|There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. - Graham Greene|
No. 114, 18 June 1992
BUSH, YELTSIN AGREE TO SLASH STRATEGIC ARSENALS. In an announcement that went beyond what most observers expected, Presidents George Bush and Boris Yeltsin agreed on 16 June to make deep cuts in their countries' strategic nuclear weapons over the next decade. According to news agency accounts, these cuts will be in two stages: by the year 2000 each country would retain 3,800 - 4,250 nuclear warheads on strategic missiles, of which 1,000 could be on land-based missiles. The Russians would be allowed to keep roughly 600 warheads on so-called "heavy" missiles. These would be banned in the second stage, which would run until 2003. The total limit for this stage would be 3,000-3,500 missile warheads for each country. Yeltsin and Bush are to sign an agreement on 17 June outlining these cuts, with the actual treaty to be completed within three months. (Doug Clarke) YELTSIN APPEALS FOR SUPPORT. After the two presidents concluded the accord on nuclear weapons, the summit shifted to economics, Western agencies reported on 16 June. Yeltsin asked Bush to "exert moral influence" on the IMF so it does not impose overly rigid conditions on Russia. Yeltsin's spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov said that Yeltsin told Bush that the Russian people are getting tired over the fact that the reform has yet brought few results and that there is danger of a "political landslide" that could lead to "some other political forces taking power in Russia." (Alexander Rahr) ARMENIA THREATENS TO WITHDRAW FROM CIS. Armenian government officials warned on 16 June that Armenia would withdraw from the CIS if member states fail to provide military assistance under the terms of the mutual defense pact signed in Tashkent in mid-May, The Los Angeles Times reported on 17 June. The head of the Armenian delegation to the CSCE preparatory peace talks in in Rome similarly threatened to withdraw from the talks if participants do not call for a ceasefire at the 17 June session. Meanwhile fierce fighting continued in the Askeran raion of Nagorno-Karabakh and around the town of Lachin, that commands the roadlink between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. In an interview published in the Tehran Times on 16 June, Iran's ambassador to Azerbaijan stated that Iran would not undertake another mediation attempt in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict unless both sides withdrew from the territory they have occupied over the past six weeks. He denied rumors circulating in Baku that Iran had provided arms to Armenia. (Liz Fuller) SITUATION AROUND "OSTANKINO" TELEVISION. Pro-Communist demonstrators continued their protest in front of the "Ostankino" TV center in Moscow, the Russian media reported on 16 June. The centrist opposition to Yeltsin's leadership (the Democratic Party of Russia and the Christian Democratic Party) and the Democratic Russia movement strongly condemned the Communist protest. The leader of the Democratic Party of Russia, Nikolai Travkin, also criticized the head of "Ostankino" TV, Egor Yakovlev, for giving in to the Communists' demand to give them regular broadcasting time on the first channel of Russian TV. Travkin complained that his party represents a legal and constructive opposition to Yeltsin yet is deprived of access to Russian TV. The government of Moscow also criticized Yakovlev's agreement with the Communists. The government instructed the militia to end the protest action. (Vera Tolz) GORBACHEV UNDER ATTACK. The Russian leadership is selectively releasing documents to discredit the former Communist regime and its leaders, including former President Mikhail Gorbachev. According to Reuters on 16 June, Russian vice premier Mikhail Poltoranin indicated that the documents will destroy any possibility of Gorbachev making a political comeback. Gorbachev, who received several honors during his private tour of Israel, joked during his visit to Christian holy places in Jerusalem that he is the "last socialist, paying homage to the first socialist, Jesus Christ," ITAR-TASS reported on 16 June. (Alexander Rahr) MEETING ON CORRUPTION AND CRIME. The fifth meeting of the permanent inter-institutional consultancy board for protection of the interests of individuals and society from organized crime and corruption took place under the chairmanship of State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis in the Kremlin, ITAR-TASS reported on 15 June. Interior Minister Viktor Yarin stated that serious corruption has emerged in the Russian banking system and urged the parliament to investigate the Central Bank. Burbulis asserted that while the work of intelligence, state security and militia structures has been coordinated, there is still a lack of cooperation with the custom service, the tax agency, and the State Committee for Antimonopolist Policy. (Alexander Rahr) UKRAINE SIGNS PARIS CHARTER. On 16 June, during his official visit to Paris, Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk signed the Paris Charter on human rights and democratic principles, making Ukraine an official member of the CSCE, CIS and Western agencies reported.(Bohdan Nahaylo) UKRAINE AND FRANCE TO DEVELOP CLOSER RELATIONSHIP. On 16 June, the presidents of France and Ukraine signed a bilateral friendship and cooperation treaty in Paris, CIS and Western agencies reported. Expressing his support for Ukraine's integration into European structures, President Mitterand pointed out that this is the first such agreement that Ukraine has signed with a Western European state. The treaty consists of a preamble and 22 articles covering cooperation in a broad range of fields, including the military, communications, energy, environment, space, and health spheres. Among other things, it foresees meetings between the foreign ministers of the two countries "at least twice a year," and summits between its leaders "by mutual accord." (Bohdan Nahaylo) KARIMOV VISITS SOUTH KOREA. Uzbek President Islam Karimov arrived in Seoul on 16 June for a four-day official visit, ITAR-TASS reported. He is the first CIS head of state to visit South Korea since the disintegration of the USSR. In addition to holding talks with Korean government leaders, Karimov plans to visit major industrial centers. Although he has been less inclined than some other Central Asian leaders to see South Korea as a potential development model, interest in the Korean development experience, as well as his quest for foreign investment, have presumably motivated Karimov's visit. He will travel on to Malaysia and Indonesia. (Bess Brown) CENTRAL ASIANS MAKE PLEA TO JAPAN. A representative of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Trade was quoted by an ITAR-TASS correspondent on 15 June as saying that during an investigative mission to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan earlier this month, all three countries had appealed for Japanese assistance in the transition to a market economy. Officials of the three countries had asked for more Japanese investment in infrastructure development and economic and technological assistance in environmental protection. (Cassandra Cavanaugh) GERMAN-KAZAKH ECONOMIC COOPERATION COUNCIL MEETS. The first session of the German-Kazakh Economic Cooperation Council, a governmental organization bringing together economic officials of both countries, is holding its first session in Bonn, RFE/RL correspondent Michael Wall reported on 16 June. The participants are working on an investment protection agreement; the German government has already given two credit guarantees worth 100 million marks apiece for Kazakh projects, and further applications are to be discussed. German Economics Ministry State Secretary Dieter von Wuerzen told Wall that German business is very interested in trade with Kazakhstan, which is the first CIS country to meet German government conditions for credit guarantees. (Bess Brown) KAZAKH PIPELINE TO TURKEY? Talks will begin this week between Turkey and Kazakhstan to review the feasibility of building a pipeline from oilfields in Kazakhstan to Turkish ports. The pipeline would aid Turkey's oil transport industry, hurt by UN sanctions against Iraq, and facilitate the export of Kazakh oil from newly developed fields. Turkey has also proposed building a pipeline for natural gas from Turkmenistan and for oil from Azerbaijan. (Cassandra Cavanaugh) OPPOSITION PARTIES CALL ON ARMENIAN GOVERNMENT TO RESIGN. The leaders of the Dashnaktsyutyun, the Armenian Association for National Self-Determination and other radical opposition parties called on 16 June for the Armenian government's resignation, arguing that it was betraying the interests of the Armenian people in adopting a conciliatory stance over Nagorno-Karabakh, Radio Rossii reported quoting the Snark news agency. The Dashnak Party further repeated its earlier call for the Armenian government to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. (Liz Fuller) MOLDOVAN NEGOTIATIONS LAUNCHED. On 11 June the Moldovan Parliament, with the participation of most deputies from the left bank of the Dniester (who interrupted their boycott of the parliament), voted nearly unanimously on a list of 6 principles for a political settlement of the conflict in eastern Moldova. The principles are far closer to Chisinau's views than to the terms hitherto demanded by Tiraspol with Moscow's support. On the same day the parliament empanelled a joint commission of deputies and other representatives from both banks to draft an accord based on those principles until 16 June, Moldovapres reported. Local observers consider that a split has developed between the Russian leaders of the self-styled "Dniester republic" and the majority of the left bank deputies, most of whom are Russians and Ukrainians. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDOVAN NEGOTIATIONS HIT IMPASSE. On 16 June the joint commission presented to the Moldovan Parliament a draft peace accord of 13 points, four of which were not approved by the left-bank representatives, Moldovapres reported. The Parliament went on to approve all of the 13 points, with the left bank deputies present but not participating in the vote. One of the main disputes centers on Tiraspol's demand for the withdrawal of Moldovan police from its remaining bridgeheads on the left bank. (Vladimir Socor) "DNIESTER" LEADERS REJECT ANY SETTLEMENT SHORT OF RECOGNITION AS "REPUBLIC". Meanwhile, in Tiraspol, the self-styled "Dniester republic Supreme Soviet Presidium" rejected the whole package, reaffirming its demand for recognition as a republic. In addition, the "Dniester" presidium refused to disband the "Dniester" paramilitary forces and insisted that Russia's 14th Army remain in eastern Moldova. The presidium also warned that it would continue military operations, Moldovapres reported. (Vladimir Socor) "DNIESTER" LEADER ENVISAGES POSSIBLE ACCESSION TO RUSSIA. Interviewed on Russian TV's "Vesti" on 12 June while on an "unofficial visit" to Moscow, the self-styled "Dniester republic president" Igor Smirnov was asked whether his would-be republic would decide to join the Russian Federation. Smirnov replied that "this would be decided by the people." He called on Russia and Ukraine meanwhile to guarantee the would-be republic's independence as a "more appropriate [action] at the present stage". Smirnov's suggestion of a possible union with Russia in the future comes on the heels of a similar suggestion by Russia's Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev (see Daily Report of 16 June). (Vladimir Socor) YELTSIN SIGNS DECREE ON COSSACKS. On 15 June Yeltsin signed a decree reviving the rights of the Cossacks, the London Times reported on 16 June. The decree recognizes the Cossacks' right to practice their traditional forms of local government and communal land ownership in areas where they predominate. It also instructs the defense ministry to draw up proposals for deploying Cossacks in the armed forces, particularly for protecting the frontier and maintaining public order. The decree thus goes a long way towards meeting Cossack demands. (Ann Sheehy) TATAR VICE PRESIDENT SAYS FULL INDEPENDENCE NOT POSSIBLE. Tatarstan Vice President Vasilii Likhachev said in an interview published in Handelsblatt on 16 June that it would hardly be possible for Tatarstan to make a complete break with Russia. For instance, to set up controls on Tatarstan's borders with Russia would harm the republic's foreign trade. Likhachev said that Tatarstan had no plans at present to eliminate the use of the ruble. Its goal was a treaty with Russia that recognized its political independence. Tatarstan would then delegate certain powers to Russia. (Ann Sheehy) MONEY FOR NEEDS OF SERVICEMEN. The Russian Federation government issued a directive on 16 June that called for monies accrued from the sale of existing military properties and equipment to be directed toward improving living conditions for servicemen, veterans, and their families, ITAR-TASS reported. Konstantin Lazarev, identified as an aide to the Chairman of the Russian Defense Ministry Committee for Insuring the Social Protection of Servicemen, said that over 300,000 families of servicemen are now in need of housing, and that "many tens of millions of rubles and dollars" earned from such sales would go into a program for housing construction, professional retraining, and to provide start-up business capital for discharged soldiers. A mechanism for effecting this program is to be prepared within a month's time. (Stephen Foye) CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE "MILITARY AGREEMENT" SIGNED BY CROATIA AND BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. The 17 June Washington Post says that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic announced "a formal military alliance" between his republic and Croatia the previous day. Details and possible ramifications of the pact are still unclear. Both republics have been the victims of Serbian aggression, and some prominent public figures in both states have argued that the two should have long begun to cooperate more closely. There has been much talk in recent weeks of some sort of eventual confederation between the two republics; historically Croats and Muslims have tended to cooperate against a common Serbian enemy. Many Muslims nonetheless suspect that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman is anti-Muslim, and note that he has discussed partitioning Bosnia-Herzegovina with Serbian leaders. (Patrick Moore) OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE YUGOSLAV AREA. Western news agencies on 16 June said that the Serbian opposition is divided over its immediate course of action. A Serbian Democratic Party official called for giving new "Yugoslav" President Dobrica Cosic "a little time" to show what his intentions are, while the Serbian Renewal Movement dubbed Cosic's election a cosmetic move by "the most hated regime in the world" to preserve itself. Belgrade students said they would continue their sit-in until Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic resigns. Meanwhile in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian forces apparently have refused to clear out their gun positions near Sarajevo airport, which is a precondition for any UN relief operation to the besieged capital. French Defense Minister Pierre Joxe said that the UN has asked his country, Egypt, and Russia to contribute to a 1,000-strong peace-keeping group for the airport. The 17 June Washington Post says that the US is willing to take part in a humanitarian airlift if a cease-fire truly takes hold. (Patrick Moore) CZECHOSLOVAK CRISIS UPDATE. Vaclav Klaus, leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) is to meet with Vladimir Meciar, head of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), on 17 June. Two previous rounds of talks between Klaus and Meciar on forming a new federal government were unsuccessful. On 16 June Klaus met with Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel, who briefed him on his talks with Meciar on Monday. Klaus then told reporters that the deadlock must be broken soon and that the ODS will submit its program for a future federal government at the meeting. Havel said he believes an agreement may be possible. However, Meciar told reporters in Vienna on 16 June that if Czech leaders continue to reject his call for a confederation of two sovereign states, Slovakia will have to go it alone. He also said that Slovakia will not restore socialism. Fears are being expressed that the uncertainty about the future of the country may hurt the economy. (Barbara Kroulik) PAWLAK PRESSES ON. Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak announced on 16 June that the prospective government coalition partners have virtually reached agreement on economic issues. PAP reports that the Confederation for an Independent Poland (KPN) has unexpectedly abandoned its demand for an "open budget" (unlimited deficit spending) in return for a pledge that the government assist indebted firms by allowing banks to trade bad debts for state bonds. Doubts remain as to the chances of Pawlak's success, however, largely because of the refusal of the Christian National Union (ZChN) to join a government headed by the leader of a "postcommunist" party. During talks on 16 June with the Democratic Union, ZChN leaders proposed the formation of a government based on parties from the Solidarity tradition but also including Pawlak's Polish Peasant Party. A spokesman for President Lech Walesa expressed concern that coalition-building is proving so time-consuming and announced that the president "will probably be forced to undertake actions to facilitate the functioning of the executive." He suggested that Pawlak appoint temporary heads for key ministries. (Louisa Vinton) POLISH AGENTS' LIST RAISES EYEBROWS. Asfurther prominent former opposition activists come forward to protest their inclusion on the list of alleged secret police collaborators released to the parliament on 4 June, the credibility of the screening process adopted by the Olszewski government continues to drop. Sejm speaker and ZChN leader Wieslaw Chrzanowski announced at a press conference on 16 June that his name was also on the list, despite the lack of documents in his file suggesting collaboration. This revelation was a sobering one for Chrzanowski's party, which has enthusiastically backed the lustration process initiated by Internal Affairs Minister and ZChN member Antoni Macierewicz. Others who have protested their inclusion in the list include former labor minister Michal Boni and former planning chief Jerzy Osiatynski. (Louisa Vinton) HUNGARIAN PERSONNEL CHANGES. Political State Secretary Tamas Katona will be transferred to the prime minister's office where he will coordinate the work of political state secretaries and provide information about the government's work to the media, MTI reported on 16 June. He will be replaced by Andras Kelemen, is currently political state secretary in the Ministry of Social Welfare and has no experience in the field of foreign policy. Katona's transfer was initiated by Prime Minister Jozsef Antall. Hungarian observers commented that differences of opinion between Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky and Katona was the likely reason for the change, something both Jeszenszky and Katona deny. Jeszenszky told Nepszabadsag on the same day that there will be no change in the course of Hungarian foreign policy. Meanwhile Tibor Fuzessy was nominated to head the National Security Office, MTI reports. Prime Minister Antall nominated Fuzessy to replace Andras Galszecsy, who retired in February. Fuzessy is parliamentary leader of Christian Democratic People's Partythe junior partner in the ruling coalitionand previously worked in the chief prosecutor's office. (Edith Oltay) LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT CRISIS CONTINUES. On 16 June the deputies of the Lithuanian Supreme Council were unable to agree on the session's program and once again held separate meetings, Radio Lithuania reports. Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius told 50 deputies of the Sajudis Coalition for a Democratic Lithuania what additional powers he desired and the coalition approved a proposal to hold elections to the new parliament on 11 October. The same day Vagnorius shuffled his deputies, transferring responsibility for government administration from Zigmas Vaisvila to Vytautas Pakalniskis. Vaisvila was asked to oversee city and regional administrations. In April Vaisvila and nine others had expressed dissatisfaction with Vagnorius and he was relieved of his duties as the head of the Lithuanian National Security Department. (Saulius Girnius) NEW CHIEF OF LATVIAN RADIO. On 16 June the Supreme Council chose musicologist Arnolds Klotins as the new director of the Latvian Radio, Radio Riga reported that day. (Dzintra Bungs) CALLS TO SACK CLUJ MAYOR. On 16 June ethnic Hungarian human rights leaders in Transylvania called for the resignation of Cluj mayor Gheorghe Funar, foreign media report. They accused Funar, a member of the far-right Romanian National Unity Party, of violating the rights of the Hungarians. Last month Funar called on fellow mayors to ban "anti-Romanian" events and signs or public announcements in Hungarian. Under Romania's new constitution, mayors have the power to ban all activities that threaten to disturb the peace. (Crisula Stefanescu) BULGARIA'S COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP. Long and difficult discussions on a successor organization to the former tripartite commission of government, labor unions, and employers' organizationsa key element in Bulgarian political lifewere resolved in late May, with the establishment of the National Council for Social Partnership. On 15 June BTA reported that a number of council commissions have begun work. A commission on