Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 147, 04 August 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN, KRAVCHUK DISCUSS FRIENDSHIP TREATY. Meeting on 3 August
in the Crimean resort, Mukhalatka, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk agreed on the main points
of a prospective treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership
between their two states. Interfax quoted Kravchuk as saying
the basic propositions of the treaty were practically worked
out and that the foreign ministries of the two countries will
now handle the details. Kravchuk said the treaty would be signed
in Moscow soon. (Elizabeth Teague)

JOINT CONTROL OF BLACK SEA FLEET. During their meeting at Mukhalatka,
presidents Yeltsin and Kravchuk agreed to place the disputed
Black Sea Fleet under joint control for a three-year interim
period. According to the UPI account of the pact, the fleet will
no longer be under the jurisdiction of the CIS military command.
The leaders of Russia and Ukraine will share authority over the
fleet and will jointly appoint its commanders. Following the
interim period of joint control Russia and Ukraine would establish
two separate fleets. (Doug Clarke)

RUSSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ADJOURNS. On 3 August, the Russian
Constitutional Court announced an indefinite postponement of
the hearings on the constitutionality of the banning of the Communist
Party, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Court chairman, Valerii
Zorkin, said that the court will need time to consider all the
evidence presented and to prepare for final arguments. The court
has heard evidence from some 40 witnesses and appears to have
decided not to call additional witnesses, despite discussion
of calling prominent former Party officials such as Mikhail Gorbachev.
One member of the court suggested that the hearings could resume
in early September, according to Radio Rossii. (Carla Thorson)


LAWSUIT CHALLENGING IZVESTIYA TAKEOVER FILED. Three members of
the Russian Supreme Soviet have filed a lawsuit challenging the
13 July parliamentary resolution to transfer founding status
of Izvestiya to the Russian parliament. Sergei Shakhrai and two
other parliamentarians filed the suit with the constitutional
court. They claim that the parliament's resolution violates the
constitutional guarantee of freedom of information and infringes
on the government's authority to regulate the press. Editors
of Izvestiya have refused to comply with the parliament's resolution,
and the newspaper continues to print under its independent masthead.
(Kathryn Brown)

RUSSIAN BAN ON ARMS SALES. Boris Drozhdin, a people's deputy
and the director of the Mayak plant in Kirov, claimed that the
Russian government has banned the sale of military hardware to
twenty-seven countries, Radio Rossii reported on 23 July. He
did not specify which countries had been listed, but said that
defense plants had lost their traditional markets in the Near
East and in Africa. Drozhdin further asserted that the Russian
Foreign Ministry had placed a ban on arms shipments even after
President Yeltsin and Acting Prime Minister Gaidar had approved
the sales. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN ARMS SALES IN ASIA? Interfax reported on 3 August that
the Gagarin aviation factory in far eastern Russia has sold more
than twenty SU-27 "Flanker" combat aircraft to the People's Republic
of China. The odd report, which is unconfirmed, suggested that
the sale was completed after the Russian Defense Ministry and
the Far Eastern Military District were themselves unable to come
up with funding for the planes. A group of pilots from the Far
Eastern Military District reportedly have left to train Chinese
pilots on the new planes. Meanwhile, "Novosti" reported on 2
August that China is now conducting negotiations through the
Norwegians on the purchase of the Varyag aircraft carrier, currently
being constructed in Ukraine. According to the report, which
also is unconfirmed, Taiwanese political authorities are concerned
over escalating arms purchases in the region and are themselves
considering trying to acquire modern military equipment from
other CIS states. (Stephen Foye)

MOTHERS PROTEST NON-COMBAT DEATHS. More than 100 mothers from
across Russia began a two-day protest in Moscow over deaths and
injuries resulting from brutality in the army, Western agencies
reported on 3 August. The group wants the government to open
investigations into what it claims are 40,000 cases each of murders,
beatings, and suicides, and to win compensation from the government
for the families of the victims. Mothers' groups have been protesting
violence in army life for over three years now, and claim to
have received no satisfaction from either the political or the
military leaderships. (Stephen Foye)

AIRBORNE FORCES HOLIDAY TURNS INTO BRAWL. Officers celebrating
Russian Airborne Forces Day on 2 August caused disturbances in
a number of Russian and Ukrainian cities, including Moscow, Tyumen,
and Kiev, Western agencies reported. According to The New York
Times on 3 August, many of the officers involved in the disturbances
in Moscow were veterans of the war in Afghanistan. (Stephen Foye)


ENTERPRISE DEBTS TO BE WRITTEN OFF. The chairman of the Russian
Central Bank, Viktor Gerashchenko, has announced that over 1.5
trillion rubles of debts owed to the state by enterprises will
be written off, Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 3 August (as
cited by Western agencies). The Boston Globe of 4 August said
that Gerashchenko had instructed the bank's settlement agencies
to pay off the debts on 28 July. The move runs counter to previous
declarations by the Gaidar administration and to IMF guidelines.
Critics of the move held a news conference in Moscow on 3 August
in the hope of pressuring President Yeltsin into rescinding the
bailout. (Keith Bush)



TRIPARTITE COMMISSION DISCUSSES SINGLE TARIFF SCALE. Russia's
Tripartite Commission, on which government, unions and employers
are represented, met to discuss the introduction of a single
tariff scale to correct present discrepancies in the wage rates
for staff in Russia's budget-financed enterprises, Interfax reported
on 31 July. This year, strikes have been particularly prevalent
at such enterprises. Russian Labor Minister Gennadii Melikyan
said the new tariff would comprise 18 grades, ranging from a
minimum salary of 1,350 rubles in the first grade to 13,000 rubles
in the 18th. This would mean an increase of between 1.45 and
2.3 times the present average salaries. Melikyan said his ministry
plans a gradual transition, starting with education and health
workers and completing the introduction of the single tariff
scale by the end of 1992. Trade union representatives approved
the new scale in general but advised that it should be introduced
for all workers in budget enterprises on 1 October 1992 in order
to avoid unrest. (Elizabeth Teague)

REFUGEES ROAMING THE KULUNDA STEPPE IN THE ALTAI. About 20,000
hungry and homeless refugees are roaming the Kulunda steppe in
Altai krai in search of help, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 August.
They have come from Central Asia, Transcaucasia, and adjacent
republics of RussiaTatarstan, Tuva, Buryatia, Bashkiria, and
Yakutia. About 90% are Russians, but they also include Germans,
Ossetians, Kazakhs, and Moldovans. A commission has been set
up to deal with the problem, but it has no funds and the Siberian
winter is approaching. (Ann Sheehy)

UNIFIED CIS CRIME FIGHTING AGENCY? A meeting of CIS Interior
Ministers in the Kyrgyz city of Cholpon-Ata yielded an agreement
on the formation of a joint data bank on crime, Kyrgyztag-TASS
reported on 3 August. This is reportedly the first in a series
of measures intended to boost the fight against crime in the
CIS. Two CIS non-member states, Azerbaijan and Latvia, also sent
observers to the meeting. (Cassandra Cavanaugh)

KAZAKH ANTI-NARCOTICS ORGANIZATION HEAD INTERVIEWED. Vostochnyi
Ekspress No. 28 published an interview with Vladimir Artemenko,
head of the Kazakh branch of the International Association Against
the Narcotics Trade. Artemenko warned that "in the near future,
Kazakhstan will become an enormous market for the supply and
use of narcoticsthe international drug mafia's interest in the
region is increasing. Lack of resources limits the organization's
ability to fight narcotics dealers. Opium poppies, marijuana
and hashish are widely grown in Kazakhstan's Chuisk valley. Looming
social dislocation caused by the market threatens to greatly
increase the number of addicts, which has increased fourfold
in recent years. (Cassandra Cavanaugh)




[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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