Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 152, 11 August 1993







RUSSIA



SECURITY COUNCIL SECRETARY RESIGNS. Evgenii Shaposhnikov, former
USSR Defense Minister and subsequently Commander-in-Chief of
the CIS Joint Armed Forces, has offered to resign from his current
post as chief of the Russian Security Council, Reuters reported
on 10-August. Shaposhnikov gave no reasons for his action, nor
was it clear whether President Boris Yeltsin had accepted the
resignation. Shaposhnikov has been a close political ally of
the president since he sided with Yeltsin during the August 1991
coup, but his appointment as Secretary of the Security Council
in mid-June ran into stiff opposition in the parliament. At the
end of June a plenary session of the parliament refused to confirm
his appointment, and the vitriolic nature of the questioning
that took place led Shaposhnikov to demand a public apology.
At the same time, a broader discussion has taken place in Russia
over the role of the Security Council itself. There are indications
that its duties are likely to be circumscribed or eliminated
altogether. -Stephen Foye

KHASBULATOV SEEKS SUPPORT OF ARMED FORCES. Parliamentary Speaker
Ruslan Khasbulatov made a strong pitch for the support of the
Russian armed forces while accusing the executive branch of "the
deliberate destruction" of the military, ITAR-TASS reported on
10-August. "Only a strong, modernly-equipped and adequately-financed
army is capable of securing the integrity of a traditional superpower,"
he told participants at a conference in Moscow on social problems
in the military. In his speech, Khasbulatov implied that the
parliament was under threat and that it required the closest
possible ties with the military. In an interview on Russian television,
he also accused those who "toady" and "act as flunkies to the
West" of seeking to denigrate the victories of the Soviet side
during WW-II. Khasbulatov has spoken to several military and
veterans' groups in recent weeks in a bid to strengthen the parliament's
standing among the armed forces. In July the legislature also
approved a greatly increased defense allocation in the 1993 budget.
-Dominic Gualtieri

YELTSIN AWARE OF ARMY'S SOCIAL PROBLEMS. Addressing the same
meeting, Deputy Defense Minister Konstantin Kobets said on 10
August that Yeltsin pays close attention to the problems faced
by military personnel and that, as a result, he has signed some
thirty decrees over the last eighteen months aimed at improving
conditions in the army, ITAR-TASS reported. Kobets, who has also
been a Yeltsin ally since the August coup, cautioned, however,
that the President cannot always ensure that his directives are
carried out. His remarks appeared aimed at shielding Yeltsin
from criticism over continuing social problems in the army. Kobets
also emphasized that everything possible was being done to support
Russian border forces in Tajikistan, and he reiterated that Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev was now overseeing border defense matters
there. -Stephen Foye

MEETING HELD ON MILITARY PROCUREMENT. First Deputy Prime Minister
Oleg Soskovets on 10-August chaired a meeting devoted to discussion
of Russia's long-term arms procurement policy and to the 1994
defense procurement budget. Participants reportedly approved
a long term draft plan for defense procurement that was presented
by First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin. It will be
presented to the government for consideration later this autumn.
Concern was also expressed over low wages within the defense
production sector, which were said to be less than one-half of
those in analogous civilian industries. A proposal that would
raise minimum wages in the defense sector was also approved.
-Stephen Foye

NEW PRESIDENTIAL DECREE ON PRIVATIZATION. The battle of privatization
decrees continues. On 8 May, President Yeltsin signed a decree
aimed at expediting the privatization process. This was suspended
on 20-July by parliament, which referred it to the Constitutional
Court. On 26 July, Yeltsin countered the suspension with another
decree that reinstated and expanded the privatization rights
of citizens. This was overridden by parliament on 7 August. Now,
on 10 August, according to ITAR-TASS, the president has signed
a new decree "On the Defense of Citizens' Rights to Participate
in Privatization." This obliges the government to use "all its
constitutional powers" to implement citizens' rights to buy state
property by ensuring that enough property is available for privatization
and that enough shares are offered for sale to citizens in exchange
for privatization vouchers. Meanwhile, despite the legislative
standoff, the process of privatization goes forward at a rapid
pace. -Keith Bush

