The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 69, 08 April 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN DEFENDS REFORM. In his speech to the Russian Congress
of People's Deputies, broadcast by Russian TV on 7 April, President
Boris Yeltsin projected optimism that by 1993 the economic hardship
would be softened. He defended his reform program and blamed
the former USSR government leaders Nikolai Ryzhkov and Valentin
Pavlov for the collapse of the economy. Yeltsin admitted that
his government had made mistakes and promised that the policy
of privatization will be corrected. He said that reforms need
a broader social base in the population. Yeltsin also stressed
the need for further cuts in military spending and made some
critical remarks about the work of the foreign ministry. (Alexander
Rahr)

DETAILS ON ECONOMIC REFORMS. Yeltsin released fresh data on economic
activity and proposed new measures. He announced that an upswing
had occurred in foreign trade, with exports rising from $2.2
billion in January to $5 billion in March, while the fall in
imports had halted. He promised the simplification of, and reduction
in, tax rates. Confirming Gaidar's announcement that the credit
squeeze would be relaxed, Yeltsin said that up to 50 billion
rubles of extra credit will be allocated in April to industry
and 70 billion rubles for investment purposes. Priority will
be given to technological development, to consumer goods, and
to agriculture. (Keith Bush)

ON PRIVATIZATION AND MEDICAL CARE. Yeltsin admitted that "nomenklatura
privatization" had not yet been halted. He announced the opening
of personal privatization accounts, whereby "every citizen of
Russia should receive his own personal privatization payment
no later than the fourth quarter of this year. We need millions
of owners and not hundreds of millionaires." A small-scale subsidiary,
private economy will be encouraged: "millions of small- and medium-sized
enterprises will become effective tools in the anti-monopoly
policies." To boost the system of medical care, Yeltsin promised
that more proceeds from privatization will be allocated to health
services, while confirming that private health insurance is being
readied. (Keith Bush)

YELTSIN ON RUSSIAN ARMY. Yeltsin told delegates that Russia would
remain a great power, but that positive changes in the international
environment allowed the country to cut military spending. He
said that he had created a state commission under the direction
of Colonel General Dmitrii Volkogonov to begin the establishment
of a Russian army. He also said that the future Russian Defense
Ministry would gradually shift to civilian contract services.
(Stephen Foye)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ADDRESSES CONGRESS. In what was a surprisingly hard-line
speech, CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov told delegates
on 7 April that he was first and foremost a Russian citizen and
that the existence of a powerful Russian army would largely determine
the country's influence in the world. Shaposhnikov also criticized
the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for not protecting Russian
interests and had harsh words for Baltic leaders who are trying
to end the presence of former Soviet armed forces there. He also
criticized the "arbitrary privatization" of military property,
called for a more even distribution of the defense burden among
CIS states, and urged that military men not be allowed to serve
in the various legislatures. (Stephen Foye)

YELTSIN DECREE ON BLACK SEA FLEET. The three-month-old dispute
between Kiev and Moscow over ownership of the Black Sea Fleet
took a sharp turn for the worse on 7 April, when President Boris
Yeltsin issued a decree asserting Russian Federation jurisdiction
over the disputed fleet. Shaposhnikov read the text of the decree
before the Russian Congress of People's Deputies, stating that
the move was a direct response to President Leonid Kravchuk's
decree of 6 April, asserting Ukrainian control of the fleet and
other former Soviet military assets (an action that itself was
prompted by recent statements by Russian officials, in particular
Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi, concerning the fleet and fate
of Crimea). As summarized by ITAR-TASS and other agencies, the
Yeltsin decree left room for compromise in that it instructs
Russia's defense and foreign affairs ministries to hold negotiations
with Ukraine over the basing of ships in Ukrainian ports and
the transfer of part of the fleet to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

KRAVCHUK REACTS. As summarized by Reuters, President Kravchuk
told Ukrainian TV on 7 April that the CIS is living by the principle
"might makes right" and accused Russia of treating Ukraine like
an enemy. The Ukrainian president also defended his decree of
6 April on the grounds that it is necessary to control the destruction
of nuclear weapons. He was quoted as saying that "until the complete
dismantling and withdrawal of the nuclear forces, I should have
a button... As soon as the last rocket is gone I will, with great
satisfaction, surrender that key." (Kathy Mihalisko)

DECREE DEFIES APPEAL BY UKRAINIAN PRESIDIUM. On 6 April, the
Presidium of the Ukrainian parliament distributed a statement
accusing Russian and CIS military leaders of attempting to destabilize
the situation surrounding the Black Sea Fleet. As relayed by
Ukrinform-TASS, the statement referred specifically to Rutskoi's
comments on 4 April during the vice-president's trip to Crimea
but said that other visits, telegrams and instructions had gone
out to the fleet that undermined the authority of Ukraine's legislative
and executive organs, which was "unacceptable." The Presidium
called on the Russian parliament to join in efforts to normalize
the situation. (Kathy Mihalisko)

BAKER CAUTIONS UKRAINE. U.S. Secretary of State James Baker,
in a statement televised on 7 April, said that American aid to
Ukraine would be reduced if Kiev failed to keep to its promise
to send tactical nuclear weapons to Russia for dismantling. Although
more than half of those weapons have already been transferred,
Ukraine last month suspended the operation pending assurances
that the weapons were indeed being destroyed. Baker said that
US aid could be linked not only to commitments to democracy and
free markets but also, in Ukraine's case, to the fulfillment
of commitments on nuclear safety and responsibility. Baker offered
Ukraine an assurance that the United States would oppose any
attempted nuclear "blackmail" of the country after it had disarmed.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN DELEGATION IN SEVASTOPOL. A delegation from Kiev of
parliamentarians and representatives of the ministry of defense
is in Sevastopol, Radio Ukraine reported on 7 April. The delegation,
led by first deputy chairman of the Ukrainian parliament Vasyl
Durdynets, is in the Black Sea Fleet base to explain President
Kravchuk's latest decree on the military and the recent statement
on the fleet adopted by the Presidium of the Ukrainian parliament.
The group has also met with deputies to the Sevastopol City Council.
(Roman Solchanyk)

RUSSIANS ERECT BARRICADES IN SEVASTOPOL. AFP reported on 7 April
that the Russian-headed "Republican Movement of Crimea" had erected
barricades in the streets leading to Black Sea Fleet headquarters
in the port city of Sevastopol. The Movement's members told AFP
that they would defend the headquarters and its commander, Admiral
Igor Kasatanov, against any attack by special Ukrainian forces.
Kasatanov on 7 April met with the Ukrainian parliament delegation
but rejected Ukraine's claim to command of the fleet, according
to Postfactum. Earlier that same day, Kiev was reported to have
ordered the grounding of the fleet's aircraft. (Kathy Mihalisko)


CRIMEA WANTS UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN SUMMIT. The Presidium of the Crimean
parliament on 7 April appealed to the public and the parliamentary
heads of the CIS countries, urging that the presidents of Ukraine
and Russia meet with Crimean representatives to discuss the Crimean
issue. According to "Novosti," a recent poll shows that more
than 69% of Crimeans want the peninsula returned to Russia. (Roman
Solchanyk)

MOLDOVAN REACTION TO RUTSKOI VISIT. President Mircea Snegur told
a press conference in Chisinau on 7 April that recent statements
by Russian Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi while visiting the
breakaway "Dniester Republic" were "irresponsible," ITAR-TASS
reported. Snegur said that he hoped that the majority of Russian
deputies did not share the position of Rutskoi and Yeltsin adviser,
Sergei Stankevich. If Russia recognizes the "Dniester Republic,"
added Snegur, it should also recognize Tatarstan and Chechenya.
(Roman Solchanyk)

