The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. - Charles Darwin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 13, 21 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

SUPPORT FOR GAMSAKHURDIA DWINDLES. Western news agencies reported
on 20 January that supporters of ousted Georgian President Zviad
Gamsakhurdia had begun peace talks in Samtredia with representatives
of the ruling Military Council. Gamsakhurdia himself is variously
reported to be in Gali, in Sukhumi, or to have left Georgia altogether.
Military Council co-chairman Dzhaba Ioseliani stated that the
Council would hand over power to a civilian administration "in
about one month." (Two weeks ago National Democratic Party leader
Gia Chanturia said the Military Council would relinquish power
"within days.") The Georgian Cabinet of Ministers has issued
a decree on the creation of a temporary "Consultative Council"
that will advise acting Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua and which
includes a number of respected moderate intellectuals as well
as Gamsakhurdia's former parliament chairman Akaki Asatiani.
(Liz Fuller)

KARIMOV PROMISES LOWER PRICES FOR STUDENTS. In the wake of three
days of student demonstrations in Tashkent that reportedly resulted
in six deaths, Uzbek President Islam Karimov appeared on TV and
promised that students would be able to buy goods at pre-reform
prices, TASS and the central TV news reported on 20 January.
Price liberalization, introduced in Uzbekistan nearly a week
later than originally planned, was the reason for the disturbances.
The TV news report said that Karimov accused the opposition of
having manipulated the demonstrators in hopes of launching a
struggle for power in Uzbekistan, and asked for six months of
peace and hard work in order to give a better life to the citizens
of the country. (Bess Brown)

POPOV REJECTS NEW CITY GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION. Moscow Mayor
Gavriil Popov has rejected the new composition of the city government
proposed by Deputy Mayor Yurii Luzhkov, Russian Television reported
on 20-January. The mayor had accepted his government's resignation
on 9 January and ordered the streamlining of the government structure
in order better to implement reforms. The report did not indicate
why Popov had rejected Luzhkov's plan, but a press conference
has been scheduled for 22 January at which the new government
structure is expected to be revealed. (Carla Thorson)

KUZBASS COAL MINERS ANNOUNCE STRIKE. The Independent Trade Union
of Coal Miners from the Kuzbass region of Russia called for a
strike to begin on 25 January, Radio Rossii reported on 20-January.
The Kuzbass Miners Union Council was quoted as saying that the
uncontrolled rise in prices leaves them no choice but to strike.
The Radio also reported that a delegation of administrators from
the Kuzbass mines and representatives of the trade union travelled
to Moscow on 20 January to meet with Russian leaders. (Carla
Thorson)

RUSSIA TO SELL ARMS ABROAD? One way of earning hard currency
for investment in the program to convert defense industries to
civilian production would be to sell arms abroad, according to
Russian Supreme Soviet deputy Vladimir Shorin, Chairman of the
Supreme Soviet's Committee for Science and Education. Shorin,
currently traveling with Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov,
made his remarks to Soviet reporters in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, a
region heavily dominated by defense industries, on 20 January,
according to TASS the same day. (John Tedstrom)

RUTSKOI ON ARMY'S TROUBLES. In a Pravda interview published on
17 January, Russian Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi blamed political
leaders for politicizing the armed forces. As summarized by Western
agencies, Rutskoi warned that deteriorating conditions in the
armed forces could lead to "unpredictable consequences." The
former Air Force pilot also criticized what he called the effect
of "personal ambitions" on the fate of the Black Sea Fleet and
charged that since 1986 political leaders had carried out a campaign
of destruction against the military. His remarks appeared as
5,000 officers gathered in Moscow for the first All-Army Officers'
Assembly, a meeting that Rutskoi was reportedly unable to attend
because of illness. (Stephen Foye)

GROMOV TO MOLDOVA? During the recent All-Army Officers Assembly,
CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov appeared to say (his
words were indistinct) that the Fourteenth Army has been subordinated
to the Ground Forces and that Colonel General Boris Gromov has
been named its commander. The Fourteenth Army is deployed in
Moldova and has been actively involved in the efforts of pro-Moscow
forces in the so- called "Dniester Republic" to undermine Moldovan
independence. Gromov was the last commander of Soviet forces
in Afghanistan and has often been viewed as a leader of reactionary
forces in the armed forces. (Stephen Foye)

MILITARY SPOKESMAN ON FUTURE OF ARMY. Valerii Manilov, a spokesman
for the central military command, told a news conference on 20-January
that while the military leadership was prepared to help republics
build their own armies, strategic forces must stay under central
control. According to Novosti and Western agency reports, Manilov
criticized "unrestrained privatization" of army assets and said
that political leaders ignored the army's needs only at their
own risk. He also characterized the army as a powerful force
for stability, and warned against politicizing it. (Stephen Foye)


SIZE OF DEFENSE COMMUNITY IN RUSSIA. An adviser to Russian President
Boris Yeltsin on military affairs, Dmitrii Volkogonov, told Central
TV on 19 January that some eight million Russians work, in one
way or another, for the Russian defense establishment. Together
with their families, he said, some 30 million of Russia's 150
million people are therefore involved in defense. (Stephen Foye)


LOPATIN: SPLITS IN MILITARY LEADERSHIP. Colonel Vladimir Lopatin,
Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Committee for Defense Questions,
claimed in an interview published by Nezavisimaya gazeta on 7
January that the military leadership has been riven since the
August coup attempt by a power struggle involving three top generals:
CIS Commander in Chief Shaposhnikov, former General Staff Chief
Vladimir Lobov, and Russian Federation military adviser Konstantin
Kobets. His observations include the following: Lobov was dismissed
because he lost a power struggle with Shaposhnikov over the role
of the General Staff; Shaposhnikov and Kobets continue to resist
radical military reform; the military reform plan considered
by republican leaders in Minsk on 30 December was drafted not
by Shaposhnikov, but by Kobets. Lopatin also claims that Kobets
obstructed the investigation into the army's role in the attempted
August coup, and charged that he has placed two allies-Colonel
General Yurii Rodionov and Lieutenant General Viktor Samoilov-atop
the former Defense Ministry Main Personnel Directorate in order
to build a patronage network within the armed forces. (Stephen
Foye)

HURD PLEASED WITH YELTSIN MEETING. According to a TASS report
of 20 January, British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd was pleased
with the openness of his talks in Moscow that day with Yeltsin.
Hurd told a press conference that he and Yeltsin discussed "all
questions" dealing with economic policy and security matters.
(Sallie Wise Chaballier)

YELTSIN TO G-7? Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev was quoted
by TASS on 18 January as saying that he does not exclude Yeltsin's
attendance at the G-7 meeting scheduled for May in Munich. Kozyrev
said it would be necessary to prepare such a visit by Yeltsin
with care so that he would not leave empty-handed as did former
USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev following the July, 1991 G-7
meeting in London. (Suzanne Crow)

CUBA SIGNS TRADE ACCORDS WITH KYRGYZSTAN, TAJIKISTAN. In an apparent
effort to recover some of its severely diminished trade with
the former USSR, Cuba has concluded separate 5-year trade and
economic cooperation agreements with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
According to Western agency reports of 20 January, quoting the
official Cuban news agency Prensa Latina, Cuban Foreign Trade
Minister Ricardo Cabrisas signed the two accords last week during
talks in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Prensa Latina is reported
to have said that Cuba recently also has signed similar economic
cooperation agreements with Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the city
of St. Petersburg. Cabrisas is said to have been in the CIS for
several weeks, and is still trying to conclude a trade agreement
with Russia. (Sallie Wise Chaballier)

TURKMENISTAN WANTS TO SELL ELECTRIC POWER AND OIL TO IRAN. Tehran
Radio, as quoted by a Western news agency, reported on 20-January
that Turkmen Vice President Ata Charyev has discussed sales of
surplus Turkmen oil and gas with his Iranian counterpart. Charyev
also proposed establishment of a joint transport company and
direct telephone links between Turkmenistan and Iran. A Turkmenpres-TASS
report of the same date said that Turkmenistan also is hoping
to sell electric power to Iran and Afghanistan in order to acquire
hard currency. (Bess Brown)

BELARUS AND CHINA ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC LINKS. As reported on
21 January by Western agencies, China and the Republic of Belarus
have signed agreements establishing diplomatic ties between the
two countries and promoting trade. That gives the PRC full official
links with all three Slavic and five Central Asian members of
the CIS. China Daily quoted Belarus Prime Minister Vyacheslau
Kebich, who is heading the delegation to Beijing, as saying that
Belarus recognizes the PRC's claim over Taiwan. (Kathy Mihalisko)


STILL GRAPPLING WITH CHERNOBYL. On 17-January, a high-ranking
budget official in Minsk told Belarus Radio that owing to the
creation of the Commonwealth, Belarus will-have to pay the costs
of the Chernobyl cleanup-which will amount to an estimated 16
billion rubles in 1992-out of its own budget. In related news,
animal slaughter on a mass scale is taking place in Gomel Oblast
in response to the wide-spread shortage of meat, despite the
concerns of health officials who point out that radioactivity
levels in that region are still high. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KRAVCHUK ON CIS. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk in an interview
with Interfax denied that he is planning to take Ukraine out
of the CIS, Western agencies reported on 21-January. At the
moment, said Kravchuk, this is not the point. In recent comments
the Ukrainian leader has suggested that Ukraine would pull out
of the Commonwealth if the agreements signed in Alma-Ata and
Minsk by its members were not being observed. (Roman Solchanyk)


KRAVCHUK ON UKRAINIAN COUPONS. Kravchuk said on Ukrainian TV's
first program on 19 January that before introducing its own currency
Ukraine would consult with Russia and other states, Radio "Mayak"
reported that day. Kravchuk also said that at present Ukraine
has two currencies, coupons and the ruble, and that this has
resulted in hardships both for the population of Ukraine and
others. (Roman Solchanyk)

BACK TO THE FUTURE. In a return to a time difference originally
ordered by Stalin in 1930, most parts of the Russian Federation
on 19 January set clocks ahead one hour. Moscow time is now set
for GMT +3. Ukraine refused to go along, leading to widespread
confusion in, above all, transportation schedules. Kiev time
is GMT +2. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN-POLISH RELATIONS. Polish Foreign Minister Krzysztof
Skubiszewski was quoted by TASS on 20 January as saying that
he is ready to initial the Ukrainian-Polish treaty at a moment's
notice. Ties between the two countries are excellent, he said,
and there is nothing that prevent him from visiting Kiev. Final
details of the treaty need to be agreed upon after which the
document will be signed at a higher level. (Roman Solchanyk)


AZERBAIJAN COMMISSION ACCUSES PROPAGANDA, CPSU, AND KGB. The
Azerbaijan State Investigative Commission has concluded that
the military operation in Baku on 20 January, 1990 was a "carefully
planned and cynically executed punitive action," TASS reported
on 18 January. During the joint military action of the Soviet
Army, KGB, and MVD 131-people were killed and 744 wounded. The
report placed direct responsibility for organization of the action
on the Soviet central government. During the operation the central
authorities were represented in Baku by former USSR Defense Minister
Dmitrii Yazov, former USSR MVD Minister Vadim Bakatin, and former
Politburo member Egor Ligachev. (Victor Yasmann)

CHURCH OF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ABROAD OPENED IN MOSCOW. "Vesti"
reported on 19 January that the first church of the Russian Orthodox
Church Abroad has opened in the Mitinskoye cemetery in Moscow.
The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (New York based) is called
in Russia the Free Russian Orthodox Church since its followers
consider the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate
to be compromised by cooperation with the former Soviet regime.
(Oxana Antic)

BALTIC STATES



LATVIAN-RUSSIAN TREATY MAY BE RATIFIED IN FEBRUARY. Russian delegation
chief Aleksandr Granberg has recommended that the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet ratify the treaty between Latvia and Russia that was signed
by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Latvian Supreme Council
Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs on 13-January 1991. He also suggested
that a letter urging ratification be sent by representatives
of the Russians in Latvia and the minority Ravnopravie faction
of the Latvian Supreme Council. Such letters had been sent by
Russians in Estonia and Lithuania before treaties with those
countries were ratified by the Russian Supreme Soviet. Granberg
said that the treaty with Latvia may be ratified in February,
Radio Riga and BNS reported on 20-January. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA REMEMBERS OMON VICTIMS. On 20-January Latvians recalled
the OMON assault on the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1991
and held many commemorative ceremonies in honor of the five men
killed in Riga as a consequence of that attack. Minister of Internal
Affairs Ziedonis Cevers pointed out that the situation in Latvia
in January 1991 was more precarious than is widely known: besides
the continual threats of violence from OMON, there was the danger
of intervention from Soviet paratroopers, according to Radio
Riga of 20-January. (Dzintra Bungs)

EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS OF FARMERS' ASSOCIATION. Latvia's Farmers'
Association (Latvijas Lauksaimnieku Savieniba) convened in Riga
on 17-January to discuss the organization's future and the agricultural
policy in Latvia. Heretofore its membership has supported the
interests of those affiliated with collective farms in Latvia.
Given the ongoing privatization of farming in Latvia, that organization
needs a new program. Radio Riga reported on 20-January that the
congress also discussed whether the organization should become
a political party in its own right, or join forces with the renewed
Farmers' Union (Zemnieku Savieniba) that existed as a political
party representing farmers' interests during the interwar period;
that issue remained undecided. (Dzintra Bungs)

7,000 CLAIM PROPERTY IN TALLINN. Local authorities have received
over 7,000 applications in the capital city alone for the return
of property illegally confiscated under Communist rule. According
to Tallinn Real Estate Authority chief Ene Novek, quoted in Rahva
haal of 18-January, the applications will be registered and files
opened for processing and investigation by city committees. Novek
did not say when applicants would receive replies, but noted
that the first responses would be negative, going to those applicants
who could not demonstrate their inheritance or ownership rights.
(Riina Kionka)

CANADA OPENS DIPLOMATIC OFFICE IN VILNIUS. Canadian External
Affairs Minister Barbara McDougall announced in Ottawa that Canada
is opening an embassy office in Vilnius, Western agencies reported
on 20-January. The Vilnius office will be a satellite of Canada's
embassy in Stockholm and will provide trade and investment-promotion
assistance. Canada has already opened offices in Riga and Tallinn.
McDougall pledged continued friendship with the Baltic republics:
"We are actively supporting their efforts to strengthen their
democratic institutions and and implement economic reforms."
(Saulius Girnius)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

YUGOSLAV DIPLOMATIC UPDATE. Austrian TV reported on 18-January
that Italian President Francesco Cossiga and Austrian Foreign
Minister Alois Mock over the weekend became the first foreign
officials to visit Slovenia and Croatia following their recognition
by most European countries on or after 15-January. Italian and
Slovenian officials sought to play down potential problems over
the status of Slovenia's Italian minority, while Austrian businessmen
were anxious to pursue opportunities in rebuilding Croatia's
economy. Vecernji list reported that Poland will send some of
its world-famous restoration experts to work on Croatia's damaged
churches and other historical buildings, and will also supply
construction materials at cost. The paper also reprinted a letter
dated 15-January from former US President Ronald Reagan to Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman congratulating the Croats on recognition
by the EC. (Patrick Moore)

YUGOSLAV ARMY DENIES CHARGES OF BRUTALITY. On 20-January the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that the Yugoslav army denied
reports in the Western press that the Serbian-dominated military
was waging a systematic campaign of terror and destruction against
Croatia and its civilian population. The paper also noted that
the Serbian Orthodox Church had joined some of the Serbian nationalist
opposition in attacking President Slobodan Milosevic for agreeing
to the UN peace plan requiring the federal army to leave Serbian
enclaves in Croatia. (Patrick Moore)

MILOSEVIC TO VISIT TURKEY. On 20-January Radio Serbia reported
that Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic and the republic's
foreign minister will pay a visit to Ankara on 22-January for
talks with Turkey's President Turgut …zal and foreign minister
Erdal Inou at Serbia's request. Talks will center on aspects
of the Yugoslav crisis, Balkan developments, and bilateral relations.
Turkey has offered to contribute troops to the UN peacekeeping
force planned for deployment in war-torn areas of Croatia and
along the border between Bosnia and Croatia. Turkey has pledged
support for Yugoslavia's Muslims and Turks and said it will soon
extend recognition to four former Yugoslav republics. Bosnia
and Macedonia have large Muslim and Turkish populations. Last
week Milosevic met with top Greek officials. Leaders from all
the other former and current Yugoslav republics have met with
Greek and Turkish officials in recent weeks. Yugoslav media say
that both countries have become important factors in resolving
the Yugoslav political crisis. (Milan Andrejevich)

HUNGARY ON BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. On 18-January in Budapest, Hungarian
Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky told his counterpart from Bosnia-Herzegovina
Haris Silajdzic that international recognition of the former
Yugoslav republics is justified if they comply with democratic
criteria outlined by the EC. Describing Bosnia-Herzegovina as
one of the republics which "honestly seek to establish democratic
conditions and build a market economy," Jeszenszky said that
an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina would be a "very promising"
economic partner for Hungary. Silajdzic reiterated his proposal
that the former Yugoslav republics should form "a commonwealth."
(Edith Oltay)

HUNGARIAN AND AUSTRIAN POLICE COOPERATE. On 20-January Hungarian
Ministry of Internal Affairs and police officials attended the
inauguration of a joint Hungarian-Austrian police academy, Radio
Budapest reported. The academy is to conduct joint training in
fighting terrorism, arms smuggling, border violations, and neo-Nazism.
Hungarian and Austrian police have been cooperating closely in
tracking down neo-Nazis in both countries. On 20-January Hungarian
police launched investigations against a Hungarian neo-Nazi group
which maintained links with Austrian neo-Nazis. The groups had
sought to set up a "national-socialist state" and accumulated
a stock of military equipment. (Edith Oltay)

KLAUS SAYS PRIVATIZATION WILL GO AHEAD. Czechoslovak Finance
Minister Vaclav Klaus says his plan to privatize large industries
will proceed on schedule despite the disappearance of millions
of investment vouchers. Klaus said both Czech and Slovak governments
agreed that the plan could not be delayed any further. Under
the plan the govern-ment has distributed investment vouchers
which citizens can use to buy stock in corporations. Offi-cials
suspect that investment funds and speculators got hold of the
missing booklets. The vouchers must be registered by 31-January.
Klaus is not considering any extension of the deadline, Western
agencies reported on 20-January 1992. (Barbara Kroulik)

FORMER GERMAN PROPERTY IN CZECHO-SLOVAKIA. Chancellor Helmut
Kohl's Bavarian allies in the Christian Social Union Party demanded
on 20-January 1992 that Bonn continue pressing for the return
of former German property in Czechoslovakia. The CSU is protesting
the sale of property once owned by ethnic Germans. Kohl rejected
earlier CSU demands to include the property question in the friendship
treaty with Prague that was initialled last October, Western
agencies report. The German government's coalition parties are
to discuss the disputes over the treaty on 21-January.(Barbara
Kroulik)

CZECHOSLOVAK TRUCK FIRM FOR PARTNERSHIP WITH IVECO. The Czechoslovak
truck manufacturer Tatra has chosen Iveco European Group as its
partner in a joint venture, reports said on 18-January. Tatra
submitted the project to the Czech government for approval, Mlada
Fronta dnes reported. Tatra will assemble around 6,000 Iveco
lorries and produce 10,000 of its own four-, six-, and eight-wheel-drive
trucks a year. The joint venture will start after Tatra is privatized
in the spring of 1992. Recently Tatra criticized the terms of
a Mercedes, Liaz, and Avia association as "unacceptable." (Barbara
Kroulik)

ILLEGAL CROSSINGS OF POLISH BORDERS INCREASE. On 20-January Border
Guards spokesman Jaroslaw Zukowicz said that 524 people, including
440 Romanians, were detained last week while trying to enter
Poland illegally. He added that guards stopped four Vietnamese
attempting to cross the Polish-Lithuanian border. Meanwhile,
German border police in Frankfurt-on-the-Oder said that some
120 people from third countries, mostly Romanians, Bulgarians,
Indians, and Vietnamese, were caught last weekend trying to cross
illegally from Poland into Germany. Western and Polish wire services
carried the story. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

POLAND TO GET FUNDS TO PRESERVE FORESTS. Poland will receive
$4.5 million from the Global Environment Fund to protect forests
against decline. The Fund is sponsored by the World Bank and
the UN. PAP reported on 20-January that the money is to be used
to preserve trees in the Sudety Mountains and the primeval forest
of the Bialowieza National Park in eastern Poland. In another
development, a report for the EC published in Brussels on 20-January
said that forests in Eastern Europe showed twice as much ecological
damage as those in the EC countries. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

ROMANIAN DECREE ON WAGES STIRS CONTROVERSY. On 18-January four
trade unions that did not participate in wage and salary negotiations
with the government said that the official decision to increase
the minimum wage is still insufficient and that the three unions
that did participate-with no more than two million members-are
in no way representative of the union affiliates. On 20-January
Radu Campeanu, head of the National Liberal Party, and Geza Domokos,
President of the Democratic Union of Romanian Hungarians, urged
the unions to postpone their criticism until after the local
elections scheduled for 9-February, Romanian media reported.
(Mihai Sturdza)

ROMANIA'S LEADERS ON ECONOMIC REFORM. President Ion Iliescu said
on 20-January that the country's failure to attract large amounts
of foreign aid was due to Romania's poor image abroad,-which,
in turn, has made it difficult for the government to promote
reform and improve living conditions. Prime Minister Theodor
Stolojan warned the unions about stirring labor unrest through
unceasing demands for higher wages, as salaries cannot be increased
by repeated indexing unless production rises. There will be no
compromise in the move towards market economy, Stolojan said.
(Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIA AND THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Catherine Lalumi¸re, Secretary
General of the Council of Europe (CE), accompanied by several
officials, arrived in Sofia on 19-January for an information
session on the CE that opened on 20-January. After her meeting
with Foreign Minister Stoyan Ganev, BTA reported that three CE
commissions will come to Bulgaria in March to prepare reports
on the possibility of Bulgaria's association with the CE. Their
findings will then be discussed at a session in Strasbourg beginning
on 7-May. Among subjects Ganev discussed with Lalumi¸re were
Bulgaria's recognition of four Yugoslav republics and its policy
on ethnic minorities. (Rada Nikolaev)

BULGARIA ESTABLISHES DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH ARMENIA. Armenian
Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian arrived in Sofia on 18-January
on a previously unannounced two-day official visit. With his
host Stoyan Ganev he signed a protocol on establishment of diplomatic
relations. Bulgaria recognized Armenia on 24-December. BTA reported
that a protocol on consultations between the two ministries was
also signed and it was agreed later to sign a basic treaty on
friendship and cooperation. Experts will prepare the opening
of a direct Sofia-Erevan air link. (Rada Nikolaev) [As of 1200
CET] Compiled by Sallie Wise Chaballier & Charles Trumbull










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