DELAYS IN WORLD BANK AND EX-IM BANK LOANS. Russian government
and World Bank officials had been due to sign a $610 million
World Bank loan on 10-August in Moscow to finance the purchase
of technology, the renovation of existing oil wells and pipelines,
and the drilling of new wells, in Western Siberia. But, at the
last moment, the Russian side postponed the signing, The Journal
of Commerce reported on 11 August. The delay was attributed to
a technicality: the Ministry of Energy needed a permit from the
government before it could accept the loan. In Washington, a
delay was announced in extending the US Export-Import Bank's
proposed $2 billion oil and gas financing package covering sales
of American oil and gas equipment to Russia. The deal cannot
go through until the World Bank approves a negative pledge clause
waiver, and the World Bank's board recessed for the summer without
acting on the waiver. -Keith Bush

MINISTRY OF FINANCE FORESEES STRONG RUBLE. The Ministry of Finance
issued a press-release on 10-August affirming its faith in the
continued strength of the ruble vis-a-vis international currencies.
The ministry expects the exchange rate to hold around the level
of 1000 rubles to the dollar until the end of the year. With
a persistent brisk domestic inflation rate, the ministry is anticipating
significant appreciation of the ruble in real terms and a narrowing
gap between the ruble market exchange rate and its purchasing
power parity with international currencies. The press release
also noted that, at the current exchange rate, the ratio of the
value of domestic hard currency reserves to ruble money supply
had grown to 1:3 and of reserves to cash rubles to 3:4. -Erik
Whitlock

RUSSIA SEEKS TO AVOID FORCE. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Grigorii
Karasin said the recent developments in the Yugoslav conflict
on the ground and in meetings in Geneva and Brussels show the
situation has taken a dangerous turn. Speaking at a 10 August
briefing, Karasin said Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev would
be in contact with US officials and representatives of the warring
sides in former Yugoslavia to express Russia's preference for
a quick political settlement of the conflict and to reiterate
Russia's opposition to resorting to forceful methods, ITAR-TASS
reported. -Suzanne Crow

FOREIGN MINISTRY ON TIES WITH CHINA, JAPAN. Foreign Ministry
spokesman Grigorii Karasin told reporters on 10 August that Russia's
growing trade in military technology with China, which he pegged
at $1.8 billion for 1992, was not aimed at any third country,
ITAR-TASS reported. The Chinese armed forces Chief of Staff,
Zhang Wannian, is currently in Moscow for talks with Russian
First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin and General Staff
Chief Mikhail Kolesnikov on increasing Russian-Chinese cooperation
in this area. Turning to Japan, Karasin also emphasized that
the installation of a new government in Tokyo would not affect
Russia's relations with Japan. "We consistently favor constructive
and comprehensive development of relations with Japan up to the
level of genuine partnership," he was quoted as saying, adding
that he hoped that the new Japanese Foreign Minister would pay
a visit to Moscow. Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



ABKHAZ UPDATE. At a meeting on 10 August in the Abkhaz coastal
town of Pitsunda, the Joint Commission for the Settlement of
the Abkhaz Conflict reached an agreement concerning the disengagement
of the armed formations of the warring parties, and the withdrawal
of troops from the zone of conflict, ITAR-TASS quoted the Russian
representative at the talks and Chairman of the Russian State
Committee for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu as stating.
Participants agreed on midnight of the 16 August as the deadline
for the withdrawal of all armed formations from Abkhaz territory.
Shoigu added that the failure of the UN to send the full complement
of observers it had approved was making the settlement of the
conflict more difficult. Meanwhile, the advance team of nine
UN observers has arrived in the Abkhaz capital Sukhumi to help
monitor the ceasefire agreement of 27 July, and will meet on
11 August with the Commission's working group for military questions
and security to work out a concrete plan for implementing the
new agreement. -Catherine Dale

CIA DIRECTOR WOOLSEY CLAIMS BODY IN TBILISI. CIA Director James
Woolsey traveled to Tbilisi on 10-August to retrieve the body
of CIA official Fred Woodruff who was killed late on 8 August
while riding in a car driven by Georgian government official
Eldar Guguladze near Tbilisi, the Washington Post reported. The
Post article states that the Clinton administration last spring
authorized the dispatch of special US Army personnel to train
Georgian security officials to protect Georgian Parliamentary
Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze against terrorist attacks, but US
officials have not stated whether Woodruff took part in this
program. The Los Angeles Times quoted Chief of the Georgian news
agency Gruzinform Vakhtang Abashidze as stating that Woodruff
"was invited to come over to Georgia in order to render assistance
in the training of Georgian security forces and in the personal
security of Shevardnadze." -Catherine Dale

NAZARBAEV MEETS WITH HEADS OF RUSSIAN OBLASTS. Kazakhstan's President
Nursultan Nazarbaev met with the heads of administration of Samara,
Saratov and Orenburg Oblasts-three of the Russian oblasts bordering
Kazakhstan-to ask for greater economic cooperation between regions
on both sides of the Russian-Kazakhstan border, ITAR-TASS reported
on 10 August. Nazarbaev explained the bilateral agreements on
economic cooperation that he and Russian President Boris Yeltsin
had signed at the time of the recent meeting of Central Asian
leaders with Yeltsin on the situation in Tajikistan and also
called attention to the terms of the declaration on border inviolability
signed by the summit participants, adding that Kazakhstan will
not tolerate any attempt to set its Kazakh and non-Kazakh populations
against each other. -Bess Brown

CIS

UKRAINE CRITICIZES RUSSIAN CONTROL OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. The head
of the directorate for arms control and disarmament of the Ukrainian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, has denounced
Russia's assumption of control over all former Soviet nuclear
weapons. According to an UKRINFORM report of 10 August, Hryshchenko
noted that Ukraine was entitled to ownership of the weapons under
international law and CIS agreements, and that it had ceded control
over the weapons to the CIS command. The CIS command was de facto
dissolved when its commander Marshal Shaposhnikov resigned in
June, but the CIS member states have not formally decided on
its fate. Hryshchenko noted that "only those who adopted the
decision [on CIS nuclear weapons control] can repeal it, and
not just one side." Reuters reported on 11 August, however, that
Colonel General Ivan Bizhan had told BBC-TV's Newsnight that
Ukraine had the ability to block the transmission of launch codes
to the ICBMs. -John Lepingwell

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



SERBS CONSOLIDATE HOLD AROUND SARAJEVO. International media on
11 August quote French UN troops as describing Serb claims that
they are withdrawing from Mts. Igman and Bjelasnica as "a farce"
or "a troop rotation." AFP on 10 August reports that "Serb units
only pretend to move when UN monitors approach." The Washington
Post of 11 August says that some UN observers feel that Bosnian
Serb commander Ratko Mladic "believes there is no need for him
to cooperate with the UN peace-keeping force-.-.-. because he
does not take seriously the threats of Western military intervention."
Fresh Serb units could be used to take those parts of Mt. Igman
not yet in Serbian hands. Reuters meanwhile quoted Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic on 10 August as saying that his troops
will complete their withdrawal within 24 hours, and Borba of
11 August speculates on a falling-out between him and Mladic.
-Patrick Moore

RESUMPTION OF GENEVA PEACE TALKS "UNCERTAIN." The standoff at
Sarajevo has led to the cancellation of the Geneva peace talks,
international media report on 10 and 11-August. Indirectly endorsing
Bosnian Muslim demands, mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg
said on 10 August that they will not reconvene the talks until
Serbian troops withdraw. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic said that NATO would risk a full-scale war if it attacked
Serbian troops. -Fabian Schmidt

SERBS SHELL MASLENICA BRIDGE. Hina reports on 11 August that
Serb gunners repeatedly hit the pontoon structure the previous
day and into the night, but adds that damage was limited. Vjesnik
notes on 11 August that the Council for Defense and National
Security chaired by President Franjo Tudjman met the previous
day. That body promised a tough response to the Serb attacks
and said that Croatia would refuse to renew UNPROFOR's mandate
if those forces fail to implement a cease-fire and take control
of Serb heavy weapons in the occupied parts of Croatia. -Patrick
Moore

SECURITY COUNCIL WANTS CSCE MONITORS TO RETURN. That high UN
body called on rump Yugoslavia to allow CSCE monitors to stay
in Kosovo, the Sandjak, and Vojvodina, agencies reported on 10
August. In the mostly Albanian-inhabited province of Kosovo a
growing number of police raids was reported in late July and
August, while on 6 August three people were reportedly killed
in border incidents between Albania and Kosovo. Hungary has expressed
concern about the situation in Vojvodina, which has a large Magyar
minority. The monitors were expelled by the Serbian government
at the end of July because Serbia wants to force its readmission
to the Helsinki process. -Fabian Schmidt

SLOVENIAN ARMS SCANDAL-.-.-. The latest edition of Mladina charges
that the Defense Ministry and other government leaders took part
in decisions that led to the sale and transport of weapons through
Slovenia. In July some 150 tons of arms hidden in humanitarian
aid containers were discovered at Maribor airport. The arms originated
in Saudi Arabia, the Ljubljana weekly writes, alleging that Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic personally arranged the delivery
of the arms. Mladina contends that "Operation Arms Provision"
was approved by top officials, such as President Milan Kucan,
Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek, Interior Minister Igor Bavcar,
and Defense Minister Janez Jansa. There have been no denials
by officials to Mladina's latest claims. -Milan Andrejevich

.-.-. AND YET ANOTHER SCANDAL IN CROATIA. Although this republic
has been independent for just over two years, it has already
had more than its share of incidents of possible wrongdoing in
high places. The ruling center-right party, which contains many
members of the former communist nomenklatura, is widely believed
to have manipulated complex privatization laws to enrich its
loyalists. President Franjo Tudjman, moreover, has been widely
criticized for spending money on the trappings of office, such
as an airplane and an expanded office complex, at a time when
the treasury is supposedly bare, when the country has a war and
a major refugee crisis on its hands, and when more and more Croats
are having trouble making ends meet. Now Globus reports on 6
August that an Italian luxury yacht is being refitted for Tudjman's
use and raises three questions about the matter: will the ship
belong to the Croatian Navy for the use of any president or will
it become Tudjman's personal property?; where will the costs,
now projected between $500,000 and one million, finally end?;
and why the intense secrecy about the project, especially on
the part of navy commander Adm. Sveto Letica? Patrick Moore

ALBANIAN COURT UPHOLDS ARREST OF NANO. According to Rilindja
Demokratike on 11-August, Albania's Constitutional Court has
upheld the decision to arrest Fatos Nano, leader of the Socialist
Party. The court rejected an appeal from representatives of Nano's
party to have the arrest declared illegal and "anticonstitutional."
-Robert Austin

BULGARIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY TO RECRUIT SECRET INFORMERS. According
to Standart, on 10-August "Order No. 6," a regulation permitting
the Ministry of the Interior to employ secret informers, went
into effect. The ministry maintains that all information gathered
will be used to help safeguard national security, in the war
on crime, and against sabotage and terrorism, Trud reports. A
secret informant will not be allowed to disclose to anyone, including
a court of law, any details about his work or his identity as
an agent. Any Bulgarian citizen may apply for employment as an
agent, but successful applicants will be drawn from a pool carefully
screened by police authorities. Order No.-6 received government
approval on 12 July. -Stan Markotich

CZECH MILITARY SCREENING UNDERWAY. At a press conference on 10
August reported by CTK, First Deputy Defense Minister Jiri Pospisil
announced that by 1 August 1,620 men-or 6.6% of professional
soldiers in the Czech armed forces-had undergone screening designed
to reveal links with the former communist regime and evaluate
the performance and potential of the officers. Of those screened,
97 requested to leave the armed forces. On 17 May 1993, Czech
Defense Minister Antonin Baudys ordered the screening of all
professional soldiers as part of the creation of the new Czech
Army. High ranking officials have been evaluated first, especially
those serving the defense minister or comprising the general
staff. All generals and officers (24,568) will be screened, except
those who request to leave the armed forces. Pospisil observed
that the screening is subject to exaggerated expectations from
two sides: on the one hand the Ministry of Defense is being accused
of conducting a witch hunt, while on the other, many are concerned
that the screening procedure will not be successful in completely
cleansing the armed forces of officers tainted by the former
regime. Pospisil concluded that both sides attach too much importance
to the screening procedure.- Milada Vachudova

