Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Dostoevsky
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 151, 10 August 1994

                              RUSSIA

SITUATION IN CHECHNYA. Speaking on 8 August on local television,
the majority of heads of regional administrations in Chechnya said
the greater part of the republic was controlled by President
Dudaev and officials loyal to him, ITAR-TASS reported on 9 August.
The Chechen officials said only one town in the republic was under
the full control of the opposition Provisional Council. Meanwhile,
former speaker of the Russian parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov, who
is a Chechen, arrived in the Chechen capital Groznyi, Interfax
reported on 9 August. The agency quoted an assistant to Dudaev as
saying the Chechen leadership believes that Khasbulatov plans to
oust Dudaev and take control of the republic with the help of the
Provisional Council. Khasbulatov has offered to mediate between
Moscow and Groznyi, but denies any intention to take power in
Chechnya. On 9 August, Dudaev again proposed a meeting between
himself and President Yeltsin. ITAR-TASS quoted Dudaev as saying
the two leaders could sign a communique to ease tensions in
Chechnya.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA URGES BOSNIAN SERBS TO ACCEPT PEACE. On 9 August Reuters
reported that Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Grigorii Karasin
urged the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs to abandon their
resistance to the international community's peace plan for Bosnia
and Herzegovina and to honor the proposal with an unambiguous
acceptance. Karasin, echoing a recent statement by Deputy Foreign
Minister Vitalii Churkin, also indirectly criticized the Bosnian
Serb leadership's decision to hold a referendum on the matter of
accepting peace, observing that a reliable result given war-time
conditions was a virtual impossibility. Karasin also reportedly
observed that Moscow continues to firmly back Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic in his seeming efforts to force the Bosnian
Serbs to adopt the peace.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

MMM SHAREHOLDERS FORM POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Russian TV news on 9
August showed footage of huge crowds of MMM shareholders in Moscow
and St. Petersburg rallying in support of the imprisoned company's
president, Sergei Mavrodi. According to the RTV, associations of
MMM shareholders have been gradually transformed into a political
movement with the slogan "President of MMM for the President of
Russia." Meanwhile, according to Interfax of 9 August, four of the
twenty MMM shareholders who are staging a hunger strike in front
of the Moscow police investigation office at 38 Petrovka street
have been detained for unwarranted picketing. Three of them were
soon released on bail, while the fourth was kept in custody at the
nearby police station for "unsavory behavior." Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

DEBTS THREATEN RUSSIAN ENERGY COMPLEX. The "non-payments crisis"
appears to be threatening the performance of the Russian fuel and
energy industry. At a meeting of a government commission on 9
August, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets called the
situation "extremely grave." Fuel and Energy Minister Yuri
Shafranik said that coal supplies are now 16% below 1993 levels,
according to an Interfax report. He requested new credits on
preferential terms and the deferment of federal tax payments to
help the industry weather the crisis. Nuclear Energy Minister
Viktor Mikhailov asked in turn for a loan of 750 billion rubles
($360 million) for his industry. The session was informed that
workers at some nuclear power plants have not received wages since
April, and that discontent is transforming economic protests into
political ones. In a related development, Interfax reported on 9
August that workers at the Kalinin nuclear plant in Tver joined
colleagues in Smolensk and Kola in staging protests to demand the
payment of back wages. Union leaders from the power industry also
demanded that the government's new commission on the debt crisis
devise measures to enforce payment wherever possible.  Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUTSKOI CHALLENGES YELTSIN'S DECREE IN COURT. On 9 August the
military collegium of the Russian Supreme Court began hearing the
appeal of former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi against his
dismissal by President Yeltsin's decree from active military
service. Court officials told an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow
that Rutskoi argued that the decree transferring him to the
reserve was illegal. The decree, issued in the aftermath of the 3
and 4 October disturbances of which Rutskoi was an organizer, said
that by his activities the former Vice President had violated the
honor of an army officer. Rutskoi denied the charge and also
argued that the decree is not legally valid since Yeltsin issued
it after he had been deprived of his powers by the parliament.
Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN REMOVES ILLEGALLY APPOINTED JUDGES. In an interview
broadcast by Ostankino television on 9 August, Yeltsin's chief of
staff Sergei Filatov revealed that the Russian president had
annulled illegal appointments of judges by members of the Murmansk
administration. By law, the judges of lower courts in Russia must
be elected by local soviets. However, all soviets in Russia were
disbanded in accord with Yeltsin's decree in October 1993, and the
subsequent local elections in many places, including most of the
Murmansk region, were declared invalid because of the low voters'
turnout. In order to fill the gap, according to Ostankino TV of 5
July, the head of the Murmansk administration appointed local
officials to serve on local representative bodies, while his
deputies promoted a number of people's assessors to the rank of
judges. (People's assessors, a rough equivalent of jurors, are not
normally lawyers by training.) Yeltsin was constrained to annul
these appointments because any sentences handed down by people who
by law are not entitled to serve as judges would automatically be
dismissed as illegal by the courts of appeal.  Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

POLICE DISCOVERS RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS ON PASSENGER TRAIN. The
Russian Transport Police has intercepted a cache of radioactive
cesium on a Moscow-Samara passenger train, ITAR-TASS reported on 9
August. About two kilograms of radioactive cesium rods were
discovered in luggage belonging to a resident of Mordovia.
(Mordovia is the site of numerous military-industrial
installations). According to the Transport Police, the level of
radioactivity of the discovered cesium rods is 25 times higher
than the permitted standard. The police are investigating the case
and refused to release the name of the radioactive cesium's owner.
Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

AUGUST 1991 COUP PLOTTER TO BE ACQUITTED. Arkadii Danilov, the
prosecutor at the trial of General Valentin Varennikov, who stands
accused of high treason for his part in the attempted coup against
Mikhail Gorbachev, has urged the court to acquit Varennikov. In
his address to the Military Collegium of the Russian Supreme Court
on 9 August, Danilov alleged that President Gorbachev's detention
in his Phoros residence on 19 August, 1991, could not in fact be
termed "house arrest" since Gorbachev had not tried to break the
blockade, according to Interfax and Russian TV news. Danilov
quoted Gorbachev as saying "Do what you like but let my views be
known" at his meeting with Varennikov and other leaders on 18
August, and added that they could interpret these words as
implicitly condoning the declaration of a state of emergency in
Moscow. Furthermore, according to Danilov, the prosecutors who
drew up the indictment for the trial failed to prove that the coup
organizers had indeed planned to storm the Russian parliament or
to intern the Russian president. Danilov was seconded by Dmitrii
Shteinberg, the defense lawyer of the accused. According to
Russian law, a defendant at a trial is to be acquitted
automatically if the prosecution withdraws the charges against the
person is question.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

OFFICE OF PROSECUTOR-GENERAL POSTPONES COMMENTS ON VARENNIKOV'S
TRIAL. On 9 August Ostankino TV news quoted a spokesman for the
Office of the Russian Prosecutor-General as saying that Danilov
was entitled to ask for the acquittal of the accused because,
according to the law, prosecutors at trails are entirely
independent and act according to their own conscience. The office
of the Prosecutor-General, however, reserves the right to comment
on Danilov's speech after the verdict is pronounced, Ostankino
added. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

14TH ARMY OFFICERS AGAINST REORGANIZATION. On 8 August an assembly
of officers of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova adopted the text of a
message to Russia's Defense Minister, General Pavel Grachev,
asking that the measures to restructure the Army be rescinded and
that Lieutenant-General Aleksandr Lebed be kept on as commander,
Interfax reported. In what may be seen as an affront to Grachev
and an unwitting admission of poor discipline in the 14th Army,
the officers' assembly said that "only the authority of Aleksandr
Lebed can induce the officers and servicemen to fulfill their
mission." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS


MOSCOW ENVISAGES POSSIBLE BASING RIGHTS IN MOLDOVA. On 9 August,
the day that the tenth round of Moldovan-Russian troop talks
opened in Chisinau, Krasnaya zvezda wrote that any withdrawal of
Russian troops from Moldova would require at least three years
from the moment in which the main agreement enters into force,
without offering any estimates as to when that might happen. Given
the political and other conditions which Russia attaches to
signing, it may be a long time until any withdrawal commences,
Krasnaya zvezda indicated. It therefore proposed that the
downsized 14th Army be granted--"by mutual consent, of course"
--basing rights in Moldova during that period. Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AFGHAN OFFICIAL SAYS UZBEKISTAN ARMS OPPOSITION. Afghanistan's
Ambassador in Moscow, Abdul Vahhab Asifi, told a press conference
on 9 August that Uzbekistan is interfering in Afghanistan's
internal affairs by providing arms to Afghan Uzbek General
Abdulrashid Dostum, who is fighting against the forces of
President Burhanuddin Rabbani, ITAR-TASS reported. Asifi also
complained that Uzbek ships have violated Afghan territorial
waters on the Amu-Darya. This is not the first time that Asifi and
other officials of the Kabul government have charged Uzbekistan
with supplying arms to Dostum; each time the charge is raised,
Uzbek authorities deny it. Western correspondents reporting from
Afghanistan have indicated, however, that there appears to be
substance to the charges.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE TAJIK TALKS IN SEPTEMBER? The head of the Tajik government
negotiating team in talks with the Tajik opposition, Labor
Minister Shukurdzhon Zukhurov, told a press conference in Dushanbe
on 9 August that with luck the next round of talks will start in
Islamabad in early September, but no date has yet been fixed,
Russian and Western news agencies reported. Two rounds of talks
have already been held, without concrete results beyond agreement
to continue the negotiations. Hopes for agreement on a ceasefire
at the second round of talks came to nothing when the Tajik
government was unwilling to meet opposition demands for an amnesty
for political prisoners and for political liberalization.
According to ITAR-TASS, Zukhurov reported that the Tajik
parliament is preparing an amnesty decree that should cover the
prisoners cited by the opposition.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC VOWS TO FIGHT ON . . . News agencies on 10 August quote
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as saying that the only
solution for his people is "resistance to the enemy. This will be
the resistance of a unified people in a unified state." Karadzic
predicted his Serbs would overcome their current difficulties in a
few months but that President Slobodan Milosevic's Serbia would
face only "new humiliations." Meanwhile, UN officials in Sarajevo
said on 9 August that Karadzic's forces were blocking the movement
of all UN convoys on Serb-held territory. Things were better in
the air, however, and the humanitarian airlift resumed after an
18-day break following Serb attacks on relief planes. Finally,
RFE/RL's South Slavic Language Service said that the Bosnian
government Fifth Corps' troops were closing in on Velika Kladusa,
the stronghold of Bihac kingpin Fikret Abdic. Some 7,000 civilians
and soldiers loyal to Abdic fled into neighboring Serb-held
territories in Croatia. It is not clear where Abdic is, or whether
the Fifth Corps might clash with Krajina Serb forces.  Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . WHILE THE MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT APPEALS FOR PEACE. On 10
August Politika reports that the parliament of the rump Yugoslav
republic of Montenegro, after an all-night 9 August session,
passed a resolution urging the Bosnian Serb leadership to accept
the international community's peace plan for Bosnia and
Herzegovina. This latest development follows Montenegrin President
Momir Bulatovic's unqualified support of Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic's stated aim of cutting off all economic and
political ties with the Bosnian Serbs, reported by Borba on 5
August. The loudest voice of dissent to the parliament's
resolution comes from the Serbian Radical Party, which backs the
Bosnian Serb leadership. In other news, Politika reports that on 9
August Milosevic met with prominent Serbian businessmen, Serbian
Premier Mirko Marjanovic, and several other ministers to discuss
the state of the Serbian economy. All participants backed the
continuation of Milosevic's purported economic reforms, which
commenced on 24 January with the launching of the new rump
Yugoslav currency, the so-called "super dinar." Stan Markotich,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CHRISTOPHER SUGGESTS US MAY EASE SANCTIONS ON SERBIA. In what the
BBC on 9 August called a potential major policy change, US
Secretary of State Warren Christopher said that he does not "rule
out easing of the sanctions if there are verifiable deeds to
follow the words from Milosevic." He added that he believed that
Belgrade had begun to "try to stop the flow of assistance from
Serbia to the Bosnian Serbs," the Los Angeles Times reports on 10
August. The New York Times, however, notes that the House and
Senate have worked out a compromise measure on lifting the arms
embargo against the Bosnian government, but what the compromise
actually means appears to be the subject of debate. Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

MESIC CALLS FOR TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS OF ALL NATIONALITIES. The
subject of the Hague trials was also raised recently by Croatian
opposition leader Stipe Mesic, who this spring helped lead a
defection of left-of-center personalities from the ruling party.
In an interview in the Frankfurter Rundschau run on 5 August,
Mesic called for Croat war criminals, as well as Muslims and
Serbs, to land in the dock before the international court. By this
he certainly seems to include Defense Minister Gojko Susak and
possibly even President Franjo Tudjman as well. Mesic has
repeatedly said that those in Croatia who are responsible for the
disastrous war against the Muslims in 1993 and the corresponding
decision to build concentration camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina must
face justice. Finally, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported on 9
August that the Belgrade and Ljubljana press, as well as much of
the conversation in Zagreb, is raising questions about Tudjman's
health. He called off the August session of his regular monthly
press conference, which he appears to have accepted as necessary
to get his views across to the international media. Official
Croatian sources say he is vacationing with his family, but
skepticism persists.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN-GREEK TENSION MOUNTS. Tirana and Athens are continuing a
sharp exchange over a pending trial against five ethnic Greeks,
which will open in the Albanian capital on 15 August. Following a
warning issued by Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias on 8
August, the next day his counterpart Alfred Serreqi told Athens to
stop interfering in Albanian internal affairs. Serreqi confirmed
that the trial would be held as scheduled and noted that only the
Albanian court has the authority to decide the case. Yet, after
the response was delivered to the Greek ambassador to Albania,
Papoulias reiterated his government's warning in even stronger
terms. AFP quoted him as saying that Athens would "reply
crushingly [to] whatever provocation damaged the interests of the
Greek minority." The five Albanian Greeks are charged with treason
and could face a death penalty.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH COURT QUESTIONS POLSAT LICENSE. In a ruling issued secretly
on 5 August, Poland's Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) has
suspended the broadcasting license awarded to PolSat in January.
Rzeczpospolita carried the first report on 8 August. Responding to
complaints lodged by competitors who lost out in the competition
for the single national private TV license, the NSA ruled that
PolSat should cease broadcasting until the issue of the validity
of its license can be settled. The ruling drew immediate protests
from both PolSat, which is already paying fees for the license and
has made substantial investments in programming and facilities,
and from the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), which issued
the license. KRRiT member and former chairman Marek Markiewicz
expressed surprise that the NSA would order PolSat to cease
broadcasting when the justice ministry had just indicated it would
make no move to shut down "pirate" TV broadcasters until the KRRiT
finished issuing licenses. PolSat won the license in part because
it had always operated legally and represents fully Polish
capital. Among the firms challenging PolSat's license is Nicola
Grauso's pirate station, Polonia 1.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER. CTK reported on 8
August that President Vaclav Havel and Premier Vaclav Klaus signed
a proclamation setting 18 and 19 November for local government
elections. The last local government elections took place on 24
November 1990.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH ROMANY PRIVATE POLICE FORCE BANNED. A spokeswoman for the
Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs told CTK on 9 August that the
ministry disapproves of the volunteer Romany police force formed
in northern Moravia. According to the spokeswoman, such private
armed groups violate Czech law, and if the Romanies want to help
fight crime they should join the national or local police force.
The Romany volunteers were organized by the Democratic Union of
Romanies in Vsetin, Northern Moravia, to help prevent Romany
crime; they wore uniforms and carried truncheons and tear gas. The
volunteers disbanded after the Vsetin city council told them to do
so but appealed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for a
decision.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION PARTY CRITICIZES HORN. Alliance of Young
Democrats Vice Chairman Zoltan Illes said his party and Hungary's
ecological organizations opposed Premier Gyula Horn's compromise
offer to Slovakia to fill the Dunakiliti reservoir, MTI reported
on 9 August. Illes said Horn had raised the expectations of a
"miracle" in going to Bratislava last week and ultimately achieved
no breakthrough over the Gabcikovo dam and minority issues. He
also criticized Hungary's foreign policy-makers for not consulting
with the opposition parties, something the Socialist Party and
Alliance of Free Democrats, which now make up the governing
coalition, had always asked for when in the opposition. The Danube
Circle has also stated that the government should continue to seek
agreement with the environmental protection movements over the
issue of the Danube.  Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAKS IN HUNGARY GREET HORN-MORAVCIK TALKS. At a meeting on 9
August with political state secretary at the Prime Minister's
Office, Csaba Tabajdi, and head of the National and Ethnic
Minority Office, Janos Wolfart, ethnic Slovak representatives
evaluated last week's meeting between Horn and his Slovak
counterpart Jozef Moravcik as a positive development, MTI reports.
Slovak Federation Chairwoman Anna Gyivicsan and Managing Chairman
Mihaly Mata expressed hope that the talks would serve as the basis
for a historical reconciliation between the two peoples, which is
essential for the survival of ethnic minorities. They said that in
their draft on minority rights for the Hungarian-Slovak basic
treaty they will stress the right of the Slovak minority in
Hungary and the Hungarian minority in Slovakia to "exist as a
national community and to maintain undisturbed relations with the
neighboring country with the same language and culture." The
Slovak representatives asked the government for financial
guarantees to ensure the minority's education in the mother tongue
and to allow it to set up local self-governing bodies to realize
its administrative and cultural autonomy. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL,
Inc.

HOOF-AND-MOUTH DISEASE PROMPTS BAN ON GREEK IMPORTS. In an effort
to prevent the spread of hoof-and-mouth disease to other
countries, on 9 August the EU banned the import of Greek livestock
and meat products. Four days earlier, Bulgaria introduced similar
provisions, plus alerted the country's veterinarians. According to
Bulgarian Minister of Agriculture Georgi Tanev, the emergency
measures should be sufficient, even though infected animals have
been registered only 20 kilometers into Greek territory. Unwilling
to take any chances, however, the Macedonian government has now
banned the import of Bulgarian animals and livestock products.
Last summer southern Bulgaria had several cases of the disease but
managed to bring it under control relatively quickly.  Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOLDOVAN LEADER DECRIES "ROMANIAN FIST," DEFENDS CONSTITUTION.
Interviewed in Izvestiya of 9 August, the vice-chairman of
Moldova's parliament and chairman of the ruling Agrarian
Democratic Party, Dumitru Motpan, rejected the Romanian
government's recent official protest against major provisions of
Moldova's new constitution. Motpan accused Romania of "shaking its
fist at us with increasing frequency" because of Moldova's refusal
to unify with it. "We can merge with neither Romania, Russia, nor
Ukraine. Moldova has the right to exist as an independent state
and is determined to be neutral," he added. Motpan also defended
the constitutional provisions on granting autonomy to
Transdniester and the Gagauz against Romanian criticism. He
expressed confidence that "peace will be kept in Moldova under the
oversight of the US and Russia. A new conflict would mean igniting
another fire in Europe and new claims to a redistribution of
territories." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

LUKASHENKA'S DECREES ON PROPERTY. On 9 August Interfax reported
that Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka issued a decree
placing property which belongs to the government, parliament and
Supreme and Constitutional courts under the control of the
president's chief of office, Ivan Tsitsyankou. This includes
buildings, hotels, construction enterprises, hospitals, printing
presses and nature reserves. Most deputies reportedly believe the
decree to be unlawful, and chairman of the Supreme Soviet,
Mechyslau Hryb, spoke with Lukashenka about the matter, suggesting
that some parts of the decree be changed. In other news,
Belinform-TASS reported on 9 August that Lukashenka has made an
official declaration of his income. According to the declaration,
Lukashenka's income consists solely of his salary; his bank
account holds 16,000 rubles, and he owns no stocks or valuables.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

GAZPROM TO CUT GAS TO UKRAINE AND BELARUS? The Russian gas
enterprise, Gazprom, has warned both Ukraine and Belarus that it
may cut gas to the two countries in September if they do not make
payments on their gas debts, Biznes-TASS and Interfax reported on
9 August. Ukraine owes Gazprom 2 trillion rubles, and Belarus owes
700 billion rubles. Gazprom had reduced supplies to the two
republics in March because of unpaid bills but resumed them after
payment plans were negotiated which included signing shares in
national gas distributors to Gazprom. The debt for Russian gas has
mounted since then, and Gazprom reportedly has complained that the
republics have not been keeping to the payment schedule and that
Ukraine has not even begun privatizing the pipeline facilities as
promised to Gazprom in exchange for debt forgiveness. On 29 July
Ukraine's parliament temporarily suspended privatization and is
not scheduled to meet again until 15 September to reconsider its
decision.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

PARLIAMENT WILL NOT CHALLENGE KUCHMA DECREES. On 9 August Interfax
reported that Dmytro Tabachnyk, the president's chief of staff,
said that the Ukrainian parliament will not challenge President
Leonid Kuchma's decrees bringing the government and local councils
under his control. The decrees were signed on 6 August and
announced two days later. Tabachnyk said that Premier Vitalii
Masol and parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz had prior
knowledge of the decrees.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE HOLDING SHIP CARRYING CONTRABAND ARMS. Ukrainian border
guards have been holding a Russian vessel, the "Modul," for six
months because it was found to be carrying 59 tons of cartridges
bound for Angola, Ukrainian television reported on 8 August. The
cargo is officially registered as belonging to the export branch
of Ukraine's military industrial complex. The commander of the
Ukrainian border guards, Gen. Valerii Hubenka, said that the
cartridges are contraband and should not be taken out of the
country. He also said the border guards are ready to hand the
vessel over to whomever the authorities decide is its rightful
owner.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN EX-POLITICAL PRISONERS ON HUNGER STRIKE. More than 2,500
ex-political prisoners have been on hunger strike all over Albania
since 4 August. They want to press demands for compensation, Koha
Jone reported on 8 August. The strikers say that because of their
imprisonment under the communist regime, they lack housing and a
basic standard of living. The government refused the claim, saying
that it cannot afford to pay about $30,000 to each family or heirs
of an estimated 5,000 people who were executed or died in prison.
Kurt Kola, the leader of the national association of former
political prisoners, also claimed compensation in the form of
privatization bonds to be paid before the government's term ends
in late 1995. A Tirana court has formally ruled that the hunger
strike, carried out by some hundred people in a house near the
parliament building in Tirana, is illegal and should he halted
immediately, by force if necessary, news agencies reported on 8
August. However, the strike committee decided to continue,
Republika reported on 9 August.  Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN PAPERS END STRIKE. Nine Albanian newspapers went on
strike on 4 August to protest what they claim are unjust and
excessive taxes imposed on them by the state. Their protest,
however, has ended, and they have been appearing again since 7
August. Earlier reports that Koha Jone, the first independent
impartial Albanian newspaper, had to close because of a lack of
funds have not been confirmed. Meanwhile, the paper reappeared on
8 August and carried a declaration of the strike committee, which
wants to lower the taxes and stop the right of the state's housing
and privatization boards to place public announcements in the
papers. Local journalists have accused the government of using
taxes and a new media law to stifle dissent. Fabian Schmidt,
RFE/RL, Inc.

KAZAKH PRESIDENT IN LITHUANIA. Heading a fifteen member
delegation, Nursultan Nazarbaev arrived in Vilnius on 8 August
where he was welcomed at the airport by President Algirdas
Brazauskas. On 9 August the two presidents signed a bilateral
declaration, while several economic agreements as well as one on
legal cooperation were also signed. At a press conference
broadcast live by Radio Lithuania, Nazarbaev thanked Lithuania for
sharing its experiences in economic reforms. Brazauskas expressed
support for Nazarbaev's idea of a Euro-Asian Union but made clear
that Lithuania would not join it. On 10 August the delegation will
visit Klaipeda, where the ministers of transportation will sign an
agreement on the use of the port for Kazakh imports and exports.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Liz Fuller and Sharon Fisher
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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