Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. - Mother Teresa
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 197, 13 October 1993



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



YELTSIN CALLS VISIT A SUCCESS. Ending an historic and oft-delayed
visit to Tokyo on 13-October, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
and his Japanese hosts announced the signing of a number of agreements,
including a joint declaration on Japanese-Russian relations.
According to news agency reports, the two sides pledged in the
declaration to resolve the Kuril Islands territorial dispute
on the basis of respect for "law and justice." Japanese Prime
Minister Morihiro Hosokawa told reporters that Yeltsin had agreed
to honor a 1956 joint declaration in which the USSR announced
its readiness to negotiate the return of the two smallest of
the four disputed Kuril Islands, with the future of the other
two to be left to subsequent negotiations. According to Kyodo,
Japanese leaders were heartened by the fact that all four islands
were named for the first time in an official Russo-Japanese document.
The two sides also signed a number of other agreements, including
a separate economic declaration that covers trade and economic
relations, a protocol that revises the legal framework for extending
Japanese aid to Russia, and an agreement on aid for helping Russia
liquidate nuclear weapons. Both sides appeared to be satisfied
with the results of the visit. -Stephen Foye

CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY REORGANIZED INTO TWO CHAMBERS. The five
groups of the constitutional assembly have been reorganized into
two chambers. On 11 October Yeltsin signed an order which essentially
subsumes the first (federal organs) and second (republican and
regional organs of state power) into the state chamber of the
constitutional assembly, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 October. The
chamber, whose coordinators will be Boris Zolotukhin and Aleksandr
Yakovlev, will have no more than 250-members, including two representatives
of each subject of the federation, and representatives of the
president and government. Sessions of the chamber will be summoned
by the president, and he has the right to suspend its activities.
One of the aims of the reorganization is probably to exercise
closer control over the republics and regions. The other three
groups (parties and movements, public organizations, associations
of entrepreneurs, religious confessions, and local government)
have been combined into a public chamber, whose coordinator is
Anatolii Sobchak, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 October. -Ann Sheehy


OPPOSITION POLITICIANS PREPARE FOR ELECTIONS. Two opposition
figures revealed on 12 October that they were preparing to stand
for election. A press conference by Sergei Baburin, a prominent
nationalist deputy in the former parliament, was canceled after
its organizers received a warning that they might be in breach
of the emergency regulations in force in Moscow, Reuters reported.
Baburin nevertheless managed to inform reporters that he wanted
his supporters to participate in the elections to turn the "decorative"
Federal Assembly into "a real body of representative power,"
and that he would decide shortly whether to stand himself. Meanwhile,
the extreme right Liberal Democratic Party has presented a list
of candidates, according to AFP. The LDP's leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky,
who won 7.8% of the vote in the 1991 presidential elections,
said he hoped for 66-67 seats in the new legislature. -Wendy
Slater

CENTRAL BANK AGAIN UNDER FIRE. Russian Central Bank (RCB) Chairman
Viktor Gerashchenko has been accused of blatant disobedience
by a respected economics correspondent of Izvestiya. Writing
in the 12-October issue, Mikhail Berger charges that the day
after President Yeltsin dissolved parliament and subordinated
the RCB to the government, Gerashchenko transferred 600 million
rubles in cash and 120 million rubles in letters of credit to
the White House. The chairman was also less than cooperative
on the night of 3-4 October. Vechernyaya Moskva of the same date
implies that changes in the bank leadership are imminent and
cites members of the government to the effect that inflation
cannot be restrained so long as Gerashchenko heads the Bank.
-Keith Bush

BREAD PRICE DECONTROL RECONSIDERED. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
was reported by Russian agencies on 12 October to have stated
that the government is reconsidering the decontrolling of bread
retail prices. Starting in August, the authorities have made
various pronouncements first about raising the retail prices
for bread then decontrolling them with the aim of reducing the
massive government subsidy bill. Bread price decontrol was originally
scheduled for 1 October, then postponed until 15 October. On
28-September, Radio Rossii spelled out the scale of bread allowances
to be paid to low-income citizens: for the fourth quarter of
1993 it was to be 1,400 rubles a month. -Keith Bush

SAKHA'S PARLIAMENT DISSOLVES ITSELF, BASHKORTOSTAN CHANGES ITS
STANCE. The parliament of the republic of Sakha (Yakutia) dissolved
itself on 12 October-the first republican parliament to do so-and
set 12 December as the date for fresh elections to a new 60-member
two-chamber assembly, Western media reported. The leaders of
the Komi republic said, however, that they would resist the call
for early polls and rejected the idea of disbanding voluntarily,
Reuters reported. According to the Christian Science Monitor
of 12-October, the chairman of the Tuva parliament described
the attempt to abolish local soviets as "dangerous" for the legislative
branch of government. On 12 October the Bashkortostan parliament
rescinded its decision of 23 September rejecting Yeltsin's decree
of 21 September, decided to take part in the elections to the
Federal Assembly and asked its presidium to come up with a plan
for reorganizing the system of organs of state power in a month,
ITAR-TASS reported. -Ann Sheehy

YELTSIN APPOINTS PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE IN MORDOVIA. On 11
October Yeltsin issued a decree forming a permanent representation
of the Russian presidency in Mordovia, ITAR-TASS reported. Valentin
Konakov was named the president's permanent representative. Mordovia
was named by Nikolai Medvedev, a member of the president's administration,
as one of five republics not having given a satisfactory answer
to Yeltsin's demand that they reverse decisions opposing his
decrees. -Ann Sheehy

UN REPORT ON MERCENARIES. An RFE/RL correspondent in New York
reported that the UN Secretary General released a report on 12
October which both condemns the worldwide use of mercenaries
and notes claims that Russian mercenaries are participating in
conflicts throughout the former Soviet Union. The report notes
allegations of Russian mercenary involvement in conflicts in
Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, and both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
It also calls for further investigation of allegations that entire
Russian army and air force units participated in the capture
of Sukhumi, and that Russian commanders in Tajikistan have acted
on their own initiative without orders from Moscow. -John Lepingwell


GENERAL STAFF APPOINTMENT. Krasnaya zvezda announced on 30 September
that Lieutenant General Vladimir Zhurbenko had been appointed
first deputy chief of the General Staff. From 1989 Zhurbenko
served as first deputy chief of the main operations directorate
of the General Staff and from July 1992 he was a deputy chief
of the General Staff. -John Lepingwell CIS

BELARUS HEDGING COST OF OIL ON PIPELINE. Belarusian officials
are hopeful that a proposed pipeline running from Yamal in northern
Russia to Central Europe via Belarus, will ease the economic
blow of paying world prices for its energy supplies, Reuters
reported on 11-October. The pipeline would transport 80 billion
cubic meters of gas through Belarus annually, four times the
current amount. It was part of a gas transport agreement signed
between presidents Boris Yeltsin and Lech Walesa in August. As
this would divert a substantial portion of the gas currently
piped through Ukraine, Ukrainian officials have called the deal
"anti-Ukrainian." Belarus officials see it as an opportunity
to buy Russian gas more cheaply. -Ustina Markus

DIPHTHERIA IN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA. Statistics show a twofold increase
in diphtheria in Ukraine over the past year, ITAR-TASS reported
on 9 October. Some 1,800 persons are now registered as having
the disease, and over 50 have died of it. Medical experts see
the possibility of an epidemic spreading throughout Ukraine,
and the government is taking measures to arrest its spread. AFP
on 10 October reported a similar situation in Russia's major
cities. In the past seven months 50-people in Moscow have died
of the disease. -Ustina Markus

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



ADOPTION OF LATIN ALPHABET OFFICIAL IN UZBEKISTAN. On 2 September
Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov signed a law restoring the
use of the Latin alphabet for writing the Uzbek language. As
the law points out, Uzbek was written in the Latin alphabet between
1929 and 1940. The law itself, containing the alphabet devised
by Uzbek philologists, appeared in the Uzbek-language press only
on 12 October. The alphabet as published differs somewhat from
the common Turkic alphabet agreed upon by specialists from the
Turkic-speaking countries earlier in the year. Introduction of
the Latin alphabet is to be gradual in Uzbekistan, with the changeover
to be complete by 2000. -Bess Brown

NAZARBAEV ON KAZAKHSTAN'S ECONOMY. In a report to Kazakhstan's
Supreme Soviet on the first day of its current session, President
Nursultan Nazarbaev told the legislators that the country has
yet to experience positive results from the introduction of a
market economy. According to an ITAR-TASS summary of his speech,
he said that total production in 1992-93 is down 25% in comparison
with 1991, the last year before independence. Industrial output
is down 22%, capital investment 70% and retail trade turnover
has experienced a 41% decline. Nazarbaev attributed Kazakhstan's
dismal showing to the erection of trade barriers within in the
former USSR, but added an upbeat forecast for the effects of
the new CIS economic union and unified Kazakhstani-Russian monetary
system, warning that for Kazakhstan complete economic independence
is still a long way off. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



TUDJMAN RESHUFFLES THE CROATIAN CABINET AGAIN. Hina reported
on 12 October that President Franjo Tudjman, on the recommendation
of Prime Minister Nikica Valentic, announced a number of new
appointments to the government. Affected are primarily the economics,
health, and social fields, which are the focus of much popular
discontent amid rising inflation, a declining standard of living
for most people, and a new government austerity package. The
ministers of foreign affairs and defense remain in place. Valentic's
government is the fifth non-communist one and the third since
Croatia's June 1991 declaration of independence. It has been
in office since the end of March 1993, but the last word in Croatian
politics remains with Tudjman, who has frequently shuffled cabinet
portfolios. Elsewhere, Hina reported fresh fighting between Muslim
and Croat forces in the Kiseljak area northwest of Sarajevo.
Vecernji list, meanwhile, carried an interview with the Croatian
commander in the besieged town of Vares, a traditional Croatian
center north of Sarajevo. Vares is under attack from both Serbs
and Muslims, and has been assigned to the Muslim republic by
the Geneva peace plan. The commander said that Vares's population
has been swelled by refugees but added that a working relationship
has emerged between the Croats and Serbs to enable displaced
persons to transit in the face of Muslim ethnic cleansing. -Patrick
Moore

SERBIAN POLITICAL UPDATE. On 12 October, Serbia's 250-member
parliament resumed debate over the Serbian Radical Party's (SRS)
motion of no confidence in the government of Nikola Sainovic.
Prior to the session, SRS leader Vojislav Seselj called for a
secret meeting with Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) leader Vuk
Draskovic and Democratic Party of Serbia leader Vojislav Kostunica
to solicit support in the effort to topple the government. Radio
B92 reported that Draskovic demanded an apology from Seselj because
of his insults directed at the SPO, and added he would only accept
a new government if his party is given post of prime minister
and half of all ministerial positions. Television Serbia, however,
broadcast Draskovic's news conference in which he stated he is
in favor of forming a transitional government with other opposition
parties but that he doubted the opposition has the ability to
unite. Draskovic also said the SPO "favors a squaring of accounts
with Seselj's fascists" in order to "do away with that the shameful
ideology." Draskovic explained that his party's refusal to take
part in the parliamentary debate over the no confidence motion
signaled "indirect support" for the ruling Socialists in their
fight against Seselj. Earlier, the Governor of the National Bank
of Yugoslavia, Borisav Atanackovic, resigned on 11 October because
of poor health. For several months Seselj demanded Atanackovic's
resignation, accusing him of corruption. -Milan Andrejevich

DEVELOPMENTS IN ALBANIA. Albania's opposition Socialists were
elated with the return of Papandreou to power in Greece and,
according to Zeri i Popullit on 12-October, portray Papandreou's
party, PASOK, as the key to good relations with Greece. The ruling
Democratic Party, putting its best foot forward, sent a telegram
of congratulations to Papandreou, although the government is
clearly concerned about ties between PASOK and Albania's Socialists.
In the meantime, Albanian television reported that on the evening
of 11 October a bomb went off in the rump Yugoslav embassy; witnesses
not wishing to be identified claimed the bomb had been placed
inside the building. Sources from the Ministry of Public Order
confirmed this interpretation. -Robert Austin

POLISH COALITION TALKS DRAG ON. Representatives of the three
potential coalition partners-the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD),
the Polish Peasant Party (PSL), and the Union of Labor (UP)-met
late into the night on 12 October but failed to sign a coalition
agreement leading to the formation of a new government. Talks
were renewed early on 13 October, with party leaders predicting
the signing could take place in the afternoon. PAP reported at
midmorning, however, that the UP has decided against signing
the coalition agreement. In a separate meeting on 12 October,
the PSL formally selected Waldemar Pawlak as its candidate for
prime minister and agreed to support the SLD's candidate for
Sejm speaker. The SLD, for its part, appeared likely to propose
the jovial Jozef Oleksy (rather than the more abrasive Wlodzimierz
Cimoszewicz) as its candidate for the parliamentary post. Last-minute
objections to the coalition agreement were raised in particular
by the UP, whose 41 votes are not required for the other two
parties to control a comfortable majority in the Sejm. The UP
appeared to be getting cold feet at the idea of serving as a
Solidarity-origin fig leaf for a postcommunist government; it
demanded drastic changes in privatization policy and the exclusion
from any new government of politicians mixed up in scandals or
not involved in the fight against communism. SLD leader Aleksander
Kwasniewski told reporters he does not rule out the formation
of an SLD-PSL coalition if the UP refuses to abandon its demands.
-Louisa Vinton

WALESA ADAMANT ABOUT THREE NAMES. As the coalition talks neared
conclusion, President Lech Walesa restated his demand for the
names of three candidates from which he will choose a prime minister
as a precondition for any talks on a new government, PAP reports.
Without openly challenging the president on this issue, the potential
coalition partners have chafed at his demand. Presidential spokesman
Andrzej Drzycimski also stressed that Walesa remains determined
to have the final say in the selection of the ministers of foreign
affairs, internal affairs, and defense. Drzycimski also objected
to a proposal by the three coalition parties to subordinate the
State Security Office (UOP) to the prime minister , rather than
to the internal affairs minister, as is now the case. "The president
will not abandon his constitutional prerogatives and it will
be difficult to push him aside," Drzycimski warned. The three
coalition parties have argued that Walesa has the right to an
opinion but not the final say in the choice of the "security"
ministers. The constitution is open to both interpretations:
it grants the president the right of general supervision over
defense, security, and foreign policy and stipulates that the
prime minister appoints these ministers only after "seeking the
president's opinion." -Louisa Vinton

POLISH PROSECUTOR FINDS PLAYBOY "EROTIC." A Gdynia prosecutor
halted court proceedings against the Polish edition of Playboy
on 12 October, ruling the magazine "erotic" rather than "pornographic"
and thus not in violation of the law. The Lublin branch of the
right-wing Christian National Union had attempted to press criminal
charges against both Playboy and the musical Cats. A sexologist
consulted by the prosecutor's office called the magazine a "classic
of sorts" that publishes serious literature and political commentary
as well as erotic photos, PAP reports. -Louisa Vinton

HAVEL ON NATO. In a speech to the Czech Parliament, President
Vaclav Havel called NATO an institution guaranteeing the "internal
stability of democratic Europe, an instrument of collective defense
against potential aggressors, and an instrument of the UN for
the protection of freedom, law, and democracy in regions of local
conflict," Czech TV reports on 12-October. Havel said that in
order to remain "functional," NATO should not admit "everyone
at once," adding, however, that the "Central European states
should be considered prime candidates for membership." Havel
stressed that by admitting these unspecified "Central European
states," NATO would expand "in the most natural way." The President
further expressed his support for a continuation of the presence
of US-armed forces in Europe, saying that it remains "irreplaceable"
at the moment. -Jan Obrman

CZECH REPUBLIC, LITHUANIA AGREE ON MILITARY COOPERATION. Czech
Defense Minister Antonin Baudys and his Lithuanian counterpart
Audrius Butkevicius signed an agreement on military cooperation,
CTK reports on 12 October. Butkevicius, who is in Prague on an
official visit, said at a press conference that the two states
will be cooperating in the drafting of their military doctrines
and in the training of officers. The Lithuanian defense minister
also revealed that he discussed other "issues of cooperation
between the Baltic states, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland"
with Baudys. -Jan Obrman

US AIR FORCE COMMANDER IN PRAGUE. The Staff Commander of the
US Air Force, General Merill A.-McPeak arrived in Prague for
an official visit, CTK reports on 12 October. According to the
report, McPeak wants to learn details about the structure of
the Czech air force and intends to "broaden the cooperation"
between the air forces of the two states. Jan Obrman

HUNGARIAN BOND ISSUES ABROAD. To help meet the country's credit
needs, the Hungarian National Bank, through Credit Lyonnais and
four other French banks, issued, on 12 October in Paris, bonds
with a six-year maturity in a value of one billion French francs,
MTI announced. On 11 October, the HNB also issued in Switzerland
six-year bonds worth 200-million Swiss francs with a 6.75% annual
yield with the assistance of a consortium of Swiss, German, American,
and Japanese banks. Both bond issues were sold out immediately.
-Alfred Reisch

HUNGARIAN MILITARY CONTACTS. A military delegation headed by
Col. General Kalman Lorincz, Commander of the Hungarian Army,
discussed on 9-10 October in Beijing possibilities for bilateral
cooperation in training, culture and sports with Chinese Defense
Minister Che Haotien and Chief of Staff Xiang Vannien, Nepszabadsag
reports on 11 October. On 9-October, US Air Force Chief of Staff
General Merrill A. McPeak arrived in Hungary for a four-day visit
and talks with Hungarian Defense Minister Lajos Fur. The US will
equip the MiG-29 aircraft currently being delivered to Hungary
by Russia with modern identification systems and continue to
train Hungarian officers in the United States, MTI announced.
Fifty officers have already been trained in the United States.
-Alfred Reisch

HUNGARY REACTS TO ILIESCU STATEMENT. Hungarian foreign ministry
spokesman Janos Herman says Romanian President Ion Iliescu's
recent unfavorable statement about Hungarians living abroad,
published in the 9 October issue of the pro-Iliescu Romanian
daily Dimineata, has caused "stupefaction" in Hungary. Iliescu
allegedly made his remarks before a meeting of Romanians from
the Balkan states. Herman revealed that during his September
meeting in Bucharest with Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky,
Iliescu had reportedly made the same charge, namely that Hungary's
hope, and here a parallel with Hitler's policies was drawn, was
to use its minorities abroad as a "fifth column"-a charge Jeszenszky
rejected as "absurd." According to Herman, such an outburst by
Iliescu was hardly in line with the latest developments in Hungarian-Romanian
relations, MTI reports on 12-October. -Alfred Reisch and Michael
Shafir

US HOUSE APPROVES ROMANIAN MFN. The US House of Representatives
has given its approval to restoring Romania's MFN trading status.
Romania has been trying to regain the status (renounced by Nicolae
Ceausescu in 1988) since the former leader was overthrown and
executed in December 1989. The measure must now be approved by
the Senate and then will go to the president, an RFE/RL correspondent
and Radio Bucharest reported on 12 October. President Ion Iliescu
expressed confidence that the Senate will indeed approve the
restoration of MFN to his country. -Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES OLD-NEW INTELLIGENCE CHIEF. The
Romanian parliament approved on 12 October the reappointment
of Virgil Magureanu as chief of the Romanian Information Service,
the country's intelligence service, an RFE/RL correspondent and
Radio Bucharest reported on the same day. The vote was 236 to
172, and the appointment (by president Iliescu) was confirmed
with the support of deputies representing the ruling Party of
Social Democracy and its leftist and nationalist allies. Magureanu
has headed the intelligence service since it was created in 1990
to replace the old Securitate and has often been accused by the
opposition of political bias and infringement of human rights.
-Michael Shafir

SOFIA ACCEPTS MONTGOMERY APPOINTMENT. The Bulgarian government
has officially accepted the appointment of William Montgomery
as the US ambassador to Bulgaria, Khorizont Radio reported on
12-October. This news comes in the wake of recent Bulgarian media
reports which allege that Montgomery had made critical remarks
about the standing of minorities in Bulgaria during his confirmation
hearings in September. Montgomery is to assume his post before
the end of October. -Stan Markotich

ZLENKO REJECTS SPECIAL STATUS FOR RUSSIAN FORCES. Ukraine's foreign
minister, Anatolii Zlenko, said granting special status for Russian
peacekeeping operations was unacceptable, Radio Ukraine reported
on 12 October. The statement was in response to Russian foreign
minister Andrei Kozyrev's proposal for such a status at the 48th
UN General Assembly session. Russia has repeatedly raised the
issue of being granted a special status as peacekeeper in its
near abroad, while Ukraine has repeatedly rejected such a role
for Russian forces. Zlenko stressed that Ukraine is in favor
of peacekeeping operations being used solely on the basis of
a decision by the UN Security Council. In a commentary on Russia's
proposal in the UN on Ukrainian television on 12 October, Russian
involvement in Abkhazia was criticized as a manifestation of
Russia's old "imperial" ambitions. -Ustina Markus

MOLDOVA ON RUSSIAN TROOPS AND PEACEKEEPING ROLE. Addressing the
UN General Assembly on 8-October, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae
Tiu solicited support for the withdrawal of Russian troops, which
are meant "to keep Moldova in Russia's sphere of influence" and
"to separate the Transdniester from Moldova." Tiu further noted
the Russian army's drafting of local inhabitants and the election
of the army's commander to the Transdniester legislature as major
violations of international law. Russia, he said, "shows no willingness
to withdraw . . . obstructs the [troop] negotiations," and "rejects
on every occasion" Moldova's and the CSCE's proposals that the
latter attend the troop negotiations as an observer. Tiu also
declared: "we consider unacceptable Russia's insistent proposals
to be entrusted with a UN mandate for peacekeeping operations
in conflict zones in the former USSR . . . It is clear that these
efforts are aimed at justifying a continuing military presence
on the territories of independent states. The final goal is obviously
the revival of the former imperial structures with the blessing
of the international community." Tiu also met separately with
UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali and with senior US diplomat
Strobe Talbott on the same issue. -Vladimir Socor

KRAUCHANKA IN BRITAIN. The Belarusian foreign minister, Piotr
Krauchanka, met with British foreign minister, Douglas Hurd,
in London during a four day official visit, Postfaktumradie reported
on 11 October. During their talks Krauchanka told Hurd that Belarus
fully supports Russian President Boris Yeltsin. They also discussed
disarmament, UN activities and Belarus's relations other European
countries. The ministers signed a joint declaration on developing
political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries.
-Ustina Markus

CHANGES IN RUSSIAN DELEGATION FOR TALKS WITH LATVIA. According
to a decree signed by Russian President Yeltsin on 7 October,
new members have been appointed to the Russian delegation for
talks with Latvia: Deputy Minister for Foreign Economic Relations
Georgii V. Gabuniya, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for
Economic Cooperation with CIS Aleksandr I. Smirnov, and Head
of the Administration of the Pskov Region Vladislav N. Tumanov,
Baltic media reported on 11 October. The changes were necessitated
in part by the resignation or retirement of some members of the
Russian delegation, including A Gaponenko, V. Kovalev, J. Petrov,
J. Shmatov, and M. Molostov. -Dzintra Bungs

LITHUANIAN NEWSPAPER PUBLISHER SLAIN. Vytas Lingys was shot dead
near his home in Vilnius. He was deputy chief editor and one
of the three publishers and owners of Respublika, the second
largest daily newspaper in Lithuania. Since it was founded in
1989, Respublika has developed a reputation as an independent
newspaper particularly critical of organized crime, BNS reported
on 12 October. -Dzintra Bungs

NEW MINISTER IN ESTONIA. Peeter Olesk of Estonia's National Independence
Party was sworn into office as minister without portfolio on
12 October, BNS reported. -Dzintra Bungs

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Suzanne Crow and Stan Markotich







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