Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 140, 26 July 1994

                              RUSSIA

PARLIAMENTARY HEARINGS ON 1995 DEFENSE BUDGET. The Russian
Federation Council on 25 July held six hours of closed hearings to
discuss Russia's military budget for the upcoming year, Interfax
reported. Participants were said to have included representatives
from the Defense Ministry, the General Staff, and the defense
industrial sector. The news agency quoted well-informed sources as
saying that First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin had
proposed a defense budget of some 60 trillion rubles for 1995 (the
1994 defense budget is 40.6 trillion). He also reportedly
emphasized the need to support producers of dual-use technologies
in the aerospace industry, ship-building, and missile production,
and complained that spending on new weaponry and machinery, as
well as on research and design, had been cut radically in recent
years. Kokoshin and other speakers also expressed concern that
Russia was falling seriously behind the West in the production of
advanced conventional munitions, at least in part because of too
much emphasis in the past on the development of nuclear weaponry.
In remarks made after the hearings, the head of the Federation
Council's defense committee, Petr Shirshov, said that the 1995
military budget should be at least 80 trillion rubles. He also
said that a series of recommendations aimed at improving
military-technical policy would be drawn up based upon the
testimony at the hearings, and that these recommendations would be
sent to the Duma, the president, and the government.  Stephen
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA PROPOSES ASIA-PACIFIC SECURITY ORGANIZATION. Speaking at
the inaugural meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Bangkok on 25
July, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev proposed the
"step-by-step" construction of a security mechanism for the
Asia-Pacific region, AFP reported. Specifically, Kozyrev was
quoted as calling for the establishment of "one or two working
groups" to explore ideas generated at the forum to prepare the
agenda for the next meeting, with the ultimate goal being the
formation of a "regional security mechanism" and greater
cooperation throughout Asia. Russia has made similar proposals in
the past. According to ITAR-TASS, Kozyrev also used his speech at
the forum to address problems on the Korean Peninsula. He
expressed Russia's support for dialogue between North Korea and
the US and repeated Moscow's oft-stated proposal to hold an
international security conference devoted to the entire range of
problems facing the Koreas.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

INDIA AND RUSSIA DISCUSS ARMS, ROCKET SALE. The chief of the
Indian Air Force, Swaroop Krishan Kaul, is in Russia to discuss
the possibility of purchasing advanced Russian Su-30 fighter
planes, an Indian Air Force spokesman said on 25 July. According
to AFP, Kaul will also discuss upgrading India's Soviet-built
MiG-21's and the purchase of additional MiG-29's. The news agency
reported that Russia is believed to have offered 20 Su-30's to
India and agreed to allow New Delhi to mass produce the plane
under license. India, long a major buyer of Soviet military
hardware, has said it needs the modern aircraft to counter
American F-16's possessed by Pakistan. Meanwhile, Reuters on 25
July quoted an Indian government minister as saying that Russia
has agreed to sell seven cryogenic rocket engines to India but
will not transfer their technology. At the end of 1993 the US
opposed a deal whereby India would receive both the rockets and
related technologies, arguing that the technology transfer would
violate the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime). The issue
raised tensions in all three capitals, and Russia eventually
agreed to supply India with the rocket engines only.  Stephen
Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

SITUATION IN CHECHNYA: ROUNDUP. Presidential spokesman Vyacheslav
Kostikov said on 25 July that President Boris Yeltsin has been
receiving lately a growing number of complaints about human rights
violations in Chechnya, Reuters reported. (Chechnya declared
independence from Russia in 1991, but it has not been recognized.)
Last week there were reports about renewed clashes between
opposition and government forces in Chechnya. On 23 July leaders
of the Chechen opposition called on Yeltsin to recognize the
opposition Provisional Council "as the only legal government body"
of Chechnya, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 July. The same day,
ITAR-TASS also quoted the Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev as
saying that presidential elections would take place in his
republic in October 1995. Dudaev added that he had not yet decided
whether to run in the elections. Meanwhile, according to
ITAR-TASS, Dudaev has sent a letter to former USSR Prosecutor
General Aleksandr Sukharev, urging him to "investigate the
legality of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha agreements" which announced
the demise of the USSR and the creation of the CIS. In his letter,
Dudaev reportedly said that the USSR was dissolved against the
will of the majority of its citizens and that this event resulted
in major economic hardships, inter ethnic-conflicts, and other
forms of political instability.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

GORBACHEV ACCUSED OF HIGH TREASON. At a news conference on 25 July
General Valentin Varennikov, the only defendant in the August 1991
coup trial to have refused the amnesty, accused former USSR
President Mikhail Gorbachev of having acted deliberately in
bringing about the collapse of the Soviet Union. Varennikov said
that he himself had believed in August 1991 that Gorbachev had
"wrecked" the USSR because of negligence, but the materials of the
case convinced the general that Gorbachev was a traitor and had
acted deliberately. Varennikov added that he has requested the
office of Russia's Prosecutor General to prosecute Gorbachev for
high treason. The news conference, called on the occasion of
Gorbachev's appearance as a witness at Varennikov's trial on 7-8
July, was reported in all Russian TV newscasts of 25 July.  Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TAJIK SOLDIERS CAPTURED. In the largest operation of its kind to
have been launched within Tajikistan since the end of the civil
war, more than 100 Tajik rebels attacked Tajik government forces
near Tavil-Dara, east of Dushanbe, on 22 July, Interfax reports.
The rebels reportedly captured at least 53 soldiers, a tank, an
armored personnel carrier and two trucks; initial reports also
indicate that at least 10 soldiers may have been killed in the
attack. The rebels, many of them Afghan-trained, control much of
the mountainous terrain in the area. A Tajik defense ministry
spokesman said on 25 July that initial attempts to make contact
with the rebels near Tavil-Dara, and to negotiate the release of
the soldiers, had been unsuccessful; he did not rule out a
large-scale military operation to free the soldiers. The commander
of the Russian border guards in Tajikistan told ITAR-TASS that his
forces are on high alert after the incident, and that the border
guards would not allow the rebel forces to take their prisoners
into Afghanistan. Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

OPPOSITION LEAFLETS IN DUSHANBE. Leaflets urging Russian soldiers
stationed in Tajikistan to stay out of the conflict between
Tajikistan's government and opposition appeared in Dushanbe on 25
July, Interfax reported. The leaflets, which asserted that the
opposition Islamic Renaissance Party will eventually dislodge the
present regime of former Communists, was signed by Said Abdullo
Nur, who was described as head of a "government in exile."
According to the report, this is not the first instance of such
leaflets appearing in the Tajik capital--similar leaflets, signed
by opposition field commander Rizvon circulated in Dushanbe in
May.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

IAEA CHIEF IN KAZAKHSTAN. Hans Blix, the director of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Almaty on 25
July, where he is expected to sign on 26 July an agreement with
the Kazakh government which will put all of Kazakhstan's nuclear
materials and facilities under IAEA control, Interfax reports.
Kazakhstan, which had a large number of nuclear missiles left on
its territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has agreed
to have those missiles disarmed and removed to Russia for
destruction under international control; it also ratified the
international nuclear non-proliferation treaty in December 1993.
The Kazakhstan government also hopes that the IAEA team
accompanying Blix will carry out an extensive study of the
environmental impact which the Soviets' nuclear testing at
Semipalatinsk had on the region; President Nursultan Nazarbaev has
long complained that Kazakhstan was left alone to deal with this
Soviet legacy, which he claims affected more than 500,000 people.
Keith Martin, RFE/RL, Inc.

TURKMEN-IRANIAN ENERGY COOPERATION. On 22 July Iran's Minister of
Energy completed discussions with Turkmen officials in Ashgabat on
energy and water resources, ITAR-TASS reported. The discussions
included the possibility of sending electricity produced in
Turkmenistan to other countries using Iran's electric power grid,
and also of the possibility of uniting the two countries' electric
systems. The question of costs remained unresolved. The
discussions also dealt with joint construction of reservoirs on
border rivers and the setting up in Turkmenistan of facilities to
produce equipment for water management.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

CSCE EXAMINES RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING IN MOLDOVA. On the second
anniversary of Russia's peacemaking operation in Moldova, amid
proliferating reports of Russian acquiescence in violations of the
armistice convention by "Dniester" forces, a representative of the
CSCE's Chairman in Office arrived in Moldova to assess Russia's
peacemaking operation, Basapress reported on 22 July. Moldovan
officials told the agency that the problem was being discussed "in
the context of Russia's demarches to obtain an international
mandate as a peacemaker in this region." They said that they gave
Bascone evidence on the formation of "Dniester" paramilitary units
in the demilitarized zone, particularly in the sector controlled
by the Russian troops. On 20 July, for the first time in two years
and possibly in connection with Russia's quest for an
international mandate, the Joint Control Commission was able for
the first time in two years to allow the CSCE to watch the
peacemaking operation in Moldova, under an agreement for
cooperation it signed with the CSCE Mission in Chisinau. The
arrangement had long been urged by Chisinau but had been blocked
by Russia and Tiraspol.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

BENDERY UPDATE. Lt.-Colonel Valerii Prudnikov, commander of
Moldova's police unit in Bendery, site of the largest battle in
the war of 1992, detailed to Basapress on 22 July recent
violations of the armistice convention as they affect the police.
The convention, treating the lawful police and rebel "Dniester"
militia equally, had established numerical parity and an equal
division of responsibilities between them in demilitarized
Bendery. Yet in recent months the "Dniester" militia has grown to
more than 500 compared to the 104 policemen; it has disconnected
almost all police telephones and severely restricts police
movements; the "Dniester" KGB (it is still called that) has taken
over offices in the police building itself and installed
additional armed men there. Russian peacemakers responsible for
the sector have condoned these moves. Prudnikov said that the
Joint Control Commission is unable to take any action because of
"Dniester" and Russian veto power. On the other hand, "Dniester"
president Igor Smirnov's spokesperson expressed satisfaction,
telling ITAR-TASS on 21 July that "Russia's peacemaking mission on
the Dniester has produced a valuable experience for settling armed
conflicts on the territory of the CIS." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL,
Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

NEW LATVIAN PRIME MINISTER NAMED. On 25 July Latvian President
Guntis Ulmanis told a press briefing that he had asked Andrejs
Krastins, a Saeima deputy chairman who is a board and council
member of the right-wing Latvian National Independence Movement
(LNIM), to form a new Cabinet, BNS reports. Ulmanis said that
although Latvia's Way and the LNIM were ready to form a new
government, he felt that another political force should be given
the opportunity to do so. He agreed with Krastins that maintaining
the former government's policy in security, developing the state
financial system, and drafting an agricultural policy should be
the main principles of the new government. The Latvia's Way
faction announced that it found it impossible to delegate its
ministers to the LNIM government and felt that its formation did
not correspond to the principles of democracy in the Constitution.
If the Saeima does not approve Krastins, Ulmanis said that he
would continue talks with other political groups and dissolve the
Saeima only if no solution to the crisis was found.  Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOUTROS-GHALI SAYS THAT UNPROFOR MAY HAVE TO GO. International
media report on 26 July that the UN secretary-general said the
previous day that the world organization's forces in the former
Yugoslavia could be endangered if Muslim "safe areas" are expanded
or if the arms embargo against the Muslims is lifted. One or both
measures could be endorsed by the Contact Group following the
apparent Serb rejection of the latest peace plan, but
Boutros-Ghali apparently fears that these steps would invite Serb
retaliation at UN expense. The UN commander in Bosnia, Gen. Sir
Michael Rose, has said his men would be "sitting ducks" in such a
case. The secretary-general adds that the Contact Group might
consider setting up its own force under UN authorization to
replace UNPROFOR. Reuters notes that "critics argue the UN's
humanitarian success in Bosnia has masked massive political
failure. They charge that peacekeeping, with its emphasis on
negotiation and consent, has been a convenient tool for appeasing
the Serbs--and they point to 200,000 dead and a million homeless,
most of them Muslim, as proof." Finally, The Guardian on 25 July
said that the UN has threatened to pull UNPROFOR out of Croatia in
a week if the blockade of its control posts by refugees is not
lifted.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

UN CHARGES SERBS WITH HEAVY WEAPONS VIOLATIONS. The Washington
Post on 26 July reports that Bosnian Serb forces violated the
heavy weapons ban by lobbing shells into the Gorazde area over a
dozen times in the previous two days. One Muslim woman was killed
while she was helping with the harvest. The UN, in response, sent
the Serbs a letter warning of NATO retribution. In another story
regarding Serbs and guns, news agencies said on 25 July that the
Sarajevo airport has reopened for UNPROFOR flights after the Serbs
pledged not to fire on them. The humanitarian airlift, however,
remains suspended. And in one of the more bizarre stories reported
out of Bosnia in recent weeks, Reuters reported on 25 July that
two French soldiers serving with UNPROFOR have defected to the
Serbs. Bosnian Serb military sources said that the men wanted to
"fight the Muslims who have flooded France." Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

GRACHEV TO TALK WITH MLADIC. RFE/RL's South Slavic Language
Service said on 25 July that Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev will visit Serbia today. Observers in Moscow noted that it
was especially interesting that he met with President Yeltsin
before leaving, and that Bosnian Serb commander Gen. Ratko Mladic
is the only specific individual with whom it has been announced
that Grachev is planning to meet. Also in Moscow, diplomats from
the Contact Group gathered to discuss possible responses to the
Serb rejection of the partition plan, but Russian First Deputy
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that, while Russia is "taking
the necessary steps" to encourage Serb compliance, the plan "is
well-balanced and realistic . . . [and] it would hardly be
expedient to depart from it now." Experts from the Group are
expected to meet Thursday and Friday, but the planned 30 July
gathering of foreign ministers could be postponed somewhat, AFP
quoted Russian special envoy Vitalii Churkin as saying.  Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

DJINDJIC SEES NO REASON TO BOYCOTT PARLIAMENT. On 26 July the
Serbian press continue their coverage of the fallout of a fight
that erupted in Serbia's parliament on 22 July in which deputies
of ultra-nationalist Vojislav Seselj's Serbian Radical Party (SRS)
clashed with police. A Borba piece reports on Democratic Party
(DS) Zoran Djindjic's reaction, which seems to indicate that a
rift may be developing within the opposition ranks over how to
handle responsibility for the brawl. According to Djindjic, the DS
stands to make no gains by joining with the SRS, and likely Vuk
Draskovic's Democratic Opposition of Serbia coalition, in
boycotting upcoming parliamentary sessions. Djindjic stated "it
would be irresponsible for us to abandon the legislature . . . and
go out into [the political] sea where Mr. Vojislav Seselj, and
from time to time Mr. Vuk Draskovic, splash around." Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

MACEDONIAN ALBANIANS RETURN TO PARLIAMENT. The parliamentary wing
of the ethnic Albanian Party of Democratic Prosperity (PPD) has
decided to return to the legislature, Borba reported on 25 July.
The party left the assembly early that month, following the
sentencing of former PPD ministers, who were found guilty of
gathering weapons and forming a paramilitary unit. The return of
the parliamentary faction is a result of the recent third party
congress, in which Abdurrahman Haliti was elected new party
leader, Rilindja reported on 22 July. His predecessor, Xheladin
Murati, was elected at a congress on 1 February, in which the main
ethnic Albanian party split into a minor and a major, "radical"
parliamentary wing. In fact both factions still have the same name
and do not differ much in their programmatic position. According
to Rilindja, Haliti said that his party wants "equal civil and
national rights for the Albanians in Macedonia." The larger
faction of Arber Xhaferi broke away in February, charging that the
parliamentary faction had failed to attain this goal by joining
the governing coalition.  Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND PREDICTS 4.5% GROWTH. Despite optimistic forecasts of
hearty economic growth, Poland is faltering in its efforts to
master inflation. Central Planning Chief Miroslaw Pietrewicz told
a press conference on 25 July that GDP will grow 4.5% and
industrial production, 8.5%, in 1994. But inflation will exceed
planned levels, amounting to 26% rather than 23% in a
December-December assessment, or 31% rather than 27% on average.
Pietrewicz attributed this inflation to the surge in salaries
prompted by the four-month lack of wage controls in state firms,
along with increases in pensions and other benefits required when
the average wage rises. Real wages in industry are expected to
rise 4.3% in 1994, he said. Unemployment will reach 17.1% by the
end of the year. Poland's balance of trade will improve, with
exports rising by 10% and imports only by 5%, but 1994 will still
see an overall trade deficit of $1.7 billion ($600 million less
than in 1993). In its editorial, Zycie Warszawy expressed alarm at
the high wage growth in state firms, 40% of which are still in the
red, and the simultaneous slow-down in the registration of new
firms in the private sector, which recorded a 37.3% increase in
production the first half of 1994. Rzeczpospolita notes that the
private sector accounted for 60.5% of employment and 55% of GDP in
the first six months of 1994.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEMONSTRATIONS AT CZECH NUCLEAR POWER PLANT END. Czech and West
European environmentalists have ended a demonstration at the
nuclear power plant at Temelin. Demonstrators began blockading the
plant on 24 July. (See RFE/RL Daily Report, 25 July 1994). On 25
July the State Electric Company called police to clear at least
one entrance. A police spokesman told CTK that 30 persons were
detained; most paid fines. Two demonstrators were slightly injured
when cars drove into the plant. A spokesman for the demonstrators
told reporters that participants considered the event successful
and similar protests would probably continue to take place.  Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH REPUBLIC RESPONDS TO CLINTON'S PLEA ON RWANDA. A spokesman
for Czech Deputy Prime Minister Josef Lux told CTK on 25 July that
the Czech ministry of defense will send humanitarian assistance to
Rwanda within a few days. A team of Czech doctors may also be
sent. The decision came in response to a letter by US President
Bill Clinton, sent to Lux on 25 July, in which the US President
asked the Czech Republic to participate in the relief effort in
Rwanda. Lux is currently acting in place of Prime Minister Vaclav
Klaus, who is on vacation. On 25 July Clinton also sent a letter
to Czech President Vaclav Havel, explaining the US position on
Haiti. Lux communicated the contents of the letter to Havel, who
is also on vacation, over the phone. The contents of the letter
were not made public.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

MECIAR OFFERS LOAN TO ROMANIES. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
Chairman Vladimir Meciar recently offered a loan of one million
koruny to Romany groups for their election campaign under the
condition that they run for elections as a unified initiative
under the name of the Romany Civic Initiative, Sme reported on 25
July. Five Romany parties held a conference on 23 July in Kosice,
confirming their determination to produce a joint candidate list,
which was seen as their only chance to pass the 5% barrier to gain
representation in the parliament. At the time the negotiations
were taking place, however, a new Romany party was being created
in Poprad, while the following day, an announcement was made that
another Romany bloc would be formed, Pravda reported. The MDS loan
allegedly came to prevent Romanies from supporting the parties in
opposition to the MDS. The offer produced mix responses among
Romany leaders, but an advance of 50,000 koruny as well as a car
has already been presented.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF APPROVES STAND-BY LOAN FOR SLOVAKIA. On 22 July the IMF Board
of Directors announced that it had approved a loan of $263 million
for Slovakia's economic renewal and general stabilization, TASR
reported. Of that total, $94 million is the second part of the STF
which Slovakia was granted last year, while the actual stand-by
loan amounts to $169 million. The loan will be used to support
hard currency reserves and the balance of payments, as well as to
maintain internal convertibility for the koruna. In order to be
granted the full amount of the loan, Slovakia will have to follow
certain macroeconomic guidelines established by the IMF. Slovakia
also recently received a loan from the G-24 countries. In other
financial news, the Slovak National Bank announced on 22 July that
it will issue $258 million in bonds in Japan. Two weeks before the
signing of the issue, Slovakia was given a BBB rating by the Japan
Bond Research Institute.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN JOURNALISTS PROTEST CANCELLATION OF TV NEWS PROGRAM. The
staff of the news program Hirado (Newsreel), a major evening news
program, protested at a press conference on 22 July against the
cancellation of the program and the firing of the program's chief
editor by new television chief Adam Horvath, MTI reports. The
program has as a rule been very critical of former Communists, and
many of its critics charged that it was openly supportive of the
conservative government. Horvath criticized the program for being
politically biased and for lack of professionalism. He sent about
30 Hirado staff reporters and 20 part-time employees a letter
informing them about their show's cancellation and telling them
that they were not fired and would be called back when they were
needed. A spokesman for the Hirado staff said that Horvath sought
to silence them despite pledges that there would be no purges
under the new management.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

LAW ON BULGARIAN JUDICIARY CAUSES DISARRAY. Standart and
Demokratsiya report that the new law on the judicial system,
passed by parliament on 14 July, will be in force as of 26 July,
but that it remains unclear whether parts of it can be
implemented. Bulgaria's Minister of Justice, Petar Kornazhev, is
of the opinion that a new Prosecutor General and Chairman of the
Supreme Court have to be elected in early September, since the
incumbents fail to meet the requirements (on five years experience
as judge or prosecutor) laid down in the new legislation. The
Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), on the other hand, has reached the
conclusion that the incumbents cannot be forced to leave before
having completed the 7-year term envisaged by article 129 of the
1991 constitution. The SJC also notes that the constitution
precludes the possibility of a judge appointed more than three
years ago being replaced. Since it is the SJC which is charged
with electing top jurists, it seems unlikely that the law will be
enforced until the Constitutional Court has settled the issue.
Kjell Engelbrekt and Antonina Bakardjieva, RFE/RL, Inc.

BLACK SEA STATES BEGIN NAVAL EXERCISE. On 25 July seven countries
plus the United States launched a unprecedented naval exercise in
the Black Sea, BTA and Western agencies report. "Breeze '94" is
scheduled to go on for four days and involve ships from the US,
Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, as well as
observers from Georgia. The US Embassy in Sofia released a
statement saying that US participation in the exercise should be
regarded as a sign of "our enduring interest in the stability of
Eastern Europe." Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

RESULTS OF UKRAINE'S PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. Final results of the
24 July parliamentary elections in Ukraine showed they were valid
in 65 of the 112 districts and resulted in the election of 20 new
deputies. Runoff elections in the 45 districts in which there was
no clear winner will take place on 7 August. The other 47
districts which did not have the required 50% voter turnout to
make the elections valid will hold a new round of elections in
November. Of the 20 new deputies, 18 have no party affiliation.
The elections were not valid in 18 districts of Kiev and 2
districts of Sevastopol, UNIAN reported on 25 July.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

PARLIAMENT EXAMINES ISSUE OF TROOPS IN CRIMEA. The Crimean
parliament met on 20 July and examined the issue of rental
payments from the Ukrainian and Black Sea Fleet forces in Crimea,
Ukrainian television reported on 24 July. The meeting was held in
a closed session. Currently the Black Sea Fleet is reportedly
making only irregular payments for its use of Crimean land, while
the Ukrainian armed forces are making no payments at all. The
Crimean Supreme Council has raised the issue of payment for the
land used by troops with both Moscow and Kiev and is considering
expelling the forces if they do not pay for the use of the land.
If Ukraine and Russia should refuse to reduce their forces, then
the Crimean parliament will demand that they compensate the
peninsula for the loss of the part of its autonomous territory
which is used by the troops.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW BELARUSIAN MINISTERS BEGIN WORK. The new Belarusian cabinet
met on 25 July, Interfax and Belarusian television reported. The
first meeting was reportedly devoted to making further ministerial
appointments which do not require parliament's endorsement.
Parliament had approved almost all of President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka's nominees for the six key ministerial posts. On 27
July the new foreign minister, Uladzimir Syanko, and the new
interior minister, Yuriy Zakharenko, will formally take over their
new offices.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]

  Compiled by Vladimir Socor and Dan Ionescu
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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