I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of my existence, and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. - James Joyce
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 92, 14 May 1992


DRAFT AGENDA FOR TASHKENT SUMMIT. The draft agenda for the two-day
meeting of CIS heads of states that starts in Tashkent on 15
May includes 15 items, the coordinator of the CIS working group
Ivan Korotchenya told correspondents in Tashkent on 13 May. About
10 of the items are military, ITAR-TASS reported. The draft agenda
for the simultaneous meeting of heads of government consists
of 26 items, the most important of which are cooperation in external
economic activity and avoiding double taxation. Korotchenya scotched
rumors that Boris Yeltsin would not be attending the summit.
Ukraine and Moldova will be represented by their premiers. Moldova
was originally to be represented by its first deputy premier.
It is not known who will represent Tajikistan, which is sending
a delegation that will seek recognition of the new regime. (Ann

PLEA FOR UNIFIED ARMED FORCES. Interfax on 13 May reported that
a working group of the CIS defense ministers meeting in Tashkent
prior to the 15 May summit has drafted an appeal to the heads
of states to preserve the joint armed forces, at least during
the transitional period needed to form national armed forces.
It is still unclear, however, who signed the document and who
only participated in its drafting. Moldova is the only CIS member
not represented at the meeting, while a Georgian representative
is participating. Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov, the CIS Joint
Armed Forces commander in chief, is also taking part. (Doug Clarke)

DUSHANBE NORMALIZING. ITAR-TASS reported on 13 May that the situation
in Dushanbe is slowly returning to normal. Government and opposition
have agreed on a plan to disarm persons possessing illegal firearms--according
to opposition spokesmen, this applies primarily to the short-lived
National Guard created by President Rakhman Nabiev to suppress
the anti-government demonstration. Members of the Guard were
given automatic weapons, which they are now reluctant to surrender
to the authorities. According to the opposition, much of this
weaponry has been taken out of Dushanbe, and because it is "floating
around" somewhere, opposition supporters with weapons are unwilling
to disarm either. The agreement to disarm both sides seems to
have encouraged opposition demonstrators to finally go home.
(Bess Brown)

Yeltsin wants to conduct a referendum not on the draft of the
constitution which had been approved by the Congress last April
but on the draft constitution written by his legal advisor, Sergei
Shakhrai, Izvestiya reported on 13 May. Shakhrai's draft envisions
a strong presidential executive. Yeltsin is supposed to ask the
parliament to change the law on the referendum so that he could
announce the plebiscite without organizing a time-consuming collection
of one million signatures in the population for its support.
(Alexander Rahr)

of the "Renewal" (Obnovlenie)--a potentially powerful new centrist
organization--was announced at a press conference in Moscow on
12 May. The event was given approving coverage by "Ostankino"
TV's "Novosti" but pointedly ignored by Russian TV's "Vesti."
The organization is already being nicknamed "Volsky's party"
because of the key role played in its formation by Arkadii Volsky,
president of Russia's Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs,
but Radio Liberty's Russian Service reported that such influential
Russian politicians as Aleksandr Rutskoi, Nikolai Travkin and
Vladimir Lysenko may add their weight to the organization if,
as is expected, it declares itself to be a political party at
its founding congress at the end of May. Also participating in
the new grouping are the "Smena," "industrialists" and "workers'
union" factions of the Russian parliament. (Julia Wishnevsky
and Elizabeth Teague)

State Council of the former Soviet republic of Georgia has decided
to accept responsibility for 1.62% of the external debt of the
former USSR, Reuters reported on 13 May, citing Moscow journalists.
It was not clear whether Georgia intended to assume "joint and
several responsibility" for the debt. The total convertible currency
debt of the former USSR at the end of 1991 has been estimated
at around $65 billion. (Keith Bush)

IMPORT TAXES PLANNED. Russia's Minister for Foreign Economic
Relations, Petr Aven, was quoted by Interfax on 13 May as saying
that the Russian Federation plans to introduce taxes of 5 or
10% on virtually all imports by August. Imported goods may also
be subjected to the 28% value-added tax. Aven acknowledged that
the imposition of import taxes would run counter to the transition
to a market economy, but he thought that they were necessary
after a 13% rise in first quarter imports which boosted the balance
of payments deficit. (Keith Bush)

defense industry's capacity is now engaged in manufacturing military
hardware, while 80% is devoted to civilian output. That was the
burden of a briefing given to Russian President Boris Yeltsin
by representatives of the defense industry, as reported by ITAR-TASS
on 13 May. (It is worth noting, though, that the output in the
defense complex has plummeted in the last two years and very
little conversion of defense production has taken place. The
vast majority of weapon and military component production lines
remain intact.) They said that 6.5 million people are currently
employed by Russian defense plants. Yeltsin was quoted as repeating
that arms exports should be one of the principal ways of "resolving
problems" in the defense industry. (Keith Bush)

Vitold Fokin told the Ukrainian parliament on 12 May that "we
have to leave the ruble zone as quickly as possible," Reuters
reported on 13 May. Fokin predicted that an interim currency
would be in circulation by the end of June--apparently referring
to an extension in the use of the present coupon system. (Ukraine
has agreements with both Canadian and Italian firms to assist
in the printing and minting of currency, but it is not clear
when the coupons will be replaced by the hryvna.) Reuters of
12 May quoted local journalists in Minsk to the effect that Belarus
plans to introduce its own ruble from July 1 to supplement the
Russian ruble. (Keith Bush)

parliament on 13 May passed a resolution annulling the Crimea's
recent declaration of independence, Radio Ukraine, ITAR-TASS,
and Western agencies reported. The Ukrainian lawmakers ruled
that the declaration and the referendum scheduled for 2 August
are unconstitutional and gave the Crimean parliament until 20
May to rescind its decisions. The resolution was adopted by a
large majority. During the discussion, deputies demanded that
the Crimean parliament be dissolved, direct presidential rule
be introduced in the Crimea, and that the chairman of the Crimean
parliament, Nikolai Bagrov, be held criminally responsible. Kravchuk,
who addressed the Ukrainian parliament, insisted that he would
never allow the territorial integrity of Ukraine to be violated.
(Roman Solchanyk)

ARMY CHAPLAINS IN UKRAINE. Radio Ukraine on 13 May reported that
the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has asked the Kiev patriarchate
of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church to prepare the first group
of priests to serve the spiritual needs of the military. The
organization of chaplains has already been approved by Patriarch
Mstyslav. The chaplains will be trained, among other places,
in the Kiev Theological Seminary scheduled to open on 1 September.
(Roman Solchanyk)

POLISH NEWSPAPER IN KIEV. Kurier Wilenski on 1 May reported that
the first Polish-language newspaper in Kiev, Dziennik Kijowski,
began publication in March. After Lviv's Gazeta Lwowska, this
is the second Polish publication in Ukraine. Dziennik Kijowski
in fact renewed publication; it was published in Kiev in 1906-1918.
The publisher is the Union of Poles in Ukraine. (Roman Solchanyk)

Reuters on 13 May, acting Azerbaijani President Yagub Mamedov
said he would not resign in the wake of the Armenian capture
of the Karabakh town of Shusha, and that although Azerbaijan
would prefer a peaceful settlement to the Karabakh conflict,
it is prepared to use force to retake Shusha if necessary. Mamedov
further said that he opposes holding presidential elections (scheduled
for 7 June). In an appeal to the UN, Mamedov called for a Security
Council debate on Armenia's "aggression," and for the UN to use
its influence to bring about a cease-fire. Speaking at a press
conference on 13 May, Armenia's Ambassador to the UN argued that
the UN should open a "humanitarian corridor" linking Armenia
with Nagorno-Karabakh to overcome the Azerbaijani blockade, and
should deploy peacekeeping troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. (Liz Fuller)

State Council chairman Eduard Shevardnadze travelled to the South
Ossetian capital Tskhinvali on 13 May following several days'
renewed fighting between Georgians and Ossetians in which at
least 40 people died, Interfax reported. A South Ossetian official
told ITAR-TASS on 12 may that renewed artillery bombardments
of Tskhinvali by Georgian forces were an attempt to sabotage
upcoming tripartite peace talks between North and South Ossetia
and Georgia. (Liz Fuller)

BORDER TROOPS MEET WITH AFGHANS. Officers of the Central Asian
Border Guard District met with representatives of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's
party on 12 May to ask for the return of a group of young people
who had slipped across the Tajik-Afghan border into Afghanistan,
supposedly in order to obtain weapons, ITAR-TASS reported on
13 May. The Afghan side replied that the young people could be
returned only if the political party which sent them requested
their return. The report did not specify which party had sent
them. Democratic Party chairman Shodmon Yusuf said during the
recent disturbances that Tajiks had the right to ask Afghanistan
for help if necessary. (Bess Brown)

RETURN OF THE PAST? On 12 May, Russian TV's "Vesti" reported
that Ilichev Raion in Uzbekistan's Syrdarya Oblast is to be renamed
for former Uzbek Communist Party chief Sharaf Rashidov, if Uzbekistan's
legislature approves. After Rashidov's death in 1983, details
of widespread corruption during his rule were made public. In
recent years, Rashidov has been seen in Uzbekistan as a leader
who looked after the interests of his republic. He is not the
only Brezhnev-era Central Asian leader to be making a comeback
(posthumous, in Rashidov's case): Komsomolskaya pravda of 28
April noted that the discredited former Communist Party chief
of Kyrgyzstan, Turdakun Usubaliev, has registered as a candidate
in upcoming elections to the Kyrgyz legislature. (Bess Brown)

president Boris Yeltsin, carried by the Moldovan media on 11
xMay, Moldovan president Mirca Snegur demanded "in the name of
the Moldovan people the immediate withdrawal of [Russia's] Fourteenth
Army from the territory of independent Moldova." Snegur cited
that army's role in arming, training, and staffing the Russian
paramilitary forces engaged in the insurgency in eastern Moldova.
The Moldovan leaders' previous messages to their Russian counterparts
on the subject of the Fourteenth Army have mostly gone unanswered.
(Vladimir Socor)

interview with Western news agencies, carried also by Moldovapres
on 11 May, Snegur again appealed to international organizations
and human rights watch groups to send fact finding teams to Moldova
and ascertain the situation of human and ethnic rights there.
Moldova has repeatedly issued such invitations but they have
usually gone unheeded. The few inspections that have been conducted
(by a Russian parliamentary commission and by the International
Helsinki Federation, both in 1991) have given Moldova a clean
bill of health but have failed to issue any formal or comprehensive
reports. (Vladimir Socor)


BOSNIA UPDATE. Radios Sarajevo and Serbia report on 14 and 15
May that the five-day cease-fire announced by Bosnia's Serb leadership
for 13 May is largely holding, with only minor violations. Late
on the 14th some shelling was reported around Sarajevo airport
and two other outlying areas of the Bosnian capital. Politika
(Belgrade) wrote on 13 May that the clashes between Bosnia Muslims
and Croatian paramilitary units in central Bosnia on 10 May were
over "the division of spoils" of the equipment and arms left
behind by withdrawing units of the federal army. On 13 May the
Bosnian deputy prime minister held a news conference in Turkey's
parliament building, where he appealed for an immediate international
military intervention to put an end to the "massacre of Muslims"
in Bosnia. The Islamic center in Zagreb reported on 14 May that
Serbian paramilitary units massacred some 500 Muslims in a stadium
in northern Bosnia. Radio Croatia carried the report. (Milan

UN REDUCES STAFF IN SARAJEVO. In a report to the UN Security
Council, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said he is ruling
out a peacekeeping force in Bosnia and urged the temporary withdrawal
of 200 of its 300-member staff at the UN peacekeeping headquarters
in Sarajevo. He added that the 10,000-member force in Croatia
is in jeopardy because of new disputes involving the Croatian
government and the Serbian minority. (Milan Andrejevich)

NEW BOSNIAN SERB GOVERNMENT. On 12 May the assembly of the "Serbian
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina," meeting in Banja Luka, announced
the appointment of a government and a three-member presidency
and established an army commanded by Gen. Ratko Mladic. The assembly
stated that multiparty elections for the Bosnian Serb parliament
and presidency would be held as soon as the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina
is concluded. The assembly also appointed a commission to draw
up the borders of the Serbian republic and adopted guidelines
for talks with the leaders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
On 13 May the Bosnian Serb Presidency told reporters that attempts
to establish contacts with Bosnia's republican President Alija
Izetbegovic have been unsuccessful. The Serbs want to establish
a permanent cease-fire with the Muslims, and want to take part
in the negotiations over the terms of the withdrawal of the federal
army from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Radio Serbia carried the reports.
(Milan Andrejevich)

POLISH MERCENARIES IN YUGOSLAVIA. On 12 May Polish military prosecutors
in Krakow began investigating reports that young Poles are being
recruited as mercenaries to fight in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
On 12 May Gazeta wyborcza reproduced a recruitment poster that
has appeared in recent days. Krakow military prosecutor, Lt.
Col. Stanislaw Wolicki, said it is still difficult to asses the
scale of recruiting but that an investigation is being carried
out. Responding to unconfirmed reports that 100-150 Poles have
already been recruited to fight on behalf of Croatia, ombudsman
Tadeusz Zielinski called for an investigation, as Polish law
forbids citizens to serve in foreign armies. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

HUNGARIAN SPIED FOR YUGOSLAVIA. On 13 May the Budapest Military
Court sentenced Rudolf Szanto, a Hungarian air force ensign,
to 12 years in prison for spying for the former Yugoslavia, MTI
and Western news agencies report. Szanto is accused of providing
secret information to Yugoslav military intelligence about Hungarian
and Soviet military units from 1979 until his arrest in January
1991. Szanto's lawyer said that his client has admitted passing
information about Soviet troop movement and deployment in Hungary
to Yugoslav agents, but said that he will appeal the sentence
because the court failed to take changed circumstances into account.
In an interview to Radio Budapest, Szanto denied that he was
a spy and said that the information he passed on was not secret.
(Edith Oltay)

election campaign officially began in Czechoslovakia on 13 May.
President Vaclav Havel said that the country is at a historic
crossroads and warned that nationalist ambitions could split
the country. The main issue in the elections are Slovak demands
for sovereignty. Forty-two political parties are competing in
the 5-6 June vote for 300 seats in the bicameral federal parliament,
and 200 in the Czech and 150 in the Slovak regional parliaments.
The new federal parliament, sitting for four years, elects the
president and appoints federal government. Slovakia's leading
party, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), favors
sovereignty and a new constitution. Leading in the Czech lands
is the right-wing Civil Democratic Party, Western agencies report.
(Barbara Kroulik)

MITTERRAND IN VILNIUS. On 13 May French President Frans Mitterrand
arrived in Vilnius and drove to the Antakalnis Cemetery to place
a wreath at the graves of the Lithuanians killed in the attack
of the Vilnius TV tower on 13 January 1991. He held talks with
Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis for
an hour while Foreign Minister Roland Dumas talked with his Lithuanian
counterpart Algirdas Saudargas, Trade and Industry Minister Dominique
Strauss-Kahn with Lithuanian International Economic Relations
Minister Vytenis Aleskaitis, and a state secretary for defense
with Lithuanian National Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius.
On 14 May Mitterrand met Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius and
spoke at the parliament session broadcast live by Radio Lithuania.
(Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIA TIES KROON TO DM. Estonia will link the value of its
new currency to the Deutsche Mark, BNS reported on 13 May. Estonian
Bank President Siim Kallas told reporters that when he was in
Frankfurt on an unofficial visit last week Deutsche Bundesbank
officials approved a plan by which the kroon will match the value
of the DM--by 0.3%. Kallas also said Estonia's stabilization
fund for the kroon now holds some $120 million. (Riina Kionka)

13 May passed enabling legislation for the constitution, the
RFE/RL Estonian Service reports. The new law differs on two points
from the draft passed by the Constituent Assembly. First, the
new law says parliamentary elections must be held before 28 September
1992 (rather than linking elections to the constitutional referendum).
Second, the new law puts the question of widening the franchise
directly on the referendum ballot (rather than retaining it in
the text of the enabling legislation). Because the Supreme Council
retains authority to decide both how the franchise question will
be put to the voters and who may vote in the constitutional referendum,
the electorate problem is likely to come up again. (Riina Kionka)

called for consistent measures against growing crime in Poland,
Western and Polish media report. Walesa told Interior Minister
Antoni Macierewicz to take steps aimed at ensuring "maximum security"
for the population, especially in view of recent rash of violence,
even banditry. The president said that in particular it is necessary
to monitor the possession of firearms. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

Tadeusz Zielinski vowed to defend the legal right of women to
an abortion. Referring to a new code of ethics for physicians
that imposes a near-total ban on abortions and which went into
effect last week, Zielinski said "ethical norms cannot replace
law." The new code allows a doctor to perform an abortion only
if pregnancy threatens a mother's life or is the result of rape
or incest. Western media report that Zielinski has previously
said the doctor's code has no legal basis and urged physicians
to ignore it. In January he asked the Constitutional Tribunal
to rule on its legality. Zielinski told newsmen at a press conference
in Warsaw that he has already asked state prosecutors to investigate
a Warsaw hospital that turned away a woman seeking an abortion.
(Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

for the border police told Reuters that the number of people
trying to cross Bulgaria's borders has risen ten-fold since 1990.
He said border police managed to catch 3,000 illegal immigrants
in 1991 and 700 in the first four months of this year. They were
then transported to a camp near Sofia. The majority were trying
to reach West European countries. Currently most fugitives originate
in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Iran, but the police
fear an influx from the former USSR and Yugoslavia. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

ROMANIAN FINANCIAL BRIEFS. A spokesman from the Ministry of Industry
announced on 13 May that Romania will cease its contributions
(amounting to some 782 million rubles) for cofinancing the metallurgical
plant at Kryvoi Rog, Ukraine; no reason was given. Back from
Washington on 12 May, Economy and Finance Minister George Danielescu
said he negotiated a $400 million loan from the World Bank for
restructuring the economy that he expects to be ratified at the
end of May. He also negotiated a $100 million loan for the privatization
of agriculture as well as a guarantee agreement for financing
US investments. ExImBank will process a $100-million Japanese
loan to finance Romanian exports. Industry Minister Dan Constantinescu
said on 8 May that he discussed contracts worth $60 million in
Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. Local media carried the stories.
(Mihai Sturdza)

conference attended by the prime minister and other government
figures, the mayor of Bucharest, opposition leaders, and parliamentarians,
Mircea Teodor Vaida, president of the Romanian Bank, said that
the bank is selling 100,000 registered shares at 20,000 lei each.
Public subscription will be open until 15 October. Dividends
will be paid according to profits and the number of shares held,
local sources report. (Mihai Sturdza)

Pithart told reporters on 13 May that the future of the Temelin
plant in Southern Bohemia is "more open than ever before" and
that his government does not want to shift responsibility to
a future government. Temelin was to have been completed by 1992
with four Soviet-made reactors. In 1990 it was decided that only
the first two units would be completed. Pithart expects a decision
on Temelin to be reached by the end of May. Temelin's proximity
to the Austrian border has prompted Austrian fears about safety.
Czech Deputy Premier Jan Strasky said that the US Westinghouse
corporation and the Swedish-Swiss ABB have been identified as
prospective partners if it is decided to complete the plant.
(Barbara Kroulik)

the Hoover Institution on 13 May, Latvian Supreme Council Chairman
Anatolijs Gorbunovs urged the United States to help facilitate
the withdrawal of ex-USSR troops from his country by sending
neutral observers to the Baltic States to oversee the troop pullout
and to monitor bilateral talks with Russia. Moscow still has
not set a timetable for the withdrawal. Gorbunovs also observed:
"If one country, Russia, attempts to dictate and control policy
for the others, and if the West devotes all its energies and
support to one country, the result will not be order, but conflict
and chaos. It may seem easier for Western countries to focus
all their energies on only one country, but the easiest path
is not always the correct path," Western agencies reported on
13 May. (Dzintra Bungs)

RUSSIA CONFUSED ON WITHDRAWALS? In his remarks to a Russian parliamentary
hearing on 12 May, a high CIS defense official said the Northwest
Group of Forces (NWGF) would leave the Baltic States by 1995.
Lt. Gen. Viktor Barynkin, deputy chief of operations for the
CIS High Command, told BNS that day that the NWGF would begin
the pullout in 1993 and finish two years later. Last week Russian
Deputy Foreign Minister Fedor Shelov-Kovedyaev told Baltic officials
that troops could not be withdrawn before 1998, and last month
at the CSCE, the delegation from Russia proposed a pullout date
of 2000. (Riina Kionka)

LIBYA. The Russian Foreign Ministry denied Baltic reports that
Russia is violating UN Security Council sanctions against Libya,
though it admitted that some military hardware and technical
equipment belonging to Libya were found in ex-Soviet repair bases
in the Baltics, ITAR-TASS and Reuters reported on 13 May. In
April the Latvian Foreign Ministry complained that a Libyan submarine
was being repaired at the ex-Soviet naval base in Bolderaja.
Western agencies also report that since August 1991 10 MI-8 helicopters
belonging to Libya were located at a repair facility near Kaunas,
Lithuania. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the submarine and
the helicopters would not be returned to Libya while the UN sanctions
are in force. (Dzintra Bungs)

VAHI BACK FROM CHINA. Estonia's Prime Minister Tiit Vahi concluded
his four-day official visit to Beijing on 13 May by signing a
trade and economic accord, BNS reports. The agreement includes
provisions for mutual most-favored-nation trading status. Chinese
media cited by Western agencies also report the two sides reached
agreement for the PRC to provide Estonia with commercial loans.
(Riina Kionka)

POLAND OPENS CONSULATE IN HONG KONG. Speaking at a celebratory
lunch on 13 May, Minister of Foreign Economic Cooperation Adam
Glapinski said he hopes to tap Hong Kong's skills in export manufacturing
and free-market economics: "For Poland Hong Kong is a symbol
of free enterprise and the free market." Hong Kong exports to
Poland last year stood at US$180 million, a little higher than
to all the former Soviet republics combined, Reuters reports.
(Wladyslaw Minkiewicz) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by John Tedstrom
& Charles Trumbull


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