In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires. - Ben Franklin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 86, 06 May 1992


STATE OF EMERGENCY IN DUSHANBE. On 5 May, four people were reported
killed on both sides of the confrontation between pro- and anti-government
forces, and the latter seized control of the Dushanbe TV center,
according to domestic media and Western correspondents in Dushanbe.
Tajik President Rakhman Nabiev declared a state of emergency
and a curfew was instituted, both of which seem to have been
largely ignored by the opposing sides. Reports from Dushanbe
indicated, however, that Nabiev and the opposition were continuing
to hold talks in an attempt to find a solution to the conflict.
The opposition is demanding that Nabiev resign and a new parliament
be elected. (Bess Brown)

the five Central Asian states are to meet on 9-10 May with Turkish
Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel, Iranian President Ali-Akbar
Rafsanjani and Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif in
Ashkhabad, Western and domestic media reported on 4 May. The
summit, according to its organizer, Turkmen President Saparmurad
Niyazov, will discuss coordination of major economic projects
in order to help solve common regional problems. Niyazov reportedly
denied that it was aimed against any country, but Iranian commentators
expressed hope that it would stop what Iran sees as US meddling
in the region. (Bess Brown)

CRIMEA MOVES TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE. On 5 May, the Crimean parliament
took another step toward full independence from Ukraine by adopting
an act of independence (samostoyatelnost) pending a Crimean referendum,
according to Radio Ukraine and reports from Moscow. Radio Ukraine
reported that the Republican Movement of Crimea (RDK), which
favors secession from Ukraine, had proposed that lawmakers proclaim
Crimea's full independence (nezavisimost). The Crimean deputies
also decided to approach the president of Ukraine and its parliament
with a proposal to conclude a bilateral treaty between the two
states. The independence proclamation will be put to a referendum
vote scheduled for 2 August. Western agencies report that President
Leonid Kravchuk, who is in Washington, rejected the Crimean move
as unconstitutional. (Roman Solchanyk)

airport before his departure for the United States, Ukrainian
President Leonid Kravchuk characterized his two days of talks
with Turkish leaders as "very positive and constructive." Kravchuk
said that both Turkey and Ukraine favored the withdrawal of all
nuclear weapons from the Black Sea, according to ITAR-TASS on
5 May. The two sides also discussed the return of Crimean Tatars
to their Crimean peninsula homeland, an issue which, Kravchuk
asserted should be resolved at the intergovernmental level. In
addition, Turkey and Ukraine agreed to "do everything possible"
to restore stability in Nagorno-Karabakh. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KRAVCHUK IN UNITED STATES. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
arrived in the United States on 5 May where he is to hold talks
with President George Bush and senior US officials, Western agencies
reported. Kravchuk was met by Secretary of State James Baker
upon arrival in Washington. The Ukrainian president is scheduled
to address both houses of Congress, visit the US Chamber of Commerce,
and hold talks with business leaders. An unnamed senior US official
is quoted as saying that previously the administration had not
placed sufficient emphasis on its relations with Ukraine. The
main item on the agenda is the fate of Ukraine's nuclear arsenal.
(Roman Solchanyk)

LAST TACTICAL NUKES OUT OF UKRAINE. A train carrying the last
shipment of tactical nuclear weapons once located in Ukraine
arrived in Russia the morning of 6 May, according to ITAR-TASS.
The agency quoted CIS Lt. Gen. Sergei Zelentsov as saying that
the withdrawal had been completed 25 days ahead of schedule.
Some former Soviet tactical nuclear weapons might still be in
Belarus, as officials in that republic had earlier indicated
that the weapons transfer would be completed by 1 June. (Doug

YELTSIN TO SIGN ARMY DECREE? According to Sergei Filatov, deputy
chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet, Boris Yeltsin is planning
on 7 May to sign a decree on the creation of a Russian army and
Russian Defense Ministry. Filatov's remarks, reported by Radio
Rossii on 5 May, were made during a visit to the former Soviet
Western Group of Forces, stationed in Germany. (Stephen Foye)

Russian State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis has criticized US pressure
on Russia to halt a planned sale of booster rocket engines to
India, indicating that the United States should be careful not
to play the role of "a rule-maker on a global scale without taking
into account the interests of its partners," ITAR-TASS reported
on 5 May. The United States, fearing that the rocket engine sale
will enable India to launch larger rockets, has also pressed
India to refrain from making a deal with Russia. The disagreement
over the Russian-Indian rocket sale seems to be the first international
conflict between the United States and the new democratic Russia.
(Alexander Rahr)

deputy chairman of the Russian parliament, questioned the need
to hold a referendum on the entire constitution as proposed by
Russian President Yeltsin. He told ITAR-TASS on 5 May that a
referendum should be held only on the basic principles of the
constitution, such as private property and the question of whether
Russia should be a parliamentary or presidential republic. Filatov
rejected Yeltsin's demand for the abolition of the Congress of
People's Deputies, saying that before his trip to Northern Russia,
Yeltsin firmly believed that the Congress should continue to
exist. He added that the Congress should adopt the new constitution.
(Alexander Rahr)

Russian political parties have also expressed opposition to Yeltsin's
recent call for a referendum on the Congress and a new Russian
constitution, ITAR-TASS reported on 5 May. The parties were especially
critical of Yeltsin for stating during the Congress that he was
against the idea of disbanding the body and then subsequently
changing his mind. They also called Yeltsin's proposal on the
Congress unconstitutional. Those parties that condemned Yeltsin's
political "flip-flop" included the opposition bloc, "Russian
Unity," and the People's Party of Free Russia, headed by Vice
President Rutskoi. (Vera Tolz)

RUBLE CONVERTIBILITY SOON . . . Konstantin Kagalovsky, the Russian
government adviser in charge of relations with international
financial institutions, told a Moscow news conference on 5 May
of plans to make the ruble fully convertible by August this year.
Although the accounts by Western agencies differ, the consensus
on Kagalovsky's remarks seems to be that a single floating exchange
rate will be introduced on 1 July and that, after one month of
floating, the exchange rate will be pegged within a 15% range.
Varying dates for ruble convertibility have been suggested in
recent weeks by Gaidar, Nechaev, and other leading officials.
(Keith Bush)

. . . BUT AT WHAT RATE? Kagalovsky referred to a rate of about
80 rubles = $1 as "reasonable," but conceded it was hard to predict
the rate at which the ruble could be supported. Michael Emerson,
the EC representative in Moscow, said in late April that a rate
of 30-35 rubles had looked feasible two months earlier (Izvestiya,
25 April). Indeed that rate had been mentioned by the Minister
for Privatization, Anatolii Chubais, in February (Reuters, 7
February). The problem is to control domestic inflation so that
some rate is sustainable. Another problem is foreign investment:
at what exchange rate do asset purchases by foreign firms look
too much like give-aways to be politically acceptable? (Philip

KUMYK-LAK TENSION IN DAGESTAN. Thousands of Kumyks and Laks,
many of them armed, are confronting each other in Karaman-Tyube,
a locality a dozen kilometers north of Makhachkala, ITAR-TASS
reported on 5 May. So far the militia have managed to prevent
a serious clash between them. The Kumyks are demanding the annulment
of a decree establishing a new area of Lak settlement on land
which they claim is age-old Kumyk territory. The Laks are demanding
that the Kumyks vacate the land they have arbitrarily occupied.
The territory was allocated for Lak settlement when the Dagestan
parliament decided to restore to the Chechen the Akin raion where
Laks had been forcibly settled after the Chechen were deported
in 1944. (Ann Sheehy)

Sergei Tereshchenko, who is visiting Germany, told ITAR-TASS
in Bonn on 5 May that in his talks with German officials, both
sides had expressed their interest in the 900,000 Germans in
Kazakhstan remaining where they are. Tereshchenko said that a
joint German-Kazakhstan commission would be set up to deal with
the problem, and a statement from the German Foreign Ministry
said that the Bonn government had promised Kazakhstan assistance
in its efforts to persuade the Germans to remain. The same day
it was stated that the Bonn government was allocating DM 100
million this year towards the restoration of the Volga German
Republic. (Ann Sheehy)

an article in the weekly Kommersant, Radio Rossii on 5 May discussed
the apparent calmness with which the Russian government is reacting
the present wave of strikes. The protests are so far confined
to the nonproductive sector of the economy (medical personnel,
teachers, and busdrivers) since the government took the precaution
of raising wages for industrial workers prior to January's price
liberalization. But, Kommersant noted, the government does not
expect industrial harmony to last forever and is therefore planning
soon to begin enforcing the law on strikes adopted in 1990. This
law obliges work collectives to observe long and complicated
procedures prior to striking; if these procedures are ignored,
harsh penalties will ensue, including criminal prosecution of
ringleaders. (Elizabeth Teague)

. . . AND UNIONS? The Russian government is also preparing, Kommersant
reported, to adopt a particularly tough attitude toward the official
Russian Trade Union Federation (the FNPR) and the militant Moscow
Federation, which it sees as the most likely instigators of worker
protest. The government is threatening to confiscate property
given to the unions by the state in the past, and to strip the
official unions of their responsibility for the administration
of social welfare benefits. (Such a step has already been taken
by the government in Kyrgyzstan; Trud, 15 April 1992). This is
a serious threat since it is because the official unions distribute
benefits that they have managed to retain their membership in
the postcommunist period. (Elizabeth Teague)

DAY OF THE PRESS IN RUSSIA. 5 May has traditionally been celebrated
in Moscow as the Day of the Press. (On 5 May 1912, Lenin founded
the newspaper Pravda.) This year, the Russian Ministry for Information
and Mass Media failed to make any special announcement, but "Vesti"
and Radio Rossii noted the occasion. Pravda on 5 May published
a front-page interview with Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi,
who was quoted as calling Pravda "an historic newspaper which
has done a lot of good." In the interview, Rutskoi criticized
earlier attempts by the Russian Ministry for Information to close
down Pravda. (Vera Tolz)

is Invalids Day worldwide, Central TV's "Novosti" reported that
the suicide rate among disabled and elderly persons in Russia
is "rising sharply." No precise figures were given, however.
(Elizabeth Teague)

Levon Ter-Petrossyan and acting Azerbaijani President Yagub Mamedov
meet today in Tehran for three days of talks aimed at resolving
the Karabakh crisis, Azerbaijan's Turan news agency reported
on 5 May. A CSCE representative will also participate; it is
not clear whether Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev will
attend. (Liz Fuller)

CSCE official Mario Rafaelli met in Moscow on 5 May with Kozyrev
and in Erevan with Armenian Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian,
ITAR-TASS reported. Rafaelli expressed optimism that a cease-fire
and a mutually acceptable political solution to the Karabakh
crisis could be worked out between Armenia and Azerbaijan. ITAR-TASS
also quoted a representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
as stating that Karabakh's participation in the Minsk peace conference
depends on the composition and status of the delegation representing
the local population. (Liz Fuller)

on 5 May blew up the highway bridge over the Dniester at Gura
Bicului, east of Chisinau, Moldovapres reported. This is the
third bridge over the Dniester blown up by the "Dniester republic"
forces since March in their attempts to cut off the left bank
of the river, which they claim, from the right bank. (Vladimir


SHAKY NEW CEASE-FIRE IN BOSNIA. Radio Sarajevo reports early
on 6 May that a new cease-fire agreement reached the day before
by members of Bosnia's Presidency and the federal army appears
now to be holding in Sarajevo. After the signing of the agreement,
heavy fighting had been reported in the war-torn capital and
other areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On 5 May the EC condemned
both the federal army and the Muslim-Croat defense forces for
the escalation of fighting, saying the former has violated the
"basic rules of democracy," and blaming the latter for Sunday's
attack on a UN-EC escorted federal army convoy withdrawing from
the capital. The statement came as 15 of the EC's 25 monitors
withdrew from Sarajevo for security reasons. Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic again called for foreign military intervention.
Yugoslav Vice President Branko Kostic described Izetbegovic's
request as the move of an "irresponsible, sick, and ambitious
man," according to Belgrade radio. Meanwhile, Bosnia's Muslim-Croat
militia gave federal troops until midnight tonight to withdraw
from Sarajevo. (Milan Andrejevich)

UPDATE ON YUGOSLAV ARMY WITHDRAWAL. On 5 May the Yugoslav Presidency
issued more details of its decision to withdraw those members
of the federal army from Bosnia-Herzegovina who are citizens
of the recently created Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. According
to Belgrade radio, the Presidency called on the leaders of the
republic's three national parties to make the decision on taking
over the part of the federal forces made up of residents of the
republic. The Presidency added that there are no longer grounds
for it to decide on military questions in Bosnia-Herzegovina;
it said the army's withdrawal will be carried out in a "planned
and organized way." (Milan Andrejevich)

foreign minister Hikmet Cetin sent a letter to the UN Security
Council asking that action be taken to protect the territorial
integrity and independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Radio Sarajevo
on the same day carried a TRT report that during his current
visit in Ankara Bosnian Deputy Prime Minister Muhamed Cengic
appealed to Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel for military
assistance. Demirel told a meeting of True Path Party members
on 5 May that Turkey's policy in assisting Bosnia-Herzegovina
will only be through political means and by providing humanitarian
aid. In an interview with the Slovenian weekly Mladina late in
April, however, Vehbija Karic, a commander of the Bosnian territorial
defense and former Yugoslav army colonel, was quoted as saying
that Turkey has offered Bosnia $5 billion [sic] in aid to be
used however they wish, presumably not excluding purchase of
military materiel. There has been no Turkish confirmation of
Karic's claim. (Milan Andrejevich)

Tudjman told reporters on 4 May that Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot
survive as an independent state unless relations among Muslims,
Serbs, and Croats are settled both on the basis of complete equality
and in terms of territorial reorganization. Tudjman said the
latter can only be achieved "if a cantonization on confederal
foundations is accomplished." Cantonization is also advocated
by Bosnia's Serbs, while Muslims favor a unitary state. Vjesnik
carried the report on 5 May. (Milan Andrejevich)

Budapest report, Andras Agoston, president of the Hungarian Democratic
Community of Vojvodina, told a committee of the Council of Europe
in Strasbourg that survival of entire ethnic groups is being
endangered in the territories of (former) Yugoslavia. This is
the first time Agoston has spoken out on this issue in an international
forum. He said that Hungarians in Vojvodina would like to have
autonomy similar to that sought by Serbs in Croatia. Agoston
told the committee that to date about 20,000 Hungarians have
had to flee their homeland and their homes have been taken over
by Serbs. (Judith Pataki)

of the Council of Europe voted unanimously on 5 May to grant
Bulgaria full membership, making it its 27th member and the fourth
East European country to join. The formal admission will take
place at a ceremony of the Council's Committee of Ministers on
7 May, RFE/RL and Bulgarian Radio report. BTA notes that after
the invitation to join was received from Strasbourg, the National
Assembly, in its first session after Easter holidays, ratified
the Council of Europe statutes and other European documents.
(Rada Nikolaev)

TRILATERAL CONFERENCE. Upon his arrival in Prague on 5 May Hungarian
Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky said that the talks between
the foreign ministers of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland
and those of Britain, Holland, and Portugal in the presence of
EC Commission Vice Chairman Frans Andriessen will be the first
substantial exchanges of views between the "Visegrad Three" states
and the EC leadership, Radio Budapest reported on 5 May. After
the meeting Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier said
that Czechoslovakia's goal is to integrate the three countries
in the European Community by 1999. Dienstbier said a Czechoslovak-Hungarian
agreement has been approved by both governments. The ministers
discussed documents to be assessed at the Prague summit on the
three countries' relations with international organizations,
border contacts, and legislative cooperation. They also discussed
ratification and implementation of EC Association Accords signed
in December. Today (6 May) Polish and Czechoslovak Presidents
Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel and Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef
Antall will discuss coordination of their foreign policies, CSTK
reports. (Barbara Kroulik & Alfred Reisch)

the former chief of the State Protection Office, denied that
any of the three prime ministers he served under (Tadeusz Mazowiecki,
Jan Krzysztof Bielecki and Jan Olszewski) ever told him to screen
any parliamentary candidates. Milczanowski assured PAP on 5 May
that no such request was ever issued by the four internal ministers
who served them: Czeslaw Kiszczak, Krzysztof Kozlowski, Henryk
Majewski and Antoni Macierewicz. He admitted, however, that he
did some checking on his own "of individual persons or groups,
particularly those who would be participating in the decision
making process on the state level." (Roman Stefanowski)

congress of the Romanian Ecologist Movement (REM) named Mircea
Druc as its candidate for the presidential elections. Druc, a
former prime minister of Moldova, now leads Moldova's opposition
Popular Christian and Democratic Front, which strongly advocates
union with Romania. Druc said on 5 May in Bucharest that he is
a committed ecologist and will consider his candidacy with party
leaders, local media report. It is not clear that Romanian laws
permit foreign citizens to run in elections. REM, the country's
main ecological party, is included in the governmental coalition.
(Mihai Sturdza)

approved a bill to publicize the names of people alleged to have
been agents of the former secret police (StB) between 1948 and
1989. The bill must still be passed by the Czech parliament before
it can become law. Passage could lead to the publication of some
90,000 names. The bill also proposed prison sentences for those
who reveal classified lists of alleged collaborators without
authorization. Czech Premier Petr Pithart told CSTK he did not
vote for the bill. (Barbara Kroulik)

RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN RIGA? After visiting Vilnius on 4 May, a high
ranking Russian delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister
Fedor Shelov-Kovedyaev arrived in Riga on 5 May, Radio Riga reports.
The delegation met with Prime Minister Godmanis and other leading
Latvian officials to discuss Latvian-Russian relations, withdrawal
of ex-Soviet troops from Latvia, and the reestablishment of a
Russian embassy in Riga. The Russians expressed concern about
Latvian legislation on citizenship and the use of Latvian as
state language. Godmanis emphasized that Russia must honor its
economic commitments to Latvia and should endorse the Latvian-Russian
treaty of 13 January 1991. (Dzintra Bungs)

ROMANIAN FINANCIAL NEWS. National Bank governor Mugur Isarescu
said on 4 May that the deficit of the current accounts to be
financed this year stands at between $1.1-1.5 billion, not including
the $800 million needed for a hard-currency reserve fund. Because
of unsatisfactory procedures, only $10 million of the $180-million
loan received last year could be spent on medical assistance.
In the meantime, the dollar exchange rate jumped to some 420
lei on the free market (the bank rate is 216 lei). Isarescu did
not exclude a further sharp rise and said that the authorities
cannot control it, local media report. (Mihai Sturdza)

that on 5 May the Hungarian Parliament approved a law that allows
people over 65 and disabled persons to convert their compensation
bonds into annuities. The monthly yield will depend not only
on the age but also the sex of the claimant; life expectancy
of females is greater than that of males. For example, a 65-year-old
man could turn his 100,000-forint voucher into a monthly annuity
of 667 forint but a woman of the same age would receive only
531 forint. (Judith Pataki)

AIDS IN LITHUANIA. On 5 May Saulius Caplinskas, director of the
AIDS Prevention Center in Vilnius, told a news conference that
Lithuania now has 12 people infected with the HIV virus, Radio
Lithuania reports. The latest victim, a 25-year old alcoholic
from Vilnius, had been a frequent blood donor, and there is a
possibility that others may have been infected by his blood.
News of the latest victim has severely decreased blood donations
in Lithuania. An initiative group is forming an AIDS Foundation
to support victims. (Saulius Girnius)

the recently appointed Citizens Rights' Spokesman, told PAP on
5 May that he will take all possible legal measures to prevent
the violation of currently binding laws. The law, said Zielinski,
should have precedence over professional rules. He was referring
to the ethical code adopted by the Council of Physicians last
December that went into effect on 4 May. The code forbids the
performing of abortions, still permitted under the Polish law.
Doctors who violate the new ethics code can be brought before
a professional panel and deprived of their license to practice
medicine. An antiabortion bill was blocked in the Sejm in May
1991, pending new legislation proposals. (Roman Stefanowski)

were held in Sofia to welcome the "Fire of Hope" lit in Toledo,
Spain, and transported by young athletes along seven routes that
will join in Jerusalem. The "Sepharad-92" event marks the 500th
anniversary of the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and their
settlement in Bulgaria, one of seven countries to receive them.
A message from President Zhelyu Zhelev was quoted by BTA praising
Spain's King Juan Carlos for correcting a historic injustice.
Zhelev mentioned that Bulgaria had rescued 49,000 Jews and expressed
sorrow for those 11,363 whom it did not succeed in saving. Medals
were presented to Zhelev and others by Israel Benun, vice president
of the World Maccabean Union. (Rada Nikolaev)

VAGNORIUS SPEAKS TO PARLIAMENT. On 5 May the Lithuanian prime
minister spoke to the parliament session, broadcast live over
Radio Lithuania. Vagnorius called for the dismissal of energy
minister Leonas Asmantas and said that he would like to have
only one deputy, who would be in charge of privatization. A facetious
suggestion that Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila could become
communications and information science minister was greeted with
laughter, and Vaisvila subsequently sent a telegram affirming
that he has no desire for the post. Vagnorius repeated his appeal
that elections to a new parliament be held in the fall. (Saulius

of Defense Dainis Turlajs told Diena on 4 May that the Russian
Federation is trying to dictate the conditions for the ex-Soviet
troop withdrawal from Latvia. At the meeting of experts in Moscow
27-29 April Turlajs was given to understand that if Latvia does
not comply with Russian demands, Moscow might try to provoke
unrest in Latvia that would necessitate the use of ex-Soviet
troops to protect the rights of Russians living there. Turlajs
also said that Russia does not appear to be interested in having
foreign observers monitoring the troop pullout process. He added
that so far Russia has insisted that the ex-Soviet bases in Latvia
and military industries should remain essentially under Russian
control, a position that Latvia finds unacceptable. (Dzintra
Bungs) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull


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