European Union-mediated talks between President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s administration and leaders of the forcibly dissolved parliament adjourned yesterday, after two days of procedural discussions. The sides agreed on the delegations’ compositions after the opposition agreed to include in the parliamentary delegation a staunch Lukashenka loyalist, who was a vice-chairman of the dissolved parliament and later repudiated it. There was no agreement on the mandate for the negotiations: the Lukashenka side insisted on the validity of its constitution and parliament, created unilaterally in late 1994, while the opposition upholds the legal continuity of the dissolved parliament and the validity of the 1994 constitution. The dialogue is to be resumed on July 15, still under EU mediation. The talks were held without Lukashenka, who is currently vacationing in Sochi, Russia. (Belapan, Russian agencies, June 18-19)
Shevardnadze Reviews Russian Peacekeeping in Abkhazia.