Words that open our eyes to the world are always the easiest to remember. - Ryszard Kapuscinski
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 159, 20 August 1993







RUSSIA



COUP ANNIVERSARY DEMONSTRATIONS BEGIN. The first of the rallies
scheduled to mark the second anniversary of the failed coup began
late on 19 August, Russian and Western agencies reported. This
first demonstration, organized by the Russian Communist Workers'
Party, passed off without incident as about 2,000-people marched
from theparliament to the former KGB headquarters. More demonstrations
by opposition groups and also by supporters of President Boris
Yeltsin are planned for 20 and 21 August. ITAR-TASS reported
on 19-August that representatives of the opposition National
Salvation Front, the pro-Yeltsin "Vivat Rossiya" organization,
the Moscow city council, and the Mayor's office had signed a
protocol agreeing on the schedule for the various marches and
had promised to prevent any "excesses." -Wendy Slater

NEW CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS. Egor Gaidar, until December 1992
acting Prime Minister, said in an interview with Moskovskie novosti
reported by ITAR-TASS on 19 August that fresh parliamentary elections
were essential, but opposed presidential elections on the grounds
that the April referendum had confirmed Yeltsin's mandate. Gaidar
stressed that the new, pro-reform "Russia's Choice" political
organization which he leads was not exclusively a pro-Yeltsin
organization. Separately, the leader of the "Democratic Russia"
parliamentary faction, Lev Ponomarev, called on 19 August for
early parliamentary and presidential elections, ITAR-TASS reported.
This, Ponomarev said, would strengthen Yeltsin's position. Parliamentary
chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov, meanwhile, reiterated his opposition
to parliamentary elections, Reuters reported on 19 August. -Wendy
Slater

TOKYO REACTS; CHERNOMYRDIN AGAIN SAYS NO DEAL ON KURILS. Japanese
government officials have reacted with consternation to remarks
made on 17 August by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin that
dismissed any sort of deal on the disputed Kuril Islands, world
press agencies reported. Japanese officials pointed out that
the Prime Minister's remarks contradicted assurances given by
President Yeltsin during his visit to Japan in July that the
territorial issue would be on the agenda during a planned return
trip to Tokyo in October. While traveling in the Russian Far
East on 18 and 19 August, moreover, Chernomyrdin continued to
speak out against any deal on the islands, telling an audience
in Vladivostok that "we will not give the Kuril Islands to anybody,
nor will the [Russian] government discuss the issue with anyone."
Chernomyrdin also insisted that his views represented the official
position of his government. During a 19 August press conference,
Yeltsin had played down Chernomyrdin's remarks and said that
his visit to Japan would not be postponed. -Stephen Foye

CHERNOMYRDIN SEES A WESTERN PLOT. In the course of a question
and answer session with officials and executives in Vladivostok
on 19 August, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin touched on the subject
of Western aid and foreign trade, ITAR-TASS reported. He stated
that his government "has no intention of going with an outstretched
hand to ask for any kind of help. Russia wants equal cooperation
on the world market in every direction, including the sale of
arms. But those who run the world market are not one bit interested
in seeing the country make progress . They want Russia finally
to fall apart, but they will not live to see that." It will be
recalled that one of Chernomyrdin's predecessors, Valentin Pavlov,
also saw a Western hand behind the chaos and confusion in the
domestic Soviet economy. -Keith Bush

YELTSIN ON 1968 INVASION. ITAR-TASS reported on 19-August that
Yeltsin will visit Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia from
24 to 26 August. When asked by a Slovak journalist how Russia
would approach the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia in the proposed
Slovak-Russian friendship treaty, Yeltsin said that "Russia had
nothing to do with this. We, like Slovakia, became victims of
a totalitarian regime, and Russia suffered no less than Slovakia."
He added that Russia condemns the action but cannot apologize
for it, Reuters reported. Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar has
said that Russia need not apologize, although several political
parties and newspapers have insisted that by leaving out an apology
from the proposed treaty, Slovakia is sacrificing a sovereign
prerogative. Meciar is planning a one-day trip to Moscow on 23
August, where he will discuss Russian indebtedness to Slovakia
and increased cooperation of Slovak and Russian gas and oil industries.
-Sharon Fisher

