What you can become, you are already. - Friedrich Hebbel
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 41, 28 February 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

MEAGER RESULTS OF MEETING OF CIS PARLIAMENTARY LEADERS. The meeting
of CIS parliamentary leaders in Moscow on 27-February had much
in common with the earlier meetings of CIS leaders in Minsk,
to judge from CIS and Western agency reports. The participants
were upbeat about the results, but only four out of the nine
documents on the agenda were signed, and the major issue-the
possible creation of an interparliamentary assembly-was once
again postponed. Aleksandr Emets, a member of the Ukrainian delegation,
said after the meeting that Ukraine was concerned that any coordinating
bodies within the CIS "could very soon turn into ruling bodies."
The parliamentary leaders are to meet again in Alma-Ata at the
end of March. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN MEETS FEDERATION'S REPUBLICAN PREMIERS. President Yeltsin
told the premiers of the constituent republics of the Russian
Federation at a meeting on 27-February that he would propose
at the Congress of People's Deputies in April that they suspend
the "parade of sovereignties" for two years and get on with dealing
with the problems facing Russia, ITAR-TASS reported, citing Yeltsin's
acting press spokesman Aleksei Novikov. The idea is said to have
been supported by 15-of the 21-republics. Yeltsin said that the
leaders of the republics would receive the final draft of the
new Russian constitution at the beginning of next week and they
would meet in Moscow in mid- March to discuss it. Those present-it
was not revealed how many republics were represented-are said
to have supported Yeltsin's proposal that a federal treaty should
be signed with a view to its forming part of the new constitution.
(Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIAN ECONOMIC REFORM PACKAGE ADOPTED. The Russian cabinet
has adopted a memorandum on the Federation's economic policy
for 1992 that had previously been approved by the International
Monetary Fund, ITAR-TASS reported on 27-February. The "shadow
program," in IMF parlance (see The Wall Street Journal of 27-February),
will be forwarded to the IMF "in the nearest future" to support
Russia's application for full membership of the Fund. If membership
is granted, at the end of-April as anticipated, Russia would
then qualify for IMF assistance as early as June or July. The
full text of the program will be published next week. (Keith
Bush)

MORE PRICES TO BE DECONTROLLED. A-salient feature of the reform
program is the planned deregulation of almost all retail prices
by the end of March. The exceptions listed by economic advisers
Konstantin Kagalovsky and Aleksei Ulyukaev were the retail prices
of medicines, certain baby foods, and public utilities such as
heating, water, gas, and electricity. The wholesale prices for
energy-carriers will be gradually adjusted upwards until their
prices reach about 30% of the world levels. Russian Deputy Prime
Minister Egor Gaidar expressed the conviction that Russia will
have a normally functioning market economy by the end of 1992,
and "low" inflation rates of 2-3% a month. (Keith Bush)

YELTSIN STRENGTHENS CONTROL OVER SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY.
Russian President Yeltsin has placed himself directly in charge
of the ministries of security, foreign affairs and justice. A
decree "On the Ministries of the Russian Federation" dated 25-February
stipulates that in order to ensure the swifter resolution of
questions arising from the implementation of economic reform,
the president himself will direct these ministries, Rossiiskaya
gazeta reported on 28-February. The decree also stipulates that
First Deputy Prime Minister Gennadii Burbulis is now responsible
for the daily operations of the foreign ministry and Deputy Prime
Minister Sergei Shakhrai for the daily activities of the ministries
of security and internal affairs. (Alexander Rahr)

RUTSKOI'S NEW POWERS. President Yeltsin has signed a decree on
the new duties of the vice president. The decree empowers Aleksandr
Rutskoi to issue orders on agricultural matters which are binding
on ministries, departments, and organs of executive power in
Russia, Interfax reported on 27-February. The decree tasks Rutskoi
to direct the conversion of the military-industrial complex into
the agriculture sector and to use proceeds from arms sales and
from selling former Soviet military real estate abroad to modernize
agriculture. In addition, Rutskoi will be responsible for selling
military hardware and armaments abroad. (Alexander Rahr)

