Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 21, 31 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

QUESTIONS ON ARMS PROPOSALS. Reports out of the CIS suggest considerable
confusion over Russian President Boris Yeltsin's 29-January arms
control proposals. Novosti reported on 30-January that military
leaders in Moscow appeared to have been surprised by the announcement,
and that Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk said that he was
not consulted on the decision to retarget nuclear missiles. On
31-January, Izvestiya carried a commentary by Aleksandr Savelev,
identified as a participant in the Soviet-American START talks,
that characterized Yeltsin's proposals as hasty and lacking forethought.
(Stephen Foye)

YELTSIN'S SPACE SECURITY PROPOSAL BASED ON US TECHNOLOGY. Yeltsin's
proposal on the creation of a "global defense system" was first
conceptualized by Academician Nikita Moiseev in Polis, No. 5,
1991. The leading Soviet authority on strategic matters, Moiseev
had suggested a "planetary security system" based on the technology
known as "brilliant pebbles," which is part of the US Strategic
Defense Initiative. According to Moiseev, such a system deployed
in space, could perform international intelligence gathering
and policing functions in order to prevent a nuclear threat from
a third party. Moiseev suggested that the system, which could
also include the Soviet equivalent of SDI, could be established
under the auspices of the UN. (Victor Yasmann)

YELTSIN IN LONDON. Russian President Boris Yeltsin made a seven-hour
trip to Great Britain on 30-January where he met with Prime Minister
John Major for four hours of talks. Yeltsin expressed gratitude
for British efforts to help Russian reforms. He also raised the
spectre of a hardline takeover in Moscow should such reforms
fail, saying: "The only thing that can impede our progress will
be general unrest and general unrest will happen if our reforms
fail. Should the reforms fail we shall face a new leadership
and Russia will fall into the habits which tortured us for 74
years," Western agencies reported. (Stuart Parrott and Suzanne
Crow)

CSCE MEMBERSHIP. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Moldova, Tajik-istan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan were
admitted as members of the Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe at the 30-January meeting in Prague, increasing the
total membership of that body to 48 states. Georgia did not apply
for mem-bership; Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia had already
been admitted as members. (Suzanne Crow)

SECURITY COUNCIL RECOMMENDS UN ADMISSIONS. ITAR-TASS reported
on 30-January that the UN Security Council has recommended the
acceptance by the General Assembly of the applications of Armenia,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan for admission. The Council
also referred for examination Moldova's application for admission.
Kazakhstan's application has already been approved by the Security
Council. According to the report, all six former Soviet republics
are expected to be accepted as members of the General Assembly
when that body resumes work at the end of February. (Bess Brown)


"RUKH" ON RUSSIAN MEMBERSHIP IN UN SECURITY COUNCIL. "Rukh" has
appealed to members of the UN Security Council regarding Russia's
membership in that body, Radio Kiev and TASS reported on 27-January.
The Ukrainian reform-movement has asked that the decision affirming
Russia's permanent membership in the Security Council be postponed
for six months. (Roman Solchanyk)

RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY AND UKRAINE. The Russian Ministry of External
Affairs issued a statement on 30-January saying that relations
with Ukraine have top priority in Russia's foreign policy, ITAR-TASS
reported the same day. The document characterizes the decision
of the Russian Supreme Soviet to review the legality of Crimea's
transfer from the RSFSR to Ukraine in 1954 as "non-confrontational
and constructive." The fact that the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
was also asked to review Crimea's status is said to reflect Russia's
desire for a dialogue on all questions regarding bilateral Ukrainian-Russian
relations. The absence of such a dialogue, the statement adds,
has exacerbated the Black Sea Fleet and Crimean issues. (Roman
Solchanyk)

UKRAINE ON INTEGRITY OF STATE BORDERS. Ukraine has told the CSCE
foreign ministers conference in Prague that the Helsinki process
should protect the integrity of existing state borders, an RFE/RL
correspondent reported on 31-January. The comments were made
by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko in his first speech
after Ukraine was admitted to the Helsinki process. Zlenko did
not refer specifically to Russian claims to the Crimea, which
were raised in the Russian Supreme Soviet on 23-January. (Roman
Solchanyk)

YELTSIN LEAVES BURBULIS IN CHARGE OF KREMLIN POLITICS. Russian
President Boris Yeltsin has suddenly decided to leave First Deputy
Premier Gennadii Burbulis in charge of Kremlin politics while
he travels to the United States, fearing possible opposition
from Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi and the head of the parliament,
Ruslan Khasbulatov, according to Ostankino Television (First
Program) on 30-January. Burbulis, who has emerged as the architect
of the new Russian foreign policy, was scheduled to travel with
Yeltsin but recent attacks by Rutskoi and Khasbulatov on the
Russian government apparently made Yeltsin suspicious. (Alexander
Rahr)

OFFICERS' ASSEMBLY. The Coordinating Council (composed of some
120 officers) chosen at the 17-January All-Army Officers' Assembly
met for the first time in Moscow on 30-January, ITAR-TASS and
"Vesti" reported. Discussion topics during the two-day meeting
will include the current situation in the armed forces and documents
to be debated at the 14-February Minsk conference, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin's recent arms control proposals, and organizational
aspects of the Council's work. Colonel General Pavel Grachev,
First Deputy Commander of the CIS Armed Forces and Chairman of
the Russian Federation Defense Committee, said at the start of
the meeting that the functions of officers assemblies might be
expanded to include advising political leaders on defense issues.
(Stephen Foye)

RUSSIAN RECOGNITION OF CROATIA AND SLOVENIA SOON. Tanjug reported
on 29-January that while Russia intends to recognize the independence
of Croatia and Slovenia soon, it will delay establishing formal
diplomatic ties until a political agreement is reached on the
future of the Yugoslav state. Tanjug, citing "reliable sources
in Moscow," said that before Moscow announces its recognition
of Slovenia and Croatia, it will send high-ranking officials
to Serbia and possibly Montegro for consultations. (Suzanne Crow)


WHICH ENVOY IN WASHINGTON? The Washington Post reported on 31
January that Vladimir Lukin, chairman of the foreign affairs
committee of the Russian parliament, may be named Russia's ambassador
to the United States. It had been expected that Andrei Kolosovsky,
who has been operating as Russia's de facto envoy to the US,
would be appointed ambassador. (Suzanne Crow)

ITALIAN AID. The Italian government said on 30-January it would
make available $2.3 billion in credit for non-Russian former
Soviet republics. This amount comes in addition to the $1.84
billion pledged to Russia, Reuters reported on 30-January. (Suzanne
Crow)

HIGHER-DENOMINATION COINS TO BE ISSUED. USSR Gosbank Vice Chairman
Arnold Voilukov told Trud of 30-January that Russia plans to
intro-duce 20-ruble coins starting in April. Voilukov also mentioned
that 1,000-ruble notes would be printed in April, but did not
specify when these would be circulated. He could not rule out
the possibility of coins for 50 or 100 rubles, or banknotes for
5,000 or 10,000 rubles at a later date. (Keith Bush)

THE COST OF CONVERSION. The Russian minister in charge of defense
conversion, Ivan Materov, told Reuters on 30-January that the
conver-sion of Russia's defense industry will cost at least $48
billion and will render about one million unemployed. He did
not specify any timescale for the process. Materov based his
estimate on the findings of an American consultancy firm. He
was interviewed while visiting British firms which are adapting
military technology for civilian use. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN POPULATION GROWTH SLOWS. In 30 out of 70 territories
in Russia during 1991, the death rate exceeded the birth rate,
"Vesti" reported on 30-January. The declining birth rate was
attributed to the "second echo" of World War II, the increases
in prices, the cost of childbearing, and the charges for kindergarten
care. On 24-January, TASS had reported that the Russian population
grew by only 0.2% in 1991. (Keith Bush)

