|Успевает всюду тот, кто никуда не торопится. - М. А. Булгаков|
No. 99, 26 May 1994
RUSSIA RUSSIA TO JOIN NATO PARTNERSHIP, BUT QUESTIONS REMAIN. Addressing the inaugural meeting of the NATO Partnership for Peace program on 25 May, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev affirmed Russia's readiness to join the program without conditions, but also reiterated Moscow's view that the partnership was "not a complete answer, but only a first step" toward dealing with the Post-Cold War security environment in Europe. According to The Washington Post, Grachev suggested that Russia's nuclear status required it to aim for a "consultative mechanism" with NATO that went beyond the partnership; he was quoted as saying that "what we suggest is not to limit the sphere of partnership, but to enrich it with cooperation between Russia and NATO, not only in military areas but on other important issues." Grachev offered the assembly what was described as a lengthy document that described a number of possible joint projects involving, among other things, peacekeeping operations, strategic planning, and exercises. Western officials went out of their way to praise Grachev's performance, both for the substance of his remarks and for the spirit of cooperation that they were said to have evidenced, but also reiterated that Russia would not play a special role in the partnership. No date was given for Russia's actual signing of the partnership agreement. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. ON MILITARY DOCTRINE, CFE. In remarks made to NATO Defense Ministers a day earlier, on 24 May, Grachev reportedly labored to reassure his audience that Russia's new military doctrine was defensive and that Russian peacekeeping activities in the countries of the former Soviet Union were not animated by neo-imperialist ambitions and that they would respect UN guidelines. He also was reported to have said that the problems of Russian minorities in the "near abroad" should be resolved by political rather than military solutions. On 25 May, however, Reuters reported that NATO and Russian officials continued to clash over Moscow's request that the CFE (Conventional Forces in Europe) Treaty be amended to allow Russia to augment its military forces in the Caucasus region. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CHERNOMYRDIN ARRIVES IN BEIJING. Reuters reported on 26 May that Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin had arrived in Beijing to begin a three-day visit expected to focus on promoting bilateral trade. His arrival caps a month of high-level visits by Russian leaders. Reuters reported that trade between the two countries amounted to $7.68 billion in 1993, an increase of 31% from the previous year. A drop of 50% in the first two months of 1994, attributed to tightened visa conditions, was said to be both a cause of concern and a result of the fact that cross-border bartering had been significant. A Western diplomat was quoted as saying that "both sides are interested in trying to ease the bilateral trade away from border trade to state-to-state and corporation-to-corporation." In remarks reported by Interfax on 25 May, Chernomyrdin said that Russia and China should have friendly, or even fraternal, relations. He also suggested that arms sales would be an important topic of discussion in Beijing. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. SOCIOLOGIST ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. The well-known sociologist Igor Klyamkin published an article in Rossiiskaya vesti on 25 May arguing that Yeltsin remains the top favorite for presidential elections, adding that economist Grigorii Yavlinsky has a good chance to challenge him. But Klyamkin also opined that the "ruling bureaucracy" in Russia will put forward its own candidate for presidential elections in 1996 and will do its utmost to prevent the emergence of a leader who, like Yeltsin in 1991, could appeal to the masses for popular support. According to him, popular elections will be delayed or cancelled should the "ruling bureaucracy" feel threatened by the emergence of an independent leader. Klyamkin stated that various old style political, economic and military lobbies have formed an alliance in order to regain control over politics in the country. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc. REACTION TO YELTSIN'S ECONOMIC PACKAGE. Domestic reaction to the economic decrees issued by President Yeltsin on 23 May has been generally favorable, to judge from Russian agency and radio reports. Some key legislators, including Egor Gaidar and Vladimir Medvedev, particularly welcomed the decree abolishing export quotas and licenses. Western business circles were more circumspect. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal of 26 May cite an accounting firm executive as criticizing the decrees for their vague wording, while a tax specialist pointed out that the promised tax holidays on profits during the first two years of operation would bring little if any joy to foreign joint ventures that typically generate no profits during their startup period. Yeltsin sent a letter to the parliament elaborating on the decrees and urging prompt enabling legislation. His office promised another six decrees by 27 May and another 100 by year's end. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc. KHASBULATOV SAYS YELTSIN AND DUDAEV MUST GO. In Nezavisimaya gazeta of 25 May, former speaker of the Russian parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov said that both Yeltsin and Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev enjoyed no widespread social support and were kept in power by the army. In his view both should go, and the sooner the better. Khasbulatov was commenting on the situation in Chechnya where he recently spent several weeks after he was amnestied. He said that the Dudaev regime has caused untold harm to Chechnya. While agreeing that a serious dialogue between Moscow and Chechnya was necessary and that Chechnya should be brought back into the Russian fold, he doubted that talks between Yeltsin and Dudaev would provide the answer. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA SIGNS 10 AGREEMENTS WITH BASHKORTOSTAN. On 25 May Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and his Bashkortostan counterpart Anatolii Kopsov signed ten agreements on cooperation and delimiting powers between the governments of Russia and Bashkortostan, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Bashkortostan thus became the second territory after Tatarstan to sign such a set of agreements with the Russian government. Two further agreements--on budget and banking relations--were not signed because of remaining differences. According to Chernomyrdin, the main power-sharing treaty between Russia and Bashkortostan will be signed as soon as these two documents are finalized. Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc. SHAKRAI'S RESIGNATION REJECTED. Interfax reported on 24 May that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had rejected Sergei Shakrai's resignation from the post of deputy prime minister. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS NO AGREEMENT ON BLACK SEA FLEET. There is still no agreement on the Black Sea Fleet after three days of talks and further discussions have been put off for 10 days, various agencies reported. The division of the fleet itself has reportedly been agreed on, but talks have stalled over the issue of basing. Russia insists its share of the fleet must be based in Sevastopol and has proposed Ukraine use other bases in Crimea such as Donuzlav and Balaklava. Ukraine maintains that it is necessary for it to station at least some of its ships in Sevastopol so that the base would have to be shared between the two navies. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. CRIMEAN UPDATE. The speaker of the Crimean parliament, Serhii Tsekov, said that Simferopol would be prepared to settle for a power sharing agreement with Kiev similar to that between Russia and Tatarstan, various agencies reported on 25 May. He called for the adoption of legislation which would settle the differences between Ukraine and Crimea. According to Tsekov the current tension not only stems from Simferopol's recent decisions, but also from Kiev's inconsistent policy towards Crimea over the past 18 months. As for the adoption of the republic's 1992 constitution, Tsekov said that under it Crimea is still a part of Ukraine and "that's all there is to it." Crimean Interior Minister, Valerii Kuznetsov, said that Ukraine is continuing with the formation of a 2,500-3,000-strong National Guard brigade in Crimea. It was also reported that Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister Andrii Vasylyshyn delivered an address to the leadership and personnel of internal affairs agencies in Crimea condemning the failure of the Crimean authorities to carry out directives from Kiev and asking for assurances that the Crimean Interior Ministry will remain a part of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. PROBLEMS WITH THE BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN MONETARY UNION. The chairman of the National Bank of Belarus, Stanislau Bahdankevich, described the agreement on monetary union with Russia as "stillborn," Interfax reported on 20 May. Many details of the merger had not been worked out at the time of the document's signing on 12 April and these persist in being stumbling blocks as the two sides continue negotiating the exact terms of the union. According to Bahdankevich, the document remains a "letter of intent." In other news Interfax reported on 24 May that as of 1 June the Belarusian ruble will be the only legal tender in Belarus and all accounting will be carried out in that currency until the monetary union officially takes place. It was also reported by Belarusian radio on 25 May that Russia has agreed to give Belarus credits worth 150 billion rubles for the first half of 1994. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA GEORGIAN POLITICAL PARTIES SIGN DECLARATION ON NATIONAL UNITY. On 25 May representatives of 34 Georgian political parties signed a nine-point declaration of National Accord and Unity, modelled on Yeltsin's Civic Accord and affirming Georgia's independence and territorial integrity and commitment to democracy and economic reform, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Georgian radicals, including National Independence Party chairman Irakli Tsereteli, refused to sign the document. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. AKAEV ON EFFECTS OF REFORMS. Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev told an Interfax interviewer on 25 May that the strict monetary policy of the National Bank has reduced the monthly inflation rate from 40% immediately after Kyrgyzstan introduced its own currency in May 1993 to 4.9% today. Kyrgyzstan's chief economic weakness now, according to Akaev, is the malfunctioning of the tax system, resulting in the loss to the national treasury of half its planned income. Akaev noted that foreign donors are insisting that Kyrgyzstan's government stop funding its state budget at their expense. He criticized the parliament for frightening off foreign investors with its attacks on a deal with a Canadian firm to exploit gold deposits in Kyrgyzstan. The affair led to the fall of the government and still raises passions in Bishkek. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. JOURNALISTS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER TAJIK SITUATION. The International Confederation of Journalists' Unions (ICJU) has sent an open letter to Tajikistan's leader, Imomali Rakhmonov, expressing grave concern about the safety of journalists in that country, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 May. The letter, signed by ICJU President Eduard Sagalaev, was written in the wake of the recent slaying of two journalists in Dushanbe; one, Khushbakht Khaidarsho, was responsible secretary of Dzhumhuriat, a prominent Tajik newspaper. Sagalaev noted that 35 journalists have been killed in Tajikistan over the past two years, and that the rights of journalists and freedom of the press continue to be violated. The letter also protested the continued confinement of several journalists, including Mirbobo Mirrakhimov, a well-known leader of the Tajik opposition. The International Confederation of Journalists' Union is the successor organization to the USSR Journalists' Union, and represents journalists from most CIS states. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIA TALKS CONTINUE, RENEWED FIGHTING REPORTED. On 26 May international media report that talks between Bosnian Croat, Muslim, and Serb leaders continue with international mediators in the French town of Talloires. Virtually no details are available as negotiations are being kept out of the public eye. Meanwhile, on 26 May Reuters reports that combined Bosnian Muslim and Croat forces have attacked Serbian troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, near the town of Tesanj. On 25 May Reuters also reported that Bosnian Serb and Muslim troops fought around Tesanj. Twelve people were killed. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. CROATIAN PARLIAMENT BOYCOTTED. On 25 May RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service reported that Croatian opposition parties boycotted the 25 May parliamentary session in protest of Stipe Mesic's removal from his speaker's post. On 24 May the ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), from which Mesic and fellow HDZ-supporter Josip Manolic broke to form their own party, used its majority to elect Nedjeljko Mihanovic in Mesic's place, after opposition parties left the legislative session in protest against Mesic's removal. Following his replacement by Mihanovic, Mesic continues to claim he is the legitimate speaker. Relations between the HDZ and the opposition parties appear to have hit yet another serious snag; on 26 May Vjesnik reports that on the previous day negotiations between the HDZ and the opposition broke down when HDZ officials produced a copy of a letter which they allege was written by Mesic and Manolic, distributed internationally, and intended to "sully and indict the Croatian nation." The exact contents of the alleged letter remain unknown, and Mesic and Manolic have said they were not involved in writing it. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. 530 MILLION DOLLARS TO START REBUILDING SARAJEVO. On 25 May international agencies reported that UN officials and representatives of the Bosnian government revealed plans for rebuilding the Bosnian capital Sarajevo at a Vienna-based conference devoted to the reconstruction of the city. The estimated cost of a project to begin rebuilding Sarajevo's war-ravaged infrastructure is some 530 million dollars. The city, seriously damaged after a two-year siege, has been relatively calm since attacking Serb forces stopped shelling in February, in response to a NATO ultimatum. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. TELEVISION DEBATE BETWEEN HORN AND KUNCZE. Hungarian Socialist Party chairman Gyula Horn and Alliance of Free Democrats prime minister candidate Gabor Kuncze discussed on 25 May the possibility of an HSP-AFD coalition, the prime minister's person, and relations with neighboring countries, MTI reports. Horn reiterated that he would be ready to head the new government if asked by his party but said that the prime minister's person will also depend on the outcome of the second decisive round of elections on 29 May. He insisted that a possible coalition agreement state that wage earners should no longer bear the brunt of the costs of economic reforms, and stressed that the help of the unions was needed to forge a social pact between the government, workers, and employers. Kuncze expressed concern that major trade unions leaders, who will most likely belong to the HSP faction, will exercise excessive influence over the HSP, and said that the terms of a social pact should not be decided in the HSP but outside parliament. The two politicians called for a "historical reconciliation" with neighboring countries and advocated bilateral agreements stipulating the inviolability of the borders and including guarantees for the minority rights of ethnic Hungarians. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. PINOCHET TO VISIT THE CZECH REPUBLIC. Czech media reported on 25 May that General Augusto Pinochet will be among the members of a Chilean military delegation that is scheduled to visit the Czech Republic on 30 May. The visit was confirmed by Czech politicians, including Premier Vaclav Klaus and Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec. Klaus, who recently visited Chile, said that Pinochet's visit will take place at the invitation of Czech arms producers and will be "purely private." He ruled out any contacts between top Czech politicians and the Chilean delegation. According to CTK, Pinochet and his delegation will also visit Slovakia, Russia, Switzerland, and England. Jan Obrman, RFE/RL, Inc. HAVEL AND KOVAC ON CZECH-SLOVAK RELATIONS. On the eve of Czech President Vaclav Havel's visit to Slovakia, on 25 May Slovak Television broadcast a discussion of Havel and Slovak President Michal Kovac concerning bilateral relations. Kovac stressed the importance of Slovakia's relations with the Czech Republic. Expressing concern that activities in the intellectual sphere have already weakened because of a decline in the exchange of information, Kovac said he wants to increase the number of meetings between the two presidents. Kovac mentioned that both countries want to be integrated in European structures as soon as possible. Havel said that although the Czechs do not want to outrun other countries in the race towards the West at any price, the period when everything must be done together has passed; each country now has the opportunity to gain visibility on its own. Noting that the decline in economic cooperation has ended, Havel said it is now time to renew and extend bilateral relations. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. TRADE UNION PROTESTS IN SLOVAKIA. On 25 May representatives of the KOVO Trade Union demonstrated peacefully in front of the new parliament building to protest against a government bill on allowances for children, TASR reported. Approximately 400 union members traveled from all over Slovakia to show support for the version of the bill submitted by the trade unions, which offers more income to larger families. After meeting with union representatives, parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic said that the parliament must look for reserves elsewhere, and not at the expense of families. According to Premier Jozef Moravcik, the unions' plan would cost 1 billion koruny, meaning that either taxes or the deficit would have to be increased, both of which are "unacceptable," SME reported on 25 May. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. PROSECUTION RESTS IN POPIELUSZKO MURDER TRIAL. The prosecutor in the trial of the two secret police generals charged with organizing the 1984 murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko rested his case on 25 May with a demand for 15-year prison terms. Given the lack of any clear evidence that the two generals--Wladyslaw Ciaston and Zenon Platek--explicitly ordered the priest's kidnapping and murder, the prosecutor reduced the charges from "directing" the murder to "inciting and abetting" the crime. In fact, the only evidence implicating the generals are statements by the four secret police officers convicted of the murder in a 1985 trial. The prosecutor argued, however, that there was abundant evidence that the two generals had supervised a campaign of intimidation against Popieluszko and other activist priests, and that the murder was the logical conclusion of this campaign. The generals also attempted to cover up their subordinates' involvement in the crime. The court reconvenes on 6 June, PAP reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA: FOR A EUROPEAN ORDER LIKE A SWISS WATCH. Opening a three-day official visit to Switzerland on 25 May, Polish President Lech Walesa called for the construction of a new order in Europe that would prove "as durable and reliable as a Swiss watch," PAP reports. "The new Europe should be a compromise between the necessity of integration and each nation's right to its own identity," Walesa said. Swiss President Otto Stich called Polish-Swiss relations "excellent" but was cautious about any new financial commitment to Poland. A large business delegation accompanied the Polish president. No accords are to be signed during the visit, but it has great symbolic significance. Switzerland receives only one state visit per year; Poland is the first East European country invited. Speaking to the Polish emigre community in Bern, Walesa tried to ease fears of a communist resurgence. "The communists never give up anything for free," Walesa jested; now that they are capitalists, they will not give up their capital and go back to being communists. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CRIMEA CONFLICT WORRIES POLAND. In a letter to his Ukrainian counterpart on 24 May, Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski expressed Poland's concern at the situation in Crimea and the "possibility that a Ukrainian domestic problem could evolve into an international conflict." The letter said that Poland supports a peaceful resolution of the conflict, in keeping with the democratic legal order; it restates Poland's support for Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity, PAP reports. The letter prompted a demand from the Confederation for an Independent Poland (KPN) for a Sejm debate on the government's planned response, should the Russian-Ukrainian conflict escalate. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA ON THE CRIMEAN CRISIS. A spokeswoman for the Romanian Foreign Ministry said on 25 May the government is following the Crimean situation closely, but views it as an internal Ukrainian problem. Radio Bucharest quoted Simona Miculescu as saying that Romania hopes the crisis in Crimea will be settled through political means. She added that Romanian regards Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine, whose stability and independence are very important for the region and for the rest of Europe. Miculescu praised the attitude taken by Russia on the issue, calling it a "positive sign." Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA'S GOVERNMENT CRISIS. On 25 May representatives of the Bulgarian government and the National Assembly failed to agree on a way out of the political crisis, domestic media report. Whereas the Bulgarian Socialist Party said it was ready to consider Prime Minister Lyuben Berov's proposal on a political accord which would enable the cabinet to promote the adoption of key economic and other legislation until new elections are held sometime in autumn, all other parliamentary factions were reluctant or--as in the case of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces--outright rejected the initiative. UDF leader Filip Dimitrov accused Berov of violating an elementary principle of parliamentarism by refusing to step down after having failed to gain support from a majority of the deputies in two ballots on 19 and 20 May. Assembly Chairman Aleksandar Yordanov, also a UDF member, noted in a statement that a political accord would be of no juridical value since the 1991 constitution makes no reference to that possibility. He instead urged Berov to comply with parliamentary logic and resign. A new no-confidence vote was originally scheduled for 25 May but has been postponed. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ETHNIC HUNGARIANS PROTEST ANTONESCU STATUE. An RFE/RL correspondent reported on 24 May that the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania has again protested against the project to erect a statue of Romania's wartime dictator Ion Antonescu in the Transylvanian town of Targu Mures, which is heavily populated by ethnic Hungarians. The statue is sponsored by an association of wartime veterans. Jewish and Hungarian groups in Romania protested against the project and the mayor of Targu Mures, Gyozo Nagy, banned it and fined its promoters two million lei (about $1, 400 dollars). But a court of justice in the city ruled that the erection of the statue was legal. Another monument to Antonescu has been erected in the southern town of Slobozia in 1993. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA TO OPEN CONSULATE-GENERAL IN LOS ANGELES. The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest announced on 25 May that Romania will open a consulate-general in Los Angeles on about 1 June. Petre Catriniuc, a secretary with the Romanian embassy in Washington, will act as an interim consul general until a final appointment is made, Radio Bucharest reports. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. "DNIESTER REPUBLIC" CURRENCY BLOCKED BY RUSSIA. "Dniester republic" president Igor Smirnov and the "republic bank" chief told their Supreme Soviet on 25 May that the Russian Federation government has blocked the shipment of "Dniester" rubles already printed by Russia's mint Gosznak, Basapress and ITAR-TASS report. Members of the Chernomyrdin government have ignored a ruling by Russia's State Arbitration authorizing the release of the cash and have caused a liquidity crisis in the "Dniester republic" with destabilizing effects, the Tiraspol officials charged. Tiraspol is sending a delegation to ask Russia's government and parliament to release the currency. Obliquely appealing to Russia's hardliners for support, Smirnov charged that "certain circles in Russia and Moldova seek to blackmail the Dniester republic into concessions on matters related to the withdrawal and disposition of the [Russian] 14th Army's equipment." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. DEPUTIES RETRACT SUPPORT FOR KARPENKA. On 24 May Belarusian television reported that several deputies who had signed up to support the presidential candidacy of Henadz Karpenka, the leader of the Party of Popular Accord, have retracted their support. On 16 May nine deputies belonging to the Social Democratic Hramada retracted their support for Karpenka. The latest three deputies to do the same are Barys Savitsky, Aleksandr Spihlazau and Uladzimir Vlachietsky. This leaves Karpenka with 65-66 deputies' signatures. In addition it was reported that 4,000 signatures from Belarusian citizens gathered by the Party of Popular Accord in Karpenka's support have been invalidated. Karpenka had gathered around 110,000 signatures in all. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. COUNCIL OF BALTIC SEA STATES MET IN TALLINN. On 25 May the third annual meeting of the foreign ministers of the ten member states of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) opened in Tallinn. On 26 May it issued a joint communique expressing satisfaction with the great advances made in the political and economic relations of its members, BNS reports. It welcomed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Lithuania and Poland and repeated that similar troops should be withdrawn from Latvia and Estonia quickly, orderly, and completely. The Russian delegation circulated a memorandum accusing Estonia of adopting and enforcing laws discriminating against its Russian speaking minorities. The session elected former Danish Justice Minister Ole Espersen CBSS Commissioner of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights for a three-year term beginning on 1 October. The next meeting will be held in Poland in May 1995 as it is Poland's turn to hold the CBSS rotating presidency. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. ULMANIS MEETS WITH BOUTROS GHALI, CLINTON. On 24 May Latvia's President Guntis UImanis met with UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and members of the UN Security Council to discuss security in the Baltic region, a topic that Latvia wants to raise at the next session of the General Assembly. The discussions also focused on issues related to the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and Estonia and the role of the UN in this process. Ulmanis repeated Latvia's proposal to host a conference in Jurmala in 1996 or 1997 on "Disarmament and Environment." Later that day, Ulmanis met with US President Clinton to talk once more about the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Baltics and reviewed US bilateral assistance programs aimed at supporting Latvia's transition to a market economy. Clinton praised "the vision and statesmanship" of Yeltsin and Ulmanis for signing on 30 April the Russian-Latvian treaty on the pullout of Russian forces from Latvia, and expressed optimism that Russian troops would soon depart also from Estonia. Commending US involvement, Ulmanis said that the Latvian-Russian accords are also an achievement "for the United States, since we worked together on this issue and were able to resolve it together," Western and Latvian media reported on 25 May. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. SWEDEN INVITES DEPORTED BALTS. While visiting Tallinn on 24 May, Swedish Foreign Minister Margaretha af Ugglas extended an invitation to Baltic citizens who were deported to the Soviet Union from Sweden in 1946 for a visit to her country in late June. The invitation comes as a gesture to make amends for a highly controversial decision made by the Swedish government in 1945; Ugglas called it "one of the darker sides of the history of Sweden." Many of the deportees were young men conscripted into the German armed forces, who had sought refuge in Sweden when World War II ended, BNS reported on 25 May. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Saulius Girnius and Michael Shafir The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, 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, is available through electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU. This report is also available by postal mail, as are the other publications of the Institute, and by fax. RFE/RL NEWS BRIEFS, an edited compendium of items first published in the Daily Report, is distributed along with the RFE/RL RESEARCH REPORT, a weekly journal providing topical analyses of political, economic and security developments throughout the Institute's area of interest. 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