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

No. 18, 27 January 1994


FEDOROV REPLACED BY DUBININ.  Sergei Dubinin has been appointed
Acting Finance Minister after the resignation of Boris Fedorov,
ITAR-TASS reported on 26 January. 43-year-old Dubinin had been one
of Fedorov's three first deputies since March 1993.  Prior to that
he had worked as Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for
Economic Cooperation with the CIS states.  President Boris Yeltsin
had met with Fedorov and tried to convince him to remain in the
government but rejected the minister's conditions concerning the
release of Central Bank chief Viktor Gerashchenko. Later Yeltsin
met another reformer, social minister and member of the liberal
bloc Russia's Choice, Ella Pamfilova, who also wants to resign in
protest over the change of the reform course.  Yeltsin did not
accept Pamfilova's resignation, and she formally remains in the
government.  Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

SOSKOVETS SPEAKS OUT.  In one of his parting shots, Boris Fedorov
alleged that the new government is dominated by "red managers" and
by "lifeless and illiterate state planning ideology," Reuters
reported on 26 January. On the same day, First Deputy Prime
Minister Oleg Soskovets--the No. 2 in the government--showed where
he differs from the former finance minister. As reported by an
RFE/RL correspondent and Interfax, Soskovets told the State
Committee on Construction that international organizations are
exerting political influence on Russia but, as yet, have provided
"no tangible economic aid." He also complained that "as soon as we
start talking about price regulation, voices can immediately be
heard saying that this is not a pro-market measure and that
neither the West nor the IMF will appreciate it. But why should we
use other people's wits in our own country?" Keith Bush, RFE/RL,

of the Federation, Vladimir Shumeiko, said that regions are
deciding economic reform policies in Russia today, ITAR-TASS
reported on 26 January. He told journalists that a major
government meeting is scheduled to take place in February where
the government and the representatives of the executive branches
of the Russian republics and regions will decide on how to
continue reform.  He stated that the fact that he, Egor Gaidar and
Boris Fedorov have left the government does not mean that reforms
will be halted. Shumeiko indicated that the Council of the
Federation has the right of legislative initiative and could, if
necessary, pass laws independently of the State Duma . He said
that the crucial question for the parliament is to adopt a state
budget for 1994.  Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

MIRZAYANOV TAKEN INTO CUSTODY. The scientist Vil Mirzayanov was
taken into police custody for contempt of court, "Vesti" reported
on 26 January.  Mirzayanov had refused to attend the court
sessions, arguing that the new Russian Constitution forbids trying
people on the basis of unpublished materials. Mirzayanov is being
tried for his articles on the Soviet violation of an agreement on
nonproliferation of chemical and biological weapons published in
Russian and American newspapers in September 1992.  If found
guilty, he may be punished by up to eight years of imprisonment
for revealing state secrets.  "Vesti" quoted representatives of
international human rights organizations that had expressed their
concern over the case, adding that Mirzayanov's trial does not
differ from those of Russia's communist past.  Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

Russian prosecutor general has opened a formal criminal
investigation into statements by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, RFE/RL's
Moscow correspondent reported on 26 January.  Article 71 of the
Russian Criminal Code provides for punishment of three to eight
years' imprisonment for propagandizing war. The probe was launched
after a complaint by the human rights campaigner Kronid Lyubarsky,
who is now deputy editor of the weekly New Times.  Lyubarksy said
Zhirinovsky made "open calls to war" in his autobiography and
during the recent election campaign.  Zhirinovsky denied the
charges, Reuters reported, declaring that his book would soon be
"compulsory reading at all Russian universities." Under Russian
law, charges are not filed until investigations are completed.
Elizabeth Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

