Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 3, 07 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

GAMSAKHURDIA FLEES. After 15 days under siege, Georgian President
Zviad Gamsakhurdia escaped under cover of darkness from the Georgian
parliament building on January 6 and fled with his family and
entourage first to Kazakh in Azerbaijan and thence to Idzhevan
in Armenia. The Armenian government has offered him right of
passage but not asylum, TASS reported on January 6. Georgian
Military Council co-chairman Dzhaba Ioseliani is quoted in The
Boston Globe on January 7 as stating that Georgia will request
Gamsakhurdia's extradition from any country that offers him sanctuary.
Gamsakhurdia had declared on January 4 that he was prepared to
hold out indefinitely against the rebels. On January 5 he proposed
a referendum on their demand that he should resign. Prisoners
who had been held hostage by Gamsakhurdia in the besieged parliament
alleged they had been beaten, tortured, and raped. Western journalists
report widespread jubilation in Tbilisi at Gamsakhurdia's ouster,
coupled with distress at the destruction of the past two weeks.
(Liz Fuller)

TENSIONS RISE OVER CONTROL OF ARMY, FLEET. Moves by Ukraine over
the weekend to assert control over formerly Soviet military personnel
and assets located in the republic have raised tensions with
both the CIS military leadership and elements within the Russian
Federation government. Command of the Black Sea Fleet, headquartered
in Sevastopol, is at the center of the current conflict. On January
5, according to CIS and Western sources, Ukrainian Defense Minister
Konstantin Morozov claimed the fleet for the republic, arguing
that it could not be considered part of the strategic forces
and that Ukraine ultimately must be a maritime power. (Stephen
Foye)

CIS COMMAND REJECTS UKRAINIAN CLAIM. CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii
Shaposhnikov immediately disputed the Ukrainian claim, arguing
that it contravened the Minsk agreements aimed at establishing
jurisdiction over the armed forces. He warned that the fleet-the
only warm water fleet possessed by the former Soviet Union-was
indeed part of the strategic forces, that it was responsible
for opposing the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean, and that
one-half of its ships were capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
Shaposhnikov's protest was immediately seconded by CIS Navy Commander
in Chief Vladimir Chernavin and his first deputy commander, Ivan
Kapitanets. (Stephen Foye)

MORE PROBLEMS FOR CIS COMMAND. Shaposhnikov disclosed on January
5 that only five of the eleven CIS members are now interested
in maintaining unified command over general purpose forces, CIS
and Western sources reported. The five include the Russian Federation,
Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. On December-30
it was announced that eight republics were interested in such
an arrangement. On January-4, according to TASS, Shaposhnikov
described the situation in the armed forces as "critical," and
urged that a two-year transitional period be established to ease
tensions. A January 6 Izvestia report quoted Shaposhnikov as
saying that Ukraine had cut off systems of troop command from
the General Staff. (Stephen Foye)

SOLDIERS SWORN INTO UKRAINIAN FORCES. Military personnel continued
to be sworn into the Ukrainian military over the weekend, a process
that began on January 3. CIS television reported on January 6
that more than 80% of all troops in Ukraine's three military
districts-some 500,000 men-had taken the oath. The administering
of oaths also has angered military and political leaders in Moscow.
Interfax reported on January 6 that 850-army officers had refused
to swear loyalty to Ukraine and were being moved to the Russian
Federation. (Stephen Foye)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS. TASS quoted Shaposhnikov on
January 5 as saying that he is in possession of one of the three
"briefcases" containing nuclear codes, while another is with
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and the third is in reserve.
He said that a special procedure has been instituted necessitating
consultations with the leaders of the three other nuclear CIS
states-Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan-for launching nuclear
weapons. Shaposhnikov added that all tactical nuclear weapons
will be transferred to Russian territory and destroyed. (Alexander
Rahr)

GEORGIAN REBELS CONSOLIDATE POWER. The Military Council which
declared on January 4 that it had seized power in Georgia appointed
as Prime Minister of a temporary government Tengiz Sigua, forced
by Gamsakhurdia to resign from that post in August. Three senior
officials who had occupied key posts in the administrative organs
and the military in the early 1980s were named to the posts of
Procurator, Minister of Internal Affairs, and Defense Minister.
The Military Council will remain in power until elections are
held, possibly within the next three months, according to National
Democratic Party chairman Gia Chanturia. (Liz Fuller)

SHEVARDNADZE, CLAIMANTS TO GEORGIAN THRONE PONDER RETURNING.
In an interview given to French TV on January 5, former Soviet
Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, who was Georgian CP First
Secretary from 1972 to 1985, called on Gamsakhurdia to resign
in order to preclude further bloodshed and offered his services
to speed the process of democratization in Georgia. Western news
agencies reported on January 6 that Shevardnadze had been invited
by Dzhaba Ioseliani to return to Georgia and that Shevardnadze
would not rule out the possibility of running for Georgian president.
Shevardnadze also announced the creation of a fund to rebuild
Georgia's shattered economy. Also pondering a return to Georgia
are several members of the Georgian royal family currently living
in Spain. The Bagrations were forced into exile when Tsarist
Russia annexed Georgia in 1801. (Liz Fuller)

TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS SAID TO REMAIN IN GEORGIA. Contradicting
recent announcements by Soviet military officials, the Georgian
news agency IPRINDA claimed on January 5 that tactical nuclear
weapons belonging to the former Soviet army were still deployed
in Georgia. A spokesman for Danish military intelligence was
quoted by Danish television on January 4 as saying that Danish
intelligence officials also believed that there still were such
weapons in Georgia. (Doug Clarke)

PRICES FREED IN MOST STATES. Most retail prices were reportedly
freed in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan on January 6, and prices are
scheduled to be liberalized in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on
January 10, according to Radio Rossii, Radio Moscow, and Western
agencies on January 5 and 6. This leaves Tajikistan as the only
state that has not specified a date for price liberalization
or adjustment. The distribution of "family ration cards" began
in Kazakhstan on January 6. In Turkmenistan, it was announced
that the prices of locally made products would not be allowed
to increase by more than three times. It appears that the retail
prices of some staple foodstuffs and other basic goods and services
will remain controlled in all Commonwealth states. (Keith Bush)


SOME PRICE FALLS REPORTED. In a survey of retail price movements
and reactions among Russian shoppers on January 6, TASS reported
some price declines. In some instances, this was attributable
to consumer resistance to the steep increases in prices since
January 2, but the visible hand of the authorities was also deemed
responsible. Thus, prices fell in Kirov after a 25% surcharge
on some food items was removed and in Arkhangelsk after the "presidential
tax" was lifted from cigarettes. The prices of meat and sausage
were lowered in Stavropol after customers smashed shop windows.
(Keith Bush)

TRADE UNIONS PROTEST PRICE LIBERALIZATION IN UKRAINE. The Ukrainian
Federation of Independent Trade Unions [official unions] issued
a statement of protest to the Ukrainian government in connection
with price liberalization, Ukrinform-TASS reported on January
3. The trade unions accused the Ukrainian president and government
of not instituting proper safeguards for the population under
conditions of increasing prices. The document stressed the necessity
of social guarantees including: a minimum wage, a rational system
of tax indexation based on income, and a program to support underprivileged
segments of the population. (Carla Thorson)

GAIDAR DECLINES WANNISKI PLAN. On January 3, Izvestia reported
that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar intended to wait
a few weeks to see if the price liberalization was working. If
not, he would turn to other solutions, including a "new plan"
devised by Jude Wanniski, the director of Polyconomics, Inc.
of New Jersey. [For Wanniski's recommendations, see From the
Command Economy to the Market, pp. 181-189; cf. The Wall Street
Journal, December 23, 1991]. On January 4, TASS carried Gaidar's
rebuttal. Gaidar explained that Wanniski's plan was based on
the assumption that Russian gold reserves were 10-15 times higher
than their actual level. (Keith Bush)

SUPPORT FOR EARLY IMF MEMBERSHIP. In a statement published on
January 3, US Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady said that the
US will support "early consideration" of International Monetary
Fund and World Bank membership for six of the 12 Commonwealth
states, RFE/RL's Washington bureau reported that day. The states
named were Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan,
and Armenia. The US has extended diplomatic recognition to Russia
and is proceeding to establish diplomatic ties with the other
five. Brady said that once Washington establishes diplomatic
ties with the remaining CIS members, it will urge speedy consideration
of their applications for membership in the two institutions.
(Robert Lyle and Keith Bush)

RUSSIA TAKES OVER ALL USSR EMBASSIES. Western news agencies on
January 3 quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vitalii Churkin
as saying that Russia has formally taken over all Soviet embassies
around the world but will represent the diplomatic interests
of other members of the CIS if they wish. Foreign ministers of
the CIS member states will meet on January 10 to discuss the
issue of diplomatic representation. Meanwhile, former Soviet
Ambassador to the US Viktor Komplektov was recalled by Russian
authorities and returned to Moscow on January 2. He left the
embassy in the hands of Andrei Kolosovsky, representative of
the Russian Federation at the embassy, Western agencies reported
on January 4. The 34-year-old Kolosovsky is expected to be named
Russian ambassador to the US, according to The Washington Post
of January 4, but his appointment will not be official until
his credentials are accepted by the US government. (Alexander
Rahr and Suzanne Crow)

CHRISTIAN-DEMOCRATS ATTACK RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. Russian Christian-
Democrats have issued a statement attacking the Russian government's
reform program, Russian TV reported on January 4. The chairman
of the Political Council of the Christian- Democratic Movement,
Viktor Aksyuchits, at a press conference criticized the premature
"destruction of a single country." Aksyuchits, coming close to
the position taken by Russian Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi,
attacked the liberalization of prices and the dissolution of
state farms. Aksyuchits announced the convocation of a Congress
of Patriotic Forces of Russia next month in Moscow, which its
backers hope will become an influential opposition. (Alexander
Rahr)

TAJIKISTAN DENIES PLANS TO SELL URANIUM. The official TadzhikTA
news agency reported on January 6 that Tajikistan's government
has denied that it has been approached by Arab states seeking
to buy enriched uranium. The story was issued by the unofficial
news agency NANT; the Tajik Supreme Soviet has instructed the
state prosecutor to investigate the release of the story. According
to the official report, Tajikistan cannot sell enriched uranium-it
does not have an enrichment plant. (Bess Brown)

MOLDOVA ACCELERATES ECONOMIC REFORMS. The Moldovan parliament
adopted on January 4 a law on bankruptcy which, inter alia, enables
unprofitable state enterprises to declare bankruptcy and be broken
up. On the same day, the parliament adopted a law on external
economic relations which enables foreign investors to open firms
with 100% foreign capital in Moldova and offers special incentives
to ventures producing goods in short supply in Moldova, Moldovapres
reported that day. On January 5, Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi
told Moldovan TV that privatization of trade and services is
about to begin in Moldova. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVA NEGOTIATING ON OPENING EMBASSIES. Foreign Minister Nicolae
Tiu told Radio Chisinau on January 3 that Moldova is currently
negotiating with foreign states for the opening of some 17 to
20 Moldovan embassies abroad, and that Chisinau is setting aside
a similar number of buildings for foreign embassies in the Moldovan
capital. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVA OFFERING COMMISSIONS TO OFFICERS OF EX-USSR. In separate
interviews with Literatura si Arta and with Moldovan TV on January
2 and 3, respectively, Minister of National Security Anatol Plugaru
and the Director-General of the State Department for Military
Affairs, Nicolae Chirtoaca, said that Moldova's army and border
corps-both in formation-will accept all officers of the former
USSR army and border troops now serving in Moldova, regardless
of nationality. Professionalism and loyalty to the republic will
be the only criteria for acceptance, the officials said. (Vladimir
Socor)



BALTIC STATES



BALTIC COUNCIL GREETS CIS. The Baltic Council hailed the establishment
of the CIS and called on member states to resolve immediately
remaining security questions. In a statement released after a
January-5 meeting in Jurmala, the Council appealed to leaders
of CIS member states to withdraw former Soviet troops from the
Baltic States quickly. The Council, attended this weekend by
the three Baltic Supreme Council chairmen, also proposed that
the withdrawing troops leave remaining military equipment in
the Baltic for use by emerging local defense forces, BNS reported.
(Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA WANTS CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS. Commenting on the Baltic
Council's proposal that withdrawing Soviet troops hand over their
weapons to the Balts, acting chief of the Estonian Defense Forces
General Staff Ants Laaneots said Estonia does not want high-tech
strategic arms but only needs some conventional weapons for defense.
As quoted by BNS, Laaneots continued, "Estonia is very interested
in tanks, air defense equipment, and coast guard and mine ships.
The Estonian Defense Forces could also use 1-2-fighter planes
and helicopters." (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA PLANS LOAN TO COVER KROON. The government on January-6
approved an Estonian Bank proposal to borrow $150-million from
outside lenders to establish a stabilization fund for its new
currency, the kroon. BNS reported that Estonian Bank Assistant
President Vahur Kraft said the government will put the proposal
to the Supreme Council this week. If the proposal is approved,
the bank will begin seeking lenders immediately. Minister for
the Environment Tonis Kaasik added that preparations are already
underway to use Estonia's forest industry as collateral for part
of the loan. (Riina Kionka)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

WHILE POLISH WORKERS THREATEN TO STRIKE OVER PRICE HIKES,-.-.-.
On January-4 the Polish Trade Union Federation (OPZZ) threatened
to call a general strike to protest the sharp price increases
on electricity, gas, and hot water. The formerly communist OPZZ
and the Pensioners' Federation, which claim millions of members,
have demanded the price hikes be rescinded. Opposition to the
new prices is growing, particularly in the cities of Lodz, Bydgoszcz,
Wroclaw, Zielona Gora, and Szczecin, PAP reports. On January-1
gas prices were raised 70%, electricity prices by 20%, and hot
water by 83- 100%. Prices were increased last May by an average
of 25%. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

.-.-. OLSZEWSKI THREATENS TO RESIGN. Speaking during a parliamentary
debate on the draft 1992 budget on January-4, Prime Minister
Jan Olszewski said he would rather resign than abandon the energy
price increases. He told the Sejm deputies that to cancel price
hikes would mean the "collapse" of the economy, adding "we do
not have the right to imperil the stability of the state and
of the economy." On January-3 the prime minister said the government
would be forced to retreat in the event of the general strike,
Western media reported. The draft budget provides for a record
deficit of $1.6-billion in the first quarter of the current year.
Last year's entire deficit was $2.7-billion. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


WARSAW INTENDS TO SLOW DOWN PRIVATIZATION. On January-6 Poland's
new government indicated that it plans to slow down the privatization
program and concentrate on helping ailing state industries. Tomasz
Gruszecki, head of the Privatization Ministry, told newsmen "in
order to move forward you sometimes have to step back," Western
media reported. Emphasizing that privatization policy must be
subordinated to industrial policy, he said his new ministry will
focus on drafting legal reforms to strengthen the state treasury
so it can act in the capacity of owner for thousands of state
companies. He added that the new government plans to offer incentives
to investors of Polish extraction in the West who have not made
major financial commitments so far. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

HUNGARIAN FINANCE MINISTER ON ACCELERATING PRIVATIZATION. Hungarian
Finance Minister Mihaly Kupa told a press conference on January-6
that the legislative foundations of economic privatization in
Hungary will be further expanded during the course of this year,
MTI reported. Kupa said that much of the basic economic legislation
had already been enacted in 1991 and further basic legislation
on cooperatives, land ownership, insurance, and customs will
be adopted this year. He announced that new financial institutions
to provide credit to the private sector are due to be created
in 1992 and the privatization of major banks will also begin
during the year. (Edith Oltay)

HUNGARIAN AND NORWEGIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS SAY CIS STATES SHOULD
JOIN CSCE. At a joint press conference in Budapest on January-6,
Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky and his Norwegian
counterpart Thorvald Stoltenberg proposed that the member states
of the Community of Independent States join the CSCE process
as soon as possible. The two ministers agreed that the inclusion
of the CIS member states in the CSCE process was essential for
maintaining security and stability in Europe. They said that
the CSCE has from its inception extended beyond Europe and should
now include all republics of the former USSR. This was reported
by MTI. (Edith Oltay)

GENSCHER MEETS DIENSTBIER. German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich
Genscher met his Czechoslovak counterpart Jiri Dienstbier in
Stuttgart on January-6. The official German statement said that
they discussed the German-Czechoslovak friendship treaty initialled
last October but not yet signed. The accord recognizes existing
borders and renounces any territorial claims by either country
and calls for a peaceful solution of all bilateral disputes.
The ministers were to discuss the manner and date for the signing
ceremony. They also discussed preparations for a CSCE meeting
scheduled for later this month, an RFE/RL correspondent reports.
(Barbara Kroulik)

TRIAL OF FORMER CZECHOSLOVAK OFFICIALS RESCHEDULED. The trial
of three high-ranking Interior Ministry officials accused of
repressing anticommunist dissidents and ordering arrests in 1988
and 1989 will continue on January-14, an RFE/RL correspondent
reports. The three are former Interior Minister Frantisek Kincl,
his first deputy, Aloiz Lorenc, and former top secret police
officer Karel Vykypel. The trial was adjourned shortly after
opening on December-16 in Tabor when defense lawyer Pavel Klimes
objected that some judges on the military court might be biased
in the case. (Barbara Kroulik)

ROMANIAN ELECTIONS AND THE MEDIA. The campaign for local elections
to be held on February-9 began on January-6. On January-3 Prime
Minister Theodor Stolojan met with representatives of the 14-parties
and groups making up the Democratic Convention, which appears
to be the major challenger to the National Salvation Front. Guarantees
of the neutrality of Romania's (state) television and the replacement
of its management were requested, and Stolojan was asked to speed
up parliamentary consideration of the election finance bill.
On January-4 local media quoted Cazimir Ionescu, president of
the newly created multiparty Commission for the Coordination
of the Electoral Campaign on Radio and Television, that his commission
will ensure free and fair preparations for the elections. He
also said that the 12-regional television studios will participate
in the campaign. (Mihai Sturdza)

BUCHAREST FREEZING. Mayor Doru Pana complained to local media
about the insufficient energy deliveries to industrial enterprises
and residences. On January-2, for instance, while average outside
temperatures were -3.7-C., the thermal energy delivered by the
Ministry of Industry was only two-thirds of the required amount.
Instead of the planned 550,000-m3 of natural gas and of the 6,500-tons/day
of crude oil, only 360,000-m3 of gas and 1,069-tons of oil reached
the users. (Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER'S ADDRESS. In a TV address to the nation
on January-6 Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov analyzed the economic
situation and the government's policy. As quoted by BTA, he said
priority will be given in 1992 to privatization and restitution
of property, moves expected to help increase production. A new
law on foreign investments will be passed before January-20.
He said that the measures to stabilize the economy will be painful
but unavoidable. Dimitrov predicted price increases and growth
of unemployment. A new tax system will be prepared for 1993 and
a draft long-term agreement on foreign debt will be approved
by the end of January for discussion with the creditor banks.
(Rada Nikolaev)

SECRET SERVICE GENERAL COMMITS SUICIDE. Former Deputy Minister
of Internal Affairs Gen. Stoyan Savov was found dead on January-6
in his native village of Lesichovo in front of a memorial to
a communist resistance fighter. BTA quoted police as saying he
was found with a bullet wound in his temple and a pistol beside
him. A letter to his wife found in his home announced his intention
to kill himself and gave political motives. Savov was to-have
gone on trial on January-8, together with Gen. Vladimir Todorov,
on charges of having caused the disappearance of the files on
the murder of exiled writer Georgi Markov in London in 1978.
(Rada Nikolaev)

BULGARIAN SUPPORT FOR THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA. In an interview
in Demokratsiya on January-4 President Zhelyu Zhelev said Bulgaria
is categorically against the emerging position in the European
Community to recognize Slovenia and Croatia before the Republic
of Macedonia. He said this might cause a spillover of the military
conflict and then there would be no guarantee that Bulgaria would
not become involved in any ensuing conflicts one way or another.
In a message to President Kiro Gligorov of the Republic of Macedonia
reported by BTA on January-4, Zhelev said Bulgaria is for a free
and independent Republic of Macedonia which will no longer be
a target of territorial claims by any neighboring country. At
an election rally in Sofia on January-5 Zhelev insisted that
the EC should recognize the Republic of Macedonia together with
Slovenia and Croatia, after which Bulgaria would also recognize
it. (Rada Nikolaev)

REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA TRIES TO MEET EC CONDITIONS. According
to Western and local media reports on January-6, the Republic
of Macedonia's national assembly amended its constitution in
compliance with conditions laid down by the EC for recognition
as an independent state. The amendments, aimed at reassuring
Greece, stated that the Republic of Macedonia "has no territorial
ambitions" towards any of its neighbors and that it would not
interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Greek Prime
Minister Constantine Mitsotakis said on January-5, however, that
Skopje has not yet met the EC conditions and emphasized that
Greece "will not negotiate away its national rights." Greece
does not recognize the existence of a Macedonian nation, and
Mitsotakis demanded that the Republic of Macedonia change its
name to eliminate the term "Macedonia." He referred to it as
the "Republic of Skopje." Talks between Greece and the Republic
of Macedonia broke down last week. Meanwhile, leaders of the
Republic of Macedonia's Albanian minority said they will go ahead
with a referendum on autonomy on January 11-12. (Milan Andrejevich)


UN MONITORS FOR YUGOSLAVIA? As the latest cease-fire continued
to hold, UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali said on January-6
that he wants to send 50-observers to Yugoslavia to supplement
the EC monitors. The truce must be seen as truly holding, however,
before further UN peace-keeping troops are authorized to go.
The central question remains whether Serbian and army authorities
will be able to control local Serbian politicians and irregulars
and bring them around to observing the agreement UN Special Envoy
Cyrus Vance negotiated on January-2. (Patrick Moore)

SLOVENIA RULING COALITION ENDS. Slovenia's ruling United Democratic
Opposition of Slovenia, DEMOS, came to an end on December-30,
1991. Founded in December 1989, the six-party coalition made
up of left, center, and right parties, won in elections in the
spring of 1990. In October, the influential Democratic Alliance
split off, weakening the coalition. Public criticism of the Christian-Democrat
Prime Minister Lojze Peterle intensified in recent months over
economic issues and abortion, further weakening the coalition.
DEMOS now stands to lose the majority in parliament and the stability
of Peterle's government is threatened. Elections have been tentatively
scheduled to take place in April, and Slovenes project a victory
for the left-wing parties that include the former communists.
A recent poll shows that President Milan Kucan, former head of
the Slovenian communists, would be reelected. (Milan Andrejevich)



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