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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 108, 10 June 1991



BALTIC STATES



ANOTHER BORDER POST DESTROYED IN LATVIA. OMON forces attacked
another customs checkpoint in Latvia around 3:00 A.M. on June
8. Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Zenons Indrikovs told
Radio Riga later that day that the post, near Karsava in the
Ludza raion, was near the RSFSR border. The OMON forces beat
up the guards, seized money and equipment belonging either to
the men or to the post, undressed the guards and burned their
uniforms, and set fire to the customs post. The Latvian authorities
have informed the MVD in Moscow of the attack. (Dzintra Bungs)


ANOTHER ESTONIAN POST HIT. Fifteen plainclothesmen with submachine
guns attacked the Luhamaa post at the Estonian-RSFSR border on
June 8, according to Baltfax and Radio Riga the same day. The
men, who arrived in vehicles said to be used two weeks ago by
Soviet military officers, destroyed the trailer being used as
a border post. They left after threatening to destroy another
checkpost some 20 km away. The Estonian raid came a few hours
after a similar attack in Latvia. (Riina Kionka)

FOURTEEN QUESTIONS TO PUGO. Two USSR Supreme Soviet deputies,
Sergei Belozertsev and Hamzat Fargiyev, have asked USSR Minister
of Internal Affairs Boriss Pugo for detailed explanation of OMON's
activities and its supervision. They addressed a letter with
fourteen questions to the MVD chief after an independent investigation
in Latvia of the recent OMON attacks on customs checkpoints there,
reported Diena of June 5. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN LEADERSHIP AGAINST LATVIAN SSR PROCURACY. According to
Diena of June 7, the Presidium of the Latvian Supreme Council
has urged the Latvian SSR Procuracy to stop work in Latvia and
for the people of Latvia to have nothing to do with that institution.
The Latvian SSR Procuracy upholds the Latvian SSR Constitution
and Soviet laws in Latvia and does not support the Supreme Council's
declaration of May 4, 1990 to restore the independent Republic
of Latvia. Moreover, a State Prosecutor's Office loyal to the
Latvian government and Supreme Council has existed since September
1990. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN-USSR TALKS. A communique issued after the second round
of consultations between Latvian and USSR representatives in
Jurmala on June 6 and 7 said the participants "intend to continue
to move forward, bringing their stands more closely together"
on issues of common interest. Though this round focused on economic
issues, other issues discussed included the work of law enforcement
agencies and OMON. TASS of June 8 reported that participants
regarded as a major achievement the fact that the Soviet delegation
"views with understanding the striving of the Latvian Republic
for state independence, and opposes the illegal use of force
as a method of settling controversial problems." This statement
appears in an official protocol. The next talks are planned for
July 4 and 5. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIA PROPOSES MEETING WITH USSR. Aleksandras Abisala, Minister
without Portfolio of the Republic of Lithuania, called for a
meeting between Lithuanian and USSR delegations leading up to
official negotiations between the two countries, Radio Independent
Lithuania reported June 8. In a telegram sent to Deputy Chairman
of the USSR State Planning Committee Aleksandr Troshkin, head
of the Soviet working group on negotiations, Abisala voiced his
concern over the delay in beginning talks, and proposed that
a preliminary meeting take place in Vilnius on June 11 and 12.
(Gytis Liulevicius)

REPORT OF TEMPORARY DEFENSE LEADERSHIP. The Lithuanian Supreme
Council met in closed session the evening of June 6 to hear an
account of the activities of the Temporary Defense Leadership
of Lithuania, created on January 13, Radio Vilnius reported June
7. The session discussed a draft law, authorizing the 9-member
group that includes parliament chairman Vytautas Landsbergis,
Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, and National Defense Department
Director General Audrius Butkevicius, under exceptional circumstances
to make urgent state decisions that would remain valid until
the parliament in its next session approves or rejects them.
The law will be discussed further in future sessions. (Saulius
Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS DISMISSES USSR CONSTITUTION SUPERVISION PROTEST.
In a statement released on June 8, Landsbergis reacted to protests
made by the USSR Constitution Supervision Committee regarding
the citizenship law of the Republic of Lithuania. According to
Radio Independent Lithuania, Landsbergis pointed out that any
complaints from the Soviet Constitution Supervision Committee
"are, at best, of a consultative nature, but have no legal rights
on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania." The statement
invoked the Lithuanian parliamentary actions of March 11, 1990,
which abolished the validity of the Soviet constitution in Lithuania.
(Gytis Liulevicius)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


PAVLOV DOES IT AGAIN. Addressing a meeting of Moscow oblast industrial
managers and farm heads on June 5, Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov
again accused Western banks of subverting the Soviet economy.
An account of his speech was carried in Leninskoye znamya June
7, and widely cited by Western agencies. Pavlov was quoted as
asserting that unnamed banks were conducting a credit blockade
against the Soviet Union. Referring to credit quotas set by the
Bank for International Settlements, Pavlov charged that "as soon
as this quota has been drawn, the red light glows. Not one bank
will give money." In Izvestia June 6, Yevgenii Primakov described
Pavlov and Shcherbakov as "progressive men, firmly committed
to radical market reforms." (Keith Bush)

INTERREPUBLICAN ECONOMIC COMMISSION REJECTS DIVISION OF REPUBLICS
INTO TWO CATEGORIES... Participants in the third session of the
Interrepublican Economic Commission, set up to control implementation
of economic agreements between the USSR and the republics, rejected
a proposal to divide the republics into those willing to sign
the Union treaty, which would get "most favored" status, and
those not signing, which would be treated like foreign countries,
TASS reported June 7. The members of the commission, who are
deputy premiers of the USSR and the republics, apparently envisaged
no economic penalties for not signing the treaty, thus defying
the policy of the central leadership. (Ann Sheehy)

BUT SAYS LITHUANIA AND ESTONIA SHOULD NOT JUST BE OBSERVERS.
Virtually all participants in the commission meeting, however,
objected to the intention of Lithuania and Estonia to take part
in the work of the Interrepublican Commission only as observers.
They argued that the Baltic republics should participate in discussing
problems and bear responsibility for the decisions taken. The
session was attended by representatives of all the Union republics
except Georgia. The Latvian delegate described the session as
"the first step in the direction of creating a model of new economic
relations between the republics." (Ann Sheehy)

GERASHCHENKO FAVORS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. During a visit to Basel
to attend the annual meeting of the Bank for International Settlements,
USSR Gosbank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko told reporters June
9 that he would rather see massive technical assistance to the
USSR than loans from the West. Gerashchenko admitted that he
was not sure whether Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev shared
his views on this issue. He said that he was "testing the water"
to see if Western governments would consider rescheduling export
credits to the value of 3.5 billion rubles (about $5 billion)
that remained due for repayment this year. This would make it
easier to clear unpaid trade debts--also valued at around $5
billion. (Keith Bush)

MALASHENKO AGREES WITH HIM. Gerashchenko's preference for technical
assistance rather than outright grants was shared by Igor' Malashenko,
a senior consultant in the CPSU CC International Department.
Interviewed on ABC TV June 9, Malashenko opined: "It doesn't
make any sense to pour gasoline (dollars) into this broken car...because
it is not running and the engine is not fixed. The real question
is how to fix it." (Keith Bush)

EXPORT DEVELOPMENT BANK PROPOSED. Also in Basel to attend the
BIS annual meeting was one of Gerashchenko's deputies, Aleksandr
Doumov. He told the International Herald Tribune June 10 that
the Soviet Union is considering the creation of an export development
bank. This would be independent of Vneshekonombank and would
have a mixture of shareholders that might include Western interests
from both the public and private sectors. Its primary aim would
be to boost Soviet exports, at a time when sales of principal
hard-currency items like oil and arms are lagging. The bank would
not undertake the financing of "huge projects," but would seek
to improve the techniques of exporting firms. (Keith Bush)

BESSMERTNYKH: WORK ON START TO CONTINUE. After meeting his American
counterpart James Baker in Geneva on June 7 to work out obstacles
to completing a START treaty to be signed at a US-Soviet summit,
Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh said "the two
governments have decided to concentrate very actively to complete
work on the START treaty." Signalling that the Soviet side is
prepared for no quick solution to the negotiations, Bessmertnykh
said "we are just starting the job" of working out some technical
and substantive differences, wire services reported June 8. (Suzanne
Crow)

KOHL TO USSR IN JULY. According to the June 10 Bild Zeitung,
a German tabloid, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl will travel to
Moscow during the first half of July, but no date has yet been
fixed. Germany has shown itself to be a staunch supporter of
Gorbachev and has led Western assistance efforts. Such a trip
by Kohl, on the eve of the G-7 summit in London, suggests that
Bonn may be willing to speak on Moscow's behalf in at the London
gathering. (Suzanne Crow)

BESSMERTNYKH TALKS TO WELT. In an interview with the Welt am
Sonntag, Bessmertnykh said he has written to the foreign ministers
of all states taking part in the June CSCE conference in Berlin.
Bessmertnykh said his letter put forward ideas for "the architecture
of a new Europe." He did not describe his ideas further except
to say that he favors extending the role of the CSCE to form
one of the most important instruments in a united Europe. Bessmertnykh
also noted that Soviet-German relations will play a special and
"weighty" role in Europe's future. Bessmertnykh travels to Bonn
on June 12. (NCA/Suzanne Crow)

MANDELA VISIT IS CANCELLED. African National Congress leader
Nelson Mandela was to have begun a visit to the USSR June 9,
but the trip was cancelled on short notice, according to the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of June 8. Scheduling difficulties
with the Soviet officials whom Mandela hoped to see were reported
to be the reason for the cancellation. The FAZ noted, however,
that some South Africans suspect that South Africa is no longer
of great interest to the Kremlin. (Sallie Wise)

KOMMUNIST LAMBASTES DEFENSE MINISTRY. Kommunist No. 6 accuses
the Defense Ministry of putting off critical military reforms
and of planning to increase military spending despite the changing
international environment and the Soviet Union's own economic
problems. Authored by Sergei Rogov, the article charges, among
other things, that the movement of vast amounts of weaponry beyond
the Urals subverted the CFE agreement (by maintaining Soviet
advantages in conventional forces) and devastated the Soviet
economy (by tying up railroad lines during harvest time). Rogov
also claims that defense spending will rise in 1991 from 26%
to 36% of the All-Union budget, and that the military leadership
has purposely ignored planned military and force reductions in
the West. (Stephen Foye)

WHY YOUNG OFFICERS ARE LEAVING. A letter from a young tank officer,
published in the May 4 Krasnaya zvezda, helps explain why so
many young officers reportedly hope to leave the Soviet armed
forces, and why combat readiness in many ground force units may
be deteriorating. The officer, from the Transbaikal Military
District, complains that he has been unable to put his unit through
a single exercise over the past year-and-a-half, and that he
himself has spent more time washing toilets than honing his skills
as a tank officer. He says that such frustrations are an important
factor--along with poor living conditions and declining prestige--in
the desire of many young officers to leave the army. (Stephen
Foye)

KGB ON DOMESTIC TERRORIST ACTIVITIES. Fifteen People's Deputies
at different levels have been killed in the last three years,
and 386 People's Deputies have received threats on their lives,
Chief of the KGB Administration for Protection of the Constitutional
Order Valerii Vorotnikov said at a press conference in Moscow
June 6. Vorotnikov noted an increase in the use of explosive
devices: more that 200 explosions were registered in 1990-1991.
He told RFE/RL that the KGB is not involved in the investigation
of the explosion at Democratic Russia headquarters on May 16.
"This is a matter for the procuracy, not state security," he
explained. He also said the KGB, the MVD and the Army have disarmed
33 "illegal" armed formations since last summer. He made clear
that he includes law-enforcement units created by Baltic governments
to be in the category of "extremist armed formations." (RL Russian
Service/Victor Yasmann)

NEWSPAPER PREDICTS REPLACEMENT OF KRAVCHENKO. Moskovsky komsomolets
reported June 8 that there were plans to replace the highly unpopular
head of the USSR State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company,
Leonid Kravchenko. The Central TV news program TSN said June
10 that it could not yet verify the reliability of the report.
TSN rejected, however, as false another report by the same issue
of Moskovsky komsomolets to the effect that the producer of a
documentary on Yurii Andropov, Oleg Uralov, will become head
of the USSR State Cinema Committee. TSN quoted Uralov as saying
that the Komsomol newspaper "has again spread disinformation."
(Vera Tolz)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


CONSERVATIVE LAST-MINUTE ATTACK ON YELTSIN. The conservative
newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya on June 7 accused Chairman of the
RSFSR Supreme Soviet Boris Yeltsin of collaboration with the
Italian mafia. It published a document according to which Yeltsin
and RSFSR Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev appointed a dubious
Italian citizen, Roberto Coppola, to be Honorary Consul of the
RSFSR. Coppola was arrested by the Italian police for criminal
activities in April. Radio Rossii on June 9 quoted Yeltsin as
saying that Coppola had been recommended to Gorbachev by Soviet
embassies abroad. He did not deny that he had signed such an
agreement with Coppola. Sovetskaya Rossiya also accused Yeltsin
of enjoying too many privileges, including frequent visits to
spas and having a security team of almost 100 people. (Alexander
Rahr)

YELTSIN INTERVIEWED ON SOVIET TV. Yeltsin said in an interview
on the Soviet TV program Kto est' kto on June 6 that last year,
the RSFSR has transferred only 23 million rubles to the central
budget instead of 70 million rubles which the center had received
from the republic in previous years. Thus, Yeltsin argued, the
RSFSR has found itself in a relatively favorable financial situation
to spend money on social programs. Yeltsin stressed that since
the 9-plus-1 agreement, his relations with Gorbachev have "normalized."
(Alexander Rahr)

THE CANDIDATES ON MILITARY ISSUES. On June 8 Radio Rossii outlined
the stances taken by RSFSR presidential candidates on military
issues. They all reportedly agree that the army should be unified,
well-armed, and highly capable. All have decried the poor living
standards of military personnel and the difficulties faced by
workers in the military-industrial sector. Yeltsin has reversed
his earlier stand (taken after the January 13 attack in Vilnius)
that the RSFSR should consider forming its own army, but has
strongly insisted that the army not be used for domestic policing.
He has been the only candidate to support depoliticization of
the armed forces. In Sverdlovsk on June 9, Yeltsin said that
he would compel the RSFSR's military industries to pay their
own way, and signed a decree giving the region's industries extensive
economic autonomy, The Los Angeles Times reported on June 10.
(Stephen Foye)

SOBCHAK CAMPAIGNS. Chairman of the Leningrad City Soviet Anatolii
Sobchak has called for the creation of a powerful social-democratic
party as an alternative to the CPSU. He outlined three stages
for the formation of such a party in an article in Moskovskie
novosti (no. 20). Sobchak stated that such a party must attract
reformist forces in the CPSU. More than two-thirds of Leningrad
voters favor Sobchak to be the new mayor, according to a survey
reported by TASS on June 6. Elections for the post of Leningrad
mayor will be held on June 12--the same day as the presidential
elections. Leningrad voters will also decide whether their city
should be renamed St. Petersburg. (Alexander Rahr)

FURTHER CONTROVERSY OVER RENAMING OF LENINGRAD. First Deputy
Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Ruslan Khasbulatov sent
a telegram to the Leningrad City Soviet saying that the June
12 poll over returning Leningrad's original name of St. Petersburg
should not be considered to have juridical value, Vremya reported
June 9. In the meantime, TASS (June 8) quoted Sobchak as saying
that Communist Party organizations and the Communist press are
the chief opponents of the renaming. The same TASS report quoted
Gorbachev as rejecting the need to return to Leningrad its historical
name. (Vera Tolz)

RSFSR ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE IN MAY. The RSFSR's economy continued
to slide in May, according to Ekonomika i zhizn', No. 23. Industrial
production for the month was over 3% below May 1990, largely
due to the effect of widespread strikes in RSFSR coal mines in
the first part of the year. Production of oil was off 11% in
May (as it was in April). Production trends in most sectors point
to a slowdown in economic activity since April. If output in
key industries like coal and oil can make a rebound, other sectors
should follow. Still, the outlook for the end of 1991 is significantly
below that of the end of 1990. (John Tedstrom)

LENINGRAD BRANCH OF "FOREIGN POLICY ASSOCIATION" CREATED. A regional
organization of former Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze's
"Foreign Policy Association" was formed in Leningrad June 7,
TASS reported that day. A greeting from Shevardnadze read at
the founding conference expressed the conviction that the Leningrad
organization would help strengthen democratic institutions and
contribute positively to the development of international relations.
TASS said the Leningrad organization intends to conduct research
and forecasts on the possible integration of the USSR into the
world economic system. It will seek to analyze international
ties at all levels, and to develop new methods of foreign policy
and foreign economic activity. (Sallie Wise)

BELORUSSIA BARS BALTS AND UKRAINIANS. The Belorussian border
with Poland is closed to westbound cars with license plates from
the Baltic states and Ukraine, according to the Baltija news
service via Estonian Radio on June 5. Border posts on Belorussian
territory are refusing passage to those cars, forcing motorists
to cross further south. Reports also say that the wait for passage
into Poland from the USSR can last up to a week. (Riina Kionka)


AZERBAIJANI PREMIER VISITS IRAN. Azerbaijan Prime Minister Gasan
Gasanov arrived in Tehran June 9 on an official visit, according
to Western agencies June 9 quoting IRNA. Gasanov is scheduled
to meet with Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani and senior
Iranian officials. (Liz Fuller)

USSR OMON UNITS SENT TO MOLDAVIA. Supplementary units of the
USSR MVD's OMON arrived by air June 7 and 8 in Tiraspol, the
center of the would-be Dniester SSR in eastern Moldavia. Some
units crossed the Dniester into the city of Bendery on the western
bank, where the self-proclaimed republic loyal to Moscow seeks
to establish a bridgehead. The Moldavian government was not notified
of the action. Moldovapres reported June 8 that President Snegur
cabled Gorbachev and USSR Minister of Internal Affairs, Boris
Pugo, protesting the violation of Moldavia's sovereignty and
the "intrusion into the republic's internal affairs" and demanding
the immediate recall of the supplementary units. (Vladimir Socor)


ROMANIAN REACTION. In a communique released through Rompres June
9, Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed "concern"
over the deployment of special troops in Moldavia, terming the
action "a new source of tension...preventing the normalization
of inter-ethnic relations," a violation of Moldavia's sovereignty
and of the Paris Charter. The statement, however, failed to call
for recall of the troops or for the preservation of Moldavia's
territorial integrity, merely "expressing our hope that solutions
will be devised which will exclude any type of pressure and use
of force". (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT CONFERS WITH EEC OFFICIAL. Moldavian President
Mircea Snegur conferred on June 7 in Kishinev with EEC official
Helmut Lohan (name as spelled by Moldovapres on that date). The
EEC official was quoted as saying that the EEC's planned aid
to the USSR, worth $500 million, "will be equitably apportioned
among republics" to support both the transition to market economics
and food aid. Snegur said that Moldavia's most pressing needs
were for training of managerial personnel, banking and trade
specialists, and for technology to process agricultural produce.
(Vladimir Socor)

US MEDICAL SUPPLIES TO CENTRAL ASIA. A planeload of US medical
supplies arrived in Alma-Ata June 8, Western agencies reported,
citing Interfax. The aid is intended for Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
to help those republics deal with illnesses caused by environmental
pollution. The shipment is part of a program announced by the
White House in December; the supplies were accompanied to Alma-Ata
by an American medical team who are to supervise delivery to
hospitals and medical institutions in seven cities. (NCA/Bess
Brown)


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Updated: 1998-11-

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