If you're sure you understand everthing that is going on, you're hopelessly confused. - Walter Mondale
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 215, 12 November 1991



USSR AND RSFSR



RSFSR SUPSOV REJECTS YELTSIN DECREE ON CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. The
RSFSR Supreme Soviet voted November 11 not to endorse Yeltsin's
decree declaring a state of emergency in Checheno-Ingushetia,
the Soviet media reported on November 11. The resolution called
on the RSFSR authorities to continue to try and solve the crisis
in Checheno-Ingushetia by peaceful means. At the same time it
stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of the
RSFSR. It was also decided that strict controls should be instituted
to prevent the import of weapons into the republic, and that
an investigation should be made to establish who was responsible
for the adoption of an insufficiently well-prepared decree. (Ann
Sheehy)

DUDAEV NAMES HIS TERMS. The refusal of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet
to endorse Yeltsin's decree was greeted with rejoicing in Checheno-Ingushetia.
Dasud Akhmadov, an aide of ex-General Dzhakhar Dudaev, president
of the Chechen Republic, told TASS on November 11 that talks
with the RSFSR could now start on the following conditions: agreement
would first have to be reached on the composition of the RSFSR
delegation and the topics to be discussed. Then it would be possible
to talk of a time and a place for the meeting. (Ann Sheehy)

CHECHEN MVD MINISTER ON ESCAPED CONVICTS, WEAPONS. Umalt Alsultanov,
former Minister of Internal Affairs of Chechen-Ingushetia and
now Minister of Internal Affairs of the Chechen Republic, said
on November 11 that many of the several hundred prisoners who
fled the Naur penal colony November 10, were now among those
meeting on Freedom Square in Groznyi; they said they had escaped
solely to defend the freedom of the Chechen people, TASS reported
November 11. Alsultanov said that, if they returned voluntarily
to the colony, there could be a question of an amnesty to reduce
their sentences. Alsultanov said the president and parliament
would decide what to do about the weapons that are so widespread
in the republic. (Ann Sheehy)

PROTEST MEETING AGAINST YELTSIN DECREE IN TATARSTAN. The Tatar
Public Center, the Ittifak party, and the "Sovereignty Committee"
held a meeting in Kazan to protest Yeltsin's decree declaring
a state of emergency in Checheno-Ingushetia, "Vesti" reported
on November 11. Almost all those who took part in the meeting
asserted that the decree was a dress rehearsal for the application
of similar measures in Tatarstan if the national movement became
active there. (Ann Sheehy)

SILAYEV CALLS DEBT SITUATION "EXTREMELY SERIOUS." After a session
of the Committee for the Operational Management of the Economy,
acting Prime Minister Ivan Silayev told TASS on November 11 that
the Soviet payments position is "extremely serious." He expressed
the hope that the G-7 delegation, due in Moscow on November 17,
would agree to delay repayment of some of the Soviet debt "in
order to ease the way for economic reforms . . . and to solve
such problems as food supplies." Interfax of November 11 reported
that, at the same session, the Soviet external debt was given
as 47.2 billion hard-currency rubles, with debts to former socialist
countries put at 17-18 billion, and LDC debts to Moscow valued
at 94 billion hard-currency rubles. (Keith Bush)

DISSATISFACTION WITH PANKIN. Discussion is increasing in the
Soviet media of the inadequacy of Boris Pankin as the USSR's
chief diplomat. Pankin was first faulted for his lengthy stay
in Madrid during the Middle East conference (see Daily Report
November 4); now, insiders at the Ministry of External Relations
(formerly the USSR Foreign Ministry) are saying he is not the
man to solve the MER's current crisis. Pankin believes the MER
should be responsible for all the functions formerly controlled
by the Foreign Ministry, while taking on the additional role
of coordinating republican foreign policies and guiding the USSR's
foreign economic policy. Moreover, he envisions accomplishing
this after a 30% reduction in staff. According to a Soviet diplomat
cited by Interfax on November 11, Pankin is "mistaking what is
desired for reality." (Suzanne Crow)

SHAPOSHNIKOV IN GERMANY. Soviet Defense Minister Yevgenii Shaposhnikov
met on November 11 in Bonn with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
and German Defense Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg, Soviet and Western
agencies reported. Shaposhnikov reportedly assured Kohl that
Soviet troop withdrawals from former East Germany would be completed
as scheduled, by 1994; the meeting with Stoltenberg produced
an agreement for closer cooperation between the two armies. Shaposhnikov
also claimed in a TASS interview that both parties had agreed
on the need "to maintain a single USSR defense space" to insure
domestic stability and international security. (Stephen Foye)


