|Ценность идеала в том, что он удаляется, по мере того как мы приближаемся к нему. - М. Ганди|
No. 39, 25 February 1994
RUSSIA NATIONAL SECURITY AIDE SAYS YELTSIN MAY ANNUL DUMA AMNESTY. In approving an amnesty for the organizers of the 1991 August coup and the October 1993 disturbances in Moscow, the State Duma confused "pardoning" with "amnesty," national security aide Yurii Baturin told ITAR-TASS on 24 February. He said there was a big difference between "pardoning" and "amnesty;" an amnesty frees people convicted for certain crimes, whereas specific people can be only pardoned. The Duma's ruling applies to specific people. By replacing the notion of "pardoning" by "amnesty" the Duma exceeded its authority, since only the president can pardon individuals, Baturin argued. He added that the Constitution Court could have solved the problem, "but as the law on its activities has not yet been adopted, the president, as the guarantor of the constitution, has the right to demand that the office of the Prosecutor General not fulfill the resolution of the State Duma [on amnesty] which does not abide by the principles of the constitution and Russian law." St. Petersburg mayor Anatolii Sobchak, who is a lawyer by training, also questioned the legality of the amnesty by the State Duma. He said an amnesty applies only to those who have been tried and convicted of a crime; so far no one has been convicted in the cases in question. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. FURTHER REACTIONS TO AMNESTY. In contrast, the presidential representative in the State Duma, legal expert Aleksandr Yakovlev, told ITAR-TASS on 24 February that the Duma's decision on amnesty "fully complied with the constitutional norms." Prosecutor General Aleksei Kazannik told reporters that once the text of the resolution on amnesty is released, he would stop legal proceedings against any defendants who requested it. But Vasilii Starodubtsev, one of the accused 1991 coup organizers, told Interfax that he and other defendants had not yet decided if they would accept amnesty. He said "neither my comrades nor I committed any crime in August 1991. We defended the Soviet constitution." Starodubtsev said: "They grant amnesty to criminals, and we aren't criminals." Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. MIXED REACTION TO YELTSIN'S SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT. A few members of Russia's Choice parliamentary faction expressed satisfaction with President Yeltsin's speech to parliament on 24 February. For instance, Viktor Mironov said he was especially satisfied with Yeltsin's stated intention to continue reforms. But the majority of deputies from both reformist, communist, and nationalist factions alike complained that the president had not been specific enough, when talking about his plans to tackle Russia's social and economic problems. Interfax quoted Vladimir Lukin, co-leader of the reformist YABLOKO faction, as saying the president spent more time speaking about problems than proposing solutions. He said he hoped details of Yeltsin's constructive plans would follow soon. In turn, ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said Yeltsin told the country that it was doing badly but "unfortunately, neither the president nor the government say how to do well." Hard-line Agrarian Party member Vladimir Isakov said Yeltsin talked about the country's problems as if he was not responsible for them. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN ON DEFENSE EXPENDITURE AND DEFENSE INDUSTRY. Although the economic portion of his address on 24 February outlined the principal shortcomings of the economy without providing specific solutions, Yeltsin was explicit on defense expenditures. "In 1994, we have to put an end to the vicious practice of unilateral concessions. This also relates, inter alia, to the defense budget." The president further stated that "producers that are highly competitive in the world markets . . . must be given normal state support over the next few years." (Russia's defense industry is one of the few sectors whose fabricates can and do compete on the world market). Yeltsin implied that state debts to defense enterprises will be paid, and that conversion/diversification will be speeded up. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. PROPOSED SOLUTIONS TO PAYMENT ARREARS PROBLEM. The analytical center of the president's socio-economic department has suggested ways of resolving the economy's paralyzing payment arrears crisis, Interfax reported on 23 February. These include the identification of firms that are indebted because the state has not paid for goods supplied; the identification of firms that are keeping hard currency in foreign bank accounts; and the identification of firms that are hopelessly unviable. Other suggestions are strict limits on the number of ruble and hard-currency bank accounts; a crackdown on tax evasion; the netting out of arrears; the issue of promissory notes; and the implementation of bankruptcy procedures. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. LARGE BUDGET DEFICIT EXPECTED IN FIRST QUARTER. Acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin has forecast a large deficit in the consolidated budget for the first quarter of 1994, Interfax reported on 24 February. Revenues will amount to an estimated 8.5 trillion rubles and expenditure to 18.5 trillion rubles. The deficit of 10 trillion rubles will be covered, in large part, by Central Bank emissions. An appreciable portion of planned expenditure will consist of credits/subsidies to various sectors and 3.8 trillion rubles will be attributable to the payment of state arrears to enterprises carried over from the last quarter of 1993. The Financial Times of 25 February reported that Russia is negotiating to resume gold swaps in order to help finance its budget deficit. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. SHUMEIKO PROPOSES INTRODUCTION OF EMERGENCY RULE. The speaker of the Federation Council, Vladimir Shumeiko, thinks that President Yeltsin should consider introducing a state of emergency in the country, Interfax reported on 23 February. Supporting Yeltsin's calls for a crackdown on crime and corruption, he said that the upper chamber of the parliament would consider a draft document to impose state of emergency throughout Russia "exclusively with the aim to address crime more effectively." He stated that the Federation Council could pass a resolution on that matter which Yeltsin may then transform into his own decree. He promised to hold special parliamentary sessions on that issue and said that the President's address to the nation "offers a coherent plan of action." Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN KOZYREV AND CHRISTOPHER. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and his American counterpart Warren Christopher talked on 24 February by telephone about bilateral issues and Bosnia. No date or location has been set for the planned meeting between the two because, as Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin said according to Interfax, "no official invitation has been achieved from the Secretary of State." He added "one needs an official invitation for this." Karasin's mention of the lack of an invitation, when considered in the context of the US outrage over the Ames spy scandal suggests that Washington may be using a delay in scheduling to emphasize its displeasure. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc. KGB SUCCESSOR AGENCY TOOK CONTROL OVER GOVERNMENT INFORMATION RESOURCES. President Yeltsin abolished the Administration of Information Resources (AIR) at the Presidential Office and transferred its functions to the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information (FAPSI), Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on 23 February. According to the decree, the FAPSI, which is direct successor of the KGB's electronic intelligence and telecommunication services, will be responsible for maintaining both government and presidential information system and telecommunication lines. The FAPSI will thus play the same role as the KGB had in the USSR; the KGB held a monopoly not only on government information, but also on its channels. After the demise of the Soviet Union, Yeltsin created the AIR in order to reduce dependence from the services of former KGB. Kommersant-daily on 23 February noted that now the FAPSI has managed to restore it former clout. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. MINERS SET THE DATE. Russian coal miners will hold a countrywide two-day warning strike, starting on 1 March, to demand payment of back wages. The strike has been called by Russia's two largest miners' unions, the Union of Coal Industry Workers and the Independent Miners' Union. The two unions disagree over the appropriate approach to the threat of closures facing many Russian coal mines. The deputy chairman of the Coal Industry Union, Ivan Mokhmachuk, told RFE/RL's Moscow correspondent on 24 February that the unions will work together at mines in Vorkuta and Inta, in northern Russia, but that it is not yet known whether the unions will cooperate in warning strikes at mines in the Kuzbass in the southern Urals. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS CIS DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET. CIS Defense Ministers met in Moscow on 24 February. According to Interfax and ITAR-TASS accounts, discussion was to be devoted to two main packages of issues: transforming the CIS joint armed forces command into a headquarters for the coordination of military activities and defining the extent of interaction among signatories to the CIS Treaty on Collective Security vis-a-vis stabilizing the situation on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Discussion of peacekeeping activities on the territory of the former Soviet Union was also reported to be on the agenda. Military delegations from eleven of the twelve CIS states were present; only Moldova failed to send representation. The Russian delegation was headed by Deputy Defense Minister Boris Gromov. Reports are not yet available on the results of the meeting but, according to ITAR-TASS, some members had suggested at the start of the convocation that centrifugal tendencies in CIS defense affairs have been arrested. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN-TATARSTAN TREATY COMES INTO FORCE. The new Russian-Tatarstan treaty came into force on 24 February. Tatarstan president Mintimer Shaimiev told RFE/RL it does not need ratification because it is not an international treaty. The treaty was signed by Russian and Tatarstan presidents and prime ministers on 15 February. The treaty describes Tatarstan as a state united with Russia on the basis of the constitutions of the two states and the new bilateral treaty. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA MORE ON BAIKONUR. The deputy-director-general of Kazakhstan's space agency, Aisultan Kalybaev, was quoted by Interfax on 24 February as saying that Kazakhstan will not agree to lease the Baikonur space center to Russia until the status of Russian troops who service the facility has been resolved because Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbaev has rejected foreign military bases in Kazakhstan. The previous day an official of the Russian space agency told Interfax that Russia intended to resume talks with Kazakhstan on the future of Baikonur at the beginning of March, saying that "only minor points" remain to be clarified before an agreement between the two countries can be signed. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. AKAEV EXPANDS LAND REFORM. Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev issued a decree giving individuals and legal entities the right to lease and cultivate plots of land for 49 years, Interfax reported on 24 February. During this period the leases of the plots may be sold, exchanged, inherited or subleased. As of 1 January 1995, land "owners" will have the right to enter into contracts. A specialist on Akaev's staff who helped draft the decree said that the innovations, which represent the third stage in Akaev's land reform program, were intended to give farmers a greater sense of property. He noted that earlier stages of the reform had led to the creation of nearly 17,000 individual farms and farmers' cooperatives in Kyrgyzstan, but had not brought about a basic change in property relations or raised agricultural output. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN MUSLIM-CROAT CEASE-FIRE DEADLINE APPROACHES. International media report that the cease-fire deal agreed to between Bosnian Muslim and Croat military commanders is to go into effect at 1200 local time on 25 February. Radio Sarajevo, however, reported on 24 February that fighting between Bosnian Croat, Serb and Muslim forces has continued in several areas. The radio said that at least five people were killed in a hospital in the Muslim enclave of Maglaj when a shell hit the facility; it also alleged that Croat forces have been very active in that area. In other news, on 24 February Tanjug reported that Bosnian Serb military leader Lt. Gen. Ratko Mladic has reiterated his opposition to the re-opening of the airport at Tuzla. Mladic fears that opening the airport, which is in Muslim-held territory, could open for the Bosnian Muslims a way for acquiring arms. The UN has plans to use the airport to bring humanitarian aid to Bosnia. Meanwhile, on 25 February The New York Times wrote that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic had said Sarajevo remains in some danger since not all Serb heavy artillery has been removed from around the city. Finally, Reuters reports that the public market where 68 people were killed and about 200 wounded when a shell exploded on 5 February reopened on 24 February. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. TUDJMAN ENDORSES UNITY WITH MUSLIMS; SERBIAN PREMIER NAMED. Speaking on Croatian TV on 24 February, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman endorsed the idea of unity with Bosnian Muslims. He articulated support for a federal Bosnian Croat and Muslim state, while emphasizing that Croatia had an interest in establishing political ties with a federal Bosnia. Tudjman's remarks appear to mark a change in Croatian policy, as until recently he had endorsed the idea of partitioning Bosnia and Herzegovina into three ethnic mini-states. Meanwhile, Belgrade dailies report that movement is being made in forming a government in Serbia. On 23 February Borba wrote that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic had selected Mirko Marjanovic, a Serb from Croatia and a Socialist Party of Serbia member, as the new prime minister, replacing Nikola Sainovic. Marjanovic has been charged with the task of forming a government of national unity, but not all opposition parties have expressed the desire to co-operate with the SPS. Tanjug reports that Serbian Radical Party leader Vojislav Seselj will opt to stay in opposition. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER RESIGNS. Slovak Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik submitted his resignation to the president on 24 February, PAP reports. President Michal Kovac said he will not act on the resignation request until Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar returns from abroad. Meciar began a two-day visit to Thailand on 24 February. Deputy Prime Minister Roman Kovac was reportedly planning to resign on 25 February. On 16 February, Meciar asked the president to dismiss both men after they were expelled from the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (MDS) for supporting the dissident Alternative of Political Realism. The defection of this group deprived the ruling MDS of its parliamentary majority. Moravcik told reporters in Bratislava that he plans to form a new centrist political bloc, either through the merger of existing parties or the creation of an entirely new formation. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH POLICEMEN CONVICTED FOR 1989 BEATINGS. A Prague court sentenced two former police officers on 24 February to prison terms of 3 1/2 and 3 years for ordering the brutal crackdown on the student demonstration in Prague in November 1989. The crackdown, which left 38 demonstrators injured, marked the beginning of the "velvet revolution." The court ruled that the two police officers had abused official power by disobeying a directive not to intervene in the peaceful protest and ordering the demonstrators surrounded and beaten. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH ECONOMIC RESULTS FOR 1993. The Czech statistical office reported on 24 February that industrial production fell 5.3% in the Czech Republic in 1993, PAP reports. The average wage rose 23.8% in the same period. Real wages grew by 4% but wages still remained 13% below the level for 1990. The unemployment rate rose to 3.5%. Consumer prices grew an average of 18.2%, and inflation for the year was 20.8%. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH BROADCASTING COUNCIL LOSES MEMBER. Ryszard Miazek, one of the nine members of Poland's National Broadcasting Council, resigned on 24 February, citing "pressure from Catholic circles" as the reason. Miazek, a Polish Peasant Party member, was one of the Senate's two representatives on the council. The Senate still must vote to accept his resignation. The broadcasting council has apparently faced criticism from Catholic groups because of its decision on 17 February to allocate the two available national radio licenses to the popular Warsaw-based Radio "Zet" and the Cracow-based RMF. Radio Maryja was granted the right to continue broadcasting on several dozens local frequencies, as it has done for several years under a special agreement between the government and the Polish episcopate, but some apparently saw the radio's failure to receive a full national license as a slight. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT ADOPTS NEW RADIO BY-LAWS. Hungarian Radio deputy chairman Laszlo Csucs announced on 24 February that the new by-laws aim at lowering the exorbitantly high costs of running the radio by reducing the number of departments and managers, MTI reports. Csucs said that the names of those programmers and managers who will be dismissed or sent into early retirement will be made public by mid-March. Representatives of radio employees protested the move, and charged that the Csucs's real goal was to get rid of those programmers who are critical of the government. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. TWO SENATORS QUIT THE GREATER ROMANIA PARTY. Two Senators, Constantin Moldovan and Victor Stoicescu, resigned from the Greater Romania Party, headed by the extreme nationalist leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor, an RFE/RL correspondent and Radio Bucharest reported on 24 February. Moldovan said they had resigned because they could no longer back the party's leaders, who "create and feed political tension in the country." One day earlier, the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania announced that it had canceled negotiations with Tudor's party, criticizing both the GRP leader and his party's policies. It was Tudor, however, that had earlier announced the GRP would "suspend" the coalition talks. The developments follow unprecedented attacks by Tudor on the military establishment headed by Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu, as well as on personalities close to President Ion Iliescu, and the negative reactions triggered abroad by the prospect of bringing the GRP into a formal coalition. In a related development, Iliescu denied a report printed in the daily Evenimentul liber, according to which he had called the Socialist Labor Party "the main promoter of Communist restoration." The report said Iliescu had attacked both the GRP and the SLP at a recent meeting with the leadership of the PSDR. Like the GRP, the SLP said last week that it was "suspending" talks for setting up a government coalition. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN STRIKES. Tens of thousands of state farm workers held a one-day strike throughout Romania on 24 February, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on the same day. The strikers called for the privatization of their farms and protested against food imports and delayed wages. Elena Spora, general secretary of the Agrostar state farms workers union, said a one-week strike would begin on 15 March if the government does not reply positively to the union's demands. If necessary, she added, the strike would be followed by the blocking of roads and border crossings, to prevent food imports. Meanwhile, Miron Mitrea, the co-chairman of Fratia, Romania's largest labor union federation, told a news conference in Bucharest that his union would go ahead with a national strike on 28 February over pay and reforms. The RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported that Mitrea said two other trade union movements, Cartel Alfa and the National Labor Bloc, were also preparing to join the strike. The three unions have a combined membership of more than five million--the bulk of Romanian industry. Fratia's other co-chairman, Victor Ciorbea, said the decision to call the strike followed inconclusive talks with premier Nicolae Vacaroiu. He said the government did nothing but create "confusion and diversion in order to make the unions give up plans for the strike." Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN JOURNALIST FREED ON BOND. Nicolae Andrei, a journalist who was jailed on charges of insulting President Ion Iliescu, was released on bond on 18 February, an RFE/RL correspondent reported after talking to him on 21 February. He spent four days in a Craiova jail, although police had previously told him he would have to remain in jail for 30 days, awaiting trial. Andrei told the correspondent that living condition in jail were "miserable" and that the police had shaved his head. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. THE BSP DENIES BEING ANTI-WESTERN. On 24 February the Bulgarian Socialist Party sharply protested against a statement by President Zhelyu Zhelev in which he accused the BSP of trying to pressure the government and the foreign ministry into making Bulgaria's foreign policy less Western-oriented. According to BTA, the BSP called such allegations "groundless" and said Zhelev's charges might serve to tarnish the country's international image. When making the remarks, which were broadcast by BBC's Bulgarian Service on the previous day, Zhelev pledged to use all his influence not to alter Bulgaria's pro-Western and anti-Communist foreign policy course. Part of the Socialist-oriented Bulgarian press, and especially the BSP daily Duma, has recently carried numerous anti-Western reports. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT TELLS CRIMEA NOT TO EXCEED ITS PREROGATIVES. Reacting after considerable delay to recent developments in Crimea, the Ukrainian parliament has passed a resolution calling on the legislature of the Crimean Autonomous Republic to bring, within a one month period, its Constitution and laws into line with the Ukrainian Constitution and laws, and the agreed division of powers between Kiev and Simferopol, Ukrainian and Western news agencies reported on 24 February. In particular, the resolution reminds the Crimean parliament that, "as an integral part of Ukraine," Crimea does not have the rights to declare sovereignty, to enter into political relations with other states, to introduce a separate citizenship for its inhabitants, to establish its own military formations, or to introduce its own currency or financial systems. According to Reuters, a spokesman for Crimea's president Yurii Meshkov, Igor Azarov, dismissed the resolution as irrelevant. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW US-UKRAINIAN POLICY GROUP MEETS WITH TALBOTT. Representatives of a new private initiative "American-Ukrainian Advisory Committee" met on 24 February with US Deputy of State Strobe Talbott to discuss recommendation for improving US-American relations, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Washington. The American side in the new policy group is headed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and includes Henry Kissinger, Frank Carlucci, George Soros and Malcolm Forbes. Among the visiting Ukrainian participants was Deputy Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, chairman of the parliamentary foreign relation commission Dmytro Pavlychko, and former Defense Minister Kostantyn Morozov. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. TURBULENCE IN UKRAINIAN AIR FORCE COMMAND? On 24 February Ukrainian Defense Minister Vitalii Radetsky denied newspaper reports that seven Ukrainian Air Force generals had resigned in protest over a plan--said to have been backed by Air Force commander General Volodymyr Antonets--that would have unified the Ukrainian Air Forces and Air Defense Forces. The generals were also said to have had doubts about Antonets' capabilities as commander. On 23 February Reuters had reported on a confirmation by Ukrainian Defense Ministry officials of a report on the resignations that appeared in the Ukrainian newspaper Kievskie vedomosti. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN CENTRAL PRIVATIZATION COMMISSION RESIGNS. All eleven members of the Central Privatization Commission (CPC) have tendered their resignations to President Algirdas Brazauskas asking to be released from their duties from 1 March, BNS reported on 24 February. CPC Chairman, Economics Minister Julius Veselka, in a television interview explained that the primary reason for the resignation was the negative evaluation of the CPC's work by Brazauskas in his annual report on 10 February. Veselka said that the president probably had insufficient information about the commission's activities and without asking for any explanations from any of its members decided to blame the CPC for the existing problems in privatization. Veselka had threatened to resign as Economics Minister several times in the past, partly because of his inability to influence the government's economic policy. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH UNION OF LITHUANIA CONGRESS. On 19 February in Vilnius the Polish Union of Lithuania (PUL) held its fourth congress, attended by 340 of the 408 elected delegates, representing 6,750 members, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reported on 20 February. There were also about 100 guests including Seimas chairman Ceslovas Jursenas, Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party Chairman Justinas Karosas, and some 10 Polish parliament members. A greeting from Polish Premier Waldemar Pawlak was read. PUL chairman Jan Mincewicz expressed his dissatisfaction with actions of the government such as not registering the Polish University in Vilnius, liquidating some Polish kindergartens and schools, and not returning property that belonged to Polish associations. Ryszard Maceijkianiec, the head of the Poliah faction in the Seimas, was elected PUL chairman. The congress approved a number of resolutions, the most important being a demand to unite all Polish inhabited areas into a single administrative unit. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIAN PRESIDENT ASKS FOR APOLOGY ON SOVIET RULE. On the eve of the 76th anniversary of Estonia's declaration of independence, President Lennart Meri called on Russia to condemn the five decades of Soviet occupation of the Baltic States. Meri told the press on 23 February that "Russia has done so in regard to Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary," and added that if Russia is sincere about her new role as a democracy, then the least it could do would be to acknowledge "the aggression, occupation and annexation carried out by the USSR," Western media reported. While not wanting Russia to humiliate itself, Meri stressed that Russia's statement taking responsibility for the Soviet past would help normalize its relations with the Baltic States and enhance its international prestige. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA CONCLUDES VISIT TO LATVIA. After addressing the Latvian parliament on 24 February, Polish President Lech Walesa and his Latvian counterpart Guntis Ulmanis held a press conference. Both leaders stressed their similar views on the issues facing their countries. Security issues, and especially the departure of Russian troops from the Baltics, figured high on the agenda of Walesa's talks with Latvian officials. Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski, meeting with Latvian Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs, said that Poland would try to explain the real human rights situation in Latvia to the world community. Olechowski also expressed satisfaction with the legal status of the Polish minority in Latvia. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIA'S LOCAL ELECTIONS SET FOR 29 MAY. The Central Election Commission announced that the elections of city, raion, and county councils will be held on 29 May. These will be the first local elections held in Latvia since it regained its independence in August 1991. Political parties and election coalitions must submit their candidates to the regional election commissions during a ten-day period starting on 19 April, Diena reported on 22 February. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Saulius Girnius and Dan Ionescu 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.
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