ZERO GROWTH EXPECTED IN THE CZECH ECONOMY. During a press conference
on 9-August reported by Czech and international media, Finance
Minister Ivan Kocarnik said that the government has revised its
earlier figures, which forecast 1% to 3% growth in 1993. In the
first half of 1993 the economy declined a further 1%; it has
been contracting since 1990, with the exception of modest growth
in the third and fourth quarters of 1992. Kocarnik said "the
government's estimate now is for zero to 1% growth this year
and 2-3% growth in 1994." Kocarnik explained that the continuing
recession has been caused by the Czech Republic's Western trading
partners, especially Germany, and by the drop in trade with Slovakia
following the split. Kocarnik, however, praised the government's
austerity program, estimating that "we will end the year in balance
at the central level and with a slight surplus in local budgets."
At the end of July, the government's budget surplus totaled 5.6
billion koruny ($193 million). Kocarnik indicated that the government
will relax its strict budgetary stance in response to growing
pressure from business and other groups, but stressed that "I
personally would oppose a government policy that would produce
a budget deficit above 1% or 1.5% maximum" of GDP. Kocarnik also
predicted inflation will reach 15% to 17% this year, but will
"drop to a single digit next year. Unemployment is expected to
rise from the current 2.6% to above 5% by the end of 1994. -Milada
Vachudova

FOREIGN INVESTMENT GROWS, PRODUCTIVITY SHRINKS IN SLOVAKIA. At
a 10 August press conference, the Slovak Statistical Office reported
that foreign investment reached 9.2-billion koruny ($320.4 million)
by the end of June, an increase of 2.6 billion koruny ($75.4
million) since December 1992, TASR reports. Foreigners have invested
in 3,948 Slovak firms, 1,123 more than in December. Part of this
increase stems from Czech investments, which since the split
are considered foreign; the Czech Republic is now the fourth
biggest foreign investor, behind Austria, Germany, and the US.
The capital city, Bratislava, attracted 56% of foreign investment
in the first half of the year. For the first five months of 1993
Slovakia had an overall trade surplus of 2.9 billion koruny and
a surplus of 5.3 billion koruny with the Czech Republic. Recent
figures show a gradual decline in productivity and a slight increase
in the average wage. -Sharon Fisher

DEADLINE PASSES FOR POLISH ELECTION CANDIDATES. The Polish national
election commission announced early on 11 August that 8,259 candidates
on 802 different regional lists had met the midnight deadline
to register for the Sejm elections. The count is not yet complete;
many parties submitted lists at the last minute. There are 460
seats in the Sejm, so nearly 20-candidates will compete for each
seat. Parties with fewer than 15 deputies in the disbanded Sejm
had to gather 3,000 signatures in 26 districts to register their
candidates nationwide. Among those meeting this obligation were:
President Lech Walesa's Nonparty Reform Bloc, former Prime Minister
Jan Olszewski's Coalition for the Republic, the Union of Labor,
Party "X," and the Real Politics Union. The fate of the radical
Self Defense union remains unclear; it submitted its petitions
just before midnight. Gazeta Wyborcza estimates that 14-16 parties
and coalitions will compete nationwide. -Louisa Vinton

POLAND'S TRADE DEFICIT GROWS. The director of the foreign department
at the Polish National Bank, Wlodzimierz Kicinski, reported on
10 August that Poland's balance of payments deficit had grown
by $445 million in June to reach a total of over $1.6 billion
for the first half of 1993. The negative trade balance rose to
$1.1 billion at the end of June 1993. Kicinski said the rise
in the deficit was due to a huge increase in imports prompted
by fear that the introduction of the VAT in July would raise
costs. That impulse to import is expected to die out in coming
months. Exports continue to be strong and rose by 10% in June
to $1.2-billion for the month, Kicinski said. PAP carried the
report. -Louisa Vinton

HUNGARIAN-AMERICAN FUND PRESIDENT QUITS. Alexander Tomlinson
resigned on 10-August, charging that congressional interference
make it "impossible to run the fund on the basis of independent
business judgment," Western agencies report. The fund, the first
of its kind, was established by Congress four years ago and provided
with $60 million to help emerging private enterprise in Hungary.
Tomlinson's resignation comes after congressional allegations
that the fund mismanaged its money and violated guidelines. -Edith
Oltay

ROMANIAN MINERS' STRIKE MAY END; MORE STRIKES LOOM. Cabinet spokeswoman
Doina Jalea said on 10 August that the coal miners strike in
the Jiu Valley might end soon. In a statement broadcast on national
TV on 10 August, Industry Minister Dumitru Popescu confirmed
progress in negotiations over substantial pay rises, but he suggested
that more talks are still needed. The next round is scheduled
to take place in Bucharest on 11 August. In the meantime, the
strikers disregarded a call from union leader Miron Cosma to
resume work on 10 August and gathered instead at the mine company's
headquarters in Petrosani as they have every day since the strike
began on 2 August. In a separate development, several trade unions,
including the Federation of Free Unions of Road Construction
and Repair Workers, the Prahova county branch of the Fratia confederation,
and the locomotive drivers' union, threatened to stage strikes
if their salary claims were not met. -Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVA'S PARLIAMENT: NO LONGER ALIVE BUT NOT YET FULLY DEAD.
At its session on 10 August, parliament failed to dissolve itself
and call multiparty elections, as the majority leaders had intended.
The majority was abandoned by some backbenchers reluctant to
part with their seats and also by the Russian deputies' group,
which demanded that parliament continue its work to vote again
on ratifying Moldova's selective accession to the CIS (which
gained a plurality of the votes but fell barely short of the
required absolute majority on 4 August). A depleted majority
walked out, announcing that it will not return to this parliament.
Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi, who had supported dissolution,
called for one last session in September to pass an electoral
law and set an early date for elections. The pro-Romanian minority,
which wields de facto veto power in the present parliament but
expects severe losses from new elections, denounced the proposals
as an attempt to restore communism through a dictatorship of
President Mircea Snegur. The parliament remains formally alive
but well short of a quorum. The outcome should clear the way
for the plan of Snegur's Social-Democrat advisers to convene
a constituent assembly. Vladimir Socor

NEW BELARUS CURRENCY ON 15 AUGUST. The changeover to a national
currency appears to have been speeded up in Belarus this week.
A representative of the Belarus National Bank told Belinform
that the zaichik will be the only legal tender by the end of
the week, Radiefakt reports. The decision awaits formal approval
by the Council of Ministers and the Presidium of the Supreme
Soviet. According to Belapan, the move is being made because
the Russian Central Bank is not supplying Belarus with enough
rubles. The Russian ruble to zaichik exchange rate will be 1:2
for cash transactions and one ruble to 2.52 zaichiki for bank
transfers. -Ustina Markus

ESTONIA EXTENDS REGISTRATION FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS. On 10 August
an extraordinary session of parliament decided to extend from
12 to 20 August the deadline for registering for local municipal
and regional elections on 17 October, BNS reports. State Secretary
Ulo Kaevats said that extending the deadline to October, as the
councils of the Russian populated cities of Sillamae and Narva
had requested, was rejected, since this would upset the election
schedule. All permanent residents will be allowed to vote, but
only Estonian citizens can run as candidates. An appeal by the
councils to allow noncitizens who have lived in the election
district more than 10 years was not approved. -Saulius Girnius


ESTONIA TAKES OVER PALDISKI PORTS. On August 10 the Estonian
military took over the two ports at the former Soviet military
base at Paldiski. The Russian police suspended its activity in
Paldiski and its military patrols were also withdrawn from the
streets. The base, however, is still manned by about 1,000 Russian
naval officers and noncommissioned officers. Access to Paldiski
will be restricted until Russia has dismantled and removed the
nuclear reactors in the former training center for submarine
crews, BNS reports. Dzintra Bungs

LOANS TO REPAY LITHUANIA'S ENERGY DEBT. On 10 August Bank of
Lithuania Chairman Romualdas Visokavicius told a press conference
that one of the largest German banks has agreed to grant a six-month
loan of $28 million to pay Lithuania's debts to Russia for nuclear
fuel cassettes, Radio Lithuania reports. The loan is not tied
to funds from the IMF or other international financial organizations.
Visokavicius also said that the $45-million debt for Russian
natural gas will be paid off by using part of the $60-million
credit from the EC. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Ann Sheehy and Charles Trumbull





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