|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. 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 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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