Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 138, 23 July 1991



BALTIC STATES



ANOTHER LATVIAN CUSTOMS POST ATTACKED. Radio Riga reported that
today (July 23) at 1:15 a.m., five armed men attacked Grebnevo
customs post in the Ludza raion bordering the RSFSR. The report
did not identify the attackers, but gave the license plate number
of their car, which indicates that the car is registered in Latvia.
The attackers assaulted not only the customs officials and a
policeman, but also travelers. They took 5,000 rubles from one
traveler and damaged his car, and before departing they threw
a grenade at the customs post. (Dzintra Bungs)

"TRANSITION PERIOD CONSTITUTION" FOR LATVIA? At its session on
July 20, the Council of the People's Front of Latvia discussed
a "transition period Constitution" for Latvia. The council decided
that the draft constitution text considered by the Supreme Council
in June was unsatisfactory on several counts, especially its
unclear formulation of the notion that Latvia is occupied by
Soviet military forces. At the same time, the PFL did agree that
Latvia should not continue to function under the Latvian SSR
Constitution, according to Radio Riga July 22. The new constitution
would serve until Latvia gains de facto independence. Similar
views were expressed by Latvia's National Independence Movement
on July 18, reported Diena on July 19. (Dzintra Bungs)

MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE IN LATVIA IN 1990. According to State Statistical
Committee data published in Latvijas Jaunatne of June 28 and
Lauku Avize of July 2, 23,619 marriages and 10,783 divorces were
registered in Latvia in 1990, or 877 and 466 less, respectively,
than in 1989. About 36% of marriages were between partners of
different nationalities. Every fifth Latvian married a non-Latvian
last year. Marriages where one or both partners are under the
age of 20are increasing; in 1990, 709 young women and 152 young
men who got married were under age. Divorce rates appear to be
on the rise in marriages where the spouses are of different nationalities:
during the past two years the number of divorces in such marriages
rose from 37% to 40%. (Dzintra Bungs)

FINNISH OFFICIAL ON COMPLETED BALTIC TRIP. Finnish Telecommunications
and Transport Minister Ole Norrback recently returned from a
five-day trip to the Baltic States, Western agencies reported
July 23. Norrback met with his Baltic counterparts to discuss
"Viabaltica," a highway project linking Helsinki and Warsaw by
way of the Baltic States. The project would require opening the
Lithuanian-Polish border to international transport services.
Norrback also met Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas
Landsbergis and senior officials in Latvia and Estonia. Norrback
said that there is a "common desire for dialogue" between the
Baltic States and the USSR. (Gytis Liulevicius)


USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



DRAFT PARTY PROGRAM READY. Nezavisimaya gazeta published an analysis
and some excerpts of the CPSU's draft Party program on July 22,
Western news agencies reported the same day. This version apparently
carries Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's seal of approval
and is said to already have the solid support of some 100 CPSU
Central Committee members--including Aleksandr Yakovlev and Arkadii
Volsky--who reportedly are prepared to adopt the program as their
own, if the Central Committee does not. Nezavisimaya gazeta will
publish the program in full today; among the choice quotes released
yesterday are: "The Party unconditionally condemns the crimes
of Stalinism which took the lives and crippled the fate of millions
of people. There can be no justification for that," and "The
Party has abandoned forever the idea that the end justifies the
means." (Dawn Mann)

INTERREPUBLICAN ECONOMIC RELATIONS REPRODUCING COMECON? Yu. Sharipov,
chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Commission on economic relations
of the republics and autonomous formations, and A. Sadikov, a
consultant of the USSR Supreme Soviet secretariat, argue in an
article in Pravda of July 17 that in basing interrepublican economic
relations entirely on intergovernmental agreements, the RSFSR
government's program on economic stabilization and transition
to the market, as well as some aspects of bilateral interrepublican
economic agreements, will reproduce all the failings of Comecon.
Payments will only be made through clearing agreements, which
will lead to dismemberment of the single economic space and the
appearance of something like the unsatisfactory transferable
ruble. They suggest that Article 6 of the draft Union treaty
state that the Union and republics should ensure uniform regulation
of trade and economic relations between the republics. (Ann
Sheehy)

INFLATION RATE ACCELERATES. The retail price index grew by 8%
in June, according to a study in Commersant of July 1. The government's
attempts in early 1991 to curb inflationary pressures, such as
the exchange of bank notes, partially freezing savings accounts,
the April 2 price increases, and wage curbs, are judged to have
failed. A new twist to the inflationary spiral was expected to
start in July with the lifting of the freeze on bank deposits
(10-11 billion rubles could be withdrawn) and with the issuance
of new 5-, 3-, and 1-ruble notes which will circulate simultaneously
with old bills of the same denominations (this could result in
45-50 billion rubles' worth of new notes). (Keith Bush)

AGREEMENT ON COPYRIGHT LAW. The Journal of Commerce reported
July 23 that US and Soviet officials have reached agreement in
principle on changes in the Soviet copyright law. Among US objections
to the original Soviet law, passed on May 31, were its lack of
criminal penalties and its failure to regulate the use of videotapes
played for public audiences. The agreement in principle raises
the chances that the US-Soviet trade agreement will soon be sent
to Capitol Hill. Once approved, the way is clear for MFN status
to be granted to the Soviet Union. (Keith Bush)

ASLUND ON SOVIET ECONOMIC GROWTH. In the July 1991 issue of The
World Today, Anders Aslund restates his critique of the Gorbachev
administration's mismanagement of the economy. He attributes
the present crisis to three principal factors: deliberate neglect
of the burgeoning budget deficit; relaxation of wage controls;
and skyrocketing social expenditures arising from concessions
to populist pressures. Aslund suggests that the Soviet leadership
will plump for stabilization without marketization, privatization,
and democratization, and concludes that "it seems likely that
the actual decline in Soviet national income will be of the order
of 35% before it can be brought to a halt." This is a far greater
decline that most observers would care to project. (Keith Bush)


COLIN POWELL ARRIVES IN MOSCOW. The Chairman of the US Joint
Chiefs of Staff arrived in Moscow on July 22 to begin a nine-day
official visit. In a busy first day, Powell met with Soviet Defense
Minister Dmitrii Yazov, General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev,
and Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh. According to Western
and Soviet reports, talks centered on increasing contacts between
the Soviet and American armed forces, on the recent START agreement,
and on European and regional security. Powell may also meet Gorbachev.
Following his Moscow visit, he is scheduled to travel throughout
Siberia and the Far East. (Stephen Foye)

MILITARY ALCOHOL TREATMENT PROGRAM. US Navy alcohol abuse experts
who recently visited the USSR say that alcohol treatment programs
in the Soviet armed forces are primitive and woefully inadequate,
Knight-Ridder reported on July 23. One US team member said that
the Soviets are "about 50-70 years behind the United States in
terms of alcoholism treatment," and that rates of alcoholism
in the Soviet Union are "significantly higher" than in the US.
While most American servicemen receive treatment in self-help
groups and through counseling, he added, there is no treatment
short of hospitalization in the USSR. Only officers are eligible
for treatment, and alcoholism among conscripts is reported to
be rampant. (Stephen Foye)

THE DRAFT SYSTEM: SOME FACTS. Amid recriminations over an attempt
by the Defense Ministry to eliminate student draft deferments,
two recent reports in Izvestia and Komsomolskaya pravda (from
July 15 and July 10, respectively) claim that every year the
higher educational system prepares some 120,000 reserve officers.
The cost for this training, which reportedly amounts to 300 million
rubles yearly, comes not out of the military, but out of the
education budget. These reserve officer trainees, the reports
say, expend one-tenth of their study time on military topics.
(Stephen Foye)

TALKS WITH GREEK PREMIER. Gorbachev held talks yesterday (July
22) with Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis on improving
bilateral relations. In his dinner speech, Gorbachev highlighted
the "old traditions" and the "enduring attraction of our peoples
for one another." A bilateral treaty, which is to be signed on
July 23, is "aimed at the future," TASS quoted Gorbachev as saying
on July 22. Gorbachev also spoke about the Cyprus dispute, calling
for an international conference to resolve the issue. Gorbachev
did not mention which parties he believes should be involved
in the talks. (Suzanne Crow)

TALKS ON COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF NAZISM. Germany and the
Soviet Union have begun official negotiations in Bonn on the
question of compensation for Soviet citizens victimized by Nazism.
German government spokesman Dieter Vogel told Berlin television
on July 22 that the amount paid to Soviet victims would not be
as high as the amount received by Israel (an estimated DM 100
billion over the last four decades), Western agencies reported
July 22. (Suzanne Crow)

AGREEMENT ON CAMBODIA. Deputy Foreign Ministry Igor Rogachev
said on July 20 the USSR and China are now in "about the same
position" on how to handle the Cambodia settlement. Rogachev
also said the two countries plan to accredit envoys to Cambodia's
Supreme National Council in November, Western agencies reported
July 20. (Suzanne Crow)

