Words that open our eyes to the world are always the easiest to remember. - Ryszard Kapuscinski
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 94, 18 May 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

CIS COLLECTIVE SECURITY AGREEMENT. Six CIS states, including
Russia, signed a collective security agreement in Tashkent on
15 May, but the absence of Ukraine and four other CIS states
from among the signatories once again demonstrated the deep divisions
separating CIS leaders. The agreement, which was signed by Russia,
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Armenia,
stipulated that aggression against any signatory to the agreement
will be considered aggression against all other members. Belarusian
Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislav Shushkevich said that he supported
the agreement, but that at present it violated the Belarusian
constitution. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold Fokin said that
the pact was incompatible with other CIS agreements. (Stephen
Foye)

SHAPOSHNIKOV REMARKS. The commander in chief of CIS forces, Evgenii
Shaposhnikov, told ITAR-TASS on 15 May that his command would
exist so long as nuclear weapons remained deployed in four different
CIS states and so long as the collective security agreement remained
in force. Shaposhnikov also claimed that all CIS states, with
the exception of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan, were
contributing some degree of financial support to CIS forces located
on their territories, and that financial aid would be extended
to states who couldn't afford to support such forces. Finally,
he criticized Ukraine for moving to take control of strategic
forces on its territory. (Stephen Foye)

TASHKENT SUMMIT "THE MOST PRODUCTIVE SO FAR." The CIS summit
meeting in Tashkent on 15 May was described by Russian President
Yeltsin on 16 May as "the most productive so far," Russian media
reported. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev also rated
the meeting highly, and Stanislav Shushkevich, chairman of the
Belarusian parliament, said the CIS had emerged stronger. Ukrainian
Prime Minister Vitold Fokin was less enthusiastic, however, saying
that the most important problem, namely the credit and financial
system, had not been solved. The meeting lasted only one day
instead of the expected two. (Ann Sheehy)

AGREEMENT REACHED ON SEVERAL ISSUES. Aside from the collective
security pact, agreement was reached inter alia on the joint
use of air space and the Baikonur and Plesetsk space stations,
the manning and financing of frontier troops, the formation of
peacekeeping forces, fulfilling the former USSR's obligations
on chemical weapons, and the principles of reducing the armed
forces of the former USSR. A question on which little or no progress
was made was dividing up the assets of the former USSR. Most
of the member states object to Russia's tough stance on this
issue, but Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar said
the assets could not be divided without considering who was paying
off the Soviet Union's debts. (Ann Sheehy)

NEXT SUMMIT IN MOSCOW. The next meeting of CIS heads of state
will be in Moscow on 6 July. Thereafter summits will always take
place in Minsk. The next meeting of the CIS heads of government
will be in Minsk on 26 June. The ministers of foreign affairs
of the member states have been charged with drawing up a charter
for the CIS to be discussed at one of the upcoming summits. The
head of the Belarusian parliament, Stanislav Shushkevich said
that an important decision at the Tashkent summit had been a
new treatment of consensus--the principle of "minus one"--meaning
that if only one state dissents it has to submit to the will
of the majority. It is not clear what effect this decision will
have since states may still opt out. (Ann Sheehy)

MOLDOVA AND THE CIS. The Moldovan delegation to the CIS summit
took part almost exclusively in discussions on economic matters,
Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi told the Moldovan media on 16-17
May. Muravschi added that Moldova will remain in the CIS as long
it retains common economic interests with the other member states.
The delegation protested to the assembled leaders, and also at
a press conference, against the support extended by Russia, "including
official circles," to the Russian insurgency in eastern Moldova.
Citing the role of Russia's 14th Army in arming, training, and
staffing the paramilitary forces of the "Dniester republic,"
the Moldovan delegation renewed the demand for the urgent withdrawal
of that army. (Vladimir Socor)

POPULAR FRONT CONSOLIDATES POWER IN AZERBAIJAN. One person was
killed and three injured when armed adherents of the Azerbaijan
Popular Front (AzPF) occupied the parliament building, TV headquarters
and presidential palace on 15 May, Western media reported. In
a Baku Radio broadcast, AzPF Executive Committee member Tofik
Dzhemilov claimed that the AzPF had "seized power" and restored
"the legitimate government." The National Council suspended the
state of emergency and all decisions taken by Ayaz Mutalibov
during his brief return to power, including the postponement
of presidential elections scheduled for 7 June. On 16 May the
Council appointed a coalition government and rejected the resignation
of Yagub Mamedov from the post of interim president to which
he had been named in early March. (Liz Fuller)

. . . FIGHTING CONTINUES. Shooting was reported in Baku on the
night of 16 May and following a rally outside the AzPF headquarters
on 17 May. The whereabouts of Mutalibov, who reportedly fled
Baku with his National Security Minister Ilhusein Huseinov, are
not known. Fierce fighting was reported on 16-17 May around the
town of Lachin, strategically located between the Armenian-Azerbaijani
border and Nagorno-Karabakh. "Novosti" claimed on 18 May that
Kurdish armed groups demanding the creation of a Kurdish autonomous
formation are also engaged in fighting Azerbaijani forces in
Lachin. (Liz Fuller)

IRAN ABANDONS KARABAKH MEDIATION ATTEMPT; TURKEY VOWS TO CONTINUE.
On 17 May Iranian Radio quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud
Vaezi, who for the past three months has coordinated Iranian
attempts to mediate the Karabakh dispute, as stating that further
efforts to achieve a settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan
are "not advisable" until "calm and stability" are restored to
Azerbaijan and the two sides show they are prepared to resolve
the problem peacefully. Departing Ankara on 17 May for an OECD
meeting in Paris, Turkish Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin stated
that he would also conduct talks there on the Karabakh issue,
Turkish TV reported. (Liz Fuller)

RUSSIA'S STATE APPARATUS GROWING. The chief of the newly created
Administration for Education of Cadres for State Service, Magomet
Bekov, told Rossiya on 17 May that the Russian state administrative
apparatus has become bigger than that of the former Soviet Union.
Bekov's administration has taken over seven of the former Communist
Party schools. Bekov asserted that there are now 15-20% more
top administrators in the Russian state administration than there
had been in the Soviet regime. He noted that previously, the
state had been run by two apparatuses: the Party and the state,
and that the "vacuum" left by the Party apparatus has to be filled.
(Alexander Rahr)

CONFERENCE ON BUILDING MULTIPARTY SYSTEMS. A roundtable discussion
on the problems of building multiparty systems in Russia and
other CIS states was organized by the Democratic Reform Movement
and the Gorbachev Foundation on 15 May, ITAR-TASS reported. Vladimir
Lysenko, a leader of the Russian Republican Party, noted that
there are already 24 parties registered in Russia but there is
still no multiparty system to speak of. Several participants
reportedly accused the Russian government of hindering the development
of a multiparty system, but Sergei Stankevich, Russian state
secretary for political questions, denied this. He argued that,
"even though there is the will, there is not the strength nor
the resources." (Carla Thorson)

RUSSIAN DEBT DEFERRAL AND SUSPENSION. On 16 May, the Japanese
Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Russian
Bank for Foreign Trade agreed to defer repayments of hard-currency
debts owed by the former Soviet Union, AFP reported. Japan will
grant a maximum six-month deferral of principal repayments for
medium- and long-term debt falling due in 1992. On 17 May, Russia
informed South Korea that it will not be able to pay $32.5 million
in interest that is due this week, Western agencies reported.
The money is interest on loans amounting to about $1 billion
provided to the former Soviet Union by South Korean banks in
1991. (Keith Bush)

SOLZHENITSYN RETURNING. The writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has
granted his first interview to a film director from the ex-Soviet
Union since his expulsion in 1974, The London Times reported
on 14 May. Solzhenitsyn's wife Nataliya will also reportedly
travel to Moscow on 22 May to prepare her husband's return to
Russia. Solzhenitsyn had said that he will return to Russia after
finishing the main part of his present historical work because
of the better living conditions in Vermont. The newspaper also
asserted that Solzhenitsyn's return will be comparable only to
the welcome accorded to Pope John Paul II on his first visit
to Poland. (Alexander Rahr)

SPOKESMAN ON MILITARY BUDGET, CUTS. The head of the CIS information
administration, Lt. Gen. Valerii Manilov, told ITAR-TASS on 15
May that military spending in Russia would continue to decline,
despite recent reports to the contrary. According to Manilov,
planned reductions in military manpower would permit defense
expenditures to continue falling. He claimed that spending in
1992 would be at least 12% less than in 1991. Manilov admitted
that further funding would be devoted to converting the defense
industrial complex, but he claimed that the majority of this
funding would be found in monies already earmarked for this sector.
(Stephen Foye)

UKRAINE TAKES CONTROL OF LONG RANGE AVIATION. By way of a presidential
decree and an order from the Defense Minister, Ukraine on 15
May moved to take control of long range aviation formations and
units deployed on its territory, Ukrinform-TASS reported that
same day. These units had been subordinated to the CIS central
command as part of the CIS strategic forces. The same documents
reportedly said that those formations and units still possessing
nuclear weapons would remain under the operational control of
the CIS central command until such time as the nuclear weapons
were liquidated and the units dissolved. Those officers not wishing
to serve Ukraine will be removed from their posts, the report
said. (Stephen Foye)

POLL OF MOSCOW AND KIEV RESIDENTS. Residents of Kiev have higher
confidence in their country's president and lower expectations
for the CIS than Muscovites, according to a recent poll conducted
by the Institute of Parliamentary Sociology that was summarized
on 17 May by Central TV. Only 30% of respondents in Moscow said
that President Yeltsin's course corresponded to their own positions
versus 48% of Kievans who were in agreement with the policies
of Leonid Kravchuk. The two capitals also diverged on attitudes
to the CIS, with 39% of Kiev respondents calling for Ukraine
to leave the CIS as against 18% of Muscovites who want Russia
to do the same. A minority of 14% in both cities, however, believed
in the "reality" of the Commonwealth. (Kathy Mihalisko)

CRIMEA UPDATE. In another reflection of popular attitudes, 60%
of residents of Crimea reportedly are ready to vote yes to Crimean
independence in the forthcoming referendum, according to sources
cited on 17 May in Izvestiya. A session of the Crimean parliament
that begins on 20 May is expected to examine the Ukrainian parliament's
demand that Simferopol cancel the scheduled 2 August referendum.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

OUSTED GEORGIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLEMENT. Western agencies
quoted Russian TV on 17 May as reporting that investigators have
accused ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia of abuse
of power, embezzling state funds and organizing mass disturbances
in western Georgia. It is not clear whether the ruling State
Council intends to try to extradite Gamsakhurdia, whose current
whereabouts are unknown: RIKA reported on 13 May that he had
left Chechnya for an unspecified destination. (Liz Fuller)

NAZARBAEV TO US. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev is
scheduled to begin an official visit to the United States on
19 May. He is to meet with businessmen as well as with President
George Bush, and attend the formal opening of Kazakhstan's embassy
in Washington, "Vesti" reported on 17 May. Nazarbaev told an
Izvestiya interviewer on 15 May (as cited by ITAR-TASS) that
he was in full agreement with the desire of the US Administration
to see Kazakhstan become a non-nuclear state; he saw the creation
of a control mechanism for nuclear weapons, involving the leaders
of the nuclear successor states (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus
and Russia) as a step in the right direction. (Bess Brown)

AKAEV IN CHINA. Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev's visit to China
ended on 16 May with the issuance of a joint communique in which
Kyrgyzstan and China undertook to respect each other's sovereignty
and territorial integrity, but there seem to have been few concrete
agreements on economic and other types of cooperation to emerge
from the visit. The results of the visit were summarized by ITAR-TASS
on 16 May. (Bess Brown)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE __________________________

VIOLENCE IN BOSNIA CONTINUES THROUGH THE WEEKEND. Western agencies
report continued heavy fighting in several locations throughout
Bosnia on 16 and 17 May. Heavy Serb shelling continues to ravage
the Bosnian capital. Serbian forces reportedly tried to isolate
the western regions of Sarajevo on the 17th but were turned back
by Muslim and Croat units. Heavy fighting was also reported on
the 17th in the northern Bosnian town of Bosanski Samac, and
early on the 18th in Mostar, the Herzegovinian capital. Bosnian
troops reportedly backed down on a threat to attack two barracks
occupied by federal army troops in Sarajevo in order to force
the withdrawal of the forces; the units had been expected to
leave the barracks in accordance with an agreement reached last
week. Meanwhile, moving in two convoys, the UN peacekeeping force
in Bosnia under its commander, Indian general Satish Nambiar,
completed its withdrawal from the war-torn republic. (Charles
Trumbull)


 DIPLOMATIC MOVES IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev is expected in Belgrade on 18 May in
yet another external attempt to mediate the Bosnian situation,
Western agencies report. Tanjug reported on 15 May that Russia
has recognized the Republic of Macedonia. Russia has also recognized
Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but only after the
EC did so; the EC has not yet recognized Macedonia, principally
because of Greek objections. In a unanimous resolution on 16
May the UN Security Council demanded an immediate halt to the
fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the withdrawal of Serb-led Yugoslav
federal troops and Croatian army units, and the disbanding of
irregular forces. Meanwhile, on 15 May applications by Croatia
and Slovenia to joint the UN were approved by the Security Council's
admissions committee. The same day it was announced in Geneva
that a cooperation agreement between Slovenia and the European
Free Trade Association will be signed this week; Czechoslovakia
already has such an agreement and Poland an Hungary are negotiating
for association with EFTA as well. (Charles Trumbull)

ON THE JUNE ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. On 16 May Petr
Havlik, the secretary of the Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS),
which is expected to win the 5-6 June elections in the Czech
Republic, said his party would negotiate with the election winner
in Slovakia under two conditions: that a common state of Czechs
and Slovaks have the form of a functioning federation, and that
the pace of economic transformation be preserved throughout the
country. On 16 May Vladimir Meciar, chairman of the Movement
for Democratic Slovakia, ruled out a postelection coalition with
the Democratic Party, which, he said, leans too much in the direction
of ODS chairman and federal Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus, CSTK
reports. Meciar's party is expected to win the election in Slovakia.
(Peter Matuska)

VAGNORIUS SUBMITS RESIGNATION. On 16 May Lithuanian Prime Minister
Gediminas Vagnorius sent a letter to parliament chairman Vytautas
Landsbergis asking for acceptance of his resignation effective
28 May, Radio Lithuania reports. Vagnorius wrote that his government
could no longer control the republic's economic and social life
because the left-wing opposition has taken the initiative in
the parliament. It had rejected his request to dismiss the chairman
of the Bank of Lithuania and the minister of energy and to call
new parliamentary elections. In a television address on 17 May
Landsbergis asked Vagnorius to remain in office. (Saulius Girnius)


MITTERRAND IN LATVIA. French President FranŠÁŠois Mitterrand
concluded his Baltic tour with a visit to Riga on 15 May. He
opened the French embassy in the Latvian capital, met with key
Latvian officials, and endorsed a bilateral economic cooperation
accord, Radio Riga reports. As he did in Vilnius and Tallinn,
Mitterrand emphasized that no country should have to accept the
presence of foreign troops on its territory and urged the pullout
of ex-USSR troops from the Baltics be settled through negotiations
with Russia; should this approach fail, the issue should go to
an international forum. Concerning Moscow's continuing economic
dominance, Mitterrand said in Tallinn: "It's not normal that
Russia recover all of its rights and capacities on the international
scene as an independent sovereign state--which we hoped for--while
the same rights are denied the smaller countries that lived under
the Soviet Union." (Dzintra Bungs)

WALESA IN EGYPT. On 17 May President Lech Walesa said he liked
Egypt's presidential system, finding it "most suitable" for Poland,
since it allows the president to appoint and dismiss ministers,
Western and Polish media reported. Earlier, speaking at the headquarters
of the Arab League in Cairo, the Polish President called for
"comprehensive and close cooperation with the Arab states," and
said that normalization of Polish-Israeli ties should not hinder
cooperation with Arab nations. On 16 May Walesa held talks with
the Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Sidki and President Hosni Mubarak
on increasing trade and technological exchanges between the two
countries. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

POLAND, RUSSIA DECIDE FUTURE RELATIONS. On 15 May Polish Deputy
Foreign Minister Iwo Byczewski and Russian ambassador to Warsaw
Yurii Kashlev initialed five documents on new relations between
the two countries to be signed by the respective presidents when
Walesa visits Yeltsin in Moscow on 22 May. Byczewski said that
the treaty on friendship and good-neighborly relations is "the
first of its kind for decades or even centuries." Four other
agreements initialled in Warsaw deal mainly with the withdrawal
of former Soviet troops from Poland and from former East Germany
(across Poland). Western and Polish wire services carried the
story. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

SAJUDIS RALLY FOR REFERENDUM. On 17 May thousands of people attended
a rally in Independence Square in Vilnius, broadcast live by
Radio Lithuania, to support the planned referendum on the presidency
on 23 May. Sajudis chairman Juozas Tumelis, Landsbergis, Vagnorius,
State Controller Kazimieras Uoka were among the speakers at the
rally who stressed that Lithuania needed a president to lead
it through its current difficulties. When Lithuanian Freedom
League chairman Antanas Terleckas declared that Vagnorius was
continuing the communist policies of his predecessor Kazimiera
Prunskiene, the crowd began to boo and did not allow him to finish
his speech. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIANS FIRE AT MILITARY VEHICLES. On 15 May a column of
six Russian military vehicles in Kaunas refused to stop at two
National Defense posts and were stopped at a third post when
shots were fired into the wheels of two vehicles, Radio Lithuania
reports. An inspection of the vehicles revealed that three of
them were carrying liquid fuel and lacked permits for doing so.
Minister of National Defense Audrius Butkevicius said on Lithuanian
TV on 16 May that illegal military flights in Lithuanian air
space has become more frequent. He had information that Russia
was planning to replenish its army in Lithuania by bringing in
15-21,000 new recruits, suggesting that the Russian army is not
planning to comply with Lithuanian demands that it withdraw.(Saulius
Girnius)

NATO OBSERVERS TO ATTEND TALKS ON TROOP PULLOUT? At the North
Atlantic Assembly's meeting in Banff, Alberta, on 17 May the
Russian delegation agreed to hold informal talks on arranging
a timetable for the withdrawal of ex-USSR troops from the Baltic
States and that the talks would be attended by observers from
NATO, Reuters reports. Peteris Simsons, a member of the Latvian
delegation, pointed out that heretofore Russia has insisted on
talking with each of the Baltic States separately, in secret,
with no observers present and that such practices were a principal
cause for the lack of progress of past negotiations. The Baltic
and Russian sides have agreed to submit their proposals for troop
withdrawals to the NAA secretariat in Brussels by June. (Dzintra
Bungs)

ESTONIA CONCERNED ABOUT RUSSIA'S MINORITIES. Estonia is concerned
about the treatment of minorities living in Russia, according
to an Estonian TV press conference. Foreign Minister Jaan Manitsky
told reporters on 17 May that Estonia must help Finno-Ugric minorities
living in Russia: "All European countries bear the responsibility
for the cultures of small peoples. This cannot be regarded as
interference in internal affairs," Manitsky said, adding that
political support for such small peoples should come through
international organizations: "We cannot allow ourselves to influence
Russia directly in these questions." (Riina Kionka)

HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY CONGRESS. The Hungarian Socialist Party
(HSP), the former reform communist party, held its third national
congress in Szeged, MTI reported on 15-17 May. The three-day
congress reelected party president Gyula Horn and discussed the
party's strategy leading up to the 1994 parliamentary elections.
A statement issued at the end of the congress described the HSP
as an "independent third force" in Hungarian political life--alongside
the conservative and liberal currents--whose policy is based
on a "commitment to leftist values and the country's well-being
and professional expertise." Horn is optimistic that the HSP
will start on an equal footing with the other parties in the
1994 elections, and said that the socialists are willing to cooperate
with any party committed to parliamentary democracy. (Edith Oltay)


SIGNS OF POLISH ECONOMIC RECOVERY. On 15 May Prime Minister Jan
Olszewski told a news conference in Warsaw that some economic
indicators for April show increases in industrial production,
a lower inflation rate, and a good surplus in the nation's balance
of payments. According to Western agencies, Olszewski called
them the first positive economic tendencies in two years, but
he also pointed out that a "financial collapse" of most state-owned
industries has taken place, adding that his government is working
on a restructuring program designed to help those companies to
recover. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

NO AGREEMENT ON BULGARIAN FOREIGN DEBT. On 15 May BulgarianŠˇŠ
government officials declared that the most recent negotiations
on resolving the country's $12 billion debt had failed, Reuters
reports. In an interview broadcast on Bulgarian radio the same
day, a member of the Bulgarian delegation complained that the
parties are talking at cross purposes. He said that Deutsche
Bank, representing the creditors, rejected a Bulgarian proposal
to buy the debt at a 90% discount, suggesting a simple rescheduling
agreement instead. According to another Bulgarian official, a
compromise is still possible. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

WAGES, COSTS RISE IN ESTONIA. The average income in Estonia rose
530 rubles in April, but monthly expenditures also jumped an
average of 555 rubles. According to Labor Ministry data cited
by BNS on 15 May, the average income in April was 3,030 rubles,
whereas average expenditures for that month were estimated at
2,600 rubles. In 1991 the average monthly income for workers
was 577 rubles. (Riina Kionka)

DOCUMENTS FOUND ON CZECHOSLOVAK COMMUNIST PARAMILITARY. Federal
Deputy Michal Maly (ODS) found two sealed packages in the State
Central Archives containing complete lists of militia personnel
as well as requests for a 150% increase in weapons and ammunition
for 1988-90, Czechoslovak TV announced on 14 May. The documents
also provide information on the organization's activities during
the 1956 anticommunist uprising in Hungary and in the years 1968-69
in Czechoslovakia. Maly said the papers show an unusually large
arms transfer from the People's Militia to the Czechoslovak army
in the first weeks of December 1989, a time when the Communist
Party was negotiating its exit after 41 years in power. (Peter
Matuska)

ROMANIAN SENATE FINDS PROPERTY SCANDAL. Over the weekend local
and foreign media reported an inquiry by the Senate published
on 14 May calling for prosecution of members of the former Petre
Roman government. The report alleges that in 1990-91 his government
illegally disposed of hundreds of mansions confiscated by the
communist nomenklatura from their prewar owners. In Bucharest
alone 276 houses allegedly went to Roman's friends, ministers,
associates, who paid only token rents. The report names names
and will likely further weaken the position of the former premier,
who, after the defection of a splinter group supporting President
Ion Iliescu, now leads a much-diminished NSF. (Mihai Sturdza)


NOISY FAREWELL TO BULGARIAN COMMUNISM. On 15 May the politically
symbolic mauso-leum of Georgi Dimitrov, Bulgaria's first communist
leader, was dismantled in Sofia--to the accompaniment of a rock
concert in Demokratsiya Square attended, according to Western
agencies, by some 40,000 people. The body of Georgi Dimitrov
was on display in the mausoleum from 1949 until July 1990, when
his remains were removed by the BSP--successor to the Communist
Party. (Kjell Engelbrekt) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla
Thorson & Charles TrumbullŠˇŠ









(END)



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