The last of the human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way. - Victor Frankl
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 174, 10 September 1993







RUSSIA



YELTSIN SETS UP GROUP TO FINISH WORK ON CONSTITUTION. President
Boris Yeltsin issued a resolution on 9 September setting up a
working group to reconcile the draft constitution worked out
by the Constitutional Assembly and the latest draft put forward
by the parliament. The new group is headed by deputy chairman
of the parliament, Nikolai Ryabov, and consists of 15 members
of the parliament's Constitutional Commission. The group includes
the commission's secretary Oleg Rumyantsev, who is the primary
author of the parliament's draft constitution, but does not include
parliamentary speaker Khasbulatov. (The majority in the parliament
insists that Khasbulatov should take part in the preparation
of the final draft.) ITAR-TASS reported that Yeltsin's resolution
instructs the working group to submit its recommendations to
the president by 15 September. -Vera Tolz

YELTSIN REMOVES ZORKIN'S PRIVILEGES. President Yeltsin's Kremlin
guard, or Main Protection Directorate, has taken over the official
dacha of Valerii Zorkin, chairman of Russia's Constitutional
Court, Reuters reported on 9 September. Zorkin, a critic of Yeltsin,
had been stripped of most of his official privileges in June.
The closure of the dacha mirrors similar actions taken against
Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, the most recent of which was
the closure of the vice president's offices in the Kremlin. According
to ITAR-TASS of 9-September, Prosecutor General Valentin Stepankov
has written to both Rutskoi and Yeltsin warning that the actions
of the Kremlin guard were illegal and violated the constitution.
Yeltsin's suspension of Rutskoi has been referred by the parliament
to the Constitutional Court. -Wendy Slater

SHAKHRAI'S AMBITIONS. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai is
the author of the presidential decree on the temporary suspension
of Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi and First Deputy Prime Minister
Vladimir Shumeiko, Moskovskie novosti (no. 37) reported. According
to the newspaper, the head of the presidential apparatus, Sergei
Filatov, had prepared a less radical decree but Yeltsin chose
Shakhrai's version. The newspaper speculated that Shakhrai hopes
that if early presidential elections take place Yeltsin would
select Shakhrai as a running mate. Shakhrai may even hope to
become a kind of acting Vice President during Rutskoi's suspension,
the newspaper stated, and added that Shakhrai managed to remove
one of his most serious rivals in the democrats' camp, Shumeiko,
from the political arena. It said Shakhrai is presently trying,
in alliance with presidential advisor Sergei Stankevich, to form
a strong political party for his support. -Alexander Rahr

REGROUPING OF POLITICAL FORCES. As a reaction to the announcement
of former Secretary of the Security Council Yurii Skokov to set
up a new political organization "Concord for Fatherland," the
leaders of two other influential political blocs-the head of
the liberal-oriented bloc "Russia's choice," Egor Gaidar, and
the chief of the Industrial Party, Arkadii Volsky-met in the
Kremlin and agreed to form jointly a new centrist bloc to counter
Skokov's attempt to occupy the political center, Moskovskie novosti
(no. 37) reported. The newspaper also said that Yeltsin's entourage
became alarmed about the results of a recent public opinion poll
which showed that economist Grigorii Yavlinsky was more trusted
by the population than Yeltsin and other politicians. Yeltsin,
the newspaper speculated, may now offer Yavlinsky a job in the
government. -Alexander Rahr

HITCHES IN CREATION OF FEDERATION COUNCIL. The signing of the
agreement on the creation of the Federation Council, which Yeltsin's
head of administration Sergei Filatov had said on 31 August was
scheduled for this week, has obviously not taken place as planned.
The soviets of some regions have rejected the idea, and even
those regions that in principle support the creation of the council
often have reservations about the draft agreement. Pravda of
4 September reported, for instance, that the chairmen of six
oblast soviets of the Black Earth region, in response to an order
from Filatov to telegraph their approval of the agreement by
3 September, said they were preparing their own, alternative
agreement and that they regarded it as crucial that the council
should consist only of the leaders of representative and executive
power of the subjects of the federation, with the possible participation
in its work of the Russian president, parliamentary head, and
prime minister. In other words, this plan meant that the president
should not chair the council. A similar view has been voiced
by other regions. -Ann Sheehy

