Forty is the old age of youth; fifty, the youth of old age. - Victor Hugo
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 121, 28 June 1994

                              RUSSIA

DEFENSE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN ON ARMS SALES, NATO. Sergei Yushenkov,
the chairman of the Russian Duma's defense committee, was quoted
by ITAR-TASS on 27 June as saying that "Russia should carry on
arms trade based upon the same principles" as those used by the
West. Yushenkov complained that from 1987 to 1993 the share of the
world's arms trade controlled by the US had risen from 30% to
almost 60%, while Russia's had fallen to 5%. He said that Thailand
was currently talking to Russia about a possible arms deal and
that Moscow was hoping to peddle military hardware in Latin
America. Yushenkov also praised Russia's signing of the NATO
Partnership for Peace agreement, suggesting--in a not entirely
convincing fashion--that it could lead Europe to open its markets
to products from Russia's military industrial sector and that it
might also help reestablish Russia as a supplier of spare parts to
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL,
Inc.

NATO COMMANDER IN MOSCOW. NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe,
US General George Joulwan, arrived in Moscow on 26 June to begin
several days of talks with Russian political and military leaders.
His visit comes in the wake of Moscow's decision to sign the NATO
Partnership for Peace agreement. On 27 June Joulwan met with Oleg
Soskovets, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister. According to
ITAR-TASS, Soskovets told Joulwan that Moscow remains responsible
for Tajikistan's outer borders, with the prevention of conflicts
in the Caucasus, and with maintaining stability in Moldova; he
suggested that these actions and Russia's peacekeeping activities
in Yugoslavia were an indication of Russia's "considerable efforts
in the promotion of peace." According to Interfax, Joulwan also
discussed peacekeeping operations on 27 June with Russian General
Staff Chief Mikhail Kolesnikov. He schedule includes a meeting
with Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev.  Stephen Foye,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV DEFENDS PARTICIPATION IN NATO PROGRAM. Speaking to
reporters prior to a meeting with General George Joulwan, Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said that Russian deputies who
opposed their country's participation in NATO's Partnership for
Peace program were "red-brown political curs who want to return
Russia to isolation." Those who accuse Russia's leaders of
betraying Russia's interest through this program are themselves
traitors who are eternally search for an enemy, Kozyrev said. He
commented in particular on the leader of the communist bloc in
parliament, Gennadii Zugyanov, saying that he was "tempted by the
laurels of his predecessors," AFP and Interfax reported.  Suzanne
Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN ENTICES WESTERN INVESTORS . . . Meeting with a
blue-ribbon group of Western business leaders in Moscow on 27
June, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin announced plans to
introduce a new package of incentives to encourage foreign
investment in Russia. The government plans to offer foreign firms
a five-year tax holiday; to allow duty-free imports of equipment
and materials; to guarantee the stability of taxation legislation;
to permit firms to retain all hard-currency profits from exports;
to remove other restrictions on the flow of capital; and to enable
fully foreign-owned firms to purchase the land on which they are
located. Chernomyrdin said that, having stabilized the economy and
successfully pushed the 1994 budget through the parliament, the
government will now concentrate on improving "the investment
climate." The political atmosphere in Russia is now more favorable
for economic reform than it has been since early 1992, the prime
minister said. Chernomyrdin acknowledged, however, that the
introduction of the new incentives could take time.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . BUT INVESTMENT ON THE DECLINE. Chernomyrdin made his pitch
as other government officials debated the recent decline in
Western business interest in Russia. Deputy Economics Minister
Yakov Urinson told a meeting of the government's consultative
council on foreign investment on 27 June that less foreign money
has been invested in Russia this year than in Estonia. Urinson
added that countries such as Hungary and Poland have also
outdistanced Russia. Total foreign investment at the end of 1993
amounted to $2.7 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion for the
year. But only $1 billion in new investment is expected in 1994.
Still, firms with foreign capital have created about 300,000 new
jobs in Russia, according to ITAR-TASS. Deputy Prime Minister Oleg
Soskovets noted that Russia has attracted only about 0.1% of the
world's total foreign investment. Acting Finance Minister Sergei
Dubinin told the council that the government plans to reduce some
taxes and conduct a thorough review of taxation policy in 1995, in
part with an eye to attracting more foreign investment. He pledged
that the government will continue to adhere to a strict fiscal
policy in 1995, despite the defeat of hyperinflation.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW DEPARTMENT HEAD IN PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION. Nikolai
Medvedev has been dismissed from the post of head of the
Department for the Work with Territories (that is, constituent
regions of the Russian Federation) in the presidential
administration, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 June. The head of the
presidential administration, Sergei Filatov, blamed Medvedev for
the department's failure to prepare legislation on local
self-government on time. Leaders of Russian regions have been
promised by the federal government that the draft legislation will
soon be given to the State Duma for consideration, but in fact the
work on it is only starting. Filatov said Medvedev also failed to
establish good contacts with presidential envoys in the regions.
(The institute of presidential envoys has been criticized by many
politicians in Moscow as well by heads of regional
administrations. The new Russian Constitution stipulates the
existence of this institute, however.) Filatov also blamed on
Medvedev the mishandling of the dismissal of the head of the
administration of the Bryansk oblast. The ouster of popularly
elected Yurii Lodkin provoked protest demonstrations in Bryansk.
Medvedev has been replaced by Aleksandr Kazakov. Until now,
Kazakov has worked in Goskomimushchestvo, headed by the
Privatization Minister Anatolii Chubais.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY IN NIZHNII NOVGOROD. Protests were held in the city of
Nizhnii Novgorod on 27 June against the visit by the
ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, ITAR-TASS reported.
Zhirinovsky accused Nizhnii Novgorod regional governor Boris
Nemtsov and his team of organizing the demonstrations. In fact,
during Zhirinovsky's stay in Nizhnii Novgorod Nemtsov was out of
town. Interfax reported on 27 June that Zhirinovsky seized
Nemtsov's office for two hours and attempted to use the governor's
direct telephone to President Yeltsin's office to complain about
his treatment. After being forced out of the office, Zhirinovsky
called for the resignation and imprisonment of Nemtsov.  Vera
Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

