Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 248, 29 December 1993



RUSSIA



LUKYANOV GETS TEMPORARY POST IN NEW PARLIAMENT. One of the leaders
of the August 1991 attempted coup, Anatolii Lukyanov, has been
given the post of chairman of a temporary commission in the new
Russian parliament, Reuters reported on 28 December. Lukyanov,
former chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet, will chair the commission
set up to coordinate work among various factions in advance of
the convening of the new parliament on 11 January. A representative
of the Communist faction, Viktor Ilyukhin, told the agency the
majority of newly elected deputies voted in favor of Lukyanov
over another candidate--Gennadii Burbulis, a former aide to President
Yeltsin. The same day, Interfax quoted Lukyanov as saying he
would not appear in court on 29 December when the coup-plotters'
trial resumes. Lukyanov told the agency he still had pneumonia
and doctors had ordered him to stay in bed. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL,
Inc.

GOVERNMENT TO BE REDUCED IN SIZE. President Boris Yeltsin has
signed a decree ordering changes to the Russian government. The
decree, dated 23 December, was published in Rossiiskie vesti
of 28 December and details the reorganization of governmental
structures of which Yeltsin had warned at his 22 December press
conference. In particular, the Council of Ministers will be renamed
the Government of the Russian Federation. Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin is also ordered to present proposals within two
weeks to reduce the number of government ministers, transform
some state committees into ministries, and effect an overall
reduction in the number of state committees and ministries, primarily
by abolishing bodies which duplicate functions. The decree also
orders a 20% reduction in the size of the Russian government
bureaucracy to be made within one month. Wendy Slater, RFE/RL,
Inc.

COMMUNIST LEADER SAYS PARLIAMENT SHOULD REEXAMINE CONSTITUTION.
Gennadii Zyuganov, the leader of the Russian Communist Party,
which won 65 seats in the lower chamber of the new parliament,
told a press conference on 28 December that the parliament might
decide to reexamine the new Russian constitution. The constitution
was approved by 58.4 % of the participants in the 12 December
referendum, in which 54.8 % of Russia's eligible voters took
part. President Yeltsin decreed the constitution to be deemed
adopted if more than half of the referendum's participants voted
in favor. Zyuganov argues that the majority of eligible voters
is needed to regard the fundamental law as approved. Zyuganov
told journalists that "almost all factions [in the new parliament]
support the idea" that the constitution should be revised, ITAR-TASS
reported. Zyuganov also said his party was trying to set up a
"center-left" coalition that would work towards fundamental changes
in the course of economic reforms and in foreign policy. Vera
Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

ARMS SALES CHIEF APPOINTED. ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported on
28 December that President Yeltsin has appointed Viktor Samoilov
the general director of the new "Rosvooruzheniye" arms export
company. Samoilov was previously an advisor to First Deputy Prime
Minister Vladimir Shumeiko, and Deputy Chief of the Main Directorate
for Personnel in the CIS military command. The new corporation
was formed in mid-November with the mandate to centralize arms
exports and increase sales. This approach appears to conflict
with the decentralized approach advocated by other arms industry
advocates, such as Viktor Glukhikh, chief of the defense industries
committee (see the Daily Report of 28 December). John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

NAVY COMMANDER IN KUWAIT. The Russian Navy commander, Admiral
Felix Gromov, arrived in Kuwait on 28 December to oversee joint
Russian-Kuwaiti naval maneuvers, ITAR-TASS reported. The maneuvers
were agreed upon during a visit to Russia by the Kuwaiti defense
minister in early December, and indicate the importance that
Russia is placing on military cooperation with Kuwait, apparently
with the goal of fostering increased arms sales as well. On 27
December, ITAR-TASS reported that the Kuwaiti defense minister
stated at a press conference that Kuwait was indeed considering
arms purchases from Russia, and denied suggestions that Russia
had been applying pressure on Kuwait. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL,
Inc.

CHUBAIS ON PRIVATIZATION PROGRESS. Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii
Chubais told a press conference on 28 December that 110 million
Russians had already invested their privatization vouchers and
that voucher privatization would be completed by July 1994, according
to various Russian and Western news agencies. Chubais reported
that over two-thirds of small service enterprises have been privatized.
Of 14,500 large state enterprises existing at the start of the
privatization program, 11,000 have now been transformed into
joint-stock companies, and 7,000 of these joint-stock companies
have been privatized. Chubais credited broad public support for
the program's success. Responding to a question about the apparent
lack of change in efficiency and incentives at newly privatized
enterprises, Chubais allowed that privatization was only a means
to solving an enterprise's problems not an end in itself. Erik
Whitlock, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUBLE EASING CLOSER TO PPP? WITH RUBLE PRICE LEVELS INCREASING
AT 20% OR MORE A MONTH OVER THE SECOND HALF OF THIS YEAR IN RUSSIA,
WHILE THE RUBLE HAS LOST ONLY SOME 20% OF ITS VALUE ON CURRENCY
EXCHANGES OVER THE SAME PERIOD, THE REAL RUBLE-TO-DOLLAR EXCHANGE
RATE HAS DROPPED SIGNIFICANTLY. Long undervalued on exchange
markets, the ruble is moving closer to purchasing power parity
(PPP) between the two currencies, Kommersant no. 50 reports.
In October, a comparison of the dollar value of a basket of consumer
goods abroad with the ruble value of the same basket of consumer
goods in Russia implied an exchange rate of 480 rubles for the
dollar. Using a basket of commodities traded between Russia and
other nations, the implied exchange rate is 860 rubles to the
dollar. The PPP rates reported by Kommersant, while still 30
to 60% lower than the market exchange rates at the time, are
still much closer than those reported in the first few months
of 1993, which, according to some Russian economists, were 8090%
lower than those suggested by PPP estimates. Erik Whitlock, RFE/RL,
Inc.

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

COUP IMMINENT IN GEORGIA? RUMORS ARE CIRCULATING IN TBILISI THAT
FOLLOWING THE CLASHES BETWEEN GEORGIAN SECURITY MINISTER IGOR
GEORGADZE AND DEFENSE MINISTER GIORGI KARKARASHVILI THE LATTER
LEFT TBILISI WITH A CONTINGENT OF HIS MEN AND "JOINED THE OPPOSITION,"
GIVING RISE TO EXPECTATIONS OF A MILITARY COUP, ACCORDING TO
IZVESTIYA OF 29 DECEMBER. The Rustavi subdivision of the Mkhedrioni
paramilitary organization was brought to Tbilisi on 27 December
and is guarding the parliament building. Interfax quoted a Shevardnadze
spokesman on 28 December as denying that there was any substance
to media reports of tensions between the defense and security
ministries, but a defense ministry spokesman said that deputy
ministers had met on 27-28 December in an attempt to resolve
the dispute.Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

ELECTIONS IN UZBEKISTAN. On 28 December, the first day of its
current session, Uzbekistan's Supreme Soviet approved the holding
of elections next year for the 250-seat Majlis (Assembly) specified
in the country's post-independence constitution, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported. No date was set for the election. President Islam Karimov
commented to the parliament that this is the last session of
the Soviet-era legislature. He also told the deputies, according
to an Interfax report, that he is opposed to dual citizenship
in Uzbekistan because it would undermine Uzbekistani patriotism.
Like his counterparts in other Central Asian states, Karimov
wants to create a national identity encompassing all citizens
of the country regardless of their ethnicity. Karimov also denied
rumors about a possible cancellation of the sum coupons in use
as currency in Uzbekistan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

REFERENDUM IN TURKMENISTAN. Turkmenistan's Halk maslahaty, a
super-parliament of notables, met after a session of the Mejlis,
the national parliament, on 28 December and proposed that an
extension of President Saparmurad Niyazov's term of office be
submitted to a nationwide referendum, ITAR-TASS reported. The
referendum is to take place on 15 January. At the beginning of
December the Democratic, formerly Communist, Party made the proposal
to extend Niyazov's term of office for an additional five years
without an election, ostensibly to enable Niyazov to carry out
his economic and political development program without interruption.
Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS

UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY DENIES CIS SUMMIT REPORTS. Ukrainian
First Deputy Defense Minister, Ivan Bizhan, held a press conference
on 28 December at which he denied reports that Ukraine had agreed
to be a member of the CIS Council of Defense Ministers. Bizhan
noted that Ukraine had not signed a single document at the summit
and claimed that there had been no change in Ukraine's military
policy, according to ITAR-TASS and Ukrainian radio reports of
28 December. The possibility of Ukraine joining the council,
or participating in other CIS military structures, could only
be decided by the president and parliament, according to Bizhan.
Bizhan's comments appear to represent something of a rebuke to
the new Defense Minister, Vitalii Radetsky, who is regarded by
some members of parliament and government as being too pro-Russian
and pro-CIS. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

BLACK SEA FLEET INCIDENTS. Ukrainian and Russian sources have
again put out conflicting reports on incidents involving the
Black Sea Fleet in Odessa and Izmail, Reuters and AFP reported
on 28 December. According to an unnamed Russian officer, Ukrainian
marines armed with submachine guns occupied offices of the military
engineering units in those two cities. This was denied by Col.
Oleksandr Stakhov, deputy commander of the Ukrainian navy. Stakhov
said the only incident was that some servicemen of the fleet
in Odessa and Izmail took an oath of loyalty to Ukraine. The
press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued
an official statement clarifying the issue on Ukrainian television.
According to the statement, on 28 December the engineering units
of the Black Sea Fleet in Odessa, Izmail and Mykolaiv were subordinated
to the Ukrainian armed forces. This was done in agreement with
the fleet's command. The statement went on to criticize the Russian
media, particularly ITAR-TASS, for spreading misinformation.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

ANTI-CRIME MEASURES INTRODUCED IN SEVASTOPOL. In response to
an increasing crime rate and the recent murders of Black Sea
Fleet officers, authorities in Sevastopol have decided to toughen
anti-crime measures for two months, beginning 27 December. According
to an Interfax report of 28 December, the measures fall short
of the declaration of a state of emergency, but they do include
increasing the number of personnel in some departments of the
Ukrainian security service units in the city. Special attention
will be paid to investigating the murder of Andrei Lazebnikov,
and street patrols will also be strengthened. The decisions were
endorsed by the commander of the Ukrainian navy, but there was
no indication whether the Black Sea Fleet command had been consulted
on the measures, or whether it endorsed them. John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



BULGARIA EXPELS ZHIRINOVSKY. On the evening of 28 December Bulgarian
authorities decided to expel Russian nationalist leader Vladimir
Zhirinovsky on the grounds that he had insulted the host country
and jeopardized its relations with neighboring states, Western
and domestic media report. The Bulgarian Ministry of Internal
Affairs issued a decree ordering Zhirinovsky's expulsion within
24 hours immediately after a press conference at which the chairman
of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party claimed that Turkey was
preparing to conquer both the Balkans and the Caucasus, and called
Romania "an artificial state" inhabited by "Italian Gypsies."
The interior ministry said that, apart from "creating real preconditions
for complicating our country's relations with neighboring states,"
Zhirinovsky's statements over the last few days had represented
"inadmissible meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign
state." The latter was evidently a reference to Zhirinovsky's
remark on 26 December that President Zhelyu Zhelev should step
down and that Bulgarian voters ought to chose Svetoslav Stoilov,
Zhirinovsky's personal economic advisor, to succeed Zhelev. Many
Bulgarians were irritated by his statements: the LDP leader was
booed by the majority of onlookers as he laid a wreath at a memorial
to Tsar Alexander II who helped liberate Bulgaria from the Ottoman
Empire in the 1870s. In a defiant last comment, Zhirinovsky told
Bulgarian TV he would obey the order, but one day return as President
of Russia. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY DENIED GERMAN VISA. Bavarian Radio reported on 29
December that Zhirinovsky has been denied a visa for a planned
18-day visit to Germany. His visa application originated at the
German embassy in Sofia. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel
cited as grounds for refusing his visa Paragraph 7 of the German
Law on Foreigners which states that visa applicants can be refused
if their visit would pose harm to Germany's interests, according
to German press agencies. Unnamed German Foreign Ministry authorities
said that Zhirinovsky's visit was undesirable, explaining that
Zhirinovsky should not be given the chance to spread his right-wing
nationalist ideas on German soil. A general ban on visits by
Zhirinovsky to Germany is also reportedly being considered. Suzanne
Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

ILIESCU ON NATO, ZHIRINOVSKY. In an interview with AFP summarized
by Radio Bucharest on 28 December, Romanian president Ion Iliescu
said East European countries should eventually join NATO together,
and none should be accepted before others. Giving early membership
to countries such as Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech
Republic would not be conducive to European stability, Iliescu
said. He also expressed hope that Russia's democratic forces
would be able to limit the influence of the ultranationalists
led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK VICE PREMIER ON RFE CONTROVERSY. In a statement to the
media on 28 December, Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Roman Kovac
said that the decision by the Ministry of Transportation and
Communications to terminate medium-wave broadcasting by Radio
Free Europe in Slovakia was prompted by technical problems and
was not politically motivated. Calling it "a very unfortunate
step," Kovac said the ministry had not consulted its decision
with the government before announcing it. The vice premier further
said that he had instructed the ministry to contact RFE and come
up with a mutually acceptable solution, taking account of technical
needs and the problems of broadcasting in Slovakia and RFE's
needs. He said that he holds RFE "in high esteem," as the station
had done "a tremendous job in developing democracy during the
totalitarian regime and after the revolution." According to Kovac,
it is necessary "to create conditions suitable for the work of
RFE people." Transportation and Communications Minister Roman
Hofbauer also ruled out any political motivation in announcing
the decision to terminate RFE's medium-wave broadcasts. Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CROAT-MUSLIM TENSIONS. On 29 December the international media
reported on a number of issues outstanding between Croatia and
the Bosnian Muslim government, some of which threaten to jeopardize
prospects for regional peace. Vecernji list reported statements
made by Croatia's foreign minister, Mate Granic. According to
the report, Granic suggested that Croatia is willing to make
concessions to the Bosnian Muslims in order to secure peace,
but alleged at the same time that the Muslims' recalcitrance
and greed were slowing down negotiations. Granic said that although
Croatia has gone on record as offering the Bosnian Muslims access
to a port, they remain dissatisfied and "don't look for access
to the sea, but want [control] of a port." Croatian leaders continue
to accuse the Bosnian Muslims of committing atrocities against
Bosnian Croat civilians. International media reported that Granic
formally requested the UN to set up safe havens for Croats who
are allegedly being attacked by Muslim forces throughout central
Bosnia. On 28 December UN sources had announced that the international
organization will investigate Bosnian Croat allegations of atrocities
committed by Muslim soldiers near Gornji Vakuf and Vitez in central
Bosnia. Meanwhile, Reuters reported on 28 December that 1,000
people were evacuated from the war ravaged Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.
Most of them are eventually to be taken to the Croatian port
city of Split. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

A MINORITY GOVERNMENT FOR SERBIA? ON 28 DECEMBER LEADERS FROM
THE VARIOUS PARTIES HOLDING SEATS IN THE SERBIAN LEGISLATURE
MET WITH SERBIA'S PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO DISCUSS THE
FORMATION OF A NEW GOVERNMENT. Milosevic's Socialist Party of
Serbia controls 123 of the 250 seats and, according to party
spokesman Ivica Dacic, is eager to form a coalition government
with any party except the Serbian Radical Party led by Vojislav
Seselj. On 29 December Borba reported that all opposition parties
have gone on record stating that they will not support a Socialist
minority government. Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic
Party and holder of 29 seats, has announced his willingness to
help form a government of "national salvation" which would put
aside party interests and "solve the citizens' problems." According
to the Borba report, Djindjic is not prepared to support a lone
Socialist bid to form a government because the SPS "cannot solve
the problems of the people." Djindjic suggested that all parties
were aware that the SPS could no longer rule Serbia but that
since it did garner most votes in the 19 December elections,
it could not be entirely excluded from power. Djindjic warned
that if the parties in the Serbian parliament do not learn to
compromise, "there will be no agreement, and if we have no agreement,
we will have the [UN-imposed economic] blockade, new elections,
and a new [political] crisis." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT EXTENDS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. Meeting on 28
December, the Polish cabinet extended by six months a regulation
granting an additional seven months of jobless benefits in regions
officially recognized as threatened by high structural unemployment.
The payment of unemployment benefits is normally limited to one
year. Deputy Labor Minister Jerzy Szreter estimated that the
extension will affect about 70,000 people and cost just under
one trillion zloty ($48 million) in 1994. Conceding that the
extension will reduce the sums available for "active" methods
of fighting unemployment, Szreter said the government plans to
take steps to reduce benefits in areas where the unemployment
rate is less than half the national average. Unemployment now
stands at 15.5%. The cabinet also dissolved a company set up
in September by the Suchocka government to coordinate the construction
of new highways. Former Deputy Prime Minister Henryk Goryszewski
had held a seat on the company's board of directors. The government
opted instead to establish a governmental highway agency. The
cabinet also decided to extend diplomatic recognition to Macedonia,
PAP reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT PROBES CONCORDAT? POLISH OFFICIALS CONCEDED
ON 28 DECEMBER THAT LEGAL EXPERTS HAD COMPLETED FIVE SEPARATE
EVALUATIONS OF THE CONCORDAT BETWEEN POLAND AND THE VATICAN.
These evaluations, made at the request of Justice Minister and
Deputy Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, apparently pointed
to discrepancies between the terms of the concordat and existing
Polish legislation. The concordat, signed on 28 July, awaits
ratification by the parliament. The ousted Suchocka government,
which hailed the concordat as one of its major achievements,
submitted the document to the Sejm; but, on taking power, the
new government withdrew it from consideration. Although officials
stressed that the government has not yet discussed or come to
any conclusion on the concordat's fate, the alleged discrepancies
are already being used by some members of the ruling coalition
as a legal (rather than political) argument against rapid ratification
of the concordat. The coalition appears divided on the issue.
The Polish Peasant Party advocates ratification; but the Democratic
Left Alliance (SLD) has expressed reservations. SLD leader Aleksander
Kwasniewski told reporters on 28 December that the problems raised
in the legal evaluations "reflect poorly on those who drafted
the concordat." He indicated that the SLD deputies will not vote
for ratification unless the concordat is renegotiated. Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH DRAFT BUDGET COMPLETED. The cabinet concluded work on
the draft 1994 budget and related legislation just in time to
meet the 29 December deadline for submission to the parliament,
PAP reports. Finance Minister Marek Borowski told reporters on
28 December that realization of the planned budget remains "within
the realm of possibility." Government spending on health, education,
defense, and other budget sectors will remain steady in real
terms, rather than declining as it has in past years. Borowski
noted that additional sums have been earmarked in 1994 for the
purchase of domestic arms production, the liquidation of unprofitable
mines, the promotion of export, and the provision of preferential
credits for agriculture. Revenues are set to rise by 7.3% in
real terms; spending by 8%. The budget includes major increases
to finance Poland's debts. Domestic debt servicing is to rise
from 61 trillion zloty ($2.9 billion) in 1993 to 101 trillion
zloty ($4.8 billion) in 1994; and foreign debt servicing is to
rise from 13 trillion zloty ($619 million) to 30 trillion ($1.4
billion). The draft budget maintains the same devaluation rate
for the zloty as in 1993 (1.6% per month). Real wages are to
rise 2% in 1994. Inflation is estimated at 27% for the year,
PAP reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. The unemployment
rate in the Czech Republic reached 3.3% in November, CTK reported
on 28 December. While Prague has the lowest rate with 0.3%, northern
Moravia remains the most affected region with 5.8% unemployed.
German dailies on 28 December quoted a Dresdner Bank report assessing
the Czech koruna as the most stable currency in post-communist
Europe. The report said that real inflation in the Czech Republic
dropped from 60% in 1991 to 10% in 1993 and that the koruna's
exchange rate against all major Western currencies has remained
almost unchanged over a considerable period of time. In other
news, the US Pepsico company plans to open 40 Kentucky Fried
Chicken outlets in the Czech Republic over the next four years,
The Financial Times reported on 23 December. This represents
the company's biggest commitment yet in the region. Jan Obrman,
RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARY'S NUCLEAR WASTE PROBLEM GROWS. The Austrian daily Die
Presse reported in its 27 December edition that Hungary's nuclear
waste problem is intensifying. Russia is no longer accepting
radioactive waste produced by Hungary's Soviet-designed atomic
plant at Paks. During the current re-negotiations of the agreement,
it was discovered that there was no contractual agreement to
do so in the past. In addition, Ukraine has problems with transportation
of the waste through its territory. Storage facilities at Paks
will be filled by early 1995. Paks produces 56 tons of nuclear
waste yearly. Hungarian officials are also talking with French
and British firms about solutions to the problem. Karoly Okolicsanyi,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIA SEEKS EXTRADITION OF EX-POLITBURO MEMBER. Several dailies
on 29 December quoted Bulgaria's Prosecutor General, Ivan Tatarchev,
as disclosing that Bulgaria has officially requested the extradition
of Ognyan Doynov, a former member of the Politburo, from his
present residence in Austria. Doynov, ex-ambassador to Norway
and a former employee of British industrialist and publisher
Robert Maxwell, is among 22 communist ex-officials indicted for
having mismanaged the Bulgarian economy, and mentioned as a key
witness in a case against perpetrators of ecological crimes.
BTA reports that Interpol confirmed on 24 December that Doynov,
following a decision by a Vienna court, had been arrested by
Austrian police. Although Standart quoted a lawyer of the ex-Politburo
member as saying that Bulgaria and Austria lack a formal agreement
on extradition, Tatarchev told Demokratsiya that he expects Doynov
to appear before a Bulgarian court as early as January. Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION CALLS FOR SPECIAL PARLIAMENTARY SESSION.
The Democratic Convention of Romania, the main opposition alliance,
has called for a special session of the parliament to prevent
the government from issuing decrees with the force of law, an
RFE/RL correspondent reported from Bucharest on 28 December.
The statement says the government wants to enforce important
laws, including one that would raise taxes, before parliament
reconvenes after the holiday recess on 1 February. These laws,
the DCR says, are too important to go into effect without public
debate, and a special session should be held on 3 January. One
day earlier, the DCR representatives walked out of the Chamber
of Deputies, challenging the legality of the debate on empowering
the government to rule by decree. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.


SNEGUR WILL NOT BE NEUTRAL. Moldovan President Mircea Snegur
said in an interview carried by Interfax on 28 December that
he would not remain neutral in the February elections to the
Moldovan parliament. Otherwise, he said, nationalist forces might
win as in Russia. He would call on the voters to support those
parties and movements that sought to consolidate Moldova's independence,
"those who are not dragging us either to Moscow or to Bucharest."
Snegur accused the opposition of shamelessly using for their
own political purposes the case of Ilie Ilascu and 5 others sentenced
for terrorism by a Transdniester court. He said he was continuing
to work energetically for the transfer of the six to the Moldovan
authorities. (The statement by his spokesman Vasile Grozavu on
24 December--reported in RFE/RL's Daily Report No. 246 on 27
December--that the Dniester authorities were ready to hand them
over appears to have been premature.) Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.


ESTONIAN GDP RISES. The Estonian Statistics Department announced
that in the third quarter of 1993 the country's gross democratic
product (GDP) rose for the first time since independence was
regained, BNS reported on 28 December. The quarter's GDP of 5,322.2
million kroons ($390 million) was 6.4% higher than the GDP of
5,003.5 million kroons in the second quarter. The main factors
responsible for the rise were higher personal incomes leading
to greater individual consumption, and the establishment of new
institutions to increase public sector consumption. The department
expressed concern, however, about a decline in investments, noting
that the slow pace of privatization of large enterprises was
blocking investment in businesses that were already operating.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIA CREATES COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENT, EMPLOYERS, EMPLOYEES. On
28 December government officials, trade unions, and employers
formed a 36-member council to mediate in conflicts between employers
and employees and establish "normal contractual relations at
various levels," BNS reports. The council established three committees:
for Labor Protection, Social Affairs, and Economic Promotion.
It did not approve draft statutes pending editorial amendments.
The council's member organizations made a commitment to stimulate
the creation of similar three-way councils in Latvia's raions.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN DEFENSE BUDGET. Interfax reported on 28 December that
the Belarusian parliament has allotted 692.4 billion rubles for
the republic's military budget for 1994. The Deputy Minister
for National Security and Crime Fighting, Valyeri Paulau, said
the sum was inadequate and that the Belarusian armed forces would
not have sufficient funds to purchase up-to-date weaponry or
to train personnel. Almost $33 million is needed next year just
to meet Belarus' commitments under the treaty on Conventional
Forces in Europe. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by John Lepingwell & Anna Swidlicka

RFE/RL Daily Report, No. 249

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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