|If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there. - Martin Luther|
No. 137, 21 July 1993
RUSSIA PARLIAMENT ATTEMPTS TO SLOW PRIVATIZATION. On 20 July parliament voted to suspend the presidential decree of 8 May aimed at speeding up the privatization process, and sent it to the Constitutional Court to rule on its conformity to the constitution, ITAR-TASS reported. At a news conference prior to the vote, Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais deplored the move and warned of three further resolutions under consideration that together could "form a sufficiently integrated concept" aimed at halting privatization. These are intended to substitute individual privatization deposits for vouchers, transfer the powers of the State Property Committee to sectorial ministries, and to suspend the 1992 privatization program. -Keith Bush KHASBULATOV AND CHERNOMYRDIN TO CO-CHAIR CONFERENCE. Parliamentary Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Victor Chernomyrdin will be the co-chairs of a conference on the economy scheduled for July 27 and 28, according to ITAR-TASS on 15 July. According to the deputy speaker of the parliament, Vladimir Ispravnikov, the conference will examine a range of issues including fiscal and tax policy, the status of the agricultural and industrial sectors and foreign economic relations. The conference was called on Khasbulatov's initiative to find what he termed "a national agreement" on future economic policies. Khasbulatov has recently criticized the government for its failure to present an economic program to parliament for its approval. The government has yet to indicate whether parliament's latest attempt to disrupt its privatization program will affect its decision to participate in the economic conference. -Dominic Gualtieri SUSPENSION OF ROCKET SALE TO INDIA BRINGS DISCORD. Foreign Ministry spokesman Boris Kutovsky on 20 July confirmed that Russia will "suspend the fulfillment of certain elements of the agreement" that would have sent Russian cryogenic rockets and related technology to India, ITAR-TASS reported. Both Kutovsky and the head of the Russian space agency Glavkosmos, Yurii Koptev, justified the action on the basis of Moscow's desire to comply with international norms aimed at limiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. They also emphasized that Russian-Indian cooperation in space research would continue. On the same day, however, Glavkosmos press chief Nikolai Semenov denounced the suspension, claiming that it would cost Russia tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. In a statement likely to be echoed by conservative critics of the government, Semenov characterized the decision as an unwarranted concession to Washington. According to Reuters, he also charged that the US was trying to "squeeze Russia out of the market" for space and rocket technology and said that the decision could harm Russia's broader trade relations with India. -Stephen Foye CONTROLS IMPOSED ON ALCOHOL SALES. Parliament voted on 20 July to tighten controls on the production and sales of alcohol, Reuters reported. State enterprises producing pure spirit may not be privatized or leased and must obtain a state license and output quota. The amount of pure spirit produced and sold is to be determined by the government. Sales of alcohol will be conducted only under licenses issued by district or city administrations. And the quality of alcohol must correspond to state standards. The parliamentary decree is similar to a presidential decree of 12 June which, Reuters notes, appears to have been largely ignored. -Keith Bush CORRUPTION LAW ADOPTED. The law on corruption has been approved by parliament, according to ITAR-TASS on 20 July. The law defines corruption as abuse of office or official status by state functionaries in order to obtain material or other benefits and privileges. The legislators stopped short of adopting a more radical definition, which would define corruption as "infringement of people's right to fair government". The law applies to the territory of Russia but also to Russian citizens abroad. The law also stipulates that any contracts or agreements involving corruption can be annulled. -Victor Yasmann CLARIFICATION OF RADIATION LEAK. Contrary to the information quoted in RFE/RL Daily Report No.136, according to which 20 liters of plutonium were released into the atmosphere at the "Mayak" factory in Chelyabinsk-65 on 17 July, further details supplied by a spokesman of the Ministry of Atomic Energy indicate that a 20-liter sorption tower ruptured, but that the amount of plutonium released after passing through the plant's ventilation system was the equivalent of only 3% of the maximum permissible daily norm for the release of radioactive substances. According to the ITAR-TASS report of 19 July, the total radioactivity of the release