YET ANOTHER AGREEMENT ON RESETTLEMENT OF INGUSH REFUGEES. The
presidents of North Ossetia and Ingushetia, Akhsarbek Galazov and
Ruslan Aushev, together with the head of the Provisional
Administration in these republics, Vladimir Lozovoi, signed an
agreement at Vladikavkaz airport late in the evening of 26 June on
the procedure for the return of Ingush refugees to four villages
in the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia, ITAR-TASS reported.
Ramazxan Abdulatipov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council,
was also present. In an interview with ITAR-TASS Lozovoi described
the agreement as an important step forward, and similar sentiments
were expressed by the other signatories, but it remains to be seen
if this agreement is any more effective than the ones that have
gone before.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

KUCHMA, KRAVCHUK DIFFER ON NPT. The two leading presidential
candidates differ on the urgency of Ukraine's acceding to the
non-proliferation treaty (NPT). ITAR-TASS on 26 June said
President Kravchuk told journalists that he would call upon
parliament to immediately accede to the NPT "with certain
provisos" if elected. According to Interfax and Reuters reports of
the same day, Leonid Kuchma stated that NPT accession is a low
priority and that he would not press parliament for action until
$1 billion in aid for denuclearization was received from the US.
The latter figure is far larger than the approximately $350
million now allocated to Ukraine under the Nunn-Lugar act. Kuchma,
the former chief of a missile plant, has a mixed record on the
nuclear weapons issue. While prime minister he was instrumental in
negotiating the Massandra protocols which paved the way for the
Trilateral Accord which requires Ukraine to transfer all its
nuclear weapons to Russia. Even so, Kuchma supported the accord
only half-heartedly. In June 1993 Kuchma reportedly told
parliament during a closed debate that Ukraine should become a
nuclear state, but he is only on the public record as suggesting
that Ukraine join the NPT with a "special status" specifying that
Ukraine possesses nuclear weapons temporarily.  John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

REFERENDUM ON BLACK SEA FLEET. In a non-binding referendum
conducted simultaneously with the presidential election, voters in
Sevastopol were able to express their opinion on whether the Black
Sea Fleet should remain based there, according to Interfax and
UNIAN reports of 27 June. Not surprisingly, 83% of those voting
(turnout was approximately 64%) voted in favor of keeping the
fleet. Preliminary vote counts showed Leonid Kuchma winning 82.6%
of the vote in Crimea as a whole, with President Kravchuk placing
a distant second with 7.2% of the vote. Interfax claimed that
Kuchma won 89% of the vote from fleet personnel based in Izmail
and Mykolaiv. (Many fleet personnel are Russian citizens and
therefore ineligible to vote.) John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TAJIK TALKS END WITHOUT CEASEFIRE. Talks in Tehran between
representatives of the Tajik government and of the Tajik
opposition ended on 27 June without agreement on a hoped-for
ceasefire but with both sides eager for another round of
negotiations in their quest to end the fighting and normalize the
political situation in Tajikistan, Western and Russian news
agencies reported. UN mediator Ramiro Piriz-Ballon told AFP that a
third round of negotiations is scheduled for the end of July in
Islamabad. AFP reported that opposition representatives had
proposed a conditional ceasefire to go into effect on 1 August if
the government began freeing political prisoners. Government
representatives asked for a timetable of at least four months to
prepare the release of prisoners and an amnesty for opposition
leaders.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE BEGINS IN UZBEKISTAN. An exchange of temporary
coupons for Uzbekistan's own currency, the sum, begins on 28 June,
Russian sources report. The coupons were issued in November 1993
when Uzbekistan withdrew from the ruble zone rather than meeting
what Uzbek officials considered Russia's excessive demands for
hard currency payments as a condition for membership. According to
a presidential decree quoted by Interfax on 27 June, the sum will
be the only legal tender in Uzbekistan as of 1 July, though
sum-coupons may be used in trade or be deposited in the Uzbek
Savings Bank until 1 August. Uzbek President Islam Karimov was
quoted by Interfax on 27 June as telling government officials that
the sum should be a convertible currency in order to guarantee its
position on the world market.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE VOTE UNDERLINES EAST-WEST SPLIT. In Ukraine's presidential
elections on 26 June, President Leonid Kravchuk received about 45%
of the vote, with former Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma finishing
second with roughly 35%, according to still partial and unofficial
results. Kravchuk and Kuchma will thus compete in the second round
of the elections scheduled for 10 July. Preliminary election
results underline the political gap that divides the eastern and
western portions of the country; this division has prompted new
press speculation on the viability of Ukraine as a single, unified
state. Unofficial data show that Kravchuk, running on a platform
of national independence, was strong in independence-conscious
western Ukraine, winning 90% of the vote in Lviv, 70% in Rovno,
and 82% in Ternopil. In some towns on the Polish border, Kravchuk
won as much as 99% of the vote, according to PAP. In contrast,
Kuchma, who campaigned for closer ties with Russia, appears to
have won majorities in the Donbass and other regions of
industrialized eastern Ukraine. In Crimea, Kuchma took 82.5% of
the vote. Conservative Oleksandr Moroz and free-market reformer
Volodymyr Lanovy appeared to be running a distant third and
fourth, Western agencies report. Rukh leaders indicated they will
support Kravchuk in the runoff, as a "lesser evil" candidate
committed to Ukrainian independence. Full official results are to
be made public on 28 June.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

KEBICH, LUKASHENKA COMMENT ON ELECTIONS. Speaking to reporters in
Minsk on 27 June, Belarus Prime Minister Vyachaslau Kebich, who
came in second in the first round of the country's presidential
election on 23 June, said he will dismiss some of his cabinet
members. "I take the first-round elections to mean there need to
be decisive changes in the government," Kebich said. He vowed to
fight to the end, saying he was "counting on votes from
level-headed people." Kebich received 17% of the vote in the first
round of the elections, far behind the 45% received by Alyaksandr
Lukashenka, former head of the parliament's anti-corruption
committee. Lukashenka told reporters on 27 June that "the prime
minister is the biggest stain on the government and that stain
should be washed out immediately." Lukashenka also said that a
wave of provocations was being prepared against him. Jiri Pehe,
RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND'S KOLODKO PLANS PERSONNEL OVERHAUL. Deputy Prime Minister
and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko announced plans on 27 June
to "regroup forces" in Poland's economic ministries, in order
better to implement his long-term program, the "Strategy for
Poland." As expected, two veteran deputy ministers--Henryk
Chmielak and Wojciech Misiag--were dismissed on 27 June. They were
replaced by Elzbieta Chojna-Duch, a Warsaw University professor of
financial law who has served as an adviser to the finance
ministry, and Krzysztof Kalicki, who has headed the finance
ministry's foreign department since the beginning of 1993.
Chmielak was appointed to head the Warta insurance company on 27
June, while Misiag told Polish TV that he plans to use up some of
the 140 vacation days he accumulated over the past five years
before looking for new employment. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak
told reporters that he had approved the ministry changes at
Kolodko's request. Pawlak said that staffing choices are each
minister's prerogative, although his own unilateral decision to
fire a deputy finance minister provoked Kolodko's predecessor to
resign in February. Kolodko indicated that personnel changes at
other economic ministries are in the offing.  Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND'S UNION OF LABOR IN OPPOSITION. Speculation quickly focused
on the Polish industry ministry, which is headed by Marek Pol, a
member of the social-democratic Union of Labor (UP). The UP
resolved on 26 June to shift from its past position of skeptical
support for the two-party ruling coalition to outright opposition,
on the grounds that Kolodko's "strategy" represents a shift to the
right in government economic policy. In a statement reported by
PAP, the UP said that the government's eight months in power
represented "a lost opportunity for a leftist turning-point."
Although Pol has never officially represented the UP in the
cabinet, he acknowledged on 27 June that he may be forced to
choose between remaining a minister or remaining a member of his
party. Democratic Left Alliance activist Leszek Miller argued that
the UP's decision was a reaction to its poor showing in the local
government elections on 19 June. The UP's move to the opposition
has no practical consequences, as the ruling coalition does not
need the party's votes to command a parliamentary majority.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION MOVES NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION. The Romanian
parliamentary opposition moved a no-confidence motion in the
government of premier Nicolae Vacaroiu at a joint session of both
houses of parliament. Radio Bucharest broadcast the session live
on 27 June. The motion charges the government with corruption,
non-implementation of its own program, and failed economic
reforms. According to procedure, the no-confidence motion must be
voted upon no later than 2 July.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN PREMIER IN PRAGUE. Aleksander Meksi arrived in Prague on
26 June for a three-day visit. Czech media report that it is the
first visit by an Albanian premier in more than 40 years. On 27
June Meksi met with Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus who said after the
meeting that the Czech Republic will probably offer Albania a $11
million loan. Meksi and Czech officials later signed agreements on
trade and technical cooperation and on investment protection.
Meksi also met with Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec.  Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

HAVEL WRITES TO COALITION PARTIES. Czech President Vaclav Havel
sent a letter on 27 June to the chairmen of the four Czech
government coalition parties, expressing alarm over the fact that
the coalition parties have not been able to find a consensus on
the reform of the state administration and subdividing the Czech
Republic into regions, despite the fact that the Czech
Constitution foresees such a subdivision and that the government
had promised to address the issue in its program two years ago.
The Civic Democratic Party (CDP) of Premier Vaclav Klaus has
repeatedly postponed efforts to adopt a plan for regional reform,
prompting its coalition partners to become increasingly critical
of what they see as the CDP's stonewalling. Havel wrote that he is
afraid that "disagreements within the ruling coalition over the
issue could threaten the stability of the country." He urged the
coalition leaders to find a compromise solution quickly.  Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH ARMY TO RELY ON MiG-23, MiG-21 FIGHTER PLANES. Czech Defense
Ministry officials told CTK on 27 June that the Czech Army will
use MiG-23 ML planes until 1999. Owing to a lack of funds, the
army will phase out MiG-23 MF and MiG-23 BN fighter planes. MiG-29
fighter planes will also be grounded due to financial problems;
instead, the army will modernize thirty-six MiG-21 fighter planes.
Some military experts have criticized this decision, arguing that
MiG-21 planes are obsolete and that the army should keep the
modern MiG-29 planes. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER ON EU, AUSTRIA. In an interview with the
Austrian press agency APA on 27 June, two days before his visit to
Austria, Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec said that the
results of Austria's recent referendum on joining the European
Union "are encouraging for the Czech Republic." Zieleniec said
that he "could not imagine Czech membership in the EU without
Austrian membership." According to the foreign minister, relations
between Prague and Vienna are historically "so deep that the
structure of Central Europe would suffer immensely if Austria were
not to be part of the EU." Zieleniec dismissed speculation that
with Austria's becoming a EU member, "a Germanic bloc" within the
EU could try to connect the Czech Republic's membership to
satisfying the demands of Sudeten Germans. Both Austria and
Germany have successfully dealt with their Nazi past, Zieleniec
said, and in a democratic Europe "any connection between the
Sudeten German issue and the Czech Republic's admission to the EU
is out of question." However, if such a connection were to be
made, "then God help us!" the Czech foreign minister said.  Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT RETURNS FROM US VISIT. On 27 June Michal Kovac
returned from a visit to the US, where he and his Hungarian
counterpart Arpad Goncz were awarded a joint prize from the
Institute for East-West Studies. During his week-long visit, Kovac
met with US State Department officials, representatives of foreign
policy institutes, businessmen, and Slovak Americans. In a press
conference in Bratislava, Kovac said that no prejudice towards
Slovakia exists, although there is a lack of information about the
country. Since the cabinet of Premier Jozef Moravcik took office
in March, he said, a positive change in the attitudes of US
President Bill Clinton and the EU can be perceived. Kovac said
that many US representatives expressed concern that former Premier
Vladimir Meciar will return to power after the parliamentary
elections this fall. Noting that another meeting with Goncz is
being prepared for August, Kovac stated that the Gabcikovo dam
controversy needs to be depoliticized. He added that Slovakia and
Hungary might consider solving the case in bilateral talks rather
than in an international court, if a historical reconciliation is
achieved between the two countries.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

OPIC SEES INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SLOVAKIA. At a press
conference on 27 June, Christopher Finn, Executive Vice President
of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, evaluated the
recent OPIC mission to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Finn said
that the group of US businessmen accompanying the mission were
"pleasantly surprised" by their first contact with Slovakia, as
most investors were more familiar with the Czech Republic. He
noted the high skill level of Slovak workers, low wages, high
quality of manufactured goods, and the government's investment
incentives as positive aspects. The group expressed special
interest in environmental and energy projects, particularly in the
upgrading of the Vojany power plant located east of Kosice.
Another project of interest was the development of the
transportation network in Kosice, which could become a major
intersection between Western and Eastern Europe.  Sharon Fisher,
RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PARTIES PREPARE FOR ELECTIONS. Following its session on 25
June, the Republican Council of the Democratic Union of Slovakia
announced that its candidate list, which will include candidates
from the National Democratic Party, will be completed by 23 July.
Also on 25 June three members of the extraparliamentary Social
Democratic Party of Slovakia left to form the Party of Social
Democracy, after complaining that the SDPS's preelection coalition
with the Party of the Democratic Left threatened the SDPS's
identity. The majority of the SDPS reportedly continues to support
Chairman Jaroslav Volf. In a press conference on 25 June, the
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia announced that it has signed a
coalition agreement with the Peasants' Party of Slovakia.
Meanwhile, the Slovak National Party, which has decided to run
independently, has been on the defensive following remarks by
Premier Jozef Moravcik to the Austrian Press Agency on 21 June.
Moravcik said, referring to the MDS and the SNP, "it is
regrettable that up to 30% of Slovak citizens still favor parties
with extremist views." On 24 June SNP Honorary Chairman Marian
Andel denied that his party is extremist and announced that he
will complain to the International Court of Justice.  Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SKOPJE COURT CONVICTS ALBANIANS OF TREASON. On 27 June Macedonian
state radio and Reuters reported that a Skopje court has found ten
ethnic Albanians guilty of treason and conspiracy against the
government. The ten, who include a former defense ministry
official, were arrested in November 1993 after it was alleged they
were smuggling weapons into the country. According to Macedonian
officials, the Albanians had intended to form a paramilitary group
dedicated to breaking off predominantly ethnic Albanian sections
of Macedonia from the rest of the country for an eventual union
with Albania. The convicted have been sentenced to prison terms of
up to eight years.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

