Liberty of thought means liberty to communicate one's thought. - Salvador de Madariaga
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 149, 07 August 1991



BALTIC STATES




"SPECIAL" TRADE PROVISIONS FOR BALTIC STATES. The White House
would like to extend additional trading advantages to the Baltic
States, an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reported August
6. According to presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater, the
US "will begin accounting for Baltic origin products separately
from those originating elsewhere in the USSR for trade statistical
purposes." The Baltic States also will receive "technical assistance
in trade development and export promotion." According to Fitzwater,
including the Baltic States in an MFN agreement with the USSR
does not contradict the US policy of not recognizing the Soviet
annexation of the Baltic States. (Gytis Liulevicius)

LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER ON PRICE HIKES. On August 6 Lithuanian
Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius issued a letter to the Panevezys
section of the Lithuanian Freedom League responding to its protests
about price increases in the republic, Radio Independent Lithuania
reported that day. He noted that even though Lithuania in 1991
had stopped making payments to the USSR budget and received no
contributions from it, Lithuania could not escape the effects
of inflation caused by the USSR's issuance of unbacked rubles.
The government has been increasing compensation to the people
for higher prices caused by increased costs of raw materials,
but further price rises are inevitable. (Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIAN POPULAR FRONT CALLS FOR NEW ELECTIONS. The Estonian
Popular Front has called for new parliamentary elections to be
held next year, according to Rahva Haal on August 6 and an RFE/RL
Estonian service report on August 5. Under the terms of a position
paper hammered out at a Popular Front executive board conference
on August 4, the movement sees an urgent need to continue dismantling
state organs left over from the Soviet era, including the Supreme
Council. The Popular Front therefore resolved that elections
are unavoidable, and urged that they be held in spring/summer
1992. (Riina Kionka)

AND A COMPROMISE CITIZENSHIP CONCEPT. The Popular Front also
discussed "the Russian Question" in Estonian politics, according
to Rahva Haal on August 6 and an RFE/RL Estonian service report
on August 5. The Popular Front adopted the position that all
those who have permanent residence in Estonia on the day final
independence is declared should have the right to become Estonian
citizens within 6-12 months. In light of the Popular Front's
leading role in the Estonian government, it seems likely that
this compromise citizenship concept will find support in the
Supreme Council. (Riina Kionka)

SUPREME COUNCIL CUTS SUMMER VACATION. The Estonian Supreme Council
has ended its summer recess early, Paevaleht reported on August
6. The Supreme Council will return to the chamber on August 12,
but parliamentary commissions are holding planning meetings this
week, as is the presidium. According to the Supreme Council's
rules of order, the body should have stayed away until September,
but the heavy work load ahead--at least 32 draft laws and 9 draft
resolutions to consider--prompted the presidium's decision to
cut short the summer vacation. (Riina Kionka)

LATVIAN SUPREME COUNCIL RECONVENES. On August 6, the Latvian
Supreme Council held its first plenary session after the summer
recess, though it resumed work on August 1. In his opening speech,
Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs noted that Latvia is faced
with an economic crisis--declining output or availability of
industrial products, consumer goods, foodstuffs, and inflation.
Politically, Latvia's situation is uncertain. He said that the
threat of violence exists, especially since "the Baltics are
filled to overflowing with weapons of the Empire." Though some
progress has been made in internationalizing the Baltic question,
Gorbunovs added that the Soviet stance is hindering progress
in Latvian-USSR relations, according to Radio Riga of August
6. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN-CZECHOSLOVAK ECONOMIC ACCORD. An economic cooperation
agreement between Latvia and Czechoslovakia was signed in Riga
on August 2 by Czechoslovakia's ambassador to the USSR, Rudolf
Slansky, and Deputy Prime Minister Arnis Kalnins of Latvia, Diena
reported August 3. This year, Czechoslovakia is to provide trolleybuses
and parts, medical equipment, AVIA automobiles, and other goods,
while Latvia is to reciprocate with telephones, canned fish,
cosmetics, towels, and other goods. Accounting will be conducted
in hard currency, according to world market prices for the goods
involved. (Dzintra Bungs)

FREE CONGRESS FOUNDATION SEMINAR IN RIGA. This week the US-based
Free Congress Foundation is sponsoring a seminar for Latvian
lawmakers and public servants. The participants can learn about
US legislative methods, political practices, and philosophical
and moral aspects of politics, reported Diena of August 5. (Dzintra
Bungs)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



MORE ON SIGNING OF UNION TREATY. USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev's
press spokesman Vitalii Ignatenko said August 6 that the ceremony
of the signing of the Union treaty by the RSFSR, Uzbekistan,
and Kazakhstan would begin at 11.00 A.M. on August 20 in the
presence of Gorbachev, Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov, Chairman
of the USSR Supreme Soviet Anatolii Luk'yanov, and the chairmen
of the all-Union parliament's two chambers, Ivan Laptev and Rafik
Nishanov, TASS reported August 6. Ignatenko added that Belorussia
and Tajikistan were expected to sign on September 3. (Ann Sheehy)


GORBACHEV CORRECTED ON UNION TREATY. Ukraine's first deputy chairman
of the Supreme Soviet, Ivan Plyushch, told Ukrainian television
viewers that Gorbachev's recent remarks about the new Union treaty
being ready for signing were incorrect, Radio Kiev reported August
6. Moreover, said Plyushch, he attended the latest meeting at
Novo Ogarevo only as an observer. Ukraine, Plyushch reminded
viewers, has not yet formed a commission empowered to sign the
treaty. (Roman Solchanyk)

CLARIFICATION ON COCOM PRONOUNCEMENT. An unidentified White House
official told RFE/RL's Washington bureau August 6 that President
George Bush has not ordered a formal review of COCOM rules. USSR
First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov had told TASS
August 5 that the US President had "confirmed in principle that
it is time to tackle this [COCOM] problem" (see Daily Report,
August 6). What the President had actually said was something
like "Yes, I understand and I'll look into it," according to
our source. This was a noncommittal nicety and did not mean that
President Bush would order a full scale review of the COCOM restrictions.
(Keith Bush)

SOVIET BANKER ON RUBLE CONVERTIBILITY. The head of the USSR Gosbank's
hard currency division, Oleg Mozhaisky, told a Moscow conference
on foreign economic relations that the ruble could attain internal
convertibility by 1993, Western agencies reported August 6. He
was "not sure" about convertibility in 1992, the date set in
the current version of Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov's anti-crisis
program. He spoke in favor of an international stabilization
fund to shore up the Soviet currency during any move to convertibility.
(Estimates of the size of such a fund have mostly been in the
area of $10-15 billion). Mozhaisky said that the USSR has agreed
to settle for associate membership in the IMF, while acknowledging
that this is only the first step towards full membership. (Keith
Bush)

BILATERAL TAX TREATIES. At the same conference, USSR Deputy Finance
Minister and Chief of the Main State Tax Inspectorate, Vladimir
Rodyushkin, noted that the USSR has already signed bilateral
agreements with twenty states to avoid double-taxation and was
negotiating similar agreements with a further ten states, TASS
reported August 6. Rodyushin assured foreign investors that they
would not be subject to both federal and republican taxes. "The
only problem for foreign businessmen will be to pick the tax
system they prefer, either the federal or the republican." Rodyushkin
claimed that operating conditions were now equal for both Soviet
and foreign businessmen. (Keith Bush)

SHEVARDNADZE BACKS TENGIZCHEVROIL. Former Soviet Foreign Minister
Eduard Shevardnadze has thrown his support behind the Soviet-Kazakh-US
joint project to develop the Tengiz oil field. In an article
that originally appeared in Moscow News and that has been reprinted
in The Los Angeles Times of August 6, Shevardnadze argues that
Tengizchevroil is a touchstone project in joint ventures with
the US, and that it is part of a larger consortium deal aimed
at providing much-needed consumer goods, medical supplies, and
the processing of agricultural produce. (The Tengizchevroil project
has recently come under fire from conservatives and also from
Moscow News and Nezavisimaya gazeta for allegedly being a one-sided
concession to Chevron). (Keith Bush)

MVD ON CRIME INCREASE. USSR Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs
Ivan Shilov told a press briefing yesterday (August 6) that law-enforcement
bodies have been unable to halt the continued rise in crime overall,
although violent crimes have decreased. According to a TASS report
and Western agencies the same day, Shilov said 1.5 million "serious"
crimes were reported in the first half of this year, for a 20%
increase over last year. Crimes involving firearms have increased
three-fold. (Sallie Wise)

GERMANY RELUCTANT TO RETURN SOVIET DESERTERS. The German government
has said that it will not return deserters from the Soviet army
unless their applications for political asylum are rejected,
RFE/RL's correspondent in Bonn reported August 6. Meanwhile,
according to a Western agency report August 6, German officials
reportedly have said that Soviet deserters in the former GDR
are being transferred out of the area to protect them from alleged
Soviet attempts to capture and repatriate them. The report said
that between 5 and 10 Soviet deserters are applying for asylum
in Germany every week. (Sallie Wise)

KRYUCHKOV WANTS COOPERATION WITH GERMAN INTELLIGENCE. KGB chief
Vladimir Kryuchkov wants to cooperate with the German intelligence
service [the Bundesnachrichtendienst]. Kryuchkov told the German
TV network Sat 1 on August 6 that he is making this offer to
Germany for the first time. He would propose cooperation on combatting
terrorism, drug dealing, and smuggling. Kryuchkov's offer comes
at a time of friction between Bonn and Moscow over new hostile
KGB activities on the territory of the former GDR. Kryuchkov
also asserted that the CIA has an advantage over the KGB in money
and technology. (Alexander Rahr)

VOL'SKY AND ALKSNIS INTERVIEWED ON TV. Central TV's "Who's Who"
phone-in featured a double-bill August 5: the "black colonel"
Viktor Alksnis and the president of the Soviet employers' association,
Arkadii Vol'sky. Alksnis said the "Soyuz" parliamentary group
which he leads still wants to see President Gorbachev replaced
by a collegial body. As members, Alksnis proposed two liberals:
Vol'sky and former deputy chairman of the Moscow city Soviet,
Sergei Stankevich. For the conservatives, Alksnis proposed the
second secretary of the Russian Communist Party, Aleksei Il'in,
and Colonel-General Igor Rodionov, notorious for his role as
commander of the troops who used gas and shovels to disperse
peaceful demonstrators in Tbilisi in April 1989. (Elizabeth Teague)


VOL'SKY DISAGREES WITH SHCHERBAKOV. Vol'sky took issue with first
deputy prime minister Vladimir Shcherbakov, who said in a TV
interview the night before (August 4) that the Soviet economy
would be stabilized by this autumn. "Even if we manage to cope
with the harvest, and even if there is a mild winter, and even
if there are no political upsets between then and now," Vol'sky
said, "the earliest we can hope to see an improvement in the
economy will be the first quarter of next year." (Elizabeth Teague)


VOL'SKY CRITICAL OF GORBACHEV. Asked whether it was true that
he was "Gorbachev's secret adviser," Vol'sky said his role was
so secret "that even Gorbachev doesn't know about it." Vol'sky
is known to have come to Gorbachev's defense in April this year,
when the general secretary came under fire from conservatives
at a plenum of the CPSU Central Committee. But on "Who's Who"
Vol'sky revealed that he also criticized Gorbachev at that plenum
for his "mistaken personnel policy" (nepravil'naya kadrovaya
politika). No such criticism appeared in accounts of the plenum
at that time. (Elizabeth Teague)

DID KGB SEND MEN TO THE MOON? A retired KGB officer claims that
two KGB pilots landed on the moon in the lunakhod probe in 1970
but did not return to earth. Vadim Petrov, who headed a secret
KGB space project until recently, asserted in an interview with
Megapolis ekspress (reprinted in Sovetskaya molodezh, no.18)
that many Soviet so-called unmanned experimental space flights,
such as that of Buran recently, were in reality conducted by
KGB pilots. According to Petrov, the experimental flights led
to many deaths. Fearing that revelations of too many casualties
would harm state interests, the Kremlin decided to mask these
flights as unmanned. Petrov claimed that only the General Secretary,
the KGB chief, and a few technicians knew the truth. Petrov alleged
that the KGB test flights started before Gagarin's historic flight
in 1961. (Alexander Rahr)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



