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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 199, 18 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



ECONOMIC TREATY TO BE SIGNED TODAY. Most of the twelve remaining
republics of the Soviet Union are expected to sign the Treaty
on an Economic Community in the Kremlin on October18. Two that
will not are Georgia and Ukraine. Gorbachev and the chairman
of the Interrepublican Economic Committee Ivan Silaev had talks
October 17 on the treaty with Boris Yeltsin. According to Western
agency reports, Gorbachev accepted all the changes Yeltsin wanted
to include regarding banking, financial, budget and future membership.
Yeltsin said on Central Television that as soon as the treaty
was signed he expected Western aid to be provided rapidly. He
added that "We shall not be able to do without it." (Ann Sheehy)


UKRAINE REFUSES TO SIGN ECONOMIC ACCORD. In a major last-minute
setback to Mikhail Gorbachev's plans to hold the Union together,
the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet decided on October17
not to take part in the signing of the interrepublican economic
agreement, citing dissatisfaction that Ukraine's recommendations
at Alma-Ata had not been taken into account. Parliamentary spokesman
Olih Baye was quoted by news agencies as saying that Ukraine
cannot sign the agreement in its present form, though he did
not rule out the possibility that the republic will take part
in a more acceptable economic accord at a later date. Deputy
Supreme Soviet chairman Ivan Plyushch will head a Ukrainian delegation
merely to observe the signing of the accord in Moscow on October
18. (Kathy Mihalisko)

DEPUTY SUPSOV CHAIRMEN ON UKRAINIAN REFUSAL. Western news sources
have reported at length on comments by Supreme Soviet deputy
chairman Volodymyr Hryn'ov and Ivan Plyushch after the Presidium's
decision. According to the Chicago Tribune, Plyushch said that
although Ukraine wants to maintain trade and economic ties with
other republics, it insists on its independence and will not
join a Moscow-based economic or political union. Hryn'ov was
quoted by several Western correspondents as complaining that
it was "incomprehensible" that Ukraine's recommendations on the
accord had not been taken into account. Ukraine's most serious
objections concern the accord's banking and financial provisions.
In addition, the republic is forging ahead with plans to introduce
its own currency. (Kathy Mihalisko)

RUTSKOI: RUSSIA CAN SURVIVE WITHOUT UKRAINE. RSFSR Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi played down the significance of the Ukrainian
decision by remarking that "I don't know that Ukraine can survive
without Russia, but I can say that Russia will survive without
Ukraine," according to Western news sources. But, as those sources
point out, President Mikhail Gorbachev stated in his televised
speech on October12 that he cannot imagine the USSR without Ukraine.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

KALININGRAD OBLAST SETS UP CUSTOMS POSTS. Kaliningrad Oblast
has become the first in the RSFSR to set up customs posts, Moscow
Radio reported October 16. The oblast authorities tried to avoid
taking this step, said Professor Matochkin, the new head of the
oblast administration, but their patience had come to an end.
Matochkin said that for months, the Baltics, trying to get rid
of their rubles before introducing their own currencies, had
raided Kaliningrad oblast buying up livestock, furniture, construction
materials, and emptying the shops and markets. (Ann Sheehy)

IZVESTIA WANTS TRIAL OF CPSU. Legal columnist Yurii Feofanov
urged on October 11 in Izvestia that the CPSU be tried for "subversive,
rather that just opposition, actions against market relations
and democratic principles" in a proceeding similar to the Nuremberg
trials of 1945-47. Feofanov said the CPSU started with a conspiracy
against the Motherland in 1914; strove for the country's defeat
in World War I to facilitate the Party's seizure of power; and
conspired against the people in 1991 in an effort to preserve
its power. Today, Feofanov wrote, the CPSU has recovered from
the August shock and has renewed its subversive activities, such
as the campaign in Pravda accusing all and sundry of a "witch-hunt
against the Communists." (Julia Wishnevsky)

CONGRESS OF SOVIET GERMANS OPENS TODAY. A three-day congress
of Soviet Germans opens in Moscow October 18. At the congress
it is expected that Yeltsin will formally announce the RSFSR's
intention to restore the territorial autonomy of the Soviet Germans
on the Volga, TASS reported October 17. TASS said that the question
of the territory's boundaries was difficult. It would be impossible
simply to proclaim that it existed in its previous boundaries
because of opposition in some places both from the leadership
and population of Saratov and Volgograd oblasts. TASS noted that
the whole population of the future Soviet German territory would
benefit from the new investment in the area. German legislators
have proposed that 100 million marks in aid be given. (Ann Sheehy)


TATARSTAN PRESIDENT BANS CREATION OF UNOFFICIAL ARMED FORMATIONS.
Tatarstan president Mintimer Shaimiev signed a decree October
17 "On banning the creation and activity of public militarized
associations and armed formations on the territory of the Tatar
SSR, TASS reported October 17. The decree said that such units
were to be disbanded from the moment the decree was published.
Enrollment in home guard units subordinated to the Tatarstan
Public Center started ten days or more ago in reaction to a statement
by acting chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Ruslan Khasbulatov
(see Daily Report, October 8). (Ann Sheehy)

SITUATION IN CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. TASS reported October 17 that
the number of destabilizing events was growing by the hour in
Checheno-Ingushetia. Preparations for the elections of the president
and parliament, fixed by the rebel OKChN Executive Committee
for October 27, were going ahead but no one knew if they would
take place. The population was divided between supporters of
the Executive Committee and the constitutional authorities. The
RSFSR parliamentary delegation headed by the procurator general
Valentin Stepankov had addressed an appeal to the RSFSR President
and Supreme Soviet in which it described the situation as "explosive,"
called on the media to stop "playing with fire," and declared
that the application of any force whatever from outside was impermissible.
In the meantime, TASS added, delegations supporting the actions
of the Executive Committee were arriving from neighbouring North
Caucasian republics and other regions. (Ann Sheehy)

TOP OFFICIALS SUED. USSR State Prosecutor Nikolai Trubin has
filed suit against a number of top ministers from Nikolai Ryzhkov's
government, who are said to have abused their position to buy
land in the luxury resort Sosny near Moscow for a symbolic payment,
Soviet TV newscasts reported October 15. Among those named are
Ryzhkov's first deputy Lev Voronin, former Party Secretary Aleksandra
Biryukova, military aviation minister Igor Belousov, and Aleksandr
Sterligov, now an aide of RSFSR vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi.
No criminal charge seems to have been brought against these officials;
Trubin is demanding that the deal be annulled and the estates
be returned. (Julia Wishnevsky)

SHEVARDNADZE OR GORBACHEV AS UN CHIEF? TASS quoted an unidentified
USSR Foreign Ministry official October 17 as saying that former
Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze is among the ten or so candidates
for the post of UN Secretary General. While refusing to name
other candidates on the list, the MFA official said it is "fully
possible" that one of his competitors is Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev. (Suzanne Crow)

$3.5 BILLION IN FARM CREDITS SOUGHT. Deputy Foreign Trade Minister
Yurii Chumakov said October 16 the USSR is seeking $3.5 billion
in US export credit guarantees through the end of 1992 for purchases
of feed grains, Western agencies reported October 17. Chumankov
said corn would be a top item of interest, but added that US
exporters of wheat, soybean and soymeals "would not be offended"
by Soviet purchases. Powdered milk, butter, and baby food and
formula are also items the USSR is interested in purchasing with
credits. (Suzanne Crow)

KHRUSHCHEV'S SON-IN-LAW TO START NEW PAPER. A well-known journalist
Alexei Adzhubei, who is Nikita Khrushchev's son-in-law, is going
to start a new paper, Tret'e soslovie ("The Third Estate"), Vechernyaya
Moskva reported October8. The newspaper is going to be a private
one, and is going to concentrate on the emerging entrepreneurial
initiatives in Russia. (Vera Tolz)

"NOVOSTI" TO RESTRUCTURE. In an interview with Trud (October
3), "Novosti"'s Director General Andrei Vinogradov said he is
going to abolish all periodicals aimed at a foreign audience
that the agency puts out. He also said that the "Novosti" magazine
for the United States Soviet life will be taken out of the agency's
control, since the agency was put by El'tsin's decree under the
jurisdiction of Russia. Vinogradov said that the agency wants
to start new publications, but currently the main obstacle is
the financial one. (Vera Tolz)

CONTROVERSY ABOUT COUP INVESTIGATION LEAKS IN "SPIEGEL." The
publication of the interrogation records of the leaders of the
coup in the German weekly Spiegel reflected the rather low level
of the investigation and was not the act of political forces
interested in influencing the results of the legal process, wrote
a first deputy of an MVD scientific institute, V. Demin in Pravda,
October 17. (The records of the interrogation of Vladimir Kryuchkov,
Dmitrii Yazov and Valentin Pavlov were published in Spiegel in
September and were re-printed by Izvestia, October 10.) Nezavisimaya
gazeta, October 16, wrote that the leaks were a warning from
those who control the course of investigation that they could
publish more compromising materials on those whose role in the
coup was downplayed. Meanwhile, KGB Chairman Vadim Bakatin said
he had been assured that the records were sold for profit, reported
TV Inform, October 15. (Victor Yasmann)

INTERVIEW WITH FATHER ALEKSANDR'S WIDOW. Sovershenno sekretno
No. 6 contains an interview with Father Aleksandr Men's widow,
Natalia Grigorenko, who discussed her life with Father Aleksandr,
the problems he faced, and his murder. (Oxana Antic)

SCHISM IN RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH PREDICTED. TASS reported on
October 16 that Nezavisimaya gazeta has published a prediction
that the Russian Orthodox Church will split. The article also
comments on the current state of the Church and the highest ranks
of its hierarchy. (Oxana Antic)

SAUDI ARABIA TO SEND PREACHERS? The late installment of "TSN"
on October 14 quoted from what was identified as a New York Times
story stating that in addition to humanitarian aid for the Soviet
Union, Saudi Arabia intends to send Muslim preachers to the traditionally
Muslim republics in order to counter Islamic fundamentalism being
spread by Iran. (Bess Brown)


USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS


GENSCHER IN KIEV. German Foreign Minister arrived in Kiev on
October 17 after holding talks in Alma-Ata (see below). Genscher
will meet today, October 18, with Ukrainian Supreme Soviet chairman
Leonid Kravchuk and Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko. He will
also officially open a week of German cultural events, Western
agencies reported. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINE ASSERTS AUTHORITY OVER RAILROAD AND CIVIL DEFENSE TROOPS.
On October 17, the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
issued a decree giving Ukraine jurisdiction over the railroad,
government communication, and civil defense military units of
the USSR stationed on the territory of the republic. The order
extends to arms and technical equipment held by these units.
Ukraine also takes jurisdiction over the military technology
and USSR Defense Ministry property that has been provided free
of charge to DOSAAF-type organizations in Ukraine. The decree
empowers the Cabinet of Ministers to conduct negotiations with
the USSR Defense Ministry, USSR KGB, and command of the USSR
railroad troops concerning implementation of the measures. (Kathy
Mihalisko)

TER-PETROSSYAN WINS LANDSLIDE VICTORY IN ARMENIAN PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. TASS October 17 quoted an Armenian government official
as stating that Armenian Supreme Soviet chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan
received over 80% of the votes cast in the October 16 presidential
election. Paruir Hairikyan, chairman of the Association for National
Self- Determination, was in second place, and Sos Sarkisyan of
the Armenian Revolutionary (Dashnak) Party, third. A Central
Electoral Commission official estimated voter turnout at over
69%. (Liz Fuller)

