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No. 131, 13 July 1994
RUSSIA GOVERNMENT'S ECONOMIC PROGNOSIS UPBEAT . . . In a report prepared for discussion at a special government session to be chaired by President Boris Yeltsin on 15 July, the Russian finance ministry presented a generally optimistic economic forecast for the rest of the year. Monthly inflation is set to run at 6-9%, surging to 10-11% in September and October. Production will remain far below 1993 levels, but the decline will stabilize at roughly 25-27%. According to official statistics, production dropped nearly 26% in the first half of 1994, with declines as steep as 44% in machine-building. GDP is expected to be 16-18% below the 1993 level. A $16 billion foreign trade surplus is anticipated for 1994, as compared to $17.5 billion in 1993. Interfax reported on 12 July that more than 200 State Duma deputies have accepted an invitation to attend the special government session on 15 July. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc. . . . BUT PROBLEMS LOOM. Interenterprise debt and tax arrears appear to be mounting, however, calling into question the government's ability to meet revenue targets and draw the line on deficit spending. Finance ministry officials reported on 11 July that tax revenues for the first half of 1994 are running at only 64% of the target figure. In response to what officials called a "deluge of appeals" from struggling enterprises, the government has earmarked 1.4 trillion rubles ($700 million) for short-term credits to big firms, although the 1994 budget does not specifically allocate funds for this purpose. In a report prepared for the cabinet meeting, the labor ministry noted that 100,000 workers had taken part in strikes in the first five months of 1994--nearly as many as struck in the whole of 1993. Most strikes were set off by overdue wages; these arrears totaled 3 trillion rubles ($1.5 billion) in June. Social tension is expected to rise as the increase in real incomes slows. Despite the drastic fall in production, consumption has actually increased this year; real wages rose 11% in the first five months of 1994, and the population's savings doubled. Unemployment was set at 4.5 million (or 6% of the work force) in June, although only 1.2 million (1.6%) are officially registered. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc. KOSTIKOV ON RELATIONS WITH BALTIC STATES. Vyacheslav Kostikov, Russian President Boris Yeltsin's chief spokesman, was quoted by BNS on 12 July as saying that "cooperation between Russia and the Baltics depends on how the political, economic, and social rights of ethnic Russians living in the region are secured." Kostikov, whose remarks appear to reflect the obdurate position taken by Boris Yeltsin in Naples vis-a-vis Russia's military withdrawal from Estonia, also intimated that Western European governments had nothing more than words of encouragement to offer the Baltic States. "Western Europe . . . is unlikely ever to start hurrying to open its stores for Baltic imports," he said, adding that "the Baltics real market lies to the east of their borders." Although suggesting that Estonia and Russia were close to an agreement on a troop withdrawal deadline, Kostikov said that Moscow would continue to link that issue to the treatment of retired Russian military living personnel living in Estonia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc. SINO-RUSSIAN MILITARY TALKS, AGREEMENT. Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and his Chinese counterpart, Chi Haotian, signed an agreement on the prevention of "dangerous military activities" in Moscow on 12 July, Interfax reported. The document, which is aimed at preventing clashes along the 2,500 mile Russian-Chinese border, was said not to be directed at any third country. According to ITAR-TASS, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets also participated in the talks, and spoke of growing military-technical cooperation between the two countries. Reuters, quoting the Russian news agency, reported that Russia had offered Beijing assistance in training Chinese military specialists to use advance Russian Su-27 fighters and S-300 air defense missile systems. Grachev used the occasion to urge the launching of multi-lateral consultations on the creation of an Asia-Pacific collective security system; he also said that the recent death of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung is unlikely to have a destabilizing influence on the region. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev was quoted by Interfax as saying that it would be expedient to sign a Russian-Chinese treaty on the mutual retargeting of nuclear missiles during a planned visit of Chinese leader Jian Zemin to Russia this fall. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA'S DECLINING MILITARY BUDGET? Segodnya's commentator on military affairs, Pavel Felgengauer, writes in the newspaper's 7 July edition that representatives of Russia's Economics and Finance Ministries are well aware that the 1994 military budget fails to cover even the army's most basic needs and that no one in the government takes seriously the notion that "extra-budgetary" funding will make a serious dent in the expected shortfalls. Felgengauer also claims that Finance Ministry officials admit that actual defense spending for 1994 is unlikely to match the 40.6 trillion rubles officially allocated for defense needs because of falling tax revenues. He reports, moreover, that to ease mounting tensions among military personnel the Finance Ministry is devoting 65% of total defense allocations to personnel costs, with the result that expenditures on procurement, research and development, and capital construction will amount to only 25% of earlier planned levels. Representatives of defense enterprises in the government, according to Felgengauer, are pressing for more rapid reductions in military personnel as a means of freeing up funding for the defense industrial sector, a policy that he claims regional leaders struggling with deteriorating local economies are also embracing with increasing frequency. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc. LATEST ON PLANNED RUSSIAN-US MILITARY MANEUVERS. The chairman of the Russian State Duma's defense committee, Sergei Yushenkov, was quoted by Interfax of 12 July as saying that a Russian-US joint peacekeeping exercise, originally scheduled to be held in the Orenburg region of Russia in early July, is likely to take place in late August-early September of this year. Planning for the joint maneuvers was put on hold by Yeltsin in May of this year because of opposition to the exercises in the Russian parliament. Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev has been a strong supporter of the exercises. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc. COUNCIL OF FEDERATION APPROVES LAW ON CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. On 12 July the higher chamber of the Russian parliament, the Council of Federation, approved the new law on the Constitutional Court by an overwhelming majority. According to Russian TV, only two deputies at the session criticized the bill and neither of them insisted on the amendments suggested earlier by the Council of Federation but rejected by the lower chamber of the parliament. The Constitutional Court was set up in November 1991 but its activities were suspended when President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree to that effect after he dissolved the old parliament in October 1993. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. SOLZHENITSYN COMPLAINS OF INADEQUATE PRESS COVERAGE. On 12 July Ostankino reported that the Nobel Prize winner, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, currently traveling across Russia after two decades of exile, visited the site of the Brezhnev-era camps for political prisoners, the city of Perm in the Urals. According to the report, Solzhenitsyn complained that the Russian media has been providing "inadequate" coverage of his meetings with the ordinary Russians during his trip. The writer plans to arrive at his final destination, Moscow, at the end of July, Interfax reported on 8 July. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIANS COMMEMORATE TAJIK LOSSES. A ceremony took place on 12 July to commemorate the death of 25 soldiers one year ago at the 12th outpost of the Russian border guards along the Tajik-Afghan border, Interfax reported. Russian military commanders, Tajik officials and journalists were present at the wreath-laying ceremony. The head of the guard's headquarters, Col. Vladimir Novikov, said that the outpost had since been equipped with more modern weapons and a larger number of troops; he claimed that no Russian troops at the outpost had been killed since the 1993 attack, even though the outpost comes under attack at least twice a week from Tajik rebels and their Afghan supporters. While Novikov said that "the troops are so confident of their security that even the servicemen coming on a business trip to the region want to serve the rest of their conscription term in Tajikistan," this contradicts other reports that Russian servicemen and their families often pay hefty bribes so as to avoid service in Tajikistan. The 1993 incident was the single bloodiest attack on Russian border troops in Tajikistan, and prompted Russia to reinforce its troops all along the border. Keith Martin, RFE/RL Inc. CIS RUSSIA CONTINUES TO CONDITION WITHDRAWAL FROM MOLDOVA. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov visited Moldova on 9 through 11 July for talks with the leadership on the future of Russia's troops in that country and other bilateral issues. Very little information has transpired on the visit. In brief remarks to Interfax on 12 July, Krylov said that the withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova is being "impeded by the undefined nature of Transdniester's status." Similarly, the official release said that the sides had discussed the troop issue and the Transdniester settlement, also implying linkage of the two issues. The sides also discussed the initiation of negotiations with Ukraine regarding the transit of 14th Army convoys through Ukraine in the event of a future withdrawal. Meanwhile, the "Dniester" authorities announced on 12 July the appointment of a new team for negotiations with Chisinau from which the most intransigent promoters of secession have been dropped. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS TOLERATE DNIESTER ARMISTICE VIOLATIONS. "Dniester" forces illegally occupying a military stronghold in demilitarized Bendery erected on 12 July protective screens blocking the view to the site, Basapress reported. Vacated early this year by a missile unit of Russia's 14th Army, the facility was to have been turned over to Russian peacekeepers as part of demilitarizing Bendery, but was occupied instead by "Dniester" troops now estimated at 300 to 400. The Moldovan side has repeatedly requested action by the tripartite Control Commission, but the "Dniester" side has used its right of veto and the Russian peacekeepers have demurred. The pattern recurred on 12 July when Russian peacekeepers accepted a "Dniester" decision to deny the Commission access to the site, Moldova's chief representative, Maj. Gen. Victor Catana, told Basapress. Moreover, the "Dniester" defense ministry is currently calling up city residents for refresher training with local "Dniester" units. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE MORE ON KUCHMA'S ELECTION. On 11 July UNIAN reported that Leonid Kuchma was elected as President of Ukraine by gaining the votes which had gone to Oleksandr Moroz and Volodymyr Lanovy in the first round of elections. UNIAN also reported that the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (CUN) held a meeting on 10 July after which one of its leaders, Slava Stetsko, told a press conference that CUN expected the president-elect to repress that organization. Kuchma himself addressed the issue of the country's east-west divide in a 13 July Izvestiya article. According to Kuch-ma, the "lack of understanding between the two parts of the country can be overcome if reason prevails." Kuchma had won the majority of votes in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea while the incumbent president, Leonid Kravchuk, had been favored in Western Ukraine. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. NEW SECURITY CHIEF APPOINTED IN UKRAINE. The Ukrainian parliament approved the appointment of Valerii Malykov as head of Ukraine's Security service by a vote of 226 to 23, Reuters and Interfax reported on 12 July. According to Malykov, foreign intelligence services are active in Ukraine gathering information on the country's defense industries, nuclear weapons and conventional weapons, and foreign and internal policies. Malykov replaces Evhen Marchuk who has been appointed deputy prime minister with responsibility for security issues. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. TUDJMAN SAYS NO MEETING WITH MILOSEVIC UNTIL SERBIA RECOGNIZES CROATIA. The 13 July issue of Vecernji list reports at length on President Franjo Tudjman's regular monthly press conference the previous day. He was asked about a possible meeting with the Serbian leader, with whom he has met many times and with whom he is known to want a comprehensive deal. Tudjman has, however, been widely criticized for this attitude, and many have pointed out that Milosevic has taken him to the cleaners every time. Perhaps in view of this pressure, Tudjman said at the press conference that he would only meet with the Serbian leader if Belgrade first recognizes Croatia within its internationally recognized borders, i.e. including the territories currently held by Serb rebels. Tudjman also dashed the idea of any kind of federal arrangement within Croatia involving the Serbian minority, saying it would constitute an historical step backwards and be "against the interests of the Croatian people." That same Zagreb daily, however, ran an article from Belgrade quoting the Serbian president as saying that the Serbs of Croatia should decide their future in a referendum, something that would be unacceptable to the Croatian authorities. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. BRITISH AND FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTERS ON A "SALES TRIP." This is how the VOA on 12 July described the latest visit by Douglas Hurd and Alain Juppe to the former Yugoslavia to promote the internationally-backed plan to partition Bosnia-Herzegovina. The 13 July Vjesnik reports that Tudjman gave the proposal his "full backing," adding that the Croatian president used the opportunity to remind the two visitors that Croatia insists that UNPROFOR stop being a buffer protecting Serb conquests and begin reintegrating the territories under its control into Croatia. Impatience is once again on the rise in Croatia over the occupied territories. That republic signed the Vance plan in January 1992 under the assumption that those lands would be reintegrated, a point that Zagreb has stressed repeatedly in renewing UNPROFOR's mandate several times and in accepting the Washington agreements in March 1994. At issue is the right of refugees to return to their homes and Croatia's need to restore the unity of its infrastructure. Polls, however, suggest that the population does not trust the UN, and UNPROFOR is popularly dubbed SERBPROFOR. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. BOSNIAN UPDATE. In a series of developments that has often bordered on the surreal, UN chief envoy Yasushi Akashi has spent several days trying to persuade the various factions to renew for another month a cease-fire that has been little respected. The Serbs accepted earlier, and on 12 July Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic agreed on behalf of his government while President Kresimir Zubak approved in the name of the new Croat-Muslim federation. Also in Sarajevo, news agencies added that US mediator Charles Redman has demanded that all parties give a clear-cut "yes" to the new peace plan that Hurd and Juppe, among others, are promoting. Most observers believe that the parties will either try to give a qualified acceptance from which they can later wiggle out, or first agree and then break their word outright. Finally, the 13 July New York Times reports on the controversy surrounding a proposed Bosnian government amnesty for draft-dodgers, which has been launched in hope of wooing skilled workers home. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. CRISIS IN THE MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT. The Macedonian Parliament failed to pass a new law on elections by 8 July and thus missed the three-month deadline to introduce new legislation for the next elections scheduled for 8 October, Borba reported on 10 July. Out of a package of election laws, the parliament has to date passed only a law on the election of the president. The ethnic Albanian Party of Democratic Prosperity (PPD), the junior partner in President Kiro Gligorov's coalition government, has been boycotting parliament since ethnic Albanian ministers were sentenced to prison over an arms affair. The party also claims that the Albanians as an ethnic community are victims of gerrymandering, in that the proposed new electoral districts are allegedly "constructed to the detriment of the Albanians." Flaka on 6 July quoted a deputy of the opposition Macedonian nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE as saying that his group sympathizes with the PPD for the "blockade" of the parliament. The old election law, which will be used in the coming poll, was introduced by the communist parliament before the 1991 multi-party elections and has been criticized for certain shortcomings. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH STEEL STRIKE STALEMATE. In a protest organized jointly by Solidarity and the former official OPZZ federation, striking steelworkers have shut down the Lucchini steel mill (formerly Huta Warszawa) since 9 June. The strikers are demanding a 30% pay increase and the prompt modernization of the plant, PAP reports. They charge that the firm's major shareholder, the Italian Lucchini concern, has deliberately postponed promised investments. The Italians note, however, that they received formal title to the property only in June, after the strike began. The management has refused to negotiate until the strikers go back to work; wage increases will follow. The strikers have refused to comply. Mediation efforts by Gdansk Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski have so far failed. Ten workers are on a hunger strike. Strikers pounded hard-hats and tossed macaroni outside the Italian embassy on 8 July; similar protests were held at government headquarters on 14 June and 7 July. The government has so far adopted a hands-off approach to the strike; Privatization Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek reported to the Sejm on 8 July that the strike is illegal. The Stalowa Wola mill tested new production lines on 12 July, with an eye to capturing Lucchini's neglected markets. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc. GERMANY PLEDGES ADVOCACY FOR POLAND. Polish Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski traveled to Bonn on 8 July to present officials there with a memorandum detailing Poland's expectations with respect to Germany's six-month presidency of the European Union. They comprise four basic requests: to ensure that Poland is treated as a future member; to liberalize trade; to include Poland in such EU cooperation areas as crime-fighting; and to agree on methods to adapt Polish agriculture to EU standards. Olechowski also urged Germany to extend a helping hand to its neighbors. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel pledged to advocate Polish membership in the EU but cautioned that economic standards must still be met. Olechowski argued that the EU should assess the "nature" of Poland's economic system rather than statistical living standards. "We are even greater Euroenthusiasts than some EU members," Olechowski reminded Kinkel. Olechowski also met with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Roman Herzog, PAP reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc. EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT IN PRAGUE. On 12 July, Egyptian President Husni Mubarak arrived in Prague for a two-day official visit. Mubarak met with President Vaclav Havel, with whom he discussed "bilateral relations and broader issues," CTK reported. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Havel said that "Egypt plays an important stabilizing role in the Middle East." Mubarak, who is accompanied by several ministers of the Egyptian government, is scheduled to meet Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus and several ministers dealing with economic affairs. Reuters reported on 12 July that Mubarak is interested in learning about the Czech mass privatization process. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. MECIAR ON UPCOMING ELECTIONS, ROMANIES. In an interview with the Austrian daily Die Presse, published on 12 July, former Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar said that his Movement for a Democratic Slovakia is opposed to a recently adopted law allowing the use of bilingual road signs because "it is concerned about the welfare of ethnic minorities." According to Meciar, the law is restrictive because it should pay more attention to the language of Romanies. Although only 80,000 people declared themselves Romanies during the last census, says Meciar, it is likely that at least 300,000 people who claim to be Hungarians in southern Slovakia are in fact Romanies. Meciar, who last year triggered controversy with what international media described as disparaging statements about Romanies, told Die Presse that his party plans to fight for Romanies. Meciar predicted that his party will win at least 25% of the vote in the October parliamentary elections and that the politicians, such as current Prime Minister Jozef Moravcik, who had left his party to found their own groups will be swept away. Meciar said he wants to create a centrist government, "something that will be appreciated by Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus, who would otherwise be squeezed between Germans and the pink-red belt to the East of the Czech Republic." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. LATEST OPINION POLL IN SLOVAKIA. According to an opinion poll released by the Focus agency on 12 July, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia of Vladimir Meciar commands 28% of popular support, followed by the post-communist Party of the Democratic Left with 15%. The Christian Democratic Movement of former Premier Jan Carnogursky is supported by 9.4% of respondents, followed closely by the ultranationalist Slovak National Party (9%). The coalition of ethnic Hungarian parties is supported by 8%, the right-of-center Democratic Party by 7.1%, and the communist Association of Slovak Workers by 6.1% of respondents. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. BEKESI SAYS PENSION INCREASES TO BE SCALED BACK. Laszlo Bekesi, the Minister of Finance designate, said during a parliamentary hearing that pensions will be increased by a factor of only 5%, and not 8% as suggested earlier. Budgetary constraints have prompted this latest announcement, reported MTI. In June 1994 the Pension Self-governing Board (PSB) had proposed an 8% increase, retroactive to January 1994, in order to compensate Hungarian pensioners for this year's inflation, which was 18% in May 1994. The PSB, which is the regulating body for pensions which are still paid out of the central budget, announced yesterday that it will cling to its original proposal. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. BUDAPEST'S HUNGARIAN MINORITY POLICY IN THE MAKING. MTI reported that Prime Minister designate Gyula Horn sent a draft of a new minority policy to various domestic political leaders as well as to representatives of religious groups of the Hungarian minority in neighboring countries. Laszlo Kovacs, the Foreign Minister designate said during a committee hearing that "in a cultural sense, minority groups living outside Hungary's border are part of the nation." He also stressed that these groups should "pursue happiness where they live" and that the new Hungarian government will strive to secure and promote rights for them. Results may be expected through bilateral government negotiations and in talks in international forums, Kovacs said Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN PUPILS TO BOYCOTT ROMANIAN SCHOOLS. The Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania announced on 12 July that ethnic Hungarian students will boycott schools in September, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Bucharest on the same day. The HDFR said the move will be part of a "strategy of protest" against the Law on Education. It added that rallies will be organized before the law is discussed in the Senate. The law has already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies, which rejected amendments proposed by the HDFR. The HDFR objects in particular to those provisions of the law that makes teaching of history, geography and civic courses in the Romanian language obligatory even in schools for the minorities. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. LI PENG ENDS, KINKEL BEGINS ROMANIAN VISIT. Chinese premier Li Peng left Romania on 12 July after a four-day visit that ended in the signing of several agreements on bilateral cooperation and a joint political declaration, Rompres reported on the same day. Before Li Peng's departure President Ion Iliescu said Romania considered Taiwan to be an inseparable part of China, adding that Beijing should deal with the problem of Taiwan as an internal matter. German media reported on 13 July that Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel is flying to Bucharest for an official one-day visit, his first to the country. Among other things, he will discuss Romania's further integration into European structures. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT TO AUTHORIZE TRANSIT OF FOREIGN TROOPS. In a ruling announced on 12 July the Bulgarian Constitutional Court says the National Assembly is the only institution which can permit the passage of foreign troops through Bulgarian territory. A heated political debate on whether the cabinet or other state agencies could be given the right to allow the transit of smaller troop contingents, and especially those involving United Nations peacekeepers, erupted in April as UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali requested that Bulgaria help transport military equipment to UNPROFOR in Macedonia. On that occasion parliament approved the transport, but the Constitutional Court was at the same time asked to resolve the general issue of jurisdiction. In the decision now pronounced the court has apparently settled for a broad definition of the concept "foreign troops," which requires that, in principle, the transit of any organized military unit of another state or international organization must receive separate approval. Otechestven vestnik carried the report on 13 July. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL Inc. "DNIESTER REPUBLIC" SCORED FOR ANTISEMITISM. In its annual Antisemitism World Report 1994 , recently issued in London, the Institute of Jewish Affairs concluded that, in Moldova, "antisemitism was confined effectively to the secessionist Dniester republic." The report noted "commonplace" publication of antisemitic articles in the Tiraspol press and anti-Jewish utterances by "Dniester" Russian ultranationalists linked to similar circles in Moscow. Regarding the main part of the country, the report noted Moldova's "acceptance of ethnic diversity" and the fact that "Moldova's performance on ethnic and human rights was generally rated positively by the West." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. THREE LATVIAN MINISTERS RESIGN. Following the 11 July announcement by the Farmers' Union deputies in the Saeima that they are suspending their participation in the parliamentary coalition with deputies of Latvia's Way, three FU ministers resigned: Minister of Agriculture Janis Kinna, Minister of Welfare Janis Ritenis and Minister for Environment and Regional Development Girts Lukins. It is expected that the respective state ministers and parliamentary secretaries will also resign, Diena reported on 12 July. Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs, who accepted the three resignations, said that Latvia's Way deputies will meet on 13 July to discuss the future of the government. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. BRAZAUSKAS REJECTS OPPOSITION'S CHARGES OF SELLOUT. In a regular radio address to the people on 11 July , Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas rejected the accusations of his political opponents, including Vytautas Landsbergis, that he was betraying Lithuania's interests in the current negotiations with Russia. The opposition held a rally earlier that day to urge the Lithuanian leadership not to sign an agreement with Russia on military transit to Kaliningrad region via Lithuanian territory. Brazauskas explained that the same rules would apply to Russian shipments as for those from other countries. Noting that 40% of Lithuania's exports go to Russia, Brazauskas pointed out that the Lithuanian economy cannot endure the 30% Russian tariff barrier against Lithuanian goods and that the negotiators are trying to achieve a cancellation of the tariffs, BNS and Interfax reported on 11 and 12 July. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. 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