|In the effort to give good and comforting answers to the young questioners whom we love, we very often arrive at good and comforting answers for ourselves. - Ruth Goode|
No. 21, 1 February 1994
RUSSIA FILATOV ON UPCOMING LOCAL ELECTIONS. At a meeting with presidential envoys, held in Moscow on 31 January, the head of the presidential administration, Sergei Filatov, expressed concern that candidates supporting reforms would probably be defeated at the upcoming elections in regional and local representative bodies. The elections are to be held in the spring. According to ITAR-TASS, Filatov said there were at least two reason for such a pessimistic forecast: first, the mounting economic problems in the regions and, second, the lack of unity in the ranks of democrats. He said a section will be set up in the presidential administration to work closely with regional parties. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. KOHL COMMENTS ON RUSSIA. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said that he and US President Bill Clinton agreed in talks in Washington that the United States and Germany must combine their efforts to support Russian and East European progress toward stable democracy. Kohl described this as a "gigantic" task. "For its part, Germany has reached the limit of its ability to grant financial and material aid for reform, and it is now up to other countries to increase their contributions," Kohl said. Later on 31 January Kohl met with Clinton for lunch and spoke to the US state governors, Western agencies reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. ZHIRINOVSKY WHIPPING UP EMOTIONS. Continuing his tour through the Balkans, Russian LDP leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told a gathering in the Serb-occupied Croat town of Vukovar on 31 January, "if you take a historical parallel, we are now living in 1935, when just four years remained until World War II." He also said that Russia's power would protect them from any attack by the West. A protest against Zhirinovsky's visit was registered at the Russian embassy in Zagreb by Vukovar's mayor in exile, Matej Jankovic, who asked why official Moscow did not distance itself from Zhirinovsky's comments, Western agencies reported. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. BUDGET DEFICITS IN 1993 AND 1994. Russian Central Bank Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Khandruyev has confirmed that the consolidated budget deficit in 1993 was 24.6 trillion rubles, Reuters reported on 28 January. This is appreciably higher than the figure of 17 trillion rubles previously given by the Russian government, and means that the deficit was equivalent to 14.4%, rather than 10%, of the GDP. The draft budget for 1994 has yet to be published--Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's report on the budget, scheduled for 31 January, has been postponed--but preemptive bids have already been submitted for several big ticket items of expenditure. An aide to First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets told ITAR-TASS on 28 January that 4.6 trillion rubles had been set aside in the consolidated budget for wage payments to coal miners. And Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Zaveryukha announced on the same day that 2.3 trillion rubles had so far been allocated for farm support during the first half of 1994, but that the sector needed 6 trillion rubles in subsidies. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. DEFENSE R & D UNDERFUNDED. There was a shortfall of over one trillion rubles in state payments for equipment and technology supplied in 1993 by the research and development institutions of the defense industrial complex, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 January. This, it is claimed, means that the series production of many new kinds of advanced weapons and military equipment that are superior to their foreign analogs cannot be undertaken this year. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. ILO STUDY ON UNEMPLOYMENT IN RUSSIA. The latest study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on unemployment in Russia was released on 31 January, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. The director of the study, Guy Standing, told RFE/RL that the real level of unemployment in Russia is more than 10%, whereas the official level is given as 1-2%. "Only 16-17% of those without jobs in urban areas even bother to register because the process is so difficult, the benefits are too small, and the process gives almost no help in finding a new job." The ILO has presented its findings to the Russian government together with its recommendations. These include the centralization of the unemployment system to eliminate inequities and transferring the provision of social benefits from enterprises to local authorities. Robert Lyle and Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. "SIBERIAN AGREEMENT" ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN. The economic association of Siberian regions, "Siberian Agreement," has chosen a new chairman, Siberskaya gazeta reported (no. 2, 1994). He is the 54-year-old governor of Omsk Oblast, Leonid Polezhaev. His career has been spent in Karaganda (Kazakhstan) and in his native Omsk, chiefly in the administrative branch of the regional soviet (ispolkom). Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. STATE OF EMERGENCY PROLONGED IN NORTH OSSETIA/INGUSHETIA. On 31 January Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree prolonging for two months the state of emergency in parts of North Ossetia and Ingushetia, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. The decree was approved by the Federation Council meeting in closed session, but several amendments were suggested, and a special commission was set up to report on the situation in the area. After the session Ingush President Ruslan Aushev repeated his calls for the introduction of direct presidential rule in the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia and for the recall of the head of the provisional administration, Vladimir Lozovoi, whom Aushev accuses of failing to implement Yeltsin's decree of 13 December 1993 on the return of the Ingush refugees to Prigorodnyi raion. North Ossetian President Akhsarbek Galazov described the debate in the Federation Council as "unconstructive" and said Yeltsin's decree on extending the state of emergency was not fully worked through and that some of its points were legally completely illiterate. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. DUDAEV CALLS FOR EXECUTION OF DRUG TRAFFICKERS. Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev said at a meeting of the Chechen Security Council that drug traffickers, whether acting from selfish motives or at the behest of "special services," should be liable to the death penalty, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 January citing Chechenpress. Dudaev has instructed the Chechen procurator general to draw up the appropriate law. Chechenpress said that in Dudaev's view "it is necessary to carry out several public executions for a start." According to Interfax, Dudaev said that several offenders should be shot without trial or investigation as a lesson to others. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA NO UN PEACEKEEPERS FOR GEORGIA . . . On 31 January the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the observer force currently deployed in Abkhazia until 7 March, but UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali has ruled out the option of sending a UN peacekeeping force to the region until "substantial progress" on a political settlement is reached, Western agencies reported. Meanwhile Russian deputy foreign minister Boris Pastukhov told ITAR-TASS on 31 January that the meeting planned for this week in Sochi to discuss implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Geneva last December has been postponed due to the failure of last week's meeting to come to an agreement on the conditions for repatriation of refugees. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . AND NO RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS FOR KARABAKH. On 31 January, one day after Armenia accepted the terms on the latest Russian peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh which provided for the deployment of Russian troops to enforce a 2-3 week ceasefire beginning 1 February, Azerbaijan's President Geidar Aliev rejected it, telling the plan's architect, special envoy Vladimir Kazimirov, that it was senseless to talk about a ceasefire while "the aggressor continues to occupy Azerbaijani territory," Western agencies reported. Aliev may be reluctant to condone a halt to hostilities at a time when the Azerbaijani armed forces are slowly winning back Armenian-occupied territory. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. SHEVARDNADZE CALLS FOR MORE SPIT AND POLISH. On 30 January Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze expressed dissatisfaction with the preparations for the 3 February visit to Tbilisi of Russian President Yeltsin, Interfax reported. Specifically, Shevardnadze ordered Tbilisi tailors to produce new uniforms for the guard of honor as the present ones "do not meet the required standard." The guards of honor themselves were deemed "improperly trained" while the performance of the brass band was so abysmal that it will be replaced by the military band of the Transcaucasus Group of Forces. New motorcycles have been purchased for the escort to and from the airport. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. REGISTRATION OF TWO KAZAKHSTANI GROUPS VANISHES. Two small political groups in Almaty--the Democratic Committee for Human Rights and the radical Kazakh nationalist party Zheltoqsan--say that the documentation of their registration with the Ministry of Justice has vanished from their headquarters, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 January. According to investigators there was no sign of a break-in in either case. The head of the Democratic Committee, Oleg Abraev, told a press conference that he believes that government forces seeking to harass the opposition are somehow involved. A parliamentary election campaign is in full swing, and some Almaty journalists are reported to suspect that the two groups are trying to gain publicity from the incident. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS INTERPARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY RESUMING ACTIVITIES. Now that Russia has a new parliament, the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly (IPA) is returning to life, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 15 January. The assembly was set up in March 1992 by seven CIS members, with headquarters in St. Petersburg, but fell under a cloud when the chairman of its council, Ruslan Khasbulatov, was put behind bars at the beginning of October 1993. In the normal course of events, Khasbulatov's term in office would have expired at the end of that month. Nezavisimaya gazeta says that the IPA council plans to elect a new chairman at a meeting in St. Petersburg in February. The council is expected to decide to institute a rotating chairmanship following Cyrillic alphabetical order (Russian being the official language of the IPA); if so, the new chairman will be the chairman of the Azerbaijani parliament, Rasul Guliev. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE RUSSIAN WARNINGS ON UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS. The Russian military newspaper, Krasnaya zvezda, on 29 January reacted to reports that some senior commanders of the Strategic Rocket Forces located in Ukraine are swearing allegiance to Ukraine by warning that this appeared a move towards complete takeover of the nuclear weapons there. It also reiterated warnings that warheads are becoming unsafe, claiming that 60% of the rocket forces units are not combat ready because of a shortage of officers. It noted that there are 500 nuclear warheads in the Pervomaisk warhead storage facility, some 6-8 times more than the normal number. This number is surprising. Only 200 warheads have been removed from the SS-19 ICBMs dismantled in 1993, with up to another 120 coming from SS-24s that have been deactivated. The figure of 500 warheads suggests either that more warheads have been removed from ICBMs than previously announced, or that there are "spare" warheads in storage. If the latter is the case, the total number of warheads in Ukraine could be noticeably higher (by 200-300 warheads) than the standard estimate of 1,800 warheads derived from START accounting rules. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE NEW CRIMEAN PRESIDENT SEEKS MILITARY-POLITICAL PACT WITH RUSSIA. The newly elected president of the Crimean Autonomous Republic, Yurii Meshkov, held a press conference in Simferopol on 31 January at which he outlined the course he intends to follow, Ukrainian and Western media reported. Until now the leader of the Republican Movement of Crimea, a Russian nationalist organization which had been formed in the summer of 1991 to oppose Ukrainian independence and support Crimea's remaining in the USSR (and, subsequently, Crimea's rejoining Russia), Meshkov pledged to restore "broken links" with Russia while at the same time improving relations with Ukraine. "The first thing we will do is conclude a military-political pact with Russia and greatly improve our relations with Ukraine," he announced. Confirming that he intends to hold a referendum on 27 March on the peninsula's future status, Meshkov said that there would be no violence or "hasty steps," unless "outside forces" attempted to interfere in Crimea. He added that he wanted the peninsula to be a bridge between Ukraine and Russia and that the economic well-being of the Crimean population would be his primary concern. Speaking that same day on Russian TV, Interfax reported, Meshkov claimed, however, that "in spirit, the Crimean people have been and remain part of the Russian people." Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN REACTION TO MESHKOV'S VICTORY. While representatives of various Ukrainian political parties have been expressing their concern about the implications of Meshkov's victory, Ukrainian officials have reacted relatively calmly, Ukrainian and Western media report. A presidential spokesman, Viktor Stelmakh, warned on 31 January that although President Kravchuk respected the right of the Crimean voters "to elect who they want," he would not hesitate "to annul any illegal act" (that is one which violated the Ukrainian constitution or challenged Ukraine's sovereignty or territorial integrity), carried out by Meshkov. That same day, Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk also cautioned Russia against seeking to exploit the situation in Crimea. He told reporters in Kiev that such action would jeopardize the recently concluded trilateral nuclear deal which was signed by the Russian, US and Ukrainian presidents in Moscow on 14 January. Meanwhile in Crimea itself, Meshkov's main opponent, Mykola Bagrov, has resigned as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. CRIMEAN TATAR REACTION. Crimean Tatars are alarmed by Meshkov's victory, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Cemiloglu (Dzhemilev) told a press conference organized on 31 January by the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (elected council), Ukrainian TV reported the same day. Cemiloglu said that the Crimean Tatars would not recognize Meshkov and for that matter, the constitution of the Crimean Autonomous Republic also, if Meshkov continued to adhere to views which the Crimean Tatars consider to be "chauvinistic and anti-Tatar." Cemiloglu also criticized Kiev's policy toward Crimea, adding that the Crimean Tatars have a right to expect the Ukrainian authorities to adopt a "firmer" position as regards developments in the peninsula. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. CROATIAN-SLOVENIAN RELATIONS IMPROVE, IDS IN TROUBLE. According to a Reuters report of 31 January, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek has suggested that relations between Slovenia and Croatia are improving markedly. While issues such as outstanding border disputes remain, Drnovsek said that a trade agreement between the two countries should be inked next week and that normal relations may follow in the near future. Meanwhile, on Croatia's internal political scene, signs suggest that the Istrian Democratic Alliance (IDS), a regional party based in Istria that controls local government and which is known for its advocacy of regional autonomy, is showing signs of internal stress. On 1 February Vecernji list, in an article titled "New Leadership Selected," comments on the political restructuring taking place within the IDS caucus. Earlier on 27 January party leader Ivan Jakovcic, in a Novi list piece, discussed what he felt were some of the "internal" problems facing the IDS which could lead to an internal party split. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIA POLITICAL UPDATE. On 31 January the Serbian press reported on Zoran Djindjic's election to the post of president of the Democratic Party (DS). According to Borba, the leader of the Democratic Party in the Serbian parliament, Djindjic, received 286 votes (to 69) in his bid for the DS presidency. Earlier, on 10 January Borba reported that Djindjic was coming under attack from party insiders who objected to what was perceived as his undemocratic and authoritarian style of leadership. With this win, however, Djindjic appears to be in full control of the party. In other political developments, the leader of the Serbian Radical Party, Vojislav Seselj, commented in a Globus interview that he had no objections to a rapprochement between Croatia and the rump Yugoslavia. Nevertheless, Seselj implied that such remarks ought not be interpreted in such a way as to suggest that he was abandoning his commitment to a Greater Serbia, which should include parts of Croatia. He observed that no normalization in relations between rump Yugoslavia and Croatia should be carried out "at the expense of the interests of the [Republic of Serbian] Krajina"--a section of Croatia controlled by rebel Serb forces. Stan Markotich., RFE/RL, Inc. VIOLENCE MAY FLARE IN BOSNIA. International media continue to report on what appears to be the possibility of escalating violence in Bosnia. According to a Reuters report of 31 January, France's foreign minister, Francois Leotard, is convinced that all three sides in the Bosnian conflict are preparing for what he calls "all-out war." Recent reports issued by the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA confirm such fears, which suggest that all able-bodied Bosnian Serb citizens "who can be mobilized will be." In other news, three suspected of killing a British aid worker on 28 January were themselves killed on 31 January while attempting to evade arrest in Sarajevo. Meanwhile, on 31 January the international media reported on Russian nationalist and Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky's visit to Serbian-held strongholds in Bosnia and Croatia. According to AFP reports, Zhirinovsky was cheered by several thousand people when he remarked, during a stop in Bijeljina in northeastern Bosnia on 31 January, that NATO-backed airstrikes against Serbs were unacceptable and that Russia "has the means to punish those who dare bomb the Serbs." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH-GERMAN FRICTION OVER ASYLUM-SEEKERS. German Interior Minister Manfred Kanther paid a one-day visit to Poland on 31 January, in an apparent attempt to resolve differences over the "readmission" agreement that provides for the return to Poland of illegal immigrants who enter Germany from Polish territory. Germany's ZDF television charged on the eve of the visit that Poland uses various tricks to avoid taking into custody foreigners caught on the border. Kanther downplayed this report but conceded that "certain difficulties" had arisen. By Poland's count, Germany returned 2,679 illegal immigrants between 1 July and 31 December 1993; it could have returned up to 10,000. Polish Interior Minister Andrzej Milczanowski claimed that only 28 cases were disputed; Kanther said he did not intend "to quarrel over numbers." In an effort to forestall further conflicts, the ministers agreed to appoint liaison officers on both sides of the border. Milczanowski added that Poland will soon begin deporting captured asylum-seekers by plane to their country of origin. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. G-7 SUMMIT IN WARSAW? The G-7 countries plan to hold a ministerial summit in Poland at the end of May, PAP reports. The summit will deal with the role of the Central European countries in the world economy along with GATT and other trade issues. US Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, who proposed the idea on 27 January, also announced that the US has designated Poland as one of its ten major emerging markets (a list including India, Turkey, and Indonesia but not Russia) as part of a new strategy to encourage export. The Sejm's recent adoption of a long-delayed copyright protection law had removed important obstacles to US investment in Poland, Brown said. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. EU AGREEMENTS WITH POLAND, HUNGARY IN FORCE. The EU's association agreements with Poland and Hungary took effect on 1 February, PAP reports. Signed in December 1991, the agreements are designed to promote economic integration and pave the way to full EU membership, at a still unspecified date. The trade portions of the agreement have been in force since March 1992; these bind the EU countries to remove most duties and quantity limits on industrial imports from Poland and Hungary (steel, coal, and textiles are important exceptions) by 1995. The EU has also agreed to lift agricultural duties by 1995; Poland and Hungary have an additional three to six years to do the same. The EU has reached analogous agreements with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Rumania, and Bulgaria, but these have not yet been ratified. PAP reports that the EU had a combined trade surplus of $2.8 billion with the six "associated" East European countries in 1993. Poland's trade deficit with the EU now amounts to $1 billion, officials report, although the EU countries consume 56% of Polish exports. In related news, Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak is scheduled to visit NATO headquarters and sign an agreement on Poland's participation in the Partnership for Peace program during his visit to Brussels on 2-3 February. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARY'S ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION. In a statement on 31 January, the Hungarian government stressed the "great importance" of the agreement for Hungary. It called the country's integration into Europe an "historical imperative" to which there was no alternative. On the same day, Gyorgy Csoti, the deputy chairman of the parliament's foreign relations committee and a member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum, called on Hungarian leaders to begin without delay preparations for full membership and to participate actively in the work of the EU's political institutions. Speaking to journalists in Budapest, Csoti predicted that negotiations about Hungary's full EU membership could begin in 1996. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARY ON EMBARGO AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. At the same press conference, Csoti sharply criticized the embargo against rump Yugoslavia and urged that it be revised, MTI reports. Csoti said the embargo had only done harm and exposed the population of rump Yugoslavia, particularly in Vojvodina, to extreme hardships. He condemned the embargo for creating inequality between the warring parties and having inflicted a $1.3 billion damage on the Hungarian economy, urging that a new system of sanctions against rump Yugoslavia be worked out. Csoti's statement came shortly after a visit by Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky to Belgrade where he discussed among other things the situation of the Hungarian minority in Vojvodina. Jeszenszky told the daily Magyar Hirlap of 29 January that Hungary would support an initiative by a group of countries to lift the embargo. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. EU TO HELP REROUTE BALKAN TRANSPORT. On 31 January the European Union announced plans to help Balkan countries revitalize regional transportation, which has nearly collapsed as a result of United Nations sanctions against former Yugoslavia and military operations in Bosnia, Western agencies report. In a statement, the EU Commission said it is prepared to commit 100 million Ecu ($112 million) in an effort to establish alternative trade routes through neighboring states. The proposals, which so far envisage two transport corridors--one linking Austria with Greece and Turkey, and another through Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine--will be presented at the ongoing Vienna meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Commission said that the corridors, coupled with a standardization of customs procedures, could help drastically reduce queues at national borders. Reportedly, the EU also considers to financially support the improvement of the main road network in Romania and Albania, as well as a new bridge between Romania and Bulgaria. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA, BULGARIA SIGN MILITARY AGREEMENT. Western agencies report that on 29 January Romania and Bulgaria signed an accord on military cooperation. Aside from creating the basis for joint military operations, Romanian Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu told a press conference that the agreement would allow for cooperation in the field of military education and sports activities. When asked about their views on the United Nations embargo against rump Yugoslavia, Spiroiu and Bulgarian Defense Minister Valentin Aleksandrov acknowledged that they differed. Whereas Romania favors a relaxation of the present sanctions, Aleksandrov said his government believes they should remain in place. Later the same day, Aleksandrov was received by President Ion Iliescu. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE REACTIONS TO PLANS FOR NEW ROMANIAN CABINET. A key Romanian opposition party, the National Peasant Party--Christian Democratic, criticized on 31 January the decision of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania to accept nationalist and far-left groups as partners in a future coalition government. An RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest quoted NPPCD Vice President Ion Diaconescu as saying that such a coalition could lower the government's credibility abroad. The criticism came two days after the Democratic Convention of Romania, an opposition alliance including the NPPCD, denounced the PSDR for seeking to maintain its monopoly on power by cooperating with anti-reformist forces in parliament. In a related development, the Socialist Labor Party (the former Communists) said that its participation in a possible coalition cabinet "would imply not only support to the government, but also control over it." Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA BACKTRACKING ON NATO LINKS? President Mircea Snegur was cited by Moldovapres, Basapress and Interfax on 31 January as saying that Moldova would not adhere to any military agreements within the Commonwealth of Independent States "because it strives to attain the status of a genuinely neutral state." This position, if maintained, would mark a retreat from Moldova's goal of association with, and eventual membership, of NATO. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIAN-US DISCUSSIONS ON SECURITY. A Latvian delegation led by Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs is meeting with leading American officials in Washington from 30 January to 1 February on security and defense matters, including the pullout of Russian troops from Latvia. Two principal issues await resolution before a Latvian-Russian agreement can be signed on the pullout of the remain troops by 31 August 1994: Russia's desire to maintain control over the Skrunda radar and the rights and privileges of some 30,000 retired Soviet officers residing in Latvia. The New York Times reported on 29 January that American and Russian officials discussed these issues in Moscow at the time of the Clinton-Yeltsin meeting and that they had arrived at a compromise on both of them. Concerning Skrunda, Western and Latvian press reported on 26 and 29 January, Latvia's president Guntis has suggested holding a referendum to decide whether Latvia should allow Russia to lease Skrunda for a number of years. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIA WAITS FOR SECOND HALF OF EU LOAN. Finance Minister Eduardas Vilkelis told Respublika that a European Union mission visiting Vilnius last week had made it clear that the second half of a 100 million Ecu ($112 million) loan should be distributed through commercial banks and not through the state credit commission, BNS reported on 31 January. To be signed within two weeks, the loan agreement for 50 million Ecu will mention specific investment projects, probably the modernization of the Klaipeda port, the Elektrenai power station, the Mazeikiai refinery, Lithuanian railroads, as well as the building of the Via Baltica highway. Reportedly, the EU experts recommended that Lithuania amend its laws on the Central Bank and commercial banks and better implement its bankruptcy law. They also inquired about the suggestion by Premier Adolfas Slezevicius that Lithuania establish a currency board and peg the litas to a foreign currency. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ustina Markus and Kjell Engelbrekt The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU, on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. Requests for permission to reprint or retransmit this material should be addressed to PD@RFERL.ORG. Such requests will generally be granted on the condition that the material is clearly attributed to the RFE/RL Daily Report. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: In North America: Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907 Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783 Internet: RI-DC@RFERL.ORG Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer Publications Department RFE/RL Research Institute Oettingenstrasse 67 80538 Munich Germany Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624 Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648 Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.