The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. - Dolly Parton
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 199, 15 October 1993



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



YELTSIN REPORTEDLY PREPARING DECREE ON CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM.
President Boris Yeltsin is preparing a decree on holding a constitutional
referendum simultaneously with the parliamentary elections on
12 December, ITAR-TASS reported on 14-October. According to the
agency, voters would be asked one question: do you accept the
constitution of the Russian Federation? The final draft constitution
has not been prepared yet. Later on 14 October, a member of the
presidential apparatus told RFE/RL that in fact there has been
no final decision on this matter and no decree has been signed
yet. -Vera Tolz

RUSSIA'S CHOICE TO HOLD FOUNDING CONGRESS. The pro-democratic
electoral bloc "Russia's Choice" will hold its founding congress
on 16-17 October in Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 October.
President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin plan
to attend. Yeltsin had attended meetings of democrats before.
More than 1,000 delegates from Russian provinces are expected
at the congress, which will elect the leadership of the organization.
Founding members of the organization are First Deputy Prime Minister
Egor Gaidar, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, former State Secretary
Gennadii Burbulis and other leading reformist politicians. Observers
do not exclude the possibility that "Russia's Choice" may soon
transform itself into a strong political party. -Alexander Rahr


SHAKHRAI'S PARTY ALSO TO MEET. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai's
Party of Russian Unity and Concord will hold its founding conference
in Moscow on 16-17 October, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 October.
Shakhrai said that his party will not join the large democratic
bloc "Russia's Choice". He noted that he wants to form his party
on the basis of regional politics with a "minimum of participation
of Moscow politicians." He stated that rumors of his resignation
were "strongly exaggerated." He announced his intention to run
for a seat in the State Duma and said that he does not plan to
put forward his candidacy for the post of president. He rejected
the opinion of some of his colleagues that deputies should not
combine their legislative work with a job in the government structures.
In his opinion, that delimitation of functions leads to dual
power and confrontation. -Alexander Rahr

FIFTEEN NEWSPAPERS BANNED, TWO OTHERS TO CHANGE NAMES, EDITORS.
The Ministry of Information issued a ban on fifteen Russian newspapers,
most (but not all) of which are published in Moscow, ITAR-TASS
reported on 14 October. The publication of the majority of these
newspapers, either extremely nationalistic or communist, had
been suspended on 4 October. The ministry also banned the St.
Petersburg TV program "600-Seconds." The ministry accused the
newspapers and the TV program of destabilizing the situation
and helping to organize violence in Moscow last week. The ministry
also said two main pro-Communist newspapers, Pravda and Sovetskaya
Rossiya, can resume publication only if they reregister under
new names and with new chief editors. The staff of Sovetskaya
Rossiya appealed to Russia's new procurator general, Aleksei
Kazannik, asking him to override the ministry order. -Vera Tolz


GRACHEV BACKS YELTSIN; DENIES DISCORD IN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE.
Speaking to a meeting of Afghan War veterans, Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev said on 14 October that Boris Yeltsin should remain
President until at least 1996, Reuters reported. Grachev, who
has offered Yeltsin crucial support over the last year, said
that Yeltsin was the only man who could steer Russia out of its
current crisis, that he saw no other alternative to Yeltsin,
and that the Russian people continue to believe in Yeltsin. A
Grachev aide, meanwhile, has denied rumors of an impending purge
within the Defense Ministry, said to be related to allegations
that certain military commanders opposed the decision to use
military forces against the White House on 4-October. Elena Agapova
told Radio Rossii on 14-October that the military leadership
had acted in concert on 3-4 October and that allegations of splits
within the High Command represent an attempt to sow discord among
Russia's top military commanders. -Stephen Foye

EC TALKS POSTPONED. Russia has requested that talks between President
Yeltsin and European Community leaders scheduled for 18 October
be postponed. According to a Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman
on 14 October, Russian authorities said the visit could not take
place because of scheduling problems. The meeting, which has
not yet been rescheduled, was intended to work on speeding up
the process of signing a cooperation agreement between the Community
and Russia, Western agencies reported. -Suzanne Crow

ATTITUDE OF REPUBLICAN PARLIAMENTS TO SELF-DISSOLUTION, NEW ELECTIONS.
The North Ossetian parliament decided on 14 October that the
new elections to the parliament would not be held until 27 March
1994, ITAR-TASS reported. It did, however, decree that the lowest
tier of soviets should be abolished immediately. The Buryat parliament
reversed the earlier decision of its presidium declaring Yeltsin's
decree of 21-September unconstitutional, but did not get round
to discussing early elections for lack of a quorum after 40-deputies
walked out. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast soviet decided against
dissolving itself. -Ann Sheehy

NIKOLAI MEDVEDEV ON UNCOOPERATIVE REPUBLICS. Nikolai Medvedev,
the head of the department for work with territories of the president's
administration, told Radio Rossii on 14 October that the refusal
of some republican parliaments to hold early elections was causing
serious concern. Medvedev said that in a number of republics
elections were not planned until March 1994 and in Mordovia until
June 1994. He said he was worried that the results of the elections
could be falsified where they were held under the aegis of the
local soviets. Medvedev also criticized the chairman of the Kabardino-Balkar
parliament for saying that the present republican parliament
should function until new elections were held. Yeltsin's decree
of 9 October reforming the regional soviets only recommended
the republics to take similar action. -Ann Sheehy

MEETINGS IN SUPPORT OF KHASBULATOV BANNED IN GROZNYI. Meetings
in defense of the former speaker of the Russian parliament, Ruslan
Khasbulatov, a Chechen by nationality, now under arrest, have
been banned in the Chechen capital, Groznyi, ITAR-TASS reported
on 14 October. A meeting demanding Khasbulatov's release had
already been going on for four days in one of Groznyi's main
squares. Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev has long regarded
Khasbulatov as an enemy, but he has the support of the university
staff, who sponsored his election to the Russian parliament,
and there is an armed group that threatens to use force against
those opposing the meeting. -Ann Sheehy

MAKASHOV CHARGED. General Albert Makashov, a longtime opponent
of Boris Yeltsin and a leader of the military forces supporting
the Russian parliament, was charged on 13 October with "organizing
mass unrest," according to AFP and Reuters. Makashov reportedly
could face a jail sentence of up to 15 years. It is believed
that the former commander of the USSR Volga-Ural Military District,
who also was a candidate in the 1991 Russian Presidential election,
led the 4 October assault by parliamentary forces on the Moscow
mayor's office and the Ostankino television center. -Stephen
Foye

GOLUSHKO ON ROLE OF MINISTRY OF SECURITY IN OCTOBER EVENTS AND
ITS FUTURE. Minister of Security Nikolai Golushko said that during
the October events, the anti-Yeltsin opposition had prepared
to seize power by military means, according to Ostankino television
and ITAR-TASS of 14 October. Speaking at a press conference in
Moscow, Golushko stressed that not a single Army formation sided
with the disbanded parliament. (Military Counterintelligence,
which controls the loyalty of the troops, is under the supervision
of Golushko's ministry). Golushko also said that the anti-Yeltsin
insurgents have no support among the "working class". He stated
that no division of his own ministry joined the supporters of
Rutskoi and Khasbulatov, except for several officers in Irkutsk's
regional administration. He admitted, however, that a group of
retired state security officers joined the former minister, Viktor
Barannikov in the "White House". Finally, Golushko denied rumors
about disbanding of his ministry and his retirement. Golushko
said that some departments of his agency will be reorganized.
He proposed strengthening the different services for protection
of government bodies and consolidating them under the aegis of
the Ministry of Security at the federal level -Victor Yasmann


NEW EXPORT REGULATIONS TO BE INTRODUCED. The Russian Central
Bank has developed new regulations to stop the flow of illegal
exports, Biznes-TASS reported on 14-October. The regulations
were worked out in conjunction with the State Customs Committee
and attempt to unify the export control functions of the two
agencies, the head of the main department of currency regulations
of the Central Bank, Viktor Melnikov, said. He also said that
the regulations were formulated in consultation with a number
of specialists from commercial banks. The new system will be
effective from 1 January 1994 for strategically important commodities,
e.g. energy carriers and metals, and for others from 1-March.
-Erik Whitlock

INDONESIA CONSIDERING RUSSIAN FIGHTER AIRCRAFT. Indonesia's Defense
Minister said on 14 October that his country was considering
buying Russian MiG-29 fighter planes in order to decrease its
dependence on Western arms suppliers, AFP reported. The statement,
which may also be aimed at driving down the price of competing
Western systems, comes amid growing tensions between Jakarta
and Washington over Indonesia's human rights record in East Timor.
-Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



RUSSIA CALLS ON ABKHAZ TO STOP ETHNIC CLEANSING. On 14 October
the government of the Russian Federation issued a statement condemning
violence, looting and plundering by Abkhaz troops of the civilian
population in Abkhazia, and demanding that the Abkhaz authorities
take measures to halt "human rights violations and mass-scale
ethnic cleansing", ITAR-TASS reported. -Liz Fuller

KYRGYZSTAN DRAWS UP MEASURES TO HALT RUSSIAN OUTMIGRATION. The
Kyrgyz presidential apparatus has compiled and submitted to the
government for approval a program of measures aimed at stemming
the ongoing outmigration of the Russian-speaking population,
ITAR-TASS reported. During the first six months of 1993, 57,000
people, including almost 30,000 Russians left Kyrgyzstan. In
the four years since the last census the Kyrgyz share of the
population has risen from 52.4 to 56.5 per cent. -Liz Fuller


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



WALESA ACCEPTS PAWLAK, WITH RESERVATIONS. President Lech Walesa
grudgingly agreed on 14 October to appoint Polish Peasant Party
(PSL) leader Waldemar Pawlak as prime minister. Faced with a
commanding majority in the parliament, the president yielded
in his demand that the Democratic Left Alliance-PSL coalition
present the names of three candidates for the post. Walesa said
he will appoint Pawlak "immediately" after receiving the outgoing
government's resignation. He prefaced his announcement with the
suggestion that any future constitution give the president the
right to demand three candidates or reject the candidate proposed
by the Sejm. At an earlier press conference in the Sejm, Walesa
expressed doubts that Pawlak, his "protege" and "friend," is
competent to cope with the tasks that face him, but pledged to
respect the will of democracy. In an address to the new Sejm,
Walesa reminded the deputies that "the real arrangement of political
forces in society is not in full accord with its representation
in the parliament." Stressing that Poland is opening a "new chapter
but not a new era," Walesa also encouraged the parliament to
pursue continuity in foreign and economic policy. -Louisa Vinton


POLISH SEJM ELECTS LEADERS. In keeping with the coalition bargain,
the SLD's Jozef Oleksy was elected Speaker of the Sejm on 14
October, PAP reports. The SLD and PSL were supported in this
ballot by most of the deputies from the opposition Democratic
Union (UD). The vote was 357 to 22 with 58 abstentions. Oleksy,
a well-liked economist, is deputy chairman of the Social Democracy
of the Polish Republic, the direct successor to the communist
party (PZPR) and the party that dominates the SLD. A communist
party member since 1968, Oleksy was a PZPR voivodship first secretary
from 1987-89; he also served as a minister in the short-lived
government headed by Mieczyslaw Rakowski in 1988-89. The Sejm
also voted to reduce the number of deputy speakers from five
to three, electing Jozef Zych (PSL), Aleksander Malachowski (Union
of Labor), and Olga Krzyzanowska (UD) to these posts. The solid
majority controlled by the PSL and SLD gave the parliament's
work an efficiency only rarely achieved since 1989. The Polish
Senate holds its inaugural session on 15 October. -Louisa Vinton


SUCHOCKA GOVERNMENT PREPARES TO RESIGN. Prime Minister Hanna
Suchocka's press secretary told Polish TV that, in keeping with
constitutional requirements, the prime minister will sign the
government's letter of resignation on the morning of 15 October.
The resignation will be submitted to President Walesa as soon
as possible, the spokesman said, but it was not clear if this
was a matter of hours or days. The "little constitution" stipulates
that the president (rather than the Sejm, as was the case in
the past) accepts the government's resignation. As its last act,
the outgoing government submitted 55 pieces of draft legislation
to the new Sejm on 14 October. The draft bills-the fruit of four
months in office without a sitting parliament-include the "pact
on state firms," a copyright protection act, a complete overhaul
of the public administration, and the concordat with the Vatican.
-Louisa Vinton

POLAND'S PRIVATIZATION MINISTER RACES CLOCK. The Suchocka government
is going out in a blaze of privatization. As its final hours
ticked away, Privatization Minister Janusz Lewandowski chalked
up new successes in his effort to sell off as many state firms
as possible before turning over power. An 80% share in the Stomil
rubber factory was sold on 14 October. A German firm purchased
an 80% stake in the Famot lathe plant on the same day. On 12-October,
domestic investors signed a letter of intent to buy the Ozarow
cement factory, which has annual sales worth $44-million. The
"capital privatization" of two huge export firms-Rolimpex and
Stalexport-was initiated on 11-October; shares will be available
for public auction in six months. The Swedish Trebruk concern
purchased an 80% share in the Kostrzyn paper factory on 7 October,
saving the company from bankruptcy. 1,700 of Kostrzyn's 17,000
residents work for the plant. Trebruk paid only $41 outright
but pledged to invest $55 million and cover the factory's debt.
Finally, Nestle won the exclusive right to negotiate a joint
venture with Goplana, Poland's last major state-owned chocolate
factory, on 11 October. In other privatization news, Suchocka
appointed 14 members to the "selection commission" that is to
choose management firms for the mass privatization program. The
new parliament names the other five members. -Louisa Vinton

DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SERBIAN PARLIAMENT. Serbia's 250
seat parliament concluded a fifth day of heated debate over a
motion of no confidence in the Socialist government of Nikola
Sainovic. In a surprise move, deputies of the main opposition
Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), have called for the resignation
of Serbia's Interior Minister Zoran Sokolovic. In what appears
to be a turn around from the previous four days of debate, the
head of the SPO delegation in parliament, Milan Mikovic, warned
that "either the chief of police [Sokolovic] or he together with
the Prime Minister or the entire government will fall." He went
on to say the coalition DEPOS, in which the SPO is the main member,
would vote against Sainovic. SPO deputy Bogoljub Pejicic later
told reporters that the SPO would give the government of Socialist
Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic a vote of no confidence unless
Sokolovic resigned. Sokolovic was criticized for his inability
to explain several unresolved murders in Belgrade and a policeman's
attack on a legal advisor of a local theater while waiting in
line to purchase flour. The SPO, headed by Vuk Draskovic, walked
out of parliament last week saying it will not support the Serbian
Radical Party's motion to oust the Socialist government of Nikola
Sainovic. Debate over a vote of no confidence is expected to
conclude on 15 October. In order to oust Sainovic, 126 votes
are needed. SRS and DEPOS have a total of 123 seats. Radio and
Television Serbia carried the report. -Milan Andrejevich

BOSNIA ROUNDUP. On 14 October, Serbian leaders urged an immediate
resumption of peace talks for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbia's President
Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in
a joint statement said that there are increasing signs that Muslims
in several regions of Bosnia are pressing for peace and have
protested against Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic's rejection
of the Owen-Stoltenberg peace plan. Both leaders maintained that
"[Bosnia] Muslim leaders are not being backed by their own people,"
and pointed to the creation of the Autonomous Province of Western
Bosnia (APZB) and moves to create similar independent enclaves
in Tuzla and Zenica as evidence of the growing rift among Muslims.
Nikola Koljevic, Vice President of the Bosnian Serb Republic
said that his government would propose the signing of separate
peace agreements with Muslims because "more and more regions
want separate truces with Serbs." Radio Serbia also reports of
a rift among Muslims in Travnik. The predominantly Muslim Bosnian
government denied the Croatian and Serb media reports of the
divisions calling them disinformation. Meanwhile, UN commander
Gen. Jean Cot said that his forces will not interfere in the
conflict between Muslims in the APZB, according to Radio Croatia.
-Milan Andrejevich

YUGOSLAV CHARGE ABOUT VOJVODINA. In a 14-October letter to UN
Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, rump Yugoslavia's UN
ambassador Dradomir Djokic charged Hungarian Foreign Minister
Geza Jeszenszky with making, in his recent UN speech, "unjustified
and malicious" accusations about alleged Serbian persecution
of the Hungarian minority in rump Yugoslavia's Vojvodina province.
RFE/RL's New York correspondent reported that Djokic said Hungarians
were leaving to avoid military service in the Serbian army and
were subjected to "overwhelming pressure" from Hungarian authorities
and institutions. Hungarian government spokeswoman Judith Juhasz
rejected the charges as "groundless" and told MTI Belgrade could
not mislead the international community as the latter has many
observers in Hungary "who know very well who is doing what" in
Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia. A lengthy report in the 13 October
issue of The Los Angeles Times provides fresh on-the-spot evidence
of Serbian nationalist threats and acts of vandalism aimed at
spreading fear among Vojvodina's ethnic Magyars to make them
leave the province. So far, over 35,000 of Vojvodina's 350,000
Hungarians have left and sought refuge in Hungary. -Milan Andrejevich
and Alfred Reisch

KLAUS TRAVELS TO US, RUML TO RUSSIA. An RFE/RL correspondent
in Washington reports that Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus
arrived in New York on 14-October, where he started a week-long
tour of the US and Central America. In New York, Klaus was scheduled
to meet with Madeleine Albright, the Czech-born US Ambassador
to the United Nations. On 15-October, Klaus travels to Washington
for talks at the White House with Vice President Al Gore. The
Czech Premier is also scheduled to meet with representatives
of international financial institutions. Czech Interior Minister
Jan Ruml traveled on 14 October to Moscow for a two-day working
visit. He is expected to hold talks with Russian Interior Minister
Viktor Yerin and Security Minister Nikolai Golushko as well as
with the chief of Russian counterintelligence, Yevgeni Primakov.
According to CTK, the talks will focus on cooperation in fighting
organized crime and terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering
and the illegal trade in weapons. -Jiri Pehe

SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE SIGN READMISSION AGREEMENT. On 14 October,
Slovak Interior Minister Jozef Tuchyna and Valerii Hubenko, Chairman
of the Ukrainian State Committee for the Protection of Borders,
signed an agreement under which people who have illegally crossed
the common Ukrainian-Slovak border can be returned to their respective
country. International media report that in the first six months
of 1993, the Ukrainian authorities detained more than 5,000 people
who had attempted to cross the Ukrainian-Slovak border illegally.
It is expected that the number of people crossing the border
illegally may grow dramatically in the near future. Slovakia
has signed similar readmission agreements with Poland, Romania,
and the Czech Republic. -Jiri Pehe

HUNGARY AND UKRAINE PROTEST ABOUT SERB DANUBE BLOCKADES. On 13
October Hungary's Ambassador to the United Nations, Andre Erdos,
filed a complaint to the UN's Security Council about continuing
blockades of the Danube by Serbian groups tacitly encouraged
by the rump Yugoslav authorities, Reuters reports. According
to the complaint, 12-river convoys including Hungarian, Romanian,
Slovak, and Ukrainian ships were being detained at Belgrade and
Zimun or waiting on the Romanian section of the river for over
a week. The Hungarian MAHART shipping company estimates that
its losses due to the blockade could reach 1 billion forint by
the end of the year. On 14 October Ukrainian TV reported that
the Ukrainian ambassador in Moscow had handed a formal protest
from the Ukrainian foreign ministry to the rump Yugoslav embassy
on the same issue.--Alfred Reisch and Bohdan Nahaylo

ILIESCU'S AFRICAN TOUR. Romanian president Ion Iliescu arrived
in Zimbabwe on 14-October for the first leg of a tour of several
African states. Radio Bucharest quoted Iliescu as saying before
boarding the plane that the tour includes also Mauritius, (where
he will participate in a two-day conference of French-speaking
countries), South Africa and Kenya. On the afternoon of his arrival,
Iliescu had a first meeting with the president of Zimbabwe, Robert
Gabriel Mubabe.-Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS TO LOSE IMMUNITY IN CORRUPTION CASES?
REUTERS REPORTED ON 14 OCTOBER THAT ROMANIA'S PARLIAMENT APPROVED
AN ANTI-CORRUPTION RESOLUTION GIVING THE JUSTICE MINISTRY THE
POWER TO STRIP PARLIAMENTARIANS OF IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION.
Radio Bucharest's dispatch, however, did not mention this part
of the resolution. It said the resolution referred, among other
things, to the "possibility" of suspending incumbent members
of the executive from office while under suspicion of corruption.
The prerogative of suspension, however, remains with the president.
The resolution said authorities should fight corruption more
firmly and the president should dismiss government members found
guilty. A government inquiry commission, meanwhile, has accused
former prime minister Petre Roman of improperly obtaining a villa
while in office. Roman's opposition Democratic Party denied the
charges. -Michael Shafir

BOMB BLAST IN TIRANA LINKED TO EMBASSY STAFF. An RFE/RL correspondent
reports that officials from Albania's foreign ministry are alleging
that an explosive that went off in the rump Yugoslav embassy
on the evening of 11 October might have been planted by embassy
staff. According to an ATA report on 14-October, the foreign
ministry alleges that the explosion is part of a plan by Belgrade's
"leading circles" to pin the responsibility for the incident
on groups in Albania and to use the incident as a pretext for
spreading the current violence in the Balkans southwards. ATA
also reports that the foreign ministry has attempted to file
an official protest letter with rump Yugoslavia's senior diplomat
in Albania, Mirko Manojlovic, but that he has allegedly refused
to accept the letter. Albanian media report that there were no
injuries in Monday's blast. -Robert Austin and Stan Markotich


KARBOVANETS, ZAICHIK TUMBLE. The karbovanets lost over 25% of
its value vis-a-vis the dollar on the Ukrainian Interbank Currency
Exchange on 14 October, according to Ukrinform-TASS. It was not
obvious from the report why the karbovanets took the sudden plunge-trading
at 17,800 to the dollar at the start to 24,100 at the finish
of the session, but one factor may have been frustrated expectations
on the part of the trading community that the low fixed exchange
rate for the mandatory sale of 50% of hard-currency export earnings
would soon be removed. The new Prime Minister Yefim Zvyahilsky
and Minister of Finance Hryhorii Pyatachenko are said to oppose
its removal. In a related story, ITAR-TASS reported that former
Economics Minister Viktor Pynzenyk is bringing charges against
the Ukrainian Central Bank before the Arbitration Court for introducing
the fixed exchange rate, which he refers to as "an illegal, absurd
and criminal decision." The fixed rate was introduced in mid-August.
Also on 14 October, the zaichik lost 50% of its value vis-a-vis
the ruble on Belarusian exchange markets, Reuters reported. The
reason given by the Dmitry Zhuk, spokesman for the Belarusian
National Bank, was that the state has stopped selling rubles
to Belarusian enterprises at discounted rates. -Erik Whitlock


LEBED RESIGNS AS "DNIESTER" LEGISLATOR THREATENS TO REQUEST TRANSFER.
Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army in
Moldova, resigned on 14-October his recently won mandate as a
deputy to the "Dniester republic" Supreme Soviet, Basapress reports
from Tiraspol. Lebed further informed the assembly that he will
request to be transferred elsewhere owing to his loss of confidence
in the "Dniester republic" leadership. In recent days Lebed tried
in vain to persuade that leadership to dismiss senior security
officials involved in the dispatch of Dniester fighters to support
the rebellion in Moscow. -Vladimir Socor

ESTONIAN, LATVIAN TALKS WITH RUSSIA TO PROCEED NORMALLY? VASILII
SVIRIN, HEAD OF THE RUSSIAN DELEGATION FOR TALKS WITH ESTONIA,
TOLD THE PRESS ON 14-OCTOBER THAT THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS CONCERNING
THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT SHOULD HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON MOSCOW'S
NEGOTIATIONS WITH TALLINN AND NOTED WITH SATISFACTION THE ESTONIAN
SUGGESTION THAT THE NEXT ROUND OF BILATERAL TALKS TAKE PLACE
AT THE END OF OCTOBER. The next round of Latvian-Russian talks
is to start on 18-October in Moscow and the principal topic of
negotiations will continue to be the withdrawal of Russian troops
from Latvia. Currently there are 252-Russian army units stationed
in 267 military sites in Latvia. Furthermore, Russia still has
26 warships, 26-other ships, and 11-submarines based in Latvia,
Diena reported on 14-October. -Dzintra Bungs

NUGIS STILL ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER. BNS reported on 14 October
that the incumbent Ulo Nugis of the Pro Patria Party was reelected
speaker of the Estonian parliament. With no other candidates
contending for the position, Nugis received 82 out a possible
101 votes. The deputies still have to elect other parliamentary
leaders whose term of office also expired on 5 October. -Dzintra
Bungs

LATVIA HIKES SALES TAX TO 18%. On 14 October, the Latvian Saeima
passed bills raising the value-added tax on 1 November from 12%
to 18%. The tax on farmer-produced foodstuffs will be 10% until
1 June 1994 when it too will rise to 18%. The government says
that the revenue is needed provide a firm foundation for the
next budget, Diena reported. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Liz Fuller and Stan Markotich









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