|Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. - Mark Twain|
No. 182, 23 September 1994
RUSSIA POWER SHUTOFF GETS EVERYONE'S ATTENTION. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin railed against the "petty clerks" who shut off power at the Strategic Rocket Forces central command post on 21 September and promised that they would be punished, according to ITAR-TASS on 22 September. A power company official tried to play down the incident, telling Interfax that the company did not know the identity of the subscriber in arrears when it cut off the command center's power, and that it was immediately restored after a phone call from the commander in chief of the rocket forces. The military denied that the power officials did not realize who they were dealing with. All involved acknowledged that the Moscow Military District had not been paying its electric bills. The command center's debt was variously quoted as 1.5 and 2.5 billion rubles, while the total unpaid energy bill for the entire district was said to be either 50 billion or 60 billion rubles. The General Staff's top financial officer, Colonel General Vasilii Vorobev, pressed for more money and warned that the military had no means to pay its power bills, while Krasnaya zvezda, the Defense Ministry's newspaper, cited other examples of "power blackmail" and opined that this latest incident "casts doubt on the effectiveness of the authorities in the country in general." Finally, Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets directed the fuel and energy minister, Yurii Shafranik, to investigate the incident and give a full report at the next meeting of the government. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA REFUTES PERRY'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS CLAIM. In a 20 September Washington speech, US Secretary of Defense William Perry warned that Russia was reducing its arsenal of nuclear weapons more slowly than the United States. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin denied this charge in a 22 September Interfax statement, claiming that the US had dismantled about 2,000 nuclear warheads over the last year, while Russia had dismantled "more than 1,000 nuclear warheads withdrawn from Ukraine and even more Russian warheads" during the same period. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. FINANCIAL HELP FOR RUSSIAN ARMY ON THE WAY? According to ITAR-TASS of 22 September, a high-level government commission meeting that day drafted proposals for improving the funding of the armed forces both in 1994 and in next year's budget. The article said that the Interdepartmental Commission on Defense and Security of the National Security Council had been told that the military had received less than 40% of the money due it under the present budget law and that this shortfall was hindering military reform and had led to a drop in defense production that threatened to undermine key defense industries vital to the country's security. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. YELTSIN MEETS LEADERS OF PARLIAMENT. On 22 September President Boris Yeltsin talked with Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and the speakers of both chambers of the Russian Federal Assembly--Ivan Rybkin of the State Duma, and Vladimir Shumeiko of the Council of the Federation. ITAR-TASS said the press was not allowed to attend the meeting. According to Ostankino TV news, the president noted that relations between the parliament and himself had stabilized and asked the two parliamentary leaders to adopt legislation on land and the civil code and then to produce a clear plan of the parliament's future work. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. YAVLINSKY'S PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM TRIUMPHS OVER CHUBAIS'S? The ideas of the liberal economist Grigorii Yavlinsky rather than those of Anatolii Chubais, the deputy prime minister in charge of privatization, have been implemented in more than 30 large Russian cities, most important in Moscow. The 22 September edition of the Russian TV daily program "Podrobnosti" (Details) gave an account of Yavlinsky's plans for the Russian capital. The economist advocates selling off enterprises by auction, while Chubais has attempted to divide them among Russian citizens on an equal basis. In an interview with "Podrobnosti," Yavlinsky dismissed Chubais' program as "fictitious privatization," adding that it did not create the institution of private property, since state officials continued to run the privatized enterprises. Moreover, Yavlinsky went on, it is widely considered to be unjust, because property is concentrated in the hands of its former managers. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov, in turn, said the fact that municipal and state property was being appropriated freely by such groups meant that its former owners were left without the means to improve the living conditions of the population. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. OPPOSITION ACCUSES US OF SUPPORTING "ANTI-DEMOCRATIC FORCES." In a joint statement cited by Interfax on 22 September, a number of prominent hard-line politicians accused Washington of having openly supported anti-democratic tendencies in Russia and thus fueling "anti-Americanism" in the country. They added that they did not believe in the sincerity of US leaders who had supported Yeltsin's anti-constitutional dissolution of the parliament by decree on 21 September 1993, as well as the president's decision to send in tanks to fire on the parliamentary building on 4 October of the same year. The statement bears the signatures of well-known Communists and Russian nationalists, such as former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, former speaker of the Soviet parliament Anatolii Lukyanov, and the leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennadii Zyuganov. It should be borne in mind, however, that similar views have been voiced by liberal opponents of the Yeltsin regime in such generally pro-American newspapers as Izvestiya and Nezavisimaya gazeta. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. YELTSIN INCREASES GORBACHEV'S PENSION. According to Russian TV's "Vesti" of 22 September, Yeltsin has decreed a sharp increase in former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's monthly pension. According to the decree, from now on Gorbachev will receive retirement benefits equal to 40 minimum monthly salaries. Hitherto, Gorbachev received the sum agreed upon by the leaders of the new independent states on the eve of his resignation in November 1991--i.e., 4,000 rubles ($1.63 at today's exchange rate) a month. Despite Gorbachev's unpopularity in his native country, such niggardly treatment of the Nobel peace prize winner had been ridiculed in the media on more than one occasion. The reason for Yeltsin's change of heart--perhaps Gorbachev's triumph during his visit to Germany earlier this month or the approach of the Russian presidential elections and the prospect that Yeltsin himself could become a "former president" after 12 June 1996--remains a mystery. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. OFFICIALS TO ATTEND COURSES EVERY FIVE YEARS. All Russian officials will have to attend courses to improve their professional qualifications every five years, according to a regulation issued by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. The new rules come into force on the day of their publication in the official government newspaper Rossiiskaya gazeta--i.e., on 23 September. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc. KOZYREV REINFORCES OBJECTIONS TO AZERBAIJAN-WESTERN OIL DEAL. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said on 22 September that spokesman Grigorii Karasin's legal and ecological objections two days earlier to the deal between Azerbaijan and a Western consortium to develop Azerbaijan's offshore oil fields had "expressed the Foreign Ministry's and Russia's official view," Interfax reported. In further remarks to ITAR-TASS on 22 September, Kozyrev insisted that Russia had inherited the USSR's claim to shared use of Caspian resources, "as Azerbaijan knows only too well;" that the Western companies must "take into account all interests including Russia's"; and that all sides "must find a mutually acceptable solution." He did not spell out Russia's claims, proposals, or possible recourse. The objections have surprised Russian oil industry officials, not least the Lukoil state company which holds 10% of the project's capital; Western companies account for 70% and Azerbaijan for the remaining 20% of the planned investment of 7.5 billion dollars. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA REFERENDUM DATE SET IN KYRGYZSTAN. Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev issued a decree on 22 September setting 22 October as the date for a referendum on changes to the country's parliament, Reuters reported from Bishkek. Voters will be asked to approve a two-chamber parliament; one chamber, of 35 full-time deputies, would be in session permanently, while the second, consisting of 70 deputies, would meet for brief sessions. The referendum will also cover Akaev's proposal to allow changes to the constitution by means of referendums as well as through parliamentary action, as specified in the constitution. A new parliament is to be elected on 24 December. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. AZERI MINISTER FIRED AFTER JAILBREAK. Azerbaijani President Geidar Aliev fired National Security Minister Nariman Imranov on 22 September after former Defense Minister Ragim Gaziev escaped from prison earlier in the day, Reuters reported. Gaziev and four military officers on trial with him for defeats in 1993 in the Karabakh struggle were being held in a prison under the jurisdiction of the National Security Ministry. Aliev went on Azerbaijani TV to explain the firing, asserting that Imranov had helped Gaziev to escape. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. CIS DIFFERENCES DELAY RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN SUMMIT. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told Interfax on 22 September that President Yeltsin's official visit to Ukraine, tentatively planned at Kiev's request for early October, has been postponed without another date being set. Briefly in Kiev to "continue the dialogue," Kozyrev implied that substantial progress must be made in bridging differences before the visit could be scheduled, but he was vague about those differences. As a goodwill gesture, Kozyrev disowned the concept of "elder brother/younger brother" in Russian-Ukrainian relations, but only to propose "twin brothers." Russia's Black Sea Fleet commander, Admiral Eduard Baltin, however, called for an "economic, political, and military drawing together of the two Slavic states" and urged Ukraine's new leadership "to subdue the ambitions of the "national-patriots." Any partition of the fleet or of its shore infrastructure "would diminish [our] strength in the Mediterranean," he warned. On the Ukrainian side, parliament chairman Oleksandr Moroz told ITAR-TASS, also on 22 September, that the Russian-Ukrainian treaty now under negotiation must reflect the CSCE's principles on the inviolability of borders. Ukrainian diplomats told Reuters the same day that Ukraine sought a clear Russian statement on respect for territorial integrity, objected to Russian proposals on instituting dual citizenship and "joint" patrols of Ukraine's border, and had "serious reservations" about Russia's desire to act as a "peacekeeper" in independent states. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. MOLDOVA WORRIED BY RUSSIAN SIGNALS ON TROOPS. Interviewed in Nezavisimaya gazeta of 22 September, Dumitru Diacov, chairman of the Moldovan Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission, pointed to "alarming signs" that Moscow might be backtracking from the agreement initialed on 10 August, but not signed, regarding the withdrawal of its 14th Army from Moldova. Besides the "categorical opposition" of that army's commander, Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lebed, and of Russian nationalist circles, both of which Diacov found "understandable," Russian government representatives were now calling for revisions of the agreement (which took two years to negotiate), Diacov said. Russian officials were also attempting to "reorient international opinion" by telling Western officials that Moldova did not insist on the withdrawal and might accept the troop presence. "Apparently some quarters in Russia badly want to go back on this agreement," Diacov concluded. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE NATO PLANES BLAST SERBIAN TANK. The BBC reported on 23 September that British and American aircraft had hit a Serbian tank near Sarajevo the previous day in response to three Serbian attacks on UN peacekeepers. The airstrike was requested by the UN deputy commander, who is French. US Secretary of State Warren Christopher warned the Serbs that more strikes would follow if they continued to violate the UN exclusion zone. The Serbs, for their part, described the raid as "a brutal attack against civilians" and promised retaliation at a time and place of their choosing. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. BIG STRIKE IN BELGRADE. Borba reported on 23 September on the general strike of almost 8,000 workers at the IMT motor and tractor factory. The workers are demanding payment of back wages and the creation of a loan package for winter needs. Vreme of 12 September had pointed out the complex issues surrounding the strike and called it a victory for independent trade unionism. AFP said on 21 September, when the strike began, that it was the biggest in Serbia since the current economic program had been launched in January. Borba added that 500 workers at the DMB enterprise had started a similar strike on 22 September. The January economic plan created a new and stable currency, ending hyperinflation and making a folk hero out of the chief banker behind it. Serbian industry nonetheless remains hard-hit by a combination of international economic sanctions, the dislocation of the former Yugoslav market and infrastructure, and years of communist and neocommunist mismanagement. The Washington Post of 22 September quoted Belgrade experts as saying that it would take twenty-five years to get industrial production back to its 1989 levels, even with a 5% annual growth rate. Criminal elements, the rich, and the powerful have fared well under current conditions, but ordinary Serbs, especially pensioners, have suffered. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH PRESIDENT CONSIDERING VETO ON SECRETS ACT. Prompted by outraged comments from media representatives in defense of press freedom, Lech Walesa said on 21 September that he would not sign the recently passed official secrets act as it now stood. The Democratic Left Alliance, whose deputies voted to reject a proposed amendment that would have exempted journalists from legal liability for revealing confidential information in certain cases, indicated that it would reconsider its earlier objections. The publication on the same day of a letter from Henryk Goryszewski, the head of the National Security Bureau and a close associate of the president, in which he asked the Sejm commission to reject the amendment, caused some embarrassment; but Walesa dismissed it as a "misunderstanding," PAP reports. -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc. POLISH COURT RULES POLSAT LICENSE IS VALID. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on 22 September that the January 1994 decision of the National Broadcasting Council (NBC) to grant the single national commercial television broadcasting license to PolSat was valid, PAP reports. Three of PolSat's nine rivals, including Nicola Grauso's Polonia 1, a network of pirate television stations, took the NBC to court over the decision. They claimed that the NBC had not made clear in advance that applicants with purely Polish capital should have an advantage over those with foreign capital. The NBC's decision was also criticized by President Lech Walesa, who dismissed NBC Chairman Marek Markiewicz shortly afterward. PolSat's standing was undermined by press allegations questioning PolSat's legal and financial credibility. The ruling strengthens the position of the NBC and enables PolSat to begin nationwide broadcasting as planned on 30 September. -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc. MOVEMENT ON POLISH CONCORDAT? On his return from Rome, Secretary General of the Polish Episcopate Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek said that the Holy See was committed to dialogue with the Polish authorities on the contested issue of ratification of the concordat. According to an article in Zycie Warszawy of 21 September, Pieronek said the Holy See would not accept changes in the concordat itself but would agree to specific language in Polish legislation to overcome misunderstandings that had arisen since the concordat was signed in July 1993 with regard to the registration of Church marriages, burials of nonbelievers on Church grounds, and the teaching of religion in schools. It would also welcome legislation that would ensure other religions gain legal status equal to that of the Catholic Church. Pieronek rejected an earlier proposal by Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, the head of the Sejm's concordat committee, that the misunderstandings be solved by an exchange of "letters of intent." -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc. MECIAR ON SLOVAKIA, HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS . . . In an interview with the Czech daily Rude pravo published on 22 September former Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar said that "Slovakia, above all, needs to confirm and accept its statehood." Other priorities were "establishing internal political stability" and developing relations between ethnic minorities and Slovaks. Meciar said that his Movement for a Democratic Slovakia represented an "alternative" for Slovakia. He argued that the opponents of his party were mainly "groups of personally dissatisfied, ambitious people" who knew which posts they wanted but did "not know what they [would] do in those posts." According to Meciar, "it would be optimal for Slovakia" if his party received enough votes to be able to form a government on its own. The alternative was a government without and "against" the MDS, "which could mean instability." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. . . . KOVAC ON MECIAR. In an interview published in Slovensky vychod on 22 September Slovak President Michal Kovac said that he realized that former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar wanted to create the impression that Slovakia was being threatened. The president argued that there were "no signs that serious problems could arise between Slovaks and Hungarians living in southern Slovakia." Kovac said that some people might "play games" or "stage something," which intelligence services might not always uncover in advance. Kovac said he had all the information that he, as president, could have and that he was not aware of any serious problems. According to Kovac, foreign politicians appreciate the policies of the current government, which they consider to be "transparent and understandable." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. CHAIRMAN OF SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL ON NEXT SLOVAK GOVERNMENT. Speaking in Bratislava on 22 September, Pierre Mauroy said that the Socialist International would not be in favor of a postelection coalition in Slovakia between the Party of the Democratic Left and Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. Mauroy suggested that such a coalition could adversely influence the SI's decision on accepting the PDL as a member in 1996--a step sought by the PDL as a confirmation of its successful transformation from a postcommunist into a social-democratic party. "Social Democracy does not get along with desires for personal power . . . Social Democracy respects rules and democratic institutions, including the president," said Mauroy. He added: "Mr. Meciar does not respect such rules. I prefer parties that respect [democratic] rules." Mauroy emphasized, however, that the final decision was with the Slovak electorate and that he was not visiting Slovakia to "give advice." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT ON WORLD FAIR AND PENSIONS. Gyula Horn's cabinet, at its 22 September session, decided to submit to parliament its draft proposal calling for the cancellation of the 1996 World Fair in Budapest, MTI reports. The move, which does not mean the cancellation of related infrastructural projects, will result in savings of 45 billion forint ($42 million). The cabinet also decided to pass in October its proposal to raise pensions by 8%, retroactive to 1 January 1994, so that the first payments can be made in November. The move will cost 21.2 billion forint and will increase the country's budget deficit by that amount. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN ARMY HAS MONEY PROBLEMS. Following a closed hearing on 21 September before the parliamentary defense committee, Major General Nandor Hollosi said that under its current budget the strength and structure of Hungary's Army could no longer be financed, MTI reports. The committee asked the Defense Ministry to prepare an estimate of the cost of Hungary's admission to NATO, one requirement of which would be to spend at least 3% of the country's GDP on defense, compared with only 1.78% at present, when the armed forces should be receiving 2-2.5%. Next year the government will submit to parliament a comprehensive reform program for the armed forces to reduce the number of conscripts and military installations and eliminate obsolete armaments. -- Alfred Reisch, RFE/RL Inc. "GIGANTIC" MUSLIM CENTER IN ALBANIA. Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 21 September that a "gigantic" center for Muslim faithful was currently being built in the northern city of Shkoder. The city is considered Albania's Catholic stronghold, and in April 1993 the Pope on his first trip to Albania inaugurated the rebuilding of the city's cathedral (one of the largest in the Balkans and turned into a sports arena by the Communists ). To be completed in one year, the largest Muslim center in Albania will be able to accommodate 1,500 faithful and will include two mosques and a large library. The building of the center is being financed by a Saudi Arabian and is being constructed by a large Turkish company. -- Louis Zanga, RFE/RL Inc. FIRST NUCLEAR-ACCIDENT DRILL STAGED IN ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest reported on 22 September that the country's first nuclear- accident drill had been staged in the Cernavoda area on the same day. Some 3,500 people joined in a mock evacuation in trucks, boats, and trains. The exercise had been intended to test the authorities' response to a possible disaster at the nuclear power plant in the town of Cernavoda, which is expected to be commissioned in May 1995. The drill was attended by Romania's Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca, Internal Affairs Minister Doru Ioan Taracila, and other officials. The Cernavoda plant, Romania's first nuclear one, uses Canadian "Candu" technology. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIAN LEADERS AND MOLDOVAN OPPOSITIONISTS MEET. The entire leadership of Moldova's United Democratic Congress, the largest party of the pro-Romanian opposition, held talks in Bucharest from 20 to 22 September with Romanian President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, government ministers, the leadership of the ruling Party of Social Democracy (which had invited the group), the Romanian parliament's leaders, and the leaderships of several political parties. The talks were highly publicized by Romania's official media and featured strong attacks on Moldova's government and parliament. In the sole pledge of material support to have been given thus far, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the head of the ultranationalist and procommunist Great Romania Party--which supports the government--pledged to set up in Moldova for the Democratic Congress a radio station and a television studio and to finance its leaders' travels to the West. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. MOLDOVA ACKNOWLEDGES ARMS SALE TO SOUTH YEMEN. The chairman of the Moldovan parliament, Petru Lucinschi, confirmed at a news conference on 21 September that Moldova had sold four MiG-29 fighters to South Yemen during the recent civil war in Yemen, Basapress reported that day. In July a Romanian newspaper known for its sources in Romanian intelligence had revealed the story about the sale of the jets, which was then picked up by the Moldovan opposition press. Five Moldovan pilots reportedly accompanied the aircraft and flew combat missions in Yemen, and a Moldovan ground team provided maintenance. Moldova inherited thirty-four MiG-29s from the former USSR in early 1992. One was transferred to Romania that year. According to the Basapress report, picked up by Interfax the next day, Lucinschi stressed that Moldova had violated no international convention or agreements and announced that Moldova had "absolutely no use for part of our limited stocks of weapons [and would] be selling weapons to those who can and may buy them." -- Doug Clarke and Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. LATEST CRIMEAN DEVELOPMENTS. On 22 September various agencies reported that the Crimean president, Yurii Meshkov, had suspended his decree dissolving the Crimean parliament. Meshkov said the move was meant to bring the parliament and government together for talks to resolve the constitutional crisis. However, the talks between Meshkov and a parliamentary delegation that followed failed to resolve their differences. Meshkov insisted that the deputies repeal their earlier legislation limiting his powers, while the deputies said that Meshkov's decrees had been unconstitutional and he should annul, not just suspend, his decree. The parliamentary speaker, Serhii Tsekov, reiterated his rejection of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's proposed "zero option" and said that only after Meshkov had cancelled his decree could parliament decide whether to rescind its resolutions. In Kiev, the Ukrainian parliament voted to set 1 November as the deadline for Crimea's parliament to bring the Crimean Constitution into line with that of Ukraine. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc. ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER NOT TO RESIGN. Tiit Sinissaar, the chairman of the Isamaa (Pro Patria) parliamentary faction, told BNS that at the meeting on 22 September of the ruling parliamentary faction, now consisting of only Isamaa and Estonian National Independence Party (ENIP) deputies, there had been no indication that Prime Minister Mart Laar would step down; furthermore, Sinissaar denied rumors that Laar himself had said he wanted to resign. Juri Adams of the ENIP stressed that the present political situation in Estonia was not a crisis and said that "a government crisis emerges only when the government resigns or is forced to resign. What we have at present is either the opposition's attempts to overthrow the cabinet or disagreements within the government." -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. FOUR LATVIAN PARLIAMENTARY FACTIONS JOIN FORCES. On 22 September deputies of the Farmers' Union, Latvia's National Independence Movement, the Christian Democratic Party, and the For the Fatherland and Freedom association founded the National Bloc, which will initially be presided over by the Farmers' Union. Envisaged as a forum for consultations on problems of vital importance to the Latvian nation, this bloc differs from the earlier National Bloc in that it has an executive structure--a council and a secretariat--that could also develop into a kind of shadow cabinet in anticipation of the next parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 1995. The bloc is to be financed by contributions from the members' factions and supporters' donations, BNS reported. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. DISAGREEMENT AMONG LDLP LEADERS ON LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT. Gediminas Kirkilas, who was elected chairman of the ruling Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party's parliamentary faction on 21 September, has recommended the replacement of at least six members of the present cabinet, BNS reported on 22 September. Earlier, Kirkilas had circulated a letter to faction members suggesting that Finance Minister Eduardas Vilkelis, Agriculture Minister Rimantas Karazija, Industry and Trade Minister Kazimieras Klimasauskas, Communications and Information Minister Gintautas Zintelis, Energy Minister Algimantas Stasiukynas, and Transportation Minister Jonas Birziskis be replaced. Kirkilas criticized them for their "vague" political position, explaining that even if 90% of activities in a ministry concerned matters of a specific branch, the remaining 10% was politics and the government's political concept had to be realized. Admitting that his position differed from that of Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, who is also the LDLP leader, Kirkilas claimed that there was no conflict between them. In contrast, however, Slezevicius described Kirkilas's statements as "irresponsible" and said that his proposals should be regarded as "a form of political pressure." -- 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 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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