He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mind, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 209, 04 November 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



USSR STATE COUNCIL TO DISCUSS ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS. The meeting
of the USSR State Council scheduled for November 4 will discuss
the packet of agreements envisaged in the treaty on an economic
community, Gorbachev press spokesman Andrei Grachev said November
2 according to TASS. It will also discuss the formation of the
structures of the Interstate Economic Committee (IEC), as well
as the structure of the USSR armed forces, the MVD, procuracy,
and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Grachev made no mention of any
discussion of the Union treaty. The Council of the heads of government
of the member states of the economic community discussed the
structure of the IEC on November 1, TASS reported the same day.
Ivan Silaev was recommended for the post of chairman. (Ann Sheehy)


80 MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS TO STOP WORKING NOVEMBER 15. The
council of the heads of government of the member states of the
economic community decided at their meeting on November 1 that
about 80 Union ministries and departments should cease their
legal existence from November 15, TASS reported November 1. This
is linked with the proposed structure of the IEC, which will
only embrace such spheres as foreign affairs, internal affairs,
culture, railways, energy, atomic energy, and customs. It was
recommended, however, that until all 19 agreements envisaged
in the treaty on an economic community were agreed, joint organs
of management should be retained in certain areas. (Ann Sheehy)


GORBACHEV ON NEW UNION. In an interview with Moskovskie novosti,
Mikhail Gorbachev said the new Union would possibly be partly
federative, partly confederative, and in other respects
associative. He said a coordinating center was necessary.
Gorbachev described as "the most dangerous Utopia" the opinion
of a number of Russian politicians that Russia should also set
out on its own. (Ann Sheehy)

MORE ON THE CPSU'S ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES. Former Deputy General
Secretary of the CPSU, Vladimir Ivashko, wrote an instruction
to Party committees last year explaining the need for the CPSU
to set up private businesses, joint ventures and banks. "TSN"
said October 31, that the leadership of the CPSU was to control
these undertakings. Not all the details of what the CPSU had
achieved in this sphere since 1990 are yet known. "TSN" pointed
out, however, that the CPSU's commercial activities are currently
under investigation. (Vera Tolz)

TOURIST RATE OF EXCHANGE CUT. On November 2 Izvestia published
an announcement by the USSR Gosbank that the tourist rate of
exchange will go from 32 rubles to the US dollar to 47 rubles
to the dollar as of November 4. There was no mention of changing
the commercial rate of exchange--currently 1.8 rubles to the
dollar--for foreign business transactions with Soviet enterprises.
(Carla Thorson)

NO AGREEMENT ON REPAYING FOREIGN DEBT. TASS and Interfax of October
31 quote Russian Presidential Adviser Sergei Stankevich as saying
that the 12 republics have not yet reached final agreement on
repaying the USSR's foreign debt. Stankevich said that the republics
still have to work out a payment mechanism, and called earlier
reports of an accord on the subject "very uncertain." The republican
heads of government are scheduled to meet in Kiev on November
9 to discuss the repayment question. The date was set during
a November 1 meeting of the eight republics that make up the
Interstate Economic Committee, according to TASS and Interfax
of that date. (Keith Bush)

"WHERE'S PANKIN?" Interfax (November 1) carried remarks from
a "well-placed" Soviet Foreign Ministry staffer on frustration
and dissatisfaction with Foreign Minister Boris Pankin within
the MFA. Staffers were bewildered that Pankin spent so much time
at the Madrid peace talks "while the destiny of the USSR Foreign
Ministry is being decided in Moscow," Interfax said. The diplomat
said that the fate of the MFA will be determined at a sitting
of the USSR Council of State on November4, but Pankin returned
to Moscow only on November 3--too late to do anything to save
the MFA. According to the MFA staffer: "The USSR Foreign Ministry
will pay dearly for the minister's inactivity." (Suzanne Crow)


ARMS SHIPMENTS TO AFGHANISTAN? Interfax reported November 1 that
"authoritative sources in the USSR" claim the USSR is still supplying
weapons to Kabul. Interfax said the USSR is acting on the assumption
that the US-Soviet agreements on halting arms shipments take
effect January 1, 1992. (Suzanne Crow)

RSFSR CONGRESS ENDORSES YELTSIN'S REFORM PLAN. The RSFSR Congress
of People's Deputies approved RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin's
radical reform plan by a huge majority of votes, TASS reported
on November 2. The Russian legislatures agreed to hand over additional
power to Yeltsin although it diminishes their own political influence.
Yeltsin has now received a greenlight to take over the RSFSR
government as premier, conduct massive privatization and free
prizes by the end of this year. Yeltsin's position was also strengthened
by the constitutional amendments adopted by the RSFSR Congress.
(Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN'S NEW RSFSR GOVERNMENT. Boris Yeltsin announced that
he will shut down 70 all-union ministries next month, according
to TASS October 31. The RSFSR government will also be reduced
by 50%. It will consist of 5 sections with 6-7 ministries, each
section headed by a deputy prime minister. A first deputy prime
minister will supervise the leaders of the blocs. Yeltsin reportedly
decided to appoint to that post Yurii Skokov--a representative
of the military-industrail complex. Yeltsin himself will take
over as RSFSR Prime Minister. Several political parties in the
RSFSR have agreed to sign a declaration in support of Yeltsin's
reform program, TASS reported on November 1. (Alexander Rahr)


YELTSIN DISCUSSES DRAFT RSFSR CONSTITUTION. On November 2, Russian
President Boris Yeltsin told the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies
that the newly drafted constitution contains "firm legal guarantees
against totalitarianism, ideological control and violence as
a state policy," TASS reported that day. He said the new constitution
would create a federal system with a strong executive branch
and an independent judiciary and legislature. Despite assurances
that the new constitution would let regions retain their autonomous
status, many deputies from regions demanding greater self-rule
voiced strong opposition to the draft. The draft was referred
to the RSFSR Supreme Soviet and constitutional commission which
will report back to the Congress in March and April 1992. (Carla
Thorson)

DEPUTY CHAIRMEN OF RSFSR SUPSOV ELECTED. The RSFSR Congress of
People's Deputies has elected the former Secretary of the Presidium
of the Russian parliament, Sergei Filatov, as first deputy chairman
of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. It also elected Yurii Yarov, Vladimir
Shumeyko and Yurii Voronin as deputy chairmen with special duties
for work with local constituencies, economic reform and control
over the implementation of parliamentary decisions, respectively.
All deputies of RSFSR Supreme Soviet chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov
are Russians and were elected by a significant majority of votes,
TASS reported on November 1. (Alexander Rahr)

SOBCHAK SAYS USSR PRESIDENCY WILL BE ABOLISHED. St. Petersburg
Mayor Anatolii Sobchak supported Yeltsin's reform package. He
said that he may consider drastic measures to solve the crisis
in St. Petersburg by prohibiting organizations and citizens to
take food products out of the city without special licenses,
according to TASS October 31. Sobchak, who has become one of
the principal defenders of the Union in the aftermath of the
putsch, told Interfax that day that he will not run for the post
of USSR president because he has obtained information that this
post "will soon be abolished." (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN ON PRICES. In interviews with TASS and Interfax on October
31, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin qualified his statement of
October 28 with regard to producer and retail prices. Whereas
he had earlier suggested that all prices would be freed, he is
now quoted as saying that the prices of some items, including
those of coal, oil, gas, fuel, milk, bread, salt, baby food,
and vodka would continue to be regulated. This does not, of course,
rule out price increases. Yeltsin further said that a decree
on the liberalization of prices is ready and will be issued without
warning to avoid panic buying. However, he had promised on October
28 to raise certain salaries one month before any price increases.
(Keith Bush)

RSFSR CPD VOTES AGAINST LAND SALE CLAUSE. On October
31, the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies voted down an amendment,
proposed by President Yeltsin, that would have repealed a constitutional
clause restricting the right to sell land, Interfax reported
November 1. The clause imposes a 10-year moratorium on the resale
or purchase of land. Yeltsin is expected to try to reverse this
decision when he presents a package of amendments to the law
on land reform. (Keith Bush)

PAPER EDITOR CONCERNED OVER SUPPRESSION OF PRESS FREEDOM. Vitalii
Tret'yakov, chief editor of the independent newspaper, Nezavisimaya
gazeta, told Christian Science Monitor on October 31 that he
was concerned over attempts by the RSFSR leadership to suppress
the freedom of the press. Tretyakov said that his newspaper as
well as Moscow News recently received warnings from the RSFSR
Ministry of the Press that stated that the papers violated the
law on the press. Tret'yakov said he was reprimanded for an interview
with Ukrainian deputy prime minister Konstantin Masik, in which
the RSFSR Ministry saw signs of war propaganda. Tret'yakov rejected
accusations as false and said the ministry questioned the interview
solely because it contained criticism of the policies of Yeltsin's
government. "Vesti," TASS and Pravda (November1) also reported
on the controversy. (Vera Tolz)

KRYUCHKOV'S INMATE MADE DISCLOSURE TO "IZVESTIA." Izvestia (November
1) published an exclusive interview with an anonymous inmate
who shared a cell with former KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov
at the MVD investigation prison. The inmate said Kryuchkov spends
his time doing physical exercises and reading press reports about
the coup. Izvestia offers rather a positive portrait of the KGB
Chairman. Meanwhile, Sovetskaya Rossia, (October 26) published
a letter from Kryuchkov's wife Ekatherina which said that her
husband was moved not by personal ambitions, but by the state's
interests. (Victor Yasmann)

STEPANKOV CONFIRMS SALE OF INVESTIGATION INFORMATION. RSFSR
Prosecutor General Valentin Stepankov confirmed to Radio Moscow
(November 2) that he and his officers have charged "three or
four Western television companies" for interviews about the coup
investigation. He insisted however that the interviews were proprietary
information, and that the total sum, which did not exceed $3,000,
was handed over to the Procuracy treasury. Stepankov also said
that the video tapes of the coup investigation which were leaked
to German magazine Spiegel were copied by insiders. He speculated
that there might be a vendetta on the part of some 60 KGB generals
dismissed from the agency after the coup which they are perpetrating
through their old agents' network, he added. (Victor Yasmann)


US CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS RECEIVED BY KGB. The task of determining
who is posing a real danger to the state is more difficult than
restructuring state security organs, First Deputy Chairman of
the KGB Nikolai Stolyarov said at a meeting with US religious
leaders at KGB headquarters. According to TASS (October 30),
Stolyarov said that believers will be permitted to work in the
reformed KGB. (Victor Yasmann)

PATRIARCH ALEKSII II CRITICIZED POPE. The Daily Telegraph reported
on October 31 that Patriarch Aleksii II told a press-conference
at Lambeth Palace in London on October 30 that the Pope is not
welcome to visit Russia. The Patriarch launched a "bitter attack"
on the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, the newspaper
said. (Oxana Antic)

SITUATION IN CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. The stand-off between the two
opposing forces in Checheno-Ingushetia continues, according to
Soviet media reports November 1-3. The newly-elected parliament
of the self-styled Chechen republic met November 2. Repeat elections
for 8 of the 41 seats are to be held November 12. Meanwhile the
Provisional Supreme Council, recognized by the RSFSR as the sole
constitutional authority, is going ahead with preparations for
parliamentary elections on November 17. According to RIA, in
Groznyi and other towns self-defence units are being formed to
oppose rebel ex-general Dzhakhar Dudaev's national guard. (Ann
Sheehy)


USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS


KRAVCHUK ON UKRAINIAN ARMY. Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman
Leonid Kravchuk met on October 31 with representatives of the
Kiev garrison and the command of the Kiev Military District.
As reported by Radio Moscow and by the Ukrainian service of Radio
Liberty on November 1 and 2, Kravchuk devoted much of his time
to discussing plans for the future armed forces of Ukraine, telling
his audience that a Ukrainian army must come into being. He stressed,
however, that strategic arms should remain under a single, unified
command. (Kathy Mihalisko)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON THE SAME. Meanwhile, USSR Defense Minister Evgenii
Shaposhnikov expressed opposition to Ukraine's recent moves to
place military units on its territory under republican jurisdiction,
pointing out that such efforts go against Soviet law. Shaposhnikov
said he saw no reason to withdraw military units from Ukraine.
Instead, a collective defense concept should be devised in the
near future. His comments appeared in Moskovskie novosti and
were quoted on November 3 by Radio Moscow. (Kathy Mihalisko)


OFFICERS FOR A UKRAINIAN ARMY. . . 700 delegates took part in
the Second Congress of the independent Union of Officers of Ukraine,
held on November 2-3. The Ukrainian service of Radio Liberty
learned that the congress was addressed by Defense Minister Konstantin
Morozov. The organization, which now counts more than 10,000
members, has been active in the movement to establish a Ukrainian
army. Its first congress, held on July 28, was attended by only
six officers, but mem-bership as well as political clout have
grown rapidly since the attempted August coup. (Kathy Mihalisko)


. . . AND AGAINST. Another independent association of officers
was launched on November 1 in Vinnitsa, as reported that day
by Ukrinform-TASS. This, however, appears to be the "military
interfront" that Colonel Vilen Matirossian, chairman of the Union
of Officers of Ukraine, warned about in a speech to a recent
conference in Kiev on security issues, and which he described
as a "dangerous" development. Vinnitsa is home to one of three
Air Armies on Soviet territory. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KRAVCHUK IN TROUBLE OVER REPUBLICAN GUARD? Leonid Kravchuk has
reportedly received a letter from the USSR Ministry of the Interior
condemning his parliament's decision to set up a national guard
as "unconstitutional" and informing him that the issue will be
raised at the next meeting of the USSR State Council. According
to the same source in a November 2 report to the Ukrainian service
of Radio Liberty, as of November1 the USSR MVD cut off funding
to its forces in Ukraine to protest the decision to form a Ukrainian
national guard on the basis of existing MVD troops. (Kathy Mihalisko)


CONFEDERATION OF MOUNTAIN PEOPLES OF CAUCASUS PROCLAIMED. The
third congress of the mountain peoples of the Caucasus in Sukhumi
on November 3 ratified a treaty on a confederative union of the
mountain peoples and the statute on the confederation's leading
organs, "Vesti" reported November 3. (Ann Sheehy)

UZBEKISTAN NATIONALIZES GOLD MINES. AKzyl-Kum state concern for
valuable and rare metals has been set up in Uzbekistan, Moscow
radio reported November 3, citing RIA. In future, gold mined
in Uzbekistan, which has one of the richest gold mines in the
Soviet Union, will go into the republic's gold reserves. (Ann
Sheehy)

MOLDAVIA DISAPPOINTED WITH WESTERN INACTION ON RECOGNITION. Receiving
an unofficial Belgian delegation in Kishinev November1, Moldavian
Parliament chairman Alexandru Mosanu was cited by Moldovapres
that day as commenting that "unfortunately the Western states
have not paid us the attention we thought we deserved. We hope
that they will change their policy toward Moldavia . . .. For
the time being, democratic states . . . continue to believe that
they still need Moscow's approval to establish relations with
the independent Republic of Moldavia." (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIA BACKING OUT OF THE ECONOMIC COMMUNITY TREATY. Moldavian
First Vice Prime Minister and Economics Minister Constantin Tampiza
told AFP November 1 (as cited by Moldovapres) that Moldavia intends
to cancel her initial adherence to the Treaty on the Economic
Community of Sovereign States. Since President Mircea Snegur
initialled the treaty in Alma-Ata on behalf of Moldavia, the
republic's leadership has expressed growing concern over treaty
changes which Kishinev views as designed to involve the signatory
republics in a political union. Moreover, Tampiza reiterated
Kishinev's apprehension that the RSFSR was preparing to use the
economic community in order to substitute itself to the former
center. (Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES


MASSIVE INCREASES IN FUEL PRICES FROM RSFSR. On October 31 BALTFAX
reported Lithuanian Deputy Economics Minister Vytas Navickas's
statement that prices of oil, gas, and coal purchased from the
RSFSR will increase almost 100 times starting on January 1. Navickas
said that in return Lithuania has offered a list of 26 goods for
hard currency, mostly machinery, engineering products, and electrical
equipment. The RSFSR now supplies Lithuania with goods worth
about $3.6 billion, but the imports will be sharply reduced.
(Saulius Girnius)

ANOTHER DEMAND FOR WITHDRAWAL OF SOVIET TROOPS. On November 3
the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the USSR Foreign
Ministry demanding the immediate withdrawal of Soviet troops
from its territory, TASS reported that day. The letter said that
Lithuania regards the withdrawal of the troops as the key element
in Soviet-Lithuanian relations and that the withdrawal "will
help create good-neighborly relations" between the two states.
(Saulius Girnius)

VAGNORIUS CONCLUDES US VISIT. On November 3 Lithuanian Prime
Minister Gediminas Vagnorius ended a week long visit to the US
in Chicago where he attended the congress of VLIKas (Supreme
Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania). The congress voted
to end its activities since Lithuania has regained its independence.
The organization expects to end this process by July 1, 1992,
but the transfer of funds from the National Fund to Lithuania
will be decided separately, the RFE Lithuanian Service reported
November 4. During his three-day visit in Chicago Vagnorius also
held talks with the Lithuanian American Community. (Saulius Girnius)


ESTONIA TIGHTENS UP ON BORDER. Last week, Estonia border authorities
began controlling documents of travelers arriving at the harbor
and airport, Paevaleht reported on November 2. The move is part
of a new program--already approved by the government and scheduled
for debate in the Supreme Council starting November 4--to halt
Estonia's escalating crime rate by tightening up on border traffic.
If the program is approved, Estonia's authorities will begin
checking individual travelers--rather than vehicles and cargo--at
all frontiers, especially at the porous eastern border, where
much drug and other illicit traffic passes into Estonia. (Riina
Kionka)

RUUTEL, YELTSIN ON BOUNDARIES AND ETHNIC RIGHTS. Chairman of
Estonia's Supreme Council Arnold Ruutel and RSFSR President Boris
Yeltsin discussed territorial matters at their latest meeting
on November 1, BNS reported the next day. After the meeting,
Ruutel told reporters that any future RSFSR-Estonian border must
take into account the many Finno-Ugric ethnic minorities affected
by the frontier, including the Estonian, Setu, Votic, Inger and
Izhorian peoples. Ruutel said he reminded Yeltsin that while
neither the 1920 nor the 1945 border corresponded to ethnic boundaries,
Soviet Russia had agreed under the conditions of the 1920 Tartu
Peace Treaty to protect the interests of the last three named
ethnic groups. (Riina Kionka)

PARATROOPERS LEAVING ESTONIA. Paratroopers based in Voru and
Viljandi in southern Estonia will be moved out beginning November
3, according to the previous day's Paevaleht, quoting Krasnaya
Zvesda. (Riina Kionka)

INQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOW. . . Another newspaper catering
to Russian-speakers is available at Estonia's newsstands starting
October 31, Paevaleht reported the day before. Den za Dnyom,
a color weekly offering information, ads and classifieds, should
help fill the need for a high quality Russian-language press
in Estonia. Last week, Minister for Transportation and Communication
Tiit Vahi called for broadcast of Russian-language programs on
Estonian TV, suggesting that Den za Dnyom is an idea whose time
has come. (Riina Kionka)

. . . AND HEAR. On November 4, RFE/RL launched local broadcast
of its popular Country and World program--and two other shows--on
Estonian Radio. Estonia is the first place in the former Soviet
Union that any RFE/RL Russian language broadcasts will be aired.
Last month, RFE/RL began local broadcast of its Estonian and
Lithuanian programs, with Latvian broadcasts due to begin by
next year. (Riina Kionka)




[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole