Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 206, 29 October 1991


Boris Yeltsin has proposed himself as Russia's new premier and
demanded additional powers to conduct a policy which he called
a "reformist breakthrough" (reformistskii proryv). In his speech
to the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies, broadcast by TASS
October 28, Yeltsin called for radical economic reform including
liberalization of prices, privatization, land reform, tightening
of credit policies and a possible introduction of a new currency
in Russia. He stressed the need for the creation of a separate
Russian army if the other republics create their own national
armies. Yeltsin said that Russia has reached one of the most
critical stages in its history. (Alexander Rahr)

in the RSFSR parliament welcomed Yeltsin's proposal for a "reformist
breakthrough," TASS reported October28. The co-leader of the
Republican Party, Vladimir Lysenko, said that Yeltsin is the
only politician who has the authority to convince the population
of the necessity of introducing new harsh measures in the economy.
Lysenko supported Yeltsin's pledge for additional powers and
his offer to take over the premiership stressing that for any
other politician such a post would mean suicide. Yeltsin's pledge
was also supported by RSFSR CP leader Viktor Stepanov and Yeltsin's
opponent in the parliament, Vladimir Isakov, who praised the
President's courage to take over responsibility. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN'S ECONOMIC REFORM PROGRAM. Other salient features of
Yeltsin's reform program were the freeing of all or most prices
and wages, with a rejection of total indexation; the establishment
of a social safety net; the privatization of small- and medium-sized
enterprises, farms, and housing; monetary stabilization; tax
reform; a call to other republics to agree on a single currency;
and an appeal to the IMF and EBRD. He warned of short-term hardships,
but promised "real results by the fall of 1992." (Keith Bush)

organized crime has increased destabilization in the economy
and in society, Boris Yeltsin said in his address to the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet October 28. Yeltsin added that corruption is infiltrating
the state apparatus, foreign trade mechanisms, and financial
institutions. Yeltsin added that new laws on corruption and organized
crime have already been drafted and will soon be adopted. In
addition, the MVD "will be strengthened," Yeltsin said. He also
promised to create an efficient revenue service which would "expose
any businessman who is cheating citizens and society." (Victor

BAKATIN ON REFORM OF STATE SECURITY. Three principles--functional
disengagement, territorial decentralization and analytical efficiency--will
guide reform of the KGB apparatus, said Vadim Bakatin in interviews
to Izvestia and Komsomol'skaya pravda, October 25. He said that
the quality of KGB reports does not exceed those published by
Radio Liberty. Bakatin also urged that reform of the KGB must
not to destroy it. Statements by USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs
Boris Pankin and State Radio and Television Chief Egor Yakovlev
about reduction or elimination of KGB agents in their organizations
were hasty, Bakatin said. "We will work where we need to," he
added. (Victor Yasmann)

moderator's statement during the October 25 program, there is
no basis for speculation that the RSFSR will become an associate
member of NATO. Sergei Stepashin, Chairman of the RSFSR SupSov
Committee on Defense and Security, said after attending NATO's
annual conference in Madrid during the week of October 21-25
that the RSFSR may soon be accepted as an associate member of
NATO. In an editorial comment, the Vesti commentator said that
the number of misleading statements made by officials and carried
in wire services like TASS and Interfax is increasing so rapidly
a special rubric to disclaim them is needed. (Victor Yasmann)

REPUBLICS AGREE ON DEBT-SHARING. After what was an apparently
lively second day of discussion, the 12 republics and officials
from the G-7 industrialized nations agreed on a plan whereby
republics will share the USSR's foreign debt, TASS, Interfax,
and Western agencies reported October28. A senior US official
present described the talks as "highly active" and "very spontaneous."
Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold Fokin stormed out of the meeting,
but returned later to sign the memorandum with a codicil to the
effect that the Baltic states would also assume their debt obligations.
A meeting in Kiev in November was proposed to discuss where the
republics would obtain the necessary hard currency. (Keith Bush)

IMF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE USSR. Addressing a Washington conference
on the Soviet economy on October 28, the deputy managing director
of the IMF, Richard Erb, reported extensive contacts with Moscow
and the republics. IMF specialists have already visited the Russian,
Ukrainian, and Kazakh republics and plan to travel to Belorus'
on October 31. A resident IMF mission has been established in
Moscow. (Robert Lyle/Keith Bush).

200-RUBLE BANKNOTES IN CIRCULATION. The USSR Gosbank has announced
that new 200-ruble banknotes will be in circulation starting
October 30, TASS reported October 28. Until now, the largest
denomination has been the 100-ruble note. The USSR Gosbank also
plans to issue a 500-ruble note by the end of this year (see
Trud, October 1, and TASS, October 3), and there has been some
talk of printing 1,000-ruble notes. (Keith Bush)

LUBENCHENKO SUCCEEDS LUK'YANOV. Konstantin Lubenchenko has been
elected chairman of the Council of the Union of the USSR Supreme
Soviet--the chamber of the central parliament which represents
the Union. He succeeds Anatolii Luk'yanov who is now in prison
for his involvement in the coup. TASS reported October 28 that
Lubenchenko was elected unanimously. Lubenchenko belongs neither
to the reformist nor the conservative faction in the parliament.
Lubenchenko (born 1945) is Russian by nationality. Until 1990,
he taught at Moscow State University. Since 1990, he has occupied
the post of deputy chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Committee
for Legislation. (Alexander Rahr)

has been elected chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, Vesti
reported October 28. That post had been vacant since the election
of Yeltsin as RSFSR President in June. At the previous RSFSR
Congress, in July, Khasbulatov failed to receive the majority
of votes. Several deputies dislike his authoritarian style. But
Khasbulatov's firm stance during the coup boosted his popularity,
and in this latest balloting he was elected by 559 of the 873
deputies. Khasbulatov, a Chechen by nationality, had been first
deputy chairman of the Russian parliament under Yeltsin. He supports
democratization although he remains a member of the CPSU. (Alexander

Yeltsin has decreed to set up a RSFSR State Committee on Defense
Conversion, Interfax reported October 28. The chairman of the
committee will be named later but it has become known that it
will come under the jurisdiction of RSFSR Vice-President Aleksandr
Rutskoi. The new ministry will offer working places for the best
military specialists, now employed in the military-industrial
complex. The ministry is being designed to support Yeltsin's
policy for a "reformist breakthrough" by supervising cuts in
the military sphere and the transfer of army resources to civilian
needs.(Alexander Rahr)

GORBACHEV ARRIVES IN MADRID. Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev arrived
in Madrid on the evening of October 28 and were greeted at the
airport by Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez. Gorbachev
is scheduled to have a luncheon meeting with US President George
Bush October 29 at the Soviet embassy. According to an October
28 Interfax report, in addition to questions concerning US aid
to the USSR and the Middle East conference, Bush and Gorbachev
will discuss the fate of Soviet POWs in Afghanistan. (Suzanne

GORBACHEV TO MEET SHAMIR. Madrid's RNE-1 Radio network reported
October 28 that Gorbachev will meet with Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzak Shamir on October 30. (Suzanne Crow)

CHURKIN REACTS TO PROPOSAL ON MFA. Soviet Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Vitalii Churkin criticized Boris Yeltsin's proposal to strip
the USSR Foreign Ministry of most of its current functions. The
consequence of such a move "would be that the Soviet Union as
a single country would be no more," Churkin said October28, expressing
his personal opinion. He said one country with 12 different foreign
policies could not exist. Yeltsin proposed the MFA's funding
be cut by 90% as part of an austerity program for the RSFSR.
He suggested the MFA limit its functions to coordinating the
foreign policies of the Soviet republics, a Western agency reported
October28. (Suzanne Crow)

meetings taking place the week of October 21-25 in Moscow, Deputy
Chairman of the Russian Committee for Defense, Anatolii Tsalko,
demanded that Bonn pay a lump sum for buildings left behind by
the Soviet military in the former GDR. The spokesman of the defense
policy group of Germany's ruling Christian-Democratic Party (CSU/CDU),
Bernd Wilz, told journalists in Bonn October 28 he rejected the
Soviet demand on the grounds that such compensation is neither
legally nor financially feasible. Wilz said practically all structures
left behind will have to be torn down. He also noted that a costly
environmental cleanup effort awaits Germany when the troop withdrawal
is completed. (Suzanne Crow)

DUDAEV ELECTED CHECHEN PRESIDENT.As a result of elections earlier
declared invalid by the RSFSR authorities, ex-General Dzhakhar
Dudaev, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Congress of
the Chechen People, was declared the first president of the Chechen
republic, TSN and TASS reported October 28. Izvestia suggested
the results were invalid because special electoral commissions
were not set up in the raions, but the Executive Committee declared
that they were valid regardless of the number who took part in
the vote. Dudaev told TASS that the election of the president
and a new parliament marked a qualitatively new stage in the
life of the Chechen people. At the same time he expected "political
and economic blockades and provocations." (Ann Sheehy)

DUDAEV HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE. Dudaev said at a press conference
in Groznyi that in his foreign policy he favored equality and
mutually-beneficial collaboration with all republics and states,
including the RSFSR, while in domestic policy he gave priority
to civil peace, harmony, and the prosperity of people of all
nations, TASS reported October 28. Dudaev said he was a convinced
supporter of a single and indivisible Checheno-Ingushetia, and
was sure the Ingush, "our blood brothers," who boycotted the
elections, would agree. Earlier Dudaev had appeared to sympathize
with the Ingushes' desire to set up their own republic. (Ann


UZBEK-UKRAINIAN AGREEMENT. Two days after the signing of a trade
and economic agreement between Uzbekistan and the RSFSR (reported
by TASS on October 26), Uzbek president Islam Karimov and chairman
of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk signed an agreement
on economic cooperation between their two republics. A TASS report
of October 28 on the signing says that the 10-year agreement
covers cooperation in science and technology as well as in economics
and trade. A separate agreement was concluded on cooperation
between the ministries of foreign affairs of the two republics,
and the Ukrainian delegation to the UN will now also represent
Uzbekistan. (Bess Brown)

on October 28 that the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan was invited
by the Democratic Party of Russia to hold its congress in Moscow
because it could not be held in Turkmenistan. The Turkmen authorities
have been extremely intolerant of opposition groups and presumably
refused to grant permission for the congress to be held in Ashkhabad.
(Bess Brown)

NAZARBAEV IN GREAT BRITAIN. On the first day of his visit to
Great Britain, Kazakh president Nursutan Nazarbaev told a press
conference that the main objective of his trip was the development
of economic ties between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom: he
hopes to sell British businessmen on investing in Kazakhstan.
On the issue of the creation of a single market by the signers
of the recently-concluded economic agreement among former Soviet
republics, Nazarbaev said that now the important thing is to
establish the single market as quickly as possible. His remarks
were reported by TASS on October 28. (Bess Brown)

NEW "SOCIALIST" PARTY IN UKRAINE. Former members of the now banned
Communist Party of Ukraine have formed a new party called the
Party of Social Progress of Ukraine, Radio Moscow reported October
26. A Radio Kiev eport of October 28 says that 286 delegates
gathered in Kiev at the party's founding congress. (Roman Solchanyk0


Minister Pavel Grachev told reporters in Oslo on October 28 that
Soviet troops would not be withdrawn from the Baltic states until
those states can afford to relocate the soldiers. Western agencies
quoted Grachev as saying that the forces could not leave if there
were no place to put them. Grachev suggested the Baltic states
could help by paying for setting up housing and infrastructures
much as Germany is contributing to the relocation of forces withdrawing
from the former GDR. Asked how the Baltics could afford such
a program given their severe economic problems, Grachev said
the Soviet military "will have to wait until [the Baltics] become
wealthy." (Riina Kionka)

29 US Vice President Dan Quayle and Baltic prime ministers--Edgar
Savisaar of Estonia, Ivars Godmanis of Latvia and Gediminas Vagnorius
of Lithuania--signed agreements in Indianapolis for US economic
aid to the Baltic States. Direct loans and loan guarantees to
US companies seeking joint-ventures and other investments in
the Baltic States would be provided. In addition, US Peace Corps
volunteers would provide assistance in business development,
and instruction of English and environmental subjects, reported
RFE/RL's Washington correspondent that day. (Dzintra Bungs)

25-27 Baltic prime ministers attended a seminar sponsored by
the Hudson Institute in Indianapolis to discuss its conceptions
for the economic development and transition to market economy
of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The conceptions are the result
of about one-year's work by economics specialists affiliated
with the Institute. The ceremony of handing over the Institute's
conceptions was attended by Vice President Quayle, reported Baltic
News Service on October 28. (Dzintra Bungs)

MORE RUSSIAN ON ESTONIA'S AIRWAVES? Estonia's Minister of Transportation
and Communication, Tiit Vahi, has proposed adding 2-3 hours of
Russian programming to Estonian TV's daily menu, Postimees reported
on October28. Vahi suggested that more high quality information
for Estonia's Russian-speakers would hinder the rumor mill, especially
in northeastern Estonia. "We regard it is very necessary to strengthen
the influence and widen the scope of local sources of information,"
Vahi said. (Riina Kionka)

MORE ON SAVISAAR-SOBCHAK MEETING. Earlier reports of the meeting
held last week between Estonia's Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar
and Soviet presidential envoy Anatoly Sobchak said the two men
discussed only procedural questions for upcoming USSR-Estonian
talks. But Interfax, quoted by Ravha Haal on October 26, said
the two also discussed politics. Sobchak reportedly criticized
severely Estonian positions on certain matters, including RSFSR-Estonian
border questions. Savisaar reportedly assured Sobchak that the
Estonian government was working on a new program, including "neutralizing"
the territorial issue. The latest information bolsters Savisaar's
opponents, who argue that the Prime Minister is currying favor
with local Russians at the expense of Estonian interests in order
to strengthen his domestic political base. (Riina Kionka)

NEW CONSTITUTION COMING ALONG. Estonia's Constitutional Assembly
began its second reading of the draft constitution on October
25, Rahva Haal reported the next day. Earlier this month, the
Assembly voted to work from a draft constitution put forth by
the conservative working group, made up mostly of Estonian National
Independence Party adherents. The Assembly is charged with providing
a completed draft by November 15. (Riina Kionka)

October 28 Deputy Janis Dinevics, head of the Latvian delegation
for talks with the USSR, described to Radio Riga his recent meeting
with USSR delegation chief Aleksandr Yakovlev and stressed the
need for starting promptly negotiations with the Soviet Union
and adopting additional protocols with the RSFSR. Dinevics also
pointed out that the RSFSR still has not ratified an accord with
Latvia that was signed in January. He noted that so far in 1991
Latvia has already provided the USSR and Russia with 80% of the
goods that were agreed upon in various economic accords, while
the USSR and the RSFSR have sent to Latvia only 30% of the supplies
promised. (Dzintra Bungs)

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