NUKES BEING MOVED TO RUSSIA. A senior CIS defense official told
participants at an arms seminar in Washington on 27-February
that the transfer of short-range nuclear weapons from other CIS
republics to Russia will probably be completed in May, two months
ahead of schedule. General Sergei Zelentsov said that short-range
nuclear weapons had already been moved to Russia from all republics
except Belarus and Ukraine. Evgenii Avrorin, chief scientist
at the Russian nuclear arms complex at Chelyabinsk-70, told the
same conference that he knew of no former Soviet scientists who
have been employed by Third World countries. He also said that
about half of all nuclear scientists formerly employed by the
USSR are no longer working on military projects. Their remarks
were reported by Western agencies. (Stephen Foye)

KAZAKH OFFICIAL ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Krasnaya Zvezda on 26-February
published an interview with Burkutbay Ayagonov, identified as
the chief of the public opinion research and sociological forecasting
section in the office of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.
Ayaganov said that Kazakhstan's possession of nuclear weapons
would enable it to be "an equal among other sovereign states."
He also noted that Kazakhstan was surrounded by nuclear and potential
nuclear powers and thus would "always feel safer with nuclear-tipped
strategic missiles on its territory than without them." He supported
the "single defense area" as long as ex-Soviet missiles were
based in four republics but suggested that future control of
these weapons should be based on a new, bilateral agreement between
Russia and Kazakhstan once strategic weapons were removed from
Ukraine and Belarus. (Doug Clarke)

RUSSIAN MILITARY ADVISORS TO REMAIN IN ANGOLA. Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev, visiting Angola, said on 27-February
that military cooperation with the West African nation would
continue, and this would mean leaving "a small number of Russian
military-technical specialists" in the country. ITAR-TASS said
that Kozyrev also indicated that an agreement had been reached
during his talks with Angolan authorities to wrap up the activities
of the former Soviet military mission to Angola. (Doug Clarke)


DUDAEV SENDS ULTIMATUM TO RUSSIA. Chechen President Dzhakhar
Dudaev sent Yeltsin an ultimatum on 27-February threatening to
stop delivering oil products to Russia if Russia did not let
Chechnya have the one billion rubles it is owed within three
days, "Novosti" reported on 28-February. Chechnya produces 92%
of the aviation oil in Russia. (Ann Sheehy)

FOOD SITUATION IN ST. PETERSBURG. Interviewed on Russian TV on
27-February, parliamentarian Galina Starovoitova said that the
food situation has recently improved slightly in her constituency,
St. Petersburg. Starovoitova's impression is supported by reports
from other informants, who say the situation is now comparable
to what it was in 1984. (Elizabeth-Teague)

YELTSIN TAKES STEPS TO SAVE PRESS FROM BANKRUPTCY. President
Yeltsin signed a decree "On Additional Legal and Economic Safeguards
for the Periodical Press and State Book Publishers," the Russian
media reported on 25-February. On 26-February, Radio Rossii provided
details of the decree which orders paper producers to sell 70%
of their output for a fixed price which can not exceed 4,000
rubles per ton. The decree also promises subsidies for Rospechat
(the Russian retail newspaper agency), which has a monopoly on
the distribution of periodicals in Russia. The subsidies will
lower the prices which Rospechat charges newspapers for its services.
Yeltsin's decree comes in response to sharp complaints by Russian
journalists, editors and publishers. (Vera Tolz)

CREATION OF "VOICE OF RUSSIA." Beginning on 1-March, the former
Soviet foreign broadcasting service (Inoveshchanie) will be transformed
into the "Voice of Russia" under the administration of the Russian
State Radio and Television Company headed by Oleg Poptsov, Radio
Moscow reported on 27-February. The new station will take over
the assets, facilities and employees of Radio Moscow's external
broadcasting. "Voice of Russia" will broadcast in the same foreign
languages and on the same wavebands as the former external services.
(Victor Yasmann)

NEW WOMEN'S GROUP FORMED. St.-Petersburg women have formed a
movement called "Survival," Russian Information Agency reported
on 26-February. Its purpose is to fight against the commercialization
of creches and kindergartens, price rises, and unemployment which,
the group points out, is especially high among female workers.
Further details of the group are not available but its creation
bears out the impression that, as in other former Socialist countries
such as the former GDR, women are bearing much of the brunt of
the transition to the market. (Elizabeth Teague)

CRIMEA AND UKRAINE. Crimean lawmakers are continuing to discuss
the draft of a new constitution for the Republic of Crimea, "Novosti"
reported on 26 and 27-February. Thus far, the deputies have dropped
the word "autonomous" and the phrase "within Ukraine" from the
republic's basic law. At the same time, it does not refer to
secession from Ukraine and the delineation of powers between
Crimea and Ukraine is now under discussion. (Roman Solchanyk)


"RUKH" CONVENES ITS THIRD CONGRESS. The-Ukrainian democratic
reform movement "Rukh," formerly the focus of opposition to the
communist regime, begins its third congress on 28-February, Western
agencies reported. "Rukh" is threatened by a split between those
urging support for the policies of Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk and proponents of keeping the organization in opposition
to the current leadership of the country. (Roman Solchanyk)

BELARUSIAN OFFICIAL ON FUTURE OF NATIONAL ARMY. Myacheslau Hryb,
chairman of the Belarusian Supreme Soviet Commission on Security,
Defense, and the Fight Against Crime, told Krasnaya zvezda on
27-February that Belarus needs a small but effective army. Hryb
said his country will have a force of approximately 90,000 servicemen.
After a certain transitional period, Belarus will assume responsibility
for all costs related to the maintenance of an army on its territory.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

CEASE-FIRE COLLAPSES IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH . . . Armenia and Azerbaijan
blamed each other for the violation after only a few hours of
the 3-day ceasefire brokered by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali
Akbar Velayati. Radio Rossii reported on 27-February that Azerbaijan
launched a major offensive against the town of Askeran, using
tanks and military helicopters, but according to ITAR-TASS, the
shooting stopped at nightfall. The renewed fighting forced Velayati
to abandon plans to visit the disputed region; he travelled instead
direct to Erevan. The Armenian Defense Ministry has broadcast
an appeal to Armenians serving in the CIS armed forces to return
home to form the basis of an Armenian National Army. (Liz Fuller)


BUT THE SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS CON-TINUES. Addressing a meeting
of foreign ministers of CSCE member states in Prague on 27-February,
Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier called on the Presidents
of Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the fighting in the region and
begin peace nego-tiations. The French Secretary of State for
Human-itarian Affairs Bernard Kouchner has revealed details of
the French plan to provide humanitarian aid to Karabakh and deploy
monitors to observe a ceasefire. In Geneva a spokesman said the
International Red Cross will begin humanitarian operations in
the NKAO in two-three weeks. (Liz Fuller)

AKAEV ON INFORMATION FAMINE. Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev has
proposed the creation of a "unified information space" embracing
the entire CIS as a means of overcoming the present information
famine, KyrgyzTAG-TASS reported on 27-February. The report notes
that many publica-tions do not reach the population of many parts
of the former USSR, broadcast times of central TV and radio have
been reduced, and local journalists cannot fill the information
gap. Akaev has proposed that representatives of the most popular
dailies and of press services gather in Bishkek to devise an
all-CIS information policy. (Bess Brown)

NEW VICE PRESIDENT IN KYRGYZSTAN. Feliks Kulov, Kyrgyzstan's
liberal MVD chief, has been elected vice-president on the recommendation
of Kyrgyz President Akaev, KyrgyzTAG-TASS reported on 27-February.
Kulov, one of Akaev's closest associates in the latter's efforts
to create a functioning democracy in Kyrgyzstan, received an
award from Gorbachev for his role in defending democratization
in the republic during the August coup. Akaev's choice may reflect
his concern, expressed in an interview with Pravda of 10-February,
that social and ethnic stresses resulting from the economic reform
program could endanger political liberalization. Kulov would
be expected to defuse tensions in Kyrgyzstan as a whole with
the same skill he used in Frunze in 1990. (Bess Brown)

BALTIC STATES

ESTONIAN REHABILITATION LAW. On 27-February responding to the
charges on 24-February by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman
Vitalii Churkin that the Estonian rehabilitation law would clear
Nazi war criminals, Estonia's parliament issued a statement saying
that Nazi war criminals were not included, Reuters reports. The
law, passed on 19-February, rehabilitates those who had been
sentenced by Soviet tribunals without court trials, but explicitly
states that the Estonian Supreme Court could reopen cases if
evidence linking a rehabilitated person to actual war crimes
were presented. (Saulius Girnius)

SOVIET TROOPS LEAVE MICKUNAI. On 27-February troops of the former
Soviet Union left the air defense division base at Mickunai,
Radio Lithuania reports. The planned signing of documents handing
over the base after inspection did not occur because the Russian
side did not show up. Moreover, most of the military equipment
was transferred to the base in Visoriai in violation of the agreement
that Lithuania would be informed prior to any military movements.
When asked about the reports that the troops leaving Lithuania
would pass through Latvia en route to Pskov Oblast, Latvian Minister
of Defense Talavs Jundzis said that without obtaining Latvia's
agreement such activities would be a "gross violation of international
law." (Saulius Girnius)

.-.-.-AND WHAT ABOUT LATVIA? German Bundestag deputies interested
in defense issues ended a visit to Latvia on 27-February, Radio
Riga reported. After meeting with Latvian leaders, they talked
with the commander of the Northwestern Group of Forces. When
asked for the withdrawal timetable of the troops (which the Germans
estimate to number 170,000) from the Baltic States, Col. Gen.
Valerii Mironov would only say the pullout of the 120,000 troops
will take about five years. Noting that some troops prefer to
stay on account of their families, he added that the problems
of housing and infrastructure would have to be solved before
they can depart. In a related development, Latvian Premier Ivars
Godmanis said that Moscow had agreed that the pullout of troops
would be proportional and parallel from each of the Baltic States.
(Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN CUSTOMS CONFISCATES PETRO-LEUM FROM THE ARMY. On 25-February
Latvian customs officers confiscated 750-tons of petroleum from
the ex-Soviet army detachment stationed near Daugavpils. Army
officials had tried to divert to a destination outside Latvia
the railroad transport bringing the petroleum to the city of
Daugavpils. Now Daugavpils is using the badly needed-petro-leum.
The customs officers also told BNS on 26-February that the army
detachment would be charged a hefty fine for this offense, especially
since in the past the unit had also been involved in the il-legal
transport of goods outside Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA'S BUDGET FOR FIRST HALF OF 1992. After days of heated
debate, on 27-February the Latvian Supreme Council adopted a
budget of 6.6-billion rubles, according to BNS and Radio Riga.
Roughly broken down, 25% of the budget goes for education, 18%
for fostering the economy, 27% for culture and social security,
and 16% for state administration (including courts), 6% for defense,
and 7% for the Internal Affairs Ministry. Special assignations
were made to help compensate for the increased cost of heating,
the development of Latgale, the easternmost region of Latvia,
and the preservation of the Baltic coastal area inhabited by
the Livs, a Finno-Ugric minority that has lived there for centuries
and is on the verge of extinction. (Dzintra Bungs)

LANDSBERGIS IN MONACO. On 27-February Lithuanian Supreme Council
Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis spoke at a forum on European security
in Monaco, Radio Lithuania reports. He also held talks with Prince
Rainier on ecological problems, tourism, and cultural exchanges.
On 28-February he will hold talks with NATO representatives and
travel to Bonn for meetings with German President Richard von
WeizsŠcker and Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. On 29-February
he will speak at a political forum on "Freedom, Equality, Solidarity"
in Hamburg before returning to Lithuania in the evening. (Saulius
Girnius) 

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE KOHL, HAVEL SIGN FRIENDSHIP
TREATY. On 27-February German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Czechoslovak
President Vaclav Havel signed a friendship treaty aimed at putting
decades of distrust behind their countries. The treaty acknowledges
the Czechoslovak state's continuous existence since 1918, and
said the two countries have no territorial claims toward each
other, that they will not raise any in the future, and that they
will settle all disputes by peaceful means. The treaty provides
for expanded bilateral economic cooperation and ensures Germany's
support for Czechoslovakia's entry into the European Community,
CSTK reports. (Peter Matuska)

DIENSTBIER URGES ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN TO HALT FIGHTING. Chairing
a meeting of foreign ministers of the 48-state Conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) on the Nagorno-Karabakh
crisis, Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier asked the
presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to end the fighting and
open peace negotiations. The two-day meeting, which opened in
Prague on 28-February is considering the findings of a special
Czechoslovak-led CSCE team that visited Armenia, Azerbaijan and
Nagorno-Karabakh earlier in-February. A CSCE spokesman told an
RFE correspondent that the fact-finding team was "highly alarmed"
at the situation. (Peter Matuska)

MOST CZECHS AND SLOVAKS LACK CONFIDENCE IN PARLIAMENT. The percentage
of the country's population expressing trust in the Federal Assembly
dropped 9% from last November to this-February, bottoming out
at 26%, according-to the Prague and Bratislava-based Institute
for Public Opinion Research, CSTK reports. The Czechs' trust
in the Federal Assembly declined from 37% to 25%, while the Slovaks
rate of approval dropped from 31% to 29%. In the Czech Republic,
the most pop-ular party is the right-wing Civic Democratic Party
(ODS) headed by Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus, which garnered
a 22% rating (up 1% from January). In the Slovak republic, 31%
(up 4% from January) favor the opposition center-left Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) led by former Slovak Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar. (Peter Matuska)

OLECHOWSKI: DEFICIT SHOULD BE HALVED. Andrzej Olechowski, Poland's
finance minister-designate, told journalists on 27-February that
the projected $10 billion budget deficit should be halved. According
to PAP, Olechowski said he would prefer to have the entire deficit
invested in future economic growth by financing big projects,
building up the infrastructure, and setting up credit institutions,
thereby regaining public confidence. In the 27-February Sejm
debate on the government's economic program, some speakers pointed
out that the program does not meet the expectations of the citizenry.
The Sejm will vote on the program on the 28th. (Roman Stefanowski)


NO GIVEAWAY PRIVATIZATION IN POLAND. Privatization Ministry spokeswoman
Jolanta Szaban told a press conference in Warsaw that the ministry
had changed its mind about giving citizens free share vouchers,
Reuters reported on 27-February. Free shares had been touted
as one of the main attraction of the country's mass privatization
drive. Szaban said that a survey showed that people tend to appreciate
more something for which they have paid, and for this reason
the ministry is expected to recommend that shares be sold at
5-20% of their face value. (Roman Stefanowski)

LITHUANIAN-POLISH ECONOMIC COOPER-ATION. On 27-February in Warsaw
Lithuanian Economics Minister Albertas Simenas and his Polish
counterpart Adam Glapinski signed an agreement on economic cooperation.
According to PAP the agreement covers a wide field, from construction
materials, food processing, finance and banking to tourism and
environmental protection. The agreement is particularly intended
to foster border region cooperation. (Roman Stefanowski)

BUDAPEST AWARDED 1996 WORLD FAIR. On 27-February, the Paris-based
International Expositions Office awarded Budapest the right to
host the 1996 World Fair. Last fall the Hungarian government
abandoned the idea of staging the fair because of the opposition
of the Budapest city council, which argued that Hungary could
not afford it. Last December, however, the Hungarian parliament
decided to proceed, and Budapest subsequently approved scaled-down
plans for the event. The Hungarian Economic Chamber welcomed
the news, describing the fair as "Hungary's greatest business
undertaking, [which] offers an unprecedented opportunity for
the development of the Hungarian economy." Foreign Minister Geza
Jeszenszky said that holding the fair in Hungary would show the
world what can be achieved in post-communist Europe. (Edith Oltay)


ROMANIA CLARIFIES POSITION ON HUNGARIAN STATEMENTS. On 26-February
Undersecretary of State at the Foreign Ministry Gheorghe Tinca
emphasized that the ministry's 21-February statement, responding
to earlier statements by Hungarian Defense Minister Laszlo Fur
and Secretary of State Geza Entz on the situation of Hungarians
abroad, was meant to underscore-the seriousness with which the
Romanian side is treating the issue. The Romanians found "peculiar"
and "incompatible with international law" Fur's affirmation that
the defence of Hungarians everywhere is an inseparable part of
Hungarian national security. Furthermore, they found his statement
referring to the threat to the Hungarian minority in neighboring
countries lacking in any factual basis as far as-Romania is concerned,
Rompres reports. (Crisula Stefanescu)

BRITISH COMMISSION TO STUDY ROMANIAN PSYCHIATRIC ABUSES. British
parliamentarians are setting up a commission to work for the
rehabilitation of psychiatry in Romania. The unofficial nonpartisan
group, set up following a visit by two legislators, senior psychiatrists,
and human rights campaigners to Bucharest who looked into allegations
of systematic psychiatric abuse, will monitor and attempt to
improve conditions in Romania's psychiatric hospitals. The Romanian
government has agreed to a full-scale independent investigation,
an RFE correspondent reports. (Crisula Stefanescu)

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS LAW ON BANKS. On 26-February a law
defining the status and rules of banks and credit institutions
was passed on its final reading in the National Assembly. Speaking
on Bulgarian TV the same evening, Bulgarian National Bank director
Todor Valchev envisaged major changes in banking within the near
future. Valchev said that in its second letter of intent to the
IMF, the government promises a consolidation of the banking system
that will likely result in a decrease in the number of large
banks from over 80 to 10. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

REFERENDUM WEEKEND IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. On 29-February and
1-March citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina will vote on independence
for their multiethnic republic. The referendum takes place at
a time of serious political and economic crisis, which many Bosnians
fear could lead to civil war. The main issue is finding agreement
on the republic's political shape among the three major ethnic
groups. Serbs oppose independence, while the Muslims and Croats
support it. There has been widespread speculation that the Croats
and Serbs have agreed to divide the republic between themselves;
Muslims have publicly opposed a number of suggested reorganization
plans. Montenegro also holds a referendum on 1-March in which
it is expected to approve continued participation with Serbia
in a rump Yugoslav federation. Montenegro's government supports
this idea, but Muslim and Albanian leaders in the republic do
not. Further, residents of the Montenegrin capital Titograd will
vote to have the city's name revert to Podgorica as it was called
before 1945. (Milan Andrejevich)

SERBIA'S PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC SAYS WAR IS NEARLY OVER. In his
first address to the Serbian parliament in months, Milosevic
declared on 27-February that the impending arrival of UN peace-keeping
forces means the war in Croatia will soon be over. Austrian TV
said that he also repeated his call for all Serbs to be united
in one state, but the BBC reported that such a reference was
noticeably absent. Milosevic made his speech on the eve of the
referendums in Bosnia and Montenegro, and less than two weeks
before a major opposition protest is scheduled to take place
in Belgrade. Meanwhile, Croatian media reported cease-fire violations
from Dubrovnik to Osijek, which the Serbian-dominated forces
shelled for 8-hours. On 26-February, ITAR-TASS said that a joint
session of "the parliaments of the Serbian autonomous regions
in Croatia" voted in Borovo Selo to replace Milan Babic with
Goran Hadzic as "president." (Patrick Moore) As of 1200 CET Compiled
by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull






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