This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joy, and cutteth griefs in half. - Francis Bacon
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 31, 13 February 1991



BALTIC STATES



"SHIELD" INVESTIGATORS DETAINED IN LITHUANIA. Three reserve officers--Lieutenant
Colonel Ivan Bichkov and Captains Aleksandr Evstigneev and Gennadii
Melkov--were detained by army and KGB officers on February 12
at the Vilnius railroad station prior to their departure for
Moscow, ELTA reported that day. They were part of a five-member
investigative commission from the pro-reform Soviet military
organization "Shield." The commission had spent two weeks in
Lithuania investigating the situation there and had concluded
that the violent crackdown in Lithuania in January was a prelude
to a well-planned coup. The detainees were accused of carrying
weapons and narcotics. (Dzintra Bungs)

KGB ROLE IN VILNIUS ATTACK? Conflicting accounts have surfaced
on KGB participation in the January 13 assault that left 13 Lithuanians
dead. According to the February 13 Boston Globe, some Soviet
and Lithuanian sources allege that a KGB elite unit led the attack.
But newly appointed KGB Deputy Chief Victor Grushko told reporters
that the KGB was not involved and that the one casualty among
the attacking forces--identified as a KGB officer--was alone.
Earlier, another KGB officer, Major General Alexander Karbainov,
said that a team of about 15 KGB men had been brought into Vilnius
a few days before the attack. He later said that their task was
limited to protecting the populace. (Stephen Foye)

DANISH DELEGATION AT LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT. On February 12 a
10-member delegation of the Danish parliament, headed by its
president Hans Peter Klaussen, attended the morning session of
the Lithuanian Supreme Council, broadcast live over Radio Kaunas.
The delegation included Denmark's 4 vice-presidents as well as
a consul from the Danish embassy in Moscow. Klaussen said that
the Danish people "are totally united in support of the aspirations
of the three Baltic peoples to regain their independence and
freedom in a peaceful and democratic manner." He extended an
official invitation to the Lithuanian parliament to send a delegation
to Denmark. He ended with the hope that "Lithuania soon will
be able to take its place among the free and democratic countries
of Europe. That's where you belong." (Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIAN COMMUNISTS URGE VOTE AGAINST INDEPENDENCE. TASS reported
on February 12 that the Estonian CP Secretariat has appealed
to people to vote "no" in the poll on independence rather than
to boycott it entirely. The poll is scheduled for March 3. The
appeal came after the anti-independence Intermovement group called
for a boycott of the poll. The Secretariat also said that it
supports the plans of three mostly non-Estonian cities--Narva,
Sillamae, and Kohtla-Jarve--to hold their own regional poll and
to allow Soviet military personnel to participate. (Dzintra Bungs)


LATVIA TO HOLD INDEPENDENCE POLL. On February 12, according to
Radio Riga of that day, the Latvian Supreme Council decided to
hold a poll on Latvia's independence on March 3. The decision
was adopted with a vote of 101 for, 2 against, and 2 abstentions;
most of the anti-independence Ravnopravie faction did not attend
the Council session. In the poll, all permanent residents (this
would presumably exclude most Soviet soldiers stationed in Latvia),
18 years old and older, would be allowed to take part. They would
be asked to answer "yes" or "no" to the question: "Are you for
a democratic and independent state of Latvia?" In the Latvian
version, the wording makes clear that the question refers to
the Republic of Latvia outside the USSR framework. (Dzintra Bungs)


BLAST AT LATVIAN CP HEADQUARTERS. At 10:05 PM local time on February
12, a blast shattered the windows of the Latvian CP headquarters
in Riga, reported Radio Riga that day. The explosion also broke
windows of three buildings across the street, and a guard was
reportedly injured. This explosion was apparently more serious
than an earlier one on December 18, 1990 near Party headquarters.
It is being investigated by the Latvian authorities. This explosion
continues the series of largely unexplained explosions in Latvia
in December and January; they are widely believed to have been
staged by people opposing Latvia's independence and wishing to
destabilize the situation so as to provide an excuse for establishing
USSR presidential rule in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

RADIO RIGA REFUTES NEVZOROV. In his program "600 Seconds," Leningrad
TV journalist Aleksandr Nevzorov reported that another attack
had been staged against the OMON (also known as Black Berets)
in Riga. After investigating the allegation, Radio Riga said
on February 12 that Nevzorov's allegation was groundless. (Dzintra
Bungs)

FULL SCHEDULE FOR US CONGRESSMEN IN RIGA. According to Radio
Biga of February 13, the US CSCE delegation attended on February
12 a session of Latvia's Supreme Council. Congressman Steny Hoyer
(D-Maryland) addressed the deputies and reiterated US Baltic
policy and support for Baltic participation as observers at CSCE
meetings. The American visitors met with leaders of parliamentary
factions, government officials, leaders of 19 cultural organizations
of nBtional minorities, and Latvian CP First Secretary Alfreds
RuBiks. (Dzintra Bungs)

USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



PAVLOV'S SINISTER VISIONS. Interviewed by Trud on February 12,
Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov justified the recent exchange
of banknotes as a "protective, not confiscatory" measure. It
was, in his view, designed to thwart an international conspiracy
whose aim was "...to inject a huge amount of money...to bring
about artificial hyperinflation. Such actions have been carried
out in many regions of the world when the aim was to change a
political system or overthrow unwelcome political leaders." Had
this foul plot succeeded, Pavlov said, "the country would have
been threatened with the loss of economic independence and with
a sort of quiet and bloodless annexation." (Keith Bush)

GRUSHKO'S PRESS CONFERENCE. The freshly-appointed First Deputy
Chairman of the KGB, Victor Grushko, at a press-conference in
Moscow on February 12 accused the CIA and other western intelligence
agencies of increasing military-industrial espionage within the
USSR despite the end of the Cold War. As reported by TASS and
Reuter, Grushko said the KGB Administration for Protection of
the Constitutional Order was created to fight extremist trends
in socio-political life, and "anti-constitutional" organizations
and terrorism at home and abroad. The recent re-shuffle at the
top of the KGB was designed to increase the efficiency of the
agency, Grushko said. He also noted that his predececessor, Fillip
Bobkov, who worked for the KGB for 45 years, had resigned voluntarily.
(Victor Yasmann)

HUSSEIN: "WILLING TO WORK WITH KREMLIN." "Iraq is prepared to
extend cooperation to the Soviet Union and other nations and
agencies in the interest of finding a peaceful, political, equitable
and honorable solution to the region's central issues, including
the situation in the Gulf," Baghdad radio said February 13, as
quoted by AP. The fact that Baghdad singled out the Soviet Union
as a possible partner marks a sharp change from previous Iraqi
rhetoric attacking Moscow for association with the US-led alliance.
This message, taken in combination with recent statements signalling
Soviet-French and Soviet-Iranian agreement, suggests a possible
diplomatic challenge to allied military efforts. (Suzanne Crow)


PRIMAKOV MISSION IN BAGHDAD. According to Baghdad Radio (February
13), the special Soviet envoy Evgenii Primakov met with Saddam
Hussein late February 12. Hussein's Revolutionary Command Council
members were present. Primakov reportedly delivered a message
from Gorbachev, which, according to Gorbachev's spokesman Vitalii
Ignatenko, did not run counter to UN Security Council resolutions.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sabah Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah
will meet with Gorbachev and Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh on February 14, AFP reported February 12. (Suzanne
Crow)

FRANCO-SOVIET AGREEMENT ON GULF, MIDDLE EAST. French Foreign
Minister Roland Dumas told reporters in Moscow on February 12
that France and the USSR agree on the aims of the allied campaign
against Iraq, as well as the need for a Middle East settlement
after the war. According to a Reuter report of February 12, Dumas
said after his talks with Gorbachev that "it will be necessary
to settle all the conflicts affecting the region, not only the
Gulf but also the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Lebanon."
Dumas, the first allied foreign minister to visit the USSR since
the Gulf war began, said that he and Gorbachev were unable to
discuss Primakov's trip to Iraq since at the time no information
on the mission was available. (Sallie Wise)

MORE CONSERVATIVE REACTION ON GULF. Sovetskaya Rossiya said on
February 12 Moscow's agreement to join the UN alliance against
Iraq "ended the USSR's existence as a superpower" and alienated
the Kremlin's allies in the Middle East and Third World, the
Washington Post reported February 13. The article, signed allegedly
by a Soviet emigre living in Israel, went on to say that "each
drop of Arab blood turned into dollars" for US investors. (Suzanne
Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE SAYS REFORM CAN BE SAVED. In a German Television
(ZDF) interview last night, former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard
Shevardnadze said the USSR's reform process appeared doomed,
but it could still be saved "if our society really wants it,
if democratically-inclined people join forces." "I do not regret"
resigning, Shevardnadze said, adding that he will not "withdraw
totally from political life," Reuter reported February 12. Meanwhile,
Radio Moscow announced February 12 the address of Shevardnadze's
newly-organized think tank, called "Assotsiatsiya vneshnei politiki"
(Foreign Policy Association): Yelizarovskii Pereulok, Dom 2,
Moscow. (Suzanne Crow)

KOZYREV ON THE KURILES. RSFSR Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
elaborated on his republic's position about the Kurile Island
dispute with Japan. According to Kozyrev, the first step in settling
the dispute should be handled by Gorbachev when he travels to
Japan in April: Gorbachev should confirm that the dispute is
a legitimate problem in Soviet-Japanese relations. Then, Kozyrev
continued, Gorbachev should turn over the job of settling the
dispute to the RSFSR since it "is the immediate neighbor of Japan."
The final agreement would be a Soviet-Japanese and Russian-Japanese
agreement, Newsweek reported in its February 18 issue. (Suzanne
Crow)

SUPREME SOVIET DELEGATION TO PAKISTAN. TASS reported on February
11 that four Supreme Soviet deputies have gone to Pakistan for
a week-long visit to improve Soviet-Pakistani relations at the
parliamentary level. One of their objectives will be to discuss
the release of Soviet soldiers captured by the Afghan resistance
during the war in Afghanistan. (Sallie Wise)

EMERGENCY TREATMENT FOR AILING GERMAN-SOVIET ECONOMIC TIES. German
economics minister Juergen Moellemann flew to Moscow February
13 for talks on German Soviet trade, according to Western wire
reports. The fact that USSR trade with what were East German
firms must now be carried out in hard currency has become a major
problem for the cash-poor USSR. On February 12, Moellemann announced
a program to boost jobs, promote investment, and enable Eastern
Germany to increase its trade with the USSR and Eastern Europe.
The plan could total some 10 billion DM. He plans to ask Moscow
to set up special fund from oil and gas revenues to buy Eastern
German goods. (John Tedstrom)

FINLAND TAKES CAUTIOUS APPROACH TO SOVIET TRADE. Many Finnish
firms are now requiring either cash deposits in Swiss banks or
irrevocable letters of credit in their dealings with Soviet firms.
Finnish trade officials are advising that all deals with the
USSR come with concrete guarantees of payment, according to Reuter,
February 12. On January 1, Finland began trading with the USSR
in hard currency. The USSR's lack of hard currency is the major
reason Soviet firms are having problems paying. Finland's trade
with the USSR is falling, from 25% of total Finnish trade in
the early 1980s to 11.3% in 1990. (John Tedstrom)

FRANCE TO GRANT USSR MORE CREDITS. France is set to grant about
$600 million worth of credits to the USSR, based on an agreement
signed in Paris February 12. The deal is split into two parts,
the first consisting of $200 million for grain purchases in 1991
totalling 2.5 million tons. The second part, for $400 million,
is for machinery and equipment. These credits should help the
USSR make payments to French firms. The USSR has fallen short
on many of these payments in the recent past, and French trade
with the USSR fell from 1989 to 1990. (NCA/John Tedstrom)

EC DEVELOPS EAST-WEST ENERGY PLAN. The European Community is
expected to announce on February 13 plans to integrate more fully
Eastern and Western European energy markets. According to Reuter
of February 12, the EC's plan would enable West European nations
to raise investments, notably in the Soviet energy sector, and
boost Soviet oil exports to Western Europe. The plan will also
outline priorities and principles to guide East-West energy deals.
These priorities will likely include diversification of energy
supplies, environmental and energy conservation policies, and
security at nuclear and other power plants. (John Tedstrom)

USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



REPUBLICAN CONTROL OVER DEFENSE COUNCIL. Sergei Stepashin, chairman
of the subcommission for Army servicemen's issues of the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet, told the newspaper Rossiya on February 15 that
the Russian parliament is seeking control over military conscription,
troop movements, and appointments of Army district commanders
on Russian territory. According to Stepashin, leaders of republican
parliaments should become full members of the USSR Defense Council,
where these issues are decided. He noted that at present, the
Defense Council consists of the USSR president, defense minister,
three first deputy defense ministers and representatives of the
military-industrial complex. Stepashin said that a Russian military
commissariat to handle the draft will soon be established. (Alexander
Rahr)

YELTSIN APPEALS TO COMPATRIOTS ABROAD. The Presidium of the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet has appealed to the 20-million strong Russian
emigration to join the process of Russia's revival. The appeal
was sent to some Russians abroad. A Congress of Russian Compatriots
is scheduled for August of this year, and an organizational committee
for the congress already exists. Russian emigre finance specialists
have been invited to another conference with RSFSR economists
in Moscow next month. Rossiiskaya gazeta on December 26, 1990,
published Boris Yeltsin's appeal to compatriots abroad in which
the Russian leader promised that a law on Russian citizenship
will soon be passed, granting Russians abroad full rights on
the territory of the RSFSR. (Alexander Rahr)

INDEPENDENT RADIO STATION IN KHABAROVSK. A radio station independent
both from the all-union Company on Radio and TV and from local
authorities has started broadcasting in the far eastern city
of Khabarovsk. Called "Dal'nii Vostok-Rossiya" (Far East-Russia),
the station received a license from the RSFSR Ministry for Communication
and Information for three hours of daily broadcasts on short-wave
frequencies. (Vera Tolz)

RUSSIAN DOCTORS TO GET MORE MONEY. TASS reported on February
11 that the RSFSR government has promised to increase pay rates
for doctors in the republic. The raises may be as much as 40%,
and a decision will be made by February 22. The republican government
is asking the doctors to suspend plans for a warning strike scheduled
for this week (see Daily Report, February 11). The most recent
data available (Trud v SSSR, for 1987) indicate that doctors
in the RSFSR are more highly paid than in any other republic
save Estonia and Latvia. (John Tedstrom)

RUSSIAN GREEK-CATHOLIC CHURCH RESTORED. Izvestia reported on
February 7 about the "restoration" of the Russian Greek-Catholic
Church in Russia. Bishop Vikentii of Tula is the highest-ranking
hierarch of this church. According to Izvestia, quoting Interfax,
parishes of this Church exist at present in Stavropol', Eastern
Latvia, Moscow, and Tula. The Greek-Catholic Church has established
canonical relations with the Vatican. (Oxana Antic)

MORE ON UKRAINIAN GOLD. Radio Kiev on February 12 claimed that
Ukrainian Institute of Geology and Physics expeditions have discovered
more than ten gold deposits which are economically feasible in
the republic. One of these, located on the river Mokra Sura (a
tributary of the Dnieper in the Dnepropetrovsk region), was discovered
some 25 years ago but was kept secret by the Soviet Ministry
of Geology. According to preliminary estimates, reserves of Ukrainian
gold deposits are one and a half times as large as those of the
Klondike. (Valentyn Moroz)

UKRAINIAN MINERS AND METAL WORKERS THREATEN TO STRIKE. Radio
Kiev reported on February 12 that at a meeting of the Donbass
strike committees council in Donetsk, participants agreed to
stage a warning stoppage of coal delivery on February 20 and
start a strike on March 1 if the republican government does not
meet their demands for an increase of two to two and half times
their present wages. Metal workers, reported Radio Kiev, have
also threatened to go on strike if their demands for wage increases
and the liberalization of metal prices are not met by the government.
(Valentyn Moroz)

UKRAINIAN-GERMAN CONSUMER MAGAZINE ESTABLISHED. Ukrinform/Tass
reported on February 12 that the German magazine Stiftung Warentest
and the Ukrainian Consumer Association have published the first
issue of Ukrainian consumer magazine Nash sovet (Our Advice).
Trial circulation of the magazine, the proceeds of which will
go toward independent product testing in Ukraine, will be 50,000.
(Valentyn Moroz)

THREE WESTERN UKRAINIAN REGIONS PLAN ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Radio
Kiev reported on February 12 that the soviets of Ivano-Frankovsk,
Lvov, and Ternopol oblasts will hold a joint session on February
16 in Lvov in order to discuss economic policy cooperation, the
political situation in the three regions, and the possibility
of a regional (Western Ukrainian) plebiscite. (Valentyn Moroz)


MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA. Moldavian President Mircea Snegur,
who began an official visit to Romania February 11, is being
received with the full honors reserved for visiting heads of
state, according to Radio Bucharest reports on February 12. Snegur
and Moldavian Minister of External Relations Nicolae Tiu have
held three sessions of talks with Romania's President Ion Iliescu
and Prime Minister Petre Roman, covering cultural, economic,
and political relations between Moldavia and Romania. Addressing
a joint session of the two chambers of the Romanian parliament
yesterday, Snegur asserted the common Moldavian-Romanian identity
and spoke of a "cultural confederation," possibly to be followed
in future by "some other type of confederation" between Moldavia
and Romania. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM CHALLENGED AS ANTI-SOVIET. The
draft law on local self-government, submitted by the Moldavian
government to the republican Supreme Soviet, is being "fiercely
opposed" by communist deputies and their allies. Adoption of
the law "would in the last analysis lead to the liquidation of
Soviet power," TASS said on February 12. (Vladimir Socor)

TRIALS OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE IN KAZAKHSTAN. The February 2 issue
of Izvestia tells how the agro-industrial committee of Kkustanai
oblast has forbidden state and collective farms in the oblast
to take out insurance with a local cooperative insurance firm.
The cooperative firm, backed by a Kustanai city bank, offers
insurance on better terms than does the state insurance agency,
Gosstrakh. An official of the agro-industrial committee explained
that if farms insure with the cooperative, state funds will end
up in the pockets of the coop's entrepreneurs. (Bess Brown)

KYRGYZSTAN PROPOSES ANOTHER LINK TO OUTSIDE WORLD. A proposal
has been made at the current session of the Supreme Soviet of
Kyrgyzstan to construct a highway to connect the Soviet Central
Asian republics with the Karakorum Highway that links Pakistan
and Xinjiang. The Izvestia correspondent in Frunze/Bishkek pointed
out that construction of the road would require the assistance
of foreign business and the support of the countries involved,
but the proposal was worth considering. His report appeared in
the February 2 issue. (Bess Brown)


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

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