We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers. - Martin Luther King Jr
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 124, 02 July 1991



BALTIC STATES



PRAVDA LINKS BALTS AND YUGOSLAVS. An unsigned commentary in the
July 1 Pravda tied the crisis in Yugoslavia to the Western position
on the Baltic States. "On the one hand [the Western politicians]
loudly advocate keeping the Soviet Union as a single state and
on the other they support the separatist bids of the Baltic leaders.
Is it not on such double standards that the Yugoslav separatists
rely?" the commentary queried. The article likened the Slovenian
and Croatian declarations of independence to a "separatist virus
reaching epidemic proportions." Western support for Baltic independence,
Pravda said, encouraged Balkan separatism. (Gytis Liulevicius)


GERMAN MILITARY AID SENT TO PRO-MOSCOW FORCES IN TALLINN. Humanitarian
aid from the Federal Republic of Germany's Bundeswehr has been
sent to the Joint Council of Work Collectives (JCWC), a front
group for the Russian nationalist, pro-Soviet, anti-independence
organization "Intermovment," Paevaleht reported on June 21. The
German aid was intended for Leningrad (St. Petersburg), but on
May 22, the central Soviet distribution agency "Prodintorg" ordered
the goods to be sent to JCWC in Tallinn. This move is the latest
indication that the Baltic Intermovments--which were implicated
in the January crackdown on the Baltic states--appeared to be
controlled by central authorities in Moscow. (Riina Kionka)

AIDS ON THE RISE IN ESTONIA. There are 15 HIV-carriers in Estonia
as of June 1, Paevaleht reported on June 21. This is up from
8 carriers reported last year by Eesti Arst ("Estonian Physician").
(RiinaKionka)

POLLUTION CLOSES ESTONIA'S BEACHES. Although local authorities
gave Estonia's beaches a clean bill of health earlier this spring,
they have re-vised their prognosis for the summer swimming season.
According to Estonia's chief public health physician, Paul Kroon,
the water at Tallinn's Harku Lake and Stroomi beach, as well
as the shore at Parnu, are too polluted by sewage to allow for
safeswim-ming, Paevaleht reported on June 20. (Riina Kionka)


LITHUANIANS AT GENEVA MINORITIES CONFERENCE. Lithuanian First
Deputy Foreign Minister Valdemaras Katkus and head of the Nationalities
Department Halina Kobeckaite flew to Geneva on July 1 for the
Minorities Conference that will last until July 19, Radio Independent
Lithuania reported that day. Delegations from the three Baltic
states are expected to participate as guests of other countries.
The chief US delegate Max Kampelman told the opening session
that the US and many others agree that a "Europe whole and free"
cannot be realized until Baltic aspirations for independence
are fulfilled. (Saulius Girnius)

FOOD PRICE INCREASES PLANNED. Radio Independent Lithuania reported
on July 1 that the Lithuanian government is planning to raise
the prices of food because the cost of government purchases of
food has increased and prices in Lithuania were lower than in
the neighboring republics. Prices for meat would increase by
about 56%, milk--25%, and bread--20%. It was estimated that the
increases would raise the per capita cost of food by about 30
rubles per month. The government has not yet decided when the
increases will go into effect, but the population will receive
compensation payments to offset them. (Saulius Girnius)

NORWAY TURNS DOWN REQUEST TO PRINT LITHUANIAN MONEY. Norway's
central bank will not print Lithuanian currency, Western media
re-ported July 1. Lithuania had requested that Norway print its
new currency, the litas, meant to replace the Soviet ruble. Norwegian
officials expressed doubts about the plan, saying that Soviet
customs would probably not allow the import of Lithuanian banknotes.
Where and when Lithuanian currency will be printed remains unclear--speaking
in Washington last April, Lithuanian Economics Min-ister Vytautas
Navickas said that an agreement had been reached to print the
litas in the US, but no fur-ther action seems to have been taken.
(Gytis Liulevicius)

