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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 120 Part I, 24 June 1998
___________________________________________________________ RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 120 Part I, 24 June 1998 A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. This is Part I, a compilation of news concerning Russia, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Part II covers Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Headlines, Part I * OFFICIALS SAY TALKS WITH IMF SUCCESSFUL * CHUBAIS OPPOSED TO BREAKING UP GAZPROM * TURKEY, U.S. CRITICIZE IMPUTED ARMENIAN THREAT End Note: ENVOYS REFUSE TO DANCE TO LUKASHENKA'S MUSIC xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx RUSSIA OFFICIALS SAY TALKS WITH IMF SUCCESSFUL. Unified Energy System chief executive Anatolii Chubais on 24 June said talks between Russian and IMF officials on the disbursement of a $670 million loan tranche "ended successfully," ITAR- TASS reported. IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer described his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko as "highly constructive." Reuters quoted Kirienko's spokesman as saying Fischer agreed to recommend that the board approve the release of the tranche, which is part of a four-year $10 billion loan. Chubais predicted the board will consider the negotiations on 25 June. Meanwhile, Chubais suggested on 23 June that talks over a possible stabilization loan worth $10 billion to $15 billion may take one to two months. He added that such a loan may come from several sources, including foreign commercial banks, foreign governments, the World Bank, and the IMF, Reuters reported. LB CHUBAIS OPPOSED TO BREAKING UP GAZPROM... Chubais also announced on 23 June that Russian and IMF officials discussed the issue of splitting up Russia's "natural monopolies" in the energy sector during negotiations over a possible stabilization loan, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. The "New York Times" and several Russian newspapers have reported that the IMF wants Russia to separate the production and transportation divisions of the gas monopoly Gazprom and the electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (EES). Chubais argued that such a proposal was "erroneous" for Gazprom and said the government will stand by its opposition to breaking up the company, Russian news agencies reported. As for EES, Chubais claimed that President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree in April 1997 on separating the company's power generating facilities from its transmission facilities. That transformation will take two to three years, he added. LB ...AS OFFICIAL SAYS IMF NOT DEMANDING COMPANY BE SPLIT. Deputy Finance Minister Oleg Vyugin, who is involved in the negotiations with the IMF, told Interfax on 23 June that the fund is not making the breakup of Gazprom a condition for granting a new stabilization loan to Russia. However, he acknowledged that IMF experts "raise that topic from time to time." Vyugin argued that raising more budget revenues would allow Russia to take a "tough" stance in negotiations with international financial institutions. He added that "if those natural monopolies would regularly pay their taxes in full, then there would be no question about breaking them up or any other restructuring." LB KIRIENKO OUTLINES TAX PROPOSALS... Prime Minister Kirienko promised during an expanded cabinet session on 23 June that the government is seeking to reduce taxes on industry but will intensify its efforts to collect taxes owed by individuals and legal entities, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. The premier called for an end to "double standards" on tax collection and decried the public "uproar" that, he said, accompanies each effort by the authorities to fight tax evasion. He warned delinquent taxpayers that there will be lawsuits against tax evaders, bankruptcies, and property seizures. Kirienko also said foreigners working in Russia earn some $5 billion in untaxed income. The government approved the "anti-crisis program," which calls for spending cuts of 42 billion rubles ($6.8 billion) and revenue increases of 20 billion rubles. (ITAR-TASS initially reported erroneously that the plan calls for boosting revenues by $20 billion.) LB ...FAVORS INTRODUCING SALES TAX. As part of a policy to "shift the tax burden from industry onto consumption," Kirienko told journalists on 23 June that he supports the introduction of a sales tax to increase regional budget revenues, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. He did not propose a single nationwide tax but said regional authorities should be allowedc to impose sales taxes of 5-10 percent if they so desire. (Those taxes would not alter the value-added tax of 20 percent already levied on most Russian goods.) Sales taxes are easier to collect than taxes on industrial enterprises, which often conduct much of their business in barter transactions rather than cash. In a telephone interview with RFE/RL, Stanford University Professor Mikhail Bernshtam said "it would be difficult to think of a worse measure" than increasing taxes on consumption, which, he argued, would be detrimental to the Russian economy. LB GOVERNMENT TURNS UP PRESSURE ON DUMA. Prime Minister Kirienko warned on 23 June that if the Duma does not approve the government's anti-crisis program, it will depress budget revenues and could provoke a "global economic crisis," RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. He said the government will submit to the parliament some 20 draft laws that are needed to implement the program. However, few political observers expect the State Duma to approve all of the laws before the summer recess, as Yeltstin and Kirienko have demanded. Even though the draft laws have not yet arrived in the Duma, representatives of various factions have already begun to criticize some of their provisions, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported on 24 June. Our Home Is Russia faction leader Aleksandr Shokhin told Interfax the same day that "not all the [government-backed] measures" are likely to be passed by the Duma. LB COMMUNISTS UNIMPRESSED BY ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM. Influential members of the Communist Party, which along with allied groups has a near-majority in the Duma, have criticized the government's anti-crisis plan. Speaking at the 23 June cabinet session, Duma Economic Policy Committee Chairman Yurii Maslyukov said the government "has no new ideas," adding that Russia can "forget about prospects for economic growth" for several years, Interfax reported. Duma Legislation Committee Chairman Anatolii Lukyanov said "many solutions [proposed by the government] are unacceptable for the Duma" and discounted speculation that "threats" could influence deputies to approve the entire plan, Reuters reported. Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov criticized Yeltsin for "initimidating and threatening the State Duma" and then leaving the cabinet session without listening to parliamentary representatives. Both Zyuganov and Duma Speaker Gennadii Seleznev, also a Communist, told Interfax that they believe a sharp devaluation of the ruble is likely. LB GOVERNORS HAVE DOUBTS ABOUT PROGRAM'S IMPLEMENTATION. Regional leaders have for the most part praised the government's anti-crisis program, but many have expressed skepticism about the government's ability to implement that plan, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported on 23 June. Kemerovo Oblast Governor Aman Tuleev told RFE/RL that some points in the program have been under discussion for two years and predicted that the plans will not be carried out rapidly this time either. Saratov Oblast Governor Dmitrii Ayatskov, Samara Oblast Governor Konstantin Titov, and St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev all told ITAR-TASS that the plan contains good proposals and that the main challenge will be to put those into effect. Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroyev praised the anti-crisis program, which, he claimed, is the first recognition by the president and government that state regulation must play a role in stabilizing the economy. LB GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL OUTLINES PROPOSALS ON PENSIONS. Yevgenii Gontmakher, the head of the department on social protection in the government apparatus, outlined some proposals to tackle the problem of pension arrears in an interview with RFE/RL's Moscow bureau on 23 June. Gontmakher said that pension arrears now total 9 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) and that in some regions pensions are paid with a delay of up to a month. He said the government is to submit to the parliament a law to alter the procedure for making contributions to the Pension Fund, as well as legislative amendments to introduce fines for employers that do not make pension contributions. He also said the government is seeking to delay further indexation of pensions until pension arrears are cleared. Under a law that went into effect in February, the government is to adjust pensions quarterly. LB RUSSIA CANNOT FULFILL TREATY ON DESTROYING CHEMICAL WEAPONS. Russia will be unable to destroy its chemical weapons by 2008, according to Stanislav Petrov, the head of chemical and biological defense forces, Interfax reported on 23 June. The Chemical Weapons Convention requires Russia to destroy its stockpiles by 2008. Russia's program sets a deadline of 2005, but Petrov says that owing to underfunding, "at least an additional five years" will be needed. Despite aid from the U.S. and Germany, foreign assistance may constitute only 5 percent of the program's total cost of 32.7 billion rubles ($5.3 billion), Petrov claimed. Lieutenant-General Valerii Kapashin, director of the program for chemical arms destruction, agreed that Russia will miss the deadline but said "there is nothing criminal" in using a provision of the convention allowing an additional five years, Reuters reported on 23 June. Russia has the world's largest chemical weapons stockpile, estimated at 40,000 tons. BT TOP OFFICIALS DECLARE 1997 INCOME. The official government newspaper "Rossiiskaya gazeta" on 23 June published information about the income and property declarations of top Russian officials. Yeltsin declared income of some 1.95 billion old rubles ($325,000) in 1997, a sevenfold increase on his earnings the previous year. According to the 24 June edition of the "Moscow Times," a Kremlin spokesman refused to comment on the steep increase in the president's income. Prime Minister Kirienko claimed to have earned some 752 million old rubles in 1997. Deputy Prime Ministers Boris Nemtsov, Viktor Khristenko and Oleg Sysuev declared incomes of 555 million old rubles, 177 million old rubles, and 137 old rubles, respectively. Fuel and Energy Minister Sergei Generalov, who joined the cabinet in April, declared nearly 4.4 billion old rubles, more than any other government official. In 1997, Generalov was a vice president of the Menatep Bank. LB SAMARA GOVERNOR DOUBTS CHERNOMYRDIN'S PRESIDENTIAL PROSPECTS. Samara Oblast Governor Konstantin Titov, the Our Home Is Russia (NDR) movement's deputy chairman for economic issues, does not consider NDR leader and former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin a promising presidential candidate, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 24 June. Earlier this month, Titov said he sees only two "realistic" candidates for the presidential election in 2000: Yeltsin and Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov. In addition, the Samara branch of the NDR has in recent months expressed differences with the NDR leadership in Moscow. The Samara governor was a close ally of Chernomyrdin and was first deputy chairman of the NDR from its creation in May 1995 until the movement's last conference in April. Other regional leaders have also distanced themselves from Chernomyrdin since Yeltsin sacked him as prime minister in late March (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 May 1998). LB CHECHNYA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY. On 23 June President Aslan Maskhadov declared a three-week state of emergency and a night curfew, Russian media reported. Security Minister Kazbek Makhashev told local television that the restrictions are necessary because of the deteriorating crime situation in Chechnya, in particular the clashes in central Grozny on 21 June, in which National Security Service commander Lecha Khultygov and the chief of staff of maverick field commander Salman Raduev's army were killed. Russian commentators have rejected the official Chechen statement describing the shootings as "a tragic accident." "Segodnya" reported that the shootings occurred shortly after Raduev had harshly criticized the Chechen leadership in a speech to demonstrators on Grozny's central square. "Kommersant-Daily" on 23 June pointed out that Khultygov tried to prevent Raduev's supporters from occupying the Grozny television building and that he had also incurred displeasure through his resolute struggle against hostage-taking. LF CHUVASH PRESIDENT WANTS ABDULATIPOV AS NATIONALITIES MINISTER. Nikolai Fedorov said at a government session on 23 June that former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ramazan Abdulatipov should be appointed Minister for Regional and Nationality Policy in place of Yevgenii Sapiro, ITAR-TASS reported. Fedorov argued that the nationalities question "requires a special approach" and "wisdom" and that Abdulatipov embodies those qualities. Fedorov had earlier criticized Sapiro's appointment to replace Vyacheslav Mikhailov. LF WORKERS STAGE PROTESTS IN PRIMORE. Workers in the defense industry led energy sector workers and employees of some budget-funded organizations in protests across Primorskii Krai on 23 June, RFE/RL's correspondent in Vladivostok reported. Workers from defense industry enterprises that are owed large sums by the government initiated the protests, which involved demonstrations outside official buildings and temporary blockades of a railroad and a major highway in the krai. Some local observers estimated that tens of thousands participated in the protests, but the Primore branch of the Interior Ministry put the number at 8,000. Contrary to reports in Moscow-based media that the protesters were demanding payment of wage arrears, RFE/RL's correspondent said political demands dominated the protests. In particular, demonstrators called for Yeltsin's resignation and the temporary transfer of most powers to the federal parliament. LB CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION DOUBTS FAIRNESS OF BASHKIR ELECTION. Central Electoral Commission Chairman Aleksandr Ivanchenko on 23 June called for investigating whether all candidates seeking to compete in the 14 June presidential election in Bashkortostan were granted equal conditions for opening campaign funds, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 24 June. Ivanchenko said his commission will look into the matter and will announce its conclusions at an upcoming Supreme Court hearing. Two would-be candidates are seeking to have the election result overturned, saying they were unfairly barred from the competition (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 and 23 June 1998). Speaking to journalists in Moscow on 23 June, Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov defended the conduct of the election and cast doubt on whether the Supreme Court will be objective in its consideration of the case, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. LB TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA TURKEY, U.S. CRITICIZE IMPUTED ARMENIAN THREAT... Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Necati Utkan told journalists on 23 June that Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian's imputed threat that Armenia may consider annexing Nagorno- Karabakh "reveals the real intentions and uncompromising attitudes of the Armenian government," according to the "Turkish Daily News." Utcan added that "the fundamental fault in the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is Armenia's." The previous day, U.S. State department spokesman James Rubin had termed Oskanian's alleged statement "disturbing" and "unacceptable." Oskanian had told journalists on 17 June that if Azerbaijan continues for a period of years to reject a settlement of the conflict based on compromise, Armenia would have to consider all alternative options, including the possibility of reunification with the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. LF ...WHILE ARMENIAN OFFICIALS DENY SUCH A THREAT WAS MADE. President Robert Kocharian told journalists in Yerevan on 23 June that he thinks Oskanian's statement was taken out of context and misinterpreted, Armenpress and Interfax reported. Kocharian said Armenia "does not reject a solution to the Karabakh conflict" and hopes that resumed peace negotiations will yield a solution acceptable to all parties. Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arsen Gasparian similarly told Snark that it is "unfortunate that one segment from Oskanian's statement has been taken out of context and is being characterized in ways that are unfounded." He, too, stressed Armenia's determination to resolve the conflict peacefully. " Also on 23 June, the Karabakh Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Oskanian's insistence that Yerevan is not currently raising the issue of either independence for Karabakh or its unification with Armenia is consistent with Yerevan's rejection of any preconditions for resuming the negotiating process, Noyan Tapan reported. LF U.S.-ARMENIAN BILLIONAIRE TO HELP FUND IRAN-ARMENIA-GEORGIA HIGHWAY. President Kocharian told journalists on 23 June that U.S.-Armenian billionaire Kirk Kerkorian has donated $85 million toward the construction of a highway linking Iran and Georgia's Black Sea ports of Poti and Batumi, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. The highway will cut 50 km from the shortest route from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea at present. Kocharian said the project has already been approved by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, and he expressed hope that the EU will provide the rest of the sum in its TRACECA project. Kerkorian, who has just completed his first-ever visit to Armenia, is also said to have allocated $15 million to complete reconstruction of the area around Gyumri, Armenia's second-largest city, devastated by the 1988 earthquake. LF GEORGIA ACCUSES ABKHAZIA OF ARMED INCURSIONS. The Georgian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement accusing Abkhaz armed detachments of attacking villages in Georgia's Zugdidi and Tsalendjikha Raions, according to an RFE/RL correspondent in Tbilisi on 24 June. Speaking to Georgian journalists, Abkhaz President Vladislav Ardzinba warned that if the White Legion Georgian partisan organization continues its operations in Abkhazia's Gali Raion, Abkhazia may create its own legion to engage in similar activities on Georgian territory. LF GEORGIAN ELECTION CONTROVERSY CONTINUES. In the repeat by- election in the southeastern district of Lagodekhi on 21 June, the candidate of the ruling Union of Citizens of Georgia (SMK) defeated his rival from the Socialist Party by 80 votes, according to Caucasus Press. The SMK had demanded repeat elections, claiming that the Socialist Party candidate's victory by an equally slim margin in the first round of voting was due to mass violations. Socialist Party chairman Vakhtang Rcheulishvili has alleged that the second round was also falsified. He noted that local authorities had threatened reprisals against members of the local Azerbaijani minority who voted in the first round for the Socialist candidate. Meanwhile, Socialist Party deputy Tengiz Djushia told Caucasus Press that he will bring criminal charges against several SMK supporters who physically attacked him outside a polling station on 21 June. LF U.S. CRITICIZES AZERBAIJANI ELECTION LAW. U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin on 22 June expressed the hope that the Azerbaijani leadership will amend the Law on the Central Electoral Commission passed in May, Turan reported. Rubin said that in its present version, the law "is not sufficiently representative of the whole political spectrum and will limit the ability of the opposition parties to play a role in the election process." Rubin also called on the Azerbaijani leadership to ensure all presidential candidates have access to the print and electronic media in accordance with OSCE standards. LF KYRGYZ LAWMAKERS RAISE RETIREMENT AGE... The Legislative Assembly of the Kyrgyz parliament adopted an amendment to the law on pensioners raising the retirement age by six months every year over the next six years, RFE/RL correspondents reported on 22 June. The current retirement age for men is 60 and for women 55. The chairwoman of Kyrgyzstan's Social Fund, Roza Uchkempirova, told a news conference in Bishkek on 23 June that there are now 543,000 pensioners in the country. Those continuing to work after they reach the eligible age for retirement will receive 50 percent of their pension. ITAR-TASS reported on 23 June that only 15 percent of the funds necessary to pay pensions are available in the state budget. BP ...WHILE UNEMPLOYMENT REACHES DANGEROUS LEVELS. While freeing up some $23 million from the state budget, the amendment to the law on pensioners is bound to add to the problem of unemployment in Kyrgyzstan, according to RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service. The chairman of the parliament's Committee on Social Affairs, Jangoroz Kanimetov, said on 22 June that out of a population of 4.65 million, 2.38 million are of working age but only 1.88 million are considered active. This contradicts the registered unemployment figure of 54,000 and an unofficial government estimate of 100,000. On 20 June, the chairman of Kyrgyzstan's Patriotic Party, Nazarbek Nyshanov, claimed there are currently 1.2 million unemployed in the country. BP FORMER KAZAKH PREMIER CLEARED OF FINANCIAL ABUSE. An investigation carried out by the Kazakh National Security Ministry has cleared former Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin of using his position for personal financial gain, Interfax and RFE/RL correspondents reported. Committee chairman Alnur Musaev said on 22 June in Astana that the property worth millions of dollars that Kazhegeldin owns was acquired through commercial ventures before he joined the government in 1994. The findings of the investigation were released one week after Kazhegeldin hinted he may transform his Union of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs into a political party. Such a move may pave the way for Kazhegeldin's nomination as a candidate for the 2000 presidential elections. BP TAJIK LAWMAKERS ENDORSE BAN ON POLYGAMY. The Tajik parliament has upheld the ban on polygamy, the Russian newspaper "Trud" reported on 20 June. The debate among Tajik lawmakers was described as "heated." Nonetheless, they voted to keep in place the existing law and to impose a fine equal to 500 minimum wages or two years in a forced labor camp for those who break law. "Trud" claims that half of the men in Tajikistan over 40 have two wives. BP END NOTE ENVOYS REFUSE TO DANCE TO LUKASHENKA'S MUSIC by Jan Maksymiuk The Drazdy residential compound north of Minsk was built in a pine forest in the late 1940s for the Minsk nomenklatura. In the early 1990s, its wooden houses became the residences of two dozen ambassadors to the newly established Republic of Belarus. After the 1994 presidential elections, Drazdy also became the residence of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. This month, the compound made the headlines as the setting for the most bizarre diplomatic conflict in modern history, which journalists have dubbed the "sewer war." In late April, foreign diplomats living at Drazdy were notified that they would have to move out owing to urgent repairs to the compound's utility systems. Nobody took this warning very seriously, particularly since most ambassadors had extended their leases until the end of 2001. But the ambassadors subsequently received an order to move out by 10 June. To add weight to the written word, the authorities dispatched a team of workers to weld shut the gate to U.S. Ambassador Daniel Speckhard's residence. They left the compound only after the diplomat, alerted by his wife, arrived with a group of reporters. On 10 June, Lukashenka stepped in and extended the eviction deadline by one week, saying the move was in response to Speckhard's request that the diplomats be given time to pack their belongings. The latter strongly denied having made such a request. In fact, together with other Western ambassadors, he demanded that Belarus observe the Vienna convention on the treatment of diplomatic representatives. Lukashenka later hinted that he did not feel comfortable living in close proximity to Western diplomats. That hint was unexpectedly confirmed on 17 June, when the Drazdy site was declared the "residence of the president of the Republic of Belarus" and a sign to that effect appeared over the main entrance. The ambassadors were to be allowed to stay in the compound but were to have the status of "guests of the Belarusian president," as a deputy foreign minister put it. As such, they would have to apply for special passes to the compound for both themselves and their guests. The same deputy foreign minister also warned that would have to suffer "a lot of inconveniences" in connection with the repairs. Water, electricity, and telephone services were promptly cut off from diplomatic residences, and a ditch was dug in front of the compound's gates to prevent the diplomats from entering the area by car. Until that time, the ambassadors had behaved as Lukashenka wanted them to behave: they had protested but had essentially accepted his rules of the game and tried to adapt. They had declared themselves ready to suffer hardships during the repairs. But they had not suspected that the Belarusian authorities would force them to "float in sewage," as Foreign Minister Ivan Antanovich had graphically described their prospective lot one week earlier. The diplomats appear to have finally lost their patience when it became evident that there was no office where they could apply for entry permits to the compound. On 22 June, six nations--Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the U.S.--recalled their ambassadors for consultations. For people in the West, Lukashenka's apparent motive for the eviction order is the most baffling aspect of the diplomatic row. Has he really risked an international scandal simply to enlarge his own residence? Belarusian independent journalists would answer in the affirmative, having repeatedly stressed that Lukashenka, a former collective farm director, manages Belarus's affairs like those of a kolkhoz--in a callous, authoritarian, and uncivilized manner. It seems he cares no more about foreign ambassadors than he does about Belarusian kolkhoz workers. But his attempt to humiliate Western envoys may also be guided by personal revenge. Owing to his dictatorial ways and numerous violations of human rights, Belarus has become almost completely isolated in the West. Few Western statesmen will risk shaking hands with Lukashenka today. This is undoubtedly a festering wound to the pride of the self-styled leader of the East Slavic world, who some observers claim is still aspiring to the Kremlin throne. And that wound prompts him to hit back wherever and whenever he can. Apart from expressing indignation and outrage, the West has virtually no means to punish Lukashenka. The Belarusian economy is virtually independent of the West; therefore, economic sanctions would have no impact. On the other hand, the Drazdy debacle has shown Lukashenka that he is fully at the mercy of Russia, Belarus's only ally. Moscow supports Lukashenka's blatantly undemocratic regime while claiming to build democracy at home. But it cannot be ruled out that the Kremlin will undertake a mediation mission to try to curb Lukashenka's diplomatic vagaries. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx HOW TO SUBSCRIBE Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "subscribe" as the subject or body of the message. HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE Send an email to email@example.com with the word "unsubscribe" as the subject or body of the message. 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