If we are to live together in peace, we must first come to know each other better. - Lyndon B. Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 65, 02 April 1992



SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

RUSSIA TO STREAMLINE ARMY. The Russian republic will significantly
reduce existing former Soviet forces over the next few years
and build a military organization that emphasizes highly mobile
professional forces and a defensive doctrine. The proposal was
outlined by Colonel General Pavel Grachev, First Deputy Commander
in Chief of the CIS armed forces and a top defense official in
the emerging Russian defense establishment, in a Krasnaya zvezda
interview on 1 April and in conversations with American and NATO
defense officials in Brussels reported by Western agencies on
2 April. Grachev said that Russian forces would number between
1.2 and 1.3 million men, that tank components would be reduced,
and that the army would be relieved of economic tasks. He also
stressed that the plan was only a proposal and failed to delineate
the exact boundary between CIS and future Russian forces. (Stephen
Foye)

FOURTEENTH ARMY UNDER RUSSIAN CONTROL? Boris Yeltsin signed a
decree on 1 April that placed the Fourteenth Army and several
other units deployed in Moldova under Russian jurisdiction, according
to an ITAR-TASS report of that day. The report said all troops
in Moldova had been subordinated to the CIS Commander-in-Chief
and that Colonel General Vladimir Semenov, commander of CIS Ground
Forces, was named Russian representative of all Russian troops
in the republic. The report is confusing insofar as the CIS command
structure remains formally separate from the Russian. A Moldovan
Deputy Defense Minister immediately labelled the decree illegal,
stressing that all forces in Moldova except for those on the
left bank of the Dniester have been put under the legal jurisdiction
of Moldova. (Stephen Foye)

"RUSSIA WILL PROTECT RIGHTS OF RUSSIANS." Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev was quoted by ITAR-TASS on 1 April as saying that
Russia "will be protecting the rights of Russians in other states
of the [CIS]. This is top priority. We shall be protecting their
rights firmly and will be using powerful methods if needed."
Kozyrev made this statement in an interview with Nezavisimaya
gazeta published on 1 April. (Suzanne Crow)

FIGHTING CONTINUES IN "DNIESTER REPUBLIC." Special units of the
Moldovan MVD attacked the city of Bendery on 1 April leaving
at least ten people dead, CIS and Western news agencies reported.
The attack is described as one of the heaviest onslaughts on
the breakaway Dniester Republic during the last month. In the
meantime, the two-day talks among representatives of the foreign
ministries of Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine appear to
have achieved little in the way of resolving the conflict. Another
meeting may be scheduled later this month. (Roman Solchanyk)


CHEMICAL WEAPONS STOCKS IN UDMURTIA. The Udmurt Supreme Council
is discussing how to liquidate stocks of lewisite, a poison gas,
ITAR-TASS reported on 1 April. The report says 7,000 tons of
lewisite have been stored in the town of Kambarka for over 40
years, and are part of the former USSR's admitted stocks of toxic
weapons, said to total 40,000 tons. All the stocks are said to
be in Russia. An agreement of 1 June 1990 between the US and
Soviet presidents committed both countries to beginning the liquidation
of chemical weapons stocks before the end of 1992. Izvestiya
of 21 October 1991 drew attention to the lack of any preparation
on the Soviet (as it then was) side. Udmurtia has a very high
concentration of military industry. (Philip Hanson)

MORE AIR FORCE BOMBERS FLEE UKRAINE. An official of the Carpathian
Military District has charged that six strategic bombers recently
were "illegally" transferred from Ukraine to Belarus. Radio Ukraine
reported on 1 April that the district's military procurator claimed
that the aircraft left a long-range aviation regiment base at
Stryi on 6 February, ostensibly for combat training at Bobruysk,
in Belarus. They were due back on 21 February, but have yet to
return. While the official did not identify the aircraft, the
bases at both Stryi and Bobruysk are subordinate to the 46th
Smolensk Air Army, which is made up of Tu-16 'Badger,' Tu-22
'Blinder,' and Tu- 22M 'Backfire' bombers. (Doug Clarke)

