Every man passes his life in the search after friendship. - Emerson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 213, 9 November 1994

                              RUSSIA

MILITARY CORRUPTION HEARINGS TO START SOON. Sergei Yushenkov, head
of the State Duma's Defense Committee, told Interfax on 8 November
that the parliamentary hearings into corruption charges against
former members of the Russian group of forces in Germany would
start on 17 November. He said the hearings in this first stage
would be closed, and would examine sensitive papers from such
sources as the defense ministry, the prosecutor general's office,
and the counterintelligence service. Yushenkov, who belongs to the
Russia's Choice political faction, said that a second stage of the
hearings would be open and would start later in November or early
in December. Viktor Ilyukhin, a Communist who heads the national
security committee, was pessimistic about the hearings. He claimed
that the acting prosecutor general, Alexei Ilyushenko, could
hardly turn up any new evidence because it might point the finger
at some of his old colleagues. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

AIR FORCE GENERAL TO GO ON TRIAL. Prosecutors are not waiting for
the hearings on corruption to end before dealing with one
high-ranking officer who served in Germany. Major General Nikolai
Seliverstov, former first deputy commander of the air forces of
the Western Group of Forces, is to go on trial 22 November for
theft. Interfax on 8 November reported that Seliverstov would be
tried by the military board of the Russian Supreme Court. He is
accused of the theft of state funds totalling 64,100 German marks
(about $42,700) and of accepting 20,000 marks (about $13,300) in
bribes. He also is charged with lying while concluding agreements
with German commercial and public organizations. -- Doug Clarke,
RFE/RL, Inc.

THE STRUGGLE FOR THE DEFENSE MINISTRY. The investigation into
corruption charges involving suspended Deputy Defense Minister
Matvei Burlakov and directly affecting Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev's fate, appears to be having a difficult start. The
Military Prosecutor's Office, which is investigating corruption in
the former Western Group of Forces under Burlakov's command, told
Interfax on 8 November that Burlakov is not on the list of
suspects in the four cases under study; and that the investigation
there would take some months to complete. The General Prosecutor's
Office, which also investigates some cases related to the Western
Group of Forces, withheld all information from Interfax. Meanwhile
Moskovskie novosti no. 52, 6 November, cites both supporters and
opponents of Grachev in the defense ministry's hierarchy as
expressing concern over the rise of Lt.-General Aleksandr Lebed,
commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, to the stature of a
symbolic figure of the junior officer corps and even "informal
leader of the military." With Grachev under pressure from
conservative potential candidates to his post (8 November Daily
Report), the radical-reformist groups Military for Democracy, Army
and Society, Live Circle, and Shield came out in the liberal
Obshchaya Gazeta no. 44, 10 November, with their own appeal to
Yeltsin to dismiss Grachev on the ground that he "lacks society's
trust" and that Yeltsin "can count on the support of other forces"
than the conservative military establishment. The chairman of the
Duma's Defense Committee, Sergei Yushenkov (of the liberal
Russia's Choice), for his part broadened the existing list of
potential candidates to replace Grachev by including the civilian
Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin; the Border Guard
Commander, Col.-General Andrei Nikolaev; Marshal Evgenii
Shaposhnikov, who currently holds a top post in the arms industry;
and the Strategic Rocket Forces Commander, Col.-General Igor
Sergeev. Yushenkov ruled out Lebed's candidacy on the ground that
he had not yet commanded a military district, Interfax reported on
2 November. Yushenkov's resort to a procedural objection instead
of raising the issue of military discipline illustrates the
reluctance of Lebed's opponents to challenge him directly. --
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILITARY OPINION SURVEY. German and Russian media have in recent
days cited data from a survey of political views among senior
Russian officers, commissioned by the German Social-Democrat
Party's Friedrich Ebert Foundation and carried out by Russian
military sociologists on a sample of 615 officers between
Lt.-Colonel and Col.-General rank. Of those polled, 49 percent
named Latvia as Russia's "main enemy," followed by Afghanistan,
Lithuania, Estonia, and the US, in that order. NATO's Partnership
for Peace program was deemed "unimportant" by 58 percent in the
sample. The economic reformer Grigorii Yavlinsky led the list of
the most trusted politicians, followed in order by the nationalist
flimmaker Stanislav Govorukhin, a Duma deputy of Nikolai Travkin's
"centrist" Democratic Party of Russia, Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov, former
Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, and President Boris Yeltsin with
a score of only 27 percent. Lebed, Col.-General Boris Gromov, and
the late Marshal Georgii Zhukov led the list of "model
contemporary military figures," but with only 9 percent each.
Confidence in Grachev was reported to be extremely low among the
respondents. Grachev told Russian Independent TV on 6 November
that "the foreigners, the Germans, who carried out the survey must
not be believed 100 percent" and that "we have enough literate
sociologists in Russia who can conduct any survey no worse than
the Germans." -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

