If there is anyone listening to whom I owe money, I'm prepared to forget it if you are. - Errol Flynn
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 186, 30 September 1991



USSR-ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR

SILAEV RESIGNS RSFSR POST--FINALLY. Ivan Silaev officially resigned
his post as RSFSR Prime Minister September 27, TASS reported
that day. Silaev still heads the recently created Committee for
Operational Management of the National Economy, and the Interrepubican
Economic Committee. Silaev said his desire to devote his full
energies to interrepublican economics was the chief motive for
his move. He earlier had announced his intention to resign from
the post of chairman of the Operational Management Committee
after complaints arose that the RSFSR was over-represented by
his occupying that position. Significantly, Silaev must see a
future in some type of economic union among the former republics.
(John Tedstrom)

SILAEV'S COMMITTEE RESUMES WORK. Silaev opened the Committee
for Operational Management of the National Economy's current
working session September 27, Moscow Radio reported that day.
The committee focused its attention on questions of food availability,
foreign debt, reducing budgetary expenditures, and deciding on
the structure and functions of the new Interrepublican Economic
Committee. No details of any decisions taken were made available.
(John Tedstrom)

ECONOMIC UNION TREATY SIGNED SOON? Speaking to reporters after
meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on September 27,
President Mikhail Gorbachev again voiced the hope that "many"
of the 15 current or former republics would sign the Treaty of
Economic Union in Alma-Ata before October 10, Interfax reported
September 27. However, several republics, including Ukraine,
recently have expressed their opposition to suggested specific
provisions of the Treaty. (Keith Bush)

YAVLINSKY REVEALS SIZE OF GOLD RESERVES. Interviewed on Central
Television September 27, Grigorii Yavlinsky estimated that the
USSR had sold off two-thirds of its gold reserves in 1990, and
that holdings were now down to 240 tons, worth about $3 billion
at current world prices, Western agencies reported September
28. He also disclosed that Soviet gold sales had been exceeding
400 tons a year for several years. If Yavlinsky's figures are
correct--and there is little reason to doubt them--this would
mean that the volume of gold sales has been higher, and the level
of gold reserves lower, than most Western estimates had placed
them. It also suggests that Moscow's need for debt relief is
acute. (Keith Bush)

MODIFIED RESCHEDULING OF SOVIET FOREIGN DEBT? Unconfirmed reports
out of Washington and Tokyo suggest that the Group of Seven (G7)
industrial nations tentatively has agreed to some kind of rescheduling
of Moscow's foreign debts, Western agencies reported September
27 and 29. A one-year grace period or payments "standstill" reportedly
is being contemplated for the roughly $4 billion's worth of repayments
still outstanding in 1991. This apparently would not include
payments for emergency shipments of foodstuffs and medical supplies
that are widely con-sidered to be required during the winter
months. A proposal on the rescheduling is expected to be discussed
by the G7 meeting on October 12. (Keith Bush)

BUDGET DEFICIT REACHES 200 BILLION. Izvestia of September 29
reported that the Soviet budget deficit had already surpassed
the 200-billion-ruble level. This figure is thought to include
both the central government deficit and the combined deficits
of the republics. The planned budget deficit for the entire year
was originally set at 26.6 billion rubles. Just over two weeks
ago, a deficit of 200 billion rubles was predicted for 1991 (TASS,
September 13). It now looks as if the year's deficit will top
300 billion, or over 25% of the GNP. (Keith Bush)

SOBCHAK ON THE STUMP. Elaborating on calls he has recently made
in London and Paris, St. Petersburg mayor Anatolii Sobchak appealed
to a banking conference in Frankfurt September 27 for sales of
surplus EC foodstuffs, Western agencies reported that day. Sobchak
suggested that up to $10 billion's worth of surplus food be sold
to the USSR on credit. This could then be sold to the Soviet
population for up to 150 billion rubles which would, in turn,
be made available for investment in the economy, including the
creation of 100,000 new farms. He also invited unemployed or
underemployed West European farmers to try their hand in the
USSR. (Keith Bush)

INTO THE BLACK HOLE? Sobchak caused some consternation among
his audience of German bankers when he mentioned that a search
was on for the whereabouts of a DM 2.5 billion loan received
from the former West Germany in 1987. He said that no written
trace could be found of the loan. (Keith Bush)

POLITICAL PRISONERS RELEASED. In accordance with the request
of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Human Rights Committee, RSFSR Presidents
Boris Yeltsin and Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akaev pardoned
six political prisoners convicted either for attempted flight
abroad or for attempted espionage. Komsomol'skaya pravda of September21
identified the prisoners as Aleksandr Goldovich, Valerii Smirnov,
Anatolii Khobt, Aleksei Shcherbakov, Viktor Olisesnevich, and
Valerii Yanin. In a related event, on September 20 Vesti interviewed
an official from the office of the RSFSR General Prosecutor,
who said that the office intends to exonerate all former prisoners
of conscience, such as those convicted for the August 1968 demonstration
in protest of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and Vladimir
Bukovsky. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RUSSIA MOURNS COUP VICTIMS. Thousands of Muscovites went to the
Russian White House September 29 to commemorate the 40th day
since the death of the three victims of the abortive coup (according
to the Russian Orthodox faith, the souls of the dead leave the
earth for the other world 40 days after death.) The meeting was
addressed by RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi and other
defenders of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. That evening, famous Soviet,
American, and British cultural figures paid tribute to the heroes
at a free concert in the Bolshoi Theater, broadcast live by RSFSR
TV. The concert was attended by Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev,
Ruslan Khasbulatov, and Ivan Silaev. Both events included Russian
Orthodox and Jewish prayers, as one of the three victims was
a Jew. (Julia Wishnevsky)

KOMSOMOL DISBANDED. The all-Union Komsomol voted itself out of
existence at its 22nd Extraordinary Congress September 28, TASS
reported that day. The organization's central apparatus will
be dismantled over the next ten months, and a temporary coordinating
council will oversee the activities of republic Komsomol groups,
TASS correspondents reported September 29. The thorny question
of disposing of the Komsomol's assets was debated but unresolved;
the congress appealed to the Presidium of the Russian parliament
to settle the question of justly dispersing the all-Union Komsomol's
property to republic Komsomol organizations. Delegates also addressed
the Presidents of the USSR, RSFSR, and several other republics
to halt the process in some republics of "forced confiscation"
of the group's all-Union assets. (Sallie Wise Chaballier)

FEDOROV ON RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY. RSFSR Deputy Foreign Minister
Andrei Fedorov outlined Russia's foreign policy aims at a conference
on the Soviet Union sponsored by the Royal Institute of International
Affairs in London on September 26. Fedorov said Russia has two
separate foreign policy programs, one based on Russia as part
of a new confederation of sovereign states and the other envisioning
Russia as a separate entity with an independent foreign policy.
He said Russia does not want to be a superpower but does aspire
to serve as a bridge between Europe and Asia. (Suzanne Crow)


RUSSIA'S STANCE TOWARD NATO. Commenting on NATO, Fedorov said
Russia does not view the organization as a threat. "I do not
exclude that one day, and maybe quite soon, we will come to the
situation when NATO will not be the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
but something like a European treaty organization, which we can
be a part of." Fedorov's comments were reported by RFE/RL's London
correspondent. (Suzanne Crow)

TASS COMMENTS ON ARMS INITIATIVE. TASS observer Gennadii Petrov
hailed the United States' offer of unilateral arms reductions
and noted that European leaders were positively influenced by
the US initiative. Petrov expressed the hope that "the United
States' European allies would also take a closer look at their
plans in the realm of arms." (Suzanne Crow)

ANOTHER FOREIGN POLICY THINK TANK. Izvestia reported September
27 that former Foreign Ministers Eduard Shevardnadze and Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh are setting up a new foreign policy think tank called
the Center for Political Analysis. Bessmertnykh is to assume
the position of director. He told Izvestia that he wants to see
the "structural integration" of the Soviet and Russian Foreign
Ministries, Western agencies reported September27. (Suzanne Crow)


LOURDES TO REMAIN. The Washington Post reported September 28
that the USSR intends to maintain its electronic monitoring facility
in Lourdes, Cuba. According to an unidentified Soviet diplomat
cited in the report, "the position of the Soviet Union is clearly
to reduce military cooperation between the two countries. That
means the withdrawal of the combat brigade. . . .[A]t some point
it may also include the withdrawal of the Lourdes facility, [but]
it's not on the table yet." (Suzanne Crow)

PANKIN ON ISRAEL. Foreign Minister Boris Pankin said at the United
Nations September 27 that the USSR could reestablish ties with
Israel as early as October. Pankin reported a "fruitful discussion
with an Israeli minister" in which "we considered establishing
relations in the near future in the interests of peace, justice,
and stability in the Near East," TASS reported that day. (Suzanne
Crow)

KUNADZE ON KURILES. RSFSR Deputy Foreign Minister Georgii Kunadze
told TASS September 28 that the RSFSR is willing to study all
aspects of the Kurile Islands dispute with Japan. He stressed
that the Soviet population on the islands will be consulted and
may even participate in the negotiations with Japan. Kunadze
stressed that the RSFSR does not link the return of the islands
with economic aid from Japan. Kunadze's remarks add some continuity
to the discussion of the Kuriles dispute: it appears that the
RSFSR has indeed acquired full authority on any settlement, and
that the RSFSR is rigidly avoiding the appearance of a trade
of islands for aid. (Suzanne Crow)

ANOTHER KRYUCHKOV DEPUTY UNDER ARREST. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet
approved the arrest of former USSR KGB First Deputy Chief Genii
Ageev, TASS reported September 27. According to RSFSR General
Prosecutor, Valentin Stepankov, Ageev was responsible for the
isolation of Gorbachev. He also prepared concrete measures for
capturing the RSFSR Supreme Soviet building and for interning
the active opponents of the junta, Stepankov charged. (Victor
Yasmann)

KRYUCHKOV AND KALUGIN PREPARED INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN. An article
in Komsomolskaya pravda of September 21 alleged that the recent
attempted coup d'etat was not the first for former KGB Chairman
Vladimir Kryuchkov. Along with General Oleg Kalugin (then Chief
of External Counterintelligence), Kryuchkov was in Kabul in April
1979 to prepare the overthrow of Khafisullah Amin, who was killed
when his palace was stormed by KGB special forces. According
to officers who participated in the action, the KGB used the
opportunity to train its people in capturing a government building.
The newspaper observed that this fact is worth knowing because
plans for a storm of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet building in August
were based on the experience in Kabul. (Victor Yasmann)

KGB AND MVD TROOPS WILL BE BACKBONE OF NATIONAL GUARD. The Russian
National Guard will be formed mainly from the elite Dzerzhinsky
division, the KGB and the MVD Internal Troops, an aide to RSFSR
Vice President Alexander Rutskoi, Gennadii Yakovich, told Komsomol'skaya
Pravda of September 18. Yakovich, who is responsible for the
project, said that in its first stage the RSFSR National Guard
will consist of 8 brigades with 10 thousand men each. Soldiers
and officers will be recruited on a contract basis with monthly
salaries from 600 to 2,000 rubles. The backbone of the Ukrainian
National Guard also will be composed from the MVD Internal Troops
plus a KGB division stationed near Kharkov. (Victor Yasmann)


