Нет победителя сильнее того, кто сумел победить самого себя. - Г. У. Бичер
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 49, 11 March 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

SHEVARDNADZE NAMED HEAD OF GEORGIAN STATE COUNCIL. On 10 March
a joint meeting of the ruling Georgian Military Council and the
Consultative Council decided to dissolve both bodies and create
as a temporary legislative and executive body a State Council
which Eduard Shevardnadze will head. Dzhaba Ioseliani, one of
the co-chairmen of the Military Council, will serve as his deputy;
acting Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua and Military Council co-chairman
Tengiz Kitovani were also named members of the State Council,
which is to begin work today, Russian and Western media reported.
(Liz Fuller)

NEW DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVE ON NAGORNO-KARABAKH. A meeting in Brussels
of the North Atlantic Consultative Council on 10 March called
upon the CSCE to make a new attempt to mediate in the Nagorno-Karabakh
dispute. Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier, whose
country is currently CSCE chairman, immediately accepted and
later held talks with the foreign ministers of both Armenia and
Azerbaijan. Russia and Turkey have both endorsed the new initiative;
the Russian Foreign Ministry has set up a 7-man working group
on Nagorno-Karabakh, Interfax reported on 10 March. RIA on 10
March quoted Yeltsin's advisor on ethnic affairs, Galina Starovoitova,
as arguing that Russia should recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic, which has requested CIS membership. (Joel Blocker/Liz
Fuller)

KAZAKHSTAN MUSLIMS URGED TO FIGHT IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. The leadership
of the Kazakh National-Democratic Party "Zheltoksan" has urged
people to volunteer to defend Muslims "from Armenian militants"
in Nagorno-Karabakh, Interfax reported on 10 March. Party chairman
Hasan Kozhakmetov said he wants to discuss the issue with Kazakhstan
president Nursultan Nazarbaev, and that, if government bodies
refuse to provide material assistance, party activists will raise
funds themselves. According to Kozhakhmetov, a congress of the
Turkestan movement in Tashkent on 7 March also supported the
idea of forming a Muslim battalion for action in Nagorno-Karabakh.
(Ann Sheehy)

COALMINERS' STRIKE POSTPONED. On 10 March, the Kuzbass Federation
of Trade Union Organizations postponed for one day a general
strike, originally scheduled for March 11, TASS and Radio Rossii
reported. The strike had been called after a breakdown in talks
with the Russian government over pay and other issues. The postponement
was announced after the government promised to send a delegation
to discuss the miners' demands. A separate group, the Council
of Strike Committees, had disassociated itself from the strike
call, accusing the Federation of seeking the downfall of Yeltsin's
reform program. (Keith Bush)

PILOTS' STRIKE THREATENED. The president of the Flight Crews
Trade Union of Russia told RIA on March 10 that 70% of the flight
crews at Russian airports had confirmed their intention to take
part in the civil aviation pilots' strike scheduled for 20 March.
Among the demands made by the civilian pilots are that their
profession be granted special hardship status, that their pensions
be indexed, and that collectives be given priority rights when
state property is privatized. (Keith Bush)

MORE PROJECTIONS OF OIL OUTPUT AND TRADE. The president of Rosneftgas,
Lev Churilov, told Interfax on 10 March that Russian crude oil
output this year is unlikely to exceed 360 million tons, well
short of the 400 million tons planned. [Russian output of oil
and gas condensate in 1991 was 461 million tons]. Churilov called
for a temporary restoration of the old command lines to end what
he called the "prevailing anarchy" in the oil sector. An independent
Moscow consultant told The Journal of Commerce on 10 March that
the republics of the former Soviet Union may be net importers
of petroleum products this year, because of cutbacks in Russian
crude to key refining regions, such as the Baltic states. (Keith
Bush)

GAIDAR TEAM STRENGTHENED? Kommersant of March 9 argues that the
Gaidar team is settling in for the long haul after the initial
"cavalry charge" of the shock-therapy reform. Valerii Makaradze's
appointment strengthens the government's anti-corruption credentials;
the appointment of Evgenii Yasin (an older reform economist who
was in the 500 Days team as well as the Ryzhkov-Abalkin team,
and more recently was with Arkady Volskii's Scientific-Industrial
League) ends the boycott of the Gaidar team by more establishment-oriented
economists. (Yasin is to present policies in parliament.) With
Nechaev already taking a more senior role on the economy, Gaidar
focuses on the top priority: finance. (Philip Hanson)

BURBULIS AT RISK? The latest government re-shuffle in the Russian
Federation was Yeltsin's last flourish before departing for another
holiday; and that so far he has always returned from a holiday
break with a political bombshell. The re-shuffles this time,
Kommersant of 9 March argues, strengthen Gaidar. The Russian
parliamentary opposition has lately been split between those
demanding more spending, to protect mothers and children, and
those demanding less taxes, to protect businessmen. Perhaps Yeltsin's
bombshell, the authors suggest, will be to drop Burbulis as first
deputy prime minister, but keep him as a key advisor. This would
make Rutskoi and Khazbulatov happy, and change nothing real.
(Philip Hanson)

AN EXPORT-0NLY VARIANT OF REFORM? Dmitrii Chernov-Andreev in
Kommersant of 9 March argues that Gaidar is now playing a double
game, with an "export version" of the reform that keeps the IMF
sweet, plus a version for the domestic market (mainly the Russian
parliament) that involves a larger budget deficit than is implied
in the late-February memorandum to the IMF. The article does
not explain how this is being done, but stresses that the Russian
parliament has still not approved the first-quarter budget. (Philip
Hanson)

COMMUNISTS AND NATIONALISTS PUBLISH JOINT DECLARATION. A joint
declaration of Communist and extreme Russian nationalist groups,
entitled "Justice, Nationality, Statehood, Patriotism," was published
in Sovetskaya Rossiya on 10 March. The declaration attacked the
present Russian leadership for "conducting dangerous experiments
with the population" of Russia and it blamed Yeltsin for the
disintegration of the Soviet Union. The declaration said the
Russian leadership played in the hands of "the international
reactionary forces." "Vesti" reported on 10 March that Communist
and nationalist leaders were planning to hold a press conference
on 11 March to announce the creation of a joint Communist-nationalist
opposition bloc. (Vera Tolz)

RUSSIA WILL CONSIDER MIRV BAN. At a press conference after the
10 March Brussels meeting of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council
(NACC), Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said that Russia
and USA had to bring their positions on reducing strategic nuclear
arms closer together "including the elimination of MIRVed [multiple
independently-targeted re-entry vehicles] missiles." Western
agencies reported that Kozyrev would discuss the matter with
Secretary of State James Baker the following day. President Bush
in January called for a ban on land-based MIRVed missiles. Kozyrev
is likely to press for the inclusion of submarine-based missiles
in any MIRV ban. (Doug Clarke)

RUSSIAN COMMITTEE SUPPORTS CIVILIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY . . . On
10 March Col. Gen. Dmitrii Volkogonov, Boris Yeltsin's advisor
on defense issues, told the Russian Supreme Soviet's Committee
for Defense and Security that Russia had "a unique opportunity,
a unique chance, to place the military . . . under civilian and
parliamentary control." ITAR-TASS quoted Volkogonov as saying
that only a civilian defense ministry could demilitarize the
country and reduce the size of the armed forces. The committee
was reported to have approved a draft decision on a civilian
ministry, a republican military, and a Russian military doctrine.
These documents will be submitted to the full Supreme Soviet
on 26 March. (Doug Clarke)

. . . AND REJECTS CIS DRAFT MILITARY AGREEMENTS. Radio Rossii
reported that the committee rejected the 10 draft agreements
on defense issues that had been prepared by the CIS joint armed
forces high command for submission to the CIS heads of state
when they meet in Kiev on 20 March. Sergei Stepashin, the chairman
of the committee, told Interfax that the drafts were turned down
because of the unclear status of the CIS. He was reported to
have said that the committee would recommend to Yeltsin that
he propose an agreement establishing a "military-political alliance"
at the 20 March meeting. (Doug Clarke)

GERMANS TO ABANDON IDEA OF VOLGA REPUBLIC? The question of abandoning
the struggle for the recreation of the Volga German republic
and promoting the mass emigration of Russian Germans to Germany
will be put to the second congress of Russian Germans opening
in Moscow on 20 March. This was stated at a press conference
on 10 March by the leader of the Russian Germans, Heinrich Groth,
ITAR-TASS reported. Groth said the Germans had been forced into
this decision by the unwillingness of the Russian leadership
to restore their republic, and that Germany would be asked to
increase the present quota of 150,000 Germans allowed into Germany
each year. Groth expressed approval of Ukraine's willingness
to let Russian Germans settle in the Crimea, but said it was
only a partial solution. (Ann Sheehy)

NAZARBAEV FAVORS SUPRANATIONAL STRUCTURES FOR CIS. In an article
in Kazakhstanskaya pravda marking the first 100 days since his
popular election as president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbaev
reiterated that CIS needs supranational coordination structures,
KazTAG-TASS reported on 10 March. Nazarbaev said that without
these structures the commonwealth would be "an empty sound, a
beautiful form that is filled with no real content." Nazarbaev
made a strong plea for Western aid so as to maintain stability
in the CIS, but said that it would be most effective if it were
directed to promising areas. (Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIAN PROCURATOR THREATENS TO CHARGE LEADING TATAR ACTIVIST.
At a press conference in Moscow on 10 March, the Russian Procurator
General Valentin Stepankov said that he intended to raise the
question of the immunity as a deputy of Fauziya Bairamova, leader
of the Tatarstan independence party Ittifak, and to bring a criminal
charge against her of inciting national enmity, RIA reported.
It may be doubted whether such a statement is wise in the run-up
to the 21 March referendum of the future of Tatarstan, which
Stepankov pronounced illegal. (Ann Sheehy)

DNIESTER SITUATION. While the cease fire agreed upon on 4 March
under the aegis of the conciliation commission is holding, "Dniester"
guards aided by Russian Cossacks continue to raid Moldovan villages
on the left bank, beating up village leaders loyal to Chisinau
and arresting individual Moldovan policemen, Moldovan media have
reported in recent days. At least 40 Moldovan policemen from
left-bank raions are currently being detained in Tiraspol. Moldova's
Ministry of Internal Affairs has appealed to the Tiraspol leaders
to release the captured policemen, disband the illegal armed
units, halt attacks on lawful administrative bodies, and "understand
that protracted confrontations can lead to uncontrollable situations"
The appeal dramatizes Moldova's lack of means to deal with the
situation. (Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER" MILITARY LEADER ON GOALS. Vladimir Ryliakov, a former
Komsomol official and currently the head of the "Dniester republic
military and security department," told Reuters on 10 March that
the would-be republic stood for the preservation of "a single
Army and a single economic space across the territory of the
Soviet Union. We have enough patriots not only here, but in Russia
and other republics, to eventually ensure that unity." Reuters
also reported on 9 March that "Dniester republic" armored vehicles
(obtained from CIS units in the area) fly the flag of the former
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic and that "Dniester" military
posts display such slogans as "The Dniester republic is a bulwark
of internationalism." (Vladimir Socor)

RUSSIAN LAW ON SECURITY ADOPTED. On 5 March the Russian Supreme
Soviet adopted a Law on Security, ITAR-TASS reported. The law
sets up the legal foundations for the security of individuals,
society, and the state from external and internal threats. It
said that the state security organs are directly responsible
to the Russian President, the head of the Security Council. The
Supreme Soviet watches over state security activities, while
the Russian General Prosecutor monitors the observation of legal
procedures. The law prohibits any security bodies not mentioned
in the law. The draft of the law was not published in the mass
media and was adopted almost without changes; the Supreme Soviet
approved only 4 of the 45 proposed amendments. (Victor Yasmann)


DISSENSION AMONG DAGESTANI MUSLIMS. Several political parties
and movements in Dagestan have adopted a declaration expressing
concern at dissension among the republic's Muslims on ethnic
lines, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 March. Representatives of the
Dargin and Kumyk communities objected to what they saw as a takeover
by the dominant Avars of the leadership of the Dagestan Muslim
Religious Board at a congress of Muslims at the end of February,
and a mass meeting outside the Board several days later demanded
that the congress be declared illegal. The situation was described
as explosive. These events confirm that Islam is not at present
a unifying force in Dagestan. (Ann Sheehy)



EASTERN EUROPE

BALTIC STATES



MILITARY PARLIAMENTARIANS IN ESTONIA. The four representatives
of the former Soviet military forces who sit on Estonia's Supreme
Council seem likely to retain their seats until new elections
are held, according to a 9 March BNS report. The Supreme Council
Defense Commission has long regarded the presence of the four--who
were "elected" by the military community in a ballot separate
from the regular election--as compromising Estonia's sovereignty,
and has repeatedly requested that the issue be put to a vote.
The Justice Commission, however, is opposed on grounds that the
status of the military parliamentarians has already come under
debate within the context of Estonia's new proposed election
law. The Supreme Council is scheduled to begin discussion on
the new election law on 11 March. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIAN GOLD. Former government minister Endel Lippmaa says
that Estonia's campaign for return of its gold could end up costing
far more than the bullion is worth. In a 9 March BNS report,
Lippmaa warns that Sweden and the UK may well demand return of
assets belonging to their citizens and the state if Estonia demands
return of its gold. In fact, neither Sweden nor the UK have brought
up return of any assets during the months of gold negotiations
and have strongly supported in principle the return of the deposits.
(Riina Kionka)

PASSPORTS BY APRIL. Citizens of Estonia may be able to travel
on Estonian passports as early as April. According to Citizenship
Authority director Linnar Liivamagi, the passports are being
printed in the UK. Because each document costs $10 to print,
Liivamagi said, recipients will have to pay for their passports
in hard currency. BNS reported Liivamagi's remarks on 10 March.
(Riina Kionka)

TROOP PULLOUT FROM LITHUANIA NOT COORDINATED WITH LATVIA. Diena
reported on 9 March that contrary to claims made by Northwestern
Group of Forces press spokesman, the withdrawal of troops from
Lithuania to Russia has not been coordinated with the Latvian
authorities. The spokesman said that the passage through Latvia
had been cleared with the Latvian customs department. Customs
officials denied the claim and noted that they did not have the
authority to coordinate such movements. The press spokesman also
tried to explain away the substantial troops movement in and
around Riga on March 5 as routine, rather than being part of
larger maneuvers. (Dzintra Bungs)

TROOPS TO START LEAVING LATVIA ON 19 MARCH? Col. Gen. Valerii
Mironov, commander of the Northwestern Group of Forces, told
ITAR-TASS on 10 March that withdrawal of troops of the former
USSR from Latvia would start on 19 March. The first to leave
would be the units (the number of troops was not given) stationed
in Salacgriva. Mironov invited Latvian Supreme Council Chairman
Anatolijs Gorbunovs to a farewell ceremony. Earlier reports from
Moscow said the pullout from Latvia would begin between 10 and
20 March. (Dzintra Bungs)

PREMIER DEMANDS EX-SOVIET BORDER GUARDS LEAVE LATVIA. Latvian
Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis told the press in Stockholm on
10 March that Latvia is ready to take control of its borders
on 15 March and demanded the departure of 2,000 border guards
of the former Soviet Union, Western agencies report. He said
that his government agreed with former Soviet KGB chairman Vadim
Bakatin last fall to let Soviet and Latvian guards patrol the
borders together until Latvia had formed its own border guard
units. Earlier that day Godmanis signed a free-trade pact with
Sweden. (Dzintra Bungs)