NEW ECONOMICS MINISTER TO WORK ON STABILIZING THE ECONOMY. Yevgeny
Yasin, appointed economics minister 8 November, said in an
interview that his main priorities are stabilizing the economy and
promoting domestic and foreign investment, Reuters reported 8
November. Yasin said he supports the government's 1995 draft
budget and agrees with its premise of not allowing central bank
credits to cover the deficit. ITAR-TASS quoted Yasin as saying the
government should financially support the space and aviation
industries because they are the most competitive on world markets.
He also said he did not expect to play a role in foreign debt
negotiations, which were the responsibility of his predecessor
Vladimir Shokhin. -- Pete Baumgartner, RFE/RL, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY TELLS AMERICANS THAT MILITARY A THREAT IN RUSSIA.
Speaking in San Francisco on 7 November, Vladimir Zhirinovsky told
the civic forum that military rule was quite possible in Russia,
agencies reported. At an earlier press conference he said that the
military was "at the very edge of making some major decision,
maybe some decisive action." Zhirinovsky, the leader of the
Liberal Democratic Party, called for early presidential elections
in Russia, saying that the government was afraid of the elections
and would do all it could to stop them. "They will try to use
force against the citizens, which will definitely bring about a
civil war and perhaps the increase of border conflicts with other
countries," he said.. Zhirinovsky claimed that reports saying he
favored reconstituting the USSR were "propaganda." He also said
that his party was fighting anti-semitism rather than supporting
it. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE DEFENSE WORKERS GO ON STRIKE. Interfax on 8 November said
that the 6,000 workers at the defense ministry's "Geofizika"
research and production association in Moscow would start a
three-day warning strike the next day. The workers had not been
paid for four months and were also unhappy with their working
conditions. A union leader said that the association's clients
were behind in their payments and as a result, the association
could neither pay its workers nor its electricity bills.
Consequently, with the onset of cold weather, temperatures in the
association's facilities have plummeted. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL,
Inc.

RUSSIAN NAVY CHIEF IN CHINA. The Hong Kong Eastern Express
reported on 8 November that Admiral Feliks Gromov, the commander
of the Russian Navy, had agreed during a recent visit to China to
expand training and technology exchanges between the Russian and
Chinese navies. The paper quoted Gromov as saying the aim of his
five-day visit was "to get to know China's navy and discuss issues
of military-technical cooperation between the two sides." He also
said that China had accepted Russia's offer to train officers and
crews of Chinese naval vessels. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

RAKHMONOV ON HIS ELECTION. Tajikistan's President-elect Imomali
Rakhmonov told Interfax on 8 November that he does not intend to
alter the political course that he followed as head of state prior
to the 6 November election (the restoration of the presidency was
approved the same day in a referendum on a new constitution). He
cited as his top priorities the development of even closer ties
with Russia, Uzbekistan and other CIS states and gaining Russian
acquiescence to Tajikistan's membership in the ruble zone.
Rakhmonov, whose election has been rejected by the Tajik
opposition, asserted that his administration would continue to
seek dialog with the opposition in order to end fighting between
government and opposition forces. Although political observers in
some parts of the country had expressed doubts that voting levels
would be high because the two candidates represented only their
own home regions, Rakhmonov expressed satisfaction in the high
voter turnout in all parts of Tajikistan. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL,
Inc.

NIYAZOV RESTORES PEOPLE'S CONTROL. Turkmen President Saparmurad
Niyazov is restoring the Soviet-era People's Control Committee and
entrusting it to Aleksandr Dodonov, who served as Second Secretary
of the Communist Party of Turkmenistan when Niyazov was the first
secretary in the late 1980s, Niyazov's press secretary told
Interfax on 8 November. The restored agency is to ensure that laws
adopted by parliament and the president's decrees are implemented
and enforced. The ultimate objective, according to the press
secretary, is to enforce discipline and order within Turkmenistan.
The first target of its efforts is to be the Ministry of
Agriculture and Food. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

RUSSIA INSISTS ON SHARING OTHER CASPIAN STATES' RESOURCES. A
senior official of Russia's Foreign Ministry told Interfax on 8
November that Russia, Iran, and Turkmenistan are exploring the
possibility of signing a tripartite agreement to develop oil
deposits near Turkmenistan's shore. While extolling the
multilateral approach, however, the official took issue with "what
the Turkmen imply by their 'zone,' as Russia is opposed to
dividing the Caspian region into any national zones." Insisting
that the concepts of territorial waters and shelf do not apply to
the Caspian Sea, the official also reaffirmed Russia's objections
to Azerbaijan's recent oil contract with an international
consortium: "we are against involving third states in various
activities in the Caspian region without consent from all coastal
states." Meanwhile, The Independent excerpted on 3 November a
leaked letter to Viktor Chernomyrdin from Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev, proposing economic sanctions on Azerbaijan if it does not
back down from the contract. Kozyrev's letter also confirms that
Russia works with Iran in resisting Azerbaijan's deal with the
consortium. The foreign ministry's legal department chief
Aleksandr Khodakov confirmed the authenticity of the document but
described it as a draft. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

FOUR KILLED IN SARAJEVO. International media reported on 8
November that sniper and mortar fire killed three children and a
woman in the Bosnian capital, the worst daily casualty figures
there since an uneasy truce came into force in February. UNPROFOR
spokesmen said they believed that the Serb side was responsible
and was firing in retaliation for the government offensive to the
north and south of Sarajevo. The Bosnian Serb assembly meets on 9
November to decide on an army call for the imposition of martial
law. The move would have limited impact, since Bosnian Serb
society has effectively been engaged in total war for over two
years, and some observers suggest that such decrees could even
contribute to further demoralization. Borba on 9 November reports
from Serb-controlled territory in western Bosnia that a special
court-martial has begun work there to punish scapegoats for the
recent defeats of the Bosnian Serb army. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,
Inc.

UN SEEKS EXTRADITION OF SUSPECTED WAR CRIMINAL. The UN tribunal
dealing with war crimes in the former Yugoslavia announced on 8
November that it has asked Germany to extradite Dusko Tadic, who
was arrested there in February. He is a Serb former concentration
guard accused of killing and torturing mainly Croat and Muslim
prisoners in connection with the "ethnic cleansing" of the
Prijedor region in 1992, and it was the testimonies of some of his
former victims that led to his arrest. Germany has indicated that
it will indeed extradite Tadic, who himself says he wants to clear
himself before the court. RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported
concern in Croatia and elsewhere that only relatively
insignificant persons like Tadic will be brought before the Hague
tribunal, leaving the bigger fish to go free. The Society for
Threatened Peoples called specifically for Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, and
Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic to be tried as "chief war
criminals." Serbia, however, refuses to support the tribunal,
although Switzerland says it may change its laws to allow
extradition of suspects. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROW OVER MILITARY CONTINUES IN POLAND. President Lech Walesa's
spokesman told a local radio station in Warsaw on 8 November that
the president refuses to meet with Defense Minister Piotr
Kolodziejczyk to discuss problems of the military. A month ago the
president requested Kolodziejczyk's resignation but the minister,
with considerable support from the parliament and tacit
encouragement from the prime minister's office, failed to heed
Walesa's request. Ever since a tug of war between Walesa and
Kolodziejczyk has continued unabated, with the president rejecting
Kolodziejczyk's candidates for military promotions (only the
minister has the right to suggest candidates) and the minister
ignoring constitutionally guaranteed presidential prerogatives of
supervision over the military. Walesa's office has prepared
legislation that would give the president full command
prerogatives over the military, but Sejm deputies have prepared
their own proposals that would give these prerogatives to the
minister and limit presidential control. -- Jan de Weydenthal,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH CORRUPTION SCANDAL: AN UPDATE. An official of the Czech
Bureau of Investigation confirmed on 8 November that the dairy
factory in the town of Klatovy was in the center of the corruption
scandal that led to the arrest of Jaroslav Lizner, the director of
the Center for Coupon Privatization, on 31 October. Lizner was
charged with accepting a payment of some 8 million koruny to
ensure awarding of shares. The Czech investigative weekly Respekt
had previously reported that the firm that bribed Lizner was Trans
World International and that it was interested in gaining the
Klatovy dairy factory's shares. The official of the Bureau of
Investigation said that Lizner remains the only person charged
with breaking the law but that the investigation is likely to go
on for months. Meanwhile, National Property Fund Chairman and
Deputy Privatization Minister Roman Ceska asked for the dismissal
of an investigator involved in the Lizner corruption scandal after
the investigator indirectly accused Ceska of wrongdoing. -- Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PEN CLUB PROTESTS. In a statement given to the media on 8
November in Prague, representatives of the Slovak section of the
International Writers' Organization (PEN), protested against the
dismissal of the Slovak Radio and Television boards. The statement
expressed fears that freedom of speech is being infringed upon in
Slovakia and that the election only of representatives of the new
parliamentary majority to the boards is a clear violation of the
principle of independence of media. During the initial sessions of
the new parliament, Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia and its allies replaced a large number of officials in
various institutions, including broadcasting boards, with their
own followers, gaining control over those institutions. The PEN
Club also expressed alarm over the selection of Dusan Slobodnik as
chairman of the parliament's foreign affairs committee and said
this casts a shadow over the name of Slovakia abroad. Slobodnik
has been embroiled in a controversy over his activities during
World War II. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT'S CONTROVERSIAL DECISIONS. The parliament's
moves during its first two sessions have sparked protest from home
and abroad. Especially controversial was the decision to cancel
all direct sale privatization projects since 6 September.
According to reports in the Journal of Commerce and Reuters on 8
November, between 38 and 55 privatization projects valued at up to
4.5 billion koruny ($145 million) could be canceled, and three of
the firms sold involved direct foreign investment. One French
investor said that retroactive cancellation of sales would break
international law. Concerning the changes in Slovak TV and Radio,
on 8 November Lubomir Lintner, spokesman for the government of
outgoing Premier Jozef Moravcik, accused the MDS of being behind
the removal of a TV editor whom the party had accused of bias in
reporting on the events in the parliament. Lintner criticized the
cancellation of a scheduled TV appearance by Moravcik on 8
November, as well as the elimination of the TV program Pressclub.
On 8 November parliament chairman and MDS member Ivan Gasparovic
spoke on Slovak TV, rejecting criticism that the first two
parliament sessions were undemocratic and reassuring the Slovak
public that all steps taken were "in compliance with the
constitution." He said the measures were undertaken for the sake
of stability, order and respect for the law. -- Sharon Fisher,
RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT RENOUNCES 1996 EXPO RIGHTS. On 8 November,
the Hungarian parliament voted to renounce Hungary's right to hold
the 1996 World Fair Expo in Budapest by a margin of 232 to 94,
with six abstentions, MTI reports. The parliamentary opposition
almost unanimously rejected the cancellation, while the government
argued that holding the Expo would not bring in extra foreign
investment and would cost the taxpayers money. In October, the
Speaker of the House was presented with some 120,000 signatures
calling for a referendum to decide if the Expo should be held.
Recent surveys show that a majority of Hungarians still favor
holding the fair in Budapest. -- Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

TINCA COMPLAINS OF WESTERN BIAS. Romanian Defense Minister
Gheorghe Tinca said on 8 November that the West is discriminating
among the emerging democracies of East Central Europe in terms of
cooperation and security. He said some of the former Communist
countries are receiving more military aid than others, and this
could result in a dangerous military imbalance in the East. Tinca
addressed the second day of a symposium in which a delegation from
the Western European Union is also participating. He did not say
which countries are the victims of discrimination, but the RFE/RL
Bucharest correspondent said Romanian officials have often
criticized what they perceive as a Western preference for Poland,
Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. -- Michael Shafir,
RFE/RL, Inc.

BUCHAREST RALLY MARKS 1945 DEMONSTRATION. About 5,000 persons
demonstrated in Bucharest on 8 November to mark a 1945
anti-communist rally when several people were shot dead by
pro-communist snipers, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest
reported. The demonstration was called by the student organization
of the opposition National Peasant Party Christian Democratic.
Romanian television reported that the participants listened to a
recorded message sent by Romania's former monarch, King Michael.
Criticizing the government's policies and emphasizing the need for
a united opposition, speakers said the former king's return to
Romania was the sole solution for coping with the country's
problems. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN PATRIARCH ON HOMOSEXUALITY. The head of the Romanian
Orthodox Church, Patriarch Teoctist, called on the parliament to
reverse its decision to ease laws against homosexuality, Reuters
reported on 7 November. The same day Radio Bucharest said the
patriarch had protested against the airing of "proselyte,
anti-Orthodox and implicitly anti-national" broadcasts on Romanian
television. In his petition to the parliament, Teoctist said the
deputies should reconsider last week's vote. At the insistence of
international organizations, the Chamber of Deputies banned only
those homosexual acts that take place in public and disturb public
order, while the Senate also voted to ban homosexual acts that
cause a public scandal. Teoctist said it was not necessary for
Romania to abandon its values in order to integrate with West
European standards and institutions and that the country should
maintain the old formulations in the Penal Code, which made any
homosexual act a crime punishable by imprisonment. An RFE/RL
correspondent in Bucharest reported on 7 November that a group of
more than 100 theology students began a series of demonstrations
outside the parliament building, demanding that homosexuals be
prohibited from operating bars and magazines and spreading what
they called "homosexual propaganda." -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL,
Inc.

ROMANIA FINANCING IRREDENTIST MOLDOVAN PAPERS. Romanian Senator
Adrian Paunescu, a leader of the Socialist Labor Party (allied to
the ruling Party of Social Democracy) and chairman of the Senate's
Cultural Commission, told a pan-Romanian congress that two leading
pro-Romanian weeklies in Chisinau, Literatura si Arta and Glasul
Natiunii, receive a regular allocation from the Romanian state
budget, Moldova Suverana reported on 29 October. The subsidies
amounted to 100 million Romanian lei (approximately $60,000) for
the first 6 months of 1994. The two weeklies once enjoyed mass
circulation as leading organs of the Moldovan national movement,
but circulation sank after they embraced an openly pro-Romanian
platform. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

BOUTROS GHALI CONDEMNS "SEPARATISM" IN MOLDOVA. On an official
visit to Moldova, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali told
the parliament in an address on 4 November that "separatist
trends" are of general concern as they may cause an "explosion of
the international system." He stressed that the independence and
territorial integrity of states, inviolability of their borders,
and inadmissibility of seizing territory by force are basic
principles of the UN. Welcoming Moldova's democratization and
economic reforms, Boutros-Ghali expressed satisfaction with its
"significant efforts toward compromise on all outstanding issues"
and its offers of autonomy to Transdniester and the Gagauz.
Moldovan, Russian, and Western media reported the visit. --
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINE, MOLDOVA RENOUNCE MUTUAL TERRITORIAL CLAIMS. Ukrainian and
Moldovan delegates signed in Kiev a cooperation agreement on
issues relating to their common border, the Ukrainian agency UNIAN
reported on 4 November. The agreement stipulates inter alia that
the sides renounce any territorial claims against each other. The
provision is important given that former Moldovan territories in
northern Bukovina and northern and southern Bessarabia became part
of Ukraine during World War II. Both before and after Moldova
became independent of the USSR it had been thought possible that
it would claim those territories, but this has not happened.
Romania for its part has advanced claims to the same territories.
-- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN OFFICIAL ON EU AID REFUSAL. Ukrainian Deputy Economy
Minister Anatoly Danilenko has expressed concern over the European
Union's refusal to give Ukraine financial aid, saying it was vital
for Kiev's reform efforts. Danilenko told AFP that the aid is
urgently needed at the moment to help push reform programs through
Ukraine's parliament. He said reform opponents in parliament are
seeking to use any obstacle to stall President Leonid Kuchma's
reforms. On 7 November, EU finance ministers refused to approve a
loan of some $100 million for Ukraine. They said they hoped to
agree on some sort of economic aid to Ukraine before the end of
the year. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN MUNITIONS WORKERS ON STRIKE. Thousands of workers at a
large munitions factory in the town of Sopot went on strike on 8
November demanding higher wages and better working conditions. A
spokeswoman for Bulgaria's Confederation of Independent Trade
Unions told Reuters that 90 percent of the 12,500 workers at the
plant joined the protest. She said the workers were demanding an
increase in the minimum wage in line with inflation. Workers at
the plant staged a similar strike in May; over 100 of them went on
trial on 8 November on charges connected with the May protest.
They are accused of not respecting the legal terms of labor
negotiations and denying other employees access to the workplace.
-- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

ALBANIAN UPDATE. AFP reported on 8 November that Greek Foreign
Minister Karolos Papoulias has called on Tirana for a new
dialogue. He also said it would be premature to suggest how the
apparent defeat of the Albanian draft constitution would affect
the strained relations between the two countries, but nonetheless
added that a sound defeat for the document probably would help
ease tensions. Greece and Albania's Greek minority, which appears
to have voted overwhelmingly against the constitution, objected to
a clause that would require religious leaders to be Albanian
citizens. They saw this as an affront because the present head of
the Orthodox Church has a Greek passport. Elsewhere, the 6
November issue of the Athens-based Balkan News weekly reports that
the last of German toxic pesticides have left Durres for Germany.
The decomposing chemicals were sent to Albania two years ago as
part of an EU aid program, but quickly turned into an
environmental and medical scandal. The chairman of the Albanian
Environmental Committee said that the chemical stew contained the
equivalent of 150 grams of poison for every one of Albania's three
million people. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT SWORN IN. On 8 November members of the new
Estonian cabinet, led by Premier Andres Tarand, were sworn into
office, BNS reported. Most members of the cabinet of former
Premier Mart Laar were retained by Tarand; only the interior,
justice, agriculture, and environmental ministers were replaced.
The only existing vacancy in the cabinet was also filled as
Estonian President Lennart Meri endorsed Eiki Nestor as minister
without portfolio. Tarand told reporters that Nestor would be
responsible for the new government's regional policy. At its first
meeting, the cabinet approved a free trade agreement with the
European Union. The new government is expected to function until
the next parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 1995. --
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

KING OF SWEDEN VISITS LATVIA. At the invitation of Latvia's
President Guntis Ulmanis, on 8 November King Carl XVI Gustav of
Sweden opened the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Diena
reported. Sponsored by the Swedish government, the Soros
Foundation, and the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science, the
new university is expected to become financially independent in a
few years. Each year up to 100 students from Estonia, Latvia, and
Lithuania will be admitted for study there; this semester 56
students have passed the admissions tests. After the ceremonies,
the king met with Ulmanis and other Latvian leaders to discuss
bilateral relations. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

INVESTIGATION OF LITHUANIAN BRIDGE BOMBING. On 8 November
Lithuanian Prosecutor General Arturas Paulauskas presented the
parliament with information on the damage resulting from the
railroad bridge bombing on 6 November, Radio Lithuania reports.
Suggestions in the press have tied the bombing to military transit
to Kaliningrad, blaming either Russian special forces or local
right-wing extremists; to the marking of the 77th anniversary of
the Bolshevik revolution; or to mafia dissatisfaction with the
soon to be completed murder trial of journalist Vitas Lingys.
Investigators are also examining whether a minor bomb explosion on
4 October on the same railroad line near Kazlu Ruda may have been
a practice exercise, BNS reported on 8 November. -- Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN DELEGATION TO NATO HEADQUARTERS. On 7 November an
eight-member Seimas delegation, headed by Foreign Affairs
Committee Chairman Kazimieras Bobelis, began a four-day visit to
Brussels. Meeting with high political and military officials at
NATO headquarters on 8 November, talks were held on the political
and security situation in Europe and the Baltic region, Radio
Lithuania reported on 9 November. Bobelis said the discussions
should help Lithuania reach its aim to join NATO. The delegation
will also visit the coordination center of the Partnership for
Peace program. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Sharon Fisher and Pete Baumgartner)
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
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