|Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead|
No. 152, 11 August 1994
RUSSIA COUP TRIAL VERDICT EXPECTED ON 11 AUGUST. The acquittal of General Valentin Varennikov, expected to be announced on 11 August by the Military Collegium of the Russian Supreme Court, may strike a major blow against the Yeltsin administration, according to a gloomy editorial in Rossiiskaya gazeta on 10 August. Varennikov is the only accused in the case of the August 1991 coup plotters to have refused the amnesty granted the putschists in February 1994. Unlike his codefendants, Varennikov said that he wanted to stand trial in order to prove his innocence, adding that former President Mikhail Gorbachev and his ally Aleksandr Yakovlev, currently the head of the Russian Federal Television and Radio Service, should be tried for high treason because, in Varennikov's view, their policies had brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. MMM SHAREHOLDERS PLAN MASS RALLIES ON MAVRODI'S BIRTHDAY. On 10 August Ostankino TV aired footage of a protest demonstration of MMM shareholders in front of the Russian government headquarters on the Krasnaya Presnya Embankment in Moscow. Hundreds of enraged people were shouting slogans, lionizing imprisoned MMM president Sergei Mavrodi, and cursing the government. Many also burned State Bank certificates. The meeting, the Ostankino TV anchor said, was regarded by its organizers as a mere rehearsal of mass actions to take place in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Khabarovsk and other Russian cities on 11 August to commemorate Mavrodi's birthday. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. LAW ON PROTECTION OF RUSSIANS ABROAD DRAFTED. President Boris Yeltsin's staff has drafted a law defining state policy on Russians living abroad, Ostankino TV reported on 10 August. The law includes political, legal and economic measures to protect the rights of the so-called "Russian-speakers living the former republics of the USSR." It is unclear whether the present draft is identical to a draft prepared earlier this year by a group of independent experts and the analytical department of the Most Corporation. The earlier draft contained several controversial provisions and was incorporated in a document known as the "Russian National Doctrine." Dmitri Rogozin, head of the Congress of Russian Communities, has already criticized the Presidential draft, saying that it lacks a precise definition of "Russian-speaker living abroad"; however, his organization will generally support the law, Rogozin said during the Ostankino report. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. CHERNOMYRDIN DEMANDS DISCIPLINE. In a sign that bureaucratic obstacles may be impeding President Yeltsin's efforts to give new impetus to economic reform by issuing decrees, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on 9 August issued a sharp reprimand to the Russian cabinet. According to an Interfax report, Chernomyrdin told a closed session of the government presidium that all ministries and agencies must fulfill government orders stemming from presidential decrees in an "unconditional and exact" fashion. Officials who fail to meet government timetables were threatened with strict punishment. Although no dismissals were reported, the ministers of privatization, finance, foreign trade, and housing were called to account for breaches in "executive discipline" and urged to reprimand recalcitrant subordinates. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. SITUATION IN NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS NETWORK. The personnel of the Kalinin nuclear power station have joined their colleagues in the Russian nuclear station network who have declared a sit-in strike over non-payment of their wages, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August. The personnel of several Russian nuclear stations have not received their wages for months and last week announced the strike. At a meeting with representatives of the strikers in Smolensk, Minister for Nuclear Energy Viktor Mikhailov said that he needs 750 billion rubles to pay back wages to his personnel. Mikhailov added that Prime Minister Chernomyrdin has promised him this sum on a short-term loan. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. CHECHEN ELDERS THREATEN HOLY WAR AGAINST RUSSIA. On 10 August, for the first time since the days of legendary 19th century leader Imam Shamil, a Congress of the Chechen People was held in Grozny, capital of the rebellious North Caucasian republic, according to Ostankino TV news and an RFE/RL correspondent in the region. About 2,000 people attended the congress of respected elders, Muslim religious leaders and the heads of powerful local clans. According to the TV report, all seventeen administrative areas of the republic were represented at the congress, which voted to launch a Gazavat (Holy War) if Russian troops invade Chechnya, and advised Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev to declare martial law and total mobilization of all Chechen males. Commanders of the Russian Army and internal affairs forces denied having any plans for military intervention in Chechnya. The congress dashed hopes of former Russian parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov to play a major political role in his native land: the elders urged that Khasbulatov be deported from Chechnya. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. BASHKORTOSTAN DAM BURST TOLL REACHES FIFTEEN. The death toll from the dam burst in Bashkortostan has reached 15, Interfax reported on 10 August. The Russian Ministry for Emergencies told the agency that 55 people were still missing and eight had been hospitalized. The dam burst has been blamed on "criminal negligence" by the management of the company that owns the dam. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August that there is serious flooding in the nearby Chelyabinsk region. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN POPULATION LEAVING KURIL ISLANDS. ITAR-TASS reported on 11 August that emigration of Russians from the disputed South Kuril Islands of Shikotan and Kunashir to the Russian mainland has reached "massive" proportions. Local authorities report that some 800 residents have left the islands in the first half of 1994. The reasons cited for leaving include worsening economic and social conditions and shrinking employment opportunities. The report quoted observers who said that if the out-migration is not halted the only inhabitants remaining on the islands would soon be military personnel. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. KUWAIT AND RUSSIA DISCUSS FURTHER ARMS DEALINGS. ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August that a Kuwaiti military delegation is currently in Moscow to discuss the purchase of additional Russian military hardware and that plans are being drafted to send Kuwaiti officers to Russia for training on the weapons systems that have already been purchased from Russia. The same report quoted Kuwait's Defense Minister as saying that the value of Kuwait's contract with Russia for delivery of "Smerch" rocket launchers and BMP-3 armored personnel carriers is "several hundred million dollars." Reuters on 9 August said diplomats were speculating that Kuwait's eagerness to cement military ties with Russia was related to fears in the Gulf State that Russia wanted to move quickly toward lifting UN economic sanctions against Iraq in order to resume trade with its former ally. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. NO SU-35'S FOR CHINA. The Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Committee for Defense Industries, Gennadii Yanpolsky, on 10 August denied a recent report that Russia was considering selling to China its advanced Su-35 aircraft. He was responding to press speculation that China has allocated $5 billion for the purchase of Russian military equipment (see RFE/RL Daily Report of 8 August), including the Su-35; the ITAR-TASS report included no remarks on the $5 billion figure. Yanpolsky said that sale of Su-35's to China was out of the question both because the aircraft was still in the development stage and because Russia was unwilling to sell weapons systems that might undermine its own security. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA VELAYATI IN CENTRAL ASIA. Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati visited Tashkent on 9 and 10 August on the first leg of a trip through the Central Asian states and discussed with Uzbek President Islam Karimov a variety of topics, including the situation in Tajikistan, Western, Iranian and Russian news agencies reported. Interfax reported that the two also discussed Afghanistan and had pledged that their countries would not interfere in internal Afghan affairs. Velayati and Karimov also discussed the implementation of existing agreements between the two countries on agriculture, oil and gas extraction, banking, transport and construction agreements and called for closer bilateral relations between Uzbekistan and Iran. Velayati then flew to Turkmenistan for further talks. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS NAZARBAEV PROMOTES EURASIAN UNION SCHEME IN KIEV. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev, arriving in Kiev on 10 August for a two-day official visit, appealed for Ukrainian support of his Eurasian Union scheme that is supposed to establish a common economic and customs zone embracing as many of the newly-independent states as can be persuaded to join it, Russian news agencies reported. Nazarbaev complained to his Ukrainian hosts that the CIS is ineffective, because it has no common policy on anything. Nazarbaev, acutely aware of the effect on the economies of the successor states of the rupture of Soviet-era trade ties, has proposed a number of formulas to rectify the situation--his Eurasian Union scheme is the latest, and seems to have been at least partially encouraged by the modest successes of the Economic Union forged early in 1994 by three Central Asian states. Nazarbaev insists that the scheme is not to mean a resurrection of the USSR. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA ACCEPTS RUSSIAN TERMS ON TROOPS. The tenth round of talks on the status and terms of withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova was held in Chisinau on 9 and 10 August. According to a joint press release on the 10th, the sides initialled an agreement providing that a future withdrawal of Russian troops "temporarily stationed in Moldova" will be "synchronized" with the political settlement of the Dniester conflict and the grant of a special status to Transdniester. The withdrawal would have to be completed within three years of the entry into force of the basic document. The agreement enshrines the Russian position and marks a retreat from Chisinau's long-standing resistance to "synchronization" and a potentially open-ended troop presence as implied in the Russian formula. Given the complete disagreement on the future status of Transdniester, the latter and Russia can continue to frustrate a settlement indefinitely through excessive demands and thus ensure that the political conditions for the 14th Army's withdrawal are not met. Moldova further obligates itself to finance housing construction and social benefits for retired or repatriated Russian servicemen and their dependents; but these concessions are relatively minor compared to the retreat on the central issues. The initialled document is to be signed by higher authorities. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN FIGHTING UPDATE. The New York Times reports on 11 August that UN commander Gen. Sir Michael Rose has for the first time explicitly threatened the Bosnian government forces with air strikes. At issue is their alleged use of heavy weaponry in the exclusion zone around Sarajevo as well as their taking tactical advantage of the absence of big Serb guns in the area. One UN official added: "we've got to be seen doing something." Bavarian Radio said that a top Bosnian official angrily rejected Rose's threat, saying that it was the Serbs who were responsible for the war, not the Bosnian government. Meanwhile in northwest Bosnia, the government's Fifth Corps continued to close in on Velika Kladusa, headquarters of rebel tycoon Fikret Abdic. He told Reuters on 10 August that he would neither flee nor surrender, and apparently rejected a call for talks from Croat-Muslim federation President Kresimir Zubak. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIAN CHURCH BACKS KARADZIC AGAINST MILOSEVIC. AFP reported on 10 August that the Serbian Orthodox Church has endorsed the Bosnian Serb rejection of the partition plan, aware of "the huge responsibility" it has assumed "in the eyes of God, the Serbian people, the world, and history." Reuters added that the bishops' council, meeting at the official residence of Patriarch Pavle, sharply condemned Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for imposing a blockade on the Bosnian Serbs. The decision puts the Church openly at odds with Milosevic, whom some believe the clerics have always mistrusted because of his communist past. The 9 August Stuttgarter Zeitung, however, says that Milosevic plans to make some decisive moves against his Serbian enemies by purging the army's officer corps and more firmly entrenching the 120,000-strong police, who are completely under his control. The Independent sees Milosevic as determined to destroy the Bosnian Serb leadership and replace it with more pliant individuals. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA AND THE SANCTIONS. Recent reports suggest that Bulgarian authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to uphold UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia at the country's borders. The commander of the border troops, Col. Georgi Teterekov, told BTA on 10 August that while smuggling was unusual before 1993, it is now--especially fuel smuggling--one of the most common offenses. Although smugglers sometimes rely on corrupt customs officials to carry out their business, most of the fuel is crossing the border legally, via the fuel tanks of vehicles. In late July the customs authorities of Vidin--with two border crossings with Serbia and one with Romania within its jurisdiction--reported a record 2.5 million travelers in both directions in the January-June period. Still, the Bulgarian economy as a whole is clearly suffering from the sanctions, and Standart of 10 August said the Bulgarian government is planning to request consultations in case the UN would further tighten the embargo. The government, which says the sanctions thus far has cost the country some $3.6 billion, has repeatedly demanded compensation from the international community. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ROSY FORECAST FOR THE CROATIAN ECONOMY. Vecernji list on 10 August reported on the meeting of the government the previous day. Premier Nikica Valentic said that the monthly inflation rate has been cut to less than 1% and that the new currency, the kuna, is stable. Ending hyperinflation was one of the prime tasks of the Valentic government. Hard currency reserves are $2 billion and growing, and the country is seeking $1.25 million in a combination of grants and loans from the World Bank for technical assistance for economic restructuring. A combination of the war and the desire of old interest groups to hold on to their power and privileges has meant that the old economic structures remain largely in tact. Meanwhile, the minister of tourism said that his sector is expecting to bring in $1.3 billion this year, a considerable increase over 1993. On 11 August, Novi list adds that new records for tourist income are being set in the northwest. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH POLICE ARREST GANGSTERS. The Gdansk antiterrorist brigade detained 20 suspected members of the "Pruszkow mafia" on the Sopot pier on 10 August, Polish media report. Reporters speculated that the gang had traveled from Warsaw to the coast to discuss how to respond to the new police offensive against organized crime that was prompted by the weekend protest against "protection" mafias in Warsaw's Old Town. Police hinted, however, that the narcotics trade regularly draws Warsaw gangs to Poland's northern ports. Meanwhile, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Jerzy Zimowski testified before a Sejm commission that the Old Town events were set off when the Escorta "security service," which is controlled by the Wolomin mafia, hired criminals to raid Warsaw restaurants in an effort to win new "clients." Some deputies criticized the police for inaction, drawing an angry response from Warsaw police chief Jerzy Stanczyk, who argued that Polish policemen are underpaid and get no respect. "It's easy to criticize the police when you are sitting comfortably in your armchair in your slippers," he said. Police officials pressed the Sejm to approve pending legislation that would permit "sting" operations, plea-bargaining, and incognito testimony. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH TRADE BOOMS. Figures released on 9 August by the Polish National Bank (NBP) and Main Statistical Office (GUS) show foreign trade to be on the upswing. According to GUS, exports rose by 11.2% in the first five months of 1994; imports fell by 2%. The trade balance remained negative, but the deficit shrank by $800 million to reach $1.3 billion in June. The increase in turnover with Central European countries was especially pronounced; agricultural imports dropped sharply. The private sector accounted for 48.2% of exports and 65.4% of imports. In a report on the first half of 1994, the NBP said that export revenues for the first six months of 1994 amounted to $7.62 billion, a 19.3% increase over the same period in 1993. Imports totaled $8.1 billion, a rise of 7.2%. According to the NBP, the trade deficit for the first half of 1994 amounted to $434 million, a dramatic improvement over 1993, when the half-year deficit was $1.13 billion. Hard currency reserves remained high, at $5.2 billion, PAP reports. Improvement was also noted in the balance of payments; at minus $527 million, it was less than one-third of the deficit of $1.63 billion recorded for the first half of 1993. The NBP and GUS use different accounting methods; their tallies often differ dramatically. Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH TELECOMMUNICATIONS TO STAY IN STATE HANDS. On 10 August the Czech government approved "a state telecommunications policy" under which the STP Telecom company will retain its monopoly on running the Czech telephone system until the year 2000. Economy Minister Karel Dyba told journalists after the cabinet meeting that the government will keep a 51% majority share in the company. At the same time, the company will be allowed to offer up to 27% of its stocks to a foreign investor, which is to be selected by 1 March 1995. After the year 2000 the entire company will be privatized. Dyba explained that the government had decided to retain the STP Telecom monopoly because "it sees it as a guarantee that the number of telephones will grow significantly by the year 2000." According to Dyba, demand for telephones in the year 2000 should not exceed supply; an application for a telephone "should be processed within 14 days to one month." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAKIA TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON FUNDS FOR PRIVATIZATION. On 10 August Slovak President Michal Kovac called a referendum to let the population decide whether a law should be passed requiring participants in the privatization process since 1990 to disclose the source of their funds, TASR reports. A resolution had been passed through the parliament on 12 July calling for the referendum, which was supported by deputies from the Party of the Democratic Left and the opposition parties. Although the parliament held a special session on 10 August in an attempt to cancel the referendum, only 51 deputies supported its cancellation. During the session, the parliament did approve a bill on proving the sources of money used in future privatization projects. Deputy Premier Ivan Simko said the referendum, which is scheduled for 22 October, will cost 100 million koruny, while various reports in the Slovak press have questioned the need for such a referendum. Prior to the parliamentary session, representatives of the PDL said they were unable to guarantee support for the referendum's cancellation. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK ELECTION COMMISSION VERIFIES DEMOCRATIC UNION LIST. On 10 August the Slovak Election Commission verified the petition lists presented by the parties competing in the upcoming parliamentary elections, TASR reports. Although the Slovak National Party had questioned the validity of the Democratic Union's petition list, the commission concluded that only 2,440 of the nearly 15,000 signatures are invalid, thus the party can compete in the elections. A total of 2,012 candidates, of whom 312 are women, will run in the elections. The average age is 42. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK CABINET APPROVES CAPITAL MARKET REFORMS. In its session on 9 August the Slovak cabinet approved a strategy to reform the capital market, TASR reported. The cabinet stressed the need to resolve the complicated relations between the three organized exchanges (the Bratislava Stock Exchange, the Bratislava Options Market and the over-the-counter RM System) and to stop the high volume of trading which takes place outside the exchanges. Other concerns include facilitating share trading through legislative reforms, improving access to information and quickening procedures for settlement of transactions. Following the session Finance Minister Rudolf Filkus noted that "it is impossible to revitalize the economy without a well-functioning stock market." In other economic news, Filkus said the budget deficit stood at 8.2 billion koruny on 9 August. A Slovak Statistical Office report released on 10 August showed that both industrial production and retail sales rose in June, while the share of private enterprises in industrial output reached 43.1%. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. GAP WIDENS BETWEEN HUNGARIAN SOCIAL CLASSES. According to studies conducted from 1990 to 1993 by the Central Statistical Office and the Academy of Sciences, the opportunities offered by the change of regime were best taken advantage of by professionals and by members of the middle class engaged in entrepreneurial activities, MTI reported on 10 August. While some members of the middle class entered the political and economic elite, skilled workers in crisis-stricken professions have fallen into lower social groups. Clear losers were unskilled workers and uneducated groups whose wages declined and who were most affected by unemployment. Data confirm that the emergence of a middle class has picked up speed and that differences between the living standards of various social groups has grown and become increasingly similar to the European average. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN MINORITY CLAIMS STIR ANGRY ROMANIAN REACTION. Reuters reported on 10 August that the reiteration of demands for territorial and other forms of autonomy by the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania provoked angry reactions from Romanian politicians across the political spectrum. The demands were outlined by HDFR President Bela Marko in an interview with the daily Meridian, following a meeting of the federation's foreign policy committee held last week. The HDFR wants special status for areas in Transylvania where "compact Hungarian populations live." In these territories, Marko said, the minority should have greater power of decision regarding education and culture, and the Hungarian language should have there the same status as Romanian. The HDFR wants Hungary to insist on including these demands in the Romanian-Hungarian basic treaty which is now negotiated. Ioan Manzatu, a deputy chairman of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, called the HDFR demands "absurd" and said that Hungarian "extremists" inside and outside Romania wanted to "change Romania's frontiers." Similarly, Ioan Diaconescu, a deputy chairman of the opposition National Peasant Party Christian Democratic, said his formation would not agree to the "tracing of new frontiers inside Romania." Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIANS FACE TRIAL FOR ATTACKING GYPSIES. Quoting the Prosecutor General's office, Western agencies reported on 10 August that 38 people will face trial because of attacks on Gypsies. They are accused of having set fire to 11 Gypsy homes in the village of Racsa on 27 May after two Gypsies were detained on charges of killing a Romanian shepherd. Gypsy leaders in Romania have denounced what they regard as increasing racism against their community, and the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has accused the Romanian government of allowing discrimination against the Gypsies. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN DEMONSTRATORS WANT MONEY BACK FROM PYRAMID SCHEME. Romanian television reported on 10 August that several hundred demonstrators in Cluj protested against the loss of their investment in the Caritas money-making pyramid scheme. Caritas was founded in 1992 in Cluj by Ion Stoica and for some time produced eightfold returns to investors. It is widely believed that Stoica collaborated with the town's extreme-nationalist mayor, Gheorghe Funar. In 1994 the scheme broke down. Romanian television said local police have ordered the freezing of Stoica's assets. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. PRICE LIBERALIZATION IN BELARUS. It appears that Belarus may be edging towards a market economy. On 9 August Reuters quoted Deputy Premier Syarhei Ling as saying that it had become impossible to continue maintaining subsidies on food since this has resulted in the exodus of such goods from the republic to its neighbors, where the products are sold for up to 15 times their cost in Belarus. Prices on meat and vodka have already been decontrolled since President Alyaksandr Lukashenka assumed office, and Premier Mikhail Chyhir said the subsidies on other goods, such as bread and dairy products, would also have to be removed gradually until the costs reach world levels. Following Gazprom's latest announcement that it may once again reduce gas supplies to Belarus, Interfax reported on 10 August that the price of oil will rise by some 50% in Belarus as of 11 August. Subsidies on fuels used in household ovens will be retained. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. LUKASHENKA DISMISSES OFFICIAL FOR CORRUPTION. On 10 August Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka dismissed Forestry Minister Henadz Markovsky for alleged corruption, replacing him with Hryhoriy Navitsky, Reuters reported. Lukashenka had campaigned for the presidency on an anti-corruption in government platform, and a member of his team, Alyaksandr Feduta, has said that every candidate for a post in the cabinet and presidential administration would be checked by the parliamentary anti-corruption committee and KGB. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH DEFENSE MINISTER IN LITHUANIA. On 8 August Piotr Kolodziejczyk began an official three-day visit to Lithuania, meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevicius. On 9 August he discussed common security concerns and hopes to join NATO with Premier Adolfas Slezevicius, Radio Lithuania reports. Slezevicius expressed thanks for Poland's gifts of military equipment, help in training Lithuanian UN peacekeepers, and permission for officers to study at the Polish Military Academy. At a news conference, Kolodziejczyk said that the idea of Russian military transit to Kaliningrad through Poland was "illogical and impossible." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. PRIVATIZATION IN ESTONIA. The Estonian Privatization Agency released figures indicating that since the beginning of 1994 it has signed contracts selling 98 state enterprises for 541.7 million kroons ($42.7 million), with further promised investments of 328.9 million kroons, BNS reported on 10 August. In 1993 it sold 54 enterprises for 353.2 million kroons. That day the agency's director general Vaino Sarnet announced the launching of a program to sell shares in state-owned enterprises to individuals. The agency expects to establish the share-selling mechanism in the near future and hopes the government will issue a decree next week regulating the sale of shares to the public. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIAN-CANADIAN TRADE ACCORD SIGNED. Baltic media reported on 10 August that Canadian ambassador to Latvia Michael Burke Philips and Latvian Foreign Trade and EU Affairs Minister Olgerts Pavlovskis signed a bilateral trade and commercial cooperation agreement. The accord grants each signatory state most-favored-nation status in trade and envisions the elimination of cases of double taxation related to trade activities. A Canadian trade mission is scheduled to visit Latvia soon to work in the environmental protection sphere. In addition to the Canadian Embassy in Latvia, which opened in 1991, another Canadian diplomatic bureau was just established to speed up information exchange. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Bess Brown and Sharon Fisher The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division, is available through electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU. This report is also available by postal mail, as are the other publications of the Institute, and by fax. RFE/RL NEWS BRIEFS, an edited compendium of items first published in the Daily Report, is distributed along with the RFE/RL RESEARCH REPORT, a weekly journal providing topical analyses of political, economic and security developments throughout the Institute's area of interest. Longer analyses are available in a monograph series, RFE/RL STUDIES, and brief analytic summaries appear monthly in the RESEARCH BULLETIN. 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