When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves. - Katherine Mansfield
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 138, 22 July 1994

                              RUSSIA

SOLZHENITSYN IS BACK. Once the most famous Russian exiles, the
writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn arrived at Moscow's Yaroslav railway
station on 21 July at 8:45 PM (local time). The Nobel prize winner
was greeted by a crowd of friends and other supporters as well as
by a group of hard-core communist opponents. On the official side,
a government delegation headed by Moscow mayor Yurii Luzhkov also
waited at the station to meet the great writer. Both Luzhkov and
Solzhenitsyn addressed the crowd from the rostrum built for this
purpose at the station. The ceremony was broadcast live in the
course of the 9 o'clock Ostankino newscast. Earlier that day,
President Boris Yeltsin's press-secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov
announced that the president intends to meet Solzhenitsyn soon.
Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOSCOW CLAIMS EXPANDED NATO THREATENS CFE TREATY . . . In what
appears to be its latest attempt to obstruct the integration of
Eastern European states into NATO and, at the same time, win
desired changes in a key arms control treaty, Moscow has claimed
that the expansion of NATO would violate the 1990 CFE
(Conventional Forces in Europe) Treaty. RFE/RL reported on 22 July
that Russian diplomat Vyacheslav Kulebyakin told arms negotiators
in Vienna this week that the CFE Treaty had been intended to
provide for a balance of forces between two blocs--NATO and the
Warsaw Pact--and that the entry of Eastern European states into
NATO would alter that balance. He said that the need for this
balance still exists, despite the collapse of the Warsaw Pact.
Kulebyakin also told reporters that the admission of Eastern
European states into NATO is opposed by the Russian military
leadership, and that Moscow intends to press at the highest
levels--he mentioned Boris Yeltsin's upcoming summit with the US
President--for the dissolution of all multi-lateral security
groupings. Russia has long contested CFE sub-limits that constrain
its plans to deploy more forces in the North Caucasus and the
Leningrad Military Districts.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . BUT OFFERS COOPERATION PROPOSALS. Moscow's newly articulated
opposition to NATO's expansion has apparently not stopped it from
continuing to pursue proposals related to the vehicle for that
expansion, the Partnership for Peace program. Russian Foreign
Ministry spokesman Mikhail Demurin told reporters in Moscow on 21
July that NATO experts have reacted positively to proposals
contained in Russia's presentation document to the partnership
program, Interfax reported. He said that consultations between
Russian and NATO experts had revealed a common approach to the
program; the Russian side, he added, said that its aim was to work
out a broad program of cooperation that takes into consideration
Russia's size and importance.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

GRACHEV CALLS FOR CIS DEFENSE ALLIANCE. While speaking to
reporters following the signing of the defense agreements with
Kyrgyzstan, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev described the
CIS Collective Security Treaty as a mere formality and called for
the creation of a real CIS defense union, Interfax reported. It
was the Russian Defense Ministry under Grachev that in June 1993
effectively scuttled the existing CIS joint armed forces and its
military command following disagreements that pitted Russia
against the other CIS states over the shape that the defense
organization should take.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILITARY LEADERSHIP DISOWN LEBED REMARKS. Russian Defense Ministry
spokesmen, speaking to reporters on 21 July, said that Russian
military leaders do not share with 14th Army commander General
Aleksandr Lebed an affinity for the strongarm methods used by
Chilean General Augusto Pinochet. Lebed's remarks appeared in a 20
July Izvestiya interview. The spokesmen nevertheless said that
Lebed would not be disciplined. Lebed has a long history of making
inflammatory political statements, always with impunity.  Stephen
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

DUMA AGAIN FAILS TO APPROVE PRIVATIZATION BILL . . . The State
Duma voted twice on the government's post-voucher privatization
program on 21 July, but failed to muster the 225 votes required to
pass it in both attempts. The first ballot was 212 to 74, or just
14 votes short; the second was 196 to 100, ITAR-TASS reported.
Opposition to the legislation remained strong despite the
government's acceptance of proposed amendments. These included:
giving the parliament the final say in the privatization of firms
worth more than 200 billion rubles ($100 million); imposing a
moratorium on the sale of land until a land law is adopted; and
blocking the sale of health care and educational facilities.
Debate was heated, with opponents calling the post-voucher plan
"anti-national," and Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir
Zhirinovsky arguing that privatization amounted merely to an
attempt by illegal usurpers of power to build a "social base." He
proposed instead a "special prison for reformers." Both
Privatization Minister Anatolii Chubais and presidential
staff-members again indicated that President Yeltsin is set to
impose the program by decree. The government may prefer, however,
to make a further attempt to browbeat the Duma into approving the
bill, in order to spread the political responsibility for
privatization as widely as possible.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . BUT APPROVES BAIKONUR TREATY. Despite the fact that many
deputies had complained about the price Russia will pay to use the
Baikonur space station in Kazakhstan ($115 million a year for the
next 20 years) under a draft Russian-Kazakh agreement, the State
Duma approved the treaty on 21 July, with only 4 deputies voting
against approval, Interfax reported. Since Kazakhstan's parliament
approved the measure last week, the treaty is now fully ratified,
and may help bring to an end the tensions between the two states
over Baikonur.  Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

GERMANY INSISTS SEIZED PLUTONIUM PRODUCED IN RUSSIA. The New York
Times reported on 21 July that Germany's Federal Criminal Office
in Wiesbaden has repeated its charge that two-tenths of an ounce
of highly enriched plutonium, seized by German police in May in
the German town of Tengen, had in fact been produced in Russia
(see RFE/RL Daily Report, 17 July). Russian foreign intelligence
spokesmen have denied that the material came from Russia. Leopold
Schuster, the head of the criminal office, was quoted by the Times
as saying that tests performed on the nuclear material by a
nuclear research group in Karlsruhe demonstrated that it was of
Russian origin. Schuster's remarks came at a news conference in
Wiesbaden that followed a meeting with the heads of the organized
crime units of the FBI, the Russian Interior Ministry, the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police, and the Anti-Mafia Investigative Managing
Board of Italy, the Times reported.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN ATTENDS GLAZUNOV'S EXHIBITION. On 20 July President
Yeltsin visited the exhibition of the prominent nationalist artist
Ilya Glazunov. Adored by the communist and ultra-nationalist
opposition to Yeltsin, Glazunov's art is usually dismissed as
kitsch by art critics. At the exhibition, Yeltsin spent twenty
minutes longer then he initially planned, saying that Glazunov's
pictures are close to his heart because of their "patriotic"
content, adding that they make him to feel sure that "Russia will
indeed revive." The president also viewed Glazunov's exhibition as
the proper place to once again assert his intention to postpone
withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia until that country
resolves the problems of retired Russian military personnel living
there.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

UN ENDORSES RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN ABKHAZIA. On 21 July
the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing
the deployment of Russian peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia but at
the same time increasing the number of UN observers there, Reuters
reported. At a press conference in Moscow, Colonel-General Viktor
Samsonov attributed the CIS defense ministers' collective refusal
to commit troops for the Abkhaz peacekeeping mission to the fact
that they had not been previously informed of the nature of the
operation; Russian Deputy Defense Minister Boris Gromov told
Interfax that the absence of CIS troops would not affect the
outcome of the peacekeeping operation. Also on 21 July, the
commander of the Russian peacekeeping force, General Vassili
Yakushev, told Interfax that "decisive measures" could be taken
against the 700 Svans living in the Kodori gorge in eastern
Abkhazia who are refusing either to leave their homes or to
surrender their arms on the grounds that 70 Russian peacekeeping
troops are insufficient to protect them against a possible Abkhaz
attack.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

TAJIK COMPLAINTS ABOUT RUSSIA. Tajikistan's Prime Minister
Abduzhalil Samadov told the Tajik parliament on 21 July that
Russia has been slow to honor its commitments to help the Central
Asian state, Russian and Western sources reported. Samadov
complained specifically of Russian reluctance to formally admit
Tajikistan to the ruble zone. Russian financial officials have
expressed reservations about a monetary union because of the
weakness of Tajikistan's economy, which has been devastated by
civil war and continuing raids by Tajik opposition forces on the
Tajik-Afghan border. Samadov also complained that Russia and other
CIS states are not prompt in delivering material for Tajikistan's
industry, parts of which are nearly at a standstill as a result.
Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

KYRGYZ PARTIES, PRESS REACT. President Askar Akaev's calls for
press restrictions and his attacks on the free press of Kyrgyzstan
(see RFE/RL Daily Report of 18 July) have provoked a storm of
opposition from the country's press and political parties.
Interfax quoted a statement published on 20 July in Bishkek as
saying, in part, "Freedom of the press and freedom of speech now
belong to the citizens of Kyrgyzstan and are not a privilege or
monopoly of the highest official in the country." The statement,
signed by the leaders of the Ata-Meken (Fatherland) Party, the
Kyrgyz Democratic Movement, the director of the Human Rights
Bureau, and the editors of six major newspapers, criticized Akaev,
the "guarantor of the Constitution," for arbitrarily calling into
question fundamental human rights.  Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA, KYRGYZSTAN SIGN MILITARY AGREEMENT. The defense ministers
of Russia and Kyrgyzstan, Pavel Grachev and Myrzakan Subanov, have
signed a series of agreements on military cooperation, Interfax
reported on 21 July. The main documents allow Russian citizens to
serve in the Kyrgyz military; provide material assistance for
Russian units in Kyrgyzstan; and help train and equip the Kyrgyz
army. Grachev noted that the Kyrgyz military currently is not even
able to carry out larger-scale military exercises.  Keith Martin,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

POLIO IN THE CIS. In a sign that the health crisis in the former
Soviet Union is becoming worse, the US Center for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDCP) announced that the number of polio cases in
the World Health Organization's European region, which includes
the CIS, is on the rise; the increase stems mostly from the CIS
countries, with two states, Azerbaijan (70 cases) and Uzbekistan
(68 cases) accounting for over half of the 219 incidents
registered in the European region in 1993, AFP reported. The
USSR's collapse has entailed a significant worsening of the health
care system, and has led to a severe shortage of medicines and
vaccines, much of which were imported.  Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

IZETBEGOVIC SAYS "OUR YES IS NOW NO LONGER VALID." Is how the 22
July New York Times reports that Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic has effectively retracted his government's
"unconditional acceptance" of the international peace plan for
Bosnia and Herzegovina. Izetbegovic's announcement was evidently
made in response to the tacit Bosnian Serb side's failure to
accept the plan, and precedes a scheduled 30 July "contact group"
Geneva meeting at which mediators are to discuss a course for the
Bosnian peace process in light of current developments. Thus far,
international reaction to the Serbs' unwillingness to accept the
plan has been marked, at the very least, by an air of
disappointment. On 21 July Reuters reported that US Defense
Secretary William Perry, while visiting Tirana, described the
Bosnian Serb behavior as disappointing, and added that a range of
responses was now possible, including a lifting of the arms
embargo against the Bosnian government.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL,
Inc.

. . . WHILE JOVANOVIC RESPONDS: BOSNIAN SERBS SHOW "POSITIVE
ATTITUDE." While much of the international community has not
responded favorably to the Bosnian Serb position on the latest
peace offer, certain exceptions may be noted. Tanjug reports that
rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovanovic, in what
appears to be Belgrade's first official reaction to the latest
developments in the Bosnian peace process, has said the Bosnian
Serbs have not rejected the goal of a lasting peace and that in
fact their latest response is highly constructive and stems from a
"positive attitude . . . from each and every letter even regarding
maps." In addition, on 22 July AFP reports that while Russia has
been critical of the Bosnian Serbs, official Moscow reaction has
been somewhat muted, and punctuated by calls for more time in
which to discuss and decipher the real intent behind the Bosnian
Serb position on the peace. Finally in other news, on 21 July
agencies reported that US Defense Secretary Perry has canceled a
trip to Sarajevo, in the wake of the closure of the airport after
gunfire hit several UN planes. Instead, Perry travels to the
Croatian capital, Zagreb.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND'S BENDER QUITS BROADCASTING COUNCIL. Catholic politician
Ryszard Bender announced his resignation from the National
Broadcasting Council, the body with constitutional responsibility
for public and private broadcasting, on 21 July, PAP reports.
Bender is one of President Lech Walesa's loyal allies; he had
served as chairman since 1 March, when Walesa had attempted to
oust Marek Markiewicz, the council's first chairman and guiding
force, from the body. The Constitutional Tribunal later ruled the
dismissal attempt unlawful, but Bender continued to serve as
chairman. Bender said he was resigning because his council
colleagues had treated him as a "paper chairman" and agreed to
license a Catholic radio station only in provincial Skierniewice,
rather than in Warsaw. Other members reported, however, that
Bender's resignation was prompted by the council's opposition to
his plans to accept paid travel from a Dutch cable television firm
seeking a license to broadcast films (and pornography)
round-the-clock in Poland. Fellow member Lech Dymarski said the
council warned Bender that his planned trip smacked of corruption.
Bender nonetheless departed for South Africa on 21 July.
Meanwhile, former public TV chief Janusz Zaorski refused to
confirm or deny rumors that Walesa plans to appoint him to replace
Bender. Zaorski is also a Walesa loyalist. His appointment would
likely disorganize the embattled council, which on 2 July survived
a parliamentary review. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW POLISH UNEMPLOYMENT DATA. Poland's official unemployment rate
leapt to 16.6% in June, thanks largely to the use of new
statistical methods, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 22 July. The Main
Statistical Office (GUS) has calculated that the Polish work force
totals just under 14.8 million--433,000 fewer people than
previously assumed. Total unemployment is 2,933,001. But even
according to past methods, unemployment rose in June. This rise
was attributed to the influx of new school graduates, many of whom
register as unemployed as a matter of course before even looking
for work, because of the mandatory three-month waiting period to
receive benefits. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK-BULGARIAN AGREEMENTS SIGNED. Following talks between the
Slovak and Bulgarian premiers, Jozef Moravcik and Lyuben Berov,
respectively, bilateral agreements on education, scientific and
cultural cooperation as well as the protection of investments were
signed on 21 July. Berov arrived in Slovakia on 21 July for a
three-day official visit, accompanied by the finance and industry
ministers, representatives of three other ministries, and a group
of businessmen, TASR reported.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAKIA'S ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PARTIES AGREE TO COALITION. Slovakia's
three ethnic Hungarian parties --the Coexistence movement, the
Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement and the Hungarian Civic
Party-- agreed on 21 July to form a coalition for the Slovak
general elections, to be held on 30 September and 1 October, Radio
Budapest and TASR reported. HCDM Deputy Chairman Pal Farkas noted
the importance of the agreement for the Hungarian minority and
said it was supported by more than 90% of the ethnic Hungarians in
Slovakia. Ethnic Hungarians collected some 100,000 signatures for
an appeal calling for such a coalition, which was also strongly
advocated by Slovakia's ethnic Magyar mayors. In the June 1992
elections, no coalition accord could be reached because of
differences between Coexistence and the Christian Democrats on the
one hand and the liberal Civic Party on the other, and the Civic
Party failed to gain representation in the parliament.  Alfred
Reisch and Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW HUNGARIAN RADIO CHIEF TO REINSTATE DISMISSED REPORTERS . . .
Radio chief Janos Sziranyi pledged to reinstate the 129 radio
reporters and journalists dismissed or sent into early retirement
by former radio chief Laszlo Csucs in March 1994, MTI reports.
Sziranyi apologized to the dismissed employees for the violation
of their "professional and human dignity." He issued an appeal to
prominent writers and musicians who protested against the
dismissals by not allowing their works to be aired to again
contribute to the radio's programs.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . WHILE NEW TELEVISION CHIEF DISMISSES TV REPORTER. At the
same time, new TV chief Adam Horvath dismissed TV reporter Istvan
Stefka who was in charge of the major evening news program Hirado
on the ground that Stefka's program was politically biased and its
professional quality was "zero." Horvath announced that he will
conduct talks with the other Hirado reporters to determine which
ones will be dismissed. The old TV and radio managements used
similar arguments to conduct purges among the two institutions'
employees.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