USSR WILL SUPPORT CUBA. Gennadii Kisiliev, a member of the Presidium
of the Supreme Soviet and head of a delegation now visiting Cuba,
said the USSR will maintain a policy of unconditional support
for Cuba, Western agencies reported July 19. According to a TASS
report of July 21, Kisiliev gave glowing reviews to Soviet-Cuban
relations, saying "the perspectives of our relations in all areas
can be judged as optimistic." (Suzanne Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE ON MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORMS . . . . Former
Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze gave a wide-ranging interview
to Le Figaro's Moscow correspondent, published July 22. On the
new Movement for Democratic Reforms, of which he is a founder,
Shevardnadze noted that "no decision has been made yet on the
question of knowing whether we will remain a 'movement' or transform
ourselves into a 'party.'" He predicted that the movement would
probably encompass several parties that would keep their autonomy.
(Sallie Wise)

ON FOREIGN POLICY . . . . Asked about criticism of his performance
as Foreign Minister, particularly his role in German unification,
Shevardnadze told Le Figaro he would do it all over again. On
"the German affair," Shevardnadze revealed that "we knew it would
happen. But, in fact, the acceleration of the process was spontaneous
. . . . Nothing was decided in Moscow, in any case." In response
to a question about the genesis of "new thinking," Shevardnadze
said he and Gorbachev at the time of the invasion of Afghanistan
said to themselves that "it was necessary to change everything."
He maintained that he and Gorbachev learned about the invasion
from the radio. (Sallie Wise)

AND ON G-7, ECONOMIC REFORMS. In the same interview, Shevardnadze
expressed the opinion that it had been essential for Gorbachev
to take a program to the G-7 summit in London, whether the program
was good or bad. He said that at any rate, "it is not a matter
of asking for credits, but of organizing our cooperation with
the West." He stressed that the USSR must "create favorable conditions
for foreign investments: it is the only way to accelerate our
transition to the market and we have no other path." (Sallie
Wise)

LENINGRAD PSYCHIATRISTS QUIT ALL-UNION SOCIETY. The Leningrad
psychiatrists' organization has left the All-Union Society of
Psychiatrists. V. Tochilov of the Leningrad organization was
quoted on Radio Rossii July 19 as saying that the decision was
due to the immoral behavior of the all-Union leadership, which
tried to force its own choice of directors on the Leningrad center.
The Leningrad work collective wanted to elect its own leadership,
and did not want to be the executors of archaic and repressive
methods of treatment. (Sarah Ashwin)

PATRIARCH ALEKSII'S INTERVIEW WITH DER SPIEGEL. In an interview
published in Der Spiegel of July 22, Patriarch Aleksii II warned
that the process of Westernizing the Soviet way of life has little
to do with humanization and Christianization. The Patriarch discussed
relations with the Vatican, and expressed the view that for the
approximately 2OO Catholics living in Novosibirsk a parish would
suffice, whereas the Pope has assigned an archbishop there. The
Patriarch speculated that Catholic missionary activities are
planned among the Russian Orthodox population, which would seriously
impair relations between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Vatican.
(Oxana Antic)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



REACTION TO DEPOLITICIZATION DECREE. The RSFSR Communist Party
has reacted negatively to a decree banning political activity
in state bodies issued on July 20 by RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin.
RSFSR CP Politburo member Gennadii Dzyuganov said the decree
violates the law on public associations, the RSFSR and USSR Constitutions,
and the international declaration of human rights, Radio Moscow
reported July 22. Boris Gunko,a member of "Edinstvo," characterized
the decree as "Draconian, monstrously undemocratic, perhaps even
another step towards fascism," according to The Guardian, July
22. RSFSR Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi told a news conference
that the decree "makes all political parties equal and lets officials
work, guided only by the constitution and the law," TASS reported
July 22.(Dawn Mann)

FURTHER DEPOLITICIZATION TO COME. Yeltsin's July 20 decree also
instructed the RSFSR Supreme Soviet to prepare a bill banning
political activity in the Supreme Court, the prosecutor's office,
the armed forces, the Ministry of the Interior, and the KGB.
These agencies are not administered solely by republican authorities,
so neither the RSFSR Supreme Soviet nor Yeltsin unilaterally
can eliminate party activities in them. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet
will use its right of legislative initiative in the USSR Supreme
Soviet to achieve the depoliticization of these agencies. Vladimir
Starikov, secretary of the RSFSR MVD Party committee, told TASS
that the decree would have to be studied carefully for its compliance
with the law and that the question was bound to be raised at
the upcoming plenum. (Dawn Mann)

