The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. - Charles Darwin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 101, 29 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



PAVLOV: RAIDS BENEFIT NO ONE. Soviet Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov has denied that the USSR government knew of or planned
recent raids on Baltic economic border posts. According to Paevaleht
of May 28, Pavlov told his Estonian counterpart Edgar Savisaar
that the USSR Council of Ministers and the government had played
no role in the actions. Pavlov granted, however, that the attacks
"are not consistent with the central government's strategic interests."
Pavlov and Savisaar met in Moscow on May 27. (Riina Kionka)

BAKATIN ON OMON ATTACKS IN THE BALTICS. Speaking on Soviet TV
on May 27, former USSR Minister of Internal Affairs Vadim Bakatin
criticized as illegal the recent OMON attacks on border posts
in the Baltic republics. Bakatin said that the OMON units, formally
under MVD jurisdiction, should be serving the law and not ideology.
Bakatin said that the OMON forces were carrying out a scenario
similar to that used by the Soviet armed forces in January in
Lithuania and Latvia. (NCA/Dzintra Bungs)

MINISTER TO LEAVE ESTONIAN CABINET? Another member of the Estonian
cabinet has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Savisaar,
Estonian Radio reported on May 28. Endel Lippmaa, Minister without
Portfolio with responsibility for Eastern Affairs, says the efforts
of the Estonian government to set up a free trade zone in the
northeastern Estonian city of Narva conflict with the Supreme
Council's resolutions on independence. If accepted by Savisaar,
the resignation must also be considered by the Supreme Council.
Several other ministers have submitted resignations since they
were appointed last year, but only two actually stepped down.
(Riina Kionka)

MERI: WE'LL BUY OUR WAY OUT. Estonian Foreign Minister Lennart
Meri told a Swedish newspaper on May 28 that Estonia is prepared
to pay for its independence if necessary. According to Dagens
Nyheter, Meri estimates the USSR would ask "a little less than
$1 billion" as a condition for independence. Asked how Estonia
would raise that much hard currency, Meri replied: "We're willing
to work harder. In any event, that would be preferable to sending
tanks against tanks, particularly in view of the fact that we
don't have any tanks." Meri's remarks on the link between hard
currency and politics suggest that Baltic leaders are following
closely Moscow's current strong campaigning in the US for Western
aid to prop up the failing Soviet economy. (Riina Kionka)

IGNATENKO: INDEPENDENCE CANNOT BE RESULT OF TRADING. Questioned
about statements by Estonian leaders on the possibility of Estonia
accelerating its departure from the USSR if the republic pays
the USSR $1 billion in compensation, Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev's press spokesman Vitalii Ignatenko said May 28 that
in such a delicate matter as secession from the USSR any kind
of trading was misplaced, TASS reported. It was a question of
the fate of millions of people, he stressed. In other words,
Moscow is still insisting that republics wishing to leave the
USSR apply the law on the mechanics of secession. (Ann Sheehy)


KGB ACTIVE IN ESTONIA. A free-lance reporter for a Swedish Estonian
newspaper was harassed by the KGB recently for his connections
with the Congress of Estonia, according to an RFE/RL Estonian
Service interview of May 27. The reporter, who wished to remain
unnamed, said the KGB harassed him at the Tallinn harbor recently
as he was leaving for Stockholm. The reporter said the KGB seized
photographs he was carrying of the Congress of Estonia computer
theft trial, which recently ended. Although the court found five
defendants guilty of stealing several computers last year on
the eve of the first Congress session, Congress of Estonia leaders
maintain that the KGB was behind the theft. The recent harassment
at the Tallinn harbor seems to bolster that hypothesis. (Riina
Kionka)

LATVIAN-RSFSR PROCURATORS AGREE ON COOPERATION. A protocol on
cooperation between the RSFSR and Latvian procuracies was signed
in Riga by the respective deputy procurator-generals, reported
Baltfax on May 23. The document provides for mutual assistance
in acquiring and sending investigation materials, searching for
dangerous criminals, and jointly investigating crimes. Latvia's
Procurator General Janis Skrastins said that this accord would
facilitate law enforcement and improve the work of his office.
Similar accords are being drafted with Lithuania and closer cooperation
is planned with Kazakhstan and Ukraine. (Dzintra Bungs)

RECEPTION IN RIGA FOR DEPARTING US CONSUL. According to Baltfax
of May 23, a reception was held in Riga on May 22 in honor of
Richard Miles, US Consul in Leningrad, who is being transferred
to Germany. Miles, who during his three-year term had been in
Latvia more than ten times, said he would make his contribution
to the better understanding of the Baltic issues in US leading
circles. Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs thanked
Miles for his great attention to the Baltics, especially during
the past six months, and noted the importance of the visits to
Latvia of US Senators, Congressmen, and other consular officials.
(Dzintra Bungs)

ALL BORDER POSTS FUNCTION AGAIN IN LATVIA. Customs department
head Aivars Salins told Radio Riga on May 28 that the destruction
of customs posts and equipment by OMON forces last week was valued
at 600,000 rubles. Nonetheless, all customs posts are now once
again operational. In order to hinder the recurrence of such
attacks, the Latvian government has decided to provide guards
at the posts who would be answerable to the Ministry of Internal
Affairs. In a related development, Radio Riga reported that the
USSR Baltic Military District headquarters had denied responsibility
for the movement of "armed units" in Riga on May 25, and asked
who then would have authorized such activities. (Dzintra Bungs)


LATVIAN DEPUTY CONTENDS USSR OWES LATVIA MONEY. This week the
Latvian Supreme Council discussed economic relations with the
USSR and Latvian contributions to the USSR budget. Valentina
Zeile, head of the budget commission, pointed out that an assessment
of the financial value of the exchange of goods and services
between Latvia and the USSR indicates that Latvia has provided
90 billion rubles worth of goods and services more than it has
received; thus, "it is not Latvia that is in debt to the USSR,
but the Union is in debt to the republic," reported TASS on May
28. (Dzintra Bungs)

LAW PRIVATIZING APARTMENTS PASSED. On May 28 after long debates
in a session broadcast live over Radio Independent Lithuania,
the Lithuanian Supreme Council passed a law on the privatization
of apartments. The vote was 81 to 0 with 5 abstentions. Apartments
are to be sold to their current residents with up to 80% being
covered by investment checks that will be given only to citizens
of the Republic of Lithuania as compensation for losses suffered
under Soviet rule. A plenum of the Vilnius Communist Party sent
an appeal to Gorbachev asking him not to allow implementation
of the law since it discriminated against Soviet citizens, TASS
reported that day. (Saulius Girnius)

BUTKEVICIUS IN MOSCOW. Radio Vilnius reported May 28 that General
Director of the Lithuanian National Defense Department Audrius
Butkevicius had held talks with responsible officials of the
British and German embassies, who told him they considered recent
OMON attacks to be illegal interference in Lithuania. He also
met with the heads of the RSFSR defense and security commissions
and discussed holding two conferences on defense matters by representatives
of USSR, RSFSR, and Lithuania. (Saulius Girnius)

THATCHER MEETS BALTS. Former British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher met Baltic representatives at the British embassy. Lithuania
was represented by former Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene;
Latvia was represented as well, by deputies Andrejs Pantelejevs,
Ivars Krastins, and Valdis Birkavs, Radio Riga reported that
day. (Saulius Girnius)

POETRY OF SPRING FESTIVAL. The annual Lithuanian Poetry of Spring
festival was held on May 23-26, Radio Independent Lithuania reported
those days. The festival began unofficially on May 23 with poetry
readings in front of the Vilnius television tower occupied by
the Soviet military since January. The official opening took
place in Kaunas on May 24. Poets from Lithuania, joined by colleagues
from Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, the RSFSR, Ukraine, Germany, France,
Denmark and elsewhere, participated in the festivities that were
also held in cities throughout Lithuania, including Lazdijai,
Zarasai, Vilkaviskis, Jonava, and Elektrenai. The festival ended
on May 26 in St. John's Church in Vilnius. (Saulius Girnius)


RUSSIAN GREEK-CATHOLIC BISHOP IN DAUGAVPILS. Baltiiskoe vremya,
No. 33, interviewed bishop Vikentii, head of the newly reestablished
Russian Greek-Catholic Church, who visited members of the Baltic-Slavic
society in Daugavpils. The bishop discussed how the Russian Greek-Catholic
Church was set up, and in that connection criticized Patriarch
Aleksii for allegedly writing a letter to Pope John Paul II in
strong protest against the revival of the Russian Greek Catholic
Church. (Oxana Antic)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


CENTER SETS TOUGH TERMS FOR INDEPENDENT REPUBLICS. According
to Western and Soviet reports May 28, the USSR government has
proposed what amount to strict economic sanctions against republics
that do not sign a new Union treaty. The measures were designed
by the State Planning Committee and sent to the Baltic States,
Georgia, Armenia, and Moldavia. According to the document, these
republics would have to pay their share of internal and external
debt and pay full price for all-Union factories, and then lease
them back to the USSR on favorable terms or create joint ventures
with the USSR as majority stockholder. Further, terms of trade
between the USSR and the independent states would be set strongly
in the USSR's favor, and the USSR would plan to reduce sharply
the amount of goods and services it would import from these republics.
(John Tedstrom)

NEW RESTRICTIONS ON COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES. The USSR SupSov approved
a government decree banning commercial activities in certain
sensitive sectors of the economy May 28, TASS reported the same
day. Also approved was a decree requiring state licenses for
trade in other sensitive sectors. Presenting the decrees for
discussion and vote, Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Maslyukov
said the measures applied to those activities which concern "the
defense capabilities of the country, the maintenance of state
and social security, environment, and health of the population."
Sales of precious and radioactive materials, weapons, and military
technology are forbidden. Enterprises must now obtain a license
to develop and produce military equipment and spare parts, mineral
products, to transport, process, store, and uranium and like
products, as well as oil and gas. (John Tedstrom)

SOME POSSIBLE IMPLICATIONS. As presented to the SupSov, the measures
are vaguely worded and could be used by bureaucratic agencies
to stifle development of normal commercial relations in many
fields, not just those dealing with dangerous or valuable materials.
Maslyukov complained about local businesses dealing with foreign
firms without permission. He referred to many cases of firms
buying junked goods (like ships) for low ruble prices and selling
them as scrap metal to foreigners for hard currency. The new
licenses must be purchased; the price is not yet known, and will
run for five years. The new rules will be regulated, presumably,
by all-Union authorities. Republican governments are invited
to make additions to the list that would reflect local conditions.
(John Tedstrom)

BUSH, GORBACHEV CONFER. US President George Bush telephoned Gorbachev
late May 27 to discuss Soviet-American relations, Western aid
to the USSR, and arms control issues, TASS and Western media
reported May 28 and 29. Gorbachev's spokesman Ignatenko described
the conversation as "detailed and substantive," and said that
the two leaders will indeed meet, although they have not yet
set a date for a summit, according to TASS May 28. Bush told
reporters yesterday that the US and USSR are now much closer
to agreement on a CFE treaty. (Sallie Wise)

PRIMAKOV MEETS US OFFICIALS. Soviet Presidential Adviser Evgenii
Primakov will meet with US Secretary of State James Baker and
Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Michael Boskin on May 29
to present Moscow's plans for economic reform. He met on May
28 with Barber Conable, President of the World Bank, and Michel
Camdessus, Managing Director of the IMF. US officials said Primakov
might also meet with US President George Bush. Last week, Bush
said he was ready do listen to Primakov's message on economic
reform but made no commitment on aid. (NCA/Suzanne Crow)

RYZHKOV SAYS BALANCE FAVORS NATO. Former Soviet Prime Minister
Nikolai Ryzhkov says NATO has not responded adequately to the
dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. As a result, Ryzhkov contends,
the strategic situation has substantially changed for the USSR
and its republics. He calls for a military policy that would
effectively protect the USSR's interests. Ryzhkov is a candidate
for the Russian presidency. His remarks, made while speaking
to troops on May 27 at a Moscow garrison, were published by Krasnaya
zvezda on May 28 and quoted by TASS. (NCA/Suzanne Crow)

SOVIET-GERMAN TALKS ON TROOPS. Soviet and German officials of
the joint commission on the deployment of Soviet troops in eastern
Germany met on May 28 to discuss defections and other incidents
involving Soviet troops. According to the statement issued by
the Soviet side, the commission discussed questions relating
to the turning over of Soviet deserters and the safety of Soviet
troops, families and installations. The Soviet statement also
reported agreement on settling remaining unresolved questions
and on working towards a detailed settlement in a businesslike
manner. The next session of the joint commission will take place
at the beginning of October in Berlin. (NCA/Suzanne Crow)

RUSSIAN TV OPPOSES GORBACHEV'S PARTICIPATION IN G-7 SUMMIT. Aleksandr
Gurnov, moderator of the Vesti news program, said that Gorbachev
hopes to secure an invitation to the G-7 summit in London with
the help of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who
is visiting the USSR (Rossiiskoe Televidenie, May 27). "May God
help him, but if he succeeds in getting there, it might be the
first summit where our country is not a full-fledged participant
but rather a stranger asking for a slice from the masters' table.
It is difficult to accept this," Gurnov concluded. (Victor Yasmann)


OGONEK HITS GLASNOST' FOR PROPAGANDA. The patterns of glasnost'
developed by Soviet journalists in recent years constituted,
in many cases, a new type of propaganda, writes journalist Alexander
Terekhov in Ogonek, No. 18. As examples of such campaigns he
cites articles about a "party-military plot," "military coup
d'etat" or the uproar in the liberal mass media over military
patrols in Soviet cities. Before perestroika, Terekhov admonished
his colleagues, journalists used to serve a "single scientific
ideology." "Thus we changed, having changed nothing in ourselves,
changing flags and words, but preserving intolerance, arrogance
and snobbism." Although conservative authors often have used
similar arguments, this appears to be the first time Ogonek has
engaged in such self-criticism. (Victor Yasmann)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


YELTSIN CAMPAIGN IN FULL SWING. RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman
Boris Yeltsin kicked off his presidential campaign with a visit
to Murmansk in the Far North. There, according to Western agencies,
he was mobbed by crowds waving the flag of pre-revolutionary
Russia and shouting "We love you, Boris Nikolaevich!" As on previous
trips to far-flung areas of the Russian Federation, Yeltsin promised
the local population that his administration will devolve enough
powers to the regions to enable them to solve their problems
themselves. From Murmansk, Yeltsin traveled on May 28 to the
Karelian capital, Petrozavodsk. Also on his 10-day itinerary
are Voronezh, Perm, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, and his power-base,
Sverdlovsk. (Elizabeth Teague)

SVERDLOVSK TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON NAME. On June 12, the same day
as the RSFSR presidential election, residents of Sverdlovsk,
Yeltsin's home base, will vote whether to restore the city's
former name of Yekaterinburg. It was in Yekaterinburg where Tsar
Nicholas II and his family were executed after the Russian Revolution.
Radio Mayak, in reporting the proposed referendum May 27, did
not clarify whether the vote would be binding. (NCA/Sallie Wise)


OUTSPOKEN INTERVIEW WITH ORTHODOX PRIEST. Sovetskaya molodezh'
No. 63, May 5, quoted an interview with archpriest Vladimir Sorokin,
Rector of the Leningrad Theological Seminary. The priest not
only said that the heart of all evil which has befallen the country
lies with Marxist ideology, but he also strongly criticized the
"double standard" of Soviet society. As an example, he mentioned
that Yeltsin attended Easter services, "hoping to gain support
of believing Christians." According to data supplied by Fr. Vladimir,
the Russian Orthodox Church has now 11940 parishes. (Oxana Antic)


OPPOSITION IN BASHKORTISTAN TO RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. A
Movement for a Sovereign Bashkortistan, set up in Bashkortistan
a week ago to defend the independence of the republic, has appealed
to the population not to take part in the RSFSR presidential
elections, Radio Rossii reported May 28. The new movement, which
is made up of the Bashkir People's Party and the Tatar Democratic
Party of the Bashkir ASSR, said participation in the elections
would mean that Bashkortistan would remain forever part of Russia.
Radio Rossii's correspondent recalled that 42% of the republic's
population voted against the introduction of the post of RSFSR
president in the March 17 referendum. (Ann Sheehy)

TATARSTAN SUPSOV MAKES RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS UNOFFICIAL.
Bowing to public pressure, the Tatarstan Supreme Soviet decided
May 28 that Tatarstan would not officially take part in the elections
of the RSFSR president on June 12, TASS reported. But, "in accordance
with human rights," assistance would be given to those who wished
to take part in the elections. Only one candidate, the present
chairman of the Tatarstan Supreme Soviet Mintimer Shaimiev, has
collected the necessary number of signatures to stand for election
to the post of president of Tatarstan, also scheduled to take
place June 12, RFE/RL was told May 28. (Ann Sheehy)

MOLDAVIA'S NEW PRIME MINISTER. The Moldavian parliament on May
28 approved President Mircea Snegur's nomination of Valeriu Muravschi
as Prime Minister, in place of Mircea Druc who was ousted by
a vote of no confidence May 22. Muravschi, a 42-year-old economist,
had been Minister of Finance in the Druc government since June
1990, and concurrently Vice-Prime Minister since March 1991.
In that government, Muravschi had supported Druc's drive for
an accelerated transition to a market economy. Muravschi's nomination
as Prime Minister was supported by the Popular Front and opposed
by the Russian communists in parliament, with the Agrarians split
on the issue. (Vladimir Socor).

MURAVSCHI'S MAIDEN SPEECH. Presenting his program to parliament
May 28, Muravschi assessed the state of the republic's economy
as "chaotic," Moldovapres reported the same day. He urged parliament
to expedite the adoption of laws on privatization, the establishment
of a National Bank, and local self-government. He also pledged
to pursue Moldavia's "integration with European countries" and
to maintain economic ties with union republics "on a new basis"
of horizontal arrangements. The agenda outlined by Muravschi
is similar to Druc's. (Vladimir Socor)

BELORUSSIAN SUPSOV OPPOSITION STATEMENT. RFE/RL's correspondent
in Minsk reported May 27 that the Belorussian Popular Front opposition
group in the republican Supreme Soviet has divorced itself from
the Communist majority's actions in parliament. Opposition leader
Zyanon Paznyak said the nomenklatura must bear total responsibility
for the worsening situation in Belorussia. The opposition read
a list of legislative projects in which its members will not
participate, limiting themselves mainly to issues raised earlier
by the strike committees. The opposition declaration, signed
by 32 deputies, stated that the majority's activity in the current
session of the SupSov seems designed to bring about an "extraordinary
situation" or direct presidential rule. The declaration was read
at the SupSov session May 24, but was not reported by local and
Soviet media. (Walter Stankievich)

EDINSTVO IN BELORUSSIA. Leonid Biryukov, leader of the Belorussian
section of the society "Unity for Leninism and Communist Ideals,"
made some interesting disclosures in issue No. 19 of 7 dnei (a
BELTA news agency publication). Chief among these was that Nina
Andreeva's supporters in Belorussia have sent a fifty-page report
to KGB, trade union, and Russian Communist Party authorities--though
not to Gorbachev--proving that the USSR's transition to a market-based
economy has been orchestrated by foreign intelligence. Biryukov
boasted that the conservative "Soyuz" faction of USSR people's
deputies recently approved his section's program for restoring
the socialist economy. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINE INTENDS TO TAKE OVER DEFENSE INDUSTRIES. At a conference
in Kiev, Ukraine's newly-appointed Minister of Military Industry
and Conversion, Viktor Antonov, announced that he believes "100%
of the military industrial complex located on Ukrainian territory
will come under direct Ukrainian control, starting on 1 January
1992." Antonov made his remarks in Kiev at a conference on conversion
in Ukraine which was covered by both Western and Ukrainian media
May 27. Ukraine is the USSR's second largest republic in terms
of defense-industrial activity. It has roughly 13% of all defense
and defense-related industry (compared to the RSFSR's 73%). (John
Tedstrom)

KRAVCHUK RECEIVES AUSTRIAN AND IRISH AMBASSADORS. Radio Kiev
reported on May 22 that Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid
Kravchuk met in Kiev with the Irish and Austrian ambassadors
to the USSR. He discussed general cooperation with the Irish
ambassador, while his conversation with the Austrian diplomat
centered on the possible opening in Kiev of an Austrian consulate
and a trade mission. (Valentyn Moroz)

GORBACHEV IN KAZAKHSTAN. The May 28 edition of Vremya showed
Gorbachev's arrival in Kazakhstan and his meeting with inhabitants
of Kokchetav. A television correspondent asked him if he was
visiting Kazakhstan because it has the reputation of being one
of the most stable republics. Gorbachev answered that he liked
Kazakhstan's stability and also its adherence to the Union, and
he wanted to support its leadership, which he characterized as
being highly responsible. (Bess Brown)

PRICE OF FREE SPEECH IN UZBEKISTAN. A deputy in Uzbekistan's
Supreme Soviet has been sentenced to 15 days of "administrative
arrest" for having encouraged inhabitants of Yakkabag Raion to
protest recent prices increases, according to a report in the
May 17 issue of Izvestia. The presidium of the Supreme Soviet
granted the request of the republican state prosecutor's office
to permit the prosecution of the deputy, Shovrik Ruzimuradov,
and the raion soviet executive committee is filing suit against
him for material damage. (Bess Brown)

YAKOVLEV ON TRANSCAUCASIAN BLOODSHED. At least two Soviet weeklies--Za
rubezhom No. 22, and today's (May 29) Sovetskaya kul'tura--have
reprinted an interview with Gorbachev's senior adviser Aleksandr
Yakovlev from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica of May 12-13.
In it, Yakovlev accused conservative CPSU officials of having
deliberately set up the latest outburst of violence in the Transcaucasus.
"The 9+1 agreement [between Gorbachev and the leaders of nine
union republics] had scarcely been reached when the war between
Armenians and Azerbaijanis began again," Yakovlev explained.
"And I have a strange feeling that it is an organized provocation,
not just a coincidence." (Julia Wishnevsky)

ISRAELI MINISTER ON RELATIONS WITH AZERBAIJAN. TASS May 27 quoted
the Israeli Minister for Science and Technology, Energy and Resources,
Yuval Neiman, who is currently on an official visit to Baku,
as stating that Israel is in favor of developing wide-ranging
economic contacts with Azerbaijan. Neiman also registered his
satisfaction at the Azerbaijani government's concern for the
Jewish community in the republic. Azerbaijani President Ayaz
Mutalibov has announced that charter flights are soon to begin
between Tel Aviv and Baku to enable Azerbaijani Jews who emigrated
to Israel to visit Azerbaijan. (Liz Fuller)

[as of 1300 CET]

Compiled by Jiri Pehe and Sallie Wise


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

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