The only thing one knows about human nature is that it changes. - Oscar Wilde
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 143, 29 July 1994

                              RUSSIA

YELTSIN: WEAPONS' GRADE PLUTONIUM PLANT TO BE SHUT DOWN. Russian
President Boris Yeltsin told journalists in the closed city of
Krasnoyarsk-26 on 28 July that a weapons-grade plutonium
production facility in the city would be shut down by the year
2000 because "we have no plans to build up the country's nuclear
potential." According to ITAR-TASS and Interfax reports, Yeltsin
said that he would sign an edict by the end of September
stipulating that the mining and chemical combines in the city
continue operation and that plans go forward for the construction
of a new nuclear storage and reprocessing facility. A Russian
official told ITAR-TASS that the construction project would take
twelve years and require nearly two trillion rubles. Yeltsin went
out of his way to emphasize that workers in the closed city would
continue to have jobs. As defense spending in Russia has been cut,
many cities dependent upon defense production have faced the
prospect of massive unemployment. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN-US EXERCISE IS RESCHEDULED. Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 28 July as saying that a joint
Russian-US peacekeeping exercise will take place in September at
the Totsk training grounds in the southern Urals. According to
Reuters, Grachev dismissed as a "vestige of the past" opposition
to the exercises, which were originally scheduled to be held in
early July, and said that Russia would suffer financial losses and
a diminution of its international standing if the exercises were
canceled. In Nezavisimaya gazeta of 28 July Sergei Kornilov, a
member of the parliamentary delegation that recently visited Totsk
and met local leaders and military commanders, wrote that the trip
convinced him that Russia would indeed benefit from participation
in the exercises. However, he recommended that they not be held at
Totsk because of environmental degradation in the area--the result
of nuclear weapons tests conducted there in the 1950s--and a
general feeling of suspicion among the local populace toward the
army and the state that is a consequence of those tests.  Stephen
Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

PRIMORSKY KRAI THREATENS TO PEDDLE MILITARY HARDWARE. The governor
of Primorsky Krai, Evgenii Nazdratenko, has threatened to sell
helicopters, missiles, ships, submarines, and military spare parts
on the international market as a means of helping the region
extricate itself from dire economic straits, ITAR-TASS reported on
29 July. Nazdratenko suggested that the policy was unavoidable,
blaming what he described as the indifference of the central
authorities in Moscow to economic difficulties faced in the
regions. He said that a local affiliate of the military trading
company "Voeneksport" would be established in Vladivostok in the
the future to conduct the transactions.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY THREATENS JAPAN. Ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky
told journalists in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk during a tour of Sakhalin on
28 July that Russia would never give up the disputed Kuril
Islands. According to Interfax, Zhirinovsky also threatened to
turn the Sea of Okhotsk into a Russian lake and suggested that
Russia might invade Japan if Tokyo did not give up its claims. He
said that after achieving power through elections in November 1994
or March 1995 he would introduce visa requirements that would
allow Japanese to visit Russia only to do what he called "dirty
work" under strict supervision. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

TOP PRESS OFFICIAL ACCUSED OF ANTISEMITISM. A court hearing in the
libel case brought by the chairman of Russia's State Committee for
the Press, Boris Mironov, against Izvestiya editor Valerii
Vyzhutovich has been postponed due to the judge's illness,
ITAR-TASS reported on 27 July. In the incriminated article,
published in Izvestiya on 28 May, Vyzhotovich had cited overtly
anti-democratic and anti-Semitic statements by Mironov and accused
him of misuse of office in subsidizing the publication of
anti-Semitic literature by a state-owned publishing house.
ITAR-TASS quoted Mironov's lawyer as saying that the revelations
contained in Vyzhutovich's article had prompted the leaders of
Moscow's Jewish community to request the office of Russia's
Prosecutor General to prosecute Mironov for inciting racial
hatred.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.


MMM PANIC FORCES GOVERNMENT RESPONSE. As tens of thousands of
investors milled about at the Moscow headquarters of the MMM
investment company on 28 July, hoping for a chance to redeem their
shares before the firm's expected collapse, the Russian government
attempted to stem panic by pledging energetic measures to regulate
the securities market. The cabinet ordered the finance ministry to
set up a committee to draft new rules; investigations were
promised. The head of Russia's taxation authorities, Sergei
Almazov, reiterated the general conclusion that MMM is a pyramid
scheme, calling the firm "a group of skilled swindlers who take
advantage of imperfect legislation to bamboozle people and fill
their own pockets." But police and justice authorities seemed
powerless to take action, as MMM is believed to have manipulated
loopholes rather than directly violated the law. Meanwhile, MMM
officials launched a counteroffensive, publishing full-page ads
that threatened to rally 10 million shareholders and their
families in a "referendum" against the government. MMM also vowed
to continue operations, but Interfax reported that only 37 of
17,000 people in line managed to redeem shares on 28 July.
Presidential adviser Aleksandr Livshits tried to put the debacle
in a positive light: the securities market is poorly regulated,
but the population has savings that it is prepared to invest, and
emerging economic stability means that "the Russian Klondike will
soon be over," eliminating the conditions in which MMM and similar
undertakings can flourish.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc.

ANOTHER HOSTAGE DRAMA. Some forty bus passengers, including eight
children, were taken hostage on 28 July by four armed men in the
town of Mineralnye Vody in Russia's Northern Caucasus, the Russian
Minister for Emergency Situations told the media. The hostage
taking is the fourth of this kind in the region since December
1993. Ostankino Television reported that the bandits demanded 15
million US dollars and a helicopter. By the evening of 28 July,
the kidnappers released six hostages. Negotiations between the
kidnappers and representatives of Russia's Counterintelligence
Service continued through the night, before a special unit stormed
the helicopter at dawn. News agencies reported on 29 July that
four hostages were killed in the rescue operation while all
kidnappers were captured.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KARABAKH CEASEFIRE EXTENDED. On 27 July the Armenian and
Azerbaijani defence ministers and the commander of the armed
forces of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic signed an
agreement on a ceasefire that gives legal force to the agreement
on a truce signed in May, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported. The
signatories further pledged to work toward the signing in August
of an agreement on military-technical issues and on the deployment
of international peacekeepers and CSCE observers.  Liz Fuller,
RFE/RL Inc.

TAJIK UPDATE. As fighting continued in the Tajikabad, Garm and
Tavil-Dara regions east of Dushanbe on 28 July, Tajik leader
Imomali Rakhmonov met in emergency session with the Defense,
Interior, and Security ministers and urged them to destroy the
rebels, Interfax reported. A Tajik Defense Ministry officer also
told Interfax that 30 of the 56 soldiers "captured" by the rebels
had been found near Khorog, capital of the predominantly
opposition-controlled Gorno-Badakhshon autonomous republic; he
said they appeared to have defected to the rebel side. This
contradicts earlier statements by Badakhshoni authorities that the
prisoners were not in Gorno-Badakhshon. ITAR-TASS reported that
the command of Russia's 201st motorized infantry division,
stationed in southern Tajikistan, had "for the time being" refused
requests from the Tajik government to intervene on its behalf
against the rebels. Russian media also reported that CIS forces
had repelled armed opposition groups trying to cross from
Afghanistan into Tajikistan. Russia's defense minister, Pavel
Grachev, told Interfax that tensions on the Tajik-Afghan border
will intensify, and that the lack of a single command for the
border guards and other military units is making it impossible to
effectively guard the border. He also urged the Tajik leadership
to broaden its contacts with the opposition and with the
Badakhshoni authorities.  Keith Martin, RFE/RL Inc.

                               CIS

SHUMEIKO FOR CHANGING CIS INTO CONFEDERATION. Vladimir Shumeiko,
speaker of Russia's Federation Council and chairman of the CIS
Interparliamentary Assembly, urged at a news conference on 28 July
a "close integration among the former Soviet republics" and the
transformation of the CIS into a "confederation," Interfax
reported. Shumeiko, who has made several statements of this kind
recently, expressed confidence that such a confederation, "a
single community with a single goal and a single program, will
eventually appear on the territory of the CIS." He also predicted
that economic integration would lead to "political unity."
Shumeiko nevertheless contended that such integration would "by no
means violate the sovereignty of independent states." Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

BALTIC-BLACK SEA LEAGUE PROPOSED. At a briefing in Kiev on 26
July, reported by UNIAN, representatives of Ukraine's Republican,
Democratic, and Green Parties announced the impending holding of
an international conference in Ukraine's capital to establish a
League of Parties of the Baltic-Black Sea region. The organizers
expect representatives of 22 parties from Ukraine, the three
Baltic States, Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria to
attend. Ukraine's leaders and other officials, as well as former
President Leonid Kravchuk, have also been invited. The organizers,
who include Volodimir Yavorivsky and Mikhailo Horyn, envisage the
formation of a "Baltic-Black Sea bloc of free peoples" as an
alternative to plans for integration within the CIS or a "Eurasian
Union." The idea of a confederal organization of the peoples of
the Baltic-Black Sea space to resist outside domination has its
roots in the nineteenth century and in interwar Poland
(Prometheanism and Inter-Marium).  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

ARMED INCIDENT ON DNIESTER. On 27 July "Dniester" forces set up an
illegal "customs station" outside the right-bank city of Bendery
to establish a "border" that would separate the "Dniester
republic" from the rest of Moldova, Basapress reported on 28 July.
Summoned to the scene, a senior representative of the Russian side
of the Joint Control Commission claimed that the Russian
peacemaking commander in Bendery had personally authorized the
move. Such a decision would constitute a multiple violation of the
armistice convention. A tense armed standoff and threats of force
ensued but the Moldovan side backed down. This is the third
"customs station" that "Dniester" forces have managed to set up on
the right bank recently, condoned by the Russian peacemakers. On
the left bank such encroachments have been more common. Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

TWO ALBANIANS KILLED IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. On 27 July two ethnic
Albanians were shot and killed by Serbian border officials.
Details of the incident are scant, but according to accounts
reported by the rump Yugoslav state-run news service Tanjug, the
shooting victims had attempted to forcibly enter rump Yugoslavia.
They were some 300 meters in rump Yugoslavia when they allegedly
ignored warnings and shot several rounds at the Serbian border
guards who returned the fire. On 28 July, however, Reuters
reported that the Albanian Interior Ministry, after the Albanian
government's conducting an on-the-scene investigation, has learned
that the victims were unarmed and were not Albanian citizens but
ethnic Albanians from the rump Yugoslavia.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL
Inc.

BOSNIAN SERBS DUB PEACE PLAN A PATH TO "NATIONAL SUICIDE." On 28
July the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb parliament convened in Pale
to discuss and tacitly reject once again the latest international
peace proposal for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which gives 49% of the
country to the Bosnian Serb side. According to Tanjug and SRNA
reports, the Bosnian Serb side has not rejected peace in
principle, and is willing to negotiate further. Yet in a letter
revealing little willingness to adopt a conciliatory attitude, and
sent to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and rump Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic, Bosnian Serb parliamentarians
insisted that the current peace plan is merely a "prelude to
national suicide." Bosnian Serbs renewed demands for control over
more territory than accorded by the peace plan, access to the
Adriatic, and a "right to self-determination" not excluding the
possibility of "uniting with other neighboring states." Meanwhile,
on 28 July Reuters reported that Milosevic and Greek Foreign
Minister Karolos Papoulias met in Belgrade following the latest
Bosnian Serb rejection of peace, and called for "a comprehensive
peace plan" for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finally, on 29 July AFP
reports that representatives from the international "contact
group" will meet on that same date, one day prior to a scheduled
meeting of "contact group" foreign ministers on 30 July, to
discuss the current situation in Bosnia. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL
Inc.

ROSE BLASTS BOSNIAN SERBS FOR CONVOY ATTACK. On 28 July
international agencies reported that UN commander General Michael
Rose condemned sharply a Bosnian Serb attack on a UN fuel convoy
on 27 July, and reiterated that NATO air strikes could result if
peacekeepers' lives are again threatened. According to Reuters,
Rose has described the Bosnian Serb interpretation of the event,
which centers on explaining the attack as a case of mistaken
identity, as "worthless." Following the incident, the Bosnian Serb
side claimed it fired on the UN convoy because it thought that in
fact the convoy belonged to the Bosnian government.  Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

ONE-TENTH OF CROATIA'S POPULATION ARE REFUGEES. Vjesnik on 27 July
reported the latest census of the republic's refugee population,
which now stands at 379,908. This accounts for a tenth of the
country's inhabitants and three-quarters of them are without a
regular source of income. Refugee relief has been the second
largest item in the state budget after defense. Meanwhile,
Bavarian Radio said on 26 July that Croatia hopes to take in over
one billion dollars this year in tourist revenues, but other
German media note that the Croatian economy remains on the ropes
despite an abundance of hard currency in the country. At fault are
not only the damage and dislocation of war, but also the fact that
the old communist management structure remains largely in place.
What privatization there is, has largely served to consolidate the
hold of privileged members of Tudjman's party, many of whom are
ex-communist functionaries. Elsewhere, the Croatian press
continues to be taken up with the future of UNPROFOR as well as
with a rather esoteric debate on alleged attempts to rewrite the
history of the 1971 Croatian Spring, during which Tudjman and two
prominent opposition leaders in today's Croatia made their names.
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

TYMINSKI SUES POLISH TV. Graciela Tyminska, the Peruvian-born wife
of the eccentric emigre who unexpectedly finished second in the
first round of the 1990 presidential elections, testified in a
Warsaw court on 28 July that the only conflict in her marriage
arose because she put too much chili in her husband's tomato soup,
Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 29 July. Tyminski is suing Polish TV
over a program aired during the final days of the 1990 election
campaign, in which his Mississauga (Canada) neighbors accused him
of beating his wife and starving his children. Tyminski is
demanding an apology and damages (for charity); the case has
already dragged on for years. In other court news, a second day of
testimony was heard in the trial of President Lech Walesa's son on
charges of drunk driving and resisting arrest. Przemyslaw Walesa
has admitted to drinking heavily and smashing into another car
after learning that his girlfriend was pregnant, but claims he
cannot remember what happened next. According to the arresting
officers, Przemyslaw kicked and struggled and finally had to be
put in a straight jacket. He is said to have shouted, "You'll all
be fired. You don't know who I am," PAP reported on 28 July.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. During a press conference on 28 July,
Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan Carnogursky and Jan
Langos, spokesman of the Permanent Conference of the Civic
Institute, announced the signing of a cooperation agreement, TASR
reported. Carnogursky said his party does not agree with the
recent decision of the National Property Fund to hold a direct
sale of the shares of five major Slovak firms. He argued instead
that the firms should be privatized through a transparent public
competition or through sale on the capital market and said the
issue would be brought up at the next meeting of the coalition
council. Concerning the letter recently sent by Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar to the CSCE,
recommending Carnogursky's removal as vice-chairman, Carnogursky
said it was sent to someone who is no longer the chairman or even
a member of the CSCE parliamentary assembly and that it should be
re-addressed. CDM Deputy Chairman Frantisek Miklosko said that
signatures of thirty Slovak parliament members should be collected
by 29 July, and an extraordinary session of parliament can be
expected to begin on 9 August. A major issue to be discussed is
the limiting of campaign spending in the upcoming elections.
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT DECIDES AGAINST WORLD FAIR. Prime Minister
Gyula Horn told reporters after a cabinet meeting on 28 July that
Hungary could not afford to host the 1996 World Fair, MTI reports.
Horn said that the plan of the previous conservative government to
finance the fair primarily from private investments proved to be
an illusion, and that the state budget could not carry the
estimated costs of between 50 and 60 billion forint. He pledged
that infrastructure improvements connected with the
fair--including new roads, bridges, and better
telecommunications--will be completed. Most opposition parties
protested against the government's decision on the ground that the
fair would have helped Hungarian entrepreneurs and created much
needed jobs. Organizations representing the interests of
entrepreneurs also expressed disappointment. The government plans
to submit the proposal to cancel the fair for approval to
parliament in September.  Edith Oltay, RFE/RL Inc.

US GENERAL VISITS HUNGARY. General Charles G. Boyd, Deputy
Commander of US Forces in Europe, on 28 July completed a three-day
visit to Hungary at the invitation of the US-Hungarian Military
Working Group, MTI reports. Boyd discussed important issues
dealing with bilateral military ties with Defense Minister Gyorgy
Keleti and awarded a high US military decoration to Maj. Gen.
Jozsef Biro, first deputy chief of staff. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL
Inc.

MINERS STRIKE IN ROMANIA. About 15,000 miners in Rovinari went on
strike on 28 July, demanding a raise of 50% in salaries. The
mining company said it could agree only to a raise of between 5
and 7%. Radio Bucharest and Western agencies reported miners also
rallied in Targu Jiu, where a delegation of the strikers began
negotiations with management. Leaders of the miners said they had
planned a 24 hour strike but the action could be prolonged
indefinitely if their demands are not met. At least ten miners
began a hunger strike in Targu Jiu, outside the main headquarters
of the mining company, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. The two
sides agreed to continue negotiations on the next days.  Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

BULGARIAN PRIVATIZATION MAKING PROGRESS? At a seminar devoted to
Bulgaria's achievements in the field of privatization, held in
Sofia on 28 July, BTA reports that specialists engaged in lively
discussions both about the government's past performance and its
recently adopted mass privatization scheme. The Director of the
newly established Center for Mass Privatization, Dimitar Stefanov,
argued that the denationalization of the economy had made so
little progress primarily because it was lacking a comprehensive
and coordinated approach. By contrast, Aleksandar Bozhkov, the
former head of the Agency on Privatization, defended the
market-based law of 1992, and warned that the mass privatization
scheme would mainly provide members of the ex-nomenklatura with an
opportunity to further extend their influence over the economy. On
the previous day the Agency on Privatization said it had completed
no more than 12 deals during the first half of 1994, but is about
to sell 55% of the shares in the SOMAT Limited. SOMAT is the
country's largest transport company with 6,500 employees, over
6,000 trucks and trailers, and offices in 22 countries.  Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL Inc.

MOLDOVA ADOPTS CONSTITUTION. On 28 July Moldova's Parliament,
elected in February of this year, July approved by an 81 to 18
vote the country's new constitution, due to go into effect on the
anniversary of the country's independence on 27 August. The
constitution defines Moldova as an independent, democratic, and
"single" state, its official language "Moldovan" (not Romanian) in
the Latin script; guarantees the use and development of the
Russian and other languages spoken in Moldova; declares the
country's permanent neutrality and bans the stationing of foreign
troops on its territory; and makes provision for the autonomy of
Transdniester and the Gagauz region, to be detailed in organic
laws due for enactment by 1 January 1995. Human rights and
freedoms, political pluralism, civil peace, and the rule of law
are declared supreme values. The government is semi-presidential,
with executive authority divided between President and cabinet,
while Parliament holds supreme legislative authority. Parliament
and a non-partisan President are to be elected for four-year terms
(the next elections would fall due in December 1995 for President
and February 1998 for Parliament). The pro-Romanian opposition,
which had as a minority controlled the previous parliament and
stalled constitutional development for three years, unsuccessfully
resisted this constitution within and outside Parliament.
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

MOLDOVA GRANTING AUTONOMY TO GAGAUZ. In what may be a
precedent-setting step for postcommunist Eastern Europe, Moldova's
Parliament adopted overwhelmingly in the first reading on 28 July
an organic law establishing a "national-territorial autonomous
unit" for the Gagauz. Moldova's top leaders and the Agrarian
parliamentary leadership had negotiated the document with Gagauz
leaders, who sent a delegation to attend the voting in parliament.
The law provides for a far-reaching devolution of powers. The new
region will have its own elected legislative and executive
authorities, will use three official languages--Gagauz/Turkish,
Russian, and Moldovan/Romanian--and will be entitled to secession
from Moldova in the hypothetical case of the latter's merger with
Romania. Chisinau had offered these terms already in the spring of
1993 but the Gagauz leaders had held out for more. The
pro-Romanian minority vehemently resisted the deal all along. The
second reading of the law is scheduled for August.  Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIA RESUMES TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM ESTONIA. Juri Tohvri, the
Estonian Defense Ministry official responsible for Russian
military sites, said that the Russian troop withdrawal had resumed
and is progressing better than previously, Interfax reported on 28
July. Two Russian ships, loaded with equipment from the navy's air
force base at Amari, left Padilski that day and seven more
transport ships will take away more equipment in August. Property
of the tank regiment of the 144th infantry division were being
loaded on 51 railroad cars at Klooga. Official ceremonies,
scheduled for 27 July, closing the naval base at Tallinn were
apparently canceled for "unknown" reasons. The base's deputy
commander, Anatolii Derevyanko, said, however, that the base
"doesn't even function anymore" and even lacked the personnel to
run the one remaining ship, Western agencies report.  Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

LATVIA, CHINA RESTORE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. On 28 July Chinese
Foreign Minister Qian Qichen and Latvian Deputy Prime Minister
Maris Gailis signed a joint declaration in Beijing restoring
diplomatic relations, Western agencies report. The two countries
had established diplomatic relations in September 1991, but China
recalled its ambassador after Latvia established consular
relations with Taiwan in February 1992. The signing of the
declaration terminated Latvia's relations with Taiwan.  Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN TROOPS IN BELARUS. On 28 July Interfax reported that
Belarusian defense ministry spokesman Yeuhen Rzhavtsev said that
Belarus is keeping to the timetable for the withdrawal of Russian
troops from the country. All of the long-range nuclear missiles in
Belarus are to be removed to Russia by 1998 at which time all
Russian strategic rocket forces guarding the missiles are to be
withdrawn. Rzhavtsev said that Moscow has asked Belarus to
consider keeping some Russian military installations in the
country because of their strategic importance to Russia, including
a radar station in Hantsevich and a communications center for
Baltic Fleet warships in Vileika. The issue will be discussed at
the summit talks between Russian and Belarusian leaders in Moscow
on 3 August.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

IMF IN BELARUS. Following his visit to Ukraine, IMF managing
director Michel Camdessus arrived in Belarus at the invitation of
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Belarusian radio reported on 28
July. Camdessus will meet with Lukashenka, Prime Minister Mikhail
Chyhir and Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Mechyslau Hryb to
discuss the country's economic policies and IMF credits to the
republic. Last year the IMF gave Belarus part of a $98 million
credit package to support the country's economic reforms. Most of
the credit was used to pay for Russian energy supplies.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

UKRAINE ON YUGOSLAVIA. On 28 July Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitalii
Masol held talks with the prime minister of rump Yugoslavia,
Radoje Kontic, Reuters and Interfax reported. After the talks
Masol announced that Ukraine should restore its former economic
and cultural ties with rump Yugoslavia. Ukraine's foreign minister
Anatolii Zlenko said that sanctions against rump Yugoslavia could
be eased with regard to food and medicine, although he stressed
that Ukraine upholds UN sanctions against that country. Zlenko
also said that Ukraine agreed with Russia's position on replacing
UN troops in Bosnia with NATO forces. According to Zlenko, NATO is
a military bloc and thus cannot be considered a peacekeeping
force. Kontic's three-day visit to Ukraine ends on 29 July.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

ALBANIAN HIGH COURT CONFIRMS NANO SENTENCE. Reuters reports that
Albania's Supreme Court on 28 July ruled to uphold a 12-year jail
sentence against Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano, accused of
having misappropriated state funds. Judge Avni Shehu said the
court had reached the conclusion that Nano was guilty of actions
that had cost the state 72 million lek (then $7 million) when
serving as prime minister, by arranging an aid deal through
friends and connections. According to the verdict, Nano will also
have to return the 72 million to the state. While the police
dis-persed a crowd of some 50 Nano supporters in front of the
courthouse, Deputy Socialist Party leader Luan Hajdaraga called
the ruling "a political verdict" and promised that the party would
"fight until he is free." Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL Inc.

CONSTRUCTION BOOM IN ALBANIA. At a recent press conference,
Minister of Construction Ilir Manushi spoke of a housing
construction boom in Albania (Rilindja Demokratike, 26 July).
Production in the construction sector this year was up 165% over
the corresponding period in 1993. Over 10,000 housing units are
being financed by the state, out of which 1,200 will go to former
politically persecuted people. The rest will go to homeless
families (42,000) and to those who return their homes to the
former owners. More than 4,000 jobs have been created in this
sector which two years ago came to a complete standstill.  Louis
Zanga, RFE/RL Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Vladimir Socor and Dan Ionescu







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