Give Peace A Chance. - John Lennon and Paul McCartney
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 133, 15 July 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

RUSSIAN-US STATEMENT ON MISSILE DEFENSE. At the conclusion of
two days of talks in Moscow, Russian and US arms-control experts
on 14 July released a joint statement indicating that the two
sides will continue to work together toward creating a joint
global system of defense against ballistic missiles, ITAR-TASS
reported. According to the report, Moscow and Washington have
agreed to create three groups of experts to be tasked with working
out a global defense plan, a plan on cooperation and technology,
and a plan on non-proliferation. (Stephen Foye)

YELTSIN OPTIMISTIC. Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with
leaders of the government and parliament and called for their
support, Interfax reported on 14 July. He warned of attempts
by parliamentary leaders to curb freedom of the press. Yeltsin
told Russian TV on 15 July that he excludes the possibility that
the reforms will collapse, and he emphasized that the radical
reform program has intensified lately. In addition, Yeltsin argued
that since the G-7 meeting in Munich, Russia has become "an equal
partner" with the West. At the same time, he noted that the limit
of peoples' confidence in reform has obviously been reached and
more radical reform steps may cause social upheavals. (Alexander
Rahr)

KHASBULATOV AGAINST PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM. The head of Russia's
parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov, in Pravda on 14 July, argued
that the parliamentary system should be preserved and the current
deputies keep their mandates until 1995, when the legislature's
term expires. He noted that the current congress and Supreme
Soviet could better stabilize the political situation than the
government. He accused the government of attempts to develop
authoritarian rule and said that the Russian parliament would
prevent this. Khasbulatov's remarks indicate that he clearly
opposes President Yeltsin's call to hold a referendum on a new
constitution which would establish a presidential system and
limit the power of parliament. (Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT ATTEMPTS TO SUPPRESS THE MEDIA. The presidium
of the Russian parliament has drafted a resolution, according
to which the independent newspaper, Izvestiya, is to be closed
and a newspaper with the same name, subordinate to the parliament,
is to be set up instead, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 15 July.
Such a suggestion was made earlier this year by Ruslan Khasbulatov,
who was displeased with the fact that Izvestiya published critical
material about him. Another resolution drafted by the presidium
stipulated the creation of a special council which would oversee
state-run media organizations. The resolutions are scheduled
to be discussed by the Russian parliament on 16 July. (Vera Tolz)


JOURNALISTS APPEAL TO YELTSIN. The same issue of Nezavisimaya
gazeta reported that leading representatives of the Russian mass
media appealed to President Yeltsin on 14 July, asking him to
protect the media from attempts by the parliament to violate
freedom of the press in Russia. Among those who signed the appeal
were the chief editor of Izvestiya, Igor Golembiovsky, the chief
editor of Moscow News, Len Karpinsky, and the head of "Ostankino"
TV channel, Egor Yakovlev. In an interview with Interfax on 14
July, Yeltsin criticized the draft resolutions and said they
"may bring us back to that sad, voiceless epoch and harm young
democracy." (Vera Tolz)

FORMER MOSCOW MAYOR ATTACKS CIVIC UNION. On 14 July, former Moscow
mayor and leader of the Russian Movement for Democratic Reforms,
Gavriil Popov, said that forces supporting state control over
the economy and "nomenklatura reforms" had launched "another
offensive against democracy" by setting up a bloc, called "Civic
Union." The bloc held its founding congress last month; it unites
three major political parties--the Democratic Party of Russia,
the People's Party of Free Russia, and the all-Russian "Renewal"
Union. Interfax reported that Popov made this statement, while
addressing a constituent conference of the Russian Trade Union
Congress representing the non-government economic sector in Moscow.
Popov said he believed that, in spite of its claims to be a centrist
party, the Civic Union's activities were, in essence, "one group
of apparatchiks fighting another." (Vera Tolz)

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT SEEKS CONTROL OVER FORMER KGB. The Russian
parliament passed a resolution on streamlining the central structures
and eliminating duplication within the management staff of the
Ministry of Security, Interfax reported on 14 July. The resolution
instructed the ministry to cooperate more closely with the parliament.
The parliament, in particular, seeks stronger control over appointments
within the former KGB. Security Minister Viktor Barannikov reported
to the parliament that he has initiated legal proceedings against
the heads of the commission charged with investigating the KGB's
activities during the August 1991 putsch, deputies Lev Ponomarev
and Gleb Yakunin, who, in Barannikov's opinion, have made public
several documents containing state secrets. (Alexander Rahr)


CPSU HEARINGS ADJOURNED. After six days of testimony, the Russian
constitutional court hearings on the banning of the Communist
Party were adjourned until 21 July, ITAR-TASS reported on 14
July. The adjournment was called in order to allow judges and
representatives of both sides in the case to study documents
presented to the court so far and to consult experts. (Carla
Thorson)

RUTSKOI IN CHISINAU. . . Mandated by Yeltsin to facilitate a
political resolution of the conflict in Moldova, Russian Vice-president
Aleksandr Rutskoi and Security Minister Viktor Barannikov on
13 and 14 July conferred with Moldovan President Mircea Snegur
in Chisinau. Moldova's Presidential Office told RFE/RL that Rutskoi
sought a commitment from Chisinau on granting the left bank of
the Dniester the status of a republic federated with Moldova,
but President Snegur resisted the demand. He asked, in particularm
whether Moldova was expected to grant autonomy to the 40% of
the left bank's population who are Moldovans or to the 25.5%
who are Russians. The Moldovan parliament is currently considering
three different draft laws on local self-government which would
include autonomy for the left-bank cities of Tiraspol and Rabnita
where most of the area's Russians live. (Vladimir Socor)

. . . AND IN TIRASPOL. The self-styled "Dniester republic Supreme
Soviet's" chairman, Grigore Maracuta, told ITAR-TASS on 14 July
that Tiraspol leaders were disappointed with the stand taken
by Rutskoi in their talks. The Russian vice-president abandoned
the demand for granting the left bank status as a republic and
urged left-bank deputies to return to the Moldovan parliament
(which they have been boycotting) in order to participate in
the determination of the left bank's future political status.
(Vladimir Socor)

GAIDAR ON THE CIS. In an interview with ITAR-TASS on 13 July,
Acting Russian Prime Minister Egor Gaidar said that he thought
that the member-states of the CIS would gradually create coordinating
structures such as those which exist in the European Community.
Gaidar stated that he would not go so far as to say that, if
a coordinating economic organ was created in the fall, the CIS
could then be considered a confederation. In his view, there
would inevitably be different types of participation in the CIS,
but some of the member-states would be interested in forming
an effective system of coordination of the confederative type.
(Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIAN FOREIGN EXCHANGE REGULATION LAW. The Russian parliament
passed a law on foreign exchange regulation and control on 14
July, Interfax reported. This included a repeal of the ban on
wage payments and other remunerations in foreign currency within
Russia. Some deputies argued that the law contradicted the presidential
decree of last November that ordered a halt in the circulation
of foreign currency with effect from 1 July 1992. Proponents
of the law pointed out that foreign currency was still widely
used and that any prohibition would drive such transactions underground.
Foreign businessmen had reportedly been told that the presidential
ban had, in any case, been postponed until 1993. (Keith Bush)


FURTHER REGULATIONS ON FOREIGN CURRENCY. Commenting on the law,
a parliamentary official told Interfax that it "removed discrimination
against Russian citizens." He disclosed that a new presidential
decree is being prepared that will oblige foreign exchange stores
to sell half of their goods for rubles at a rate set by them.
He also foresaw the banning of internal trade in foreign currencies
by 1 January 1993. (Keith Bush)

CHAUS ON BELARUS MILITARY POLICY. Belarusian Deputy Defense Minister
Petr Chaus told the newspaper, Zvyazda, on 14 July that Belarus
had no need for strategic nuclear forces on its territory (in
contrast to Ukraine), or for powerful tank forces or a number
of other systems deployed in the republic during the Soviet period.
He said that Minsk understood, however, that Moscow was currently
unable to withdraw all these forces into Russia. Chaus also said
that Belarus had not signed the CIS agreement on collective security
because of its stated policy of neutrality, and that the republic
continued to view its national armed forces as an attribute of
statehood and as a part of the overall European security system.
His remarks were reported by Belta-TASS. (Stephen Foye)

GEORGIA TO ISSUE OWN CURRENCY. Georgian Prime Minister Tengiz
Sigua announced on Georgian television on 13 July that Georgia
plans to introduce its own currency, the "Maneti," in September,
RFE/RL learned on 14 July. According to a Kavinform report, the
first banknotes will be printed in France, as will Georgia's
new passports. (Bess Brown)

PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN SOUTH OSSETIA. A peacekeeping force consisting
of 500 Russian and 350 Georgian troops moved into South Ossetia
on 14 July to enforce a cease-fire between South Ossetian separatists
and local Georgian armed groups, domestic and Western agencies
reported. An additional part of the force, consisting of North
and South Ossetians, was reported by ITAR-TASS to be moving to
join the Russians and Georgians. As the peacekeeping force moved
in, local Georgian armed groups were reported to have moved out
of the area. The peacekeeping force, the first of its kind in
the former USSR, is to be deployed along a buffer corridor to
keep the combatants apart. The force was created following an
agreement in June between the Russian president and Georgian
leader Eduard Shevardnadze. (Bess Brown)

ARMENIA WON'T REJOIN PEACE TALKS. The chief Armenian delegate
to the Rome peace talks with Azerbaijan announced on 14 July
that the Armenian delegation will not participate further until
the other eleven countries participating in the negotiations
condemn the recent Azerbaijani offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh,
Kavinform reported. Armenia broke off the talks on 6 July at
the height of the offensive. The spokesman for Azerbaijan's mission
in Moscow complained to an RFE/RL correspondent that Armenia
is unnecessarily complicating the negotiations. Also on 14 July,
the chief of Azerbaijan's human rights committee informed the
Azerbaijani parliament that the country will abolish irregular
armed units and will place all Azerbaijani forces under central
control, a Baku journalist told RFE/RL. (Bess Brown)

TURKMENISTAN TO FORM ARMED FORCES. On 14 July the Cabinet of
Ministers of Turkmenistan decided to begin formation of the republic's
armed forces, Interfax reported. The president's press service
said that the current defense department of Turkmenistan, headed
by Danatar Kopekov, will likely be transformed into a defense
ministry. The cabinet also moved to create a national guard,
with an initial strength of 1,000. The creation of an independent
Turkmen army apparently grows out of a declaration initialed
in Ashgabat on 8 June by Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev
and Kopekov. The Turkestan Military District, of which Turkmenistan
was a part, was abolished as of 30 June. (Stephen Foye)

TAJIK SCHOOLS CLOSED IN UZBEKISTAN. Radio Rossii reported on
14 July that Tajik-language schools in Uzbekistan, including
Samarkand's Tajik University, are being closed as a result of
the worsening relations between the two countries. Part of the
reason for the deterioration, according to the report, is the
flood of refugees entering Uzbekistan from Tajikistan. Many of
these may be Uzbeks fleeing regional violence and chaos in Tajikistan.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov recently warned that he expected
an Islamic fundamentalist threat from Tajikistan. The Tajik schools
in Uzbekistan (and Uzbek schools in Tajikistan) were opened in
recent years in an effort by both republics to improve relations.
The current turmoil in Tajikistan seems to have put an end to
those efforts on the part of the Uzbeks. (Bess Brown)

HALF OF UNIVERSITY GRADUATES IN ST. PETERSBURG UNEMPLOYED. ITAR-TASS
reported on 6 July that at least half of all graduates from St.
Petersburg higher education institutes face unemployment. Out
of 2047 people graduating from the local university, only half
received jobs. Only 1 in 5 engineers graduating from the St.
Petersburg Polytechnic has the possibility of working in his/her
area of specialty, while not even 1 in 10 Technological Institute
graduates can find a job. The labor exchange for young persons
has 1,000 names on its books but expects many more later this
year. As state enterprises are facing massive layoffs, they are
unwilling to take on new specialists. Many graduates are looking
for work in private business. (Sarah Helmstadter)

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEMALE GRADUATES LIMITED. The same
source reports that the "almost official discrimination" against
female workers has forced women students to take quick courses
in bookkeeping, secretarial training, or hairdressing.(Sarah
Helmstadter)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BORDERS CLOSED TO BOSNIAN REFUGEES. The BBC reports on 15 July
that Croatia is no longer accepting refugees from the war-torn
neighboring republic. The Hungarian Interior Ministry also said
visas will now be required for Bosnian refugees coming through
Croatia, Hungarian Radio reports. Bosnian refugees coming through
Serbia, the most common route, however, will reportedly still
be allowed to enter Hungary without visas, but Western news agencies
suggest that the situation at Hungary's Kelebia crossing with
Serbia is not yet clear. Bosnians seeking asylum in Hungary since
July 2 have numbered over 2,000, and the BBC says Croatia is
spending $2 million a day on refugees. Both countries say their
abilities to absorb refugees are stretched to the limits, and
that they are in desperate need of money and supplies. Austria
and Germany have also effectively closed their borders to those
fleeing the fighting. (Patrick Moore & Karoly Okolicsanyi)

SERB OFFENSIVES AND "ETHNIC CLEANSING" CONTINUE. On 15 July the
Boston Globe presents a graphic account of the plight of Bosnian
soldiers and refugees. The international media report that Serbian
forces are continuing their offensive against Croats near Odzak
and against the Muslims at Gorazde, and are keeping their grip
on the mainly Muslim town of Gradacac. This is part of an effort
to link up Serbia with mainly ethnic Serb parts of Croatia and
Bosnia by killing, expelling, or imprisoning under brutal conditions
the Muslim and Croat inhabitants in their way. Meanwhile, Bosnian
Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has offered a cease-fire to mark
talks involving Bosnia's warring communities and EC negotiator
Lord Carrington in London starting 15 July. (Patrick Moore)

ROMANIA: YUGOSLAV EMBARGO STRICTLY ENFORCED. Official denials
of allegations of nonobservation of the UN-imposed embargo against
Yugoslavia, continued on 14 July when the Ministry of Transportation
released a communiqué to Rompres stating that the "sea, river,
air, rail and road embargo has been applied with utmost strictness,"
and providing details on Romanian, Yugoslav, and other cargoes
that were not permitted to leave ports after the enforcement
of the embargo. The ministry said it is willing to provide details
to any embassy. Transportation minister Traian Basescu reiterated
the position at a press conference broadcast by Radio Bucharest
on 14 July. (Michael Shafir)

PANIC BECOMES YUGOSLAV PRIME MINISTER. Serb-American businessman
Milan Panic was sworn in as the rump Yugoslavia's first prime
minister on 14 July. Reports in the New York Times and the Washington
Post quote Panic as saying that his government will recognize
the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and is willing to begin
negotiations aimed at giving self-determination to the Albanian
majority in Serbia's Kosovo province. Expressing his determination
to bring peace to the region, Panic said that "There is no idea
worth killing for at the end of the 20th century." Most observers
foresee a fierce power struggle between Panic and Serbian president
Slobodan Milosevic, the outcome of which is uncertain. An unnamed
diplomat was quoted as saying that Panic is "a businessman, not
a politician, who has been dropped into a snake pit." (Gordon
Bardos)

VAGNORIUS DISMISSED AS PRIME MINISTER. On 14 July in a secret
ballot the Lithuanian parliament passed a vote of no-confidence
(69 to 6 with 2 spoiled ballots) on Prime Minister Gediminas
Vagnorius, Radio Lithuania reports. Vagnorius had offered to
resign in May, but parliament refused to accept his resignation.
On 25 June the National Progress Faction had proposed the no
confidence measure, which the parliament had been debating for
several weeks. The dismissal comes at an inopportune time since
the parliament is expected to end its spring session on 15 July
and its chairman, Vytautas Landsbergis, who must propose a replacement
will only return to Lithuania today after a two-day visit to
Belarus. It is likely that only a caretaker government will be
approved since elections to a new parliament will be held on
25 October. (Saulius Girnius)

SUCHOCKA GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS. Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka
set a no-nonsense tone at the new government's first cabinet
meeting on 14 July. She instructed the cabinet that political
criteria will determine the distribution only of ministerial
posts; professional qualifications will govern all other appointments,
from deputy ministers on down. She implicitly ruled out partisan
purges of the sort undertaken by her predecessor. She emphasized
the need for cooperation with the president and coordination
among ministries. Appearing later on Polish television, Suchocka
said she would not hesitate to fire any minister who tried to
conduct policy independent of or in conflict with the government's
line. Suchocka added that no party conflicts had surfaced; these
were the province of the parliament. (Louisa Vinton)

WALESA SETS PRIORITIES. In attendance at the first cabinet session,
President Lech Walesa expressed the hope that the new government
would prove that "it is possible to govern not only against someone,
but in cooperation." He presented a list of national priorities:
rapid and fair privatization; solving the indebtedness of state
industry; creating a state treasury; banking, taxation, and customs
reforms; and building a new social security system. Suchocka
said her government shares these priorities. Walesa said there
are three possible relationships between the president and the
government: "enmity, mutual indifference, and cooperation." Cooperation
is best for Poland, he stressed. The current arrangement is Poland's
"last-chance government," according to Walesa. Should Suchocka's
government collapse, he warned, a "presidential government" would
follow, adding that this was meant not as a threat but as a form
of encouragement. (Louisa Vinton)

CZECH PARLIAMENT APPROVES GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM. The Czech National
Council approved its government's program on 14 July, CSTK reports.
The program was approved by 105 votes, with 60 against. Twenty-seven
deputies in the 200-member republican parliament abstained. All
deputies who represent the four coalition government parties
voted for the program. Prior to the vote, the program was criticized
by the opposition parties as unclear and anticipating the breakup
of Czechoslovakia. Responding to this criticism, Czech Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus said that the program is pragmatic and
respects the current constitutional arrangement. Klaus further
said that the program is a cautious but unavoidable reaction
to Slovakia's separatist tendencies. (Jiri Pehe)

HUNGARIAN PARTY IN SLOVAKIA CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT. The Hungarian
Christian Democratic Movement, one of the two ethnic Hungarian
parties represented in the Slovak National Council, criticized
the government of Vladimir Meciar on 14 July. CSTK reports that
the movement's chairman, Bela Bugar, said that while the previous
government of Jan Carnogursky "at least talked to us," the current
government "does not want to hear our opinions." Bugar said that
his movement has not been not invited to participate in the drafting
of a new Slovak constitution. Also on 14 July, the movement's
leaders told the press that they will demand territorial autonomy
for Slovakia's ethnic Hungarians. This, argued the leaders, does
not mean that the Hungarians want to secede from Slovakia. Their
statements came on the day when Meciar presented to the Slovak
parliament his government's program aimed at making Slovakia
"a legal subject with political and economic sovereignty." (Jiri
Pehe)

THIRD BULGARIAN EX-PREMIER ARRESTED. On 14 July Grisha Filipov,
former prime minister and secretary of the BCP Central Committee
was arrested, BTA reports. The 73-year-old Filipov is the third
Bulgarian premier to have been jailed in the last three months,
following Georgi Atanasov and Andrey Lukanov, all of whom served
under Communist Party leader Todor Zhivkov in the 1980s. Accused
of misappropriation of state funds, Filipov could face a 30-year
prison sentence. On 14 July the prosecutor in the case against
Zhivkov, who could get 10 to 20 years' imprisonment, told reporters
that trial is expected to end in August. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION CALLS FOR OPENING CANDIDATES' FILES. The
Democratic Convention, an umbrella organization uniting many
parties of the opposition and some grass-root organizations,
has called for the opening of the former secret police files
of all candidates running in the presidential and parliamentary
elections scheduled for 27 September. In a communiqué sent to
Rompres on 13 July, the convention's executive committee demanded
that the Romanian Information Service make public the files in
order to prevent attempts to falsify or use selectively the data
in them. Such attempts, the committee said, could prompt "disinformion
of the electorate, compromising personalities or political parties,
and destabilizing political life during the electoral campaign."
(Michael Shafir)

NARVA'S STATUS DEBATED. The Narva city council is planning a
referendum on the future status of this city in Estonia. The
exact question to be put before the voters has not yet been decided,
but city council chairman Vladimir Tsuikin told BNS on 13 July
that polling on whether Narva should switch from Estonian to
Russian jurisdiction was possible, although "inadvisable." The
council on 9 July appealed to the population to gather signatures
for a referendum on the city's future. The Estonian Supreme Council
Presidium issued a sharp warning to the local authorities, however,
that any attempts to hold a referendum questioning Estonia's
territorial integrity would be countered using "all possible
measures," BNS reports on 14 July. The warning came during a
meeting last weekend when the Presidium summoned Tsuikin to Tallinn
to discuss Narva's plans. A Supreme Council spokesman told reporters
that official reactions to Narva's referendum would probably
be different if the voting did not call into question Estonia's
territorial integrity. (Riina Kionka)

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES EMISSION OF CREDIT. On 14 July
parliament continued to debate a government proposal made at
the 11 July session to issue 20 billion rubles in credit to help
enterprises pay each others outstanding debts and unfreeze their
finances, Radio Lithuania reports. While there was agreement
that credits should be issued, there was disagreement on how
much with other deputies proposing sums of 4 and 12 billion rubles.
After numerous votes the parliament by a vote of 60 to 13 with
13 abstentions finally approved the issuing of 12 billion rubles.
(Saulius Girnius)

POLISH INFLATION LOW. Poland's statistical office reports that
inflation in June was a low 1.6%. Inflation for the first six
months of 1992 is running at 22.4%. PAP reported on 14 July that
unemployment stood at 12.6% at the end of June. (Louisa Vinton)


ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN CENTRAL ASIA. Adrian Nastase left
Bucharest on 14 July on an official visit to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, Rompres reports. High
ministry officials said the visit was aimed at developing and
diversifying political and economic ties as well as exploring
other mutual interests. (Michael Shafir)

BULGARIAN GYPSIES HARD HIT BY CRISIS. At a press conference on
13 July, Mihail Ivanov, presidential advisor on national, ethnic,
and religious affairs warned that although the overall ethnic
tension in Bulgaria is decreasing, Gypsies are suffering especially
in the economic crisis. According to BTA, Ivanov said a presidential
fact-finding mission has found cases of starvation in the Plovdiv
region, while some local authorities report more than 60% unemployment
among Gypsies. Ivanov stressed that most Gypsies had nothing
to do with the steep rise in crime, but he stressed the to learn
more about Gypsy living conditions and social patterns. (Kjell
Engelbrekt)

BALTIC APPEAL FOR INVESTIGATION OF SOVIET MILITARY DUMPING. Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania have asked the UN and the CSCE to establish
an international commission to investigate the dumping of toxic
materials on their territories. They say that following World
War II the Soviet Union dumped tons of poisonous military chemicals
in the Baltic Sea and a part of them were buried in the territorial
waters of the Baltic States. The results of the investigation
should be announced at a conference to coincide with observances
of "The International Day of the Sea" in September, an RFE/RL
correspondent reported from New York on 13 July. During his visit
to Finland, Russian president Boris Yeltsin said that chemical
dumping may result in an ecological disaster worse than that
of Chernobyl. (Dzintra Bungs)

UPDATE ON FOREST FIRES IN LATVIA. Although rain has fallen on
Latvia, the danger of continuing forest fires remains. The Latvian
authorities are urging people to stay away from forests and requiring
special permits of those who need to go into forests. Heavy rain
fell on the Slitere nature preserve and helped contain the fires
burning there. Minimal or no rain fell on the Adazi area; the
situation there is still precarious. Upward of 5000 hectares
of forests have been destroyed, Radio Riga reported on 14 July.
(Dzintra Bungs)

[As of 1200 CET]


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