|It is not enough to show people how to live better: there is a mandate for any group with enormous powers of communication to show people how to be better. - Mary Mannes|
No. 89, 10 May 1991
BALTIC STATES BALTIC LEADERS MEET BUSH. On May 8 Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis, Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar, and Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis met for about 40 minutes with US President George Bush, an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reported that day. Secretary of State James Baker and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft also attended the meeting. The Balts were satisfied with the meeting, which they claimed was an indication that the US was more actively supporting their drive for independence. (Saulius Girnius) WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT ON BALTIC MEETING. According to a White House statement, issued on May 8 shortly after President Bush met Savisaar, Godmanis, and Landsbergis, this was "the President's sixth meeting with Baltic officials during the past 12 months." At the meeting, the President reiterated the long-standing US policy on the Baltic States, promised continued medical aid, and expressed satisfaction over "the resumption of negotiations between the Soviet government and the Baltic States. [...] He said the US hoped that all parties to these negotiations could be flexible and pragmatic in order to reach a just and lasting resolution of the problem." (NCA/Dzintra Bungs) LANDSBERGIS MEETING WITH PRESS. On May 8 Landsbergis met with reporters at the Lithuanian legation in Washington before his meeting with Bush. Landsbergis noted that at meetings Western leaders did not look at him, but always at "someone very big" who is "standing behind our back," i.e. the USSR, and casting a shadow. He said that he would ask Bush's support for strong endorsements for Lithuanian membership in the International Postal Union, the International Red Cross, and other international organizations that the USSR has been blocking. (Saulius Girnius) GODMANIS ON BALTIC MEETING. Godmanis told the press after the Baltic leaders met with Bush and Baker on May 8 that "emotionally they are behind us; there is a strong trend towards understanding of our problem." According to Godmanis, Baker told the Baltic leaders "to find some mechanism, how we can be independent, which also would save face for the Soviet Union." Commenting on the suggestion, Godmanis said: "From our point of view, there is only one mechanism. It consists of convening an international conference...and serious negotiations at the highest level" on restoring Baltic independence. Godmanis added that saving face for the USSR is "not our problem," reported RFE/RL's correspondent in Washington on May 9. (Dzintra Bungs) CPSU LAYS CLAIM TO UNIVERSITY BUILDING IN KAUNAS. Radio Independent Lithuania reported on May 10 that CPSU CC Administrator of Affairs Nikolai Kruchina had sent a telegram to the University of Vytautas Magnus and the Kaunas municipal authorities declaring that the former facilities of the Political Education House in Kaunas were still the property of the CPSU. The university's pro-rector, Antanas Karoblis, said the building had been transferred in November to the Kaunas authorities, who gave it to the university. The telegram is an indication that the CPSU has begun to make claims on property outside of Vilnius and other claims might be expected. (Saulius Girnius) LATVIA REMEMBERS WORLD WAR II VICTIMS. According to Radio Riga of May 8 and 9, this year's observance of Victory Day was different from those of the past years in that throughout Latvia people honored the victims of World War II, instead of recalling the Allied victory, especially Soviet military exploits, in Europe. A solemn commemoration was held at the Orthodox Cathedral in Riga, which was recently returned to its congregation. After the war Soviet authorities in Latvia had turned it into a planetarium. Among the speakers at the commemoration was Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs, who recalled that Latvians fought honorably on both sides, convinced that they were fighting for their fatherland, rather than for an alien ideology. (Dzintra Bungs) USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS SOVIETS MARK VICTORY DAY. Celebrations were held throughout the USSR on May 9 to mark the 46th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. According to The Baltimore Sun, the holiday was celebrated with "more than the usual hoopla of parades and concerts," while Soviet TV broadcast old war movies and bemedalled veterans gathered in Moscow's parks. A monument to Georgii Zhukov, the Soviet commander who captured Berlin, was unveiled in front of the Soviet Defense Ministry in Moscow. General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev addressed those gathered. Meanwhile, President Mikhail Gorbachev, Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov, Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov, and other leaders visited the tomb of the unknown soldier near the Kremlin walls, TASS reported, and later hosted a Kremlin meeting with activists of the Soviet Children's Military movement--a group dedicated to promoting patriotism among young people. (NCA/Stephen Foye) YAZOV VICTORY DAY ARTICLE. In a manifesto dominated by pre-perestroika and Cold War rhetoric, Yazov on May 9 lashed out at Defense Ministry critics, leaders of pro-independence groups in the republics, and the Western military alliance. The Defense Minister's article, published in Pravda, accused progressives of deliberately distorting historical perceptions of World War II in order to discredit the army and to further their own political ambitions. He sarcastically dismissed "enlightened" European countries for failing to resist the Nazi onslaught, and emphasized the key role played by the CPSU in insuring the Soviet victory. Yazov criticized Western efforts to create a "new world order," and warned that the USSR would maintain its security in Europe. He also hit pro-independence groups in the republics, charging that they were undermining Soviet security. (Stephen Foye) OTHER VICTORY DAY COMMENTS. The Commander of the Baltic Fleet on May 9 accused NATO countries of building up their military arsenals in the Baltic region. Admiral Vitalii Ivanov complained to TASS that the alleged NATO build-up came as the Warsaw Pact was disbanding and the Soviet Union was pulling its forces out of Eastern Europe. Former Defense Minister Sergei Sokolov, meanwhile, also accused NATO of threatening the Soviet Union and told TASS that a violation of the parity of forces in Europe has put the Soviet Union at a dangerous disadvantage. Marshal Sokolov has seldom been quoted since being retired in disgrace in 1987. (NCA/Stephen Foye) MOISEEV IN CANADA. Soviet General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa on May 10 to sign an agreement on the prevention of dangerous military activities. He will meet with Canadian officials during his five-day stay before heading to Washington, where he will meet with US disarmament officials to discuss the CFE treaty. (NCA/Stephen Foye) RESULTS OF YAZOV'S CHINA VISIT. Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov did not discuss weapons sales with Chinese officials during his recent five-day visit, AP reported May 9. According to diplomatic sources, the potential deal is being hindered by a disagreement over hard-currency prices. A Soviet spokesman nevertheless said that Yazov's visit--the first ever by a Soviet Defense Minister to China--was a success, and that "both sides positively evaluated" the results of talks on reducing troops along the Soviet-Chinese border. He said that the question of a deal on military technology was discussed only in general terms. (Stephen Foye) BESSMERTNYKH COMMENTS ON US, ISRAEL. Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh praised joint Soviet-American efforts to resolve problems in the Middle East, TASS reported May 9. He stressed that the USSR could not be pressured into establishing relations with Israel. "We will not accept any terms, much less preconditions, regarding our participation in the Middle East peace process." He added, "our role in this process is sufficiently natural." (Suzanne Crow) CHURKIN ON TIES WITH ISRAEL. Soviet Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vitalii Churkin said in a Trud interview on May 8 that the fact that the USSR has no diplomatic relations with Israel "cannot be considered normal." He went on to say: "of course, such a statement certainly does not oblige us to restore diplomatic relations with Israel this minute." Churkin reiterated the Soviet Union's characterization of the question as a part of the solution of a Near East settlement. (Suzanne Crow) SOVIET PARLIAMENTARIANS IN LIBYA. A Soviet parliamentary delegation headed by USSR Supreme Soviet Council of Nationalities Chairman Rafik Nishanov arrived in Libya on May 8, TASS reported. Nishanov said relations between the USSR and Libya are now characterized by "an intensive political dialogue." On Soviet relations with Arab countries, Nishanov said these relations have "very deep roots," and "although certain difficulties did arise sometimes [in these relations], we would not like to associate friendship with Arab countries with some situation-determined aspects or considerations." (Suzanne Crow) EMIGRATION LAW WILL INCREASE BORDER TROOPS, CUSTOMS. The adoption of the Law on Entry and Exit from the USSR will require an increase of 13,000 KGB Border Troops men, according to Literaturnaya gazeta editor Fedor Burlatsky. As reported by Central Television on May 8, Burlatsky addressed the USSR Supreme Soviet during discussion of the law. One hundred new Border Troop stations will be set up at a cost of 631 million rubles in the next five years, added Burlatsky. The personnel of the USSR Customs Service will increase by 10,000 at cost of 570 million rubles plus one hundred million in hard currency rubles. Finally, consular staff abroad will increase by 300 diplomats at the cost of $15.8 million. (Victor Yasmann). BURLATSKY ADVOCATES EMIGRATION LAW. Burlatsky said adoption of the law would not increase emigration from the Soviet Union dramatically. He listed all the internal and external obstacles for potential emigrants and distinguished between "those who expressed such desire [to emigrate] and those can realize it." Burlatsky energetically lobbied for the law and appealed to deputies to honor "the glory of Peter the Great, who opened a window to Europe." According to an assessment by the USSR Government and Supreme Soviet Committee on Foreign Affairs, the number of emigrants to the West will not exceed 500,000 per year until 1995; the number of the Soviet citizens visiting abroad will remain at 5-7 million, with 80% of them visiting Eastern Europe. (Victor Yasmann) DECREE ON JOINT COMMITTEE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has issued a decree on the statute of the Committee to Coordinate the Activity of Law Enforcement Bodies, Vremya reported May 8. According to the statute, the Committee will include representatives of the republics which will sign the Union Treaty. One of the Committee's main tasks is coordination of activities of the KGB, the MVD and Procuracy offices. It will also analyze the activities of law enforcement organs based on the "interests the Union and republics." Another function is "interaction with public organizations." The Committee was created on January 30, 1991 and is headed by Yurii Golik. (Victor Yasmann) NO G-7 INVITATION FOR GORBACHEV? The Journal of Commerce May 9 cited US and British officials to the effect that Gorbachev is unlikely to receive an invitation to the G-7 summit meeting in July. The reason given was Soviet unwillingness to implement market-oriented economic reforms. Although such an invitation had not been ruled out, "it was not something that was high on the agenda as yet." British government officials had said earlier this week that Gorbachev might indeed be invited to the meeting as an observer (see Daily Report, May 8). (Keith Bush) PAVLOV ON WESTERN AID. In an interview with The New York Times of May 9, Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov said that Western assistance was needed to make the ruble convertible. "This cannot be done without help...without it we either turn back or collapse." According to Pavlov, Gorbachev was hoping for back-up credits or other props from the G-7 meeting in July to prevent the ruble from collapsing once it becomes convertible with other currencies. It is not clear whether Pavlov is pleading for massive credits to finance "instant gratification," i.e., flooding the domestic market with imported foodstuffs and consumer goods, as advocated by Messrs. Shmelev and Petrakov, or whether he has a Polish-type stabilization fund in mind. (Keith Bush) PAVLOV ON STRIKES. In what appears to be a separate interview, Pavlov told The Financial Times May 9 that a Presidential decree will be issued next week that will install a "special regime" in key sectors like coal and metallurgy. Workers in these key industries will receive compensation for losing the right to strike. Pavlov seemed confident that all 15 republics will sign the anti-crisis program, which includes anti-strike provisions, and the USSR Cabinet of Ministers is scheduled to try to finalize the program on May 15. When he addressed the CPSU Central committee plenum on April 25, Pavlov used the term "state of emergency," rather than "special regime." (Keith Bush) PREPARING FOR WIDESCALE UNEMPLOYMENT. In an interview with Izvestia May 7, the new USSR Minister of Labor and Social Questions, Valerii Paul'man, stated that unemployment in the USSR now totalled 2.5 million. The figure could mount to 30 million "if events develop in the same direction as today." Paul'man could not estimate how many people would register as unemployed when the all-Union employment program starts operating on July 1. Employment service enterprises, with 50,000 staffers, will be in operation this year. Enterprises will pay at least one percent of their wages fund into a compensation fund, which will dispose of some 200 million rubles in 1991. (Keith Bush) FORECAST OF 1991 GRAIN HARVEST. The United States Department of Agriculture has issued its first estimate this year of the 1991 Soviet grain harvest. It projects a crop of 210 million tons and reckons that the USSR will need to import about 30 million tons, AP and Reuter reported May 10. The USDA has a very good track record in forecasting the Soviet grain crop and import quantities, although this initial projection looks somewhat high in the light of shortfalls in winter grain sowing, delays in spring planting, and more than customary chaos in readying farm equipment. It might be noted that the Soviet authorities have still not gotten around to publishing their own forecast. (Keith Bush) GERMAN-SOVIET HOUSING DISPUTE SHARPENS. The Bonn government has threatened to withhold its DM 7.8 billion financing of housing for returning Soviet servicemen and their families after Moscow's decision to award the first of the lucrative contracts to Turkish and Finnish companies, DPA and AFP reported May 9. German media say that the Turkish and Finnish bids for the construction of the first 3,000 units were as much as 20% below the German bids. The row threatens to disrupt plans to withdraw 350,000 Soviet troops from the eastern part of Germany by 1994. The Financial Times of May 9 reports hints made by Soviet officials that Moscow could speed up the withdrawal if Germany were to cough up more money. (Keith Bush) EXPORT INSURANCE COVER PREMIA TO RISE? The UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department is considering raising its premia by up to 50% for covering projects in the Soviet Union, The Guardian reported May 7. The ECGD may also confine cover to export projects that would generate payment in hard currency, and restrict insurance to those companies that already have a successful track record in business with the USSR. (Keith Bush) 127,000 "SPECULATORS" IN JAIL. According to Novaya stroitel'naya gazeta of unknown date, cited by Radio Mayak May 6, about 127,000 people are currently in prison in the USSR, charged with speculation and black-marketeering. The newspaper maintains that some of them were charged unfairly and that although the government has declared that it favors free trade, the authorities are actually discouraging such enterprise by means of all kinds of restrictions and bans. An organization has been formed to defend the rights of private businessmen and to try to change the Soviet public's anti-market feelings. (What is called "arbitrage" in the West, i.e., buying low and selling high, is often termed "speculation" by Soviet officialdom and society). (Keith Bush) BAKATIN ON DECENTRALIZATION OF INTERIOR FORCES. Security Council member Vadim Bakatin said that efforts should be made to preserve the integrity of the nation, not to save an ideology. At the same time he emphasized that the Soviet Union cannot be preserved by force. He told Krasnaya zvezda May 9 that those republics that wish to form a union must agree on a single army. Interior troops, however, could be decentralized, professionalized and transferred to the jurisdiction of each republic. Bakatin did not deny that he wants to run for the Russian presidency. (Alexander Rahr) REJUVENATION IN THE KGB. Sixty high-ranking KGB officers have been replaced in the past two years, leading to a radical rejuvenation of the agency's top brass, according to Moskovskie novosti (no. 16). The personnel changes started on the regional level in 1989 and reached KGB headquarters in 1991. The average age of the new appointees, who started their career in the 1960s to 1970s, is 49; the average age of new regional KGB bosses is only 40. Thirty percent of the newcomers had a military-industrial background, 21% came from the Party apparatus, and 13% from universities and institutes. Almost 50% of the appointees had connections to the Komsomol. (Alexander Rahr) USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS FIGHTING CONTINUES ON ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI FRONTIER. TASS May 8 reported ongoing fighting and further fatalities as Soviet troops continued disarming Armenian guerrilla units. AFP May 8 quoted the Armenian Parliament press service as saying that two further Armenian villages, Shurnukh in Armenia and Artzvashen in Azerbaijan, had been surrounded by troops. All weapons were confiscated May 9 in Artzvashen (AP, May 9). An Armenian MVD spokeswoman stated May 9 in Erevan that the Armenian villages of Uzlu and Marashit in Azerbaijan were being fired upon. Reuters reports May 10 that Soviet troops and artillery were defending the Azerbaijani town of Kazakh against an anticipated Armenian attack. (Liz Fuller) MUTALIBOV REJECTS DIALOGUE WITH ARMENIA. Azerbaijani President and CP First Secretary Ayaz Mutalibov told Reuters May 8 that he saw no point in meeting with Armenian Supreme Soviet Chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan, as he could not discuss territorial claims on Nagorno-Karabakh. Mutalibov also said that he was not satisfied with the help Azerbaijan had received to date from Moscow, and that Gorbachev should be more resolute in implementing his decree of July, 1990, on disarming illegal military formations. (Liz Fuller) PAPAL ENVOY TO TRANSCAUCASUS. The Vatican Representative to the USSR, Archbishop Francesco Colasuonno, left Rome May 9 to travel to Armenia and Georgia, where he is scheduled to meet with Armenian Supreme Soviet Chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan, Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Armenian Catholicos Vazgen I and Georgian Catholicos Ilia II. Colasuonno is to visit Armenian communities in Georgia and the Erevan monument to the victims of the 1915 genocide. (NCA/Liz Fuller) GEORGIA REJECTS NEW SOUTH OSSETIAN AUTONOMY DECLARATION. Radio Tbilisi May 8 quoted Georgian Supreme Soviet Chairman Akaki Asatiani as stating that Georgia will not recognize the declaration of autonomy within the RSFSR passed May 4 by the South Ossetian oblast soviet. The Georgian parliament voted last December to abolish the autonomous status of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast, which had proclaimed itself an independent Soviet republic three months earlier. Up to 100 people have been killed over the past five months in continuing clashes between Georgians and Ossetians. (Liz Fuller) YELTSIN TO VISIT CZECHOSLOVAKIA. RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin was interviewed by CTK on May 9 in anticipation of his visit to Prague (May 13-14). He said the main reason why he chose Czechoslovakia for his first official foreign visit since becoming chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet was to demonstrate Russia's sympathy for the reforms being carried out in that country (an agreement on cooperation between the RSFSR and Czechoslovakia is expected to be signed during the visit). A secondary reason was that Yeltsin visited Western Bohemia five times when he was Party leader in Sverdlovsk and liked it very much. Yeltsin said he was carrying a message of greeting from Mikhail Gorbachev to Vaclav Havel. (Elizabeth Teague) YELTSIN CALLS FOR "REPENTANCE." Interviewed by CTK, Yeltsin commented on the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, saying that "It is not enough merely to admit that this was an anti-people action; I think we must also repent for this." (Elizabeth Teague) UPDATE ON RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. The agro-industrial complex has officially nominated Nikolai Ryzhkov for the Russian Presidency, according to Radio Moscow on May 8. Agricultural bureaucrats hope that Ryzhkov will resist far-reaching privatization of land and the abolition of the kolkhoz system. Meanwhile, a group of Afghan war veterans in Udmurtia and workers of the Baltiisky plant in Leningrad have named Boris Gromov as their candidate, Radio Rossii reported the same day. Another candidate is Libertarian Party leader and Russian homosexual activist Roman Kalinin, who wants to combine elections with a lottery. One in every 10,000 voters who vote in favor of Kalinin could win 10,000 rubles, TASS reported on May 8. (Alexander Rahr) A GENERAL FOR RUSSIAN PRESIDENCY? A true Russian patriotic military leader, who would act like General de Gaulle in France in the 1950s, should become Russian President, according to Literaturnaya Rossiya on April 19. The author of the article, Moscow engineer Vladimir Tarasov, did not specify whom among present Soviet generals he had in mind. He stated that Yeltsin, like Gorbachev, belongs to the old Communist system and is more interested in power than in the country's well-being. He called Russian Communists' attempts to resist Yeltsin by trying to block the institution of an RSFSR Presidency at the recent RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies a "strategic mistake." (Alexander Rahr) LENINGRAD TV TO GET NEW STATUS. Leningrad Television will be turned into a joint stock company, The Financial Times reported May 8. The newspaper quoted Leningrad city soviet chairman Anatolii Sobchak as saying the city soviet would be the major shareholder, with a 59% stake; the Leningrad TV and Radio Broadcasting Committee would get 33%; the RSFSR Information Ministry 10%; and only 3% of the stock would be offered to private investors. Leningrad TV has sought to wriggle free from the control of Soviet broadcasting chief Leonid Kravchenko, but it also has been reluctant to subordinate itself fully to the Leningrad city soviet. The new deal appears to be a compromise, after Leningrad TV failed to find alternative sources of capital, The Financial Times said. (Vera Tolz) RSFSR DEPUTY CRITICIZES VREMYA FOR NOT REPORTING YELTSIN'S SPEECH. Radio Rossii on May 7 quoted RSFSR People's Deputy Sergei Shakhrai as complaining that the main TV newsprogram Vremya failed to report May 6 on a speech delivered that day at a session of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet by Boris Yeltsin. Shakhrai also alleged that Vremya wrongly stated that the RSFSR parliament rejected the bill on recalling a people's deputy. In fact, Shakhrai said the bill was adopted on the first reading. In this latter criticism Shakhrai was wrong, however, since Vremya correctly reported the news. (Vera Tolz) BIBLE CENTER OPENED IN LENINGRAD. The "House of the Lord" - an international, interdenominational center for publishing and disseminating the Bible among the population of the Soviet Union - has opened in Leningrad, TASS reported May 8. The center was initiated by Patriarch Aleksii and a number of international religious organizations. (Oxana Antic) RSFSR SUPSOV ADOPTS LAW ON REHABILITATION OF DEPORTED PEOPLES. The most noteworthy features of the law on the rehabilitation of the deported peoples just adopted by the RSFSR Supreme Soviet are its recognition of their right to restore any national-state formations that existed prior to their deportation, and its provision for the implementation of measures "to restore national-territorial borders that existed prior to their forcible, anti-constitutional alteration." The law, published in Sovetskaya Rossiya of May 7, would thereby sanction not only the recreation of the Volga German ASSR but also, presumably, the return of the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia to Chechen-Ingushetia, both currently hotly contested. (Ann Sheehy) TATARSTAN PROTESTS 9+1 MEETING FOR NOT RECOGNIZING TATARSTAN'S SOVEREIGNTY. In a statement published in newspapers in Tatarstan on May 8, government and Party leaders in Tatarstan criticized Gorbachev's meeting last month with nine republican leaders for not recognizing Tatarstan's sovereignty, Tatar journalist Rimzil Valiev told RFE/RL. The statement says that this precludes Tatarstan from signing a new Union treaty as a sovereign state. Tatarstan leaders say they are determined to sign a Union treaty only as a sovereign state. (NCA/Tatar-Bashkir LS) UNOFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS IN KAZAKHSTAN. Azat ("Liberty"), the officially registered newspaper of the informal group "Azat," appears twice monthly in both Kazakh and Russian, in print runs of 15,000 copies and 10,000 respectively. Although "Azat" is one of the more moderate informal groups, its press organ has included articles more radical than what appears in the Communist Party's dailies. The "Qazaq tili" ("Kazakh Language") Society publishes a weekly, Ana tili ("Mother Tongue"), in Kazakh in a print run of 110,000 copies, exceeding that of the Writers' Union weekly Qazaq adebiyeti. It includes regular lessons in the Arabic and Orkhon Turkic scripts, and articles on old Kazakh traditions. (Hasan Oraltay/Bess Brown) GORBACHEV MEETS SOVIET GERMANS. The delayed meeting between Gorbachev and members of the committee organizing the officially-sponsored all-Union congress of Soviet Germans took place May 7, TASS reported that day. It was suggested that the crucial problem of restoring Soviet German autonomy on the Volga be decided in stages, and that in the meantime national raions, rural and settlements soviets be created where there were concentrations of Germans. Gorbachev supported the setting up of a committee on Soviet German problems under the USSR cabinet of ministers, and said a draft law had been drawn up on restoring justice to those who served in the labour army in World War II. (Ann Sheehy) FIRST CONGRESS OF DEPUTIES OF PEOPLES OF NORTH ENDS. The first congress of deputies of the numerically-small peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East ended May 7, TASS reported May 7. The congress, held with the active assistance of the USSR and RSFSR Supreme Soviets, decided to set up a deputies' assembly of the numerically small peoples of the region and a special fund for their survival and development. The main purposes of the assembly are to draft appropriate legislation, to carry out expert legal, economic, and ecological studies of industrial projects, and prevent actions that might harm the life and enviroment of these peoples. (Ann Sheehy) MOLDAVIAN AND ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTERS MEET. Moldavian Prime Minister Mircea Druc and Romanian Prime Minister Petre Roman met on the border May 9 to discuss economic cooperation, Radio Bucharest and Romanian TV reported the same day. The meeting was a follow-up to their meeting of December 1990 in Bucharest at which a number of joint projects were discussed, none of which has begun. Yesterday's meeting only resulted in a Romanian decision to sell to Moldavia on credit what Bucharest grandly called "technological systems to produce construction materials," which as Druc made clear are merely installations to make bricks from Moldavian clay. The meeting dramatized the lack of progress in Moldavian-Romanian economic cooperation due to Romania's incapacity to offer what Moldavia needs economically. (Vladimir Socor)
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