Every custom was once an eccentricity; every idea was once an absurdity. - Holbrook Jackson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 108, 9 June 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIAN DUMA APPROVES 1994 BUDGET. The State Duma voted on 8 June
to approve the 1994 budget in its second reading. The vote was 227
to 40 with 32 abstentions, Interfax reported. The budget provides
for expenditures of 194.5 trillion rubles ($102 billion) and
revenues of 124.5 trillion rubles ($65 billion). The deficit of 70
trillion rubles ($37 billion) amounts to 9.7% of GDP, or under the
ceiling proposed by the government. The Duma accepted all the
revisions proposed by the budget committee; these redistributed
8.5 trillion rubles worth of funding but without altering the
deficit target or the overall spending total. The budget was
submitted to two votes; the first failed to achieve the needed
majority of 225 votes, but the second was successful (by a narrow
margin) after State Duma speaker Ivan Rybkin threatened to require
separate discussion of each of 250 proposed amendments--a process
that would have lasted another month.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA INCREASES DEFENSE BUDGET SLIGHTLY. After a closed-door debate
on 8 June, the State Duma approved an increase in the defense
budget from 37 trillion to 40 trillion rubles, an increase
reportedly coordinated with Aleksandr Shokhin, the economics
minister. This sum falls far short of that demanded by the defense
ministry and defense industry. After review by the government, and
a third reading in the Duma, final approval must be given by the
Federation Council, which favors a large increase in defense
spending. Despite the wrangling over the defense budget, the new
legislative system appears to be functioning relatively smoothly
in the processing of its first budget, although surprises may yet
be in store. The vote was reported by Western and Russian news
agencies.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUMORS AROUND CHERNOMYRDIN. The Russian rumor mill is in full
swing with rumors of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's imminent
resignation and replacement with the former Secretary of the
Russian Security Council, Yurii Skokov. The rumors have in part
been triggered by Chernomyrdin's visit to Germany where he had a
kidney stone removed, according to Reuters on 8 June.
Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 9 June that Chernomyrdin's health
problems will be used as an excuse for his resignation, with
Skokov's appointment requiring only Yeltsin's signature on a
prepared decree. Radio Mayak reported on 8 June that Nezavisimaya
gazeta was claiming instead that First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg
Soskovets would be named the new prime minister. Rumors of
resignation of government officials are nothing new in Moscow, but
even if they are unfounded they can weaken a politician's stature
and power base. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

MIRZAYANOV WINS LAWSUIT. The chemist Vil Mirzayanov, who was
detained and charged with disclosing state secrets after speaking
out on the Soviet, and Russian, chemical weapons program, has won
a lawsuit against state prosecutors and his former employer.
Mirzayanov is to receive some 30 million rubles in compensation
for his lost wages and time spent in prison awaiting trial. (The
case was eventually dismissed.) According to the Baltimore Sun of
9 June, the decision is a landmark in that it is the first time a
Russian citizen has won a suit of this nature against the
government. Mirzayanov noted, however, that he is still being
denied a passport and the right to travel abroad.  John
Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

YET ANOTHER SPLIT IN ZHIRINOVSKY'S PARTY. Six members of Vladimir
Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic faction in the State Duma
announced the creation of a separate Duma faction called the State
(Derzhava), ITAR-TASS reported on 8 June. This faction cannot be
officially registered, since the minimum number of people in a new
faction should be 35. The six former Liberal Democratic faction
members said that by creating a new faction they intended to
enhance the position of former Russian Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi who recently announced a plan to set up an opposition
movement also to be called the State (Derzhava). ITAR-TASS quoted
Duma deputy and opposition politician Vasilii Lipitsky as
criticizing the former Zhirinovsky associates for their move.
Lipitsky, who intends to join Rutskoi's movement, said the
appropriation of the name of the movement by former Liberal
Democrats could harm Rutskoi's position.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHUBAIS: VOUCHER DEADLINE IN FORCE. Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii
Chubais told Interfax on 8 June that the deadline for exchanging
privatization vouchers for shares in state property remains firm
at 1 July. Chubais noted that, as of 6 June, 126 million of the
total 148 million privatization vouchers distributed had already
been invested. The State Property Committee plans to auction an
additional 63 companies in June, in order to permit voucher
holders to make use of their remaining vouchers. Chubais predicted
that some 5 million vouchers (or 3% of the total) would go unused
but argued that 97% participation demonstrated the resounding
success of large-scale privatization. Once the voucher
privatization program is completed, Chubais said, shares in
roughly 20% of state firms will be sold for cash. Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV ON BOSNIA AT OECD. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev, in Paris for a meeting of the OECD, said on 8 June that
he had held talks with his French counterpart Alain Juppe and
other colleagues about holding a ministerial meeting and then a
summit on Bosnia. Kozyrev had in mind the European Union, Russia,
the United Nations and the United States. The same day, Russia
signed a declaration on cooperation with the OECD which formalizes
a framework for relations between Russia and the organization as
well as granting Russia continued technical assistance and policy
advice, Western agencies reported.  Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

GRACHEV IN ARMENIA. At a meeting in Erevan on 8 June, Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and Armenian President Levon
Ter-Petrossyan reached an agreement on the future of the two
former Red Army bases in Gyumri and Erevan which are to be
formally designated Russian bases; details of troop strength and
financing are to decided on 9 June, and a formal agreement will be
signed by 1 September, according to Interfax and ITAR-TASS.
Grachev is to travel to Georgia on 9 June.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,
Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA PEACEKEEPING. On arrival in Erevan, Grachev stated
that during his meeting with Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev he
will endeavor to persuade Aliev to sign the Russian plan for a
settlement of the Karabakh conflict; Grachev threatened yet again
to desist from any further mediation activity if Aliev refuses,
according to Interfax. At a meeting of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary
Assembly in St. Petersburg on 8 June, Azerbaijani parliament
speaker Rasul Guliev and Russian special mediator for
Nagorno-Karabakh Vladimir Kazimirov called for more substantive
measures to end the Karabakh conflict; a final decision on the
formal creation of CIS peacekeeping forces was postponed until
October. Also on 8 June, UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali recommended to the UN Security Council that the
number of UN military observers in Abkhazia be increased to 150
(almost double the present number), and that they should operate
independently from, but in close coordination with, the CIS
contingent, AFP and ITAR-TASS reported. Interfax quoted a source
within the Georgian leadership as stating that the deployment of
Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia may begin during Grachev's visit
to Tbilisi; in the light of the Russian Federation Council's
refusal to condone the dispatch of a special Russian peacekeeping
contingent to Georgia the troops involved would be from the Group
of Russian Forces in the Transcaucasus.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

US GROUP SEEKS TAJIK PRISONERS' RELEASE. The chairman of the
US-based Committee to Protect Journalists, William Orm, called on
Tajik officials to release four journalists who have been
imprisoned without trial since December 1992. Orm told a press
conference that Tajik officials, including the prosecutor general,
had refused to meet with him, AFP reported; earlier, ITAR-TASS had
learned that he was planning to meet with the Tajik prime
minister, minister of foreign affairs, and other high-ranking
officials. Orm asserted that holding the journalists, including
Mirbobo Mirrahimov, head of Tajikistan's state radio and
television company under the brief 1992 coalition regime, is
contrary to the Helsinki Convention on Human Rights, of which
Tajikistan is a signatory. In 1993, 15 journalists were killed in
Tajikistan, making it one of the most dangerous countries for
journalists to work, according to Orm. The Committee is also
likely to underscore the view that freedom of the press is one of
the prerequisites for the restoration of peace and democracy in
Tajikistan.  Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN-MOLDOVAN TROOP TALKS IN IMPASSE. Held in Moscow on 7 and 8
June, the ninth round of bilateral negotiations on the status and
terms of withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova failed to
bring a withdrawal any nearer. An unnamed Russian diplomat
virtually anticipated the outcome by telling Interfax on 7 June
that Moldova had "no right to unilaterally repudiate the principle
of synchronizing" the withdrawal to the grant of a political
status to Transdniester. The Russian side has long insisted on
that linkage, which could prolong the Russian military presence in
Moldova for a lengthy period or force Moldova to renounce
sovereignty over the eastern part of the country as a price for
the withdrawal of Russian troops. Having hitherto demanded that
the withdrawal begin by 1 July 1994, Moldova named 31 December
1995 at the Moscow talks, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 8
June. The Russian side demanded a term of 3 to 4 years from the
signing of a political treaty, which is not in sight. Another
Russian spokesman told Radio Mayak on 7 June that should the 14th
Army eventually withdraw, many of its servicemen will enlist in
the "Dniester" forces.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

