If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there. - Martin Luther
RFE/RL Daily Report

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
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