The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 148, 05 August 1993







RUSSIA



FEDOROV PROPOSES REORGANIZATION OF GOVERNMENT. Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Finance Boris Fedorov has sent an official note
to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin proposing rationalizing
the existing structure of government ministries and committees,
Izvestiya reported on 4 August. In particular, Fedorov called
for merging the Finance and Economics Ministries (plus the tax
service, tax inspection, customs committee, State Committee on
Prices, and Committee on Precious Metals) into one Ministry of
Finance and the Economy; and combining the Ministry of External
Economic Relations and the Committee for Industrial Policy into
a Ministry for Trade and Industry. He claimed that substantial
staff cuts could be made in the process of the reorganization.
The proposal also includes a reduction in the number of deputy
prime ministers. -Erik Whitlock

SHUMEIKO ON NEED OF SOCIAL ORIENTATION OF REFORM. First Deputy
Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko has said that the Russian government
plans to make its economic reform policy more socially oriented,
ITAR-TASS reported on 4 August. He stated that "the social protection
of the population cannot be delayed until later," because "to
conduct reforms just for the sake of it is senseless." He stressed
that reforms should be conducted first and foremost for the benefit
of the population. Shumeiko also asserted that the government
intends to stabilize the ruble and push inflation to under 5-7%
per month by the end of 1993. He said that the power struggle
in Russia will be halted after new elections take place, and
rejected any use of force in solving the present political confrontation.
-Alexander Rahr

AFTERMATH OF BANKNOTE WITHDRAWAL. President Boris Yeltsin told
assembled WW II veterans in Orel on 4 August that the banknote
withdrawal measure of 24 July was "understandable," but that
its implementation was "poorly thought out and poorly prepared,"
Russian and Western agencies reported. Yeltsin did not spell
out whether he had given prior approval for the measure. The
president of the Association of Russian Banks told Reuters on
4-August that the Russian Constitutional Court should review
the actions of the central bank to ensure that it does not exceed
its powers; and Finance Minister Fedorov told the Financial Times
of 4 August that conservative government ministers were seeking
to exploit the chaos caused by the exchange in order to reverse
radical reforms, while reformist ministers were engaged in self-destructive
"intrigues." -Keith Bush

CHERNOMYRDIN DENIES SPLIT IN THE GOVERNMENT. Prime Minister Chernomyrdin
denied reports that his government is divided over the Russian
Central Bank's (RCB) withdrawal of pre-1993 rubles, AFP reported
on 4 August. He insisted that the government is "unanimous on
the monetary reform" despite repeated criticisms of the move
by Finance Minister Fedorov, who condemned the RCB decision as
"a scandalous, stupid, and senseless action." Chernomyrdin called
Fedorov's statements his "own personal opinion" and reiterated
the government's support for the controversial move. Meanwhile,
the Finance Ministry issued a press release on 4 August attacking
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zaveryukha, who holds the government's
agricultural portfolio. The statement said that Zaveryukha was
"undermining the state's financial policy" and "opposing real
reforms in agriculture." -Dominic Gualtieri

YELTSIN'S VISIT TO OREL. In an interview with Ostankino TV "Novosti"
on 4 August during his visit to Orel, President Yeltsin suggested
that Russian patriotism was an essential ingredient for improving
the current situation in the country. He confirmed that on 13
to 14-August he will meet the heads of Russia's constituent republics
and the chairmen of eight regional associations in Petrozavodsk
to try to resolve problems in the new draft constitution. He
also revealed that he intends to meet Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk later in the month to discuss Sevastopol and the Black
Sea Fleet. ITAR-TASS on the same day reported Yeltsin's complaints
that the parliament had derailed the economy and scuppered reforms
by "permanent political strife and intrigues." -Wendy Slater


KHASBULATOV ON BUDGET DEFICIT. Parliamentary Speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov
said that the government could cut the budget deficit by 2 trillion
rubles ($2 billion) if it exercised tighter control over imports
and exports, Echo Moskvy radio reported on 4 August. He also
suggested that the government reduce its administrative apparatus
to make savings. Khasbulatov criticized the Russian Finance Ministry
for leading Russia to ruin by following the will of the IMF which,
according to Khasbulatov, was "seeking to destroy the country."
(In July the parliament approved a 1993 budget with a deficit
of 22 trillion rubles.) -Dominic Gualtieri

PRAVDA ON YELTSIN'S SICKNESS. An article in Pravda of 4 August
added fuel to the recent rumors that Yeltsin is incapacitated.
It said that people who have seen the president recently at close
quarters report that he is sick and that his speech has become
incoherent. Pravda claimed that Yeltsin has entrusted the management
of the country to three men: the head of the presidential apparatus,
Sergei Filatov; the chief of the Main Directorate for Protection
of State Leaders, Mikhail Barsukov; and the chief of Yeltsin's
personal bodyguard, Aleksandr Korzhakov. The article claimed
that these three men succeeded first in removing from office
the former Secretary of the Security Council Yurii Skokov, and
now the Minister of Security Viktor Barannikov. It further maintained
that many functions of the Ministry of Security, including telephone
bugging services, have been transferred from the security ministry
to Barsukov's office, and that Barsukov is collecting information
on Yeltsin's political opponents. -Alexander Rahr

SHARP INCREASE IN DIPHTHERIA CASES. An official of the State
Committee for Sanitary and Epidemiological Inspection told ITAR-TASS
on 4 August that about 4,000 diphtheria cases had been registered
during the first half of 1993. A similar number of cases were
recorded during the whole of 1992. The number of deaths from
diphtheria during the first six months of this year was some
104, compared with 131 deaths during the whole of 1992. The incidence
of the disease was particularly high in Moscow, St. Petersburg,
and Krasnodar, and in the Far East and Saratov regions. The official
attributed the rise to the shortage of vaccine, to objections
by parents to having their children vaccinated, and to neglect
by adults to get booster inoculations. -Keith Bush

INDIA INFORMED OF ROCKET SALE SUSPENSION. The Foreign Ministry
has officially informed Indian authorities that the sale of an
estimated $350 worth of rocket technology to India has been suspended,
a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman told Reuters on 4-August.
The suspension, which had been strongly opposed by a number of
leading officials in the Russian space agency Glavkosmos, came
after accusations by the US administration that the planned sale
would violate the Missile Technology Control Regime. The Russian
Foreign Ministry has argued that compliance with Washington's
wishes would lead to the opening of new markets in the West for
the Russian space industry. -Stephen Foye

IRAN RECEIVES SECOND RUSSIAN SUBMARINE. Reuters reported on 4
August that Iran has taken delivery of a second submarine from
Russia. The kilo-class diesel submarine was one of three that
Iran had purchased from Russia in a deal estimated to be worth
more than $600 million. Iran received the first submarine from
Russia in November of last year. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



BADAKHSHAN AUTHORITIES WANT TAJIK TROOPS OUT. Garibsho Shabozov,
chairman of Gorno-Badakhshan's legislature, told ITAR-TASS on
4 August that the authorities in the autonomous oblast have warned
the Tajik government in Dushanbe that the continued presence
of government troops in Badakhshan will raise tensions between
the region and Dushanbe. The Tajik Ministry of Defense said that
government troops had attacked opposition fighters in Tavildara
Raion in order to lift a blockade of the road between Dushanbe
and Khorog, capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast.
Shabozov discounted the influence of radical separatist and pro-Islamic
groups in Badakhshan and accused Dushanbe of wanting to use the
region as a staging area for attacks on Tajik opposition groups
in Afghanistan. -Bess Brown

NIYAZOV MEETS WITH TURKMEN AND RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY OFFICIALS.
Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov met with representatives
of the Russian and Turkmen Defense Ministries on 3 August, ITAR-TASS
reported, and discussed several questions concerning future military
cooperation between the two countries, including the as yet undecided
status of Russian officers serving in Turkmenistan. (The Turkmen
Armed Forces are currently under joint Russian-Turkmen command,
most of the officers being Russian.) The two sides also reached
a preliminary agreement on the National Air Defense Forces to
be established in Turkmenistan with Russia's cooperation. The
preliminary agreements reached at the meeting will be finalized
in October 1993 during Russian President Yeltsin's planned visit
to Ashgabat. -Yalcin Tokgozoglu

JAPANESE-CHINESE PLAN TO BUILD OIL REFINERY IN UZBEKISTAN. The
Japanese company Marubeni and the Chinese State Oil-Gas Corporation
plan to cooperate in building an oil refinery in Uzbekistan,
ITAR-TASS reported on 3 August. Until now Marubeni had been working
independently to build the refinery, which is in Bukhara. The
addition of the Chinese firm to the project should ensure the
completion of the refinery by 1996. The Japanese side will provide
financing and marketing, while the Chinese firm will undertake
the engineering and technical work and the training of specialists
for the refinery. The refinery's capacity is to be 2 million
tons per year. Part of the oil to be refined will be supplied
from China from the regions bordering Central Asia. The project
also foresees the export of oil to Japan by pipeline. It is likely
that the oil fields discovered in March 1992 in the Fergana Valley
at Minbulak will also provide oil to the refinery once they are
developed -Yalcin Tokgozoglu



CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



SERBS SAY THEY TOOK KEY MOUNTAIN. Belgrade dailies and international
media on 5-August quote Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic as
saying that his forces now control Mt. Igman near Sarajevo, thereby
cutting off the beleaguered capital's main supply route. Mladic
defied the UN's no-fly zone on 4 August by inspecting his troops
from a helicopter with UN observers looking on, the Washington
Post reports on 5-August. He also rebuffed orders from Bosnian
Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic to withdraw from newly
won high ground and put those positions under UN control, saying
that Serbs have never before given up conquered territory, the
Los Angeles Times notes. At least a hundred Muslim troops deserted
during the fighting, and UN spokesmen said they fear that up
to 30,000 refugees may flee the area and brave sniper fire to
reach Sarajevo. Elsewhere, Reuters on 4 August quotes a British
general with UN forces as saying that the main threat to Sarajevo's
supply lines is not the Serbs near the town but rather the Muslim
offensive against the Croats in central Bosnia. The BBC's Croatian
Service on 5-August adds that Croatian forces are pressing their
attack on Gornji Vakuf, which the Muslims claim to have captured
early in the week. -Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN PRESIDENCY MEETS MEDIATORS. Bosnian Serbian leader Radovan
Karadzic and Bosnian Croatian leader Mate Boban broke off Geneva
peace talks on 4 August and returned home after Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic boycotted the negotiations for the third day,
international media report. They were followed by the Serbian
and the Croatian presidents. Izetbegovic, who, together with
the rest of Bosnian presidency, will meet mediators Lord Owen
and Thorvald Stoltenberg on 5 August, insisted on a prompt withdrawal
of the Serbian forces from Mt. Igman and Mt. Bjelasnica. Meanwhile,
UN officials and NATO diplomats are holding high-level talks
to work out who will decide when to order possible air strikes
and where they should be carried out. Owen dismissed NATO's threat
of air strikes in Bosnia as having little effect on bringing
the conflict to an end, adding that the only effective military
leverage the world could apply is "to put ground troops in and
take it seriously," news agencies reported. He said that it is
up to the warring leaders to end the fighting: "This is their
country, it's their battle, it's their people who are being killed,"
he said. Elsewhere, about 1,500 foreign peace activists left
Split on 4 August with buses and cars loaded with water and medicine
bound for Sarajevo, where they want to hold a demonstration on
7-August. -Fabian Schmidt

SERBIAN PARTIES REACT TO AIR-STRIKE THREAT. Several opposition
parties in Serbia have strongly reacted to the threat of US-NATO
bombing of Bosnian Serb positions surrounding Sarajevo and other
Bosnian towns. Slobodan Raketic, Vice President of the Serbian
Renewal Movement (the party of Vuk Draskovic), remarked that
such an operation would be "absurd," especially because the three
warring parties were at the negotiating table. Vojislav Kostunica,
head of the Democratic Party of Serbia, described the threats
of foreign military intervention as the main obstacle toward
a successful conclusion of the Geneva peace talks because "it
only encourages Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic to undermine
the talks." Western intervention would drastically alter the
character of the conflict in Bosnia, he said. Furthermore, a
statement by the Serbian Radical Party also condemns President
Clinton's "hostile stand towards Serbs." Radio Serbia carried
the report on 4 August. -Milan Andrejevich

EX-YUGOSLAV GENERAL SAYS HE HELPED SLOVENIAN INDEPENDENCE. In
an interview published by the Maribor daily Vecer on 3 August,
Konrad Kolsek, a general in the former Federal Yugoslav Army,
admitted to having undermined General Staff decisions on military
operations in Slovenia in June-July 1991. As commander of the
Fifth Army District, which included Croatia and Slovenia and
was based in Zagreb, Kolsek said he prevented the Yugoslav army
from deploying special units to Ljubljana and obstructed air
strikes on the Slovenian capital and other towns. He suggested
that his role may have directly helped Slovenia's break from
the Yugoslav federation. Kolsek, a Slovene, said he broke his
silence about his role because of immense pressure from unnamed
officials and anonymous death threats. -Milan Andrejevich

CROATIAN UPDATE. The BBC's Croatian Service on 4-August reported
that the Croatian parliament is dealing with a new election package
that would move away from a winner-take-all system to one of
proportional representation. The measure would be a mixed blessing
for the opposition: on the one hand, the opposition would stand
to increase its percentage of seats in the legislature; on the
other hand, the measure is likely to breathe new life into tiny
parties and hinder the coalescence of the opposition within a
few larger groupings. Meanwhile, Hina said on 4 August that the
foreign minister received American and Russian diplomats for
a discussion of the Bosnia crisis and possible allied air intervention
in the region. The BBC's Croatian Service noted that a British
delegation headed by the defense secretary met with Croatia's
defense minister and chief of staff in Zagreb. -Patrick Moore


MOLDOVA FAILS TO RATIFY CIS MEMBERSHIP. At a stormy session on
4 August, parliament by a narrow margin declined to ratify Moldova's
participation in the CIS. The bill as presented to parliament
dealt exclusively with economic undertakings within the CIS and
reaffirmed Moldova's refusal to participate in political and
military dealings or in any supranational structures. The legislation
was hedged with supplementary conditions and reservations. As
reported by Basapress, the vote was 162 in favor of ratification
to 101-against, but the pro votes fell 5 votes short of 167,
the required simple majority, because of the boycott by "Dniester"
Russian deputies. The majority leaders promptly demanded dissolution
of the legislature and rule by executive decree pending new elections.
The mostly pro-Romanian opposition had campaigned intensely in
the media against ratification, arguing that the CIS is being
used by Russia to reestablish domination over the ex-Soviet republics.
At a news conference after the vote, opposition leaders criticized
Romania for having failed to assist the anti-CIS efforts and
termed the situation "a general failure of pro-Romanian forces"
in Moldova. -Vladimir Socor

POLISH PARTIES ATTACK GOVERNMENT. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka's
order on 2-August that state administration officials running
for parliament either resign or request a leave of absence raised
a storm of protest from Poland's political parties. Polish Peasant
Party leader Waldemar Pawlak on 3 August accused Suchocka of
overstepping her authority. He also charged the government with
privatizing firms against their will and conducting surveillance
of opposition parties. Union of Labor leader Ryszard Bugaj accused
the government of toying with legality and called for a halt
in privatization until after the elections. The postcommunist
Democratic Left Alliance in turn attacked the government for
signing the concordat with the Vatican and accused the coalition
parties of yielding to Church pressure in return for its endorsement
in the election campaign. Privatization Minister Janusz Lewandowski
defended the government's privatization program as legal, economically
rational, and conducted with the assent of the affected work
forces. Suchocka's spokesman also refuted the varied accusations,
adding that some attacks on the government violated the acceptable
limits of election campaigning. -Louisa Vinton

POLISH CROWD EVICTS MAYOR. Egged on by activists from the radical
Self Defense union, a crowd of about 100 unemployed people in
the town of Praszka, near Czestochowa, stormed the town hall
on 3 August, PAP reports. When the mayor, a Democratic Union
member, refused to resign, the crowd carried him from the building
and carted him around the town square in a wheelbarrow. The police
intervened only after the incident, temporarily detaining three
people. The situation was repeated on 4 August, when a crowd
surrounded the town hall and demanded the resignation of the
town council. After the police enabled the council to convene,
the mayor and most of the council resigned. The central police
authorities fired the local police commander for inaction, suspended
the regional commander, and opened an investigation on 4 August.
In a similar incident in Swinoujscie in July, the police also
failed to protect local officials from an angry crowd. At a Warsaw
press conference on 4 August, Self Defense leader Andrzej Lepper
accused the government of deliberately destroying the Polish
economy and threatened, "if necessary," to evict the prime minister
and the rest of her cabinet in wheelbarrows. -Louisa Vinton

POLAND'S SELF DEFENSE VIES FOR PROTEST VOTE. With its bombastic
defense of the unemployed, Lepper's Self Defense has emerged
as the most likely contender for the Polish protest vote in the
coming elections. The events in Praszka seem to have been planned
with this in mind. As one of the union's activists admitted to
Gazeta Wyborcza on 4 August, "a little demagoguery never hurts."
The union may well aspire to take over the constituency that
voted for Stan Tyminski in the 1990 presidential elections. Self
Defense has made a name for itself in the past year by erecting
roadblocks, occupying government offices, and threatening to
use force to prevent foreclosures on indebted farms. Among Self
Defense's leading candidates for the parliament are the filmmaker
Bohdan Poreba, a former hard-line communist and cofounder of
the mysterious Grunwald patriotic association, and other prominent
nationalist figures from the communist regime. -Louisa Vinton


KLAUS ON SPYING SCANDAL. Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus told Czech
Radio on 4 August that the scandal surrounding the alleged sale
of sensitive information by former agent of the Federal Bureau
for Intelligence and Security Vaclav Wallis to Viktor Kozeny,
president of Harvard Capital and Consulting, the largest investment
fund in the Czech Republic, shows that "someone in the Czech
Republic is striving for instability." The premier said he does
not know who the culprits are and warned that fragile Czech democracy
cannot afford such scandals. In a related development, the Civic
Democratic Alliance, a coalition partner of Vaclav Klaus's Civic
Democratic Party, proposed on 4 August that a nonpartisan replace
the acting director of the Bureau for Intelligence and Security,
Stanislav Devaty, who was a member of the CDP when he was appointed
to his post in September 1992. In recent days Devaty has come
under strong criticism in the media for not doing enough to control
the activities of BIS agents. -Jiri Pehe

MECIAR COMMENTS ON SLOVAK COALITION TALKS. In a 4 August press
conference of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar said that if coalition talks with the Slovak
National Party are to continue, the SNP "must remove certain
obstacles." According to Meciar, the first round of talks failed
partly because the SNP "doesn't present qualified candidates
for-.-.-. government offices," while the party's demands "are
disproportionately large relative to its actual political power."
Although the SNP has only 15-deputies in parliament compared
with 65 for the MDS, Meciar said the SNP has requested representation
in the diplomatic assembly and the state administration at a
1:1 ratio, in addition to several important posts in the parliament.
If the talks are unsuccessful, new elections are likely. Meciar,
in a 4 August interview with TASR, said that premature elections
"would slow down the nation's development process." -Sharon Fisher


HUNGARY REPLACES ECU WITH DM. The 31 July edition of the business
daily Napi reported that the National Bank of Hungary will replace
the ECU with the German mark in its exchange basket effective
2 August. The dollar and the ECU, in a 50:50 ratio, have been
used as foreign currency mix to fix the value of the forint.
For a long time the bank has sought closer monetary attachment
to the stable mark, since Germany is Hungary's largest trading
partner, and the recent problems with the European monetary system
seemed a good occasion for the change, the paper said, quoting
bank sources. -Karoly Okolicsanyi

LABOR UNREST SPREADS IN ROMANIA. The miners' strike in the Jiu
Valley goes into its fourth day, with no solution to the conflict
in sight. On 4 August the miners voted against a suggestion of
their leader, Miron Cosma, to send a delegation to Bucharest
with new proposals for negotiations, Radio Bucharest reported
on 4 August. The Jiu Valley union sent a message to other miners'
unions stating that its demands will benefit all miners in the
country. Meanwhile, there are reports that the effects of the
strike are beginning to be felt in vital sectors of the industry
left without coal supplies. The labor conflict seems also to
be spreading to other sectors. On 4 August the Union of Locomotive
Drivers said it will walk off the job on the next day if a wage
agreement is not reached. Rompres says the drivers want the negotiations
to take place in the Jiu Valley town of Petrosani, as a sign
of solidarity with the striking miners. The Federation of Road
Drivers also said it will call a strike on 17 August because
the government has not answered issues raised in its warning
strike on 26 July. The Fratia National Confederation of Free
Unions in Romania issued a statement supporting the road drivers.
It said their strike would include blockage of the most important
roads in the country. -Michael Shafir

BEROV ON ECONOMIC ISSUES, ELECTIONS. In an interview with RFE/RL
on 4 August, Bulgarian Prime Minister Lyuben Berov said the deep
economic crisis has come to an end and certain signs of recovery
can be observed. Berov was quoting recent statistics, which among
other things suggest that annual inflation will drop from last
year's 80% to slightly over 60%. He declared that the government's
current top priorities are privatization, the "bad loans" of
state companies, the restitution of farm land, the problem of
ensuring that private farmers have access to agricultural machinery,
and improvements in the overall tax collection system. On 3 August
Berov managed to persuade Parliamentary Chairman Aleksandar Yordanov
to call a special session of the National Assembly to adopt laws
on excise and value-added taxation, plus amendments in basic
economic legislation. Berov said new elections will in all likelihood
take place in the summer of 1994. -Kjell Engelbrekt

ESTONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER RESIGNS. Hain Rebas told RFE and Swedish
radio on 4-August that he has submitted his resignation to Prime
Minister Mart Laar. Rebas said that the resignation was due largely
to conflicting views over the handling of the mutinous infantry
unit at Pullapaa. Rebas, who assumed the leadership of the Defense
Ministry in October 1992, is the second member of Laar's cabinet
to resign; the first was Economics Minister Ain Saarmann who
left his position last year. -Dzintra Bungs

BRAZAUSKAS POSTPONES TRIP TO MOSCOW. The visit of Lithuanian
President Algirdas Brazauskas to Moscow has been postponed, principally
because the text of interstate treaty on the withdrawal of Russian
troops from Lithuania is still not complete. The Russian and
Lithuanian heads of state were to have signed this document during
Brazauskas's visit to the Russian capital, Baltic media reported
on 4 August. In order to iron out the differences, the Lithuanian
delegation for talks with Russia is to arrive in Moscow on 5
August. -Dzintra Bungs

NEW LATVIAN DELEGATION READY FOR TALKS WITH RUSSIA. Baltic media
reported on 4 August that Martins Virsis, erstwhile deputy foreign
minister, has been appointed by the government of Prime Minister
Valdis Birkavs to head the Latvian delegation for talks with
Russia on the withdrawal of its military forces from Latvia.
Other members of the delegation are: Aivars Vovers, Atis Janitis,
Janis Peters, Aleksandrs Kirsteins, Ilga Grava, Ivars Silars,
Dainis Turlais, Edvins Inkens, Janis Eihmanis, and Raimonds Jonitis.
-Dzintra Bungs

MORE RUSSIAN CRITICISM OF UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS' POLICY.
Amplifying remarks made by a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman
the day before, the Russian government on 4 August released an
official statement charging that Kiev's recent actions with respect
to the disposition of strategic nuclear weapons on its territory
contravene a number of international agreements and are threatening
world stability. The statement, reported by ITAR-TASS, also accused
Kiev of undermining efforts to enforce the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty and claimed that Ukraine's inability to maintain independently
the nuclear weapons on its territory is also increasing the threat
of a nuclear accident. While referring directly to a 2 July document
passed by the Ukrainian parliament that declares nuclear weapons
in Ukraine to be the property of Ukraine, the Russian government
statement is clearly also connected with recent assertions by
Ukrainian leaders that Kiev would hold onto its 46 SS-24 nuclear
missiles even after ratification of START-1. -Stephen Foye

KUCHMA ON RUSSIAN CURRENCY REFORM. Ukrainian Prime Minister Leonid
Kuchma told a press conference in Kiev on 4 July that the Russian
Central Bank's recent currency reform vindicates Ukraine's claims
that it had long been trying to push Ukraine forcibly out of
the ruble zone, Ukrainian TV reports. Kuchma also said the action
would help stabilize the karbovanets, which has been rapidly
depreciating recently, but he did not explain how. The prime
minister repeated his support for the idea of an economic union
with Russia, but not if it would result in a loss of sovereignty
for Ukraine. -Erik Whitlock

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Wendy Slater and Charles Trumbull







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