Coleridge declares that a man cannot have a good conscience who refuses apple dumplings, and I confess that I am of the same opinion. - Charles Lamb
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 90, 12 May 1992


and Tajik President Rakhman Nabiev agreed on the creation of
a coalition government in which opposition figures would hold
one third of the posts, including the ministries of defense and
internal affairs, Western and domestic news agencies reported.
The compromise allows Nabiev to retain the presidency, to the
displeasure of some opposition leaders, particularly in the Islamic
Party, who complained to Western journalists that his resignation
was their chief demand. An interim legislature was also agreed
on, to function until elections in December. Its 70 members are
to be equally divided between government supporters and the opposition.
(Bess Brown)

CONTROL TIGHTENED ON AFGHAN BORDER. The first deputy commander
of the Central Asian Border Guard District told ITAR-TASS on
11 May that control on the Tajik-Afghan border had been tightened
as a result of a statement by the head of the Democratic Party
of Tajikistan, Shodmon Yusuf, that opposition forces in Tajikistan
have the right to ask for help from neighboring states. According
to some Moscow news media, the opposition is questioning the
role played by Commonwealth forces during the recent violence
in Dushanbe, although the commander of Commonwealth forces stationed
in Tajikistan has insisted that his troops stay out of the local
conflict. (Bess Brown)

prior to the gathering of CIS heads of state and government scheduled
for 15 May, CIS economic experts have reached an agreement on
establishing national currencies in the former Soviet republics,
Radio Rossii reported 11 May. According to the draft agreement,
those states wishing to leave the ruble zone are required to
notify the other CIS governments 6 months prior to the introduction
of a national currency. The governments naturally must also establish
their own fiscal and monetary systems, and provide for payment
of internal and external debts in the new currency. (John Tedstrom)

MORE ON NATIONAL CURRENCIES. Although this remains essentially
a working document that must be approved by the heads of state
and government at their upcoming summit in Tashkent, it does
provide a comprehensive framework for discussion and could promote
a relatively predictable, if accelerated, movement to multiple
currencies in the former Soviet region. It should be remembered,
however, that because Russia so dominates the region in terms
of trade flows, even those states that introduce their own currencies
are bound to be strongly influenced by Russian economic and financial
policies and conditions.(John Tedstrom)

MILITARY PREVIEWS OF CIS SUMMIT. Seven military issues will be
tabled at the upcoming Tashkent meeting of CIS heads of state
on 15 May, while the heads of government--meeting at the same
time and place--will have ten military issues on their agenda.
In an 11 May interview on Radio Moscow, Lieutenant General Leonid
Ivashov, the chief of the administrative directorate of the CIS
General Staff, said that one of the most important was the draft
of a treaty on collective security that would be presented to
the heads of state. He said that both groups would look at the
question of financing the joint armed forces. Another important
topic would be how the CIS members would divide up the former
Soviet Union's entitlements under the terms of the Conventional
Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. (Doug Clarke)

BLACK SEA FLEET TALKS TO RESUME. Russian TV on 11 May announced
that the next round of talks between Russia and Ukraine over
control of the Black Sea Fleet would begin on 20 May in Dagomis,
a Russian town on the Black Sea coast near Sochi. Western agencies
quoted Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk as telling reporters
in New York that Ukraine had a "historical and juridical right"
to its own fleet, and it hoped to persuade Russia to change its
mind about the fleet. (Doug Clarke)

KRAVCHUK AT UNITED NATIONS. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
visited the UN headquarters in New York on 11 May, the final
day of his official stay in United States, ITAR-TASS and Western
agencies reported. After meeting with the UN secretary general,
Kravchuk held a press conference. Commenting on relations with
Russia, the Ukrainian president once again criticized Moscow
for its self-proclaimed role as the successor state to the Soviet
Union. Kravchuk asserted that "no one gave such powers to Russia."
He also reaffirmed Ukraine's right to its own fleet, noting that
Ukraine had played an important role in the building of the former
Soviet navy. (Roman Solchanyk)

AID FOR THE CRIMEAN TATARS. Commenting on the situation in Crimea,
Kravchuk said that Kiev intends to provide cultural, linguistic,
and other facilities for the approximately 200,000 Crimean Tatars
who have thus far returned to their homeland. Kravchuk played
down the 5 May Crimean declaration of independence, stressing
instead that the Crimeans have chosen to remain part of Ukraine.
(Roman Solchanyk)

are on strike in many parts of Russia. Doctors and teachers are
demanding higher wages; bus drivers in Vladivostok are protesting
because they have received no wages for two months. Teachers
are threatening a general strike on 22 May. The deputy chairwoman
of the Russian Union of Public Health Workers told RFE/RL on
11 May that Moscow doctors, who have been on strike for two weeks,
would demonstrate in Moscow's Manezh Square on 12 May and ambulance
workers would also stop work that day. On 7 May, Yeltsin set
up a working group, headed by first deputy premier Egor Gaidar,
to propose ways of improving the health service; the group was
to present proposals by 12 May. (Elizabeth Teague)

RUBLE EXCHANGE RATE PEG DELAYED? Less than a week after Konstantin
Kagalovsky told a Moscow news conference that the exchange rate
of the ruble would be pegged within a 15% range in August (see
the RFE/RL Daily Report of 6 May), the chairman of the Russian
Central Bank said that the fixing will not be attempted until
"sometime this autumn." In an interview with The Financial Times
of 11 May, Georgii Matyukhin stressed that convertibility must
be backed by a tight credit policy, and that a sophisticated
system of currency exchanges would have to be created throughout
the CIS, backed by adequate communications. Other CIS members
could expect "financial assistance" from Russia only if they
remained in the ruble zone. (Keith Bush)

1992 GRAIN HARVEST FORECAST. The US Department of Agriculture
projects this year's grain harvest in the former USSR at 178
million tons, against an adjusted total of 152 million tons in
1991, Reuters reported on 11 May. Grain imports are forecast
to be 27 million tons, down by 11 million tons on last year.
(Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN LOAN GUARANTEES. Speaking at the East-West economics
conference in Muenster on 9 May, German Economics Minister Juergen
Moelleman announced that Russia has agreed to guarantee payment
for German deliveries, Western agencies reported. This opens
the way for the CIS to utilize German credits amounting to some
$3 billion. Moelleman said that Germany may increase the value
of export credit guarantees extended to the CIS. Meanwhile, AFP
of 10 May reported that Russia has informed South Korea that
it cannot guarantee the repayment of loans worth $1.45 billion
and proposed that South Korea recover the debt from North Korea,
which owes Moscow more than $3 billion. (Keith Bush)

KYRGYZSTAN ASKS RUSSIA FOR CASH. Interfax of 11 May reports that
the government of Kyrgyzstan has requested some 1.5 billion rubles
from Russia to support its spending programs in the second quarter
of 1992. The primary budget pressure point is the government's
decision to raise wages and pensions. The Kyrgyz government is
also expanding the use of credit purchases and is scheduled to
introduce checkbooks soon in order to combat the shortage of
cash in the economy. (John Tedstrom)

Christian-Democrats, Viktor Aksyuchits, told the RFE/RL Research
Institute on 11 May that the opposition is strong enough to get
rid of Russian President Boris Yeltsin this October, if he does
not change his course. He said the opposition has formed a shadow
cabinet headed by the governor of the Sakhalin region, Valentin
Fedorov. He also noted that the former RSFSR economics minister,
Evgenii Saburov, had developed an alternative economic reform
plan which would be introduced to replace Egor Gaidar's program.
Saburov's program emphasizes a strengthening of the military-industrial
sector. (Alexander Rahr)

ZHIRINOVSKY RELENTS. Addressing a meeting in St. Petersburg's
Palace Square, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said his Liberal Democratic
Party is no longer insisting that its call for the reestablishment
of Russia within its pre-World War I boundaries must mean the
reincorporation of Finland into Russia. "If they left in 1917,"
Radio Mayak on 7 May quoted Zhirinovsky as saying, "let them
stay where they are." (Elizabeth Teague)

NEW WOMEN'S ORGANIZATION CREATED. A new organization, "Women
for Social Democracy," has been set up by the Social Democratic
Party of Russia, Interfax reported on 8 May. Its leader is Galina
Venediktova. The Social Democratic Party opened its fourth congress
in Moscow on 7 May, ITAR-TASS reported, saying that the party
claims 5,000-6,000 members. (Elizabeth Teague)

NAGORNO-KARABAKH UPDATE. Acting Azerbaijani President Yagub Mamedov
conceded in a radio address on 11 May that Armenian forces had
taken the town of Shusha virtually without a fight and that its
surrender by Defense Minister Rahim Kaziev was "an act of betrayal."
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud Vaezi travelled to Baku
on 11 May for talks on the fighting. Mamedov sent an appeal to
Russian President Yeltsin to "do all in his power to restrain
the aggressor," Azerinform-TASS reported on 11 May. Meanwhile,
Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan asked the UN Security
Council, which will meet 12 May to discuss the fighting, to send
peacekeeping troops to Karabakh. Western agencies reported from
Ankara on 12 May that Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel
had telephoned US President Bush to ask him to "play an active
role" in achieving a peaceful settlement. (Liz Fuller)

Affairs, Givi Lominadze, an ethnic Georgian, has refused to comply
with a decree issued by the autonomous republic's Abkhaz-dominated
parliament to relinquish his post, Interfax reported on 11 May.
Lominadze accused the Abkhaz parliament of infringing on the
rights of the republic's majority Georgian population and warned
of the risk of mass unrest similar to that which erupted in July,
1989. Georgians held demonstrations and erected roadblocks in
the republic's capital of Sukhumi in support of Lominadze. (Liz

In Bucharest for a working meeting with his Romanian counterpart
Adrian Nastase, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae Tiu criticized
Romanian calls for reunification with Moldova. Such calls "interfere
with the normal development of relations among our states. These
loud slogans may help some [politicians] in the electoral campaign,"
Tiu told ITAR-TASS on 8 May. (Vladimir Socor)

MORE CASUALTIES ON THE DNIESTER. In renewed violations of the
cease-fire "Dniester" forces attacked the Moldovan bridgeheads
on the left bank of the Dniester on 9, 10, and 11 May. Six Moldovan
policemen and two Russian insurgents (including one Siberian
Cossack) were killed in the fighting, Moldovan and Russian media
reported. A number of civilians, mostly local Moldovan peasants,
were injured when their homes in police-controlled villages came
under fire. (Vladimir Socor)

of Work Collectives" of the "Dniester republic" finalized plans
to host in Tiraspol an "all- Union" meeting of workers from the
former Soviet republics, ITAR-TASS and Moldovapres reported on
10 May. The "Dniester" congress also appealed to all member states
of the CIS to extend recognition to the "Dniester republic."
The resolution threatened to cut off oil and gas pipelines, electricity
transmission lines, and rail lines linking Moldova to Ukraine
and Russia unless all Moldovan police units and other authorities
withdraw from the left bank of the Dniester by 15 May. The congress
was attended by delegates of communist and Russian ultra-nationalist
organizations from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other cities of
Russia. (Vladimir Socor)


BOSNIA UPDATE. Fighting in Sarajevo is intense, and several outlying
communities have fallen to Serb militia forces, which have also
taken over control of all access roads to the Bosnian capital.
Food and medicine are in short supply. Bosnian officials say
Serbs are engaged in an offensive to overrun Sarajevo. Federal
army spokesmen say its tanks and paratroopers have taken control
of Mostar's historic center. Fighting over the past two months
has left 1,320 dead and 6,700 wounded. Some 325,000 people have
been displaced and are living in other parts of the republic
while 350,000 have fled to Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia, according
to Bosnian government figures. Meanwhile, on 11 May Bosnia applied
for membership in the UN, and Foreign Minister Haris Silajdzic
met with US Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger in
Washington. (Milan Andrejevich)

EC TALKS POSTPONED. Jose Cutilheiro, chairman of the EC conference
on Bosnia-Herzegovina cancelled negotiations scheduled for 13
May because of the inability of the warring parties to honor
a cease-fire. Both Serbia's government and Bosnian Serb leaders
expressed deep regret over the cancellation, fearing that negative
political and psychological consequences would escalate the fighting
in the republic. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic blamed
the Muslims for deliberately breaking the cease-fire agreement
in order to force delay of negotiations. Talks over the future
status of the federal army in the republic are scheduled to resume
today between Bosnian officials and the federal army, however,
according to Radio Sarajevo. Karadzic told Belgrade TV on 11
May that once the political shape of the republic is determined
by a consensus of Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, the republic would
be gradually transformed into a demilitarized region. (Milan

ministers meeting in Brussels agreed on 11 May to recall their
ambassadors from Belgrade and push for suspension of the rump
Yugoslavia from the CSCE. The moves are meant to increase the
diplomatic isolation of the new Yugoslavia unless it stops inciting
the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and withdraws its troops
from the republic. Western media and Belgrade radio also report
that the EC ministers agreed to take four weeks more before recognizing
the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. An EC fact-finding
mission will be sent to Macedonia to examine both the internal
situation of the republic as well as Greek claims that using
the name Macedonia implies a territorial threat to the northern
Greek region of the same name. The BBC reports great pressure
mounting on Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis from
the other 11 EC states that are fed up with Greece's obstructions.
(Milan Andrejevich)

REGIONAL DIPLOMATIC MOVES. Czechoslovakia and Croatia formally
established diplomatic relations on 11 May during the visit in
Prague of Croatian Prime Minister Franjo Greguric. CSTK quotes
Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier as noting with
satisfaction Croatia's observance of the rights of its minorities,
including its ethnic Czechs and Slovaks. In a letter to UN Secretary-General
Boutros-Ghali, Hungary said that Yugoslavia's membership in international
organizations is "defunct," Western news agencies reported on
11 May. Hungary argues that Serbia's and Montenegro's declaration
last month that they constitute the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia"
does not create a legal basis for a decision on the continuity
of Yugoslavia in international organizations. (Barbara Kroulik
& Edith Oltay)

in Brussels Albanian Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi, Estonian
Foreign Affairs Minister Jaan Manitski, and his counterparts
Janis Jurkans of Latvia, and Algirdas Saudargas of Lithuania
signed trade and cooperation agreements with the European Community,
Western agencies report. The 10-year agreements provide for regular
political dialogue from ministerial level downwards and more
liberal trading arrangements in all sectors except iron, steel,
coal, and textiles. (Saulius Girnius)

Prime Minister Jan Olszewski said he agreed with President's
Lech Walesa call for more presidential powers. PAP reports that
Olszewski told a meeting of Polish governors that in his view
the president should be able to rule by decree under certain
circumstances, and the Sejm could operate more effectively if
some of its powers were handed over to the executive branch.
Dismissing what he called rumors about the government's imminent
resignation, the prime minister said his cabinet would continue
to fulfill its duties as long as there is no constitutional alternative.
(Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

WORLD BANK APPROVES POLISH LOANS. On 11 May the World Bank announced
it has approved loans to Poland worth $190 million for two projects:
$130 million for health services development and $60 million
for development of private enterprise, Western agencies report.
Caretaker Finance Minister Andrzej Olechowski said that the IMF
might again make aid available in July, despite the Sejm's approval
of a big increase in public spending. The IMF cut off Poland's
access to $2.5 billion in aid last September when the country's
budget deficit soared. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

announced that government savings bonds will soon be available
for sale to the public. He said they are intended to help finance
Poland's budget deficit. The government is hoping that by paying
higher interest rates than do banks on similar bonds a large
number of smaller savers will be attracted. The issue price and
the interest rate of the bonds have not yet been announced. The
3-year bonds will also be available to foreign investors, Western
media report. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

The Latvian government's program of urgent tasks to stabilize
the country's economy is to be discussed by the Supreme Council
this week, BNS reported on 11 May. According to Prime Minister
Ivars Godmanis, the program focuses in particular on ways of
securing food, medicine, transportation, and energy for the population,
instituting a stable financial system, and maintaining law and
order. Godmanis also said that fuel must be obtained from abroad
to guarantee that hospitals and kindergartens are heated properly.
(Dzintra Bungs)

ONE-KROON COINS NOT ON THE WAY. The Estonian government will
try to alleviate its ruble shortage without issuing one-kroon
coins in lieu of 500-and 1000-ruble bills as previously planned.
According to an 11 May BNS report, a shipment of 100 million
rubles expected by the end of May will go a long way toward relieving
the shortage. (Riina Kionka)

the head of Hungary's bank supervisory board, is urging bank
officers to keep to the letter of the law and to get their banks
better organized, MTI reported on 11 May. Botos reproached the
banks for failing to set aside 7.25% of their capital as required
by the new banking law that went into effect last December. She
proposes that banks generate maximum reserves and pay lower dividends
in order to strengthen their capital positions. Botos says that
banks must be in good fiscal order to facilitate privatization
in Hungary. (Edith Oltay)

one of Bulgaria's most successful "commercial" banks, for the
second time had to answer questions about its liquidity. Following
reports in Bulgaria that an English court ordered the freezing
of Balkanbank assets in the UK, on 10 May some bank clients hurried
to withdraw their savings. Although the freeze involved only
$12 million--an insignificant fraction of the bank's assets--the
Bulgarian Central Bank decided to guarantee the savings of all
700,000 clients in order to stop speculations. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

Bishops Conference has expressed its regret at the federal parliament's
rejection on 15 April of a bill concerning the return of Church
property confiscated in 1948. A statement published by CSTK on
11 May says that the constructive process of developing relations
between the Catholic Church and the state have been seriously
damaged. (Barbara Kroulik)

Congress of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party was held in
Vilnius, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports. The congress
passed resolutions urging a "no" vote in the presidential referendum
and calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius.
It called for cancelling the referendum on the withdrawal of
the former USSR army but if it should take place, the Social
Democrats urge the populace to vote in favor of withdrawal. It
urged the parliament pass as soon as possible rules for the election
to the seimas (the new parliament) on the basis of proportional
representation, a presidential election law, a new government
cabinet law, and laws on courts, including a Constitutional Court.
(Saulius Girnius)

CZECHOSLOVAKIA ON DAM DECISION. Czechoslovakia on 12 May repeated
its opposition to Hungary's decision to withdraw from a treaty
for the joint construction of a Danube dam project. Presidential
spokesman Michael Zantovsky told reporters that "unilateral decisions
will not result in a solution." The Slovak government also issued
a statement saying that the treaty could not be rescinded unilaterally
and that the Slovak government still regards it as valid, foreign
agencies report. Slovak Premier Jan Carnogursky informed Hungarian
Minister without portfolio Ferenc Madl that Slovakia would not
follow Budapest's suggestion to discuss any halt of the construction
of the dam, MTI announced on 12 May. Hungary is likely to stick
to its decision to abrogate the 1977 state treaty on 25 May.
(Barbara Kroulik & Alfred Reisch)

the Russian Federation met with their Estonian counterparts on
11 May in Moscow to discuss setting up general disengagement
talks, BNS reports. The groups primarily discussed the defense
of Russian-speakers' rights in Estonia. (Riina Kionka)

ATTACK ON LATVIAN HOME GUARD. Early in the morning of 11 May
about one kilo of explosives damaged an armored vehicle and the
building serving as headquarters for the home guard unit in the
Majori district of Jurmala, Radio Riga reports. There were no
injuries or casualties. In the winter of 1990 and spring of 1991
there was a spate of unaccounted for explosions at monuments
and sites throughout Latvia that appeared to have been intended
to provoke conflict among the multiethnic population of Latvia.
The explosions were widely believed to be caused by members of
OMON. (Dzintra Bungs)

May the chairmen of Bulgaria's two major trade unions, Podkrepa
and the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria
(CITUB), demanded that all members of the UDF cabinet hand in
their resignations, BTA reports. Following talks with president
Zhelyu Zhelev, Konstantin Trenchev and Krastyu Petkov called
on the government to draw the logical consequences of their failure
to solve the country's problems and urged the next cabinet to
restore the "interrupted dialogue" between trade unions and the
UDF. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

Popular Front Back in the Ring. After declaring itself more or
less defunct during its congress last month, the Estonian Popular
Front has now declared it will participate in upcoming elections
for a new parliament. Popular Front leader Heinz Valk told BNS
on 11 May that the front will not take part as an umbrella organization,
but as "an ally of those political forces with whom we have unified
views." The front began in 1988 as a mass movement with a broad
spectrum of political views, but within the last two years has
become the soapbox of former Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar and
his national-socialist People's Center Party. (Riina Kionka)

ROMANIA'S ROADS NEED REPAIR. Economistul reports on 8 May that
Romania's 72,816 km of roads form one of the sparsest networks
in Europe. Only 22.2% meet modern standards. Less than one-third
(28.5%) of the roads are paved with at least 10 cm of asphalt,
while 49.3% of the roads are gravel- or earth-surfaced. Some
10,000 km require urgent repair and 6,500 km pose a risk to motorists.
Other problems such as increasing local and national traffic
since 1990, slow speeds, narrow turns, and hazardous intersections
have resulted in overconsumption of fuel, an inefficient commercial
transport system, and environmental pollution. Romania can claim
only 113 kilometers of high-speed highways, and the Bucharest
biweekly calls the government's plans to build more "mere fantasy."
(Mihai Sturdza)

GORBUNOVS IN THE USA. Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs
Gorbunovs addressed the 41st congress of the American Latvian
Association in Minneapolis. On 11 May he described to VOA his
impressions of the congress and the questions that were addressed
to him there, including his career in the Latvian Communist Party.
Gorbunovs said that he finds it natural that people reproach
him for his activism in the Latvian Communist Party and that
he accepts the responsibility for his actions, adding that responsibility
must be personal, rather than collective. He pointed out, however,
that in the late 1980s, when he was the party's ideological secretary,
he was able to neutralize the influence of the conservative LCP
Buro and Central Committee and thus facilitate the development
of the People's Front of Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs) [As of 1200
CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull


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