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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 68, 09 April 1991



IN THE BALTIC STATES

ESTONIA'S INTERMOVEMENT LEADER VISITS MINERS. The leader of Estonia's
conservative Intermovement says the situation in the Donbass
has much in common with that in Estonia, Paevaleht reported April
7. Evgenii Kogan, who visited the striking Donbass coalminers
last weekend, expressed support for their demand for the resignation
of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, but called their demand
that the USSR Supreme Soviet disperse "unlawful." The Supreme
Soviet "was elected by the voters in all the republics, not just
by the miners," Kogan, himself a deputy, said. (Riina Kionka)


LANDSBERGIS TO USA IN MAY. Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairman of
the Lithuanian Supreme Council, is expected to visit the United
States May 6-16, according to Diena of April 5. Landsbergis is
to receive an honorary degree from Loyola University in Chicago
and take part in an international conference on cooperation between
the Baltic States, USSR and Western countries that is to take
place in Vermont. (Dzintra Bungs)

FUND TO AID JOBLESS STARTED IN LATVIA. Leonards Rubenis told
Radio Riga on April 5 that a Fund for the Humanitarian Aid to
the Jobless has been started in Latvia. Its purpose is to raise
and distribute money, clothing, and other basic necessities,
as well as arrange for warm meals and shelter for the unemployed.
Rubenis, Director of the Republican Center for Employment, Retraining,
and Vocational Guidance, said that while the idea of such a fund
originated at the center, the fund is supported by many other
organizations. The fund will aim to help the jobless especially
after they no longer receive unemployment benefits. Currently,
such benefits are paid during the first six months of unemployment.
The Latvian authorities are anticipating economic decline, including
rising unemployment, during the course of this year. (Dzintra
Bungs)

USSR FAILS TO SUPPLY RAW MATERIALS TO LATVIA. The Latvian Council
of Ministers announced that the USSR has failed to supply imported
raw materials worth 355 million rubles to industries in Latvia.
This means Latvia will be unable to fulfill its production obligations.
In general, the Soviet coalminers' strikes are not having a direct
effect on the Latvian economy, but one metallurgy plant in Liepaja
has had to reduce output because of a fall in its coke supply--"Red
Metallurg" is now dipping into its own coke reserves which are
enough to keep the plant running for about a couple of months,
according to Radio Riga of April 4. Such supply irregularities
may eventually also affect the employment situation in Latvia.
(Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN PROPERTY OWNERS' ASSOCIATION FORMED. Radio Riga reported
April 8 that the Lawful Property Owners' Association was formed
on April 6. The new association, closely affiliated with the
Committee of Latvia and the citizens' movement, aims to protect
the rights of those who owned property in pre-war Latvia and
to ensure that Latvian property rights are not usurped by Soviet
institutions. Until June 20, pre-war property owners or their
heirs may submit claims to ownership of land and buildings to
the Latvian authorities. If a claim is recognized, the property
will be returned to the owner, or he will receive compensation
for it. The full situation is still not clear since not all of
the relevant legislation has been adopted. (Dzintra Bungs)

RESOLUTION OF PRESS BUILDING POSTPONED AGAIN. Deputy Prime Minister
Ilmars Bisers told Radio Riga on April 5 that a final decision
on the part of the USSR State Arbitrator's Office concerning
the Press Building in Latvia had been postponed for a week. The
jurisdiction of the Press Building is being disputed among the
Latvian Communist Party, which took over the building from the
Latvian SSR government in 1967, and the recently formed and government-endorsed
Press Building Stock Company. On January 2, with the help of
the Black Berets, the Latvian Communist Party reclaimed control
of the Press Building; newspaper and magazine publication in
Latvia has since been severely restricted. (Dzintra Bungs)

NORDIC-BALTIC ECOLOGICAL COOPERATION CONTINUES. Swedish and Danish
environmental experts visited Riga recently to discuss prospects
of closer cooperation between environmental protection agencies
in Latvia and Lithuania, especially with regard to the Baltic
Sea. Valdis Seglins, deputy chairman of Latvia's Environmental
Protection Committee, told Diena of April 5 that he plans to
ask the Nordic Investment Bank to finance a project to protect
the Gulf of Riga and the Daugava River basin. (Dzintra Bungs)


SWEDISH PARTIES SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE. The leader
of Sweden's Center Party has assured Estonia's Prime Minister
Edgar Savisaar that the party will press for an international
conference on the future of the Baltic states, Dagens Nyheter
reported April 3. Olof Johansson, who visited Estonia last week,
said he hoped other non-socialist party leaders--Carl Bildt of
the Moderate Coalition and Bengt Westerberg of the Liberal People's
Party--would also support the conference. Baltic leaders began
lobbying for an international conference on the Baltic question
after Moscow's January crackdown. (Riina Kionka)



ALL-UNION TOPICS



EMERGENCY AGRICULTURAL MEASURES. For as long as anyone cares
to remember--and certainly for the past thirty years--each spring
has witnessed the publication of emergency measures to ensure
the harvest. On April 8, three such measures were promulgated
for this year's "campaign." The USSR Cabinet of Ministers demanded
that industry supply the necessary producer goods for the nation's
farms and rectify the terms of trade between town and country
(Radio Moscow, April 8). The USSR Supreme Soviet passed a resolution
along the same lines (TASS, April 8). And President Gorbachev
issued a decree authorizing republican and local authorities
to take emergency measures--including the mobilization of students--to
expedite plowing, sowing, reaping, and procurement (TASS, April
8). (Keith Bush)

GORBACHEV TO BE REPLACED BY YANAEV OR LUK'YANOV? After their
failure to oust Boris Yeltsin, conservatives are now struggling
to get rid of Mikhail Gorbachev. The leader of the conservative
"Soyuz" faction, Evgenii Kogan, is quoted in The Washington Post
on April 9 as saying that Gorbachev may soon face a vote of no-confidence
at the USSR Congress and be temporarily replaced either by his
deputy Gennadii Yanaev or by the head of the USSR parliament,
Anatolii Luk'yanov. Kogan said "Soyuz" leaders met with Gorbachev
on April 7 and told him they intended to convene an extraordinary
session of the USSR Congress. Kogan said his faction has the
support of forces in the CPSU and the military. (Alexander Rahr)


SOVIET ARMY TO MARKET. Interviewed by TASS April 8, Soviet Army
General Vladimir Arkhipov said that, as a result of the shift
to market relations, the Army will have to economize its expenditures
on the support of military personnel. Arkhipov is head of the
Soviet rear forces, and spoke in reference to the approval of
the "concept of the transfer of the USSR Armed Forces to market
relations." Among other things, the Army plans to provide more
of its food through its own farming network. Arkhipov also indicated
that the Army will begin to charge for services which it has
until now rendered free of charge to the civilian sector (e.g.,
help with the harvest). (John Tedstrom)

MOISEEV ON SECURITY, TREATIES. According to the Chief of the
General Staff, NATO's unwillingness to disband itself, its "offensive"
strategy, and its determination to act "as a global policeman"
are undermining the positive changes that have taken place in
the European security system. Army General Mikhail Moiseev nevertheless
told Izvestia on April 6 that the lessening of tensions in Europe--including
the Paris agreement to reduce conventional arms--has increased
Soviet security. Though he defended controversial Soviet efforts
to remove certain weapons and troops from CFE counting, Moiseev
urged that the CFE treaty be ratified. Some hard-line officers
have of late called for rejection of the treaty. (Stephen Foye)


GOLD EXPORT POLICY. Argumenty i fakty (No. 13, 1991) interviewed
Yu. Karnaukh, described as one of the most prominent Soviet specialists
on gold trading, about why the USSR sells gold on the world market.
Karnaukh confirmed that Soviet gold has long been sold primarily
to purchase grain and meat. He complained that sales have been
dictated by the USSR Council of Ministers rather than by market
conditions, and that this has led to losses. Apart from repeating
Pavlov's disclosure that gold sales last year amounted to 234
tons, Karnaukh provided no new data on Soviet output and sales,
merely quoting estimates by the CIA, Michael Kaser, and Consolidated
Goldfields. (Keith Bush)

CONCERN FOR KURDS. Deputy Chief of the Foreign Ministry's Information
Department, Yurii Gremitskikh, said April 8 that the Soviet government
was concerned about the fate of Iraqi Kurds and defended the
USSR's support of last week's UN resolution condemning the repression
of the Kurds. Gremitskikh said the resolution did not constitute
any type of interference in internal Iraqi affairs, TASS reported.
(Suzanne Crow)

BESSMERTNYKH'S GREECE, YUGOSLAVIA TOUR. Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh began a two-day visit to Yugoslavia April 8 intended
to improve economic and trade contacts with that country, TASS
reported that day. (Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV TO KHABAROVSK CEMETERY. On the eve of his visit to
Japan, Gorbachev will visit a cemetery for Japanese soldiers
who fell during the Second World War, TASS reported April 8.
As a good will gesture, Gorbachev will lay wreathes on graves
of Japanese prisoners-of-war who died in the Soviet Union. According
to Japanese estimates cited by TASS, 46,082 Japanese prisoners
died in Soviet camps. (Suzanne Crow)

MORE FLIGHTS TO JAPAN. Moscow will open up more Soviet airspace
to Japan, according to an agreement allowing for an increase
of air traffic between Japan and Western Europe. The Soviet Civil
Aviation Ministry has agreed to increase flights by Japanese
and Soviet airlines to Western Europe from 20 per week to 130
per week. Some of these flights are direct; others stop over
in Moscow. JAL will fly 80 of the 130 flights, and the company
has agreed to take part in the construction of additional hotels
in Moscow to accommodate passengers stopping over in Moscow,
AFP reported April 8. (Suzanne Crow)

NONE TO NIGERIA. Aeroflot officials said April 8 they are suspending
flights to Nigeria because most passengers paid for their tickets
in rubles while fuel and technical assistance were billed in
hard currency. As for the Soviet students and technicians living
and working in Nigeria, TASS said only that they will have either
to buy tickets for hard currency on other airlines or "go and
live in countries where there is still Aeroflot service," AFP
reported April 8. (Suzanne Crow)

BELONOGOV CONCERNED ABOUT US. Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Belonogov said on April 8 during a two-day visit in Morocco that
the USSR "does not have a clear idea of what the Americans intend
to do in the Gulf." Speaking of the reduction of military forces
in the region, Belonogov said the USSR wanted to see the foreign
military presence in the region reduced to pre-crisis levels.
He said the "creation of a security system in the Persian Gulf
must be the concern of the states themselves, and we believe
that Iraq should be part of it," Reuter reported April 8. Belonogov
is scheduled to hold talks in Algeria on April 9. (Suzanne Crow)


DZASOKHOV AND THE ANC. The former chief of the Southern Africa
Department of Gosteleradio, Aleksandr Nekhoroshev, told Radio
Rossii April 7 that the African National Congress has since 1964
been supported politically and militarily by the International
Department of the CPSU Central Committee. Identifying the Soviet
Committee for Solidarity with the Countries of Asia and Africa
as the operational link between the CPSU and the ANC, Nekhoroshev
claimed that ties still exist and are being coordinated by the
former deputy leader of the Solidarity Committee, Aleksandr Dzasokhov--now
a Politburo member and head of the International Affairs Committee
of the USSR Supreme Soviet. (Alexander Rahr)

FOR THE ADVENTURESOME TOURIST. Moscow is considering converting
surplus submarines into pleasure cruisers offering luxury holidays
in the Caribbean, The Sunday Telegraph reported on April 7. Kremlin
brokers commissioned to find civilian uses for military hardware
have apparently contacted a firm in Dorset--which builds large
aquariums--with the idea of converting the subs into underwater
hotels with large observation towers. Engineers at the Dorset
company claimed to be confident they could "put in windows to
withstand the very high pressures," but cautioned that the windows
might adversely effect the subs' stability. (Stephen Foye)

GORBACHEV, PAVLOV RECEIVE MINIMUM COMPENSATION. As reported by
AFP, Komsomol'skaya pravda April 2 said Gorbachev and Pavlov
are getting the minimum compensation (60 rubles) for the sharp
price rises introduced that day. But the newspaper said defense
minister Dmitrii Yazov, like other military personnel, is receiving
80 rubles. On April 4, AP quoted Komsomol'skaya pravda as saying
Gorbachev donated over one million dollars to charity last year;
the money was said to come from book royalties and international
prizes. Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. (NCA)

SOVIET SOCIOLOGISTS STUDY NOMENKLATURA. Since 1989, a team of
sociologists at Moscow's Institute of Sociological Research has
been studying the Soviet political elite. Project director Olga
Kryshtanovskaya told Moscow News (No. 10) that all Gorbachev's
predecessors except Stalin began by replacing the old team with
their own men within their first three years in power: "After
that, they settled down and ruled quietly." Gorbachev, however,
"never stops reshuffling his team." Of late, he "has been favoring
right-of-center men" and now "former Komsomol and Party functionaries...are
making a comeback." (Elizabeth Teague)

CONSTRUCTION OF 60 NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS HALTED. The USSR has
stopped the design and construction of about 60 nuclear power
stations, Moscow World Service (in English) reported April 3.
The Radio said this was the result of pressure from the anti-nuclear
movement after the Chernobyl disaster; however, it went on, the
public's attitude to nuclear power "has been changing somewhat"
and, in connection with serious power shortages in a number of
regions of Ukraine and Russia, "local authorities have had to
resume the construction of advanced safety nuclear plants." (Elizabeth
Teague)

JAPANESE COMPANY TO DONATE USED TRAIN CARS. A Japanese railway
company says it plans to send used and remodeled railway cars
to the USSR. A spokesman for the East Japan Railway Company was
quoted by Reuters and AFP on April 3 as saying the aim is to
help the Soviet Union modernize its railways system. A formal
agreement is due to be signed in May. The spokesman said the
company is considering supplying the carriages free of charge
with the USSR paying only for remodeling and shipping costs.
(NCA)



IN THE REPUBLICS



GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT DECLARES INDEPENDENCE. The Georgian Supreme
Soviet today (April 9) unanimously approved a decree proclaiming
the republic's state independence. The deputy head of Georgia's
permanent mission in Moscow told AFP this morning that the decision
was taken at an emergency parliament session in the Georgian
capital, Tbilisi. (NCA)

SENIOR MVD OFFICER MURDERED. The Deputy Chief of the Internal
Troops Group in the North Caucasus and Transcaucasus, Colonel
Blokhotin, has been killed by machine-gun fire in Rostov-on-Don,
Radio Moscow reported April 8. An investigation is under way.
The radio did no say whether anyone is suspected of the murder.
(Victor Yasmann)

SIX REPUBLICS TO COORDINATE INDEPENDENCE EFFORTS. According to
DPA of April 8, representatives of Armenia, Estonia, Georgia,
Latvia, Lithuania, and Moldavia met in Kishinev on April 6 and
7. They called for cooperation in their independence efforts
and mutual assistance in case of political, economic, or military
pressure from Moscow. Evgenii Petrov of Lithuania told DPA that
leaders of the six republics may sign an accord later this month.
(Dzintra Bungs)

RUSSIAN TV EXPANDS. RSFSR Television, which began operations
last month with ten minutes programming a day, put out a much
more substantial broadcast on the evening of April 8. The program
lasted about an hour and a half and included a newscast and a
round-table discussion of the recent extraordinary RSFSR Congress
of People's Deputies. Representatives of the RSFSR's major parliamentary
factions (Colonel Aleksandr Rutskoi, Irina Zalevskaya, Aleksandr
Sokolov, Oleg Rumyantsev, Sergei Shakhrai, Valentin Fedorov,
and Andrei Chaikovsky) participated in the round-table. The program
ended by taking viewers on a tour of the TV company's new premises,
still in the process of renovation. (Vera Tolz)

TASS TELEVISION GOES ON AIR. On April 6, the state news agency
TASS went on the air for the first time with its own newsreel.
TASS' fully-fledged newscast was incorporated in a four-hour
program put out by Rossiiskoe televidenie ("Russian Television")
on the Second Channel. The newsreel was mainly devoted to the
RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies and to the new powers Boris
Yeltsin won there. In contrast to "Vremya," TASS' coverage was
balanced. (Victor Yasmann)

MINSKPOISED FOR GENERAL STRIKE. Sources in Minsk have told RFE/RL
that strike committees have been formed in 52 factories in the
Belorussian capital. Some may stage a warning strike this afternoon,
while talks take place between workers' representatives and the
republican government. The committees are threatening a general
strike this week in Minsk and possibly in the republic at large
if no progress is made in meeting their economic and political
demands, which include pay increases to offset price rises and
a reduction in Belorussian payments to the central government.
(Belorussian BD/Kathy Mihalisko)

BELORUSSIAN KGB HEAD ISSUES WARNING. The chairman of the Belorussian
KGB says the republic's socio-economic problems are growing worse
daily and "efforts are being made to fan anticommunist moods."
Interviewed by Izvestia April 7, Eduard Shirkovsky says there
have been calls to outlaw the Communist Party and practice civil
disobedience, and he adds that an active KGB, military and police
are the best barriers to the any illegal seizure of power. He
charges that foreign intelligence agencies are running "massive
secret operations" in the USSR, adding that Belorussia's efforts
to create links with foreign countries have provided new opportunities
for foreign intelligence operations in the republic. (NCA)

YAKOVLEV ON YELTSIN'S ADDITIONAL POWERS. Aleksandr Yakovlev,
now officially identified as "advisor" to the USSR President,
told the French daily Liberation that he welcomes the RSFSR Congress'
decision to grant Boris Yeltsin additional powers. He said however
that Yeltsin should not use them to intensify his fight with
Gorbachev, Infonovosti reported on April 8. Yakovlev said Yeltsin
cannot expect Gorbachev to consult him on everything, only on
those matters that concern the RSFSR. Defense, security, transport,
energy, fundamental research and all-Union social programs must
all, Yakovlev said, remain under Gorbachev's jurisdiction. (Alexander
Rahr)

SILAEV STRESSES COOPERATION. In a television interview April
6, RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silaev stressed that the RSFSR's
plans for economic reform cannot be realized in isolation. He
said the leadership of the Russian Federation intends--as RSFSR
Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin pointed out in his closing
speech to the RSFSR Congress last week--to work in a businesslike
fashion with both central and local authorities. Officials are
creating a new structure within the RSFSR Council of Ministers
to coordinate this work, Silaev said. Of particular concern are
relations with RSFSR's autonomous republics. This question is
said to be dealt with in the RSFSR economic reform program, presented
by Silaev last month and to be published soon. (John Tedstrom)


RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS DECLARED PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN TAJIKISTAN. TASS
reported on April 8 that Tajik president Kakhar Makhkamov has
issued a decree declaring the two most important Muslim holidays
to be public holidays. Tajikistan is the first Central Asian
republic to do so. The two are, in Tajik, Idi Ramazon, the holiday
which ends the Ramadan fast, and Idi Kurbon, the Feast of Sacrifice.
The report says that Muslim religious officials and believers
have asked that Friday become the official day of rest instead
of Sunday, but that the change would cause economic complications.
The republican government intends to discuss the change with
the governments of the other Central Asian republics, and a regional
solution may be found. (Bess Brown)

TURKEY ABOLISHES VISA REQUIREMENT FOR SOVIET CITIZENS. As of
April 1, Soviet citizens possessing a valid passport may travel
to Turkey without first obtaining a visa from the Consulates
in Moscow, Batumi and Baku (Izvestia, March 27). According to
the head of the Consular Department at the Turkish Embassy in
Moscow, this decision was prompted by the volume of applications
(the Department processes up to 5,000 per day; demand for visas
is double this) and by a flourishing black-market trade in invitations
to visit Turkey. Such invitations cost between 2,000 and 5,000
rubles; a place in the queue for visa applications costs from
300 to 1,000 rubles. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA'S KURDS CALL FOR DONATIONS FOR REFUGEES. The Armenian
Red Cross Society, the Kurdish section of the Armenian Writers'
Union and the Council of the Armenian-Kurdish Cultural Society
have launched a republic-wide appeal for donations for Kurdish
refugees from Iraq, Radio Erevan International reported on April
7. The Kurdish population of Armenia numbers approximately 60,000.
(Liz Fuller)

MOSCOW STUDENTS DEMAND BETTER CONDITIONS. A group of Moscow students
rallied outside the building of the Moscow City Soviet to press
their demands for more benefits, TASS said April 8. Their demands
included higher grants, lower prices at student cafeterias, and
free travel on Moscow's public transport. The students said as
a result of the recent price increases their "poverty became
unbearable." TASS said the city soviet will meet April 9 to discuss
the situation of both students and teachers in Moscow's institutions
of higher education. (Vera Tolz)

INDEPENDENT MOLDAVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY FOUNDED. The Independent
Moldavian Communist Party, based on the Democratic Platform faction
which split from the Party, held its founding conference in Kishinev
April 8. TASS commented that the move "divided the Party along
ethnic lines" and "followed the Baltic scenario." Defining itself
as "a parliamentary party of socialist orientation," the new
party "will have no ties with the CPSU and will struggle for
the full sovereignty of Moldavia and against the imperial policy
of the center". The party will also support the formation of
a "united front" among republics seeking to leave the Union.
The new party's leadership includes Moldavian Supreme Soviet
Vice-Chairman Victor Puscasu; he is the main author of Moldavia's
concept of a confederal association of sovereign states without
a center, which Kishinev counterposed to the Union Treaty. (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIAN FOREIGN MINISTER PREPARES ACCORD WITH ROMANIA. The
Moldavian Minister of External Relations, Nicolae Tiu, was received
by Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman and Foreign Minister Adrian
Nastase in Bucharest April 8, Radio Bucharest reported the same
day. The sides discussed a bilateral treaty on trade and economic
cooperation. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN PREMIER MEETS JEWISH REPRESENTATIVES. Meeting with
Jewish community leaders, Moldavian Prime Minister Mircea Druc
encouraged the community to involve itself in "the resolution
of the [republic's] major problems" and to increase ties with
Jews in other countries, Moldova Suverana reported April 1. It
was announced at the meeting that Romania's Jewish Federation
had offered to send teachers of Romanian and Yiddish to teach
Jewish education classes now opening in Moldavia. The meeting
reflected the good relations which the Moldavian government and
Popular Front, and Druc personally, maintain with Moldavia's
Jewish community. (Vladimir Socor)

(END) [As of 1230 CET]


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

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