The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 109, 11 June 1991





BALTIC STATES



BALTIC COUNCIL MEETING IN TALLINN. Government delegations from
Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia meet in Tallinn today (June 11)
to discuss the new USSR Union treaty's possible impact on the
Baltic States, Radio Independent Lithuania reported today. The
Baltic Council, which includes the parliament chairmen, prime
ministers, and foreign ministers of the three Baltic States,
has prepared a statement stressing that "the Soviet Union has
no right to represent the Baltic States on an international level,"
in response to Soviet pronouncements which consider the Baltic
States as part of the Union. (Gytis Liulevicius)

YAZOV DEFENDS CUSTODY OF BALTIC STATES. On June 10 USSR Defense
Minister Dmitrii Yazov justified the Soviet military presence
in the Baltic States in remarks made during his 4-day visit to
Sweden, Western agencies reported that day. Although acknowledging
that Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia desire independence, Yazov
said that "somehow we must divide everything. When a man and
a woman divorce, a court separates them....To solve all the problems
takes some time." Any reports of Soviet army intimidation in
the Baltic States are to be dismissed, said Yazov, adding that
there is "a lot of loud talk" in the area. He assured reporters
that the Kremlin "would like to see the Baltic issue solved in
a constitutional way," but warned that the problem "must be coordinated
with all economic problems that exist because of 50 years of
coexistence." (Gytis Liulevicius)

BAKATIN: OMON DIRECTLY SUBORDINATE TO PUGO. USSR Security Council
member Vadim Bakatin told Rossiiskoye televidenie June 10 that
OMON detachments in the Baltic States are under the command of
the present USSR MVD Minister. Bakatin's remarks came during
a televised press-conference as a part of Bakatin's election
campaign for the RSFSR presidency. The former USSR MVD Minister,
however, denied any responsibility for OMON actions in the Baltic
states in the past. "I was away from my office when the OMON
in the Baltic States was put under central control," Bakatin
explained. (In fact, since OMON units were created in 1987-1988,
they have been incorporated in the composition of the MVD Internal
Troops by decree No. 31 signed by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
on July 28, 1988. See Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR, No.
31, 1988). (Victor Yasmann)

ARMED BORDER GUARDS FOR ESTONIA? After the latest border raid
on June 8, the Estonian Supreme Council is considering a proposal
to permit border guards to carry firearms, according to agency
reports, quoting ETA. "The time for the Baltic Chain and holding
hands is over," border chief Andres Oovel told ETA, referring
to the 1989 human chain that linked the three Baltic states.
"We need to start defending ourselves," he said. The parliament
is also considering creating an elite police force of former
Soviet paratroopers and Afghan war veterans to protect itself
from further OMON troop raids on the border. (Riina Kionka)

CHERNOBYL VICTIMS CONTINUE HUNGER STRIKE. Radio Riga reported
June 10 that the hunger strike in Riga staged by Chernobyl victims
living in Latvia was in its eighth day. Two men requiring medical
care had already been hospitalized. The participants want Latvia
to ratify a Soviet law of May 12 guaranteeing medical care and
special services for Chernobyl victims, and other forms of compensation
for themselves and their families. Shortly after the hunger strike
was announced the Latvian Council of Ministers adopted a plan
to provide aid to the victims. Nonetheless, the strikers still
demand that Latvia ratify the Soviet law--a procedure that contradicts
Latvia's path to independence. The hunger strike is to continue
until June 15. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIA AND THE OLYMPICS. Radio Independent Lithuania reported
June 6 that members of the Lithuanian Olympic Committee (LOC)
were in Barcelona for talks with the unofficial Catalan Olympic
Committee (COC). At a press conference Kazimieras Motieka, deputy
chairman of the LOC and the Lithuanian Supreme Council, issued
a formal protest against Soviet military activities in Vilnius
on June 3. Lithuania signed a document with the COC granting
it permission to participate in all 1992 Olympic events that
will be held in Catalonia. The document is unlikely to have any
effect since the COC and the Baltic Olympic Committees will be
seeking formal recognition from the International Olympic Committee
in Birmingham, England on June 13. The LOC also decided to give
1972 Olympics Gold Medal winner Vladas Cesiunas 1,000 rubles
in compensation for injuries suffered at the hands of Soviet
troops at a Lithuanian customs post. (Saulius Girnius)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


YAZOV OPTIMISTIC ON START AGREEMENT. Defense Minister Yazov said
on June 10 that there are "no problems left" in START talks with
the US, and that a treaty could be signed before the end of the
month, Western agencies reported the same day. Yazov's comments
came at the end of a lecture on Soviet defense policy given under
the auspices of Sweden's Defense Research Agency. Yazov's optimism
was contradicted by statements coming out of Washington, however,
where officials of the Bush Administration said that there were
a number of differences still to be resolved on the START treaty.
(Stephen Foye)

FEDERATION COUNCIL TO BE ABOLISHED? At a press conference in
Moscow June 10 devoted to the Union treaty, Gorbachev adviser
Grigorii Revenko said that the latest draft of the Union treaty
envisages the abolition of the Federation Council, TASS reported
yesterday. Its place will be taken by the Council of the Republics,
one of the two chambers of the new all-Union parliament, in which
all the Union republics will have an equal number of votes, regardless
of the number of autonomous formations they include. Revenko
argued that the Council of the Republic would be a much more
effective body than the Council of the Federation, whose members
often refused to implement decisions they had just taken. (Ann
Sheehy)

AUTONOMOUS FORMATIONS OPPOSED. Revenko noted, however, that the
autonomous formations wanted to retain the Federation Council.
This was only to be expected in that they are members of the
Federation Council and will apparently not be directly represented
in the new Council of the Republic. The abolition of the extra-parliamentary
Federation Council could be seen as a healthy development, however.
There have been many complaints from the USSR parliament that
its functions were being usurped by the Federation Council, and
the juridical status of the Federation Council's decisions has
never been clear. (Ann Sheehy)

"SOYUZ" STATEMENT ON UNION TREATY. The conservative "Soyuz" parliamentary
group read out a statement in the USSR Supreme Soviet June 10
that called the decision to send the draft Union treaty to the
republican parliaments without it having been examined in the
USSR Supreme Soviet "unconstitutional," TASS reported. Supreme
Soviet Chairman Anatolii Luk'yanov assured deputies that Gorbachev
had agreed that as soon as the draft was signed by the members
of the preparatory committee it would be sent to the USSR Supreme
Soviet as well as the republican parliaments. At his press conference
Revenko said the USSR Congress of People's Deputies and Supreme
Soviet should be involved; "however, they are not the ones forming
the Union." (Ann Sheehy)

TIMETABLE FOR SIGNING UNION TREATY SLIPPING? In an interview
in Pravda of June 10, RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin
said a new Union treaty could be signed in two months, according
to agency reports. It had earlier been stated that it was hoped
the treaty would be signed in July. (Ann Sheehy)

YAVLINSKY PROGRAM COMPLETED? A "source close to the effort" told
Western agencies June 10 that the seven Soviet economists headed
by Grigorii Yavlinsky, who have been working on the "Grand Bargain"
for the past two weeks in Cambridge, Mass., hoped to complete
their work by midnight yesterday. It was considered unlikely
that much more than the broad outlines of the plan would be made
public before the document is delivered to Gorbachev. Although
Gorbachev asserted in Oslo that the USSR would accept no conditions
to any rescue package, few observers attach much weight to that
pronouncement. It is also, of course, uncertain whether Gorbachev
will accept the provisions of the plan, as several of his lieutenants
have publicly distanced themselves from Yavlinsky. (Keith Bush)


SOVIET FINANCING NEEDS IN 1991. The chairman of the International
Bank for Economic Cooperation, Vitalii Khokhlov, told Western
agencies June 10 that the Soviet Union will require "Western
financial aid" in excess of $20 billion in 1991 alone. Khokhlov,
who was attending the BIS meeting in Basel, added: "Of course,
[foreign] bankers are fairly cautious and we understand them.
We must first pull ourselves out of the current chaos of the
economy." It would appear that Khokhlov's estimate is not necessarily
connected with the provisions of the "Grand Bargain." The USSR's
financing needs in 1991 were calculated at $27.1 billion in the
"worse case" scenario given in the IMF study of last December.
(Keith Bush)

RESOLUTION ON TERMS OF TRADE FOR AGRICULTURE. Pravda of June
1 carries the USSR Cabinet of Ministers' Resolution No. 313 of
May 31 "On Compensation in 1991 for the Additional Expenses of
Enterprises and Organizations in the Agro-Industrial Complex
in Connection with the Price Reform." Among its provisions are:
exemption from social security contributions; sale of certain
produce to the state at contract prices; reduction in the price
of mixed feed; reimbursement to farms and enterprises for compensation
payments in respect of the retail price increases; and permission
for farms to sell up to 30% of all produce at contract prices.
(Keith Bush)

EC OFFICIAL: AID TO USSR SHOULD BE LINKED TO REFORM. Frans Andriessen,
the European Community's Commissioner for External Affairs, said
yesterday that a strong commitment to reform by the Soviet leadership
should be a precondition for Western aid to the USSR. Speaking
at a conference of international industrialists in Dobris, Czechoslovakia,
Andriessen was quoted by Western agencies June 10 as saying that
reform in the USSR is "a prerequisite of stability and peace
in Europe and in the whole world." He also said that the EC would
like the USSR to continue trading with East European countries,
warning that a sudden loss of the Soviet market could spell disaster
for efforts toward economic reform in Eastern Europe. (NCA/Sallie
Wise)

ATTALI PLANS VISIT TO USSR BEFORE G-7 MEETING. Jacques Attali,
head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
reportedly will hold talks with Gorbachev in Moscow sometime
in early July. Western agencies June 10 reported that a spokeswoman
for the EBRD said no firm date has been set for Attali's trip,
but that it would take place before the G-7 summit in London
July 15-17. The bank's spokeswoman said that Gorbachev has not
yet accepted Attali's invitation to EBRD headquarters in London
in July. Attali last visited Moscow in March in his capacity
as president-designate of the EBRD. (NCA/Sallie Wise)

CUTS IN CUBA AID DISMISSED. Soviet Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Vitalii Churkin said on June 10 that media reports saying the
Soviet Union had promised the United States to cut aid to Cuba
were without basis. (Churkin did not indicate whether he meant
Soviet or Western media.) He said the question of Soviet-Cuban
cooperation is the province of those two countries alone and
noted that the USSR rejects any attempts to put pressure on the
USSR to back away from cooperation with Cuba, TASS reported June
10. (Suzanne Crow)

MILITARY OFFICIALS CRY BETRAYAL. The reactionary journal Den'
(No. 9) carries a "roundtable" with three top military officials
that can only be described as remarkable. In it, USSR Defense
Council Deputy Chairman Oleg Baklanov, Navy Commander-in-Chief
Vladimir Chernavin, General Staff Academy Commander Colonel General
Igor' Rodionov, and the editor of Den', Aleksandr Prokhanov,
denounce Soviet "democrats" in the bluntest terms for betraying
the Soviet Union. The speakers also suggest that the military
leadership could rule more effectively than weak-willed politicians,
and charge directly that democrats ("the internal 'fifth column'")
have joined with the United States ("the external...'super-state'")
to undermine the Soviet armed forces. (Stephen Foye)

SOVIET NAVY ACCEPTED FLAWED SHIPS. A navy captain has charged
that the Soviet Navy has put into service flawed ships, including
submarines that are prone to accidents. According to Novosti
June 7, Captain First Class Ilya Kolton has requested that the
USSR Prosecutor General start criminal proceedings against the
Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Vladimir Chernavin, for
accepting the vessels. Kolton said that the faulty ships put
into service in 1988 included 8 submarines so badly built that,
in the event of a war, they would be destroyed in the first 15
days of combat. He blamed poor construction of the hulls, which
he said made these subs detectable from 500 nautical miles away.
(NCA/Stephen Foye)

DIRECT ELECTIONS OF USSR PRESIDENT DISCUSSED. Discussion is already
underway on whom to propose for direct elections of the USSR's
president, Novosti reported June 11. Currently, the RSFSR's "democrats"
mention three people who could oppose Gorbachev in such elections.
According to Novosti they are Yeltsin, historian Yurii Afanas'ev,
and Leningrad city soviet chairman Anatolii Sobchak. (Vera Tolz)


SHEVARDNADZE APPEALS FOR DEMOCRATIC UNITY. Former Soviet foreign
minister Eduard Shevardnadze advocates the formation of a broad-based
democratic party in the USSR to accelerate economic and social
reform. According to agency reports June 11 of a speech Shevardnadze
gave in Vienna June 10, he appealed to democratic forces in the
USSR to come together to create "a strong, organized, democratic
party." Such a party, he said, would rejuvenate the Soviet parliament
so that it could work for "the spiritual and economic rebirth"
of the USSR. "People must be brought into parliament who are
more progressive...who have no fear of the new." Shevardnadze,
still a CPSU member, said he believed that such a democratic
union is possible, and added, "the democratic forces of the country
are obliged to do it." (Sallie Wise)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


UPDATE ON YELTSIN'S CAMPAIGN FOR PRESIDENCY. TASS on June 10
reported that about 50,000 people participated in a demonstration
in Moscow in support of Boris Yeltsin, Anatolii Sobchak and Gavriil
Popov who tomorrow will stand elections for the posts of RSFSR
president, Leningrad and Moscow mayor, respectively. Shevardnadze
supported Yeltsin's election as "a step in the right direction"
in a speech in Vienna, according to agency reports June 11. Meanwhile,
Pravda on June 10 published a strong attack on Yeltsin, denouncing
him as "disloyal, authoritarian and incompetent." Western agencies
also reported June 10 that Yeltsin is expected to visit the US
on June 18 if he should win the presidential elections in the
first round. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN: "RUSSIA WON'T TRADE IN ARMS." In an exclusive interview
with RFE/RL, Yeltsin said the center is resisting demands by
the RSFSR that weapons manufacturing plants situated in the Russian
Republic should be transferred to its jurisdiction. Yeltsin stressed
that, while the RSFSR intends to insist on the transfer, it will
not enter the arms trade. Yeltsin was speaking on June 9 in Sverdlovsk
to independent journalist Sergei Kuznetsov, and the interview
was broadcast on the Radio Liberty Russian Service's evening
news program "In the Country and the World" on June 10. (Jean
Riollot/Elizabeth Teague)

YELTSIN WARNS GORBACHEV. Yeltsin went on in his interview with
RFE/RL June 10 to caution Gorbachev that the Soviet army must
not be used against Russian civilians once the new Union Treaty
is signed. If the Soviet president uses the army in such a way,
Yeltsin said, Gorbachev will himself have violated the Union
treaty and this could lead to the breakup of the new union outlined
in it. Yeltsin also said that, though the RSFSR cannot yet afford
financially to join the United Nations, agreement has been reached
with UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar that the Russian Republic
will have a permanent representative there. (Jean Riollot/Elizabeth
Teague)

DETAILS ON YELTSIN'S PERSONALITY. Yeltsin is very emotional and
"had to learn to control his feelings," according to his younger
brother Mikhail, a 54-year-old construction worker, who was interviewed
by The Wall Street Journal on June 7. Mikhail Yeltsin added that
it is characteristic that one "can expect unexpected things from
him." A journalist who worked with Yeltsin in Sverdlovsk said
that Yeltsin is a "tough, even cruel boss" who is "terribly impatient."
Yeltsin's sister-in-law Natalia acknowledged that "everybody
loves him but everybody fears him." Other former colleagues of
Yeltsin remembered that he entered the CPSU only because he had
to after winning a promotion in the construction industry. (Alexander
Rahr)

CP FIGHTS FOR RYZHKOV. Novosti on June 7 reported about intense
activity by local Party organizations in the Russian provinces
to mobilize the electorate in favor of Nikolai Ryzhkov. CPSU
CC Politburo members Aleksandr Dzasokhov and Egor Stroev have
been campaigning for Ryzhkov, according to the Frankfurter Rundschau
of May 25. Ryzhkov is also supported by the Council of War and
Labor Veterans, political organs in the military, and the conservative
RSFSR Writers' Union. Ryzhkov's running mate, General Boris Gromov,
praised the former Soviet premier in an interview with Soviet
TV on June 7 for having opposed Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign
and the conversion program in the early days of perestroika.
(Alexander Rahr)

BAKATIN CALLS FOR ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW. Bakatin said in his TV
press conference yesterday that, no matter who is elected RSFSR
president, one of his first steps must be to adopt an anti-corruption
law, as well as a legal act on state service. He criticized the
RSFSR government for standing idle while overwhelming corruption
spread all through the state apparatus and society. (Victor Yasmann)


RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ADVOCATES "SAINT PETERSBURG". Western
agencies June 8 quoted Interfax as having reported that the Moscow
Patriarchate has urged voters in the June 12 referendum to change
Leningrad's name to Saint Petersburg. (Oxana Antic)

MINSK TRACTOR FACTORY VOTES TO EJECT PARTY. RFE/RL Minsk correspondent
Yas' Valoshka reported June 10 that earlier this month, 13,000
employees of the huge Minsk Tractor Factory took part in a referendum
and voted by an overwhelming majority to eject the plant's Communist
Party and Komsomol committees. Although Belorussian law leaves
the presence or absence of public organizations at the workplace
to the discretion of the collective, republican Party and state
officials in the last few months have strongly denounced such
moves as "unconstitutional." The Tractor Factory was Gorbachev's
first stop during his tour of Belorussia in April. (Belorussian
BD/Kathy Mihalisko)

A PRESIDENT FOR, BY, AND OF THE APPARAT? Belorussian Supreme
Soviet deputies have been asked to study proposals for the introduction
of a Belorussian presidency, but there is a twist: for the first
time around, the President of the republic would be chosen not
by direct popular vote but by the current nomenklatura-dominated
parliament. An independent public opinion survey cited by Yas'
Valoshka showed, however, that 53% of respondents favored direct
election (a la Yeltsin) and only 17% supported the variant by
which Gorbachev was named President of the USSR. (Belorussian
BD/Kathy Mihalisko)

ROMANIANS IN UKRAINE SET UP UMBRELLA BODY, ISSUE DEMANDS. Representatives
of Romanian/Moldavian associations from northern Bukovina and
southern Bessarabia--areas transferred to Ukraine following their
annexation by the USSR from Romania--decided at a meeting June
9 in northern Bukovina's capital Chernovtsy to set up a "Democratic
Union of All Romanian Associations in Ukraine." The meeting issued
an appeal for the "observance of the sacred rights to national
history and culture,...an end to intimidation and oppression
by local and all-Union authorities," reestablishment of Romanian-language
schools, and equitable representation of Romanians/Moldavians
in state and public bodies. (Vladimir Socor)

ROMANIANS IN UKRAINE APPEAL TO UN. The same meeting made public
an appeal to the office of the General Secretary of the United
Nations, complaining of "grave violations of the human and nationality
rights of the Romanian population" in Ukraine. It requested that
an international commission of experts be constituted and dispatched
to the scene in order to study the situation of Romanians in
Ukraine. The meeting in Chernovtsy and its resolutions were reported
by Moldavian and Romanian media on June 10. (Vladimir Socor)


RUSSIAN CULTURE IN MOLDAVIA TO RECEIVE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT. The
Moldavian government has pledged financial support to a program,
proposed by the Russian Cultural Center in Moldavia and the Foundation
for Slavic Culture, to develop Russian education and culture
in Moldavia, Moldovapres reported June 7. The program includes
the publication and import (from the RSFSR) of Russian school
textbooks, to replace present textbooks marked by communist ideology;
the opening of Russian theaters and cultural clubs; holding Russian
cultural competitions, art exhibits, folk festivals; and organizing
cultural exchanges with the RSFSR, including the training there
of Russian students from Moldavia. (Vladimir Socor)

UZBEK WEEK IN DUSHANBE. The newspaper Tajikistan-i shorawi of
May 21 carried a detailed report on the "Uzbek Week" to be held
in Dushanbe from June 10 to 15. A delegation of 130 Uzbek scholars,
scientists, artists, film and theater actors, and others will
participate. Events will include films, concerts, exhibitions,
and book fairs. The goal of these activities is to develop friendly
relations between Tajiks and Uzbeks. The report added that 1991
has been designated "Ali Shir Nawai Year" in Tajikstan, after
the famous Uzbek scholar and national figure. (Fevziye Barlas)



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