You always pass failure on the way to success. - Mickey Rooney
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 131, 12 July 1991



BALTIC STATES



BALTIC LETTER TO BUSH. Baltic leaders sent a letter to US President
George Bush requesting that the Baltic States be excluded from
any US-USSR economic agreement, VOA's Lithuanian Service reported
July 11. The letter, dated July 10 and signed by Lithuanian,
Latvian, and Estonian Prime Ministers Gediminas Vagnorius, Ivars
Godmanis, and Edgar Savisaar, warned the US that MFN status for
the USSR without exclusion of the Baltic States could delay independence
negotiations indefinitely, and might be construed as recognition
of the BalticStates as part of the USSR. The Baltic leaders point
out that the US granted MFN status to the Baltic States in the
1930s, and said they hope that those treaties can be reactivated
in the near future. (Gytis Liulevicius)

LITHUANIAN AND RSFSR PRIME MINISTERS MEET. On July 11 Lithuanian
Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius talked with his RSFSR counterpart,
Ivan Silaev, in Moscow. RSFSR First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg
Lobov and Lithuanian permanent representative in Moscow Egidijus
Bickauskas also attended the meeting. In an interview with Radio
Independent Lithuania that day, Bickauskas said that the meeting
was important because the two premiers were able to get better
acquainted and discuss their common problems with the center
in instituting economic reforms. They discussed the need for
mutually beneficial economic cooperation agreements between the
republics and problems in their efforts to convert to a market
economy. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT CREATES THREE NEW COUNCILS. Three newly-created
government councils will "improve mutual understanding and harmony
among citizens of Lithuania," according to Vagnorius, as quoted
by TASS July 11. The government has created the Council on National
Harmony and Culture, the Council on Economic and Social Reform,
and the Council on the Fight Against Organized Crime and External
Security. Vagnorius also asked the parliament to consider adding
two more Ministers Without Portfolio to the cabinet--one to deal
with regulation of internal affairs, and another to facilitate
ties with the Lithuanian emigration. (Gytis Liulevicius)

BORDER POSTS AT NARVA ELIMINATED. Local authorities in the Russian-dominated
northeastern Estonian city of Narva on July 5 ordered Estonian
border guards out of posts at the economic frontier and replaced
them with local Russian policemen under city control, Paevaleht
reported the next day. The move came after the Narva city council
voted on July 2 to eliminate the economic border and the border
authority on its territory. (Riina Kionka)

NARVA INTERMOVEMENT MEETING RAINED OUT. An Intermovement rally
called for the government's resignation in Narva on July 10,
Rahva Haal reported the next day. The meeting, organized by a
front organization known as Troops for the Defense of Public
Order in Narva, called for giving northeastern Estonia special
status, for eliminating the economic border, for compensations
against price hikes, and for "nullification of laws limiting
the rights of minorities." Pouring rain that began right after
the first speech drove away all but about ten participants, Rahva
Haal said. In its characteristically pro-Moscow fashion, however,
TASS reported that "several thousands gathered at the meeting
despite heavy showers." (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIANS COME TO LATVIA TO BUY CHEAPER FOODSTUFFS. Estonians,
as a consequence of the price hikes that became effective on
July 1, are now coming to Latvia to purchase cheaper foodstuffs.
Radio Riga and TASS of July 8 reported widespread dissatisfaction
among Latvian farmers and consumers, who are urging the government
to rectify the situation. As a first step they propose that restrictions
be set on the purchase of foodstuffs at lower, state-set prices
in Latvia by people who do not live in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



SHEVARDNADZE NAMED HEAD OF NEW MOVEMENT. On July 11, Eduard Shevardnadze
was named chairman of the organizational committee of the Movement
for Democratic Reforms. Interfax said that USSR presidential
adviser Aleksandr Yakovlev, industrial leader Arkadii Vol'sky,
and the chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Council of the Union,
Ivan Laptev, were elected deputy chairmen of the committee. (Vera
Tolz)

CENTRAL CONTROL COMMISSION ATTACKS SHEVARDNADZE. The CPSU Central
Control Commission issued a statement July 11 in response Shevardnadze's
letter to the commission July 3 announcing his resignation from
the CPSU. The CPSU CCC initiated a case against Shevardnadze
after he proposed the creation of a new political party parallel
to the CPSU. Shevardnadze refused to attend the commission's
hearing on his case, calling it an "inquisitorial court." In
its statement, cited by TASS, the commission alleged that, in
contrast to rumors that it was planning to expel Shevardnadze
from the CPSU, it just wanted to discuss with Shevardnadze his
views on a possible new party. The statement charged that, in
fact, Shevardnadze left the CPSU to avoid responsibility for
the current crisis in the Party. (Vera Tolz)

YOUNGER COMMUNISTS SUPPORT SHEVARDNADZE-YAKOVLEV GROUP. Vladimir
Zyukin, first secretary of the USSR Komsomol, told Komsomol'skaya
pravda July 6 that he supports the Movement for Democratic Reforms.
Zyukin also quoted Aleksei Kovylev, Chairman of the USSR Committee
of Youth Organizations, as having said that the CYO could become
"a youth structure of the future movement." Meanwhile, Komsomol'skayapravda
added, its editors have received a letter signed by nine members
of various Party and Komsomol bodies, known to be young liberals,
calling for support for the new Movement. (Julia Wishnevsky)


USSR SUPREME SOVIET DISCUSSES UNION TREATY. On July 11 the USSR
SupSov began its two-day discussion of the draft Union treaty
in the presence of Gorbachev and the rest of the Soviet leadership,
TASS and Western agencies reported the same day. In his hour
long report, Chairman of the Council of Nationalities Rafik Nishanov
called on the RSFSR and Ukraine to agree to federal taxes, and
on the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet to speed up its examination of
the draft. Nishanov was supported by Chairman of the legislative
committee Yurii Kalmykov and member of the economic reform committee
Aleksei Boiko in his contention that federal taxes were vital
for the existence of a single state. The only parliamentary group
unequivocally against the draft was "Soyuz." (Ann Sheehy)

IS YELTSIN RELENTING ON FEDERAL TAXES? At a press conference
in the USSR Cabinet of Ministers July 11, Deputy Prime Minister
Vladimir Shcherbakov said he detected a change in RSFSR President
Boris Yeltsin's position on federal taxes, RSFSR TV reported
July 11. Yeltsin was no longer rejecting the idea outright, according
to Shcherbakov. (Ann Sheehy)

SHARIN CRITICIZES DRAFT UNION TREATY. Leonid Sharin, Chairman
of the Supreme Soviet Committee for Defense and Security, on
July 11 complained that certain of his committee's recommendations
on the Union treaty were not observed. He expressed particular
dissatisfaction over what he said was the draft treaty's failure
to emphasize that the armed forces must remain a unified organization.
Violation of this principle, he said, would damage Soviet national
defense, would raise questions at home and abroad concerning
control of Soviet nuclear weaponry, and would undermine unified
leadership of the defense complex as a whole. He said that his
committee has made recommendations to alter sections of the current
draft. (Stephen Foye)

SOBCHAK CALLS FOR DISSOLUTION OF UNION PARLIAMENT. At a press
conference in the Leningrad city soviet July 11, Leningrad mayor
Anatolii Sobchak called for a campaign for the rapid dissolution
of the Union parliament on the grounds that both the Congress
and Supreme Soviet are, in his view, extremely reactionary and
the majority of deputies only represent themselves, Radio Rossii
reported July 11. Sobchak called on deputies voluntarily to surrender
their mandates. He said it was clear that the present Supreme
Soviet would only hamper the signing of the Union treaty and
the adoption of a new constitution. (Ann Sheehy)

MELLOR STURUA LEAVES CPSU. Izvestia's well-known foreign correspondent
Mellor Sturua has left the CPSU, Radio Rossii reported July 11.
He was quoted as saying that "the CPSU is now the main obstacle
in the path of the country's development towards democracy and
a market economy." In the pre-perestroika period Sturua was one
of the paper's main political correspondents, who wrote articles
highly critical of the West, especially of the United States.
(Vera Tolz)

