Every custom was once an eccentricity; every idea was once an absurdity. - Holbrook Jackson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 93, 16 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



ANOTHER BORDER POST INCIDENT IN LITHUANIA. Lithuania's Procurator
General Arturas Paulauskas told the press in Vilnius on May 15
that earlier that day several members of the MVD special forces
(commonly known as OMON or Black Berets) fired shots over the
heads of Lithuanian border guards near a customs post close to
the Belorussian border. According to Radio Vilnius, Paulauskas
said that resolute steps are needed to prevent such attacks.
Earlier this month a similar incident occurred. The Soviet authorities
do not recognize the Lithuanian border posts. (Dzintra Bungs)


BAD HEALTH IN THE BALTICS DUE TO POLLUTION? A study prepared
by the Institute of Preventive Medicine in Tallinn shows that
adults living in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania suffer more frequently
from certain illnesses than inhabitants of other regions: "the
frequency of respiratory disease was 1.2 times higher, bronchitis
was 2.3 times higher, cardiovascular disease was 1.5 times higher,
pregnant anemia was 2.2 higher, and premature births--1.7 higher."
The report was presented at a press conference on May 15 in Tallinn.
The Baltic and Swedish environmental and health specialists present
tended to link the illnesses to environmental pollution, according
to Western agency reports of May 15. (Dzintra Bungs)

GORBUNOVS URGES INTERNATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY MEETING ON BALTIC
ISSUES. Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs
told RFE/RL's correspondent in Paris on May 15 that an international
conference of East-West parliamentarians to deal with Baltic
efforts to achieve independence should be called, and that such
a conference would help Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in their
return to Europe. Gorbunovs also told the press that he did not
wish the USSR to fail completely nor for Gorbachev to fall from
power. Nonetheless, said Gorbunovs, Latvia still maintains its
goal of independence from the USSR. Gorbunovs and Latvia's Minister
of Foreign Affairs Janis Jurkans are scheduled to meet with French
President Francois Mitterrand today. (Dzintra Bungs)

US STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS IN RIGA. Radio Riga reported on
May 15 that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Curtis Kamman
and State Department Coordinator of Baltic Affairs Paul Goble
had met with Latvian government officials and leaders of the
Latvian Supreme Council: Deputy Chairman Andrejs Krastins, Secretary
Imants Daudiss, and Janis Dinevics, leader of the People's Front
of Latvia group of deputies. The American officials stressed
the importance of respecting everyone's civil rights, and they
said that an international commission on Baltic issues might
prove to be more effective than an international conference on
the subject. Among the topics discussed by the American and Latvian
officials was the opening of a US information office in the Baltics.
(Dzintra Bungs)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



GENERAL AGREEMENT ON ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM? To judge from the TASS
and Central TV coverage May 15 of the expanded USSR Cabinet of
Ministers session, most participants appear to have agreed on
most of the provisions of the anti-crisis program. Emphasis was
again laid on the preservation of a "single economic space."
While USSR Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov warned
of harsh measures and sacrifices ahead, Ukrainian Prime Minister
Vitol'd Fokin complained that the program offered all stick and
no carrot. RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silayev reported that several
questions remained unresolved, including the division of hard-currency
earnings. Meanwhile, Goskomstat reported a 5.4% drop in industrial
output for the first four months of 1991. (Keith Bush)

THE ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM: VIEW FROM BELOW. Despite the general
agreement between the center and periphery on the anti-crisis
program, republican leaders are struggling with a number of lingering
concerns. Most important for the RSFSR are jurisdictional boundaries.
Who controls the proposed de-statization program, for example?
Who has primary claim to natural resources and hard currency
earnings, and who sets monetary and fiscal policy in the republics?
According to TASS May 15, RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silaev noted
with satisfaction that many points of the recently published
RSFSR reform program had been incorporated into the all-Union
anti-crisis program, but vows to hold fast on questions of republican
sovereignty. (John Tedstrom)

REPUBLICAN CONCERNS OVER ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM. Belorussian Prime
Minister Kebich shares some of those concerns and wants to see
the large state enterprises in his republic converted to joint
stock companies. Moreover, he wants a policy included to support
the Central Asian republics. Other republican leaders, including
Prime Minister Nasirdin Isanov of Kyrgyzstan and Prime Minister
Uzakbai Karamonov of Kazakhstan support quick adoption and implementation
of the plan, though Karamanov shares concerns over who "owns"
the enterprises on republican territory and who will control
their privatization. (John Tedstrom)

GORBACHEV, JIANG BEGIN TALKS. In a speech at a banquet to honor
visiting Chinese CP chief Jiang Zemin last night, Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev stated that new Sino-Soviet relations have
passed their "trial period" and are bearing useful fruit, TASS
reported May 15. Gorbachev emphasized the role of good relations
between the USSR and China as crucial to "stability, security,
and development in Asia" and in the world at large. Both Gorbachev
and Jiang stressed the importance of stability, not only in international
relations but, more pertinently, domestic political stability
in both their countries. Yesterday's talks focused on briefings
on the current situations in the USSR and China; the two leaders
expressed interest and understanding for the problems they face.
(Sallie Wise)

NEW SOVIET REPRESENTATIVE TO EC. TASS reported May 15 that Gorbachev
has appointed former First Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council
of Ministers Lev Voronin to be the USSR's permanent representative
to the European Community. Voronin previously served from 1979
to 1980 as First Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Defense Industry,
and then spent five eyars as a deputy chairman of Gosplan. He
became Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers in 1985,
and was promoted to First Deputy Chairman in 1989. Voronin replaces
Vladimir Shemyatenkov at the EC, who, TASS said, is being transferred
to another post. (Sallie Wise)

BESSMERTNYKH STRESSES MIDEAST ROLE. Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh told Soviet journalists on board his flight home
from his Middle East tour that the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Jordan,
Egypt, Israel, Syria and the PLO support an active Soviet role
in the peace process for the region, TASS said May 15. Bessmertnykh
also noted that a special working group has been set up at the
Soviet Foreign Ministry to study questions related to the Middle
East peace process. (Suzanne Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE ON US. In an interview with Cox Newspapers (May
15) former Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze said, "I am rather
pleasantly surprised at [what] is a very well-defined feeling
of solidarity with us [in the USSR]." Shevardnadze went on to
point out that the building of a democratic Soviet Union "is
in the interest of the [United States] as well as us [in the
Soviet Union] and the whole world." He also made a pitch for
support "from those countries which are in a position to extend
it," citing the possibility of "chaos and anarchy" and predicting
that "we've only got a couple of months" to get the domestic
house in order. (Suzanne Crow)

ANGOLA ACCORDS SIGNING. UN Secretary General Javier Perez de
Cuellar, US Secretary of State James Baker, and Soviet Foreign
Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh will meet in Lisbon on May 31
to sign peace accords ending the Angolan civil war. The accords
call for a formal ceasefire and internationally-supervised elections
between September and November 1992, Western agencies reported
May 14. (Suzanne Crow)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN BUDGET. The chairman of
the RSFSR Central Electoral Commission told TASS on May 15 that
the republic has set aside 155 million rubles for financing the
RSFSR presidential campaign. Most of the money will spent to
finance the work of the 98,000 polling stations and to print
and distribute ballots. Candidates for the post will also receive
equal financial support from the state for campaign expenses.
(Dawn Mann)

MORE ON RSFSR KGB FORMATION. The Russian KGB is taking over counterintelligence
functions from the central KGB, but will share the budget with
the USSR KGB. According to Kommersant (no.19), a commission,
headed by Yeltsin's deputy Ruslan Khasbulatov and KGB First Deputy
Chairman Genii Ageev, has been set up to work out the division
of responsibilites between the USSR and the RSFSR KGB. Seventy
regional KGB administrations on Russian territory have been already
transferred to the RSFSR government's control. The Russian government
plans to limit KGB activities in the area of industrial counterintelligence.
In the future, Soviet companies will have their own private counterintelligence
services, according to Kommersant. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR KGB HEAD INTERVIEWED. General Viktor Ivanenko, acting head
of the RSFSR KGB, said that there is strong pressure from younger
KGB cadres to conduct a radical depolitization of the agency,
and that his primary task will be to reorganize KGB relations
with new political parties and groups, according to Kommersant
(no.19). The 44-year-old Ivanenko spent his professional career
in the KGB administration of the Tyumen' region at the same time
when RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin was climbing
up the Party ladder in the neighboring region of Sverdlovsk.
(Alexander Rahr)

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER ON ARMENIA. Western agencies on May 15
quoted a French government spokesman as stating that foreign
minister Roland Dumas had evaluated the Armenian situation as
"extremely serious." Dumas told the French cabinet that he had
"undertaken official contacts with the Soviet government on the
issue." (NCA/Liz Fuller)

KARABAKH ARMENIANS APPEAL TO UN. Leaders of the Governing Council
of Nagorno-Karabakh have called on the UN and foreign governments
to grant political asylum to Armenians to save their lives, according
to TASS May 15. The appeal claims that Soviet and Azerbaijani
units are engaged in "genocide" against the Armenian people.
The TASS dispatch said that 200 people had been detained during
the previous 24 hours by Soviet army and Azerbaijani MVD units.
(NCA/Liz Fuller)

ARMENIAN CP FIRST SECRETARY RESIGNS. TASS reported May 15 from
Erevan that Stepan Pogosyan has resigned from the post of Armenian
CP first secretary to which he was elected last November. The
resignation of the second secretary was refused. After debating
and then rejecting a proposal to expand the Buro and create a
collective Party leadership, the plenum drew up a list of six
provisional candidates for first secretary, of whom four stepped
down. Central Committee members will choose today between two
candidates: Aram Sarkisyan, a former Pravda correspondent in
Armenia, elected a Central Committee secretary last December,
and Rafik Mkhitanyan. (Liz Fuller)

FOKIN ON ANTI-CRISIS TALKS IN MOSCOW. After an extended meeting
of the Soviet Cabinet of Ministers on May 15, Ukrainian Prime
Minister Vitol'd Fokin was interviewed on Vremya. Fokin said
that the republics should agree on a joint action program among
themselves so that the center does not force one of its own upon
them. However, he rejected the need for too detailed a program.
He said that the republics have too many social, demographic,
and ethnic differences for one anti-crisis program to be effective
for all of them. The Ukrainian PM added that Soviet industrial
ministries should be abolished because at present they are simply
fighting for survival. Jurisdiction over their duties and over
the process of privatization should be transferred to the republics
instead. (Valentyn Moroz)

KRAVCHUK ON UKRAINIAN JUDICIARY SYSTEM. Presenting the new constitution
bill to the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, radio Kiev reported on
May 15, SupSov Chairman Leonid Kravchuk said that the republic's
judiciary system should become politically and ideologically
independent, should function on the presumption of innocence,
and should allow trial by jury. Although he favors extending
judges' terms in office, said Kravchuk, he objects to lifetime
appointments. (Valentyn Moroz)

AFTERMATH OF INGUSH/COSSACK CLASH. After the clash between Ingush
and Cossacks in Troitskaya stanitsa in Checheno-Ingushetia on
April 28/29, which left eight dead, the local rural soviet decided
that the Cossacks should be resettled outside the republic, Moskovskie
Novosti No. 19 reports. The Kuban Cossacks and Stavropol' expressed
a readiness to receive them, but attempts are now being made
to discourage their departure for fear it would precipitate a
mass resettlement throughout the North Caucasus. The Cossacks
are being promised the creation of a Cossack okrug, which they
have been demanding for two years, and access to jobs in retail
trade and the law enforcement agencies. (Ann Sheehy)

NIYAZOV INTERVIEWED. TASS reported on May 15 that Izvestia is
publishing an interview with Turkmen president Saparmurad Niyazov,
in which he provides details of the republic's efforts to establish
trade representation abroad. He is quoted as saying that discussions
are underway with the governments of more than fifteen countries,
and a joint venture has already been established in Hamburg to
prmote sales of Turkmen carpets and traditional folk art. Asked
about the danger of interethnic conflict in Turkmenistan, Niyazov
said that nationalists were trying to start something, but had
no support among the population. (Bess Brown)

NAZARBAEV AUTOBIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED. TASS reported on May 15 that
Kazakhstanskaya pravda has published selections from Kazakh President
Nursultan Nazarbaev's autobiography, Without Rightists and Leftists,
that is being put out by Moscow's "Molodaya gvardiya" publishing
house. A brief announcement in the May 6 issue of Izvestia said
that the book contains not only Nazarbaev's account of his past,
but also his views on the future of the USSR. (Bess Brown)

[as of 1330 CET] Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise



NOTICE: The Daily Report will not appear on Monday, May 20, which
is a German holiday.


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

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