It is easier to love humanity than to love one's neighbor. - Eric Hoffer
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 39, 26 February 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

NATO-CIS TALKS. NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner, winding
up talks with CIS political and military leaders, told reporters
in Moscow on 25-February that he was "deeply satisfied" with
the results of his visit, ITAR-TASS reported. Woerner also emphasized
that NATO would not involve itself in the internal CIS debate
over reshaping the former Soviet armed forces. Similar remarks
were apparently made by NATO officials in Brussels on 24-February.
According to Western agency reports that appeared the next day,
a NATO official said that the Western alliance was letting the
CIS republics decide how best to distribute the weapons and assets
of the old Soviet army within the limits estab- lished by the
CFE treaty. The issue of distribution is a critical one and is
already the cause of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. (Stephen
Foye)

SAMSONOV TO CHINA. The Chief of the General Staff of the CIS
armed forces, Colonel General Viktor Samsonov, arrived in Beijing
on 26-February to begin talks with PRC military leaders, ITAR-TASS
reported. Discussions will focus on military cooperation between
the two nations and on proposals to reduce military forces along
the Russian- Chinese border. Samsonov is scheduled to fly from
Beijing to Pyongyang, North Korea, on 2-March, the report said.
(Stephen Foye)

FOREIGN AIR FORCE STUDENTS MUST PAY HARD CURRENCY. Foreign students
studying at CIS air force academies are now required to pay tuition
fees ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 per month. Interfax on 25-February
revealed that because of the introduction of these new fees-which
must be paid in hard currency-234-service-men from Afghanistan,
Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Cuba had interrupted their studies and
were expected to return home. A further 592 cadets from Yemen,
Algeria, China, and several other countries were continuing their
courses. (Doug Clarke)

CRYPTOGRAPHER JUMPS SHIP. The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported
on 25-February that a Russian officer, Lieutenant Commander Boris
Kalamiev, had jumped overboard from the cruiser Kersch when the
ship was passing through the Bosphorus on 15-February. Kalamiev
was identified as a cryptographer working with satellite communications
systems and was said to have brought 100 pages of crypto documents
with him in a water-resistant bag. Kalamiev has supposedly requested
asylum in the United States. (Doug Clarke)

NEW DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER. Interfax reported on 25-February
the appointment of 59-year-old Boris Nikolaevich Pastukhov as
one of Russia's deputy foreign ministers. He will be responsible
for administrative and economic affairs. According to an interview
with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev by Interfax on the
same day, no former USSR deputy foreign ministers will retain
their jobs (as deputy foreign ministers) in the Russian Foreign
Ministry. (Suzanne Crow)

KOZYREV IN AFRICA. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev began
his tour of Africa on 26-February with talks in Angola. Kozyrev
told Interfax on 25-February that it is important to remember
the role played by the USSR in the Angola settlement, adding:
"This is a continuation of our global role." Kozyrev said he
dislikes the term "superpower" but explained: "nevertheless,
it applies, considering our responsibility to the world." Kozyrev
travels to South Africa on 28-February and to Egypt on 1-March.
(Suzanne Crow)

DISPUTE OVER VNESHEKONOMBANK. Government officials from all of
the former Soviet republics, except Russia and Georgia, met in
Kiev on 25-February, and proposed removing Vneshekonombank from
Russian control and from Moscow, Reuters reported. All three
Baltic states were represented; Russia apparently declined; and
the Georgian delegation missed the meeting because of travel
problems. The delegates recommended reestablishing Vneshekonombank
under new intergovernmental auspices with each former Soviet
republic having a vote, and relocating it in Minsk. Ukrainian
Prime Minister Vitold Fokin was quoted as saying that if Western
credits are handled by the Vneshekonombank while it remains under
Russian control, "We will not see them. We will only smell them."
(Keith Bush)

INCREASED INCENTIVES FOR FUEL OUTPUT. The Russian government
has increased incentives for higher fuel production by doubling
the amount that producers can sell on the market, Interfax reported
on 25-February. The share of oil, petroleum products, and gas
that may be sold at unregulated prices has been raised from 20%
to 40% provided that government contracts have first been met.
The Russian output of oil and gas condensate fell by 11% to 461
million tons in 1991, and production is expected to fall further
in 1992. (Keith Bush)

MOSCOW TO ESTABLISH FREE ECONOMIC ZONES. Moscow's local authorities
are considering setting up several free economic zones in the
area around the Russian capital. The aim is to attract foreign
investment by offering investors tax incentives, a convenient
geographical location, and skilled but cheap local labor. The
first such zones are expected to be in the Sheremetevo, Domodedovo,
and Dubini areas; eventually, Moscow's local government plans
to make the entire region a free economic zone. There will be
"virtually no restriction" on the range of foreign investment
activities, Interfax reported on 24-February. (Elizabeth Teague)


CHANGES IN RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. A redistribution of portfolios
has taken place at the top of the Russian Government. First Vice
Premier Gennadii Burbulis took over supervision of state security
organs, as his participation in a meeting of the Ministry for
Security indicated (ITAR-TASS, 25-February). Vice Premier Sergei
Shakhrai had so far been responsible for these issues. At the
same time, Burbulis seems to have given up functions of supervising
the press. That task will now be carried out by Mikhail Poltoranin
who was promoted to the rank of Vice Premier on 24-February.
Vice Premier Egor Gaidar has given up direct supervision over-the
economy and will now deal primarily with finances (see Daily
Report of 25-February). (Alexander Rahr)

PRESS CONFERENCE ON 23 FEBRUARY CLASHES. On 25-February, the
Moscow city government organized a press conference to comment
on the 23-February clashes between demonstrators and police.
Representatives of the police, who spoke at the conference, blamed
the clashes on the "unprecedented aggressiveness of the demonstrators."
ITAR-TASS reported that Moscow City Procurator Gennadii Ponomarev
has initiated an investigation into the circumstances surrounding
the clashes. The investigation would look into the behavior of
the Moscow police and the Moscow mayor's office, which had banned
demonstrations in the center of Moscow in anticipation of Sunday's
protests. (Vera Tolz)

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO REVIEW COMMUNIST PARTY BAN. The Russian
Constitutional Court will meet in March to review President Yeltsin's
decrees banning the Communist Party and confiscating Party property,
Interfax reported on 24-February. The court inquiry has been
launched on the request of a group of Russian deputies who argue
that the president has exceeded his authority under the existing
Russian Constitution. Interfax reported that Constitutional Court
Chairman Valerii Zorkin has already sent a copy of deputies'
request to Yeltsin and asked the president to attend the court
hearing personally. However the report indica-ted that Yeltsin's
advisor on legal affairs and deputy prime minister, Sergei Shakhrai
is more likely to represent the president in court. (Carla Thorson)


YELTSIN ON CRIMEA, RELATIONS WITH UKRAINE. Russian President
Boris Yeltsin told heads of Russian parliamentary commissions
on 25-February that demands for the almost immediate return of
the Crimea only serves to stir up passions and complicate the
situation, ITAR-TASS reported. The Russian leader emphasized
that relations with Ukraine and other former Soviet republics
should be conducted calmly. (Roman Solchanyk)

KRAVCHUK WANTS TO HELP RUSSIA. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
said on 25-February that his most important task is "to do something
to help Russia," Reuters reported. Kravchuk told EC External
Relations Commissioner Frans Andriessen in Kiev that the situation
in Russia must be stabilized because problems there have an impact
on Ukraine. Political instability in Russia, he continued, could
threaten the future of the CIS. The main problems facing Russia,
according to the Ukrainian leader, are Islamic fundamentalism,
ethnic conflicts, and disputes within the Russian government
over economic reforms. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT RESTRUCTURED. The Ukrainian president issued
a decree on 25-February creating a State Council within the presidency,
Ukrinform-TASS reported. The new body is to develop basic policy
directions for the executive. The State Council will be chaired
by Kravchuk with Prime Minister Vitold Fokin serving as deputy
chairman. The Ukrainian leader also issued another decree liquidating
the posts of state ministers and cutting back the number of ministries.
The number of state committees may also be reduced in the future.
(Roman Solchanyk)

NEW SIGNATORIES OF HELSINKI FINAL ACT. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk leaves for Helsinki on 26-February to affix his signature
on the Helsinki Final Act, Radio Kiev reported. Joining him there
will be the leaders of Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
(Roman Solchanyk)

SHUSHKEVICH DENIES TERRITORIAL CLAIMS ON LITHUANIA. Arriving
in Finland on 25-February for the ceremonial signing of the Helsinki
Final Act, Belarusian Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich
denied reports that Belarus is claiming part of Lithuanian territory.
The fact that Belarus has come to sign the Final Act is proof
that it has no such claims on its neighbors, he said. Shushkevich
was referring to a statement distributed on 24-February by Western
agencies in which Foreign Minister Petr Krauchenka said Belarus
is entitled to the southeastern part of Lithuania, including
Vilnius, but that the Lithuanians refused to negotiate. The VOA
Lithuanian Service reported that on 25-February, Lithuanian Foreign
Affairs Minister Algirdas Saudargas telephoned his Belarusian
counterpart Petr Krauchenka, who said that Belarus has no territorial
claims on Lithuania. In other comments as quoted by ITAR-TASS,
Shushkevich confirmed that all tactical nuclear weapons will
be withdrawn from Belarus by 1-July, to be followed by strategic
weapons over the course of the next two to three years, resources
permitting. (Kathy Mihalisko & Saulius Girnius)

VELAYATI IN BAKU. Following a two-hour meeting in Baku on 25-February
between Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati and Azerbaijani
President Ayaz Mutalibov, described by both men as "good and
promising," Teheran Radio reported that Armenia and Azerbaijan
had agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire beginning on 26-February. Velayati
denied claims that Iranian Azerbaijanis are fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a statement issued on 25-February the Iranian parliament blamed
the United States for the Karabakh conflict and called on Armenians
and Azerbaijanis to end hostilities. The Nagorno-Karabakh Interior
Ministry meanwhile accused Azerbaijan of waging a fully-fledged
war against Armenia. Armenian President Lev Ter-Petrossyan was
cited by Le Figaro on 25-February as stating that the Karabakh
problem hinges on the issue of self-determination for the Armenian
population there. (Liz Fuller)

CATHOLICOS APPEAL FOR PEACE. Moskovskie novosti no 8. published
a statement by the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Vazgen
I (Catholicos) in which he appealed to all religions to advocate
peace. Catholicos said that this appeal must be urgent since
international conflicts are gaining momentum in the former Soviet
Union. Catholicos stressed that the conflict between Armenians
and Azerbaijanis in Nagorno-Karabakh has no religious coloring.(Oxana
Antic)

PRO-GAMSAKHURDIA DEMOS IN GEORGIA. Peaceful demonstrations calling
for the return to office of ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia
took place on 25-February in Tbilisi, Zugdidi, Senaki, Poti and
several towns in Abkhazia, Radio Rossii reported. The Chairman
of the Abkhaz Supreme Soviet, Vladislav Ardzinba, proposed introducing
a state of emergency in Abkhazia following a series of 13 bomb
attacks on the main railway linking Abkhazia and Tbilisi. A Chechen
parliament delegate was quoted by "Vesti" on 25-February as stating
that the Assembly of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus will send
troops to Abkhazia to halt clashes between Gamsakhurdia's supporters
and troops loyal to Georgia's ruling Military Council. In an
interview published in Nezavisimaya gazeta on 21-February Gamsakhurdia
asserted that he would continue a campaign of civil disobedience
against the Military Council. (Liz Fuller)

PATRIARCH ALEKSII OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA ON ANTI-SEMITISM.
Moscow News No. 7 published a speech made by Patriarch Aleksii
II in November, 1991, at a meeting with rabbis during his visit
to the United States. The Patriarch commented in his speech on
Jewish-Russian Orthodox relations in the past and cited examples
where Orthodox theologians defended the Jews against manifestations
of anti-semitism. The Patriarch admitted that currently anti-semitic
feelings are significant but made it clear that Orthodoxy does
not make it incumbent upon the Orthodox believer to be anti-semitic,
and if an Orthodox believer is anti-semitic, he has some "extrareligious
motivation." (See Daily Report No. 218, 1991.) (Oxana Antic)


BALTIC STATES

ESTONIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY. The 74th anniversary of Estonia's
declaration of independence on 24-February was celebrated officially
for the first time in more than fifty years, Radio Lithuania
reported on 25-February. The celebrations in Tallinn began with
a parade of Estonian defense forces in Freedom Square and continued
in the Estonia Theater, where Supreme Council Chairman Arnold
Ruutel made the main address. His Lithuanian counterpart Vytautas
Landsbergis also spoke. Ruutel presented medals to him and Estonian
ambassador to the US Ernst Jaakson, visiting his homeland for
the first time in 63-years. Representatives of other countries
also spoke. (Saulius Girnius)

TROOP WITHDRAWAL DELAYED. On 25-February journalists gathered
at the air defense battalion base at Mickunai to observe the
beginning of the withdrawal of the former Soviet Army troops
from Lithuania, the RFE Lithuanian Service reported. Expectations
were shattered, however, when it was noticed that soldiers were
busy storing firewood. Base commander Col. Vladimir Gerasimov
said that he did not know why the planned withdrawal had been
postponed, but suggested that the troops would probably leave
the base on 27-February. The approximately 100-soldiers there
will first withdraw to Vilnius, then, together with the rest
of their battery, leave Lithuania on 3-March. A commission headed
by Deputy National Defense Minister Jonas Pauzolis began an inspection
of the physical and ecological condition of the base in preparation
for its formal handover. (Saulius Girnius)

CUSTOM POSTS DIFFICULTIES CONTINUE. Lithuanian efforts to remove
the Russian border guards from the custom post at the Klaipeda-Mukran
ferry on 24-February proved unsuccessful, Radio Lithuania reports.
Chief of Staff of the Baltic District Border Guards Maj.-Gen.
Valentin Kostenko visited the post twice, the second time accompanied
by Russian TV, and said that Moscow was not allowing the troops
to be withdrawn. The chief of the district Lt.-Gen. Valentin
Gaponenko sent a telegram to Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman
Vytautas Landsbergis pointing to the paradoxical situation: Lithuania
has the right to control its borders but Russia forbids its troops
to leave. He urged Vilnius to begin direct negotiations with
Moscow. Russian border guards have also refused to leave the
post at Palanga, where the normal contingent of 6-7-persons has
been supplemented by 25-armed soldiers. (Saulius Girnius)

LATVIA RESPONDS TO CLOSURE OF CHINESE EMBASSY. The Latvian Foreign
Ministry explained that Latvia's foreign policy is aimed at creating
good relations with all states friendly toward Latvia, which
recognize its independence, and want to extend Latvia their help.
In this context Latvia decided to accept Taiwan's proposal for
establishing consular-not diplomatic-relations in order to make
Taiwan's assistance to Latvia more effective. Beijing ordered
its diplomatic staff to leave Latvia because Latvia had allowed
Taiwan to open a-consul-ate in Riga and urged Latvia to reconsider
its actions, BNS reported on 25-February. (Dzintra Bungs)

NATO LEADER IN LATVIA. Gen. Sir Brian Kenny, Deputy Supreme Allied
Commander Europe, visited Latvia on 24 and 25-February, Radio
Riga reported. The NATO leader met with Latvian Minister of Defense
Talavs Jundzis, Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs,
and others to discuss the conceptual basis of Latvia's defense.
It was decided that Latvia would send representatives in March
to a NATO school in Germany and to a NATO seminar there in May.
Prior to his arrival in Latvia, Gen. Kenny visited Lithuania.
Radio Riga reported on 25-February that NATO General Secretary
Manfred Woerner is expected in Riga in April. (Dzintra Bungs)


LATVIA'S RUSSIANS ORGANIZE. Latvijas Jaunatne reported on 13-February
that Russians who were citizens of the interwar Republic of Latvia
and their descendants are organizing their own association. One
of the organizers, Vladimir Sorochin, said that potential membership
could reach 200,000. The organization's aim is to protect the
interests of its members, including their rights to property
in Latvia. Sorochin said that this is the third time in this
century that Russia has abandoned its people-in 1918, 1940, and
now. In the past, he said, Latvia never did that, but rather
gave Russians land and jobs, so the Russians intend to cast their
lot with Latvia. He said that the organization wants to make
sure that people distinguish between the Russians in his organization
and those that belong to Interfront and other pro-Soviet organizations
that oppose Latvia's independence. (Dzintra Bungs)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SEJM COMMISSIONS CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT
PROGRAM. On 25-February, the eve of a four-day Sejm session that
will begin with discussion of the government's 1992 economic
program, four Sejm commissions-on agriculture and the food industry;
social policies; education, science and technical progress; and
economic system and industry-voiced strong criticism of the program.
According to PAP the parliamentary fraction of the Democratic
Union has already decided to vote against it. Even within the
government itself there is no consensus; at the Council of Ministers
meeting on 25-February Defense Minister Jan Parys said that he
will not support a program that cuts defense spending and urged
the government to treat defense as priority. "The people can
live more modestly," Parys said, "but it is important that they
live securely." (Roman Stefanowski)

ZLOTY DEVALUED. The Polish National Bank announced that effective
26-February the Polish zloty is to be devalued by 12%, Polish
and Western media report. Bank spokesman Tomasz Uchman said the
devaluation reflects the inflation rate and is meant to boost
exports. The zloty has been devalued under the crawling mechanism
procedure against a basket of five Western currencies. The basket
comprises the US dollar (45%), German mark (35%), pound sterling
(10%) and French and Swiss francs, (5% each). Uchman said that
following the latest devaluation, the zloty would continue to
lose about 1.8% a month against the basket of Western currencies.
(Roman Stefanowski)

RAILWAY STATIONS IN POLAND NO LONGER SECRET. The Polish government
will scrap the State Secrets Law, enacted during the 1982 martial
law period, under which it was an offense to photograph practically
any transportation facility, including even small- town railway
stations, country bridges, one-room post offices, and desolate
stretches of roads. According to Gazeta wyborcza on 25-February,
rather than giving a detailed definition of what constitutes
a state secret, the revised law provides a general definition,
limiting it to information that if revealed would compromise
the national interest, defenses, or security. (Roman Stefanowski)


KLAUS ON GERMAN TREATY. On 25-February federal finance minister
Vaclav Klaus said with the signing of the friendship treaty with
Germany on 27-February Czechoslovakia has missed a unique chance
to settle historical controversies between the two countries,
CSTK reports. He was apparently referring to issues like the
1938 Munich Pact and the Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia
after World War-II. Klaus said his country is signing a treaty
that leaves many dangerous problems unresolved, but added that
his own Civic Democratic Party would still support parliamentary
ratification. (Peter Matuska)

CZECH INDUSTRY MINISTER ON PROGRESS OF REFORM. On 25-February,
speaking to the Union of Industry of the Czech Republic, Industry
Minister Jan Vrba said the federal government's restrictive monetary
policies have reduced state revenues and contributed to a "big
decline" in industrial production. He said the country's current
problems have been the result of a lack of money for investing
in industrial plant modernization and recommended that the government
ease credit, allowing industries greater access to borrowing,
an RFE correspondent reported. (Peter Matuska)

HUNGARIAN MINISTER FOR INTELLIGENCE RESIGNS. On 25-February minister
without portfolio Andras Galszecsy, who is responsible for national
security and intelligence, submitted his resignation, MTI reported.
Galszecsy, who is to leave office at the end of the month, said
he resigned because "I simply grew tired of daily conflicts between
my own values as a civil servant and my job, which has to be
a political one." Prime Minister Jozsef Antall's office said
that it appreciated Galszecsy's work but would nevertheless accept
the resignation. (Edith Oltay)

HUNGARIAN DRAFT CALL. Some 23,000 young Hungarians will be drafted
on 26 and 27-February, Defense Ministry spokesman Col. Gyorgy
Keleti told MTI on 24-February. Some 84% of the new recruits
are unmarried and will perform 12-months of service; draftees
with children will serve 6-months in a location close to their
place of residence. (Alfred Reisch)

HUNGARY REJECTS ROMANIAN CRITICISM OF MINORITY STATEMENTS. On
25-February Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman Janos Herman
rejected Romanian charges that the Hungarian government was "irredentist
and revisionist" as "unfounded, harsh, and threatening." He reiterated
his government's position that Hungary has no territorial demands
on any country but will defend the rights of Hungarian minorities
in other countries. The Romanian government criticized a statement
by State Secretary Geza Entz that "ethnic Hungarians beyond the
border form an integral part of the Hungarian nation," a view
that has been expressed many times before. Romania also criticized
Defense Minister Lajos Fur for stating that Hungary "should do
everything in its power, using all legal and diplomatic means,
to end the threats to [Hungarian] minorities and to guarantee
their survival." This was reported by MTI. (Edith Oltay)

UNEMPLOYMENT IN ROMANIA. Rompres quoting Economistul, reports
that the number of unemployed in Romania has reached 450,000.
Only 2,315-jobs are available. (Crisula Stefanescu)

ROMANIA'S HEAVY WATER FACILITY. At a symposium on heavy water
organized by the Romanian Academy of Sciences in cooperation
with the Institute of Cryogenics and Isotope Separation it was
acknowledged that Romania's large heavy water plant at Turnu
Derin has "the second largest production capacity in the world,"
as Marius Peculea, director of the Cryogenics Institute, put
it. Peculea told Rompres that the factory was built through the
country's own efforts over a period of 25-years. (Crisula Stefanescu)


WORLD BANK CRITICAL OF BULGARIA'S SLOW REFORM PACE. John Wilton,
the official in charge of the World Bank's structural adjustment
loan to Bulgaria, told Reuters on 25-February that he is disappointed
by Bulgaria's record on economic reform since last summer. Visiting
Sofia for talks with the Bulgarian government, Wilton particularly
criticized the slow pace of privatization. Speaking on Bulgarian
radio, however, Wilton said the World Bank and the cabinet had
now agreed on a "very good, comprehensive" privatization law.
Wilton also urged the consolidation of banking and credit institutions.
(Kjell Engelbrekt)

DIMITROV MAUSOLEUM TO BE DEMOLISHED. The Sofia City Council decided
on 25-February to pull down the mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov,
leader of the Bulgarian Communist Party from 1946 to 1949. The
mausoleum together with the National Gallery- previously the
Royal Palace-dominate the Battenberg Square in downtown Sofia.
According to BTA, the tunnels connecting the mausoleum with the
recently vacated Communist Party headquarters will also be destroyed.
Dimitrov's body was removed from the mausoleum and cremated in
mid-July 1990. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

MOVEMENT IN THE EC TOWARD RECOGNIZING MACEDONIA? The former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia applied to the EC for recognition in December,
but the request has been held up by Greek opposition. Athens
fears that the republic might seek to claim parts of northern
Greece, a charge that Macedonia strongly denies. On 25-February,
the International Herald Tribune reported that some EC members
are willing to recognize the new Balkan state individually if
Greece continues to block a consensus. An unnamed German official
said: "we recognize the sensitivities of Greece, but sooner or
later we need a decision." Meanwhile, Die Presse said that Greek
consumers are boycotting Dutch goods to protest the Netherlands'
alleged leading role in obtaining EC recognition for Macedonia.
The Vienna daily quotes a Dutch Foreign Ministry official as
suggesting that the Greeks had confused Holland with Denmark.
(Patrick Moore) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson &
Charles Trumbull





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