Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends. - Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 85, 4 May 1994

                              RUSSIA

DEFAULT ON PLEDGE TO IMF? President Boris Yeltsin's senior
economic adviser has intimated that Russia will be unable to meet
a key pledge made to the International Monetary Fund in March in
order to qualify for the $1.5 billion systemic transformation
facility. In an interview with the Financial Times of 4 May,
Aleksandr Livshits said that the reduction of monthly inflation
rates to single figures had been achieved too soon, and that
higher inflation was the only way to save Russian industry from
collapse. One of the preconditions stipulated by the IMF in March
was that expenditures in the 1994 federal budget be kept at 183
trillion rubles and that revenues be boosted: this is unlikely to
happen. Livshits stated that the steep fall in output (about 25%)
during the first quarter of this year would be maintained in April
and might deteriorate further in May because of the three days of
public holidays. He was openly critical of both the president and
the prime minister.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV HAILS MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS. Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev said on 3 May that the signing of the Gaza-Jericho
agreement between the PLO and Israel is the first major step
toward a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East. Speaking to
reporters before departure in Moscow and upon arrival in Cairo,
where the agreement is to be signed, Kozyrev praised the degree of
cooperation between Russia and the United States, and he said that
the achievement of the agreement could be attributed at least in
part to the support of these two countries. Kozyrev, who will meet
with US Secretary of State Warren Christopher during his stay in
the Egyptian capital, also praised the level of US-Russian
consultation on Middle East issues, saying, "we are in daily
contact, we are acting in unison, in complete accord," ITAR-TASS
reported. His comments conflict with Western press reports citing
complaints among unnamed US officials about Russia's failure to
consult on some issues connected with the Middle East peace
process.  Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV AT SIGNING CEREMONY. Addressing (in English) the
participants at the signing ceremony on 4 May, Kozyrev stated that
he hoped that a "total agreement [for] all the territories" would
be signed within the next year. He also stressed Russia's
"longstanding vital interest" in peace in the region, noting that
the Middle East was closer to Moscow than the Russian Far East.
Kozyrev also reiterated that Russia will continue to maintain an
active role as co-sponsor of the peace process. Even as Kozyrev
made his comments, however, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat continued to negotiate details of
the accord on the stage behind him. The signing ceremony and
addresses were carried live by CNN International.  John
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUEHE ON RUSSIA AND NATO EXPANSION. In a speech delivered on 3 May
at the US West Point military academy, German Defense Minister
Volker Ruehe said that he foresees a strong and expanded NATO that
includes participation by Russia. Reuters quoted Ruehe as saying
that "prosperity and democracy should not end at Germany's eastern
borders, nor should NATO and the European Union end there." Ruehe
praised the NATO Partnership for Peace program, but said that
Moscow should play a special role within the partnership. In
remarks made a day earlier Ruehe had suggested that Russian
participation in the NATO partnership would involve a special
arrangement between NATO and Russia, and that Moscow would not
become a member of the Western alliance. He also called for Moscow
to be more open about its military policies and said that Bonn did
not agree with Russia's concept of a "near abroad" and of its
claim to have special rights in that region.  Stephen Foye,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LAW ON BROADCAST MEDIA UNDER PREPARATION. A draft law on broadcast
media which is currently under preparation seeks to introduce
stricter control over newscasts, Russian Television reported on 4
May. The draft is being prepared by the parliament's committee on
mass media in cooperation with representatives of the government.
The draft reportedly makes no reference to privately owned Russian
broadcast companies and does not foresee privatization of the
state-run broadcast media.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

TV OFFICIAL CALLS FOR PRIVATIZATION OF STATE TELEVISION.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the State Duma's subcommittee on TV and
radio, Kirill Ignatev, said that Russia's state television was in
crisis, Russian Radio "Novosti" reported on 3 May. He called on
the political leadership to reduce control over broadcast policy
and permit gradual privatization of state television and radio.
Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

STABLE INVESTMENT CLIMATE SOUGHT. In an effort to attract more
foreign investment, the Russian government might consider a three-
to five-year moratorium on changing laws once the necessary
legislative framework is in place. This was announced in an
interview in the Journal of Commerce of 3 May with Yurii Petrov,
who is the head of the State Investment Corporation (Gosinkor) and
a chairman of the Russian-American Commission on Foreign
Investment. Petrov was reacting to widespread concern among
present and potential external business partners that Russian
legislation affecting foreign investment and trade is
inconsistent, uncoordinated, wholly unpredictable, and, generally
speaking, chaotic. The same newspaper reports that the American
Chamber of Commerce in Russia has warned US companies to
reconsider making loans to their Russian subsidiaries or partners
because of attempts by the tax authorities to slap a 23 percent
value-added tax on all loans from outside Russia.  Keith Bush,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLZHENITSYN SPEAKS OUT. Russian writer and Nobel Prize winner
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn claimed in an interview with Forbes (9 May
issue), shortly before his scheduled return to Russia, that the
West "uses all means possible, no matter what the consequences, to
weaken Russia." He attacked the West for its support for Ukraine,
remarking that "the Ukrainian army is being indoctrinated with
propaganda that war with Russia is inevitable." Solzhenitsyn
stated that Russia, in 1991, "without a murmur" and "just to
please America" had "thrown away the last vestiges of her concern
for her security and her unprecedented collapse." He also blamed
the West for its rush to recognize "artificial" new states on the
territory of former Yugoslavia which, in his opinion had resulted
in the present Balkan civil war. He argued that Western leaders
should become more far-sighted and predicted that in the 21st
century, "US together with Europe will be in dire need of Russia
as an ally." Solzhenitsyn also criticized the radical economic
reforms of former acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar as "another
heartless experiment." He warned of nationalist Vladimir
Zhirinovsky and said that the latter's victory became possible
only because Russian democrats had "completely abandoned Russia's
national interests." Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOSTOEV ON RETURN OF INGUSH REFUGEES. Isa Kostoev, chairman of the
Federation Council's Committee of Constitutional Legislation, said
at a meeting with his constituents in Ingushetia on 3 May that he
and the Ingush Minister of Justice had drawn up several proposals
on the return of Ingush refugees to the Prigorodnyi raion of North
Ossetia which they would be submitting to Yeltsin, Interfax
reported on 3 May. Kostoev, an Ingush who was earlier Yeltsin's
representative in Ingushetia, said they provided for the return of
refugees to six settlements by 20 May, and the remainder by 20
September. Kostoev called for the dismissal of Vladimir Lozovoi,
head of the provisional administration in the area, who, he
maintained, was unwilling to use the unlimited powers he had to
improve the situation. He also called for the transfer of the
headquarters of the provisional administration from North Ossetia
to neutral territory, for example the city of Terek in
Kabardino-Balkaria.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN TO PARTICIPATE IN NORTH OSSETIAN CELEBRATIONS? North
Ossetian President Akhsarbek Galazov told local leaders on 3 May
that Yeltsin was intending to take part in the celebrations
marking the 220th anniversary of the incorporation of Ossetia in
Russia and the 210th anniversary of the founding of the North
Ossetian capital, Vladikavkaz, Radio Mayak reported. This would
seem to be a harking back to the Soviet period and could chime ill
with the plans of other North Caucasian peoples to mark the 130th
anniversary of the end of the 25-year-long Russo-Caucasian war
which resulted in their conquest by Russia. Interfax reported on 3
May that on the instructions of the president of
Kabardino-Balkaria an organizing committee had been set up to
commemorate the victims of the war. Last week a group headed by
the republic's minister of culture set out on horseback to retrace
the steps of the hundreds of thousands who fled to Turkey with
great loss of life at the end of the war.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL,
Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

OUTCOME OF ISSYK-KUL SUMMIT. RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service has obtained
the text of a communique issued at the end of the closed-door
summit of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan
that was held in the town of Cholpon-Ata on Lake Issyk-Kul on 29
and 30 April. During the summit Kyrgyzstan became a formal member
of the economic union set up by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in
January; Kyrgyzstan had expressed its intent to join only a few
days after the creation of the new regional grouping was
announced. The communique stresses the need for increased
cooperation in the political, cultural, and especially the
economic sphere among the Central Asian states. The new economic
union is offered as the basis for a CIS economic union, and all
CIS states are invited to join.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

AGREEMENT ON NUKES IN KAZAKHSTAN. Russia's Independent TV on 28
April and Segodnya on 29 April reported that one of the agreements
signed during the 28 March summit between presidents Yeltsin and
Nazarbaev concerned the disposition of nuclear forces in
Kazakhstan. According to Pavel Felgengauer's report in Segodnya,
the agreement provides for Russia's assumption of jurisdiction
over the nuclear forces in Kazakhstan, with all warheads to be
removed within 14 months. Silos and missiles in Kazakhstan would
be dismantled within three years. Complete details of the
dismantling process have not been revealed, nor is there any
information on whether, or how, Kazakhstan might be compensated
for the highly enriched uranium in the warheads.  John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ROK PRESIDENT TO VISIT RUSSIA AND UZBEKISTAN. South Korean
President Kim Young-sam will visit Russia from 1-4 June and
Uzbekistan from 4-6 June, Reuters reported on 4 May. In Moscow,
Kim is expected to discuss with Boris Yeltsin means of
strengthening ties between the two countries and of improving
coordination in their efforts to promote stability on the Korean
peninsula. Kim's visit to Uzbekistan was said to be aimed at
cultivating economic and other ties with other independent states
of the former Soviet Union. Uzbekistan has a large Korean
minority. On his return to South Korea Kim is also scheduled to
stop off in Vladivostok, headquarters of Russia's Pacific Fleet.
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

Correction: In the RFE/RL Daily Report of 3 May Ashton Carter was
incorrectly identified as [US] Deputy Secretary of Defense. His
correct title is Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear
Security and Counterproliferation.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SERBS AND MUSLIMS STRESS IMPORTANCE OF BRCKO. RFE/RL's Balkan
Service reported on 3 May that both the Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic and the Muslim military commander Gen. Rasim
Delic have underscored the key role of this Serb-held northern
Bosnian town, which lies along the land corridor linking Serbia
with its conquests in Bosnia and Croatia. Karadzic said it was of
vital interest to the Serbs, while Delic stressed that the battle
for the region would be decisive for the future of
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Karadzic agreed in talks with UN envoy Yasushi
Akashi to the deployment of UN observers in the area, while the
Belgrade Politika on 4 May accuses the Croats and Muslims of
staging "provocations around Brcko." Meanwhile in Sarajevo,
Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic said on 3 May that the
Serbs would have to withdraw completely from their recent
conquests in Gorazde as a precondition for peace talks, the Balkan
Service noted. The 4 May New York Times adds that the UN has
admitted that armed Serb forces remain in the area although they
were supposed to have been withdrawn in the face of a NATO
ultimatum.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

