The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human, and therefore, brothers. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 149, 06 August 1993







RUSSIA



US FORMULATING POLICY ON RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING. The Washington
Post reported on 5 August that the Clinton Administration is
close to adopting a policy calling for the US to intercede diplomatically
in regional and ethnic disputes in the former Soviet Union. The
plan is reportedly aimed at helping to broker resolutions to
disputes before they undermine the Yeltsin government, foment
wider conflict in southern Russia, or provide a pretext for military
intervention by Russian forces outside of Russia's border. The
newspaper reports that US officials are unsure both of the extent
to which Russian military forces outside of Russia are behind
the instability in the Caucasus and elsewhere, and of exactly
who is directing the actions of Russian military units in these
areas. US officials are also reportedly reacting warily to pleas
from Russian Foreign Ministry officials for US and UN help in
carrying out peacekeeping operations on the Russian periphery,
believing that Russia would be the only former Soviet state to
contribute forces to such efforts. The US is reportedly willing
to support in principle the deployment of UN peacekeeping forces
in the former USSR so long as such actions are carefully controlled
and participating Russian troops are not allowed to suppress
regimes or political groups hostile to Moscow. -Stephen Foye


CABINET TO DISCUSS NEW ECONOMIC POLICY? AN EXPANDED MEETING OF
THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT ON ECONOMIC POLICY, TO BE CHAIRED BY PRESIDENT
BORIS YELTSIN, IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE PLACE TODAY (6 AUGUST). Parliamentary
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov and regional executive leaders are
expected to participate in the meeting, ITAR-TASS reported. Nezavisimaya
gazeta on 5 August reported that First Deputy Prime Minister
Oleg Lobov plans to present a new economic program to the Cabinet
of Ministers which, if adopted, would significantly slow down
reform and reintroduce state control over the economy. The paper
claimed that Lobov's program is supported by the conservative
leadership of the parliament, the Russian Central Bank, and Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, and that only Finance Minister
Boris Fedorov opposes it. -Alexander Rahr

MINISTERS DENY CABINET RESHUFFLE PENDING. In separate television
interviews given on 4 August, two of the government's deputy
prime ministers denied reports that a major cabinet reshuffle
is being planned. Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets told a
press conference that rumors of an agreement between President
Yeltsin and the parliament to drop prominent reformers from the
cabinet were false. First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko
also downplayed the likelihood of major changes in the government.
He told Ostankino TV that if even if there were to be a cabinet
shuffle, senior ministers would not be affected. There have been
several public disagreements within the government recently,
including a row between the Finance Minister Boris Fedorov and
the deputy prime minister in charge of agriculture, Aleksandr
Zaveryukha. -Dominic Gualtieri

CRIME AND CORRUPTION STATE COMMISSION MEETS. President Yeltsin
chaired a meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission of the
Security Council on the Struggle against Crime and Corruption
on 5-August, ITAR-TASS reported. The meeting dealt with corruption
in the highest echelons of power, and heard a report from the
country's chief prosecutor, Valentin Stepankov. It was agreed
that the "politicization" of the struggle against corruption
should be avoided, that the work of the commission should not
be diverted toward political ambitions, and that details of deliberations
would be witheld. It was decided that henceforth the commission
will meet on a weekly basis. -Alexander Rahr

YELTSIN APPOINTS NEW JUSTICE MINISTER. Yurii Kalmykov has been
confirmed by presidential decree as the new Russian minister
of justice, Krim-Press reported on 5 August. Kalmykov had served
as acting justice minister since the resignation of his predecessor,
Nikolai Fedorov, in April of this year. Kalmykov is an academic
lawyer, who had previously chaired the USSR parliament Committee
on Legislation. -Wendy Slater

NEW WESTERN LOANS. On 5 August, the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development announced two new loans for the Russian oil industry,
ITAR-TASS and Western agencies reported. The first loan, for
$174-million, will go to Purneftegaz in the Tyumen region for
repairing 300 idle wells, drilling 84 new ones, and for renovating
equipment. The second, for $80-million, will be extended to a
joint British-Canadian-Russian venture in the Komi region. On
the same day, the International Finance Corporation announced
its first loan to a Russian bank, Reuters reported. The $15-million
loan will go to the International Moscow Bank to finance medium-
and small-sized enterprises. -Keith Bush

FAVORABLE REACTION TO DEBT RESCHEDULING. Sharp increases in prices
and trading volume on the secondary market for Russian debt were
reported by the Financial Times of 5-August in the wake of the
commercial debt rescheduling agreement which was announced on
3 August. The price rose from 28 cents before the agreement to
41-42 cents to the dollar. Russia agreed to pay $500 million
in 1993 on its commercial debt, while $3 billion of interest
owed this year will be postponed for 5 years. -Keith Bush

MORE CONTROVERSY ON INDIAN-RUSSIAN ROCKET DEAL. On 5 August,
Nezavisimaya gazeta reported that the parliament's Committee
on International Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations had,
two days earlier, held open and closed hearings on Moscow's suspension
of a sale of rocket technology to India. The newspaper, which
complained that details of the deal were not revealed at the
hearings, claimed that journalists were nevertheless able to
obtain a document in which the Foreign Economic Relations Ministry
criticized suspension of the sale to India, arguing that it would
result in losses to Russia of between $800 million and $1 billion.
It also charged that the US had raised questions concerning a
number of other related transactions apparently being considered
by Moscow. In the latest issue of Moskovskie novosti (no. 32),
meanwhile, the chairman of the International Affairs Committee,
Evgenii Ambartsumov, suggested that parliamentary chairman Ruslan
Khasbulatov was using the rocket sale imbroglio to discredit
Ambartsumov as part of a broader attack on several committee
chairmen deemed by Khasbulatov to be disloyal. -Stephen Foye


RUTSKOI WANTS TO RESURRECT USSR. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi,
speaking to military veterans in Kursk on the fiftieth anniversary
of the WW II battle there, said that he believes the former USSR
will be resurrected and will "again become a superpower which
can guarantee peace on earth." His speech was broadcast on Russian
TV on 5 August. He said that former Soviet citizens were "united
and indivisible" and will "again acquire the lofty title of Soviet
people" when the present "harsh ordeals" were overcome. He asserted
that the "Soviet people" must reunite, otherwise they would be
"destroyed." He blamed the democrats for the collapse of the
Soviet Union. In playing the patriotic card, Rutskoi is being
vigorously supported by parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov
who also met war veterans in Kursk. -Alexander Rahr

VADIM BAKATIN CRITICIZES BARANNIKOV'S DISMISSAL. The dismissal
of Minister of Security Viktor Barannikov is a sign that Yeltsin's
leadership has abandoned "political balance," the former chief
of the USSR Interior Ministry and the KGB, Vadim Bakatin, told
Moskovskie novosti (no. 32). Bakatin, who presided over the dismantling
of the KGB in 1991, also said that to accuse Barannikov of violating
"ethical norms" looked lame, given the background of alleged
corruption in the present government. Similarly, to accuse Barannikov
of having shared intelligence information with the Russian parliament
was a weak argument, because this was, in fact, his duty. Bakatin
stressed that the state security forces must be kept out of the
political infighting by all possible means. -Victor Yasmann

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



SHEVARDNADZE CALLS FOR STRONG LEADERSHIP. Addressing the Georgian
parliament on 5 August, Parliamentary Speaker Eduard Shevardnadze
stated that Georgia needs centralized power and the introduction
of an emergency regime to avoid anarchy and chaos, ITAR-TASS
reported. He added that "whoever the head of state is, his word
must be law for the bodies subordinate to him." Shevardnadze
made these remarks as the Cabinet of Ministers and parliament
reached a stalemate concerning the state budget bill. Parliament
is scheduled to resume the budget debate on 6 August. -Catherine
Dale

TAJIK REACTION TO KOZYREV APPEAL. Tajik Deputy Prime Minister
Abdujalil Samadov told a Reuters correspondent on 5 August that
Tajikistan's government refuses to accede to Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev's appeal that they negotiate with opposition
leaders to end the fighting in Tajikistan. On 4-August ITAR-TASS
reported that the head of the opposition Islamic Renaissance
Party, Muhammadsharif Himmatzoda, said in Kabul that he is prepared
to negotiate with the Tajik government. Western and Russian agencies
reported on 5 August that officials in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous
Oblast are continuing to demand that Tajik government troops
be removed from the region after 40 civilians were killed earlier
in the week in bombing raids. The government has said that the
raids were directed at opposition forces who had blockaded the
Dushanbe-Khorog road. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



WILL THE GENEVA PEACE TALKS CONTINUE? INTERNATIONAL MEDIATORS
THORVALD STOLTENBERG AND LORD OWEN ANNOUNCED ON 5 AUGUST THAT
BOSNIA'S WARRING SIDES ARE EXPECTED TO RESUME TALKS ON 9 AUGUST.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic agreed to lift the siege
of Sarajevo and remove "all obstacles" hindering the talks with
the Muslim government, international media report. After a meeting
with UN commander Francis Briquemont in the Serb headquarters
in Pale, he proposed that Serbian forces withdraw from Mt. Igman
and Mt. Bjelasnica and hand over the positions to UN troops.
The Serbs would also restore electricity and water services and
allow the reopening of two key roads leading to Zenica and Konjic.
But Briquemont said: "Actions speak louder than words." After
consultations with the mediators, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic
said, "we keep insisting on the withdrawal" and added that the
discussions with the mediators have failed to make progress on
a map for a new union of three ethnic republics. Meanwhile, NATO
officials are making a list of military targets that might be
attacked. Elsewhere, a convoy of about 1,000 peace activists
arrived safely in Prozor, a few kilometers from the front lines.
The organizers hope to reach Sarajevo when the road is safe enough
to travel. -Fabian Schmidt

"THE MOST VIOLENT CLASHES" IN CENTRAL BOSNIA. Western news agencies
quoted UN sources as saying that Croat and Muslim forces on 5
August engaged in the fiercest fighting since the start of hostilities
around Gornji Vakuf. Politika on 6 August cites Muslim-controlled
Radio Zenica as saying that the Croats are using aircraft in
an otherwise unconfirmed report. That same day Hina noted hand-to-hand
fighting in Mostar with a number of buildings going up in flames.
Meanwhile in Sarajevo, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic proposed
to the Croats that they and the Muslims set up a joint republic
within Bosnia to prevent further ethnic cleansing and population
dislocation, Borba writes on 6-August. The Croats are likely
to turn a deaf ear to the idea, and a recent newspaper poll suggests
that 60% of Croats feel that the alliance with the Muslims is
beyond repair. Nonetheless, Vecernji list of 6 August reports
that 19 Croatian opposition parties have issued a joint statement
calling on the government to respect the boundaries of both Croatia
and Bosnia. President Franjo Tudjman is widely believed to favor
instead some sort of "grand deal" with the Serbs to redraw frontiers
among the former Yugoslav republics. -Patrick Moore

TENSION CONTINUES AROUND THE MASLENICA BRIDGE. The BBC's Serbian
and Croatian Services reported on 5 August that Serb gunners
shelled the pontoon structure while engineers were trying to
repair and refloat it by the end of the week. Tanjug, however,
quotes local Serb forces as claiming that the Croats staged the
attack themselves, but this account does not seem compatible
with most other reports from the scene. Hina on 6 August says
that Croatia's supreme defense body met the previous evening
and urged all necessary measures to get the bridge back in working
order. The Zagreb government and President Tudjman in particular
have made the reopening of the bridge a prime political issue
going well beyond the economic importance of the structure for
Dalmatia and its wobbly economy. Meanwhile, Globus reports that
Croatian armed forces outnumber the rebel Serbs by at least four
to one. Tudjman and other top leaders have not ruled out a military
option to dislodge Serb rebels from the area they hold, about
25% of the republic's territory. -Patrick Moore

KOSOVO UPDATE. The Kosovo exile newspaper Rilindija reported
on 5 August on the growing number of brutal police raids all
over Kosovo. The raids picked up in intensity after 23 July,
when three policemen were seriously wounded in a gun attack on
a police station in Prizren. On 26 July one policeman was shot
and wounded in Podujevo. It was the latest of four violent incidents
in the past two months involving Serb security forces in the
region, where about 90% of the population are ethnic Albanians.
At the end of July the CSCE had to withdraw its monitors from
Kosovo, Vojvodina, and the Sandzak after Serbia refused to extend
the CSCE's mandate. Finally, possibly signaling a new policy
twist, Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova said, according
to Ilirija of 31 July, "If the west accepts the ethnic principle
for Bosnia and the change of borders for the republic, than we
shall have to take new measures." -Fabian Schmidt

BULGARIA SEEKS TRANSIT THROUGH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Deputy Foreign
Minister Todor Churov told a press conference on 5 August that
the Bulgarian government plans to ask the UN for the right to
transport goods through Serbia, Western agencies and BTA report.
Previous requests have been rejected on the grounds that a transit
corridor could lead to violations of the UN-imposed embargo.
Churov said any new proposals will include measures that eliminate
sanctions-busting, indicating that trucks could be rigged with
high-tech electronic equipment to insure that they do not fall
under Serbian control. Churov stressed that Bulgaria must be
allowed to move goods through Serbia because the sanctions have
pushed the national economy to the brink of ruin. -Stan Markotich


BULGARIAN EX-PREMIER INDICTED. Andrey Lukanov, a deputy of the
Bulgarian Socialist Party and prime minister in 1990, has been
charged with having diverted $60 million in state funds to Bulgaria's
political allies in the Third World in the late 1980s. On 5 August
officials of the National Investigation Service formally charged
Lukanov, who served as Minister of Foreign Economic Relations
in 1987-89, for his role in donating hard currency, arms, and
other forms of assistance to several communist and leftist organizations
abroad. Between 1981 and 1989, Bulgaria allocated funds to Yemen,
Nicaragua, and the Palestine Liberation Front, as well as leftist
parties in Chile, Honduras, and Bangladesh. Prosecutors told
Reuters that 21 other former communist functionaries will be
indicted in the coming weeks. Lukanov, who was stripped of his
parliamentary immunity in June 1992 and subsequently served several
months in jail, could face 30 years in prison if convicted. -Kjell
Engelbrekt

ALBANIAN MISCELLANY. Reuters reports on 5 August that Albania
is willing to accept up to 5,000 Bosnian refugees. Plans to build
a refugee camp are already underway with funds provided by Saudi
Arabia. Albania is a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference
and the Islamic Development Bank. In local developments, 32 people
who took part in last week's rally sponsored by Albania's Socialist
Party are facing trial, according to a 5 August Reuters report.
The rally had been called to protest the arrest of Socialist
Party leader Fatos Nano. In a letter published in Zeri i Popullit
on 6 August, Nano delivered an impassioned plea from "Cell No.
5" of a Tirana prison for his supporters to oppose totalitarianism
and defend the democratic process in Albania. Meanwhile, Akis
Tsochatzopoulos, the secretary-general of PASOK, the Greek socialist
party, denounced the decision to arrest Nano and called for his
immediate release. Finally, on 6 August Rilindja Demokratike
reports a meeting between the ruling Democratic Party and its
former coalition partner, the Albanian Social Democratic Party.
The SDP is currently boycotting parliament because of delays
in preparing a new constitution. The meeting seems to have laid
the groundwork for the return of the SDP to parliament. -Robert
Austin

SUCHOCKA DEFENDS PRIVATIZATION. "If the government does not make
a decision, it is criticized for passivity. If it makes one,
it is immediately charged with election campaigning." This is
how Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka described the current predicament
of the Polish government during her regular press conference
on 5-August. Pointing to the nation's 1993 industrial growth
rate of 9%, Suchocka said that Poland remains poor but has become
a developing country. She defended privatization as necessary
to improve economic efficiency and preserve jobs, but acknowledged
that abuses occur. In this context, Suchocka announced that prosecutors
are investigating the Porcelana factory in Walbrzych, where the
new owners apparently channeled profits into their own salaries
rather than, as promised, into investment. Suchocka defended
the recent joint sale of two cement factories to a Belgian firm,
seized upon by many opposition parties as a campaign issue, as
"extraordinarily beneficial." Turning to the recent eviction
by force of a small-town mayor by activists from Self Defense,
Suchocka called the union's actions "impermissible" and indicated
that the justice minister would "draw conclusions." -Louisa Vinton


ENERGY PRICE HIKES HALTED IN POLAND. Suchocka also announced
on 5 August that the government has postponed price hikes on
coal for industrial use. The coal industry had planned hikes
of 30-50% for August; coal for consumer use would not be affected.
The newly created mining consortiums were counting on the price
hikes to eliminate indebtedness and help finance restructuring.
Polish coal prices are still below world levels, while the mines'
debts amount to more than 30 trillion zloty ($1.7-billion), PAP
reports. Mining officials also stress that electricity producers,
the recipients of industrial coal, run a profit while the mines
run huge losses. The consortiums, which planned the price hikes
together, have come under fire for abusing their monopolistic
position. Polish coal mines employ 400,000 people. The government
also appears to have postponed an 8% hike in gasoline prices
scheduled for August. The increase, stipulated in the 1993 budget,
is a requirement set by the World Bank. -Louisa Vinton

RUSSIAN WITHDRAWAL FROM POLAND RESUMES. Russian military officials
in Poland have agreed to withdraw their special communications
brigade from Rembertow on 6 August, PAP reports. The Rembertow
brigade is the last remaining organized unit in Poland. The Russian
commander unilaterally halted the withdrawal on 3 August because
of a dispute with Polish authorities over the site for the Russian
military mission that is to oversee the transit of troops from
Germany. Polish officials said they had offered further talks
on the location of the mission, on the condition that the withdrawal
be completed. Poland has also demanded clarification of the status
of diplomatic buildings that the Russian embassy has illicitly
rented out for commercial use. The Polish government has proposed
that the mission be located in one of these, while the Russians
would like to use quarters in Rembertow. Quoting Russian embassy
sources, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 5 August that most of the
troops had in fact left the country on 4 August because food
supplies for the trip began to rot. -Louisa Vinton

KLAUS AGAIN COMMENTS ON SPYING SCANDAL. Speaking at a press conference
in Prague on 5 August, Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus told
journalists that the scandal surrounding the case of Vaclav Wallis,
an agent of the former Federal Bureau of Intelligence and Security
who allegedly sold sensitive information to Viktor Kozeny, chairman
of the largest investment fund in the Czech Republic, is "unfortunate
and unnecessary." Klaus argued that the scandal is "an ideological
attack at the transformation of the Czech Republic." The premier
criticized the media for "inflating" the Wallis case. He described
as "absolute nonsense" media reports that his Civic Democratic
Party has been building its own intelligence service. In a related
development, on 5 August Kozeny asked the Minister of Internal
Affairs for providing him with police protection. A ministry
official told CTK that Kozeny already has his own bodyguards.
-Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK NATIONAL PARTY STILL FAVORS COALITION. A proclamation
released to TASR by SNP Deputy Chairman Anton Hrnko on 5 August
states that his party is still convinced that a coalition with
the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia "is the best solution
for stabilizing political and economic development in Slovakia."
At the same time, Hrnko called Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's
4 August statement about the SNP "unworthy of a prime minister
of the Slovak Republic." Hrnko added that his party "will not
respond to personal attacks and fabricated allegations." Meanwhile,
Mikulas Dzurinda, the economic expert of the Christian Democratic
Movement, was also critical of Meciar in a 5 August CDM press
conference. Dzurinda claimed that the coalition talks are just
a "game" organized by the MDS "to distract the public's attention
away from the present problems." -Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY'S FREE DEMOCRATS OBJECT TO REBURIAL OF HORTHY. The operating
committee of the Association of Free Democrats said that the
party, the second largest opposition party in parliament, will
oppose making the planned reburial of Admiral Miklos Horthy an
official or even semiofficial function, in light of both foreign
and domestic political pressures, MTI reports. Horthy lead Hungary
for 25 years, from 1919 to 1944. His body will be brought back
by his family from Portugal, where he died in exile in 1957,
to be reinterred in the family crypt at Kenderes on 4 September.
Should the government make the ceremonies even semiofficial,
the AFD said, the party will do everything in its power to express
its disapproval. The government has said that Prime Minister
Jozsef Antall and a number of ministers will be present at the
reburial, but only as a private citizens. -Karoly Okolicsanyi


JIU VALLEY UPDATE. Miron Cosma, the leader of Romania's striking
miners, said on 5-August he has sent a compromise wage proposal
to the government that would reduce the costs of meeting the
miners' demands, Reuters reports. However, government spokeswoman
Doina Jalea told RFE/RL that Cosma's proposal is "trickery" and
represents no real attempt at compromise. She said the plan appears
to reduce the miners' demands for pay increases, but then includes
bonuses that would nullify the reduction. The miners, Jalea said,
have done this to make their demands seem "less daring" in the
media, adding that the government has no intention of yielding
and paying more than the average wage increase agreed upon last
month. In another development, Radio Bucharest said on 5 August
that the miners in another area, the Trotus Valley, have gone
on strike. A spokesman for the Trotus Valley miners said their
strike is not one of solidarity with the Jiu Valley miners, but
is a protest against the low bonuses paid on Miners' Day, 5 August.
The director-general of the RENEL electricity company told Radio
Bucharest listeners that supplies of coal have fallen to a point
that makes imports unavoidable, and this will have to be reflected
in the prices paid by consumers. -Michael Shafir

"DNIESTER" LEADER GETS RUSSIAN PASSPORT. Russia's Foreign Ministry
has issued a diplomatic passport to "Dniester republic" Supreme
Soviet chairman Grigorii Marakutsa and applied on 27 July at
the US Embassy in Moscow for a US entry visa for him, Moldova's
Foreign Ministry complained in a protest note to Russia's Foreign
Ministry. As reported by Basapress on 5 August, the Moldovan
note expressed "serious concern" over the Russian Foreign Ministry's
disregard of international law in this and other cases and asked
Russia's Foreign Ministry to withdraw the passports for foreign
travel it has recently issued to residents of Moldova (from the
left bank of the Dniester) who are not citizens of the Russian
Federation. -Vladimir Socor

RUSSIAN AS A SECOND STATE LANGUAGE IN THE DONBAS? SEVERAL PARLIAMENTARY
DEPUTIES, INCLUDING PAVLO MOVCHAN AND ROMAN IVANYCHUK, WHO ARE
LEADERS OF THE UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE SOCIETY, AN ORGANIZATION COMMITTED
TO THE PROTECTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE LANGUAGE, HAVE PROTESTED
TO THE PRESIDENT AND SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT ABOUT WHAT THEY CLAIM
ARE "ILLEGAL" AND "PROVOCATIVE" MOVES TO MAKE RUSSIAN A SECOND
STATE LANGUAGE IN THE DONBAS REGION. Various deputies and activists
from this industrialized and heavily Russified region (ethnic
Ukrainians still constitute a slight majority) have been calling
for Russian to be given an equal status with Ukrainian, the official
state language. on 28-July, however, the Donetsk regional council
decided to carry out a local poll on this issue during the country-wide
referendum scheduled for 26 September about confidence in the
President and the Ukrainian parliament. According to Literaturna
Ukraina of 5-August, Movchan and Ivanychuk question the political
motives behind this campaign. They stress that the Russian language
in the Donbas region, where, as in Crimea (though to considerably
lesser extent), there is a pro-Russian centrifugal movement,
is "not threatened by anyone." -Bohdan Nahaylo

CONTROVERSY CONCERNING RUSSIAN TROOP PULLOUT FROM LITHUANIA.
Foreign Minister Povilas Gilys has been sharply criticized by
Romualdas Ozolas, member of the delegation for talks with Russia,
for prematurely sending information to Russian President Boris
Yeltsin about the Lithuanian version of the draft treaty on troop
withdrawals. The treaty was not signed on 5 August, as had been
planned; instead, the Lithuanian delegation arrived that day
in Moscow to resume talks. A Russian spokesman dismissed the
Lithuanian claims for compensation for the damage done by the
troops and warned that attempts to square accounts with Russia
would turn into losses for stability in the region, Baltic media
report. -Dzintra Bungs

LATVIAN CULTURE MINISTER RESIGNS. State Minister of Culture Raimonds
Pauls has resigned from office, Diena reported on 4 August. Pauls
walked out of the first official meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers
on 3 August when a proposal to liquidate the Ministry of Culture
came up for discussion. Pauls found the proposal, made in an
effort to streamline the government, and the way it had been
prepared unacceptable. On 5-August Pauls accepted an offer by
President Guntis Ulmanis to become a presidential advisor on
culture, Diena reports. -Dzintra Bungs

LATVIAN OFFICIALS VISIT RUSSIAN SPACE CENTER. Baltic media report
that for the first time Latvian officials were allowed to visit
a Russian space tracking station located in a "military village"
some 36 kilometers from Ventspils on 4 August. There are currently
about 100 officers and 20 soldiers at the base, which monitors
and analyzes signals from space installations. Ilgonis Upmalis,
head of the Latvian office monitoring the Russian troop withdrawals
from Latvia, said that he and his men were allowed to see nearly
everything except the decoding apparatus. Upmalis added that
the visit was probably scheduled in anticipation of the visit
of a UN delegation in September. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Wendy Slater 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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RRFE/RL Daily Report

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