|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|
No. 199, 15 October 1992
SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR GRACHEV REPORTS MISSILES OUTSIDE RUSSIA OFF ALERT. In an interview published in Izvestiya on 15 October, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev stated that nuclear weapons control has not been changed in the wake of the Bishkek summit. Grachev did state, however, that missiles in Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan have been taken off combat alert and placed "in reserve" so that they could only be used for a second-strike. Some missiles in Russia have also been taken off alert. Grachev claimed that missiles on alert "have no specific targets. They are just aimed in a general direction, no more than that." This statement seems to contradict Marshal Shaposhnikov's recent statements that CIS missiles are targeted as before. It may be that missiles on alert do not have specific target information loaded, and that target information would be loaded simultaneously with launch authorization. (John Lepingwell) SHELOV-KOVEDYAEV ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION. Fedor Shelov-Kovedyaev, Russia's first deputy foreign minister, announced his intention to resign effective 17 October. He told a news conference in Moscow on 14 October that by leaving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), he hopes to eliminate tension surrounding Russia's policies toward the former Soviet republics (Shelov's area of responsibility). He said, however, that he did not think his resignation would seriously affect Russia's policy towards these states. Shelov will return to his work as a people's deputy, rejoining the parliamentary committee on interrepublican relations, regional policy, and cooperation, where he served before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He expects his replacement at the MFA to be Anatolii Adamishin, Russia's ambassador to Italy and formerly a Soviet deputy foreign minister, Interfax reported. Speculation in the Russian media that Shelov would be forced to resign owing to the Russian Security Council's displeasure with him began in July. (Suzanne Crow) PROJECTIONS OF RUSSIAN ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE. Russian Economics Minister Andrei Nechaev and Economics Adviser Aleksei Ulyukaev gave what appeared to be separate news conferences on 14 October to release official projections for the Russian economy in 1992 and 1993, ITAR-TASS and Western agencies reported. (Nechaev was criticized by Yeltsin on 7 October for not having produced any such forecasts). Their figures differed slightly. The consensus put the GNP decline at 22% in 1992 and 5-8% in 1993. Industrial output will fall by 20% in 1992 and 7-10% in 1993. Agricultural output in 1992 is down by 8% on 1991, but is expected to remain at the same level in 1993. (Keith Bush) RUSSIAN MONETARY POLICY FOR 1993: "MODERATELY TOUGH." Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin and Minister of the Economy Andrei Nechaev have described plans for next year's financial and credit policies as "moderately tough," Interfax and "Vesti" reported on 14 October. The phrase seems to contrast with the strict monetary line called for by Gaidar just weeks ago to stave off hyperinflation. Jeffrey Sachs, a senior advisor to the Russian government and one of many observers who have lost confidence in Russia's anti-inflationary policy, said that in the last three months, money supply had doubled. "The whole country is going over the cliff," he said, according to Reuters. (Erik Whitlock) LAND AND HOUSING TO BE SOLD FOR VOUCHERS. President Yeltsin signed a decree on 14 October authorizing the use of privatization vouchers for the purchase of land and housing, ITAR-TASS reported. (He had called for this in his speech of 7 October to the parliament). Economics Adviser Aleksei Ulyukaev told the 14 October news conference, where he also made official projections on the economy, that the decree refers to all kinds of land, including agricultural land, state land reserves, and forests. Vouchers may also be used to purchase state and municipal housing as well as municipal property, and to buy land being used by factories that have been privatized. (Keith Bush) YELTSIN SIGNS DECREE ON SECURITIES MARKETS. A decree signed on 14 October by President Yeltsin establishes, among other things, a framework for creating special investment funds that will serve as intermediaries for Russian citizens not wishing to purchase state assets themselves, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 October. Buying into special investment funds is one of the options open to voucher-holders envisaged by the government's voucher privatization program initiated 1 October. The State Committee on Property will license these special investment funds, and investment funds without such a license are prohibited from offering these services to voucher-holders. (Erik Whitlock) US SENATORS ASK IMF TO EASE UP ON CIS. A-group of US senators has written to the International Monetary Fund urging it to soften its demands on Russia and other former Soviet republics, an RFE/RL Washington correspondent reported on 14 October. The group contains sixteen Democrats and sixteen Republicans. The legislators fear that the IMF conditions set for further aid will lead to cuts in government spending that "will fan popular discontent with an already desperate economic condition." The senators write that "in the best of circumstances, this would halt any reform in its tracks. In the worst of circumstances, popular discontent could sweep away Russia's democratic government, compromising all that has been gained since 1989." (Ilze Zvirgzdins/Keith Bush). GORBACHEV ACCUSED OF COVERING UP KATYN MASSACRE. On 14 October "Vesti" reported the government's release of Politburo documents from the Stalinist period concerning the massacre of about 15,000 Polish officers by Soviet secret police in the Katyn Forest in 1940. A presidential spokesman used the documents, which include a statement from the Party Politburo ordering the massacre, to support his claim that Mikhail Gorbachev knew about and helped cover up the truth of this matter since 1981. "Novosti" cited allegations by the same spokesman that this was the reason why Gorbachev was afraid to testify at the CPSU hearing. This assertion was reiterated, also on 14 October, by President Yeltsin's representatives at the Constitutional Court. In fact, in 1990, Gorbachev turned over hitherto top secret archival materials to Polish leaders concerning the massacre. The same year, TASS issued an official statement by the Soviet government which admitted Soviet responsibility for the massacre, and which confirmed that the earlier Soviet version blaming the crime on the Nazis was a falsification. (Julia Wishnevsky & Vera Tolz) NEW UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT DISCUSSED. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk and the newly-appointed prime minister, Leonid Kuchma, met on 14 October to discuss the composition of the new cabinet of ministers, Interfax reported. Kuchma is required by law to submit his candidates for ministerial posts to the parliament by 23 October. A number of appointments, including the ministers of defense, interior, and foreign affairs, are subject to parliamentary approval. (Roman Solchanyk) UKRAINIAN STUDENTS ANNOUNCE HUNGER STRIKE. A leader of the Ukrainian Students' Union, which has put up a tent city on Kiev's central square to press demands for new parliamentary elections and Ukraine's withdrawal from the CIS, told the Ukrainian parliament that the students will begin a hunger strike on the evening of 13 October, DR-Press reported on 14 October. A hunger strike by students exactly two years ago brought down the government of Vitalii Masol. (Roman Solchanyk) INDIA WANTS DEFENSE TIES WITH UKRAINE. Indian Defense Minister Sharad Pawar arrived in Kiev on 14 October for an official visit. ITAR-TASS reported that Pawar would meet with President Leonid Kravchuk, leaders of the parliamentary defense and security commission, and officials involved in the production of military equipment. The report said that Pawar's visit was expected to "lay the foundation for military cooperation between the two countries, including in the military-political and military-technical areas." It also suggested that some Indian officers could receive training in Ukraine. (Doug Clarke) UN MISSION VISITS ABKHAZIA. The UN fact-finding delegation that arrived in Tbilisi and met with parliament-chairman elect Eduard Shevardnadze and Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua on 13 October travelled to Sukhumi on 14 October for talks with Giorgi Khaindrava, Georgian Minister of State for Abkhazia, Interfax reported. They then met with Abkhaz parliament chairman Vladislav Ardzinba in Gudauta. Ardzinba subsequently told Interfax he was dissatisfied with the visit as the observers had not allowed enough time for their visit to the Abkhaz-controlled area and had declined to interview refugees. Meanwhile in a statement released in London the EC expressed "deep concern" about continued fighting in Abkhazia and called for new effort to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict. A delegation of Socialist deputies to the European Parliament that traveled to Georgia to monitor the 11 October elections called for EC intervention to ensure that Georgia does not become "a second Yugoslavia." (Liz Fuller) GRACHEV DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ABKHAZIA. Russian Defense Minister Grachev denied Russian military involvement in Abkhazia in an interview with Izvestiya on 15 October. Grachev dismissed claims that Russian helicopters tried to shoot down Shevardnadze's helicopter, claiming that had they attempted to, they would have succeeded. He repeated claims that Abkhaz forces had obtained their T-72 tanks from Georgian forces, and claimed that T80 tanks were only deployed in the Moscow Military District, and not in the Caucasus. Grachev ascribed the claims to a Georgian attempt to explain away their recent military setbacks. (John Lepingwell) GRACHEV ON FORCES, PLANS FOR CAUCASUS. On 15 October, Russian Defense Minister Grachev noted that there are no plans to withdraw Russian units from Abkhazia, and that a Russian group of forces will replace the Transcaucasus Military, District by 1 January 1993, Izvestiya reported. According to Grachev there is only one airborne division and an antiaircraft missile unit left in Azerbaijan, with an army division each deployed in Batumi and Akhalkalaki in Georgia and in Gyumri, Armenia. Grachev also noted that the 19th Air Defense Army and the 34th Airborne army will be disbanded, with the exception of a few units. (John Lepingwell) REFUGEES DEMONSTRATE IN DUSHANBE. Thousands of refugees from the Vakhsh and Kolkhozabad Raions of Kurgan-Tyube Oblast assembled in Dushanbe on 14 October to protest the continuing fighting in their home regions, where local defenders have been battling armed units from the neighboring Kulyab Oblast for two days, ITAR-TASS reported. The demonstrators demanded that acting President Akbarsho Iskandarov and the Tajik government out a stop to the civil war that has ravaged the southern parts of the country. (Bess Brown) UZBEKISTAN OFFERS TO SEND TROOPS TO TAJIKISTAN. According to a NEGA press agency report of 13 October, Uzbekistan has offered to send a military contingent to Tajikistan. The Tajik government has requested peacekeeping troops from Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan; 400 volunteers in Kyrgyzstan are reported to be ready to be sent to Kurgan-Tyube Oblast. Use of Uzbek troops in Tajikistan could further inflame interethnic tensions in the war-torn country. In the last two months there have been reports of Uzbek inhabitants of Tajikistan being driven from their homes by Tajik fighters. (Bess Brown) KYRGYZ LEGISLATURE VOTES AGAINST PEACEKEEPING FORCES. On 14 October, a closed session of Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted against sending peacekeeping forces to Tajikistan, KyrgyzTAG-TASS reported. Supreme Soviet Chairman Medetkan Sherimkulov told a press conference after the vote that the legislators had decided against interfering in the internal affairs of a neighboring state. Kyrgyzstan would continue, however, to help in the search for a resolution of the Tajik conflict and would provide humanitarian assistance. Vice-President Feliks Kulov said that the opposing sides in Tajikistan had been unwilling to guarantee the safety of Kyrgyz peacekeepers. (Bess Brown) RUSSIFICATION, IDEOLOGICAL MEASURES IN "DNIESTER REPUBLIC." The "Dniester republic" controlled by the Russian minority in eastern Moldova has ordered the introduction of "Moldovan" language textbooks in the Russian script in place of the existing ones in the Latin script in Moldovan schools. The measure was taken despite the fact that specialists considered the existing textbooks in the Latin script (produced in Chisinau for all of Moldova) as scientifically adequate and "de-ideologized," DR Press reported from Tiraspol on 14 October. Last month the "Dniester" authorities had imposed the Russian script on the "Moldovan" (i.e. Romanian) language in various spheres of public life. Also on 14 October, DR Press reported again that "Dniester University" hosted the founding conference of the "Dniester republic Communist Leninist Youth," which called a constituent congress of the "Dniester republic Komsomol" to be held shortly. The university was formed recently through the takeover by the "Dniester" authorities of the Moldovan Pedagogical Institute in Tiraspol, the last Moldovan higher education institution on the left bank of the Dniester. (Vladimir Socor) NO PLANS TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM DNIESTER REGION. In his interview with Izvestiya on 15 October, Defense Minister Grachev stated that the withdrawal of the 14th Army from the Dniester area will only be possible when the conflict in the region is settled. He noted that 14th Army units were manned by personnel from the region and that they would refuse to withdraw unless the conflict was over. (John Lepingwell) CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE YELTSIN ENVOY REVEALS KATYN DOCUMENTS. On 14 October, a special envoy from Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Chairman of the Government Commission for State Archives, Rudolf Pekhoya, presented Polish President Lech Walesa with copies of documents showing that the CPSU Politburo, with Stalin at its head, had ordered the execution of over 20,000 Polish prisoners of war on 5 March 1940. While Soviet responsibility for the murders had long been obvious, the documents provide the "smoking gun" that the Poles had long sought. The documents came from top secret Soviet party archives that were transferred to the control of President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991. Pekhoya charged that all Soviet party leaders, from Stalin to Gorbachev, had known the truth about the massacres and had participated in the coverup. In Moscow, Yeltsin's spokesman Vyacheslav Kostikov told reporters that Gorbachev had seen the order to kill the Poles as early as April 1989. In April 1990 the USSR responsibility for the acknowledged Soviet responsibility for the massacre and Gorbachev then gave then President Wojciech Jaruzelski archival documents implicating the NKVD. The Politburo order was not among them. Polish researchers have been aware of the existence of the document since July 1992. President Walesa, visibly moved by the revelations, thanked Yeltsin for his "heroic decision." PolishRussian relations were "poisoned" in the past, Walesa said, but the transfer of the documents could help build just, equal relations in the future. (Louisa Vinton) GROWING TENSIONS IN NORTHERN BOSNIA. The 15 October Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the Serbian offensive was continuing in an effort to consolidate the land corridor linking Serbia with ethnic Serb enclaves in Croatia and Bosnia. On 14-October Austrian TV showed footage of Bosnian officers discussing the besieged largely Muslim town of Gradacac. They confirmed what the Croatian media had been saying since early in the week, namely that chlorine gas tanks had been placed around the town. The Bosnians threatened to set off an "ecological catastrophe" if Serbian attacks did not stop and urged civilians to evacuate Gradacac. AFP on 14 October reported that any release of the gas could affect not only northern Bosnia and eastern Croatia but also Vojvodina and parts of Hungary. Gradacac has been under siege for months, but few if any foreign journalists have gone there. The main source of news from Gradacac so far has been Croatian media accounts for which there was no independent confirmation. (Patrick Moore) VANCE AND MAZOWIECKI SPEAK OUT ON THE YUGOSLAV CRISIS. UN special envoy Cyrus Vance warned on 14 October that "a spark from Macedonia could ingite the [Balkan] region," the VOA reported. He told the Security Council that the conflict could easily spread if tension in Macedonia and Kosovo continued to mount. Meanwhile, UN human rights envoy and former Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki visited a Croatian center for Serb detainees in Herzegovina. Western news agencies reported that Mazowiecki criticized the presence of women and other apparent civilians in the camp, but the Croats told him that all the inmates had committed some hostile act or other and warned him not to take up the role of "judge." (Patrick Moore) SERBOALBANIAN TALKS BEGIN IN KOSOVO. On-14 October, after two days of protests by ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo for the restoration of Albanianlanguage teaching, officials of the main Albanian party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) began talks with education ministers representing the rump Yugoslavia and Serbia. Radio Serbia reported the two sides discussed ways of reopening Albanianlanguage schools and allowing broad powers for Albanians who account for nearly 92% of Kosovo's population to set their own curriculum. Serbia had suspended Albanian language curriculum in schools and Pristina university in 1990, resulting in the loss of jobs by Albanian teachers and the development of an extensive "underground school system." The two sides agreed that the Albanians submit a list of schools to be reopened. This will be reviewed on 22 October by federal and Serbian government officials. Milan Panic, Prime Minister of the rump Yugoslavia is expected to meet with LDK leaders on 15 October in Pristina. (Milan Andrejevich) BOSNIAN CHILDREN FIND REFUGE IN POLAND. The first of two special trains carrying refugee children from Bosnia arrived in Poland on 13 October. Poland has offered to provide shelter for 1500 children and their teachers for at least six months. It has also acceded to Bosnian government requests to enable the children to attend normal school classes and maintain their ethnic, cultural and religious identity; hence the decision to house the children together in mountain resorts and not in private homes. Poland's foreign ministry said this humanitarian action reflected Polish opposition to the policy of "ethnic cleansing." Gazeta Wyborcza on 13 October described a scene of general chaos in the Croatian town of Osijek as the refugees boarded the trains, but noted the following day that no one had been left behind. (Louisa Vinton) ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER SETS CONDITIONS FOR COALITION TALKS. Emil Constantinescu, the presidential candidate endorsed by the Democratic Convention of Romania (DCR) in the elections held on 27 September and 11 October, said president Ion Iliescu and the Democratic National Salvation Front had to dissociate themselves from the "nationalistcommunist" parties before coalition talks with the DCR could begin. In an interview with RFE/RL's Romanian service on 14 October, Constantinescu said that when he spoke about the "nationalcommunists" he had in mind in particular the Greater Romania Party and the Socialist Party of Labor. Both formations had endorsed Iliescu. (Michael Shafir). ROMANIA WELCOMES INITIATIVE TO RECONSIDER ITS MFN STATUS. Traian Chebelu, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, said that his ministry welcomed the initiative of a large number of Romanianborn and other US citizens to address an appeal to the US House of Representatives to reconsider its 30 September decision denying MFN status to Romania. He added that this was the first action of such magnitude by the Romanian diaspora and expressed the hope that it was, at the same time, just the beginning of efforts by exiled Romanians to uphold the interests of their country of origin. Chebeleu attacked US congressman Tom Lantos for his role in the congress' decision. He released the text of a letter written in 1985 by Lantos to the Romanian authorities, in which the congressman expressed hope that the US would renew MFN status for Ceausescu's regime. (Michael Shafir) SOUTH KOREAN LOAN TO HUNGARY. South Korea will extend $650 million credit to Hungary, Hungarian radio reported on 14 October 1992, quoting sources in Seoul. The report said that $150 million had already been provided and negotiations were under way in Budapest for further credits from a South Korean fiveyear fund set up to help developing countries. (Karoly Okolicsanyi) BULGARIAN PREMIER DENIES ARMS DEAL WITH-MACEDONIA. Bulgarian Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov denied allegations that he had secretly struck an arms deal with Macedonia, thereby violating the UN embargo against exYugoslavia, Reuters reported on 14 October. The allegations surfaced after the head of Bulgarian counterespionage, General Brigo Asparuhov, accused a government adviser of involvement in an attempt to export Bulgarian arms to Macedonia. Rejecting these claims, Dimitrov said the adviser's trip had been a normal factfinding mission. The incident has deepened the conflict between the premier and President Zhelyu Zhelev, who, in his capacity as commanderinchief, is also head of counterespionage. (Kjell Engelbrekt) RALLY IN DEFENSE OF BULGARIAN ARMS INDUSTRY. On 14 October thousands of workers from Bulgaria's arms industry rallied in central Sofia. According to Western and Bulgarian agencies, the workers were demanding higher wages as well as government measures to stimulate arms export. The chairman of the CITUB trade union, Krastyu Petkov, told a rally that the UDF government had until the 22-October to find a solution to the present situation or the workers would go on strike. In a comment, the cabinet said there were no administrative obstacles to arms export-except in the case of embargoed states-and that 57 deals had been struck over the last three months. The Bulgarian arms industry, which in 199192 has experienced a steep decline in exports, is estimated to employ some 140,000 people. (Kjell Engelbrekt) PROGRESS IN LITHUANIANPOLISH MILITARY AGREEMENT. On 14 October, at a press conference ending a threeday visit to Vilnius, Poland's Deputy Defense Minister, Przemyslaw Grudzinski, said that Poland was satisfied with a draft agreement on military cooperation, Radio Lithuania reported. He invited Lithuanian National Defense Deputy Minister Sarunas Vasiliauskas to visit Poland next week to continue the discussions that had been begun in September during the visit to Warsaw of Prime Minister Aleksandras Abisala. Grudzinski expressed the hope that the future agreement would be similar to the Vyshegrad agreement between Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. (Saulius Girnius) IGNALINA REACTOR SHUT DOWN. On 14 October excess radiation was detected in the nonservice area of the second reactor at the atomic power plant at Ignalina, Radio Lithuania reported. Povilas Vaisnys, the head of the State Atomic Energy Safety Inspection, said that the reactor would be shut down at noon on 15 October so that the area where it is thought there might be leakage from the pipes might be inspected. The amount of radiation is slight and there is no danger even to the local community, but international concern about the plant has led Lithuania to follow Western practice. (Saulius Girnius) RUSSIAN BORDER GUARDS TO LEAVE LATVIA BY END OF OCTOBER? The Russian border guard leadership in Ventspils said all Russian border guards in Latvia were scheduled to leave for Russia by the end of October. So far 16 of the 18 border guard posts have already been handed over to the Latvian authorities, BNS reported on 14 October. (Dzintra Bungs) ZOTOV, VETERANS THREATEN LATVIA. Sergei Zotov, chief Russian negotiator in the troops withdrawal talks from Latvia, told Diena of 14 October that Latvia was pursuing an "apartheid policy" against nearly one half of its population, the Russians and other Slavs. He warned Latvia that Russia could at any time turn off its gas pipeline and reduce the supply of industrial raw materials. Similar threats against Estonia were recently made by Russia's Vice President Rutskoi. On 13 October Diena reported on a meeting of some 3,000 communists, Soviet military veterans and Russian military who called for unconditional voting rights in the next parliamentary elections for Russians and other nonLatvian residents of Latvia and for the restoration of their former privileges. They threatened that if their demands were not met, they would work for the establishment of autonomous Russianspeaking regions in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs) RUSSIA TO PAY FOR FOREST FIRE DAMAGES IN LATVIA? BNS and Baltfax reported on 14 October that Russian Defense Ministry officials had given an oral promise to Latvia's Forestry Ministry to pay for damage caused by forest fires near Adazi, a principal base of the Northwestern Group of Forces in Latvia. Latvians estimate the damage at some 55 million rubles. Latvian authorities believe that Russian military activities caused most of the fires in that area-a claim previously denied by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. (Dzintra Bungs) CIA CHIEF IN HUNGARY. Hungarian radio reported that CIA Chief Robert Gates met with Prime Minister Jozsef Antall on 14 October 1992 in Budapest. Gates is on his first ever visit to Eastern Europe. He arrived from Poland and will visit the countries of the former Soviet Union. The meeting in the Prime Minister's office was attended by Hungarian Internal Affairs Minister Peter Boross, Minister Without Portfolio for National Security, Tibor Fuzessy and US Ambassador Charles H. Thomas. No details were disclosed about the subjects discussed. (Karoly Okolicsanyi) ROMANIA AND THE EC. Traian Chebeleu, the foreign affairs ministry spokesman, said the fifth round of negotiations on Romania's association with the EC, which was held in Brussels on 12 and 13-October, produced agreement on a number of texts that would be included in the agreement. Citing Chebeleu, Rompres specified on 14 October that agreement had been reached on the protocols of trade concerning steel products, textiles, processed agricultural and fish produce. (Michael Shafir). SLOVAK PREMIER IN BONN. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, on a twoday visit to Germany, told the German parliament's foreign relations committee on 14 October that Slovakia was concerned about growing nationalism within its Hungarian minority. According to international press agencies, Meciar told the parliamentarians that Slovakia was prepared to observe minority rights. He said that the Hungarians were entitled to their own schools and their own language, and that Slovakia subsidized Hungarianlanguage newspapers. According to Meciar, his government was not violating international agreements on minorities when it rejected demands by ethnic Hungarian parties for the right to selfdetermination and creation of autonomous organizations outside of Slovak jurisdiction. (Jiri Pehe) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosiba & Anna Swidlicka
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