When two people communicate, they each can be enriched - and unlike traditional resources, the more you share the more you have. - U.S. Vice President Al Gore
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 158, 18 August 1993







RUSSIA



KHASBULATOV SPEAKS AT MEETING OF LOCAL SOVIETS. Parliament Chairman
Ruslan Khasbulatov, opening a meeting of local soviet representatives
on 17-August, called for more consultation over Russian government
policy. He said that there were some positive elements in the
government's economic program, but damned its budget policy as
"destroying the country," and criticized the Finance Ministry
for "obediently carrying out the demands of the IMF," ITAR-TASS
reported. However, journalists were subsequently barred from
the meeting and, reportedly, Khasbulatov followed these relatively
conciliatory remarks with a strong attack on President Boris
Yeltsin, calling for early presidential elections and attempting
to rally support against Yeltsin's proposal for a Federation
Council which could become the upper chamber of parliament. -Wendy
Slater

WARNINGS OF CONFRONTATION AT COUP ANNIVERSARY DEMONSTRATIONS.
Rival demonstrations by hardline opposition groups and pro-Yeltsin
parties to mark the second anniversary of the failed August coup
will apparently go ahead outside the Russian parliament's building
on 20 August, AFP and ITAR-TASS reported on 17 August. The Moscow
mayor's office has granted permission for the demonstrations,
despite fears that they could provoke violence. The anniversary
will also be used by various political parties and the country's
top leadership to publicize their views. Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi, meanwhile, warned on 17-August that Yeltsin's advisors
were "persistently pushing the president towards coercive action,"
Reuters reported. He called for vigilance and restraint, saying
that "there must be no pretext to . . . introduce a state of
emergency." -Wendy Slater

RYABOV PREDICTS EARLY ELECTIONS. The parliament's deputy chairman,
Nikolai Ryabov, predicts that parliamentary and presidential
elections will be held either this autumn or in the spring of
1994 but he warns that any vote must be preceded by constitutional
changes to reorganize the Russian government. In a lengthy interview
on Russian TV on 16 August, Ryabov also endorsed the recent decision
to create a Federation Council made up of regional representatives
and to resume work at the Constitutional Assembly. Ryabov suggested
that the efforts of regional leaders will be needed to convince
the next Congress of People's Deputies in November to agree to
adopt a new constitution. Ryabov, who has split with Parliament
Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov over the latter's opposition to President
Yeltsin, denied that he was seeking Khasbulatov' s job but he
insisted that new laws were needed to regulate the powers of
the parliamentary speaker and the legislature's presidium. -Dominic
Gualtieri

THE "UNSTABLE EQUILIBRIUM" OF THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY. The analysis
by the Ministry of the Economy of the economic results of the
first half of 1993 is carried by the July "Vash Partner" supplement
to Ekonomika i zhizn, while the Russian Goskomstat report on
the first seven months of the year is summarized by ITAR-TASS
of 17 August. Both studies confirm that the Russian economy remains
in what the Ministry calls "a condition of unstable equilibrium."
The output decline for practically all major indicators (apart
from the production of natural gas) continues, although the drop
is less precipitous than during the first half of 1992. The state
of the fuel and energy complex gives reason for "special concern,"
and the conversion of the defense industry complex has shown
little progress. Indeed, its production of civilian goods was
down by 14% when compared with the corresponding period of 1992.
-Keith Bush

BREAD ALLOWANCE FOR POOR RUSSIANS. The retail price of bread
is to rise by an as yet unannounced amount, following increases
in the prices paid for grain to farmers and the doubling of prices
paid for grain by flour-milling enterprises. According to Reuters
of 17-August, a bread allowance to offset this increase will
be paid to poorer citizens, with the amount to be set later in
the week. As of 1 August, the purchase price paid by the government
for standard wheat rose to 70,000 rubles a ton. The price of
wheat delivered to flour mills was doubled to 24,000 rubles a
ton on 17 August. This leaves a subsidy of 46,000 rubles a ton
for bread grain, although the Russian government has assured
foreign creditors that it intends to reduce its subsidy bill.
-Keith Bush

DROP IN NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED. The number of registered unemployed
fell further in July to 988,600, Reuters reported on 17 August.
Seasonal factors are said to be behind the decline. In particular
it is claimed that many people are on summer holidays, and do
not bother to register as unemployed with the state employment
service. The number of job vacancies is also reported to have
increased over the past month. According to Russian TV on 16
August, a total of 10 billion rubles was spent on unemployment
benefits in the first half of 1993. -Sheila Marnie

RUSSIA CALLS FOR END TO WEAPONS GRADE URANIUM PRODUCTION. At
the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on 17 August, the
Russian delegate, Valerii Zemskov, proposed that all further
production of highly enriched weapons grade uranium be halted,
ITAR-TASS and AFP reported. The envoy also suggested that all
such material be placed under the control of the International
Atomic Energy Agency; and reiterated Russia's interest in negotiating
a comprehensive nuclear test ban. If Russia implements the START
treaties and dismantles the resulting surplus warheads, it will
have an inventory of several hundred tons of weapons-grade uranium,
which it is planning to sell to the US to be diluted for use
as nuclear reactor fuel. -John Lepingwell

RUSSIA MAY JOIN MTCR. Zemskov further stated that Moscow was
seriously considering joining the 1986 Missile and Technology
Control Regime (MTCR), but said that in return Russia expected
Western nations to lift what he called "discriminatory" trade
restrictions on Russia originally leveled against the USSR by
the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM).
According to Reuters, Zemskov described the COCOM restrictions
as unfairly impeding "Russia's access to the world market of
space services." Zemskov's remarks come in the wake of Moscow's
decision-made at the behest of Washington-to cancel a sale of
rocket technology to India. That decision has drawn the fire
of Russian conservatives, who charge the government with selling
out Russian interests. Moscow appears to be demanding the quid
pro quo on COCOM at least in part to rebut these charges. -Stephen
Foye

KURIL ISLANDS DISPUTE HEATS UP. Relations between Japan and Russia
appeared to take a step backward on 17 August following remarks
by Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and presidential
spokesman Anatolii Krasikov. Chernomyrdin told Japanese reporters
during a trip to the four disputed Kuril Islands that Russia
would never give up the islands and that discussion of their
fate was a non-issue. Commenting in Moscow, Krasikov said that
Chernomyrdin's remarks would not affect Boris Yeltsin's tentatively
planned trip to Tokyo in October. Krasikov did suggest, however,
that Moscow would no longer honor a 1956 Russo-Japanese communique
that had called for the return of two of the disputed islands
to Japan. Meanwhile, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official
in Tokyo said that the Prime Minister had long been a conservative
and that his views represented the feelings of only a portion
of the Russian people, Kyodo and Reuters reported. -Stephen Foye


SAKHA, TATARSTAN PRESIDENTS ON ELECTIONS, FEDERATION COUNCIL.
In an interview reported in Nezavisimaya gazeta of 17 August,
the president of Sakha (Yakutia), Mikhail Nikolaev, said he was
in favor of early parliamentary elections, but that laws on elections
and on the system of federal power would have to be passed first
so that people would know what kind of parliament they were voting
for. Nikolaev also stated that it would be a good idea if the
Russian parliament endorsed Yeltsin's decree creating the Federation
Council, a view shared by Tatarstan president Mintimer Shaimiev,
who was also interviewed by Nezavisimaya gazeta. (Such endorsement
would certainly enhance the status of the Council.) Shaimiev
was not in favor of early elections, however, saying he did not
think the population would go to the polls in sufficient numbers
at this juncture. Shaimiev also said that he disagreed with the
view that the Federation Council would be a cudgel for Yeltsin
to threaten the parliament with; no one would be able to dictate
their will to the Council, he maintained. -Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



SHEVARDNADZE IN ASHGABAT, BAKU. A Georgian delegation headed
by parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze signed a series of
bilateral agreements on economic and cultural cooperation with
the Turkmen government in Ashgabat on 17 August, ITAR-TASS reported.
Specifically, it was agreed that Georgia should immediately begin
payment of half the 69 billion rubles it owes Turkmenistan for
supplies of natural gas. On his return journey Shevardnadze made
a stopover in Baku, where he discussed the conflicts in Abkhazia
and Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan parliament chairman Geidar
Aliev, ITAR-TASS reported. -Liz Fuller

