The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus
RFE/RL Daily Report

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)


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

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