IRANIAN SUBMARINE PERSONNEL STILL TRAINED IN LATVIA. For over
a year about 100 Iranian naval specialists have been training
at the ex-Soviet naval base in Bolderaja, Latvia, to man two
submarines bought by Iran from the USSR, BNS reported on 9 March.
Such training has not been authorized by the Latvian government.
In the past the Soviet naval base has trained personnel from
other countries, including India, Iraq, and Algeria, that had
bought naval vessels and military equipment from the USSR. (Dzintra
Bungs)

GERMAN VISITORS TO LITHUANIA. On 10 March German Education Minister
Rainer Ortleb and Bundestag deputy Wolfgang von Stetten, chairman
of the Baltic-German parliamentary group, arrived in Vilnius,
Radio Lithuania reports. Ortleb met with Vytautas Landsbergis
and various Lithuanian education officials to discuss cooperation
in vocational training and higher education. Von Stetten held
talks with Deputy Prime Minister Vytautas Pakalniskis on legal
questions and offered to assist Lithuania to send students to
Germany for legal studies. On 11 March at the parliament session
commemorating the reestablishment of Lithuanian independence,
von Stetten was awarded Lithuania's 11 January Medal. (Saulius
Girnius)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

POLAND, COMMERCIAL BANKS TO RESUME DEBT TALKS. On 10 March Poland
and its commercial bank creditors agreed on conditions for restarting
debt talks, Western and Polish media report. The agreement was
reached in Warsaw at a meeting between Finance Minister Andrzej
Olechowski and Jeff Stockley, head of a working group for the
London Club of commercial banks. According to the agreement,
the talks will be restarted once the Sejm has approved the budget
and the government has reached an agreement with the IMF. Talks
between Poland and the banks were deadlocked in June. Warsaw
refused to pay $1.2 million in outstanding interest to commercial
banks until final agreement is reached on reducing or rescheduling
the debt, estimated at $11.4 million. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


CONFLICTING FIGURES ON WITHDRAWING FORMER SOVIET TROOPS. At the
beginning of March for the first time the Russian authorities
handed over official figures on the number of soldiers, weaponry,
and materiel of the former USSR in Poland. However, a spokesman
for Gen. Zdzislaw Ostrowski, Warsaw's official responsible for
monitoring the troops in Poland and their withdrawal, told PAP
on 10 March that the figures supplied do not correspond with
the data gathered by the Poles and the discrepancies must be
reconciled before figures are made public. The spokesman also
said that on 10 March a joint Polish-Russian working group responsible
for estimating ecological damage caused by former USSR troops
stationed in Poland held its first meeting. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)


HAVEL TESTIFIES ON COMMUNIST POLICE HARASSMENT. On 10 March,
President Vaclav Havel testified at the trial for abuse of power
of former communist Interior Minister Frantisek Kincl, former
secret police chief Alojz Lorenc, and former counterintelligence
chief Karel Vykypel. In the trial being heard by a military court
in Prague the prosecution's case centered on the persecution
of dissidents from the 1970s on. Havel said he had been jailed
four times between 1977 and 1989 but stressed that he could not
specifically condemn the three defendants. His testimony reflects
his desire to avoid a witch hunt and the difficulty of apportioning
blame for the faults of a system whose murkiest secrets died
with it, Western media are reporting. (Peter Matuska)

SLOVAK DEPUTIES BLOCK AMENDMENT ON ARMS TRADE. On 10 March Slovak
deputies in the Czechoslovak federal parliament prevented the
adoption of a constitutional amendment imposing strict conditions
for the import and export of arms. The amendment also would have
imposed new controls over trade in radioactive materials and
narcotics, CSTK reports. Of the 61 Slovak deputies 26 voted in
favor of the amendment, 26 abstained, 8 opposed it, and one missed
the vote. Forty-five votes were needed for passage. The country's
arms factories are centered in Slovakia, which has already been
hard hit by deep cuts in Czechoslovak defense spending. (Peter
Matuska)

DUBCEK TO RUN AS SOCIAL DEMOCRAT. Federal Assembly Chairman Alexander
Dubcek is expected to head an opposition list of the Slovak Social
Democratic Party (SDP) in the June elections, an RFE correspondent
reports. An SDP official said this arrangement was agreed by
Dubcek and the SDP on 9 March, but Dubcek's decision to defect
to the opposition ranks will be officially announced by the end
of the week. In the country's 1990 parliamentary elections Dubcek
supported the Public Against Violence movement, now represented
in the Slovak government. (Peter Matuska)

STOLOJAN BULLISH ON THE ECONOMY. On 9 March Romanian Prime Minister
Theodor Stolojan expressed optimism that it will be possible
to stop the current economic decline. He was speaking a day after
the National Statistics Board published figures showing that
industrial output rose in January 1992 by 7.4% as compared with
December 1991. Production of textiles, leather and footwear,
electric machinery, and medical equipment are on the rise, as
is coal extraction. Declines are still being registered for the
food industry, livestock production, and road transport. Imports
still exceed exports, causing a $100 million balance of trade
deficit in convertible currency. Internal trade and consumer
purchasing power continue to shrink, but, Stolojan said, the
private commercial sector is growing and reached 36% of domestic
trade in January. (Mihai Sturdza)

HUNGARIANS IN ROMANIA PROTEST. Some 6,000 ethnic Hungarians staged
a protest rally on 9 March in the Transylvanian town of Miercurea
Ciuc. The protest was called by the local branch of the Hungarian
Democratic Union of Romania over the right of ethnic Hungarians
to instruction in their mother tongue, foreign media report.
(Mihai Sturdza)

ROMANIAN-MOLDOVAN CUSTOMS UNION PROPOSED. Adrian Severin, former
minister for reform and now chairman of Romania's privatization
agency, said the country should support the creation of a customs,
monetary, and fiscal union with the neighboring republic of Moldova,
Rompres said on 10 March. He also called for a joint commission
to coordinate foreign policy and conclude a military agreement.
All moves toward reunification should take the views of ethnic
minorities in Moldova into account, Severin added. (Mihai Sturdza)


BULGARIA AND THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Three representatives of
the Council of Europe (CE), in Sofia since 6 March, presented
their conclusions, extensively reported by the dailies on 10
March. They said they hope to make their recommendation to the
CE Parliamentary Assembly that Bulgaria be admitted to the CE
on 5 May as planned. It would, however, depend on developments
in Bulgaria until then. The officials made several critical remarks,
notably about the Bulgarian constitution, which prohibits parties
based on religion or ethnicity, and the current attempts to ban
the mainly Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms. They also
criticized the polarization of political forces and questioned
the forthcoming law banning former communists from state offices.
(Rada Nikolaev)

EC TO OPEN OFFICE IN SOFIA. The Commission of the European Community
(EC) will open an office in Sofia in the next few months, Bulgarian
and western media report from Brussels. Agreement on the subject
was signed on 9 March by Foreign Minister Stoyan Ganev and the
EC's external relations commissioner, Frans Andriessen. BTA also
said that negotiations on Bulgaria's association with the EC
had been preliminarily scheduled to begin on 13 April, and Andriessen
had expressed hope that they might be concluded by the end of
the year. (Rada Nikolaev)

US RECOGNITION FOR CROATIA AND SLOVENIA? The 11 March Washington
Post quotes Secretary of State James Baker as saying that "the
United States will . . . give rapid and positive consideration
to the requests for recognition by Croatia and Slovenia." The
statement came after he met with his EC counterparts in Brussels
on 10 March. Germany recognized the two on 19 December, and the
rest of the EC followed suit on 15 January. European and US officials
agreed on 10 March to delay recognizing Bosnia-Herzegovina and
Macedonia, but the Post adds that the Europeans hope by 1 April
to be able to recognize the two as well as a new federation of
Serbia and Montenegro. (Patrick Moore)


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

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©1996 "Друзья и Партнеры"
Наташа Булашова,Грег Коул
Updated: 1998-11-

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