|Na nashej tesnoj planete lyudi bol'she ne mogut zhit', kak chuzhie.Edlaj Stivenson. - Adlai Stevenson|
No. 173, 12 September 1994
RUSSIA CHECHNYA QUIET? In an interview with Interfax on 9 September, Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev called on the Russian leadership to cease financing and arming the Chechen opposition. On 10 September, Umar Avturkhanov, the chairman of the opposition Provisional Council, told Interfax that a non-violent outcome to the conflict was still possible if Dudaev agreed to free elections and a nationwide referendum on the state system. After a meeting later that day, however, between Avturkhanov and former Russian parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov (who the previous day had characterized the situation in Chechnya as "white-hot" and alleged that "we are being hunted by terrorists"), a Provisional Council spokesman told ITAR-TASS that Khasbulatov's peace mission had failed and that the two men had come to an agreement on measures to oust Dudaev. The situation in Chechnya on 11 September was described by the Chechen Interior Ministry as "absolutely normal." Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN COMMENT ON CHECHEN SITUATION. Russian State Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin told Interfax on 11 September that Chechnya must be regarded as a constituent part of the Russian Federation, but that he supported "the appropriate broad rights" and the holding of democratic elections, after which Chechnya should conclude an agreement on powersharing with Russia similar to those with Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. Gadis Gadzhiev, a judge of the Russian Constitutional Court, argued that although Chechnya has not signed the Federation Treaty it is still a constituent part of the Russian Federation under the terms of the Russian Federation Constitution. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai told Interfax on 10 September that he anticipated a further intensification of the Chechen situation in the coming weeks, but was confident that in the long term ongoing economic collapse would produce a political solution; according to Russian Deputy Labor Minister Vladimir Varov, industrial output in Chechnya declined by 60% over the past year and half of Chechnya's industry is at a standstill. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. PROCURACY CALLS FOR LAW AND ORDER TO BE RESTORED IN CHECHNYA. Acting Russian Prosecutor-General Aleksei Ilyushenko called on the government of the Russian Federation to restore federal jurisdiction over the breakaway Chechen republic immediately, ITAR-TASS reported on 11 September. A further delay in the restoration of law and order in Chechnya could pose a serious threat to the constitutional order and national security of Russia as well as represent a severe violation of the human rights of Russian citizens, Ilyushenko said. According to Moskovskie novosti (no. 35), Ilyushenko's statement is in line with the analysis of the situation in Chechnya prepared by President Boris Yeltsin's adviser for ethnic relations, Emil Pain. In Pain's opinion, Russian policy toward Chechnya must be based on the assumption that the regime of Chechen President Dudaev is on the verge of collapse. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. ACTING PROSECUTOR-GENERAL ACCUSED OF PREJUDICE. On 9 September Ostankino TV devoted its "Man of the Week" program to the Moscow prosecutor, Gennadii Ponomarev, who is currently under fire from acting Russian Prosecutor-General Ilyushenko, ostensibly because of his failure to deal adequately with Moscow's crime problem. The Ostankino report echoed those in other Russian media, such as Izvestiya of 3 September, accusing Ilyushenko of actually trying to dismiss Ponomarev because of his professional integrity in refusing to imprison former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi on trumped-up charges. Last year, in his capacity as chief of the presidential Commission on Combating Crime and Corruption, Ilyushenko and three other top Russian officials accused Rutskoi of grave financial violations by accumulating illegally obtained money in a Swiss bank account and turned the case over to the Moscow Prosecutor's Office for investigation. A few months later, a detective responsible for Rutskoi's case said that the charges of financial abuse leveled against the former vice president were unfounded and that Rutskoi's signature on the copy of the Swiss account, which had been shown on both channels of Russian TV by members of Ilyushenko's commission, was a forgery. Today, the media accuse Ilyushenko of using Moscow's crime problem as a pretext to fire Ponomarev and thus get revenge for the latter's refusal to imprison Rutskoi. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA TO WORK WITH NATO, BUT . . . During his visit to Denmark, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said that Russia intended to sign an individual program for cooperation with NATO under the auspices of the Partnership for Peace program. On 11 September Interfax indicated that this document would be signed in October. The previous day the same agency carried an interview with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev in which he debunked "the moods reigning in several states of the Central and Eastern Europe which view the Partnership for Peace program as a kind of preparatory training for joining NATO." He noted that Partnership for Peace was open to all members of the CSCE and repeated Russia's preference for this latter organization, saying that what was needed was "a truly European security system for which the CSCE grants quite an appropriate ground." Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. MAVRODI MAY RUN FOR PARLIAMENT. Shareholders in the MMM investment company have launched a campaign to elect MMM President Sergei Mavrodi to a vacant seat in the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, Izvestiya reported on 10 September. The vote is scheduled for 30 October. Mavrodi is currently in Matrosskaya Tishina prison on charges of tax evasion and obstructing the work of the tax authorities. If elected, Mavrodi would be immune from prosecution. MMM shareholders have managed to establish a strong political movement; and Russia's two largest non-communist political parties--Democratic Russia, which helped bring Yeltsin to power, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democrats--are currently wooing Mavrodi's supporters. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE RUSSIAN SIGNALS OF WISH TO KEEP ARMY IN MOLDOVA. In the latest signal that Russia is reconsidering the troop withdrawal agreement with Moldova, initialed on 10 August but not yet signed, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov told Interfax on 7 September that Moldova "should decide for itself whether it wants a foreign army or not" on its territory (an issue on which Chisinau's views could hardly have been made more clear). Krylov's comment follows other Russian statements hinting that the 14th Army could stay in Moldova "by mutual consent." Krylov argued that because a withdrawal had been agreed in principle and linked to a political solution of the Dniester conflict, "the 14th Army's presence in Moldova is thereby legitimate." He went on to praise the 14th Army and Lebed personally for "stabilizing" the region. Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lebed, for his part, predicted in an interview with Kommersant of 3 September that Moldova would eventually concede basing rights to units of the 14th Army. In an interview with Der Spiegel (no. 36), Lebed termed the withdrawal agreement (negotiated by one of his rivals in the Defense Ministry) "idiotic." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. TELEVISION ACADEMY FOUNDED IN MOSCOW. According to ITAR-TASS, a Television Academy was set up in Moscow on 7 September. The new body was founded by the state-controlled Ostankino and Russian Television companies; the independent companies NTV, TV-6, and "2 x 2"; and some other bodies. At its opening meeting, the academy elected 12 members, including the director of Russian TV, Anatolii Lysenko; the popular commentator Vladimir Pozner was elected chairman of the body, and a program presenter, Vladislav Listev, deputy president. A Foundation for Television Development, chaired by Ostankino First Deputy Chairman Grigorii Shevelev, was also established on 7 September. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TAJIKISTAN UPDATE. An official of Tajikistan's Ministry of Defense told Interfax on 10 September that Tajik opposition units had captured the town of Tavil-Dara east of Dushanbe the previous day, blocking a main road from the capital to the southern and eastern parts of the country. The official said that government troops had sustained major losses and were retreating toward the town of Kulyab. On 11 September, Minister of Security Saidamir Zukhurov told Interfax that Dushanbe had lost communication with government troops in the Tavil-Dara area and refused to confirm the earlier report of a retreat. An opposition source told Interfax that government troops were offering little resistance because they were short of fuel and ammunition and that they had little air support because the government has no aircraft fuel. Russian troops are reported to be staying out of the fighting inside Tajikistan; they consider their only task to be protection of the Tajik-Afghan border. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. KARABAKH TALKS. Despite hints by Russian Foreign Minister Kozyrev on 9 September of a "breakthrough" in the talks in Moscow between Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Heidar Aliev, a further round of talks on 10 September failed to resolve "fundamental disagreements," according to Reuters quoting Armenian presidential spokesman Levon Zurabyan. On 11 September, the opposition Dashnaktsyutyun released a statement in Erevan arguing that no draft Karabakh settlement document can be considered acceptable unless it recognizes the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as an independent entity, according to Interfax. Meeting in Baku on 10 September with members of the Azerbaijani leadership, Turkish Foreign Minister Mumtaz Soysal affirmed his country's readiness to extend "help and support" to Azerbaijan. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. POLICE PREVENT OPPOSITION RALLY IN BAKU. Up to 400 supporters of the opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front were injured and 77 people, including former Interior Minister Iskender Hamidov, were arrested on 10 September when police forcibly prevented a demonstration in Baku to protest the Azerbaijani leadership's Karabakh policy and the possible deployment of Russian peacekeeping troops in Azerbaijan, Western news agencies reported. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS PRIME MINISTERS' MEETING ESTABLISHES SUPRANATIONAL ECONOMIC BODY. At a meeting in Moscow on 9 September, the Council of Heads of Government of the CIS member states approved in principle the formation of the CIS Interstate Economic Committee (IEC) as the first supranational body of the CIS, vested with executive and managerial powers (as detailed in RFE/RL Daily Report, 9 September). According to initial reports in the Russian media, IEC decisions will be made by consensus on "important" matters that involve "substantial" expenditures and by a majority of 80% of the votes, of which Russia will be entitled to cast 50% (in proportion to its share of the IEC's expenditures), on the other issues. The IEC will have a standing executive Presidium and a Collegium, both to be based in Moscow. The meeting did not conclusively define the extent of sovereign powers to be delegated by states to the IEC, nor the precise mechanism for delegating them. These matters are to be discussed by the presidents of the CIS member states at a meeting scheduled for early October. Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan declined to sign the documents, reserving their position until the summit. Ukraine voiced reservations regarding the idea of supranational powers. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE MESHKOV SUSPENDS CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT. On 11 September Crimean President Yurii Meshkov issued a decree suspending the Crimean parliament and local councils. He also assumed all powers in the republic, various agencies report. Meshkov justified the move by saying the current parliament "does not deserve" to conduct legislative work because it has been "seized by a corrupt group." According to the decree, a draft constitution is to be drawn up by 9 December and put to a referendum on 9 April 1995. New elections to the Crimean legislature are to be scheduled within three months of the referendum and new local bodies created. The decree followed the parliament's decision on 7 September to curtail the president's powers. Following Meshkov's announcement, the parliament building was cordoned off and law enforcement units loyal to Meshkov were reported to have seized the Crimean television center. Crimean Prosecutor-General Valentyn Kuptsov said Meshkov's action contravened the law on the president, according to which the president does not have the right to dissolve or suspend the parliament. Parliamentary speaker Serhii Tsekov and Refat Chubarov, the head of the Crimean Tatar parliamentary faction, were reported as saying that Meshkov's moves contravened the constitution. Interfax, however, reported that Crimean Minister of State Affairs Viktor Minin took a neutral stand after meeting with Meshkov later that day. Minin said some 60% of the heads of the peninsula's local administrations supported Meshkov. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. KUCHMA ON SITUATION IN CRIMEA. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma reacted by calling for calm and urging that the Crimean parliament and Meshkov find a "civilized" solution. Crimean Minister of State Affairs Viktor Minin told Russian radio that Kuchma had spoken with parliamentary chairman Tsekov and asked Meshkov to receive him so that the two could discuss normalizing the situation. Minin also implied that Kuchma had prior knowledge of Meshkov's plans to suspend the parliament, citing telephone conversations between the two leaders since the Crimean parliament's 7 September decision. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. POPE VISITS CROATIA. On 10 September Pope John Paul II arrived in Zagreb for his first visit to a republic of the former Yugoslavia. The visit, which lasted some 24 hours, coincided with the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Zagreb archdiocese. An outdoor mass on the morning of 11 September attracted an estimated 1 million worshippers, Hina reported. Before leaving Croatia, the pontiff called for an end to the hostilities in the former Yugoslavia and urged Croatians to forgive the transgressions by neighboring nations. He remarked: "You have the courage to forgive and accept your neighbor." The main message of the Pope's visit was one of peace, with the pontiff observing that amicable relations between the peoples of the former Yugoslavia were not a distant dream but a realizable objective. The pope had planned to visit Sarajevo on 8 September, but the visit was postponed when the pontiff's safety could not be guaranteed. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. ATTEMPT ON MOSTAR ADMINISTRATOR'S LIFE. On 10 September a rocket was fired into the hotel room of European Administrator for Mostar Hans Koschnik in what Hina describes as "an assassination attempt." Koschnik was not in his room at the time of the attack. The next day Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's office reported that Tudjman had promised German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel he would use his influence with the Bosnian Croats to guarantee Koschnik and his associates' safety. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. AFTERMATH OF GREEK-ALBANIAN TRIAL. Despite attempts by the European Union to mediate in the Greek-Albanian dispute over the conviction of five minority Greeks on espionage charges, the steady stream of accusations and counteraccusations continues, Western agencies report. At a press conference on 10 September, Albanian Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi accused Athens of supplying arms to ethnic Greeks and thereby trying to undermine Albanian sovereignty. The Foreign Ministry also complained that Greece had virtually sealed its border with Albania and closed down its consulate in the town of Gjirokastra. On 11 September Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou said Tirana was seeking to wipe out the Greek minority in Albania. The same day German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel revealed that EU mediation efforts "did not even get close" to solving the dispute. Athens claims the trial, which ended on 7 September with jail sentences of up to eight years for the five Greeks, was politically motivated and fraught with human rights abuses. The Helsinki Federation for Human Rights supports this view. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ACTIVISTS SEEK TO IMPROVE ALBANIAN PRISONS. A group of activists have founded the Albanian Society for the Welfare of Prisoners, whose main objective is to improve prison conditions in Albania, Gazeta Shqiptare reports on 3 September. Albania has seven prisons (two in Tirana) with a total capacity of 1,550; some 880 people are currently serving prison sentences. In its first report, the society notes that living conditions are poor, the treatment of prisoners harsh, and food and drinking water supplies insufficient. It concludes that the Albanian prison system is incompatible with a truly democratic society. The group wants the prisoners' rights to be guaranteed and provisions to be made for the rehabilitation of released prisoners. Louis Zanga, RFE/RL, Inc. PARTNERSHIP MANEUVERS IN POLAND. Some 920 soldiers from 13 countries are taking part in the "Cooperative Bridge 94" maneuvers, which began in Biedrusk, near Poznan, on 12 September, PAP reports. American, British, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovakian, Romanian, and Ukrainian units are participating. These are the first such maneuvers to be held within the framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace. The aim is to train military units for international peacekeeping missions. The troops are divided into five multinational companies under Polish-American command. The Russian military initially failed to respond to an invitation to take part but ultimately sent observers, according to Polish TV. Polish Defense Minister Piotr Kolodziejczyk said on 9 September that he "deeply regretted" the fact that his Russian counterpart, Pavel Grachev, had not found time for "a few hours' serious conversation" in Warsaw. The same day Interfax quoted a high-ranking official in the Russian Foreign Ministry as criticizing Kolodziejczyk's idea, first voiced in Bratislava on 5 September, of "a club of active NATO partners" that would include some of the Central and East European countries. The Russian official described the idea as returning to "a bloc mentality." Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. CHERNOMYRDIN VISITS KATYN. Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, on a visit to the Smolensk district on 9 September, spoke with the Polish government's team of experts who are examining the Katyn forest graves of Polish officers murdered on Stalin's orders in 1940. The Poles have met with a lack of cooperation on the part of the Smolensk authorities, despite the fact that their work is based on a Polish-Russian government agreement. Chernomyrdin reassured the Poles that the local authorities would provide the promised support. He declined, however, to answer Polish reporters who pressed him for a more detailed commitment. The team was able to allay fears that the bodies of the Polish officers had been moved from the graves during excavations in 1943 or 1944, Gazeta Wyborcza writes. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. COUP IN SELF-DEFENSE FARMERS' UNION? Taking advantage of the fact that incumbent chairman of the radical Self-Defense Farmers' Union Andrzej Lepper has been in custody since 13 August, union members elected Janusz Bryczkowski--head of the self-styled Polish National Front and, until his expulsion in 1993, a deputy chairman of Self-Defense--as chairman at a breakaway congress convened by Bryczkowski on 10 September in Warsaw, PAP reports. Bryczkowski and his supporters dissociated themselves from Lepper and dismissed the union's statutory authority, the National Council. A few streets away, 72 of the 98 members of that body denounced the breakaway congress as illegal and upheld the claims of Lepper, whom they described as "the first political prisoner of the Third Republic." Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH PREMIER ON WESTERN EUROPE. In the current issue of The Economist, Vaclav Klaus argues that Western Europe is burdened with over-regulation and over-control. "The welfare state, with its generous transfer of payments unconnected to achievement, undermines the basic work ethic and thus individual responsibility," writes Klaus. He also criticizes West European states for protectionist trade policies and heavy bureaucracy. "The visible manifestations of Western Europe's failure to reform," he argues, "include a wasteful and socially explosive rate of unemployment--and one which seems, moreover, to respond little to changes in the rate of economic growth and in the business cycle." Klaus distinguishes between European economic integration, of which he approves, and European political unification, which he criticizes. He also expresses reservations about the idea of a two-speed Europe. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. PRAVDA ON SLOVAK ELECTIONS. The 10 September issue of the Slovak leftist daily Pravda criticizes the decision of the Slovak authorities not to invite foreign observers to monitor the upcoming elections. Pravda argues that the decision is a "mistake" and could be misinterpreted as "intentional." The daily says it is paradoxical that "the parliamentary elections, which are not only the first in independent Slovakia but are also being held early, will take place without representatives of international organizations." It notes that in some quarters doubts have already been cast on the fairness of the elections and that some groups may thus question the election results. "Given this possibility, concern that the presence of foreign observers would demean Slovakia is unfounded," wrote the daily. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARY AND GERMANY COMMEMORATE OPENING OF IRON CURTAIN. In ceremonies on 9 and 10 September, Hungary and Germany celebrated the opening five years ago of the Hungarian border to East Germans fleeing communism, MTI and Western news agencies report. The mass exodus of East German citizens led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. On 9 September Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn, who at the time was foreign minister in the reform communist government of Miklos Nemeth, attended a ceremony in Bonn marking the event. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel paid tribute to the Hungarian gesture, praising it as "the first step on the way to German unity and a new Europe." At a ceremony in Budapest on 10 September, German President Roman Herzog expressed Germany's gratitude to Hungary and pledged to help that country reach its goal of joining the European Union and NATO. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN DEMOCRATIC FORUM HOLDS CONGRESS. At its eighth National Assembly on 10 and 11 September, the Hungarian Democratic Forum--the largest ruling party in Hungary's first democratically elected government following the collapse of communism--analyzed the reasons for its defeat in the May 1994 elections and reelected Lajos Fur as its chairman, MTI reports. While citing the difficulties of the transition to a market economy as one of the main reasons for the party's poor showing, Fur acknowledged that "we were not adequately acquainted with Hungarian reality and did not properly evaluate public opinion." A statement issued by the assembly noted that the HDF's biggest mistake had been its failure to establish "an effective dialogue with society." While many delegates stressed the need for changes within the HDF, Fur pledged to follow the course set by its late chairman Jozsef Antall. Delegates also criticized the Horn government for deciding not to host the 1996 World Expo and accused it of conducting "political purges" at media, government, and state institutions. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc. TURKISH DEFENSE MINISTER IN ROMANIA. On 10 September Mehmet Golhan arrived in Bucharest for a four-day official visit. He met with his Romanian counterpart, Gheorghe Tinca, to discuss ways of increasing military cooperation between the two countries. Golhan is scheduled to meet with Romanian President Ion Iliescu and other high-ranking officials. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. CHERNOMYRDIN RULES OUT MONETARY UNION WITH BELARUS. Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin has ruled out monetary union with Belarus in the near future, various agencies reported on 10 September. Chernomyrdin, who was attending the CIS meeting the previous day in Moscow, said Belarus must reach Russia's economic level before such a union is feasible. The average Belarusian income is currently less than one-tenth of the Russian average. Although Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka was an ardent supporter of monetary union during the recent election campaign, he has since questioned a number of key points in the draft agreement--in particular, handing over control of monetary emission and policy to the Russian Central Bank. Russia, however, considers it unacceptable to have two monetary policies and currency emission centers within the ruble zone. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN BORDER GUARD REORGANIZED. Col. Gen. Piotr Chaus has said Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is planning to assume control over the country's border guards, Interfax reported on 8 September. The reason for the move is the border guards' poor performance in stemming illegal immigration across the Belarusian-Polish border. Many of the illegal immigrants are Africans or Asians who arrive in Belarus from Russia and then attempt to enter the West through Poland. On 30 August Lukashenka dismissed the commander of the border forces, Yeuhen Bocherau, who is a close associate of former Prime Minister Vyacheslau Kebich. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. EUROPEAN, US SUPPORT FOR BALTIC BATTALION. An agreement on the establishment of a Baltic peacekeeping battalion was signed by the defense ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Britain on 11 September in Copenhagen, Baltic and Western agencies report. The Swedish government had announced earlier that Nordic and British officers would train their Baltic counterparts at the military base in Adazi, Latvia, and that the Nordic countries would also be in charge of training for peacekeeping operations and supplying equipment. British officers would be responsible for basic training and education in English, the common language of the Baltic battalion. The US has pledged materiel support for the battalion. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. CSCE COMMISSIONER FAVORS LATVIA'S CE MEMBERSHIP. During a fact-finding trip to the Baltics, CSCE High Commissioner for Minorities Max van der Stoel met with representatives of national minorities and government officials in Latvia, Interfax reported on 9 September. He told Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Birkavs that he did not see why Latvia should not be admitted to the Council of Europe. Van der Stoel expressed the hope that a decision on the admission of Latvia would be made at the council's fall session. He added that the Latvian Citizenship Act, passed by the parliament in July, largely followed the advice of the CSCE, the Council of Europe and other international organizations. On 8 September ,UN representative John Hendra submitted to Birkavs a report prepared by the UN mission on the draft of the national program on human rights, LETA reported. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIAN MINISTERIAL CANDIDATES ANNOUNCED. Meeting on 10 September, Latvia's Way endorsed the ministerial candidates named by Prime Minister-designate Maris Gailis, Latvian media report. Many of the incumbent ministers and deputy ministers will retain their positions, especially those from LW. The incumbent prime minister and LW party chairman, Valdis Birkavs, is to become foreign minister. Gailis nominated new candidates for the following positions: justice (Romans Apsitis), defense (Janis Trapans), environment and regional development (Juris Iesalnieks), agriculture (Arijs Udris), welfare (Andris Berzins), finance (Andris Piebalgs), and economics (Janis Zvanitajs). Janis Tupesis was named as candidate for state (deputy) minister for human rights. It is not clear if the LW nominee for finance minister has the full approval of the deputies of the Economists Political Association, with which LW has decided to cooperate in the parliament. The parliament is to vote on the new government on 15 September. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Penny Morvant and Jan Cleave 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. 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