|The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus|
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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