|The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. - Plutarch|
NO. 240, 21 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 23 December 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 (NOT BEFORE 24 DECEMBER). RUSSIA CHECHNYA: MILITARY SITUATION. Russian forces, including spetsnaz units, continued their slow advance toward Grozny from the north against vastly inferior but, apparently, highly motivated Chechen forces. Russian fighter-bombers and helicopter gunships attacked both military and civilian targets in Grozny and several nearby villages. In Grozny, the Russians continued showing a preference for nighttime bombing. Western agencies cited Russian officers on the ground as saying that the air force was using recently developed bombs of higher accuracy; this was corroborated by military analyst Pavel Felgengauer on NTV on 18 December, crediting Russia's military industry for the achievement. Chechen defenders downed two helicopters before reporting in the night of 20 to 21 December that their air defense had run out of ammunition. Reports of violent robberies committed by Russian soldiers were indirectly confirmed by the Internal Affairs Ministry's spokesman in Moscow who said at a briefing, as cited by Interfax on 20 December, that "armed bandits in Russian Army uniform are on the move, attacking refugees and looting." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. KOVALEV IN GROZNY. The veteran human rights campaigner and Duma deputy Sergei Kovalev, who is also chairman of a human rights commission attached to the Russian Presidency, has spent the last week in Ingushetia and Chechnya and the last few days in Grozny in order to assess the human costs of the invasion. In a statement to the Russian and foreign public, reported by Radio Liberty on 20 December, Kovalev said the intervention in Chechnya was no longer Russia's internal affair, given the massive loss of life. On 19 December Kovalev ascertained that there had been at least 43 civilian deaths as a result of that day's bombing of Grozny, Radio Liberty's correspondent reported from the scene. Kovalev, who has opposed the intervention all along, released to the media on 20 December the text of a letter to Boris Yeltsin appealing yet again for an end to the bloodshed, for renouncing official misinformation, and for political dialogue with Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev (whom Russian democrats consider legitimate). Kovalev noted in his letter that he was being denied access to Yeltsin (as he had been when still hoping to sway the president prior to the invasion). In messages to Yeltsin made public during the preceding days, Kovalev had in vain drawn attention to the wanton destruction caused by Russian troops in the villages of Osinskaya and Pervomaisk. Democratic deputy Viktor Kurochkin gave an eyewitness account of the same events to the Duma, NTV reported on 18 December. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. NO "MINIMAL BLOODSHED." On Russian Radio on 19 December the head of the Afghanistan Invalid Veterans' Fund and secretary of the Chamber of Public Organizations attached to the Russian Presidency, Vasilii Sadovnikov, dismissed the notion that there could be "minimal bloodshed" in Chechnya, giving a graphic description of the carnage he had witnessed in Afghanistan and now again in Chechnya. He, too, appealed to Yeltsin to stop the military intervention. But Yeltsin's adviser Georgii Satarov appeared to give the current official view when he told Ostankino TV that civilian casualties are inevitable in an operation of this kind (which he himself supported). He blamed it on the troops' "front psychosis, that's a known thing...there is no escaping it." Foreign Ministry official Vyacheslav Bakhmin took a similar line on "unavoidable" violations of human rights of civilians, including the right to life, by Russian troops in Chechnya. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. WAVE OF REFUGEES. Russia's Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu told a media briefing in Moscow on 20 December that some 100,000 people had fled from Chechnya in the preceding 10 days, Interfax reported. The figure is eight times as high as the estimate offered the preceding day by Russia's Migration Service (see the Daily Report of 19 December). According to Shoigu, 64,000 refugees are in Ingushetia, some 30,000 in Dagestan, 3,000 in Vladikavkaz, and 2,000 to 3,000 in Stavropol Krai. Russia's Federal Counterintelligence Service Director Sergei Stepashin, Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Egorov--who is also Yeltsin's special representative for Chechnya--and other officials continue urging the population to flee for its life and accept relocation by the Migration Service, raising fears of another deportation. The refugees are unable to flee to either Georgia or Azerbaijan, as, under a decree issued on 20 December, the Russian government has reinforced its troops on the border with those countries, and banned cross-border movement by civilians, vehicles of all types, and goods in either direction. Radio Mayak's political commentator observed on 20 December that, "apparently, the processes of willing exodus or deportation have already begun. Russia's forces have chosen the tactic of displacing the population. The 400,000 inhabitants of Grozny are being urged to leave the city, but where are they to go? Where are they going to push Chechnya's population in general?" Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. OCCUPATION PLANNING UNDER WAY. In connection with the plan to introduce temporary direct rule from Moscow in Chechnya, senior Russian officials have told the media in recent days that they are in the process of selecting Chechen figures for posts in the new structure. For the top position reserved for a Chechen native, Federation Council Chairman Vladimir Shumeiko has endorsed Doku Zavgaev, Izvestiya reported on 20 December. Zavgaev was the CPSU Central Committee first secretary in Checheno-Ingushetia until 1991; he supported the August 1991 putsch and was ousted by Dudaev. More recently Zavgaev has been employed in Yeltsin's Presidential Administration, and he supports the Russian intervention. According to Moskovskie novosti (no. 63, 11-18 December), Zavgaev is a member of the most influential clan in Nadterechnyi Raion, which has served as a base for Dudaev's opponents and the Russian intervention; Zavgaev's brothers are reported to play a major role in that raion. Under the headline "Puppeteers in Search of Puppets," the same analysis did not rule out the candidacy of Umar Avtorkhanov, the nominal leader of the Provisional Council created and armed by Moscow in Nadterechnyi Raion to oppose Dudaev. Another claimant is Salambek Khadzhiev, head of a shadowy "Chechen national salvation government" described by Interfax on 19 December as slated to form the territorial organs of power under the direct administration to be formed by Nikolai Egorov. In Izvestiya of 20 December, the head of the Chechen Elders' Council, Said-Akhmed Azizov, insisted that "we have our own state with its organs, and any attempts to saddle us with outsiders will lead not to peace but to war." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. TATARSTAN PARLIAMENT AMENDS CONSTITUTION. After what were described as lengthy and tempestuous debates, the parliament of Tatarstan voted to amend the republic's constitution to pave the way for a reform of the legislative branch, Pravda reported on 17 December. The legislative organ has been renamed the State Council. Elections to this bicameral body, which will consist of 130 deputies, will take place on 5 March 1995. Particularly contentious was the issue of whether local territorial administrators should be elected or appointed; a compromise was reached whereby local soviets will be consulted before a candidate is appointed by presidential edict. Charles Carlson, RFE/RL Inc. PRESIDENTIAL DECREE ON PAYMENTS TO SUPPLIERS. First Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais told reporters in Moscow on 20 December that Yeltsin had signed a decree requiring companies to pay for goods and services within three months of delivery or completion; defaulters will face state penalties dependent on the amount of nonpayment. The decree will take effect on 1 January. Payment problems have deprived enterprises of investment capital and resulted in falls in production and delays in the payment of wages. Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc. OIL PRODUCTION FALLS. Output of crude oil in 1994 fell by 11 percent in comparison with last year from 354.6 million tons to 314 million, according to preliminary data from the Fuel and Energy Ministry cited by Interfax and Western agencies on 19 December. Output is expected to decline still further in 1995 to 295 million tons. But while oil production has been falling since the late 1980s, exports have grown. In the first 11 months of 1994, 87.8 million tons were exported outside the former USSR, a 15 percent increase over the same period in 1993. Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc. GOVERNMENT TO STIMULATE PRIVATE INVESTMENT IN INDUSTRY. Russian Economic Minister Evgenii Yasin told the first Congress of Russian Businessmen on 19 December that the government planned to stimulate private investment in industry by a scheme of mixed public-private financing, Interfax reported. The state would cover 20 percent of the costs of projects carried out by a private companies to the tune of 1 trillion rubles in 1995. Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc. MINISTER UNHAPPY WITH US URANIUM DEAL. Atomic Energy Minister Viktor Mikhaylov told Segodnya defense correspondent Pavel Felgengauer that there had been little progress on substantive issues during the recent round of talks between US Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Felgengauer wrote in the 17 December issue of his paper that Mikhaylov was particularly unhappy about the Americans' failure to implement a 1993 agreement by which the US was to buy processed Russian uranium containing 500 tons of weapons-grade uranium from dismantled nuclear weapons. He quoted the minister as saying, "we have not delivered one gram under this contract, and under the scheme proposed by the Americans, we shall not implement it at all." Mikhaylov complained that the US had unilaterally worsened the terms of the agreement. He also said that the Americans had so far "not allocated a single cent" of the $95 million promised to reinforce security measurers at nuclear installations. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. JOINT VENTURE RECEIVES US MONEY FOR CONVERSION PROJECT. The Moscow-based Nauka scientific and industrial enterprise and its joint-venture partner--the American firm Hamilton Standard--were guaranteed $15.5 million by the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation in a 16 December Moscow ceremony. The joint venture will produce, service, and repair air conditioners for Russian civilian airliners using Nauka technology once used to produce pressure control systems for MiG jet fighters. Joint venture officials hoped the air conditioners could eventually be exported and installed on Boeing and Airbus airliners. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. CIS SOVIET ADMIRALS AGAINST SPLITTING FLEET. Interfax on 20 December reported that more than 20 admirals of the former Soviet Navy had issued a statement in Sevastopol calling for a moratorium on dividing the Black Sea Fleet between Russia and Ukraine. The statement claimed that the division had been ordered in order to please "national-separatist forces" and had weakened the combat capability of the fleet and endangered Russia's southern frontier. The admirals said that completing the split would mean the end of the fleet. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIA CEASEFIRE TO TAKE EFFECT BEFORE CHRISTMAS . . . Following three hours of talks with Bosnian Serb leaders at their headquarters in Pale, former US President Jimmy Carter on 20 December announced that Bosnian Muslims and Serbs would begin a ceasefire within 72 hours and seek to negotiate an end to the war by 1 January, international agencies report. Carter, speaking at Sarajevo airport in the presence of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Bosnian Serb commander Ratco Mladic, stressed that UN peacekeepers would monitor the ceasefire under a deal guaranteeing the free movement of aid to civilians. He noted that negotiations would aim at a four-month end to the fighting but failed to say what would happen if agreement was not reached by New Year's Day. Reuters reports that US Secretary of State Warren Christopher gave a cautiously favorable assessment of Carter's Bosnia mission, saying it would be a "positive step" if his efforts led to a ceasefire but declining to make any further comment. The New York Times on 21 December says that some administration aides sounded skeptical about the ceasefire deal and quotes a senior Whitehouse official as saying "What has [Carter] accomplished that hasn't been accomplished in Bosnia 10 times before and then disintegrated in a few hours or days?" Carter, who visited Bosnia on a private mission undertaken at the initiative of the Bosnian Serbs, flew from Sarajevo to Belgrade the same day to brief Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL Inc. . . . BUT FIGHTING CONTINUES IN BIHAC AND SARAJEVO. International agencies report that two Serbian rockets hit the northwestern Muslim town of Bihac on 20 December. A UN military spokesman was quoted as saying that one of the rockets fell along the front line and the other near the center of the town. At least 14 civilians were wounded. Bihac is one of six cities and towns in Bosnia designated a "safe area." Sarajevo Radio reported the same day that three people were killed, 45 wounded, and 1,000 left homeless when artillery shells flattened part of the town. Meanwhile, the first UN aid flight in a month landed at Sarajevo airport after Bosnian Serbs gave security guarantees. The airport was closed in November after a confrontation between Bosnian Serbs and UN peacekeepers over NATO airstrikes against Bosnian Serb forces attacking Bihac. Military flights to the Bosnian capital resumed last weekend. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL Inc. MORE EQUIPMENT BUT NO MORE TROOPS FOR BOSNIAN PEACEKEEPERS. Meeting in The Hague on 20 December, military chiefs of countries contributing to the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia decided to send more equipment but no more troops to the war-torn republic. General Bertrand de Lapresle, overall commander of UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia, was quoted by AFP as saying he needs more engineers to improve roads and bridges, more medical evacuation equipment, and a better means of delivering humanitarian aid. But De Lapresle stressed that his proposals did not signify any "toughening up" of the Bosnian peacekeepers' role, nor "any change in the nature of their mission." Russian envoy Vitalii Churkin noted there was no discussion of NATO airstrikes in retaliation for Bosnian Serb actions against UN troops. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL Inc. BELGRADE HOSTS SKODA GENERAL-DIRECTOR. Politika reports that on 20 December rump Yugoslav Premier Radoje Kontic and Serbian Premier Mirko Marjanovic met with Lubomir Soudek, general-director of the Czech Republic's main heavy engineering company, Skoda Concern Pilsen. Discussion focused on Skoda's possible cooperation with rump Yugoslav firms once international sanctions against Belgrade are lifted. Skoda is involved in projects ranging from the manufacture of heavy engineering products to equipping nuclear power stations. Stan Markotich and Steve Kettle, RFE/RL Inc. WALESA MEETS WITH COALITION LEADERS. President Lech Walesa on 21 December met with leaders of the government coalition in an attempt to resolve political differences, Polish media reported. Shortly before, he vetoed the bill on wages in the public sector, arguing that the legislation is too restrictive. At the meeting, which was broadcast by national television, the president criticized the government for what he called its reluctance to privatize state enterprises and return private property illegally nationalized by the Communists. Walesa added he was prepared to use his veto to force changes in government policy. The government defended its program and suggested that Walesa's actions were politically motivated. Polish media have speculated that the main purpose of the meeting was to prepare the ground for the forthcoming presidential elections. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. INCIDENT ON POLISH-BELARUSIAN BORDER. One Belarusian border guard was seriously injured and three others detained by Polish authorities in a night-time border incident near Bialystok on 18 December, Rzeczpospolita on 21 December reported. The incident occurred when the Belarusian guards accidentally crossed the Polish border in pursuit of a group of African and Asian illegal immigrants, who had dug a tunnel across the border and entered Poland. The Belarusian guards ran into a group of Polish soldiers, who had been alerted by the Belarusian border unit in Grodno about the illegal immigrants. In the generally chaotic situation, the Belarusian guards opened fire on the Poles. Rzeczpospolita on 21 December said the incident may lead to more effective bilateral cooperation in border matters. The newspaper also reported that 21 Somalians, 14 Sri Lankans, and 7 Bangladeshis have been caught by the Poles and will be sent back to Belarus. Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. CZECH OFFICIALS ON SEIZED URANIUM. Interior Ministry spokesman Jan Subert told journalists on 20 December that the nearly three kilograms of uranium recently seized from a Czech nuclear physicist and two citizens of the former Soviet Union was definitely of nuclear-weapons grade. He said the first tests performed on the seized material showed that it was 87.5 percent enriched uranium 235, which, he noted, can be used to ignite the thermonuclear part of a warhead. Subert added that both the quality and the quantity of uranium confiscated by Czech police surpassed any seizure elsewhere. Meanwhile, an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reports that US experts are conducting their own analysis of the seized uranium to confirm it is weapons-grade material. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. CZECH PREMIER ON PLANNED STRIKE. The Bohemian-Moravian Trade Union Chamber, the largest labor union alliance in the Czech Republic, has decided to go ahead with a 15-minute warning strike on 21 December to protest a bill on pensions. The draft law, which was proposed by the government, envisages changes in paying into the social security system. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said on Czech Radio on 20 December that the government "does not intend to react to the strike at all" and "has already taken a clear stand on the bill," which must be debated thoroughly by the Czech parliament before it can become law. The prime minister recently said it was "unbelievable" that the unions planned a strike over what the government sees as a civic rather than a labor issue. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. CZECH ATTITUDES TOWARD ROMANIES. Almost 50 percent of the Czech public is in favor of restrictive measures against Romanies, according to an opinion poll released on 20 December by the Center for Empirical Studies. The willingness among Czechs to distinguish between individual Romanies and Romanies as an ethnic group is limited. Of the poll's 1,911 respondents, 47 percent rejected the proposal that Romanies should not be judged as a group and that "there are many decent people among Romanies." A total of 46 percent said they were in favor of Romanies as an ethnic group being subjected to stricter laws than the rest of the population. Some 18 percent strongly disagreed with such an approach, while 36 percent partly disagreed. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK PRESIDENT ON RELATIONS WITH MECIAR. Michal Kovac said in Kosice on 20 December that his attitude toward Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar was "fine" and their relations improving. The president noted that both he and Meciar have taken steps toward reconciliation and that their relations should continue to improve in the future. Kovac rejected suggestions that he considers Meciar his enemy, but he admitted that he and the prime minister differ over a number of issues. The president also rejected the suggestion that he should have resigned from his post after Meciar's impressive election victory in October. He said that according to a recent opinion poll, more than 60 percent of Slovaks are opposed to his ouster. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. FURTHER PERSONNEL CHANGES IN SLOVAKIA. The Slovak government on 20 December recalled 27 directors of district offices, which constitute the backbone of state administration, TASR reports. They were replaced by officials who in March were recalled from these posts by the former government of Jozef Moravcik after criticizing President Michal Kovac and defending Vladimir Meciar's ousted administration. The Moravcik government argued at the time that, as civil servants, district directors are not allowed to take political stands. Slovak Interior Minister Ludovit Hudek told journalists on 20 December that the current government has no complaints about the recalled district directors but that it deems it necessary to "rehabilitate" the officials punished by the previous government for "their courageous civic attitude." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAKIA'S COUPON PRIVATIZATION TO START IN JANUARY? Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Sergej Kozlik told Slovak Television on 20 December that 23 January is the first possible date for starting the second wave of voucher privatization. The privatization program was postponed by Kozlik on 14 December, one day before it was due to start. The Meciar government claimed the program was ill-prepared. Kozlik again argued that the second wave had major technical and organizational flaws. He said the government is currently making an inventory of firms to be included in the second wave. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN HUNGARY. Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mate Granic, on an official visit to Hungary on 19-20 December, met with several high ranking officials, including Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs and President Arpad Goncz, to discuss bilateral issues and the situation in the former Yugoslavia. Hungary and Croatia want to expand cooperation in the area of minority rights, join the European Union and NATO, establish free trade zones, and review military affairs, including the establishment of a hot line between the two countries. The highlight of Granic's visit was the signing of the Central European Initiative document on the protection of minorities. Representatives of the CEI and of other countries were present at the signing. Judith Pataki, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIA'S NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY TO REJOIN CENTRIST OPPOSITION ALLIANCE. The Democratic Convention of Romania, the main umbrella organization uniting centrist opposition parties, approved on 20 December the National Liberal Party's request to rejoin the DCR. The NLP left the DCR before the 1992 elections. Meanwhile, the Liberal Party '93, another DCR member, has announced its intention to run on a separate list in the 1996 general elections. It will, however, back a joint candidate in the presidential elections, due to be held in 1996. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIA SEES LEGAL BROTHELS AS WAY TO FIGHT AIDS. Romanian Health Minister Iulian Mincu told a news conference that opening legalized brothels must be considered a means of combating AIDS, Reuters reports on 21 December. Brothels are illegal in Romania but prostitution is widespread. AIDS in Romania is largely confined to children, who account for 93 percent of the 2,847 cases of full-blown AIDS. However, doctors fear an imminent explosion of the disease among adults. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc. BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS WANT TO FORM GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) wants to form a government of national unity, despite its absolute majority in the new Bulgarian parliament, Standart reported on 21 December. The BSP's National Council is scheduled to meet after Christmas to discuss the party's policies. But even in a coalition government, the Socialists expect to control the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Foreign Trade. BSP leader Zhan Videnov said at a news conference on 20 December that he ruled out cooperation with the Union of Democratic Forces, the Socialists' main rival (which won 69 seats), but that he would try to form a coalition with smaller parties. Osman Oktai, deputy chairman of the predominantly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (15 seats), said his party would not participate in a coalition with the Socialists. Leaders of the Popular Union (18 seats) were also skeptical about the possibility of forming a coalition with the former Communists. And Georgi Ganchev, leader of the Bulgarian Business Bloc (15 seats), said he was "doubtful" about a coalition with the BSP. Stefan Krause and Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. CORRUPTION CHARGES IN BELARUS. In a report submitted to the parliament on 20 December, the leader of Belarus's independent unions Sergei Antonchik claimed there was widespread corruption among the present administration, international agencies and Interfax reported. Antonchik said Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka should dismiss several government officials, including Premier Mikhail Chigur. He accused Lukashenka of having allocated $14 million in state funds to his aide Ivan Tsitsiankou to build a private business center in Minsk. Tsitsiankou, along with two other aides also charged with corruption, subsequently resigned. Antonchik also claimed that corruption has worsened since Lukashenka took office. Denying that his administration was corrupt, Lukashenka stated he would not resign. He said the corruption allegations are "a smoke screen to force him from office" and announced that he has asked the prosecutor-general to give a legal assessment of Antonchik's report. Jan Cleave, RFE/RL Inc. ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS. Estonian Prime Minister Andres Tarand said in Finland on 16 December that Estonia was prepared to make concessions in its border dispute with Russia if the latter recognized the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920 as the international treaty under which the Estonian state was inaugurated. Vello Saatpalu, chairman of the parliament Foreign Affairs Commission, said no European country would support Estonian claims for land in Russia because it would open a Pandora's box for other territorial claims. Opposition leaders said Tarand's comment was politically ill-timed and would make it more difficult to reach a compromise in talks with Russia, BNS reported on 20 December. The Tallinn Union of Russian Citizens also released a statement that day urging Russia not to recognize the treaty, which it claimed "laid the foundation for repressions against Russian citizens" Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. WORLD BANK LOAN FOR ESTONIA. Agate Dalton, head of the Estonian Finance Ministry's international cooperation department, said the Estonian government had completed negotiations for an $18 million World Bank loan and authorized Finance Minister Andres Lipstok to sign it, BNS reported on 20 December. The deal should be concluded after the World Bank board of directors approves the loan at its meeting on 19 January. The money will be used to build a bioclinic for Tartu University, purchase medical equipment, and organize training programs. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. LITHUANIAN SUPREME COURT CHAIRMAN APPOINTED. The Seimas on 20 December voted unanimously to approve President Algirdas Brazauskas's nomination of Pranas Kuris as chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Court, BNS reports. The 56-year-old Kuris was justice minister from 1977 to 1990, ambassador to Belgium, and from April 1994 a judge at the European Human Rights Court. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. [As of 12:00 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 RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU Inquiries about specific news items should be directed as follows (please include your full postal address when inquiring about subscriptions): Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 Fax: (202) 457-6992 Internet: REEDB@RFERL.ORG Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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