CIS DRAFT MILITARY AGREEMENTS INITIALLED. Participants at a working
meeting of CIS defense ministers in Moscow initialled ten out
of eleven draft CIS military agreements, ITAR-TASS reported on
7 April. All CIS states sent delegations except Moldova, although
Ukraine and Azerbaijan did not initial documents dealing with
creation of CIS common defense structures. The report said that
agreement was reached by all delegations on many issues, the
most important of which was a draft document on allocating funds
for a single defense budget. The draft documents will be included
in the agenda of the next CIS summit in Tashkent scheduled for
15 May. (Stephen Foye)

YELTSIN ON FOREIGN POLICY... During his speech to the Congress,
Yeltsin highlighted the connection between Russia's domestic
and foreign policies: "The success of our foreign policy initiatives
is determined by how correct our course is and how steadfastly
it is implemented. It depends not least on the development of
the situation inside the country and how consistently democratization
and political, economic, and social reforms are carried out."
Yeltsin assured deputies that the "work to strengthen international
position...by no means amounts to an attempt to usurp the role
of superpower that once claimed to decide the world's fate,"
ITAR-TASS reported. (Suzanne Crow)

OVER HALF THE DEPUTIES OPPOSE GAIDAR'S GOVERNMENT. Russian TV
newscasts on 7 April cited the Russian parliament's "Informational
and Analytical Group" analysis of the voting during the first
day of the Congress session. According to the data, only 130
deputies entirely support the Gaidar government; 266 support
it partially; and 653 oppose the government (483 of these opponents,
the analysis found, oppose the government "categorically"). However,
an RFE/RL Russian service reporter noted that Gaidar's address
on the second day of the Congress made a better impression on
the audience than Yeltsin's. (Julia Wishnevsky)

VOLSKY IN LINE FOR CABINET APPOINTMENT? An obvious candidate
for promotion to the Yeltsin cabinet is Arkadii Volsky, chairman
of the Russian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the
employers' association which represents many of Russia's largest
state enterprises, or Volsky's deputy, Aleksandr Vladislavlev.
Volsky, a reformer who has several times recently criticized
the timing of Gaidar's program, is one of the leaders of the
Movement for Democratic Reforms which, together with "Democratic
Russia," sponsored the 5 April "Citizens' Assembly." The enterprises
Volsky represents are demanding subsidies, tax breaks, and credits
to enable them to keep afloat during the reform period and threatening
that production shortfalls and unemployment will result if they
do not get them. (Elizabeth Teague)

PETROV RESIGNS. The head of the Russian Presidential Administration,
Yurii Petrov, has resigned, ITAR-TASS reported on 7 April. Petrov,
a former Communist Party first secretary from the Sverdlovsk
Oblast, had been blamed by democrats recently for bringing old-fashioned
Party apparatchiks back into the Russian leadership. Until now,
Yeltsin has resisted demands to fire Petrov and stressed that
he would defend his associate. Petrov's resignation may be connected
with the recent restructuring of the executive organs. The Presidential
Administration is to be incorporated into the structures of the
State Council, run by State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis. (Alexander
Rahr)

PRESIDENTIAL RULE IMPOSED ON SOME RAIONS OF AZERBAIJAN. Radio
Baku reported on 7 April that acting President Yakub Mamedov
had imposed presidential rule in several raions. Meeting in Baku
with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, Mamedov stated
that as a precondition for a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh all
arms and equipment left behind in Karabakh by retreating CIS
troops must be removed or destroyed. (Liz Fuller)

KYRGYZ PRESIDENT IN GERMANY. Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev, the
first Central Asian president to visit Germany since the Central
Asian states became independent, arrived in Bonn on 6 April for
a 4-day round of talks with various German government officials.
News agencies reported on 7 April that the German Foreign Ministry
had issued a statement on Akaev's talks with Foreign Minister
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, in which Akaev offered favorable investment
conditions for German investors, and Genscher offered support
for Kyrgyzstan's economic and constitutional development. The
offer was repeated by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on 7 April.
(Michael Wall/Bess Brown)





EASTERN EUROPE





CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

US RECOGNITION FOR THREE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS. Western and
Yugoslav area media gave extensive coverage to the formal recognition
by the US of the independence of Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In a written statement on 7 April President George Bush announced
that the US is preparing to establish full diplomatic relations
with the former Yugoslav republics and that the four-month-old
economic sanctions against the independent republics have been
lifted. Sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro will be lifted
as well, but only after they lift their blockade of Bosnia-Herzegovina
and Macedonia. According to a RFE/RL correspondent's report,
the White House action was the first practical demonstration
of an agreement last March by which the US and the EC agreed
to coordinate recognition of former Yugoslav republics. Austria
and Croatia have also recognized Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Germany
announced it is setting up an embassy in Sarajevo. (Milan Andrejevich)


VIOLENCE, UNCERTAINTY PERSIST IN BOSNIA. Radio Sarajevo reports
that armed battles, terrorist activities, and looting continue
to disrupt daily life in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Federal warplanes
bombed the Herzegovinian town of Siroki Brijeg, killing five
civilians, and attacked two other villages claiming that illegal
Croatian paramilitary units are stationed there. Bosnia's government
condemned the actions and announced that it was taking steps
to suspend some federal laws in the republic. Street fighting
in Sarajevo has died down, but police are concerned over the
activities of "thugs and hooligans" disrupting police efforts
to maintain peace. Meanwhile, the Committee for National Salvation
renamed itself the "Peace Committee of the All-People's Parliament"
and continued its protest meeting in the republic's assembly
building. A proclamation was issued suspending the activities
of the government and parliament and announcing new elections
within a few months. Shortly afterwards, about 50 deputies of
the republican assembly, which had been in session in the same
building, were ordered out by uniformed militiamen declaring
themselves police regulars loyal to the republic. Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic issued an appeal on Austrian TV to the EC asking
for help; he said the Serbs and federal army are preparing a
coup. (Milan Andrejevich)

GLIGOROV CRITICIZES GREECE, EC. Radio Skopje gave extensive coverage
last night to a press conference in which Macedonian President
Kiro Gligorov blamed Greece for making "incomprehensible and
unacceptable demands" that the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia
change its name. Greece opposes an independent state along its
borders with the same name as its northern province of Macedonia
and fears that Skopje has territorial pretensions toward the
area. Gligorov reiterated that his republic has absolutely no
claims to Greek territory. He also denied that the EC's decision
not to recognize the republic's independence at this time was
influenced by demands for full autonomy on the part of the republic's
Albanian minority. On 3 April Albanians in the town of Struga
declared the area the "Albanian Autonomous Republic of Ilirida."
Macedonia's government responded by saying that it will not permit
any part of the republic to create "parallel authority" and political
autonomy. (Milan Andrejevich)

PARYS'S STATEMENT JOLTS ESTABLISHMENT. The assertion by Polish
Defense Minister Jan Parys that certain politicians have been
courting high army officers behind his back and tempting them
with promised promotions to join in their intrigues, has jolted
the Polish political establishment, local and Western media report.
President Walesa, as if to preempt possible suspicion that he
was the addressee of Parys's criticism, said that "it is difficult
for the president as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to
avoid contacts with the army." Parys was also attacked by most
of Poland's political leadership. Speaking to RFE/RL on 7 April,
Bronislaw Geremek, Chairman of the Democratic Union parliamentary
caucus, said "creating an impression that the army and the police
are mixed up in conspiracies serves Poland badly." Andrzej Urbanski
of the Center Alliance said that his party has been, "for some
time now pointing to the dangerous precedent of meetings within
the presidential office, outside the parliamentary and government
structures, and without [the knowledge] of the president." Former
deputy defense minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz said that Parys's
speech "shows a great deal of irresponsibility--and a minister
of defense should be a responsible man." (Roman Stefanowski)


BALTIC LEADERS DISCUSS EX-SOVIET TROOP PULLOUT. On 4 April leaders
of the Baltic delegations for negotiation of ex-USSR troop pullout
from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania met in Vilnius, Diena reports.
They compared their talks so far with Russia; in an effort to
coordinate their work, they decided to hold regular consultations.
From this meeting it emerged that both Latvia and Estonia have
decided that if agreement cannot be reached with Russia on a
timetable for the troop pullout, they would not sign the Helsinki-2
accord on the agenda for the next CSCE meeting. Lithuania expects
a meeting with the Russian delegation in April on setting a withdrawal
schedule; if this proves unsuccessful, Lithuania intends to internationalize
the matter by bringing it up at the next CSCE meeting. Negotiators
for Estonia and Russia will meet on 14-15 April in the Estonian
resort town of Parnu. Russian chief negotiator Vasilii Svirin
told BNS on 6 April that the talks will be difficult: "The parties
are or are likely to be at odds on a number of questions," he
said. (Dzintra Bungs & Riina Kionka)

UKRAINE TO PULL TROOPS, BELARUS UNDECIDED. Ukrainian President
Leonid Kravchuk has reacted positively to an Estonian proposal
for Ukraine to call home its troops serving in Estonia, BNS reports.
Chairman of the Estonian Supreme Council Arnold Ruutel made the
suggestion to call home the 2000 troops in telephone discussion
with Kravchuk last week, saying "an absurd situation has arisen
in which the troops of one UN member-state are serving in the
armed forces of a second UN member-state on the territory of
a third UN member-state." Ruutel's Belarus counterpart Stanislau
Shushkevich was less enthusiastic, saying Belarus cannot call
home its troops until it can provide housing and social guarantees.
(Riina Kionka)

ANTALL ON GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS. In a television interview
on 7 April Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall rejected charges
by opposition parties that he dominates the government and seeks
to build the prime minister's office and the Ministry of Interior
into centers of power. Antall said that while many people in
Hungary are still used to the idea that a "party center" exercises
political power, in reality "there are no attempts whatsoever
at centralizing power, and the ministers are fully able to assert
their independence." He also rejected charges that some members
of his party, the Democratic Forum, and of the ruling coalition
have extremist views. Antall said that the Democratic Forum is
a middle-of-the-road party that is stable enough to ward off
extremist views and to balance out different political opinions.
Antall was speaking on the eve of the second anniversary of the
Hungarian parliamentary elections out of which the current parliament
emerged. (Edith Oltay)

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT ASKED TO REQUEST NATO MEMBERSHIP. In an
individual parliamentary motion, deputy Gyula Horn, chairman
of the Hungarian Socialist Party (as well as chairman of parliament's
foreign relations committee), proposed a resolution calling upon
the government to seek NATO membership for Hungary, Radio Budapest
reported on 7 April. As early as February 1990, when still foreign
minister of Hungary's reform communist government, Horn had said
that he could imagine Hungary becoming a member of NATO's political
organizations in a few years. He justified his present motion
by the need to clarify Hungary's international status, strengthen
its security, and promote its integration with the West. Parliament
has until Monday to decide whether the put the motion on its
agenda. (Alfred Reisch)

PRAGUE WANTS SHARE IN EAST BLOC PRIVATIZATION. Czechoslovakia
says it has proposed forgiving the debts owed by Russia and Bulgaria
in return for shares in privatized industries in those countries.
Presidential spokesman Michael Zantovsky told reporters on 7
April that Russia owes Czechoslovakia $5 billion, Bulgaria $343
million. Zantovsky said the proposals were presented during President
Havel's recent visits to Moscow and Sofia. The Russian ministers
reportedly reacted positively but the Bulgarian government feared
that the proposal might not be approved by the parliament. Finance
Minister Vaclav Klaus was identified as the author of the scheme.
(Barbara Kroulik)

LALUMIERE CRITICIZES CZECHOSLOVAK SCREENING LAW. The Secretary-General
of the Council of Europe, on her visit to Prague on 7 April,
spoke out about the controversial Czechoslovak screening law,
saying it does not protect people from unproven accusations.
Catherine Lalumiere said the law violates the European Convention
on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which
Czechoslovakia signed last month. She said the screening law
should contain "safety measures" to ensure no one is held liable
for collaboration with the communist secret police until the
accusation has been proven. The law passed last year bars former
communist party officials, members of state security forces and
collaborators from holding high public office until 1996. (Barbara
Kroulik)

ROMANIA: INCREASING POVERTY... According to official data released
on 4 and 6 April, 42% of the more than 22 million Romanian citizens
now live beneath the official poverty line. In February and March
1992, 5,501 persons were found guilty of serious offenses, including
illegal possession of arms. Some 19,408 persons had come under
investigation, 2953 more than in the same period last year. The
statistics mentioned that 7,146 persons had paid fines totalling
3,325 million lei for stealing wood from forests or construction
sites. Some 16,700 police raids in trains, ports, railway stations
and airports uncovered theft worth 18.4 million lei. Juvenile
crime is steadily rising as well. The Ministry of Health has
issued a warning about sales on the black market of spoiled food
from state enterprises. Unemployment figures stand officially
at 4%, but the figure is expected to rise significantly. (Mihai
Sturdza)

...AND CORRUPTION. Miron Cosma, the miners' leader accused in
an official report of heading a series of violent labor actions
in 1990-92, struck back at his critics in a speech last week
reported in the local press on 7 April. Cosma alluded to dubious
deals involving radioactive waste materials that have proved
profitable to highly-placed persons. Meanwhile, Adevarul is continuing
its series entitled "Corruption Stories" about new-minted billionaires
and how they use their useful connections. Reportedly, from 1
January to 15 March 1992, 2,147 illegal money changers were forced
to pay fines totalling 64 million lei; the largest single illegal
currency transaction involved 2 million Dutch guilders. Adevarul
writes on 7 April that the real problem is the law establishing
a single exchange rate for the leu, which has distorted the market
mechanism. Both legal and illegal casinos are proliferating in
the country. Some 1132 cases of corruption, bribery, and influence-peddling
are under investigation. (Mihai Sturdza)

LITHUANIAN DEPUTY'S MANDATE SUSPENDED OVER KGB CHARGES. The Lithuanian
Supreme Council has suspended the mandate of deputy Virgilijus
Cepaitis, who is accused of having collaborated with the KGB.
The charges were made by a parliamentary commission, according
to reports received by the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service on 7 April.
Cepaitis was an associate of Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas
Landsbergis. His mandate has been suspended until new elections
are held in his election district; he can run as a candidate
if he chooses. (Dzintra Bungs)

KROON ON THE WAY? The delivery of a container under armed police
blockade on 7 April to the Estonian Bank building in Tallinn
has fueled speculation that Estonia is on the verge of introducing
its new currency. According to a BNS report that day Tallinn
police chief Raik Saart denied having any special assignment.
Saart, however, said the police provide security for all currency
deliveries in Estonia, including ruble deliveries, adding that
matters related to introduction of the kroon were strictly confidential.
An Estonian Bank secretary queried by BNS refused comment. According
BNS calculations, the amount of money needed to carry out a currency
reform would fit into two shipping containers of the sort delivered
this week. (Riina Kionka)



CORRECTION. The Estonian Supreme Council vote of 6 April confirming
Jaan Manitski as foreign minister was 46-8, with 16 abstentions,
Rahva Haal reported the next day.

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson and Charles Trumbull

(END)

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