I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. - Booker T. Washington
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 195, 14 October 1991





USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



MEETING OF STATE COUNCIL. A meeting of the State Council took
place on October 11, the Soviet media reported the same day.
The meeting was attended by representatives of ten of the remaining
12 republics (the absentees were Moldavia and Georgia). The official
communique listed six decisions that were reached. The ten republics
agreed to sign the treaty on an economic community by October
15. They approved the draft food agreement for 1992. It was decided
that the republics should send in their comments on the latest
draft of a Union treaty within ten days, after which final work
on the text would be carried out. It was agreed to abolish the
KGB and replace it with a central intelligence service, an interrepublican
counterintelligence service, and a state committee for protecting
the state frontier. An agreement is to be drawn up on the all-Union
State Television Company reflecting the new relations between
all-Union television and republican television bodies. Finally,
the members of the State Council expressed their support for
the US and USSR initiatives in the sphere of nuclear disarmament.
(Ann Sheehy)

AGREEMENT ON TREATY ON AN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY. Chairman of the
Interrepublican Economic Committee Ivan Silaev described the
decision of the ten republics to sign the economic treaty the
"chief result" of the State Council session, TASS reported October
11. Speaking at the session, RSFSR president Boris Yeltsin said
that the RSFSR was prepared to sign the treaty by October 15
provided that all 17 agreements envisaged by the treaty were
ready. He also stated that the financing of those economic organs
not envisaged by the treaty must be stopped (Yeltsin was apparently
referring to the Committee for the Operational Management of
the Economy, which he has said is unconstitutional). Yeltsin
also said that the question of the subordination of republican
banks to the central bank must be reviewed. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINIAN PREMIER ON ECONOMIC TREATY. Ukrainian premier Fokin
was quoted on TSN on October 11 as saying that he was absolutely
convinced that the treaty must be signed. (Ann Sheehy)

UNION TREATY: APPEAL TO UKRAINE, ARMENIA, GEORGIA, MOLDAVIA.
During the discussion on the Union treaty at the State Council
on October 11 the question arose of Ukraine's decision to take
no part in the political life of the country until after the
independence referendum on December 1, TASS reported October
11. On Gorbachev's initiative it was decided to appeal to the
Ukrainian parliament to take part in the preparation of the treaty.
Similar appeals are to be addressed to the parliaments of Armenia,
Georgia, and Moldavia. (Ann Sheehy)

RSFSR SUPREME SOVIET ON ECONOMIC TREATY. Contrary to expectations,
on October 11 the RSFSR Supreme Soviet approved without undue
fuss a resolution "On the Draft Treaty on an Economic Community,
TASS reported October 11. TASS said October 13 that the resolution
set up a working group to prepare the treaty for ratification.
It also listed a number of points that the president should take
into account in revising the treaty. The resolution noted that
decisions of Union and interrepublican bodies to which the RSFSR
had not delegated powers would only have the force of recommendations
in the RSFSR until approved by republican organs, and also called
for an end to the financing by the RSFSR of Union and interrepublican
organs in which the RSFSR was not participating. (Ann Sheehy)


GORBACHEV ON ECONOMIC UNION, POLITICAL UNION. In an interview
on Central Television on October 12, Gorbachev expressed his
satisfaction that the republics had agreed to sign the treaty
on an economic community by October 15, TASS reported October
13. At the same time he said that an economic union could not
function without a political union. He maintained that the latest
draft of the Union treaty was innovatory and progressive. Gorbachev
criticized the view expressed by some members of the RSFSR leadership
that Russia is the legal successor of the Soviet Union. (Ann
Sheehy)

USSR STATE COUNCIL CONFIRMS DEMONOPOLIZATION OF KGB. The USSR
State Council has decided that the USSR KGB will be abolished
and replaced by a central intelligence service, an inter-republican
counter-intelligence service and a joint command committee for
guarding the state borders, according to TASS on October 11.
In the last month, the Ukrainian and Uzbekistan KGBs, the second
and fifth largest territorial organizations, had their names
changed to National Security Service and were declared to be
subordinate to the respective republican governments. (Victor
Yasmann)

END OF THE PROPISKA SYSTEM? All laws and directives regulating
the Soviet system of resident permits, and also the laws prescribing
jail terms for violators of the residence regulations, are to
be abolished by January 1, 1992, according to a statement by
Sergei Alekseev, chairman of the USSR Committee for Constitutional
Oversight, on Central TV October 11. Alekseev said that the Committee
had declared the practice of selling residence permits unconstitutional.
He also noted that the Committee has criticized recent departures
from the basic principles of the Soviet Constitution and has
condemned the dismissive attitude towards the "Brezhnevist-Stalinist
Constitution" that prevails today among politicians and the public.
(Julia Wishnevsky)

CONTROVERSY OVER NOVEMBER 7 CELE-BRATIONS. 47 % of those polled
by the All-Union Center for the Study of Public Opinion suggested
that the October revolution anniversary on November 7 should
be celebrated, RIA reported on October 13. The Central TV news
program, "TV Inform," quoted the agency as saying that only 35
% opposed the celebration and 18% failed to give an answer. In
its October 11 installment, "TV Inform" reported that the Moscow
city government had proposed to the RSFSR parliament that the
two holidays formerly granted in connection with the October
Revolution celebrations be transferred to the end of December.
(Vera Tolz)

CENTRAL TV PROFILES SHEVARDNADZE. On October 13, Central television
profiled Eduard Shevardnadze on its "Who Is Who" show. According
to the moderator, the former boss of Soviet TV, Leonid Kravchenko,
had scotched an earlier plan to feature the former foreign minister
on the program. During the show, Muscovites were asked what they
thought of Shevardnadze, and all respondents said that they approved
of his foreign policy, particularly the withdrawal of Soviet
troops from Eastern Europe. Viewers' letters, describing Shevardnadze
as the "most intelligent" and "most elegant" of Soviet politicians,
were also read. (Julia Wishnevsky)

SHEVARDNADZE ON BALTIC. In the course of the interview, Shevardnadze
indicated that he does not believe the official version of events
in the Baltic states which blames local military commanders for
the bloodshed there. He said that if the officials responsible
for the tragic events in the Baltic states and Tbilisi had not
gone unpunished, there would have been no coup in August. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

GORBACHEV INTENDED TO REFORM KGB, ARMY AND MVD. Prior to the
August coup, Gorbachev disclosed to close associates that he
wanted to begin reforms in the KGB, the Army, the Ministry of
Internal Affairs and "the rest of the state structure," and these
plans became known to the heads of these organizations, Gorbachev
said in an interview aired on Central TV on October 12. Gorbachev
said that he had connected such reforms with the Union Treaty,
the signing of which was prevented by the coup. Gorbachev's statement
may explain the motives of coup leaders Vladimir Kryuchkov, Dmitrii
Yazov and Boris Pugo, who would have lost much of their power
to republican leaders had the Treaty been signed. (Julia Wishnevsky)


G-7 AGREEMENT ON AID TO USSR. After two days of talks with the
Soviet delegation in Bangkok, the Group of Seven issued a communique
October 13 pledging closer cooperation with the USSR or what
will be left of it, Western agencies reported that day. The accord
was widely interpreted as an implicit promise of further aid,
together with Soviet acceptance of more Western supervision over
internal Soviet affairs. The talks were delayed by the late arrival
of some of the Soviet participants, including Grigorii Yavlinsky,
who reportedly delayed his departure from Moscow in order to
push through the agreement on the economic community. (Keith
Bush)

GOLD RESERVES AND RESCHEDULING. On arrival in Bangkok on October
12, Grigorii Yavlinsky confirmed to Western reporters that total
Soviet gold reserves were now down to 240 tons. He thereby contradicted
USSR Gosbank and other senior Soviet officials and also rendered
academic recent speculation about possible further gold swap
arrangements. USSR Gosbank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko told
Western newsmen October 13 that the Soviet Union is not seeking
relief on its foreign debt service. Other (unnamed) Soviet officials
have reportedly told G-7 and IMF sources that the Soviet Union
is indeed seeking relief on $5-10 billion due for repayment in
the next few months. (Keith Bush)

MORE DELEGATIONS TO MOSCOW.
A team of economic specialists from the European Community and
the G-7 nations is scheduled to arrive in Moscow today, Western
agencies report. They are expected to focus on prospects for
Western food aid and provisions for credits and managerial expertise.
A separate team of G-7 deputy finance ministers is to be sent
to Moscow soon to discuss specific ways of helping the Soviet
Union meet its external payments obligations. This second mission
was authorized by the G-7 meeting in Bangkok over the weekend.
(Keith Bush)

DRAFT AGREEMENT ON FOOD SUPPLIES. Ivan Silaev presented a revised
draft agreement on food supplies to the State Council on October
11, TASS reported that day. Silaev subsequently told reporters
that he was "positive" that the accord would be signed by the
heads of republics October 14 or 15. The draft sets out measures
to coordinate purchase prices for farm produce. It also outlines
plans to buy 48.7 million tons of grain worth 11.1 billion rubles
from abroad. The time frame for these grain imports was not specified,
but is likely to cover the coming year. If the plans are realized,
it will be the largest volume ever shipped in a year, and the
amount and the cost raise questions on credits, availability,
and shipping, unloading, handling, and distribution capacity.
(Keith Bush)

MORE SOVIET CRITICISM OF COCOM. Senior Soviet and Russian officials
have criticized continuing Western restrictions on technology
transfer. Russian Posts and Telecommunications Minister Vladimir
Bulgak told Western agencies October 11 that the COCOM Committee
[the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls]
must understand that it is impossible to hold back progress with
such restrictions. USSR Deputy Telecommunications Minister Vyacheslav
Gurkin was quoted in The Journal of Commerce on October 12 as
saying that the Bush Administration had not yet made a good move
on COCOM. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH REFUSES CATHOLIC INVITATION. TASS reported
on October 11 that the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church
has refused to accept a Vatican invitation to participate in
a special assembly of European Roman Catholic bishops scheduled
for November and December 1991. The reply of the Russian Orthodox
Church says that participation would convey an incorrect picture
of relations between the two churches, and criticizes the Vatican's
attitude on the problems of Orthodoxy in Western Ukraine. The
response stressed, however, that the Russian Orthodox Church
does not want to close the door to brotherly dialogue. (Oxana
A ntic)

REVISION OF TREATY WITH FINLAND. The USSR and Finland opened
talks in Helsinki on October 14 to revise the treaty signed in
1948. As originally penned, the pact obliges Finland to protect
the northwestern flank of the Soviet Union from attack by Germany
or any German ally. Finland's foreign ministry has described
such clauses as obsolete. Finnish Foreign Minister Paavo Vayrynen
said the updated treaty will likely omit mention of military
cooperation, Western agencies reported October 14. (Suzanne Crow)


DELEGATION TO KABUL. Soviet Ambassador to Afghanistan, Boris
Pastukhov, said a Soviet delegation will arrive in Kabul October
14 to discuss economic cooperation. Speaking to reporters in
Kabul (October 14), Pastukhov said the talks would be geared
toward arrangements of "mutual benefit" in 1992. He denied reports
that Foreign Minister Boris Pankin suggested to Mujahedeen leaders
the formation of a transitional government without a role for
Afghan President Najibullah, Western agencies reported October
14. (Suzanne Crow)


USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS


GEORGIAN UPDATE. TASS reported October 13 that the Georgian Supreme
Soviet has amended the republic's constitution to limit the powers
of the president, who must now seek the agreement of parliament
for his nominees to senior government posts. The Supreme Soviet,
according to an interview given by its chairman to "TV-Inform"
October 13, has also set up a commission including several opposition
representatives to seek ways to defuse the situation. Five Georgian
moderate groups have aligned to form a new opposition bloc, the
Democratic Movement of Georgia, which held its founding congress
in Tbilisi October 13. The same day, former Soviet foreign minister
Eduard Shevardnadze again offered to mediate between government
and opposition in Georgia, TASS reported October 13. (Liz Fuller)


SOVIET MILITARY CONVOY ATTACKED IN ARMENIA. TASS on October 12
quoted a USSR MVD press release stating that one of its convoys
was intercepted during the morning of October 11 near the Armenian
town of Aparan by a crowd of 3,000 local residents and 200 armed
guerrillas, who then seized eighteen vehicles, including tanks
and armored personnel carriers. No one was injured during the
attack which is being investigated by the military procuracy.
(Liz Fuller)

CHERNOBYL FIRE. In the wake of the October 11 fire in the second
block of the Chernobyl power station, TASS and Ukrinform reported
on October 13 that the other two blocks were functioning and
a government commission had been established to oversee the cleanup.
A Belorussian delegation arrived on October 13 to view the damage.
(Bess Brown)

GORBACHEV CANNOT IMAGINE NEW "UNION" WITHOUT UKRAINE. Soviet
president Gorbachev has again indicated his anxiety about the
implications of Ukraine's approaching referendum on independence.
"I cannot think of a Union without Ukraine, I cannot imagine
it," he commented during a televized interview broadcast on October
12. Implicitly criticizing Ukraine's declaration of independence
and the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet's call for a referendum to endorse
it, he expressed his confidence that the inhabitants of Ukraine
would come out in favor of remaining in a new Union. "Ukraine
is an irreplaceable factor in the construction of a new Union,"
Gorbachev stressed. Meanwhile, Ukraine's leaders and parliament
are continuing to assert their republic's independence and to
reject the idea of their republic's participation in any new
political Union with other republics of the former USSR. Last
Friday, for instance, the Ukrainian parliament began debating
draft laws on the creation of a republican army. (Bohdan Nahaylo)


HENRY KISSINGER TO ADVISE UKRAINE ON ITS FOREIGN POLICY. Radio
Kiev announced on October 11 that former US Secretary of State
Henry Kissinger has agreed to act as a "consultant" for the Ukrainian
government on matters concerning the republic's new independent
foreign policy. Kissinger recently met in the United States with
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko and intends to travel
to Kiev in the near future. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

WORDING OF UKRAINIAN REFERENDUM QUESTION DECIDED. Last Friday,
the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet decided on the wording of the question
to be asked on December 1 in the republic's referendum on independence.
According to Radio Kiev October 11, it will ask simply: "Do you
endorse the proclamation of the independence of Ukraine?" Respondents
will can answer either "Yes. I endorse it," or "No. I don't endorse
it." (Bohdan Nahaylo)

BBC TO BROADCAST IN UKRAINIAN. The BBC World Service announced
last Friday that it is planning to begin broadcasting in Ukrainian
"early next year." As AP pointed out on October 11, these will
be the first broadcasts by the BBC to the Soviet Union in a non-Russian
language. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

AKAEV CONFIRMED AS PRESIDENT. Preliminary returns show that Kyrgyzstan's
president Askar Akaev received about 95% of the votes in the
first direct presidential election, held on October 12, TASS
reported October 13. Akaev, who has made a reputation in the
Soviet Union as a whole as a convinced democrat and radical economic
reformer, was reportedly distressed that no one was willing to
run against him. At a post-election press conference, Akaev described
the vote, in which 90% of the electorate participated, as an
endorsement of his program of reform and democratization. He
added that Supreme Soviet elections should be deferred until
the new political parties gain strength. (Bess Brown)

CENTRAL ASIANS AGREE ON WATER RESOURCES. TASS and UzTAG reported
on October 11 that the water resources ministers of the five
Central Asian republics had signed an agreement on the use of
the region's water resources that should put an end to disputes
over water use. A single water-use plan for the entire region
is to be devised. (Bess Brown)

CONSERVATIVES STRIKE BACK IN TAJIKISTAN. TASS reported on October
11 that 19 deputies of the Tajik Supreme Soviet and the USSR
Supreme Soviet representing Tajikistan have issued a public protest
against "unconstitutionality" in the republic. They object particularly
to the banning of the republican Communist Party and to the inclusion
of representatives of the Islamic Renaissance Party in election
commissions, and claim that the political crisis in Tajikistan
is not the fault of "conservative Communist structures" but of
disregard for the law and the lack of a strong executive power.
(Bess Brown)

KAZAKH TV FEATURES RL. Republican TV in Kazakhstan has started
featuring reviews of the RL Kazakh Service's programs, the Service
learned on October 10. This gesture of recognition follows the
introduction of summaries of Kazakh Service programs in republican
daily newspapers and the Alma-Ata evening newspaper. (Hasan Oraltay)

MOLDAVIA FOR ECONOMIC COMMUNITY WITHOUT POLITICAL TIES. Moldavian
President Mircea Snegur told Moldovapres October 11 that he had
endorsed the Alma-Ata document only on the basis of the 12 +
0 formula and the understanding that it did not entail political
ties. Snegur noted, however, that in the meantime the USSR Presidency
and some RSFSR leaders were seeking to use the document in order
to "revive the obsolete central structures" and were linking
the economic treaty to a political union. Terming that unacceptable
to Moldavia, Snegur called for "an end to such political games
undermining the economy of all republics." (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY TRIES COMEBACK. In an open letter to
the Moldavian Parliament's Presidium, published in Vechernii
Kishinev October 11, the leader of the banned Moldavian Communist
Party, Grigore Eremei, denied that the Party as such had supported
the abortive Soviet coup d'etat. He complained that the Presidium's
decisions on August 23 to ban the Party and nationalize its property
had been "overhasty". Eremei requested permission for the holding
of a Central Committee plenum "to determine the Party's fate"
and pleaded for "reconsideration" of the decision to nationalize
the Party's property. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN WU CHAIRMAN ON DISSEMINATION OF RUSSIAN CULTURE. Interviewed
in the Bucharest weekly Adevarul Literar of October 11, Moldavian
Writers' Union Chairman Mihai Cimpoi spoke of Moldavia's special
contribution to the "Moldavian-Romanian cultural confederation"
of which Cimpoi is one of the leading proponents. Part of that
special contribution, Cimpoi said, will be to disseminate in
the common Romanian-language cultural space the works of Russian
classical and modern literature, including "the humanist message
of their works, as the great Russian intellectuals were consciences
of the world". (Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES


BALTS AT IMF MEETING. Radio Riga and TASS reported on October
13 that Baltic representatives had gone to Bangkok to participate
in the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund. Latvian
Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis said before his departure that
this trip and trips later this month to Germany, Great Britain,
and the United States are intended to obtain support for Latvia's
plans to free prices and introduce its own currency. Referring
to Latvia's recent application for membership in the IMF, Godmanis
noted that correspondence of economic laws in Latvia to the norms
that guide the IMF is one of the conditions for membership. Baltic
officials are also expected to meet with representatives of the
G-7 states in Moscow this week. (Dzintra Bungs)

BALTIC STATES AIM FOR EFTA MEMBERSHIP. Lithuanian Prime Minister
Gediminas Vagnorius, before leaving for the IMF conference, said
that Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have already decided to form
a free-trade area without customs duties. He added: "We have
the will to create a single market...We shall develop a process
of integration" with the aim of establishing closer cooperation
with the European Free Trade Association. A Charter for Development
Strategy has already been signed, according to Western agency
reports of October 12. The Baltic States do not intend to join
the new USSR economic union. (Dzintra Bungs)

MAJOR: EC SHOULD ACCEPT THE BALTIC STATES. British Prime Minister
John Major favors EC membership for the Baltic States. He told
the participants at the Conservative Party's conference in Blackpool
on October 11 that, "We have the chance to heal the scar that
divided and disfigured Europe for two generations. The nations
of Eastern Europe--Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic
States--need to know now that when their economies are ready
for the Community, the Community will be ready for them." An
RFE/RL correspondent in Blackpool noted on October 11 that Major's
statement is the most clear-cut to date of Great Britain's views
on EC membership for the Baltic States. (Dzintra Bungs)

MANILOV: SOVIET TROOP WITHDRAWAL CANNOT START BEFORE END OF 1994.
Lieutenant General Valerii Manilov told Radio Mayak on October
11 that despite the recent demands of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
for a speedy withdrawal of USSR armed forces from their territories,
the withdrawal process cannot be initiated before the end of
1994. He said that this time frame is necessitated by the need
to construct housing for the restationed troops. (Dzintra Bungs)



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