GERMANY REJECTS SHEVARDNADZE'S REQUEST FOR PEACEKEEPING TROOPS.
The German government has turned down a request by Georgian parliament
chairman Eduard Shevardnadze to send 2,000 peacekeeeping troops
to Abkhazia under the auspices of the UN, Reuters and the Sueddeutsche
Zeitung reported on 17 August. Georgia has addressed a similar
request to the Ukrainian government. -Liz Fuller

WOODRUFF'S KILLER ARRESTED. Georgian First Deputy Minister of
Internal Affairs Mikhail Osadze told Georgian Radio on 17 August
that a young man has been arrested for the murder near Tbilisi
on 8 August of CIA official Fred Woodruff, Reuters reported.
Osadze said that the murder was "a chance killing", and the perpetrator,
who has not been named, was not aware of the identity of his
victim. -Liz Fuller

TURKEY, RUSSIA CONDEMN ARMENIAN ADVANCE. On 17 August Turkish
Prime Minister Tansu Ciller issued a warning to Armenia to desist
from what she termed unlawful and inhuman aggression in Azerbaijan
or bear the consequences, Reuters reported. Turkey has consistently
rejected the Armenian government's claims that it has minimal
influence over the actions of the acting government of the self-proclaimed
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Speaking in Moscow on 17 August, Russia's
chief negotiator for Nagorno-Karabakh, Vladimir Kazimirov, argued
that Russia should act more decisively to bring about a permanent
cessation of hostilities in the region, according to ITAR-TASS.
Azerbaijan's Ambassador to the UN has asked the Security Council
to impose sanctions on Armenia, an RFE/RL correspondent reported.
Meanwhile on 17 August Armenian forces advanced to within a mile
of the town of Dzhebrail, south of Nagorno-Karabakh. -Liz Fuller


TAJIKISTAN UPDATE. Russian news agencies reported on 17 August
that negotiations were continuing over the release of four Russian
border guards and an officer from Kazakhstan who were captured
on the Tajik-Afghan border on 10 August. Procedural issues were
reported to be delaying the release of the five men. The same
day a Russian Interagency Working Group on Tajikistan held its
first meeting. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev was quoted
by ITAR-TASS as calling for the drawing up of an action plan
to protect Russia's security. A six-fold increase in the price
of bread in Tajikistan went into effect on 16 July and was explained
in the official daily Narodnaya gazeta (quoted by Reuters) the
following day as necessary to compensate for economic problems
caused by the civil war. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



IZETBEGOVIC SEES LITTLE PROGRESS IN GENEVA. Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic has criticized a tentative agreement among
Bosnia's warring factions to demilitarize Sarajevo and put it
under UN control, because the plan doesn't guarantee an end to
the Serb siege, international media report on 17 and 18 August.
Each delegation presented its map on 17-August. Major disagreements
between the Muslims and Serbs over eastern Bosnia and between
Muslims and Croats over central Bosnia remain. Izetbegovic said:
"We discussed the maps all day today, for 10 hours, but I don't
see any progress." The Muslims say that the Serbs shouldn't be
allowed to keep areas where they conducted what the Muslims call
the worst atrocities and ethnic cleansing campaigns, including
Foca, Zvornik, and Visegrad. A meeting between Izetbegovic and
Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban was dominated by the continued
fighting between their forces in central Bosnia. After a joint
meeting of all sides and the mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald
Stoltenberg, their spokesman said that "the parties got down
to serious discussion, and we went some way to regaining the
atmosphere we had before these talks were suspended." -Fabian
Schmidt

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS. On 17 August Reuters reported that Bosnian
Croat forces have charged Muslims with the massacre of 43 civilians
in north-central Bosnia. A spokesman added that "international
organizations have no idea of what is gong on in the towns and
villages of central Bosnia. That's the darkest of the dark areas
in Bosnia." No journalists have been able to reach the area to
check on the validity of the charges. Meanwhile, fighting continues
in the Mostar area, and UN officials said they are concerned
about 35,000 Muslims cut off in the town without access to aid
shipments. Finally, Borba of 18 August quotes the head of the
rump Yugoslav National Bank as saying that six zeros will soon
be dropped from the dinar currency. He admitted that the measure
would not come to grips with the causes of hyperinflation, but
said that it could have some psychological effect. Most outside
observers, however, feel that the government of President Slobodan
Milosevic and its neocommunist economic policies are at the root
of Serbia's economic woes. -Patrick Moore

