A friend is a gift you give yourself. - Robert Louis Stevenson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 134, 18 July 1994

                              RUSSIA

MOSCOW DENOUNCES US SENATE AID DECISION. Russian government and
parliamentary leaders reacted angrily on 15 July to the US Senate
decision of 13 July to block new aid to Russia after 31 August
unless Moscow meets its commitment to withdraw all its military
forces from Estonia. In an address to the State Duma, Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev called the decision perplexing and
charged that it was an attempt to interfere in the internal
affairs of Russia and Estonia. He said that Russia rejected any
linkage between the aid and military withdrawal, Reuters reported.
Other Russian leaders echoed Kozyrev. In an interview with
Interfax, Presidential Press Secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov said
that the Senate decision could complicate resolution of the
withdrawal issue; he also compared the human rights situation in
Estonia to that in Haiti. Reuters quoted Vladimir Lukin, chairman
of the parliaments foreign affairs committee, as saying that the
Senate decision was either stupid or provocative. The Los Angeles
Times quoted the liberal former Finance Minister, Boris Fedorov,
as saying Never tell us what we have to do, especially when it
concerns our interests. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV ON NATO, NORTH KOREA. In testimony before the State Duma
on 15 July, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told deputies
that Russias decision to participate in the NATO Partnership for
Peace Program is not subject to ratification by the parliament.
There is nothing to ratify here and nervousness concerning this
issue is humiliating both for our Duma and for our country, he
said. Turning to tensions on the Korean peninsula, Kozyrev said
that the Foreign Ministry had information that Pyongyang intends
to maintain contacts with the US on problems related to its
nuclear energy program and that it is preparing for a summit with
South Korea. Kozyrev added that if the negotiations with the US
prove fruitless, Russia will insist on holding a multilateral
conference on the issue. He also said that Russia was ready to
help North Korea move from heavy water graphite-moderated reactors
to light water reactors, if the international community finances
this project. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN HAILS RUSSIAS PROGRESS . . . Addressing a special
cabinet session on 15 July, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
expressed pride that his government had confounded the predictions
of critics who expected the departure of proreform ministers and
the appointment of red directors in January to prompt
hyperinflation and economic catastrophe. Economic reforms had born
fruit, he said: lines were gone, shops were full, monthly
inflation was below 5%, the deficit was down, and the production
decline had leveled off. In the second half of 1994, he said,
economic policy would focus on real economic restructuring, with
an emphasis on addressing regional disparities. While stressing
the importance of continued fiscal discipline and a lower deficit,
Chernomyrdin also vowed to spur industrial growth. The labor
market would be made more elastic, he said; taxation levels would
be reduced, with the major burden shifted from enterprises to
individuals; and poverty and organized crime would also receive
special attention. The cabinet is expected to produce a final
economic policy document within ten days, Interfax reported on 15
July. President Boris Yeltsin was to have chaired the cabinet
session, but failed to attend because of a cold reportedly caused
by the Kremlins excessive air-conditioning. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL,
Inc.

. . . PROMISES BANKRUPTCIES . . . Chernomyrdin pledged that
long-postponed bankruptcy provisions would finally begin to take
force in the economy, shifting resources from insolvent firms to
more efficient economic branches. The privatization ministry had
already set in motion proceedings to liquidate six of the most
egregious cases, he reported; 60 others were already in the courts
and a further 100 were under review. Chernomyrdin said bankruptcy
proceedings could hit as many as 2000 enterprises in 1994,
provided strictly economic criteria were adhered to. He did note,
however, that exceptions might be made in the case of vital
defense plants and factories whose closure would entail especially
socially difficult consequences. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . CRITICIZES DEFENSE INDUSTRIES . . . Chernomyrdin
nevertheless lashed out at what he described as the unwillingness
of regional leaders and factory directors to convert defense
plants to civilian production. Reuters quoted him as saying that
we need to build roads and schools and the budget is not made of
elastic...How much must we suffer before we switch to different
kinds of production? According to ITAR-TASS, Chernomyrdin said
that Russias unique conditions (presumably the enormous breadth of
the defense complex) made any structural changes in the economy
dependent upon the defense sector. He urged rejection of the old
practice of placing defense orders with enterprises solely in
order to keep people busy, and was quoted as saying that by
cutting the assortment of weapons to be produced, the government
intends to concentrate defense orders on a smaller number of
enterprises, making them more profitable and effective in this
way. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . FACES CRITICISM. The enlarged government session was
attended by a large delegation of parliamentary committee chairmen
and party leaders, many of whom objected to the optimistic tone of
Chernomyrdins presentation, Interfax reported on 15 July. The
Chairman of the State Dumas Economic Policy Committee, Sergei
Glazev, a vocal critic of government economic policy, censured
Chernomyrdin for presenting too rosy a picture of the economy and
ignoring the social price of economic reform and the danger of
Russias deindustrialization. Glazev called for a parliamentary
no-confidence vote in the government. He supported this, he said,
not so much to remove the government from office, but rather to
allow deputies to voice criticism and alert it to problems. He
predicted that a majority of deputies would ultimately vote in
favor of the government. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA DEMANDS DISMISSAL OF HEAD OF GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION. The
Russian State Duma voted 277 to seven with four abstentions for
the dismissal of the head of the government administration,
Vladimir Kvasov. The vote took place after 42 deputies were
refused admission to the enlarged government meeting between
ministers and directors of big industrial enterprises, an RFE/RL
correspondent reported from Moscow on 15 July. Kvasov, who was
appointed to this position by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
last year, is responsible for arranging the governments day-to-day
business. His dismissal needs to be approved by Chernomyrdin.
Kvasov argued that deputies not on the official list were held
back only briefly and only because seating was limited. Vera Tolz,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN ARMS EXPORTS. Former Soviet Defense Minister and CIS joint
armed forces commander Evgenii Shaposhnikov was quoted by Interfax
on 16 July as saying that Russia had exported $2.3 billion in
military equipment 1993, and that this total was expected to rise
in 1994. He said that Russias arms trading company,
Rosvooruzheniye, had already signed contracts exceeding $1.5
billion in 1994. Shaposhnikov serves as the representative of the
Russian Presidents office to Rosvooruzheniye. According to the
same report, the general director of the trading company, Viktor
Samoilov, complained that the biggest obstacle to increased arms
sales was the requirement to obtain a license from the Ministry of
Foreign Economic Relations for each arms deal. Stephen Foye,
RFE/RL, Inc.

TSARS EXECUTION ANNIVERSARY MARKED. Commemorative events were held
in several Russian cities to mark the 76th anniversary of the
execution of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas, and his family by
the Bolsheviks, the Russian media reported on 17 July. ITAR-TASS
said mourners in Ekaterinburg, the city in the Urals where the
execution took place, held an all-night vigil. Churches in Moscow
and St. Petersburg also held services. Monarchists and Cossacks
were among those attending. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOLZHENITSYN TO ADDRESS STATE DUMA IN OCTOBER. Interviewed by
Russian TVs Vesti program in the Yaroslavl railway station on 16
July, the Nobel prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn revealed his
intention to address the State Duma in October. The writer said he
had received a cabled invitation from the speaker, Ivan Rybkin.
Solzhenitsyn cited Rybkin as writing that Solzhenitsyn could
address the Duma either before 22 July or after 1 October, because
between these dates the parliamentarians are on vacation;
Solzhenitsyn added that he probably will come in late fall. Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMO IN EREVAN. On 15 July, the opposition
National-Democratic Union headed by former Prime Minister Vazgen
Manukyan convened a demonstration in Erevan to protest the grave
economic situation and what were termed the illegal and immoral
policies of the present leadership, Russian agencies reported. The
number of participants was estimated at 20,000 by Interfax and at
50,000 by ITAR-TASS. Ashot Manucharyan, a former Karabakh
Committee member and ex-security advisor to President Levon
Ter-Petrossyan, who since January has been engaged in a public
polemic with Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Siradeghyan,
accused the Armenian leadership of instigating the assassination
of several political figures including former KGB chairman Marius
Yuzbashyan. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

AKAEV CALLS FOR PRESS RESTRICTIONS. Kyrgyzstans President Askar
Akaev has called for new controls on the press, Interfax reported
on 15 July. In a speech to a gathering of legal officials from all
of Kyrgyzstan, Akaev said that the countrys free press was one of
the major attributes of democracy that has gained Kyrgyzstan
recognition in the world community, but press freedom requires
responsibility, because the information media affect political
processes. At present, according to Akaev, most of the press in
Kyrgyzstan is behaving irresponsibly, stirring up social and
political conflicts. The Russian-language Svobodnie gory, one of
the most popular and influential newspapers in the country, came
under particular attack by the president, who suggested that the
courts should stop its publication. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

KAZAKH, KYRGYZ CORRUPTION TROUBLE. Kazakhstans economics minister,
Mars Urkumbaev, told Reuters on 15 July that he is stepping down
from his post for 45 days to defend himself against corruption
charges brought by a state prosecutor; the accusations are related
to Urkumbaevs previous position as head of a state-run company.
Urkumbaev, who has excellent relations with Western companies and
governments, was only appointed economics minister this year.
Interfax reported on 15 July, citing government sources, that the
chairman of the Kyrgyz state property fund, Esengul Omuraliev, and
three of his deputies have been dismissed because of grave
malpractices. Omuraliev and his deputies denied any illegal
actions at a news conference on 12 July. Keith Martin, RFE/RL,
Inc.

TAJIK-RUSSIAN-UZBEK BORDER PROTECTION AGREEMENT SIGNED. During a
two-day visit to Tajikistan by Colonel-General Andrei Nikolaev,
head of the Russian Federations border troops, an agreement
between Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan on protecting the
southern borders of the CIS was signed, ITAR-TASS reported on 16
July. A second agreement, between Russia and Tajikistan, dealt
with military shipments between the two countries. Details of the
two agreements were not reported. When asked at a press conference
about the situation on the Tajik-Afghan border, Nikolaev said that
it was far from stable and in his view the conflict can only be
settled politically. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN, CROATIAN AND TURKISH PRESIDENTS BACK BOSNIAN PARTITION
PLAN. International media reported on 17 July that the three heads
of state met on Brijuni island and urged the Bosnian Serbs to
endorse the proposal without any conditions and ambiguity. The
Bosnian parliament and the assembly of the self-proclaimed
Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna have already approved the
measure, and the parliament of the joint Croat-Muslim federation
is expected to do the same on 18 July. Bosnian Prime Minister
Haris Silajdzic has said that the plan is not good for his side
but is still the best thing going. Reuters adds that the Muslims
will probably accept the map without any qualifications, but may
seek an arrangement to deal with Bosnias $500 million debt and to
place monitors on the republics borders. The latter move would
serve a political purpose in reasserting the republics
indivisibility, while also having a military aim in enabling
monitors to control or at least check Serb supply lines. Turkish
President Suleyman Demirel has now concluded a trip that included
a visit to his countrys troops at Zenica in central Bosnia.
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBS IN FEISTY MOOD AS VOTE DEADLINE NEARS. The BBC and VOA
reported on 18 July that Serb politicians in Pale are loaded for
bear in anticipation of renewed foreign pressure over the Bosnian
partition plan, which the Bosnian Serb legislature is expected to
turn down in the course of the day. Their SRNA news agency quoted
their leader Radovan Karadzic as saying that we must as a
consequence properly equip and discipline our army. The entire
population will have to be organized for an all-out war, and all
people will have to be mobilized, including women. In the
meantime, a notorious militia known as Panthers is continuing the
ethnic cleansing of the Bijeljina region in northeast Bosnia, the
New York Times reports. The Panthers refused to obey local police
officers, saying they had orders. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

UN AND NATO PREPARE CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR BOSNIA. International
media reported on 17 July that officials of the world organization
and the Atlantic alliance met in Zagreb the previous day to make
preparations for their various options under the plan. Rejection
by any side of the Geneva plan would implicitly call for NATO to
be put on a war footing against it, Reuters said. Up to 50,000
troops might be called for, and numerous questions remain.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post on 18 July quotes US Secretary of
Defense William Perry as saying that were at a fork in the road
here and that if we go down either one of those two forks we laid
out that it would be an expanded role for NATO, and the United
States would be an important part of that. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

RUGOVA REELECTED AT LDK CONGRESS IN KOSOVO. The Democratic League
of Kosovo (LDK) held its second election congress in Pristina on
14 and 15 July, Rilindja reported on 15 July. The party represents
the overwhelming majority of Kosovo Albanians, and other ethnic
Albanian parties there cooperate closely with it. Kosovar
President Ibrahim Rugova was reelected as party leader, news
agencies said, but most of the 55 members of the partys executive
committee were replaced by younger people. The changes are
connected with a higher involvement of the party in the local
shadow-state administration. Rugova said that the LDK is the main
political force, which animates and consolidates all life in
occupied Kosovo. The role of the president, and therefore also of
the party, will remain extremely important or even increase as
long as the parliament, which was elected in May 1992, is
prevented by the Serbian authorities from holding its constituent
session. The old parliament, which was elected in 1989, lost its
mandate on 4 December 1993 and since then the president has ruled
in cooperation with the exile government. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ETHNIC ALBANIAN DEPUTIES SAVE MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT. News agencies
reported from Skopje on 15 July that Albanians ended their boycott
of parliament the previous day to return and provide Prime
Minister Branko Crvenkovski the votes he needed to defeat a
challenge from the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE. The government is now
safe until the next elections, which must be called by October.
The Albanians had absented themselves from the legislature
recently to protest sentences imposed on high Albanian officials
on charges of organizing paramilitary formations. The Albanians
hold five seats in the cabinet. This is the third no-confidence
vote Crvenkovski has faced in 22 months in office. Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

POLANDS PAWLAK DRAGS FEET ON MASS PRIVATIZATION. Polands
long-delayed mass privatization program received another setback
on 16 July when Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak refused to approve
a final list of 105 enterprises slated for participation in the
program. In what has become a pattern for the prime minister,
Pawlak argued that he could not make a decision until he had more
information on the firms economic condition. If we want to realize
this program in a serious fashion, it must be well organized,
Pawlak said. Preparations for mass privatization began in Poland
in 1991, but political conflict has caused almost surreal delays
in its implementation. Pawlaks predecessor, Hanna Suchocka,
approved two earlier lists of 335 firms for mass privatization
already in 1993. Pawlaks decision follows demands from within his
own Polish Peasant Party for the removal of Privatization Minister
Wieslaw Kaczmarek, who represents the Democratic Left Alliance;
the peasant deputies object to plans to privatize the tobacco
industry. Past privatization ministers charged in Gazeta Wyborcza
on 18 July that Pawlaks criticism of the program is absurd. They
accused Pawlak of using mass privatization to wreak the revenge of
a former satellite on its former master. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL,
Inc.

POLISH DESERTERS SUICIDE PROMPTS DRAFT REVIEW. In the wake of the
suicide of a young deserter who led military police on a three-day
chase, defense ministry officials have announced plans to humanize
military service and exclude psychologically unstable draftees
from the armed forces, Rzeczpospolita reports. Deputy Defense
Minister Danuta Waniek told a press conference on 14 July that her
ministry will erect special examination centers where draftees can
be observed by doctors and psychiatrists over the course of
several days. The ministry will also take over draftee selection,
which is currently conducted by the internal affairs ministry in
consultation with the health ministry. Officials denied that the
level of desertion is high; in 1993, 37 Polish soldiers deserted
and 363 went AWOL. Waniek also confirmed that Poland intends to
shorten military service to one year. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN SLOVAKIA. Ivan Miklos, the minister of
privatization in the government of Jan Carnogursky two years ago,
was elected chairman of the right-of-center Democratic Party (DP)
at its congress in Bratislava on 16 July. Slovak media report that
Miklos replaced Pavol Hagyari, who had been accused of violating
the partys statutes. Hagyari had also been criticized for planning
to form a pre-election coalition with the centrist Democratic
Union--the move that prompted the DPs coalition partner, the Party
of Entrepreneurs and Small Businessmen (PESB), to abandon the
coalition. It is not clear whether the PESB will reenter the
coalition following Mikloss election. In another development, on
15 July the Slovak parliament rebuffed for the second time this
year an attempt of the opposition Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia to recall Privatization Minister Milan Janicina. Only 51
deputies in the 150-seat parliament supported the no-confidence
vote. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT ELECTED. By a vote of 265 to 93 (with one
new opposition deputy voting yes by mistake), and one abstention,
Hungarys parliament on 15 July approved Hungarys new government
program and confirmed the countrys 14-member coalition government
headed by Hungarian Socialist Party Chairman Gyula Horn, MTI and
Radio Budapest announced. Gabor Kuncze of the Alliance of Free
Democrats will serve as deputy premier (a new post) and minister
of internal affairs, with two more ministries (culture and
education; transport, communications, and water management)
allotted to the AFD. Following the swearing-in ceremony, Horn said
he would like to be able to state four years from now that a
further worsening of Hungarys economic crisis had been prevented
and the populaces living conditions had improved. After approving
an 8% increase in Hungarys pensions due in September, parliament
adjourned until 29 August. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

HORNS IMMEDIATE FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES. At a 15 July
international press conference, Premier Horn said he would lead
Hungarys delegation to the 16 July Trieste summit of the Central
European Initiative then hold a working meeting on 18 July in Bonn
with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to strengthen bilateral
economic ties. Horn rejected the view that the four Visegrad group
countries should be dealt with jointly as a bloc with regard to
their future admission into the European Union. He denied the
existence of a consensus in Hungary over NATO membership and
favored the holding of a referendum on the countrys admission to
both the EU and NATO, adding that he would work toward an
affirmative vote on both issues. Horn favored a stabilization of
Hungarys relations with Russia and a regaining, to the extent of
existing possibilities, of Hungarys eastern markets. He stressed
the need to improve relations and sign a bilateral state treaty
with Slovakia that would resolve the Gabcikovo dam and national
minority issues, and to ease tensions with Romania over the
minority issue. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN-BRITISH JOINT MANEUVERS. By a vote of 289 to 1, Hungarys
parliament authorized the holding on Hungarian soil of a joint
Hungarian-British military exercise from 6 to 24 September 1994,
MTI reported. According to defense minister Gyorgy Keleti, the
maneuver, the first of its kind, will involve Britains Goldstream
Guard Regiments 7th Company (120 men), will take place in the
framework of NATOs Partnership for Peace program and aim at
exercising peace-keeping tasks and strengthening bilateral
military ties. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

NATO SEMINAR AT SINAIA. On 14 and 15 July Romania hosted an
inter-parliamentary conference on Security and Regional
Cooperation in Central Europe, Radio Bucharest reported. The
seminar, which took place in the mountain resort of Sinaia, was
sponsored by the North Atlantic Assembly and attended by delegates
from major international organizations, all the NATO partner
countries, as well as representatives of East European countries
interested in NATOs Partnership for Peace Plan. NAA President Loic
Bouvard, who attended the second day of the conference, lectured
on the relationship between NATO and the countries in Central and
Eastern Europe. The conference was closed by Romanias President
Ion Iliescu. In a long address, he tried to define Romanias role
in the new Europe. Iliescu praised his countrys contribution to
ensuring peace and stability in a region plagued by conflicts. Dan
Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN-UKRAINIAN ROW SURFACES AT CONFERENCE. In other news form
the Sinaia seminar, the leader of Romanias parliamentary
delegation, Ioan Ratiu, called for the restitution to Romania of
territories lost under the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. Ratiu, one of
the leaders of the opposition National Peasant/Christian Democrat
Party and its candidate in the 1990 presidential election,
specifically mentioned northern Bukovina and southern Bessarabia,
which are now in Ukraine. The position expressed by Ratiu is
widely shared across Romanias political spectrum and targets both
Moldova and Ukraine. Addressing the conference, Romanian President
Ion Iliescu acknowledged for the first time publicly that Romanias
demand for a condemnation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was a
stumbling block to the signing of Romanias proposed treaties with
Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian ambassador to Romania, Leontii
Sanduleak, angrily rejected the demands, noting inter alia that
the legal basis of Ukraines possession of those areas postdates
the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and that none of Ukraines other
neighbors advance territorial claims on it, RFE/RLs corespondent
reported. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF OFFICIAL PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR BULGARIAN REFORMS. Russel
Kincaid, head of the mission of the International Monetary Fund to
Bulgaria, has confirmed that the IMF has decided to offer the
Bulgarian government a $100 million loan at the end of the summer,
plus another $200 million pending a further analysis of the
countrys economic performance later this year. As quoted in the 18
July issue of Pari, Kincaid said loans pledged by the IMF and the
Group of 24 industrialized states are likely to substantially
enhance the countrys currency reserves, despite that
Bulgaria--under an agreement not yet ratified--over the next few
months would have to pay $750 million to its creditors. He added
that a debt accord would be the most important economic
development in Bulgaria during 1994. In Ekspress, however, a
financial commentator writes that the IMF seems to have become
more skeptical about the government meeting up to its
expectations, noting that representatives of the organization just
recently spoke of $200 million to be disbursed at an earlier date.
The commentator says he believes the IMF is reluctant to make
further commitments until the political situation--with a cabinet
which has promised to resign this autumn--has become more
predictable. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

LUKASHENKA CRITICIZES AGREEMENT ON MONETARY UNION. In an interview
with Moskovskiye novosti, the Belarusian president-elect,
Alyaksandr Lukashenka, called the agreement on monetary union
signed by the former prime minister Vyacheslau Kebich and the
Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin a fig leaf used to
further Kebichs presidential campaign, Belarusian radio reported
on 15 July. Lukashenka said he had supported a version of the
monetary union which had been presented to the Belarusian
parliament last year and would only uphold that version. In
addition, Lukashenka said that reconstituting the former USSR is
unrealistic. Instead, he said he hoped a new formula for uniting
the former Soviet republics could be found which would respect the
principles of independent statehood. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

PREPARATIONS FOR ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN SUMMIT. Aleskandr Udaltsov of
the Russian Foreign Ministry has announced that preparations have
started for a meeting between Estonian President Lennart Meri and
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, BNS and ITAR-TASS reported on 15
July. The specifics of such a meeting may be discussed by the
Estonian and Russian deputy foreign ministers, Raul Malk and
Vitalii Churkin, respectively, on 19 July in Helsinki. Malk
pointed out that though Moscow has made no official proposal for a
Yeltsin-Meri meeting, the latest Russian statements suggest that
such a meeting can be viewed as real. Estonia is especially
interested in a prompt withdrawal of Russian troops from its
territory and has stated repeatedly that it is prepared to meet
with Russia at any level to resolve the outstanding issues.
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT TO ANNOUNCE NEW PREMIER NEXT WEEK? Diena
reported on 15 July that at a special session of the Saeima on 22
July the lawmakers are to discuss the draft of the law on
citizenship and naturalization and the resignation of the
government of Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs. President Guntis
Ulmanis said that he expects to announce the new prime minister
ten days after the resignation on 14 July of the Birkavss
government. In his consultations with the various political groups
in the parliament, Ulmanis was advised against calling for early
parliamentary elections; the only dissenting opinion came from
Latvias National Independence Movement which wants early
elections. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF APPROVES SPECIAL LOAN FOR LATVIA. The International Monetary
Fund has approved the second half of a $34 million economic
transformation loan to Latvia, RFE/RL correspondent in Washington
reported on 15 July. IMF noted that Latvia has made significant
progress in transforming its economy to a market base, even though
economic performance in 1993 and so far this year has been mixed.
The loan will be used to make structural reforms, reduce
inflation, and improve social assistance to those hardest hit by
the transformations. The first half of the loan was received in
December 1993. Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Keith Martin and Stan Markotich
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole