|We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us. - George Eliot|
No. 107, 05 June 1992
SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR YELTSIN GOVERNMENT WAVERING ON REFORM? After the Russian cabinet meeting on 4 June, economic advisor, Aleksei Ulyukaev, told reporters that the new deputy prime ministers will bring "tactical changes" but will not harm the course of economic reform, Western agencies reported. He said that the three industrialists were not conservatives. Ulyukaev added that relations between the first deputy prime ministers, Egor Gaidar and Vladimir Shumeiko are pretty good. There has been speculation that the cabinet reshuffle will neutralize impotent the Gaidar team of reform-minded economists. (Keith Bush) INDUSTRIAL LOBBY ON THE RISE. ITAR-TASS reported on 4 June, that the parliamentary faction "Industrial Union" is arguing that, up to now, the government had failed to combine the interests of workers, businessmen and the state, but now industrial leaders must become the leading force in correcting the government's policy. Three of the five new cabinet members are representatives of the Industrial Union. The Union is also reportedly seeking to appoint its representative as prime minister, although one of its leaders, Arkadii Volsky, denied, in an interview with Interfax on 4 June, that he would fight for that job. (Alexander Rahr) A TURN TO THE RIGHT? Meanwhile, the parliamentary factions, "Radical Democrats" and "Democratic Russia," have criticized the recent government changes as a "turn to the right," ITAR-TASS reported on 4 June. At a meeting with leaders of the two factions, Russian President Yeltsin stated that he supports Gaidar's economic reform bloc and will not side with the industrial bloc. At the same time, Yeltsin's economic advisor, Aleksei Ulyukaev, was quoted by The Los Angeles Times on 5 June as saying that the new government would not be primarily concerned with whether or not the IMF approves Russian economic policy. He alleged that the IMF's support was important but not vital, and that the key to resolving problems lies within the country. (Alexander Rahr) SALTYKOV: NEW DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER. Former Russian Minister of Science, Higher Education and Technological Policy Boris Saltykov, has been appointed deputy prime minister, "Novosti" reported on 4 June. He will apparently be placed in charge of the government's education policy. Yeltsin said that, with the latest government appointments, the "limit of the compromise" with parliament has been reached and that he does not intend any further changes. Egor Gaidar was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying that the present government consists of a "multi-party coalition" of economists and some "powerful social groups." (Alexander Rahr) OPPOSITION INCREASES PRESSURE ON YELTSIN. In the lead up to the Constitutional Court hearings on the CPSU in early July, the pro-Communist opposition in Russia is trying to increase pressure on Yeltsin to resign. Radio Rossii reported on 4 June that the coordinator of the opposition bloc "Russian Unity," People's Deputy Sergei Baburin, is demanding that the Constitutional Court take up the issue of Yeltsin's constitutional violations and his betrayal of Russia's interests. Baburin was quoted as saying that Yeltsin has brought Russia to the brink of national catastrophe and therefore should be forced to step down. (Vera Tolz) RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN TO STAY ON. On 4 June, the Russian parliament rejected the resignation of Russian Central Bank Chairman Georgii Matyukhin, "Vesti" reported. Matyukhin and his deputy, Vladimir Rasskazov, had submitted their resignations on 1 June. During the joint parliamentary session, Matyukhin claimed that he had tendered his resignation because of the government's failure to solve the key issues of money flow and interest rates. He advocated the temporary freezing of prices and wages. Matyukhin made the withdrawal of his resignation conditional on parliament granting more independence to the bank and to himself. It was not clear whether Rasskazov also had retracted his resignation. (Keith Bush) YELTSIN STRENGTHENS RUSSIAN BORDER CONTROLS. In what appears to be part of a broader strengthening of its internal security apparatus and a toughening in its relations with other CIS states, the Russian Federation announced on 4 June that it would introduce formal border controls with at least five neighboring republics. According to Izvestiya, a decision was reached at the 3 June meeting of the Russian Security Council to create Russian Border Forces that will be subordinate to the Ministry of Security and separate from those that already exist within the CIS framework. There will reportedly be a parallel strengthening of customs services, particularly with the Baltic republics. State borders will also be created with Ukraine and Azerbaijan, while a customs border will be created with Georgia. The moves were described as part of an effort to fight rising levels of interstate crime within the CIS. (Stephen Foye) UKRAINE ENLARGES ITS BORDER TROOPS. Meanwhile, at the end of its session on 4 June, the Ukrainian parliament approved an increase in size of the republic's border troops, Radio Ukraine reported. There was no indication, however, of the extent of the increase. (Bohdan Nahaylo) DRAFT RUSSIAN DEFENSE LAW APPROVED. On 3 June, a joint session of the Russian Supreme Soviet approved, on the first reading, a draft law "On Defense," ITAR-TASS reported. While details of the draft law were not available, it reportedly sets out the organizational structure of the future Russian defense establishment and includes articles on the delineation of functions between the Defense Ministry and the general staff, on reductions in general forces and in the army's central administration, on insuring civilian control over the armed forces, and on weapons development policy under existing economic conditions. According to ITAR-TASS, the draft was prepared by the Supreme Soviet Committees for Defense and State Security, for Legislation, the President's Legal Administration, the CIS central military command, and by the Ministries of Defense, Security, and Internal Affairs. (Stephen Foye) KRAVCHUK RECEIVES FORMER WESTERN LEADERS. On 4 June Ukraine's President Leonid Kravchuk received two former Western leaders who are currently on private visits to Kiev: former US President Gerald Ford and former British Prime Minister James Callaghan. During the meeting, Radio Ukraine reported, Kravchuk cautioned Western politicians against viewing the CIS as "a continuation of the USSR with Russia in the dominant role." Commenting on the pace of economic reforms in Ukraine, Kravchuk said that they were not yet proceeding very quickly. But he added that Ukraine's specific conditions had to be taken into account as well as the danger of "social explosions" if reforms were "rushed too much." (Bohdan Nahaylo) UN WELCOME TO INVESTIGATE SITUATION IN CRIMEA. During his meeting with Gerald Ford and Lord Callaghan, Kravchuk also said that the Crimean issue had been deliberately stirred up and that he was prepared to allow a UN-sponsored commission to investigate what he said were false accusations being made by some politicians in Moscow about alleged violations of the rights of Russians living in Crimea. (Bohdan Nahaylo) OSSETIAN NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL THREAT DISCOUNTED. On 4 June, Colonel Dolgachev, head of the press service of the Transcaucasus Military District, rejected claims made by South Ossetian separatist Alan Chochiev (confirmed by the chairman of the South Ossetian Council of Ministers, Oleg Teziev) in a statement published in Nezavisimaya gazeta on 3 June that South Ossetia possesses a tactical nuclear warhead that it is prepared to use "in self-defense." Dolgachev stated that there were no nuclear warheads stationed in the Caucasus, and that even if the South Ossetians had managed to obtain one they could not fire it without the necessary launching facilities. His remarks were reported by Radio Mayak, citing the Georgian Iprinda news agency. (Liz Fuller) CHECHNYA TO FORM ARMY. Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev announced on 4 June at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers that the republic was determined to create a regular, national army, ITAR-TASS reported. According to Dudaev, the army would number just over 7,000 men, already recruited in this spring's military draft, and would be deployed in garrisons evacuated by the former Soviet troops. Dudaev also said that success in parliamentary talks between Chechnya and Russia had been precluded by the intransigence of the Russian side, and that Chechnya would henceforth pursue negotiations with the Russian government. (Stephen Foye) TER-PETROSSYAN'S NEW KARABAKH PEACE PROPOSAL. In an interview published in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet on 4 June, Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan proposed a two-step approach to resolving the Karabakh crisis; following the deployment of an international peacekeeping force to guarantee the security of the Armenian population, a mechanism would be created for discussing all aspects of the problem within the framework of the CSCE. Ter-Petrossyan said Armenia would accept any peace settlement that had already been accepted by the administration of the Nagorno-Karabakh republic. Meanwhile NATO foreign ministers meeting in Oslo issued a statement expressing concern at the situation in Karabakh and affirming NATO's readiness to assist the CSCE sponsored peacekeeping effort by facilitating the deployment of civilian observers in the region, Western agencies reported on 4 June. (Liz Fuller) MINERS IN KAZAKHSTAN STRIKING AGAIN. Less than six months after Kazakh Prime Minister Sergei Tereshchenko settled the last coal miners' strike in Karaganda Oblast, eight mines are again on strike, Central TV reported on 4 June. Several thousand people participated in a 45-kilometer march from Shakhtinsk to the headquarters of the oblast administration to press their demands for higher pensions, job guarantees, a wage agreement with the independent miners' union, and the creation of a free economic zone authorized last year by Kazakhstan's Supreme Soviet. Disruption of production in the Karaganda coal basin represents a major threat to President Nursultan Nazarbaev's plans for an industrialized Kazakhstan. (Bess Brown) ANNIVERSARY OF OSH VIOLENCE IN KYRGYZSTAN. The 5th of June marks the second anniversary of the Uzbek-Kyrgyz conflict in Kyrgyzstan's Osh Oblast. "Vesti" reported on 3 June that calls for revenge are being heard in Osh, as well as demands for the cities of Osh, Uzgen and Alaba to be transferred to Uzbekistan. The report noted that up to 70,000 Russians per year have left Kyrgyzstan since the disturbances occurred in Osh, and carried a clip of a Russian warning that Kyrgyzstan is losing good specialists. (Cassandra Cavanaugh) MOLDOVAN FOREIGN MINISTER CONFERS WITH KIEV. Following his talks in Moscow, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae Tiu visited Kiev on 4 June for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Anatolii Zlenko, Radio Ukraine and Ukrinform-TASS reported. Both sides agreed that Ukrainian-Moldovan relations represent an important factor in maintaining regional stability and that a bilateral treaty between the two states should be concluded. The Moldova foreign minister reiterated that the conflict in the Trans-Dniester region be resolved on the basis of negotiations involving Moldova, Ukraine, Romania and Russia. According to The Financial Times, Tiu stressed that "his government appreciated the neutral stance taken by Ukraine and that distrust for Russia remained high." (Bohdan Nahaylo) RUSSIAN ARMY RESUPPLIES "DNIESTER" FORCES. Moldova's Defense Ministry on 4 June released intelligence data documenting transfers of arms and ammunition in recent days to the "Dniester" Russian insurgent forces from Russia's 14th Army. The data trace the movement of the consignments to "Dniester" units in the combat zone by military trucks from the 14th Army's largest munitions depot, situated at Kolbasa in northern Trans-Dniester. (Vladimir Socor) "DNIESTER REPUBLIC" OFFERS PROTECTION TO RUSSIAN ARMY. Reacting to Yeltsin's recent statement suggesting a future withdrawal of the 14th Army from Moldova, the self-styled "Dniester republic Supreme Soviet" has resolved that "all servicemen of this Army on the territory of the Dniester republic are under that republic's protection," "Vesti" reported on 4 June. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON SETTLING THE CONFLICT. Moldovan President Mircea Snegur told AFP on 4 June, as cited by Moldovapres, that remaking Moldova into a federation of 3 republics--Moldovan, "Dniester," and Gagauz--as suggested by the "Dniester" insurgents lacks any ethnic, historic, or legal basis and would be unacceptable. He would rather resign and lead a "national liberation movement" if a solution along those lines were imposed on Moldova, Snegur said. He reiterated Chisinau's offer to negotiate over forms of territorial autonomy short of any federalization. He also expressed the hope that the impending session of the Moldovan Parliament would decide on additional measures to reassure the Dniester Russians. (Vladimir Socor) CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE SEJM DISMISSES OLSZEWSKI. Early on 5 June the Sejm voted to oust Prime Minister Jan Olszewski, shortly after President Lech Walesa formally asked for his immediate removal, Western and Polish media report. After a chaotic 16-hour session, deputies voted 273-119 with 33 abstentions to dismiss the 5-month-old minority government, Poland's third post-communist cabinet in three years. Olszewski refused to resign, making an emotional last-minute defense of his government's actions on TV. He linked the move to dismiss him to plans to publish the names of people said to have collaborated with the communist secret police (see below). Walesa has already asked Waldemar Pawlak, chairman of the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) to succeed Olszewski and try to form a new cabinet. In a separate vote, the Sejm also accepted the dismissal of Finance Minister Andrzej Olechowski. (Wladyslaw MONTENEGRO RECONSIDERING RELATIONS WITH SERBIA. Signs that the Republic of Montenegro may be rethinking its relationship with Serbia were shown by Momir Bulatovic on 4 June. The Montenegrin President expressed his republic's readiness to meet demands set by the UN sanctions and urged that "new, politically uncompromised figures be found to represent the new Yugoslav republic." Borba carried the report on 4 June. Radio Serbia reported on 4 June that Bulatovic has called a special session of parliament to discuss a reexamination of Montenegro's relations with Serbia and raised the possibility that the tiny republic may hold a new referendum to decide whether to remain in a federal Yugoslav state with Serbia if the sanctions continued into the fall. Bulatovic told reporters on 4 June that Montenegro will continue its relations with Serbia but acknowledged past mistakes and said that the "course is going to be generally corrected." Earlier signs of cracks in the relationship came in October 1991, when Montenegrin leaders affirmed the republic's sovereignty and approved a plan for a new Yugoslav state based on an association of sovereign republics. (Milan Andrejevich) PROTESTS AGAINST MILOSEVIC CALLED. There is growing pressure from influential circles in Belgrade for the resignation of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Radio Serbia reports on 4 June that 46 Serbian academicians signed a petition calling for Milosevic's resignation. Vuk Draskovic, leader of the main opposition party, has called for massive peaceful demonstrations to force Milosevic out of office. Several opposition leaders are predicting that Milosevic will resign in a matter of weeks. Vojislav Kostunica, Democratic Party vice president and a leader of the newly founded coalition Democratic Movement of Serbia said that a coalition of political, religious and economic forces [trade unions] are going to push Milosevic out. (Milan Andrejevich) BOSNIA NEAR STARVATION; SEEKS MILITARY INTERVENTION. Local and Western media report on 4 June that certain parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, notably Sarajevo, are near starvation or famine. Bosnia's foreign minister Haris Silajdzic appealed for military intervention to help save tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the city and the surrounding area by Serb irregulars. He added that the people can not wait for the UN sanctions because they only have a few days of food left and pleaded for at least foreign troops to escort supplies. (Milan Andrejevich) CZECHOSLOVAKIA, BULGARIA APPROVE SANCTIONS. On 4 June the two governments approved the implementation of UN Security Council sanctions imposed on Serbia and Montenegro on 30 May. Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier told reporters that the cabinet is presenting to parliament draft legal measures for applying the sanctions. Sofia dailies on 5 June are reporting that air, river, and railway transport has been stopped, BTA reports. Trud says Bulgaria stands to lose $50-60 million a month, or $400 by the end of the year. 24 chasa said that the Foreign Ministry would send a letter to the UN asking for compensation for the losses. Prague is also concerned about the costs. Dienstbier told CSTK that the sanctions will cause "considerable harm" to Czechoslovakia's economy in the areas of transport, bilateral trade, and nonreceipt of Serbian debt payments. (Barbara Kroulik & Rada Nikolaev) NATO AGREES ON PEACEKEEPING. Western reports on 4 June say that NATO foreign ministers meeting in Oslo have approved the concept of using its military forces for peacekeeping missions outside the borders of NATO member states. The ministers also stated that Serbia, Montenegro, and the federal army are mainly responsible for the worsening situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but did not specifically mention Yugoslavia as a possible theater for NATO peacekeeping operations. (Milan Andrejevich) NATO URGES FASTER WITHDRAWAL FROM BALTICS. After their one-day meeting the NATO foreign ministers also issued a statement urging "the states concerned to conclude agreements soon, establishing firm timetables for the early withdrawal of former Soviet forces," Reuters reports. The ministers noted that they were aware of the practical problems, but added, "these cannot affect the application of the basic principle of international law that the presence of foreign troops on the territory of a sovereign state requires the explicit consent of that state." (Saulius Girnius) RUSSIA: SPEEDY WITHDRAWAL OUT OF QUESTION. A pullout of former Soviet troops from Estonia by the end of the year is completely out of the question, according to Russian chief negotiator Vasilii Svirin. Svirin told ETA on 4 June that the withdrawal of all troops by the end of 1992--per Estonia's wishes--is impossible. Svirin's remarks came a day after Estonia temporarily broke off talks during the third round of consultations. BNS reported on 4 June that the next round is scheduled for 30 June-2 July near Moscow. (Riina Kionka) ESTONIA: RUSSIA HAS NEW WORLD VIEW. The Estonian side ended the latest round of troops consultations by reiterating that no substantive progress has taken place, BNS reported on 4 June. The Estonian statement also referred again to Russia's new global view that states are divided into two categories: the "Near Outside World" and the "Far Outside World," the Baltics belonging in the former category. Earlier reports from Estonia suggested this formulation was merely Estonian negotiator Endel Lippmaa's subjective impression of Russian views, but subsequent accounts of the talks make it clear that the Russian delegation itself is using this formulation. (Riina Kionka) RUSE-GIURGIU ECOLOGICAL CONFLICT FINDING SOLUTION? During a session of the joint Bulgarian-Romanian commission on regional environmental problems in Ruse on 4 June, Paul Florea, the deputy mayor of Giurgiu, announced that the Romanian government is considering moving the chlorine plant away from his city, BTA reports. The installation was ordered closed by the Romanian authorities last April, in part because of repeated Bulgarian complaints that emissions were causing lung ailments among the population of Ruse. Florea mentioned that another suspected source of pollution--a machine-building plant--has been shut down, and that another chemical factory has stopped manufacturing hazardous products. (Kjell Engelbrekt) HUNGARIAN WORKERS SUPPORT BANKRUPT FOUNDRY. Some 10,000 workers demonstrated in Miskolc and Diosgyor demanding government subsidies for the bankrupt DIMAG foundry in Diosgyor, MTI reports. The demonstrators urged the government to fund the long-term operation of DIMAG and to work out a new industrial policy aimed at fighting unemployment in the region. DIMAG was one of the largest state-owned firms under communism and still employs over 9,000 people. It was forced into receivership by a tough new bankruptcy law that took effect in April. The Russian and Austrian managers of the 222-year-old foundry say it could be run profitably if the government froze DIMAG's 18-billion-forint debt. (Edith Oltay) DATA ON HUNGARIAN ECONOMY. Figures released by Hungary's Central Statistical Office indicate that the gross national product declined by more than 10% in 1991 compared with 1990, MTI reports. The dramatic drop in production by large firms was the main reason for the decline. At the same time there was a sharp increase in production and in the number of small enterprises, whose output represented nearly 10% of the GDP. Foreign investment in Hungarian firms more than doubled in 1991; 57% of the foreign capital was invested in industry, 16% in trade, and 16% in services. (Edith Oltay) BALTIC COUNCIL MEETS TO DISCUSS FINANCIAL MATTERS, CSCE. Top leaders from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are meeting on 5 June at Jurmala to coordinate their positions on issues expected to be discussed at the CSCE conference in Helsinki in July. Also attending are Baltic bank presidents, finance ministers, and experts who will be focusing on financial reforms and emission of new banknotes, Radio Riga reported on 4 June. (Dzintra Bungs) INFLATION CONTINUES TO RISE IN LATVIA. As of 1 June, bread prices rose by about 25%, owing to higher prices of flour, yeast, and fuel. The minimum wage was increased to 1,500 rubles a month, while minimum pensions were increased to 1,200 rubles a month. On 25 May Diena reported that according to Social Welfare Ministry data, the per capita subsistence level income was already 1,574 rubles a month. (Dzintra Bungs) CZECHOSLOVAK ELECTIONS. On 5 and 6 June Czechoslovaks will choose from among more than 