Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength. - Henry Ward Beecher
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 60, 26 March 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

TRIPARTITE TALKS SCHEDULED ON NAGORNO-KARABAKH. Following three
hours of talks in Helsinki on 25 March between Armenian and Azerbaijani
representatives, Armenian Foreign Minister Raffi Hovanissian
told journalists that agreement had been reached on holding tripartite
talks on a cease-fire and lifting the economic blockade. These
talks would be held parallel to and in preparation for the CSCE
peace conference on Nagorno-Karabakh scheduled for Minsk. Azerbaijan
agreed in principle on the participation of a representative
from Nagorno-Karabakh, but objected to Nagorno-Karabakh parliament
Chairman Artur Mkrtchyan or any other representative who insists
on independence for Karabakh. (Liz Fuller)

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT CRITICIZES RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT'S APPEAL. The
Moldovan parliament described the 20 March appeal from the Russian
parliament on the conflict in the Dniester region as an unfriendly
act and interference in the internal affairs of another state,
the Radio Odin network and ITAR-TASS reported on 25 March. At
the same time, the Moldovan parliament received with satisfaction
the statement of the CIS heads of state adopted in Kiev on 20
March which reaffirmed the principle of the inviolability of
borders. At the Helsinki Foreign Ministers' conference, Moldova
protested the activities of illegal armed forces operating on
the left bank of the Dniester, RFE/RL's correspondent reported
on 25 March. The Romanian government also circulated a statement
at the conference condemning the activities of armed forces on
the left bank of the Dniester. Meanwhile there have been further
shooting incidents in the area involving casualties. (Ann Sheehy)


RUSSIAN "SHADOW" CONSTITUTION. On 24 March, Russia's Constitutional
Commission agreed to submit its draft document to the Congress
of People's Deputies on 6 April. "Vesti" reported on 25 March
that the final draft envisaged a parliamentary-type system, that
is, one in which the legislature enjoys significant powers vis-a-vis
the president. Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Poltoranin told
a press conference on 25 March that he disliked the new draft
because it called for the abolition of presidentially-appointed
local governors and enhanced the power of local soviets instead.
Poltoranin added that he believed that a presidential, not a
parliamentary, system was suitable for Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow
News (No. 11) revealed that an alternative constitution is being
drafted under the auspices of the mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatolii
Sobchak, on behalf of the liberal Movement for Democratic Reforms
(MDR). In the past, Sobchak has favored a presidential-type system,
that is, one in which the balance of political power is weighted
in favor of the executive rather than the legislature. Moscow
News says that, if the Congress rejects the draft constitution,
the MDR will call for a countrywide referendum. (Julia Wishnevsky
and Elizabeth Teague)

"ENLIGHTENED DICTATORSHIP" FOR RUSSIA? According to Kommersant
(No. 12), Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Gennadii Burbulis
has asked the Moscow think-tank, Institute of the World Economy
and International Relations (IMEMO), to provide the Russian government
with a research paper addressing two questions: (1) How might
"enlightened" authoritarianism be introduced in Russia? (2) How
might the necessity for such a regime might be explained to the
public? On 24 March, RFE/RL's Russian Service learned that, during
a meeting with the leaders of Russian political parties, Yeltsin
said he could not rule out the possible introduction of authoritarian
rule should the forthcoming Congress of Russian People's Deputies
reject the new draft Russian constitution or deprive the president
of the privilege of appointing ministers without the approval
of the parliament. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT CONSIDERS BILL ON POLITICAL PARTIES. The Russian
parliament is considering a draft law on political parties, Interfax
reported on 23 March. The new legislation draws on the experience
of Germany, Italy, and Spain as regards the granting of state
subsidies to political parties and state control over their financial
activities. The right to receive a state subsidy would, under
the draft, be restricted to parties that win over 1% of the total
number of votes cast during a general election. (Elizabeth Teague)


YELTSIN ON BILATERAL TREATY WITH TATARSTAN. Russian President
Yeltsin said on 25 March during his meeting with the "Smena"
parliamentary faction that he was sure Russia would sign a separate
bilateral treaty with Tatarstan, possibly before the Russian
Congress of People's Deputies opens on 6 April, ITAR-TASS reported.
(Ann Sheehy)

BASHKORTOSTAN AND FEDERAL TREATY. At a conference in Ufa devoted
to the constitutional status of Bashkortostan, the chairman of
the republic's parliament Murtaza Rakhimov said that the republic
was, in principle, in favor of signing the federal treaty but
would scrutinize every provision, Postfactum reported on 25 March.
Rakhimov said that the Bashkortostan leadership fully supported
Tatarstan in its struggle for sovereignty. (Ann Sheehy)

LANDMARK AGREEMENT SIGNED; UNIONS PROMISE NOT TO STRIKE. Russian
TV's evening news led with extensive footage of the signing,
in Moscow on 25 March, of a General Agreement (the first of its
kind) between the Russian government, the official and the unofficial
trade unions, and Russia's fledgling entrepreneurs' associations.
(Since 96% of Russia's enterprises are still in state hands,
the tripartite agreement is, according to RFE/RL Russian Service
stringer Mikhail Sokolov, essentially a bipartite affair.) Champagne
was drunk as the unions promised that, if the government adheres
to the extensive social guarantees (minimum wages and pensions,
wage indexation) listed in the agreement, they will not call
their workers out on strike against the government's economic
reform program during the coming year. (Elizabeth Teague)

DISPUTE OVER ENERGY PRICES. In interviews given on 25 March to
Komsomolskaya pravda and Russian TV, as reported by ITAR-TASS,
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar defended the
decision to free the prices of oil and petroleum products (now
scheduled for late May or early June). "The current structure
of prices, based on cheap energy, cannot continue. A little longer
and the whole sector will grind to a halt and will bring the
whole economy down with it." But Russian parliament Chairman
Ruslan Khasbulatov told a parliamentary session that a further
liberalization of fuel prices would destroy industry and harm
the population, and the parliament would veto any such move.
(Keith Bush)

WESTERN BANKERS TO DEFER CIS DEBT REPAYMENT? Ahead of the 26
March meeting in Frankfurt of the panel representing some 600
Western banks which have made loans to the former Soviet Union,
Western agency reports on 25 March were unanimous in forecasting
a further three-month roll-over of principal payments by the
successor states. One leading German banker was quoted as saying
that the payment of principal will be deferred repeatedly. A
three-month roll-over would at least ensure that contact between
the creditor banks and CIS officials was maintained. The total
owed by the CIS to Western banks is estimated to be around $25
billion. (Keith Bush)

CIS PARLIAMENTARIANS TO DISCUSS CREATION OF ASSEMBLY. The main
item on the agenda of the CIS heads of parliaments at their meeting
in Alma-Ata on 27 March will be the creation of an interparliamentary
assembly, the chairman of the Russian parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov
told the parliament on 25 March. But he went on to say that it
would be a great triumph if the assembly was set up, ITAR-TASS
reported. At previous interparliamentary meetings Ukraine in
particular has opposed the creation of an assembly. (Ann Sheehy)


AGREEMENT ON CIS INTELLIGENCE SERVICES COOPERATION. The foreign
intelligence services of the CIS states have signed an agreement
which states that the republics will not spy on each other and
will cooperate in their intelligence activities, spokeswoman
for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Tatyana Samolis
told ITAR-TASS on 25 March. The Russian Federation has already
set up a coordinating group and also has completed a draft of
the law on the foreign intelligence service in the republic,
Samolis added. (Victor Yasmann)

UKRAINIAN SECURITY SERVICE REFORMED. Radio Ukraine reported on
25 March that the Ukrainian parliament has passed a law on Ukraine's
state security service. It is designed to transform the former
Ukrainian KGB into an agency serving the interests of an independent
and democratic Ukrainian state. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

STAROVOITOVA RUMOR SCOTCHED. Russian President Boris Yeltsin
has denied that Galina Starovoitova is to be appointed Russian
defense minister--a post that Yeltsin himself is occupying on
an interim basis. The "Vesti" newscast on 25 March reported that
Yeltsin refuted this rumor during a recent meeting with a group
of Russian Supreme Soviet members. (Doug Clarke)

NUMBER OF NUKES IN UKRAINE REVEALED. A report in the 26 March
Komsomolskaya pravda, claiming the CIS Joint Armed Forces High
Command as its source, said that there were 1,420 strategic and
2,390 tactical nuclear warheads still on Ukrainian territory.
It repeated that 57% of the tactical weapons had already been
removed, which would have given an original stockpile of some
4,200 weapons--considerably higher than most Western estimates.
The report also quoted Lieutenant General Sergei Zelentsov as
saying there were not enough trains available to remove these
weapons by the 1 July deadline unless the transfers were resumed
by the end of March. (Doug Clarke)

UKRAINE RECALLS ITS SOLDIERS FROM TROUBLE SPOTS. President Leonid
Kravchuk has issued a decree recalling Ukrainian nationals serving
in the CIS armed forces in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova,
Ukrinform-TASS reported on 25 March. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

CRIMEAN TATARS MAINTAIN THEIR PRESSURE ON UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES.
Crimean Tatar activists are continuing their protest in Kiev.
Radio Ukraine reported on 25 March that the deputy chairman of
the Crimean Tatar "Medzhlis" (Council), Rafat Chubarov, was allowed
to address the Ukrainian parliament. He called for the restoration
of national-territorial autonomy for the Crimean Tatars in Crimea
and castigated the Russian-dominated Crimean authorities for
blocking this and the resettlement of his people in the peninsula.
According to Reuters of 25 March, Ukrainian leaders have expressed
support for many of the demands being made by the Crimean Tatars
but have said that their hands are tied at present by the tense
situation in Crimea where there is a strong movement for secession
from Ukraine. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN JUNE. The Azerbaijani parliament
voted on 25 March to hold presidential elections on 7 June, ITAR-TASS
reported. Following the resignation on 6 March of President Ayaz
Mutalibov, it had been proposed to abolish the office of president.
(Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA INTRODUCES STATE OF ECONOMIC EMERGENCY. Armenian President
Levon Ter-Petrossyan issued a personal decree on 25 March introducing
a state of economic emergency to cope with the ongoing energy
crisis resulting from Azerbaijan's economic blockade, ITAR-TASS
reported. The decree also calls for increased security around
state buildings and other vital facilities. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA DECIDES ON ITS OWN CURRENCY. The Armenian parliament
decided on 25 March to introduce a national currency, to be called
the "dram," ITAR-TASS reported, quoting the chairman of the Finance-Budget
Commission, Tigran Sarkisyan. He added that talks are scheduled
to begin with foreign companies on 26 March for manufacture of
the new currency. (Liz Fuller)

UZBEKISTAN TO CREATE BORDER GUARDS. Uzbek President Islam Karimov
has signed a decree ordering the formation of border guard units
under the authority of the republic's National Security Service,
ITAR-TASS reported on 25 March. The decree subordinates all CIS
border guard units based in Uzbekistan to the new border guard
department of the National Security Service. (Carla Thorson)


KYRGYZSTAN NOT TO CREATE OWN ARMY. The chairman of the Kyrgyz
parliament's committee on military affairs, Dzhanibek Umetaliev,
said on 25 March that Kyrgyzstan has no intention of setting
up its own national army, Interfax reported. He said the Kyrgyzstan
authorities would take into account the wishes of Kyrgyzstan
recruits who do not want to be posted outside the republic, but
about 7,000 of this year's 11,000 draftees will be required to
serve in other CIS republics. (Ann Sheehy)

EASTERN EUROPE



BALTIC STATES CALL FOR CSCE ROLE IN TROOP WITHDRAWAL. On 25 March
the three Baltic foreign ministers attending the CSCE conference
in Helsinki said that the CSCE could help in the withdrawal of
former Soviet troops from their republics, Western agencies report.
The Lithuanian Algirdas Saudargas said that his government wants
to have "a precise bilateral agreement already this spring."
If this were not done, Lithuania would raise the withdrawal issue
in the CSCE meetings that will end in early July. Outgoing Estonian
foreign minister Lennart Meri said: "As a CSCE member, Russia,
has a moral duty to remove the forces," but doubted that a withdrawal
agreement would be signed in the next three months. Janis Jurkans
of Latvia said that the CSCE should monitor the troop withdrawals
from the Baltic States to help "prevent conflicts and stabilize
the region of central Europe." (Saulius Girnius)

MERI CRITICIZES RUSSIA OVER ACCIDENT. In a speech to CSCE foreign
ministers at the Helsinki meeting, Meri sharply criticized Russia
for not having provided full information about Tuesday's nuclear
incident at a plant west of St. Petersburg. Ironically echoing
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev's call for protection
of the rights of the Russian minority in the Baltic States, Meri
said, "Allow me to point out that in the border town of Narva,
where the Soviet Union settled a large Russian population after
World War II, the level of radioactivity had doubled by [the
evening of 24 March]. The Russian population in Narva does require
protection--but from radiation." An RFE/RL correspondent in Helsinki
reported Meri's remarks on 25 March Meanwhile, Estonia's Ministry
of the Environment reports that levels of radiation are stable
everywhere in Estonia except in Narva, where they are higher
than normal but do not yet constitute a health risk, BNS reports.
(Riina Kionka)

EC MEETING ON REVITALIZATION OF THE BALTIC REGION. Leaders and
parliamentarians of Baltic and Nordic countries are meeting on
26 March in Stockholm and 27 March in Tallinn to consider prospects
for a Baltic Sea economic area and designate priority areas for
international cooperation and assistance. Baltic participants
have a special guest status at the conference, sponsored by the
European Community, since their countries have not yet been accorded
full EC membership, an RFE/RL correspondent in Paris reports.
In a show of solidarity with the Baltic States, the Nordic Council
has allocated DM 130,000 to make it possible for Baltic participation
in the UN environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro in June,
Western agencies reported on 25 March. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA DRAFTS DEFENSE CONCEPTS. Diena reported on 24 March that
the Commission on Defense and Internal Affairs of the Latvian
Supreme Council has completed drafting the concepts for the defense
of Latvia. According to Minister of Defense Talavs Jundzis, the
concepts are based on the premise that Latvia, assuming a defensive
rather than an offensive posture, must guarantee the security
of its citizens and its borders. The draft document also states
that Latvia rejects foreign military bases on its territory and
activities on its territory leading to aggression against another
state. (Dzintra Bungs)

RUSSIAN-ESTONIAN TALKS TO RESUME. General disengagement talks
between Russian and Estonian negotiators may resume on 5-6 April,
according to BNS of 24 March. The chief negotiators, Uno Veering
for Estonia and Vasilii Svirin for Russia, reached agreement
on resuming talks during their meeting in Moscow on 25 March.
The talks, which are to govern military, political, social, and
economic issues, stalled in the wake of Estonia's governmental
crisis last January. (Riina Kionka)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE POPE RESTRUCTURES CHURCH IN POLAND.
On 25 March the Vatican announced that Pope John Paul II has
ordered an extensive restructuring of the Catholic Church in
Poland. Only one of Poland's 27 dioceses will remain unchanged.
The size of most dioceses will be reduced to give each an average
of a million people. The Pope also increased the number of dioceses
to 40, created 13 new bishoprics, and redrew the borders of six
dioceses extending into Ukraine and Belarus. According to the
Vatican, the Pontiff was able to change the border dioceses because
of "historic changes in the countries of Central and Eastern
Europe." Cardinal Jozef Glemp will remain as primate, but his
seat will move from Warsaw to Gniezno and in the future the title
of primate will go to the newly created post of archbishop of
Gniezno. Western and Polish media carried the story. (Wladyslaw
Minkiewicz)

WALESA ON THREAT OF ANARCHY IN CIS. The Polish president has
expressed concern about what he perceives as the threat of anarchy
and large-scale disorder in the former USSR. Walesa also said
that Poland alone would be unable to deal with the possibility
of a wave of refugees from the East. Such problems can only be
solved on a European level, he told Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an
interview appearing on 26 March. Referring to Polish differences
with Lithuania, Walesa suggested that Vilnius should treat the
country's Polish minority in the same spirit as Warsaw deals
with German minority in Upper Silesia. Assessing progress in
stability and democratization in the country, Walesa told Frankfurter
Rundschau that Polish democracy is not being threatened, adding
that Poland is in every respect more stable than former East
Germany. He also said that the democratization process in Poland
is considerably more advanced than in Czechoslovakia. (Wladyslaw
Minkiewicz)

STOLTENBERG ENDS VISIT TO POLAND. On 25 March in Gdynia German
Defense Minister Gerhard Stoltenberg met with Rear Adm. Romuald
Waga, commander of the Polish Fleet, Western and Polish media
report. During the fourth and final day of his visit to Poland
he also laid a wreath at the Wester-platte monument near Gdansk
to honor soldiers of a garrison who defended their small post
at the beginning of WW II. Stoltenberg noted that Germany and
Poland currently enjoy good relations and stressed that German
forces present no threat to Poland or any other country. (Wladyslaw
Minkiewicz)

BROTHER OF SLOVAK PREMIER LINKED TO STB. On 25 March Slovak Parliament
Vice Chair-man Ivan Carnogursky denied allegations that he had
been an informer for the former communist secret police. The
charges against him were made by Roman Hofbauer, parliament deputy
for the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. Hofbauer's charges
follow the release of a Slovak parliament report naming his party's
chairman Vladimir Meciar a collaborator. On 23 March the full
parliament voted to approve that report. Slovak radio quotes
Ivan Carnogursky as saying the charges against him were fabricated.
He and his brother Jan, the Slovak premier, are political rivals
of Meciar. Speaking to reporters Hofbauer refused to provide
details about the charges and said documents backing them have
been given to the parliament. (Barbara Kroulik)

CZECH GOVERNMENT APPROVES TRUCK DEAL. On 25 March the Czech government
approved a joint venture between German automaker Mercedes-Benz
and the local companies Avia and Liaz. Czech industry minister
Jan Vrba told CSTK the deal calls for Mercedes to invest 7 billion
koruny (about $230 million) in Liaz and Avia, makers of heavy
and light trucks. A letter of intent was signed in January. A
government official said that final agreement should be signed
by mid-year and Mercedes trucks should start rolling off the
assembly line six months after that. (Barbara Kroulik)

COST OF CZECHOSLOVAK ELECTIONS. The Czechoslovak Interior Ministry
said on 25 March the upcoming June parliamentary elections are
expected to cost about one billion koruny ($33 million). CSTK
says the federal government has so far allotted 578 million koruny
and the Czech republic another 150 million koruny. The Slovak
government has not yet made public its financing plans. The ministry
also said it has set up a government coordinating commission
to oversee compliance with federal and republican election laws.
(Barbara Kroulik)

HUNGARY PROTESTS YUGOSLAV ARMY SHOOTING. On 25 March, the Hungarian
Foreign Ministry handed Yugoslavia's ambassador in Budapest a
note protesting the violation of Hungary's sovereignty and territorial
integrity by the Yugoslav Federal Army, MTI reports. Federal
troops fired shots at two people working in the fields on Hungarian
territory in the region of Puspokboly. Violations of Hungarian
territory in the past have prompted Hungarian protests.(Edith
Oltay)

FOREIGN INVESTORS GET ACCESS TO HUN-GARIAN STATE SECURITIES.
The Hungarian National Bank decided to allow foreigners indirectly
to purchase state securities through an investment fund controlled
by the government, MTI reported on 25 March. National Bank Vice
President Frigyes Harshegyi said that the bank's new regulations
allow up to 20% of the fund, worth some $37.5 million, to be
owned by foreigners. Hungary uses the proceeds from the sale
of the securities to finance its state de-ficit. Previously the
bank barred foreigners from buy-ing Hungarian state securities
because it feared the country would lose money on the transactions
since the securities paid an interest rate much higher than similar
securities in Western Europe. Harshegyi said the creation of
an investment fund controlling the level of investment makes
losses less likely.(Edith Oltay)

BUCHAREST DEBATES CONFISCATED HOMES. A property war involving
hundreds of thousands of houses confiscated by the communists
throughout Romania is under way between the former owners and
the present tenants. The Daily Telegraph reports on 24 March
that a forthcoming law will have to umpire between the Association
of Tenants, which wants to buy the nationalized houses from the
state, and the associations of former owners, who claim the houses
and are demanding that the rent be paid to them, not the state.
Both groups demonstrated in Bucharest. According to former owners,
the parliament's NSF majority backs the tenants because the finest
houses of the prewar bourgeoisie are now in the hands of the
postwar nomenklatura. (Mihai Sturdza)

BULGARIAN-GERMAN ECONOMIC RELATIONS. The 14th session of the
German-Bulgarian economic commission was held on 25 March in
Bonn. Demokratsiya on 26 March says that a protocol on economic
cooperation was signed. The Bulgarian delegation was headed by
Minister of Industry and Trade Ivan Pushkarov. An RFE/RL report
quoted German representatives as saying that German business
is very interested in deals with Bulgaria, but trade will depend
on continued Bulgarian economic and financial reform as well
as on the foreign debt negotiations in April. Direct German financial
aid was called not possible because of Bulgaria's problems, but
Germany has been channeling a great deal of money to Bulgaria
through international programs. The Germans also noted that they
have resumed credit guarantees for exports to Bulgaria. An accord
on training of Bulgarian economic experts and managers is also
anticipated. (Rada Nikolaev)

EBRD LOAN FOR BULGARIAN ENERGY. The European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development has approved a $52 million loan to Bulgaria to
improve its energy supplies. An RFE/RL report from London on
25 March quotes the EBRD as saying that the loan will go to the
coal-burning Maritsa Iztok power plant and a part will be used
to reduce pollution from coal industry. Maritsa Iztok has recently
been able to make up for part of the energy shortage caused by
failures of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant. This prompted President
Zhelev on 21 March, amidst persistent strike threats, to send
a message of gratitude to the coal miners. (Rada Nikolaev)

FIGHTING ON CROATIA, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA BORDER. International
media on 25 March report that the federal army and Serbian irregulars
continue to shell Bosanski Brod, with some mortar fire reaching
Slavonski Brod across the river in Croatia as well. As many as
six people may have been killed. The 26 March Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung quotes local Croatian police as saying that the Serbs
are trying to take control of Bosanski Brod, whose population
is, however, only one-third Serb, as well as a nearby highway.
The paper adds that the fighting has cast a shadow over talks
on the political future of the ethnically mixed republic, slated
to begin at the end of the week in Brussels. (Patrick Moore)



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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole