When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 129, 10 July 1991





BALTIC STATES



EC: MORALITY IS NOT SELECTIVE. Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van
den Broek, who is serving as the rotating EC President, told
reporters on July 9 that the Yugoslav federation in its current
form has served its purpose. Asked if the Yugoslav and Baltic
situations are similar, van den Broek replied that the annexation
of the Baltic States by Moscow could not be compared with Belgrade's
authority over Slovenia and Croatia. But, he added, "we should
not be selective in our moral judgements." (Riina Kionka)

LANDSBERGIS IN STRASBOURG. Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman
Vytautas Landsbergis urged the EC to pay as much attention to
the Baltics as it does to the Balkans, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported July 9 from Strasbourg, where Landsbergis is visiting
the European Parliament during its regular monthly session as
a guest of the European People's Party. Speaking at a press conference,
Landsbergis said he would invite all members of the European
Parliament who are "interested in our fate" to visit the Baltic
States next month. According to Landsbergis, it would be "very
helpful if Europe could convince Gorbachev" to engage in real
dialogue with the Baltic States. In reference to the recent high-level
EC delegation sent to mediate the Balkan conflict, Landsbergis
said, "we'll expect a troika in our country as well." (Gytis
Liulevicius)

MERI, GORBACHEV TO LONDON. Estonian Foreign Minister Lennart
Meri hopes to lobby for financial aid for his country during
a visit to London next week, where the G-7 countries are holding
a summit meeting, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from London
on July 9. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who will also
be visiting London then, appears to have a similar agenda. (Riina
Kionka)

EXPLOSION IN TALLINN. One man was injured and a building damaged
in an explosion last night (July 9) in Tallinn, the Estonian
Foreign Ministry's press spokesman Tiit Pruuli told RFE/RL that
evening. Two men were inside the building at the time, and one
suffered minor injuries. The building in question belongs to
the Popular Front's self-defense organization Kodukaitse. Radio
Rossii also reported the explosion that day, but said the affected
building belongs to the Estonian State Price Department and that
the injured man was a Kodukaitse guard. (Riina Kionka)

SOVIET JOURNALIST LINKS KGB TO VILNIUS ATTACK. Literaturnaya
gazeta's youth editor Yurii Shchekochikin claimed in the July
10 issue that the KGB was directly involved in the January 13
attack on the Vilnius television tower, The Washington Post reported
July 10. Basing his conclusions on transcripts that were part
of the Lithuanian prosecutor's report on the attack, Shchekochikin
wrote that the KGB planned the operation well in advance, but
kept its involvement secret so as not to "destroy the version
about . . . the unknown Committee of National Salvation and about
everything happening so suddenly." (Saulius Girnius)

FORMER OMON MEMBER FOUND MURDERED IN LATVIA. According to Diena
of July 10, former OMON (Black Beret) member Sergei Khrotov,
born in 1961, was found shot along the highway Riga-Malpils on
July 2. So far, no suspects have been detained for the murder.
Khrotov quit the special MVD security force on January 21, the
day after the OMON attacked the Latvian Ministry of Internal
Affairs. He had earlier announced his opposition to involving
the OMON in political conflicts. Last fall he headed "Viking,"
a privately-run security organization consisting largely of OMON
members. Vilma Upmace, an investigator of the Latvian Prosecutor's
office, described Khrotov as an intelligent young man in peak
physical condition. (Dzintra Bungs)

