Peace is indivisible. - Maxim Litvino
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 148, 05 August 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

GEORGIA LAUNCHES POLICY OF NATIONAL RECONCILIATION. On 4 August,
the ruling Georgian State Council announced the end of the state
of emergency and curfew imposed in Tbilisi in January and an
amnesty for some supporters of ousted Georgian President Zviad
Gamsakhurdia as part of a policy of national reconciliation,
ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. How many people will benefit
from the amnesty is not clear; unofficial lists exist of 250
persons arrested since January for their political affiliation,
but the total number of political prisoners is estimated at several
thousand. (Liz Fuller)

CSCE KARABAKH TALKS ADJOURN. The CSCE-sponsored talks in Rome
on resolving the Karabakh conflict adjourned on 4 August without
reaching a compromise, Western media reported. The Armenian delegation
from Karabakh had boycotted the final day, alleging that the
Italian chairman had gone back on an agreement to grant them
special status as a negotiating party. (Liz Fuller)

THE POWER OF THE RUSSIAN SECURITY COUNCIL. The Russian Security
Council, under its secretary, Yurii Skokov, has already taken
power into its hands and controls the entire government with
the exception of the Foreign Ministry, Nezavisimaya gazeta claimed
on 4 August. It also apparently controls the entire information
flow to the president and all cadre appointments. The decision
to appoint General Lebed as commander of the 14th Army in Moldova,
according to Nezavisimaya gazeta, was taken by the Security Council
against Boris Yeltsin's will. The council has also reportedly
taken over the functions of the former State Council which, at
one time, was viewed as a potential "super-ministry" for general
politics. (Alexander Rahr, Moscow)

KOZYREV DEFENDS HIS FOREIGN POLICY. Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev has denounced his critics from the right in an
article in Trud on 4 August. He rejected the so-called Eurasian
line in foreign policy, arguing that Russia should seek admittance
into the family of democratic, developed nations with a market
economy. He termed all calls for a separate Russian way as an
effort to prevent Russia from joining Western democracies. Kozyrev
said that in the event that the Eurasian line prevails, Russia
would need a new foreign minister and a new president. He also
rejected the idea of creating a separate CIS ministry on the
grounds that this would humiliate other CIS states. Finally,
he accused his former allies, such as former Moscow Mayor Gavriil
Popov and parliamentary chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov, of opposing
his policy because of their own personal ambitions. (Alexander
Rahr, Moscow)

CHINA REPORTED READY TO BUY EX-SOVIET CARRIER. A Japanese newspaper
is the latest source to carry the persistent rumor that China
plans to buy an unfinished aircraft carrier once destined for
the Soviet navy. On 4 August, Sankei Shimbun reported that China
and Ukraine had reached an agreement on the purchase of a 67,500-ton
"Kuznetsov"-class aircraft carrier with the public announcement
of the sale to come soon. While not identified by name, the ship
in question is the "Varyag" which was fitting out in a Mikolaev
shipyard when the USSR disintegrated. Ukraine offered the ship
for sale through a Norwegian broker. (Doug Clarke)

VOLSKY WARNS OF "SOCIAL EXPLOSION." In an interview in Izvestiya
of 4 August, Arkadii Volsky, president of the Russian Union of
Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (industrial lobby) and a leader
of the Civic Union, warned of the danger of a "social explosion"
in the streets. "The policies of the reformist government are
on the brink of collapse," Volsky maintained. "Immediate and
radical changes in social and economic policies are necessary."
Volsky also criticized the proposed program of rapid privatization.
Another member of the Civic Union, Evgenii Molkin, during a news
conference on 4 August, called for wage indexation and strict
regulation of the ruble exchange rate. (Keith Bush)

INDUSTRIAL LOBBY PROPOSES OWN PROGRAM. The "industrial lobby"
has presented its alternative reform program, ITAR-TASS reported
on 4 August. The alternative program rejects the priority of
financial stabilization laid out in Gaidar's program and proposes
instead to revive the Russian economy through a strengthening
of the country's scientific-technological centers. The "industrial
lobby" hopes to implement its program by September. An economic
advisor to President Yeltsin, Konstantin Zatulin, told Nezavisimaya
gazeta on 5 August that the head of the "industrial lobby," Arkadii
Volsky is widely regarded as a potential successor to Gaidar
should the alternative program be implemented. (Alexander Rahr,
Moscow)

"RENEWAL" PARTY CONFERENCE RESCHEDULED. The "Renewal" Party,
which is backed by Russia's powerful "industrial lobby," has
rescheduled from 15 August to 17-18 September a major conference
to be held in Moscow. During the conference, "Renewal" is expected
to unveil its own economic reform program, billed as an alternative
to the Gaidar program. The program has already won enthusiastic
backing from Russian Vice-president Aleksandr Rutskoi. It was
drawn up by a team led by Yurii Yaremenko, director of the Institute
for National Economic Forecasting. Yaremenko, a former part-time
adviser to Mikhail Gorbachev, was the author of an alternative
concept of conversion drawn up toward the end of the perestroika
period. (Elizabeth Teague)

DEADLOCK ON RUSSIAN DEBT CANCELLATION. Russian Economics Minister
Andrei Nechaev told Interfax on 4 August that the government
has ordered the Central Bank to reverse its decision canceling
debts owed by enterprises. But in Izvestiya, Central Bank Chairman
Viktor Gerashchenko defended his controversial instructions of
28 July to the bank's settlement agencies. He conceded that the
debt forgiveness had disadvantages "but what other alternative
do we have?" Gerashchenko's first deputy also supported the debt
cancellation in an interview with ITAR-TASS. The Central Bank
answers to parliament, and it is not clear what the governmentwhich
is split on this issue can or will do if the bank holds firm.
(Keith Bush)

IMF STILL TO GRANT LOAN. Recent worrisome events in Russian economic
policy-making are not expected to delay the first $1 billion
loan from the IMF, according to Reuters on 4 August. Observers
noted that international political support for the loans is strong
enough to override current concern over the future of Russian
economic reforms. Final approval of the money is scheduled for
this week. Russia and the IMF are reportedly planning to sign
agreements on additional IMF credits in October. (Erik Whitlock)


CONSTITUTIONAL COURT WARNS YELTSIN AGAINST WITHHOLDING WAGES.
Constitutional Court Chairman Valerii Zorkin sent a letter to
President Yeltsin informing him that delays in wage and pension
payments by the state violate Russia's laws and constitution,
ITAR-TASS reported on 4 August. Zorkin noted that the court had
received over 100 appeals from those whose wages, pensions, scholarships
and holiday allowances have been held up. Such actions, Zorkin
stated, threaten people's right to live. He asked Yeltsin to
take immediate action on this problem. The letter is merely a
warning, however, and has no legal force. (Brenda Horrigan)

AVERAGE WAGES IN RUSSIA. The Russian Goskomstat has calculated
that the average monthly wage of workers and employees in the
federation during the first half of 1992 was 2,880 rubles, Radio
Rossii reported on 4 August, quoting IMA-Press. This was 7.8
times higher than in the first half of 1991. The growth of money
wages offset the increase in prices by only one-half, according
to the report. The cost of a weekly basic foodbasket in Moscow
in July was given as 368 rubles. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN CONSUMER PRICE INDEX THROUGH JUNE. The consumer price
index in Russia during the first half of 1992 was up by 982%
over December 1991, Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on 25 July. The
index measures changes in retail prices in state, cooperative,
and private trade and in consumer services, based on the prevailing
structure of consumption during the previous year. (Keith Bush)


CONGRESS OF NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FORCES IN UKRAINE. The new coalition
of political parties and groups that joined forces at the Congress
of National Democratic Forces in Kiev on 2 August has been characterized
as a new "Rukh," Molod Ukrainy reported on 4 August. The analogy
was made by Mykola Porovsky, a "Rukh" leader. The new coalition
includes the Ukrainian Republican Party, the Democratic Party
of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Language Society "Prosvita," the Union
of Ukrainian Students, and other groups. "Rukh," which effectively
split in the spring and is now headed by Vyacheslav Chornovil,
has not joined the coalition. The coalition supports President
Leonid Kravchuk but at the same time has called for the resignation
of the Cabinet of Ministers, new parliamentary elections, and
Ukraine's abandonment of the CIS. (Roman Solchanyk)

SITUATION IN TAJIKISTAN. An article in Nezavisimaya gazeta of
4 August said that the agreement reached in Khorog at the end
of July by the various opponents in Tajikistan's civil war has
apparently led to a degree of reconciliation in Kulyab Oblast,
where much fighting has taken place. A second meeting of the
agreement's signatories took place on 1 August; leaders of the
opposition parties in Dushanbe are unhappy that President Rakhmon
Nabiev has not participated in either of the meetings and he
is again being accused of lack of leadership in efforts to stop
the fighting. ITAR-TASS noted on 4 August that few weapons have
been surrendered under the terms of the Khorog agreement. (Bess
Brown)

TURKMEN FOREIGN MINISTER RESIGNS. Interfax reported on 4 August
that Turkmen Foreign Minister Avdy Kuliev had resigned for unspecified
health reasons. Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov was reported
to have announced that he plans to appoint Supreme Court Chairman
Khalykberdy Ataev to replace Kuliev, who will become an ambassador-at-large.
Kuliev has been one of the most active foreign ministers of the
new Central Asian states, frequently traveling abroad to further
Turkmenistan's international relations. (Bess Brown)

Fourteen DIE OF MUSHROOM POISONING. Fourteen people, including
9 children, have died in recent days after eating bottled mushrooms
in the central Russian region of Voronezh; 143 people have been
hospitalized. ITAR-TASS said on 3 August that the poisoning was
caused not because people eat poisonous varieties of mushrooms,
but because those they ate had been badly preserved. The incident
follows earlier reports from Moscow of food poisoning among people
buying home-prepared food on the street or at markets. On 31
July, Russian TV also warned that rats are now a health hazard
in St. Petersburg, where they are thriving on rubbish piling
up in the streets. (Elizabeth Teague)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UN ASKS SERBIA TO OPEN CAMPS TO INSPECTORS. Major US dailies
report on 5 August that the Security Council the previous evening
demanded that international inspectors be allowed into detention
camps, where numerous media reports say that Muslims and Croats
are being systematically beaten, tortured, and killed. The US
called on Serbia to admit Red Cross personnel to the sites and
apparently was instrumental in bringing about the Security Council
measure. Washington nonetheless seemed to distance itself on
4 August from its earlier stand on the camps, now claiming that,
while the State Department has reports on the alleged Serbian
death camps, it cannot confirm them and has no personnel in Bosnia-Herzegovina
to do so. The Baltimore Sun adds that "despite the lack of confirmation,
some officials worry that the actual story... could turn out
to be even more horrible that refugees have described it." (Patrick
Moore)

BOSNIAN SERBS CLAIM THOUSANDS EXECUTED IN CROAT-MUSLIM CAMPS.
The war of words over alleged atrocities escalated again on 4
August as Radio Serbia charged that over 6,000 Serbs have been
executed in concentration camps set up by Muslim and Croat forces
in areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Velibor Ostojic, minister for
information of the self-proclaimed "Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,"
stated that about 42,000 Serbs are being detained in more than
20 camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina, adding that in Sarajevo alone,
there are another 22 camps for Serbs. He denied the existence
of Serb death camps for Muslims and Croats explaining that Serbs
have only set up "prisons for captured Muslim fighters." Ostojic
invited representatives of international humanitarian organizations
and the press to visit and verify their statements since, as
they put it, "the Serb side has nothing to hide". Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic told British Sky News TV on 4 August
that several British reporters have already inspected ten locations
and found no concentration camps. He also alleged that arms and
ammunition, mostly made in Turkey, are being parachuted in to
the Muslim forces from planes carrying humanitarian aid to Sarajevo.
To date, these allegations have not been confirmed. (Milan Andrejevich)


SARAJEVO FIGHTING INTENSIFIES. Fighting worsened in Sarajevo
on 4 August, and the UN closed Sarajevo's airport for three days.
UN forces leader Gen. Lewis Mackenzie noted that "the situation
is getting worse, not better." Over 500 flights of relief supplies
have reached the airport since it was turned over to the UN by
Serb forces. Water supplies to the city were allegedly cut by
Serb troops in control of a reservoir outside Sarajevo. Bosnian
president Alija Izetbegovic sent a letter to the UN Security
Council again urging that the arms embargo on the former Yugoslav
republics be lifted. In Belgrade Yugoslav prime minister Milan
Panic said he was "deeply disturbed" by Izetbegovic's request,
and that he would ask the UN to "forbid arms exports to the Balkans
now and forever." A Turkish delegate to the UN Security Council
also urged that the ban on arms exports be dropped, and suggested
that Article 42 of the UN Charter, which authorizes the use of
military force, be invoked to aid the Bosnians. (Gordon Bardos)


ROMANIA COMPLYING WITH SANCTIONS AGAINST SERBIA. On 4 August
US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Thomas Niles told
members of the Congress that Romania has pledged to respect the
ban on oil shipments to Serbia and Montenegro. An RFE correspondent
in Washington quoted Niles as saying that no Romanian oil is
reaching the Yugoslav rump state, although some may have gotten
through the embargo shortly after it had been imposed. Romania
has repeatedly denied reports that it is breaking the embargo.
(Dan Ionescu)

YELTSIN CALLS FOR RECOGNITION OF MACEDONIA. World and local media
report that at a joint news conference with Bulgarian president
Zhelyu Zhelev in Sofia on 4 August, Russian president Boris Yeltsin
said Russia must immediately recognize the Republic of Macedonia
and called as well for international recognition for the ex-Yugoslav
republic. Thus aligning himself with the Bulgarian position,
Yeltsin said he and Zhelev would appeal to the European Community
for recognition of Macedonia. The move predictably angered Greece,
which objects to the establishment of a state using the name
"Macedonia." In Athens the foreign ministry summoned the Russian
ambassador to demand clarification of what the Greek government
termed "an unfriendly act," the Greece Radio Network announced.
(Charles Trumbull)

RUSSO-BULGARIAN FRIENDSHIP ACCORD SIGNED. Yeltsin and Zhelev
also signed a new treaty on friendship and cooperation on the
4th, BTA reports. Referring to the traditions of friendly relations
as well as the "positive experience" of previous cooperation,
the new accord outlines coordination in the political, economic,
cultural, ecological and military fields. In particular, Russia
and Bulgaria agree not to allow their territories to be used
for aggression against the other party, to solve bilateral problems
only by peaceful means, and to hold consultations in case regional
security is threatened. Replacing the 1967 Soviet-Bulgarian treaty,
the current document will be valid for ten years, and can then
be renewed every five years. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

OTHER RUSSO-BULGARIAN INITIATIVES. Several other important agreements
were made on 4 August, the second day of Yeltsin's visit to Bulgaria.
First, Bulgaria's deputy prime minister Ilko Eskenazi told BTA
that an intergovernmental commission is to deal with bilateral
economic, trade and scientific issues, including the some $500
million in Russian debts to Bulgaria. Second, an agreement on
cooperation between the defense ministries of both countries
was signed. Third, Russia and Bulgaria declared they will open
all archiveseven those of the foreign ministries and secret services containing
information on bilateral relations. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

CARDINAL TOMASEK DEAD. The Archbishop of Prague and Primate of
Bohemia and Moravia, Frantisek Cardinal Tomasek died on 4 August
in Prague at the age of 93. According to various media reports
he died of heart failure complicated by pneumonia. Tomasek, who
spent several years in a forced labor camp, had been a symbol
of nonviolent but resolute resistance to the communist regime
for Czechoslovak Catholics and non-Catholics alike. During the
dramatic events of November 1989 he openly called on Czechs and
Slovaks to do away with the communist regime, thus giving the
opposition crucial moral backing. The Cardinal's funeral will
take place on 12 August in Prague. (Jan Obrman)

POLISH GOVERNMENT SETS PRIORITIES. Meeting on 4 August, the Polish
cabinet identified 11 priority goals and pledged to prepare detailed
plans, deadlines, and legislative drafts to deal with five of
them by the end of September. The top five priorities, presented
as slogans, are: "restructuring and privatizing [state] enterprises,"
"opportunities for farming," "a just and secure state," "healthy
public finances," and "social security for citizens." The government
will also report on progress in the remaining six areasunemployment,
economic growth and small business, education, housing, state
administration, and regional economic restructuringby the end
of September. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka commented that "we
will not transform the country in three months, but we can define
what needs to be done to ensure that the program for Poland's
development encompasses every individual's hopes and aspirations."
The choice of priorities was the result of negotiations within
the seven-party governing coalition. (Louisa Vinton)

WALESA CLARIFIES STANCE ON STRIKES. Responding to the confusion
surrounding President Lech Walesa's stance on the two-week old
strike at the Polska Miedz copper combine, a spokesman explained
on 4 August that the president would only attempt to mediate
the conflict once the strikers return to work. The Polska Miedz
management stressed that strikers' pay demands are unrealistic
and that losses incurred so far will cut into the wage increases
offered before the strike began. Privatization Minister Janusz
Lewandowski said that restructuring the combine might free up
some added funds but warned that continuation of the strike would
bankrupt the firm, leaving more than 38,000 people out of work.
Meanwhile, the management at the FSM auto plant in Tychy resolved
to press ahead with legal measures against organizers of the
strike there, which is illegal. (Louisa Vinton)

ROMANIAN PREMIER PRESSES FOR FAIR ELECTIONS. On 4 August Theodor
Stolojan attended a meeting of an experts' commission in charge
of organizing the 27 September elections. In his address, which
was broadcast by Radio Bucharest, Stolojan emphasized the government's
interest in "free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections
in Romania." He stressed the importance of the prefects' role
in the electoral campaign, urging local government officials
to refrain from favoring one party or the other. (Dan Ionescu)


DEFENSE MINISTER ON ROMANIAN ARMY'S ROLE. On 4 August Nicolae
Spiroiu addressed a conference marking the 75th anniversary of
the World War I battles of Marasti, Marasesti and Oituz. Radio
Bucharest quoted Spiroiu as saying that the army should "guarantee
the sovereignty, independence, and unity of the [Romanian] state,"
at a time when "plans to federalize or break up" the European
states created after the World War I are being "implemented in
a hasty and brutal manner." The Romanian army will "discourage
and repel any aggression against the Romanian state and people,"
the minister added. (Dan Ionescu)

ESTONIA REDUCES TERM OF MILITARY SERVICE. The Estonian government
has reduced the term of compulsory military service from 18 to
12 months, BNS reported on 4 August. According to Deputy Defense
Minister Toomas Puura, the decision was made because of a shortage
of professional officers and to lessen the economic burden on
the state. (Riina Kionka)

LITHUANIAN-US ACCORD ON WAR CRIMINALS. On 3 August Lithuanian
Prosecutor-General Arturas Paulauskas and US ambassador to Lithuania
Darryl Johnson (on behalf of the US Justice Department) signed
a memorandum of cooperation, BNS reports. The two parties pledge
to give each other all necessary assistance in tracking down
and prosecuting persons suspected of committing war crimes and
crimes against humanity during World War II on Lithuanian territory.
The memorandum envisages the confidential exchange of information
on suspects through diplomatic channels and assistance in obtaining
copies of archive documents in the two countries. Lithuania has
signed similar agreements with Australia and Scotland. (Saulius
Girnius)

ATTEMPT TO DEPOSE BANK OF LITHUANIA CHAIRMAN FAILS. On 4 August
by secret ballot parliament voted 59 to 43 to depose Bank of
Lithuania chairman Vilius Baldisis, Radio Lithuania reports.
The motion failed, however, since it did not gain the needed
65 votes. In a subsequent vote the parliament unseated the bank's
deputy chairmen and board of directors and instructed Baldisis
to propose a new board to the parliament's presidium for confirmation.
The fall session of the parliament will open on 10 September.
(Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIA ACCREDITS RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR. The Estonian Foreign Ministry
sent a formal note of agreement to its Russian counterpart on
4 August regarding the appointment of Aleksandr Trofimov as Ambassador
to Estonia, BNS reports. Trofimov, who was born in 1937, is a
career diplomat who has served in Togo, Turkey, and Mali. Estonia
rejected Russia's first nomination as ambassador, Artur Kuznetsov,
because he holds Estonian citizenship and is a well-known figure
in Estonian political life. (Riina Kionka)

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO ESTONIA. Hungary's Foreign Minister
Geza Jeszenszky is scheduled to visit Estonia for the first time
on 8 August, BNS reports. (Riina Kionka)

KRASTINS: RUSSIA SHOULD WITHDRAW INTELLIGENCE NETWORKS. Latvian
Supreme Council's deputy chairman Andrejs Krastins confirmed
his views on Russia's intelligence gathering in Latvia to Diena
and BNS on 3 August. He said that Latvia should press for the
removal of Russian intelligence networks, especially in view
of its "incorrect activities" regarding Latvia's internal affairs.
Krastins added that these are his private views and he stands
by them, even in light of a note from the Russian Foreign Ministry
describing his earlier statements as unfriendly.(Dzintra Bungs)


MEDICINE PRICES TO RISE IN HUNGARY. On 17 August prices will
increase by an average of 12.5 %, the Hungarian Ministry of Social
Welfare told Hungarian Radio. Because of the low price of medicine
in Hungary, an official explained, consumption is higher than
the international norm. In addition the social security system
no longer has the funds to continue price supports. The use of
antibiotics in particular has reached dangerous proportions and
threatens to damage the health of patients, the official said.
Twenty-two of the hundred most commonly used drugs in 1991 were
antibiotics. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)

POSTAL RATES UP IN LATVIA. Diena reported on 3 August that Latvia's
postal service will raise its rates again this year. Nonetheless,
the new rates will not cover the actual costs of the mail services.
An airmail letter to the USA will cost 37.70 rubles, while a
letter to Denmark, Finland, or Sweden will cost only 5 rubles
owing to the direct air links with those countries. (Dzintra
Bungs)

NINA RICCI OPENS SHOP IN RIGA. The French fashion house has opened
a shop in Riga, BNS reported on 4 August. Initially it will specialize
in menswear and perfumes, but will handle orders for other products.
It has exclusive distribution rights for Nina Ricci products
in the Baltic States and is the only Nina Ricci shop in the ex-USSR
since the shop in Moscow closed. (Dzintra Bungs)


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

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