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Poland: Border Restrictions on Belarusians, Russians, Cause Decline In Trade

Warsaw, 19 February 1998 (RFE/RL) -- The Polish government's Center for Strategic Studies estimates the country's bazaar trade has shrunk sharply as a result of new restrictions on the entry into Poland of Russians and Belarusians.

PAP today quotes the head of the Studies Center, Jerzy Kropiwnicki, as saying that the drop in trade in January appeared to be between 20 and 50 percent compared to the same month last year.

Kropiwnicki said that the new law on aliens was a step in the right direction, but that it should not have been so rigorous. He urged that implementation of the border regulations be eased somewhat.

Kropiwnicki expressed concern that the loss of the bazaar trade would cause problems for the country's economy, in that unregistered trade has traditionally helped ease Poland's commodity trade deficit.