|Live all you can: it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had? - Henry James|
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 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. 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