Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow; Naught may endure but Mutability. - Percy Shelley
RFE/RL DAILY REPORT

NO. 239, 20 DECEMBER 1994

As previously announced, the RFE/RL Research Institute will close
at the end of December. The RFE/RL Daily Report will cease
publication with the issue of December 23, 1994.

A daily digest, similar to the RFE/RL Daily Report, will commence
publication at the beginning of January 1995 and will be available
both electronically, via Internet, and in hard copy. It will be
published by the Open Media Research Institute in Prague--a
public-private venture sponsored by the US Board for International
Broadcasting and the Open Society Institute. Contributors to the
Daily Digest will be the OMRI staff of some 30 country
specialists. The length of the new daily digest and the extent of
coverage will be comparable to the RFE/RL Daily Report. For more
information, contact the Open Media Research Institute, Motokov
Building, Na Strzi 63, 14062 Prague 4, the Czech Republic, tel.
0042-2-6114-2114, fax 0042-2-426-396, or send an e-mail to
OMRI-L@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu.


                              RUSSIA

CHECHNYA: MILITARY SITUATION. Having initially claimed that the
intervention in Chechnya was meant to defend the welfare of
Chechens caught in an "inter-Chechen" conflict and also to protect
local Russians, Moscow escalated military operations against
Chechnya on 19 and 20 December by subjecting the capital city
Grozny with its mixed Chechen-Russian population to air and
missile bombardment. Russian and Western media reports from the
field featured interviews with local ethnic Russians who observed
that it was Russia's military intervention that was placing them
in danger. Industrial plants, bridges, municipal utilities and
residential quarters were hit, along with a few military targets.
One Russian combined-arms column inched toward the northern
approaches to the city, shelling Chechen and Russian-inhabited
villages in its way. Weapons used included Uragan artillery
installations, Sukhoi-27 fighter-bombers, and helicopter gunships.
Although regularly stressing in other contexts that Chechnya's
residents were Russian Federation citizens entitled to full
protection under its laws, the Russian authorities avoided all
mention of casualties. Meanwhile, the other two Russian columns
were still 40 to 50 kilometers away, having allowed their progress
to be thwarted by protesting villagers in Ingushetia, Dagestan,
and Chechnya itself. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

ARMY DEMORALIZED. In a speech to Russia's Federation Council and
at a news conference in Moscow, both on 15 December, Ingush
President Ruslan Aushev confirmed earlier reports that Russian
soldiers in the columns crossing Ingushetia en route to Chechnya
had often urged the protesters on the highway to disable the
military vehicles and had shown them simple ways to do that. The
eastern column was reportedly still mired on the border with
Dagestan; information about it remained sketchy, but Ekho Moskvy
reported from the field on 17 December that the column was not
about to move forward and had been partially disarmed. Besides
passivity and fraternization with civilians, Russian soldiers
began displaying the more brutal side of military demoralization.
In a widely reported incident partially witnessed by visiting
Russian Duma deputies, at least nine Ingush civilians were
murdered by Russian soldiers; an ethnic Bashkir soldier was also
killed by apparently drunk Russian fellow servicemen. (In earlier
incidents, another Russian soldier and the Ingush minister of
health were killed by drunken Russian soldiers, as were five
Ingush villagers.) Units approaching Grozny were for the first
time reported by correspondents to be committing violent
robberies. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE RUSSIAN TROOPS ON THEIR WAY? Radio Liberty reported on 19
December that some troops from the Ural Military District had been
ordered to Chechnya and that public protests were under way in
Sverdlovsk Oblast against the proposed deployment. The Black Sea
Fleet, for its part, command denied to Interfax the same day that
preparations were under way to send marine infantry troops to
Chechnya. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