MORE ON VREMYA COVERAGE OF DECREE. Yesterday's Daily Report (July
23) contained an item stating that Central Television's Vremya
newscast failed to mention Yeltsin's decree on "de-partification."
Later that day--i.e., two days after other newscasts had reported
on the event--Vremya finally reported the TASS dispatch on the
second de-cree of the first RSFSR President. (Julia Wishnevsky)


RUTSKOI'S PARTY TO REMAIN PART OF CPSU. Rutskoi also announced
at his press conference that the Democratic Party of Communists
of Russia will split from the RSFSR CP but will remain a part
of the CPSU. (Dawn Mann)

YELTSIN CREATES PRESIDENTIAL APPARATUS. Yeltsin issued a decree
on July 22 creating three new bodies, all attached to the RSFSR
Presidency, Radio Rossii reported the same day. The Council of
State will serve as an advisory body to the president; its secretary
is Gennadii Burbulis, a member of Yeltsin's advisory staff. (His
place in that body has been filled by Sergei Shakrai, who will
be responsible for legal policy.) The Council for Federation
Affairs and Territories of the RSFSR will also be an advisory
body and will look at questions of internal republican economic
activity; its secretary is Yurii Skokov. The third body is the
Commission for Drafting Proposals on Procedures of the Russian
Security Council. (Dawn Mann)

KHASBULATOV STUDYING BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM. Ruslan Khasbulatov,
acting Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, is on a five-day
visit to Great Britain for talks with British parliamentarians.
RFE/RL's correspondent in London reported July 22 that Khasbulatov
held talks yesterday with the Speaker of the House of Commons
and various MPs. Today (July 23) he is scheduled to meet with
Deputy Foreign Minister Douglas Hogg, who is responsible for
Soviet and East European affairs. He will also meet with trade
officials to discuss prospects for trade between Britain and
the RSFSR. Khasbulatov's visit reportedly was arranged to enable
him to learn about the British parliamentary system (Sallie Wise)


RSFSR KGB CHIEF: USSR KGB SHOULD BE STRENGTHENED, NOT SPLIT.
Victor Ivanenko, acting chief of the RSFSR KGB, told Vremya July
19 that the creation of the Russian KGB must be not seen as a
disruption of a well-functioning mechanism. Rather, it is a step
toward enhancing the overall state security of the Union, he
said. Ivanenko predicted that, in contrast to the USSR KGB, the
structure of the RSFSR KGB will be more "economical and efficient."
He also revealed that Yeltsin recently had two "one-on-one" meetings
with USSR KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov, and that their positions
on delineating the powers of the USSR KGB and the RSFSR KGB are
drawing closer together. (Victor Yasmann)

DEMONSTRATION FOR NOVODVORSKAYA'S RELEASE. Several dozen protesters
took part in demonstration for the release of Democratic Union
leader Valeria Novodvorskya and for disbanding the USSR and RSFSR
KGBs, TASS reported July 21. Novodvorskya was arrested by the
KGB on May 16 and has been accused of calling for violent change
of the Soviet constitutional order. TASS stressed the small number
of the Democratic Union's membership and its affiliation with
the Democratic Russia movement. (Victor Yasmann)

MOSCOW RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR SALE. The first auction of permits
to reside in Moscow is to be held July 27, according to Komsomol'skaya
pravda (July 16). The organizers will put on sale ten certificates
entitling enterprises to invite to Moscow specialists from other
localities; the starting price is expected to be 200,000 rubles
per permit. The cost of a permit does not include living space
for its holder; enterprises must find an apartment for the employees
in question. The city plans to sell 50 permits in all and to
invest the profits in the Moscow infrastructure. Komsomol'skaya
pravda noted, however, that Moscow Mayor Gavriil Popov in the
past has argued that the system of residence permits should be
abolished as violating the provision of the UN Declaration on
Human Rights advocating freedom of movement. (Julia Wishnevsky)


RUSSIANS AND GYPSIES CLASH IN PSKOV OBLAST. Two Russians received
gunshot wounds after a clash between gypsies and Russians last
week in the town of Nevel' in Pskov oblast, Radio Mayak reported
July 17 and TASS July 20. Anger had been rising in the town for
some time over a group of gypsies trading unhindered in vodka
at four times the state price, TASS stated. Following the clash
a large crowd gathered and demanded the arrest of the traders
and the expulsion of the gypsies from the town. There are about
a thousand gypsies living in one part of the town. (Ann Sheehy)


