If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them. - Francis Bacon
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 29, 12 February 1992


MILITARY WORKING GROUP MEETS. A number of CIS republican defense
ministers and other military experts met in Minsk on 11-February
to prepare an agenda for the scheduled 14-February meeting of
CIS leaders, BELTA-TASS reported on 11-February. CIS Commander
in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov was among those present, but the
chairman of the Russian state defense committee, Colonel General
Pavel Grachev, was absent, as was Ukrainian Defense Minister
Colonel General Konstantin Morozov. (Stephen Foye)

Mechislau Hrib, chairman of the Belarusian Commission on National
Security, told Postfactum that only three or four of the draft
documents on military issues to be discussed at the CIS summit
starting 14-February appear to be acceptable to Belarus. The
acceptable proposals concern arms reduction and the fate of the
strategic forces. Hrib said there can be no unified armed forces
since there is no unified state. Hrib's comments seem to bring
the Belarusian position on the CIS military closer to Ukraine's
oppositional stand. In the past few days Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbaev, on the other hand, has called for unified armed forces.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

PROBLEMS ON CFE. NATO sources believe that the Conventional Forces
in Europe treaty (CFE) is threatened by a conflict between Russia
and Ukraine over the future disposition of thousands of tanks
and other hardware covered by the treaty, Reuters reported on
11-February. Ukraine reportedly was demanding equality while
the Russians wanted an overwhelming advantage in these weapons
systems, the report said. It added that if the treaty were implemented
as signed, Ukraine would wind up with more military equipment
than Russia west of the Urals, a possibility the Russians find
unacceptable. The two sides are also arguing over ownership of
military equipment withdrawn from former Eastern Germany. (Stephen
interviews yesterday, Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk discussed
Ukraine's relations with Russia, the future of the-CIS, the Black
Sea Fleet question, his working relation-ship with Yeltsin, and
his own political career, Western agencies and ITAR-TASS reported
on 11-February. The Ukrainian leader once again warned Russia
against imperial ambitions but sug-gested that certain leaders
in Yeltsin's circle and not the Russian president bore responsibility
for Ukrainian-Russian tensions. He also repeated that Ukraine
would never agree to the CIS functioning as a state. On the question
of the fleet, Kravchuk said that Ukraine probably did not require
the entire fleet for its purposes. Kravchuk was interviewed in
Pravda and on CIS TV. (Roman Solchanyk)

representatives yesterday again criticized Russia of taking more
than its fair share of former Soviet assets, Western news agencies
and ITAR-TASS reported on 11-February. Foreign Trade Minister
Valerii Kravchenko told a trade conference in Kiev that Ukraine
is entitled to more than 16% of the assets and that Russia had
frozen gold and hard currency reserves. At the United Nations,
meanwhile, Prime Minister Vitold Fokin circulated an appeal to
international financial institutions to block Russia's property
rights to former Soviet assets until they are divided among the
former Soviet republics. (Roman Solchanyk)

ANOTHER DEMAND FOR MORE DM. Shortly-after Russian Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev reportedly asked Germany for an additional DM 7-billion
to cover the withdrawal of CIS troops (see RFE/RL Daily Report
for 11-February), the commander of the Western Group of Forces
asked for even more. According to ITAR-TASS and Western agencies
of 11-February, Colonel General Matvei Burlakov has given an
interview to Stern magazine where he reckoned that the real estate
left behind by the CIS forces in Germany was worth DM 10.5 billion.
The German Finance Ministry described the valuation as "fantasy."
(Keith Bush)

GERMANY: NO MORE DEMANDS. German Economics Minister Juergen Moellemann
warned Russia against straining Bonn's generosity by demanding
more cash for withdrawing troops from eastern Germany. Moellemann
said on 11-February in Bonn that "it does not help anybody in
a situation like this . . . to burden the atmosphere with unfounded
demands," Western agencies reported. (Suzanne Crow)

WILL GORBACHEV GET A FAIR TRIAL? Citing Izvestiya, the Daily
Telegraph and the Financial Times reported on 11-February that
Mikhail Gorbachev and fellow reformers, Aleksandr Yakovlev and
Eduard Shevardnadze, may be prosecuted for their role in the
transfer of state funds to foreign Communist parties. Speaking
at the Supreme Soviet on 10-February, Evgenii Lisov, the deputy
Russian General Prosecutor in charge of the case, said that all
former Politburo members will be questioned as witnesses, however,
on 1-February Lisov had told the New York daily, Newsday, that
he views Gorbachev as a suspect. According to Soviet law-while
an accused person is not required to testify against himself,
a witness must, and everything that a witness says may be written
down and used against him in a court (without warning). (Julia

President Mikhail Gorbachev said, in an interview with NBC broadcast
on 11-February, that he has no intention of joining the opposition
to Russian President Boris Yeltsin as long as the latter proceeds
along the path of reforms. Gorbachev indicated that he will return
to politics and oppose Yeltsin if the Russian president departs
from the course of democratization and-eco-nomic reform. Gorbachev
denounced Russian Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi's call for
economic emergency rule in Russia as harmful to democracy. Gorbachev
also stressed the need to develop close ties between all former
Soviet republics. (Alexander Rahr)

of "Radical Democrats" in the Russian parliament has formed a
"shadow cabinet" in order to oppose Russian government policy
in a constructive way, ITAR-TASS reported on 11-February. The
cabinet will work out ways of solving both the strategic and
tactical tasks of a transition from totalitarianism to democracy,
as well as develop a "new ideology of the transitional period,"
but it has no intentions to actually replace the Yeltsin/Burbulis
government. Economists such as Grigorii Yavlinsky and Larissa
Pyasheva have reportedly joined the cabinet already. (Alexander

SUBSISTENCE LEVEL DEFINED. The Russian government has introduced
a new criterion for defining the subsistence level, Radio Rossii
reported 9-February. It is called the "physiological subsistence
minimum" and is based on the retail prices of ten staple foodstuffs
necessary for survival. At the end of January, this was calculated
at 550 rubles a month. Using the new measure, a one-off supplement
is to be readied in February for pensioners and other vulnerable
groups, and payment will thereafter be made on a quarterly basis.
(Keith Bush)

ten political prisoners, who were released from the Perm labor
camp No. 35 by President Yeltsin's decree of 30-January, gave
a press conference in Moscow on 11-February, Radio Rossii reported.
They alleged that while Yeltsin's decree pardoned the prisoners,
in fact the majority of them still had to be rehabilitated since
their charges of the betrayal of motherland were fabricated.
The released prisoners also rejected as false the statement by
the Russian leadership that they were the last of Russia's political
prisoners. They said that there were still political prisoners
in labor camps for criminals. (Vera Tolz)

"RUKH" ON TRANSCARPATHIAN AUTONOMY. The Ukrainian reform movement
"Rukh" has charac-terized as "unacceptable" the draft autonomy
status for Transcarpathia, Radio Kiev reported on 11-February.
The draft was worked out by the-oblast Soviet, which "Rukh" characterizes
as "reactionary" and dominated by communists. Transcarpathia
voted for self-administrative status in a local referendum on
1-December. (Roman Solchanyk)

miners in Salihorsk, in central Belarus, shut down two mines
and partially halted work at a third on the first day of a strike.
A report that day to the RFE/RL Belarusian service said that
the miners will demand the resignation of the government if it
does not negotiate with them for a new wage agreement and other
benefits. (Kathy Mihalisko) GAMSAKHURDIA NOW IN CHECHNYA. Ousted
Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia is now reportedly in the
Chechen Republic, according to "Vesti" of 10-February. In an
open letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, published in
the Chechen newspaper, Golos Checheno-Ingushetia on the same
day (as cited by the Russian Information Agency), Gamsakhurdia
accused Russia of complicity in Georgian events. The letter also
suggested that the Russian media are failing to acknowledge the
signs of a totalitarian regime being established in Georgia.
Meanwhile, Interfax reported on 10-February that Gamsakhurdia
had accused the CIS member states of tacitly recognizing the
coup against him by allowing a Georgian representative to participate
in the CIS meeting held in Moscow on 8-February. (Carla Thorson)

NEW APPOINTMENTS IN ARMENIA. Armenian President Lev Ter-Petrosyan
has appointed three new top officials, ITAR-TASS reported on
11-February. The new interior minister is Vano Siradegyan, the
chairman of the Board of Directors of the ruling Armenian National
Movement. Valerii Pogosyan, the former interior minister, has
now been placed in charge of the National Security Agency (the
former Armenian KGB), while General Usik Arutunyan, the former
chairman of the Armenian KGB, has been named head of the Tax
Inspectorate. (Carla Thorson)

KYRGYZ GOVERNMENT REORGANIZED. Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev has
reorganized the structure of the government of Kyrgyzstan, cutting
in half the number of ministries and departments, KyrgyzTAG-TASS
reported on 11-February. Akaev subordinated the government directly
to himself, and made newly-appointed Prime Minister Tursunbek
Chyngyshev his deputy chairman. The appointment was reported
to RFE/RL by Bishkek journalist Tynchtykbek Chorotegin, who also
quoted Akaev as saying that the new government is the first genuinely
democratic government of the Kyrgyz state. The office of vice-president
was abolished in the reorganization, and incumbent German Kuznetsov
has been appointed a deputy prime minister. (Bess Brown)

The press service of Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov has
denied a report in Moskovskie novosti that Central Asian republics,
including Turkmenistan, are training Azerbaijani soldiers for
service in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkmenpress-TASS reported
on 11-February. The press service denial described the Moskovskie
novosti report as disinformation intended to destabilize interethnic
relations in Turkmenistan. The concern is not without foundation:
in 1989 Armenian shops in Ashkhabad were attacked by crowds angered
over the high prices charged by cooperative traders. Niyazov
appeared on TV to reassure Turkmenistan's Armenian population.
(Bess Brown)

BAKER IN MOLDOVA. US Secretary of State James Baker held four
hours of talks with President Mircea Snegur and other Moldovan
leaders on 11-February in Chisinau. Following the talks Baker
told a joint news conference (which was carried by Moldovan TV
and reported by Western agencies) that he was "very pleased with
Moldova's commitment to democracy, human rights, the peaceful
resolution of disputes, and the transition to a market economy."
Baker also termed "fully satisfactory" Moldova's guarantees of
the rights of ethnic minorities. He praised Moldova's readiness
to sign the treaties curbing nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons and to adhere to limitations on conventional forces negotiated
as part of the CSCE process. Baker further told the press conference
that the US supports Moldova's admission to inter-national bodies
and is prepared to establish diplo-matic relations with Moldova
shortly. (Vladimir Socor)

SNEGUR DUE IN WASHINGTON. Baker announced at the same press conference
that Snegur is expected next week to visit the White House in
Washington. Snegur in his turn told the press conference that
he has invited President George Bush for an official visit to
Moldova. (Vladimir Socor)

Moskovskie novosti, No.-5, reports from Tiraspol that "Dniester
republic" officials are "analyzing several scenarios of war with
Chisinau" and "thoroughly preparing for it." The chairman of
the would-be republic's "Defense Committee," Vladimir Rylyakov
(who is a former Komsomol official) told Moskovskie novosti's
correspondent that in the event of an attack by Chisinau, the
"Dniester republic" would use the large arms stores of the military
in the area "to arm the entire adult population" and "prepare
an Afghanistan here." Chisinau has, however, consistently shied
away from a military confrontation with the "Dniester republic,"
propounding a political solution. (Vladimir Socor)


ESTONIAN STATE OF EMERGENCY ENDS. In the second day of trying,
the Estonian Supreme Council finally mustered enough votes to
nullify the state of emergency it declared on 16-January. According
to ETA on 11-January, the nullification motion passed 55-0, with
12-abstentions. (Riina Kionka)

the Latvian Supreme Council started discussing the government's
program for the privatization of state property. The deputies
interviewed later that day by Radio Riga said that while the
program has some merits, there are points in it that require
clarification and expansion. Besides the government's program,
there are two other privatization programs under consideration,
one drafted by the Supreme Council's economics commission and
the other by the People's Front of Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

.-.-.-AND ON THE STREETS. On 11-February the Lithuanian parliament
was picketed by employees of small service shops from Vilnius,
Kaunas, Panevezys, and elsewhere demanding a halt to privatization
of their shops by means of auctions, Radio Lithuania reported.
They urged that auctions be held only if the employees are unable
to purchase the shops. Deputy chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme
Council Kazimieras Motieka told them that the protest was an
indication that the laws might have to be amended. The parliament
also passed a nonbinding resolution calling for a halt in the
sale of small service shops. (Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS IN GERMANY. On 11-February Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis held talks with German Chancellery
Minister Friedrich Bohl, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bonn reported.
Bohl stressed Germany's support for the speedy signing of a trade
and cooperation accord between the EC and Lithuania and praised
Lithuanian cooperation in the transit of Soviet troops from Germany.
Lands-bergis also attended the founding session of the German-Baltic
parliamentary group that elected Wolfgang von Stetten its chairman
and met Social Democratic Party leader Hans-Ulrich Klose. Klaus
Asche, the vice president of the German Chamber of Commerce and
Industry, explained that his organization will support Lithuania's
membership in the IMF and other financial organizations. (Saulius

Minister of State Janis Dinevics denied that on 1-February that
he had suggested to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai
that there is a possibility of transfer of OMON commander Sergei
Parfenov to Russia, Diena reported on 10-February. Such a story,
disseminated by the Russian news agency RIA on 4-February, was
also denied by Shakhrai's press secretary. Parfenov is currently
awaiting trial in Riga; he is accused of involvement in the violence
committed by OMON in January and August 1991 in Latvia. A campaign
for his release has been started in Russia despite the fact that
he was extradited from Russia to Latvia with the full cooperation
of the RSFSR Procuracy. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN-CUBAN TRADE ACCORD. BNS reported on 7-February that Latvia
and Cuba have signed an economic and trade cooperation accord
for 1992. Latvia is to supply Cuba with cheese, condensed milk,
and tallow in return for unrefined sugar. Additional agreements
may be signed to trade in other products. (Dzintra Bungs) CENTRAL
PLAN. Following the publication of the "state of the nation report"
on 10-February, the government is putting the final touches on
a plan to fight recession. Government spokesman Marcin Gugulski
told Independent Radio on 11-February that the cabinet would
unveil its social and economic program later this week. Gugulski
said the plan will change the general direction of the previous
government in that "it will take an antirecessionary direction
rather than the one which has up to now been pushing us deeper
and deeper into an economic slump." In addition Gugulski has
called for "a mobilization of the entire society." (Roman Stefanowski)

decided on 11-February that most provisions of the retirement
law passed by the Sejm last October are unconstitutional. According
to PAP, the most controversial points concern reduction of the
maximum pensions rates and the ban on pensioners taking jobs.
The ruling puts additional strain on the state budget, but the
court has decided that "economic expediency" can not be used
as legal justification and the law cannot be manipulated for
political and economic reasons. Some 4-million pensioners would
have gotten larger pensions and some 2.5-million would have suffered
cuts. All three trade union organizations-NSZZ Solidarity, Solidarity-"80,"
and OPZZ-welcomed the court's decision, but Michal Boni, former
labor and social policy minister and coauthor of the law, criticized
the action as "political rather than legal." The Sejm can overturn
the court's decision if it can muster a two-thirds majority.
(Roman Stefanowski)

UKRAINIAN-POLISH CONFERENCE. A dele-gation of Ukrainian parliamentarians
visited Poland to attend a conference on "The Ukrainian Road
to Europe" organized by the Polish International Affairs Institute,
PAP reports. The seminar got under way on 10-February in Jadwisin,
near Warsaw. Ukrainian and Polish notions of national security
was one key topic of discussion. The visitors said-that not only
will all nuclear arms be gone from Ukraine by the end of 1994,
but all CIS troops will have departed as well. Theconference
judged Ukrainian-Polish relations as good, and hope was expressed
that the "big treaty" between Ukraine and Poland may still be
initialled by the end of this month. Sejm deputy Bronislaw Geremek
said, however, that "friendly Ukrainian-Polish relations should
not be developed in a way detrimental to [Po-land's]-good relations
with Russia." (Roman Stefanowski)

Hungarian Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Boross and his Polish
counterpart Antoni Macierewicz signed a cooperation agreement
aimed at coordinating responses to the increasing flow of refugees
across their borders, MTI reported. The agreement will allow
the two interior ministries to exchange information on refugees
and other related issues. Boross told reporters that cooperation
was necessary because the large influx of refugees heading west
from the former Soviet Union could pose problems for both countries.
(Edith Oltay)

Krisan, a spokesman for the Hungarian Border Guard told MTI that
between 1972 and 1989 Hungarian guards shot dead 12 people who
failed to stop when challenged at the border. Krisan said that
until 1989 guards had orders to shoot border violators who failed
to stop on warning. The victims included 7 Hungarians, one each
from Romania, the GDR and Bulgaria, and two unidentified persons.
Krisan said that since 1989 guards have been prohibited from
using their firearms to stop border violators, and weapons can
only be used in self-defense or as a final resort to prevent
serious crimes. (Edith Oltay)

Partial results of the local elections show the opposition Democratic
Convention leading races in the major cities, including Bucharest,
and in Transylvania, while the governing National Front retains
its popularity in the countryside and in the northeast, Rompres
reported. Foreign observers noted progress in the conduct of
the elections but said that many problems remain, particularly
in vote counting. According to Nicolae Manolescu, leader of the
Civic Alliance Party, the slow vote count in remote rural areas
means "we cannot rule out the possibility of electoral fraud."
(Crisula Stefanescu)

ROMANIA'S HIGHWAY PLANS. Minister for Transport Traian Basescu
told RFE that Romania plans to build-with foreign participation-more
than 1,400 km of four-lane highways before the year 2000 and
another 1,600 km after the turn of the century to link important
towns and to connect Romania to the rest of Europe. At present
there is only one 113-km highway in the country and another one
under construction by Italian and French companies in cooperation
with Romanian firms. Romania will finance the new highways by
allowing builders to charge tolls and by granting concessions
to operate gas stations, shops, and other facilities. (Crisula

PODKREPA CONGRESS. The Confederation of Labor Podkrepa, Bulgaria's
former opposition labor union, began its second congress on 8-February,
the third anniversary of its foundation. The press reported on
11-February that Chairman Konstantin Trenchev and Deputy Chairman
Oleg Chulev were reelected almost unanimously. A move to ban
former communists from membership in Podkrepa caused a major
row because it would have violated the principle of freedom to
join labor unions; in the event, excommunists were only banned
from holding leading positions. The congress expelled some organizations
that have supported a separatist Podkrepa faction headed by Plamen
Darakchiev. At the opening session Podkrepa was given warm support
by the UDF, despite its opposition to some ministers of the UDF
government which it upheld during the congress. (Rada Nikolaev)

DOCUMENTS ON MARKOV MURDER. On 10-February Scotland Yard delivered
documents, including the autopsy report, on the death of exile
writer Georgi Markov, the victim of the "umbrella murder" in
London in 1978. According to Bulgarian media, the documents confirm
that he was murdered by a poison pellet. Over the past several
days the local media have carried interviews with Markov's brother
Nikola, who lives in the US and is visiting Bulgaria for the
first time since the murder. He is expected to provide some background
on the case, and more information is also expected from former
Soviet secret service general Oleg Kalugin, due to visit Sofia
later this week. (Rada Nikolaev)

the leaders of a number of Croatian political parties as well
as other top Croatian officials spoke to a conference in Bonn,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Stipe Mesic, secretary-general
of the Croatian Democratic Community, called on the international
community to "derecognize" Yugoslavia in order to remove the
legal underpinnings of the federal army. He noted that Serbia
is using federal institutions for its own ends and claimed that
Serbia will try to maintain some sort of federation because it
"needs others' money" to survive. Mesic stressed that Croatia's
Serbs have more rights under current Croatian law than they did
under Tito and have lost only the privileges many of them enjoyed
as part of the communist power network. (Patrick Moore)

on the EC to recognize all former Yugoslav republics that want
independence, including Kosovo. The Albanian majority-there has
voted to become an independent republic but has been recognized
so far only by Albania. Mesic said recognition would level the
playing field and enable the various former Yugoslav peoples
to sit down and talk as equals. The German audience of over 200
repeatedly questioned the Croats-regarding any reservations they
might have about the UN peace plan, while the Croats insisted
that they were fully complying with it. One speaker stressed
that Croatia was having great difficulty developing demo-cratic
institutions, including a responsible and free press, amid wartime
conditions and after almost-half a century of "the communist
mentality." (Patrick Moore)

CEASE-FIRE VIOLATIONS REPORTED. Since 10-February a number of
incidents have made the news, especially fighting near Vinkovci,
which each side blames on the other. On 10-February Austrian
TV's commentator said that the renewed combat shows that the
UN peace plan rests on illusions and is doomed sooner or later.
On 11-February the Croatian government formally approved the
plan. President Franjo Tudjman made it clear that Zagreb regards
the UN presence in ethnic Serbian areas of Croatia as temporary
and that Croatia wants its "civil authorities" to return there
as soon as possible, the 12-February Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
reports. AFP quotes Milan Babic, the Serbian leader from Croatia's
Krajina region, as saying that he wants the UN to establish a
"protectorate" there to stop the Croats from reasserting their
authority. Finally, Albanian and Western media reported on 11-February
that Albanian President Ramiz Alia met with ethnic Albanian leaders
from Kosovo, whose cause enjoys broad support across the Albanian
political spectrum. (Patrick Moore) As of 1200 CET Compiled by
Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull

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

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