The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are infliciting it upon me. - Frederick Douglass
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 48, 10 March 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

AZERBAIJANI POPULAR FRONT CALLS FOR DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT.
The Azerbaijani Popular Front called on 9 March for the dissolution
of parliament and transfer of legislative power to the 50-man
National Council. A parliament session scheduled for 10 March
was postponed, western news agencies reported on 9 March. (Liz
Fuller)

BOMB ATTACK IN WESTERN GEORGIA. Three policemen were killed and
several wounded in a bomb explosion and subsequent attack on
police headquarters in the west Georgian town of Zugdidi by 50-60
supporters of ousted Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia, ITAT-TASS
reported on 9 March. (Liz Fuller)

CONFUSION SURROUNDS ARMENIAN ATTACK ON CIS BASE. The Armenian
government denied claims by a CIS military spokesman that Armenian
militants had killed Soviet soldiers in an attempt on 8 March
to steal weapons from a CIS anti-aircraft base in Western Armenia.
An Armenian presidential spokesman claimed that the attackers
were Armenian refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh seeking weapons
to defend themselves against Azerbaijanis, according to The Los
Angeles Times of 10 March. (Liz Fuller)

MOSCOW GOVERNMENT DENIES PERMISSION FOR MARCH 17 RALLY. The office
of the Moscow mayor denied a request from pro-Communist opposition
groups to hold a mass rally on Manezh Square on 17 March, Radio
Mayak reported on 9 March. The radio quoted a memorandum signed
by the deputy mayor Yurii Luzhkov saying that the rally was meant
to support a meeting of the USSR Congress of People's Deputies,
disbanded after the Minsk agreement in December. The memorandum
stressed that attempts to reconvene the congress were proclaimed
unconstitutional by the Russian parliament. Luzhkov also said
rally organizers offered "insufficient guarantees" with regard
to ensuring public order. He also cited violence during a rally
held by the same groups on 23 February. (Vera Tolz)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT'S PRESIDIUM DISCUSSES DRAFT CONSTITUTION.
One of the main topics on the agenda of the Russian parliament's
presidium on 9 March was the draft Russian constitution to be
submitted to the Congress of People's Deputies opening on 6 April,
the Russian media reported. At a press conference afterwards
Oleg Rumyantsev, the secretary of the Constitutional Commission,
said that a preliminary draft would be published next week, and
the official text immediately before the congress. Participants
in the press conference foresaw sharp debate on the draft, but
said it should at least be adopted on the first reading. If not,
it should be submitted to a referendum. (Ann Sheehy)

THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION AND THE REPUBLICS. Rumyantsev repeated
that the constituent republics of the Russian Federation were
prepared to support the draft after some further reworking, but
the adoption of the constitution must be preceded by agreement
on the delimitation of powers between the center and the republics.
Ruslan Khasbulatov, chairman of the Russian parliament, said
there would be a meeting of the republican parliamentary chairmen
on 12 March, after which the process of signing the federal treaty
would start. These statements would seem to be rather sanguine
in view of the position of Tatarstan and the situation in Checheno-Ingushetia.
Moreover, "Novosti" reported on 9 March that the Bashkortostan
parliament had rejected the draft Russian constitution. (Ann
Sheehy)

RUSSIAN LEADERSHIP DECLARES WAR ON CORRUPTION. Declaring a war
on corruption, First Deputy Premier Genadii Burbulis ordered
all law enforcement agencies to urgently work out a joint program
of action against corruption. Speaking at the conference of senior
officers of 3 ministries, the State Procuracy, the Russian Foreign
Intelligence Service and the Committee for Protection of Russian
Economic Interests, Burbulis outlined the goals of the bodies
during privatization, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 March. Areas of
likely corruption include military property abroad and the trade
in oil, gold, and diamonds. The other First Deputy Premier, Egor
Gaidar, had said previously that the fight against corruption
has become the top priority of the government. This fight had
previously been proclaimed one of the country's major goals by
former general secretary Yurii Andropov-- without success. (Viktor
Yasmann & Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIAN WARNING ON NATIONAL CURRENCIES. Reuters on 9 March claimed
that it had obtained an unsigned Russian government document
that warns other CIS members against introducing their own currencies
without prior consultation. Russia is said to require republics
that are planning to issue their own currencies to surrender
80% of the rubles in circulation on their territories. The balance
would be credited to republic accounts at the Russian Central
Bank; (unspecified) action would be taken against republics that
overdraw their accounts. (Keith Bush)

