The discovery of a new dish does more for human happines than the discovery of a new star. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 15, 22 January 1991





BALTIC STATES



YELTSIN SENDS CONDOLENCES TO LATVIA. Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet Boris Yeltsin expressed his condolences to the people
of Latvia in connection with the Black Beret attack on the Ministry
of Internal Affairs and the resultant casualties. According to
Radio Riga of January 21, Yeltsin's telegram was read to the
plenary session of the Supreme Soviet. (Dzintra Bungs)

SOVIET OFFICIALS EVASIVE OVER BLACK BERET VIOLENCE. Latvia's
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Zenons Indrikovs noted that
Soviet officials, who had arrived in Latvia on January 21 to
investigate the attack on Latvia's MVD, tended to be evasive
when discussing the subject with Latvian leaders. That same day
Deputy Prime Minister Ilmars Bisers and Minister of Internal
Affairs Aloizs Vaznis met with Boris Pugo, USSR Minister of Internal
Affairs. Pugo did not say who ordered the assaults in Latvia,
but he said that the Black Berets would be confined to their
base until their attack is investigated by the USSR Procuracy.
The Latvians reiterated their demand that the Black Berets be
withdrawn from Latvia, but Pugo gave no date for their pullout,
according to Radio Riga of January 21. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN SUPREME COUNCIL DECIDES TO ENHANCE SECURITY. Latvian
legislators adopted a resolution on January 21 to improve the
self-defense network against terrorism by expanding and improving
the militia's training and operations, reported Radio Riga that
day. The resolution also called for the establishment of a kind
of home guard under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Conspicuously
absent from the Supreme Council session were members of the opposition
Ravnopravie faction, although they sent a few observers. They
are boycotting the Council until their demands (greater decisionmaking
powers and representation in the government, as well as the removal
of volunteer guards and vehicles parked to protect the Supreme
Council) are met. (Dzintra Bungs)

GORBUNOVS TO MOSCOW TO DISCUSS PRESIDENTIAL RULE? Radio Riga
reported on January 21 that Chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council
Anatolijs Gorbunovs is to meet today with USSR President Mikhail
Gorbachev to discuss the situation in Latvia. Latvian government
spokesmen told the press yesterday that Gorbunovs would focus
on ways to normalize the tense situation in Latvia, according
to Radio Riga of January 21. USSR Supreme Soviet Deputy Anatoly
Denisov said, however, that Gorbachev may want to discuss the
imposition of presidential rule in Latvia, according to The New
York Times and The Baltimore Sun of January 22. Last week Denisov
and five other USSR deputies were in Latvia to investigate the
situation there. (Dzintra Bungs)

SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTRY ENVOY TO LATVIA. Sweden's Foreign Minister
Sten Andersson is sending State Secretary Pierre Schori to establish
contacts between the governments in Riga and Stockholm. Andersson
made the announcement at a rally in Stockholm protesting Soviet
military actions in Riga, according to DPA of January 21. Radio
Riga announced on January 21 that a Swedish parliamentary delegation
is expected to arrive in the Latvian capital today. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LATVIANS FOR THE GOVERNMENT, AGAINST THE SALVATION COMMITTEE.
Radio Riga reported on January 21 the results of a recent public
opinion poll of 917 respondents (53% Latvian speakers and 47%
Russian speakers) from all over Latvia. (Latvians comprise about
50% of Latvia's population, with Russians and other Slavs making
up most of the remaining 50%.) Supporting the Supreme Council
were 83% of the respondents (98% Latvian speakers, 67% Russian
speakers), and against it were 11% of the respondents, of whom
22% were Russian speakers. The poll did not measure other attitudes.
For the Council of Ministers were 79% of the respondents (96%
Latvian speakers, 62% Russian speakers). For the All-Latvia Public
Salvation Committee were only 11% of the respondents (1% Latvian
speakers, 26% Russian speakers), compared to 70% of the respondents
(93% Latvian speakers, 46% Russian speakers) against it. (Dzintra
Bungs)

KAULS RESIGNS FROM PARTY AND SALVATION COMMITTEE. Radio Riga
reported on January 19 that Alberts Kauls, formerly a member
of the USSR Presidential Council, had announced his resignation
from the CPSU and the All-Latvia Public Salvation Committee,
of which he had been co-chairman. Kauls said that he could no
longer agree with the Party's policies and the committee's goals
of assuming power in Latvia. He is the chairman of the prosperous
agrofirm Adazi. Radio Riga reported on January 22 that Alfreds
Rubiks, the other co-chairman of the Salvation committee, has
no intention resigning from the committee. (Dzintra Bungs)

CHURKIN: BALTIC VIOLENCE "A FACT OF LIFE." Speaking of the January
20 Soviet military crackdown in Latvia, Soviet Foreign Ministry
spokesman Vitalii Churkin said, "the government regrets what
happened, but it's a fact of life." He went on to criticize nationalist
authorities in the Baltic States, saying they had adopted a "resolution
of war" against the Russian-speaking minorities in the republics.
Churkin Bhallenged US criticism of Soviet press coverage of events
in tBe Baltic states, saying Moscow was amazed by the attempts
of the US State Department to assign itself the role of censor,
TASS reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)

B LITHUANIANS IN MOSCOW FOR TALKS WITH RSFSR.
Radio Kaunas reported this morning that Deputy Chairman
of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Ceslovas Stankevicius
had flown to Moscow to conBinue discussions with the RSFSR on
a Lithuania-RSFSR accord. The RSFSR had signed similar accords
with Estonia on January 12 and with Latvia on January 14. Stankevicius
had beguB the talks in Vilnius on January 17. (Saulius Girnius)


SAUDAOBAS MEETS GENSCHER. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Algirdas
Saudargas yesterday met with his German counterpart Hans-Dietrich
Genscher. In an official statement after the meeting Genscher
said: "We observe what is happening in the Baltics with great
concern. We are interested in the democratization process of
the Soviet Union continuing. We condemn the repeated use of force
in the Baltic states," AP reported that day. Saudargas later
held a press conference with Mavriks Vulfsons, the chairman of
the Latvian Supreme Council Commission on Foreign Affairs, in
Bonn at which they urged the West to press Moscow to guarantee
that the violence will noOBbe repeated. Saudargas will travel
to Brussels today and then to Oslo. (Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS TALKS WITH TARAZEVICH. In a telephone conversation
with the RFE Lithuanian Service this morning, LithuaniaB President
Vytautas Landsbergis said that he had called USSR Supreme Soviet
envoy Georgii Tarazevich in Moscow immediately on learning about
the Black Beret attack on the Latvian MVD on January 20. Landsbergis
said that Tarazevich was an "honest mediator" trying to bring
about a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Lithuania
and the USSR. Tarazevich returned to Lithuania last night and
told Landsbergis that Gorbachev wanted the negotiations on Lithuanian
independence to be renewed, with the return of various buildings
in Lithuania seized by Soviet troops to be a matter of simple
negotiations. (Saulius Girnius)

DATE FOR UNIVERSAL POLL SET. The Lithuanian Supreme Council has
decided that it will conduct a universal poll among all citizens
of Lithuania or persons having rights to citizenship on February
9. The poll will ask the question: "Do you agree with the assertion
in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania that is being
prepared that the Lithuanian state is an independent democratic
republic?" In a telephone conversatiBn with the RFE Lithuanian
Service this morning Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme
Council Kazimieras Motieka said that the parliament's presidium
had decided that voters will be able to vote early by placing
their ballot in an envelope at a polling place starting on February
4. (Saulius Girnius)

GORBACHEV TO ESTONIA: I'LL STOP USE OF FORCE! Soviet President
MBkhail Gorbachev told his Estonian counterpart Arnold Ruutel
yesterday that he would intervene to stop the use of force in
Estonia, Estonian Radio reported yesterday. The two men, meeting
in Moscow, reportedly agreed that Ruutel will immediately inform
Gorbachev if force is used or attempted, and the Soviet president
"will implement measures at his disposal to block the use of
any kind of force." Ruutel and Gorbachev also discussed the need
for high-level talks in the next few days. (Riina Kionka)

RUUTEL TO MEET YAZOV. Gorbachev and Ruutel also discussed military
issues at their meeting yesterday in Moscow, according to Estonian
Radio. After the meeting, also attended by Chief of Staff Mikhail
Moiseev and his deputy, Col.Gen. Gregorii Krivosheev, Gorbachev
reportedly arranged for Ruutel to meet with Soviet Defense Minister
Yazov and other senior officials. There are no reports yet from
that meeting. (Riina Kionka)

ICELAND AND ESTONIA CONDEMN ATTACK. Iceland's Foreign Minister
Jon Hannibalsson and his Estonian counterpart Lennart Meri issued
a joint statement yesterday condemning Sunday's attack in Riga
and calling for UN action on the matter. In the statement, sent
to RFE/RL, Hannibalsson and Meri said the Soviet Union "cannot
escape responsibility for the activities of its military units"
and that events in the Baltic should be kept "under close surveillance
of the world community." (Riina Kionka)

RSFSR SUPSOV FAILS TO APPROVE RESOLUTION ON BALTIC EVENTS. Yesterday,
the RSFSR Supreme Soviet discussed the violence in the Baltic
republics. Speaker after speaker attacked Gorbachev, noting that
a local military commander could not open fire without orders
from the USSR President. No deputy defended the idea of setting
up "committees for national salvation" to overthrow elected bodies;
some suggested that such "committees" could emerge in any part
of the Russian Federation, perhaps with the RSFSR Communist Party
and its head, Ivan Polozkov, as eventual founders of such a unconstitutional
"committee". Besides Gorbachev, the person criticized most severely
was Leonid Kravchenko, chairman of Gosteleradio. Nonetheless,
the resolution condemning the use of force was not approved:
118 deputies (47,6 percent of those present) voted for the resolution,
47 voted against it, and 26 abstained, while the remaining deputies
did not vote at all. The resolution is to be rewritten and put
to a vote on Thursday. (Julia Wishnevsky)

SOME CONSERVATIVES SIDE WITH YELTSIN OVER LITHUANIA. One of the
most sensational speeches at yesterday's session of the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet was delivered by Colonel Rutskoy, an avowed Russian
nationalist. Rutskoy savagely condemned Gorbachev and the CPSU
leadership for their repeated attempts to lay the blame for their
policies "either on the Army or on democrats." Rutskoy did not
merely support Yeltsin but the Baltic leaders as well, an unusual
stance for a Soviet military man. Rutskoy is not the first conservative
to join the RSFSR-Baltic opposition to Gorbachev. The Belorussian
Supreme Soviet and the USSR Supreme Soviet envoy to Lithuania,
who had supported the Landsbergis leadership, are also very conservative.
(Julia Wishnevsky)

ALKSNIS ACCUSES GORBACHEV. Viktor Alksnis charged yesterday that
Gorbachev planned the destabilization of the Baltic governments
but then lost his nerve and tried to make the armed forces a
scapegoat. According to a report in the Boston Globe, the conservative
colonel made his comments to journalists during a break in a
session of the Russian Federation's Supreme Soviet. Alksnis called
Gorbachev a "weak man" who has "betrayed the military." He charged
that Gorbachev had encouraged the creation of so-called committees
for national salvation in Lithuania and Latvia, and ridiculed
the idea that the local military commander could have ordered
the paratroopers into action in Vilnius. (Stephen Foye)

"DNIESTER SSR" DEPUTIES SUPPORT MILITARY ACTION IN LITHUANIA.
At a special congress in Tiraspol yesterday, more than 500 people's
deputies of all levels from the would-be Dniester SSR (in eastern
Moldavia) issued an address to the USSR armed forces, condemning
Lithuania's "nationalist and anti-Soviet forces" for having "deliberately
provoked" the recent clash in Vilnius. The address said that
the events in Lithuania illustrated the need for military involvement
in "actions to defend the legal order in our country," TASS reported.
The Dniester deputies' address is the latest in a series of statements
by Russian organizations in Moldavia supporting Soviet military
action in the Baltics. (Vladimir Socor).



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



YELTSIN DENOUNCES GORBACHEV'S "TURN TO RIGHT." Addressing the
RSFSR Supreme Soviet yesterday, Boris Yeltsin accused Soviet
president Mikhail Gorbachev of abandoning democracy in favor
of "violence and pressure." He said the Kremlin was violating
the USSR constitution by supporting "Committees of National Salvation"
in an attempt to overthrow legitimate, democratically elected
governments in the Baltic states. Gorbachev's ultimate aim, Yeltsin
warned, was the establishment of presidential rule throughout
the USSR; the "Committees of National Salvation," he said, were
clearly intended to serve as Gorbachev's agents in this enterprise.
Once again, Yeltsin said, the Soviet state was placing itself
above society. (Elizabeth Teague)

FEDERATION COUNCIL TO MEET TODAY? The Baltimore Sun and Reuters
both report today that Gorbachev is to chair a session of the
Federation Council today. There has been no confirmation of this
from the official TASS news agency or from Moscow Radio. Nor
has there been any report from these media so far today about
the session of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, which is due to resume
today. (NCA/Elizabeth Teague)

SADDAM ON GORBACHEV PEACE PLAN. Saddam Hussein rejected Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev's peace plan of last week, Iraqi
radio said yesterday. According to Saddam, Gorbachev's January
18 letter offered to intercede with US President George Bush
to ensure a suspension of hostilities if Saddam agreed to announce
plans to withdraw from Kuwait, AP reported yesterday. (Suzanne
Crow)

AKHROMEYEV ON THE GULF. Former Chief of the General Staff, Marshal
Sergei Akhromeyev said in Pravda yesterday said the United States
acted prematurely in attacking Iraq. Akhromeyev described it
as "deeply regrettable that all possibilities for a peaceful
solution of the conflict had not been exhausted." Akhromeyev's
comments go one step further than recent official Soviet statements
in trying to distance Moscow from the war against Iraq. (Suzanne
Crow)

MORE SOVIETS IN IRAQ THAN THOUGHT? At yesterday's Foreign Ministry
briefing, Vitalii Churkin said that "a large group" of Soviet
citizens fled from Yusifiya, Iraq (about 50 kilometers from Baghdad,
according to Churkin) to Iran, TASS reported yesterday. According
to the Islamic Republic News Agency of Iran (cited by AFP today),
the Soviet citizens were military advisers, and they numbered
100. This information conflicts with repeated Soviet foreign
ministry reassurances claiming no Soviet military advisers remained
in Iraq. (Suzanne Crow)

RUSSIAN NATIONALISTS ON IRAQ WAR. Russian nationalist writers
have increased their attacks on Soviet foreign policy for siding
with the West against Iraq. Igor Shavarevich, Vadim Kozhinov
and Viktor Doroshenko published articles in Literaturnaya Rossiya
on January 11, accusing the US of an immoral war for oil and
expanding their military hegemony into the Middle East. They
criticized the Kremlin leadership for betraying future Russian
interests in the Third World. They stressed that the Soviet Union
should not participate in the alliance with the West but preserve
its strategy as a balancing force between industrialized and
developing countries. (Alexander Rahr)

EC POSTPONES ECONOMIC AID MEETING WITH SOVIETS. European Community
vice president Frans Andriessen announced yesterday that the
EC has decided to "put off until later" a meeting of the EC-Soviet
Commission in protest of recent events in the Baltic. The Commission,
which meets twice yearly, was due to meet January 24-25. The
Soviet side was to be chaired by deputy foreign minister Ernst
Obminski, according to Reuter and AP January 21. Obminski and
his delegation were due to arrive in Brussels today. The EC will
not cancel a pledge of emergency food aid worth some 340 million
dollars, but 550 million dollars of technical aid pledged by
the EC in Rome last year is in jeopardy. (John Tedstrom)

US GRAIN CREDITS ALSO AT RISK. The US government is considering
cancelling economic aid to the USSR over the developments in
the Baltic republics, according to government officials and private
analysts interviewed by Reuter January 21. Moscow received 900
million dollars in export credit guarantees from the US last
week and promptly bought 4 million metric tons of corn and 500,000
tons of soybean meal. Reuters quotes deputy US trade representative
Julius Katz as saying that the developments in the Baltic are
"disturbing and we will watch them carefully." President Bush
has also warned Moscow that its actions in the Baltic jeopardize
US economic assistance. (John Tedstrom)

JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER ARRIVES IN MOSCOW. Japanese Foreign
Minister Taro Nakayama arrived in Moscow last night for talks
with the Soviet leadership in preparation for the Soviet-Japanese
summit planned for April. Nakayama will meet for formal talks
with Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh today and
with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev tomorrow. (Suzanne Crow)


MOSCOW REJECTS JAPAN'S PROTEST. The Soviet crackdown in the Baltics
is casting a shadow on Nakayama's visit. Seeing off Nakayama
at Tokyo's Narita airport, Yurii Kuznetsov, Charge d'Affairs
to the Soviet embassy in Japan, said yesterday, "the Soviet government
rejects all protests and allegations against Soviet foreign and
internal policies which may worsen the situation." Japanese officials
yesterday expressed deep regret over the USSR's military action
in Latvia, AFP reported. (Suzanne Crow)

USSR OWES $377 MILLION TO JAPANESE FIRMS. Makoto Kiketsu, a spokesman
for the Japanese Association for Trade with the Soviet Union
and Eastern Europe, said today the USSR owed Japan $377 million
as of December 31, 1990. Kiketsu said his organization's member
companies were disappointed by the late payments because Moscow
had agreed in October to arrange payments with its Japanese partners
as soon as possible, AFP reports today. (Suzanne Crow)

IZVESTIA ON KAL 007. Another article on the KAL shootdown appeared
in Izvestia yesterday. This item contained information about
an unofficial investigation which has been going on since the
incident. The article says that the plane was shot down near
the Soviet pacific island of Moneron and that soldiers found
the craft "almost undamaged" in thirty-meter deep water. The
investigation also concluded that it is impossible that the plane
was on a spy mission, AFP reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)


GERMAN TREATIES' RATIFICATION EXPECTED. Soviet Deputy Foreign
Minister Aleksandr Belonogov told Bild am Sonntag on January
20 that he had "no doubts" that the Supreme Soviet will ratify
the Two-Plus-Four Treaty and the USSR-Germany treaty of friendship
within the next few weeks. Belonogov described the documents
as "the foundation stone of a new Europe." (Suzanne Crow)

USSR-CUBA SIGN AGREEMENTS. Soviet Ambassador Yurii Petrov revealed
in a January 18 speech details of an accord reached in December
between Moscow and Havana. According to the agreement, in 1991
the USSR will maintain its current level of oil deliveries (about
10 million tons per year), suspend Cuban debt payments, and cut
back the number of non-military advisers on the island to 1,000,
Reuters said on January 19. Petrov also pledged, "if anyone threatens
Cuba, we will find the means to settle the subject." Meanwhile,
Supreme Soviet deputy Kim Yen Un said also that 20 percent of
all Soviet requirements in medicines and medical equipment will
be met by Cuba in 1991, TASS reported January 18. (Suzanne Crow)


GORBACHEV WILL READ PEACE PRIZE LECTURE IN OSLO. Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev confirmed yesterday he will deliver the traditional
Nobel Peace Prize lecture in Oslo, probably in May. Gorbachev's
announcement comes amid regret expressed by some Prize Committee
members that the Soviet leader is permitting or presiding over
violence against the Baltic states. Geir Lundestad, the secretary
of the Nobel Prize Awards Committee, said yesterday the "entire
issue will be discussed at the Committee's February 18 meeting."
It is not clear if the Committee will retract its invitation
for Gorbachev to speak, AP reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)


SHAKHNAZAROV: GORBACHEV'S POSITION STABLE BUT THREATENED. Gorbachev
adviser Georgii Shakhnazarov, in an interview published in the
latest issue of Der Spiegel, says that Gorbachev's position is
stable for the time being. However, Shakhnazarov warns that if
Gorbachev gave in to pressure from separatists and democrats
to allow the disintegration of the USSR, he would be overthrown
and replaced by a military dictatorship. This, he said, would
mean an end to perestroika and the relaxation of international
tensions, as well as to the Supreme Soviet, democratic guarantees,
and the right to criticize the President. He sees the Russian
people as key: they must decide whether they want to live within
the borders of present-day Russia or within a union. (NCA/Sallie
Wise)

LIGACHEV REMEMBERS. The Belgorod CP newspaper, Belgorodskaya
pravda, has started serializing the reminiscences of former Politburo
whipping-boy Egor Ligachev, according to a newscast on TSN yesterday
afternoon. Ligachev's memoirs are bound to become a bestseller;
but Ligachev has a good reason to be grateful to this particular
Party organization: after being rejected by an overwhelming majority
of votes in a Moscow suburb, Ligachev was elected a delegate
to the last CPSU Congress by the Belgorod CP organization. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

NEW JOURNAL ON FUTURE OF SOCIALISM TO BE PUBLISHED. Moscow's
Institute of the International Workers' Movement plans to publish
a journal, Sotsialism budushchego, in collaboration with the
Spanish foundation "System." To appear in six languages besides
Russian, the journal will publish analytical articles about socialism
by Soviet and foreign left-wing politicians and thinkers. TASS
said on January 18 that the journal is not a successor of the
periodical, Problemy mira i sotsialisma, which has dealt with
the similar issues. (Vera Tolz)

FIRST ORTHODOX YOUTH CONGRESS. TASS reports that the first All-Church
Congress of Orthodox Youth will take place from January 25 to
27. Invitations to participate in the Congress were sent to representatives
of the youth of all eparchies, and also to foreign Orthodox and
non-Orthodox youth organizations and movements. The Congress
will discuss problems of reviving youth participation in charitable
activities. (Oxana Antic)



USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN URGES RSFSR SUPSOV TO RESIST GORBACHEV LINE. Yeltsin
told the RSFSR Supreme Soviet yesterday that it is up to the
government of the RSFSR to resist Gorbachev's turn to the right.
He said this could best be achieved by speeding up the conclusion
of a treaty between the "Big Four" republics (the RSFSR, Kazakhstan,
Ukraine and Belorussia). He told the RSFSR parliament that prime
minister Ivan Silaev would submit proposals to strengthen the
RSFSR's control over enterprises on its territory, including
those formally under all-Union subordination. This is a sensitive
issue since it will affect enterprises engaged in defense production,
over which the RSFSR has not until now attempted to exercise
control. Yeltsin said Silaev would outline other measures allowing
the RSFSR to extend its control over economic activity on its
territory. (Elizabeth Teague)

YELTSIN MEETS WITH SHCHIT. Yeltsin met on January 18 with leaders
of the renegade military union Shchit, Novosti reports. The meeting
was devoted to discussion of how to defend the Russian government
from an attack by the center similar to the one that recently
occurred in Lithuania, and also to the possibility of forming
a Russian army. The Shchit group reportedly appealed to Russian
soldiers and officers to abandon the "party autocracy" (partokratii)
and to unite under the Russian banner. Shchit has long been a
critic of the Defense Ministry, and claims to represent the interests
of soldiers and their families. (Stephen Foye)

RUSSIAN REAL-ESTATE EXCHANGE ESTABLISHED. The all-Russian real-estate
exchange (Vserossiiskaya birzha nedvizhimosti) has been established
in Moscow, according to Izvestia of January 18. The goal of the
exchange is to help establish a real-estate market in the RSFSR
and to help set up real-estate bureaus in the republic. Several
organizations, including the all-Russian exchange center and
the Russian information bank, joined to establish the exchange
as a joint stock company, and capitalized it with 100 million
rubles. (John Tedstrom)



Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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