amounted to 0.2 millicuries. -Sheila Marnie TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TAJIK DEVELOPMENTS. Saber-rattling over the Tajik-Afghan border crisis continued on 20-July. The chief of staff of Viktor Barannikov, Russia's security minister, stated that "the border guards have received an order to use fire . . . even across the border," and underlined that Russian troops had "the moral right to raid Afghan territory if violations of the border do not stop," the London Times reported on 21 July. He also stated at a news conference on 20-July that Russian forces had fired at Tajik rebel troops on Afghan soil, a charge previously denied by the Tajik and Russian Defense Ministries. Russian sources report that Kyrgyzstan is sending 500-troops to the Tajik-Afghan border on 21 July. Meanwhile, reports indicate that there are emotional debates going on in the parliaments of Russia and Kazakhstan over their respective roles in Tajikistan, with some deputies in both states expressing fears about a repetition of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. -Keith Martin RAKHMONOV ON GORNO-BADAKHSHON. Imomali Rakhmonov, Tajikistan's head of state, stressed the importance of reopening the strategic Dushanbe-Khorog road, currently blocked by rebels, in a speech carried by Radio Dushanbe on 20 July. The road, which becomes blocked by snow in September, is the only means to bring relief supplies and food to the Gorno-Badakhshon Autonomous Oblast, where there have been reports of malnutrition and disease. Rakhmonov stressed that he would take resolute measures, with the help of other CIS states, to crush the rebels. He also underscored that "Badakhshon is an integral and inseparable part of . . . Tajikistan". (The region has in the past sought to become independent.) Rakhmonov's comments come amid growing speculation among Russian and Western observers that Tajikistan is threatened with disintegration. Reuters reported that the foreign ministry of Pakistan, which is only separated from Gorno-Badakhshon by a 20 km-wide strip of Afghan territory, had expressed concern over the Tajik-Afghan border situation and urged "all parties to respect the sanctity of international borders." -Keith Martin GEORGIAN WARLORD WARNS OF "SECOND AFGHANISTAN. Speaking on 20 July to the Georgian parliament, Leader of the independent Mkhedrioni armed formation and Parliament Deputy Dzhaba Ioseliani blamed Russia for the escalation of the conflict in Abkhazia. He warned that if Sukhumi falls to the Abkhaz separatists, his units will create a "second Afghanistan" for Russia by starting a guerrilla war, ITAR-TASS reported. Meanwhile, a UN technical team led by American George Sherry began work on 20 July in Tbilisi to prepare for the arrival of fifty UN military observers. The press centers of both the Georgian Armed Forces and the Abkhaz Supreme Soviet report that heavy fighting around Sukhumi continued throughout 20 July. -Catherine Dale KAZAKHSTAN'S ECONOMY CONTINUES TO DECLINE. Efforts to slow the decline in output in all branches of Kazakhstan's economy in the first half of 1993 were unsuccessful, the country's Cabinet of Ministers concluded on 20 July after studying production figures, ITAR-TASS reported. Industrial output was down a quarter in comparison with the same period of 1992, with the worst results shown by the coal, oil, gas, metallurgical, chemical and machinery sectors. Although an excellent grain harvest is expected, livestock production is down. Price increases for energy have fueled the inflation rate, which has averaged 30% per month. No improvement is expected before the end of the year. -Bess Brown THE UZBEK PATH TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. At a recent conference on the provision of social security to the population during the establishment of a market economy, Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov said that "Uzbekistan is undergoing a period of fundamental change," according to an article in Segodnia on 20 July. At the conference, the word "crisis" was used to describe the economic situation in the country for the first time. Karimov reasserted the decision of the Uzbek government to move from the command-planned economy of the past to a market economy, but emphasized that all "levers for steering the economy" and "responsibility for social justice" will remain with the state: a special Uzbek form of state capitalism will be created. The development of the economy will be carried out as in some western states, for example France, where the government sets goals for the economy and makes plans based on these goals. -Yalcin Tokgozoglu COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES UN SECURITY COUNCIL ON SEVASTOPOL. An RFE/RL correspondent in New York reported on 20 July that the UN Security Council has issued a "consensus statement" noting that the