True heroism consists not in fighting under a flag but in not fighting at all. - Freidrich Nietzsche
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 72, 13 April 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT RESIGNS. The Russian government has submitted
its resignation, arguing that it cannot conduct economic reform
under the restrictions put on it by the Congress, ITAR-TASS reported
on 13 April. But the leader of the Communist faction in the Congress,
Sergei Baburin, claimed that the government's resignation was
aimed to blackmail the Congress to reverse its 11 April decision
to limit Yeltsin's special powers. According to the Constitution,
Yeltsin now must form a new government and submit it for approval
to the Congress. Western politicians had warned the Congress
that any aid to Russia is tightly bound to radical reforms, and
Deputy Premier Aleksandr Shokhin, addressing a rally of Yeltsin
supporters in Moscow on 12 April, said that the Western aid package
is now "hanging by a thread." (Alexander Rahr)

A COMPROMISE REACHED? In one of a series of weekend meetings
aimed at brokering a solution to Russia's political crisis, Yeltsin
aides met on 12 April with leaders of various factions in the
Congress of People's Deputies, Russian TV reported. The aim was
to agree on a final version of the resolution on the progress
of economic reform. Following the meeting, Egor Gaidar told Reuters
that agreement had been reached but that he was not sure whether
it would be enough to save his reform program from rejection
by the Congress. The first deputy chairman of the parliament,
Sergei Filatov also told ITAR-TASS that Yeltsin would, in fact,
keep all his special powers. Ruslan Khasbulatov, head of the
parliament and the government's major critic, was conspicuously
absent from the meeting. (Elizabeth Teague and Alexander Rahr)


MIXED RESULTS TO YELTSIN'S SPEECH AT THE CONGRESS. In his second
address to the Congress on 10 April, Yeltsin had romised to make
some changes in his government and leave the post of prime minister,
ITAR-TASS reported. He defended the Gaidar team but acknowledged
the need to appoint a new first deputy prime minister in charge
of industry. Yeltsin stressed that this appointment would be
made during the Congress and that he had already chosen a candidate
who would "impress" the Congress. Yeltsin also said that he planned
to reduce the size of the government bureaucracy and abolish
some presidential structures. He ended his speech with a patriotic
statement that Russia will be united and strong, which met with
general approval among deputies. Nevertheless, this speech was
not sufficient to prevent the vote to remove Yeltsin's special
powers on 11 April, although it did inspire the deputies to approve
the federal treaty. (Alexander Rahr)

CONGRESS APPROVES FEDERAL TREATY. Following Yeltsin's speech
on 10 April, the Congress endorsed, by a large majority, the
federal treaty delimiting powers between the Russian Federation
and its constituent territories that had been signed on 31 March
by all but Tatarstan and Checheno-Ingushetia, ITAR-TASS reported.
The voting was 848 in favor, with 10 against and 40 abstentions.
The resolution stipulated that the treaty be included in the
Russian constitution. The congress then went on to discuss amendments
to the existing Russian constitution. It is proposed to partially
amend 93 articles and remove completely 47. (Ann Sheehy)

SHAKHRAI CRITICIZES CONGRESS. Yeltsin's legal advisor, Sergei
Shakhrai, said that if the Congress gains the right to appoint
the government, the country will be deluged by a crisis of power,
according to ITAR-TASS on 10 April. He added that the Congress
is fighting the government because it is annoyed by the government's
"independence." The Congress had voted 492-313 with 64 abstentions
to approve Yeltsin's economic program but fell short of an absolute
majority of the 1,046 deputies registered. The co-chairman of
Democratic Russia, Gleb Yakunin, stressed that his movement wants
to collect signatures for a nationwide referendum in support
of Shakhrai's version of the constitution. (Alexander Rahr)

CEASE-FIRE HOLDING IN MOLDOVA. The cease-fire is generally holding
on the left bank of the Dniester, although there have been isolated
shooting incidents and the situation remains tense, CIS media
reported on 10-12 April. Observers have arrived from Russia,
Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania, and met with the leaders of the
self-styled "Dniester republic," ITAR-TASS reported on 12 April.
Russian envoy Viktor Komplektov has also arrived in Tiraspol,
where, according to reports from the Moldovan authorities, his
main task will be to determine the status of the 14th army. (Ann
Sheehy)

COSSACKS LEAVING LEFT BANK OF DNIESTER. The president of the
self-styled" Dniester Republic," Igor Smirnov, has issued a decree
ordering all "foreign" armed formations to leave the territory
of the left bank of the Dniester, "Novosti" reported on 11 April.
A similar order has been given by a Cossack ataman. The presence
of Cossack volunteers from the Don and Kuban fighting on the
side of the "Dniester Republic" had been strongly objected to
by Moldova. There are reports that the Cossacks are leaving the
area, although "Vesti" reported that some were refusing to do
so. (Ann Sheehy)

GAGAUZ AGREE TO ABANDON IDEA OF OWN REPUBLIC. At a meeting with
Moldovan parliamentary leaders in Chisinau on 10 April representatives
of the Gagauz said they were prepared to give up the idea of
their own republic, Radio Mayak reported on 12 April. The meeting
was attended by the president of the so-called Gagauz republic
Stepan Topal and Gagauz deputies to the Moldovan parliament.
They condemned the request sent by the Gagauz prime minister
to the Russian Congress of People's Deputies requesting that
the Gagauz republic be recognized and become part of the Russian
Federation. (Ann Sheehy)

KRAVCHUK: CIS DOES NOT EXIST. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
told Interfax in an interview released on 10 April that the CIS
does not, in fact, exist. "We are just trying to create such
a structure," Kravchuk said. Responding to criticism that Ukraine
is trying to bring down the CIS, Kravchuk responded: "Nonsense.
There is nothing to be ruined." In its present form, predicted
the Ukrainian president, the commonwealth will not be able to
survive. (Roman Solchanyk)

KRAVCHUK CONFERS WITH "RUKH." President Kravchuk met with the
central and regional leaders of "Rukh" on 10 April to discuss
a wide variety of current issues facing the Ukrainian state.
During two hours of talks with Ivan Drach, Vyacheslav Chornovil,
and regional "Rukh" leaders, the Ukrainian president discussed
the work of the executive and government, military issues, Ukraine's
continued membership in the CIS, the economy, the Crimean and
Black Sea Fleet questions, and other issues. (Roman Solchanyk)


UKRAINIANS NOT A NATION, SAY PROTESTERS. Pickets outside the
Ukrainian embassy in Moscow on 12 April demanded the resignation
of Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk and the Ukrainian government,
Radio Ukraine reported. The picketing was organized by the Moscow
branch of the National Republican Party of Russia. Its leader,
Yurii Gudimenko, said in an interview that "the separatists who
call themselves the Ukrainian nation are in reality nothing other
than an ethnic group of the Russian people." (Roman Solchanyk)


UKRAINE BLOCKS ANOTHER CIS VISIT. Radio Rossii reported on 10
April that the Ukrainian authorities had refused permission for
Colonel General Evgenii Podkolzin--the commander in chief of
the CIS Airborne Troops--to visit one of his units stationed
near Lviv. The order came from Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin
Morozov, who has previously banned travel to Ukraine by CIS Air
Force commanders. (Doug Clarke)

UKRAINIAN ADMIRAL LOOKS TO THE MED. In a 10 April press conference,
the recently-appointed head of the Ukrainian Navy said that Ukraine
needs a naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea. Rear Admiral
Boris Kozhnin claimed that this would be necessary to ensure
the protection of Ukraine's maritime lines of communication and
trade. His remarks were carried by AFP. Koshnin repeated the
earlier Ukrainian position that CIS ships based in Ukrainian
ports should belong to Ukraine and form the basis of the Republic's
navy. (Doug Clarke)

REPUBLICS DISAGREE ON START. Representatives from the four CIS
republics which have strategic nuclear weapons on their territory
on 11 April failed to agree on how they should implement the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). Western agencies reported
that the four could not even agree on the text of a joint statement.
The treaty was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union.
Russia apparently wants the treaty to remain a bilateral one,
while Ukraine is said to demand that it should become a separate
party to the accord. Krasnaya zvezda reported on 10 April that
treaty had been submitted for ratification that day to the Russian
parliament. (Doug Clarke)

AIR DEFENSE COMMANDERS ON PROBLEMS. Interviewed by ITAR-TASS
on 10 April on the occasion of air defense troops day, a PVO
first deputy commander said that the break-up of the union had
disrupted both PVO operations and its training system. Colonel
General Viktor Miruk lamented the situation of PVO officers serving
in the Baltic states, Transcaucasus, and Moldova, but said that
the air defense of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and numerous other
facilities on Russian territory remained secure. He also insisted
that Russia needed a system of space defense, and that such a
system would be established. (Stephen Foye)

ON S-300 MISSILE. Meanwhile, Nezavisimaya gazeta carried an interview
on 10 April with Colonel General of Aviation Anatolii Kornukov,
who also discussed current problems faced by his service, but
who praised the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, which he
said was in many ways superior to the American Patriot missile.
On 11 April, Austrian Television (ORF) reported from a base near
Moscow that Russia intends to sell the S-300 system to Third
World countries. (Stephen Foye)

WORLD BANK LOANS TO FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS. World Bank President
Lewis Preston told The New York Times on 12 April that the Bank
plans to loan $12-$15 billion to the former Soviet republics
by 1995. In 1992, the Bank expects to have loaned $1.5 billion
of the $24 billion G-7 package recently promised to the former
USSR. Thereafter, World Bank loans will increase to an expected
$4.5-$5 billion a year by 1995. A large share of the credits
will be extended for farm and energy projects and will be tied
to specific import shipments to reduce the possibilities of fraud
and corruption. World Bank loans will have to be repaid with
interest. (Keith Bush)

ARMY OF RUSSIAN TAX INSPECTORS TO BE MOBILIZED. One of the reasons
why the Russian budget is registering a huge deficit is that
taxes are not being collected. The Russian cabinet has announced
that it will seek to close this loophole by hiring up to 100,000
tax inspectors this year, Radio Mayak reported on 12 April. A
total of 813 million rubles was allocated to the Russian tax
service for the first quarter of 1992. (Keith Bush)

NEW AZERBAIJANI OFFENSIVE IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. At least 20 Armenians
were killed during the night of 10-11 April when some 1,000 Azerbaijani
troops using armored vehicles attacked the village of Maraga
in northern Nagorno-Karabakh, ITAR-TASS reported on 11 April.
Meanwhile Armenian forces took the village of Dzhamilli in the
Fizuli raion that borders on eastern Karabakh. On 12 April Azerbaijani
troops attacked a second Armenian village and shelled the town
of Stepanakert, according to Armenian officials. (Liz Fuller)


GEORGIA TO CREATE OWN ARMED FORCES. Georgia's ruling State Council
issued a decree on 12 April on the creation of a 20,000 man national
army that will comprise all currently existing armed formations.
Enlisted men will serve for 18 months. The army will have the
use of former Soviet army arms and equipment now in the possession
of Georgian military formations, "Vesti" reported on 12 April.
(Liz Fuller)

BADAKHSHAN DECLARES SELF AN AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC. Legislators
in Tajikistan's Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast declared the
region to be the Pamir-Badakhshan Autonomous Republic on 11 April,
ITAR-TASS reported. The report noted that citizens of the region's
capital, Khorog, had demonstrated in December for a change in
the region's status, but the Tajik Supreme Soviet had not raised
the issue in subsequent sessions. The Badakhshan deputies stated
that a change in the region's status would make it possible to
deal with the region's serious socio-economic problems. They
also declared their support for opposition demonstrators in Dushanbe
who are trying to force the resignation of the Supreme Soviet.
(Bess Brown)

KARIMOV VISITS SAUDI ARABIA. Western and Moscow news agencies
reported on 11 April that Uzbek President Islam Karimov was beginning
a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia. Karimov had received an invitation
to visit the kingdom from Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud
al-Faisal during the latter's trip to the new Central Asian states
in February. Members of the Uzbek delegation told ITAR-TASS that
they expected to sign agreements on cooperation between the two
countries. ITAR-TASS also reported that Karimov plans to make
a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina during his stay in Saudi Arabia.
(Bess Brown)





EASTERN EUROPE



CEASE-FIRE NEGOTIATED IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. International media
reported on 12 April that EC negotiator Jose Cutilheiro had brokered
an agreement between the Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian leaders
in that troubled, ethnically mixed republic. It came into effect
at midnight, local time, but fighting apparently is continuing
in the Herzegovinian town of Kupres and in Sarajevo. The pact
includes provisions for disarming and demobilizing paramilitary
forces, for resuming talks aimed at dividing the republic into
"cantons," or zones, and for denying recognition of border changes
carried out by force. (Patrick Moore)

IS SERBIA PLANNING A LAND-GRAB? Over the weekend, a number of
Western dailies said that Serbia nonetheless seems bent on linking
up Serbian enclaves in Bosnia-Herzegovina by force. The pattern
follows the one established last year in Croatia: Serbian irregulars
first drive out Muslims and Croats, while the federal army then
consolidates control, claiming that it is "protecting" local
Serbs. The BBC on 13 April suggested that failure to include
the army in the cease-fire agreement might doom the pact to failure.
In other weekend developments, unknown persons blew up a bridge
on the one main road linking Sarajevo and Mostar, while in Zagreb
a bomb went off outside a museum of the Serbian Orthodox Church,
German TV said. Finally, the 12 April Vjesnik reported that Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman discussed the Bosnian situation with
a Libyan special envoy. (Patrick Moore)

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ASKS EBRD FOR AID. On 10 April in Budapest,
Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall told Jacques Attali, the
president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development,
that the Hungarian government expected substantial help from
the EBRD in achieving its goal of joining the EC. Antall said
that it would help the process of economic transformation if
the EBRD would finance not only infrastructure projects but also
projects aimed at stabilizing new financial institutions. Attali
praised Hungary's progress in setting up a market economy. The
EBRD's first annual meeting opens in Budapest on 13 April and
is expected to discuss programs to guide Eastern Europe and the
CIS toward a market economy. (Edith Oltay)

SNEGUR CONDEMNS ATTEMPTS TO RESTORE SOVIET EMPIRE. Speaking in
the Romanian town of Suceava on 12 April, Moldova's President
Mircea Snegur charged that forces nostalgic for the former Soviet
regime were attempting "to restore the empire under Lenin's flag"
by staging the current conflict in Moldova. Snegur was speaking
at a ceremony commemorating Moldova's medieval hero Stephen the
Great. Officials and clerics from Romania, Moldova, and Northern
Bukovina attended the ceremony. President Ion Iliescu joined
Snegur in the evening and told journalists that the foreign ministers
of Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Romania had agreed to continue
talks about the normalization of the situation in Moldova. (Mihai
Sturdza)

POLISH GOVERNMENT COALITION TALKS CONTINUE. At a five-hour meeting
on 11 April, the seven parties supporting the government and
the three parties of the "little coalition"--the Democratic Union,
the Liberal Democratic Congress, and the Polish Economic Program--reaffirmed
their general intention to broaden the governing coalition. Prime
Minister Jan Olszewski told journalists after the meeting that
the participants aimed to restructure the government to reflect
the character of the new, broader coalition. Little of substance
seems to have been agreed, however. All parties accepted current
government spending plans and the proposed budget deficit ceiling
of 5% of GDP. Democratic Union Chairman Tadeusz Mazowiecki said
after the meeting that the "little coalition" had demanded more
even-handed treatment by the state mass media. The next round
of talks has been scheduled for 21 April. (Roman Stefanowski)


CALFA: BREAK-UP OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA POSSIBLE. Speaking in Washington,
Czechoslovak Prime Minister Marian Calfa said the future of a
unified Czech and Slovak state would depend on the June parliamentary
elections. Calfa told reporters on 10 April that public opinion
polls point toward a victory for a political block that favors
partitioning the country. He said the split could take place
in the latter half of 1992. Calfa met with President George Bush
at the White House, a RFE/RL correspondent reports. Calfa said
that Czechoslovakia hopes the US Congress will quickly approve
a foreign aid bill that includes assistance for Prague. He said
his country needs private investment whereas US assistance now
emphasizes technical aid. Calfa said he sensed a "certain hesitancy"
during his talks with US officials on additional aid. (Barbara
Kroulik)

UDF HOLDS NATIONAL CONFERENCE. On 11-12 April, Bulgaria's Union
of Democratic Forces held its first national conference since
it won the elections last October. More than 1,500 representatives
of its 20 member parties and local organizations participated.
The UDF amended its statute to read that it is a national movement
of parties, organizations, and citizens, organized in a political
coalition, thus reconciling diverging views of the UDF as a movement
or a coalition. The National Coordinating Council was preserved
as the UDF's ruling body. Local citizens' committees were renamed
as clubs of UDF sympathizers with consultative status. The conference
called for structural and personal changes in the government.
BTA commented that despite internal differences the UDF had not
split. (Rada Nikolaev)

POLISH PRIME MINISTER BEGINS US VISIT. Polish Prime Minister
Jan Olszewski begins a two-day official visit to the US on 13
April. Accompanied by Finance Minister Andrzej Olechowski and
central planning chief Jerzy Eysymontt, Olszewski plans to report
to President George Bush and US politicians and businessmen on
Poland's progress toward a market economy. According to Olszewski's
chief adviser Zdzislaw Najder, the purpose of the visit is not
so much "to obtain new credits as to activate what is already
waiting its turn." Olszewski may use the visit to announce an
appointment of a special ombudsman to aid foreign investors.
He mentioned this possibility when talking to American journalists
in Warsaw on 9 April, Polish and Western media reported. (Roman
Stefanowski)

ZOMO MEMBERS ARRESTED FOR MARTIAL LAW DEATHS. Three former members
of the disbanded ZOMO riot police were arrested on 10 April under
suspicion of having caused the death of nine miners in December
1981, Polish and Western media reported. ZOMO troops stormed
the Wujek coal mine to put down a strike after the declaration
of martial law. A justice ministry spokesman also announced that
the three generals from the former security police who were arrested
in January for burning police files after the fall of communism
would be brought to trial soon. The documents concerned investigations
of the Catholic clergy and the opposition movement. (Roman Stefanowski)


HUNGARIAN UNEMPLOYMENT STILL RISING. At the end of March, the
number of Hungary's unemployed stood at 478,000, a 5.1% increase
over the previous month, MTI reported on 10 April. The unemployment
rate for the national work force of 5.4 million thus rose from
8.5% to 8.9%. According to labor ministry figures, the number
of people receiving assistance increased by 12% to 375,000 at
the end of March. The number of unemployed is expected to exceed
500,000 by the end of April. (Alfred Reisch)

ESTONIA'S NEW CONSTITUTION READY. Estonia's Constituent Assembly
wrapped up over seven months of work on 10 April by approving
a final draft and enabling legislation for the new constitution,
BNS reported the next day. The draft constitution foresees a
parliamentary system of government with a more-or-less ceremonial
role for the president. The first president will be elected jointly
by popular vote and by the new State Assembly, but subsequent
presidents will be chosen only by the parliament. The current
Supreme Council is expected to put the draft constitution to
public referendum by May, and new parliamentary elections are
set to be held within two months after the public approves the
constitution. (Riina Kionka)

DEADLINE EXPIRES FOR UNDERGROUND PRIESTS. A Vatican deadline
expired on 12 April for secret Catholic priests still operating
underground to report to their bishops. The Secretary-General
of the Czechoslovak Bishop's Conference Frantisek Radkovsky said
the Church wants to integrate the priests into normal Church
work. The priests, believed to number at least 200, were secretly
ordained during communist rule. In a pastoral letter the Church
last month demanded that the priests come into the open or be
considered illegally ordained. It is not known how many have
obeyed the instruction. A number of the underground priests are
believed to be married and have children. Radkovsky ruled out
that these will be ordained formally but said efforts will be
made to involve them in the Church's work. The Vatican decision
was greeted with disappointment among those who were active in
underground circles, The New York Times reports. (Barbara Kroulik)


LATVIA REVOKES TRAVEL VISAS FOR ITS RESIDENTS. Radio Riga reported
on 8 April that the Latvian Ministry of Internal Affairs had
revoked the previously required travel visas for Latvia's residents
wishing to travel abroad. Such visas were instituted last year,
mostly for the purpose of curbing the resale abroad for hard
currency of goods in short supply in Latvia. The favorite destination
of such sales trips was Poland. The travel visas were very unpopular
because they affected all potential travelers. The visa requirement
was also criticized by the Polish authorities because it restricted
the ability of Poles in Latvia from visiting their relatives
in Poland. Radio Riga noted that while the Latvian government
had lifted travel restrictions for Latvia's residents, the policies
of other governments had not changed. (Dzintra Bungs)

LANDSBERGIS FAVORS REFERENDUM ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL. Lithuanian
Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis said on 10 April
that he favors holding a referendum on the urgent withdrawal
of the former USSR armed forces from his country. He told residents
of Zarasai, a town in northeastern Lithuania, that a referendum
might facilitate the pullout of troops this year. He added that
the Supreme Council can pass a resolution to hold the referendum,
Baltfax reported on 10 April. (Dzintra Bungs)

ROMANIAN ELECTIONS PROMPT PARTY MANEUVERING. On 10 April, NSF
Chairman Petre Roman threatened to sue the splinter NSF-22 December
Party, should it chose to campaign under this name in the forthcoming
elections. Roman claimed that the similarity of names might harm
the NSF's image. Meanwhile, despite widespread admonitions against
splintering the opposition, Radu Campeanu, President of the National
Liberal Party (NLP), spoke again on 10 April about abandoning
the Democratic Convention coalition. However, local media reported
on 11 April that, after Campeanu's stance was roundly criticized,
the delegates at the NLP convention were told they were free
to side with the coalition on a local level. (Mihai Sturdza)


ROMANIA DISAVOWS ARAFAT'S AIRMAN. On 11 April, the Romanian government
disavowed any link with Petre Gheorghe, one of the three crewmen
killed four days earlier when the airplane carrying Yasser Arafat
crashed in the Libyan desert. Gheorghe, a former employee at
the Tarom aircraft factory, had been hired on a private contract
earlier this year to work for the Palestinian leader. The communique,
which said that the Romanian government was not involved in Gheorghe's
contract, seemed to be aimed at defusing rumors that Romania
was still cooperating with the PLO, as it had previously under
Nicolae Ceausescu. Local media carried the story. (Mihai Sturdza)


US AMBASSADOR TO LATVIA ACCREDITED. On 10 April Ints Silins presented
his credentials to Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs
Gorbunovs and was duly accredited as US ambassador to Latvia,
Diena reported that day. Afterwards, Silins told the press that
he intends to work for the creation of new democratic institutions
in Latvia and the transformation of its economy into a market
economy, and help develop Latvia's economic relations with the
rest of the world. A career US diplomat, Silins was born in Latvia
50 years ago. (Dzintra Bungs)

BULGARIAN-GREEK CONTACTS. The Greek Minister of Macedonia and
Thrace, Panaiotis Hadzinicolau, held talks with the Bulgarian
government on 10-11 April in Sofia and Sandanski near the Greek
border. They dealt with economic issues and the long standing
problem of the waters of the Mesta (Nestos) river which flows
from Bulgaria into Greece. BTA reported that the Salonika port
will give priority to Bulgarian goods transported by rail. Talks
are still pending on creating a transnational economic zone and
opening two additional border crossing points. (Rada Nikolaev)


[As of 1300 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson and Louisa Vinton



(END)



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