KRAVCHENKO: CENTRAL TV HELPED FOREIGN JOURNALISTS. Former Central
TV head Leonid Kravchenko claimed in Komsomolskaya pravda of
September 20 that "we" managed to get foreign correspondents
into the Central TV building on the day of the coup, although
it was guarded by paratroopers. "From our studios," Kravchenko
said, "they could access a communications satellite through our
technical center. We also turned over our direct satellite broadcasting
station to CNN." Kravchenko, dismissed last month for collaborating
with the putschists, said Gorbachev called him from the Crimea
and dictated to him the text of his telephone conversation with
President George Bush. Gorbachev also instructed him before going
on the air: "Don't forget, it was a coup." This was his last
contact with Gorbachev before Kravchenko fell into disfavor.
(Victor Yasmann)

PATRIARCH ALEKSII II VISITS EGYPT. TASS reported on September
28 that Patriarch Aleksii II of Moscow and All Russia arrived
that day in Alexandria. During his visit to Egypt he plans to
meet Parfenii III, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa,
the head of the Coptic Church, Pope ShenudaIII, and President
Hosni Mubarak. (Oxana Antic)



USSR-OTHER REPUBLICS

NO END TO GEORGIAN STANDOFF? Rebel National Guard commander Tengiz
Kitovani retracted as based on a mistaken assumption his earlier
allegation that 60 of his men were killed when government troops
stormed their camp. Talks September 27 between government and
opposition resulted in an unofficial cease fire agreement. Two
formal rounds of talks on September 28-29 ended in a stalemate.
Several people were injured late on September 29 in an explosion
outside the TV center, which is held by the opposition. Georgian
President Zviad Gamsakhurdia called off further negotiations
scheduled for today because rebel forces continue to refuse to
surrender their arms, Western news agencies reported. (Liz Fuller)


GEORGIA LOSES BID FOR CSCE OBSERVER STATUS. The Moscow human
rights conference rejected Georgia's application for CSCE observer
status September 27 after NATO, EC and non-aligned countries
declined to consider it. The primary obstacle was reported to
be Gamsa-khurdia's poor human rights record. The Soviet Union
formally supported the Georgian request. Speaking in Moscow September
27, Gorbachev expressed concern that the situation in Georgia
"was worsening" and rejected as "unrealistic" Gamsakhurdia's
claims that the Kremlin was supporting the anti-government opposition
in Georgia, Western news agencies reported September 27. (Roland
Eggleston/Liz Fuller)

AZERBAIJAN POPULAR FRONT PROTESTS NKAO AGREEMENT. Thousands of
people demonstrated in Baku September 27 to protest the NKAO
cease-fire agreement signed four days earlier, a Baku journalist
told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani service September 28. The Front considers
the agreement to contravene Azerbaijan's interests, and wants
to convene a Supreme Soviet session to discuss the creation of
a republican army. A further rally is planned for today. Also
on September 27, a commission of the Armenian Supreme Soviet
claimed that Azerbaijan had already violated the cease-fire agreement
by carrying out armed attacks in Stepanakert and villages in
the NKAO in which six people were killed, TASS reported September 27.
(Liz Fuller)

SITUATION IN TAJIKISTAN. Peaceful demonstrations continued in
front of the Supreme Soviet building in Dushanbe over the weekend,
according to Soviet news agency reports. Talks between officials
and representatives of the opposition began on September 28;
the opposition wants a special session of the republican Supreme
Soviet to rescind the state of emergency declared on September
23. Radio Moscow reported on September 28 that hunger strikers
on the square had been joined by six well-known Sufi leaders.
A group of Russian and USSR Supreme Soviet deputies has arrived
in Dushanbe to assess the situation and told the demonstrators
on September 29 that Russia and the Center support their demands.
(Bess Brown)

UZBEK KGB DISSOLVED. TASS reported on September 27 that a National
Security Service directly subordinate to the president has been
created in Uzbekistan to replace the republican KGB, which was
dissolved on the order of Uzbek president Islam Karimov. The
new agency is to be responsible only for intelligence-gathering,
counterintelligence, and fighting organized crime; other departments
of the former KGB are to be closed. The new agency is headed
by the former KGB chairman, Gulam Aliev. (Bess Brown)

