Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 29, 12 February 1993


Kozyrev will speak about the former Yugoslavia in the Russian
parliament today. The chief adviser of the parliamentary Committee
for International Affairs and Foreign Economic Ties, Andronik
Migranyan, told a RFE/RL correspondent on 11 February that the
parliament wants to issue a special statement on the conflict
in former Yugoslavia. He said the Russian parliament rejects
foreign military intervention in the Civil War and will ask for
a continuation of the arms embargo to prevent weapons reaching
any of the warring sides, and, at the same time, for the loosening
of some international sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro.
He emphasized that parliament supports in principle the Vance-Owen
plan for the regulation of the situation in Bosnia. -Alexander

RUSSIAN POLITICS IN TURMOIL. President Boris Yeltsin said that
the present power struggle "tears Russia apart," Western news
agencies reported on 11-February. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan
Khasbulatov stated at two recent occasions that parliament should
increase its control over the executive branch because Yeltsin
is incapable of ruling the country. Meanwhile, former State Secretary
Gennadii Burbulis has set up his own institute, the International
Humanitarian Political Center "Strategiya," to oppose hardliners,
according to Radio Rossii on 10 February. Former Moscow police
chief and "Democratic Russia" activist Arkadii Murashov supports
him. The centrist Civic Union has officially registered itself
as a political organization with the Ministry of Justice on 9
February. -Alexander Rahr

meeting between President Boris Yeltsin and parliamentary speaker
Ruslan Khasbulatov on 11-February failed to result in any narrowing
of their differences over the balance of powers in the country,
various Russian and Western agencies reported. The meeting was
mediated by the chairman of the Constitutional Court, Valerii
Zorkin. The president's press secretary told reporters after
the meeting that "there can be no question of halting preparations
for the referendum." Political leaders have expressed widely
differing views in recent days over whether to hold a plebiscite
to resolve the conflict between parliament and the president.
Yeltsin described the 12 possible referendum questions, drafted
by the parliamentary presidium, which Khasbulatov presented to
him at the meeting, as "completely unacceptable." Further discussions
are scheduled for next week. -Wendy Slater

Vice President Rutskoi in charge of organizing military units
for fighting crime and corruption, Mayak reported on 11 February.
His previous responsibilities in agriculture have presumably
been transferred to the newly appointed deputy prime minister
in charge of agriculture, Aleksandr Zaveryukha. Ekho Moskvy on
the same day quoted Yeltsin as saying that he will fire those
ministers from the cabinet who do not support privatization.
He said that he is considering relieving the ministers of finance
and economics, Vasilii Barchuk and Andrei Nechaev, respectively.
Nechaev was one of the closest associates of former head of cabinet,
Egor Gaidar. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin stated that he
agreed with Yeltsin's criticism of these two ministers. -Alexander

SKOKOV'S POWERS INCREASED. The newly created Foreign Political
Commission of the Security Council has taken away most of the
power of the foreign ministry, according to Moskovskie novosti
(no. 7). The paper listed the ministers of foreign affairs, defense,
security, internal affairs, foreign economic ties, justice, the
head of foreign intelligence and general staff of the armed forces
as members of the Commission, which will be subordinated to the
Secretary of the Security Council, Yurii Skokov. The Commission
has received the right to control the work of the major ministries,
including the foreign ministry, and prepare all major foreign
political decisions for the president. -Alexander Rahr

hold their congress on 13-14-February. Vladimir Spirin, a representative
of the Communist faction in the Russian parliament, told an RFE/RL
correspondent on 11 February that the congress will take place
despite objections voiced from the Ministry of Justice, which
had stated earlier that it regarded the convening of the 29th
Congress of the CPSU and the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party
of the RSFSR as "unconstitutional." Viktor Anpilov, leader of
the Russian Communist Labor Party, called for a national struggle
with President Yeltsin's government. -Alexander Rahr

of the ultra-nationalist Russian "Officers Union" told reporters
on 11 February that the convening of the All Army Officers Assembly
has been tentatively scheduled for 20-21 February in Moscow.
The agenda will reportedly include discussion of military reform
and readiness, and providing social protection for servicemen.
The Officers Union has no formal connection to the All-Army Officers
Assembly, however, and there has as yet been no confirmation
from other sources that the assembly has in fact been scheduled.
The Russian Defense Ministry has attempted to limit the activities
of the local officers assemblies in hopes of rendering them politically
impotent. In the wake of the August coup and the establishment
of the CIS, the All Army Officers Assembly did, in fact, strive
to become an important political actor, and its re-emergence
would likely harm civil-military relations and might also undermine
democratic reforms in the army. -Stephen Foye

Council of Ministers gave approval to the government's latest
economic program for 1993 on 11-February, ITAR-TASS reported.
The plan stressed tight monetary policy and a more active structural
policy. No details were given; however, Prime Minister Chernomyrdin
said that structural policy would target four priority areas:
fuel and energy development; securing food supplies; conversion
of the defense industry as well as maintenance of the country's
science and technology potential. The program will be revised
over the next week to include among other things a section on
regional policy. -Erik Whitlock

of Finance disclosed at the cabinet meeting on 11 February that
the consolidated budget deficit of the Russian Federation for
1992 was 641.9 billion rubles, according to ITAR-TASS. The federal
budget was 957.9 billion rubles in deficit while the Russian
Federation's constituent republic and regional budgets ran a
combined 316 billion ruble surplus. On the same day Russian Central
Bank chairman Viktor Gerashchenko told a meeting of leaders from
local soviets and industrial enterprises that the actual federal
deficit was nearly twice that given by the Ministry of Finance,
1.2 trillion rubles. He repeated his claim that the government
deliberately prepares its budget figures to deceive foreign lending
institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund. However,
since the IMF uses a different methodology than that typically
used by the Russian government to calculate state budget figures
in any case, it is difficult to evaluate the validity of Gerashchenko's
accusation. -Erik Whitlock

JANUARY'S ECONOMIC RESULTS. The Russian State Statistical Committee
has produced a document giving January's economic results, ITAR-TASS
reported on 11-February. According to the document, industrial
production in January was 23% lower than in January 1992, but
the drop is attributed to the large number of holidays at the
beginning of the month. Production in some sectors, such as ferrous
metals, machine building and consumer goods is reported to have
increased. The most worrying result is that for food production;
production of two-thirds of all food products has decreased,
and that of bread by over 30%. Strikes led to a 1.5 billion ruble
loss in foregone production, and the regions most affected by
strikes were the Kemerovo, Sakhlin, Krasnoyarsk regions and the
Komi republic. Prices for 70 basic food products rose on average
by 25%; those for meat, fish and dairy products by 33-43%. -Sheila

MINISTER OF ECONOMICS REPORTS ON 1992. The Russian Minister of
Economics, Andrei Nechaev, gave a summary of 1992's economic
results at the meeting of the Russian Council of Ministers on
11 February, according to ITAR-TASS and AFP on the same day.
GNP decreased by 20% and industrial production by 18.8%. Earnings
differentials increased, with a larger number of individuals
making very high earnings, while 28% of the population lived
below the poverty line. The top earners now receive 8.6 times
more than those at the bottom of the scale, compared to 6 times
in January 1992. Consumption of meat, fish, dairy products and
eggs fell significantly. Another problem highlighted by Nechaev
was the lack of funds to modernize obsolete equipment in Russian
industry; 41% of machinery is reported to be more than 10 years
old and only 16% is capable of competing with Western machinery.
-Sheila Marnie

parliament committees for international affairs, foreign economic
relations, and defense and security have proposed to the US Congress
additional strategic arms reductions as part of an extended START-2
process. According to ITAR-TASS on 11 February, the Russian committees
suggested lowering US and Russian nuclear arsenals to the level
of other nuclear powers by the year 2010; they also confirmed
Russian and American adherence to the 1972 ABM Treaty. The committees
also confirmed their earlier commitment to conduct joint Russian-US
hearings on all aspects of the START-2 Treaty during its ratification
process. -Stephen Foye


The gas supply pipeline through Georgia to Armenia was again
damaged by an explosion in Georgia's Marneuli Raion during the
night of 10-11 February, ITAR-TASS reported. Radio Erevan quoted
an Armenian government spokesman as stating that the explosion
was an act of sabotage, and that it would take two to three days
to repair the damage. -Liz Fuller

Salam, has accused Moscow of wanting to reestablish its hegemony
over Tajikistan and warned that if Russian forces do not leave
the Central Asian state, they will find themselves in a morass
worse than that in Afghanistan. The Iranian comments were reported
in the Sźddeutsche Zeitung on 11 February. The Iranian publication
also claimed that numerous mosques and copies of the Koran had
been burned during the Tajik civil war in 1992. Tajikistan's
government has sought closer ties with Russia in order to help
overcome the effects of the war; Russia also plans to participate
in peacekeeping efforts in Tajikistan, and has offered to help
build a Tajik army. -Bess Brown


BOSNIAN UPDATE. Western news agencies on 11-February said that
the Organization of the Islamic Conference welcomes the US approach
to the Bosnian crisis outlined the previous day, adding that
Washington's policy "improves prospects for negotiating a settlement."
Meanwhile in Sarajevo, Bosnian authorities said on 11-February
they will accept no more aid for that city until the UN manages
to persuade Serbs to let relief shipments reach eastern Bosnia,
where some towns have been cut off for ten months. The 12 February
Washington Post quotes Bosnian UN ambassador Mohamed Sacirbey
as saying that Sarajevo "refuses to continue to act as a mask
for those who are dying." Finally, Western news agencies on 11-February
report that UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali "deplores"
the Bosnian decision as well as the resumption of fighting by
the Bosnian side around Sarajevo airport. The Bosnians' goal
is the Serb-held suburb of Ilidza beyond the airport. -Patrick

GERMAN-GREEK TALKS. The 12 February Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
reports at length on German foreign minister Klaus Kinkel's visit
to Athens on 11-February. He discussed a proposal by Britain,
France, and Spain for the UN to offer a three-point package to
Greece and Macedonia to resolve their dispute. According to the
plan, Macedonia would enter the UN under the name "the former
Yugoslav republic of Macedonia," and the two states would then
sign a friendship and border treaty on the model of that between
Germany and Poland. Finally, international negotiators would
arbitrate a settlement on the key question of Macedonia's internationally
recognized name. Greece wants this arbitration to be binding,
while Macedonia says that only it can decide on its own name.
Kinkel and his Greek discussion partners agreed that Turkey's
international importance is growing because of its influence
in the Black Sea region and as a bridge between Europe and the
Muslim world, but Greek officials seemed worried by an increasing
Turkish role in the Balkans, especially in conjunction with Albania
and the Kosovo situation. -Patrick Moore

Hikmet Cetin held talks in Bucharest with his Romanian counterpart,
Teodor Melescanu on political cooperation and future visits by
Romanian President Ion Iliescu to Turkey and by Turkish Prime
Minister Suleyman Demirel to Romania. Cetin told reporters that
both countries can play an important role in the Balkan and Black
Sea region. He was also received by Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu,
Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies Adrian Nastase, and Eugen
Dijmarescu, deputy chairman of the Senate, and President Ion
Iliescu, who said after the meeting that he hopes to visit Turkey
in September. -Dan Ionescu

BELGRADE RELEASES ROMANIAN SHIPS. A spokeswoman for the Romanian
Transport Ministry announced on 11 February that Serb authorities
have released four Romanian vessels detained in the Danube port
of Bezdan and that a fifth ship was expected to be released soon.
The tugboats, pulling barges loaded with fertilizers, resumed
their journey toward destinations in Germany and Austria. -Dan

ISRAEL TO TAKE BOSNIAN REFUGEES. Deutsche Welle reported on 11
February that Israel has agreed to accept 100 refugees from war-torn
Bosnia-Herzegovina. The decision came as a result of an appeal
from Arab mayors. -Patrick Moore

daily, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro are supposed to
be under parliamentary government, while the federation will
be made a "presidential system" with "all important national
matters under the competence of the president." The daily asks:
"Guess who will be the new president?" -Milan Andrejevich

citing an ATA report on 10-February, quotes Bujar Bukoshi, prime
minister of the self-declared Republic of Kosovo, as saying that
the Albanian majority there will resist Serbia's "silent ethnic
cleansing" and called for "homogeneity of action by all to face
this evil." Without being specific, he warned that Kosovo Albanians
"have the forces once more to destroy and make Serbia's plans
unattainable." -Milan Andrejevich

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE. The long-anticipated government
reorganization began on 11-February, when Prime Minister Jozsef
Antall accepted the resignations of a number of ministers, among
them Minister of Environmental Protection Sandor K. Keresztes
and Minister Without Portfolio Balazs Horvath, MTI reports. Antall
also asked President Arpad Goncz to dismiss Minister of Culture
and Education Bertalan Andrasfalvy, Minister of Agriculture Elemer
Gergatz, and Minister of Transportation and Communications Csaba
Siklos. Since Finance Mihaly Kupa did not accept the new cabinet
position offered to him as Transportation Minister, Antall accepted
his resignation. Kupa, considered the architect of Hungary's
purposeful drive toward privatization, said in a press conference
that he is also leaving the Hungarian Democratic Forum, the parliamentary
faction of which he joined in October 1991, and will join the
group of independent deputies in parliament. Antall said that
he will soon initiate the parliamentary committee hearings on
the ministers' replacements but gave no names. -Judith Pataki

and foreign relations committees have reached a six-party consensus
on Hungary's new national security concept, which is now expected
to come before the full house next week, MTI reported on 10-February.
The concept, which goes beyond the framework of military security,
formulates the various forms of direct and indirect international
security guarantees Hungary would like to receive, including
membership in NATO and the WEU. It also sets an even balance
between the country's dual desire to integrate with the West
and to have good relations with its neighbors on a partnership
basis. In that respect, the legal situation of the Magyar minorities
is placed in the international context of the accepted norms
for all minorities as spelled out by the Council of Europe and
the CSCE. -Alfred Reisch

SLOVAK NATIONAL PARTY DEFENDS KNAZKO. Speaking at a press conference
in Bratislava on 11-February, the deputy chairman of the Slovak
National Party, Ladislav Vlasic said that his party thinks that
Foreign Minister Milan Knazko has managed to transform the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs into a well-functioning institution. Slovak
media report Vlasic as praising Knazko especially for his efficiency
in negotiating Slovakia's admission to the United Nations. The
Slovak National Party is an unofficial ally of the ruling Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia; its chairman Ludovit Cernak is the
Minister of Economy in Vladimir Meciar's cabinet, which is otherwise
entirely composed of MDS members. On 6 February Meciar criticized
Knazko's performance as foreign minister and demanded his resignation.
-Jiri Pehe

MECIAR'S POPULARITY DROPPING. According to an opinion poll taken
by the Slovak Statistical Office in January and reported by Reuters
on 11 February, the popularity of Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar dropped by 10% in comparison with a poll taken by the
same group in December. However, with a 34% approval rating,
Meciar is still by far the most popular politician in Slovakia.
Peter Weiss, the chairman of the Party of the Democratic Left
(formerly, the Slovak Communist Party) is the second most popular
politician in Slovakia, holding a 21% approval rating. Third
is Deputy Prime Minister Roman Kovac, the unsuccessful presidential
candidate in the first round of the 26-January presidential elections,
with 14%. Michal Kovac, the new candidate for the post of Slovak
president, enjoys only a 7% approval rating, as does Foreign
Minister Milan Knazko, the leading opponent of Meciar in the
MDS. Some 37% of Slovak population indicated that they trust
no politician at all, the highest figure since the end of communist
rule in late 1989. -Jiri Pehe

ECONOMIC NEWS FROM SLOVAKIA. According to information released
on 10 February by the Slovak Statistical Office, the share of
the private sector in the Slovak economy reached 21% in 1992.
The inflation rate in 1992 was 10%. The average salary in the
state sector is 4,900 koruny, while in the private sector it
was 7,000 koruny. In comparison with 1991, real wages in Slovakia
grew by 13% in 1992. The unemployment rate dropped from more
than 13% to 10.5%. Meanwhile, CTK reports that Ceska Sporitelna,
the Czech savings bank, announced on 11 February that it will
fix the purchase price of the Slovak koruna (SOK) at 0.93 Czech
koruny (CEK) and sell it at the rate of 1.05 on 12 February,
thus backing away from the original 1:1 ratio established at
the time the two currencies split last week. -Jiri Pehe and Charles

POLISH COALITION FIGHTS FOR BUDGET. "The government has the right
and even the duty to refuse to implement an impossible budget,"
Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka told the Sejm on 12 February. "In
a democracy, this means the resignation of the government and
the assumption of power by those who can secure a majority for
their concept." Suchocka's threat closed the Sejm's discussion
of the proposed budget for 1993. The vote is expected later on
12-February. The government is attempting to hold the budget
deficit to 81 trillion zloty; the opposition has proposed increasing
the deficit to as much as 140 trillion zloty. National Bank President
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz warned that increasing the deficit would
bring a return of hyperinflation. Coalition members warned that
high inflation hits the poorest members of society hardest and
that printing "empty money" is not an acceptable tool of economic
reform. The opposition criticized low spending on social programs
and called the budget "antisocial." -Louisa Vinton

SOLIDARITY DESERTS GOVERNMENT. The Solidarity trade union dealt
a major blow to the government's chances on 11 February. Meeting
behind closed doors in Gdansk, Solidarity's National Commission
voted to instruct the union's parliamentary caucus to oppose
the government's proposed 1993 budget. The roll-call vote was
53 to 24 with 5-abstentions. Deputy Jan Rulewski said the union's
decision was motivated by the budget's "social asymmetry." Solidarity
feels the budget lacks adequate funds for pensioners, state workers,
and the unemployed. The Solidarity caucus, with 27 deputies,
holds the balance of power in the Sejm between the government
coalition and the opposition. The decision suggests that Solidarity
wants the profile of a pure trade union rather than the broader
formula of a social movement for reform. -Louisa Vinton

CORNEA QUESTIONED. Romanian human rights activist Doina Cornea
was summoned on 11 February to the prosecutor's office in Cluj,
where she resides. She was questioned in connection with charges
filed against her by three persons alleging that she tried to
undermine state power by calling for the overthrow of President
Iliescu in September 1991. Cornea rejected the charges as groundless.
The recent moves against Cornea, a well-known dissident under
Nicolae Ceausescu, have damaged Romania's image at a time when
the country is seeking full membership in the Council of Europe.
-Dan Ionescu

BULGARIA AND DECOMMUNIZATION. A law regulating the "decommunization"
of science and academic institutions has been endorsed by Bulgaria's
Constitutional Court. According to a BTA report on 11 February,
six of the eleven court members taking part in the proceedings
ruled that the new legislation is in conformity with the Bulgarian
Constitution of 1991. Passed by parliament on 9 December, the
law prohibits scholars formerly closely affiliated with the Communist
Party from holding management posts in research and science over
the next five years. President Zhelyu Zhelev plus 102 deputies
had asked the court to pass a final judgment on the law. -Kjell

KUCHMA ON THE ECONOMY. Ukrainian Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma
told a group of Ukrainian businessmen and enterprise directors
that the economic situation in the country is not improving,
but that in the last two months it has been stabilized, Ukrinform-TASS
reports on 11 February. Kuchma said that the catastrophic decline
in production has been halted somewhat, thereby stopping an impending
"national crisis." Economic ties with Russia, he said, is one
of the major problems for the economy and for the existence of
Ukraine. -Roman Solchanyk

parties and groups in the Dnipropetrovsk region have agreed to
suspend meetings and mass political actions, Ukrinform-TASS reports
on 11 February. The action was taken to extend "psychological
support" to the economic reform program of the Cabinet of Ministers.
-Roman Solchanyk

Morozov told a press conference in Sevastopol on 11 February
that the appointment of Russian Admiral Eduard Baltin as Black
Sea Fleet Commander, a joint decision of the Russian and Ukrainian
presidents, would ease relations between the two countries and
lead to resolution of a number of problems concerning the disposition
of the fleet. According to an ITAR-TASS report on 11 February,
Morozov also said that Russia now recognizes Ukraine's existing
borders. He criticized as "unconstructive" a recent declaration
by Ukrainian Naval commander Boris Kozhin that calls for Ukrainian
sailors to be educated on the fundamentals of Ukrainian nationalism
and called for the fleet to be divided on the bases of the Yalta
agreement. -Stephen Foye

LEBED WARNS UKRAINE. Interviewed by the Kiev newspaper Nezavisimost,
as cited by Basapress on 9-February, Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed,
commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, condemned the "parade
of sovereignties" of the former Soviet republics as a "darkening
of the mind" and predicted that sovereignty will lead to wars;
"therefore it is necessary to eradicate it." Pointing to the
Dniester conflict, Lebed warned that "something similar is looming
in Ukraine," owing, he alleged, to the implementation of the
Ukrainian language law in Ukraine's "Russian-speaking" regions.
Lebed has previously urged Ukraine to rejoin Russia in a single
state. -Vladimir Socor

mission gave Estonia a clean bill of health after a week-long
fact-finding tour of the country, BNS reports. Delegation leader
Enayat Haushmand told reporters that Estonia has "guaranteed
the integration of the principles of democracy and human rights
into society" and had "demonstrated political maturity in settling
the sore points concerning human rights." The UN mission will
reportedly file its final report in a few weeks' time. -Riina

on 11-February approved a law setting out in exact terms how
language proficiency will be measured for citizenship applicants.
According to the new law, an applicant will be considered proficient
when the applicant can make him/herself understood in Estonian.
The parliament also approved a separate bill mandating that the
government provide a separate set of requirements for applicants
born before 1 January 1930 and for some invalids. In addition,
those who received primary, secondary or higher education in
the Estonian language are exempt from the language examination.
-Riina Kionka

10 February Industry and Trade Minister Albertas Sinevicius signed
a bilateral trade and economic agreement with Tajikistan worth
about $5-million per year, BNS reports. Lithuania will supply
compressors, refrigerators, and food in exchange for cotton,
aluminum, and other products. Sinevicius signed similar agreements
with Kyrgyzstan on 4 February and Uzbekistan on 5 February and
will next visit Kazakhstan for similar purposes. -Saulius Girnius.

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Hal Kosiba and Charles Trumbull

THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in USA: Mr. Jon Lodeesen or Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6900; fax: (202) 457-6992 or -202-828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or in Europe: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 8000 Munich 22; Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2642; fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993; RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. RFE/RL Daily Report

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