|Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. - Mark Twain|
No. 212, 07 November 1991
USSR-ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR NOVEMBER 7, 1991: GOOD-BYE COMMUNISM! On the morning of November 7, Central television devoted a mere 10 minutes to demonstrations in Moscow both commemorating the anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and lamenting the millions of victims of the country's communist past. (Last year, Central television devoted two hours to the subject.) Later today, Central television will air a seven-part series entitled Perezhitoe (Endurance) and a concert celebrating renaming Leningrad St. Petersburg. (Julia Wishnevsky) YELTSIN BANS THE CPSU. On the eve of the 74th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, Boris Yeltsin signed an edict banning the activities of the CPSU and Russian Communist Party on the territory of the Russian Federation, "Vesti" reported November 6. According to the edict, the organizational structures of these parties are to be disbanded. Following the abortive coup d'etat on August 22, Yeltsin and Gorbachev decreed that the activities of the CPSU be "suspended," pending the results of the investigations of Party involvement in the coup. (Julia Wishnevsky) TRUBIN FIRES PROSECUTOR. Soviet Prosecutor General Nikolai Trubin fired his senior assistant, Viktor Ilyukhin, after halting treason proceedings which Ilyukhin had ordered against Soviet President Gorbachev, "Vesti" reported on November 6. Ilyukhin, the prosecutor with responsibility for state security matters, had formally initiated a treason case against Gorbachev for allowing the Baltic states to declare independence. (See Daily Report, November6.) (Carla Thorson) UKRAINE AND MOLDAVIA SIGN ECONOMIC TREATY. On November 6 Ukraine and Moldavia signed the economic community treaty that Soviet President Gorbachev and his team have been promoting so earnestly. Ten of the original Soviet republics have now signed the teaty. Apart from the now independent Baltic States, only Georgia and Azerbaijan have not signed. (Bohdan Nahaylo) YELTSIN FORMS NEW RSFSR GOVERNMENT. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin has signed a decree appointing himself Russia's new Prime Minister, TASS reported on November 6. Yeltsin formally made the RSFSR Council of Ministers the RSFSR Government which now consists of 24 ministries. These ministries are divided into four sections--each headed by a deputy chairman of the RSFSR Government. Yeltsin himself takes over the control over the RSFSR ministries of defense, interior affairs and the RSFSR defense ministry. The most powerful post after Yeltsin's in the new executive structure is that of First Deputy Chairman of the RSFSR Government which went to RSFSR State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis. (Alexander Rahr) BURBULIS BECOMES RUSSIA'S NUMBER TWO MAN. According to TASS of November 6, Burbulis, the new Russian First Deputy Prime Minister, is now in charge of organizing the work of the RSFSR's government and has the right to sign government decrees in the absence of Yeltsin. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi has been put in charge of a newly created Center for Operational Control over Reform. Yeltsin also decreed the formation of a Collegium of the RSFSR Government which will consist of 10 members--Yeltsin, Burbulis, three deputy premiers, the ministers of foreign affairs, interior affairs, press and mass media, the RSFSR KGB chief, and Rutskoi. (Alexander Rahr) YELTSIN TO MOVE ON REFORM MEASURES. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin is set to move on at least two important economic reform measures, TASS and Interfax reported on November 6. According to Yeltsin spokesman Pavel Bashanov, one measure is designed to liberalize foreign economic relations (see Daily Report of November 6) and the other to protect low-income people from inflation that is likely following expected price liberalization and monetary reform measures. Yeltsin could sign the decrees as early as November 7. (John Tedstrom) YELTSIN: RUSSIA TO PAY GEORGIAN, BALTIC DEBT SHARES. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin said on November 6 that Russia will pay the share of USSR foreign debt falling on Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Georgia, Western agencies reported that day. He said that Russia will honor its own foreign obligations and assume "responsibility for payment of that share of the foreign debt of those four republics that refuse to take part." It should be noted that while the four have refused to join the new Moscow-sponsored economic union treaty, they have not explicitly ruled out paying their share of the debt. (Dzintra Bungs) CANDIDATES FOR POST OF RSFSR ECONOMIC MINISTER. The Financial Times of November 6 identified four candidates for the post of economic minister in the new RSFSR government. They are: RSFSR State Counselor Yurii Skokov, former economic minister Evgenii Saburov and radical economists Egor Gaidar and Grigorii Yavlinsky. Skokov is a representative of the military-industrial complex and wants to conduct reforms in Russia and the republics separately, while Yavlinski and Saburov insist of keeping reform at an all-union level. Yeltsin is scheduled to announce his cabinet early next week.(Alexander Rahr) NOSKO RECONSIDERS. Anatolii Nosko, Deputy Board Chairman of Vneshekonombank, has backed away from his warning of November 5 that the USSR might run out of hard currency to pay debts in November. (See Daily Report, November 6.) After visiting World Bank President Lewis Preston said late payments would damage the Soviet Union's creditworthiness, Nosko told Western agencies on November 6 that means to pay would be found. He suggested that the additional currency could be raised through extra exports of oil and gas, commercial credits on international capital markets, or by borrowing from the Soviet Union's private banking sector. (Keith Bush) FREE HOUSING FOR MUSCOVITES. Moscow Mayor Gavrill Popov told a press conference November 6 that apartments will be given free of charge to Moscow residents, TASS reported that day. He said that the sale of apartments under economic reform might strip people of all of their money, which he called "inadmissible" with the imminent lifting of price controls. It also seemed unprofitable, according to Popov, to sell housing at a time when the ruble is expected to decline in value. He announced that taxes on extra square meters of housing space will be introduced later, after unrestricted prices stabilize. (Keith Bush) AMERICAN TRADE CONSORTIUM FALLING APART. According to The Journal of Commerce of November 4, the American Trade Consortium, which was set up three years ago to ease the entry into the Soviet market for several major US corporations, is breaking up. The ATC linked Chevron, RJR Nabisco, Johnson & Johnson, ADM, Eastman Kodak, and Ford, with Mercator Corporation providing the linkage and oversight for the consortium. The former members of the ATC are said to be going into business on their own in the USSR. The only major deal credited to ATC has been the Chevron project in Tenghiz, but this has still not been finally approved by the Kazakh authorities. (Keith Bush) BOVIN TO BECOME USSR AMBASSADOR IN ISRAEL. Aleksandr Bovin, now Izvestia's foreign policy observer, is expected to become the USSR ambassador to Israel, "TV Inform" reported on November 6. During the first years of Gorbachev's tenure, Bovin was the first Soviet journalist publicly to have argued Soviet reconciliation with Israel. Bovin also visited Israel earlier this month, immediately after diplomatic relations were reestablished. Bovin is a friend of many liberals in Gorbachev's entourage, particularly of Anatolii Chernyaev who shared the hardships of the president's detention in Faros during the August coup. (Julia Wishnevsky) WITHDRAWAL FROM MONGOLIA SET. The last Soviet troops will be out of Mongolia by September, 1992, Western agencies reported on November 6 citing an unnamed Soviet military officer in Ulan Bator. According to the Mongolian government, there are some 2,500 Soviet troops in Mongolia, primarily in the area surrounding and north of the capital city. (Suzanne Crow) MILITARY CONDUCTS OPINION POLL. Support of radical reductions in Soviet nuclear weapons ranges from 91% of those polled in Lithuania, 57% in the RSFSR, and 59% in Ukraine, according to an opinion poll conducted by the Voennoinformatsionnoe agentstvo (October 1991 bulletin). A favorable stance toward USSR membership in NATO was registered by 59% of those questioned in the RSFSR, 56% in Ukraine, and 47% in Lithuania. Only 3% of the Soviet population--down from 6% in 1990--see foreign aggression as the main threat to the USSR. The major threats to stability in society are identified by 60% as the lack of food products (1990: 61%), crime -- 63% (1990: 47%), and 51% -- new inter-ethnic conflicts (1990: 44%). (Alexander Rahr) PATRIARCH ARRIVED IN ST. PETERSBURG. Moscow Radio reported on November 6 that Patriarch Aleksii II arrived the day before in St. Petersburg to participate in festivities and conduct a church service in honor of the restoration of that city's historic name. (Oxana Antic) BAIKONUR COSMODROME TO GO COMMERCIAL. A spokesman for the Kazakhstan Space Research Agency told TASS on November 7 that the Baikonur space center will turn itself into a joint-stock company called International Spaceport. The company will compete with US and Chinese aerospace firms as well as the European Ariane consortium in launching commercial payloads with Soviet rockets. The agency, along with major commercial banks and space rocket associations of the RSFSR and Ukraine will hold 80% of the shares. (Ann Sheehy) RUSSIA RESTRICTS GASOLINE SUPPLIES TO LATVIA. On November 5 Latvia's Energy Minister Auseklis Lazdins told Radio Riga that since September Russia had practically stopped sending gasoline to Latvia forcing it use its reserves. As of November 1, Russia has decided to restrict its gasoline shipments to the Baltic States and to require special licences. According to Diena of November 4, RSFSR Economics Minister Evgenii Saburov claimed that he had no information about the restrictions and asserted that " this is not an economic war" but merely an episodic interruption in the supply process. (Dzintra Bungs) RSFSR LEADERSHIP EXTENDS SUBSCRIPTION ON ITS OWN PAPERS. The RSFSR Ministry of Press and Mass Information has extended the 1992 subscription deadline for two papers, Rossiya (put out by the Presidium of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet) and Rossiyaskaya gazeta (put out by the RSFSR Supreme Soviet). Pravda (November 1) interviewed an official from the Ministry who said the extension of the subscription period is aimed at giving people more time to get acquainted with the new periodicals. Pravda criticized the move saying it resembled the time when Pravda and other important CPSU CC periodicals were given advantage as regards subscription over other newspapers. (Vera Tolz) RSFSR KGB CONSIDERS ITS ACTIVITY AGAINST BALTIC STATES, GEORGIA. The possible creation of a Russian intelligence network directed toward the Baltic states and Georgia will depend both on the status of relations between these countries and the RSFSR and the potential threat from their secret services to the Russian Federation, RSFSR KGB Chairman, Victor Ivanenko told Argumenty i Fakty, No. 44. He also stressed the possibility of riots in the RSFSR in December is increasing. Finally, he said that combatting the Mafia in Moscow is a "very delicate matter," because the Mafia has top officials in its ranks. (Victor Yasmann) USSR-OTHER REPUBLICS UKRAINE SIGNS ECONOMIC TREATY. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold Fokin signed the economic union treaty on November 6, but warned that he still had reservations about it, Western news agencies reported that day. This move came after the vote on November 5 by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, by a margin of 236-96, in favor of signing the economic treaty provisionally. The treaty must be ratified by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet and members of the former parliamentary opposition predict that it will be rejected. The document will be submitted to the Ukrainian parliamentarians for ratification after some twenty additional documents are agreed upon. (Roman Solchanyk) UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN AGREEMENT. Ukraine and Russia signed a communique on November 6 agreeing on the need for collective security and the formation of a common defense strategy, Radio Kiev and Western news agencies reported that day. The communique was signed by Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk and RSFSR President Boris El'tsin. On the same day, the two sides initialed a trade and economic agreement. (Roman Solchanyk) UKRAINE CRITICIZES CENTRAL MEDIA. The Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet issued a statement on November 6 criticizing the mass media of the former USSR for disseminating material discrediting the Ukrainian parliament and government; instigating inter-ethnic hostility; employing scare tactics regarding political and economic chaos in connection with Ukrainian independence; and facilitating rumours about an exchange of nuclear strikes between Ukraine and Russia,Radio Kiev reported on November 6. (Roman Solchanyk) PRESIDENTIAL RACE IN UKRAINE. The seventh candidate in the presidential race in Ukraine has been registered, Radio Moscow reported on November 6. He is Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Vladimir Grinev. The other six candidates are Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk, who is favored in the polls; Chairman of the Lvov Oblast Soviet Vyacheslav Chornovil, who is running second to Kravchuk; head of the Ukrainian Republican Party Levko Lukyanenko; Ihor Yukhnovs'kyi, leader of the former opposition in the Ukrainian parliament; Minister of Agriculture Oleksandr Tkachenko; andhead of the People's Party of Ukraine from Dnepropetrovsk Leopold Taburyanskyi. (Roman Solchanyk) MILITARY INSTALLATIONS IN UKRAINE. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk indicated at a meeting at the main naval base of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in October that 1,330 enterprises of the military-industrial complex are located in Ukraine, the newly created Voennoinformatsionnoe agentsvo attached to Krasnaya zvezda reported in its October bulletin. Speaking at the session of the Supreme Soviet of the Crimean ASSR, Kravchuk stressed that Ukraine maintains 176 rocket launching installations and produces about 40% of the USSR's nuclear weapons. (Alexander Rahr) MOLDAVIA JOINS ECONOMIC UNION. Moldavian premier Valerii Muravsky told reporters, after he had signed the treaty on an economic community on November 6, that the treaty made it possible to preserve the links previously established between the republics and thus stabilize the situation in the economy and in society as a whole, TASS reported November 6. He foresaw, however, possible problems in drawing up the special agreements that accompany the treaty. Muravsky reiterated that Moldavia was not planning to join any political or military union. (Ann Sheehy) TAJIK TRADE UNIONS ISSUE ULTIMATUM. Trade unions of the agro-industrial complex and health service have given the Tajikistan leadership two weeks to create a commission to review their demands linked to the catastrophic worsening of the life of the workers, TASS reported November 6. The statement said living standards were falling rapidly, and social tension was rising in the rural areas. If their demand was not met, the unions said they reserved the right to act in accordance with the law to protect the workers' interests. About two-thirds of the population of Tajikistan lives in the rural areas where the average annual income has long been below the poverty line. (Ann Sheehy) MOLDAVIA TO INTRODUCE OWN CURRENCY. In a statement cited by Vechernii Kishinev of November 4, as reported by Moldovapres the same day, Moldavian National Bank chairman Leonid Talmaci said that the Moldavian government has "practically decided" to introduce a republican currency as an indispensable measure to defend the republic's consumer market against the uncontrolled absorption of Moldavian products by both the official and the black USSR markets. The currency is planned to be introduced within the next 12 to 18 months unless an emergency situation necessitates faster action. The currency may be called either Moldavian leu or ducats, both of which were used in Moldavia in past centuries, with the leu becoming the currency of Romania. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIA HOSTS US JEWISH DELEGATION. Moldavian President Mircea Snegur received on November 3 the leaders of the American Jewish organization Joint Distribution Committee, Moldovapres reported that day. They discussedthe opening of a JDC representation in Kishinev and possibilities for economic cooperation between Moldavia and the US Jewish community. (Vladimir Socor) ROMANIAN TO GRANT SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MOLDAVIANS. Romania's Ministry of Education and Science announced on November 4 through Rompres that it is funding 1,400 high-school scholarships, 800 university scholarships, and 200 post-graduate and doctoral scholarships for Moldavians from the Republic of Moldavia and from Ukraine studying in Romania in the current school year. The Ministry did not specify the amounts of the grants but, according to Romanian press reports, the Moldavian students are having to put up with great material hardships in Romania. (Vladimir Socor) UZBEK INTELLECTUALS ISSUE APPEAL ON EXODUS OF RUSSIANS FROM UZBEKISTAN. Pravda Vostoka of November 6 published an appeal to the presidents of Uzbekistan and Russia from a number of well-known scientists, writers, and journalists of Uzbekistan expressing concern at the continuing departure of the Russian-speaking population from Uzbekistan, UzTag-TASS reported on November 6. The appeal called for the creation of an Uzbekistan-Russian Friendship Society to help stop the exodus. Russian-speakers account for an undue proportion of specialists and skilled industrial workers in the Central Asian and some other republics, and their departure can have a damaging effect on the economy. (Ann Sheehy) SILAEV ASKS BAKU TO RESTORE GAS TO ARMENIA. Ivan Silaev, chairman of the USSR operative economic committee, has sent a telegram to Azeri Prime Minister Gasan Gasanov calling on Azerbaijan to restore gas supplies to Armenia, TASS said on November 6. Silaev said the cut-off of supplies could have unforeseeable economic consequences in the approaching winter months. (Kathy Mihalisko) AZERI KGB CHANGES NAME. Azerinform-TASS reported on November 6 that Azerbaijan has passed a law reconstituting the KGB of that republic into the Ministry of National Security. In another change, the Ministry will be directly subordinate to the President of the Azerbaijani Republic, not to the Cabinet of Ministers. (Kathy Mihalisko) UZBEK-BELORUSSIAN ACCORD. On November6, Uzbek president Islam Karimov and Belorussian Supreme Soviet chairman Stanislau Shushkevich signed an accord in Tashkent governing bilateral ties between their two republics. The agreement covers cooperation on foreign policy, trade, and other issues, TASS said. Uzbekistan and Belorussia also recognized each other as sovereign states. (Kathy Mihalisko) BELORUSSIAN CONSCRIPTS TO SERVE AT HOME. "Vesti" reported on November 6 that a projected 94%-96% of new army conscripts in Belorussia will perform military duties in their home republic. The autumn call-up was issued later than usual in Belorussia, the report said. (Kathy Mihalisko) BALTIC STATES ESTONIA DECIDES ON CITIZENSHIP. On November 6 the Estonian Supreme Council voted 64 to 14 to adopt the 1938 citizenship law, Rahva Haal reported the next day. The Supreme Council also gave the government three weeks time to come up with a draft law on how the 1938 law should be applied. Yesterday's decision puts the onus on the government to draft regulations on naturalization, an issue which has been at the center of debate over the citizenship law for months. The Supreme Council will have to approve the draft regulations when they are ready. (Riina Kionka) DENMARK, ESTONIA SIGN TREATY. Danish Prime Minister Paul Schlueter and his Estonian counterpart Edgar Savisaar signed a cooperation treaty on November 6, news agencies reported that day. Schlueter called the treaty, which is aimed at boosting business and investment, "a vital contribution to a free-market economy." He also said Denmark aims to sign similar agreements with Latvia and Lithuania. (Riina Kionka) SOUTH AFRICA WANTS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH BALTIC STATES. Following the visit of its Foreign Minister Pik Botha to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the South African government announced that it intends to set up full diplomatic relations with the Baltic States Botha said that he had reach agreement on full ties with all three Baltic governments, according to Western agency dispatches of November 6. (Dzintra Bungs) LITHUANIA TO INTRODUCE NATIONAL CURRENCY. The Lithuanian Supreme Council voted on November 5 to start preparations for the introduction of the litas as Lithuania's official currency, Western agencies reported November 6. Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, and Lithuanian National Bank Director Vilius Baldisius were appointed to head a committee that is to set the date for the introduction of the new currency and the official exchange to the ruble. The litas will be the only legal tender in Lithuania after the committee decides on a date to withdraw the ruble from circulation. (Dzintra Bungs)
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