Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most times he will pick himself up and carry on. - Winston Churchill
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 197, 16 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



YELTSIN DOUBTFUL ON NEED FOR NEW UNION TREATY? RSFSR State Secretary
Gennadii Burbulis told Russian deputies October 15 that Yeltsin
had expressed doubts over the need for a new Union treaty in
view of the upcoming signing of an economic accord, Western agencies
reported October 15. Burbulis said that Yeltsin now believed
that a Union of Sovereign Republics with its own constitution
might be illusory. State Counsellor Sergei Stankevich said that
Yeltsin was particularly against the idea of direct popular election
of the Union president--an idea that still figures in the latest
draft of the Union treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN ON REORGANIZATION OF RSFSR GOVERNMENT. In an interview
with "Vesti" after the session of the RSFSR State Council on
October15 Yeltsin said that he would reorganize the RSFSR government
as a government of national trust. So as to avoid a power vacuum
the present council of ministers would not resign. He would first
appoint by decree an acting prime minister who would start to
put together a new council of ministers. He said many of the
present ministers would remain, but he intended to nearly halve
the number of ministries. He said he had three candidates in
mind for the premiership, but vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi,
who had expressed an interest in being premier, was not one of
them. Yeltsin said that Rutskoi should first serve his time out
as vice-president. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN SAYS RSFSR TO STOP FINANCING UNION MINISTRIES. In his
interview with "Vesti" October 15 Yeltsin said that before embarking
on reforms he intended "to finish demolishing the center." In
a month's time the RSFSR would cease financing all Union ministries
whose services the RSFSR did not use. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN ON RUSSIAN CURRENCY. Yeltsin also said that the start
of financial recovery lies in a struggle against ruble intervention
from other republics. He cited the Baltic states buying agricultural
products in Russia at high prices, thus contributing to inflation.
Yeltsin said that to combat this Russia would start issuing its
own ruble notes bearing, perhaps, the Russian colors of red-blue-white.
Later the republic would go over to its own currency. (Ann Sheehy)


YELTSIN POSTPONES LOCAL ELECTIONS. On October 15 Yeltsin asked
the RSFSR Supreme Soviet to review its decision to hold local
elections this fall, "Vesti" reported October 15. Various reasons
have been given in the Soviet media for this move--the cost at
a time of budget deficit, that it would paralyze constructive
work at this juncture, that any new local administrations, no
matter what their political orientation, would be preoccupied
with local concerns and thus make central administration nearly
impossible. A major factor, though, was probably a recent study
that showed that conservative administrations would be elected
in most oblasts and krais. It is by no means certain that the
RSFSR parliament will agree to the postponement. (Ann Sheehy)


SITUATION IN CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. The leader of the rebellious
forces in Checheno-Ingushetia, Dzhakhar Dudaev, told TASS October15
that the executive committee of the Chechen congress that he
heads did not want to take over legislative or executive power
but events of the past few days had forced them to take full
responsibility for the situation. He said blame for the sharp
deterioration in the situation lay with the leadership of the
RSFSR which had been meddling unceremoniously. Dudaev said that
the Provisional Supreme Council, which the RSFSR was trying to
present as the only legitimate organ of power, was virtually
underground and its orders appeared only in newspapers in Russian
areas of the republic. He said reports that the Executive Committee
had passed death sentences on Ruslan Khasbulatov and Aleksandr
Rutskoi and was preparing to attack North Ossetia were provocations.
(Ann Sheehy)

DISTURBANCES IN GALICH. "Vesti" reported October 15 that protest
meetings had been held in the Russian town of Galich demanding
that all persons of Caucasian or Asian origin be expelled from
the town. The protesters were armed with chains and Molotov cocktails,
and had set vehicles on fire. (Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIA TAKES CONTROL OF DIAMOND, GOLD SALES IN RSFSR. Acting
chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Ruslan Khasbulatov has signed
an order creating the Russian corporation "Almaz-Zoloto." Radio
Rossii reported October 15. From the beginning of October the
delivery of gold and other valuable metals and diamonds mined
on the territory of Russia to USSR Goskhran has ceased. From
now on they will be sold to the Central Bank of Russia. The order
stipulates that the diamond centre is the legal successor of
Goskhran in conducting operations with valuables and jewelry.
(Ann Sheehy)

TATARSTAN SUPSOV PUTS INDEPENDENCE ON THE AGENDA. The Tatarstan
Supreme Soviet agreed to put a declaration of independence on
its agenda October 15 after a crowd attacked the building where
it was sitting, TASS reported October15. The proposal by a group
of deputies that such a declaration should be included on the
agenda was voted down, whereupon the crowd meeting outside rushed
at the building hurling sticks and stones. Five employees of
the MVD were hospitalized, and two are in a serious condition.
A declaration of independence was included on the agenda only
after a second vote in the evening. TASS said there were also
reports of a clash between members of the Kazan' branch of the
Democratic Party of Russia (DPR) and representatives of nationalist
movements which resulted in injuries. The DPR issued a statement
blaming local organs of power, the President, and the Supreme
Soviet for what took place in Kazan'. (Ann Sheehy)

PRESENTATION OF EMIGRE JOURNAL IN MOSCOW. The presentation in
Moscow of one of the best-known Russian emigre literary journals,
Novyi zhurnal, was organized by the Soviet Cultural Foundation to
coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the
journal. The RSFSR TV news program "Vesti" reported on October 15 that
there are no plans to start publication of the journal in Russia.
(Vera Tolz)

COOPERATION BETWEEN RSFSR KGB AND CIA DISCUSSED. Sergei Stepashin,
chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet's Committee on security,
was quoted by TASS on October 15 as saying that a delegation
of committee members who recently visited Washington had established
good contacts with the US intelligence community--they met with
the leadership of the CIA--and agreed on broad cooperation and
an exchange of information between the RSFSR KGB and the CIA.
US assistance was also proposed in the creation of an Analytical
Administration in the Russian KGB. Stepashin said that there
had also been a proposal to create joint units of the two intelligence
agencies in Moscow and Washington. (Victor Yasmann)

KGB FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE MUST BE UNDER RSFSR JURISDICTION. The
KGB's foreign intelligence section must be placed under the jurisdiction
of the RSFSR after it is reorganized, a KGB veteran, writing
under the initials SM, said in an article in Literaturnaya gazeta,
No. 40. The USSR President should have only a mobile group to
coordinate the work of the intelligence community in the republic;
otherwise the powerful foreign intelligence apparatus will become
a "pocket" service of the USSR President. Although the appointment
of Evgenii Primakov is a "must" for the reorganization stage,
in the future he must be replaced by a professional, said the
officer. Victor Yasmann)

KGB CREATES COMMERCIAL VIDEO STUDIO. The video production firm
"Analytic-press." created last year by the KGB's Moscow Administration
and the cinema studio "Kontakt film" plans to sell its productions
to universities in the US, Japan, France, England and Germany,
Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on October 16. The videocassettes
will be based on KGB archives, including materials on the dissident
movement in the USSR and unclassified documents on the Cold War.
In addition to the KGB archives, the studio will use documents
of the Ministry of Medium Machine-Building, the Ministry of Nuclear
Power and the USSR Commission for Emergency Situations. (Victor
Yasmann)

MUSLIM INSTITUTE CREATED IN MOSCOW. TASS, quoting Izvestia, reported
on October 15 that an Institute of Muslim Civilization has been
opened in Moscow under the sponsorship of the Popular Academy
of Culture and Common Human Values. The president of the new
institute, Toshpullat Tozhiddinov, was quoted as saying that
the institute will study and popularize the main sources of the
Islamic world-view and prepare textbooks for the study of Arabic.
He added that several Islamic centers abroad have already expressed
interest in cooperating with the new institute. (Bess Brown)


YUGOSLAV MEDIATION. After talks with Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow
October 15, the leaders of Serbia and Croatia agreed to attempt
another cease fire. In a communique issued after the talks, the
sides agreed to begin a negotiation process on all questions
within "the next month." In partial explanation of the USSR's
interest in mediating in the Yugoslav conflict, Gorbachev noted
that "the Soviet Union has to deal with similar problems." adding,
"this explains why recent events in Yugoslavia arouse anxiety
and concern in our country." Western agencies and TASS reported
October 15 and 16. Soviet involvement in the Yugoslav settlement
is also undertaken with a view to maintaining an active foreign
policy, despite domestic upheavals. (Suzanne Crow)

BUSH, GORBACHEV TO OPEN PEACE CONFERENCE. Mikhail Gorbachev and
US President George Bush may hold a summit in Switzerland between
October 27 and 29, just before the start of the Middle East peace
conference. The meeting would deal with the peace conference,
scheduled to start October 29 in Lausanne, and recent arms control
proposals tabled by the United States and Soviet Union. Gorbachev's
spokesman, Andrei S. Grachev, noted that it is logical for the
heads of the two states pushing for the peace conference to attend
and pointed out that the two leaders could use the occasion "to
discuss other things." Western agencies reported October 16.
(Suzanne Crow)

BELONOGOV ON ISRAEL. Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Belonogov
told Interfax October15, "We are moving toward establishing diplomatic
relations with Israel. This question has become imminent because
of the objective situation of things." He dampened speculation
that relations would be established on or before Foreign Minister
Boris Pankin's visit to Israel on October 18 saying, "we won't
guess on this since there is little time between now and October
18." Belonogov stressed that the point of Pankin's visit is to
discuss the approaching Middle East peace conference. (Suzanne
Crow)

BELONOGOV ON USSR'S MIDEAST STANCE. In the same interview, Belonogov
stressed that the USSR's policies in the Middle East are becoming
more active, saying: "now there is not one Arab country in the
Persian Gulf area in which the USSR is not represented." He described
this as a serious achievement for Soviet diplomacy and said the
Middle East is a region where "we have clearly defined interests."
He said the United States must surmount the effects of decades
of an exclusively pro-Israel position. In Belonogov's view, the
USSR's policies "are known in the Arab world and looked upon
with great trust." (Suzanne Crow)

DELAY ON DISARMAMENT IN EAST. The Soviet ambassador to China,
Nikolai Solovyev, said October 15 the USSR will likely delay
the withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons deployed in the Soviet
Far East. Solovyev said in a Kyodo interview that tactical nuclear
weapons will be removed from European USSR first because of questions
of surrounding control of nuclear weapons in some republics.
(Suzanne Crow)

KURILES MUST NOT BE "SOLD." Sergei Baburin and Nikolai Pavlov,
deputies of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, said the Kurile Islands
belong to Russia and the redrawing of frontiers is impermissible,
TASS reported October 15. The two parliamentarians stressed that
it is unacceptable "to sell the motherland" or to "repeat the
fate of the Meskhetian Turks and Crimean Tatars." They said that
they will seek state sovereignty for the Kuriles in the event
of a "betrayal by Russia." (Suzanne Crow)



USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN UKRAINE. There are currently 94 individuals
aspiring for registration as candidates in Ukraine's presidential
elections slated for December 1, Radio Moscow reported October
15. Registration requires one hundred thousand signatures in
support of a given candidate. Thus far, only three candidates
have been registered: Leonid Kravchuk, chairman of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet; Vyacheslav Chornovil, chairman of the Lvov Oblast
Soviet; and Levko Lukyanenko, head of the Ukrainian Republican
Party. (Roman Solchanyk)

SUPPORT FOR UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE. A recent poll conducted by
the Ukrainian Sociological Association reveals that almost 87%
of the respondents support the August 24 declaration of Ukrainian
independence, Radio Kiev reported October 15. The referendum
on Ukrainian independence is scheduled to take place on December
1. (Roman Solchanyk)

48TH ARMY DIVISION REFUSES TO BUDGE FROM UKRAINE. The Guardian
reported on October 14 that a green beret tank division stationed
in Baskirovka, sixty miles from the city of Kharkov, is defying
orders from Moscow to move to the north Caucasus region. The
division, which withdrew from Czechoslovakia in May, 1990, received
its new orders on September 10. The Guardian said commanding
officer Colonel Aleksandr Bugayov, a Russian, has placed the
unit under the command of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, and quotes
him as saying that "there could not have been another decision"
in light of the post-coup disintegration of the USSR. Bugayov
added that "practically the entire command of the division" is
unwilling to leave Baskirovka. (Kathy Mihalisko)

BELORUSSIANS CROSS SWORDS WITH FRENCH SOVIET EXPERT. Helene Carriere
d'Encausse, France's foremost expert on Soviet nationality problems,
has deeply offended Belorussian national pride, according to
several recent commentaries in the republican press. For instance
the Supreme Soviet organ Narodnaya hazeta on September 25 protested
at her article in Le Figaro on August 28, in which D'Encausse
maintained that the Belorussian nation has no historical existence,
that its language was an artificial creation of Soviet leaders
in the 1920s, and that Belorussia has made territorial claims
against its neighbors that could lead to bloodshed. (Kathy Mihalisko)


OPENING OF BELORUSSIAN SUPREME SOVIET SESSION. The Belorussian
Supreme Soviet session that opened on October 15 has an agenda
numbering more than thirty-five items, including a new constitution
for the republic and a law defining who is a Belorussian citizen.
Heated debate is expected on both issues, according to RFE-RL
Minsk correspondent Yas Valoshka. Communist deputies proposed
that discussion of the status of the temporarily suspended Belorussian
Communist Party also be included on the agenda. Their proposal
was approved. (Kathy Mihalisko)

BELORUSSIA AND CZECHOSLOVAKIA AGREE TO DIPLOMATIC TIES. TASS
announced on October 15 that the two countries have agreed to
establish consular and diplomatic relations. The agreement was
reached in Minsk during talks between Rudolf Slansky, Czechoslovakia's
ambassador to the USSR, and Belorussian Deputy Prime Minister
Uladzimir Zalamaya. Consulates are expected to be opened in Minsk
and Prague in the near future. (Kathy Mihalisko)

TENGIZ PROJECT TO BE RENEGOTIATED? A member of a government commission
established to redesign the agreement between Kazakhstan and
the Chevron Corporation on development of the immense Tengiz
oilfield was interviewed on "TV-Inform" on October 15. The commission
member echoed earlier charges that the contract is faulty, but
added that Chevron is the one firm interested in setting up a
joint venture. The October 15 issue of the Journal of Commerce,
however, reports that British Petroleum may be offering more
favorable terms to establish a joint venture at Tengiz. (Bess
Brown)

MOLDAVIAN POPULAR FRONT GOES INTO OPPOSITION. At a general conference
held October13, the Moldavian Popular Front has resolved to go
into opposition to President Mircea Snegur and the government.
The conference resolutions, which were made public in Kishinev
October 15, accuse Snegur of relying on a parliamentary majority
of communist holdovers, coopting former communist officials into
the government, and showing "inconsistency and lack of principle
in relation to the USSR . . . thus jeopardizing Moldavia's independence."
Snegur, who was elected president of the republic in 1990 by
the parliament, will seek election by popular vote in a presidential
election scheduled for December 8 and is heavily favored to win.
(Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN POPULAR FRONT TO BOYCOTT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. The
Front's resolutions objected to holding a presidential election
before the adoption of a new Moldavian constitution, and reaffirmed
the Front's support for the parliamentary form of government
as against the Presidential type of government sought by Snegur.
The Front accordingly called for a boycott of the presidential
election. Interviewed by Radio Kishinev October 15, the Front's
Executive Committee Chairman, Iurie Rosca, said that the Front
would revert to rallies, demonstrations, and pickets to convey
its message. The Popular Front has over the past year lost a
great deal of its former membership and parliamentary strength.
(Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN LEADERSHIP AGAINST REUNIFICATION WITH ROMANIA. At a
meeting with Moldavian local officials from the left bank of
the Dniester, Snegur reiterated the Moldavian leadership's opposition
to reunification with Romania and criticized the Popular Front
for pressing for reunification, Moldovapres reported October
15. Snegur said that Moldavia seeks "to consolidate its independence
and have it recognized internationally." and that "any union
with another state is out of the question." [Front leaders increasingly
favor early reunification with Romania but seldom urge it publicly
in Moldavia because the idea is unpopular there.] (Vladimir Socor)



BALTIC STATES



LATVIAN-USSR DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS REESTABLISHED. Radio Riga reported
on October 15 that earlier that day diplomatic notes were exchanged
in Moscow between Latvian Foreign Minister Janis Jurkans and
his Soviet counterpart Boris Pankin renewing diplomatic relations
between the two countries. Although it was decided to exchange
envoys, no specific candidate was mentioned by either side. Pankin
did say that he hoped to continue to work with Janis Peters,
who has been serving as Latvia's permanent representative in
Moscow. (Dzintra Bungs)

KOIVISTO WELCOMES BALTIC STATES AS CSCE SIGNATORIES. After the
Baltic heads of state--Arnold Ruutel of Estonia, Anatolijs Gorbunovs
of Latvia, and Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania-- signed the
CSCE Final Act in Finlandia Hall in Helsinki on October 15, Finnish
President Mauno Koivisto said: "The Baltic States have now resumed
their rightful place in the international community. Their culture
and heritage are European in the deepest sense of the word, and
civilization." Western agencies noted on October 15 that later
Koivisto talked separately with each of the Baltic leaders. (Dzintra
Bungs)

BALTIC LEADERS PRESS FOR SOVIET TROOPS WITHDRAWAL. In their speeches
delivered at the signing ceremony of the CSCE Final Act, the
Baltic leaders stressed the significance of Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania being a part of the Helsinki process. They also
reiterated the Baltic call for the prompt departure of Soviet
troops from their lands. They said that the troop withdrawal
is vital to the restoration of democracy and full sovereignty
of their lands. Landsbergis, while stressing that the demand
for troop withdrawal is no longer a point of negotiation, added
that only when offensive conventional and nuclear weapons are
gone from the region will security there be assured. Ruutel said
that he had evidence that Soviet troops from Eastern Europe are
being redeployed in the Baltic States, reported Western agencies
on October 15. (Dzintra Bungs)

BALTIC-SOUTH KOREAN DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. According to Western
and Baltic dispatches of October 15, South Korea formally established
diplomatic ties with Lithuania earlier that day. A protocol on
diplomatic normalization was signed in Vilnius by Lithuanian
Deputy Foreign Minister Valdermaras Katkus and South Korean Ambassador
at Large Han Tak-Chae. From Vilnius the South Korean diplomat
travels to Riga and Tallinn to establish diplomatic relations
Latvia and Estonia. (Dzintra Bungs)

DECISION ON LATVIAN CITIZENSHIP. The first legislation related
to citizenship was endorsed on October 15 by the Latvian Supreme
Council, reported Diena that day. The decision, adopted by a
vote of 92 for, 30 against, and 7 abstaining, sets down the requirements
for those wishing to become citizens of the Republic of Latvia:
knowledge of the Latvian language, knowledge of Latvian laws
and legal structure, 16 years residence in Latvia, oath of allegiance,
and the renunciation of citizenship of another state. The decision
also states that citizenship will be restored to those who were
citizens of Latvia before 1940, and their descendants. Lively
discussions are expected throughout Latvia of this draft law.
(Dzintra Bungs)


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