Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 28, 11 February 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

DEFENSE: WAITING FOR MINSK. Defense Ministers from the CIS member
states planned to meet in Minsk on 11-February in order to begin
preliminary discussions on the army's future, Radio Mayak reported
on 10-February. The initial talks will focus on supplying and
financing the armed forces for the first quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, CIS military spokesman Lieutenant General Leonid Ivashov
told Radio Moscow on 10-February that 14 documents connected
with military affairs will be considered in Minsk on 14-February,
including a proposal to create a council of ministers for defense
questions. "Vesti" reported on 10-February that discussion will
also focus on the future of the Black Sea Fleet. (Stephen Foye)


UKRAINE: "NO SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR." The Ukrainian Ministry
of Foreign Affairs has dispatched a note to its counterpart in
Moscow saying that no single state has the right to declare itself
the successor to the Soviet Union, Radio Rossii reported on 10-February
(quoting Kharkov-Novosti). In recent statements, Russian government
officials have stated that Russia has assumed this role. (Roman
Solchanyk)

KRAVCHUK ON CIS AND MILITARY QUESTION. As quoted on 10-February
by Radio Kiev, Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk believes that
the military question may become the primary bone of contention
among Commonwealth members. He said that the main danger to the
CIS comes from attempts to maintain unified armed forces. Kravchuk
proposed turning the Black Sea basin into a "zone of peace,"
but did not elaborate further on that idea. (Kathy Mihalisko)


NAZARBAEV URGES UNIFIED ARMY. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev
told a correspondent from the newspaper Tyurkie on 10-February
that efforts to divide up the former Soviet armed forces could
lead to sharp conflicts between CIS member states, ITAR-TASS
reported that day. He was apparently referring in particular
to the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine. Nazarbaev called
for retention of a unified army and said that the issue would
be discussed in Minsk on 14-February. (Stephen Foye)

GRACHEV ASKS FOR MORE DM. Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev
visited Bonn last week. According to Deutschlandfunk of 10-February,
he asked for an additional DM 7-billion to cover the withdrawal
of CIS troops from the eastern part of Germany. Grachev was said
to have offered various reasons for his demand, including the
need to build more housing in Russia for the returning servicemen,
the higher transit fees now that the troops must cross independent
CIS member states, and the value of the real estate left behind
in Germany. The latest claim is in addition to some DM 14 billion
already agreed to by Germany. (Keith Bush)

OIL EXPORTS DOWN IN 1991. Oil exports from the former USSR fell
sharply in 1991, according to Interfax of 8-February. Exports
of crude oil decreased from 99 million tons in 1990 to 53.9-million
tons in 1991, while exports of petro-leum products dropped from
27.5 million tons to 21.9 million tons in the same period. Natural
gas exports fell from 96 billion cubic meters in 1990 to 88.9
billion cubic meters in 1991. (Keith Bush)

BREAD PRICES TO RISE. The chairman of the Russian Committee for
Bakeries was quoted by Interfax on 10-February as warning that
the retail prices for bread will have to be increased again.
Although the retail prices were pegged as of 2-January, the prices
of ingredients have been freed: the price of flour has risen
by a factor of seven and that of yeast by a factor of nine. The
Federation's bakeries were said to be on the verge of bankruptcy
and could start to close within weeks. The official estimated
that, to ensure profitability, the prices for white loaves should
rise to 6-7 rubles and for rye bread to 5.50 rubles. [For the
bulk of the urban population, bread now constitutes the main
source of nutrition]. (Keith Bush)

AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY SHORTAGES. For as long as any observer
cared to remember, each spring brought reports of acute shortages
of agricultural machinery, chemicals, and seed grain for the
farms of the former USSR. On 10-February, ITAR-TASS quoted the
head of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture's Farm Equipment
Division as painting a familiar picture for 1992, albeit for
somewhat different reasons. Only 20% of farm machinery contracts
have been concluded, with manufacturers complaining that metal
has not been supplied, and thus 200,000 tractors may not be delivered.
Fuel and mechanics are in short supply. And the price of a new
combine harvester has risen to 1.5-million rubles. (Keith Bush)


RUSSO-JAPANESE TALKS. The ninth sitting of permanent Russo-Japanese
working groups took place on 10-February in Moscow with one group
discussing the territorial question and the other discussing
the peace treaty. According to Georgii Kunadze, deputy foreign
minister of the Russian Federation, progress toward concluding
a peace treaty between Russia and Japan was made, but the key
problem remains the "so-called 'territorial question,'" ITAR-TASS
reported on 10-February. The use of the term "so-called territorial
question" by ITAR-TASS is reminiscent of previous Soviet refusals
to admit that a territorial question indeed exists. (Suzanne
Crow)

KOZYREV TO TOKYO. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev will
visit Japan from 20 to 22-March, Japanese officials said on 10-February
following talks in Moscow between Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister
Kunihiko Saito and Kozyrev. President Yeltsin is reportedly expected
to visit Japan in September, Western agencies reported on 10-February.
(Suzanne Crow)

KOZYREV ON ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM. In an interview with the Portuguese
newspaper Publiku (carried by ITAR-TASS on 10-February), Kozyrev
said it is time to consider the threat of the Asiatic republics
of the former Soviet Union embracing Islamic fundamentalism.
"Today it is necessary to talk about how to include these governments
in a civilized, democratic space. This can no longer be called
simply European; it is a Euroasiatic [Evroaziatskoe] area." (Suzanne
Crow) NEWS ON OPENING UP CPSU ARCHIVES. At a press conference
in Moscow on 10-February the chairman of the Russian Federation's
Committee for Archives, Rudolf Pikhoya, said that from now on
archives on the territory of Russia, including the majority of
the CPSU archives and some of the KGB archives, will be open
to domestic and foreign scholars. Russian TV quoted Pikhoya as
saying that a special parliamentary committee is currently working
out criteria for opening up the most sensitive materials from
the KGB and Party funds. Pikhoya said that within two years a
6-7 volume edition will be published containing thousands of
documents by Lenin, which were not published previously due to
ideological reasons. (Vera Tolz)

SOVIET CP SENT MILLIONS TO 98 FOREIGN PARTIES. Russian Deputy
Prosecutor General Evgenii Lisov, told the Russian parliament
on 10-February that the CPSU sent millions of dollars to as many
as 98 foreign parties abroad, Interfax reported that day. Lisov
said the Party's Central Committee set up a special fund in the
1950s that moved up to $25 million a year. Lisov explained that
upon Politburo orders, an official would phone someone in the
foreign economic bank and name the sum. An hour later, he received
an attache case with hard currency that he handed to a KGB agent,
who then transferred the money abroad through his own channels.
Lisov said some former CP leaders might be tried for the transfer
of money abroad. (Vera Tolz)

LIBERAL APPOINTED RUSSIAN MINISTER OF CULTURE. The prominent
literary critic Evgenii Sidorov has been named Russian minister
of culture, the TV news program "Novosti" announced on 7-February.
Prior to this appointment, Sidorov served as director of the
Literary Institute (the institute of higher education that instructs
writers.) Sidorov is the author of the first monograph on the
poet Evgenii Evtushenko and enjoys a reputation as a liberal.
As an academic, Sidorov appears to be a more logical choice for
the job than were his predecessors-former RSFSR and USSR ministers
of culture Yurii Solomin and Nikolai Gubenko, who are actors.
(Julia Wishnevsky)

RUSSIAN "PATRIOTS" ON CRIMEA. The Russian People's Assembly (Rossiiskoe
Narodnoe Sobranie), formed at the recently convened "Congress
of Civic and Patriotic Forces," will work for the recognition
of the 1954 transfer of the Crimea to Ukraine as having no legal
force, ITAR-TASS reported on 9-February. The question of the
constitutionality of the 1954 decision is scheduled to be reviewed
later this-month in the Russian Supreme Soviet. (Roman Solchanyk)


SEVASTOPOL CITY ELDERS FED UP. The Executive Committee of the
Sevastopol City Council has dispatched an appeal to the presidents
of Ukraine and Russia and to the Ukrainian and Russian parliaments
expressing its concern about growing nationalist and political
tensions at the center of which is the city, Radio Kiev reported
on 10-February. The city elders point to tendentious press reports
in the Ukrainian and Russian media and to propaganda "raids"
by uninvited guests from Kiev and Moscow. The appeal urges that
a sensible approach to the Black Sea Fleet and other problems
be taken by the leaders of both states. (Roman Solchanyk)

ETHNIC GERMANS DOUBTFUL ABOUT RETURNING TO UKRAINE. A spokesman
for the ethnic German community in the former Soviet Union has
expressed doubts that Ukraine's recent offer to resettle Germans
in Ukraine constitutes an "alternative" for the Volga Germans,
Western agencies reported on 10-February. Heinrich Groth explained
that the offer could apply to only part of the German community
in the CIS, perhaps about 100,000, because more would prefer
to be in a restored German republic. (Roman Solchanyk)

POTASSIUM MINERS IN BELARUS PLAN TO STRIKE. Miners in Salihorsk
say they will go on strike at midnight on 11-February to demand
better living conditions and higher prices for their output.
CIS TV reported the same day that Donbass coal miners have expressed
solidarity with their colleagues in Salihorsk. Meanwhile, the
RFE/RL Belarusian service learned on 10-February that the Central
Electoral Committee is expected to reject the text of a proposed
referendum question on whether to hold new parliamentary elections.
Opposition leaders, who are pushing for the referendum, say it
may be necessary to organize strikes and protests if the CEC
rejects the initiative. (Kathy Mihalisko)

NEW PARTY IN TAJIKISTAN. A Popular Unity Party has been organized
in Tajikistan, according to TadzhikTA-TASS of 7-February. It
describes itself as representing entrepreneurs, and appears to
be a non-Communist conservative group close to the government.
The chairman of the organizing committee of the new party is
former Pravda correspondent Otakhon Latifi, who told a press
conference that the group opposes demands that the present parliament
be dissolved and new elections held. This demand has been advanced
many times in recent months by the combined forces of Tajikistan's
democratic opposition. Government leaders have rejected the demand
on the same grounds as those cited by the new party, namely,
that political chaos would result. (Bess Brown)

MOLDOVAN LEADER SEES NO ALTERNATIVE TO INTEGRATION WITH ROMANIA.
In an interview with Moldovan TV on 9-February, as cited by Moldovapres
that day, Moldovan Parliament Chairman Alexandru Mosanu called
for accelerated integration between Moldova and Romania "because
otherwise we shall find it difficult to exist" and "because there
is no one else we can rely on except Romania." The statement
reflects the disappointment of some Moldovan leaders with the
international community's slow response to Moldova's pleas for
political support of its independence. On the same day, Foreign
Minister Nicolae Tiu told Moldovapres that owing to lack of means,
Moldova may ask Romania to represent Moldova's interests in a
number of Western capitals. (Vladimir Socor)

BAKER, US AID ARRIVING IN MOLDOVA. In what may signal a turning
point in Moldova's relations with the Western democracies, US
Secretary of State James Baker is paying a visit to Chisinau
for talks with President Mircea Snegur and other Moldovan officials
on 11-February, at the start of a tour of several newly independent
states of the former USSR. On 10-February, the first plane carrying
US aid for Moldova landed in Chisinau with a consignment of medicine.
A large crowd of Moldovans welcomed the plane at Chisinau airport,
Western agencies reported. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVA INTRODUCES OWN ENTRY VISAS. Moldova's Foreign Ministry
announced on 10-February that Moldova is instituting its own
entry visas as of that date, AFP cited by Radio Bucharest reported
that day. The visas will be granted at the border by Moldovan
consular personnel. Citizens of the member states of CIS and
of Romania will not need visas to enter Moldova. (Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES

BUSH NAMES BALTIC AMBASSADORS. On 10-February President George
Bush nominated three career foreign service officers as US ambassadors
to the Baltic States, a RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reported.
He chose Darryl Johnson for Lithuania, Ints Silins for Latvia,
and Robert Frasure for Estonia. All three have been serving as
charges d'affaires to the republics. The US Senate still has
to approve the nominations. (Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY UNDER PRESSURE. Estonian Foreign Minister
Lennart Meri came under pressure on 10-February for firing two
of his deputies over the weekend. At its Monday meeting the Supreme
Council Foreign Affairs Commission sharply criticized both Meri's
move and his overall handling of internal ministerial affairs,
BNS reported that day. The commission asked the government to
discuss management of the Foreign Ministry and "to remove existing
tensions that might prove harmful to Estonia's foreign policy
image." The Commission also asked the Foreign Ministry to present
its overall foreign policy conception to the Supreme Council
within the month. Later that day Prime Minister Tiit Vahi told
reporters that under Estonian SSR law, which is still in force,
only the head of government may relieve deputy ministers from
their duties. Thus, Vahi explained, the two fired men still hold
office. (Riina Kionka)

STATE OF EMERGENCY STILL HOLDS. Estonia's lawmakers failed on
10-February to nullify their resolution last month to establish
an economic state of emergency, BNS reports. The nullification
motion won 47-votes of the 52-needed, with 16-abstentions and
no nay votes. Supreme Council Economic Commission chairman Kalju
Koha proposed reopening discussion on 11-February, since no one
voted against the measure. The measure most likely failed because
of poor attendance at the session, not for political reasons.
(Riina Kionka)

LANDSBERGIS IN GERMANY. On 10-February Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis arrived in Bonn for a four-day
visit, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bonn reported. His first meeting
was with Bundestag President Rita SŸssmuth who had invited him
to Germany. After the meeting, Landsbergis told reporters that
the presence of the Soviet army in Lithuania was a destabilizing
factor that was making it more difficult for the Baltic States
to attract foreign investments. The withdrawal of the troops
was an international problem that could be helped by foreign
assistance to build housing for the soldiers. On 11-February
he is scheduled to meet chancellery minister Friedrich Bohl,
Social Democrat leader Hans-Ulrich Klose, and members of the
German-Baltic parliamentary group as well as German businessmen.
(Saulius Girnius)

LATVIA SEARCHES ABROAD FOR GASOLINE. Due to the grave shortage
of gasoline, the Latvian police were ordered to limit patrols
and drive only to sites of serious crimes. On 10-February the
price of intercity bus tickets tripled, and the Ministry of Agriculture
warned of major gaps in food distribution and production if gasoline
cannot be found, Radio Riga reports. The problem originates with
Russia's failure to honor promises to supply gasoline and other
petroleum products. Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis has asked private
distributors to help find gasoline for Latvia and is flying to
the Middle East to seek additional sources of petroleum products.
Two German firms have promised to send 6,000 tons of gasoline
to Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA PROTESTS INFLUX OF EX-SOVIET TROOPS. The Latvian Foreign
Ministry sent a strong note of protest to its Russian counterpart
because of the arrival in Latvia of over 500 troops of the former
Soviet armed forces who had been stationed in Germany, Radio
Riga reported on 10-February. The note also protests that soldiers
have engaged in activities inappropriate for their status as
members of the armed forces; for example, they have been felling
trees in forests without permission, disregarding the authority
of Latvian customs officials, and hawking equipment from their
bases. (Dzintra Bungs)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE ROMANIAN OPPOSITION APPEARS SUCCESSFUL
IN LOCAL ELECTIONS. Reports from Romania suggest a strong showing
by the opposition Democratic Convention, but the election committee
has declined to release any preliminary results of the polls.
It would only say that first results indicate that a second ballot
will have to be held in many localities where no candidate has
won a simple majority. Near-final results from Timisoara and
Cluj show opposition candidates far ahead of all others. Democratic
Convention sources claim that its candidate is also ahead in
the race for mayor of Bucharest. The opposition leaders expressed
their hope that the local elections will mark the first step
towards democracy in Romania, and Nicolae Manolescu, chairman
of the Civic Alliance Party told Rompres that "the results of
the elections will prove there was an alternative in Romania."
An RFE correspondent quoted a spokesman for NSF as dismissing
the opposition claims that the Front had suffered heavy losses.
(Crisula Stefanescu)

DIRECTOR OF ROMANIAN TV DISMISSED. Premier Theodor Stolojan dismissed
Emanuel Valeriu as Vice President of Romanian Radio and TV and
General Director of Romanian TV, Rompres reported on 10-February.
The Romanian and independent and opposition press have long portrayed
Romanian TV as a symbol of disinformation and called for the
firing of its leadership. (Crisula Stefanescu)

WAR DRUMS IN CROATIA,-.-.-. Yugoslav media reported on 10-February
that Croatia's Serbs are planning a referendum on 22 and 23-February
to decide whether the UN peace plan should be accepted unconditionally.
The decision was made by the so-called Assembly of the Republic
of Serb Krajina one day after the assembly accepted the plan.
The refer-endum was called by Krajina President Milan Babic,
who has strongly opposed the plan. Meanwhile, Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman told The Guardian on 10-February that Croatia
will administer the disputed Serbian enclaves even though he
had earlier accepted the UN's plan to administer the regions.
Tudjman added that the UN peacekeeping force should be deployed
in the Krajina for only one year. Radio Croatia on 10-February
quoted Croatian navy commander Adm. Sveto Letica as saying that
if a political solution is not reached on the Krajina, then the
Croatian army will be "forced to expel the Serb-dominated army
from its territory. He warned that units of the Croatian army
cannot remain inactive much longer in such an "absurd situation
of no war and no peace." (Milan Andrejevich)

.-.-.-BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA,-.-.-. Former Yugoslav State President
Stjepan Mesic told the Zagreb daily Vecernji list on 10-February
that "war is in sight-.-.-. within two months" in the multiethnic
Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He warned that greater Serbian
expansionism is threatening the peace there and added that Croatia
"will never leave the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina to their
own devices." Earlier reports of some 16,000 paramilitary troopers
in place in western Herzegovina seem to be borne out. A commander
of the HOS (Croatian Defense Forces), the armed branch of the
right-wing Croatian Party of Rights, interviewed by Novi Sad
TV confirmed that it has set up its headquarters there. (Milan
Andrejevich)

.-.-.- KOSOVO, AND MACEDONIA. The situation in the Serbian province
of Kosovo and in the Republic of Macedonia has also reached dramatic
proportions. On 7-February the main ethnic Albanian party in
Kosovo, the Democratic League, declared that it will press for
international recognition of its inde-pendence declared last
September. Party's chairman Ibrahim Rugova warned that the patience
of Albanians is nearly spent because of Serbia's brutal control
over the province and reiterated that all Albanians "must live
in one state." In neighboring Macedonia the Albanian Party for
Democratic Pros-perity concluded its first congress on 9-February,
passing a resolution asking Macedonian authorities to recognize
both the independence of the Republic of Kosovo and the autonomy
of the predominantly Albanian western Macedonia, which would
even-tually unite with Kosovo. Meanwhile on 9-February, Macedonia's
Serb minority held a referendum on autonomy in 13-districts,
and some 10,000-Serbs demonstrated against the republic's independence
from the former Yugoslavia. Results of the refer-endum have not
yet been reported (Milan Andrejevich)

CZECH, SLOVAK LEADERS REACH AGREEMENT ON FEDERATION. Czech and
Slovak leaders reached agreement on 9-February after months of
negotiations on a treaty defining the relationship of their republics
in a future federation. A draft agreement worked out by Czech
and Slovak parliamentarians expresses the will of the people
of both republics to live in a common state. Either republic
has the right to secede on the basis of a referendum. The draft
provides for a common defense, foreign policy, and currency and
calls for Czechs and Slovaks to be equally represented in supreme
bodies. The agreement now goes to the republican and federal
parliaments for discussion. President Vaclav Havel called the
agreement a great step forward. (Barbara Kroulik) POLAND PUBLISHES
STATE OF NATION REPORT. On 10-February Prime Minister Jan Olszewski
signed the year-end report from the Council of Ministers; it
will now go to the Sejm. According to PAP the 9-point report
notes considerable progress from 1989 to 1991, but warns of a
serious threat presented by the current social crisis and economic
collapse. The report points to the 70% inflation, drop in production
and services figures, and the 1991 fall in exports-the first
in 10 years. The report notes an enormous increase in common
and organized crime and faults the administration for incompetence
in addressing the problem. Most serious, the report says, is
Poland's inability to deal with its 1991 IMF liabilities. (Roman
Stefanowski)

SOLIDARITY TALKS BROKEN OFF. The Solidarity Trade Union delegation
broke off talks with the government on the fuel and energy price
increases on 10-February. According to PAP Solidarity chief negotiator
Andrzej Wieczorek said that in view of the uncompromising attitude
of the government there is no point in continuing. Deputy Labor
and Social Policy Minister Bartlomiej Piotrowski said the government
has considered all the social and economic options, but because
of the budget situation it felt unable to withdraw the announced
increases. Asked about a possibility of a general strike Wieczorek
said that the Solidarity's National Commission is meeting today
"and will decide about it, but feelings are very radical." (Roman
Stefanowski)

COCOM RESTRICTIONS LIFTED FOR HUNGARY? According to Handelsblatt
and Radio Budapest, a COCOM session on 10-February in Paris decided
to remove Hungary from its list of countries to which the transfer
of strategic goods is restricted. The decision has not yet been
confirmed officially and would take effect only after Hungary
provided evidence that it has worked out a system to prevent
the further transfer of strategic goods. Hungary would be the
first East European country to be taken off the list, which has
included communist countries and other problem areas to which
the transfer of Western high-tech goods is not desirable. Handelsblatt
says that the decision was an expression of Western approval
for Hungary's political and economic reforms. (Edith Oltay)

NEW MOVE TO UNITE BULGARIAN AGRARIANS. The Sofia dailies on 10-February
reported that the leaders of the Bulgarian Agrarian National
Union-United (BANU-U) and Bulgarian Agrarian National Union-Nikola
Petkov (BANU-NP), Tsenko Barev and Milan Drenchev, on 8-February
signed an-agree-ment to hold a joint congress at which the two
parties will unite. No date was set. Repeated efforts to unite
have failed mainly because of Drenchev's adamant refusal. The
fact that BANU-NP left the UDF before the elections last October,
as well as Drenchev's latest move have split BANU-NP, a large
part of which wants to rejoin the UDF, rejects a union with BANU-U,
and intends to go ahead with its congress scheduled for 15-16-February.
(Rada Nikolaev)

PURGE IN BULGARIA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY. The Bulgarian press-in
particular the BSP daily Duma-is reporting widespread dismissals
of officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On 7-February
Duma reported that Panayot Cholakov, head of the department for
Western Europe, had gone on a hunger strike to protest his dismissal,
and the next day it said he had been joined by another diplomat,
Ognyan Mitev. On 10-February Foreign Minister Stoyan Ganev held
a press conference and was quoted by Bulgarian Radio as announcing
"drastic dismissals" of some 100-200-people. (Rada Nikolaev)
As of 1200 CET Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull








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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


©1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole