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

No. 112, 15 June 1994

                              RUSSIA

YELTSIN AGAIN CALLS FOR SMALLER ARMY, ARMS EXPORTS. Echoing
remarks he had made on 10 June, President Boris Yeltsin told
regional leaders in the city of Blagoveshchensk on 15 June that
Russia would reduce its armed forces from some three million
(presumably a reference to the size of the army that Russia
inherited in 1992) to 1.5 million men and women. The ITAR-TASS
account of Yeltsin's remarks did not say whether the President had
mentioned a timetable for the reductions. On 13 June Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev said that the authorized strength of the
army would be cut to 1.9 million by October of this year; he did
not say if further reductions were planned thereafter. In
Blagoveshchensk Yeltsin was also quoted as saying that the army
did not require large quantities of hardware, but that it should
possess equipment that contributed to its mobility and that could
be sold competitively on the world market. He also suggested that
the recent sale of aircraft to Malaysia had opened the door to the
sale of military hardware to Thailand and Australia.  Stephen
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEALING WITH THE KOREA CRISIS. Consultations between the US and
Russia have intensified since the announcement by the North Korean
government on 13 June that it was quitting the International
Atomic Energy Agency. On 13 June US President Bill Clinton
conferred by telephone on the issue with Russian President Yeltsin
and a day later US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev held further talks, also
by telephone. Western and Russian reports of the latest
developments emphasize that the Russian government is trying to
balance its support for the imposition of international sanctions
against North Korea--an action urged by the US--with a continuing
insistence on the convening of an international conference.
Reuters quoted Yeltsin on 14 June as saying that "our proposal was
to put to the [UN] Security Council simultaneously an
international conference and sanctions, stage by stage." Reuters,
quoting ITAR-TASS, reported that Clinton had expressed
Washington's pleasure over "Russia's participation in solving the
North Korean problem;" but Clinton also was said to have cautioned
that "the conference idea should not become an impediment to
action by the UN Security Council." Christopher and Kozyrev are to
meet in Brussels on 15-16 June to discuss the issue further.
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

SHUMEIKO ON PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. During his visit to Bulgaria,
Chairman of the Federation Council Vladimir Shumeiko made critical
comments about the Partnership for Peace program. Shumeiko claimed
that the program's emphasis on weapons standardization was
intended to bolster Western arms exports, and pointed out that
Bulgaria's forces were equipped with arms of Soviet and Russian
manufacture, according to a Reuters report of 14 June. Shumeiko's
critical attitude towards the program suggests that the program
may run into opposition in the Federation Council, even though the
Council does not have any direct say on the issue of membership.
John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

CSCE ON RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING. Russian representatives rejected
conditions proposed by the CSCE for international recognition of
Russian peacekeeping operations in the CIS during a CSCE
conference in Prague on 14 June, according to reports from RFE/RL
correspondents. Despite a favorable report from CSCE observers on
the conduct of Russian peace keepers in South Ossetia, tensions
arose over clauses in a draft proposal stipulating that all sides
in a conflict must agree to the introduction of peacekeeping
forces and specifying that peacekeeping forces should not remain
indefinitely. The disagreements over these key issues suggest that
CSCE recognition of Russian peacekeeping efforts in the CIS will
not be forthcoming in the near term. John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY DROPS LAWSUIT AGAINST GAIDAR. The leader of the
ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Vladimir
Zhirinovsky, has withdrawn his libel suit against the chairman of
the newly formed Russia's Democratic Choice party, Egor Gaidar,
ITAR-TASS reported on 14 June. Zhirinovsky filed a lawsuit against
Gaidar in April, because during the December's parliamentary
election campaign Gaidar compared the leader of the LDP with Adolf
Hitler. Zhirinovsky's lawyer said the LDP leader was withdrawing
his suit because he was satisfied with the explanation offered by
Gaidar, who said that he was drawing historical parallels and did
not intend to insult Zhirinovsky. Nonetheless, Zhirinovsky's
lawyer said he intended to file a new lawsuit against Gaidar,
apparently on account of a recent article in Izvestiya where
Gaidar severely criticized Zhirinovsky's views.  Vera Tolz,
RFE/RL, Inc.

PROSECUTOR WANTS TO BRING CASE AGAINST ZHIRINOVSKY. Meanwhile, the
office of the Russian Prosecutor General asked the State Duma to
allow a criminal case to proceed against Zhirinovsky, an RFE/RL
correspondent in Moscow reported on 14 June. The office needs the
Duma to approve the waiver of Zhirinovsky's parliamentary
immunity. A spokesman for the office told the correspondent that
the prosecutor general wanted to bring Zhirinovsky to court to
answer charges of propagating war and ethnic conflict;
investigation of these charges brought forward against Zhirinovsky
by members of Russian democratic organizations started in January.
They stem from statements Zhirinovsky made during his election
campaign and in his book, "Last Push for the South." Vera Tolz,
RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN IN AMUR OBLAST. Yeltsin, who arrived in Amur oblast in the
Russian Far East on 15 June, told local leaders that the time when
the regions could live on subsidies from the state budget was a
thing of the past. Old habits die hard, however, and ITAR-TASS
said that the enterprise directors Yeltsin met with came forward
not with market initiatives but a host of problems for the
solution of which they required help from the center. Yeltsin, in
his turn, promised the oblast 300 billion rubles to develop its
energy complex and help in finding customers for its output, in
particular fishing boats. Yeltsin nonetheless insisted that his
recent decree on bankruptcies would be implemented. He also said
the regions should take advantage of his recent decree on
reforming the banking system, which allows them actively to
attract the capital of foreign banks. The same day Yeltsin arrived
in Tuva, which is 90 percent subsidized from the center.  Ann
Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN-MOLDOVAN TROOP TALKS: IS MOSCOW RELENTING? Following talks
with Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov in Moscow on 14 June,
Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev told Interfax that "Russia
clearly understands that there must be no foreign troops in a
sovereign state," but that a withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from
Moldova is "complicated" and "will take time." Indirectly
complimenting Moldova for moderation, Kozyrev said that "it is
gratifying that no one has tried to tackle this issue
unilaterally." The tenth round of bilateral talks on the issue has
been brought forward to July instead of September as planned.
Popov told Interfax that Russian troops in Moldova were a "Soviet
legacy" for which "Moldova does not blame Russia." Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

MOROZ ON TRILATERAL ACCORD. Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament
Oleksandr Moroz criticized the Trilateral Accord on nuclear
disarmament on 14 June, implying that Ukraine should be offered
greater compensation for disarmament. Moroz claimed that as a
result of the breakup of the Soviet Union the US won an additional
$18 billion in arms sales on the world market, according to
Western press agencies. Thus, Moroz reasoned, Ukraine should be
entitled to a 20% share of this additional profit. How these
figures were derived, or how they relate to the Trilateral Accord
is somewhat unclear. Moroz is running for president, but is
trailing in the polls behind front-runners Leonid Kuchma and
Leonid Kravchuk, Interfax reported on 14 June. As parliamentary
speaker, however, Moroz may play a key role in moving the
Non-Proliferation Treaty through parliament, if it is again
submitted for consideration.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

RUSSIAN PEACE KEEPERS TO BE DEPLOYED IN ABKHAZIA. Russian Deputy
Defense Minister Georgii Kondratyev told a news conference in
Moscow on 14 June that Russian 345th airborne regiment currently
stationed in Gudauta, together with Russian forces from elsewhere
in Georgia are to be deployed as of 15 June along the Inguri river
that marks the frontier between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia,
Western agencies and Interfax reported. Kondratyev argued that the
agreement of the Russian Federation Council, which on 2 June
narrowly voted against the dispatch of a Russian peacekeeping
force to Abkhazia, was not needed to justify the deployment of
troops already in the region, but that a second veto (at the
Federation Council session on 21 June) could jeopardize the
planned second stage of the peacekeeping operation. The UN
observer mission in Georgia as yet has no mandate to monitor the
movements of the Russian peacekeeping force, its commander told
AFP on 14 June. Also on 14 June, the Georgian United Republican
Party (created last week by merging the Republican Party, the
Georgian Popular Front and Charter 91) protested the deployment of
the 345th airborne regiment on the grounds that it had fought on
the Abkhaz side in the battle for Sukhumi , Interfax reported.
Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

KAZAKH GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLED. Only a week after telling
parliamentarians that the government would remain unchanged for
the next 15 months, Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbaev,
announced a major reshuffling of the government, ITAR-TASS and
Reuters reported. Nazarbaev's decree of 14 June combines the
ministries of foreign economic activity, industry and trade into
one ministry of trade and industry. While no-one was named to the
new post, the minister for foreign economic activity Syzdyk
Abishev, who had been widely criticized within and outside of
Kazakhstan, was moved to a senior position within Nazarbaev's
cabinet. The ministry of energy and fuel, meanwhile, was split
into ministries of oil and gas, and of coal and energy,
respectively. Finally, the deputy prime minister in charge of
privatization, Zhanybek Karibzhanov, was replaced, taking over the
agriculture ministry instead. As a result of the reshuffle, two
ethnic Russians, the ministers of agriculture and of trade, lost
their jobs; so far, no additional Russians have been named to
other posts. The change is seen as an attempt by Nazarbaev to
placate the parliament, which had passed a (non-binding) motion of
no-confidence in the government in late May.  Keith Martin,
RFE/RL, Inc.

AKAEV ON STATE POWER, RUSSIANS. Kyrgyzstan's president, Askar
Akaev told local government officials on 13 June that, while he
himself favors democracy, strong state power was needed because
"the people are not prepared for democracy"; reality had shown
that democratic methods are ineffective during a difficult reform
period. Interfax also quoted Akaev, largely recognized as the most
democratic leader in Central Asia, as saying that those impeding
economic restructuring would be dismissed, and accused
parliamentarians of frightening off potential foreign investors
through politically-motivated criminal investigations, a reference
to a scandal involving the Kyrgyz government's negotiations with a
Canadian company to export gold from Kyrgyzstan. Interfax also
reported that Akaev had signed a decree on 14 June, making Russian
an official language in predominantly Russian-speaking areas, and
guaranteeing representation of minorities in state institutions;
the president is increasing efforts to stop the out-migration of
large numbers of Russian-speakers, many of whom occupy key
positions in the economy and industry.  Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

MYSTERY DEEPENS OVER RUSSIAN HELICOPTER IN BOSNIA. One truism in
the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession is that things are rarely what
they seem at first glance. RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service
reported on 14 June that the defection of two Russian pilots with
their MI-17 helicopter the previous week remains shrouded in
secrecy. Nobody in a position to know much about the incident,
whether in Bosnia, Belgrade, Moscow, or at UNPROFOR headquarters
in Zagreb, seems willing to talk to journalists about it. Open
questions include: who are these pilots in the first place? What
were the "presents" that the Russians brought with them when they
left Serb lines and landed on Muslim territory at Zenica? Were
they spare parts for other helicopters, or what? Why, moreover,
has the Bosnian government failed to use the incident for
propaganda purposes and chosen instead to order those in the know
to hold their tongues? The London Times quoted one Bosnian officer
as suggesting that neither the Russians nor the Serbs are the real
problem for his side, adding with perhaps characteristically
Bosnian complex thinking that "maybe it is the West who is our
real enemy." In any event, the incident serves to underscore a
Reuters report of 12 June that laments the "Bosnia fatigue" that
has hit many international news organizations, prompting them to
send their correspondents to other trouble spots around the globe.
Reuters argues that vital developments may be going unnoticed by
the outside world: "many a tree fell silently in the forest of the
Bosnian war. Others may be falling now." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

CROATIA'S TUDJMAN VISITS SARAJEVO. On 14 June President Franjo
Tudjman made a long-postponed trip to the Bosnian capital and met
with his counterpart, Alija Izetbegovic. It was his first visit
there since the war began in the spring of 1992, although the two
men have frequently met elsewhere. Tudjman opened Croatia's new
embassy, and the presidents discussed practical questions
surrounding the joint Croat-Muslim federation in
Bosnia-Herzegovina and the confederation between that entity and
Croatia. Broad guidelines for the federation have already been
agreed, but problems remain, including setting up new
administrative bodies in ethnically mixed territory. In a joint
statement, Tudjman and Izetbegovic pledged to set up joint
embassies in some third countries. Croatia will help Bosnia
overcome its isolation by making its communications infrastructure
available, while Sarajevo will help Zagreb bolster its ties to the
Muslim world. The New York Times on 15 June and RFE/RL's South
Slavic Language Service the previous evening carried the report.
Vecernji list on 15 June adds that he then went on to Vitez and
Nova Bila in central Bosnia, where he made "brief" remarks to the
public. Many Bosnian Croats blame Tudjman and his "Herzegovinian
lobby" for last year's catastrophic conflict that destroyed
numerous centuries-old Croatian communities there. Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBIAN TROOPS ENCROACH UPON MACEDONIAN TERRITORY. Unnamed police
sources in Skopje have indicated that Serbian soldiers have set up
a camp near the villages of Luke and Podrzionj in the vicinity of
Kriva Palanka in northeastern Macedonia. They have occupied about
200-250 meters of Macedonian territory according to Nova
Makedonija on 15 June. Macedonian troop strength in the area has
been reinforced while UNPROFOR observers note that there appears
to be a steady increase in the number of troops on the Serbian
side. According to MIC of 14 June, the Serbian mini-occupation
began about one month ago; Serb troops are digging and have
allegedly taken over a Macedonian observation post. The meaning of
this development is not clear. It could signal the onset of a more
aggressive Serbian policy toward Macedonia.  Duncan Perry, RFE/RL,
Inc.

TOP-LEVEL RUSSIAN DELEGATION IN SOFIA. A delegation led by
Vladimir Shumeiko, chairman of the upper house of the Russian
parliament, has spent two days in the Bulgarian capital discussing
political, military and economic relations. At a press conference
held in the Russian embassy on 14 June, Shumeiko noted that the
visit was not only aimed at strengthening ties between the
parliaments but had a "state character," in that it would pave the
way for a trip by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during
autumn. The delegation met with all top Bulgarian leaders who
afterwards stressed the similarities in positions on most issues.
Several press reports nonetheless indicated that Shumeiko in
separate talks had urged Sofia to help Russia enter the Council of
Europe during its present chairmanship, and also expressed
discontent that Bulgaria has become very supportive of NATO's
Partnership for Peace plan. Speaking to journalists, he noted that
the Bulgarian army will continue to depend on its old
supplier--the Russian defense industry--for spare parts. Regarding
economic relations, both sides agreed that considerable
possibilities for expanded trade remain to be explored. Finally,
Shumeiko acknowledged that Moscow is to be blamed for the fact
that the issue of outstanding debts has not yet been resolved, as
envisaged in bilateral agreements signed in 1992. BTA and Western
news agencies carried the reports. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

THOUSANDS PROTEST IN BUCHAREST. Domestic and international media
reported on 14 June that thousands of Romanian workers
participated in a Bucharest street rally protesting falling living
standards and slow economic reforms. Some 10,000 members of trade
unions demanded, among other things, a 50% increase in salaries. A
delegation of demonstrators was received by Prime Minister Nicolae
Vacaroiu who proposed to negotiate, provided the unions send a
small team. The unions, however, demanded that a team of 40,
representing all participants, take part in the negotiations and
the talks were interrupted. There were also several other
demonstrations in Bucharest, one by teachers protesting against
low wages and the other by anti-communist and pro-monarchist
participants commemorating the fourth anniversary of the miners'
rampage in the capital.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION WALKS OUT OVER PROPERTY BILL. The Romanian
Senate continued on 14 June to debate a property restoration bill,
in the absence of opposition deputies who walked out one day
earlier (for the second time) in protest against the bill's
provisions. An RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported that on
13 June the opposition issued a statement calling the government
draft a "second nationalization." The statement also said that the
opposition will boycott from now on the debates on the bill. The
dispute mainly involves people who had more than one home
confiscated by the communists. The government draft would return
only one home and provide compensation for the others. The
opposition wants all confiscated property returned. Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN COALITION TALKS SUCCESSFUL. On 14 June the first phase
of coalition talks between the Hungarian Socialist Party and the
Alliance of Free Democrats ended successfully, MTI reports. The
two parties agreed on the institutional guidelines for a coalition
government and will continue talks on personnel matters. They have
created the position of deputy prime minister for the Free
Democrats, while the Socialist Gyula Horn will be the prime
minister. The two parties also said that in case they cannot
resolve an issue, they will set up a coalition reconciliation
committee to settle it. The committee will consist of the prime
minister, his deputy, the party chairmen, the parliamentary caucus
leaders, and two independent delegates from each party.  Judith
Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAKIA SENDS LETTER OF INTENT TO THE IMF. On 13 June
representatives of the Slovak cabinet and the National Bank of
Slovakia sent the IMF a letter of intent, which is a commitment of
the cabinet for gaining the stand-by loan. Slovak Deputy Prime
Minister Brigita Schmoegnerova announced that the cabinet also
sent an application for a loan from the European Union and the
G-24 amounting to approximately $300 million, which should serve
to secure the internal convertibility of the Slovak currency in
the near future. Schmoegnerova denied that the cabinet had
committed to extending the retirement age to 65 years in order to
secure the IMF loan. On 14 June a World Bank mission arrived in
Slovakia to prepare for a project focused on the restructuring of
enterprises and the banking sector. Two other World Bank missions
are currently working in Slovakia on projects concerning labor
market restructuring and housing policy.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL,
Inc.

