Величайшая победа - победа над самим собой. - Кальдерон де ла Барка
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 201, 19 October 1992


Renaissance Party blockaded a Dushanbe school for an hour and
a half on 15-October in an attempt to force a Russian division
stationed in Tajikistan to repossess tanks and armored transports
the militants believe were given by the Russians to forces fighting
the Tajik government in the southern part of the country, ITAR-TASS,
quoting the Russian Defense Ministry, reported on 17 October.
The school is attended by Russian children as well as other nationalities.
Western press agencies reported on 16 October that the militants
subsequently took a group of Russians hostage near the school.
(Bess Brown)

to mediate between opposing sides in the continuing conflict
in Tajikistan, ITARTASS reported on 17 October, quoting the
official Iranian news agency IRNA. The offer was made by Iran's
ambassador to Tajikistan, Ali Ashraf Mojtahed Shabestari, at
a cultural symposium in Dushanbe. While the Iranian offer might
be welcomed by some elements of the former opposition coalition,
it is unlikely to be viewed favorably by forces opposed to the
Tajik government, who reject any meddling by an Islamic state
such as Iran. (Bess Brown)

Addressing the final session of Georgia's state council on 16
October, Georgian parliament speaker-elect Eduard Shevardnadze
stated that if the next round of Georgian-Russian negotiations
on a settlement of the Abkhaz conflict fails, Georgia will be
compelled to use military force to recover the territory occupied
by Abkhaz forces, ITAR-TASS reported. A Georgian government statement
issued on 17 October called on the Russian military command to
withdraw its forces from the conflict zone. A CSCE fact-finding
delegation held talks with Shevardnadze on 17 October and with
Georgian officials in Sukhumi on 18 October, Interfax reported.
Pope John Paul II appealed on 18-October for peace in Georgia,
which he termed "a country of long-established and important
Christian tradition." (Liz Fuller)

Yeltsin has asked the parliament to postpone the Seventh Congress
of People's Deputies, ITAR-TASS reported on 16 October. Yeltsin
argued that if the Congress was held in March and not, as scheduled,
in early December, it could adopt the new Constitution which
is not yet completed. He said that if convened now, the Congress
would only lead to a political struggle. The leaders of the Republics
of the Russian Federation issued a joint statement also asking
parliament to postpone the date of the Congress. Yeltsin also
accused the so-called "National Salvation Front" of attempts
to set up power structures parallel to those in his administration,
and he criticized the parliament for tolerating these activities.
(Alexander Rahr)

CHERNOBYL BLOCK SWITCHED ON. The third block of the Chernobyl
nuclear reactor was switched on again on 16 October, an RFE/RL
correspondent and Ukrinform-TASS reported. Trial operations were
scheduled to be run for two days, after which the block was to
operate at full capacity. The second block is to be restarted
at the end of October. A spokesman for the Ukrainian parliamentary
commission on Chernobyl rejected the warnings of Western specialists
on the potential danger of restarting the Chernobyl reactor.
Several authoritative Ukrainian spokesmen have reiterated that
the Chernobyl reactor will be closed permanently starting in
1993, but that Ukraine will continue to need nuclear power. (Keith

NEW RUSSIAN TV COMPANY ESTABLISHED. Following a recommendation
by the Russian Ministry for Press and Information, President
Yeltsin has issued a decree establishing a new TV company, the
Federal TV and Broadcasting Agency (FTS-TV Rossiya), ITAR-TASS
reported on 17 October. FTS-TV Rossiya will broadcast on the
fifth channel, which has been used previously by St. Petersburg
TV and RIA-TV. The boards of both TV companies have been incorporated
into FTS-TV Rossiya. St. Petersburg TV will thus cease to exist
as a separate body. The prominent St. Petersburg TV moderator,
Bella Kurkova, has been appointed head of the new TV agency.
(Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIA TAXES IMPORTED VODKA. Russia has imposed a 100% tariff
on imports of alcohol in an effort to protect domestic vodka
producers, Interfax reported on 16 October. The tariff had been
set at 15% in early 1992, and was raised to 30% in August. Sales
of domestically produced vodka have plummeted. Many Russians
appear to prefer the imported brands, which are more expensive,
because they are thought to be superior in quality. (Keith Bush)

