Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 45, 05 March 1992



SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

NEW KARABAKH PEACE INITIATIVES FROM NAZARBAEV, YELTSIN . . .
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev issued a statement
on 4 March proposing that CIS leaders call for an immediate cease-fire
a halt to attempts by all CIS states to create their own armed
forces, the creation of a CIS peacekeeping force and for mediation
by CIS representatives parallel with the CSCE initiative, Interfax
reported. In an ITAR-TASS statement, Russian President Boris
Yeltsin likewise called for an immediate cease-fire and peace
negotiations. (Liz Fuller)

. . . AND AZERBAIJAN. A spokesman for Azerbaijani President Ayaz
Mutalibov told reporters in Moscow on 4 March that Azerbaijan
would accept any offer of outside mediation in the Karabakh dispute,
Interfax reported. Addressing the UN on 4 March, Azerbaijani
Foreign Minister Hussein-Aga Sadykhov proposed the deployment
of UN peace-keeping troops along the border between Armenia and
Azerbaijan--a proposal that is likely to be rejected out of hand
by both the Armenian government and the Armenian population of
Karabakh. (Liz Fuller)

CIS WITHDRAWAL FROM KARABAKH CONTINUES. The evacuation of CIS
Troops from Stepanakert resumed on 4 March, according to ITAR-TASS;
military helicopters were used to transport troops to Gyandzha.
At a news conference in Moscow an Azerbaijani presidential spokesman
claimed that CIS troops had collaborated with Armenian forces
in the massacre of civilians during the capture of the Azerbaijani
town of Khodzhaly on February 25-26. Russian television quoted
a French journalist as claiming that video film of victims of
the Khodzhaly fighting shown at the press conference had been
falsified, and comprised old footage of an exchange of bodies
under the auspices of the Iranian Red Crescent Society. (Liz
Fuller)

DNIESTER SITUATION. Fighting in the village of Cocieri near Dubasari
on 4 March between the "Dniester Republic Guard" and Russian
Cossacks on one side and Moldovan peasants and policemen on the
other has resulted in 6 dead and 25 wounded on the "Dniester"
side and 3 dead and 4 wounded on the Moldovan side (all Moldovan
casualties are peasants). On 2 March in Dubasari, the "Dniester"
side lost 2 dead and 2 wounded while the Moldovan side incurred
no casualties. This overall casualty toll was released on 4 March
in both Chisinau and Tiraspol. These clashes mark the first time
since the outbreak of clashes in September 1991 in the Dniester
region that the dead and wounded toll favors the Moldovan side.
(Vladimir Socor)

CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT REPORTED. Sketchy reports in the Moscow
and Moldovan media on 5 March indicate that representatives of
the Moldovan government and of the authorities in Tiraspol have
met in Dubasari and concluded a cease-fire The specific terms
have not as yet been reported. (Vladimir Socor)

MOSCOW GOVERNMENT TO CURB DEMOS IN THE CAPITAL? The Moscow city
government is to seek a temporary ban on public demonstrations
following clashes in the capital on 23 February between Communist
protesters and police, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 March. The agency
said the city administration decided to "persuade" the citizens
to accept a "moratorium" on protests during the period of economic
reforms. A number of groups, including those which took part
in the 23 February protest, had asked permission to hold further
demonstrations later this month and in April. Meanwhile, on 4
March representatives of pro-Communist and nationalistic groups
demonstrated near the building of the Russian parliament, demanding
to put the leadership of the Moscow government on trial for their
alleged responsibility for the 23 February clashes. (Vera Tolz)


STATE INVESTMENT DRAMATICALLY CUT BACK. Speaking to the Russian
parliament 4 March, Russian Economics Minister Andrei Nechaev
announced a sharply reduced state investment program, ITAR-TASS
reported. In 1991 prices, the 1992 state investment program will
amount to only 60% of last year's total. The structure of investment
is different as well; investment in housing and other social
programs is increasing relative to investment in industry. (John
Tedstrom)

DETAILS ON INVESTMENT PROGRAMS. The global limit on investment
in the first quarter of 1992 is only 33 billion rubles. Some
3.7 billion rubles are targeted at the Chernobyl cleanup effort--higher
than in 1991. Other major programs include construction in the
agro-industrial complex, housing and other facilities outside
the agro-industrial complex, and transportation. No details are
available about investment for the conversion of the defense
industries or in the fuel and energy sector. As regards industrial
investment generally, enterprises are responsible under the new
conditions of enterprise management and self-financing. (John
Tedstrom)

RUSSIAN ARMS SALES. There still appears to be no real mechanism
for regulating Russian arms exports. A decree signed by Russian
President Boris Yeltsin and reported by Interfax on 27 February
tasked Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi with overseeing such
activities. Meanwhile, General Staff Chief Viktor Samsonov said
in Beijing on 2 March (as reported by ITAR-TASS) that a new Military
Committee had been created within the Russian government to supervise
Russian arms sales. It is not clear if Rutskoi will be heading
this committee. Samsonov said that sales would follow guidelines
established by the United Nations, that they would be conducted
on a commercial basis, including barter deals, and that profits
would go to the government and the defense sector. (Stephen Foye)


ARBATOV OPPOSES JOINT SPACE DEFENSE. Aleksei Arbatov, director
of the Center for Disarmament and Strategic Stability of the
Foreign Policy Association, argued in the 4 March Nezavisimaya
gazeta that Russia would be mistaken to pursue the creation of
a space-based ABM system, either on its own or in tandem with
the US. His remarks were summarized by ITAR-TASS. Arbatov said
that deployment of such a system would sharply complicate the
balance of forces between Russia and the US, and could hinder
the process of nuclear disarmament. He also said that it would
require funds that could better be used elsewhere and, if the
US emerged as the senior partner in a joint effort, could compromise
Russian sovereignty. (Stephen Foye)

RECORD GRAIN IMPORTS ENVISAGED. The General Director of Eksportkhleb,
Oleg Klimov, is still handling the grain imports for all CIS
members. In an interview with Handelsblatt of 4 March, he predicted
that the CIS will be importing record amounts of grain and feedstuffs.
Whereas in 1991, the former USSR imported a total of 34.7 million
tons of grain, Klimov expects imports of 30-32 million tons in
the period January-July 1992. For the financing of these purchases,
Klimov appeared confident that credits will be forthcoming. (Keith
Bush)

PRIVATIZATION OF GAZ AND VAZ. The GAZ truck and car plant in
Nizhni-Novgorod will be offered for sale to its 100,000 employees
and other investors this year, ITAR-TASS reported on 3 March.
The factory will first become a stock company with all shares
owned by the state. The shares will then be offered to employees,
starting in the second quarter of this year. An illustration
of the problems involved in pricing enterprises for privatization
was provided by the International Herald Tribune of 3 March.
The VAZ car plant values itself at $4 billion; Bear Stearns &
Co., representing the Russian government, has come up with a
price tag of $9 billion; but the merchant bank representing Fiat
claims that the plant is not worth more than $2 billion. (Keith
Bush)

UKRAINE-TURKMENISTAN GAS DISPUTE (CONTINUED). On 4 March, Western
news agencies continued to cover the gas price dispute between
Ukraine and Turkmenistan (see Daily Report of 4 March), but started
to report the Turkmen side of the argument. Turkmen officials
have refused to accept the "ridiculously low" price offered by
Ukraine; Deputy Prime Minister Nazar Suyunov was quoted as telling
Interfax that Turkmenistan is willing to resume negotiations
but will probably insist on a price as high as that Russia charges.
The 4 March Austrian TV news expressed alarm that Ukraine had
shut down the pipeline that carries not only Turkmen gas across
its territory, but also Russian gas to the West. (Bess Brown)


GORBACHEV IN GERMANY. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
began a one-week trip to Germany on 4 March where he met with
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for talks on the current political
situation in the former Soviet Union, Western aid, and other
topics, Western agencies reported. Gorbachev's trip is sponsored
by the Bertelsmann publishing house. (Suzanne Crow)

NO PAPAL VISIT TO CIS IN 1992. The Pope has said that he does
not plan to visit the Commonwealth of Independent States this
year, but will go "when the conditions are right," La Stampa
reported on 4 March. Relations between the Roman Catholic Church
and the Russian Orthodox Church are somewhat strained at the
present time. A joint communique on talks between the two churches
in Geneva this week called for closer consultation. (Oxana Antic)


MORE ON UPCOMING TATARSTAN REFERENDUM. Three Russian deputies,
including Oleg Rumyantsev, secretary of the Russian Constitutional
Commission, have appealed to the republic's Constitutional Court
to examine the constitutionality of the 21 March referendum on
the status of Tatarstan, Radio Rossii reported on 4 March citing
Kuranty. The deputies say the question of Tatarstan sovereignty,
being put to the vote in a veiled form, will lead to the republic's
secession from Russia, and they fear that many who do not want
a break with Russia will vote in favor because they do not understand
the essence of the question. An appeal from Russian deputies
to the people of Tatarstan is expected to be adopted on 5 March,
"Vesti" reported on 4 March. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN DECREE ON SOVIET GERMANS PUBLISHED. Yeltsin's decree
calling for the creation of German national okrugs in Saratov
and Volgograd oblasts as a first stage to restoring Russian German
statehood on the Volga was published by TASS on 4 March. The
decree was signed on 21 February. No reason was given why it
was only announced on 2 March. It entrusts the Russian government
with setting up an organizing committee to prepare proposals
for creating the national okrugs; provides for the formation
of the Russian part of a non-governmental Russian-German commission
on a stage by stage restoration of Russian German statehood;
and directs a number of ministries to conduct explanatory work
on implementing the decree. (Ann Sheehy)

FORMER PARTY PROFESSOR APPOINTED RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE.
Leonid Smolyakov, since November 1991 plenipotentiary representative
of Russia in Ukraine, has been appointed Russian ambassador to
Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reported 4 March. Smolyakov, a Russian aged
50, graduated from Kiev University in 1965, and after that worked
in Ukraine. From 1971-87 he taught in the Higher Party School
of the Ukrainian CP Central Committee, and from 1987-91 was a
professor of the CPSU Central Committee's Academy of Social Sciences.
(Ann Sheehy)

TISHKOV APPOINTED CHAIRMAN OF RUSSIA'S STATE COMMITTEE FOR NATIONALITY
POLICY. Valerii Tishkov, a professional ethnographer and director
of the Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology of the Academy
of Sciences, has been nominated chairman of Russia's State Committee
for Nationalities Policy, Radio Rossii reported on 4 March. In
an interview with the radio, Tishkov said it was too early to
talk of a program, but one of his priorities would be much better
representation for the non-Russian peoples in the political and
above all central structures of the republic. (Ann Sheehy)

ALASH PARTY MEMBERS TO BE TRIED. RFE/RL was informed on 4 March
that leaders of the ultra-nationalist Islamic Alash Party of
Kazakhstan are to be put on trial this month, after several delays.
The Alash leaders are charged with having assaulted Mufti Ratbek
Nysanbaev, head of Kazakhstan's Muslim Religious Board, insulting
the honor of President Nursultan Nazarbaev, and holding unauthorized
rallies. The group, which has never been registered, denies the
assault charges, although they accuse the mufti of working for
the KGB, but Nysanbaev says that they broke his arm. (Bess Brown)


TURKEY AND UZBEKISTAN ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. Turkish
foreign minister Hikmet Cetin signed a protocol in Tashkent on
4 March establishing diplomatic relations between his country
and Uzbekistan, Uza-TASS and Western agencies reported. One agency
reported that Uzbekistan requested that Turkey represent it in
foreign countries and international organizations, and that Uzbek
president Islam Karimov had accepted a Turkish offer to train
Uzbek diplomats. The Turkish foreign minister is on a tour of
Turkic-speaking CIS states. On 3 March he signed protocols establishing
diplomatic relations with Kyrgyzstan. (Bess Brown)

SCIENTIFIC COOPERATION IN CENTRAL ASIA. The presidents of the
Academies of Sciences of the Central Asian states and Azerbaijan
have signed an agreement to create a unified "scientific space,"
because the collapse of former connections between the republics
in scientific ventures has had a negative effect on scientific
work in the region, TASS reported on 4 March. All the Central
Asian states have sought to conclude an agreement on scientific
coordination among the agreements they have signed with neighboring
countries as well. (Bess Brown)



EASTERN EUROPE

BALTIC STATES



BALTIC REGIONAL CONFERENCE STARTS IN COPENHAGEN. The foreign
ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Finland,
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany are convening in the Danish
capital on 5 and 6 March to discuss ways of expanding cooperation
among their countries, especially in the fields of energy, environmental
protection, transportation, communications, education, and culture.
They are expected to found a council of the Baltic Sea states,
Western agencies reported on 4 March. (Dzintra Bungs)

FLUCTUATIONS IN VALUE OF RUBLE. On 4 March Radio Lithuania reported
that the Bank of Lithuania is buying US dollars for 100 rubles
and selling them for 140 rubles. Purchases of dollars are limited
$300 and may be made only by persons traveling abroad. On the
previous day dollars were bought for 100 rubles but sold for
130 rubles. On 29 January the sale and purchase prices had been
110 and 135 rubles respectively, on 5 February--125 and 135 rubles,
on 19 February--96.3 and 90 rubles. The great fluctuations undoubtedly
create confusion and are a clear indication that the ruble's
value can not be calculated accurately. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN DISSATISFACTION ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL. According to
a report carried on the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service on 4 March,
Ceslovas Stankevicius, Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme
Council, said that the withdrawal of former Soviet troops is
only symbolic. The planned withdrawals in March will primarily
involve the removal of valuable equipment and not soldiers. Problems
are likely to arise later in the spring if Russia disregards
Lithuania's clear statement that new recruits will not be allowed
to enter the republic. Stankevicius countered the Russian argument
that it needs to maintain the strength of its units by pointing
out that such considerations do not apply to an army that is
withdrawing. Moreover, Stankevicius said, according to agreements
signed with the West, the CIS is supposed to be disarming a number
of paratroop and armor units. (Saulius Girnius)

NEW TRANSPORTATION MINISTER IN LATVIA. On 4 March the Latvian
Supreme Council endorsed Andris Gutmanis as the new Minister
of Transportation, Radio Riga reports. Gutmanis replaces Janis
Janovskis, who died in a traffic accident in January. Gutmanis
was heretofore deputy minister of economic reforms. (Dzintra
Bungs)

TRAIN CRASH CLAIMS LIVES. On 3 March, Radio Riga reports, the
Riga-Moscow passenger train collided with a freight train; the
first three cars of the passenger train caught fire. The accident,
which took place about 300 km west of Moscow near the town of
Nelidovo, has so far claimed about 40 lives. (Dzintra Bungs)


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

VANCE RETURNS TO BELGRADE AND SARAJEVO. International media reported
on 4 March that UN special envoy Cyrus Vance held talks in Belgrade
with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and federal Defense
Minister Blagoje Adzic. Vance said that Adzic is firmly behind
the peace plan, and Milosevic told the press that there are no
more obstacles to the UN plan. Vance ruled out sending additional
UN peace-keeping troops to Bosnia, however. He is holding talks
in Sarajevo on 5 March, where, on 4 March, President Alija Izetbegovic
and hundreds of citizens took to the streets in the evening to
show that one could walk about safely. Earlier that day Izetbegovic
told Le Figaro that a "balance of fear" was keeping the peace
in the tense, ethnically mixed republic. (Patrick Moore)

POLISH TROOPS TO SERVE IN CROATIA. President Lech Walesa has
instructed Defense Minister Jan Parys to send Polish troops to
serve in the UN Peace Force in Croatia. Gen. Marian Robelek is
in overall charge. A Defense Ministry spokesman told PAP on 4
March that the 900-man battalion will be recruited among volunteers
mainly from the Silesian Military Region. An advance group is
going to Croatia later this month. Over the past 40 years Poland
has participated in four international commissions and one observer
group and has provided two UN peace force contingents--in the
Sinai and the Golan Heights. (Roman Stefanowski)

GENERAL MOTORS INVESTS IN POLAND. A long-awaited memorandum of
understanding was signed in Warsaw on 28 February between Robert
Eaton, President of General Motors Corporation-Europe and Poland's
Industry and Trade Minister Andrzej Lipko. According to Western
media, GM agreed to invest $75 million in a joint venture with
the state owned FSO Warsaw auto maker. Eaton told a press conference
that GM's investment in Poland could grow to more than $300 million
dollars "if conditions are appropriate." A specially built assembly
line will produce 35,000 Opel Astras annually, mainly for Poland's
domestic use. Having outbid French and Italian competitors, GM
will own 70% of the joint venture, with the Poles holding 30%.
GM has also agreed to help update the technologically outdated
Polonez hatchback. (Roman Stefanowski)

MORE HELP FOR POLISH SCIENCE. German Research and Technology
Minister, Heinz Riesenh|ber, told a Warsaw press conference on
4 March that Poland may expect a substantial share of the 45
million-ecu PHARE EC research fund, provided it proposes concrete
projects. According to Polish and Western media, Riesenh|ber
also said that Germany is providing an initial DM 2.1 million
to set up the joint Polish-German Historical Institute in 1993
"where scholars of both countries can collaborate and to draw
conclusions from our common, not always contentious past." Riesenh|ber
has also inspected the Kaweczyn Electric Power Plant, built with
German cooperation and which has pioneered in technologies to
eliminate the emanation of sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide. (Roman
Stefanowski)

HAVEL: STATE SYSTEM MUST BE CHANGED. On 4 March, in an interview
with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, President Vaclav Havel
said the country's federal system is a relic of the past and
"cannot be preserved." Havel, however, doubted the change would
mean a split between the Czechs and the Slovaks. He stressed
that the country's citizens must have the right to decide on
the state order in a referendum, and criticized those who advocate
an independent Slovakia but oppose such a referendum. "They know
an unequivocal vote for unity would undercut separatism for a
long time." (Peter Matuska)

PARLIAMENT VOTES FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO SECRET POLICE FILES. On
4 March the Czechoslovak parliament approved a resolution allowing
all citizens access to files kept on them by the former StB secret
police. The decision requires the federal government to take
measures to enable opening of the files, an RFE/RL correspondent
reports. The parliament rejected a proposal that the federal
government be asked to submit a bill allowing publication of
the names of StB members and collaborators. (Peter Matuska)

EAGLEBURGER ON INVESTING IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, BULGARIA. Addressing
a conference of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in
Washington on 4 March, Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger
called Bulgaria "one of the great but largely unsung success
stories of postcommunist Europe" and said that no government
in Eastern Europe "is more unreservedly committed to economic
liberalism" than that in Prague. He said he would not hesitate
to encourage Americans to invest in Czechoslovakia, despite the
many irritants that remain there for Western business executives.
Bulgaria, he said, has great potential as a trading partner and
has made great progress in creating a climate attractive to foreign
partners. Bulgarian Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov and Czechoslovak
federal Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus, both on visits in the
US, each attended the conference, an RFE/RL correspondent reports.
(Peter Matuska & Rada Nikolaev)

HUNGARY REIMPOSES VISAS FOR CHINESE. A Hungarian Foreign Ministry
spokesman told an RFE/RL correspondent on 3 March that Hungary
will reintroduce visas for Chinese effective 17 March as part
of a new effort to curb the tide of illegal immigration. Visas
for Chinese were abolished in January 1989, and since then thousands
of visiting Chinese have chosen to stay in Hungary illegally
beyond the 30 days permitted by law. The Hungarian Ministry of
Interior estimates that some 25,000 Chinese came to Hungary last
year alone. Many tried to slip across the border into Austria
on their way to the West, while others stayed in Hungary and
earned their living selling goods in the street and by establishing
businesses. Chinese restaurants have been proliferating in Budapest
and in the suburbs. (Edith Oltay)

HUNGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN RESIGNS. On 4 March Hungarian
Defense Ministry spokesman Gyorgy Keleti handed in his resignation,
MTI reports. Keleti spent 28 years in military service and was
one of the few senior officials in the ministry remaining from
the communist era. An official ministry statement said that Keleti's
departure was "associated with recent changes in ministry personnel
and organization." Keleti told Radio Budapest that he was finding
it increasingly difficult to obtain access to information within
the ministry and was coming under criticism for his association
with the Hungarian Socialist Party, the former communist party.
Keleti became well known during the Romanian revolution when
he provided the press with reports intercepted by Hungarian military
monitors. (Edith Oltay)

HUNGARY, UKRAINE SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT. On 3 March
Hungarian Defense Ministry State Secretary Erno Raffay and Ukrainian
Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov signed a military cooperation
agreement in Budapest, MTI reports. The agreement calls for an
exchange of information and cooperation between the two defense
ministries on disarmament and training. Raffay announced that
military attachis will soon be posted in Budapest and Kiev. The
treaty is intended to replace the one signed with the Soviet
Union just before its breakup. Hungary shares a 135 km border
with Ukraine and has already concluded defense agreements with
former Warsaw Pact members Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria,
and Poland. (Edith Oltay)

ROMANIA'S PARLIAMENT DEBATES BUDGET. On 4 March the parliament
began debates on a 1992 austerity budget, which stresses low
inflation at the expense of economic growth. The state expects
to collect 1992 revenues of about $5.21 billion with estimated
expenditures of $5.66 billion--a planned deficit of some $450
million. Reuters quotes budget expert Mircea Cosea as saying
that since state spending is no longer centralized, the budget
reflects only a small part of what will be produced in Romania.
According to official figures, the share of the private sector
in the gross national domestic product--which stood at 2,100
million lei (the leu is currently quoted at 198 per dollar)--rose
to 21% compared with only 15% in 1990. (Crisula Stefanescu)

GERMAN OFFICIAL URGES ETHNIC GERMANS TO STAY IN ROMANIA. Horst
Waffenschmidt, German Secretary of State for Repatriation of
Ethnic Germans, on a three-day official visit to Romania, urged
ethnic Germans to stay in Romania rather than emigrate to Germany.
He assured them that the door to Germany will remain open but
stressed he did not think they now face oppression in Romania.
Waffenschmidt told Rompres on 4 March that the two countries
will set up a joint commission on ethnic German affairs. (Crisula
Stefanescu)

KOZLODUY UPDATE. A Bulgarian government official, quoted by Western
agencies, said on 4 March that the damage caused by fire outside
the 1,000-megawatt No. 6 reactor at the Kozloduy nuclear power
plant has been repaired and preparations are being made to reconnect
it to the power grid. The fire broke out last Saturday night,
just after it was announced on TV that energy rationing would
be discontinued. Rationing had been in force since early February
at the rate of three hours on, one hour off, but a two-and-two-hour
schedule was temporarily imposed for one day last week. The frequency
of accidents at Kozloduy has prompted increasing allegations
in the press of sabotage. Meanwhile, on 4 March Bulgarian officials
criticized French environmentalist Jacques Yves Cousteau, who
has been monitoring pollution of the Danube, for taking unnecessary
risks when he made a helicopter flight over Kozloduy on 29 February.
(Rada Nikolaev)


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

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