|The fool wonders, the wise man asks. - Benjamin Disraeli|
No. 160, 24 August 1994
RUSSIA LATEST ON PLUTONIUM SMUGGLING. Bernd Schmidbauer, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's intelligence services coordinator, was quoted by Reuters on 23 August as playing down fears that Mafia-style crime syndicates were behind Germany's recent rash of nuclear smuggling cases. Schmidbauer said that the perpetrators were believed to include "groups from organized crime, arms dealers, and arms smugglers . . . There are also indications that former intelligence services are involved." His remarks came following several days of talks in Moscow. Meanwhile, officials at the Kurchatov Institute, a leading Russian nuclear research facility, have denied that any nuclear material was missing from their center but have pledged nonetheless to carry out a careful investigation. AFP quoted institute leaders as admitting that it was impossible to be "absolutely" sure that materials seized in Germany had not come from their facility and that the security systems at the institute and throughout Russia as a whole are in need of modernization. Institute experts were also reportedly angered at not being included in the Russian-German talks that took place in Moscow. Finally, Interfax on 23 August quoted a Russian presidential aide for national security, Vladimir Klimenko, as charging that the furor over the smuggling cases was being deliberately whipped up "by third forces" with the aim of harming German-Russian relations. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. RUMORS OF DEFENSE MINISTRY SHAKE-UP. Komsomolskaya pravda of 24 August reported rumors of an imminent personnel shake-up atop the Russian Defense Ministry that would eliminate existing posts now occupied by Deputy Defense Ministers Boris Gromov and Valerii Mironov and that would greatly curtail the responsibilities of a third Deputy Defense Minister, Vladimir Toporov. A group of four to five new deputy defense minister ships would reportedly be created in place of those eliminated, with the current commander of Russian forces in Germany, Matvei Burlakov, and North Caucasus Military District commander Aleksei Mityukhin said to be among the primary candidates for the new slots. The Russian government commission overseeing appointments to top military ranks is reportedly also examining the idea of increasing civilian representation within the Defense Ministry; among the options said to be under consideration is one which would have the generals currently serving--or under consideration for top posts--resign as officers and serve as civilians. The report said that the commission has also twice refused proposals to give the Defense Minister the rank of Marshal and to increase the number of Army Generals among his deputies. In March 1994 Moskovsky komsomolets reported rumors of a similar shake-up. (See RFE/RL Daily Report of 29 March). Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. LEBED UNDER MOUNTING PRESSURE. Russia's Defense Ministry and possibly the Russian government appear to have stepped up the pressure on Lt.-General Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, who has recently criticized President Boris Yeltsin and Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. Lebed was urgently summoned to Moscow for a meeting with the General Staff Chief, Col.-General Mikhail Kolesnikov, on 22 August at which "various options for Lebed's future work were considered," the Ministry's chief spokesman told Interfax and ITAR-TASS. He withheld an official announcement "until a decision is made regarding Lebed's transfer." Ministry sources told Russian TV that Lebed may, however, "try to see Yeltsin" at the latter's vacation retreat in Sochi. Lebed has rejected an offer, endorsed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, to serve as Defense Minister of Tajikistan or commander of CIS forces in that country. Lebed's supporters see that offer as designed to "send him packing" from the Russian army, entrap him in an impossible assignment, and remove him from contention for higher posts in Russia. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. AN UNNATURAL CONSTITUENCY FOR LEBED. Long admired by "red-brown" political circles, and recently topping a popularity poll among Moscow officers, Lebed is currently enjoying considerable support among Russia's liberal political class and "most liberal media," as Kuranty, the pro-Yeltsin and pro-reform weekly, commented on 18 August. While old-line communists increasingly suspect Lebed of "Bonapartism," large sections of the liberal intelligentsia yearn for a Russian Pinochet and for a new empire-saver a la Kolchak and see Lebed as apt for those roles, Kuranty wrote. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. TRIAL OF ALLEGED HIJACKERS OPENS IN STAVROPOL. The trial of three Chechens charged with terrorism opened in Stavropol on 23 August. Ostankino Television news said the accused had seized a busload of passengers in the North Caucasian resort of Mineralnye Vody three months earlier and demanded a ransom of $1 million; the hostage-taking was ended by the "Alfa" anti-terrorist squad. The trial involves the second of three attempted hijackings that have occurred in Mineralnye Vody in 1994. In every case the hijackers were Chechens. Recently the Stavropol court sentenced to death those responsible for the first hijacking attempt. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. GOVERNMENT LIMITS COMPENSATION TO POLITICAL PRISONERS. On 23 August Western news agencies reported details of the Russian government's recent resolution to compensate victims of Soviet political repression. On 22 August reports appeared that the government was preparing a resolution ordering that former political prisoners be compensated for loss of property. (See RFE/RL Daily Report of 23 August.) On 23 August AFP quoted Deputy Minister of Justice Anatolii Stepanov as saying that there would be no compensation for property which was nationalized or placed under municipal control. Stepanov also told a news conference in Moscow that the maximum compensation would be two million rubles. In the late 1950s, when Nikita Khrushchev started the process of rehabilitating millions of Soviet citizens who fell victim to the Stalinist terror, a decision was taken not to compensate victims of the terror for all property lost in the course of arrests and deportations but merely to reimburse them for the loss of their two final salaries. This ruling was in force until August 1994. Vera Tolz and Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA TO ASK WEST TO SUPPORT EASING SANCTIONS AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA? On 23 August AFP and Reuters reported that Russian foreign ministry officials have determined that sanctions imposed against rump Yugoslavia for its role in the Bosnian conflict have become an anachronism since Belgrade broke with the Bosnian Serb leadership. According to the reports, Moscow government officials will endeavor to convince Russia's Western partners in the "Contact Group" to "support Serbia" now that it has cut off trade with Bosnia's Serbs. How and whether Moscow will attempt to pressure its "Contact Group" partners to ease sanctions appears to be an open question. The partners have linked discussions on the easing of the sanctions to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's willingness to accept international monitors along the Serbian border with Bosnia. Russia's latest calls for easing the sanctions comes in the wake of a spate of diplomatic activity between Belgrade and Moscow. On 23 August Serbia's prime minister, Mirko Marjanovic, met with his Russian counterpart, Viktor Chernomyrdin, in Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev is slated to visit Belgrade on 27 and 28 August. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA AZERBAIJAN'S RUSSIAN SPEAKERS PROTEST DISCRIMINATION. Representatives of the Russian-speaking community in Azerbaijan have written to President Heidar Aliev to protest what they consider linguistic discrimination against Russian speakers, Interfax reported on 23 August. Specifically, the signatories complain that Russian-language education and radio and TV broadcasts are being reduced, and that Russian-speakers are frequently passed over for promotion. In an interview published in Rossiiskaya gazeta of 20 August, Aliev had denied at length that Azerbaijan's Russian speakers were at any disadvantage; he further claimed that the number of Russian language TV broadcasts was increasing, and that the Azerbaijani ministries of defense and foreign affairs compiled all their documentation in Russian. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. TURKMENISTAN, IRAN SIGN GAS PIPELINE DEAL. The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported on 24 August that Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani has signed a deal with Turkmenistan's President Saparmurad Niyazov, currently on an official visit to Tehran, to build a pipeline to ship Turkmen natural gas across Iran. Discussion between the two countries of such a pipeline has gone on since Turkmenistan gained its independence; Western governments have expressed displeasure at Turkmenistan's close association with Iran on this and other issues. Agreement on the deal was reached during the recent visit of Iran's foreign minister to Ashgabat. Outside observers have questioned whether Iran and Turkmenistan can raise the funds necessary for the project. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RUSSIA CONTENT WITH STALEMATE IN MOLDOVA? Asked by Reuters in Chisinau on 22 August what terms of settlement of the Moldova-"Dniester" conflict would suit Russia, the Russian special envoy and mediator Vladimir Kitaev reiterated, "with a broad smile," that "whatever the sides agree on will suit Russia." Kitaev was reacting to "Dniester" leader Igor Smirnov's reaffirmation of the demand for a separate state with its own army, currency, and other sovereign attributes, in a nominal confederation with Moldova. Kitaev's stance reflects the strategy of allowing the "Dniester republic" to prolong a political deadlock through demands known to be unacceptable to Moldova and internationally and thus block the Russian 14th Army's withdrawal, which Russia conditions on the settlement of the conflict. Kitaev is also Russia's chief delegate to the troop talks with Moldova. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN CALL FOR CIS CUSTOMS UNION. CIS Coordinating-Consultative Committee staffers told Interfax on 23 August that the CCC is preparing proposals for the creation of a Customs Union of CIS member states and its subsequent "gradual transformation into a European Union-like arrangement." The idea would entail abridgements of sovereignty. The proposals are to be submitted to a meeting of prime ministers of the CIS member states in Moscow in September. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. KUCHMA ON RUSSIAN, UKRAINIAN, BELARUSIAN, KAZAKH CONFEDERATION. Following questions by a number of Ukrainian deputies regarding President Leonid Kuchma's position on a possible confederation of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the president's press service has issued a statement clarifying Kuchma's position, Ukrainian radio reported on 22 August. According to the statement, Kuchma has never discussed the possible confederation and is against supranational structures within the framework of the CIS. The deputies had demanded the explanation after Ostankino TV reported that such a confederation was under discussion. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE ABDIC BELIEVED TO BE IN KRAJINA. Tanjug reported that on 23 August Ilija Prijic, the interior minister of the self-styled Republic of Serbian Krajina, announced that defeated Bosnian Muslim rebel leader Fikret Abdic has sought refuge in Krajina's Kordun region, which borders on the Bihac pocket. Tanjug reports that Krajina's president, Milan Martic, has contacted UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali with a request for emergency aid to cope with the influx of refugees from Abdic's erstwhile Bihac stronghold, estimated by Martic to number some 60,000, and a third of whom reportedly lack shelter and basic foodstuffs. In an unrelated story, AFP reported on 23 August that the UN children's Fund estimates that at least 16,000 children have been killed in fighting since the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina erupted in April 1992. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. ". . . BOTH PEACE AND A 'GREATER SERBIA'" is how today's Borba headlines reporting on a recent survey conducted on 11 and 12 August of 500 Belgrade residents. With many questions revolving around current developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the international community's peace plan, the Medijum polling agency found that a great majority--some 79% of respondents--thought that the Bosnian Serbs should accept peace, but that they should also benefit from peace conditions by being permitted to join some type of political union with rump Yugoslavia. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. KARADZIC PREDICTS PEACE PLAN DESTINED FOR DUST BIN. On 23 August Reuters reported that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic stated, in a television broadcast, that an upcoming referendum to be held on Bosnian Serb-controlled territory will seal the fate of the recent international community's peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which confers control of 49% of the country to the Bosnian Serbs. According to Karadzic, the public mood is such that a rejection of the terms of the peace plan by some 90-95% of voters seems inevitable. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. KARADZIC ISOLATED? On 22 August British dailies speculated that recent contacts between Bosnian Serb Radovan Karadzic and leaders of the breakaway Republic of Serbian Krajina show Karadzic's continued isolation by fellow Serbs outside of Bosnia. While Karadzic secured from Krajina Serb leaders, notably RSK President Milan Martic, who is generally regarded as a follower of Serbian President Milosevic, an agreement in principle that Serb-controlled Bosnia and Krajina ought to forge a political union, that seeming victory was negated by the fact that Martic purportedly said a union should follow after the present war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Daily Telegraph observes that telling Karadzic to wait for war's end was tantamount to endorsing Milosevic's blockade of the Bosnian Serbs, or "an implicit but clear-cut request that he [Karadzic] should accept the UN peace plan for Bosnia." For his part, Karadzic has suggested that he supports the idea of a gradual union between Serb-controlled areas of Bosnia and Krajina, and on 22 August was quoted by Politika as saying that the main reason a rapid unification was dangerous and undesirable was because it might provide Zagreb with a pretext for going to war with the RSK. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. GREEK-ALBANIAN CRISIS DEEPENS. Relations between Athens and Tirana have reached a new low following a series of incidents linked to the ongoing trial against five ethnic Greeks, whom Albanian authorities are charging with espionage and illegal arms possession. The trial resumed on 23 August with prosecutors presenting videotapes intended to show that the defendants were not, as four of them claim, coerced to confess their crimes. One day earlier the Albanian government recalled its ambassador to Greece in protest at the distribution over Albanian territory by a Greek civilian plane of leaflets calling for the overthrow of the Tirana government. Western agencies say Albania's foreign and defense ministers have also written to NATO, the EU, the CSCE, and other institutions, asking that they put pressure on Athens to end its "provocative acts." On 23 August Albanian President Sali Berisha publicly accused the Greek government of launching a "cold war," but said his country is capable of retaliating. The remark should probably be seen as a response to statements by his Greek counterpart Constantine Karamanlis, who on the previous day had warned Albania that it is "acting thoughtlessly and [that] it will not be long before it regrets it." Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. POLAND'S MASS PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM IN DANGER. Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak is expected to sign off this week, after three months of procrastination, the third group of 105 companies slated for participation in the mass privatization program. Quoting sources in the privatization ministry, Warsaw dailies wrote on 23 August that Pawlak intends to begin by distributing free shares to pensioners and employees paid from the state budget as a form of compensation for lost allowances dating back to 1991 and 1992. Privatization officials fear that after distribution to all those entitled to compensation there will be no shares left for the general public to purchase. Fewer people would be able to take advantage of the program and budget revenue from the sales would be substantially reduced. The delay has already led to a drop in the value of the shares and caused potential investors to lose interest. Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko told Polish TV on 24 August that he would insist on a public sale of shares in the first instance with compensatory distribution coming second. Gazeta Wyborcza's economic commentator said the government's tactics appeared aimed to upset the program and amounted to "a step-by-step withdrawal from the program of systemic transformation." Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. CRACKDOWN ON POLISH TV PIRATES. On 23 August the State Radiocommunications Agency notified the Warsaw prosecutor's office that 12 television stations belonging to Nicola Grauso's Polonia 1 network and Jacek Zelezik's Top Canal were acting in violation of the law by broadcasting without a license and on restricted channels not available to commercial broadcasters, PAP reports. The prosecutor's office promised energetic action. The move is the result of a 19 August meeting between Justice Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, members of the National Broadcasting Council, and interior, defense and communications ministry officials. The formal conclusion of the first leg of the lengthy licensing procedure on 18 August prompted the justice minister to coordinate action against the pirates after months of turning a blind eye to their activities. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. ISRAEL'S CHIEF RABBI IN POLAND. Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and New York Rabbi Michael Schudrich officiated at three-day observances of the fiftieth anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto, PAP reported on 22 August. Lodz was an important center of Jewish life before the Nazi invasion of Poland. More than 200,000 Jews from Poland and other European countries were held in the ghetto on their way to the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Only 830 survived. Some 200 survivors took part in the commemoration. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. OPINION POLLS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. According to an opinion poll conducted by the Center for Empirical Research (STEM), Czech President Vaclav Havel continues to be the most trusted official among top representatives of the country; 64% of the respondents said they trusted Havel. A survey of all politicians revealed that Trade and Industry Minister Vladimir Dlouhy continues to be the most popular Czech politician; 83% of respondents said they trusted him. He was followed by former Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier with 71% and by current Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec with 69%. Premier Vaclav Klaus came fourth with 65% of respondents saying they trusted him. Some 60% of the respondents believed that the country was developing in the right direction and that it had managed to build the foundations of democracy, while 18% of the respondents said they were "absolutely dissatisfied" with politics in the Czech Republic, and 41% said they were "rather dissatisfied." Even more disturbing were the findings that only 31% of the respondents believe that courts are objective; only 27% trust the police; and only 38% trust the army. CTK reported the results on 23 August. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. MECIAR AGAIN TOPS SLOVAK POLL. According to an opinion poll taken by the Slovak Statistical Office on 6-16 August, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman and former Premier Vladimir Meciar remains the most trusted Slovak politician, with the support of 25% of respondents. Following Meciar were Premier and Democratic Union Chairman Jozef Moravcik with 19%, President Michal Kovac and Party of the Democratic Left Chairman Peter Weiss, each with 15%, parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic with 14%, and Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan Carnogursky with 6%. A total of 28.1% of respondents said they would vote for the coalition of the MDS and the Peasant Party, compared with 19.3% for the Common Choice (a coalition of the PDL and three other left-wing parties), 9.4% for the CDM, 7.8% for the Hungarian coalition, 6.3% for the Slovak National Party and 5.4% for the DU. Falling just below the 5% cutoff were the Association of Workers of Slovakia, with 4.5%, and the Democratic Party, with 4.3%. According to the poll, 74% said they plan to vote in the upcoming elections, scheduled for 30 September and 1 October, down from 80% in July. The poll results were reported by TASR on 23 August. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN MEDIA LAW DRAFTED. MTI reported on 23 August that the Hungarian parliament's legal committee has finally completed work on a draft media law regulating Hungarian radio and television. Elaborate negotiations are expected between the political parties and media interest groups about the final shape of the law. A vote is planned at the end of September. The proposal includes three options with regard to foreign ownership of radio and television companies: a minimum Hungarian ownership of 33%, 51%, or unrestricted foreign ownership. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN ECONOMIC RESULTS FOR THE FIRST HALF YEAR. Industrial production rose by 8% in the first six months of 1994, compared to the first half of 1993, MTI reported, citing the Central Statistical Office. Energy consumption decreased by 5%. The consumer price index rose 17.5%. Foreign trade registered a $1.7 billion deficit. The budget deficit in the first half of 1994 reached 184 billion forint, or about $1.8 billion, an increase of 150% over the same period of 1993. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN ARMY FACES CUTS. Defense ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Lajos Erdelyi told Magyar Hirlap on 23 August that financial constraints will force the Hungarian Army to reduce in the next one-and-half to two years the number of its conscripts by 10,000 to 12,000--a 15% drop from the present 60,000. Thus some 20,000 conscripts will start their service this week, 2,000 less than a year ago. The ministry also plans to reduce in the near future the length of military service from 12 to 10 months, and prepare a list of military units and installations to be eliminated as part of a long-term crisis management program. Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS DEMAND DEFENSE MINISTER'S RESIGNATION. Dailies report on 24 August that the Bulgarian Socialist Party has decided to seek the resignation of Defense Minister Valentin Aleksandrov. Following a meeting of the BSP's Executive Bureau on 23 August, party leader Jean Videnov said a decision by Aleksandrov to send some 300 colonels into retirement is sufficient to disqualify him as a top civil servant. Duma writes that the Defense Ministry, the General Staff, and the main political parties had for several months been edging toward a compromise solution on how many colonels to retain on duty despite the fact that they have reached retirement age [of 50], but that Aleksandrov went ahead and issued the order after finding out about an additional 300 colonels whose retirement is overdue. In an interview with Standart, Chief of the General Staff Gen. Lyuben Petrov agreed that the number of officers has to decrease so that the distorted officer-enlisted man ratio is rectified, but not at the price of a lower defense capability. It is unclear whether the order can be implemented without Gen. Petrov's signature. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. GREATER ROMANIA PARTY MAY JOIN COALITION. Officials from the Party of Social Democracy in Romania were quoted by Reuters on 23 August as saying the party was prepared to enter talks with the extreme-nationalist Greater Romania Party to enlarge the coalition. Victor Neagu, a vice chairman of the PSDR, told a news conference in Bucharest that the GRP's demands for ministerial portfolios were "natural," since the party had supported the government of Nicolae Vacaroiu in parliament since 1992. Last week the GRP made further support for the government conditional upon officially joining the coalition. The demands were aired one day after another extreme-nationalist formation, the Party of Romanian National Unity, joined the cabinet. A spokesman for the PSDR, Dumitru Paslaru, said there were no plans for any new cabinet changes in the near future, and that initial talks with the GRP would focus on issues, not personnel. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. KING MICHAEL RECALLS ATTEMPTS TO QUIT WORLD WAR II. Romanian's exiled king Michael says he had started trying to pull the country out of World War II in 1943, but was successful only a year later, when Romania switched sides to join the Allies on 23 August 1994. In an interview with RFE/RL marking the 50th anniversary of the event, the former king said Romania's Communists were unhappy when he ordered the army to switch sides, although that made Romanian soldiers the allies of the Russians. The Communists, Michael said, hoped the Russians would let the Germans destroy Romania's democratic leadership, as they had allowed the Germans to do with the Polish Home Army in Warsaw. He said the result would have been a Communist-led regime already in 1944. As it was, the Communists had to wait until March 1946 to set up a communist-led coalition, sending the king into exile in December 1947. Michael described how he tried to persuade Romania's wartime leader Ion Antonescu to pull the country out of the war but Antonescu insisted on getting permission from Adolf Hitler and therefore he had had Antonescu arrested. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. COUNCIL VOTES SEVASTOPOL A RUSSIAN CITY. The Sevastopol City Council held an emergency session on 23 August and voted to recognize the "Russian legal status" of Sevastopol, Interfax and Reuters report. The resolution was backed by 36 of the council's 42 members. Deputies said the decision was taken because of the "absence of concrete decisions on the town's status and on the Black Sea Fleet." The city council also maintained that Sevastopol should be the main base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. In July 1993 the Russian parliament declared Sevastopol a Russian city. In June 1994, 89% of the residents and Black Sea Fleet servicemen voted in favor of Sevastopol remaining the main base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the city's Russian status. President Leonid Kuchma is reportedly not planning any drastic reaction to the decision, while Crimean President Yurii Meshkov cautioned that it would prompt Kiev to make decisions regarding the peninsula without consulting Crimean or Sevastopol residents. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE APPOINTMENTS IN UKRAINE. On 23 August President Leonid Kuchma issued decrees appointing new cabinet ministers, Interfax reported. Serhii Osyka was appointed Minister for Foreign Economic Relations and Volodymyr Bobrov was appointed Minister of Health. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW ESTONIAN REPRESENTATIVE AT UN. Former Estonian Foreign Minister Trivimi Velliste will assume the post of Estonia's permanent representative at the United Nations from 1 September, BNS reported on 19 August. Velliste, born in 1947, was chairman of the Estonian Heritage Society, a deputy to the Congress of Estonia, and vice chairman of the Citizens Committee. He was elected to parliament in 1992 as a member of Pro Patria. He served as foreign minister from October 1992 to January 1994 when he was replaced by Juri Luik. The current UN representative Ernst Jaakson, born in 1905, will remain as an advisor to the Estonian delegation. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. COST OF LIVING RISES IN LATVIA. According to the Latvian Free Trade Unions Association, the "crisis level" monthly subsistence minimum on 23 August was 41.89 lati ( 23.22 lati for food, 13.25 lati for utilities and rent, and 5.42 lati for other expenses), while the normal monthly subsistence was 67.51 lati, Diena and BNS reported the same day compared with a subsistence minimum of 41.81 lati on 3 August. The LFTUA blames the rise on inflation and the poor economic planning and policies of the government. Currently the minimal wage, set by the government, is just 22.50 lati, while the average monthly wage in Latvia is 78.79 lati, according to figures from the State Statistics Committee. Dzintra Bungs, 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. 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. Requests for permission to reprint or retransmit this material should be addressed to PD@RFERL.ORG and will generally be granted on the condition that the material is clearly attributed to the RFE/RL DAILY REPORT. Inquiries about specific news items or subscriptions to RFE/RL publications should be directed as follows (please include your full postal address when inquiring about subscriptions): In North America: Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907 Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783 Internet: RI-DC@RFERL.ORG Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer Publications Department RFE/RL Research Institute Oettingenstrasse 67 80538 Munich Germany Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2632 Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648 Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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