UN CONCERNED ABOUT VOJVODINA HUNGARIANS. The UN Human Rights
Panel has raised questions about rump Yugoslavia's treatment
of ethnic Hungarians in Serbia's Vojvodina province, Western
news agencies report. Special rapporteur Theodor Van Boven expressed
concern at what he called the forced ethnic segregation of Hungarians
and Croats in Vojvodina and accused Serbian authorities of harassing
those minorities. One expert pointed out that in areas in Vojvodina
where Serbs constitute 15% of the population, the directors of
all state enterprises are Serbs. According to official estimates,
some 350,000 Hungarians live in Vojvodina; MTI on 12 May gave
a figure of 30, 000 for those who have fled to Hungary to escape
harassment and being drafted into the Yugoslav army. -Edith Oltay


KOSOVO UPDATE. The Tirana edition of the exile Kosovo newspaper
Rilindja reports on 18-August about major police raids in Pristina
on 17 August. From the early morning all entrances to the city
as well as key intersections were reportedly controlled by the
police before police raided two markets and arrested several
people. Radio Tirana reported on 14-August that 600-Serbian policemen
and soldiers surrounded Mitrovice and raided two markets there,
too. The police raided offices of the Kosovo Democratic League
in Pristina, arrested several people and confiscated foodstuffs
that were destined for poor families. The office of the National
Unity Party in Pristina was raided, too, and four people were
arrested. From 14-18 August Rilindja reports further beatings
and arrests in Gjilan, Kamenice, Ferizaj, Gjakovo, Rahovec, Prizren,
Podujevo, and Skenderaj. -Fabian Schmidt

MACEDONIA TIGHTENS BORDER WITH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Reuters reports
on 17-August that the Republic of Macedonia will begin imposing
tighter controls on its border with Serbia. Passports will now
be required to enter Macedonia; in the past identification papers
sufficed. The official explanation for the move is to limit Albanian
refugees from Kosovo and "to keep a lid on black marketeers."
The former is clearly the more important consideration, as Skopje
feels threatened by the prospect of thousands of Muslim Albanians
flooding the country and upsetting what is an already precarious
relationship with Macedonia's own large ethnic Albanian community.
-Robert Austin

MECIAR REMAINS FIRM ON SLOVAK-RUSSIAN TREATY. In a 17 August
interview with TASR, Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar said "it
is impossible" that the new Slovak-Russian treaty contain an
apology for Russia's 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia, since
"today's Russia is not a successor to the former Soviet leadership
who were responsible for [the invasion]." Although the Christian
Democratic Movement on 14-August called for a special session
of parliament to discuss the issue, Meciar said this request
is "premature," since the agreement has not yet been finalized.
Many have also criticized clause No. 4 of the proposed treaty,
which states that neither side can use its territory for an act
of aggression against the other and neither can provide military
or any other assistance to an aggressor. Arpad Duka Zolyomi,
deputy chairman of the Coexistence Party, claimed that this treaty
could "prevent Slovakia from entering the military structures
in Western Europe," TASR reports on 17-August. According to Smena
on 17 August, this clause is "risky" since it does not take into
account the present instability in Russia. Some ethnic Hungarian
politicians accused CDM chairman Jan Carnogursky of opposing
the treaty because of his fears that it could weaken the position
of Slovakia in a conflict with Hungary. -Sharon Fisher

CSURKA ON 1994 ELECTIONS. Hungarian Road Circles chairman Istvan
Csurka told a meeting in Tokaj on 17-August that the 1994 parliamentary
elections and election campaign are an attempt to preserve the
current balance of power and amount to a "deception of the nation,"
MTI reports. He said that political and economic power is still
in the hands of the representatives of the old order and a strong
government is needed to put an end to this. Csurka said that
the Hungarian Justice and Life party, which is closely associated
with Csurka and the circles, aims at breaking the power of the
old elite through legal means. He warned that if the current
parliamentary parties stay in power, one can expect legislation
that would allow immigration of foreigners and the sale of Hungarian
land to foreigners. Csurka said that Hungary needs a "healthy"
prime minister to solve its problems and a strong state that
will introduce an honest taxation system, protect Hungarian entrepreneurs
and goods, and put an end to unemployment. -Edith Oltay

UPDATE ON ROMANIAN RAIL STRIKE. On 17 August the government ordered
striking railway workers to return to work within three hours
or be fired. The government also ordered the strikers to leave
the railway depots and instructed police to enforce the order
if asked to do so by railway administrators. It also called on
retired locomotive drivers to offer their services to run the
trains. By late evening, Radio Bucharest quoted government secretary
Viorel Hrebenciuc as saying that work has resumed in 50 of 58-main
railway depots. In Brasov 242 strikers first refused to resume
work and went on a hunger strike, but a Reuters correspondent
reports that work has now resumed there and the hunger strikers
are no longer present at the depot. There were also reports of
trouble in Iasi. Earlier, President Ion Iliescu went on radio
and TV and again appealed to striking train drivers to return
to work immediately. Ion Vlad, the vice president of the Free
Union of Engine Drivers, told Reuters that the strike is over
and that it is natural that work be resumed after threats "of
police, gendarmes, and cancellation of labor contracts." Government
sources quoted by Reuters say the strike has caused losses to
the economy of at least 150 billion lei ($187 million) in domestic
currency, plus $130 million in hard currency. -Michael Shafir


BEROV SAYS ANTIGOVERNMENT ATTACKS ORCHESTRATED. At a press conference
on 17 August Bulgarian Prime Minister Lyuben Berov claimed that
antigovernment criticism over the past few weeks is part of a
coordinated campaign to remove the cabinet. Berov told BTA that,
following the failure of the Union of Democratic Forces to topple
his government earlier this summer, the trade unions are now
the chief instigators for his dismissal. He said there is no
other explanation why the trade unions suddenly began blocking
reform policies and demanded to receive the property of the former
communist unions no later than 1-September. Berov also called
on Anastasia Moser, leader of the Bulgarian Agrarian National
Union, and presidential adviser Georgi Spasov, to prove allegations
that the government has consistently appointed excommunists to
lead the reprivatization of Bulgarian farm land. -Kjell Engelbrekt


POLISH GOVERNMENT STRESSES LAW AND ORDER. Responding to a series
of recent assaults on government officials and offices by radical
political groups, the government ordered cabinet ministers and
regional governors to guarantee the strict enforcement of civil
rights, public safety, and financial obligations to the state.
Police and other state officials who fail to protect the public
order will face disciplinary action, the government instructed.
Justice Minister Jan Piatkowski warned that all violations of
the law will be severely punished. "The government cannot sit
quietly by and wait until, as the leader of the [Self Defense]
union has threatened at several press conferences, their people
come to government headquarters and begin carting ministers around
in wheelbarrows," Piatkowski said. Gazeta Wyborcza reports that
the cabinet resolved to adopt a hard line only after two hours
of debate. Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski was
reported to favor a softer approach to Self Defense and other
anarchic groups, but Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka apparently
insisted on a forceful measures. The government also approved
a list of 195 firms for the first round of the Polish version
of "mass privatization." -Louisa Vinton

BALCEROWICZ WITHDRAWS EBRD CANDIDACY. Former Polish Deputy Prime
Minister and Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz formally withdrew
his candidacy to head the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD) on 17 August, PAP reports. Balcerowicz's withdrawal
leaves French national bank chief Jacques de Larosiere as the
only candidate. The EC countries settled on de Larosiere as part
of an unwritten agreement granting control over the EBRD presidency
to France. Balcerowicz commented that his nomination had been
intended to "end the old division between East and West." Both
the New York Times (24 July) and The Economist (7 August) endorsed
Balcerowicz as the best candidate for the EBRD. -Louisa Vinton


RUSSIA SUSPENDS ARMY PULLOUT FROM LITHUANIA. On 17 August Lithuanian
President Algirdas Brazauskas said that he has been told by an
important official in the Russian Defense Ministry that Russia
is suspending its withdrawal of troops from Lithuania, the RFE/RL
Lithuanian Service reports. The move was prompted by the failure
to sign a formal withdrawal agreement and Lithuania's continued
demands for compensation for damages since 1940. On 18 August
on Radio Lithuania Brazauskas said that neither he nor the Foreign
Ministry has received any official note on the suspension. He
has spoken with Russian President Boris Yeltsin that morning,
he said, and they agreed to meet soon. National Defense Minister
Audrius Butkevicius told a press conference that Russian Chief
of the General Staff Col. Gen Mikhail Kolesnikov told him that
a note on the suspension had been sent to the troops in Lithuania.
-Saulius Girnius

SHUSHKEVICH TO MEET YELTSIN. Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislau
Shushkevich has cut short his vacation and is traveling to Moscow
on 18 August to meet with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, ITAR-TASS
reports. Among the issues to be discussed are bilateral economic
relations and the upcoming meetings of CIS heads of state and
government on 27-August and 1-September. The Belarusian economy
has been edging towards collapse under Russian pressure to exclude
it from the ruble zone. The country owes over 100-billion rubles
for natural gas and with a shortage of Russian rubles, is having
serious difficulties paying its bills, Belarus TV reported on
16 August. Gazprom, the Russian gas company, has decreased gas
deliveries to Belarus, making it impossible for Belarusian enterprises
to function fully. -Ustina Markus

NATO OFFICIALS IN MOLDOVA . . . For the second time in two months
a NATO delegation is visiting Moldova. Led by Field Marshal Sir
Charles Vincent, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the
group held talks on 17 August with government and military leaders,
Basapress reports. The Moldovans asked for political support
from NATO and its member states in securing the withdrawal of
Russia's 14th Army and also for assistance in the consolidation
of an independent and neutral Moldova. According to Reuters and
Basapress, Vincent pointed out that NATO is interested in the
stability of the region and seeks closer cooperation with Moldova,
adding that Moldova needs a military capability sufficient to
uphold its neutrality. -Vladimir Socor

. . . AND UKRAINE. US Admiral Paul David Miller, the commander
of NATO forces in the Atlantic, arrived in Odessa on 17 August
for a working visit, Radio Ukraine reports. Miller met with the
commander of the Odessa Military District, Col. Gen. Vitalii
Rodezsky and naval forces commander Vice Admiral Boris Kozhin.
From Odessa Miller is scheduled to proceed to Kiev. Asked about
the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, ITAR-TASS quoted Miller
as saying that this is a matter for the politicians. An invitation
to join would probably come slowly, he said, and would depend
on how security relations develop. Ustina Markus

GERMAN AID TO UKRAINE FOR NUCLEAR DISMANTLING. During his visit
to Ukraine, German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe confirmed that
Germany will offer financial assistance for dismantling the nuclear
weapons located in Ukraine, according to Reuters and Ukrainian
Radio reports on 17 August. The aid offer is conditional, however,
on Ukraine ratifying START-1 and acceding to the nonproliferation
treaty. US aid, previously also conditioned on START-1 ratification,
has recently been released despite the continuing delays in the
ratification process. -John Lepingwell

SWEDISH, GERMAN SUPPLIES FOR LATVIAN DEFENSE FORCES. Diena reported
on 15-and 16-August that Sweden has given Latvia armored and
regular transport vehicles, fire trucks, winter uniforms, tents,
medical supplies, and 1,000 army bicycles. More equipment is
to be shipped in the future, as Sweden updates the equipment
of its armed forces. Germany has now outfitted two military ships
that it had given Latvia with modern communications systems.
The same kind of communications equipment will also be installed
on two vessels that Germany gave to Estonia and the one to Lithuania.
-Dzintra Bungs

LITHUANIA TO INTRODUCE VISAS FOR CIS COUNTRIES. Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius said that one of the remaining obstacles
in signing a free-trade agreement among the Baltic States will
be removed. Beginning on 1 October citizens of CIS countries
will be issued Lithuanian entry visas on the border; Lithuanian
diplomatic missions will issue them beginning 1 November, the
RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports. Estonian Prime Minister Mart
Laar later told the press that there is a real possibility that
a trilateral free-trade agreement might be signed on 13-September
at a meeting of the Baltic premiers. -Saulius Girnius

NEW STATE MINISTERS IN LATVIA. Parliament has endorsed two new
ministers of state, Latvijas Jaunatne reported on 13 August.
Vilis Kristopans, responsible for national income, will work
with the Ministry of Finance, while Druvis Skulte, responsible
for privatization, will work with the Ministry of Economics.
The position of a state minister for national income is new and
was not originally proposed by Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs
when he nominated the members of his cabinet in July. -Dzintra
Bungs

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Vladimir Socor and Charles Trumbull







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