We have to understand the world can only be grasped by action, not by comtemplation. The hand is more important than the eye....The hand is the cutting edge of the mind. - J. Bronowski
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 151, 10 August 1993







RUSSIA



SERVICEMEN NOT GETTING PAID. Deputy Defense Minister Konstantin
Kobets said on 9-August that the Ministry of Finance owes the
Defense Ministry more than 1.5 trillion rubles and that, as a
result of the funding shortfall, more than 60% of all servicemen
were not paid in July and many received no pay in June. He said
that the shortfall also meant that the Defense Ministry had been
unable to fund a number of the benefits to servicemen promised
in recently passed defense legislation and that many military
bases faced serious shortages of food, fuel, and other necessities.
Kobets claimed that these problems have raised tensions within
the army and that some soldiers were refusing to carry out their
duties as a result. His remarks, made during a conference devoted
to social problems in the army, were reported by ITAR-TASS on
9 August. -Stephen Foye

FOREIGN TRADE PERFORMANCE. The Russian trade balance improved
considerably in the first half of 1993, according to various
Russian news agencies on 6-August. Exports inched up and imports
fell sharply from last year's levels to result in a $9 billion
surplus. Sergei Glaziev, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations,
also disclosed that Russian enterprises had added $5.5-billion
to their hard currency reserves over the last half year and that,
together with commercial banks, Russian businesses' hard-currency
reserves at the end of June totaled $18-20 billion dollars. Glaziev
noted that Russia could use these reserves to reduce borrowing
from the West and to increase domestic investment activity. -Erik
Whitlock

WAGE INCREASES KEEP UP WITH PRICES? ACCORDING TO A STUDY CARRIED
OUT BY TWO ECONOMISTS AT THE IMF, REAL AVERAGE WAGES AT THE BEGINNING
OF 1993 WERE SIMILAR TO THOSE IN 1987, IMPLYING THAT THE MAJORITY
OF THE RUSSIAN POPULATION HAVE NOT SUFFERED A SIGNIFICANT DROP
IN ITS STANDARD OF LIVING DESPITE THE 1992 PRICE LIBERALIZATION.
From 1987 to 1992 wages increased to a far greater extent than
prices, and when prices were liberalized at the beginning of
1992 real wages initially fell below the 1987 level. Since then
the real average wage has crept back up. The authors of the study
admit, however, that they do not cover non-wage income-in the
form of services, products, and subsidies-which has traditionally
been important at large state enterprises. This non-wage income
has probably not kept up with money wage growth. According to
the study, pensions increased by about eight times in 1992, and
wages about 11 times, suggesting that pensioners have suffered
a relative drop in their standard of living. -Sheila Marnie and
Robert Lyle

ROLE OF INVESTMENT FUNDS IN PRIVATIZATION. Maksim Boycko, an
adviser to the State Committee for the Management of State Property
(GKI) told a news conference on 26-July that there were about
550-voucher and investment funds operating in Russia, Russian
TV reported. More than one half of these had been set up during
the first three months of 1993. They had acquired some 25 million
vouchers, of which one third had been invested in privatizing
enterprises with more than 12-million shareholders. -Keith Bush


GENERAL STAFFER TO HEAD BORDER FORCES. ITAR-TASS reported on
7 August that the first Deputy Chief of the Russian Armed Forces
General Staff, Colonel General Andrei Nikolaev, has been named
commander of Russia's Border Forces and a Deputy Minister of
Security. Nikolaev replaces Vladimir Shlyakhtin, who was relieved
of his duties by President Boris Yeltsin on 26 July following
an attack by Tajik anti-government rebels and Afghan forces on
border posts manned by Russian forces. Nikolaev was born in 1949
and had served since December 1992 as General Staff First Deputy
Chief. His appointment would appear to strengthen the army's
influence within the Border Forces, which are formally subordinated
to the Ministry of Security. On 26 July Yeltsin and the Russian
Security Council had tasked Defense Minister Pavel Grachev with
coordinating operations on the border with Afghanistan. -Stephen
Foye

JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER ON RELATIONS WITH MOSCOW. Signaling
what may be a softening in Tokyo's position vis-a-vis Moscow,
Japan's newly named Foreign Minister Tsumoto Hata said on 9 August
that Japan would give priority to working for economic and political
stability in Russia. According to Reuters, Hata said that Japan
would "welcome the promised visit to Japan by President Yeltsin,"
adding that the two sides "must resolve the [Kuril Islands] territorial
dispute in the context of an economically and politically stable
Russia." The territorial issue has been a stumbling block to
the signing of a peace treaty and to improved relations between
the two countries. Japan has to date tended to link economic
aid for Russia to its resolution. -Stephen Foye

RUSSIA AND KUWAIT TO SIGN DEFENSE AGREEMENT. A Russian embassy
source said on 8 August that Kuwait's Defense Minister will visit
Russia on 23 September in order to sign a defense agreement under
which Russia will help guarantee Kuwait's security, Reuters reported.
The agreement would be the fourth that Kuwait has signed with
permanent members of the UN Security Council since the Gulf War
in 1991. The same source said that the agreement provided for
military and technical cooperation, but gave no further details.
Russia has reportedly also offered to sell weaponry to Kuwait.
According to Reuters, Kuwait is expected to spend approximately
$12 billion on arms over the next decade. In February of this
year Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev visited Kuwait, where
he signed a preliminary memorandum of understanding on the agreement
to be concluded in September. -Stephen Foye

PROTEST ACTION OF TEREK COSSACKS. The Terek Cossacks blocked
road and rail traffic in the vicinity of Mineralnye Vody for
two and a half hours on 7 August to protest the failure of the
Russian federal authorities to protect the Slav and Cossack population
of the North Caucasus, ITAR-TASS and Ekho Moskvy reported. The
Cossacks backed up their action with a list of proposals sent
to Yeltsin, and the Russian parliament and government, the most
important of which were that the North Caucasus should be declared
an area of social disaster, that the age-old Cossack lands in
various North Caucasian republics and territories should be reunited,
and that Yeltsin's decree of several months' ago on creating
Cossacks units to guard the southern frontier be implemented.
They also demanded that those guilty of deaths among the civilian
population be called to criminal account, and that a state-financed
program for refugees be drawn up. -Ann Sheehy

ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT AGAINST CHECHEN PRESIDENT. Gunmen attempted
to assassinate Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev in the early
hours of 8-August, Russian and Western agencies reported. Grenade
launchers were fired into his office in Groznyi where he was
working at about 4.30 a.m. Dudaev, who was not hurt, said afterwards
that no threats or terrorist acts would deflect him from the
path he had chosen. ITAR-TASS said Chechen law-enforcement officials
believed the attack was carried out by supporters of Beslan Gantemirov,
the former chairman of the Groznyi municipal assembly, who was
wounded in April when Dudaev supporters tried to expel the opposition
from municipal buildings. -Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



US DIPLOMAT KILLED NEAR TBILISI. US diplomat Fred Woodruff was
shot and killed on 8 August while riding in a car with Eldar
Guguladze, Georgian Parliamentary Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze's
security chief, near the village of Natakhtari outside Tbilisi,
Western agencies reported. Reports differed on whether Guguladze
was injured, but the Georgian Interior Ministry claimed he was
unhurt. US Embassy officials originally identified Woodruff as
a Foreign Affairs Officer posted temporarily to the embassy's
political section in Tbilisi, but senior US administration officials
later identified Woodruff as an agent of the Central Intelligence
Agency, the New York Times reported. A special operational group
consisting of representatives from Georgia's Prosecutor's Department,
Interior Ministry, and intelligence service has been formed to
investigate the incident. US State Department Spokesman Michael
McCurry says the US investigation will focus on whether Woodruff
was the real target of the attack. Shevardnadze expressed his
sincere condolences, and said that the attack could demonstrate
the need for "extraordinary measures" to secure order in crisis-ridden
Georgia, Reuters reported. -Catherine Dale

AFGHAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN DUSHANBE. Western and Russian agencies
reported on 10-August that Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Amin
Asalla is in Dushanbe for talks with the government of Tajikistan
on ending the fighting on the Tajik-Afghan border and on the
repatriation of the thousands of Tajik refugees who fled to Afghanistan
after Tajikistan's present government took power in December
1992. A spokesman of the Afghan Foreign Ministry said that the
minister would urge the Tajik authorities to negotiate with the
leaders of the Tajik opposition who have taken refuge in Afghanistan;
the Dushanbe government has consistently refused to negotiate
with opposition leaders; Tajik Foreign Minister Rashid Alimov
told foreign correspondents on 8 August that the government was
talking to representatives of the refugees. -Bess Brown

UZBEK OPPOSITION FIGURES SENTENCED, AMNESTIED. RFE/RL learned
on 6 August that six Uzbek opposition figures were sentenced
to three years of imprisonment, but then were immediately amnestied.
The trial of the six men, Bobur Shakirov, Khazratkul Khudaiberdiev,
Salavat Umarzakov, Olim Karimov, Orif Otanazarov, and Abdulaziz
Makhmudov began on 1 July. They were charged with organizing
activities that were deemed to be particularly dangerous to Uzbekistan,
including planning to create an alternative parliament (Milli
Mejlis). The six men say the charges are fabricated. The amnesty
was announced by President Islam Karimov to celebrate the anniversary
of Uzbek independence and covers all sentences of three years
or less. -Yalcin Tokgozoglu.

AZERBAIJANI-WESTERN OIL TALKS RESUMED. Russian agencies reported
on 9 August that Azerbaijani officials have reopened talks with
Western oil firms about a scheme to develop three oilfields on
the Caspian Sea shelf. The negotiations were suspended on 24
June after Azerbaijan's new leadership questioned the benefit
of the deal to their country. The reopening of negotiations was
announced to government officials and oil company representatives
by Heidar Aliev Azerbaijan's Acting President, who reiterated
that the deal should give priority to Azerbaijan's interests.
-Bess Brown

CIS

SUSPENSION OF RUSSIAN OIL DELIVERIES TO UKRAINE, AZERBAIJAN.
Starting on 30-July, Russia cut off oil shipments to Ukraine
because of arrears in payments for past deliveries, UNIAN reported
on 2-August, although subsequent reports indicated that supplies
had been cut to one-tenth of the normal volume. A Ukrainian official
told Reuters on 7 August that Ukraine owed Russia about 250 billion
rubles for oil deliveries. Russian TV on 9 August reported that
shipments had been resumed on 8 August after agreement had been
reached on backpayments and unit prices. ITAR-TASS on 7 August
said that Russia had suspended oil shipments to Azerbaijan because
of Baku's failure to deliver barter goods to the value of $10-million
as promised. -Keith Bush

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



"A BIZARRE SERIES OF MANEUVERS AND COUNTER-MANEUVERS" OUTSIDE
SARAJEVO. This is how the 10 August Washington Post sums up the
situation the previous day surrounding the Serbs' promised withdrawal
from Mts. Igman and Bjelasnica. French troops described how Serbs
left Bjelasnica only to return within the hour, and how Serbs
quickly replaced the mines the French had removed from Igman.
One French officer said: "the Serbs are not withdrawing and have
no intention of withdrawing. This is a joke-.-.-. and the joke
is on us." Some international media speculated that the Serbs
are interested in having the UN troops in the area as a "human
shield" in the event of NATO air attacks on Serb positions, while
other media point out that UN troops serve to deny Muslims access
to the mountains while freeing up Serb forces for combat elsewhere.
Meanwhile in Mostar, some 500-international peace activists succeeded
in reaching the embattled town where few foreigners have been
allowed over the past two months. News agencies also report that
a convoy of seven Polish trucks is still trying to reach Sarajevo,
while the BBC's Serbian Service on 9 August noted that the rock
group U2 managed to hold a well-received concert in the besieged
capital the previous weekend. Finally, Hina says that Serbs shelled
the Maslenica pontoon bridge on 8 and 9 August, hindering the
engineers who are trying to refloat and repair the structure.
-Patrick Moore

WILL IZETBEGOVIC RETURN TO THE GENEVA NEGOTIATIONS? IN GENEVA
BOSNIAN PRESIDENT ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC SAID ON 9 AUGUST THAT HE
WILL NOT TALK TO THE SERBS UNLESS THEY WITHDREW FROM BOTH THE
MOUNTAINS OVERLOOKING SARAJEVO, INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPORT. Meanwhile
NATO ambassadors endorsed a conditional plan for air attacks
on Bosnian Serbs besieging Sarajevo, but did not agree on what
would trigger a strike. The execution of such strikes would require
approval by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and NATO
ambassadors. NATO sources said that if air strikes are decided
upon, no particular Serbian action would be needed to provoke
the strikes: "We will simply tell the Serbians, enough is enough,"
said an official. NATO Secretary Manfred Woerner hailed the agreement
as "a very important step forward" in converting NATO from an
organization conceived solely as a defensive alliance into one
capable of acting militarily beyond the borders of its members.
-Fabian Schmidt

SERBIA HOLDS UP HUNGARIAN BARGES. Gyorgy Jakab, the deputy general
director of the MAHART barge company, told MTI and Radio Budapest
on 9-August that since the weekend the Serbian authorities have
been holding up three of his vessels carrying iron ore on the
Danube from Ukraine to Hungary. The Serbian Environmental Ministry
reportedly held up the barges to conduct an environmental check
of the cargo, but it is unprecedented that an examination should
take so long, Jakab complained. Hungary's UN mission has briefed
the leader of the UN sanctions committee about the incident,
and MAHART in a protest note to the Serbian authorities called
the incident a violation of international accords governing Danube
traffic. Hungary honors the UN trade sanctions against rump Yugoslavia.
-Edith Oltay

KOSOVO UPDATE. Borba reports on 10 August that the public prosecutor
of Pristina has launched an inquiry in the district court against
members of the National Movement for the Liberation of Kosovo
and the Peoples Movement for a Republic of Kosovo. The two groups,
whose existence is alleged by the Serbian police, are charged
with preparing an armed rebellion to annex the Albanian-inhabited
parts of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia to Albania, or else
to form a separate state. According to Borba the recent police
raids turned up vast quantities of weapons and propaganda material.
The Kosovar-exile newspaper Rilindja reports that in brutal raids
following attacks on Serb police hundreds of Albanians have been
arrested on an arbitrary basis since the latest series of shootings
began on 23 July. -Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN MISCELLANY. According to a 10 August article in Rilindja,
new light has been shed on the 6-August border incidents with
Serbia in which two Albanian soldiers and one villager were shot.
Albania maintains that its border guards were fired upon by Yugoslav
forces inside Albanian territory, and an EC observer team has
now supported this position. Reuters also reports on 9 August
that the EC team found traces of blood on Albanian territory,
which proves that "the wounded persons were on the Albanian side
of the border when the incidents happened." In domestic developments,
a scandal involving misappropriation of Italian aid to Albania
in 1991 continues to gather momentum. Against the backdrop of
a recent wave of arrests, Gazeta Shqiptare reports on 8 August
that a former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Sokrat Plaka,
has also been arrested. The charge is misuse of office and abuse
of Italian humanitarian aid. He joins Socialist Party leader
Fatos Nano and a host of other "former communist" leaders awaiting
trial. -Robert Austin

UPHEAVAL IN POLISH AGRICULTURE MINISTRY. Acting Agriculture Minister
Jacek Janiszewski announced on 9 August that he has suspended
the Agriculture Restructuring and Debt-Relief Foundation. The
foundation was set up by the state in 1992 to assist farmers
who had fallen into debt because of hyperinflation and high interest
rates. The prosecutor's office will be called in to investigate
possible criminal violations, Janiszewski said. He charged his
predecessor at the agriculture ministry-Peasant Alliance leader
Gabriel Janowski, who served in both of the last two governments
before defecting from the current coalition-with catering to
4,000 indebted farmers while neglecting the needs of Poland's
2.5 million healthy farms. Through lack of oversight, three trillion
zloty ($180 million) were distributed to undeserving farmers,
at times on the basis of nepotism or cronyism. "The foundation's
activities are an extreme example of the errors arising from
the concentration of power in one person's hands," Janiszewski
said. Speaking on Polish TV, Janowski denied Janiszewski's charges.
Gazeta Wyborcza commented on 10 August that the debt-relief foundation
seemed a sadly wasted effort that served only to assist the creation
of the anarchic Self Defense union. -Louisa Vinton

RACZYNSKI BURIED IN POZNAN. Count Edward Raczynski was buried
at his family estate near Poznan on 9 August, PAP reports. President
Lech Walesa and Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka attended the ceremonies.
Thousands of Poles filed past the casket on 8-August. Raczynski
was Poland's ambassador to Britain from 1934 to 1945 and foreign
minister in the wartime exile government. He served as president
of the government in exile from 1979 to 1986. He died at the
age of 101 in London on 30 July. Speaking at the funeral, Suchocka
recalled that Raczynski had given her a message to all Poles
earlier this year: "Don't waste independence." Walesa said that
Raczynski had at last returned "from the longest of his official
missions" to the free and sovereign fatherland he had always
served. Noting that Raczynski came from an era when "the old-fashioned
concept of decency had a different meaning than today," Nowa
Europa commented irreverently that "funerals have become the
hit of the current political season." The remains of two other
figures from the interwar and wartime years who died abroad,
Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski and President Ignacy Moscicki, are to
return to Poland before the September elections. -Louisa Vinton


OPEN LETTER TO SLOVAK PREMIER. Vojtech Bugar, chairman of the
Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia, sent a letter
to Premier Vladimir Meciar on 9 August regarding minority rights,
TASR reports. Complaining that town name signs in Hungarian language
"are once again being removed," Bugar expressed "dissatisfaction"
with Minister of Transport and Communications Roman Hofbauer,
whose ministry ordered the move. According to Bugar, Hofbauer
has been "causing emotions in minority regions" rather than solving
the "real problems" in his field. Bugar also said that as a new
member of the Council of Europe, Slovakia is now given the chance
"to prove that it stands by democratic principals and wants to
become a part of European structures." He expressed his confidence
that Slovakia will solve the problem of bilingual town names
by modifying its law as recommended by the CE. -Sharon Fisher


KOVAC MEETS BULGARIAN PRESIDENT. Slovak President Mihal Kovac
arrived in Sofia on 9 August, BTA reports. On the same day he
met with his Bulgarian counterpart Zhelyu Zhelev to discuss bilateral
issues. Zhelev noted that there are no obstacles to a rapid broadening
of relations. Kovac invited Zhelev to visit Slovakia. He later
traveled to the Black Sea coast, where he will spend two weeks
vacation. -Kjell Engelbrekt

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT RAISES EXCISE TAX. At an extra session of
the National Assembly on 9 August, legislators approved a higher
excise tax on certain luxury products. According to BTA, the
parliament voted to raise taxes on high-octane gasoline, gambling,
and hard liquor. Government proposals for tax hikes on all alcoholic
beverages and tobacco were rejected, however. Bulgarian deputies
are normally on vacation throughout August, but the government
asked for a special session on the grounds that a higher excise
tax would significantly boost state revenues.--Kjell Engelbrekt


ZHIVKOV AND OTHERS ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLEMENT. On 9 August former
president Todor Zhivkov, along with seven other former communist
officials, including former prime minister Georgi Atanasov, were
charged with embezzling state funds. The money was allegedly
transferred to Nicaragua, Yemen, and a variety of left-wing organizations
around the world in the form of hard-currency grants, technical
aid, and arms, Reuters reports. According to BTA, Zhivkov stands
accused of embezzling 17 million leva while Atanasov is suspected
of misappropriating 150 million leva. A total of 22 persons are
expected to be indicted in the case. Zhivkov and Atanasov have
already been convicted of misappropriating funds, and now, along
with the others, face an additional sentence of up to 30 years'
imprisonment if found guilty. Earlier, on 5 August, Andrey Lukanov,
Bulgaria's last communist premier, was charged with embezzling
120 million leva. -Stan Markotich

JIU VALLEY UPDATE. On 9 August the leader of the Jiu Valley coal
miners, Miron Cosma, said the members of his union could go back
to work next day, Radio Bucharest reports. Cosma said he sent
a new proposal to the government and was waiting for a reply.
An RFE/RL correspondent in Petrosani reports that Cosma seemed
sure that an agreement has been reached and he has ordered the
miners to resume work. The government has agreed to increase
the miners' pay, he said, although not as much as they had wanted.
Another union official told the corespondent that the government
has agreed to increase salaries by 30% and that the miners will
get a larger portion of the increase than will the mine's clerical
workers. The head of the government's information department,
Octavian Partenie, however, denied that an agreement has been
reached. He said the miners are now willing to accept less than
their original demands, but are still demanding more than the
government is willing to offer. In its late evening broadcast,
Radio Bucharest said Cosma had decided the strike will go on,
since no reply has been received from the government to his new
proposals. -Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN POLITICAL CRISIS. The parliamentary majority (including
the Russian deputies' group and supported by Parliament Chairman
Petru Lucinschi) has stepped up the pressure to dissolve the
legislature, where the pro-Romanian minority has been able to
block the adoption of the new constitution and other major bills
and the holding of multiparty elections. This parliament was
elected before the multiparty system was introduced, and its
term expires only in 1995. In an interview in Der Spiegel, cited
by the Moldovan media on 8-August, President Mircea Snegur also
came out in favor of dissolution of parliament and multiparty
elections, and predicted that a new parliament would be able
to push through Transdniester and Gagauz autonomy. On 9 August
the Social-Democrat Party leaders, who dominate Snegur's group
of advisers, publicly urged the calling of a Constituent Assembly
by presidential decree, as was done by Yeltsin in Russia, to
work in parallel with parliament, should the motion for dissolution
fail. Meanwhile, the pro-Romanian opposition has cabled the parliaments
and governments of West European states, the USA, and Romania,
soliciting support for the preservation of parliament and asking
the West to "reassess its relations with Moldova" if parliament
is dissolved. The opposition leaders also announced that they
will regard the Romanian leadership guilty of "national treason"
if it fails to resist the leadership's "movement away from Romania
and toward the CIS," Basapress reported on 9-August. -Vladimir
Socor

UKRAINIAN REFERENDUM TO BE POSTPONED OR CANCELLED? LOCAL MEDIA
REPORT THAT OLEKSANDR LAVRYNOVYCH, THE ACTING HEAD OF THE CENTRAL
ELECTORAL COMMISSION, HAS CONFIRMED THAT THIS BODY HAS SUSPENDED
PREPARATIONS FOR THE NATIONAL REFERENDUM SCHEDULED FOR 26 SEPTEMBER
ON CONFIDENCE IN THE PARLIAMENT AND PRESIDENT. Lavrynovych stated
that because the parliament has not yet worked out and approved
the full details connected with the organization and financing
of the poll, there was insufficient time left to make the necessary
preparations. "There will be no referendum in Ukraine on 26 September,"
he declared. It was up to the parliament to decide on a new date
or whether to abandon the idea. -Bohdan Nahaylo

GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS ESTONIA. On 9 August Klaus Kinkel
made a one-day private visit to Tallinn during his vacation in
Finland, BNS reports. He spoke with Estonian Prime Minister Mart
Laar on the situation in Russia, the withdrawal of Russian troops
from Estonia, and problems associated with Estonia's integration
into Europe. Kinkel also met President Lennart Meri and discussed
guarantees for the safety of the Baltic States, Germany's assistance
to Estonia in forming a market economy, and Estonia's cooperation
with European economic and security structures. -Saulius Girnius


LITHUANIA PROPOSES FURTHER TALKS WITH RUSSIA. On 9 August President
Algirdas Brazauskas ended his vacation and returned to work,
Radio Lithuania reports. He held a conference with Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius, Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys, and head
of the delegation for Russian troop withdrawal Virgilijus Bulovas
at which it was decided to send an official invitation to the
Russian delegation to continue talks in Vilnius. In the evening
Brazauskas met with eight members of the Lithuanian delegation
for an hour and a half, but no reports on the meeting have been
released. In talks between the delegations in Moscow the previous
week on signing a troop withdrawal agreement, Russia refused
to include Lithuania's request for compensation for damages caused
to Lithuania since 1940. -Saulius Girnius

RUSSIAN DENIES RECRUITING LATVIANS. Oleg Groznetsky, press officer
of Russia's Northwestern Group of Forces, denied recent allegations
in the press that the Russian military is recruiting mercenaries
or employees from among citizens and permanent residents of Latvia,
Diena reported on 9 August. Groznetsky said that no citizen of
Latvia is serving in the Russian armed forces and added that
if any residents of Latvia are working for the military, then
it is only those who are either stateless or are citizens of
Russia and these individuals are being employed on a freelance
basis. -Dzintra Bungs

LATVIA TO HAVE FINANCE POLICE, SECURITIES MARKET. On 9 August
Finance Minister Uldis Osis announced to the press plans to establish
a finance police to audit residents' income, tax payments and
customs tariffs, as well as to oversee street vendors at the
Riga Central Market who, he said, are currently dominated by
criminal gangs. Osis also said that the first state securities
in Latvia will be issued in October. The new securities are expected
to be short-term (up to three months) state promissory notes.
They will be first distributed to officials, but later to the
general public through the largest Latvian commercial banks.
Osis said the Latvian securities market is still in the formative
stages and licenses have been granted to 36 brokers. -Dzintra
Bungs

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ann Sheehy and Charles Trumbull









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(A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the
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