The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human, and therefore, brothers. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 136, 19 July 1991



BALTIC STATES



LANDSBERGIS-YELTSIN MEETING. On July 18 Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis met for two hours in Moscow
with RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin, Radio Independent Lithuania
reported July 19. They decided that a treaty establishing bilateral
relations between the two "sovereign" republics would be signed
in Moscow on July 29. They expressed their readiness to expand
cooperation in political, economic, scientific, and cultural
areas and to guarantee the rights of Russians in Lithuania and
Lithuanians in the RSFSR. Representative's offices will be opened
in Vilnius, Moscow, Leningrad, and Kaliningrad. Another agreement
will be signed guaranteeing the RSFSR access to the Kaliningrad
region. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN MONEY. Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius
appeared on television July17 displaying a mint set of Lithuanian
coins in various denominations, TASS reported July 18. Vagnorius
said that banknotes also have been printed, but the new currency--the
litas--will not be introduced im-mediately, as "the political
situation is unfavorable" for such a move. As of July 22, however,
Lithuanians will begin receiving about 20% of their salaries
in the form of "temporary coupons" to facilitate the purchase
of essential goods. Vagnorius said that if the USSR attempts
to obstruct the normal circulation of money in any way, Lithuania
will introduce the litas. (Gytis Liulevicius)

LITHUANIAN ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE WORSENS. Statistics on Lithuania's
economic performance in the first half of 1991 show that performance
is deteriorating in virtually every sector of the economy. According
to TASS July 18, performance in the agro-industrial and food
processing industries is suffering worst of all. Production of
meat is down 19% from last year's level, and milk output is down
13% The number of cattle in sovkhozes and kolkhozes is down by
8%, which does not bode well for future meat/milk output. Prices
for food and non-food consumer goods have increased 300-400%
since December 1990. (John Tedstrom)

MIGRATION IN LITHUANIA. Citing an article in Lietuvos rytas by
the head of the migration division of the Lithuanian Ministry
of Social Security, Vladimiras Grazulis, Izvestia of July18 reported
that in 1990, 13,000 people immigrated to Lithuania from other
Soviet republics, while almost 20,000 emigrated. In 1991, 10-11,000
people immigrated and almost 15,000 emigrated, most of them Russians.
(Saulius Girnius)

NARVA CRISIS ESCALATES. The ongoing crisis at the Narva economic
border point threatened to explode when the Estonian border authority
strengthened its forces at the temporary border post set up outside
Narva, (see Daily Report, July18), Paevaleht reported on July
18. In response, the local "worker brigades" brought in extra
men and issued two ultimatums for the border guards to clear
out. Interior Minister Olev Laanjarv, dispatched to Narva by
Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar, temporarily closed down the border
post and ordered the "worker brigades" to leave the site, which
they did. The stalemate continues, with both sides waiting for
"a political solution" to the problem. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIAN PRESS: WHO ARE THE "WORKER BRIGADES?" Local city officials
in Narva say the "worker brigades" keeping watch on Estonian
border guards are made up of disgruntled workers unhappy with
the Estonian government's policy of monitoring traffic leaving
Estonia for the RSFSR. But Paevaleht said on July 17 that the
"worker brigades" were wearing Soviet Army uniforms and were
armed with rubber truncheons. Liivimaa Kroonika (July 18) asked
northeastern Estonia's Intermovement Chief Coordinator Gennadii
Felippov about rumors that the "worker brigades" are being trained
by Soviet OMON troops in Pskov Oblast. Felippov replied that
local leaders have no such plans, but "the city military commissariat
may recall young men and send them to refresher courses wherever
and whenever they deem it appropriate." (Riina Kionka)

US CONSUL GENERAL VISITS BALTICS. Radio Riga and Radio Vilnius
reported July 16-18 about the visit of the new US Consul General
in Leningrad Jack Gosnell to the Latvian and Lithuanian capitals
this week. On July 16 and 17 Gosnell met with Latvian officials,
including Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis, Minister of Foreign
Affairs Janis Jurkans and Riga mayor Andrejs Inkulis. Among the
topics discussed were the possibility of opening a US consulate
in Riga, US-Baltic passenger flights, and cooperation on ecological
issues. On July 18 Gosnell was in Vilnius and talked with Landsbergis
and Vagnorius. (Dzintra Bungs)

