A disagreement may be the shortest cut between two minds. - Kahlil Gibran
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 196, 14 October 1994

                             RUSSIA

NEW FINANCE MINISTER APPOINTED; RUBLE RECOVERS. At a cabinet
meeting on 13 October Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
appointed Andrei Vavilov to replace Sergei Dubinin as Russia's
acting finance minister, Reuters reported. The 33-year-old
Vavilov, a liberal, was previously first deputy finance minister.
Meanwhile, on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange the ruble
bounced back to close at 2,994 rubles to the dollar following
massive Central Bank intervention; it is unclear, however, how
long the bank can continue to prop up the ruble. The opening of
Thursday's session was delayed by the introduction of measures to
limit currency trading by commercial banks and to curb
speculative buying. According to ITAR-TASS, under the new
regulations commercial banks are limited in their purchases of
foreign currency to the amount of money in their clearing
accounts at the time of trading. The recent fall of the ruble has
led to an increase in consumer prices in Moscow of 30-50 percent,
the deputy head of the Moscow Price Control Board told an RFE/RL
correspondent on 13 October. Shoppers are said to be taking the
price hikes in stride. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc.

CURRENCY CRISIS: POLITICIANS SEE SABOTAGE . . . In an interview
with Interfax on 13 October, President Boris Yeltsin's spokesman
Vyacheslav Kostikov opined that the recent currency crisis had
been organized by Communists, who had allegedly used secret funds
belonging to the former Soviet Communist Party to engineer the
meteoric rise of the dollar from about 2,800 to close to 4,000
rubles in under a week. Kostikov was elaborating on an earlier
announcement by Yeltsin, broadcast live by Ostankino TV the
previous day, that the currency's plight was due to "sabotage . .
. by the special group of people who organized the ruble's
disastrous fall." To investigate the case, Yeltsin has set up a
commission including representatives of the Federal
Counterintelligence Service (the former KGB). On 13 October
Ostankino TV news cited a member of the commission, deputy
speaker of the Federation Council Valerian Viktorov, as saying
that the crisis had been organized by the government's political
opponents. In turn, the leader of the Communist faction in the
State Duma, Gennadii Zyuganov, was quoted by Nezavisimaya gazeta
of 13 October as claiming that the sharp fall of the ruble was a
political move aimed at bringing about the replacement of the
relatively moderate current Russian government with radical
reformers. In support of his argument, Zyuganov reportedly quoted
Yeltsin's promise to radicalize reform. -- Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL Inc.

. . . WHILE ECONOMISTS BLAME GOVERNMENT. No serious Russian
economist appears to agree with the conspiracy theory. Grigorii
Yavlinsky, leader of the liberal opposition to Yeltsin, told
RFE/RL on 13 October that the crisis was the result of the
government's determination to keep the price of the ruble
artificially high by selling huge sums of dollars on the currency
market. Such a policy, according to Yavlinsky, was bound to lead
to the ruble's collapse sooner or later. Yavlinsky's views differ
little from those of Sergei Glazev, the economic spokesman of the
centrist and left-wing parliamentary opposition to Yeltsin, and
Boris Fedorov, former Russian finance minister and now leader of
the radical 12 December faction in the State Duma. -- Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

MILITARY: FINANCIAL CRISIS NOT OUR FAULT. In a statement given to
Interfax on 13 October, the Russian Defense Ministry denied the
charge that the financial crisis was caused by excessive
injections of funds into defense production. The statement said
that the ministry had received only 38.7 percent of its budget
during the first nine months of this year instead of the planned
63 percent. It currently is 6.9 trillion rubles in debt, of which
some 2.5 trillion is owed to defense plants for confirmed
government orders. The military's budget and finances agency said
that it, in turn, was owed some 9 trillion rubles by the Finance
Ministry. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

