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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 132 Part I, 13 July 1998


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 132 Part I, 13 July 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

* RUSSIAN, IMF OFFICIALS WRAP UP TALKS ON BAILOUT

* NAZARBAYEV DEMANDS WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION

* ARMENIAN, GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS IN MOSCOW

End Note: RUSSIA PRESSED TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM MOLDOVA
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

RUSSIA

RUSSIAN, IMF OFFICIALS WRAP UP TALKS ON BAILOUT. Russian
officials wrapped up two weeks of negotiations with the IMF
on 12 July, when Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko, Unified
Energy System head Anatolii Chubais (presidential envoy to
international financial institutions), Central Bank Chairman
Sergei Dubinin and Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov met
with John Odling-Smee, the head of the IMF's second European
department. Both Chubais and Kirienko told journalists on 13
July that the talks ended successfully, but they did not
specify the size of the stabilization loan, which is aimed
at shoring up the ruble. "The New York Times" on 12 July
reported that the IMF is to lend Russia $11 billion. Citing
an unnamed source close to the negotiations, Interfax put
the figure at $12.5 billion. A government source speaking on
condition of anonymity told RFE/RL's Moscow bureau that the
IMF loan will be slightly less than $15 billion. LB

YELTSIN USES PHONE DIPLOMACY TO SECURE LOAN. In an effort to
drum up support for the IMF stabilization loan to Russia,
President Boris Yeltsin on 10 July spoke with the fund's
managing director, Michel Camdessus. The presidential press
service later issued a statement saying Camdessus praised
the government's anti-crisis program, while Yeltsin assured
the IMF head of "his firm intention to use all his strength
to implement the suggested government measures," Russian
news agencies reported. In recent days, Yeltsin has also
spoken to leaders of several countries that are major IMF
donors. The Russian president on 10 July spoke by telephone
with U.S. President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, and German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The next day, Yeltsin discussed
Russia's economic situation with Japanese Prime Minister
Ryutaro Hashimoto. LB

KIRIENKO IN JAPAN. Russian Prime Minister Kirienko met with
Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Keidzo Obuchi in Tokyo
on 13 July, ITAR-TASS reported. Obuchi reassured Kirienko
that Japan will continue to seek better relations with
Russia and support Russia's reform course, despite Japanese
Prime Minister Hashimoto's announcement the same day of his
resignation. An agreement was signed whereby Russia will
receive $400 million for economic reform by the end of July.
Another $400 million will be released before the end of the
year. Those loans are part of a $1.5 billion credit that
Obuchi promised Russia when he visited Moscow in February.
At that time, the funds were said to be intended for the
construction of housing for personnel affected by Russia's
military reduction program. Kirienko and Obuchi also signed
documents on the protection of investments and extending an
agreement on cooperation in space exploration. BP

OFFICIAL CLARIFIES POLICY ON WORKING PENSIONERS. Deputy
Prime Minister Oleg Sysuev on 10 July denied that the
government plans to eliminate pension payments to elderly
citizens who continue to work, ITAR-TASS reported. Earlier
the same day, ITAR-TASS quoted Sysuev as telling the
Federation Council that in order to solve the problems of
pension arrears, the government plans to stop paying
pensions to working pensioners (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10
July 1998). But Sysuev subsequently told journalists that
the government is seeking merely to reduce payments to
working pensioners by an average of 80 rubles ($13) a month.
He explained that such a policy would not affect the
estimated 4 million citizens (out of 37 million pensioners)
who receive minimal pensions of 234 rubles. The average
monthly pension in Russia is 400 rubles, Sysuev said. LB

ARE GOVERNMENT, UPPER HOUSE UNITED ON ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM?
Prime Minister Kirienko told journalists after addressing
the Federation Council on 10 July that the government and
upper house of the parliament support a single economic
program for Russia, Russian news agencies reported.
Federation Council Yegor Stroev was similarly upbeat, saying
that "for the first time, the Federation Council and the
government were speaking the same language." But although
the upper house adopted a resolution endorsing the
government's anti-crisis program in principle (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 10 July 1998), that resolution also described
several aspects of the program as "obviously insufficient,"
Interfax reported. In particular, the resolution charged
that the program does not include measures to "revive
industrial production, raise investment activity, increase
the competitiveness of national industrial output,
strengthen currency controls, ensure the ruble's stability,
or provide social protection for the population." LB

UPPER HOUSE APPROVES TWO OUT OF THREE GOVERNMENT-BACKED
LAWS. The Federation Council on 10 July considered three
laws that are part of the government's anti-crisis program.
Deputies approved laws on waiving value-added tax this year
on imported equipment and reducing excise duties on
carbonated alcoholic beverages, ITAR-TASS reported. However,
the Council rejected a law on raising the taxes on gambling
businesses. That law will be revised by a conciliatory
commission. The Council normally holds sessions once a
month, but deputies agreed to convene a special session on
22 July to consider the government-backed laws that may be
approved by the State Duma during its own extraordinary
session on 15-16 July. LB

FEDERATION COUNCIL CALLS ON YELTSIN TO SAVE DEFENSE
INDUSTRY. The Federation Council on 10 July appealed to
President Yeltsin to prevent the collapse of the defense
industry, Interfax reported. A non-binding statement said
that only 10 percent of the government defense order for the
first half of 1998 has been fulfilled and that many defense
enterprises face an "irreversible breakdown." It called on
Yeltsin's government to repay all debts on the defense order
by 1 October. In a 10 July address to the Federation
Council, Economics Minister Yakov Urinson vowed that by
October, the government will pay all back wages to defense
industry workers, which he said totaled 4.8 billion rubles
($772 million). During nationwide defense industry protests
on 8 July, government officials had put that figure at 2.5
billion rubles (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 July 1998). BT

YELTSIN SAYS AUTHORITIES CAN FOIL COUP PLANS. Yeltsin
announced on 10 July that "we are strong enough to curb all
plans for seizing power and other extremist plans," Interfax
reported. Without specifying the nature of the alleged coup
threat, Yeltsin declared that "extremists will fail, because
our power and law-enforcement agencies are very well
coordinated." He made the remarks during a meeting with
senior military commanders and heads of law-enforcement
agencies. He also promoted Interior Minister Sergei
Stepashin and Federal Guard Service head Yurii Krapivin to
the rank of colonel-general and promoted Presidential
Security Service head Anatolii Kuznetsov to major-general.
Also on 10 July, the Kremlin announced that Yeltsin is
postponing a vacation planned for the following week in
Karelia. No reason was given for the delay. "Nezavisimaya
gazeta" on 7 July published an article speculating that a
coup may be carried out during Yeltsin's vacation. LB

'NEZAVISIMAYA' PROPOSES 'TEMPORARY STATE COUNCIL' TO RUN
COUNTRY. Vitalii Tretyakov, the editor in chief of
"Nezavisimaya gazeta," says Russia must take drastic
measures not foreseen by the constitution in order to stave
off a "social explosion." In an article published in
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 10 July, Tretyakov advocated
forming a Temporary State Council, which would govern Russia
while arranging for new parliamentary and presidential
elections to be held within three months. Such a council
would have the power to appoint and dismiss the prime
minister. Its members would include the speakers of both
houses of the parliament, representatives of the political
parties in the State Duma, the chairmen of the
Constitutional, Supreme, and Arbitration Courts, and some
regional leaders. Heads of the "power ministries" would be
excluded from the council, and Yeltsin would be allowed to
join only if he provided a written guarantee that he will
not run for president again. LB

'KOMMERSANT-DAILY' SLAMS PROPOSED 'REVOLUTION FROM ABOVE.'
"Kommersant-Daily" on 11 July blasted the article "signed by
Tretyakov," saying that the formation of a Temporary State
Council would be tantamount to a "revolution from above."
The newspaper argued that "it has become completely obvious
that despite all the attempts by the left-radical opposition
and several Russian media outlets to transform separate
actions of social protests into mass political disorder,
there will be no revolution from below. Probably, this
forced part of the financial-industrial elite and political
establishment, close to [CIS Executive Secretary] Boris
Berezovskii, to show their cards, issuing in yesterday's
'Nezavisimaya gazeta' in effect a program for a state coup."
Berezovskii is the main financial backer of "Nezavisimaya
gazeta." In his 10 July article, Tretyakov objected to
charges that Berezovskii "pushes the pen" for the newspaper.
The source of financing for "Kommersant-Daily" is not known.
LB

GAZPROM MAY SELL ASSETS TO RAISE MONEY FOR TAXES. Irina
Bogatyreva, the chief accountant for Gazprom, announced on 9
July that the gas monopoly may sell some of its property,
ITAR-TASS reported. By way of example, she cited two
recreation facilities for Gazprom employees outside Moscow
that are each worth an estimated 100 million rubles ($16
million). She did not say how much Gazprom hopes to raise by
selling such property. The company is under pressure to pay
some 4 billion rubles in taxes this month or face asset
seizures by the tax authorities as of 1 August. The company
has already begun reducing gas supplies to non-paying
customers (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 July 1998). Meanwhile,
Yeltsin praised the government's recent steps to crack down
on major tax delinquents during an 11 July Kremlin meeting
with Prime Minister Kirienko and other high-ranking
officials. LB

WILL GAS MONOPOLY DONATE SOME PROPERTY TO CHURCH?
"Kommersant-Daily" reported on 10 July that Gazprom chief
executive Rem Vyakhirev met with Patriarch of Moscow and All
Russia Aleksii II the previous day. The newspaper speculated
that the gas monopoly, a large contributor to the Russian
Orthodox Church in the past, may soon donate various
facilities to the Church, thereby exempting those facilities
from taxation or seizure by the authorities. The patriarch's
support for Gazprom would be a political blow to the
government as well, "Kommersant-Daily" argued. ITAR-TASS on
10 July reported that Vyakhirev and Aleksii did not meet the
previous day but were to meet on 10 July. Vyakhirev told
journalists that he meets with Aleksii regularly, but he
added that Gazprom's capacity to contribute to charity has
been significantly reduced by pressure from the tax
authorities. LB

ANOTHER COURT REJECTS CHUBAIS'S LAWSUIT AGAINST JOURNALIST.
The Moscow city court on 10 July left in place a lower court
ruling that rejected Anatolii Chubais's slander lawsuit
against the journalist Aleksandr Minkin and the radio
station Ekho Moskvy, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 11 July.
During a radio interview in November 1997, Minkin broke the
story about $90,000 payments to Chubais (then first deputy
prime minister) and several other officials who co-authored
a book on privatization. Chubais sued him and Ekho Moskvy
for 250 million old rubles ($42,000) for alleging that the
payments from a publisher with links to Oneksimbank were
"hidden bribes" and "a scheme for money-laundering." A
municipal court rejected the lawsuit in April (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 29 April 1998), and the Moscow City Court
rejected the appeal lodged by Chubais's lawyer, who cited
alleged procedural flaws in the lower court's ruling. LB

BASAEV PROTESTS SUBORDINATE'S DETENTION IN DAGESTAN. Former
Chechen acting Prime Minister Shamil Basaev told journalists
in Grozny on 12 July that the Congress of Peoples of
Chechnya and Dagestan, which he chairs, will take
"appropriate measures" if the Dagestani authorities fail to
release the deputy chairman of that organization, Adallo
Aliev, within 48 hours, ITAR-TASS reported. Aliev was
apprehended on the border between Chechnya and Dagestan the
previous day and charged with carrying a weapon. The
Congress of Peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan, which aims to
create a unified state composed of both regions, is regarded
with mistrust by the Dagestani authorities. LF

CHECHEN PRESIDENT ACCEPTS PREMIER'S RESIGNATION. Aslan
Maskhadov has accepted Basaev's resignation as acting prime
minister and assumed the latter's duties, presidential press
spokesman Mairbek Vachagaev told ITAR-TASS on 11 July. The
same day, Chechen Deputy Prosecutor-General Magomed
Magomadov told journalists that he believes two British and
two Hungarian aid workers abducted in Chechnya over the past
year have been moved to neighboring Ingushetia. LF

