|V nashi raschety ne vhodilo preimuschestvo dolgoj zhizni. - M. Robesp'er|
No. 121, 29 June 1993
RUSSIA BURBULIS CREATES NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Former State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis told the pro-democratic weekly Golos (no. 26) that liberals are in the middle of the process of creating a "new type of democratic coalition" in order to resist the revanchist forces that are returning to power on the periphery. He said that an organizing congress for a new political party in support of reform may be held in September that should be headed by authoritative liberal politicians. On 28 June, Burbulis organized a public meeting in St.-Petersburg to propagate his ideas. Former Politburo member Aleksandr Yakovlev told the same newspaper that he has succeeded in convincing Burbulis not to create a pure "presidential party" but to take a broader approach-not supporting an individual politician but democratic ideas. -Alexander Rahr POWER STRUGGLE CONTINUES. Deputy parliamentary speaker Nikolai Ryabov is quoted by Radio Rossii "Novosti" on 27 June as saying that his boss, Ruslan Khasbulatov, has entered a path to establishing a "personal dictatorship." He stated that Khasbulatov is purging the leadership and apparatus of the parliament in order to get rid off deputies who do not share his views. Khasbulatov has lately ordered the elimination of the parliamentary Committee for Legislation. The committee's head, Mikhail Mityukov, told ITAR-TASS on 28 June that the voting results on the liquidation of his committee in the parliament had been "falsified." Meanwhile, the chairman of the Constitutional Meeting, Sergei Alekseev, proposed to merge the Constitutional Meeting with the Congress of People's Deputies into a Constitutional Assembly. -Alexander Rahr FILATOV: THE NUMBER TWO IN THE KREMLIN? SERGEI FILATOV, THE HEAD OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION, HAS EMERGED AS THE NEW "GRAY CARDINAL" AND THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL POLITICIAN IN RUSSIA. According to an analysis, published in the newly established newspaper Grazhdanin Rossii (no. 4), the presidential apparatus, which Filatov heads, has emerged as more powerful than the former CPSU Central Committee. Filatov has reportedly neutralized the work of the Security Council, and the agenda for the council's meeting is now being prepared by Filatov's staff. He is said also to control the work of the ministries of security, defense, and interior. The Ministry of Security holds, according to the study, a "balanced view" today and will not intervene in the political struggle while the army is even less firm on Yeltsin's side. -Alexander Rahr RUSSIA'S ENERGY SECTOR TO INCREASE EXPORTS? MINISTER FOR FUEL AND ENERGY YURII SHAFRANIK HAS CALLED FOR A SHARP INCREASE IN FUEL EXPORTS, ACCORDING TO REUTERS ON 25 JUNE. Shafranik claims that the energy sector is owed about 3 trillion rubles, and requires many more billions in investment. Shafranik proposes to overcome the crisis by increasing fuel exports (presumably to non-CIS states) and leaving a significant part of hard currency earnings with the producers. Currently exports are limited by state determined export quotas, and producers are allowed to sell only about 10-20% of output on the free market. Oil and gas combined account for about 60% of Russia's total export earnings. Domestic prices for energy resources remain far below world prices: oil, gas and coal are sold for 15%, 5% and 4% respectively of world prices, and the government last week finally decided to liberalize coal prices from 1 July. -Sheila Marnie RUSSIA TO WITHDRAW LAST FIGHTER JETS FROM KURILS. A Japanese newspaper, the Yomiuri Shimbun, reported on 27 June that Russia is expected to withdraw the last of its MiG-23 fighter jets from the island of Etorofu, one of the four disputed Kuril Islands. According to AFP, the newspaper quoted a military source as saying that the withdrawal would take place in the near future. On 27 May, Japanese sources reported that Russia had reduced the number of fighters on the island from 40 to 10. Although the withdrawal would have little real military value, it would represent a symbolic concession by Russia to Japan on the eve of the G-7 talks in Tokyo. Russian sources have not confirmed the report. -Stephen Foye TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA ALIEV, HUSEINOV CONTINUE TALKS. Azerbaijan Supreme Soviet chairman Geidar Aliev and rebel colonel Surat Huseinov held a second day of one-to-one talks in the parliament building in Baku on 28 June, ITAR-TASS reported. No details were given. Also on 28-June, the Azerbaijan Popular Front held a press conference in Baku at which it was announced that the heads of the administration in nine Baku raions had resigned to protest the decision of the National Assembly to transfer presidential powers to Aliev, according to ITAR-TASS. Meanwhile, Armenian forces advanced eastwards from Mardakert to within 2 kilometers of Agdam, which lies just outside the eastern border of Nagorno-Karabakh. -Liz Fuller UN, RUSSIA EXPRESS DEEP CONCERN OVER ABKHAZ CONFLICT. On 25 June, UN General Secretary Boutros Boutros-Ghali called on all sides in the Abkhaz conflict to observe the cease-fire agreement reached on 14 May in Moscow by Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin and Georgian Parliamentary Chair Eduard Shevardnadze, ITAR-TASS reported. The government of the Russian Federation expressed great anxiety concerning the escalation of armed conflict in Abkhazia in a statement released on 26 June, which demanded that all sides observe the cease-fire and warned that Russia would take appropriate measures against any side violating the accords. Despite these appeals, Abkhaz troops opened fire along the Gumista River front late on 27 June, according to the press center of Georgian forces based in Abkhazia. The press center of the Abkhaz Supreme Soviet reported that Georgian forces attacked Novyi Afon on the night of 27 June, damaging an ancient monastery, ITAR-TASS reported. -Catherine Dale COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN AGREEMENT ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS IMMINENT? IZVESTIA REPORTED ON 28 JUNE THAT UKRAINE AND RUSSIA WERE READY TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT DURING VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN'S VISIT TO UKRAINE ON THE DISMANTLING OF UKRAINE'S NUCLEAR WARHEADS. According to the report, the two sides are to share responsibility for the dismantling of both warheads and missiles, and Ukraine is to receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the fissile materials in the weapons and nuclear fuel for its reactors. The dismantling process is reportedly to be completed by 1995, which, if correct, would represent a substantial concession by Ukraine. While the general outlines of the reported agreement are consistent with ideas proposed in past negotiations, there has been no independent confirmation of the agreement, and Chernomyrdin left Ukraine on 28 June apparently without signing it. It is possible that the report is based on a Russian draft proposal that has not yet been agreed upon by both sides. -John Lepingwell OTHER UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS DEVELOPMENTS. In hearings held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 24 June and reported in the Western media, US officials urged Ukraine to ratify START-1 before the September referendum, and to accept a US plan for joint monitoring by the US, Russia, and Ukraine on Ukrainian territory of warheads removed from their launchers. According to Russian TV on 25 June, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Boris Gromov stated that Russia would never accept Ukraine as a nuclear weapons state, apparently in response to comments by Ukrainian Minister for the Environment Yurii Kostenko to the effect that Ukraine was, de facto a nuclear weapons state. Finally, ITAR-TASS reported on 28 June that the Ukrainian Democratic Party, a centrist group one of whose leaders, Dmytro Pavlychko, is the head of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, has come out in favor of ratifying START-1 "with amendments" but delaying the ratification of the non-proliferation treaty until 1995. -John Lepingwell WAR OF THE FLAGS TO RESUME? RUSSIAN VICE PRESIDENT ALEKSANDR RUTSKOI HAS CALLED UPON SAILORS OF THE BLACK SEA FLEET TO REJECT THE 17 JUNE MOSCOW AGREEMENT ON SPLITTING THE FLEET AND TO RAISE THE RUSSIAN NAVAL ENSIGN, ACCORDING TO A REPORT ON EKHO MOSKVY ON 28 JUNE. Rutskoi's call reiterates that of the assembly of senior staff officers, which had previously called for all ships of the fleet to raise the ensign on 1 July. On 26-June, Ekho Moskvy reported that an air regiment of the fleet was painting the flag of St. Andrew on the sides of its aircraft. On 29 June the officers' assembly of the fleet is to meet to decide whether to start the new protest action, and the preliminary indications are that a new round of the war of the flags will start on 1 July. John Lepingwell CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE CROATIA EXTENDS MANDATE OF UNPROFOR. International media reported on 28 and 29-June that Zagreb has agreed to authorize the continued presence of the UN peace-keepers for only one more month in the absence of fixed guarantees. UN Secretary- General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had asked for a three-month term, but Croatian authorities are offering a six-month agreement if a firm program is included for implementing the January 1992 Vance plan. Renewals of the mandate have been regularly backed by the Serbs, who regard it as protection for their conquests. The Croats, for their part, have repeatedly demanded as a condition for their support that the Vance plan be enforced, since they interpret it as restoring Croatian authority to Serb-held territories. Croatia is under strong international pressure to cooperate with the UN, but domestic opinion polls and public remarks by politicians across the spectrum suggest that patience is running out with what most Croats see as a losing game. Meanwhile in Split, Hina reports that war crimes trials have begun for 31 Yugoslav officers for their actions against civilians and cities in the 1991 Croatian war of independence. Only one defendant is present, while the rest are believed to be in Serbian-controlled territories, including some ethnic Croats. -Patrick Moore BOSNIAN UPDATE. CNN reported on 28 June that Croatian snipers attacked a British UN column near Zepce. One Warrior armored vehicle hit a land mine, but there were no injuries. Some Croatian newspapers have warned their readers since previous incidents involving the British and Croats that British firepower could reduce Croatian weaponry "to scrap iron." Meanwhile in Croatia itself, President Franjo Tudjman met with leaders of the Croatian communities from central and northern Bosnia. Such Croats may suspect that any Serb-Croat deal to partition Bosnia-Herzegovina might sacrifice their interests to the benefit of the more numerous and politically assertive Herzegovinian Croats. Hina carried the report. Finally, fighting continued across central Bosnia, with Serbs and Croats coordinating their actions against the Muslims in some places. -Patrick Moore KOSOVO MEDIA UPDATE. Serbian Information Minister Milivoje Pavlovic stated on 28-June that Albanian-language publications will be printed and distributed in Serbia's province of Kosovo only after they are officially registered. His remarks were in reaction to a recent refusal by editors of Bujku, Fjala and Skendija to register with Serbia's Information Ministry. Pavlovic added the three publications will not be allowed to appear until "they fulfill the legal minimum." Kosovo Albanian leaders and journalists regard the Serbian moves as blackmail and have demanded an end to Serbian-imposed censorship and rigid limitations on publishing in the province, which is over 90% Albanian in population. Belgrade alleges the three publications are the most influential voices of the "Albanian separatist movement" in Kosovo. Radio Serbia carried the report. Milan Andrejevich ALBANIA PROTESTS BORDER SHOOTING. In response to the weekend shooting of two Albanian border guards (wounding one and killing another) by Macedonian soldiers, Reuters reports on 28 June that the Albanian Foreign Ministry has issued an official protest note. The statement called the incident " a hostile act intended to create dangerous precedents between the two countries." Robert Austin GREECE CONTINUES EXPULSION OF ALBANIAN MIGRANTS. AFP reported on 28 June that Greek officials, claiming that there are as many as 150,000 illegal Albanian immigrants currently in that country, continues to round them up for deportation. Large numbers of Albanians have fled throughout the transition years in search of better economic opportunities. The presence of such a large number in Greece has been a continual burden on Greco-Albanian relations. This comes in the wake of Albania's expulsion of Archimandrite Krisistomos Maidonis last week and has heightened tensions between the two countries. Albania insisted the Orthodox churchman was promoting Greek irredentism in southern Albania. Robert Austin ANOTHER INCIDENT AT THE ZAPORIZHZHYA NUCLEAR POWER STATION. The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant experienced its fourth incident this month when a sudden rise in pressure prompted the shutdown of the third of its five reactors, Reuters reported on 28-June. Only three of its five 1,000 megawatt reactors are on steam following the recent mishaps. Last month a man was killed when his blowtorch ignited hydrogen leaking from a pipe outside a reactor. A week later a reactor was shut down due to loss of pressure, and earlier this month, radioactive water seeped through a wall contaminating an open area in the complex. Despite strong opposition to the lifting of a moratorium on the construction of nuclear reactors imposed after the Chernobyl accident, a powerful nuclear lobby has emerged which argues that the reactors are vital to decrease Ukraine's dependence on Russian oil and gas. The issue is to be debated in parliament later this week. Workers at Ukraine's nuclear power stations are demoralized because of the potential hazards their jobs entail, and because of their low pay. Average salaries are a third of what miners in the Donbass earn. -Ustina Markus UKRAINE CRITICIZES US STRIKE AGAINST BAGHDAD. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has expressed "regret" at the US strike against Baghdad, Ukrainian Radio reported on 27-June. In its statement, which amounted to a virtual protest, the ministry questioned "the extent to which this action conforms with the relevant decision of the UN Security Council." All nations and peoples, the statement declared, "should respect generally recognized principles and norms." It is sad, the statement, concluded, that new flareups "involving innocent people" are being added to "dangerous and unresolved conflicts." -Bohdan Nahaylo UKRAINE, RUSSIA SIGN NEW ECONOMIC ACCORD. Ukrainian and Russian Prime Ministers Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Chernomyrdin signed an economic cooperation agreement on 28 June in Kharkov, Reuters reported on 29 June. The accord established a free customs zone, liberalized banking regulations, and free movement of labor in five regions on each side of the border. Nine other economic agreements were signed last week. The accords represent a new readiness on both sides for economic cooperation, although the Ukrainian side emphasized that they do not signal a return to Soviet-style ties. Striking miners in eastern Ukraine have put pressure on the Ukrainian government to establish closer links with Russia. Susan Stewart WALESA IN BELARUS. The Polish president met with Belarus Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislau Shushkevich, Prime Minister Vyacheslau Kebich and Foreign Minister Petr Krauchenka in Minsk on 28 June, Belapan reported. Discussions with Shushkevich covered some 25-bilateral agreements, the implementation of which Walesa described as very slow. Walesa also said Belarus and Poland should open more crossing points along their border and remove obstacles to their political, economic and cultural ties. Belinform quoted Krauchenka as saying the two countries should increase cooperation because "the West was not ready to open its markets to either Polish or Belarusian goods." -Ustina Markus BBWR BEGINS TO DRAFT PROGRAM. PAP reported on 28 June that some 60 theses have been submitted for consideration to the Program Council of President Walesa's Nonparty Reform Bloc. The BBWR's program is to consist of 21 theses (recalling the 21 points of the August 1980 agreement between striking workers and the communist authorities). Twelve of these will cover the major problems of each of the four lobbies making up the bloc: employees, employers, farmers and local administrators; five theses will deal with the political and economic system; and the remainder will address ecology, science, health and culture. The program is to be ready next week. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka POLAND BEGINS BROADCAST LICENSING PROCEDURE. On 28 June the National Broadcasting Council published lists of the frequencies available and began accepting applications for licenses, Rzeczpospolita said. Allocations will be announced three months from that date. On offer are 87 local television channels and sufficient channels for high power broadcasters to enable the creation of one national independent commercial TV station, as well as 109 local and two national radio stations. In a written statement published by PAP on 25 June, the Prosecutor General pointed to the fact that in a law-ruled state no citizen could be punished for violating a law if an agency of state made compliance impossible. He also recalled that a prosecutor could decline to institute proceedings or discontinue them if the alleged deed did not bear the characteristics of an offense or if it was judged not to be socially harmful. The 26-27 June issue of Gazeta Wyborcza welcomed this as signifying that private broadcasters could continue to air programs without fear of criminal proceedings until completion of the licensing procedure.--Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka SLOVAKIA MIGHT ACCEPT RUSSIAN WEAPONS AS DEBT REPAYMENT. Russian Deputy Premier Oleg Lobov visited Slovakia on 28 June to discuss trade cooperation with Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar and President Michal Kovac. TASR reports Meciar told Lobov that records of the former CSFR show Russian debt to Slovakia as $1.5 billion. Meanwhile, according to CTK, Meciar said Slovakia may accept the repayment of this debt in military hardware in order to build up the country's arsenal following similar arrangements between Russia and the Hungarian government. Since a trade agreement was signed by the two governments in March, both countries have tried to increase trade turnover in such areas as oil deliveries, chemicals, lumber, agriculture and engineering. Kovac and Lobov discussed an economic agreement between the two states, which should be ready for signing by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Kovac early this fall. -Sharon Fisher HUNGARIAN SLOVAKS VOICE OPINIONS ON SLOVAKIA'S ENTRY INTO THE CE. In a televised address on 27 June, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar asked Hungarian Slovaks to issue a statement in favor of Slovakia's entry into the Council of Europe. Miklos Duray, Chairman of the Hungarian minority party Coexistence told reporters at a 28 June press conference that while his party supports Slovakia's entry into that body, he wants Slovakia to first fulfill CE recommendations regarding minority rights. TASR reports that Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Vojtech Bugar would also like Slovakia to join the CE; however, he complained that the Slovak parliament has refused to accept the ethnic Hungarian parties' resolution on minority issues. The main concerns of the CE are Slovak laws prohibiting bilingual signs in ethnically mixed areas and disallowing Hungarian names in Slovak birth registers. Although the Slovak government said it was willing to resolve these issues, the Slovak parliament on 25 June postponed a vote on changing these laws. Slovak diplomat to the CE Eva Mitrova is "hopeful" that the CE Ministers' Committee will vote to admit Slovakia in its 30 June session. If not, Mitrova says that another session of the Ministers' Committee will be called in September. -Sharon Fisher DIALOGUE WITH SUDETEN GERMANS POSTPONED. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said on 26-June that the dialogue between representatives of the Czech coalition parties and of Sudeten German groups should not be pursued with any intensity, CTK reports. Klaus explained that the speeches of certain German politicians at the Sudeten German congress held on 29-30 May led him to withdraw his support for negotiations with the Sudeten Germans at any level. In response to Klaus' statements, Czech President Vaclav Havel expressed on 28 June his understanding for a postponement of talks with the Sudeten Germans. Havel believes, however, that a dialogue is vital and will eventually take place. In early June, Klaus had endorsed a decision by the leaders of the Czech ruling coalition parties to hold unofficial, low-level talks with the Sudeten Germans, citing the need for an exchange of views. A working group set up by the four coalition parties, without the direct involvement of the Czech government, was to discuss issues of resettlement and compensation rights for those expelled from Czech territory after 1945. President Havel, a strong advocate of open discussion on the German issue, had welcomed the plans for dialogue. -Milada Vachudova HDF ETHICS COMMITTEE REACHES DECISIONS. The ethics committee of the ruling Hungarian Democratic Forum (HDF) met on 28 June in order to decide if the behavior of two HDF deputies Gyula Zacsek and Gyorgy Szilasy "lived up to the expectations of the party," MTI reports. Zacsek is also a member of the party's presidium. Both deputies have repeatedly criticized the Hungarian government both at home and abroad for the slow pace of political change in the country and Szilasy has also referred to the country's present constitution as "rubbish." Szilasy was accused of wanting to run HDF deputies as independents during the 1994 national elections. Szilasy has also raised the question if the historical role of the fascist Hungarian leader during World War II, Ferenc Szalasy, could be reevaluated. Zacsek has allegedly called the present Hungarian government treacherous. The ethics committee has suspended Szilasy's membership for one year and expelled Zacsek from the party. -Judith Pataki RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO VOTE ON TREATY WITH HUNGARY. According to a 28-June report by Magyar Nemzet, on 24 June the Russian parliament failed to ratify the Hungarian-Russian Basic Treaty. The parliament was to vote on the issue again on 25 June, but the treaty was removed from the agenda because it was feared that it would be rejected again. The Russian parliament objects to the passage that condemns the Soviet invasion of Hungary during the 1956 revolution. The issue of ratification is especially delicate because the rejection took place while Hungarian President Arpad Goncz is on an official visit in Russia and should meet with Yeltsin as well. -Judith Pataki ROMANIA'S EX-COMMUNISTS DENY POLITICAL PACT. On 28 June Traian Mohora, spokesman for the Socialist Labor Party (the re-born communist party), denied that his organization had allied itself with the ruling Democratic National Salvation Front. He described a 24 June meeting between leaders of the DNSF, the SLP, the Party of Romanian National Unity, the Greater Romania Party and the Romanian Democratic Agrarian Party as an "exchange of information" that did not result in any political pact. Mohora said that his party's support for the DNSF government was "conditional." Dan Ionescu RUSSIA CUTS GAS SUPPLY TO LITHUANIA. On 27-July Russia cut off the supply of gas to Lithuania since debts of more than $40 million had not been paid, Radio Lithuania reported on 28 June. Shipments of gas were halted to all commercial customers except the Azotas plant in Jonava, and the Ekranas plant in Panevezys that had separate gas contracts with another Russian company. Gas will be still shipped to Kaliningrad through Lithuania. Using available gas reserves, Lietuvos Dujos will to continue to supply gas to homes until the middle of July. Eesti Gaas general director Aarne Saar expressed the hope that a similar gas cut off to Estonia in effect since 25 June would be settled soon since Estonia plans to pay half of its 80-million kroons debt by 10 July and the other half by 1 August. -Saulius Girnius NARVA CITY COUNCIL PLANS REFERENDUM. On 28 July the Narva City Council in a closed door meeting decided to hold a referendum in the city on 16 and 17 July with the question "Do you want Narva to have a national-territorial autonomy (status) within the Republic of Estonia?", BNS reports. The council adopted a resolution stating that Estonian laws on elections to local councils, on aliens, on elementary and secondary schools, and the language law discriminate against many Narva residents. All residents regardless of citizenship will be eligible to vote in the referendum whose results should be known by 23-July when a council meeting depending on the results will either call new local elections or resign. Estonian Reform Minister Liia Hanni called the holding of the referendum illegal noting "The Narva town council has violated the Estonian Constitution which states that Estonia is territorially indivisible,'" Reuters reports. -Saulius Girnius LATVIA SWITCHES TO PERMANENT CURRENCY. Starting on 28 June all prices of goods, services, and other payments in Latvia began to be posted only in lats and santims, Baltic media report. The Latvian ruble which is being gradually replaced by the lats will remain valid for an undetermined period. All bank accounts will be recalculated into lati at a rate of 200-Latvian rubles to 1 lats. In March and April the 5lati bills and 50 santimi, 1, and 2 lats coins were introduced which are now being supplemented by five larger bills and five smaller coins. Individuals and companies will, however, be able to have accounts in foreign currencies and there will be no restrictions in their use. Saulius Girnius GAGAUZ ARMED RAIDS RAISE TENSION. In recent weeks, heavily armed groups of the Gagauz "republican guard" have raided kolkhozes both within and outside Gagauz-inhabited areas, taking livestock and machinery. "Gagauz republic" leaders are obliquely indicating that the republican guard is not fully under their control. A number of localities including the Bulgarian-inhabited Taraclia raion, fearing that their crops may be robbed during the impending harvesting season, have asked Chisinau for police protection. The Moldovan leadership accordingly decided on 26 June to send police reinforcements around the perimeter of the Gagauz-inhabited areas. It also announced that it has asked the Council of Europe and other international organizations to review the Moldovan draft law on Gagauz administrative and cultural autonomy, Basapress reported on 26 June. -Vladimir Socor [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Saulius Girnius and Patrick Moore 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. 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