Eat to live, and not live to eat. - Benjamin Franklin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 168, 02 September 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



YELTSIN SUSPENDS RUTSKOI, SHUMEIKO. President Boris Yeltsin has
suspended his chief rival Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi and
his own ally First Deputy Prime Minister, Vladimir Shumeiko.
A presidential decree stripping both officials of their duties
appeared in ITAR-TASS on 1 September. The decree stated that
the two officials' mutual allegations of corruption were damaging
the government's authority and that both would be suspended temporarily,
pending results of a probe into these allegations. Shumeiko's
spokesman said that Shumeiko had asked for suspension himself
in order to have more time to deal with the corruption allegations
leveled against him. Yeltsin had previously deprived Rutskoi
of all his official functions but has no constitutional right
to formally dismiss him. Presidential spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov
said that since the suspensions are temporary, no question of
the constitutionality of Yeltsin's action arises. -Alexander
Rahr

REACTION TO SUSPENSION. Vice President Rutskoi said he will ignore
the president's decree on his temporary suspension and accused
Yeltsin of "putting himself above the constitution," ITAR-TASS
reported on 1 September. He added that the Constitutional Court
will deal with the issue. One day before Yeltsin issued the decree,
Rutskoi had told Selskaya zhizn that "Yeltsin was ruining Russia
by remaining in an endless state of drunkenness." Parliamentary
speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov has said that the decree was illegal
and that Yeltsin was attempting to set a "legal precedent" for
further actions against his opponents. He asserted that the parliament
would soon suspend the decree. He said, "even before the debate
on the decree in parliament, I declare that this decree is illegal
and shall not be obeyed." -Alexander Rahr

RYABOV ACCUSES KHASBULATOV OF PLANNING COUP. Deputy parliamentary
speaker Nikolai Ryabov told Megapolis-Ekspress (no. 34) that
certain parliamentary leaders were seeking to dismantle the institution
of presidency and set up "Soviet rule" in Russia. He warned that
a coup was being planned and accused speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov
of dictatorial ambitions. He maintained that Khasbulatov was
giving orders to local authorities to prepare a takeover of the
local soviets. He claimed that Khasbulatov wants to gain full
control over government affairs and that Khasbulatov already
supervises the operation of the central bank entirely. In his
opinion, early parliamentary elections were the only way out
of the present political crisis. -Alexander Rahr

YELTSIN SPOKESMAN EXPLAINS NEED FOR NEW FEDERATION COUNCIL. Yeltsin's
spokesman Anatolii Krasikov told an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow
on 30 August that Yeltsin was creating a new federation council
so that Russia's republics and regions could coordinate their
interests while waiting for a new constitution and a new election
law. Krasikov was responding to a statement to Interfax on 31
August by deputy parliamentary chairman Yuri Voronin, who said
that the existing federation council continues to function and
to discuss important issues and that, if someone dislikes it,
steps should be taken to improve it and not create a new, unconstitutional
body. The existing council was set up on 17-July 1990 by a decree
of the parliament's presidium signed by Yeltsin himself (who
was then chairman of the parliament), but Krasikov said Yeltsin
felt the regions needed other representation than in a body set
up by a parliament elected under the Brezhnev constitution. -Ann
Sheehy

INFLATION UP IN AUGUST. The Ministry of Finance has announced
that the inflation rate in August rose to 25-30%, ITAR-TASS reported
on 1 September. Reasons given for this increase included the
banknote exchange of late July, a concomitant rush to unload
old rubles on consumer durables, the jump in prices of energy-carriers
and transportation charges, and the softening of credit policy
in connection with the harvest. A specialist of the Center for
Economic and Political Research (Epitsentr) is quoted by Izvestiya
of the same date as warning that concessions to the "agricultural
lobby" over state purchase prices for grain have driven these
close to world prices. This, together with the removal of subsidies,
will lead to a tripling of food prices by the end of the year.
-Keith Bush

CHEVRON RECEIVES GO-AHEAD FOR TENGIZ PIPELINE. Chevron Corporation
has received approval from the Russian parliament for a proposed
$1.2 billion pipeline from the Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan
to the port of Novorossiisk, The Wall Street Journal and an RFE/RL
correspondent in Moscow reported on 1 September. The 960-kilometer
route was selected in order to reduce overall costs and to minimize
environmental problems by using existing Russian pipeline along
certain sections. Russia would collect transit fees for the oil
shipped. However, many financial, technical, and diplomatic problems
must be resolved before the pipeline is built. -Keith Bush

RUSSIA'S "NATURAL ALLIES." An article in the current issue (no.
35) of the liberal weekly Novoe Vremya by Pavel Baev offers an
analysis of Russia's international peacekeeping objectives. Baev
notes that governments of newly independent states of the former
Soviet Union are being opposed from within by ethnic separatists,
who are "natural allies" of Russia and look to Russia for support.
In such situations, for example in the "Dniester republic," Ossetia,
and now probably Abkhazia, Baev notes, Russia is "sacrificing
the principle of the inviolability of borders in supporting the
separatists," "freezing front lines into de facto borders," and
"protecting them with its battalions." Echoing the views of some
Russian liberal officials, Baev calls for changing the borders
through plebiscite by "the population living at the given moment
on a given territory" in order to avoid continued interethnic
bloodshed. -Suzanne Crow and Vladimir Socor

DISAVOWALS ON BURBULIS VISIT TO JAPAN. President Yeltsin's press
service issued a statement on 1 September declaring that he had
not empowered anyone to carry out negotiations on the part of
Russia with Japan, Ostankino Television reported. "Any announcements
or meetings of individuals visiting Japan on the eve of the visit
are outside the confines of official negotiations and cannot
be viewed as anything other than statements and meetings of private
individuals," the statement said. Former presidential adviser
Gennadi Burbulis flew to Japan on 1 September for what some suspected
was back-channel diplomacy with Japan. -Suzanne Crow

KOZYREV ON BOSNIA. Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev met with Thorvald
Stoltenberg and David Owen, co-chairmen of the Coordinating Committee
of the Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, on 1 September in
Geneva. "We tried to map out some coordinated moves to bring
the current negotiating process to successful completion," Kozyrev
told reporters after the meeting. He also stressed that Russia
fully supports the efforts being made by the co-chairmen. Kozyrev
expressed the view that mutual concessions are necessary to stop
the war, ITAR-TASS reported. -Suzanne Crow

VIKTOR BARANNIKOV EXPLAINS RETIREMENT. Nezavisinaya gazeta of
1 September published a letter from the former minister of security,
Viktor Barannikov, to President Yeltsin, in which he rejected
the official explanation for his dismissal in July. Barannikov
wrote that "ultra-radicals" demanding action against political
groups opposing the government were involved in his ouster. He
said he refused to let the Ministry of Security become embroiled
in the nation's political struggles. Others pressing for his
retirement were "corrupt officials", who have gained serious
political influence, added Barannikov. Barannikov also claimed
that his "retirement" was prepared already in December of last
year, following a speech Barannikov gave on corruption to the
Russian parliament. In this speech he revealed corruption in
the Ministry of Mineral Fertilizers. Although Barannikov did
not mention any names, he may have been referring to the controversial
Dmitrii Yakubovskii, who recently supported corruption charges
against the Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi. Yakubovskii was
the representative of the Ministry of Mineral Fertilizers in
Zurich in 1991. -Victor Yasmann

CIS

YELTSIN, KRAVCHUK SUMMIT ISSUES. Presidents Boris Yeltsin and
Leonid Kravchuk are set to meet on 3 September near Yalta in
another attempt to resolve the division of the Black Sea Fleet,
Russian claims to Sevastopol, and economic relations between
to two countries, ITAR-TASS and AFP reported on 1 and 2-September.
Details of the meeting's agenda have not been made available,
but it is known that Ukraine's Minister of Defense, Konstantin
Morozov, is to be present at the talks. The two presidents had
met outside of Moscow in June to discuss the Black Sea Fleet
issue and agreed on a 50:50 division of the Fleet. Since then,
the Russian parliament voted that the port of Sevastopol in Ukraine
was a Russian city, and officials on both sides have voiced their
belief that the proposed 50:50 split was not practical. In addition
to these unresolved differences, Ukraine is likely to bring up
Russia's moves towards charging world prices for its gas and
oil which are exacerbating Ukraine's current economic crisis.
Ukraine's failure to ratify the START-1 and NPT agreements are
also likely to be touched on at the summit meeting. -Ustina Markus


TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



GRACHEV IN TBILISI. Talks in Tbilisi on 1 September between Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and highranking Georgian officials
resulted in an agreement on the continued stationing of Russian
troops in Georgia, ITAR-TASS reported. Responding to Grachev's
proposal to reduce substantially the Russian military presence,
Georgian Prime Minister Otar Patsatsia pleaded for Russian troops
to remain, AFP reported. How many of the 20,000 Russian troops
now in Georgia will remain, and for how long, was not disclosed;
under the terms of an agreement reached several months ago they
were due to be withdrawn by the end of 1995. -Liz Fuller

AZERBAIJAN SCHEDULES NEW PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. On 1 September
the Azerbaijani parliament voted to endorse the final results
of the 29 August referendum, in which 97.5 per cent of the electorate
expressed their lack of confidence in President Abulfaz Elchibey,
ITAR-TASS reported. The parliament also voted to schedule new
presidential elections for 3-October, Azerbaijani Television
reported. -Liz Fuller

KARABAKH ROUNDUP. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry stated on
1 September that Azerbaijani troops had abandoned the town of
Kubatli under pressure from Karabakh Armenian forces, Reuters
reported. However, a spokesman for the Nagorno-Karabakh government
quoted by ITAR-TASS claimed that its forces were withdrawing
from up to 30-villages in Kubatli raion as a gesture of good
will in compliance with an appeal by Armenian President Levon
Ter-Petrossyan, and intended to observe a ceasefire agreement
signed on 31 August. The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned media
reports that Iran had sent troops to Azerbaijan to help protect
economic installations near the Azerbaijani-Iranian border, according
to ITAR-TASS. Speaking in Ankara, Turkish President Suleyman
Demirel affirmed that Turkey would continue to provide Azerbaijan
with material, moral and political support, and predicted that
"sooner or later" Armenian forces would be constrained to withdraw
from Azerbaijani territory, Reuters reported. -Liz Fuller

CORRECTION. In the 31 August Daily Report, Aleksandr Zaveryukha
was incorrectly referred to as Russia's Minister of Agriculture.
He is in fact Deputy Prime Minister in charge of agricultural
affairs.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



GENEVA TALKS BREAK DOWN. International media reported on 1 September
that the Bosnian negotiations collapsed because of Muslim territorial
demands that are unacceptable to the Serbs or Croats. The Muslims
insisted that they wanted only what President Alija Izetbegovic
called "an economically and politically viable state," the Los
Angeles Times reports on 2 September, but mediator Lord Owen
noted that "they all want more territory than either of the others
are prepared to give." Vjesnik and Vecernji list point out that
the main stumbling block was Muslim demands for the Bosnian Croat
port of Neum as access to the Adriatic, and Hina quotes Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman as saying that there is "no point" in
the talks continuing and that fighting would now go on. Izetbegovic
blamed "those who have benefited most from this war" for not
making "most basic compromises," but Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic warned him that the Muslims could now face a partition
of Bosnia between the Serbs and Croats alone. Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic, for his part, said that the draft plan is
still on the table and appealed for the sanctions against Serbia
to be lifted. The Washington Post quotes Lord Owen as warning
that "fragmentation, anarchy, warlords, and chaos" are the likely
immediate future for Bosnia, and the Wall Street Journal has
him adding: "who knows what will happen" next? -Patrick Moore


SERBIAN OPPOSITION SKEPTICAL. On 1 September Vuk Draskovic, the
head of the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), told reporters
in Belgrade that the Geneva peace plan would legitimize ethnic
cleansing and genocide, of which he said the Bosnian Serbs, Muslims,
and Croats are guilty. He predicted that the war will continue
regardless of whether the Muslims eventually sign the peace accord.
He believes they will receive military and financial backing
from Islamic states that could lead to the creation of a Muslim
state and bring fundamentalism to Bosnia-although he added that
the vast majority of Bosnian Muslims still do not want this.
Draskovic also accused top-ranking officials in the ruling Socialist
Party (SPS) and the Serbian Radical Party of having deposited
as much as $15-billion in foreign banks over the past three years.
Meanwhile Vojislav Kostunica, leader of the Democratic Party
of Serbia, said the SPS is most to blame for the current economic
and social crisis in Serbia and for having failed to end corruption
and crime. Regarding opposition parties, Kostunica declared that
DEPOS (whose members include the DSS and SPO) no longer exists
as a coalition, but he did not elaborate. Belgrade TV and radio
carried the reports. -Milan Andrejevich

DROUGHT RACKS SERBIA. Serbian Radio and TV report that this year's
heat wave is the worst in 70 years. Officials say the weather
has decimated production in Vojvodina, the country's chief grain-growing
area. The average corn yield will be a scant 1.5 instead of the
expected 2.5 tons per acre, and the sugar beet and soybean yields
will be reduced by a third compared with 1992. Farmers also complain
of shortages of pesticides, fertilizers, fuel, and spare parts
because of international sanctions. Experts say this year's drought
is worse than in 1992, when some $3 billion was lost. The levels
of the rivers Sava and Velika Morava are at their lowest in nearly
a century, and widespread water shortages are reported in Kosovo.
Many mountain springs and rivers have also dried up in southern
Serbia and Montenegro, with potentially serious consequences,
although public health officials report that so far there are
no major signs of an outbreak of contagious diseases. -Milan
Andrejevich

KOSOVO UPDATE. Police raids were reported in Kosovska Mitrovica
on 27 August. At least 130 houses were searched, but the police
found no arms. Allegedly the police told the inhabitants to leave
the village within three months or be driven out, ATA reports.
Elsewhere, Kosovar leader Ibrahim Rugova charged the police with
killing a youngster because he was member of a human rights group,
Borba and ATA said on 27 and 28 August. The police also arrested
about 100 Albanians in Prizren who had contact with CSCE monitors
and maltreated several of them. Rugova said that since the monitors
left on 30 July "the Serbian police feel free to do anything,"
the Guardian reports on 2 September. On the occasion of the beginning
of the new school year, Rilindja adds on 1 September that since
1990 eighteen pupils, two teachers, one principal, and three
parents have died as a result of "Serbian terror." Many other
teachers and pupils have allegedly been maltreated, while 140
teachers and 6 pupils were sent to prison for between 20 and
60 days each. Borba adds on 30 August that an Albanian round-table
organized by a group close to Rugova's party concluded that "the
Albanian question in the Balkans will be solved in the framework
of [setting up] new spheres of interest in Europe and the Balkans,
and that the Albanians will go with those who offer more." -Fabian
Schmidt

CZECHS, GERMANS FAIL TO SIGN READMISSION TREATY. German Interior
Minister Manfred Kanther and his Czech counterpart Jan Ruml failed
to sign the so-called readmission treaty that would allow German
authorities to return illegal immigrants entering German territory
via the Czech Republic, CTK reports on 1-September. The point
of contention is the question who will determine which asylum-seekers
entered Germany through the Czech Republic. While Kanther insists
on returning even those illegal immigrants who were caught on
German territory, Ruml is willing to accept only those who were
identified while trying to cross the border. Ruml informed journalists
after the meeting in Bonn that the German side will prepare a
document that will serve as a basis for further talks. -Jan Obrman


HAVEL IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Czech President Vaclav Havel participated
in a meeting commemorating Ludwig Czech, the former Chairman
of Sudeten German Social Democrats in the interwar period, Czech
TV reported on 1 September. The ceremony, held on the site of
the Terezin concentration camp where Czech died in 1942, was
also attended by Austrian Prime Minister Franz Vranitzky and
the leader of the German Social Democrats in the Bundestag, Hans-Jochen
Vogel. Havel praised Ludwig Czech as a symbol of all that is
positive in Czech-German relations and said that he helped to
establish modern democracy in Czechoslovakia. Havel also said
that only for "undemocratic minds" are minority questions a reason
for violent confrontations. In a separate development, Mlada
Fronta Dnes has published a list of all of Havel's private property,
including restaurants and houses in Prague. In an interview,
Havel stressed that the public has a right to know about his
assets and urged other politicians to also reveal information
on their property, "a common practice in many countries." Havel
said that he has been both poor and rich many times in his life
and that neither situation constituted a problem for him. -Jan
Obrman

