It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is. - Erasmus
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 217, 10 November 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN IN LONDON. During the first day of his two-day state
visit to England, Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed, together
with British Prime Minister John Major, a new bilateral treaty
pledging peace, friendship, and wide-ranging cooperation between
the two countries. According to Western press coverage, it was
the first general treaty betw een the two countries to be signed
since 1766. British and Russian ministers also signed agreements
on economic cooperation, military contacts, civil aviation security,
the safe transport of Russian nuclear weapons that are scheduled
for destruction, and the establishment of a direct telephone
link between the two governments. (Keith Bush)

ECONOMIC ASPECTS. Mr. Major offered an export credit package
to the value of $428 million plus an extension of Britain's "know-how"
fund. In a speech at the London Stock Exchange, Yeltsin called
for a rescheduling of the debt of the former Soviet Union with
an extension of the cut-off date from 1 January 1991 until 8
December 1991 (the date marking the formal demise of the Soviet
Union). To British businessmen, he promised legal guarantees
on investments, lower taxes, greater opportunities to repatriate
profits, and the possibility of buying property in Russia. He
repeated an earlier suggestion of exchanging assets for part
of the debt owed to the West. (Keith Bush)

NECHAEV AND GERASHCHENKO ON CREDIT POLICY. At a Vienna conference
on investing in the former Soviet Union, Russian Economy Minister
Andrei Nechaev promised a return to tighter money in Russia,
Reuters reported on 9 November. "Now the government is going
to return to a relatively tough credit and budgetary policy that
will be the main precondition for the stabilization of the exchange
rate." But Russian Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko
at the same meeting repeated his consistent refrain that harsh
monetary policies were not the answer to Russia's problems. In
an interview with ITAR-TASS on 6 November, Gerashchenko warned
that the economy would not recover in 1993 unless monetary policy
were further loosened. (Keith Bush).

UN OFFICIAL WARNS OF ALTERNATIVES TO AIDING FORMER USSR. At the
same meeting in Vienna concerning investment in the former Soviet
Union, Domingo Saizon, Head of the UN Industrial Development
Organization (UNIDO), said that increasing Western aid to the
former Soviet republics was vital, Reuters reported on 9 November.
The alternative, in his view, would be civil wars and resultant
mass migration. (Hal Kosiba)

YELTSIN NO LONGER OPPOSED TO MEETING OF CONGRESS. Just prior
to his departure on a trip to Great Britain and Hungary on 9
November, President Yeltsin told reporters that he thought "it's
about time to stop talking about postponing the Congress [of
People's Deputies]. It is unrealistic. The Congress will start
as scheduled [on 1 December]," Reuters reported on 9-November.
But the Russian president also urged all political parties to
seek a maximum of "unity and cohesion" in order to avoid producing
"a brawl in front of the whole world." Previously, Yeltsin had
requested the postponement of the Congress, and even threatened
to dissolve it. The Russian parliament has insisted on convening
the Congress, which was elected in 1989 and whose membership
includes former hardline communists opposed to Yeltsin's market-oriented
modernization and democratization programs. (Hal Kosiba)

TRAVKIN FOR REPLACEMENT OF GAIDAR. Nikolai Travkin, leader of
the Democratic Party of Russia and cofounder of the Civic Union,
said acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar has to be replaced at
the upcoming Congress of Peoples Deputies. He told Rossiiskaya
gazeta on 7-November that the departure of Gaidar would mean
not the end but the beginning of true reform. He called for a
radical change in the "ideology of reform," and stated the need
for overall privatization, which, in his view, was more important
than monetary reform. He referred to his own economic reform
experiment, which he is conducting in the city of Shakhovskaya.
There, according to Travkin, "everything has been privatized"
and the state economic sector no longer exists. Travkin said
that he cooperates closely with parliamentary speaker Ruslan
Khasbulatov. He dismissed the view that Khasbulatov was opposed
to reform. (Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIANS STRUGGLE OVER DIAMONDS. The conflict between Russian
parliamentarians and Yakut diamond producers continues, Reuters
reported on 9 November. Part of the current friction concerns
the Russian diamond industry's relationship with De Beers, the
world's diamond marketing monopoly. Some members of Parliament
are urging the renegotiation of a five-year agreement signed
with De Beers in 1990 to market 95% of (what was then) the Soviet
Union's uncut diamond output. They claim the terms of the deal
are unfavorable to Russia. The Yakut diamond industry, which
produces 90% of Russia's diamonds, is satisfied with its relationship
with De Beers and considers the parliament's attempt to renegotiate
an intrusion into local affairs. (Erik Whitlock)

EMPLOYMENT FOR RUSSIANS IN GERMANY. Russian and German authorities
are drawing up an agreement whereby approximately 11,000 Russian
workers will be able to get work contracts in Germany, 5,000
of whom in construction, according to an Interfax report of 9-November.
A further 2,000 workers may be involved in exchange programs
for periods of 12-18-months. These agreements are expected to
be signed during Chancellor Helmut Kohl's visit to Russia next
month. The Russian Ministry of Labor and Employment seems interested
in organizing such programs in order to limit the number of attempts
by Russians at illegal entry to western countries and to protect
the interests of Russian workers abroad. (Sheila Marnie)

RUSSIA REQUESTS HELP DESTROYING CHEMICAL WEAPONS. General Anatolii
Kuntsevich, Yeltsin's adviser on chemical weapons destruction,
has called for greater US financial and technical assistance
in destroying the former Soviet Union's chemical weapons stockpile.
The stockpile reportedly totals 40,000 tons, although some estimates
are higher, and Kuntsevich claimed that its destruction would
cost at least 500 billion rubles. Estimates of the cost of destroying
the smaller US stockpile range up to $8 billion. The US has provided
$25-million to Russia for studies of destruction options. The
only existing destruction facility in Russia was never put into
operation because of local environmental concerns, so new sites
must be selected and facilities built before the destruction
can begin. Kuntsevich's comments were reported in a story in
the Chicago Tribune on 10 November. (John Lepingwell)

RUSSIA JUSTIFIES LISTENING POST IN CUBA. Aleksei Ermakov, an
official in the Latin American department of the Russian Foreign
Ministry, has said that the ex-Soviet electronic listening post
in Cuba is an effective means of monitoring compliance with the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). He suggested that in
the future it might also play an important role in the global
missile defense system under discussion by the United States
and Russia. He was quoted by Interfax on 9 November. Ermakov
said that "several hundred" people manned the facility, which
is at Lourdes, near Havana. The agency account said that all
Russian military personnel would be out of Cuba by 1 July of
1993, except for a "small group of Russian military specialists....Their
main task will be to give technical consultations and repair
equipment." (Doug Clarke)

CONVENTIONAL ARMS TREATY BECOMES LAW. The Conventional Armed
Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty formally entered into force on
9 November, nine days after Belarus and Kazakhstan became the
last two signatories to deposit their instruments of ratification.
This was announced by US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
(In July, Armenia had been mentioned as also not having ratified
the treaty. It must have subsequently done so without any fanfare.)
Boucher was quoted by USIA as saying that "literally hundreds
of inspections have already been conducted" under the provisions
of the treaty. He added that the United States expected that
some 35,000 pieces of former Soviet military equipment would
be destroyed. (Doug Clarke)

BELARUSIAN PRODUCTION STABILIZING? Belarusian Prime Minister
Vyacheslav Kebich told workers in the city of Bobruiska that
the nation's industrial production was beginning to recover,
according to Belinform-TASS on 9 November. Kebich said that the
level of industrial production over the period from January to
October was 94.2% of what it was over the same period in 1991.
This is an improvement over the January-July and January-September
periods which were under 90% of their corresponding periods in
1991. The prime minister cited the stability of the internal
political system as key to the economy's recovery. (Erik Whitlock)


