Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. - Sigmund Freud
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 203, 21 October 1993



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



ELECTION CAMPAIGN BEHIND SCHEDULE. President Boris Yeltsin's
chief of staff, Sergei Filatov, told a news conference on 20
October that the campaign for parliamentary and local elections
on 12 December is running late, Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported.
Although 17-parties and blocs intended to fight the elections,
only four of them had so far been formally established; despite
this, Filatov said, the election date would not be postponed.
Filatov defended the decision allowing government ministers to
run for election, saying that a new government would be formed
after the elections. He also said that Yeltsin had agreed to
early presidential elections (currently scheduled for 12-June
1994) under pressure, and that he should be allowed to serve
his full term. -Wendy Slater

DEMOCRATS PREPARE FOR ELECTIONS. Filatov was also quoted by ITAR-TASS
on 20-October as saying that so far no electoral bloc or movement
has succeeded in collecting the 100,000 signatures necessary
for registration for parliamentary elections. Filatov's deputy,
Vyacheslav Volkov, suggested that the various blocs having a
democratic orientation should form an alliance and participate
in elections as one single bloc. He said that such an alliance
would win 50 percent of parliamentary seats. The cochairman of
the Democratic Russia Movement, Gleb Yakunin, stated that his
Movement will form a parliamentary faction with the bloc "Russia's
choice," but will resist the latter's intentions to turn itself
into a "ruling party." -Alexander Rahr

MORE PARTIES INTEND TO STAND IN ELECTIONS. Two more organizations
are planning to stand in the elections, ITAR-TASS reported on
20 October, citing information from the Central Electoral Commission.
The extreme right-wing National Republican Party, which is based
in St. Petersburg and led by Nikolai Lysenko; and the pro-market
"August" bloc which comprises Konstantin Borovoi's Party of Economic
Freedom and Viktor Zolotarev's Constitutional Democrats must
now each collect at least 100,000 signatures to register their
participation. The National Republican Party intends to propose
a list of 87-candidates, and the "August" bloc-96 candidates.
-Wendy Slater

DEMOCRATS COMPETE. The representatives of two competing democratic
blocs, "Russia's choice" and "Republic", Anatolii Chubais and
Grigorii Yavlinsky, respectively, presented their different economic
views at a meeting of the electoral club of the Academy of Science,
ITAR-TASS reported on 20 October. Yavlinsky criticized the privatization
program of the government because it has not led to major capital
investments in industry. The cochairman of the liberal Republican
Party, Lysenko, called upon democrats to avoid a split in their
ranks, arguing that it could open the door to a victory by communist
forces in the parliamentary elections. The coleader of the "Free
Democratic Party of Russia," Marina Sale, suggested that presidential
rule in the country be extended and that parliamentary elections
be postponed until after the referendum on the new constitution.
-Alexander Rahr

CONTROLS TIGHTENED ON FOREIGN CREDITS. The government has introduced
stricter conditions for obtaining foreign credits that could
add to the country's external debt, and tightened control over
the use of these credits, Interfax reported on 20 October. Proposals
for securing credits are to be advanced by the Ministry of Finance,
approved by the Ministry of Economics, and then accepted or rejected
by the government. The agency cites the figure of $80-billion
as the level of Russia's external debt at the beginning of 1993.
-Keith Bush

REFORM ZEAL AND WAGES CORRELATED. Andrei Illarionov, economic
adviser to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, has attempted
to demonstrate a direct correlation between the successful implementation
of radical economic reform and average wages. Writing in Argumenty
i fakty, no. 37, he illustrates how average wages in Russia have
purportedly risen and fallen as the consequence of successes
and failures in the government's efforts at stabilization. He
also shows how wages have changed in other former Soviet republics,
linking these with the conduct of reforms in the respective states.
Illarionov gives the average wages in terms of US dollars at
the official rates of exchange, but does not seem to take extraneous
factors into account. -Keith Bush

RUSSIA CANCELS SECOND DUMPING IN SEA OF JAPAN. Under strong pressure
from Japan, South Korea, and the US, Russian authorities have
decided to cancel a second planned dumping of liquid nuclear
waste into the Sea of Japan. According to Reuter on 21-October,
Russia informed the Japanese government of the decision late
in the evening on 20 October. Japanese officials intimated that
a phone call earlier that day to Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev had been a key factor in Russia's change of plans; Kozyrev
reportedly said that he would take up the issue directly with
Boris Yeltsin. The Washington Post reported on 21-October that
as early as July of this year a Russian admiral had said that
Russia planned to dump radioactive wastes into the ocean because
storage facilities were filled to capacity. Russia's nuclear-powered
submarines and icebreakers produce some 26,000 cubic yards of
liquid waste each year, the report added. According to Reuter,
the low-level radioactive waste that was dumped on 20-October
comes from coolants and cleaning fluids from nuclear submarines
refitted or dismantled at a naval base near Vladivostok. -Stephen
Foye

FRANCE TO AID IN NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT. During his visit to France
on 20 October Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and French Foreign
Minister Alain Juppe signed an accord providing for some $70
million in assistance to Russia for nuclear weapons dismantling.
The first $30 million is to be used for containers and machines
to handle radioactive materials, according to reports by AFP
and Reuters. -John Lepingwell

MORE GRACHEV REMARKS. Concluding a three-day visit to Finland,
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev again underlined Russia's reservations
over efforts by Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia
to join NATO. Turning to Russian troop deployments in northwestern
Russia, Grachev said that despite the withdrawal of military
units from Eastern Europe to that region, total troop numbers
in the area from Severomorsk to the boundary between the Leningrad
and Moscow Military District continue to drop and will total
64,000 men by 1995. Grachev, whose remarks were reported by ITAR-TASS,
suggested that Georgian military units had ineptly allowed Abkhazian
forces to seize weapons supplied to Tbilisi. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT TROOPS PUSH BACK REBELS. On 20 October Georgian
government forces launched a major counteroffensive on two fronts
against the forces of ousted Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia
and succeeded in retaking the Black Sea port of Poti, occupied
by Gamsakhurdia on 2 October, and also Khoni and Lanchkhuta,
Western agencies reported. According to unconfirmed and contradictory
reports, government forces also retook the town of Tskhaltubo,
10 km north of Kutaisi, which Gamsakhurdia;'s forces had entered
earlier in the day. On 20-October the Georgian Procuracy in Tbilisi
issued warrants for the arrest of Gamsakhurdia and of Loti Kobalia,
the commander of his troops, on charges of jeopardizing the territorial
integrity, security and independence of Georgia, GIA reported.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stated on 20 October that following
the Georgian parliament's vote to endorse CIS membership, Russia
would send troops to protect the main railway from the Black
Sea to Tbilisi and Armenia, according to the Washington Post
and the Los Angeles Times of 21 October. -Liz Fuller

CIS

UKRAINIAN OFFICIALS DIFFER OVER START LIMITS. Deputy parliamentary
speaker Vasyl Durdynets suggested that the oft-delayed debate
over START-1 ratification may take place in November, according
to Western press agency reports. After the closed debate over
the Ukrainian military doctrine, however, there appears to be
confusion amongst Ukrainian officials on their obligations under
START-1 and the Lisbon protocol. President Leonid Kravchuk, in
reaffirming his commitment to see the START-1 treaty ratified,
suggested that after its ratification all of the SS-19 ICBMs
in Ukraine would be scrapped. However, according to Ukrainian
radio on 20 October, Dmytro Pavlychko, chairman of the parliamentary
committee on foreign relations, again asserted that only 36%
of the delivery vehicles on Ukrainian territory would be dismantled.
This latter assertion is based on the assumption that the overall
weapon limits in START-1 would be applied proportionally across
all the former Soviet republics with nuclear weapons on their
territory. Pavlychko also stated that Ukraine could not accede
to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty until after its review
in 1995. -John Lepingwell

WHO CONTROLS THE SS-24S? KRAVCHUK ALSO STATED THAT AFTER START-1
RATIFICATION THE SS-24S WOULD BE TAKEN OFF ALERT AND THEIR TARGETING
INFORMATION UNLOADED. The latter statement is surprising, because
previous reports indicated that all ICBMs in Ukraine were already
off alert, and because it implies that Ukraine has at least partial
control over targeting and alert status, an important part of
the "operational control" which was hitherto always ascribed
to the (now defunct) CIS Joint Command. The Ukrainian government's
position on the long-term fate of the SS-24s remains unclear,
despite some assertions that they would eventually be destroyed.
-John Lepingwell

WARHEAD PROBLEMS ON UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN BORDER. On 20 October Interfax
reported that Russia is worried about radiation leaking from
two nuclear warheads which have been sitting in a railroad car
on the Russian-Ukrainian border since 5 October. The Russians
had been removing the warheads to a repair factory in Russia,
but the Ukrainians allegedly will not follow through with the
delivery until they receive guarantees that Kiev will be compensated
for the nuclear materials in the warheads. Col. Gen. Yevgeny
Maslin, chief of the Russian Defense Ministry's primary department
for nuclear ammunition, said that Ukraine either did not appreciate
the dangers raised by its "misconduct" or that it was distracted
by "disorder in supreme power echelons." Ukrainian Defense Ministry
spokesman Dmytro Shkurko told an RFE/RL correspondent that he
rejected the allegations that Ukraine was violating agreements
on the transfer of nuclear warheads to Russia, but would not
explain why the shipments were halted. Russia and Ukraine signed
agreements governing warhead transfer at the Massandra summit,
but these agreements have not been ratified. -Ustina Markus

RUSSIAN DISSATISFACTION WITH CIS TRADE. The Russian government's
Commission on Operative Questions discussed problems with CIS
trade and measures for improving trade financing on 19 October,
Russian Television and Reuters reported. Vladimir Mashchits told
the session that the volume of trade had begun to drop sharply
because of lack of payments to suppliers. Russian enterprises
alone are owed 3 trillion rubles or $2.5-billion. Among the proposals
for dealing with these persistent payment problems, the commission
recommended speeding up the creation of the CIS Economic Court
to enforce trade agreements, stiffening penalties against delinquent
payments, accelerating bank transactions, simplifying customs
procedures, and swapping bills of exchange for interenterprise
debt. -Erik Whitlock

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



MILOSEVIC DISSOLVES ASSEMBLY, CALLS ELECTIONS. Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic dissolved the republic's National Assembly
on 20 October and called new parliamentary elections for 19 December.
New presidential elections will not be held. Milosevic explained
during the main evening TV news program that he had dissolved
the parliament because of political obstruction by "certain political
parties and their representatives." He said this behavior impeded
national unity and argued that "the quickest and cleanest way
out of this parliamentary crisis" is to allow the citizens of
Serbia to choose a new parliament. Milosevic's minority Socialist
government was facing a no-confidence vote in parliament proposed
by the Serbian Radical Party (SRS). After seven days of scathing
criticism of Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic's government, the
parliament adjourned on 18-October for seven days before voting.
Officials claimed the vote was postponed because of the federal
parliament's busy schedule, but some Belgrade political analysts
said the delay was designed to buy time for the Socialists after
the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement threatened to support
the SRS in the no-confidence vote. Opposition parties have been
trying to bring down the government since May, however, so the
Socialists may have been well prepared for the latest developments.
Defeated in the December 1992 elections, the divided opposition
may once again be no match for Milosevic's Socialists. -Milan
Andrejevich

MORE ON SLOVAK COALITION AGREEMENT. According to Movement for
a Democratic Slovakia Deputy Chairman Roman Kovac, the new coalition
between his party and the Slovak National Party could bring several
changes in the cabinet. Although Kovac did not mention any names,
he said the government is considering the creation of a new post
for an expert on macroeconomics and of a new Ministry for the
Integration of Slovakia into European Structures; both parties
fully support Slovakia's entrance into the EC and NATO. It is
expected that SNP Honorary Chairman Jozef Prokes will replace
Jozef Moravcik as Foreign Minister, while Moravcik will take
on the position of deputy premier, TASR reports on 20 October.
Marian Andel, chairman of the SNP parliamentary club, is favored
for the now vacant post of education minister, though he is "resisting"
the appointment. SNP Chairman Ludovit Cernak should take on the
post of deputy chairman of the parliament. It was not reported
who will take on the now vacant post of privatization minister,
though SNP Deputy Chairman Peter Sokol said acceleration of privatization
is one of the priorities of the coalition parties. Kovac said
the proposed cabinet will likely be settled on 23 October during
sessions of top officials of the two parties and could be given
to the president for approval as early as 25 October. Meanwhile,
Slovak daily Sme reported on 20 October a rift in the SNP, with
Cernak's supporters opposed to the coalition with the MDS and
Andel's supporters in favor. -Sharon Fisher

PAWLAK BEGINS BUILDING CABINET. Polish Prime Minister designate
Waldemar Pawlak held extensive talks with ministerial candidates
on 19 and 20 October, as the outlines of the new cabinet began
to emerge. The three "presidential" ministries-defense, internal
affairs, and foreign affairs-appear likely go to candidates loyal
to President Lech Walesa. Pawlak met with current Internal Affairs
Minister Andrzej Milczanowski, who will likely retain his post;
former finance minister Andrzej Olechowski, who seems likely
to replace Krzysztof Skubiszewski as foreign minister; and retired
Adm. Piotr Kolodziejczyk, who may be defense minister. Kolodziejczyk
served as defense minister in Poland's first two Solidarity governments
before civilians took over in 1992. Democratic Left Alliance
(SLD) leader Aleksander Kwasniewski said that the cabinet may
be completed in two or three days but confirmed that conflicts
remain between the two coalition parties. Polish TV reported
that a third deputy prime minister's post may be created for
a representative of the Polish Peasant Party, to offset the SLD's
control of the two original posts, for economics and politics.
The SLD's proposal that Leszek Miller head the labor ministry
remains controversial. Miller represents the SLD's "apparatus"
wing and his appointment is believed necessary to maintain the
loyalty of former communist party members, but he is under investigation
for his role in the CPSU's million-dollar loan to the Polish
communist party in 1990 and is disliked by Solidarity forces.
-Louisa Vinton

POLAND, DENMARK SIGN MILITARY AGREEMENT. Polish Defense Minister
Janusz Onyszkiewicz and his Danish counterpart Hans Haekkerup
signed a military cooperation agreement on 18 October in Warsaw,
PAP reports. Haekkerup said the agreement is a "step that brings
Poland closer to full membership in NATO in the future." This
is the first military accord Denmark has reached with an East
European country. Poland has concluded similar agreements with
all of its neighbors, as well as with Hungary, Latvia, France,
Greece, Holland, and Belgium. -Louisa Vinton

UKRAINE'S NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE. On 20 October UNIAR gave some
details of the new Ukrainian draft military doctrine, which was
adopted by deputies almost without discussion. The difference
between this draft and its earlier version lies in the fact that
the formulation, "Ukraine does not consider any state as its
adversary," has been changed to, "Ukraine will consider its potential
adversary to be a state whose consistent policy constitutes a
military danger to Ukraine." There is also an amendment to point
1.3 of the previous version of the doctrine, which noted that
Ukraine adheres to the nonnuclear principles of not accepting,
manufacturing, or acquiring nuclear weapons. This point now reads,
"Having become the owner of nuclear weapons through historical
circumstances, Ukraine will never sanction their use and excludes
the threat to use nuclear weapons from its foreign policy arsenal.
In the future, Ukraine intends to become a nonnuclear state and
links the reduction and destruction of nuclear weapons to the
appropriate actions of other nuclear states, and the granting
by them, and by the world community, of reliable security guarantees."
-Ustina Markus

NEW US AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE. The new US ambassador to Ukraine,
William Miller, arrived in Kiev on 19 October, Ukrainian Television
reported. At a press conference Miller said the US wants to see
an independent, free Ukraine, and will be watching the coming
elections with great interest. Miller replaces Roman Popadiuk
as ambassador. -Ustina Markus

HAVEL IN POLAND. On 20 October, Czech President Vaclav Havel
started a two-day official visit to Poland at the invitation
of Polish President Lech Walesa. In an interview with CTK, Walesa
said that "we will certainly discuss our road to Europe, NATO
membership, and promotion of bilateral cooperation." On the 20th,
the two presidents met at a private dinner. Havel is also scheduled
to meet with outgoing Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka and her Foreign
Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski as well as with Sejm and the
Senate representatives. He will also visit the Baltic ports of
Gdansk and Gdynia. -Jiri Pehe

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO PRAGUE CRITICIZES WEU SECRETARY. Alexandr
Lebedev, the Russian Ambassador to Prague, reacted angrily to
a lecture given by Willem van Eekelen, the General Secretary
of the West European Union, in Prague on 20 October. In his speech,
titled "The Future of European Security," Eekelen reportedly
described Russia as "a country beyond the frontiers of Europe."
CTK quotes Lebedev as saying that "the words of the West European
Union's General Secretary justify the fears of those political
forces in Russia, who claim that European institutions are trying
to expel Russia to the periphery of the process of European integration."
In an interview with CTK after his lecture, Eekelen urged East
European countries to coordinate their efforts to integrate with
European institutions. -Jiri Pehe

CZECH MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO LITHUANIA. The Czech government
announced on 20-October that it will give two million koruny
($66,000) worth of surplus military equipment to Lithuania. CTK
quotes Deputy Prime Minister Josef Lux as saying that the equipment
will be given because the Czech Republic wants to assist Lithuania
in building up its military. He also said that the Czech government
expects that the aid will result in regular bids from Lithuania
for Czech military equipment. Lithuania has received similar
aid from Poland and Germany. Lithuanian Defense Minister Audrius
Butkevicius visited Prague at the beginning of October; he and
his Czech counterpart, Antonin Baudys, signed an agreement on
military cooperation between the two countries. -Jiri Pehe

NO PROGRESS AT LATVIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS. The latest round of negotiations
on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and related issues
ended inconclusively in Moscow on 20 October, Diena reports.
No accords were signed, though it was decided that two groups
of experts will continue work on transportation and border issues
and the next talks will be held in Jurmala 15-17 November. Head
of the Latvian delegation Martins Virsis told RFE/RL that the
Russian delegation tried to avoid dealing with the principal
issues, such as a timetable for the troop withdrawals, and altered
its position on various issues that had been agreed upon previously.
In a related development, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev
told the press in Helsinki on 19 October that the troop pullout
from Estonia and Latvia depends on how those countries deal with
their Russian-speaking populations; he threatened that Russian
troops would stay there as long as it takes to resolve the issue.
-Dzintra Bungs

TROOPS, BORDER ISSUES HAMPER ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS. Vasilii
Svirin, head of the Russian delegation for talks with Estonia,
told the recently appointed Estonian Minister of Nationalities
Peeter Olesk that Russia does not recognize the Estonian-Soviet
Russian peace treaty signed in 1920 in Tartu as binding. Svirin
said that Moscow has maintained such a position for the past
one-and-a-half years and has rejected Estonian territorial claims
against Russia, Hommikuleht reported on 19 October. Olesk believes
that the Estonian-Russian border should become a European rather
than a bilateral issue and stressed that the Tartu treaty should
become a fundamental document for all European states interested
in the area. Baltic media also reported on 20 October that the
Estonian parliament had ratified a law on consular relations
with Russia, following a convention signed by the two sides in
Moscow on 2 December 1992. Groups of Estonian and Russian experts
opened a two-day meeting at Lohusalu on 20 October to discuss
deadlines for the withdrawal of Russian troops and the guarantees
of social welfare for retired Soviet officers and their families,
BNS reported. -Dzintra Bungs

MORE LEADERSHIP CHANGES IN LITHUANIA. Baltic media reported on
19 October that Col. Jonas Andriskevicius, 49, has been appointed
Commander of the Lithuanian National Army. Andriskevicius, who
served until recently as director of the Vilnius Military College,
is the first to hold this position since Lithuania regained its
independence in August 1991. The same day the resignation of
Social Security Minister Teodoras Medaiskis was also announced;
reportedly the resignation was motivated by personal reasons,
rather than disagreements with members of the government or the
Seimas. -Dzintra Bungs

SHUSHKEVICH IN BULGARIA. At a press conference on 20 October,
Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev promised his Belarusian counterpart
Stanislau Shushkevich that Bulgaria will assist Belarus in its
efforts to become a member of the Council of Europe when it assumes
chairmanship of that organization in May 1994. As quoted by Reuters,
Zhelev praised Belarus for its firm support of Russian President
Boris Yeltsin during the recent political crisis in Moscow. Apart
from signing a friendship and cooperation treaty with Bulgaria,
Shushkevich agreed during his two-day visit to Sofia to deliver
military spare parts to the Bulgarian armed forces. BTA reports
that an intergovernmental commission on economic, scientific,
and technological cooperation will also be established. -Kjell
Engelbrekt

BEROV AND JUDICIARY CLASH. Responding to the strong criticism
of the Bulgarian judiciary voiced by Prime Minister Lyuben Berov
and government spokesman Raycho Raykov two days earlier, the
Bulgarian Judicial Council (BJC) on 20 October said the statements
amount to "gross violation of the constitution" and "inadmissible
interference in the affairs of the judiciary," BTA reports. The
conflict between the cabinet and the BJC is looming as the government
is trying to persuade a majority in the Bulgarian parliament
to accept amendments to the law on the work of the BJC. In Demokratsiya
of the same day, Supreme Court Chairman Ivan Grigorov said he
believes the real aim of the cabinet's proposals is to replace
certain BJC members. -Kjell Engelbrekt

ALBANIAN COMMUNIST FUNCTIONARIES ARRESTED. Two former high-ranking
communist officials were arrested in Tirana on 20 October on
charges of genocide and violating human rights, PAP reports,
quoting Albanian Television. Former security police chief Zylyftar
Ramizi was accused of organizing mass repressions against Albanian
citizens in the 1980s, while former chief prosecutor Rrapi Mino
was arrested in connection with his role in a commission that
handed down sentences and ordered deportations. -Louisa Vinton


ILIESCU ENDS SOUTH AFRICA VISIT. On 19-20-October, Romania's
President Ion Iliescu paid a two-day state visit to the Republic
of South Africa. He met with President Frederick de Klerk, African
National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, and other political
leaders. Radio Bucharest reported that Iliescu and de Klerk on
20-October signed a cooperation agreement to promote trade, investment,
cultural, scientific, and sporting ties between the two countries.
Iliescu visited Zimbabwe on 14-15-October before attending an
economic summit of French-speaking nations in Mauritius. He goes
to Kenya on 21 October. -Dan Ionescu

INTERNATIONAL MILITARY SEMINAR ENDS IN BUCHAREST. An international
seminar on the training of military officers in democracies ended
in Bucharest on 20 October. According to Radio Bucharest, the
seminar was organized by NATO in cooperation with the Romanian
National Defense Ministry. Romania's Defense Minister Nicolae
Spiroiu addressed the conference on 20 October, shortly after
returning from Germany, where he signed a bilateral military
cooperation agreement. At a press conference, which followed
the closing session, journalists raised questions about the new
security system in Europe and the chances of East European countries
to be integrated into the NATO. -Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN TRADE, FINANCIAL DEVELOPMENTS. Adding to the information
on President Mircea Snegur's talks with Russian Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin, held on 19 October in Moscow, Moldovan and
Russian news agencies report that the sides signed a "zero option"
agreement whereby Russia will take over Moldova's share of the
ex-USSR's foreign debt, in exchange for Moldova's ceding its
share of the ex-USSR's assets outside Moldova to Russia. In addition,
Russia agreed to continue beyond the deadline of 1 November to
exempt Moldovan goods of the excise taxes and customs tariffs
imposed on non-CIS imports, on the understanding that Moldova
will join the CIS and the Economic Union as a full member. Prime
Minister Andrei Sangheli told journalists on 20 October that
Moldova intends to introduce its national currency, the Moldovan
leu, in November, Interfax reports. The move, awaited since 1991,
is supported by the IMF and other financial institutions, Sangheli
said. Romania also has a leu, named after a historic coin in
the region, but Moldova wants its leu pegged to the Russian ruble
at parity. -Vladimir Socor

BELARUS DEMANDS RETURN OF NATIONAL TREASURE. Belarus is demanding
the return of the Cross of Efrosonia, a twelfth-century symbol
of national unity that is revered by all three of Belarus's religious
groups-Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and Roman Catholic-The European
of 14-17 October reported. The government has called on Interpol
to help retrieve the cross, which it believes is in a private
collection in the US. Foreign Minister Piotr Krauchanka said
the government is encouraged by Poland's successes in regaining
lost treasures, but admits Belarus's chances of similar recoveries
are less likely because the country cannot afford to buy back
any of its lost artifacts. -Ustina Markus

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Stephen Foye and Louisa Vinton











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