It is not enough to show people how to live better: there is a mandate for any group with enormous powers of communication to show people how to be better. - Mary Mannes
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 246, 23 December 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT CODIFIES POWER GAINS. The Russian parliament
has adopted a law on the government which gives the legislature
the right to veto the appointment of the ministers of defense,
security, interior and foreign affairs, Interfax reported on
22 December. The head of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign
Affairs and Economic Relations, Evgenii Ambartsumov, indicated
that Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev may not be approved by the
parliament. The deputies wrote the new law without confirming
that the president remains the chief executive power. (Alexander
Rahr)

CIS SUMMIT IN MINSK POSTPONED; YELTSIN SICK. The CIS summit scheduled
for 25-December in Minsk has been postponed because the presidents
of Russia and Kazakhstan are ill, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman
Sergei Yastrzhembsky announced on 22-December, Reuters reported.
He also said that a meeting between Russian President Boris Yeltsin
and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, which had been planned
to take place on the eve of the summit will also be postponed.
The summit will most likely be rescheduled for 22-January 1993,
the spokesman added. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

CHANGES IN THE RUSSIAN CABINET. The Russian Minister for Foreign
Economic Trade, Petr Aven, has resigned from the cabinet, ITAR-TASS
reported on 22 December. The new prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin,
is quoted as saying that his consultations with President Yeltsin
on the new cabinet are complete and that there will be "no drastic
changes." Deputy Prime Ministers Anatolii Chubais, Georgii Khizha,
Aleksandr Shokhin, Boris Saltykov and the respective ministers
for economics and finance, Andrei Nechaev and Vasill Barchuk,
are expected to stay in the cabinet. But several democrats and
centrists favor Boris Fedorov, Russia's present representative
at the World Bank, to become the new director of economic policy.
(Alexander Rahr)

UKRAINE ISSUES PACKAGE OF REFORM DECREES. The Ukrainian government
issued a set of significant decrees concerning economic reform
on 22 December, Reuters reported. One decree apparently liberalizes
prices on many commodities left under state control after initial
measures in January freed prices of goods and services representing
60- 70% of consumers' expenditures. Deputy Prime Minister Vasyl
Yevtukhov said that, beginning early next year, state controls
would be limited to goods produced in the metallurgical, chemical
and machine-building industries as well as oil, cement, salt,
sugar, vegetable oil and eggs. Monopolies would also remain under
some price regulation. Two other decrees were issued the same
day. One transfers ownership of private plots to those farming
them, effective 1 March. The other revises the Ukrainian tax
system. (Erik Whitlock)

IMPENDING CHANGE IN RUSSIAN MONETARY POLICY DENIED. Several state
officials on 22 December were quick to dismiss the previous evening's
Izvestiya report of an imminent introduction of a new Russian
ruble, recentralization of the banking system and massive new
ruble credit issue. Deputy Central Bank chairman, Valerian Kulikov,
who was quoted at length in the Izvestiya article, said that
"Russia does not intend to introduce its own national currency
in the near future," according to ITAR-TASS. Aleksei Ulyukaev,
an advisor to Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, told a news conference
that he did not foresee any major changes in monetary policy,
Reuters reported. Aleksandr Pochinok, chairman of the parliamentary
committee on the budget, taxes and prices, told parliament that
no monetary reform was envisaged, according to Interfax. (Erik
Whitlock)

FIGHTING CONTINUES IN TAJIKISTAN. Pro- and anti-Communist forces
were still fighting in southern Tajikistan on 22 December, Interfax
and Western correspondents reported. Russian border guards stationed
in Pyandzh were reported to have given refuge at their base to
more than a thousand women and children, and pro-Communist supporters
of the Tajik government threatened to attack the base if men
from anti-government groups were given refuge there too. The
same day Supreme Soviet Chairman Imomali Rakhmonov appealed on
Tajik TV to Gorno-Badakhshan, which unilaterally declared itself
an autonomous republic earlier in the year, not to destroy the
territorial integrity of Tajikistan. Many of the anti-Communist
fighters are either from Badakhshan or are of Badakhshani descent.
The presence of a pro-Communist government in Dushanbe is likely
to reinforce Badakhshani demands for autonomy. (Bess Brown)

PAPER NAMES NEW RUSSIAN CHIEF OF STAFF. Rossiiskie vesti on 23
December said that it had learned from "well informed circles"
that Col. General Mikhail P. Kolesnikov had been appointed chief
of the Russian general staff by Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev.
The previous chief of staff, General Viktor Dubynin, died of
an illness on 22 November. Kolesnikov headed the Ground Forces
staff and was promoted to the General Staff in 1991, where he
was reputed to be the chief planner for the Ground Forces. The
paper indicated that Grachev might not publicly name Kolesnikov
until after his own confirmation in the new cabinet, but said
that the appointment had already formally taken place. (Doug
Clarke)

NORTH KOREA SAYS SOVIET TREATY "INAPPROPRIATE." Radio Moscow
on 21-December, quoting ITAR-TASS, said that the North Korean
foreign ministry had sent a letter to its Russian counterpart
declaring that the 1961 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and
Mutual Assistance signed by the Soviet Union and the Russian
Republic was inappropriate under present circumstances. The broadcast
said that a spokesman for the North Korean foreign ministry had
pointed out that Russia and North Korea had established trade
relations, which included trade involving military equipment,
and said that Russian authorities had proposed that such relations
be maintained in the future. (Doug Clarke)

KOZYREV SAYS START-II TREATY "ALMOST READY." Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev told Interfax on 22 December that a new
strategic arms agreement between Russia and the United States
was "almost ready" and that a January meeting between Presidents
Yeltsin and Bush was "quite probable." Kozyrev said that he had
repeatedly spoken with U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger
that day, and that Russian and American experts would "finish
work" on the final text in Geneva on 23 December. (Doug Clarke)


UKRAINIAN RATIFICATION OF START AT LEAST A MONTH AWAY. According
to Interfax on 22 December, the press center of the Ukrainian
parliament announced that the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
(START) would not be submitted to the Ukrainian parliament for
ratification before late January, 1993. (Doug Clarke)

RUBLE EDGES UP. The ruble-dollar exchange rate closed at 415
on the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange on 22 December, various
Russian and Western news agencies reported. The rate at the start
of trading was 416. Trade volume was higher than average at $71.03
million. (Erik Whitlock)

SOUTH OSSETIA SEEKS RUSSIAN SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE. South Ossetian
parliament chairman Torez Kulumbegov is in Moscow seeking Russia's
recognition of his region's self-proclaimed independence from
Georgia, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Moscow. Kulumbegov
said that Russian alone can guarantee stability in the region.
In 1990, South Ossetia declared independence from Georgia with
the aim of uniting with North Ossetia, which is across the border
in Russia. In response to South Ossetia's efforts to secure independence,
the Georgian government revoked the region's autonomous status.
(Hal Kosiba)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN & MONTENEGRIN ELECTIONS. The latest unofficial results
of the presidential elections in Serbia show Slobodan Milosevic
with a convincing lead in 114 of the 188-municipalities in Serbia,
Kosovo, and Vojvodina. With 63% of the vote counted, Milosevic
received 55.9% against Milan Panic's 34.3%. According to Serbia's
Institute for Statistics, the complete unofficial results of
the presidential election is expected at 15:00 CET on 23-December
and of the parliamentary elections on 24 December. Final results
are expected on 25-December. In the federal assembly elections
the ruling Socialist Party is leading, followed by the Serbian
Radical Party, the Democratic Movement of Serbia (DEPOS) and
finally the Democratic Party. For Serbia's 250-seat parliament,
the SPS is saying it has won 99 seats, the SRS-75, and DEPOS-50.
Radio Serbia carried the report on 22 December. Radio Montenegro
reports that incumbent president Momir Bulatovic failed to win
over 50% of the vote and will have to enter a second round of
elections in less than two weeks against Branko Kostic, a former
federal vice president. In partial official returns Bulatovic
received 42.2% versus Kostic's 23%. In the local, republican,
and federal legislative elections, candidates of the ruling Democratic
Party of Socialists received the highest number of votes with
42.5%. (Milan Andrejevich)

REACTIONS IN BELGRADE. Controversy continues in Belgrade, where
the opposition is saying the balloting was rigged and Panic is
asking the world not to blame the Serbian people. A DEPOS spokesman
told the RFE/RL Research Institute that the grim faces of many
Belgrade residents show they are even more confused and uncertain
about their future than before the elections. Panic told Tanjug
that he had complained all along that the election campaign was
unfair. He said he had not been allowed proper access to Belgrade
TV. DEPOS leader Vuk Draskovic also denounced the election results,
saying Panic and his party won the "real election" and accused
Milosevic's party of altering the vote count after the polls
closed on 20-December. Panic says he will call for new elections
to take place either in 90 day or in mid-May at the latest. (Milan
Andrejevich)

CENTRAL EUROPEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS IN WASHINGTON. Austrian TV
reported on 22 December on the visit to the US capital by the
foreign ministers of Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia.
The four met with the outgoing president, but above all with
key figures in Congress. The ministers stressed the need to end
the war in the former Yugoslavia quickly before it spreads and
involves other Balkan countries, and warned that Russia might
adopt a more pro-Serbian policy if the war drags on. Discussion
topics included enforcing the no-fly zone over Bosnia and setting
up safe havens for Bosnian refugees. Elsewhere, the Croatian
weekly Globus on 18 December quoted Prof. Mirjana Kasapovic as
warning that the growing influx of Muslim refugees could pose
a long-term social and political problem for Croatia. "If the
Muslims become the Palestinians of Europe," she said, "then Croatia
could become Europe's Jordan." (Patrick Moore)

MACEDONIAN MEMBERSHIP ON UN AGENDA. Reuters reported on 22 December
that in January the Security Council will consider Macedonia's
application for membership. Foreign Minister Denko Maleski received
assurances to that effect from Japan's ambassador to the UN,
who becomes chairman of the Security Council on 1 January. Greece
has been blocking EC recognition of Macedonia, but Germany, Denmark,
the Netherlands, and some other states have made it clear they
will not allow Greece to stop them from recognizing Macedonia
indefinitely. They consider ending Macedonia's international
isolation essential if the conflict is to be prevented from spreading
there. Macedonia is already recognized by Russia, Bulgaria, and
a few other countries, and has agreed in principle to the deployment
of a more than 800-strong UN peace-keeping force, the first instance
in the Yugoslav conflict in which such a force would be stationed
before hostilities broke out. (Patrick Moore)

DISAGREEMENT OVER SLOVAKIA'S FOREIGN POLICY. According to CTK,
Michal Kovac, chairman of the Federal Assembly and one of the
leaders of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, confirmed
reports that Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar and Foreign
Minister Milan Knazko have disagreed over the course of Slovakia's
foreign policy. Kovac played down the reports that conflicts
between Meciar and Knazko were serious, saying that the disagreements
concern only "the means of conducting foreign policy, not its
concept." In an interview with Smena published on 22-December,
Knazko said that "it is impossible to have two different foreign
policies." In another development, the Slovak government did
not approve the so-called concept of Slovak foreign policy prepared
mainly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, arguing that the document
is worded too generally. Knazko told reporters that the document
will have to be more specific on issues such as Slovak-Russian
relationship and the Gabcikovo hydroelectric dam project. He
also said that his ministry considers NATO the most important
factor of European security and that Slovakia is interested in
close contacts with that organization. (Jiri Pehe)

DID MECIAR AND CHERNOMYRDIN MEET? The press secretary for Russian
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin told an RFE/RL correspondent
in Moscow on 22 December that there is no truth to reports that
Chernomyrdin and Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar met recently
in Slovakia's Tatra Mountains. The press secretary reacted to
reports in Czechoslovak media which quoted Slovak Foreign Minister
Milan Knazko as saying on 19-December that Meciar had met with
Chernomyrdin in "recent days." A Russian foreign ministry official
told the correspondent that Meciar and Chernomyrdin had met last
summer and discussed how Slovakia would pay for Russian energy
supplies. However, at a press conference in Bratislava on 22-December
Knazko said again that Meciar, Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Roman
Kovac, and himself met with Chernomyrdin "recently." Knazko said
that the meeting was unofficial and suggested that the main topic
of the discussion was economic cooperation, saying that reports
about discussing military cooperation were "science fiction."
(Jiri Pehe)

POLISH GOVERNMENT ASSESSES STRIKE SITUATION. On 22 December the
government debated the outcome of negotiations with striking
miners and railway workers. Ten mines are back at work and 21
are preparing to do so. Railway workers called off a rotating
strike. A communique carried by PAP says that a solution to the
problems raised by the miners was possible only as part of the
restoration program for the mining industry. It pledges to continue
"fundamental talks" with the unions but says the strikes make
it impossible for the government to sign the Pact on Enterprises
at present and regrets that its benefits would not be felt immediately.
Industry Minister Waclaw Niewiarowski and Deputy Labor Minister
Michal Boni expressed optimism about the outcome of talks so
far and Niewiarowski said that the government is prepared to
use special powers to speed the restructuring program and hopes
that the strike can be called off or suspended at the beginning
of January. In letters to the Sejm and government President Lech
Walesa warned that even the best programs will not work without
public acceptance. (Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka)

SOLIDARITY: NO GENERAL STRIKE YET. After an extraordinary meeting
of Solidarity's National Commission in Katowice, the union's
leadership criticized the government for foot-dragging with regard
to the problems of the mining industry and lack of real results
in negotiations on restructuring and social guarantees for industrial
workers in general. It threatened to "extend" protest actions
if the government does not produce positive solutions by 6 January
1993. A more radical motion to call a general strike for that
date was voted down. Walesa had sent the Solidarity leadership
a letter asking for patience and prudence. While expressing sympathy
with the unionists' grievances, Walesa said "We will not solve
Poland's problems by striking; we can however damage the economy
and the state by sowing chaos and destabilization." (Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka)


RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT SEEKS REFUGEE STATUS IN POLAND. Yurii Kozyrev,
a former councilor at the Russian embassy in Warsaw, has applied
for refugee status in Poland, an official of the Internal Affairs
Ministry told PAP on 22 December. He admitted that Kozyrev and
his wife were under its protection but refused to reveal any
further details. On 18-December a Moscow paper had carried the
story of a foiled attempt by Russian officials to take Kozyrev
back to Russia against his will. The story was neither confirmed
or denied by Polish border guards. The Russian embassy denied
that there was any such attempt and said that Kozyrev failed
to return his diplomatic passport and leave his official quarters
after being dismissed from his post in April 1992 and that he
had tried to bring "a large sum of money into Russia." The Polish
Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was an internal embassy matter
that should not affect good Polish-Russian relations. (Anna Sabbat-
Swidlicka)

FINAL ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH VIABLE BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT. In a
last-ditch effort, President Zhelyu Zhelev on 22 December asked
economist Lyuben Berov to form a new Bulgarian cabinet, BTA reports.
A 67-year-old economics professor and an advisor to Zhelev since
1990, Berov was nominated by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms
after the party rejected UDF candidate Yordan Sokolov. Leaders
of the two other parties in the National Assembly, the Union
of Democratic Forces and the Bulgarian Socialist Party, both
reacted negatively to Berov's candidacy, but dozens of politicians
seem ready to break party ranks and support him. Should Berov's
cabinet not gain approval, Zhelev will have to dissolve parliament
and call new elections within two months. (Kjell Engelbrekt)


EC AND BULGARIA SIGN ASSOCIATION ACCORD. On 22 December Bulgaria
initialed an association agreement with the European Community.
The accord could come into force within a few weeks, following
ratification by Bulgaria and the Ministerial Council of the EC.
An EC official told AFP that the association agreements with
Bulgaria and Romania were "slightly less favorable" than those
with Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. At the same time, Reuters
quoted a foreign ministry spokeswoman that EC negotiators had
made some concessions in sensitive areas such as farm products,
textiles, wine, and steel. Roughly one-third of Bulgaria's trade
is with EC countries. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

PROTESTS MAR ROMANIAN REVOLUTION ANNIVERSARY. Hundreds of demonstrators
protested against the continued influence of former communists
in Romania's political life, Reuters reported from Bucharest
on 22 December. An estimated 500-demonstrators shouted and booed
as President Ion Iliescu, Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, and other
government officials laid a wreath at Bucharest's University
Square to honor those killed in the 1989 uprising against the
former regime. Romanian Radio and TV reported on the ceremony,
but were silent on the protest demonstration. (Michael Shafir)


KING ORDERED TO STAY OUT OF POLITICS DURING ROMANIAN VISIT. According
to a communique released by the Foreign Ministry and carried
by Rompres on 22 December, during his Christmastime visit in
Romania, former king Michael must refrain from politics. The
ministry said the king has accepted the condition, but warned
that Michael's visa will be revoked if his visit, defined as
"private," leads to his involvement in "activities of a political
nature, as was the case during his previous visit" last April.
(Michael Shafir)

ANTALL IS CHOICE AS HDF CHAIRMAN. MTI reports that Prime Minister
Jozsef Antall is the overwhelming favorite to be reelected chairman
of the ruling Hungarian Democratic Forum at its January 1993
party conference. With some 90% of the grassroots organizations
having submitted their nominations, Antall leads with 94% of
the votes. Istvan Csurka, the controversial former HDF vice president,
garnered only 3%. An HDF spokesman said the party has also rejected
to split the responsibilities of party chairman and prime minister.
(Karoly Okolicsanyi)

SPIROIU: ROMANIAN MILITARY DOCTRINE IS STILL DEFENSIVE. Romania's
military doctrine was defensive in nature when the country was
a member of the Warsaw Pact and is still so at present, says
Minister of National Defense Lt. Gen. Nicolae Spiroiu. In an
interview with Azi carried by Rompres on 22 December, Spiroiu
said that when the other members of the pact had adopted an offensive
military doctrine Romania, had refused to join them; therefore
there was no need to make basic changes after Ceausescu's ouster.
He added that Romania is studying various Western military models
to adapt them to its needs. According to Spiroiu added that local
industry is meeting 95% of the army's requirements for equipment.
(Michael Shafir)

BALTIC WITHDRAWAL SCHEDULE "UP TO BALTIC LEADERS." Col. Gen.
Leonid Mayorov, the commander in chief of the Northwestern Group
of Forces stationed in the Baltic region, told a Latvian newspaper
that the schedule for the withdrawal of his troops would "ultimately
depend on the astuteness of the Baltic leaders." His remarks
were reported by Baltfax on 22 December. Mayorov said that more
the 40% of the forces have been pulled out. He charged that the
Baltic leaders are deliberately avoiding signing agreements with
Russia on the withdrawal schedule and on the temporary stationing
of Russian troops on their territories. (Doug Clarke)

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT ELECTION DATE SET. On 22 December the Supreme
Council voted to hold elections to the Saeima on 5-6 June, 1993,
Baltfax reports. A proposal by the country's agricultural faction
to hold the elections on 22-23 May was defeated as were efforts
to postpone them until the fall because of expectations that
only 60% of the citizens in Riga will have been registered by
spring. (Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIAN PRIVATIZATION COMPETITION. At 2:00 p.m. on 22 December
the deadline passed for placing bids for the privatization of
38 large state enterprises, set on 17 November, BNS reports.
The acting director of the Eesti Erastamisettevote Privatization
Company, Tarmu Ossip, and German Treuhand representative, Herbert
Schmidt, opened a box containing 103 bids that came primarily
from Europe, but also from the US and Japan. In 90-days Eesti
Erastamisettevote will negotiate with potential buyers and disclose
the winners. (Saulius Girnius)

CZECHOSLOVAK PRIVATIZATION "A SUCCESS." Federal Deputy Finance
Minister Vladimir Rudlovcak told reporters on 22 December that
the first wave of the so-called voucher privatization in Czechoslovakia
is a success. CTK reports Rudlovcak as saying that during the
five rounds of the first wave some 300 million shares in more
than 1,400 companies were put on sale and only 21.5 million shares
remain unsold. Rudlovcak said 291 firms were able to place all
their shares with either individual investors or more than 300
investment funds. About 8.5 million people were eligible to obtain
shares in exchange for vouchers which they purchased at discount
prices at the beginning of 1992. In November the Czech parliament
passed a law providing for the establishment of a computerized
stock exchange in January 1993 at which shares purchased during
the voucher privatization can be traded. (Jiri Pehe)

FOOD RATIONING IN LITHUANIA. In an interview in the weekly Litas
Prime Minister Bronislavas Lubys said that he supports the idea
of introducing a rationing system for meat and other food products
for six months or all of 1993, BNS reported on 22 December. Rationing
is needed to ensure that the population will be able to buy food
at relatively low prices when anticipated sharp increases in
the price of energy will force higher prices. Rationing was introduced
during the economic blockade by Russia in the spring of 1990
and still continues for sugar, flour, groats, and salt. Lubys
said that salaries frozen in October 1992 will be increased next
year by using the state budget. He said it is better to raise
salaries and pensions rather than give subsidies. (Saulius Girnius)



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