|If you're sure you understand everthing that is going on, you're hopelessly confused. - Walter Mondale|
No. 205, 28 October 1991
USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR RSFSR CONGRESS OF PEOPLE'S DEPUTIES OPENS. The RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies opens a new session in Moscow on October 28, the RSFSR media reported. President Yeltsin is expected to announce major economic plans for his republic. The congress agenda includes election of the chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, election of the constitutional court members, and the confirmation of Russia's prime minister. TASS said October 27 that the Democratic Russia movement supports the candidacy of Ruslan Khasbulatov as the parliament's chairman. [He is now acting chairman]. The congress will also debate supplements and amendments to the RSFSR Constitution. (Vera Tolz) YELTSIN TO UNVEIL REFORM PACKAGE? RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin is expected to outline radical economic measures in his speech to the special session of the Russian Congress of People's Deputies today. Izvestia of October 25 suggested that Yeltsin would announce the freeing of most prices, reductions in budgetary outlays, the liberalization of foreign trade activity, the demonopolization of wholesale trade, and a drastic curb on credits. (Keith Bush) DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA CRITICIZES YELTSIN. At a plenum of the Moscow branch of Democratic Russia on October 26, the movement's leaders said the RSFSR leadership has proved ineffective since Yeltsin was elected president June 12. The movement also expressed dissatisfaction with Yeltsin for failing to introduce radical economic reforms more quickly. A Western agency quoted Professor Yurii Afanas'ev as saying the group might have to become an opposition movement if the Russian government does not take a "responsible" position toward solving problems. (Vera Tolz) YELTSIN SUGGESTS NOMINEES FOR PRIME MINISTER POST. At a meeting with the RSFSR's industrial officials, Boris Yeltsin suggested nominees for the post of the RSFSR prime minister and his deputy, TASS reported October 25. At the meeting Yeltsin reportedly mentioned eye specialist Svyatoslav Fedorov as a nominee to head the Russian government. On October 27, Fedorov confirmed the report and told TASS that he was considering the offer. On October 25, TASS also said that Yeltsin suggested Yurii Skokov as first deputy prime minister. Skokov is State Counselor of the RSFSR, and formerly was first deputy chairman of the RSFSR Council of Ministers. The prime minister's post has been vacant since Ivan Silaev took over as acting Soviet prime minister. (Vera Tolz) NEW RUSSIAN PARTY FOUNDED TO SUCCEED CPSU IN RSFSR. A new party has been formed over the weekend to succeed the Communist Party in Russia. The new party is called the Socialist Party of the Working People, TASS and Postfactum reported October 27. Posfactum said 300 delegates to the party's inaugural conference announced that the aim of the organization was "to restore fairness and legality as regards to the CPSU." TASS called the SPWP "virtually a legal successor to the CPSU." The agencies did not say whether the new party had made any claim to CPSU property. (Vera Tolz) COUP LEADERS TO STAY IN JAIL FOR NOW, OFFICIAL SAYS. A leading member of the group to investigate the activities of the junta, deputy Soviet procurator general Yevgenii Lisov, said the leaders of the failed coup should stay in jail. Pravda quoted him as saying on October 26 that the alleged conspirators were still somewhat influential, and could use their freedom to impede the criminal investigation. He also said members of the group might commit suicide if they were let out of jail. Lisov's comment came in response to a request by defense lawyers of those arrested in connection with the attempted coup to let their clients out of prison during the preliminary investigation. (Vera Tolz) PROTESTS AGAINST REMOVING LENIN'S BODY FROM MAUSOLEUM. Nearly 300 people rallied in Moscow's Red Square on October 27 to demand that the mausoleum containing Lenin's body not be disturbed, a Western agency reported that day. Several prominent democratic leaders, including St. Petersburg mayor Anatolii Sobchak, have called for the removal of Lenin's body from the mausoleum and its burial. President Gorbachev has called for the issue to be discussed in the USSR Supreme Soviet, but so far this has not been done. (Vera Tolz) RUTSKOI'S PARTY HOLDS FIRST CONGRESS. The Democratic Party of Communists of Russia, headed by the RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, began its first congress in Moscow on October 26, TASS reported. Opening the congress, Rutskoi said the party is not going to continue the political and ideological line of the RCP nor it is going to be an instrument in the hands of the Yeltsin leadership. He said the party supports the idea of the creation of a new Union on the territory of the USSR. On October 27, the congress confirmed the renaming of the party as People's Party of Free Russia and elected Rutskoi the party's chairman. The congress also said that all the CPSU property on the territory of the RSFSR should be transferred to Rutskoi's party. The RSFSR government has so far spoken about the nationalization of the CPSU property, and not about its transfer to any other political group. (Vera Tolz) ECONOMIC COMMUNITY APPEAL. On October25, the USSR Supreme Soviet issued an appeal to the four republics which have not yet signed the economic community agreement, TASS reported that day. "Today, it is obvious to our peoples and to the whole world," the statement read, "that the complete, uncoordinated disintegration of the former Union might lead to further destabilization and aggravation of inter-republican relations." The four dissenting republics are Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan. That same day, both Leonid Kravchuk and his deputy, Vladimir Grinev, were quoted as saying that Ukraine will sign the treaty soon, although the Ukrainian prime minister's appeal for a quick signing was defeated in the republic's legislature on October 24. (Keith Bush) GLOOMY PROJECTION FOR 1992. USSR First Deputy Economics Minister Aleksandr Troshin told the Committee for the Operational Management of the Economy on October 25 that the recession will continue in 1992, TASS reported that day. His projections for 1991 were a 12% fall in the GNP, an unemployment total of 3 million, and a budget deficit of 240 billion rubles. Of three scenarios offered for 1992, the rosiest saw a 5% drop in GNP, 4 million jobless, and a budget deficit of 389 billion rubles. The "catastrophic" scenario provided for "twofold fall in production, hyperinflation, and unforeseeable social disturbances." (Keith Bush) FOOD IMPORTS CUT. At a meeting of the 12republics on October 26, RSFSR Deputy Prime Minister Gennadii Kulik said that regular imports of meat and other foodstuffs will be cut by as much as one half because of the shortage of hard currency, TASS reported that day. Shortfalls in grain imports would amount to 7 million tons for the same reason, he said, and there was only enough grain to last until the end of the year in several regions of Russia. (Keith Bush) G-7 REPRESENTATIVES IN MOSCOW. To judge from the Western agency reports and Soviet media of October 27, not a great deal was accomplished during the first day of the meeting between the Group of Seven team and representatives from Moscow and the 12 republics. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold Fokin proposed the creation of a special central bank to handle the payments of the Soviet Union's foreign debt. His proposal was supported by 9 of the 12 republics. The Western side was said to have warned of the adverse consequences of any reneging of the Soviet debt. Soviet officials were reported to have disclosed full details of their country's holdings of gold and foreign currency. (Keith Bush) WARNING OF DISCONTENT AMONG DISCHARGED TROOPS. The chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Commission on National Security, Viktor Minin, warned of dissatisfaction among discharged servicemen in an interview published in Krasnaya zvezda on October 25. The reduction of the armed forces from 3.7 million to 3 million will worsen the country's housing and unemployment crises, he pointed out. "The army has become the sixteenth republic, hungry and unsettled, but well armed and trained." Minin spoke of a real possibility of a social explosion which "could sweep away democracy and the market." (Keith Bush) GLOBAL STRATEGIC SECURITY SYSTEM PROPOSED. A joint Soviet-American space-based strategic security system might eliminate not only the risk of nuclear confrontation, but also the danger of local conflicts, Academician Nikita Moiseev wrote in Polis, No. 5. Moiseev's system, called "Black Diamonds," would contain elements of the Soviet and American SDI programs; it would use a weapon based on new physical principles, which could make the nuclear arsenal of the superpowers obsolete by the third millenium. Moiseev is close to the Experimental Creative Center (ECC) headed by Sergei Kurginyan; the ECC publishes Polis together with the Soviet Peace Defense Council and the former Institute of the World Workers' Movement. (Victor Yasmann) ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY COUNCIL CREATED. The Soviet Foreign Policy Association headed by Eduard Shevardnadze has set up a Council for Environmental Security to carry out global environmental projects, "Vesti" reported on October 23. Among the founders of the Council are also prominent scientists who have worked for the military-industrial complex: Academicians Andrei Avdevskii, Nikita Moiseev and Jarmen Gvishiani. (Victor Yasmann) KGB OFFICERS CRITICIZE BAKATIN, LACK OF REFORMS. Officers of the KGB central apparatus complain in a letter published in the October 25 issue of Rossiiskaya gazeta that the new chairman of the KGB, Vadim Bakatin, cares more about his own image than about reform of the agency. The letter asks if the USSR President, who already has at his personal disposal the KGB foreign intelligence, government communication and elite special forces, will pay the salaries of the 50,000 officers of the central KGB in Moscow and the 20,000 elsewhere in Russia. The letter states that Russia must quickly create its own powerful and capable state security apparatus as a legal successor to the KGB. (Victor Yasmann) MOSCOW POLICE CHIEF SUPPORTS FREE SALE OF WEAPONS. The chief of the Moscow MVD Administration, Arkadii Murashov, was quoted in the October 15 issue of Vechernyaya Moskva as saying that he supports the free sale of weapons to citizens, because if every citizen has the right to defend his own life and property, "it will secure us the life without a fear." The proposal for free sale of arms, with preference given to former and retired law-enforcement officers, was drafted before the coup by the MVD USSR and supported by the KGB, Ministry of Defense and State Procuracy. (See RFE/RL Daily Report, August 13, 1991) (Victor Yasmann) USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS UKRAINE TO SEND OBSERVERS TO SUPREME SOVIET. The Ukrainian Supreme Soviet decided last Friday that it will form a delegation from among its members to attend the revamped USSR Supreme Soviet with the status of observers, Radio Kiev and Ukrinform-TASS reported October 25. Ukraine was absent when the Supreme Soviet convened last week. (Roman Solchanyk) UKRAINE WARY OF INTER-REPUBLICAN INSTITUTIONS. The decision to send observers to Moscow was part of a resolution adopted by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet which states that Ukraine considers it inappropriate to participate in any kind of inter-republican structures that could lead to its inclusion in another state, Radio Kiev and Russian Television reported October 25. As for the economic union treaty, the Ukrainian parliament said that it would continue to take part in the negotiations and does not exclude the possibility of joining the union on condition that its demands are unconditionally accepted. (Roman Solchanyk) KRAVCHUK ON ECONOMIC UNION. Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid Kravchuk told Radio Mayak on October 25 that within the next ten days Ukraine will sign "horizontal" economic treaties with other republics, including the RSFSR, and that, after familiarizing itself with the details of the recently signed economic union treaty, it will adhere to the treaty within fifteen to twenty days. The Ukrainian leader told Argumenty i fakty that although Ukraine should be part of a single economic space it would not join a single market. (Roman Solchanyk) RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST GEORGIA. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet voted October 26 to empower President Boris Yeltsin to impose economic sanctions against Georgia in the campaign to transfer Georgia's South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast to the RSFSR, TASS reported October 26. (Liz Fuller) GEORGIAN OPPOSITION DECLARES "INFOR-MATION WAR." TSN October 26 cited Georgian opposition leader Tengiz Sigua as stating that the political opposition would begin its own TV broadcasts this week in an "information war" against the Georgian authorities. (Liz Fuller) MASS DEMONSTRATION IN BAKU. Some 100,000 people demonstrated in Baku October 27 to protest Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov's support for the appeal issued October 22 to the Ukraine to remain within the Soviet Union, Radio Rossii reported October 27. The demonstrators also called for the publication of three resolutions adopted by the republic's parliament, including one on the creation of a republican army, and for the upcoming session of parliament, scheduled to open October28, to be televised live. (Liz Fuller) ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI NEGOTIATIONS OPEN. Delegations headed by the first deputy chairmen of the Azerbaijani and Armenian parliaments met in Armenia's Idzhevan Raion October 26 for the first formal round of talks aimed at achieving a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis within the parameters of the September Zheleznovodsk agreement brokered by RSFSR President Yeltsin, TASS reported October 26. Both sides described the talks as encouraging but stressed that progress would necessarily be slow. Participants adopted an appeal to the Armenian and Azerbaijani people to desist from violence. The next round of talks will be held November 15 in Azerbaijan. (Liz Fuller) TURKMENISTAN REFERENDUM ON INDEPEN-DENCE. Radio Moscow reported on October 27 that 94.1% of the population of Turkmenistan had voted for the independence of the republic in the previous day's referendum (presumably the report meant 94.1% of the eligible voters). In view of the overwhelming sentiment in favor of republican independence, Turkmenistan's Supreme Soviet adopted a law on independence on October 27, according to a TASS report of the same day, and proclaimed that October 27 shall be celebrated as Independence Day. The declaration on which the voters cast ballots declares Turkmenistan to be a democratic state based on law, but opposition groups doubt the present leadership's commitment to democratic principles. (Bess Brown) ISLAMIC RENAISSANCE PARTY HOLDS CONGRESS. The newly-legalized Tajik branch of the all-Union Islamic Renaissance Party opened its founding congress on October 26, TASS reported the same day. The party's leaders said that the group is the largest political organization in the republic after the Communist Party. The TASS report speculated that the Islamic Party may decide at its congress to continue its association with the other two opposition parties in Tajikistan and support liberal filmmaker Davlat Khudonazarov's candidacy in the upcoming presidential election. (Bess Brown) BANNING OF TAJIK CP PROTESTED. Tajikistan's Constitutional Oversight Committee has protested the republican Supreme Soviet's ban on the Tajik CP until its role in the August coup is investigated, TASS reported on October 25. The committee objected that Tajikistan's legal codes contain no concept that could be used to support the Supreme Soviet action. (Bess Brown) DEFENSE COMMITTEE CREATED IN KAZAKHSTAN. TASS reported on October 25 that Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev had issued a decree creating a republican State Committee on Defense. According to the report, the decree described the committee as intended to protect the "independence, territorial integrity and vital interests" of the sovereign republic of Kazakhstan. The republic has not ventured to declare its independence, presumably because of the ethnic balance of its population. (Bess Brown) MOLDAVIA LONE HOLDOUT ON USSR FOOD AGREEMENT. Moldavia is the sole republic withholding its signature from the interrepublican agreement on food deliveries, already signed by 11present and former Soviet republics and additionally adhered to by the Baltic States as associates, TASS reported October 26. Moldavian Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi told TASS that Kishinev objected to the provisions requiring Moldavia to supply the foodstuffs under the multilateral agreement [into Union stocks] while making the compensatory deliveries of goods to Moldavia a subject of further, bilateral negotiations by Moldavia with the individual republics. Muravschi said that Moldavia would sign the agreement once this problem was settled. Moldavia is a major supplier of foodstuffs to the USSR market. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIAN OFFICERS IN USSR BORDER TROOPS SUMMONED FOR HOME SERVICE. Moldavia's Ministry of Internal Affairs has called on Moldavian officers and NCOs serving with USSR border troops outside Moldavia to return home and join the republic's planned border guard, Moldovapres reported October 26. The Ministry also called on civilian reservists in Moldavia to join the republican border guard. The calls were issued in fulfillment of President Mircea Snegur's decrees of September 3 and 11 which ordered the formation of a Moldavian border guard, claimed exclusive Moldavian jurisdiction over the republic's borders and over USSR border troops and their assets in Moldavia, and initiated negotiations on the withdrawal of the troops. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIAN-ROMANIAN RELATIONS MARK TIME. The Moldavian and Romanian Foreign Ministers, Nicolae Tiu and Adrian Nastase, conferred October 25 in Kishinev on the long overdue establishment of consular relations and simplification of border-crossing formalities between Moldavia and Romania, Radio Bucharest reported that day. Interviewed by Radio Bucharest the same day, Tiu indicated dissatisfaction with Romania's procrastination on those issues. Tiu implied that Bucharest had not reciprocated Kishinev's steps toward simplifying two-way travel procedures and that Romania continued to treat the reciprocal opening of consulates and of diplomatic missions as subject to Soviet consent even after Moldavia's declaration of independence. (Vladimir Socor) BALTIC STATES BALTIC STATES ADMITTED AS ASSOCIATE MEMBERS OF NORTH ATLANTIC ASSEMBLY. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were admitted as associate members of the North Atlantic Assembly in Madrid on October 24. The North Atlantic Assembly, founded in 1950, is a parliamentary body for NATO countries. East European countries are also associate members of the North Atlantic Assembly. The October 25 Daily Report incorrectly reported that the Baltic states had become associate members of NATO. (Dzintra Bungs) LITHUANIA, BELORUSSIA SIGN GOOD-NEIGHBOR ACCORD. According to a Baltfax dispatch of October 24, earlier that day in Vilnius leaders of Lithuania and Belorussia affirmed that the relations between the two countries would be based on principles of equal rights, territorial integrity, and inviolability of borders. Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania and Stanislav Shushkevich of Belorussia, chairmen of the respective parliaments, signed the document. At the press conference following the signing, both leaders indicated that the Lithuanian-Belorussian border issues would be discussed later.(Dzintra Bungs) IZVESTIA: USSR WANTS LITHUANIA TO HELP FINANCE TROOP WITHDRAWAL. On October 26 Izvestia reported that, according to USSR Deputy Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev, Lithuania must provide material and financial aid, and must help with the construction of new installations to house the Soviet troops being withdrawn from Lithuania. He also said that the USSR forces would not leave Lithuania completely until the end of 1994. Grachev noted that teams from both sides were trying to iron out the details of the withdrawal process and expressed regret that the negotiations were taking so long. (Dzintra Bungs) INTERLATVIA BECOMES A JOINT STOCK COMPANY. Baltic News Agency reported on October 25 that Interlatvia, a foreign trade firm established under the auspices of the Latvian SSR government, has become a joint stock company. In the future, Interlatvia would be owned by the Republic of Latvia (40% of the shares), Nordex GmbH, which is based in Austria (20% of the shares), with the agrofirm Adazai and Software House Riga owning the remaining shares. It was also reported that financial irregularities was one of the factors prompting the reorganization of Interlatvia. (Dzintra Bungs) RUSSIAN DEMOCRATS MEET. The Russian Democratic Movement of Estonia held its second congress on October 26 in Tallinn, Paevaleht reported the next day. The RDME takes in a broad spectrum of political thought ranging from former Intermovement supporters to democratically-minded non-Estonians. Because the RDME was formed after the Estonian government outlawed the Intermovement in the coup aftermath, some commentators have suggested that the movement represents an Intermovement front operation. RDME organizing committee secretary Larissa Jokvleva denied these allegations, and said the RDME was indignant "at the apathy toward the RDME by the Estonian press, with the exception of Radio Free Europe." (Riina Kionka) MORE PARTY NEWS. Conservative and Christian-Democratic parties from Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea states met on October 25 in Tallinn for a conference on "Postsocialist Europe," Paevaleht reported on October 27. The group discussed the recent victories for conservative parties in Finland and Sweden, as well as continuing leftist influence on the Baltic mass media. Estonia's Union of Republican Parties also met over the weekend to elect new officers, according to Paevaleht of October 27. The group, which was established last year, takes in many of Estonia's rising stars in government and journalism. (Riina Kionka)
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.