|The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. - Thomas Carlyle 1975-1881|
No. 111, 13 June 1991
BALTIC STATES SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL: CSCE SHOULD EXAMINE BALTIC QUESTION. In a statement adopted June 12 in Istanbul, the Socialist International said that it "supports peaceful change for democracy in the Baltic Republics and the transition from a command system to a free and open economy; recognizes the rights of the Baltic peoples to full self-determination; recognizes the Baltic question as being of an international magnitude that should be dealt with under the auspices of the CSCE process." SI president Willy Brandt announced that the SI council had granted full membership to the Latvian Social Democratic Workers Party. The delay in the admission, anticipated earlier, was caused by an internal split in the party in January which has been resolved, according to an RFE/RL Latvian Service report of June 12. (Dzintra Bungs) BAKER: SUMMIT NOT LINKED TO BALTIC INDEPENDENCE. US Secretary of State James Baker spoke to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on June 12 about US aid to the Soviet Union. Asked about US policy toward the Baltic States, Baker said: "The question of the independence of the Baltic States is very important to us, but it does not and will not preclude" an agreement to hold a summit conference between US President George Bush and USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev. Baker added, according to a RFE/RL correspondent's report from Washington of June 12, that the US has never accepted and will never accept the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and continues to urge Moscow to resolve the independence issue through peaceful dialogue with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. (Dzintra Bungs) ESTONIA WANTS MFN. Estonia's Foreign Minister Lennart Meri has called on the US to grant Estonia most favored nation trade status, according to an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington on June 12. Meri says that if the US grants MFN status to the Soviet Union, it must do the same for Estonia in order not to risk making its Baltic policy counterproductive and against Estonian national interests. Meri also noted that Estonia has had a MFN treaty with the US since 1925, and still considers that treaty to be in force. (Riina Kionka) LITHUANIAN-BELORUSSIAN COOPERATION TREATY. On June 12, Lithuanian and Belorussian Ministers of Internal Affairs Marijonas Misukionis and Vladimir Yegorov signed a treaty of cooperation in Vilnius, Radio Independent Lithuania reported that day. In a radio interview Misiukonis noted that the treaty was "a step which consolidates the sovereignty of both countries," citing the clause that declared: "coordinated activity will be placed on the recognition of the statehood of Lithuania and Belorussia." A similar cooperation treaty with the RSFSR MVD should be signed soon. A protocol of principles and directions of cooperation with the USSR MVD was signed this spring, which could serve as the basis for a future treaty. (Saulius Girnius) LITHUANIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER ON MOSCOW MEETINGS. In a speech to the Lithuanian parliament today (June 13), broadcast live by Radio Independent Lithuania, Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Valdemaras Katkus reported on his talks with the Soviet Foreign Ministry on June 11. Katkus met with USSR Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Nikiforov and Soviet CSCE delegation leader Yurii Deryabin. Katkus briefed the Lithuanian parliament on the USSR Foreign Ministry's official position on Lithuania, explaining that the USSR still considers Lithuania to be part of the Soviet Union, and that secession can only be achieved by following the Soviet constitution. During the meeting, Nikiforov raised doubts as to whether a majority of Lithuanians in fact support the republic's independence drive. Katkus told the parliament that the USSR would view Lithuanian participation at next week's CSCE foreign ministers' Berlin meeting as guests of another country as "politically incorrect." (Gytis Liulevicius) AUSTRIAN DELEGATION IN VILNIUS. On June 12 Radio Vilnius reported that parliamentarians from the four major Austrian political parties (Freedom, Socialist, People's, and Greens) had arrived in Vilnius on June 11. The delegation, headed by one of Austria's parliament leaders, Heidi Schmidt, met with members of the Polish faction in the Lithuanian Supreme Council on June 11 and members of other factions on June 12. That day they also held talks with parliament chairman Vytautas Landsbergis. He told them about the political situation in Lithuania and stressed that relations between the USSR and Lithuania can only be decided in inter-state negotiations. The Austrians came from Riga where they spent two days meeting with high-ranking Latvian government and political party leaders. (Saulius Girnius) LATVIANS REMEMBER 1941 DEPORTATION VICTIMS. This week commemorative events are being held throughout Latvia to honor the hundreds of thousands of people deported on June 14, 1941 and later to remote regions of the Soviet Union, where most of them perished. Today (June 13) a scholarly conference started in Riga on the consequences of Communist totalitarian policies in Latvia. Dr. Uldis Germanis from Sweden this morning delivered an historical analysis of the processes leading up to the 1941 deportations, which was carried live by Radio Riga. Because of his witty commentary on the Soviet press, Germanis has been considered persona non grata by the Soviet regime. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIA TO TRADE WITH SOUTH AFRICA? Latvia and the Republic of South Africa have agreed to develop economic relations and start consultations on the possible exchange of governmental and parliamentary delegations, reported Radio Riga and Interfax on June 7. South Africa is interested in obtaining timber from Latvia and the extension of the Riga-Tel Aviv flight to South Africa. In return, Latvia has been offered agricultural equipment and help in establishing a clinic in Riga. (Dzintra Bungs) USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS KOHL SCHEDULED FOR USSR VISIT. German government spokesman Dieter Vogel said on June 12 Chancellor Helmut Kohl will travel to the Soviet Union before the G-7 summit. A place and date have yet to be determined, Western agencies reported June 12. The scheduling of the meeting suggests that Germany is willing to hear Gorbachev's appeal for aid from the G-7 countries and perhaps even to lobby on Gorbachev's behalf. (Suzanne Crow) BESSMERTNYKH IN BONN. Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh began his two-day visit to Bonn on June 12 and held meetings with German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Helmut Kohl, Western agencies reported the same day. Bessmertnykh is expected to tour the city of Cologne today and hold a news conference before returning to the USSR. (Suzanne Crow) YELTSIN SAYS "NO" TO RETURN OF KURILES. RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin said on June 12 that "reconsidering the borders now is out of the question. It would be blood again," when asked about Japan's demand for the return of the four Kurile Islands, Western agencies reported June 12. Yeltsin's comments contrast with his previous statements. Prior to and during Gorbachev's April visit to Japan, Yeltsin stressed that the RSFSR (the republic of which the islands are a part) must play a part in any negotiations over the islands return. Yeltsin's most recent statements suggest he is now less interested in asserting his authority alongside Gorbachev and more interested in expressing a statesmanlike and patriotic position on the islands dispute. (Suzanne Crow) NO DECISION FROM JAPAN ON ISLANDS TRAVEL. Two months after Gorbachev's offer of visa-free travel for Japanese citizens to the disputed Kurile Islands, Japan still has not decided whether to accept the offer. Japan is concerned that travel would lead to investment by Japanese citizens on the islands. This, in the case of the return of the islands to Japanese control, would mean complicated legal disputes over ownership of property between former Japanese residents and current Japanese investors, Western agencies reported June 11. (Suzanne Crow) SOUTH AFRICA MISSION TO OPEN? The Soviet Union has taken a one-year lease on a house in Pretoria, suggesting a step toward establishing diplomatic relations. The house will be occupied by two Soviet diplomats in Pretoria for use as housing and office space. The action was confirmed on June 10 by the head of the Soviet interest section in Pretoria, Aleksei Makarov. Makarov denied reports that Moscow had purchased a mansion in Pretoria for housing 30 Soviet families. Consular ties between the USSR and South Africa were severed in 1956. Over the last year they have sought to Moscow and Pretoria missions in February. (NCA/Suzanne Crow) CPSU ORDERS PROBE OF SHEVARDNADZE. The CPSU yesterday ordered an investigation of former Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze in response to his call June 10 for a broad-based democratic party in the USSR (see Daily Report, June 11), TASS and Western agencies reported June 12. TASS said the decree was issued by the presidium of the CPSU Central Control Commission, and that the results of the Party investigation will be reviewed by that body. Shevardnadze told reporters in Vienna yesterday that he had expected such a reaction from the Party and said, "Let them inquire. I have the right to state my opinions....I'm not afraid of investigations," Western agencies reported June 12. He did not say whether he would resign from the CPSU. (Sallie Wise) OIL AND GAS WORKERS TO GET PAY INCREASE. Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov, caving in yet again to demands for pay raises, agreed to boost the pay of Soviet oil and gas workers by 40%, back dated to June 1. The Financial Times June 12 added that the pay increase is gradually to grow to 75% by the fourth quarter, and is to be accompanied by large investments in the oil and gas industries' infrastructure. The primary effect of the pay increases will be to fuel inflationary pressures already out of control in many parts of the country. The government has the legal tools to prohibit strikes like the one threatened by the oil and gas workers, but apparently does not have the will or the real authority to use them. (John Tedstrom) ANOTHER ATTACK ON THE CHEVRON PROJECT. Nezavisimaya gazeta of June 4 has joined in the criticism of the Chevron project at the Tengiz oilfield that was initiated by Moscow News. The article, as cited by Interfax June 4, complains that the "outrageously high profitability" of the joint venture may reach "astronomical levels." It goes on to state that "Chevron's annual net profits are estimated at 28%." (This is healthy but hardly exorbitant, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Tengiz project). (Keith Bush) CHERNAVIN: JUNE, 1941 AND TODAY. Anticipating the June 22 anniversary of the German attack on the USSR, the Soviet Naval Commander-in-Chief told TASS on June 12 that there were ominous parallels between that period and the present. Admiral Vladimir Chernavin said that the Soviet people had paid dearly for their boundless faith in the political leadership in the months leading up to the German attack. He argued that, in a similar fashion, the Soviet people today have put their faith in the leadership's policy of attempting to provide national security through political means alone. Chernavin warned that military force is also an instrument of policy, and that the armed forces must be kept strong. (Stephen Foye) MOISEEV ON MILITARY REFORM. General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev warned in the June 12 Krasnaya zvezda that sharp reductions in military production could undermine the USSR's ability to resume production in the event of war. He also made the obligatory, if inaccurate, claim that the US has increased military spending and done little to cut military personnel. Moiseev confirmed that the High Command envisions an armed force of 3 to 3.2 million men, and claimed that the proportion of professionals has already risen to 43%. He said that the draft military reform plan had been examined by the USSR Cabinet of Ministers on June 11, and that it was now in the hands of the president and the Supreme Soviet. His comments were summarized by TASS on June 12. (Stephen Foye) IZVESTIA JOURNALISTS PLAN TO LEAVE. Up to thirty journalists are planning to quit their jobs at the government newspaper, Izvestia, Russian television reported June 11. The television said this would be a logical end to the conflict between the newspaper's staff and its founder, the USSR Supreme Soviet presidium, and also between the staff and the newspaper's chief editor Nikolai Efimov. The conflict began in February when the staff resisted Efimov's appointment. Now the staff is protesting the appointment of Vladimir Sevruk as chief editor of Nedelya, the weekly supplement to Izvestia. The appointment was made without the agreement of the working staff of Izvestia, which is contrary to the press law. Sevruk headed the CPSU CC propaganda department in the Brezhnev period. (Vera Tolz) US MOVIE STUDIOS PROTEST ILLEGAL COPYING IN USSR. Major US film studios said they will no longer license movies for viewing in the USSR to protest illegal showings of their films, Western agencies and Radio Moscow reported June 12. A US movie industry executive, Jack Valenti, has demanded that the USSR enforce existing copyright laws. The studios complain that videocassettes of their movies are illegally copied and shown to paying audiences in the USSR. The studios receive no reimbursement for such showings. A press spokesman at the Soviet embassy in Washington said the Soviet government does not want private entrepreneurs to violate international copyright agreements. But he said whenever the government tries to shut down such viewings, it is accused of repressing cultural freedoms. In fact, the official Soviet cinema industry has also violated copyright laws by making illegal copies of Western films. (Vera Tolz) SOVIET-AMERICAN GLOBAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROJECT. The Lockheed and Motorola corporations have opened negotiations in Moscow with the USSR Ministry of Communications on Soviet participation in the global television project "Iridium," IAN reported June 7. The project calls for creating a world telecommunications network consisting of 77 satellites. The Soviet share of expenses would be $15 million for development of the infrastructure on Soviet territory and training personnel. Since 1989, the USSR has operated its own global television network, Moskva-Global'naya. (Victor Yasmann) USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS YELTSIN ELECTED RSFSR PRESIDENT. According to early official results, Boris Yeltsin has been elected RSFSR president by more than 60% of the votes, Soviet media report today (June 13). His main rival, Nikolai Ryzhkov, received about 20% of the votes. Surprisingly, leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who had appealed to Russian nationalism, seemed to have run more successfully than former interior minister Vadim Bakatin. More than 70% of the 104 million eligible voters cast their ballots. Yeltsin ran poorly in many rural areas where he generally received around 30%, but won 70% and more in urban areas. Some predominantly military electoral districts showed large support for Yeltsin. Yeltsin told TASS on June 12 that he already has drafted bills to promote his policies after his election. (Alexander Rahr) DETAILS ON YELTSIN'S VICTORY. Interfax on June 13 reported that Yeltsin won 90% of the votes in Sverdlovsk, 85% in Leningrad, 70-75% in Moscow, and 70% in major cities of the Far East. He also won in the major industrial cities of Siberia, as well as in Penza, Samara, Saratov, and Novgorod. Ryzhkov received support in rural areas. Russian TV reported yesterday that the KGB had supported Zhirinovsky. Gorbachev told reporters yesterday after casting his vote that he is prepared to cooperate with each contender for the RSFSR presidency. His wife, Raisa, told reporters that the whole Gorbachev family voted for the politician who stands for unity. She declined to name which of the candidates they favored. (Alexander Rahr) SOBCHAK, POPOV ELECTED. Soviet and Western news agencies report today that Anatolii Sobchak and Gavriil Popov have been elected mayors of Leningrad and Moscow, respectively. A slight majority of Leningrad voters (54%) favored renaming their city St. Petersburg. Popov received more than 60% of the votes, Sobchak--about 70%. Both thus have received the necessary mandate to enhance executive power in their cities. In Moscow, only around 60% of eligible voters went to the polls, according to some Soviet news reports today. Final results will not be announced until June 22. (Alexander Rahr) FEDOROV: "REVIVED RUSSIA WILL SURPASS US AND JAPAN". Noted eye surgeon and successful entrepreneur Svyatoslav Fedorov told Russian TV June 12 that Russia's revival hinges on the "de-statization" of property. If in the US the main means of production are concentrated in the hands of 13% of the population, Fedorov said, Russia should spread its productive forces among 50-60% of its population by creating "people's" enterprises and joint-stock companies. "We have the biggest scientific community in the world, where the intellectual component constitutes 90% of industrial costs. This factor plus our natural resources and territory give us a chance, in the course of one generation, to leave behind the US and, perhaps, Japan," he argued. (Victor Yasmann) RUSSIAN WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION REGISTERED. The all-Russian women's association "Missiya" was registered with RSFSR Ministry of Justice on June 7, Radio Moscow-2 reported the same day. "Missiya" will base its activity on UN agreements prohibiting all forms of discrimination against women, the report said. The association's projects include support for women's initiatives in all spheres, as well as charitable activities. (Sallie Wise) BELORUSSIA APPROVES UNION TREATY DRAFT. Belta-TASS reported June 12 that the Supreme Soviet of Belorussia approved the basic positions of the draft Union treaty. During a two-day debate, four different points of view were expressed. Some deputies argued to preserve the USSR in its present form, others backed the draft's proposals, a third group favored a confederation. Opposition deputies supported the creation of a fully independent Belorussian republic. (Kathy Mihalisko) CARDINAL LUBACHIV'SKY TO REMAIN IN UKRAINE. The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Myroslav Ivan Cardinal Lubachivs'ky, has decided to end more than half a century of exile and return to live in Ukraine. The office of the Rome-based Cardinal said June 12 that he made the decision during his recently completed visit to Ukraine, his first in 52 years. The office gave no date for his return. In other religious news, Ukrainian Catholic priests in Mukachevo, Transcarpathian Oblast, have launched Ukraine's first trade union for priests, Radio Moscow said June 12. The step would enable priests to avail themselves of amenities such as rest resorts. (NCA/Kathy Mihalisko) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER IN KIEV. French foreign minister Roland Dumas has arrived in Kiev and plans to meet with Ukrainian Supreme Soviet chairman Leonid Kravchuk. According to an RFE/RL Ukrainian service report June 13, the talks will center on the possible opening of a French consulate in Kiev. (Valentyn Moroz) MOLDAVIAN, UKRAINIAN LEADERS CONFER IN KIEV. Moldavian President Mircea Snegur and Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi held talks in Kiev June 12 with their Ukrainian counterparts, Leonid Kravchuk and Vitold Fokin. In their reports that day, Moldovapres termed the visit "official" while Radio Kiev termed it "working." The leaders focused on ways to promote direct economic relations between the two republics, and on the situation of Ukrainians in Moldavia and Romanians/Moldavians in Ukraine, discussing steps to meet the cultural needs of those groups. They also discussed developments in connection with the Union treaty and preparations for a Ukrainian-Moldavian treaty. (Vladimir Socor) ROMPRES CHARGES MISTREATMENT OF "BROTHERS" IN UKRAINE. In an unprecedented editorial, Romania's news agency Rompres--run by the government's Information Department subordinated to the Prime Minister--accused the present Ukrainian authorities of pursuing the "denationalization" and "forced assimilation" of Romanians in Ukraine. Listing the grievances of "our brothers" in Ukraine, the editorial termed their area (which was annexed by the USSR from Romania) an "occupied territory." Ostensibly timed to a commemoration of Stalin's deportation of Romanians from northern Bukovina, the editorial was at least as likely to have been prompted by the June 9 appeal of Moldavian/Romanian groups in Ukraine and by the Moldavian leaders' visit to Kiev (see Daily Report, June 11, and the item above). (Vladimir Socor) KIRGIZ PRESIDENT VETOES LAND LAW. Kirgiz President Askar Akaev has vetoed an article of a new land law approved by the republic's parliament in April, TASS reported June 12. The article, which says that land in the republic belongs to the Kirgiz people, has led to a flood of protest letters. Akaev is asking that it be amended to read that the land "is the property of citizens of Kirgiz and all other nationalities making up the republic's people." Literaturnaya gazeta of May 29 opined that the law would further unsettle the non-Kirgiz population. The newspaper was reporting how a number of Russians who had fled the republic after the violence in Osh oblast had returned, having received a very hostile reception in the RSFSR. (Ann Sheehy) HEALTH PROBLEMS IN TAJIKISTAN. Jawonon-i Tajikistan of May 4 reported on a conference on maternal and infant mortality in Tajikistan on April 26, sponsored by the USSR Ministry of Health and Tajik authorities. The report said Tajikistan is among the republics with the lowest living standards and highest rate of infant mortality. It was said that 17.7% of pregnant women have serious diseases, and 10% of their children are infected with dangerous illnesses before birth. 29.3% of pregnant women in the republic give birth prematurely. Conference participants attributed these alarming statistics to environmental pollution. It has been decided that a new faculty of medicine should be opened in Dushanbe and that nurses should be trained to aid mothers and children. At present Tajikistan has only one gynecologist per 20,000 women. (Fevziye Barlas)
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.