Science and art have that in common that everyday things seem to them new and attractive. - Friedrich Nietzsche
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 139, 24 July 1991



BALTIC STATES



TWO PLANS FOR GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION. Prime Minister Edgar
Savisaar, Minister of the Economy Jaak Leimann, and Minister
of State Raivo Vare have drafted two plans for reorganizing the
Estonian government, Rahva Haal reported on July 23. The first
plan foresees a number of structural changes to clear up ambiguities
among some ministers and ministries, including renaming Social
Affairs to become Labor, and uniting two ministries whose business
it is to make deals: Commerce and Resources. The second plan
envisions power-sharing by bringing representatives from various
political parties into the government. The troika foresees changes
around August or September. (Riina Kionka)

TALLINN REOPENS INVESTIGATION. The Estonian Supreme Court has
ordered the investigation of the murder of two Swedish trade
union officials to be reopened, Paevaleht reported on July 23.
Supreme Court deputy chairman Peeter-Uno Rahi said the case was
sent back to the Criminal Cases Collegium (a part of the court's
own investigative section) because some documents used in the
preliminary investigation were missing, among them affidavits
that the three accused females were informed of the charges being
brought against them. Court officials estimated that the missing
files would be returned within the month, after which a court
date would be set. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIANS: THE GLUM BALTS. A recent survey conducted simultaneously
in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania indicates that Estonians are
the most pessimistic Balts. According to a summary of the survey
published on July 23 in Paevaleht, residents of the three republics
were asked a number of questions about the future, economic prospects,
and interethnic relations. Regardless of the question, residents
of Lithuania consistently came out the most optimistic, followed
by residents of Latvia, with those in Estonia bringing up the
rear. Paevaleht did not make any connection between the stage
each republic had achieved in its independence drive and the
populations' mood. (Riina Kionka)

DALAI LAMA INTENDS TO VISIT LITHUANIA. Speaking at a press conference
during his trip to Siberia, the Dalai Lama expressed his wish
to visit Lithuania, TASS reported July 23. The Dalai Lama announced
that he has received "an invitation from Vytautas Landsbergis,
the head of the Republic of Lithuania." He said that "for a long
time, the Baltic States were in a situation very similar to the
one that Tibet is in now." For this reason, "we have a special
interest in this question." The Dalai Lama said that he is "praying
for an appropriate moment to visit the Baltics in the future."
(Gytis Liulevicius)

ANOTHER FAILURE TO REPLACE INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER. On July
23 the Lithuanian Supreme Council, in a session broadcast live
over Radio Independent Lithuania, failed to replace acting Minister
of Internal Affairs Marijonas Misiukonis, a former KGB officer
whom right-wing deputies consider unreliable. Protesting the
proposal to name Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius acting minister
until November 1, members of the Left, Liberal, Polish, and Center
factions left the session before the vote just as they had done
on July 16. Although the vote for Vagnorius was 58 to 6 with
12abstentions, he failed to get the 67 votes necessary to be
appointed. (Saulius Girnius)

OFFICIAL REPLY TO BALTIC ADMIRAL'S LETTER. Lithuanian Supreme
Council Deputy Chairman Kazimieras Motieka responded to a complaint
from Baltic fleet Admiral Vitalii Ivanov, RFE/RL's Lithuanian
Service reported July 23. In a June 28 letter, Ivanov protested
negative Lithuanian attitudes toward the Soviet army in general
and its patrols in particular. Motieka argued that special army
patrols during peace-time violate not only Lithuanian law, but
also the USSR constitution, which Ivanov claimed to defend. Motieka
charged that the Soviet army has caused more than 81 million
rubles' worth of damage since January, and has committed numerous
crimes against civilians. He demanded repayment of the damages
and an end to the patrols. (Gytis Liulevicius)

