Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 130, 12 July 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIA PRESSES TO JOIN PARIS CLUB. In the wake of its success in
securing the status of a full political partner at the recent G-7
summit, Russia now appears poised to press for membership in the
Paris Club of government creditors. In remarks reported by Western
agencies on 10 July, President Boris Yeltsin said he had
"insisted" at the G-7 summit that Russia be admitted to the Paris
Club, although initially with observer status. In an interview
with Rossiiskaya gazeta on 12 July, Yeltsin stressed that "we are
still major creditors of both developing and CIS countries."
Russia is in fact a net creditor, Yeltsin argued; developing
countries owe it $140 billion, whereas Russia inherited some $80
billion in debt from the USSR. He said that the G-7 members
responded favorably to Russia's proposal to participate in solving
the problem of Third World debt. The Paris Club rescheduled $15
billion of Russia's government debt in April 1993; a second deal
in June 1994 rescheduled a further $7 billion. Russian officials
have since pressed for a more sweeping, long-term debt
arrangement.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc.


KOZYREV URGES ACCEPTANCE OF BOSNIA PEACE PLAN. Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev, back in Moscow on 11 July, urged all
Bosnian factions to accept the peace plan drawn up recently in
Geneva by the five-nation "contact group," ITAR-TASS reported. He
described the package of proposals as the "only realistic
compromise." A day earlier, however, Kozyrev reportedly warned
Western leaders meeting in Naples that neither Moscow nor Serbia
could guarantee acceptance of the plan by Bosnian Serbs and that,
despite Russia's traditional ties with Serbia, relations between
the communist USSR and Yugoslavia were far more complicated.
According to Reuters, Kozyrev said that Bosnian Serbs were likely
to respond to the latest peace initiative with, at best, a "Yes,
but . . ." response, to which US Secretary of State Warren
Christopher reportedly answered that "Yes, but . . ." means "No."
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

GRACHEV ADDRESSES DUMA COMMITTEE ON BUDGET, CIVILIAN CONTROL. In
an appearance before the Russian State Duma defense committee on
11 July, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev once again
criticized Russia's military budget of 40.6 trillion rubles,
labeling it "discriminatory" and claiming that it provided the
armed forces with only a fraction of the funding that it needed to
meet its personnel and arms procurement needs. He also disputed
the notion that the armed forces lack reliable civilian oversight
and was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying that: "We are controlled by
the Security Council, the assistant to the Russian President for
national security and his staff, the State-Legal Administration,
and the defense committees of the Duma and the Federation
Council." Grachev also denied that brutality in the army's
barracks continues to take a murderous toll on Russian draftees,
arguing that in fact only 40% of all crimes in the armed forces
take place among those troops controlled by the Defense Ministry
and that, for example, in the Border Forces alone six times more
young soldiers die than in the army. Grachev's remarks came as
mothers' groups protested outside the Duma building over violence
in army life.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

ON THE SIZE OF THE ARMY AND MILITARY REFORM. Partly as a
cost-cutting measure and partly to ensure more effective
coordination of Russia's various military formations, Grachev also
called for the subordination to the Defense Ministry of border
guard, railroad, construction, and civil defense forces, i.e., all
Russian troops save Interior Ministry and special forces. Indeed,
according to Interfax, Grachev described these "other" troops to
the deputies as a "second army" and said their numbers were
virtually equal to those of the regular armed forces. On that
score, Grachev again called for the armed forces to be maintained
at a level of at least 1.9 million. His statement suggested
continued dissatisfaction with government plans to continue the
down-sizing of the army. On 8 July, just prior to the opening of a
conference on military reform, Grachev was quoted by ITAR-TASS as
saying that the statutory strength of the armed forces would be
lowered to 1.9 million by 1 October and to 1.5 million by the end
of 1996. He also said that by the year 2000 Russia would
transition from its current five service branches to four services
(Strategic Deterrence Forces, Air Force, Navy, and Ground Forces)
and probably to three service branches after the year 2000.
Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

GRACHEV DENIES CORRUPTION IN RUSSIAN TROOPS IN GERMANY. The
Russian Minister of Defense said that the "rumors" about
corruption in the Western Group of Forces (WGF) are "groundless,"
ITAR-TASS reported on 11 July. In his words, for the last three
years numerous investigative commissions have failed to uncover
purported legal violations by the WGF's Commander-in-Chief, Matvei
Burlakov, and his officers. Grachev made his statement in the
Russian parliament following the sensational revelations published
in Segodnya 20 May and 20 June by the controversial lawyer,
Dmitrii Yakubovsky . Despite his dubious reputation, Yakubovsky
has shown that overwhelming corruption exists among the top
military and political leadership. The same allegations were
presented last year by the former chief of the Presidential
Control Administration, Yurii Boldyrev. Boldyrev's report resulted
in his dismissal from his post.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.

COUNCIL OF FEDERATION TO REVIEW LAW ON CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. The
Council of Federation plans to review the new Law on the
Constitutional Court on 12 July, Russian TV "Vesti" announced
earlier that day. The law was the first law to be adopted by the
lower chamber, the State Duma, following its election in December
1993. During the debate over the law the Duma rejected all of the
amendments suggested by the Council of Federation including the
provision allowing judges to be reelected. Another amendment
suggested by the Council of Federation was that the Court's
chairman be elected by members of the Council of Federation rather
then by judges of the Constitutional Court. It is unclear whether
members of the Council of Federation will insist on the changes
rejected by the Duma on its 12 July session. Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL Inc.

UNAUTHORIZED RETURN OF INGUSH REFUGEES TO PRIGORODNYI RAION? A
large group of Ingush refugees is planning to return to their
homes in the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia on 16 July,
Interfax reported on 9 July. They will set out, accompanied by
journalists, if the organized return of Ingush refugees to four
settlements in Prigorodnyi raion, formally agreed to by North
Ossetia, does not take place in the immediate future. Under the
terms of a recent agreement signed by the presidents of North
Ossetia and Ingushetia the return of Ingush refugees to these four
settlements should be completed by 31 July, but there are signs
that North Ossetia is once again stalling on the issue. Previous
attempts by Ingush refugees to return have been blocked by the
Ossetians. Ingush President Ruslan Aushev has said he would not
prevent an unauthorized return if it resulted from failure to
fulfill the agreement.  Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL Inc.

RUTSKOI WANTS TO FORM REAL OPPOSITION. Former Russian
Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi said during a visit to Togliatti
on 6-7 July that he wanted to create a real opposition in the
shape of a socialist patriotic movement called "Derzhava" (Power),
Interfax reported on 8 July. According to Rutskoi there is no
opposition in Russia, only "a political farce." Thousands of
parties and organizations have been set up, he added, but
decisions are still made in the heart of Moscow. Rutskoi said that
the theses for "Derzhava's" program were ready and local branches
were being set up. He hoped the movement would win a majority in
the next parliament. Rutskoi's trip to Togliatti was organized by
the local council of Afghan war veterans, and he was accompanied
by the chairman of the National Salvation Front Ilya Konstantinov.
Ann Sheehy, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

PROGRESS TOWARDS A KARABAKH SETTLEMENT? Speaking to journalists at
Baku airport on his return from attending the CSCE parliamentary
assembly session in Vienna, Azerbaijan parliament speaker Rasul
Guliev stated that as a result of his talks with US and Russian
representatives and with the chairman of the CSCE Minsk Group,
understanding was reached on a potential settlement of the
conflict and an agreement to that end could be signed by the end
of this month, Interfax reported. One potential hindrance,
however, is Azerbaijan's new proposal that no single country
should provide more than 30% of the troops for an eventual
peacekeeping force; Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh favor a
predominantly Russian force and would in all likelihood object to
a Turkish contingent. No other countries have made a definite
commitment to supply peacekeeping forces. Armenian parliament
chairman Babken Ararktsyan, also quoted by Interfax, reiterated
that Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh were ready to sign an armistice
"at any time;" he cast doubts on Azerbaijan's commitment to a
settlement of the conflict.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

EU TO HELP CENTRAL ASIAN UNION? George Edgar, the coordinator of
technical aid to Kazakhstan for the European Union (EU), was
quoted by Interfax on 9 July as saying that the EU is preparing to
coordinate cooperation with the newly-formed Central Asian
economic and military union of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and
Uzbekistan. Edgar said that the new union's coordinating
committees, set up at the Central Asian leaders' 8 July summit in
Almaty, should simplify the process of cooperation with the EU,
though he did not specify any particular areas which the EU might
have identified for possible assistance or exchanges. It is
interesting to note that there does not appear to be, as yet, an
official Russian reaction to the creation of a Central Asian
union.  Keith Martin, RFE/RL Inc.