"SOGLASIE" PRESS CONFERENCE. Fedor Burlatsky, one of the members
of the coordinating council of the "Soglasie" group of people's
deputies, told a press conference in Moscow July 11 that the
best way to resolve and harmonize the divisive issues separating
the center, the republics, and different nationalities and groups
is on the basis of treaties and a new parliamentary political
structure, Vremya reported the same day. "Soglasie" members,
who are deputies serving at all levels, emphasized that their
group does not require members to hold the same views on all
subjects or place limits on their political activity. The group
does support a Union formed on the basis of agreements with sovereign
republics, destatization and privatization, and free enterprise
with corresponding social protection. (Dawn Mann)

ZHIRINOVSKY TO FORM CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT. Conservatives are
making new attempts to consolidate their positions to fight the
Gorbachev-Yeltsin alliance. Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Novosti
on July 10 that he is forming a "third force" around his Liberal-Democratic
Party to challenge Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in next
year's all-Union presidential elections. He said that at the
beginning of August, a new powerful movement, combining the Liberal-Democratic
Party, Soyuz, and similar organizations will be founded and joined
by millions of people. Zhirinovsky stressed that the new movement
will distance itself from Communists, and even more from democrats.
(Alexander Rahr)

PAVLOV AND THE APPEAL TO THE G-7. At a press conference on July
11, Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov said that specialists
in both Union and republic offices were still working on the
plan that Gorbachev will unveil at the G-7 meeting in London
on the 17th. According to Western agency reports July 11, Pavlov
also said, "There is no one strategic plan." Meanwhile, reports
from Washington were that the White House had received a 23-page
outline of Gorbachev's reform plan, and that preliminary reading
suggested it was closer to the Yavlinsky-Allison plan than to
the Pavlov-Shcherbakov anti-crisis program (Baltimore Sun July
12). Pavlov has been described in Moscow as a "loose cannon,"
but he is not firing randomly. (Philip Hanson)

US-SOVIET TALKS. Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh arrived
in Washington on July 11 for talks called on short notice to
wrap up negotiations on the START treaty. Bessmertnykh described
his meeting with President Bush as a "short but very intensive
discussion," TASS reported July 11. Bessmertnykh noted, "we have
all the instructions to finish the job [on the START treaty],
and I hope the United States side has the same instructions."
(Suzanne Crow)

US ANGLES FOR AID CUT TO CUBA. US Assistant Secretary of State
Bernard Aronson told a US House of Representatives panel on July
11 that Cuba faces no threat of attack from the United States
and noted "it is difficult to understand why the Soviet Union
continues to provide up to $1 billion in military aid to Cuba,"
Western agencies reported July 12. As Aronson noted, this statement
was designed to "take away any additional excuses [Moscow has]
to continue [providing] billions of dollars in aid to Cuba."
"I hope he's taking notes," said Aronson, presumably referring
to Gorbachev. (Suzanne Crow)

CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE CRITICIZES LAW ON POLICE. The USSR Committee
for Constitutional Oversight has overruled two provisions of
the new USSR Law on Militia adopted by the USSR SupSov earlier
this year. The Committee ruled that, despite a provision in the
law, militiamen should not, without a warrant, enter living quarters
used by their owners as business enterprises. The Committee also
ruled that neither the USSR Constitution nor the Principles on
USSR Criminal and Administrative Laws entitle the militia to
issue warnings stating, without a trial, that officials or individuals
have committed an offense. Such privileges for police and KGB
officers were included recently in a number of other laws--such
as Gorbachev's decree on "economic sabotage" and the RSFSR Law
on Militia--and have been criticized extensively in the media
as violating basic human rights. (Julia Wishnevsky)

CAMPAIGN FOR KRYUCHKOV'S RETIREMENT INTENSIFIED. Journalist Yurii
Shchekochikhin has written a letter to Gorbachev charging that
the USSR KGB was a prime mover and probably the initiator of
the crackdown in Lithuania last January, which Shchekochikhin
views as a plot by anti-Gorbachev forces. The letter, as reported
by RSFSR TV July 11, calls on USSR KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov
to retire and for changes in cadres at the top of the KGB. Shchekochikhin's
appeal is based on his investigation published in Literaturnaya
Gazeta, No. 28 (see Daily Report, July 10), according to which
the storming of the Vilnius TV center was carried out by the KGB special task
force "Alfa". An apparent campaign to distance Gorbachev from the KGB
and for Kryuchkov's retirement has been intensified in the last
month. It is possibly addressed to concerns about the feasibility
of reforms in view of the KGB's undiminished power. The problem,
however, hardly can be reduced to the personality of Kryuchkov,
who never has been an independent political figure. (Victor Yasmann)


SERVICEMEN'S WIVES BLOCK AIRBASE. Some 500 wives of Soviet soldiers
staged a sit-in on the runaway of an airbase in eastern Germany
to protest the impending transfer of their husbands to a nuclear
test site in the Soviet Union, the Berliner Morgenpost reported
on July 11. According to a Western account of the German report,
the blockade at the Altes Lager airbase, south of Berlin, lasted
from June 17-20. The husbands are reportedly scheduled to be
transferred to a base near the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site
in Kazakhstan. The German report said that a Soviet commander
in Germany agreed to change the transfer, but failed to follow
through on his offer. (Stephen Foye)

MAKASHOV AIMS FOR SUFFICIENCY OF FOOD PRODUCTION. Commander of
the Volga-Ural Military District and former RSFSR presidential
candidate Colonel Al'bert Makashov has ordered gardens planted
on bases and training grounds in order to alleviate food supply
problems, TASS reported July 6. Makashov is disturbed that economic
reform has disrupted the military's traditional food supply network,
and that some garrisons have had to buy food "at criminal prices"
in local markets. Soldiers will be urged to weed the gardens
in their spare time and conscript labor, traditionally provided
to local farmers, will now be done in exchange for food products.
Land on the military bases is reported to be of equal or better
quality for farming than that possessed by civilian farmers.
(Stephen Foye)

METALWORKERS TO HOLD DAY OF ACTION JULY 19. The official Trade
Union Federation of Workers in Mining and Metallurgical Industries
of the USSR has called for the action in response to what it
sees as the crisis state of the industry, and the growth of social
tension. The union also wants guaranteed employment under the
transition to the market, and an end to pay restraint. The action
is to consist of meetings and demonstrations. The union has not
called for a strike. This is not the first action of its kind
this year: the level of tension in this industry has been high
since the beginning of the miners' strike in March, which heavily
disrupted work in this field. (Sarah Ashwin)



USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



RACE FOR RSFSR PARLIAMENTARY PRESIDENCY. Five candidates are
competing for the post of chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet
today. Only one of them represents the conservative Communist
wing--Sergei Baburin. The other four--Ruslan Khasbulatov, Vladimir
Lukin, Sergei Shakhrai and Nikolai Arzhannikov--are reformists.
In their programatic speeches, all candidates promised to ensure
that the parliament would firmly control the RSFSR president's
powers, TASS reported on July 11. Meanwhile, RSFSR Prime Minister
Ivan Silaev has tendered his resignation, in accordance with
the constitution. President Yeltsin is expected to announce a
new candidate for that post in the next days. Silaev urged the
deputies to elect Khasbulatov as head of parliament. (Alexander
Rahr)

YELTSIN ISSUES FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DECREE. Yeltsin has issued
his first presidential decree, which demands higher salaries
for employees in Russia's educational system as well as higher
scholarships for students, according to TASS on July 11. In accordance
with his proclaimed goal of a "revival of Russia," Yeltsin plans
to complete a state program of educational development before
the end of 1991 and send about 10,000 students and teachers for
study abroad every year. (Alexander Rahr)

DESTATIZATION OF SOVKHOZES. A short and cryptic item in Rossiiskaya
gazeta of July 2 reports that the RSFSR Minister of Agriculture
and Food has signed an order confirming the establishment of
"people's enterprises" based on 12 Tyumen' sovkhozes. Two of
the sovkhozes have already been turned over to their workers
and employees who are henceforth "co-owners of the farms' property
and will market their produce themselves." (Keith Bush)

BASHKIRIA WANTS TO SIGN UNION TREATY INDEPENDENTLY OF RSFSR.
Radio Rossii reported July 11 that the Bashkir parliament was
following the lead of Tatarstan and refusing to sign the Union
treaty as part of the RSFSR delegation. (Ann Sheehy)

SITUATION AGAIN TENSE IN MAKHACHKALA. The situation in Makhachkala,
where a state of emergency was lifted only a few days ago, has
again become tense following the arrest in Moscow of a certain
Khasbulatov, described as one of the organizers of an unsanctioned
meeting of Muslims demanding a reduction in the cost of the pilgrimage
to Mecca in mid-June, Moscow Radio reported July 10. The month's
state of emergency was declared after the meeting turned violent.
Supporters are demanding Khasbulatov's release or that he should
be handed over to a jamaat--popular assembly. A large group of
believers were prevented from holding a meeting on the central
square of Makhachkala. (Ann Sheehy)

MUFTI DISPUTES DISMISSAL REPORTS. Mufti Muhammad-Sadyk Mamayusupov,
chairman of the Muslim Religious Board for Central Asia, told
the RFE/RL Uzbek service on July 11 that he has not been ousted
from the chairmanship, despite reports to the contrary from TASS,
Interfax and Komosomol'skaya pravda. The mufti was reached at
the headquarters of the religious board; he refused to comment
on the charges that supposedly caused a council of imams to vote
him out of his post, although, as a Muslim official in Moscow
pointed out to TASS on July 9, they were not authorized to remove
the head of the religious board. (Bess Brown)

TURKMEN PRESIDENT ON TRIP TO ITALY. Turkmenistan's president
Saparmurad Niyazov is rejoicing over business agreements concluded
during his recent trip to Italy, the first visit abroad to be
undertaken by a leader of the republic without the prior agreement
of Moscow, according to TASS and Radio Mayak reports of July
11. The main agreements, with the construction firm TPL, involve
the building of a cotton textile works at Ashkhabad and of a
gas and chemical processing plant. Niyazov also signed an agreement
for the purchase on credit of food and consumer goods. (Bess
Brown)

TURKMEN POPULAR FRONT LEADER RESENTENCED. A leader of the Turkmen
Popular Front Agzybirlik told the RFE/RL Turkmen service on July
10 that the group's co-chairman Shiraly Nurmyradov has been sentenced
to 18 months in prison on a fraud charge. He was initially sentenced
on a similar charge last December. Agzybirlik claimed that the
charge was trumped up and the republican Supreme Court overruled
the conviction. So a new group of allegedly defrauded persons
was produced; the Chardzhou city court reportedly ignored their
written statements that Nurmyradov had not defrauded them. (Bess
Brown)

APPEAL TO HELP SYADOU. Belorussian journalist Valerii Syadou
is still on hunger strike in a Minsk prison (see Daily Report,
July 9). In a July 11 Radio Rossii broadcast, independent labor
activist Mikhas' Sobol' called on concerned people to demand
that Gorbachev and Yeltsin intervene on Syadou's behalf. Sobol'
asserted that Syadou's case showed the high price paid for stabilization
that was embodied in the 9-plus-1 agreement signed in April.
(Syadou was imprisoned on May 7.) He accused Yeltsin, a 9-plus-1
signatory, of turning his back on Belorussia and its cynical
regime. (Kathy Mihalisko)

MOLDAVIAN LAW ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT. The Moldavian parliament adopted
a law "On the bases of local government" on July 10, TASS reported
the same day. The law envisages a radical change in the present
system, creating several departments (uezdy) instead of the present
50 raions. The departments will be headed by prefects appointed
by the president of the republic. A similar system has already
been introduced in Georgia, where it has aroused protests, notably
in Abkhazia. The Moldavian law also ran into resistance. The
reorganization is likely to result in predominantly Gagauz raions
being subsumed into larger units. (Ann Sheehy)

PRIVATIZATION IN MOLDAVIA. Moldavia is reported to have passed
its own privatization law. Shares in state assets may be sold
at auction or exchanged for vouchers that will be issued freely
to all Moldavian citizens. The vouchers are not convertible into
cash, because of fears that this would lead to the republic's
economy being taken over by so-called black marketeers. There
was a debate about the claims of workers to decide whether their
workplace should be privatized and to have priority claims on
shares if it was. Some concessions were made in the form of special
terms for worker share acquisition. (Izvestia July 5). (Philip
Hanson)


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