CONFERENCE ON AIRSPACE. A conference on airspace started in the
Latvian resort city of Jurmala on July 23, reported LETA that
day. Yurii Malaev, representing the USSR Council of Ministers,
said it is necessary to consider issues related to air-space
in the context of the processes actually taking place in the
country and to consider "the possibility of some republics leaving
the USSR." Participating in the meeting are representatives from
the Baltic States, Ukraine, Belorussia, the RSFSR, Kazakhstan,
Armenia, and Uzbekistan. (Dzintra Bungs)


USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



GORBACHEV SAYS ARMENIA TO SIGN UNION TREATY. After the latest
meeting with republican leaders in Novo-Ogarevo on the Union
treaty, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said early today (July24)
that Armenia was getting ready to sign the new Union treaty,
Western agencies reported July24. Gorbachev also said that he
hoped Moldavia would come to the same decision. Armenian president
Levon Ter-Petrossyan's attendance at the meeting was a surprise,
since only a couple of days earlier it was reported that the
presidium of the Armenian Supreme Soviet had decided he should
not attend. There have been voices raised in the republic, apart
from those of the local Communist party, saying Armenia should
at least participate in the talks. Presumably a final decision
will be made, however, in the referendum on September 21. Ter-Petrossyan
left the meeting without speaking to reporters. (Ann Sheehy)


TAXATION ONLY OUTSTANDING QUESTION? According to Gorbachev, the
only article of the treaty remaining to be drafted was the one
on taxation, but he said that "an agreement in principle" had
been reached on that issue on July 23 and Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov had been asked to draw up the final text within 24 hours.
Once the article on taxation was ready, Gorbachev said, the treaty
would be declared ready for signing. No date had been set for
the signing ceremony, he added. (Ann Sheehy)

NAZARBAEV: WE SHALL SAVE GORBACHEV BEHIND HIS BACK. Vesti augmented
its July 23 report on the Novo-Ogarevo meeting with an interview
with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Nazarbaev told Vesti
that the negotiations were not easy, since participants were
suddenly burdened with as many as three alternative drafts of
the Union treaty written by various central bodies. The participants
turned them down, he said, and concentrated on their original
draft. If the Center continues to interfere in the Novo-Ogarevo
process, Nazarbaev warned, republican leaders will meet in Alma-Ata
to discuss the Union treaty only among themselves. They could
save Gorbachev [from his conservative opponents] without his
actually being present at the negotiations, Nazarbaev continued,
adding that the leaders need Gorbachev and support him but they
will not tolerate any tricks. (Julia Wishnevsky)

AKAEV AND NAZARBAEV TO JOIN SHEVARDNADZE'S MOVEMENT? According
to Radio Rossii July 23, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akaev,
has said that he supports the Movement for Democratic Reforms.
Radio Rossii cited rumors that Nazarbaev is expected to make
a similar statement in the near future. (Julia Wishnevsky)

USSR SEEKS FULL MEMBERSHIP OF IMF. The Soviet Union has applied
for full membership of the International Monetary Fund, the International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development
Association, and the International Finance Corporation, Western
agencies reported July 23. The letter of application was said
to have been dated July 15, i.e., before Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev's meeting with G-7 leaders, but delivered only on July
22 and its receipt was announced on July 23, according to The
New York Times of July 24. The application for full membership
does not exclude the granting of "special association" status,
as recommended by the G-7 summit. (Keith Bush)

WHY THE RUSH? The Soviet application was obviously unexpected
by, and unwelcome to, some of the senior members of the IMF club.
An IMF spokesman told RFE/RL July 23 that the application process
could take as little as four months or as long as four years
to complete. It would appear that the Soviet government's main
motivation was the need for large infusions of credits as soon
as possible: "special association" provides technical assistance
but no cash. The possibilities of further substantial credits
from individual countries are diminishing and slight. Under the
IMF "worse case" scenario, uncovered financing requirements in
1991 amounted to some $10 billion. This may have risen to about
$19 billion (see The Washington Post of July 23). Some form of
rescheduling or restructuring of the Soviet debt in the near
future appears inevitable. (Keith Bush)

YAVLINSKY SPEAKS OUT. Economist Grigorii Yavlinsky, whose draft
economic reform plan was difficult to discern in Gorbachev's
presentation to G-7 leaders last week, is starting to speak out
again. In interviews with The Financial Times of July23 and with
Western agencies July 24, Yavlinsky confirmed that he had stayed
away from London because he could not support the official Soviet
reform plan. He told the FT that Western countries should not
give aid to the USSR as long as the government adheres to the
present anti-crisis plan. In his view, Pavlov and First Deputy
Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov "are still thinking with
the mentality of the 1970s." In an agency interview, he advocated
pressure from the republics on the center "to transform or reform
the center in their interest." (Sallie Wise)

COMMUNISTS PREPARE FOR PLENUM. CPSU Politburo member Aleksandr
Dzasokhov told Western journalists in Moscow on July 23 that
although there is "a strong orthodox, dogmatic current in the
party, it's not strong enough to radically influence events.
We need not be fatalistic about a split. We can act." Aleksandr
Buzgalin said he did not think that conservatives would try to
force a vote of no confidence in Gorbachev again: "they played
their card [in April] and Gorbachev's team won. They won't try
it again." But Nikolai Merzlikin, first secretary of the Chita
regional Party committee told Sovetskaya Rossiya July 23 that
"the Communist Party must refuse to give Gorbachev another vote
of confidence. He has no right to call himself a Communist and
make the Party his hostage." (Dawn Mann)

HARDLINERS CALL FOR PATRIOTIC FRONT. Twelve Soviet ultra-conservatives
on July 23 issued an appeal in Sovetskaya Rossiya calling for
the creation of a national-patriotic movement to "save the homeland."
According to TASS and western reports, the signatories of "a
word to the people" included Yurii Bondarev, Boris Gromov, Valentin
Rasputin, Valentin Varennikov, and Yurii Blokhin. "We are convinced
that the army and the navy," the manifesto said, "will prevent
fratricidal war and the destruction of the motherland, and will
be a safe guarantee of security." The manifesto also argued that
the Communist Party was being destroyed by its own leaders. (Stephen
Foye)

US QUESTIONS VIOLATION OF INF TREATY. The US State Department
on July 23 demanded a "full accounting" from the Soviet Union
concerning intermediate range nuclear missiles that may still
be located in Eastern Europe, Western news agencies reported.
The US contends that Moscow did not disclose the deployment of
SS-23 missiles in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria
in accordance with the 1987 treaty. The row comes as US and Soviet
officials work out the final details in Geneva on a treaty to
reduce long-range nuclear missiles. (Stephen Foye)

"LESSONS" OF YUGOSLAVIA CONTRIVED. A Soviet Central TV report
of July 23 attempted to skew the Yugoslav crisis in order to
warn viewers of what could happen in the USSR. The report laid
heavy blame on Western countries for "encouraging separatist
tendencies" through "inflammatory policies." The report said
the Yugoslav crisis is rooted in "conditions of a prolonged,
bitter political struggle against the center [whereby] the republics
achieved a considerable expansion of their powers which . . .
led to a growth in national egoism and separatism . . . ." Austria,
Hungary, Italy and Albania were named for misguided policies.
The report congratulated the USSR for its efforts to calm the
situation, saying Moscow "temporarily succeeded in taking the
heat out of the crisis." (Suzanne Crow)

MOSCOW'S POSITION ON BAGHDAD "UNCLEAR." Moskovskie novosti runs
a commentary in its July 24 issue criticizing the USSR's unclear
relationship to Iraq. According to a Western agency translation,
MN notes the following contradictions: "For example, no one has
thought about withdrawing from the [treaty with Iraq]. There
is information that some sorts of shipments to Iraq are continuing
from our country, perhaps even military shipments. Naturally
there has been neither an official confirmation [on these reports]
nor an official denial. So then, do we belong to the [anti-Iraq]
coalition?" (Suzanne Crow)

ZHIRINOVSKY CAMPAIGNS FOR POST OF USSR PRESIDENT. Leader of the
controversial Liberal Democratic Party of the USSR, Vladimir
Zhirinovsky, started campaigning July 18 for the post of USSR
President, elections for which are scheduled for next year. (The
Liberal Democratic Party in general and Zhirinovsky in particular
are believed to have close ties to the KGB.) Zhirinovsky ran
in the recent RSFSR presidential elections, but lost. Radio Rossii
reported that Zhirinovsky started his new election campaign in
the Siberian city of Tomsk, where he was warmly welcomed by the
leadership of the Oblast Party Committee. (Vera Tolz)

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS TURN TO KNIVES? Moskovskii komsomolets (July
16) reported an alleged attempt on Vladimir Bogachev, a former
member of the Liberal Democratic Party, who last year led a unsuccessful
attempt to expel Zhirinovsky for purported ties with the KGB.
(Zhirinovsky's platform in the RSFSR elections could not have
been termed either "liberal" or "democratic" in any Western country.)
According to Bogachev, he was stopped in the street by two strangers,
put into a black "Volga" car, and given an injection that made
him lose consciousness. Three hours later, Bogachev woke up with
knife wounds on his right hand and on his back, with a broken
rib and a syringe mark on one shoulder. On the day of the attempt,
Bogachev told Moskovskii komsomolets, he had received a telegram
from Zhirinovsky urging him to stop his political activities.
(Julia Wishnevsky)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



LEADING PARTY BODIES CONDEMN DECREE. The CPSU Politburo and Secretariat,
the RSFSR Politburo and Central Control Commission, and the Party
committees of the USSR Supreme Soviet, the USSR KGB, and the
USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs all issued similar statements
on July 23 concerning RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin's depoliticization
decree, TASS reported the same day. All charged that the decree
violates Articles 48 and 51 of the USSR Constitution, Article
48 of the RSFSR Constitution, and Articles 10 and 15 of the law
on social organizations. The Communists argued that the abolition
of Article 6 of the USSR Constitution was all that was needed
to eliminate the Party's right to guide state activities according
to its political line. All have requested that constitutional
authorities at the all-Union and RSFSR republican level review
the decree. (Dawn Mann)

GORBACHEV COMMENTS ON DECREE. Gorbachev's presidential spokesman,
Vitalii Ignatenko, told reporters in Moscow on July 23 that Gorbachev
is concerned that "this decree contains elements of tension and
confrontation," Western news agencies reported the same day.
(Dawn Mann)

RSFSR JUSTICE MINISTER ON DECREE. RSFSR Minister of Justice Nikolai
Fedorov told Radio Moscow on July 23 that control over the implementation
of the decree rested with the RSFSR Prosecutor's Office, and
that any attempt to avoid compliance would be "anti-constitutional."
Fines of up to 10,000 rubles may be imposed on those who do not
comply with the decree and any organization that proclaims its
intent not to comply may find itself barred from operating entirely.
(Dawn Mann)

OTHER REACTION TO THE DECREE. Moscow mayor Gavriil Popov and
Ivan Laptev, chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Council of the
Union, both expressed similar positions yesterday with regard
to the need for the decree. How, they asked, could a single factory,
for example, provide equal opportunity to all parties and organizations?
Laptev told TASS, "There are already 300 parties in the country
. . . can all 300 really be represented in one enterprise?" Moscow
city Party chief Yurii Prokof'ev told Central TV that he feared
the ban could be used against workers. For instance, trade unions
are banned, unless the owners of an enterprise allow them to
operate, and this provision, Prokof'ev argued, could cause problems
once privatization began: if owners refused to allow trade unions
to form, workers would be exploited. (Dawn Mann)

STATE TELEVISION SIDES WITH CPSU AGAINST YELTSIN. Ostensibly,
Central Television belongs to the state, not to the CPSU, and
is funded by Soviet taxpayers, not from Party dues. Nonetheless,
its Vremya newscast July 23 devoted about ten minutes to protests
of various CPSU officials against Yeltsin's edict of July 20.
(The protests were reported at the same day). Moreover, Central
TV spent another ten minutes of prime time--i.e., immediately
after Vremya--to the comments of another Yeltsin opponent, Moscow
Party chief Prokof'ev. No statement of any official, who--such
as Laptev--has welcomed the decree--has been mentioned by Vremya.
(Julia Wishnevsky)

LENINGRAD PROSECUTOR'S TURNAROUND ON ANTI-SEMITISM. The office
of the Leningrad state prosecutor has decided to prosecute organizers
of two ultranationalist demonstrations to have been held in Leningrad
on April 13 and May 1. The announcement (published in Leningradskaya
pravda on June 20) specifies that the slogans displayed by the
participants were of an anti-Semitic character. Charges were
filed under Article74 of the RSFSR Criminal Code, which forbids
sowing discord between nationalities, as well as under Article
112 (inflicting light bodily harm) because the rallies were followed
by fist-fights between demonstrators and their political opponents.
In the past, the office of the Leningrad state prosecutor was
reputed to be highly reactionary, and repeatedly declined to
prosecute local anti-Semites who are said to be extremely militant.
This change in attitude could be attributed to the change in
its superior, the office of the RSFSR General Prosecutor, under
Boris Yeltsin. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RSFSR PASSES LAW ON INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES. The RSFSR passed a
law on investment activities June 26, though it is not clear
when the law was to take effect (Kommersant No. 26). The law
is based largely on the all-Union law passed last December (see
Kommersant No. 48, 1990), though it is more liberal in that it
does not require the investor to reveal the source of his investment
capital. (John Tedstrom)

RSFSR PASSES LAW ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT. On June 27, the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet passed on first reading a law on foreign investment
activities, according to Kommersant, No. 26. All foreign investors
are to register with the RSFSR Ministry of Finance, and can engage
in any business activity open to RSFSR citizens, though insurance
companies and stockbrokers must obtain prior licenses from the
RSFSR Ministry of Finance. Organizations established with foreign
capital will pay a 30% profit tax and 15% tax on repatriated
profits. The all-Union law on foreign investment was passed on
first reading on May 29 by the USSR Supreme Soviet. (John Tedstrom)


YELTSIN GETS SUPPORT ON STANCE AGAINST FEDERAL TAXES. Yeltsin
met with leaders of RSFSR autonomous republics June 23, and won
their support for a "one-channel" tax system that excludes any
federal tax payments for RSFSR organizations, Radio Rossii reported
that day. Recently, Tatarstan refused to pay taxes to the RSFSR
because the RSFSR was not making its obligatory payments to the
federal budget (see Daily Report, July 11). The Center could
therefore not finance the all-Union enterprises in Tatarstan
which make up some 80% of the republic's economy. The rest of
RSFSR republics, however, seem to feel that they will have more
control over their economies if they pay all taxes to the RSFSR
Ministry of Finance which will then (supposedly) transfer a predetermined
amount to the all-Union budget. (John Tedstrom)

UKRAINIAN VOLUNTEERS TO FIGHT FOR SLOVENIA AND CROATIA. The Zagreb
newspaper Vecernji list reported today (July 24) that 50 volunteers
have come forward in Kiev "to defend with arms the independence
of Slovenia and Croatia." The initiator of this display of Ukrainian
solidarity with the two republics is named as reserve Soviet
army captain Vladimir Filatov. The newspaper cited as its sources
Tanjug and the latest issue of Moscow News. (Bohdan Nahaylo)


UZBEKISTAN PASSES LAW ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT. A law on foreign
investment in the Uzbek SSSR took effect July 19, opening the
door for direct foreign investment in the republic, TASS reported
the same day. The new law allows for joint ventures; 100% foreign
ownership of banks, insurance companies, and enterprises; issuance
of stocks; and property rights including the use of land and
natural resources. Organizations can undertake any activity not
forbidden by republican law. Foreign firms can set up as branches
or divisions of a multinational company, a concern, or a consortium,
and may import and export goods relevant to their operations
without licensing. Imported goods necessary to a firm's production
operations are exempt from import taxes and customs duties. (John
Tedstrom)


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