Some things have to be believed to be seen. - Ralph Hodgson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 188, 02 October 1991



USSR-ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



USSR TO STAND-DOWN NUCLEAR MISSILES. In one of the first specific
responses to US President George Bush's September 27 unilateral
nuclear arms initiatives, Soviet presidential spokesman Andrei
Grachev declared October 1 that the USSR would remove from alert
status the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) due for
ultimate elimination under the terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction
Treaty (START). His remarks were reported by TASS the same day.
Bush had announced such a step, and had urged the Soviet Union
to follow suit. While the US move involves 450 single-warhead
Minuteman II ICBMs, the Soviet response should include, among
others, the 154 giant SS-18 missiles, each with ten warheads,
scheduled for ultimate elimination under START. (Doug Clarke)


FURTHER SOVIET MILITARY CUTS DISCUSSED. According to an Interfax
report October 1, Colonel General Pavel Grachev, the newly appointed
First Deputy Minister of Defense, yesterday told Russian legislators
that the Soviet military would be pared down from just under
4 million personnel to between 2 million and 2.5 million by 1994.
The same day, Soviet Defense Minister Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov,
in an interview on Soviet television, repeated an earlier announcement
setting the new strength at 3 million. Grachev confirmed that,
beginning this autumn, conscripts would serve 18months instead
of the present 24 month tour. By 1995 this term of service would
be dropped to 12 months. (Doug Clarke)

TWELVE REPUBLICS SIGN COMMUNIQUE ON ECONOMIC TREATY. Leaders
of the USSR's 12 remaining republics signed a communique in Alma-Ata
on October 1 proclaiming their intention to form an "economic
community," TASS, Interfax, and Western agencies reported October
1. Eight of the 12 republics (the three Slav republics, the four
Central Asian republics, and Kazakhstan) said they intended to
ratify the treaty by October 15. Russia, Belorussia, and Kazakhstan
said they were ready to ratify the treaty immediately. The reports
said that the three Transcaucasian republics and Moldavia would
join the new economic community later after supplementary agreements
or consultations with their Supreme Soviets. Latvia, the only
Baltic State that attended the meeting, reserved the right to
join the "community" as an associate member. (Ann Sheehy)

SOME DETAILS OF THE AGREEMENT. The draft treaty had proposed
an "economic union," but Moldavian President Mircea Snegur suggested
"economic community" instead, a suggestion that RSFSR President
Boris Yeltsin supported, according to Moldovapres of October
1. Reports say the agreement calls for "accelerated transition
to market relations," for coordination of policies on money and
credit, and it said that if republics want to issue their own
currencies that action should not further damage the ruble. The
leaders also agreed to improve economic ties, to recognize existing
borders for the next 50 years, and to control nuclear weapons
jointly from a single center in the interests of collective security.
After republican governments approve the text it will be submitted
for approval to the State Council. (Ann Sheehy)

GORBACHEV LOWERS AID REQUEST. The European Community's Economy
Commissioner, Henning Christophersen, said that Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev had lowered Moscow's aid request from $14.7
billion to $10.2 billion, Western agencies reported October 1.
Christophersen is in the Soviet Union to discuss that country's
economic problems and the possibilities of Western aid. He told
reporters that the EC is ready to grant the Soviet Union humanitarian
aid, but does not want to provide cash merely to pay off Moscow's
outstanding commercial arrears and short- and medium-term credits
that are overdue or coming up for settlement. (The figure of
$14.7 billion bore a curious resemblance to that sum.) (Keith
Bush)

EC AND G-7 DELEGATION TO MOSCOW. Speaking to reporters at the
Soviet mission in New York on October 1, Soviet Foreign Minister
Boris Pankin said that a delegation from the European Community
and the G-7 industrialized nations will survey the USSR's economic
needs at a Moscow meeting on October 14, Western agencies reported
that day. The joint team would consult with Ivan Silaev, the
chairman of the Inter-Republican Committee. Prospects for Western
food aid, the extension of credits, and technical assistance
are among the topics likely to be discussed. (Keith Bush)

