Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow; Naught may endure but Mutability. - Percy Shelley
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 104, 02 June 1992



SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN GETS MORE FLAK FROM GENERALS ON MOLDOVA. Russian generals
continue to oppose President Boris Yeltsin's suggestion of 27
May concerning the withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova.
That Army's chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav Sitnikov, told
Radio Moscow on 31 May that Yeltsin's proposal "was not thoroughly
thought out." Sitnikov reiterated the false claim that most of
the Army's personnel are native to the area, maintained that
it was "inexpedient" for them to give up their housing and move
elsewhere, and implied that they would join the "Dniester" forces
if ordered to withdraw. Russia's defense minister, General Pavel
Grachev, told CIS TV on 31 May, that a decision had to be made
"in the future" whether to withdraw the 14th Army or to formalize
its status as a force "temporarily stationed" in Moldova. Grachev
also persisted in denying that Army's involvement in the conflict,
despite Yeltsin's admission of that fact. (Vladimir Socor).

GRACHEV THREATENS CHISINAU. In the same interview, Grachev charged
that "political mistakes made by Moldova's political leaders
in the Dniester region have exacerbated the situation" and demanded
that Moldovan President Mircea Snegur order a unilateral cease-fire.
Grachev did not mention that several cease-fire agreements signed
in recent months collapsed when "Dniester" Russian forces sought
to eliminate the Moldovan bridgeheads on the left bank of the
river. Interviewed in Izvestiya of 1 June, Grachev said that
Snegur's accusations concerning 14th Army involvement in the
conflict were "absurd" and that the Moldovan President's "playing
of the Army card provokes the Army into opening retaliatory fire
when its bases are fired upon." This statement appeared to justify
the intervention of elements of the 14th Army in the fighting
on the side of "Dniester" forces which began on 18 May under
just such a pretext. Chisinau has termed this argument, a fabrication.
(Vladimir Socor)

SHAPOSHNIKOV BACKS 14TH ARMY. Replying to a recent appeal by
the Moldovan Women's Council, asking him to intercede for an
end to military involvement in the fighting on the Dniester,
the CIS commander in chief, Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov, escalated
the accusations by claiming that the 14th Army was "under permanent
attack by the Moldovan side." "The military's patience has an
end too," Shaposhnikov warned. His letter was cited in Die Welt
of 1 June. (Vladimir Socor)

PULL-OUT FROM CAUCASUS DELAYED. Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev said in Izvestiya on 1 June (as summarized by Western
agencies) that the withdrawal of Russian military units from
the Caucasus, scheduled to begin that day, had been delayed at
the request of the Armenian and Georgian governments. Units of
the 7th army will apparently remain in Azerbaijan as well, although
it is not clear how the Azerbaijani government views that decision.
Grachev said that the army would leave Azerbaijan and Armenia,
but over a longer period than had been originally planned. According
to an ITAR-TASS report of 1 June, the commander of the 7th army,
Fedor Reyut, said the withdrawal from Armenia would begin in
10-15 days. (Stephen Foye)

GRACHEV ON MILITARY REFORM AND POTENTIAL THREATS. Grachev also
told Izvestiya that the Russian army should be rebuilt from scratch,
and he proposed setting up a new "Smolensk Military District,"
ITAR-TASS reported. He called for a transition to contract service
and a professional military, but said that such a change would
cost about 68 billion rubles. Both proposals, he admitted, would
be difficult to realize under current economic conditions. Speaking
at an international security conference on 1 June, Grachev said
that Russia would regard "the dispatch of foreign troops to neighboring
states and the build-up of troops and naval forces at its borders
as a direct military threat." He said that the ministry plans
to drastically reduce orders for weapons, adding that reform
"will be guided by real economic conditions." (Stephen Foye)


BELARUSIAN MILITARY REFORM. Belarusian Defense Minister Pavel
Kozlovsky said on 1 June that Belarus would replace its existing
tank-heavy divisions with "highly-mobile mechanized brigades
of an exceptionally defensive character," ITAR-TASS reported.
He said that the republic's air defense armies and air force
units would be united with air defense and air force units attached
to other formations to create powerful air defenses and air forces.
Kozlovsky also said that the army would not discriminate against
non-Belarusians, but added that by the end of the year Belarusian
would be the language of the armed forces and that half of the
officers corps and most of the soldiers would be ethnic Belarusians.
(Stephen Foye)

KYRGYZSTAN ASSUMES JURISDICTION OVER MILITARY UNITS. Kyrgyz President
Askar Akaev has issued a decree under which Kyrgyzstan assumes
jurisdiction over the military units stationed on its territory,
KyrgyzTAG-TASS reported on 1 June. Vice-president Feliks Kulov
told a press conference the same day that the number of military
personnel would be reduced and that those remaining would have
a purely defensive character, and therefore could dispense with
complex and expensive equipment. Kyrgyzstan, Kulov added, intends
to honor its commitment to contribute recruits to the CIS military
forces. (Bess Brown)

COMMITTEE SET UP TO DEMAND YELTSIN'S RESIGNATION. Leaders of
pro-Communist opposition parties in Russia set up a committee
in the Siberian city of Omsk to demand the resignation of President
Boris Yeltsin and the entire Russian leadership. The main organizer
of the committee is the head of the Russian Union and people's
deputy, Sergei Baburin. ITAR-TASS reported on 1 June that the
committee called for Yeltsin and other politicians to be put
on trial, accusing them of being "responsible for the disintegration
of the USSR and for the violation of the country's constitutional
order." The committee also described as unconstitutional Yeltsin's
decree of last year banning the CPSU. Baburin was quoted as saying
that if Yeltsin remains in power, the committee will call for
a mass political strike. (Vera Tolz)

CUTS IN THE RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF SECURITY. The chief of the St.
Petersburg administration of the Ministry of Security, Sergei
Stepashin, told Argumenty i fakty (No. 18) that he expects former
KGB leaders such as Vadim Bakatin, Viktor Ivanenko and Leonid
Sheparshin to return to the leadership of the Russian intelligence
agency soon. He also claimed that the personnel of the Ministry
of Security has been reduced by 30% to 76,000 people. (Alexander
Rahr)

EMIGRATION TO ISRAEL DROPS SHARPLY. Only 3,360 emigrants from
the CIS states arrived in Israel in May of this year, compared
with 16,440 in May 1991, a Jewish agency spokesman told AFP on
1 June. The figure for the first five months of the year was
23,400 compared with 66,000 in 1991. The main reason for the
drop is the job shortage. 39% of immigrants from the former Soviet
Union are said to be unemployed. A higher proportion of recent
immigrants are people of retirement age and Jews living in the
Muslim republics where the political situation is less stable,
the spokesman said. (Ann Sheehy)

GERMAN OFFICIAL VISITS SARATOV, VOLGOGRAD OBLASTS. German parliamentary
State Secretary Horst Waffenschmidt told a press conference in
Bonn on 1 June that he hoped for a speedy restoration of the
Volga German republic, ITAR-TASS reported. Speaking about his
recent visit to the Saratov and Volgograd oblasts, he said that
the local authorities were making serious efforts to implement
Yeltsin's decree on a step-by-step restoration, conducting explanatory
work among the population and coordinating their actions with
Russian German representatives. Waffenschmidt noted that a positive
factor was that thousands of Germans from Central Asia had expressed
their intention of moving to the Volga. (Ann Sheehy)

UKRAINE AND CRIMEA REACH ACCOMMODATION? High-level representatives
of Ukraine and Crimea appear to have worked out a compromise
wherein Crimea has renounced the idea of seeking political independence
in return for broad autonomy, CIS agencies and Reuters reported.
A joint declaration issued on 1 June in Yalta by the heads of
the Ukrainian and Crimean parliaments, describes the peninsula
as "an integral part of Ukraine," but specifies that it has the
right to a special economic status and also "independently to
enter into social, economic and cultural relations with other
states." Calling for political restraint, the statement condemns
"efforts to use anticonstitutional methods of resolving problems,
and to artificially whip up passions." Negotiations on power
sharing arrangements between Kiev and Simferopol will continue.
(Bohdan Nahaylo)

RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN RESIGNS. Russian Central Bank Chairman
Georgii Matyukhin and his deputy, Vladimir Rasskazov, tendered
their resignations at a session of the Russian Supreme Soviet
Presidium on 1 June, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Matyukhin
later told a press conference that his decision to resign was
final, although the resignations must be approved by the parliament.
Matyukhin has long been at odds with the Gaidar team and, more
recently, the bank has come under fire from the parliament. The
latest dispute arose when the bank increased its base lending
rate to 80% a year (against an annual inflation rate expected
to exceed 1000%), while parliament pressed for a reduction of
the rate to 50%. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIA FORMALLY JOINS IMF. Russia was formally accepted as a
member of the International Monetary Fund on 1 June at a ceremony
in Washington, Western agencies reported. It is the 7th former
Soviet republic to join the fund. Russia's quota will be $2.876
billion in Special Drawing Rights which will enable it to borrow
about $4 billion in 1992 provided that it implements a stabilization
policy approved by the IMF. An IMF team that visited Moscow two
weeks ago was reported to have been disappointed by progress
to date in such areas as the reduction of the budget deficit
and control over the money supply, and left without recommending
approval. (Keith Bush)

INDEPENDENT TRADE UNIONS SCORE A VICTORY. A new Russian Federation
law, "On Col-lective Agreements" has been adopted in the Russian
Federation (for the text, see Ekonomika i zhizn, No. 21, May
1992). It gives Russia's unofficial unions the right for the
first time to negotiate with manage-ment. Collective agreements
covering enterprise working conditions are concluded annually
by management and representatives of the workforce. In the past,
they were negotiated and signed by the official trade unions,
but now the workers may be represented by any trade union, (i.e.,
the unofficial unions have won the right to negotiate with management).
The first draft of the new law, drawn up by the official unions,
stated that only the largest union in each enterprise would negotiate
with management. The unofficial unions objected and the draft
was discarded in favor of one prepared by the independent union,
Sotsprof. (Elizabeth Teague)

STRIKES THREATENED OVER CASH SHORTAGE. Workers in several regions
of Russia have threatened to strike unless they are paid, Interfax
reported on 1 June. Coal miners and chemical workers in Kuzbass
planned to start their strike on 2 June, while nuclear industry
employees in Krasnoyarsk-26 say they will stop work on 10 June
unless their wages are forthcoming. Russian First Deputy Prime
Minister Egor Gaidar told a parliamentary faction on 1 June that
"cash and non-payments between enterprises are the two most serious
problems that could force the government to stop its (reformist)
activities," Reuters reported. Gaidar promised that delayed salary
payments would be indexed at an annual rate of 80%. (Keith Bush)


FURTHER RETAIL PRICE INCREASES. The retail prices of vodka, other
spirits, certain foodstuffs and some consumer services rose on
1 June, Izvestiya reported. The retail price of regular vodka
at state stores went up from around 50 rubles to about 150 rubles
for half a liter: this is the price that commission stores and
kiosks have been charging recently. Monthly telephone charges
in Moscow rose by a factor of three, calls from phone booths
jumped to 50 kopeks, and the charge for installing a home telephone
was increased to 3,000 rubles. The prices for bread and milk
in Moscow may be freed soon. The charges for public transport,
postal services, heating and water were also raised in Erevan.
(Keith Bush)

KAZAKHSTAN FREES BASIC FOODSTUFF PRICES. Kazakhstan has freed
the prices for meat, milk and butter, and free sugar prices will
follow on 1 July, Radio Mayak reported on 1 June. Bread prices
will also be raised later. Meanwhile, prices for petroleum products
were set at the level prevailing in the Russian Federation on
1 June. These price increases were said to be in conformity with
the Kazakh government policy to end the country's role as a source
of cheap agricultural products. (Bess Brown)

MORE CHURCHES RETURNED IN MOSCOW. Radio Rossii reported on 27
May that the Moscow city government is preparing to return to
the Russian Orthodox Church, eight church buildings in the near
future. According to Radio Rossii, there are now more than 400
churches in Moscow, but restoration of these churches is handicapped
by lack of funds and building materials.(Oxana Antic)





CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

ANOTHER CEASE-FIRE COME AND GONE. Yet another cease-fire has
been shattered, less than two hours after it went into effect
at 6:00 p.m. on 1 June. Radio Croatia reports that Serb irregular
forces shelled Sarajevo for two hours amid fighting in the streets
and airport. A Sarajevo radio commentator suggests that those
responsible should consult a dictionary for the meaning of cease-fire.
Clashes were also reported in other areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Bosnian Defense Minister Jerko Doko sent a protest to the Yugoslav
federal military command and EC mediator for Bosnia, Jose Cutilheiro,
stating that the "senseless attacks continue with unabated ferocity."
Dubrovnik was shelled again by Serb forces for the fourth consecutive
day. The local Serbian commander denied his troops were involved
in the shelling. (Milan Andrejevich)

NEW BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT INCLUDES SERBS. On 1 June Bosnia's State
Presidency announced that the vacancies in the Presidency by
its Serb representatives have been filled. Nenad Kecmanovic and
Mirko Pejanovic of Bosnia's moderate-left Alliance of Reform
Forces (established in 1990 by former federal prime minister
Ante Markovic) were named to replace Biljana Plavsic and Nikola
Koljevic, who resigned on 7 April. A reshuffle in the Bosnia-Herzegovina
government is expected on 2 June, and most of the posts vacated
by members of the leading Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) will
probably be filled by Serbs from moderate-left parties. Unconfirmed
reports say the SDS members are willing to return to their government
posts. Radio Bosnia-Herzegovina carried the report. (Milan Andrejevich)


REACTIONS TO UN SANCTIONS. Serbs are reported to be stocking
up on food essentials and gasoline as international support mounts
for the wide range of sanctions approved on 30 May by the UN
Security Council. Britain expelled Yugoslavia's ambassador, and
the Yugoslav ambassador to Canada resigned because of the fighting
in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Federal Yugoslav and Serb leaders have
described the sanctions as unjust and unnecessary. Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic told Radio Bosnia-Herzegovina on 31 May that
he is sorry the sanctions will "hurt the innocent Serbian people."
But, describing Serbia's policies and leaders both in Serbia
and Bosnia, he said the sanctions are necessary because "the
beast has suffered a fatal blow, regardless of how much it may
writhe before it dies." Stjepan Kljuic, a Croat member of Bosnia's
Presidency, said he hopes the sanctions will bring about a change
in the internal political scene in Serbia and Montenegro to help
alter their government's attitude towards Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Mirko Jovic, leader of a main opposition party in Serbia, however,
said it will not make any difference if the sanctions topples
the Milosevic regime because any government in Serbia will continue
to support the right of Bosnia's Serbs to self-determination.
Serbian opposition leaders term the sanctions brutal, but most
have openly called for the current leadership to step down. (Milan
Andrejevich)

EAST EUROPEAN INVOLVEMENT. Romania has decided to recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina
and establish diplomatic relations, local media report. The Foreign
Ministry statement on 1 June also calls on the three communities
in Bosnia-Herzegovina to put an end to hostilities. In support
of UN sanctions Czechoslovakia informed the Yugoslav ambassador,
Stanislav Stojanovic, on 1 June that the Yugoslav military attache
and at least one other high-level diplomat will be asked to leave.
The government will consider implementing other UN sanctions
on 4 June. Two reporters of the Hungarian Panorama TV team were
expelled from the territory of Serbia and Montenegro and banned
for one year by Serbian police, MTI reported on 1 June. They
were preparing a report on the parliamentary and local elections
in Vojvodina on 31 May, and were arrested while photographing
the house of an ethnic Hungarian damaged by gunfire shortly before
the elections. The police charged that the team had no permit
to photograph and detained the reporters for over six hours.
(Crisula Stefanescu, Barbara Kroulik, & Edith Oltay)

CZECHOSLOVAK STEEL IMPORTS TO EC. In talks in Brussels on 1 June
the EC Executive Commission warned Czechoslovakia that it must
limit steel exports or face economic action. The EC is concerned
about a recent increase in Czechoslovak steel exports to some
EC states. Steel trade was among the most controversial points
of the EC-Czechoslovak association accord signed in March. The
joint statement said Prague will try to ensure a better balance
in steel exports. Germany and France call for close monitoring
of Czechoslovak steel imports, while the UK is more supportive,
saying the EC must open its doors to Czechoslovak exports, foreign
agencies report. (Barbara Kroulik)

DELORS URGES FINANCIAL DISCIPLINE FOR POLAND. European Commission
President Jacques Delors urged Poland to improve its financial
discipline as a prelude to closer EC ties. After arriving in
Warsaw on 1 June for an official two-day visit, Delors met with
Prime Minister Jan Olszewski to discuss Poland's economic cooperation
with the EC, Western and Polish media report. Olszewski said
Delors stressed the need to adjust Poland's economy to EC requirements,
especially by increasing the competitiveness of exports and bringing
more financial discipline to the economy. Delors later attended
an international seminar on European integration in Zakrzew.
(Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

ROMANIA'S PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM. The government has begun mailing
out vouchers--representing shares in about 3,000 small and medium-sized
firms--to adult citizens as part of its plan to privatize state-owned
firms, Romanian and foreign media report. The vouchers can be
claimed at post offices for 100 lei and may be traded or sold,
but not to foreigners. Romania's voucher plan is similar to one
used to privatize firms in Czechoslovakia. (Crisula Stefanescu)


WARSAW TAKES A DIFFERENT TACK. On 1 June Poland unveiled the
legal framework for its mass privatization program, Reuters reports.
Jerzy Thieme, head of the program, told newsmen that it will
not involve auction vouchers as is being done elsewhere in Eastern
Europe, a system he criticized because, he says, vouchers give
no guarantee of effective industry ownership or management. The
Polish scheme, which still needs approval from the Sejm, will
involve "real shares in real companies being restructured by
real experts." It envisages handing over controlling interest
in about 200 large state enterprises to funds run by management
consulting firms. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

RUN ON VALUTA IN ESTONIA. Banks in Estonia report a record boom
in valuta-buying, with exchange rates increasing some 3% each
day in one week, according to BNS on 28 May. Banking officials
believe Estonians are cashing in rubles for hard currency in
the last days before the currency reform and introduction of
the Estonian kroon expected some time in June. (Riina Kionka)


CENSUS IN ROMANIA. According to preliminary results of the January
1992 census, Romania's population numbers 22,760,449 people,
of which 20,352,960 are ethnic Romanians (89.4%), i.e. 1,353,000
more than in the 1977 census. Ethnic Hungarians number 1,620,199
(700 less than in 1977) or 7.1% of the population. Gypsies account
for 1.8% of the country's population (but experts report a tendency
among them to declare a different nationality), Germans--0.5%,
Ukrainians--0.3%, Russians-Lipovans--0.2%, and other national-ities--less
than 0.1%, Romanian media report. (Crisula Stefanescu)

LATVIA WANTS LATVIANS BACK. The Repatriation Commission, formed
by the Latvian Supreme Council Presidium on 30 April, has held
its first meeting in the office of its chairman, Anatolijs Gorbunovs,
who is also Chairman of the Supreme Council, Diena reported on
28 May. The purpose of the commission is to facilitate the return
of Latvians to Latvia, whether they live in the West or the East,
and to help them maintain their ties with Latvia if they wish
to remain abroad. The commission will meet again on 16 June to
discuss a detailed program. (Dzintra Bungs)

MOSCOW WANTS VALGA BACK. Calling the seizure by Estonian forces
of the Valga air defense base on 24 May "an armed assault" on
Russia leading to "the capture" of facility, the Russian Foreign
Ministry last week sent Estonia a note demanding its return.
BNS reports that Estonian sources dispute this interpretation,
saying the empty base was taken from two sleeping Russian soldiers
without using force, but the government has not yet responded
officially. (Riina Kionka)

LIPPMAA ON HOW RUSSIA VIEWS THE OUTSIDE WORLD. Russia views foreign
countries as belonging to two categories--the "far outside world"
such as Germany and the UK, and the "near outside world," including
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This was the impression that
former Savisaar government minister Endel Lippmaa came away with
after he participated in the latest round of Estonian-Russian
expert group consultations last weekend. Lippmaa told Postimees
of 2 June that the two sides remain diametrically opposed on
the legal point of departure for interstate relations between
the two states. (Riina Kionka)

BULGARIA'S ASP HOLDS CONGRESS. The Alternative Social-Liberal
Party, a member of the ruling UDF, held its third congress on
30-31 May. It reelected as its chairman professor Nikolay Vasilev,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education. BTA quoted Vasilev
as saying that the ASP is one of only two UDF members that have
not split. He said the present crisis in the UDF might be solved
by an expansion of its social basis. The congress called for
resetting priorities in the economic reform with privatization
as the key, a reduction of interest rates, and a moderate encouragement
of consumption in order to revive the economy. It rejected the
idea of freezing wages. (Rada Nikolaev)

LATVIAN LABOR PARTY LOSES HEAD-QUARTERS. The Democratic Labor
Party of Latvia (DLPL) was issued a court order on 27 May to
vacate within one month its headquarters in the center of Riga,
according to Diena of 28 May. The party, which was formed by
the liberal communists who split from the Latvian Communist Party
in 1990, was using space that had been allocated to the LCP and
had not been paying rent. The DLPL's protracted conflict over
the space is with Riga's Center District Committee, which has
authority over it and which is trying to regularize its dealings
with renters and leasers. The DLPL claims that it has tried repeatedly
to obtain a lease from the district committee, but that the committee
has been obstructionist. (Dzintra Bungs)

SAJUDIS COALITION FOR "A DEMOCRATIC LITHUANIA." On 1 June the
parliament deputies of the recently formed Sajudis Coalition
for "a Democratic Lithuania" held an organizational meeting,
Radio Lithuania reports. The meeting approved by-laws and elected
a 13-member council headed by deputies Egidijus Jarasiunas, Stasys
Malkevicius, Algimantas Sejunas, Jonas Simenas, and parliament
deputy chairman Ceslovas Stankevicius. The coalition now has
57 members from four factions, Joint Sajudis, National, Conciliation,
and Moderate. The coalition supports holding elections to a new
parliament and the councils of the Vilnius and Salcininkai regions
in September and will continue to boycott the parliament until
an election date is set. Acting as an alternative parliament,
the coalition will meet on 2 June to discuss the government crisis
and expects to hear a report from Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius.
(Saulius Girnius)

ANOTHER ELECTION COALITION IN ESTONIA. A group of former Savisaar
government ministers known as the Coalition Party have formed
a new election coalition, BNS reported on 1 June. The Secure
Home coalition seeks to protect the interests of Estonia's active
citizens and build a secure economy and humane environment so
that people can feel secure in their old age. Because the group
is an election coalition rather than a party, Secure Home will
allow its candidates to the new parliament to vote according
to their consciences and the wishes of the voters rather than
holding them to party discipline. (Riina Kionka)

BULGARIAN CHURCH CONFLICT. The "renewed" Holy Synod, which was
registered by the government's Directorate on Religions on 25
May, took over the synod building and held a meeting on 1 June.
BTA said that the 12 prelates and clerics, headed by Bishop Pimen,
approved the directorate's declaration that the 1971 appointment
of Patriarch Maksim had been procedurally irregular. In another
dispatch BTA said Maksim requested an urgent meeting with President
Zhelev to complain of obstructions to convening the regular session
of the Holy Synod. Zhelev's spokesman said the president is sympathetic
and has asked the Constitutional Court to consider the problem
of separation of church and state with special reference to the
role of the Directorate on Religions. (Rada Nikolaev) [As of
1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull







(END)

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