|Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -|
No. 126, 06 July 1992
SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR STALIN DECREE CITED IN DEFENSE OF CPSU BAN. Lawyers representing the Russian president at the Constitutional Court hearings on the Communist Party, scheduled to begin on 7 July, intend to cite a 1932 decree by Joseph Stalin as justification for Yeltsin's banning of the Party by decree, according to Izvestiya of 3 July. Lawyers Mikhail Fedotov, Andrei Makarov, and Sergei Shakhrai will argue that, when Yeltsin issued his decrees, the activities of political parties in Russia could only be administered under the "Order on Public Associations" adopted on 10 July, 1932. Stalin's order allowed public organizations to be banned by administrative decree without court approval. In presenting this argument, the president's lawyers assert that Russia's October 1990 "Declaration of State Sovereignty" overrides all other USSR legislation not adopted by the Russian Supreme Soviet and dismiss the 1990 "USSR Law on Public Associations" which only permitted the courts to ban a political party. They will further argue that the Communist Party was not a political party in the traditional sense of the term. (Carla Thorson) FORMER CPSU LEADERS HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE. On 2 July, the former deputy general secretary and former first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Vladimir Ivashko and Valentin Kuptsov respectively, held a press conference on the Constitutional Court hearings, "Novosti" and ITAR-TASS reported. In their opinion, "if the court is not diverted by the political process, but follows the letter of the law, as it should be in a law-based state, then the court will overturn the president's decrees." Representatives of the Communist Party have challenged Yeltsin's decrees, arguing that the Russian president infringed on the jurisdiction of the courts. (Carla Thorson) YELTSIN COMMENTS ON CPSU HEARINGS. President Yeltsin, who will not be present during the hearings, said he would follow the Constitutional Court proceedings on the Communist Party with great interest. He argued that any support for communists could "activate their destructive activities, which could plunge [the country] into civil war." The Russian president made these remarks during a telephone call-in program broadcast on "Ostankino" TV and published in Komsomolskaya pravda of 3 July. (Carla Thorson) "29TH CONGRESS OF THE CONGRESS." On 5 July, members of the pro-Communist opposition to the Russian government held the "29th Congress of the CPSU" in the town of Pushkino near Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported. The agency did not say how many people attended the gathering. The "congress" was organized by the "All-Union Committee of Communists" headed by Sergei Skvortsov. The "congress" expelled Mikhail Gorbachev from the CPSU and also ruled that Gorbachev, former deputy general secretary Vladimir Ivashko, and former first secretary of the Russian Communist Party Valentin Kuptsov should not represent the CPSU at the Constitutional Court hearings. The "congress" also elected the Central Committee of the CPSU and its secretariat. (Vera Tolz) DEFENSE MINISTERS FAIL TO REMOVE TENSIONS. . . A meeting of CIS Defense Ministers held in Moscow on 2-3 July ended in discord when Ukraine and the command of the CIS Joint Forces were unable to agree on a formula for control over strategic forces located in Ukraine. Kiev has attempted to establish control over these forces, while the CIS command and Russian defense leaders have insisted that previous CIS agreements, signed by Ukraine, dictate that they remain fully subordinated to Moscow. CIS Commander Marshal Evgenii Shaposhnikov and others in the CIS command criticized Kiev's actions, arguing that Ukraine should either give up its demands or admit that it intends to become a nuclear power. Officials from Kazakhstan and Belarus, where nuclear weapons are also deployed, echoed Shaposhnikov's criticisms. The results of the meeting were widely reported by Western and CIS agencies. (Stephen Foye) . . . BUT SEVERAL AGREEMENTS ARE REACHED. The Defense Ministers did manage to conclude various types of agreements on anti-missile defense and control over space projects, air defense, and on a council of collective security (which would include the presidents of the CIS member states and CIS commander Shaposhnikov). A provision was also adopted after heated debate on the structure, functions, and order of financing the CIS joint command, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 July. However, Ukraine failed to sign the agreement on joint air defense and also did not endorse provisions on the structure and financing of the joint command, Radio Ukraine reported on 5 July. AFP reported on 5 July that Ukrainian Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov did not attend the meeting.(Stephen Foye) SECURITY AGENDA FOR CIS SUMMIT. A number of the issues debated at the meeting of defense ministers are also scheduled to be discussed at the CIS Summit Conference scheduled to open on 6 July. According to Interfax on 3 July, security issues on the agenda are: missile defense and control of space; air defense; legal provisions for the collective security council; specification of the composition of strategic forces, structure of the CIS joint command; appointment of a deputy commander of the joint CIS forces; and provisions on the CIS border forces. (Stephen Foye) RUSSIAN-MOLDOVAN MEETING. Yeltsin held talks with Moldovan President Mircea Snegur in the Kremlin on 3 July. As reported by Russian and Moldovan media, the two presidents agreed in principle on the following sequence of steps toward settling the conflict in Moldova: a cease-fire, creation of a demarcation corridor between the forces, the introduction of "neutral" peacekeeping forces, the granting of a "political status" to the left bank of the Dniester by the Moldovan parliament, and, ultimately, bilateral negotiations on withdrawing Russia's 14th Army from Moldova. Yeltsin additionally agreed to take steps for the resumption of deliveries of Russian goods to Moldova under existing agreements. Most deliveries were suspended, coinciding with Russian State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis' remarks (on 25 June) that Russia would use "economic pressure" to persuade Moldova to grant autonomy to the "Dniester republic." (Vladimir Socor) NO AGREEMENT ON SPECIFICS. These general understandings fail to address the long-standing and wide differences between Moscow and Chisinau concerning the identity of peacekeeping forces, the nature of the political status to be granted to eastern Moldova and the extent of the territory affected, the presence and role of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, and the military and political support received by the "Dniester" insurgents from Russia. The one practical result of the Yeltsin-Snegur meeting is the establishment of a telephone "hot line" between the two, which Chisinau considers of particular importance given Yeltsin's unavailability to Snegur by telephone in moments of crisis in recent months. (Vladimir Socor) BELARUS FAILS TO RATIFY CFE TREATY. Western agencies reported on 3 July that the Belarusian parliament had adjourned until November without ratifying the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. However, the parliament's presidium reportedly did adopt a resolution endorsing the treaty and parliamentary chairman Stanislav Shushkevich sent a letter to the other treaty signatories that stated that Belarus would abide by the treaty's provisions. (Stephen Foye) UKRAINIAN CABINET CRISIS. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold Fokin on 3 July accused the parliament of interfering in the work of the cabinet of ministers, saying that his government would resign if it could not work under normal conditions, ITAR-TASS and "Novosti" reported. After Fokin's statement, all but two of the ministers walked out of parliament. Staying behind were the ministers of defense and economics, Konstantin Morozov and Oleksandr Lanovy, respectively. The vote of confidence in the government is scheduled to take place on 7 July. (Roman Solchanyk) RUSSIAN DEMOCRATICS ATTEMPT TO SET UP POLITICAL BLOC. More than 40 of Russia's political groups, including the Democratic Russia movement and the Russian Democratic Reform Movement, met in Moscow on 4 July to set up a strong political bloc in support of Boris Yeltsin and his reform program, ITAR-TASS reported. Participants in the gathering said the bloc should neutralize the activities of a joint ultra-nationalist and communist opposition. The participants stressed that the creation of this bloc is also a reaction to the establishment of the "Civic Union"--an organization which unites three major centrist groups (Nikolai Travkin's Democratic Party of Russia, Aleksandr Rutskoi's People's Party of Free Russia, and Arkadii Volsky's union "Renewal.") The organizers of the new bloc of democratic parties accused the Civic Union of attempting to take full control over the Russian government. (Vera Tolz) YELTSIN ON STABILIZATION PROGRAM. . . Russian President Boris Yeltsin began a news conference in Moscow on 4 July with a progress report on the stabilization program that was unveiled in March, Russian TV reported. He claimed that, "We completed the first stage in accordance with the approved program. We did not permit any deviations or digressions in any direction. We moved exactly in accordance with the program." Most observers would argue that none of the main provisions of the stabilization program, i.e., reducing the budgetary deficit, further liberalization of prices, and holding down inflation, has been attained. (Keith Bush) . . .ON DEBT REPAYMENT AND ENERGY PRICES. Evidently aiming his remarks at his domestic audience, the Russian president used the IMF as a straw man to assert that Russia would not submit to foreign dictates. He accused the IMF and its managing director, Michel Camdessus, of insisting on a wage freeze, on the rapid freeing of energy prices, and on the prompt repayment of the debts of the former Soviet Union. None of these has been featured in the IMF's published recommendations. (Keith Bush) IMF AND RUSSIA REACH ACCORD. Russian Acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar and IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus published a joint communique on 5 July, ITAR-TASS and Western agencies reported. The formal announcement referred vaguely to "new measures" that "will strengthen the economic reforms and the stabilization program of the Russian Federation government." On the basis of the accord, Camdessus is to ask the IMF's board of directors to open up a first line of credit for Russia--amounting to $1 billion--before the IMF's summer recess on 10 August. According to The New York Times of 6 July, the IMF eased up only slightly on its standard requirements, accepting, for example, a monthly inflation rate of 7-9% instead of 3%. (Keith Bush) RUSSIA'S FOREIGN TRADE PERFORMANCE. During the first five months of 1992, Russia's exports fell by 30% and imports by 18% when compared with the same period of 1991, according to Rossiiskaya gazeta of 3 July, as quoted by Reuters. With exports and imports roughly at the same level, a small trade surplus was registered. Exports of oil and natural gas were down by 21% and 5% respectively. (Keith Bush) ARMENIAN DELEGATION SUSPENDS PARTICIPATION IN ROME PEACE TALKS. After several days of intense fighting that resulted in heavy casualties, Azerbaijani forces captured the strategic town of Mardakert in the north of Nagorno-Karabakh on 5 July, Western agencies reported. The Armenian government delegation to the Rome peace talks on Karabakh walked out to protest the failure of other nations participating to condemn "recent Azerbaijani aggression," or to permit the Armenian delegation from Karabakh to issue a statement on the capture of Mardakert. The Italian chairman of the peace talks, Mario Rafaelli, had called on 4 July for a 30-day ceasefire beginning 9 July. (Liz Fuller) PROGRESS ON OSSETIAN SETTLEMENT. Negotiators from Georgia, Russia, and North and South Ossetia agreed, at a meeting in the North Ossetian capital of Vladikavkaz on 4 July, to withdraw all armed forces from South Ossetia and to create a peacekeeping force consisting of 500 troops each from Georgia, Russia and Ossetia, which will be deployed in the area by 14 July, ITAR-TASS reported. Georgian State Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze visited Tskhinvali on 5 July for talks with the South Ossetian leadership. (Liz Fuller) KYRGYZSTAN ADOPTS SHOCK THERAPY. The Kyrgyz parliament passed a plan of strict economic measures proposed by President Askar Akaev and developed in conjunction with the IMF, Kyrgyztag-TASS reported on 4 July. The measures, which include strict control of industry, banking, and state finances, should stabilize the economy by the end of the year. The $400 million it will take to implement them will be provided, in part, by the IMF if the plan is approved at a meeting scheduled for October. Kyrgyzstan also hopes to receive help from Russia in implementing its economic reforms. (Cassandra Cavanaugh) IMF CONCLUDES WORK IN KAZAKHSTAN. The seven-month mission of IMF representatives to Kazakhstan has come to a close, Kaztag-TASS reported on 3 July. The mission studied the economic situation in the republic, and helped Kazakh authorities to develop market institutions. The head of the mission, Ishan Kapur warned Kazakhstan not to expect "golden rain" to fall from the treasury of the "gigantic cooperative." He noted some progress in Kazakhstan's economy, but said that the process of reform was just beginning. Kazakhstan's own dues to join the organization amount to $220 million. (Cassandra Cavanaugh) UZBEK PARLIAMENT SESSION CLOSES. Having adopted laws on citizenship, education, and having approved the President's decision to apply for membership in the non-aligned movement, the three-day session of the Uzbek Supreme Soviet was closed on 4 July, Radio Mayak reported. President Islam Karimov addressed the session on 3 July, and reaffirmed his belief in the viability of the CIS, ITAR-TASS reported. A draft constitution was on the table during the session along with over 20 other draft laws. (Cassandra Cavanaugh) CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE CROATS DECLARE OWN ENCLAVE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. International media report on 6 July that Croats in that troubled state on 3 July agreed to set up their own autonomous "Community of Herceg-Bosna," a name Croatian nationalists use for Bosnia-Herzegovina. It will be headed by Mate Boban, whom the New York Times reports as being close to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, who has long favored the partition of the neighboring republic between Croats and Serbs. The mainly Croat areas included in the new "community" have largely been functioning as a separate entity for some time, with Croatian money in circulation. Croatian troops have recently been on the offensive and apparently control Mostar, capital of "Herceg-Bosna." The key question now is whether the Croats' declaration will constitute a final break in the de facto alliance between Croats in Muslims, or whether the Croats have simply increased the stakes. (Patrick Moore) OTHER BOSNIAN DEVELOPMENTS. Aircraft continued to land food, medical, and other vital materials in the besieged capital, Sarajevo. Plans are to feed 50,000 people per day on army rations and other supplies, but the BBC said on 6 July that many people are too afraid of sniper fire to come out and collect food from distribution points run by local charities. Finally, news agencies report that the mayor of Sarajevo is trying to obtain protection for the remaining animals in the city zoo. Ten of them were killed by mortar fire in a Serbian assault on the park the previous week. (Patrick Moore) SERBIAN OPPOSITION DECLARES VICTORY, CALLS FOR END OF PROTESTS. On the seventh consecutive day of demonstrations against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, opposition leaders on 5 July declared victory and called for an end to the protests. Although the demonstrations failed to bring Milosevic down, opposition leaders said that the daily gathering of tens of thousands of Belgrade citizens had been successful. Vuk Draskovic, leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement, told 40,000 people assembled on Sunday that "the capital has been liberated." The protests have gone on with only minor reports of violence and little police interference. (Gordon Bardos) NASTASE, JOVANOVIC MEET. Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Nastase held talks on 5 July in Timisoara with his counterpart from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the rump Yugoslavia), Vladislav Jovanovic. Radio Bucharest quoted Nastase as saying after the meeting that the UN economic sanctions against Belgrade had sent a "political message" to the FRY. Talks also touched on the fighting in Bosnia and the economic situation in Serbia, which was one of Romania's main trading partners before sanctions were imposed last month. (Dan Ionescu) CSCE ASSEMBLY MEETS IN BUDAPEST, REFUGEE QUESTION RAISED. On 3 July the general assembly of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe held a founding meeting in Budapest attended by representatives of 52 European, Asian, and North American countries. According to Radio Budapest, the meeting was addressed by Hungarian Prime Minister Jozsef Antall, who talked about the fate of some 1,500 Bosnian refugees who were sent back to Hungary by Austria after the latter country reintroduced visa requirements at the beginning of July. Because of the critical situation regarding refugees from the former Yugoslavia, the Hungarian delegation at the CSCE meeting is pressing for a written CSCE document on the refugee problem. (Judith Pataki) BELGRADE KEEPS CSCE SEAT--WITH ROMANIA'S HELP. On 3 July Romania stood behind the FRY during a dispute over that country's right to be seated at the CSCE parliamentary assembly in Budapest. Romania argued that it was more useful to hear the views of the Belgrade government than to exclude it from the session, as the Netherlands had proposed. According to an RFE correspondent, the Romanian delegate also argued that the FRY should be entitled to keep its seat until the main CSCE meeting in Helsinki makes a final decision on the issue. The president of the assembly eventually agreed that there is no legal basis for depriving Yugoslavia of its seat at this time. (Dan Ionescu) CZECHOSLOVAKIA ABSENT. Although it is the current chairman of the CSCE and former foreign minister Jiri Dienstbier had been expected to deliver a report on CSCE activities, Czechoslovakia did not send a delegation to the Budapest meeting, an RFE/RL correspondent reports. Czechoslovakia offered no official explanation. Western diplomats said Czechoslovakia's failure to attend the meeting might put in doubt a German proposal to make Prague the permanent headquarters of the parliamentary assembly's secretariat. (Jan Obrman) CSCE ON TROOPS IN BALTICS. On 5 July in its final document the CSCE parliamentary assembly took note of the "legitimate desire of the Baltic nations to live in sovereign states and the incompatibility existing between this desire and the presence of foreign armed forces on their national territory," a RFE/RL correspondent in Budapest reports. It recommended that the Russian government complete as soon as possible the arrangements for the withdrawal of the around 130,000 former USSR troops still stationed there. The document also invited the governments of the CSCE states to grant financial aid "for the return home of these armed forces, and to negotiate the conditions with all the concerned parties." (Saulius Girnius) HAVEL FAILS TO WIN REELECTION. Vaclav Havel has failed in his bid to be to be reelected as Czechoslovak president in two consecutive rounds of voting in the Federal Assembly. While he clearly failed in the first round--in which he needed a three-fifths majority in all three chambers of the parliament--he received the necessary simple majority in the House of the People and the Czech chamber of the House of Nations. In the Slovak chamber of the House of Nations, however, only 18 of 75 deputies supported him. Havel cannot run in the third round of voting scheduled for 16 July, but he could try again in the fourth round if the federal parliament is unable to select a president before then. (Jan Obrman) MECIAR CALLS FOR REFERENDUM. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar was quoted by CSTK on 5 July that the future constitutional setup of Czechoslovakia should be decided in a referendum. He added that the Slovak government will respect the will of the people. In the preelection period Slovak deputies have several times prevented a referendum. At the same time, addressing a rally in Bratislava, Meciar stressed his view that the Czech and Slovak republics are individual entities and that they should "enter Europe" as two states. He warned that "trivial disputes" among Slovaks might weaken the "struggle for emancipation." (Jan Obrman) HAVEL WARNS AGAINST INTOLERANCE. In his regular radio address, on Radio Czechoslovakia on 5 July Havel warned Czechs and Slovaks about growing signs of intolerance with each other. Havel said that he was disturbed by the "mocking and aggressive calls" between the two nations, adding that current developments might well become a source of future intolerance. The president stressed that Czechs and Slovaks had never been enemies in the past and would have to live next to each other in the future. (Jan Obrman) SOLIDARITY COALITION BUILDS NEW GOVERNMENT. Working under a presidential ultimatum, the tripartite "little coalition" and five Christian-democratic and peasant parties settled on the candidacy of Democratic Union deputy Hanna Suchocka for prime minister. In talks held virtually nonstop from late on 3 July to 6:00 a.m. on 5 July, the eight parties, representing the full ideological breadth of the Solidarity movement, also agreed on a division of ministerial posts. The little coalition, with 112 Sejm seats, is to get eleven posts, including foreign affairs, finance, privatization, and defense; the "group of five," with some 115 seats, is to get fifteen posts, including two deputy prime ministers. The Center Alliance, one of the "five," walked out in protest at the last minute, temporarily reducing the coalition to seven parties. A legal specialist from Poznan, Suchocka voted against the martial law decree and Solidarity's delegalization in 1982, as a Sejm deputy for the official Democratic Party (SD). She left the SD in 1984 and was elected to the round-table Sejm in 1989 on the Solidarity list. She announced on 5 July that her task now was to select specific candidates from the eight parties to which ministerial posts had been allocated. (Louisa Vinton) WALESA IMPATIENT. This seven-party Solidarity solution did not seem to satisfy President Lech Walesa, who had threatened on 3 July to take "necessary measures" should parliamentary forces fail to form a workable governing coalition by the end of the day. Despite progress over the weekend toward a coalition agreement, Walesa issued a statement on 5 July suggesting that the deadline for presenting a cabinet list supported by a secure majority had passed. Walesa also requested that Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak consider appointing new chiefs to ministries vital to the state's functioning. Although these moves suggest that the president is still banking on Pawlak and doubts that the seven parties can work together, Walesa may simply be turning up the heat. (Louisa Vinton) ESTONIAN ELECTIONS IN SEPTEMBER? A spokesman for Arnold Ruutel, Chairman of the Estonian Supreme Council, told the press on 3 July that parliamentary and presidential elections in Estonia can be expected in September, probably before the 27th. The new constitution, which came into effect on 3 July, provides for the next president to be elected by popular vote, and his successors by the parliament, ETA and Western agencies report. (Dzintra Bungs) YELTSIN: RUSSIAN MILITARY NOT TO BE REPLENISHED IN BALTICS. Boris Yeltsin told the press in Moscow on 4 July that "the political decision has been made to completely withdraw the troops" from the Baltic States, Moscow TV reports. He implied that the troop withdrawal is proceeding more slowly than the Balts might wish, essentially because the Balts are not building housing for those troops in Russia. Claiming that it was impossible withdraw some 100,000 troops in two years, he offered to draw up a withdrawal schedule for this year and 1993; he added: "We will keep to this schedule and fulfill it." Apart from one training division for middle-level personnel "which we are sending," Yeltsin said, "all other military formations will not be reinforced [or replenished] with new recruits." (Dzintra Bungs) TALLINN, RIGA RESTRICT MOVEMENTS OF RUSSIAN MILITARY. The Tallinn city council decided that as of 10 July the Russian military will have to apply for movement permits from the city authorities. Even with the special permits, military movements in the Estonian capital will be restricted to the hours of 9:0016:00, ETA reported on 3 July. As of 1 July Russian military transports are banned from using or crossing Brivibas Street, one of the main thoroughfares in Riga, in line with a decision by the Vidzeme district council on 30 June, BNS reports. (Dzintra Bungs) INAUGURATION OF LITHUANIAN COASTAL DEFENSE. On 4 July Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis and National Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius participated in ceremonies in Klaipeda formally inaugurating the activities of the Lithuanian Coastal Defense, Radio Lithuania reports. Lithuanian Army Chaplain Rev. Alfonsas Svarinskas blessed the service's first three vessels, the rescue ship Vetra and two cutters that will patrol the Lithuanian coast. The new service was enabled by the Law on the Defense of State Borders passed by parliament on 25 June and entering into force on 1 July. (Saulius Girnius) BUSH VISITS WARSAW, FARMERS HALTED OUTSIDE. During a five-hour visit to Warsaw en route to the Munich economic summit, US President George Bush attended the final burial of Polish statesman and pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski on 5 July. Bush proposed that Poland be allowed to use the $1-billion currency stabilization fund set up in 1989 to support the private sector. "The path chosen by Poland is the right one," Bush added. Thanking Bush for US support, Walesa said that Europe without an American presence was unthinkable. Police prevented protesting farmers from the radical Self-Defense union from reaching the capital, where they had threatened to occupy government buildings during Bush's visit. The farmers' union began its march on Warsaw on 3 July. (Louisa Vinton) POLAND ENDORSES EC AGREEMENT. The Sejm voted on 4 July, by a margin of 238 to 78, to approve ratification of the EC association agreement. The only opposition came from the Confederation for an Independent Poland and the Christian National Union, whose members argued that joining the EC would limit Polish sovereignty. (Louisa Vinton) BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT, TRADE UNIONS REACH WAGE DEAL. On 4 July Demokratsiya reported that the National Council for Social Partnership had reached a tentative agreement on a 26% average wage increase for state employees. Quoting Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Vasilev, who represents the government in the negotiations, Demokratsiya wrote that employees in previously neglected sectors--such as health care and education--could receive an even bigger raise. According to recent statistics the current average monthly wage is 1,728 leva--about $75. (Kjell Engelbrekt) [As of 1200 CET]
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