SOVIET-CZECHOSLOVAK FRIENDSHIP TREATY TO BE SIGNED. Pankin is
scheduled to sign a treaty of friendship with Czechoslovakia
upon his arrival in Prague today (October 2), Western agencies
report. It is expected that the treaty will renounce the Warsaw
Pact invasion of 1968. Pankin, who served as Soviet ambassador
to Prague before his appointment as Foreign Minister in August,
is slated for talks with Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel,
Prime Minister Marian Calfa, Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier,
and Parliament Chairman Alexander Dubcek during his three-day
official visit. Reports say Pankin will discuss a possible visit
to Czechoslovakia by Gorbachev. (Sallie Wise Chaballier)

NEW AMBASSADOR TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Gorbachev has appointed Aleksandr
Lebedev to the post of ambassador to Czechoslovakia, TASS reported
October 1. Lebedev, a 53-year-old career diplomat, was a counsellor
at the Prague embassy. (Suzanne Crow)

BANKER WARNS OF HYPERINFLATION. USSR Gosbank Deputy Chairman
Arnold Voilukov told Trud October 1 that the country is in danger
of lapsing into hyper-inflation which will "blow up the economy."
He repeated previous admonitions about the doubling of the money
supply over the past year and the plans to issue 200- and 500-ruble
notes this year. Voilukov rejected the frequently-heard comparisons
of the plight of the Soviet economy today with that of Germany
immediately after World War II. He said that the Soviet economy
is in worse shape than in post-war Germany, which had financial
reserves 16 times greater than its GNP, whereas the Soviet reserves
are roughly equivalent to its GNP. (Keith Bush)

NEWS FROM THE RSFSR. RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi wants
to see eye surgeon Stanislav Fedorov named as the new RSFSR prime
minister, TSN reported on October 1. According to Rabochaya tribuna
the same day, other candidates for the post are Oleg Lobov, Mikhail
Malei, and Grigorii Yavlinsky. *** Mikhail Bocharov has retired
from the post of chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Economic Council
because the Yeltsin administration ignored all his proposals,
according to Vesti that day. The Council in the future will be
headed by a commission of the RSFSR SupSov Presidium. *** TASS
on October 1 reported that part of Yeltsin's presidential apparatus
is moving, together with the RSFSR government, into the former
CPSU CC building. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN'S PROBLEMS WITH THE REGIONS. Fifty-seven local deputies
from Gorbachev's home region of Stavropol have appealed to Yeltsin
to send a presidential envoy to the region in order to discipline
hardline local leaders who openly sabotage the policy of the
RSFSR government, Vesti reported on October 1. In Yeltsin's home
region of Sverdlovsk, local authorities have also voiced opposition
to the RSFSR government, although for other reasons. They protest
that Yeltsin has not yet fulfilled his promises in transforming
Russia into a democratically governed republic, according to
Radio Moscow the same day. (Alexander Rahr)

WHAT REMAINS OF THE CPSU? While the top leadership of the CPSU
and Russian CP have obeyed Gorbachev's and Yeltsin's order to
disband themselves, at a lower level attempts to create new Communist
groups are visible. Komsomol'skaya pravda of September 21 mentioned
the plan of Leningrad lecturer Nina Andreeva to reestablish the
All-Russian Communist Party of Bolsheviks and the idea of the
so-called "Initiative Congress of the RCP" to hold a meeting
in Sverdlovsk this November to recreate the Russian Communist
Party. The newspaper also said that a group of members of the
"Marxist Platform" in the CPSU wants to set up its own communist
organization. In the meantime the Party of Democratic Communists
headed by Russian Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi has abandoned
its communist course. (Vera Tolz)

COMMUNISTS ATTEMPT TO UNITE. At the same time, various groups
of Communists and Marxists are attempting to unite. TSN reported
October 1 that they have set up a Committee for the Unity of
Communists. The Committee will coordinate Communists' activities
during the upcoming elections of heads of local administrations
in the RSFSR. The TV news program also reported that one of the
Communist groups, the United Front of Workers of Russia, warned
Yeltsin that mass protests are to be expected in connection with
the abolition of the celebrations of the anniversary of the October
Revolution on November 7. (In fact, any mass protests seem highly
improbable.) (Vera Tolz)

GORBACHEV'S BOOK ON COUP TO BE PUBLISHED SOON. Gorbachev has
submitted to the RSFSR publishing house "Novosti" a manuscript
of his book, titled The August Coup: Its Reasons and Consequences,
Vesti reported on October 1. Simultaneously, Vesti added, translations
of Gorbachev's book are expected to be published by a number
of foreign publishing companies. (Julia Wishnevsky)

WHAT IS CHIKIN UP TO NOW? On September 25, Sovetskaya Rossiya
published a strange article by G. Burdov, a blue-collar Russian
worker from Uzbekistan. Burdov suggests that the CPSU should
regain its former power by engaging in commercial activities
and thus to continue ruling the Soviet Union in fact if not on
paper--exactly as "the captains" of Western monopolies allegedly
rule their respective countries. Burdov--along with the editors
of the hardline newspaper, once owned by the CPSU Central Committee--seems
to completely disregard the fact that the last USSR Congress
of People's Deputies decided to suspend the activities of the
CPSU and to confiscate its property. The editor of Sovetskaya
Rossiya, Valentin Chikin, is a member of the RCP Politburo which
in past years systematically conspired with conservative Party
leaders against Gorbachev and his reforms. (Julia Wishnevsky)




USSR-OTHER REPUBLICS

SITUATION IN TAJIKISTAN. Western agencies reported on October
2 that the Supreme Soviet of Tajikistan has adjourned again without
restoring a ban on the republican Communist Party, as demanded
by opposition demonstrators. A TadzhikTA-TASS report of October
1 said that demonstrations, some in support of the Communist
Party and some in support of the opposition, are taking place
in cities and towns throughout the republic. Several enterprises
in the northern town of Khudzhand (formerly Leninabad) staged
a strike on October 1 in protest against the ongoing demonstration
in Dushanbe. Since many of the workers in these plants are non-Tajiks,
the strike raises the possibility of an inter-ethnic dispute
in connection with the confrontation between conservatives and
anti-Communists. (Bess Brown)

KAZAKH DEMONSTRATORS CALL FOR BORDER REVISION. Vesti on October
1 reported that pickets outside the meeting of republican leaders
in Alma-Ata demanded the revision of Kazakhstan's borders--to
the benefit of Kazakhstan. Members of opposition political groups
and other Kazakh intellectuals have often reacted to demands
for border changes from non-Kazakh inhabitants of the northern
oblasts by calling for parts of neighboring oblasts of the RSFSR
to be transferred to Kazakhstan on the grounds that these regions
were traditionally Kazakh lands. (Bess Brown)

DNIESTER CONFRONTATION DEFUSED. Moldavian government officials
and representatives of Russian-controlled raions on the left
bank of the Dniester signed on October 1 two protocols designed
to defuse the confrontation there. Reached after previous negotiations
in Dubasari and Kishinev had failed, the agreement was brokered
in a new round of talks by an RSFSR SupSov delegation headed
by the progressive Nikolai Medvedev, chairman of the SupSov's
commission on interethnic relations. The provisions were summarized
by central Soviet and Russian Television and TASS on October
1. Moldavian reports have not been received yet. (Vladimir Socor)


MEASURES AGREED. The provisions include: voluntary surrender
of firearms by "civilian formations" (i.e. Russian detachments)
in Dubasari simultaneously with the withdrawal of Moldavian Internal
Affairs subunits "additionally deployed" there recently; release
of the 3 left-bank Russian leaders and 1 Gagauz leader remaining
in Moldavian investigative custody on charges of supporting the
August coup d'etat (the 3 other individuals had already been
released); lifting of the blockade of Moldavian railroads (by
left-bank Russians); strict observance of the law and renunciation
of the use of force, economic strikes, and blockades (an indirect
reference to methods repeatedly used by the left-bank Russian
leaders); and creation of a conciliation commission comprised
of officials of the Moldavian government and of left-bank raions
to discuss further "normalization" steps. (Vladimir Socor)