UKRAINE PRIVATIZES LAND OWNERSHIP. The Ukrainian Supreme Soviet on 30-January
adopted a law permitting private ownership of land, Radio Kiev and Radio
Mayak, reported the same day. The law provides for three forms
of land ownership: private, state, and cooperative. The parliament
also-ex-amined a draft law on the National Security Service of
Ukraine (former Ukrainian KGB). (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN CONTROL OVER HARD CURRENCY. The Ukrainian Supreme
Soviet on 30-January obligated the Cabinet of Ministers and a
number of parliamentary commissions to study the problem of Ukraine's
hard currency held by the former Vneshekonombank, Radio Kiev
reported the same day. The Russian government has assumed jurisdiction
over the bank and, in effect, frozen its accounts. The report
characterizes this move as a serious issue in current Ukrainian-Russian
relations. (Roman Solchanyk)

BELARUS KGB CHIEF SAYS WESTERN SPIES UNDERMINE REPUBLIC. In an
interview on 29-January with the trade union newspaper Belaruski
chas that was summarized by Reuter, Belarus KGB chief Eduard
Shirkovsky charged that hundreds of top-class agents from the
West, neighboring East European countries, and even former Soviet
republics were infiltrating Belarus as arms specialists and under
other guises. He said that brazen recruitment was taking place
among Belarus citizens anxious for dollars. Shirkovsky claimed
that not only the CIA was "digging under Belarus," but that he
had facts to show that fellow commonwealth members are conducting
intelligence work in the republic. (Kathy Mihalisko)

TENSIONS PERSIST IN WESTERN GEORGIA. On 30-January, Radio Mayak
quoted a correspondent of the Georgian news agency Iprinda as
stating that the situation in western Georgia remains tense and
that additional militia have been sent to the region. Meetings
in support of ousted president Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who according
to "Vesti" of 30-January is in Ochamchire north of Gali, took
place in Poti and Sukhumi. On 30-January, the Abkhaz Supreme
Soviet debated the possibility of secession from Georgia and
the proclamation of an Abkhaz Republic, according to unconfirmed
Western agency reports. (Liz Fuller)

TAJIKISTAN CREATES CUSTOMS SERVICE. TadzhikTA-TASS reported on
30-January that Tajikistan has established its own customs service
in order to prevent the export of goods not licensed for export
and stop trade in narcotics. The latter, according to the report,
are being brought into Tajikistan primarily from Afghanistan.
(Bess Brown)

KAZAKHSTAN'S JOURNALISTS SEEK TO PREVENT INFORMATION FAMINE.
Kazakhstan's Union of Journalists has issued an appeal to the
government to exempt newspapers and journals from the value-added
tax and to increase budget expenditure on periodical publication
without increasing prices, according to a KazTAG-TASS report
of 30-January. The journalists, according to the report, admit
they are acting in their own interest: steep increases in the
price of paper and communications services have caused the near-collapse
of periodical publication and are endangering the jobs of thousands
of journalists. Higher electricity rates mean that radio and
TV broadcasting may have to be reduced. (Bess Brown)

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT. Departing for Switzerland
where he is to address the annual World Economic Forum in Davos,
Moldovan President Mircea Snegur told a news conference that
Moldova is on the verge of legislating substantial advantages
for foreign investors. Moldova particularly seeks to attract
investments in the food processing industry, whose products can
become highly profitable on international markets, Snegur said.
He also told the news conference that Moldova had been recognized
as an independent state by 90 countries. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVAN DEFENSE OFFICIAL SAYS NO MORE NUKES IN MOLDOVA. In an
interview aired by RFE on 28-January, Colonel Nicolae Chirtoaca,
Director-General of Moldova's State Department for Military Affairs,
said that the ex-USSR military during the last 2 to 3 years removed
all nuclear-capable missiles and warheads from Moldova. (Vladimir
Socor)

SALVATION ARMY BACK IN RUSSIA. Moscow news, No. 4, reported that
the first 20 Russian soldiers have joined the branch of the Salvation
Army (SA) in St. Petersburg which opened last year (see Daily
Report No. 100, 28 May, 1991). Another branch of the Salvation
Army is also operating in Moscow. These Salvation Army branches
have already opened a Sunday school for children and have established
a programme for supplying food to the needy. Most of their financial
aid comes from Norway, and the two Russian branches are subordinate
to the Army's headquarters in Norway.(Oxana Antic)

BALTIC STATES



NEW ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVED. The Supreme Council approved
incoming Prime Minister Tiit Vahi's proposed cabinet on 30-January
by a vote of 52-0, with 24-abstentions, according to reports
from Estonia. The cabinet is a more or less politically neutral
group of specialists rather than professional politicians. Besides
Vahi, six ministers from the Savisaar government, including Foreign
Minister Lennart Meri, will return. Virtually all of those abstaining
from the vote were Popular Front members and longtime supporters
of the former government. (Riina Kionka)

RUSSIAN DELEGATION TO LITHUANIA. On 31-January a large Russian
delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai arrived
in Vilnius, Radio Lithuania reported. They will hold talks on
political and military matters, including the withdrawal of the
Soviet army, with Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council
Ceslovas Stankevicius, National Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius,
and others. The delegation will travel to Riga on 1-February
and thence to Tallinn. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN FACTION SPLITS. On 30-January membership in the largest
faction in the Lithuanian Supreme Council, the Joint Sajudis
Faction, dropped from 25 to 15 when a Sajudis Santaros (Conciliation)
faction was formed, Radio Lithuania reported on 31-January. The
new faction will have 11-members, including State Controller
Kazimieras Uoka. The declaration of the faction's aims, read
by deputy Egidijus Jarasiunas, stressed that it would be guided
by the Sajudis program and work for a "moral and just Lithuania."
(Saulius Girnius)

KEEPING AN EYE ON EX-SOVIET BASES IN LATVIA. On 28-January the
Latvian Supreme Council authorized local governments to monitor
bases, installations, and buildings of the former USSR armed
forces in their locality. This decision was prompted by the need
for detailed information concerning the status of the property
occupied by the military in preparation for negotiations on troop
withdrawal and in order to try to overcome environmental damage
caused by the military, Diena reported that day. At the end of
1991 the former Soviet armed forces occupied 234 sites totalling
about 100,000 hectares and apartments measuring 2 million square
meters (3.9% of all housing in Latvia), according to Diena of
27-January. In a related development, Col.-Golin of the Northwestern
Group of Forces told BNS on 22-January that, contrary to earlier
media reports, the forces' headquarters had not been transferred
to Adazi, a village near Riga. (Dzintra Bungs)

RUSSIAN DISREGARD FOR LATVIAN SOVEREIGNTY. Radio Riga reported
on 29-January that the Latvian Foreign Ministry has sent its
Russian counterpart a protest note about a Russian ship leaving
a Latvian harbor without going through customs inspection; the
ship was carrying metallurgical products from a formerly all-Union
enterprise on Latvian soil. This has been one of several recent
incidents of Russian disregard for Latvia's sovereignty. Diena
reported on 23-January about Foreign Ministry protests over an
order from the Russian Defense Ministry to retain control over
a ship repair shop in Liepaja. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA, TAIWAN AGREE ON CONSULAR RELATIONS. On 29-January Latvian
and Taiwanese officials agreed in Riga to establish consular
relations, Radio Riga reported that day. Even before this decision
was announced, the possibility of such a decision elicited an
oral protest from the PRC diplomatic representative. Latvia and
the People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations
last year. (Dzintra Bungs)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UN PEACE PLAN FOR YUGOSLAV AREA BREAKING DOWN? Western media
on 30 and 31-January quoted UN Under Secretary-General Marrack
Goulding as saying that it will be a matter of "months rather
than weeks" before he can recommend sending a UN peace-keeping
force to the former Yugoslavia. There appear to be two major
obstacles to implementing the UN plan. First is the reluctance
of Serbian leaders in Croatia to allow the troops into their
areas and their refusal to disarm unless the Croatian forces
do likewise. Second is the Croatian government's new insistence
that its constitutional authority over the Serbian enclaves in
the republic be clearly spelled out in the peace agreement. The
original pact more or less left the Serbs as masters in those
areas. The 31-January New York Times quotes a diplomat as saying
that "it's just a question of when the cease-fire starts breaking
down." Meanwhile in Belgrade, Serbian leaders have called a meeting
for 31-January to discuss the UN plan and apparently to try to
pressure Croatia's Serbian leaders into accepting it. (Patrick
Moore)

MACEDONIA TO CREATE NATIONAL ARMY. The government of the Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia adopted a draft law that paves the way
for the creation of a national army, according to Radio Serbia
on 30-January. The republic's assembly must now approve the bill.
Politika on 27-January quoted newly appointed Macedonian Defence
Minister Trajan Gocevski as saying that "the Macedonian national
army will number between 25,000 and 30,000 troops." Funding for
the military will account for about 10% of the republic's budget
and will be composed of a standing and a reserve army. Macedonia
has refused to send its conscripts to the Serb-dominated Yugoslav
People's Army, which over the past two months has reduced its
forces by as much as 90%. (Milan Andrejevich)

POLAND: WHO IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL OF THEM ALL? A CBOS public
opinion poll, published by PAP on 30-January, yields an influence
rating of Poland's leading personalities of the moment. Some
31% of the respondents think President Lech Walesa's influence
is "too great," 27% think it "just right," and 33% "too little."
Some 49% believe the influence of Cardinal Jozef Glemp is too
great, 35% find it just right, and 5% too little. Among respondents
32% say they think the prime minister's influence on the country
is too small, 26% say it is just right, and only 3% think it
too great; the remaining 39% expressing no opinion. Only 4% of
the respondents think the influence of Marian Krzaklewski, the
Solidarity Trade Union leader, is too big, 36% say it was too
small, and 28% just right. Very low influence ratings are also
given to the Sejm and Senate speakers, Wieslaw Chrzanowski and
August Chelkowski-with 8% in both cases thinking it too great,
and 41% and 53% respectively expressing no opinion. (Roman Stefanowski)


SEJM QUESTIONS AIRCRAFT SALE TO UKRAINE. On 30-January Transport
and Maritime Economy Minister Ewaryst Waligorski was asked at
question time in the Sejm why the sale to Ukraine of the Il-62,
which had been withdrawn from service, was not stopped pending
an inquiry by the Supreme Chamber of Control. Waligorski said
that not honoring the contract could have resulted in a considerable
financial loss-Ukraine could refuse to pay for the four planes
already received. According to PAP Waligorski said that Ukraine's
offer of $15 million for the seven Soviet-made planes contrasted
favorably with the $3 million offer from the private company
formed by the staff of the Polish Air Line LOT. (Roman Stefanowski)


HAVEL AT CSCE. Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel opened the
CSCE Foreign Ministers' meeting on 30-January. He said that the
era of a bipolar division of the world was over. He called for
strengthening the CSCE by giving it an executive body similar
to the UN Security Council that could dispatch peacekeeping forces
to areas of conflict and suggested member states be prepared
to transfer some authority to the CSCE. He also envisaged that
"NATO might one day become one of the instruments of collective
defense for CSCE members." Havel also welcomed Slovenia and Croatia
who are present as observers. Ten former Soviet republics were
admitted to the CSCE on 30-January, Western agencies report.
(Barbara Kroulik)

CZECHOSLOVAK PARLIAMENT IN SCANDAL OVER POLICE FILES. Petr Toman,
head of a commission reviewing records of the former communist
secret police (STB), on 30-January denied allegations that three
deputies had violated the law by revealing information from the
files. He said the files revealed nothing that had not been previously
made public. The denial followed the airing on state television
of a tape made by a US television company showing parliamentary
deputy Stanislav Devaty and two colleagues apparently revealing
details from the secret police file of another deputy, Jan Kavan.
Toman denounced the broadcast as an action well timed to discredit
the commission, CSTK reports. Kavan has strongly disputed allegations
made public last year by the commission that he collaborated
with the STB. (Barbara Kroulik)

HUNGARY AND IMF. Returning from a trip to the US where he held
talks with IMF, World Bank, and US Treasury officials, Hungarian
National Bank President Peter Akos Bod was optimistic about Hungary's
prospects for receiving further financial assistance, MTI reported
on 30-January. Bod said that IMF and World Bank officials told
him that Hungary is "on the right path" and expected no problems
regarding the two loans due to be granted to Hungary this year
to help privatization and trade promotion. He also received promises
of technical assistance from the US Treasury Department and the
US Export-Import Bank to help Hungary construct a solid financial
sector. (Edith Oltay)

HUNGARIAN-ROMANIAN BASIC TREATY. Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman
Janos Herman told MTI on 30-January that the first round of Hungarian-Romanian
negotiations on a basic treaty were characterized by "an open,
relaxed, and constructive atmosphere." Herman reported that both
sides showed a willingness to compromise and reached agreement
over many provisions of the draft treaty, including the preamble
and clauses on bilateral military, economic, cultural, and scientific
cooperation. The major issues still to be resolved concern minority
rights and the inviolability of borders. The next round of talks
is to be held in one month in Bucharest. (Edith Oltay)

ROMANIAN-RUSSIAN EXCHANGES. Romania and Russia have drafted a
protocol based upon the trade agreement initialled on 30 December
1991. Goods valued at more than $520 million will be exchanged.
Payments are to be made in convertible currency at world prices
through authorized banks. The Russian Federation will send Romania
2.4-million tons of coal, 120,000-m3 of lumber, 40,000-tons of
asbestos, 30,000-tons of pulp, 8,000 tons of synthetic rubber,
and some 2.5-billion-m3 of natural gas. Deliveries of natural
gas, crude, and synthetic rubber may increase through further
agreements. Romania will deliver, inter alia, machine-tools,
consumer goods, and medicines, local media said on 30-January.
(Mihai Sturdza)

ROMANIAN COOPERATION WITH THE WEST. On 29-January Petru Popa
and Stefan Alexandru Olaru, respectively president and director
of the National Commission for the Control of Nuclear Activities,
returned from the US. After talks at the State Department and
at the Agency for International Development, they spoke of the
possible conclusion of bilateral agreements in the field of nuclear
technology. The same day British Rear Admiral Mike Harris concluded
a three-day visit to Romania. He discussed possibilities of long-term
military cooperation with Defense Minister Lt.-Gen. Nicolae Spiroiu,
and met representatives of the Foreign Ministry and of political
parties, local media said. (Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT FREEZES PRICES. Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov
on 30-January announced on TV that the government is freezing
the prices of the most important consumer goods under government
control. On 30-January Demokratsiya reported that after the Supreme
Court deregulated prices of these goods (13-January), the prices
shot up. BTA also reports that on 30-January the government refused
to approve the sharp price increases of mail and telephone services
announced the previous day and asked for further review. Prices
of gasoline and other liquid fuels, which are fixed twice a month
and had been relatively stable over a long period, also were
raised on 28-January. (Rada Nikolaev)

TWO ACCIDENTS AT KOZLODUY REPORTED. Accidents at the Kozloduy
nuclear power plant were reported by BTA on two consecutive days.
On 29-January fire broke out in a switchboard servicing the 440-megawatt
reactors nos.-3 and 4, but was put out and did not affect output.
On 30-January one of the pumps of the 1,000-megawatt reactor
no.-5 broke down and temporarily reduced that unit's power by
half. In both cases the Committee on Use of Nuclear Power announced
that there had been no risk of radioactive contamination and
no need to ration power consumption for the population. (Rada
Nikolaev) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles
Trumbull






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