If we are to live together in peace, we must first come to know each other better. - Lyndon B. Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 37, 24 February 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

COMMUNIST DEMONSTRATORS CLASH WITH POLICE. Russian security forces
fought with batons to hold back several thousand pro-Communist
demonstrators who marched in central Moscow on 23-February to
denounce President Yeltsin's policies, ITAR-TASS reported. The
demonstration was held on the day which had been traditionally
marked as Soviet army day; one of the demonstrators' goals was
to protest the breakup of the former Soviet army. Reports indicate
that some people, including policemen, received head and body
wounds. The protest was reportedly smaller than other recent
pro- Communist demonstrations in Moscow, but it was the first
in which protesters clashed with police. Russian First Deputy
Prime Minister Gennadii Burbulis commented on the clashes in
an interview with the BBC, saying Russia's reforms could not
be reversed by violent Communist protests.(Vera Tolz)

BURBULIS ON CREATION OF RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY. Gennadii Burbulis
told ITAR-TASS on 23-February that Russia will be the last Commonwealth
state which creates its own army. He indicated that Russia plans
however to set up a ministry for defense to deal with questions
of conversion and state security. He said that one of the ministry's
task would be to preserve the technological potential of the
military-industrial sector. He added that such a ministry will
be run by civilian politicians in conjunction with the military.
(Alexander Rahr)

MISSILE RETARGETING CLARIFIED. Both Boris Yeltsin and Marshal
Shaposhnikov clarified the Russian president's recent announcement
that ex-Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles would no longer
be aimed at targets in the United States. In an interview published
in Izvestiya on 22-February, Yeltsin explained that the missiles
would be given a "zero flight mission." In other words, they
would not be aimed at any particular target. Shaposhnikov repeated
this formula in his television interview on 22-February: the
strategic rocket forces were "reducing to zero the flight assignment"
of the missiles once on alert duty. (Doug Clarke)

YELTSIN PUSHES ARMS SALES. In the Izvestiya interview, Yeltsin
confirmed that the Federation would continue to promote arms
exports. He argued that although Russia had reduced defense spending-especially
on weapons procurements-a similar reduction in arms production
would have dealt an enormous blow to the military-industrial
complex, leading to social tensions and threatening to put millions
out of work. The president's statement echoes several similar
assertions by subordinates during the past few weeks, as well
as reported instances of spontaneous and unauthorized sales by
arms factories and military personnel. (Keith Bush)

STRATEGIC COMMANDER DEFIES MOSCOW. The Independent on 22-February
revealed that Maj. Gen. Mikhail Bashkirov, the renegade commander
of a CIS strategic air division at Uzin in Ukraine, defied his
CIS military superiors last week by refusing to land his aircraft
at a Russian base at Smolensk. Bashkirov, who has taken an oath
of allegiance to Ukraine, was quoted as saying he did not want
to land there because he was not sure he would be allowed to
leave. The report said he had been ordered to transfer military
equipment to Russia in contravention of Ukrainian law. "We had
either to infringe on the laws of Ukraine or not to fulfill the
orders of commanders," he said, explaining that he decided on
the latter course. (Doug Clarke)

NAZARBAEV ON NUCLEAR THREAT. In an interview published in the
Austrian newspaper Kurier on 20-February, Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbaev hinted that his republic would keep the strategic nuclear
weapons now on its territory for some time. While repeating that
Kazakhstan did not wish to be a nuclear state he noted that neighboring
China, Pakistan, and India were all nuclear powers. He estimated
that it would take at least 15 years to destroy the strategic
missiles and said that it would be desirable for China, Pakistan,
and India to join in the process. (Doug Clarke)

AZERBAIJAN TO GET PART OF CASPIAN SEA FLOTILLA. The Commander
of the ex-Soviet Caspian Sea Flotilla said that the transfer
of 24-combat and 49 "ancillary" ships to Azerbaijan could start
as early as 1-March. Interfax quoted Rear Admiral Boris Zinin,
who is headquartered in Baku, as saying that the rest of the
Flotilla would be transferred to other [non-Azerbaijani] ports
on the Caspian Sea. (Doug Clarke)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON RUSSIAN TRADITIONS, SOVIET MARSHALS. The commander
in chief of the CIS unified armed forces, Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov,
told a Russian television interviewer on 22-February that he
supported the return of "age-old" Russian traditions, uniforms,
and symbols in the armed forces. He said that he was particularly
moved at a recent concert by the old song, "God and St. Andrew's
Banner Are With Us." Shaposhnikov said that no one in the future
would be given the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union, but the
four living holders of that rank [former Defense Minister Sergei
Sokolov, the former head of the Warsaw Pact joint armed forces
Viktor Kulkov, former Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Ogarkov,
and Vasilii Petrov, former commander in chief of the ground forces]
would be allowed to keep it. (Doug Clarke)

IMF MEMBERSHIP IN APRIL. Russia and other former Soviet republics
will be admitted to the International Monetary Fund on 27-April,
according to diplomats in Moscow quoted by The Financial Times
of 22-February. Only Uzbekistan may be temporarily excluded owing
to technical problems over its application. Russia is expected
to be given a $3.5 billion quota of Special Drawing Rights, which
will entitle it to about $20 billion in balance of payments and
other IMF assistance over four years. Disbursement of funds will
be conditional on the elaboration of a binding economic reform
program-now being drafted and due to be finalized by the end
of March-and its approval by the IMF. (Keith Bush)

CIS MEETING ON DEBT SERVICE. The CIS member-states are scheduled
to meet in Moscow on 24-February to discuss the servicing of
the debt of the former USSR (variously estimated at between $64
and $90 billion), Reuters reported on 21-February and The Financial
Times reported on 22-February. Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister
Petr Aven said that other CIS members have not paid anything
towards the debt servicing. Russia thus faces a bill of $8.7
billion this year, and might seek a partial deferral of interest
payments on the debt, following a postponement of $11.1 billion
of principal payments already agreed with Western creditors.
(Keith Bush)

COAL PRICES TO BE FREED. President Yeltsin told Interfax on 23-February
that coal prices in Russia will be freed on 15-April. He said
that the measure will be taken to boost social benefits for mine
workers. The prices of coke will remain regulated because otherwise
price increases would cause major hikes in the prices of consumer
goods. [Unconfirmed reports have been circulating that the prices
of all energy carriers, including oil and gas, will be freed
shortly.] (Keith Bush)

RUTSKOI CALLS FOR FREEDOM FOR PUTSCHISTS. Russian Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi called for a halt on all investigations of
the August putsch and urged the liberation of the putschists
from prison, according to ITAR-TASS on 23-February. Rutskoi said
that people in the streets are demanding freedom for the putschists
and the Russian government should give in to that pressure. Rutskoi
stressed that the putschists have been punished enough-at least
from the moral point of view. (Alexander Rahr)

REFERENDUM ON STATUS OF TATARSTAN. The Supreme Soviet of Tatarstan
decided on 21-February that a referendum on the status of the
Republic should be held on 21-March, ITAR-TASS reported. Voters
will be asked to say yes or no to the question: "Do you agree
that the Republic of Tatarstan is a sovereign state, a subject
of international law, building its relations with the Russian
Federation and other republics (states) on the basis of equal
treaties?" This formula is somewhat ambiguous and may not satisfy
those advocating true independence for Tatarstan. On the other
hand, given that Tatars and Russians make up roughly equal shares
of the population, a more explicit formula might have been more
likely to result in rejection. (Ann Sheehy)

KRAVCHUK CALLS FOR NEW ELECTIONS. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk met on 21-February with representatives of political
parties, groups, and movements and called for new parliamentary
elections on a multiparty basis, Ukrinform-TASS and Radio Kiev
reported. Saying that today's parliament had fulfilled its mission,
Kravchuk argued for a professional lawmaking body. The Ukrainian
leader also announced that he would soon form a State Council
to act as a collective advisory body to the president. Strong
criticism was heard about the cabinet of ministers and demands
were made for the formation of a government of public trust.
(Roman Solchanyk)

NATO'S MANFRED WOERNER IN KIEV. NATO Secretary General Manfred
Woerner arrived on 22-February in Kiev for two days of talks
with Ukrainian leaders, including President Leonid Kravchuk,
Foreign Minister Anatolii Zlenko, and Defense Minister Konstantin
Morozov. At a press conference on 23-February, Woerner called
his discussions "the first step toward the establishment of cooperation
between NATO and Ukraine," as quoted by Ukrinform-TASS. He proposed
cooperation in three directions: the exchange of information,
consultations on security, and joint elaboration of defense concepts
and an exchange of specialists. Woerner expressed satisfaction
with Ukraine's position on strategic and tactical nuclear arms.
Before leaving for Moscow, Woerner invited his Ukrainian hosts
to take part in forthcoming NATO conferences. (Kathy Mihalisko)


CRIMEA TO ADOPT A NEW CONSTITUTION. The Crimean ASSR Supreme
Soviet met on 21-February to discuss, among other things, a new
draft constitution, Radio Mayak reported. The Crimean lawmakers
will also consider a new name for the republic, the question
of delineation of power between the Crimea and Ukraine, and a
package of economic legislation. (Roman Solchanyk)

BELARUS NATIONALIZES FORMER USSR PROPERTY. Interfax reported
on 21-February that the Belarusian State Committee for Property
Affairs has ruled to nationalize all former USSR property on
the territory of Belarus. The move affects more than 618 industries,
whose assets are estimated at over 35 billion rubles and which
produce 49 billion rubles worth of manufactured goods. (Kathy
Mihalisko)

FIGHTING ESCALATES IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. One day after signing
a ceasefire, new fighting erupted around the towns of Agdam and
Khodzhaly on 21-February and is still continuing. Radio Rossii
reported that 3 CIS soldiers were killed on 22-February in a
clash with Azerbaijanis near Gyandzha; a further 20 people were
killed in an Azerbaijani missile attack on Askeran. On 22-February
Azerinform Director Azad Sharifov denied an Interfax report that
Azerbaijan President Ayaz Mutalibov had ordered a partial mobilization,
and the CIS Army Press Bureau likewise denied claims by Interfax
and Assa- Irada that CIS and Armenian troops had launched a joint
attack across the Armenian- Azerbaijani border. (Liz Fuller)


INTERIM GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTER WILL NOT RUN IN ELECTIONS. Interviewed
by ITAR-TASS on 21-February, Georgian Interim Prime Minister
Tengiz Sigua, politically the most experienced, realistic and
flexible member of the ruling Military Council, announced that
he will not participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled
for later this year, after which he will hand over power to a
new Council of Ministers. He stated that six political parties
have been registered and a further 12 have applied for registration.
(Liz Fuller)

KYRGYZ VICE-PREMIER ON ECO. Kyrgyz Vice-Premier A. Erkinbaev,
who attended the recent summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization
in Teheran, stated during a briefing in Bishkek that the states
of the former USSR which were admitted to the ECO during the
summit (Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and
Kyrgyzstan) will not have to pay dues to the organization for
two years, Radio Mayak reported on 22-February. Despite Kyrgyzstan's
entry into the organization, which includes only Muslim states,
Erkinbaev asserted that his country has no intention of becoming
a purely Muslim state, and intends to remain secular-open to
both East and West. (Bess Brown)

MOLDOVAN MINISTER OF DEFENSE ON MOLDOVAN ARMY. Moldovan Minister
of Defense Ion Kostash has stated that the Moldovan army will
be created on the basis of the 14th army located on the right
bank of the Dniester, ITAR-TASS reported on 21-February. Units
located on the territory of the self-styled "Dniester Republic"
will be given the status of an army on the territory of an independent
state, and will be withdrawn to Russian territory in eighteen
months to two years. Kostash said this was a preliminary agreement
following talks with CIS Deputy Minister of Defence Boris Pyankov
in Chisinau. (Ann Sheehy)

BALTIC STATES ARMY DAY IN LATVIA. On
22-February Latvia's National Independence Movement held a protest
demonstration in Riga; the thousands of participants called for
the departure of "the occupation troops"-this is how most Latvians
see the soldiers of the ex-USSR in their land. On 23-February,
there were meetings in Riga and Daugavpils marking the 74th anniversary
of the founding of the Soviet armed forces. In both cities, the
Russian population is larger than the Latvian and many troops
are stationed there or nearby. In Riga money was collected for
the armed forces welfare fund and for "political prisoners,"
e.g. imprisoned OMON leader Sergei Parfenov and former Latvian
communist leader Alfreds Rubiks, Radio Riga reported. (Dzintra
Bungs)

WITHDRAWAL OF SOVIET TROOPS TO BEGIN. On 21-February Col. Gen.
Valerii Mironov, commander of the Northwestern Group of Forces,
sent a telegram to Lithuanian National Defense Minister Audrius
Butkevicius announcing that the first unit of the former Soviet
Army would be withdrawn from Lithuania on 25-February. The unit
would be from the air defense battalion stationed at Mitkunai,
11-km west of Kaunas, Radio Lithuania reported. (Saulius Girnius)


GORBUNOVS IN STRASBOURG. Addressing the conference of European
parliament officials on 21-February, Latvian Supreme Council
Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs said that the demographic situation
in Latvia (only about one half of the population is Latvian)
that has resulted as a consequence of Moscow's colonialist policies,
requires a fresh approach; standard solutions regarding citizenship
will not work. Gorbunovs also accused "certain circles" in Russia
of conducting a campaign of "economic sabotage, even blockade"
against Latvia. He said Latvia wants normal relations with Russia
and all other former Soviet republics, but noted that those relations
must be based "on complete equality and the observance of mutual
interests," BNS reported on 21-February. (Dzintra Bungs)

KHASBULATOV OBJECTS TO GORBUNOVS' REMARKS. Russian Supreme Soviet
Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov disagreed with the suggestion of
his Latvian counterpart Anatolijs Gorbunovs that the West invest
in the withdrawal of former Soviet troops from the Baltic States.
Khasbulatov said Russia will rely on its own resources to pay
for the withdrawal and added that Gorbunovs should not have brought
up the issue at an international forum. He asserted that the
present leaders in Russia did not send the troops to the Baltics
and that their presence on Baltic soil is a legacy common to
both republics, an RFE/RL correspondent in Strasbourg reported
on 21-February. Khasbulatov did not mention that Russia had claimed
jurisdiction over the armed forces of the ex-USSR. (Dzintra Bungs)


INTELLIGENCE UNDER LATVIA'S INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTRY. Diena
reported on 21-February that Latvia's new intelligence service,
known as the Information Department, is subordinated to the Ministry
of Internal Affairs and that its head is Juris Kuzins. The department
has four divisions with the following tasks: defense of Latvia's
sovereignty; research on international relations; analysis of
information; and administration of general affairs. Kuzins said
that applicants for employment with the service would be strictly
screened to make sure that they are loyal to Latvia and have
the proper professional qualifications. He did not rule out the
possibility of employing former KGB employees. (Dzintra Bungs)


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE POLISH LIBERALS CRITICIZE OLSZEWSKI.
At the end of a two-day party conference on 23-February, the
chairman of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Donald Tusk, told a
press conference that the Olszewski government lacks means to
counteract the failure of state enterprises to adapt to a market
economy, Polish and Western media reported. While continuing
with the free-market system the Olszewski government has recently
announced more investment in state industry and a growth in the
money supply to fight recession. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a guest
at the conference, said that "the only alternative in the unclear
political situation in Poland is the building of an alliance
of proreform forces. The core of such an alliance should be the
Liberal-Democratic Congress, the Center Alliance, and the Democratic
Union." (Roman Stefanowski)

SOLIDARITY 80 ON THE ECONOMY. Meeting in Gdynia on 22-February,
the National Coordinating Commission of the Solidarity 80 trade
union criticized the government's economic program for not adequately
fighting recession. PAP reported that the NCC is demanding that
"the Polish economy be managed in a sovereign way and not by
foreign decision-making centers" [a reference to the IMF's influence
through extending and withholding credits] and pointed to the
need of increased state interventionism. The union came out very
strongly against the way privatization is being handled, preferring
widening the system of employee shares. Solidarity 80 threatened
"to become opposition organization number one if the government
continues its policies." (Roman Stefanowski)

CONSERVATIVE PARTY CHOOSES HAVEL AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. On
21-February a small, conservative Czechoslovak political party,
the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) announced that President
Vaclav Havel is its candidate for reelection in the June parliamentary
elections, an RFE correspondent reported. Presidential spokesman
Michael Zantovsky said Havel has no intentions to join or lead
any political party but in the campaign wants to position himself
clearly in favor of programs that stand for "a common state,
continued economic transformation, political pluralism, and the
rule of law," Die Welt reported on 21-February. (Peter Matuska)


UNEMPLOYMENT IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. At an international congress
on investment in Prague, Federal Economics Minister Vladimir
Dlouhy said about 600,000 people are unemployed in Czecho-slovakia
but only about one third of them are really looking for jobs.
Dlouhy said the remainder prefer not to work and are satisfied
with their unemploy- ment benefit, CSTK reported on 21-February.
This may suggest why a shoe factory in Bardejov, Slovakia, has
had to bring in Ukrainians as replace-ments for as many as one
fifth of its work force, as one Western agency reported. (Peter
Matuska)

SMALLHOLDERS QUIT HUNGARIAN COALITION. On 21-February, the national
presidium of the Independent Smallholders' Party unanimously
voted to quit the coalition government, MTI reported. Chairman
Jozsef Torgyan said "the party no longer wishes to participate
in the nation-destroying policy" of Prime Minister Antall's government.
Months ago the parliamentary group of the Smallholders' Party
split into two factions: 12-deputies who support Torgyan and
33 who favor staying in the coalition. The party presidium voted
to expel the group of 33 along with two Smallholders ministers
and a state secretary who are loyal to the government. The government's
stability is not endangered because it will retain a comfortable
majority in parliament with the support of the group of 33. (Edith
Oltay)

OPEL NOSES OUT SUZUKI IN HUNGARY. The first Opel Astra passenger
car will leave the assembly line of the GM Opel-Hungary joint
Hungarian-American enterprise on 13-March 1992, MTI reported
on 19-February. Built in 15-months at a cost of DM 400 million,
this, the first Opel plant in Eastern Europe, will assemble 10,000
cars in the first year and 15,000 annually thereafter; starting
in July it will also build 200,000 auto engines a year. The cars,
assembled from parts shipped from Germany, will be sold both
on the Hungarian and foreign markets. A day later, on 20-February,
the general manager of Hungarian Suzuki, Ltd., told reporters
that his firm will begin producing passengers cars in October
1992 in their Esztergom plant. At first three variants of the
Swift, a 1000-cc economy model, will be produced, followed in
1994 by larger-body sedans. Hungarian parts manu-facturers for
Suzuki have received a Japanese-credit of 1.5-billion forint
and the first 30 of a total of 280-Hungarian auto workers to
be trained in Japan by Suzuki will return home soon. (Alfred
Reisch)

SECOND-ROUND ELECTIONS IN ROMANIA. The second round of elections
was held on 23-February to determine the winners of more than
1,600 mayoral and 1,200 town council races, local and foreign
media report. The vote follows 9-February first-round elections,
in which the National Salvation Front (NSF) scored 31.1% in mayoral
races (mainly in small towns and villages) against 23.1% for
the opposition Democratic Convention (DC). The results show that
NSF lost nearly half of its voters since the general elections
two years ago. (Crisula Stefanescu)

WOERNER IN BUCHAREST. During his second recent visit to Romania,
NATO Secretary-General Manfred Woerner opened a Center for Euro-Atlantic
Studies in Bucharest, in a ceremony with President Ion Iliescu.
Woerner discussed strengthening ties between Romania and NATO
and current problems of security in Eastern Europe with Foreign
Minister Adrian Nastase and Defense Minister Nicolae Spiroiu,
Rompres reports. From Bucharest Woerner flew on to Kiev. (Crisula
Stefanescu)

KOZLODUY FAULT PROMPTS POWER RATIONING. On 23-February the fifth
unit of the Kozloduy nuclear plant was taken out of operation
after the staff detected vibrations in its turbine, BTA reported.
In light of Bulgaria's already critical energy situation, officials
temporarily ordered 50% power rationing. Later, when management
was satisfied the fault had been fixed, the reactor was restarted.
BTA said the new sixth unit would be connected to the power grid
in the next few days, and should improve the reliability of the
national power supply. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

BAN ON BULGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY CALLED FOR. At a meeting of
the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) on 22-February several thousand
participants demanded that the Bulgarian Socialist Party be banned,
BTA reports. The rally was held after a week of growing tension
between the two main parties, during which the UDF alleged that
the BSP has been preparing a coup. The UDF prime minister, Filip
Dimitrov, whom BSP leaders had urged to resign for not being
able to halt the deepening economic crisis, told the meeting
his government was "a guarantee that communism will never again
return." (Kjell Engelbrekt)

BABIC ACCEPTS UN FORCES. International media reported on 23-February
that the ethnic Serbian leader in Croatia's Krajina region, Milan
Babic, agreed the previous day to accept UN peace-keeping troops.
(On 21-February the Security Council voted unanimously to set
up a 14,000-strong force for at least one year.) Babic said that
statements by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had
reassured him that Croatian law will not be reintroduced in the
area while the UN forces are present. On 23-February Babic added
that Krajina should join any peace talks as a full-fledged participant.
Croatian officials have said that Croatian law should be in force
in the area, and adamantly refuse to recognize Babic's "government"
as a negotiating partner. Serbian and federal army authorities
have assumed responsibility for Babic's compliance with the UN
peace plan. (Patrick Moore) 


GENSCHER IN CROATIA AND SLOVENIA.
German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher visited Croatia
and Slovenia on 22-23-February, German TV said on 23-February.
He urged full UN and CSCE membership as well as associate membership
in the EC for the two republics. He also reminded Croatia that
it should stick to the terms it has agreed to in the UN plan,
while at the same time pointing out that the conditions for stationing
UN troops do not affect the final political settlement, which
is the mission of the EC-sponsored peace conference. Croatia
fears that the terms under which the UN forces are deployed will
lead to its losing Krajina and other largely ethnically Serbian
areas, while Serbia trusts the UN's impartiality more than that
of the EC. The 24-February Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung added
that Genscher met not only with Croatian officials on the 22nd
but also with representatives of the Serbian minority. (Patrick
Moore)

MONTENEGRO TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON SOVEREIGNTY. On 22-February
Montenegro's national assembly, dominated by the Democratic Socialists
(former communists), adopted a decision that a referendum be
held on 1-March. Montenegrins will be asked if they want the
republic to remain in a federal Yugoslav state. Belgrade radio
reported on 23-February that two rallies were held in the Republic
of Montenegro over the issue of the republic's future as a sovereign
state. The rally in Titograd, organized by the United Opposition
and the Democratic Coalition, was attended by more than 10,000-people.
Speakers there described the referendum as unconstitutional and
"the act of a one-party dictatorship" and demanded that Montenegro
be declared an independent state. A rally in Cetinje attended
by some 5,000 backed the referendum. (Milan Andrejevich) [As
of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull







l




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