Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 95, 21 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



INCIDENTS ON LITHUANIAN-BELORUSSIAN BORDER. On May 18 Belorussian
police captain Alexander Bijan, dressed in civilian clothes,
was stopped at a Lithuanian customs post on the Belorussian border,
The Los Angeles Times reported on May 20. Bijan leaped out of
his car, firing a pistol, and was shot dead by a member of the
Lithuanian National Defense department. On May 19 defense department
Captain Gintaras Zigunis was shot dead in an ambush at the border
post of Krikunai. On May 17 about 30 Soviet paratroopers shot
at and burned a Lithuania customs post and on May 20 three other
Lithuanian customs posts were burned down. (Saulius Girnius)


LITHUANIA-BELORUSSIA TALKS. On May 20 Lithuanian Prime Minister
Gediminas Vagnorius told the RFE Lithuanian Service that he and
Belorussian Prime Minister Vyacheslav Kebich had decided to form
a joint commission to investigate the recent attacks. The Belorussian
authorities are cooperating with Lithuanian officials and a Belorussian
deputy interior minister has travelled to Vilnius. Belorussia
has arrested three persons in connection with the murder of Zigunis,
one of whom is Bijan's brother. (Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS IN GERMANY. Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council
Vytautas Landsbergis arrived in Bonn on May 17 where he held
talks with Bundestag President Rita Suessmuth, Foreign Affairs
Committee Chairman Hans Stercken, Christian Democratic parliamentary
manager Friedrich Bohl, and Chancellery Minister of State Lutz
Stavenhagen, a RFE/RL correspondent in Bonn reported that day.
In the evening he held an interview with German television that
will be broadcast on May 26. He returned to Lithuania on May
19, flying through Warsaw. (Saulius Girnius)

MOSCOW POSTPONES TALKS WITH LATVIA. Radio Riga reported on May
20 that Moscow had informed Latvian authorities that it was not
ready for the second round of consultations between Latvian and
Soviet representatives that was scheduled to start in Jurmala
on May 23. Latvia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilmars Bisers said
that no explanation was given for Moscow's desire to postpone
the talks until June 6 and 7. Valentin Ogarok, member of the
Soviet delegation for talks with Latvia, told TASS on May 20
that Vladimir Velichko, chairman of the Soviet delegation and
First Deputy Prime Minister of the USSR, was preoccupied with
"urgent state matters" and needs to leave on an "urgent business
trip." (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA DECLINES TO TRANSFER MONEY TO USSR BUDGET. On May 15,
the Latvian government decided not to transfer money to the USSR
budget, according to Diena of May 16. The stated reason for the
Latvian decision was the dissatisfaction expressed by the USSR
Finance Ministry over Latvia's willingness to contribute only
350 million rubles--a sum Moscow considered to be much too small.
Deputy Prime Minister Bisers expressed surprise over this reaction,
especially since the USSR had not made similar demands of Moldavia
or Lithuania. Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs told
RFE/RL on May 18 that the Latvian decision should be seen in
the context of the ongoing bargaining process between Latvia
and the USSR. (Dzintra Bungs)

MITTERRAND TO GORBUNOVS: OPTIMISTIC SIGNALS ON BALTIC INDEPENDENCE.
In an interview with RFE/RL's Latvian Service on May 18, Gorbunovs
said that after his one-hour meeting with French President Francois
Mitterrand on May 17, he felt that the French leadership was
clearly supportive of Baltic independence. Mitterrand had told
Gorbunovs that if the Balts pursue a correct and skillful strategy,
then the question of Baltic independence can be resolved in a
short time. Gorbunovs pointed out that Mitterrand had taken the
time to see him shortly after his visit in Moscow and talks with
Gorbachev, and during a hectic period when a new French government
was being formed. (Dzintra Bungs)

HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE IN HAGUE LOOKS AT BALTIC SITUATION. Delegates
from the US, Great Britain, Netherlands, USSR, RSFSR, and the
three Baltic States met in the Hague last week at a conference
"On Human and National Rights," sponsored by the De Burght Conference,
the RFE Lithuanian Service reported on May 15 and 16. The Baltic
delegations had about 7 members each. The USSR delegation was
headed by USSR Supreme Soviet presidium member Georgii Tarazevich.
The conference focused most of its attention on the situation
in the Baltic States. Its final document called for the participation
of the Balts in the Helsinki process, condemned the Soviet military
attacks in Vilnius and Riga in January, and created a working
commission and consultative council that would study the question
of the separation of the Balts from the USSR. (Saulius Girnius)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



