A tablecloth restaurant is still one of the great rewards of civilization. - Harry Golden
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 208, 28 October 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN BANS NATIONAL SALVATION FRONT. Russian President Boris
Yeltsin has called for the banning of the National Salvation
Front, which was founded last weekend by an assortment of communist,
nationalist, and other political groups. Yeltsin said that he
decided to ban the Front because it had called for the overthrow
of the lawful authorities, including the president, ITAR-TASS
reported on 27-October. Leaders of the Front asserted that Yeltsin
was panicking. Izvestiya reported on the same day that Yeltsin
had created a "working group" of senior ministers who will plan
to hold a referendum on the constitution while also temporarily
suspending parliament. Ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev stated
that during its last meeting, the Security Council had discussed
the introduction of emergency rule, but that no consensus had
been reached. (Alexander Rahr)

PARLIAMENTARY GUARDS SURROUND IZVESTIYA. The parliamentary guards,
under the command of parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov,
have surrounded the publication house and the editorial offices
of the newsapaper Izvestiya in order to enforce a parliamentary
decision to return the newspaper to the legislature's control,
ITAR-TASS reported on 27 October. Izvestiya first became independent
after the failed August 1991 putsch, but parliament subsequently
voted to subordinate the newspaper once again to parliament.
President Yeltsin had previously promised that he would defend
Izvestiya against seizure by parliamentary hardliners. (Alexander
Rahr)

YELTSIN CRITICIZES FOREIGN MINISTRY. In a highly critical speech
at the Russian Foreign Ministry on 27 October, President Yeltsin
noted that there had been "improvisations, inconsistencies and
contradictions" in the work of the Foreign Ministry, whereas
its personnel reform was progressing "very, very slowly." Yeltsin
claimed that Russia must advocate its foreign policy interests
more directly, and not be overly concerned with charges of Russian
imperialism. Rather, Russian foreign policy should focus on protecting
Russia's interests and security, and Russia should not allow
itself to be insulted in a manner which the USSR would not have
tolerated. Overall, the speech was a clear call to greater action,
and tougher stands, by the Foreign Ministry. The speech was reported
by Interfax. (John Lepingwell)

YELTSIN VOICES SUPPORT FOR GAIDAR, KOZYREV. In his 27 October
speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry, President Yeltsin voiced
his support for Prime Minister Gaidar and Foreign Minister Kozyrev.
Yeltsin noted that he had no intention of "sacrificing" either
Gaidar or Kozyrev, but his support for Kozyrev seemed more qualified.
Yeltsin described Gaidar's retention as "essential" but did not
say the same for Kozyrev. While Yeltsin did dismiss rumors of
Kozyrev's resignation as speculation, the harshness of Yeltsin's
criticism of the Foreign Ministry would seem to imply that Kozyrev's
days as Foreign Minister are numbered. Yeltsin also praised the
work of the Russian embassy in Washington which is headed by
Vladimir Lukin, a critic of, and potential successor to, Kozyrev.
(John Lepingwell)

YELTSIN CALLS FOR TOUGHER POLICY TOWARD BALTIC STATES. President
Yeltsin accused the West of double standards concerning the "persecution"
of the Russian-speaking population in the Baltic States in his
27 October speech at the Russian Foreign Ministry. According
to Interfax, he urged the Foreign Ministry to make greater efforts
to raise the issue, and complained that in this area, as in others,
the Foreign Ministry was only reacting to events rather than
anticipating them. (John Lepingwell)

RUSSIAN SHOW OF FORCE STOPS GEORGIAN SHELLING IN ABKHAZIA. According
to an ITAR-TASS report of 27 October, two Russian Su-25 attack
aircraft flew over Georgian artillery emplacements shelling a
Russian military garrison in Eshery. While the aircraft did not
open fire, the shelling stopped under the threat of attack. In
a separate incident reported by AFP on 28 October, a Russian
Su-25 fired an air-to-air missile at a Georgian aircraft that
had opened fire on it. Neither aircraft was hit. Both incidents
appear to reflect the first implementation of a new policy that
allows Russian forces to return fire without warning. (John Lepingwell)


GERASHCHENKO DETAILS POSITION ON ECONOMIC ISSUES. Russian Central
Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko gave what may be the most informative
presentation to date of his positions on economic reform policy
in an interview with Trud on 27 October. His major point was
that an excessively tight credit policy had largely caused the
drastic fall in Russian economic production, and urged that "we
should not repeat the mistakes of the USA in 1929, when [such
a policy contributed to] the country collapsing into a deep economic
crisis." Although appreciative of the need to continue anti-inflation
measures and clearly against such policies as indexation of wages,
he argued for a reorientation of economic policy towards ending
the plunge in economic activity in the country. Gerashchenko
also touched on weaknesses of current pricing, interest rate
and privatization policies. (Erik Whitlock)

RUSSIA'S RECESSION DEEPENS. During the interview with Gerashchenko,
the interviewer cited some statistical data that was presumably
taken from the Goskomstat report for the first nine months of
1992. Industrial output in August was said to be 27% lower than
in August 1991, while industrial output in September was down
by 28-29%. He also mentioned a monthly inflation rate of 25%.
Reuters of the same date cited Izvestiya to the effect that inflation
in October could rise to 25%. The original source could not be
obtained. (Keith Bush)

RUBLE FALLS FURTHER. At the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange
session on 27 October, the ruble fell further, Bizness-TASS reported.
It closed the day at 393 rubles to the US dollar, against 368
rubles to the dollar on 22 October. Volume traded was $45-million,
up from $39 million on 22 October. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN COUNCIL OF ENTREPRENEURS. During his visit to Tolyatti
on 25 October, Gaidar addressed an assembly of some 60 industrial
executives, Interfax and Western agencies reported. In return
for their support, he promised greater consultation with them
and their peers, and announced a number of concessions to industry.
Gaidar said that a government resolution would be adopted on
26 October to set up a Council of Entrepreneurs under the Russian
government. It was not immediately clear how this body would
differ from, or interact with the Council on Entrepreneurship,
which was set up on 2 March,and the Trilateral Commission, of
which little has been heard of late. (Keith Bush)

PERSONNEL CHANGES IN RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT. On 23 October, ITAR-TASS
reported that Russian Health Minister Andrei Vorobiev had been
replaced. He had suffered a heart attack on 22-October while
presenting his plans to reform the health care system to the
cabinet. His replacement was not named, nor was a reason for
his retirement given. Russia's chief representative to the International
Monetary Fund, Konstantin Kagalovsky, was replaced on the same
day. ITAR-TASS reported that he would become an adviser to Gaidar.
No replacement for Kagalovsky was named, but it is thought that
Aleksei Mozhin is in line for the post. (Keith Bush)

CHEMICAL WEAPONS ELIMINATION SITES NAMED. The presidium of the
Russian parliament discussed a draft program for the elimination
of Russian chemical weapons on 26 October. ITAR-TASS reported
the names of the four sites where elimination facilities will
be built. They are Novocheboksarsk (in the Chuvash autonomous
republic, some 650 kilometers east of Moscow), Kambarka (in the
Udmurt autonomous republic), and two locations in Saratov oblast:
Volsk-17 and Gornyi. Russia has said it has 40,000 tons of chemical
weapons. A destruction facility had been built in Chapayevsk
in 1989, but local protests forced the government to limit its
use to research. The new sites mentioned in the draft program
appear to be declared chemical weapons storage facilities. Kambarka,
for example, is a depot for nearly 7,000 tons of lewisite, a
poisonous blister gas used in World War I. (Doug Clarke)

RUSSIAN DELEGATION TO IRAN DISCUSSES NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY SALES.
According to a report published in Kommersant on 27 October,
a delegation that included representatives of the Russian Atomic
Energy Ministry and Russian nuclear technology exporting organizations,
met with Iranian officials from 15 through 24 October. The group
discussed the timetable for the construction in Iran of a VVER
nuclear reactor, the sale of which was agreed in August 1992
despite US objections. Other discussions concerned possible joint
uranium prospecting projects, and a chemical process for extracting
uranium from low-grade ores. (John Lepingwell)

NEW UKRAINIAN CABINET OF MINISTERS. The Ukrainian parliament
on 27 October approved the new cabinet of ministers presented
by Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma, Ukrinform-TASS reported. Ihor
Yukhnovsky, the former head of the opposition People's Council
in the parliament, was named first deputy prime minister. He
will be assisted by five deputy prime ministers. A total of 21
ministers were named; three ministerial posts remain vacant.
Kuchma, in his address to parliament, said that the composition
of the new government is not final and may be changed if the
need arises. (Roman Solchanyk)

RUSSIAN-TAJIK FORCES COOPERATE FOR STABILITY IN DUSHANBE. Tajikistan's
acting President Akbarsho Iskandarov told a press conference
on 27 October that the Tajik government has adequate forces at
its disposal to prevent a repetition of the attempt by fighters
from Kulyab Oblast to overthrow it, Interfax reported. He admitted
that authorities in Dushanbe had been warned that the Kulyab
forces would attack the capital on 24 October, but had not believed
the warning. The Russian division stationed in Tajikistan will
continue to guard important sites, including government buildings,
the Nurek power station and industrial installations. Iskandarov
said that an assembly of representatives of all political parties
and movements, public organizations and ethnic groups is to be
convened to find a solution to the country's crisis. (Bess Brown)


KYRGYZ VICE-PRESIDENT HAS DOUBTS. Kyrgyzstan's Vice-President
Feliks Kulov told Interfax on 27 October that Iskandarov had
asked him to resume his peace mission but he has been unable
to reach the Tajik leader. Kulov said that he had been told by
Tajikistan's National Security Committee that the situation in
Dushanbe was completely out of control and that Pamiris from
Gorno-Badakhshan were seizing motor vehicles and taking hostages.
Kulov's information appears to confirm a Tajik diplomat's statement
to an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow that forces from Badakhshan
and supporters of the Islamic Renaissance Party (IRP) have been
robbing the populace and commandeering vehicles. According to
the diplomat, the Pamiris and IRP supporters had started fighting
each other. The IRP and Badakhshan's nationalist movement are
both members of the anti-Communist coalition. (Bess Brown)

DZHALAL-ABAD CRISIS APPARENTLY DEFUSED. Kyrgyzstan's President
Askar Akaev has apparently defused a crisis that, according to
Akaev, threatened to create a Tajik-type situation in Dzhalal-Abad
Oblast in the southern part of the country, Interfax reported
on 27 October. During a lightening visit to Dzhalal-Abad, Akaev
managed to persuade supporters of the chief of the oblast administration
(akim), Bekmamat Osmonov, to give up their demonstrations demanding
the resignations of Vice-President Feliks Kulov and Prime Minister
Tursunbek Chyngyshev for having demanded an investigation of
Osmonov's rule. Osmonov himself offered his resignation, admitting
that a sharp division between supporters and adversaries of his
policies endangered stability in the oblast, where the presence
of a large Uzbek minority creates the potential for interethnic
violence. (Bess Brown)

MOLDOVAN HUMAN RIGHTS BODY APPEALS TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.
The Moldovan Parliament's Commission for Human Rights and Interethnic
Relations on 21 October appealed to international organizations
to defend the rights of Moldovans in areas on both banks of the
Dniester controlled by "Dniester" insurgents and by Russia's
14th Army. The appeal, carried by Moldovapres, noted the ongoing
"liquidation of constitutional bodies," the imposition of the
Russian script in place of the Latin for the "Moldovan" language,
the closure of many "Moldovan"-language kindergartens, the eviction
from jobs and/or homes of thousands of Moldovans who disagree
with the "Dniester republic"'s policies, and the illegal detention
of several local Moldovan activists on unsubstantiated charges.
The appeal also noted that "in its difficult situation, Moldova
is not in a position to defend its citizens in its eastern area."
(Vladimir Socor)

MORE ON UKRAINIAN-MOLDOVAN SUMMIT. The presidents of Moldova
and Ukraine, Mircea Snegur and Leonid Kravchuk, declared at the
signing ceremony of the Ukrainian-Moldovan treaty on 23 October,
as cited by TASS, that the sides agree on respecting each other's
territorial integrity and not raising territorial issues stemming
from the second world war; but that they do not rule out a future
examination of the issue of northern Bukovina and southern Bessarabia
(former parts of Moldova and, later, of Romania, which were transferred
to Ukraine following the Soviet annexation of these areas). Kravchuk
told a news conference in Chisinau, as reported by the Moldovan
media, that Ukraine regards the "Dniester region" as an inseparable
part of Moldova; and that Moldova's independence and territorial
integrity is important to Ukraine. He said that any legal-political
status of that region is for the Moldovan parliament to determine.
(Vladimir Socor)



Compiled by Hal Kosiba and Louisa Vinton




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

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