TOP BRASS ACCUSED OF ILLEGAL SALES. Komsomolskaya pravda reported
on 1 April that an investigation carried out by the CIS central
command has implicated numerous senior commanders in illegal
scams to sell off military assets to private companies for their
own financial gain. General Leonid Ivashov, head of the armed
forces Internal Affairs Department and author of the charges,
reportedly turned his findings over to CIS Commander in Chief
Evgenii Shaposhnikov on 26 February. As summarized by AFP on
1 April, the report accused officers of taking advantage of legal
loopholes to "privatize" state property in their names. (Stephen
Foye)

RUSSIAN ARMY DAY? Leading officials from the Shchit military
organization told ITAR-TASS on 1 April that public organizations
would be holding an unofficial army day on 5 April. According
to the report, the date recalls a Russian military victory over
the Teutonic knights on Lake Peipus 750 years ago. Vitalii Urazhtsev,
a founder of Shchit, told ITAR- TASS that the new army day could
replace the former Soviet armed forces day, held on 23 February.
(Stephen Foye)

CONFRONTATION LOOMS BETWEEN YELTSIN AND CONGRESS. Russian President
Boris Yeltsin and Deputy Prime Minister Gennadii Burbulis, on
1 April, again rejected calls for the government to resign at
the upcoming Congress of People's Deputies, ITAR-TASS reported.
Yeltsin told reporters that this government should not be "thrown
to the wolves." The Congress, which convenes on 6 April, is expected
to be a political showdown over the government's economic reforms
and over the draft constitution which reduces the powers of the
legislature and increases presidential authority. An alternative
draft has already been prepared under the auspices of the Movement
for Democratic reforms, while Nezavisimaya gazeta of 1 April
reported that Yeltsin and his advisors are preparing their own
"counterstrike" and a yet another alternative "presidential draft
constitution" to be put to a national referendum, if the Congress
refuses to ratify the proposed constitution. (Carla horson)

LIGACHEV SEEKS COMEBACK. Former Politburo member Egor Ligachev
said at a meeting with steel workers in St. Petersburg that he
is prepared to lead a patriotic movement for the reestablishment
of the former USSR. According to Radio Rossii on 1 April, Ligachev
predicted that the Yeltsin leadership will soon fall, and therefore
preparations for the recreation of the USSR should begin soon.
He stressed the need to abandon market reforms and reinstall
the planned economy. Ligachev denounced ex-Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev as a "rightist revisionist" and said that in reality
he- -Ligachev--and not Gorbachev had been the initiator of reform
in 1985. (Alexander Rahr)

INITIAL RUSSIAN REACTION TO WESTERN AID PACKAGE. The CIS wire
services reported the US and German announcements of the aid
package promptly. On Central Television, it did not feature among
the lead stories, and the commentary contained qualified approval.
Russian officials contacted by Western agencies expressed their
appreciation but hoped that the US would be able to deliver,
while stressing that Russia must be able to help itself. (Keith
Bush)

DELAY REQUESTED IN FUEL PRICE RISE? According to "Vesti" program
on 1 April, the heads of government of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan,
Moldova, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine will submit a joint declaration
to Russia on 2 April requesting that the prices of energy carriers
not be raised until 1 October. The prompt raising of energy prices
to a level approaching world prices is one of the IMF's principal
recommendations for any reform of the Russian economy. Russian
President Boris Yeltsin has already agreed to postpone the first
stage of adjustment of energy prices from 20 April until late
May or early June. (Keith Bush)

GERMAN CREDIT GUARANTEES FOR CIS. The German government has extended
credit guarantees to Belarus and Ukraine but not to Russia for
the time being, RFE/RL's Bonn correspondent reported on 1 April.
Both Belarus and Ukraine had provided the customary government
guarantees and were therefore entitled to draw on the DM 5 billion
total credit made available by Bonn for all CIS members in January.
The Russian government has not yet provided the necessary guarantee.
A German government statement expressed the hope that Russia
will soon resolve the guarantee problem. (Michael Wall and Keith
Bush)

DE BEERS OBTAINS RIGHTS TO SELL DIAMONDS FROM YAKUTIA. ITAR-TASS
of 1 April reported that Nicholas Oppenheimer, deputy chairman
of the firm De Beers Cententary, the South African trust that
holds the world monopoly in diamonds, signed a sales agreement
with the President of Yakutia, Mikhail Nikolaev, according to
which the De Beers' Central Sales Organization would be given
the right to market all Yakutia's gem diamond production. Yakutia
produces 99.8% of the diamonds produced in the Russian Federation
and under terms of a recent decree has the right to sell 10%
of its production indepen-dently. (Charles Carlson)

STANKEVICH ON RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY. Sergei Stankevich, rumored
to be in the running for the post of Russian Federation foreign
minister, offered his philosophy on what Russian foreign policy
should consist of in a commentary published in Nezavisimaya gazeta
(28 March). Among other things, Stankevich suggested that Russia
may become too preoccupied in signing agreements with the CIS
states to the exclusion of achieving a basic foundation in its
relations with these states. He expressed great concern about
the fate of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in non- Russian
republics, stressing that Russia's interest in these people does
not constitute interference in another state's internal affairs.
(Suzanne Crow)

CRIMEA TO EXAMINE AGREEMENT WITH KIEV. The Supreme Council of
the Crimean Republic opened its session on 1 April, Radio Ukraine
reported. The main item on the agenda is the agreement recently
reached between Kiev and the Crimean authorities regarding delineation
of power between Ukraine and the Crimean Republic, which takes
the form of a draft Ukrainian law that is to be approved by both
sides before enactment. The agreement will eventually be incorporated
into the new Ukrainian constitution. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC REFORM. At a press conference on 1 April,
state counselor Oleksandr Yemelyanov explained that the new economic
reform program proposed by Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
is meant to free Ukraine from its economic dependency on Russia,
Radio Ukraine reported. This does not mean, he asserted that
Ukraine wants to exacerbate relations with Russia or prepare
the groundwork for leaving the CIS. Economic ties with the CIS
states will be maintained, said Yemelyanov, who is the author
of the new economic reform. (Roman Solchanyk)

CONFRONTATION CONTINUES IN TAJIKISTAN. According to Interfax
of 1 April, protests demanding that the Tajik Parliament be disbanded,
a new Constitution be immediately adopted, elections be held
for a permanent Parliament, and persecution be ended against
political dissidents are still continuing in Dushanbe. However,
Tajik Vice President Narzully Dustov issued a statement to the
Tajikistan press claiming the absence of a mechanism in the republican
laws that would permit either the president or another authoritative
body to disband Parliament. Leaders of Tajikistan's political
opposition, including the Islamic Revival Party, the Democratic
Party and Rastokhez are dissatisfied with the progress of talks
with Tajik President Rakhom Nabiev. At a press conference leaders
of these movements stated that the government had turned a deaf
ear on the protestors and rejected accusations that opposition
leaders were not willing to hold talks. (Charles Carlson)

TURKEY LAUNCHES TV BROADCASTS TO TURKIC-SPEAKING REPUBLICS. Reuters
of 1 April reported that Turkey began testing a new television
channel to the Turkic-speaking republics of the former Soviet
Union, using earth stations in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan that receive signals from
Turkey via a satellite above the Indian Ocean. Sedat Orsel, Deputy
Head of Turkish State Television (TRT) is quoted as saying "we'll
be Central Asia's window to the world." TRT plans 69 hours of
Turkish-language news and entertainment a week as well as late-night
Turkish broadcasts from Europe which last until five in the morning,
Orsel said. (Charles Carlson)

BISHOPS MEET IN MOSCOW. ITAR-TASS reported on 31 March that a
bishops' "sobor" opened that day in the Danilov monastery in
Moscow. [A bishops' sobor is held at least once every two years,
and has the authority to make changes in church policy.] On the
agenda are questions of canonization of "new martyrs" (believers
killed by the Communist authorities), especially of Metropolitan
of Kiev Vladimir, Metropolitan Veniamin of Petrograd, and the
Grand Duchess Elisaveta; and also the appeal of bishops of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Patriarch Aleksii II to grant this
Church "full canonical independence." (Oxana Antic)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

HAVEL GETS FILES ON 1968. Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel
and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a treaty of friendship
and cooperation in the Kremlin on 1 April. It is the first bilateral
accord between the two countries. The preamble of the treaty
was changed prior to the signing to include a strong condemnation
of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and of the
20-year presence by Soviet troops. Later Yeltsin handed Havel
files containing KGB and CPSU archive materials on the invasion,
calling it a crucial step in the development of relations. Havel
also met former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, CSTK and
Western agencies report. (Barbara Kroulik)

SLOVAK INDEPENDENCE MOVES. Another effort in the Slovak parliament
to declare the republic's sovereignty failed in a vote on 1 April.
The parliament in Bratislava lacked a quorum after several deputies
walked out, but the body voted to continue seeking a constitutional
resolution on the future of the union. Earlier the same day in
Vienna, Slovak politician Vladimir Meciar predicted that Slovakia
will declare sovereignty after the June elections and will achieve
it by the end of 1992. In another development the Slovak branch
of the Czechoslovak news agency CSTK became officially independent
on 1 April. It will be known by the initials TKSR, Western agencies
and CSTK report. (Barbara Kroulik)

WALESA IN MUNICH, BERLIN. On 1 April Polish President Lech Walesa
visited the site of the former concentration camp at Dachau,
where he laid a wreath in memory of the 10,000 Poles who died
there, Western media report. Later, Walesa had lunch with Bavarian
Minister President Max Streibl. The Polish President said he
considered the relationship established at the meeting as a bridge
that "links Poland and Bavaria and shapes the path to the future."
He also said the US-sponsored Munich radio station RFE/RL and
its Polish Section, banned for many years, became a symbol of
independence and credibility in Poland. Concluding his Bavarian
visit, Walesa traveled to Berlin for talks with mayor Eberhard
Diepgen, Brandenburg State Prime Minister Manfred Stolpe, and
other officials. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

POLAND SEEKS SPECIAL RELATIONS WITH WEU. On 1 April Foreign Minister
Krzysztof Skubiszewski said Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary
would like to have a special relationship with the West European
Union defense group. He told a WEU meeting in Berlin that the
East European countries want to make a greater contribution to
European security. WEU Secretary General Willem van Eekelen said
that Western security institutions are "very slow" in responding
effectively to the changed strategic situation in Europe and
the increasing number of European security groupings is making
it more difficult to create a "rational pan-European security
architecture," he noted. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

HUNGARY CALLS FOR MORE REGIONAL COOPERATION. On 1 April Hungarian
Ambassador Istvan Gyarmati told the CSCE conference in Helsinki
that more regional cooperation could help defuse some European
problems, an RFE/RL correspondent reports. He said that the practical
benefits of such cooperation would include an increase in trade,
greater exchange of experience in managing local and regional
affairs, and development of common cultural projects. Gyarmati
sees this as a way to "corner the ghosts of aggressive nationalism"
and reiterated his government's interest in settling conflicts
before they turn into hostilities. (Edith Oltay)

ROMANIAN AUTHORITIES ON THE CONFLICT IN MOLDOVA. A short communique
from the Romanian Defense Ministry on 1 April rejects recent
speculation in both the Russian and Romanian media about the
involvement of Romania's military forces in the conflict in Moldova.
The note reiterated the defensive nature of the country's military
position and promised to keep the population informed about any
planned maneuvers. Patriarch Teoctist, the head of Romania's
Orthodox Church, called on the Patriarch of Moscow and on the
Metropolitan of Kiev to pray for a peaceful solution of the conflict
in Moldova. (Mihai Sturdza)

LORD CARRINGTON NOTES PROGRESS IN BRUSSELS TALKS. The EC's chief
negotiator told the BBC on 1 April that "substantial progress"
has been made in discussions between the leaders of the six ex-Yugoslav
republics. He gave no details, but Western media suggest that
the six are about to drop various mutual trade restrictions imposed
during the past year. Also in Brussels, the Portuguese foreign
minister met with his Greek counterpart to try to convince Athens
to drop its objections to recognizing Macedonia. Some media reports
say that the Greeks are yielding, while other accounts claim
that they are not. In Macedonia itself, some 40,000 Albanians
demonstrated in Skopje on 31 March for political and territorial
autonomy and for a fair share of government jobs. Vjesnik of
30 March and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 2 April reported
the story. (Patrick Moore)

FIGHTING CONTINUES IN CROATIA AND BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. Austrian
TV said on 1 April that six people had died "on the Croatian-Serbian
front" in the previous 24 hours. It also noted that Zagreb airport
reopened to civilian air traffic when an Aeroflot plane arrived
on 1 April from Moscow via Budapest, but added that a federal
jet fighter overflew the Croatian capital that same day. The
Austrian broadcast reported from Sarajevo that Serbs in Bosnia-
Herzegovina's police force were leaving that body to form their
own purely Serbian units, which declared themselves in control
over self-proclaimed autonomous Serbian areas. The commentator
noted that this parallels the actions of ethnic Serbian police
in Croatia a year ago at the start of the crisis in that republic.
At EC-sponsored talks, representatives of Bosnia-Herzegovina's
three main ethnic groups agreed to a cease-fire, but violations
were reported almost immediately. (Patrick Moore)

ALBANIA TO USE SCUDS TO DEFEND KOSOVO? Albanian army Col. Luturak
Germenji, who is also the editor of a military journal, told
Nedjeljna Dalmacija on 26 March that Tirana wants a political
solution to the Kosovo question. He added, however, that "Albania
will not look on passively if Serbia begins a large massacre
of Kosovo Albanians." The colonel claimed that Albania has "enough
weapons (planes, tanks, 'Scuds,' guns, and munitions) to defend
our brothers from Kosovo. We will mobilize all Albanians wherever
they may be, including Kosovo Albanians fit for fighting." He
reminded his Croatian readers that "Germans aren't the Croats'
only allies," and called for an "alliance of Croatia, Slovenia,
Albania, and Hungary" against "great-Serbian expansionism." Germenji
expressed sympathy for the Albanians in Macedonia, but added
"we have nothing against the Macedonians and Macedonia." He concluded
by indicating some doubts about the UN peace-keeping operation,
suggestion that it ultimately serves Serbian interests. (Patrick
Moore)

ESTONIA APPEALS TO NATO. Estonia has asked NATO and the North
Atlantic Cooperation Council to help secure its border and stop
arms and narcotics smuggling, according to an RFE/RL interview
on 1 April. At the meeting in Brussels of defense ministers from
NATO and Eastern European states, Estonian representative Clyde
Kull said there have been at least two attempts to use the port
of Tallinn as a transit point for weapons sales from former Soviet
military stores. One shipment of 15,000 Makarov-type pistols
was intended for the UK via Helsinki, Kull said, while a truckload
of light arms and antitank missiles was bound for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Kull did not rule out that the UK-bound pistols were intended
for the Irish Republican Army, adding that British officials
were unable to determine where the weapons were supposed to go.
(Riina Kionka)

UK CONCERNED ABOUT WEAPONS TRADE. British Defense Secretary Tom
Kind said he is "keenly interested" in Estonia's appeal for help
in controlling its borders. King told Western agencies on 1 April
that the breakup of the Soviet Union has led to "enormous quantities
of surplus arms" in the region, and that the republics of the
former USSR need proper controls on arms sales. King added that
the risk that guns will fall into the hand of terrorists is "very
significant." (Riina Kionka)

SWEDEN BANS ARMS SALES TO BALTIC. Swedish war equipment inspector
Sven Hirdman said on 1 April that the Baltic States will not
be allowed to buy Swedish arms. The Swedish TT agency quotes
Hirdman as saying that such arms sales would contradict Sweden's
policy of not selling weapons to countries that are either in
conflict or risk entering into a conflict. He said "the Baltics
are in a complicated position, they are vulnerable, there are
large Slavic minorities, and the border questions are not yet
resolved." Russia also falls under Sweden's arms sales ban. (Riina
Kionka)

WARSAW PROPOSES TOUGHER ARMS CONTROLS. On 1 April Foreign Trade
Minister Adam Glapinski told a news conference in Warsaw that
he is proposing a bill to give his office better control over
Poland's 47 arms exporters. According to Western and Polish media,
the legislation would precisely define what weapons may be exported
to which countries and oblige officials to scrutinize applications
for arms export licences. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

LITHUANIAN GUN SALES BOOMING. Weapons sales in Lithuania are
brisk, according to BNS of 31 March. Last year, the Lithuanian
government decided to allow citizens to own smooth-barreled hunting
rifles, gas pistols, and Mace, and authorized ten stores to sell
the goods. In the past two months over 500 gas and noise pistols
have been sold. BNS reports that requests for weapons sales authorization
are pending for nearly 100 other stores in Lithuania. (Riina
Kionka)

AGREEMENTS ON ENDING BULGARIAN MINERS' STRIKE. The strike of
Bulgarian ore miners ended late on 1 April after an agreement
was signed between the government and the strike committee of
the Podkrepa Federation of Miners, BTA reports. A symbolic strike
will continue until all problems are settled. Back wages will
be paid by 8 April and a working group will provide recommendations
within two weeks on the future of ore and uranium mining. A compromise
on the demand that Minister of Industry Ivan Pushkarov resign
was reached by giving the prime minister control over all institutions
and persons connected with the mining industry. The government
also signed a similar agreement with the Confederation of Independent
Trade Unions, which had not been directly involved in the strikes.
(Rada Nikolaev)

NEW HEAD OF BULGARIAN TV. On 1 April the National Assembly elected
Asen Agov as head of Bulgarian Television, BTA reports. The post
has been vacant since Ognyan Saparev was dismissed on 6 November
1991. The parliamentary commission on TV and radio considered
at least eight candidates, of which Agov, head of the news department
of Bulgarian TV and highly popular TV journalist, had been considered
the most likely. (Rada Nikolaev)

PRINCIPAL DAILY IN LATVIA TO PRIVATIZE. On 1 April the Latvian
Supreme Council acceded to the request of the staff of Diena
to privatize. The newspaper was formed in November 1990 with
the financial backing of the Supreme Council and the government
of Latvia to carry all "official" news in Latvia. Arvils Aseradens,
commercial director of Diena, told Radio Riga on 1 April that
the idea that Diena would be privatized was present from the
outset. He said that next week Diena intends to start publishing
a weekly business newspaper and next year it aims to start a
news magazine. (Dzintra Bungs)

COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN LATVIA.
Radio Riga reported on 31 March that the Supreme Council decided
on the creation of a 19-member commission to investigate the
crimes against humanity committed during the Soviet and Nazi
German rule of Latvia. Headed by deputies Peteris Lazda and Odisejs
Kostanda, and Edmunds Bumanis, chairman of the Association of
the Politically Repressed, the commission is to submit plans
for a documentation center by 15 April. Initially the work will
be done without pay by volunteers, but it is expected that next
fall the Supreme Council will allocate funds as the work of the
commission expands. (Dzintra Bungs)

CZECHS TO INTRODUCE NEW ABORTION LAWS. On 31 March the Czech
government submitted a bill to parliament aimed at making it
harder for women to obtain an abortion. The bill would be the
first in central Europe to overturn liberal communist legislation
on abortions. According to The Daily Telegraph even though it
will introduce high fees for most abortion procedures, it will
still be one of the most liberal among central Europe's planned
new abortion laws. Slovakia is likely to propose a harsher bill.
Meanwhile, Pope John Paul on 1 April greeted a group of Czech
pilgrims with a denunciation of abortion. (Barbara Kroulik) [As
of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull









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