The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 74, 17 April 1991



BALTIC STATES



COMMUNIST LEADER OUT OF CPSU--AND POLITBURO. The leader of Estonia's
independent Communist Party was expelled from the CPSU on April
13, according to Paevaleht of April 16. The Moscow-loyal ECP
held a conference last weekend at which they voted Enn-Arno Sillari
out of the CPSU on grounds of "party-wrecking." Saturday's vote
suggests that Sillari, the first ethnic Estonian ever to sit
on the CPSU Politburo, would be relieved of his Politburo duties.
Last January the CPSU Politburo voted to make Moscow-loyal ECP
leader Lembit Annus a member. This move, which put representatives
of both Estonian parties on the Politburo, was probably intended
to set the stage for Sillari's removal. (Riina Kionka)

NEED FOR OIL LIMITS CS SUPPORT. Czechoslovak Prime Minister Marian
Calfa told an RFE/RL correspondent on April 16 in Prague that
his country can only give limited support to the Baltic independence
movements because of heavy dependence on Soviet oil. "Whether
one likes it or not," the prime minister said, Czechoslovakia
"has got to protect its own economic interest. You have to balance
these things--economic interest and the desire for independence
in foreign policy." The Calfa interview suggests that despite
Czechoslovakia's longtime support for Baltic independence, the
USSR continues to exert influence on the foreign policies of
former Warsaw Pact states. (George Stein and Riina Kionka)

LATVIA TO CREATE DEPARTMENT OF PRIVATIZATION. The Latvian government
is planning to create a department of privatization to coordinate
and organize the privatization process in Latvia, Diena reported
on April 15. The department will organize documents on privatization,
and is expected to contribute to the creation of the necessary
infrastructure as well as monitoring the activities of local
municipalities and their privatization commissions. (Saulius
Girnius)

LATVIAN ECONOMISTS VISIT INDIA. Diena reported on April 15 that
Latvian Minister of Finance Elmars Silins and Director General
of the Foreign Relations Department Janis Kanels flew to India
on April 13. They are expected to meet with the Indian Minister
of Finance and to hold talks with Indian businessmen about possible
cooperation between Indian and Latvian companies. They will also
become better acquainted with India's experience in the formation
of small enterprises. (Saulius Girnius)

LIGACHEV: YAKOVLEV PREVENTED CRACKDOWN IN LITHUANIA IN 1988.
The April 11 issue of Sovetskaya Rossiya contained another portion
of Egor Ligachev's memoirs, settling old scores with Aleksandr
Yakovlev. Yakovlev, Ligachev claims, is responsible for election
victories by "separatists" in Lithuania and Georgia. At a Politburo
session in September 1988, Ligachev recalls, Viktor Chebrikov
attempted to sound an alarm over the events in Lithuania, but
Yakovlev reassured the gathering, thereby preventing the use
of force against Lithuanian nationalists in late 1988.) Ligachev
says that he could not take the necessary steps to prevent ensuing
developments in Lithuania because at that time he was preoccupied
with accusations of corruption and of blame for the killings
in Tbilisi brought against him by various deputies. (Julia Wishnevsky)




USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



ASIAN SECURITY PLAN. In an address to Japan's Diet on the second
day of his visit (April 17), Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
said, "I find it essential to underscore that the Soviet Union
stands ready to begin a concrete dialogue with Japan on military
issues." He also called for confidence-building negotiations
among the United States, USSR and Japan. Stressing the Soviet
Union's good faith, Gorbachev added that the USSR has already
cut back its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and
plans to cut 12 army divisions, 11 air units, 7 submarines and
9 ships by the end of 1991, wire services reported April 17.
(Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV STRESSES COOPERATION WITH US. Gorbachev reportedly
told Japanese Premier Toshiki Kaifu during talks on April 16
that he has "no intention of stepping down from the path" of
cooperation with the United States, Reuter reported April 17.
Gorbachev's comment was likely meant to reassure Washington during
his landmark visit to Japan and soften the blow of his calls
for US disarmament in the Pacific. (Suzanne Crow)

ONE ISLAND AS REACTOR SITE? Arkadii Volsky, President of the
Soviet Science and Industrial Union, said in Japan on April 16
a jointly-controlled nuclear power plant should be built on the
island of Shikotan. Such a plan would reduce the sovereignty
question to a matter of joint ownership of a business. Volsky
said the 15,000 residents of Shikotan would be relocated and
the island would be populated only by power plant workers. He
also said a large number of the island's current inhabitants
are servicemen who could simply be transferred, AP reported April
16. (Suzanne Crow)

SHAMIR ON SOVIET RELATIONS. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir
said on April 16 after talks with Soviet Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov in London that "what we have heard [from the USSR] up
to now is that [the establishment of diplomatic relations] will
happen, even soon, but in such a big country like the Soviet
Union where things are addressed within a historical perspective,
this could take a little time," Reuter reported April 17. Moscow
seemed to be moving rapidly toward ties with Israel before the
Gulf crisis broke out. The conflict with Iraq and the shifting
political tide in the Soviet Union stalled reconciliation efforts
with Israel. (Suzanne Crow)

GERASHCHENKO AT THE EBRD. USSR Gosbank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko,
one of the governors of the newly-created European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development, has urged the removal of limitations on how
much the Soviet Union can borrow from the Bank, AP reported April
16. Addressing the Bank's Board of Governors, Gerashchenko argued
that the USSR's "determination in implementing reforms" should
obviate the need for the clause which allows the Soviet Union
to borrow only as much as it will have paid in during the first
three years of the Bank's operation, namely $220 million. Some
Western members first wish to see concrete evidence of more political
and economic reform in the USSR. (Keith Bush)

PETRAKOV SLAMS PAVLOV'S PROGRAM. Radio Moscow of April 16 reported
that one-time Presidential adviser Nikolai Petrakov has come
down hard on the Pavlov cabinet. Petrakov is one of a growing
number of respected economists who are highly critical of the
Pavlov cabinet. Many of these men now advise Boris Yeltsin. Petrakov's
statements are published in Rabochaya tribuna, apparently of
April 16. Among other things, Petrakov said that the recent round
of price increases smacked of dilettantism and are inflationary
because they are not accompanied by efforts to marketize the
economy. Petrakov also said he regrets that the "500 Days" program
was not accepted and implemented. (John Tedstrom)

CHERNOBYL-TYPE REACTORS TO BE RETAINED? Soviet scientists from
the Kurchatov Institute of Nuclear Energy in Moscow, addressing
a joint conference organized by the Soviet and French nuclear
industries, have implied that Chernobyl-type RBMK reactors will
continue to operate in the Soviet Union, The Financial Times
reported April 16. No further reactors of the Chernobyl type
will be constructed, they maintained, but a second-generation
reactor of the same type with Western safety features is being
developed. This would seem to run counter to the Ukrainian Council
of Ministers's decision to withdraw the Chernobyl station from
use and to declare a moratorium on the construction of new stations
in the republic, as reported by TASS February 13. (Keith Bush)


DRAFT LAW BANNING POLITICAL STRIKES APPROVED. In a closed session,
the USSR Supreme Soviet on April 16 approved a bill on labor
disputes, one article of which would ban "political strikes,"
TASS reported that day. A final vote on the bill is expected
next week. The Supreme Soviet also adopted a resolution calling
on republican Supreme Soviets quickly to name fully-empowered
representatives to an inter-parliamentary commission tasked with
resolving the question of strikes and devising means of averting
them. At a closed session in Monday, the Supreme Soviet discussed
the strikes currently afflicting Soviet industry. Meanwhile,
miners in Kursk joined the miners' strike. (Dawn Mann)

EMIGRATION LAW SCHEDULED FOR MAY 7? Contrary to earlier reports,
RFE-RL's parliamentary correspondent in Moscow, Mikhail Sokolov,
reported April 16 that the USSR Supreme Soviet is going to pass
a law easing emigration on May 7. Earlier this week, Western
correspondents in Moscow had reported that the USSR Law on Entry
and Exit from the USSR (approved on the first reading in November
1989) was put on hold for political and financial reasons. In
turn, the US State Department warned Moscow April 15 that failure
to enact the legislation relaxing emigration curbs would prevent
the American government from granting trade benefits to the USSR.
The USSR Supreme Soviet apparently settled the problem the following
day. (Julia Wishnevsky)

FINAL DRAFT FIGURES. "Na sluzhbe otechestvu" of April 14 provided
figures on the fulfillment of the military draft in 1990. According
to General Staff Deputy Chief Colonel General Grigorii Krivosheev,
the final numbers (as percentages of planned recruitment) were
as follows: RSFSR - 95.4%; Ukraine - 95.1%; Belorussia - 90.4%;
Lithuania - 25.1%; Latvia - 39.5%; Estonia - 35.9%; Moldova -
96%; Georgia - 18.5%; Azerbaijan - 84%; Armenia - 22.5%; Kazakhstan
- 100%; Kirgizia - 100%; Taszhikistan - 93.4%; Turkmenistan -
96.1%; Uzbekistan - 85.6%. Krivosheev said that as a result,
the armed forces face a shortfall of 135,000 men, a situation
that he called "critical." (Stephen Foye)

NEW CATHOLIC BISHOPS FOR USSR. Pope John Paul II's appointment
of 5 Latin rite bishops for the USSR is an epoch-making move
which will have great effect upon the future development of Catholicism
in the USSR. TASS reported on April 13 that for the first time
in history a residence of a Catholic bishop will be established
in Moscow. The Pope also announced the formation of 3 new dioceses
and 3 apostolic administrations in the RSFSR, Belorussia, and
Kazakhstan (see Daily Report, April 15). Bishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz,
formerly apostolic administrator of Minsk Catholic diocese, was
appointed archbishop-apostolic administrator of Moscow. Another
apostolic administration will be in Novosibirsk, headed by Bishop
Josef Werth. The first bishop of the newly created Grodno diocese
is now Aleksander Kaskiewicz, who had been rector of the Church
of the Holy Spirit in Vilnius since 1981. Minsk and Mogilev dioceses
were combined into one archdiocese headed by 76-year-old Bishop
Kazimierz Swiatek, who spent a decade in Soviet concentration
camps. The apostolic administration in Karaganda will be headed
by Bishop Jan Lenga. (Oxana Antic)

SOVIET BISHOPS GRADUATES OF KAUNAS SEMINARY. Although the Soviet
authorities had decided that the seminary in Kaunas should train
priests only for Lithuania, the newly-appointed bishops of Novosibirsk
and Grodno as well as the Archbishop of Moscow are graduates
of the Kaunas seminary. All three are fluent in Lithuanian and
showed their independence of state control by signing petitions
protesting Soviet interference in church matters. The newly-created
Diocese of Grodno consists of the part of the Archdiocese of
Vilnius that was in Belorussia (the archdiocese also includes
territory in Lithuania and Poland), and Kaskiewicz's appointment
might indicate that the pope might change the Vilnius archdiocese
boundaries to conform with state boundaries. (NCA/Saulius Girnius)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN PROPOSES MEETING OF WORLD LEADERS IN 1992. At a press
conference held April 16, RSFSR Supreme Soviet chairman Boris
Yeltsin proposed that US, Soviet, European, and Japanese leaders
hold a meeting "on the future of the world" in the USSR in late
1992, RFE/RL's correspondent in Strasbourg reported that day.
Yeltsin invited the European Parliament to send a "Discover Russia"
delegation to the RSFSR and said Europe "must maintain its historic
links to Russia," asserting that Russia "can play a major role
in building 'the common European house'." He also proposed a
"Euro-Asian Economic Area." Yeltsin said that the RSFSR wants
to send an observer to the UN, adding that "the aim is full membership,"
and repeated his interest in Russian participation in the Council
of Europe and European Parliament. (NCA/Dawn Mann)

EXILES TO HAVE DUAL CITIZENSHIP? Yeltsin said that the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet is now working on a bill that would allow exiles
and emigres to retain the citizenship of the country they now
live in and to be, simultaneously, citizens of the Russian Federation.
(Dawn Mann)

REGISTRATION OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN RSFSR. Thirty-seven public
organizations, including political parties, have already been
registered in the RSFSR under the new law on public associations,
Moscow News No. 12 reported. In the near future 400 more groups
will be registered. The weekly stressed that the Russian Communist
Party won't be among them, since it has not yet prepared its
party rules and has not yet defined its membership. Until the
Russian CP is officially registered, its leader Ivan Polozkov
will not be able to participate on a legal basis in the upcoming
presidential elections in the Russian Federation. (Vera Tolz)


ZHIRINOVSKY CLAIMS VICTORY IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS INEVITABLE.
A leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of the USSR, Vladimir
Zhirinovsky, recently proposed by his party as a candidate for
the upcoming presidential elections in the RSFSR, said in an
interview with Komsomol'skaya pravda of April 16 that he thinks
he will win the elections. If elected, he promised to normalize
relations between the RSFSR and the center, decrease prices on
vodka, and privatize the republican economy. It seems that Zhirinovsky's
hopes for a victory are not very realistic. The Liberal Democratic
Party, which he represents, is believed to be a fringe group
with links to the KGB, and it does not have much popular support.
(Vera Tolz)

MEETING OF TWO PATRIARCHS. TASS reported on April 12 that Patriarch
Alexii II left Moscow for Istanbul that day to pay an official
visit to the head of the Constantinople church, Ecumenical Patriarch
Dimitrios I. Patriarch Alexii is making the trip to visit local
Orthodox churches. TASS added that the meetings of the two Patriarchs
are expected to strengthen the bonds linking the local Orthodox
churches. (Oxana Antic)

GEORGIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR MASS CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. On April
15, one day after his election as Georgian President, Zviad Gamsakhurdia
issued a decree endorsing a call for mass civil disobedience
against the Soviet central authorities made the same day by the
political parties of the Round Table/Free Georgia coalition.
The decree contains provisions for ensuring that the campaign
does not harm the Georgian economy, and for creating a Media
Council to disseminate "correct and verified" information abroad
about the situation in Georgia. Mass civil disobedience as a
means of pressurizing Moscow was one of the tenets of Gamsakhurdia's
election platform. (Liz Fuller)

KIEV WORKERS STRIKE. Several factories and public transport in
Kiev were disrupted by sympathy strikers yesterday. Radio Kiev
reported on April 16 that about 40% of the city's trolleys and
10% of buses were affected by the workers' action. A "Rukh" representative
is quoted by Radio Kiev as saying the strike call was premature,
which prevented the action from assuming a mass character. (NCA/roman
Solchanyk)

MASS DEMONSTRATION IN KIEV. Thousands of people in Kiev demonstrated
yesterday demanding the resignation of Gorbachev and the government
in Moscow and putting forward a series of political demands,
Ukrinform-Tass reported April 16. The demonstration, organized
by the city's trade unions, was planned as an action in defense
of workers' economic and social rights but took on an openly
political character under the influence of local strike committees
and miners from Donbass and other coal mining regions in the
republic. The formation of a Republican Strike Committee was
announced at the demonstration. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINE PARTLY SUSPENDS GORBACHEV DECREE. The Ukrainian Supreme
Soviet on April 16 suspended part of the presidential decree
of April 12 that empowered the USSR Ministry of Material Resources
to order new deliveries and redistribute surplus production,
TASS reported April 16. To combat growing separatism, the decree
had also given republican and local authorities one week to revoke
decisions halting the export of goods to other republics and
regions (see Daily Report, April 15). The Ukrainian parliament
said that the presidential decree contravenes the Ukrainian constitution
and Ukrainian economic legislation, and was issued without the
consent of the Ukrainian parliament and government. (Keith Bush)


AKAEV ON UNION TREATY. Kirgiz President Askar Akaev, a vocal
supporter of a speedy signing of a Union treaty, told the Kirgiz
Supreme Soviet that he has reservations about the draft treaty.
A TASS report of April 16 said that Akaev had complained that
by substituting "republics with equal rights" for "sovereign
republics" in describing the constituent parts of the union,
the draft casts doubts on the validity of Kyrgyzstan's declaration
of sovereignty. Akaev also disagrees that the union should have
primacy over the republics, and argues that assigning supreme
executive power to the USSR President violates his role as coordinator
of policy among the parts of the union. (Bess Brown)

KARIMOV CALLS FOR MORE DEMOCRATIZATION. In an interview published
in Argumenty i fakty and summarized by TASS on April 16, Uzbek
President Islam Karimov called for the democratization of the
Communist Party and of the whole structure of power in the USSR.
He complained that the power of the soviets remains largely on
paper, while real power remains in Party offices. Karimov also
said that the "renewed union," for which people in his republic
voted on March 17, has no place for the economic diktat of Moscow.
(Bess Brown)

DEMAND FOR LESS MILITARY PRESENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN. In response
to a fire at the military installation in Saryozek, Olzhas Suleimenov,
chairman of the anti-nuclear "Nevada-Semipalatinsk" movement
and head of the Writers' Union of Kazakhstan, has appealed to
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev to reduce the military presence
in Kazakhstan. Suleimenov's appeal was reported on Radio Mayak,
quoting Kazakhstanskaya pravda, on April 16. Saryozek is the
site to which missiles were brought to be destroyed in compliance
with arms-limitation agreements; although no townsfolk were injured
in the fire, the level of anti-nuclear sentiment among them has
been reported to be high. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIAN GOVERNMENT MAKES AGREEMENT WITH TRADE UNIONS. The Moldavian
government and Trade Union Federation have concluded "as equal
partners" an agreement on social guarantees to accompany the
transition to a market economy, Moldovapres reported April 16.
The agreement institutes a list of items making up the "minimal
consumer basket", compensation to employees for state retail
price increases involving those items, and government obligations
to provide retraining or alternative employment to laid-off employees.
The agreement also provides for continuation of free medical
care and gradual introduction of paid medical services. A permanent
joint government-trade union commission will monitor implementation
of the agreement. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN COMMODITY EXCHANGE OPENS. Just licensed by the Moldavian
government, a commodity exchange began operations in Kishinev
April 15, TASS reported that day. The exchange is intended to
develop into a republic-wide free commodities market. (Vladimir
Socor)


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