If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. - Carl Sagan
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 16, 24 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT DEMANDS RETHINK ON CRIMEA. A week after temporarily
shelving the issue, Russian deputies voted on 23 January by 166
to 13 with eight abstentions to reconsider the constitutionality
of the 1954 transfer of Crimea from the RSFSR to Ukraine, Western
agencies reported on 23 January. The parliamentary committees
for foreign affairs and legislation were instructed to examine
the legitimacy of the transfer and present their findings by
6 February. The Russian deputies asked the Ukrainian parliament
to reexamine the issue as well, and also asked Ukraine to "accelerate
negotiations on all issues relating to the Black Sea Fleet."
(Ann Sheehy)

SECRET LETTER SUGGESTS CRIMEA BARGAINING CHIP. The Toronto Globe
and Mail reported on 23 January that a secret letter from Vladimir
Lukin, chairman of the Russian parliament's Committee for Foreign
Affairs, to the parliament's chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov, just
published in Komsomolskaya pravda suggested that Ukraine should
be given the choice of giving up either the Black Sea Fleet or
the Crimea. According to the Mail, the letter argued that concessions
to Ukraine over the Black Sea Fleet would play into the hands
of hard-line Russian nationalists. At one point the letter suggested
that perhaps Russia should simply issue a decree transferring
the fleet to Russian jurisdiction and at another that Ukrainian
factories might be threatened with loss of military orders. (Ann
Sheehy)

BLACK SEA FLEET UPDATE. CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov
has proposed assigning to Ukraine only 7% of the Black Sea Fleet,
TASS reported on 23 January. At a news conference in Kiev on
23 January, described by the same report, Lieutenant General
Ivan Bizhan-identified as head of the Ukrainian delegation conducting
talks on the future Ukrainian army-and Vitalii Lazorkin-a Ukrainian
Defense Ministry consultant- continued to argue that Ukraine
should receive all the fleet except for strategic units. They
also proposed a plan whereby Ukraine would receive the entire
fleet and would coordinate its actions with the CIS armed forces
on strategic tasks until 1994, when Ukraine will become a non-nuclear
power. (Stephen Foye)

GEORGIAN STALEMATE. Supporters of ousted Georgian President Zviad
Gamsakhurdia in the Black Sea port of Poti intend to continue
resistance to the ruling Military Council and have threatened
to blow up parts of the town in spite of local authorities' desire
to negotiate a settlement, Western news agencies reported on
23 January. Gamsakhurdia supporters in Zugdidi reached an agreement
with Military Council troops to dissolve the existing local council
and replace it with a committee representing opposition parties.
The Consultative Council that advises acting Georgian Prime Minister
Tengiz Sigua met on January 23 and agreed that new parliamentary
elections should be held, but set no date, TASS reported on 23
January. (Liz Fuller)

CIS PARLIAMENTARY LEADERS TO MEET IN MINSK. Deputy chairmen of
the CIS parliaments are to meet in Minsk on 24 January to discuss
closer cooperation between the parliaments, TASS, Interfax, and
Central TV reported on 23 January. Deputy Chairman of the Belarus
parliament Vasilii Sholodonov said they intend to sign an agreement
to institute a CIS economic court and agreements on organizing
coordinating structures for the commonwealth. Interfax said Belarus
would request the speedy development and implementation of republican
anti-monopoly laws. First Deputy Chairman of the Russian parliament
Sergei Filatov said on Central TV that questions of citizenship,
pensions, and housing need legislative regulation. (Ann Sheehy)


OFFICERS' COUNCIL TO MEET. The coordinating council of the all-army
officers' assemblies is scheduled to meet for the first time
in Moscow on 29 January, TASS reported on 23 January. The council,
which consists of 120 people elected by the recent All-Army Officers'
Assembly, will elect a seven or eight-man presidium, to work
on a permanent basis, a council official said. (Stephen Foye)


GOVERNMENT NEWS AGENCY SET UP IN RUSSIA. TASS and Novosti press
agencies have been merged into the new Russian Information and
Telegraph Agency (RITA), Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced
in a decree on 22 January. According to the decree, the agency
will be subordinated to the Russian president, the parliament,
and the government. Within the new agency, TASS will prepare
reports for the domestic audience and the CIS, whereas Novosti
will write news for distribution abroad. The Russian Information
Agency (RIA), which was set up in 1990, will continue to exist
as a private company. On 23 January, a TASS correspondent reported
that the new move was heavily criticized by local journalists
as well as by representatives of Western agencies, who said the
merger of two news agencies with different aims will only bring
confusion to their work. On 22 January, the Russian parliamentary
Media Committee urged Yeltsin to suspend his controversial decree,
Interfax reported. (Vera Tolz)

DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA SPLITS. A number of leaders of the Democratic
Russia political movement have suspended their membership in
the movement. They include Democratic Russia's co-chairman Yurii
Afanasev, its theorist Leonid Batkin, a coeditor of its newspaper,
Demo-kraticheskaya Rossiya, and an activist of the miners' movement
Bella Denisenko. According to "Vesti" of 23 January, the dissenters
protested the alleged mixing up of the movement's leaders with
"reactionary forces." Radio Mayak of the same day cited Afanasev
and his supporters as "accusing other leaders of all the mortal
sins," such as lobbying [Moscow Mayor] Gavriil Popov, who combines
co-chairmanship in Democratic Russia with the same post in the
Democratic Reform Movement. Mayak said that Afanasev and his
colleagues want to call an extraordinary congress of Democratic
Russia, aimed at reelecting the movement's leadership. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

GORBACHEV MAY BE QUESTIONED OVER CPSU FINANCES. Deputy Prosecutor
General of the Russian Federation Evgenii Lisov told Rossiiskaya
gazeta on 23 January that former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev
should be interrogated in connection with the investigation of
the CPSU's financial activities which is now underway in Russia.
Lisov said that hundreds of millions of dollars secretly had
been paid by the CPSU over the last ten years to Communist parties
around the world and that Gorbachev could shed light on these
particular activities. Meanwhile, a former official of the CPSU
CC International Department, Anatolii Smirnov, told a western
agency on 23 January that the Party had paid out about $20 million
a year since 1978 to more than 80 Communist parties and movements
worldwide. (Vera Tolz)

RUSSIAN RAILWAY MINISTRY ESTABLISHED. Yeltsin issued a decree
on 22 January establishing a railway ministry of the Russian
Federation. Russian TV reported that the new ministry would take
over the assets of the former Soviet railway ministry. Gennadii
Fadeev was appointed Russian railway minister. (Carla Thorson)


RUSSIAN ECOLOGICAL CRISIS. Aleksei Yablokov, Russian presidential
adviser on ecology and health, told reporters that Russia's deteriorating
environment is directly responsible for declining life expectancies,
TASS reported on 22 January. Yablokov revealed the results of
a government study which found two thirds of Russian rivers,
lakes, and reservoirs to be too polluted for use as drinking
water. The report also found that 30% of food produced in Russia
is contaminated by pesticides. (Carla Thorson)

RUSSIA, VIETNAM TO DISCUSS WITHDRAWAL FROM CAM RANH BAY. A Russian
diplomat, requesting anonymity, told reporters in Hanoi on 23
January that Russia plans to send a military delegation to Vietnam
to negotiate a withdrawal from the base at Cam Ranh Bay, and
that former Soviet military advisers still in Vietnam will leave
by this May. Western agency reports of 23 January quoted the
diplomat as saying "We're ready to leave. There's no problem,"
although he did not specify how long the withdrawal would take.
(Sallie Wise Chaballier)

BAKATIN: "I DID NOT OVERCOME THE KGB." The 18 January edition
of "Sovershenno sekretno" contained a 30-minute interview with
Vadim Bakatin, the now unemployed former chairman of the USSR
KGB. The State Council named Bakatin to chair the KGB after the
August coup attempt with the task of crushing this "state within
the state." Bakatin resigned his job last December, having been
accused of "high treason" in the media after he offered the American
ambassador the blueprint for bugging in the new US Embassy building
in Moscow. In the interview, Bakatin said that the campaign against
him was unleashed by the Russian KGB in revenge for his attempt
to reform the agency. He added that the KGB still enjoys much
influence even in the "democratic" newspapers, which have published
every self-proclaimed "expert" wiling to attack him, but not
his official explanation. (Julia Wishnevsky)

NEW DATA ON "COOPERATION" OF CHURCH AND KGB. Chairman of the
Russian Supreme Soviet's Committee on Denominations and Freedom
of Religion Vyacheslav Polosin asserted to Megapolis ekspress
of 21 January that many clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church,
including its top hierarchs, were agents of the former KGB's
Fifth Main Administration for Ideological Subversion (FMA). Among
the churchmen Polosin identified as active KGB agents were Chief
of the Russian Orthodox Church's Publications Department, Metropolitian
Pitirim, and the Metropolitan of Krutitsi and Kolomna, Yuvenalii.
The information became available after documents from the Fourth
("Religious") Department of the KGB FMA and the CPSU Central
Committee were declassified. Polosin also alleged that in 1983,
due to efforts of the KGB network within the World Council of
Churches, Emilio Castro was elected as the body's General Secretary;
a KGB report described Castro as "a candidate acceptable to us."
(Victor Yasmann)

KRAVCHUK ON CIS. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk told Le
Figaro that there would never be an armed clash between Ukraine
and Russia. The interview with Kravchuk was published on 23 January
and summarized by TASS the same day. The Ukrainian leader also
warned that the CIS would not last long if one of its members
attempted to play a dominant role. (Roman Solchanyk)

AUTONOMISTS IN ZAKARPATTYA. Representatives of the Transcarpathian
Ruthenian Society want the Czechoslovak parliament to annul the
1945 Czechoslovak-Soviet treaty transferring Transcar-pathia
to the USSR, Radio Kiev reported on 23 January. The request was
made to members of the foreign affairs committees of the Czechoslovak
federal parliament on Wednesday. Czechoslavak parliamentarians
are said to consider the request inappropriate. Both Ukraine
and Hungary have protested. (Roman Solchanyk)

SHUSHKEVICH METES OUT PUNISHMENT TO OPPOSITION. As reported on
17 January by Belarus radio and on CIS TV on 21 January, Supreme
Soviet Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich seems to be settling scores
with deputies from the parliamentary opposition who two months
ago signed a statement calling for the resignation of the government
and the disbanding of the Supreme Soviet: he has refused to give
them their quarterly bonus payment, on the grounds of poor fulfillment
of parliamentary duties. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KAZAKHSTAN WANTS TO MONITOR BAIKONUR. Kazakhstan intends to demand
the right to monitor operations at the Baikonur space center
and associated military facilities, Interfax reported on 23 January.
The agency quoted Deputy Prime Minister Evgenii Ezhikov-Babakhanov
as saying that the issue would soon be raised with the Commonwealth
military. The decision of the Kazakh government to demand monitoring
rights is probably in response to the scandal caused by the launch
of a ballistic missile in December. Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbaev tried to assert some degree of influence over Baikonur
even before the republic declared itself sovereign in 1990; in
early 1991 he discussed the issue with relevant Moscow ministries
and stated publicly that the complex should benefit Kazakhstan.
(Bess Brown)

RUSSIA TO PAY WORLD PRICES FOR TURKMEN GAS. Russia has agreed
to pay Turkmenistan world prices in convertible currency for
the gas Turkmenistan exports to the Russian Federation, Turkmenpress-TASS
reported on 22 January. Turkmenistan is to ship 11.28 billion
cubic meters of gas to Russia in 1992. Earnings from the sales
are to be used, in part, to further develop Turkmenistan's gas
industry. (Bess Brown)

MOLDOVA INTRODUCING OWN CURRENCY. Moldova's Parliament voted
on 23 January to institute Moldova's own currency, the "Moldovan
leu" (plural: lei), to replace the ruble. "Leu" is the name of
Romania's currency but also of a coin which was the most common
unit of accounting until the last century in Moldova. The parliament
opted for the name "Moldovan leu" in order to differentiate it
from the Romanian. Moldova's National Bank is to put the new
currency in circulation within four months. The measure had been
promised by the government of Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi
upon taking office in May 1991. Implementation was accelerated
by the perceived need to defend Moldova's consumer market against
the influx of devalued rubles soaking up Moldovan goods. (Vladimir
Socor)



BALTIC STATES



REPAYMENT OF FORMER USSR DEBTS. On 23-January Vytautas Landsbergis
told the opening session of a conference in London entitled "The
Reintegration of the Baltic States into the World Community"
that Lithuania was not responsible for any part of the debt of
the former USSR because it was never legally part of it, Western
agencies reported. He noted, however, that Lithuania would agree
to pay credits of about $100 million that had been obtained "directly
for Lithuanian economic projects." The Supreme Council chairman
criticized the West for "suggestions, even threats of not granting
assistance" if Lithuania did not pay back part of the USSR debt.
Lithuania has already printed its own currency, the litas, but
needs a large hard-currency stabilization fund, similar to that
given to Poland two years ago, to back its introduction. (Saulius
Girnius)

DENMARK TO PROPOSE EC CREDIT LINES FOR BALTICS. On 23-January
Denmark's Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen told CNN that
he was "deeply worried but not at all surprised" by the fall
of the Estonian government. He noted that all three Baltic States
were "in a very dangerous situation" and are "in desperate need
of international assistance." He said that at the 27-January
meeting of EC foreign ministers he would propose the EC "take
the initiative to establish credit lines for the three Baltic
countries." (Saulius Girnius)

FUEL DELIVERIES FOR ESTONIA. Agreements concluded in recent days
with Estonia's neighbors will alleviate somewhat the country's
nearly critical fuel shortage. The Finnish government agreed
on 22-January to provide credits of $10.4-11.5 million to a Finnish
energy group to ship some 100,000 tons of heavy fuel oil to Estonia
soon. On 20-January Sweden pledged to donate nearly $700,000
worth of oil, and 2.5-tons of fuel arrived in Tallinn on 22-January.
Finally, on 20-January Estonian officials came to an agreement
with the Russian Federation to take delivery of $60-million worth
of heating oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline. Western and Baltic
agencies reported the agreements. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA TAKES OVER MILITARY PROPERTY. The Estonian Supreme Council
on 23-January ordered all property belonging to the former Soviet
armed forces to be turned over to the Estonian state. The resolution
covers land, buildings, arms, and other equipment. The action
was taken in response to violations of a September agreement
between outgoing Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar and Soviet Defense
Minister Shaposhnikov by units withdrawing from Estonia. According
to the terms of that agreement, all equipment from the former
armed forces was to remain in Estonia. (Riina Kionka)

CIS MILITARY KEEPS INCOME FROM EQUIPMENT SALES. Col. Gen. Valerii
Mironov, commander of the Northwestern Group of Forces, said
that he considers all Soviet military equipment in the Baltics
the property of the forces he commands. He said that the income
from the recent sales of military equipment is deposited in a
special bank account, called the "Commander's Fund." This fund
is intended to ensure the social welfare of the forces that would
have to be withdrawn from the Baltic States, BNS reported on
22-January. The Latvian government, which has no control over
such sale of military equipment, is concerned about the legality
and the practical consequences of these actions. (Dzintra Bungs)


IRANIANS TRAINED BY FORMER SOVIET NAVY IN LATVIA. Latvian Defense
Ministry official Auseklis Plavins told an RFE/RL correspondent
on 23-January that Latvia has demanded an end to the training
of 600-700 Iranian officers at Bolderaja, a base near Riga of
the former USSR navy. Plavins said that the Iranians are attending
a two-year course. What Plavins said substantiates US naval intelligence
reports that Iran is buying new attack submarines from the CIS
and having its sailors trained in Latvia. In fall 1990 Latvia
protested Soviet Navy training of Iraqis at Bolderaja. (Dzintra
Bungs)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

POLISH PRESIDENT APPEALS FOR AID FOR CIS STATES-.-.-. On 24-January
Lech Walesa appealed for large-scale aid to the CIS states to
prevent a mass exodus of "hungry refugees," adding that "misery"
in the states of the former USSR could lead to a flood of people
wanting to go to Poland. Saying that Poles have not got much
to share with CIS refugees, he warned that Poland would transport
such refugees to "Japan or the West" rather than bear the burden
of feeding them, Western media reported. "I will give them every
possible means of transport," he added. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


.-.-. MEETS POLISH PREMIER AND HIS TWO PREDECESSORS. Walesa hosted
a dinner on 24-January for Prime Minister Jan Olszewski and his
two predecessors, Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Jan Krzysztof Bielecki,
both old Solidarity associates, in a bid to strengthen the country's
minority government. Presidential spokesman Andrzej Drzycimski
said only that they discussed Poland's "political, economic,
and social situation," PAP and Western media reported. The president
told his guests that for the good of the nation, political frictions
between them should be minimized and stressed the need for the
three parties to form an alliance of reformist forces. (Wladyslaw
Minkiewicz)

POLAND CONCERNED ABOUT RUSSIAN FUEL DELIVERIES. On 24-January
Prime Minister Olszewski said Poland faced an energy shortage
because of falling supplies of Russian oil and natural gas, Western
media reported. He told newsmen he phoned a Russian economic
leader [unnamed] to discuss the problem, adding "there are difficulties
concerning Russian oil and gas supplies." On 1-January Russia
nearly halved its daily deliveries of natural gas to Poland,
despite having agreed a few days earlier to a major barter deal
that would have increased supplies in 1992. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


CZECHOSLOVAK PARLIAMENT ADJOURNS DEBATE ON CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS.
The Czechoslovak parliament on 23-January postponed until February
the debate on constitutional reform because of new differences
of opinion between Czechs and Slovaks on the future state setup.
The planned constitutional changes can only be completed when
the so-called state treaty between both republics is ready. The
text of the treaty was discussed by republican parliament chairmen
and will be submitted to the federal parliament. The question
of who will sign the state treaty is still open as well. The
Slovaks want the contract to be signed by republican government
heads, while the Czechs want it to be done by the parliament.
Czech Deputy Parliament Chief Jan Kalvoda sees little reason
for optimism as the differences seem too great, foreign agencies
report. (Barbara Kroulik)

CZECHOSLOVAK PRIVATIZATION UPDATE. Because of great demand for
state-issued privatization coupons, the government has extended
the deadline for their registration until 29-February. The coupons
are bought for use later in purchasing stock in companies, part
of the plan to privatize a large part of state-owned industry
by divesting ownership to Czechoslovak citizens. The total number
of registered coupon-holders is expected to reach seven million,
Western agencies report. (Barbara Kroulik)

HUNGARIAN NATIONAL MILITARY CONCEPT DEBATE POSTPONED. The national
defense committee of the Hungarian parliament has postponed the
much delayed discussion of the basic principles of Hungary's
new military concept. (The term "concept" is being used in place
of "doctrine" to avoid association with former Warsaw Pact military
doctrine.) The postponement was due to the withdrawal by the
foreign ministry of its proposals regarding Hungary's national
security because of the many important changes that have taken
place of late in the region, MTI reported on 23-January. (Alfred
Reisch)

HUNGARY SEEKS TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH SERBIA. Officials of
the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and the Ministry for International
Economic Relations told an RFE/RL correspondent on 23-January
that Hungary is seeking to improve relations with Serbia and
that there are signs that certain elements in Belgrade are willing
to reciprocate. The officials referred to a recent conciliatory
statement by the vice president of Serbia's ruling Socialist
Party, Mihajlo Markovic, to MTI as a sign that Belgrade also
wants to improve relations. Hungarian-Serbian relations have
been marked by tensions throughout the civil war, with Hungary
accusing Serbia of discriminating against the Hungarian minority
in Vojvodina, and Serbia charging that Hungary is aiding Croatia.
Hungarian officials pointed out that Serbia accounted for fully
one-half of Hungary's trade with the former Yugoslavia. (Edith
Oltay)

ROMANIA'S RELATIONS WITH USSR SUCCESSOR STATES. Foreign Ministry
spokesman Traian Chebeleu said on 22-January that the treaty
concluded between Romania and the USSR was null and void, as
the USSR no longer exists. He added that the talks with Ukraine
will not include the topic of Northern Bukovina and Herta in
order to concentrate on the establishment of normal links. On
24-January, the meeting in Iasi of the Union Council, a group
fostering union with Moldova, will be attended by dignitaries
from both states. President Ion Iliescu will meet Moldova's President
Mircea Snegur on 25-January to discuss international and bilateral
issues. (Mihai Sturdza)

CONTRADICTING STATISTICS ON UNEMPLOYMENT IN ROMANIA. Some 302,041
unemployed, including 173,950 women, were registered by the Ministry
of Labor and Social Welfare by 20-January. Of these, 255,087
were industrial workers, Rompres said. On 17-January, however,
Western agencies reported figures of 359,671 unemployed, of which
290,000 are entitled for a nine-month period to receive benefits
amounting to 60% of their most recent salary. Some 40,000 new
jobs had been provided through labor offices in 1991, and 1,500
jobs are currently unfilled. The Western reports speculated that
actual figures are quite different, as many enterprises report
hirings and firings inaccurately or not, and hundreds of thousands
of Romanians are looking for a job but have not registered with
the authorities. (Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIA AT WASHINGTON CONFERENCE. Foreign Minister Stoyan Ganev
participated in the conference on aid to the CIS and was introduced
to President Bush by German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher
on 22-January. Bulgarian Radio said that at the conference Ganev
had spoken about the desirability of including Bulgaria in triangular
aid schemes for the CIS, and said his country could help with
housing construction, transport, and in the food and pharmaceutical
industries. RFE/RL reported that Bulgaria also suggested setting
up an international center in Varna to coordinate aid. (Rada
Nikolaev)

MACEDONIA "LEFT IN THE WAITING ROOM." This is how President Kiro
Gligorov summed up his feelings to Western news agencies on 23-January
about the EC's delay in recommending recognition for his country.
The 24-January Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes Portuguese
Foreign Minister Jočo de Deus Pinheiro as saying that recognition
for Bosnia-Herzegovina is likely after its upcoming referendum,
but that Greek opposition makes a similar recommendation for
Macedonia unlikely. On 23-January Western news agencies also
reported that Albanian Foreign Minister Ilir Bocka briefly visited
Skopje en route to Turkey for talks with Gligorov and representatives
of the ethnic Albanian minority . Meanwhile in Ankara, Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic told Western news agencies that
countries that have not already done so should not recognize
Slovenia and Croatia. He advised against "premature recognition"
before a "negotiating process [could bring] a peaceful solution
. . . without additional pressure from outside." (Patrick Moore)


REGIONAL COOPERATION. On 23-January Vienna's Die Presse said
that the Hexagonal Group promoting regional cooperation in Central
Europe dropped Yugoslavia from the rotating chairmanship in favor
of Austria. The body grew out of the Alpine-Adria grouping and
will soon be rechristened the Central European Initiative. As
late as 1989 the group consisted of "regions," including Croatia
and Slovenia, but in November of that year was expanded to embrace
entire countries. It is thus likely that Croatia and Slovenia
will eventually replace "Yugoslavia" as full members soon. Elsewhere,
following a two-day meeting in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, top officials
from neighboring counties in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia,
and Ukraine agreed to set up a new regional economic community
called Carpathians-Tisza and modelled after the Alpine-Adria
regional economic community. MTI reported on 23-January that
the founding document is expected to be signed on 24-April 1992.
Regional cooperation based on mutual benefits will cover the
fields of the economy, cultural, science, tourism, territorial
settlement, information and environmental protection. (Patrick
Moore & Alfred Reisch)

As of 1200 CET Compiled by Sallie Wise Chaballier and Charles Trumbull






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

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