CARPATHIAN MILITARY REGIMENT WANTS TO SERVE UKRAINE. The officers
and privates of Unit 63-349 in the Carpathian Military District
have sent a letter to Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid
Kravchuk, stating that they are ready to swear an oath of loyalty
to the Ukrainian people and government, TSN reported on October
1. They were apparently responding to a recent appeal to Ukrainian-based
troops by the Union of Officers of Ukraine. According to TSN,
the letter calls on the Supreme Soviet to enact timely legislation
on the transfer of military units to Ukrainian jurisdiction.
(Kathy Mihalisko)



BALTIC STATES


EC DECIDES TO EXTEND AID PROGRAM TO BALTICS. The EC foreign ministers'
meeting in Brussels on October 1 gave formal approval for opening
negotiations toward economic cooperation agreements with the
Baltic States, Western agencies reported that day. The ministers
agreed to sponsor inclusion of the Baltic States next year among
the East European countries eligible for aid from the G-24 group
of Western donor countries. They decided that part of the $490
million in EC aid to the USSR should go to the Baltics. All three
Baltic States consider securing associate membership in the EC
among their top priorities. (Saulius Girnius)

LATVIA APPLIES FOR IMF MEMBERSHIP. The Latvian government has
made a formal application to join the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), TASS reported October 1. The move was expected, since
its Baltic neighbors Estonia and Lithuania had submitted similar
applications on September10 and 12, respectively, and all three
countries had held discussions in Tallinn on September 23-24
with leaders of the IMF and other international financial organizations.
(Saulius Girnius)

VATICAN TO RESUME FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. Papal Pronuncio
to the Netherlands Archbishop Audrys Backis on September 30 signed
a joint statement with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas
agreeing to "reactivate" full diplomatic relations between Lithuania
and the Vatican, Western agencies reported October 1. Backis
will travel to Latvia and Estonia to sign similar agreements
reestablishing diplomatic relations. (Saulius Girnius)

TARIFF CODE OF LATVIA. The recently adopted Tariff Code of Latvia
went into effect on October 1, TASS reported. Director of the
Latvian Customs Department Aivar Salins noted that the code is
90% analogous to the Soviet tariff code. He expected that in
several months the Baltic Customs Union will come into effect
and customs posts between Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia would
be abolished. (Saulius Girnius)

NEW DIRECTOR GENERAL OF LITHUANIAN STATE SECURITY DEPARTMENT.
Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila has been appointed Director
General of the Lithuanian State Security Department, Radio Lithuania
reported October 1. In an effort to provide the department, which
is affiliated with the Lithuanian government and not the parliament,
suitable facilities for its work, the government decided to transfer
without compensation to its control the facilities in Vilnius
that had belonged to the Soviet army commissariat. (Saulius Girnius)


RFE/RL BROADCAST ON FM IN ESTONIA. On October 1, Estonian Radio,
having signed an agreement with RFE/RL Inc., began to receive
programs of the RFE/RL Estonian Service via satellite and broadcast
them on FM transmitters throughout the republic. The Estonian
Service will continue to broadcast on shortwave. Similar re-transmissions
of RFE/RL Lithuanian Service programs in Lithuania are scheduled
to begin on October 10. Talks about a similar re-transmitting
agreement with Latvia are underway. (Saulius Girnius)

LATVIA AND ESTONIA ADMITTED TO WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION. On
October 1 the World Wrestling Federation (FILA) meeting in Varna,
Bulgaria voted to re-admit Latvia and Estonia as members, Western
agencies reported that day. A four-member team from Latvia will
participate in the Wrestling World Championships in the Free
Style Open that will begin on October 3 in Varna. The Estonian
re-admission is on condition that its National Olympic Committee
file a membership application. (Saulius Girnius)


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