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Baltic Countries' Severed Trade With Russia

It is correct that the economies of Estonia and the other Baltic countries have suffered from a radical severing of trade with Russia, as was stated in the article "Estonia's Market Reforms Advance," July 14. However, this is due less to immoderate Baltic nationalism or demands for a quick removal of Russian occupation troops than to contradictions between state policy and a new economic "democracy" on the Russian side.

State-to-state agreements bartering Russian oil for Lithuanian and Latvian food break down when the Siberian producer refuses to accept as his payment a shipment of meat that went to St. Petersburg. Latvian newspapers recently went on strike to protest the inability of their government to get the Russian government to ensure that railcars of newsprint they had bought in Russia would make it across the border.

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Having hoped for a slower breakdown of Soviet state structures, which might have eased their own transitions to free markets, Balts now find themselves left out not only from a preferred relationship with members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, but by a rather exclusive relationship between the commonwealth and the United States.

Though practically in-extricable from the Soviet Union a year ago, the Baltic "breakaway republics" even have been dropped from the semantic company of the other "former Soviet republics," a term US policymakers reserve for the Commonwealth of Independent States. Sandra Marefat, Lexington, Ky. Conservation vs. conservatism

Bravo for the clear and insightful analysis of the Supreme Court decision on South Carolina's coastal protection law in "A Troubling New Ruling on Property Rights," July 16.

Future generations depend on today's legislators to demonstrate protective stewardship of our land and environment. For 12 years our government has supported policies of deregulation, which led to a shortsighted vision of profit for today at the expense of future environmental quality.

Now a conservative Supreme Court, in a broad interpretation of the Fifth Amendment, has undermined the efforts of South Carolina to protect its fragile coastline against hazardous development.

I hear an imperative appeal to the voters of 1992. Cathy Bullock, Geneva, N.Y. Action on population issues

We applaud your coverage of world population issues in the special section "World Population," July 8. We urge all readers who agree that stabilization of human population is necessary to successfully address poverty and environmental degradation, to take some action.

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One such action is contacting members of Congress and President George Bush to urge inclusion of $650 million in the 1993 foreign aid appropriations for population-related activities. This would be consistent with the United Nations Amsterdam Declaration of 1989. The declaration says that developed nations should increase their funding of international family-planning programs, which provide health exams and contraceptives.

Worldwide demand for birth control could be met if developed countries committed 4 percent of their foreign-aid budgets to family-planning services. Darlene & Samuel Chirman Davis, Calif.

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