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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 182, 22 September 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.



YELTSIN DISSOLVES PARLIAMENT. Russian President Boris Yeltsin
on 21 September dissolved the Congress of People's Deputies and
Supreme Soviet and set 11-12 December as the date for elections
to a new legislature-a bicameral Federal Assembly. Appearing
live on Ostankino Television at 8 p.m. (Moscow time), Yeltsin
said he had signed a decree halting the powers of the legislature
with immediate effect. Yeltsin said any attempt to disrupt the
holding of elections would be considered a criminal offense and
that early presidential elections would be held some time after
the Federal Assembly had begun to function, but that the powers
of local government bodies would remain unchanged. He asserted
that, although his decree altered the current constitution, it
did not infringe its validity, and claimed that it was an essential
measure because "the security of Russia and her peoples is more
precious than formal obedience to contradictory norms established
by a legislature that has definitively discredited itself." -Wendy

RUTSKOI SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT. Meeting in emergency session later
that same evening, the Supreme Soviet under its leader Ruslan
Khasbulatov invoked the current constitutional ruling, adopted
in March 1993, according to which the President's powers are
automatically terminated if he attempts to disband legally elected
bodies such as parliament. The Supreme Soviet voted in favor
of impeaching Yeltsin and then elected the previously suspended
Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi as acting president in his place,
ITAR-TASS reported. Rutskoi immediately issued his first decree,
nullifying Yeltsin's decree on the dissolution of the legislature.
He appointed Viktor Barannikov, Andrei Dunaev and the hard-line
military officer Vladislav Achalov as ministers for security,
interior and defense, respectively. (Achalov was on the side
of the plotters during the August 1991 putsch). Rutskoi demanded
airtime on Russian TV to address the population. Parliament also
voted to convene an emergency session of the Congress of People's
Deputies. -Alexander Rahr

SHUMEIKO EXPLAINS YELTSIN'S DECREE. Vladimir Shumeiko, reinstated
on 21-September as First Deputy Prime Minister, gave a press
conference that evening to discuss Yeltsin's decree. (ITAR-TASS
quoted Shumeiko's spokesman as saying Procurator General Stepankov
had declared there was no legal basis for Shumeiko's earlier
suspension from his ministerial post, since no evidence of corruption
by Shumeiko had been found.) Shumeiko told journalists that Yeltsin's
decree applied only to the federal parliament and would not affect
the work of local legislatures, which should continue to work
normally. But he said that from now on any orders issued by parliamentary
speaker Khasbulatov and Vice President Rutskoi were to be regarded
as illegal and should not be observed. Shumeiko said the privileges
and benefits of parliamentary deputies, including immunity from
arrest, immediate access to the media and free transport, had
been annulled. He appealed for the avoidance of armed confrontation.
-Vera Tolz

SUBORDINATION OF CENTRAL BANK. Paragraph 12 of Yeltsin's decree
provides for the subordination of the Russian Central Bank (RCB)
to decrees of the president and government and makes it accountable
to the government until the Federal Assembly is operative. Radio
Liberty correspondents reported from Moscow that Yeltsin ordered
the Bank to stop financing the parliament, while the parliament
in turn demanded that the Bank stop providing the government
with money. Although the RCB's chairman, Viktor Gerashchenko,
was made a member of the cabinet in November 1992 and a member
of the inner cabinet in March 1993, and despite the Bank's dual
subordination-in theory-to both parliament and government, in
practice the RCB has remained what Finance Minister Boris Fedorov
has called "a solid obstacle" to reform. -Keith Bush


Meeting in emergency session, Russia's Constitutional Court ruled
that Yeltsin's decree dissolving parliament violated the Constitution.
Court chairman Valerii Zorkin read the court's decision to the
emergency session of the Supreme Soviet, Russian news agencies
reported early in the morning of 22 September. Zorkin, who has
taken positions hostile to Yeltsin in the past (notably in March
1993), said the court had ruled that there were sufficient grounds
for Yeltsin's impeachment. -Elizabeth Teague

ARMY REMAINS CALM. Two hours after Yeltsin's televised address
to the nation, a military spokesman said that the army would
abide by the Constitution and remain neutral in the conflict,
ITAR-TASS reported. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin announced
that, as head of the government, he would ensure that the army
did not take sides. Khasbulatov and Rutskoi, however, appealed
to the army to support the parliament. Khasbulatov said Achalov
had been tasked with organizing the defense of the Russian White
House (the parliamentary building), while the head of the hard-line
"Union of Officers," Stanislav Terekhov, predicted that Yeltsin
will lose the power struggle. -Alexander Rahr

21-SEPTEMBER. The parliament has special communications channels
which are under the supervision of the Ministry of Security and
the Federal Agency of Government Information and Communications.
The fact that these have been disconnected suggests that the
security forces are remaining loyal to Yeltsin. Meanwhile, Minister
of Internal Affairs Yerin and the head of the Moscow MVD, Vyacheslav
Ogorodnikov, told Krasnaya zvezda of 22 September that they are
loyal to President Yeltsin and carrying on their normal duties.
-Victor Yasmann

told journalists that the Russian government was giving Yeltsin
unconditional support, ITAR-TASS and other agencies reported
on 22 September. Referring to parliament's attempts to block
economic reforms, Chernomyrdin said Yeltsin and the government
had "run out of patience watching this circus." Newly appointed
First Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar called Yeltsin's action
a "difficult but necessary" step. So far, the only government
member speaking against Yeltsin has been the Minister for Foreign
Economic Relations, Sergei Glazev, who announced that he was
resigning in protest because Yeltsin's decree was unconstitutional.
-Vera Tolz

REACTION OF REGIONAL LEADERS. Presidential chief of staff Sergei
Filatov told journalists that more than 40 of Russia's 89 republics
and regions had been informed by phone about Yeltsin's decision
and that their response was either supportive or non-committal.
However, in March 1993 Filatov also claimed at first that the
majority of the republics and regions had been informed in advance
about Yeltsin's attempt to introduce a special rule of government
and that they supported the move. This later turned out not to
be the case. -Vera Tolz

RUSSIAN TELEVISION COVERAGE. Neither the Ostankino nor the Rossiya
TV company made any change in scheduled programming following
Yeltsin's speech. Evening programs were dominated by music and
commercials. TV newscasts covered Yeltsin's decree in detail
and stressed the support for the President coming from the Russian
government and Western leaders. But TV newscasts gave very scanty
coverage of the reaction of the Russian parliament. As of the
morning of 22-September, Ostankino newscasts had still not reported
parliament's decision to impeach Yeltsin; nor did Ostankino report
parliament's swearing in of Rutskoi as acting president or his
appointment of new defense, interior and security ministers.
-Vera Tolz

DEMONSTRATIONS IN MOSCOW. Western agencies reported that a rally
in support of the Russian parliament which began on the evening
of 21 September continued the following day. The participants,
according to correspondents' reports, were mostly middle aged
and elderly and were supporters of either communist or the extreme
nationalist groups. Demonstrators attempted to build barricades,
as pro-democracy defenders of the Russian parliament building
had done in 1991, but observers suggested that their attempts
were half-hearted and that relatively few demonstrators remained
at the building through the night. -Wendy Slater

the few commentators prepared to speculate about the consequences
of Yeltsin's decree was his former press secretary Pavel Voshchanov.
In an interview with RFE/RL on 21 September, Voshchanov compared
Yeltsin's decision to dissolve the parliament with the president's
attempt to introduce special rule in March. Voshchanov recalled
that in March Yeltsin had to abandon his initial decision because
he did not have enough power to follow it through. He predicted
that the same thing was likely to happen again now and that Yeltsin
would be obliged to back down from the tough positions adopted
in his decree of 21 September. However, if Yeltsin backs down
this time, the consequences seem likely to be far more serious
than they were in March. -Vera Tolz

NAZARBAEV'S RESPONSE. Radio Liberty's Kazakh Service has learned
from the office of Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev
that Nazarbaev plans to attend the summit of CIS leaders in Moscow
on 23-September unless the situation in Russia sharply deteriorates
in the next 24 hours. Prime Minister Sergei Tereshchenko is already
in Moscow to discuss financial coordination between Russia and
Kazakhstan; the instability in the Russian leadership is strengthening
the arguments of those economists in Kazakhstan who oppose closer
ties with Russia. Nazarbaev promised to give journalists in Almaty
his oral response to the events in Russia, but has chosen to
issue a written statement calling on Russian leaders to be reasonable.
Nazarbaev's press office has not confirmed or denied rumors that
the Kazakhstani president conferred with Yeltsin and other Russian
leaders during the night of 21-22 September. At present, no response
from other Central Asian leaders has been made public; they may
well prefer to wait and see what happens before speaking out.
-Bess Brown

WEST SUPPORTS YELTSIN. In response to Yeltsin's dissolution of
parliament, US President Bill Clinton said, "I support [Yeltsin]
fully," and added that "there is no question that President Yeltsin
acted in response to a constitutional crisis that had reached
a critical impasse." Other Western nations, such as Britain,
France, Canada, Japan, Spain, Denmark, and Norway also expressed
support for Yeltsin's decision. -Suzanne Crow


21 September that Russia has annulled the protocol on nuclear
warheads dismantling signed by Russian and Ukrainian Presidents
Yeltsin and Kravchuk during the Massandra summit. The copy of
the protocol published in Ukraine contained a handwritten amendment
restricting it to those warheads removed from launchers to be
destroyed under the START-1 treaty, which Ukraine claims excludes
SS-24 ICBMs (see RFE/RL Daily Report no. *173). The Russian Foreign
Ministry claims that this amendment was added after the protocol
was signed, and that the two sides had agreed to keep the agreement's
text secret. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denies the charges
and maintains that the amendment was added prior to signing.
-John Lepingwell


ABKHAZ ROUNDUP. A Georgian jetliner carrying at least 25 passengers
crashed into the Black Sea after being hit by a heat-seeking
missile while attempting to land in Sukhumi on 21 September,
Western agencies reported; an Abkhaz Ministry of Defense spokesman
denied responsibility. The Georgian Ministry of Defense claimed
Georgian forces had recaptured the village of Tamysh in Ochamchira,
and that there are now sufficient Georgian troops and artillery
in Sukhumi to defend the town effectively. The commander of forces
loyal to ousted President Gamsakhurdia suspended an agreement
signed on 19 September to desist from hostilities against Georgian
government troops and assist in the defense of Sukhumi until
the Georgian authorities release two Gamsakhurdia supporters
arrested in connection with the June 1992 car bomb attack on
Mkhedrioni leader Dzhaba Ioseliani, Reuters reported. -Liz Fuller


President Alija Izetbegovic returned to Sarajevo with a proposal
to end the 17month old war in Bosnia, following meetings with
the presidents of Serbia and Croatia and UN negotiators aboard
a British warship in the Adriatic. Izetbegovic has promised to
submit the latest offer to the Bosnian assembly, which is slated
to pass its own judgement on either 27 or 28 September, although
he stated he could not personally endorse it. The Bosnian Muslim
leader said that while the peace proposal did meet Bosnian demands
for access to a seaport by providing Bosnia with the use of the
Croatian port of Ploce, it failed to cede vital territories to
the Bosnian Muslims, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, Russia's envoy
to the peace talks, deputy foreign minister Vitalii Churkin,
stated on 21-September that he felt this latest peace proposal
represented the last opportunity to forge a lasting peace in
the Bosnian conflict. Barriers to peace do continue to crop up,
and on 21 September Bosnian radio reported that Arif Pasilic,
a leader of Bosnian forces in the city of Mostar, vowed to continue
to fight Croatian forces irrespective of what political solutions
were agreed to. Pasilic has dedicated himself to "liberating
Mostar" and regions surrounding the city. -Stan Markotich

parliament, meeting on 21 September, voted by 294 to 23 to accept
Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma's resignation offer which he had
made earlier in the month, various agencies reported. The parliament
also passed a vote of no-confidence in the cabinet and asked
President Leonid Kravchuk to appoint new ministers and temporarily
to take over as head of government. Earlier in the day, parliament
had twice rejected Kuchma's resignation. In his speech to parliament,
Kuchma called for swifter economic reforms and closer economic
ties with Russia. Several thousand pro-nationalist demonstrators
convened by the Rukh movement rallied outside the building in
support of the government's resignation and against closer ties
with Russia. -Wendy Slater

leaders proposed a joint coalition with the Polish Peasant Party
(PSL) during talks on 21-September, PAP reports. If projected
election results prove accurate, this coalition would control
66% of the Sejm and over 70% of the Senate. The PSL has made
no public response to this proposal. The SLD also met with leaders
of the social-democratic Union of Labor. At a press conference
on 21-September, SLD leaders continued their attempts to reassure
the West that Polish economic policy will remain on course. There
were hints of substantial policy shifts ahead, however. Party
leader Aleksander Kwasniewski pledged to preserve budget discipline
but added that the SLD believes the deficit can rise by as much
as 1% of GDP. Pension increases were promised for 1994. SLD chairman
Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz indicated that the party intends to replace
both the National Bank chairman and the head of NIK, the national
auditing office. In addition, Cimoszewicz said that consideration
of the recently negotiated concordat with the Vatican will be
put off until a new constitution is adopted. Cimoszewicz added
that the SLD will work to liberalize Poland's abortion law, bringing
it into conformity with "European standards." Kwasniewski hinted
that Poland's attempts to join NATO will be slowed. -Louisa Vinton

a cabinet meeting on 21-September, Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka
appealed to any new government to uphold the economic policy
priorities that have produced encouraging growth trends. The
government will resign as soon as the new parliament convenes,
she said, but only after submitting 50-pieces of draft legislation.
The government adopted a "testament of ideals" for its successor.
These included: pursuing economic growth by defending the zloty
and pushing ahead with the transformation of state firms and
public services; decentralizing the state administration; achieving
integration with the EC and NATO; and pursuing good relations
with all neighbors. "Poland must maintain its role as a leader
in East Central Europe," the document said. Suchocka ruled out
her own participation in an SLD government. -Louisa Vinton

FINAL POLISH SENATE RESULTS. The official results in the Senate
elections confirm the almost total domination of the upper house
by the two "postcommunist" parties. With 48 of 49-voivodships
[electoral districts] reporting, the SLD has 37 and the PSL,
35, of a total 100-seats. Solidarity won 9 seats. The Democratic
Union, which had 23 seats in the old Senate, has only 3, although
it is expected to win at least one more in Warsaw, where votes
are still being counted. The Union of Labor and the BBWR have
two seats each. Polish TV reports that the Senate is controlled
by parties that favor its abolition. Initial official results
in the Sejm elections are to be announced on 22 September, but
final results are expected only on 25-September. The state election
commission on 21 September rejected as "absurd" an attempt by
the "Fatherland" Catholic Election Committee to claim seats in
the Sejm on the basis of Article 6 of the election law. The Catholic
coalition won at least 6% of the vote but failed to reach the
8% threshold set for coalitions. -Louisa Vinton

Vaclav Havel has "full understanding" for Russian President Boris
Yeltsin's decision to disband the parliament, Czech TV reported
on 21 September. Havel was quoted as saying that Yeltsin is obviously
trying to solve the constitutional and political crisis in the
country. First Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Vondra said
in a televised interview that the current crisis is "not very
surprising," since the Russian 'superparliament' was inherited
from the past and that new elections are necessary to resolve
the situation. He added that from his viewpoint, "the only thing
that remained unclear was the question of who should call them
and when." Defense Minister Antonin Baudys stressed that the
situation in Russia should not be "overdramatized or exaggerated."
He said that as long as the army stays out of the conflict and
limits itself to maintaining peace and order, a "normal development"
of events in Russia can be expected. Baudys said that the Czech
military is currently not considering any "special measures."
-Jan Obrman

Premier Vladimir Meciar and President Michal Kovac both met with
US Deputy Defense Secretary for Political Affairs Walter Slocombe,
who is presently visiting Slovakia to discuss Slovak security
and defense policy. Meciar said Slovakia "agrees with the American
idea of European security," while Kovac told Slocombe that "regardless
of internal political development, the Slovak foreign policy
remains unchanged . . . [and the] . . . Slovak effort to enter
NATO is supported by all political parties," TASR reports. Meanwhile,
also on 21 September, chairman of the foreign committee of the
Slovak parliament Ivan Laluha, stated that "the utmost priority
of Slovak foreign policy is to enter European political, economic
and security structures," TASR reports. He made the announcement
following a meeting with members of the foreign committee of
the Russian parliament who are presently visiting Bratislava.
After discussing Slovakia's efforts to join NATO, Laluha said
that while "Russian can express reservations about this" it must
acknowledge that every postcommunist country now has "the right
to freely decide its priorities in foreign policy." Laluha also
said that Slovakia will support Russia in its quest for European
integration. The Slovak Cabinet on 21-September determined the
priorities for foreign trade as the EC, the EFTA, the Visegrad
group and Russia. -Sharon Fisher

SOROS VISITS SLOVAKIA. The Hungarian-born American financier
and sponsor of aid programs in the former East bloc George Soros
ended his two-day stay in Slovakia on 21-September. In talks
with President Michal Kovac, he said he will help transform Slovakia
into an "open society" through a $1-million grant from his foundation.
He also promised to continue support Trnava University and mentioned
the possibility of moving some operations of the Central European
University to Bratislava. Furthermore, Soros said he intends
to "support the settlement of Romany problems financially via
his fund." Kovac and Soros also spoke about the Hungarian minority
in Slovakia; on 20 September foreign minister Jozef Moravcik
promised members of the CSCE who are currently inspecting Slovakia's
minority policies that the country will fulfill the recommendations
of the Council of Europe. Soros refused to comment on the Slovak
political situation but said the country's image is "not as positive
as it could be," TASR reports. -Sharon Fisher

announced on 21-September that seven coal miners from the Jiu
Valley have been jailed for looting a shop during anti-government
riots in September 1991. Victor Cherciu, president of the Petrosani
district court, was quoted by Reuters as saying that four men
were sentenced to two years, while three others, aged under 18,
got similar-length terms in juvenile centers. The civil suit
against them was brought by the shop owner, who reportedly received
a damage award of 402,000 lei ($452). In September 1991 thousands
of Jiu Valley miners hijacked trains to Bucharest, where they
stormed the government's offices and forced the resignation of
Petre Roman's cabinet. The Petrosani court's decision is the
only civil case so far against miners involved in four violent
politically motivated raids on Romania's capital in 1990-1991
in which at least ten people were killed. -Dan Ionescu

state officials who are charged with murder in connection with
the December 1989 uprising in Timisoara have been allowed to
stay out of jail pending trial, Rompres reported on 22-September.
The two are Ion Coman, a former Romanian Communist Party top
official responsible for police supervision, and Ion Popescu,
former police chief of Timisoara. Both men, who were set free
on health grounds, face a new trial on 1 November. The Timisoara
uprising marked the beginning of a revolt which toppled Nicolae
Ceausescu's communist regime on 22 December 1989. Dan Ionescu

address to parliament on the second and last day of his visit
to Bulgaria, Loic Bouvard, president of the North Atlantic Assembly,
said he was convinced that Bulgaria's journey toward democracy
is irreversible. BTA reports that Bouvard was praising several
Bulgarian post-1989 achievements, such as greater respect for
human rights and the rule of law. He also said Bulgarian efforts
to uphold UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia represented a
significant contribution to international law and its institutions.
Regarding the country's new and vulnerable security situation,
Reuters quoted Bouvard that Western states should help to make
Bulgaria's turn to democracy into a "contract for collective
security." He called it a responsibility of the West to see to
that the 'Iron Curtain' is not replaced by "new walls between
the economically developed and less developed, between secure
and insecure zones, between North and South, East and West."
-Kjell Engelbrekt

National Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius told a press conference,
broadcast live by Radio Lithuania, that he had given President
Algirdas Brazauskas his resignation. Brazauskas asked him to
stay on temporarily while he studied the situation. The resignation
was said to be prompted by members of the Volunteer Home Guard
Service (VHGS) in Kaunas withdrawing into the forest with their
weapons and ignoring his request to return to their posts by
noon 20-September. Butkevicius said that the incident was a well-planned
political provocation, but refused to identify the forces he
believed were behind it. He was also clearly displeased by criticism
from a parliament commission formed to settle the dispute, in
effect undercutting his authority. Butkevicius said that, before
leaving office, he had accepted the resignation of his deputy
Jonas Gecas, who was in charge of VHGS. -Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER IN JAPAN. On 17-September Adolfas Slezevicius
traveled to Japan at the invitation of a foundation for Chiune
Sugihara, Japan's acting consul in Lithuania in 1940 who saved
the lives of 6,000 Jews by giving them Japanese visas. Although
the visit is unofficial, Slezevicius held talks with various
government and parliament officials and at a meeting on 21 September
with Prime Minister Morihoro Hosokawa discussed the possibility
of expanding trade and receiving economic assistance. On 22-September
he flew to Korea where he will hold talks with his counterpart
In-Sung Hwang and other government and business officials, Radio
Lithuania reports. The visit is timed to coincide with the opening
of the Day of the Baltics (23 September) at the Expo '93 world
exposition in Teajon. On 21-September Estonian Prime Minister
Mart Laar also departed for Korea from where he will travel to
Thailand. In both countries he will meet with his counterparts
and other business leaders. Latvian Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs
will represent his country at the opening ceremonies. -Saulius

BALTIC PRESIDENTS MEET. On 21 September Baltic Presidents Gintis
Ulmanis (Latvia), Lennart Meri (Estonia), and Algirdas Brazauskas
(Lithuania) held an unofficial meeting in Jurmala to coordinate
their upcoming visits to the US, Radio Lithuania reports. They
discussed their planned speeches at the UN dealing with the withdrawal
of Russian troops and establishing common policies on security
issues and relations with Russia. They also signed a joint statement
determining the status of the work groups which are to elaborate
a legal and political framework for the future Baltic Council.
-Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Elizabeth Teague and Kjell Engelbrekt

assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA).
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