NEW BUSINESS JOURNAL IN LATVIA. The inaugural issue of Alter
Ego appeared in Riga on July 1, TASS reported that day. The bi-monthly
business journal, published in Latvian and Russian by the Latvian
School of Business, deals with "secrets of success in business."
Topics covered include labor management, conflict resolution
techniques, and negotiating skills. Alter Ego also addresses
"personal business" issues, such as learning foreign languages.
In other business news, TASS also reported that former US Senator
Gary Hart met with Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs
Gorbunovs on July 1. Hart considered the Baltic States ripe for
American investment, especially in the area of infrastructure.
(Gytis Liulevicius)


USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



NINE OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE CREATION OF NEW MOVEMENT. Nine leading
political figures and officials--former Politburo members Eduard
Shevardnadze and Aleksandr Yakovlev, former Gorbachev economic
advisors Stanislav Shatalin and Nikolai Petrakov, RSFSR Vice
President Aleksandr Rutskoi, RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silaev,
the head of the USSR Scientific-Industrial Union Arkadii Vol'sky,
and the mayors of Moscow and Leningrad, Gavriil Popov and Anatolii
Sobchak, issued a formal statement on July 1 calling on all democratic
and reformist forces in the USSR to unite. Russian TV reported
July 1 that the authors of the statement announced plans to set
up an organizational committee for the inaugural conference of
the new democratic movement in opposition to the CPSU. The conference
is to be held in September and is to decide whether a real opposition
party is to be created. Nezavisimaya gazeta reported July 2 that
the nine officials had in fact already signed a "declaration
on forma-tion of a united democratic party of the USSR." (Vera
Tolz)

REACTION TO STATEMENT OF NINE. There are widespread rumors in
Moscow that the new movement was created with the approval of
USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, RFE/RL was told July 1. Meanwhile,
the main democratic group in the RSFSR, Democratic Russia, was
divided in its reaction to the event. Some of its more radical
members felt that the new undertaking would be unworkable, because
it is being formed at the all-Union level, Radio Rossii reported
July 1. It was suggested that democratic organizations in the
Ukraine, for instance, would not support it. The authors of the
statement naturally were extremely enthusiastic about the prospects
for a new movement (or party). In an interview with "TSN" on
July 1, Shevardnadze called the statement a "landmark" in the
country's history. (Vera Tolz)

SHEVARDNADZE REFUSES TO ATTEND DISCIPLINARY MEETING. Shevardnadze
refused to appear before the CPSU Central Control Commission
which had called a July 1 meeting to discuss possible disciplinary
actions against the former foreign minister in connection with
his call for the creation of a new opposition party. Western
agencies said CPSU press officials could not confirm whether
the meeting went ahead in Shevardnadze's absence. (Vera Tolz)


SHCHERBAKOV WARNS OF MARKET IMPACT. USSR First Deputy Prime Minister
Vladimir Shcherbakov elaborated on Prime Minister Valetin Pavlov's
three-option scenario in an interview with Radio Mayak on June
28. The first "do-nothing" course will lead to a drop of about
17% in national income in 1991. The second course of action,
the Pavlovian anti-crisis program, should result in an upswing
by the end of the year. But the consequence of the third option--a
rapid transition to the market--would, in his view, be apocalyptic,
with a 20-fold increase in retail prices together with a 10-fold
increase in incomes. Shcherbakov noted that the RSFSR and Ukraine
had not formally signed the anticrisis program. (Keith Bush)


DENATIONALIZATION LAW PASSED. On July 1, the USSR Supreme Soviet
approved 303 to 14, with 26 abstentions, the new law on denationalization,
Radio Moscow reported that day. (On June 28, the legislative
body had approved a partial bill on privatization "in principle").
Potentially, it represents a profound step in the direction of
the market, but it does not spell out details of implementation,
it exempts unspecified enterprises from denationalization, and
not all of its provisions are compatible with those already approved
by several republican parliaments. From those few details reported,
it would seem that the law does not go as far in the direction
of private ownership as has been advocated by reformers such
as Stanislav Shatalin and Grigorii Yavlinsky. (Keith Bush)

OIL OUTPUT SLUMP CONTINUES. A Goskomstat official noted that
oil output in January--May this year was 220.5 million tons,
i.e., 9%, down on the same period in 1990, Western agencies reported
July 1. The director of the USSR Academy of Sciences' Oil and
Gas Institute, Anatolii Dmitrievsky, told Interfax July 1 that
oil output in 1991 would not exceed 528 million tons (compared
with 570 million tons in 1990). Dmitrievsky said that up to one-sixth
of all oil wells were idle because of shortages of pumps or compressor
pipes, and declared: "The Soviet Union cannot go it alone without
foreign investment to modernize its gas and oil industry." (Keith
Bush)

REFUGEES IN THE USSR. On June 1, MVD records showed 676,000 internal
refugees in the USSR, but other information suggested a total
of over a million, Izvestia reported June 28. Novosti on June27
said only 36,000 Russian-speakers, mainly from Armenia and Azerbaijan,
were officially registered as refugees, but suggested the total
could be over 300,000 if the Russians who have left Central Asia,
the Baltic republics, and Moldavia in the last eighteen months
were taken into account. Stavropol' krai, which has been suffering
from an influx of refugees, including Meskhetians, has appealed
to the RSFSR government for permission to control the flow. (Ann
Sheehy)

MASS MEDIA CENSORSHIP ADMINISTRATION CLOSES. The Main Administration
for Safeguarding State Secrets in the Mass Media (The USSR GUOT)
ceased to exist as of July 1, Radio Mayak reported that day.
Its functions have been transferred to the newly created USSR
Ministry of Information. Former censors received their severance
pay, the radio reported, but will continue to fulfill their duties
on a "voluntary basis" because a minister has not been appointed,
and there is no one working in the newly created ministry yet,
the radio explained. The GUOT was created last year on the basis
of the censorship body "the GLAVLIT, which existed since the
1920s." There were complains that the existence of the GUOT/GLAVLIT
violated the press law that forbids censorship of the mass media
(see Moscow News No. 22). (Vera Tolz)

SUPREME SOVIET DEFENDS EAST BLOC HAS-BEENS. The USSR Supreme
Soviet passed a declaration on July 1 urging East European parliaments
to defend former leaders, party functionaries, and officers of
"law enforcement organizations" against persecution. "The open
harassment of people simply because they fulfilled their constitutional
duty and alliance obligations in the past is a direct infraction
of human rights," and "deputies...believe that the striving of
certain political circles to intensify the persecution of their
own citizens because of differing political views or party membership
runs counter to the norms of civilized society," TASS quoted
the statement as saying on July 1. (Suzanne Crow)

PRIMAKOV TO TOKYO. Presidential aid Evgenii Primakov will be
in Tokyo July 4-8 to present to Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki
Kaifu and other leaders a preview of Gorbachev's economic plan,
Kyodo reported July 1. (The plan will be officially revealed
at the end of the G-7 summit.) Primakov served as Gorbachev's
advance-man in Japan in February 1991, when he held talks with
Japanese leaders in preparation for Gorbachev's April 1991 visit,
which ended with Japan's insistence that substantial Japanese
aid to the USSR would be offered only after the settlement of
the Kurile Islands dispute. (Suzanne Crow)

SOVIET ENTREPRENEURS TO APPROACH THATCHER. Pavel Bunich, president
of the USSR Union of Leaseholders and Entrepreneurs, told a news
conference in London that the Union intends to ask former British
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to be the patron of a proposed
congress of Soviet and East European businessmen to be held in
September, an RFE/RL correspondent reported July 1. Some 15,000
enterprises belong to the Union, which is trying to establish
links between Soviet and other entrepreneurs. The Union plans
to ask the European Bank for Redevelopment and Construction to
be a patron as well. (Dawn Mann)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



SHAKHRAI ON DRAFT UNION TREATY. Sergei Shakhrai, chairman of
the RSFSR Supreme Soviet's Legislation Committee, said on Russian
television on June 29 that the latest draft of the Union treaty
was unacceptable in its present form for two main reasons. The
first was that it provided a legal basis for the disintegration
of the RSFSR (Shakhrai cited articles 1, 2, 3, and11), and the
second that under its terms it would be Union bodies that would
exercise the joint powers of the Union and the republics. His
solution to the first question was that the treaty should recognize
that the RSFSR is a complex state, i.e., without its republics
the RSFSR was not part of the USSR, and equally the republics
in the RSFSR did not belong to the USSR without the RSFSR. (Ann
Sheehy)

KRAVCHUK ON UNION TREATY. Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
Leonid Kravchuk, who is currently visiting Kharkov, once again
affirmed his opposition to any Union treaty if it conflicts with
the republic's declaration on state sovereignty, Radio Kiev reported
July 1. "If we want to join the Union," Kravchuk told a crowd
in Kharkov, "we have to know what kind of a Union it is, what
rights it gives us, what is positive about it and what is negative,
[and] whether it corresponds to the interests of the people,
our declaration, and our society." (Roman Solchanyk)

BELORUSSIAN PREMIER ACCUSES USSR CABINET. Belorussian premier
Vyacheslav Kebich has protested strongly against the USSR Cabinet
of Ministers' decree of June 15 "On organizational measures to
draw up production programs and prognoses of social-economic
development of enterprises, regions, republics, and the USSR
for 1992 in conditions of the formation of the market," Novosti
reported June 21. Kebich said there was not a single point in
the decree that did not impinge on Belorussia's economic independence.
In order to frustrate the designs of the Union cabinet, Kebich
asked the Belorussian Supreme Soviet to adopt a decree transferring
all enterprises of Union subordination on Belorussian territory
to Belorussian jurisdiction, which the Belorussian parliament
did on June 27, TASS reported the same day. (Ann Sheehy)

SILAEV ALSO UP IN ARMS OVER DECREE. On June 28 the RSFSR Council
of Ministers adopted a resolution in which it said that the decree
violated the state sovereignty of the RSFSR, took absolutely
no account of the draft Union treaty, and had been taken without
consultation with the republics, the Soviet media reported the
same day. RSFSR premier Ivan Silaev told the RSFSR Supreme Soviet
that the RSFSR government was refusing to implement the decree,
an action supported by the Supreme Soviet. According to Silaev,
the decree in effect deprives the republics of the autonomy in
foreign economic activity introduced June 1, and imposes a hidden
form of taxation on enterprises that would deprive the RSFSR
budget of 73 billion rubles. (Ann Sheehy)

BELORUSSIAN CP ENDORSES 20TH PARTY CONFERENCE. As reported July
1 by Radio Moscow, a plenum of the Central Committee of the Belorussian
CP has come out in favor of convening a 20th CPSU conference
at the end of this year. The Belorussian Communists complained
that leadership of the CPSU and Soviet government is in the hands
of "a narrow circle of people who are ignoring the Constitution
and laws of the USSR," and further asserted that developments
today have nothing in common with the perestroika launched in
1985. (Kathy Mihalisko)

NAZARBAEV ASKS COMMUNISTS TO REJECT CONSERVATIVES IN PARTY. Nursultan
Nazarbaev, president of Kazakhstan and first secretary of the
republican Communist party, has appealed to Party members in
the republic to show that the first concern of the Party is the
well-being of the people and to disassociate themselves from
those Party members who conceal their desire for unlimited power
behind a supposedly ardent attachment to "the socialist choice,"
Russian TV reported June 28. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINIAN COUPON SYSTEM ABOLISHED. Effective July 1, the special
coupons that Ukrainian workers had been receiving as part of
their pay for the past nine months were cancelled, Ukrinform-TASS
reported that day. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold Fokin said
the coupons had helped to stabilize the republican economy but
that it was now time to move on to other means of protecting
the internal Ukrainian market. He expressed the hope that in
2-3 months these news means would be in place. In Odessa, the
regional council has decided to continue on with coupons until
September 1 in order to protect local residents from buying sprees
by ""outsiders." (Dawn Mann)

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MOLOTOV-RIBBENTROP PACT. At the international
conference in Kishinev on "The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its
Consequences for Moldavia," V.A. Alexandrov of the CPSU CC International
Relations Department presented Moscow's official position. Citing
the December 1989 repudiation of the pact and of its secret annexes
by the USSR Congress of People's Deputies, Alexandrov--who had
been the secretary of the Congress' ad-hoc commission to assess
the pact--argued that the accession of Bessarabia and northern
Bukovina to the USSR was a result not of the pact but of subsequent
events and was valid under international law. He further argued
that the present status of the territories was determined by
the USSR constitution and the constitutions of Moldavia and the
Ukraine, Moldovapres reported June 28. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN LEADER ON INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION. At an official
meeting in Kishinev with John Finerty, a staff member of the
US Congress Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe,
Moldavian President Mircea Snegur was cited by Moldovapres June
29 as urging the USA and Western nations in general to "be realistic
and engage in direct contacts" with independence-seeking republics.
Snegur added that Moldavia and other republics had "next to no
chance" of receiving Western aid if the aid was channeled through
the central government. Moldavian parliament chairman Alexandru
Mosanu in his turn told a press conference in Kishinev of Moldavia's
disappointment with the lack of response from the UN and from
Western parliaments to Moldavia's attempts to establish direct
contacts. "They fear lest they damage their relations with the
center," Mosanu was quoted by Moldovapres July 1 as saying. (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIAN RALLY MOURNS SOVIET ANNEX-ATION. On June 28, a mass
rally of mourning was held in central Kishinev to commemorate
the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina on
June 28, 1940. The rally opened with a Te Deum in Kishinev's
cathedral and closed with a silent candle-lit procession. Speakers
representing a broad range of political movements and organizations
called for Moldavian independence from the USSR through referendum,
Moldovapres reported. Mircea Druc, a leader of the Popular Front
and until recently Prime Minister, predicted in his speech that
the USSR and the USA will jointly open the way for the independence
of the Baltic and other republics. (Vladimir Socor)

FIRST CONGRESS OF REPRESSED PEOPLES OPENS. The first congress
of repressed peoples opened in Moscow July 1, TASS reported the
same day. It was called on the initiative of the confederation
of repressed peoples of the RSFSR. Delegates intend to draw up
proposals on a just solution of their problems, which they will
send to the supreme soviets of the USSR, RSFSR, and other republics
with the demand that they be taken into account in signing the
new Union treaty. The congress is being attended by representatives
of the Union and Russian governments, various parties, and social
and religious organizations. (Ann Sheehy)

CONGRESS OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE KARELIAN PEOPLE. A two-day
congress of representatives of the Karelian people took place
in Olonets June 28 and 29, Moscow radio reported. The main topic
was the survival of the Karelian people, which is threatened
with extinction. The number of Karelians in the USSR declined
from 167,300 in 1959 to 130,900 in 1989, and Karelians now account
for only 10% of the population of the Karelian republic. (Ann
Sheehy)

MEETING OF FORMER CAMP INMATES IN DZHEZKAZGAN. Former camp inmates
who took part in the 1954 Kengir revolt, the largest revolt of
political prisoners in the history of the GULAG, met in Dzhezkazgan
in Kazakhstan on June 28, TASS reported. They complained that
the process of rehabilitation of the repressed still encountered
bureaucratic obstacles and that the compensation offered was
far from commensurate with the material and moral losses they
suffered. The participants sent an open letter to the presidents
and supreme soviets of the USSR, RSFSR, and Kazakhstan suggesting
that the laws on privatization should contain provision for compensation
for the forced labor of the former GULAG inmates to repay fully
the debt they are owed. (Ann Sheehy)

CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF FAMINE. . . Azerbaijan's Assa-Irada
news agency reported June 29 that the number of homeless dogs
in Baku could soon equal the city's human population of two million,
as increasing food shortages were forcing dog owners to turn
their pets loose on the street. Packs of feral dogs already pose
a threat to human life and recently attacked a seven-year-old
boy. The municipal dog-catchers are hampered in their task of
rounding up strays by a shortage of gas-oline for their jeeps.
(Liz Fuller [As of 1300 CET]


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

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