FURTHER ETHNIC CLEANSING FEARED. The most recent Russian official
statements and actions tend to reinforce fears expressed by the
Chechens since the beginning of the invasion that another
deportation may be in the offing. Those fears stem not only from
the memory of the 1944 deportation of Chechens and Ingush but also
from the 1992 ethnic cleansing of the Ingush from Prigorodnyi
Raion with Russian military support. In statements carried by
Russian TV and ITAR-TASS in recent days, Russia's Security Council
Secretary Oleg Lobov and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for
Nationality Affairs Nikolai Egorov, among others, have called on
the population in areas controlled by Chechen authorities--which
at present still means most of Chechnya--to flee to safe areas
through corridors to be opened by Russian forces. Officials of the
Federal Migration Service told ITAR-TASS and Interfax on 19
December that accommodation had been arranged for refugees from
Chechnya in seven regions of central and southern Russia and that
an operational group had been set up to coordinate the action.
While "assuming the obligation to resettle the refugees and to
find accommodation for them in Russia in the future," the
officials acknowledged that most refugees were expected to wish to
remain close to their homeland until the emergency had passed, and
they gave assurances accordingly. The service said that nearly
9,000 refugees from Chechnya had crossed into Dagestan and nearly
5,000 into Ingushetia as of 19 December. But Russia's Ministry for
Emergency Situations disputed these figures, claiming that the
number of refugees was far higher. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

FOUR MEN IN A BOAT. In a statement reported by Russian media on 18
December, Aleksandr Barkashov, the leader of the Russian National
Unity Party, which styles itself a fascist party, endorsed the
military intervention in Chechnya. During the preceding days the
ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the leader of the
pro-Soviet and nationalist All-Russian People's Party, Sergei
Baburin, also announced their support for the intervention and for
Yeltsin's decisions on Chechnya. Evidently taking into account the
unpopularity of intervention against Chechnya, Zhirinovsky and
Baburin had initially adopted a cautious position, with
Zhirinovsky even recommending restraint. They must since, however,
have concluded that they cannot afford politically to concede
primacy in matters concerning the preservation of Greater Russia
to Yeltsin. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOSCOW EXPERT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN CAUCASIAN WAR. In the opinion of
Pavel Felgengauer, a military correspondent for Segodnya there is
no danger of an all-Caucasian war breaking out, as supporters of
Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev claim. Writing in the paper on
19 December, Felgengauer points out that Chechen forces are cut
off from the rest of the country and possible help from
neighboring republics by a blockade at the perimeter of Chechnya
and around the capital Grozny; this, he argues, makes the
situation very different from that faced by the Soviet army in
Afghanistan. Felgengauer also contends that Dudaev's supporters
differ considerably from those of the legendary Imam Shamil, who
led Chechen resistance to Russia in the last century. In Shamil's
time, Chechens were united around a strong religious leader, while
Chechnya today is splintered and disorganized. Felgengauer adds
that the leaders of neighboring Caucasian peoples are competing
with Dudaev rather than supporting him. Felgengauer concludes that
Dudaev's only hope is that the forces in Moscow protesting against
the Russian army's intervention in Chechnya will persuade the
president to change his policy, but he thinks this is unlikely.
Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

DEPUTY QUITS COMMISSION OVER MILITARY BUDGET. Aleksandr Piskunov,
chairman of the joint government-Duma commission for finalizing
the draft 1995 federal budget, told a Moscow news conference on 16
December that he was withdrawing as chairman. Interfax said
Piskunov quit because the commission had refused to accept a
single proposal to increase the military's funding. He pointed out
that the government's proposed defense budget of 45 trillion
rubles represented a real loss of 45 percent compared with 1994
because of inflation. He again advocated an extra 10.8 trillion
rubles for the military and 5 trillion rubles in credits for
defense conversion. Without these, he warned, "we will completely
demoralize the armed forces and bring about the collapse of the
defense industries." Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

GENERAL ELECTRIC TO SUPPLY JET ENGINES FOR RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT. Bill
Clapper, vice president of General Electric's aircraft engine
division, told a Moscow news conference on 15 December that the
giant American company planned to install its engines in Russian
aircraft. According to Interfax, he said that the CT-7 jet engines
would be used in the Kamov Ka-62 civilian helicopter and that
negotiations were under way to use them in the Sukhoi S-80. He
also said that GE hoped to produce power installations for pumping
Russian natural gas. The aircraft engines would be built in
Rybinsk--some 300 kilometers north of Moscow--in a joint venture
with Rybinsk Motors. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

STATE TV EMPLOYEES IN KAZAKHSTAN PROTEST CHANNEL SHUTDOWN. A
decision by the management of Kazakhstan's state radio and
television corporation to stop broadcasts on a popular TV channel
has led to conflict with state TV and radio staff, ITAR-TASS
reported on 19 December. During the previous week, protesting
staff drew up a letter to President Nursultan Nazarbaev, Prime
Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, and parliament head Abish Kekilbaev
asking them to put an end to the dictatorial methods of the head
of the state TV corporation, Leila Beketova, who was accused of
lack of professionalism and incompetence in selecting managers.
Beketova has been described by Western observers in Almaty as an
example of Soviet-style mentality; Kazakh intellectuals have
complained that she has reversed the "Kazakhization" of state
radio and TV initiated by her predecessor. According to the
ITAR-TASS report, Beketova has reacted to the staff letter by
firing 11 of the most active protesters. The Supreme Soviet is
reported to have set up a commission to investigate the staff
complaints. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

GERMAN, WORLD BANK ASSISTANCE TO UZBEKISTAN. The German government
will grant Uzbekistan 25 million German marks for construction of
a German business center in Tashkent in 1995-1996, Interfax
reported on 16 December. On the same date, Interfax also reported
that President Islam Karimov had received a World Bank
representative who gave a positive assessment of Uzbekistan's
economic reforms. The World Bank is considering granting
Uzbekistan a $150-180 million credit in 1995 to sustain economic
reform plus an additional $400-500 million for specific investment
projects including development of the Kokdumalak oil and gas
deposits and construction of an oil refinery in Bukhara. Liz
Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

ARMENIAN DEPUTIES RESIGN OVER COLLEAGUE'S MURDER. Two prominent
Armenian opposition figures, the former prime minister and present
chairman of the National Democratic Union Vazgen Manukyan, and
David Vardanyan, chairman of the Armenian parliament commission
for foreign relations, resigned as parliament deputies on 19
December after the Armenian parliament refused to debate
Manukyan's demand that President Levon Ter-Petrossyan be summoned
to report on measures to combat terrorism in Armenia following the
assassination on 17 December of former Erevan Mayor Ambartsum
Galstyan, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported. All four men had been
founder members first of the Karabakh Committee and then of the
Armenian Pan-National Movement. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

SEVERAL CIS COUNTRIES MIGHT DISAVOW CFE CUTS. Belarusian First
Deputy Foreign Minister Valerii Tsypkalo, told Interfax on 19
December that Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova might soon
disavow their commitments to cut their conventional arms under the
terms of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty. He
claimed that NATO's plans to expand to the East were prompting
this decision. "If NATO draws nearer to the CIS borders," he said,
"the CIS countries located in Europe will probably have to revise
the agreement on cuts in conventional arms in Europe and stop
scrapping their tanks, lanes, and the like." Tsypkalo conceded
that Belarus would remain one of the world's most heavily armed
countries even if it honored the agreement, since it had inherited
Soviet forces meant for use in Western Europe. Doug Clarke,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CARTER AND KARADZIC MEET, DISCUSS PEACE PLAN. Former US President
Jimmy Carter, who is on a private and controversial peace mission
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, met with Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic on 19 December, international agencies report. Following
several hours of talks, Carter told a news conference in the
Bosnian Serb stronghold of Pale, near Sarajevo, that "the Bosnian
Serb side agreed to an immediate ceasefire and to negotiate a
lasting cessation of hostilities." But Karadzic, who initiated
Carter's peace mission in what is regarded as an attempt to break
the Bosnian Serbs' international isolation, quickly poured cold
water on Carter's statements. In an interview with CNN, the
Bosnian Serb leader said "We can't stop our activities until we
get an agreement on the cessation of hostilities." He added that
once such an agreement was reached, a ceasefire could go into
effect. While saying that peace negotiations could be held on the
basis of the Contact Group's peace plan, he noted that "everything
is negotiable. . . . We have worked out a new interpretation of
the . . . plan." The Bosnian Serbs have repeatedly rejected the
five-nation Contact Group's plan, under whose terms they would
receive 49 percent of Bosnian territory. They now hold some 70
percent after nearly three years of war. Carter is due to meet
with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo on 20
December. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL, Inc.

INTENSIFIED ASSAULT ON BIHAC. Reuters on 19 December reported that
Bosnian Serb forces have stepped up their assault on the Muslim
enclave and UN "safe area" of Bihac. Fierce fighting was reported
on the outskirts of the town. In addition to small arms and
anti-aircraft machinegun fire, two tank rounds were fired into the
town center, destroying two houses. There were no immediate
reports of casualties. Meanwhile, a Bosnian government soldier was
killed and several civilians wounded by gunfire in Sarajevo, AFP
reports. A spokeswoman for UNPROFOR said the dead soldier was one
of two Bosnian troops hit on the front lines in the western part
of the city. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL, Inc.

NATO, RUSSIA DISCUSS BOSNIAN PEACEKEEPING MISSION. Meeting in The
Hague on 19 December, NATO defense chiefs and Russian Ambassador
to Belgium and NATO Vitalii Churkin discussed plans to prevent the
Bosnian Serbs from further humiliating UN peacekeeping troops in
Bosnia, international agencies report. The plans include sending
more equipment to the former Yugoslav republic, redeploying small
groups of troops into larger units to make them less vulnerable,
and opening an aid corridor from the Adriatic to Sarajevo. Dutch
Chief of Defense Staff General Henk van den Breemen told reporters
after the meeting that "there was great resolve . . . and general
agreement on the ways in which the effectiveness of UNPROFOR could
be improved." But he declined to say what measures would be taken
to stop Bosnian Serb harassment of the peacekeepers. In recent
weeks, UNPROFOR troops have been attacked and held hostage by
Bosnian Serbs. The NATO states and Russia are to be joined on 20
December by other countries contributing to UNPROFOR in the former
Yugoslavia to endorse the plans before they are sent to the UN for
final approval. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUMP YUGOSLAV PREMIER ON THE ECONOMY. Politika on 20 December
reports that rump Yugoslav premier Radoje Kontic held meetings the
previous day with several ranking government officials, including
his Serbian and Montenegrin counterparts at the republican level
and National Bank Governor Dragoslav Avramovic. Their discussions
focused on budgetary and economic policy in 1995, which is likely
to be a continuation of 1994 policy. For instance, the agenda for
1995 is reported to include a renewed commitment to the stability
of the national currency--the dinar. In January 1994, Avramovic
sought to eradicate hyperinflation by introducing the so-called
"super dinar," which was pegged to hard-currency and gold reserves
as well as to the German mark. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

FORMER COMMUNISTS GAIN ABSOLUTE MAJORITY IN BULGARIA. Officials of
the Bulgarian Central Electoral Commission told the media on 19
December that the Socialist Party (the former Communists) won an
absolute majority in the 18 December general elections. With about
95 percent of the votes counted, the Socialists were poised to
gain 124 seats in the 240-member parliament. The Union of
Democratic Forces placed second with 68 seats, followed by the
Popular Union (19 seats), the Turkish minority's Movement for
Rights and Freedoms (16 seats), and the Bulgarian Business Bloc
(13 seats). Socialist Party leader Zhan Videnov told journalists
on 19 December that society expects his party to govern "actively,
directly, and responsibly." Nikola Koichev, the chairman of the
party's economic and social policy committee, was quoted by
Reuters on 19 December as saying some 300 state firms will be
transferred to private owners under a program of mass
privatization similar to that carried out in the Czech Republic.
But he warned that enterprises no longer able to be saved will be
liquidated. According to Koichev, the party will seek to boost
production by "restoring our markets in former socialist
countries." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH ZLOTY TO BECOME PARTLY CONVERTIBLE. Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister of Finance Grzegorz Kolodko on 19 December announced
that as of January 1995, the Polish zloty will be convertible in
trade (export and import) and tourism but not in capital
transactions. Kolodko said the Polish currency will be converted
in accordance with international standards and that it may become
fully convertible by 1996. Rzeczpospolita reported on 20 December
that the announcement was fully supported by IMF executive
director Michel Camdessus, who was paying an official visit to
Poland. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

IMF INSISTS ON LOWER INFLATION IN POLAND. IMF executive director
Michel Camdessus on 19 December said Poland must intensify its
efforts to curb inflation if it wants to join the European Union.
The 1994 annual inflation rate in Poland is hovering around 30
percent. Camdessus urged the Polish government to stick to its
planned target of 17 percent by the end of 1995. According to
Rzeczpospolita and Gazeta Wyborcza on 19 and 20 December,
Camdessus praised the Polish government for its current economic
policies but said it should speed up the privatization of state
enterprises and limit its support for inefficient sectors of the
economy. Camdessus noted such measures would result in lower
inflation levels. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

UPDATE ON NUCLEAR MATERIAL SEIZED IN PRAGUE. A Czech police
spokesman told journalists on 19 December that the nuclear
material seized recently in Prague was three kilograms of uranium
sufficiently enriched for use in a nuclear warhead. In connection
with the seizure, Prague police arrested a Czech nuclear physicist
and two men from the former Soviet Union. The spokesman said
police were convinced that the material came from the former USSR.
A certificate written in Russian was found during the seizure.
According to the spokesman, "only certain superpowers can produce
uranium of this quality." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

PRAGUE CATHEDRAL DECLARED CHURCH PROPERTY. A Prague court on 19
December ruled that one of the cityecember ruled that one of the
city's most famous landmarks--St. Vitus' Cathedral, which towers
over Prague Castle--belongs not to the state but to the Roman
Catholic Church. The court also ruled that the same applies to two
other churches at Prague Castle--St. George's Church and St. Ann's
Chapel. The three churches were nationalized in the 1950s. The
decision ends a legal dispute between religious and state
authorities that began in the communist era and has continued
until now, with President Vaclav Havel asserting the state's
ownership rights. In response to the court's decision, Havel was
quoted by CTK as saying it was necessary to distinguish between
"the physical and psychological owner" of the churches. While the
court is able to decide on the physical owner, "the Czech nation
remains the psychological owner," he stressed. Jiri PeheED. The
Slovak government on 19 December approved a provisional budget for
the first three months of 1995, TASR reports. The budget foresees
expenditures in the first quarter of 1995 totaling some 38 billion
koruny. The Slovak parliament has been unable to adopt a regular
budget owing to differences between the former government of Jozef
Moravcik and Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia,
which won the October parliamentary elections, over who should
submit a budget proposal. Moravcik's government finally submitted
a draft budget, but Meciar indicated that his party and its
coalition allies would reject it in the parliament. Meciar also
stressed that he was in favor of a provisional budget. Deputy
Prime Minister Sergej Kozlik told a press conference on 19
December that his government will submit a regular budget proposal
by 16 February. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK INTERIOR MINISTER ON CZECH-SLOVAK BORDER. Ludovit Hudek
told CTK on 19 December that the situation at the Czech-Slovak
border was "bad" and "that is why one of the first steps taken by
the new Slovak government will be to strengthen the Slovak side of
the border," despite budgetary constraints. He added that Slovakia
should not become a "detention camp for people no other state
wants to accept." To avoid such a scenario, Slovakia wants to
adopt a number of personnel and technical measures, he said. Jiri
Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK TV HEAD ON TELEVISION'S ROLE. Jozef Darmo, newly appointed
director of Slovak Television, told journalists in Bratislava on
19 December that "any spiritual renewal in Slovakia cannot be
accomplished without the help of television." He noted that the
media law demands that television be a "national, independent,
nonpartisan, information, cultural, and educational institution."
In his opinion, this meant that television cannot be used "to
offend the [Slovak] nation and the nationalities living on
Slovakia's territory." "It will not be used to attack and devalue
national institutions," Darmo said. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PREMIER IN GERMANY. Gyula Horn on 18 December met with
Bavarian head of state Edmund Stoiber and German Chancellor
Helmuth Kohl, German media reported the same day. According to the
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Hungary will receive a DM 200 million credit
from Bavaria, Baden-Wurtenberg, and Bonn. The money will be spent
on economic projects such as the construction of a highway system,
the privatization of radio and television, and the expansion of
the telecommunications system. Both Horn and Stoiber agreed that
Hungary is an "open field" for Bavarian industry, although there
are already more than 1,000 Bavarian joint ventures in the
country. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

NO-CONFIDENCE DEBATE IN ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT. The two chambers of
Romania's parliament met in joint session on 19 December to
discuss a motion of no confidence tabled by the Democratic
Party-National Salvation Front against Nicolae Vacaroiu's
government, RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest and Radio
Bucharest reported the same day. The motion proposes that the
government be dismissed for failing to solve the nation's social
and economic problems. The debates proper will take place on 23
December. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN EXTREME NATIONALISTS URGE CRACKDOWN AGAINST HUNGARIAN
MINORITY. The Party of Romanian National Unity, a member of the
ruling coalition, asked President Ion Iliescu and the parliament
to crack down on alleged anti-Romanian actions by the Hungarian
minority and the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania.
RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest reported on 19 December that a
statement released by the PRNU called on the parliament to pass
weapon control regulations immediately, claiming that many
citizens, especially ethnic Hungarians, have illegally bought guns
and ammunition abroad. The statement also demands that the
financial courts investigate how the HDFR spends its share of the
state funds allocated to all political parties. It says the HDFR
used its share in 1994 for "actions directed against the Romanian
nation." The PRNU also urges that Romanian parliamentary
delegations visiting foreign countries no longer include HDFR
representatives, pointing out that two years ago all Hungarian
deputies swore loyalty to Hungary. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

ILIESCU APPEALS FOR "MORE ACCURATE" COVERAGE BY FRENCH MEDIA.
President Ion Iliescu told visiting French Minister of Culture
Jacques Toubon that French-language media should provide more
accurate coverage of Romania, RFE/RL's correspondent in Bucharest
reported on 19 December. Iliescu and other Romanian officials have
often complained that Western journalists are hurting Romania's
image abroad. During his visit to Bucharest on 18 and 19 December,
Toubon also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu
and Minister of Culture Marin Sorescu. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL,
Inc.

CORRUPTION IN BELARUS. Interfax on 19 December reported that
Belarusian deputies have asked the prosecutor-general to supply
information on the 60 ranking officials whom President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka accused of corruption during his election campaign in
the summer. The deputies demanded that the prosecutor-general
either confirm or reject the information he had received from
Lukashenka, who at the time was chairman of the parliament's
anti-corruption committee. They added that if Lukashenka's
corruption charges had been simply "a political pre-election
game," he would have to reckon with libel suits. The parliament on
20 December will hear a report by leader of the Belarusian Free
Trade Unions Sergei Antonchik on corruption in the president's
administration. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN OIL REFINERY RESUMES WORK. After a four-week shutdown
due to a lack of crude oil, the Nafta refinery at Mazeikiai
resumed operations on 19 December, Interfax reports. Nafta
concluded an agreement with Lukoil in January to receive six
million tons of oil in 1994, but only 1 million had been delivered
by December. Talks with Lukoil on 1995 oil deliveries are under
way, and it is thought that Lukoil will agree to ship 250,000
thousand tons a month. Nafta will likely also refine about 100,000
tons of oil received from Rosneft. These supplies will then be
shipped to the Kaliningrad region. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIA, CHINA SIGN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. Latvian President Guntis
Ulmanis and his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, signed an
agreement in Beijing on 19 December establishing
most-favored-nation trade status between the two countries,
Western agencies report. The countries established diplomatic
relations in 1991, but China broke them off in 1992 after Latvia
took up consular relations with Taiwan. The relations were
restored in July 1993 when Latvia officially cut its diplomatic
ties with Taiwan. A Latvian trade exhibition involving 40
companies opened in Beijing the same day. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL,
Inc.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION IN LATVIA. The State Statistical Committee
announced that Latvian industrial enterprises produced goods worth
815 million lati ($1.482 billion) in the first eleven months of
1994 or 9.3 percent less than in the same period in 1993, BNS
reported on 16 December. Production in November was worth 83
million lati, up 8.6 percent on the October level. Products unsold
at the end of November were worth 73.4 million lati and accounted
for 88.4 percent of the total volume of goods produced that month.
Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

(Compiled by Jan Cleave and Penny Morvant)
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
Inquiries about specific news items should be directed as
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RFE/RL, Inc.
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Washington, DC 20036
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Internet: REEDB@RFERL.ORG

Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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