social insurance and one on the work force have begun discussions on new social assistance regulations and a draft law on unemployment, respectively. (Rada Nikolaev) UDF CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT. The National Coordinating Council (NCC) of the ruling UDF met on 16 June to discuss the political situation. BTA quoted its deputy chairman Aleksandar Yordanov as saying that some critical remarks had been made about the government, implicitly confirming recent signs of conflicts existing between the UDF and the Dimitrov cabinet. The government had been advised to follow a more resolute policy and to provide more information about its activities. The possible replacement of Dimitrov as chairman of the NCC had been discussed, one suggestion being to appoint an executive director of the UDF to alleviate the workload of the chairman. (Rada Nikolaev) ISAKOV ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL. On 16 June Viktor Isakov, head Russian troop negotiator with Lithuania, told a BNS correspondent that talks might be complicated by the 14 June referendum, which demands withdrawal of all troops by the end of 1992. Isakov called this "totally unrealistic," noting that even if housing for all the officers were built it would be impossible to complete their transfer in 1992. He questioned the accuracy of the $150 billion damage compensation Lithuania is demanding and says any damages made by the Soviet army included those by Lithuanian forces as well as Russian. (Saulius Girnius) NORWAY WOULD HELP WITH TROOP HOUSING. Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg concludes a two-day visit in the Baltic States on 17 June. In Latvia on the 16th Stoltenberg signed accords on trade, security of investments, and cooperation in agriculture. Stoltenberg told the press that he is pleased with Latvian-Norwegian relations and the close working contacts that have developed with his Latvian counterpart, Janis Jurkans. He added that Norway supports the efforts of the Baltic States to become a part of the European security network, Radio Riga reports. In Vilnius Stoltenberg told the press his country is prepared to help speed up the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic states by financing and building housing for the troops. According to Reuters on 16 June, Stoltenberg made the offercontingent upon the troops not being moved to Norway's borderafter talks with Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis and other officials. (Dzintra Bungs & Riina Kionka) EX-USSR SOLDIERS FROM GERMANY SENT TO LATVIA. BNS reports on 16 June that about 1,000 soldiers from Germany have been transported by plane or troop transports via Kaliningrad to Latvia. Replenishment of troops in Latvia continues despite the agreement between Latvian and Russian officials in February that Moscow would not do so. (Dzintra Bungs) GERMAN TOXIC WASTE PROBLEMS. The German owner of an Estonian-registered cargo ship loaded with toxic wastes has denied a Bulgarian newspaper report that the vessel sank last month in the Black Sea. According to an RFE/RL correspondent in London, the ship's owner said the Heltermaa is 20 km from Istanbul en route back to Germany. Earlier this week Demokratsiya quoted three fishermen who said they saw the Heltermaa sink off Varna on 22 May. The Heltermaa, reportedly loaded with some 3,500 tons of toxic waste, left Hamburg in April. After being refused entry in Turkey and northern Cyprus, the Heltermaa headed for Odessa. Meanwhile, the Romanian government announced a decree, effective 17 June, cracking down on imports of toxic wastes into Romania, Rompres reports. The action follows the disclosure that hundreds of tons of waste chemicals from Germany were dumped at Sibiu and that containers of highly toxic dyes and plastic wastes, also from Germany, were stored in Constanta. (Riina Kionka & Crisula Stefanescu) ROMANIAN LABOR SITUATION. The drain on the work force in Romania increased considerably after the opening of the frontiers in 1989, Rompres reported on June 15, quoting Adevarul. The daily reportswithout citing a sourcethat half the 430,000 people who left Romania over the last ten years were young and vigorous workers. Adevarul says further that about 30,000 foreigners who entered Romania after 1989 have not left the country although their visas have expired and are now in uncertain status. Even so, a government report says unemployment in Romania has reached 600,000 people5.3% of the working-age population. Unemployed persons who can prove they held a job for at least three years are entitled to compensation amounting to 60% of their previous wage, Rompres reported on 16 June. (Crisula Stefanescu) UNEMPLOYMENT CREEPS UP IN ESTONIA. Citing the Estonian Unemployment Office, BNS reported on 15 June that 4,732 people were registered as jobless by 1 June, up nearly 25% from last month (Riina Kionka) CORRECTION. Arvi Niitenberg was confirmed on 15 June as Estonian Minister without Portfolio responsible for energy affairs, not as Minister for Energy Resources, as reported in yesterday's RFE/RL Daily Report. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Stephen Foye & 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, 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: Ms. Helga Hofer Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute Oettingenstrasse 67 8000 Munich 22 Telephone: (-49 89) 2102-2631 fax: (-49 89) 2102-2648 Copyright 1992, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.