There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. - Graham Greene
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 114, 18 June 1991



BALTIC STATES



OMON CONTINUES LATVIAN OFFENSIVE. An OMON detachment raided a
Latvian customs post in the Riga central railway station on the
night of June 16, Radio Riga reported June 17. The troops demolished
the office, confiscated documents, and beat up the customs official
on duty. The injured official was brought to the Latvian SSR
prosecutor's office and charged with violating Soviet law, but
was later released. Previous attacks against Baltic customs posts
have been concentrated in border areas. (Gytis Liulevicius)

USSR APPOINTS EXPERTS FOR TALKS WITH LITHUANIA. Radio Vilnius
reported June 15 that the USSR, after long delays, has appointed
14 experts to the joint Lithuania-USSR working group preparing
the groundwork for negotiations. USSR Minister of Justice Sergei
Lushchikov will head the Soviet team and Minister without Portfolio
Aleksandras Abisala - the Lithuanian. Eleven joint teams of experts
will consult on trade, economic, financial, human rights, and
other issues as well as the drafting of a treaty on the future
of Lithuanian-Soviet relations. (Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS ON LITHUANIAN-USSR RELATIONS. In an interview with
Izvestia published June 17, Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman
Vytautas Landsbergis reaffirmed Lithuania's decision not to sign
the new Union treaty, but also emphasized that Lithuania would
be willing to cooperate with the USSR as an equal partner. Landsbergis
complained that "the USSR is not ready for serious negotiations
with Lithuania." The delay, according to Landsbergis, is rooted
in Soviet "old thinking," which considers Lithuania to be a "subordinate
republic." (Gytis Liulevicius)

WHO REPRESENTS THE BALTS IN BERLIN? Besides the official Baltic
government representatives who are seeking observer status at
the Berlin CSCE foreign ministers' conference, Moscow has brought
along representatives of the three Baltic Moscow-platform Communist
Parties and "national salvation committees," according to the
Estonian Foreign Ministry on June 18. The USSR delegation invited
the CP leaders--who oppose independence for the Baltic States--along
as representatives of Soviet non-governmental organizations.
(Riina Kionka)

NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE ON ESTONIA'S AGENDA? Estonia's Supreme Council
Presidium and commission chairmen will decide today (June 18)
whether to include on the agenda a proposal by a group of 26
deputies to hold a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Edgar
Savisaar, Estonian Radio told RFE/RL's Estonian Service on June
18. The deputies, who represent a wide range on Estonia's political
spectrum, give no reason for calling for the vote now. No non-Estonian
deputies signed the proposal; Radio Mayak said on June 17 that
those deputies did not want to "take part in intrigues against
the government at a time of relative sociopolitical stability,"
but Estonian Radio said the deputies did not want to prolong
the parliament session and delay their vacation plans. (Riina
Kionka)

US-BALTIC FOUNDATION SEMINAR IN VILNIUS. On June 17 a 4-day seminar
on "Local Government and Democratic Society under Free Market
Conditions" opened in Vilnius, Radio Independent Lithuania reported
that day. Over 300 Balts gathered to hear speeches by about 30
guests from the US, many of whom are mayors of US cities, including
Indianapolis. The seminar is sponsored by the US-Baltic Foundation
in Washington. The lecturers will subsequently travel to Riga
and Tallinn to get first-hand information and expand relations
with the Balts. One of the participants is Anna Skirmante Kondratas,
the highest-ranking US government official born in Lithuania.
She is a deputy of US Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Jack Kemp. (Saulius Girnius)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



FINAL DRAFT OF UNION TREATY SENT TO REPUBLICAN PARLIAMENTS. The
Preparatory Committee set up by the Fourth USSR Congress of People's
Deputies to complete work on the draft Union treaty met again
June 17 in Novo-Ogarevo, the Soviet media reported yesterday.
Though some points remained outstanding, notably the question
of federal taxes, the draft was approved and sent to the republican
and all-Union parliaments for approval. The parliaments were
asked to review it before the end of June. (Ann Sheehy)

AUTONOMOUS REPUBLICS STILL NOT HAPPY? The autonomous republics
were apparently not happy with some aspects of the draft treaty
and stayed behind with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and
RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin in the first break in the session.
It is possible that this talk concerned the future make-up and
role of the USSR Supreme Soviet, which Azerbaijani President
Ayaz Mutalibov said before the session was a delicate question
that had still not been resolved. The autonomous republics had
been hoping for equal representation with the Union republics.
Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev said after the meeting
that Tatarstan was still insisting that it sign the treaty separately
and was to have further talks on this with the RSFSR leadership.
(Ann Sheehy)

SUPREME SOVIET REVIEWS "FINAL" ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM. The USSR
Supreme Soviet yesterday heard a presentation by Soviet Prime
Minister Valentin Pavlov on his "final" version of the government's
anti-crisis program, TASS reported June 17. The program was first
presented in April of this year. Signing the document were the
USSR (Pavlov), and "leaders of Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,
Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, and Turkmenistan."
The RSFSR and Ukraine are prepared to sign it after a few changes
are made concerning taxes and property rights. Lithuania, Moldavia,
and Latvia abstained from signing, and Estonia and Georgia did
not take part in the document's preparation. (John Tedstrom)


MAIN DIRECTIONS OF THE ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM. The document emphasizes
that the USSR government and republics will enforce strict monetary
and fiscal policies aimed at reducing the budget deficit. The
Federation Council is to divide up internal and external debt
among the USSR and the republics as early as this month. At the
same time, gold, diamond, and hard currency resources are to
be divided up. As of July 1 the republics are to conduct their
own foreign trade independently of the Center. This includes
securing and using new commercial debt and foreign government
credits and other types of foreign assistance. The document gives
republics the legal right to barter trade, apparently both foreign
and internal. Finally, the plan calls for "internal ruble convertibility"
to be achieved by January 1992. (John Tedstrom)

PAVLOV ASKS FOR MORE POWERS. At the June 17 Supreme Soviet session,
Radio Rossii reported, Pavlov asked the legislature for expanded
powers that would allow him to make temporary, "executive" decisions
outside the current portfolio of the government, and without
the agreement of the president, the Supreme Soviet, local organs
and enterprises. Such a move could give Pavlov the ability to
control effectively all economic policy by delaying or annulling
legislation, and controlling the flow of decrees and orders coming
from the executive branch. Pavlov said he would use his powers
first to ensure the fall harvest and to tighten controls over
money and credit; he said he wants to further centralize the
banking system for now. Pavlov said that he would, as a matter
of course, inform the president or the Supreme Soviet of his
decisions. (John Tedstrom)

YAVLINSKY RETURNS TO MOSCOW. Soviet economist Grigorii Yavlinsky
has returned to Moscow after releasing to the White House and
the public the economic reform program he and US economists worked
out, Vesti reported June 17. Yavlinsky gave the document not
only to Gorbachev, but also to Yeltsin and Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbaev. Yavlinsky said that all three presidents received
the plan positively. Also on June 17, Yavlinsky met with the
group drafting the new Union treaty, republican support being
crucial for any reform program in the Soviet Union. (John Tedstrom)


PAVLOV OPPOSES YAVLINSKY PLAN. In his speech to the USSR Supreme
Soviet June 17, Pavlov attacked Yavlinsky's work. Opposition
at this level effectively could render the joint US-Soviet program
meaningless as far as policy-making and legislation are concerned.
According to Vesti, Pavlov said that "the American program undercuts
trust in the anti-crisis program of the Cabinet of Ministers."
Confusion over who determines Soviet policy clearly is growing
and is not only inhibiting the USSR's own efforts to reform its
system, but could have a direct negative impact on the willingness
of foreign governments and organizations to be supportive in
economic and financial terms. (John Tedstrom)

EBRD HEAD ON AID TO USSR. Jacques Attali, president of the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development, held talks with Gorbachev
and other Soviet officials in Moscow over the weekend. At a press
conference in Moscow June 15, as reported by TASS that day, Attali
said that the bank's aid to the USSR would be mainly technical,
dealing with the financing of concrete projects, organizing privatization,
and creating a financial infrastructure (including commercial
banks). He stressed that only those projects would be financed
that can realize a profit and that help accelerate the implementation
of reforms in the USSR. Attali would like the EBRD to lift restrictions
on lending to the USSR earlier than the planned two and a half
years, according to The Financial Times June 17. (Sallie Wise)


GORBACHEV AIDE SAYS SPLIT IN CPSU IS CLOSE. Interviewed June
17 by Le Monde, Gorbachev aide Georgii Shakhnazarov predicted
that the Union treaty will not be signed before the autumn and
it will be "at least a year" before direct elections for the
USSR president are held. A more immediate probability, in Shakhnazarov's
opinion, is a split in the CPSU. He said this could be provoked
by the call for an emergency Party Congress issued by the conservative
Aleksei Sergeev. Shakhnazarov saw matters coming to a head over
the issue of the new Party program. Pointing out that the commission
preparing the draft is headed by Gorbachev, Shakhnazarov said
the draft would be a liberal one that, he predicted, would be
supported by the majority of the Party membership. Then, he said,
the conservative wing would have to accept the majority view
or quit. (Jean Riollot/Elizabeth Teague)

SOVETSKAYA ROSSIYA ATTACKS SHEVARDNADZE. Sovetskaya Rossiya on
June 15 blamed former Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze for
turning the USSR from a great power into "a second-rate country."
As summarized by TASS June 15, the paper accused Shevardnadze
of "seeking success at the expense of giving up positions, concessions,
and sometimes direct capitulation as the only way to stay at
the center of attention." The article equated Shevardnadze's
legacy as Foreign Minister with "the results of defeat in an
unfought...third world war." In a separate press review June
15, TASS described the article as "containing fierce and insulting
attacks" on Shevardnadze, and noted that he has come under fire
since calling last week for the formation of a unified democratic
party in the USSR. (Sallie Wise)

SHEVARDNADZE EXPECTS NO HELP FROM GORBACHEV. Shevardnadze told
Russian TV June 15 that he does not expect Gorbachev to help
defend him from an investigation by the CPSU Central Control
Commission in response to his appeal for a new party (see Daily
Report, June 13). He noted that such investigations are usually
initiated "with the sanction of the General Secretary," and added,
"it will be good if I am mistaken." Shevardnadze defended his
support for a broad-based democratic party, saying "without a
competent, constructive and serious opposition, it is difficult
to talk about the construction of a law-based state." (NCA/Sallie
Wise)

AKHROMEEV SLAMS DEMOCRATS. In Molodaya gvardiya No. 5, Marshal
Sergei Akhromeev praises "new political thinking" in general,
though he claims to have--correctly, in his view--opposed from
the beginning the exclusion of naval force reductions from arms
control talks. The interview focuses on domestic politics, however,
and Akhromeev makes the following statements: reformers like
Yeltsin and Vladimir Lopatin are trying to destroy Soviet military
power (much like the bourgeois parties in Russia prior to World
War I); former Politburo member Aleksandr Yakovlev may have been
behind the media's original anti-army campaign; the CPSU must
base itself on Leninist principles and class analysis. (Stephen
Foye)

SOCIAL BACKGROUNDS OF THE HIGH COMMAND. In the same interview,
Akhromeev also claimed that as of October, 1990, there were 1,991
marshals, generals, and admirals serving in the armed forces.
He said that, of these, 48% came from working class families,
26% from the intelligentsia, 17% from military families, and
14% from the peasantry. Akhromeev rather inconsistently concluded
that the Soviet Union therefore had a workers' and peasants'
army. (Stephen Foye)

KGB, MVD, ACADEMY OF SCIENCES STUDY ETHNIC CONFLICTS. The USSR
MVD recently held a meeting of analysts from the research centers
of the KGB, the USSR Academy of Sciences, and other scientific
institutions in order to develop a concept for preventing interethnic
conflicts, TASS reported June 14. The participants recommended
creating a coordinating center to include representatives of
the abovementioned bodies, and public and political organizations.
Until recently, the USSR Academy of Sciences played one-sided
role in ethnic conflicts; for example, the prestigious Institute
of Biophysics of the USSR Academy of Sciences developed techniques
for selecting and training OMON troops, according to Ekonomika
i zhizn' No. 14. (Victor Yasmann)

ZHURNALIST UNDER ATTACK. The main journal of the USSR Journalists'
Union has been put under economic pressure by its founder, the
"Pravda" publishing house, because of outspoken material it has
recently published. Radio Rossii reported June 17 that the "Pravda"
publishing house revoked its status as the journal's founder
and thereby deprived the periodical from access to the publishing
house's printing equipment. The reason is that Zhurnalist, for
years a boring and conservative journal, has suddenly changed
its position this year and started to publish outspoken data
on violations of the press law by CPSU officials. Commenting
on the incident, Radio Rossii emphasized that CPSU officialdom
is attempting to replace political censorship (banned by the
press law) with economic sanctions against "disobedient periodicals."
(Vera Tolz)

MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI DEFENDS PATRIARCH ALEKSII. In a full-page
interview with Moskovskie novosti No. 23, Patriarch Aleksii II
answered questions about his policy and political attitude. The
purpose of the interview, as stated in the introduction, is to
refute accusations in the press that, according to various publications'
own political stand, the Patriarch is guilty of deviations either
to the right or to the left. Among these accusations are the
statements that the Patriarch is a monarchist, that he is against
Orthodox parishes joining the Russian Orthodox Church abroad,
and that he signed "The Letter of 53" (in which 53 People's Deputies
demanded a "strong hand" from the President). Patriarch Aleksii
II answered all these allegations in the negative. (Oxana Antic)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN HAS NEW 100-DAY REFORM PLAN. In his first statement after
his election, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin said that improvements
in the economy will not come until the end of next year. In an
interview with Russian TV on June 15, Yeltsin called for patience
and seemed concerned about the responsibilities he now bears.
Yeltsin stressed that he wants to present a new 100-day reform
plan to the RSFSR parliament. His senior aide, Lev Sukhanov,
predicted that Yeltsin will soon issue a decree outlawing the
network of Communist party cells in enterprises and government
institutions in order to break the Party's control over the economy.
(Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN STARTS NEW RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY. Yeltsin arrives in
Washington today (June 18) at the invitation of the US Congress,
Western news agencies report today. He is expected to meet with
US President George Bush. The official spokesman of the Soviet
Foreign Ministry, Vitalii Churkin, welcomed his visit but said
that "it will take some work for Russia to achieve the kind of
relationship we [the center] now have with the United States."
Western agencies reported June 17 that the Japanese government,
disappointed over Gorbachev's refusal to return the Kurile Islands,
is now considering inviting Yeltsin to Tokyo. Yeltsin, however,
stated just last week that returning the islands at present is
"out of the question" (see Daily Report, June 13). (Alexander
Rahr)

FURTHER DETAILS ON ELECTIONS. Votes for the RSFSR presidential
elections now have been counted in 84 out of 88 RSFSR constituencies.
According to TASS on June 17, Yeltsin received 57.4% of the votes,
Nikolai Ryzhkov--17.3%, Vladimir Zhirinovsky--7.9%, Aman Tuleev--6.1%,
Albert Makashov--3.8%. Former Interior Minister Vadim Bakatin
finished last and received only 3.5%. Yeltsin won in almost all
electoral districts. In ethnic Russian regions, he lost only
in Kemerovo--to the local popular leader Tuleev; he also won
in most of the autonomous republics and regions, except North
Ossetia, Tuva ASSR, the Gorno-Altai autonomous region and the
Aginsky-Buryat autonomous region. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR TV COMPLAINS ABOUT POOR TECHNOLOGICAL BASE. Representatives
of RSFSR TV have complained about their poor technical equipment,
the channel's news program Vesti reported June 13. The program
said that the central leadership gave its final permission to
create full-time Russian TV only as a result of Gorbachev's meeting
with representatives of nine republics (including the RSFSR)
in Novo-Ogarevo at the end of April. On June 15, central Soviet
TV attacked RSFSR television for its comment about equipment
problems. Central television said that it gave everything that
was demanded by the RSFSR government to the republican television.
(Vera Tolz)

RUSSIAN MVD FIGHTS SHADOW ECONOMY AND ORGANIZED CRIME. About
one third of criminal groups in the RSFSR are closely involved
with the shadow economy, said the chief of the Detective Department
of the Moscow Criminal Police, Mikhail Egorov, to Radio Rossii
June 13. His department, which is part of the RSFSR MVD, was
created to fight "powerful mafiosi syndicates in Russia." It
will "monitor criminal connections of government officials, collect
information on bosses of the shadow economy, and prevent efforts
to use the mafia in actions inspired by national hatred and terrorism,"
Egorov explained. The Moscow Criminal Police emerged as result
of a compromise this April, when Gorbachev created the federal
Main MVD Administration for the Moscow region, while the Moscow
city Soviet obtained the right to set up its own police. (Victor
Yasmann)

KAZAKHSTAN SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH ALL-UNION MINISTRIES. In what
was regarded as an important precursor to the signing of the
new Union treaty, Kazakh President Nazarbaev met June 17 with
the ministers of the coal industry (Mikhail Shchadov), metallurgy
(Oleg Syskovets), and the radio industry (Vladimer Shimko) to
organize the transfer of these ministries' enterprises to Kazakhstan's
jurisdiction, Radio Mayak reported the same day. Nazarbaev said
that he wanted full responsibility to work on problems in these
branches and that Moscow has been weak and ineffective in these
areas. Syskovets stressed that other republics have or are planning
to take over his ministry's plants on their territories. Shimko
hinted that he saw similar arrangements coming in other republics
as well. This is a big step for Kazakhstan, which just last week
passed a law on privatization, and will likely serve as an example
for other republics. (John Tedstrom)

FOKIN EXPLAINS LAW ON JURISDICTION OVER UNION PROPERTY. In an
interview with Vremya June 16, Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold
Fokin said that the Ukrainian law on jurisdiction over Union
enterprises in Ukraine has been misunderstood. He said his government
had no intention of owning such enterprises, as the law was interpreted
by the center, but simply wanted to exercise control over decisions,
especially those concerning joint ventures and privatization,
made by the present owners. Fokin said every government in the
world exercises such control. He claimed that his government
had a bad experience with the transfer of the coal industry to
republican ownership, and that it now realizes that it simply
cannot afford to "own" all industries on Ukrainian soil. Moscow
follows such transfers by cutting off the industry's access to
central resources, research, and technology. As a result, Fokin
said, his government is now negotiating very carefully the transfer
of the metallurgical industry to the republic. (Valentyn Moroz)


ROMANIANS IN UKRAINE APPEAL TO ROMANIA. Romania's main opposition
newspaper, Romania Libera, published June 11 an appeal to the
Romanian parliament from the Romanian associations in northern
Bukovina, an area of historic Moldavia which was annexed by the
USSR from Romania during World War II and attached to Ukraine.
Complaining of cultural and political discrimination against
the Romanian population, the associations accused the Ukrainian
government of ignoring their petitions and refusing any dialogue.
The associations called for a tripartite convention on the protection
of ethnic rights to be negotiated by the Ukrainian, Moldavian,
and Romanian governments. They also proposed that the three governments
sponsor an international conference to discuss "Romanian historic
rights" in northern Bukovina. (Vladimir Socor)

SAUDI KING TO PAY FOR 5,000 SOVIET PILGRIMS. Russian television
reported June 17 that the Saudi king had offered to pay all the
expenses of the pilgrimage to Mecca for 5,000 Soviet Muslims.
Last year the Saudi king paid all the expenses in Saudi Arabia
for the 1,500 or so Soviet pilgrims. Meanwhile Makhachkala, where
a state of emergency was declared after violent protests took
place over the cost of the pilgrimage, is reported quiet. (Ann
Sheehy)


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

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