Ministry press spokesman Sergei Yastrzembski charged that the
Greenpeace ship Solo, seized by Russian naval forces on 12-October
off the Arctic nuclear testing ground on Novaya Zemlya, had deliberately
violated Russian territorial waters. In remarks carried by Interfax
on 16 October, he reported that water and soil samples had been
discovered aboard the ship. He claimed that this proved that
the crew had been engaged in research in violation of international
law, since they had no permission for such work. The Solo arrived
in Tyuva Guba, a military port near Murmansk, early on the morning
of 18 October. Consular officials from six Western countries
were taken to the site but not allowed aboard. Western agencies
reported that, ironically, the Solo ended up towing its captor
into port after the Russian ship broke down. (Doug Clarke)

on 17 October by the Japanese Kyodo news service, CIS commander-in-chief
Evgenii Shaposhnikov hinted that Russia could reconsider its
earlier pledge to withdraw all its troops from the four southern
Kuril islands claimed by Japan. He was quoted as saying that
a Russian unilateral withdrawal was "meaningless," and that it
would be necessary to beef up the border guards in the area if
the islands were demilitarized. Shaposhnikov suggested that the
way could be opened for a settlement of the island issue if Japan
were to provide more economic assistance to Russia, and if "politicians
in the new [Russian] generation" understood that Japan was not
an enemy. (Doug Clarke)

AFP report on 16-October cites a statement by Russian presidential
adviser Sergei Stankevich that President Yeltsin is awaiting
a report by experts before signing a decree transforming the
Kuril Islands into a special economic zone. The plan was first
announced in Hong Kong on 15-October by Valentin Fedorov, the
Governor of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Fedorov said that
the zone would afford tax breaks and other incentives to foreign
investors. (Hal Kosiba)

GAPS IN CIS AIR DEFENSE SHIELD. Kommersant reported on 16 October
that the CIS high command is concerned over the ongoing disintegration
of the former Soviet air defense system, particularly as a result
of developments in Central Asia and the Caucasus. According to
the report, an exodus of military specialists and funding shortfalls
have forced the closing of radar stations along the Tajik-Afghan
border. At the same time, plans to disband in April of 1993 the
19th Air Defense Army, stationed in the Caucasus, are likely
to create a gap there that would further impair the functioning
of the formerly integrated air defense system. (Stephen Foye)

report of 16 October, German police seized 2.2 kilograms of allegedly
highly enriched uranium in Munich on 13 October. The material
was apparently smuggled in from Russia, and a German police union
leader called for Russia to help prevent attempts to smuggle
radioactive materials. Reports were unclear on the extent of
enrichment: Reuters claimed that uranium-234, 235, and 238 were
seized. Only the uranium-235, if sufficiently pure, would be
of use in making an atomic bomb. Previous seizures of "highly
enriched uranium" have involved uranium enriched to only 3-3.5%
uranium235 for nuclear reactor fuel, rather than the much higher
90-100% enrichment required for producing atomic bombs. (John

YELTSIN AND GATES MEET. During a three day visit in Moscow, CIA
Director Robert Gates met with President Yeltsin, Evgenii Primakov,
the director of the Russian foreign intelligence service, and
Viktor Barannikov, the minister of state security, ITARTASS
and Western agencies reported on 17 October. Yeltsin told Gates
that the Russian and American intelligence services could cooperate
in the fight against drug smuggling, the proliferation of nuclear
and other weapons of mass destruction. He added, however, that
Russia could not give away all of its secrets, including information
about Russia's former KGB network in the West. Yeltsin also provided
Gates copies of the declassified KGB documents concerning the
shooting down of a South Korean passenger airliner in 1983. (Victor

reported that during his meetings with President Yeltsin and
high-ranking Russian intelligence officials, Robert Gates gave
Yeltsin details of the CIA's 1974 attempt to recover a Soviet
Golf-2 class submarine, which sank in the northern Pacific in
March 1968. Using the research ship Glomar Explorer, the CIA
secretly raised a part of the sub from the ocean floor. The remains
of six crewmen were recovered. Gates explained that the six were
buried at sea in a ceremony that included the playing of the
Soviet anthem. He gave Yeltsin the Soviet flag that had draped
the remains during the funeral. (Doug Clarke)

CABINET CHANGES IN UKRAINE. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
issued three decrees affecting the composition of the Ukrainian
government, DRPress reported on 17 October. Anatolii Lobov has
been appointed minister of the cabinet of ministers, replacing
Volodymyr Pyekhota, a longtime Communist Party functionary. Yurii
Shcherbak, who will serve as Ukraine's ambassador to Israel,
was relieved of his post as environmental minister. (Roman Solchanyk)

BLACK SEA FLEET UPDATE. The commander of the Ukrainian Navy,
Rear Admiral Boris Kozhin, told the newspaper Krymskie izvestiya
that he believes the existing infrastructure of the Black Sea
Fleet should belong to Ukraine. According to a 16 October Interfax
summary of the interview, Kozhin also suggested that expert groups
from Russia and Ukraine were completing a new agreement that
would deal with the interim joint command of the fleet and the
phased creation of independent Russian and Ukrainian navies.
(Stephen Foye)

UKRAINIAN ARMS DEALS. Ukraine and India concluded a barter deal
on 17 October in which Kiev agreed to supply weapons and spare
parts to New Delhi in exchange for Indian goods, including medicine
and cloth, Reuters reported. India also agreed to pay partly
in hard currency. The talks had appeared deadlocked on 16 September
when the Ukrainian Minister of Machine-Building, the Military-Industrial
Complex, and Conversion, Viktor Antonov, apparently insisted
on dollar payments. Meanwhile, on 17 October the press service
of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied a report published by
Komsomolskaya pravda that a deal is in the works whereby Kiev
would sell the aircraft-carrying cruiser Varyag to France in
exchange for several French-made submarines. The denial was reported
by Interfax. (Stephen Foye)

Vyacheslav Kebich has dismissed two Lt. Generals for "abuse of
power" and "failure to manage military property," Interfax reported
on 16 October. Three deputy defense ministers were reportedly
also severely reprimanded and several top posts were eliminated.
The corruption charges were first raised on 11 September. Meanwhile,
Defense Minister Pavel Kozlovsky called upon parliament to increase
the military budget, according to the same report. He said that
the armed forces were having difficulties holding on to their
best pilots and other specialists. He also said that the high
command would not tolerate "any political organizations in the
army." (Stephen Foye)

drafting a new constitution for Kyrgyzstan has completed its
work, Interfax reported on 16 October. The group's chairman was
quoted as saying that a statement that Kyrgyzstan is in the process
of a spiritual rebirth oriented toward Islamic values has been
deleted from the preamble to the draft constitution. The draft
permits only the state to own water and natural resources. According
to Interfax, Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev told the last session
of the commission that he opposes creation of a constitutional
court, because the Russian experience shows it can be misused
to stage political trials. (Bess Brown) CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPE

envoy and former Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki on
18-October warned that the human rights of Kosovo's Albanian
majority which constitutes over 90% of the population were being
"systematically violated" by Serbian authorities. He called for
the establishment of a "joint AlbanianSerbian group under international
auspices," and recommended one of his assistants to head the
project, the BBC said on 19-October. The Albanians agreed to
his suggestion, but local Serbian officials said they had no
authority to accept. (Patrick Moore)

BOSNIAN UPDATE. International media reported on 18 October that
Bosnian officers had agreed to remove a roadblock on the main
highway into Sarajevo to allow the UN to resume overland relief
convoys after several days' break. The BBC said on 17-October
that the Bosnians had claimed they were trying to prevent Serbian
tanks from using the road. Its correspondent suggested, however,
that they were simply trying to be difficult since they wanted
arms, not aid. Austrian and German TV said on 17 and 18 October,
respectively, that there were unconfirmed rumors in Sarajevo
of a coup against President Alija Izetbegovic. The putsch was
allegedly staged by Vice President Ejup Ganic and several ministers
reportedly regarded as hardliners. On 18 October international
media reported increased shelling in Sarajevo, while Croatian
Radio said that Serbs had also intensified their attacks on Bihac
and Maglaj. (Patrick Moore)

vice president of the opposition National Peasant Party Christian
Democratic, said in Washington Romania was violating the UN sanctions
imposed on trade with former Yugoslavia, Reuters reported on
17 October. Ratiu said the government was helping Serbia and
that violations included traffic on the Danube river and sharing
of electricity. (Michael Shafir)

SEJM REJECTS CRUCIAL SPENDING CUT. By a slim margin of three
votes, the Polish Sejm voted on 17 October to accept the government's
economic program for 1993 which favors investment over consumption.
The Sejm voted down a motion to reject proposed revisions to
the 1992 budget; these will raise the deficit ceiling by 16 trillion
zloty ($1.1 billion), cut spending by 3.5%, and impose new taxes.
The Sejm refused, however, to consider a related government proposal
to reduce costofliving increases in pensions from 30% to 18%.
The vote on the pensions issue was the government's first parliamentary
defeat and drives home the need to broaden the ruling coalition.
The Sejm's decision forces the government to choose between a
further increase in the budget deficit, risking the IMF's displeasure,
or additional unpopular cuts in social services. Finance Minister
Jerzy Osiatynski said the failure to limit pension increases
required the government to find new spending cuts of up to 23
trillion zloty ($1.6 billion). (Louisa Vinton)

on 16 October to reject most of the Senate's proposed changes
to the "little constitution," which is designed to clarify the
balance of power in the executive branch. In normal circumstances,
only the president's signature would now be needed to make the
bill law. But, before voting, the Sejm changed its own rules
of procedure to require a twothirds majority to accept the Senate's
revisions rather than a twothirds majority to overrule them,
as had been the case up until now. A group of 52 deputies has
asked the Constitutional Tribunal for a ruling on the legality
of this procedural change. President Lech Walesa, who has charged
that the little constitution unduly limits the powers of the
presidency, announced he would postpone any decision until the
Constitutional Tribunal rules on the case. (Louisa Vinton)

FIAT TAKES OVER POLISH AUTO PLANT. Representatives of Fiat and
the Polish finance ministry signed "opening date" agreements
on 17 October (backdated to 16 October) granting the Italian
auto maker 90% ownership of the FSM firm. FSM is already producing
compact Cinquecento cars. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka attended
the ceremony. The agreement makes possible the wage increases
that were delayed by the summer strike at the FSM plant in Tychy.
The Fiat deal, with a total value of $2 billion, is the largest
Western investment in Poland so far. (Louisa Vinton) SEJM ON
KATYN. On 17 October the Sejm adopted a resolution welcoming
President Yeltsin's release of documents showing that the CPSU
Politburo had ordered the execution of 21,000 Polish prisoners
of war in 1940. "Although the Polish nation always knew the criminals'
true names," the statement said, "the release of the documents
creates a new moral situation in PolishRussian relations. The
whole truth must be revealed, the crimes punished, and justice
done." The statement expressed confidence that legality and truth
would enable Poland and Russia to overcome the burden of the
past in building the future. (Louisa Vinton)

NEW ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT CONVENES. The new Romanian parliament,
elected on 27 September, convened in Bucharest on 16 October,
Rompres and Radio Bucharest reported on the same day. The parties
represented in the new legislature's two chambers set up new
parliamentary groups. The Socialist Labor Party, heir to the
Communist Party, and the extreme nationalist Greater Romania
Party (GRP) set up a joint group in the Senate, named "the national
bloc" (partida nationala). It will be headed by Adraian Paunescu,
a former "court poet" under Ceausescu. At a press conference
in Bucharest Corneliu Vadim Tudor, a new senator and the GRP
leader, said the next prime minister must be an "authentic Romanian"
(an allusion to former prime minister Petre Roman's Jewish origins)
and should not be a "personality of the diaspora" (an allusion
to rumors that Iliescu might nominate former dissident Mihai
Botez as premier). (Michael Shafir).

in Alba Iulia on 17 October to commemorate the seventieth anniversary
of the inauguration of the town's cathedral and the coronation
of King Ferdinand as sovereign of Greater Romania. Radio Bucharest
broadcast on the same day a message from exiled King Michael
and the response of the government. The king said that he had
been hindered from attending the ceremonies by those who in the
past had "backed a regime that brought misfortune" and who were
now inventing new pretexts and going back on earlier promises.
In reply, the government's spokeswoman said no pretexts or new
conditions had been raised for the king's visit. The prolonged
electoral process, the convening of the new parliament and the
investiture of the president had made it impossible to issue
in time a visa for the king to attend the celebrations. There
would be "other occasions" for a visit by the royal family, the
spokeswoman said. (Michael Shafir)

Alexander Dubcek, the former First Secretary of the Czechoslovak
Communist Party and symbol of the "Prague Spring," was reelected
chairman of the Slovak Social Democratic Party (SSDP) on 17 October.
Dubcek joined the SSDP shortly before this year's June elections
but failed to lead it to an election victory. The SSDP is represented
in only one chamber of the federal parliament, and has no representation
in the Slovak National Assembly. Meanwhile, Dubcek's condition
remains critical after several operations following a car crash
on 1 September in which he suffered chest and spinal injuries.
(Jan Obrman)

HUNGARIAN DEPUTY REPRIMANDED. Jozsef Debreczeni, a liberal deputy
of the ruling Hungarian Democratic Forum was reprimanded by his
party's ethics committee for publishing an article in the socialist
daily Nepszabadsag criticizing a controversial essay by Istvan
Csurka, one of the vice presidents of the Forum, MTI reported
on 16-October. Debreczeni wrote that the essay, which had antiSemitic
overtones, was the basis of Nazi ideology. The ethics committee
called attention to its earlier decision that debates among party
members should be published in periodicals close to the forum.
Debreczeni said that he was not familiar with this decision.
(Judith Pataki)

HUNGARIAN CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS MEET. The presidium of the Hungarian
Christian Democratic Peoples' Party (HCDP) met on 17 October
to discuss the political situation in the country. Party chairman
Laszlo Surjan said that a common ideology was not enough to share
in the responsibility of governing and that the HCDP was an open
party ready to cooperate with any other political force that
showed good will and even make ideological concessions to make
a coalition work. Surjan's statements, made it clear, however,
that he was not thinking about leaving the coalition before the
next national elections in 1994. The meeting adopted a resolution
stressing that war crimes and crimes against humanity committed
after the 1956 revolution were not subject to the statute of
limitations. (Judith Pataki)

On 17 October Lithuanian Prime Minister Aleksandras Abisala said
on national television that due to the higher costs of oil and
natural gas from Russia energy prices in Lithuania would be increased,
Baltfax reported on 18 October. Households will have to pay 5.4
coupons (the temporary currency in the republic) for a kilowatt
of electricity. The monthly charge for hot water will be 139.5
coupons, for natural gas-196 coupons, and for heating-12.6 coupons
per square meter. Hot water would be supplied to apartments for
no more than 6 to 8 hours a day and apartments would be heated
only to 15 degrees Centigrade. (Saulius Girnius)

King Carl Gustaf XVI and Queen Sylvia completed an official threeday
visit to Lithuania during which they held talks with Lithuanian
officials and visited Vilnius, Trakai, and Kaunas, Radio Lithuania
reported. On 16 October Swedish Foreign Minister Margaretha af
Ugglas and Lithuanian counterpart Algirdas Saudargas signed a
treaty on free trade and protection of investments. At a press
conference she noted Sweden's concern about the safety of the
Ignalina plant and promised 40 million krona to help insure its
safety. (Saulius Girnius)

IGNALINA LEAK AFFECTS LATVIA. Radio Riga reported on 15 October
increased levels of radioactivity in various parts of Latvia
following the leaks at the Ignalina nuclear power station in
Lithuania. At Daugavpils, Zilani and Dagda the monitoring stations
had noted readings of 14, 13, and 12 microroentgens per hour
earlier in the day. On 17 October Lithuanian officials inspecting
the second reactor at the Ignalina plant that had been shut down
on 15 October discovered a crack a centimeter long in a pipe
in the main cooling circuit of the reactor, Western agencies
reported. Another crack was found in a pipe in the emergency
cooling system. The repairs of the reactor will not be completed
by 21 October as previously thought, but by 23 October at the
earliest. (Dzintra Bungs and Saulius Girnius)

on the ecological problems of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet
Union, organized by the Washingtonbased Center for Democracy,
the Howard Gilman Foundation, and under the patronage of Bulgarian
President Zhelyu Zhelev, environment ministers representing some
twenty countries adopted a joint declaration outlining chief
strategies in fighting pollution. BTA reported on 16 October
that the Sofia conference had found that many countries had little
knowledge about the environmental problems of their neighbors.
It had been suggested that a network for conveying such information
be created. A larger conference involving all the environment
ministers of the region is scheduled for early 1993 in Florida.
(Kjell Engelbrekt)

delegation is scheduled to discuss the controversial Gabciko-Nagymaros
hydroelectric project with EC officials on 19 October, CSTK reported.
A spokesman for the Slovak Environment Ministry was quoted as
saying that the Slovak delegation would present its position
on the environmental, technical, and legal issues involved in
the project. The Chairman of the Slovak parliament's Foreign
Affairs Committee, Ivan Laluha, said on 18-October that the Slovak
side was willing to continue talks with the Hungarian government,
but made it clear at the same time that Slovakia would commence
diversion of the Danube on 20 October. Hungarian officials have
argued that the diversion of the Danube would change the border
between the two countries and was thus illegal. Meanwhile, more
than a thousand people rallied in front of Hungary's parliament
on 18 October to show their opposition to the Slovak plans. On
the same day, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry formally protested
to Slovakia, saying that the "unilateral opening of Gabcikovo
breached EC recommendations." (Jan Obrman)

talks on troop withdrawal have once again been postponed. At
the request of the Russian side, they are now scheduled to start
on 23-October in Moscow. Radio Riga also reported on 17 October
that a group of Russian parliamentarians, after completing their
factfinding visit to Latvia, told the press that they had found
that the human rights of Russian troops in Latvia were not being
violated-a claim that had been made by groups wishing to restore
Soviet power in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

16 October German Ambassador Hagen von Lambsdorf told the press
in Riga that he had authorized the closing of his country's consular
and diplomatic offices because the building had been without
water since 12 October and the Riga city authorities had still
not resolved the problem. Radio Riga announced on 18 October
that the water supply had been restored during the weekend, and
the German diplomatic and consular offices on Basteja Boulevard
would reopen on 19 October. The problem may stem from Riga's
antiquated water supply system. (Dzintra Bungs)

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosiba & Anna Swidlicka

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

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