If there is technological advance without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery. - Michael Harrington
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 2, 03 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

FIRST DAY OF FREE PRICES. The main image conveyed by the Soviet
and Western media of stores on the first day of free prices was
that of still empty shelves. The reasons adduced included the
fact that no reserves had been built up, stores were closed for
stock-taking, clerks had not finished marking up prices, the
bulk of Western food aid had not yet arrived, the wholesale network
had not operated over the holiday period, store managers were
awaiting instructions, and, most ominously, the mafia were keeping
back supplies in an attempt to drive prices even higher. (Keith
Bush)

MORE STATES FREE PRICES. According to Western and Soviet media
reports, most retail prices were deregulated in Russia and Ukraine
on January 2. The prices of staple foodstuffs and services were
raised, yet remained controlled, in Belarus and Moldova. Turkmenistan
is now scheduled to free prices on January 6, Uzbekistan will
liberalize prices "any day" and will introduce coupons, and the
Armenian Supreme Soviet is to meet today to debate the issue.
The New York Times of January 3 expects other Central Asian states
to follow suit next week. (Keith Bush)

LATEST ESTIMATE OF POVERTY LEVEL. According to the latest issue
of Moskovksie novosti, as reported by Radio Rossii on January
2, independent experts have calculated that the price of the
minimum consumer basket will rise to 1,070 rubles a head per
month after the liberalization of prices. Of this, 600 rubles
will be needed for the purchase of foodstuffs. (Keith Bush)

UKRAINE TAKES CONTROL OF ARMED FORCES ON ITS TERRITORY. Following
the agreement reached at the CIS summit in Minsk, on January
3 Ukraine took over control of all troops stationed on its territory,
with the exception of strategic nuclear forces. A Ukrainian defense
ministry spokesman told Ukrinform on January 2 that servicemen
would now be taking an oath of allegiance to Ukraine; those who
do not wish to will be able to go to another CIS state to continue
their service or transfer to the reserves. He also stressed that
the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense does not regard the Black Sea
Fleet as part of the strategic nuclear forces. (Bohdan Nahaylo)


SHAPOSHNIKOV TO BELARUS. CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov
arrived in Minsk on January 2 to begin talks with Belarussian
political leaders and with the command staff of the Belarussian
Military District, TASS and Interfax reported. The visit to Minsk
is apparently only the first stop for Shaposhnikov, who in the
coming two months is expected to visit the capitals of the other
CIS member states for similar consultations. He heads a working
group charged with drafting a security plan for the CIS. (Stephen
Foye)

PYANKOV TO KIEV. Meanwhile, Colonel General Boris Pyankov arrived
in Kiev on January 2 to continue negotiations with the Ukrainians
on the transfer of former Soviet armed forces to Ukrainian jurisdiction.
Interfax reported on January 2 that one point of contention between
Russia and Ukraine may involve future control over two aircraft
carriers, or "aircraft-carrying cruisers" as they are called
in the report-the Varyag and Ulyanovsk-currently under construction
in the Ukrainian port of Nikolaev. (Stephen Foye)

DEFENSE MINISTRY "COMMERCIAL CENTER." TASS reported on January
2 that a package of legal documents regulating the activities
of a newly-created Commercial Center, attached to the former
USSR Defense Ministry, has been completed and submitted for approval
to Shaposhnikov and the Russian Federation. As reported by Krasnaya
zvezda on December 7, the center is headed by Colonel General
Vladislav Litvinov, and is tasked with overseeing sales and transfers
of military property and equipment within the CIS and overseas.
Monies earned by the center will reportedly be used to finance
facilities and social programs for servicemen. (Stephen Foye)


GENERAL VOLKOGONOV WAS IN CHARGE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE. Colonel
General Dmitrii Volkogonov told Russian TV on Decem-ber 31 that
until 1989 he was the head of the Psychological Warfare Administration
of the former Main Political Administration of the Soviet Army.
Volkogonov, who is the author of best-selling books on Joseph
Stalin and Leon Trotsky, also said that, through this position
he revised his political views, and he now considers himself
a member of the democratic camp. Volkogonov stressed that as
chairman of the Russian Federation committee charged with monitoring
the transmission of Party and KGB archives to the Russian State
Archive Administration, he sees it as his duty to protect from
destruction documents concerning the foreign and internal policy
of the Soviet state. (Victor Yasmann)

RUTSKOI ATTACKS BURBULIS. Russian Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi
accused Russian First Deputy Premier Gennadii Burbulis of pursuing
aims that are contrary to the interests of the country. He said
in an interview with Paris Match on January 2 that Yeltsin would
be wrong to place too much trust in Burbulis and his team, since,
he claimed, they were interested only in power. Rutskoi emphasized
that Russia needs a strong executive, controlled by a strong
demo-cratic opposition. In his opinion, the Democratic Reform
Movement could become such an opposition. (Alexander Rahr)

SHEVARDNADZE PROPOSES GORBACHEV JOIN DEMOCRATIC REFORM MOVEMENT.
Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze has suggested
that Ex-President Mikhail Gorbachev join the Democratic Reform
Movement, set up by him, Aleksandr Yakovlev, and other former
Gorbachev associates in the summer of 1991. Shevardnadze told
Corriere della sera on December 30 that, although Russian President
Boris Yeltsin today advocates democracy, one should not "construct
a social system based on the qualities or flaws of men who are
currently in power." Shevardnadze added that presidents can change.
(Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO REVIEW YELTSIN DECREE. The Russian
Constitutional Court has scheduled an open hearing on January
14 to examine the Russian presidential decree merging the ministries
of security and internal affairs, Radio Moscow reported on January
2. Yeltsin's decree has been widely criticized, and the Russian
parliament has urged Yeltsin to repeal it. According to Interfax,
five parliamentary committees have appealed to the Constitutional
Court to check the decree's compliance with the Russian Constitution.
This will be the first case the Constitutional Court will hear
since the judges were appointed last October. (Carla Thorson)


KOZYREV: "NOT POOR RELATIONS." Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev asserted in an article in Izvestia on January 1 that
Russia is a natural partner of developed countries, especially
the United States. While asserting that "we are not enemies,"
Kozyrev warned that, "we are not poor relations prepared to follow
the orders of a rich and preaching West." Kozyrev also deplored
the fact that humanitarian aid to the Soviet Union had been improperly
distributed in the past and pledged that this practice would
not continue. (Suzanne Crow)

GEORGIAN OPPOSITION DECLARES GAMSAKHURDIA DEPOSED. Opposition
parties in Georgia declared in a local television announce-ment
on January 2 that they had formed a military council that has
taken power from Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia; Gamsakhurdia
told Western journalists that day that he would not negotiate.
The military council restored Tengiz Sigua to the post of prime
minister and named Giorgi Karkarashvili as military commander.
It also imposed a state of emergency and a curfew in Tbilisi.
Gamsakhurdia responded by calling for a campaign of civil disobedience.
His official representative in London called on the Russian government
to support Gamsakhurdia. (Liz Fuller)

PRESIDENTIAL RULE IMPOSED ON NAGORNO-KARABAKH. TASS reported
on January 2 that Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov has issued
a decree imposing presidential rule on the NKAO capital of Stepanakert
and the neighboring Shusha raion "in order to coordinate measures
to enforce the security of the population and restore constitutional
order." At least 36 people have been killed in artillery attacks
in the NKAO over the past week. Interfax reported on January
2 that the chairman of the NKAO oblast soviet, Leonard Petrosyan,
had appealed to UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali to dispatch
UN troops to the oblast "in order to prevent the incipient genocide
of the Armenian population." (Liz Fuller)

IRANIAN DIPLOMATIC REPRESENTATION IN BAKU AND NAKHICHEVAN. Iran's
Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud Vaezi traveled on January 2 to
Baku where he is to open the new Iranian embassy (the former
Iranian consulate), IRNA reported on January 2. IRNA also quoted
Nakhichevan Prime Minister Beydzhan Farzaliev as stating before
his return home from an official visit to Tabriz that Iran would
also open a consulate in Nakhichevan and had offered economic
assistance. Vesti reported on January-2 that several hundred
demonstrators gathered on the Nakhichevan-Iranian frontier on
January 2 to mark the second anniversary of "the uprising against
communism," and quoted Iranian press reports that an agreement
has been reached on the abolition of frontier installations along
the border between Nakhichevan and Iran. (Liz Fuller)

TAJIKISTAN TRYING TO SELL URANIUM? Having taken control of the
uranium enrichment facility in northern Tajikistan in the wake
of the republic's declaration of independence, Tajik authorities
are reportedly considering selling enriched uranium abroad, Western
and Soviet agencies reported on January 2. Saudi Arabia, Iran,
Iraq, Turkey, and Pakistan have already indicated interest in
uranium purchases, unconfirmed reports said. A US State Department
spokesman told RFE/RL on January 2 that the US government is
investigating these reports. (Bess Brown)

IRANIAN-TURKMEN RELATIONS. The Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung,
quoting DPA, reported on December 31 that the State Bank of Iran
will open a branch in Ashkhabad. No date was given for the planned
opening. The same report, which quoted the vice governor of Khorasan
Province, added that the rail line that is to be built as one
of the first major cooperative ventures involving several Central
Asian republics is to connect with Khorasan. That province has
worked out a trade agreement with Turkmenistan. (Bess Brown)


BALTIC STATES



ESTONIAN PASSPORTS BY MARCH. By March the Estonian Foreign Ministry
will begin issuing passports to citizens and those eligible for
citizenship. Foreign Ministry official Indrek Kannik told Western
reporters on January 2 that the new passports will be valid for
five years but old Soviet documents will continue to be recognized
during an unspecified transition period. Residents of Latvia
and Lithuania will not need visas to visit Estonia, Kannik said,
but all other foreign visitors will have to get a valid visa
before entering the country. (Riina Kionka)

LITHUANIAN TV EXPANDS. Lithuanian Television began broadcast
of its new second channel on January 1, BNS reported the next
day. The new channel, which replaces Central Television, will
broadcast Lithuanian programs in the evenings. Central Television
programs will continue on the second channel during the day.
(Riina Kionka)

LATVIAN PRESENTS CREDENTIALS. Latvia's ambassador to Estonia,
Afna Zigure, will present his credentials to Estonian Supreme
Council Chairman Arnold Ruutel on January 3, according to ETA
that day. Zigure has already been accredited as Latvia's ambassador
to Finland. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIANS STILL GLUM. A new survey suggests that Estonians are
among the most pessimistic people in the world. According to
Gallup International's annual survey of New Year's expectations,
people living in Estonia are among the world's most pessimistic
four populations, following residents of Czechoslovakia and Hungary
and ahead of Russia. In all four the number of people not looking
forward to 1992 exceeds by more than 40 percentage points the
number who are. Probably not coincidentally, Hungary and Estonia
lead the world in the per capita number of suicides. This is
the first year that the Gallup organization, whose findings were
carried by Western agencies on January 1, has included individual
states of the former Soviet Union in its annual poll. (Riina
Kionka)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

NEW YUGOSLAV CEASE-FIRE AGREED UPON. UN mediator Cyrus Vance
concluded talks with federal and Croatian military representatives
on January 2 for a cease-fire to come into effect at 6:00 p.m.
local time on January 3. Fourteen previous cease-fire agreements
broke down, but Western media said Vance is optimistic because
this one is the most specific and detailed to date and because
he finds all sides more sincere than before. This time, moreover,
both parties agreed not to fire back if fired upon, and the federal
army pledged that Serbian irregulars will observe the truce.
The agreement calls for freedom of navigation on the Adriatic,
and military activity is banned in the air. The January 3 Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung says that the Serbs' biggest concession is
agreement that the army will quit Serbian enclaves in Croatia;
the Croats compromised by accepting the de facto loss of those
enclaves. (Patrick Moore)

CONFLICT ERUPTS OVER POLAND'S ARMED FORCES. Admiral Piotr Kolodziejczyk
remains President Lech Walesa's candidate for general inspector,
the highest military post in the Polish armed forces, Jerzy Milewski,
the presidential official responsible for security, told PAP
on January 2. The newly appointed civilian defense minister,
Jan Parys, had ordered Kolodziejczyk pensioned off on December
31, although the former defense minister had been widely expected
to assume the general inspector's post. Walesa proposed Kolodziejczyk's
candidacy at a National Security Council session in June 1991.
Parys did not consult the council (which Walesa chairs) before
acting, Milewski said. This clash may open a test of strength
between the president and the new government, as Walesa has ultimate
constitutional authority in matters of defense and security.
(Louisa Vinton)

FIRST-QUARTER BUDGET UNDER FIRE IN WARSAW. Prime Minister Jan
Olszewski met with the largest parliamentary caucuses on January
2 to defend the provisional first-quarter budget. The budget,
inherited from the outgoing government, slashes spending and
assumes a first-quarter deficit of nearly 18 trillion zloty ($1.5
billion) to cope with drastically reduced state revenues. The
new government has distanced itself from the budget, but planning
chief Jerzy Eysymontt admitted to PAP that "we can only solve
the problems we face by cutting expenditures. We cannot opt to
print money, because we will waste everything we have achieved."
Eysymontt's fiscal sobriety was not shared by many parliamentarians,
who condemned the budget and sought to bolster spending. Solidarity
deputies proposed a wealth tax. The Sejm is to discuss the budget
on January-3. (Louisa Vinton)

SOVIET AIRFIELDS-AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER. Soviet forces' use of
two airfields at Stara Kopernia and Szprotawa has caused 2 trillion
zloty ($175 million) in environmental damage, an official in
Zielona Gora told PAP on December 31. The sources of pollution
have at last been eliminated, he said, but the ground around
the airfields remains heavily saturated with jet fuel-so much
so, in fact, that local authorities have begun charging fees
from area residents for the right to dig holes to pump out pure
gasoline. The clean-up will reportedly take at least a decade.
(Louisa Vinton)

PRICE HIKES IN HUNGARY. A new round of price hikes began in Hungary
on January 2, when the prices of many cosmetics and household
chemicals increased by an average of 20%, MTI reported. The prices
of some Tokay wines increased by as much as 40-50%. The price
of gasoline and public transportation will increase effective
January 6. Further increases in the price of a wide range of
consumer goods are expected in the course of January. Milk and
dairy products will cost at least 10% more when state subsidies
are lifted later this month. (Edith Oltay)

RESTRICTIONS ON RESIDENCE PERMITS TO FOREIGNERS IN HUNGARY. Hungarian
police spokesman Gyorgy Suha told MTI that the police will in
the future issue residence permits to foreigners only in exceptional
cases, which he did not specify. Suha said that more thorough
ID checks among foreigners following the recent attack against
Jewish emigrants found that several hundred foreigners have false
papers or expired residence permits. He said that criminal proceedings
are under way against a number of foreigners and 350 such proceedings
have been started in the last few days alone. Suha reported that
illegal aliens are gathered at a camp in Kerepestarcsa from where
they are taken to the border. In recent days, he said, illegal
aliens in the camp rioted, and a police regiment had to intervene
to restore order. (Edith Oltay)

NATIONAL SALVATION FRONT CALLS FOR ELECTION OBSERVERS. On January 2
Radio Bucharest broadcast a communique from the National Salvation Front
suggesting that Romanian and foreign observers should watch the local
elections on February 9 in order to ensure equal chances to all candidates.
It also requested that Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan chair
a meeting of delegates of all the parties represented in parliament
to set rules to prevent "confusion, conflicts, or any situation
that might cause misunderstandings about the fair outcome of
the voting." It is expected that the local elections will create
a climate of confidence for the subsequent parliamentary and
presidential elections, the communique added. (Mihai Sturdza)


FIRST CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TURNING UP. Nicolae
Manolescu, president of the Civic Alliance Party, and Lucian
Cornescu, president of the Historical Social Democratic Party,
will stand as candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections,
Romanian media said on December 28 and 30. Other possible candidates
have been touted as well: tennis champion and businessman Ion
Tiriac, the leaders of the National Peasant and National Liberal
parties, and former prime minister Petre Roman, who is still
leading the National Salvation Front. The Greater Romania Party
(nationalist) and the Socialist Party of Labor (the former Communist
Party) have indicated they will eventually back Iliescu's candidacy.
(Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER HOME FROM IRAN. Minister Stoyan Ganev
returned on January-2 from an official visit to Iran. BTA recalled
that he had been traveling for 16 days and before he went to
Iran had been to Austria, Belgium, Egypt, and Jordan. Ganev said
that Bulgaria was beginning an active foreign policy aimed at
optimizing relations with each country and promoting a balance
between East and West. Ganev told BTA that Iran will supply Bulgaria
with some oil in exchange for Bulgarian goods and payments to
begin no sooner than six months from now. The press on January-3
said the oil deliveries would amount to half a million tons.
(Rada Nikolaev)

SECRET SERVICE GENERALS TO BE TRIED. Former Deputy Minister of
Internal Affairs, General Stoyan Savov, and General Vladimir
Todorov, who last spring defected to Moscow and returned several
months later, will go on trial on January 8 accused of having
caused the disappearance in 1990 of files on the murder of exile
writer Georgi Markov in 1978. The daily 24 chasa reported on
January 2 that the trial would take place behind closed doors
and that only the indictment would be read in public. The generals
face up to eight years in prison. Hope was expressed that the
trial could be completed 48-hours before the presidential elections
on January-12. (Rada Nikolaev) [As of 1130 CET] Compiled by Suzanne
Crow & Charles Trumbull






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