MUTALIBOV BOYCOTTS TALKS ON NKAO. Azerbaijani President Ayaz
Mutalibov failed to travel to Moscow October 17 to attend talks
to be chaired by Soviet President Gorbachev on implementing last
month's agreement aimed at settling the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.
One Western news agency quoted a Mutalibov spokesman as stating
that the Gorbachev initiative constituted interference in Azerbaijan's
internal affairs; a second quoted the Presidential press service
as claiming that Mutalibov is ill. (Liz Fuller)

NAZARBAEV REPORTEDLY INVITED TO WASHINGTON. Alma-Ata journalist
Batirhan Darimbetov told the RL Kazakh Service on October 16
that US Secretary of State James Baker's October 15 phone call
to Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbaev had included an
invitation from George Bush to the Kazakh leader to visit Washington,
according to a report on the Alma-Ata evening news. A TASS report
on the phone call said that Baker had mentioned the recent session
of the USSR State Council, at which a draft agreement on an economic
community was discussed, and praised Kazakhstan's role in stabilizing
Soviet society. (Bess Brown)

GENSCHER IN KAZAKHSTAN. On October 17, KazTAG and TASS reported
on the visit of German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher
to Kazakhstan. At a press conference after one-on-one talks with
Genscher, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev said that topics
discussed included the opening of a Goethe Institute in Alma-Ata,
the establishment of consular relations, and the starting of
direct flights between Kazakhstan and Germany, as well as German
technical assistance to Kazakhstan. Genscher expressed the hope
that the Germans living in Kazakhstan would be able to develop
their national culture, and invited Nazarbaev to visit Germany.
(Bess Brown)

ANTI-COMMUNIST DEMONSTRATIONS REPORTED IN UZBEKISTAN. Moskovskiye
novosti No. 41 carries a report of demonstrations involving thousands
of participants at mosques in Andizhan and Namangan. The protesters
in both cases demanded the banning of the Popular-Democratic
(formerly Communist) Party of Uzbekistan. The article notes that
the increasingly vocal opposition in Uzbekistan is creating a
situation similar to that which developed in Tajikistan last
month. According to the report, those groups which consider themselves
democratic, including the Popular Front Birlik and the banned
Islamic Renaissance Party, are joining forces against the Communist
power structures. (Bess Brown)

NIYAZOV EXPECTS TURKMENISTAN TO CHOOSE INDEPENDENCE. In a comment
on Turkmenistan's support for the economic community in what
remains of the USSR, Turkmenistan's president Saparmurad Niyazov
said that he expects the population of the republic to vote for
independence in the up-coming referendum on the subject. Niyazov's
observation was reported by TASS on October17. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIAN ECONOMISTS CALL FOR WESTERN ADVICE. In an article on
the need to update economic research in Moldavia to support the
transition to the market economy, Moldova Suverana said October
11 that the republic's specialized research institutes would
welcome consulting assistance from Western experts of the World
Bank, International Monetary Fund, the OECD, EEC, and other institutions.
Moldavia needs assistance to develop mechanisms for demonopolization
and destatization, price formation, social protection, the creation
of financial-banking and tax systems, commercial and foreign
investment legislation, international marketing, and other areas.
Moldavian economists "cannot tackle these urgent tasks with their
own forces"; Western research institutions would therefore "have
a wide scope of activity" in Moldavia, the article said. (Vladimir
Socor)

FROM SOVETSKAYA TO NEZAVISIMAYA MOLDOVA. Replacing the Russian-language
daily Sovetskaya Moldova of the banned Moldavian Communist Party,
the newspaper Nezavisimaya Moldova commenced publication October
4. Sponsored by the Moldavian Parliament and government and intended
for Moldavia's Russian-speaking population, the new newspaper
is a diametric opposite to its dreary predecessor. The inaugural
issue offers, among other things, eyewitness accounts of the
recent confrontations between Moldavian police and Russian "workers
detachments" on the left bank of the Dniester, a local Ukrainian's
rebuttal to the Great-Russian views recently expressed by Russian
Democratic Party leader Nikolai Travkin, and a feature on Moldavia's
Hassidim led by Grand Rabbi Zalman Leib of Kishinev, a disciple
of the Brooklyn-based Lubavicher Rebbe. (Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES


POLAND READY TO HELP WITH TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND AIR LINKS. According
to Polish Telecommunications Minister Jerzy Slezak, his country
and Lithuania have agreed to develop direct telephone links between
the Baltic States and the West. Slezak told the press in Warsaw
on October 16 that Poland was interested in installing a fiber-optic
cable that would allow the Baltic States to bypass Moscow and
make direct calls to the West. A spokesman from Poland's national
airline LOT said that the Polish government is planning to negotiate
aviation accords with the Baltic States to establish direct air
links between Warsaw and the Baltic Capitals. Lithuania obtained
its own telephone satellite connection between Oslo and Vilnius
last week, according to Western agency dispatches of October
10 and16. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN DEPUTIES CONSIDER LEGISLATION ON HUMAN RIGHTS. According
to Diena of October 17, the day before the Latvian Supreme Council
started to review a project for a draft constitutional law dealing
with human rights and citizens' obligations. The document is
based on the relevant sections of the 1922 Constitution of the
Republic of Latvia. It is expected that next week the legislators
will resume discussion of the document and will endorse it, thus
giving it the status of a draft law adopted in the first reading.
(Dzintra Bungs)

EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE CITIZENS' CONGRESS IN NOVEMBER.
Spokesmen for the Committee of Latvia announced that an extraordinary
session of the Citizens' Congress will be held on November 2
to discuss Supreme Council legislation on issues related to citizenship
in Latvia. They argue that the Supreme Council has no legal authority
to adopt such legislation and claim that the decision adopted
on October 15, in effect, legalizes the status of thousands who
settled illegally in Latvia during the postwar decades, reported
Radio Riga on October 17. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIA TO PAY ITS PART OF SOVIET FOREIGN DEBT. While visiting Japan,
Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius said that Lithuania would
guarantee repayment of that part of the USSR foreign debt that
funded economic projects on Lithuanian territory. He added that
Lithuania would not be responsible for sums incurred by Soviet
military-related projects on its territory, reported Western
agencies on October 17. Vagnorius is in Tokyo to discuss Japanese-Lithuanian
economic cooperation. Japanese officials said that their country
would consider economic and technical aid to the three Baltic
States after that issue is discussed in November by representatives
from the 24 leading industrial countries. (Dzintra Bungs)

REHABILITATION OF "WAR CRIMINALS" IN LITHUANIA SUSPENDED. According
to Western media reports of October 17, the Lithuanian Supreme
Court suspended on October 16 the rehabilitation of people sentenced
by Soviet courts in postwar Lithuania on charges of war crimes
because a few of the approximately 35,000 persons exonerated
were subsequently found to have been involved in the killing
of Jews. Supreme Court Justice Genadijus Slauta said: "We were
trying to rehabilitate everybody as quickly as possible, but
now we are sorry that we acted so rapidly. We see serious errors
were made." Slauta has reviewed several cases and found that
in five cases the exoneration granted was not justified. (Dzintra
Bungs)

JEWISH GROUP MAY CALL FOR HEARINGS ON AID TO LITHUANIA. Rabbi
Marvin Hier, Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles,
told the press on October 18 that the center would consider calling
for congressional hearings on whether Lithuania should receive
US aid if Lithuania does not review the cases of about 35,000
people it had already exonerated on Soviet charges of war crimes.
He said that his organization had uncovered 11 cases of persons
exonerated who had taken part in Nazi war crimes, including several
Lithuanians who had guarded the concentration camp at Majdanek,
reported Western agencies on October 18. It is not clear if Rabbi
Hier was aware of the Lithuanian Supreme Court announcement of
October 17. (Dzintra Bungs)




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