There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. - Graham Greene
RFE/RL Daily Report

no. 163, 29 August 1994

                              Russia

STEPASHIN DENIES NUCLEAR SMUGGLING. The director of the Federal
Counterintelligence Service (FSK), Sergei Stepashin, said that he
and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's security coordinator, Bernd
Schmidbauer, had signed a joint memorandum on the prevention of
nuclear smuggling, Russian television reported on 26 August. The
memorandum will form the basis for negotiations on the issue
between President Boris Yeltsin and Chancellor Kohl during the
former's forthcoming visit to Germany to take part in the
cere-monies marking the departure of Russian troops from the
former East Germany. Stepashin also said that Schmidbauer had
assured him that the German security services were no longer
insisting that the plutonium recently confiscated in Germany had
originated in Russia. There are forces in Germany, Russia, and
"third countries" who would like to use the "plutonium scan-dal"
to damage the good personal relations between Kohl and Yeltsin,
added Stepashin. Kohl, for his part, was quoted by the 28 August
issue of Welt am Sonntag as saying he was taking the recent cases
of uranium and plutonium smuggling "very, very seriously." He
added he was in "continuous contact" with Yeltsin over these
matters. Meanwhile, the Ministry for Atomic Energy and the State
Committee for Supervision of Nuclear and Radiation Safety has
announced the introduction of a program to improve the auditing
and monitoring of nuclear materials. The ministry indicated,
however, that there is not enough money available to implement the
program, whose cost is estimated at 10 billion rubles.  Victor
Yasmann/Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

OPPOSITION PLANS FOR CHECHNYA. In an interview with Ostankino TV's
"Novosti Plus" on 27 August, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei
Shakhrai asserted that Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev did not
control the situation in his republic. Shakhrai disclosed that the
leaders of the opposition to Dudaev planned to abolish the
institute of the executive Presidency in Chechnya. The interview
with Shakhrai was followed by one with Doku Zavgaev, the communist
leader of Checheno-Ingushetia prior to its split into the Chechen
and Ingush Republics and the election of Dudaev as president of
Chechnya. In the course of the interview, Zavgaev acknowledged
that he has ties with the leader of the self-proclaimed
Provisional Council, Umar Avturkhanov; he also said that
Avturkhanov, former Russian parliamentary speaker Ruslan
Khasbulatov, and other opposition leaders might be united only for
the time being in their opposition to the Chechen president. This
observation was echoed in a statement by Avturkhanov the following
day. Conflicts of interest among Chechen politicians, Zavgaev and
Avturkhanov said, should be resolved in the course of elections to
be held following Dudaev's ouster.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

HIJACKERS CLAIM THEY ACTED ON BEHALF OF SOMEONE ELSE. The trial of
three Chechen hijackers in Stavropol ended on 25 August. All the
defendants were sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for an attempt
to hijack a busload of people for a ransom of $1 million.
According to Ostankino TV news, at the trial the accused said they
had committed the crime at the request of persons whom they
refused to identify. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

FARMERS DEMONSTRATE IN MOSCOW. Some 2,000 collective farmers
demonstrated in Moscow on 25 August, ITAR-TASS reported. They
demanded the resignation of President Yeltsin and the Russian
government and accused the Russian leadership of turning Russia's
agriculture into a complete disaster; they also demanded the
restoration of state control of the economy and a ban on the
privatization of land. The rally was addressed by a leader of the
pro-Communist Agrarian Party, Mikhail Lapshin.  Vera Tolz, RFE/RL
Inc.

TOP LEVEL CORRUPTION IN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE. High level corruption
within the Russian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense is
draining billions of rubles from an already tight military budget,
according to a report by the chief military prosecutor, Grigorii
Nosov, published in Moskovskie novosti (issue no. 34). The report
details cases of corruption, including bribe-taking, embezzlement,
theft, and the unauthorized sale of weapons, and gives the names
of several generals, including top commanders and staff of the
Ministry of Defense, said to be involved in the incidents. The
report went on to say that corrupt generals were using military
bases for their own business endeavors, while the life of many
military units was paralyzed.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.

COMMANDER OF TROOPS IN GERMANY PROMOTED. The last commander of
Russian troops in the former East Germany--Colonel General Matvei
Burlakov--was appointed a deputy minister of defense on 26 August
by Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev. According to Interfax,
Grachev was acting on a presidential edict. Burlakov took command
of what was then the Soviet Western Group of Forces in December
1990. Before that, he had supervised the Soviet military's
withdrawal from Hungary as commander of the Southern Group of
Forces. Several publications had recently touted him as being in
line for a top military post.  Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

LEBED CLAIMS VICTORY . . . Lt.-General Aleksandr Lebed, the
commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, was urgently summoned
by Defense Minister Grachev to Moscow on 26 August for talks
concerning the latter's recent directive that the army be reduced
in size and status--a measure that Lebed has publicly denounced
and threatened to disobey. The talks also covered Lebed's own
future in the wake of the ministry's attempt to ease him out.
Following the meeting with Grachev, Lebed told ITAR-TASS,
Interfax, and Radio Liberty the same day that the 14th Army would
remain in being, with him as commander, and that Grachev had
accepted Lebed's own, earlier proposal for a reduction by 20% of
the 14th Army's command staff only. Lebed described his meeting
with his superior--whose post he makes no secret of coveting--as
"constructive." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

. . . WHILE GRACHEV BACKTRACKS FROM AGREEMENT WITH MOLDOVA. In a
statement released the same day, Grachev denied "rumors that the
Ministry had intended to settle accounts with a recalcitrant
General" and endorsed Yeltsin's recent praise of "Lebed's and the
14th Army's role in the settlement of the Moldova-Dniester
conflict." Clearly referring to the agreement initialed on 10
August by Russia and Moldova on the withdrawal of troops from
Moldova, to be completed three years after the agreement takes
effect, Grachev said that it required further drafting and that
Russia's president, government, and parliament would want to
"introduce amendments." The agreement as initialed, however, was
considered final by both sides and made no provision for further
drafting or for review by the parliaments--a procedure that may
block the withdrawal altogether. Grachev's is not the first
Russian statement apparently indicating an intent to renege on the
agreement.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

SRI LANKA SUSPENDS RUSSIAN ARMS DEAL. According to the independent
Sri Lankan newspaper Sunday Island, the new government of Prime
Minister Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has canceled further
payments on a $73 million deal to buy Russian armored vehicles,
gunboats, helicopters, and transport aircraft. Reuters on 28
August reported that the paper had indicated that an initial
payment of 10% of the cost had already been paid. The equipment
was said to have been ordered by the previous government for a
major offensive against the rebel Tamil Tigers.  Doug Clarke,
RFE/RL Inc.

CYPRUS EXPELS RUSSIAN RACKETEERS. Cyprus police have deported 12
Russians accused of racketeering and extortion among the Russian
business community on the island, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 August.
According to the Cyprus police, the expelled Russians belong to
organized criminal networks from CIS countries, which have become
very active in the region. Cyprus is the base for several thousand
Russian companies and joint ventures. The number of Russians on
Cyprus is so large that a Russian-language newspaper is now
published there.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.

US COMPANY WINS RUSSIAN HOUSING CONTRACT. A Delaware subsidiary of
the California-based Ralph M. Parsons Company has been awarded a
$68 million federal contract to build 2,500 housing units
throughout Russia for demobilized Russian military officers, the
Los Angeles Daily News reported on 25 August. The construction,
aimed at providing housing for between 7,500 and 10,000 people, is
part of the US economic assistance program to Russia and was
developed as part of a pilot project under the Russian Officer
Resettlement Program, the newspaper said. The US program was
described as similar to a German plan which will provide about
15,000 housing units for Russian troops returning from the former
East Germany.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL Inc.

                  Transcaucasia and Central Asia

RUSSIAN, ARMENIAN SPIES IN AZERBAIJAN. On 25 August Azerbaijan
Minister for National Security Farkhad Tagi-zade told journalists
that the Russian authorities had arrested four members of the
Russian GRU, all of them ethnic Armenians, for anti-Azerbaijani
activities, Interfax reported on 26 August; the Russian Ministry
of Defense has denied employing the men involved. At the same news
conference, Tagi-zade presented to journalists an ethnic Russian
whom he claimed had been recruited by Armenian intelligence in
1992 to carry out acts of sabotage in Azerbaijan, and who had
reportedly confessed to perpetrating a series of bomb explosions
on trains traveling between Moscow and Baku in which several dozen
people were killed.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

OBSTACLES PREVENT GEORGIAN REFUGEES FROM RETURNING TO ABKHAZIA. On
26 August the Abkhaz mission in Moscow announced that it would
relax the ban imposed on the repatriation of Georgian refugees in
retaliation for Georgia's alleged failure to comply with the terms
of the 14 May cease-fire agreement, and would allow 28 Georgians
to return to their homes in Gali Raion, Interfax reported; all but
six of the 28, however, refused the offer on the grounds that
their safety in Abkhazia could not be guaranteed. Georgian Defense
Minister Vardan Nadibaidze warned that the uncontrolled return of
the tens of thousands of refugees now concentrated in Zugdidi in
western Georgia could further delay the repatriation process;
thousands of Georgians have reportedly returned illegally without
completing the formalities insisted upon by the Abkhaz side.  Liz
Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

                               CIS

RUMYANTSEV CALLS FOR CIS TO BE TURNED INTO RUSSIAN UNION. Oleg
Rumyantsev, Chairman of Russia's Fund for Constitutional Reforms
and a long-time democrat, told Interfax on 28 August that
integration processes within the CIS "should result in the
formation of a new single state." It would be "neither the Soviet
Union nor the Russian Empire" but a "union state" which might be
called the "Russian Union" and have federal and confederal
features. It would bring together "Russian territories and other
former Soviet republics," including "most of Ukraine."
Rumyantsev's use of the term "Russian territories" instead of
Russian Federation and the way he refers to Ukraine reflect his
and some of his fellow-democrats' views on possible revisions of
the Russian Federation's borders at the expense of other CIS
states.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

COMMEMORATION OF SLOVAK NATIONAL UPRISING. Slovak and
international media reported on 27 August that top officials and
representatives from more than 22 countries gathered in Banska
Bystrica, central Slovakia, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of
the Slovak uprising against Nazi Germany. Slovak President Michal
Kovac told the crowd of some 15,000 people that the legacy of the
1944 uprising was still significant today, when what he called
"forces of extreme nationalism, intolerance, xenophobia and
anti-Semitism" were seeking to gain ground in the region and
elsewhere in the world. Those attending included the presidents of
Bulgaria, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic; the
prime ministers of Ukraine, Belarus, and Romania; official
representatives from the US and Russia; and many veterans. The
uprising, which began in August 1944 and was put down by the Nazis
two months later, cost more than 10,000 lives. Also on 27 August,
the six presidents discussed European integration and regional
issues. The commemoration continued the next day.  Jiri Pehe,
RFE/RL Inc.

ALBRIGHT IN SLOVAKIA AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC. US Ambassador to the
United Nations Madeleine Albright, who took part in the Slovak
uprising commemoration, held meetings with Slovak leaders, TASR
reported on 27 August. The next day she met with Czech President
Vaclav Havel at his summer residence in eastern Bohemia. Before
the meeting, she told journalists that international observers
should participate in peacekeeping efforts in the troubled
Caucasus region. From the Czech Republic Albright travels to
Moldova. She will also visit Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia to
discuss conflicts involving those countries. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL
Inc.

BOSNIAN SERBS VOTE IN REFERENDUM. International and Serbian media
report that Bosnian Serbs cast ballots on 27 and 28 August on the
latest international plan to partition Bosnia and Herzegovina. All
indications are that the turnout was heavy and the "no" vote will
total at least 90% when the final tallies are made later this
week. The BBC said on 27 August that voting was done by roll-call
in some army units. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic had
earlier criticized the referendum, saying it was pointless
considering that more Bosnian Serbs live in Serbia, abroad, or in
areas under Bosnian government control than in places held by the
Bosnian Serb authorities. However, some news agencies reported on
28 August that Bosnian Serbs living in Belgrade were participating
in the vote, even though Milosevic had banned it on Serbian
territory.  Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

SERBIAN LEGISLATURE ENDORSES PEACE PLAN. Borba of 27-28 August
reports that the special session of the Serbian parliament on 26
August closed with a slim majority of 126 (of 250
parliamentarians) approving a declaration to endorse the "contact
group's" peace plan. Only two voted for outright rejection.
According to Western media, many opposition deputies boycotted the
vote and filed out of the chamber in protest at what were
described as heavy-handed tactics by the governing Socialist Party
of Serbia (SPS), which managed to end debate abruptly by calling
for the session to close. According to Tanjug, the leader of the
opposition Democratic Party of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica,
described the SPS's conduct as revolving around "lawlessness and
violence" and alleged that at least 100 deputies were barred from
speaking.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

WHAT DID KOZYREV SAY TO MILOSEVIC? Belgrade dailies and
international media report on 29 August on the visit the previous
day by Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev to the Serbian
capital. There he talked with Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic, as well as with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic
and rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovanovic. Borba's
headline reads: "Firmly and together against the war." Press
accounts, however, make no mention of what had been expected to be
the main message Kozyrev was bringing: an offer to begin lifting
sanctions against rump Yugoslavia if Milosevic agreed to
stationing 300-400 international monitors on the Serbian-Bosnian
border. These would then check on the efficacy of Milosevic's
blockade against his erstwhile allies, but sources close to
Milosevic suggested that he could not accept monitors because of
the domestic nationalist opposition such a foreign presence would
set off. Reuters on 24 August, however, quoted a Serbian analyst
as saying that Milosevic was "deliberately exaggerating the scale
of the problems monitors would cause him. He's not satisfied with
the size of the carrot. He wants more than the opening of the
[Belgrade] airport or the restoration of sporting links." Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE BLOCKADE? Rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister
Vladislav Jovanovic told the Neue Zuercher Zeitung of 25 August
that there was no need for monitors because Serbia would "firmly
adhere to the blockade." He also made it clear that Belgrade had
not given up on its idea of a greater Serbia, implying that the
feud involved other problems between Milosevic and Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic. Politika on 22 August, moreover,
indicated that copies of its paper were getting through to Bosnian
Serb territory. A key uncertainty, furthermore, remains whether
supplies are reaching Bosnian Serbs via Serb-held areas of
Croatia, which are connected to Vojvodina via Slavonia. Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

MOLDOVA DEVASTATED BY STORMS AFTER DROUGHT. A hurricane and heavy
floods hit central Moldova on 26 and 27 August, following a
similar catastrophe in northern Moldova some two weeks earlier.
Reports suggest that several dozen people were killed and tens of
thousands left homeless. Roads, power lines, and water mains were
also severely damaged, cutting off many areas and blocking relief
efforts. Some rural regions and several towns, including the
capital Chisinau, are without fresh water supplies after
reservoirs were flooded with dirty water. The hurricane destroyed
part of what remained of Moldova's crops after a prolonged summer
drought, which, like the 1992 drought, was one of the worst in
living memory. Instead of exporting massive agricultural surpluses
as usual, Moldova, the most impoverished ex-Soviet republic in
Europe, will again be forced to import grain and other produce to
feed its citizens. It will also be unable to pay for energy
supplies from Russia and will come under renewed pressure to yield
industrial and other economic assets to Russia as payment. The
economic damage may reverse Moldova's recent progress toward
balancing its budget and derail the government's reform programs.
The flooding in Moldova is that country's worst, natural disaster
in three years. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

LONDON CLUB TO REDUCE POLISH DEBT. The private creditor banks
known as the London Club have agreed, after four years of
negotiations, to halve Poland's debt, Deputy Prime Minister and
Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko told Polish Television on 27
August. The final agreement is expected to be signed in
mid-September. Poland owes the banks more than $13 billion, of
which $8 billion is capital, $4 billion unpaid interest, and $1
billion trade credits. Poland will buy out a quarter of the debt
at the end of October, paying 41 cents for each dollar of capital.
The $2 million cost will be financed from Poland's hard-currency
reserves and loans from the IMF and the World Bank. The remainder
of the debt will be converted into bonds.  Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka,
RFE/RL Inc.

CONFLICT OVER PRESS FREEDOM. The State Secrets Bill, which had its
second reading in the Sejm on 25 August, provides that information
on intelligence and counterintelligence activities not be revealed
for 80 years, information that has a bearing on national security
or defense for 40 years, and economic secrets for 30 years.
Details of security police officials or agents will remain
permanently confidential. This last provision was challenged by
those in favor of identifying secret police agents who were
involved in criminal activities before 1989. Deputies also clashed
over provisions that would make journalists liable to prosecution
for publication of restricted information. The Democratic Left
Alliance said that no profession should stand above the law. The
Freedom Union said these provisions would amount to "gagging the
press" and prevent investigative journalism of the kind that
recently revealed widespread corruption within the police. The
Sejm voted to return the bill to commission once again.  Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc.

THREE FORMER CZECH SECRET POLICEMEN FACE TORTURE CHARGES. A
spokesman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs said on 26 August
that the government had begun legal action against three former
secret policemen accused of torturing political prisoners in
communist Czechoslovakia more than 40 years ago. The government
was able to take the three to court because of the Law on the
Illegality of the Communist Regime, which was passed last year.
The law lifted the statute of limitations for politically
motivated crimes committed under the communist regime.  Jiri Pehe,
RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN TREASURY BONDS UNDERSUBSCRIBED. MTI reported on 26
August that of the treasury bonds totaling 10 billion forint ($93
million) that went on sale that day, only 1.7 billion were sold.
The bonds, with a three-year maturity, were offered to domestic
institutions only by the Ministry of Finance. The
undersubscription demonstrates the continuing financial
uncertainty caused by the large budget deficit, which is planned
to reach $3 billion in 1994.  Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc.

BALANCE-OF-PAYMENT DEFICIT REACHES $1.9 BILLION. MTI reported that
at the end of June Hungary's balance-of-payment deficit reached
$1.9 billion, climbing $526 million in that month alone. One
reason for the high deficit was that companies postponed reporting
their export income, in expectation of the devaluation of the
forint. It was also reported that hard-currency reserves reached
$6 billion by June. During the same period, $535 million in
foreign direct capital flowed into Hungary and the total foreign
debt grew to $26.6 billion.  Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL Inc.

BULGARIA: MARKET VS. MASS PRIVATIZATION? A commentary in Pari of
29 August, written by a top privatization official, reveals that
the Bulgarian government still lacks a clear privatization policy,
despite preparing to launch a mass privatization program over the
next few weeks. Dimitar Stefanov, who is executive director of the
newly created Center for Mass Privatization, especially deplores
that the Agency for Privatization--since 1992 charged with
auctioning off state companies--has become involved in selecting
enterprises for mass privatization. Warning that several
government agencies may compete to control the process, Stefanov
suggests that both the cabinet and individual companies have a say
on whether market or mass privatization is most appropriate in
each case. Meanwhile, there has been criticism of the regulations
for privatization investment funds, adopted by the government on
22 August. As in the Czech mass privatization scheme, investment
funds are supposed to play a major role, but economists have
complained that a provision to exclude from direct participation
banks and companies with over 10% state ownership could reduce the
number of influential actors significantly.  Kjell Engelbrekt,
RFE/RL Inc.

UPDATE ON GREEK-ALBANIAN CRISIS. In developments indirectly
related to an espionage trial of five ethnic Greeks in Tirana,
Athens seemed to take the initiative on 27 and 28 August by
trying, among other things, to reduce the number of Albanians on
its territory. Tirana sources say Greek authorities have in the
past two weeks deported some 24,000 illegal Albanians and are now
gradually tightening border controls to prevent illegal crossings
of the frontier. A Reuters correspondent in southern Albania
quoted deportees as saying Greek special police troops recently
began opening fire without prior warning on spotting trespassers.
Meanwhile in Greece, the colonel who helped aggravate interstate
tensions by dropping subversive leaflets over Albanian territory
from an airplane will reportedly face charges for "disturbing
relations" with a foreign country. Finally, Neue Zuercher Zeitung
of 27 August says an increasing number of Albanian commentators
are acknowledging that the trial of the five Greeks was preceded
by violations of the defendants' human rights.  Kjell Engelbrekt,
RFE/RL Inc.

NEW UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER APPOINTED. On 26 August Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma issued a decree releasing Vitalii Radetsky
from the post of minister of defense and appointing Valerii
Shmarov as acting defense minister. Shmarov will retain his post
of deputy prime minister in charge of the military-industrial
complex. There had been rumors since Kuchma's election that a new
defense minister would be appointed. Parliament had decided in
1993 that the Defense Ministry should be headed by a civilian and
Shmarov had been suggested as a possible candidate. Following the
announcement of his appointment, Shmarov said he did not intend to
change the country's military doctrine and favored Ukraine's
joining the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. He also said the
Black Sea Fleet talks would continue along the same lines as
before and that he would focus on coordinating the activities of
the Defense Ministry with those of other ministries, particularly
on issues relating to the military-industrial-complex. The
appointment must still be confirmed by Ukraine's parliament.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

KIEV DECLARES SEVASTOPOL'S MOVES INVALID. Petro Lelyk, the head of
the department in the president's administration dealing with
issues related to Ukraine's internal policies, has said that the
23 August decision of Sevastopol's City Council giving the city
Russian status is illegal, Ukrainian Radio reported on 25 August.
According to Lekyk, the decision contravenes the con-stitution and
Ukrainian and Crimean legislation. As for the issue of Black Sea
Fleet basing, this is to be decided between the presidents of
Ukraine and Russia, not the Sevastopol authorities. Lelyk also
said that the Russian ambassador to Ukraine, Leonid Smolyakov,
told him he viewed the decision of the Sevastopol City Council as
creating "artificial" problems between Ukraine and Russia.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

BELARUSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN GERMANY. On 25 August Belarusian
Foreign Minister Uladzimir Syanko was in Germany for talks with
his German counterpart, Klaus Kinkel, Belarusian Radio reported.
The talks focused on relations between the two countries, economic
reforms in Belarus, and Belarus's relations with NATO. According
to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Germany is taking the
lead in negotiations with Belarus. These negotiations, it said,
may lead to an eventual agreement on partnership and cooperation
between Belarus and the EU. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

LITHUANIAN REFERENDUM FAILS. At a press conference, broadcast live
by Radio Lithuania on 28 August, Chairman of the Lithuanian Chief
Elections Commission Zenonas Vaigauskas announced the preliminary
results of the previous day's referendum on illegal privatization
and compensation for savings. Although more than 83% of the voters
expressed support for the eight points in the referendum, none of
these points passed because only 36.8% of eligible voters
participated. To pass, each point had to gain the approval of more
than 50% of eligible voters. The parliament will hold a special
session on 30 August to discuss the results of the referendum.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN TROOPS CONTINUE TO LEAVE ESTONIA, LATVIA. As the deadline
of 31 August for the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Estonia
and Latvia approaches, the departure is proceeding smoothly.
Figures vary enormously as to how many soldiers and officers must
still be withdrawn from the two countries, especially since the
Russian authorities have failed to keep Riga and Tallinn informed.
Nonetheless, it appears that not all of the bases will be ready by
31 August for a formal handover to the Estonian and Latvian
authorities. The dismantling of the two nuclear reactors at the
Paldiski submarine base in Estonia started only last week and,
according to a member of the Paldiski International Expert
Reference Group, cannot be completed so soon.  Dzintra Bungs,
RFE/RL Inc.

LATVIAN PARTY NOMINATES GAILIS FOR PRIME MINISTER. Meeting on 27
August in Riga, members of Latvia's Way endorsed Maris Gailis as
their candidate for prime minister. President Guntis Ulmanis
indicated last week that he would ask Latvia's Way to form a new
government to replace the caretaker government of Prime Minister
Valdis Birkavs, which resigned in July. It is expected that on 30
August Ulmanis will formally request Gailis to become the prime
minister-designate, Baltic media reported on 27 and 28 August.
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Jan Cleave and Penny Morvant
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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