UNESCO LAUNCHES PLANS TO REBUILD KEY CULTURAL SITES IN
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor visited
Sarajevo on 3 May, the Balkan Service reported. He discussed plans
to reconstruct the most pressing projects, including the National
Library in the capital. This was originally the Moorish town hall
dedicated by Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand just before his
assassination in 1914 and was destroyed by Serb shells in 1992.
Another item on the list is the Old Bridge in Mostar. Among the
countries volunteering to help on that job are Turkey, whose
architects and engineers built the structure in 1566, and Croatia,
whose gunners blasted it into the Neretva River in 1992.
Meanwhile, Mayor also participated in a ceremony to mark World
Press Freedom Day by helping to dedicate a memorial to the 68
journalists and other press people killed in the Wars of the
Yugoslav Succession. Freedom House in New York, however, ranked
both Bosnia and Serbia as "not-free press countries" in its annual
survey to commemorate that same day, while Croatia landed in the
intermediate "partly free" category. The Balkan Service noted
that, while Croatian television and some newspapers are firmly
under the control of the governing party, the country has some
independent and hard-hitting weeklies, and even the pro-government
daily Vjesnik is acquiring a profile of its own.  Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CROATIA TO INTRODUCE NEW CURRENCY. Hina reported on 3 May that
Croatia's National Bank has announced that the kuna will enter
circulation on 30 May, which is celebrated as the Day of
Statehood. The Bank says it expects "no economic earthquakes" to
follow, and the long-planned kuna will be exchanged at the rate of
one to 1,000 Croatian dinars, a transitional currency that has
become fairly stable. The term kuna has deep roots in Croatian
history, but many opposed reintroducing it because it was also the
name of the currency of the Axis puppet regime from 1941 to 1945.
President Franjo Tudjman, who is a military historian with a
particular passion for heraldry and uniforms, has, however,
refused to abandon centuries-old national symbols simply because
they were reintroduced by the Ustase during World War II. Tudjman
has nonetheless banned any rehabilitation of the fascist state or
its top leaders, and retains the Tito-era national anti-fascist
holiday.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBS STEP ETHNIC CLEANSING IN EASTERN CROATIA. Vjesnik on 4 May
reports on Serbian efforts to expel Croats, Hungarians, Slovaks
and other non-Serbs living in eastern Slavonia and replace them
with Serb colonists. While ethnic cleansing has been a hallmark of
Serbian policy throughout the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia,
it has been followed with particular zest in that region, which is
contiguous to Serbia, since the Serb attacks on their neighbors
began in 1991. On another theme popular in at least some of the
Croatian press, Novi list on 3 May discussed how the ruling elite
in Tudjman's Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) has come to
control the economy and key political institutions, including the
Foreign and Intelligence Services. The article is entitled "They
Have Croatia," which is a play on one of Tudjman's political
slogans, "We Have Croatia," meaning that the country is now
independent.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

KARADZIC IMPLICATED IN BANK SCANDAL. On 3 May The Guardian
reported that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been linked
to the collapse of the rump Yugoslavia's largest private financial
institution, Dafiment Bank. Dafiment Bank closed its doors in
April 1993, owing its customers an estimated DM 212 million.
Dafina Milanovic, owner of the defunct bank, reportedly revealed
that prominent politicians and paramilitary leaders were involved
in plots to defraud the institution, and were permitted to make
withdrawals after it was closed to others. According to a
Financial Times report of 4 May, Milanovic also alleges that
Karadzic "himself carried sacks of cash out of the bank."
International media speculate that the disclosure of Karadzic's
involvement with the bank in fact signals a falling out between
Karadzic and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.  Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

TENSIONS IN MONTENEGRIN-SERBIAN RELATIONS. Montenegrin President
Momir Bulatovic described the 23 April congress of the Serbian
intellectuals as a "meeting of individuals with personal
viewpoints," adding that "no organized political force stands
behind the words, declarations and documents of the congress,"
Politika reported on 29 April. The congress, which took place in
Belgrade, discussed the "Serbian question" and the possible
foundation of a greater Serbian state, which should include
Montenegro. Many Montenegrin political forces, however, are
strongly opposed to losing the status of a republic co-equal with
Serbia in the federation by the creation of a centralized Serbian
state. Elsewhere, Montenegro claims a right to oil that is
produced in Serbia and Vojvodina, saying that the delivery of oil
falls in the federal sphere and not exclusively in that of the
Republic of Serbia, Politika reported the same day. Nonetheless,
the paper says that even though negotiations are underway it is
not likely that Montenegro will receive Serbian oil before June.
Montenegro has no oil resources of its own, and Croatia has
charged that Serbian occupation forces in Slavonia are taking
large amounts of oil from Croatian fields. Meanwhile, Albanian
police seized three road-tankers bound for Montenegro, Reuters
reported on 28 April. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

NO BREAKTHROUGH AT GREEK-ALBANIAN MEETING. A two-hour meeting of
the Albanian and Greek foreign ministers in Zurich on 3 May
apparently failed to substantially improve bilateral relations,
which lately have been strained due to minority problems and a
border incident on 10 April in which two Albanian conscripts died.
Reuters quoted Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias as
qualifying the talks as "positive," and acknowledging that Tirana
had demonstrated goodwill. But Papoulias stressed that there were
several remaining problems to be resolved, mentioning that he had
asked Albania to release five members of the minority Greek Omonia
party which Athens says is being persecuted since the border
incident. For his part, Papoulias' Albanian counterpart Alfred
Serreqi described the meeting as "constructive," without
elaborating further. He nonetheless noted that stable
Albanian-Greek relations are currently important for the security
of the whole region. Greek officials said the meeting had neither
produced an agreement on practical measures, nor a date for a
subsequent meeting.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND MARKS CONSTITUTION DAY. In a speech at the Tomb of the
Unknown Soldier marking the anniversary of the 3 May 1791
Constitution, President Lech Walesa lamented that Poland still
lacks a new constitution, five years after the collapse of
communism. "We are building a house without solid foundations," he
said. Walesa expressed concern that work on the new constitution
has become mired in political conflict. The framers of the 1791
constitution should serve as an example, he argued, as they
managed "to rise above divisions, ambitions, and animosities."
Meeting later with the diplomatic corps in Warsaw, Walesa noted
that independence and democracy had enabled Poland to build good
relations with all its neighbors. The signing of a new treaty with
Lithuania had completed this process, he said. Walesa and Prime
Minister Waldemar Pawlak attended religious services at Jasna Gora
on 3 May; these coincided with a pilgrimage of 100,000 farmers.
The president also awarded the "Order of the White Eagle" (an
honor reactivated in the country in 1992) to seven elderly Poles:
Adam Bien, Aleksander Gieysztor, Czeslaw Milosz, Zofia Morawska,
Jan Nowak-Jezioranski, Stanislaw Stomma, Jerzy Turowicz, and,
posthumously, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL,
Inc.

SOLIDARITY WANTS NEW SYSTEM. Solidarity's leadership is attempting
to escalate its protest into a three-day general strike, starting
4 May; on 29 April the union's national protest committee
instructed all members to take part. Gazeta Wyborcza reports that
the union's coal and energy branches resolved late on 3 May to
call strikes in all of Poland's hard-coal mines. Over the long
holiday weekend, 16 coal mines and 3 zinc and lead mines staged
"absentee strikes," with most miners remaining at home. Workers in
Poland's 63 coal mines were meeting early on 4 May to determine
whether to answer Solidarity's call. Solidarity leader Marian
Krzaklewski announced that the union's railway branch will meet to
debate a strike on 4 May; the "historic" plants, such as Ursus and
the Gdansk shipyard, are to strike on 5 May. In remarks to union
members on 3 May, Krzaklewski said that Solidarity is fighting for
"a good system" to replace the current one, "in which our families
grow poorer." Krzaklewski asserted that the current parliament is
not legitimate enough to adopt a new constitution. Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

THE CZECH REPUBLIC TO REPAY IMF LOAN AHEAD OF TIME. The Czech
government's economic affairs ministers decided on 3 May that the
Czech Republic will repay its $430 million IMF loan, due to be
repaid in 1995, one year ahead of schedule. CTK reports that the
main reason for the decision is that the country's hard currency
reserves have been quickly rising over the past year and that the
early repayment of the loan will result in savings.  Jiri Pehe,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK GOVERNMENT AGREES TO AMEND LAW ON NAMES. On 3 May Interior
Minister Ladislav Pittner announced that the government approved a
change in the law on names which would allow Slovakia's minority
groups to use the forms of their first names which correspond to
national traditions and would allow women to drop the "-ova"
ending from their surnames. The passage of the law has been a
point of contention in Slovak-Hungarian relations; Hungary
threatened to block Slovakia's entrance into the Council of Europe
in June 1993, claiming that the rights of ethnic Hungarians living
in Slovakia were not guaranteed. The cabinet's proposal will still
have to be approved by the parliament.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL,
Inc.

PORTION OF THE BUDAPEST BY-PASS HIGHWAY OPENED. In a major step
toward Hungary's highway construction, a 13.9 km stretch of the M0
was opened to the public on 3 May. Apart from connecting three
existing four-lane highways--the M1, M5, and M7--the M0 circles
Budapest and will enable eastward-going traffic to by-pass
downtown Budapest and at the same time annually relieve the
capital of some 500 to 800 tons of air pollution. MTI reports that
the new portion was inaugurated by Prime Minister Peter Boross and
Transportation Minister Gyorgy Schamschula.  Karoly Okolicsanyi,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN MINERS PROTEST AGAINST ECONOMIC TROUBLES. Romanian miners
staged on 3 May what they called a "march of national despair," to
protest against the deterioration of the country's economy, Radio
Bucharest and Western agencies reported on the same day. Five
miners' unions took part in the march. The leader of the lignite
miners' union, Marin Condescu, told a Reuters correspondent that
his members were calling for national unity and reform, not for
pay rises. Condescu said 1,500 miners demonstrated in the main
square of the mining town of Targu Jiu.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ROMANIA AND THE ISRAEL-PLO AGREEMENT. Teodor Melescanu, Romania's
Minister of Foreign Affairs, flew to Cairo on 3 May to participate
in the ceremonies of the signing of the Israel-PLO agreement on 4
May, Radio Bucharest reported on the same day. Melescanu said
Romania has been invited to be represented at the occasion in
recognition for the role it has played in the forging of the
agreement, including the latest meeting at the Cras Montana forum
in Bucharest between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israel's Foreign
Minister Shimon Peres. He emphasized that Romania wanted to
participate in the economic reconstruction of the region and was
well positioned to do so, since its industrial potential and
expertise in certain areas of infrastructure construction enjoyed
a good reputation in Israel and the Arab world.  Michael Shafir,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN UNION LAUNCHES WARNING STRIKES. The Chairman of the
Confederation of Trade Unions in Bulgaria, Krastyu Petkov, told
Bulgarian radio early on 5 May that workers in 150 municipalities
and 950 enterprises have began warning strikes and are prepared to
extend the protests to a full-scale walkout in the coming weeks.
Petkov, who last month declared that the CITUB has withdrawn its
support for the current government, accused the administration of
neglecting the crisis-ridden mining and energy sectors. Over the
past few weeks, the CITUB staged several strikes against the
government's economic reform and social policies, urging that
incomes be protected against inflation and that key industry
sectors be reconstructed.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE TO SIGN AGREEMENT WITH EU; AND RECEIVE AID FROM US. On 3
May Interfax reported that Ukraine plans to sign an agreement on
partnership and cooperation with the EU in June. The agreement
would give Ukrainian goods more access to West European markets.
This follows EU plans at a meeting on 27 April to extend a 100
million Ecu aid package to Ukraine. Ukrainian television reported
that on 3 May an economic delegation from the US led by National
Security Council official, Nicholas Byrns, was to meet with
officials from Ukraine's economics ministry in Kiev. Discussions
are to focus on working out the details of a $350 million aid
package offered by the US during President Leonid Kravchuk's visit
to the US in March of this year.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

7,000 RUSSIAN TROOPS COULD LEAVE LATVIA BY END OF AUGUST. Ilgonis
Upmalis, head of the Latvian office monitoring the withdrawal of
Russian troops from Latvia, told Diena of 3 May that he believed
Russia should be able to pull back the approximately 7,000 troops
in Latvia by 31 August, in compliance with the troop pullout
accords signed in Moscow on 30 April. Upmalis nonetheless
expressed surprise that Russian media lately had been reporting
that there were still about 12,000 Russian troops in Latvia--a
figure that Upmalis said was exaggerated.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ESTONIA PREPARED TO DISMANTLE PALDISKI REACTORS. The Estonian
government has set aside 1.4 million Estonian kroons (about
$100,000) for dismantling the two nuclear reactors at the former
Soviet submarine training base at Paldiski. Much of the money
comes from funds donated by Western countries for that purpose.
Juri Tikk told BNS on 3 May that the Estonian side is ready to
proceed with the dismantling and that flights over Paldiski--which
are unrelated to the dismantling work--would be banned starting on
15 May.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by John Lepingwell and Kjell Engelbrekt
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole