Istinoj druzhboj mogut byt' svyazany tol'ko te lyudi, kotorye umeyut proschat' drug drugu melkie nedostatki. - ZHan de Labryujer
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 154, 16 August 1994

                              RUSSIA

SITUATION IN CHECHNYA. On 12 August the chief of Russian President
Boris Yeltsin's administration, Sergei Filatov, reiterated that
Russia did not intend to use force to solve the current crisis in
Chechnya, Interfax reported. The same day the Russian government
also issued a statement with the same promise; and on 15 August
Yeltsin said problems in Chechnya could not be solved by means of
war. On 14 August Russian Television reported that only one small
unit of Russian Interior Ministry troops was located near Chechnya
(in Kursk raion of Stavropol Krai). The report quoted a unit
commander as saying there had been no assignments for ensuring
order on the Chechen border. In their statements, Filatov and
Yeltsin reiterated Moscow's support for the opposition Provisional
Council in Chechnya which demands Dudaev's ouster. The Chechen
government has accused Russia of sending combat helicopters and
arms to the Chechen opposition. Meanwhile, a military mobilization
ordered last week by Dudaev had been completed on 15 August,
according to the Chechen information ministry. Chechnya's
self-described Foreign Minister, Shamseddin Yusef, told Interfax
on 13 August that two Afghan Mujahideen leaders had promised to
send to Chechnya as many as 100,000 irregulars to fight against
Russia. In turn, the Provisional Council said it was also
mobilizing volunteers and buying arms for its defense against any
attacks by Chechen government forces in the Nadterechnyi raion,
where the council has its headquarters. On 15 August Chechen
officials said a series of mines blew up in front of the
prosecutor's office, the civil defense headquarters and a theater
in Groznyi, ITAR-TASS reported. In the same report, the agency
quoted President Dudaev as saying Chechnya would seek to have
Russia's membership in the UN Security Council suspended because
of Russia's actions in the Caucasus. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN LAUDS NEMTSOV AS POSSIBLE SUCCESSOR. Interviewed by
"Vesti's" correspondent in Nizhnii Novgorod on 13 August, Yeltsin
said that the region's governor, Boris Nemtsov, has become so
mature during more than two years in office that he "could aspire
to become [Russian] president." Yeltsin is on record as having
said a few years ago that he would not run for a second term in
the 1996 presidential elections, and some of his close associates,
including Gennadii Burbulis, have urged the president to choose a
successor. The 34-year-old Nemtsov has gained an international
reputation for the fast pace of reform in Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast;
the region's reform program was authored by liberal economist
Grigorii Yavlinsky. Unlike the overwhelming majority of democratic
leaders in contemporary Russia, Nemtsov has never been a member of
the communist party. He also differs from most of Russia's other
reformers in his ability to engineer compromises among various
social groups in his domain without provoking the sorts of
antagonisms that could provoke violent confrontation or
necessitate the use of legally dubious means of suppression.
Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

DESPITE PROTESTS, MAVRODI CHARGED WITH TAX VIOLATIONS. MMM
president Sergei Mavrodi was formally charged on 15 August with
concealing income from--and a failure to pay taxes on--the
substantial profits earned by his firm, Invest-Consulting. He was
also charged with hindering the investigation into the firm's
activities, Russian TV newscasts reported. The charges were filed
by representatives of the office of the Moscow state prosecutor in
the presence of Mavrodi and his two defense lawyers. Meanwhile,
the newscasts added, MMM shareholders continued their campaign for
Mavrodi's release and started collecting the one million
signatures necessary to call a referendum on resignation of the
Russian government.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROW OVER LATEST CASE OF NUCLEAR SMUGGLING. German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl said on German television on 14 August that he is
deeply concerned over the seizure in Munich of a large quantity of
weapons-grade plutonium originating from Russia, and that he
intended to send his adviser for national security, Bernd
Schmidbauer, to Moscow for talks on the matter with Yeltsin.
According to the latest report from the Bavarian Internal
Ministry, at about 4 kilograms the confiscated plutonium is the
largest amount ever discovered in private hands. The plutonium was
detected in the luggage of two Spaniards and a Colombian arriving
from Moscow (on the same plane, ironically, as the Russian deputy
minister for atomic energy, Viktor Sidorenko). A spokesman for the
ministry, Georgii Kaurov, denied that the plutonium had originated
in Russia, claiming that "no leak of weapons-grade from [the
ministry's] installations" had been detected. He also denied that
German authorities have "proof" of the plutonium's alleged
origins. In May and July, however, German authorities had already
confiscated a small amount of enriched uranium and established
that it originated in Russia's nuclear sector. According to German
security sources, the nuclear smuggling is made possible by
cooperation between corrupt Russian officials, researchers, and
criminal networks.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

OPPOSITION CHALLENGE TO SHEVARDNADZE PETERS OUT. The emergency
session of the Georgian parliament scheduled for 12 August at the
insistence of the radical opposition with the aim of forcing
Eduard Shevardnadze's resignation as parliament chairman and head
of state failed to take place, Interfax and AFP reported, as only
80 of the 224 deputies were present, while 118 were needed for a
quorum. Parliament speaker Vakhtang Goguadze told Interfax that
the debate will be postponed until parliament reconvenes in
September, and that meanwhile the opposition had agreed to
maintain "a stable political situation" in the country. Liz
Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

AZERBAIJAN SCHEDULES NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. Over a year
after the ouster of Abulfaz Elchibey and the advent to power in
Azerbaijan of Heidar Aliev, relations between the Aliev leadership
and the opposition have mellowed to the point where the former
have set a date for new parliamentary elections. Rasul Guliev,
speaker of the existing rump parliament, which consists of a few
dozen of the 350 deputies elected in September, 1990, told
Interfax on 15 August that an election law will be published next
month for nation-wide discussion and that elections to the new
parliament will be held in June or July, 1995. Also on 15 August,
in an interview with Interfax from his place of exile in
Nakhichevan, Elchibey claimed that the Azerbaijani authorities
were planning to assassinate him; the Nakhichevan Interior
Minister denied the allegation.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

KARABAKH MEDIATION UPDATE. Despite recent predictions by
high-level Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian officials that a
formal settlement of the Karabakh conflict could be signed by the
end of this month, a first round of talks in Moscow ended on 13
August with failure to agree on many fundamental points, Interfax
reported. Specifically, Azerbaijan has reportedly retreated from
its earlier readiness to acknowledge the self-proclaimed
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a party to the conflict, and insists
that negotiations on the future status of the enclave can begin
only after the withdrawal of Armenian troops from all occupied
Azerbaijani territory. Representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan and
Nagorno-Karabakh endorsed their previous acceptance of
international (predominantly Russian) peacekeeping forces, but a
senior Russian diplomat argued that this would require a mandate
from the UN. Talks are scheduled to resume on 23 or 24 August.
Meanwhile the opposition Azerbaijani Democratic Congress continues
to reject the participation of Russia in the negotiating process.
Meeting in Baku on 15 August with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister
Hasan Hasanov, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati again
called for the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from
Azerbaijani territory, Interfax reported.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,
Inc.

JOURNALISTS ARRESTED IN TAJIKISTAN. Tajik journalist Muhammadrahim
Saidar was arrested by police in Dushanbe on 11 August on a charge
of having distributed the outlawed opposition newspaper Charogi
ruz, Interfax reported on 15 August. Saidar was the second
journalist to be arrested on this charge--Maksud Huseinov, a
correspondent employed by the parliamentary daily Sadoi mardum,
was arrested on 9 August. Charogi ruz, one of the most important
independent publications in Dushanbe between 1990 and 1992, has
been published in Russia and smuggled into Tajikistan since May
1993, after its employees fled Tajikistan to escape arrest by the
present regime in Dushanbe. Charogi ruz's chief editor, Dodojon
Avatullo, pointed out to Interfax that arresting persons for
distributing the newspaper is technically illegal, because the
publication has never been closed down officially.  Bess Brown,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

YELTSIN QUESTIONING TROOP AGREEMENT WITH MOLDOVA? Interviewed by
Interfax on 15 August while touring Volga cities, Yeltsin praised
the 14th Army and its commander, Lt.-General Aleksandr Lebed,
personally for allegedly "defusing the conflict and halting
violence" in 1992 and for "controlling the situation" in
Transdniester since. Yeltsin warned against "any hasty actions or
decisions" that would increase tensions in the region. "This would
be totally out of line with Russia's interests. The price would be
too high," he said. Last week, Russia's Ministry of Defense had
announced steps to reduce the 14th Army in personnel and status
and to ease out its controversial commander following his latest
inflammatory political statements; and on 10 August Russia and
Moldova initialed an agreement for the Army's withdrawal within
three years under certain conditions. Yeltsin's statement in
effect supports Lebed against the Ministry of Defense. Lebed has
more than once criticized Yeltsin publicly and acerbically, most
recently terming him "a minus." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

