Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends. - Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 75, 16 April 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

CONGRESS DECLARATION ON REFORM PROGRAM. On 15 April, the Congress
of Peoples Deputies partially reversed itself and passed a declaration
of general support for the Russian governments economic reform
program, ITAR-TASS reported. However, as observers have pointed
out, the Congress refused to withdraw any of its amendments to
the reform program that were spelled out in the 11 April resolution.
The government had submitted its resignation because it opposed
that resolution. Parliament Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov insisted
that the provisions of the 11 April resolution be maintained
because it was necessary to emphasize that the Congress was not
revising its policy. Thus, the earlier provisions, such as recommendations
for the indexation of savings deposits, giving labor collectives
the right to a controlling group of shares during privatization,
and for the maintenance of real incomes, technically remain in
force. (Keith Bush and Alexander Rahr)

AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION REJECTED. On 15 April, the Congress
failed to pass some crucial amendments to the Constitution, ITAR-TASS
reported. It resisted giving the president the right to dissolve
parliament in the event that parliament fails on the third vote
to approve presidential proposals on the composition of the government.
The Congress also rejected the proposal that the president must
consult parliament on major government appointments and denied
members of the Supreme Soviet the right to be appointed to government
positions. Yeltsins legal advisor Sergei Shakhrai called the
failure to adopt the amendments, contradictory to previously
adopted legislation. (Alexander Rahr)

FEDERAL TREATY BECOMES PART OF RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION. Among the
amendments to the Russian constitution adopted on 15 April by
the Russian Congress of Peoples Deputies was the inclusion in
the constitution of the Federal Treaty signed on 31 March and
approved by the congress on 10 April, ITAR-TASS reported. Although
Article 8 of the treaty stipulates that the treaty should be
part of the Constitution, the question of whether the Constitution
or the Treaty should have primacy in relations between the subjects
of the Federation was debated for some time. The text of the
Treaty, which now forms Section 12 of the Constitution, was amended
in accordance with the protocol signed along with the Federal
Treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIA: NEW OFFICIAL TITLE. After several days of debate, on
16 April, the Congress finally gained the necessary two-thirds
majority vote to change the official name of the RSFSR to Russia,
according to Radio Rossiis live broadcast of the Congress proceedings.
The Supreme Soviet had already adopted the titles, Russia or
Russian Federation (dropping Soviet and Socialist), in December
1991. Technically speaking, however, an amendment to the Constitution
passed by the full Congress was necessary to officially revise
the countrys title. (Carla Thorson and Julia Wishnevsky)

BURBULIS ON GOVERNMENT CHANGES. Russian State Secretary Gennadii
Burbulis told ITAR-TASS on 15 April that President Boris Yeltsin
may give up his additional powers if the government becomes stable.
He stressed that the government will concentrate on economic
questions from now on, while the president and parliament will
deal primarily with political and legislative matters. He stated
that the government ministries for social affairs and industry
will be restructured soon and professionals will be appointed
to head these ministries. (Alexander Rahr)

DECREE ON FORMATION OF RUSSIAN ARMY EXPECTED. President Yeltsin
intends to sign a decree on the creation of a separate Russian
armed forces on 9 May, Western agencies reported on 14 April.
General Dmitrii Volkogonov, the head of the commission to oversee
the creation of the Russian Army, said that the Russian army
would consist of about 1.5 Million volunteer servicemen rather
than draftees. He also noted that for the first 2-3 years, the
Russian Army would be subordinated to a military defense minister
but then a civilian should take over. (Alexander Rahr)

FLEET TALKS SUSPENDED. The press center of the Black Sea Fleet
told ITAR-TASS on 15 April that the Russian and Ukrainian delegations
scheduled to begin bilateral negotiations that day on the future
of the fleet had not arrived in Sevastopol as planned. It reported
that the talks had been suspended for an indefinite time. According
to ITAR-TASS, observers speculated that the Russian governmental
crisis was the reason. (Doug Clarke)

AZERBAIJANIS TO GET QUARTER OF CASPIAN FLOTILLA. ITAR-TASS on
15 April reported that delegations from the Azerbaijani Defense
Ministry and the CIS Main Naval Staff had reached a compromise
agreement on the division of the former Soviet Caspian Sea Flotilla.
The two sides agreed that Russia and Azerbaijan would each retain
control of one quarter of the ships and facilities of the flotilla.
The fate of the remaining 50% would be settled during negotiations
between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. Earlier that day,
ITAR-TASS had quoted the chief CIS negotiator as saying that
he would propose to the Azerbaijani defense minister that the
flotilla remain united. Western sources estimate that the flotilla
has some 85 vessels, chiefly patrol and amphibious craft. (Doug
Clarke)

IMF MEMBERSHIP FOR CIS SOON? The managing director of the International
Monetary Fund expects that all former Soviet republics will be
admitted to membership of the Fund soon, RFE/RLs Washington bureau
reported on 15 April. Michel Camdessus was quoted as saying that
the executive board of the IMF had endorsed the economic reform
programs of all 15 former Soviet republics, and that he expected
positive responses by 27 April from all IMF member-countries
to ballots on membership for these republics. On 14 April, the
World Bank approved admission of the 15 former Soviet republics,
paving the way for them to become full members in the near future.
(Keith Bush)

ESTIMATE OF AID REQUIRED BY CIS. At the same news conference,
Camdessus said that the former Soviet republics will require
about $145 billion in foreign aid over the next four years. $44
billion will be needed in 1992: this includes the $24 billion
already promised to Russia by Western industrialized countries,
and $20 billion for the other republics. Camdessus said that
the IMF stood ready to provide $25-$30 billion to the former
Soviet republics over the next four years provided that economic
reforms continued. (Keith Bush)

AGREEMENT ON JOINT CIS FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SIGNED. Eight of
the CIS states have signed, on 4 April in Alma-Ata, an agreement
on close cooperation in intelligence affairs, ITAR-TASS on 15
April quoted Tatyana Samolis, the spokesman of the Russian Agency
of Foreign Intelligence, as saying. Only Ukraine, Armenia and
Azerbaijan have backed away from their previous intentions to
sign the agreement. The agreement signed in Alma-Ata stipulates
that the CIS member states will not conduct spying against each
other and will coordinate their foreign intelligence activities.
A coordinating organthe Council of Heads of Intelligence Organshas
been set up. It is scheduled to meet four times a year. (Alexander
Rahr)

BURBULIS REPORTS DECREASE IN WORKER UNREST. Predictions that
Russias 2 January price hikes would lead to massive worker unrest
proved exaggeratedin fact, the number strikes in this period
reportedly dropped in comparison to 1991. Gennadii Burbulis told
the Congress of Peoples Deputies on 14 April that even in coal-mining
areas, where there have been many recent strike threats, the
actual number of strikes decreased in the early months of 1992,
Interfax reported. Burbulis, whose personal intervention was
credited with averting a threatened strike by miners in Vorkuta
in February (Moscow News, No. 9, 1992) said a new mechanism for
cooperation between government, trade unions, and employers associations
has great potential for defusing workplace conflicts. He said
a group of specialists is being created which will be responsible
for assessing pre-strike situations and recommending ways of
averting industrial action. (Elizabeth Teague)

DISCUSSION OF THE MEDIA AT CONGRESS. On 15 April, the Russian
Congress of Peoples Deputies failed to pass a resolution on the
work of the Russian media as planned. Many deputies have complained
that Russian media, especially television, are biased in their
coverage of the Congress. The Congress resolution on the issue
is set to be discussed on 16 April. On 15 April, Ostankino TV
quoted a member of the conservative Russian Unity bloc at the
Congress, Vladimir Isakov, as saying that a council, consisting
of representatives of all Russias political parties, should be
set up to supervise the work of the television station which
is government-owned. This proposal found support not only from
conservatives, but also from more democratically-oriented politicians.
(Vera Tolz)

CHECHNYA INTRODUCES CENSORSHIP. The Chechen Cabinet of Ministers
has decided that prior censorship of the mass media is to be
introduced in Chechnya, Novosti reported on 16 April. The move
was justified by the need to preserve stability during the state
of emergency, that is while the circumstances of the attempted
coup of 31 March are being investigated. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINE PROMISED ITALIAN CREDITS. Ukraine and Italy have signed
an economic declaration which includes a pledge to extend about
$2 billion worth of credit for Kiev, ITAR-TASS reported on 15
April. The announcement was made by Ukrainian Prime Minister
Vitold Fokin, who was in Rome for talks with Prime Minister Giulio
Andreotti. Fokin also said that Ukraine is prepared to repay
20% of the former Soviet Unions foreign debt. (Roman Solchanyk)


SHUSHKEVICH SEES POLITICAL STABILITY. Belarus parliamentary Chairman
Stanislau Shushkevich believes that his republic will attain
political stability at the latest by next year, Western agencies
reported on 15 April. He said most of the political parties in
Belarus pursue the same aims as the leadership. Shushkevich made
the statement during a joint press conference with visiting German
Minister for Foreign Economic Cooperation Carl-Dieter Spranger.
(Roman Solchanyk)

CIRCUMSTANCES OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH PARLIAMENT CHAIRMANS DEATH
A MYSTERY. The death of Nagorno-Karabakh parliament Chairman
Artur Mkrtchyan on 14 April was an accident, according to a statement
issued on 15 April by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and
the Council of Ministers of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic carried
by ITAR-TASS. No details of the circumstances were given. Originally
it had been reported that Mkrtchyan had been assassinated by
unknown assailants: Interfax reported on 15 April that the Azerbaijani
permanent mission in Moscow had denied any Azerbaijani involvement
in Mkrtchyans death. (Liz Fuller)

SNEGUR EXPECTS END SOON TO ARMED CONFLICT IN DNIESTER AREA. Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur told a meeting of the Moldovan government
in Chisinau on 15 April that he expected the armed conflict on
the left bank of the Dniester to end soon, ITAR-TASS reported.
However, he intended to retain the state of emergency until due
order was restored in the republic. According to Radio Moscow,
Snegur wants to use the state of emergency committees to solve
agrarian problems. The cease-fire is still largely being observed
on the left bank of the Dniester, and, according to Novosti,
the last 14 Kuban Cossacks were leaving the area on 15 April.
Efforts to disband the armed formations that clashed in Bendery
on the right bank are continuing. (Ann Sheehy)

LAND LAW IN TAJIKISTAN. Tajikistans new land law went into effect
on 15 April, Khovar-TASS reported. The law grants landholders
lifetime possession and also stipulates that land may be inherited,
leased to others, and requires that landholders be compensated
if their holding is taken by the state. It does not create a
free market in land. The law allows anyone to become a landholder
regardless of nationality or length of residence in Tajikistan
but gives preference to those with previous agricultural experience.
(Bess Brown)

HELP FOR INFORMATION MEDIA IN KAZAKHSTAN. Moscow media reported
on 15 April that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev had signed
a decree intended to provide assistance for the information media
in Kazakhstan. The Cabinet of Ministers was instructed to ensure
that periodicals and book publishers can obtain paper and are
freed from the value-added tax. The decree also prohibited the
creation of press monopolies. (Bess Brown)

NIYAZOV DISCUSSES GAS PIPELINE. Turkmen President Saparmurad
Niyazov had discussions on 14 April with the Iranian petroleum
minister on the possibility of transporting Turkmen gas across
Iran, Turkmenpress-TASS reported. The minister promised Iranian
help in building a pipeline; the discussions also dealt with
an Iranian offer of $50 million credit to buy food in Iran. The
Turkmen leadership wants to find ways to export gas to Turkey
and Western Europe that bypass the Commonwealth of Independent
States. Iran had already been approached for assistance before
the Turkmen-Ukrainian dispute over gas prices. (Bess Brown)





CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

US MAY SEEK SERBIAS SUSPENSION FROM CSCE. Western media reported
on 16 April that the US State Department said it will ask for
Belgrades suspension from that international body if Serbian
units continue fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina. German TV on 15
April and the Washington Post on 16 April said that reporters
in Bosnia-Herzegovina could see that Serbian claims of noninvolvement
and army claims of neutrality were false. The Post noted that
the Serbian government seems to be trying to marshal support
by showing it is the victim of a German-Vatican, fundamentalist-Islamic,
American-imperialist conspiracy, to which Belgrade now adds that
it is the target of media-information genocide as well. The BBC
on 16 April said that Washington seems determined to turn Serbia
into an international pariah if its aggressive behavior continues.
(Patrick Moore)

SERBS CRIPPLE LAND COMMUNICATIONS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. That
broadcast went on to note that, within the troubled multi-ethnic
republic, movement is strangled by Serbian road-blocks. German
and Austrian TV on 15 April showed the ruins of the Sarajevo
bus depot and rows of demolished busses following the shelling
by Serbian forces the previous night. UN special envoy Cyrus
Vance arrives in Sarajevo on 16 April following talks with Serbian
officials in Belgrade the previous day. Vance called for a halt
to the fighting, but noted that the UN simply does not have the
resources to mount a peace-keeping operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
(Patrick Moore)

CZECHOSLOVAKIA EXPELS LYBIAN DIPLOMATS. Czechoslovakia on 15
April closed its airspace to Libyan aircraft and asked Libyan
diplomats to leave the country. CSTK says the Foreign Ministry
officially asked Libya to close down its military mission immediately.
Earlier, the Ministry announced restrictions on Czechoslovak
aircraft flying to Libya. Czechoslovak experts working in Libya
were ordered to suspend their activities. The moves are a part
of the UN sanctions against Libya that took effect on that day.
(Barbara Kroulik)

WAY CLEAR FOR WALESAS MOSCOW VISIT? The tentative Russian-Polish
agreement on financial aspects of the Soviet troop withdrawal
reached on 14 April seems to have removed the last obstacle to
Polish President Lech Walesas long-postponed official visit to
Russia. Walesa had refused to travel to Moscow until all the
terms of the withdrawal were settled to mutual satisfaction.
Polish officials attributed the breakthrough to the participation
of Russian Deputy Defense Minister General Pavel Grachev, the
plenipotentiary for the withdrawal of Russian troops from abroad,
who arrived with a decision-making mandate from Russian President
Boris Yeltsin. Walesa received Grachev on 15 April. The presidents
spokesman reported that the meeting had been unusually lively
and spontaneous and that all the problems that could arise seem
to have been resolved. Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Jerzy Makarczyk
immediately departed on a one-day trip to Moscow on 15 April
to discuss the specifics of the visit. He reported on his return
to Warsaw that the exact date of the visit depends on the presidents
calendar. (Roman Stefanowski and Louisa Vinton)

POLES TO HELP FINANCE TROOP WITHDRAWAL? The seven-point Polish-Russian
agreement must still be accepted by the governments of both countries.
Its terms remain secret. General Grachev did divulge that the
most important element was Polands agreement to help finance
the transfer and resettlement of former Soviet troops, using
the profits from Polish-Russian joint-ventures to be established
at former Soviet facilities in Poland. Although the agreement
stipulates that no funds are to come from the Polish state budget,
it seems clear that the Poles have abandoned any hope of breaking
even on the withdrawal. In this spirit, Walesa commented on 15
April that Poles and Russians should find the strength to rise
above the legacy of the past and leave any exact settling of
accounts to history. Polish Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski
noted that the costs for environmental damage had not yet been
negotiated because the Polish side was still being refused access
to Soviet bases, but added that Grachev had pledged to resolve
this problem. (Roman Stefanowski and Louisa Vinton)

YELSTIN ON RUSSIAN-LITHUANIAN TREATY. Lithuanian Supreme Council
Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis has received a telegram from Russias
President Boris Yeltsin indicating that Russia would soon complete
action on the Lithuanian-Russian treaty on interstate relations
that was signed by the two leaders last July. RFE/RL Lithuanian
Service reported on 15 April that Yeltsin had said that the matter
would be handled by Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Fedor Shelov-Kovedayev, who would travel to Vilnius; no date
was given for his arrival. (Dzintra Bungs)

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT SETS NEW PRICES. On 15 April the government
announced new price limits for some of the fourteen important
food items under its control and liberalized the prices of the
rest. These last are now to be governed by the market. It also
set new minimum procurement prices for a number of agricultural
products. Price increases of 35% were announced for electric
power and 60% for coal. Government experts were quoted by BTA
as saying that the new prices legalize the existing upward trend
but prevent excessive inflation. BTA also said a package of compensation
measures for the population had been approved, but gave no details.
The government discussed price policy with the labor unions on
14April, but according to press reports the two sides separated
in disagreement. After the liberalization of prices on 1 February
1991 and several increases in the course of the year, the government
had announced a price freeze on 30 January. (Rada Nikolaev)

ROMANIAS OPPOSITION COALITION PUSHES ON, DESPITE DEFECTION. Romanias
major opposition parties have decided to remain allied in the
Democratic Convention for this years parliamentary and presidential
elections, despite the defection of Radu Campeanus National Liberal
Party. Convention party leaders met on 15 April to try to avert
a split in the alliance. Campeanu, who attended the meeting,
said that the opposition alliance had been suitable only for
the local elections (when the alliance captured the most important
cities and about 30% of the national vote). Campeanus decision
to abandon the Convention seemed to be dictated by his ambition
to make a solo bid for the presidency. Democratic Convention
leaders have planned further meetings (without the Liberals)
for 16 April, to discuss alliance strategy. Civic Alliance Party
leader Nicolae Manolescu announced earlier that Convention members
still intended to run joint election lists and support a single
presidential candidate. (Crisula Stefanescu)

OIL WORKERS ON STRIKE IN BULGARIA. After repeated strike warnings,
the workers at the Plama oil processing plant in Pleven went
on strike on 15 April, BTA reported. Earlier reports said they
were protesting both the way their management had been appointed
and the risk to their jobs because of the lack of crude oil to
process. BTA had reported on 10 April that crude oil was arriving,
but this failed to resolve matters, and 1,211 workers and specialists
opted to support the strike after their initiatives to open talks
with the government had failed. Early on 16 April Bulgarian Radio
reported that Minister of Industry and Trade Ivan Pushkarov was
in Pleven. He condemned the pressure put on the government by
the strikers, but reported some progress in talks. (Rada Nikolaev)


EX-KGB MEMBERS IN LATVIAS DEFENSE AND INTERIOR MINISTRIES. On
14 April the Latvian Supreme Council debated heatedly issues
related to the employment of about 120 former KGB members in
Latvias ministries of defense and internal affairs, BNS reported
that day. Currently there are 41 such persons working in the
internal affairs ministry. The discussion was prompted by a draft
resolution presented by Supreme Council Deputy Chairman Andrejs
Krastins. The purpose of the resolution was to stop ex-KGB infiltration
of Latvian institutions where security is essential. The resolution
will be discussed further on 5 May. Former Latvian SSR Minister
of Internal Affairs Bruno Steinbriks, now directing counterintelligence
activities of the Baltic region border guards of the former USSR,
told Diena of 14 April that his subordinates are still continuing
their work, but dismissed the threat to Latvia of KGB underground
operations there. (Dzintra Bungs)

COMMUNIST GENERALS STRIPPED OF RANK. A presidential decree, quoted
by BTA on 15 April, stripped of generals rank three former top
military figures, all of them now well over 70. Colonel General
Kiril Kosev had served as chief of the armys political command
between 1971 and 1984. Two lieutenant generals, Georgi Kumbiliev
and Apostol Kolchev, had been deputy internal affairs ministers
in the 1950s. They were among the Stalinists purged together
with former dictator Valko Chervenkov in 1962, but were both
later rehabilitated. Also on 15 April, the defense minister moved
to strip former Health Minister Kiril Ignatov of his colonels
rank. Ignatov was accused of engaging in criminal activities
while serving as a military counterintelligence officer in 1947-1949.
(Rada Nikolaev)

GOVERNMENT STEPS IN ON ELECTION LAW. The Estonian government
has intervened on behalf of exile Estonians who were recently
denied the right to vote in the election law passed two weeks
ago in the Supreme Council. According to the RFE/RL Estonian
Service, Prime Minister Tiit Vahi submitted a proposal to the
Supreme Council on 15 April asking the body to allow Estonian
citizens living abroad the right to vote in parliamentary elections.
The mechanism of the government proposal is unclear, however.
Vahi asked the Supreme Council to reenfranchise exiled Estonians
without making a concrete proposal for the Supreme Council to
reconsider the election law. Despite Vahis positive stance toward
the exile community, his 15 April proposal appeared to be an
attempt to placate concerned exiles or serve internal political
ends rather than a serious solution to problems in the election
law. (Riina Kionka)

NEW LOANS FOR ROMANIA. European Community Vice President Henning
Christophersen announced on 14 April, at the first annual meeting
of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Budapest,
that he would propose that the Group of 24 industrial countries
make additional loans of $200 million to Romania. A previously
approved credit of $230 million to help Romania finance its balance
of payment deficit will be released soon, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported. (Crisula Stefanescu)

US GRANTS HUNGARIAN GOODS UNCONDITIONAL MFN STATUS. US President
George Bush has informed Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall
in a letter that the US is extending to Hungarian goods unconditional
most favored nation status, MTI reported on 15 April. Bush wrote
that the step expressed US recognition for Hungarys progress
in reforming its political and economic system. He was optimistic
that a bilateral trade agreement would soon be signed providing
mutual protection for investments and increasing US investments
in Hungary. (Edith Oltay)

UNEMPLOYMENT UP IN ESTONIA. Some 2,400 people in Estonia were
jobless as of 1 April, according to Estonian Unemployment Office
specialist Ludmilla Smirnova. Smirnova told BNS on 14 April that
the number of unemployed grew by 62% in March, mostly among workers
in Narva, Kohtla-Jarve, Tartu, Polva and Voru. Smirnova said
the state paid out some 1,240,000 rubles in unemployment benefits
in March alone, adding that a similar or larger increase in unemployment
is expected in April. (Riina Kionka)

CZECHOSLOVAKIA, AUSTRIA SIGN DEFENSE AGREEMENT. Czechoslovak
and Austrian Defense Ministers Lubos Dobrovsky and Werner Fasslabend
signed a military cooperation agreement on 14 April in Bratislava.
The accord calls for cooperation between the two states in line
with the provisions of the conference on Security and Cooperation
in Europe. The agreement species what steps would be taken if
one of the countries airspace was violated, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported. (Barbara Kroulik)

LATVIA RECOGNIZES BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. On 14 April the Latvian
Supreme Council voted to recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent
state and expressed the wish that international support would
help Bosnia-Herzegovina to regain independence peacefully. The
legislature also authorized the Latvian Foreign Ministry to investigate
possibilities of establishing diplomatic relations, Diena reported
that day. Latvia recognized Slovenia and Croatia last fall. (Dzintra
Bungs)

US ENVOY TO LITHUANIA ACCREDITED. US ambassador Darryl Johnson
presented his credentials to Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman
Vytautas Landsbergis on 14April, according to RFE/RL Lithuanian
Service reports. Since September 1991 Johnson had served as US
chargé daffaires in Lithuania. (Dzintra Bungs)

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

(END)

NOTE: The RFE/RL Daily Report will not appear on 17 and 20 April,
which are public holidays.



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