MECIAR ON MINORITIES;-.-.-. At a meeting in Bratislava organized
on 1 September by the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia,
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar criticized leaders of the Magyar
minority in Slovakia for sending a letter to the Council of Europe
complaining about the government's unkept promises on minority
rights. Local media report Meciar as saying that the ethnic Hungarians'
accusations are "false and misleading." "The Hungarian minority
in Slovakia cannot be hostage to the Hungarian politicians,"
he said. Commenting on recent purchases of arms by Hungary, Meciar
said that "there is no immediate danger to Slovakia; we have
everything we need to safeguard our security." The premier also
explained the decision to recall the ambassador to Austria, Rudolf
Filkus. According to Meciar, the Slovak Foreign Minister warned
Filkus repeatedly to stop making "antigovernment statements,"
but Filkus failed to heed the warnings. -Jiri Pehe

.-.-.-SLOBODNIK, ZELENAY ON THE MEDIA. At the same MDS meeting,
Culture Minister Dusan Slobodnik said that "it is sad that Slovak
TV and Slovak Radio are not under the jurisdiction of his ministry"
(both institutions have the status of public corporations). Slovak
TV and Radio give "too much space to the opposition," Slobodnik
said, despite the fact that their editors are de facto paid by
the state. The minister said that he is not asking these media
to praise the government, but only to be objective. He asked
citizens to put pressure on the editors to stop them from giving
a negative picture of Slovakia. MDS Vice Chairman Roman Zelenay
termed the media organs "Anti-Slovak Television and Radio" and
called Milan Markovic, TV satire writer, "a Judas." Zelenay said
that the government is completing work on a draft law that would
unify Slovak TV and Slovak Radio, "which would make them more
objective." He also argued that Slovakia must establish a ministry
of information, because "it is necessary to make propaganda even
outside Slovakia." -Jiri Pehe

US CONSULATE IN CLUJ? THE UNITED STATES HOPES TO OPEN A NEW CONSULATE
IN THE TRANSYLVANIAN CITY, AN EMBASSY SPOKESMAN SAID ON 1 SEPTEMBER.
One day earlier Radio Bucharest said the spokesman had confirmed
the "general accuracy" of the intention to open the consulate
in Cluj, confirming a dispatch broadcast by RFE/RL's Romanian
Service on 31-August. The embassy spokesman said the US has "a
lot of interests" in the "center of Transylvania," mentioning
"geographical, political, [and] commercial" interests, as well
as issues pertaining to "human rights." Reuters, which quoted
the spokesman, emphasized that Cluj is the base of the hard-line
Romanian nationalists of the Party of Romanian National Unity,
which have antagonized Romania's large Magyar minority. On the
same day in Budapest, at the end of a private visit, Hungarian-born
US congressman Tom Lantos confirmed that the State Department
plans to open an office in Cluj in December. In a related development,
a spokesman for the Romanian ministry of foreign affairs said
on 1 September that a recent memorandum submitted by the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania to Catherine Lalumiere, secretary-general
of the Council of Europe, was "unacceptable" and added the Romanian
authorities may yet react to the memorandum. The document, he
said, questions Romania's constitution, which defines the country
as a national unitary state. Radio Bucharest said on 1 September
that Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu has sent a letter
to the Council of Europe, describing the "real" situation of
the country's national minorities. -Michael Shafir and Judith
Pataki

MOLDOVAN-ROMANIAN ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS. On 1 September in Bucharest
the prime ministers of Moldova and Romania, Andrei Sangheli and
Nicolae Vacaroiu, signed a package of economic agreements. The
most important concerns a Romanian credit worth 20-billion lei
($20 million) for purchases of Romanian goods. The terms of repayment
have not as yet been clarified, and the credit is subject to
approval by the Romanian parliament. Another agreement deals
with Romanian fuel deliveries to Moldova in exchange for Moldovan
agricultural products in 1993. No amounts were mentioned, but
the figures mentioned during the preliminary discussions were
modest. A third agreement concerns the utilization of parts of
Romania's fund for integration with Moldova which is worth a
total of $6 million. The agreements represent a much scaled-down
version of Romanian President Ion Iliescu's offer of "fraternal
assistance" to Moldova last month. -Vladimir Socor

SNEGUR-YELTSIN MEETING. Russian and Moldovan Presidents Boris
Yeltsin and Mircea Snegur held talks in the Kremlin on 1 September.
A press statement from Yeltsin's office said the two discussed
the ongoing negotiations concerning Russia's 14th Army in Moldova
and the settlement of the situation "in the Dniester region of
the Republic of Moldova." Yeltsin stressed that the settlement
"must involve the granting of a special legal status" to that
region and at the same time "the strict observance of Moldova's
independence and territorial integrity." -Vladimir Socor

BULGARIAN DEPUTY PREMIER TO RESIGN? BTA REPORTS ON 2 SEPTEMBER
THAT DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER NEYCHO NEEV IS CONSIDERING LEAVING
THE CABINET. According to a statement by government spokesman
Raycho Raykov, Neev has asked to be relieved of his duties as
chairman of the Committee on Energy and will "in all likelihood"
hand in his resignation as deputy premier on 3 September. Last
week Neev was sharply criticized, especially by trade union leader
Konstantin Trenchev, for having put Bulgaria's policy toward
the Balkan war at risk by unofficially meeting with four top
representatives of rump Yugoslavia. -Kjell Engelbrekt

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT DEFERS CRUCIAL VOTES. On 1 September, a
heated debate, broadcast live by Radio Ukraine, on the emergency
economic reform program proposed by Leonid Kuchma's government
resulted in the postponement of the crucial vote for at least
several weeks. Kuchma's motion that no more time be wasted and
his government's proposed measures be voted on was defeated.
Instead, spurred on by Speaker Ivan Plyushch, (who nevertheless
sidestepped a call for a vote of no-confidence in Kuchma's government),
two-thirds of the deputies decided to refer the government's
proposal for further review to the parliamentary commissions
and to return to them not earlier than 21 September. Parliament
has also still not voted on the other major issue before it:
whether to go ahead with a referendum on confidence in the parliament
and president or to call early elections. In the meantime, there
are signs that the miners in the Donbas are considering renewing
their strike action. The leader of the democratic opposition
movement Rukh, Vyacheslav Chornovil, also announced on 1-September
that Rukh is calling for protests and strikes to force parliament
to call new elections, Ukrainian media report. -Bohdan Nahaylo


SECOND LITHUANIA-POLAND CUSTOMS POST OPENED. On 1 September the
post at Kalvarija-Budziski was officially opened, Radio Lithuania
reports. The Lithuanian, Polish, and Finnish transportation ministers
participated at the ceremonies. Only cargo traffic not requiring
veterinary or sanitary checks will be allowed to use the post,
although in order to reduce delays at the other customs post
at Lazdijai-Ogrodniki during Pope John Paul II's visit to the
Baltic States on 4-10 September, beginning on 2 September religious
pilgrims will also be permitted to travel through Kalvarija.
Expectations that the Lithuanian and Polish prime ministers would
open the post were dashed when negotiators failed to resolve
remaining differences in a cooperation and good neighbor treaty.
-Saulius Girnius

BELARUS FOREIGN MINISTER IN LITHUANIA. On 1-September Pyotr Krauchanka
arrived in Vilnius for a two-day visit, Radio Lithuania reports.
He participated in the opening of the first Belarusian-language
secondary school in Lithuania. On 2 September he is scheduled
to hold talks with President Algirdas Brazauskas, Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius, and Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys on improving
trade and economic cooperation as well as on the delineation
of the border between the two countries. No agreements are expected
to be signed. -Saulius Girnius

BELARUS INCHES TOWARDS MARKET REFORM. The Supreme Soviet confirmed
a privatization program for state assets, Radiefakt reported
on 31 August. Details of the scheme were not broadcast, but it
is thought to state the objectives of privatization, outline
the method of organizing the process, and delineate which enterprises
are included in the program. In another move directed at market
reform, prices were raised for communication services on 1 September,
ITAR-TASS reports. Installation fees and monthly payments have
been increased, as have the costs of local and long-distance
calls. Prices of postal services have also doubled, and registered
mail will now cost ten times as much as before. -Ustina Markus


GERMANY DONATES SHIPS TO LATVIA. On 31-August German Ambassador
Hagen von Lambsdorff handed over five German naval vessels and
6,000-uniforms to Latvian defense officials, BNS reports. The
ships are two mine-sweepers and three rocket ships from which
the weapons have been removed. Latvian Navy Commander Gaidis
Zeibots thanked Lambsdorff for the ships, which will be used
to patrol the coast to prevent illegal immigration and drug trafficking
-Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Erik Whitlock and Charles Trumbull











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