|A disagreement may be the shortest cut between two minds. - Kahlil Gibran|
No. 193, 10 October 1991
USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR RSFSR SUPREME SOVIET DISCUSSES TREATY ON ECONOMIC COMMUNITY. Contradictory views were expressed October 9 in a joint session of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet devoted to the treaty on an economic community, TASS reported October 9. Economist Grigorii Yavlinsky, the treaty's author, defended it and argued that it would not recreate the central bodies of control as maintained by some of its opponents. Deputy Prime Minister and Economics Minister Evgenii Saburov refuted suggestions that he had not been empowered to sign the relevant documents, saying that Yeltsin has given him his personal blessing. First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Lobov disagreed with Yavlinsky and Saburov, maintaining that the treaty was unacceptable in that it would infringe the economic and political sovereignty of the RSFSR. At the end of the debate a group was set up to draw up a draft resolution on the treaty. (Ann Sheehy) TEXT OF TREATY PUBLISHED IN IZVESTIA. The text of the "Treaty on an Economic Community" was published in Izvestia of October 4. This is presumably the text signed by Belorussia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. In an article in the same issue of Izvestia, Otto Latsis noted how the text had been improved in the course of discussions. It is a moot point now, though, that this text will be accepted by the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. The final article of the text states that the treaty comes into force after it has been signed by three republics and ratified by their parliaments. (Ann Sheehy) CONFLICT IN RSFSR LEADERSHIP INTENSIFIES. Yavlinsky warned that current disputes in the RSFSR leadership are hindering the creation of the new Soviet Economic Union Treaty, according to TASS October 9. On the same day, Vesti reported an unfriendly exchange of letters between RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and his former Prime Minister, Ivan Silaev. The latter had asked the former to return jurisdiction over the energy sector from the RSFSR back to the center. Yeltsin called Silaev's present job at the center "unconstitutional," while Silaev described Yeltsin's reaction as "too emotional." Meanwhile, the Democratic Russia Movement called upon Yeltsin to include their representatives in the RSFSR government. (Alexander Rahr) ANOTHER RSFSR MINISTER RESIGNS. RSFSR Economics Minister Evgenii Saburov has resigned, complaining of the RSFSR government's "inability" to stabilize the economy and ensure the transition to a market economy, TASS reported October 9. The day before, RSFSR Deputy Prime Minister Igor Gavrilov quit the government for similar reasons. RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi had accused Saburov of negotiating an agreement on an economic union with other republics in Alma-Ata without a proper mandate from his government. Oleg Lobov, now acting RSFSR Prime Minister, stressed that the Alma-Ata agreement "smacked of a new attempt to restore the domination of the center," Western news agencies reported that day. (Alexander Rahr) PETROV ON FIGHTING IN RSFSR LEADERSHIP. Yurii Petrov, chief of the RSFSR presidential administration, denied that there is an organized opposition in the Russian leadership. He told Izvestia on October 9 that a "natural competition" for gaining influence with the RSFSR President is going on. Petrov stressed that his administration has been created to improve links between the various governmental institutions, such as the State Council, Security Council or Cabinet of Ministers with the President. (Alexander Rahr) INTERFAX PUBLISHES LATEST UNION TREATY DRAFT. On October 9 Interfax distributed as an express information issue the latest draft of the Union treaty circulated by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to the republics. According to the Interfax summary of the draft, the new Union will be called a Union of Free Sovereign Republics. From the summary it appears that much has been retained from the text that was due to be signed on August 20, but would appear to provide for a somewhat looser Union. The draft states that the new Union would be the successor state to the USSR in international law. The provision that the President should be elected by universal ballot has been retained. (Ann Sheehy) GORBACHEV MAKES FORMAL AID REQUEST. On October 9, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev met with US Secretary of Agriculture Edward Madigan and made a specific request for American assistance, Western agencies reported that day. Secretary Madigan declined to disclose details of the request except that it included an element of humanitarian aid. Gorbachev was said to be enthusiastic about proposals to send US farm and food processing experts to advise their Soviet counterparts, and to set up a "model American farm." Madigan indicated that the US planned to funnel most of its assistance through Gorbachev and the central government--apparently in an attempt to avoid the political and logistical headaches that might be encountered if aid is parcelled out to republics. (Keith Bush) G-7 MEETING IN BANGKOK. Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrial nations will meet in Bangkok on October 11-12, where a major topic will be Western aid to the Soviet Union. US Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady told a press conference on October 10 that the G-7 nations have no clear view of how to help the Soviet Union, nor are all details of the USSR's balance of payments problem available, Western agencies reported that day. German Finance Minister Theo Waigel said that the West must be given full details of Moscow's and the republics' finances; he urged the preservation of Vneshekonombank as the guarantor of financial transactions with the West. Ivan Silaev told CNN October 8 that the USSR would reveal its gold reserves in the next few days. (Keith Bush) LEADUP TO THE IMF MEETING. Ahead of the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting in Bangkok October 13-17, Western agencies October 9 reported that the 17-member Soviet delegation will be led by Grigorii Yavlinsky and Viktor Gerashchenko. The team will also include a senior representative from the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, the Kirgiz finance minister, and Belorussia's deputy finance minister. These three are attending as part of the Soviet delegation and will not be representing their own republics, according to unnamed sources. The IMF's World Economic Outlook, released October 9, foresees a drop of 10.6% in the GNP of the USSR and Eastern Europe this year, and predicts a further decline in Soviet GNP in 1992. (Keith Bush) FOOD SUPPLY AGREEMENT. On October 9, the Committee for the Operational Management of the Economy approved and sent to the State Council a draft agreement on food supply, TASS reported that day. The urgency of the food supply situation was underlined by the fact that grain procurements to date have reached only 54million tons--the lowest level in half a century--and bread rationing has been introduced in 16 territories. The draft envisages a sharp contraction of the all-union grain reserve. In future, this will provide only for the armed forces, labor colonies, prisons, and the inhabitants of Moscow. $10.4 billion has been allocated for imported foodstuffs; in the opinion of specialists, the sum of $14.7 billion would be needed to maintain food supply at the level obtaining in 1990. (Keith Bush) OIL PRICE TO QUADRUPLE IN 1992. The USSR Minister of the Oil Industry, Lev Churilov, told The Financial Times October 9 that he and the Russian government were preparing to raise the domestic price of oil from 70 rubles to 300-350 rubles a ton next year. The new price would apply to oil supplied under state orders, while enterprises would be allowed to sell 30% of their output at free market prices. Churilov disclosed that his ministry would be disbanded at the end of this year to make way for republican-owned oil corporations. The possibility of privatizing oil will be examined next year. Churilov forecast oil output in 1991 at 550 million tons, which is above most recent estimates. (Keith Bush) FOREIGN POLICY ASSOCIATION TO HOLD CONFERENCE. The Foreign Policy Association set up by Eduard Shevardnadze in February of this year will hold an inaugural conference in December, TASS reported October 9. The agency said that Aleksandr Yakovlev, Anatolii Sobchak, and Gavriil Popov take part in the association's activities. The agency also quoted Shevardnadze as saying that he decided to set up an analytical center in political science within the framework of the association. The association will soon hold a US-Soviet scholarly conference to discuss what constitutes American and Soviet national interests today. (Vera Tolz) PANKIN TO MIDDLE EAST SOON. Soviet Foreign Minister Boris Pankin announced on October 9 that he will travel to Syria, Jordan, Israel, and perhaps other Middle Eastern countries, later this month in preparation for a Mideast peace conference. According to Western agency reports yesterday, Pankin told a press conference in Moscow that he hoped the peace conference could convene before the end of October. He also reiterated the USSR's intention to restore full diplomatic relations with Israel. (Sallie Wise Chaballier) SHEBARSHIN ON COUP, FUTURE OF KGB. Recently retired chief of the KGB's the First Main Administration for Foreign Intelligence Leonid Shebarshin told Komsomol'skaya pravda of October 2 that the decision to separate the administration from the KGB is absolutely correct. However, he said, the separation of the Administration of Government Communications and the Eighth Main Administration for Communication and Cryptography was made hastily and must be reconsidered, because it leaves the KGB without reliable "SIGINT" channels. Shebarshin revealed that during the coup, Vladimir Kryuchkov did not give an order for action to the special force subordinated to foreign intelligence. His directive was instead to redeploy it from a distant suburban base to the Lubyanka building. (Victor Yasmann) RADIO ROSSII DOUBTS COOPERATION BETWEEN KGB AND CIA. Radio Rossii on October 8 pronounced itself perplexed by an interview given by Acting CIA Director Richard Kerr to The Wall Street Journal of October 4, in which he reportedly suggested that the CIA could cooperate with revamped Soviet intelligence to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and nuclear proliferation. First, the areas of cooperation suggested are not within the competence of the CIA, but of the FBI, the State Department, and the US Treasury. Second, Radio Rossii expressed doubt that KGB Chairman Vadim Bakatin had asked US Secretary of State James Baker for legal advice from the CIA to the KGB on how to adapt its functions to a democratic society. Legal oversight of intelligence is the domain of the USSR Supreme Soviet, just as the US Congress oversees the CIA. "So, is somebody fooling us or we are fooling ourselves?" asked Radio Rossii. (Victor Yasmann) CHECHEN CONGRESS ORDERS GENERAL MOBILIZATION. The situation in Checheno-Ingushetia has deteriorated further. Reacting sharply to the October 8 resolution of the presidium of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet (see Daily Report, October 9), the Executive Committee of the Congress of the Chechen People called for a general mobilization of the male population aged 15 to 55, TASS reported October 9. It also called for the unofficial formations of the national guards to be in a state of battle readiness and summoned its supporters to a meeting on October 10. Interfax said the chairman of the Executive Committee, retired general Dzhokhar Dudaev, described the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Presidium resolution as "a virtual declaration of war on our republic." (Ann Sheehy) TENSION IN NORTH OSSETIA IN REACTION TO INGUSH DEMANDS. Great concern has been caused in North Ossetia by the decision of the recent Third Congress of the Ingush People to demand the return of the Prigorodnyi raion of North Ossetia to the Ingush. TASS reported October 9. TASS said that demands were being made for the creation of a national guard in North Ossetia. According to Vesti of the same date, self-defense units and posts are already being created. The Ingush demand included the return of right bank of the North Ossetian capital, Vladikavkaz, where nearly all North Ossetia's industry and its scientific potential are concentrated. (Ann Sheehy) USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS ELENA BONNER ISSUES APPEAL OVER NAGORNO-KARABAKH. In an open letter published October 9 in Nezavisimaya gazeta, Elena Bonner claims that more than 30 people have been killed since the signing September 24 of the NKAO peace agreement, which "has collapsed." Bonner calls on RSFSR President Yeltsin and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, who mediated the cease-fire, to "find mechanisms" for implementing all points of the agreement; she claims that the projected exchange of hostages has not yet taken place and that Azerbaijan is still blocking food deliveries to the oblast. (Liz Fuller) GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTER ALLEGES KGB MEDDLING. Georgian Prime Minister Bessarion Gugushvili has reiterated accusations first made last month that the KGB is undermining the Georgian government's attempts to negotiate an agreement with the opposition, Western news agencies reported October 9. Gugushvili declined to produce any evidence for such allegations, which have been denied by both Soviet President Gorbachev and the USSR government. (Liz Fuller) TAJIK ELECTION CAMPAIGN. Ten candidates are formally registered as candidates for the presidential election on November 24, according to a TadzhikTA-TASS report of October 9. An earlier report had said that there were 17candidates. The republican daily Narodnaya gazeta has listed several nominations apiece for former Communist Party chief Rakhman Nabiev and former chairman of the Tajik Supreme Soviet Kadriddin Aslonov, who was forced to resign his post after banning the republican CP. The report says that Nabiev and Davlat Khudonazarov, liberal head of the USSR Cinematographers' Union, have the best chances of winning. This prognosis might change should the Muslim clergy persuade Kazi Akbar Turadzhonzoda to be a candidate. (Bess Brown) TAJIK AGREEMENT PUBLICIZED. The text of the agreement worked out by representatives of the Tajik Supreme Soviet and the three opposition groups that have been staging demonstrations since late August was read on Radio Dushanbe on October 7. In addition to reimposing a ban on the Communist Party, the agreement added a referendum on the Supreme Soviet to the presidential election on November 24. It also recommended that representatives of the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party, Democratic Party and Rastokhez Movement be added to election commissions, and promised that all parties would have equal access to TV and radio time. (Bess Brown) VELIKHOV HAS LITTLE FAITH IN AGREEMENT. Academician Evgenii Velikhov, one of Gorbachev's special envoys to Tajikistan who sought to end the confrontation between conservatives and opposition forces there, was quoted by TASS on October 9 as saying that he has little faith that the agreement he helped to negotiate in Dushanbe will be anything other than temporary. All democratic forces in the republic, including the progressive Muslim clergy, must exercise a stabilizing influence on Tajik society, said Velikhov, who fears the influence of fundamentalists. (Bess Brown) TAJIK EMPLOYMENT FUND ESTABLISHED. A TadzhikTA-TASS item of October 9 reports the creation of a state fund to promote full employment in Tajikistan. The republican Cabinet of Ministers has ordered that all employers, whether public or private, must contribute to the fund, which will also receive 4% of the republican budget. The fund is to help lessen the shock of the transition to a market in economy in Tajikistan, where the unemployment rate was already one of the highest in the Soviet Union, by providing money for unemployment benefits, job creation, and development of social infrastructure. (Bess Brown) NEW PARTY IN KAZAKSTAN. Radio Mayak reported on October 9 that a new party, the Popular Congress of Kazakhstan, has held its founding congress in Alma-Ata. The objective of the new group is apparently to unite progressives who have been scattered in a number of movements and groups. According to Mayak, representatives of the anti-nuclear movement Nevada-Semipalatinsk, the Kazakh Azat Party--the largest non-Communist political party, the Russian Edinstvo group, the Kazakh Language Society and others attended the congress, which elected Nevada chairman (and Writers' Union head) Olzhas Suleimenov and poet and political activist Mukhtar Shakhanov cochairmen of the new party. Kazakh President Nazarbaev gave the new party his blessing. (Bess Brown) BALTIC STATES USSR REESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH LITHUANIA, ESTONIA. On October 9 foreign ministers of the USSR, Lithuania, and Estonia exchanged notes in Moscow on the establishment diplomatic relations at the ambassador level. Soviet Foreign Minister Boris Pankin said that diplomatic relations with Latvia would be established soon. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIA WILL NOT JOIN SOVIET ECONOMIC UNION. Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis told the press in Riga that "Latvia does not intend to sign a new treaty on an economic union" with the USSR, but will aim to join the EC. Godmanis stressed that economic ties with the East are important and that Latvia would therefore continue to establish treaty relations with each republic. Godmanis added: "If economic cooperation in the East assumes the form of an economic union, it would be advisable for the Baltics as a whole to join a new economic community and conclude a special treaty," reported TASS on October 9. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIAN LEGISLATORS CONTINUE DISCUSSION OF CITIZENSHIP ISSUES. On October 9 the Latvian Supreme Council decided to continue discussions of various issues concerning citizenship using the legislative proposals worked out by Deputy Janis Lagzdins as basis for further discussions that would lead to the adoption of laws and decrees regarding citizenship and citizens' rights in the Republic of Latvia, Radio Riga reported that day. A working group was created to develop and coordinate various proposals raised by legislators in the two days of discussion of the issues. The working groups would also consider the set of proposals offered by the working group headed by Deputy Juris Bojars. (Dzintra Bungs) LITHUANIA SUPPORTS CROATIAN INDEPENDENCE. On October 9 the Lithuanian Supreme Council's Presidium adopted a statement calling for international recognition of Croatia. The statement, according to RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service, said that the fighting in Yugoslavia is a threat to peace in Europe and urged the CSCE process to provide political support to Croatia by recognizing its independence. (Dzintra Bungs) THIRD PROTOCOL SIGNED ON LIQUIDATION OF KGB IN ESTONIA. On October 9 Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar and USSR KGB chairman Vadim Bakatin signed the third protocol on implementing the decision to end all KGB activity in Estonia. The first protocol was signed on September 4. The new accord stipulates that a part of KGB archives would be handed over to Estonia by November 25, and that the USSR would provide pensions for former KGB employees in Estonia. A final accord is expected to be signed by December 1, reported Baltfax on October 9. (Dzintra Bungs) JAPAN RENEWS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH BALTIC STATES. According to a Kyodo dispatch of October 9, Japan has now reestablished diplomatic relations with all three Baltic States. This was done when earlier this week Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister Mueno Suzuki visited Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn. (Dzintra Bungs)
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.