Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light. - Jennie Jerome Churchill
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 87, 07 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



LANDSBERGIS IN WASHINGTON. Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme
Council Vytautas Landsbergis arrived in Washington on May 5.
On May 6 at the Lithuanian delegation he held talks with leaders
of the Lithuanian World Community on coordinating activities,
and with leaders of Jewish organizations urging them to support
official diplomatic recognition of Lithuania by the US, the VOA
Lithuanian Service reported that day. Speaking at the US Chamber
of Commerce, Landsbergis called for greater American economic
ties with Lithuania to aid its efforts to implement economic
and political reform, RFE/RL's correspondent reported that day.
Landsbergis expressed the hope that Lithuania would reach agreement
with the USSR on joint control of borders and acceptance of Lithuanian-issued
visas. (Saulius Girnius)

TWO OMON MEMBERS DETAINED IN LITHUANIA. At 12:30 AM. on May 4
after an explosion at the bus terminal in Ukmerge, Lithuanian
police detained four persons: OMON sergeants A. Shevelyov and
A. Voronetsky and two civilians, Jermalavicius and Vasalkevicius,
Radio Independent Lithuania reported on May 7. The detainees
were released after three hours, but the Lithuanian procuracy
has brought criminal charges against them. OMON headquarters
later informed the Lithuanian authorities that the two OMON officers
had been fired. (Saulius Girnius)

INCIDENTS AT LITHUANIAN-BELORUSSIAN BORDER. At a press briefing
on May 6, Virginijus Cesnulevicius, chief of the border service
of the National Defense Department, gave information on two incidents
at Tabariskes on the Lithuanian-Belorussian border, Radio Independent
Lithuania reported on May 6. On the night of May 4-5 a large
group of drunken individuals from a dance in Tabariskes broke
the windows and door of the Lithuanian customs post and beat
up two guards. At 23:00 on May 5 about 20 OMON troops drove up
to the customs post in three automobiles and threatened to return
again and shoot up the post. Cesnulevicius said that he telephoned
the OMON headquarters to protest and the OMON troops did not
return that night. (Saulius Girnius)

POLISH BORDER GUARDS TURN LITHUANIANS OVER TO SOVIET TROOPS.
Gazeta Wyborcza reported May 6 that Polish border guards had
turned two Lithuanians over to Soviet military authorities in
Legnica on April 28. The Lithuanians had crossed the German border
illegally and asked for political asylum. Soviet military officials
released one, but apparently sent the other, Arunas Vasiljevas,
back to the USSR. The Lithuanian Information Bureau in Warsaw
said that Vasiljevas had fled from his Soviet Army unit late
in 1989. Lithuania's representative in Poland condemned the incident
as "an inhuman act" and called on the Polish government to clarify
its stance on Lithuanian citizens residing in Poland. The Polish
Foreign Ministry called the decision to turn over the Lithuanians
"unlawful" and told PAP it had been made at a "low level, without
consultation" with higher authorities. Poland's refugee commissioner,
Zbigniew Skoczylas, said the decision was in accord with the
terms of the Polish-Soviet agreement on the stationing of troops
in Poland, but pledged that the situation would not recur. (Louisa
Vinton)

INCREASING SOVIET MILITARY PRESENCE IN LATVIA? Guntis Feldmanis,
in an article on population migration to Latvia published in
the cultural weekly Literatura un Maksla of April 13, said that
the while in 1989 some 2488 members of the spetskontingent (army
and MVD troops) arrived in Latvia, the figure for 1990 was much
larger: 7877. Feldmanis estimated the Soviet military presence
(presumably also including retired soldiers who had settled in
Latvia) at about 600,000 to 700,000--one of the highest estimates
in recent years. He said that, in an effort to halt migration
to Latvia, the Supreme Council and government were resisting
efforts to provide or build additional housing for the USSR soldiers
in Latvia, despite great pressure from the military. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LATVIA'S ARMENIANS PUBLISH NEWSPAPER. Radio Riga reported on
May 6 that the Armenian Cultural Society in Latvia had started
to publish its own monthly newspaper, called Ararat. The newspaper
provides information in Russian about the situation in Armenia,
its culture, and the activities of Armenians in Latvia. It is
the first such newspaper to be published by one of the many national
cultural societies in Latvia. In 1989, when the census was taken,
there were 3,069 Armenians living in the republic. (Dzintra Bungs)


THREAT OF STRIKE IN LATVIA. According to The Times and Radio
Riga of May 6, pro-Soviet "representatives of 42 work collectives"
in Latvia, who oppose an independent Republic of Latvia, are
threatening to hold a strike on May 14 unless the government
agrees to their demands. These include signing the new USSR Union
treaty and withdrawing recently instituted price increases. It
appears that the Latvian Communist Party is behind the strike
call. So far the calls to stage major strikes in Latvia, coming
from organizations with close ties to the party, have been unsuccessful.
(Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY STATISTICS. Diena reported on April 12,
that despite the LCP's declining authority in Latvia, it still
has 975 employees (of whom 459 are considered technical personnel).
Working in the Central Committee apparatus are 56 individuals,
with 57 positions being vacant. Similarly, only 130 party instructors'
positions out of 206 are filled. It is interesting to note that
Stanislavs Zukulis, formerly head of the KGB in Latvia, serves
as consultant for the LCP CC ideological committee; Guna Luss,
former Minister of Social Security, is the chief receptionist
for visitors to the LCP CC. Currently the party claims to have
140,000 members--a figure that may be inflated. (Dzintra Bungs)


FOUR CONVICTED IN ESTONIA. The Estonian Supreme Court on May
3 convicted four men of stealing three computers from the Congress
of Estonia headquarters last year, Rahva Haal reported on May
4. Andrei Sevchenko, Sergei Bobrov, Ander Sagadi and Raul Veide
received prison sentences of 7, 5 1/2, 3 and 1 1/2 years, respectively.
The three computers containing citizens' registration information
were stolen two days before the first Congress of Estonia opened
in March 1990, fueling speculation that the act was politically
motivated. Despite the convictions, one plaintiff--Committee
of Estonia member Eve Parnaste--remains "convinced that USSR
secret police organized the theft," Rahva Haal reported. (Riina
Kionka)

THE ARMY AND THE BALTIC. The May 1 Izvestia identifies Major
General Aleksandr Litvinov as Chief of the new General Staff
Directorate for liaisons with republican governments. In addition
to defending the stationing of Soviet troops in the independence-seeking
Baltic republics, Litvinov claims that the Defense Ministry has
not re-deployed a single unit withdrawn from Eastern Europe to
the Baltic. He says, in fact, that the army is reducing its forces
in the region--a statement contradicted by claims pointing to
rising troop levels coming from the Baltic republics themselves.
Litvinov visited Estonia on January 21 as part of an inspection
team investigating the low draft turn-out in the republic. (Stephen
Foye)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



MINES TRANSFERRED TO RSFSR CONTROL. As widely reported by both
Soviet and Western news agencies, on May 6 USSR First Deputy
Prime Minister Vitalii Doguzhiev and RSFSR First Deputy Prime
Minister Yurii Skokov signed the agreement worked out last week
by RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin and striking coal
miners. The agreement places mines in the Kuzbass, Rostov, and
Komi regions under RSFSR jurisdiction. According to a Doguzhiev
aide, Konstantin Bakanov, a special committee has been formed
to work out the details of the transfer. Yeltsin told the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet yesterday that the agreement marks the "first
big political step" toward ending the strike. Strike committees
are meeting today to discuss whether to resume work. (Dawn Mann)


NEGOTIATIONS ON ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM. The Presidium of the USSR
Cabinet of Ministers met on May 3 to try to reconcile differences
among union republican representatives on the shape of the government's
anti-crisis program, Radio Mayak reported that day. Although
specifics were not provided, it appears that many budget programs
have been frozen to keep within spending limits. Agreements were
apparently reached, "on the whole," on exemptions from the sales
tax, the minimum consumer budget, and indexation. No agreement
was reached on the modalities of privatization and the emergency
budget for the second quarter of 1991. Republican representatives
will meet again on May 12, and it is hoped that an inter-republican
agreement on the fulfillment of a joint anti-crisis program will
be signed two or three days later. (Keith Bush)

YELTSIN ON DIRECT PRESIDENTIAL RULE, STATE OF EMERGENCY. In an
address on Russian TV May 4, Yeltsin revealed that at the meeting
between Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and nine republican
leaders last month, the question of instituting direct Presidential
rule or a state of emergency in the USSR won no support. As reported
by TASS May 5, Yeltsin added that "a state of emergency under
current conditions would only sharply exacerbate the situation,
and would lead to chaos instead of order." At the same time,
Yeltsin said, it is necessary to introduce "decisive joint anti-crisis
measures." (Sallie Wise)

SOVIET GOVERNMENT QUITS KREMLIN. The USSR Cabinet of Ministers
held one of its last sessions in the Kremlin before moving into
the building of the former State Committee for Construction,
TASS reported on May 3. The former Kremlin quarters of the Soviet
government will be taken over by the apparatus of the USSR President.
(Alexander Rahr)

"SOYUZ" CALLS ON SOVIET CITIZENS TO MARK VICTORY DAY. On May
6, the USSR Supreme Soviet appealed to Soviet citizens to observe
Victory Day on May 9 (TASS, May 6). The appeal, which was adopted
unanimously, was proposed by the conservative "Soyuz" parliamentary
faction. The appeal says the present generation of Soviet citizens
has a duty to honor those who fought in World War II by defending
the country against disintegration. (NCA)

A SPLIT IN "SOYUZ"? Soviet leaders have long relied on war-time
memories to mobilize popular support, but "Soyuz" itself is beginning
to show signs of dissension. On April 30, the group, which last
year claimed 561 adherents, admitted it had failed in its campaign
to collect the 450 signatures needed to convene a special Congress
of People's Deputies. "Soyuz" seems to be splitting into extremist
and moderate wings. The first is led by "black colonels" Viktor
Alksnis and Nikolai Petrushenko, Yurii Blokhin (of Moldavia's
"Intermovement Edinstvo") and Evgenii Kogan (of Estonia's "Intermovement").
The moderates are led by steelworker Veniamin Yarin (of the United
Workers' Front of Russia) and by a Korean scientist from Omsk,
Kim En Un. (Elizabeth Teague)

SUPREME SOVIET DISCUSSES KGB LAW. The USSR Supreme Soviet Committee
on Defense and the Committee on Legislation have submitted to
the Supreme Soviet the amended Law on the KGB for its second
reading, TASS reported May 5. One of the amendments extends targets
of KGB operations against "foreign organizations involved in
subversive activities," while the initial draft only mentioned
"foreign secret services." Another innovation gives Soviet citizens
the right to file lawsuits against KGB officers. The law envisages
broader authority for KGB regional offices, but stresses the
"coordinating role" of the central KGB. The text of the law has
not been published in the central media. (Victor Yasmann)

SHEVARDNADZE BEGINS US TOUR. Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard
Shevardnadze began his US speaking tour in Washington on May
6. He met with US President George Bush and appealed for US financial
aid to the USSR, saying the $1.5 billion aid package now under
consideration would largely "determine the fate of reform and
democracy in the Soviet Union" for years to come. Shevardnadze
reassured that "with every day we live the threat of [dictatorship
in the Soviet Union] becomes less and less." Shevardnadze advocated
in an address at the Brookings Institution a stronger United
Nations Security Council role in settling the Arab-Israeli dispute,
the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times reported May 7. (Suzanne
Crow)

BAKER AND BESSMERTNYKH TO MEET. Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh
will start his Middle East tour on May 8. According to Soviet
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vitalii Churkin's May 6 briefing,
Bessmertnykh will arrive in Damascus on May 8, on the morning
of May 9 will travel to Amman, on the morning of May 10 will
travel to Tel-Aviv, and that afternoon will fly to Cairo where
he will remain until May 12, TASS reported. He may also visit
Beirut. The US State Department said on May 6 US Secretary of
State James Baker will return to the Middle East on May 10 and
will have a meeting with Bessmertnykh shortly thereafter, Reuters
reported May 7. (Suzanne Crow)

