What you can become, you are already. - Friedrich Hebbel
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 208, 31 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



YELTSIN SENDS OUT ENVOYS TO EXPLAIN HIS REFORM PROGRAM. RSFSR
President Boris Yeltsin sent special envoys abroad to explain
his recent reform program and ask for financial assistance, TASS
reported on October 30. RSFSR Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
went to the US, RSFSR Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi to Italy
and Great Britain, RSFSR State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis to
Germany and France, RSFSR State Counsellor Sergei Stankevich
to Poland, advisor to the RSFSR President Galina Starovoitova
to Finland and Sweden, head of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Committee
for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations Vladimir Lukin
to South Korea and Japan. (Alexander Rahr)

KHASBULATOV WILL SUPPORT YELTSIN. The newly elected chairman
of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Khasbulatov, stressed the
need to support Yeltsin's radical economic program. He told TASS
on October 29 that the RSFSR parliament seeks cooperation with
the RSFSR executive. He warned that after the dismantling of
the socialist bloc and the Soviet Union, disintegration processes
have now reached the RSFSR. Khasbulatov called upon the mass
media not to support nationalistic movements in autonomous republics
and particularly criticized press reports which supported the
separatist regime in Checheno-Ingushetia. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR FORMS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. On October 30 thirteen judges
took their oath of office at the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies
to serve on the new Russian constitutional court, TASS reported
that day. The judges were elected by the Congress and are empowered
to judge the constitutionality of legislative texts and the actions
of government officials. The court is also able to initiate proceedings
to remove the RSFSR president if the court decides the president
has acted against the constitution. (Carla Thorson)

RSFSR FOREIGN AID. Acting RSFSR Minister for Foreign Economic
Relations, Gennadii Fil'shin, told TASS October 29 that Russia
will continue to invest in civilian projects in other countries,
even though statements have been made about stopping all foreign
aid. "It means that we will not support various regimes for ideological
purposes," Fil'shin remarked. He put the value of Russia's aid
program at over 10 billion hard-currency rubles a year. "We are
facing tremendous difficulties but we cannot quit our construction
projects. We have to decide whether to sell them to attract foreign
capital or to finish them. About 150 of these projects will be
highly profitable," he concluded. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIA MAY DECIDE ON CUBAN PLANT. Interfax reported October 30
that the Russian Federation may make the final decision on the
future of the two nuclear reactors being constructed in Juragua
(near Cienfuegos), Cuba. Work is behind schedule and may be paralyzed
completely due to problems in finding supplies for and assembling the
two reactors. The RSFSR, by virtue of the fact that it funds
70% of the project, will probably become the final arbiter on
whether work continues. Indicative of the degree of chaos and
confusion surrounding Soviet foreign and foreign economic policy,
Interfax said: "it is difficult to say who will hold talks with
the Cuban side on the problem or whether the talks will be held
at all." (Suzanne Crow)

KHASBULATOV ON TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF RSFSR. At a meeting October
30 with the heads of the parliaments and governments of the former
RSFSR autonomous republics, Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet
Ruslan Khasbulatov presented a draft resolution of the RSFSR
Congress of People's Deputies "On the integrity and indivisibility
of the RSFSR and all the subjects of the federation," TASS reported
October 30. Khasbulatov said that the resolution might be presented
to the Congress on October 31. While such a resolution might
reassure some republics, it will hardly please those that wish
to secede from the RSFSR or have territorial claims on their
neighbours. (Ann Sheehy)

CONFRONTATION CONTINUES IN CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. Organizers of
the October 27 elections in Checheno-Ingushetia told TASS October
30 that ex-general Dzhakhar Dudaev had been elected president
of the self-styled Chechen Republic by 85% of the votes cast.
It was claimed that 490,000 of the 640,000 ethnic Chechens eligible
to vote had taken part in the elections. The Chechen Congress
said it was not disbanding its national guard because of unconfirmed
reports that the opposition was arming. Moscow radio reported
October 30 that the Provisional Supreme Council of the Chechen-Ingush
republic stated October 30 that the majority of voters had boycotted
the elections and said that no decrees of the president or parliament
of the Chechen republic should be obeyed. (Ann Sheehy)

FINAL GRAIN HARVEST FIGURE? A USSR Goskomstat spokesman told
Western agencies October 30 that this year's grain harvest totals
165million tons, or 160 million tons if the harvest in the Baltic
states is excluded. This is the lowest recorded Soviet harvest
since 1981, and the outturn is way below earlier, authoritative
Soviet pronouncements and much lower than most Western estimates.
It cannot be excluded, however, that farms and local authorities
have understated the amount of grain harvested, as they are in
many instances unwilling to sell surplus grain for rubles that
do not buy anything and prefer to withhold grain for barter transactions.
(Keith Bush)

BUDGET DEFICIT AND DEFENSE EXPENDITURE. USSR Deputy Finance
Minister Vladimir Gribov told the Committee for the Operational
Management of the Economy on October 29 that the current budget
deficit is 240 billion rubles, Interfax reported that day. One
of the causes of the deficit, according to Gribov, was withholding
by the republics from the union budget; he cited a figure of
29 billion rubles owed by the RSFSR. At the same meeting, Soslan
Guchmazov put defense expenditure for 1991 at 173 billion rubles.
He expected that figure to rise to 250 billion rubles in 1992,
when price increases are taken into consideration. (Keith Bush)


SOVIET INTERIOR MINISTER EXPECTS CONTINUED EMIGRATION. Soviet
interior minister Viktor Barranikov, addressing an international
conference on illegal emigration in Berlin, said he expects about
half a million Soviet citizens to emigrate each year for the
forseeable future, Western agencies reported October 30. Last
year, 453,700 Soviet citizens emigrated, but this year the number
of applications has decreased by about 9%, Barranikov noted.
(Carla Thorson)

MORE DETAILS ON US AID. US Agriculture Secretary Edward Madigan
said October 30 the USSR has requested $2.5 billion from the
United States in new agricultural credit guarantees and $1 billion
in humanitarian aid. The United States is considering up to $1.9
billion in new agricultural credit guarantees and $1 billion
in humanitarian assistance, Madigan said. The United States will
make a decision on aid within the next two weeks, Western agencies
reported October 30 and 31. (Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV ON PEACE, SOVIET GUARANTEES IN MIDEAST. Speaking at
the opening of the Middle East peace talks in Madrid (October
30), Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said the USSR seeks all
manner of cooperation in the Middle East. He said Moscow has
not defined what it means in terms of wanting a "stable and enduring
settlement," but offered that "territorial compromise is essential."
Gorbachev allowed that the USSR had provided written assurances
on its intentions to Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and the
Palestinians. He said that Moscow was prepared to provide information
on its assurances to all parties, TASS reported October 30. (Suzanne
Crow)

SOVIET ENVOY DENIED VISA. An unidentified Soviet diplomat assigned
to work at the Soviet embassy in Sweden was denied a visa Svenska
Dagbladet reported October 30. The paper said the diplomat had
been identified by Swedish security police as a colonel in the
KGB and said his mission in Sweden was to replace the KGB resident
who had been expelled in August. A Swedish Foreign Ministry official
confirmed a Soviet diplomat had been denied a visa, but did not
offer further information, Western agencies reported October30.
(Suzanne Crow)

EXPORT ENTERPRISES ACCUSED OF HIDING PROFITS ABROAD. Soviet exporters
are keeping hard currency profits in the Western banks illegally
and are thus undermining efforts to pay back Soviet foreign debts,
TASS reported October 29. The agency refers to a story published
by the Japanese business newspaper Nihon Keizai which said the
sum of "sheltered" monies is estimated at several billion dollars
or about 10% of annual Soviet payments to Western creditors.
(Victor Yasmann)

MVD AND PROCURACY DEMAND PAYMENT FOR INTERVIEWS. Law enforcement
officers and officials are charging the foreign mass media for
interviews, Pavel Guntionov, Representative of the USSR Confederation
of Journalists' Unions, told TASS October 28. He cites the case
of the RSFSR General Prosecutor, Valentin Stepankov, who charged
the BBC 400 dollars for an interview about investigating the
attempted coup. (On October 29 the BBC denied paying for this
interview.) MVD officials reportedly asked western correspondents
for $1,000 for permission to visit a prisoner or ride in a police
patrol car. (Victor Yasmann)

KGB USSR, UKRAINE, BELORUS' SIGN COOPERATION PROTOCOLS. On October
29, the Chief of the USSR Security Service, Vadim Bakatin and
the Chairman of Belorus' KGB, Eduard Shirkovskii signed an agreement
on delineation of functions in the state security area, TASS
reported October 29. The document preserves for the All-Union
KGB "its organizing and coordinating role." A similar protocol
has been signed by Bakatin and the acting Chief of National Security
Service of Ukraine (SNBU), Mikhailo Golushko, according to Komsomol'skaya
Pravda, October 25.(Victor Yasmann)

PATRIARCH ON DEATH OF COMMUNISM IN RUSSIA. Moskovskie novosti
(No. 43) published a statement by Patriarch Aleksii II about
the end of communism in Russia. The Patriarch says that the "wounds
inflicted to our souls and our society by communism will pain
us for a long time to come, but the page of history connected
with communism in Russia was turned in August definitively."
The Patriarch calls for showing tolerance towards others and
oneself and asks people to realize that the world cannot be improved
by means of force. (Oxana Antic)

STATISTICS ON BELIEF IN GOD. Argumenty i fakty reported in No.
40 that the Center of the social-economic research "TINNI-Socio"
carried out an inquiry showing that 28% of those responding answered
"yes" when asked whether they believe in God. Fifty-nine percent
answered "No," and 13% "don't know." (Oxana Antic)


USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



REPUBLICAN LEADERS ON YELTSIN'S ECONOMIC REFORM PLAN. Commenting
on Yeltsin's economic reform plan, the chairman of the Belorussian
Supreme Soviet Stanislav Shushkevich said that conditions were
different in Belorussia and Russia, and Belorussia's approach
to the market would be more restrained, TASS reported October
30. Tajik Deputy Premier Abduzhalil Samadov told Izvestia that
unfreezing prices in one republic would have unequivocally negative
consequences for all the republics, while Estonian Finance Minister
Rein Miller said he was upset by Yeltsin's statement that trade
with republics that did not sign the economic treaty would be
at world prices and in hard currency, when it had recently been
stated that it would be in rubles in 1992. (Ann Sheehy)

MINSK TAKEN ABACK BY YELTSIN'S ECONOMIC PROGRAM. Belorussian
parliamentarians greeted the economic reform program unveiled
on October 28 by RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin with "alarm and
concern," according to an October 29 BelTA-TASS dispatch. Many
deputies in Minsk feared that a republic such as Belorussia,
which lacks key natural resources, would be "brought to its knees"
by Yeltsin's proposals to conduct trade in world prices and eventually
to introduce a Russian currency. The Belorussian Supreme Soviet
met in closed session on October 30 under the "shock" of the
Yeltsin plan, according to Radio Liberty correspondent Syarhei
Navumchyk. (Kathy Mihalisko)

IMPROVING BELORUSSIAN-LITHUANIAN RELATIONS. Belorussian newspapers
on October 26 published the text of a declaration on "the principles
of good neighborly relations between the 'Republic of Belarus''
and the Lithuanian Republic," signed in Vilnius on October 24
by Vytautus Landersbergis and Belorussian SupSov Chairman Stanislav
Shushkevich. The two sides asserted their loyalty to the principle
of the inviolability of borders, agreeing at the same time to
set up a special commission to study the question of the Lithuanian-Belorussian
border. Belorussia said it would not be part of any Soviet delegation
in future Lithuanian-USSR talks. (Kathy Mihalisko)

TOWARD A BELORUSSIAN NATIONAL GUARD . . . On October 25, the
security and defense commission of the Belorussian Supreme Soviet
revealed its draft proposals for a republican national guard.
As summarized on October 26 in Znamya yunosti, the guard will be formed
on the basis of existing combat-ready and mobile units of the USSR armed
forces. The guard will be trained in the spirit of "Belorussian military
traditions and rituals" and its working language, after a certain
period of transition, will be Belorussian. The force will number
between 5,000 and 8,000 men, according to the draft. (Kathy Mihalisko)


. . . AND MILITARY TERMINOLOGY. A dictionary of Belorussian-language
military terminology is being compiled by reserve officer Syarhei
Chyslou, wrote the October 26 issue of Zvyazda. Denying that
there are no equivalents in Belorussian for Russian military
terms, Chyslou pointed out that military dictionaries published
in 1927 and 1933 provide a solid foundation for the development
of a contemporary Belorussian military vocabulary. In coming
weeks, the Belorussian Supreme Soviet plans to discuss the creation
of republican armed forces. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS. Ukrainian and RSFSR officials met in
Kiev on October 30 for talks aimed at working out common approaches
to domestic and foreign policy issues, TASS reported that day.
The delegations were led by the foreign ministers of the two
republics, Anatolii Zlenko and Andrei Kozyrev. Also on hand were
Konstantin Morozov, Ukraine's defense minister, and Konstantin
Kobets, chairman of the RSFSR committee on defense. The two sides
agreed to work toward the speedy implementation of the CFE treaty
and the 1991 strategic arms limitation agreement. They also pledged
mutual cooperation in gaining entry to international economic
and financial organizations. (Kathy Mihalisko)

ZLENKO SCORES MEDIA FOR 'CYNICISM'. Referring to the controversy
created last week when the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet voted on
a proclamation of Ukraine's non-nuclear status, Ukrainian Foreign
Minister Anatolii Zlenko complained that the media was guilty
of "cynical disinformation." At a press conference following
the Ukrainian-Russian negotiations on October 30, Zlenko reiterated
that Ukraine stands for the destruction of the nuclear arsenal
located on its territory. RSFSR Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
asserted that his republic has "absolutely no territorial claims"
against Ukraine. The press conference was aired on Vesti. (Kathy
Mihalisko)

USSR DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS ARMENIA. USSR Defense Minister Evgenii
Shaposhnikov arrived in Erevan October 30 and met with Armenian
President Levon Ter-Petrossyan, TASS reported October 30. Details
of their talks were not released. (Liz Fuller)

AZERBAIJAN PARLIAMENT CREATES NEW LEGISLATIVE ORGAN. After a
stormy debate the Azerbaijani parliament voted October 30 to
create a new permanent legislative body, the National Council,
which will have approximately 50 seats, TASS reported October
30. Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov had agreed to creation
of such a body, in which half the members would be chosen by
him and half by the opposition, following protests organized
by the Azerbaijani Popular Front earlier this month. (Liz Fuller)


TWO DIE AS AZERBAIJANIS CROSS EN MASSE TO TURKEY. Two Azerbaijanis
drowned October29 in the Aras river that marks the frontier between
Azerbaijan's Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic and Turkey, TASS
reported October 30. A crowd of some 40,000 people had gathered
for the formal inauguration by Supreme Council chairman Geidar
Aliev of a new bridge linking Azerbaijan and Turkey. After waiting
five hours for Aliev's arrival, the crowd stormed the bridge;
two people fell into the river and drowned. Some ten thousand
Azerbaijans reached Turkish territory and six people entered
Iran. The border violators will be returned by the Turkish police.
(Liz Fuller)

UN CANNOT ADMIT AZERBAIJAN TO MEMBERSHIP. A UN spokesman told
RFE-RL October 30 that the UN is unable at the present time to
act on the Azerbaijani request to be admitted to membership as
Azerbaijan's independence has not yet been recognized outside
the USSR. The Azerbaijani request would have to be sponsored
by a member state of the UN and be supported by at least nine
of the 15 members of the Security Council and two thirds of the
members of the UN General Assembly. (NCA/Jeff Endrst/Liz Fuller)


KAZAKHSTAN PLANS OWN CURRENCY. TASS reported on October 30 that
Kazakhstan's government and legislature are working on a program
to give the republic its own currency. The TASS report, quoting from Izvestia,
said that the new currency would function alongside the ruble and would be
freely convertible within the Soviet Union and abroad. Its value is
to be backed by Kazakhstan's gold reserves and the republic's
production of goods, which will have to be strictly regulated.
The exchange value of the new currency unit, the name of which
has not yet been decided, is to equal or exceed that of the ruble.
(Bess Brown)

BIRLIK FORMS POLITICAL PARTY. Uzbekistan's Popular Front movement,
Birlik, proclaimed itself a political party at a congress held
on October 28, a Tashkent journalist has told the RL Uzbek Service.
Movement cochairman Abdurakhim Pulatov was chosen to head the
new party. According to the journalist, republican authorities
have told Birlik to present a membership list by November 1 in
order to qualify for registration, but the party cannot assemble
such a list by the deadline. Last year Birlik set up a Democratic
Party of Uzbekistan, but it never gained official recognition.
Earlier this year, Uzbek president Islam Karimov said that he
did not believe Birlik would ever qualify for registration. (Timur
Kocaoglu/Bess Brown)

IDENTITY OF PARTISAN CONCEALED. Trud on October 26 marked the
50th anniversary of the hanging in Minsk by the Nazi occupation
forces of a young girl partisan, identified by the newspaper
as Masha Bruskina. A photograph of the 1941 execution has been
reproduced many times all over the world but, in her native Belorussia,
Masha is still described as "Unknown." The reason is that Masha
was Jewish. This fact did not suit Belorussia's hardline authorities,
Trud explains, who are still pretending to this day that the
identity of the 17-year-old heroine cannot be ascertained. (Elizabeth
Teague)


BALTIC STATES


US POSTAL SERVICE RECOGNIZES INDEPENDENCE OF BALTIC STATES. The
US Postal Service stated in its most recent bulletin updating
the postal regulations that henceforth "mail to the independent
countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania should not include
the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR as the country
name," according to Western agency dispatches of October 30.
This decision does not pertain to Baltic postal stamps which
have to be approved by the Universal Postal Union. US Assistant
Postmaster General Thomas Leavey announced that from November
1 to March 31 the US post offices would offer a lower rate for
aid parcels sent to the Baltic States and the USSR. (Dzintra
Bungs)

WESTERN SHARES SOLD ON THE BALTIC STOCK MARKET. On October 30
shares from Western companies were sold on "The Baltic Fund"
in Riga by 15 stock brokerage firms. Shares from Eastman Kodak,
Johnson & Johnson, Ford Motors, AT&T, Pepsico, IBM, and other
well-known US companies changed hands. The Baltic Fund's president
Valerii Belokop told the Baltic News Service on October 30 that
among the buyers were businessmen from Russia, Kazakhstan, and
Moldavia. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA LIMITS TRIPS TO POLAND UNTIL JANUARY 1. On October 29
Latvia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilmars Bisers signed a government
decision to limit trips to Poland by residents of Latvia until
January 1, 1992, reported the Baltic News Service on October
30. The principal reason for this decision is apparently the
fact that many people go to Poland to engage in speculative economic
transactions, rather than tourism. Restrictions have also been
adopted by the Lithuanian government concerning passage through
its border checkpoint to Poland at Lazidijai, according to Diena
of October 29. (Dzintra Bungs)

EUROPEAN COUNCIL DELEGATION VISITS LATVIAN SUPREME COUNCIL. On
October 30 a seven-member delegation of the European Council's
Legislation Commission arrived in Riga and met with Latvian Supreme
Council's Secretary Imants Daudiss. The delegation plans to meet
various deputies and acquaint itself with the work of the Supreme
Council. The delegation's spokesman E. Harremoe said that they
have come to offer their help in resolving problems, rather than
to dictate what should be done, reported Radio Riga that day.
(Dzintra Bungs)

RUBIKS--A "POLITICAL PRISONER?" A press conference was
organized on October 30 in Riga by the pro-USSR faction of Latvian
Supreme Council's deputies to mark the traditional political
prisoners' day in the USSR, BNS reported that day. Deputy Sergei
Dimanis claimed that the independent Republic of Latvia has its
first political prisoners in Alfred Rubiks, head of the now dissolved
Latvian Communist Party, his aide Vladimir Serdyukov, and Sergei
Parfyonov, former member of the OMON unit stationed in Riga.
Dimanis tried to persuade the press that the human rights of
the three men, currently detained in Riga and accused of trying
to implement the August coup in Latvia, had been violated. Also
attending the conference were the wives of Rubiks and Parfyonov.
(Dzintra Bungs)




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