Every custom was once an eccentricity; every idea was once an absurdity. - Holbrook Jackson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 136, 20 July 1994


                              RUSSIA

YELTSIN ISSUES PRIVATIZATION ULTIMATUM. Both Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin and Privatization Minister Anatolii Chubais indicated
on 19 July that President Boris Yeltsin will implement the second
stage of privatization by decree if the State Duma fails to
approve the government's legislative package within the next three
days. Yeltsin has given the Duma "one more chance" to approve
post-voucher privatization, Chubais told Interfax. In a first
attempt on 13 July, the Duma failed to approve the legislation;
only 91 deputies voted in favor while 186 were opposed. Chubais
acknowledged that only about 35% of the Duma supports the bill,
and said he was pessimistic about its chances. Presidential
chief-of-staff Sergei Filatov indicated on 18 July that the
appropriate decrees are now ready for issuing. "The privatization
process is irreversible, and will continue no matter what,"
Filatov said. At a cabinet session on 19 July, Chernomyrdin
adopted a firm but conciliatory stance toward the Duma, arguing
that time constraints rather than the parliament's opposition make
decrees necessary. He stressed his continuing commitment to loyal
cooperation with the parliament. Chernomyrdin also said that a
fourth package of economic decrees is in preparation, including
more liberal tax provisions. The Duma on 20 July postponed debate
on the privatization bill for another day, to allow more time to
consider amendments.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN EXPORTS, UNEMPLOYMENT RISING. Russia's exports in the
first half of 1994 amounted to $21.3 billion, while imports were
set at $13.2 billion, according to trade ministry figures reported
by ITAR-TASS on 15 and 18 July. These figures reflect an increase
of 10.4% in exports and 3.9% in imports in comparison with the
first half of 1993. Oil exports rose by 11%; gas by 15%. The
ministry's statistics reflect a reorientation in Russian foreign
trade; developed countries account for an ever-growing share of
both exports and imports, while trade with developing countries,
former CMEA countries, China, Korea, and the former Yugoslavia is
still on the decline. Meanwhile, the labor ministry reported on 19
July that unemployment in Russia is nearing 10 million, although
only 1.3 million people are officially registered. If bankruptcy
provisions are applied strictly, 5 million who now comprise the
"hidden unemployed" could be added to the rolls virtually
overnight.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

GENERALS WARN OF DELAYED WITHDRAWAL FROM ESTONIA. Two top-ranking
Russian generals warned on 19 July that Russia would not meet its
commitment to withdraw all military forces from Estonia by 31
August. Reuters quoted Deputy Defense Minister Boris Gromov as
saying that troops would remain in Estonia after that date because
"things are significantly more complicated with Estonia than we
thought." In remarks reported by ITAR-TASS, Russian Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev spoke in stronger terms, saying that
Russian troops would still be in Estonia at the end of the year if
Tallinn did not provide social guarantees for the Russian-speaking
minority there. Defense Ministry representatives have often tied
the Baltic pull-out directly to treatment of the Russian minority,
a policy linkage that other government officials have tried to
deny; in this case, Grachev said that he was reflecting the views
of Russian government leaders.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN TO PARTICIPATE IN NORTHERN FLEET EXERCISE? Izvestiya on 19
July reported that a major three-day training exercise involving
surface ships, submarines, naval aviation, and over 2,000
personnel of the Russian Northern Fleet had commenced one day
earlier under the direction of fleet commander Admiral Oleg
Yerofeyev. The report said that Yeltsin was to participate in the
exercise, but noted, oddly, that the scale of the
maneuvers--particularly plans to launch ballistic and cruise
missiles--would be sharply curtailed if Yeltsin (who has been ill)
was not able to attend. Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry newspaper,
Krasnaya zvezda, also described the exercises on 19 July, but made
no mention of Yeltsin's participation. It described the maneuvers
as an operational-tactical exercise aimed at assessing both the
readiness of Russia's sea-based nuclear forces and the fleet's
conventional capabilities. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . WHILE PACIFIC FLEET FACES REDUCTIONS. Russia's naval CINC,
Admiral Feliks Gromov, told reporters in Vladivostok on 19 July
that the Pacific Fleet faces significant reductions and that
out-dated ships would be the first to be decommissioned, Interfax
reported. Gromov also said that a new fleet commander would soon
be named. In May, Admiral Georgii Gurinov was dismissed from that
post--ostensibly because of the fleet's sharply deteriorating
combat capabilities--following an explosion at a fleet arms depot.
The dismissal, which many believe actually to have been
politically motivated, provoked an outcry from many of the fleet's
officers. The Pacific Fleet is Russia's second largest, after the
Northern Fleet, and has been especially hard hit in recent years
by Russia's economic and social problems and by the declining
military budget.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

LOBOV DENIES URGING CHERNOMYRDIN'S RESIGNATION. Oleg Lobov,
President Yeltsin's longtime associate currently serving as the
secretary of the Russian Security Council, has issued a memorandum
denying that he had addressed a request to Yeltsin that Prime
Minister Chernomyrdin and his entire government resign. In the
memo, Lobov states his support for Chernomyrdin and the
government, according to the Russian TV program "Vesti" of 19
July.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

BASHKIR PARLIAMENT ACCEPTS PRIME MINISTER'S RESIGNATION.
Bashkortostan's parliament accepted on 19 July the resignation of
Prime Minister Anatolii Kopsov, an RFE/RL correspondent reported
from Moscow. Kopsov resigned on 18 July following allegations in
the local media that he used state funds to build a private villa.
(See the RFE/RL Daily Report of 19 July.) A senior official of the
Bashkortostan government told the correspondent that a special
parliamentary committee had been set up to investigate the
allegations.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

DID OPPENHEIMER SECRETLY VISIT THE USSR? Sergo Beria, the son of
the chief of Stalin's secret services, Lavrentii Beria, told
Russian Television on 15 July that in 1939, the head of the
American nuclear project, Robert Oppenheimer, suggested to the
Soviet government to create an atomic bomb. Oppenheimer made this
proposal during a secret visit to the USSR, where he met with
Lavrentii Beria and Soviet scientists. The reason for
Oppenheimer's proposal was allegedly his concern that Nazi Germany
could produce atomic weapons first. The special commission headed
by Vyacheslav Molotov rejected Oppenheimer's proposal as "too
fantastic", according Sergo Beria. Historian Dmitrii Volkogonov,
who has unique access to the Soviet archives, told the same
television program that he did not find any evidence about an
alleged visit by Oppenheimer. In June, the deputy director of the
Russian Foreign Intelligence, Vyacheslav Trubnikov, said that his
service has no information about alleged contacts of Oppenheimer
and other American nuclear scientists with Soviet intelligence
services.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

CIS DOCUMENTS APPROVED. CIS Foreign and Defense Ministers, meeting
in Moscow on 19 July, approved what Interfax called a "Convention
of Common Defense" and a "project for the development of
integration within the CIS." Details concerning the substance of
the agreements were not available, and although it was not clear
from the Interfax report, those CIS states that approved them
presumably came from among the signatory states to the CIS
Collective Security Treaty. Colonel General Viktor Samsonov, the
chief of the coordination committee for CIS military cooperation,
told Interfax that neither Azerbaijan nor Belarus had signed the
documents. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS DEFENSE MINISTERS FAIL TO AGREE ON ABKHAZ PEACEKEEPERS. The
CIS Defense Ministers failed, however, to reach agreement on the
formation of a CIS peacekeeping force to participate in the
ongoing operation along the frontier between Abkhazia and the rest
of Georgia, Interfax reported. Tajikistan was the only country
which offered to send peacekeeping troops; Grachev dismissed as
"useless" the offer by other unspecified CIS member states to send
observers. Some 2000 Russian peacekeeping troops are currently
deployed in Georgia.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS IN MOLDOVA CLOSE EYES TO VIOLATIONS. In
Nezavisimaya Gazeta of 16 July, Russia's chief delegate to the
Joint Control Commission supervising the armistice in Moldova,
Yurii Bychkov, was asked to comment on long-time Moldovan
complaints that supplementary "Dniester" forces and posts have
illegally been introduced in the demilitarized zone and have
denied access to Commission inspectors. Bychkov acknowledged those
steps by "Dniester" forces as "impermissible" and said that the
Commission had formally asked Tiraspol to live up to its
obligations. However, he failed to mention that the Russian
peacekeepers have taken no corrective measures and that Russian
inspectors have complied with the "Dniestr" interdictions of
access.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AKAEV ASKS RUSSIAN TV TRANSMISSION AID. Radio Mayak reported on 19
July that Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev has appealed to his
Russian counterpart for Russian government support of Ostankino TV
broadcasts to his country. According to the report, the plea was
motivated by the fact that as of 18 July, Ostankino had to
drastically reduce its broadcasts to Kyrgyzstan because of a lack
of money. Akaev, deeply concerned over rising interethnic tensions
and the large-scale migration of Russian-speakers out of
Kyrgyzstan, presumably saw the reduction in Ostankino broadcasts
as another blow against his efforts to make staying in Kyrgyzstan
an attractive proposition for its Russian population.  Bess Brown,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BAT IN UZBEKISTAN. The Financial Times reported in its 19 July
edition that the British tobacco and financial services group BAT
industries is close to signing a deal that would result in
Uzbekistan's largest privatization to date. Under the plan, BAT
would buy a 51 per cent stake in Uz Tobacco, a state-owned company
that runs the only cigarette factory and tobacco processing plants
in Central Asia's most populous country, for $60 million.
According to the report, BAT plans to invest a further $232
million over the next five years to upgrade the existent factory
and one of the processing plants, as well as build a new plant in
Samarkand. After the investment is completed, BAT expects to boost
Uzbekistan's cigarette production from 4 billion to 25 billion
cigarettes a year; estimated demand in Uzbekistan is 20 billion.
The article uses the example of BAT's difficult negotiations with
the Uzbek government to analyze the complexities of, but also
potential windfalls from, investing in Uzbekistan.  Keith Martin,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SERBS PLAY "I'VE GOT A SECRET" OVER PARTITION PLAN. International
media reported on 19 July that Bosnian Serb legislators ended two
days of debate in Pale and that their leaders drafted a
declaration to the international "contact group" in Geneva. The
document was kept secret in a sealed envelope, which the Serbs
plan to present in Geneva on 20 July. Observers tended to conclude
that the secretive behavior was an attempt to string the
international community along, and that the document would be a
vague text that would not constitute an outright rejection or
acceptance. The key element of the Serb response, however, seems
most likely to be a package of conditions.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

WHERE TO FROM HERE? For weeks diplomats and journalists have been
describing the proposal as a "take-it-or-leave-it" proposition,
and the Croats and Muslims accepted it on that basis. Now,
however, the Los Angeles Times quotes US National Security Adviser
Anthony Lake as saying that the plan is not so rigid and that the
parties may "reopen negotiations over details, including the map"
if they all agree. A "no" answer by the Serbs to the plan, Lake
added, would, however, lead to "consequences." Reuters on 19 July
quoted a British expert as saying that, if the Serbs in effect
reject the proposal, the major powers must either "swallow their
pride and hope to produce a slightly better peace plan . . . [or]
decide their credibility is at stake, their ultimatum has to be
fulfilled, and the arms embargo [on the Muslims] lifted." Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBS EXPEL 128 MUSLIMS FROM ROGATICA. Borba on 20 July quotes
Radio Sarajevo as saying that Serbs are continuing the ethnic
cleansing of eastern Bosnia by driving out this group of mainly
women and children to Sarajevo, while taking the 25-35 men to "a
Serbian labor camp" at Rudo. Meanwhile at the UN, Reuters reports
that the new chief prosecutor for war crimes says that he wants
the first indictments before the end of the year. The problem with
the investigation is, however, that it will require the
cooperation of officials in the Yugoslav area to carry it out; and
the Serbian authorities in particular are highly unlikely to hand
over indicted war criminals, some of whom sit in parliament or
hold other high positions. In Zagreb, finally, US Ambassador Peter
Galbraith denied that the Muslim-Croat alliance is under any real
strain, Reuters reported on 19 July.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

PERRY VISITS MACEDONIA. US Defense Secretary William Perry, who is
presently touring the south European states, on 19 July arrived in
the Republic of Macedonia. After talks with his counterpart Vlado
Popovski and President Kiro Gligorov, Perry told a press
conference that he believed Macedonia "in many ways is key for the
stability in the entire region." He said there are no plans to
augment the United Nations peacekeeping troops--consisting of 524
US and 600 Nordic soldiers--stationed in the country, but noted
that "peace and stability in the Balkans is a crucial matter not
just for this area but indeed for the whole world." Gligorov
informed journalists that the two had discussed the bilateral
dispute with Greece regarding Macedonia's name, flag, and
constitution, as well as the economic blockade Athens imposed five
months ago to compel Skopje into compliance. Perry and Popovski
also announced a defense cooperation agreement which will allow
Macedonia to receive excess US military equipment and send some of
its officers for training in the US. AFP and Reuters carried the
reports.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

TURKEY SUPPORTS POLAND'S EUROPEAN ASPIRATIONS. President Lech
Walesa made an official visit to Turkey on 19 and 20 July. Turkish
President Suleyman Demirel pledged his country's firm support for
Polish membership in "the most important European structures."
Both presidents stressed that the emergence of a democratic Russia
in a new Europe would be a "blessing," and that Russia should not
be pushed into isolation, Rzeczpospolita reports. Demirel
expressed the hope that Polish-Turkish trade will rise well above
the current level of $300 million, with a target of $1 billion
annually. The joint production of F-16 fighter-bombers and other
armaments was discussed, and Walesa visited the arms plant where
the jets are produced.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

PAWLAK FIRES PAP CHIEF. Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak
dismissed Polish Press Agency chief Ignacy Rutkiewicz on 19 July
and appointed a computer science professor, Wlodzimierz Gogolek,
to take his place, Rzeczpospolita reports. Although PAP is still
formally a government-owned agency, it has functioned as an
objective and impartial wire service since Rutkiewicz was
appointed in September 1990. With the exception of a brief period
under the Olszewski government, Rutkiewicz had held the post since
then. Pawlak's move came a few weeks after the opposition Freedom
Union (UW) had submitted draft legislation to transform PAP from a
government agency into a joint-stock corporation, thereby insuring
its independence from political interference. Government officials
refused to explain the decision, but Rutkiewicz theorized that the
UW draft had "set in motion a political mechanism" that prompted
the ruling parties to react with displeasure. Gogolek heads the
computer science department at a technical college in Radom.
Pawlak is a computer enthusiast, and recently made public his
Internet e-mail address (prime-minister@urm.gov.pl). Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH PRODUCTION BOOMS BUT PRICES ALSO RISE. The latest figures
from the Main Statistical Office (GUS) show that production in
June was 9.2% higher than in June 1993. In comparison with the
monthly average for 1992, June production was higher by 17.3%.
After two months of decline, wages climbed 1.6% in real terms in
June. While real wages dropped 6.8% in the first half of 1994,
they were still 4.7% higher in a year-to-year perspective,
Rzeczpospolita reported on 19 July. Prices rose a disturbing 2.3%
in June, an increase that GUS attributed to recent energy and
transport price hikes and the high cost of fresh fruit and
vegetables. June prices did not yet reflect protectionist
"equalizing payments" on selected agricultural imports, as these
were imposed only at the end of the month. But GUS expects these
surcharges to have only a minor impact on food prices. Overall,
prices were 31.3% higher in the first half of 1994 than for the
comparable period in 1993; January-June inflation for 1994 was
12.4%, Gazeta Wyborcza noted.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW COALITION AMONG SLOVAKIA'S RIGHT-OF-CENTER PARTIES? With
recent polls showing that the Democratic Party and the
Entrepreneurs' Party may not make it to the parliament, even in a
two-party coalition, on 19 July TASR reported that DP and EP
Chairmen Ivan Miklos and Vladimir Randa proposed to Democratic
Union Chairman Jozef Moravcik that a three-party preelection
coalition be created. Moravcik said his party would study the
proposal and said he also would not exclude the possibility of
creating a four-party coalition, together with the National
Democratic Party, which has already accepted an offer to be
included on the DU's candidate list. (Coalitions of two or three
parties require 7% of the vote to enter the parliament, compared
with 10% for coalitions of four or more parties.) The DU
Republican Council decided earlier that the party would go to the
elections independently and offered other right-of-center parties
the opportunity to be included on the candidate list. This
proposal, however, was rejected by both the EP and DP and caused
friction between the two parties and within the DP.  Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

CHANGES IN HUNGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY. The new leadership of the
Hungarian defense ministry was introduced on 18 July in the
presence of President Arpad Goncz and the new chairman of the
parliamentary defense committee, Imre Mecs (Alliance of Free
Democrats), MTI reported. Both defense minister Gyorgy Keleti and
his political state secretary, Andras Toth, belong to the
Hungarian Socialist Party. Colonel Jozsef Feher was appointed
administrative state secretary for defense with the rank of major
general, and deputy administrative secretary Maj. Gen. Jozsef
Kelemen was replaced by Lt. Gen. (retired) Laszlo Borsits,
chief-of- staff until 1991. Keleti listed three sources of threat
to regional security, namely the different sizes of the regular
armies of the region; civil war conflicts and differences over
nationality issues; and ongoing mass migration in the region.
Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

UNCERTAIN HUNGARIAN ECONOMIC PROSPECTS FOR 1995. According to a
report by the Kopint-Datorg economic research firm, Hungary cannot
in the short term improve its external balance of payments by
means of budgetary measures, MTI reported on 19 July. Should
exports improve, the current balance of payments deficit could be
reduced by $2 billion next year, but the budget deficit will still
be at least 400 billion forint and tax revenues will not
significantly increase. Should Hungary's GDP grow by 2%-3%, the
GDP-budget deficit ratio will not be significantly reduced.
Because of the high budget deficit, the inflation rate cannot fall
much below 20% and the level of unemployment will continue to
stagnate, the report concludes. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVAN-ROMANIAN TREATY TALKS DEADLOCKED. Romania's political
daily Adevarul on 18 July reported that Moldovan-Romanian
negotiations on a state treaty are "in crisis." Romania insists on
the formula "two Romanian states," deemed inappropriate by
Moldova, and on language about overcoming the consequences of the
Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, implying restitution to Romania of
territories currently in Moldova and Ukraine. Another major
stumbling block since 1991 has been Romania's wish to include
language implying a commitment to eventual Moldovan-Romanian
unification. Noting that Moldova had made its views clear,
Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandru Buruian declared that
"the ball is now in the Romanian court," Basapress reported on 19
July.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

NATO LEADER ON MOLDOVA'S SITUATION. Heading a delegation of the
North Atlantic Assembly to Chisinau, NAA chairman Loic Bouvard
said that Moldova "finds itself in a special geostrategic
situation, at the intersection of spheres of interest of larger
states," ITAR-TASS reported on 17 July. NAA "knows about Moldova's
internal difficulties, such as the Dniester problem and the
presence of [Russia's] 14th Army," and "intends to support
Moldova's independence and territorial integrity in the family of
European peoples," Bouvard said. In talks with Moldovan Prime
Minister Andrei Sangheli, Bouvard "came out for support to the
small states which emerged in the former Soviet space," Moldpres
reported on 18 July.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN RELIGIOUS CENTER IN DECAY. On 19 July the spiritual
leader of Bulgaria's largest monastery--located in the southwest
of the country--said authorities must return the monastery's
extensive properties to the Church or the religious center will
fall into deeper decay, Reuters reports. Abbot Yoan, speaking at a
press conference in Sofia, said half a century of communism has
reduced the Rila monastery to "shambles" and bigger revenues are
needed in order to restore its buildings and treasures. Before
nationalization of its properties in 1946, Yoan recalled, the Rila
monastery possessed nearly 2,500 hectares of forests and farm
land, a distillery, a timber plant, and a couple of dairy farms. A
major center of Orthodox Christianity in the Balkans, the Rila
monastery stands under the protection of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

KUCHMA APPOINTS STAFF CHIEF. Ukraine's new president, Leonid
Kuchma, has made his first staff appointment, Interfax reported on
19 July. Dmytro Tabachnyk was named head of the presidential
staff. Previously Tabachnyk had worked as the press secretary of
the cabinet and headed the public relations department of the
government.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

IN THE BELARUSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY. On 18 July Belarusian radio
reported an interview with Belarusian Foreign Minister Piotr
Krauchanka regarding his 15-16 July meeting with EU
representatives in Trieste. According to Krauchanka, it will be at
least 10-15 years before Belarus can be integrated into the EU.
Before Belarus can be integrated, Krauchanka says it must change
over to a market economy. He also said the EU is not willing to
accept Belarus at this point because Belarus is poor while western
Europe is rich. Therefore, Belarus's markets in Russia and Ukraine
must be preserved. On 20 July Interfax reported that the main
priority of Belarus's foreign ministry under Lukashenka will be
the creation of favorable conditions for the country's economic
development. It is also expected that there will be a shakeup in
the foreign ministry and one of the new key figures will be
29-year-old Valery Tsypkala, a graduate of the Moscow Institute
for International Relations and one-time advisor to the former
chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Stanislau Shushkevich, on foreign
affairs. He had supported Lukashenka in his election campaign.
Tsypkala has been critical of Krauchanka's record as foreign
minister saying that he had spent too much time promoting
Belarusian culture rather than addressing economic issues.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

LAAR ON ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN SUMMIT. Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar
has denied rumors that the Russian and Estonian presidents are to
meet in Helsinki. Laar said the principal issue at such a meeting
would be the withdrawal of Russian forces from Estonia. In this
context he declared that despite Russia's insistence that Estonia
sign an accord similar to the Latvian-Russian treaty, Estonia
"will by no means sign such an agreement," Interfax and BNS
reported on 19 July. Laar also told the press that there will be a
flag-lowering ceremony at the Russian Baltic Fleet's base in
Tallinn when it leaves Estonia later this month; after this base
is vacated, three more Russian military facilities still remain in
Estonia: Paldiski submarine base, Russian navy headquarters for
Estonia and the 144th Motorized Rifle Division based in Tallinn
and Keila.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT TO FORM NEW LATVIAN GOVERNMENT? Diena
reported on 19 July that President Ulmanis has proposed that
Latvia's National Independence Movement form the new national
government. LNIM has until the end of this week to consider the
proposal and its ability to form an administration. The president
is expected to announce the name of the LNIM prime
minister-designate on 21 July. Should the LNIM fail to obtain the
necessary support for its ministerial candidates in the
parliament, then the president will ask Latvia's Way to try form
the government.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN-RUSSIAN COMMISSION STARTS WORK. A mixed commission of
Latvian and Russian representatives has finally started work on
resolving outstanding differences and problems related to the
withdrawal of Russian forces from Latvia, Diena reported on 19
July. The Latvian side had already chosen its 17 representatives
shortly after the Latvian-Russian accords related to the troop
pullout were signed on 30 April, while the Russian side designated
its representatives only recently. The Russian parliament has also
just started to examine those accords in preparation for their
eventual ratification. The Foreign Affairs Commission of the
Latvian Saeima has decided to wait and see what the Russian
parliament does, rather than to rush with the ratification
process; the commission does not expect Russian ratification
before 1 August. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW LITHUANIAN ENVOY TO THE UN. President Algirdas Brazauskas has
named Oskaras Jusys, 40, to replace the 85-year-old Anicetas
Simutis as Lithuania's ambassador to the United Nations, BNS
reported on 18 July. Jusys, who holds a doctorate in law, headed
the legal affairs department of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry
and also served as an advisor to the foreign minister.  Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

TEN CHILDREN DIE NEAR PESTICIDES IN ALBANIA. In the town of Milot
in the past six months, seven women have had miscarriages and
three children died after premature birth, Zeri I Popullit
reported on 15 July. In all cases the pregnant women lived near a
pesticide storage area in which 94 out of 450 tons of old
pesticides are located. The toxic waste came to Albania from
Germany marked as humanitarian aid in 1992. Greenpeace recently
warned that the pesticides could contaminate Lake Shkoder, the
biggest lake in the Balkans, and brought one truck of them back to
Germany. German Environmental Minister Klaus Toepfer estimated
last November that it would cost about DM 1.4 million to
neutralize the poisons. Nonetheless, there has been no follow-up
visit of German experts to the area. Meanwhile, the neglected
containers could well explode because of the continuing hot
weather, Koha Jone reported on 2 July.  Fabian Schmidt

  [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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Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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Updated: 1998-11-

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©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole