|A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner. - Samuel Johnson|
No. 70, 09 April 1992
SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR GAIDAR GOVERNMENT IN JEOPARDY? The Congress of People's Deputies editorial commission has prepared resolutions which express no confidence in the government and recommend that Yeltsin resign his post as prime minister, according to "Vesti" of 8 April. The resolutions, "Vesti" said, are supposed to be put to a vote on 9 April. "Vesti" also quoted Egor Gaidar as saying that the entire government would resign should Yeltsin relinquish his post as prime minister. Two days earlier, Yeltsin said that he would need six months to form another government. (Julia Wishnevsky) YELTSIN CRITICIZED AT CONGRESS. Yeltsin was criticized by conservative deputies in the Congress on 8 April. Western agencies reported that several deputies demanded that "Russian solutions" be found for Russia's problems and denounced Yeltsin for taking advice and money from the West. When Yeltsin left the Congress to attend a meeting of the Russian Constitutional Commission, deputies immediately voted that he return and listen to their attacks on his policies. Yeltsin did return but left the hall again when a deputy compared him with the Italian fascist dictator Mussolini. First Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar warned that if Yeltsin is stripped of his special powers, the entire reformist government would resign. (Alexander Rahr) CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION AGAINST REFERENDUM ON CONSTITUTION. A plenary session of the Constitutional Commission under the chairmanship of Supreme Soviet Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov on 8 April recommended that the Congress of People's Deputies adopt the commission's draft constitution on the first reading, but decided to remove from the agenda the question of submitting the draft to a referendum, Radio Rossii reported, citing Interfax. Khasbulatov maintained that a referendum would turn the country upside down. In his opinion, if the Congress failed to adopt the constitution on the first reading, the position of the legislature vis-a-vis the executive would be greatly weakened. ITAR-TASS reported on 8 April that two-thirds of Russian deputies wanted the adoption of the constitution to be postponed until the next congress, after nation-wide discussion. (Ann Sheehy) UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS? In view of the situation surrounding the Black Sea Fleet, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, speaking from Ashkhabad, was quoted by ITAR-TASS as proposing a meeting between himself and his Ukrainian counterpart, Anatolii Zlenko, on 11 April in Moscow. On the question of whether Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kravchuk will hold talks, the press attache of the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow suggested that such a meeting could take place to resolve the dispute, but Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Fedor Shelov-Kovedyaev, in an interview with ITAR-TASS, could not confirm that statement. He went on to say that Kravchuk had not acted in accordance with agreements pertaining to CIS strategic forces, and that Boris Yeltsin's counter-decree was not confrontational in nature, in that, although the fleet is placed under Russian jurisdiction, it will be under CIS command. (Kathy Mihalisko) UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RESPONDS TO YELTSIN DECREE. Russian and Ukrainian media reported on 9 April that the Ukrainian parliament, which met in closed session on 8 April to discuss the Black Sea Fleet controversy and Kiev's military policy, has adopted a statement on Yeltsin's decree claiming Russian jurisdiction over the fleet. The statement says that the Russian president's move should be regarded "as an actual declaration of war against independent Ukraine." Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk told parliament on 8 April that Russia alone is to blame for igniting the conflict, as quoted by Radio Ukraine. In addition, as reported by Ukrinform-TASS, Kravchuk asserted that in establishing its own army and navy, Ukraine was acting in accordance with the Minsk agreements signed by all CIS members. He further declared that all of the fleet's ships based in Ukrainian ports belong to Ukraine. (Kathy Mihalisko) FURTHER UKRAINIAN REACTION. Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov, quoted on 8 April by Ukrinform-TASS, stated that his country is not laying claim to the entire fleet and that it is taking into account the rights of other states, including Russia. Morozov maintained that the command of the united CIS armed forces is doing everything in its power to block the establishment of the Ukrainian armed forces. A high-ranking spokesman for Rukh, Mykola Porovskyi, told Radio Ukraine on 8 April that Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Kasatonov should be declared persona non grata in Ukraine for obstructing executive presidential power in Crimea. Ukrainian Republican Party leader Levko Lukyanenko called for the mobilization of all forces to put the fleet under Ukrainian jurisdiction by peaceful means. (Kathy Mihalisko) UKRAINE NAMES NAVY COMMANDER. On 8 April ITAR-TASS reported that Kravchuk had appointed Rear Admiral Boris Kozhnin as commander of the Ukrainian Navy. Kozhnin was immediately dismissed as the commander of the CIS naval base at Donuzlav, some 100 kilometers northwest of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, by the Black Sea Fleet Commander in Chief, Admiral Igor Kasatonov. The CIS Navy press center said that Kozhnin was fired for "neglect of his official duties and abuse of authority." Kozhnin told a press conference in Sevastopol the same day that the problems of the fleet should be settled by political means. He refused to speculate as to how many ships his navy would need, saying that would depend on the tasks assigned to it. (Doug Clarke) CONGRESS ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON DNIESTER AREA OF MOLDOVA. The Russian Congress of People's Deputies adopted a resolution on 8 April in support of the population on the left bank of the Dniester in Moldova, ITAR-TASS reported. The resolution expressed concern about violations of human rights in Moldova, and said Russia was ready to create a peace-keeping force from volunteers from the 14th Army to keep the two sides apart. The resolution also said Russia would ask the CIS states and the international community to send observers to the area of conflict, and would entrust the Russian government with furthering talks on the legal status of the left bank of the Dniester as part of the Republic of Moldova. (Ann Sheehy) GAGAUZ REPUBLIC WANTS TO JOIN RUSSIA. The Supreme Council of the breakaway "Gagauz Republic" in Moldova has asked the Russian Congress of People's Deputies to recognize it as "an integral part of the Russian Federation," ITAR-TASS reported on 8 April. The "Gagauz Republic," which declared its independence in August last year, is an area of southern Moldova populated by ethnic Turkic Christians. (Roman Solchanyk) OPPOSITION TO DUDAEV THREATENS USE OF FORCE. Vakhid Itaev, chairman of the 15-man Coordination Council of the Public Movement for the Restoration of the Constitutional Order in the Chechen-Ingush Republic, has said that, since Chechen president Dzhakhar Dudaev continues to ignore their demands, the opposition will force him to defend himself with a weapon in his hands, "Novosti" reported on 9 April. The council was responsible for the temporary seizure of the TV center in Groznyi on 31 March. A letter from Itaev, described as a well-known writer, to Dudaev calling on Dudaev to resign had been published in Rossiiskaya gazeta on 12 March. (Ann Sheehy) RYZHKOV: PARTY'S ATTACK ON YELTSIN WAS A "GREAT MISTAKE." Nikolai Ryzhkov, former USSR Prime Minister and one of Yeltsin's worst enemies in the leadership, admitted in an interview with Le Monde on 7 April that the Gorbachev leadership (himself included) had made a great mistake in its treatment of Boris Yeltsin. At the CPSU Central Committee plenum in 1987, when Yeltsin took the rostrum to criticize the performance of the Party's second in command, Egor Ligachev, the Party had erred, Ryzhkov said. He added: "We should have taken his speech into consideration, and not have made a scandal out of it." According to Ryzhkov, the Party made another mistake regarding Yeltsin during the Nineteenth Party conference in 1988 when his request for rehabilitation was rejected. Instead of granting his request, Ryzhkov explained, "we made him a hero." (Julia Wishnevsky) GORBACHEV QUESTIONED. On 8 April, Mikhail Gorbachev talked with Vladimir Kiselev, an investigator on the case of the misuse of Communist Party funds. Gorbachev told "Vesti" that he began the interview with the investigator by requesting to see the official resolution to launch a criminal case, and there were no such resolution. Thereupon Gorbachev told the investigator that all Party bank accounts had been scrutinized prior to the last Party Congress, and that neither he nor any of his former Politburo colleagues have foreign bank accounts. Gorbachev added that he had refused to sign any sworn statement. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS quoted the prosecution as saying that Gorbachev was interviewed as a witness in the case and that they had no intention to limit his visits abroad. (Julia Wishnevsky) PLANS FOR CONVERSION. Russia's recently appointed First Deputy Defense Minister, Andrei Kokoshin, told ITAR-TASS on 8 April that military industries would, in general, have to use their own resources to climb out of their current economic difficulties. He urged the adoption of a national industrial policy, arguing that the 10 billion rubles allocated to industrial conversion should not be dissipated throughout the defense industries as a whole, but should be concentrated on those industries promising the greatest long term commercial success. In his speech to the Russian Congress on 7 April Boris Yeltsin said that 10 billion rubles had already been spent on conversion in the first quarter of this year, and that another 30 billion would be spent by the end of the year. (Stephen Foye) RUSSIA TO BUILD UP GOLD RESERVES. A Russian finance official told a news conference in Moscow on 8 April that his federation plans to rebuild its gold reserves to bolster its international financial reputation, Reuters reported. Evgenii Bychkov, chief of the Russian Finance Ministry's precious metals and stones division, recommended the provision of incentives to increase gold output, including better working conditions and more favorable tax and pricing policies. (Keith Bush) GERMAN SETTLERS IN UKRAINE. Local authorities in the Odessa Oblast told a visiting delegation from the German foreign ministry that 13 raions are prepared to welcome German settlers, Radio Ukraine reported on 8 April. Up to 6,000 families could be resettled in the next two to three years. The German delegation held talks in the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers on plans to resettle Germans who had been deported during the war. (Roman Solchanyk) BELARUS REPRESENTATIVE TO CIS QUITS IN PROTEST. Addressing the Belarusian parliament on 7 April, chairman Stanislau Shushkevich reviewed the work of the Presidium over a nearly two-year period beginning June, 1990, devoting special attention to the relatively low decline in national income and agricultural output in Belarus during that period, according to Belta-TASS. Shushkevich was subjected, however, to "extremely sharp" criticism, notably by Dmitrii Bulakhau, chairman of the parliamentary commission on legislation. Bulakhau said Shushkevich was guilty of constantly straddling the republic's different political groupings, in the manner of former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Underscoring his anger at the modus operandi of the parliamentary leadership, Bulakhau proceeded to announce his resignation both from the legislation commission and as Belarusian representative to the CIS. (Kathy Mihalisko) GEORGIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE. Georgia's ruling State Council has scheduled local elections for June. On 8 April, RIA quoted State Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze as stating that the local elections "would help stabilize the situation and thus help conduct parliamentary elections in the autumn on a genuinely democratic basis." (Liz Fuller) ARMENIA ON VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY. The draft state budget for the first six months of 1992 presented to the Armenian parliament on 6 April by Finance Minister Dzhanik Dzhanoyan showed a deficit of more than 1,600 million rubles, Interfax reported on 8 April. Armenia's industry has been crippled by the energy blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and the breakdown of economic ties between former Soviet republics. (Liz Fuller) TAJIK GOVERNMENT TRIES TO END DEMONSTRATIONS. Radio Dushanbe reported on 7 April that Tajikistan's government had appealed to the opposition to end demonstrations that have been underway since 26 March. A statement issued by the Council of Ministers said that the demonstration has caused gasoline shortages, transport delays, and declines in factory output and delivery of foreign supplies. On 8 April, DPA quoted a leader of the opposition Islamic Party as saying that the demonstrators will not drop their demands for the resignation of president Rakhman Nabiev and the dissolution of the Communist-dominated Supreme Soviet. The same day, ITAR-TASS reported that the Supreme Soviet Presidium had announced it would hold talks with the opposition. (Bess Brown) EASTERN EUROPE CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN BOSNIA. Radio Sarajevo reports on 8 April that Bosnia's Presidency declared a "direct danger of war" throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. The unusual wording is interpreted as a state of emergency. The Presidency's decree places all security forces in the republic under its jurisdiction, replacing the federal army. The Presidency expanded its membership to include the president of the national assembly, the prime minister, and the commander of the republic's territorial defense (national guard). The decree also drops the "socialist" attribute from the name of the the republic, and relieves from duty Serb federal army officers who served as territorial defense commanders. Bosnian police say that after a week of fighting 300 people have been killed. Yesterday, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Canada recognized the republic's independence. (Milan Andrejevich) STRAINS IN BOSNIA-FEDERAL ARMY RELATIONSHIP. Bosnia's Deputy Prime Minister Muhamed Cengic told reporters that Gen. Milutin Kukanjac, commander of the federal Second Military District, is apparently willing to cooperate with the republic's government. But in an 8 April response to a letter of protest by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, Gen. Blagoje Adzic, the federal Defense Minister, raised doubts about Izetbegovic's ability to stabilize the republic. Adzic blamed Izetbegovic for the violence and denied that the federal air force had bombed the religious shrine in Medjugorje, saying that the alleged attack was "staged." In his 7 April letter to Adzic, Izetbegovic accused the federal army and the general himself of not taking energetic steps to prevent violence, Radio Sarajevo reports. Until recently relations between the federal army and Izetbegovic have been good, but the charges and countercharges of the past week have severely strained relations. Radio Croatia believes a split may have emerged within the federal army as well between those who want to respect Bosnia's independence and those who support Serb demands that 65% of Bosnia's territory become part of a rump federal Yugoslav state. (Milan Andrejevich) FIGHTING UPDATE. Sarajevo community leaders are negotiating to restore stability, while the Bosnian government says the federal army is "threatening to turn Sarajevo into another Vukovar." The city remained quiet during the curfew after being pounded earlier in the day by mortal and artillery fire by Serb paramilitary units from the surrounding hills, according to a spokesman of the local police. The Serb-dominated federal army won back control of Kupres, predominantly Serbian in population and site of a number of military installations, from Croatian paramilitary forces. Mostar city officials issued a dramatic warning of a threat that damage inflicted on a large aluminum plant there could spark an ecological catastrophe throughout the region and even as far as the Adriatic Sea. (Milan Andrejevich) CZECHOSLOVAKIA WAITS ON RECOGNITION. The Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry said on 8 April that it is considering recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina's independence but no decision has yet been reached. A decision is expected in a few days. (Barbara Kroulik) ZHELEV ON MACEDONIA. In a statement released through BTA on 8 April Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev appealed to the European Community to recognize the independence of the Republic of Macedonia as soon as possible. Zhelev welcomed EC recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but recalled that Bulgaria had recognized the four former Yugoslav republics on 15 January after the Badinter arbitration commission had concluded that all qualify for independent statehood. Zhelev warned that delay in recognizing Macedonia could have undesirable consequences for its security and destabilize the Balkans. (Rada Nikolaev) OLSZEWSKI FAVORS EXPANDED COALITION. After a lengthy meeting on 8 April, the government coalition parties authorized Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski to continue efforts to form a larger government coalition. The same day Olszewski met with Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Chairman of the Democratic Union, who also speaks on behalf of the Liberal-Democratic Congress and the Polish Economic Program parties. After the meeting, according to PAP, Mazowiecki said that Olszewski confirmed he wants an extended coalition but made it quite clear that any agreement would depend on the potential partners' attitude to the government's budget proposals, now in the Sejm commission. (Roman Stefanowski) PARYS CONFIRMS PAPER'S DISCLOSURES. On forced leave since making public suggestions that some politicians had tried to influence high army officers, Polish Defense Minister Jan Parys has confirmed information published by Nowy swiat on 8 April. The paper said the contacts with the commanders of the military regions were made on President Lech Walesa's instruction by Mieczyslaw Wachowski, chief of the president's cabinet and Bronislaw Komorowski, former deputy defense minister. According to PAP, however, Komorowski denies he "talked or cooperated with Wachowski on Ministry of Defense business" or that he received any orders from the president. (Roman Stefanowski) ARREST IN LITHUANIA PROMPTS PROTESTS. Lithuanian prosecutors arrested a high officer of the former Soviet Baltic fleet on 7 April, BNS reports. Commander of the Third Division (Coast Defense) Col. Ivan Chernykh was arrested for having backed the failed coup last August. On 8 April the fleet command issued an ultimatum to Klaipeda city authorities saying that if Chernykh were not released by 14:00 local time, troops would begin an armed march on Vilnius. In addition, Lithuanian authorities told BNS that Russian Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi sent Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis a telegram on 8 April threatening Russian military action if Chernykh were not released. After an 8 April meeting in Vilnius, however, Landsbergis and top Russian military officials agreed that Chernykh would be handed over, in keeping with Russian President Boris Yeltsin's January subordination of the Northwestern Group of Forces to Russian control. Latest reports from ITAR-TASS say Chernykh has been released to Russian authorities in Kaliningrad on a 1000-ruble bail. (Riina Kionka) LATVIA PROTESTS EX-USSR TROOP ACTIVITIES, HUNGARY OFFERS ADVICE. Diena reported on 7 April that Latvia's Foreign Minister sent another note to its Russian counterpart protesting weapons training near Cekule and the accident of a military vehicle on the streets of Riga on 1 April. BNS reports that Hungarian envoy to Latvia, Bela Javorszky, met with Andrejs Krastins, Deputy Chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council, and expressed sympathy with Latvia's insistence on the pullout of ex-Soviet troops from its territory. Javorszky stressed that when the this issue is brought up in international forums, Latvia can count on Hungary's support, BNS reported on 7 April. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIA, BELARUS ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. Radio Riga reported on 7 April that foreign ministers Janis Jurkans of Latvia and Pyotr Krauchenka of Belarus signed a protocol establishing diplomatic relations between their countries. No dates were set for opening embassies. Krauchenka was visiting Latvia to discuss economic cooperation and the establishment of a Belarusian secondary school in Latvia. Jurkans raised the issue of Belarus recalling from Latvia its young men who are still serving in the ex-USSR armed forces. (Dzintra Bungs) STOLOJAN ABOUT BUDGET DEFICIT. After a two-day meeting with representatives of more than 1,000 state-owned companies, Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan said on 7 April that the main problem of Romania's economy is the $1.5 billion balance of payments deficit for 1992: it should be reduced to $0.6 billion in 1993 and liquidated completely in 1994. Of the $1 billion in credits promised by the IMF and the World Bank in 1991, only $250 million have so far been received. Therefore, Stolojan said, despite the recent upwards trend of the industrial output, Romania faces a new production slump and the deterioration of the exchange-rate mechanism. Local media covered the story. (Mihai Sturdza) ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER AGAINST CONTINUING COALITION. Radu Campeanu, president of the main opposition National Liberal Party, which with 13 other opposition parties forms the Democratic Convention, said on 8 April that the coalition should dissolve since it no longer reflects political reality in Romania. Western agencies report that he spoke against further affiliation with the second largest opposition party, the Democratic Union of the Hungarians of Romania, and said his party will not back Civic Alliance Party leader Nicolae Manolescu, so far the sole opposition presidential candidate. The extent of Campeanu's support is not clear, however, and on 7 April the RFE/RL Romanian Service reported a call to Campeanu from a prominent member of his own party not to splinter the opposition. A final decision is expected at the National Liberal Party convention on 11 April. (Mihai Sturdza) ROMANIAN TV FACES BANKRUPTCY. Razvan Theodorescu, director of Romania's state-owned television, said on 7 April that his budget showed a deficit of over 1 billion lei for 1991. There is no money left to fund radio and TV programs, and technical facilities are in a deplorable state of repair. He called for an urgent and steep increase of TV and radio fees. On 8 April, however, local media quoted Dumitru Iuga, president of the Free Television Union, as saying that the impending bankruptcy is really the result of Theodorescu's management, which has never been fiscally responsible. (Mihai Sturdza) SOVIET ARCHIVES SHOW SECRET 1968 MEETING. Three months after the August 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Leonid Brezhnev met secretly in Warsaw with Prague Spring leader Alexander Dubcek and the "future normalizer" Gustav Husak. A transcript of the meeting was among documents of the former CPSU Central Committee, given to Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel by Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow last week. The disclosure was made public by Milos Barta, Secretary of the Czechoslovak government commission analyzing the years 1967-70, in an interview with Prace. (Barbara Kroulik) WEST CRITICIZED FOR FAILING TO UNDERWRITE MEDICINE FOR CIS. The ambassadors to the US from Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary jointly told journalists in Washington on 7 April that the West has failed to finance shipments of medicines from their countries to the CIS. They criticized the US and Western Europe for not acting on proposals to use aid money to buy goods from their countries for distribution in the CIS. The European Community allocated $500 million for this scheme but has not disbursed any of it.(Barbara Kroulik) SUZUKI SAYS CAR PLANT IN HUNGARY ON SCHEDULE DESPITE PROBLEMS. Osami Suzuki, president of the Suzuki Motor Corporation, told reporters in Budapest that construction at the Suzuki plant in Esztergom is on schedule despite problems with some of the Hungarian firms seeking to produce components for the new car, MTI reported on 8 April. Suzuki complained that some Hungarian manufacturers have difficulties maintaining agreements because of lack of capital, and charge exaggerated prices. The plant is scheduled to begin assembling a small car, the 1.3-liter Suzuki Swift, in October. Initially about 30% of the car will be of Hungarian manufacture, but Hungary hopes its share will grow to 60% by 1995, which would make the car a Hungarian product under EC regulations. (Edith Oltay) SUESSMUTH FAVORS BETTER GERMAN-POLISH RELATIONS. In Poland on an unofficial visit, the speaker of the German Bundestag, Rita Suessmuth, said she is in favor of upgrading German-Polish relations. Speaking at the Goethe Institute in Warsaw on 8 April Suessmuth said, "we have to overcome the past in order to build a more appropriate democratic future," PAP reported. Suessmuth and Polish Education Minister Andrzej Stelmachowski signed a cooperation agreement by which the Germans will assist adult education in Poland. (Roman Stefanowski) DUTCH DEFENSE MINISTER IN HUNGARY. Relus ter Beek arrived in Budapest for a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Hungarian counterpart, Lajos Fur, MTI reported on 8 April. The two sides will review military and security issues in East Central Europe and possibilities for future bilateral cooperation. (Alfred Reisch) BULGARIA'S ASSOCIATION WITH THE EC. Bulgarian media on 7 and 8 April voiced concern about a delay in the talks on Bulgaria's association with the European Community after the EC Council of Ministers session in Luxembourg. Lea Koen, Bulgaria's ambassador in Brussels, told BTA, however, that talks on the association of Bulgaria and Romania were postponed due to a full EC agenda rather than because of any substantive problems. (Rada Nikolaev) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson and Charles Trumbull (END) The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Inc.) in Munich, Germany, with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available Monday through Friday, except holidays, at approximately 0800 US Eastern Time (1400 Central European Time) by fax, post, or e-mail. The report is also posted daily on the SOVSET computer network. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: In USA: Mr. Jon Lodeesen or Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6900 fax: (202) 457-6992 or -202-828-8783; or in Europe: Mr. David L. 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