|You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw|
No. 191, 08 October 1991
USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR EC AID PACKAGE APPROVED. European Community finance ministers tentatively approved in principle a $1.5 billion food and medical aid package for the USSR on October 7, Western agencies reported that day. The new credit line is understood to be in addition to the $610 million in credit guarantees and $300 million in food donations approved by the EC in December 1990. The ministers approved the sum on condition that similar amounts were forthcoming from the US and Canada together, and Japan. Dutch Finance Minister Wim Kok said that the credit facility was a contingency program and would be "put into practice when we are sure what the needs are." (Keith Bush) SABUROV ON ECONOMIC TREATY. RSFSR Minister of Economics Evgenii Saburov discussed in an interview on Central Television on October 7 the opposition in the RSFSR to the economic treaty he approved provisionally in Alma-Ata. Saburov argued that Russia needed the treaty and said that Russia had managed to get rid of most of the articles it did not like. He said that the treaty had been approved in the main by Yeltsin. It should be signed first by Yeltsin, then ratified by the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, but Saburov thought Yeltsin would consult the Supreme Soviet first so that ratification did not lead to confrontation between Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet. (Ann Sheehy) MUTUAL MILITARY STRUCTURES IN EUROPE PROPOSED. Representatives of the Russian State Committee on Defense have suggested at an international conference of American and Soviet defense experts in Washington that the US and the Soviet Union create joint military structures for security in Europe, according to an RFE/RL report from Washington on October 8. Yeltsin's military adviser, General Konstantin Kobets, stressed that a "single system unit for collective security" is needed. Russian government officials said that the Soviet Union has lost control over former clients in the Third World and cannot influence policies in Vietnam or Cuba. (Alexander Rahr) NEW ADMINISTRATION CREATED IN RUSSIAN KGB. A new administration has been created in the RSFSR KGB. Vesti on October 7 interviewed Colonel Sergei Almazov, chief of the Administration for Fighting Organized Crime, who said that his main task will be to combat corruption at the government level. Almazov also stressed the need to fight economic crimes. He said his administration will closely observe the work of cooperatives and joint ventures. The Russian KGB further strengthened its structures by taking over an electronic intelligence service in Khabarovsk oblast, which KGB chief Bakatin had wanted to reduce, according to Kommersant No 38. (Alexander Rahr) SOVIET MERCHANTMEN BARRED FROM SUEZ CANAL. Suez Canal authorities and maritime sources reported on October 7 that 24 Soviet merchant ships are stranded at both ends of the canal because they cannot pay the transit tolls in advance, Western agencies reported that day. The Aswan Maritime Agency, which handles Soviet vessels, said that it had received no dollar transfers from Moscow in order to pay the estimated $1million plus required for transit tolls. (Keith Bush) PROPOSAL FOR ECONOMIC CONFERENCE OF OBLASTS AND KRAIS. Aman Tuleev, chairman of the Kemerovsky oblast soviet, has proposed a meeting of representatives of oblasts and krais from all republics in order to reach agreement on economic activities, Radio Mayak reported October 7. In a letter to USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev and RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin, Tuleev proposed that the meeting be held in the Kuzbass. Tuleev's proposal is interesting, inasmuch as any resulting agreement would likely be independent of interrepublican relations. (John Tedstrom) URAL-KONVERSIYA-91: Within the framework of regional cooperation on the difficult process of converting military industries to civilian production, an exhibition of civilian products from the defense sector has opened in Ekaterinburg, Izvestia reported October 3. The exhibition includes products from some 60 regional defense plants and runs through October 11. In light of the stalled efforts to implement a national conversion plan, regional and local efforts have become increasingly important--and effective--substitutes. (John Tedstrom) HOME GUARD BEING SET UP IN TATARSTAN. Enrollment of volunteers in home guard units has started in Kazan', TASS reported October 7, citing Sovetskaya Rossiya of October 8. The enrollment is a reaction to the recent statement by acting chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Ruslan Khasbulatov that the RSFSR would "tolerate no forms of national sovereignty on its territory neither Tatar nor Chechen-Ingush." The tasks of the home guard will be to defend the sovereignty of the republic, see order is maintained at mass political events, and ensure the transfer of Union and RSFSR enterprises to the jurisdiction of the republic. (Ann Sheehy) CPSU CC RESOLUTION ON DESTRUCTION OF ARCHIVES. Even before the attempted coup in August, the CPSU CC issued a resolution addressed to all Party archives instructing them to destroy documents concerning the activities of Party officials. The RSFSR TV news program Vesti reported October 7 it obtained a copy of the instruction sent to the city of Ul'yanovsk. The specific instruction to the Ul'yanovsk Party archive was to destroy 300,000 out of 500,000 documents kept there by September 1 of this year. (Vera Tolz) PAMYAT' STARTS ITS OWN RADIO BROADCASTS. The radio station "Fatherland, Memory and You," backed by the extremist Pamyat' National Patriotic Front, went on the air for the first time on September 29, "Postfactum" reported September 28. The radio's transmitter is reportedly located in the flat of Pamyat' leader Dmitrii Vasil'ev. Vasil'ev told "Postfactum" that the radio station has been registered at the RSFSR Ministry of Information and Mass Media. (Vera Tolz) NEW INDEPENDENT RADIO STATION TO START IN MOSCOW. A new private radio station will start broadcasting in Moscow in mid-October, Radio Mayak reported September 28. The radio station, called "Rezonans," will stay away from political issues and will broadcast business and stock exchange news, trade proposals, and advertisements. (Vera Tolz) JUNTA'S LAWYER SUES PROSECUTION. In an move unprecedented in the USSR, a defense counsel has brought legal action against the office of the RSFSR General Prosecutor, claiming that the arrest of his client was illegal (Izvestia, October 2). Aleksandr Kligman is defense counsel for Vladimir Grushko, the former KGB deputy chairman jailed for his involvement in the coup. The warrant for Grushko's arrest was issued by the office of RSFSR General Prosecutor Valentin Stepankov. Even more unusual, the RSFSR Supreme Court has agreed to consider Kligman's complaint. In an interview with Izvestia, the court's chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev cited the International Covenant on Human Rights as saying that such warrants should be issued by courts of law, not by prosecutors, as provided by Soviet law. The junta's lawyers chose to defend their clients on the grounds that Soviet laws are defective and contradict universally accepted human rights standards. (Julia Wishnevsky) TWO BAKLANOVS ARE POLES APART. Grigorii Baklanov, a liberal writer and chief editor of the pro-reform literary monthly Znamya, is going to sue a number of French, British and Austrian newspapers and magazines that, during the coup, published his photograph instead of that of Oleg Baklanov, a member of the Emergency Committee, Izvestia reported October 2. The writer's lawyer will demand considerable financial compensation for an eventual loss in sales of his books, Izvestia wrote, adding that the publishers of the media concerned are lucky that Oleg Baklanov is unlikely to sue them in turn, since prison rules forbid him access to any foreign newspaper or journal. (Julia Wishnevsky) RAISA RECALLS EVENTS IN CRIMEA. Raisa Gorbacheva said during an interview on Central TV on October 6 that the Gorbachev family and others who were detained with them in the Crimea on August 18-22 discussed the possibility of escaping but finally rejected this option because of concern for Gorbachev's safety. She remarked that she feels bitter when Soviet journalists portray the coup as a humorous event, because for her family it was a tragedy. Raisa also said that the Gorbachev's home atmosphere has become much gloomier since the coup. (Julia Wishnevsky) INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN UNION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY IN OMSK. TASS reported on October 6 that a department of Christian Union of Youth and Family, an international organization with branches in 110 countries, has appeared in Omsk. The organization furthers religious and moral education, sports, culture, and charity. Omsk is the second Soviet town where a department of the Christian Union has been organized; the first was in Moscow. The activities of the organization have the blessing of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksii II. (Oxana Antic) PATRIARCH ALEKSII IN SYRIA. TASS reported on October 5 that during the visit of Patriarch Aleksii II to Syria, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church met with Syrian president Hafiz Assad. He had previously met with the head of Al-Azhar University in Cairo. The Patriarch described his trip to the Middle East as cementing Orthodox unity in the region and initiating brotherly contacts with other Christian confessions and also with Muslim leaders. (Oxana Antic) PROBLEM CONCERNING HASSIDIC MANU-SCRIPTS STILL UNSOLVED. The Director of the Lenin Library in Moscow, Anatolii Volik, told TASS that the fate of the 12,000 Hassidic books and 400 manuscripts kept in the library has not yet been solved, TASS reported October 6. The Hassidic community has asked that these unique documents be returned to them so they can be sent to the New York based religious center "Agudas Hassidei Habad." (Hassidim in Moscow picketed the library in September, demanding the return of the books: see Daily Report, September 9). (Oxana Antic) USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS CALL FOR PRESIDENTIAL RULE IN GEORGIA. Political groups that support Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia called October 7 for the dissolution of parliament and the imposition of presidential rule; they also advocated the banning of opposition parties and organizations and the arrest of their leaders, and revoking the citizenship of government opponents, Western news agencies reported October 7. Students began a sit-in October7 at Tbilisi University to demand freedom of the press and the withdrawal of Gamsakhurdia's troops from Tbilisi, RIA reported October 7. (Liz Fuller) KRAVCHUK ON FOREIGN VISITS, INDEPENDENCE AND NEW "UNIONS." Fresh from his visit to the US, Canada, and France, Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid Kravchuk wasted no time in once again asserting Ukraine's new sovereignty and independence. Speaking at a press conference in Kiev on October 4, an upbeat Kravchuk expressed confidence that international recognition of Ukraine's independence would follow after the referendum on this issue on December 1. Kravchuk also reiterated his opposition to any new political "Union" with Moscow and former Soviet republics. Ukraine, he emphasized, will only consider entering into agreements "in which it does not lose a drop of its statehood." (Bohdan Nahaylo) UKRAINE DEMANDS PARTICIPATION IN NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT PROCESS. Kravchuk also told the press conference that Ukraine favors "destroying all nuclear weapons" under international supervision but until then would not relinquish control of its nuclear arms. Expressing concern for Ukraine's "safety and security," he rejected Yeltsin's proposal that the RSFSR take over the entire Soviet nuclear arsenal. Kravchuk declared that "it is important to preserve the status quo on the siting of nuclear weapons so that no single republic can take over the entire nuclear potential of the Union." "There must be unified control over nuclear weapons," he added, "and Ukraine should take part in it." Kravchuk also stressed that "As a state where nuclear weapons are stationed, Ukraine will demand participation in all future [nuclear disarmament] agreements." (Bohdan Nahaylo) UKRAINE PLANS TO CREATE ARMY OF 450,000. Radio Kiev reports that on October 7 the Presidium of Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers approved a package of draft laws concerning the creation during the next two years of a Ukrainian National Guard and army. The draft laws forsee Ukraine's transformation, in accordance with the principles enshrined in the republic's Declaration of State Sovereignty, into a neutral state and a nuclear-free zone. It is envisaged that the size of the new Ukrainian army will not exceed 450,000 and that its role will be purely defensive. (Bohdan Nahaylo) UKRAINE HEADING FOR YES VOTE IN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM? With a crucial referendum on independence and presidential elections scheduled in Ukraine for December 1, the republic's sociologists are busy conducting opinion polls. According to Radio Kiev October 7, the latest survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences has 63% of the respondents supporting Ukraine's declaration of independence and 17.3% opposing it. A group of sociologists within the Institute that conducts surveys on behalf of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, however, gives figures of 74% in favor of independence and only 12% against. They also found that 41% of those questioned would vote for Kravchuk in the presidential elections and that just under 9% supported Vyacheslav Chornovil, who is emerging as Kravchuk's main rival. (Bohdan Nahaylo) MOLDAVIA DEFERS DECISION ON ECONOMIC PACT. The Moldavian parliament completed its regular session and adjourned October 4 without making a decision regarding Moldavia's membership in the "economic community of sovereign states" (the designation proposed by President Mircea Snegur and accepted at the Alma-Ata meeting in place of "economic union"). Although Snegur urged the parliament to empower the executive to sign the accord, many deputies requested additional information on the economic and political implications of the pact, and objected to what they felt was the perpetuation of an administrative center, Moldovapres reported October 4. Snegur reaffirmed that Moldavia would not consider any political agreements with the Union and that it would seek affiliations with "other economic communities" too. (Vladimir Socor) BALTIC STATES MIRONOV: SOVIET TROOP WITHDRAWAL MUST BE NEGOTIATED. Lieutenant General Valerii Mironov told TASS on October 7 that Baltic demands for Soviet troops to leave the three Baltic capitals by December 1 are unrealistic and must be negotiated. He said "the question of the period for withdrawing part of the Soviet army from the territory of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania must be decided at an inter-governmental level." (Dzintra Bungs) AGREEMENT REACHED ON LITHUANIAN AND POLISH MINORITIES. Meeting in Warsaw on October 4, Polish and Lithuanian foreign ministry officials agreed on a common declaration on the rights of minorities in the two countries, Western agencies reported that day. The declaration, to be signed later this month, guarantees that minorities will not be discriminated against in political life and will be able to satisfy their linguistic, cultural, and religious needs. (Dzintra Bungs) BALTIC STATES TO SIGN CSCE FINAL ACT. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are expected to sign the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe on October 15, TASS reported on October 3. The signing ceremony is to take place at the Finlandia Hall where the CSCE Final Act was signed by the leaders of European countries, United States, and Canada on August 1, 1975. The Baltic States were officially included in the list of participants in the CSCE process at the recent Moscow human rights conference. (Dzintra Bungs) LITHUANIA JOINS UNESCO. While visiting London, Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis signed the UNESCO Constitution on October 7, Western agencies reported that day. This gesture signified that Lithuania was joining the UNESCO and becoming the organization's 160th member. Estonia and Latvia are expected to join soon. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIA, CHILE ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. RFE/RL's correspondent in New York reported on October 4 about the establishment of diplomatic relations between Latvia and Chile. A joint communique was issued at the United Nations that day in which the two states expressed confidence that this decision would lead to economic and cultural cooperation. (Dzintra Bungs) LITHUANIA, JAPAN REESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. Lithuania and Japan formally reestablished diplomatic relations on October 7, Radio Riga and TASS reported that day. Notes to that effect were exchanged between Lithuanian Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas and Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Muneo Suzuki. Suzuki is on a five-day tour of the Baltic States and will also reestablish diplomatic relations with Latvia and Estonia. (Dzintra Bungs)
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