|No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. - Edmund Burke|
No. 159, 23 August 1994
RUSSIA CHECHNYA AND MOSCOW. Russia's Defense and Interior Ministries again denied on 22 August that Russia was intervening militarily in Chechnya, ITAR-TASS and Echo of Moscow radio reported. The ministries said the Russian Army was playing a "supervisory" role in parts of Ingushetia and Northern Ossetia, because of the state of emergency there but that there had been no incursion into Chechnya. On 21 August Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev reiterated accusations against Moscow of intervening militarily in his republic. On 22 August Dudaev issued a decree ordering the Chechen parliament to resume its work, Interfax reported. The decree ordered deputies to adopt a new constitution following a nationwide discussion before the end of September. Dudaev earlier suspended parliament's activities after several deputies joined the opposition. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA TO RETURN PROPERTY TO STALIN'S VICTIMS. The Russian government has issued a resolution stipulating compensation to victims of Soviet political repression for property that was taken away from them. A government spokesman told an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow on 22 August that people would either have their property restored or receive a cash compensation. It is not clear what rules the resolution sets for compensating people, since the text of the resolution has not been yet made available. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. TALKS END WITH AGREEMENT ON NUCLEAR SMUGGLING. Three days of talks in Moscow between top German and Russian security officials (see RFE/RL Daily Report of 22 August) concluded on 22 August with the signing of a memorandum aimed at improving bilateral cooperation in preventing the smuggling of nuclear materials. Although the text of the document will apparently not be made public until it has been examined by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Interfax reported on 22 August that a communique issued after the talks stated that the two sides agreed that the illegal spread of nuclear materials, no matter what their origin, represented a danger and the two nations confirmed their readiness to improve cooperation in an effort to counter this threat. That formulation appeared to be a concession to Moscow, which has insisted that the smuggled materials recently found in Germany did not originate in Russia and that the smuggling problem is a general one. According to The New York Times, the possibility was raised during the discussions that Russian officials were implicated in the smuggling operations. Russian sources reported that the German delegation had not provided samples of the seized materials, but only the results of tests by European scientists. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. GERMANY TO LINK AID TO COOPERATION? According to AFP, German Finance Minister Theo Waigel warned in an interview published by the weekly Bild am Sonntag on 20 August that German "financial aid to Russia will depend on Moscow's willingness to cooperate with us in the fight against the international smuggling of nuclear materials." The news agency noted that Germany is Russia's largest source of Western aid. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. PANOV ON CHINESE-RUSSIAN RELATIONS. In a 22 August interview previewing the upcoming visit of Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Panov told Interfax that the two nations had overcome the problems that plagued relations in the past and that their current partnership is "devoid of ideology, does not imply allied relations, and is not targeted against third countries." Panov said that the early September visit would see the signing of a joint declaration on cooperation and that an agreement on the detargeting of the nuclear missiles was also expected to be approved. The two sides would also conclude an agreement on the western section of the Russian-Chinese border, to supplement one on the eastern section of the border which was ratified in 1991. Panov admitted that the border demarcation was a complicated issue, and suggested that differences might still arise over ownership of territories near Khabarovsk, which Russia insists are its own. Panov said that the issue of deteriorating bilateral trade would also be on the agenda, as would military-technical cooperation. On the latter score, Panov said that Russia was selling only defensive weapons systems to China and that all such sales met international standards of transparency. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. SHOKHIN ON RUSSIAN DEBT. Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economics Aleksandr Shokhin reaffirmed to an interviewer on 22 August that Russia does not intend to ask its foreign creditors to cancel its foreign debt, ITAR-TASS reported. In Shokhin's view, Russia is neither so poor nor its foreign debt so high that it would need to ask for debt cancellation, and he noted that such a step would ruin Russia's standing as a great power and would result in a freeze on foreign investment and on any form of Russian participation in international financial groupings. Shokhin did, however, say that Moscow needs to maneuver because of its budget situation, and has been able to do this thanks to debt rescheduling. Similar remarks on Russia's debt were made on 21 August by Acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin. Both officials were reported to be responding to an earlier statement by Foreign Trade Minister Oleg Davydov, who suggested that Western creditors write off some of Russia's debt of $80 billion. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. MMM OFFICES TO REOPEN. The troubled Russian investment company MMM said it reopened its offices throughout the country on 22 August, AFP reported. The reopening was ordered last week by imprisoned company chairman Sergei Mavrodi. The Russian government warned on 19 August that MMM "notes" to be sold on 22 August were "dubious." ITAR-TASS quoted the Russian Finance Ministry as saying that people buying such notes would only "have a nice piece of paper" without dividends or rights to purchase further shares. MMM had offered high dividends but the value of its shares collapsed last month. Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA CONTROVERSY OVER ABKHAZ-TATAR TREATY. The first deputy chairman of the Abkhaz parliament, Stanislav Lakoba, has rejected a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on 21 August describing the friendship and cooperation treaty signed on 17 August in Kazan between Abkhaz parliament chairman Vladislav Ardzinba and Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, in which the two countries recognize each other as "subjects of international law," as contravening the Russian-Georgian Friendship Treaty signed in February 1994, Interfax reported on 22 August. Lakoba argued that since the Russian-Georgian treaty has not yet been ratified, the Abkhaz-Tatar treaty does not violate it. The Georgian Foreign Ministry had protested the signing of the treaty on 19 August, arguing that it constituted a threat to the territorial integrity of both Georgia and the Russian Federation, according to ITAR-TASS. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. UZBEKISTAN AND THE RUSSIAN MEDIA. Uzbekistan's Ministry of Communications and state radio and television company reminded listeners and viewers on 20 August that they will stop rebroadcasting Russian TV in September, because the Russian state radio and TV system ceased paying the Uzbeks for the service, Radio Rossii reported. The decision of the Uzbek authorities was taken in June but not put into effect, apparently to give the Russian agency time to reconsider. Ostankino will continue to supply some programming in the mornings and evenings. Uzbek state TV hopes to develop more Uzbek-language programming and to obtain broadcasts from the US, Turkey and India. Interfax reported on 22 August that Rustam Shagulyamov, chairman of Uzbekistan's State Committee on the Press, has warned that Russian-language publications are having serious problems in Uzbekistan because of the widespread media shift to the Uzbek language and the shrinking number of subscribers as large numbers of Russians emigrate from Uzbekistan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS LEBED DECLINES TAJIKISTAN COMMAND. According to Moldovan and Russian media reports from Moscow, Tiraspol, and Dushanbe on 22 August, Lt.-General Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, has turned down an offer from the General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces to take over the command of CIS (in practice mainly Russian) "peacemaking" forces in Tajikistan. The proposal reportedly came from Tajikistan Supreme Soviet Chairman Imomali Rakhmonov, but he may have been inspired by Russian military or political circles who have apparently sought recently to ease Lebed out of his army command. Lebed was cited as professing "disenchantment" with "the course of events" and as contemplating retirement from the military. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN CALL FOR RESTRUCTURING CIS COLLECTIVE SECURITY SYSTEM. Maj.-General Vasilii Volkov, representing the staff of the Council of Defense Ministers of CIS member states, told Interfax on 22 August that the CIS collective security system must be restructured and that Russia's President should be the chairman of the CIS Security Council. Acknowledging nevertheless that most CIS countries resent a CIS collective security system as it implies centralization and coordination, Volkov advocated the creation of a collective security system in which each country might participate in areas of special interest only. Thus far the proposed collective security system is a failure as Russia alone has managed to "control" hotbeds of tensions and fighting within the CIS, Volkov noted. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE MILOSEVIC REJECTS INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS. On 23 August Reuters reported that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, after meeting with UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi in Belgrade the previous day, once again flatly rejected a proposal to have international observers monitor Serbia's blockade against the Bosnian Serbs from rump Yugoslav territory. Following the meeting with the Serbian leader, Akashi remarked that his hopes for peace in Bosnia had waned, and said conditions in the rump Yugoslavia may deteriorate in the near future. UN officials have in the past stated that Serbia's willingness to station international observers on its territory may be a precondition for easing sanctions against Belgrade. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. HAS ABDIC REACHED SAFETY? On 22 August AFP reported that defeated rebel Bosnian Muslim leader Fikret Abdic was last seen on 21 August in the Serb-controlled Croatian town of Maljevac. The same report quotes Bozidar Sicel, speaker of the self-styled parliament in Abdic's former domain of Bihac, situated in northwest Bosnia, as saying Abdic was "in free territory on the border of the Velika Kladusa commune." On 23 August Politika wrote that the Muslim refugees fleeing the Bihac pocket in the wake of the Bosnian government's victory over Abdic's forces (reportedly including Abdic's wife and daughter) continue to be denied access to Croatian territory by Zagreb authorities. Radio Sarajevo reported that the Bosnian government has offered a three-day amnesty period. On 22 August Reuters reported that Abdic himself faxed aides in Zagreb, from an unknown location, urging them to impress upon the refugees that a safe return to Bihac would only be possible after the withdrawal of Bosnian government forces. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. SARAJEVO AIRLIFT BEGINS AGAIN. On 22 August international agencies reported that on that day UN humanitarian supplies were once again airlifted into the Bosnian capital, following a four-day interruption caused by a mortar attack against Sarajevo's airport. Also, on 22 August RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported that Sarajevo trams resumed operations that day, suspended 17 days prior because of sniper attacks. A ban on sniping went into effect on 22 August. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA TRIES TO REDUCE SANCTION-BUSTING. Beginning 22 August Bulgarian customs authorities will no longer allow motorcycles to cross two of the four border checkpoints with Serbia, BTA and Reuters report. In recent weeks at least 4,000 motorcycles daily have ridden into Serbia in order to sell the fuel from their tanks on the other side. In many cases the smugglers have also hidden fuel in their machines, which has caused several motorcycles to catch fire. Four drivers recently died in road accidents. The checkpoints affected are Bregovo and Vrashka Luka, near the town of Vidin. In the January-June period, some 2.5 million people crossed these two northernmost checkpoints. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. SUMMIT IN ALPBACH CONCLUDED. The two-day summit in Alpbach of the presidents of Austria and its neighbors ended on 22 August. The countries represented were: Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Italy, Switzerland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary. During a televised discussion on the future of Central Europe, Austrian President Thomas Klestil said "an EU limited to Western Europe will have lost its legitimacy entirely." Austria, as a new member of the EU, would help the group to open to other states from Central and Eastern Europe, he pledged. The EU Executive Commission's president-designate, Jacques Santer, who met with the leaders on 21 August, said the EU has "a moral obligation" to help the countries of Eastern Europe with their transition. German President Roman Herzog also stressed the need for Western assistance to bring these countries up to EU standards. Santer told Austrian Radio that he expects some East European nations to become members of the EU before the year 2000 if they fulfill the necessary conditions. A series of bilateral talks held during the summit focused on minority and property rights and on strengthening bilateral relations. Czech President Vaclav Havel and his Slovak counterpart Michal Kovac discussed the current political situation in their respective countries, as well as the return of the Bojnice altar to Slovakia. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA VETOES LAWS. President Lech Walesa has vetoed laws regulating the sugar industry and amending the law on the former communist's party assets, PAP reported on 19 August. Walesa said the sugar law was "imbued with administrative decisions typical of the defunct command economy" and violated market precepts. It would, he said, give the state refineries a monopoly and eliminate domestic competition. The price of sugar almost doubled in July. Interventionary sales by the Agricultural Market Agency helped stabilize the situation, which experts believe was caused by speculators, hoping to make a quick profit before this year's expected meager harvest. With regard to the communist assets, Walesa said the amendments violated "the clear and just criteria" of the original 1990 law and ignored the 1992 ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal that the Social Democracy of the Republic of Poland (SdRP) may not succeed to the assets of the Polish United Workers' Party. Adoption of the amendments, Walesa said, could reverse the process--laborious as it is--of transferring the communist party's assets to the state and legalize their takeover by the SdRP. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA'S SPOKESMAN TO BE DISMISSED? Presidential spokesman, Andrzej Drzycimski confirmed in an interview with Polish Radio on 22 August that he had been instructed to use up his accumulated vacation time and take leave until 3 November. Poland's domestic media are speculating that Drzycimski will not return to the post he has occupied since December 1990. Rumor has it that relations between Drzycimski and Walesa's Chief of Staff, Mieczyslaw Wachowski, who signed the leave directive, according to today's Rzeczpospolita, have been deteriorating. Walesa himself has, in the past, fobbed off with a joke reporters' questions about Drzycimski's status. No replacement for Drzycimski is in sight. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. KATYN EXHUMATIONS DELAYED. Two teams of Polish specialists were unable to travel as planned on 20 and 22 August to Katyn and Miednoje to begin exhumation of the bodies of Polish officers who were murdered by the NKVD in 1940 and thrown into mass graves, PAP reports. Over the next three years their remains are to be given a proper burial in a new cemetery, according to the terms of an agreement signed between the Russian and Polish governments in February 1994. On the eve of the Poles' departure, the Russian Foreign Ministry informed the Polish embassy in Moscow that the work could not begin after all, because the Smolensk duma had voted to construct a mausoleum for victims of Stalinism instead of the Polish cemetery, and a children's nursing home in the neighborhood had yet to be transferred elsewhere. Local authorities in Tver claimed they had not received funds from the central government. The Russian side put the blame for the delay on the Poles, however, claiming that the Poles had failed to set up a coordinating commission for the exhumation, as specified in the agreement. On 19 August Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak formally appointed a coordinating commission headed by Deputy Prosecutor General Stefan Sniezko. Talks between the two commissions began in Moscow on 22 August. Unless work begins at the two sites within a week, climactic conditions will necessitate putting it off until next year. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAKIA TO PRIVATIZE WEAPONS FACTORIES. On 22 August Economy Minister Peter Magvasi announced the privatization of the arms industry, TASR reports. The first step will be the creation of joint-stock companies whose shares will be held by the National Property Fund; organizational and financial restructuring will follow. The meeting was also attended by government, labor and banking representatives, as well as delegates from six Slovak arms factories. Privatization Ministry State Secretary Juraj Plesnik said the government is expected to decide how to transform these firms by late August. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAKIA, ISRAEL TO OPEN AIR LINKS. On 22 August in Bratislava Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan and Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Kessar signed an agreement to open links between airports and other transport authorities, TASR and Reuters report. The agreement is expected to trigger an increase in tourism and bilateral trade. The private Slovak airline, Air Terex Slovakia, has been running regular flights to and from Israel since December 1993. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH-VIETNAMESE TRADE ACCORD. Czech Industry and Trade Minister Vladimir Dlouhy and Vietnamese Light Industry Minister Dang Van Chu signed an intergovernmental trade agreement in Prague on 22 August, CTK reported. Dang Van Chu was among top officials and businessmen who had arrived with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Duc Luong in the Czech Republic earlier that day. Tran Duc Luong met with Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN WITHDRAWAL VIA CZECH REPUBLIC ALMOST COMPLETE. Jan Zenkl, the Czech government's commissioner for special transportation, was quoted by Zemedelske Noviny on 22 August as saying that the transportation of Russian military equipment from Germany to Russia through the Czech Republic has been practically completed. Zenkl said that trains carrying military equipment can go through Czech territory until the end of August under international agreements while non-military material belonging to the Russian Army can be carried until the end of 1994. According to Zenkl, more than 1,600 Russian trains have crossed Czech territory since 1991, when the Russian troops withdrawal began; the Czech Railways will make a profit of nearly 1 billion koruny from the process. Under agreements between Bonn and Moscow, Russian troops have to leave Germany by the end of this month. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS WOO UNION. Bulgarian dailies reported on 23 August of the meeting on the previous day between Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Jean Videnov and Krastyu Petkov, head of the Confederation of Trade Unions in Bulgaria. The two reportedly held talks on the current political situation. The BSP's Duma said Videnov offered his party's support should the CITUB decide to run its own candidates in the next general election. Petkov declined the proposition, but did not rule out cooperation on the local level. The CITUB daily Trud confirmed that Petkov is inclined to accept efforts to form a new cabinet within the framework of the present parliament, despite the fact that many leading politicians have publicly committed themselves to elections before the end of 1994. Commentaries in Duma, Trud and Standart estimate that a majority of the National Assembly is actually opposed to early elections. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA: DISAPPEARING STATUES UPSET LATIN ENVOYS. On 22 August Uruguay's ambassador to Bulgaria, Guido Yerlas, said the theft of a statue and two bronze busts of South American heroes from a Sofia park had filled Latin American diplomats with "concern and indignation." But speaking on behalf of envoys from Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Columbia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Peru, Yerlas told journalists that he and his colleagues would not allow the incident, which does not appear to have a political background, to have a negative effect on relations with Sofia. Yerlas said he assumed the thieves were out to sell the statues as metal scrap. On 18 August Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Gatsinski promised a group of South American diplomats that authorities will try to retrieve the statues and bring the offenders to justice. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. OPPOSITION PARTY URGES RESIGNATION OF TWO ROMANIAN MINISTERS. Romania's opposition Democratic Party--National Salvation Front has called for the resignation of two government ministers who concealed their party affiliation, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported on 22 August. The DP--NSF said in a press release that the only honorable choice left for Justice Minister Iosif Gavril Chiuzbaian and Transportation Minister Aurel Novac is resignation. The ministers had been presented to parliament in 1992 as independents. Upon joining the government last week, the Party of Romanian National Unity revealed that Novac and Chiuzbaian were PRNU members. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVAN LEADERS BRACE FOR PRO-ROMANIAN "PROVOCATIONS." In the run-up to Moldova's national holidays--Independence Day and Language Day on 27 and 31 August, respectively--Moldova's National Security Council convened on 22 August to discuss possible "provocations" by the rump Popular Front which threatened to stage counterdemonstrations in the same central square where the official celebrations are to be held. Heavily defeated in elections, the Front opposes Moldovan statehood and advocates Moldova's merger with Romania. Chairing the NSC's meeting, President Mircea Snegur deplored the plans to hold "demonstrations against Moldova's independence" and asked the law enforcement bodies to prevent disruptions of the celebrations, "but act strictly within the constitution," Moldpres reported on 23 August. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION WANTS MEDIA TIME. Syarhei Navumchyk, the coordinator of the opposition Belarusian Popular Front, has asked the head of the Belarusian television and radio company, Ryhor Kiselya, to give the opposition and shadow government half an hour of television time weekly to air their views, Belarusian radio reported on 22 August. This is not the first time the opposition has asked for media time, but the previous government always denied the request. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN-TURKMEN TALKS ON GAS SUPPLIES. On 19 August a Turkmen delegation in Kiev and Ukrainian officials drafted a protocol on natural gas supplies from Turkmenistan to Ukraine, Ukrainian television reported. The document is to be presented for approval to the governments of the two countries. The draft agreement focuses on the price of the gas supplies and means of payment. Ukraine's debt to Turkmenistan had reached some $700 million in February when Turkmenistan cut off gas supplies to Ukraine. To date Ukraine has paid off only half of the debt. On 22 August Interfax reported that Ukraine's debt to Turkmenistan stood at $279 million for gas and a further $599.3 million for other goods. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN FOREIGN TRADE. The Ministry of Statistics announced that Ukraine's external trade was $9.7 billion in the first six months of this year, Ukrainian TV reported on 20 August. Ukraine's exports totaled $4.775 billion, while its imports stood at $5.12 billion. In all, Ukraine traded with 126 countries. It exported the most goods to Belarus, China and Russia, and imported the most from Russia and Turkmenistan. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINE TO CLOSE REACTOR. On 18 August Ukrainian radio reported that the first reactor of the Khmelnytsky nuclear power station has been closed down for repairs. The repairs were reportedly a routine action. The reactor will remain closed until 24 October. The Khmelnytsky station has been the site of a number of minor incidents over the past years. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. ANOTHER STOPPAGE AT IGNALINA. On 21 August the first reactor at the Ignalina nuclear power plant was shut down when a crack was found in a weld on a pipe in the safety system, BNS reported on 22 August. The reactor is expected to resume operation on 2 September. It had been shut down for maintenance repairs between 26 March and 21 July, and again on 9 August because of an electric power failure in one of the generators. Povilas Vaisnys, the head of the Lithuanian State Atomic Energy Safety Inspectorate, said the incident was not dangerous, but promised to conduct an investigation. He said the poor quality of repairs is primarily a result of sloppy work which is still done "in the old style." The other second reactor is also undergoing maintenance work. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIA'S WAY TRIES TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT. Responding to the request of President Guntis Ulmanis, Latvia's Way has begun to form a new government. Although the government of Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs, who is also the leader of Latvia's Way, resigned in July, there is no legal barrier to prevent the president from asking the same party to form a new government. The prime minister designate has not yet been announced. Not having an absolute majority in the Saeima, Latvia's Way is seeking potential partners in the parliament so as to ensure a working majority for its government. In the meantime, Latvia's National Independence Movement and the Farmers' Union are also considering possibilities of cooperation, Diena reports. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN NAVAL OFFICERS APPEAL. On 15 August 400 officers and warrant officers of the Russian Navy stationed at the Tallinn base, which was closed down on 1 June, appealed to President Yeltsin for help in resolving their problems. In the document, a copy of which has reached RFE/RL, they claimed that their demobilization in a foreign country violated the Law on the Status of Military Service, and that they were faced with the consequences of having to fend for themselves in Estonia. They complained they had not been paid for two months, and asked Yeltsin to hold Defense Ministry officials to account "for defrauding troops" and demand the immediate construction of promised housing in Russia. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIAN-LANGUAGE TEXTS OF AGREEMENTS. Although Estonian and Russian Presidents Lennart Meri and Boris Yeltsin signed Russian-language texts of agreements on Russian troop withdrawal and social rights of military pensioners on 26 July, the Estonian-language texts were not signed until 20 August and sent to Moscow until 22 August, BNS reports. Right-wing groups in Estonia had declared that the agreements conflicted with existing Estonian laws, but the lack of Estonian texts prevented any official evaluation of the validity of their charges. On 21 August 15 Estonian parties and organizations held a conference that denounced the agreements and called for a public protest if the government sent them to the parliament for ratification. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by bess Brown and Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka 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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