MEASURES TO SALVAGE ENERGY SECTOR APPROVED. The Presidium of
the Council of Ministers has approved a program to alleviate
the crisis in Russia's energy and fuel industries in 1994 and
1995, according to ITAR-TASS on 9 September. Few details were
provided, and the plan does not envisage halting the tumble in
the most troubled industry of the sector, oil, within the coming
year. On 8 September an oil industry research group told energy
ministers from various states of the CIS that Russian oil extraction
would amount to about 327 million tons in 1994. This compares
to the 340-350 million tons expected this year and the 570-million
tons extracted each year in 1987 and 1988. The Russian Ministry
of Economics reported on 9 September that the continued drop
in oil production would mean some cuts in exports in 1994 and
that these cuts would primarily be at the expense of other nations
of the former Soviet Union. -Erik Whitlock

RUSSIA'S EXTERNAL DEBT. Russia's total external debt stood at
$72.5 billion at the end of the first quarter of 1993, Reuters
reported on 9 September, citing a document released by the Russian
Central Bank. The figure was said to include $4.7 billion in
overdue interest payments. Comparable figures for 1 January 1993
were given as $74.6 billion and $2.8 billion. These magnitudes
are somewhat lower than most Western estimates. It was not stipulated
whether the figures applied to the total debt of the former Soviet
Union nor whether commercial arrears had been included. -Keith
Bush

CIS

KAZLOUSKI ON BELARUS ENTRY INTO CIS SECURITY PACT. In an interview
published in Vo slavu Rodiny on 9 September, Belarusian Defense
Minister Paval Kazlouski, put forth the terms under which Belarus
would enter into the CIS collective security pact. While supporting
Belarusian participation in the pact he emphasized that should
the agreement be ratified by parliament, Belarusian servicemen
would not do duty in any CIS "hot spots" beyond the republic's
borders. In the case of external conflicts, Belarus's role would
be to help through political initiatives. He went on to say that
the events which would induce Belarus to participate in military
operations would not come from far away conflicts in the east,
but would be on its western frontiers. Although the Belarusian
parliament voted to join the collective security pact last April,
the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Stanislau Shushkevich, has
refused to sign the agreement, saying that it is a betrayal of
national sovereignty. -Ustina Markus

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



MORE RUSSIAN TROOPS TO TAJIKISTAN. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev met with Tajik leaders in Dushanbe on 9 September, after
telling correspondents that several thousand more Russian troops
would be sent to Tajikistan to reinforce the approximately 15,000
who are already there to protect the Tajik-Afghan border, Russian
and Western news agencies reported. Kozyrev said that he had
urged Tajikistan's leadership to begin a dialog with the Tajik
opposition. Armed opposition groups headquartered in Afghanistan
are largely responsible for the fighting on the border. Tajik
Foreign Minister Rashid Alimov, speaking to the same correspondents,
said the Tajik government refuses to have anything to do with
the "government-in-exile" set up by Tajik oppositionists, calling
it a group of criminals. -Bess Brown

AKAEV OPENS SLAVONIC UNIVERSITY. Kyrgyzstan's President Askar
Akaev formally opened a Slavonic University in Bishkek on 9 September,
ITAR-TASS reported. The university is a centerpiece of Akaev's
efforts to induce Kyrgyzstan's Russian-speaking population not
to leave the country, taking their professional, administrative,
and technical skills with them. Thousands of Russian-speakers
have already left Kyrgyzstan, largely, Akaev said, because they
saw no future in the Central Asian state. His remarks appear
to have been aimed at Kyrgyz nationalists who have criticized
him for insufficient commitment to defending Kyrgyz national
interests. -Bess Brown

KOZYREV ON RUSSIAN LANGUAGE. After his visit in Dushanbe, Kozyrev
traveled to Kyrgyzstan where he made a speech on 9 September
at the opening of the Slavonic University in Bishkek. Kozyrev
hailed the opening of the new university, but lamented that lately
he had perceived attempts artificially to limit the sphere in
which the Russian language is used in some former Soviet republics.
This recalled the "persecution of the Slavonic languages in Europe
in the Middle Ages," Kozyrev said. He expressed the hope that
a reasonable and farsighted approach toward the Russian language
would prevail in Central Asia. He admitted that his statements
left him vulnerable to charges of "language imperialism." In
any case, Kozyrev said, if that is imperialism, it is precisely
the kind of imperialism that serves the interests of all the
peoples of Central Asia (at a minimum-the Russian and Russian
speaking population of the region), ITAR-TASS reported. -Suzanne
Crow

