There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. - Graham Greene
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 79, 24 April 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

IMF, KHASBULATOV DIFFER ON RUSSIAN ECONOMIC PROGRAM, AID. In
the run-up to next week's spring meetings of the IMF and World
Bank in Washington, Russian parliamentary Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov
told Western agencies on 23 April that the IMF's demands for
economic reform are "too tough," and that the Russian people
"cannot endure some of the price increases and tax policies required
by the IMF." Meanwhile, IMF Managing Director Michael Camdessus
said that Russia's adjustment program must be strengthened, rather
than diluted, Reuters and The New York Times reported. This did
not prevent Konstantin Kagalovsky, Russia's chief negotiator
with international financial institutions, from saying that Russia
hopes to obtain the $4 billion stand-by credit, currently under
discussion with the IMF by the second half of May, the Financial
Times reported on 22 April. This would apparently be in addition
to the proposed $6 billion to help stabilize the ruble, which,
Camdessus says, will be some time in coming. (Robert Lyle/Ben
Slay)

US OFFICIAL CRITICIZES UKRAINIAN REFORM EFFORT. The Bush Administration
on the eve of the IMF/World bank meetings apparently remains
unwilling to support significant economic aid to Ukraine until
greater commitment to painful reforms is demonstrated in Kiev.
According to Reuters of 23 April, an unidentified "administration
official" is quoted as saying: "We're not going to throw money
down a rat hole, and until they [the Ukrainians] make the tough
choices Russia has made, they're a rat hole." Lack of progress
with price liberalization and privatization were cited by Reuters
as particular US concerns. Meanwhile, according to Western reports
a "reform manifesto" was published on the same day in Pravda
Ukrainy, describing a "free market" economic program. The report
calls for the creation of free-trade zones in Ukraine, simplification
of regulations and guarantees for joint ventures, as well as
the introduction of a Ukrainian national currency, the hryvnia.
It was not clear, however, whether this manifesto constitutes
official government policy, or simply the views of reformers
in the government and parliament. (Ben Slay)

KHASBULATOV PESSIMISTIC ABOUT CONGRESS RESULTS. The 23 April
Russian TV news reported on the first meeting of the Supreme
Soviet Presidium held since the Congress of People's Deputies.
The newscast cited the chairman, Ruslan Khasbulatov, as giving
a rather negative evaluation of the Congress. There were neither
winners nor losers at the Congress, Khasbulatov reportedly opined.
A blow was received by society in general and wounds were inflicted
on both the executive and legislature, he argued. (Julia Wishnevsky)


STAROVOITOVA CRITICIZES WEST FOR MISJUDGING YELTSIN. Yeltsin's
aide on nationality affairs, Galina Starovoitova told Western
agencies on 24 April that since Gorbachev resigned, the West
has lost interest in Russia. She complained that the West is
not giving due credit to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who,
contrary to Gorbachev, has so far avoided ethnic bloodshed and
has just defeated hardliners at the Congress. Starovoitova asserted
that Yeltsin may improve his image by smiling more often but
that he also understands that "someone who follows Gorbachev
cannot be the darling of the West." (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN REJECTS PETROV'S RESIGNATION. President Yeltsin refused
to accept the resignation of the head of his administration,
Yurii Petrov, "Novosti" announced on 23 April. Since Petrov was
the former Communist Party first secretary of the Sverdlovsk
Oblast Committee, he has been the main target of radicals who
view Petrov as the embodiment of the old Party nomenklatura who
have found refuge in the new "democratic" structures of power
and who sabotage reforms with the aim of returning to the old
regime. On the eve of the Congress of People's Deputies, Petrov
submitted his resignation saying that he disagreed with discrimination
against all former Communist officials. Yeltsin's refusal to
accept it may indicate that the Russian president is unwilling
to side with the radicals. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO MEET. The Russian Government is scheduled
to hold its first session, since the Congress of People's Deputies,
on 24 April to discuss the reorganization of industrial management
in Russia, and the appointment of new industrial and social ministers,
Interfax reported on 23 April. The deputy chairman of the Russian
parliament Vladimir Shumeiko may become the new first deputy
prime minister in charge of industry. Another item on the agenda
is a report by Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi on the state
of agriculture. Rutskoi has strongly criticized the Congress
for its failure to adopt a new law on private land sales. (Alexander
Rahr)

YELTSIN SIGNS LAW ON CONVERSION. On 21 April, Yeltsin signed
a law laying out the "legal and social basis" of conversion,
Interfax reported the following day. The agency said Yeltsin
made the announcement to a meeting of the "Industrial Union"
parliamentary faction, at which he also promised to lower taxes
"somewhat" for state-owned enterprises and to bring representatives
of industry into his government. (Elizabeth Teague)

NEW HOPE FOR ETHNIC GERMANS. Germany and Russia have agreed on
a stage-by-stage reinstitution of a German autonomous republic
in the Volga region, ITAR-TASS reported on 23 April. As a first
step, the Volgograd and Saratov regional administrations want
to create autonomous districts for ethnic Germans on their territories
this year. Similar autonomous units will be set up in the regions
of Omsk, Altai and Orenburg. Germany has promised to finance
housing in these areas. The chairman of the Russian State Committee
on Nationalities Policy, Valerii Tishkov, said that Russian local
authorities had so far been reluctant to support the ethnic German
cause but had changed their minds now, as a result of massive
German aid to Russia. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN ORDERS SANCTIONS AGAINST LIBYA. Interfax reported on
23 April that Boris Yeltsin has issued a decree ordering suspension
of all sales and shipments of arms to Libya. The decree, which
also orders the withdrawal of military advisors from Libya, was
reported to be in line with UN Security Council sanctions imposed
against Libya. (Stephen Foye)

DRAFT RUSSIAN DEFENSE BILL APPROVED. The Presidium of the Russian
Supreme Soviet on 23 April approved a draft law "On Defense"
that defines the structures and powers of the emerging Russian
defense establishment, ITAR-TASS reported. The draft law is to
be passed on to the parliament's committees and commissions for
further examination. Reuters, which claimed in a 23 April report
to have received a copy of the draft law, said it banned the
military from participation in policing activities, limited the
manpower of the army to 1% of the population, granted the president
the right to appoint the defense minister (with parliament's
approval), and defined the Defense Ministry as a political and
administrative body while granting the General Staff control
over military affairs. (Stephen Foye)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON BLACK SEA FLEET. CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii
Shaposhnikov told "Novosti" on 23 April that, in his opinion,
Ukraine should receive roughly 20% of the Black Sea Fleet, while
the CIS should retain the remaining 80%. He was cautiously optimistic
that Russian-Ukrainian talks on the fleet's future to be launched
on 28 April would be successful, and added that requests by Georgia
for part of the fleet should not raise problems. (Stephen Foye)


UKRAINIANS PROTEST "CHAUVINIST HYSTERIA" IN CRIMEA. On 23 April,
Radio Ukraine reported on what was described as the growing "chauvinist"
and anti-Ukrainian "hysteria" in Crimea, where the issue of whether
the autonomous Crimean state will hold a referendum on secession
from Ukraine is nearing a decision by the local parliament. Radio
Kiev castigated the peninsula's main daily, Krymskaya pravda
for its "anti-Ukrainian" and overtly pro-Russian line, adding
that the newspaper had not even published the full text of President
Kravchuk's recent appeal to the residents of Crimea. It also
said that local Ukrainian activists had been picketing the newspaper's
offices this week calling for "pluralistic coverage of the situation
in Crimea." (Bohdan Nahaylo)

RUSSIAN MEDICAL WORKERS STRIKE CONTINUES. A strike by Russian
medical workers which began on 20 April is continuing, and the
strikers have now announced plans to hold a demonstration in
Moscow on 24 April, ITAR-TASS reported on 23 April. A spokesman
for the Russian Union of Medical Workers, Jiri Sintoski, said
that rallies would be held in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Smolensk,
and a larger rally is planned for 29 April. The strike resulted
from a simmering dispute between the Union and the Russian government
over salaries and benefits. Workers in Magadan have closed clinics
for almost a week, while in Altai, only emergency treatment is
available at hospitals. In Tomsk, hospital workers began striking
on 22 April. Union leaders have also said that ambulance services
in Moscow will be cut on 24 April and that more Moscow medical
facilities will join the strike on Monday, 27 April, if authorities
do not meet the Union's demands. (Carla Thorson)

JAPANESE AID TO RUSSIA. According to a report on Japanese TV
(23 April), Japan will contribute $1.5 billion in direct bilateral
assistance to Russia as part of the $24 billion financial assistance
package of the G-7 nations. Confirmation on this aid package
is expected from the G-7 on 26 April. Japan has, until now, refused
to provide substantial amounts of assistance unless a solution
to the Kurile Islands dispute has been agreed upon. (Suzanne
Crow)

HEIR TO RUSSIAN THRONE TO BE BURIED IN ST. PETERSBURG? On 23
April, the Aleksandr Nevsky monastery in St. Petersburg held
a memorial service on Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, the heir
to the Russian throne who died during a press conference in Miami
the day before. The 74-year-old last November and was given a
royal welcome by St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii Sobchak. According
to "Vesti," Vladimir may be buried with other Romanovs in St.
Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. (Julia Wishnevsky)


SPAIN INVITES UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk met with the Spanish foreign minister, Francisco Fernandez
Ordonez, Radio Kiev reported on 23 April. The latter described
his talks in Kiev as "fruitful." The two countries want to develop
bilateral economic and cultural relations and a treaty on friendship
and cooperation between the two countries is being prepared.
Ordonez extended an invitation to Kravchuk from the Spanish king
Juan Carlos to make an official visit to Spain. (Bohdan Nahaylo)


NEW DATA ON LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION IN UKRAINE'S SCHOOLS. A Ukrainian
newspaper has published new data recently released by the Ukrainian
Ministry of Statistics on the language of instruction in the
country's schools. Pravda Ukrainy of 18 April reveals that the
proportion of children being taught in Ukrainian is still marginally
smaller than those receiving instruction in Russian--49.3% and
50% respectively. In the western oblasts, between 91.8% and 97.6%
of children are taught in Ukrainian, while in the Luhansk, Donetsk
and Crimean oblasts the reverse occurs: between 93.3% and 99.96%
are taught in Russian. In Kiev, 30.9% of children are taught
in Ukrainian. In general, 83% of children attending village schools
are taught in Ukrainian while 66% of those in the cities are
taught in Russian. Around 14,000 children are taught in "Moldovan,"
19,000 in Romanian, 18,000 in Hungarian, 550 in Polish and 142
in Crimean Tatar. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

BISHKEK SUMMIT ENDS. Leaders of the Central Asian states and
Kazakhstan ended their two-day summit in Bishkek on 23 April
by signing agreements recognizing the inviolability of each others'
frontiers and on creating a regional investment fund to be coordinated
by a new interstate bank, Interfax reported. Participants also
pledged support for the concept of joint CIS armed forces. An
agreement on coordinating economic policies was postponed because
of discrepancies in economic conditions between the five states.
Participants called for a peaceful solution to the Afghan crisis
which they termed "an internal matter." (Liz Fuller)

NAZARBAEV LOSING FAITH IN CIS. Speaking to reporters after the
Bishkek summit, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev said that
tensions between Russia and Ukraine over military issues are
undermining the stability of the CIS, and that efforts by CIS
member states to coordinate policy are "too disjointed," Radio
Rossii reported on 23 April. Nazarbaev predicted that the CIS
summit scheduled for 15 May will be "the culminating moment"
for the destiny of the Commonwealth. (Liz Fuller)

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON POSSIBLE DEPLOYMENT OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE-KEEPING
TROOPS IN MOLDOVA. In a conversation with the newly-accredited
Canadian ambassador in Chisinau, reported by Moldovapres on 22
April, President Mircea Snegur said that Moldova would call for
the deployment of UN or CSCE-sponsored peacekeeping troops only
in the event of a collapse of the quadripartite negotiations
between Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania on settling the
Dniester conflict. (Vladimir Socor)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN CONDITIONS MOLDOVA'S TERRITORIAL
INTEGRITY ON CIS MEMBERSHIP. The Chairman of Russia's Parliament,
Ruslan Khasbulatov, was cited by Radio Moscow on 22 April as
saying that Russia's approach to relations with other member
states of the CIS, including border questions, was linked to
those republics' adherence to the CIS. Singling out Moldova as
an example, Khasbulatov said that the Russian parliament's position
on the question of the Dniester area and on the issue of inviolability
of Moldova's borders would depend on whether or not Moldova remains
a member of CIS. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN ON MOLDOVA BEING "CHOSEN AS AN EXAMPLE."
Moldovan Parliament Chairman Alexandru Mosanu was cited by Moldovapres
on 21 April, one day before Khasbulatov's statement, as saying
that "pro-imperial forces in Moscow" fanning the Dniester conflict
had "chosen Moldova as an example of what can be done to the
newly-independent states which take their independence seriously."
(Vladimir Socor)

MORE RUSSIAN "SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE" IN MOLDOVA. Citing Moldova's
Ministry of Internal Affairs, TASS reported on 22 April that
the Moldovan authorities have recently been apprehending a growing
number of armed "soldiers of fortune" from Russia and other CIS
member states who were declaring upon apprehension that they
had come to Moldova "to defend the 'Dniester republic.'" (Vladimir
Socor)



CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CEASE-FIRE IN BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA. In the face of mounting international
pressure, Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic has agreed to
support an EC-sponsored cease-fire negotiated among the leaders
of the Croat, Muslim, and Serbian communities. The Serbian-dominated
federal army has also agreed to abide by the cease-fire. This
truce, brokered on 23 April by an EC delegation led by Lord Carrington,
came as the fighting in Bosnia intensified and the capital city
of Sarajevo experienced fierce street battles, bombings, and
mortar attacks. Reports from Sarajevo indicate, however, that
sporadic fighting continues despite the cease-fire agreement
(Duncan Perry).

MORE ON BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT CRISIS. Following reports that Prime
Minister Filip Dimitrov had asked Defense Minister Dimitar Ludzhev
to resign, the parliamentary group of the ruling UDF met with
the Prime Minister, BTA reported on 23 April. The group was reported
to have emphasized during the meeting that if personnel changes
are necessary, they must come only after the planned organizational
changes of the government and after thorough political consultations.
In a radio report on the same day Ludzhev was quoted as saying
that Dimitrov's move had resulted from intrigues and that he
would "not stay in a cabinet with a man who acts in such a way
with his ministers." Dimitrov was quoted in the same report as
having said that his decision reflected merely a wish to maintain
"functional balances" in the government. (Rada Nikolaev)

BULGARIAN PRIVATIZATION LAW PASSED. On 23 April the National
Assembly passed the law on privatization of state and municipal
property. Western agencies said it is more market oriented than
similar laws of other East European countries. According to their
reports, small firms will be sold at auctions, while large enterprises
will gradually be transformed into joint stock companies. These
companies will be open to foreign capital investments, although
up to 20% of the shares may be sold preferentially to employees.
The state's income from selling its enterprises will be allocated
in 30% for social funds, 40% for foreign debt repayment, 20%
for indemnities to former owners, and 10% for development of
agriculture. (Rada Nikolaev)

BULGARIAN SANCTIONS AGAINST LIBYA. On 22 April the government
imposed sanctions against Libya in fulfillment of the UN-mandated
action against that country, BTA reported on 23 April. The decision
prohibits taking off, landing, or overflight over Bulgaria of
any flight coming from or going to Libya and bans the work of
the Libyan airlines' office in Sofia. It also imposes embargo
on arms sales to Libya. Furthermore, the government is to take
steps to expel or prevent from entering Bulgaria of Libyan citizens
expelled from other countries because of terrorist acts. Before
the UN embargo Bulgaria had more than once warned its citizens
not to travel to Libya and also said it was making efforts to
make it possible for its 6,000 citizens in Libya to leave if
they wish. (Rada Nikolaev)

HAVEL IN JAPAN. Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel met with
Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa and Emperor Akihito in
Tokyo on 23 April, foreign agencies report. Miyazawa announced
that Japan would grant preferential tariff status to Czechoslovakia
as of 1 May. Havel called for increased economic exchange and
for capital investment. Havel's assistant for foreign affairs
Sasa Vondra said Miyazawa raised the possibility of a special
25-year Japanese credit to be used for environmental protection
in Czechoslovakia. The two countries are due to sign a new trade
agreement today. Miyazawa said that Japan would like to participate
in some way in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in
Europe, which is currently chaired by Czechoslovakia. (Barbara
Kroulik)

CZECHOSLOVAK GNP DECLINES. The Czechoslovak State Bank says the
country's gross national product decreased in the first quarter
of 1992. CSTK quotes bank figures as saying the GNP declined
by 3.3% by the end of 31 March, compared with the final three
months of 1991. Prices increased on average by 1% in January,
0.5% in February and 0.4% in March. (Barbara Kroulik)

GERMAN SOCCER FANS EXPELLED. A total of 77 young Germans who
were detained during a rampage in Prague on 22 April preceding
a soccer game between Czechoslovakia and Germany, have been expelled
from Czechoslovakia. Five other German fans still face charges
of causing damage and attacking a public official, CSTK reports.
(Barbara Kroulik)

HUNGARIAN-ROMANIAN COORDINATION COMMITTEE SET UP. On April 22,
a Hungarian-Romanian committee was set up in Bucharest to coordinate
the implementation of the "Open Skies" agreement between the
two countries, MTI reported. The "Open Skies" agreement, which
provides for annual surveillance flights over each other's territory,
was signed last year and came into effect in February this year.
Gabor Brody, head of the Hungarian delegation, said that the
"Open Skies" agreement would contribute to improving relations
between the two countries. Reiterating this view, the Romanian
side said that the agreement wouls promote bilateral cooperation.
(Edith Oltay)

TOWARD A HUNGARIAN-SLOVAK RAPPROCHEMENT? Slovak Foreign Minister
Pavol Demes, on his first visit to Budapest, and State Secretary
Geza Entz, head of the Secretariat for Hungarians Abroad in the
Hungarian Prime Minister's Office, agreed that Slovakia and Hungary
have a "strategic interest" in their reconciliation, MTI reported
on 22 April. According to Demes, the present situation of Slovakia's
Magyar minority conformed with European norms. (Alfred Reisch)


LIBYAN SUBMARINE BEING REPAIRED IN RIGA. About 70 Libyan soldiers
are in Riga at ship repair factory Number 177 in the Bolderaja
district of Riga in conjunction with the repair of a submarine
Libya purchased from the USSR in 1988, Diena reported on 22 April.
Assistant to the Latvian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Aivis
Ronis told Diena that the Latvian government is preparing to
send a protest note to the Russian government on the matter.
(Saulius Girnius)

CONTINUING PROBLEMS WITH LITHUANIAN AUTHORITIES. On 23 April
Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius said that a crisis
had broken out in the parliament where "destructive forces which
previously constituted a minority have become too influential,"
Radio Lithuania reports. Indirectly hinting that he believed
that presidential elections would be held after the successful
passage of a presidential referendum on 23 May, he proposed that
elections to a new parliament should be held at the same time.
He did not make a scheduled statement to the parliament on the
state of the government, but promised to do so on 28 April. Deputy
Prime Minister Algis Dobravolskas, who is also Social Security
Minister, announced his resignation to the parliament but this
will not be discussed there before 28 April. (Saulius Girnius)


AMERICAN AIRLINES TO BE LITHUANIAN AIRLINES' MAIN PARTNER. On
23 April American Airlines and Lithuanian Airlines (LAL) signed
a memorandum of understanding that foresees the development of
a strategic business plan, joint marketing, aircraft support
program, and a reservations and servicing network in Vilnius
and other cities in Europe, Reuters reports. Peter Pappas, consulting
group president of American Airlines' parent AMP Corp, said that
it would take up to 3 months to prepare a contract with LAL.
Lithuania, the first former USSR republic to start commercial
flights to the West, plans to privatize LAL -- giving 49% to
private investors -- and then link with others from the Baltic
States to form a joint company. Seven European airlines now offer
direct flights to Vilnius. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN-RUSSIAN TALKS ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL. On April 23 the
third round of talks on the withdrawal of the ex-Soviet army
from Lithuania began at the Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Ministry
in Vilnius. The Russian delegation was headed by Viktor Isakov,
deputy chief of administration in the Russian Foreign Affairs
Ministry. The head of the Lithuanian delegation, Minister without
Portfolio Aleksandras Abisala, told a press conference that he
was disappointed with the first day of talks since Russia did
not have a position on the date of the withdrawal or on the payment
for damages inflicted by the Soviet army. The talks will continue
today (24 April), Radio Lithuania reports. (Saulius Girnius)


WALESA TO BECOME INVOLVED IN FORMATION OF GOVERNMENT? Following
the collapse of protracted negotiations on creating a broad parliamentary
coalition to support the government, Polish President Lech Walesa
said in a television interview on 23 April that he might "form
an extra-party government to solve problems." He said he would
consult with Prime Minister Jan Olszewski about the situation.
Former Prime Minister and Democratic Union leader Tadeusz Mazowiecki
met with Walesa on the same day and then said that he had suggested
to the president "to do nothing that can lead to an immediate
overthrow of the government," Polish and Western media reported.
(Roman Stefanowski)

BELARUS-POLISH AGREEMENT INITIALED. Belarus and Poland initialed
in Warsaw a "treaty on good neighborliness and friendly cooperation,"
PAP reported on 23 April. After meeting with the Polish Prime
Minister Jan Olszewski Belarus Prime Minister Vyacheslau Kebitch
said that "we have not found any controversial points in our
talks." The treaty replaces the "declaration on mutual relations"
signed last fall. It covers cross-border cooperation, commercial
exchanges, minority rights, copyright and patent protection,
etc. (Roman Stefanowski)

SWISS AID TO POLAND. Switzerland granted Poland 50 million Swiss
franks as nonreturnable aid for the period 1992 to 1995, PAP
reported on 23 April. "It is Switzerland's contribution to the
Polish economic transformation" said Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, the
Swiss Federation Economy Minister, who headed a delegation of
Swiss industrialists to Poland According to Jacek Saryusz-Wolski,
Polish government plenipotentiary for European integration and
foreign aid, this aid will be used in agriculture, banking, and
self-government. (Roman Stefanowski)

ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTER AFFIRMS TRANSITION TO MARKET ECONOMY.
In an address to a joint parliamentary session, Prime Minister
Theodor Stolojan said that Romania's transition to a market economy
was "irreversible" and that he was determined to prevent massive
price rises, Romanian and foreign media reported on 23 April.
Stolojan also said that the government would start distributing
in May free vouchers (representing 30% of ownership of state-run
industries) to be used by the public to buy shares in soon-to-be
privatized industries. Furthermore, the Prime Minister announced
that the government would remove 25% of remaining state subsidies
on consumer products; the gradual removal of subsidies began
in November 1990 and all are to be cut by the end of 1993. Stolojan
said also that the government would devalue the Romanian leu
to stimulate exports but warned about prospective unemployment.
(Crisula Stefanescu) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson
& Jan de Weydenthal

(END)





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