EMIGRATION LAW ADOPTED. On the fourth try, the USSR Supreme Soviet
finally approved the Law on Entry and Exit From the USSR, Soviet
TV reported May 20. The law gives Soviet citizens the right to
leave their country and to return, as well as the right to possess
documents allowing them to go abroad within five years, rather
than to apply to the authorities for an exit visa on an individual
basis. However the law will only come into effect on January
1, 1993. SupSov deputies argued that some provisions of the law
could be implemented before this date. A representative of the
Cabinet is expected to visit the Supreme Soviet within the next
two weeks to explain what the government can do to enforce the
law step by step. (Julia Wishnevsky)

STRIKE AVERTED. A last-minute concession by the Soviet government
has averted a strike that threatened to cripple air transport
throughout the Soviet Union today (May 21). The government agreed
last night--30 minutes before the strike deadline--to give pilots
and air traffic controllers pay raises averaging 60%, as well
as other benefits. The air traffic controllers had demanded triple
pay. Today's Soviet media say airline personnel reported for
work this morning and that all Soviet airports are operating
normally. (NCA)

CFE TREATY TALKS SHOW LITTLE PROGRESS. Talks involving Soviet
General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev and senior State Department
officials on the stalled CFE treaty held in Washington on May
20 made little progress, according to The Washington Post of
May 21. Moiseev flew to Washington in an apparent effort to end
the impasse, and is scheduled to meet on May 21 with Secretary
of State James Baker and General Colin Powell. The dispute involves
tanks, armored combat vehicles, and artillery which the Soviets
have transferred from army to naval units. The obstacles have
also hindered progress on the signing of a START treaty and on
the scheduling of a Bush-Gorbachev summit. The Washington Post
of May 20 reported that the Moiseev meeting is part of a broader
US policy of expanding contacts with military and hard-line forces
in the USSR. (Stephen Foye)

CHINESE CP LEADER'S VISIT ENDS. Chinese CP leader Jiang Zemin
returned to Beijing May 20 after his "successful" five-day visit
to the USSR, TASS, Xinhua and Western agencies reported that
day. The Chinese Party newspaper People's Daily praised Jiang's
talks with Soviet leaders as "a new milestone in the good-neighborly
relations between China and the Soviet Union." A joint communique
issued at the end of Jiang's trip, as reported by Xinhua, observed
that "differences in social system, economic model and path of
development should not be allowed to hinder normal state-to-state
relations and cooperation." Jiang spent two days in Leningrad
after talks in Moscow, and met reformist Leningrad city soviet
chairman Anatolii Sobchak as well as Leningrad CP chief Boris
Gidaspov. (NCA/Sallie Wise)

SHLYAGA VISITS SYRIA. The Head of the Main Political Administration
and First Deputy Defense Minister wound up a visit to Syria on
May 18, according to a TASS report. While there, Colonel General
Nikolai Shlyaga met with leading Syrian military and government
figures and held talks on strengthening military cooperation
between the two countries. Shlyaga is a hard-line political officer
who spent many years working in the Central Committee apparatus.
(Stephen Foye)

YAVLINSKY IN US TO RAISE SUPPORT, MONEY. Grigorii Yavlinsky,
one of the chief architects of the "500 Days" program, flew to
Boston May 19 to consult with Western economists on the latest
plan for radical reform of the Soviet economy. Yavlinsky's new
plan, co-sponsored by the RSFSR and the USSR, has the blessings
of both RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin and Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev, according to Western and Soviet
wire reports May 20. The plan proposes to swap concrete reform
measures in exchange for Western support and aid. Yavlinsky hopes
that the draft plan can be completed before the Group of 7 meets
in London in July so that it can be discussed in detail there.
(John Tedstrom)

AGREEMENT NEAR ON ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM? The Wall Street Journal
of May 20 and The Times (London) of the same date both suggest
that agreement has been reached between Moscow and most of the
republics on the shape of the anticrisis program. RSFSR Prime
Minister Ivan Silaev told the WSJ that concessions had been made
to the republics on such vital issues as contributions to the
union budget, control of foreign trade, the division of foreign
debt and hard currency reserves, and the composition of the central
bank. As Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev told The Times,
the final program will clearly be "quite different" from the
draft that was published, then withdrawn, by TASS on April 9.
(Keith Bush)

SILAYEV CAUTIOUS ON RECOVERY TIMETABLE. Both Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov and Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov have publicly
and repeatedly forecast a rapid and tangible improvement in living
standards if their model of anti-crisis program is adopted and
implemented. RSFSR Prime Minister Silaev, on the other hand,
when interviewed by Central TV on May 16, discounted any talk
of stabilization by this fall and a recovery in 1992 to the levels
of 1989. He reckoned that two years will be required before "it
will be possible to talk of satisfying the consumer market."
(Keith Bush)

SUPREME SOVIET REJECTS SITARYAN. The USSR Supreme Soviet rejected
President Gorbachev's nomination of Stepan Sitaryan for the post
of Deputy Prime Minister with responsibility for economic activity,
according to Western reports May 16. The vote was 167 to 151,
with 57 abstentions. Supreme Soviet deputies approved a request
by Gorbachev to give First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov
the additional post of minister of economics and forecasting.
(John Tedstrom)

DOES THIS MEAN A BIGGER SHAKE UP? The Ministry of Economics and
Forecasting is apparently the body that replaces Gosplan (see
Pravitel'stvennyi vestnik, No. 17, 1991, p. 5). What has happened
to Gosplan's former chief, Yurii Maslyukov, is a mystery. Good
but unconfirmed sources in Moscow say that Maslyukov has replaced
Igor' Belousov as head of the State Military-Industrial Commission
of the Council of Ministers (renamed to, simply, the State Military-Industrial
Commission in April). Belousov is supposed to have retired. His
last public appearance was apparently in February, when he went
with Soviet presidential envoy Evgenii Primakov to see Saddam
Hussein. (John Tedstrom)

SAKHAROV HONORED. May 21 marks the 70th birthday of the late
human rights champion Andrei Sakharov. On May 18, a museum was
opened in Nizhnii Novgorod (formerly Gorkii) in the flat where
Sakharov served his enforced exile from 1980 to 1986. Thousands
of Muscovites paid tribute to Sakharov at a rally held in Moscow
on May 20. Later today (May 21), an international conference
on Sakharov's legacy is expected to open in Moscow; the conference
is to be attended by a number of the world's leading political
and cultural figures. (According to an unofficial source, Gorbachev
has also promised to attend it). Russian television is scheduled
to broadcast its opening session today, at 5:00 P.M. (Julia Wishnevsky)


YAKOVLEV REVISES MARXISM. Rabochaya tribuna (May 16) published
a long interview with former Politburo member Aleksandr Yakovlev.
Yakovlev enumerated a long list of the errors of Karl Marx, and
contrasted some of Marx's teaching unfavorably with "the classical
and Christian ethics of harmony of piece and love" that prevailed
in ethics of the classical and Christian worlds. According to
Yakovlev, the communist revolution in Russia in 1917 came as
a result of "astonishing coincidence." The problem is, Yakovlev
said, that Russia became a testing-ground for an ill-considered
social experiment. Since 1905, the Bolsheviks have waged a permanent
war--first, against Tsarism, then against the liberal Provisional
government, and finally against their own people. It is natural,
Yakovlev said, that the faction resisting perestroika is headed
by some leaders of the CPSU. (Julia Wishnevsky)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


SIX CANDIDATES REGISTERED FOR RSFSR PRESIDENCY. Six candidates
have been officially registered for the RSFSR elections, TASS
reported on May 20. Four of them--Boris Yeltsin, Nikolai Ryzhkov,
Vadim Bakatin and General Albert Makashov--have submitted more
than 100,000 voters' signatures and their names will be put on
the ballot. Another two candidates, Vladimir Zhirinovsky and
Lev Ubozhko, leaders of the Liberal-Democratic and the Conservative
parties, respectively, did not collect enough signatures. They
now hope to get approval of 20% of the RSFSR Congress of People's
Deputies, without which they cannot enter the race. The electoral
commission rejected the candidacy of three other candidates because
the organizations which had nominated them were not officially
registered. (Alexander Rahr)

CANDIDATES CHOSE RUNNING-MATES. The RSFSR presidential candidates
have nominated their running-mates for the vice presidency (TASS
May 18). Yeltsin chose the head of the newly formed "Communists
for Democracy" movement and former Afghan war pilot, Aleksandr
Rutskoi. Ryzhkov picked the former commander of Soviet troops
in Afghanistan, Boris Gromov. By choosing popular Afghan war
veterans, Yeltsin and Ryzhkov want to appeal to the numerous
conservative Russian voters who want stability in society. Bakatin
selected the chairman of the Council of Nationalities of the
RSFSR Supreme Soviet and one of Yeltsin's major political opponents,
Ramazan Abdulatipov. He seeks to attract voters from the RSFSR
autonomous republics who make up 14% of the electorate. General
Makashov's candidate is the arch-conservative economist Aleksei
Sergeev who has called for an end to reform. (Alexander Rahr)


RSFSR CONGRESS OF PEOPLE'S DEPUTIES OPENED IN MOSCOW. The Fourth
RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies has opened today (May 21)
and is due to discuss candidates for president, make amendments
to the constitution on the law on the presidency and presidential
election procedure, according to TASS May 21. The Congress will
also establish the RSFSR Constitutional Court. Yeltsin needs
a two-thirds majority to enact the constitutional amendments.
The Communist faction in the SupSov opposes the clause forcing
the president to suspend his membership of any party after being
elected. Communists also will seek to change the electoral law
so that a candidate would need 50% of all eligible voters, not
50% of actual voters, to win in the first round. (Alexander Rahr)


LIBERTARIAN PARTY DENIES RESPONSIBILITY FOR EXPLOSION. Sovetskaya
Rossiya of May 18 reported that the Libertarian (Radical) Party
of the USSR claimed responsibility for the blast last week at
the headquarters of the Democratic Russia movement. According
to the newspaper, the party orchestrated the blast since its
candidate for the RSFSR's upcoming presidential elections, Kalinin,
was beaten up by supporters of Boris Yeltsin, the candidate of
Democratic Russia. Russian television (May 18) quoted a representative
of the Libertarian party as denying the Sovetskaya Rossiya report
and calling it a provocation. (Vera Tolz)

POPOV LOSES VOTE IN MOSCOW CITY SOVIET. The majority of deputies
of the Moscow city Soviet refused to vote "yes" when asked whether
the soviet's chairman Gavriil Popov should run for the post of
mayor next month. About 100 of about 450 deputies left the chamber
just before the vote, Western agencies reported May 20. Of those
who stayed, only 189 voted in favor of Popov's candidacy. According
to the law, Popov does not have to be approved by deputies to
register as a candidate. He needs 10,000 signatures from eligible
voters. Radio Rossii said May 20 that nearly 200,000 signatures
supporting Popov's nomination had been collected. Interfax reported
that Popov proposed a vote May 20 at the soviet in a letter to
deputies, saying that if the vote did not support him, he would
not run for the position of chairman of the Moscow city Soviet.
(NCA/Vera Tolz)

CONSTITUENT CONGRESS OF RSFSR RUSSIAN PARTY. The constituent
congress of the Russian Party of the RSFSR took place in Moscow
on May 18, Russian TV reported. The party's draft program calls,
inter alia, for the rebirth of the state of Russia to be made
up of the RSFSR and predominantly Russian areas in other republics,
namely northern Kazakhstan and Alma Ata city, northern Kirgizia
with the city of Frunze (Bishkek), the left bank of the Dnieper
in Moldavia, and the Crimea, now part of Ukraine. It also calls
for the creation of Russian autonomous formations in the Union
republics, a unitary state structure for the RSFSR without autonomous
national formations, and the repatriation of Jews from Russia.
(Ann Sheehy)

TATARSTAN-RSFSR RELATIONS. RSFSR Supreme Soviet First Deputy
Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov has said that Tatarstan, in its desire
to separate from the RSFSR, is not taking into account the "Russian
factor," i.e. that there are as many Russians as Tatars in Tatarstan,
Radio Mayak reported May 16. The opinion is forming in Tataria
that, if the republic tried to secede, the Russian part of the
republic would be turned into an oblast. On May 16 the Tatarstan
Supreme Soviet adopted a decree that charged the republic's electoral
commission with organizing the elections of the Russian president
in Tataria, but at the same time stated that the results would
have no juridical consequences for Tataria, Radio Rossii reported
May 17. (Ann Sheehy)

GAMSAKHURDIA ON RELATIONS WITH MOSCOW. Izvestia (May 18) carried
a TASS-Sakinform dispatch quoting Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia
as stating that the Soviet central government has been acting
"less aggressively" towards Georgia in recent weeks and that
points of contact had been made between Georgia and Moscow. Gamskahurdia
told workers at a Tbilisi factory that "much will be clarified"
when he meets with Gorbachev at the end of this month. (NCA/Liz
Fuller)

ARMENIANS BEING DEPORTED FROM NAGORNO-KARABAKH. Western journalists
quote Armenian officials as claiming that Soviet troops have
deported Armenians from 16 villages in Nagorno-Karabakh; hundreds
were arrested ( The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, May
19). Armenian Supreme Soviet chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan told
Izvestia (May 18) that 1,000 Armenians had been rounded up and
deported from the Gadrut raion of the NKAO by Azerbaijani MVD
troops under the pretext of passport controls. He said KGB chairman
Vladimir Kryuchkov had agreed that measures were necessary to
protect Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. TASS May 19 reported that
the Armenian Supreme Soviet had called on Gorbachev to send observers
to Nagorno-Karabakh to ensure that his decree on disarming armed
groups is implemented legally. (Liz Fuller)

SOVIET TROOP PROTEST OVER DEPLOYMENT IN TRANSCAUCASUS? Soviet
officers deployed on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border held a protest
rally last month to demand their withdrawal from a local ethnic
conflict, warning of the dangers of a domestic Afghanistan, The
Chicago Tribune reported May 20. In February the Armenian press
carried a Postfaktum report that 150 Soviet army troops had demonstrated
in Stepanakert to demand to be sent home and to protest the actions
of Azerbaijani OMON troops in the oblast. (Liz Fuller)

UKRAINIAN INTER-PARTY ASSEMBLY LEADER ARRESTED. On May 16, the
head of the Political Council of the Ukrainian Inter-Party Assembly,
Anatolii Lupynis, was arrested in Kiev, Radio Kiev reported May
17. The Assembly is a radical coalition of ten political parties
and groups formed last year. Lupynis, a former political prisoner
who had served a total of 23 years, was charged with organizing
a series of mass protests and sentenced to five days imprisonment
by an administrative court. (Roman Solchanyk)

MOLDAVIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY PASSES UNDER REPUBLICAN CONTROL.
As part of a reorganization of the republican government, the
Moldavian Supreme Soviet voted May 20 to switch Moldavia's Ministry
of Internal Affairs from dual union-and-republican subordination
to exclusive republican subordination, Moldovapres reported May
20. Under the "dual subordination" principle, the Ministry's
crime-fighting and traffic control activities came under republican
jurisdiction, whereas all activities with political implications
came under the jurisdiction of the USSR Ministry of Internal
Affairs. The transfer to exclusive republican control, if tolerated
by Moscow, will enable the Moldavian ministry to proceed with
the planned establishment of the 10,000-strong force of Moldavian
Carabinieri. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN CP ESCAPES EXPROPRIATION. The Moldavian Supreme Soviet
voted on May 15 against the Popular Front deputies' proposal
to consider a draft law on nationalizing the Moldavian Communist
Party's assets, Moldovapres reported that day. The Moldavian
Agrarians, who have drawn close to the communists on some issues
recently, were instrumental in blocking the proposal. The Moldavian
CP, however, promised on its own accord to give up some unspecified
property. (Vladimir Socor)

BUT REFORMIST RIVALS MAY CLAIM PARTY ASSETS. On the same day,
the Moldavian government granted legal registration to the breakaway
Independent Moldavian Communist Party-Democratic Platform, Moldovapres
reported May 15. The new party's name is a temporary one, the
final name to be decided at the party's forthcoming founding
congress. Moldovapres indicated that the new party may claim
a share of the official Communist Party's assets. (Vladimir Socor)



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