Zhirinovsky is reported as having said that he had never received
money from the Communist Party and has no connections with the
former KGB, according to Ostankino television and ITAR-TASS
reports on 26 January.  Speaking at a press conference in Moscow,
Zhirinovsky stressed that he was never a member of the Communist
Party and that the old communist leadership of the USSR was "too
greedy" to give anyone its money. Zhirinovsky also denied his
alleged connections to the KGB. He said that although he always
"respected" the KGB, he was never its agent because, he explained,
he was never a member of the Communist Party.  At the beginning of
January, the mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatolii Sobchak, claimed
that he had reliable information that Zhirinovsky is an officer of
the KGB Active Reserve.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

CRISIS OVER UNPAID WAGES.  The Independent Union of Coal Miners is
threatening to call a countrywide strike on 1 February, RFE/RL's
Moscow correspondent reported on 26 January. The union, which
claims to represent 95% of Russia's coalminers, says miners are
currently owed 272,000 million rubles in back pay. Meanwhile, coal
is being stockpiled at the mines because railroad workers are
refusing to load it; the railroad workers complain they are owed
wages because the mines have not paid for previous shipments.
Also threatening to strike for unpaid wages are oil workers in
northern Russia's Komi Republic.  In recent months, the government
has been paying many salaries late in an effort to control
inflation.  Finally, Russia's air traffic controllers are
threatening strike action; they are complaining about having to
work with outdated and unreliable radar equipment. Elizabeth
Teague, RFE/RL, Inc.

KOZYREV IN BEIJING.  Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev arrived in
China for a three-day visit on 26 January.  He started talks on
the 27th with Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen. Discussions
will focus on trade issues as well as on cooperation in military
and political affairs.  Kozyrev is expected to visit a free
enterprise zone as well as meet other Chinese officials, Russian
agencies reported.  Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

and energy minister, has recently been issuing, almost on a daily
basis, dire warnings of the imminent collapse of the entire fuel
and energy complex. In his latest letter to the prime minister,
quoted by Interfax on 26 January, Shafranik refers to the tense
atmosphere among workers in the complex because of delays in wage
payments and owing to the financial situation of enterprises.
Payment arrears for fuel supplied have risen to about 11 trillion
rubles, while Shafranik put the shortfall in investments in the
complex at 35 trillion rubles.  In a separate, somewhat specious
allegation, also quoted by Interfax on 26 January, his ministry
complains that oil-producing joint ventures invested only $230
million in the sector, but exported crude oil in 1993 worth more
than $1 billion.  Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

Mordovian Supreme Soviet decided to change the name of the
republic from Mordovian Soviet Socialist Republic to Republic of
Mordovia, Ostankino Television reported.  Last fall Moscow had
requested North Ossetia, Dagestan, and Mordovia, the last three to
retain "soviet, socialist" in their titles, to remove the
offending words, but Mordovia had been dragging its feet over the
issue.  Ann Sheehy


Ukrainian parliament has not yet formally debated the trilateral
agreement, some key deputies are stating their positions. Yurii
Kostenko, the environment minister and head of the committee that
drafted the START-1 ratification resolution, has come out strongly
against the agreement. The deputy chairman of the parliamentary
committee on foreign affairs, Bohdan Horyn, told Interfax on 26
January that the agreement is inadequate, and suggested that its
approval be postponed until after the 27 March elections.
Similarly, the head of the committee on defense, Valentyn Lemish,
has suggested that further negotiations be held before the
agreement is approved.  So far, only the parliamentary speaker,
Ivan Plyushch, has endorsed Kravchuk's call for rapid accession to
the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.  Deputies' positions have
been reported by UNIAR, Interfax, and Western press agencies.  It
appears that if the current parliament does formally debate the
trilateral agreement, it is likely to call for further
negotiations and stronger security guarantees, with a final
decision postponed until after the elections. John Lepingwell,
RFE/RL, Inc.

