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. 88, 08 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



BALTIC LEADERS AT CSCE HEARING IN WASHINGTON. On May 7 Chairman
of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis, Estonian
Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar, and Latvian Prime Minister Ivars
Godmanis spoke at a hearing of the US Commission on Security
and Cooperation in Europe, an RFE/RL correspondent reported that
day. The leaders pleaded for more US support in their efforts
to restore full independence and hold an International Conference
on the Baltic Question. They also said that they would like support
for attendance by Baltic officials as observers at a meeting
of European foreign ministers in Berlin in June. (Saulius Girnius)


AID TO USSR AND BALTIC STATES. The presence of the Baltic leaders
affected the debate on a Senate resolution to extend a $1.5 billion
credit to the USSR to purchase American grain. The Baltic leaders
urged that economic aid should go not to the center but to the
republics, since they face the threat of "a creeping economic
blockade" from the Soviet government. Landsbergis said that the
US should refuse to sign any agreements with the USSR until Moscow
keeps its promise to hold independence talks and pledges not
to use force. Savisaar noted that Estonia needs Western assistance
to overcome the dislocations of moving to a free market with
the privatization of its agriculture. (Saulius Girnius)

INTERPARLIAMENTARY GROUP ESTABLISHED. On May 7 members of the
US Congress and the three Baltic leaders signed a charter establishing
an Interparliamentary Group to Support Human Rights and Democracy
in the Baltic States. Congressman Richard Durbin (D-Illinois),
chairman of the Baltic Freedom Caucus, said that the founding
"demonstrates the widespread support for the Baltic people as
they continue to struggle for their human rights." He also noted
that the Canadian parliament was interested in joining and he
hoped that legislatures in other countries would support the
project. (Saulius Girnius)

GODMANIS: POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE RELATED. Addressing
the CSCE hearing at the US Congress on May 7, Godmanis stressed
the importance of "internationalizing" the Baltic question, especially
through the CSCE, and of economic aid to key industries. Godmanis
said that progress toward achieving Latvia's political independence
could be jeopardized by an economic blockade from Moscow, which,
in turn, could spur political strikes by factory workers (mostly
Russians and other Slavs) of major industries; the end result
could, therefore, be "a socialist revolution." Godmanis requested
aid to improve the industrial infrastructure in Latvia so as
to preclude the possibility of major strikes and help achieve
economic independence from Moscow, reported Radio Riga on May
8. (Dzintra Bungs)

BUSH, KOIVISTO DISCUSS BALTICS. US President George Bush and
Finland's President Mauno Koivisto discussed developments in
the USSR, Baltic States, and Eastern Europe at the White House
on May 7, reported RFE/RL's Washington correspondent that day.
They agreed on the need to support peaceful dialogue between
the Baltic States and Moscow. According to Koivisto, the Baltic
leaders have a "more sophisticated understanding" of the nature
of economic interdependence with the USSR and the difficulties
that a transition to independence brings. Koivisto added that
the Baltic leaders would take into consideration the feelings
of the Russians and other national minorities in the process
of restoring political independence. (Dzintra Bungs)

SPD DEPUTY CALLS FOR MORE SUPPORT FOR THE BALTICS. SPD Deputy
Gert Weisskirchen, speaking for the opposition Social Democrats
at the Bundestag, told DPA on May 7 that the Molotov-Ribbentrop
Pact had made possible the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States
and that Germany had special responsibility for Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania. He called on the German government to give more
political and financial support to Baltic independence efforts.
Weisskirchen had attended Social Democratic congresses in Vilnius
and Leningrad during the previous weekend. (Dzintra Bungs)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



REFORMISTS BACK IN THE KREMLIN. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
has named some reform-oriented advisers to his team. TASS on
May 7 reported the appointment of jurist Vladimir Kudryavtsev,
former Presidential Council member Yurii Osipyan, IMEMO director
Vladlen Martynov, Ukrainian writer Boris Oleynik, and economists
Leonid Abalkin and Yurii Yaremenko as advisers to Gorbachev.
With the exception of Oleynik, they are known for their reformist
views. These appointments suggest that Gorbachev's new shift
toward democratic forces since signing the agreement with nine
republican leaders may be genuine. (Alexander Rahr)

SOME VORKUTA MINERS RETURN TO WORK. Miners at 6 of Vorkuta's
13 mines are still out on strike, as are miners at 34 mines in
the Kuzbass, according to AP May 7. The Vorkuta strike committee
chairman told Interfax that the strike "practically failed to
achieve anything...it is already clear that the president and
the government will not resign." The miners, he said, are working
and saving their energy for the next strike. Kuzbass miners are
waiting to see the actual document confirming transfer of the
mines to RSFSR jurisdiction, according to Radio Rossii. According
to Interfax, however, miners are demanding that control of all
businesses in the Kuzbass owned by the USSR Ministry of Coal
be transferred to the RSFSR government. (Dawn Mann)

COAL MINISTRY, TRADE UNION "IN SHOCK" OVER AGREEMENT. The USSR
Ministry of the Coal Industry and the official coalminers' trade
union are in "a state close to shock" following the news of the
transfer of mining enterprises from all-Union to RSFSR jurisdiction,
Radio Rossii reported May 7. A trade union official "who preferred
to remain anonymous" told Radio Rossii the news undermined the
talks, "which are nearing completion," between the ministry and
the union over labor and social guarantees for miners in 1991.
The official said that, if other republics follow the RSFSR's
example, there will be no money to realize the agreement. In
fact, "the continuing existence of the all-Union ministry will
be threatened." (Elizabeth Teague)

SUPREME SOVIET DISCUSSES DRAFT LAW ON EMIGRATION. The USSR Supreme
Soviet yesterday began debate on the second reading of draft
legislation on "Entry and Exit from the USSR." The proposed law
is not, however, to take effect until July 1, 1992. TASS on May
7 noted that the bill has been scheduled for discussion several
times since its first reading at the end of 1989, but has been
held up. According to TASS, concerns over projected hard currency
losses resulting from the law have blocked its passage. Reuters
on May 7 quoted Gorbachev spokesman Vitalii Ignatenko as saying
that the bill is "fully supported" by Gorbachev, who regrets
the delay in its passage. The Supreme Soviet is scheduled to
vote on the legislation May 12. (Sallie Wise)

RAILWAYS MINISTER RESIGNS. Nikolai Konarev, USSR Minister of
Railways since November 1982, resigned Tuesday, Radio Moscow
reported May 7. No reason for his resignation was reported by
Radio Moscow. The USSR Supreme Soviet approved the appointment
of Leonid Matyukhin, a USSR People's Deputy and CPSU member who
has been working as head of the Nizhny Novogorod Rail Administration,
as minister. (NCA)

CPSU THREATENED BY "CRISIS PHENOMENA." The CPSU Secretariat met
May 5, Radio Moscow reported that day. Deputy General Secretary
Vladimir Ivashko was quoted as saying the Central Committee plenum
of April 24-25 showed that Communists are "particularly alarmed"
at "intensifying ideological confrontation, incipient factionalism,
and the existence of a tangible threat to Party unity." Indeed,
the plenum confirmed that there are wider differences of opinion
within the CPSU than exist between separate political parties
in many other countries (e.g., the USA or Britain). (Elizabeth
Teague)

CPSU PRESENCE IN WORKPLACE UNDER THREAT. Ivashko went on to say
that at present "the main danger" to the CPSU comes from "the
growing pressure to oust Party organizations from the workplace."
Last month, workers at the Uralmash heavy machine-building plant
voted to ban organized political activity from the enterprise;
other factories are expected to follow suit. At the same time,
the anti-Communist "Democratic Russia" movement is trying to
extend its influence to the workplace; Radio Rossii reported
May 5 an invitation by the movement's Coordinating Council to
workers' committees to take part in a regional conference of
the movement on May 16. Further details were not provided. (Elizabeth
Teague)

PARTY MEMBERSHIP UPDATE. Ivashko told the Secretariat that whereas
1.8 million Communists left the CPSU in 1990, a total of 587,000
quit in the first three months of 1991, that is, the Party is
continuing to lose members at an accelerating rate. On the other
hand, the number of new entrants is beginning to rise a little.
Whereas 108,000 people joined the Party in 1990, the number joining
in the first three months of 1991 was 46,000. (Elizabeth Teague)


PLAN FOR "AUTHORITARIAN MODERNIZATION". The inter-branch research
corporation "Experimental Creative Center," headed by "'post-perestroika'
ideologue" Sergei Kurginyan, has drafted an anti-crisis program
described by TASS on May 7. The program calls for an economic
reform based on the Chinese model, a rapid breakthrough in high
technology, and an "enlightened" authoritarian political system.
Kurginyan said a prerequisite of the program is "formation of
a supra-party coalition." Although Kurginyan denied his proximity
to Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov's government, his analytical
scenarios have received great interest among the political leadership,
"because of their accuracy", noted TASS. (In February, Pavlov
issued a decree granting unusual administrative prerogatives
to Kurginyan's group: see Daily Report, April 15). TASS reported
that the turnover of Kurginyan's corporation already reached
100 million rubles. (Victor Yasmann)

GORBACHEV TO ATTEND G-7 SUMMIT? British government officials
have announced that Gorbachev may be invited as an observer to
the Group of Seven (G-7) summit meeting of leading industrial
nations in London July 15-17, AP and Reuters reported May 7.
Britain will consult the other members of G-7 closer to the date
of the summit. A spokesman at the Soviet Embassy in London is
quoted as saying that Gorbachev "has expressed a cautious interest
in discussing" possible attendance. (NCA/Keith Bush)

GORBACHEV TO DELIVER NOBEL LECTURE JUNE 5. Gorbachev will travel
to Oslo June 5 to deliver his Nobel Prize lecture, postponed
from last December, TASS reported May 7. Citing the Norwegian
Telegraph Bureau, TASS said that during Gorbachev's two-day trip
he will have talks with Norway's Prime Minister. TASS also quoted
Geir Lundestad, director of the Nobel Institute, as saying that
preparations for Gorbachev's visit were underway. (Sallie Wise)


BESSMERTNYKH TO MEET BAKER, ARAFAT. According to reports in the
Egyptian newspaper Al-Akhbar, Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh
will meet with US Secretary of State James Baker in Cairo on
May 11. Arab diplomatic sources in Egypt said however that the
meeting would take place on May 12 in Cairo. According to PLO
sources, Bessmertnykh will also meet with PLO leader Yasser Arafat,
although a time and place has yet to be decided, Reuters and
AP reported May 6 and 7. (Suzanne Crow)

USSR-VIETNAM TALKS. Gorbachev expressed satisfaction with the
state of Soviet-Vietnamese relations during talks with Vietnamese
Premier Do Muoi on May 7 and TASS reported the same day the talks
were characterized by "benevolence and mutual understanding."
(Suzanne Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE ON RESIGNATION. In a luncheon meeting with The Washington
Post, former Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze stressed that
his resignation resulted not simply from the attacks of his adversaries,
but also from the fact that "nobody defended me, nobody rejected
these criticisms," The Washington Post reported May 8. Shevardnadze's
comments make even clearer the frustration, expressed vaguely
in his resignation speech, that he was left alone to answer all
of the conservatives' attacks on Soviet foreign policy. (Suzanne
Crow)

LOBOV RELIEVED OF DUTIES. Army General Vladimir Lobov has been
relieved of his duties as Warsaw Pact Chief of Staff, TASS reported
on April 7. According to an AFP account, Lobov would be reassigned
to new but unspecified duties. Lobov has long been known as a
hard-liner, and assumed the Warsaw Pact post in January of 1989.
(Stephen Foye)

MOISEEV TO NEGOTIATE ON CFE. Gorbachev intends to send General
Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev to Washington next week to resolve
disputes on the CFE treaty, The New York Times reported on April
8. Moiseev is scheduled to meet with both the American arms control
team and with General Colin Powell. American officials reportedly
interpreted the visit positively, saying it indicated Gorbachev's
desire to reach a CFE treaty. Moiseev has been among the military
leaders strongly critical of the CFE agreement reached in Paris
last November, however, and the announcement underscores the
expanded role that Moiseev personally, and the High Command in
general, has come to play in the arms negotiation process. (Stephen
Foye)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


USSR SUPSOV REJECTS ARMENIAN CALL TO CONVENE CPD. The USSR Supreme
Soviet May 7 rejected the Armenian request to convene a special
session of the Congress of People's Deputies to debate the deteriorating
situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, TASS reported yesterday.
Eight deputies voted in favor of the Armenian proposal, 261 voted
against, and 23 abstained. The Supreme Soviet did rule, however,
to send USSR Procuracy investigators to the area. (NCA/Liz Fuller)


AZERBAIJAN INVITES FOREIGN OBSERVERS TO ASSESS SITUATION. The
Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement May
7 welcoming to Azerbaijan "all those who wish to see for themselves
the true state of affairs" in the region, in the interests "of
providing correct information to the Soviet and world public,"
Azerinform reported May 7. Azerbaijan Supreme Soviet Chairwoman
Elmira Kafarova told a news conference in Moscow May 7 that "war
had been declared on Azerbaijan," and that all military action
to date has taken place on Azerbaijani territory, Reuters reported
that day. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIAN SUPSOV CHAIRMAN ACCUSES GORBACHEV. Speaking at a news
conference in Erevan May 7, Armenian Supreme Soviet chairman
Levon Ter-Petrossyan accused Gorbachev of terrorizing Armenia
and attempting to overthrow the Armenian government. Ter-Petrossyan
said 23 people had been killed in the May 6 attack on the Armenian
village of Voskepar, and that three further Armenian villages
had been seized by Soviet and Azerbaijani troops May 7 and more
than 20 people arrested. An AP correspondent in Armenia reported
extensive destruction from artillery shells in Voskepar; there
are unconfirmed reports (Reuters, AP, May 7) of atrocities committed
by Soviet and Azerbaijani troops in Getashen. (Liz Fuller)

GENERALS CRITICIZE TER-PETROSSYAN. First Deputy Defense Minister
Konstantin Kochetov said in the May 7 Izvestia that army units
have indeed taken part in recent military actions in Armenia,
but denied charges by Ter-Petrossyan that tanks and heavy artillery
were used. Kochetov said that several units from the Transcaucasus
Military District were sent into action in order to disarm what
he called illegal Armenian military units along the border (armed
with weapons stolen from the Military District, he charged);
helicopters were used to carry out reconnaissance. The Deputy
Head of the USSR MVD troops, Lieutenant-General Boris Smyslov,
is also quoted as accusing Ter-Petrossyan of spreading "lies
and rubbish" (The Los Angeles Times, May 8). (Stephen Foye)

RYZHKOV ENTERS RACE FOR RSFSR PRESIDENCY. Former Prime Minister
Nikolai Ryzhkov officially has entered the race for the RSFSR
presidency. He told a press conference, broadcast by TASS on
May 7, that his election platform will be largely based on his
former government program (which was even rejected by Gorbachev
for being too cautious on reform). Ryzhkov attacked his successor
Pavlov's anti-crisis program for unjust price increases. Ryzhkov
said he disagrees with the RSFSR law on private ownership, indicating
that privatization is going too far. He also seems to support
a stronger role of the center by criticizing the transfer of
Russian coal mines from USSR to RSFSR jurisdiction. (Alexander
Rahr)

POLOZKOV MET MILITARY, GROMOV NOMINATED FOR PRESIDENCY. RSFSR
CP Chairman Ivan Polozkov told TASS on May 6 about a meeting
between the leadership of the RSFSR CP and leaders of the USSR
defense ministry which took place on April 30. Polozkov said
that both sides discussed the results of the CPSU plenum at which
he strongly opposed Gorbachev. Polozkov praised the military
leadership for being "well-versed in the current situation."
He also mentioned that General Boris Gromov has been nominated
as a candidate for the RSFSR presidency. (Alexander Rahr)

ARMY WANTS TO INFLUENCE RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Colonel
General Nikolai Shlyaga, chief of the Main Political Administration,
told representatives of that body on April 30 that the army should
be working to influence the outcome of the RSFSR presidential
election. According to Krasnaya zvezda of May 1, Shlyaga called
for the creation of election committees and urged that servicemen
be counselled on the relative merits of the candidates. Given
Shlyaga's past statements, such actions are likely to constitute
little less than an army campaign against Boris Yeltsin. The
meeting also demonstrates the extent to which the allegedly depoliticized
military-political organs continue to be directed by the Communist
Party. (Stephen Foye)

RSFSR PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES MEDIA COVERAGE OF ITS ACTIVITIES.
The RSFSR Supreme Soviet opened May 7 with criticism of central
Soviet media coverage of its sessions, especially TV coverage,
Vremya reported yesterday. (Indeed, on many occasions Central
Soviet TV has provided biased coverage of what was said at the
RSFSR Parliament's proceedings). RSFSR People's Deputies advocated
on May 7 the introduction of a new practice, according to which
the press center of the RSFSR parliament would prepare its own
reports on parliamentary sessions for subsequent dissemination
by the media. Many journalists, present at the session, criticized
the suggestion on the grounds that it amounted to an attempt
at introducing media censorship, Vremya said. (Vera Tolz)

RSFSR PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES LAW ON RECALLING OF DEPUTIES. On May
7, the RSFSR Supreme Soviet approved in principle a draft law
on the procedure of recalling deputies. According to the law,
a deputy will lose his position in the parliament if more than
half of the electorate participating in the voting supports the
recall, Vremya reported May 7. (Vera Tolz)

COMMISSION SET UP TO INVESTIGATE MISTREATMENT OF GORYACHEVA.
The RSFSR Supreme Soviet has set up a commission to investigate
"facts of blackmail and threats" made by some people against
Deputy Chairman of the RSFSR parliament Svetlana Goryacheva,
Vremya reported May 7. In February, Goryacheva prepared a formal
statement demanding the replacement of RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman
Boris Yeltsin for his attack on Gorbachev. This action provoked
sharp criticism from Yeltsin's supporters. Goryacheva claimed
that in the course of this criticism threats were made against
her and the members of her family (see Sovetskaya Rossiya, May
1). (Vera Tolz)

REFORM FUND CREATED IN KAZAKHSTAN. On May 7, TASS, quoting Trud,
reported the creation in Kazakhstan of a republican fund for
economic and social reforms. The objective of the fund, which
is being set up on the initiative of Kazakh president Nursultan
Nazarbaev, is to ensure financial support for projects to introduce
market mechanisms and attract Soviet and foreign expertise. Among
the creators of the fund are major industrial enterprises, which
will presumably be expected to supply financing. (Bess Brown)


COUNCIL OF ATAMANS DISCUSSES CONFLICT WITH INGUSH. At a press
conference on May 7 Aleksandr Martynov, ataman of the Union of
Cossacks, described the recent clash between Cossacks and Ingush
in the Sunzha raion of Chechen-Ingushetia as part of a deliberate
attempt on the part of the Ingush "to dislodge the Cossacks from
their historic territory," TASS reported May 7. The press conference
was held to report on an extraordinary session of the Council
of Atamans in Moscow on May 6-7 that met to discuss the clash.
The session adopted a resolution calling on the all-Union government
to declare a state of emergency in the area and start disarming
"Ingush bandit formations." (Ann Sheehy)

COSSACKS SEEK SERVICE LOCALLY IN INTERNAL TROOPS, RESTORATION
OF AUTONOMOUS OKRUG. The resolution also suggested that former
Cossack conscripts should be called up to serve in the MVD internal
troops in the area of conflict, and stated that the Cossacks
would seek the restoration of the Sunzha Autonomous Cossack Okrug,
abolished after the revolution, and compensation for the material
damage suffered by families during the recent clash. (Ann Sheehy)


DELEGATION OF UNION OF COSSACKS MEETS YANAEV. A delegation of
the Union of Cossacks met USSR Vice-President Gennadii Yanaev
on May 7 to report on the decisions of the session of the Council
of Atamans, TASS reported May 7. The problem of interethnic conflict
was also discussed in the broader context, and there was an exchange
of opinions on the current activity of the Union of Cossacks
aimed at reviving the Cossacks' cultural-historical and patriotic
traditions. On May 6 the banner of the Union of Cossacks was
blessed in the Church of the Ascension at Nikitskie Vorota in
the presence of representatives of all 12 Cossack regiments in
their traditional military garb, Moscow Radio reported May 6.
(Ann Sheehy)

CHECHEN-INGUSH CP INSISTS CHECHEN-INGUSHETIA SHOULD SIGN UNION
TREATY IN ITS OWN RIGHT. A plenum of the republican committee
of the CPSU on May 7 took the view that Chechen-Ingushetia should
sign the Union treaty in its own right and not as part of an
RSFSR delegation, TASS reported May 7. The plenum suggested that
Communist deputies should support this stance at the session
of the republic's Supreme Soviet on May 14. Such a stance conflicts
with the agreement reportedly reached between Gorbachev and Yeltsin
that the autonomous republics should not sign the Union treaty
on their own account. (Ann Sheehy)

MOLDAVIAN POPULAR FRONT WANTS TO EXPAND JEWISH TIES. In an interview
published in Nash golos, the Jewish periodical of Moldavia and
the Odessa oblast, on April 28, Moldavian Popular Front chairman
Iurie Rosca described the Front's optimal relations with the
Jewish community in Moldavia. While fully accepting the "political
neutrality" officially proclaimed by the Jewish Cultural Society--the
representative body of Moldavia's Jews--the Popular Front and
the Moldavian government at the same time support "the Jewish
cultural-democratic movement" promoted by the same society. Rosca
also said that the Popular Front would like to expand the contacts,
"both political and economic," it already has with Jewish organizations
in the West. (Vladimir Socor)

[as of 1300 CET]

Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise


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

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