RUSSIA/TURKEY/US/KARABAKH. Speaking at a news conference in Moscow
on 9-September at the end of her official visit, Turkish Prime
Minister Tansu Ciller stated that Turkey and Russia are in agreement
over the need for joint action to bring about a withdrawal of
Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani territory, according
to The New York Times of 10 September. Russia failed, however,
to agree to a Turkish proposal to deploy joint Russian-Turkish
peacekeeping forces in the region. Also on 9 September, the Armenian
Foreign Ministry released the text of a letter dated 3 September
from US Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Armenian Foreign
Minister Vahan Papazyan. As summarized by ITAR-TASS, the letter
expresses concern over the unjustified occupation of Azerbaijani
territory by Armenian forces and calls for "a more constructive
approach" on the part of the Karabakh Armenians to peace negotiations.
An informal meeting of the CSCE Minsk group opened in Moscow
on 9 September to discuss the timetable for implementing the
peace plan drawn up on the basis of UN resolutions 822 and 853,
ITAR-TASS reported. -Liz Fuller

ARMENIA ACCUSES UKRAINE OF ARMING AZERBAIJAN. Armenia's foreign
ministry declared that it has evidence that Azerbaijan is getting
military equipment from Ukraine and is demanding an explanation
from Kiev, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 9 September. The
equipment allegedly includes tanks and aircraft. Neither Baku
nor Kiev have commented on the report. -Ustina Markus

GEORGIA ACCUSED OF JEOPARDIZING ABKHAZ CEASEFIRE. On 9 September
Russian members of the tripartite commission monitoring compliance
with the ceasefire agreement of 27 July accused Georgia of undermining
it by delaying the withdrawal of military hardware from the region
and thus facilitating the theft of a consignment of weapons by
followers of ousted Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia, ITAR-TASS
reported. The Russian contingent also protested the refusal of
Georgian villagers to release five Russians taken hostage on
7-September while examining the wreckage of a Russian transport
helicopter downed in January. A Georgian official disclaimed
any responsibility for the actions of Gamsakhurdia supporters
and affirmed his government's support for the withdrawal of illegal
armed groups from the conflict zone and full compliance with
the ceasefire. -Liz Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



KUCHMA RESIGNS. Ukrainian Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma and his
cabinet offered their resignations on 9-September, various agencies
report. In a statement broadcast by Ukrainian Radio, Kuchma said
he is resigning because he does not have the authority to implement
economic reform, without which the country risks losing its independence.
The resignation letter was addressed to President Leonid Kravchuk,
but the president has not immediately accepted it, saying that
the prime minister's resignation is a matter for the parliament.
Kuchma's resignation comes as no surprise, since he had already
offered to step down in May. Parliament would not accept his
offer. Many nationalists have been opposed to Kuchma because
he called for greater economic cooperation with Russia as a way
of helping Ukraine out of its economic crisis. He has come under
criticism from many sides for his proposed economic reforms and
does not have a large enough support group in parliament to push
through his plans after his special powers to implement reform
were not renewed in May. -Ustina Markus

CORRUPTION SCANDAL HITS HUNGARIAN BANKING. Finance Minister Ivan
Szabo told Radio Budapest on 8 September that a series of corruption
cases involving a total 20 billion forint ($210 million) has
been uncovered by the police and will soon be dealt with by the
courts. He provided no names of particular individuals and banks,
but the head of the criminal division of Hungary's national police
directorate has already announced a number of arrests and the
recovery of 2.5 billion forint. Some 25 to 30 banks and bank
branches in Budapest and the provinces are implicated in irregularities
in the loan-granting sector. Banking officials were caught by
surprise by the announcements and expressed fear that the news
may cause a run by depositors on Hungary's banks. The affair
is the number one topic in the Hungarian press, which is speculating
about how many banking officials will resign or retire in the
next few days. -Alfred Reisch

ANTALL'S HEALTH. Government spokeswoman Judit Juhasz told the
press on 9 September of the recommendations of the team of doctors
that has been treating Prime Minister Jozsef Antall since late
1990 for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In the next few months the premier
will be unable to work for periods of 4-5 days at times planned
in advance in under to undergo medical treatment, Radio Budapest
reports on 9 September. The treatment will not prevent Antall
from carrying out the duties of his office, Juhasz said. During
Antall's absence, Interior Minister Peter Boross or other designated
ministers will substitute for him. Antall and the ruling Hungarian
Democratic Forum party he leads are facing crucial general elections
in the spring. -Alfred Reisch

ROMANIAN NATIONALISTS URGE BAN ON JESZENSZKY VISIT. The Party
of Romanian National Unity has urged the government to cancel
next week's visit by Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky.
In a statement broadcast over Radio Bucharest on 9 September
the PRNU said that the visit should be canceled because of the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania's memorandum to the
Council of Europe. The Chamber of Deputies debated the memorandum
on the same day, and all deputies except those representing the
HDFR attacked it. The chamber decided to send the records of
the debate to the CE. Reacting to the PRNU demand, a spokesman
for the Foreign Ministry said the visit must take place as planned.
The spokesman, Avram Tura, however used language clearly aimed
at soothing the PRNU, saying that the ministry "understands"
its concerns, which were said to be "shared by [all] political
forces and Romanian public opinion." In a related development,
the PRNU vice president Ioan Gavra said at a press conference
in Bucharest that local authorities in Cluj (whose mayor is PRNU
president Gheorghe Funar) will never allow Hungary to open a
consulate there, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 9 September.
Gavra added that the party does not object to the opening of
a US consulate, provided no Hungarian-Americans are on its staff.
At the same press conference, according to Radio Bucharest, Gavra
said his party wants to join the government and the issue will
be discussed with Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu next week. If no agreement
is reached, the PRNU will withdraw support in parliament for
Vacaroiu's cabinet. -Michael Shafir

KEY REFORMER RESIGNS IN ROMANIA. The Financial Times reported
on 9 September that Aurelian Dochia, head of the privatization
agency has resigned, adding to the uncertainty over the commitment
of the Vacaroiu cabinet to reform and rapid privatization. Dochia's
departure follows the resignation of Misu Negritoiu, minister
of state in charge of economic strategy, and the dismissal of
Emilian Ijdelea, president of the Romanian Development Agency,
on 28 August. Dochia said the state has so far sold only 1% of
the equity in the 6,280 state companies earmarked for privatization,
although the 1991 privatization law stipulates that 10% should
be sold each year. In an interview with the daily Jurnalul national
on 9-September, Dochia said his resignation had been triggered
by the intention to set up a ministry for privatization which,
he opined, would "negatively impact the process of privatization"
in Romania. -Michael Shafir

FIRST PERMANENT EC MISSION TO ROMANIA. Karen Fogg, the head of
the first permanent mission of the European Community, has arrived
in Bucharest to assume her post, Radio Bucharest reported on
8 September. Fogg, who carries the rank of EC ambassador, said
her mission signals the beginning of a better relationship between
Romania and the EC, and that Romania was likely to receive $160
million in aid from an EC program supporting political and economic
reform in East European countries. -Michael Shafir

LOCOMOTIVE DRIVERS DEMONSTRATE IN BUCHAREST. About 1,000 railroad
drivers demonstrated in Bucharest on 9 September, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported on the same day. They were assured by a railroad official
that an agreement reached on 9 September concerning the reconsideration
of the dismissal of some strikers last month and the cancellation
of an order to evacuate strikers and their families from company-owned
apartments will occur. -Michael Shafir

IZETBEGOVIC LOBBIES IN US. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic,
speaking to the press in Washington, says his government is ready
to resume peace talks in Geneva with Serbs and Croats "as soon
as possible," but continues to insist that for an agreement his
adversaries must yield more territory in the planned partition
of his country. Izetbegovic made the same argument to UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali in New York on the 9th. Bosnian Foreign
Minister Haris Silajdzic candidly told reporters in Vienna on
9 September that an early resumption of peace talks is unlikely.
The ongoing struggle in the former Yugoslavia will top the agenda
of an informal meeting of European Community foreign ministers
this weekend at Alden Biesen castle in Eastern Belgium. Fighting
resumed on the 8th in Croatia between Serb defenders and Croat
forces trying to recapture Serb-held villages near Gospic, 185
km south of Zagreb. UN officials confirmed that the Croatian
forces were successful in recapturing at least two villages in
the area. -Charles Trumbull

WALESA CONCERNED ABOUT THE ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN. Polish President
Lech Walesa appealed to political parties involved in the electoral
campaign for parliament to clarify their positions on key issues
in a letter sent on 8 September and made public the following
day. "I am worried about the lack of [debate on] essential issues
in this campaign," the president said, "I get the feeling that
discussions and arguments concern insignificant problems. There
are too many personal skirmishes." Walesa asked in his letter
that the parties express their views on privatization, unemployment,
corruption, law and order, and culture. He also asked that they
name their candidates for prime minister. Most parties have either
ignored the president's letter of refused to take position on
its content. The election is scheduled for 19 September. -Jan
de Weydenthal

HAVEL ON VISEGRAD, NATO, SLOVAKIA. At a press conference on 9
September, Czech President Vaclav Havel said that the role of
the Visegrad group is changing, CTK reports. Havel said that
while the group played a crucial role in the dismantling of the
Warsaw Pact and the CMEA, it should now not strive to become
an institution. Rather, it should be turned into an economic
and political consultative forum to propose concrete forms of
cooperation among its members. The president indicated that he
does not support Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka's proposal
for setting up a Central European security institution as an
alternative to NATO. Havel said that Central European states
should join Western structures "when they are ready," and not
wait for each other. He expressed his hope that the next NATO
summit, scheduled for January 1994, will clearly define its relationship
to the Central European states. Havel also said that, for the
benefit of European stability, Slovakia should be allowed to
join NATO. He added that if Slovakia is denied admission, a new
"political border" might be created between the Czech Republic
and Slovakia. -Jan Obrman

NO COMPENSATION FOR EXPELLED GERMANS POSSIBLE, HAVEL SAYS. Havel
told journalists that the Czech Republic "will not and cannot
compensate Sudeten Germans" for their confiscated property, Czech
TV reported on 9 September. Havel's statement is a reaction to
remarks made by German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel last weekend.
Kinkel was quoted as having said that the German government never
accepted the expulsion and expropriation of many million Germans
in Central and Eastern Europe. Havel pointed out, however, that
there is no reason to prevent a dialogue between Czechs and Sudeten
Germans. He said that the question of Sudeten Germans is the
"heritage of past generations that cannot simply be ignored."
-Jan Obrman

PROCOMMUNIST RALLY IN SOFIA. According to Reuters, thousands
of people, mostly senior citizens, gathered in a Sofia park on
9 September to mark 49-years since the emergence of the first
communist-dominated government. Several former communist officials
and leaders of the Bulgarian Socialist Party were present by
a statue commemorating Bulgaria's World War II partisans. Procommunist
songs were sung, and numerous red flags were prominently displayed
by those gathered. On 8 September 1944 Soviet troops entered
Bulgaria, and on the 9th, with the help of Bulgarian partisans,
overthrew the country's government. Subsequently 9 September
was made Liberation Day, and became a national holiday under
the communist regime. Since the collapse of communism in 1989,
9 September is a regular workday and most people accord it no
special significance. -Stan Markotich

MINORITY LEADER CRITICAL OF BULGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY. In a 7
September interview with an RFE/RL correspondent, Ahmed Dogan,
leader of the mainly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms,
indicated that his party might withdraw its support for the government,
which is currently backed both by the MRF and the Bulgarian Socialist
Party. At present, Dogan's party and a splinter group of the
UDF hold the parliamentary balance of power in the National Assembly.
In language amounting to a veiled threat, Dogan said that while
his party is allowing the socialists ample opportunity to demonstrate
they have rejected their old communist practices, he would certainly
be willing to withdraw his party's support for the BSP should
it attempt to govern in a dictatorial fashion. Dogan also said
his party has tired of holding the balance of power without reaping
much benefit, and noted that this role could pass to another
organization, such as the United Agrarian Union, after upcoming
elections. President Zhelyu Zhelev last week suggested that the
MRF and UDF again consider forging a political alliance. -Stan
Markotich

GAGAUZ OFFER ACCESSION TO CIS, CHALLENGE MOLDOVAN SOVEREIGNTY.
Russian and Moldovan media report that a session of the Gagauz
Supreme Soviet on 8-9 September appealed to the CIS states to
recognize the "Gagauz republic" as an independent subject of
the CIS, and declared its readiness to sign the documents of
accession to the "new economic and political community." The
same session resolved to transfer local administrative bodies
from Moldovan to Gagauz authority, passed a law on the use of
"the Russian, Gagauz, and Moldovan languages" (in that order),
in effect annulling Moldova's language law (which provides for
local use of the language of the Gagauz, a dialect of Turkish),
and resolved to hold a joint session of the Dniester and Gagauz
supreme soviets to call for recognition and accession to the
CIS. This abrupt escalation of Gagauz demands adds to Russian
economic measures designed to press Moldova into the CIS. -Vladimir
Socor

SHUSHKEVICH, KEBICH ON TIES WITH RUSSIA. Following the signing
of a bilateral agreement on closer cooperation between Russia
and Belarus on 8 September in Moscow, both the chairman of the
Supreme Soviet, Stanislau Shushkevich, and the prime minister,
Vyacheslau Kebich, made statements advocating closer economic
ties with Russia, ITAR-TASS reports. Shushkevich said economic
reform in Belarus can only take place through closer economic
cooperation with Russia and other CIS countries in order to preserve
this market for its exports. In an interview with Belinform,
Kebich, who signed the agreement, stated that only through close
ties with Russia would Belarus be able to retain its sovereignty.
Belarus has been undergoing severe economic shocks as Russia
has pushed forward with its own reforms and began raising the
price of its energy exports to world levels, forcing republics
out of the ruble zone. Without an economic reform program of
its own, even nationalist politicians in the country have increasingly
been looking towards Russia for economic salvation. -Ustina Markus


BELARUS ECONOMIC NEWS. The effects of the energy crisis are making
themselves felt throughout the republic. An RFE/RL correspondent
reported on 8-September that bus routes have been closed and
fuel for factories curtailed forcing some to close. Even the
chairman of the Supreme Soviet has felt the effects as he has
been forced to take trains instead of flying, and his bodyguard
restricted to using only 10 liters of gas a day, ITAR-TASS reports.
Recent developments in foreign trade have also been unfavorable.
Exports to non-CIS countries have dropped by 13.8% to $398.5
million, while imports rose by 80% to $436.7 million. Germany
is Belarus's main foreign trading partner, followed by Poland.
Barter deals account for over half of these trades. Among the
former Soviet republics trade totaled $1.44 billion, 67.7% with
Russia and 14.7% with Ukraine. Despite opposition to Russian
control over its monetary policy, Belarus was one of five republics
that signed the 7-September agreement to stay in the ruble zone
and abide by Moscow's monetary and fiscal policies. The accord
has yet to be endorsed by parliament. -Ustina Markus

INFLATION DOWN IN ESTONIA, LITHUANIA. In August the rate of inflation
in Estonia was the smallest in the past several years-only 0.7%-BNS
reported on 7 September. A 3.6% rise in the price of services
and a 2.6%% rise in manufactured goods was countered by a 2.5%
decline in food prices. The Statistics Department of Lithuania
announced on 8 September that inflation in August had been reduced
to 0.9%, Radio Lithuania reports. As in Estonia, a decline in
food prices served to offset increases in the price of services
and nonfood items. -Saulius Girnius

POPE IN LATVIA. On 9 September Pope John Paul II traveled to
the Latgale region in east Latvia, which has the highest concentration
of Catholics in the republic. More than 50,000 people attended
an outdoor ecumenical service at the church in Aglona, at which
the pope praised the Latgalian people for safeguarding their
faith through periods of repression. In the evening he spoke
to about 1,500 students and intellectuals at the University of
Riga, where he condemned the exploitation of both communism and
capitalism. On 10 September he flew to Tallinn for a ten-hour
visit after which he will return to Rome. -Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Suzanne Crow and Charles Trumbull









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