POLISH FUGITIVE APPREHENDED IN ZURICH. Swiss police detained
Boguslaw Bagsik, the mastermind of Poland's biggest banking
scandal--the "Art-B affair"--at the Zurich airport on 14 June, PAP
reports. The Polish justice ministry immediately announced plans
to request Bagsik's extradition. Bagsik and his partner, Andrzej
Gasiorowski, perfected a check-kiting scheme called the
"oscillator" in 1989-91 that is believed to have bilked the Polish
banking system of more than 4 trillion zloty (over $200 million).
The two men came to public prominence in March 1991 when their
firm, Art-B, purchased an entire year's production (30,000
tractors) from the troubled Ursus factory. The two fled to Israel
in mid-1991 with a reported $30 million in cash. A former official
in the president's office faces trial on charges that he alerted
Art-B that arrests were imminent. Five banking officials,
including former National Bank chief Grzegorz Wojtowicz, are now
on trial for corruption or improper banking practices. Charges of
embezzlement and bribery are pending against Bagsik and
Gasiorowski, but prosecutors worried on 14 June that Bagsik's
multiple citizenship might impede extradition from Switzerland.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

STEEL WORKERS MARCH IN WARSAW. About 2,000 striking steel workers
from the Lucchini mill (Huta Warszawa) staged a protest march from
their plant to Polish government headquarters on 14 June. The
march was illegal, but police did not intervene, PAP reports.
Warsaw Solidarity leader Maciej Jankowski took part. Strikers at
the mill, which is 51% owned by the Italian Lucchini concern, are
demanding pay raises and the rapid modernization of their plant.
Meanwhile, in Silesia, the chairman of the board at the Huta
Katowice steel mill, Emil Wasacz, submitted his resignation on 14
June rather than yield to pay demands from striking workers. The
Katowice steel workers have been on strike since 1 June.
Privatization Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek charged on 14 June that
the strike there was illegal and the work of splinter union
agitators from outside. He said that strike-related losses of 140
billion zloty ($6.4 million) had already cancelled out the steel
mill's profits for 1993. Huta Katowice also has old debts of 5
trillion zloty. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

LUKASHENKA MAY BE OUT OF BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE. Aleksandr
Lukashenka has run into trouble in his presidential campaign,
Belarusian TV reported on 12 June. On 9 June some trucks and cars
were stopped and confiscated for carrying campaign materials for
Lukashenka printed in Germany. According to Belarusian electoral
law, candidates are not allowed to accept any help from outside
countries for their election campaigns; this includes accepting
any printed materials from outside of the country's borders. At
the same time it was reported that Defense Minister Pavel
Kazlousky has filed a libel suit against Lukashenka over an
article in Zvyazda in which Lukashenka accused the defense
minister and the armed forces of corruption. If found guilty,
Lukashenka may have to pay 30 million rubles out of his own
pocket. The Central Electoral Committee is to decide whether he is
to be disqualified as a presidential candidate. One other
candidate, Henadz Karpenka, has already pulled out of the race
after he failed to collect enough signatures from the electorate
to be placed on the 23 June slate and 11 deputies retracted their
support for his candidacy, leaving him short of the 70 deputy
signatures necessary to qualify as a candidate.  Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KRAVCHUK, KUCHMA ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. On 14 June Interfax
reported on the election program of President Leonid Kravchuk. The
program is called: "To strengthen the state and speed up reforms
through civic concord." In it Kravchuk said that if elected he
would make the adoption of a new constitution a priority. He also
advocates sharing power with parliament to prevent the
monopolization of power by any one body. In addition, Kravchuk
supports broad economic independence for Ukraine's regions. Other
aspects of the program include speeding up monetary reform and
introducing the country's full-fledged currency, the hryvna.
Kravchuk also believes it possible to have two official languages
in the country, Ukrainian and Russian. On 13 June Kuchma
reportedly criticized Kravchuk for the country's economic plight
and said that if the Ukrainian leadership had heeded his call for
leasing the Black Sea Fleet to Russia a year ago, nobody would be
speaking of Ukraine having lost politically or economically over
the issue. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

TWO ESTONIAN MINISTERS RESIGN. On 14 June Finance Minister Heiki
Kranich and Culture and Education Minister Paul-Eerik Rummo
submitted their resignations, BNS reports. The resignations have
to be approved by President Lennart Meri, who is visiting China
until 18 June. The ministers are members of the Estonian Liberal
Democratic Party (ELDP) that withdrew from the ruling coalition
after its proposal for a secret vote of confidence on Prime
Minister Mart Laar was defeated by a vote of 18 to 13 with several
abstentions. ELDP, Social Democratic Party, and Pro-Patria members
opposed to Laar voted for the secret ballot but were defeated by
members of the National Independence Party, Rural Center Party,
and the Christian Democratic wing of Pro-Patria. Some 27
parliamentarians also called for a vote of censure on Interior
Minister Heiki Arike for approving the sale of weapons to a buyer
registered in Azerbaijan. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

CLINTON TO MEET BALTIC PRESIDENTS IN RIGA. On 14 June the White
House announced that US President Bill Clinton, accepting an
invitation from Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis, would meet with
him and Estonian President Lennart Meri and Lithuanian President
Algirdas Brazauskas on 6 July in Riga, Reuters reports. During
this first visit by an American president to the Baltic States,
Clinton will discuss Baltic security issues, especially the
withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and Estonia, as well as
economic support for continuing reform and investments for the
Baltic States.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN DRAFT CITIZENSHIP LAW NOT ENDORSED BY CE REPRESENTATIVES.
After consultations with representatives of the Council of Europe
in Strasbourg, Latvia's State Minister for Human Rights Olafs
Bruvers told Diena on 14 June that the draft law on citizenship,
endorsed in its second reading by the Saeima on 9 June, did not
meet CE approval; were this draft to become law, Latvia could not
hope to be admitted to the Council. The objections are related to
the retention of a kind of quota system for naturalizing persons
not born in Latvia. Members of the Latvian parliamentary
delegation, including Inese Birzniece and Maris Grinblats, said
that much work needs to be done and that they would aim to
postpone for a month the final round of discussions (previously
scheduled for 22 June) by the Saeima of the third draft of the
citizenship law. This would permit a thorough discussion of the
draft law both by the population and the parliamentarians.
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVA PINS HOPES ON PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. Moldovan Foreign
Minister Mihai Popov told Basapress on 13 June and ITAR-TASS on
the 14th that his country, as a signatory to NATO's Partnership
for Peace, will shortly submit a specific plan for political and
military cooperation with the alliance. Moldova, he said,
particularly values the PFP's provisions for consultations with
NATO if a partner country's national security and territorial
integrity, or the stability of the region around that country, are
threatened from outside. Popov gratefully acknowledged the North
Atlantic Cooperation Council's support for the withdrawal of
Russian troops from Moldova. At the same time he voiced hope that
Russia will join the PFP in order to avoid Russia's isolation or a
redivision of Europe. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

 [As of 1200 CET]

  Compiled by Dzintra Bungs and Patrick Moore
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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