Russian parliament's resolution on Sevastopol is inconsistent with the UN charter and the 1990 Russian-Ukrainian treaty which recognizes Ukraine's sovereignty and borders. Russia supported the statement, but Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk noted that the parliament's resolution was "a time bomb" and that tensions in the area are rising. Tarasyuk also noted that the decree has caused some Ukrainian politicians to reconsider their support for the START-1 and nuclear non-proliferation treaties. -John Lepingwell YELTSIN, KRAVCHUK TO MEET OVER SEVASTOPOL? AFP REPORTED ON 20 JULY THAT PRESIDENTS LEONID KRAVCHUK AND BORIS YELTSIN DISCUSSED THE ISSUE OF SEVASTOPOL DURING A TELEPHONE CONVERSATION ON 19 JULY, AND AGREED TO HOLD A SUMMIT MEETING TO FURTHER DISCUSS THE MATTER. As yet, however, there has been no official confirmation that a meeting is to be held. -John Lepingwell RUSSIAN ECONOMISTS CRITICIZE EXCLUSION OF CENTRAL ASIA. A group of leading Russian economists and other public figures has issued a statement criticizing the new economic association of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus for "shortsightedness" in excluding the Central Asian states, ITAR-TASS reported on 20-July. The statement, signed by Stanislav Shatalin, Leonid Abalkin, Vadim Bakatin and other members of the Reform Fund, credits the exclusion of the Central Asians to a "political reaction" against their participation in the Economic Cooperation Organization and points out that Kazakhstan has always been one of the main proponents of greater integration and the creation of coordinating bodies within the CIS, which the new association purports to espouse. The signatories would prefer to see the goals of the association put into practice within the framework of the CIS. -Bess Brown RECORD GRAIN HARVESTS IN RUSSIA, KAZAKHSTAN? ACCORDING TO AUTHORITATIVE PROJECTIONS, BOTH RUSSIA AND KAZAKHSTAN COULD HAVE RECORD GRAIN HARVESTS IN 1993, REUTERS REPORTED ON 20 JULY. The head of Roskhlebprodukt is quoted as forecasting an outturn of 125-million tons in Russia, while the agricultural minister of Kazakhstan predicted a gross harvest that would be 10-15% higher than 1992's record crop. -Keith Bush CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE IZETBEGOVIC CALLS ON UN TO SAVE SARAJEVO. In a letter to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic appealed to the world to halt the Serb offensive against Sarajevo. He said there are signs that Serb forces plan a general attack on the city itself, international media reported on 20-July. According to Radio Sarajevo the fighting on and around Mount Igman in the south of the city continues, but government troops are holding the line. Meanwhile, the Bosnian presidency met for the third day in a row, apparently to discuss the partition plan. In central Bosnia, heavy fighting was reported between government forces and Croats. According to Croat officials, Bosnian troops shelled the city of Bugojno. Maglaj was under intense bombardment by Serbs, and Croats and had virtually run out of food and medicine, a ham radio operator told UN officials. Finally, a UN relief convoy abandoned attempts to reach Gorazde after Serb women demonstrators had blocked the convoy since Saturday. UN officials blamed Serb forces for orchestrating the demonstrations. -Fabian Schmidt CROATIA WARY OVER POSSIBLE SANCTIONS. International media on 20 July reported that Belgian Foreign Minister Willy Claes discussed the EC's concerns over Croatian-Muslim fighting with President Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb. Claes warned Tudjman that Croatia faces possible sanctions if the combat continues, but Vecernji list of 21 July quotes Tudjman as saying once again that Zagreb can try to influence the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina but cannot be held responsible "for everything that goes on there." The government-controlled media, meanwhile, continue to try to reassure an apparently anxious public that sanctions are not imminent. Although Zagreb sometimes feels that Bonn is not so supportive of it now as it was when Hans-Dietrich Genscher was foreign minister, the press gives credit to Germany for saving Croatia from "a British ultimatum" over sanctions. -Patrick Moore OTHER CROATIAN DEVELOPMENTS. Borba of 21-July reports on some notable absences at the 18 July ceremony at which Tudjman reopened the bridge crossing at Maslenica: namely, the German and Italian ambassadors, representatives of the opposition Liberal and People's parties, and anyone from the far-right Croatian Party of [Historic] Rights. On 20 July international media said that representatives of the Croatian government and the Knin Serb rebels met in Vienna, but Borba of 21 July adds that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has announced further measures toward unity between the Krajina and Bosnian Serb territories. The Belgrade daily concludes, however, that the moves are likely to prove only cosmetic. -Patrick Moore UPDATE ON DRASKOVIC, SERBIAN ECONOMY. Vuk Draskovic, leader of the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement, told Reuters on 20 July that he and his wife will fly to Paris on 21 July for medical treatment. Detained after violent antigovernment riots in Belgrade on 2-June, the couple spent more than a month in detention and was severely beaten by police. Draskovic also went on a nine-day hunger strike. Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic pardoned the two following intense international pressure. Although charges of inciting the riots were dropped, Draskovic still faces trial, charged with having beaten a policeman. Meanwhile, the federal government will issue a 50-million dinar note (about $3 at the current black market rates) on 26 July. The head of the treasury explained that the country's runaway inflation has made existing bank notes of lower denominations virtually worthless. The government currently issues about 12 trillion dinars worth of bills daily. Monthly inflation in June was 343% and the current daily rate is estimated at 4.2%-an annual rate of 332-million percent. Belgrade media report that some wealthy residents are buying out entire stocks of supermarket goods and reselling them at black market prices. Radios Serbia and B92 carried the report on 20 July. -Milan Andrejevich MACEDONIA ADMITTED TO CEI. MILS reports on 19-July that the Republic of Macedonia has been made a full member of the Central European Initiative (CEI) at its fourth summit meeting held 16-17 July in Budapest. The CEI, founded in 1989, is a consultative organization that now includes ten states inhabited by 150 million people. Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski called the decision by the CEI "an expression of the complete support of Macedonia's integration in the European processes." In an interview in the 19 July issue of Pesti Hirlap, he said Macedonia is working on a solution to its minority problem and the establishment of good-neighborly relations with Greece. He also said he feels the number of UN troops stationed in Macedonia is not sufficient to prevent a spread of the war but that their presence symbolizes Europe's willingness to defend his country. -Robert Austin and Alfred Reisch FOUR PARTIES LEAD IN POLISH OPINION POLLS. With just under two months remaining until the Polish parliamentary elections on 19 September, public opinion polls show only six parties safely passing the 5% threshold for representation. The reformist Democratic Union (UD) leads the pack with 13%. The former official Polish Peasant Party follows closely with 12%; President Lech Walesa's Nonparty Reform Bloc has 11%; and the former communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) has 10%. In past elections, polls have tended to overstate actual public support for the UD and understate it for the SLD. Solidarity and the Confederation for an Independent Poland are both running at 6%. The remaining parties-including the Liberal Democratic Congress, the Union of Labor, and all the right-wing, Christian, and anticommunist parties-all polled under 5%. Only 38% of respondents said they will vote "for sure," while 17% said they will definitely not vote. The poll was conducted by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CBOS) and reported by PAP on 19 July. -Louisa Vinton BALCEROWICZ PROPOSED TO HEAD EBRD. The architect of Poland's economic transformation program, Leszek Balcerowicz, has been nominated to head the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the place of the bank's disgraced first chairman, Jacques Attali. Polish National Bank chief Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, who represents Poland on the EBRD board of governors, nominated Balcerowicz on 20 July, PAP reports. Balcerowicz served as finance minister and deputy prime minister in the first two Solidarity-led governments, from September 1989 to December 1991. In her nomination letter, Gronkiewicz-Waltz stressed Balcerowicz's pioneering role in designing Poland's capitalist transformation and his first-hand knowledge of both Western market economies and Eastern systems in transition. Western agencies report that the governor of the Bank of France remains the favored candidate for the job. Questioned by reporters, Balcerowicz had no immediate comment. -Louisa Vinton SECOND ROUND OF PRIVATIZATION IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. Speaking at a press conference in Prague, Privatization Minister Jiri Skalicky announced that the second round of voucher privatization will begin on 1 October 1993. After that date, Czech citizens over 18-years of age will be able to purchase privatization vouchers for a symbolic fee (the equivalent of $35). Vouchers can be later exchanged for shares in more than 800 companies slated for privatization. Skalicky said that more than 548 of these companies worth 79-billion koruny ($2.3 billion) were prepared for the second round of voucher privatization as of 20 July. The remaining companies slated for privatization during the second round of voucher privatization have to complete their privatization projects in the following months. -Jiri Pehe CARPATHIAN GERMANS URGE SLOVAKIA TO REPEAL BENES DECREES. At a 20 July press conference, Otto Sobek, chairman of the Carpathian German Association of Slovakia, called for the abolishment of the post-World War-II decrees that assigned collective guilt to Hungarian and German minorities. He said that property confiscated after World War-II "should be given back to ethnic Germans with Slovak citizenship." TASR reports that according to the 1991 census, approximately 6,000 Slovak citizens claim German ethnicity. Sobek says the number is actually between 15,000 and 20,000; before World War-II there were 150,000 Germans in Slovakia. The association suggested that a commission be created by Slovak parliamentary deputies and ethnic Hungarians and Germans to explore ways to resolve the issue. The Council of Europe recommended that Slovakia deal with this problem as a condition for membership, but Slovak leaders have expressed reservations about repeal of the Benes decrees. -Sharon Fisher INDIAN PRESIDENT VISITS HUNGARY. Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma arrived in Hungary on 20-July for a three-day official visit, Radio Budapest reports. He and Hungarian President Arpad Goncz talked about ways to upgrade bilateral economic ties and trade. Last year, trade turnover between the two countries dropped to $54 million from $138 million in 1991. A meeting with Prime Minister Jozsef Antall did not take place as the latter had to go to a "medical appointment." Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky will sit in for the premier during the talks. -Alfred Reisch ROMANIANS, ETHNIC HUNGARIANS AGREE ON RIGHTS IMPROVEMENTS. Reports from Romania say government officials and representatives of the Hungarian minority have agreed on steps to improve minority rights. The tentative agreement was reached on 18 July after three days of talks in the Black Sea resort of Neptun. It provides for the training of 300-additional Hungarian teachers at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, more elementary school classes in history and geography taught in minority languages, and bilingual street signs in areas with over 30% minority population. The Romanian delegation included Viorel Hrebenciuc, Secretary General of the cabinet, who coordinates the activity of the Council for National Minorities, and Traian Chebeleu, a spokesman to Romania's President Ion Iliescu. Leaders of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, including Laszlo Borbely, Gyorgy Tokay, and Gyorgy Frunda, welcomed the understanding. On 20 July Hrebenciuc told a delegation of the European Parliament headed by Alexander Langer that the setting up of the Council for Minorities shows the government's determination to resolve the nationality question. Borbely also stressed the need to reestablish the Hungarian-language university in Cluj. -Dan Ionescu and Alfred Reisch ROMANIAN CHIEF OF STAFF TO MOSCOW. On 20-July in Moscow Lt. Gen. Dumitru Cioflina and his Russian counterpart, Col. Gen. Mikhail Kolesnikov, initialed a cooperation agreement between the two armies. Cioflina told Radio Bucharest that the agreement will be signed in Bucharest in mid-September during a planned visit of Russia's Defense Minister Gen. Pavel Grachev. Cioflina also discussed training of Romanian cadets at Russian military schools and the future of the Russian 14th Army, which supports the self-styled Dniester republic in Moldova. According to the Romanian general, the Russians said that the withdrawal of the army is under consideration and will likely take place "in the not too distant future." -Dan Ionescu MOLDOVAN POPULAR FRONT COMPLAINS OF PERSECUTION. The Christian-Democratic Popular Front of Moldova has asked the parliament and government to put a stop to the campaign of intimidation and repression that it claims its supporters are being subjected to, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 July. An investigation has been started to see if the allegations are well founded. According to ITAR-TASS, some observers think that the statement of the front's leaders about repression is designed to attract attention to the front, which has lost most of its support since it openly espoused Moldova's unification with Romania. -Ann Sheehy CREDITORS URGE BULGARIA TO RESUME INTEREST PAYMENT. A spokesman for the Deutsche Bank, representing the interests of some 300 Western banks, says creditors have called on Bulgaria immediately to resume interest payment on its $9.3 billion commercial debt. A spokesman told RFE/RL on 20 July that at a meeting with Bulgarian officials in Frankfurt the creditors had emphasized the importance of regular interest payments. In an effort to improve relations with Western banks, Bulgaria last year offered to pay 20% of the interest owed. Bulgaria paid $80 million in the first three months of 1993 but now argues it no longer can afford the bill. Chief negotiator Mariana Todorova told Otechestven vestnik of 21-July that the creditors still fail to recognize Bulgaria's limited financial capability. -Kjell Engelbrekt SHUSHKEVICH IN WASHINGTON. Belarusian parliamentary chairman Stanislau Shush-kevich begins a three-day official working visit to Washington on 21-July at the invitation of President Bill Clinton, an RFE/RL correspondent reports. Shushkevich is the first leader of a post-Soviet state to be invited by the President and this is the first visit to the US by a Belarusian head of state. He will meet with Clinton, cabinet secretaries, and congressional leaders. A State Department official was quoted as saying that US-Belarusian relations extend beyond security and arms control matters and that Shushkevich's visit marks a graduation to a "higher plateau" in the bilateral relationship. -Roman Solchanyk VATICAN OFFICIAL TO VISIT UKRAINE. The Papal nuncio in Kiev said that Cardinal Achille Silvestrini will travel to Ukraine in October, the first high-level visit by a Vatican official, Reuters reported on 20 July. The visit represents "an effort to strengthen contacts and relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church". The announcement comes in the wake of protests by Ukrainian Orthodox believers, who prevented Cardinal Myroslav Lubachivsky from leading a service in St. Cyril's church in Kiev on Sunday. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, itself divided into two branches, has repeatedly come into conflict with the Ukrainian (Uniate) Catholics over the distribution of church property since the latter group regained legal status in 1991. -Susan Stewart NEW GOVERNMENT IN LATVIA. Voting 48 for, 11-against, and the remainder of the deputies abstaining, the Saeima endorsed the 13 ministers and 9 state ministers proposed by Prime Minister-designate Valdis Birkavs. Though the new government was formed jointly by the parliamentary coalition of 36 deputies of Latvia's Way and the 12 deputies of the Farmers' Union, only two-Janis Kinna (agriculture) and Janis Ritenis (welfare)-represent the farmers. The remaining ministers are from Latvia's Way: Georgs Andrejevs (foreign affairs), Valdis Pavlovskis (defense), Girts Kristovskis (internal affairs), Janis Vaivads (education, culture, and science), Ojars Kehris (economics), Uldis Osis (finance), Maris Gailis (state reforms), Egils Levits (justice), Andris Gutmanis (transportation), Girts Lukins (environmental and regional development), and Edvins Inkens (special assignments). Birkavs noted that the ministers of justice, economics, and state reforms would also serve as deputies of the prime minister. Nine ministers of state with ministerial rank were also confirmed. Each will work within an appropriate ministry and will vote at Council of Ministers meetings only on issues related to their area of responsibility. The ministers of state include one with the Ministry of Economics-Andris Kreslins (energy), two with the Ministry of Finance-Edmunds Krastins (state property) and Janis Platais (budget), two with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Olgerts Pavlovskis (foreign trade and EC affairs) and Gunars Meierovics (Baltic and Nordic affairs), one with the Education, Culture, and Science Ministry-Raimonds Pauls (culture), one with the Agriculture Ministry-Kazimirs Slakota (forestry), one with the Welfare Ministry-Andris Berzins (labor), and one with the Environmental and Regional Development Ministry-Indulis Emsis (environmental protection). -Dzintra Bungs LITAS BECOMES ONLY CURRENCY IN LITHUANIA. On 20 July, the last day the coupon could still be used as legal tender, Bank of Lithuania Chairman Romualdas Visokavicius called the introduction of the litas a success, BNS reports. He told a press conference that only about one-thirtieth of the coupons issued had not been converted into litai by 10:00 that morning. People who were out of the country or in hospitals would be the only ones still allowed to convert coupons to litai. A contract has been signed for the printing of 1-, 2-, and 5-litas bills to replace coins of the same denominations that the Litas Committee has found unsatisfactory. -Saulius Girnius [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Sheila Marnie and Charles Trumbull 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.
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