I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself. - Aldous Huxley
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 91, 14 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



PROTEST MARKING FOUR MONTH OCCUPATION. On May 13 about 2,000
people gathered in Vilnius to mark the fourth month of the occupation
of the Vilnius television tower, during the storming of which
15 people were killed, Western agencies reported that day. Lithuanian
Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius said that the Soviet military
wanted to silence Lithuania, but Lithuanian voices ring louder
than before. A hunger strike in front of the tower by Lithuanian
journalists and technicians who lost their offices in the occupation
continues, and the programs of the army-protected television
station have a rating of only 3 percent. (Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS IN CHICAGO. On May 13 Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Soviet Vytautas Landsbergis held his first press conference
after meeting President Bush, the VOA Lithuanian Service reported
on May 14. He was pleased with the support for Lithuanian independence
that he saw among the American public, and said that Lithuania
could not make concessions to the USSR to save Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev's face. That day he met with Cardinal Joseph
Bernadin and the editors of The Chicago Sun-Times. On May 15
he will complete his visit to the US by opening a two-week long
Lithuanian musical festival with performers from both Lithuania
and abroad. (Saulius Girnius)

SECOND ROUND OF LATVIAN-USSR TALKS PLANNED. Latvia's Deputy Prime
Minister Ilmars Bisers told Radio Riga on May 13 that the next
round of Latvian-USSR consultations is scheduled for May 23 in
Riga. On the proposed agenda are the departure of MVD forces
(including the OMON, or "Black Berets") from Latvia, and the
existence of two procuracies in Latvia--one supports the idea
of an independent Latvia and its present government and Supreme
Council, while the other is loyal to the USSR. According to Diena
of May 9, the Latvian delegation has expanded to include deputies
Indulis Berzins, Juris Dobelis, and Andrejs Pantelejevs, while
Sergejs Dimanis of the Ravnopravie faction was voted out essentially
due to his opposition to Latvia's independence. (Dzintra Bungs)


INCREASED SOVIET TROOP MOVEMENTS IN LATVIA. In reply to questions
by the Latvian press, a spokesman for the USSR Baltic Military
District said that the recent increase in Soviet troop movements
in Latvia is to be attributed to maneuvers and training exercises.
These are to last until June 1, reported Radio Riga on May 14.
(Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIANS FILE CLAIMS FOR RETURN OF CONFISCATED FARMS. Latvians
are continuing to file claims for the return of farms and other
property that they owned before the Soviet regime confiscated
them after World War II. The claims must be filed to the local
authorities before June 20. This is a part of the privatization
and denationalization process supported by the Latvian government
and Supreme Council. Some farmsteads, nationalized in 1949 when
farming was collectivized in Latvia, are already being worked
by their rightful owners and their progeny, reported Radio Riga
on May 13. (Dzintra Bungs)

GYPSIES IN LATVIA ELECT REPRESENTATIVES. Radio Riga and TASS
reported on May 9 that Gypsies in Latvia have elected three representatives
to the Consultative Council of Nationalities, operating under
the Supreme Council. Among the Council's tasks is participation
in the drafting of laws and proposals regarding the different
nationalities living in Latvia. There are about 6,000 Gypsies
in Latvia, and they have their own cultural society, one of about
twenty such organizations established by national minorities
in Latvia during the past two years. (Dzintra Bungs)

ALTERNATE SOURCES OF DRINKING WATER SOUGHT FOR RIGA. Radio Riga
reported on May 13 that Riga officials are considering using
subsoil water as a source of potable water for the Latvian capital.
The main sources of drinking water heretofore, Daugava River
and Jugla Lake, are thought to be too polluted. If subsoil water
is used, then it would have to come from some distance, since
it is important to maintain the present level of subsoil water
in the vicinity of Riga on account of its proximity to the Baltic
Sea. A relevant factor is that the long-planned sewage and effluent
treatment plant for the city of Riga may finally become operational
in July. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN-ESTONIAN BORDERS DISCUSSED. Working groups from Estonia
and Latvia met recently to examine border issues between the
two states, reported Radio Riga on May 13. Both sides agreed
tentatively to maintain the pre-World War II borders. No serious
disagreements are expected in future discussions. (Dzintra Bungs)


BALTS PARTICIPATE IN CONFERENCE ON BALTIC SEA CLEANUP. About
50 representatives from countries around the Baltic Sea met in
Stockholm from May 6 to 9 to seek ways to clean up the Baltic
Sea and restore its ecological balance. They met within the organizational
framework of the Helcom (Helsinki Commission) task force. Representatives
from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania attended the information
exchange meeting as "individual experts." This was, nonetheless,
a breakthrough, since Baltic representatives were not admitted
to an earlier Helcom meeting due to objections from Moscow, reported
RFE/RL's correspondent from Stockholm and TASS on May 10. (Dzintra
Bungs)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


EMIGRATION LAW STALLED. After two days of "stormy discussion,"
the USSR Supreme Soviet yesterday was still unable to pass the
draft law on Entry and Exit from the USSR, TASS reported May
13. The Council of the Union, one chamber of the SupSov, passed
the bill, but the other chamber -- the Council of Nationalities
-- did not give it sufficient votes for passage. As a result,
it was decided to create a conciliation commission to work out
a compromise decision. TASS said the issue of the costs of implementing
the law is the main obstacle to the legislation's passage, noting
that the bill's critics consider those costs too high in view
of the USSR's economic crisis. (Sallie Wise)

YELTSIN CONFIRMS NO SECRET MEMORANDUM SIGNED. In his press interview
on May 9, aired by Radio Rossii on May 11, RSFSR Supreme Soviet
Chairman Boris Yeltsin confirmed that no secret memorandum had
been signed at the meeting with Gorbachev and the leaders of
eight other republics on April 23. He maintained, however, that
agreement had been reached on a number of issues which had not
been reflected in the declaration. These included such matters
as transferring the right to license exports to the republics,
foreign currency, and gold. (Ann Sheehy)

SHCHERBAKOV, REPUBLICS MEET ON ECONOMIC REFORM. On April 13,
Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov met with leaders
of 11 republics and reached agreement on key elements of an economic
reform program. According to agency accounts of an Interfax report
from April 13, the three Baltic States and Georgia stayed away
from yesterday's meeting, but were expected at follow-up sessions.
Republican officials are to make amendments to Prime Minister
Valentin Pavlov's anti-crisis measures in the near future before
they adopt a final reform program. The RSFSR has formulated its
own comprehensive reform program that contradicts Pavlov's plan
on areas of economic jurisdiction. Ivan Silaev, the RSFSR prime
minister, vowed to stand his ground on those issues. (John Tedstrom)


GORBACHEV ORDERS "SPECIAL REGIME". An Interfax report carried
these ominous words April 13, describing the package of measures
Gorbachev has enacted to guarantee supply deliveries to key industries.
As summarized by Western agencies April 13, Interfax did not
define "special regime" nor reveal when it would take effect.
Most likely, the measures are those Gorbachev announced last
month to maintain established industrial relationships and enforce
deliveries at agreed levels. Managers and ministry officials
will probably come under increased pressure to ensure that key
sectors of the economy--fuel and energy, machine building, agriculture,
etc.--will have the type and quantity of inputs they require.
(John Tedstrom)

MORE CHANGES IN RETAIL PRICES... Most republics have now made
changes to what were meant to be uniform retail prices of staple
goods and services. Ukraine is the latest republic to announce
its own alterations to the union-wide retail price hikes that
were introduced on April 2. With effect from May 15, the prices
of some meat products will be cut. The sales tax on certain utilities
has also been repealed retroactive to May 1, TASS reported May
13. First Deputy Chairman of Goskomtsen, Anatolii Komin, went
on Radio Rossii May 6 to deny that another round of price hikes
is on the way that would, inter alia, boost the price of butter
to 16 rubles a kilogram. (Keith Bush)

AND IN COMPENSATION. A presidential decree on May 13 raised the
scale of compensation to offset higher retail prices to parents
with dependent children, Vremya reported May 14. Families with
children under the age of 13 will receive an annual payment of
200 rubles and those with children over that age will be paid
250 rubles a year. The compensation is designed to offset the
two- and three-fold increases in the prices of school uniforms
and other items of children's clothing. (Keith Bush)

UN FORCE FOR KURDS DISCUSSED. During their second round of talks
yesterday (May 13) in Cairo, US Secretary of State James Baker
and Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh discussed the prospect
of replacing the US forces in northern Iraq with a UN-sanctioned
humanitarian relief force. Bessmertnykh hinted that the idea
would not sit well with Moscow, describing it as a "thin line
that separates the necessity for humanitarian support and the
concern for the sovereignty of countries," adding "it is a very
intricate balance," wire services reported May 13. Moscow may
fear the precedent which would be set by the use of UN forces
to intervene in clashes between a central government and a national
minority. (Suzanne Crow)

TOUR CONTINUES. Bessmertnykh flew from Cairo to Riyadh on May
13 for meetings with King Fahd and Foreign Minister Prince Saud
al-Faisal on May 14. Bessmertnykh will then go to Damascus and
Geneva, where he will meet PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, TASS reported
May 13. (Suzanne Crow)

SOVIET-VIETNAMESE COMMUNIQUE. The visit to the USSR of Vietnam's
Chairman of the Council of Ministers Do Muoi last week (May 5-9)
yielded a joint communique on the state of Soviet-Vietnamese
relations, TASS reported May 10. In the communique, the Soviet
side "expressed support for the steps taken by the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam toward the establishment peaceful, stable
and cooperative relations in Southeast Asia, and its movement
toward normalization of the SRV's relations with China and the
United States." According to a Pravda report of May 12, the two
sides "discovered that they have much in common" in transforming
their economies from the command to the market structure. (Suzanne
Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE ON SOCIALISM. Speaking to Emory University graduates
on May 13, former Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze said "a
great scholar once said that in science only that is true which
is also beautiful." Soviet leaders, he went on to say, "became
convinced of this by observing our own example of the state of
the [socialist society] which we constructed, and which was ugly
and which turned out to be wrong," AP reported May 13. (Suzanne
Crow)

CREATION OF A PROFESSIONAL ARMY? Following the USSR Supreme Soviet's
vote on May 12 that approved an experimental plan to staff some
naval units on a volunteer contractual basis (see Daily Report,
May 13), Vice President Anatolii Lukyanov declared that "a professional
army is born." Such statements seem exaggerated. In fact, the
approved "experiment" has long been discussed by Defense Ministry
officials and is one of the half-hearted measures that the military
leadership has substituted for radical reform. The Soviet armed
forces will undoubtedly move toward greater professionalization,
but the High Command also appears determined to maintain the
present mass army based on conscript service. (Stephen Foye)


MEETING OF ARMED FORCES AND CHURCH REPRESENTATIVES. Kazakhstanskaya
pravda of April 25 reported a meeting between employees of the
Kazakh military registration and enlistment office, representatives
of USSR MVD troops, and leaders of various religious denominations.
The military commissioner of the republic, Colonel L. Bakaev,
noted that believers can have a positive influence upon those
who are called to serve in the army. He called upon religious
figures to be present when young people are called up to join
the armed forces. Clergymen present criticized army life, and
a representative of the Adventists urged passage of a law allowing
alternative service. Army officials retorted that they are not
entitled to change the laws, and called upon the religious representatives
to search for common ground. (Oxana Antic)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


ARMENIA -- AZERBAIJAN: TALKS ABOUT TALKS. Radio Moscow World
Service May 13 reported that the prime ministers of Armenia and
Azerbaijan, Vazgen Manukyan and Gasan Gasanov, had discussed
the possibility of holding talks during a telephone conversation
the previous day. TASS on May 13 quoted Azerbaijani SupSov vice-chairman
Tamerlan Karaev as calling for the negotiations between the two
republics on condition that Armenia first renounces its territorial
claims on Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov
last week categorically ruled out talks with Armenian Supreme
Soviet chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIAN SUPSOV CHAIRMAN INTERVIEWED. In an interview published
in the May 13 issue of Liberation, Armenian SupSov chairman Levon
Ter-Petrossyan claimed to have proof that the Soviet troop actions
in Armenia over the past two weeks were part of an overall plan
that had been approved in advance by Gorbachev personally, and
which he claimed was aimed at strengthening the position of Azerbaijani
president Ayaz Mutalibov and demoralizing the Armenian population.
He claimed that Armenia's land privatization program is already
yielding results: whereas food prices are rocketing elsewhere
in the USSR, in Armenia they remain stable. Ter-Petrossyan reaffirmed
that the only solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is peaceful
negotiation. (Liz Fuller)

RYZHKOV OFFICIALLY NOMINATED BY RCP. The RSFSR CP has endorsed
Nikolai Ryzhkov as its official candidate for the RSFSR presidential
elections, TASS reported May 13. But Russian Communists were
split at the plenum and many speakers supported the candidacy
of General Boris Gromov, according to agency reports the same
day. The ultra-conservative wing of the RSFSR CP, the Initiative
Congress of Russian Communists, also rejected Ryzhkov and endorsed
its own candidate, economist Aleksei Sergeev, who favors a radical
return to a planned economy. Regional Party committees immediately
started a campaign for Ryzhkov, using old methods of manipulation.
In the Far East, Ryzhkov's candidacy was supported at a meeting
open only to those participants who had promised to back Ryzhkov,
Radio Rossii reported May 13. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR CP WANTS ELECTIONS POSTPONED. The RSFSR CP plenum called
on the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies to postpone the presidential
elections for two or three months in order to give Yeltsin's
opponents more time to conduct their campaigns, TASS reported
on May 13. However, Vasilii Kazakov, chairman of the electoral
commission, has rejected the idea of postponing the elections
(see Daily Report, May 13). RSFSR Communists also objected to
the provision in the RSFSR law on the presidency which requires
that the future president should resign from the party of which
he is a member. There were also demands that the future president
should be elected by a majority of those registered to vote rather
than by 50% of those actually voting. (Alexander Rahr)

POLOZKOV, LIGACHEV SUPPORT RYZHKOV. RSFSR CP leader Ivan Polozkov
told TASS on May 13 that Ryzhkov could win if his Party fully
supports him. Radio Rossii on May 12 also quoted former Politburo
member Egor Ligachev as saying that he will campaign for Ryzhkov.
(Alexander Rahr)

TASKS OF RSFSR KGB. The acting chief of the RSFSR KGB, General
Viktor Ivanenko, told Izvestia on May 9 that although the functions
of the USSR and the RSFSR KGBs remain intertwined, the USSR KGB
will deal with counterespionage while the RSFSR KGB will concentrate
on such areas as terrorism, internal riots, organized crime and
corruption. Thus, the RSFSR KGB is taking over almost the entire
domestic branch of the previous KGB--at least on Russian territory--,
leaving the central KGB in charge of all foreign activities.
Ivanenko seems to indicate that a division of the KGB into a
foreign and an internal security service, as practiced in the
West, is now under consideration. (Alexander Rahr)

ABDULATIPOV ON AUTONOMOUS REPUBLICS SIGNING UNION TREATY. Ramazan
Abdulatipov, chairman of the RSFSR Council of Nationalities,
confirmed to TASS on May 13 that all the autonomous republics
of the RSFSR except Tatarstan had agreed at the meeting with
Gorbachev and RSFSR SupSov Chairman Boris Yeltsin on May 12 to
sign the Union treaty as part of the RSFSR delegation. He said
this would in no way infringe upon their statehood or sovereignty
and they would sign as "equal subjects simultaneously both of
the USSR and the RSFSR." He added that relations between the
RSFSR and its autonomous republics are to be discussed by the
RSFSR Supreme Soviet on May 16 in the context of the draft RSFSR
federal treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

DAGESTAN DECLARATION OF SOVEREIGNTY. On May 13 the congress of
people's deputies of Dagestan declared the autonomous republic
to be the Dagestan SSR, Moscow Radio reported. At the same time
it confirmed that it remained part of the RSFSR. Dagestan is
the last of the 16 autonomous republics of the RSFSR to adopt
a declaration of sovereignty. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT RESTRUCTURED. The Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
yesterday approved the restructuring of the government, replacing
the Council of Ministers with a streamlined Cabinet of Ministers,
Ukrinform-TASS reported May 13. In accordance with Ukraine's
declaration of sovereignty, the republican KGB is to be subordinated
to the Supreme Soviet and its chairman will have ministerial
rank. (Roman Solchanyk)

FURTHER RESTRUCTURING PLANNED. Radio Kiev and Ukrinform-Tass
reported on May 13 that additional ministries of higher, specialized
and secondary education, foreign trade, commerce, transport,
internal affairs and ecology will be established. In addition,
a State Television and Radio company will be established. The
Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, however, declined to transfer jurisdiction
of the republican bank to the Cabinet of Ministers. (Valentyn
Moroz)

ECONOMIC LAWS ADOPTED BY UKRAINIAN SUPSOV. Radio Kiev reported
on May 12 that the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet has adopted a law
on consumer rights, which is to become effective October 1, a
law on curbing monopolies and development of competition, and
a law on speculation and abuses in retail sales. The republican
Supreme Soviet is also working on taxation law. (Valentyn Moroz)


UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER ENDS VISIT TO GREECE. Radio Kiev reported
May 12 that Vitold Fokin's week-long visit to Greece may result
in two cooperation agreements. The Greek government agreed "not
to object" to a visit by a group of Ukrainian specialists for
restoration work on a monastery which is of historical significance
to Ukrainian Orthodox believers. During his meeting with his
Greek counterpart, Fokin also discussed a multi-million contract
for an underground system in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki.
(Valentyn Moroz)

FOKIN TO PRESS FOR GREATER ECONOMIC FREEDOM IN MOSCOW. According
to Radio Kiev on May 13, during talks on the anti-crisis program
in Moscow the Ukrainian prime minister intends to ask for full
jurisdiction over all union enterprises on Ukrainian soil, republican
finances, foreign trade and social policy. (Valentyn Moroz)

CONGRESS OF POLISH MINORITY IN UKRAINE. The first congress of
Poles in Ukraine was recently held in the Ukrainian capital,
Radio Kiev reported May 13. The congress was attended by 340
delegates and guests from Moscow, Leningrad, Belorussia, Moldavia,
and Poland. (Roman Solchanyk)

DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS IN CENTRAL ASIA UNITE. Radio Moscow reported
on May 13 that a congress of Soviet democratic parties and movements
has concluded without reaching agreement on the creation of an
all-Union Democratic Party. The democratic movements in the Central
Asian republics decided, however, to establish a Regional Congress
of Democratic Forces. Democratic groups in all five Central Asian
republics are to participate. (Bess Brown)

DRAFT LAW ON CITIZENSHIP IN KAZAKHSTAN. The May 6 issue of Izvestia
reports that a draft law on republican citizenship has been drawn
up in Kazakhstan. The draft, according to the report, requires
that a citizen of Kazakhstan uphold the state and economic sovereignty
of the republic, accept its present borders and actively participate
in the use of its state language (Kazakh) in public life. The
latter two stipulations may cause lively discussions in the northern
oblasts of the republic, where largely non-Kazakh populations
have protested against being required to learn Kazakh. (Bess
Brown)

TURKMEN PRESIDENT ON REPUBLIC'S SOVEREIGNTY. Questioned by a
correspondent about Turkmenistan's establishment of trade and
other ties with foreign countries, republican president Saparmurad
Niyazov attributed this development to the republic's recently-declared
sovereignty, which has given it a freedom of action previously
unknown. No one from outside, said Niyazov, can influence Turkmenistan's
personnel and investment policies. The decision to create a new
oblast was taken without consulting Moscow. He also jeered at
local informal groups for merely complaining about problems while
the government is taking steps to solve them. The interview appears
in Nedelya of April 29. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIAN SUPREME SOVIET BEGINS CRUCIAL SESSION. The Moldavian
Supreme Soviet begins today a session which is due to consider
draft laws on changing the name of the republic, republican citizenship,
alternative military service, republican referendums, freedom
of the press and the operation of the mass media, administrative
reform, banking, privatization of state property, and agrarian
reform, among other bills prepared mostly by Popular Front deputies
and the Popular Front-dominated Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
Moldavian deputies informed RFE/RL by telephone May 13 about
the proposed agenda. (Vladimir Socor)

OPPOSITION TO PROPOSED MOLDAVIAN LEGISLATION. Most of the bills
to be considered at the Supreme Soviet session are being opposed
by the Agrarians, a large group of nationally-minded but pro-socialist
Moldavian deputies who have broken ranks with the Popular Front
and joined with the (mostly Russian) communist deputies to oppose
the reforms. The Agrarians and the communists have submitted
their own agenda for the session, calling for the ouster of the
radical reformist government of Mircea Druc, the replacement
of the Supreme Soviet Presidium, and Moldavia's return to the
talks on the treaty of Union. (Vladimir Socor)

CORRECTION. Yesterday's Daily Report incorrectly identified the
dates of General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev's visit to Canada.
Moiseev arrived in Canada on May 10, the same day in which a
military cooperation pact was signed between the two countries.
He will be in Canada until May 15, when he is scheduled to travel
to Washington.


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

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