RSFSR CP CC HOLDS PLENUM. The RSFSR Communist Party Central Committee
held a closed plenary session on August 6, TASS reported the
same day. A new first secretary was elected (see below). Both
RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, who also heads the new
Democratic Party of Communists of Russia, and Vladimir Liptsky,
leader of the Democratic Movement of Communists (in the CPSU),
lost their membership on the RSFSR Central Committee and were
expelled from the CPSU for having violated the Party rules on
factionalism. Yurii Protasenko was also removed from the RSFSR
CC for the same reason. (The plenum's decision to expel Rutskoi
and Lipitsky from the CPSU must still be ratified by their primary
Party organizations and the CPSU Central Committee.) The plenum
also decided to convene an extraordinary second congress of the
RSFSR CP in December or January 1992, i.e., after the CPSU extraordinary
congress. (Dawn Mann)

POLOZKOV RESIGNS. Almost one month to the day after vowing not
to agree to demands for his resignation, RSFSR Communist Party
First Secretary Ivan Polozkov resigned as RSFSR CP leader yesterday
(August 6). Polozkov's opening speech, released by TASS, contained
no hint that he might resign. Later in the day, however, after
speakers representing both conservative and reform factions had
criticized Polozkov, he tendered his resignation. Polozkov will
be transferred to other, unspecified, work. He was replaced by
Valentin A. Kuptsov, who also replaced Polozkov on the RSFSR
CP Politburo and will undoubtedly replace Polozkov on the CPSU
Politburo. (Dawn Mann)

KUPTSOV'S BIOGRAPHY. Kuptsov, 53, has been chief of the CPSU
Central Committee Department for Liason with Sociopolitical Organizations
since April 1990 and a CPSU Secretary since July 1990. In February,
he told a Moscow news conference that the CPSU was willing to
work with any group that "does not deny the socialist choice"
made by the Soviet people, but that cooperation was difficult
since most groups "preach anti-Communism." He has been a member
of the CPSU CC Ideological Commission since November 1988 and
a full member of the CPSU CC since 1986. Prior to his promotion
to the liason department, Kuptsov served as First Secretary of
the Volgoda regional Party committee from July 1985 to April
1990 (the central press published several glowing articles about
Kuptsov's achievements during this period), and was elected to
the USSR Congress of People's Deputies in March 1989. Kuptsov
was also a member of the Russian Communist Party Central Committee
Bureau--headed by Gorbachev--in 1989-1990. A metallurgist by
training, Kuptsov worked in Czechoslovakia during the Prague
Spring. (Dawn Mann)

YURII PETROV RETURNS. Radio Rossii reported on August 6 that
Yurii Petrov, 52, has been selected to head the RSFSR President's
administration. Petrov hails from Sverdlovsk, where he succeeded
RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin as the regional Party first secretary
in April 1985. Petrov graduated from the Urals Polytechnic Institute,
the alma mater of many of the early members of Gorbachev's team,
and seemed to be a Party leader cast in the new mold. In 1988,
however, Pravda published a critical account of a Sverdlovsk
Party plenum, and shortly thereafter, Petrov was named Soviet
ambassador to Cuba. (Dawn Mann)

USSR CABINET DECREE ON REPATRIATION OF CRIMEAN TATARS. TASS reported
on August 6 on a decree of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers "On
organizing the return of Crimean Tatars to the Crimean ASSR and
guarantees for their establishment there." The decree recommends
that the governments of the RSFSR, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan set up commissions where there are
concentrations of Crimean Tatars to deal with the problems of
their return. The decree states that Tatars who leave a house
or apartment behind will be reimbursed so that they can build
or purchase housing in the Crimea. Survivors of the 1994 deportation
from the Crimea will be given 2,000 rubles each from the all-Union
budget on their return to the Crimea. (Ann Sheehy)

TATARSTAN'S SOVEREIGNTY DECLARATION DAY MADE PUBLIC HOLIDAY.
On August 6 Tatarstan's presidential council declared that August
30, the anniversary of Tatarstan's declaration of sovereignty,
would henceforth be a public holiday, Moscow radio reported August
6. Ceremonies are to be held to mark the anniversary. The council
also examined the draft of a treaty with Bashkortostan, where
about one million Tatars live. It was suggested that the two
republics set up a joint working commission to finalize the text.
(Ann Sheehy)

GEORGIA CRITICIZES US SUPPORT FOR UNION TREATY. Western news
agencies in Moscow reported August 6 that the Georgian government
had issued a four-page statement criticizing US support for the
draft Union Treaty as "extremely dangerous," insofar as the Soviet
Union "is ruled by force" and the republics were compelled by
violence to remain in the Union. The statement accused the US
of preaching the virtues of justice, freedom and democratic self-determination
but failing to support the republics in their drive for independence,
and categorized President Bush's statements in Kiev August 1
as "exceeding all the unpleasant expectations we had." (Liz Fuller)


MOLDAVIAN-ROMANIAN INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENTS. The Moldavian
and Romanian Prime Ministers, Valeriu Muravschi and Petre Roman,
on August 6 in Kishinev signed an intergovernmental agreement
on economic cooperation and trade. On the same occasion, high-ranking
officials of the two governments signed an agreement establishing
a joint commission on economic, commercial, and scientific cooperation.
The two Prime Ministers, accompanied by heads of economic ministries
of the two governments, discussed prospects for joint ventures
in the areas of food processing, telecommunications, and electronics,
and ways to finance bilateral trade, the Romanian media reported
the same day. (Vladimir Socor)

SOBER ASSESSMENTS. Limited to only 6 hours and carefully low-key,
Roman's visit was his first ever to Moldavia and the first official
visit there by a Romanian Prime Minister since the Soviet annexation.
He observed at the signing ceremony that the undertaking "would
have been unthinkable only 18 months ago." Muravschi in turn
termed the visit "a psychological threshold that we have now
crossed." In an address on the occasion, Moldavian President
Mircea Snegur said that progress in the relationship "faced many
obstacles inherent in the political situation in the USSR" and
that Moldavia was seeking "to advance along this road at a deliberate
pace and with dignity." (Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER SSR" RESTRICTS LATIN SCRIPT, THREATENS TO FORMALIZE
SECESSION FROM MOLDAVIA. Unspecified bodies of the would-be Dniester
SSR, organized by Russian communists in eastern Moldavia, have
issued an edict "ensuring the study of the Moldavian language
in the Cyrillic script," TASS reported August 6. Exceptions will
be permitted only in individual cases upon written request. The
measure, which defies the republican law on languages, means
that those Moldavian schools in the area that had managed to
switch to the Latin script are highly likely to be forced back
to the Russian script. On the same date, the "Dniester SSR" leaders
called a congress of people's deputies of all levels from the
area for next month to adopt state symbols and a constitution
for the would-be republic. (Vladimir Socor)

KAZAKHSTAN POLITBURO BACKS ANTI-NUCLEAR DEMANDS. For the first
time, the Politburo of Kazakhstan's Communist Party has issued
a declaration formally demanding the immediate closure of the
nuclear weapons testing site in Semipalatinsk Oblast. A Radio
Moscow report of August 6 suggests that the CP may have been
reacting to demonstrations and protests that have been the popular
response to Ministry of Defense proposal to pay compensation
to residents of Semipalatinsk Oblast for use of the site three
more times before its final closure. The Kazakh Politburo wants
residents compensated for what they have already suffered. (Bess
Brown)

UKRAINE'S HARVEST EXPORT BAN ONLY TEMPORARY. Ukrainian Prime
Minister Vitold Fokin made an emergency announcement on Republican
Television August 6, promising that Ukraine was determined to
honor its inter-republican agreements and orders for food supply
to the Union Fund, reported Interfax the same day. He said bans
on the traffic of foodstuffs out of the republic announced last
month were only temporary, and would be lifted as soon as the
targets for grain sales were met. (Natalie Melnyczuk)


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

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