STALEMATE OVER CIS CHARTER. Ivan Korotchenya, the coordinator
of the working group responsible for organizing CIS summits,
told Interfax on 9 November that the debate over the CIS charter
at the meeting of CIS heads of government in Moscow on 13 November
was likely to be difficult. Discussions of the charter had shown
that there were still fundamental differences between the CIS
states on the nature of the Commonwealth, with some thinking
it should be based on a collective security treaty, which others
rejected. There was also disagreement concerning CIS institutions
of power. (Ann Sheehy)

GAMSAKHURDIA URGES CHECHENS TO SUPPORT DUDAEV. At a celebration
in Groznyi on 9 November to mark the first anniversary of the
Chechen republic's independence, the former president of Georgia,
Zviad Gamsakhurdia, said that he saw signs that a situation was
developing in Chechnya similar to that in Georgia last year that
led to his overthrow, and he urged those assembled to support
Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev. Deputy chairman of the Tatar
Milli-Medjilis (unofficial parliament) Zaki Zainullin told the
meeting that Tatarstan plans "to achieve true independence by
using almost the same means as the Chechen republic used." (Ann
Sheehy)

SHAKHRAI TAKES OVER FROM KHIZHA IN NORTH OSSETIA. Sergei Shakhrai,
newly appointed Russian deputy prime minister in charge of nationalities
policy, was named on 9-November to take over from deputy prime
minister Georgii Khizha as head of the Provisional Administration
in North Ossetia, the Russian media reported. In North Ossetia
the exchange of hostages continued, but it is still not complete.
The chairman of the North Ossetian parliament Akhsarbek Galazov
alleged that Ingush forces were regrouping in Ingushetia. The
first steps are being taken to establish a state of emergency
in Ingushetia but Major Tanghiev, commander of a self-defense
unit in the Ingush capital Nazran told Interfax that if Russian
troops are sent to Ingushetia to ensure the state of emergency
regime, they would have to eliminate the entire Ingush population.
His view was echoed by Isa Kodzoev, the head of the radical Ingush
nationalist "Niiskho" (Justice) party. (Ann Sheehy)

ABKHAZ PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN COMMENTS ON CONFLICT. In an interview
given to Russian TV and summarized by ITAR-TASS on 9 November,
Abkhaz parliament chairman Vladislav Ardzinba accused the Georgian
leadership of trying to turn the political conflict between Georgia
and Abkhazia into an ethnic conflict. He also charged that the
leadership of the Transcaucasus Military District had supplied
arms to Georgian forces. Ardzinba suggested that the federation
treaty recently signed between the Russian Federation and its
republics could serve as a model for a peaceful solution to the
Abkhaz conflict, but reiterated his previous demand that all
Georgian forces should withdraw from Abkhazia. (Liz Fuller)

MORE REFUGEES IN TAJIKISTAN. More refugees from fighting in the
Kabodien and Shaartuz Raions of Kurgan-Tyube Oblast have fled
to Dushanbe; there are now more than 55,000 refugees in the Tajik
capital, according to Khovar-TASS on 9 November. The number was
quoted by Deputy Prime Minister Aslidin Sohibnazarov, who added
that the number of refugees in Tajikistan as a whole has reached
almost 430,000, out of a population of about 5.5-million. The
same agency reported the same day that the railway to Dushanbe
has been blown up in three places. (Bess Brown)

ASLONOV'S ISLAMIC CONTACTS. Interfax reported on 9 November that
representatives of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia, and
Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyz Vice President Feliks Kulov, all of whom
are in Tajikistan trying to persuade the warring parties to talk
peace, met with a delegation from Kulyab Oblast on 8 November.
The delegation from the main southern center of resistance to
the Tajik government told the visitors that Kurgan-Tyube soviet
executive chairman and government supporter Kadriddin Aslonov,
kidnapped more than a week ago, is in the hands of Kulyab officials
who found documents which they say prove that Aslonov has had
contacts with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezbi-Islami party in Afghanistan.
The Kulyab delegation wants Aslonov put on trial, according to
the report. (Bess Brown)

U.S. ENVOY CONCERNED OVER "DNIESTER" HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.
Interviewed in Moldova Suverana of 5 November, the U.S. Ambassador
to Moldova, Mary Pendleton, expressed concern over "extremely
serious violations of human rights" by the "Dniester republic."
Pendleton focused on the detention of individuals for political
reasons and condemned the "Dniester" authorities' refusal to
allow the International Red Cross to visit the detainees. She
also called attention to cases of kidnapping and murder of political
dissidents by the "Dniester" authorities. In the same interview
Pendleton praised Moldova's performance in observing human rights.
(Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER REPUBLIC" CELEBRATES BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION. The Russian-ruled
"Dniester republic" in eastern Moldova celebrated the Bolshevik
revolution anniversary on 7-November with rallies and demonstrations.
Addressing a rally at the Lenin monument in Tiraspol, the "republic
president," Igor Smirnov, praised Soviet achievements and chastised
other parts of the former Union for renouncing them, Reuters
and DR-Press reported. Smirnov also pledged a continued buildup
of the "Dniester" armed forces. In a commentary on the occasion,
the "Dniester" press agency said that the "republic"'s very existence
strengthens the political forces in Moscow that seek to restore
a "Greater Russia." DR-Press also reported from Moscow that communist
demonstrators there on 7 November passed out leaflets proclaiming
that "Dniester's struggle against Snegur" reflected a "determination
to restore the USSR." (Vladimir Socor)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

EVACUATION FROM SARAJEVO TO BEGIN. International media on 10
November said that plans are underway to begin the largest single
evacuation from Sarajevo, mainly of sick, wounded, elderly, and
children. Up to 6,000 people will be involved in a process expected
to last days. The Bosnian government had blocked the move earlier,
claiming that it included able-bodied men who are forbidden to
leave. Meanwhile, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that
Croatian and Bosnian forces are continuing to block a vital Serb
supply corridor between Brcko and Gradacac in northern Bosnia.
They have also continued an offensive in eastern Herzegovina,
while Serbian forces maintain their shelling of Mostar, Stolac,
and Capljina. (Patrick Moore)

WILL SARAJEVO BECOME NINOSLAVGRAD? The New York Times on 10 November
said that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has again proposed
dividing the republic, including Sarajevo, along ethnic lines,
but this is a non-starter for the Bosnian government and for
the international mediators. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
quotes the 9-November Belgrade press as saying that Bosnian Serbs
are planning a sweeping program to rename cities, towns, and
other place names, including mountains and rivers, to remove
any trace of over 400 years of Ottoman rule and Islamic heritage.
Sarajevo, which is a name of Turkish origin, would be replaced
by the purely Slavic Kotromangrad or Ninoslavgrad. Any reference
to "Bosanski" in place names would also be dropped. (Patrick
Moore)

MACEDONIA AGAIN PLEADS FOR RECOGNITION. The 10 November New York
Times quotes Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov as appealing
to the US for recognition in view of his republic's mounting
economic problems and ethnic tensions. Western agencies on 6
November reported that the Greek prime minister and the Macedonian
foreign minister were both in Bonn to meet with their respective
German counterparts, who are trying to overcome Greek objections
to Skopje's obtaining international recognition under the name
Macedonia, which Athens claims is exclusively Hellenic patrimony.
The Croatian media said that on 4-November a Macedonian consulate
was opened in Bonn in reciprocation for the presence of a German
consulate in Skopje. Germany formally respects the Greek veto
of the recognition of Macedonia by EC members, but Slobodna Dalmacija
on 6 November said that Bonn is becoming increasingly impatient
with Athens and is trying to break the logjam. (Patrick Moore)


HUNGARY PROTESTS NEW SERBIAN SHIPPING FEES ON THE DANUBE. The
Hungarian Foreign Ministry objected to Belgrade's recently announced
fees on Danube shipping, MTI reported on 9 November. The fees
amount to about $2,000 per ship. The ministry said that the new
fees violate the free shipping on the Danube and that Hungary
wants to call a special session of the Danube Commission to discuss
Belgrade's "unilateral and illegal" move. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)


LATVIA REJECTS YELTSIN'S APPEAL TO UN ON HUMAN RIGHTS. On 9 November
Latvia's UN ambassador Aivars Baumanis told the RFE/RL correspondent
in New York that Russian President Boris Yeltsin's letter to
UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on 5-November was
intended for "internal use." Yeltsin had asked the UN to "include
the question of mass violations of human rights and freedoms"
in the Baltic States as "an important and urgent one" on the
agenda of its 47th session. Baumanis also said that he would
meet later that day with UN Undersecretary General Vladimir Petrovsky,
a Russian, to press for the early release of the results of the
recent four-day fact-finding mission to Latvia, led by Ibrahina
Fall, the director of the UN Human Rights Center in Geneva. Meanwhile,
a UN spokesman told RFE/RL on 9-November that Boutros-Ghali had
intended to comment on the letter but later changed his mind.
The spokesman offered no further explanation. (Saulius Girnius
and Riina Kionka)

HUNGARIAN PREMIER REASSURES JEWISH LEADERS. Hungarian Prime Minister
Jozsef Antall said that his government will act with the "full
vigor" of the law to protect minorities. He made the remark during
a meeting with Jewish religious and cultural leaders, Hungarian
radio said on 9 November. Antall also called for "thoughtful
analysis" of events and avoiding overreaction. Jewish leaders
said that the Jewish community does not want to take part in
domestic political skirmishes. The meeting came against a backdrop
of what many Jews regard as a resurgence of anti-Semitism in
Hungarian politics, an impression the government has been anxious
to dispel internationally. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ISRAEL. On an official visit, Krzysztof
Skubiszewski conferred on 9 November with Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin on the relations between the two countries. According to
a PAP report, Skubiszewski had said his talks with Rabin and
an earlier meeting with Foreign Minister Shimon Perez aimed at
developing closer economic and cultural ties. Responding to Israeli
concern over an upsurge of anti-Semitism in Poland, Skubiszewski
described such trends as marginal, but said that the Polish government
took them seriously. Skubiszewski also promised that Poland would
continue to help Jews from the Commonwealth of Independent States
emigrate to Israel. Many emigrants use Poland as a transit point.
Skubiszewski also met Palestinian representatives. He told reporters
that the Arab-Israeli peace talks should "take into account the
rights of all peoples and nations in the region." (Jan de Weydenthal)


ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS BACK CALL TO OUTLAW ETHNIC HATRED.
Opposition and minority leaders voiced support on 9 November
for a proposal by chief rabbi Moses Rosen to pass a law against
inciting ethnic hatred. Although there are only about 15,000
Jews among Romania's 22.5 million people, they have been frequently
targeted by extremists in several chauvinistic publications.
But the most severe nationalist tensions involve the ethnic Hungarians
in Transylvania, whose number is put at between 1.6 and 2 million.
Radio Bucharest reported that leaders of eight opposition parties,
including the Party of Civic Alliance, the National Peasant Party--Christian
Democratic and the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania
backed Rosen's call to outlaw inter-ethnic hatred. (Dan Ionescu)


ROMANIA'S NATIONAL SALVATION FRONT REAFFIRMS POLITICAL IDENTITY.
In a statement released through Radio Bucharest on 9 November,
the NSF reaffirmed its Western-type social-democratic orientation.
The communique defended the NSF's right to join other democratic
forces in the parliament, despite ideological differences. It
also expressed fears that the rival Democratic National Salvation
Front might conclude post-electoral alliances with extreme nationalists
parties. The DNSF, which broke away from the NSF in April, emerged
as the strongest party from recent general elections, but failed
to win an outright majority in the legislature. The NSF ranked
third, after the DNSF and the Democratic Convention. (Dan Ionescu)


CZECHS AND SLOVAKS DEFINE FUTURE ECONOMIC RELATIONS. Meeting
in Zidlochovice on 9 November, the Czech and Slovak governments
reached eight agreements, most of them defining economic relations
between the Czech Republic and Slovakia after the dissolution
of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993. Following the meeting, Czech
Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus told reporters that a draft accord
had been reached on good-neighborly relations and cooperation
between the two republics. Other agreements included those on
preventing double taxation, on the protection of investment,
and on cooperation in the areas of communications, agriculture,
and transportation. CSTK reports that the two sides agreed to
launch tax reforms on 1 January 1993. The agreement calls for
the republics to have the same tax system. The two governments
also reached an accord on the division of the Czechoslovak army
and agreed on general principles that will be used in dividing
the federation's assets. Klaus told reporters that Czechoslovakia
would not sign an agreement this year on free trade between Czechoslovakia,
Poland, and Hungary. The agreement would be signed by the leaders
of the Czech Republic and Slovakia after 1 January. (Jiri Pehe)


VACLAV KLAUS REELECTED CHAIRMAN OF THE CIVIC DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus was overwhelmingly reelected
chairman of the Civic Democratic Party at the group's third party
congress on 7 November, Czechoslovak Television reported. Klaus,
who was unopposed, received 333 out of a possible 350 votes.
Klaus was a founding member of the CDP in early 1991 and served
as its chairman ever since; he led the party to a decisive election
victory in the June 1992 elections. In his address to the congress,
Klaus urged continued party unity. He said the CDP needs to demonstrate
to the public that it has the ability to carry through the transformation
of the Czech Republic to democracy and a market economy. (Jan
Obrman)

NORDIC BANK APPROVES LOAN TO ESTONIA. The Nordic Investment Bank
on 9 November approved a loan worth about $5.6 million to develop
Estonian industry, tourism, and communications, Western agencies
report. The loan is the first installment in a program by the
Nordic countries--Finland Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland--to
provide hard currency and managerial advice to the three Baltic
states. The total program will be worth around $125-million.
Nordic Bank officials told reporters the money for Estonia would
be channeled through the Estonian Investment Bank. (Riina Kionka)


LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS UNITED STATES. On 10 November
Aleksandras Abisala departed for a five-day working visit to
the US, Radio Lithuania reported. He is slated to hold talks
with World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Wilfred
Thalwitz, senior IMF officials, US Acting Secretary of State
Lawrence Eagleburger, and US Trade representative Carla Hill.
He is expected to address a lunch meeting of leading American
business and investment leaders on 12 November. He will also
meet with the Lithuanian communities in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
(Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS IN BRUSSELS. On 9 November Lithuanian Supreme Council
Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis flew to Brussels where on 10 November
he will deliver the main speech at the international political
conference "Prospects for the Development of the European Community
," Radio Lithuania reports. He will also present Lithuania's
formal application to join the European Community before returning
to Lithuania on 11 November. (Saulius Girnius)

BULGARIA RETURNS JEWISH AND OTHER PROPERTY. On 9 November the
Bulgarian caretaker government decided to repeal a 1949 decree
nationalizing the property of foreigners, BTA reported. Introducing
the proposal, Justice Minister Svetoslav Luchnikov said the 1949
decree had to be revoked because it contradicted newly adopted
property rights legislation. The measure will among other things
denationalize the property of Bulgaria's Jewish communities.
In a separate move, the government plans to restore all individual
possessions confiscated by the courts between 9 September 1944
and 5 December 1947, as well as immovable property confiscated
up to 1962. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

BALKAN MILITARY VISITS. In accordance with the Conventional Forces
in Europe Treaty, on 10 November a delegation of the Bulgarian
General Staff is to begin an inspection tour in Turkey. On a
similar mission, a group of Greek military inspectors arrived
in Bulgaria the previous day. The Greeks plan to visit an army
post in the city of Bansko, southwestern Bulgaria. BTA carried
the reports. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosiba & Patrick Moore




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

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