TOURISM, EMIGRATION FIGURES FOR LATVIA. Antons Baltacis, head
of the Latvian visa department, told Tevzemes Avize of June 21
that during the first 5 months of 1991 some 50,000 people from
Latvia had been abroad. Poland was the favorite with nearly 38,000
visitors from Latvia; then came Germany with 9,000, the US with
2,500, and Yugoslavia with about 2,000. Baltacis said that Poland
is popular among those wanting to engage in commercial activity,
and now surpasses Yugoslavia for this reason. Baltacis said that
already this year 485persons had emigrated to Israel, 150 to
the US, about 100 to Germany, and nearly 150 to all East European
countries combined. He expected the emigration figure to reach
6,000 for this year, compared to over 4,000 last year, and about
2,000 in 1987. (Dzintra Bungs)

SMALL EXODUS OF CIVILIANS FROM LATVIA; NO DECLINE IN SOVIET MILITARY
POPULATION. According to Maris Plavnieks, head of the Latvian
government's Migration Department, in 1990 the number of civilian
emigrants from Latvia exceeded immigrants by about 600. He said
that Soviet soldiers and their families continued to flock to
Latvia, but did not provide any figures about a net increase
in their presence either for 1990 or 1991. Latvijas Jaunatne
of March 7-9, quoting figures from the state statistical committee,
reported that 7,877 Soviet military and MVD personnel had settled
in Latvia in 1990. (Dzintra Bungs)


USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



REPUBLICS DISCUSS SECURITY PROTOCOL. Representatives of Ukraine,
Belorussia, Kazakhstan, and Russia are currently meeting in Kiev
to discuss the terms of a protocol that would delineate defense
policy-making powers among the four republics and between the
republics and the center, Radio Mayak reported July 18. The vaguely-worded
report suggested that inclusion would be on a voluntary basis,
and that decisions taken would be binding on all members. It
mentioned a power to veto defense decisions, but is not clear
on how this veto power would be exercised. The meeting also discussed
the creation of a Union Defense Council, which would include
republic and union leaders, and which would carry out a fundamental
reorganization of the existing Soviet defense and defense decision-making
structure. (Stephen Foye)

AFTER THE G-7. There are broadly two lines of comment on the
outcome of Gorbachev's approach to the G-7. Some, like Pravda
(July 18) and Graham Allison (cited in The New York Times, July
19) stressed that the meeting showed that the Western leaders
were devoting time and attention to the reform process in the
Soviet Union, and that this was a start, symbolic of an increasingly
cooperative relationship. Others, like RSFSR TV (Vesti, July
18) and Professor Padma Desai of Columbia University (also cited
by the NYT), stressed that no substantial resource commitment
had been made, and this was just as well, as large-scale aid
would probably have been wasted and would imply support for the
present Union leadership. (Philip Hanson)

BESSMERTNYKH NOTES INTEREST OF G-7. Speaking on the results of
the G-7 meeting in London, Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh summed up discussions by saying that interest among
the capitalist powers in cooperation with the Soviet Union is
growing. Bessmertnykh also noted that all members favor more
active participation by the Soviet Union in international economic
organizations. Commenting on the split in opinion on the speed
with which theUSSR should enter these institutions, Bessmertnykh
said that in the final analysis, one idea stands out: that the
Soviet Union must become integrated into the world economy, TASS
reported July 18. (Suzanne Crow)

SOLTON ON US-SOVIET SUMMIT. TASS observer Yurii Solton said in
a July 18 commentary that "there is hardly any doubt that the
Moscow summit will strengthen the ties between the two countries
and will improve the world situation." Solton opined that "Soviet-American
relations are the key to stability in the world scene. It is
important that the leaders of the two countries realize their
responsibility and the heavy burden they shoulder." (Suzanne
Crow)

CHURKIN ON SUMMIT BOOST. Soviet Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vitalii
Churkin noted in a July 17 interview with Japanese television
that the coming US-Soviet summit will "help [Gorbachev] a lot"
in the domestic sphere. "Diplomatic achievements strengthen
political leaders. As a matter of course, the summit results
will be reflected in the domestic politics of both nations because
both President Bush and President Gorbachev are facing elections
next year." Churkin's comments, when taken with Gorbachev's recent
spate of foreign visitors, insistence on attendance at the G-7
summit, and eagerness to hold a US-Soviet summit, suggest that
Gorbachev is attempting to raise his domestic political stock.
(Suzanne Crow)

TASS ON START AGREEMENT. In a positive but measured response
to the US-Soviet agreement on strategic arms reductions, TASS
commentator Vladimir Bogachev said July 18 that the treaty would
guarantee equal security for both sides at a significantly lower
level of weaponry. He nevertheless said that nuclear arms levels
remained too high, and called for resumption of negotiations
that would cut greater numbers of nuclear weapons. (Stephen Foye)


USSR SUPPORTS US PROPOSAL AT MINORITIES CONFERENCE. The Chief
Soviet delegate at the Geneva Minorities Conference, Georgii
Tarazevich, told reporters in Geneva on July 18 that the Soviet
Union supported the US proposal on international mediation to
help resolve ethnic crises, RFE/RL's correspondent in Geneva
reported July 18. Tarazevich, who is chairman of the Council of
Nationalities commission on nationalities policy and interethnic
relations, said the various parties in a conflict might find
it easier to trust international mediators. Asked specifically
if they could be used in the Soviet Union in conflicts such as
Nagorno-Karabakh, he said: "Yes." (Ann Sheehy)

VIETNAMESE-SOVIET ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Soviet-Vietnamese economic
cooperation talks took place this week in Hanoi. During a news
conference at the Vietnamese foreign ministry on July 18, Vietnamese
spokesmen said that bilateral trade is going through a period
of reform, and that Vietnam greatly values economic cooperation
with the Soviet Union. On July 16, a joint agreement on raising
the effectiveness of cooperation was signed. The agreement relates
to cooperation on exploiting the gas and oil fields on the continental
shelf near southern Vietnam, and establishes a joint firm called
"V'ETSOVPETRO," TASS reported July 18. (Suzanne Crow)

SOVIET ATTENDANCE AT ASEAN VIEWED. According to a TASS interview
with Aleksandr Panov, Chief of the Pacific and Southeast Asian
Directorate at the USSR Foreign Ministry, Soviet attendance at
the ASEAN meeting in Kuala Lumpur on July 19 is viewed "very
positively" in the USSR. "This is undoubtedly a result of the
Vladivostok and Krasnoyarsk initiatives of our leadership," Panov
said. Meanwhile, Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Maslyukov
met with his Malaysian counterpart Abdul Ghafar bin Baba on July
18 in Kuala Lumpur. Baba said that there exists a great possibility
for development of ties in various fields between the USSR and
Malaysia, TASS reported July 18. (Suzanne Crow)

FURTHER US GRAIN SALES. The United States Department of Agriculture
announced July 17 that the Soviet Union had purchased one million
tons of corn and 250,000 tons of soybeans and soybean meal, Western
agencies reported July 18. This latest purchase brings total
US sales of grain and feedstuffs to the USSR so far in calendar
year 1991 to 10.2 million tons. On July 18, Canadian Prime Minister
Brian Mulroney told Gorbachev in London that Canada was ending
a freeze on $130 million's worth of credits for the purchase
of Canadian grain that had been imposed after the Baltic crackdown
in January. (Keith Bush)

NEW OIL JOINT VENTURE IN THE KOMI ASSR. British Gulf and Gulf
Canada Resources have announced that they are in the final stages
of setting up a joint venture to develop a new oilfield and to
boost output at a nearby older field in the Komi ASSR, Western
agencies reported July 18. The sites have estimated reserves
of 2.2 billion barrels, and the Western share of investment will
be nearly $900 million. Meanwhile, the status of the Chevron
Tengiz project is uncertain. The subject of protracted negotiations,
it was fiercely attacked by, inter alia, Moskovskie novosti and
Nezavisimaya gazeta in June on the alleged grounds that the contract
was unduly advantageous for the US firm. (Keith Bush)

JOINT VENTURE ENCLAVE STILL GROWING. Ekonomika i zhizn' no. 29
contains detailed Goskomstat data on joint ventures in the first
quarter of this year. As of April 1, 948 were producing, sixteen
of them employing more than 1,000 workers. Estimates based on
the data provided suggest that the volume of JV value added is
of the order of only 0.2-0.3% of GDP, but had approximately doubled
over twelve months. There is a strong concentration of JV activity
in information technology. A research paper giving details and
analysis has been drafted. (Philip Hanson)

CPSU WILL NOT CHANGE ITS NAME. According to Novosti July 18,
the CPSU commission charged with drawing up the new Party Program
has decided not to change the name of the CPSU (some Party members
have suggested that the CPSU replace "Communist" with "Social
Democratic"). The draft also proposes greater independence for
republican Communist parties within the framework of a common
program and rules. (Dawn Mann)

KGB TAKES OVER CUSTOMS SERVICES? The chief of the newly-created
USSR Customs Committee, Nikolai Ermakov, is a veteran of the
KGB, according to his profile published by TASS, July 18. Before
his appointment by Gorbachev's edict of July 11, Ermakov hold
a high-ranking position within the KGB and worked abroad for
twelve years early in his career, the report said. His predecessor,
the former chief of the Main Administration of Customs Control,
was KGB Lieutenant General Vitalii Boyarov, who was also a Soviet
intelligence veteran expelled from Great Britain in 1965. (Victor
Yasmann)

ANDROPOV THE "FATHER OF PERESTROIKA." Writing in Politika (the
newspaper of the "Soyuz" group), economist Tat'yana Koryagina
says that in 1982 she joined a secret team set up by Yurii Andropov
to plan a transition to a market economy. As quoted by Novosti
(July 17), Koryagina says the team was composed of experts from
Gosplan and the Council of Ministers and that it espoused private
property and the conversion of state enterprises into joint-stock
companies. Others close to Andropov, such as Fedor Burlatsky,
have made similar claims as to the former KGB chief's liberalizing
tendencies. An article by Otto Latsis in Pravda on December 15,
1980, which noted that Feliks Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka,
favored joint-stock companies, was read at the time as a sign
that Andropov supported such a policy. (The article was supposed
to be the first in a series of 12, but the other 11 never appeared.)
(Philip Hanson/ Elizabeth Teague/Victor Yasmann)

FORMATION OF INDEPENDENT POLICE-WOMEN'S UNION. The All-Union
Association of Female Employees of Internal Affairs Organs is
the first independent structure in the in the internal security
forces. It recently registered with the USSR Ministry of Justice,
Izvestia reported 18 July. Its president, N. Averina, said that
in the USSR legal protection for policewomen, who number 96,000,
was among the worst in the world. The association plans to work
with comparable organs in the West, although Averina said that
the problems in the USSR were far worse than in Britain, for
example. Other plans include sending members abroad for training
and participation in the peace movement. (Sarah Ashwin)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



SCANDAL OVER VESTI REPORT ON DEPUTIES. A scandal has erupted
over the July 14 RSFSR TV program Vesti, which broadcast an interview
conducted by journalist Yurii Rostov with the receptionist at
Moscow's hotel "Rossiya," where deputies live. Unaware that she
was being filmed by a hidden camera, the woman reported stories
about the misbehavior of deputies. On July 15, Rostov commented
on RSFSR TV on his report; he admitted that he used a hidden
camera, but he said that no deputies were named and it was not
even clear whether USSR or RSFSR deputies were meant. RSFSR deputies
thought, however, that the report was aimed at them, and formally
protested the report. On July 18, the head of the Russian TV
and Radio Broadcasting Company, Oleg Poptsov, commented on the
incident. Contradicting Rostov's admission, he denied that a
hidden camera was used. (Vera Tolz)

DEMONSTRATION FOR INDEPENDENCE OF LENINGRAD TV. A demonstration
was held in Leningrad July 18 to protest last month's decision
by the central TV authorities to put Leningrad television firmly
under the supervision of the All-Union State TV and Radio Broadcasting
Company. (In contrast, the Leningrad city soviet wanted to make
Leningrad TV a share-holding company). Radio Rossii reported
that the demonstrators carried slogans attacking the head of
the all-union company, Leonid Kravchenko. (Vera Tolz)

ROMANOVS' REMAINS UNCOVERED? TASS reported on July 18 from Sverdlovsk
that nine skeletons have been discovered at the site where the
remains of the last Tsar of Russia and his family supposedly
were hidden. The Russian Orthodox Church, which this year for
the first time commemorated the day the Tsar and his family were
killed, has now opened a bank account for the construction of
a temple-memorial on the site of the shooting. At present there
is only a crucifix. (Oxana Antic)

ORTHODOX SISTERHOOD OF NURSES ORGANIZED. Soyuz no. 25 reports
about the organization of the Orthodox sisterhood of nurses.
Patriarch Aleksii II announced the organization at the end of
May during a liturgy in the cathedral of the Archangel in the
Kremlin. Orthodox Christians who participate in and finish medical
courses will receive a certificate that they were trained as
nurses and attended a course of lectures as teachers of catechism.
(Oxana Antic)

UKRAINE PROTECTS ITS GRAIN HARVEST. "We will take whatever steps
are necessary to protect the population [of Ukraine]," Soviet
TV quoted Ukrainian Parliament Chairman Leonid Kravchuk as saying
on July 18. While Ukraine intends to supply grain to fulfill
state orders and bilateral agreements with other regions, it
has "taken measures to protect its harvest from massive purchases
by other republics." Both the all-Union and Ukrainian governments
are offering a variety of incentives in exchange for additional
grain deliveries, including sewing machines, refrigerators, and
other scarce goods (see Daily Report, July 16). Soviet officials
have forecast this year's total harvest to drop 37-57 million
ton from last year's harvest. (Natalie Melnyczuk)

POLAND AND UKRAINE TO BARTER. The Polish province of Chelm and
Ukraine are working on an agreement for the barter exchange of
agricultural and industrial goods, PAP reported on July 17. The
Provincial Administrator of Chelm, a province in southeastern
Poland bordering on the Ukraine, met with a representative from
the Economic Commission of the Council of Ministers of Ukraine.
They drew up a preliminary list of 32 products for barter exchange.
Chelm would supply grain, sugar, potatoes, jams and farm machinery.
In return Ukraine would send lumber, fuel, cars, household appliances
and other goods. A final agreement is expected at the end of
August. (Christopher Wellisz/Natalie Melnyczuk)

LVOV ON PARTY ORGANS IN THE MILITIA. The Lvov Oblast Soviet has
passed a resolution recommending that the militia be cleansed
of Communist Party organs, Radio Kiev reported July18. The resolution
was adopted by a large majority, including deputies who are Communist
Party members. The latter account for about 20% of the deputies.
Communist Party First Secretary Stanislav Hurenko, who is currently
in Lvov, has stated his opposition to such moves. (Roman Solchanyk)


JOURNALIST SYADOU TRANSFERRED TO HOSPITAL. More than thirty days
into a hunger strike, independent journalist Valerii Syadou was
transferred this week from his jail cell to a Minsk hospital,
according to correspondent reports to the RFE/RL Belorussian
service and a July 17 Radio Rossii broadcast. Syadou, awaiting
trial for defiling the Lenin monument in central Minsk, has been
protesting the appalling conditions of his detention. His supporters
in Belorussia consider him to be a political prisoner. (Kathy
Mihalisko)

TRIAL IN TAJIKISTAN. Radio Moscow reported on July 18 on the
trial before the Supreme Court of Tajikistan of five persons
charged with having been organizers of the February, 1990, disturbances
in Dushanbe. A more complete account of the trial, during which
the defendants are confined Italian-style in an iron cage in
the courtroom, appears in Soyuz, No. 28. The five, who were reportedly
prominent in the Dushanbe underworld, are charged with having
staged an attack on apartments inhabited by Armenians in a Dushanbe
microraion. Rumors that Armenian refugees were receiving preferential
housing were reported to have been the immediate cause of the
Dushanbe unrest. (Bess Brown)

WARNING OF PLAGUE IN ARAL SEA BED. TASS summarized a report on
July 18 warning that rodents which have colonized the dry Aral
Sea bed are likely to be carriers of bubonic plague. The director
of the Central Asian plague research institute, Vladimir Stepanov,
is quoted as warning that people should avoid "epidemiologically
dangerous" areas of the former seabed. Several cases of plague,
which is only one of the major health hazards that have resulted
from the drying up of the sea, were reported from the region
in the summer of 1990. (Bess Brown)

NEW CATHOLIC BISHOP FOR KAZAKHSTAN AND CENTRAL ASIA. Soyuz No.
25 reported on the enthronement of Pavel Lenga, the parish priest
of Krasnoarmeisk, as bishop of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Bishop
Pavel is also apostolic administrator of Kazakstan. According
to Soyuz, great crowds of believers gathered for the occasion.
Bishops from Germany, Austria, and Poland participated in the
event, and the Vatican's envoy to the USSR, archbishop Francesco
Colasuonno, was also present. (Oxana Antic)

COMMUNISTS IN MOLDAVIA DEMAND EXTRAORDINARY CPSU CONGRESS. The
buro of the Bendery city Party committee of the Moldavian Communist
Party (CPSU platform) has added its voice to the calls for an
extraordinary CPSU congress or all-Union Party conference, TASS
reported July 18. The buro notes that many of the conclusions
and theses of the XXVIII Party congress have not been borne out
by reality. It criticizes the passivity of the Party's leading
bodies, particularly the secretariat, which, it says, should
be renewed. (Ann Sheehy) [As of 1300 CET] Compiled by Patrick
Moore and Sallie Wise (END)


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