One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. - Sophocles
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 140, 26 July 1993





RUSSIA



PRE-1993 BANKNOTES WITHDRAWN. Statements by the government and
the Russian Central Bank on 24-July announced that Soviet and
Russian banknotes issued between 1961 and 1992 would be taken
out of circulation as of midnight on 25 July, Russian and Western
media reported. (But The Financial Times of 26 July maintains
that the president and the Ministry of Finance were unaware of
the move and may seek to reverse it.) Banknotes issued in 1993
and Soviet and Russian coins issued since 1961 will remain in
circulation. Russian citizens and people with residence permits
will be allowed to exchange up to 35,000 rubles for 1993 banknotes
on presentation of their internal passports at a savings bank
until 7 August. Amounts in excess of 35,000 rubles must be put
into a six-month term deposit. Enterprises, organizations, institutions,
and citizens of other states who are temporarily in Russia may
exchange up to 15,000 rubles until midnight of 26 July. No prior
warning of the move had been given and secrecy appears to have
been maintained. Agencies reported widespread confusion, shock,
resentment, and manipulation among the Russian population, bank
officials, and shopkeepers. -Keith Bush

YELTSIN CURTAILS VACATION AFTER COUP WARNING. President Boris
Yeltsin broke off his vacation to return to Moscow on 25 July,
Russian and Western agencies reported. A statement issued by
the Presidential press service on 23 July linked the move with
recent decisions by the Russian parliament, which was criticized
for attempting to reinstate the former system of government and
accused of initiating a takeover. The statement was particularly
critical of the parliament's recommendation to sack Interior
Minister Viktor Erin and Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov in connection
with the violence at the 1 May demonstrations. Yeltsin also acknowledged
a warning from the Democratic Russia Movement on 23 July that
a "pre-coup situation" had developed in the country. Meanwhile,
parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov warned deputies at the
parliament's closing session that the executive branch was "preparing
a coup." -Wendy Slater

DEPUTIES ANNOUNCE RELEASE OF THEIR OWN DRAFT CONSTITUTION. On
25 July, hard-line deputy parliamentary speaker Yurii Voronin
told a meeting of representatives of republican and regional
soviets that the Russian parliament's Constitutional Commission
had prepared yet another draft constitution as an alternative
to the document released on 12-July by the Constitutional Assembly.
Voronin said that the commission's draft would be submitted for
review to leaders of Russia's republics and regions on 27 or
28-July. Ostankino TV quoted parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov
as telling the same meeting that at its session in November the
Congress of People's Deputies would debate the parliamentary
commission's draft rather than the one prepared by the Constitutional
Assembly. The release of the parliament's draft constitution
is the latest in a series of parliamentary actions aggravating
the conflict between President Yeltsin and the legislature. -Vera
Tolz

YELTSIN ISSUES DECREE ON FINISHING WORK ON CONSTITUTION. President
Yeltsin issued a decree instructing a specially appointed working
group consisting of delegates to the Constitutional Assembly
to finalize the text of a Russian draft constitution, ITAR-TASS
reported on 25 July. The decree said the group should incorporate
suggestions made by the Soviets of Russia's republics and regions
as well as by the Russian parliament in Moscow into the text
of a draft Constitution released on 12 July by the Constitutional
Assembly . The decree said the working group should also give
recommendations on procedures for adopting a new constitution.
-Vera Tolz

PARLIAMENT APPROVES SHUMEIKO PROBE. On 23 July parliament approved
a request by Prosecutor General Valentin Stepankov to look into
allegations of corruption against one of Yeltsin's closest allies,
First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko, Western and Russian
news agencies reported. Shumeiko is accused of benefiting from
a $14.5 million contract to ship children's food to Russia and
of illegally transferring Russian government property to a joint
venture in Monaco. Shumeiko has denied the charges, telling reporters
that the investigation was politically motivated. Shumeiko and
another top Yeltsin adviser, Mikhail Poltoranin, have been frequent
targets of hard-liners in the Russian Parliament. -Dominic Gualtieri


RUTSKOI: NO TERRITORIAL CONCESSIONS. Russian Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi told regional leaders in Vladivostok that handing over
the Kuril Islands to Japan was out of the question and that "Russia
should not give a single millimeter of her land" to anyone, ITAR-TASS
reported on 23 and 24 July. Rutskoi suggested that the indecisiveness
of the Russian government had prompted a number of countries
including China to consider raising territorial claims against
Moscow. Once the Russian flag has been raised, the Vice President
reportedly emphasized, it cannot be replaced by another. According
to ITAR-TASS on 25-July, Rutskoi's trip to the Far East included
meetings not only with political leaders, but with military commanders
and representatives of defense enterprises as well. On the final
day of his visit he participated in ceremony marking Russian
Navy Day as the guest of the commander of the Russian Pacific
Fleet. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



DEVELOPMENTS IN TAJIKISTAN. Western correspondents in Tajikistan
and Afghanistan reported over 24-26 July that the Russian artillery
bombardment across the Tajik-Afghan border was continuing. Afghan
officials were quoted by a Reuters correspondent in Afghanistan
as saying that hundreds of Afghan villagers have been killed
or wounded and thousands have fled their homes. A group of villages
in Takhar Province, inhabited largely by Afghan Tajiks, is reported
to have been the target of heaviest attack, presumably to discourage
the inhabitants from supporting the Tajik Islamic opposition.
On 24 July General Anatolii Chechurin, commander of the Russian
Border Troops in Tajikistan, assured ITAR-TASS that the first
stage in the strengthening of the Tajik-Afghan border is almost
complete. An attack by the Tajik opposition and their Afghan
supporters on Gorno-Badakhshan is reported to be expected in
the next few days. -Bess Brown

AZERBAIJAN, KARABAKH AGREE ON THREE-DAY CEASEFIRE. Karabakh forces
backed by tanks took the strategic town of Agdam on 23 July after
street fighting in which up to 500-Azerbaijani soldiers were
killed, Western agencies reported. A Karabakh Armenian spokesman
told the Los Angeles Times (25 July) that the occupation of Agdam
had been imperative as Azerbaijani artillery had used it as a
base to shell the Karabakh capital, Stepanakert. Karabakh forces
were also reported to have advanced to within one kilometer of
Fizuli, which lies south-east of Nagorno-Karabakh, threatening
to sever road links between the town and the rest of Azerbaijan.
On 25 July Karabakh and Azerbaijani officials announced a three-day
ceasefire beginning at midnight on 24 July (local time) during
which "top-level negotiations" would be held on a solution to
the conflict, Western agencies reported. -Liz Fuller

ALIEV APPEALS TO UN; CSCE, US, TURKEY CONDEMN ARMENIAN AGGRESSION.
Following the fall of Agdam, on 24 July Azerbaijan parliament
chairman Geidar Aliev called on the UN to "restrain" Armenian
aggression, arguing that "any references by the Armenian side
to the fact that the armed forces fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh
are not subordinate to the Republic of Armenia are without foundation",
according to ITAR-TASS. The US State Department and the nine
members of the CSCE Minsk group currently meeting in Rome to
discuss the Karabakh issue both condemned the Agdam offensive.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 23 July accusing
the Armenian government of involvement in the current fighting;
on 25 July it issued a further announcement that it will bring
pressure to bear on the UN and other international bodies to
secure a complete withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied
Azerbaijani territory, Reuters reported. -Liz Fuller

SHEVARDNADZE TO SIGN CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT. Georgian Parliament
Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze issued a statement on 25 July in
which he declared his intent to sign an agreement providing for
a ceasefire in Abkhazia based on the draft agreement reached
by Shevardnadze and Russian Special Envoy Boris Pastukhov late
on 21 July, ITAR-TASS reported. The plan calls for supervision
of a ceasefire by Russia, Georgia, and Abkhazia, deployment of
peacekeepers and withdrawal of Georgian troops from the conflict
zone. In accordance with Abkhaz demands, Abkhaz officials currently
headquartered in Gudauta would be allowed to return to Sukhumi.
The Georgian parliament debated the issue on 24 July, but left
the final decision to Shevardnadze. The agreement will not go
into effect until approved by the Abkhaz. -Catherine Dale

CIS

REACTION IN THE RUBLE ZONE TO RUSSIAN BANKNOTE WITHDRAWAL. Russian
and Western agencies reported widely differing reactions in the
former Soviet republics, all of whom appeared to have been taken
by surprise. Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan were generally
supportive, declaring that they would remain in the ruble zone
but would not phase out old ruble notes as rapidly as Russia.
By one account, the Belarussian zaichik lost nearly half of its
value against the Russian ruble on 24 July. Armenia strongly
criticized the move, reminding Russia that states in the ruble
zone had agreed to give six months' advance warning of any national
currency change, but did not spell out its future course of action.
Azerbaijan planned to replace the old rubles with its new manat,
and gave its national bank two days to work out how. Georgia
announced that it would accelerate its abandonment of the ruble
by giving its citizens one week to exchange them for Georgian
coupons. Moldova also planned to speed up the introduction of
the leu, withdrawing ruble notes with a value of 200 rubles or
over as of 26 July, but retaining lower denomination ruble notes
alongside Moldovan coupons. -Keith Bush

MOROZOV SUGGESTS TRANSITIONAL NUCLEAR STATUS FOR UKRAINE. Ukrainian
Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov suggested on 23 July that
Ukraine may try to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty
with the special status of a "transition country" with nuclear
weapons, the New York Times reported on 26 July. "We can join
the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and support all the provisions,
but as a state that has temporary status of a country with nuclear
armaments on its territory that are being destroyed," Morozov
said on the eve of a 5-day visit to the US. The suggestion appeared
to be an attempt to reconcile the stance of hard-liners in the
Ukrainian parliament who oppose signing the treaty with that
of the international community, which has put pressure on Ukraine
to sign. The Ukrainian parliament has the power to accept or
reject the treaty. Rejection could increase tension in Ukrainian-Russian
relations and could lead to a failure to implement the START
treaties. -Susan Stewart

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



HEAVY SHELLING OF SARAJEVO CONTINUES. UN officials are quoted
by international media as saying that a cease-fire slated for
Sarajevo on 25 July is being ignored by both Serb and Bosnian
forces, although the Serbian side is doing most of the shelling.
At least two UN military vehicles were destroyed when Serbs shelled
a French UN base, but no one was wounded. The peace talks slated
for 25 July have been postponed to at least 27 July. Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic said that UN actions to establish
safe areas for Muslims have been "slow, inconsistent, and indecisive,"
and that the UNPROFOR is not making use of all the possibilities
foreseen in its mandate. Izetbegovic called on the Security Council
to consider new and stronger measures. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic said the Serbs will do all they can to ensure that essential
food, water, gas, and electricity supplies reach Sarajevo without
interruption. Meanwhile, a Serb offensive against Bosnian forces
is under way in Brcko, where heavy shelling is reported. Hina
adds Bosnian troops are still attacking Bugojno. -Fabian Schmidt


SLOVENIA PUZZLES OVER ARMS SHIPMENT. Hungarian Radio reported
on 23 July that Slovenian officials have discovered 150 tons
of weapons in a warehouse in Maribor. The arms were reported
to have been shipped from Budapest last September in Ukrainian
airplanes and labeled as humanitarian aid. A Hungarian customs
official interviewed said that the two planes originated in the
Sudan and were not inspected at the Budapest airport. The weapons
were reported to be made in Czechoslovakia and China and the
sales were reported to be organized by Austrian and Slovenian
businessmen. -Karoly Okolicsanyi

DRASKOVIC RETURNS TO BELGRADE. Radio B92 and international media
report on 25-July that Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic
and his wife have returned to Belgrade after four days of medical
treatment at a clinic in Paris. The couple received treatment
for injuries received from beatings by Belgrade police following
violent antigovernment protests in early June. Serbia's President
Slobodan Milosevic pardoned the two on 9 July, but Draskovic
still faces trial for allegedly beating a policeman. Draskovic
told reporters in Belgrade on 25 July that he will continue efforts
to unseat Milosevic and promote democracy but will heed the advice
of doctors and not engage in political activities for the next
few months. A recent poll in the Belgrade weekly NIN shows that
Draskovic's confidence rating among voters has doubled to 10%
since early June but analysts are skeptical that his rise in
popularity will last into the fall. -Milan Andrejevich

SIEGE MENTALITY IN CROATIA? OBSERVERS OF THE SITUATION IN THE
FORMER YUGOSLAVIA HAVE LONG NOTED THAT THE SERBS OFTEN SHOW A
"CIRCLE-THE-WAGONS" ATTITUDE TOWARD THE OUTSIDE WORLD, WHILE
SLOVENIA AND CROATIA INSTEAD SEEM PREOCCUPIED WITH BECOMING ACCEPTED
MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN FAMILY OF NATIONS. At least since 1991,
the Croatian ruling party has stressed its common bonds with
Germany, Italy, and the Roman Catholic countries of the former
Habsburg monarchy. In recent weeks, however, an increasingly
shrill tone has been noticeable in the press, directed at the
EC in general and Britain and France in particular. The EC has
been accused of already imposing "silent sanctions" on Croatia,
while Britain is portrayed in almost diabolical terms, as was
the case with an article in Slobodna Dalmacija on 18 July. Danas
of 16 July, moreover, suggested that the so-called Islamic fundamentalist
fighters responsible for the Croat-Muslim clashes in central
Bosnia this spring were really British troops and agents seeking
to promote London's supposedly sinister aims in the Balkans.
Germany, too, has come in for criticism, although that has eased
in the face of German support for Croatia in the EC against British
and French calls for sanctions. Slobodna Dalmacija on 17 July,
however, suggested that Italy is pursuing Machiavellian goals
by allegedly encouraging a conflict between Zagreb and Ljubljana,
from which Rome would be the main beneficiary. Finally, interviews
with top Croatian politicians from the right or center of the
ruling party frequently make often oblique references to dark
intentions of various powers, all at Croatia's expense. UN Ambassador
Mario Nobilo's interview in the 26-July Vecernji list alludes
to such aims. -Patrick Moore

UKRAINE RECOGNIZES MACEDONIA. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
sent a letter formally recognizing the Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia, Reuters reported on 24 July. Ukraine intends to
establish diplomatic relations with Macedonia, which has not
yet received widespread recognition due to Greek objections to
the country's name, which Athens claims implies territorial ambitions
toward part of Greece. -Susan Stewart

POLAND PREDICTS 4% GROWTH IN 1993-.-.-. Rzeczpospolita reported
on 23 July that Poland's economy is expected to grow 4% in 1993,
twice the rate initially predicted by the government. Finance
Minister Jerzy Osiatynski said this could give Poland the highest
growth rate in Europe. Factoring in the semilegal "gray sphere"
brings predicted GDP growth for 1993 to a full 5%. Calculations
by the state statistical office (GUS) show that GDP for the first
half of 1993 was already 3.9% higher than in the analogous period
last year. Annual inflation should remain below 34%, four percentage
points under the anticipated figure. Agricultural output is expected
to decline in 1993, however, with animal products down 12% in
comparison to 1992. GUS attributed Poland's growing trade deficit
to increases in grain and feed imports resulting from last year's
drought, along with export barriers erected by the EC. GUS's
analysts thus recommended only a modest, "corrective" devaluation
of the zloty rather than the more drastic devaluation demanded
by exporters. -Louisa Vinton

.-.-.-AND GOVERNMENT PLANS 5% GROWTH FOR 1994. Meeting in a special
cabinet session on 23 July, the Polish government settled on
a 5% growth rate for 1994 as the centerpiece of its official
economic program for the coming year. The program provides guidelines
for the construction of the annual budget. The 5% figure was
a compromise between the "bold" version of 7% growth proposed
by the central planning office, which was willing to risk higher
inflation, and the "cautious" version of 4% backed by the finance
ministry, which wanted to continue to limit inflation and keep
interest rates down. Some economists criticized the 7% proposal
as unreal and oriented to the ongoing election campaign. But,
as Finance Minister Jerzy Osiatynski told Polish TV, "it is a
luxury to be able to worry whether to have 4% growth or 5% or
7%." The government set the inflation target for 1994 at a maximum
of 26%. Real wages for public sector workers are to rise by 1.5%.
The deficit is to remain below its 5%-of-GDP ceiling. Unemployment
is to grow marginally, by about 90,000 people. Osiatynski cautioned
that increased export and greater foreign investment are necessary
to maintain Poland's current high rate of growth. -Louisa Vinton


POLAND, ROMANIA SIGN REPATRIATION AGREEMENT. The internal affairs
ministers for Poland and Romania signed an agreement on 24 July
in Warsaw to regulate the return to Romania of Romanian citizens
entering Poland illegally. The agreement also permits Poland
to return to Romania would-be asylum-seekers deported from Germany.
Poland already has repatriation agreements with the Czech Republic,
Slovakia, and Ukraine, and is preparing to sign similar accords
with Bulgaria and Belarus. Unlike Poland's agreement with Germany,
the pact with Romania does not set a maximum limit on the number
of illegal immigrants to be returned in one year. Polish Internal
Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski told Polish TV the agreement
is significant because Romanians form by far the largest group
attempting to cross into Germany illegally. In 1992 some 30,000
Romanians were caught trying to sneak across the Polish-German
border. -Louisa Vinton

ROMANIAN FINANCIAL POLICE CHIEF "OFFENDS" ILIESCU. The former
chief of the Financial Police is being involuntarily retired
from the army for having offended President Ion Iliescu, an RFE/RL
correspondent reports. Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu said
on 23-July that he is retiring Maj. Gen. Gheorghe Florica for
expressing a lack of confidence in the government and President
Iliescu, who is commander in chief of the armed forces, in an
interview with RFE/RL on 4 July. In that interview Florica said
that he had tried to talk to the president about the government
corruption allegations but Iliescu told him he did not want to
discuss them. Spiroiu told reporters that Florica's statements
were "incompatible with his military status." Presidential spokesman
Traian Chebeleu told RFE/RL that "once an officer no longer trusts
the head of the army, he should not be part of that army." -Michael
Shafir

IMF PRAISES ROMANIAN PROGRESS-.-.-. Maxwell Watson, the head
of the International Monetary Fund delegation, praised the government's
latest economic measures and said that Romania has a good chance
to achieve an export-oriented economy, Radio Bucharest reported
on 23 July. Watson acknowledged there are still disagreements
with the government concerning future measures, but said they
involve "technicalities" and not the "final purpose." Another
IMF delegation will come to Romania in ten days to discuss measures
for slowing down inflation. Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu told
Reuters on 24 July that Romania is likely to get more money from
the IMF in September after the IMF froze a final installment
of $75 million. A statement released by the opposition Democratic
Party (NSF) and carried by Radio Bucharest on 24 July emphasized
that this is the first time that an IMF delegation leaves Romania
without reaching an agreement on future loans. -Michael Shafir


.-.-. APPROVES MOLDOVAN REFORM PROGRAM-.-.-. John Olding Smith,
the head of the IMF mission in Moldova, has approved the government's
reform program, ITAR-TASS reported on 23 July. Smith told journalists
in Chisinau that, in his view, the program would accelerate privatization
and lead to the establishment of market relations. He said the
IMF will grant Moldova credit for 4-10 years, and that the credit
will be granted without waiting for the introduction of a national
currency. -Ann Sheehy

.-.-. AND MAKES COMMITMENT TO LITHUANIA. BNS reports that on
22 July Adalbert Knobl, the head of International Monetary Fund's
Baltic Division, told Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius that
the IMF will grant Lithuania $40 million in loans on very favorable
terms in October. A further $60 million will be made available
within the next 18 months. Knobl expressed satisfaction with
Lithuania's successful efforts to lower inflation and introduce
its new currency, the litas. -Saulius Girnius

EIB ASSISTANCE FOR BULGARIAN ROAD AND AIR TRANSPORT. The European
Investment Bank has released two loans for the improvement of
Bulgaria's road and air transport systems, Western agencies reported
on 23 July. A 21-million-ecu ($24-million) loan will be used
to rebuild the network of main roads to Greece, Romania, Turkey,
and the Black Sea, while 30-million ecus ($34.5 million) have
been advanced to finance a new air traffic control center. In
May the EIB released a 30-million-ecu loan destined for small-
and medium-sized Bulgarian enterprises. -Kjell Engelbrekt

ITALIAN PRESIDENT VISITS BULGARIA. On 22 July Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
arrived in Sofia for the first ever official visit by an Italian
head of state. During his one-day stay, Scalfaro held talks with
Premier Lyuben Berov and President Zhelyu Zhelev and addressed
parliament. BTA reports that Scalfaro pledged that Italy will
support the integration of Bulgaria into the structures of the
European community and NATO. On 23 July Scalfaro and Zhelev discussed
the impact of the UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia is having
on Balkan economies. Both leaders expressed support for the idea
of building a road and rail corridor from Italy through Albania
and Macedonia to Bulgaria. -Stan Markotich

PROSPECTS DIM FOR COALITION IN SLOVAKIA. Speaking at a press
conference after a meeting of the leadership of the ruling Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia on 24 July, Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar accused Slovak National Party Chairman Ludovit Cernak
of having demanded over 1 million koruny from Finance Minister
Julius Toth in exchange for Cernak's party consent to form a
coalition government with the MDS. Meciar said there "can be
no place for Cernak in his government." Cernak denied the accusation
the same day in an interview with Slovak Radio and accused the
MDS of disinformation. On 25 July he told the radio that his
party is still interested in coalition talks with the MDS but
that, in the future, it will be forced to release to the public
all relevant information about coalition talks "to defend its
honor." He further said that he himself will not seek a government
post if another SNP candidate is more acceptable but that he
was not willing to sell his party out. The collapse of the MDS-SNS
coalition talks would probably result in early parliamentary
elections in Slovakia. -Jiri Pehe

BELARUS JOINS NONPROLIFERATION TREATY. In Washington on 22 July
Belarusian President Stanislau Shushkevich completed the process
of acceding to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, an RFE/RL
correspondent reports. The Belarusian ambassador to Russia also
deposited an instrument of ratification with the Russian government
on 23 July. (The US, UK, and Russia are the "depository governments"
for the treaty.) The Belarusian parliament ratified the treaty
in February 1993. Shushkevich and Defense Secretary Les Aspin
also signed three agreements providing for $59-million in US
assistance in the removal of nuclear weapons from Belarus and
the cleaning up of former weapons sites. Belarus is home to more
than 50 SS-25 ICBMs, which are currently under Russian jurisdiction
and are to be withdrawn to Russia by the end of 1994. -John Lepingwell


CHERNOMYRDIN ON RUSSIA'S BORDERS WITH ESTONIA, LATVIA. On 24
July Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin unveiled a monument
to Prince Aleksandr Nevsky and his soldiers, who stopped the
advance of the forces of the German Teutonic Order in 1242 at
Lake Peipus. Both Chernomyrdin and Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii
Churkin said that the territory of Pechora and Pytalovo districts
in the Pskov Oblast will remain part of Russia. The statements
were clearly intended as a message to Estonia and Latvia, which
have been pressing Russia to give up the territory that the RSFSR
annexed from the two Baltic states in 1944-46. In a related development,
Russian border guards have placed markers through a Latvian farm
adjoining the Latvian border with the Pskov Oblast; they did
not consult with the Latvian authorities. The farm has been owned
by the Latvian family since 1-November 1927, when the area, known
as Abrene (Pytalovo in Russian), was recognized by Moscow to
be a part of Latvia, Baltic media reported on 23 and 24 July.
-Dzintra Bungs

ESTONIAN LEADERS TALK WITH RUSSIAN REPRESENTATIVES. On 22 July
Prime Minister Mart Laar discussed the economic problems of Narva
and Sillamae with municipal leaders of the predominantly Russian
towns. The city council chairmen described the talks as hopeful.
The second session of roundtable talks on minority issues in
Estonia started on 23-July in Tallinn. Participating in the talks
were members of the Representative Assembly of Estonia's Russian-speaking
residents, the Estonian Union of Nationalities, as well as members
of parliament and the government. They discussed the situation
in northeastern Estonia following referendums in Narva and Sillamae
on autonomy within Estonia. The next session of the roundtable
is scheduled to take place in two weeks. -Dzintra Bungs

LITHUANIAN COMPTROLLER FINDS UNLAWFUL SPENDING. On 23 July Vidas
Kundrotas told a press conference that he will submit documents
to the parliament commission of inquiry into economic crimes
on the illegal use of funds by former Energy Minister Leonas
Asmantas, Radio Lithuania reports. Asmantas allocated more than
$700,000 for purchasing equipment for nonministry institutions
and covering the costs of travel abroad by their employees. The
ministry had charged customers excessive prices for energy. Kundrotas
also urged the government to reject 11.82 million litas ($2.7
million) in expenditures in 1992 approved personally by former
prime ministers Gediminas Vagnorius and Aleksandras Abisala,
but not officially by the government. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Bess Brown 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),
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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
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Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications
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(+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993, RFE/RL, Inc.
All rights reserved.


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