8,000 candidates from 40 parties standing for seats in the federal parliament and the regional Czech and Slovak parliaments. The outcome is expected to have an effect on Czech-Slovak relations and on the nature of the federal arrangement. Some Slovak parties favor a declaration of sovereignty. President Vaclav Havel has appealed to voters to support candidates who favor national unity. (Barbara Kroulik) NAMING OF POLISH "AGENTS" UNDER FIRE. On 4 June the Polish Interior Ministry distributed to parliamentary leaders confidential lists of politicians and other officials suspected of collaborating with the former communist secret police. Although none of the names was made public and deputies declined to give details, Stefan Niesiolowski of the Christian National Union said the list included government ministers and members of most major parties. Interior Minister Antoni Macierewicz said there is no confirmation that those implicated--reportedly between 24 and 100 names--were agents. Walesa also condemned the circulation of the list, saying the ministry files have been used "selectively." Charging that "the documents they contain are in large part fabricated," he said the procedure chosen for exposing alleged collaborators is outside the law, allows for political blackmail, and destablizes the state. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz) HEARING ON PRUNSKIENE'S KGB TIES. On 4 June the Lithuanian Supreme Court began hearings on former Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene's alleged ties with the KGB, Radio Lithuania reports. Prunskiene was represented at the hearing by her brother, who won a postponement until 25-26 June because Prunskiene will be abroad until 23 June. Deputies Virgilijus Cepaitis and Jokubas Minkevicius lost their seats in the parliament earlier this year after the Supreme Court found that they had cooperated with the KGB. (Saulius Girnius) ROMANIAN OPPOSITION PARTY OFFICIALS QUIT. A Romanian opposition politician, Dinu Patriciu, a steering committee member of the Young Liberal Party, has quit the party leadership following allegations that he was involved in fraudulent activity. He denied the allegations but said he was resigning to avoid damaging the party before the general elections. The fraud charges surfaced last week when Bucharest mayor Crin Halaicu, a member of the rival National Liberal Party, accused Patriciu's construction firm of offenses that caused losses to the city of 1,000 million lei. Radu Boroianu, another YLP member, resigned his party post, but said it was due to health reasons, Romanian media report. (Crisula Stefanescu) POLICE RETRIEVE STOLEN URANIUM. Romanian TV said that police have retrieved 10 kilograms of uranium stolen from a Romanian nuclear materials firm last year. Eleven people were arrested, including a company engineer who was preparing to steal another 200 kilos to sell to a customer in Hungary at $2,300 a kilo. (Crisula Stefanescu) ILLEGAL SHIPMENT OF TANK PARTS. Polish customs officials intercepted an illegal shipment of spare parts for Czechoslovak-made tanks en route to Syria. The provincial prosecutor's office in Szczecin said on 4 June that 290 crates were seized. The cargo was transported from Czechoslovakia by the Polish-German-Czechoslovak firm Intersped. PAP says that false documents claimed the parts were for cars. (Barbara Kroulik) ROMANIAN-CANADIAN MILITARY COOPERATION. Canada's military chief of staff, Gen. John de Chastelain, returning from a three-day visit in Romania, told reporters that the two countries are working out a military cooperation agreement. Canada has signed agreements with Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, an RFE correspondent reported on 4 June. (Crisula Stefanescu) (END) The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research Institute (a division of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Inc.) in Munich, Germany, with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available Monday through Friday, except holidays, at approximately 0800 US Eastern Time (1400 Central European Time) by fax, post, or e-mail. The report is also posted daily on the SOVSET computer network. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: In USA: Mr. Jon Lodeesen or Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6900 fax: (202) 457-6992 or -202-828-8783; or in Europe: Mr. David L. Troyanek or Ms. Helga Hofer Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute Oettingenstrasse 67 8000 Munich 22 Telephone: (-49 89) 2102-2631 or -2642 fax: (-49 89) 2102-2648
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.