YELTSIN, RYBKIN DISCUSS MEASURES TO SECURE VLASOV'S RELEASE.
Following a meeting in Moscow on 9 July with Yeltsin,
Russian presidential envoy to the CIS and co-chairman of the
Russian-Chechen Commission Ivan Rybkin told Interfax that
Yeltsin continues to insist that his abducted envoy,
Valentin Vlasov, be released unconditionally, Interfax
reported. Vlasov was abducted on 1 May close to the Chechen-
Ingush border; both the Chechen and the Ingush authorities
deny he is being held on their territory. The following day,
Rybkin told journalists that Moscow should change its
political and economic administrative approach in the North
Caucasus and create a new state commission to expedite the
socio-economic development of Russia's southern regions,
according to Caucasus Press. Rybkin also denied Chechen
claims that Russia has not paid the Chechen leadership for
the transportation of Azerbaijani Caspian oil to Russia via
Chechnya. LF

YELTSIN WARNS POWER MINISTRIES OVER NORTH CAUCASUS. Meeting
with senior military commanders and heads of law-enforcement
agencies on 10 July, Russian President Yeltsin warned
Russia's power ministries against undertaking any
spontaneous uncoordinated actions in the North Caucasus.
according to ITAR-TASS. Yeltsin also said during that
meeting that "our power and law-enforcement agencies are
very well coordinated" (see above). He stressed that the
Ministry for Internal Affairs, and specifically Interior
Troops commander Colonel-General Leontii Shevtsov, has
responsibility for coordinating measures to stabilize the
situation in the North Caucasus. "Moskovskii komsomolets"
claimed last week that the Russian military is planning a
new war in the North Caucasus (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10
July 1998.) LF

LUZHKOV PROTESTS LACK OF PUBLICITY FOR WORLD YOUTH GAMES.
Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov on 10 July sent a letter to
Yeltsin complaining that major Russian television stations
are ignoring the World Youth Games, ITAR-TASS reported.
Luzhkov claimed that neither fully state-owned Russian
Television nor 51 percent state-owned Russian public
Television (ORT) nor private NTV will cover the events,
taking place in Moscow from 11-19 July. Last year, Luzhkov
decried ORT's lack of live coverage of festivities to mark
Moscow's 850th anniversary (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2
September 1997). Meanwhile, Moscow city authorities have
ordered Medicins sans frontieres to remove their portable
facilities in downtown Moscow, "Izvestiya" reported on 10
July. The authorities believe that "a crowd of sick refugees
spoils the appearance of the Youth Games," according to
"Izvestiya." BT

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIAN, GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS IN MOSCOW. Vartan
Oskanian met with his Russian counterpart, Yevgenii
Primakov, in Moscow on 9 July to discuss bilateral relations
and the Karabakh peace process, Noyan Tapan reported the
following day. Both ministers stressed the need for the
speediest possible resumption of talks on Karabakh. In an
interview published by Turan on 10 June, Oskanian similarly
called for the resumption of talks within either the "3+3"
format (Armenia, Azerbaijan and the unrecognized Nagorno-
Karabakh Republic plus the three Minsk Group co-chairmen) or
the "1+1" variant (Baku and Stepanakert). Oskanian said that
question would not arise if Azerbaijan was serious about
seeking to resolve the conflict. Georgian Foreign Minister
Irakli Menagharishvili was in Moscow on 12 July to discuss
the Abkhaz situation with Primakov, according to ITAR-TASS.
LF

FIVE RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS KILLED IN ABKHAZIA. Five members
of the CIS peacekeeping force deployed along the border
between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia were killed and
another five injured when their vehicle hit a land mine in
Abkhazia's Gali Raion on 12 July, ITAR-TASS reported. More
than 60 Russian peacekeepers have been killed in Abkhazia
over the past four years. The commander of the Russian
force, General Sergei Korobko, blamed Georgian guerrillas of
the White Legion for the incident, according to Interfax.
Two days earlier, the commander of the UN observer mission
in western Georgia had complained that inadequate security
precautions were preventing his men from carrying out their
duties, according to Caucasus Press. LF

GEORGIAN FUGITIVES RELUCTANT TO RETURN TO ABKHAZIA.
Representatives of the Russian peacekeepers and the Abkhaz
authorities met in Tsalendjikha on 11 July with ethnic
Georgians who fled Gali during the fighting in May. However,
they failed to persuade the fugitives to return to their
homes, Caucasus Press reported. The Georgians suspect that
the Abkhaz overture was intended to prevent charges of
ethnic cleansing from being leveled against the Abkhaz
leadership at the 15 July UN Security Council meeting, at
which the Abkhaz conflict is to be discussed. LF

AZERBAIJANI OPPOSITION DISSATISFIED WITH CONCESSIONS ON
ELECTION LAW. The Azerbaijani parliament on 10 July endorsed
two amendments to the election law that were proposed by
President Heidar Aliev in response to opposition demands,
Turan reported. That law was passed last month. The
amendments reduce the minimum required turnout from 50
percent plus one vote to 25 percent and allow voters to
endorse the registration application of more than one
potential presidential candidate. But the third opposition
demand--for parity in the composition of electoral
commissions--was rejected. Opposition spokesmen termed the
modifications to the law " a great victory" but said they
will not abandon their plans to boycott the poll unless
their third demand is met. LF

GERMANY GRANTS AZERBAIJAN DM 17 MILLION. Germany has granted
Azerbaijan a loan worth DM 10 million ($5.5 million) to
support economic reform, as well as a DM 7 million a loan
for scientific and technical assistance, ITAR-TASS reported
on 10 July. The credits are to support the privatization of
agriculture and the development of small and medium-sized
businesses. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofik Zulfugarov's
official visit to Germany, originally planned for May, has
been rescheduled for mid-October, according to Turan. LF

NAZARBAYEV DEMANDS WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION... Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbayev, addressing first the
parliament and then the nation on 10 July, said that
corruption is "one of the most dangerous phenomena today,"
Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported. He added that fighting
corruption is necessary to regain "trust in the state power
structures," according to Reuters. The Western news agency
also reported that "Nazarbayev, whose son-in-law heads the
tax inspector's office and whose daughter runs the main
television channel, said he would eradicate misuse of
personal connections." The chairman of the National Security
Committee, Alnur Musayev, told the parliament that the more
than 300 corruption cases currently being investigated
include judges, governors, public prosecutors, and
policemen. BP

...PROMPTING VIOLENCE NEXT DAY. One day after Nazarbayev's
comments about corruption, fighting broke out in Almaty
between members of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee
and police, ITAR-TASS reported on 11 July. In response to a
complaint filed by a private individual, members of the
committee went to a police station to arrest officials
suspected of extortion. However, they met with insults and
were forced out of the station by police. No injuries were
reported. The committee has promised that legal action will
be brought against the policemen. BP

DEATH TOLL RISES AFTER FERGANA FLOOD. Uzbek President Islam
Karimov on 12 July said that relief workers have found the
bodies of 92 people killed as a result of the 8 July flood
in the Fergana Valley, eastern Uzbekistan, ITAR-TASS
reported. However, RFE/RL correspondents on 12 July quoted
Aleksei Yermolov, the spokesman for Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of
Emergencies, as saying the Kyrgyz authorities have found the
bodies of 44 people on the Kyrgyz side of the border, 43 of
whom were Uzbek citizens and were not included in the Uzbek
government's casualty figures. BP

AKAEV ELIGIBLE TO RUN FOR PRESIDENCY IN 2000. The Kyrgyz
Constitutional Court ruled on 13 July that incumbent
President Askar Akaev, is eligible to run in the
presidential elections scheduled for 2000, RFE/RL
correspondents in Bishkek reported. Akaev was elected
president by the Kirghiz SSR Supreme Soviet in 1990 and
elected in a popular vote the following year and again in
1995. The court ruled that Akaev can run again since he has
been elected only once since Kyrgyzstan adopted a new
constitution in 1993. BP

END NOTE

RUSSIA PRESSED TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM MOLDOVA

by Roland Eggleston

	The U.S. and other delegations to the OSCE have told
Russia to honor its promise to withdraw all troops and
ammunition from Moldova's breakaway region of Transdniester.
	At two meetings in Vienna last week, Moscow was
accused of ignoring the commitments made by former Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin at the OSCE summit in Lisbon in
December 1996. Russia was also accused of ignoring repeated
requests to allow OSCE monitors to check the levels of
troops, equipment, and arms still deployed in Transdniester.
	The charges were made by Moldova's deputy foreign
minister, Iurie Leanca, and were backed by the U.S., France,
Canada, and the EU. Romania and Azerbaijan also became
involved in the debate. France said that "absolutely no
progress has been made" in resolving the problem. And the EU
delegate, Jutta Stefan-Bastl, said the OSCE has no real
information on how many troops are still there.
	In 1994, Russia said that it had 8,500 troops
stationed there. Last November, the OSCE said it believed
there were still more than 3,000 in place. Russia responded
that it was not deliberately trying to maintain a military
presence in the region but that there were many
difficulties--including political ones--in fulfilling the
commitment. Russian delegates said that the promises would
be kept but gave no deadline for doing so.
	At a meeting of the OSCE permanent council, the U.S.
responded by proposing a number of concrete steps that it
wants Russia to take before the end of the year.
	Moldova demanded the withdrawal of the Russian troops
when it declared independence in 1992, but the operation was
complicated by domestic problems. The Transdniester region,
largely-populated by ethnic Russians, declared separation
from Moldova. The move led to heavy fighting in which scores
of people died. The Russian 14th Army, then led by General
Aleksandr Lebed, remained in the Transdniester. Moscow
described it as a "peacekeeping" force but Moldova
considered it to be a foreign army to be illegally based on
its territory.
	In October 1994, Russia and Moldova agreed on the
withdrawal of the troops, but they nonetheless stayed in
place. Russian commanders said that hundreds of their men
were locals who wanted to remain in Transdniester.
	In an OSCE summit meeting in Lisbon in December 1996,
Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin joined other
government leaders in a statement calling for the "early,
orderly, and complete withdrawal of Russian troops." The
statement forms part of the final document issued by the
summit meeting.
	Delegates to last week's meetings in Vienna were told
that some troops and military materiel were indeed withdrawn
last year. But the withdrawal stopped and, as far as is
known, no more troops have moved this year. The EU described
this as "deplorable" behavior.
	Speaking on behalf of the EU, the Austrian delegate
Jutta Stefan-Bastl, said that "the EU would very much
welcome a decision by the Russian side to provide detailed
information on the number of troops, equipment, and arms
still present in Transdniester." She added that Russia
should allow international observers to inspect the
situation. And she commented that "we deplore that our
repeated requests for access to weapons depots have never
been taken into consideration by Russia."
	The U.S., the EU, and other countries said they regard
the continued storage of arms in Transdniester as a "serious
factor of instability and a risk for the preservation of
stability in the whole region." They asked Russia to provide
detailed information on how many weapons and other equipment
were still in Transdniester.
	Russia responded that it is ready to begin the
destruction of munitions by the end of this month. Romania,
for its part, commented that it is ready to assist in the
destruction if required.
	The U. S. delegate, David Johnson, said that Russia
should establish a number of targets to be fulfilled before
the OSCE foreign ministers meet in Oslo at the end of the
year. "They should include the actual departure of several
trainloads of equipment back to Russia and the conclusion of
a comprehensive schedule for the complete withdrawal of
Russian forces and equipment," Johnson said.
	He welcomed Russia's statement that the destruction of
munitions would begin this month. Johnson also proposed that
Russia allow the OSCE mission in the region to monitor the
withdrawal and the destruction of weapons.
	The U.S.--backed by several other countries--proposed
that another meeting on the problem be held in Vienna in
October. It would assess how much progress Russia has made
in meeting those proposals and draw up a report for the OSCE
foreign ministers conference in December.

The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in Munich.

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