LEBED CHALLENGES DECISIONS. Lebed for his part has returned from
leave to Tiraspol not to "collect his belongings" as predicted in
the Russian press, but to resume command of the 14th Army. At a
news conference on 14 August, reported by Basapress, Lebed argued
at great length that the "Dniester republic" authorities would
seize arms and ammunition from the 14th Army in the event of its
numerical reduction or insufficiently prepared withdrawal. Lebed
described the directive to restructure his army (and relieve him
of command in the process) as "guaranteed to destabilize the
situation" and as "a crime," and warned that he would rather leave
the armed forces than obey it. He claimed that Russia's Foreign
Ministry and Federal Counterintelligence Service had been "thrown
into a state of shock" by the directive. Exonerating the Land
Forces Command (which had actually announced it) and the General
Staff of responsibility for the directive, Lebed blamed it on the
circle of his former protector, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev,
and challenged him to withdraw it. Lebed also warned unnamed "mad
dog politicians on both banks of the Dniester" against starting a
war.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

OBJECTIONS MOSTLY TECHNICAL. Interviewed by Interfax on 15 August,
Lebed stressed that even if the Army is disbanded, the command
must be the last, not the first to go; and that before any
restructuring of the army, its personnel must be guaranteed social
protection and housing in Russia. Despite their vitriolic tone,
Lebed's objections to the measures affecting the 14th Army are
mostly technical, even when stressing security of arms depots
against seizure by the Army's former proteges in Tiraspol. Thus
far neither Lebed nor like-minded figures in Moscow have invoked
Russian geopolitical interests, a special "peacekeeping" role, or
the fate of ethnic Russians in Moldova as arguments against the
proposed restructuring and subsequent withdrawal of the 14th Army.
No political backlash has yet developed in Russia against the
agreement on the Army's withdrawal.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERBS AGAIN REJECT PEACE PLAN. International media
reported on 13 August that Radovan Karadzic has again turned down
the latest partition proposal for that embattled republic. His
parliamentary speaker, Momcilo Krajisnik, said the Bosnian Serbs
were ready for a long, hard struggle. Karadzic told the BBC on 15
August that his people had ample reserves of fuel and other
resources, adding that they also had money and "with money you can
get everything." The Washington Post on 14 August suggested that
"the evidence is clear that the blockade [imposed by Belgrade
against the Bosnian Serbs] is not exactly watertight." What
remains uncertain is whether Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
has been truthful about his intentions to impose a blockade, or
whether he has simply been unable to make his orders stick.
Reuters reported on 15 August that Milosevic has rejected a plan
to station international monitors along the Drina border with
Bosnia.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

WHERE IS GENERAL MLADIC? Several articles in the 16 August issue
of Borba focus on the silence of the Bosnian Serb commander, Gen.
Ratko Mladic. The normally loquacious and politically shrewd
officer has yet to take a public stand in the feuding between
Milosevic and Karadzic, and rumors have been rife as to his
whereabouts, goals and intentions. Meanwhile on the ground in
Bosnia, a Muslim-Serb agreement to stop sniping in Sarajevo seems
to have been less than fully effective when it came into effect on
15 August, but international media report that talks are
continuing to revive it.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

CROATIAN UPDATE. Hina reported on 12 August that blockades of
UNPROFOR posts by Croatian civilians have ended and that the roads
in question are now controlled by Croatian police. The protests
began earlier this summer as refugees from the Serb-held areas
sought to pressure UNPROFOR to help them safely resettle in their
former homes in keeping with its mandate. While the displaced
persons are by all accounts desperate, some observers saw the hand
of the Croatian authorities at work, both to deflect the anger of
the refugees away from Zagreb and to put pressure on the UN. The
protest also served the purpose of diverting attention from the
ongoing parliamentary crisis. Meanwhile, on the island resort of
Brijuni, President Franjo Tudjman received a number of diplomats
over the weekend, Zagreb dailies reported. Rumors had been flying
that the president was ill following the cancellation of his
regular monthly press conference. A meeting of Tudjman and
Milosevic, however, has failed to materialize. It was widely
predicted for last week by the Belgrade press. Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL, Inc.

UPDATE ON ALBANIAN TRIAL. The trial against five ethnic Greeks in
the Albanian capital continues to breed tensions between Tirana
and Athens. On 15 August police dissolved a demonstration in
support of the defendants, who are all members of the Greek
minority Omonia organization. Several visiting Greek journalists
were arrested in the incident, and Athens immediately lodged a
strong protest with Albanian authorities. In Tirana, however, the
Ministry for Public Order responded that the reporters had been
obstructing justice but nevertheless were released after two
hours. Meanwhile in the courtroom, the prosecution demanded that
the defendants be charged with spying and, in three cases, with
illegal possession of arms, while unexpectedly dropping treason
charges. Western agencies quote lawyers as noting that a
conviction might still lead to capital punishment.  Kjell
Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

GLEMP APPEALS TO SEJM. On 15 August Poland celebrated the Feast of
the Assumption as both a religious and state holiday. The feast is
once again remembered as Polish Army Day, in commemoration of the
1920 "miracle on the Vistula," when Polish forces stopped the
Soviet army's westward advance. State and government officials
were present at various religious-patriotic events throughout the
country. President Lech Walesa, along with several thousand
pilgrims, attended a Mass celebrated by Primate Jozef Glemp at the
Jasna Gora shrine. Speaking of modern-day threats to Poland, Glemp
appealed to Polish parliamentarians to support the president's
veto of new provisions liberalizing abortion, Polish TV reports.
Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

WALESA: MORE MONEY FOR MILITARY. Walesa then flew to Bydgoszcz for
a second Mass, which was attended by senior defense officials and
ranking military staff and was celebrated by the chief military
chaplain, Bishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz. Addressing the officers,
Walesa said national security demanded a state of readiness. In
this connection, he expressed concern about the army's difficult
economic situation and pledged to do his utmost to remedy it. "It
must be changed, even at the cost of sacrifices in other areas of
[public] life," he said. PAP reported on 15 August that this was
hailed by the military as a promise of more financial support.
Walesa later told journalists that the army and the police were
the best organized and most competent forces in the country,
and--unlike Poland's still weak pluralistic political
forces--should be seen as Poland's supporting "pillars." Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

LEPPER ARRESTED. The leader of the radical Self-Defense Farmers'
Union, Andrzej Lepper, was taken into custody on 13 August for a
period of one month. PAP reports that Lepper was detained after
questioning in connection with the beating up of Antoni
Chodorowski, who had been appointed by the court to manage a farm
in foreclosure. The incident, which took place on 29 July in
Kobylnica, was the latest in a series of attacks by Self-Defense
militants. A Self-Defense spokesman told PAP on 14 August that his
organization considered Lepper's detention as proof that the
"police and prosecution authorities are being used against the
political opposition." Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH REPUBLIC WELCOMES VIETNAMESE WORKERS. CTK reported on 12
August that under an agreement between the Czech Ministry of Labor
and Social Affairs and the Vietnamese Labor Ministry, about 3,000
Vietnamese will go to work in the Czech Republic. Thousands of
Vietnamese worked in former Czechoslovakia under 14-year
contracts, but most of them returned to Vietnam in 1991 after
Czechoslovakia and Vietnam had signed an agreement for the gradual
return to Vietnam of more than 17,000 Vietnamese workers. There
were 574 work permits for Vietnamese nationals registered in the
Czech Republic at the end of 1993. Czech authorities have not
explained why thousands of Vietnamese will again be allowed to
work in the Czech Republic; it is known, however, that the country
suffers from labor shortages. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK CONTROVERSY OVER PRIVATIZATION. On 12 August the Slovak
parliament's Economic and Budget Committee approved a list of 632
state firms worth 262.9 billion koruny for privatization, of which
51.3 billion koruny is slated for the coupon method, TASR
reported. Still, controversy over several issues has created
tensions within the governing coalition. The major issue concerns
the referendum, scheduled for 22 October, which will allow the
population to decide whether the parliament should pass a law
requiring participants in privatization to disclose the source of
their funds. Claiming it would cost about 65 million koruny,
Premier Jozef Moravcik announced on Slovak Radio on 12 August that
the cabinet will examine ways to avoid the referendum; he said the
funds would be better spent on pensions, health care or education.
Seen as a way of attracting votes to the parties which supported
it, the referendum would force voters to go to the polls three
times this fall: for early parliamentary elections, for the
referendum and for local elections. Another controversy has
centered on the decision of the National Property Fund (FNM) to
sell its shares of five of Slovakia's biggest firms through direct
sales. Although this method has been attacked by the Christian
Democratic Movement, it was approved by the coalition council, as
it could raise as much as 16.5 billion koruny for the FNM, Pravda
reported on 12 August. The issue of direct sales, along with
proposals for the privatization of the power and gas industries
and legislation governing the capital market, is expected to be
discussed by the parliament on 17 August.  Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL,
Inc.

HUNGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER MEETS UKRAINIAN, YUGOSLAV COUNTERPARTS.
Gyorgy Keleti met on 13 August in Mukacheve, Transcarpathia, with
Ukrainian Defense Minister Vitalii Radetsky, MTI reported on 14
August. Hungary, in need of more modern arms and equipment but
short of money, would like to barter food and pharmaceuticals for
Ukrainian tanks, armored carriers, and radar equipment. Ukraine
would provide some of the items it must destroy under the Paris
CFE Treaty to replace older items which Hungary would destroy to
stay within the limits set by the same treaty. Keleti also met in
Belgrade on 14 August with his Yugoslav counterpart Pavle
Bulatovic to discuss bilateral military relations and the
situation of the ethnic Magyars in Vojvodina drafted in the
Yugoslav Army.  Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

STRIFE AMONG TRANSCARPATHIA'S ETHNIC MAGYARS. A second ethnic
association, the Hungarian Alliance of the Bereh Region, has been
set up by 17 dissenting local branches of the Hungarian Cultural
Alliance of Subcarpathia (HCAS) in western Ukraine, MTI announced
on 12 August. HCAS Secretary Laszlo Brenzovics said the Beregszasz
(Berehove) raion Magyars, who make up 78% of the local population,
want to create an autonomous district while other inhabitants
would be content with cultural autonomy. In the latest Ukrainian
elections, HCAS was unable to elect a single deputy to the
Ukrainian parliament, which opposes autonomy status, but managed
to elect three members to the oblast council and local councils.
Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc.

MAX VAN DER STOEL IN ROMANIA. CSCE High Commissioner on National
Minorities Max van der Stoel began a four-day visit to Romania on
14 August, Radio Bucharest reports. Van der Stoel discussed
minority issues with Justice Minister Gavril Chiuzbaian and
secretary general of the Romanian government in charge with ethnic
minorities, Viorel Hrebenciuc. He also met with representatives of
various ethnic groups in Romania, including the country's large
Hungarian minority. The leaders of the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania complained about problems facing Romania's
Magyar minority, including alleged discrimination through a new
education law, recently adopted by the parliament. Van der Stoel
is expected to meet Romanian Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu and other
senior officials, as well as HDFR leaders in Cluj.  Dan Ionescu,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN FORMER "FRONT" ORGANIZATION LAUNCHES PARTY. The
successor entity of the communist-era Fatherland Front, the
Fatherland Union, is apparently seeking to reenter the political
stage. At a press conference on 12 August, the FU leadership
announced that it has founded a political party--the Union of the
Fatherland. Speaking to journalists, FU chairman and designated
party leader Ginyu Ganev said the chief aim is to "promote
political tolerance" and, if possible, help dismantle Bulgaria's
"bipolar" political model as represented by the dual domination of
the Union of Democratic Forces and the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
While the FU continues to control significant financial resources,
Ganev acknowledged that it has only a few hundred registered
members today.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE TO HOLD TALKS WITH GAZPROM. On 15 August Reuters reported
that a delegation from the Russian gas enterprise, Gazprom, is to
arrive in Kiev on 16 August for talks on Ukraine's gas debt. Last
week Gazprom threatened to cut gas supplies to Ukraine by 1
September if the country did not settle its bill, which allegedly
totals over 2 trillion rubles ($950 million). Gazprom had cut gas
supplies to Ukraine in March, but restored them after Kiev agreed
to a payment plan which included giving Gazprom shares in its
national gas distributor Ukrhaz, signing over gas transport and
storage facilities and building housing for Russian workers in
exchange for its debt. So far, however, neither Ukraine's gas
distributor or facilities have been privatized, and the
construction of the promised housing has not begun. Since 90% of
Russian gas exports to Western Europe pass through Ukraine,
Gazprom is not eager to completely cut off supplies, as this would
halt the flow of gas to the West and thus deprive the company of
its hard currency earnings. During the March cut offs, Ukraine was
accused of siphoning gas from the pipelines meant for Western
Europe. Ukrainian enterprises owe the state oil and gas committee
14.6 trillion karbovantsy ($320 million) for gas, and it does not
appear that the state has an effective mechanism for collecting
the debt. Even these figures do not reflect the true price of the
gas used by Ukrainian firms, however, as the government has
continued to heavily subsidize energy costs.  Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL, Inc.

US AID TO UKRAINE, BELARUS, MOLDOVA. US President Bill Clinton has
named Glen Hutchins as head of a fund for enterprises of the
western CIS states (Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova), Ukrainian Radio
reported on 12 August. The fund is meant to help develop the
private sector in CIS countries. Over the next 3-4 years the US
will contribute $150 million to the fund, which will use the money
to give credits and technical assistance to new private companies.
In particular, support will be given to small enterprises.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

ECONOMIC NEWS FROM BELARUS. The cabinet and the National Bank have
decided to lower the denomination of the Belarusian ruble by 10
times, Belarusian TV reported on 12 August. The measure will take
effect on 20 August. One ruble note will once again be worth one
ruble, instead of ten, as it had since the government raised the
value of its denomination. In line with the new denomination, all
prices and wages are to be reduced ten times. In other news,
Belarusian Radio reported on 15 August that the price of wheat in
Belarus has reached world levels, now standing at over $100 per
ton.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW BELARUSIAN INTERIOR TROOP COMMANDER. Valyantsin Avyaltsa, the
new commander of the Belarusian interior troops, officially
assumed duties on 11 August, Belarusian TV reported on 12 August.
During the presentation ceremony President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
emphasized that he is relying on young professionals in his choice
of staff.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

US AID FOR DISMANTLING SKRUNDA RADAR STATION FACILITIES. Latvian
Premier Valdis Birkavs and US Ambassador to Latvia Ints Silins
signed accords on US technical and financial assistance worth $7
million for the dismantling of an unfinished building that is part
of the facilities at the Russian radar station in Skrunda.
American firms are expected to submit their bids soon for
accomplishing the task. This building is one of the sites at
Skrunda that Russians have vacated. According to the agreements
signed on 30 April, Russia may retain control over the Skrunda
radar for another 4 years and has an additional 18 months for
dismantling the entire complex, Baltic media reported on 12
August.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIA PROTESTS OVER RUSSIAN DEMARCATION OF BORDERS. Estonian
Premier Mart Laar lodged a protest with Russian Ambassador to
Estonia Aleksandr Trofimov on 15 August, BNS reported. Demanding
that Russia stop immediately its unilateral demarcation of the
Estonian-Russian border which started on 11 August, Laar added
that such actions complicate relations between the two countries
and urged Russia to seek solutions at the negotiating table for
the practical problems affecting residents of border territories.
Estonia is considering taking the problems to the International
Court of Justice at the Hague or to the CSCE for mediation.
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

BORDER VIOLATIONS INCREASE IN LITHUANIA. BNS reported on 13 August
that figures compiled by the Lithuanian police show 1,059 border
violations have been registered during the first 7 months of this
year. In July 157 cases of trespassing were registered. The
Lithuanian police said that most of the trespassers are citizens
of China, Lebanon, Vietnam, Pakistan, Iraq, Turkey, Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka, Russia, and Uzbekistan. Last year Lithuanian borders
guards detained 939 trespassers from 80 different countries. Most
persons detained by the Lithuanian authorities at the borders
usually attempt to illegally emigrate to the West, and they
sometimes receive help from residents of Lithuania.  Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Stephen Foye and Sharon Fisher
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Natasha Bulashova,Greg Koul
Updated: 1998-11-

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