Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece. - Vladimir Nabokov
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 139, 25 July 1994

                              RUSSIA

SOLZHENITSYN RENEWS CALL FOR UNITY OF SLAVS. Speaking on Russian
Television on 22 July, the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn renewed
his call for "a union of Slavic people" who live in Russia,
Ukraine, Belarus, and northern Kazakhstan. He dismissed the CIS as
an "amorphous" structure lacking in clear purpose or character. In
1990, Solzhenitsyn's call for a Slavic union (in his pamphlet,
"How to Reconstruct Russia?") provoked strong criticism and
protests in Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Speaking on 24 July on another
TV program, NTV's "Itogi," Solzhenitsyn said that he had no
intention to occupy any political posts in Russia after twenty
years in exile, but would continue to speak out about Russia's
problems. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUTSKOI ON "GREAT POWER" MOVEMENT. Former Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi told Interfax on 22 July that he had received 462,000
applications for membership in the "Great Power" political
movement that he is currently setting up. Rutskoi said the main
goal of the new organization is the restoration of what he called
"the great power of Russia" within the borders of the former USSR
"by means of the freely expressed will of its peoples." He said he
hoped to have the movement in full operation by December. Rutskoi
added that the "Great Power" would try to win a parliamentary
majority in the next elections.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN DECREES SECOND STAGE OF PRIVATIZATION. Faced with stiff
opposition from the State Duma, President Boris Yeltsin opted on
22 July to implement the second stage of privatization by decree,
Interfax reported. Despite three attempts on two days (13 and 21
July), the Duma failed to muster the required majority to approve
further work on "post-voucher" privatization. Privatization
Minister Anatolii Chubais drafted the decree, which reportedly
incorporates most of the amendments accepted by the government in
a vain attempt to win the Duma's approval. The government plans to
privatize 20% of state assets through the direct sale of shares;
this method is designed to remedy the shortcomings of voucher
privatization, by concentrating ownership, luring new capital
investment, and bolstering the state budget. Post-voucher
privatization is expected to generate revenues of 2.5 trillion
rubles ($1.25 billion) in 1994. In the interest of better
management, employees will receive fewer preferential shares. To
encourage investment each enterprise will be able to retain 51% of
the proceeds from the sales of its own shares. Yeltsin's office
said that the decree shows the president's "political will to
proceed with the strategic course of market reforms." The Duma is
set to continue work on privatization legislation after its summer
recess, but opposition is unlikely to die down. Communist deputies
denounced Yeltsin's decision and on 24 July appealed for a
"massive opposition movement" to halt the "theft of national
assets." Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILITARY WITHDRAWAL FROM ESTONIA HALTED? Contradictory reports
continue to appear concerning Russia's military withdrawal from
Estonia. ITAR-TASS on 22 July quoted General Staff Chief Mikhail
Kolesnikov as stating that the withdrawal had been stopped in
accordance with an order from Yeltsin. The New York Times reported
on 24 July that Western diplomats remain "relatively confident"
that all Russian troops will be out of Estonia and Latvia by 31
August. They suggested that the threat of halting the withdrawal
is mostly bluster and that Yeltsin, who is scheduled to be in
Berlin on 31 August for a ceremony marking the withdrawal of
Russian troops from Germany, would find it too embarrassing if
Russian troops were still in the Baltic. This and other reports
suggested that Russian troops continue to leave the Baltic,
despite the rhetoric emanating from Moscow.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL,
Inc.

FOREIGN MINISTRY: ENLARGEMENT OF NATO NOT ON AGENDA? Moscow also
continues to send mixed signals regarding the way it views NATO's
eastward expansion. On 22 July Interfax quoted senior Russian
diplomat Andrei Androsov as saying that European security and
stability would not be served by the inclusion in NATO of Eastern
European and Baltic states. In an apparent new twist, he also said
that Russia had agreed to participation in the NATO Partnership
for Peace program in the belief that the issue of NATO's
enlargement was no longer on the agenda. Androsov said that the
creation of a comprehensive European security system should not
exclude any state but suggested that Moscow continues to view the
CSCE, rather than NATO, as the preferred vehicle for movement in
that direction. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

BACKTRACKING ON ROLE OF CSCE? In Vienna, however, another Russian
diplomat has told reporters that Moscow does not want to make NATO
and other European regional security organizations subordinate to
the CSCE, as was earlier reported. RFE/RL reported on 22 July that
Vladimir Shustov, Russia's chief delegate to the Vienna arms
talks, said that a recent letter from Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev had been "misunderstood." That letter, which has
been circulated among the 52 CSCE members states, says that the
CSCE should be given "overriding responsibility for the
maintenance of peace and the strengthening of democracy and
stability in the Euro-Atlantic area" and that the CSCE should be
considered "the leading partner of the UN in settling conflicts in
the region," RFE/RL reported. Shustov was quoted as saying that
"we do not mean that the CSCE should be a commanding body . . .
[but that] the CSCE should be the central organization
coordinating activities by these other organizations, particularly
in regard to security and peace." Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN-US EXERCISES ON AGAIN. The chairman of the Duma's defense
committee, Sergei Yushenkov, told reporters on 22 July that a
joint Russian-US peacekeeping exercise, originally scheduled for
July, will now take place in the first half of September at Totsk
training ground in Russia's Orenburg region, Interfax reported.
Yushenkov, just back from a visit to Orenburg region with a
parliamentary delegation, said that he had briefed Yeltsin on the
trip and that Yeltsin had approved the maneuvers. According to
Yushenkov, Yeltsin said that he would not take orders from the
communist forces which oppose the exercise. It was Yeltsin who
originally postponed the maneuvers, which are to involve some 250
US soldiers and an equal number of Russian troops. Stephen Foye,
RFE/RL, Inc.

TURKEY MODIFIES NEW STRAITS SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS. The Turkish
leadership, apparently in response to Russian pressure, has
modified the new regulations introduced as of 1 July restricting
the passage of shipping through the Turkish straits, the Director
of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Asia Department, Valerii
Egoshin, told Interfax on 22 July. Egoshin affirmed that Russia
would comply with those new restrictions that did not contradict
international law, but he said that it was too early to speak of a
final solution to the dispute. He further echoed Russian First
Deputy Premier Oleg Soskovets's stated commitment during his
recent visit to Turkey to a "new stage" in Russian-Turkish
cooperation.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

MANUCHARYAN CHARGED WITH LIBEL. Ashot Manucharyan, former national
security adviser to Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan, has
been officially charged by the Armenian Procuracy with defamation
following his allegations at a protest demonstration in Erevan on
15 July that the Armenian leadership was responsible for the
murders of three people, including former KGB chief Marius
Yuzbashyan, Interfax reported. Manucharyan, who since January 1994
has been engaged in a heated polemic about security issues and
high-level corruption with Interior Minister Vano Siradeghyan,
refused to provide the procuracy with any evidence to substantiate
his accusations.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

NAGORNO-KARABAKH UPDATE. Russian Presidential envoy Vladimir
Kazimirov arrived in Baku from Erevan and Stepanakert on 21 July
for confidential talks with Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev on
the latest draft of the Russian peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh,
Interfax reported. Russia is reportedly insisting that the
self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic be granted autonomous
status within Azerbaijan, which would necessitate modifying the
existing Azerbaijani constitution (according to which Azerbaijan
is a unitary state) to define the country as a federation or
confederation. Speaking at a news conference in Baku on 21 July,
Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov proposed that the eleven
member states of the CSCE Minsk Group engaged in mediating a
settlement of the Karabakh conflict could all provide troops for a
peacekeeping force, providing that no single state contributed
more than 30 percent of the total contingent.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,
Inc.

TAJIK PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. Citing a strong feeling of
responsibility for the fate of his country, the chairman of
Tajikistan's parliament and present head of state, Imomali
Rakhmonov, has said that he is considering running for the
newly-restored post of president, Interfax reported on 24 July
quoting an interview in the Dushanbe newspaper Biznes i politika.
The same day Interfax reported that a spokeswoman for the
opposition Coordinating Council of Gorno-Badakhshan Democratic
Forces had announced that the council would support only a
candidate from Leninabad Oblast, which has supported the return to
power of former Communists but stayed out of the civil war. The
Council will not support the candidacy of Rakhmonov, according to
the spokeswoman, and expects the next president to represent the
interests of only one region and be unable to end the
confrontation between various Tajik political forces.  Bess Brown,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN TROOPS IN MOLDOVA BECOMING "LOCAL" ? Repeating in
Izvestiya of 20 July the standard claim that most of his 14th
Army's personnel in Moldova are "local people," Russian Lt.-Gen.
Aleksandr Lebed offered updated figures of 51% of the Army's
officers and 79% of its NCOs as being "local." This is one of the
Russian military's chief arguments against withdrawing from
Moldova. The 14th Army has in the past year drafted residents of
the Transdniester region of host country, Moldova, and
unilaterally awarded at least some of them Russian citizenship
without the host country's authorization, all against
international law. Replying on Radio Chisinau on 21 July,
Moldova's First Deputy Foreign Minister and chief delegate to the
troop talks with Russia, Nicolae Osmochescu, pointed out that
under Russian law, only Russian citizens may serve in the Russian
armed forces, so that any "local" servicemen of the 14th Army can
only be considered Russia's citizens and responsibility.  Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING IN MOLDOVA: DNIESTER
TRUCE VIOLATIONS CONDONED. Following Nezavisimaya Gazeta's 16 July
story (see RFE/RL Daily Report, 20 July) in which the Russian
chief delegate to the armistice control commission for the first
time admitted publicly to long-time violations by "Dniester"
forces, members of the commission provided additional information
to Basapress in Bendery on 20 July. According to them, the
stronghold in the Bendery fortress, taken over unlawfully by
"Dniester" forces in the demilitarized zone, is being used as a
training center for "Dniester" soldiers recruited in the city in
another violation of the armistice; 200 of those recruits have
just taken the "Dniester" military oath. The same forces have
recently strengthened some of their already existing fortified
positions in the demilitarized zone and added new ones, all in
violation of the armistice agreement signed by Presidents Yeltsin
and Mircea Snegur two years ago on 21 July 1992. Russian
peacekeepers have failed to react thus far.  Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CHRISTOPHER WARNS SERBS OF "CONSEQUENCES" OVER PEACE PLAN. AFP on
24 July quoted the US secretary of state as saying that the Serbs
should "change their mind" in the course of the week regarding
their "no" last week to the Contact Group's partition plan. He
meets today with his Russian counterpart Andrei Kozyrev, and on 30
July with other Contact Group foreign ministers. They will then
decide on "consequences" if the Serbs do not agree to the plan in
the meantime. Measures are expected to begin with tightening
economic sanctions, but as The Economist points out in its latest
issue, these are in their third year and have proven ineffective.
Another step involves expanding the UN's "safe areas" around
Muslim enclaves, but it is not clear who would enforce them, The
Guardian noted on 23 July. The final option is lifting the arms
embargo against the Muslims, but Russia, Britain, or France could
veto such a move in the UN Security Council. Other British media
suggested over the weekend that the Serbs stand an excellent
chance of humiliating the Contact Group if it fails to agree on
effective action.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MUSLIMS STILL BACK PEACE PLAN. News agencies on 22 July quoted
Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic as saying that his
government still endorses the Contact Group's proposal. This
clarifies the Bosnian government's position following remarks by
President Alija Izetbegovic on 21 July, which were widely
interpreted as signaling a policy change. Attention remains
centered on the Serb position, which the US regards as a "no" but
which some Russian spokesmen regard as "rather positive" and "not
devoid of logic." Russian special envoy Vitalii Churkin, however,
told news agencies on 24 July that the Serb reply "to put it
mildly can't satisfy us to the fullest extent." At issue are
questions the Serbs raised regarding the status of Sarajevo,
access to the sea, and the constitutional set-up for
Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as their comment that "the map needs
work." Reuters on 23 July quoted US envoy Charles Redman as
saying, however, that the Serbs know full well what the answers to
these questions are and that they are merely stalling for time.
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

CLASH IN SERBIA'S PARLIAMENT. The 23-24 July issue of Borba
reported on a fight that erupted in Serbia's parliament on 22
July. What appears to have caused the incident was remarks made by
Serbian Radical Party (SRS) Vice-president Tomislav Nikolic, in
which he was highly critical of Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic and his wife. After delivering his statement, Nikolic
was ejected from the legislative proceedings, but reportedly
refused to leave, prompting the chain of events leading to the
brawl. No life-threatening injuries were reported, but SRS
accounts of the incident stress that some 60 armed Serbian police
officers became involved, targeting the 39-member SRS
parliamentary faction, in what the ultra-nationalist party
ironically dubbed in a post-incident press conference "Milosevic's
assault on the democratic opposition." The SRS has vowed to
boycott parliament, while SRS leader Vojislav Seselj is currently
facing charges of attempting to incite a brawl as a result of an
incident which took place in the federal parliament on 18 May.
Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

UN SAYS SERBS FIRED ON UKRAINIAN PLANE. The Washington Post on 24
July said that it was Serb gunners who hit a Ukrainian plane the
previous day, the fifth case in roughly 72 hours. A UN officer
said that "the Serbs just want to make sure everyone realizes they
still have the will and the guns to make everybody's life
miserable. . . . It's not polite, but it gets your attention."
Reuters on 22 July quoted a UN spokesman as calling the attacks
the worst on aircraft near Sarajevo in two years. Elsewhere in
Bosnia, local and international media reported an increase in
cease-fire violations not only around the capital but as far
afield as Travnik, Bugojno, and Tuzla, among other places.
Croatian authorities said that Serb artillery in the nationalist
stronghold of eastern Herzegovina shelled Croatia's Konavle region
south of Dubrovnik, the first time that that area has been hit in
months.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

AKASHI SLAMS SERB HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. AFP on 22 July quoted
the UN special envoy as saying that the Serbs in their latest
ethnic cleansing campaigns around Bijeljina had committed
"flagrant violations of human rights and humanitarian principles.
He also referred to the Serb "labor camp" at Rogatica. Meanwhile
in Mostar, an EU administration began work under Mayor Hans
Koschnik, formerly of Bremen, on 23 July. In Croatia, Hina said
the previous day that refugees who are blockading UNPROFOR
checkpoints will allow UN personnel to pass in cars if they
register their trips in advance. Finally in Kiev, Radio Ukraine
quoted defense ministry officials as denying Serb press reports
that Ukraine had supplied anti-missile systems to Croatia.
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOSOVO UPDATE. The trial is over of 14 Albanians, who were accused
of founding and being members of an alleged Ministry of Defense of
the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The Albanians were
sentenced to between one and seven-and-a-half years imprisonment,
Kosova Communication reported on 18 July. Lawyer Destan Rukic
called it a "political trial," adding that "it has not been proved
that [the defendants] had created any defense ministry or had
engaged in actions of similar nature. The main proceedings and
prosecution evidence totally contradicted the charges." According
to Rukic, the detainees were continuously tortured. The charge of
"numerous reports of police torture" in Kosovo had already been
brought up by the Amnesty International Yearly Report, which also
said that most "victims were ethnic Albanians." The report added
that earlier trials had been unfair because lawyers were denied
access to their clients. AI stated that out of 18 Albanians
charged with seeking Kosovo's secession last year, none could be
accused of having used violence.  Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOMB DAMAGES HISTORIC BUDAPEST CHURCH. Early morning on 23 July a
bomb exploded at the Matthias church, one of Budapest's most
treasured landmarks, MTI and Western news agencies report. No one
was hurt but the blast destroyed a back door of the church, part
of the steps leading down to the crypt, and valuable stained glass
windows. The Matthias church dates back to the thirteenth century,
and served as a coronation site for Hungary's monarchs over the
centuries. Damage to the building is estimated at around 30-35
million forints. Authorities posted a three million forint reward
for information on those responsible for the bombing. The
explosion was the third bomb attack on an historic building in
Hungary in less than two months. Police said that they cannot rule
out a possible connection between the Matthias church blast and
the other two bombings. Interior Minister Gabor Kuncze was quoted
by MTI as saying that "there are certain signs which point to
ex-Yugoslavia." Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA APPOINTS ZAORSKI TO TV COUNCIL. Within hours of returning
from Bulgaria on 22 July, President Lech Walesa appointed former
TV chief Janusz Zaorski to serve as chairman of the National
Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), PAP reports. Walesa's move, the
latest in his long-running "war" with the KRRiT, is certain to
disrupt the work of the council and heighten conflict over the
independence of the mass media in Poland. One of the few remaining
"president's men," Zaorski headed the state-controlled precursor
of the KRRiT from 1991-1993 (with a short interruption in 1992).
In that office, he was widely viewed as a willing promoter of the
president's interests in TV and radio. His ouster was accompanied
by charges of financial abuses. Zaorski replaces another Walesa
loyalist, Ryszard Bender, who resigned on 21 July after other
council members objected to his plans to accept paid travel from a
Dutch cable TV firm seeking broadcasting rights in Poland. The
Constitutional Tribunal has already ruled that Walesa's dismissal
of the council's first chairman, Marek Markiewicz, was unlawful.
Several council members criticized the president for appointing
Zaorski before the legality of the dismissal was fully clarified.
A Gazeta Wyborcza editorial on 23-24 July accused Walesa of
planting a "bomb" under the council.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

UOP: POLAND ATTRACTS DRUG TRADE, DIRTY MONEY. Meeting with
reporters on 21 July at Magdalenka, the site of behind-the-scenes
bargaining during the round-table talks of 1989, State Security
Office (UOP) chief Gromoslaw Czempinski reported that foreign
crime cartels--many of them Russian--favor Poland as a site for
money-laundering. Poland is also a prime route for the drug trade,
Czempinski said, citing as an example the 517 kilos of Colombian
cocaine discovered in banana crates on a Polish freighter in
Gdynia in January 1994. UOP is stepping up cooperation with
Russian security forces to fight such activities, Czempinski said.
UOP conducted 107 investigations into domestic economic crimes in
the past 18 months. These bilked the state of 5 trillion zloty,
but UOP managed to recover 300 billion zloty and $4 million of
this sum. Domestic attempts to depict UOP investigations as
politically motivated were an impediment to efficient work,
Czempinski added. UOP officials also complained that their budget,
which amounts to only 5% of the internal affairs ministry total,
is too small to fight organized crime effectively.  Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

DEMONSTRATORS AT CZECH NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. Czech and
international media report that on 24 July about 150
environmentalists--including Czechs, Austrians, and Germans--began
demonstrating and blocking the roads to the Czech nuclear power
plant at Temelin. A spokesman for the demonstrators told
journalists that the demonstrators will try to prevent 3,000
construction workers, technicians and other Temelin employees from
getting to work on 25 July. A spokesman for the Czech Electric
Company told reporters that he will ask the police for help if
demonstrators attempt such an action. Work on the Temelin plant,
near the Austrian border, began in 1986. Environmentalists and the
Austrian government oppose its completion. Earlier this year the
United States Export-Import Bank provided credit guarantees for
the US Westinghouse Electric Company to bring the Soviet-era
reactors at Temelin up to Western standards. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL,
Inc.

SLOVAK POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS. During its session on 23 July the
Republican Council of the Democratic Union decided against setting
up a coalition with the Democratic Party and the Entrepreneurs'
Party because of the lack of time for election preparations, TASR
reports. During the session the DU and the National Democratic
Party agreed on a joint candidate list for the upcoming elections.
In other development, Slovak National Party Chairman Jan Slota
said following a party session on 23 July that all past and
present Slovak cabinets have been oriented against the Slovak
nation. Several politicians reacted angrily to the statement; but
DP Chairman Ivan Miklos said that one cabinet in particular acted
against the nation, namely that in which the Movement for
Democratic Slovakia and the SNP participated, which "brought to
Slovak citizens economic and social decline, a fall in the value
of the currency and savings, failure of health care and education,
rapid growth of crime, lack of loans and the liquidation of
thousands of entrepreneurs." Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN AND HUNGARIAN OFFICIALS IN BRATISLAVA. Bulgarian Premier
Lubyen Berov completed a three-day visit to Slovakia on 23 July,
TASR reported. Expressing satisfaction with the results of talks
with top Slovak officials, Berov stressed the need to further
develop bilateral relations. Slovak Premier Jozef Moravcik pointed
to possibilities for Slovak arms sales to Bulgaria. On 23 July
Hungarian Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti visited Slovakia to
discuss cooperation with Slovak officials. Following a meeting
with Deputy Premier Ivan Simko, Simko stressed the importance of
good relations among the Visegrad countries. Both expressed
interest in passing a bilateral treaty, which Simko said could be
concluded before the Slovak elections.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ILIESCU UNDERGOES GALLBLADDER SURGERY. President Ion Iliescu
underwent on 22 July surgery for an acute case of gallstones, an
RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest and local media reported on the
same day. Health Minister Iulian Mincu, who assisted with the
operation, and the director of the hospital where it was
performed, issued a statement saying Iliescu's condition was
"normal." On 24 July Iliescu granted a short interview to Radio
Bucharest, thanking well-wishers. A spokesman for the hospital
said the president may be kept in bed for ten days. Presidential
spokesman Traian Chebeleu was quoted by Reuters as saying there
will be no interim transfer of power to the chairman of the
Senate, Oliviu Gherman, since "the president is not
incapacitated." Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA IN BULGARIA. On the first visit of a Polish head of state
since the end of communism, Lech Walesa spent 21 and 22 July in
Bulgaria. One objective was to give new impulses to bilateral
trade, which has fallen steeply in the early 1990s. Walesa, who
was accompanied by a large delegation including the ministers of
transport and industry, told a press conference on 22 July that
the post-1989 decline should be perceived as "natural" but that
the time had come to forge relations on a new basis. Speaking on
the same occasion, Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev said the
second goal of the visit had been to discuss common approaches to
European integration. In an address to parliament earlier on 22
July, Walesa had proposed joint initiatives regarding the
countries' prospective entry into the European Union and NATO. He
had also spoken candidly about the problems of Poland's young
democracy, mentioning indifference to the rule of law and frequent
changes of party allegiances on the part of politicians as two
particularly destabilizing factors.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL,
Inc.

LATVIAN CITIZENSHIP LAW REVISED. The Latvian parliament, acting on
President Guntis Ulmanis's request, passed a revised citizenship
law on 22 July, eliminating quotas for the naturalization of
non-Latvians, mostly ethnic Russians. Baltic and international
media report that the new version satisfies Ulmanis's concerns. He
refused to sign an earlier version of the bill. Instead of quotas,
the new version lists various categories of people who can be
nationalized in stages up to the year 2003. The first group to be
processed would be those married to Latvian citizens and ethnic
Estonians and Lithuanians. The next group to be considered would
be immigrants. After 2003, all groups would be handled equally.
The head of a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
mission to Latvia, Hugh Hamilton, said the vote was "a major step
forward." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

LAST RUSSIAN TROOP UNIT TO LEAVE LATVIA ON 30 JULY. Russia's
defense ministry was quoted by Interfax on 24 July as saying that
the last Russian troop unit will leave Latvia on 30 July and that
a farewell ceremony will be held at the Adaji Community near Riga
that day. Under the Latvian-Russian troop withdrawal agreement, a
general troop withdrawal is to be completed by 31 August. Only a
few liaison officers will remain after that date, and Russian
troops will be permitted to operate a radar station in Latvia for
several more years.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

REACTOR AT IGNALINA BACK IN OPERATION. Reactor number 1 at the
troubled Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania was restarted
on 21 July. BNS quoted the plant director on 22 July as saying
that the start-up of the reactor went smoothly--it had been
undergoing repairs since March 1994--and will be brought up to
full power next week. Ignalina's other reactors will be shut down
for maintenance on July 30.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

ANOTHER ROUND OF PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN UKRAINE. On 24 July
elections were held in Ukraine to fill 112 vacant seats in the
county's 450 member parliament, various agencies reported. Low
voter turnout made the elections invalid in most districts.
Officials estimated that the minimum 50% voter turnout was reached
in only 38 districts. Voting was reportedly heavier in western
Ukraine than in the eastern part of the country. Elections were
invalidated in Kiev and Odessa because of insufficient voter
turnout. Of the 905 candidates, over 730 do not have any party
affiliation. The result is considered to be a disappointment to
President Leonid Kuchma who needs to pack the parliament with more
supporters. Support for his alliance, the Inter-Regional Bloc of
Reforms (IRBR), is strongest in eastern Ukraine. At the moment
IRBR deputies hold only 27 seats, while the communist/socialist
alliance holds around 145. The low voter turnout is attributed to
voters' weariness with the country's complicated election process.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.


  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Vladimir Socor and Dan Ionescu
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Internet: RI-DC@RFERL.ORG

Elsewhere:

Ms. Helga Hofer
Publications Department
RFE/RL Research Institute
Oettingenstrasse 67
80538 Munich
Germany
Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2632
Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648
Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG

Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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Updated: 1998-11-

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