POLAND, RUSSIA AGREE TO TREATY TEXT. ITAR-TASS reported on 6
March that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and Polish
Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski met in Copenhagen that
day to plan for a Russian-Polish summit to discuss concrete questions
related to bilateral relations. The report also said that the
two ministers had reached agreement on the text of a treaty of
friendship and good-neighborly relations for signing by Boris
Yeltsin and Lech Walesa. (Suzanne Crow)

KOZYREV IN BELGIUM. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev held
talks in Brussels with EC Commission President Jacques Delors
and with the Belgian foreign minister on 9 March. Russia and
Belgium signed a joint declaration pledging to seek friendly
relations. On 10 March, Kozyrev took part in the special session
of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, ITAR-TASS reported.
(Suzanne Crow)

MILITARY AGENDA FOR CIS SUMMIT IN KIEV. Twelve draft agreements
on military forces in the CIS have been prepared for the scheduled
CIS summit on March 20 in Kiev, Radio Ukraina and BELTA-TASS
reported on 9 March. It is hoped, above all, that commonwealth
leaders will reach agreement on a list that has been prepared
by the high command of the joint CIS armed forces defining those
military formations and installations that are to be included
in the strategic forces and those that are to be part of general
purpose forces. Due to especially sharp disagreements, a proposed
accord on financial contributions to a single military budget
has not yet been finalized, BELTA-TASS added. (Kathy Mihalisko)


EX-SOVIET ARMY OFFICERS TRAIN AZERI FORCES. Ukrainian officers
of the former Soviet Army stationed in Azerbaijan, have started
to help Azerbaijan set up its own army, The Financial Times reported
on 10 March. They have asked the Ukrainian government for permission
to work under contract for the Azerbaijan defense ministry to
train new Azeri troops. The Azerbaijan army will recruit volunteers
from its own state and a corps of volunteers from other former
Soviet republics. (Alexander Rahr)

PYANKOV ON DIVIDING UP THE TROOPS. Col. Gen. Boris Pyankov, director
of a group of CIS military experts tasked with resolving troop
disputes with republican governments, told Krasnaya zvezda on
7 March that the former Soviet army should be divided up in a
"civilized" manner. Pyankov also said that in the Soviet Union
the best troops and facilities had been located in the Western
republics, and that this fact explained Ukraine's hastiness to
claim all the military assets on its territory. He added that
the creation of national armies by other republics could easily
force Russia to create its own army. Pyankov's remarks were summarized
by ITAR-TASS. (Stephen Foye)

ZAPOROZHIAN COSSACKS APPEAL TO KRAVCHUK. Izvestiya, quoted by
Radio Rossiya, reported on 9 March that Zaporozhian Cossacks
have appealed to President Leonid Kravchuk for inclusion of an
article "On the Revival of Cossackry" in Ukraine's new constitution,
which is still in the draft stages. The report went on to say
that the Association of Zaporozhian Cossacks now has 100,000
members and is planning to open a boarding school. The Cossacks
already have formed a mounted guard to keep watch over Khortitsa,
the historical Sich, or base, of the Zaporozhians. (Kathy Mihalisko)


SOUTHWESTERN TVD DISBANDED, SITE TAKEN OVER BY MOLDOVA. The command
of the former USSR's Southwestern Military Theater, based in
Chisinau, is being formally disbanded during these days and its
premises are being taken over by the Moldovan Defense Ministry,
Moldovan officials told RFE/RL by telephone on 8 and 9 March.
The CIS staff has already left the premises. Although much of
its equipment has recently been spirited away to Russia, Moldova
is still inheriting a great deal of electronic and communications
equipment. (Vladimir Socor)

CHISINAU HAS NEW COMMANDER. Exercising his authority as commander
in chief of military forces in Moldova, President Mircea Snegur
has recently dismissed the commander of the Chisinau garrison,
Col. Gen. Vladlen Kolesov of the CIS forces, appointing the Moldovan
Maj. Gen. Tudor Dabija to that position, Moldovan officials told
RFE/RL by telephone on 8 and 9 March. (Vladimir Socor)

TATARSTAN PARLIAMENT ISSUES STATEMENT ON REFERENDUM. In connection
with the Russian parliament's objections to the Tatarstan referendum,
the Tatarstan parliament adopted an appeal to the people of Tatarstan
on 7 March, ITAR-TASS reported on 8 March. The appeal maintained
that "the question being put to referendum [on 21 March] does
not envisage either the secession or the non-secession of Tatarstan
from Russia." According to Radio Rossii on 9 March, the Tatarstan
parliamentary opposition objected to this interpretation of the
question, which they said had no legislative validity, and were
demanding an extraordinary session of the parliament. (Ann Sheehy)


PROTEST MEETING AGAINST TATARSTAN REFERENDUM. Between 150 and
500 opponents of the referendum staged a demonstration in Kazan
on 7 April, "Vesti" and Radio Mayak reported. They adopted a
resolution condemning the decision to hold the referendum and
complaining that the question was equivocal and incomprehensible
for most voters. The Western media had reported on 5 March that
the Russian Constitutional Court will meet on 12 March to consider
the constitutionality of the Tatarstan parliament's decision
to hold the referendum. (Ann Sheehy)

MAYOR OF DUSHANBE ARRESTED. Dushanbe mayor and Tajik Supreme
Soviet deputy Maksud Ikramov was arrested on 6 March in the chamber
of the Supreme Soviet after two-thirds of the deputies voted
to lift his parliamentary immunity, TadzhikTA-TASS reported on
7 March. He had been accused of having taken bribes, although,
according to a "Vesti" report on 8 March, a search of his apartment
had turned up only 10,000 rubles, $2, and several Iranian rials.
Ikramov sanctioned the removal of the largest statue of Lenin
in Dushanbe during anti-Communist demonstrations in September,
1991, and his arrest is probably part of the ruling Communist
Party's campaign to discredit the opposition. (Bess Brown)

IRAN AND TURKMENISTAN SIGN FOOD FOR COTTON DEAL. A Western news
agency, quoting the Iranian news agency IRNA, reported on 5 March
that the Iranian Foundation for the Oppressed and War-Disabled
has signed an agreement with the head of Turkmenistan's Foreign
Trade Committee to barter 211 tons of food for 100 tons of Turkmen
cotton. Another agreement signed in Ashkhabad provides for Iran
and Turkmenistan to exchange goods worth $60 million by the end
of 1992, IRNA reported. (Bess Brown)

AKAEV DEFENDS PRICE INCREASES. Kyrgyz president Askar Akaev has
defended January's price increases as a key step in lessening
Kyrgzystan's dependence on Russia and other CIS states, Radio
Rossii reported on 5 March. He pointed out that in 1991 Kyrgyzstan
had imported 5.2 billion rubles' worth of goods from what are
now the countries of the CIS, more than half of which came from
Russia. As a part of the "ruble zone," Kyrgyzstan was affected
by the financial shenanigans of other states. (Bess Brown)

DEFENSE OF THE PATRIARCH. On 2 March Izvestiya published an article
by Andrei Kuraev, the personal advisor of Patriarch Aleksii II
of Moscow and all Russia. Kuraev quotes a letter, Aleksii had
written in 1985 when he was the Metropolitan of Tallinn and Estonia
to Secretary General of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev. Aleksii
asked Gorbachev to grant the Church more possibilities to increase
its activities in fighting various defects and illnesses in society.
Kuraev saw this as proof that Aleksii had always tried to strengthen
and increase the Church's sphere of influence. (Oxana Antic)


KRISHNAS FLOURISHING IN RUSSIA. The Hare Krishna movement has
become Moscow's "most visible religious sect," The Chicago Tribune
reported on 8 March. Hare Krishnas claim to have sold 5 million
books during the last two years, and they say that the Moscow
Hare Krishna center receives 3,000 letters a day. (Oxana Antic)




EASTERN EUROPE

BALTIC STATES





LITHUANIAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONFERENCE. On 7 March the
Lithuanian Social Democratic Party held a conference in Vilnius,
the RFE Lithuanian Service reports. Party chairman Aloyzas Sakalas
criticized the laws on the return of property and land reform
as causing a fall in production. He called on the Supreme Council
to pass a reorganization and reconstruction program for economic
reform. He said that the Social Democrats should help form a
center coalition among the parliament's factions. The conference
passed a resolution on the political situation and guidelines
for party activities, with particular attention paid to economic
problems and social welfare. It urged that diplomatic relations
with Russia be based on the 1920 treaty between the two states.
(Saulius Girnius)

EX-SOVIET MILITARY MAY EXCHANGE APARTMENTS IN LATVIA. The Latvian
government has decided to allow ex-Soviet military personnel
to exchange their apartments in Latvia for apartments of their
choice in Russia or elsewhere, provided that the apartment in
Latvia is made available to Latvians returning to their homeland
from regions of the former USSR. This decision will be effective
until such a time that an accord on the withdrawal of armed forces
of the USSR from Latvia is ratified, BNS reported on 5 March.
(Dzintra Bungs)

ACADEMY IN LATVIA RESISTS TRANSFER. Officers of the aviation
engineering school in Daugavpils have decided to disregard the
order of Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov to transfer the school
to Engels, Russia. After visiting Engels, the officers found
the city lacks both the infrastructure and housing needed for
such a school, its staff, and students. Officers' representatives
have gone to Moscow to resolve the problems there, BNS reported
on 6 March. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN FACTORY WANTS ITS DOLLARS BACK. The Daugavpils Chemical
Fiber Plant has asked the Russian arbiters' office to intervene
in helping it get back the more than $1 million that it had deposited
in Vneshekonombank. The bank was supposed to transfer the money
from the Daugavpils plant account to pay for manufacturing equipment
from the Japanese firm Marubeni but failed to do so. The Japanese
firm has agreed to accept goods manufactured by the Daugavpils
plant as payment for the debt, BNS reported on 4 March. (Dzintra
Bungs)

BIRTH RATE DECLINES IN LATVIA. Latvijas Jaunatne of 13 February
published statistical information about Latvia in 1991 showing
that the number of births (35,413) barely exceeded the number
of deaths (34,751) and suggesting that the downward population
trend that began in 1987, when 42,365 births and 32,135 deaths
were recorded, is continuing. In 1991 23,341 marriages were performed
as compared with 25,539 in 1987. The respective figures for divorces
were 11,019 and 11,037. There has been a decline in the number
of unwed mothers: in 1991 there 1,891, in 1987--3,408. (Dzintra
Bungs)



CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

MASSIVE PROTESTS IN BELGRADE. German TV reported on 9 March that
about 40,000 people took part in antigovernment protests in the
Serbian capital. Opposition leader Vuk Draskovic called for making
"Serbia a frozen country" through strikes against President Slobodan
Milosevic's policies. He added that Milosevic has ruined Serbia
by fighting a costly but unsuccessful war that has left the country
isolated: "we don't have a friend in the world." The demonstrations
were called to mark the anniversary of last year's protests,
which at their height drew out 200,000 people. (Patrick Moore)


BOSNIAN AND OTHER TALKS CONTINUE IN BRUSSELS. Western media said
on 10 March that some progress had been made in two sets of talks
in Brussels dealing with the former Yugoslavia. One round of
discussions involves the six former republics in peace talks
and also will deal with dividing the property as well as the
legal rights and obligations of the former federation. The second
round brings together the Muslim, Serb, and Croat community leaders
of Bosnia-Herzegovina to discuss that republic's future organization.
The likely outcome is a compromise that will keep the republic
intact, as the Muslims want, but will also give broad self-rule
within it, in the manner of Swiss cantons, which the Serbs consider
essential. In other developments, the 10 March Vecernji list
reports that Iran has recognized Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia.
The Zagreb daily repeats recent speculation in the Croatian press
that the US may soon change its policy toward the Yugoslav area.
The BBC and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung note continued cease-fire
violations not only around Osijek, but near Dubrovnik, Sibenik,
Split, and Zadar as well. (Patrick Moore)

WOERNER: EAST EUROPEAN STATES COULD JOIN NATO. NATO Secretary-General
Manfred Woerner said Poland and other former communist states
might eventually be accepted into NATO but not in the immediate
future. On 9 March, two days before his visit to Warsaw, he told
PAP that NATO's relations with Poland and other Eastern countries
are part of "a dynamic process that progresses with time." At
the end of that process there will be a "possibility" of membership.
Warsaw's participation in the NATO Cooperation Council has already
"visibly improved Poland's security situation," he concluded.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski described
his trip to an extraordinary meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation
Council in Brussels as a key element of the standing cooperation
between Warsaw and European structures. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


SECOND CSCE MISSION TO CIS. Czechoslovakia, which currently holds
the rotating CSCE chair, is organizing a second mission to the
CIS, an RFE correspondent reports. The Foreign Ministry said
the mission would leave from Turkey on 10 March for a week-long
trip to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The mission's
members will meet government officials, opposition leaders, and
representatives of various ethnic communities. A first CSCE mission
is now visiting Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus. (Peter Matuska)


WALESA, OLSZEWSKI TALK. On 9 March President Lech Walesa met
with Prime Minister Jan Olszewski to discuss the Sejm's rejection
of the government's economic program on 5 March, PAP reports.
Presidential spokesman Andrzej Drzycimski said that Walesa stressed
the need to broaden the governmental coalition as a parliamentary
base for Olszewski's cabinet. According to Drzycimski, the necessity
to broaden the coalition results from Sejm's rejection of Olszewski's
sociopolitical points. The two leaders also discussed the draft
budget. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

HAVEL CALLS FOR REVIEW OF SCREENING LAW. On 9 March the Czechoslovak
president called for a review of the controversial screening
law barring people linked to the former communist regime from
holding governmental posts, Reuters reports. Havel said he was
not surprised at international pressure on Czechoslovakia to
scrap the law and said he hopes such pressure will force parliament
to reconsider it and request a Constitutional Court ruling. The
International Labor Organization had found that the law violates
labor rights and has called for it to be abolished or amended.
The Council of Europe has also criticized it as being too broad.
(Peter Matuska)

GONCZ PROPOSES FACT-FINDING COM-MITTEE. In response to the Constitutional
Court's rejection of a law that sought to lift the statute of
limitations on crimes committed by the communists, President
Arpad Goncz has asked parliament to set up a committee to uncover
and detail, by naming names and pointing out specific instances,
the political crimes committed in the period between 21 December
1944 and 23 October 1989, MTI reports. Goncz said the committee's
findings should be made public even though no legal action would
be taken, because "the Hungarian people has the right to know
its own history." Goncz is apparently responding to public disappointment
over the court's rejection of the bill and has called on all
political parties to support his recommendation. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)


HUNGARIAN-SLOVENIAN MILITARY TALKS. Slovenian Defense Minister
Janez Jansa and his Hungarian counterpart Lajos Fur discussed
the preparation of a military agreement between the two states
in Budapest, MTI reports. Regular meetings and the exchange of
military attaches were proposed, but weapons sales were not discussed.
Jansa said that given the relative inexperience of Slovenia in
military matters, all help is welcome. (Karoly Okolicsanyi) ROMANIA
DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN MOLDOVA FIGHTING. The Romanian Foreign
Ministry denied a story on Russian and CIS (Ostankino) TV that
Romanians have joined the fight in Moldova's Dniestr region against
the Russian-speaking minority that has proclaimed a separate
republic there. The Russian report claimed that 28 Romanians
had died in the fighting and their bodies had been brought back
to Romania. The Romanian Foreign Ministry on 9 March called the
allegations "obvious disinformation" and detrimental to Romanian-Russian
relations. (Mihai Sturdza)

DEMOCRATS RALLY IN BUCHAREST. Under the slogan "Justice and Bread,"
the Democratic Opposition Party organized a rally in Bucharest's
Revolution Square on 7 March. Party leader Dumitru Dinca called
on all opposition parties to support the unity of the Democratic
Convention (DC) and announced that his party, founded in January
1992, adheres to the convention, Rompres reports. (Crisula Stefanescu)


RISING INTERNATIONAL STANDING OF ROMANIA'S OPPOSITION. Paris
Mayor Jacques Chirac congratulated Crin Halaicu, recently elected
as mayor of Bucharest on the DC ticket, and expressed hope that
they might meet soon. Nicolae Manolescu, leader of the Civic
Alliance Party and for the time being the only DC candidate for
the forthcoming presidential elections, plans travel to Paris
to meet leading French political figures. A spokesman for the
National Liberal Party said that the leaders of four of the opposition
parties making up the DC will pay a visit to the US at the invitation
of the State Department. (Mihai Sturdza)

CBI CONFERENCE ON BUSINESS IN ROMANIA. On 9 March the Confederation
of British Industry (CBI) held a conference on business and investment
in Romania, Rompres reports. Industry Minister Dan Constantinescu
addressed the gathering. The CBI has pointed out that Romania
offers business opportunities in many sectors, and recent reforms
have made it an increasingly attractive partner for trade and
investment. (Crisula Stefanescu)

BULGARIA'S PATRIARCH TO BE DISMISSED. The Directorate on Religious
Faiths has stated that Patriarch Maxim, head of the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church since 1971, was not elected in conformity with
the statutes of the Church and declared his election invalid.
In a statement addressed to the Holy Synod, quoted by BTA on
9 March, the directorate pointed out that the National Church
Council, which according to statute is to be held every four
years, had not been convened for 38 years. The directorate called
on the Holy Synod to make arrangements for a regular election
of a patriarch. The statement accused the Holy Synod of having
acted arbitrarily in order to please "those whose goal it was
to annihilate the faith and the church of the Bulgarian people."
(Rada Nikolaev)


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