CHECKING SPECULATION ON ISRAEL. Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman
Vitalii Churkin said on May 6 the restoration of ties with Israel
would be part of the general peace process in the Middle East.
He said it would be wrong to believe that a re-establishment
of relations would necessarily follow from Bessmertnykh's visit
to Israel this week, TASS reported. (NCA/Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV, MITTERAND SUMMIT. At a press conference after his
talks yesterday afternoon with French President Francois Mitterrand,
Gorbachev said that the meeting was "necessary for both sides,"
and pronounced himself "satisfied" with what was discussed, TASS
reported May 6. According to TASS, the talks were friendly, and
the two presidents were in accord on the new shape of Europe,
the need for a Middle East settlement, and general issues of
world stability and security. (Sallie Wise)

BESSMERTNYKH TO ASEAN? According to an unidentified senior Soviet
diplomat in Kuala Lumpur, the Soviet Union and Malaysia are tentatively
planning for a July 1991 visit by Bessmertnykh. The visit is
expected to coincide with meetings of the foreign ministers of
the ASEAN countries. ASEAN will decide next week (May 14) whether
Bessmertnykh will be invited to the ASEAN meetings, AFP reported
May 6. (Suzanne Crow)

CHURKIN REJECTS CRITICISM OF TREATIES. Soviet Foreign Ministry
Spokesman Vitalii Churkin said in his regular briefing on May
6 that some of the commentaries about the progress of bilateral
treaty negotiations between the USSR and its neighbors in Eastern
Europe are "representing the Soviet position in a false light."
The USSR, Churkin went on to say, is pursuing good-neighborly
relations with Eastern European countries on the basis of equality
and mutual interests, TASS reported May 6. (Suzanne Crow)

NAJIBULLAH SAYS USSR HAS INCREASED AID TO AFGHANISTAN. Afghan
President Najibullah recently has given a spate of interviews
to Western journalists, apparently in an effort to promote an
image of stability in the West. The Washington Post and The Los
Angeles Times of May 4 reported that Najibullah said the USSR
is not only continuing, but increasing, aid to Afghanistan. He
told the Post that, at a high-level meeting with a Soviet delegation
to Kabul last month "there was no word of reduction of Afghan-Soviet
relations, but there was talk of increasing relations." (Sallie
Wise)

MOISEEV ON EAST-WEST RELATIONS. The Soviet General Staff Chief
told TASS on May 6 that, despite some complications, East-West
relations were turning from confrontation to cooperation. Army
General Mikhail Moiseev nevertheless cautioned that the practical
realization of the "Soviet model of security" has been problematic,
and he pointed to the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and to the
fact, as he put it, that the Soviet Union now faces the NATO
alliance alone. Moiseev said that Moscow had completed its unilateral
troop reduction of 500,000 men, and called for a further easing
of the arms race and improved relations between East and West.
(Stephen Foye)

DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER PROMOTED. By a presidential decree issued
on April 29 and published in Izvestia on May 1, Deputy Defense
Minister Yurii Yashin was promoted to General of the Army. Yashin's
portfolio is unknown. He was first identified as a deputy defense
minister in April of 1989. (Stephen Foye)

DEFENSE EXPENDITURE UNDER SCRUTINY. The head of the USSR Supreme
Soviet budgetary committee, Viktor Kucherenko, told Radio Moscow
World Service May 5 about continuing efforts to curb defense
expenditure. He patiently explained why the 1991 defense budget
was 20 billion rubles higher than in 1990, and pointed out that
expenditure on procurement has been cut by almost 36%, while
spending on servicemen's social needs has been sharply increased.
Surplus fuel and greatcoats were sold off for 8-10 million rubles
to an unnamed East European country. The proceeds were destined
for service welfare funds, but Vneshekonombank "snatched" the
money and refused to hand it over. (Keith Bush)

HOUSING FOR SOVIET TROOPS DELAYED. USSR Deputy Defense Minister
Nikolai Chekov told TASS May 5 that Germany has not even started
the construction of 36,000 apartments for Soviet servicemen and
their families withdrawn from the former GDR, although plans
had called for the first 3,000 apartments to be handed over in
1991. Chekov stated that the 36,000 apartments will cover only
one-half of the living space required, and he hinted that the
schedule for the withdrawal of Soviet troops might be adversely
affected. (Keith Bush)

PROTOCOL ON EMPLOYMENT POLICY SIGNED BY ELEVEN REPUBLICS. A protocol
on the coordination of the work of the USSR Ministry of Labor
and Social Questions and the corresponding republican bodies
in the sphere of employment in 1991 was signed by eleven Union
republics on May 5, Trud reported on May 6. The three Baltic
republics and Georgia did not sign, but took part in drawing
up the protocol. The representatives of Armenia and Moldavia
signed under only one point, that providing for international
cooperation in the sphere of employment. As Gorbachev has pointed
out, even those republics that have opted for independence regularly
take part in economic talks. (Ann Sheehy)

PENSION FUND BROKE. An Izvestia report of May 2 describes the
state of the USSR Pension Fund as "catastrophic." The nine republics
which joined the Fund on a voluntary basis have not been paying
their full dues, while many enterprises, kolkhozes, sovkhozes,
and cooperatives have evidently not paid in anything at all.
The situation has been aggravated by the fact that higher pensions
and other transfer payments have been necessitated to offset
the retail price hikes of April 2. The net effect has been that
only about 30% of the required funding has been received. This
does not augur well for the unemployment compensation fund that
is expected to start disbursements on July 1. (Keith Bush)



USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



USSR SUPSOV DEBATES TRANSCAUCASUS. On May 6 the USSR Supreme
Soviet began debating the Armenian call for convening a special
session of the USSR Congress of People's Deputies to debate the
deteriorating situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, TASS
reported. Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet Chairwoman Elmira Kafarova
argued that the request should be rejected as it constitutes
"gross interference into Azerbaijan's affairs." Deputies are
to vote today on the Armenian request. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIAN SUPSOV CHAIRMAN ACCUSES MOSCOW OF "DECLARING WAR". An
Armenian deputy read a statement by Armenian Supreme Soviet Chairman
Levon Ter-Petrossyan to yesterday's session accusing Moscow of
"waging war" on Armenia by attacking the village of Voskepar
in north-east Armenia May 7. He claimed that dozens of people
had been killed and all homes burned in the attack by units of
the fourth Soviet army. AFP May 6, however, quoted Armenpress
as affirming that the Soviet military commander in the Transcaucasus,
General Valerii Patrikeev, had told the Armenian MVD that the
attack was carried out by USSR MVD troops. (Liz Fuller)

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES APPEALS TO GORBACHEV. In a letter sent
May 3 to Soviet President Gorbachev, the leaders of the World
Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches express
their concern at "the situation in Karabakh" and call on Gorbachev
"to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of the Armenian
people in the region." (Liz Fuller)

GORBACHEV PROPOSAL FOR RESOLVING KARABAKH IMPASSE. At a joint
news conference in Moscow May 6 with visiting French President
Francois Mitterrand, Gorbachev told reporters that the situation
in Armenia and Azerbaijan "must be defused, otherwise the result
could be even greater bloodshed" (The Washington Post, May 7).
Among the steps necessary to restore order Gorbachev enumerated
disarming Armenian guerrilla bands and restoring Nagorno-Karabakh's
autonomous status, abolished in early 1989. Gorbachev had stressed
the need for democratic elections and the restoration of "legitimate
organs of power" in an appeal two months ago to the Azerbaijani
people and the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. (Liz Fuller)

PROKOF'EV CRITICIZES GORBACHEV. Pravda on April 29 published
an interview Moscow CP chairman Yurii Prokof'ev gave to The Boston
Globe last month. In that interview, Prokof'ev called for Prime
Minister Valentin Pavlov to be dismissed, and compared Eduard
Shevardnadze and Aleksandr Yakovlev to "rats leaving a sinking
ship." He indicated that Gorbachev might be replaced as CPSU
general secretary by a simple majority of votes at a plenum.
He added, however, that at the moment there is no alternative
to him and no one else who could counter Yeltsin, whom he called
a "fuehrer." He warned that if Gorbachev does not introduce harsh
measures, enterprises will stop working, leading to mass unrest
and the collapse of the Soviet government. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR CP POLITBURO MEMBER CRITICIZES GORBACHEV. Gennadii Zyuganov,
member of the RSFSR CP Politburo, has criticized Gorbachev for
neglecting the Party. He said Gorbachev should first consult
the Party about controversial decisions before discussing them
at the parliament. Contrary to long-established practice, the
Soviet government last month presented its anti-crisis program
first at the parliament and only then at the Party plenum. Zyuganov
said that the RSFSR CP has asked its Party organizations to discuss
possible candidates for the election for the Russian presidency.
The RSFSR CP will nominate its candidate at a Party plenum this
month. (Alexander Rahr)

NEW PROBLEMS WITH RSFSR TV. Head of State TV and Radio Leonid
Kravchenko banned an RSFSR TV broadcast on April 27, Nezavisimaya
gazeta reported May 3. Set up last year, RSFSR TV has been broadcasting
irregularly ever since. It plans to start broadcasting six hours
of programming daily on May 12. The newspaper said, however,
that in view of the sensitive situation in the RSFSR before the
June 12 presidential elections, Kravchenko could possibly try
to violate his agreement with the Russian government and block
regular broadcasts by RSFSR TV. Nezavisimaya gazeta also reported
that its publishers were planning to set up their own "independent
television, providing it with resources, premises, and office
equipment." No details, however, were given about funding for
the enterprise. (Vera Tolz)

YELTSIN ON JAPAN RELATIONS. RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris
Yeltsin met with a Japanese parliamentary delegation on May 6
and stressed that the RSFSR is ready to cooperate directly with
Japan, TSN reported May 7. He said such cooperation can only
help the RSFSR and the country as a whole to come out of its
current crisis. In the past, Yeltsin has stressed that the RSFSR
must be incorporated into any discussions of returning the Kurile
Islands to Japan since those islands are a part of the RSFSR.
(Suzanne Crow)

UKRAINIAN CRIME RATES UP IN 1991. Radio Kiev reported on May
3 that according to official statistics, 92.5 thousand crimes
were committed in the republic during the first quarter of 1991,
among them 33 instances of firearms and ammunition thefts. The
crime rate is 14.5% higher than during the same period of 1990.
(Valentyn Moroz)

DRAFT OF NEW UKRAINIAN CONSTITUTION PUBLISHED. A draft of a new
Ukrainian constitution drawn up by the republican Communist party
has been published in Ukrainian newspapers, Moscow Radio reported
May 6. The draft proposes that the present title of the republic
embodying its "socialist choice" be retained, and also that the
post of president be introduced. (Ann Sheehy)

SHARE OF SCHOOLING IN UKRAINIAN STILL DECLINING. Data on schooling
in Ukrainian in Ukraine, published in Moloda Galichina of April
11, would indicate that the Ukrainian law on language has not
halted the decline in the proportion of children receiving their
schooling in Ukrainian. True, the absolute number of children
attending Ukrainian-language schools is up from 3,245,000 in
1985/86 to 3,280,300 in 1990/91, but relative to the total number
of schoolchildren this represents a drop from 48.2% to 47.8%.
(Ann Sheehy)

MOLDAVIAN PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY SPLITTING. At a caucus before
the impending session of the Moldavian Supreme Soviet, the Agrarian
group of deputies--the second largest in parliament, and consisting
of ethnic Moldavian kolkhoz and village soviet chairmen--have
issued the following demands: replacement of Prime Minister Mircea
Druc and other radical reformers in the government, reorganization
of the Popular Front-dominated Supreme Soviet Presidium by appointing
to it the nominees of all parliamentary groups (i.e., the communist
and Russian groups), and Moldavia's return to the talks on a
new Union treaty (Moldavia has refused the treaty). The Agrarians
had supported the Popular Front and the government on Moldavian
national demands, but now seem about to coalesce with the pro-Soviet
forces to block social and economic reforms which threaten the
Agrarians' and their new allies' vested interests. (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIA ESTABLISHES MINISTRY FOR NATIONALITY AFFAIRS. The Moldavian
government has set up a State Department for Nationality Affairs
to represent the interests of non-native ethnic groups in the
republican government, Moldova Suverana reported May 3. The department
is mandated inter alia to foster the cultures and languages of
ethnic groups and their links to their homelands, to channel
republican investment into areas inhabited by ethnic groups,
and to draft legislation concerning their specific needs and
interests. The Department's director general, Viktor Grebenshchikov,
is a Russian from Siberia who resigned from the Communist Party
and is renowned in Moldavia for having become fluent in the native
language after settling in the republic. (Vladimir Socor)


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

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