NISHANOV ASKS GAMSAKHURDIA TO PERMIT MESKHETIANS TO RETURN. The
chairman of the USSR Council of Nationalities, Rafik Nishanov,
appealed July 18 to Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia to
allow those Meskhetians who wish to do so to return to Georgia,
whence they were deported en masse to Central Asia in November,
1944, according to TASS of July 19. Following violent clashes
with local Uzbeks in the Fergana valley in June, 1989, many Meskhetians
fled from Uzbekistan to the RSFSR; some 40,000 settled in Azerbaijan.
Gamsakhurdia opposes the return of the Meskhetians to Georgia
because they are Moslems and the majority do not speak Georgian.
(Liz Fuller)

SOVIET TURKS PICKETING TURKISH EMBASSY IN MOSCOW. For more than
a week Soviet Turks from the Enbekshikazakh raion of Kazakhstan
have been picketing the Turkish embassy in Moscow for permission
to emigrate to Turkey, Izvestia reported July 22. They say they
have been forced to take this step because life is difficult
where they live, and Georgia refuses to allow them to return
to Georgia from where they were deported in 1944. They first
appealed to the Turkish government two years ago. The Turkish
ambassador explained to Izvestia that the Turkish government
tries not to accept refugees, and Turkey has a mass of economic
problems of its own, but the government is disposed to help the
Soviet Turks. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION TO CONSIDER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. The
People's Council, which groups the parliamentary opposition in
Ukraine, will discuss strategy for the presidential campaign
in mid-August, Radio Kiev reported July 22. Possible candidates
include Ihor Yukhnovs'kyi, head of the People's Council; Levko
Lukyanenko, head of the Ukrainian Republican Party; Volodymyr
Yavorivs'kyi, a USSR and Ukrainian SSR people's deputy; and Yurii
Shcherbak, head of the Green Party of Ukraine. (Roman Solchanyk)


COMMUNIST PARTY OF UKRAINE REGISTERED. The Communist Party of
Ukraine was officially registered yesterday, Ukrinform-TASS reported
July22. With a membership of 2.7 million, it became the fifth
political party in the republic to be given legal status. (Roman
Solchanyk)

CRIMEAN CONSTITUTION CONSIDERED. A concept of a new constitution
for the Crimean ASSR was adopted by its Supreme Soviet, Ukrinform-TASS
reported July 22. The question of the peninsula's name will be
decided by a referendum. The deputies decided against a presidential
form of government; proposed that Russian be the official language;
and that citizenship of the Crimean republic be established.
The new constitution is not subject to ratification by the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet. (Roman Solchanyk)

BELORUSSIAN REACTION TO MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORMS. The
July 18 issue of Znamya yunosti quizzed several democratically-oriented
Belorussian political leaders on their attitudes toward the
Movement for Democratic Reforms [DDR]. Popular Front chairman
Zyanon Paznyak was most dismissive, viewing the DDR as little
more than a civilized way to save the CPSU. Social Democrat
Anatol' Vyartsinski noted that many in hisparty welcomed the
DDR as an additional force for reform, but had strong reservations
about its allegedly centrist approach to the question of the
republics. Most positive was Alyaksandr Sasnau, who belongs to
the newly created faction "Belorussian Communists for Democracy."
(Kathy Mihalisko)

MALOFEEV CRUSADES AGAINST SCHISMATICS. The "Belorussian Communists
for Democracy" faction within the Communist Party is under heavy
fire from the machinery of the resolutely anti-reformist Central
Committee of the Belorussian CP. In a major policy statement
published July 12 in Party dailies, First Secretary Anatolii
Malofeev lashed out at both Belorussian "schismatics" and the
founders of the DDR, who, he said, are more dangerous than the
"CPSU Democratic Platform" group of one year ago. Malofeev called
for unity in Party ranks. However, according to Alyaksandr Sasnau
(see above), the important Minsk city Party committee has refused
to endorse Malofeev's condemnation of the DDR. (Kathy Mihalisko)


MASS HEMORRHAGE OF MINSK PARTY RANKS. One reason why the Minsk
city Party committee refused to go along with Malofeev and the
Belorussian Central Committee may be that the capital's Party
organization is in big trouble with its rank-and-file members.
Nearly 8,700 members from Minsk have quit the Party since the
beginning of this year, of whom more than half were workers,
according to BELTA news agency, July 13. Twelve primary Party
organizations in the city have disappeared, probably as a result
of burgeoning anticommunism among workers. (Kathy Mihalisko)
[As of 1300 CET]


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

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