A disagreement may be the shortest cut between two minds. - Kahlil Gibran
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 74, 15 April 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

CONGRESS BACKS AWAY FROM CONFRONTATION WITH YELTSIN. On 14 April,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin scored a major victory when the
Congress of People's Deputies failed to adopt a resolution forcing
him to seek parliamentary approval on government appointments,
ITAR-TASS reported. Although the Congress could theoretically
still spoil Yeltsin's victory, it seems now that a majority of
the deputies have also backed away from their earlier insistence
that Yeltsin relinquish his post as prime minister. Yeltsin has
thus been allowed to retain his special powers to rule by decree
through the end of 1992. (Alexander Rahr)

TENTATIVE COMPROMISE REACHED ON ECONOMIC REFORM. On 14 April,
the Congress adopted "in principle" a declaration of support
for economic reform, ITAR-TASS reported. The declaration conceded
that the government should carry out the instructions of Congress
"taking into account real economic and social conditions"--which
seems to mean that budgetary expenditures should not exceed budgetary
incomes. The qualification of "in principle" means that amendments
to the government's reform program can still be made. State Secretary
Gennadii Burbulis told reporters that the declaration "eliminates
the need for our resignation." Egor Gaidar used another qualifier
when welcoming the declaration: "On the whole, this document
would allow the executive power to carry out its reforms." (Keith
Bush)

FILATOV: "WINNER" OF THE CONGRESS. The head of the Russian parliament,
Ruslan Khasbulatov, presented himself as a strong opponent of
Yeltsin's radical reforms but ultimately lost prestige. He was
caught lying to parliament about Izvestiya's debt situation and
also had to apologize publicly for insulting the government.
Meanwhile Khasbulatov's first deputy, Sergei Filatov, masterminded
a political compromise with the Yeltsin cabinet and succeeded
in softening tensions at the Congress. Filatov did not shrink
away from criticizing Khasbulatov in public for his behavior.
According to ITAR-TASS on 13 April, Khasbulatov did not take
part in the behind-the-scenes talks between members of the parliament's
Presidium and the government, which led to the compromise. (Alexander
Rahr)

REFERENCES TO USSR DELETED FROM CONSTITUTION. The ninth day of
the Congress opened on 15 April with amendments to the "old"
Russian Constitution. The deputies voted to remove the passages
that had mentioned Russia's relations with such all-Union bodies
as the USSR Council of Ministers, the Constitutional Supervision
Committee and the USSR Congress of People's Deputies. Later in
the day, the Congress is expected to discuss the media. According
to "Novosti," the opposition accuses both channels of Central
TV of being government propaganda tools and wants all factions
represented in the parliament to have access to radio and television.
The resolution, signed by the non-Communist opposition group
"Russian Unity," also appealed for a vote of no confidence on
both radio and TV chairmen, Egor Yakovlev and Oleg Poptsov. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

RUTSKOI AGAINST REPLACEMENT OF RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. Russian Vice
President Aleksandr Rutskoi--recently, one of the strongest critics
of the government--has now urged the government to stay. He told
ITAR-TASS on 14 April that changes are needed only "inside the
government itself." He said that those members of the cabinet
who had behaved irresponsibly during the first stage of reform
should be replaced by people with "a new vision." Rutskoi also
indirectly attacked the head of the parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov,
for his "intimidating remarks." (Alexander Rahr)

MARSHAL SHAPOSHNIKOV'S POSITION. The commander-in-chief of the
CIS Armed Forces, Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov, defended Yeltsin
and his reformist government at the Congress. In his address
published in Krasnaya zvezda on 9 April, Shaposhnikov accused
the Congress of struggling for power with the executive. In other
statements, he warned against chauvinism in politics and accused
Ukrainian army officers of nationalism. He further argued against
army servicemen being elected to parliament and said that all
commercial structures in the armed forces had been abolished.
Shaposhnikov also criticized the Russian Foreign Ministry for
giving in too often to Western demands and suggested that the
foreign ministry should represent more vigorously the interests
of Russia as a great power. (Alexander Rahr)

MOSCOW CITY GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO RESIGN. Moscow Deputy Mayor
Yurii Luzhkov announced the Moscow city government's support
for the Russian government on 13 April, ITAR-TASS reported. In
a statement read to reporters, Luzhkov said that the Moscow city
government would join the Russian government in resigning if
the Congress of People's Deputies continued to insist on restricting
economic reforms. Although the Moscow city government's own economic
reform scheme has been at odds with some aspects of the national
program, the statement expressed support for the Russian government's
reform course. Mayor Gavriil Popov, who is currently in Israel,
was not specifically mentioned in the statement. (Carla Thorson)


ST. PETERSBURG NAME CHANGE PROMPTS ANOTHER WALK-OUT AT CONGRESS.
The Russian Congress approved the restoration of Leningrad's
pre-revolutionary name of St. Petersburg on 14 April, after the
St. Petersburg delegation left the Congress hall in protest,
Russian TV reported. City residents voted last June to change
Leningrad's name to St. Petersburg and the change was then approved
by the Russian Supreme Soviet. On 14 April, pro-Communist deputies
tried to block the approval of the change by the Congress. Only
on the third vote and after a plea from Chairman Khasbulatov,
the measure passed. Khasbulatov suggested the Congress had more
important issues to debate. He asked: "Why should we give an
extra reason for others to say that reactionaries have gathered
here?" according to Radio Rossii. (Vera Tolz)

NAGORNO-KARABAKH PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN ASSASSINATED. Artur Mkrtchyan,
the 33-year-old historian and former museum director elected
in January as chairman of the parliament of the newly-proclaimed
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen
in Stepanakert late in the afternoon on 14 April, Interfax and
ITAR-TASS reported. The Armenian parliament convened in emergency
session on receipt of the news and decided to send a team of
experts to Stepanakert to investigate the killing. Meanwhile,
ITAR-TASS quoted Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev as saying
that all attempts to reach a settlement of the Karabakh conflict
have proved futile, even though both sides agree on the need
to find a political solution. (Liz Fuller)

RUSSIA DENIES IT SENT MERCENARIES TO MOLDOVA. Radio Moscow's
World Service reported on 14 April that the Russian Security
Service and the Ministry of the Interior have denied rumors that
groups of mercenaries are being sent from Russia to Moldova.
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said in a 1 April interview
with Nezavisimaya gazeta that sending armed groups to Moldova
would be unacceptable because this would invite similar measures
to be taken against Russia. He told ITAR-TASS on 14 April, however
that Russia's 14th Army, stationed in the Dniester region, has
the "necessary potential" to play the role of a peacekeeping
or "separation" force. He noted that Ukraine and Moldova consider
the 14th army to be "excessively politicized" and not suitable
for this function. (Suzanne Crow)

RUKH WANTS UKRAINE OUT OF CIS. The Ukrainian democratic reform
movement Rukh has issued a statement demanding that Ukraine suspend
its membership in the CIS, Radio Ukraine reported on 14 April.
The statement argues that recent developments concerning the
Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet demonstrate "the Russian leadership's
aggressive intentions regarding Ukraine." "Events are developing
as they did over the past 70 years," says the statement, which
also criticizes the "inefficiency and indecision" of the Ukrainian
leadership. The statement presents a number of other demands,
including a halt to international financial aid to Russia. (Roman
Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN NOTE TO UN. Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anatolii
Zlenko has sent a message to the UN secretary general explaining
his country's stand on the Crimean issue and the question of
the Black Sea Fleet, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 April. The message
states that Ukraine considers recent statements by some top Russian
officials regarding the Crimea and Yeltsin's recent decree on
the Black Sea Fleet as attempts to undermine the territorial
integrity of Ukraine, interference in its internal affairs, and
a gross violation of its sovereignty. The note is dated 9 April,
when Yeltsin and Kravchuk agreed to suspend their decrees on
the Black Sea Fleet. (Roman Solchanyk)

RUSSIAN DEMOCRAT SUPPORTS UKRAINE ON BLACK SEA FLEET. Radio Ukraine
reported on 14 April that a Russian democratic leader, people's
deputy and historian Yurii Afanasev, has come out in support
of Ukrainian claims to the Black Sea Fleet. He is quoted by Radio
Ukraine as arguing that Ukraine had been part of the Russian
empire until 1917 and that during the Soviet period it had not
been a sovereign state either. Nevertheless, Ukraine and its
people, according to the historian, "if not largely, created
the Black Sea Fleet." Radio Ukraine noted that Afanasev's call
for understanding of Ukraine's position goes against the grain
in Russia. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

NEGOTIATIONS ON FORMER SOVIET ASSETS. A group of experts from
the CIS countries gathered in Kiev on 14 April to discuss how
the assets of the former Soviet Union are to be divided up, Radio
Moscow reported. This issue was on the agenda of the 20 March
CIS summit in Kiev, but was not discussed because of opposition
from the Russian side. (Roman Solchanyk)

KRAVCHUK MEETS U.S. DELEGATION. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
met on 14 April with a U.S. delegation from the White House,
the State Department, and the Pentagon, Ukrinform-TASS reported.
The discussions are said to have focused on a complex of Ukrainian-American
relations and preparations for Kravchuk's forthcoming visit to
the U.S. (Roman Solchanyk)

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT APPEALS TO MILITARY. The Presidium of Crimea's
Supreme Council issued an appeal to military forces stationed
on the peninsula to prevent an outbreak of war there, Radio Ukraine
reported on 14 April. The appeal urges military personnel to
refrain from taking part in political movements, meetings, and
demonstrations. (Roman Solchanyk)

EBRD PRIORITIES. In a speech closing the first annual meeting
of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on 14
April, President Jacques Attali set out the Bank's priorities
during the coming year, RFE/RL's Budapest bureau reported. Foremost
will be the upgrading of existing production and transport facilities
to improve the reliability of energy flows between countries.
The Bank will also help to diversify energy sources. Attali further
referred to the urgency of improving the safety of nuclear power.
He called on the international community to finance the closure
of the most dangerous reactors and to repair those which can
be brought up to a satisfactory safety level. (Roland Eggleston
and Keith Bush)

PROTESTS IN TAJIKISTAN. By 14 April, the twentieth day of opposition
protests in Dushanbe, the number of demonstrators in front of
the presidential palace had reached 50,000. According to reports
from Moscow and Dushanbe, Tajik President Rakhman Nabiev met
on 13 April with opposition leaders, but apparently there was
no agreement over opposition demands that the Communist-dominated
Supreme Soviet be dissolved, genuine multi-party elections held,
and a new constitution be adopted. On 14 April, Nabiev accused
the opposition of causing a rift in Tajik society, and leaders
of the three main opposition parties warned in an article in
the opposition newspaper Adolat that if their demands were not
met, they would not be responsible for the actions of protesters.
(Bess Brown)

KAZAKHSTAN SEEKS AUSTRIAN CREDITS. KazTAG-TASS reported on 14
April that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev had told a group
of Austrian businessmen visiting Alma-Ata that Kazakhstan wants
to use Austrian credits to finance the building of new enterprises
to produce goods that can be sold on the world market. The establishment
of a direct credit line for Kazakhstan was a major achievement
during Nazarbaev's visit to Austria earlier this year. The visiting
businessmen described the specific projects they have worked
out with Kazakh partners to invest the credit funds. (Bess Brown)


GERMANS WANT TO IMPORT UZBEK CAMELS. According to the 13 April
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a group of camel-fanciers in northern Bavaria
intends to import camels from a specialized camel-raising kolkhoz
near Tashkent. The only thing holding up the transaction is a
dispute between the Erste Bayerische Kamelreitverein (First Bavarian
Camel-Riding Union) and state veterinary authorities, who fear
that exotic diseases carried by imported camels might endanger
the Bavarian dairy industry. (Bess Brown)





EASTERN EUROPE



CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SERBS SHELL SARAJEVO. On 14 April Radio Sarajevo said that Serbian
artillery was shelling the town and Austrian TV reported "house
to house" fighting. Combat continued in other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
and on 13 April Vjesnik published a map showing the likely strategic
plan of the federal army and Serbian irregulars to link up Serbian
enclaves by capturing Muslim and Croat areas and driving out
the inhabitants. One such target is Visegrad, and on 15 April
the Washington Post said that Serbian forces had "launched an
all-out assault" on the mainly Muslim town. Serbs told journalists
that they were "liberating Visegrad," and that Muslim men who
did not flee would not be spared. The article added that alcohol
was flowing freely among the Serbian soldiers. Austrian TV said
that 130,000 people had fled their homes in the republic in the
less than two weeks of fighting. (Patrick Moore)

HUNDREDS OF JEWS EVACUATED FROM SARAJEVO. Belgrade Radio reported
on 14 April that an Israeli relief agency had an emergency plan
to evacuate the estimated 5550 Yugoslav Jews, should the fighting
in the former Yugoslavia worsen. On 10 April 350 Jews were among
a group of 1,000 refugees airlifted from Sarajevo by Yugoslav
Air Force cargo planes landing at the Batajnica military airbase
near Belgrade. According to the Belgrade daily Politika on 10
April, the Yugoslav Air Force command offered to evacuate all
Sarajevo Jews who wished to leave the city. Aleksandar Necak,
the spokesman for the Federation of Yugoslav Jewish Communities
said the airlift was being undertaken in order to evacuate women,
children and old people to a safer place and was not an exodus
from Sarajevo. With over 1,000 people, the Jewish community in
Sarajevo is the third largest in Yugoslavia. Since the outbreak
of violence in Croatia in late June, some 1,600 Jews have applied
for visas to Israel and only about 200 Jews have actually left
the Yugoslav area for Israel. (Milan Andrejevich)

WASHINGTON AGAIN WARNS BELGRADE. On 14 April the United States
sent "another very strongly worded protest to the Serbian leadership,"
Secretary of State James Baker announced. He referred to the
developments at Visegrad, and added that the irregulars' killings
of innocent civilians "are extraordinarily tragic and outrageous."
It was the second such message in two days, and on 15 April the
Washington Post and the BBC said that American and European officials
would discuss moves to isolate Serbia politically and economically
if the military advance continued. Haris Silajdzic, foreign minister
of Bosnia-Herzegovina, told journalists of "mass massacres" in
the republic and added that an attack on Sarajevo was imminent.
Austrian TV quoted Croatian Foreign Minister Zvonimir Separovic
in Vienna as praising the growing US role in the area and repeating
Croatia's request that it consider a mission for the Sixth Fleet
in the Adriatic. (Patrick Moore)

POLAND, RUSSIA REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT ON TROOP COSTS. Two
days of talks between Poland and Russia ended with an unexpected
working agreement on the costs of withdrawing former Soviet troops
from Poland, PAP reported on 14 April. No details were released;
and an official statement noted only that the agreement must
still be approved by the two governments. The two sides had been
deadlocked on financial issues since October 1991, when the troop
withdrawal treaty was initialed, and this deadlock had in turn
blocked the Polish president's long-anticipated and long-postponed
visit to Moscow. That any agreement was reached at all was something
of a surprise, as Polish officials were calling the talks "difficult"
at midday. Moreover, General Zdzislaw Ostrowski, the Polish government
official responsible for the former Soviet troops, predicted
during an afternoon break in the talks that "the results reached
may not satisfy President Lech Walesa." (Roman Stefanowski)

EX-SOVIET OFFICERS FAKE DOCUMENTS TO STAY IN LATVIA. Radio Riga
reported on 14 April about widespread efforts by officers of
the former USSR armed forces to forge documents permitting them
to remain in Latvia even after leaving the military. Latvian
authorities have already begun investigating these activities,
which have apparently been going on since 1989 and may have involved
thousands of officers. Initial findings show that many officers
have obtained false papers indicating that they were called up
for duty in Latvia and discharged there; on this basis, they
can obtain civilian identification papers in Latvia and thus
secure their right to reside there. (Dzintra Bungs)

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS STYMIED. On 14 April, during the first
day of consultations intended to lead to authentic disengagement
talks, Estonian and Russian negotiators were unable to agree
on a preliminary agenda, ETA reported. The Estonian side proposed
discussing troop withdrawals, border questions, humanitarian
issues, and property rights. The Russian side rejected this agenda,
however, and asserted at the beginning of the session that "it
did not intend to turn up as the 'accused.'" Estonian Chief Negotiator
Uno Veering told ETA he hoped the sides would come to a compromise.
(Riina Kionka)

HAVEL TO SEEK ANOTHER TERM. Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel
told the closing session of the federal parliament in Prague
on 14 April that he planned to seek another term in office. Havel
said that the problems facing the country left little time for
coalition talks and that it would be difficult to appoint a government
enjoying the parliament's confidence. Presidential elections
are to be held after the parliamentary elections on 5-6 June.
Noting the polarization of political forces, Havel called for
a just federation of two equal republics, saying that Slovaks
no longer wanted to live in the shadow of the Czechs. Havel called
the work of the parliament over the last two years, during which
147 laws were passed, a "remarkable performance". He also said
that the stage had been set for the birth of a market economy,
CSTK reported. (Barbara Kroulik)

RUSSIA CRITICIZES REVISED LANGUAGE LAW IN LATVIA. On 10 April
the Russian Foreign Ministry sent a complaint to its Latvian
counterpart concerning revisions adopted in March to the 1989
language law in Latvia. Dissatisfaction was expressed in particular
over the relegation of the Russian language to the status of
any other foreign language in Latvia. Until 1989, when the law
designating Latvian as the state language was adopted, Russian
had enjoyed a superior role to all other languages in Latvia;
subsequently its status was, for all practical purposes, equal
to that of Latvian. Diena reported on 13 April that Latvia's
Deputy Foreign Minister Martins Virsis was puzzled by Russia's
complaints and its efforts to interfere in the internal affairs
of another country. (Dzintra Bungs)

NADEZHDA BACK ON THE AIR. Former Estonian Intermovement leader
Evgenii Kogan told BNS in Moscow on 14 April that the movement's
radio station "Nadezhda" would soon be back on the air. "Nadezhda,"
which was run out of a Soviet naval base, was shut down last
August when the Estonian government and state outlawed the Intermovement
for its support of the coup attempt. BNS, quoting Kogan, said
the operating costs of the station would be picked up by "that
organization, where he currently works." Kogan did not name the
organization with which he is employed. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA ESTABLISHES DEFENSE MINISTRY. By a vote of 58-5, with
14 abstentions, the Estonian Supreme Council on 13 April approved
a government proposal to establish a Ministry of Defense, BNS
reported. Estonia began reestablishing defense forces in mid-1991,
and finally made the move to establish a ministry after international
negotiations became increasingly difficult without one. (Riina
Kionka)

OLSZEWSKI SAYS 1992 A DECISIVE YEAR FOR POLAND. According to
an RFE/RL correspondent, Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski
told a news conference in Washington on 14 April that this year
would decide the fate of Poland's economic reform. The reform
program his government instituted, Olszewski said, should reverse
the current economic recession, halt the decline in production,
and open the way to modest economic growth. The program will
be coordinated with the IMF and the World Bank, in order to secure
their financial support. Olszewski said also that the US had
assured him of support and aid, adding that the Poles are, nevertheless,
aware that "the switch from an economy of totalitarian communism
to a free market depends above all on their own efforts." (Roman
Stefanowski)

ILIESCU ON MOLDOVA CONFLICT. President Ion Iliescu said Romania
would help Moldova work out a political solution to the conflict
with its Russian-speaking separatists. He made this statement
during a news conference in Bucharest, reported by Rompres and
other foreign agencies on 14 April. Iliescu rejected "the military
way," and criticized the CIS for not withdrawing its 14th Army
from Moldova. He also criticized the mercenaries fighting alongside
supporters of the self-proclaimed Dniester Republic. Iliescu
referred to the "extremely negative effect" of Russian Vice President
Rutskoi's visit in Transdnistria, and of both his addresses to
a Tiraspol meeting and to the Russian People's Deputies Congress
in Moscow. (Crisula Stefanescu)

COUSTEAU ON KOZLODUY. At press conferences in Sofia and Paris
on 14 April, French environmentalist Jacques Yves Cousteau and
members of his group presented a report on their investigation
of Bulgaria's Kozloduy nuclear power plant completed a few months
ago. The report, quoted by Western agencies, said that Bulgaria
should close down for good the four oldest, 440-megawatt reactors
at Kozloduy, which it described as the most dangerous in the
world. It said all efforts should concentrate on improving the
two newer, 100-megawatt reactors. Two of the four oldest reactors
have been closed down since last fall after severe criticism
from international experts, but Bulgaria still intends to improve
them and put them back into operation. (Rada Nikolaev)

LATVIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SHOULD ABIDE BY NATIONAL LAWS. Latvian
Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs addressed a conference
of local governments in Latvia on 10 April, Radio Riga reported
that day. He stressed that local governments should avoid situations
where their actions might conflict with the laws promulgated
by the Supreme Council. He expressed his understanding for the
desire of local governments to act decisively and get things
done; nonetheless, he urged them not to take actions unilaterally
without having ascertained if their steps were backed by the
law, even if that meant waiting until certain laws were adopted.
(Dzintra Bungs)

HUNGARY CALLS FOR JOINT FIGHT AGAINST SMUGGLING OF PEOPLE. Speaking
at an international press conference on 14 April in Oroshaza,
Laszlo Korinek, an official in the Hungarian Interior Ministry,
called on European countries to take joint measures against the
smuggling of people, MTI reported. Korinek said that in the past
two years the smuggling of people had reached alarming proportions.
Hungary had become a target country and a transit route. He said
that the same number of border guards using traditional methods
were unable to cope. Hungarian Border Guards official Karoly
Karacs said that last year about 60% of the illegal immigrants
to Hungary entered the country with the help of smugglers. He
said that those engaged in the smuggling of people were most
active in Romania, which has become a center for migrants headed
for Western Europe. (Edith Oltay)

BULGARIA REJECTS CRITICISM FROM EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT. The Bulgarian
government issued a statement on 14 April criticizing a resolution
of the European Parliament (EP) from 9 April. The resolution,
quoted by Duma on 14 April, urged the Bulgarian government to
withdraw a bill from consideration by parliament that would declare
null and void the sentences of the so-called people's courts
after 1944. The resolution urged Bulgaria to abide by the principle
that crimes of war and crimes against humanity have no statute
of limitations. The government statement explained that the bill
had been submitted by a group of deputies, but also defended
the idea of rehabilitating innocent politicians sentenced by
the communist regime. It said the EP's resolution was probably
based on incomplete and incorrect information. Demokratsiya on
15 April reported from Paris that the controversial resolution
had been proposed by three communist members of the EP and approved
in a package by fewer than 50 of the 518 members. (Rada Nikolaev)


COURT DELAYS RULING ON FORMER SECURITATE CHIEF. The Romanian
Supreme Court has delayed handing down a decision on an appeal
by the former head of the Romanian secret police, General Iulian
Vlad. Vlad was arrested after the December 1989 revolution and
convicted of complicity in mass murder in May 1991; at present
he is serving a nine-year prison term. According to Rompres,
the Court was supposed to rule on 13 April, but put off its decision
for 15 days. (Crisula Stefanescu)

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Louisa Vinton



(END)





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