RSFSR DEPUTY ON OMON ACTIVITIES IN LATVIA. Deputy Sergei Belozertsev,
member of a deputies' commission investigating the activities
of OMON in Riga, told RSFSR TV's Vesti on July 9 that the OMON,
currently engaged in staging attacks on Baltic customs posts,
may, in the future, "start raiding branches of banks." He said
that the commission did not rule out the possibility of such
attacks in the Baltic region. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN COMMUNISTS CAUTIOUS TOWARD DEMOCRATIC REFORM MOVEMENT.
Radio Moscow reported on July 9 that the Buro of the conservative
Latvian Communist Party had contacted the founders of the Democratic
Reform Movement. The report noted that the LCP wanted to learn
more about the movement, its activists (former CPSU members),
and their interest in becoming a political party and becoming
involved in the struggle for power. (Dzint ra Bungs)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORMS GETS NEW SUPPORTERS. The chairman
of the Council of the Union of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Ivan
Laptev, said July 9 that he wanted to join the Movement for Democratic
Reforms, set up July 1 by nine Soviet officials, including Yakovlev
and Shevardnadze Radio Moscow-1 and RSFSR TV quoted Laptev as
saying that, thus far, he was not intending to leave the CPSU.
He thought membership in both organizations is compatible, since
the newly-created group is a movement and not a party. The same
day, 32 USSR Supreme Soviet deputies set up a group "in support
of the movement," Izvestia reported July 10. (Radio Moscow and
TASS reported July 9 that only 20 deputies joined the group.)
(Vera Tolz)

TRAVKIN SAYS NEW MOVEMENT IS NOT THE ANSWER. Those who predicted
that the new Movement for Democratic Reforms was more likely
to split the democratic movement than the CPSU may be correct.
Interviewed in the German daily Handelsblatt July 10, the chairman
of the Democratic Party of Russia, Nikolai Travkin, said the
Movement does not have the answers to the USSR's problems. Travkin
says what is needed is a new party, and he added that he fears
the new movement may turn out to be "a reconstructed Communist
Party" and just a vehicle for Gorbachev. Travkin said Stanislav
Shatalin, one of the original founders of the Movement, has left
it and plans, together with Travkin, to found a new United Democratic
Party in September. Other reports say, however, that Shatalin
has not left the Movement but is trying to act as middleman between
it and Travkin. (Elizabeth Teague)

SHATALIN SAYS GORBACHEV IS WELCOME IN MOVEMENT. Travkin indeed
may be wrong on Shatalin's resignation from the Movement for
Democratic Reforms. On July 9, Shatalin was quoted by RSFSR TV
as saying that the Movement would welcome Gorbachev's membership
in its ranks. The same position was expressed earlier by Eduard
Shevardnadze, who added, however, that he thought such a move
on the part of the President was unlikely in the near future.
(Vera Tolz)

NINA ANDREEVA THREATENS SCHISM. As reported in yesterday's Daily
Report (July 9), Gorbachev aide Georgii Shakhnazarov has predicted
that the CPSU will eventually return to its pre-1918 "Social
Democratic" name. Russian TV's Vesti on July 8 quoted Nina Andreeva's
aide, Aleksandr Lapin, as saying that, if this happens, Andreeva's
group (which calls itself "Unity for Leninism and Communist Ideals")
will leave the CPSU and declare itself the true successor to
the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)--the name adopted
by the Bolsheviks in 1925. (Elizabeth Teague)

SUPSOV STALLS NOMINEE FOR DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER. The USSR Supreme
Soviet on July 8 narrowly rejected the nomination of Konstantin
Katushev to the position of Deputy Prime Minister, The Financial
Times reported July 9. At that session the SupSov voted to consider
Katushev's nomination again the following day, but, Western agencies
reported July 9, the parliament yesterday voted further to postpone
the nomination. If confirmed, Katushev would incorporate his
present job as Minister of Foreign Economic Relations into the
new post. The FT noted that Katushev has been accused by some
radical deputies of involvement in the sale of dachas at extremely
low prices to ministerial employees. Both Katushev and Prime
Minister Valentin Pavlov have denied the charges. (Sallie Wise)


DELORS COUNSELS PATIENCE. In an interview carried by Pravda of
July 3, Jacques Delors discussed his recent trip to Moscow and
gave his evaluation of Soviet economic prospects. He emphasized
the necessity to balance the budget, improve the balance of payments,
and to curb inflation. Delors told Pravda's readers they should
not harbor any illusions regarding "truckloads of goodies, $30
billion a year, and so on." He noted the enormous potential of
the Soviet Union. With "intelligent and rational organization"
and with Western aid, he reckoned that "within roughly two decades,
your economy will be able to join the world economy and will
begin to receive private investment." (Keith Bush)

FURTHER CRITICISM OF NEW CUSTOMS TARIFFS. On July 1, the day
on which new, sharply increased, customs duties went into effect,
Izvestia carried further criticism of the new rates. Punitive
levies on consumer goods (some of the rates were cited in Komsomol'skaya
pravda of June 15) made little sense when virtually all consumer
goods were in short supply. One consequence would be that prices
in commercial stores--which had tended to fall since the April
retail price increases--would now rise again. Izvestia also criticized
the export of Soviet-made consumer goods. (The RSFSR reserved
the right to revoke the new rates, see APN June 27, but no action
on this has been reported). (Keith Bush)

COMMODITIES EXCHANGES FOR FARMERS. Central TV on July 2 described
preparations for the establishment of a peasants' central stock
or commodities exchange. As RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silaev
envisages the operation of the central and regional exchanges,
these will eventually replace the present centralized network
that distributes farm machinery, chemicals, and other producer
goods. The exchanges could correct the current unfavorable terms
of trade between agriculture and industry, which has resulted
in the withholding of farm produce from the urban markets. (Keith
Bush)

NPS CREATING "MARKET INFRASTRUCTURE." Interviewed in Izvestia
on June 28, Arkadii Vol'sky, head of the Soviet employers' association,
the Scientific-Industrial Union (NPS), said the NPS is "quietly,
without fuss, building the infrastructure of a market economy."
Vol'sky cited the "KamAZ" truck plant in Tatarstan, a founder-member
of the NPS and the first Soviet enterprise of comparable size
to turn itself into a joint-stock company. Saying this could
take place only through a stock exchange, Vol'sky said the NPS
had played a role in creating several such exchanges in the USSR.
The NPS has also founded a privatization center, an academy of
entrepreneurship, two banks, and a body to support small and
medium-sized businesses. In addition, the NPS is playing an influential
role, through those of its members who are Supreme Soviet deputies,
in preparing new legislation creating a framework for market
activity. (Elizabeth Teague)

SPACE CENTER LEASES FACILITIES TO STOCK EXCHANGE. The main Soviet
space center near Moscow, known as "TsUP" (Tsentr upravleniya
poletami), will convert part of its premises for stock exchange
operations, while leasing its telecommunications channels to
the newly-created Military-Industrial Stock Exchange, Vremya
reported July 6. Vremya said "TsUP"'s telecommunication capabilities,
designed to control 5 or 6 manned space flights simultaneously,
today remain 80% idle. The Military Industrial Stock Exchange
was set up in March by defense sector enterprises and the Russian
Trade and Raw Materials Stock Exchange, according to Kommersant
No. 12. Although its premises are restricted to members, the
exchange will accept orders from Soviet and foreign dealers.
(Victor Yasmann)

JOINT US-SOVIET STATEMENT ON YUGOSLAVIA EXPECTED. US Secretary
of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh
are expected to issue a joint declaration on the situation in
Yugoslavia when they meet in Washington later this week. According
to Novosti of July 9, as reported by Western agencies, the two
officials will "examine ways of helping Yugoslavia as a whole
find its way back to peace." (Sallie Wise)

FOURTH ROUND OF SINO-SOVIET TALKS COMPLETED. The fourth round
of talks devoted to military reductions and confidence-building
measures on the Sino-Soviet border concluded in Peking on July
8, TASS reported the next day. The talks were said to be constructive,
but no further details were provided. They are set to resume
in Moscow this fall. (Stephen Foye)

RUTSKOI AIDS "AFGANTSY" FAMILIES. Russian Vice President-elect
Aleksandr Rutskoi, himself an Afghan veteran, has prevented the
eviction of 8families who have illegally occupied Moscow apartments
built for state and CPSU officials, Radio Rossii reported on
July 8. The people in question are Afghan war veterans and their
families. According to the Moscow District Prosecutor, the evictions
have been suspended for one month. (Stephen Foye)

SOLDIERS' MOTHERS LAUNCH HUNGER STRIKE. In Moscow, representatives
of the group "Soldiers' Mothers of Russia" announced on July
8 that they would renew a hunger strike aimed at drawing attention
to peacetime deaths in the Soviet armed forces, Novosti reported.
The first round of strikes was held from May 20 to May 25 of
this year, and yielded unsatisfactory results, the mothers claimed.
Some 300 mothers from all parts of the country will reportedly
take part. (Stephen Foye)

BILLY GRAHAM SCHOOL IN MOSCOW. Central TV July 8 reported that
the first Evangelization school of American preacher Billy Graham
had opened that day in Moscow. (Oxana Antic)



USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN SWORN IN. Boris Yeltsin was sworn in as President of
Russia in the Kremlin today (July 10), Soviet media report. The
inauguration was conducted modestly, without pomp, although 6,000
guests filled the Kremlin palace. Yeltsin took the presidential
oath with his hand on the present RSFSR Constitution and declaration
of sovereignty rather than on a Bible, as suggested by some of
his aides. Gorbachev and Moscow Patriarch Aleksii II took part
in the historic event. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN TO SHARE THE KREMLIN WITH GORBACHEV. The fifth RSFSR
Congress of People's Deputies opened this morning with the announcement
that the residence of the RSFSR President will be in the Kremlin.
Yeltsin, therefore, will share the premises with Gorbachev. The
USSR Cabinet of Ministers, which had occupied the Kremlin before,
recently moved out. (Julia Wishnevsky)

GORBACHEV CONGRATULATES YELTSIN. Gorbachev's address to the opening
session of the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies this morning
must have been be a crowning triumph for Yeltsin. (At the first
session of the Congress a year ago, Gorbachev campaigned actively
against Yeltsin's election as Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet.)
Gorbachev described the election of the RSFSR President as a
major positive step in the reform process, saying that it satisfied
the need to strengthen executive power in the USSR as a whole.
Gorbachev also welcomed the end of the "war of laws" between
the all-Union and RSFSR legislatures, and thanked Yeltsin and
the RSFSR deputies for their contribution to his efforts to preserve
the Soviet Union. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RSFSR OUTLINES CONDITIONS FOR SIGNING UNION TREATY. At a plenary
session of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet July 5, First Deputy Chairman
Ruslan Khasbulatov discussed the draft RSFSR law on signing the
new Union treaty. The RSFSR will sign the treaty subject to the
following conditions: 1) The RSFSR will sign jointly with the
republics which are included on its territory. 2) Formation of
the Union budget should be based on fixed payments by the signing
republics. 3) The RSFSR should have jurisdiction over all enterprises
on its territory, including defense industries. 4) Union republics
should have full rights over licensing and import-export activities.
5) The Union and the Union republics should agree on a unified
customs system. Izvestia carried the report of the RSFSR SupSov
session July 5. (John Tedstrom)

MANY CONDITIONS WILL LIKELY BE MET. According to a TASS report
July 9, the final version of the text of the anti-crisis program
includes concessions on many of the demands the RSFSR (and other
republics) are making for signing the Union treaty. The anti-crisis
program includes language that gives republics a free rein in
conducting foreign trade (with arms trade the only exception).
Other concessions have been made in the areas of republican control
over property, and privatization. (John Tedstrom)

AT LEAST ONE MAJOR DISAGREEMENT REMAINS. Disagreement over taxes
will be a major sticking point. Both the RSFSR and Ukraine insist
on a "one-channel" tax system based on fixed payments by the
republics. The anti-crisis program foresees a federal tax in
addition to the republican contributions, according to TASS July
9. It is unlikely that the Center will rely on the republics
for all of its tax revenues, and pressure will probably fall
on the RSFSR and Ukraine to accept federal taxes. While signing
the anti-crisis program does not commit any republic to sign
the Union treaty, the willingness by all parties to cooperate
on the former could signal their willingness to cooperate on
the latter. (John Tedstrom)

HOUSING PROBLEMS. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet on July 4 approved
a law to privatize state housing by giving it away to existing
tenants (Izvestia July 5). It will not please many people. An
article in Rabochaya tribuna (July 5) says there are 3.5 million
families living in shared apartments, 2.3 million families in
hostels, and 694,000 families renting apartments privately. It
is not clear how, if at all, the housing-problem cases listed
in Rabochaya tribuna will benefit. Nor is it clear why sitting
tenants would accept a "free" apartment when the cost of maintaining
it will almost always be above their current rent. Despite discussion,
there seems so far to be no move towards a substantial rise in
state housing rents in Russia. (Philip Hanson)

RUSSIAN REPUBLIC FOREIGN INVESTMENT LAW PASSED. On July 4 the
RSFSR parliament approved a Russian Republic law on foreign investment.
(Izvestia July 5, 1991.) RFE/RL has not yet seen a text. (Philip
Hanson)

ARMENIAN SUPSOV CHAIRMAN ON LATEST TENSIONS. Western news agencies
reported June9 that Armenian SupSov chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan
was heading for Moscow to discuss the latest escalation of tension
on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Ter-Petrossyan reportedly
told the Armenian parliament June 9 that he had warned KGB Chairman
Vladimir Kryuchkov that Armenia would not permit patrols by Azerbaijani
troops to enter Armenian villages on Azerbaijani territory. Interfax
reported July 8 that four Azerbaijanis had been burned to death
in Nagorno-Karabakh the previous day. (Liz Fuller)

JOURNALIST ON HUNGER STRIKE IN BELORUSSIAN PRISON. A correspondent
for News of the Belorussian Popular Front who is in prison awaiting
trial on charges of hooliganism has gone on hunger strike, according
to a July 9 Radio Rossiyi broadcast and a July 8 report to RFE/RL's
Belorussian service. Valerii Syadou, who recently sent a letter
to the US Embassy in Moscow protesting his detention, has also
published a statement in the Supreme Soviet organ Narodnaya hazeta
describing conditions: unsanitary and overcrowded cells, mandatory
AIDS blood tests with one common needle, and health hazards that,
he alleges, could lead to tuberculosis. Syadou is not allowed
visitors. (Kathy Mihalisko)

DESPERATELY SEEKING NINA. The same Narodnaya hazeta tried to
discover the precise venue for the All-Union Conference of the
CPSU Bolshevik Platform, to be held June 13-14 in Minsk and presided
over by Nina Andreeva. As Radio Rossiyi noted July 9, the people
of Odessa "drove the Stalinists out of their city" when Andreeva's
Bolsheviks tried to meet there. It appears that Narodnaya hazeta
was able to learn only that Andreeva would be hosted by the Belorussian
Znanie society, but other details about the conference remain
a closely-guarded secret. (Kathy Mihalisko)

MIXED RESPONSE IN CENTRAL ASIA TO NEW MOVEMENT. One of Turkmenistan's
best-known writers, poet Rakhim Esenov, told the RFE/RL Turkmen
service on July7 that a group of Communist Party members in Turkmenistan,
including himself, have formed an initiative group to support
the new Democratic Reform Movement. A journalist in Alma-Ata
has told the RFE/RL Kazakh service that Azat, Kazakhstan's largest
and most influential opposition political party, has objected
to the Movement, describing it as a stratagem to preserve the
CPSU under another name. (Bess Brown)

HEAD OF MUSLIM RELIGIOUS BOARD REMOVED. TASS on July 9 quoted
a Komsomol'-skaya pravda account of the removal of the chairman
of the Muslim Religious Board for Central Asia, Mufti Mukhammed-Sadyk
Mamayusupov. The action was reported to have been taken by the
council of imams after the mufti had been charged with discriminating
against those whom he considered Wahhabis and selling thousands
of copies of the Koran that had been donated by Saudi Arabia
to the Muslims of the USSR. TASS quoted the Uzbek Popular Front
Birlik as characterizing the removal of the mufti as a victory
for those seeking to end state interference in religious affairs.
A temporary leadership has taken over until a congress of Central
Asian Muslims can decide on a successor. (Bess Brown)

OPPOSITION REORGANIZES IN UZBEKISTAN. Leaders of the Uzbek Popular
Front Birlik and the Erk Democratic Party told the RFE/RL Uzbek
service on July 9 that the two groups have agreed to work together
for common goals. Erk was established by poet and political activist
Muhammad Salih when it appeared that Birlik was drifting toward
extremism. Apparently the differences have been largely over-come,
though Muhammad Salih said that Erk will continue to function
as an independent political party. (Bess Brown) [As of 1300 CET]
Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise


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

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