WHO'S MINDING THE MISSILES? Izvestiya reported on 25 January that
the Ukrainian strategic rocket forces are divided on the nuclear
issue.  The report claims that on 21 January, the commander of the
strategic rocket forces in Ukraine, Lieutenant General Vladimir
Mikhtyuk, took the Ukrainian oath, although many other missile
force commanders have refused to do so.  Mikhtyuk has supported
Kravchuk's call for the elimination of nuclear weapons.  Despite
the fact that Ukraine has taken over control of all nuclear
facilities on its territory, Izvestiya reports that most missile
troops have not taken the Ukrainian oath, presumably rendering
them "stateless" soldiers, and it suggests that some are opposed
to disarmament as it would leave them jobless as well.  In
Krasnaya zvezda of 20 January, a senior commander of the Russian
strategic rocket forces claimed that one-third of the officers of
the 43rd Missile Army in Ukraine have expressed their wish to be
transferred back to Russia, where pay scales are much higher.
John Lepingwell, RFE/RL, Inc.

sharply reduced output, the exports of Russian crude oil and
petroleum products to countries outside the former Soviet Union
rose by roughly 20%, Reuters reported on 24 January. Nevertheless,
according to the State Statistics Committee, because of the fall
in average unit prices, the revenue from these exports declined by
almost $4 billion when compared with 1992. Deliveries of Russian
energy supplies to CIS states in 1993, however, fell well short of
commitments.  The Ministry for Cooperation with CIS States, as
quoted by Interfax on 26 January, puts the 1993 shortfalls in
contracted deliveries at 16.8 million tons of crude oil and
products and 16.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas.  Keith
Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.


Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told a meeting of
foreign ministers of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
states in Tehran that the Central Asian countries should distance
themselves from the West, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 January.
Rafsanjani said that the US and Europe are uninterested in
resolving conflicts in the new countries of the region which do
not affect their interests, and might even encourage such
conflicts.  In recent months Iran has been expanding relations
with the Central Asian states, presumably hoping to increase its
influence in the region. The five countries of Central Asia, along
with Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, joined the ECO, which had
previously consisted of founding members Turkey, Iran and
Pakistan--in 1992.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.


Belarusian parliament voted no-confidence in the Chairman of the
Supreme Soviet, Stanislau Shushkevich, various agencies reported.
Shushkevich was overwhelmingly rejected by the conservative
parliament with 209 deputies voting for his dismissal, while only
36 voted in his support. The prime minister, Vyacheslau Kebich,
was also put to a no-confidence vote, but he survived with 101
deputies voting no confidence while 175 voted in his favor. The
stated reason for the no-confidence votes were accusations of
corruption leveled by Alexandr Lukashenka, the chairman of
parliament's anti-corruption commission.  Shushkevich's first
deputy, Vyacheslau Kuznetsou, will act as Supreme Soviet Chairman
until a new chairman can be elected.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE ON SHUSHKEVICH'S OUSTER. While corruption was the reason
formally given for the no-confidence vote in Shushkevich, the
opposition has said that it was the former communist
nomenklatura's way of "getting rid of most of the people who were
bothering them." AFP reported reformist deputy Vitali Malashka as
warning that Shushkevich's ouster could lead to "an authoritarian
regime under Vyacheslau Kebich." The opposition leader, Zyanon
Paznyak, called the vote a communist "coup d'etat," and
Shushkevich himself denied the charges of corruption and stated
that he was willing to answer any charge Lukashenka had to level
against him.  Lukashenka had accused both Shushkevich and Kebich
of corruption in December.  According to the chairman of the
Social Democratic Assembly, Aleh Trusau, the charges were merely
an attempt to discredit certain members of parliament, Belarusian
radio reported on 17 December.  Shushkevich's ouster, following
the departures of the KGB minister Eduard Shyrkouski and interior
minister Uladzimir Yahorau, leaves the government firmly in the
hands of conservative hard-liners.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

January quotes UN and Yugoslav sources as confirming that troops
and heavy equipment of the Serbian-dominated successor to the
former Yugoslav People's Army are openly taking part in operations
in the neighboring republic. Their goal appears to be to offset
recent gains of the mainly Muslim Bosnian army, which is
numerically the largest force in the conflict but which is heavily
outgunned.  Belgrade claimed that its forces had left Bosnia soon
after local Serbs launched their war against the Muslims and
Croats in the spring of 1992. Many observers nonetheless suspected
that Serbian forces in both Croatia and Bosnia were still
operating under central guidance from Belgrade.  Many also
suspected that the Serbs were following a master plan probably
approved by President Slobodan Milosevic as early as 1990, and
these suspicions were reinforced by the publication of a map in
Politika on 8 November 1993. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

Novi list in its 26 January issue runs an interview with Stipe
Mesic, speaker of the lower house of parliament and well-known
critic of his own party's right wing and of President Franjo
Tudjman.  Mesic again points out that the Croats and Muslims are
"natural allies" against an aggressive common enemy, the Serbs. He
refuses to assign blame for the collapse of the alliance last
spring, but urges that it be revived lest the Serbs conquer more
land at the expense of both. Meanwhile in the international arena,
the 27 January Washington Post quotes American spokesmen as
charging France with using a "strange moral calculus" in urging
the imposition of a peace settlement upon the Muslims, whom
Washington sees as victims in the conflict.  Elsewhere, the BBC
said that France has proposed that NATO carry out airstrikes if
required to open the Tuzla airport and to back UN troops in
Srebrenica. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

January that a delegation of 20 Macedonian businessmen was in
Ljubljana to drum up more business to offset Macedonia's $100
million trade deficit with the Alpine republic.  The two have a
history of trade imbalances dating back to Yugoslav times, but
Macedonia still regards Slovenia as its leading business partner
after Germany. In the discussions, which were conducted in
Serbo-Croatian, the Macedonians complained about what they regard
as unfair Slovene business practices.  Meanwhile, some Slovenes
like to joke that they have "joined Europe" and that proof of this
is that their political life, like that of their neighbors Austria
and Italy, is plagued by scandals. One such affair involved the
discovery last year in Maribor of 120 tons of arms for Bosnia
marked as humanitarian aid. Now Borba quotes the Maribor Vecer as
saying that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has admitted that
Bosnia bought the weapons abroad itself and was aware of the ploy,
saying his republic had no other choice. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL,

SAUDI MILLIONS FOR ALBANIA. A delegation from a Saudi Arabian
organization called the Company for International Investments in
Albania visited Tirana to discuss possible projects with the
Albanian authorities, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 20 January. The
company, which has a declared starting capital of $100 million,
was founded as the result of talks between the Islamic Development
Bank, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development, which took place two months ago in Tirana. According
to the vice president of the company, Abdullah S. Khayat, the
group is willing to invest in all sectors like industry,
agriculture, trade and services, and wants to build up joint
ventures not just with Albanian but also with other international
enterprises.  Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

Rilindja Demokratike on 27 January, the Albanian parliament has
approved acceptance of the Partnership for Peace plan. The
Albanian government was among the first former communist states to
apply for membership in NATO and has been supportive of the US
initiated alternative. Ties between the militaries of the US and
Albania have been strengthened in recent months.  Robert Austin,
RFE/RL, Inc.

Pawlak vowed on 26 January to "draw the appropriate conclusions"
from the astounding debut of the Silesian Bank on the Warsaw stock
exchange on 25 January, Polish TV reports.  Share values were
fixed at 1,350% of the issue price on the first day of trading.
The chairman of the Sejm's privatization commission, Bogdan Pek,
accused the finance ministry of causing vast losses to the state
treasury by undervaluing shares.  He claimed that bank employees,
who purchased shares at preferential prices, and the bank's
"strategic" investor, the Dutch ING Bank, which owns 25.9%, had
reaped immense profits. The entire transaction had the "taste of
scandal," Pek argued.  But finance ministry officials resolutely
defended the issue price, set in October 1993.  They noted that
only 0.35% of shares actually changed hands on 25 January; in
addition, the ING Bank had pledged not to sell its shares for
three years. Officials also warned against treating privatization
exclusively as a source of funds to bolster the budget.
Privatization Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek conceded that the state
could have earned more on the sale but argued it had lost nothing.
The initial fixing was artificially high, he said; share prices
will soon fall. The Silesian Bank is the twenty-third firm listed
on the Warsaw exchange; 250,000 investors now play the market.
Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

visit to Washington on 24-25 January, Polish Foreign Minister
Andrzej Olechowski expressed satisfaction at the evolution
undergone by the Partnership for Peace plan since it was first
proposed. Initially envisioned as a "permanent waiting-room," the
plan is now "elastic" and could expand to membership in the event
of a breakdown in European security. After meeting with Assistant
Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and National Security Council
chief Anthony Lake, Olechowski voiced optimism that NATO would
choose to open its doors to the Central European democracies in
the event of a "bad scenario" in the region.  Olechowski announced
that NATO will dispatch a mission to Warsaw at the end of January
to discuss the military, technical, and financial details of the
partnership plan. Poland will be the first country to receive such
a visit. Warning that Poland's defense budget is strapped,
Olechowski appealed for financial assistance "so that the Poles do
not come to associate NATO with further belt-tightening." Louisa
Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLAND STRIVES TO MEET NATO STANDARDS. At a joint press conference
on 26 January, Defense Minister Piotr Kolodziejczyk and General
Staff Chief Gen.  Tadeusz Wilecki announced that participation in
the Partnership for Peace program will cost Poland an estimated
500 billion zloty ($23 million) in 1994. No funds are available in
the defense budget, but government reserves may be allocated for
this purpose.  Wilecki said that Polish command structures will be
made "compatible" with Western forces.  Funds are severely
limited, however, and may allow only for "organizational" rather
than "qualitative" changes in the Polish army. The 1994 defense
budget of 47.8 trillion zloty ($2.2 billion) amounts to only 2.1%
of GDP, whereas a minimum of 3% is needed to halt the army's
"technical degradation." The most pressing task is to complete the
organization of the Cracow Military District (KOW) by 1997. The
KOW is designed to fill military "blank spots" left undefended
under the Warsaw Pact. Kolodziejczyk announced on 25 January that
the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary will soon hold joint
antiaircraft exercises, to which the Czechs plan to invite the
NATO states as well, PAP reports.  Louisa Vinton, RFE/RL, Inc.

Premier Vladimir Meciar criticized President Michal Kovac for
failing to coordinate foreign trips with the cabinet. Meciar was
particularly referring to Kovac's current visit to Poland and to
the recent Visegrad summit held in Prague with US President Bill
Clinton. The premier's reaction came after Frantisek Miklosko of
the Christian Democratic Movement told the parliament that it was
"a disgrace" that Kovac was not accompanied to Poland by Economy
Minister Jan Ducky or by Foreign Minister Jozef Moravcik and that
the prepared agreements were not signed.  Responding to Meciar's
criticism, Kovac told reporters in Warsaw that there was "no
disagreement between the Slovak cabinet and the Slovak president"
but said that his visit to Poland had not been "sufficiently
prepared" because of obstacles in communications with the cabinet.
Kovac expressed his annoyance that the cabinet had not approved
his request that Ducky accompany him to Poland; the only cabinet
member in the delegation was the environment minister. Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN MINERS' STRIKE UPDATE.  More than 65,000 miners are now
on strike, Radio Bucharest announced on 26 January. The leader of
Romania's miners' union federation Ion Feurdean said on the same
day that if back wages are not paid, the miners will stop coal
supplies to Romania's largest power plant at Rovinari, where the
strike began six days ago. Another union leader, Nicolae Gegau,
told an RFE/RL correspondent on 26 January that the government has
failed to come up with enough money to end the country's energy
crisis. The government said it could provide 25,000 million lei to
help the administrative board of the mining company make urgent
payments, including salaries owed to employees.  But Gegau called
on the electricity company, which owes the coal mines a total of
100,000 million lei, to put pressure on its own debtors so that a
cycle of repayments could start. Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