BABI YAR COMMEMORATION. Tens of thousands of people took part
in a march in Kiev on September 29, the first day of a weeklong
commemoration of the massacres at Babi Yar that began on September
29-30, 1941, with the machine-gunning of nearly 34,000 Jews.
The commemoration has attracted many Jewish leaders from Israel,
Europe, and North America, according to Western and Soviet media.
Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told Western agencies
of his concerns that Nazi collaborators may be among the 46,000
people who have been rehabilitated since April by the Ukrainian
government in accordance with a new law on the rehabilitation
of victims of Soviet political repression. (Kathy Mihalisko)


UKRAINE OBJECTS TO MOSCOW'S FOREIGN DEBT POLICY. In what may
become a difficult obstacle to overcome, Ukraine announced September
29 that it objected to Moscow's taking on increased "Union" debt
without the express consent of the individual republics. Moscow
Radio reported the same day that Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitol'd
Fokin sent a letter to the Committee for Operational Management
of the National Economy in which he categorically protested taking
on new foreign debt without defining who gets the money and who
is going to pay for it. Without fulfillment of these conditions,
Fokin said that his republic would not participate in the new
Interrepublican Economic Committee and would pursue its own foreign
debt policy. (John Tedstrom)

COMMITTEE FOR CENTRAL ASIAN ECONOMIC REFORM CONCLUDES WORK. The
Committee on Problems of Economic Reform in Central Asia and
Kazakhstan finished its recent session in Alma-Ata, Radio Moscow
reported September 27. This was the first session of the group
that comprises representatives of the supreme soviets of the
republics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. The committee looked
at questions of reforming and coordinating economic policies
including trade, budgets, and monetary policies. The committee
recognized the need to create a unified economic space within
the framework of the Union and called for the creation of an
inter-parliamentary organ to coordinate the committee's work.
The region concerned, if united, would represent a large economic
force and would carry considerable weight in any type of broader
economic Union. (John Tedstrom)

MOLDAVIAN POLICE AT BAY ON DNIESTER'S LEFT BANK. Aggressive picketing
of Moldavian police stations in the 6 raion centers on the left
bank of the Dniester and physical intimidation of policemen's
families are persuading a growing number of policemen to quit
or transfer allegiance to the Russian-led "Dniester SSR" which
organized the picketing, law-enforcement sources in Kishinev
told RFE/RL by telephone September 27. While those defecting
are as a rule ethnic Russian enlisted men, the ethnic Russian
officers have remained loyal to the law. (Vladimir Socor)

SIEGE OF POLICE IN DUBASARI CONTINUES. Moldavian police from
the right bank have been dispatched to the town of Dubasari to
defend the police besieged since September 24 by armed Russian
"workers' detachments," which temporarily captured other government
buildings there. Aided by unarmed Moldavian peasants, the police
have blocked the approaches to Dubasari to prevent the arrival
of additional "workers' detachments." The Russian communist organization
Joint Council of Work Collectives (OSTK) and the Council of Factory
Directors have announced that they will send busloads of workers
"with supplies for 2 to 3 days" to Dubasari on September 30 "to
help the defenders of human rights there," TASS reported September
29. (Vladimir Socor)

DNIESTER RUSSIANS ESTABLISHING OWN COMMUNIST PARTY.
Dnestrovskaya pravda, the main Russian newspaper on the
left bank of the Dniester, published September 25 a statement
from the organizing committee of a "Communist Party of the Dniester
SSR," calling for holding the Party's founding conference in
the near future. The Moldavian CP and Dnestrovskaya pravda were
banned by the Moldavian government for supporting the attempted
coup d'etat in August, but they have continued to operate in
the Russian towns of the left bank. (Vladimir Socor)

DNIESTER RUSSIANS FORM "REPUBLICAN GUARD." The Russian communist
leadership of the self-proclaimed "Dniester SSR" in eastern Moldavia
set up a Military Committee September27 and has begun forming
a professional "People's Guard" on top of the ordinary militia
and the "workers' detachments," sources in Tiraspol told RFE/RL
by telephone September 28. Vladimir Ryliakov, deputy chairman
of Tiraspol City Soviet and an activist of the Joint Council
of Work Collectives (OSTK), was appointed chairman of the Committee,
directly subordinated to the "Dniester SSR Supreme Soviet."(Vladimir
Socor)

MILITARY SUPPORT FOR "REPUBLICAN GUARD." The inaugural meeting
of officers and the first recruits of the People's Guard, held
September27 at a plant subordinated to all-Union authorities
in Tiraspol, was attended by several Army officers, some in uniform.
A Colonel of the Tiraspol Civil Defense was appointed commander
of the force, which will initially consist of 800 men. Training
is to take place on military training grounds. The lowest ranks
(ryadovoy) are to receive a tax-free monthly salary of 700 rubles.
(Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES


COCOM RESTRICTION EASED FOR BALTICS? The Coordinating Committee
for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) is examining the question
of easing restrictions on strategically sensitive exports to
the Baltic States, Western agencies reported September 28. COCOM
officials outlined a possible 3-stage easing process. In the
first stage, COCOM licensing procedures would remain, but the
committee would presume approval, shifting the burden of justification
from exporters to objecting governments. In the second stage,
most licensing decisions would be devolved from COCOM to the
discretion of national authorities, and in the third stage the
Baltics would be removed from the list of controlled destinations.
(Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIA-LATVIAN DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. On September 27 Lithuanian
Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis stopped in Latvia
on his way back from Copenhagen, Radio Lithuania reported September
29. He met with his Latvian counterpart Anatolijs Gorbunovs in
Jurmala where they signed a joint communique on the reestablishment
of formal diplomatic relations. The communique stressed the necessity
of the immediate withdrawal of Soviet armed forces from their
republics. They also decided to call a meeting of the Baltic
Council the following weekend to continue discussing the matters
raised in their talks. (Saulius Girnius)

POLES FROM LITHUANIA IN VILNIUS. On September 27 the editor of
the monthly journal Ausra, Alicija Sitarskiene, and the deputy
director of the Lithuanian Cultural Society, Sigitas Birgelis,
spoke at the parliament press briefing, Radio Lithuania reported
that day. Their report on the situation of Lithuanians living
in Poland indicated that Poles in Lithuania have much better
conditions. They noted that the position of minorities in Poland
is not mentioned in any Polish laws or the Constitution. Moreover,
there are no Lithuanian representatives in the Polish parliament
or even in the Suvalkai vaivod where they comprise 10-15% of
the population. Lithuanians are not given any benefits to enter
higher educational institutes and can not even subscribe to the
press from Lithuania. Promises made during the Pope's latest
visit to have a Lithuanian mass once a month in the Seiniai cathedral
have not been fulfilled. (Saulius Girnius)

DALAI LAMA IN LITHUANIA. The Dalai Lama arrived in Vilnius September
29 where he held talks with Landsbergis, Radio Lithuania reported
September 30. Today the Tibetan spiritual leader will have lunch
with Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius and Foreign Minister
Algirdas Saudargas and later meet the leaders of various religious
confessions. On October 1 he will address the Lithuanian parliament,
hold a press conference with Landsbergis, and make a speech at
Vilnius University. On October 2 he will travel to Riga and on
October 3 to Tallinn. (Saulius Girnius)

SHIPPING LINE BETWEEN TALLINN AND APENRADE. Estonian Trade Minister
Tiit Vahi has held discussions with officials in the Danish port
of Apenrade about the establishment of a shipping line between
Apenrade and Tallinn, Handelsblatt reported on September 26.
The line will be able to handle both passenger and freight trade
and will serve as an alternative route for land trade that would
have to pass through Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Germany.
(Saulius Girnius)


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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole