Albania is free and will choose its own friendships and alliances." According to a 16 July AFP report, Albanian Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi was especially angry with Mitsotakis's comparison between Albanians in Kosovo and Greeks in southern Albania, calling this parallel "proof of an alliance between Greece and Serbia." -Robert Austin BULGARIA FAILS TO MEET CONDITIONS FOR NEW IMF DEAL. At a press conference on 16 July, Finance Minister Stoyan Aleksandrov acknowledged that Bulgaria has failed to fulfill the conditions for a renewed standby agreement, as outlined by the International Monetary Fund. Aleksandrov said that the country has to be "internally prepared" for credits provided by international financial institutions; otherwise, they would probably have little positive effect. According to BTA, he singled out the introduction of a value-added tax, a law on bankruptcy, and faster privatization as necessary requirements for an IMF agreement. Russel Kincaid, head of the IMF Mission to Bulgaria, said he was also concerned about insufficient budget revenues and the growing trade deficit. Kincaid nevertheless commended recent efforts to speed up large-scale privatization and measures aimed at coming to terms with bad loans to state companies. -Kjell Engelbrekt SOFIA CONCERNED ABOUT DELAY IN RATIFYING EC ACCORD. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Stanislav Daskalov on 16 July expressed "serious concern" that the European Community has not yet ratified a temporary trade agreement with Bulgaria, signed earlier in 1993. In a statement quoted by BTA, Daskalov noted that Bulgaria is the only East European country whose trade accord-an interim arrangement to be in force until the association agreement with the EC has been ratified-is not yet operating. He said this is causing substantial losses to the export industry. The EC Ambassador to Sofia, Thomas O'Sullivan, told Reuters that the delay is in no way politically motivated. -Kjell Engelbrekt CZECH UNEMPLOYMENT UP, ZERO GROWTH. The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic rose from 2.58% in May to 2.63% in June, CTK reported on 13 July. Of a total work force of 5,267,000, some 139,000 are currently unemployed. Less than 50% of the registered unemployed (63,000), however, have requested unemployment benefits. The highest unemployment rates are in northern Moravia (up to 5%) and northern Bohemia (slightly over 3%); the lowest rates are in Prague (0.24%) and southern Bohemia (1.9%). In an interview in Handelsblatt on 14 July, Prime Minister Klaus said the current unemployment rate-which he described as "probably the lowest in the world"-will rise another 1% by the end of the year. Klaus also predicted zero economic growth in the Czech Republic during 1993, an improvement over negative growth from 1990 to 1992. Finally, Klaus emphasized that the exchange rate of the koruna will remain stable, serving as an anchor to the economy, and that wages will remain low in comparison to neighboring countries. -Jan Obrman and Milada Vachudova LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT SENDS LETTER TO YELTSIN. On 16 July in an interview with Lithuanian TV, Algirdas Brazauskas said that he had sent a letter the previous day to Russian President Boris Yeltsin suggesting that there was no need to sign a comprehensive treaty on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Lithuania. The withdrawal was proceeding smoothly on the basis of the agreement signed by the defense ministers on 8-September 1992, and should be completed by 31 August 1993. Lithuania was still demanding compensation for its arms seized by the USSR in 1940 and subsequent damage. It fully understood Russia's requests on social guarantees for retired servicemen as well as the need for better coordination of the transit of former Soviet troops being withdrawn from Germany through Lithuanian territory. Brazauskas's letter was probably prompted by discussions on Lithuanian-Russian relations during two closed sessions of the Lithuanian parliament earlier in the week. -Saulius Girnius RUSSIA DENIES REPORT ON COMPENSATION AGREEMENT WITH ESTONIA. On 16 July Sergei Yastrzhembsky, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department, refuted a statement by the head of Estonia's negotiating team, Juri Luik, that Russia had agreed to pay $200 million in compensation for Estonian arms seized by the USSR in 1940, Baltic media report. While the matter was discussed at the 13-14 July talks, Yastrzhembsky noted that no agreement was reached on a method to assess the cost of the arms or even their number. The amount of compensation was not even discussed, he said. -Saulius Girnius SECOND LATVIAN PROTEST OVER RUSSIAN MILITARY EXERCISES IN DOBELE. Radio Riga reported that the Latvian Foreign Ministry issued another protest note on 15 July over the military exercises involving Russian military officers stationed in Estonia and Latvia. The ministry charged that the exercises were not related to the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia, despite Russian claims to the contrary. -Dzintra Bungs NORTH ATLANTIC ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT TO BUCHAREST. On 15-17 July, Loic Bouvard, President of the North Atlantic Assembly, paid an official visit to Romania. He discussed Romania's democratization process and relations with West European institutions, including the NATO, with Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu, as well as the chairmen of the parliament's two houses, Oliviu Gherman and Adrian Nastase. According to Bouvard, the talks focused on Romania's prospects to join the European security system and eventually NATO. On 17 July, Bouvard was received by President Ion Iliescu. In a statement broadcast by Radio Bucharest after the meeting, he stressed Romania's strategic position in a region plagued by conflicts like those in Yugoslavia and Moldova. The North Atlantic Assembly is an inter-parliamentary assembly of the NATO countries. -Dan Ionescu ROMANIA FAILS TO RENEGOTIATE SHIPPING DEAL. Radio Bucharest reported on 15 July that talks in Constanta between the Romanian firm Petromin and the Greek company Forum Maritime failed to produce the revision of a controversial shipping deal concluded on 18 May. The original agreement included a clause giving the Forum a 51% controlling stake in Petromin, which operates Romania's strategic fleet of tankers and bulk carriers. Forum's owner, Stelios Katounis, reportedly refused to accept a revised Romanian offer of 49% of the shares. The revision was recommended by a government commission set up to probe the deal after some media had denounced it as a cheap sell-off to foreign interests. -Dan Ionescu [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Sheila Marnie and Louisa Vinton 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.
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.