The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 7, 13 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

UKRAINE, RUSSIA REACH COMPROMISE ON ARMED FORCES. Russian and
Ukrainian state delegations meeting in Kiev signed a communique
on January 11 that provided a framework for negotiations on divisive
defense-related disagreements. As reported by Western and CIS
sources, the two sides set up a panel of experts to resolve
defense disputes, and both agreed to avoid taking "unilateral
actions." They also agreed that military units in Ukraine currently
consist of both strategic and republican forces, and that a part
of the Black Sea Fleet will be classified in the second category
and will join the Ukrainian forces. The compromise was reached
on the basis of the agreement on strategic forces signed in Minsk
on December-30. In addition, both sides promised to comply with
the START and CFE treaties. (Stephen Foye)

RUSSIAN DECREE ON ARMED FORCES. Quoting "reliable sources," Nezavisimaya
gazeta reported on January 11 that a decree has been prepared
in Moscow that would proclaim the Russian Federation to be the
legal successor state to the Soviet Union and would thus subordinate
all CIS armed forces formations to Russia. As summarized by TASS
and Radio Rossii on the same day, the report suggests that Russian
President Boris Yeltsin is considering signing the decree either
to insure that the armed forces remain under unified command
during an unspecified transitional period, or in the event that
CIS negotiations on control over the armed forces fail to resolve
differences on defense matters between the republics. The report
has not yet been confirmed. (Stephen Foye)

OFFICERS ASSEMBLY TO CONSIDER OATH DILEMMA. The press service
attached to CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov announced
on January 10 that a directive was sent that day to CIS armed
forces units, TASS reported. The document advised military personnel
not to take any military oath until the issue is considered by
an all-Army conference on January-17. The conference, composed
of representatives of officers' assemblies from all over the
CIS, was originally scheduled for January 14, but, for reasons
that remain unclear, was moved back to January-17. (Stephen Foye)


KRAVCHUK ATTACKS "IMPERIAL THINKING" OF RUSSIAN LEADERS. On the
occasion of last week's visit to Kiev of Czech Prime Minister
Petr Pithart, Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk gave an interview
to CSTK in which he accused Russian leaders of "imperial" thinking.
According to TASS of January 10, Kravchuk said that "Boris Yeltsin,
Ruslan Khasbulatov, Anatolii Sobchak [all of whom have recently
criticized Ukraine's new assertiveness and claims to the Black
Sea Fleet] and other Russian statesmen should get out of the
habit of thinking imperially," which he termed a "terrible habit."
He also challenged once again Russia's claim to be the legal
heir to the USSR and its assets. "We . . . are patient," Kravchuk
said, "but we cannot allow [Ukraine] to be regarded as a colony."
(Bohdan Nahaylo)

CRIMEAN AUTHORITIES CENSOR UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER. According
to a report from an RFE/RL stringer in Kiev of January 11, the
Crimean authorities failed on January 9 to broadcast an important
interview, shown on republican television elsewhere in Ukraine,
with Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov on Ukraine's
policy concerning the armed forces and especially the Black Sea
Fleet, which is based in the peninsula. Crimea, an autonomous
republic within Ukraine, frequently does not transmit Ukrainian
Television programs which its pro-Russia authorities consider
politically inexpedient. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

REMOVAL OF TACTICAL WEAPONS FROM UKRAINE BEGINS. The removal
of short-range nuclear weapons from Ukraine, which officials
there hope to complete by July, reportedly has begun. On January
10, TASS reported that a Ukrainian news agency reporter was allowed
into one such missile unit in the Kiev MD to watch warheads being
loaded onto trucks for transport to railroad lines. (Kathy Mihalisko)


BELARUS TAKES CHARGE OF NON-STRATEGIC FORCES. The parliament
of Belarus on January-11 voted to subordinate all former Soviet
troops on its territory to Belarus authority and to create a
Min-istry of Defense, although no one was yet appointed to head
the new ministry. A resolution quoted that day by TASS said that
units that are to be part of the CIS strategic forces will be
specified in a joint decision with Shaposhnikov. The parliament
also approved the text of Belarus's military oath of allegiance,
which will be administered to those who entered the military
as of November 1991. A Belarus national army of approximately
90,000 troops is envisioned. (Kathy Mihalisko)

COMMENTS BY DEFENSE AFFAIRS MINISTER CHAUS. The Belarus Defense
Ministry that was established on January 11 will replace what
has been called until now the Defense Affairs Ministry, which
is headed by Petr Chaus. In remarks on Belarus TV quoted that
day by TASS, Chaus said that Belarus currently serving outside
the republic will soon be able to return home and that officers
and warrant officers would be offered posts equivalent to their
ranks in the Soviet army. Chaus also asserted that by the spring
of this year, a significant portion of the land occupied by military
facilities (said to comprise more than 10% of Belarus territory)
would be returned to the people. (Kathy Mihalisko)

FORTHCOMING CIS SUMMIT IN MINSK. TASS, quoting Belarus government
sources, on January-12 announced that CIS heads of state will
meet on January 24 in the Belarus capital. Economic reform will
apparently be at the top of a wide-ranging agenda. Meanwhile,
on January 11, the Belarus parliament adopted a four-point declaration
calling on CIS members to resolve military-related disputes via
negotiations and called on Russia and Ukraine to refrain from
one-sided actions. (Kathy Mihalisko)

NEOCOMMUNISTS RALLY AGAINST YELTSIN. Between 5,000 and 10,000
Russian nationalists and communists rallied on Moscow's Manezh
square on January 12, demanding the resignation of Yeltsin and
the Russian government, and urging that former USSR President
Mikhail Gorbachev be tried on Red Square. According to that day's
editions of "Vesti," it was the largest and best-organized demonstration
by conservatives in many months. It also differed from other
mass rallies held in Moscow in past years in that there were
violent clashes between its participants and their opponents.
The organizers invited the crowd to attend other such rallies
on January 14 and February 9, and called for popular rebellion
against the present government. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RUSSIAN SUPSOV TO DISCUSS DEMOS, MILITARY FORMATIONS. An RFE/RL
correspondent in Moscow reported on January 11 that Russian
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai has put on the Supreme
Soviet's agenda draft legislation on illegal military formations
and on mass demonstrations. The drafts are included in a package
of legislation aimed to coordinate the economic reforms begun
January 2. (Victor Yasmann)

"VESTI" DENIES THAT GORBACHEV IS UNDER HOUSE ARREST. The January
12 "Vesti" broadcast disputed a report that Gorbachev has been
forbidden to leave Moscow by the office of the Russian General
Prosecutor, which is investigating his alleged involvement in
the attempted August coup. The report appeared earlier that day
in the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. "Vesti" cited Vladimir
Tumarkin, a former Central Committee official said to be close
to Gorbachev, as saying that Gorbachev was not under house arrest
and that he postponed a planned visit to Stavropol Krai for health
reasons only. On January 11, Evgenii Lisov, the Russian Deputy
General Prosecutor in charge of the coup case, told Rabochaya
tribuna that the attempted coup had come as a complete surprise
to Gorbachev and that Gorbachev had reacted to it "very negatively."
(Julia Wishnevsky)

BURBULIS MEETS WITH RUSSIAN MFA. In a meeting with the staff
of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian First Deputy
Prime Minister Gennadii Burbulis declared that future Russian
foreign policy will be conducted on principles of "patriotism"
and "preservation of basic values of Russian diplomacy." According
to TASS on January 9, he assured former Soviet diplomats that
their work for the Russian Foreign Ministry will be evaluated
mainly by their "professionalism." Burbulis also stressed that
only a minimum of intelligence officers will be kept in the Russian
embassies. (Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIA'S FINANCIAL POLICY. Significant disagreements among Russia's
top economic and political officials are jeopardizing the successful
introduction of a coherent financial policy. In an interview
with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the chairman
of Russia's central bank, Georgii Matyukhin, said that, among
other things, he disagreed with Egor Gaidar's program for price
liberalization. The Central Bank favors a more moderate approach
to reform while maintaining strong control over financial affairs.
Matyukhin alluded to other rifts among Russian officials as well.
For the Bank's part, it will develop along the lines of the federal
reserve system of the US. Matyukhin's remarks were carried by
TASS January-8. (John Tedstrom)

A CIS CENTRAL BANK? In the same interview, Matyukhin also said
he believes that the central banks of the CIS member states will
see the need to coordinate their activities through a central
organ. There are several reasonable ways to organize monetary
and fiscal policies within a commonwealth or economic community,
and a central bank is certainly one institution that is bound
to be considered. Given the current political tension among the
CIS member states, general skepticism over Russia's role in the
CIS, and the hatred of "central" anything among CIS members,
it remains to be seen if the notion of a CIS Central Bank is
a viable one in the foreseeable future. It is nonetheless noteworthy
that Matyukhin is floating the idea now. (John Tedstrom)

CIS HOPES FOR DEBT REPAYMENT. Vneshekonombank Vice Chairman Tomas
Alibegov told Western agencies on January 5 that the CIS hopes
to derive some $30 billion from selling the debts owed to the
former USSR by socialist partners and Third World countries at
a discount on secondary credit markets. [The face value of these
debts amounted to about $100 billion]. Alibegov seemed confident
that the CIS will receive part of the money owed by Libya, India,
Syria, Algeria, and Vietnam, but said that repayments were not
expected from Cuba. (Keith Bush)

CHECHEN REPUBLIC TO SET UP OWN AIR SQUADRON. On the initiative
of the Chechen President, retired Air Force Major General Dzhakhar
Dudaev, a meeting of airmen in Groznyi on January 9 decided to
create an air squadron, TASS reported the same day. The material
base for the squadron is available in the form of aircraft of
Czech manufacture and the two military aerodromes on the republic's
territory. Several Russians have expressed their willingness
to sign up. (Ann Sheehy)

MOLDOVAN LEADERS REASSURE MILITARY. Top Moldovan leaders met
on January 10 with commanders of the former USSR's troops based
in Moldova, Moldovapres reported on January 11. Confirming Moldova's
plan to create a 12,000-strong republican army by taking over
the ex-USSR's military assets there, President Mircea Snegur
told the commanders that Moldova is willing to employ all officers
and NCOs irrespective of nationality and to offer them and their
families full social guarantees, under special legislation soon
to be submitted to parliament. Moldovan leaders also proposed
creating a joint working group on social guarantees for military
personnel. Moldova will not administer its military oath in the
near future, and only those wishing to serve Moldova will take
the oath to the republic. (Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER REPUBLIC" FORMS ITS OWN ARMY. Interviewed in Krasnaya
zvezda of January 1, Igor Smirnov, self-styled "president of
the Dniester republic" proclaimed by Russians in eastern Moldova,
expressed confidence that "1992 will mark the formation of the
future unitary state." Meanwhile, however, the "Dniester republic
Supreme Soviet" resolved on January 9 to place all ex-USSR troops
stationed there (about 20,000 men) under "Dniester" authority;
tripled officers' salaries; instituted an oath of allegiance
to the "Dniester republic"; and introduced military conscription
in the territory it claims, Western agencies and Interfax reported
on January 9. Measures along these lines had been anticipated
since early December when the commanding general of the 14th
Army headquartered in Tiraspol passed under "Dniester" authority.
(Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER" FORCES SEIZE ARMS STORE. Also on January 9, the "Dniester
republican guard" seized at gunpoint all armaments and other
equipment of an ex-USSR MVD battalion which was being taken over
by Moldova, TASS and Interfax reported on January 9 and 10, respectively.
The battalion was stopped while returning to Chisinau in a convoy
from its training camp on the left bank of the Dniester. Some
of the freshly inducted Moldavian draftees were beaten up after
being disarmed, and the commander and other officers were tied
up during the holdup. As in previous incidents with "Dniester"
forces, the Moldovan side was under orders not to use force.
(Vladimir Socor)

BALTIC STATES



LATVIA REMEMBERS MILITARY CRACKDOWN. Romualds Razuks, chairman
of the People's Front of Latvia, described the various ceremonies
to be held this week to recall the dramatic events of January
1991 in Latvia and Lithuania, where numerous people advocating
national independence were killed by Soviet forces. Radio Riga
reported on January-10 that Latvian representatives would also
take part in the commemoration ceremonies in Lithuania. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LITHUANIA AWARDS "JANUARY 13" MEDALS. The Presidium of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council awarded a commemorative medal of "January-13"
to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, almost 50-other foreign politicians,
diplomats, and journalists, and several hundred Lithuanians TASS
reported on January-12. The medal was established to mark the
first anniversary of the January-13 events in Vilnius when Soviet
troops attacked the Vilnius television tower. Other foreign politicians
receiving the medal for support and solidarity with Lithuania
"at a difficult moment" include Latvian and Estonian heads of
state Anatolijs Gorbunovs and Arnold Ruutel and Polish politicians
Jacek Kuron and Adam Michnik. (Saulius Girnius)

"ETERNAL FLAMES" DIE OUT. The Tallinn city council has demanded
that the city close the tap on two "eternal flames" commemorating
Soviet might, ETA reported on January-10. City Council chairman
Andres Kork said the flames-one in the city center dedicated
to Soviet "liberators" of 1945 and the other in eastern Tallinn
commemorating those who died fighting for Soviet power-would
be turned off because of the acute gas shortage currently plaguing
Tallinn. Kork said the decision was not politically motivated.
(Riina Kionka)

CIS MILITARY MANEUVERS IN LITHUANIA CANCELLED. CIS military officials
have notified the Lithuanian authorities, including Prime Minister
Gediminas Vagnorius, that planned military maneuvers on Lithuanian
territory have been cancelled, Radio Lithuania reported on January-10.
Vagnorius had refused permission for the exercises, saying that
Lithuania had not been consulted. Col.-Gen. Valerii Mironov,
commander of the CIS army group stationed in the Baltic states,
said that he understood the concern of the Lithuania citizens,
but that the agreement on military exercises had been reached
with Baltic leaders several months ago. (Saulius Girnius)

COST OF LIVING RISES IN LATVIA. Andris Zorgevics, chairman of
the Latvia's Association of Free Trade Unions urged the Supreme
Council to adopt this week the Latvian budget for the first half
of 1992; he said that a delay would hamper the payment of salaries
and pensions at a time when the cost of living has risen precipitously.
The minimal monthly salaries and pensions for the first half
of 1992 are 460 and 305-rubles respectively (about a year ago
the minimal monthly income was estimated at 190-rubles). Zorgevics
said that the minimal salary should be 969-rubles and the minimal
pension-784-rubles, especially on account of the steep rise in
food prices, BNS reported on January-10. (Dzintra Bungs)

SAVISAAR WANTS EMERGENCY POWERS. Estonian Prime Minister Edgar
Savisaar wants the Supreme Council to declare a state of economic
emergency and to grant the government additional powers for the
duration of the emergency period. According to Paevaleht of January-12,
the prime minister said that a state of emergency is unavoidable.
The emergency period, Savisaar said, should last until the new
currency has been introduced, and maybe even a little longer.
Savisaar also said he wants additional powers during this emergency
period. "If the Supreme Council does not trust the current government,
then it must form another one. But the emergency state must be
introduced in any case," Savisaar said. (Riina Kionka)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS INCONCLUSIVE. Contrary to general
expectations and most advance opinion polls, incumbent President
Zhelyu Zhelev failed to win the required absolute majority for
reelection on January-12. According to preliminary results reported
by Bulgarian Radio at 8.00-a.m. CET on January-13, with some
80% of the ballots counted, the Zhelev-Dimitrova team for president
and vice president, backed by the ruling UDF and standing for
national unity and democracy, won 44.1% of the vote. Their main
opponents from among a field of 22 candidacies were the independent,
BSP-backed, nationalist team Velko Valkanov and Rumen Vodenicharov,
who won 30.4%. These two teams will have to face a second ballot
on January-19. The surprising third with 16.9% was the team George
Ganchev-Petar Beron, which campaigned in a light, joking style.
Participation was estimated at some 75%. (Rada Nikolaev)

BULGARIA AND GREECE DIFFER OVER MACEDONIA. Foreign Minister Stoyan
Ganev, on his way home after an official visit to Italy, made
an unscheduled stopover in Athens on January-11 and had talks
with his Greek counterpart Andonis Samaras. As reported by BTA
and Western agencies, talks centered on the Republic of Macedonia.
While Bulgaria is strongly supporting its recognition, Greece
opposes use of the name "Macedonia." Ganev argued that using
the name does not imply any territorial claims and said that,
although in Bulgaria there is a region called "Pirin Macedonia,"
Bulgaria is not afraid of territorial claims by the new republic,
just as it does not feel threatened when the Greek Ministry of
Northern Greece was-renamed the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace.
(Rada-Nikolaev)

FIVE KILLED IN YUGOSLAV CEASE-FIRE VIOLATION. Tanjug reported
on January-12 that 3 Croatian National Guardsmen and 2 Serbian
irregulars were killed near Osijek. Yugoslav and Western media
said on January-10 that a bomb had exploded in Herzegovina's
main city, Mostar,-damaging a Roman Catholic church and some
restaurants. Gunfire was also heard. In the Krajina region of
Croatia, Serbian leader Milan Babic again rejected the UN cease-fire
negotiated by special envoy Cyrus Vance on January-2. Babic called
it unacceptable and accused Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
of trying to "divide the Serbian nation" by accepting the agreement
and calling for a "coup d'etat" against Babic. The London Times
carried the report January-11. (Patrick Moore)

EC POSITION ON RECOGNIZING YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS UNCLEAR. By January-15
an EC committee headed by a French judge is expected to make
nonbinding recommendations on whether Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, and Macedonia meet Community criteria for recognition.
Western press reports over the weekend suggest that Slovenia
will get the green light but that Croatia will be urged to ensure
more protection for minority rights first. Ethnic political divisions
may prevent Bosnia from being recommended. Greece has mounted
a campaign to deny recognition to the Republic of Macedonia.
Kosovo and the Serbian regions of Croatia are not being considered
for recognition despite their requests, only the four republics.
Germany, Italy, and possibly Belgium have made it clear they
intend to recognize at least Croatia and Slovenia, while Britain
and France are more cautious. (Patrick Moore)

YUGOSLAV, CROATIAN MILITARY TO OPEN LIAISON CENTERS. Radio Croatia
reported on January-12 on hopeful negotiations between federal
and Croatian military officials about the future of the current
ceasefire. Croatian Maj.-Gen. Imra Agotic told reporters that
a Yugoslav People's Army mission will open in Zagreb this week.
The mission will serve as a liaison center with the Croatian
govern-ment to consider all cease-fire violations. Croatia plans
to open a similar mission in Belgrade later this month. Both
sides agreed to the arrangement during negotiations in Pec, Hungary.
(Milan Andrejevich)

DRAMATIC WEEKEND IN BOSNIA. Radio Sarajevo reported during the
weekend that the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is reaching
dramatic proportions. The republic's interior ministry reports
that about 1,500 armed Croats in the northern part of the republic
have formed national guard units. The units are heavily armed
with mortars, antitank weapons and antiaircraft cannons. Serbs
in the area are also armed. On January-11 the self-styled Serbian
Assembly of Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina declared that
the Republic of Bosnia no longer exists. The assembly ordered
a temporary suspension of the flow of tax revenues to the republic
and called for the regionalization of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On January-9 Bosnian Serbs declared their own republic, which
the Bosnian government said was unconstitutional. On January-12
Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic proposed that a Yugoslav
association of six independent republics be created and called
for a referendum on Bosnian independence. (Milan Andrejevich)


WALESA ENDORSES SOLIDARITY STRIKE. On January-12 President Lech
Walesa endorsed a one-hour warning strike planned by the Solidarity
Trade Union for noon January-13. He told Polish TV on January-12
the strike could put economic reforms back on track, Western
and Polish media reported. He said "it is a strike in support
of reforms that are indispensable for Poland," adding "it should
turn out beneficially for society despite all the emotions and
despite some losses." Solidarity called the nationwide general
strike to protest the government's handling of energy price increases.
Two other trade union organizations, the formerly communist OPPZ
and the splinter group Solidarity-80, have scheduled a warning
strike January-16. The unions claim the government did not consult
them about he price hikes and did not offer compensation to workers.
(Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

POLAND REACTS CALMLY TO RUSSIA'S CUT IN GAS SUPPLIES. On January-12
Deputy Foreign Trade Minister Andrzej Olechowski said that although
Russia has cut its natural gas deliveries by half, Warsaw does
"not consider the situation serious," since "it is only a result
of bureaucratic delays." He added that Russia's long holiday
season has delayed the execution of the barter deal, Western
media reported. He expected the supplies to return to the levels
set by the agreement within few days. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


PRAGUE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS CALL OFF STRIKE. Czechoslovak
air traffic controllers called off the strike planned for January-13
after new talks with representatives of the federal transport
ministry, and after an announcement that the head of the state
air traffic control authority Tomas Smid was dismissed. The controllers
demanded a doubling of pay and better equipment. A joint statement
issued later said that while the pay demand is justified it cannot
currently be met. The controllers were promised that authorities
would carry out a number of their suggested changes, CSTK reports.
(Barbara Kroulik)

YET ANOTHER POLITICAL PARTY IN SLOVAKIA. The Hungarian Independent
Initiative (IHI), an ethnic organization which belongs to Slovakia's
coalition government, plans to turn itself into a political party,
Secretary-General Karoly Toth told Nepszabadsag on January-10.
Toth said the move was needed to achieve more disciplined campaigning
in preparation for the June parliamentary elections in Czechoslovakia.
IHI intends to draft a comprehensive program encompassing all
spheres of minority life and will enter into electoral coalition
talks with the oppositional Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement
and Coexistence Political Movement, and the new Hungarian People's
Party set up in December 1991. (Alfred Reisch)

SMALLHOLDERS LEADERSHIP THREATENS TO QUIT HUNGARIAN COALITION.
The steering committee of the Independent Smallholders' Party,
the second largest party in the three-party coalition government,
has approved a resolution to quit the coalition by March-1 unless
the party is given more of a say in shaping government policy,
MTI reported. Smallholders chairman Jozsef Torgyan has threatened
several times in the past to leave the coalition and asked for
a renegotiation of the coalition's terms. The 45-Smallholders
deputies are, however, split into two factions, the larger of
which- currently comprising 33-deputies-favors staying in the
coalition under current circumstances and would assure the government
of a parliamentary majority even if the smaller group loyal to
Torgyan quit. (Edith Oltay)

ROMANIAN SENATE CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION OF ROMAN. The Senate
voted on January-10 to set up a commission to investigate possible
acts of corruption by the government of former Prime Minister
Petre Roman. The call was signed by 58-senators from the National
Salvation Front, which Roman still leads, as well as from opposition
parties. The move is interpreted by Romanian media as internal
NSF jockeying by factions loyal to President Ion Iliescu. On
January-7 the newspaper Azi republished a letter written in December
by Roman rejecting Iliescu's offer to resume dialogue. On January-11
Roman told the press that the Senate's vote was a diversion from
the real issues facing the country. (Mihai Sturdza) [As of 1200
CET] Compiled by Sallie Wise Chaballier & Charles Trumbull






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