HORN MEETS WITH ROMANIA'S ETHNIC MAGYAR LEADER. Bela Marko,
Chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania, held talks
on 20 July in Budapest with Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn
and Csaba Tabajdi, Political State Secretary in charge of minority
affairs, Radio Budapest and MTI reported. Marko expressed
satisfaction that the Hungarian government's program contained all
the basic principles on minority rights considered essential by
the HDUR. He quoted Horn as saying that the government would
consult with the HDUR on the Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty.
Tabajdi said that the treaty should declare that Hungary has no
territorial claims and contain guarantees for the enforcement of
minority rights.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

ILIESCU ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL. Romania's President Ion Iliescu was
taken to a Bucharest hospital on 21 July 1994. According to a
hospital manager, Iliescu was suffering from cramps in the abdomen
and gall bladder area. The cause of the symptoms has not been
established so far, and further tests are being carried out, a
Reuters report said.  Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIVIC-LIBERAL ALLIANCE SET UP IN ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest reported
on 21 July that the Party of Civic Alliance and the National
Liberal Party had signed an agreement to form a civic-liberal
alliance under the name of "The Liberals." Speaking to journalists
after the ceremony, the presidents of the two parties, Nicolae
Manolescu and Mircea Ionescu-Quintus, praised the move as a first
step toward the unification of all liberal groups in Romania. The
protocol specifies that the new alliance is placed under the
umbrella of the Democratic Convention of Romania, the country's
main centrist coalition. The NLP had formally quit the DCR in
April 1992.  Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIA URGED TO RESPECT GAY RIGHTS. In a statement released on 20
July, the international human rights group Amnesty International
urged Romania to respect gay rights, Reuters report. AI voiced
concern over a ruling last week by Romania's Constitutional Court
which said that homosexuals could still be prosecuted for "causing
a public scandal." According to AI, "such prosecution would be a
violation of the non-discrimination principle provided in
international human rights standards ratified by Romania." Dan
Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

"DNIESTER," KRAJINA SIGN FRIENDSHIP TREATY. The self-styled
foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Republic of Serbian
Krajina, Milan Babic, and a "governmental delegation" from
Transdniester signed a "friendship treaty" in Krajina's capital
Knin, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 July. The Transdniester delegates
expressed gratitude for the "recognition" of the "Dniester
republic" as early as 1992 by Krajina and by the Bosnian Serb
leadership.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVA PROCLAIMS PERMANENT NEUTRALITY, BARS FOREIGN TROOPS.
Moldova's Parliament adopted on 21 July in the second reading a
large bloc of articles of the country's new constitution, whose
successive drafts had been debated for several years. Local media
report that in a crucial addition which was proposed only days
ago, Parliament adopted an article declaring Moldova's "permanent
neutrality." Furthermore, "Moldova does not admit the stationing
of troops of other states on its territory." Submitted by the
ruling Agrarian Democratic Party and designed to strengthen
Moldova's position in demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops,
the article was unsuccessfully opposed by deputies of the
Socialist Unity Bloc which represents mainly Russian voters.
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

FIRST PRIVATE TV CHANNEL LAUNCHED IN BULGARIA. Over the past week
Bulgaria's first private TV channel has started trial
transmissions in Sofia, BTA reported on 21 July. Nova Televiziya,
which was recently granted a license to broadcast, will gradually
be expanding its program with entertainment as well as news and
feature programming. Meanwhile, BTA says representatives of two
private companies seeking licenses appeared before the
parliamentary Committee on Radio and Television on 21 July. While
News Holding, owner of the widely circulated Standart daily and
backed by Turistsportbank, wants to produce a news- and
information-based channel called Tempo, a Bulgarian-Italian joint
venture says Premiera would offer "family programming." Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENT CONFIRMS LUKASHENKA'S CABINET NOMINEES. At a
special session the Belarusian parliament overwhelmingly approved
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's nominee for the post of prime
minister, the head of the country's agro-industrial bank Mikhail
Chyrhin, Belinform-TASS reported on 21 July. The parliament also
approved the appointments of deputy prime ministers Uladzimir
Harkun, Viktar Hanchar, Mikhail Myasnikovich and Syarhei Ling.
Lukashenka's candidates for the posts of defense minister, Anatol
Kastenka, foreign minister, Uladzimir Syanko, interior minister,
Yurii Zakharanka, and KGB chairman, Uladzimir Yahorau, were also
approved. The parliament did not approve Lukashenka's nominee for
chairman of the constitutional court, Dzmitry Bulakhau.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELARUSIAN GAS DEBT. On 21 July Belarusian radio reported that
Belarus's gas debt to the Russian gas enterprise Gazprom amounts
to 636 billion rubles ($383 million). Gas supplies have been
reduced to 33 and a half million cubic meters per day. Gazprom
officials say that it is impossible to continue supplying the
country with 35 million cubic meters per day as had been agreed
to. Now that Lukashenka is president, the officials feel Belarus's
policy regarding payment on its arrears will soon have to be
clarified.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUKH CRITICAL OF KUCHMA OVER LANGUAGE. Kuchma's statement in his
inaugural speech regarding making Russian an official language in
Ukraine was criticized by a number of parties and organization,
Interfax reported on 21 July. According to the critics, although
Ukrainian is to remain the state language, as there is little
difference between the definitions of "state" and "official" the
country would, in effect, have two languages. The statement was
signed by Rukh, the Ukrainian Republican Party, the Democratic
Party of Ukraine, the Prosvita All-Ukrainian Community and by the
head of the Ukrainian Cossacks. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS LAW ON DUAL CITIZENSHIP. On 21 July
Ukrinform-TASS reported that the Crimean parliament adopted a law
allowing dual citizenship in the peninsula in its first reading.
The parliament is also discussing the issue of charging Ukraine
and Russia for the use of its land by their armed forces in a
closed door session, UNIAN reported on 20 July.  Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KUCHMA DISMISSES INTERIOR MINISTER. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma issued a four page decree launching a war against crime on
21 July, Reuters reported. At the same time Kuchma dismissed the
interior minister Andrii Vasylyshyn and replaced him with
Volodymyr Radchenko. Radchenko had been a deputy chairman of the
security service and headed its department charged with fighting
corruption and organized crime.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

REPSE ON LATVIA'S PRIME MINISTERSHIP. Bank of Latvia President
Einars Repse has said he would serve as Prime Minister in a
coalition linking Latvia's Way and The Latvian National
Independence Movement (LNNK). BNS quoted Repse on 21 July as
saying he is honored by LNNK's offer of Prime Ministership but
that he would not take the post if the LNNK forms a coalition with
parties other than Latvia's Way because the LNNK would be forced
to accept what he called a "leftist economy." Repse said he can
serve only if he can implement a radically free-market economy
with no compromises. Latvia's Way Deputy Chairman Indulis Berzins
told BNS his party would support Repse as prime minister. The LNNK
has until 25 July to decide whether it can form a government to
replace the one led by Latvia's Way until its coalition with the
Latvian Farmers Union collapsed in mid-July.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL,
Inc.

TROOP WITHDRAWALS FROM ESTONIA HALTED. The headquarters of Russian
forces in the Baltics announced on 21 July that it had suspended
all troop withdrawals from Estonia. The Russian statement said
military units and equipment which were ready for transport back
to Russia are being returned to their original bases in Estonia.
Earlier on 21 July, Russian defense ministry officials told RFE/RL
in Moscow that dismantling work had been halted at the Russian
naval base at Paldiski. The announcements came a day after
negotiations between Russia and Estonia in Helsinki failed to
resolve the issues delaying Russian troop withdrawal. Those issues
are the future of the Paldiski Base and the status of Russian
military retirees in Estonia. In response to these developments,
the Estonian Foreign Ministry has urged Russian President Boris
Yeltsin to meet soon with Estonian President Lennart Meri to
resolve the latest dispute over Russian troop-withdrawal from
Estonia. An Estonia foreign Minister official told RFE/RL on 21
July that the Estonian government had not been notified of the
decision to halt the troop withdrawals. The official said that
there are fewer than 2,000 Russian soldiers left in Estonia.  Jiri
Pehe, 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
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