Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. - John Lennon
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 34, 19 February 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

SHAPOSHNIKOV NEWS CONFERENCE. The CIS commander in chief and
former Soviet defense minister held a wide-ranging news conference
on 18-February. As reported by Western agencies, he predicted
that the former Soviet armed forces would gradually split up
into national armies, but he hoped that this breakup would be
"civilized." He indicated that the length of the transition had
not been decided at the Minsk summit and called for a period
of three years. While many military problems had been solved
at that meeting, Shaposhnikov said that much more work had to
be done before the next summit- in Kiev on 20-March. (Doug Clarke)


MISSILE WARNING AGREEMENT. US Secretary of State James Baker
and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev agreed on 18-February
that their two countries would establish a joint early warning
center to detect ballistic missile attacks. According to accounts
of the agreement in Western agency reports, the center would
also be open to participation by the other republics in the CIS.
This initiative was described as the first step in creating a
joint defense system. (Doug Clarke)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON THE ROLE OF THE ARMED FORCES. Marshal Evgenii
Shaposhnikov, the commander in chief of the CIS armed forces,
told the Russian parliament on 18-February that armed forces
should be used to defend the state against an outside attack,
and not against its own people. He was testifying at the hearings
on the role played by the former USSR Ministry of Defense in
the abortive August 1991 coup, and was quoted by ITAR-TASS. Shaposhnikov
revealed that draft legislation banning the use of the armed
forces in resolving internal political problems had been submitted
to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. (Doug Clarke)

PROGRESS WITH RUSSIAN/UKRAINE AGREEMENT ON FORCES. Sergei Shakhrai,
a deputy chairman of the Russian government, was quoted by Postfactum
on 18-February as saying that Ukraine and Russia had agreed on
approximately 70% of the units that would make up the CIS strategic
armed forces. (Doug Clarke)

UPDATE ON DEFECTING PILOTS, AIR DIVISION. At his press conference,
Shaposhnikov said that the 12 pilots who brought 6 Su-24s from
Ukraine to Russia on 13-February had received new assignments
and would not be forced to return to Ukraine. There would be
talks with Ukrainian authorities about returning the aircraft.
ITAR-TASS on 18-February revealed that a deputy division commander,
a regimental staff officer, and a squadron commander were among
the defecting aircrews. The chief of staff of CIS long- range
aviation was quoted by Ostankino television on 18-February as
saying that the personnel of a tanker aircraft regiment and some
personnel at divisional headquarters at the strategic airbase
in Ukraine had taken the oath of allegiance to Ukraine, and not
the crews of the 21 strategic bombers stationed there. He said
that an agreement had been reached whereby the division would
come under Ukrainian "jurisdiction" but would still remain subordinate
to CIS military authorities. (Doug Clarke)

UKRAINE CLARIFIES POSITION ON STRATEGIC AIRBASE. The Financial
Times on 19-February quoted Viktor Batiuk, head of the international
organizations department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, as
saying that Ukraine had taken over the long-range bomber division
in retaliation for the incident involving the six bomber crews
who flew to Russia. Another Foreign Ministry official, Volodymyr
Belashov, told the same source that Kiev's position is that the
aircraft should belong to Ukraine, while the nuclear weapons
they are designed to carry should belong to CIS joint command.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

KRAVCHUK ON MINSK SUMMIT. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
held a press conference on 17-February at which he discussed,
among other issues, the results of the recently concluded CIS
summit in Minsk, Radio Kiev reported on 18-February. The Ukrainian
leader, while judging the summit in an overall positive light,
nonetheless made it clear that Ukraine was determined to pursue
its own line on conventional military forces. Kravchuk also noted
that Belarus and Kazakhstan had reservations about joint CIS
non- nuclear forces and expressed the conviction that the Crimea
would remain within Ukraine. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINE'S RELATIONS WITH EAST EUROPEAN NEIGHBORS. Kravchuk also
played down rumors that Ukraine was about to form a new "union
of states" with Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland. No discussions
on this issue have been held, the Ukrainian president told reporters,
although Ukraine is determined to participate in all European
structures. Ukraine should not leave one commonwealth in order
to join another, ITAR-TASS quoted Kravchuk on 18-February. (Roman
Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN REPRESENTATIVE ON RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA. Ukraine's
envoy in Moscow, Volodymyr Kryzhanivsky is quoted by ITAR-TASS
on 18-February as saying that there is no "conflict" between
Ukraine and Russia. Existing differences between the two countries,
he said, could be regulated only through talks between the two
sides. Kryzhanivsky's remarks were made in a recent interview
in Pravda. (Roman Solchanyk)

MOROZOV: UKRAINIAN FORCE NO THREAT TO NEIGHBORS. In an address
to servicemen and veterans of the army and navy published on
18-February in the Ukrainian press and quoted by Ukrinform-TASS,
Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov stressed that Ukraine's active
efforts to create a national armed forces "should not raise fears
among our neighbors and other states." He said that the scale
of Ukraine's plans are limited to its legitimate security requirements.
Some 80% of recruits have sworn an oath of allegiance to Ukraine,
he continued. (Kathy Mihalisko)

SHAKHRAI ON MINSK SUMMIT. Russian Deputy Chairman Sergei Shakhrai
gave a "very positive" evaluation of the Minsk summit at a meeting
with Russian deputies on 18-February, ITAR-TASS reported on 18-February.
He singled out the agreements on military matters as the most
important. Shakhrai said that differences between CIS members
states would persist for a long time, but forecast that the next
two years would sober up many politicians and the Commonwealth
would not fall apart. Only a strong ruble and not national currencies
and customs barriers would save the economies of the republics.
(Ann Sheehy)

NEW EXCHANGE RATE FOR THE RUBLE? The head of the Russian Central
Bank's Foreign Currency Department told Western agencies on 18-February
that his government is circulating a proposal for a new exchange
rate of 5.4 rubles to the dollar. This rate would be used exclusively
for purchases by the Russian government of foreign foodstuffs
for sale in state stores. The current official exchange rate
is 110 rubles to the dollar, but at recent currency auctions
the dollar has sold for over 200 rubles. If adopted, the new
fixed exchange rate would represent a setback to the avowed commitment
to convertibility. (Keith Bush)

AEROFLOT RENAMED. Among rulings passed by the Russian Supreme
Soviet Presidium on 17-February, according to Interfax, was one
renaming Aeroflot. Its new name is "Airline Russia." (Keith Bush)


KOMI OIL WORKERS RESUME WORK. Work resumed on 18-February at
the 96 oil wells in the Komi republic where operations had been
halted by a strike, ITAR-TASS reported. The Russian fuel minister,
Vladimir Lopukhin agreed to a "considerable proportion" of the
oil-workers demands, and documents are to be presented to the
Russian president and government calling for a change in oil
and gas prices, improved material and technical supplies, increased
pay, and other benefits. The oil workers had threatened to shut
down another 100 wells if their demands were not met by 18-February.
(Ann Sheehy)

RUTSKOI MEETS COSSACK ATAMANS. Russian Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi, addressing the Small Council of Cossack Atamans in Moscow
on 18-February, said that the decision to make him responsible
for agriculture may have been intended to put him down, but he
would succeed with agriculture if he was not hindered, "Vesti"
reported. The Cossacks, who want their rights to land ownership
restored, their own army units, and legal rehabilitation, were
said to look to Rutskoi as their only hope. "Vesti" also had
reported on 17-February that after the council meeting some of
the atamans would go to the Far East to discuss the settlement
of Russians and Cossacks driven from the southern republics and
the Caucasus by a wave of nationalism on Sakhalin and in the
Kuriles. (Ann Sheehy)

INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC FORUM IN ST.-PETERSBURG. On the initiative
of the Muslim community of St. Petersburg, an international forum
on "The Rebirth of Islam in St. Petersburg" met from 15-16-February,
ITAR-TASS reported. Delegates came from 12 countries including
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran, Radio Rossii reported
on 17-February. Participants called for the opening of more mosques
as well as a network of Islamic educational institutions in the
city. Radio Rossii said that an explosion in the city's only
mosque just before the opening of the forum could have been the
work of an illegal Sunni fundamentalist group protesting the
"Shiitization" of the city's Muslims. (Ann Sheehy)

DEMOCRATIC FORCES OF RUSSIA'S NATIONAL-TERRITORIAL FORMATIONS
HOLD CONGRESS. The second congress of the Democratic Forces of
National-Territorial Formations of the Russian Federation took
place in the Tatar capital of Kazan on 15- 16-February, Radio
Rossii reported on 17-February. The congress was organized by
the Democratic Party of Russia (DPR), which strongly defends
the unity of the Russian Federation. The Tatar Supreme Soviet,
which on several occasions has criticized the DPR, protested
the holding of the congress on the territory of Tatarstan. Tatarstan's
political groups, which support the republic's independence,
held demonstrations protesting the Congress. The organizers of
the Congress said that some of the participants were beaten up
by Tatar nationalists. The Congress nevertheless proceeded and
adopted a series of resolutions, including one on the division
of power between the Russian leadership and national-territorial
formations of the Russian Federation, and another on the creation
of alternative power structures. (Vera Tolz)

GAMSAKHURDIA RESURFACES. At a joint press conference with the
Chechen president in Grozny on 18-February, ousted Georgian President
Zviad Gamsakhurdia told ITAR-TASS that he had no intention of
resigning, that most of the Georgian population still supported
him, and that his disappearance in recent weeks had been occasioned
by persecution by the "junta" in power in Georgia. Before meeting
with Georgian Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua in Moscow on 18-February
at the insistence of former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze,
US Secretary of State James Baker expressed reservations both
at the manner of Gamsakhurdia's ouster and at his policies while
president. Baker stressed that the United States "wishes to let
the people of Georgia know that it has no desire to ignore or
isolate them." (Liz Fuller)

AZERBAIJAN POPULAR FRONT CALLS FOR MUTALIBOV'S RESIGNATION. Delegates
from the Azerbaijan Popular Front to Azerbaijan's National Council
have rejected a three-point peace plan for Nagorno-Karabakh proposed
by republican President Ayaz Mutalibov after his meeting last
week with US Secretary of State James Baker, according to the
Turan news agency on 18-February. The Popular Front called for
the resignation of Mutalibov and his government on the grounds
that they have proved helpless to protect the Azerbaijani population
of the NKAO. Mutalibov has dismissed his Minister of Defence,
Tadzhaddin Mekhtiev, in response to pressure from the opposition.
(Liz Fuller)

PETROLEUM CONTRACT SIGNED IN KAZAKHSTAN. The first major contract
for joint exploitation of petroleum resources in Western Kazakhstan
has been signed by Kazakh Deputy Premier Kalyk Abdullaev and
the director general of the French oil concern Elf-Aquitaine,
KazTAG-TASS reported on 18-February. The contract with Chevron,
which has been under negotiation far longer, has still not been
signed. According to the report, Elf has promised to protect
the environment, and to train and make maximum use of local employees
in the enterprise. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev told
Elf representatives that the contract is an expression of trust
in Kazakhstan's economic potential and political stability. (Bess
Brown)

US AND MOLDOVA ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. After Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur visited US President George Bush on 18-February,
the White House announced that the two countries had formally
established diplomatic relations and would exchange ambassadors
in the near future, Western agencies reported. An unnamed State
Department official said the United States was pleased with the
restrained way Snegur's government was handling the situation
in Moldova's Dniester area. Snegur is to leave Washington on
19-February for discussions with Canadian Premier Brian Mulroney.
(Ann Sheehy)

BALTIC STATES

LALUMIéRE IN LATVIA. On 18-February Catherine Lalumire, Secretary-General
of the Council of Europe, addressed the Latvian Supreme Council
and met with Latvian leaders and representatives of national
minorities. She was visiting Riga as a part of visit to the Baltic
capitals in conjunction with these countries' applications for
membership in the Council. Radio Riga reported on 18-February
that Lalumire said that Latvia has made much progress toward
democratization, implemen-tation of human rights, and economic
reforms, and urged that these processes be continued. (Dzintra
Bungs)

BALTIC SECURITY CONFERENCE. Baltic leaders attending a conference
on Baltic and Nordic security in Tallinn are worried that dissatisfaction
among former Soviet troops could adversely affect general security
in the Baltic rim, BNS reported on 17-February. Former Estonian
Minister of State Raivo Vare told participants that "a consensus
prevails within the officer corps of the former USSR armed forces
that troops withdrawing from Eastern Europe will be brought to
the Baltic States, and that within 15-years everything will change."
The three-day conference, sponsored by Estonia's right-of-center
Tonisson Institute, has drawn participants from all Baltic-rim
states. (Riina-Kionka)

VAHI NAMES ANOTHER MINISTER. Estonian Prime Minister Tiit Vahi
named Merle Krigul as minister without portfolio responsible
for nationality affairs, BNS reported on 18-February. The nomination
of Krigul, who served as senior consultant for Endel Lippmaa
when the latter filled the post in the Savisaar government, has
met opposition from the Supreme Council commission on nationality
affairs. Commission chairman Enn Leisson, a longtime Savisaar
supporter, told BNS that the commission does not think Krigul
is "sufficiently mature" for the job. Pavel Grigorjev, another
member of Leisson's commission, expressed surprise at Vahi's
choice, telling BNS that the commission had actually recommended
Leisson for the job. The Supreme Council is due to vote on this
and the nomination of Aavo Molder as Minister of Agriculture
on 20-February. (Riina-Kionka)

NEW LATVIAN OFFICIALS. On 18-February the Latvian Supreme Council
endorsed acting chief Girts Kristovskis as chief of the Home
Guard and elected Valdis Birkavs as Deputy Chairman of the Supreme
Council, Radio Riga reported. Birkavs, nominated by the People's
Front faction, replaces Dainis Ivans, who resigned in December
1991. The Supreme Council also eliminated the position of First
Deputy Chairman and decided in favor of two deputy chairmen of
equal rank. The other deputy chairman is Andrejs Krastins. (Dzintra
Bungs)

"COSSACK CIRCLE" IN LATVIA. An organization called "Cossack Circle"
is being formed in Latvia, Radio Riga reported on 18-February.
The circle is not a Cossack culture society, but rather seems
to be a paramilitary organization affiliated with Russian monarchists.
It is not clear whether it has any relationship to the Small
Council of Cossack Atamans. Its members are officers and senior
enlisted men of the former Soviet armed forces and those who
support the military. The Riga branch reportedly has over 1,800
members. Branches are being formed in Liepaja and Daugavpils,
where large numbers of troops are stationed; smaller branches,
which the organizers would like to call "battalions," are envisaged
in Jelgava, Ludza, and Rezekne. The circle wants to run horse
farms in Latvia; if Latvia does not allocate the land, then it
would seek locations in Pskov Oblast, just east of Latvia. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LITHUANIAN HYDROELECTRIC PLANT. On 19-February the first unit
of the new hydroelectric power plant at Kaisiadorys went on line,
Radio Lithuania reported. The 200- megawatt unit is twice as
powerful as the Kaunas hydroelectric power plant and will help
Lithuania to cope with the 200-megawatt shortage during peak
hours. A second unit should begin operation in July and a third
by the end of the year; eight units are planned. (Saulius Girnius)


US CORN ARRIVES. On 19-February Radio Lithuania reported that
the Pride of Texas had arrived with a cargo of 35,000 tons of
feed corn. The ship is the first US-flag ship to enter Klaipeda
harbor since World War II. Darryl Johnson, US ambassador to Lithuania,
met the ship and noted that two more ships carrying similar humanitarian
aid should arrive in the next few weeks. (Saulius Girnius)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

GUS ON POLAND'S ECONOMY AND UNEM-PLOYMENT. The January figures
published by the Main Statistical Office (GUS) show a clear deteriora-tion
in the country's economic performance, PAP reported on 18-February.
While the January 1992 production dropped only 3.7% compared
to the month before, it was 15.6% lower than in January 1991,
underlining the deepening recession. Net-Jan-uary 1992 wages
fell by 8.9% compared to December 1991, but retail prices increased
by 7.5%, indicative of the inflationary tendencies. Registered
unemployed numbered 2.2-million, amounting to 11.9% of all active
population. (Roman Stefanowski)

MAZOWIECKI WARNS THE GOVERNMENT. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, former prime
minister and Democratic Union leader, warned the government that
in the future his party will not be as "uncritical" in the Sejm
as hitherto, PAP reported on 18-February. While not supporting
the Olszewski government, because it is "motivated by responsibility"
the DU voted for the provisional budget. The DU will now await
the presentation of the full budget. Mazowiecki also stressed
the necessity to form a political bloc "to assume responsibility
for safeguarding reforms." Such an alliance, said Mazowiecki,
should be based on the Democratic Union, the Liberal-Democratic
Congress, and the Center Alliance, "despite the-diffi-cult and
painful problems between them that make such an alliance hard
to accept." (Roman Stefanowski)

LUTKOWSKI EXPLAINS HIS RESIGNATION. Polish Finance Minister Karol
Lutkowski told Polish Radio on 18-February that he resigned office
because he opposes the government's monetary and fiscal policies.
Lutkowski said he is convinced the government's antirecessionary
measures will worsen the country's budgetary problems. He has
reservations about having the money supply grow faster than inflation
and economic growth. While some of the measures adopted "are
well meaning" because they are intended to help state enterprises,
Lutkowski says, "they are bad for the economy." Prime Minister
Olszewski has not yet accepted Lutkowski's resignation. (Roman
Stefanowski)

CZECHOSLOVAK-RUSSIAN TREATY. On 18-February the foreign ministers
of Russia and Czechoslovakia, Andrei Kozyrev and Jiri Dienstbier
in Moscow initialed the first treaty on friendship and cooperation
between the two countries. Dienstbier said the treaty marked
the beginning of completely new relations between Russia and
Czechoslovakia, Russian and Western agencies reported. The document
calls the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia an "act
of violence" by the former USSR, and says the "sides shall not
permit the use of their territories for the purpose of aggression
or any other act of violence against the other contracting party."
The treaty is expected to be signed by Russian and Czechoslovak
presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vaclav Havel in March, during Havel's
visit to Moscow. (Peter Matuska)

CZECHOSLOVAK PARLIAMENT FAILS TO APPROVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS.
On 18-February the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly failed to approve
amendments to three sections of the country's constitution aimed
at settling new relations between the president, the parliament
and the government. The amendments failed to gain the necessary
total of 45 votes among the Slovak deputies of the Upper House
of parliament, the House of Nations. One of the rejected amend-ments
said the new parliament should consist of a 200-member House
of Representatives and a 100-member Senate to be seated in Prague
and Brati-slava, respectively. The rejection means that the-1968
constitution is still in force and that the June 1992 general
elections will be to the parliament consisting of a 150-seat
House of Nations and a 150-seat House of the People, CSTK reported.
(Peter Matuska)

HUNGARY'S NATIONAL SECURITY AND ITS ETHNIC MINORITIES. Addressing
a political rally in Miskolc in his capacity as Executive Chairman
of the majority Hungarian Democratic Forum party, Defense Minister
Lajos Fur said the preservation of East Central Europe's entire
Hungarian "linguistic nation," one third of which become a minority
as a result of the 1920 Trianon Treaty, is an "essential element"
of the country's national security. According to Radio Budapest
reports, Fur called upon Hungary's parliament and government
to use "every legal and diplomatic means" to ensure that Magyar
minorities are no longer threatened and the conditions for their
preservation are guaranteed. The parliament in Slovakia, where
about 570,000 ethnic Magyars live, promptly stated that Fur's
statement "does not serve good-neighborly relations." (Alfred
Reisch)

WEU SECRETARY GENERAL VISITS HUNGARY. During an official visit
to Budapest on 17-February 1992, West European Union Secretary-General
William van Eekelen met with Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky
and other Foreign and Defense Ministry officials, MTI reported.
The talks centered on Hungary's desire to establish closer ties
with the security policy structures of a future United Europe
in which the WEU could become the link between Europe and NAT0.
(Alfred Reisch)

HUNGARIAN-BRITISH MILITARY TALKS. British National Defense Secretary
Sir Michael Quinlan met on 18-February 1992 in Budapest with
Hungarian Defense Minister Lajos Fur and other top Defense Ministry
officials, MTI reported. It was agreed that six Hungarian officers
will soon pursue studies at British military academies. Britain
has made an offer to modernize the obsolete MiG fighter planes
of the Hungarian air force; the parliament's defense committee
must reach a decision on a variety of offers by May 1992. (Alfred
Reisch)

ROMANIAN MONARCHY REFERENDUM PROPOSED. Opposition leader Radu
Campeanu says Romanians should be given a chance to choose between
a presidential republic and a monarchy before the presidential
election this year, Reuter reports. On 17-February "The May-10
Royal Platform" was set up in Cluj-Napoca as an association of
parties and societies calling for the return to power of King
Michael, who has been living in exile since 1948. A national
referendum last December showed that about 77% of Romanians favor
a new constitution making the country a presidential republic.
(Crisula Stefanescu)

CEAUSESCU BROTHER RELEASED FROM PRISON. Romanian Justice Minister
Mircea Ionescu Quintus told reporters that Nicolae Andruta Ceausescu,
the brother of former communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu, will
be released from the prison for 30-days to receive medical treatment.
He headed the Securitate Secret Police Academy and was sentenced
in 1990 to 20-years in prison for firing on demonstrators during
the December 1989 anticommunist uprising. (Crisula Stefanescu)


RISE IN BULGARIA'S ENERGY PRICES PLANNED. On 18-February Evgeni
Angelov, deputy chairman of Bulgaria's Energy Committee, told
Reuters that power prices might go up 30% beginning on 1-April.
According to Angelov, Bulgaria is setting up an energy fund that
eventually will enable the country to abolish subsidies to the
power industry, The sub- sidies, amounting to some $300-million
a year, mainly go for the purchase of energy resources. In the
future, profits from energy production and-taxes are to be collected
directly into the fund, and not be allocated through the state
budget. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

BULGARIA CONTEMPLATING SEVENTH REACTOR. Speaking to reporters
in Sofia on 18-February, Nikita Shevarshidze, chairman of the
supervising council of Bulgaria's Electric Power Company, stated
that Bulgaria badly needs the power produced at the Kozloduy
nuclear plant and should even consider adding a seventh reactor
built by Western companies. Shevarshidze told Western news agencies
that he will meet with the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD) officials in Paris next week to present the
plans and request financial assistance. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

FORMER UN COMMANDER ON PEACEKEEPERS. Maj. Gen. Slavko Jovic,
former commander of the UN Iran-Iraq military observers, told
Borba that he thinks UN peacekeeping forces will remain in Yugoslavia
"until the politicians responsible for the conflict either reach
an agreement or step down."-The interview was published on 18-February.
The same day, Belgrade's Youth Radio B-92 interpreted Jovic's
statement to mean "the Blue-helmets will be around for a long
time-just like in Cyprus." (Milan Andrejevich) As of 1200 CET
Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull



l




[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