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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 180, 21 September 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIAN MVD WILL JOIN INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN HAITI.
Russia is completely satisfied with the peaceful solution of the
Haitian crisis and the prospects for a restoration of democracy
there, First Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told
Russian TV on 20 September. In the second stage of the settlement,
when US troops are to be replaced by international peacekeepers
with a UN mandate, Russia will send several MVD officers to join
the mission, Ivanov said. The chairman of the State Duma foreign
affairs committee, Vladimir Lukin, said, however, that he was
opposed to the US intervention in Haiti. Although the military
regime in Haiti has committed serious violations of human rights,
one must not impose one's own standards of democracy on a "foreign
civilization," the former Russian ambassador to the US said. --
Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.

YELTSIN PREPARES FOR RUSSIAN-US SUMMIT. ITAR-TASS reported on 21
September that President Boris Yeltsin had returned to Moscow from
his extended vacation in Sochi. Next week Yeltsin will take part
in the opening session of the UN General Assembly and hold a
summit meeting with President Bill Clinton on 26-27 September. On
his way to the United States, Yeltsin will make a stopover in
England for negotiations with British Prime Minister John Major.
In his speech to the UN, Yeltsin will present Russian proposals
for the system of global security, Yeltsin's national security
aide, Yurii Baturin, said. Yeltsin's proposals will concentrate on
peacekeeping strategies in conflicts on CIS territory and on the
problem of proliferation of nuclear and chemical weapons, Baturin
added. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.

KHASBULATOV REQUESTS RUSSIA TO INTERVENE MILITARILY. At a news
conference in Moscow on 20 September, Chechen opposition leader
Ruslan Khasbulatov argued that Russia should provide the
opposition with military aid in order to oust Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev. According to Khasbulatov, there is no popular
support for Dudaev's regime in Chechnya and the president is
entirely reliant upon force. Khasbulatov claimed that even the
Chechen religious leader, the mufti, once Dudaev's strongest
supporter, had withdrawn his support, resigning when Dudaev's
actions resulted in casualties among his fellow countrymen.
Khasbulatov's visit to Moscow comes after the battle in his native
village of Tolstoi-Yurt, in which pro-Dudaev forces used tanks and
military artillery to suppress the opponents of the republic's
drive for independence from Russia. The aim of the visit,
Khasbulatov disclosed, was to meet with a number of top Russian
leaders. In a report on the news conference, Russian TV
commentators pointed out that Khasbulatov has refrained from
criticizing Russian leaders throughout his stay in Chechnya. In
fact, while in Moscow Khasbulatov expressed his willingness to be
reconciled with the Yeltsin team. This statement comes on the eve
of the first anniversary of Yeltsin's decree of 21 September 1993
dissolving the Russian parliament, of which Khasbulatov was the
speaker. Should Khasbulatov maintain this stance, the position of
the Russian opposition to Yeltsin will be weakened in its
commemoration of the victims of the events of 4 October 1993, when
Yeltsin sent in tanks to fire on the Russian parliament building.
-- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

YAVLINSKY ON ELECTIONS AND PRIVATIZATION IN MOSCOW. Interviewed by
Interfax on 20 September, Grigorii Yavlinsky, the leader of the
Yabloko parliamentary faction, said that the various democratic
factions should back a single candidate in the next presidential
elections, scheduled for June 1996. Whether Yavlinsky, believed by
many to be the second strongest candidate for the post, had in
mind Yeltsin or himself, remains a mystery. On the timing of the
elections, Yavlinsky certainly disagrees with most of Yeltsin's
team. He told Interfax that he opposes holding the elections for
seats in the parliament's lower house, the State Duma, and for the
heads of regional and local administrations on the same day as the
presidential elections--i.e., on 12 June 1996. The timing of the
parliamentary elections, Yavlinsky added, must be in accordance
with the constitution--i.e., in December 1995. In another
development, Yavlinsky featured in a Russian TV newscast on 20
September as the author of Moscow's privatization program--a
politically significant event demonstrating the emergence of an
alliance with one of Russia's most influential politicians, Moscow
Mayor Yurii Luzhkov. Earlier this year, Luzhkov had opposed the
implementation in the Russian capital of laws drawn up by the
deputy Russian prime minister in charge of privatization, Anatolii
Chubais; Luzhkov won his battle against Chubais, Yeltsin decreeing
that Moscow be exempted from the federal privatization program,
obligatory in the rest of Russia. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