BATTLES RAGE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. On 27 and 28 June
international media report that clashes between the Bosnian Muslim
and Croat allies and the Bosnian Serb side continue, with some of
the heaviest fighting around the Serb-held town of Doboj.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that representatives of the
international "contact group" are to meet in Paris on 28 June to
discuss a peace plan, which would confer 51% of Bosnia-Herzegovina
on the Bosnian Muslim-Croat federation with the remainder going to
the Bosnian Serb side. Foreign ministers from France, Germany,
Great Britain, Russia, and the US are likely to back the peace
proposal at a meeting scheduled for 1 July in Geneva.  Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

ETHNIC SERBS MARK VIDOVDAN. 28 June marks perhaps the most
important day in Serbian history, Vidovdan. Its significance, for
ethnic Serbs in and outside of rump Yugoslavia, stretches back to
28 June 1389, when Serb defenders were defeated by Ottoman
invaders at the Battle of Kosovo, an event that has spawned rich
folklore traditions. On 24 June Tanjug reported that Bosnia's
Serbs would leave their imprint on this Vidovdan by declaring 28
June 1994 Bosnian Serb "statehood" day.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL,
Inc.

CLINTON ADDRESSES THE BALTICS. In anticipation of his visit to
Riga on 6 July, President Bill Clinton said that Americans look
forward to "rejoicing" with the Baltic States when the last
Russian troops leave the region this year. Clinton noted that it
will be his great honor to be the first US president to visit the
now-independent Baltic States. He expects to discuss with
Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian leaders "how America can work
with the Baltic countries to help bolster your security and
prosperity into the next century," Western and Baltic agencies
reported on 27 July.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT APPROVES TWO MINISTERIAL CANDIDATES. BNS
reported on 27 June that President Lennart Meri had approved two
of Prime Minister Mar Laar's nominees for ministerial posts:
Andres Lipstok as minister of finance and Peeter Olesk as minister
of culture and education. Meri did not announce his view on the
nomination of Enn Tupp for the post of minister of defense. The
ministerial changes were brought about largely by discord within
the ruling coalition and the decision of the Liberal Democratic
Party to leave the coalition.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN NATIONAL UNION GIVES UP REFERENDUM. On 24 June the
National Union of Lithuania asked its initiative group to stop
collecting signatures for a referendum on early parliament
elections, BNS reported on 27 June. The group began collecting
signatures on 10 May and had already gathered more than 220,000 of
the required 300.000 signatures. The party issued a statement
stating that it had decided to halt the referendum in order not to
bring discord among the opposition, whose major parties did not
support gathering the signatures.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN LEFTIST NEWSPAPER CHANGES NAME. The board of the closed
joint-stock company Tiesa [Truth] decided to change its name to
Diena [Day} as of 1 July, Radio Lithuania reported on 27 June.
Tiesa, founded in 1917 as the newspaper of the Communist Party,
was the official state newspaper during the Soviet era. It was
reorganized in 1990 into a joint-stock company and had served as
the official newspaper of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party.
With a circulation of about 30,000, Tiesa is the fourth largest
newspaper in the republic. Chief editor Donatas Sniukas said that
the paper will be expanded to 24 pages and will try to become
livelier, with more non-political and non-economic stories. The
choice of the name may result in some confusion since Diena, a
paper with no connections to the Latvian communist party, is also
published in Riga.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Suzanne Crow and Louisa Vinton
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