GOVERNMENT APPEAL TO TRADE UNIONS. The presidium of the Russian
government has issued an appeal to the country's trade unions
and work collectives, asking them to contribute to the "consolidation
of all social forces," Radio Rossii reported on 19 August. The
appeal comes as a result of the increasingly confontational approach
being taken by the trade union representatives on the tripartite
commission for regulating labor relations. This commission was
formed by a presidential decree to create a forum for "social
partnership" and includes representatives of the government,
employers, and employee organisations. In its appeal, the government
notes that the demands of individual branch trade unionists have
taken on a political character, and asks workers not to let themselves
be dragged into political games. -Sheila Marnie

ARMY, MVD FORCES FACE DIFFICULTIES. Deputy Defense Minister Valerii
Mironov told reporters on 18-August that existing legislation
offers servicemen poor protection against the consequences of
force reductions, ITAR-TASS reported. Mironov said servicemen
are now receiving only about one-third of the benefits mandated
by law. Meanwhile, on 19-August, the commander of Interior Ministry
Forces said that a recent parliamentary decision to increase
the size of his forces by 28,000 men is likely to be complicated
by enduring conscription difficulties. Lt. Gen. Anatolii Kulikov
said that staffing levels among conscript soldiers were currently
at 62%, and that the MVD forces were also 4,000 young officers
short . The army and the Interior Ministry Forces receive draftees
from the same conscript pool. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN UPDATE. Armenian forces took the town of Dzhebrail,
south of Nagorno-Karabakh and 14 kilometers from the Azerbaijani-Iranian
frontier, during the night of 18-19 August, Western agencies
reported. The International Red Cross in Geneva told an RFE/RL
correspondent that an estimated 60,000 refugees from Fizuli and
Dzhebrail had been displaced by the fighting. The English-language
Iranian government newspaper Kayhan International, as quoted
by IRNA, warned that Iran would retaliate against Armenia if
its peace and border security were threatened; and it suggested
joint Iranian-Turkish military action in support of Azerbaijan.
After meeting in Moscow with his Armenian counterpart Vahan Papazyan,
Turkish Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin suggested that international
peacekeepers should be sent to Azerbaijan if Armenian forces
refuse to withdraw from the territory occupied in recent months.-In
an interview given to RFE/RL, Cetin called on the Azerbaijani
people to overcome internal divisions and to ounite against aggression
by Karabakh Armenian forces. -Liz Fuller

GORNO-BADAKHSHAN IN DANGER OF STARVATION. Chairman of Gorno-Badakhshan's
legislature Balkhier Zamirov told ITAR-TASS on 19 August that
the population of the autonomous oblast in the Pamirs faces starvation
if the government of Tajikistan fails to ship more food to the
region. Gorno-Badakhshan has received less than a quarter of
the amount promised by the authorities in Dushanbe, Zamirov asserted,
and only two to three months remain before roads linking the
region with the rest of Tajikistan are closed by snow. A recent
operation by Tajik government troops to dislodge armed opposition
units from the main highway between Dushanbe and Gorno-Badakhshan
was supposed to make food deliveries possible; Badakhshani authorities
criticized Dushanbe for the attacks in which many civilian villagers
were killed. -Bess Brown

CIS

EXPERTS DISCUSS CREATION OF CIS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. Experts
met in the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States
in Minsk on 18-19 August to discuss setting up the CIS Human
Rights Commission envisaged in Article 33 of the CIS Charter,
Belinform-TASS reported. The draft statute on the commission
was drawn up and presented by Russia, which from the beginning
has been the driving force behind the creation of such a commission.
The experts, in particular the Russian delegation, supported
Armenia's proposal that fact-finding missions should be sent
to the CIS countries, but a Russian foreign ministry official
told Belinform the talks were difficult, as some participants
regard human rights as an exclusively internal matter. -Ann Sheehy


UKRAINE, MOLDOVA, BELARUS CONSULT. Delegations from the Ukrainian,
Belarusian, and Moldovan Foreign Ministries conferred in Kiev
to prepare for the impending 48th session of the UN General Assembly,
Ukrainian television reported on 19 August. Details of the discussions
were not reported. -Ustina Markus

RUSSIAN MINISTER AGAIN CLAIMS NUCLEAR AGREEMENT NEAR . . . In
an interview published in Nezavisimaya gazeta on 18 August, Russia's
Minister for Atomic Energy, Viktor Mikhailov, noted that he had
just returned from negotiations with Ukraine over dismantling
nuclear weapons, and that he believed that this issue was "practically
resolved and that in the near future a corresponding agreement
will be signed." Mikhailov's comments echo those of Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev, which the Ukrainian government refuted
earlier this week. Mikhailov also claimed that it would take
Ukraine "decades" and billions of dollars to build a significant
nuclear weapons capability, apparently discounting the fact that
Ukraine already has on its territory a subtantial stockpile of
fissile material. -John Lepingwell

. . . BUT UKRAINE CLAIMS MINSK AGREEMENT INVALID . . . At the
UN Conference on Disarmament Ukrainian and Russian delegations
traded charges over who was violating existing accords on nuclear
weapons. A statement released by the Ukrainian government on
19 August, and carried in full by ITAR-TASS, once again denied
that Ukraine aspired to full operational control of the nuclear
weapons on its territory and criticized Russia for violating
the 1991 Minsk agreement on nuclear weapons by unilaterally trying
to dissolve the CIS command. The statement noted that consequently
the Minsk agreement "can no longer be considered in effect for
Russia and Ukraine." It also noted that Russia had moved to take
over special nuclear warhead storage and service areas, and that
for more than half a year it had not provided parts needed to
maintain the warheads.--John Lepingwell

. . . AND REINTERPRETS START-1 AND LISBON PROTOCOL. The Ukrainian
government statement noted that the fate of the weapons in Ukraine
will be decided by the Ukrainian parliament. It also clearly
and officially stated its interpretation of START-1 and the Lisbon
protocol-that they require only a 36% reduction in the nuclear
forces in Ukraine. This corresponds to earlier, unofficial Ukrainian
statements to the effect that only 50-SS-19 ICBMs need to be
dismantled under the terms of START-1. This interpretation is
completely at variance with that of the US and Russia, which
regard President Kravchuk's commitment (made at the same time
as the Lisbon protocol) to eliminate all nuclear weapons as binding.
The Lisbon protocol also contains a provision that Ukraine will
rapidly join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty as a non-nuclear
weapons state. -John Lepingwell

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



"IT'S MUCH WORSE THAN SARAJEVO." This is how the 20 August Los
Angeles Times quotes an aid worker who has just returned from
Mostar, where fighting between Croats and Muslims since May is
"street to street-.-.-. building for building," as opposed to
the more indiscriminate combat in the Bosnian capital. The aid
worker added that Mostar is "like the pictures you saw from late-70's
Beirut." Meanwhile, the BBC's Serbian Service says that the first
relief convoy since 15 June has reached Mostar and delivered
aid to the Croatian part of town. The mission plans to go on
to the much more destitute Muslim section on 20 August. Croat
officials, Hina adds, are demanding that Muslim forces stop blocking
an 80-truck relief convoy headed from Split to central Bosnia,
and that some means be found to evacuate patients from a Croatian
hospital there. -Patrick Moore

A "FINAL SETTLEMENT" FOR BOSNIA? SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC
TOLD NEWS AGENCIES AT THE GENEVA TALKS ON 19 AUGUST THAT THE
MUSLIMS WILL BE OFFERED A TAKE-IT-OR-LEAVE-IT PROPOSAL ON 20
AUGUST. He said this will be "a very critical day," but added
that "we have now all conditions which are needed for a final
settlement." The Serbs have conceded a land corridor to the Muslims
in eastern Bosnia, thereby raising the Muslims' share of the
total land area from 30 to 32%, but the Muslims still insist
on 40% as well as a series of political concessions amounting
to a partial reversal of ethnic cleansing. Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic, for his part, spoke pessimistically to reporters
and noted that any decision would have to be approved by the
republic's parliament. Besides Milosevic and Izetbegovic, on
hand are Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, Montenegro's Momir
Bulatovic, Bosnian Croat leader Mate Boban, and his Serbian counterpart
Radovan Karadzic. Elsewhere, Vecernji list and Borba on 20-August
report on other ongoing talks aimed at hammering out a settlement
between the Croatian government and the Serb rebels who control
about 25% of the republic's territory. -Patrick Moore

SUCHOCKA ON YELTSIN, CAMPAIGN. At her regular press conference
on 19 August, Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka announced that a
bilateral agreement on the construction of the Polish segment
of a natural gas pipeline leading from Russia to Europe will
be signed during Russian President Boris Yeltsin's coming two-day
visit to Poland. Suchocka called the pipeline deal "the investment
of the century" with huge potential profits for Poland, PAP reports.
Suchocka added that the location of a contested Russian military
mission will also be discussed during Yeltsin's visit. Turning
to domestic matters, Suchocka noted that the government has prepared
draft legislation designed to create an apolitical civil service,
in which all but the highest ministerial posts would be exempt
from personnel changes with any change in government. Responding
to charges that the government's diligence in recent weeks is
designed to help her own party, the Democratic Union, in the
elections, Suchocka stressed that she has not yet entered the
election campaign, has not appeared in any election advertising,
and wears no party insignia. Her campaign will begin in September,
she said. -Louisa Vinton

SOLIDARITY DEMANDS TALKS WITH GOVERNMENT. Accusing the Polish
authorities of treating workers in a fashion amounting to a "political
provocation," Solidarity's national leadership on 19 August demanded
that the government open negotiations immediately. Solidarity
chairman Marian Krzaklewski said that if the government fails
to react, the union will again convene its national strike committee.
This strike committee was set up before the no-confidence vote
in the government, but the union is believed to be too weak to
follow through with its threat of a general strike. The union
also resolved to stage a demonstration against "thieving forms
of privatization" in Walbrzych on 23 August. Krzaklewski criticized
President Lech Walesa for failing to follow through with a pledge
to mediate in disputes with the government. "When the president
realized that the union was going to run an independent campaign
and not join his BBWR, he lost interest in the agreed topics
for negotiation," Krzaklewski said. The union removed from leadership
posts a number of figures who are running for the Sejm on the
Democratic Union and BBWR tickets, PAP reports. -Louisa Vinton


TWO RIGHT-WING ORGANIZATIONS JOIN FORCES IN HUNGARY. On 19 August
Hungarian Path Circles and the Party of Hungarian Justice and
Life issued a common eight-point program, MTI reports. The program
demands justice and law and order as well as equal opportunities
for all Hungarians in all walks of life. The state should be
concerned primarily with the national well-being in all areas
but especially in education. The program demands a fair system
of taxation and that those guilty of crimes in the past be brought
to justice. The two organizations further agreed to support rescheduling
Hungary's foreign debt and to demand the protection of workers'
interests during privatization. The program calls for a new constitution
and a new government structure and better environmental protection.
-Judith Pataki

SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN NEGOTIATIONS. On 19 August Ivan Baba, deputy
state secretary of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, and Marian
Krasnohorska, director of the bilateral cooperation department
of the Slovak Foreign Ministry, held talks in Bratislava on ethnic
minorities, the 1945 Benes decrees, border crossings, environmental
protection, and military relationships, TASR reports. In a press
conference following the talks, Baba said Hungary "has no territorial
demands toward Slovakia" and is willing to include a statement
of mutual respect for the existing border in the prepared agreement.
Although the Slovak team said there is "no possibility of the
total abolition of the Benes decrees," politicians are "willing
to discuss particular items." Baba stated the Hungarian side
is willing to discuss a Slovak-Hungarian readmission treaty on
the return of illegal immigrants. Concerning ethnic minority
issues, these problems "are to be solved by the Slovak government
and parliament." -Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION LEADER WRITES TO SLOVAKS. On 19 August Ivan
Peto, the chairman of the opposition Alliance of Free Democrats,
addressed a letter to Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Roman Kovac,
National Council Chairman Ivan Gasparovic, and Chairman of the
Foreign Relations Committee of the National Council, Ivan Laluha.
MTI reports that Peto met with all three during his March visit
to Bratislava. In his letter Peto stressed that his party has
supported Slovak admission to the Council of Europe and that
representatives of his party are glad to see that Slovakia is
ready to improve its minority policy. On the other hand, Peto
expressed concern about the recent removal of Hungarian language
signs by the Transportation Ministry in some communities inhabited
mainly by Hungarians. At a press conference of the Hungarian
Civic Party of Slovakia, meanwhile, its chairman, Laszlo Nagy,
called the removal of the signs "state banditism." -Judith Pataki
and Sharon Fisher

ROMANIAN NATIONALIST PARTY OPPOSES MINORITY SIGNS. On 19 August
the Party of Romanian National Unity protested a draft law forwarded
to the government by the Council of National Minorities one day
earlier. Speaking on Radio Bucharest Cluj mayor and PNRU chairman
Gheorghe Funar called the bill, which allows bilingual road signs
in areas where minorities make up a substantial proportion of
the population, unconstitutional. The PRNU is calling for the
immediate disbanding of the council and the setting up of a parliamentary
commission to investigate deputies who are in the council. It
also accuses the coordinator of the council, Victor Hrebenciuc
of "artificially fomenting interethnic conflicts" and demands
his dismissal. Finally, Funar, who has banned bilingual signs
in Cluj, said with heavy irony that Romania would consider adopting
a law along the lines proposed in the draft law-but only if democratic
European countries and the USA would do so first. Meanwhile,
Funar says, "Romanians have learned the lessons of the interethnic
war in the former federative state of Yugoslavia." -Michael Shafir


MINISTER SAYS DELAY IN MFN TALKS HURTS ROMANIA. Misu Negritoiu,
the minister of state for economic reform, said in an interview
with Reuters on 19 August that time is running out for Romania
after a delay in talks with the IMF. Negritoiu admitted that
the government underestimated the importance of the budget, which
had been "patterned on Romania's classical industrial [ a euphemism
for Ceausescu-times] model." Talks with the IMF earlier this
year snagged on Romania's failure to meet IMF requirements on
the budget deficit, interest rates, and industrial reform. A
new round of talks is scheduled for next month, but Romania's
chances to obtain low credits for this year are not good, despite
the government's recent adjustment of the budget deficit to just
over 4% of GDP, a figure within IMF and World Bank standards.
-Michael Shafir

"BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS OBSTRUCTING LAND REFORM." On 19 August
a presidential adviser accused the Bulgarian Socialist Party
of trying to pressure former workers of state farms into joining
cooperatives instead of setting up their own businesses, BTA
reports. Speaking to reporters at a presidential briefing, Georgi
Spasov said some 900 cooperatives have been established at the
initiative of local BSP activists but that a group of Socialist
deputies is directing the campaign. Spasov warned that cooperatives
represent an inefficient form of organization and that their
appearance might block the entire land reform. He noted that
if a cooperative goes bankrupt its members are likely to lose
the land they otherwise could have claimed for themselves. Spasov
said the BSP by sustaining collective forms of ownership is hoping
to reinforce its position in the countryside. Quoting Minister
of Agriculture Georgi Tanev, Zemya of 20 August says 18% of the
farm land has so far been reprivatized. -Kjell Engelbrekt

TIRANA JAILS ARE GETTING CROWDED. Local sources confirm that
Ramiz Alia, former Albanian president and Party of Labor general
secretary, has been jailed. Alia has been under house arrest
since last September with little talk of a trial. Zeri i Popullit,
the Socialist Party daily, also confirms that former politburo
members Foto Cami, Besnik Bekteshi, Vangjel Cerrava, and Pali
Miska have also been arrested. It now appears that Alia will
probably be tried alongside Socialist leader Fatos Nano for abuse
of office and misuse of funds, all relating to a scandal involving
humanitarian aid from Italy. Nano was recently disciplined for
violating prison rules. Gazeta Shqiptare reports on 18 August
that a copy of Zeri i Popullit was found in his cell; for this
infraction Nano was reportedly denied visitors for 10 days. -Robert
Austin and Louis Zanga

MOLDOVA PROTESTS RUSSIAN MILITARY MOVES. On 19 August Moldova's
Foreign Ministry handed the Russian Embassy in Chisinau a protest
note over the landing in Tiraspol of two Russian Army helicopters
not belonging to Russia's 14th Army in Moldova on a flight not
cleared with the Moldovan authorities. The note termed the action
"a planned move, destabilizing the situation in eastern Moldova,"
and aiming to illegally transfer arms to the Dniester secessionists,
Basapress reported. At a meeting on 18 August of the tripartite
Joint Control Commission, which nominally oversees the mainly
Russian peacekeeping forces in the disengagement zone in eastern
Moldova, the Moldovan delegation protested against the admission
of "Dniester republic" soldiers into barracks of Russian military
units in Bendery, in violation of the ceasefire agreement. The
note termed these cases "further proof of Russian Army support
for the secessionist forces," Moldovapres reports. -Vladimir
Socor

NATO OFFERS MOLDOVA CLOSER COOPERATION. A delegation from NATO,
led by Field Marshal Sir Richard Frederick Vincent, Chairman
of NATO's Military Committee, completed a two-day visit to Moldova,
Chisinau media reported on 19 August. The delegation proposed
cooperation between NATO and Moldova in jointly working out conflict
resolution, crisis management, and peacekeeping concepts, advance
training of Moldovan officers, military consulting, and other
forms of cooperation to be specified during a forthcoming visit
to NATO headquarters by a Moldovan military delegation. The NATO
delegation further noted the need to "overcome information blockages"
regarding the situation in Moldova. The Moldovan side stressed
that the stabilization of the situation in eastern Moldova requires
cessation of Russia's military and financial assistance to the
"Dniester republic" and the withdrawal of Russia's army from
Moldova. -Vladimir Socor

RUSSIAN FORCES TO STAY IN KLAIPEDA TILL OCTOBER. On 19 August
Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Pustatov, the commander of Russia's Third
Coastal Defense Division, told Radio Lithuania that he has received
orders from Defense Minister Pavel Grachev to form a 40-member
operations group to remain in Klaipeda until 15 October. The
remaining 1,500 troops and their equipment will leave the port
city before the 31 August deadline. Pustatov said that the group
would remain to complete the documentation transferring the division's
facilities to Lithuania and calculating environmental damages.
The group intends to remain in a wing of the division's premises,
where they recently equipped a radio station to maintain direct
contact with naval headquarters in Kaliningrad. -Saulius Girnius


VELLISTE SANGUINE ABOUT TROOP PULLOUT. Estonian Foreign Minister
Trivimi Velliste told Postimees that, despite recent harsh statements
from Moscow, he is confident that Russia will withdraw its troops
from Estonia by the end of 1993. Velliste said that while he
condemns such statements, his principal concern is to get the
Russian forces out of Estonia: "it's not that important for us
what kind of statements Russian politicians make." Currently
there are about 4,500-Russian servicemen in Estonia, and their
number appears to be decreasing, BNS reported on 19 August. -Dzintra
Bungs

SHUSHKEVICH, YELTSIN MEET. Russian President Boris Yeltsin met
with Belarusian Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich
in Moscow on 19 August, ITAR-TASS and Postfaktumradie reported.
Their discussions focused on the 7 September meeting of CIS heads
of state, the 28 August meeting of CIS government heads in Minsk,
bilateral relations, and, above all, the problem of energy supplies
from Russia. Ustina Markus

BRAZAUSKAS, YELTSIN TO MEET. On 19 August it was announced that
President Algirdas Brazauskas will meet with Boris Yeltsin in
Moscow on 23 August, Radio Lithuania reports. He will be accompanied
by Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys, National Defense Minister
Audrius Butkevicius, and Virgilijus Bulovas, the head of the
Lithuanian delegation for talks with Russia. The meeting has
aroused considerable opposition in Lithuania. Some delegation
members, dissatisfied with their effective removal from the negotiations,
considered resigning, but a majority did not approve the motion.
The delegation urged Lithuania to refrain from talks with Russia
until it stops exerting pressure by suspending its troop withdrawal.
On 20 August eight opposition parties issued a declaration saying
that Brazauskas should not sign any agreement with Yeltsin that
was not coordinated with them. -Saulius Girnius

UKRAINE, POLAND DISCUSS BORDERS. On 19 August Ukrainian Radio
reported that the first meeting of a Polish-Ukrainian working
group on border controls has been held in Lviv. The delegations
noted that controls are inefficient on both sides, creating lengthy
traffic delays. A number of propositions to help ease the traffic
at entry points were discussed. -Ustina Markus

KARBOVANETS PLUMMETS. With the value of the Ukrainian karbovanets
now being left up to traders on the currency exchange, its value
has plunged against the dollar. Last week the karbovanets stood
at nearly 6,000-to the dollar at the Central Bank's set rate,
but on 19-August it was trading at 19,000 to the dollar. Ukrainian
exporters, however, are required by a new law to sell half of
their hard currency earnings to the Central Bank at a fixed rate
of some 6,000 karbovantsy per dollar, Reuters reported. ITAR-TASS
says the government has announced that the introduction of the
hryvnya is not immediately possible because the government cannot
set up a hard currency fund to stabilize the new national currency.
-Ustina Markus [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Vladimir Socor and
Charles Trumbull





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