HIGHER RUSSIAN TROOP FIGURE. First Deputy Commander of Russia's
Land Forces Col. General Eduard Vorobev, who heads the Russian
delegation's military side at the talks (and is considered a
moderate) told Russian TV on 7 June that Russian troops in Moldova
(excluding peacekeepers) currently number 10,000. The figure cited
in 1993 was 7,000 to 8,000. The increase can only be attributed to
the drafting of local Russian residents of eastern Moldova into
the 14th Army, and to a lesser extent to reinforcements from
Russia. Both methods have been mentioned openly by 14th Army
commander Lt.-General Aleksandr Lebed. Moldovan diplomats have
thus far declined to raise these violations of international law
in appropriate forums.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

BLACK SEA FLEET TALKS. On 8 June Reuters reported that Russia's
ambassador to Ukraine, Leonid Smolyakov, announced that Russia and
Ukraine have agreed that the Russian part of the Black Sea Fleet
would remain in Sevastopol. Talks are continuing in Kiev over the
division of other bases. Although the issue of basing has stalled
previous negotiations, the Ukrainian navy commander, Volodymyr
Bezkorovainy, said he expected a positive result from this round
of talks.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

CORRECTION: The final sentence of the item ". . . and for
Nagorno-Karabakh" in RFE/RL Daily Report of 8 June should read
"Britain has also offered to provide military and diplomatic
support for the CSCE in regulating the Karabakh conflict,
according to Azertadzh-TASS of 7 June quoting the British
Ambassador in Baku, Thomas Young."

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA CEASEFIRE REACHED. On 8 and 9 June international media
report that the Bosnian Muslim-Croat side and the Bosnian Serbs
have reached agreement on a month-long ceasefire that will go into
effect on 10 June (1000 GMT). The deal requires all parties to
refrain from offensive military action as well as from all
"provocative actions." According to Reuters, UN envoy Yasushi
Akashi described the deal as a "first step towards a comprehensive
cessation of hostilities throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina." Bosnian
Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, who, according to AFP, alleged that
the Bosnian Muslim side had "sabotaged the talks," pledged that
the Bosnian Serbs would honor the terms of the ceasefire deal but
did not personally sign the accord for the Bosnian Serb side.
Karadzic referred to the deal as a "modest result" and on the
evening of 8 June the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA ran a
commentary which described the deal as merely a month-long respite
before "total conflict." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

VALENTIC, VACAROIU FORGE ACCORDS. On 8 June HINA reported that
Croatian Prime Minister Nikica Valentic and his Romanian
counterpart, Nicolae Vacaroiu, met in Zagreb to preside over the
signing of a series of bilateral agreements dealing with
cooperation in fields such as economics, health, and transport.
HINA also reported that Vacaroiu expressed interest in having
Romania play a greater role in helping to negotiate an end to the
conflict dividing Zagreb and the Serb population in the breakaway
Republic of Serbian Krajina. Vacaroiu, heading a large delegation,
arrived in Croatia on 6 June for an official three-day state
visit.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOCIALISTS DEMAND MEKSI'S RESIGNATION. On 8 June Reuters reports
that members of Albania's opposition Socialist Party (former
communists) are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister
Aleksander Meksi for what is being described as his failure to
respond to alleged irregularities in Albanian local elections held
in late May. According to the SP, local and regional officials of
the governing Democratic Party used force, intimidation and
threats to coerce individuals into voting for DP candidates.
Reuters also reports that socialists contend that six SP members
of parliament were threatened and assaulted during polling. SP
calls for a vote of no confidence are not likely to effect the
collapse of the government, since the SP holds only 38 of 140
seats in the legislature. DP officials maintain that socialists'
allegations are exaggerated and are merely tactical attempts
designed to force early national elections.  Stan Markotich,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KLAUS ON D-DAY COMMEMORATIONS, RUSSIAN DEBT. Commenting on the
recent D-Day commemorations on Czech Radio on 8 June, Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus described as "extreme" any attempt to ignore
the Red Army's contribution to the Allied victory in World War II.
Klaus said he had lived for decades in a state in which everyone
was made to believe that only the Red Army fought in World War II
and that events on the western front were of marginal importance.
This was wrong, said Klaus, but added that "current attempts to
create the impression that it was the other way around are [also]
basically spurious." Speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting
on 8 June, Klaus said that Russia has agreed to repay Czech loans
at a rate of one dollar for one ruble. The prime minister said
that Russia will start repaying its $3.5 billion debt with $52
million this year, $101 million next year, and $391 million in
1996.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT ON PRIVATIZATION. In its session on 8 June, the
Slovak parliament discussed the privatization projects approved by
the cabinets of former Premiers Vladimir Meciar and Jan
Carnogursky, TASR reports. The Parliamentary Committee on
Privatization ruled that the 44 projects approved by the Meciar
cabinet between 15 February and 14 March were not in accordance
with the privatization law. The Carnogursky cabinet, which was in
power before Meciar, approved 157 privatization projects in May
and June 1992 that are now being investigated. On 8 June the
parliament also elected the final member of the Presidium of the
National Property Fund (FNM), choosing Emil Hubinak, a candidate
proposed by the Democratic Union. Blazej Krasnovsky, who was
nominated by the Christian Democratic Movement, was elected
chairman of the FNM Supervisory Council, and two other members of
the council were also approved. The other members of the 7-member
council will be chosen later.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK ECONOMIC UPDATE. According to a report released by the
Slovak Statistical Office on 8 June, several economic indicators
are improving. In April 1994, the consumer price index increased
by 0.4% over the previous month and by 13.8% over April 1993. At
the end of April the unemployment rate was 14.2%, down 0.3% since
March. By the end of April the Slovak state budget deficit
amounted to 3.86 billion koruny.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

DISCUSSIONS OF SLOVAK ROAD SIGN LAW CONTINUE. Meeting on 8 June,
the coalition council did not reach a final agreement on the road
sign law. Premier Jozef Moravcik said, however, that a definitive
solution can be expected next Wednesday. In an interview with Sme
of 8 June, Miklos Duray, chairman of the ethnic Hungarian
Coexistence movement, said that his party "would be glad to
support the government" until the end of the election period.
Duray said, however, that continued support would depend on the
results of talks with the coalition council concerning the road
sign law and the restructuring of the Ministry of Education. Also
on 8 June, Lubomir Fogas, who holds the post of Deputy Chairman of
the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly, discussed the CE's
views on the road sign law. According to Fogas, the CE saw the
failed vote on 3 June as "a political act leading towards the
misuse of the Hungarian issue in the Slovak parliamentary
elections." Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARY AND BULGARIA SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS. The agreements,
signed on 8 June in Budapest by Hungarian Finance Minister Ivan
Szabo and his Bulgarian counterpart Stojan Aleksandrov, eliminate
double taxation and provide for mutual protection of investments,
MTI reports. Szabo expressed the hope that the agreements would
promote bilateral economic relations, and enable Bulgaria to pay
through the transport of goods its debt of 85.6 million
transferable rubles to Hungary.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

GOVERNMENT BOOSTS "STRATEGY FOR POLAND." In a series of recent
speeches, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz
Kolodko has been drawing attention to his "Strategy for Poland,"
an outline economic plan that posits 22% GDP growth in 1994-97.
The plan pledges to "reduce the social costs of reform," while at
the same time giving investment priority over consumption and
promoting rapid economic growth. The government approved the
strategy on 7 June; Kolodko briefed President Lech Walesa on its
contents on 8 June; and the deputy prime minister is to present
the plan to the Sejm on 9 June. Skeptics have charged, however,
that the "strategy" is as much election propaganda as a genuine
economic program. The opposition Freedom Union (UW) charged on 8
June that the ruling coalition is planning to engineer the Sejm
session to allow Kolodko to present his strategy but postpone
debate on the issue for two weeks, until after the 19 June local
elections. The UW threatened to stage a walkout. Other opposition
deputies called the strategy a "coalition show," PAP reports. The
economist Jan Winiecki described the plan as "wishful thinking" in
an interview with Zycie Warszawy on 6 June.  Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW CONFLICT OVER POLISH MINISTRIES. Polish President Lech Walesa
charged on 8 June that the ruling coalition--the Democratic Left
Alliance (SLD) in particular--had violated the bargain reached
during a joint meeting in the Sejm earlier this spring, Polish TV
reports. Walesa claimed that the SLD had then agreed to allow the
"presidential" ministers (defense, internal affairs, and foreign
affairs) to complete structural reforms in their ministries before
appointing deputy ministers from the coalition parties. SLD
representatives have already been named to deputy minister posts
(with limited powers) in the defense and internal affairs
ministries. Walesa's charge coincides with a spate of rumors about
conflicts over the foreign affairs ministry, which is headed by
the independent Andrzej Olechowski. Gazeta Wyborcza ran the
headline "Olechowski May Resign" on 7 June. The article claimed
that Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak is blocking reforms designed
to depoliticize the ministry and attempting to have Polish Peasant
Party officials appointed to ministerial posts. Olechowski told
Polish TV on 8 June that he has no plans to resign.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIA TO STRENGTHEN FOREIGN EXCHANGE CONTROL. Standart and 24
Chasa report on 9 June that the Bulgarian National Bank in an
effort to reduce illegal trade with foreign currencies has
demanded that Bulgarian companies and financial institutions
before 15 July declare what bank accounts they and their clients
hold abroad. In a letter to financial institutions, the BNB said
the measure is necessary to stem widespread violations of currency
regulations and to restrict foreign exchange transactions to
licensed banks. The BNB also demanded that banks and exchange
bureaus return to the practice of issuing an exchange note
certifying each transaction, a regulation that lately has not been
upheld. On 4 May the BNB ordered closing of 702 of the country's
1,716 exchange bureaus after establishing serious violations of
Bulgaria's currency regulations. The financial daily Pari comments
on 9 June that both measures came much too late.  Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN COURT RULES AGAINST NEW COMMUNIST PARTY. On 7 June the
Romanian Supreme Court ruled illegal the registration of a new
communist party in Romania, Rompres reports. The court acted under
a law which bars groups supporting totalitarianism, extremism,
fascism or communism. During the hearings, the founder of the new
Romanian Communist Party, Victor Hancu, denied that his
organization was a successor to Nicolae Ceausescu's homonymous
party. Hancu's party was registered with the Bucharest city court
last month. A significant number of political groups and
associations appealed that decision. There are several parties
currently active in Romania which are generally seen as re-clothed
communist groupings. The most important among them is the
Socialist Labor Party.  Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

"WAR OF STATUES" IN CLUJ GOES ON. More than 2,500 protested on 8
June a decision by municipal authorities in Cluj to move a statue
of Hungary's medieval king Matthias Corvinus for allegedly
standing on an archaeological site. A strong police force
surrounded the area. Western agencies reported that demonstrators
called for the removal of Gheorghe Funar, the controversial Cluj
mayor and chairman of the extreme nationalist Party of Romanian
National Unity, who has advocated the replacement of Hungarian
national symbols with Romanian ones. Ethnic Hungarians, who make
up 25% of Cluj population of 330,000, say that such steps aim at
stamping out their national identity. Octavian Buracu, a Romanian
heading an association for ethnic dialogue, warned that the
planned move of the king's statue can lead to violent
confrontations in Cluj.  Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHURKIN VISIT IN ESTONIA. At a press conference on 8 June ending
his two-day visit to Estonia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Vitalii Churkin said that although no concrete results had been
achieved in talks with his Estonian counterpart Raul Malk, "with
good will, there is nothing unrealistic" about withdrawing the
Russian troops by 31 August, BNS reports. Churkin also held talks
with President Lennart Meri and Foreign Minister Juri Luik. He
said that he had invited Malk to come to Moscow to continue the
talks as soon as it can be arranged, maybe even next week.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN TO VISIT SYRIA, EGYPT. On 8 June
Ceslovas Jursenas left Lithuania for official visits to Syria and
Egypt, Radio Lithuania reports. He will be the first high-ranking
Lithuanian official to visit these countries.  Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN CURRENCY RESERVES. In May the Bank of Estonia's gold and
currency reserves increased by 104.75 million kroons ($7.9
million) to 5,252.4 million kroons, BNS reported on 8 June. The
amount of cash in circulation grew by 50.4 million kroons to
2,810.2 million kroons. Since the introduction of the kroon in
June 1992, the reserves had increased every month except for March
and April 1994, when they decreased by 78.1 and 148 million
kroons, respectively.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN AND BELARUSIAN ATTITUDES TOWARD THE EUROPEAN UNION . . .
As Leonid Kravchuk travels to Luxembourg next week to sign a
cooperation agreement with the EU, he can be assured that a
plurality of the Ukrainian public favors Ukraine's rapid
acceptance as a full-fledged EU member. In a poll of 2,234
residents conducted in April by the Kiev International Institute
of Sociology, 34% of Ukrainians said Ukraine should join the EU
"right away;" an additional 10% replied "within 5 years." Similar
results were obtained in neighboring Belarus, though with a
somewhat greater preference for the longer-term perspective: 29%
of Belarusians saw their country as an EU member "right away"
versus 17% who stated "within 5 years." Only 3% of Ukrainians and
6% of Belarusians felt their countries should "never" become EU
members.  Kathleen Mihalisko, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . AND NATO. Ukrainians and Belarusians, especially the latter,
were not quite so anxious for their countries to become members of
NATO, according to the same surveys. If 18% of Ukrainians said
this should happen "right away" and 7% in 5 years, 21% felt
Ukraine should "never" join NATO. In Belarus, 10% saw their
country joining "right away" and 7% in 5 years, but many
more--38%--replied "never." The Belarusian survey was conducted in
April by NOVAK and was based on a representative sample of 2,030
respondents. Kathleen Mihalisko, RFE/RL, Inc.

WHICH RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA? Public attitudes in Ukraine and
Belarus toward ties with Russia are not as divergent as might be
expected, given the very different nature of Kiev-Moscow and
Minsk-Moscow relations. Fifteen percent of Ukrainians and 8% of
Belarusians believe those relations should be "the same as with
any other state, with closed borders and customs/passport
controls." Almost equal percentages in the two countries (47% and
48%, respectively) prefer them to be "independent but friendly,"
with open borders and no such controls. And while 41% of
Belarusians, on the contrary, see Belarus and Russia "united in a
single state," fully 34% of Ukraine's residents also favor the
scenario of a single state with Russia. These results are based on
the same two surveys cited above.  Kathleen Mihalisko, RFE/RL,
Inc.

KEBICH'S PLATFORM IN BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Prime
Minister Vyachelsau Kebich emphasizes in his election platform
that only cooperation with Russia can help the country out of its
economic crisis, Interfax reported on 8 June. Furthermore, Kebich
promises to implement an economic restructuring program which will
prevent the bankruptcy of key enterprises. In addition, Kebich's
program provides for "100% indexation of pensions and bank
deposits before 1995," and the preservation of "social guarantees"
by imposing a progressive tax system on "super-high profits." The
program is to take place in two stages: the first, lasting until
1995, envisages economic stabilization to overcome the current
crisis; the second, lasting until 1997, is to introduce economic
and state restructuring and "considerable enhancement of living
standards." The program is silent on practical measures to be used
in reaching those stages. On 6 June Interfax reported that Kebich
wants to call a referendum on the use of both Russian and
Belarusian as official state languages. Belarusian has been the
official language of Belarus since 1990.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL,
Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Bess Brown and Jan de Weydenthal
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