No member of a crew is praised for the rugged individuality of his rowing. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 27, 10 February 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

LITTLE PROGRESS AT CIS MEETING. The meeting in Moscow on 8-February
of government representatives from the CIS failed to agree on
most of the 11 salient issues on the agenda, ITAR-TASS and Radio
Rossii reported that evening. No agreement was recorded on preserving
existing trade links and a unified economic space, on demonopolization
measures, the repayment of the external debt, on centralized
imports, the tariff-free transit of goods across the territories
of member states, and the financing of the CIS armed forces.
Accords were signed on cooperation in the fields of electric
power, ecology, and transportation rates. (Keith Bush)

UKRAINIAN POSITION AT CIS MEETING. The CIS meeting in Moscow
on 8-February appears to have yielded few tangible or significant
results largely because of Ukraine's steadfast position to safeguard
its independence, Western agencies reported over the weekend.
The meeting reportedly began with a heated debate over the relatively
low-level delegation that was sent from Kiev, which, moreover,
was not empowered to sign any agreements. All CIS members except
Ukraine agreed that Russia would act as guarantor on future CIS
transactions involving the former Soviet foreign debt. Russian
Deputy Prime Minister Gennadii Burbulis, however, was optimistic
on Ukraine's future role in the CIS. (Roman Solchanyk)

GEORGIA REPRESENTED AT CIS MEETING. Georgia was represented at
the meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of Government in Moscow
on 8-February by a group of observers headed by acting premier
Tengiz Sigua, ITAR-TASS reported on 8-February. Georgia signed
the protocol adopted at the meeting on centralized purchases
of food and agricultural imports in 1992 and agreed that Russia
should act as the guarantor of their credits. The "TV-Inform"
reported on 8-February that Georgia would also be attending the
meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State in Minsk on 14-February
as an observer. Sigua said the Georgian parliament would decide
whether or not Georgia should become a full member of the CIS.
(Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN PROPOSES UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN SUMMIT. The Russian President
told reporters upon returning to Moscow on 7-February that he
will seek a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kravchuk,
"Vesti" reported. Yeltsin said that after the CIS meeting in
Minsk scheduled for 14-February he will ask Kravchuk to conduct
bilateral negotiations on relations between Ukraine and Russia,
particularly with regard to military issues. Western reports
quote the Russian leader as saying that all differences could
be resolved and that Russia is not making any territorial claims
on Ukraine. (Roman Solchanyk)

PRO- AND ANTI-YELTSIN DEMONSTRATIONS. Demonstrations both in
protest and in support of Yeltsin's reforms were held on 8-9-February
in Moscow and other cities of the Russian Federation, the Russian
media reported. On 8-February, several hundred demonstrators
in Moscow called for "real economic reforms" to be carried out
in Russia "for the benefit of the people, not the mafia," Interfax
reported. On 9-February, tens of thousands of people gathered
at a demonstration on Manezh Square organized by the pro-Communist
"Labor Russia" Movement. They demanded the reestablishment of
the Soviet Union, the dismissal of Yeltsin's government, a halt
to economic reforms and the trial of Mikhail Gorbachev. The same
day a counter-demonstration, in support of Yeltsin's policies,
was organized in front of the Russian parliament. Fewer people
participated in the latter demonstration, however. Anti-Yeltsin
demonstrations also took place in other cities of the Russian
Federation, including Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. (Vera Tolz)


CONGRESS OF CIVIC AND PATRIOTIC FORCES. A Congress of Civic and
Patriotic Forces, organized by the Russian Constitutional Democrats
and the Christian Democratic Union, was held in Moscow on 8-9-February,
"Vesti" reported on 9-February. Both parties left the Democratic
Russia Movement earlier this year. Another party, which now stands
in opposition to Democratic Russia and the Yeltsin leadership,
the Democratic Party of Russia headed by Nikolai Travkin, decided
not to take part in the congress. The Party of Free Russia, headed
by Russian Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, also decided to
avoid the congress. However Rutskoi himself did address the congress
despite objections from his own party. According to "Vesti,"
the congress called for the recreation of the Russian empire
and strongly condemned the policies of the current Russian leadership.
(Vera Tolz)

RUTSKOI, KHASBULATOV, SOBCHAK CRITICIZE YELTSIN. Three former
close supporters of Russian President Boris Yeltsin have each
attacked the radical reforms of the Russian government. Vice
President Aleksandr Rutskoi, speaking before the Congress of
Civic and Patriotic Forces, said the reforms are leading to "economic
genocide" and suggested the introduction of a "state of economic
emergency," according to ITAR-TASS on 8-February. Meanwhile,
the chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Khasbulatov,
told Russian TV that the reforms were initiated too hastily.
St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii Sobchak told Belgian TV on the
same day that Yeltsin's shock therapy is too harsh and could
end up destroying the economy completely. (Alexander-Rahr)

KHASBULATOV DEFENDS THE LEGISLATURE AGAINST THE EXECUTIVE. Certain
members of President Yeltsin's circle are pushing a policy line
aimed at belittling the importance of the Russian Supreme Soviet,
Ruslan Khasbulatov was heard complaining on Russian TV on 7-February.
He seemed to have in mind Gennadii Burbulis and Sergei Shakhrai.
Khasbulatov was speaking in a Supreme Soviet debate during which
it was pointed out that a handful of deputies, who are serving
as government ministers, are doing so in violation of the Russian
Constitution, which forbids a combination of legislative and
executive posts. They should therefore be deprived of their status
as deputies. Khasbulatov is also keen to revoke Yeltsin's special
powers to appoint ministers without the approval of the Supreme
Soviet. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RUSSIAN PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM OUTLINED. At a Moscow news conference
on 7-February reported by Western agencies, the chairman of Russia's
State Property Committee, Anatolii Chubais, outlined the federation's
privatization program for the remainder of 1992. Russia plans
to sell off a quarter of state-owned enterprises by the end of
the year. Foreign investment will "regrettably" remain tightly
controlled while exchange rates are so unfavorable to the ruble,
"otherwise we would end up with a situation where a shop in Moscow
would cost about $1,000." Chubais said that the government expects
to raise about 92 billion rubles in 1992 from privatization.
(Keith Bush)

UKRAINE RE-REGULATES PRICES. On 1-February, Ukrainian President
Leonid Kravchuk issued a decree ordering the resumption of state
regulation of prices in Ukraine until antimonopoly legislation
had been passed, Radio Moscow reported that day (cf. Demokratychna
Ukraina, of 4-February). No reaction to this unilateral and uncoordinated
move on the part of Ukraine's CIS partners has been monitored,
nor have reports been noted of massive influxes of shoppers from
neighboring states. On the face of it, the Ukrainian move contravenes
two of the cardinal commitments signed on 8-December, namely
to coordinate the conduct of radical economic reform and to coordinate
price liberalization. (Keith Bush)

CIS DEFENSE CHANGES. The CIS military command has developed a
plan whereby two-thirds of the former Soviet Union's ground forces,
including armor and artillery, and two-thirds of aviation, will
go to Russia, while the rest will be distributed among other
CIS member states, Radio Moscow reported on 7-February. A planned
reduction of 700,000 men in the "Russian army staff" will be
carried out mainly on the basis of withdrawals of troops from
the Baltic states, Germany, and Poland. The withdrawal of strategic
nuclear weapons is scheduled to be completed in Ukraine by 1994,
in Belarus by 1995-1996, and in Kazakhstan by 1998-1999, the
report concluded. Meanwhile, CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov
said in France on 8-February that he favored creation of joint
CIS armed forces to resolve inter-ethnic conflicts, ITAR-TASS
reported. He also granted that republics have the right to their
own armies, but said they should only be created during a transitional
period. (Stephen Foye)

OFFICERS WARN SHAPOSHNIKOV. Colonel Aleksandr Mochaikin, recently
elected chairman of the All-Army Officers Assembly Coordinating
Council, has warned Evgenii Shaposhnikov that army officers favor
maintaining the army's unity. He also said that if order is not
restored in the country by political leaders, the officers will
do it themselves, Postfactum reported on 6-February. The report
also said that the Coordinating Council, elected at the All-Army
Officers Assembly on 17 January, will have fifteen full-time
officials. (Stephen Foye)

YAZOV SURFACES. Dmitrii Yazov, the former Soviet Defense Minister
arrested for his participation in the August coup, has authored
an article on the army's problems that was published in Sovetskaya
Rossiya on 8-February. According to a TASS summary, Yazov complained
that the defense potential of the CIS has already been weakened,
and said that old structures should not be dissolved until new
ones are created. Yazov also called for the CIS armed forces
to be constructed in a fashion similar to the Warsaw Pact Treaty
Organization or NATO, and said that Russia should act as the
legal successor to the Soviet Union with respect to control over
the armed forces. He also suggested that recent arms control
initiatives by the US and Russia confer an advantage on the US.
(Stephen Foye)

LAST POLITICAL PRISONERS RELEASED IN RUSSIA. The Russian government
announced that the last ten political prisoners in the country
were released on 7-February from the Perm-35 labor camp in Mordovia.
All ten were serving terms for betrayal or attempted betrayal
of their homeland. According to ITAR-TASS, the majority of those
released were either sentenced for hijacking airplanes or for
illegally attempting to cross the border. (Vera Tolz)

RAIDS ON MILITARY BASES IN CHECHNYA. There were various reports
in the Russian media on 7 and 8-February of attacks by large
groups of people on military and MVD bases in Chechnya. Such
attacks are said to be becoming more frequent. In the recent
raids large quantities of weapons and ammunition were captured.
In a raid on the arsenal of a Russian MVD regiment in Groznyi
on 6-February a major explosion was accidentally set off that
killed several of the raiders. The reports differ as to whether
the raids are being carried out by supporters or opponents of
Chechen president Dzhakhar Dudaev. Dudaev himself, who has been
given special powers for 30 days, says they are provocations
by the Russian military leadership. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT CRITICIZED. The Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
on 7-February strongly criticized the Cabinet of Ministers for
incompetence, Radio Kiev reported on 8-February. The deputies
authorized Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to form a new
cabinet and proceed with a reorganization of the executive structures
of government. (Roman Solchanyk)

MUSLIM CONGRESS TO MEET ON 26-FEBRUARY. A kurultai (congress)
of Central Asian Muslims is to meet on 26-February to adopt new
statutes for the Muslim Religious Board of Central Asia so that
it can register as a public organization, and to elect a mufti
to head the board, according to Radio Mayak on 7-February. So
far only the incumbent mufti, Muhammad-Sadyk Muhammad-Yusuf,
has registered as a candidate. In the last year there have been
two attempts by disaffected Muslim clergy to unseat the mufti,
who was charged with corruption and excessive subservience to
the state. A formal investigation reportedly cleared him of the
corruption charge. His deputy, Zahidjan Kadirov, reportedly attributed
the latest attempt to Uzbek authorities displeased with the mufti's
independent policies. (Bess Brown)

BIRLIK ACTIVISTS ON HUNGER STRIKE. Radio Mayak reported on 9-February
that activists of the Uzbek Popular Front, Birlik, are on hunger
strike in protest against the refusal of the authorities to register
Birlik's publication. The report noted that although the hunger
strike in Birlik headquarters had gone on for four days, representatives
from the Uzbek Red Cross-Red Crescent Society had not appeared.
(Bess Brown)

GAGAUZ "REPUBLIC" ABJURED BY TURKEY, SUPPORTED BY "RUSSIAN PATRIOTS."
Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae Tiu told Moldovapres on 8-February
upon returning from an official visit to Turkey that Ankara has
officially declared that it does not support the would-be "Gagauz
republic" in southern Moldova. On 9-February in Moscow, on the
other hand, a congress of "Civic and Patriotic Forces of Russia"
[see item above] passed a resolution on "Gagauzia as an ancestral
Russian land," Russian TV reported that day. (Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES

QUAYLE IN LITHUANIA. On 7-February US Vice President Dan Quayle
visited Vilnius for more than six hours, the RFE/RL Lithuanian
Service reports. Thousands of people lined the route from the
airport to the Vilnius television tower, where he placed flowers
at the monument to the 11-January victims. Quayle signed agreements
with Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis authorizing
Peace Corps volunteers to work in Lithuania and with Prime Minister
Gediminas Vagnorius on trade relations and US aid for Lithuania's
energy program. Quayle participated in the formal reopening of
the US embassy in Vilnius and spoke to 10,000 people in Independence
Square, noting that the future belongs to those who will live
in a society based on democracy and a market economy. (Saulius
Girnius)

SIGNATURES FOR REFERENDUM PRESENTED. On 7-February Sajudis officials
presented to the Presidium of the Lithuanian Supreme Council
petitions with 370,000 signatures calling for a referendum on
the powers of Lithuania's president, Radio Lithuania reported.
Sajudis secretary Audrius Kubilius noted that the gathering of
signatures took two months and was quite difficult as the populace
had lost its enthusiasm. Even if the Presidium recognizes the
validity of the petition, with more than the required 300,000
signatures, it is not clear whether a majority of registered
voters will cast votes for increased presidential powers. (Saulius
Girnius)

ESTONIAN CITIZENSHIP LAW ONE STEP CLOSER. The Supreme Council
is set on 10-February to begin discussing a draft law on applying
citizenship submitted by the government last weekend, BNS reported
on 7-February. The proposal, which follows up on the actual citizenship
law passed by the Supreme Council last Fall, offers a number
of start dates for counting minimum residence in cases of naturalization.
The start dates range from 16-November 1988, the day Estonia
declared sovereignty, to the future day the occupation ends.
The start date for naturalization has been one of the most controversial
issues in the yearlong process of hammering out a law on citizenship.
(Riina Kionka)

BALTIC FOREIGN MINISTRIES COORDINATE POLICY TOWARD RUSSIA. On
5-February deputy foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
agreed to form a permanent working group to ensure regular exchange
of information; consultations on juridical, economic, and consular
matters; and to make recommendations leading to the formulation
of a coordinated Baltic foreign policy. The participants agreed
to maintain a unified policy toward Russia, Diena reported that
day. They expressed concern over Russia's efforts to demobilize
some of the units of the former Soviet armed forces stationed
in the Baltics. At the recent meetings on troop withdrawal with
Russian officials, the Balts had agreed to help construct housing
in Russia for the troops to be withdrawn, if Russia pays the
expenses. (Dzintra Bungs)

SHAKEUP IN ESTONIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY. According to Paevaleht
of 9-February Estonian Foreign Minister Lennart Meri has fired
his two deputies-Enn Liimets, a Foreign Ministry functionary
under the old Communist government, and Rein Mullerson, a former
official in the Soviet Foreign Ministry. Although Meri publicly
gave no reason for firing Liimets and Mullerson, observers say
the Foreign Minister had been displeased that the two had failed
to coordinate with the Foreign Ministry their public statements
on key political issues. (Riina Kionka)

FUEL SHORTAGE CUTS FLIGHTS OUT OF RIGA. Russia's failure to honor
its promise to supply aviation fuel to Latvia has forced the
Riga airport to cut its flights to the CIS states. The fuel shortage
has also necessitated employee layoffs, airport director Vilnis
Ezers told BNS on 7-February. Apparently Russian officials at
the Russian-Latvian border are not issuing permits to allow trains
with aviation fuel for Latvia to proceed. Flights to and from
Western Europe are continuing normally since the fuel required
for those flights is purchased with hard currency. (Dzintra Bungs)


POLES, LITHUANIANS CLASH IN VILNIUS. Lithuanian youths clashed
with several dozen Poles holding a demonstration over property
rights outside the Lithuanian Parliament in Vilnius. According
to PAP, the Lithuanians dispersed the Poles but the police did
not interfere. The demonstrators from the Buivydiskes district
protested the government's refusal to return land nationalized
by the former Soviet authorities. The agency said that of the
4,500-acres involved, 3,750 are to be given to the Buivydiskes
district authority and only 750 acres will be returned to the
former owners. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz) NUNCIO ARRIVES IN VILNIUS.
On 9-February the papal nuncio to the Baltic States, Bishop Justo
Mullor Garcia, arrived in Vilnius, Radio Lithuania reported.
He held a Mass in the Vilnius Cathedral with Lithuania's bishops.
On 10-February he will hold talks with Vagnorius, visit the parliament
to present his credentials to Landsbergis, and meet with Foreign
Minister Algirdas Saudargas. Although Soviet Lithuania had broken
off formal ties in August 1941, the Vatican continued to recognize
the diplomatic corps of independent Lithuania with Lithuania's
ambassador to the US Stasys Lozoraitis retaining his Vatican
accreditation. (Saulius Girnius)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE LOCAL ELECTIONS
IN ROMANIA. The president of Romania's election committee
told RFE/RL that he expects voter turnout in the first free local
elections for more than 50 years to be about 74%. Preliminary
results are expected around midweek. Some pail-electoral polls
and preliminary projections indicate gains for the opposition
Democratic Convention candidates in Bucharest, Timisoara, and,
surprisingly, Iasi, which strongly supported the National Front
in the general elections two years ago. Runoff elections will
be held in places where the results are inconclusive. Most observers
found no major irregularities in the conduct of the elections,
although some smaller problems that were reported included the
late opening of some voting centers, problems with stamping identity
cards that enabled some to vote more than once, and electoral
registers that listed people who were dead or otherwise ineligible.
Some voters were confused about the correct polling place to
use and others complained they had difficulties deciding between
the huge number of candidates fielded by more than 120 political
parties. Violent incidents occurred in Sapinta, where an opposition
candidate, Toader Stetca, was barred from running because of
a crim-inal charge which was later dropped. (Crisula Stefanescu)


ROMANIAN INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION IN 1991. According to the National
Statistical Board, industrial production in Romania totalled
2.7-billion lei in 1991 (59.6% of 1989 levels). Shortages of
fuel-25 million tons less than 1990-and electricity were felt
in all industrial branches. Labor productivity in industry dropped
11.6% from 1990 to 1991, while the total number of persons employed
dropped 8%. The monthly average pay in 1991 was 7,504 lei-221.7
% of the 1990 level, Rompres reported on 7-February. (Crisula
Stefanescu)

ROMANIAN-US ECONOMIC RELATIONS. In 1991 Romanian trade with the
United States was valued at nearly $300 million, down some $50
million from 1990, Constantin Fota, Minister of Trade and Tourism
reported on 7-February. Fota was addressing a meeting of business
agents developing commercial activities with US partners, Rompres
reported. (Crisula Stefanescu)

POLISH DEFENSE MINISTER REJECTS ARMY CUTS. On 7-February Jan
Parys rejected a proposal to further cut the strength of the
army, Western and Polish media reported. Speaking to newsmen
in Warsaw, he said "this is not the time for more reductions."
On 5-February the plan to cut the army by 50,000 soldiers was
presented to a meeting of the National Security Council. Cuts
in defense spending in the two years since the collapse of communism
had gone far enough, Parys said, adding "further spending cuts
will simply cause a collapse of the defense [system]." Meanwhile,
on 9-February President Lech Walesa denied there was a conflict
between the president and the government over the army. (Wladyslaw
Minkiewicz)

POLISH-BELARUSIAN TRANSPORT AGREE-MENT. On 8-February Belarus
and Poland signed a long-term agreement on cooperation in rail,
road, and air transport, ITAR-TASS reported. The accord calls
for an expansion and modernization of border checkpoints between
the two countries. Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Stanislau
Bril told reporters in Warsaw his country has a vital interest
in using the experience and practical help of its neighbors in
reorganizing transport. Belarus plans to use Poland's Baltic
ports. Polish railroad officials have already promised to handle
the transshipment of over two million tons of Belarusian maritime
freight. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

CZECH BUSMEN ON STRIKE. About 85% of intercity bus drivers went
on strike on 10-February to protest a cut in subsidies for CSAD,
the state-owned bus company, CSTK reports. Earlier talks between
Czech Premier Petr Pithart, Labor Minister Josef Horalek, and
the leaders of the Czech Independent Public Road Transport Union
failed to settle the issue. Pithart is trying to organize a ministerial
meeting to deal with transport problems. Slovak drivers have
indicated they will not strike because state subsidies are being
maintained there. Czech Minister for Economic Policy and Development
Karel Dyba insisted there were no economic reasons for the strike
and thanked those few bus drivers who did go to work. The police
report that no major traffic problems have occurred so far. (Barbara
Kroulik)

SLOVAK DEPUTIES TO SET UP DIRECT TIES WITH BULGARIA. A Slovak
parliamentary delegation headed by chairman Frantisek Miklosko
left for a visit to Bulgaria on 9-February with the goal of establishing
"direct Slovak-Bulgarian relations." The Slovak parliamentarians
will have talks with Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev and leaders
of political parties, an RFE/RL correspondent reports. (Barbara
Kroulik)

SMALLHOLDERS MAY LEAVE COALITION. According to Radio Budapest
reports on 7-February, Jozsef Torgyan, Chairman of the Independent
Smallholders' Party (ISP), said in a press conference that his
party has no chance of gaining more influence within the coalition
and therefore will leave the coalition on 29-February as decided
earlier by his party's congress. Torgyan said that miracles could
happen but saw the chances that the coalition will survive as
slim. The party is getting ready for the role of an opposition
party. Even if Torgyan leaves the coalition, the majority of
the ISP deputies will stay in parliament. (Judith Pataki)

YOUNG DEMOCRATS HOLD CONGRESS. Radio Budapest reports that the
Alliance of Young Democrats (AYD) held its fourth national congress
in Pecs on 8-9 February. About half the party's presidium members,
mostly by AYD parliamentary deputies, were replaced, indicating
that the party is getting ready for the 1994 national elections.
Party Chairman Viktor Orban was very critical of the ruling Hungarian
Democratic Forum, but did not exclude the possibility of forming
a coalition with any of the parties. The congress placed special
emphasis on the party's liberal and religious image and seeks
to join the Liberal International, probably in October. (Judith
Pataki)

BULGARIA'S STATE BUDGET. On 6-February Minister of Finance Ivan
Kostov presented in the Council of Ministers a draft for the
state budget for 1992. Details were reported by the Sofia dailies
on 7-February. The budget envisages reduced state participation
in redistribution of funds and economic activities. Total expenditures
of the consolidated (state and local) budget are planned at 105.4-billion
leva, which is 47.5% of the gross domestic product. The government
budget foresees revenues of 77.2-billion leva and expenditures
of 85.7 billion leva. A deficit of some 9-billion leva is expected
to be covered by credits from the Bulgarian National Bank. The
draft budget will be introduced in the National Assembly by 14-February.
(Rada Nikolaev)

CROATIA'S SERBS BACK UN PEACE PLAN. Western media reported on
9-February that elected officials among ethnic Serbs in Croatia's
Krajina region voted overwhelmingly to support the UN peace plan.
Legislators voted 87 to 81 in favor of the program, while 15
of 16-local government leaders had issued a statement the previous
day against Krajina's leader Milan Babic, a strong opponent of
the UN plan. Reuter quoted one local leader as saying that "from
this moment Babic can represent only himself .-.-.-." Meanwhile,
the 10-February Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that the
permanent peace vigil begun in Belgrade in October has ended.
Its supporters said that the cease-fire seems to be holding.
Finally, on 8-February Croatia and Slovenia took part in the
opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France,
as independent countries for the first time. (Patrick Moore)
[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull









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