|Genius is an African who dreams up snow. Vladimir Nabokov - Vladimir Nabokov|
No. 135, 19 July 1994
RUSSIA RUSSIA, US CLASH ON IRAQI SANCTIONS. A UN Security Council decision on 19 July that maintained sanctions against Iraq failed nevertheless to resolve mounting differences between Russia and the US on how Iraqi behavior is to be assessed in the future. According to Reuters, Russia spearheaded an effort, backed by France, China, and Brazil, aimed at least at winning UN recognition that Iraq is making progress in complying with UN disarmament demands. The US, backed by Britain and other countries, strongly opposed such a statement. Reuters quoted the council president, Jamsheed Marker, as saying that the divisions in the 15-member council were so severe that "no consensus" could be reached on issuing any official statement. The same report said that Russia interpreted the original 1991 ceasefire resolution as conditioning the lifting of the oil embargo on Iraq solely upon Baghdad's compliance with disarmament demands; the US wants to tie the lifting of the embargo to a broader pattern of Iraqi compliance. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. VORONTSOV ON RUSSIA'S POSITION. Russia's permanent representative to the UN, Yurii Vorontsov, told journalists on 18 July that Moscow was calling upon the UN to establish a "limited-term deadline" on the lifting of the oil embargo and urging that "clearer procedures" be put in place to assess compliance with Security Council demands, Reuters reported. He was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying "we think that the positive aspect of Iraq's meeting the disarmament requirements . . . has greater weight than the doubts that remain" and, in apparent criticism of the US position, added that "any attempt . . . to interpret the formulation of the Security Council resolutions in a broad manner is in contradiction to the task of strengthening the legal basis of the Security Council's authority." On 7 July Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev met unexpectedly in St. Petersburg with Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, who reportedly asked for Moscow's support in lifting the oil embargo on Iraq. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. CONTINUING CONTROVERSY OVER JOINT RUSSIAN-US EXERCISES. On 16 July a delegation from the Russian State Duma, led by defense committee chairman Sergei Yushenkov, arrived in the Orenburg region of Russia to assess the merits of conducting a joint US-Russian peacekeeping exercise at the Totsk training ground there. The exercise was originally scheduled for 6-14 July, but was postponed due to opposition in the Russian parliament. According to ITAR-TASS reports, the visiting deputies were scheduled to meet not only with local leaders, but also with Colonel General Eduard Vorobev, Ground Forces First Deputy CINC, and officers from the 27th Guards Motor Rifle Division, which has been tapped to participate in the joint maneuvers. Although Yushenkov, as well as the Defense and Foreign Ministries, favor holding the exercise, it remains a politically charged issue. ITAR-TASS quoted Nikolai Bezborodov, deputy chairman of the Duma defense committee, as saying that the exercise should be postponed because of local opposition; another legislator suggested that the exercise should be conducted without the US forces because their presence "might have unpredictable consequences." A local legislator suggested to ITAR-TASS that the exercise was resented because it had been planned without consulting regional leaders. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. GERMANS CONCERNED OVER RUSSIAN NUCLEAR SMUGGLING. The Chief of the German Federal Chancellery Bernd Schmidtbauer said that the German authorities are very alarmed by smuggling of nuclear materials involving both international criminal rings and some Russian officials, German TV reported on 16 July. Schmidtbauer, who is responsible for the German security services, said that the German police in Stuttgart recently discovered highly radioactive material produced in Russia. The recent case of nuclear smuggling gives a new dimension to the whole problem, because it was impossible without involvement of some Russian officials, Schmidtbauer noted. He expressed fear that such nuclear materials could fall into the hands of terrorists and find their way into unstable areas, in particular the Balkans. Schmidtbauer added that German security authorities were in a position to find out the origin of the confiscated material, as it bears "fingerprinting" which ties it to a specific production facility. He said that this data will be transferred to Russian law enforcement organs and may help them to find the officials responsible for the recent case of smuggling. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. BASHKORTOSTAN PRIME MINISTER SUBMITS RESIGNATION. Bashkortostan's Prime Minister Anatolii Kopsov submitted his resignation on 18 July after local television broadcast a program about his lavish villa. ITAR-TASS quoted Kopsov as saying his decision was "dictated by circumstances which do not let me perform my duties." The speaker of the republican parliament, Yurii Demin, told reporters that deputies were reluctant to accept the resignation. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. TURKEY WANTS CONSULATE IN KAZAN. Turkish deputy premier Murat Karayalcin asked Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets on 18 July for Russia's cooperation in opening a Turkish consulate in Kazan in the light of the expanding business ties between Turkey and Tatarstan, ITAR-TASS reported. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Albert Chernyshev (former Soviet and then Russian Ambassador to Turkey) was quoted as saying he expected a swift and positive response to the Turkish request. During his 6-day official visit Soskovets is expected to discuss with Turkish leaders the controversial new Turkish restrictions on shipping through the Turkish straits which threaten to curtail a projected expansion of oil exports from and via Russia. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN TV URGED TO STOP AIRING ADS OF TWO COMPANIES. Russia's anti-monopoly committee has addressed Aleksandr Yakovlev and Oleg Poptsov, chairmen of the two federal broadcasting companies, Ostankino and Russian Television, respectively, with a request to stop airing ads of two Russian financial corporations, GMM and MMM. The committee claimed that the ads, broadcast on both channels several times a day, violate at least two provisions of President Yeltsin's decree on fairness in advertising: they claim to guarantee future profits of their clients, and they do not reveal the precise figures of the dividends they have paid to shareholders. Although Ostankino reported the request in its 18:00 evening news on 18 July , the ads of the two companies continued to be broadcast on both channels later that night. It may be noted that in December 1993, one of the firms, GMM, was accused of having financed the campaign of the ultranationalist parliamentarian, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and thus has been a target of continuous attacks ever since. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS CIS DEFENSE MINISTER MEET; AGREEMENT APPROVED. CIS Defense Ministers opened a three-day meeting in Moscow on 18 July under the chairmanship of Russian Deputy Defense Minister Boris Gromov; cooperation in peacekeeping operations was reportedly the focus of the first day's discussions. Col. Gen. Viktor Samsonov, chief of the coordination committee for CIS military cooperation, told ITAR-TASS that consensus had not been reached on the issue of participation in peacekeeping activities. Interfax reported that an agreement on principles of collective security was reached, however, by the signatory states to the CIS Collective Security Agreement. The document, which will be submitted to a future meeting of the CIS Heads of State, says that signatory states can use all means at their disposal to ensure collective security, giving priority to non-violent means. It also describes territorial claims, local wars and armed conflicts along CIS borders, and the proliferation of nuclear and mass destruction weapons as primary security threats, and says that the task of Russia's strategic nuclear forces is to prevent aggression against treaty countries. ITAR-TASS reported that nine CIS states had sent Defense Ministry heads to the meeting; Ukraine, Turkmenistan, and Moldova sent observers. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVAN VIEW OF RUSSIAN PRESSURE. Moldovan Parliament Vice-Chairman Nicolae Andronic, a key leader in the ruling Agrarian Democratic Party, told Radio Chisinau on 16 July that Russia's Duma and Foreign Ministry are advancing unacceptable conditions for ratification of the Russian-Moldovan interstate treaty, signed by Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Mircea Snegur in September 1990 and ratified one month later by Moldova, in which the sides had recognized each other's territorial integrity. Ratification by Russia "could end territorial demands and attempts at dismembering Moldova, and would prevent certain Russian dignitaries from describing Transdniester as a separate republic," Andronic said. However, Moscow now demands dual Russian-Moldovan citizenship, the recognition of Russian as an official language on a par with the native language in Moldova, and the signing of a document on the status of Moldova's "Russian-speaking population" as preconditions to treaty ratification, Adronic said. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN PARLIAMENTARY LEADER ON SETTLEMENT IN MOLDOVA. At an international conference in Romania on security in Central Europe, sponsored by the North Atlantic Assembly and attended by representatives of major international organizations and of all NATO's Partnership for Peace signatories, Russian State Duma First Deputy Speaker Mikhail Mityukov touched in his address on the principles for settling the conflict in Moldova. He said that those principles must include Moldova's sovereignty and integrity and at the same time "the granting to the Dniester region of a state status," ITAR-TASS reported on 17 July. Mityukov, a member of the democratic-liberal movement Russia's Choice, also argued that Russia's 14th Army "guarantees peace" in Moldova and that its eventual withdrawal is a bilateral matter between "sovereign Moldova" and Russia. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA PROGRESS IN AZERBAIJAN OIL DEAL. The talks initiated three years ago between the Azerbaijani government and the consortium of eight Western oil companies on the exploitation of the Azeri and Shirag fields will probably be completed by the end of August, reported Interfax on 17 July, quoting a source close to Azerbaijani president Heidar Aliev. Azerbaijan has a 30 percent share in the consortium of which it has given 10 percent to the Russian Lukoil company. On 15 July Interfax reported that representatives of the consortium and of Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR had reached an agreement on exporting the oil via Russia, which will involve construction of a pipeline from Baku to Grozny, rather than from Baku via Turkey. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW FUND FOR CENTRAL ASIA. The Clinton administration announced the creation of a Central Asian-American enterprise fund on 15 July, Reuters reports. It is to be capitalized with $150 million in US government assistance over the next three to four years, and is intended to promote private sector development in the five Central Asian republics. Offices will apparently first be established in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, because those republics have shown the greatest commitment to market reform, Radio Liberty has learned. President Bill Clinton named former Congressman Stephen Solarz to chair the fund, as he has traveled to Central Asia on several occasions, and is best known in the region for his criticism of human rights abuses. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SERBS STILL DEBATING BOSNIAN PARTITION PLAN. RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service reported on 18 July that the Muslim consultative assembly meeting in Sarajevo passed a non-binding resolution approving the peace plan. The joint Muslim-Croat federal parliament then went into session to endorse the measure, which had earlier been backed by the Croat legislature. At nearby Pale, however, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic issued what the 19 July Washington Post dubs a call for the Serb assembly to reject the plan. He told his people: "if we reject the plan we must prepare ourselves to reject all attacks by our enemies but also to move into enemy territory and . . . utterly defeat our foes. We must confront air strikes; we must down the largest possible number of planes and take each downed pilot prisoner," Reuters quoted him as saying. But the Post and the New York Times suggest there is much confusion surrounding statements by US and UN officials as to who would put up the extra military muscle necessary to enforce the plan, and in what form. UN commander Gen. Sir Michael Rose told Reuters that NATO, not UNPROFOR, would have to do the work. The Post quotes another UN official as saying the Americans, however, are "trying to get something on the cheap." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. UN CONDEMNS LATEST SERB ETHNIC CLEANSING. AFP reported on 18 July that the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees slammed recent thefts, beatings, and expulsions of Muslims by Serbs around Bijeljina and Janja in northeast Bosnia. The UNHCR has sent a formal protest note to the Serb authorities. The brutal and arbitrary expulsions recall not only the recent ones near Banja Luka, but also those in 1992 described by Roy Gutman in his book Witness to Genocide. Elsewhere in Bosnia, Reuters said on 17 July that some local Muslim and Croat leaders were violating the letter and spirit of their alliance and taking measures against the other group's people. One relief worker said that "it's been amateur hour in central Bosnia," while a diplomat in Sarajevo added: "the Americans got credit for the Muslim-Croat federation and they deserved it, but they're going to get the blame for its collapse, and they're going to deserve that, too." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. CROATIA DEMANDS UNPROFOR ACT AGAINST SERBS. Croatian and international media reported on 18 July that the Croatian parliament, or sabor, passed a non-binding resolution calling on UNPROFOR to station itself along Croatia's borders to interdict Serb supply lines, and to help refugees return to their homes in the Serb-held 30% of Croatia's territory by 30 September, the day that UNPROFOR's latest mandate expires. Impatience is again growing in Croatia over UNPROFOR's repeated failure to reintegrate the occupied areas into Croatia. The pattern over past renewals of the mandate has been that the Croats threaten and protest; the international community, especially Bonn and Washington, offers Zagreb carrots and sticks to extend the mandate; and the Croat authorities comply, declaring victory all the while. Reuters, however, quotes a senior diplomat as saying that the reality is that "a change in the mandate will not happen because the international community will not fight wars for Croatia." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVENIA SAYS NO' TO ITALIAN PROPERTY CLAIMS. Reuters reported on 18 July that Ljubljana has rejected Rome's demands that Italians who fled or were driven from Tito's Yugoslavia be given back their property if it is state-owned, or be allowed the first option to buy it back if it is held by Slovenes. Italy has blocked Slovenia's attempts to join the EU over the issue, which Slovenia's foreign minister called "extortion." Ljubljana claims that EU foreigners could be given legal rights to own property in Slovenia once that country were invited to join the EU, and that Italian claims have been adequately dealt with first by Yugoslavia in 1975, and then by Slovenia and Croatia since independence. On 15 June the Neue Zuercher Zeitung pointed out that Italian domestic politics are at the root of the problem, given the political influence of refugees from the former Yugoslavia and the position of the neo-fascists in the current coalition government. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SANDZAK UPDATE. In the region of Novi Pazar, Sjenica and Tutin, in the Serbian part of Sandzak, police have recently made a series of mass arrests and issued summons for so-called "informative talks," or interrogations, the Muslim National Council reported on 8 July. In other instances, police abused citizens and engaged torture while allegedly searching for arms. In a further development, 67 persons reportedly were arrested on the charge of possessing arms. Similar cases were reported by the Humanitarian Law Fund, a Belgrade-based human rights group already in March. The HLF claimed that Muslims had been forced to buy weapons, only in order to surrender them to the police later. Those who did not participate in the farce reportedly risked being tortured by the police. Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH SENATE BLOCKS RENT REFORM. Yielding to populist reasoning, the Senate voted 37 to 16, with 13 abstentions, on 15 July to reject legislation meant to enact a market-oriented "rent revolution" in Poland, PAP reports. The legislation, backed by Housing Minister Barbara Blida of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), would have affected 3.5 million apartments owned by the state and municipalities, or one-third of all units. It would have empowered local communities to bring rents into line with maintenance costs (the maximum rent has not been raised in more than two years) and permitted the expulsion of non-paying tenants. Poor families were to receive rental supplements. The Senate's decision was unexpected, as the Sejm had passed the legislation by a wide margin at the beginning of July. Most of the opposition came from Blida's own SLD, as well as Solidarity; SLD senators charged that the law would prompt mass expulsions and raise rents to "inhuman" levels. The opposition Freedom Union was put in the awkward but increasingly common position of defending government legislation from ruling SLD deputies, whose instincts appear more and more often to be fundamentally non-market. The Sejm can override the Senate's veto if it musters a two-thirds majority. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. "WEIMAR TRIANGLE" DEFENSE MINISTERS IN WARSAW. In the latest in a series of contacts among officials from the "Weimar Triangle" of France, Germany, and Poland, the three countries' defense ministers met in Warsaw on 18 July, Rzeczpospolita reports. The meeting yielded an agreement to stage joint military maneuvers in France in the fall and to form a joint commission on arms technology. German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe said that Poland should be among the first East European countries to gain NATO membership, and, speaking only for himself, predicted that this could take place before the end of the century. Ruehe also stressed that Russia's assent is not necessary to expand NATO. But French Defense Minister Francois Leotard warned against "creating new iron curtains in Europe." Leotard also told journalists, who were disappointed at the lack of dramatic pronouncements, that "Poland's difficulties in joining NATO are nothing in comparison with the process of French-German reconciliation," Gazeta Wyborcza reports. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH BISHOP SOUNDS ALARM. In a pastoral letter read out in all churches in the Lublin region on 17 July, Lublin Bishop Ryszard Karpinski charged that a recent arson attack on a local church was "the fruit of deliberate and consciously planned propaganda against the Church." Arsonists daubed the church with anarchist slogans before setting it afire on 11 July. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, Karpinski condemned a "resurgence of antireligious sentiments of a force unheard of even during the Occupation or Stalinism" in the mass media. High-ranking state officials are promoting "atheistic, antinational, and antihuman" values that serve a "civilization of death," he charged This campaign has proved persuasive, the bishop wrote, because such detrimental principles are often cloaked in the garb of liberalism, freedom, and "the return to Europe." The bishop's letter reflects the hardening of attitudes that has resulted from the Sejm's vote to delay ratification of the concordat and anticlerical statements from the ruling coalition. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL EUROPEAN SUMMIT. The leaders of the 10-member Central European Initiative (CEI) adopted in Trieste on 16 July an economic document calling for the further liberalization of trade between their countries. The CEI foreign ministers approved a draft declaration that would become politically binding and would strengthen the norms for the protection of minority rights. According to Western news agencies and the 18 July issue of Magyar Hirlap, the norms in part go beyond those already set by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and would, among other things, make possible the erection of bilingual and multilingual locality signs. Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus proposed that Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, and Ukraine, CEI associate members since Spring 1994, be admitted as full members as soon as possible, while Italy, now seemingly more interested in the Balkan region than in Central Europe, called for Albania's admission. According to CTK, Klaus' view is that the European Union and the Central European Trade Agreement should be the forums for broader economic cooperation in the region while the CEI should serve as a top level forum for broad political dialogue. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK CRIME INVESTIGATION IMPROVES. On 18 July Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner announced that in recent months the number of criminal cases which were solved improved by almost 20%. Police Chief Stefan Lastovka said that of the 74,918 criminal cases which occurred in the first half of 1994, the police solved 37.4%. The police solved 68.4% of the 4,345 cases of economic crime and 84.6% of the 5,089 cases of violent crime; of a total of 56 murder cases, the police solved 51. Burglaries and property crime have been more difficult; only 24.2% of the 22,913 cases of burglary and about 25% of the 58,713 cases of property crime were solved. Since the beginning of the year the number of motor vehicle thefts has increased significantly, rising from 780 in January to 4,503 in June. Only 14.3% have been solved. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. YUGOSLAV, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. The foreign ministers of Hungary and rump Yugoslavia, Laszlo Kovacs and Vladislav Jovanovic, met in Budapest on 17 July, MTI reports. Jovanovic described the two countries' bilateral relations as "favorable" and said Belgrade was ready to normalize them and supported Hungary's active participation in solving regional problems. Kovacs also called for upgrading bilateral ties and said Hungary continued to pay "particular attention" to the situation of the Magyar minority in Vojvodina and supported their "legitimate aspirations" and the holding of talks between the Serbian leadership and the Democratic Community of Hungarians of Vojvodina. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN PREMIER IN BONN. Gyula Horn's first foreign visit took him to Bonn on 18 July to discuss bilateral economic and European Union related issues with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. According to MTI, Kohl promised Germany's support in fixing a date and a schedule for the negotiations leading to Hungary's full EU membership. Horn asked for greater German participation in Hungary's bank privatization process and infrastructural investments as well as the cancellation of the remainder (DM 300 to 350 million) of Hungary's DM 400 million debt to the former East Germany. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc. PERRY IN BUCHAREST . . . On 18 July US Defense Secretary William Perry ended a two-day visit to Bucharest, Radio Bucharest and Western agencies report. Romania is the first leg of a tour that also includes Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Greece, Albania, Turkey and Italy. Perry will also visit Sarajevo on 22 July. In Bucharest, he discussed bilateral military cooperation, NATO's new role in Europe, and the crisis in former Yugoslavia with Romania's President Ion Iliescu, Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca. Perry predicted a deeper US and NATO military involvement in Bosnia, irrespective of the outcome of negotiations over an international plan designed to bring peace in the region. Senior Romanian officials expressed satisfaction over the visit's outcome. The two countries agreed on holding joint military training exercises. In addition, the US promised to provide some equipment and to assist Romania in reforming its army. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . AND SOFIA. In the afternoon, Perry traveled on to Bulgaria where he was met by Foreign Minister Stanislav Daskalov. Perry and Daskalov held extensive talks on US-Bulgarian defense cooperation within the framework of the Partnership for Peace program, and subsequently signed a memorandum to that effect. BTA says the key features of the document are US assistance in developing new Bulgarian defense legislation, training of military personnel, exchange visits of defense ministry staff and warships. In the evening, Perry was received by President Zhelyu Zhelev, with whom he discussed regional security and, in particular, issues related to the latest Bosnian peace plan. Zhelev said he had no disagreements with Perry but that the UN, NATO, the US and Russia appear to find themselves "on the eve of important decisions." Asked how Washington would react if the Bosnian Serbs rejected the peace plan, Perry remarked that the US is not the only actor and that Bosnia in the end will need a political settlement. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. KUCHMA SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT. In a modest ceremony Leonid Kuchma was sworn in as president of Ukraine on 19 July, various agencies reported. Kuchma has made economic reform his top policy priority. He has said that he will ease the tax burden and liberalize foreign exchange controls in an attempt to start economic reforms. Kuchma has also played down the notion that he seeks to restore any close political links with Russia. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. WILL KUCHMA REPLACE THE DEFENSE MINISTER? On 16 July Ukrainian television reported rumors that newly elected President Kuchma plans to replace the defense minister, Vitalii Radetsky. The ministry will reportedly be offered to the chief-of-staff, Ivan Oliinyk. Oliinyk has a doctorate in technical science and worked in the strategic rocket forces. He had served a deputy defense minister when Konstyantyn Morozov was the defense minister. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIA TO BUY UKRAINIAN ARMS. Following a three-day visit to Kiev, Latvian Defense Minister Valdis Pavlovskis told Diena of 14 July that his country and Ukraine had forged an agreement on various forms of military cooperation, including the exchange of information and experience. On 18 July ITAR-TASS reported that the agreement allows Latvian officers to act as international observers with Ukrainian units in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It also says that Latvia will buy weapons from Ukraine. Ustina Markus and Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. BALTIC-EU FREE TRADE ACCORDS SIGNED. The twelve states of the European Union signed in Brussels free trade agreements with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on 18 July, Western agencies reported. The accords, which will come into effect on 1 January 1995, provide for free trade of industrial goods and some concessions on agricultural products. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, whose country holds the EU presidency, said that increasing trade was the most important way to foster economic reforms in the Baltic States and added that the accords took into account "the deep European identity" of the Baltics. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. BALTIC MILITARY LEADERS SATISFIED WITH MANEUVERS. Commanders of the Baltic armed forces--Aleksandr Einseln of Estonia, Dainis Turlais of Latvia, and Jonas Andriskevicius of Lithuania--expressed satisfaction with the first joint maneuvers that were held in Lithuania from 12 to 15 July. The troops used only light weapons and blank cartridges during the exercises. Afterwards, the commanders discussed the formation of the Baltic peacekeeping battalion and some of the envisaged structural changes. An agreement on the battalion, to operate under a UN mandate, must still be endorsed by the Baltic governments and parliaments. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Keith Martin 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. This report is also available by postal mail, as are the other publications of the Institute, and by fax. 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