MERCEDES-BENZ MADE IN UZBEKISTAN. The first 100 trucks made with
Mercedes-Benz parts under German license have been assembled at
the Khorezm Automobile Plant in Uzbekistan, Interfax reported on
10 July. The plant, which will have the capacity to produce 5,000
trucks a year, was retooled last year under an agreement between
the German auto manufacturer and the Uzbek foreign trade ministry.
The trucks are designed primarily for the Uzbek market, though
potential clients in other Central Asian states may also be able
to purchase them. South Korea's Daewoo car company is also
building a plant in Uzbekistan; the factory, which should start
limited production next year, will eventually be able to produce
200,000 cars a year. Uzbekistan, with a population of over 20
million, and the rest of Central Asia are seen by East Asian and
Western traders as markets with great potential, even if payment
problems, red tape and other obstacles persist.  Keith Martin,
RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

KUCHMA ELECTED UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT. On 11 July the Central
Electoral Commission announced that Leonid Kuchma won Ukraine's
presidential election, various agencies reported. In a close race
Kuchma received 51.57% of the votes cast while the incumbent
president, Leonid Kravchuk, got 45.46%. The total voter turnout
was 71.6%. Final results will be announced on 14 July and Kuchma
will be sworn in as Ukraine's new president on 19 July.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

REACTIONS TO KUCHMA'S ELECTION. Reactions to Kuchma's election
have generally been calm within the Ukrainian government. Foreign
Minister Anatolii Zlenko said he did not expect any serious shifts
in Ukraine's foreign policy. Kravchuk's domestic policy advisor,
Mykola Mykhalchenko, has also said that he did not expect any
major changes, but only a normal transfer of power. RUKH leader
Vyacheslav Chornovil, on the other hand, was cited by Interfax as
saying that his organization had no intention of cooperating with
Kuchma and the new administration, while the leader of the Crimean
Tatars, Mustafa Dzhamilyev, said Kuchma's election could lead to
the further deterioration of the situation in Crimea. The leader
of the Ukrainian Civil Congress of Crimea, Serhii Litvin, said the
same. Outside of Ukraine, the leader of the Russian Liberal
Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, expressed pleasure at
Kuchma's election.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

REACTIONS TO BELARUSIAN ELECTIONS. Reactions to the landslide
victory of the unpredictable Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Belarus's
first presidential election have been mixed. The leader of the
Russian Liberal Democratic Party is reportedly pleased with the
result. One of the leaders of that party, Aleksandr Vengerovsky,
said that he liked Lukashenka because "he is an intelligent person
with good experience." Comments of other Russian politicians such
as the Chairman of the Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Konstantin
Zatulin, concerning Lukashenka's unpredictability, however, leave
the impression that it will take some time for Russia to formulate
a policy vis-a-vis the new Belarusian president. Lukashenka is to
be sworn in as president next week.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET RESIGN. Following his defeat
at the polls, Prime Minister Vyacheslau Kebich resigned from his
post on 11 July, various agencies reported. In a statement Kebich
said the election results were bitter for him, but he accepted
their results and congratulated Lukashenka on his victory. Russian
radio reported that Kebich's entire cabinet also resigned. Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

POLISH COALITION QUARRELS OVER PRIVATIZATION. In the latest in a
series of economic disputes within Poland's ruling coalition, 58
deputies from the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) have demanded the
removal of Privatization Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek. Kaczmarek, an
economic liberal, represents the Democratic Left Alliance in the
government. A petition demanding his removal was submitted to the
prime minister on 8 July, PAP reports. Led by the Sejm's
privatization commission chairman, Bogdan Pek, the PSL deputies
object to the planned privatization of Poland's tobacco industry.
(Pek was the agent of a similar conflict over the privatization of
Bank Slaski in the spring; that conflict led to the resignation of
Deputy Prime Minister Marek Borowski.) The PSL wants to impose a
state monopoly on tobacco processing, on the grounds that
privatization will threaten the livelihood of Poland's 60,000
tobacco growers. In keeping with the PSL's plans, any economic
activity involving tobacco would require a license. Kaczmarek has
argued that domestic cigarette producers stand no chance of
competing with foreign competition without the foreign investment
that privatization would bring. A state monopoly on tobacco will
reduce rather than bolster tax revenues, he has said. Typically,
Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak has so far refused all comment.
Kaczmarek met with Agriculture Minister Andrzej Smietanko (PSL) on
11 July; the two ministries are to agree jointly on a tobacco plan
by the end of the month.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc.

"ANARCHISTS" TORCH POLISH CHURCH. Self-proclaimed anarchist
vandals looted and set fire to an 18th-century Catholic church in
a village near Lublin on 11 July, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. The
arsonists daubed slogans such as "Individualist Anarchists" and
"Anarchist Antireligious Front" on the walls and painted "God Does
Not Exist" on the doors before setting fire to the church. The
fire destroyed much of the church, including several religious
treasures. Gazeta Wyborcza commented that such "extremist" acts
are a consequence of "our verbal wars," presumably over
Church-state issues.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc.

PROTESTS PREVENT LATEST WAVE OF CROATIAN APARTMENT EVICTIONS.
Reuters reported from Zagreb on 11 July that the presence of human
rights activists and foreign journalists prevented Croatian police
and soldiers from serving eviction notices on two ethnic Croatian
families. The apartments in question belonged to the former
Yugoslav army, but the government of President Franjo Tudjman has
sought to evict Croats opposed to his rule as well as Serbs from
those dwellings. His policy has been to give them to Croatian
veterans of the 1991 war against the Serbs, especially invalids,
but one of the families harassed on 11 July included a war
veteran. Some 2,000 apartments were taken over by the Croatian
authorities by the end of 1993, and the people displaced were
often just dumped on the street amid virtual silence by the
state-run media. Last month Tudjman relaunched the campaign by
telling veterans: "Let us prove we are a civilized people, that we
will grant all ethnic and minority rights to Serbs who accept
Croatia as their homeland. [But] why are there 6,000 apartments
with Serbs inside and you, Croatian invalids, haven't got any?"
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

SLIM CHANCES FOR YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL. International media
have reported in recent days on the appointment of South African
judge Richard Goldstone as the prosecutor for the 11-judge war
crimes tribunal. The first indictments are expected already this
fall, but international legal experts stress that none of the
really major culprits is likely to face justice. This is because
the tribunal is dependent on the cooperation of the Balkan states
in question to hand over the guilty individuals, but in Serbia in
particular suspected war criminals sit at all levels of the
government and military.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

MILOSEVIC, COSIC MEET OWEN, STOLTENBERG. On 12 July Politika
reports that international mediators Lord David Owen and Thorwald
Stoltenberg met with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in
Belgrade. The latest peace proposal for Bosnia was highest on the
agenda, and Milosevic, in what may be an attempt to encourage the
peace process in Bosnia in exchange for having international
sanctions against rump Yugoslavia eased, described peace in Bosnia
and Herzegovina as being of "the highest interest." Meanwhile,
Borba reports that Owen and Stoltenberg also met with Dobrica
Cosic, author and former president of the rump Yugoslavia, in what
appears to have been a bid to win Cosic's endorsement for the
peace process in Bosnia. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

MACEDONIAN CENSUS ENDS. Local and international media reported
from Skopje on 11 July that the EU-financed census has ended. It
had been extended to 10 July to enable more ethnic Albanians to
take part despite some local boycott--notably in Tetovo--and late
starts. Ethnic tensions over the poll were high because both the
Macedonians and the Albanians will be calculating each group's
respective political clout based on the final figures. Past
surveys have put the Albanians at about 20%, while their
politicians claim the real figure should be around 40%. The final
tally will not be available for some months, and the Albanians
have demanded that ethnic Albanian experts take part in that
count.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

HUMAN RIGHTS NEWS FROM THE YUGOSLAV AREA. The 29 June issue of
Amnesty International's Index includes a call for a review of
Macedonia's refugee policy. The move was prompted by the recent
death of a young Muslim woman, who jumped from a moving train
while Macedonian authorities were trying to deport her to Serbia.
Meanwhile in Croatia, Karlovac's Center for Peace and Non-violence
is working to reconstruct the town's youth center. The project is
multi-ethnic and aimed at restoring something of normal life
despite the physical and psychological damage the front-line
town's population have suffered since the Serbs launched their
insurgency in 1990-1991.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVENIAN-ALBANIAN RELATIONS. Borba on 12 July reports on the
visit of Albanian Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi to his Slovenian
counterpart Lojze Peterle. The Albanians presented their position
that a precondition for solving the Kosovo question is for the
Serbs to restore the area's constitutional autonomy, which it had
under the 1974 constitution but which was taken away by President
Slobodan Milosevic in the course of his destruction of Tito's
Yugoslavia. Serreqi also expressed his concern about the latest
string of border incidents with Greece. The current "Greek
government is under the influence of people who have a territorial
appetite regarding Albania," and Athens is trying through the
incidents to sabotage cooperation between Tirana and the EU, the
Albanians feel. Slovenia has offered Albania help in developing
its infrastructure. In addition, Albanian soldiers will train in
the Slovenian Alps, while Slovenian sailors will see duty in
Albania.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

GREEK SOLDIER WOUNDED IN ALBANIAN BORDER SHOOTING. A Greek soldier
was slightly wounded in an incident with an Albanian military
patrol on 7 July, agencies reported on 8 July. The shooting
followed another border incident in late June, when two Albanian
soldiers were killed by unspecified gunmen, Die Zeit reported on 8
June. Albania and Greece exchanged accusations about the
responsibility for the incidents, but Greek Prime Minister Andreas
Papandreou has said that the latest shooting should not be blown
out of proportion. In an unrelated incident, the 11 July
International Herald Tribune reports that Greek police opened fire
on an Albanian car on Greek territory when the driver refused to
stop for an inspection and when an occupant of the car fired on
the police. At least one occupant of the car was wounded, while
some of the others fled on foot.  Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc.

TRIAL OF GREEK MINORITY POLITICAL FIGURES IN TIRANA. Meanwhile a
trial against five officials of the Greek minority's organization
Omonia continued in Tirana. The ethnic Greeks were accused of
"high treason" after police seized weapons and "anticonstitutional
documents," which claimed that large parts of Albania belong to
Greece as "North Epirus." According to Gazeta Shqiptare on 7 July,
the penal code still provides capital punishment for treason. The
law, which has not been changed since communist times, was
criticized by Albanians and Greeks alike. The mayor of Gjirokaster
stressed that "Albanians and Greeks want to live together in
peace, nobody is looking for a conflict here." Fabian Schmidt,
RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT IN PORTUGAL, SPAIN. Slovak media report that on
10 July Slovak President Michal Kovac ended a three-day visit to
Portugal and began a visit of Spain by meeting Spain's King Juan
Carlos and Prime Minister Felipe Gonzales in Madrid. Kovac,
accompanied by a group of Slovak businessmen, is seeking to
attract more Spanish and Portuguese investment in Slovakia. In
explaining other objectives of his trip, Kovac told journalists in
Madrid on 11 July: "We have to look for friends who will support
us in our efforts toward full participation" in the work of the
European Union and other European institutions.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL
Inc.

LI PENG CONTINUES ROMANIAN VISIT. Following their meeting on 11
July, visiting Chinese premier Li Peng and Romanian President Ion
Iliescu addressed the press. A Radio Bucharest report quoted
Iliescu as saying Li's visit to Austria, Germany and Romania
demonstrated that economic considerations were more important than
ideology. Iliescu emphasized that China was Romania's largest
trade partner after Germany and that Romania was China's most
important trade partner among the countries that had parted with
the Communist system. Li said every nation had the right to opt
for the political system of its choice and no foreign intervention
against that option was justified. He added that his country still
encountered difficulties in the "process of edification of
socialism." Michael Shafir., RFE/RL Inc.

CLUJ MUNICIPAL COUNCIL SEEKS ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN CONFRONTATION. An
extraordinary session of the Cluj municipal council, which is
headed by the town's nationalist mayor, Gheorghe Funar, adopted a
resolution condemning the council's members who belong to the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, Radio Bucharest
reported on 11 July. The declaration says the HDFR municipal
counselors had "mislead Romanian and particularly international
public opinion" in their efforts to block the archeological digs
in the town's main square. It also called on the Romanian
government and on President Ion Iliescu to "firmly condemn the
declarations of the Hungarian government" on the digs. These
declarations, it was stated in language reminiscent of the
Ceausescu period, were "a blatant attempt to interfere in Romanian
internal affairs." Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

IMF OFFICIAL ON BULGARIA'S FINANCES. Russel Kincaid, who heads the
mission of the International Monetary Fund to Bulgaria, has
suggested that the Bulgarian government may have to work hard to
keep down inflation in the coming months. Making his remarks in a
conversation with President Zhelyu Zhelev on 11 July, Kincaid
recommended that the cabinet redouble its efforts to restore
confidence in the national currency and avoid making corrections
in the budget so that inflationary pressure is kept down. In an
analogy with Bulgaria's performance in the World Cup soccer series
in the United States, he said that in the realm of financial
stability the country has recently scored considerable successes
but that several games remain to be played. For his part, Zhelev
assured Kincaid that further political upheavals or new
parliamentary elections will not lead Bulgaria off the set course
toward a market economy. BTA carried the report. Kjell Engelbrekt,
RFE/RL Inc.

LATVIA'S RULING PARLIAMENTARY COALITION SPLITS. At their meeting
on 11 July, the twelve Farmers' Union deputies to the Saeima
decided to withdraw from the coalition that they had formed with
deputies of Latvia's Way; together they had 48 of the 100 seats in
the Saeima. Farmers' Union leader Andris Rozentals explained that
the decision was prompted by the failure of the other partner and
the government, which consists of mostly LW adherents, to honor
the coalition agreements, particularly with regard to economic
development, agricultural policy, and tariffs. Diena reported on
11 July that the FU members of the government will submit their
resignations to Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs.  Dzintra Bungs,
RFE/RL Inc.

ESTONIAN LEADERS DISAPPOINTED BY YELTSIN'S STATEMENT ON TROOPS.
Estonian Foreign Minister Juri Luik expressed bewilderment over
President Yeltsin's statement on 10 July that Russian troops from
Estonia would not be withdrawn by 31 August. Estonian
parliamentarians called Yeltsin's statement unprecedented when
considered against the background of international law. Luik did
call Yeltsin's willingness to meet with the Estonian president to
discuss these issues "a constructive step," BNS reported on 11
July, and added that Estonia had proposed a similar idea already a
year ago. Luik stressed that his country is determined to "bring
the painful process of troop withdrawal to a conclusion." Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

DATA ON RUSSIAN FORCES IN ESTONIA. BNS reported on 11 July that
the Estonian Defense Ministry estimates there are still three
Russian military units--about 2,500 troops of whom most are
officers--stationed in Tallinn or in the nearby Harju district.
There is also a naval unit at Paldiski engaged mainly in the
guarding and servicing of the two nuclear reactors there. Another
naval unit is headquartered in Tallinn. Although Russia has pulled
out most of its combat equipment from Estonia and many troops and
equipment were withdrawn late in 1993, the pace of Russian pullout
has slowed down to a near standstill. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

UNEMPLOYMENT DECLINES IN LITHUANIA. The Lithuanian Labor Exchange
announced that the jobless rate dropped by 0.2 points to 2.8%, BNS
reported on 5 July. The number of people without jobs exceeds
60,000 of which nearly 26,000 are officially registered as
unemployed. Women and blue-collar workers make up the majority of
people looking for work.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Ustina Markus and Stan Markotich
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