|Опыт, во всяком случае, берет большую плату за учение, но и учит он лучше всех учителей. - Томас Карлейль|
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. 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