[America,] it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time. - Thomas Wolfe
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 122, 29 June 1994

                              RUSSIA

YELTSIN ON MILITARY REFORM. On the evening of 28 June Russian
President Boris Yeltsin addressed graduates of the military
academies, delivering a short speech which summarized current
Russian security policy. The speech, which was broadcast live on
Ostankino TV, attempted both to extol the military and justify
budget cuts. Yeltsin pointed out that the military must learn to
use its resources more efficiently but did suggest that additional
sources of funding and support might be forthcoming. While Yeltsin
endorsed the Partnership for Peace program he tempered this
support by reiterating his call for the strengthening of
all-European structures such as the CSCE. Concerning the "near
abroad" Yeltsin noted that "Nobody and nothing can free Russia
from the political and moral responsibility for the fate of
countries and peoples, which for centuries have moved forward
together with the Russian state." The speech contained no
specifics as to how large the military should be or how rapidly it
should be cut.  John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

GRACHEV ON NATO COOPERATION PLANS. Following a meeting in Moscow
on 28 June with US General George Joulwan, supreme NATO commander
in Europe, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said that
agreement had been reached to set up in early July bilateral
working groups which would be tasked with drafting a program of
joint activities. According to Interfax and ITAR-TASS, some thirty
such events would be scheduled for this year. Agreement was also
reportedly reached on the establishment of NATO missions in Russia
and Russian military missions at NATO headquarters in Europe.
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHINESE PRESIDENT TO VISIT MOSCOW. Chinese President Jiang Zemin
will meet with President Yeltsin in Moscow on 2 September, world
press agencies reported on 28 June. The announcement came during a
press conference in Moscow conducted by visiting Chinese Foreign
Minister Qian Qichen and his Russian hosts. Reuters quoted Qian as
saying that the Yeltsin-Jiang summit will focus on "furthering
bilateral good-neighborly and friendly relations," which he called
"beneficial for the peace and stability in the Asian-Pacific
region and the rest of the of the world." The two leaders are also
expected to sign a protocol on their mutual border. Qian said that
the subject of Russian arms sales to China had not been raised
during the talks on 28 June, and that issue was also not expected
to be discussed during Jiang's visit to Moscow. Meanwhile, the
official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on 28 June that
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin had arrived that
day in Beijing to begin two days of talks on what was described as
Chinese-Russian cooperation in the conversion of military
technology.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

BEIJING ON RUSSIA-NATO AND NORTH KOREA. During the press
conference in Moscow Qian made clear that Beijing found nothing
threatening in Russia's decision to participate in the NATO
Partnership for Peace Program. Some in Moscow, including former
CIS Joint Armed Forces commander Evgenii Shaposhnikov, had
suggested earlier that Russia's participation in the program could
harm relations with China. However, Qian was quoted by ITAR-TASS
as saying that China "regards with understanding the fact that
Russia maintains relations of partnership with the countries of
Europe . . . We believe that these relations will not in any way
harm the development of links between Russia and China." According
to Interfax of 28 June, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
suggested during the press conference that China remained
sympathetic to Russia's call for an international conference to
settle the crisis on the Korean peninsula. Qian seemed
noncommittal on the subject, however, saying that "China has
responded with understanding" to the Russian proposal, but adding
that the conference "can materialize only when there are
appropriate favorable conditions for it." Stephen Foye, RFE/RL,
Inc.

RYBKIN: KURILS BELONG TO RUSSIA. Ivan Rybkin, the speaker of the
Russian State Duma, said during a visit to one of the four
disputed Kuril Islands on 28 June that the "Kurils are our own
Russian islands . . . We cannot afford to lose such beauty." His
remarks, which came during a tour of Siberia and the Russian Far
East, were reported by Reuters, quoting ITAR-TASS. Ownership of
the islands, which were seized from Japan by Russia at the end of
World War II, remains the major obstacle to the signing of a peace
treaty and to the establishment of friendly relations between the
two countries. Russian nationalists have demanded that Moscow make
no concessions to Japan on the territorial issue, a stance which
has complicated Russia's efforts to win economic assistance from
Japan. Rybkin's remarks come in the lead-up to the July G-7
summit, where the disposition of the islands seem likely to be a
subject of discussion. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN HAILS STABILITY, WELCOMES INVESTMENT. President Yeltsin on
28 June added his voice to the chorus of government officials
striving to attract new Western investment in Russia. Meeting at
the Kremlin with leaders of major Western firms on the second day
of a conference devoted to investment opportunities, Yeltsin
asserted that "Russia is now more stable than it has been at any
point since the reforms were initiated two years ago." He
dismissed fears that the political climate still presents too many
risks for foreign investors. The conference marked the
inauguration of a joint government-business advisory council on
foreign investment. Speaking to reporters the same day, Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin argued that the Russian market can
accommodate $10 billion of investment annually, rather than the $1
billion now being invested. In other economic news, Yeltsin signed
a decree setting rules for privatization in the transitional
period between the end of voucher privatization and the start of
Russia's new privatization program, which is to focus on the sale
of firms for cash. The rules for the new program are to be set
forth in a presidential decree to be issued by 30 June, the
deadline for voucher privatization, Interfax reports.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEMTSOV CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST ZHIRINOVSKY. The head of the
administration of the Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast, Boris Nemtsov,
asked local prosecutor's office to investigate an incident with
the ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, ITAR-TASS
reported on 28 June. On 27 June Zhirinovsky occupied Nemtsov's
office in Nizhnii Novgorod for two hours to protest what he said
was an unfriendly reception by local officials. Regional
prosecutor Aleksandr Fedotov told ITAR-TASS that Zhirinovsky had
violated a law guaranteeing the privacy of the office of a member
of the federal parliament. (Nemtsov is a deputy of the
parliament's upper chamber.) Fedotov also said that Nemtsov
complained that documents and other items were missing following
Zhirinovsky's seizure of the office.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

MUSLIM BOARD AGAINST PARTITION OF KABARDINO-BALKARIA. The
Spiritual Board of Muslims and Council of Imams of
Kabardino-Balkaria said in an appeal to the inhabitants of the
republic on 27 June that to divide the republic into an autonomous
Balkaria and an autonomous Kabarda would inevitably cause
bloodshed and destroy the already weak genetic reserves of the
Kabardinians and Balkars, ITAR-TASS reported. The board and the
council were responding to a recent call by the Executive
Committee of the National Council of the Balkar people for such a
division.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL, Inc.

TARSCHYS STRESSES PAN-EUROPEAN MISSION. Daniel Tarschys, the new
secretary-general of the Council of Europe, stressed in his
opening speech in Strasbourg on 28 June the importance of
continuing and speeding up the Council's "pan-European mission."
The task is a challenging one because Europe has become "turbulent
. . . restless, and in search of new directions," he said. But
this makes it even more imperative that the Council respond to the
"needs and aspirations" of countries in Central and Eastern
Europe. For the Council, he said, that means intensified action in
the areas in which it has the greatest competence: "consolidation
of democracy, defense of human rights, cultural cooperation,
institution-building and the whole legal infrastructure of the
reform process." The Council is currently considering potential
problems posed by the admission of new countries with a combined
population of more than 250 million; in the view of Tarschys, this
kind of enlargement would surely tilt the Council's balance
further to the east. To study this issue the Council's Committee
of Ministers--its chief executive organ--has set up a working
group on "the implications of enlargement," an RFE/RL
correspondent in Strasbourg reported.  Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KARABAKH POLITICAL SETTLEMENT IMMINENT? Russian special envoy for
Nagorno-Karabakh Vladimir Kazimirov was quoted by Interfax on 28
June as stating that the basis of the political agreement on a
settlement of the Karabakh conflict is "practically ready."
Kazimirov had implied on 27 June that the draft agreement in
question was the Russian variant of the peace plan, which he
claimed duplicated "all the substantive elements" of the
alternative CSCE document, although there were "certain
differences" between the two, ITAR-TASS reported. On 28 June
Kazimirov flew from Baku to Ankara for what he termed "routine
working discussions" on the Karabakh issue. On 27 June Reuters
reported that Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller plans to convene
a special parliament session to debate the issue of sending a
Turkish peacekeeping contingent to Nagorno-Karabakh. A Karabakh
Armenian spokesman told ITAR-TASS on 27 June, however, that the
leadership of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic would
not under any circumstances condone the deployment of Turkish
peacekeepers given Turkey's "unceasing" military assistance to
Azerbaijan.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE ON END OF TAJIK TALKS. Although negotiators for the Tajik
government and the Tajik opposition in exile failed to agree on a
ceasefire before their round of talks in Tehran ended, the two
sides issued a joint declaration on 28 June supporting a ceasefire
and national reconciliation, Iranian, Russian and Western press
agencies reported. Tehran Radio said that the declaration set no
timetable for the ceasefire. UN mediator Ramiro Piriz-Ballon was
quoted by AFP as telling a news conference that the two sides had
made considerable progress and that the Tajik government had
committed itself to prepare to free political prisoners--a key
demand of the opposition--and grant amnesty to opposition leaders.
Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

KAZAKH MINISTER ATTACKS MOSCOW. Kazakhstan's newly-appointed
minister of the oil industry, Ravil Shardabaev, was quoted in the
Financial Times on 28 June as having told an interviewer that
Russia has cut off almost all of the country's oil exports.
Shardabaev said that the cutoff began in May, and without the
possibility of selling their oil, Kazakhstan's refineries are
halting production. Russian officials have been pressuring
Kazakhstan to allow Russia shares in the Karachaganak gas field
and are reported to be seeking a share in the Tengiz oil field,
where Chevron has a major joint venture. The only export pipelines
available for Kazakhstani oil cross Russian territory.  Bess
Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

KRAVCHUK LEADS KUCHMA IN UKRAINE ELECTIONS. The final results from
the presidential election on 26 June have been posted. As reported
on 28 June by ITAR-TASS and other news agencies, incumbent
president Leonid Kravchuk received 37.7% of the vote, several
percentage points ahead of rival Leonid Kuchma, who received
31.3%. Supreme Council chairman Oleksandr Moroz finished third,
with 13%, followed by economic reformer Volodymyr Lanovyi, with
9.3 percent. Other candidates were entrepreneur Valerii Babych
(2.4%), former SC chairman Ivan Pliushch (1.3%) and education
minister Petro Talanchuk (0.5%). Kravchuk garnered close to 90% of
the votes in the western regions of Lviv and Ternopil, whereas, as
expected, Kuchma was the winner in eastern Ukraine, Odessa, and,
by an overwhelming margin (82.6%), in Crimea. Kravchuk and Kuchma
will face a runoff election in July.  Kathy Mihalisko,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BOSNIA FIGHTING INTENSIFIES. According to international media
reports, fighting throughout Bosnia is intensifying. On 28 June
Bosnian radio observed that Serb forces, already reportedly
beginning to engage Muslim troops, are preparing for what may turn
into a major armored offensive. A UN military commander, British
Brigadier Andrew Ridgway, told reporters "There is no peace in
Bosnia . . . not even a cessation of hostilities here." Moreover,
the commander of UN forces in Bosnia, General Michael Rose,
assesses the situation as critical and confirms that current
Bosnian government offensives could prompt a "massive" retaliation
by the Bosnian Serb side. Reuters reports that for his part, UN
envoy Yasushi Akashi has said that current levels of fighting may
prompt renewed calls for the use of NATO air power.  Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

KARADZIC ADDRESSES VIDOVDAN RALLY. Nearly 4,000 Bosnian Serbs
turned out to attend a Vidovdan rally on 28 June that featured a
speech by Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. Vidovdan,
significant to ethnic Serbs as a reminder of the crushing defeat
suffered by Serb troops engaging conquering Ottoman armies on 28
June 1389, offered Karadzic the opportunity to stir Serbian
national sentiments. Karadzic told his audience that Bosnia was
Serb territory and that conquests made by Serb forces in the
course of the Bosnian war were "just." On 24 June Tanjug had
reported that Bosnian Serbs would mark Vidovdan in 1994 by
declaring it Bosnian Serb "statehood" day.  Stan Markotich,
RFE/RL, Inc.

GRANIC CALLS FOR TALKS WITH KRAJINA. According to a 28 June
Reuters report, Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic has said
that the Croatian government will pursue peaceful, diplomatic
means of trying to resolve political disputes with the breakaway
and self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK). Granic's
statement follows recent heated rhetoric between Zagreb and the
self-styled authorities in Knin, capital of the RSK. Granic has
also hinted that Zagreb will use diplomacy in a bid to secure the
objective of reincorporating Krajina under Croatian jurisdiction.
For their part, RSK leaders have not deviated from the position
that the RSK's de facto independence is nonnegotiable.  Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

CROATIA GETS WORLD BANK LOAN. On 24 June an RFE/RL correspondent
reported that the World Bank had approved a loan of $120 million
to Croatia, to be used mainly for emergency infrastructure
repairs. Some funds will go to improve Croatia's ailing
agricultural sector, also wracked by war.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL,
Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT RETURNS CITIZENSHIP, TARIFF LAWS TO PARLIAMENT.
President Guntis Ulmanis returned to the Saeima for further
consideration the recently passed laws on citizenship and tariffs.
He told the press on 28 June that the law on citizenship and
naturalization had legal flaws and failed to provide clarity on
some issues; he also objected to the naturalization quotas as they
were formulated in the law. Terms of the law had been criticized
by CSCE and Council of Europe representatives. Russian foreign
ministry officials had condemned the terms of the law as
"inhuman." Concerning the law on tariffs, Ulmanis said that as it
stands, it is detrimental to Latvia's farmers. Latvian media
reported that the citizenship law is likely to be taken up by the
Saeima sometime in July.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

HOW MANY RUSSIAN TROOPS IN LATVIA? BNS reported on 28 June that
Latvia still does not know how many Russian troops are stationed
on its territory. Ilgonis Upmalis, head of the Latvian commission
monitoring the troop withdrawals, told the press that despite the
stipulations in the Latvian-Russian accords on troop withdrawals
that Russia provide accurate information about its troops, Russia
has failed to do so. Upmalis estimates that there are still about
5,000 Russian troops in Latvia and noted that it will be possible
to withdraw all of them by 31 August. He added that most of the
stored ammunition has been removed.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

PROPOSAL TO IMPEACH ILIESCU SUBMITTED. The opposition National
Peasant Party Christian Democratic formally submitted to
parliament the proposal to impeach President Ion Iliescu on 28
June, Radio Bucharest announced on the same day. As required by
the letter of the law, the initiative is supported by one-third of
the members of both houses of parliament. It now goes to the
Constitutional Court to assess its legality. A spokesman for the
NPPCD said parliament will probably not vote on the proposal until
after the summer vacation ends on 1 September. In another
political development, the chairman of the small Democratic
Agrarian Party, which is represented only in the Senate, said on
28 June that his formation, which has backed the government in the
past, has "irrevocably withdrawn" its support and will vote
"against the government's bankrupt policy." Victor Surdu said,
however, that the DAP does not agree with some of the arguments
presented in the no-confidence motion moved by the democratic
opposition one day earlier. The DAP has submitted its own motion
of no-confidence and it is not clear whether it will vote against
the executive alongside the rest of the opposition.  Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN LONDON TALKS. Romania's Foreign
Minister, Teodor Melescanu, held talks in London with British
Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, an RFE/RL correspondent and Radio
Bucharest reported on 28 and 29 June. A British spokesman
described the talks as "non-confrontational." The two ministers
discussed Romania's objective of joining the European Union and
NATO. They also discussed the issue of Moldova and the war in
former Yugoslavia, in connection with the problems posed by the
war for Romania regarding the enforcement of sanctions. A British
official told RFE/RL's London correspondent that Romania can
expect aid from the international community in recognition of its
role in helping achieve stability in the region.  Michael Shafir,
RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT HOLDS INAUGURAL SESSION. Hungarian President
Arpad Goncz greeted the new deputies during the first session of
the newly elected parliament on 28 June. Parliamentary officers
were also elected, MTI reports. Goncz praised the way the
elections were conducted and urged deputies to give a good example
of democracy to Hungarians and Hungarian minorities in neighboring
countries. He also asked for God's blessing. Zoltan Gal of the
Socialist Party was elected speaker of the parliament. The
socialist-liberal governing coalition of the Hungarian Socialist
Party and the Alliance of Free Democrats controls over 72% of the
seats in the new legislature. The accreditation of about 18
deputies was delayed because they also hold local government
positions. The first issue discussed by parliament will be how to
resolve this legal problem. In addition, Gal charged that the
controversial law passed by the old parliament this spring to
regulate the status of former communist agents is unconstitutional
and urged the constitutional court to rule against it. The
parliament is expected to conclude the formation and approval of
the government by mid-July and will begin normal operations only
in late August.  Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENTARIAN FORCED TO APOLOGIZE. During the session of
the Slovak parliament on 28 June, Ivan Luptak, a deputy from the
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, was forced to apologize for
his actions during the 9 June session, when he raised his arm and
addressed deputy parliament chairman Ludovit Cernak with the words
"Heil Hitler." The parliamentary Committee on Mandates and
Immunity had judged the action to be "at variance with the
position and honor of a parliamentary deputy" and suggested that
he apologize, and the parliament voted to approve the suggestion.
Luptak responded by saying that while the gesture was
"ill-considered," it was by no means a propagation of fascism, as
he is "against any totalitarian ideology." The parliament voted to
recall Luptak from the parliamentary delegation that represents
Slovakia in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,
TASR reports. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN PREMIER MEETS HAVEL. "Even small countries can become the
source of great tension," said Albanian Premier Aleksander Meksi
during his meeting with Czech President Vaclav Havel on 28 June.
Meksi was referring to the 80th anniversary of the Sarajevo
assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. "In this context, it is
important that Albania become a stable country," CTK reported
Meksi as saying. Havel and Meksi discussed bilateral cooperation
and the possible introduction of visa-free travel between the two
countries--a measure designed to increase tourism. During his
meeting with Meksi, Czech Parliament speaker Milan Uhde said he
did not see any reason why Albania could not join the Central
European Initiative.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER IN AUSTRIA. On 28 June Czech Foreign
Minister Josef Zieleniec officially opened the Czech Center in
Vienna. The main task of the center will be to provide information
about political, social, trade, and cultural activities in the
Czech Republic. The center is the 11th such establishment opened
by the Czech republic abroad. CTK reports that Zieleniec also
delivered a lecture entitled "The Czech Republic and Austria in a
Common Europe." In the discussion that followed the lecture, the
foreign minister said that Austria's rejection of nuclear power is
"an exception in Europe." (Austria has repeatedly clashed with the
Czech government over plans to complete the nuclear power plant in
Temelin.) Zieleniec also said that Prague "does not subscribe to
the British "Euroskepticism," arguing that the process of European
integration is a subject of serious discussions" in his country.
He defended the Czech Republic's efforts to be admitted to the
European Union as an individual country rather than a member of a
regional grouping.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

KLAUS ON DEHAENE. Speaking on Czech Radio on 28 June, Premier
Vaclav Klaus argued that the recent failure of the member states
of the European Union to chose the EU's new commissioner, to
replace Jacques Delors, "is no crisis but the process of
searching." Klaus argued that it is logical that not all 12 EU
members have the same opinion. The fact that Great Britain blocked
the candidacy of Belgian Premier Jean-Luc Dehaene "is not
surprising," said Klaus. "I am familiar with the British concept
of the European Union and I am familiar with the opinions of Mr.
Dehaene. If the British views are considered an extreme on one
side of the spectrum, then the views of Mr. Dehaene, as I know
him, are really an extreme on the other side of the spectrum," the
Czech Prime Minister said.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND'S KOLODKO ASSERTS CONTROL OVER ECONOMIC POLICY. Deputy
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko scored a
further success in his efforts to cement a power base within the
government when the cabinet opted on 28 June to subordinate a
four-year plan drafted by the central planning office (CUP) to his
own "Strategy for Poland." CUP chairman Miroslaw Pietrewicz denied
that there is any rivalry between his office and the finance
ministry but admitted that any challenge to Kolodko's position
would be a "lost cause." The government had already ordered in the
CUP document four times since it was first ordered drafted in
November. The one major difference between the CUP plan and
Kolodko's "strategy" is the stringency to be applied to inflation.
Kolodko wants annual inflation reduced to 8.7% by 1997 while CUP
predicted inflation will remain as high as 14% in 1997. Meanwhile,
the new Socio-Economic Strategy Council, a body set up on
Kolodko's recommendation to advise the government, held its first
meeting on 28 June. Chairman Jan Mujzel admitted that the council
had failed to attract many of the best Polish economists,
including Leszek Balcerowicz and Janusz Beksiak. Mujzel said that
many economists refused to participate because they feared the
council is merely a "decoration" for the government.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

WORLD BANK CONCERNED ABOUT POLISH LOANS. Concluding a visit to
Warsaw on 28 June, World Bank Deputy Chairman Wilfried Thalwitz
praised Poland for maintaining continuity in economic policy over
the past four years. Thalwitz nonetheless expressed concern at
"social tension" and the low rate of absorption of World Bank
loans. Poland has received about $3.6 billion, but only 33% has
been put to use, PAP reports. Poland should make use of existing
loans before pressing for new ones, Thalwitz indicated. President
Lech Walesa told Thalwitz that "the economy stands on its own," as
no government or politician can slow down market reforms. A World
Bank study presented on 28 June claims that 5.5 million Poles, or
roughly 15% of the population, live in poverty. Most affected are
rural families with three or more children. The study found that
Polish poverty is "shallow," in that the expenses for the poorest
families are only a few percentage points lower than the smallest
pension. Poland devotes 19% of its GDP to social spending, the
study found, but a full three-fourths of those receiving benefits
other than pensions are not poor by any definition. The study
recommended that the government take steps to focus scarce funds
on the truly needy. Labor Minister Leszek Miller commented that
the report would benefit from comparison with domestic studies of
the poverty problem.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW CONFUSION OVER POLISH CONCORDAT. With the first parliamentary
debate on Poland's concordat with the Vatican approaching on 30
June, the foreign affairs ministry held a press conference on 28
June to reiterate its firm support for ratification. While the
government officially supports ratification, the Democratic Left
Alliance (SLD)--one of the two partners in the ruling
coalition--has proposed postponing the debate until after the new
constitution is approved. The parliament is not expected to
complete work on the constitution until mid-1995. Foreign ministry
officials stressed that, should the parliament fail to approve the
concordat, "relations with the Vatican would enter a difficult
phase." The concordat was signed on 28 July 1993, after two years
of negotiation. Ministry officials stressed that the government
"feels that there are no conflicts between the concordat and the
constitutional regulations currently in force." The 30 June debate
is likely to test the unity of many parties, the Freedom Union
(UW), in particular. Barbara Labuda, the UW's leftist maverick,
told a press conference on 28 June that she will vote against the
concordat even if the party imposes voting discipline.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT ENDORSES NOMINEE FOR DEFENSE MINISTER.
President Lennart Meri approved the nomination of Enn Tupp as
Minister of Defense, Baltic media reported on 28 June. Tupp served
previously as head of the Defense Policy Department of the Defense
Ministry. He replaces Indrek Kannik, who was dismissed on 23 May
as a result of friction within the Pro Patria political party and
the Estonian government. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIA PASSES STATE BORDER LAW. The Seimas on 28 June voted 54
to 17, with 5 abstentions, to pass a state border law, Radio
Lithuania reports. Lithuania's borders had been protected by the
Border Defense Service subordinated to the Defense Ministry.
According to the new law, the country's air space would continue
to be controlled by the Defense Ministry, but the land and sea
borders would be controlled by the newly created Interior
Ministry's Border Police Department whose commissioner the
government would soon appoint. The law also defines borderland and
border stations, regulates procedures on dealing with border
incidents and violations of the state border. The Seimas also
approved amendments to the Police Law, the Provisional Law on
Conscription, and the Military Service Law.  Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

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