GRACHEV FINDS RANKS RESTIVE. On a tour of inspection of the Moscow
Military District, focusing on units withdrawn from Germany,
Central Europe, and the Baltic states, Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev found "extreme bitterness" among servicemen over poor
accommodation, "the fall in their social status, and chronic
impecuniousness," Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 20 September.
Many feel humiliated by the "precipitate" withdrawal from Europe
and some are in "a strongly revanchist mood" and are allegedly
even "prepared to return with tanks to defend their compatriots"
in the Baltic states. "When referring to Russia's political and
military leaders . . . many officers use non-regulation
vocabulary." Grachev ordered divisional commanders to forbid
contacts between servicemen and representatives of the political
opposition. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

ARMY: EXERCISES NOT CONNECTED WITH CHECHEN TROUBLES. While the
exercises in the North Caucasus military district are being held
close to the Chechen borders, they are totally divorced from the
situation there, an officer of the Defense Ministry's information
department told Interfax on 20 September. The current exercises
are "command post" exercises, meaning that they involve
headquarters' staffs rather than troops in the field. The press
officer said that similar exercises would soon be held in other
Russian military districts. Speaking on the Defense Ministry's
"Radio Slavyanka" program, officers of the North Caucasus were
quoted as repeating denials that there was any connection with the
Chechen troubles. One said that one of the tasks was "rebuffing a
nuclear strike by an imaginary enemy." -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

LEBED "MILITARY'S IDOL." According to the same report in
Nezavisimaya gazeta, Grachev found that Lt.-General Aleksandr
Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, "enjoys
universal respect" in the ranks. Lebed, who has challenged Grachev
for the position of defense minister and has presidential
aspirations, was termed "the military's idol" by Aleksandr
Sterligov, the former KGB general who heads the ultranationalist
Russian National Assembly, in an interview with Argumenty i fakty
(no. 37/14 September). "What's wrong with a military dictator?"
Lebed asked during an interview with the Financial Times of 8
September. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN ENVOY ON FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES. Outlining to Interfax
on 19 September his agenda as Russia's new ambassador to Britain
and previewing President Yeltsin's upcoming visit there, Anatolii
Adamishin put at the top of his list of priorities "the Russian
government's wish for London to understand Russia's foreign policy
priorities, such as the organization of the post-Soviet space, the
settlement of conflicts on former Soviet borders, and Russian
peacekeeping." Adamishin also said Britain and the West in general
should abandon their "fear of an inflow of people from Russia" and
not erect "a new iron curtain" to stem it. "The difference between
the rights of Britons in Russia and of Russians in Britain cannot
continue much longer, no country can tolerate such
discrimination," he complained. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJAN OIL DEAL SIGNED. On 20 September Azerbaijan and a
consortium of oil companies from the US, Britain, Norway, and
Turkey have signed a deal to develop three oil fields on
Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea shelf, Russian and Western agencies
reported. The Western firms will own the majority share in the
project, in which they expect to invest billions of dollars. The
Russian oil company Lukoil is to have a 10% share. About 80% of
the earnings from the project are to go to Azerbaijan; at the
signing ceremony in Baku Azerbaijani President Geidar Aliev said
his country expects to gain $34 billion from the project over a
30-year period. Transport of the oil out of Azerbaijan has yet to
be resolved as there is presently no secure overland pipeline. --
Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIA REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE CASPIAN OIL DEAL. Western and Russian
sources reported on 20 September that Russian Foreign Ministry
spokesman Grigorii Karasin had announced that the ministry would
not officially recognize the Caspian shelf development deal signed
by Azerbaijan and a consortium of Western oil firms. Karasin
asserted that the refusal was motivated by concern over the
ecological impact of any development project in the Caspian Sea.
He said that international agreements signed in 1921 and 1940 on
the use of Caspian Sea resources should be reexamined, but did not
say what Russia might do about the Caspian shelf development plan
signed that same day. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE CALLS FOR REINTEGRATION OF CIS. On the eve of
President Boris Yeltsin's visit to the United States, the Russian
Foreign Intelligence service (SVR) made public an analytical
report dealing with the reintegration of Russia and other CIS
states, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 September. The report, entitled
"Russia-CIS: Does the Western Position Need Correction?" states
that at present all the major political forces in Russia and the
other countries belonging to the CIS are in favor of a
reintegration of the post-Soviet "Eurasian space." Some circles in
the West and the Islamic world, however, see this "natural,
historical trend" as a manifestation of Russian neo-imperialist
ambitions, the document continues. The SVR's report argues that
the sovereignty of former Soviet states does not guarantee the
implementation of reforms or the democratic character of power in
this region of Eurasia. The lack of integration between Russia and
the other former Soviet republics also benefits nationalist and
"neo-isolationist" forces in Russia and the CIS, the report says.
According to Tatyana Samolis, the spokeswoman for SVR Director
Evgenii Primakov, the report intends to make clear the Russian
position on the eve of the US-Russian summit in Washington next
week. -- Victor Yasmann and Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIA BALKS AT PLEDGE ON UKRAINE'S INTEGRITY. No date has yet
been set for a visit by Yeltsin to Ukraine, because Russia is
unwilling to renounce territorial claims on Ukraine in the planned
bilateral treaty, a senior Ukrainian diplomat told international
media on 20 September. Russia proposes instead to pledge respect
for Ukraine's integrity within the framework of the CSCE Final
Act; but Kiev considers that document as open to interpretation,
the official said (it includes provisions for peaceful, negotiated
border revisions). Some prominent Russian politicians, including
centrists and liberals, have publicly reserved the right to call
for revisions of Russia's borders with Ukraine and other newly
independent states. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

THE US, UN, AND NATO CALL FOR TOUGHNESS AGAINST BOSNIAN SERBS.
Reuters reported on 21 September that the American delegation to
the five-country Contact Group visiting Zagreb had said that
"isolating the Bosnian Serb leadership, the only party rejecting
the [peace] plan, must be our highest priority." The Americans
also urged Belgrade to prove it was sincere in wanting peace by
recognizing Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia in their
internationally accepted borders. Meanwhile, in Sarajevo the UN
threatened the Serbs with air strikes unless they completed the
withdrawal of heavy weapons from that city's exclusion zone by
midnight local time. Finally, in Brussels NATO appealed on 20
September to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali for
firmness against Serbian violations of exclusion zones throughout
Bosnia. A spokesman said that the credibility of both the UN and
NATO were at stake. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

"MYSTERIOUS DEATHS OF KARADZIC SUPPORTERS." Similar sentiments to
those of the American delegation were expressed by Bosnian Prime
Minister Haris Silajdzic to news agencies. He said that only
toughness toward the Serbs would bring peace, and he urged the
lifting of the arms embargo against his government as the way to
bring the Serbs to terms. The Serbs, for their part, shelled
Mostar in what an EU spokesman said was the heaviest bombardment
of Herzegovina's main city for four months. They also continued
their blockade of water, power, and gas to Sarajevo. Finally, Die
Welt reported from Zagreb on what it called "the mysterious
deaths" of supporters of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic. It
noted that recent weeks had seen the deaths under strange
circumstances of the director of Pale Television, of the deputy
chief of the Bosnian Serb secret police, and in Serbia proper of
the security chief of the nationalist Serbian Radical Party. --
Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY LEADERS GET SUSPENDED SENTENCES.
International media reported from Belgrade on 19 September that
five members of the nationalist Serbian Radical Party had received
suspended sentences ranging from four to eight months. These
included party leader Vojislav Seselj, an internationally-wanted
war criminal and former ally of President Slobodan Milosevic, who
had long broken with his one-time patron. The trial was the result
of a brawl in the federal parliament in May. -- Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL Inc.

MACEDONIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN BEGINS. More than sixty parties have
now started their campaigns for the parliamentary and presidential
elections that will be held between 16 and 30 October, Rilindja
reported on 16 September. The 120 members of parliament will be
elected according to a law passed by the Communists before the
first multiparty elections in 1990. The present legislature failed
to pass a new law in time, because the ethnic Albanian parties
boycotted parliament earlier this year and thereby paralyzed its
activities and thus the work of the ruling coalition of President
Kiro Gligorov. That coalition--made up of Social Democrats,
Liberals, and Socialists--will remain in force, while the two
ethnic Albanian parties originally part of the coalition are also
expected to stay in it. After a split in April, there are now two
ethnic Albanian parties called the Party of Democratic Prosperity;
but the radical wing that is unwilling to remain in Gligorov's
coalition will have to compete in the elections under a different
name. The ethnic Macedonian radical-nationalist VMRO-DPMNE has
refused to join any coalition; the Democratic Party said it would
join anyone. -- Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT APPROVES TAX PACKAGE. Prime Minister Waldemar
Pawlak's government has approved a legislative package that will
increase taxes and raises questions about the viability of Finance
Minister Grzegorz Kolodko's "Strategy for Poland" economic
program, Polish media reported on 20 September. Contrary to
earlier pledges of tax cuts, the tax rates of 21%, 33%, and 45%
will not be lowered to 20%, 30%, and 40%, respectively, although
the tax-free quota and tax brackets will be raised by 36.6% to
compensate for inflation and there will be more scope for tax
relief. Kolodko claimed that the government's recent decision not
to peg pensions to cost of living increases but to retain the
current system of indexing pensions to wage increases had added
some 8 trillion zloty ($360 million) to anticipated budget
expenditure in 1995 and that the only way to finance it was by
giving up the planned tax cuts. The tax package also includes a
highly controversial tax on stock exchange operations. The tax
will be levied on all sales of shares, regardless of whether they
are sold at a profit or a loss. The new tax has been strongly
criticized by Poland's Securities Commission, the privatization
ministry, and the Warsaw stock exchange, as well as by opposition
leaders as detrimental to Poland's capital market and investment
prospects. In an attempt to mitigate public criticism, the
government lowered the new tax rate from the proposed 1% to 0.5%
and empowered the finance minister to suspend the tax or change
its rate if market conditions were right. Excise duties on
spirits, tobacco, and fuel were raised. The lower limit of
turnover on which value added tax is levied was reduced, in order
to gain some 200,000 new VAT payers. The tax package has to be
approved by the parliament and the president before it can take
effect. -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc.

CZECH CITIZENSHIP LAW CRITICIZED. On 20 September, at a meeting in
Warsaw, representatives of the Council of Europe and the
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) sharply
criticized the Czech citizenship law. RFE/RL's correspondent
reports that the officials described the law as "discriminatory."
CSCE's commissioner for minority problems, Max van der Stoel, said
the law had made some 100,000 Gypsies foreigners in their own
country. The law, approved in 1993, imposes conditions for
citizenship that many Gypsies, mostly migrants from Slovakia prior
to the split of Czechoslovakia, cannot meet; most important, it
demands that the applicant has no criminal record in the five
years prior to applying for Czech citizenship. On 13 September the
Czech Constitutional Court rejected a suit by forty-six leftist
deputies who demanded that this article, which has come to be
known as the "Gypsy clause," be abolished. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL
Inc.

CZECH REPUBLIC INTERESTED IN BELGIAN F-16s. On 19 September
Reuters reported a Belgian defense ministry spokesman as saying
that the Czech Republic had expressed interest in buying
twenty-four second-hand F-16 fighter aircraft from Belgium. The
spokesman said the deal would probably be worth between two and
three billion Belgian francs ($93 million). Czech defense ministry
officials told CTK on 20 September that the ministry was currently
deciding between buying F-16s or modernizing its MiG-21s. -- Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT WORRIED ABOUT POSTELECTION SLOVAKIA. Speaking in
Humene, Slovak President Michal Kovac said he was worried about
the possibility of "confrontational developments" in Slovakia
after the coming elections. Without naming former Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar, Kovac criticized those who "for several months,
have been leading a merciless, ruthless campaign" against him.
Slovak media report Kovac as saying that he is alarmed by what has
been happening in Slovakia and warning that the country's citizens
should not be divided by fearing one another but should work
together to overcome the legacy of communism. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL
Inc.

EU PERMANENT MISSION TO BE ESTABLISHED IN SLOVAKIA. Guenther
Burghardt, the director of external political relations of the
European Union's Commission, and Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard
Kukan signed an agreement in Bratislava on 16 September under
which the EU will establish a permanent mission in Slovakia at the
beginning of 1995. Until now, relations with Slovakia were mainly
conducted by the EU's mission in Prague. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAKIA'S HUNGARIANS WANT SLOVAK GOVERNMENT POSTS. Speaking at a
press conference in Bratislava on 20 September, Vojtech Bugar, the
chairman of the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement, and other
ethnic Hungarian leaders said that they were ready to accept posts
in the next Slovak government, provided that the government was
not formed by Vladimir Meciar. Bugar also ruled out cooperation
with the Slovak National Party. The ethnic Hungarian parties
support the current government of Jozef Moravcik but do not hold
any government posts. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN TRADE RESULTS. MTI reported on 20 September
that, according to the Central Statistical Office, Hungarian
exports in the first seven months of 1994 had risen by 12% in
volume and 27% in value compared with the same period of last
year. The value of exports reached 561.5 billion forint and that
of imports 780.6 billion, resulting in a deficit of 219 billion
forint (about $2.1 billion). Exports to and imports from the
European Union countries rose by 36% and 37%, respectively. --
Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc.

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA. Levon Ter-Petrosyan paid an
official visit to Romania on 19 and 20 September. He was
accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, including Foreign
Minister Vahan Papazyan and Economy Minister Armen Eghiazaryan.
Petrosyan had talks with Romania's President Ion Iliescu and Prime
Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu and was received by Patriarch Teoctist,
the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church. He also delivered a
speech to the parliament on 20 September and met leaders of the
Armenian community in Romania. Also on 20 September, Romania and
Armenia signed a bilateral friendship and cooperation treaty, as
well as a series of bilateral agreements on the economy, science,
culture, sports, and the media. Radio Bucharest offered extensive
coverage to the visit, the first ever by an Armenian head of state
to Romania. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc.

FORMER COMMUNIST BOSSES RELEASED IN ROMANIA. Reuters reported on
20 September that the last two former communist officials jailed
in connection with the December 1989 events had been freed on
parole the same day. The two, former Deputy Prime Minister Ion
Dinca and Ludovic Fazekas, a top official in the defunct Romanian
Communist Party, spent almost five years in prison on charges
related to the killing of demonstrators in the 1989 revolt. No
appeals against the court's decision to release the two have been
filed so far. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIA HOSTS RUSSIAN-INITIATED INDUSTRIALISTS' CONGRESS. The
International Congress of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs,
launched in 1992 by Arkadii Volsky's Russian military-industrial
lobby and headed by him since, opened a plenary meeting in
Bucharest on 20 September with speeches by Volsky and Romanian
President Ion Iliescu, carried live by Radio Bucharest. Attending
are delegations from most countries of the former Council for
Mutual Economic Cooperation bloc and most former Soviet
republics--twenty-two countries in all. The organization generally
urges fiscal and tariff policies and government investment to
sustain state industry in the former communist states, their
integration into a common market sheltered from international
competition, and autarchic policies within that extended area
using the old specialization in production; and it disputes the
recommendations of Western financial organizations on economic
reforms. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc.

ROMANIAN AIRPORT WORKERS END STRIKE. On 20 September workers at
several Romanian airports ended a strike after winning concessions
from the government. The announcement came in a statement released
by the Federation of Airport Trade Unions through Radio Bucharest.
The strike had been launched the previous day to back demands for
higher pay and a reorganization of the sector. -- Dan Ionescu,
RFE/RL Inc.

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION REFUSES TO FORM NEW GOVERNMENT. Bulgarian
dailies report on 21 September that the Union of Democratic Forces
(UDF) had rejected an offer to try to form a new government. The
response came just one day after President Zhelyu Zhelev had asked
the UDF to form a cabinet that would replace that of Lyuben Berov,
who resigned on 8 September. Since the Bulgarian Socialist Party
has already also refused to try to form a government, the
constitution prescribes that one of the smaller parliamentary
caucuses is now approached. Yet, most observers agree that early
general elections have become inevitable. 24 Chasa cites UDF
politicians as suggesting that 4 or 11 December might be feasible
election dates. -- Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ASKS FOR CHANGES IN IMF REQUIREMENTS. On 17
September, after a meeting with an International Monetary Fund
delegation in Kiev, Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Olexander
Moroz said he wanted some changes in the loan requirements
proposed by the IMF. Interfax quoted Moroz as saying that Ukraine
accepted the IMF requirements in general but that the stipulation
that Ukraine reduce its budget deficit by cutting subsidies for
energy prices and spending less on social services could be
dangerous. Moroz also said that ending government controls on
Ukraine's currency, the karbovanets, would lead to unlimited
exports of Ukraine's raw materials. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT ON RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA. In an interview
published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 20 September,
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says Belarus has no
intention of giving up political or economic sovereignty to
Russia. According to Lukashenka, his country wants to work with
Russia on the same basis it works with Western countries. He says
this means that its national political and economic interests come
first. This, however, "does not mean halting talks with Russia
over a common currency." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

ESTONIA'S OPPOSITION DISCUSSES PRIME MINISTERIAL CANDIDATES. On 20
September leaders of Estonian parliamentary factions not belonging
to the ruling coalition discussed possible members of a new
cabinet of ministers and mentioned Andres Tarand and Andres
Lipstok as possible candidates to replace Prime Minister Mart
Laar. That same day Laar named Liberal Democrat Toomas Vilosius,
the chancellor of the Ministry of Social Affairs, to replace Marju
Lauristin of the Social Democratic Party of Estonia as social
affairs minister. Laurisitin resigned earlier that day following
her party's decision to leave the ruling coalition. According to
Ivar Raig of the Rural Centrist Party, further splintering of the
ruling coalition may take place if his party decides at its next
meeting, scheduled later this week, to leave the coalition. On 6
September the Rural Centrists and the Social Democrats had jointly
called for the resignation of Prime Minister Mart Laar. -- Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

NEW LATVIAN CABINET HOLDS ITS FIRST MEETING. On 20 September the
cabinet of Prime Minister Maris Gailis convened for its first
meeting since it was endorsed by the parliament on 15 September,
BNS reported. The new cabinet was congratulated by President
Guntis Ulmanis, who wished them success not only in developing
Latvia's foreign relations but urged the new cabinet to focus more
attention on internal affairs, especially rural problems. Gailis
said the government's key task was to achieve positive changes in
the attitude of people toward the state and its institutions. The
new ministers discussed organizational issues and appointed
committee heads: for foreign and security affairs, Valdis Birkavs;
for economics and finance, Andris Piebalgs; and for state and
social affairs, Janis Vaivads. -- Dzinta Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT VISITS GERMANY. While on a three-day working
visit to Germany that began on 19 September, Lithuanian President
Algirdas Brazauskas met President Roman Herzog and other leading
German officials. At a meeting with Herzog, Brauzauskas praised
Germany for granting its people strong social guarantees and
creating a social market economy, which he called "a postwar
miracle that impressed the whole world," German and Baltic
agencies reported on 20 September. Brazauskas also praised Germany
for acting as "an attorney" of the Baltic States in their
integration into European structures. Herzog reaffirmed Germany's
intention to continue supporting Lithuania and the other two
Baltic States on their way toward a market economy and more secure
independence. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

[As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Penny Morvant and Maggie Evling)
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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