|The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn|
No. 129, 11 July 1994
RUSSIA RUSSIA WILL NOT MEET DEADLINE FOR BALTIC WITHDRAWAL. Defying pressure from the West and reneging on a commitment made earlier by Moscow, Russian President Boris Yeltsin on 10 July told G-7 leaders gathered in Italy that Russia would not withdraw the last of its military forces from Estonia by the 31 August deadline. Yeltsin attributed the decision to what he purported were very crude violations of human rights in Estonia and to that nations unwillingness to grant citizenship to and to provide housing for Russian military retirees still living in Estonia. Apparently at the behest of Washington, Yeltsin did agree to meet with Estonian President Lennart Meri in the hope of resolving the issue. The New York Times suggested that Yeltsins hard line on the withdrawal represents a negotiating tactic; it was also undoubtedly aimed at Russias domestic political arena, where aggressive assertions of Russias national interests have increasingly become the rule. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN SATISFIED WITH RESULTS OF G-7 SUMMIT. In remarks broadcast by Ostankino TV on 10 July Yeltsin expressed his satisfaction with the Naples Summit and continued to cast it as a breakthrough event that formalized Russias reemergence as a respected world power. Yeltsin emphasized that in Naples, unlike during previous G-7 summits, Russia participated on equal terms with other major states. He also suggested that his hand was strengthened in Naples by world-wide recognition of growing political stability in Russia. Yeltsin, who participated formally only in the G-7 political discussions, admitted that Russias economic performance continued to lag and that full membership in the G-7 was not likely in the immediate future. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. MOVEMENT ON TRADE. In policy terms, Yeltsin said that he had focused on removing certain instances of discrimination against Russia in matters of trade, particularly vis-a-vis the US and Japan. In the former case, he claimed to have made some progress in relaxing COCOM restrictions on Russian trade (although The New York Times quoted US officials who claimed that Washington remained reluctant to allow Russia access to sensitive technologies while Moscow continued to supply North Korea, Libya, and Iraq with military goods). Yeltsin claimed that the repeal of discriminatory trade practices would bring Russia an additional $3 billion per year. In moves likely to please Western leaders, The New York Times also reported that Russia had for the first time joined in condemning Iran for its sponsorship of terrorism and had joined in an explicit call for an end to the Arab economic boycott of Israel. Yeltsin and US President Bill Clinton are to meet again in Washington on 27-28 September. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE ON VISIT BY IRAQI PRIME MINISTER. ITAR-TASS reported on 8 July that the 7 July meeting in St. Petersburg between Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz remains shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy. Interfax on 8 July carried an interview with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Kolokolov, who confirmed that the subject of talks during the meeting had been the softening of UN sanctions against Iraq. Kolokolov argued that Iraq had met many of the requirements set by the UN and suggested that Russia, along with France and China, favored lifting the sanctions against Iraq. He was quoted as saying that Moscow favored combining firmness in the implementation of the UN resolutions with a policy that would encourage the already existing positive changes in the position of Iraq. Kolokolov referred specifically to the possibility of raising the embargo on the export of Iraqi oil, and said that after the raising of sanctions Russia was ready to resume cooperation with Iraq. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CORRUPTION IN MASS MEDIA. Corruption has not only penetrated Russian political circles, but also its mass media, Izvestiya wrote on 6 July. While the Party apparatus had a monopoly on the mass media in communist days, todays monopoly belongs to the new political establishment, which is buying entire television channels, newspapers and individual journalists. Izvestiya cited examples of politicians and businessmen openly admitting that they were paying national and regional journalists to promote their image and advance their political agenda. One example quoted was the director of a private security service, A. Kiselev, who said that he pays more than 200 journalists to publish his ideas. A regional newspaper in Kuban has begun supporting the ultra-nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky following his visit to the area and its circulation has increased from 16,000 to 500,000 copies. Izvestiya noted that as the pro-Zhirinovskys newspaper is free of charge, it is obvious where the newspaper gets its funding. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO UN. On 7 July the Russian presidents office announced the appointment of Sergei Lavrov to the post of Russian ambassador to the UN. Lavrov, born in 1950 and since 1992 a Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, will replace Yulii Vorontsov, who is expected to be named Russian ambassador to the US. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA CENTRAL ASIANS FORM UNION. The leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan agreed at their summit in Almaty on 8 July to form a comprehensive defense and economic union, various agencies report. Under the terms of the agreement, a new inter-state committee of the presidents and prime ministers of the countries will be formed to oversee the standardization of laws; additionally, there will be inter-state committees for foreign affairs and for defense, a Central Asian Bank for Cooperation and Development, as well as a prime ministers committee responsible for coordinating finance and economic planning. All committees will be chaired by Kazakhstan for the coming year, and then by Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, also for a year each. Kazakhstans president, Nursultan Nazarbaev, said that the economic and defense union is only the first step, and stressed that the union is open to other CIS states; Nazarbaev may be hoping that the Central Asian union will be a small-scale model of his planned Eurasian union, which would replace or enhance the current CIS. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. TAJIK ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT. The Tursunzade aluminum smelting plant, Tajikistans largest single enterprise and the worlds third-largest aluminum smelter, has been placed under CIS military control after the plants director narrowly escaped a bizarre assassination attempt. ITAR-TASS and Reuters reported on 9 July that the mayor of Tursunzade shot at the director, Mikhail Sinani, immediately after Sinani refused to authorize a large aluminum consignment which the mayor requested without proper documentation for an unnamed foreign firm ; the mayors shots apparently missed Sinani altogether. ITAR-TASS reported that the mayor had been sacked immediately after the 7 July incident, but that no criminal charges had been laid against him yet. The plant has the capacity to produce 500,000 tons of aluminum annually, but is only operating at half-capacity as a result of the Tajik civil war and the breakup of the Soviet economy. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. KYRGYZ DISMISSED FOR CORRUPTION. Interfax reported on 8 July that Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev had signed a special decree firing the countrys deputy defense minister, Tabald Moldobaev, for financial corruption, and for beating a subordinate. Moldobaev apparently redirected funds destined for military projects to commercial ventures. Akaev also severely reprimanded the nations defense minister, Murzykazan Subanov. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. ABKHAZ ROUNDUP. A further round of four-party talks in Sochi on a settlement of the Abkhaz conflict ended on 8 July without substantive progress, Interfax reported; UN special envoy Eduard Brunner and Russian Foreign Ministry envoy Gennadii Fedosov were both quoted by ITAR-TASS as stating that at this stage it is probably pointless to attempt a political settlement of the conflict. Following protests by Abkhaz leaders that the Russian peacekeeping forces deployed along the frontier between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia are indiscriminately permitting Georgian refugees to return to their homes in Abkhazia, the Russian officer in charge of the peacekeeping operation, Major-General Vasilii Yakushev, told Interfax on 8 July that measures were being taken to prevent the uncontrolled return of refugees. Abkhaz parliament chairman Vladislav Ardzinba denied charges that Abkhazia was violating the UN-sponsored agreement on repatriation by insisting that would-be Georgian repatriates be screened to exclude the return to Abkhazia of persons who participated in last year s hostilities. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA OPPOSES TURKISH PEACEKEEPERS FOR KARABAKH. Responding to an offer made by Turkish Chief of Staff General Dogan Gures to send as many peacekeeping troops as Azerbaijan requests to monitor a Karabakh peace settlement, Russian Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev remarked that Gures was entitled to his opinion, but that Russia would oppose any unilateral move by Turkey, and has possibly even greater regional interests in the Transcaucasus than does Turkey, according to ITAR-TASS of 8 July. Interfax on 8 July quoted an unnamed Russian Foreign Ministry official as stating that the deployment of Turkish peacekeeping forces against the wishes of Armenia would only exacerbate tensions in the region; Armenian President Ter-Petrossyan argued that only Russian peacekeeping troops could guarantee stability in Karabakh. Turkeys Ambassador to Baku, Altan Karamanoglu, told ITAR-TASS that it was for Azerbaijan to decide which country to invite to send peacekeepers. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMO IN TBILISI. Georgian police forcibly dispersed some 200,000 people who converged on central Tbilisi on 10 July to participate in an unsanctioned anti-government demonstration, Interfax reported. Many people were injured and at least ten detained, including Giorgi Khoshtaria, foreign minister under Zviad Gamsakhurdia. A second Gamsakhurdia associate, Loti Kobalia, the commander of the late presidents armed forces, was arrested in Kiev on 6 July and has been extradited to Tbilisi where he faces charges of state treason, hostage-taking, torture and other crimes, according to Interfax. Meanwhile Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze told a meeting of representatives of the law enforcement organs in Tbilisi on 8 July that the situation in Georgia was stabilizing, and that the interest of Russian businessmen in investing in Georgia could be beneficial for both parties; Shevardnadze explicitly denied that there were any political prisoners in Georgia. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RUSSIA ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP RIGHTS IN MOLDOVA. Izvestiya reported on 8 July that, pursuant to an intergovernmental decision, Russias state concern Gazprom is acquiring shares in Moldovas state authority Moldgas, in exchange for liquidating portions of Moldovas arrears for past deliveries of Russian gas. Nearly half of the total debt of 168 billion rubles is owed by industrial consumers in Transdniester, where authorities seek, with Chisinaus assent in some cases, to settle the debts by ceding local industrial assets to Russian state companies. In other cases, local enterprises establish joint companies with Russian state firms to obtain preferential terms on Russias market. A redistribution of ownership in the region is in full swing, Izvestiya concludes. Russian politicians promoting the restoration of Russian control over the newly independent states and special ties with regions in those states have repeatedly mentioned the acquisition of ownership rights as a means to that political end. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE LUKASHENKA WINS ELECTION. On 11 July various agencies reported the preliminary results of the 10 July Belarusian presidential elections. The elections are considered valid since 69.9% of the electorate voted. The lowest voter turnout was in Minsk where preliminary results showed that only some 41% of the eligible electorate voted. According to Alyaksandr Abramovich, head of the Central Electoral Commission, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has been elected as Belaruss first president with 80.1% of the vote in his favor while only 14.1% of the votes were cast for the prime minister, Vyacheslau Kebich. Kebichs candidacy had been favored by the parliament which may now impede Lukashenkas authority since it has the right to approve the presidents nominees for prime minister and 6 other key ministries. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Contradictory reports have appeared regarding the 10 July Ukrainian presidential elections. According to Ukrinform on 11 July, preliminary reports said that President Leonid Kravchuk has been reelected president, while Reuters reported that Leonid Kuchma had edged Kravchuk out. Some 70% of the electorate turned out to vote in the run-off elections, more than had voted in the first round. Voter turnout was particularly high in Crimea and the western regions, while Odessa and Kiev reportedly had the lowest turnout. The head of the Central Electoral Commission, Ivan Yemets, was quoted as saying that the commission would only be able to announce a clear winner late on 11 July. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. G7 OFFERS AID PACKAGE TO UKRAINE. The group of 7 leading industrial nations meeting in Naples has offered Ukraine a $4.2 billion aid package conditional on Ukraine implementing economic reforms, various agencies reported on 11 July. While the bulk of the aid is to go towards Ukraines economic reforms $200 million has been allocated to help close down the Chornobyl nuclear power station. The EU has already pledged $120 million for this purpose. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. G-7 SUMMIT BACKS BOSNIAN PEACE PLAN. International media reported on 10 July that the heads of the leading Western industrial countries plus Russia have urged all sides to accept the partition plan unveiled by the contact group last week. The Muslims and Croats have already indicated they will agree to the offer, but speculation centers on the Serbs attitudes. The 8 July issue of the Belgrade weekly NIN alludes to policy differences within the Bosnian Serb leadership. The 11 July New York Times quotes historian Milorad Ekmecic, who is viewed by some as the spiritual father of the Bosnian Serb nationalists, as saying that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic wants Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic out. Milosevic may be seeking to force the Bosnian Serbs to accept the partition plan, or just be trying to find a more pliable leader, as he did among the Krajina Serb rebels in Croatia. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBS HELP LOCAL WARLORD IN BIHAC. One of the more fascinating side-shows in the Bosnian conflict is that underway in the Bihac pocket of northwestern Bosnia, where local kingpin Fikret Abdic is fighting the Bosnian government with Serb and Croat backing. The region had a distinctive history of ethnic relations even during World War II; and Abdic brought prosperity to the impoverished area in the 1970s by building a commercial empire known as Agrokomerc, which was funded by $500 million in what were really worthless promissory notes. Abdic was tried and convicted in the late 1980s when his house of cards collapsed, but he remained a folk hero in the eyes of local people who nicknamed him daddy. He became a member of the Bosnian Presidency but broke with President Alija Izetbegovic in 1993 and launched a separatist movement. Reuters reported on 10 July that the Bosnian armys Fifth Corps in the area staged a fake mutiny last week to smoke out Abdics fighters, but the VOA said that Serb forces were staging attacks coordinated with daddys troops, to whom they have frequently provided artillery protection in the past. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, there was gunfire of another kind as local Serb fighters shot into the air to celebrate Bulgarias soccer triumph over Germany. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. MIHAJLOVIC SAYS BOSNIA PEACE PLAN LAST CHANCE. According to Politika of 11 July, New Democracy (ND) leader Dusan Mihajlovic on 10 July endorsed the latest peace proposal for Bosnia and Herzegovina, stressing that the plan had to be accepted since it represents the last chance for peace in Bosnia. ND, formerly affiliated with the opposition Democratic Opposition of Serbia, has supported the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia in the republics parliament. In other news, on 8 July Reuters and Tanjug reported that Armenia has officially established diplomatic ties with the rump Yugoslavia. Armenia is the first nation to do so since international sanctions were applied against the rump Yugoslavia. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH COALITION KILLS LUSTRATION LEGISLATION. The Polish Sejm voted on 7 July to reject all four legislative drafts designed to screen high-ranking officials for past collaboration with the communist secret police, PAP reports. The votes of the ruling postcommunist coalition determined that only the draft submitted by the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) has a chance of passage. SLD deputies stressed that their version has nothing in common with lustration; it provides only for a voluntary check of tax and other records for some 2,000 bureaucrats (not elected officials) who have access to state secrets. Past collaboration with the secret police would not disqualify candidates for employment. The debate deepened the divide between the former democratic opposition and the former ruling parties that was reopened by the recent vote that blocked ratification of Polands concordat. The opposition Freedom Union argued that collaboration warrants condemnation, whereas SLD deputies contended that we cannot treat as criminals people who collaborated with the legal organs of power. Most parties had regarded some form of lustration as inevitable after the ill-fated agents disclosures made by the Olszewski government in June 1992. The last parliament had nearly completed work on six lustration drafts when it was dissolved in 1993. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. POLANDS NATO CONTACTS INTENSIFY. NATO European Joint Forces Commander George A. Joulwan concluded a three-day visit to Poland on 9 July, PAP reports. This was the first such visit for a former communist country. Joulwan observed military exercises and complimented the Poles on their military prowess. He predicted that the first PFP exercises, planned for Zagan in September, will be a success. Joulwans visit was one of many recent signs of Polands intensified contacts with NATO. On 5 July Poland became the first PFP partner to finalize an Individual Partnership Program. The IPP restates Polands desire for full NATO membership and expresses Polands willingness to integrate its forces fully with NATO military structures. During the ceremony in Brussels on 5 July, Deputy Defense Minister Jerzy Milewski said Poland expects to achieve membership by the end of the century. On 4 July, Poland appointed a retired German general, Henning von Ondarza, to advise its defense ministry on NATO questions. The appointment is yet another sign of Polands reconciliation with Germany, although one Sejm deputy did quip that it was like appointing a wolf to advise the sheep. An opinion poll reported on 6 July showed that 75% of Poles want NATO membership. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH PARLIAMENT RECALLS BROADCASTING BOARD. On 9 July, the Czech parliament recalled the nine-member Board for Radio and Television Broadcasting, an independent body that awards licenses and allocates frequencies to radio and television stations in the Czech Republic. CTK reports that the parliament delivered the vote of no-confidence after rejecting for a second time the boards annual report. In the past, the board was repeatedly criticized by some political parties for licensing private broadcasting companies that were viewed as controversial. The board members sacked on 9 July were elected in 1992 to six-year terms. Also on 9 July, the parliament elected eight new board members; one more is still to be chosen. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS. A government report released on 8 July says that as of 31 March the Czech Republic had a budget surplus of 4.9 billion koruny. The surplus would be only 2.7 billion koruny if the Czech trade deficit of 2.2 billion koruny in the clearing accounts with Slovakia were included. Also on 8 July, the Czech parliament passed an amendment to the law on banks, increasing regulatory powers of the central bank in supervising other banks and introducing a system of individual deposits insurance. The action followed a recent collapse of three major Czech banks. Finally, on 9 July the parliament voted to release 6.1 billion koruny generated through privatization to finance ecological projects aimed at improving the quality of air. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK PREMIER ON MILITARY EXPORTS, BOSNIA. On 8 July, Slovak Premier Jozef Moravcik ended a two-day visit to India. Speaking to journalists in New Delhi before departing for Vietnam, Moravcik said Slovakia will increase exports of military technology in order to overcome its current problems with unemployment. Slovak Defense Minister Pavol Kanis, who is accompanying Moravcik, said that India had already expressed interest in Slovak weapons. Moravcik also said that Slovakia is opposed to any solution of the Bosnian conflict along ethnic lines. The principle of ethnically clean territories is dangerous and incorrect, said the Slovak Prime minister. He argued that the latest peace plan for Bosnia hardly represents the solution we can be satisfied with. After visiting Vietnam, Moravcik travels to Indonesia. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK ROAD SIGNS LAW PROVOKES CONTROVERSY. On 7 July, the Slovak parliament passed the long-delayed road signs law, which allows towns where an ethnic minority constitutes at least 20% of the inhabitants to use bilingual road signs. The law, the adoption of which had been demanded by the Council of Europe, had been previously rejected by the Slovak parliament. The opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the Slovak National Party said on 8 July that the law hurts the majority nation. On 9 July, Slovensky Denik termed the oppositions statements as efforts to provoke a confrontation. The daily argued that that part of the public which prefers the principles of democracy and tolerance is satisfied with the law. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT POSTPONES ARCHEOLOGICAL DIG IN CLUJ. In a communique released on 8 July and broadcast by Radio Bucharest, the Romanian government announced that it has decided to suspend the controversial archeological digging in the Cluj square where the statue of King Matthias Corvinus is placed. One day earlier the intention to begin with the dig had triggered protests by the Hungarian minority, and police had been forced to intervene. The Hungarian government had protested against the intention and the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania had appealed to UNESCO and other international forums. The Government said a commission of experts from the Ministry of Culture would determine whether the activity was opportune and that meanwhile excavation equipment would be removed. The controversial extreme-nationalist mayor of Cluj, Gheorghe Funar said the governments decision had no validity, since the digging had not yet began. He called on the executive to set up a commission to investigate what he called the anti-Romanian activities of the HDFR. Presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu said the HDFR appeal to international organizations was regrettable and unwarranted. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. LI PENG IN ROMANIA. In Bucharest on 11 July Chinas premier Li Peng will sign a joint political declaration with his hosts, as well as a set of economic and cultural agreements, Radio Bucharest and Western agencies report. He will also hold talks with his Romanian counterpart, Nicolae Vacaroiu, as well as with President Ion Iliescu, whom he knows from the 1950s, when they were both students in Moscow. Li arrived in Romania for a four-day visit on 9 July, following visits to Austria and Germany, where he had faced demonstrations over Chinas human-rights record. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA DENIES TERRITORIAL CLAIMS ON BULGARIA. Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said in an interview with the Bulgarian daily Duma on 8 July that his country had no territorial claims on the region of southern Dobrudja, nor on any other Bulgarian areas. Southern Dobrudja was part of Romania between 1913 and 1940. Melescanu said respect for the existing borders in Europe is a basic principle that ensures stability in our region and in the world. Some politicians, he added, may display other ideas, but these do not have any impact on [Romanian-Bulgarian] bilateral relations. Some Bulgarian publications have in recent years interpreted some Romanian remarks to imply territorial claims. Romanian officials denied they had any such claims. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIANS EUPHORIC OVER SOCCER VICTORY. Hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic Bulgarians took to the streets on the evening of 10 July to celebrate the quarter-final victory of their national soccer team over reigning World Cup champion Germany, domestic and Western media report. In an interview broadcast nationwide, President Zhelyu Zhelev praised the victory, saying democracy had made it possible by allowing Bulgarian athletes to travel freely and gain experience abroad--a reference to the fact that most national team members normally play in highly competitive West European soccer leagues. Zhelev added that he plans to travel to the United States, where the 1994 World Cup soccer games are being held, to attend the semi-final against Italy. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVAS CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATE ENTERS FINAL STAGE. In a development closely watched by several interested states, the Moldovan parliament on 8 July voted overwhelmingly to adopt the countrys draft constitution in the first reading, but deferred the debate on the most controversial issues until 20 July. Moldovan media report that the draft, finalized by an Agrarian-dominated commission, declares Moldovas permanent neutrality. It codifies human rights and political pluralism as overriding values, rules out any kind of state ideology, and defines Moldova as a common home of all its citizens, guaranteeing them the preservation, development, and expression of their ethnic and linguistic identity. The pro-Romanian minority calls for defining Moldova in effect as a national Romanian state and opposes the drafts provisions on establishing special-status regions in Transdniester and for the Gagauz Turks. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIAN-AUSTRALIAN COOPERATION ACCORDS. While on a tour of Europe, Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans visited Estonia. In Tallinn he met with Estonian President Lennart Meri, Prime Minister Mart Laar, Foreign Minister Juri Luik and other Estonian leaders. Evans is reported as saying that he does not support the idea of giving Russia any specific peacekeeping mandate on the territory of the former USSR and that the Russian troops should leave Estonia by 31 August. On 8 July Evans and Luik signed a trade and economic cooperation agreement, which provides the institutional framework for broader contacts between their countries, BNS reported on 8 and 9 July. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. GERMAN TOXIC WASTE IN ALBANIA THREATENS TO EXPLODE. About 217 tons of pesticides, brought from Germany to Albania in 1991 and concealed as humanitarian aid, are in danger of exploding, Koha Jone reported on 2 July. The risk has been rising recently because of the continuing hot weather. The pesticides, placed in railway carriages and battered containers, heated up under temperatures between 34 and 36 centigrade and could drain out into nearby Lake Shkoder. Greenpeace warned of an environmental disaster already in February, repackaged several tons of pesticides, and brought one truck of them back to Germany. German Environmental Minister Klaus Toepfer estimated last November that it would cost about DM 1.4 million to neutralize the materials, but there has been no follow-up visit of German experts since then. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Ustina Markus and Stan Markotich The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division, is available through electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU. 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