MOURNERS AT CEAUSESCU'S GRAVE. Western agencies reported on 26
January that some 150 people gathered at the Bucharest cemetery
where former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu is presumed to have been
buried to pay homage on what would have been his 76th birthday.
Some of the mourners waved the red flag and candles were lit on
his presumed grave.  Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

REVOLUTIONARIES.  According to the New York Times of 27 January,
there is now new evidence that the Bulgarian communist government
in the 1980s provided substantial military and financial support
to revolutionary movements and parties in Latin America.  The
article quotes Mihail Doychev, a Bulgarian lawyer working for the
Prosecutor General's Office in Sofia, as saying that
investigations have confirmed that the communist leadership
provided covert assistance to left-wing organizations in Honduras,
Nicaragua, El Salvador and Chile. Referring to unpublished records
of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, Doychev
says the value of the weaponry delivered to Latin America amounts
to several millions of US dollars and that Salvadorian and Chilean
revolutionaries also received military training in Bulgaria. On
the charges that the BCP funneled money and weapons to communist
movements in the Middle East and Africa, he says the documents
include proof of arms deliveries to Libya, Ethiopia, Yemen and
Angola.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

the bilateral negotiations on the withdrawal of Russian troops
from Moldova, scheduled for late February, was postponed as a
result of the Russian side's insistence on linking progress on
this matter with the grant of a special political status to the
Transdniester, Moldova's Defense Ministry told Basapress on 26
January. The negotiations have all along been marked by Russian
delaying tactics, but a postponement a full month ahead of the
scheduled date of a round is highly unusual and illustrates the
existing deadlock. Also on 26 January, "Dniester republic" Supreme
Soviet chairman Grigorii Marakutsa reaffirmed to Interfax that the
political status at issue must take the form of turning Moldova
into a confederation of three republics--rump Moldova, Dniester,
and Gagauz.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

Estonian commandant's office of Paldiski, formerly a Russian naval
base town, on 26 January complained that the passport office of
Paldiski's Russian police has still not turned over to the
Estonian authorities the files of the town's registry of residents
and that this, in turn, hinders preparations for the election of a
town council and establishment of normal rule in Paldiski.
Justice Minister Kaido Kama noted that the Russian police files
would still have to be verified by Estonian authorities once they
obtained them.  On 26 January BNS also reported similar delays in
Latvia.  Ilgonis Upmalis, head of the office overseeing Russian
troop departures from Latvia, said the Commander of Russia's
Northwestern Group of Forces Leonid Mayorov was waiting for
additional authorization to sign around 100 documents on the
takeover of military facilities by the Latvian authorities,
despite the fact that the troops had vacated most of the
facilities. The next round of negotiations on the withdrawal of
Russian troops from Latvia is scheduled for 7 and 8 February in
Moscow.  Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

Brazauskas, heading a delegation that includes Foreign Minister
Povilas Gylys and Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius, flew to The
Hague for an official visit, Radio Lithuania reports.  Having been
met with Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, Brazauskas attended a
reception hosted by Queen Beatrix and held talks with leaders of
both houses of the Dutch parliament. Meanwhile, Gylys and his
Dutch counterpart Pieter Kooijmans signed an Investment Protection
Agreement and a Shipping Agreement. On 27 January the delegation
will travel to Brussels where Brazauskas are to hold talks with
leaders of Belgium, the European Union, and NATO, as well as sign
a document making Lithuania a party to the Partnership for Peace
program.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Roman Solchanyk and Kjell Engelbrekt
The RFE/RL Daily Report is produced by the RFE/RL Research
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