Все к лучшему в этом лучшем из миров. - Вольтер
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 171, 8 September 1994


UNEASY CALM IN CHECHNYA. ITAR-TASS characterized the situation in
Grozny on 7 September as "quiet", noting however that armed
control of all approach roads to the town had been intensified;
Interfax quoted spokesmen for the Chechen military as stating that
they had "no immediate plans" to make a further attempt to
neutralize the opposition. An AFP reporter in Znamenskoe, the
headquarters of the opposition Provisional Council, reported that
a team of Russian mechanics had left there on 7 September after
overhauling armored vehicles belonging to the opposition forces;
she quoted a spokesman for Provisional Council Chairman
Avturkhanov as affirming that the latter had received arms from
Russia. In Moscow, the leaders of Democratic Russia and of the
Russian Movement for Democratic Reforms urged President Boris
Yeltsin to invite Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev to Moscow for
talks, as did former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, who termed
Russia's Caucasus policy "irresponsible", according to Interfax.
For his part, Viktor Ilyukhin, the chairman of the Russian State
Duma's security committee, advocated the use of force if necessary
to restore "peace and order" in Chechnya.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,

Russian television reports of 7 September, good weather has
persuaded the Russian president to prolong his vacation on the
Black Sea. After his visit to Germany last week, Yeltsin
unexpectedly returned to Sochi, a resort in Krasnodar Krai, which
is close to the breakaway republic of Chechnya. Apart from issuing
a statement that the Russian Army will not be used against Dudaev,
Yeltsin has not formally intervened in the Chechen crisis;
however, the Federal Counterintelligence Service and the MVD,
which are directly subordinate to Yeltsin, have been involved.
Yeltsin's unplanned vacation suggests that he may have decided to
follow the crisis at close quarters.  Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

SANCTIONS. Following a meeting of the "contact group," Russian
Deputy Foreign Minister Vitalii Churkin announced that the group
would recommend that the UN Security Council consider lifting the
sanctions on the rump Yugoslavia, AFP reported on 7 September.
Churkin argued that easing the sanctions was justified by the fact
that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic had imposed his own
embargo on the Bosnian Serbs for their refusal to accept the
international peace plan for Bosnia. But there appears to be
disagreement within the "contact group" over the conditions Serbia
must fulfill before the sanctions are lifted. While Russian
officials have called for an immediate end to the embargo, on 7
September German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel reiterated a
Western demand that Milosevic first agree to the presence of
monitors along Serbia's border with Bosnia.  Stan Markotich,
RFE/RL, Inc.

Defense Minister Pavel Grachev visited the Russo-American
peacekeeping exercise at Totsk in Orenburg Oblast on 7 September
and, according to ITAR-TASS, termed it an historic event despite
its small scale. He also indicated that a follow-on exercise would
be held next year in the United States and that joint maneuvers of
Russian and German troops were being planned, although it had not
yet been decided where these latter exercises would take place.
Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

Secretary of Defense William Perry had originally been scheduled
to join Grachev at Totsk, but he canceled his visit owing to the
troubles in the Caribbean. A columnist writing in the 7 September
edition of Nezavisimaya gazeta scoffed at this official
explanation. The real reason, he stated, was Perry's embarrassment
over the paper's publication of a report by the Russian General
Staff's Main Intelligence Directorate disclosing that some of the
American exercise participants were Green Berets sent to
reconnoiter for their wartime mission of operating behind the
Russian front lines.  Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

daily Moskovsky komsomolets published an article attacking the
management of Ostankino TV for cutting an interview with former
Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov from the edition of the
political show "Politburo" broadcast on 2 September. The newspaper
cited "Politburo's" anchor, Aleksandr Politkovsky, as saying that
the text of the interview was absolutely harmless. It was censored
on the request of company deputy chairman Georgii Shevelev because
Azerbaijan's embassy in Moscow opposes all television appearances
by Mutalibov, who was ousted a few years ago. This case comes amid
growing concern in almost all prodemocracy newspapers over the
future of press freedom in Russia because of rumors of plans by
the government to set up a superministry to exert control over the
printed and broadcasting media and to put the unpopular Mikhail
Poltoranin in charge of this "super monster." Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LEBED ATTACKS ALBRIGHT. Citing Madeleine Albright's recent
statement in Chisinau that the withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army
from Moldova constitutes "an issue of primary importance to US
foreign policy," that army's commander, Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr Lebed,
demanded in an interview with the progovernment Rossiiskaya gazeta
of 7 September "an adequate response by Russia's Foreign Ministry"
to the US Permanent Representative to the UN. "I categorically
oppose [the idea that] some woman, whatever her rank, should make
decisions for the Russian state," he said. Lebed saw the statement
as "yet another sign that they are openly and unceremoniously
wiping their feet on us. . . . That statement is a link in the
same chain as the plutonium scandal which aims to show the world
that Russia can't control its nuclear weapons." Despite his
personal conflict with the "Dniester" leaders, Lebed insisted that
the "Dniester republic's" interests must be taken into account
before any decision on withdrawal is made.  Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

carried an attack by "Dniester" leader Igor Smirnov on Moldova for
"trying to oust Russia from this region, promoting the extension
of Western influence here, [and] forcing its way into
international and European structures." Izvestiya cited Smirnov
and others as insisting on recognition of the "Dniester republic"
as a sine-qua-non for settlement of the conflict.  Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA AND THE KURDS. Speaking at a press conference in Moscow on
7 September to mark the tenth anniversary of the PKK's armed
struggle for an independent state, the chairman of the National
Liberation Front of Kurdistan in the CIS, Ahmad Dere, stressed
that his organization, unlike the PKK, is fighting not for an
independent state but for the national rights of the Kurdish
population of southeastern Turkey, ITAR-TASS reported. Dere
claimed that his organization, which in February sponsored a
conference in Moscow on the Kurdish issue that evinced a
diplomatic protest from Ankara, enjoys excellent relations with
the Russian authorities; he warned "those CIS states" (i.e.
Azerbaijan) that hope to expand cooperation with Turkey by
building a pipeline for the export of oil via Eastern Anatolia
that they should "take the Kurdish factor into account." In late
August the Nakhichevan Interior Ministry claimed it had
neutralized an armed formation led by a supporter of ousted
president Abulfaz Elchibey that was suspected of selling arms to
the PKK.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

EXPLOSION AT MVD BUILDING. A powerful explosion has destroyed a
two-storey building in southeastern Moscow, Ostankino TV reported
on 7 September. The building housed the 44th area office of the
Moscow MVD and several other organizations. According to the
Moscow department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations, at
least six people were killed and several dozen injured in the
blast; it is unclear whether MVD officers were among the victims.
A spokesman for the ministry said that the cause of the explosion
was being investigated but he did not rule out terrorism.  Victor
Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.


TAJIK ELECTION DATE POSTPONED. A special session of Tajikistan's
Supreme Soviet voted on 7 September to defer the presidential
election and referendum on a new constitution to 6 November,
Russian and Western news agencies reported. The original date for
the election and referendum was 25 September, but outside
pressure, particularly from Russia, the main supporter of the
regime in Dushanbe, was exerted on the Tajik government to change
the date of the election in the hope that the Tajik opposition
might agree to participate. So far the opposition has refused to
recognize the election, and Gorno-Badakhshan, the autonomous
region in the Pamirs, may also refuse to participate. Tajik
parliament chairman Imomali Rakhmonov told deputies at the special
session that postponing the election would make possible the
participation of refugees returning from Afghanistan and of
various political parties and movements.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

to a report broadcast by Russian TV on 7 September, Boris
Suprunyuk, head of the Russian Society of northern Kazakhstan, was
given a suspended sentence of two years imprisonment by a
Petropavlovsk court. Suprunyuk, one of the main spokesmen for the
interests of the Russian population of Kazakhstan, was arrested
earlier in the year for inciting interethnic tension and insulting
the dignity of the Kazakh people. He was released after an outcry
in Russian Federation media. The Russian TV report on the trial
described it as the first political trial of a Russian citizen in
independent Kazakhstan. Suprunyuk himself complained on the air
that the trial was stirring up "anti-Russian hysteria" in
Kazakhstan.  Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.


in Moscow on 7 September of the CIS Coordinating Consultative
Committee failed to finalize the drafts of the Treaty on and
Provisions for an Inter-State Economic Committee, apparently
because of disagreements over the proportional allocation of votes
between the various member countries, Interfax reported. CIS
Executive Secretary Ivan Korotchenya told Interfax that he was
confident that an acceptable draft would be ready in time for the
meeting of CIS Heads of State on 9 September, but he did not rule
out "heated arguments" about the creation of the new Inter-State
Economic Committee, which will be the first CIS structure endowed
with executive powers.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

announced on 7 September the creation of an Assembly of Russian
Compatriots to support Russian-speakers in the "near abroad." The
founders include the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance,
representatives of the Presidential Administration and the
Presidential Council, centrist deputies in the State Duma, "large
financial and industrial organizations," and prelates of the
Russian Orthodox Church. The organization targets "all those who
regard Russian as their native language," a definition that would
greatly expand the constituency of 25 million ethnic Russians over
whom Russia sometimes claims rights of protection in the "near
abroad." The assembly will provide emergency economic relief to
Russians on the stated assumption that they are being treated as
"second-class people" in the "near abroad" in general. It will
also assist Russians there to create their own businesses by
providing preferential credits from Russian banks. The assembly's
founding congress is scheduled for late autumn.  Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

TIRANA COURT HANDS DOWN VERDICTS . . . International media report
that a Tirana court on 7 September sentenced five ethnic Greeks to
between six and eight years imprisonment on charges of espionage
and illegal possession of arms. In passing the sentences, Judge
Martin Deda said the court had enough evidence that the
defendants--all members of the Greek Omonia movement--had
collaborated with Greek security and intelligence agencies in
smuggling arms and providing classified information about Albanian
military installations. Implying there was a link to the
attack--allegedly carried out by a Greek commando group--on an
Albanian military training camp in April, Deda said the crimes had
"threatened the very existence of Albania." Two Albanian soldiers
were killed in the April attack.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

. . . PROMPTING ANGRY GREEK REACTIONS. Greece reacted to the news
by swiftly recalling its Tirana ambassador for consultations and
issuing a series of strong statements. A government spokesman
called the verdicts a "very strong provocation, beyond the bounds
of legal practice and human rights." A few hours later, Foreign
Minister Karolos Papoulias told Greek Radio that the "masks have
fallen in Tirana" and that Albania shows "no trace of progress or
democratization." Opposition leaders Miltiades Evert and Andonis
Samaras both urged the government to retaliate in a decisive
manner, with Evert suggesting the seizure of all Albanian assets
in Greece. The Financial Times of 8 September quotes government
officials as calling for the "intensification" of present
measures--for example, tightening border controls and expelling
illegal Albanians. The newspaper says more than 40,000 Albanian
emigrants have been deported since the trial began three weeks
ago.  Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILOSEVIC'S NEW PEACE OFFENSIVE? Borba reports that in a speech
delivered on 7 September in the southern Serbian town of Vranje,
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic said Belgrade was sincere
about its intentions to work for peace in the Balkans. Describing
rump Yugoslavia as the most powerful state in the region,
Milosevic stressed it was Belgrade's obligation to be a guarantor
of peace. He demanded that international sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia be lifted and appealed for Serbia's reintegration into
the community of nations.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

reported Croatian President Franjo Tudjman as saying Croatia may
not renew UNPROFOR's peacekeeping mandate, due to expire on 30
September, if UNPROFOR fails to back Croatia's intent to exert de
facto control over those areas of Croatia occupied by rebel Serbs
and commonly known as Krajina. In the past, Zagreb has threatened
several times not to renew the mandate but has never failed to do
so. Reuters, however, reports that this time Tudjman may be more
serious about his intentions. It says several factors, including
Tudjman's belief that Belgrade may have to stop backing the
Krajina Serbs, may increase the Croatian President's resolve.
Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

reported on 7 September that Croatian Prime Minister Nikica
Valentic had urged the country's striking teachers to go back to
work. Valentic was reported as saying the current strike action
was an attempt by the teachers to "destabilize and destroy" the
government, according to Hina. Valentic also said the strikers'
demand for higher wages would be met with a 15% pay hike but
stressed there were no funds for further increases. Teachers began
their strike action on 5 September. Their main demand is higher
wages, which, according to officials of the teachers' union, were
promised by Zagreb in April.  Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH CONCERN OVER "YALTA II." A report in The Washington Times
on 6 September claiming the US administration is preparing to
recognize the former Soviet Union as Russia's legitimate sphere of
influence has reawakened fears in Poland that the US will
sacrifice the interests of Central and Eastern Europe to reach a
better understanding with Russia. The daily quoted a secret paper,
purported to be the work of Deputy Secretary of State Peter
Tarnoff, as saying that as long as Russia respected international
law and American interests were not at risk, the US could accept
Russia's foreign-policy ambitions. A State Department spokesman
denied knowledge of such a paper, saying the ideas supposedly
expressed in it did not reflect US policy. In a commentary on 7
September, Gazeta Wyborcza said US endorsement of "a second Yalta"
would be tantamount to admitting that the attempt to transform
Russia into a "normal Western country" had ended in a fiasco.
Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia have asked the Constitutional Court to examine "whether
some steps and statements by President Michal Kovac were not
unconstitutional." They claim Kovac violated the Slovak
Constitution several times by "ignoring the constitutional and
human rights of Slovak citizens." Slovak media report that at an
election rally in Kosice on 7 September, Meciar launched an attack
on Kovac. He commented that the president's speech on the eve of
the election campaign "was driven by fear." Kovac had said
Slovakia needed a government that strove for reconciliation,
respect, and tolerance, and he had warned against an executive
with a "strong hand." Meciar said that after the elections, his
party would establish a parliamentary committee tasked with
investigating the president's "unconstitutional" actions. He also
commented that it would be better if Kovac resigned.  Jiri Pehe,
RFE/RL, Inc.

G-24 SUPPORT FOR SLOVAK GOVERNMENT. Speaking at a press conference
in Bratislava on 7 September, the general director of the Foreign
Relations Department at the European Commission, Horst Krenzler,
noted that the support for Slovakia's economic policies shown by
representatives of the G-24 countries was also support for the
current Slovak government. Krenzler, who was taking part in a G-24
conference in Slovakia, said if that country's current economic
stabilization program succeeded, there would be no need for
further financial assistance to Slovakia. He also confirmed that
the G-24 countries would grant a $245 million loan to Slovakia to
increase the country's hard-currency reserves.  Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL,

journalists in Bratislava on 7 September that Slovakia "demands an
explanation of the recent statements made by French Prime Minister
Edouard Balladur in Le Figaro." Balladur had said no changes of
borders in Europe were possible and that was "why France proposed
the Pact of Stability in Europe." He had also said he hoped a
conference scheduled for 1995 would solve, among others, "the
question of the Hungarian minority in Central Europe and
problematic relations between Russia and the Baltic States." In
Kukan's opinion, Balladur had narrowed the agenda of the Pact of
Stability to the issue of the Hungarian minority in Central Europe
and that was "unacceptable to Slovakia." He stressed that such
statements do not "reflect the situation of the Hungarian minority
in Slovakia." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

gas pipeline that will join the Hungarian network with Western
Europe began on 7 September, MTI reports. The two-way pipeline,
which is to run from Gyor to Baumgarten, will play an important
role in supplying both Austria and Hungary with up to 4.5 billion
cubic meters of natural gas each year. This means that Hungary
will no longer be entirely dependent on natural gas from the East.
The pipeline is due to be completed by October 1996.  Judith
Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION RALLY. Several thousand sympathizers of the
anticommunist Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) gathered in
downtown Sofia on 7 September to call for the resignation of the
current government and early general elections. UDF Chairman Filip
Dimitrov and other leaders, addressing the rally, stressed the
deepening rift between the UDF executive and its parliamentary
group. They denounced the efforts of several UDF deputies to delay
general elections as well as the caucus's decision the previous
day to expel Edvin Sugarev, an uncompromising anticommunist
legislator. The leaders of three of the UDF's largest member
organizations--the Democratic Party, the Radical Democratic Party,
and the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union "Nikola Petkov"--did not
attend the rally. Earlier, the parliamentary debate on the
government's resignation had been suspended. Kjell Engelbrekt,
RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN-US MILITARY EXERCISES. Ukrainian Television reports that
from 6 to 16 September Ukrainian airmobile units are to conduct
exercises with American units in North Carolina. It is also
reported that Ukrainian naval units have completed a training
course with French and Romanian counterparts off the northwestern
coast of the Black Sea.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN SECURITY SERVICE. On 6 September Ukrainian Television
reported on the Ukrainian security service (SBU). It emphasized
that the service's tasks differed from those of the former
Ukrainian KGB. While the KGB had concerned itself with the
activities of the country's citizens, the SBU was primarily
concerned with fighting organized crime and stabilizing the
economy by rooting out white-collar economic offenses. The SBU was
created when Ukraine gained independence in 1991. Since then, it
has investigated more than 1,300 economic crimes, including
corruption in lower-ranking ministries and among top bank
officials.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

reported that the Crimean parliament voted by 64 to 20 to reduce
Crimean President Yurii Meshkov's powers to those of head of
government and create a collective head of state made up of
parliamentary leaders. They also voted to strip Meshkov of the
right to appoint regional prefects and call referendums without
consulting the parliament. Meshkov declared the parliament's move
unconstitutional and walked out before the vote was taken.  Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

Volodymyr Sheviov told reporters on 6 September that the
assassinations of politicians and leading officials in Crimea had
not been ordered by organized criminal gangs but by political
activists in Crimea who represented the Russian population on the
peninsula. Sheviov did not identify the offenders but said he had
given their names to the head of the Supreme Council of Crimea and
the Interior Ministry. Parliamentary speaker Serhii Tsepkov
confirmed he had received such a report from Sheviov and said he
had handed it over to the Crimean prosecutor-general's office. The
alarming number of attacks on officials in Crimea prompted
deputies this summer to vote themselves the right to carry
firearms during parliamentary sessions. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL,

Minister Uladzimir Syanko said Belarus might join NATO's
Partnership for Peace program, Belinform-TASS reported on 6
September. According to Syanko, Belarus had been reluctant to
commit itself because the country's leaders needed time to examine
all the obligations, particularly financial, the program would
entail. He said Belarus had no intention of participating in
military exercises at present because of the costs of such
undertakings, commenting that Belarus would focus instead on
establishing contacts with other countries.  Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL, Inc.

Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov, responsible for relations with CIS
member states, told Interfax on 7 September that "Russia has no
complaint with Chisinau about the overall situation of ethnic
Russians." He added, without giving details, that there had been
complaints in the past, but "Moldova's leadership has
substantially set things right." Krylov's remarks constitute
Moscow's first-known public acknowledgment of the situation in
Moldova, in effect confirming international findings since 1991,
when the country became independent. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

issued on 6 September as a General Assembly document, Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur appealed for international assistance in
the wake of a drought--the second in three years--followed by
hurricanes and floods. The appeal said grain, flour, construction
materials, and medicine were needed immediately. Most crops have
been destroyed and the country's export capacity wiped out until
next year. Damage estimates are in the range of $0.5
billion--approximating planned budget expenditures for 1994.
Unless massive aid is provided, Moldova will be forced to import
food for its population and livestock, switch its meager resources
to disaster relief and reconstruction, and run a substantial
budget deficit, undermining its otherwise stable national currency
and setting back its reform programs, which international
organizations have praised as a regional example.  Vladimir Socor,
RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIA HOLDS BACK ON MOLDOVA AID. Having failed to react to
Moldova's drought and having announced after the August floods
that any aid to Moldova would be left to private initiatives, the
Romanian government said on 2 September it would send aid worth
only $588,000 to Moldova. Four days later, on 6 September, the
first Romanian relief transport crossed into Moldova. The same day
a train loaded with donated construction materials arrived in
Moldova from Uzbekistan, Interfax reported. Ukrainian relief
transports, donated by the Odessa region, began arriving as early
as 31 August. The Kiev government has allocated the equivalent of
$5 million for Moldova relief, Interfax reported on 7 September.
Since the end of August the Russian Ministry for Emergency
Situations has delivered several plane-loads of relief. The city
of Moscow has allocated the equivalent of $10 million for aid to
Moldova, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 September. Moldovan Prime
Minister Andrei Sangheli omitted Romania from an address thanking
donor countries, reported by ITAR-TASS. What Moldovan officials
described to Basapress on 5 September as Bucharest's "restraint"
reflects its frosty political attitude toward Chisinau.  Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe began a two-day official visit to
Romania. Juppe met with his Romanian counterpart, Teodor
Melescanu, to discuss ways to boost bilateral relations. He also
held talks with Romanian Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, the chairmen of
the parliament's two chambers, and other high-ranking Romanian
officials. Juppe is also scheduled to meet with President Ion
Iliescu. Radio Bucharest quoted Juppe as saying his country was
interested in having "a privileged relationship" with Romania in
all fields, including politics, the economy, and culture.  Dan
Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

Karosas, the head of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party (LDLP)
faction in the Seimas, announced his party would propose three
amendments to the constitution during the fall parliamentary
session, scheduled to begin on 10 September, Radio Lithuania
reports. The amendments would allow foreigners to purchase land,
extend local councils' terms of office from two to three or four
years, and reduce the number of seats in the Seimas from 141 to
less than 100. In order to pass, the amendments have to gain the
approval of at least 95 deputies in two separate votes at least
three months apart. Since the ruling LDLP has only 70 deputies,
the passage of the amendments will depend on the support of many
opposition deputies.  Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

INFLATION IN ESTONIA. The State Statistical Office announced that
the consumer price index rose by 1% in August, BNS reported on 7
September. The previous month it increased by 2.8%. The costs of
manufactured goods rose by 1.9%, housing by 3.3%, and services by
2.5%. Food prices declined by 1.2%, with the largest decreases
registered by fruits and vegetables (13.9%), dairy products and
eggs (4.0%), and fats (3.5%). The costs of goods and services in
August were on average 50.6% higher than a year ago. Saulius
Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc.

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Penny Morvant and Jan Cleave
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, 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
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