Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 30, 13 February 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

RUSSIA TO CREATE OWN ARMY. Russian President Boris Yeltsin will
issue a decree soon after the 14-February Minsk meeting that
will authorize the creation of a Russian army, Russian presidential
advisor, Colonel General Dmitrii Volkogonov told Nezavisimaya
gazeta on 12-February. Initially, Russian armed forces will incorporate
ground forces, naval forces, MVD troops, a defense ministry,
general staff, committee for personnel work, and other administrative
organs, he said. It will also include all troops in Russia, along
with those troops now deployed outside the borders of the CIS.
Over several years the Russian army will be reduced into a professional,
mobile force of no more than 1.5 million men, he added. Volkogonov
also recommended that both CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov
and former General Staff Chief Vladimir Lobov be included in
the new Russian command structure. (Stephen Foye)

FEMALE RUSSIAN DEFENSE CHIEF? The newspaper Vechernaya Moskva,
citing unnamed sources, reported on 12-February that Boris Yeltsin
is considering appointing Galina Starovoitova to the post of
Russian Defense Minister, Western agencies said on 13-February.
The report said that Starovoitova, an adviser to Yeltsin, met
with the Russian president on 10-February to discuss the job.
It added that she has support among reform minded officers, but
that many top commanders favor Shaposhnikov for the job. Starovoitova's
name has been mentioned in the past in connection with a top
Russian defense post. (Stephen Foye)

UKRAINE AND BELARUS REFUSE TO SIGN PREPARATORY CIS DOCUMENTS.
Russian TV and ITAR-TASS announced on 12-February that both Ukraine
and Belarus refused to sign military-related preparatory documents
for the forthcoming CIS summit in Minsk. The delegation from
Kiev, which includes Ukrainian Defense Ministry officials, would
not sign documents on the composition of the CIS military command
and on the redistribution of forces among commonwealth states,
although, as Radio Kiev reported, Defense Minister Konstantin
Morozov was "one of the most active participants in the dialogue
between his counterparts and CIS Commander in Chief Marshal Shaposhnikov."
The Belarusian side balked at signing the majority of the military
accords, as its representative, Mechislau Hrib, earlier had forewarned.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

KEBICH: MILITARY ISSUE IS KEY TO CIS SURVIVAL. In comments carried
by BelTA-TASS on 12-February, Belarusian Prime Minister Vyacheslau
Kebich warned that the continued existence of the "brittle CIS"
would be "highly problematic" if, at the 14-February meeting
in Minsk, member states do not resolve such questions as the
financing of the army and the structure of the armed forces.
Kebich complained that despite numerous statements on reductions
in military personnel, it was not yet clear when, how, and at
whose expense those cuts were to be made. Describing the financial
situation in Belarus and the CIS overall as in a crisis, Kebich
said that it might be to his country's advantage to sell surplus
weapons abroad for hard currency rather than to set about the
task of converting defense plants to civilian use. (Kathy Mihalisko)


MOLDOVA WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE TO CIS FORCES' BUDGET. Prime Minister
Valeriu Muravschi told Moldovan TV on 11-February that Moldova
will not make any financial contributions to CIS general-purpose
forces, Interfax reported that day. Moldova will only finance
units of the ex-USSR armed forces that are stationed on Moldovan
territory and accept Moldovan jurisdiction. Moldova had earlier
announced its decision to withhold financing for CIS "strategic"
forces and forces under unified command. On 12-February, according
to Moldovapres, the parliament mandated the Moldovan delegation
to the impending CIS summit to demand the return to Moldova of
military equipment recently removed from the republic by the
military. The parliament charged that the removal violated previous
agreements in CIS on the republican takeover of that equipment.

(Vladimir Socor) SIGUA SEES NO FUTURE FOR COMMONWEALTH. Acting
Georgian Premier Tengiz Sigua has told Moskovskie novosti that
he does not consider the question of Georgian membership in the
Commonwealth topical. In an interview cited by Radio Rossii on
12-February, Sigua said the Commonwealth had no future, particularly
against the background of Russian-Ukrainian and Armenian-Azerbaijani
relations. Sigua will nonetheless be attending the meeting of
the CIS heads of state in Minsk on 14-February. (Ann Sheehy)


IIF REPORT ON CIS. The Institute of International Finance in
Washington, which represents 135 banks around the world, has
released a special report on the Commonwealth of Independent
States, Western agencies reported on 13-February. It reckons
that Russia should be able to make interest payments this year
on the entire external debt of the former USSR, but its reforms
may not be broad enough for it to qualify for loans from the
IMF or World Bank. The IIF's individual member banks are considered
unlikely to lend money to the CIS members because these are not
deemed creditworthy. The Russian government is criticized for
reversing some of its reform measures. And the IIF calculates
that CIS enterprises are holding about $14 billion in overseas
accounts. (Keith Bush)

KOZYREV IN GENEVA. Speaking at a UN disarmament conference in
Geneva on 12-February, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
said the United States and Russia should take the lead in nuclear
disarmament by taking nuclear missiles off alert status, storing
warheads separately from delivery systems, disarming nuclear
submarines berthed at home ports, and storing missiles of heavy
bombers in central storage facilities. Kozyrev argued that these
measures would reduce the chance of accidental nuclear war, and
would enhance stability by increasing verifiability, Western
agencies and ITAR-TASS reported on 12-February. (Suzanne Crow)


KOZYREV ON CIS FOREIGN POLICY COORDINATION. Speaking at the Geneva
based institute for international politics on 12-February, the
Russian foreign minister claimed that Russia understands the
wishes of its partners in the CIS to become established as independent
states and Russia does not see any insurmountable contradiction
in Russia's relations with commonwealth governments. He added:
"A normal process of agreement to mutually acceptable decisions,
similar to that going on for decades in the European community,
is taking place here," ITAR-TASS reported on 12-February. (Suzanne
Crow)

MORE ON VORONTSOV. Another report that Andrei Kozyrev will be
replaced by former ambassador to the UN, Yulii Vorontsov, appeared
in the Russian press on 12-February. The independent Moscow News
agency, NEGA, quoted information from "circles close to Yeltsin"
that Kozyrev will be appointed Russia's UN ambassador and Vorontsov
will be appointed foreign minister. Vorontsov was recently brought
back to Moscow to take on the post of special adviser to Yeltsin.
(Suzanne Crow)

YELTSIN REDUCES RUTSKOI'S POWERS. Russian President Boris Yeltsin
has met with Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi and told him to
concentrate in future on agricultural problems, "Vesti" reported
on 12-February. Yeltsin also signed a decree on the tasks of
the vice-president which apparently limited the latter's powers.
Russian Parliamentary Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov has said that
Rutskoi should tender his resignation if he disagrees with Yeltsin's
reform policy, according to Interfax on 12-February. But Khasbulatov
emphasized that he himself will continue to criticize the Russian
government "if it is necessary." (Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT SEEKS BETTER RELATIONS WITH CONSTITUENT REPUBLICS.
The Council of Nationalities of the Russian parliament decided
on 12-February to set up a coordination group for working ties
with the supreme soviets of the Russian Federation's constituent
republics, ITAR-TASS reported on 12-February. It was decided
that in future the flags of the constituent republics should
fly outside the "White House," and instructions were given to
create proper working conditions in Moscow for the leaders and
other representatives of the republican parliaments. The question
of making the chairmen of the republican supreme soviets ex officio
deputy chairmen of the Russian parliament was passed to the committees.
It is clearly hoped that these moves will help counteract the
centrifugal tendencies in Russia. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN MEETS DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA LEADERS. Boris Yeltsin met on
11-February with parliamentarians, who are also members of the
Democratic Russia Movement, Interfax reported on 12-February.
The movement had organized the pro-Yeltsin rally which took place
last weekend. According to the participants in the meeting, Yeltsin
expressed satisfaction that this demonstration occurred. The
DR leaders handed Yeltsin the rally resolution, which expressed
support for current economic reforms, but also mentioned that
the reforms were very painful for the population of Russia. (Vera
Tolz)

SHEVARDNADZE WARNS OF ANOTHER PUTSCH. Eduard Shevardnadze told
the German TV ZDF program on 12-February that a new putsch, led
by a union of extreme nationalist and Communist forces, was possible
in the countries of the CIS. Shevardnadze said that if economic
crisis continues, "the hungry people will stop supporting democrats."
Shevardnadze said that the disintegration of the USSR took place
too rapidly and the current situation in the CIS was more unstable
than that in the USSR prior to the August putsch. (Vera Tolz)


UKRAINIAN-ROMANIAN RELATIONS. Romania will soon be opening an
embassy in Ukraine (and Belarus), Radio Kiev reported on 12-February.
The announcement was made by a representative of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs in Bucharest. Relations between the two countries
have been strained because of Romania's territorial claims on
Ukraine. At the end of last year the Romanian parliament and
government expressed reservations about the legality of the 1
December referendum on the territories in question, and the Ukrainian
foreign minister abruptly called off a planned visit to Bucharest.
(Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINE AND THE FOREIGN DEBT. The head of Ukraine's National
Bank, Volodymyr Matviyenko, refuted charges that Ukraine is torpedoing
the repayment of the former Soviet Union's foreign debt, Radio
Kiev reported on 13-February. Matviyenko stated that Ukraine
is demanding its full share of finances in order to use them
for repayment of its portion of the debt. (Roman Solchanyk)

BAKER IN AZERBAIJAN AND TURKMENISTAN. Western and Soviet news
agencies reported on the 12-February visit of US Secretary of
State James Baker to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. According to
officials traveling with Baker, he will recommend that the United
States establish diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan, after
Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov said that he accepted US
conditions for diplomatic relations, including respect for human
rights. Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov was reported to
have offered a similar guarantee. But RFE/RL learned on 12-February
that leaders of the Turkmen opposition group Agzybirlik were
placed under house arrest in Ashkhabad during Baker's visit to
prevent a meeting with him. (Bess Brown)

MEMORIAL MEETING IN DUSHANBE. Members of Tajik opposition groups
held a memorial meeting in Dushanbe to honor the memory of those
killed during army and OMON attacks on demonstrators in 1990,
the Russian TV news program "Vesti" reported on 12-February.
The square where the demonstrations and the memorial meeting
were held was recently renamed Martyrs' Square in a gesture of
reconciliation by conservative President Rakhman Nabiev. Participants
in the meeting demanded the dissolution of the legislature and
the holding of democratic, multiparty elections. (Bess Brown)


ARMED IRANIANS DETAINED ON TURKMEN BORDER. Five Iranian citizens,
equipped with automatic weapons and grenades, were detained by
CIS border troops on 11-February near the Turkmen town of Serakhs,
ITAR-TASS reported on 12-February. The five also had sacks containing
60 million Iranian rials. According to the report, an investigation
is underway to learn what the five planned to do with the weaponry
and money. (Bess Brown)

DNIESTER REGION ARMY'S FUTURE IN DOUBT. Muravschi Moldovan TV
on 11-February also said that the future of the 14th Army-based
mainly on the left bank of the Dniester-will be decided in talks
between Moldova and the CIS military. The 14th Army has openly
supported the "Dniester republic" proclaimed by local Russians
against Moldova. In late-January, the CIS command replaced the
14th Army's commander, Lt. Gen. Gennadii Yakovlev-who serves
as chief of defense and security for the "Dniester republic"-and
placed that Army directly under the CIS command while consenting
to eventually place the right-bank forces under Moldova's authority.
The move tends to create different legal regimes for the forces
situated on the left and the right bank and appears aimed at
ensuring that CIS forces remain in eastern Moldova. (Vladimir
Socor)

BALTIC STATES

TALKS ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL. On 13-February Radio Lithuania reported
that the talks in Vilnius between Russia and Lithuania on Soviet
troop withdrawal will continue behind closed doors for a third
day. The 10-member Russian delegation is headed by Viktor Isakov,
deputy chief of administration in the Russian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, empowered with the rank of extraordinary ambassador
for the talks. Minister without Portfolio Aleksandras Abisala
is heading the Lithuanian delegation. (Saulius Girnius)

UKRAINIAN TROOPS FEED THEIR OWN. An airborne unit of the former
Soviet armed forces comprised of ethnic Ukrainians serving near
Parnu in Estonia recently refused a shipment of food aid sent
from Ukraine. Evidently deciding they were well enough fed, the
unit opted to send the delivery to the Tallinn garrison with
instructions that the food should be distributed only to soldiers
of Ukrainian ethnic origin. ETA reported the story on 11-February.
(Riina Kionka)

GUARDING RIGA AIRPORT. Latvia's Minister of Defense Talavs Jundzis
was asked why the Riga airport is still being guarded by border
guards of the former USSR along with Latvian border guards, Diena
and BNS reported on 12-February. He ex-plained that the question
can be settled via interstate negotiations with Russia which,
in many respects, considers itself to be the successor state
to the-USSR. This question, he said, is linked to two unresolved
issues: Latvia's borders with Russia and their protection, and
the oversight responsibilities for the former USSR border guards.
Until recently the USSR border guards were under KGB jurisdiction.
Now as a result of the political changes in the USSR and the
RSFSR, they are answerable neither to Russia nor to any other
state. (Dzintra Bungs)

LANDSBERGIS IN GERMANY. On 12-February Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis traveled to Stuttgart where
he held talks with Erwin Teufel, Prime Minister of the State
of Baden-WŸrttemberg, Radio Lithuania reported. On 13-February
he is scheduled to participate at a reception, commemorating
Lithuanian independence day, 16-February, hosted by the Lithuanian
ambassador in Bonn, Vaidotas Antanaitis. He will also meet with
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Economics Minister JŸrgen Mšllemann,
CDU and FDP parliamentary leaders, and the chairman of the Bundestag's
Foreign Affairs Committee before flying back to Vilnius that
night. (Saulius Girnius)

"A WEEK WITHOUT THE PRESS" IN LATVIA. Newspaper editors and publishers
have decided to stage a protest action, called "A Week Without
the Press," from 17 to 24-February to draw public attention to
problems that threaten the very existence of the press in Latvia.
The most serious problem is the catastrophic paper shortage that
affects all the regular newspapers. Two major dailies are already
out of newsprint, reported Diena on 12-February. In most cases
the shortages are the result of Russia not fulfilling its supply
commitments. Although paper could be bought in the West, but
the Latvian press does not have the hard currency to do so. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LATVIA, UKRAINE AGREE ON DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. A Latvian Foreign
Ministry delegation visited Kiev on 12-February, Radio Riga reported
that day. Their visit resulted in the signing of accords on the
establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Latvia
and cooperation between the two foreign ministries. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LENIN FALLS IN KOHTLA-JARVE. By order of the city council, a
prominent statue of Lenin was taken down in Kohtla-Jarve on 12-February,
BNS reports. Kohtla-Jarve, an industrial city in northeastern
Estonia populated overwhelmingly by non-Estonians, was at the
forefront of the opposition to Estonian independence until last
August. (Riina Kionka)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

WALESA URGES JOURNALISTS, DON'T ROCK THE BOAT. Meeting with Polish
Radio and TV journalists for the first time since his election,
President Lech Walesa appealed for honest reporting, PAP reported
on 12-February. Walesa said "our journalism is still groping
in the dark: while the old style disappears, a new one has not
as yet materialized. Instead of good objective information, journalism
in Poland is often narrow, scandal-oriented, even gossipy." Still
he expressed an appreciation of the influence of the mass media
and the potentially positive role journalism can play, "particularly
in the transition period," and appealed to journalists "to protect
individual [leaders'] authority and educate people in patriotic
and civic virtues." (Roman Stefanowski)

SACHS DEFENDS POLAND'S ACHIEVEMENTS. Former Polish government
economic adviser Prof. Jeffrey Sachs told Zycie Warszawy on 12-February
that, to his great surprise, "Poles speak exclusively about the
failures [of the economy]-nobody sees the changes for the better."
For example, that imports doubled last year cannot be seen as
a sign of depression-somebody is buying that stuff, says Sachs.
He also points to the 35,000 private enterprises and 500,000
small businesses set up in the past two years. Foreigners regard
this as progress, but not the Poles, probably because this sector
is not included in the official statistics. What creates a bad
impression abroad, said Sachs, are the relatively high wages
(compared to productivity) in Poland, strikes, pressure for wage
increases, and the often irresponsible and destructive political
games. (Roman Stefanowski)

AMERICANS TO TRAIN POLISH OFFICERS. On a one-day visit to Poland
on 12-February Gen. Dennis L. Benchoff, Chief of Logistics at
the US European Command, and Polish Defense Minister Jan Parys
discussed possible American contribution to Poland's security,
mainly through training, joint exercises, and, at a later stage,
technical cooperation. According to PAP, Parys said that training
can start as soon as a suitable group of English-speaking officers
can be assembled. (Roman Stefanowski)

CZECHOSLOVAK BUS FARES TO RISE. Bus fares in the Czech lands
will rise on 1-April, the Czech government announced on 12-February.
The higher fares follow a one- day strike by bus drivers on Monday.
The government also announced an increase in state subsidies
for the coming year; the striking drivers complained of a 50%
reduction in subsidies. Transportation authorities plan to cut
back unprofitable bus lines by 10%, CSTK reports. (Barbara Kroulik)


DIENSTBIER SAYS GERMANY IS NO THREAT. Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier
said that united Germany poses no threat to its neighbors and
Czechoslovak fears of encroaching German influence through recent
investments in their country are unfounded. In an interview with
the Berlin weekly Freitag he said that Czechoslovakia needs foreign
capital and that today the sources for capital are not exclusively
German. According to an advance report of the interview, however,
Dienstbier warns against any attempt by Bonn to tack extra conditions
onto the overall bilateral friendship treaty to be signed later
this month. The German Christian Social Union has called for
language to protect property owned by ethnic Germans prior to
their expatriation after World War II, an RFE/RL correspondent
reports. (Barbara Kroulik)

HUNGARY, BELARUS ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. Hungarian Foreign
Minister Geza Jeszenszky and his Belarus counterpart Petr Krauchenka
signed an agreement in Budapest on 12-February establishing diplomatic
links, MTI reported. Krauchenka told reporters that the establishment
of diplomatic relations means "the return of the Republic of
Belarus to Europe-.-.-. on both the political and economic levels."
He said that Belarus does not consider Russia the sole legal
successor to the former Soviet Union, and stressed that Belarus,
Ukraine, and many other republics are "collective successors"
and will share the former Soviet Union's obligations and assets.
(Edith Oltay)

SANATORIUM FOR CHERNOBYL CHILDREN IN HUNGARY. A former Soviet
military base at Hajmasker is to be rebuilt into a sanatorium
for children from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, the three former
Soviet republics most affected by the Chernobyl disaster, MTI
reported. The sanatorium will be built and operated by the Chernobyl
Foundation set up jointly by Hungary, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.
Construction work, estimated at about $100-million, will be the
responsibility of the Belarus government. Belarus Foreign Minister
Petr Krauchenka, on a visit to the base, recalled that the Chernobyl
disaster contaminated some 99% of Belarus' territory and that
at least 800,000 children were adversely affected. (Edith Oltay)


RUNOFF ELECTIONS NEEDED IN ROMANIA. The head of the government's
Department of Local Affairs, Doru Ursu, said that runoffs would
be held in 66-constituencies where less than half the elec-torate
voted on 9-February, Rompres reported. Runoff voting for mayors
will be held also on 23-February in 1,344 constituencies where
no single candidate won a majority. The full results of much
of the voting have not yet been reported. Radio Bucharest quotes
Gheorghe Uglean, president of-the Central Electoral Commission,
as saying that local commissions have been asked to recheck the
doubt-ful ballot counts and to correct errors. (Crisula Stefanescu)
ROMANIAN TRADE UNIONS CALL RALLIES. During a news conference
on 12-February, the National Consultative Trade Union Council-including
the Fratia Trade Union Federation, Alfa Trade Union Cartel, and
the National Free Trade Unions Council of Romania-said that since
the long negotiations between the trade unions and the government
had reached "a kind of lack of communication," demonstrations
will be organized in Bucharest and other cities on 14-February,
Rompres reported. The main bone of contention has been the level
of the minimum wage: the unions demand a minimum wage of 24,300-lei,
while the government offers 8,500-lei. (Crisula Stefanescu)

BULGARIA'S ELECTRIC POWER PROBLEMS PERSIST. Bulgarians face power
cutbacks of one in every four hours for some time to come. The
present round of rationing began on 3-February after a pump broke
down at one of the two 1,000-megawatt reactors of the Kozloduy
nuclear power plant. On 12-February Zhak Karakash, deputy chairman
of the National Electricity Company, announced on Bulgarian Radio
that repairs had been unsuccessful. After a test restart the
previous evening the reactor had to be stopped again. He said
a truck had been sent to bring a new pump and a motor from Czechoslovakia
and he could not predict when repair would be completed. Meanwhile
an RFE/RL report from Vienna said experts from the International
Atomic Energy Agency are meeting with officials from Bulgaria,
Czechoslovakia, and Russia to discuss nuclear plant safety. (Rada
Nikolaev)

BULGARIAN LAND LAW PASSES FIRST READING. The law amending last
year's law on ownership and use of agricultural land was passed
on first reading on 12-February after two days of lively parliamentary
debates. It is considered to be among the most urgent laws for
speeding up economic reform. Last year's law contained flaws
which delayed returning land to its former owners and disbanding
of collective farms. The daily press on 13-February said the
bill passed by a vote of 110 to 70 with 11-abstentions. No date
for the second, final reading has been announced. (Rada Nikolaev)


VANCE WANTS EARLY DEPLOYMENT OF UN FORCE IN CROATIA. Western
media on 13-February say that UN special envoy Cyrus Vance called
the previous day for sending a peace-keeping force to Croatia
as soon as possible. The contingent would also be expanded from
the planned 10,000 soldiers to 11,500-soldiers plus 500-police.
Commentators said that Vance seems to feel that rapid deployment
of the force is the best way to preserve the cease-fire that
has more or less held since 3-January, and that the men could
be on their way as early as next week. Vance had earlier received
a letter from Croatian President Franjo Tudjman promising full
compliance with the UN peace plan, although Tudjman also raised
some "technical questions" regarding its implementation. Vance
apparently chose to take Tudjman at his word and return to the
reservations later. (Patrick Moore)

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. On 12-February Austrian
TV reported that the federal army had shelled Osijek and nearby
towns in eastern Croatia, but it was unclear whether the film
footage showed new damage or ruins from earlier fighting. The
13-February Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes the Croatian
press as predicting a cabinet reshuffle in Zagreb if the foreign
minister leaves to become his country's representative at the
UN. The German daily adds that the federal army and the Macedonian
government reached an agreement on 12-February by which the army
will leave that republic by the weekend. (Patrick Moore) [As
of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull






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