|Be willing to have it so; acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. - William James|
No. 62, 30 March 1994
RUSSIA RUSSIAN WARNING ON NORTH KOREA. Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Panov stated on 29 March that Russia would assist North Korea in the event of "unprovoked aggression", according to ITAR-TASS and Interfax. Panov pushed for acceptance of the Russian proposal to hold a separate international conference to discuss the North Korean nuclear weapons program. He suggested that preliminary informal consultations could begin in Moscow, with the initial conference meeting in Geneva, and then alternating between Seoul and Pyongyang. In February 1993, Russia called for revision of the 1961 friendship treaty between the USSR and North Korea, under which the Soviet Union committed itself to the defense of North Korea. The treaty cannot be revised unilaterally, however, and Russia's attempts to open discussions on this issue appear not to have met with cooperation from North Korea. The treaty is up for renewal in 1995. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. MOSCOW DENIES PRESSURING NEIGHBORS. Russia's Foreign and Defense Ministries on 29 March issued a joint statement rejecting accusations that Russia has been using peacekeeping operations as a means of pressuring neighboring countries and of interfering in their internal affairs, Interfax reported. According to the statement, Russia claims no special role in the former Soviet Union--although it does not dodge its responsibilities in regions that it considers crucial--and its peacekeeping activities are directed only at ending armed clashes along its borders. It also said that Russia's peacekeeping activities have come only at the request of those countries involved and that Moscow would welcome cooperation with the UN, the CSCE, and the world community in such actions. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. KOZYREV WARNS BALTIC STATES. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev met with the CSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities Max van der Stoel on 29 March, and observed that Russia would continue pressing for minority rights for Russian speakers in the Baltic States. Interfax and ITAR-TASS report that Kozyrev stated that whether an agreement on the withdrawal of troops from Estonia is signed depends only on Estonia. Kozyrev expressed the hope that Western states would support Russia's position on minority rights, especially after Russian troops are withdrawn. He called for the signing of the agreements with Latvia and beginning a "new standard of relations" with that country. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN COMMISSION REPORT ON MINORITY RIGHTS. A special commission set up under the Russian president to study questions of citizenship has produced a report intended to form the basis for Russian policy towards Russian speakers in the "near abroad." ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported on 29 March that the commission calls for the support for Russians throughout the former USSR via a system of bilateral treaties regulating their status and dual citizenship. It also proposed an unspecified "special economic policy" to assist in implementing the proposal, as well as increased funding to Russian areas trying to integrate refugees and large numbers of Russian-speaking immigrants. The proposal appears to break little new ground, but should provide a basis for the enunciation of a clear Russian policy on this issue that is likely to prove disturbing to Russia's neighbors. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN EXAMINING DRAFT AGREEMENT ON CIVIL ACCORD. President Boris Yeltsin is reviewing a draft of an agreement on civil accord, which he hopes all social and political groups in Russia will sign, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 March. Presidential spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov said Yeltsin will add his comments and return the draft to the working group that prepared it. Kostikov said Yeltsin has discussed the draft with the chairman of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Vladimir Shumeiko. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. COUP HOAX FALL-OUT. Reuters reports that Yeltsin met on 29 March with Sergei Stepashin, head of Russian counterintelligence, to discuss last week's publication, by the newspaper Obshchaya gazeta, of a document detailing an alleged coup against his leadership. The document later turned out to be a hoax. Addressing a press conference in Moscow the same day, nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that a coup was certainly in preparation, but that it was one that would bring Zhirinovsky himself to power by constitutional means. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. MIXED SIGNALS ON IMPORT TAX. ITAR-TASS and Interfax on 29 March reported conflicting pronouncements by government officials on the disputed introduction of import tariffs on foodstuffs and raised duties on other goods effective 15 March. President Yeltsin was said to have agreed with Prime Minister Chernomyrdin on "the need for corrections . . . without dropping the principle of reasonable protectionism." Chernomyrdin told visiting US Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown that import duties on specific types of goods will be revised in an ongoing process: new duties will be introduced on some goods, while other tariffs will be changed. Duties on goods already ordered will remain unchanged. Economics Minister Aleksandr Shokhin supported the higher duties on the grounds that these will invigorate domestic investment. He hinted at differentiated rates of tariffs for imported foodstuffs for various cities [which sounds like an open invitation to chaos and corruption]. Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Oleg Davydov spoke out against customs duties: "We should realize that if we are moving towards an open society with an open economy, we should also remove trade barriers." Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. DEFENSE INDUSTRY WANTS MORE. In interviews on 29 March with Interfax and Radio "Ekho," First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin pushed the defense industry's claim for more money from the 1994 federal budget. On 3 March, Acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin had complained at a cabinet meeting that the defense ministry had already placed orders for military hardware for 1994 with the defense industry worth 28 trillion rubles, although the budget had allocated only 5 trillion rubles for this purpose. Kokoshin reiterated that the higher sum was essential. The Defense Ministry would press its claim, especially through the State Duma, he asserted, and "had appropriate instructions on this score from the president and the prime minister." Kokoshin claimed that defense production proper accounted for as little as 20 percent of the defense industry's output, and "there were no customers for the remaining 80 percent." Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. ARMY OFFICER ILLEGALLY ABDUCTED? The Swiss-based international organization "The Geneva Initiative" has accused Russia's intelligence service of kidnapping a Russian Army officer from the Potsdam garrison in former East Germany and illegally imprisoning him in a military psychiatric hospital near Moscow. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 29 March, the officer, identified as Major Shutnik, was charged with financial improprieties, and has been in the hospital since 3 July 1993. Shutnik has denied the charge and launched a hunger strike. Meanwhile, an initiative by citizens of Potsdam to return the Major to Germany for a fair trial has apparently been unsuccessful; the Geneva Initiative has since appealed to Russia's human rights monitor for action. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. ILYUMZHINOV STILL WANTS KALMYK CONSTITUTION RESCINDED. Kalmyk President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told Interfax on 29 March that he had come under attack from both Kalmyk separatists and the leaders of other republics following his recent proposal to abolish Kalmykia's constitution. Ilyumzhinov claimed to have the support of about 75 percent of Kalmyks for his proposal, and said he was sure "all sensible politicians" from other republics would likewise come to the conclusion that only a federal constitution was necessary and that the Russian constitution provided adequate guarantees of human rights. Ilyumzhinov has proposed that the constitution be replaced by the old national legislation, the "Law of the Steppe." Ilyumzhinov's proposal, which would deprive Kalmykia of the status of republic, has aroused strong opposition in Kalmykia, where a committee has been formed to defend the constitution. The newspaper Novaya ezhednevnaya gazeta suggested in its issues of 18 and 22 March that Ilyumzhinov had decided on this move as a way of avoiding charges of corruption and of reingratiating himself with Yeltsin after his anti-Yeltsin stance in the events of September-October 1993, but the reaction of Yeltsin's press secretary and others in Moscow indicates that, while the leadership looks to the eventual abolition of the republics, it regards such a move as premature at this juncture. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS NAZARBAEV RAISES ISSUE OF EURASIAN UNION . . . On 29 March, the second day of his official visit to Moscow, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev repeated a proposal he had made in London on 23 March (see RFE/RL Daily Report of 23 March) that the member-states of the CIS form a Eurasian Union, Russian news agencies reported. The new union would contain structures that would coordinate economic, military and foreign policies of its members. If other CIS states are uninterested in creating such an organization, Nazarbaev suggested that Kazakhstan and Russia could form it on their own. The proposal for a new union, which Nazarbaev denied would be a resurrection of the USSR, appears to be an updating of his earlier proposals for a functioning CIS economic union and effective CIS coordinating bodies. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . WHILE SHUMEIKO CALLS FOR CIS INTEGRATION. The chairman of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, Vladimir Shumeiko, was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 29 March as saying the time has come to raise the issue of closer integration within the Commonwealth. (The CIS groups all the Soviet successor-states except the Baltic states.) Shumeiko said what may be needed are additional "supranational bodies" to turn the Commonwealth into "a sort of union." But, he added, the union should not be similar to the Soviet Union and the sovereignty and freedom of all member-states should be preserved. Shumeiko spoke after meeting in Moscow with Kazakh President Nazarbaev. Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA ELECTIONS IN SOUTH OSSETIA. Seventy per cent of the 41 seats in the new parliament of the disputed Georgian region of South Ossetia were filled in elections on 27 March, Interfax reported. Voter turnout in the elections, which are not recognized as legal by the Georgian leadership in Tbilisi, was 80 percent. No voting took place in five raions where the population is predominantly ethnic Georgian, but deputies were elected from six raions in North Ossetia populated by Ossetian refugees from Georgia. It is not clear whether pre-election predictions that the Communist Party would receive 90 per cent of the vote have proved accurate. A second round of voting will take place on 10 April. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. IMF TEAM IN GEORGIA. Following talks in Tbilisi between an IMF delegation and Georgian Prime Minister Otar Patsatsia, "informed sources" told Interfax on 29 March that the IMF may make up to $60 million available to Georgia on condition that the political situation in the country stabilizes, inflation is reduced and a tougher credit policy introduced. A Georgian request to the IMF in June, 1993, for urgent credits was rejected; the Georgian government's subsequent failure to implement the IMF's recommendations elicited a stern warning from the IMF. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BERISHA WARNS OF COMING CONFLICT IN KOSOVO. AFP and Reuters reported on 29 March that Albanian President Sali Berisha said on a visit to London that Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic might seek to "shift the conflict" to Kosovo if he loses ground in Bosnia. Berisha warned that this could trigger a Balkan war, especially as it would involve "ethnic cleansing" by the Serbs against Kosovo's 90% Albanian majority. He told the BBC that Kosovo's autonomy must be restored and that Tirana simply seeks "democratic space for Albanians everywhere," not a greater Albania. His goal is "integration into Europe," which would produce "happy Albanians," regardless of which country they live in. Berisha dismissed criticism on historical grounds of Turkey's sending peace-keepers to Bosnia, saying that the Ottoman Empire "died at the beginning of the century." He also told the BBC, whose Albanian-language broadcasts have been widely criticized as favoring the party of the ex-communists, not to expect broadcast rights different from those of other Western radios in Albania. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. TRADE-OFF IN STORE FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA? While Berisha was in London, his foreign minister told reporters in Tirana on 29 March that Kosovo must be included in any over-all Yugoslav settlement, Reuters said. The Washington Post, meanwhile, suggested that a trade-off may be in the works, with the Serbs giving up the 27% of Croatian territory they hold in return for being allowed to keep some of the land they have conquered in Bosnia. International media also noted that Serbs and Croats have reached agreement on demarcation lines in Serb-held Croatia, which is generally if incorrectly known as Krajina. US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith has been actively engaged in the peace process, and the Boston Globe of 30 March quotes him as warning the Croats and Serbs that "there is a train leaving the station, and the parties want to be on it." Last weekend he visited Krajina's center at Knin, and found the Serbs "reasonable" when he told them that they would have to be content with broad autonomy within Croatia. Finally, the Bosnian parliament meeting in Sarajevo is continuing discussion on the Croat-Muslim federation proposal. The Chicago Tribune says that no agreement was reached on 29 March because Muslims objected to the presence of a Croat official, Jadranko Prlic, whom they accused of "ethnic cleansing." Another Croat, Mile Akmadzic, observed that "it's not ironic, it's life . . . We're now trying to come back to peace." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. MACEDONIA FEARS EXPULSIONS OF KOSOVARS. The planned expulsions of Kosovo Albanians from Germany, which might take place via Skopje airport, have been criticized in the Macedonian press because they might return to Macedonia "like a boomerang," Rilindja reported on 26 and 28 March. Macedonia was used as a transit country for deporting would-be refugees or asylum-seekers to rump Yugoslavia before, but what is new is that the scale of the planned measures is thought to involve thousands of people. Romania refused to transport the refugees through its territory. Meanwhile, German MP Michael Glotz on a visit to Tirana and Skopje told his hosts that the process of expulsions "has been stopped piecemeal," and that Germany is in contact with Albanian President Sali Berisha as well as with his Kosovar counterpart Ibrahim Rugova. The expulsions have been criticized by several human rights groups in Germany and abroad. Especially strong criticism has been leveled at the idea of deporting draft-age men and members of ethnic minorities back to Milosevic's Serbia. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. JELKO KACIN NAMED NEW SLOVENIAN DEFENSE MINISTER. The 30 March Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Vecernji list of the previous day report on the ouster of the feisty and controversial Janez Jansa as the Alpine republic's defense minister. Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek asked parliament to sack Jansa on 28 March following the emergence of the "Smolnikar affair," in which a former security agent, Milan Smolnikar, was attacked by masked police of Jansa's department. The outgoing minister was repeatedly linked to scandals, especially ones involving arms deals, while he in turn claimed to be the victim of rivals who rose to prominence under the communists. Jansa's supporters held a noisy "truth meeting" to protest his dismissal, but parliament named as his successor Kacin, who headed Slovenia's Information Ministry during the country's brief victorious war with the invading Serb-dominated army in 1991. To add to the confusion, Foreign Minister Lojze Peterle said he would introduce a motion of no-confidence in the shaky and divided coalition government. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN PREMIER IN SLOVENIA. On 28 March Adolfas Slezevicius, accompanied by Industry and Trade Minister Kazimieras Klimasauskas and Bank of Lithuania chairman Kazimieras Ratkevicius, traveled to Ljubljana for a three-day visit. On 29 March Slezevicius signed an agreement on economic cooperation and a protocol for a future free trade agreement with his Slovenian counterpart Janez Drnovsek who was also given Lithuanian proposals for a friendship and cooperation treaty as well as agreements on tourism, cultural and scientific cooperation. Slezevicius also met with Foreign Minister Lojze Peterle, Radio Lithuania reports, while Klimasauskas met with officials from the economics ministry and Ratkevicius talked with representatives from the banking community. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. POLAND TO REQUEST EU MEMBERSHIP. Meeting on 29 March, the Polish government resolved to submit a formal application for full membership in the European Union. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak was empowered to submit the request. President Lech Walesa attended the cabinet meeting. Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski acknowledged that Poland will not likely gain membership before 2000; even then it will need an additional, 10-year adjustment period. The government nonetheless expressed the hope that the EU will consider Poland's application within the next two years. Olechowski said that adapting Polish agriculture to EU conditions will be the biggest challenge. A popular referendum would likely be held on joining the EU, he added. Polish TV reports that 70% of Poles support EU membership. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. STOCKS PLUNGE ON WARSAW EXCHANGE. Share values in all of the 24 firms quoted on the Warsaw Stock Exchange dropped on 29 March. The average decline was 9.6%, with most shares dropping the full 10% maximum possible per session. Volume was low. Share prices have dropped an average of 22.7% since the market reached its historical high on 8 March, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. Exchange chairman Wieslaw Rozlucki advised circumspection and noted that the financial outlook for both the Polish economy and the firms on the exchange is very good. Seasoned traders attributed the decline to the withdrawal of funds by small investors looking to take advantage of numerous new public offerings. One trader told PAP that "the moment of truth has arrived:" share prices might finally begin to reflect the performance of individual firms, and newcomers would taste defeat and learn to choose more carefully. The Warsaw exchange reported gains of 1100% in 1993. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECHS TO REDUCE NUMBER OF AIRPLANES. An official of the Czech Air Force told the press on 29 March that the Czech Army will reduce the number of military planes it has by 30% as part of a restructuring. The official said this amounts to a reduction of 138 aircraft, including 77 fighter planes. The airforce will also reduce the number of airports it uses to five. According to the official, it would not be economical for the Czech Air force to continue operating Soviet-made MIG-29 fighters; the Czech Army has already decided not to buy any more aircraft equipment from any of the former Soviet republics. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL EUROPEAN NEWSPAPER LAUNCHED. Czech daily Lidove Noviny launched a special monthly supplement on 29 March called Stredoevropske Noviny (the Central European News). The supplement is a joint venture of Lidove Noviny, Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza, Hungary's Magyar Hirlap, and Slovakia's Sme. Stredoevropske Noviny will serve as a forum for exchanging views on developments in the four Visegrad countries. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK GOVERNMENT INTRODUCES MORE CHANGES. On 29 March, the new Slovak government abolished 13 out of the 45 privatization projects that were hastily approved by the government of Vladimir Meciar shortly before its ouster in early March. Privatization Minister Milan Janicina told journalists on 29 March that the 13 projects were legally flawed. The government also recalled Rudolf Krc from the post of the chairman of the Slovak Statistical Office and replaced him with Stefan Condik; this decision must still be approved by parliament. The government further recalled Meciar's close associate, Anna Nagyova, from the post of the head of the premier's secretariat. Finally, the government decided that Meciar will be given police protection he was entitled to as premier for three additional months, and will have to ask the premier for an extension afterwards. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES POLICE LAW. MTI reported on 29 March that parliament passed, with 244 yes votes, one abstention, and no votes against, a new law regulating the responsibilities and limitations of the Hungarian police force. The law's passage required two-thirds majority and a rare consensus of all parliamentary parties made it possible. Interior Minister Imre Konya praised the law pointing out that it will prevent police violence against citizens, rules out political interference in police operations and will create a professional force. Moreover, it will require officers to identify themselves, providing shield numbers or documents, when asked. Suspected criminals can be detained for only 24 hours without charges. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. GRACHEV WANTS RUSSIA, ROMANIA TO REPAIR TIES. Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said on 29 March that his country and Romania should enhance bilateral cooperation, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Grachev told reporters after talks with President Ion Iliescu that cooperation had "unfortunately stagnated" for the last few years. Grachev also said the Partnership for Peace program should be based on the principle of mutual respect and should not divide European countries into "teachers and pupils, masters and servants." This, he added, was the conclusion reached in the talks with Iliescu, emphasizing that the Romanian president agreed. Radio Bucharest quoted Iliescu as saying at the meeting with Grachev that "Romania wants closer cooperation with Russia" and that he is looking forward to a meeting, possibly to take place later this year, with President Boris Yeltsin. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN INTELLIGENCE CHIEF ON PROBLEMS IN THE SERVICE. Intelligence Service director, Virgil Magureanu, said on 29 March the RIS had thrown out thousands of communist-era officers, an RFE/RL correspondent, Radio Bucharest and Reuters reported on the same day. The service, he said at a press conference, faces many problems now, "and the main one is personnel." Magureanu said the Ceausescu-era Securitate "did not leave us a rich stock of professionalism" but since its setting up in 1990 the RIS "has undergone changes, and our image will improve in the next few months." Magureanu also said that only one third of the Securitate's 15,000 active agents had been taken by RIS. That number is "far too low in proportion to the population and we should have many more employees." Furthermore, he claimed, in 1991 some 30% of the RIS agents were dismissed for lack of professionalism, and later the same reason prompted the service to replace 25% of its structure, following criticism by parliament. Magureanu also said that accusations published by Greater Romania Party leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor had done the RIS a "disservice" and he came out in defense of opposition leader Corneliu Coposu, who has been accused by the extreme nationalists of having been a Securitate informer. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. EU PLEDGES ANOTHER $46 MILLION FOR BULGARIA. The Commission of the European Union stated on 29 March that it will ask member states to provide another $46 million--bringing the total figure up to $172 million (150 million Ecu)--in balance of payments loans to Bulgaria. The announcement came after a session of EU Commission officials and representatives of the Group of 24 economically developed nations in Brussels, at which the general policy on aid to former communist states was considered. The International Monetary Fund has proposed that G-24 countries jointly offer a $345 million loan to help stabilize Bulgaria's finances. According to Reuters, individual G-24 states have so far pledged to provide $260 million. Meanwhile, in mid-April the IMF is scheduled to decide on a revised stand-by arrangement, which could lead to the release of some $157 million in previously agreed loans. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE ON WINNERS AND LOSERS IN UKRAINIAN ELECTIONS. More results from Ukraine's parliamentary elections have been emerging. According to UNIAN, among incumbents who failed to get elected were Dmytro Pavlychko, the chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs commission, and Valentym Lemish, the chairman of the commission on defense and state security. The latter's potential successor, former defense minister Kostyantyn Morozov, made it to the run-offs in a Kiev constituency. The Ukrainian ultra-right failed to do as well as had been predicted by many observers, with the Ukrainian National Assembly and its paramilitary arm, the Ukrainian Self-Defense [Organization] (UNA-UNSO) failing to capture a single seat in its stronghold in Lviv, where democratic candidates did well, taking six of the seats. Two candidates from the UNA-UNSO in this region have, however, got through to the run-offs, and in nearby Ternopil, the organization won one seat. The big surprise, though, is that four candidates from the UNA-UNSO appear to have reached the run-offs in Kiev, though it is not clear if this is because of a protest vote or due to the growing popularity of the ultra-nationalist organization in the Ukrainian capital. Bohdan Nahaylo, RFE/RL, Inc. GAZPROM ACCUSES UKRAINE OF NOT IMPLEMENTING DEBT DEAL. Officials at Gazprom have accused Ukraine of making no moves to implement the 10 March agreement on the country's gas arrears, Interfax reported on 29 March. The deal demands that Ukraine pay $100 million of its $900 million debt by 1 April, and that a joint commission determine which pipelines, underground storage facilities, refineries and logistics units would be of interest to Gazprom so that the company may purchase 50% of the shares in these. To date Ukraine has paid only $46 million and no progress has been made regarding Gazprom's proposed purchase of shares in Ukraine's stocks. Gazprom also accused Ukraine of continuing to siphon off nearly 13 million cubic meters of gas daily meant for western customers. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN BORDER GUARD TO SELL CONTRABAND TO RAISE FUNDS. Interfax reported on 29 March that the Belarusian government has authorized the command of the country's border guards to use the money earned from the sale of confiscated contraband weapons and ammunition to build housing for their personnel. The commander of the border guards, Lt. Gen. Evhen Bacharou, said that seized contraband added over $2 million to the state budget in 1993. He also said that many border guards came from outside of Belarus and had no homes of their own there. While the government had allotted over 10 billion rubels to the border guards for 1994, Bacharou estimated that housing needs are at least 20 billion rubels. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. IMO TO HELP LATVIAN REPATRIATION PROGRAMS. Oystein Opdalh, head of the International Migration Organization, is visiting Latvia to discuss a cooperation program and probable financial help from Nordic countries to implement it, BNS reported on 29 March. On 28 March he met with Justice Minister Egils Levits, Baltic and Nordic Affairs Minister Gunars Meierovics, and Citizenship and Immigration Department head Ints Zitars. On 29 March he held talks with heads of parliamentary committees and various ministry officials, as well as representatives of voluntary migration-related groups. Opdalh said that the Swedish, Finnish, and Norwegian governments plan to allocate $1.5 million for the implementation of programs to provide training for Latvian migration services' staff, forming a library, technical aid, and help to draft Latvia's migration legislation. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Liz Fuller and Stan Markotich 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. 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