GRINEVSKY NAMED AMBASSADOR TO SWEDEN. The post left vacant by
the recall of Soviet ambassador Nikolai Uspensky following the
coup has been filled by Oleg Grinevksy, formerly chief Soviet
negotiator at the East-West disarmament talks in Vienna, Western
agencies reported on November 11. (Suzanne Crow)

CUSTOMS DUTIES LOWERED. USSR Chief Customs Officer Nikolai Yermakov
told a Moscow press conference on November 11 about the easing
of customs duties on imports and exports, Western agencies reported
that day. There will now be no import duties on food, medicine,
raw materials, and equipment for the food processing and light
industrial sectors. Enterprises will be able to import goods
not only for production requirements but also for sale for rubles.
Parcels for individuals valued up to $40 will be exempt from
duty and will not, as a rule, be opened by customs. On the export
side, certain consumer goods can now be exported, but these will
be subjected to duties of 300-600%. (Keith Bush)

EC PAYS UP. Some eleven months after the European Community decided
to grant credit guarantees to the USSR, it finally gave approval
for the extension of these guarantees for about $620 million
on November 11, Western agencies reported that day. The delay
was attributed to disagreement over the precise terms: the British
representative blamed it on "sheer inertia and bureaucracy."
(Keith Bush)

GAIDAR ON YELTSIN PROGRAM. In an interview with Pravda on November
11, reported by TASS that day, Egor Gaidar discussed the Yeltsin
reform program, of which he is the leading architect. He repeated
Yeltsin's assurances that prices and the market can be stabilized
within one year, but qualified the impression given in Yeltsin's
October 28 speech that virtually all prices can be freed overnight.
Before prices are liberalized, it is necessary to change the
tax system, limit wages, and provide for pensioners. All this
will take several months. The government will try to regulate
prices on bread, milk, and salt; regulation does not exclude
higher prices. (Keith Bush)

BURBULIS OPTIMISTIC. RSFSR First Deputy Prime Minister Gennadii
Burbulis told Novoe vremya on November 11 that the RSFSR has
already met the three conditions necessary for coping with the
problems it faces. First, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin has made
a firm commitment to reform. Second, real professionals have
been recruited into the new government. Third, the majority of
the population are psychologically prepared for the increased
hardship that reform will entail. Burbulis said the executive
powers of the presidency must be strengthened in order to neutralize
the resistance of the former Party bureaucracy, which remains
strong. (Alexander Rahr)

IVANENKO REDEFINES RSFSR KGB FUNCTIONS. The new Russian internal
security service, the Agency for Federal Security (AFS), will
no longer try to follow each and every foreign intelligence officer
since many of them are collecting information that is generally
available, and concentrate instead on those trying to get hold
of state secrets, the Chairman of the RSFSR KGB, Victor Ivanenko,
told Pravda on November 6. The main tasks of the AFS will be
to promote economic reform, especially in the foreign trade area,
and to monitor developments in transport and society. The last
task is delicate, Ivanenko admitted, saying his agency would
not engage in political surveillance but aim at forecasting and
at preventing developments such as ethnic conflicts. (Victor
Yasmann)

KOZYREV ON RUSSIA AND OTHER REPUBLICS IN NATO. RSFSR Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev has called for a political and military
union of states of the northern hemisphere and says Russia should
play a leading role in it. TASS on November 9 quoted Kozyrev
as saying NATO should offer partnership to the USSR but, even
before that, to Russia and the other former Soviet republics
which are now sovereign republics. (Alexander Rahr)

RUTSKOI MEETS WITH AFGHAN RESISTANCE. RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi held talks on November 11 with members of the Afghan
resistance in Moscow, TASS reported that day. Rutskoi, himself
a veteran of the war with Afghanistan, said "for our part, we
will take on all (possible) measures--and this is the standpoint
of Russian President Boris Yeltsin--to bring about peace in the
long-suffering land of Afghanistan." (Suzanne Crow)

YAKOVLEV ANALYSES SOVIET POWER. Dialog (No. 14, 1991) contains
the first installment of Aleksandr Yakovlev's analysis of the
mechanism of Soviet power. This is the first serious Soviet description
of the perestroika period. At one time, Yakovlev writes, power
at both local and national level was exercised by three major
interest groups: the Party apparatus, the enterprise managers,
and the repressive apparatus. After the collapse of Stalinism,
the Party found that, having renounced coercion, it had lost
a lot of its former control over enterprise managers. This is
why Article 6--proclaiming the Party's rule over the economy--was
added to the USSR Constitution. It was in the hopes of getting
even with the powerful, and often corrupt, enterprise managers
that the Party apparatus initially supported Gorbachev's reforms,
Yakovlev says. (Julia Wishnevsky)


OTHER REPUBLICS

UKRAINE HEADED FOR MILITARY AGREEMENT WITH KREMLIN? Ukraine appears
to be making progress in negotiations with Moscow on the future
of the armed forces. The Christian Science Monitor on November
8 quoted Ukrainian Minister of Defense Konstantin Morozov as
saying he and his USSR counterpart, Yevgenii Shaposhnikov, had
agreed "in principle" to have groups of experts work out a bilateral
agreement that would clear the way for Ukraine's planned armed
forces. The agreement could include the "resubordination" of
a portion of Soviet troops based in the republic to the Ukrainian
Defense Ministry. Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid Kravchuk said
on November 8 that Ukraine will sign a military accord with the
Kremlin. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINE TO RESTRICT TRADE WITH OTHER REPUBLICS. In what may be
a precursor of events in other republics, the Ukrainian Cabinet
of Ministers issued a decree on November 11 that will restrict
Ukrainian trade relations with the rest of the former USSR in
1992, TASS reported the same day. The decree instructs the Ukrainian
Ministry of Economics to present a list of goods and services
for which trade (imports as well as exports) will be managed
on a quota and license system. The Ukrainian Ministry for Foreign
Economic Relations is instructed to determine the licensing processes,
and to inform foreign economic departments in other republics
of proper licensing procedures. Ukrainian trade contracts that
violate these regulations will not be honored and will be considered
illegal. (John Tedstrom)

TER-PETROYSAN TO BEGIN US VISIT. Levon Ter-Petrosyan will arrive
in Washington today, November 12, for the start of an official
visit during which he is expected to seek diplomatic recognition
of Armenia's independence and American support for Armenian membership
in the United Nations. He will meet with President George Bush
and members of Congress. Ter-Petrosyan on November 11 was sworn
in as Armenian president. (Kathy Mihalisko)

GEORGIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE ON CAUCASIAN PEOPLES CONGRESS.
The press service of the Georgian president issued a statement
November 11 saying that the inclusion of Abkhazia and South Ossetia
in the Confederative Union of the Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus,
proclaimed by the recent third congress of the mountains peoples
of the Caucasus, was a violation of international law and the
Georgian constitution, TASS reported on November 11. The statement
also noted that anti-Russian and anti-Georgian tendencies and
a desire to revive Islamic extremism were evident in many of
the pronouncements at the congress. (Ann Sheehy)

NAZARBAEV SAYS CHEVRON DEAL TO BE SIGNED SOON. On a November
11 visit to the Tengiz oil and gas deposits in Gurev Oblast as
part of his campaign tour for the Kazakh presidency, Kazakh President
Nursultan Nazarbaev said that the contract with Chevron to exploit
the deposits would be signed in the near future, KazTAG-TASS
reported November11. (Ann Sheehy)

UZBEKISTAN TO RETAIN PROPISKA FOR TIME BEING? The Committee for
Constitutional Oversight of Uzbekistan has come to the conclusion
that until a political agreement is reached on the fate of the
USSR and the form of a future state structure, it would be premature
to abolish the propiska system, Radio Moscow reported on November
11. The comparable all-Union body recently recommended that the
system be abandoned as contrary to international law. (Ann Sheehy)


MOVEMENT FOR KARAKALPAKISTAN INDEPENDENCE REGISTERED. An inter-ethnic
movement "Khalyk-mali," whose aim is to turn Karakalpakistan
into an "independent sovereign state," has been registered in
the former autonomous republic, "Vesti" reported on November11.
(Ann Sheehy)

TURKEY BEGINS ELECTRICITY SUPPLIES TO GEORGIA. As of November
11 Turkey began supplying electricity to the Adzharskaya autonomous
region of Georgia, TASS reported the same day. Over the course
of the coming winter months, this region--in southern Georgia--should
receive about 250 million kilowatt hours of electricity. It is
not clear what Turkey is getting in return, though this seems
to be a deal between Turkey and Georgia as opposed to Turkey
and the Center. This could be a sign that one of the obstacles
to republican independence, namely energy dependence, is not
totally insurmountable. (John Tedstrom)

CALL FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST AZERBAIJAN. At a press conference
in Moscow on November 11, according to AFP, Armenian Foreign Minister
Raffi Oganesian called on the Soviet republics to impose political
and economic sanctions on Azerbaijan for refusing to restore
gas supplies to Armenia. Armenian representatives have denied
Soviet news reports (see Daily Report, November11) that their
republic had reached an agreement with Azerbaijan to create a
buffer zone along their border, TASS said on November11. Also,
Armenia denies that Azerbaijan has agreed to end its gas blockade.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

SURVEY ON MILITARY SERVICE IN MOLDAVIA. According to a poll of
over 12,000 draft-age Moldavian youth, some 7,000 intend to serve
in the ranks of the USSR armed forces, and 60% of those are willing
to serve anywhere in the USSR. Almost 5,600 of those surveyed
reportedly would rather pursue alternative military service.
The figures were provided by Major General Viktor Nazarov, the
Military Commissar of Moldavia, according to a November 11 TASS
report, which did not indicate which agency conducted the survey.
Nazarov also noted growing rates of desertion among those young
men drafted to other parts of the USSR, but said that investigations
into related claims of brutality usually proved groundless. (Stephen
Foye)


BALTIC STATES


REAL NEGOTIATIONS SET. At their latest meeting on November 10,
Soviet and Estonian negotiators agreed in writing on a protocol
to govern disengagement talks, BNS reported the next day. The
two sides issued a joint communique in which they outlined four
issue areas under discussion: state borders; humanitarian-legal
questions (read "citizenship issues"); protection of citizens'
social rights; and troop withdrawals and property disputes. Negotiators
indicate that the toughest issue to resolve will involve disputed
territories. The full delegations will meet for the formal start
of substantive talks in the beginning of December. (Riina Kionka)


CONSCRIPTION BEGINS IN ESTONIA. Registration into Estonia's national
defense forces began on November 11, according to BNS. Newly-formed
military commissions have sent draft notices to the homes of
eligible young men, who are supposed to register with the commissions.
After a physical examination, the draftees will attend a training
course in Remnik, from which they will be assigned to serve with
a given unit. There are no laws on the books yet governing draft
evaders in Estonia. According to Acting Director of the Estonian
Defense Forces Ants Laaneots, Estonia will probably institute
a system similar to Lithuania's in which draft evaders are fined
500 rubles. (Riina Kionka)

MERI AT NATO. Estonia's Foreign Minister Lennart Meri will visit
NATO headquarters in Brussels today (November 12), according
to Western agencies. Meri will have talks with NATO Secretary-General
Manfred Woerner, and meet member states' permanent representatives
to the organization. Last week, NATO called on Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania to participate in increased cooperation between
Eastern Europe and NATO. (Riina Kionka)

ARMY COUNCIL SAYS TROOPS SHOULD STAY IN BALTIC. A council claiming
to represent Soviet troops stationed in the Baltic on November
9 appealed to the political leaderships of the Baltic states,
the RSFSR, and the USSR, in an effort to avoid redeployment out
of the region. As reported by Radio Moscow, the appeal said living
quarters outside the Baltic remained inadequate, and demanded
that all decisions on redeployments be cleared with the council.
The appeal appears to contradict statements made by military
leaders in the Baltic prior to the August coup that alleged that
soldiers faced inhospitable living conditions in the region.
(Stephen Foye)

G-24 WELCOMES BALTIC STATES, ALBANIA. On November 11 the Baltic
States and Albania were welcomed as the newest East European
nations eligible for aid from the G-24 group of industrialized
countries. According to Frans Andriessen, EC External Relations
Commissioner, the group can help the Baltic States diversify
their economies, reduce dependance and play a role in the international
economy, reported Western agencies that day. The G-24 also provides
direct aid to Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and
Romania. (Dzintra Bungs)

SAMARANCH INVITES BALTIC STATES TO OLYMPICS. Following a vote
by the International Olympic Committee members to admit Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania to next year's summer and winter games,
IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch on November 11 sent invitations
to the Baltic states to participate in the games. The IOC Executive
Board already recognized the Baltic national Olympics committees
in September in Berlin, shortly after the USSR recognized Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania as independent countries, according to
Western agency reports of November 11. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIANS CALM OVER PRICE HIKES. The reaction in Lithuania
was generally calm to the increase in prices for basic foodstuffs
on November 11 that came about as a result of the government's
decision gradually to lift price controls, Western agencies reported
that day. Many Lithuanians said they felt that the price increases
were necessary to reduce state subsidies and institute a market
economy. Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius indicated that on
November 15 price controls would be lifted on more goods. (Dzintra
Bungs)

SAS TO VILNIUS. Scandinavian airline SAS announced in Copenhagen
on November 11 that it plans to open a twice-weekly Copenhagen-Vilnius
route on January 21, 1991. The new route, operated within the
framework of the European Quality Alliance Network (consisting
of SAS, SwissAir, and Austrian Airlines), means that SAS will
be present in all three Baltic states, Western agencies reported
on November11. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA SEEKING GRAIN, ELECTRICAL ENERGY, AND GASOLINE. According
to various dispatches from Diena of November 11, Latvia needs
about one million tons of grain this winter on top of the 100,000
tons promised by the United States; it is not clear where this
grain will come from. Gasoline is also difficult to obtain for
the ordinary consumer, even for free market prices; no solution
to the problem appears to be in sight. Furthermore, Estonia has
announced that in 1992 it will provide only 40% of the electricity
that it had provided Latvia in 1990; Latvia produces only 50%
of the electrical energy it needs. (Dzintra Bungs)


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

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