|As courage endagers life even so fear preserves it. - Leonardo Da Vinci|
No. 117, 21 June 1991
BALTIC STATES BALTIC QUESTION AT CSCE CONFERENCE. At the concluding meeting of the CSCE conference in Berlin on June 20, Danish Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen urged Moscow to refrain from violence and intimidation in the Baltic republics and to open negotiations on their independence, Western agencies reported that day. USSR Deputy Foreign Minister Yulii Kvitsinsky responded that the Baltics were an internal Soviet affair that should not be discussed at the CSCE. That day the three Baltic foreign ministers met with German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher for a second time. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas expressed his satisfaction with the conference, noting the creation of an informal group of statesmen from CSCE nations to support the Baltic states, Radio Vilnius reported that day. (Saulius Girnius) LANDSBERGIS MEETS MITTERAND. Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis held talks with French President Francois Mitterrand in Paris on June 20 for more than an hour, VOA's Lithuanian Service reported June 21. Landsbergis informed Mitterrand about the current situation in Lithuania, its efforts to gain recognition and aid from abroad. Mitterrand expressed concern regarding Soviet attacks on Baltic customs posts, and said that he would discuss the matter with British Prime Minister John Major and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. The two leaders also discussed the establishment of a Lithuanian information center in Paris and a French counterpart in Vilnius. (Gytis Liulevicius) GENOCIDE OF JEWS REMEMBERED IN LITHUANIA. On June 21 Radio Independent Lithuania reported that the genocide of Jews in Lithuania was commemorated on June 20 in Vilnius with the dedication of a monument in memory of the 70,000 Jews who perished there under Nazi rule. More than 100 relatives of the victims, headed by Israeli Knesset President Dov Shilanski, attended the ceremonies that were broadcast directly (via satellite) to Israel. Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius and deputy parliament chairman Kazimieras Motieka spoke at the ceremonies. On June 21 two exhibits commemorating the tragedy will open at the Jewish Museum and the Palace of Art Exhibitions. Other commemorative services will be held in Kaunas and at the former Pravieniskes concentration camp on June 22. (Saulius Girnius) GOVERNMENT DECREE FOR GHETTO PRISONERS. On June 20 the Lithuanian government issued a decree entitling former ghetto prisoners to the same compensation benefits as rehabilitated deportees from the Republic of Lithuania. It also established a commission, headed by parliament deputy Emanuelis Zingeris, to determine how to commemorate the memory of the prisoners of the Kaunas and Siauliai ghettoes. It also granted the Lithuanian Jewish Cultural Center 100,000 rubles, and called on local authorities to ensure the upkeep of Jewish graves and other memorial sites. (Gytis Liulevicius) USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS GORBACHEV WANTS FASTER DISMANTLING OF OLD SYSTEM. USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev is fighting back hardliners' attempts to push him from power. Yesterday he accused them of being "out of touch" with the country, and said that the Soviet Union would seek Western assistance to finance a rapid transition to the market economy, according to The Los Angeles Times on June 21. Gorbachev stressed, during a meeting with President of the European Commission Jacques Delors, that it is now necessary to speed up the pace of Soviet reforms, so as to complete the dismantling of the old system and create a new one, TASS reported on June 20. (Alexander Rahr) DELORS: USSR SHOULDN'T EXPECT MIRACLES FROM WEST. Delors met with Gorbachev and Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov yesterday (June 20) to discuss plans for Soviet economic reform and EC aid to the USSR. During Delors' visit, a program for technical assistance was initialled, TASS reported June 20. At a press conference after his meeting with Gorbachev, Delors cautioned that Gorbachev should not "expect miracles" from his meeting with G-7 leaders next month, Western agencies reported. Meanwhile, TASS reported June 19 that the first shipment of EC food aid has arrived in Moscow and is being distributed to hospitals, orphanages, and needy families. (Sallie Wise) CSCE PLAN FOR CRISIS MEETINGS. The CSCE foreign ministers' conference which ended in Berlin yesterday produced a mechanism to convene meetings in the event of crises that threaten European security. RFE/RL's correspondent in Berlin and Western agencies reported June 20 that the plan would allow any CSCE member-state to call for a meeting in the event of an emergency situation, as long as it is supported by eleven other member-states. No country can delay a meeting, even if it disputes the reason for convening it. The CSCE principle of consensus will still apply to resolutions passed by such meetings, meaning that any one country can veto proposed action. But diplomats in Berlin called the mechanism a step forward. The USSR had opposed the plan as threatening intervention in internal affairs. (Sallie Wise) WHAT THE CSCE MECHANISM IMPLIES. Although diplomats in Berlin conceded that the plan lacks teeth when it comes to actually solving crises, it nevertheless provides a forum for discussing the causes of a crisis. Many diplomats seemed to have the recent case of violence in the Baltic States in mind. In the event of any future violence there, for instance, the USSR could be queried about the situation and could not block CSCE debate on the issue, although it could veto the dispatch of a fact-finding mission to the scene of the emergency. (Sallie Wise) BAKER, BESSMERTNYKH FAIL TO REACH START AGREEMENT. US Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh failed to reach agreement on a START treaty following a two-hour meeting in Berlin on June 20, Western agencies reported. The hold-up stems from nagging disagreements on three issues: the number of warheads to be loaded onto each missile; the means by which missile test information is transmitted; and the rules for defining new types of missiles. While the two ministers seemed to indicate that differences had narrowed somewhat, Baker was more pessimistic than Bessmertnykh about a quick break-through that would open the way for a summit. (Stephen Foye) GERMANY TO COMMEMORATE INVASION. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl will speak on Soviet television on June 22 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nazi attack on the USSR. Based on Soviet speculation this week that Kohl would visit the USSR on or near this anniversary, it appears that the Kremlin favored a personal appearance and speech by Kohl marking the anniversary (see Daily Report, June 19). Meanwhile, Kohl said on June 20 that his trip to the Soviet Union would take place within the next two weeks, before the G-7 summit in London, agencies and German television reported June 20. (Suzanne Crow) SOVIET-GERMAN COMMEMORATION OF INVASION. German President Richard von Weizsäcker, along with Soviet ambassador to Germany Vladislav Terekhov and Commander of the GSFG, General Matvei Burlakov, will lay wreaths at the Soviet and German memorials at cemeteries near Potsdam on June 22. (Suzanne Crow) BONN, MOSCOW AGREE ON CONTRACTS. The German Economics Ministry June 20 reported an agreement with the Soviet Union guaranteeing German firms a certain share of the remaining contracts for building apartments for returning Soviet soldiers. The agreement stipulates that eastern German enterprises will receive at least 20% of all work, regardless of who is the main contractor. It says 70% of the building materials must be purchased from German firms. (Suzanne Crow) GERMAN OFFER TAKES USSR BY SURPRISE. Soviet UN mission spokesman Yurii Chizhik told RFE/RL's UN correspondent on June 20 that his government was "surprised" by Germany's offer to hold the proposed 1993 world conference on human rights in Berlin. Germany's ambassador to the UN, Detlev Rantzau, made the suggestion in a letter to UN General Secretary Javier Perez de Cuellar. Chizhik said his government had "more or less taken it for granted" that the meeting would take place in the USSR. The USSR has long pressed the UN for such an event and last year offered Moscow as the venue. The UN will consider both invitations when the General Assembly convenes this fall. (Suzanne Crow) SOVIETS OFFER MIG-31'S TO ISRAEL. Soviet Aircraft Industry Minister Apollon Systsov reportedly shocked Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Arens at the Paris Air Show on June 19 when he offered to sell Israel any defensive weaponry it might want, including advanced MIG-31 fighters. Western agencies reported that Systsov told Arens in front of reporters that "with just three MIG-31's, you could protect all of Israel." Systsov said that the sales would have to wait until full diplomatic relations were established with Israel, but claimed this would happen very soon. He also disclosed that Moscow and Israel had agreed to jointly produce a civilian executive jet, called the Astra IV. (Stephen Foye) CUBA DISCUSSED. Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh said on June 20 the United States and Soviet Union "have discussed the situation around Cuba..." and "what the Soviet Union was doing in helping to first stabilize and then to improve the relationship between Cuba and the United States." Bessmertnykh hinted that the USSR is putting pressure on Cuba to refrain from aiding Salvadoran rebels. Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Bernard Aronson, said on June 20 that the USSR is "reluctant to jettison a 32-year-old relationship" with Cuba, Knight-Ridder newspapers and the Journal of Commerce reported June 21. (Suzanne Crow) KARMAL REPORTED BACK IN KABUL. Former Afghan President Babrak Karmal, who has spent the last five years in exile in the USSR, reportedly has returned to Afghanistan, according to Western agencies June 20. He is said to have arrived in Kabul by air yesterday. Karmal was seen to address a group of Afghan students at Sheremetevo airport before leaving, saying his return was "a result of a decision of the people and the party." (Sallie Wise) VOLKOGONOV FIRED OVER WWII HISTORY? There are reports out of Moscow that Colonel-General Dmitrii Volkogonov, chief of the Defense Ministry's Institute of Military History, has been fired as a result of criticism directed at a history of World War II produced by his institute. Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on June 19 that it had "recently" heard of Volkogonov's replacement. It also claimed that the first volume of History of the Patriotic War, edited by Volkogonov's institute, will not be published. Volkogonov reportedly pointed to the April issue of Voenno-Istorichesky zhurnal--in which Marshal Sergei Akhromeev called him a "crying anticommunist"--as the reason for his removal. On June 20, according to Soviet media sources, Akhromeev told reporters he had banned publication of Volkogonov's history because it was full of lies and inaccuracies. (Stephen Foye) PAVLOV, SILAEV, AND YAVLINSKY. TASS June 20 reviewed the positions regarding the Yavlinsky-Harvard plan of two important players in the USSR economic reform debate, Prime Minister Pavlov and RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silaev. Pavlov is maintaining his objections to the plan, arguing that it undermines his government's anti-crisis program which nine republics have signed. Silaev, on the other hand, said he supported the Yavlinsky-Harvard plan, but did not intend to stray from the program for economic reform developed for the RSFSR. Silaev had earlier been more supportive of Yavlinsky's efforts, calling the young, radical economist a valued adviser. (John Tedstrom) MARXIST PLATFORM CALLS FOR EARLY CPSU CONGRESS. Charging that the actions of Gorbachev and other leaders are in direct conflict with their declared support of the Soviet Union's socialist choice, the Marxist Platform has issued a call for the convening of the 29th Party Congress at the end of this year, TASS reported June 20. Prior to the congress, the Marxist Platform, which places itself on the middle of the political spectrum inside the CPSU, wants a general Party discussion on the Party's situation and its new program to be held. The aim of the discussion and the congress would be to clearly define the Party's political stance and its programmatic aims. (Dawn Mann) COMMUNIST INITIATIVE TO MEET. The Movement of Communist Initiative (DKI), which groups orthodox Communists from across the Soviet Union, will meet in Moscow on June 29-30, TASS reported June 20. This meeting marks a continuation of the DKI's second congress, which opened last month in Leningrad. The DKI is crafting a draft program for the CPSU that would re-instate the pre-perestroika approach to political, economic, and social life. DKI charges that the Party's leaders have betrayed the principles of Marxism. (Dawn Mann) ZHIRINOVSKY WANTS TO RUN FOR USSR PRESIDENCY. The leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said he wants to run for President of the Soviet Union, according to TASS on June 20. Zhirinovsky, who placed third in the RSFSR presidential elections, advocates reinstituting the Russian empire on the territory of the Soviet Union. He is said to be supported by hardliners in the KGB. The next USSR presidential elections are scheduled for March 1995. But according to the April 23 agreement between Gorbachev and nine republican leaders, they could be held at the beginning of next year. (Alexander Rahr) KGB ON NEW FACE OF AGENCY. The KGB is satisfied by the fact that more than 2,000 publications about the agency were printed in the central media last year, said Chief of the KGB Public Relations Center Aleksandr Karabainov in an interview with Pravda June 8 and 9. (The new law on the KGB stipulates that all media reports about the secret service must be officialy cleared by the KGB). Karabainov said that glasnost' now extends to the KGB budget, which is 4.9 billion rubles for this year. Karabainov did not mention the fact that the foreign part of the KGB budget is spent in hard currency, while KGB domestic expenses are hidden in the budget of other institutions. In another development, the senior officer of the Administration for Protection of the Constitutional Order, Yury Sai, said his subdivision now is working on localization of mass disturbances. (Victor Yasmann) KGB ON ECONOMIC CRIMES, CORRUPTION, CONTRABAND. In the same collective interview, Chief of the newly-created KGB Administration for Fighting Organized Crime A. Konnov said he is concerned about the penetration of criminal elements into political life. The extension of international mafia activity to Soviet territory, due to the opening of the Soviet economy, as well as fusing domestic organized crime with the shadow economy, also poses a threat to the economic interests of the USSR, he added. A. Grinenko from Administration of Economic Counter-Intelligence said his body is concentrating on preventing illegal exports from the USSR of valuable resources, and in particular, oil products. Last year, about 30,000 attempts to smuggle icons and other artifacts from the USSR were reported. These are considered national assets of the country. (Victor Yasmann) USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS YELTSIN DEFENDS GORBACHEV. Yeltsin said yesterday that recent Kremlin hardliners' attempts to oust Gorbachev won't succeed. Western news agencies June 20 quoted him as saying in Washington that only the USSR Congress of People's Deputies could remove Gorbachev, but that this legislative body will support the USSR President, not Pavlov. Yeltsin emphasized that nothing in Soviet politics could now be done without him. In a speech at Washington's National Press Club, Yeltsin repeated his pledge that Russia will not turn back from the path of reform. He also said that he intends to reduce and control the KGB on Russian soil, according to The New York Times on June 21. (Alexander Rahr) COMMUNISTS WANT COALITION WITH POPOV. Yurii Prokof'ev, the Moscow Communist Party boss, said that Communists don't want to become the opposition in the Moscow city administration. Prokof'ev told TASS on June 20 that he and the newly elected mayor Gavriil Popov have agreed on a coalition city government. He admitted that the CPSU has no program for radical reform. TASS reported on the same day that Popov's previous deputy, the reformist Nikolai Gonchar, was elected new chairman of the Moscow City Council. (Alexander Rahr) ALKSNIS ADVOCATES FORCE IN GEORGIA. Soyuz leader Colonel Viktor Alksnis told Sovetskaya Rossiya June 20 that force should be used "strictly within the framework of the law" in order to resolve the ongoing conflict in Georgia over Ossetian autonomy. As quoted by agency summaries June 20, Alksnis argued that "further talks and persuasion ... will result only in more suffering, hardship and even bloodshed for hundreds of thousands of people", and that Gorbachev was tackling the issue "by purely theoretical means ... which have nothing to do with real life." (Liz Fuller) UKRAINE AND BELORUSSIA TO ELECT PRESIDENTS. The Belorussian Supreme Soviet voted June 20 to create the post of president of the republic, TASS reported. Unexpectedly, a majority rejected a conservative-backed proposal to choose the first president from among current people's deputies. TASS did not say when the first direct election will be held. Meanwhile, in Kiev, the Ukrainian parliament has started to debate the issue of when to hold a presidential election in Ukraine. Arguments were heard in favor of scheduling the ballot as early as this autumn, according to Radio Kiev on June 20. (Kathy Mihalisko) QUESTIONS TO KRAVCHUK ON UNION TREATY NEGOTIATIONS. In an especially stormy discussion on June 19 in the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, radical deputies demanded that chairman Leonid Kravchuk make available stenographic reports and other materials related to the work of the Union treaty preparation committee. They also insisted on more glasnost' concerning the deliberations of the central authorities in order to judge their impact on Ukrainian interests. In a Radio Kiev-3 broadcast on June 20, people's deputy Genrikh Altunyan was heard saying "we have the right to know what was said about Ukraine" at a recent meeting between Grechko, Yazov and Pugo. (Kathy Mihalisko) ORSHA WORKERS ON HUNGER STRIKE. Members of the Orsha City Strike Committee in Belorussia began a hunger strike this week to protest repressive measures against local labor activists, according to Radio Rossii and other sources on June 20. The reprisals include a spate of dismissals from the Orsha bread factory. Two of those on hunger strike, Mykalai Razumau and Yurii San'ka, led a blockade in April of a major Soviet railroad artery that passes through Orsha, for which they face possible criminal charges. The hunger strikers were roughed up by unknown thugs on June 20. (Kathy Mihalisko) UKRAINIAN-ITALIAN TRADE VENTURE. The trade association "Italy-Ukraine" has signed a cooperation agreement with the Ukrainian Association of Small Businesses, Radio Kiev reported June 15. A number of joint ventures are in the pipeline, the radio said. Italians also want to open a center for advertising Ukrainian products at the permanent trade exhibit in Verona and are willing to provide free office space for this purpose, the report said. (Valentyn Moroz) UKRAINIAN BRANCH OF "DYNAMO" GAINS INDEPENDENCE FROM MOSCOW. The Ukrainian branch of "Dynamo", a sports association serving workers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, KGB, militia, and customs, has been legally independent of the organization's central authorities since last October, Sportyvna hazeta reported June 13. Recent price increases forced the Ukrainian branch's management to revise its financial ties to the central management of "Dynamo" as well and conduct them on an "agreement" basis. The Ukrainian branch of "Dynamo" has continued to transfer most of its members' dues to Moscow, but in the future it will pay the central authorities for only those services that are agreed on in advance, such as training of athletes and coaches, equipment supplies, etc. The Ukrainian branch of "Dynamo" will consider itself independent of Moscow until the new Union treaty is signed and until then will coordinate only economic matters with Moscow. (Valentyn Moroz) MOLDAVIAN VOTERS' PREFERENCES POLLED. The Sociological Institute of the Moldavian Academy of Sciences and the Romanian Institute for the Study of Public Opinion released through Moldovapres June 19 the results of a poll they conducted early this month on a representative sample of Moldavia's voters. Asked how they would vote if parliamentary elections were held the next day, 15% said they would vote for the Moldavian Popular Front; 21% for several Moldavian groups allied to the Popular Front in the Front-led Alliance for Independence; 8% for the (mainly Moldavian) National Christian Party; 7% for the (multiethnic) Social-Democrat Party (both of which favor independent Moldavian statehood); 8% for the Communist Party, and 7% for the (mainly Russian) Internationalist Movement Edinstvo; 18% were undecided, and 16% did not intend to vote. (Vladimir Socor) CONSENSUS WITHIN A DIVERSIFIED SPECTRUM. The poll shows a shift of Moldavian voters' allegiance from the Popular Front toward the incipient political parties which have grown out of the original Front. It also reflects the growing sophistication of Moldavian voters in making their choice based on more than just national criteria. The poll shows a Moldavian consensus in favor of independence crystallizing within a diversified political spectrum. Those voting for the Communist Party and those intending to refrain from voting are likely to be mostly non-natives. (Vladimir Socor) KAZAKHSTAN TO TAKE OVER JURISDICTION FOR ENTERPRISES. As of July 1, all enterprises of all-Union subordination located in Kazakhstan will be transferred to Kazakh jurisdiction, according to Radio Moscow June 20. This includes defense industry enterprises. One of the major ramifications of this move will be changes in the republic's fiscal revenues and spending patterns as enterprises pay taxes directly to republican budgets. (John Tedstrom)
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