I'm going to turn on the light, and we'll be two people in a room looking at each other and wondering why on earth we were afraid of the dark. - Gale Wilhelm
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 119, 25 June 1991



BALTIC STATES





MOSCOW PROTESTS COUNCIL OF EUROPE'S BALTIC HEARING. The Council
of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, which begins a five-day meeting
in Helsinki June 25, plans to discuss Baltic affairs on June
27. The USSR, which has special-guest status at the Assembly,
objected to the agenda several weeks ago, Western agencies reported
June 24. Olli Rehn, head of the Finnish delegation, said that
the USSR regards any international discussions on the Baltic
States as interference in its internal affairs. Supreme Council
chairmen Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania, Anatolijs Gorbunovs
of Latvia, and Arnold Ruutel of Estonia are expected to attend
the closed-door hearing on June 27. (Gytis Liulevicius)

INTERNATIONALIZING THE BALTIC QUESTION. Estonia's Foreign Minister
Lennart Meri told reporters in Helsinki on June 24 that efforts
"to internationalize the Baltic crisis...have been pretty successful,"
a Western agency reported that day. Meri's remarks came on the
heels of Baltic participation as guests of the Nordic delegations
in the Berlin CSCE foreign ministers' meeting last week and in
advance of a meeting this week of the Council of Europe and next
week at the EC summit in Luxembourg, both of which will discuss
the Baltic question. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIAN KGB AND THE PARTY. The Estonian KGB no longer has "a
direct line" to the Estonian Communist Party, according to an
RFE Estonian Service interview broadcast on June 24. KGB chief
Rein Sillar told RFE that his only contact with independent ECP
first secretary Enn-Arno Sillari is privately, "as a friend."
Sillar said the KGB is looking for a new niche to replace its
old function of being the party's ideological watchdog. He said
that the agency should continue to engage in espionage and counter-espionage,
but for the state and not the Communist Party. Sillar confirmed
that the KGB still eavesdrops on telephone conversations and
that the service remains subordinated to Moscow, not Tallinn.
(Riina Kionka)

FUNERAL OF ARCHBISHOP STEPONAVICIUS. On June 24 funeral services
for Archbishop of Vilnius Julijonas Steponavicius were held in
Vilnius Cathedral, Radio Independent Lithuania reported that
day. Steponavicius died on June 18 and his body lay in state
in the cathedral to allow thousands of people to pay him their
last respects. The funeral Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Vincentas
Sladkevicius together with the bishops of Lithuania, the papal
pro-nuncio from the Netherlands Audris Backis who came as the
Pope's special representative, the archbishop of Moscow, and
the bishops of Lomza, Bialystok, and Novosibirsk. Bishop Sigitas
Tamkevicius gave the main sermon. Steponavicius was buried in
a crypt in the cathedral. (Saulius Girnius)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



KRYUCHKOV SLAMS WEST. In a hard-line speech to a closed session
of the USSR Supreme Soviet on June 18, KGB Chief Vladimir Kryuchkov
said that the West was trying to undermine the Soviet system
by pretending to support perestroika, and he accused the CIA
of plotting to destroy the Soviet economy. Kryuchkov's statements
were aired on June 22 by the controversial Leningrad TV journalist,
Alexander Nevzorov, Western agencies reported. Kryuchkov said
that Soviet plans for economic reform and attempts to gain Western
aid amounted to capitulation, and would give the West leverage
over Soviet internal affairs. He also claimed that the West wants
Moscow to make "intolerable" defense cuts. (Stephen Foye)

WHILE YAZOV SAYS ARMED FORCES THREATENED. During the same session,
the Soviet Defense Minister complained that political turmoil
and economic collapse threaten the existence of the Soviet armed
forces. Western agencies report that the speech was published
in the June 24 Politics, the weekly newspaper of the hard-line
"Soyuz" faction. Yazov claimed that only 6% of eligible conscripts
have been drafted this spring in Georgia, Armenia, and the Baltic
republics, and slammed what he suggested were attempts to break
up the army. Yazov also complained that the half-million man
unilateral reduction ordered by Gorbachev in 1988 had forced
the discharge of 100,000 officers, including 35,000 not entitled
to pensions, and decried the housing shortages faced by officers.
(Stephen Foye)

PUGO COMPLAINS ABOUT RISING CRIME. The same issue of Politika
published excerpts from the speech of interior minister Boris
Pugo in the Supreme Soviet in which the latter criticized Gorbachev's
indecisiveness and came out in favor of a partial transfer of
Gorbachev's powers to premier Pavlov. Pugo complained in his
speech about the crime situation in the country and said that
police had confiscated 52,000 firearms and 4.5 tons of explosives
since August of last year. (Alexander Rahr)

SOYUZ AGAINST DRAFT UNION TREATY. The hardline Soyuz faction
in the Soviet parliament denounced the latest draft of the Union
treaty, saying it calls for the elimination of the USSR as a
single, federal state. TASS on June 24 quoted Soyuz leader Yurii
Blokhin as saying that the draft is in conflict with the results
of the March referendum on the preservation of the Soviet Union.
Blokhin stated that his faction supports premier Valentin Pavlov
and regards Gorbachev's policy as "inadequate" to solve the country's
problems. (Alexander Rahr)

SUPREME SOVIET MOVES ON PRIVATIZATION. The USSR Supreme Soviet
came one step closer to adopting a draft law on "destatification
and privatization" June 24. A TASS report in Russian of the same
day says that the draft was approved on second reading. The TASS
report contradicts, somewhat, Western reports about the scope
of privatization in Soviet industry. TASS says that, according
to government forecasts distributed among deputies, "by the end
of 1995 the share of state participation in the creation of joint
stock companies in machine building will total 10-15 percent,
in metallurgy 20-30 percent, in transportation, fuel and energy,
in defense 30-50 percent, and in communications 50-70 percent."
(John Tedstrom)

IS THIS PRIVATIZATION? Most of the changes resulting from the
law--when it is passed and implemented--will be in the form of
destatification, not privatization. The USSR state will still
"own" most of the enterprises and associations, but control will
be handed over to the public through stock offerings. The draft
law rejects the idea of handing over property to the public free
of charge. The final passage of the bill through the parliament
is likely to be easy, but its adoption is not certain. At the
June 24 supreme soviet session, former Politburo member Egor
Ligachev spoke out strongly against it. Others declared it unconstitutional.
Further action is expected Friday, June 28. (John Tedstrom)

FURTHER SLUMP IN RUBLE. At the June 18 session of the Moscow
foreign exchange market, the US dollar fetched 42 rubles, compared
with 39.6 rubles on June 11, according to The Financial Times
of June 20. The exchange director attributed the slump partly
to the USSR Ministry of Finances' decision earlier this month
to tax revenues from sales of hard currency. In an effort to
limit demand for hard currency, the USSR Gosbank this month assumed
powers to reject applications for valyuta to import cars, PCs,
and other consumer durables. The exchange director is quoted
as estimating that Soviet enterprises hold about $10 billion
in hard currency. This would be freed if the ruble became convertible.
(Keith Bush)

CENTRAL BANK'S GOLD RESERVES REVEALED. An official of the USSR
Gosbank told a Vienna conference on gold that the bank's gold
reserves totalled 374.5 tons, worth about $4.4 billion, The Financial
Times reported June 25. He declined to disclose the Soviet Union's
total gold stocks, as this was still regarded as a commercial
secret. It is thought that the USSR will be obliged to reveal
details of its gold and monetary reserves if it is accorded associate
membership in the IMF. (Keith Bush)

DRACONIAN CUSTOMS LEVIES INSTITUTED. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet
will consider the new customs duties that are due to take effect
on July 1, Izvestia reported June 21. Some of the draconian rates
on consumer goods imported by mail or brought in by Soviet tourists
were cited by Komsomol'skaya pravda on June 15. They include
rates of 100-400 rubles per kilogram of cigarettes, cigars, or
tobacco, and 10,000-70,000 rubles for passenger cars. Since the
days of the USSR Main Administration for State Customs are numbered,
it is feared that these penal increases in customs duties may
stay on the books. (Keith Bush)

GORBACHEV DECREE ON MILITARY COUNCILS. On June 22 Gorbachev signed a decree
defining the status of military councils within the Soviet armed forces,
KGB troops, MVD troops, and Railroad forces. The decree describes military
councils as permanently functioning collegial organs of the military-political
leadership. Military Councils are to be composed of the relevant
commander (chief), his first deputy commanders (chiefs), Chief
of Staff and Head of the Political Directorate (dept.). More
significantly, the decree calls for inclusion, by order of the
president through the USSR Defense Council, of locally elected
leaders, including leading Republican and regional officials.
The councils are tasked with overseeing military activities in
the region. (Stephen Foye)

GOVERNMENT TO NEGOTIATE WITH EMPLOYERS' ASSOCIATIONS. The Soviet
government has announced (Izvestia, June 17, 1991) that it will
for the first time negotiate with employers' associations as
well as the trade unions over the socio-economic aspects of the
1992 plan. Specifically mentioned is the League of Scientific
and Industrial Associations of the USSR (Nauchno-promyshlennyi
Soyuz SSSR) which, under its president Arkadii Vol'sky, celebrated
its first birthday on June 16 and which models itself on the
employers' associations of the developed industrialized nations.
(Elizabeth Teague)

EXECUTIVE STRUCTURE OF MOSCOW REVAMPED. The mayor of Moscow,
Gavriil Popov, has issued instructions outlining a new administrative
structure for the city. Moscow city council member Andrei Bondarenko
told Radio Rossii on June 24 that a city duma, a city assembly,
a mayoral department, an administrative affairs department, and
a city government will be established. The city duma will study
long-range questions and coordinate the work of the city with
republican and national authorities. The city assembly will bring
together city officials and members of "Democratic Russia," the
city CPSU committee, and the city trade unions, as well as representatives
of creative, ecological, religious, and a variety of other groups.
The city government, which will replace the existing executive
committee of the city council, will be headed by the mayor and
will direct all economic activities; the chairman of the present
executive committee, Yurii Luzhkov, will serve as premier. (Dawn
Mann)

BATTLE OVER TELEVISION CONTINUES. In the continuing battle over
television, Mikhail Gorbachev issued a decree June 24, by which
the outspoken Leningrad Television was made a branch of the All-Union
State Television and Radio Company. Boris Petrov, formerly of
the Leningrad TV and Radio Committee, was appointed deputy chief
of the all-Union company. The news was announced in Leningrad
on June 24 by the head of the all-Union Company, Leonid Kravchenko,
the central and RSFSR media reported. Earlier this year, the
Leningrad city Soviet in cooperation with employees of Leningrad
TV adopted a decision to make Leningrad TV a share-holding company,
a decision in effect annulled by Gorbachev's decree. "Radio Rossii"
said Leningrad mayor Anatolii Sobchak strongly protested Gorbachev's
decree. (Vera Tolz)

SALVATION ARMY TO RETURN TO USSR. The head of the Salvation Army
announced June 21 that the charitable Christian association hopes
soon to reestablish its activities in the USSR. These ceased
in 1924. General Eva Burrows said she will visit Leningrad July
6-7 to retake control of a building that the Salvation Army owned
in the 1920s. The Army also hopes to become active in Moscow.
(Elizabeth Teague)

MINISTER DENIES MIG-31 SALE TO ISRAEL. Aircraft Industry Minister
Apollon Systsov has denied Western reports that the Soviet Union
offered to sell advanced MIG-31 fighters to Israel last week
during the Paris Air Show, Reuter reported on June 24. His comments
appeared in Izvestia on June 24. "The MIG-31 was demonstrated
only as an example of Soviet scientific and manufacturing potential,"
Systsov said, "no other country has this aircraft and we are
not offering it for sale." He called such reports "sheer fiction."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Vitalyii Churkin has also denied Moscow's
intentions to sell the weapons. (Stephen Foye)

KOHL TO MEET GORBACHEV IN KIEV JULY 5. Chancellor Helmut Kohl
will meet Gorbachev in Kiev on July 5, it was announced June
24. A German government spokesman said the two leaders had agreed
on the date and site in a telephone call June 24. He said the
talks in Kiev would last several hours. The date means they will
take place after the European Community summit meeting in Luxembourg
and ten days before the world economic summit conference in London,
both of which are expected to discuss Western aid to the Soviet
Union. (Mikhail Wall)

FINNISH PRESIDENT IN MOSCOW. Finnish president Mauno Koivisto,
at a dinner June 24 hosted by Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev,
expressed concern about a sharp decline in Finnish-Soviet trade.
Koivisto said political cooperation between the two states if
"stable, good and substantive, but the situation in economic
links "has been causing concern." Koivisto attributed the problems
to the Soviet Union's internal economic troubles, but TASS said
June 24 that the two leaders expressed confidence that the difficulties
could be overcome. (Ann Sheehy)

STANKEVICH TO BECOME RSFSR DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER ? Sergei Stankevich,
first deputy chairman of the Moscow City Council, may soon be
appointed RSFSR deputy foreign minister, RIA reported on June
24. Stankevich, an Ukrainian by nationality, was born in 1954
in Moscow. He holds a degree of candidate of historical sciences
and is a specialist on the political system of the U.S. and Great
Britain. Stankevich was a co-founder of the Interregional Group
of People's Deputies--the first legal opposition in the Soviet
parliament. In 1990, he became Gavriil Popov's first deputy in
the Moscow City Council. Stankevich is a strong believer in social-democratic
values. (Alexander Rahr)

GERMAN AID TO THE USSR. An up-to-date and comprehensive listing
of German outlays and commitments to the Soviet Union since 1989
is published in Die Zeit of June 21. Subsidies and free deliveries
amount to 15.3 billion DM; credits and credit guarantees total
24.7 billion DM; and unpaid deliveries from the former DDR are
put at 16.9 billion DM. The total adds up to 56.9 billion DM,
or just over $30 billion. In March 1991, the article adds, the
Russians asked for more: President Gorbachev wrote to Federal
Chancellor Kohl with a request for further credits for the sum
of 15 billion DM. (Keith Bush)



USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN PLANS TO DISMANTLE CPSU APPARATUS IN RSFSR. The Tokyo
newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun (June 21) quotes an unidentified official,
described only as being close to RSFSR president-elect Boris
Yeltsin, as saying that Yeltsin plans that his first act on assuming
the RSFSR presidency on July 10 will be to outlaw CPSU organizations
in the military, the KGB, and state-owned enterprises throughout
the Russian Republic. If the military refuses to obey the decision,
the official is quoted as saying, the RSFSR will withhold its
contributions to the all-Union defense budget. (Elizabeth Teague)


JOINT RSFSR-US MANAGEMENT TRAINING PROGRAM LAUNCHED. The first
joint Russian-US faculty for training managers will open its
doors to its first 50 students in the fall, Rossiiskaya gazeta
reported June 20. Training will be at Irkutsk University in Siberia,
under the joint auspices of Irkutsk University and the University
of Maryland. Courses will be fee-paying but the RSFSR Council
of Ministers is also giving the project financial support. (Elizabeth
Teague)

LENINGRAD INCREASES CONFRONTATION WITH CENTER. Leningrad mayor
Anatolii Sobchak went to Moscow on June 24 to meet with the central
Soviet authorities over a resolution of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers
that stipulates that from 1992 on Leningrad will stop receiving
any food supplies from all-Union stocks. Radio Rossii said that
the resolution was one of the first responses of the central
government to the victory of democratic forces in the June 12
elections of the RSFSR president and mayors of Moscow and Leningrad.
(Vera Tolz)

URAL MINERS END THEIR HUNGER STRIKE. TASS reported June 24 that
the 90 miners at the Tsentralnaya Cooper Mine near Chelyabinsk
in the Urals have ended the hunger strike which they began June
17 to protest to proposed closure of their mine. The agency said
the miners agreed to end their underground protest after having
talks with RSFSR people's deputy Gennadii Sereda and receiving
promises that the USSR Ministry of Metallurgy would keep the
mine open until the end of the year. (Elizabeth Teague)

FIRST CONGRESS OF ORTHODOX YOUTH IN SIBERIA. TASS reported on
June 21 from Novosibirsk that young men and girls had arrived
in the ancient town Kolyvan' to participate in the first meeting
of the Orthodox youth of Siberia. The young Orthodox believers
plan to play a role in the religious revival of the country and
to work for the restoration of the Aleksandr Nevskii cathedral
which has recently been returned to the Church. (Oxana Antic)


WEST UKRAINIAN OBLASTS PROTEST UNION TREATY DEBATE. As reported
June 23 and 24 by Soviet and Ukrainian media, the Coordinating
Council of Oblast' Soviets of Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Ternopil
has forwarded a protest to the republican Supreme Soviet concerning
the draft Union treaty. The West Ukrainian people's deputies
assert that neither the examination nor the signing of the treaty
at this time is appropriate, reminding the parliament that 90%
of voters in the three oblasts pronounced in favor an independent
Ukrainian state in a parallel March 17 referendum. (Kathy Mihalisko)


CONGRESS OF UKRAINIAN NATIONALISTS. On June 24, for the first
time in fifty years, adherents of the Organization of Ukrainian
Nationalists held a congress in the homeland. Vremya, reporting
from Lviv, said that all the speakers called on veterans of the
Ukrainian nationalist movement to join forces and act so that
the younger generation may inherit a free Ukraine. The congress
was addressed by Yaroslava Stets'ko, head of the Anti-Bolshevik
Bloc of Nations. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KAZAKH SUPREME SOVIET APPROVES UNION TREATY. Kazakhstan president
Nursultan Nazarbaev, presenting the latest draft of the Union
treaty to the Kazakh Supreme Soviet June 24, said it was the
"most democratic" so far, but he had a number of critical comments,
TASS reported yesterday. He wanted the participants of the treaty
to be confined only to republics directly forming the Union i.e.
the present Union republics. The representation of the autonomous
formations in the supreme soviet needed sorting out, he said.
Nazarbaev objected further to the concept of "joint property"
on the territory of the republics, and the mechanism proposed
for exacting federal taxes. The supreme soviet approved the draft
"on the whole" and set up a delegation headed by Nazarbaev to
oversee final amendments. (Ann Sheehy)

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS SOVIET ANNEXATION OF BESSARABIA
AND NORTHERN BUKOVINA. Meeting in joint session June 24, the
two chambers of the Romanian parliament adopted unanimously a
resolution condemning and pronouncing null and void ab initio
the secret protocol to the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 and the ensuing
Soviet annexation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from Romania.
Prepared by the parliament's joint commission for foreign affairs,
the resolution described the Soviet occupation of Romanian territories
as "brutal," "odious," "a naked aggression and diktat," and "a
patent act of imperialist annexation". It described Bessarabia
and northern Bukovina as "sacred Romanian lands," "Romanian since
time immemorial," "limbs of the country's body," and parts of
the "Romanian national unitary state within borders that were
natural from the historical, ethnic, social, political, legal,
and cultural points of view". (Vladimir Socor)

NO CLAIM FOR BORDER REVISION. The resolution does not include
demands for the revision of the Romanian-Soviet border and makes
no reference to the Republic of Moldavia. The parliament "requests"
Romania's president and government to undertake the "noble and
uplifting mission" of assisting in "the fulfillment of the legitimate
aspirations of the population of the forcibly annexed Romanian
territories". It states that the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris
Charter "create favorable preconditions for a peaceful removal
of the consequences" of the Nazi-Soviet pact. The parliament's
session was radiotelevised live. (Vladimir Socor)

GERMAN NATIONAL RAION CREATED IN ALTAI. The Altai krai soviet
has decided to create a German national raion in the krai, Radio
Mayak reported June 24. The radio described the decision as the
first concrete step towards solving the Soviet German problem
in the USSR. It is hoped it will at least slow down the massive
emigration of Germans. Three circumstances are said to have favored
the creation of the raion in Altai krai rather than areas with
higher concentrations of Germans: a scientific study of the question;
local politicians ready to heed scholarly recommendations; and
the decision to create a free economic zone in the Altai. The
recent RSFSR decree on repressed peoples also played a role.
(Ann Sheehy)

BONN TO OPEN CONSULATE GENERAL IN ALMA-ATA. The German government
plans to open a consulate in Alma-Ata this year. A German foreign
office official said in an answer to a parliamentary question
that it would be responsible for the Kazakh, Kirgiz, Uzbek, Tajik,
and Turkmen republics and the Omsk, Novosibirsk and Altai areas
of the RSFSR. The main concentrations of the Soviet German population
are in Kazakhstan and the areas of southern Siberia to be covered
by the new consulate. (Michael Wall/Ann Sheehy)


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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole