ZHizn' naroda - v ego edinstve... Ob'edinyat'sya - znachit obresti zhizn'. - V. Gyugo
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 22, 03 February 1992


summit meeting of United Nations Security Council members on
31-January, Russian President Boris Yeltsin said: "Perhaps for
the first time ever, there is a real chance to put an end to
despotism and to dismantle the totalitarian order . . . ." Yeltsin,
in expressing his commitment to human rights, declared that there
are no political prisoners in Russia, Western agencies reported
on 1-February. (Suzanne Crow)

George Bush signed a joint declaration on 1-February pledging
friendship and expressing the intention to reduce nuclear arsenals,
to expand trade and economic cooperation, and to respect human
rights, Western agencies reported on 2-February. (Suzanne Crow)

COOPERATION ON SPACE DEFENSE. Bush and Yeltsin also talked about
cooperation in space defense. Yeltsin said during the presidents'
joint news conference: "We did discuss . . . a global shield,
if you will. We considered it a very interesting topic . . .
It would be interesting to utilize these systems on a mutual
basis, maybe even with the participation of some other nuclear
club countries, but this requires . . . a very detailed study
at the level of specialists." Dmitrii Volkogonov, Yeltsin's advisor
on military matters who accompanied the Russian president on
this trip, declared that in the future, the main threat will
not come from the US or Russia but from terrorist regimes. (Suzanne

YELTSIN CRITICIZES US BUSINESS. During the final stop of his
trip, Boris Yeltsin sharply criticized US business leaders for
failing to invest substantially in Russia. During his news conference
on 1-February in Ottawa, Yeltsin also faulted "some governments"
(explicitly excluding Canada) for their lack of confidence in
his economic and political reforms and for their failure to provide
assistance, The New York Times reported on 3-February. (Suzanne

WESTERN AID. Asked at the airport upon his return what Russians
will get out of his trip, President Yeltsin told Novosti early
on 3-February that everyone had assured him that food deliveries
would arrive soon. On 31-January, a follow-up meeting to the
Washington aid conference was held in Minsk. Heads of the Western
working groups on food, medicine, energy, shelter, and technical
assistance met with representatives from the CIS. According to
Reuters of 1-February, the CIS officials asked for prompt deliveries
of food and feedstuffs. When the Russian representatives offered
to handle incoming aid, the non-Russians present demurred. A
further follow-up conference on medium- and long-term aid to
the CIS has been scheduled for May in Lisbon (Keith Bush)

KRAVCHUK ON CIS. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk told a news
conference in Davos on 1-February that the significance of the
CIS should not be exaggerated, ITAR-TASS reported on the same
day. Kravchuk said that many of the CIS members are inclined
to favor some kind of central regulating organs, that is, to
"return to old structures," which is unacceptable to Ukraine.
He also said that, in practice, a single economic space no longer
exists. Criticizing Russian claims to the Crimea, the Ukrainian
leader noted that the legitimacy of any decision made by the
USSR Supreme Soviet in the pre-perestroika period could also
be questioned. (Roman Solchanyk)

President Leonid Kravchuk sent a telegram to Boris Yeltsin protesting
Admiral Igor Kasatonov's refusal last week to meet with a group
of Ukrainian parliamentarians and defense ministry officials,
Radio Kiev reported on 1-February (see Daily Report, 31-January).
Noting that the delegation from Kiev was forbidden to meet with
other representatives of the fleet in what Kravchuk charged was
a violation of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, the telegram
asked for Kasatonov's removal. Interfax reported on 31-January
that Kravchuk sent the same demand to Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

KASATONOV AND MOROZOV REPLY. Admiral Kasatonov defended himself
against Kiev's accusations that sailors who pledge allegiance
to Ukraine are being persecuted, according to Interfax on 31-January.
That charge was forcefully repeated on 1-February by Ukrainian
Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov, who added that officers
who are dismissed for their "patriotic convictions" will be enrolled
in the armed forces of Ukraine without loss of rank or privileges.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

2-February, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation appealed
to the Ukrainian parliament to help "accelerate constructive
talks across the full range of questions connected with the Black
Sea Fleet." The appeal, which was published in Izvestiya on 3-February,
also called on Ukrainian people's deputies to acknowledge the
fleet as an integrated entity protecting the interests of all
CIS members in the Mediterranean Sea region and to recognize,
in addition, that personnel drafted into the Black Sea Fleet
must take the CIS military oath in accordance with prior CIS
agreements on strategic forces. (Kathy Mihalisko)

OFFICERS' ASSEMBLY GROUP MEETS. The Coordinating Council of the
All-Army Officers' Assembly, selected on 17-January, met on 31-January,
ITAR-TASS reported that day. The Council approved an appeal urging
that its representatives be allowed to take part in the 14-February
CIS Minsk meeting and amended and approved a package of documents
prepared by the CIS Commander in Chief for that meeting. Captain
Aleksandr Mochaikin was elected Chairman of the Council. As the
ITAR-TASS report noted, the Council hopes to become an active
player in political bargaining over the armed forces. Russian
Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov has offered to meet
with the presidium of the Coordinating Council. (Stephen Foye)

ARMY'S LEGAL STATUS. A commentary published in Nezavisimaya gazeta
on 2-February argues that since the dissolution of the old Soviet
state system the CIS armed forces have ceased to be under civilian
control. The article says that an "order No. 1" was signed on
31-December that liquidated the USSR Defense Ministry and transferred
all CIS strategic and general purpose forces to the command of
CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov, but that the order
was never published. At the same time, the article alleges that
the Russian State Committee for Defense Questions is only 6%
staffed (18 men), and that plans are already in motion to abolish
it and to simply replace it with the CIS command administration.
(Stephen Foye)

TV reported on a conference of "democratic forces" held in Moscow
in support of the Yeltsin-Gaidar government against "the red
and brown"-i.e., neocommunist and ultranationalist forces. The
conference was called to prepare a democratic counter-demonstration
for 9-February when neocommunist groups plan to protest outside
the Russian "White House." The TV report also revealed that the
Russian Communist Workers' Party had already formed a shadow
government, the membership of which reads like a "who's who"
on the Russian far right. Two of these "shadow ministers" are
currently in jail for alleged attempts to overthrow the democratically
elected government; they are Vasilii Starodubtsev, member of
the State of Emergency Committee, and Sergei Parfenov, deputy
commander of the Latvian "Black Berets." (Julia Wishnevsky and
Carla Thorson)

UKRAINIAN OFFER TO DEPORTED GERMANS. The German weekly, der Spiegel,
reported that Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk has offered
to resettle in Ukraine hundreds of thousands of ethnic Germans
deported during WW II from their traditional homelands, according
to Western agencies on 1-February. Kravchuk is quoted as saying
that he would offer the Germans the best lands in the southern
regions of Ukraine and in the Crimea. Recent efforts by Germany
and Russia to settle the German question have faltered because
of Russian President Boris Yeltsin's equivocal remarks on the
issue. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN-ROMANIAN RELATIONS. Romania and Ukraine have agreed
to establish diplomatic relations in spite of a territorial dispute
between the two countries, Western agencies reported on 1-February.
Romania has recognized Ukraine, but relations between the two
have been overshadowed by Bucharest's claims to Northern Bukovina
and other areas now in Ukraine. The announcement on diplomatic
relations was made in Davos after a meeting between the Romanian
and Ukrainian presidents. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN AID TO CRIMEAN TATARS. The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers
has decided to allocate 400 million rubles (in 1991 prices) to
facilitate the return of Crimean Tatars to their homeland in
the Crimea, Ukrinform-TASS reported on 31-January. A Commission
on Deported Peoples of the Crimea has also been formed to coordinate
efforts to aid those peoples deported from the Crimea during
WW II. (Roman Solchanyk)

to a report of 31-January on Belarusian TV, the Union of Journalists
of Belarus has protested against what they call "illegal actions"
perpetrated against the Belarusian media and media consumers
by Russian President Boris Yeltsin's recent decree on the liquidation
of TASS and Novosti. The journalists charge that the creation
of a new information agency, ITAR-TASS, which they regard as
an attempt by the Russian government to form "a single information
space" and to "monopolize the information market," constitutes
interference in the "sovereign rights of the Republic of Belarus."
(Kathy Mihalisko)

that the US Embassy in Bishkek was opened that day with a formal
ceremony attended by Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev, who said he
was pleased that of the 80 countries that have recognized Kyrgyzstan,
the US was the first to open an embassy there. (Bess Brown)

and Moskovskie novosti (No. 4, 1992) report indications that
Uzbek president Islam Karimov, shaken by the student riots of
16-17-January, is considering a liberalization of political life
in Uzbekistan. He promised to register all political parties,
according to the ITAR-TASS report, although it was unclear if
the Islamic Renaissance Party would be included. Karimov has
also spoken positively of the role played by the Popular Front
"Birlik" during the disturbances, praising it for not giving
in to provocation. Karimov blamed the riots on rival groupings
within ruling circles. (Bess Brown)

ISSUE. Moldovan Presidential Counsellor Oazu Nantoi told Moldovapres
and TASS on 1-February that the recognition of Moldova by over
80 states and the republic's admission to CSCE and impending
accession to other international bodies had "consolidated Moldovan
statehood." Any hypothetical "merger" with Romania would therefore
no longer be a bilateral Moldovan-Romanian issue but an international
one. (Vladimir Socor)

MISSION IN MOSCOW. For the third consecutive Sunday, members
of the Union for the Defense of Soviet Citizens, Vladimir Zhirinovsky's
Liberal-Democratic Party, Working Russia, Slavic Union, and the
Russian Rebirth Party demonstrated on 2-February in front of
Moldova's mission in Moscow in support of the would-be "Dniester
republic," ITAR-TASS reported that day. The demonstrators also
picketed the Romanian embassy, alleging that Romania had delivered
arms to Moldova. (Vladimir Socor)

PATRIARCH ALEKSII ON ANTISEMITISM. Moskovskie novosti No. 4 published
the speech Patriarch Aleksii delivered to a meeting of representatives
of Jewish communities in New York during the Patriarch's visit
there in November, 1991. In this address the Patriarch stressed
the common religious base and the mutual understanding between
Judaism and Orthodoxy. He cited a number of leading Orthodox
hierarchs and theologians who openly condemned anti-semitism
during the last century, the beginning of this century, and during
the Second World War. (Oxana Antic)


TROOP WITHDRAWAL TALKS. On 31-January a Russian delegation headed
by Deputy Premier Sergei Shakhrai held talks in Vilnius on the
withdrawal of Soviet troops from Lithuania, Radio Lithuania reported
on 1-February. Shakhrai and Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Ceslovas Stankevicius signed a communique that
stated that the withdrawal will be conducted with respect for
the independence and sovereignty of Lithuania, strictly observing
Lithuanian law and agreements between the two parties. The withdrawal
will begin in February. Moving on to Riga, the Russian delegation
agreed to regard former USSR troops in Latvia "as foreign military
forces which are to be withdrawn from the territory of another
sovereign state," according to the communique issued by Shakhrai
and Latvian Minister of State Janis Dinevics on 1-February. The
accord was seen as a first step leading to a treaty. Dinevics
told Reuters that day that laborious negotiations lie ahead.
It was decided that withdrawal would begin in March and the timetable
would take into account the security interests of both Russia
and Latvia and the welfare of the troops and their families.
It was not agreed when the last of the troops (estimated at over
50,000) will leave Latvia. (Saulius Girnius & Dzintra Bungs)

USSR Armed Forces and Labor Veterans, outlawed because of its
efforts to undermine the restoration of Latvia's independence
and to support the failed August 1991 coup in Moscow, has reconstituted
itself into the Council to Defend Veterans' Rights, but kept
its leader Anatolii Lebedev. The report in Diena on 31-January
did not say when the reorganization took place but noted that
the new council is legal under current Latvian laws. The new
council is closely affiliated with the Veterans' Social Welfare
Fund and both organizations were established at the same time
by essentially the same people. Profits from the sale of various
equipment from the bases of the Northwestern Group of Forces
in Latvia are deposited into the welfare fund. (Dzintra Bungs)

Council of the People's Front of Latvia decided that a law should
be drafted barring for five years from certain public offices
persons who actively campaigned against Latvia's independence,
or held leading positions in organizations opposing the restoration
of an independent and democratic Republic of Latvia. The decision
was made on 25-January, according to Diena of 27-January. The
restriction would apply to a wide variety of elected and appointed
positions, including those in the Supreme Council, national and
local governments, home guard, courts, etc. The proposal originated
with the PFL Radical Association, as reported by BNS on 24-January.
(Dzintra Bungs)

Aleskaitis, Lithuania's Minister of International Economic Relations,
initialed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation in Brussels,
RFE/RL reported. The agreement provides for most-favored-nation
status in trade except for coal, steel, and textiles. Talks have
begun for a separate agreement on textiles. Aleskaitis noted
that the agreement was an important step in Lithuania's acquiring
associate membership in the EC. (Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIAN PROTEST TO CANADA. Estonian Foreign Minister Lennart
Meri delivered a note to his Canadian counterpart Barbara McDougall
on 30-January protesting recent Canadian actions surrounding
delivery of aid to Estonia. According to Paevaleht the next day,
a Canadian military airplane that arrived in Tallinn to help
resolve technical questions related to an aid shipment failed
to ask Estonian authorities for overflight and landing rights.
Instead, Canada asked the CIS Defense and the Russian Civil Aviation
Ministries for permission. The Estonian Foreign Ministry note,
delivered at last week's Prague CSCE conference, reminded Canada
of its nonrecognition policy and said that Estonia "cannot under
any circumstances accept this impermissible erosion of Estonia's
sovereignty." (Riina Kionka)

WITHIN SERB RANKS. Milan Babic, leader of the ethnic
Serbs in Croatia's Krajina region, told the BBC on 3-February
that Krajina has not agreed to accept the UN peace plan for the
former Yugoslavia. Krajina's parliament's speaker had earlier
endorsed the project at a marathon session of the Serbian-dominated
rump Belgrade presidency, but Babic said the man acted under
duress and in any event had no authority to sign anything. Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic seems determined to bring the plan
into effect, but Babic argues it would effectively return Krajina
to Croatian control. Meanwhile, on 1-February, about 10,000 people
in Cetinje demonstrated for Montenegrin independence, Austrian
TV reported. Montenegro has been a loyal ally of Serbia throughout
the crisis, but even President Momir Bulatovic has made it clear
that Montenegro will not accept junior-partner status in relation
to that republic. (Patrick Moore)

On 31-January Radio Serbia reported that two ethnic
Albanian adults in Kosovo were killed in a clash with police
as they were taking their children to school. A shootout left
one man dead in Belgrade. Police say that there has been an alarming
surge of violence in the past six months as all sides continue
to arm themselves. The commander of the Serbian Guard, an independent
paramilitary organization, however, has accused Vuk Draskovic.
Serbia's main opposition leader, and his wife of organizing an
illegal network of arms smuggling in an effort "to start a civil
war in Serbia." Draskovic is to go on trial later this month
charged with organizing last March's demonstrations in Belgrade
that resulted in two deaths. On 2-February a federal army reservist
in Bosnia killed three soldiers and three members of his fiancee's
family. The incident illustrates a dramatic rise in violence
and crime in recent months attributed in part to the increased
presence of undisciplined army reservists in Bosnia. (Milan Andrejevich)

BOSNIAN CROAT LEADER RESIGNS. On 2-February Radio Sarajevo reported
the resignation of Stjepan Kljuic, head of the Croatian Democratic
Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the republic's third largest
party. Kljuic cited lack of unity within the party's leadership.
His strongest criticism has come from the predominantly Croatian-populated
areas of western Herzegovina, where leaders have declared themselves
in favor of union with Croatia. Kljuic strongly opposes union
and advocates independence for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Meanwhile
Croats are at odds over the presence of the paramilitary HOS
[Croatian Defense Forces] in western Herzegovina. Estimates say
some 16,000 HOS troopers are stationed in the area, but some
Herzegovinian Croat leaders say the force only involves about
100-men. Some see their presence as a desirable counterweight
to the Serb-dominated Yugoslav army units stationed there. Critics
say that HOS's presence will help push the area into war. (Milan

Minister Geza Jeszenszky told the UN Security Council summit
on 31-January, that the "future [well-being] of the Hungarian
minority in [Serbia's province of] Vojvodina and of all minorities
in the Southern Slav states can, among other things, be safeguarded
through the institution of territorial and cultural autonomy."
Jeszenszky also asked the Council to consider deploying UN monitors
or peace-keeping forces "in all areas" of the former Yugoslavia
where tensions or conflicts might arise. Jeszenszky said that
the UN presence could contribute to "removing hotbeds of crisis
by upholding democratic values and enforcing respect for human
rights." This was reported in Uj Magyarorszag on 1-February 1992.(Edith

HUNGARY AND NATO. Returning from a four-day visit to NATO headquarters
in Brussels, Hungarian Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Janos Deak
told MTI on 31-January that Hungary and NATO seek to develop
both political and military cooperation. Deak said that there
are plans to invite Hungarian and other East European military
leaders to participate in the work of the NATO military council,
starting in April 1992. There are also plans to accredit a permanent
Hungarian representative at NATO headquarters. (Edith Oltay)

