If you're sure you understand everthing that is going on, you're hopelessly confused. - Walter Mondale
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 99, 25 May 1992


Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine formally committed themselves
to the terms of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)
when their representatives and US Secretary of State James Baker
signed a protocol to the treaty in Lisbon on 23May. A partial
text of the protocol, published by Reuters, indicated that all
five parties will now have to ratify the treaty before it enters
into force. Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine also pledged to
adhere to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear states.
(Doug Clarke)

on 22May, newly appointed Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev
said that he would not allow the honor and dignity of Russians
to be insulted on the territory of any state and that we will
suppress armed attacks on military facilities in the most decisive
way, right up to shooting to kill. Grachev said that Russia would
build an armed forces commensurate with the countrys status as
a great power, and described a three-stage plan for military
reform that would cut the army to 2.1 million men by 1995 and
to 1.5 million by the year 2000. In remarks made earlier, Grachev
had suggested that the armed forces would be cut to 1.5 million
by 1996, and his latest comments appear to be a concession to
those in the CIS high command and General Staff who had warned
against rapid reductions. (Stephen Foye)

OTHER COMMENTS. Grachev also argued against appointing a civilian
defense minister because it would cause problems within the army,
called for military conscription to take place at the age of
21 rather than 18, bemoaned the waning of the warrior spirit
among Russian young people, and said that the entire Black Sea
Fleet must be subordinated to the CIS joint armed forces (according
to Vesti on 22May). He also said that his recent comments on
the withdrawal of troops from the Kurile Islands (see Daily Report,
21May) had been misinterpreted, and revealed that Russia would
begin pulling the 7th Army out of Armenia on 1June. His remarks,
reported by CIS and Western media on 22May, are sure to be disquieting
to many inside and outside of Russia. (Stephen Foye)

SIMILAR REMARKS FROM RUTSKOI. Many of Grachevs statements on
the reform of the Russian armed forces were echoed by Russian
Vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi in an interview published by
Krasnaya zvezda on 22May (as summarized by ITAR-TASS). He too
emphasized the need to create highly mobile and well-equipped
forces and to cut the army to 1.5 million by the year 2000. Rutskoi
also called for guaranteeing reliable civilian control over the
army. (Stephen Foye)

reported that Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov had
sent a telegram to CIS Commander in Chief Evgenii Shaposhnikov
protesting against the use of non-Ukrainian conscripts in the
Black Sea Fleet. The report said that the Ukrainians had reliable
information that the CIS authorities were using only draftees
from other republics to man the fleet. Morozov is quoted as saying
that the Ukrainians would take the firmest measures to prevent
the violation of our legislation.... He reportedly called on
Shaposhnikov to suspend sending draftees to the fleet until a
political agreement on its future has been reached. (Doug Clarke)

. . . AND RUSSIAN DECISION ON CRIMEA. Ukraines Ministry of Foreign
Affairs has sent a diplomatic note of protest to Moscow in connection
with last weeks Russian parliament resolution on the illegality
of the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954. The note, which
was circulated on 23May, called the resolution a threat to the
territorial integrity of Ukraine as well as to European security.
Further pursuit of the matter could, the MFA statement warned,
lead to dangerous and unforeseen consequences. The note said
that the Crimean question is a strictly internal Ukrainian matter
that cannot be viewed as a subject for negotiations with other
states. (Kathy Mihalisko)

YELTSIN OPTIMISTIC ON CIS. In an interview published in a Polish
newspaper, Yeltsin said that the CIS has a future, ITAR-TASS
reported on 22May. While it was too early to draw conclusions,
Yeltsin maintained that a number of critical points had been
passed, and we have gained more than we have lost. He added that
the composition of the CIS could change, and not necessarily
in the direction of a reduction in the number of member states.
(Ann Sheehy)

in Brussels on 23May, the Russian state adviser on questions
of conversion, Mikhail Malei, said that over a 15-year period,
conversion should be extended to 70% of the Russian defense industrial
sector. He suggested that the tempo of conversion would be greatest
in the first 3-4 years of that period, with roughly 70% of the
total conversion plan implemented, at a cost of some $150-160
billion, according to ITAR-TASS. Meanwhile, at a conference in
Oslo on 22May, the deputy chairman of the Russian State Committee
for Defense Questions, Vitalii Shlykov, charged that Russia still
lacked a coherent conversion plan, and that there was a real
possibility of chaos developing in the defense industrial center.
(Stephen Foye)

JOINT TURKMEN-RUSSIAN MILITARY. Turkmen President Saparmurad
Niyazov told a group of military personnel that Turkmenistan
and Russia have worked out a bilateral agreement on military
forces under which the two countries will have a joint military
and share the costs. Military units stationed in Turkmenistan,
which will supply land for bases, energy and water, will be called
the Joint Forces in Turkmenistan. They will be under the command
of the ministries of defense of the two countries. (Bess Brown)

the new Belarusian defense minister, announced to journalists
in Minsk on 23May that he intends to reduce the military presence
in his country. According to Interfax, 62 large units will be
disbanded before 1993 and up to 22,000 officers will have to
retire in the next few years. The number of troops will be reduced
by 40%, leaving 95,000 men serving in the ground, air or air
defense forces. Pointing out that the offensive potential of
Belarus is considered to be the greatest in Europe, Kozlovsky
said that his short-term goal is to develop a defense doctrine
and destroy the vestiges of the old offensive doctrine. The fate
of tanks in Belarus will be decided at the forthcoming North
Atlantic Cooperation Council meeting in Oslo. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KEBICH IN KUWAIT. On 24May, Belarusian Prime Minister Vyacheslau
Kebich began a three-day official visit to Kuwait, where he will
discuss bilateral ties and the situation in the Middle East with
the head of the Kuwaiti cabinet, according to ITAR-TASS. The
two sides are expected to establish diplomatic relations. (Kathy

CEASEFIRE AGREED IN NAKHICHEVAN. Artillery fire continued across
the Armenian-Nakhichevan border on 22May, but on 23May Nakhichevan
parliament Chairman Geidar Aliev declared a unilateral ceasefire,
Western agencies reported. Also on 23May, Turkish Prime Minister
Suleyman Demirel reportedly ruled out Turkish military intervention
or annexation of Nakhichevan, according the Anatolian News Agency.
Meanwhile, a Turkish diplomatic delegation travelled to Nakhichevan
to evaluate the situation, prior to Demirels departure for talks
in Moscow on 25May. In two telephone conversations with Iranian
Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud Vaezi on 23 and 24May, Aliev
requested continued humanitarian aid from Iran. Despite the ceasefire
announcement, CIS and Turkish TV reported on 24May that Armenian
forces had resumed artillery attacks on Nakhichevan. (Liz Fuller)

of State James Baker met in Lisbon on 24May with the foreign
ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and with a senior Turkish
official to discuss the situation in the Transcaucasus, Western
media reported. Baker called for a negotiated solution to the
conflict which he termed another humanitarian tragedy that could
escalate out of control. (Liz Fuller)

FORMER KARABAKH OFFICIAL ARRESTED. Boris Kevorkov, who was replaced
as Nagorno-Karabakh obkom first secretary in March, 1988, has
been arrested in Baku, Radio Mayak reported on 22May. Azerbaijan
Minister of Internal Affairs Isa Gamidov was quoted as stating
that Kevorkovs ties with Azerbaijans former leadership were being
investigated. (Liz Fuller)

KAZAKHSTAN TO ISSUE OWN CURRENCY. Sauk Takezhanov, chairman of
the Budget and Finance Committee of Kazakhstans Supreme Soviet,
told a press conference on 22May that Kazakhstan will soon start
issuing its own currency, the Tanga, which will circulate in
the republic along with the ruble, KazTAG-TASS reported. Initially,
the new currency will be distributed only to pensioners, large
families and people with low incomes, who will be able to use
it in special stores. (Bess Brown)

announced that they will obey only those presidential decrees
and government instructions which they decide are legal, ITAR-TASS
reported on 23May. Leninabad is one of the two oblasts that has
rejected the coalition government created after two months of
opposition demonstrations in Dushanbe. Leaders of the other,
Kulyab Oblast, have demanded that the Constitutional Oversight
Committee check recent presidential decrees and decisions of
the coalition government. They questioned Tajik President Rakhman
Nabievs decree creating a National Assembly to replace the Supreme
Soviet. (Bess Brown)

of Russias 14th Army were killed while attacking Moldovan positions,
the Moldovan police announced on 22-23May. Tiraspol for its part
held a funeral for four 14th Army servicemen, Western agencies
reported on 24May. Dniester state secretary Valerii Litskay told
ITAR-TASS on 22May that only those soldiers who have taken an
oath of allegiance to the Dniester republic have joined the fighting.
Meanwhile, a Dniester Guard officer in Dubasari told Tiraspol
TV in an interview on 22May, that 14th Army servicemen fighting
alongside the Dniester forces and the Cossacks were enabling
them to step up offensive operations against Moldovan police
positions. (Vladimir Socor)

US STATE DEPARTMENT DISTURBED. Spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler
told journalists on 21May that the US State Department found
the reports on Russias 14th Army involvement in the fighting
in Moldova disturbing. The department expressed support for the
peace plan worked out in April by the Foreign Ministers of Moldova,
Romania, Ukraine, and Russia, an RFE/RL correspondent reported.
A Moldovapres editorial on 23May commented that the US and other
developed nations will not be inclined to contribute [to Russia]
billions of dollars in aid if that would finance wars on the
Dniester or in the Crimea to reconstitute the empire. (Vladimir

All-Russian Peoples Union and the Rossiya parliamentary group
in Russias Supreme Soviet, Sergei Baburin, threatened tragic
consequences for the ruling circles of Moldova and Romania if
Moldova continues the violation of human rights and armed aggression
on the Dniester. Baburin made this statement to journalists in
Moscow and in a message to Moldovan President Mircea Snegur,
Moldovan and Romanian media reported on 21May. (Vladimir Socor)

21May, a detachment of Russian Cossacks from the Don landed at
the Russian Armys airport in Tiraspol, Moldovas military authorities
announced. In response, Moldovas Ministry of Defense banned all
flights in and out of the Russian Armys airport in Tiraspol and
all overflights of the combat zone on the Dniester. On 23May,
reacting to stepped-up flights by Russian Army helicopters over
its entire territory, Moldova introduced the requirement that
all flights within its airspace be cleared in advance with the
authorities in Chisinau. (Vladimir Socor)

CONGRESS OF PEOPLES OF TATARSTAN. The first Congress of Peoples
of Tatarstan, which attracted about 500 delegates from the republic
and two hundred guests from neighboring oblasts and republics,
took place on 23-24May, the Russian media reported. The congress
supported the republics declaration of sovereignty and called
for a state program on the developing the languages and cultures
of the republics peoples. Representatives of the Soglasie movement,
the Movement for Democratic Reforms, and other organizations
that favor Tatarstan signing the federal treaty walked out after
they were not allowed to air their views on the national question
and relations with Russia. (Ann Sheehy)


of State James Baker announced diplomatic sanctions against Yugoslavia
in a protest against Serbian actions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He
accused Yugoslavia of causing a humanitarian nightmare in Bosnia.
The US will close two Yugoslav consulates in the USA and break
contacts with the Yugoslav military attaché. Earlier, the US
also cancelled landing rights for Yugoslav airlines. After meeting
with EC officials and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev,
Baker told reporters in Lisbon on 24May that he favors UN sanctions
and left the door open to military force, though stressing that
there will be no unilateral use of US force. Kozyrev said Russia
is reluctant to support UN sanctions and feels other methods
should be used first. Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina
were admitted as new members of the UN on 22May, clearing the
way for a possible trade and oil embargo against Yugoslavia.
On 23May German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel told EC foreign
ministers in Lisbon that Yugoslavia should be punished for its
role in the war in Bosnia and urged trade sanctions against Belgrade.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic cautioned that the US and
EC are risking total Balkan war. (Milan Andrejevich)

BOSNIA UPDATE. Radio Sarajevo reports on 24May that federal army
troops have withdrawn from one of four barracks in Sarajevo.
A complete pullout of federal troops is expected to end by midnight.
Meanwhile fighting was reported in several areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
There were also more allegations of civilian massacres and clashes
between Muslims and Croats in western Herzegovina. Bosnias Presidency
fired its territorial defense commander, and the governments
interior ministry on 23May filed criminal charges against the
leaders of Bosnias Serbian Democratic Party, Radovan Karadzic,
Nikola Koljevic, and Biljana Plavsic. On 20May that partys leading
ideologist, historian Milorad Ekmecic, was arrested. EC-mediated
talks on Bosnias political shape resumed in Lisbon on 23May.
Radio Croatia said the three sides, meeting separately with EC
mediators, examined maps indicating the new territorial divisions
of Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Milan Andrejevich)

KOSOVO ALBANIANS VOTE. The predominantly Albanian population
in Serbias province of Kosovo voted in legislative and presidential
elections on 24May. The assembly of the Republic of Kosovo said
the vote will legitimize political parties and win international
recognition of their drive for independence that they declared
in October 1991. Radio Croatia reports some minor incidents involving
Albanians and police. Serbias government has said the elections
are illegal and Serbian police confiscated ballots from polling
places set up in what police say were public buildings. Nonetheless,
heavy voter turnout was reported and many polling places were
able to close early because everyone had voted. The only candidate
for president is the writer Ibrahim Rugova, head of Kosovos leading
Democratic League party. Eight foreign observer teams in Kosovo
monitored the elections. (Milan Andrejevich)

addressed simultaneously to the EC and the UN, the Bulgarian
Foreign Ministry on 22May proposed that international observers
be sent to Bulgaria to monitor developments in former Yugoslavia.
According to BTA, the declaration said Bulgaria is seriously
concerned with the increasingly confusing situation in Bosnia
and Herzegovina, as well as the growth of ethnic tension in Kosovo;
it emphasized that the measure is an attempt to militate against
further destabilization of the Balkans. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

a referendum calling for the establishment of a strong presidency.
Preliminary results announced by Radio Lithuania on 24May indicated
that 57.5% of all eligible voters participated; 69.4% voted yes,
24.6%no, and 5.0% of the ballots were declared invalid. Although
more than two-thirds of those voting expressed support for a
strong president, the referendum failed since the majority of
all eligible voters did not support it. Voters in only two cities
and three regions approved the referendum which gathered less
than 31% of all eligible voters in four regions. Parliament chairman
Vytautas Landsbergis did not view the vote as a personal defeat
but merely as a political poll in which no decision was reached.
(Saulius Girnius)

HAVEL SAYS HIS NAME IN POLICE FILES. In his weekly radio address
on 24May President Vaclav Havel said the communist secret police
(StB) once listed him as a potential collaborator, but after
three months switched him to the category of persons hostile
to the regime. Havels remarks came after a series of public figures
were identified as working for the StB. A Czech daily recently
said police files revealed Michael Kocab, a former member of
parliament and one of Havels early supporters, was listed in
the police files as a candidate for police collaboration. Havel
said his name appeared in the same category. Havels revelation
apparently is intended to show the absurdity of assuming that
anybody listed in the StB files was guilty of collaboration.
(Peter Matuska)

Mazowiecki, former prime minister and chairman of the Democratic
Union, called for the resignation of Prime Minister Jan Olszewski.
He told a meeting of the party leadership that Olszewskis government
is not capable of guiding the country or putting reforms into
effect. He also said he supports renewed efforts to form a new
government coalition. Olszewski has been under growing pressure
to resign from various quarters. Walesa recently expressed his
skepticism about the longevity of the government, and leaders
of Olszewskis own Center Alliance called last week for a new
coalition government with majority support in Parliament. (Wladyslaw

of the Alliance of Free Democrats (AFD) won a by-election in
the southeastern town of Bekescsaba on 24May, MTI reports. The
AFDs candidate received 36% of the votes, the candidate of the
Hungarian Socialist Party was second with 28%, while the ruling
Hungarian Democratic Forums candidate, Minister of International
Economic Relations Bela Kadar, came in third with 24%. In the
first round of the by-elections on 10May Kadar received the most
votes, but that election was declared invalid because of low
voter turnout. The by-election is widely viewed as a test of
strength between the Democratic Forum and the opposition parties.
(Edith Oltay)

called Solidarity through Federation, Federal Prime Minister
Marian Calfa said a federative system is necessary for Slovakia
on condition that the federal state have a common president,
a federal parliament and government, a common supreme court,
and a constitutional court. Calfa added that the federal government
should have a limited number of ministries to guarantee common
defense, foreign policy, and internal security as well as a common
economic scheme, CSTK reports. At the same conference, Slovak
Prime Minister Jan Carnogursky said he favors calm and patience
in settling Czechoslovakias future constitutional set-up. (Peter

MORE ON ROMANIAN ELECTIONS. On 22May the government urged parliament
to speed up its debates on the election law in order to make
sure that elections take place before the end of July. It also
suggested limiting the election campaign to 45 days. Delaying
the elections would have serious local and international consequences,
the communiqué warned. Opposition parties and the independent
press are also campaigning for early elections. On 20May President
Ion Iliescu went on television to say he favors presidential
and parliamentary elections to be held simultaneously. Separate
elections, he said, would only prolong political instability.
Local media carried the stories. (Mihai Sturdza)

ESTONIAN PETITION GATHERS STEAM. A petition drive in Estonia
to hold elections to the new parliament in June and disperse
the Supreme Council is gaining momentum. According to ETA on
22May, some 100,000 have already signed their support for the
grass-roots initiative. Supporters began gathering signatures
on 12May. (Riina Kionka)

held its ninth session on 24May. The high point of the meeting,
according to Postimees on 25May, was chairman Tunne Kelams call
for a roundtable of all political parties and movements in Estonia
to agree on procedures for the upcoming election and to set a
date for the polling. The congresss only substantive decision
was to defeat a proposal that the congress withhold support from
the draft constitution prepared by the Constituent Assembly in
favor of throwing its weight behind the 1938 constitution. Because
it lacked a quorum, the congress was unable to take a vote on
any other issues. (Riina Kionka)

POLAND, RUSSIA SIGN AGREEMENTS. On 22May in the Kremlin Presidents
Lech Walesa and Boris Yeltsin signed treaties of friendship and
good neighborly relations. Yeltsin said the friendship treaty
lays a new basis for the development of relations in political,
economic, humanitarian, and other fields. Walesa said it would
be wrong to put the seal of silence on the past, acknowledging,
however, that some problems and tasks linked to that period are
yet to be resolved. Walesa and Yeltsin also signed a declaration
condemning the totalitarian regimes that earlier ruled their
countries. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksander Shokhin and
Polish Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski signed separate
agreements on the withdrawal of ex-USSR troops from Poland. A
consular convention, a declaration on cultural and educational
cooperation, an accord on avoiding double taxation, and an agreement
on borders were also signed. Walesa met with Yeltsin on 22May
and later told told newsmen that he favors a Russian-Polish partnership
to shape Eastern Europes politics; he also called for the demilitarization
of Kaliningrad Oblast. On the 23rd Walesa visited Katyn Forest,
where he commemorated Polish officers shot by the Red Army in
1940. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

issued a correction to a report it published on 21May that the
pullout of ex-USSR troops from the Baltic States would be completed
in 1994: In actual fact Army Gen. P.S. Grachev [said] that it
is planned to withdraw the main groupings of Russian forces from
the Baltic States after the completion of the withdrawal of units
from Germany and Poland. It is proposed to withdraw 40% of the
troops from the Baltic region during 199294 and the remaining
60% after 1994. The timing will be decided during the talks among
state delegations from Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
(Dzintra Bungs)

Baumanis, Latvias permanent representative to the UN, expressed
concern about the possibility of continued Libyan military presence
on Latvian territory. He made the statement despite Russian claims
that repair work on a Libyan submarine at Bolderaja has been
halted and assurances that Libyan military personnel will be
leaving Latvia. Baumanis said Latvia has been denied access to
the ship repair facilities at Bolderaja and so has been unable
to verify the situation. He asked the Secretary-General for UN
assistance in inspecting Russian-controlled bases in Bolderaja.
(Dzintra Bungs)

GREEK MILITARY VISIT IN ROMANIA. A Greek military delegation
headed by Defense Minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis arrived on 22May
in Bucharest at the invitation of Defense Minister Lt.Gen. Nicolae
Spiroiu. Besides holding talks about cooperation and ways to
develop peace and stability in the Balkans, the delegation will
visit military institutions and Romanias Black Sea coast. Varvitsiotis
was received on 23May by President Ion Iliescu, Rompres reports.
(Mihai Sturdza)

Europes high technology research program, accepted Hungary as
a member, Western news agencies report. A ministerial conference
of Eureka member countries in Tampere, Finland, said that the
acceptance of the first Central and Eastern European country
into the Eureka family underlines Eurekas positive role as a
technological and political bridge between...Western countries
and those in Central and Eastern Europe. Eureka is composed of
the 12EC countries plus Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden,
Norway, Iceland, and Turkey. (Edith Oltay)

Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull

The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute
(a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Inc.) in Munich,
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