If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there. - Martin Luther
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 145, 2 August 1994

                              RUSSIA

SPEAKER OF COUNCIL OF FEDERATION ON CHECHNYA. At a press
conference in Moscow on 1 August, Ramazan Abdulatipov, deputy
speaker of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said that
Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev had missed the opportunity to
build civilized relations with Russia, ITAR-TASS reports. Last
week Dudaev said that his leadership would not negotiate an
agreement with Russia on the division of powers. Abdulatipov said
that under the circumstances Moscow had no choice but to work with
the opposition. He added that Russia should refrain from using
force in the break-away republic. Last week the Chechen opposition
Provisional Council called on Moscow to recognize it as "the only
legal body in Chechnya." On 1 August, the Council held a meeting
at which the possibility of reaching an agreement between Moscow
and Chechnya was discussed, Ostankino television reports.  Vera
Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

COMMITTEE DE-LINKS AID FROM BALTIC TROOP WITHDRAWAL. On 1 August a
joint US House and Senate conference committee killed an amendment
to the US Foreign Aid bill that tied aid for Russia to the
withdrawal of all Russian troops from the Baltic States by 31
August, an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reports. The
amendment had been denounced in Moscow as an attempt by Washington
to interfere in Russia's internal affairs. The US Administration
had refused to be drawn into the controversy and top US officials
had made clear that a failure to withdraw the troops by the 31
August deadline would harm Russia's relations with the West. The
German government was also reported to have leaned heavily on
Russia to complete the pull-out. The joint committee said that the
conclusion by Russia and Estonia of a withdrawal agreement meant
that the amendment was no longer needed. It reportedly set a
figure of some $850 million for aid to Russian and other CIS
states. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

GOVERNMENT TAKES CAUTIOUS STEPS AGAINST MMM . . . In an effort to
sort out the legal mess brought to light by the crash of the MMM
pyramid scheme, the Russian Finance Ministry on 1 August requested
a meeting with MMM officials on 3 August, Interfax reports. The
government appears anxious to force MMM into conformity with the
law without a formal crackdown that could evoke public sympathy
for the firm. On 1 August, the Finance Ministry requested that MMM
formally register all its shareholders and conduct an audit of its
assets, to be made public by 1 October. In an earlier attempt to
explain why such information was not available, MMM officials
claimed that the company's records had been stolen. The Russian
anti-monopoly committee requested once again that MMM and other
firms promising extravagant returns on investments bring their
advertising into conformity with the presidential decree issued in
June, banning the promise of future dividends at specific rates. A
high-ranking privatization official told Reuters that the
government had learned its lesson from MMM, and planned to
intervene in the future. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . WHILE MMM BUILDS GOOD GUY IMAGE. In an apparent attempt to
project the image of a kinder, gentler pyramid scheme, MMM offered
to buy back shares from selected "needy" investors at the
pre-crash price of 115,000 rubles, provided shareholders could
prove they needed the money for a funeral, wedding, or other
emergency expenditure. Faced with a panic prompted by the
government warnings that investments in firms such as MMM were not
guaranteed, MMM had slashed redemption prices from 115,000 to 950
rubles per share on 29 July. An ad hoc committee of shareholders
announced on 1 August that the handicapped, Afghan war veterans,
and Chernobyl victims will also be able to redeem their shares at
the old price. Thousands filled out petitions detailing their
misfortunes; some 200 received compensation on 1 August. Interfax
reported on 1 August that places at the head of the line outside
MMM's Moscow headquarters were fetching 20 million rubles. Sales
of new MMM shares, offered for just over 1,000 rubles at most MMM
offices in Russia, remained brisk, despite the well-publicized
losses suffered by past MMM investors.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL,
Inc.

GOVERNOR CLAIMS KURILS; BACKS RUSSIAN UNITY. The governor of
Primorsky Krai, Evgenii Nazdratenko, proposed on 2 August that the
Kuril Islands be transferred to the administrative control of
Primorsky Krai. The islands, the southern-most of which are
claimed by Japan, are currently part of Sakhalin Oblast. The
ITAR-TASS report of Nazdratenko's remarks, which came as the
region prepares for elections, did not reveal if he had provided a
rationale for the transfer, although Nazdratenko did refer to
existing and potential economic ties between the islands and the
krai. Nazdratenko also spoke emphatically against Russian
territorial concessions to neighboring states (presumably a
reference to Japanese demands on the Kurils) and against the
division of Russia into "apanage principalities." He was quoted as
saying that he saw the krai's future only in a united Russia under
a single president. On 29 July Nazdratenko had threatened to begin
selling military hardware on the international market as a means
of reversing the region's economic decline and protesting what he
described as Moscow's indifference to problems faced by the
regions.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

KHASBULATOV: "NO MORE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA." Ruslan
Khasbulatov, the speaker of the Russian parliament, disbanded by
President Boris Yeltsin in October 1993, told Nezavisimaya gazeta
on 30 July that there will be no more presidential elections in
Russia. According to Khasbulatov, Yeltsin will not call new
elections, when his term in office expires in June 1996, because
he is unlikely to win them. Moreover, Khasbulatov alleged that
Yeltsin could not afford to lose the elections because he had
violated the Russian Constitution and laws while in office.  Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

FORMER PROSECUTOR-GENERAL SETS UP OPPOSITION PARTY. On 30 July
Former Russian Prosecutor-General Aleksei Kazannik held a
news-conference in his native city of Omsk to announce the
formation of the new opposition Party of People's Conscience
(PPC), ITAR-TASS reports. Kazannik gained fame in 1989 when he
resigned his seat in the Soviet parliament in favor of Yeltsin.
Kazannik said that he had sided with Yeltsin and his team until he
was appointed Russian Prosecutor-General last fall and saw these
leaders more closely. In his opinion, they acted only for selfish
interests and "do not care for the interests of the country or the
ideals of legality and justice." In another dispatch that day,
ITAR-TASS reported that Aleksei Demidovsky, a former co-chairman
of a public committee to support Yeltsin, had formed a St.
Petersburg branch of the PPC with the aim to campaign for
Kazannik's election as Russia's president in 1996.  Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

CONTROVERSY OVER HISTORY OF SOVIET ATOMIC BOMB CONTINUES.
Literaturnaya gazeta of 27 July published the proceedings of the
special meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences devoted to
discussing the book by Soviet ace-spy Pavel Sudoplatov. In their
speeches academicians Evgenii Velikhov, Yurii Osipyan, Zhores
Alferov, and Yurii Osipov said the Sudoplatov's allegation about
cooperation of Western scientists with the Soviet intelligence and
"moral corruption" of the Soviet scientists was a calculated
"provocation." The spokesman for the Russian Foreign Intelligence
(SVR), Yurii Kobaladze noted that Sudoplatov's book is a mixture
of reliable data, half truths, and impure denunciation. For
example, Sudoplatov's assertions about contacts of the Soviet
agents with American physicists Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard,
and Enriko Fermi were untrue. In general, the Soviet intelligence
played an important but auxiliary role in creating nuclear
weapons, Kobaladze added. In an editorial comment, Literaturnaya
gazeta noted that the academicians' statements appear unconvincing
since the first Soviet bomb was an exact copy of the American
original.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

SITUATION BEGINS TO STABILIZE IN RUSSIA. On 29 July Izvestiya and
Argumenty i fakty published articles on the decline of social
tension and aggressiveness within Russian society, ITAR-TASS
reports. Only 25 percent of respondents in a poll conducted by the
All-Russian Center For Study Of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) in June
believed that there would be social unrest connected with the
deteriorating economic situation. In June 1993 the number of such
respondents was 33 percent. The number of respondents expressing
their intention to take part personally in massive protests
declined from 26 percent in 1993 to 22 percent this year. VTsIOM
experts noted that the predictions by the anti-Yeltsin opposition
of a "social explosion" connected with the second phase of
privatization seem unlikely.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN BORDER GUARD AGREEMENT. Commander-in-Chief of
the Russian Border Troops Andrei Nikolaev said that Russia and
Ukraine have reached an understanding on the new status of their
joint border protection, Ostankino TV reported on 1 August.
According to Nikolaev, the Russian-Ukrainian border will be
divided into sections which will be guarded by either Russian or
Ukrainian Border Troops, but not both. Nikolaev said that this
agreement had "no precedent in world practice" and that it can
help reduce the expenses for the Border Troops. Victor Yasmann,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LUCHINSKI URGES RUSSIAN TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM MOLDOVA. On 30 July
in remarks to journalists, cited by ITAR-TASS and Interfax,
Moldovan Parliament Chairman Petru Luchinski mentioned the
provisions in Moldova's new Constitution proclaiming the country's
permanent neutrality and banning the stationing of foreign troops
on its soil. Luchinski said that the presence of Russia's 14th
Army in Moldova contradicts the Constitution. He called for
decisive progress at the upcoming eleventh round of bilateral
troop talks.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIAN PEACEMAKERS PERMIT NEW "DNIESTER" GAIN. In the absence of
public reaction from Moldova's political authorities, the Forestry
Department complained in a communique on 29 July cited by
Basapress that "Dniester" forces from the left bank had recently
taken over a forest within the demilitarized zone on the right
bank. The Joint Control Commission, in which the Russian and
"Dniester" members typically block actions requested by Moldova,
again failed to respond to the latest in a series of "Dniester"
encroachments in the demilitarized zone, condoned by Russian
peacemakers.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CONTACT GROUP SAYS NO MORE TALKS WITH SERBS. International media
reported on 1 August that Russia, the US, and France all rejected
further negotiations with the Bosnian Serbs over the
take-it-or-leave-it peace plan that the Serbs have effectively
turned down. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said that
Moscow has "no intention of starting new talks" and that the Serbs
cannot expect any help from Russia if they bring international air
strikes upon themselves. The Bosnian Serbs, however, remain
adamant; and the 2 August Borba quotes parliament speaker Momcilo
Krajisnik as saying that "there is no Serb state" in the present
plan and that the West will not be allowed to "divide and
disunite" the Serbs. Most Western accounts, however, see the Serbs
as having gained something of the upper hand by the Contact
Group's failure to make good on its threats, and the Chicago
Tribune runs a headline: "world powers again let Bosnian Serbs off
the hook." Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

"SERBS DEFY WESTERN PEACEMAKERS." This is how today's Washington
Post describes the current state of affairs. The paper quotes one
UN official as saying that "as long as [the Serbs] don't start
killing women and children again, this thing will muddle along for
quite some time. That's the level the international community
seems willing to accept." The daily argues that "in the end, the
United Nations and the West always appear ready to negotiate away
the terms of every ultimatum and bend to the will of the Serbs."
The paper points out that the Serbs have recently escalated the
level of fighting around Sarajevo to intimidate Western
governments into thinking that any intervention would be too
costly. The latest exercise involves renewed sniping, in which two
have died and 10 were wounded in the capital. Several were hit
while riding newly restored street cars. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

HAVEL CALLS TALKS "A MASQUERADE." One international leader who
finds the current approach to the Serbs abhorrent is Czech
President Vaclav Havel. He told Le Figaro on 28 July that "one
cannot build peace in Bosnia through a compromise with warlords."
Havel stresses the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina is an
internationally recognized member of the United Nations, and that
hence any deal to redraw its borders over the head of the legal
government smacks to a Czech in particular of the "spirit of
Munich." For the philosopher president, a question of values is
also involved in the international reaction to the Yugoslav
conflict: some leaders are willing to accept the idea of
"ethnically pure" states, which lies in blatant contradiction to
the principle of civil society and the values on which European
civilization is based. He finds it particularly lamentable that
many international leaders seem unaware of this contradiction. In
the long run, he fears that the conflict, if left unchecked, could
lead to the return of spheres of influence in the Balkans, namely
into Russian, German, and Islamic zones.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

SERBS STEP UP ETHNIC CLEANSING. Meanwhile, international and even
Serbian media report that armed Serbs are busy clearing Muslims
and Croats out of the territories conquered by Serbian and rump
Yugoslav forces since 1992. Reuters on 1 August quoted UN
spokesman Peter Kessler as saying that the latest moves are
"particularly distressing" because until recently the Serbs had
seemed "prepared to accept" some Muslims and Croats remaining. He
referred in particular to the Bijeljina area in the northeast,
where fatherless Muslim families were forced to walk across front
lines after being tricked out of their money, possessions, and
homes. The men were taken to do forced labor, often in "trench
digging . . . and at times used as human shields." The New York
Times adds that underworld figures have been involved in the
ethnic cleansing, and Berlin's Tageszeitung on 21 July ran a story
written by a Serb under a pseudonym describing in grisly detail
how the Muslims have been driven from Zvornik by the "Yellow Ants"
and other Serb gangs. Reuters on 31 July noted the expulsions of
Muslims from Sanski Most in the west, while today's Borba reports
on ethnic cleansing in Janja in the east.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

GERMAN PRESIDENT ASKS "FORGIVENESS" IN WARSAW. German President
Roman Herzog exceeded most Polish expectations when, in remarks to
an audience of veterans gathered at the Warsaw Uprising monument
late on 1 August, he said, "I ask for forgiveness for what has
been done to you by Germans." Bowing his head before all Polish
war victims, Herzog added that "it fills us Germans with shame
that the name of our country and people will be eternally linked
with the pain and suffering inflicted millionfold on Poland."
Herzog expressed sorrow that Poland, having suffered more than any
other country during the war, had afterward to endure four further
decades of subjugation. The German president also expressed
gratitude for President Lech Walesa's invitation to attend the
50th anniversary commemorations. Underlining the spirit of
reconciliation that infused the ceremonies, Herzog said he
understood and respected the feelings of Poles who objected to his
presence. He pledged Germany's support for Polish membership in
the European Union. Herzog's speech was well received in Poland;
even veterans who had objected to his participation seemed to find
satisfaction in the German gesture of atonement.  Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA SIDESTEPS THE ISSUE OF GUILT. No similar request for
forgiveness was heard from the Russian representative at the
anniversary ceremonies. In his speech at the Warsaw Uprising
monument on 1 August, Sergei Filatov, President Boris Yeltsin's
chief of staff, instead stressed the two countries' common
suffering at the hands of Nazi Germany. He presented both Russia
and Poland as victims of Stalinist totalitarianism; there was no
mention of what the Polish TV commentary called the Soviet "sin of
omission"--the Red Army's failure to come to the aid of the Warsaw
Uprising in 1944--nor of subsequent Soviet persecution of the
Polish wartime underground. President Lech Walesa expressed regret
at Yeltsin's absence, but in earlier remarks said he thought the
Russian president could not afford to make an apology because of
domestic political pressure. There was some hostile comment in the
Russian press, which seemed reluctant to abandon the myth that the
Red Army's advance into Poland signified "liberation." A Pravda
editorial on 31 July charged that the anniversary was being used
to voice "offensive" anti-Russian sentiment. Louisa Vinton,
RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA FOSTERS RECONCILIATION. In his remarks at the uprising
monument on 1 August, President Lech Walesa urged reconciliation
with both Germany and Russia despite his reminder that "we do not
forgive the murderers of Warsaw." He said that Poles should not
apply these feelings to the German people as a whole. "We want to
live with you in friendship," Walesa told Herzog. The Polish
president also thanked the leaders of the Allied coalition for
their support, but noted that no one had stood up for the Polish
capital after its defeat. Walesa also recalled the Soviet role in
the defeat of the uprising, but at the same time pointed to
thousands of graves of Soviet soldiers on Polish territory as a
potential "seed of friendship" between Poland and Russia. US Vice
President Al Gore, British Prime Minister John Major, and the
French Senate chairman also spoke, as did representatives of other
nations whose pilots flew aid missions to Warsaw in 1944.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH SKINHEADS, ANARCHISTS CLASH: ONE DEAD. CTK reported on 1
August that a young man had been killed in a fight between
skinheads and anarchists in Tanvald, northern Bohemia, on 31 July.
According to police, the fight took place outside a restaurant;
two 17-year-old men were injured and one died on the way to
hospital. Also on 31 July, President Havel condemned the actions
of Czech right-wingers who prevented Germans and Czechs from
holding a ceremony at the former Nazi concentration camp in
Terezin (see RFE/RL Daily Report, 1 August).  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL,
Inc.

THE CZECH CENTRAL BANK'S RATINGS UPGRADED. The US investment
company Standard and Poor's (S&P) upgraded the ratings of the
Czech National Bank from the BBB grade to the BBB+ grade, CTK
reported. According to the bank's spokesman, the upgrading is a
result of the Czech Republic's smooth transition from the planned
economy to a market one. On 18 July, the S&P had upgraded the
ratings of the Czech Republic from BBB to BBB+. The Czech Republic
is currently the only post-communist country whose grade is at
"the investment level." Hungary and Slovakia have received the BB
grade, which indicates "the speculative character" of investments.
Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

TALKS ON HUNGARIAN MEDIA LAW LAUNCHED. Talks between Hungary's six
parliamentary parties and representatives of Hungarian Radio and
Television began on 1 August, MTI announced. Culture Minister
Gabor Fodor said he hoped an independent codification committee
would complete by the end of August the new concept for free radio
and TV broadcasting following the rejection by the government
coalition parties of the earlier draft media law of the previous
Jozsef Antall-led government. On the same day, Jozsef Torgyan,
chairman of the opposition Independent Smallholders' Party, said
the ISP would not participate in any six-part talks because the
Horn government was placing parliament before a fait accompli by
reaching decisions on such vital issues as the 1996 World Fair,
the appointment of new radio and television chairmen, the
Gabcikovo dam, and the supplementary budget.  Alfred Reisch,
RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN DEBATE ON GABCIKOVO CONTINUES. Following a second
meeting on 1 August with representatives of Hungary's ecological
movements, Environmental Protection Minister Ferenc Baja, a
Socialist, said he will not support the filling of the Dunakiliti
reservoir located upstream of the Gabcikovo dam, MTI and
Nepszabadsag reported. Baja warned that other members of the
government held a different view on the move, which is opposed by
the ecological movements as not suited to solve the acute water
shortage of Hungary's Szigetkoz region. The Gyula Horn-led
government is considering a partial filling of the reservoir to
avoid a natural catastrophe and induce Slovakia to return more
water to the original bed of the Danube.  Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL,
Inc.

MINERS STRIKE SPREADS IN ROMANIA. A government delegation is
meeting representatives of the striking miners in Targu Jiu on 2
August, at their request, Radio Bucharest announced on 1 August.
Union officials said the strike had spread to 98% of the country's
brown coal miners, involving some 65,000 workers. Demonstrations
continue in front of the mining company headquarters in Targu Jiu
and the number of hunger strikers was said by Radio Bucharest to
have now reached 35. One of them had to be taken to hospital.
Seven union leaders of the copper miners of Deva, who joined the
protest on 1 August without, however, interrupting work, also went
on a hunger strike.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ILIESCU LEAVES HOSPITAL AFTER SURGERY. Health officials said on 1
August that President Ion Iliescu left the hospital where he had
undergone gallstone surgery. A statement of the Ministry of Health
said the president's condition was "normal." Michael Shafir,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIA'S MASS PRIVATIZATION SCHEME: 340 COMPANIES EARMARKED. The
Bulgarian government endorsed on 1 August a list of 340
enterprises worth 100 billion leva ($19 billion) to be included in
the recently adopted mass privatization scheme. Speaking at a
press conference, Prime Minister Lyuben Berov explained that the
companies had been selected on the basis of their performance
during 1993. He acknowledged that only a third of the 340
enterprises had registered a profit in the previous year, but said
none had lost more than 18% of its capital resources in that
period. The Director of the Center for Mass Privatization, Dimitar
Stefanov, added that 280 of the companies are from the industrial
sector, 23 are involved in transport, 15 in the tourism business,
13 in agriculture, and 9 in trade. Berov said the public will be
able to purchase privatization vouchers between 1 September and 14
October. Although the vouchers are inexpensive compared to their
nominal value, critics have warned that the risk of losing the
money--especially since many companies are presently operating at
a loss--may prevent many Bulgarians from joining the scheme. BTA
carried the reports.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION DAILY GETS NEW EDITOR-IN-CHIEF. On 1 July the
journalists collective running the newspaper of the Union of
Democratic Forces, Demokratsiya, voted to appoint Ivo Indzhev as
new editor-in-chief. Indzhev has previously served as
editor-in-chief of Ekspres, which had to close for financial
reasons, and before that as Director of BTA. As BTA Director he
presided over the transition to a more modern, democratic style of
journalism, but was replaced for having allowed the agency to
disseminate information critical of the government. Indzhev
succeeds his former colleague from BTA, Panayot Denev, who on 1
July resigned along with his three deputies. According to
Demokratsiya of 2 July, they all cited disagreements with recent
UDF policies. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIA ATTACKS MOLDOVA'S CONSTITUTION. In a statement issued on 1
August, Romania's government denounced Moldova's new constitution
for terming the country's language "Moldovan" rather than
Romanian, "against historic and scientific truth . . . aiming in
fact to deny Moldova's character as a Romanian state" and
continuing earlier [Soviet] attempts to "invent a new [Moldovan]
nation." Targeting the constitution's provisions on territorial
autonomies as "encouraging separatism" and even "possible
federalization," Romania's government asked Moldova to guarantee
"the rights of the majority population, the Moldovan Romanians."
Romania's government endorsed "spontaneous challenges [never
reported] from the population" against the new constitution and
the signature campaign for constitutional revision launched by the
pro-Romanian opposition parties as "proving the flaws of this
document." Romania's government "will continue working with . . .
those political forces in Moldova who call for special relations
with Romania and for national emancipation." Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN OIL TERMINAL. Lithuanian Energy Minister Algimantas
Stasiukynas told Reuters on 1 August that the Lithuanian
government had given preliminary approval to an offer by Russia's
Lukoil and Italy's Agip Spa to form a joint venture to finance the
construction of a floating oil terminal at Butinge. Lithuania
would have a 51% share, Agip Spa--29%, and Lukoil--20%. The US
firm Fluor Daniel Williams won the competition to design the
construction, expected to cost about $150 million, that should
start before the end of the year and take 18 months to complete.
Agip Spa and Lukoil will be obliged to supply a certain amount of
crude oil to the Mazeikiai refinery which will be linked to the
terminal by pipeline. The terminal with a capacity to handle 8
million tons of crude oil and 2.5 million tons of light oil
products per year will free Lithuania from its total dependency on
Russia for oil.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

UNEMPLOYMENT IN LATVIA. The Latvian Statistics Bureau reported
that on 1 July 98,426 residents of Latvia (6.4% of the
economically active inhabitants) were looking for work, BNS
reported on 1 August. The highest unemployment rate (21.5%) was in
the Kreslava district where 4,386 people were seeking work. High
unemployment rates were also registered in the Rezekne (18.7%),
Balvi (18%), and Preili (18%) districts. The districts of
Ventspils, Jelgava, and Ogre had unemployment rates of 3.3%. In
the largest city, Riga, the unemployment rate improved from 2.8%
on 1 June to 2.6% on 1 July. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

TWELVE MORE DEPUTIES ELECTED TO UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT. Ukraine's
Central Electoral Commission announced on 1 August that twelve
more deputies have been elected to the Ukrainian parliament,
ITAR-TASS reported. Eleven of the 12 deputies are not affiliated
with any party and the remaining one is a communist. The main two
rounds of the parliamentary elections, held in March and April,
left more that 100 of the 450 parliamentary seats empty. This
happened because of low voter turnout and because there were
constituencies in which no candidate received the majority
required to win. Some 90 parliament seats still remain vacant.
Another round of voting is scheduled for 7 August.  RFE/RL News
and Current Affairs and Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

GERMAN PESTICIDES WILL RETURN FROM ALBANIA. About 450 tons of
toxic waste will return to Germany between September and November,
Western agencies reported on 29 July. According to German Minister
for Environment Klaus Toepfer, an agreement was reached according
to which Albania provides personnel and transport, while Germany
sends specialists to advise the workers. The old pesticides were
brought to Albania marked as humanitarian aid in 1991 and since
then have been placed in six storage areas and one train.
Greenpeace has frequently warned that the toxic waste could cause
an environmental disaster to Lake Shkoder, the biggest lake in the
Balkans. Nonetheless, Toepfer said that no emergency measures are
necessary and denied reports from early July about a rise in
medical problems, allegedly caused by the waste stored in Milot.
According to Toepfer, German experts did not find evidence showing
any relationship between storage areas and medical problems.
Greenpeace visited three sites in July, discovered several leaking
barrels and stated that in a storage area in Durres "the pesticide
gravy is several centimeters high." Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Saulius Girnius and Dan Ionescu
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1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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Updated: 1998-11-

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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole