Change is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be a fish. - Ovid
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 15, 23 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

GEORGIAN SITUATION DETERIORATES. Troops of the ruling Georgian
Military Council advanced on 22 January from Abasha to Senaki
(formerly Tskhakaya), where Military Council co-chairman Dzhaba
Ioseliani held inconclusive talks with Gamsakhurdia supporters
from Zugdidi. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Military Council
is preparing an assault on Zugdidi. Military Council troops also
attacked the Black Sea port of Poti on the night of 22 January
in violation of a cease-fire agreement concluded the previous
day, Western news agencies reported. Deposed President Zviad
Gamsakhurdia himself is variously reported to be either in Grozny,
where the Chechen parliament has offered him asylum, or in Gali
(just the other side of the Abkhaz border from Zugdidi) receiving
medical treatment. (Liz Fuller)

GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY PLANS TO RESTRICT PRIVATE CONTACTS
WITH FOREIGNERS. On 22 January Radio Tbilisi carried a statement
issued by the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the effect
that both private individuals and political figures in Georgia
have the right to maintain personal contacts with foreigners
"on a private basis only" and in the course of those contacts
may express only their private interests or those of their organization,
but not those of the state as a whole, lest unauthorized contacts
"cause damage to Georgia's international relations and its vital
interests abroad" and exacerbate Georgia's already tarnished
public image in the West. (Liz Fuller)

MILITARY BUDGET ON MINSK AGENDA. Anticipating the upcoming CIS
meeting in Minsk, spokesman for the armed forces Leonid Ivashov
said on 22 January that Russia has agreed to finance 62.3% of
the commonwealth military budget in 1992, while Ukraine will
pay 17.3%, Kazakhstan will pay 5.1%, and the other states will
contribute smaller amounts, TASS reported. Ivashov said that
the proportion of military spending devoted to the social needs
of servicemen would be increased dramatically. He also said that
military reform would be discussed in Minsk, including a proposal
to vest supreme military command powers with the Council of the
CIS Heads of State; the Council of Heads of Government would
deal with military economic activities. The START and CFE treaties
will also be discussed. (Stephen Foye)

ARMS PROCUREMENT PLUMMETS. US intelligence chiefs told the Senate
Armed Services Committee on 22 January that the former Soviet
republics are making significant cutbacks in procurement of military
hardware, The Washington Post reported on 23 January. According
to one of the chiefs, proposed Russian procurement in the first
quarter of 1992 appears to have been cut by some 80% from last
year, with the percentage reduction in new weapons orders being
even higher. He said that Russian leaders have tried to limit
cuts in spending on military research and development, but that
even there spending might have fallen by as much as 30%. CIA
director Robert Gates, who also testified, said that cutbacks
included elimination of Yankee class and short-range ballistic
missile submarines and cancellation of SS-11 and SS-17 missiles.
(Stephen Foye)

YELTSIN MEETS KUZBASS MINERS. Yeltsin met with miners from Russia's
Kuzbass region on 22-January, TASS and Radio Moscow reported.
The miners reportedly had decided earlier in the day not to launch
a planned strike after reaching agreement with Russian authorities
on the establishment of a commission to address their problems.
Yeltsin and representatives from the mines discussed social and
economic problems faced by the miners, the supply of goods to
the region, and wage increases. (Carla Thorson)

MDR SPOKESMAN WARNS OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION BREAKUP. Vladimir Fedorovsky,
press secretary for the Movement for Democratic Reforms' Political
Council, has warned of the possible breakup of the Russian Federation,
Western agencies reported. In an article for the Swiss daily
Le Nouveau Quotidien of 22 January, Fedorovsky said that the
Federation could suffer the same fate as the Soviet Union. He
noted the possible formation of a Pan-Turkic union uniting Central
Asia with Tatarstan and Bashkiria and the potential for a "community
of the two seas" linking the Baltic states with Belarus and Ukraine.
Fedorovsky said these developments had gone unnoticed in the
furor over the creation of the Commonwealth. (Carla Thorson)


RUSSIAN BANK TO PRINT MORE MONEY. Monetary emissions in the first
quarter of 1992 will total some 34 billion rubles, according
to the chairman of the Russian Central Bank, Georgii Matyukhin.
Matyukhin announced the bank's forecast to deputies in the Russian
Supreme Soviet on 22 January, TASS reported that day. That rate
roughly doubles the rate of money creation in the RSFSR in 1991.
Russia arguably has greater monetary and fiscal needs and responsibilities
than did the RSFSR, but the increase is nonetheless cause for
concern. Until Russia can control its monetary emissions, there
is no reason to believe the hyperinflationary conditions in the
country will improve. (John Tedstrom)

MORE ON FINANCIAL OPERATIONS OF THE CPSU. Before it was banned,
the CPSU managed to set up 600 private businesses on the territory
of the former USSR and invested three billion rubles in them,
Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 22-January. The CPSU also set
up some businesses abroad. This was done, according to Komsomolskaya
pravda, with the assistance of the KGB's external operations
network. The newspaper said that documents on CPSU/KGB business
activities abroad are still kept secret. (Vera Tolz)

YELTSIN'S TRAVELS. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vitalii
Churkin announced at his briefing on 22 January that Russian
President Boris Yeltsin will travel to Great Britain, the US,
and Canada from 30 January until 2 February. (Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV TO SUE RADICAL DEPUTY. On 21-January, the TV newscast's
anchor showed viewers a handwritten statement sent by former
USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev to Egor Yakovlev, chairman of
the Russian radio and television company "Ostankino." In it,
Gorbachev cited an interview with radical USSR deputy Sergei
Belozertsev on the TV show "VID" of 17 January, in which Belozertsev
accused Gorbachev of having taken part in the attempted August
coup. According to Belozertsev, Gorbachev had met one of the
putschists, then-Interior Minister Boris Pugo, a few days before
the coup. In response, Gorbachev wrote that everything Belozertsev
said was a lie and added that he had requested the investigator
in charge of the coup case to bring a criminal charge of slander
against Belozertsev. (During a news conference held earlier on
17 January, the investigators reiterated their statement that
Gorbachev was not implicated in the coup attempt.) (Julia Wishnevsky)


MICROFILMING THE CPSU ARCHIVES. A British publishing firm, Chadwyck-Healey,
announced on 21 January that it had won a contract to microfilm
the entire archives of the former Soviet Communist Party, Western
agencies reported. The CPSU archives contain millions of previously
secret documents dating back to the Bolshevik revolution, to
which Western scholars are anxious to gain access. The firm said
that the agreement was reached with Russian authorities, and
they intend to establish a task force to help organize and open
up the archives. (Carla Thorson)

POPE PLANS TO VISIT RUSSIA. TASS from Helsinki quoted on 21 January
a Finnish Telegraph Buro journalist as saying that cardinal Edward
Cassidi told him that plans are in the works for Pope John Paul
II to visit Russia, although the visit will not take place in
the near future. (Oxana Antic)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT DECIDES NOT TO DISCUSS CRIMEA. The Russian
parliament decided, for the time being, not to discuss a decree
drawn up by its Committee on International Affairs and External
Economic Ties declaring the 1954 decision to transfer the Crimea
from the RSFSR to Ukraine invalid on the grounds that it violated
both all-Union and RSFSR laws, Pravda reported on 18-January.
So as not to increase tension between Russia and Ukraine, the
matter was referred to other parliamentary committees and commissions.
The question had been raised before in the Russian parliament
at the time of the ratification of the treaty between Russia
and Ukraine, but dropped after Yeltsin said it would be possible
to demand Crimea back only after Ukraine left the USSR. (Ann
Sheehy)

KRAVCHUK WARNS OF THREAT TO UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE. Ukrainian
President Leonid Kravchuk on 22 January warned of a possible
threat to Ukrainian independence from unnamed forces that want
to "turn back the course of events," Western news agencies reported
that day. Kravchuk issued the warning in a speech opening a congress
of Ukrainians from throughout the former Soviet Union and other
countries. In the past week, the Ukrainian leader has accused
Russia of interfering in Ukrainian affairs. In his address,
Kravchuk also raised the question of the national and cultural
rights of Ukrainians outside Ukraine. (Roman Solchanyk)

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF UKRAINE ON CIS. The Presidium of the Democratic
Party of Ukraine has issued a statement saying that Ukraine should
disavow the Minsk agreements on the CIS and declare its withdrawal
from the Commonwealth, Radio Kiev reported on 22 January. The
statement was prompted by statements made at the recent conference
of military officers in Moscow, which is said to have ridiculed
the idea that the CIS members are independent states. Ukraine's
continued membership in the CIS, says the statement, constitutes
a threat to its sovereignty and independence. (Roman Solchanyk)


30% OF TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS WITHDRAWN FROM UKRAINE. At a
meeting of the Ukrainian parliamentary commission on defense
and national security on 22 January, it was an-nounced that the
withdrawal of tactical nuclear-war-heads from Ukraine was proceeding
in an organized fashion. Thirty percent of the weapons have already
been removed, according to a Ukrinform-TASS report on the meeting.
The commission also lodged a strong protest against "the campaign
of distortion and falsification launched by the former center
with respect to the establishment of the armed forces [of Ukraine]."
(Kathy Mihalisko)

FAMOUS REGIMENT IN BELARUS ISSUES ULTIMATUM. Officers of "Belpolk,"
a well-known unit of the interior forces, are demanding at least
a three-fold increase in pay, according to a BelTA-TASS report
on 21 January. The officers are threatening to strike if their
commanders fail to meet this and other demands by 1 February.
They have also vowed to release prisoners from general and strict
regime penal colonies if their demands are not satisfied. In
recent months, "Belpolk" has become a center of agitation for
better conditions for interior troops. (Kathy Mihalisko)

MORE ON TASHKENT MUFTI. An article in the 16-January issue of
Nezavisimaya gazeta explains the recent attempt to unseat the
head of the Muslim Religious Board for Central Asia, Muhammad-Sadyk
Muhammad-Yusuf. According to this account, a council of imams
voted the mufti out of office on 7-January, warning that if he
did not go voluntarily, dissatisfied believers might take action.
The Board refused to recognize the Council's action, but promised
to convoke a congress in February to decide the mufti's fate.
The same promise was made under similar circumstances last year;
even if the congress is held, it is unlikely to resolve the disputes
dividing the Muslim clergy in Uzbekistan. (Bess Brown)

UZBEK FOREIGN MINISTRY ATTACKS PRESS. Uzbekistan's foreign ministry
has accused the foreign and commonwealth press of "tendentious"
reporting of the student disturbances in Tashkent on 16 to 19
January, according to UzTAG-TASS on 22 January. The ministry
complained that the reports called into question the process
of democratization in Uzbekistan, and were intended to destabilize
the internal situation and undermine Uzbekistan's reputation
abroad. Conservative Uzbek authorities have been quick to take
offense at reports in the liberal press since the institution
of glasnost. (Bess Brown)

TAJIKISTAN APPLIES FOR UN MEMBERSHIP. TASS reported on 22 January
that Tajik President Rakhman Nabiev has made a formal request
for Tajikistan to be admitted to the UN. It is the fourth Central
Asian state to request admission; only Turkmenistan has not yet
submitted a request. Kazakhstan's request for admission, the
first to be received by the UN, has been approved by the Security
Council and will be submitted to the General Assembly at its
next session. (Bess Brown)

MOLDOVA TO APPEAL TO UN AND NGOS IF IGNORED BY YELTSIN. Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur told a visiting delegation of the International
Helsinki Federation for Human Rights that Yeltsin has failed
to reply to Snegur's recent cables (see Daily Report, 15 and
16 January) requesting the Russian Federation President's intercession
to curb the Russian insurgency in eastern Moldova and the support
it receives from citizens of the Russian Federation and the military.
Snegur told the IHF delegation that if Moldova's plight is ignored,
Chisinau will appeal officially to the United Nations and to
international NGOs for intercession in Moldova, Moldovapres reported
on 22 January. Moldova first appealed to the UN and NGOs in December
1991 but the appeal is not known to have been answered from any
quarter other than IHF. (Vladimir Socor)

BALTIC STATES



ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT RESIGNS. After a week of escalation, Estonian
Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar resigned on 23-January. His move
was widely expected, given his inability to form a commission
that would implement the state of emergency the government was
granted more than a week ago. The presidium of the Supreme Council
now has two weeks to name a new prime minister candidate. This
candidate in turn has two weeks to form a government, which must
then be approved by the Supreme Council as a whole. If the government
is not approved, the presidium has one week to name a new candidate,
and the process begins again. To date no political movement has
formally named its choice for the new prime minister, although
the names frequently heard are those of current Supreme Council
Chairman Arnold Ruutel, deputy speaker Marju Lauristin, Supreme
Council deputy Lia Hanni, Transportation Minister Raivo Vare,
and Justice Minister Juri Raidla. (Riina Kionka)

BELARUS READY TO RECALL ITS SOLDIERS FROM THE BALTICS? Belarus
Minister of Defense Affairs Petr Chaus recently told his country's
Supreme Soviet that it is a matter of honor for Belarus to recall
its soldiers who are stationed in the Baltics, particularly at
a time when Russia is assuming jurisdiction over the armed forces
of the former USSR, reported Yurii Svirko in Diena of 20-January.
Chaus, a former chief of staff of the USSR Baltic Military District,
claimed that the situation of the Belarus officers in the Baltics
is untenable. Apparently in response to Chaus's claim, on 11-January
the Belarus Supreme Soviet issued a statement assuring officers
stationed throughout the former USSR they would retain their
jobs and rank if they returned home to Belarus. (Kathy Mihalisko
and Dzintra Bungs)

BRITAIN TO RETURN BALTIC GOLD. After a meeting with Chairman
of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis on 22-January,
British Prime Minister John Major announced that Britain would
compensate the Baltic republics for the $160 million of gold
that they had deposited with the Bank of England before 1940,
a RFE/RL correspondent in London reported. Latvia had 6.58 tons
of gold, Estonia-4.48, and Lithuania-2.96, which Britain sold
in the 1960s. Major also said that England and Lithuania would
renounce any other outstanding financial claims. Director of
the Bank of Lithuania Vilnius Baldisius will travel to London
next week to work out the details of the return of the gold,
which will remain deposited in the Bank of England. (Saulius
Girnius)

LITHUANIA-POLAND RAILROAD TIES. On 22-January, after a 47-year
interruption in passenger service, a train traveled from Poland
to Sestokai, Lithuania, carrying a Polish delegation to hold
talks with Lithuanian Transportation Minister Jonas Birziskis.
Radio Lithuania reported that they also visited Kalvarija, where
customs posts will be established for the Via Baltica highway
from Tallinn to Warsaw, and viewed the European-gauge Kaunas-Warsaw
railroad. Formal agreements on expanded transportation and customs
links are expected soon. (Saulius Girnius)

LATVIA WANTS BACK ANNEXED TERRITORY. The Latvian Supreme Council
adopted a decision, proposed by the Satversme (Constitution)
faction, stating that Latvia does not recognize the annexation
of the town of Abrene and six counties of the Abrene region by
the RSFSR after World War II. The Supreme Council noted that
the annexation was contrary to the treaties signed in the interwar
period between Latvia, on the one hand, and Russia and USSR,
on the other hand. The decision authorizes the Latvian delegation
for negotiations with Russia to attend to this matter, reported
Radio Riga and BNS on 22-January. (Dzintra Bungs)

BALTS WOULD HAVE LIKED PARTICIPATING IN AID CONFERENCE. Baltic
diplomats said their countries would have liked an invitation
to the US-called conference to discuss aid to the former USSR,
an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reported on 23-January.
Illustrative of the Baltic attitude is the statement of Lithuanian
ambassador Stasys Lozoraitis: "Inviting Lithuania would not only
have been the proper thing to do, it would also have been the
logical thing to do, not just because we have given aid to our
neighbors [for example, tons of foodstuffs to Russia] to the
East, but also because Lithuania, together with Latvia and Estonia,
serves as a gateway to Russia and the other members of the Commonwealth."
(Dzintra Bungs)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

EE PLAN FOR AID TO EX-USSR. Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary
have proposed an assistance plan for the former USSR that involves
Western purchases of their products. Czechoslovak Foreign Minister
Jiri Dienstbier presented the proposal on 22-January at the opening
in Washington of the international aid conference for the former
USSR. As reported by an RFE/RL correspondent, Dienstbier urged
that Western funds be spent wisely and pointed out that the East
European countries are well positioned to help the CIS with a
number of problems. Adopting the plan would yield double benefits,
he said, as it would help Eastern Europe too. In a statement
issued in Warsaw on 22-January, Polish President Lech Walesa
also encouraged aid for the former Soviet Union. "What good is
it if the West helps only Poland" and allows the former Soviet
Union to destabilize the whole region by descending into chaos?,
he asked. The president added that Poland, as a border state,
cannot but be affected by the collapse of the "Soviet colossus,"
Western media reported. (Barbara Kroulik & Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


HUNGARY'S TRADE WITH FORMER USSR PLUMMETS. Officials at the Hungarian
Ministry of International Economic Relations told an RFE/RL correspondent
in Budapest on 21-January that trade with the former USSR in
1991 totalled only $2.8 bil-lion dollars instead of the anticipated
$3.7-billion because of the chaotic situation there. Soviet exporters
have been unable to keep up deliveries of some goods, while Hungarian
sales have been limited by the Soviet side's inability to pay
in hard currency. Hungary's exports to the ex-USSR, mainly food,
engineering products, and pharmaceuticals, amounted to $1.1-billion.
Imports to Hungary from the-exUSSR, mostly in the form of energy,
were worth $1.7-million. The officials were optimistic about
prospects for trade with the new independent republics. (Edith
Oltay)

HAVEL WITHDRAWS ANOTHER PROPOSAL. On 22-January Czechoslovak
President Vaclav Havel withdrew a proposed constitutional amendment
to reorganize the bicameral federal parliament into one chamber,
CSTK reports. Many deputies have publicly opposed the proposal.
The reorganization would have created a single-chamber federal
legislature with 200 deputies, led by a 30-deputy federal council
made up of Czechs and Slovaks. So far three of the five amendments
proposed by Havel have failed to pass. (Barbara Kroulik)

FORMER POLISH PREMIER FILES SUIT FOR LIBEL. Former Prime Minister
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki began legal proceedings against two unidentified
newspapers and a TV program which allegedly attacked his government's
policies. He told newsmen in Warsaw on 22-January that the decision
follows weeks of insinuation by the media and political rivals
that his government had privatized at any cost, tolerating illegality
and selling off Polish companies for less than they were worth.
Bielecki has asked the prosecutor-general to prepare a suit based
on an article in the criminal code making it an offence to libel
a state institution. Western and Polish wire services carried
the story. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

CONFUSION OVER SOVIET TROOP WITH-DRAWAL. "Nothing can alter the
15-November [1992] deadline for the withdrawal from Poland of
all the combat troops from the former Soviet Army's Northern
Group of Forces." So asserted Russian Ambassador Yurii Kashlev
during talks in Warsaw with the Polish defense minister, Jan
Parys, on 21-January. "Everything is proceeding according to
plan," added Kashlev, claiming that 10,000 Soviet soldiers had
left Poland in 1991. Polish officials implicitly questioned Kashlev's
account. By their count, only 4,300 Soviet soldiers have so far
departed, with the entire operation grinding to a halt in September.
The Soviet side has never provided Poland with figures on the
number of troops, however, and Polish officials admitted that
the missing 6,000 could perhaps have left the country by air.
The former Soviet/Russian side has yet to supply a specific timetable
for the withdrawal. (Louisa Vinton)

US MILITARY COOPERATION WITH POLAND-.-.-. In Warsaw on 22-January
Defense Minister Jan Parys and US Ambassador to Poland Thomas
W. Simons discussed further military cooperation between the
two countries. After the meeting, Simons said that the talks
"were aimed at the future," PAP reported that day. He also announced
that the US Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Rice starts
a four-day visit in Poland on 23-January. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


.-.-. AND HUNGARY. Ending his stay in Hungary, Rice told a press
conference in Budapest on 22-January that the US wants to help
modernize the Hungarian military, MTI reported. He announced
plans to station a US Air Force officer in Hungary to examine
the condition and structure of Hungary's air defenses. Rice,
visiting as a special envoy of US Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney,
also offered training in the US to Hungarian civilian and military
experts. (Edith Oltay)

HUNGARY PROTESTS THREATS AGAINST BISHOP TOKES. The Hungarian
parliament's foreign relations committee adopted on 22-January
by a unanimous vote a resolution protesting the recent alleged
death threats against Laszlo Tokes, the ethnic Hungarian Reformed
Bishop of Oradea, MTI reported. The committee said that there
were also increasing signs that the Hungarian minority in Romania
was being discriminated against, and decided to ask the Romanian
parliament for an explanation about alleged abuses in connection
with the recent Romanian census. Prominent members of the Hungarian
community in Romania have charged that the census was marked
by a series of abuses designed to distort the true ethnic composition
of Romania. (Edith Oltay)

DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO SECRET POLICE IN EE. Frantisek Kincl,
Czechoslovakia's last communist interior minister, now on trial
for abuse of power, says he was picked for the job precisely
because he was a political incompetent-he had been a simple secret
policeman. The trial in Czechoslovakia is one of the first major
attempts to bring secret policemen to justice. President Vaclav
Havel, a target of secret police (STB) surveillance while a dissident,
wants STB files opened to the public. In Romania, after two years
of public debate, parliament voted on 21-January that the secret
police archives, including those not pertaining to state security
matters, will remain closed for 40-years. Virgil Magureanu, director
of Romania's Intelligence Service, said that a protocol is being
drafted to allow victims of the former secret police to have
access to their files. Senator Petre Negru of the ruling NSF
sent an open letter to Magureanu claiming that the secret services
are still tapping his phone and opening his mail, Western media
reported. (Barbara Kroulik & Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIAN-GREEK RELATIONS. Ambassador to Athens Bogdan Bogdanov
handed a message from Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov to his Greek
counterpart Constantine Mitsotakis, Demokratsiya reported on
23-January. It is connected with the strain in Bulgarian-Greek
relations caused by Bulgaria's recognition of the Republic of
Macedonia. The possibility that Greece could impede Bulgaria's
association with the European Community apparently also applies
to its relations with the Council of Europe (CE). Bulgarian media
have been closely following CE Secretary-General Catherine Lalumi¸re's
Sofia visit and reporting that the CE is considering Bulgaria's
association and even regular membership in the CE. Meanwhile,
on 22-January a Bulgarian-Greek business meeting began in Sofia.
BTA said some 50-experts and businessmen from Greece are participating.
(Rada Nikolaev)

BOSNIA AND MACEDONIA REJECT SERBIAN PROJECT FOR NEW YUGOSLAVIA.
Western news agencies on 22-January quoted leaders of Macedonia
and Bosnia-Herzegovina as calling Serbia's plan for reconstituting
a rump Yugoslavia "too late and irrelevant." Leaders of both
republics want independence and fear that any "Yugoslavia" minus
Slovenia and Croatia would be simply a greater Serbia. Macedonia
has called home its citizens in the federal legislature and diplomatic
corps, while Bosnia's parliament will vote on 24-January on setting
up a referendum on independence. The move is expected to receive
the backing of the republic's Muslims and Croats, but the vote
will most likely be boycotted by the 33% Serb minority. (Patrick
Moore) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Sallie Wise Chaballier &
Charles Trumbull




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