SEJM DECLARES MARTIAL LAW ILLEGAL. In a vote of 220 to 6 with
38-abstentions on 1-February the Polish parliament ruled the
1981 declaration of martial law was illegal, Polish and Western
media report. The resolution also clears the way for those persecuted
during the martial law period for political reasons to register
damage claims. A special commission is to be set up to determine
"the extent of responsibility of persons who prepared and administered
the martial law." The Democratic Left Alliance deputies walked
out before the vote in protest of what they considered slanderous
remarks by KPN leader Leszek Moczulski, who called the former
communist legislators "paid traitors and Russia's lackeys." The
DLA felt the Sejm should have waited on its resolution until
the special commission finishes its work. (Roman Stefanowski)

GUS ON THE POLISH ECONOMY IN 1991. The Main Statistical Office
(GUS) has released economic data for 1991 that shows a distinct
growth in the private sector and a decline in the public one,
PAP reported on 31-January. While industrial production in the
public sector decreased by 11.9% compared with the previous year,
that in the private one increased by 25.4%. Prices in 1991 increased
by 70.3% over 1990 levels-some of the increase is due to the
1990/1991 overlap-and the unemployment rate jumped to 11.4%,
an increase over the previous year of 5.3%. The Gross National
Product in 1991 is down by 8-10% and the 1991 budget deficit
is some 3.5-4% of GNP. For the first time in 10-years GUS noted
a drop in exports, by 1.4% in fixed prices. Even with a 39% increase
in imports, however, a trade surplus of some $190-million was
still achieved. (Roman Stefanowski)

CZECHOSLOVAK TANKS. A German freighter bringing 16-Czechoslovak
T-72 tanks to Syria was intercepted in the Mediterranean by the
German navy on 30-January and ordered to return to Germany because
the ship's owners did not have an export permit for the tanks.
Czechoslovak Trade Minister Josef Baksay insisted the tanks were
being exported legally and should be returned to Czechoslovakia.
He said he had personally approved the contract to alleviate
unemployment in Slovakia. President Vaclav Havel said in his
weekly radio address that Czechoslovakia would honor export contracts
already properly signed or approved but he hoped no more would
be concluded in the future. Another 12-Czechoslovak T-72 tanks
are being loaded onto a freighter in the Polish port of Szczecin.
(Barbara Kroulik)

ROMANIANS RALLY AGAINST ILIESCU. Thousands of Romanians calling
for the resignation of President Ion Iliescu participated in
a rally organized by the Democratic Convention multiparty opposition
bloc in Bucharest on 2-February, Western agencies report. The
leaders of the main opposition parties took the floor and vowed
to run on joint lists in the forthcoming elections. Corneliu
Coposu, the head of the Peasant Party, went so far as to urge
the participants to unite and get rid of "the moribund neocommunists"
who have pushed Romania to the brink of collapse. (Crisula Stefanescu)

Defense Ministry issued a communique on 2-February saying that
on several occasions election candidates seeking support from
soldiers made statements aimed at "weakening the unity of the
army" as well as "disparaging remarks about the leaders of the
country, the heads of the National Defense Ministry, and the
army itself," Rompres reported. The statement warned candidates
that statements viewed as anti-army "would not be well received"
by the military. (Crisula Stefanescu)

ZHELEV IN DAVOS. Upon his return from the international economic
forum in Davos on 2-February Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev
singled out as his main accomplishment his meetings with the
leaders of all Balkan countries. He told BTA that his meeting
with Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis had "cleared"
the recent differences. Western agencies, however, are reporting
widely divergent positions of Balkan leaders on the independence
of the former Yugoslav republics. Zhelev said in an interview
that the recognition of the republics is a stabilizing factor
and he sees the disintegration of Yugoslavia as part of the collapse
of world communism. (Rada Nikolaev)

public figures gathered in Sofia on 31-January and a church service
was held on 1-February to commemorate the mass execution on 2-February
1945 of Bulgaria's political elite, sentenced by the so-called
people's court. Prof. Georgi Markov, the main speaker at the
earlier gathering, estimated the total number of victims of the
central and local people's courts at 20,000 (the Bulgarian Encyclopedia
gives the number of death sentences as 2,730). The Union of Democratic
Forces seeks repeal of the 1944 decree establishing the people's
courts. (Rada Nikolaev) [AS of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson
& Charles Trumbull

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

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Natasha Bulashova,Greg Koul
Updated: 1998-11-

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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole