The burnt child shuns the fire until the next day. - Mark Twain
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 200, 21 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



SUPREME SOVIET CONVENES. The reorganized USSR Supreme Soviet
opened its first session this morning in Moscow. So far, only
7 of the country's 12 republics have sent voting deputies to
the new body. The 7 are the RSFSR, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Kirgizia, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Azerbaijan and Moldavia
are represented only by observers. Ukraine, which is one of those
not sending voting deputies, says it may join the proceedings
later this week, TASS and Western agencies reported. (Elizabeth
Teague)

GORBACHEV ADDRESSES SUPREME SOVIET, WARNS AGAINST REPUBLICAN
ARMIES. Addressing the Supreme Soviet this morning, USSR President
Mikhail Gorbachev warned individual republics against setting
up their own armed forces. Gorbachev, whose speech was reported
live by Radio Mayak, called such moves "dangerous, frivolous,
irresponsible and illegal." According to Western agencies, Gorbachev
told journalists afterwards that he would use his presidential
powers to annul republican efforts to set up such units or to
appropriate Soviet military equipment. (NCA/Elizabeth Teague)


GORBACHEV URGES UKRAINE TO JOIN UNION TREATY PROCESS. Gorbachev
told the Supreme Soviet that negotiations have been resumed for
"a treaty on a union of sovereign states" and that a draft of
such a treaty is under consideration by members of the State
Council. It will then , he said, be submitted for "collective
revision," after which "it may be forwarded to the parliaments
of the sovereign states and the USSR Supreme Soviet" Gorbachev
called for efforts to speed up work on the treaty, saying it
would be good if it could be published by the middle of November.
In particular, he called on Ukraine to join in the treaty preparations.
(Elizabeth Teague)

ECONOMIC TREATY SIGNED. On October 18, eight of the twelve former
Union republics signed the Treaty on Economic Community, intended
to create a "common economic space" in which the republics will
cooperate on economic policy, trade and other matters. The Soviet
media said that Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldavia and Georgia had
objections to the treaty and did not sign it. The treaty sets
up central organs to regulate parts of the economy. Aides to
Gorbachev said work on final details of the treaty continued
even on October18. The treaty will not actually take effect until
it is ratified by the parliaments of the signatory republics.
(Vera Tolz)

GORBACHEV ON THE TREATY. Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the
ceremony of signing in the Kremlin and also put his signature
on the document. He told correspondents afterwards that the signing
of the treaty was "a tremendous event" that gave him personal
satisfaction. The Soviet and Western media quoted Gorbachev on
October18 as saying that he talked to officials from Ukraine,
Moldavia and Azerbaijan and that he expects these three republics
to eventually join the new economic union. (Vera Tolz)

YELTSIN ON THE TREATY. Boris Yeltsin was quoted by TASS October
18 as saying that the signing of the economic treaty was a "very
great event" that could help to stabilize the economy within
a year. He said that the treaty represents agreement on the need
for a new structure in which most things would be controlled
by inter-republican organs instead of a rigid center. He said
this is very important, especially in view of the country's move
toward a market economy. Yeltsin also reiterated Gorbachev's
hope that Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldavia and Georgia will eventually
join the new economic union. (Vera Tolz)

SHAKHRAI AND KOVALEV ON ELECTION DISPUTE. One of Yeltsin's top
advisers, Sergei Shakhrai, was quoted by RFE/RL on October 18
as saying that the RSFSR Supreme Soviet's decision to reject
Yeltsin's appeal for a postponement of elections of heads of
local administrations in the RSFSR was "suicide" for the parliament.
Shakhrai told RFE/RL that the move will also have suicidal consequences
for the RSFSR president. Yeltsin suggested the postponement after
realizing that many of those who have a chance to be elected
are hard-line Communists. The same day, Sergei Kovalev, chairman
of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet human rights committee and member
of the parliament's presidium, told RFE/RL that although he too
was irritated by the move, he thought that a compromise on the
issue would be possible and that it would not seriously endanger
democracy. (Vera Tolz)

SHAKHRAI RESIGNS OVER DISPUTE. In protest against the Russian
parliament's rejection of Yeltsin's request to postpone elections
of heads of administrations in the RSFSR, Sergei Shakhrai resigned
from two parliamentary posts--the chairmanship of the RSFSR parliament's
legislation committee and membership in its presidium. Shakhrai
told RFE/RL that he would remain a deputy in the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet in order still to have a voice in the Russian parliament.
(Vera Tolz)

YELTSIN VETOES RUSSIAN LAW ON LOCAL ELECTIONS. In the meantime,
Boris Yeltsin has undertaken a step to counter the parliament's
decision to reject his request that the elections be postponed.
Interfax and Radio Moscow reported on October 18 that Yeltsin
vetoed a law on the elections. Elections are set for December
8. Interfax quoted Yeltsin as saying the elections would aggravate
the current political crisis and lead to a paralysis of power.
(Vera Tolz)

RSFSR LAW ON REHABILITATIONS PASSED. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet
has passed a law rehabilitating victims of political repressions
conducted during the whole period of Soviet history. The law
stipulates financial compensation for many categories of those
repressed. TASS reported on October 18 that the parliament had
also adopted a decree making October 30 the official day of commemoration
of victims of political repression. During the Brezhnev period,
dissidents confined to labor camps observed October 30 as the
Day of the Political Prisoner. The parliament also adopted a
separate decree rehabilitating Gleb Yakunin, a religious activist
who spent a term in labor camps under Brezhnev. Yakunin is now
an RSFSR people's deputy. (Vera Tolz)

MEMBER OF INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENT COMMITS SUICIDE. A former
sector chief of the International Department of the CPSU CC,
Dmitrii Lisovolik, committed suicide, AFP reported October18.
According to the agency, the man jumped from a window in his
twelfth-floor apartment in Moscow. TASS said the same day that
the reason for the suicide of the 54 year-old Lisovolik is not
known. It is most probable that as member of the International
Department, Lisovolik was involved in the financial dealings
of the CPSU with Communist parties abroad. These operations are
currently being investigated by USSR and RSFSR juridical bodies.
(Vera Tolz)

FORMER IDEOLOGY CHIEF IN VOLGOGRAD KILLS HIMSELF. Another former
Communist Party official, Sergei Klimov of Volgograd, has committed
suicide, TASS reported October 19. Klimov was ideology chief
of the Volgograd Oblast Party Committee. According to the agency,
he hanged himself. Klimov is the fifth Communist official known
to have taken his life after the attempted coup. (Vera Tolz)


SOBCHAK PROPOSES CREATION OF LIBERAL UNION. Leningrad mayor Anatolii
Sobchak called for the creation of an inter-party union of liberal
orientation, Radio Rossii reported October 19. Sobchak said that
if such a union is not created, neo-totalitarian groups will
have an upper hand in the RSFSR political arena. He called on
Russian and Western media to propagate the idea of such a union.
(Vera Tolz)

SOBCHAK ON ECONOMIC UNION. Radio Rossii on October 19 also quoted
Sobchak as criticizing Ukraine's and Georgia's governments for
failing to sign the Treaty on Economic Community of sovereign
republics on October 18. He suggested that these republics will
be unable to exist economically without the economic union. (Vera
Tolz)

UNDERGROUND KOMSOMOL ORGANIZATION IN STAVROPOL. An underground
Komsomol organization has been set up in Stavropol, "Radio Rossii"
reported October 18. The new group distributes leaflets, with
slogans such as "Yes to the CPSU," "Freedom for Anatolii Lukyanov"
and "Hands off the CPSU," around the city during the night; the
location of its headquarters is unknown. Although the All-Union
Komsomol organization ceased to exist after the attempted coup,
it is still not clear why the pro-Communist Stavropol youth should
behave in such a conspiratorial manner. (Vera Tolz)

MORE DATA ON KGB. Argumenty i fakty No. 41 reports that there
are 486,000 uniformed KGB officers, including 217,000 Border
Troops; the budget of the agency is 6.4 billion rubles plus 50million
invalyutnye rubles. The weekly stressed that these figures are
unofficial. Indeed, the numbers cited by Argumenty i Fakty do
not include KGB items hidden in the budgets of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the Academy of Sciences, the Ministries of Communications
and Culture and in financial institutions created by the recently
disbanded Komsomol. The number of personnel certainly does not
include foreign intelligence personnel and millions of secret
informers at home. (Victor Yasmann)

STATEMENT BY DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF RUSSIA ON TATARSTAN. A statement
issued October 17 by the Executive Committee of the Democratic
Party of Russia condemned "irresponsible political forces" in
Tatarstan who were insisting that the Supreme Soviet adopt a
declaration of independence, TASS reported October17. The statement
maintained that opinion polls had shown that the population was
very sceptical on the subject. It called for a referendum on
the question of independence. Since only just under half the
population of Tatarstan is Tatar, the vote could well ago against.
(Ann Sheehy)

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE IN TATARSTAN. Unsanctioned demonstrations
continued in Kazan over the weekend, according to TASS on October
19 and TV reports on October 20. Tatar president Mintimer Shaimiev
told a session of the republican Supreme Soviet on October 19
that the former ASSRs, including Tatarstan, still have not improved
their state status, but he added that this did not justify illegal
demonstrations. Shaimiev's decree forbidding armed groups was
published in the local press on October 19, but an official of
the republican KGB complained to TASS that the decree was being
ignored, and the Tatar Social Center was setting up a national
guard, and demanded that the authorities approve it. (Bess Brown)


JAPAN SEEKS REPAYMENT GUARANTEES. An unidentified Japanese Foreign
Ministry official quoted by a Western agency said on October
17 that Japan will ask the Soviet Union for repayment guarantees
before implementing the $2.5 billion aid package it announced
last week. "It's natural that we would need some assurance from
either the central government or the republics," the officialsaid,
adding that talks would begin soon. (Suzanne Crow)

TIES WITH ISRAEL. After a 24-year lapse, the USSR and Israel
reestablished diplomatic relations on October 19. Foreign Minister
Boris Pankin described the move as a step toward reversing a
policy which "did not bring any tangible fruit" -- the Soviet
Union's efforts "to side with the Palestinians and Arab states."
"This is a logical and rational step which is fully consistent
with the new realities," Pankin was quoted by Western and Soviet
media as saying. He also stressed that the establishment of diplomatic
ties was connected with the finalization of plans for the upcoming
Middle East peace conference. (Suzanne Crow)

ON TO SYRIA, JORDAN. Boris Pankin continued his Middle East tour,
arriving in Damascus on the evening of October 18. Upon arrival,
Pankin said, "I am very happy to visit our friend Syria, and
to hold talks with our leader friend, President Hafez al-Asad."
The visit, which lasted until October 20, was dedicated to discussion
of the peace conference and bilateral ties, TASS reported October
19. At the conclusion of talks, Pankin said "we had constructive,
long and detailed talks with my counterpart Faruq al-Shar, whom
I can now call my friend," TASS reported October 20. Pankin left
for Amman for a two-day working visit on October 20. (Suzanne
Crow)



USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE. The outlook for candidates in Ukraine's
presidential election set for December 1 remains unchanged, Radio
Kiev reported October 19. The favorite remains Chairman of the
Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk. A recent poll in Sumy
revealed that 36%of those surveyed favor Kravchuk. Vyacheslav
Chornovil was favored by 11%, Levko Lukyanenko by 5%, and Ihor
Yukhnovs'kyi by 4.5%. (Roman Solchanyk)

RUSSIAN REACTIONS TO UKRAINE'S REFUSAL TO SIGN ACCORD. As expressed
in a Radio Kiev report on October 18, responses in Moscow to
Ukraine's failure to sign the economic accord were "cautious
and diplomatic," although many who took part in the ceremony
were nonetheless "shocked" by Ukraine's position. RSFSR President
Boris Yeltsin, reacting mildly, said that Ukraine had the option
of taking part in the life of the new economic community as an
associate member or as an observer. In any case, continued Yeltsin,
Russian-Ukrainian relations would continue to develop on the
basis of bilateral economic agreements. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINE MAY SIGN LATER. Several Ukrainian officials have stressed
that their republic supports the economic treaty in principle.
However, as reported by TASS on October 19, Ukraine's leaders
want first to reach separate accords with each republic. Energy
and Power Development Minister Vitalii Sklyarov was quoted in
Izvestia on the same date that Ukraine's signing of the treaty
is "only a matter of time," given the republic's need for uninterrupted
supplies of fuel. Also in Izvestia, Deputy Supreme Soviet Chairman
Volodymyr Hryn'ov said the treaty is "badly needed." Kathy Mihalisko)


GENSCHER DISPLEASED BY UKRAINE'S POSITION. In Kiev on October
18 for talks with Ukrainian authorities, German Foreign Minister
Hans-Dietrich Genscher did not conceal his disapproval of Ukraine's
decision to refrain from signing the economic accord. As summarized
that day by Radio Kiev, Genscher emphasized that the sovereign
republics are in the process of forming economic, military and
political unions that will enable the former USSR to integrate
with the European community. Radio Kiev said Genscher seemed
somewhat surprised that Ukraine feared losing its sovereignty
if it were to take part in unifying processes; Germany had no
such fears vis-a-vis European unity. (Kathy Mihalisko)

GERMANY DENIES REPORT IT PLANS TO RECOGNIZE UKRAINE. The German
Foreign Ministry on October 19 denied a report in Der Speigel
that Genscher had assured Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid
Kravchuk of Germany's willingness to recognize Ukrainian independence
if Ukraine went through the legal steps of secession. The Foreign
Ministry statement said that the issue of recognition had not
been raised by either side during Genscher's talks with the republic's
leaders. (Kathy Mihalisko)

AZERBAIJAN VOTES AGAINST SIGNING ECONOMIC ACCORD, RESTORES INDEPENDENCE.
The Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet voted overwhelmingly October 18
not to sign the inter-republican economic agreement on the grounds
that it did not accommodate the republic's interests, Interfax
reported that day. The parliament adopted a draft law "On the
restoration of state independence of the Azerbaijani Republic"
which puts into immediate effect the August 30 declaration of
independence. Azerbaijani President Mutalibov ordered all all-Union
government offices in the republic closed down October 19, Interfax
reported that day. USSR Radio reported October 19 that the Azerbaijani
parliament had ruled that the republic's delegation would attend
the USSR Supreme Soviet session that opens October 21 only as
observers. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIAN, AZERBAIJANI DELEGATIONS HOLD FIRST TALKS ON NKAO. Working
groups set up to implement the Yeltsin agreement on a settlement
to the NKAO conflict met in Kazakh on the Armenian-Azerbaijani
border October 19 and agreed to hold a second round of talks
in Armenia October 25, TASS and Interfax reported October20.
(Liz Fuller)

MOLDAVIA SENDS NON-VOTING OBSERVER TEAM TO USSR SUPSOV. The Moldavian
Parliament voted 197 to 8 on October 18 to appoint a nine-member
observer team, headed by a deputy from the left bank of the Dniester,
to the USSR Supreme Soviet's session which opens in Moscow October
21. Moldovapres reported October 18 that the Moldavian team is
not empowered to vote or participate in any way in the session's
work except on the issue of Moldavia's independence, and it is
to maintain direct contacts with all-Union bodies "for the period
of the negotiated settlement of issues arising from Moldavia's
state independence." The Parliament also resolved that any attendance
of the Supsov by unauthorized Moldavian deputies will be deemed
unrepresentative and legally invalid. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT, PARLIAMENT WITHHOLD SIGNATURE ON ECONOMIC
COMMUNITY TREATY. The Moldavian Parliament's Presidium decided
October 17 against authorizing the executive to sign the economic
community treaty, Moldovapres reported October18. The Presidium
reaffirmed Moldavia's position in favor of direct economic relations
with present and former Soviet republics. Addressing the parliament
that day, President Mircea Snegur said that Moldavia will determine
its position after examining the supplementary conventions and
annexes to the treaty which are still to be negotiated. Snegur--who
signed the Alma-Ata document--has since voiced concern over the
RSFSR's apparent ambitions to substitute itself for the old center
and over Gorbachev's stated view of the economic treaty as a
basis for reviving the political Union. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN CABINET LEADERS PREPARED TO SIGN. On the other hand,
Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi and the First Vice Premier and
Minister of Economics, Constantin Tampiza, were cited by TASS
October 18 as favoring a prompt signature in order to ensure
Russian fuel deliveries to Moldavia. Muravschi declared himself
prepared to take responsibility for signing even if he were forced
to resign afterward. (Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES


HOME GUARD LEADERS TAKE OATH. On October 17 Anatolijs Gorbunovs,
Commander of the Home Guard of the Republic of Latvia, Acting
Deputy Commander Girts Kristovskis, and 60 local leaders of the
Home Guard took an oath of office. Gorbunovs, who is Chairman
of the Latvian Supreme Council and assumes the new position ex
officio, said "The duties of the Home Guard are to guard the
territory of Latvia, if necessary with arms. We must not guard
the interests of a single individual, party or group only. Latvia
expects us to preserve the security of its people." Kristovskis
told the press that the functioning of the Home Guard is hampered
by the fact that Latvia has neither a Ministry of Defense nor
a defense policy. What is more, the Home Guard lacks weapons
and a bank account. (Dzintra Bungs)

VAGNORIUS: SOVIET TROOPS MAY LEAVE LITHUANIA IN 1992. Lithuanian
Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius told the press in Tokyo that
he expects the complete withdrawal of USSR troops from Lithuania
by the end of next year, Western agencies reported on October
18. According to Vagnorius, there are about 100,000 Soviet troops
in Lithuania. Vagnorius arrived in the Japanese capital after
attending a meeting of the group of seven leading industrial
democracies. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIA REPEATS REQUEST OVER IGNALINA. Radio Vilnius reported
on October19 that Lithuanian Vice Premier Zigmas Vaisvila had
sent another telegram earlier that day asking the Soviet Ministry
of Internal Affairs to hand over to Lithuania the arms and transportation
equipment that was used by MVD troops guarding the Ignalina nuclear
power plant. This would facilitate Lithuania's assumption of
responsibility for guarding the plant. Vaisvila also asked for
confirmation of the earlier coordinated withdrawal schedule of
the Soviet forces and urged starting the pullout immediately.
Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA RATIONS GASOLINE. According to Baltic news agency dispatches
of October 18 and 19, Latvia has started to ration gasoline because
smaller shipments have arrived from Russia and Belorussia than
anticipated. While certain types of gasoline can still be sold
at the old prices of 50 and 60 kopecks per liter, in November
the prices are expected to rise bringing them closer to world
market prices. Latvia is considering purchasing gasoline from
Finland; its retail price could be 14 rubles per liter. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LAND LAW IN ESTONIA. The Estonian Supreme Council passed a land
law on October 18 that returns nationalized land to its former
owners, Rahva Haal reported the next day. The law requires that
current land owners or occupiers be compensated for land which
is returned to those who lost it under Communist rule. The law
does not specify who will provide compensation, and exempts some
plots smaller than 2 hectares. The law has been the focus of
intense debate for several months between those who want to return
land to former owners and those who favor those currently farming
the land. (Riina Kionka)


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