I dream my painting, and then I paint my dreams. - Vincent van Gogh
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 65, 6 April 1994

 RUSSIA

YELTSIN ON DRAFT PEACE ACCORD. President Boris Yeltsin has
distributed his draft proposal of the envisioned civic accord to
25 parties and movements. ITAR-TASS on 6 April quoted him as
saying that the new constitution alone cannot protect society and
the state. The proposed civic accord is needed to support the
search for stability, he stated. Interfax reported that Yeltsin
cut from a previous draft provisions stressing the need to
introduce price controls on basic goods, the need to raise wages
to keep up with inflation, and the guarantee of employment. The
draft agreement proposes that the constitution not be subject to
any amendments for a transitional period of two years.  Alexander
Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUTSKOI ATTACKS YELTSIN. Former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi
launched on 5 April his toughest attack thus far against President
Boris Yeltsin since being released from prison. In an interview
with Pravda, Rutskoi rejected Yeltsin's search for a peaceful
accord with other political forces saying that "it is necessary to
stop playing with consensus or agreements." He remarked that there
will be no positive changes in the country while Yeltsin and his
government remain in power. He stated that the only way out of the
current crisis was a change in leadership "by legal methods." He
also said that he feels no regret about his part in the unrest of
October 1993. In previous interviews, Rutskoi had said that he
still does not understand why nobody came to his support during
the siege of the parliamentary building.  Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY FAVORS SLAVONIC UNIFICATION. The congress of the
Liberal-Democratic Party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky transformed
itself smoothly into a Congress of Slavonic People, Ostankino TV
"Novosti" reported on 3 April. That congress set up an
"All-Slavonic Parliament" and an "All-Slavonic Government."
Zhirinovsky was elected head of the "parliament," former KGB
General Aleksandr Sterligov became head of the "government." The
reunification of slavs is envisioned by Zhirinovsky as a
counterweight to the Western model of a common Europe. The
congress was overshadowed by a CNN report that Zhirinovsky had
changed his name in an attempt to hide his Jewish descent.
Zhirinovsky's fellow party member, Georgii Lukava, compared
Zhirinovsky to Catherine the Great, who was of German origin but
"Russian in spirit." Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATEST ON NATO PARTNERSHIP. Russia's Foreign Ministry announced on
5 April that Russia plans to sign onto NATO's "Partnership for
Peace" program by the end of April. According to the Los Angeles
Times, Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin told reporters that
the partnership could help "strengthen overall European security"
and that Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev had tentatively decided
to sign an agreement on Russia's membership on 21 April in
Brussels. The newspaper quoted a Russian defense expert as saying
that Russia's Security Council and other top government bodies had
approved the plan to join the partnership. On 6 April, however,
President Yeltsin appeared to once again muddy the waters
concerning Moscow's intentions: According to AFP he said that
Moscow's participation in the NATO program depended on the
granting to Russia of a special status. Yeltsin's hesitation on
the NATO program has been attributed to opposition within the
parliament.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

RESULTS OF BOUTROS-GHALI VISIT. Concluding a five-day visit to
Moscow which began on 1 April, UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali disappointed Russian officials by failing to pledge
financial assistance for Russian peacekeeping efforts in the
former USSR and restricting himself to bland assurances of UN
support and appreciation for Russia's efforts. Boutros-Ghali
explicitly ruled out giving a blank check to Russia to act under a
UN mandate and with UN funding that Russian officials have been
seeking for over a year. He said that peacekeeping operations
under the UN banner would have to be UN operations from the start,
replete with UN commanders on the ground and restrictions on the
numbers of troops from non-neutral states, Russian media reported.
Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

STATEMENT ON PEACEKEEPING. In response to the failure of the
United Nations to extend material and legal support to Russian
peacekeeping efforts in the former USSR, the Russian Ministries of
Defense and Foreign Affairs issued a joint statement on 5 April
expressing Russian frustration with what Moscow considers undue
skepticism toward its peacekeeping operations in the so-called
near abroad. The statement, carried by Rossiiskie vesti on 5
April, said that the characterization of Russian efforts, among
other things, as interference in the internal affairs of these
states "is not just an arbitrary interpretation of the facts" but
also a deliberate distortion. Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

BUDGET MANEUVERS. During the morning of 5 April, the Federation
Council rejected a draft law which would allow continued federal
spending during the second quarter in the absence of a final
budget for the year. Later that day, after Deputy Finance Minister
Sergei Aleksashenko had warned the assembly that all government
funding would cease, the assembly reversed its vote, ITAR-TASS and
Interfax reported. In the course of deliberations on the budget in
the State Duma, it was resolved that the government be asked to
provide more details of the draft budget for 1994 and of the
outturn of the budgets for 1992 and 1993. The chairman of the
Duma's Economic Policy Committee proposed that the government
finds additional sources of revenue in 1994, while keeping
budgetary expenditures intact.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

DISCOUNT RATE AND NEW CREDITS. Russian Central Bank Chairman
Viktor Gerashchenko told the Duma on 5 April that, if the monthly
inflation rate could be brought down to 7-9 percent by year-end,
"it is quite possible by the end of 1994 that the discount rate
could be lowered to 110-120 percent," Reuters and Interfax
reported. At present, short money rates are positive at an annual
rate of around 200 percent while the monthly rate fell to 8.7
percent in March. But many observers expect monthly inflation
rates to rise if parliament boosts budget expenditure on
agriculture, the military-industrial complex, and other demanding
claimants. News of another threat to a tight budget for 1994 was
given by Izvestiya on 31 March. It reported that the Economics
Ministry has requested further credits from the Russian Central
Bank to ease the cash crunch arising from the payments arrears
crisis. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

INDEXATION AND MINIMUM WAGE. On 4 April, First Deputy Finance
Minister Vladimir Petrov told the Duma budget committee that that
government had no intention of indexing the wages of state
employees during the second quarter, Russian agencies reported.
The minister added that "over-indexation" had occurred during the
final quarter of 1993 when wages were raised faster than prices.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Yarov told Interfax on 5
April that Petrov had "abused his powers by making such a
statement," and that a decision on indexing salaries had not yet
been taken. On the same day, First Deputy Economics Minister Yakov
Urinson told a parliamentary committee that the minimum wage would
be raised by 85-90 percent of the anticipated increase in the
retail price index, or by roughly 390 percent, ITAR-TASS reported.
Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN ALARM OVER CRIMEA. Russian TV news on the evening of 5
April broadcast an alarmist lead story on an alleged Ukrainian
troop buildup in Crimea. The program noted that the Ukrainian
defense minister had arrived in Simferopol, together with 30
Ukrainian national guard troops as bodyguards, as had the air
force commander, and chief of staff of the national guard. The
report linked this to the absence of Crimean President Yurii
Meshkov whose return flight from Cyprus had been delayed by
Turkish air traffic controllers. A Russian TV correspondent's
report claimed that an additional 500 servicemen had been brought
into Crimea and that the Black Sea Fleet's command was ready to
place the fleet on combat alert. The correspondent speculated that
the arrival of the military leaders was a show of force and a
prelude to the introduction of direct presidential rule by Kiev.
Meshkov did finally return after an 8 hour delay, and the tension
has apparently dissipated. President Kravchuk told ITAR-TASS that
the visits were uncoordinated and coincidental, but has agreed to
notify Crimean authorities in advance of similar visits. The
entire incident seems to have been a groundless "war scare" but it
clearly indicates Russian and Crimean sensitivity on the issue and
the potential for conflict erupting, even if only through
misunderstandings, on the peninsula.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL,
Inc.

BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CLAIMS DISPUTED. Russian officials have reacted
strongly to recent Western articles alleging that biological
warfare development took place in the Soviet Union and may be
continuing in Russia. In an article published in Izvestiya on 3
April, an unnamed Russian intelligence official claimed that the
US has advanced facilities for biological warfare production. The
source claimed that a March 1994 Russian inspection of US
biological facilities showed that at two plants belonging to the
Pfizer corporation production equipment for biological weapons had
been maintained and modernized. (At the time of the inspection
Pfizer officials noted that while the plants had been operated by
the military during World War II, they had never been involved
with biological weapons while operated by Pfizer since the war.)
The Russian official also claimed that the current charges were
motivated by a US desire to resist Russian calls for tighter
compliance with the biological weapons convention. John
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE RECEIVES NUCLEAR FUEL. Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister
Boris Tarasiuk confirmed on 5 April that Ukraine has received a
shipment of nuclear fuel rods from Russia and is preparing another
to send another 60 warheads to Russia AFP reported.  John
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

IAEA REPORT ON CHORNOBYL. A report by the International Atomic
Energy Agency on the Chornobyl nuclear power station has listed
"numerous safety deficiencies," The Washington Post said on 1
April. The agency's findings concluded that "international levels
of safety are not being met at Chornobyl at the present," and
noted that the concrete shelter encasing the stricken No. 4
reactor is rapidly deteriorating. The head of Ukraine's Nuclear
Power Authority played down the report, but the deputy commander
of the security zone around Chornobyl, in an interview with
Reuters on 31 March, lent his support to the IAEA's warning. On 5
and 6 April, nuclear power station workers in Russia picketed
government and parliament buildings in Moscow to protest,
shortfalls in repair and maintenance. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TALKS BETWEEN TAJIK GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION BEGIN. On 5 April
representatives of Tajikistan's government and the Tajik
opposition in exile began talks in Moscow aimed at ending the
violence in the Central Asian country, Western and Russian
agencies reported. After the leaders of the Tajik
democratic-nationalist-Islamic opposition fled the country when
the present regime took power at the end of 1992, the Tajik
government refused to have any dealings with them, but changed its
stance under Russian pressure. The leader of the government
delegation in Moscow, Minister of Labor Shukurjon Zukhurov, was
quoted as saying that his side was willing to talk to anyone who
favors peace. The acting head of the opposition group, former
Pravda correspondent Otakhon Latifi, interpreted the opening of
the talks as an indication that the government recognizes the
opposition as a constructive force.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA DEMANDS ACTION OVER GORAZDE. International media report on
5 and 6 April that the Bosnian government wants the UN Security
Council to intervene militarily to stop the apparently successful
Serb assault on Gorazde, one of three mainly Muslim enclaves in
eastern Bosnia declared a "safe area" by the world organization.
UN officials said, however, that they feared any intervention
would derail the Bosnian peace process. But AFP on 6 April quotes
Bosnian Ambassador to the UN Muhamed Sacirbey as suggesting that
some international officials actually would not mind seeing
Gorazde fall, since that could make for a tidier redrawing of
frontiers. Finally, Reuters quotes international relief workers to
the effect that the Bosnian government is breaking its promise not
to draft men released from Serbian concentration camps.  Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

BERISHA WARNS SERBS ON KOSOVO. News agencies reported on 5 April
that Albanian President Sali Berisha said on a visit to Turkey
that Kosovo "is not an internal Serbian problem but a regional
one." He also repeated his long-standing position that any large
scale "ethnic cleansing" by Serbs of Albanians in Kosovo would
mean war. Albania has close historic and cultural ties with
Turkey, which has become one of Tirana's key backers in its
efforts to join NATO, secure aid and investments, and keep the
Kosovo question in the international limelight.  Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS IN CROATIA. Die Presse reported on 5
April that demands for early elections are increasing in Croatia.
The latest political crisis began last month when leading liberals
within President Franjo Tudjman's ruling Croatian Democratic
Community (HDZ) as well as the opposition demanded that
hard-liners responsible for the disastrous war with the Muslims be
sacked. Upper house speaker and prominent liberal Josip Manolic,
who had long been at odds with Tudjman, called for the dismissal
of Defense Minister Gojko Susak. Instead, Tudjman stripped
Manolic, once his top intelligence officer, of his party jobs, but
Manolic has since managed to cling to the speaker's position. On 4
April Stipe Mesic, the speaker of the lower house, came to
Manolic's aid in an interview with Feral Tribune. Mesic said that
the moves against Manolic smacked of "crude bolshevism" and
Stalinism. He called for the removal of Susak and others
responsible for a Bosnian policy that included running
concentration camps. Mesic did not say explicitly that Tudjman
should go, but the battle lines within the HDZ seem drawn. Tudjman
has proven himself a master at holding his party together in the
past, and many still feel that his moves against the Left were
simply a prelude to a counterthrust against the Right, following a
time-honored tactic of Tito's.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILOSEVIC IN BUCHAREST. On 5 April Slobodan Milosevic, president
of the rump Yugoslav federation, paid a one-day official visit to
Romania. Milosevic held talks with Romanian President Ion Iliescu
and Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu. At a press conference in Bucharest,
Iliescu praised what he described as the good traditional ties
between the two countries, and said that the text of a bilateral
friendship treaty would be completed soon. He predicted that trade
between the two countries could reach $1 billion a year if the UN
sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro were lifted. The two
countries agreed on a joint commission to explore post-embargo
bilateral cooperation. Milosevic, who called the UN embargo
"absurd, anachronistic and counterproductive," suggested that
Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina must decide if they want to join a
Bosnia federation. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

TWO MEETINGS IN SANDZAK. Intellectuals at a congress in the
Serbian town of Novi Pazar in the Sandzak region that was
supported by the opposition Belgrade Circle, agreed that "the
hatred has been imported into Bosnia and Herzegovina," and that
the Sandzak proved that coexistence was possible, Borba wrote on
30 March. Borba also reported on a meeting of the
ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party, whose leader, Vojislav
Seselj, said that "the Serbs are the strongest friends of the
Muslims, because we always told them what is in store for them."
Meanwhile, the CSCE warned of human rights abuses in the Sandzak
and denounced arbitrary arrests and detentions, urging Belgrade to
allow CSCE monitors into the region as well as into Kosovo and
Vojvodina. The CSCE mission was suspended in July 1993,
international media reported on 30 March. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL,
Inc.

NANO SENTENCED. After a lengthy trial a Tirana court has passed
sentence against former prime minister and current Socialist Party
leader, Fatos Nano. Nano and three other officials were charged
with abuse of office in connection with allegations that some $8
million in humanitarian aid supplies went missing during Nano's
brief stint as prime minister in 1991. Radio Tirana reported on 3
April that Nano received a 12-year prison term and was ordered to
pay back some $725,000. The Socialist Party claims the trial was
politically motivated. Robert Austin, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH REPUBLIC, RUSSIA AGREE ON DEBT PAYMENTS. Speaking to
journalists in Moscow and Prague on 5 April after his meetings
with Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Premier Viktor
Chernomyrdin in Moscow, Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus said an
agreement on settling a $3 billion Russian debt to the Czech
Republic should be signed by the two finance ministers by 30 May.
According to Klaus, Russia may repay part of the debt by supplying
goods to the Czech Republic and by allowing it to participate in
Russian privatization. Klaus ruled out Russian weapon supplies as
a form of debt settlement, saying that the Czech Republic is not
interested in new weapons supplied by Russia; however, he
suggested that the Czechs might accept spare parts for their
Russian-made weapons.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF MISSION IN SLOVAKIA. A delegation of IMF officials arrived in
Bratislava on 3 April for a 10-day visit. Slovakia received a
systemic transformation facility (STF) in July 1993, but the
receipt of the second part of the loan is contingent on a stand-by
loan agreement. Meeting with IMF officials on 4 April, Deputy
Premier Brigita Schmoegnerova discussed the new cabinet's economic
policy proposals, which are expected to be presented to the
parliament on 6 April, TASR reports. On 5 April Slovensky dennik
noted that the IMF had expressed reservations about the 1994 state
budget which was passed by the parliament in December and had
asked the cabinet of former Premier Vladimir Meciar to increase
the value added tax rate by 25% to ensure that revenue predictions
were met. Because the former cabinet failed to do so, the new one
is left with deciding whether to avoid such unpopular measures but
put agreement with the IMF at risk or to risk social unrest and
thus harm its chances of success in the forthcoming elections. In
other economic news, Slovakia's trade balance with the Czech
Republic improved considerably in March, with the deficit falling
to under 63 million ecu, well under the limit of 130 million ecu
used in the two countries' clearing system, TASR reports.  Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER INTERRUPTED DURING HOLOCAUST
CONFERENCE. On 5 April participants at an international conference
on the Holocaust in Hungary prevented Geza Jeszenszky from
finishing his speech by stamping their feet and clapping their
hands, MTI reports. Jeszenszky displeased some participants by
proposing in his impromptu speech that in addition to the 600,000
Jewish victims of Holocaust one should also remember some 500,000
Hungarians who perished during World War II. Jeszenszky recalled
that Hungary served until the 1944 German occupation as a place of
refuge for Jews. He drew parallels between Communism and Nazism.
The same day the foreign ministry issued a statement reiterating
Jeszenszky's views. Those participating in the three-day
conference include the Rector of the New York City University,
Frances Degen Horowitz; the Head of the Hungarian Academy of
Science's Historical Institute, Ferenc Glatz; and the Director of
the Rosenthal Institute of New York, Randolph L. Braham.  Edith
Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

THOUSANDS RALLY AGAINST BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT. Tens of thousands of
Bulgarians gathered in Aleksandar Nevski Square on 5 April to
protest against government policies and express support for the
opposition Union of Democratic Forces, agencies report. UDF caucus
leader Stefan Savov called the cabinet of Lyuben Berov "a creation
of the communists," and added that "only elections will save
Bulgaria." While former Finance Minister Ivan Kostov warned that
the country is sliding into a deep economic crisis, the
coalition's Deputy Chairman Ivan Kurtev said the rally would be
followed by other actions intended to finally force the government
of out office. The demonstration was held four days after the
introduction of highly unpopular energy price rises, but also in
the wake of a serious financial crisis prompted by the steep fall
of the lev. Over the past few days the lev recovered slightly
against the US dollar.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

TURKISH PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION IN SOFIA. On 5 April a delegation
of the Turkish parliament led by speaker Husamettin Cindoruk
toured key Bulgarian political institutions to discuss bilateral
and regional developments, BTA reports. Both sides agreed that
relations are excellent, and that especially cooperation on
military issues and crime-fighting has progressed well. Bulgarian
legislators stated their objections to Ankara's plans to send a UN
peacekeeping contingent to Bosnia, but National Security Committee
Chairman Nikolay Slatinski noted that the debate was moderate in
tone. The Turkish delegation called for expanded cooperation in
the tourist sector, while Bulgarian government officials asked
Ankara to speed up the payment of $2 million for imported water.
Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

WORLD BANK LOAN FOR ROMANIA. The World Bank announced on 5 April
that it would lend Romania $175.6 million to update its petroleum
and natural gas industries, Western agencies report. The 20-year
loan, with a five-year grace period, is aimed at developing
extraction and restoring some 300 kms of oil pipeline. Romania's
natural gas reserves are estimated at 517 billion cubic meters and
380 million tons of petroleum. The country's oil production fell
40% between 1976 and 1991. The World Bank loan is expected to
encourage foreign investment.  Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

GREECE PLEDGEES TO SUPPORT ROMANIA'S EU BID. The Greek Minister
for European Affairs, Theodoros Pangalos, said his country will
support Romania's efforts to join the European Union, Western
agencies reported on 31 March. He spoke at a press conference in
Athens, on the second and final day of Romanian President Ion
Iliescu's visit to Greece. Romania's Foreign Minister, Teodor
Melescanu, who accompanied Iliescu, said his country was grateful
to Greece for its support. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTS COORDINATE POSITIONS FOR COUNCIL OF EUROPE. On 1 April the
Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian delegations to the Council of
Europe's parliamentary assembly met in Riga to coordinate a joint
position for the council's next session on 13-14 April, Radio
Lithuania reports. Estonian delegation head Tunne Kelam, who is
one of the vice presidents of the assembly, said that Latvia
should be admitted to the Council of Europe before Russia.
Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas will present this thesis
as a joint Lithuanian and Estonian position when he addresses the
assembly. The three delegations discussed the Estonian
parliament's appeal to the UN to recognize the Soviet invasion in
1940 as a foreign occupation. The Latvian parliament is preparing
a similar document while the Lithuanians will only discuss the
issue if necessary. The withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia
and Estonia was also discussed. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY SEES ESTONIA LOSING INDEPENDENCE. Russian
Liberal-Democratic Party leader Zhirinovsky went to Helsinki for a
two-day a two-day parliamentary seminar on Russia's chances of
admission to the Council of Europe, Reuters reports. At the
Hietaniemi cemetery where he placed flowers at a monument to
Finnish soldiers who died in two wars with the USSR, Zhirinovsky
said that the Baltic States constituted Russian territory: "You
must forget about Baltic States . . . [there is only a] Baltic
region of Russia." He predicted Estonia would be independent, for
a year or two at the most. He said it would be reincorporated into
Russia by economic methods since, in his opinion, Estonia was only
able to exist by selling "raw materials stolen from Russia." He
also stated that Finland should not join NATO for this would make
it Russia's enemy.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

BALTIC SEA OIL EXTRACTION BY LATVIA. On 5 April the Saeima
Economics, Agrarian, and Regional Policy Committee held talks with
representatives of the Amoco Overseas Exploration Company (AOEC),
Diena reports. In 1990 AOEC signed four contracts with Latvia and
applied for an oil extracting license. Its manager, Valdis
Budrevics, said that the only potentially profitable oil field was
located on the Latvian-Swedish sea border and the firm planned to
sign contracts with both governments. Latvian ownership of the
field may be questioned by Lithuania whose sea borders are very
close to the Latvian-Swedish borders. Consultations on the
Latvian-Lithuanian sea borders will be held on 11-12 April.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN-CHINESE TRADE COMMISSION MEETS. Ukrainian TV reported
that the first meeting of the Ukrainian-Chinese Commission on
Trade and Economic Cooperation was held on 4 April. The head of
the Ukrainian side, Deputy Prime Minister Valerii Shmarov, said
the commission would be a basis for developing bilateral economic
relations. According to Shmarov, trade between China and Ukraine
for 1993 totalled $679 million, with Ukrainian exports to China
accounting for $580 million. Shmarov believes the trade potential
between the two sides can reach $4 billion annually. On 5 April
Interfax reported that the Chinese government will grant Ukraine a
$5 million loan.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

PRIVATIZATION BEGINS IN BELARUS. The distribution of privitization
checks began on 1 April, Belarusian radio reported on 5 April.
Each check is worth 25,000 Belarusian rubles, and individual
entitlement depends on age and length of employment. The average
Belarusian will receive 1.5 million rubles' worth of checks
($150). The list of enterprises up for sale will be made public in
the middle of April, and the sale of assets will begin on 1 July.
Belarusians who reached the age of 16 by 3 August 1993 qualify for
ten checks. Anyone younger is not entitled to the vouchers.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW GOVERNMENT. The Moldovan
parliament approved the new government proposed by Prime Minister
Andrei Sangheli on 5 April. Sangheli had been reelected prime
minister on 31 March by a vote of 82 in favor and 15 against.
According to ITAR-TASS, the new government, which has fewer
ministries and departments than before, includes in key positions
many professionals who have worked in market structures and are
not only convinced of the necessity of reforms but have the
experience necessary to carry them out. Sangheli warned, however,
that the new government faced greater difficulties in overcoming
the economic legacy of the last three years when Moldova lost
nearly a third of its production potential. An optimistic view of
Moldova's economic prospects was expressed by the representative
of the International Monetary Fund in Moldova, Michael Blackwell,
who said on 2 April that the country could expect healthy economic
growth thanks to the national bank's tight credit policy that was
reducing inflation.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

LANGUAGE REGULATIONS RELAXED. On 1 April the Moldovan parliament
suspended the government decree on language tests which were to
begin on 2 April, ITAR-TASS reported. This step was taken at the
request of numerous labor collectives which claimed that the
teaching of Moldovan was not properly organized everywhere. A
parliamentary commission has been set up to study the question.
Making knowledge of Moldovan a requirement for many jobs has led
to tension among the non-Moldovan population. A report by the CSCE
published in Kishinev on 2 April said that, while Moldova had
every right to decide on its state language and alphabet,
declaring Russian its second state language would do much to
promote unity.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Suzanne Crow and Anna Swidlicka
The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research
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