Nauka i iskusstvo prinadlezhat vsemu miru, i pered nimi ischezayut mezhnatsional'nye bar'ery. - Goethe
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 32, 17 February 1992


states who met in Minsk on 14-February signed a total of 20 documents
on military and economic matters, ITAR-TASS and Belta-TASS reported
on 14-February. The agenda also included a protocol on a CIS
sports council and three items on the sharing out of the property
of the former USSR. For reasons not known, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
were represented by their premiers. The Georgian minister of
defense attended as an observer. At Yeltsin's suggestion, Ukrainian
President Leonid Kravchuk presided, although the provisional
agreement on the Council of Heads of States says that the presidents
should preside in turn according to the alphabetical order of
the names of member states. At Kravchuk's suggestion, the next
meeting has been fixed for Kiev on 20-March. (Ann Sheehy)

MEAGER RESULTS OF SUMMIT. As on earlier occasions, the documents
signed by the heads of state were mostly declarations of intent.
This point was made by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev,
who deplored that the CIS still had no proper coordinating organ
that would control the fulfillment of agreements. One of the
documents signed was on regulating trade and economic cooperation
in 1992. This states that the ruble will remain the sole monetary
unit for financial operations within the Commonwealth though
provision was made for the introduction of national currencies.
The purpose of the agreement is to overcome the breakdown in
ties between enterprises in different republics, which is threatening
their closure. Sanctions are threatened for nonfulfillment of
contracts, but it remains to be seen how effective the agreement
will be. The Belarusian leader Shushkevich said on 15-February
that Russia and Ukraine would sign a bilateral agreement on economic
issues within two days, Belta-TASS reported on 15-February. (Ann

MIXED PROGRESS ON MILITARY MATTERS. In a meeting that was supposed
to be devoted to military matters, the leaders of the 11 republics
making up the CIS showed in Minsk on 14-February that they are
far from any sort of workable consensus in this area. While half
of the 20 documents signed had to do with military or arms control
matters, many of them were very minor. Few were subscribed to
by all those present. Moldova did not sign the agreement on strategic
forces, four republics-including Russia-did not sign the agreement
on supplying the armed forces, and Belarus-which has said it
would support unified conventional forces for a transitional
period-would not sign the agreement on general-purpose forces.
Only the leaders of Armenia, Belarus, and Ukraine showed up for
the post-summit news conference. (Doug Clarke)

documents signed in Minsk was the Agreement on the Status of
the Strategic Forces. However, the text of the agreement, as
published by ITAR-TASS on 15-February, showed that many issues
remain unresolved in this field. Five of the ten signatories
felt compelled to add dissenting opinions or comments. The very
definition of strategic forces remains up in the air. At a previous
meeting in Minsk, on 30-December 1991, the CIS heads of state
had agreed on a very broad definition which covered virtually
all forces other than ground forces. The latest agreement merely
says that the list of strategic forces will be "determined by
each state in agreement with the command of the strategic forces"
and will be confirmed by the Council of Heads of States. It is
not even clear when the new agreement will take affect: one paragraph
says it will come into force 10 days after all signatories have
ratified it, while another says that it comes into force from
the moment it is signed. (Doug Clarke)

15-February the texts of 7 of the documents signed by all eleven
member states. One of these is a declaration of the principles
of collaboration of member states, clearly inspired by Ukraine,
under which member states undertake not to meddle in each other's
affairs, respect each other's territorial integrity, and report
objectively in the mass media on developments in member states.
A protocol instructs the ministries of foreign affairs of member
states to draw up for review in Kiev on 20-March, a document
on the question of the legal heirship of treaties, all the property,
the state archives, the debts and assets of the former USSR.
An agreement on railway transport, which refers to the existence
of a single economic space, provided for the creation of a council
to coordinate the railways. (Ann Sheehy)

was confirmed as commander in chief of the Joint Armed Forces
of the Commonwealth, ITAR-TASS reported on 15-February. The former
Soviet defense minister has been criticized in the past by several
of the republican leaders, especially Leonid Kravchuk, but the
Ukrainian leader signed the appointing agreement. Turkmenistan
and Moldova did not. Kravchuk told the post-summit news conference
that Shaposhnikov had been asked to nominate candidates for commander
of the strategic forces, commander of the unified conventional
forces, and the chief of the general staff when the Council of
Heads of States meets in Kiev on 20 March. (Doug Clarke)

SHUSHKEVICH REVIEWS CIS SUMMIT. Belarusian leader Stanislau Shushkevich,
in a valiant effort to paper over the cracks in the Commonwealth,
told reporters at a press conference on 15-February, a day after
the Minsk summit, that "we understand that the Commonwealth is
a structure we cannot live without." Western and CIS agencies
further quoted him as saying that "the illnesses in the states
of the Commonwealth are the same, and we must unite to treat
them." Shushkevich said that Belarus was one of four states-the
others being Ukraine, Moldova, and Azerbaijan-that is not interested
in joining a unified conventional armed force. However, he continued,
for the time being the four are still part of a unified military.
Shushkevich suggested that it would take about two years for
Belarus to have its own armed forces. (Kathy Mihalisko)

on Ostankino TV, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev explained
his republic's position on nuclear weapons. Although it aspired
to be a nonnuclear state, it currently was one since, "through
no fault of our own," Kazakhstan carried out a nuclear test in
1949. [The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty defines a nuclear
state as one that has "manufactured and exploded" a nuclear weapon
or device prior to 1967.] Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan was
getting rid of all the tactical nuclear weapons on its territory
and would be willing to destroy the strategic ones if the United
States, "the former Soviet Union, and our neighbor-the PRC [China]-"
destroyed theirs. (Doug Clarke)

Minsk summit Kravchuk is reported to have accused Shaposhnikov
of creating a joint stock company that is "surreptitiously" selling
off the Black Sea Fleet, according to a 14-February report on
the "Novosti" newscast. Forty-nine warships were said to have
been involved. Shaposhnikov is reported to have said that he
had permission to make such deals. Interfax on 16-February reported
that the Georgian observer delegation to the summit had also
protested to Russia over the sales. Over the past several years
the Soviet navy has been selling obsolete warships for scrap
to foreign buyers on the grounds that there were insufficient
yards within the former USSR capable of breaking them up. (Doug

GEORGIA WANTS PART OF BLACK SEA FLEET. Interfax reported on 14-February
that Georgian Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Levan Sharashenidze,
who attended the Minsk summit as an observer, said that Georgia
"will definitely claim part of the Black Sea Fleet." He was quoted
by Kuranty on 15-February as saying this meant first and foremost
the naval base at Poti and a brigade of ships. (Doug Clarke)

Fleet naval infantry (marine) battalion, Major Aleksandr Golobrodov,
was dismissed by the fleet commander, Interfax reported on 15-February.
Golobrodov and his battalion had expressed the wish to take the
oath of allegiance to Ukraine. (Doug Clarke)

their Su-24 FENCER jet bombers from their airbase at Starokonstantinov
in Ukraine to Belarus and then on to Russia on 14-February, ITAR-TASS
reported. The 13 airmen involved had refused to take an oath
of allegiance to Ukraine. The aircraft were unarmed, but the
pilots brought along their regimental banner. Ukrainian Defense
Minister Konstantin Morozov called the unauthorized flight "a
crime" and told Interfax that the Russian pilots had enjoyed
the same rights as others who had taken the Ukrainian oath. Russian
TV also reported that Ukraine had demanded that the aircraft
be sent back. (Doug Clarke)

PENSIONS INCREASED. Aleksei Ulyukaev, an adviser to the Russian
Ministry of Economy and Finance, was quoted by Radio Rossii on
14-February as saying that pensions will be increased to offset
the retail price increases of January. Pensioners in Russia will
receive an additional 200 rubles in-February and March, while
an additional 100 rubles will be given to families with several
children. Ulyukaev also said that the Russian government plans
to reduce taxes once the monthly inflation rate is lowered to
10%. He did not provide an estimate of the cost of these increases
to the federation's budget. President Yeltsin is expected to
announces changes in benefits on 19-February. (Keith Bush)

VNESHEKONOMBANK SPLIT UP. The top executives of the bankrupt
Vneshekonombank have been suspended and replaced by Yurii Ponomarev,
former vice- president of the Paris-based, Soviet-owned Eurobank,
and former head of the monetary department of the USSR Gosbank,
The Financial Times reported on 14-February. Ponomarev's main
task will be to divide Vneshekonombank into three parts: one
to be merged with Vneshtorgbank; the second to be launched as
an independent commercial bank; and the third to act as a conduit
for the repayment of the debt owed by the former USSR. No principal
on that debt-estimated at $70-80 billion-is being paid, by agreement
with creditors, and interest payments have slipped "for technical
reasons." (Keith Bush)

CREDIT RESTRICTIONS REJECTED. The Russian Central Bank is resisting
IMF and Russian government pressure to restrict credit. In an
interview with The New York Times of 16-February, Nikolai Domonov,
the Bank's director in charge of supervising Russia's new commercial
banks, explained that the Bank feels obligated to provide fresh
financing for the agricultural sector, which has no other source
of finance, and can reduce credits only after this year's harvest.
The central bank currently has 135 billion rubles outstanding
in loans, much of it to banks that relend to farmers and farm
equipment companies. [A curb on credit has been one of the preconditions
set for the extension of a stabilization fund]. (Keith Bush)

Ruslan Khasbulatov warned at a meeting with leaders of regional
councils in St. Petersburg that the Russian government may be
replaced at the next Congress of People's Deputies in April if
it does not become more cooperative and revise its economic reform
program, ITAR-TASS reported on 15-February. Khasbulatov also
criticized the institution of presidential envoys in the periphery
for lack of cooperation with local parliaments. Khasbulatov stated
that he would not criticize Yeltsin personally because the latter
supported his candidacy to the post of parliament leader. (Alexander

Aleksandr Rutskoi indicated in an interview with the British
TV company ITN on 14-February that he does not exclude the possibility
of becoming Russian president. Rutskoi denounced the present
government for robbing its people and said government leaders
should be prosecuted. Rutskoi stated that his latest appointment
to oversee agriculture was "not ethical," since he is a soldier
and not an agronomist. (Alexander Rahr)

DDR LOSES INFLUENCE. The Democratic Reform Movement (DDR), created
last year by Eduard Shevardnadze and Aleksandr Yakovlev as a
kind of alternative all-union party, has lost its influence.
No leading politician, with the exception of Moscow Mayor Gavriil
Popov, participated at the Congress of the Russian branch of
the DDR held in Nizhnii Novgorod on 16-February, "Vesti" reported.
At the Congress, Popov was elected chairman of the Russian DDR.
The Republican Party quit the DDR, thus further weakening it.
Popov stressed that the DDR will fight for the re-election of
all representative organs in Russia which, in his opinion, are
still dominated by Communists. (Alexander Rahr)

CORRECTION: The Daily Report of 13-February 1992 incorrectly
stated that Yulii Vorontsov had been brought back to Moscow.
Vorontsov has not yet officially given up his duties as ambassador
to the United Nations and remains in New York.


ESTONIAN CONSTITUTION APPROVED. Estonia's Constituent Assembly
on 14-February approved the final draft of the new constitution,
according to an RFE Estonian Service report. The Assembly, which
was named jointly by the Supreme Council and the Con-gress of
Estonia, voted for the draft by a narrow margin after five months
of debate and revisions of earlier versions. The final draft
must now be approved in a referendum, but considerable disagreement
remains between the Supreme Council and the Congress of Estonia
over how the polling will be done and who will be eligible to
vote in the referendum. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA REGULATES IMMIGRATION. The Estonian Immigration Authority
on 15-February began registering illegal immigrants, according
to BNS the previous day. According to a supplementary immigration
law, all citizens of the former USSR with no legal basis for
living in Estonia who entered the country after 15-January have
been issued one-month permits to stay. The immigrants may extend
their stay-and those who came earlier can legalize their presence-by
registering with the Immigration Authority. Because the first
one-month permits expired on 15-February, anyone who cannot document
his or her status will be regarded as an illegal immigrant. The
BNS report does not specify what will happen to the illegals.
(Riina Kionka)

withdrawal of Soviet troops from Lithuania were completed after
four days of discussion behind closed doors, the RFE/RL Lithuanian
Service reported on 15-February. The head of the Lithuanian delegation,
Minister without Portfolio Aleksandras Abisala, said that talks
were held in three groups; one discussed general principles and
a protocol, the second-technical aspects of the withdrawal, and
the third-compensation for losses inflicted on Lithuania by Soviet
troops and social guarantees for the military. He said that Lithuania
maintained its position that the troops should leave within 4-5
months, but "Russia has not yet revealed its position." (Saulius

Vagnorius said over Radio Lithuania on 14-February that officials
in the Lithuanian and local governments (including himself) had
not received their monthly salary due to the lack of rubles.
The main reason given is that too many people are keeping rubles
at home. He advised people to keep their money in bank accounts,
which would be more secure in case Moscow enacts monetary reforms.
The government is planning to triple the value of funds held
in investment accounts. Vagnorius criticized the Bank of Lithuania
for not informing him about the ruble shortage and noted that
bank officials were in Moscow seeking more rubles. (Saulius Girnius)

criticized the investigation of the supporters in Latvia of the
failed August 1991 coup in the USSR. He questioned the objectivity
of the investigators, since most of them had been affiliated
with the Latvian Communist Party and the KGB. Kirsteins suggested
that the task be turned over to investigators without such affiliations.
General Prosecutor Janis Skrastins admitted that the 95% of the
investigators had been LCP members-a condition for employment
under Soviet rule-and most of them had had professional contacts
with the KGB. Warning against a witch hunt, Skrastins noted that
all of the investigators had sworn allegiance to the Republic
of Latvia, Diena reported on 13-February. (Dzintra Bungs)

OMON THREATENS INVESTIGATORS. OMON officers, once stationed near
Riga and Vilnius, have warned the Russian government that investigators
seeking to detain OMON members hiding in the CIS states can expect
stiff resistance: "Ten members of the enemy will suffer for every
wounded comrade," Diena reported on 14-February. A copy of the
OMON group's letter has reached Riga, where, the authors allege,
a special search group has been formed to track them down and
shoot them. The Latvian prosecutor's office denied the allegations,
but stated that Latvia would continue to work together with the
Russian procuracy-in the ways stipulated in earlier cooperation
accords-in the investigation of OMON members suspected of crimes.
Recently OMON commander Czeslaw Mlynnik threatened the authorities
in Riga. (Dzintra Bungs)


POLISH FINANCE MINISTER RESIGNS. In what seems to be the first
major crisis of the Olszewski government, Karol Lutkowski has
resigned. Lutkowski's press spokesman Andrzej Moroz told Reuters
on 17-February that "a major difference over priorities and the
implementation of economic strategy" has arisen between Lutkowski
and "the group of personalities responsible for the economic
and political life of the country." Such a possibility was already
signalled on 13-February, when Lutkowski aligned himself against
the government position and sided with Andrzej Topinski, acting
head of the Polish National Bank, in supporting a high base interest
rate. (Roman Stefanowski)

government sent to the Sejm its economic program for 1992, Polish
and Western media reported. Top priority of the Olszewski government
for 1992 is to halt the recession so that the economy can "regain
its development capacity" but without inflationary growth. The
program aims at promoting investments and exports and restructuring
the national economy, allowing for the commercialization of state
enterprises with at least 30% of their sales from exports. A
series of taxes is proposed to control consumption and wages
while still guaranteeing the wherewithal to maintain the army,
police, judiciary, diplomatic corps, and state administration.
Quarterly reviews of certain prices, such as energy and fuels,
medicines, rents, transportation and TV fees, have been also
announced, and there will be fixed prices for certain agricultural
products. (Roman Stefanowski)

QUADRILATERAL BORDER AGREEMENT. On 16-February representatives
of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine signed an agreement
in Jaslo, Poland, aimed at easing trade among the border regions,
Polish and Western media reported. The agreement also provides
for the establishment of an interregional bank, the setting up
of free-trade zones, and cooperation between state and private
companies. The signatory countries also promise mutual assistance
in case of "mass emigration" from the CIS, as well as in promoting
tourism and in protecting the environment. A permanent body,
the Subcarpatian Council on Interregional Cooperation, was set
up. (Roman Stefanowski)

reported on 17-February that over half of the ethnic Serbian
deputies to the parliament in Croatia's Krajina region had met
in Glina and voted to remove Milan Babic as the area's chief
executive. Babic stayed in Knin, the center of his support, 100-miles
from Glina, and denounced the vote as meaningless. The BBC said
that this deepens the rift among Serbs in the self-proclaimed
independent Krajina. The majority of the elected officials there
favor the UN peace plan, which would introduce peace-keeping
forces to the area. Babic and his hard-core supporters fear this
will leave them at the mercy of the Croatian authorities in the
long run. (Patrick Moore)

BOSNIA CONFERENCE ENDS. Media in the former Yugoslavia reported
on 14 and 15-February that the EC-proposed conference on Bosnia-Herzegovina
showed that the three ruling ethnic parties have conducted "tolerant
talks" toward a negotiated peaceful settlement of republic's
future. One Croat participant, Miro Lasic, told reporters that
all sides agreed that Bosnia should be independent. Muslim and
Croat leaders have scheduled a referendum on independence on
29-February-1-March. In an interview in Il-Messaggero, Croatia's
President Franjo Tudjman categorically rejected speculation that
the republics of Croatia and Serbia have struck a secret deal
to partition Bosnia but suggested there are grounds for "setting
up a canton for Croats," explaining that Serbs have already "separated
their own areas" from Bosnia. (Milan Andrejevich)

FROM THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA. On-14 February Belgrade Radio
reported that the rump federal Presidency confirmed that the
pullout of former federal Yugoslav army troops and materiel from
the Republic of Macedonia is "temporary." On 13-February, the
radio reported that a convoy of over 400-vehicles loaded with
military hardware and equipment, had left key installations for
Serbia. Over the past two months the army has been withdrawing
from Macedonia and estimates say 80% of its force before the
drawdown have been reassigned to Serbia and Bosnia. The pullout
is expected to be completed by 15-March. Officials in Skopje
have accused the army of plundering crucial foodstuffs and medical
equipment and supplies and destroying anything it cannot transport.
Serbia has also set up roadblocks along its border with Macedonia,
banning Macedonians from importing food and medical supplies.
(Milan Andrejevich)

On-14-February, the Republic of Macedonia's parliament passed
a law that allows the formation of its own army. Macedonia is
seeking international recognition of its independence. On 16-February,
the republic's foreign minister Denko Maleski called for EC recognition
and said that his republic is ready to offer guarantees to Greece
that it has no territorial claims on parts of northern Greece
and the port of Thessaloniki. EC foreign ministers meet today
in Lisbon to discuss Macedonia's request for recognition. On
14-February, Austrian television reported that an estimated one
million Greeks demonstrated in Thessaloniki against the use of
the word Macedonia in the republic's official title and in protest
of alleged territorial claims on Greece by this former Yugoslav
republic. (Milan Andrejevich)

On 15-February federal Prime Minister Marian Calfa said the separation
of the Czech and the Slovak republics began on 12-February at
the moment when the Slovak parliament presidium rejected the
draft agreement on the future shape of the Czechoslovak federation.
In a television interview Calfa said "many representatives of
political parties, more expressly in Slovakia than in the Czech
lands, lack the will to maintain a common state." The draft accord
was produced after a week-long session of an expert commission
set up by the Czech and the Slovak parliaments at Milovy, Moravia,
on 9-February. (Peter Matuska)

some 4,000 people demonstrated in Prague against the upcoming
signing of a new treaty between Czechoslovakia and Germany, an
RFE/RL correspondent reported. Several speakers at the rally
criticized the treaty for failing to mention the expulsion of
ethnic Germans from Czech lands after 1945. Late in January German
government spokesman Dieter Vogel said the participation of Sudeten
Germans in the auctioning of property seized during the former
communist regime would remove criticism of the treaty. He said
Kohl promised to raise this topic during his visit in Prague
on 27-28-February to sign the treaty. (Peter Matuska)

local elections was held on 16-February in many constituencies
because of inconclusive results in the 9-February vote. Some
areas still haven't reported final results of the earlier election.
However, Romanian Television said that of those races that have
been concluded-in 32 of the country's 40-counties with an unspecified
number of seats still to be decided- candidates of the ruling
National Salvation Front won 57.8%, independents 12% and opposition
Democratic Convention 8.2%. The latest results surprisingly reversed
early unofficial reports, which suggested the opposition had
won as many as 40% of the contests. (Crisula Stefanescu)

ROMANIAN WORKERS RALLY. Thousands of Romanian workers rallied
in Bucharest and 41-other cities on 14-February. The protests
were called by the National Trade Union Consultative Council,
which was angry over the government's economic policies. In Bucharest
up to 15,000 people gathered to accuse the NSF of being dominated
by former communists and to blame the government for the large
disparity between wages and prices, local and Western media reported.
(Crisula Stefanescu)

KALUGIN ARRIVES IN SOFIA. Former KGB general Oleg Kalugin arrived
in the Bulgarian capital on 16-February. In March last year he
made revelations about Bulgarian and Soviet involvement in the
murder of exiled writer Georgi Markov in London in 1978. BTA
quoted him as saying upon his arrival that he had come at the
invitation of President Zhelyu Zhelev and would be entirely at
the disposal of the Bulgarian authorities. He expressed the hope
that all questions in which Bulgaria is interested will be clarified.
(Rada Nikolaev)

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

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Natasha Bulashova,Greg Koul
Updated: 1998-11-

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