|When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. - Mark Twain|
No. 156, 18 August 1994
RUSSIA YELTSIN PROMISES COOPERATION; US REACTS TO NUCLEAR SMUGGLING. In a letter to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Russian President Boris Yeltsin has offered Moscow's cooperation in investigating the source and trade of nuclear contraband seized in recent months in Germany, The Los Angeles Times reported on 18 August. The newspaper said that the letter was the first direct offer of aid to come from the Russian government, whose officials have to date denied that the nuclear materials found in Germany originate in Russia. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Energy Hazel O'Leary was quoted by The New York Times as saying on 17 August that while discovering the origin of the atomic materials seized in Germany was certainly important, even greater emphasis should be placed on a broader effort to increase the general security of Russia's nuclear research and production complex. O'Leary, who said that her department was "intimately involved" with Bonn in trying to identify the source of the contraband, warned against sensationalizing the issue and expressed Washington's respect for Moscow's ability to make the necessary decisions. Her remarks may be seen in the context of what The Washington Post described as a coordinated effort by the US Administration to allay fears that Russia has lost control of its nuclear weapons stockpile. Administration spokesmen have also cautioned, publicly at least, that there is as yet no conclusive evidence that the contraband did originate in Russia. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSLAN KHASBULATOV AND CHECHEN OPPOSITION. The chairman of the Chechen opposition Provisional Council, Umar Avturkhanov, denied on 17 August a report of the previous day to the effect that former Russian parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov had officially joined the Chechen opposition, ITAR-TASS reported. On 16 August, Russian Television's "Vesti" reported that Khasbulatov had been appointed chairman of the recently created State Council of the Chechen opposition. Avturkhanov described this report as "propaganda" from the camp of President Dzhokhar Dudaev. So far, Khasbulatov has refrained from commenting on the announcements. He is currently in Chechnya offering to mediate between Moscow and Groznyi. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. NEMTSOV IS NOT SUCCESSOR, YELTSIN SAYS. Interviewed by Russian television in Rostov-on-Don on 17 August, Boris Yeltsin said that Boris Nemtsov, the reform-minded governor of the Nizhnii Novgorod region, has declined the honor of being regarded as Yeltsin's hand-picked successor. (On 16 August Nezavisimaya gazeta published an article claiming that Nemtsov had been frightened by Yeltsin's initial proposal because he feared becoming the primary target of Moscow's political intrigues.) In Rostov, meanwhile, Yeltsin repeated the praise that he had originally conferred upon the 34-year-old governor in Nizhnii Novgorod four days earlier, saying that Nemtsov could indeed "aspire to become the president" of Russia. Thereupon Yeltsin appeared to qualify his remarks, saying that Nemtsov has the same right "as anyone else" to compete in the presidential elections scheduled for 1996. Yeltsin said that when he had asked Nemtsov directly whether he was interested in occupying the post of president, the governor responded "never." The significance of Yeltsin's remarks lies in their implication that the Russian president--unlike many of his close associates--may at the moment not be considering the postponement or annulment of the forthcoming presidential elections. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. BOMB DAMAGES APARTMENT BUILDING IN ZELENOGRAD. A bomb destroyed part of a four-story apartment building in the town of Zelenograd, 20 kilometers northwest of Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported on 17 August. The agency said there were no deaths or injuries but 23 persons were left homeless. The target of the bomb is not yet known, but the agency said several residents in the house are businessmen. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. PROBLEMS WITH DELIVERY OF MiGS TO MALAYSIA? During a meeting of Russia's Government Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation on 17 August, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets denied rumors that Russia faced difficulties in meeting the terms of a contract for the delivery of 18 MiG-29 fighter aircraft to Malaysia, Interfax reported. The contract was signed on 7 June of this year and is estimated at more than $500 million, of which approximately 40% is to be paid by Malaysia with supplies of palm oil. According to Interfax, Russia will receive 65% of the hard currency payment in advance. The rumored problems apparently concern Russia's ability to upgrade the aircraft. Viktor Samoilov, general director of the state arms trading company, Rosvooruzheniye, suggested that his organization would maintain control of the advance hard currency revenues, and that it would dole out some $60 million of it for research and development to ensure that the service life of the MiG engines be extended from 750 to 2000 hours, as the contract with Malaysia stipulates. He expressed the concern that if Rosvooruzheniye did not keep control of the funds, defense enterprises might spend the money on "social needs." Soskovets was quoted as saying that the contract with Malaysia would provide employment for some 500,000 Russians. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALISTS IN KYRGYZSTAN. Muslim fundamentalist preachers are making their presence felt in southern Kyrgyzstan, according to an article in Slovo Kyrgyzstana, quoted by ITAR-TASS on 17 August. Kyrgyzstan's top Muslim clergyman, Kimsanbai Abdurakhmanov, was quoted as insisting that fundamentalism has little appeal for the traditionally nomadic Kyrgyz, a point of view that has been espoused by Kyrgyz government officials, but the southern part of the country, with a large sedentary Uzbek population, has traditionally been a center of Muslim piety, particularly in the Osh region. The article notes that interest in Islam has increased in Kyrgyzstan in recent years, and many young people have studied religion in Turkey, Iran and Libya. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. STATE OF EMERGENCY EXPIRES IN TAJIKISTAN. Despite intensifying armed conflict within Tajikistan and continued fighting on the Tajik-Afghan border, Tajikistan's government has allowed the state of emergency imposed at the end of 1992 to expire, Russian and Western sources reported on 17 August. Deputy Minister of National Security Anatolii Kuptsov was quoted by Interfax as saying that the decision was taken not to extend the state of emergency decree because of the presidential election and referendum on the constitution coming up on 25 September. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RUSSIAN VIEWS OF INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE TO WITHDRAW FROM MOLDOVA. According to a commentary in the Russian armed forces daily Krasnaya zvezda of 16 August, the "number one" advantage to Russia of agreeing in principle to withdraw from Moldova is that "it removes the poisonous accusations about Russia's alleged 'imperial ways' in keeping its army on the territory of sovereign Moldova without a legal status and allegedly refusing to withdraw it." According to a commentary in Izvestiya the same day, Russia's "mere acceptance [of the principle of withdrawing troops from Moldova] should tranquilize the international community which is very concerned by the presence of foreign troops in sovereign Moldova." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW CLARIFICATIONS ON 1992 FIGHTING. The heated discussions surrounding Russia's 14th Army have occasioned new clarifications of its involvement in the insurgency against Moldova in 1992. At a news conference in Tiraspol, reported by Novosti TV's "Itogi" program on 14 August, the Army's Commander, Lt.-Gen. Aleksdr Lebed said that he would like to find out "what happened to the more than 20,000 firearms given to the Dniester government during the events of 1992." On the same program, well-known military analyst Pavel Felgengauer said that "since Afghanistan and the dissolution of the USSR, our army suffers from an acute inferiority complex . . . It needed a victory, however small, our own Grenada or Panama. All we have had thus far is Transdniester and General Lebed." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN, MOLDOVAN PRIME MINISTERS PLEASED WITH RELATIONS. The Russian and Moldovan Prime Ministers held talks on 16 and 17 August in Moscow, Interfax reported. Viktor Chernomyrdin spoke of "steady progress in political relations, with only technical matters remaining to be resolved." The Russian side granted a credit of 70 billion rubles, as the first installment of a planned credit of 150 billion rubles, to enable Moldova to pay its debts to the Russian state concern Gasprom for past Russian gas deliveries. Sangheli insisted that Russia ratify the Russian-Moldovan treaty, signed in 1990 and ratified only by Moldova. He gave assurances that Moldova's parliament will soon complete drafting a special status for Transdniester that provides for economic and cultural autonomy while preserving Moldova's territorial integrity. A Russian-Moldovan framework agreement on cultural cooperation, including provisions on native-language education for ethnic minorities, was signed. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. PAN-RUSSIAN PARTY SCOUTS UKRAINE, MOLDOVA. Basapress of 16 August carried an interview with Vladimir Danilov, chairman of Russia's Party of National Unity, who is currently visiting Ukraine's Odessa oblast, Transdniester, and the Gagauz area in Moldova. Danilov said that the party does not recognize the dissolution of the USSR, seeks its restoration, has branches in seven former union republics, and is about to open branches in Ukraine and Moldova. He said that there was "mutual understanding" between his party and the "Dniester" and Gagauz leaders on the goal of reviving the USSR. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN SERBS THREATEN CONVOY BLOCKADE. On 18 August Borba reports that on the previous day Bosnian Serbs demanded fuel from UN peacekeepers and threatened that a failure on the UN's part to deliver would result in Bosnian Serb efforts to halt UN convoy traffic through Serb-controlled territory starting on 18 August. AFP reported that UN spokesman Ron Annik dubbed the Serb actions an exercise in "blackmail," adding that the UN has no intention of complying with the Serbs' demands. The Los Angeles Times of 18 August reports that the fuel-for-traffic ultimatum may in fact indicate that the Bosnian Serb side is having serious problems priming its war machine due to Belgrade's decision to cut off fuel supplies and isolate the Bosnian Serbs for their failure to endorse the latest international peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Meanwhile, the self-styled Bosnian Serb assembly meets on 18 August to discuss the impact of Belgrade's decision to sever political and economic ties. Parliamentary speaker Momcilo Krajisnik, perhaps setting the tone for further Bosnian Serb defiance to peace and seeming rump Yugoslav resolve to push the Bosnian Serb leadership into endorsing the latest peace plan, has observed "[Bosnian] Serbian soldiers are traditionally stronger when they are under pressure." Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. "ABDIC PROCLAIMS UNILATERAL CEASEFIRE" is how Politika on 18 August headlines its reporting on renegade Bosnian leader Fikret Abdic's decision to declare a unilateral ceasefire. Abdic, based in Bosnia's Bihac pocket, has recently suffered heavy losses, with forces loyal to the Bosnian government recapturing an estimated 80% of the territory at one time controlled by Abdic's rebel troops. On 17 August AFP reported that the Bosnian government has called on Abdic to surrender within seven days. It remains unclear what actions the Bosnian army may take if Abdic does not comply within the specified time limit. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. PRISONER EXCHANGE IN SARAJEVO. After two prior delays, the Bosnian government and Bosnian Serb authorities finally exchanged prisoners on Sarajevo's Fraternity and Unity Bridge on 17 August, AFP reported. In total, the Bosnian government freed 13 captives, while the Serb side reciprocated by releasing 14. The latest exchange was conducted in compliance with an accord inked in June, under the terms of which a total of 1,000 prisoners (500 from each side) are to be released. In other news, on 17 August international media reported artillery clashes, lasting up to several hours, between Bosnian Muslim and Serb forces around Sarajevo. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. SANDZAK POLITICAL PRISONERS HALT HUNGER STRIKE. On 17 August Borba and AFP reported that 16 Muslim political prisoners, all residents of Serbia's province of Sandzak, halted a hunger strike after nearly two weeks, at the urging of doctors and relatives. The captives, who have been detained for 15 months, undertook the hunger strike as a means of protesting delays in their trial, in which prosecutors will continue to allege that the accused are guilty of plotting and acting to create an independent "State of Sandzak" in the predominantly Muslim-populated region of rump Yugoslavia. Court officials have vowed to expedite the trial. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. AIDS ON THE RISE IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Reuters and Borba reported on 16 August that 35 new cases of Aids have been registered and that 23 people have died from the immune deficiency since January. The first case was reported in 1985, and 194 people have officially died from the disease since then. Some 357 people are listed as having contracted it. The most vulnerable social group to HIV-infection in Serbia-Montenegro is that of intravenous drug users. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA PROTESTS SPY'S APPOINTMENT. President Lech Walesa has asked Interior Minister Andrzej Milczanowski to change his decision to appoint former spy Marian Zacharski to head the Polish intelligence service. A communique released by the President's office on 17 August said that, while the president recognized Zacharski's professionalism, he believed his appointment "would jeopardize Poland's efforts toward integration with the West." Polish dailies claimed on 18 August that Walesa's move had only just preempted a US diplomatic protest. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH ECONOMY IN JULY. Consumer goods and services rose 1.5% in July while wages rose 0.8%, representing a drop in real wages of 0.7% over the previous month, according to data published by Poland's Main Statistical Office on 16 August. In comparison with July 1993, goods and services rose by 32.8% and wages 37.9%, representing a yearly increase in real wages of 3.7%. July's price increase was exacerbated by a 3.2% increase in the cost of various services (hot water, telecommunications and nursing home costs) and 5.8% in liquor prices. Unemployment rose by 49,000 to 2,982,000 (from 16.6 to 16.9%), reflecting a large contingent of schoolleavers. Industrial production fell by 3.4% in comparison with the previous month, but rose 16.7% with regard to July 1993. Production in the first seven months of 1994 was up by 11.2% over the same period last year. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. PAWLAK TO UKRAINE, INTERVENES IN ARMS CASE. Polish Premier Waldemar Pawlak and a large delegation traveled to Lutsk on 17 August for talks with Ukrainian government officials on bilateral economic cooperation. According to a PAP report, three members of the delegation went to "clarify" the case of a Cenzin official who was arrested by Ukrainian security officials at Boryspol airport on 29 July under suspicion of having attempted to send arms to a war zone. The unnamed official had negotiated the legal sale of Ukrainian ammunition to Kenia. Ukrainian security officers stepped in when it transpired that the airplane carrying them was to make a stopover in Croatia. Quoting well-informed sources, PAP said that the Pole is to be released from custody pending legal proceedings and that he might be prepared to cooperate with the Ukrainian authorities "in the interest of both countries." Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. PREFERENCES FOR POLISH ARMS INDUSTRY. The Polish government approved on 16 August the idea of "strategic government programs" to ensure that domestic-produced military technology meets the high standards required by the armed forces, PAP reports. Several hundred billion zloty (more than $10 million) will flow annually from the state budget to the Scientific Research Committee. Defense Minister Piotr Kolodziejczyk revealed that the first programs--determined by operational priorities--envisaged a multifunctional helicopter, an antiaircraft defense system, and a new-generation tank. He expressed optimism that the government's decision would ensure long-term research planning, development and realization and open profitable production lines which could be applied in civilian production. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. REORGANIZATION OF SLOVAK DEFENSE MINISTRY. On 17 August Slovak Defense Minister Pavol Kanis announced that several major changes will be introduced in his ministry on 1 September. The number of generals working for the ministry will be cut from 31 to 20, and the number of colonels from 354 to 143. The Army Headquarters, which presently employs 31 generals and 339 colonels will be transformed into the General Staff, which will have 14 generals and 233 colonels. Lieutenant General Jozef Tuchyna, who presently serves as Kanis's advisor, said the cuts correspond to the 1992 Vienna talks on armed forces reduction. By the end of 1995 the Slovak Army will have a maximum of 46,667 troops, TASR reports. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. LAST SESSION OF CURRENT SLOVAK PARLIAMENT BEGINS. The last session of the Slovak parliament before the upcoming elections, scheduled for 30 September and 1 October, began on 17 August, TASR reports. The session's agenda contains 59 points, which include international agreements (governing relations with the Czech Republic and Russia, as well as two environmental treaties), economic laws (focusing on privatization and capital markets), social laws (including the penal code and law on universities), and politically motivated laws (including motions of no-confidence in Deputy Premiers Brigita Schmoegnerova and Roman Kovac as well as a law on conflict of interest). Although some deputies had supported a bill to delay the parliamentary elections, this issue will not be discussed. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN, SLOVAK JUSTICE MINISTRIES SIGN ACCORD. Justice Minister Pal Vastagh and his Slovak counterpart Milan Hanzel signed on 17 August in Budapest a cooperation accord between their ministries and agreed to start talks at the expert level to prepare a bilateral agreement to facilitate legal assistance in criminal matters. According to MTI, the two ministries agreed to exchange their experiences in the creation of democratic legal institutions, the administration of justice and prison administration; they will also provide each other with their respective countries' laws and, when possible, draft laws. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARY WANTS AWACS PLANE AGREEMENT. Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti told General George Joulman, the visiting NATO Supreme Allied Forces Commander in Europe, that Hungary continues to support the use of its air space by NATO's AWACS reconnaissance planes to help enforce the UN's flight ban over Bosnia, MTI announced on 17 August. At the same time, Budapest wants a written agreement outlining the conditions for the overflights, which were authorized by parliament in 1992. The draft of such a document is already being studied by NATO political officials in Brussels. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN NATIONALIST LEADER ATTACKS CSCE ENVOY. According to a Reuters report from 17 August, Gheorghe Funar, leader of the ultra-nationalist Party of Romanian National Unity and mayor of Cluj, bitterly attacked CSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel, who is visiting Romania. Funar accused the CSCE official of favoring the Hungarian minority in Romania and fostering separatist tendencies among ethnic groups. He also said that van der Stoel had been misinformed on the situation in Romania by the political party of the Magyar minority, the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania. Funar, who is known for his tough anti-Hungarian stance, warned the CSCE commissioner not to meddle in Romania's internal affairs and urged the European Parliament to punish the HDFR for allegedly misleading European institutions. On 16 August the HDFR announced that it was launching a campaign to collect signatures in favor of its own version of an education bill after attacking the government's bill for alleged discrimination, claiming that it does not provide enough classes in the Hungarian language. HDFR leaders discussed the issue with van der Stoel during his visit to Cluj. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. ILIESCU DEFENDS HIS ROLE IN THE 1989 EVENTS. Traian Chebeleu, a spokesman for Romanian President Ion Iliescu, rejected as "completely gratuitous" allegations in a Bucharest newspaper on Iliescu's role in the December 1989 events. According to an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest, the daily Ziua had published a series of articles suggesting that Iliescu had been responsible for the killing of Nicolae Ceausescu's Defense Minister General Vasile Milea. Ziua claimed that Milea, who died in unclear circumstances after presumably refusing to carry out Ceausescu's orders, had in fact been killed upon Iliescu's order because he was endangering the latter's plans to seize power. The presidency statement said that the editor in chief of Ziua, Sorin Rosca-Stanescu, was known as a notorious Securitate informer and that his present allegations "can be sorted out only in court." Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS PRESENT AMBIVALENT DRAFT PROGRAM. At a press conference on 17 August, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) presented its new draft program called "New Age, New Bulgaria, New BSP." Georgi Parvanov, Deputy Chairman of the BSP Supreme Council, told reporters the draft is intended to position the BSP as "a modern, national, leftist party of democratic socialism." Both that stilted qualification and the extensive text itself nevertheless make clear that the program is the result of a major effort at combining the views of the party's hard-liners and groups leaning toward social democracy. The two wings have especially disagreed on economic issues, which is apparent in the formulation that the economic reform should be "radical . . . at a price that is tolerable and socially just." The draft is supposed to be adopted in a nation-wide poll among its members between 15 September and 15 October. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN UNEMPLOYMENT. By the end of July the number of registered jobless in Bulgaria was 514,042, 5,440 more than in June. The press center of the National Employment Service, as quoted by BTA, says the new figure means a monthly growth rate in unemployment of 1.06% and thereby breaks the decreasing trend of the last six months. The NES says that 141,544 of the unemployed are aged below 24, and no more than 25,105 have high education. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIAN GREEKS RETRACT CONFESSIONS. Western news agencies report from Tirana that three Albanian Greeks charged with espionage and illegal possession of arms have withdrawn their confessions, saying they were made under coercion. On 17 August Kosta Qirjako followed the example of his co-defendants Vanjel Papakristo and Panajot Marto, who on the previous day had retracted their confessions. All three--who like the other two accused are members of the Greek Omonia organization--testified that they had been badly maltreated during interrogations. Another defendant, Theodor Bezhani, though denying the charges, stuck to his earlier statements. Following demonstrations in support of the defendants as the trial opened last week, Reuters says Albanian police are now patrolling in front of the courthouse and have denied entry to several Western journalists and lawyers. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINE TO PAY A QUARTER OF ITS DEBT TO GAZPROM. The Russian gas enterprise Gazprom reached agreement with Kiev over payment of Ukraine's gas debt, ITAR-TASS reported on 17 August. Ukrainian Deputy Ppremier Anatolii Dyuba said Ukraine would pay off 20-25% of its $1.5 billion debt between August and October. The two sides agreed that Gazprom would open bank accounts in Ukrainian banks to facilitate the payments by Ukrainian enterprises using Russian gas. The agreement also gives Gazprom the right to sign direct contracts with Ukrainian gas consumers. Gazprom chairman Rem Vyakhirev said the main result of the negotiations was the resolution of a mechanism for gas supplies and their payment. He also said the Ukrainians had accepted most of the Russian suggestions regarding the problem. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN PRIVATIZATION STATISTICS. On 16 August Ukrainian television reported the Ukrainian Ministry of Statistics figures on the country's ownership of industries for the first half of 1994. Almost 60% of all industries are state owned; 20% have mixed ownership; and 20% are collectively owned. There are only 4 fully private industrial enterprises functioning in the country. The report also said that there had been a notable decline in production in all industrial enterprises. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUS LEADS IN LENIN STATUES. The Minsk Economic News reported in its August issue that of the 2,000 statues of Lenin still standing in the former Soviet Union, 502 are located in Belarus. According to the paper, this means there is one statue of Lenin for every 20,000 Belarusian citizens. Belarus thus holds the world record for per capita Lenin statues. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN DEMARCATION OF BORDER WITH ESTONIA CONTINUES. Despite Estonian protests, Russia continues to mark the border with Estonia, BNS reported on 16 and 17 August. So far more than 25 border posts have been marked, according to Rein Orav of the Estonian border guards. On 16 August Laar told the press in Tallinn that Russia's actions were "a glaring violation" of international norms and that they would jeopardize the stabilization of relations between the two countries brought about by the recent agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia. Laar added that the key to resolving the Estonian-Russian border issues lies in Russia's recognition of the continued validity of the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty, which, inter alia, fixed the borders between the two countries. On 17 August an unnamed senior Russian diplomat made the claim to RIA that the treaty became void when Estonia entered the former Soviet Union. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. LAST RUSSIAN TANKS LEAVE ESTONIA. On 17 August the last ten Russian tanks in Estonia were shipped from the port of Paldiski, Reuters reports. Other military equipment, including armored personnel carriers, trucks, and ammunition, continues to be sent out by train, the last one scheduled to depart on 28 August. On 24 July Russia agreed to complete its troop pullout by 31 August. Aleksandr Olkhovikov, head of the Padilski submarine base, informed Estonia that the removal of the nuclear fuel rods from one of the two nuclear reactors at the base would begin on 24 or 25 August. The reactors are to be dismantled by 30 September 1995. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW LATVIAN CABINET UNCERTAIN OF PARLIAMENTARY APPROVAL. Diena reported on 17 August that the cabinet proposed by Prime Minister designate Andrejs Krastins of Latvia's National Independence Movement may not win the endorsement of the Saeima when the issue comes up at today's session. A preliminary count of votes for and against the new government suggests that the Krastins team may not obtain the majority of votes from those deputies attending the session. An agreement of cooperation reached on 17 August between Latvia's Way, the political party heading the incumbent government that resigned in July, and the Economists' Political Association appears to have assured the opposition of garnering more votes than the LNIM and its partners. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Stephen Foye 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. 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