If we are to live together in peace, we must first come to know each other better. - Lyndon B. Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 9, 15 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

CIS LEADERS TO MEET JANUARY 16? Belarus leader Stanislav Shushkevich
told Interfax on January 14 that the presidents of the CIS states
wanted to hold an extraordinary meeting in Moscow on January
16. Shushkevich said he was not sure which leaders would attend,
but Yeltsin would be there, and most probably also Kravchuk,
albeit a bit late. (Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ANNULS KGB/MVD MERGER. In the first
major decision since its judges were appointed last October,
the Russian Constitutional Court unanimously voted to annul Russian
President Boris Yeltsin's decree merging the KGB and MVD at an
open hearing on January 14. TASS reported that the court's ruling
found Yeltsin's decree contrary to the Russian constitution's
provisions concerning "the separation of executive, legislative,
and judicial powers." The court reached its decision after listening
to six hours of arguments. Sergei Shakhrai, Russian Deputy Prime
Minister in charge of legal affairs, commented that, in his opinion,
the court's verdict "is not a decision of law, but a political
decision," according to TASS and Radio Mayak of January 14. (Carla
Thorson)

COUP PLOTTERS TO BE BROUGHT TO TRIAL. On January 14, after over
four months of investigation, the Russian Prosecutor's office
announced formal charges against the alleged leaders of the failed
August coup attempt, TASS reported. Russian Deputy Prosecutor
General Evgenii Lisov said that the people under investigation
were accused "not of betraying the motherland, but of conspiring
to seize power." Lisov also noted that former Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev could be called as a witness in the case, but
the investigation revealed no evidence of his possible involvement
in the coup. (Carla Thorson)

GEORGIA TO PROSECUTE GAMSAKHURDIA? Acting Georgian Prime Minister
Tengiz Sigua told a news conference in Tbilisi on January 14
that enough evidence had been collected to demand the extradition
of ousted President Zviad Gamsakhurdia from Armenia, where he
was granted temporary asylum on January 11, TASS reported on
January-14. Acting Prosecutor Vakhtang Razmadze listed the charges
against Gamsakhurdia as "large-scale robbery of state goods,
incitement to inter-ethnic confrontation, abuse of power, destruction
of cultural and architectural riches, and organization of genocide
in South Ossetia." Novosti quoted the Inform-Ekspress news agency
on January 14 as reporting that an official loyal to Gamsakhurdia
had arrived in Paris to request asylum in France for Gamsakhurdia
through the mediation of the Georgian emigre community there.
(Liz Fuller)

LACK SEA FLEET CONTROVERSIES. Ukrainian military experts, meeting
in Moscow on January 14 with their Russian counterparts, argued
that most of the fleet can be classified as non-strategic and
should go to Ukraine, Interfax reported. Meanwhile, Rossiiskaya
gazeta published an open appeal to Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk on January-15 in which four top-ranking military leaders,
including two admirals, criticized Kiev's intent to take over
the fleet. The authors alluded to what they called the Crimea's
historical Russian past and said that naval officers would consider
exercising their "right" to refuse illegal orders by failing
to respond to those issued by Kiev. Finally, TASS interviewed
a deputy Commander in Chief of the Navy on January 14, who said
that Ukraine would be unable to maintain the fleet. (Stephen
Foye)

KRAVCHUK WARNS RUSSIA. Meanwhile, Kravchuk on January 14 issued
a sharp warning to Russia and its leadership to stop interfering
in Ukrainian internal affairs. The warning came in a television
and radio address to the nation that focused on economic and
military matters. Kravchuk told viewers that certain Russian
leaders feel free to engage in insulting behavior. Russian imperial
interests, he said, have reached the point of disrespect towards
another state. "I want to stress," said Kravchuk, "that independent
Ukraine will not permit anyone to dictate conditions of any kind."
The Ukrainian president referred specifically to a recent interview
in Trud with Russian Minister for the Press and Mass Information
Mikhail Poltaranin. (Roman Solchanyk)

NAZARBAEV, SHAPOSHNIKOV ON DEFENSE. Following a meeting with
CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov on January 14 in
Alma-Ata, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev repeated his call
for a unified army. According to reports by Novosti and KAZTAG,
he also said he had received assurances that Kazakh conscripts
serving outside the republic could return home if forced to swear
an oath of allegiance to another republic. Shaposhnikov expressed
satisfaction with the talks, and contrasted Kazakh policies favorably
with those undertaken by Ukraine. On January 13 Nazarbaev met
with leaders of Kazakhstan's defense industries to address their
concerns over falling government orders and other economic problems
that they face, KAZTAG reported the next day. (Stephen Foye)


SOVIET NAVY PULLS BACK. British Defense Secretary Tom King told
Parliament on January 14 that warships of the former Soviet Navy
have withdrawn entirely from the Mediterranean Sea and Indian
Ocean for the first time since records began being kept in 1960,
Western agencies reported. (Stephen Foye)

RUMYANTSEV ON TATARSTAN, RELATIONS WITH AUTONOMIES. Oleg Rumyantsev,
secretary of the Russian Supreme Soviet's Constitutional Commission,
told a press conference in Moscow on January 14, that Tatarstan
was determined to achieve state independence, TASS and Radio
Mayak reported on January 14. Rumyantsev, who had just returned
from a visit to Kazan, said that a draft law on Tatarstan citizenship
has been prepared, and a law on a referendum approved under which
it would be necessary for only 26% of the electorate to vote
in favor of independence for the motion to be carried. Rumyantsev
warned of the danger of the Russian Federation disintegrating,
and said that a draft document delimiting the powers of the federal
authorities and the republics, krais, and oblasts represented
the last chance of holding Russia together. The document has
already been criticized by several of the constituent republics.
(Ann Sheehy)

RUMYANTSEV ON UKRAINE. Rumyantsev told the same press conference
that his recent visit to Ukraine convinced him that Ukraine was
not interested in strengthening the CIS. The strategic aim of
its leadership was rapid entry into the European Community. In
fact, the Ukrainian leadership has made no secret of the fact
that this is its aim. (Ann Sheehy)

BURBULIS DENIES IMMINENT MONETARY REFORM. In an interview with
Central Television's Novosti January 14, Russian First Deputy
Prime Minister Gennadii Burbulis denied rumors that the government
would carry out a monetary reform "in the near future." Monetary
reforms are a common prescription for economies with runaway
inflation. Rumors have been circulating in Moscow that a monetary
reform would be implemented January-16. Burbulis said that there
was no danger of a monetary reform for at least one month and
perhaps longer, depending on the situation at the time. In the
meantime, Russia is coming out with a system of checkbooks, apparently
similar to Eurocheques, sometime in the next two weeks. (John
Tedstrom)

DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA SUPPORTS YELTSIN. The co-leader of the "Democratic
Russia" Movement, Vladimir Bokser, told TASS on January 14 that
the Movement has set up committees for Russian reform in regions
and cities of Russia, based on the Movement's local organizations,
to support Yeltsin's reform program. Bokser criticized the Kadet
Party, which left the Yeltsin camp. The Kadets will join the
Christian-Democrats and Nikolai Travkin's Democratic Party of
Russia in forming a center-right movement as an opposition to
Yeltsin's government. That movement will be founded at a forthcoming
congress of "civic and patriotic forces" at the beginning of
February. (Alexander Rahr)

GORBACHEV UPDATE. Colonel Viktor Alksnis, former leader of the
conservative parliamentary faction Soyuz, has accused former
Gorbachev of having sanctioned KGB surveillance of leaders of
all political parties, including Yeltsin. Alksnis told Sovetskaya
Rossiya on January 14 that the information gathered had been
kept in eight safes in the offices of Gorbachev's presidential
apparatus. (See Daily Report of January 8 for similar allegations.)
The Russian Deputy Prosecutor General, Evgenii Lisov, has denied
recent reports that Gorbachev is restricted to the Moscow area
(see Daily Report, January 13). He told Radio Rossii the same
day that if Gorbachev wants to give lectures in the US, nobody
will stop him. Gorbachev is reported to be working on a new book
on the collapse of the USSR. (Alexander Rahr)

GORBACHEV STARTS NEW JOB. After three weeks off following his
resignation as USSR President, Gorbachev yesterday started his
new job as head of the Foundation for Social-Political Research,
which also carries his name, TASS reported on January-14. The
foundation will be registered in the near future and Gorbachev
plans to use the new think tank to continue his involvement in
domestic and international politics. Former US President Ronald
Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and
former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reportedly have
agreed to participate in the foundation's work. (Alexander Rahr)


SOUTH OSSETIA TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON INDEPENDENCE. A session of
the South Ossetian Supreme Soviet has voted to hold a referendum
on January 19 on whether South Ossetia should be independent
and "be reunited with Russia," Radio Mayak reported on January
14. A Georgian delegation left for the South Ossetian capital
of Tskhinvali on January 14 for talks on a settlement of the
two-year old crisis, according to Western news agency reports
of January 14. (Liz Fuller)

UZBEK SUPREME SOVIET PASSES LAW ON UZBEKS ABROAD. RFE/RL has
learned that Uzbekistan's Supreme Soviet passed a law on January
14 permitting Uzbeks who are citizens of foreign countries to
apply for Uzbek citizenship while retaining their foreign citizenship.
Uzbeks living abroad are granted the same benefits enjoyed by
citizens of Uzbekistan, including the right to enter the country
without a visa, to buy property, and to enroll their children
in educational institutions. (Yakub Turan and Timur Kocaoglu)


STRIKES SPREAD IN KAZAKHSTAN. Radio Mayak reported on January
14 that Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Sergei Tereshchenko has gone
to Karaganda Oblast to meet with striking coal miners. One mine
has been struck since prices were liberalized at the beginning
of the month; it has since been joined by nine others, and the
losses to the Kazakh economy are considerable. The Mayak report
said that Tereshchenko had promised the miners that the government
would join them in seeking solutions to the problems caused by
marketization, but did not indicate the miners' response. (Bess
Brown)

IRAN OPENS EMBASSY IN TAJIKISTAN. Radio Rossii reported on January
14 that Iran has opened an embassy in Dushanbe. It is the first
foreign country to do so. The street on which the embassy is
located has been renamed Teheran Street (formerly it was Gorkii
Street). (Bess Brown)

SNEGUR CABLES YELTSIN OVER INCIDENT AT MOSCOW MISSION. Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur cabled Yeltsin on January 13 to complain
about the "violation of diplomatic immunity" of Moldova's representation
in Moscow on January-12. During the demonstration held on Manezh
square that day by Russian ultranationalist and communist groups,
several hundred demonstrators forced open the gate of Moldova's
mission located nearby and over-ran the courtyard, chanting slogans
in favor of the "Dniester republic." Snegur told Yeltsin in the
cable that the incident had been organized "by adversaries of
the Alma-Ata accords" to damage relations between Moldova and
Russia, and that Moldova would continue to promote those relations.
(Vladimir Socor)

UKRAINIAN-SWEDISH RELATIONS. The Swedish foreign minister arrived
in Kiev January 13 and held talks with Ukrainian President Kravchuk
and Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anatolii Zlenko, Radio
Kiev and TASS reported on January 13. The two sides intend to
sign a package of agreements. On the same day, Ukraine and Sweden
signed an agreement to establish diplomatic relations between
the two countries. (Roman Solchanyk)

NEW INSTITUTE FOR BUDDHISM. TASS reported on January 9 that an
Institute for the Study of Buddhism opened that day in Moscow.
One of the main goals of the Institute is the study, commentary,
and translation into Russian of Chinese and Buddhist texts. (Oxana
Antic)

BALTIC STATES



ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT SET TO FALL? In a January-13 speech to the
Supreme Council, Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar said Estonia has
enough meat to last five more days and enough gasoline for two
weeks, according to BNS that day. The speech came the day after
Savisaar asked the Supreme Council to grant his government special
powers during an economic state of emergency. Savisaar has threatened
to step down along with his cabinet if the proposal is not passed.
The Supreme Council will vote on that proposal today (January-15)
or tomorrow. (Riina Kionka)

VAGNORIUS ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT. On January-14 Prime Minister
Gediminas Vagnorius discussed the country's economy in a speech
to the Lithuanian parliament broadcast live by Radio Lithuania.
He noted that economic reforms are being carried out at a faster
pace and in a more organized legal manner than in other former
communist regimes but that the greatest obstacles are the need
to add more guarantees to the law on foreign investments and
the backwardness of Lithuania's banking system. If the pace of
1991 can be maintained, the plan for privatizing two-thirds of
Lithuania's economy by the end of the year should be completed
successfully. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN SUPREME COUNCIL SESSION. The session also amended
the law "On Citizens' Rights to Remaining Property" to allow
the children of former property owners to inherit their rights
to the property, Radio Lithuania reported on January-15. The
amendments, in effect, allow the grandchildren of the original
property owners to make claims for the restoration of the property.
Such claims, however, have to be filed by January-31, 1992. Deputy
Aurimas Taurantas also announced the formation of another faction
in the parliament, the National Progress Faction. (Saulius Girnius)


NEW PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION CHAIR-MEN IN LATVIA. On January-14,
after debating heatedly the work of its Foreign Relations Commission,
the Latvian Supreme Council elected Indulis Berzins as the new
chairman of that commission, Radio Riga reported. He was endorsed
by 85 of the 134-deputies present; as head of the People's Front
of Latvia parliamentary faction, he was evidently backed by all
PFL deputies. His opponent Maris Budovskis, nominated by the
Satversme (Constitution) faction, received 35-votes. The previous
chairman, Mavriks Vulfsons, has started to work for the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs. Guntis Grube was elected as chairman of the
Agriculture and Forestry Commission replacing Voldemars Strikis.
(Dzintra Bungs)

ARMY SLOW TO FULFILL PROMISES OF FUEL. Ziedonis Blumbergs, Latvia's
Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy, told Diena of January-14
that the Northwestern Group of Forces has delayed fulfilling
its promise of supplying the Latvian transport system with 100,000
tons of diesel fuel and 50,000 tons of gasoline. So far the army
has provided only about 100-tons of diesel fuel and 70-tons of
gasoline, despite an acute need for all forms of fuel by Latvia.
Blumbergs also noted that Latvia also faces a shortage of liquid
gas. (Dzintra Bungs)

CONVERSION OF MILITARY PLANTS STARTED IN LATVIA. On January-11
Radio Riga described a recent conference where heads of seven
factories in Riga, heretofore making products for the Soviet
military, discussed with Latvian officials the process of converting
production to meet civilian needs. The conversion process was
started last summer and has been proceeding satisfactorily, though
all of the factories are still under the jurisdiction of the
USSR Ministry of Defense and have contracts to fulfill for that
ministry. The conference revealed that in none of the seven factories
do military personnel make up more than 25% of the employees;
in most plants only a handful of military persons are employed.
(Dzintra Bungs)

KOZYREV IN ESTONIA. Paevaleht reported on January-14 that Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and his Estonian counterpart
Lennart Meri met that day in Tallinn and exchanged ratification
documents for the Estonian-Russian treaty signed January-12,
1991, but only ratified by the Russian Supreme Soviet last week.
The Estonian Supreme Council ratified the agreement in the spring
of 1991. (Riina Kionka)

PRISON GUARDS WANTED IN ESTONIA. The Estonian Prison Authority
is now accepting applications for a number of prison guard jobs
left vacant by withdrawing Soviet Interior Ministry forces. According
to Paevaleht of January-14, the authority has received over 200
applications, and 80 people have been hired as guards in Tallinn
at a monthly salary of 1500 rubles. It is not clear how many
jobs are available. (Riina Kionka)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

EC REPORT ON RECOGNIZING CROATIA AND SLOVENIA EXPECTED TODAY.
Western media reported on January-14 and 15 that an EC commission
composed of judges is expected to state on the 15th that Croatia
and Slovenia meet Community conditions for recognition as independent
states. Some doubts had been expressed about protection of minority
rights in Croatia, but President Franjo Tudjman is expected to
issue a declaration on January-15 to clear up the issue. Some
confusion nonetheless remains as to the exact content of the
judges' findings and about which countries will actually move
to recognize the two. To date Germany, Ukraine, the Baltic States,
Iceland, San Marino, and the Vatican have extended recognition,
and Czechoslovakia and Hungary appear headed in the same direction.
Domestic political in-fighting, however, seems to be preventing
the Austrian government, long sympathetic to the two republics,
from granting formal recognition as yet. Finally, most reports
agree that the judges will not recommend recognition for Bosnia
and Herzegovina or Macedonia, but Portuguese Foreign Minister
Joo de Deus Pinheiro said they could get the green light in
"days or weeks." (Patrick Moore)

YUGOSLAV UPDATE. The January-15 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
says that Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis urgently
asked for a meeting with Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Foreign Minister
Hans-Dietrich Genscher on the 14th when it was learned that Bulgarian
Foreign Minister Stojan Ganev had spoken to them that day. Sofia
backs independence for the Republic of Macedonia, while Athens
is firmly opposed. In Bosnia Western agencies on January-14 quoted
the deputy interior minister as saying that 2 million out of
4.3-million inhabitants are armed and cannot be easily controlled.
The BBC's Romanian Service on January-15 quoted Serbian sources
in that ethnically mixed republic as saying that local Croats
might join the Serbs in urging a "cantonization" of the area
(i.e., division into districts in which one nationality has more
or less a majority). (Patrick Moore)

HUNGARY AND YUGOSLAVIA. Hungarian State Secretary for Foreign
Affairs Tamas Katona told MTI that once the EC countries recognize
the independence of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
Macedonia, Hungary will follow suit within 24 hours. Hungarian
Foreign Ministry spokesman Janos Herman told a press conference
that Hungarian and EC officials are expected to sign a protocol
in Budapest this week expanding the EC's monitoring activity
in Yugoslavia to Hungary's border region. Accredited EC observers
will set up their headquarters in Pecs, the site of trilateral
talks between the Croatian National Guard, the Yugoslav federal
army, and EC observers. This was reported by MTI on January-14.
(Edith Oltay)

CORRUPTION IN KOSOVO. The January-14 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
says that Serbs in Kosovo have collected thousands of signatures
against corrupt Serb officials sent from Belgrade. The targets
of the petition drive run the state-administration and 350-firms
under state control. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has
promised to settle at least 100,000 Serbs in the area, the population-of
which is over 90% Albanian. The petitioners charge, however,
that even Milosevic's own officials refuse to settle there and
simply view their assignment as an opportunity to make easy money.
(Patrick Moore)

DANGER OF FURTHER STRIKES IN POLAND INCREASES. After the widespread
Solidarity warning strikes on January-13, the former communist
OPZZ unions are launching as of January-15 protest actions in
the metal and armaments industry that could lead to strikes if
their demands are not met. According to Polish and Western media,
they are demanding more money be allocated to the defense sector
and improvement of the industry's financial position. Factions
within both OPZZ and Solidarity are also demanding further strike
actions, particularly in view of the government refusal to rescind
the controversial energy price hikes. (Roman Stefanowski)

UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN POLAND. Ukrainian Defense Minister
Gen. Konstantin Morozov arrived in Poland on January-14 on what
his Polish counterpart Jan Parys called "a visit of historical
importance," Polish and Western media report. At a joint press
conference at the end of the one-day official visit, Morozov
stressed that Ukraine is developing a defensive military doctrine
under which it would never start an armed conflict. He assured
Poland that Ukraine has no territorial claims on its neighbors
and will never use nuclear weapons. He said that short-range
nuclear weapons will be removed from the country by July-1, 1992,
and strategic nuclear weapons by the end of 1994. (Roman Stefanowski)


WALESA WRITES YELTSIN. The presidential press office has released
a letter to President Boris Yeltsin dated January-13 in which
President Lech Walesa asks for the return of files taken out
of Poland by the NKVD during and after World War II. According
to PAP, these documents relate to the prewar Polish army, state
police, and state administration. Walesa also asks for access
to documentation concerning the fate of Polish officers interned
at the Kozielsk, Ostashkov, and Starobielsk POW camps and many
of whom were murdered at the Katyn, Mednoe and Kharkov sites.
(Roman Stefanowski)

TRIAL OF FORMER CZECHOSLOVAK OFFICIALS RESUMES.
The trial of former Interior Minister Frantisek Kincl, his first
Deputy Alojz Lorenc, and former top secret police officer Karel
Vykypel resumed in Tabor on January-14, CSTK and Western agencies
report. Kincl denied charges of repressing noncommunist dissidents
and said he was only carrying out the instructions of the leaders
of the Communist Party. He also said he was innocent of charges
that he had destroyed secret police files after the November
1989 revolution. (Peter Matuska)

HERSANT BUYS INTO CZECH PAPER. Hersant, which owns the Paris-based
daily Le Figaro, France soir and 27-other smaller newspapers
in France, has paid $22 million to buy a 48% interest in Mlada
fronta dnes, the largest Czech daily, with a circulation of 400,000.
The French group beat out competitors from Italy, the US, and
Germany, including the powerful Allgemeine Zeitung press group,
the Financial Times reported on January-14. Hersant already has
a stake in the largest daily in Poland, Rzeczpospolita, and seven
other provincial Polish dailies. It also owns 49% of Magyar nemzet,
the oldest and second-largest daily in Hungary. (Peter Matuska)


HUNGARY SATISFIED WITH THE PACE OF PRIVATIZATION. Lajos Csepi,
head of Hungary's State Property Agency-in charge of privatizing
state property-expressed satisfaction with the pace of privatization
of state companies in 1991, Radio Budapest and Hungarian dailies
reported on January 13 and 14. Csepi said that the agency collected
40-billion forint in revenues (85% of it in foreign currency)
from selling off state companies, exceeding its anticipated revenue
for 1991 by 100-million forint. Ten percent of the 1880 state
companies were privatized in 1991. Noting that domestic investors
lack the capital to participate significantly in privatization,
Csepi urged government measures to help them keep pace. (Edith
Oltay)

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN TURKEY. Gen. Nicolae Spiroiu arrived
in Ankara on January-13 for three days of talks with Turkish
military officials on bilateral cooperation. Turkey's Defense
Minister Nevzat Ayaz said the visit will enhance relations between
the two countries. (Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIA RECOGNIZES MORE FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS. On January-13
Bulgaria recognized the independence of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan and expressed readiness to establish
diplomatic relations with them. The independence of Georgia and
Azerbaijan was also recognized, but without an offer of diplomatic
relations. Bulgaria recognized Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, and
Kazakhstan on December-23 and 24, and had earlier established
relations with Russia and Ukraine. (Rada Nikolaev)

KOZLODUY NUCLEAR PLANT. No.-5, the first of the two 1000-megawatt
reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, was scheduled to
be switched on again after a general check when, on January-5,
a defect in the thermal insulation caused smoke. By January-13,
BTA said, the fault had been repaired and authorization was given
to restart the reactor. International sensitivity about the risks
from Kozloduy led to a misunderstanding, however, and German
Minister of Environment Klaus Tpfer told Western agencies on
January-14 that Bulgaria had switched on one of the two oldest,
440-megawatt reactors, which last year were closed down at the
insistence of international experts. The Bulgarian authorities
immediately reacted to deny these charges and set the record
straight. (Rada Nikolaev) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Sallie
Wise Chaballier & Charles Trumbull


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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