We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 100, 25 November 1991





USSR--ALL UNION AND RSFSR



SEVEN REPUBLICS TO INITIAL UNION TREATY? Leaders of several of
the Soviet republics are expected to put the final touches to
and initial the new Union treaty at a meeting of the State Council
on November 25, Radio Mayak and Western agencies reported on
November 24. At the last meeting of the State Council seven republics--the
RSFSR, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
and Turkmenistan--reached broad agreement on the text, though
there could still be hitches. The State Council is also due to
discuss the 26 agreements that form part of the Economic Community
Treaty signed by ten republics. After a meeting of the Council
of the Heads of Government of the Member-States of the Economic
Community on November 21, Grigorii Yavlinsky said that agreement
remained to be reached on such vital matters as the defense budget,
limiting the budget deficit, and an agreed prices policy. He
warned that there would be chaos if the agreements were not initialled
in the next two or three days, TASS reported on November 22.
(Ann Sheehy)

SILAEV ON G-7 AND EXTERNAL DEBT MEMORANDUM. In an interview on
Central Television on November 22, Ivan Silaev, chairman of the
Interstate Economic Committee, said the negotiations with the
G-7 countries on the Soviet Union's foreign debt had been very
difficult and "even to some extent humiliating," but he did not
understand the position of those republics that had not signed.
Silaev warned that if the RSFSR paid their share of the debt
the republics that haven't signed would receive no credits from
abroad and would have to turn to the RSFSR, which would be able
to dictate its terms. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER CRITICIZES G-7 DEBT ACCORD. Ukrainian
prime minister Vitold Fokin has reiterated that Ukraine is ready
to pay its share of the Soviet debt but has protested against
the way in which it is being pressured by both Moscow and representatives
of the Group of Seven Industrialized Nations (G-7) to do so.
Fokin told a press briefing in Kiev on November 23 that Ukraine
first wanted to know precisely how large the Soviet debt is and
for ways to be worked out of dividing the debt along with Soviet
assets. He said that the deal on an aid package that had been
worked out by G-7 deputy finance ministers in Moscow last week
amounted to "gross interference" in the domestic affairs of the
republics. "From what we have been told," Fokin explained, "it
follows that Ukraine would have to become an accessory if not
of the [Soviet] Union, then of Russia, which we cannot agree
to do." He added that Ukraine reserved the right to negotiate
separately with foreign creditors and criticized "the leadership
of the former Union" for "holding furtive talks with the West,
which will do significant damage to the former Soviet republics."
(Bohdan Nahaylo)

RSFSR PARLIAMENT TAKES OVER SOVIET BANKS. The Russian parliament
voted to assume control of the Soviet State Bank (Gosbank) and
the Soviet Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs (Vneshekonombank)
as of January 1, TASS and Western Agencies reported on November
22. The resolution stipulated that the Central Bank of Russia
is the only body on Russian territory responsible for monetary,
credit, and currency policy and will be solely responsible for
issuing currency until the creation of an interrepublican banking
union. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet resolution was passed after deputies
rejected Yeltsin's earlier decree which placed the banking system
under presidential control. (Carla Thorson)

YELTSIN APPEALS TO GERMAN BUSINESSMEN. RSFSR President Boris
Yeltsin appealed to German businessmen and industrialists to
get involved in the Russian economy, Western agencies reported
on November 22. Yeltsin said that tax and other incentives now
existed for foreign investments, particularly in the areas of
food and consumer goods production. He said the times demand
a comprehensive accord on economic cooperation between Russia
and Germany. Yeltsin also suggested the formation of Russian-German
joint ventures on former Soviet military bases in East Germany.
(Carla Thorson)

GORBACHEV HITS DEFENSE COMPLEX. In what appeared to be a stinging
rebuke to the Soviet military industrial complex, Gorbachev told
workers at the Irkutsk aircraft plant on November 22 that there
is a stranglehold on the economy "exerted by the military octopus's
deadly tentacles, sucking the blood" of society. "For fear of
the military threat," he said, "we used to take the shirt off
our own back to strengthen the country's defense might." He charged
that the defense sector not only "fleeced" the civilian economy,
but ultimately the officer corps itself. His remarks were reported
by Rabochaya tribuna on November 23. (Stephen Foye)

PANKIN HAD LITTLE WARNING. In an interview with the Swedish daily
Dagens Myheter (November 24), former Foreign Minister Boris Pankin
said Gorbachev told him of the decision to reappoint Eduard Shevardnadze
as foreign minister on the same day the decision was announced
to the press, Western agencies reported November 24. (Suzanne
Crow)

NO AGREEMENT ON WITHDRAWAL FROMCUBA. "A very open exchange of
opinions" took place during talks between the Soviet Union and
Cuba on the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the island, an unnamed
Soviet embassy spokesman in Havana said on November 22. Talks
spanned 8 days and yielded a protocol "which expresses the wishes
of both sides," the official said. A third round of talks will
be held "soon," but no date was announced, Western agencies reported.
(Suzanne Crow)

PRAVDA: QADDAFI'S VIEW OF COUP. On November 18, Pravda printed
a long interview with Muamar Qaddafi together with the full text
of the salutation sent by the Libyan dictator on August19 to
the State of Emergency Committee. In Qaddafi's estimation, the
coup was a "brave historic act" aimed at leading the USSR out
of mortal crises. Qaddafi said that when he wrote the greeting,
he was sure that the coup had been organized by Gorbachev himself--thus
adding fuel to a conspiracy theory shared by many of Gorbachev's
opponents on both ends of the political spectrum and frequently
popularized on the pages of Pravda. (Julia Wishnevsky)

SHAPOSHNIKOV RESCINDS APPOINTMENTS. TASS reported on November
22 that Defense Minister Evgenii Shaposhnikov has reversed his
orders of November 18 that named assistants (for personnel matters)
to the commanders in chief of various service branches of the
Soviet armed forces. Also rescinded was his order appointing
Colonel General Gennadii Stefanovskii as chairman of the USSR
Defense Ministry's Committee on Personnel Work. The orders were
rejected, according to the report, by the Defense Ministry commission
overseeing restructuring of the military's political organs in
what was described as a stormy meeting on November 21. (Stephen
Foye)

FEW ACCEPT SOVIET MILITARY AMNESTY. Soviet Defense Ministry spokesman
Valerii Manilov told reporters on November 22 that few people
have accepted the official amnesty offer for draft dodgers and
deserters, TASS reported. Manilov said that only 200 of the estimated
6,000 deserters have so far turned themselves in to local enlistment
offices. The amnesty will expire on December 4. (Carla Thorson
and Steven Foye)

NISHANOV ON HIS NEW APPOINTMENT. Rafik Nishanov, formerly chairman
of the USSR Supreme Soviet's Council of Nationalities, told Argumenty
i fakty that Gorbachev had appointed him his adviser to deal
with interethnic problems, TASS reported on November 22. Nishanov
said he would be giving priority to interethnic conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh,
South Ossetia, and the Dniester area of Moldavia, the problem
of refugees, and completing the rehabilitation of the illegally
repressed peoples. (Ann Sheehy)

ABOLITION OF SOVIET MINISTRIES TO BEGIN DECEMBER 1. Prime Minister
Ivan Silaev said he would start abolishing USSR ministries on
December 1, TASS reported on November 22. He indicated that a
total of 80 ministries and departments would be abolished between
December1 and the end of January, but the cuts would not affect
the foreign, defense and interior ministries. The ministries
of culture, railways, and of the atomic energy and power industry
will also be preserved along with the USSR customs service, committee
for public education and the committee on ecological safety.
(Carla Thorson)

GERMAN DELEGATION TO MOSCOW ON VOLGA REPUBLIC. A German government
delegation is due to leave for Moscow on November 25 to discuss
the prospects for recreating German autonomy, RFE/RL's correspondent
in Bonn reported on November 25. The Germans have been offered
two areas. One is relatively uninhabited territory where the
Volga German republic existed until 1941, and the other the Kapustin
yar missile testing site on the RSFSR border with Kazakhstan.
Heinrich Groth, chairman of the Soviet German "Rebirth" association
said that the Kapustin yar site is an ecological disaster area.
(Michael Wall/Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIAN-CHECHEN TALKS IN TARTU? Chechen President Dzhakhar Dudaev
told Baltfax in an exclusive interview on November 23 that Tartu
might be the site for talks between the RSFSR and Dudaev. Dudaev
said he had rejected St.Petersburg as he did not want the talks
to be on Russian soil. Dudaev commanded a strategic bomber unit
outside Tartu before he resigned to lead the Chechen national
movement. The imam-hatib of the Moscow Cathedral mosque and chairman
of the capital's Islamic Center, Ravil Gainutdin, told a press
conference in Moscow on November 22 that Dudaev was not intending
to turn Moscow into a disaster area, TASS reported on November
22. Gainutdin met Dudaev when he attended a three-day conference
on "The Rebirth of Islam in the North Caucasus" at the invitation
of the Muslim Religious Board of the Chechen republic. (Ann Sheehy)


REPRESENTATIVES OF "ISLAMIC PATH" PARTY SEEKING ARMS. According
to "informed" sources, a member of the leadership of the "Islamic
Path" party, the Chechen A. Shishani, was in Hungary from November
15-18 seeking contacts with arms traders, TASS reported on November
23. He was said to be particularly interested in portable anti-tank
and anti-aircraft weapons. According to the same sources, Shishani
said that the aim of the party was the restoration of Islamic
values in the Caucasian republics and the development of a holy
war. The party already had about 30,000 fighters and wanted to
buy up to 50,000 firearms this year. The "Islamic Path" party
supports Dudaev's All-National Congress of the Chechen People.
(Ann Sheehy)

FOOD SHIPMENTS TO ST. PETERSBURG CUT. St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii
Sobchak said that the Baltic states and Ukraine have virtually
halted food shipments to the city. According to the Japanese
news agency Kyodo, Sobchak told a delegation of Japanese businessmen
on November23 that St. Petersburg had only enough food stocks
for a few days. Sobchak had already announced on November 20
that food rationing would be introduced in the city on December
15 in response to the shortages. (Carla Thorson)



USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



ARMENIA VS. AZERBAIJAN. Hundreds of thousands of people
attended funerals in Baku on November 22 for those killed in
the November 20 helicopter crash in the NKAO. Azerbaijani President
Ayaz Mutalibov declared that "things have gone too far" and that
"aggression against Azerbaijan will be stopped." The Armenian
government called for an international investigation into the
causes of the crash. Preliminary Azerbaijani Procuracy findings
claimed that the helicopter was shot down; other Soviet officials
said on November 23 that the cause of the crash had not been
established, that the confiscation of material from the crash
site by the Azerbaijani procuracy was hindering the investigation,
and that the crash could have been caused by overloading. Azerbaijan
and Armenia broke off negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh on November
23. In a TASS appeal on November 23, Soviet Foreign Minister
Eduard Shevardnadze called on both sides to show restraint. Further
demonstrations in Baku on November 24 called for retaliation
against Armenia and Mutalibov's resignation. (Liz Fuller)

KRAVCHUK SAYS DEFINITELY NO TO JOINING NEW UNION. With Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev once again endeavoring to persuade
as many of the former Soviet republics as he can to sign a new
Union treaty, the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid Kravchuk,
who is also a leading contender for the presidency of Ukraine,
has reiterated that Ukraine does not intend to join the new Union.
"I will not take part in the Novo Ogarevo process, that is talks
on signing a new Union treaty," he declared at the weekend while
campaigning in the Ukrainian presidential election, which will
be held on December 1. According to Interfax and Western agencies,
Kravchuk stressed that: "All allegations that I intend to join
the treaty later are nothing but fiction." (Bohdan Nahaylo)

KRAVCHUK ALSO DISAVOWS SOVIET ECONOMIC TREATY. Kravchuk also
declared that the new treaty establishing a Soviet economic community
is stillborn. It was signed with reservations two weeks ago by
Ukraine's prime minister Vitold Fokin and has to be ratified
by the Ukrainian parliament. According to The Los Angeles Times
of November 23, Kravchuk told a meeting in Kiev on that day to
commemorate the 125th anniversary of the birth of the eminent
historian and president of the shortlived independent Ukrainian
People's Republic Mykhailo Hrushevsky that "the economic treaty
is already dead." Kravchuk argued that Russian president Boris
Yeltsin had torpedoed the economic accord by enacting a program
of sweeping reforms without first consulting other republics,
as the treaty requires. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

YELTSIN SEES UKRAINE AS CAUSING THE PROBLEMS. During his visit
to Germany last week, Russian President Boris Yeltsin told his
German hosts that Ukraine's problematic attitude toward economic
cooperation could cause problems for both Russia and Germany.
After meeting with German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher
on November 22, Yeltsin told reporters that "we discussed the
problems of Ukraine which now, of course, could be complex for
us, for the country and for Germany." It will be recalled, however,
that as recently as November 6, Yeltsin and Leonid Kravchuk signed
an agreement on Russo-Ukrainian economic cooperation as well
as a bilateral accord on trade and economic relations for 1992.(Bohdan
Nahaylo)

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT CLEARS WAY FOR REFERENDUM ON SECESSION FROM
UKRAINE. As expected, the Supreme Soviet of the Crimean Autonomous
Republic voted on November 22 to adopt a local referendum law
that paves the way for the peninsula's possible secession from
Ukraine (See Daily Report of November 22). Ethnic Russians make
up 67% of Crimea's population. Since Ukraine asserted its sovereignty
and later also declared its independence, a strong movement,
backed by the republic's former communist apparatus, has pushed
for secession from Ukraine. It has been opposed by local democratic
forces which encompass mainly Ukrainian Rukh supporters and Crimean
Tatars. The chairman of the Crimean parliament, Nikolai Bagrov,
told reporters after the vote that the question of Crimea's secession
would only be raised if Ukraine does not remain part of the Union.
(Bohdan Nahaylo)

TAJIKISTAN HOLDS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Reports from Dushanbe
say that preliminary results of the presidential elections in
Tajikistan on November 24 are expected some time on November
25. TASS reports indicated that about 81% of the electorate voted.
There were seven candidates. Pre-election polls suggested that
Rakhmon Nabiev, first secretary of the republic's Communist party
from 1982 to 1985, would win. His chief rival was Davlat Khudonazarov,
a liberal who campaigned on an anti-Communist platform. The voting
was monitored by independent observers from abroad and other
republics of the former Soviet Union. (Ann Sheehy)

GORBACHEV IN KYRGYZSTAN. During his visit to the Kyrgyz capital
Bishkek on November 23, Gorbachev visited a number of institutions
and addressed a public meeting. In his remarks he reiterated
the need to continue perestroika and preserve the Union. Interviewed
by Central Television's correspondent before his departure, Gorbachev
said that he liked the way the Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev had
brought people together and removed the tension that threatened
to split the republican Supreme Soviet and society. He said that
the Kyrgyz leadership was trying to get the best out of the presence
of one million Russians and representatives of other nationalities
in the republic. (Ann Sheehy)

NEW ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER APPOINTED. The 43-year old economist
and former Armenian CP Central Committee Department head Gagik
Garushevich Arutyunyan has been appointed Armenian Prime Minister,
TASS reported on November 23. Arutyunyan was appointed deputy
chairman of the Armenian Supreme Soviet in August, 1990, and
Armenian deputy president last month. (Liz Fuller)

GEORGIA, IRAN AGREE TO OPEN CONSULATES. Georgia and Iran have
agreed to open consulates in Tbilisi and Teheran, TASS reported
on November 22. The date for the opening of the consulates was
not specified. (Liz Fuller)

MOLDAVIANS DON'T WANT REUNIFICATION, DELEGATION TELLS BUCHAREST.
A Moldavian delegation, headed by an adviser to President Mircea
Snegur and by a former Popular Front leader, told a press conference
in Bucharest that "unification with Romania could end up in an
explosion of discontent by hundreds of thousands of people and
would be a real disaster for our republic," TASS reported on
November 23. Eighty percent of the people oppose reunification,
mainly on economic grounds, they said. The delegates decried
the Romanian media's "one-sided and subjective" endorsement of
the Moldavian Popular Front's campaign against Snegur who champions
independent statehood for Moldavia. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIA INVALIDATES "GAGAUZ SSR" VOTING. The Moldavian Parliament's
Presidium resolved on November 21 to declare unlawful the self-styled
Gagauz SSR Supreme Soviet's decisions to hold on December 1 a
Gagauz presidential election and a referendum on secession from
Moldavia. Rejecting "any attempt to dismember the republic,"
the Moldavian Presidium termed the Gagauz decisions "immature
games, lacking any legal basis, and indulged in by politically
short-sighted leaders," Moldovapres reported on November 21.
(Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES


GOVERNMENT TAKES STAND ON CITIZENSHIP. The government of Estonia
has come out in favor of a strict reading of the 1938 citizenship
law. As reported in BNS on November 22, the government has announced
its intention to "apply to the fullest extent" the 1938 law,
which foresees 3years of minimum residence and knowledge of Estonian
as prerequisites for naturalization. In its statement, the government
appealed to all political parties and movements to submit suggestions
within one week on how certain details of the law should be applied.
The government move comes after an opinion poll showed overwhelming
support among the population for a strict reading of the law.
(Riina Kionka)

STATE ACCEPTS ID CARDS. The Presidium of Estonia's Supreme Council
voted on November 21 to adopt Congress of Estonia identity cards
as proof of citizenship, according to an RFE Estonian Service
interview broadcast the next day. In its compromise decision,
the presidium voted to accept the ID cards but to instruct the
government to provide slips with additional information which
will then be tucked inside the cards. The decision resolves a
longtime controversy that arose because the Congress wanted to
use its own ID cards for reasons of symbolism and cost-cutting,
whereas the Supreme Council preferred adopting a different means
of proof that would not be linked to the politically more conservative
Congress movement. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA HAS EMERGENCY FUEL ARRANGEMENT. An Estonian government
official says unnamed foreign countries have agreed to provide
fuel to Estonia in case of serious shortages this winter, Western
agencies reported on November 22. Ardo Kamratov, Director General
of the Finance Ministry's Department of State Property, told
reporters that the agreement would provide for uninterrupted
supplies of fuel regardless of whether a crisis erupts. Kamratov
declined to name the guarantor countries. (Riina Kionka)

LITHUANIA ESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC LINKS WITH NATO. On November
22, NATO issued a statement announcing the establishment of diplomatic
links with Lithuania, Western agencies reported that day. The
statement noted that Lithuania's Ambassador to the European Community,
Adolfas Venckus, would be responsible for establishing the new
links. On November 12, Estonian Foreign Minister Lennart Meri
visited NATO headquarters in Brussels and agreed to set up diplomatic
links with NATO. The third Baltic state, Latvia, is expected
to establish similar links soon. (Saulius Girnius)

CEPAITIS ADMITS TIES WITH KGB. On November 23, a meeting of the
Lithuanian Independence Party approved the recommendations of
its Control and Credentials Commission to discharge the party's
chairman Virgilijus Cepaitis for having cooperated with the KGB,
the RFE Lithuanian Service reported on November 24. Cepaitis
told the commission on November 15 that the reports in the Lithuanian
press about his working for the KGB under the code name "Juozas"
were true, but stressed that he had never signed a statement
agreeing to be a KGB agent. The party plans to call a conference
before January 1, 1992 and elect a new leadership. There is a
strong possibility that the Lithuanian parliament may decide
to ask Cepaitis to resign his seat in the parliament. (Saulius
Girnius)

SHEVARDNADZE MEETS PRUNSKIENE. On November 23 USSR Foreign Minister
Eduard Shevardnadze met former Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimiera
Prunskiene and exchanged opinions on the future of the development
of democratic processes, TASS reported that day. Shevardnadze
had been appointed the head of the Soviet delegation for negotiations
with Lithuania, but it is likely that a new head will be appointed
since Shevardnadze has returned as foreign minister. (Saulius
Girnius)

RUSSIA PROMISES TO RESUME ENERGY SUPPLIES TO LATVIA. Latvian
Deputy Minister of Economy Andris Gutmanis told the press upon
his return from Moscow on November 15 that RSFSR government officials
had promised to resume supplying energy resources to Latvia.
He said that "if Russia does not keep its promise, the Latvian
government will take countermeasures that may sharply affect
Russia's economy," reported BNS on November 22. Since the end
of October, Russia has cut back on the supply of petroleum products
to Latvia, which still has oil reserves for only 20 days and
diesel fuel only for a few days. (Dzintra Bungs)



LATVIAN-BELORUSSIAN ECONOMIC ACCORD. On November 21, Latvian
and Belorussian officials signed a trade agreement. Belorussia
will supply Latvia with gasoline, fuel oil and petroleum products,
as well as tires and some manufactured goods, according to a
BNS dispatch of November 22. The supply of energy products to
Latvia would start after Belorussia and Russia coordinate their
policies; an accord is expected to be signed before December
20. (Dzintra Bungs)




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