MAVRODI RELEASED. On 13 October, according Ostankino TV news that
day, the Preobrazhensky district court in Moscow "unexpectedly"
ruled to release Sergei Mavrodi, the president of the MMM
joint-stock company arrested for tax violations earlier in the
year. The ruling goes against the wishes of President Yeltsin: in
a move that was clearly directed against Mavrodi, who had been
nominated to run for a seat in the State Duma in a by-election in
the town of Khimki near Moscow, the president had signed a decree
allowing candidates for parliamentary seats to be imprisoned. On
11 October the State Duma voted against a proposal that Mavrodi
be released. In response to the court's verdict, MMM
shareholders, who in the months following Mavrodi's arrest have
built up a strong political movement, stated their determination
to continue their struggle to lift the government ban on the
trading of MMM shares. They have also joined the Communists in
collecting signatures aimed at forcing early presidential
elections and intend to nominate Mavrodi for the Presidency. --
Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY FACTION VOTES AGAINST ITS LEADERS. The
parliamentary faction of the Democratic Party of Russia (DPR) has
passed a vote of no confidence in its leader, Nikolai Travkin,
Russian TV news reported on 11 October. According to Travkin's
opponents, his policies contradict the centrist opposition
platform on which the DPR was elected to the State Duma in
December 1993. Earlier this year Travkin was appointed minister
without portfolio in the Chernomyrdin government. The faction's
vote, according to Kommersant-Daily of 12 October, was prompted
by Travkin's attempt to remove Sergei Glazev, a faction member,
from the post of chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic
Policies. Many prominent DPR deputies in the Duma--including
Glazev, film director Stanislav Govorukhin, and Academician Oleg
Bogomolov--do not actually belong to the Democratic Party
(commonly known in Russia as "Travkin's Party") and therefore
could not vote at the DPR congress, which has the power to
replace the party's chairman. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

DUMA APPROVES LAW ON CORRUPTION. The State Duma has adopted a law
on corruption that is designed to prevent state bureaucrats from
abusing their positions and to reinforce the government's
measures against organized crime, Ostankino TV reported on 13
October. One of the basic provisions of the legislation requires
civil servants and candidates for state offices to submit an
annual declaration of their personal income including data on
real estate and other property and on financial assets that
exceed the minimum Russian wage by 200 times. The law requires
state officials to give the State Tax Inspectorate their bank
account numbers and empowers law enforcement agencies to check
the accounts. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL Inc.

BLAST SHAKES NUCLEAR FACILITIES. A powerful explosion caused by
"gun powder waste" shook two nuclear facilities in the Siberian
city of Tomsk, according to an Interfax report of 13 October. The
explosion, which injured six soldiers, took place at an army unit
stationed two kilometers from a nuclear research center. It was
caused by the detonation of three metric tons of powder removed
from missiles. Another nuclear facility was reported to be 10
kilometers away from the accident site. Tomsk-7, now said to be
called Seversk, is one of Russia's 10 nuclear cities.
Weapons-grade plutonium was produced there. In April 1993 an
explosion at the military reprocessing plant released 228 grams
of highly toxic plutonium into the air. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL
Inc.

KOZYREV, HUSSEIN ISSUE JOINT COMMUNIQUE. On 13 October ITAR-TASS
reported that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev had held
talks with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad in an effort
to defuse the crisis in the Persian Gulf. Following the meeting,
a joint communique was issued stating that Iraq was prepared to
recognize Kuwait's borders and sovereignty. The Russian side said
it would reciprocate by supporting steps for the eventual
abolition of international sanctions against Iraq; it also said
it would back measures such as monitoring Iraq's arms industry.
-- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

                 TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TURKMENISTAN TO ASK EXTRADITION OF DISSIDENTS IN MOSCOW. Turkmen
President Saparmurad Niyazov's Press Office told Interfax on 13
October that Turkmenistan's State Prosecutor would soon ask the
Russian Federation to extradite to Ashgabat several Turkmen
dissidents living in Moscow. These include former Foreign
Minister Avdy Kuliev and another former government official,
Khalmurad Soyunov, both of whom have been indicted in
Turkmenistan for anti-government activities. Kuliev has been one
of the most influential and articulate opponents of President
Niyazov's authoritarian rule. At a meeting on 12 October,
Turkmenistan's Cabinet of Ministers authorized the heads of the
country's law-enforcement agencies to take whatever measures are
necessary to stop disruption by dissidents of Turkmenistan's
stability. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

BREAD PRICES FREED IN KAZAKHSTAN. The price of bread will be
deregulated in Kazakhstan as of 15 October, Interfax reported on
13 October. Newly appointed Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegildin
told the Supreme Soviet that he was deeply distressed that such
an unpopular move was following so closely on his taking office,
but that his government would not only continue the economic
reform program of its predecessor, it would speed up
implementation of the program. The decision to deregulate bread
prices was taken earlier in the year, motivated at least
partially by the fact that Kazakhstan's budget can no longer
support the subsidies that kept bread prices low. In recent
weeks, rumors about price deregulation were reported to have led
to disturbances in some areas of the country. -- Bess Brown,
RFE/RL Inc.

KAZAKH MINISTER ON HOTLINE, MISSILES. Kazakh Defense Minister
Sagadat Nurmagambetov inaugurated a telegraph and fax hotline
between Almaty and Washington on 13 October. Interfax reported
that the line was one of the results of a December 1993 agreement
with the US and was financed by the US Defense Department. A
direct telephone line would be installed in 1995. Nurmagambetov
also said that he had exchanged messages with US Secretary of
Defense William Perry and had been invited to visit the United
States. He reported that nuclear warheads and SS-18
intercontinental ballistic missiles were being moved to Russia
and indicated that all the missile silos and their launch control
centers would be closed down "soon." Originally there were 104 of
the giant SS-18s stationed in Kazakhstan. In March Kazakh
officials indicated that 12 had been returned to Russia. That
same month Presidents Yeltsin and Nazarbaev signed an agreement
calling for all the warheads to be removed by May 1995. -- Doug
Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

CSCE ASKS FOR KARABAKH PEACEKEEPERS. Following the agreement in
late September of all sides involved in the Karabakh conflict on
the acceptability of a multinational peacekeeping force for the
region, the present chairman of the CSCE, Italian Foreign
Minister Antonio Martini, has dispatched a letter to member
governments asking whether they would be willing to provide a
contingent, according to an RFE/RL correspondent. Martini
proposes a force of 2,000 men, no more than 30 percent of whom
would come from any given CSCE member country; the force would be
deployed for an initial period of six months. Turkey has already
signaled its willingness to supply troops and to set up a
logistical support base for the CSCE in Erzerum. -- Roland
Eggleston and Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc.

                   CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

WALESA ISOLATED ON POLISH POLITICAL SCENE. A spokesman for
President Lech Walesa on 13 October asked the Sejm to withdraw
its statement that the president's decision to dismiss members of
the national radio and television council and to demand the
resignation of the minister of defense violates the law and has
destabilized the political system. The request is almost certain
to be ignored by parliamentarians. The media reports that
representatives of the major political groups are united in their
criticism of the president. But many of these groups are wary
about bringing formal charges against him at the High State
Tribunal because of the implications of such an action for both
internal politics and the country's international standing.
Gazeta Wyborcza on 14 October said some parties--in particular,
the centrist Union of Freedom, which has censured Walesa--would
like to reach a compromise with the president and avoid further
disagreement in view of the forthcoming presidential election. In
a related development, Minister of Defense Piotr Kolodziejczyk
said at a press conference on 13 October that he would submit his
resignation to the prime minister following parliamentary
inquiries into the situation in the military. The Office of the
Prime Minister has made no comment yet on the issue. -- Jan de
Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc.

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS KALLAS AS PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE.
The Estonian parliament, by a vote of 55 to 40, rejected Bank of
Estonia President Siim Kallas as candidate for prime minister.
The opposition Centrist faction voted against Kallas because he
had refused to give them at least one portfolio, BNS reported on
13 October. Outgoing Prime Minister Mart Laar called the vote "a
movement toward the left" within the parliament. President
Lennart Meri now has seven days to nominate another candidate to
replace Laar, who lost a vote of confidence on 26 September.
According to the Constitution, the president can make two
nominations for the post of prime minister. If the parliament
fails to endorse either of the president's nominees or the
nominees are unable to form a government, the parliament names
its own candidate for the position. If, however, the parliament
is unable to nominate a candidate or the candidate is unable to
present a new government to the president within 14 days of the
parliament's being given the right to nominate a premier, the
president must call new parliamentary elections. The next
elections to the legislature are scheduled for March 1995. --
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

UN OFFICIALS CALL FOR NATO PEACEMAKING OPERATION IN BOSNIA. AFP
on 13 October quotes unnamed UN officials in Sarajevo as saying
the blue helmet peacekeeping operation is "at a dead end" and
calling for "NATO ground forces to enforce peace instead." The
officials agreed with the earlier statement by UN commander
General Sir Michael Rose that "you can't fight a war with
white-painted tanks." They called instead for "a green helmet
operation which would respond to Serb attacks with superior
force." One official said "the only way you can cajole the
Bosnian Serbs back to the negotiating table is with a credible
use of force. That is going to come through NATO. The only thing
that will scare the Serbs is if you will put large amounts of
troops in." The news agency commented that "UNPROFOR has no
bargaining chip with the Serbs who are sitting pretty now the
threat of lifting the arms embargo against the Bosnians has
faded." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

SERBS RENEW ULTIMATUM TO MUSLIMS. International media reported on
13 October that Bosnian Serb commanders repeated their threat,
first made two days earlier, to give Bosnian government forces
until 20 October to clear out of the demilitarized zone near
Sarajevo or be evicted by Serb units. The Serbs added that the UN
must destroy government trenches and fortifications in the
zone--which, in fact, it has been doing in recent days. The
Muslims nonetheless advanced through the zone on 12 October and
ambushed a Serb unit on the other side of it. Meanwhile, Bosnian
government officers boycotted a confidence-building inspection
tour of the zone organized by the UN for 13 October. The Muslims
said all their officers were needed at Breza, to the north of the
capital, where the Serbs were capturing territory. Other fighting
was reported around Mostar. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

KRAJINA ON THE DIPLOMATIC AGENDA AGAIN. Vjesnik reports on 14
October that international mediators David Owen and Thorvald
Stoltenberg held talks in Zagreb with Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman the previous day after arriving from Moscow. They
discussed the future of the Serb-held territories in Croatia,
which make up about one-third of the total land area of the
republic. Tudjman repeated Croatia's long-standing
position--namely that these territories must be reincorporated
into the Croatian state in keeping with Security Council
Resolution 947. They also discussed some concrete projects in
which Croatia is interested, such as the reopening of the main
oil pipeline and the Zagreb-Belgrade highway, both of which have
been cut by the Serbs since 1991. Tudjman raised the question of
the return of refugees to their homes in Serb-held areas. The
meeting reportedly did not lead to a breakthrough, and the two
negotiators have since gone on to Belgrade to discuss a German
proposal for an international coordinating group to study the
Krajina question. It is not clear how Tudjman reacted to the
idea. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

"ARE THERE PARAMILITARY FORMATIONS IN SERBIA?" This is a headline
in Politika of 14 October, which probes whether the paramilitary
groups in Serbia have in fact disappeared. The article points out
that many of the paramilitary organizations, used for combat
purposes and ethnic cleansing campaigns throughout the former
Yugoslavia, have been officially disbanded by their leaderships
during the past year. It is most likely, however, that these
organizations still exist, albeit underground. The article also
reports that the alleged war criminal and leader of the Tigers,
Zeljko Raznatovic (alias Arkan), recently appealed to his
followers to celebrate 11 October as the fourth anniversary of
the founding of the Tigers. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

GERMAN SHOT BY CZECH POLICE DIES. Markus Rankl, a German citizen
shot by a Czech policeman during a dispute over illegal parking
in the town of Pribram on 9 October, died on 13 October in a
Prague hospital. Rankl was the second German to die in recent
incidents involving the Czech police. A Czech policeman in
September shot dead a German driver who had failed to stop his
car when signaled to do so. Bavarian Internal Affairs Minister
Guenther Beckstein has sent two letters to his Czech counterpart,
Jan Ruml, demanding a thorough investigation into both incidents.
CTK and German media report that so far this year there have been
more than 30 cases of Germans' complaining about mistreatment at
the hands of the Czech police. But a Bavarian border official
said on 12 October that some Germans have provoked the Czech
police by defiant behavior. The Czech government admitted on 13
October that elements of its police force are inexperienced and
make use of repressive methods, Reuters reported. -- Jiri Pehe,
RFE/RL Inc.

HAVEL ON NOBEL PEACE PRIZE. Speaking before Palestine Liberation
Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin were named this year's Nobel Peace Prize winners,
Czech President Vaclav Havel, who was also a candidate for the
prize, told Lidove noviny on 13 October that he had
"reservations" about giving the award to the two leaders. Havel
said he appreciated the courage these two politicians have shown
in trying to reach a peace settlement. But, he said, the prize
should be given to people who have fought for human rights,
peace, and a better world as citizens--not as politicians, "who
are paid for doing that." Havel argued that it will always be
controversial to award the prize to individuals who first wage
war and later make peace. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

TAJIK PREMIER IN SLOVAKIA ON UNOFFICIAL BUSINESS. The Slovak
government was surprised by a report in Slovenska Republika on 13
October stating that Tajik Premier Abdujalil Samadov was in
Slovakia on a private business trip, Reuters reports. Samadov,
along with two top Tajik officials, visited Slovakia at the
invitation of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, which won
the most votes in the recent parliamentary elections. Government
spokesman Lubomir Lintner told Reuters that no one in the
government was informed of the meeting, which focused on a barter
deal to trade Slovak shoes for Tajik cotton . According to a
statement issued by the Slovak Foreign Ministry on 13 October,
the visit was never officially discussed, TASR reports. -- Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

DANISH QUEEN IN SLOVAKIA. Queen Margrethe II and her husband,
Prince Henrik, arrived in Slovakia on 13 October for a three-day
official visit, TASR reports. The couple were greeted by Foreign
Minister Eduard Kukan and attended an official welcoming ceremony
at the residence of President Michal Kovac. They also toured
Bratislava's old town, and the Queen opened a design exhibition
of Danish industrial products at the Slovak National Gallery. --
Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

SLOVAK COALITION TALKS STALLED. Christian Democratic Movement
Chairman Jan Carnogursky says "no substantial progress has been
made" in talks on forming a new Slovak government, Reuters
reports on 13 October. Carnogursky notes that the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia, which was asked on 4 October by President
Michal Kovac to form a new cabinet, has offered his party two
ministerial positions--foreign affairs and transportation. But
there is still disagreement, in particular, over the MDS's
insistence that Kovac be removed from office. Carnogursky said
the most probable coalition is between the MDS and the far-right
Slovak National Party, with tacit support from the far-left
Association of Slovak Workers. Meanwhile, the Democratic Union on
13 October met with the National Democratic Party, whose
candidates appeared on the Democratic Union's list in the recent
parliamentary elections, to discuss a possible merger. NDP
Chairman Ludovit Cernak said that if the MDS fails to form a
cabinet, the current coalition will be able to form a minority
government with tacit support from the ASW within 24 hours, TASR
reports. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc.

HUNGARIAN MINORITY REPRESENTATIVES FROM ROMANIA IN BUDAPEST. A
delegation from the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania
arrived in Budapest on 13 October at the invitation of Hungarian
Parliamentary Chairman Zoltan Gal for talks with Hungarian
parliamentary and government leaders, MTI reports. The talks
focused on the Hungarian-Romanian treaty, the normalization of
Hungarian-Romanian relations, the opening of new border
crossings, and the restitution of Church property in Romania.
HDFR parliamentary caucus leader Gyorgy Tokay stressed the
importance of Hungarian-language education and bilingual road
signs. He also expressed satisfaction that the Hungarian
government was ready to take a joint stance with the HDFR at
international forums on these issues. The HDFR delegation held
talks with Csaba Tabajdi, state secretary in charge of minority
affairs at the Prime Minister's Office, and the parliamentary
Foreign Relations Committee. It is also scheduled to meet with
Prime Minister Gyula Horn. -- Edith Oltay, RFE/RL Inc.

ILIESCU VISITS INTERNATIONAL FAIR IN BUCHAREST. Romanian
President Ion Iliescu on 13 October visited the 20th
International Fair in Bucharest. In an interview with Radio
Bucharest, he noted that foreign firms were showing an increasing
interest in the Romanian economy. The fair was opened on 10
October by Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu. Vacaroiu said in his
inaugural address that Romania's economy had entered a phase of
"macroeconomic stabilization." -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc.

ALBANIAN BOAT PEOPLE DROWN OFF ITALY. AFP reported on 13 October
that at least eight Albanians drowned and two were missing when
high waves overturned two speedboats near the coast close to
Otranto. Some 36 persons were rescued after individuals awaiting
the illegal immigrants on shore notified the authorities of the
boats' distress. A lucrative trade in illegal migration
flourishes between the two countries. Many young Albanians are
desperate for a better life, and Italian criminal elements have
sought to exploit this by charging high fees to smuggle Albanians
into Italy or by using them as drug couriers. -- Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SEEKS WESTERN HELP. International agencies on
13 October reported that Leonid Kuchma appealed the same day to
Western leaders for financial aid to support his economic and
social reforms. Kuchma unveiled his reform plans to the
legislature on 11 October. Interfax quotes a top Kuchma aide as
saying that US President Bill Clinton has offered Kiev his
backing. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

KIEV, BONN TO DESTROY MISSILE SILOS. Reuters on 13 September
reported that Ukraine and Germany have agreed to work together to
destroy "underground nuclear missile silos in Ukraine." A
spokesperson from the German Foreign Ministry said Bonn would
"immediately" allocate some $650,000 for the project. -- Stan
Markotich, RFE/RL Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT REBUFFS OFFICIAL ROMANIAN IRREDENTISM. In a
press release on 12 October, Mircea Snegur's office said the
president had told a reporter from the Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung that "statements by members of Romania's top leadership
regarding future unification with Moldova are baseless and
completely at variance with the international context." Snegur
also pointed to election and polling returns showing Moldovans'
strong preference for independent statehood. -- Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL Inc.

RUBLE'S FALL DOES NOT AFFECT BALTIC STATES. Interfax on 13
October reported that the recent, dramatic fall of the Russian
ruble has not had as disastrous effect on the Baltic economies as
on the Russian economy. Baltic experts had predicted the fall of
the ruble and had taken precautionary measures. Bank of Estonia
President Siim Kallas said Estonian export-import dealers have
been concluding contracts in either hard currency or Estonian
kroons, especially on account of the ruble's instability. Most
exchange offices in Tallinn stopped the purchase and sale of
Russian rubles on 13 October. Daina Bruvere of the Bank of Latvia
said the ruble's fall was a result of the Russian Central Bank's
failure to stabilize the national currency. Bruvere pointed out
that US dollar fluctuations on the Russian currency market will
not affect the Latvian economy, as transactions between Russian
and Latvian enterprises are generally carried out in hard
currency. Meanwhile, the Riga-based Parex-Bank on 12 October
stopped concluding contracts on the conversion of Russian rubles
after Moscow banks refused to underwrite such contracts owing to
the unstable situation on the currency market. Stasys Kropas of
the Bank of Lithuania said the events on the Russian currency
market will not have a considerable impact in Lithuania, though
they will affect trade between the two countries. While some
Lithuanian entrepreneurs have made low-risk investments in
rubles, Kropas stressed that the Bank of Lithuania will not take
steps to compensate their losses. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

POLISH AND LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENTS RATIFY FRIENDSHIP TREATY. The
Sejm on 13 October voted unanimously to ratify the friendship
treaty signed by Presidents Lech Walesa and Algirdas Brazauskas
in Vilnius on 26 April, Radio Lithuania reports. The Seimas also
approved the treaty's ratification, by a vote of 91 to 19 with
eight abstentions. Deputies of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor
and Social Democratic Parties voted for the ratification, while
the Freedom and National Union factions voted against or
abstained, declaring that the treaty granted too many concessions
to Poland. The Homeland Union and Christian Democratic Party
factions did not take a formal stand on the treaty, allowing
their members to decide individually. The treaty, valid for 15
years, will go into effect after the ratification documents are
exchanged. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc.

LITHUANIAN CUSTOMS TO BE IMPROVED. Lithuanian Customs Department
Chairman Vitalijus Gerzonas told a press conference on 13 October
that he will resign if the current disorder at Lithuanian customs
is not eliminated by next summer, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service
reports. He said about 25 million litai ($6.25 million) will be
spent to build a new customs post at Kalvarija, which should be
opened before the end of the year and completed by May 1995. The
post will allow fifteen vehicles to be inspected at the same
time, instead of the current two at the Lazdijai post. He also
noted that Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius recently reached an
agreement in Minsk, due to go into effect on 1 January 1995,
whereby vehicles crossing the Belarusian-Lithuanian border will
be inspected only once. -- Saulius Girnius, 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
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Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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