The fool wonders, the wise man asks. - Benjamin Disraeli
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 77, Part I, 19 April 1995

We welcome you to Part I of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily
Digest. This part focuses on Russia, Transcaucasia and Central Asia, and
the CIS. Part II, distributed simultaneously as a second document,
covers East-Central and Southeastern Europe.  Back issues of the Daily
Digest, and other information about OMRI, are available through our WWW
pages: http://www.omri.cz/OMRI.html

RUSSIA

KOZYREV: RUSSIA MAY INTERVENE FOR ETHNIC RUSSIANS ABROAD. Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev asserted on 18 April that Moscow
reserves the right to intervene militarily to protect the rights of
ethnic Russians living in the "near abroad," Nezavisimaya Gazeta
reported on 19 April. Kozyrev cited the emigration of over 240,000
Russians from the CIS in 1994 as evidence of the abuse of their rights
outside Russia. However, a Russian study released last week said most of
the migration was economically motivated. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

ELECTORAL LAW FOR FEDERATION COUNCIL UNDER DEBATE. Both houses of
Russia's parliament are working together to develop an electoral law for
the Federation Council, Chairman of the State Duma's Committee for
Legislation and Judicial Reform Vladimir Isakov told Interfax on 18
April. The two houses have very different approaches. Whereas the Duma
wants voters to approve candidates nominated by the regions' and
republics' executive and legislative branches, the president and the
Council want the heads of local administrations and legislatures to
become automatic members. Isakov believes the country needs a
permanently functioning Council, in which members quit their other jobs
and devote their full attention to drafting legislation. -- Robert
Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

DEMOCRATS CONSIDER KOVALEV FOR PRESIDENT. Democratic Russia and Russia's
Democratic Choice may support human rights activist Sergei Kovalev as
their presidential candidate, according to Russian TV, citing an article
in Argumenty i fakty slated to be published on 20 April. Galina
Starovoitova, co-chairwoman of Democratic Russia and a former adviser to
President Boris Yeltsin, said "Yegor Gaidar and I have discussed the
question of nominating Kovalev as a presidential candidate in the
upcoming elections." She said he might become "a unifying figure as
Andrei Sakharov was in his time." -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

YAVLINSKY DENIES RUMORS OF PACT WITH ZYUGANOV. Grigory Yavlinsky, leader
of the Yabloko group, denied that he had agreed to cooperate with
Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov in the upcoming presidential
elections, Interfax reported on 18 April. Some Russian observers have
speculated that Yavlinsky and Zyuganov made a deal to support each other
if one of them qualifies for the second round of presidential elections,
scheduled for June 1996. Yavlinsky called the rumor "a political
provocation" and absurd as well, since his supporters are not "serfs"
who can be told how to vote. He described Yabloko as the "democratic
opposition [in parliament]," unlike the Communists, whom he accused of
planning "to alter the political system, restore the soviets, and
abolish the presidency." Kommersant-Daily reported on 13 April that
Yabloko and the Communists displayed identical voting patterns in the
Duma this year on many important issues, such as the budget, the
creation of Russian Public Television, and the recently proposed no-
confidence vote in the government. The paper also suggested that
Zyuganov and Yavlinsky have a common enemy in the current government and
have avoided attacking each other in public. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN UNITED INDUSTRIAL PARTY CREATED. The Russian United Industrial
Party, created on the basis of Arkady Volsky's Union of Industrialists
and Entrepreneurs, has held its first congress in Moscow, Russian news
agencies reported on 18 April. Volsky told the congress that the new
"centrist" organization would not be merely a "party of directors," but
would be open to everyone, Russian Television reported. He called for
"real economic reforms" to enlarge the state's role in the economy, led
by "realistically-minded people, who do not call for settling old scores
or returning to the past," Interfax reported. Volsky said Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin is not to blame for the current economic crisis,
since he was left with a "difficult inheritance" after officials
"attempted to change everything and everyone at once" in 1992, NTV
reported. In 1991, Volsky helped create the Movement for Democratic
Reform. Volsky then formed an industrial lobby, the Union of Renewal,
which later joined the centrist Civic Union bloc in 1992. -- Laura
Belin, OMRI, Inc.

DAVYDOV CRITICIZES WESTERN PROTECTIONISM. Deputy Prime Minister Oleg
Davydov said restrictions on Russian trade to the West remain as they
were during the Cold War, despite political statements to the contrary,
Business World reported on 18 April. He said Russia had already removed
all barriers and that the EU is using Chechnya as pretext for not
proceeding with an interim trade accord, thus allowing EU-Russian trade
to be regulated by an agreement reached with the former Soviet Union.
Russia is not recognized as a transitional market economy and all anti-
dumping and protectionist measures remain intact. He cited Russian
capabilities in aerospace industry and in the production of fissionable
materials, aluminum, and nickel, as areas in which Russia is more than
competitive with the West. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

AUM SHINRI KYO SECT BANNED. A Moscow judge shut down the Russian
branches of the Japanese sect Aum Shinri Kyo on 18 April and ordered its
representatives in Russia to pay 20 billion rubles in damages to the
group of parents who sued the sect, Russian and Western agencies
reported. The judge also ordered Radio Mayak and Moscow Television to
stop broadcasting Aum Shinri Kyo programs. The sect's lawyers say they
will appeal the ruling--the first against a religious group in post-
Soviet Russia--but the parents' group, the Youth Salvation Committee,
has vowed to fight to the end. Some human rights groups fear that the
ruling may signal a crackdown on religious freedoms. Aum Shinri Kyo,
which has been implicated in the sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway on
20 March, has six branches in Moscow and seven in other Russian cities.
Religious sects have boomed in Russia since the collapse of communism.
-- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

MORE ON THE CASE AGAINST ROSVOORUZHENIE. A representative of the
Rosvooruzhenie weapons company said on 18 April that the charges of tax
evasion and illegal financial transactions leveled the previous day by
the Prosecutor's Office should be addressed to the company's former
management, NTV reported. Rosvooruzhenie's current general director,
Col. Alexander Kotelkin, took the job in November 1994, succeeding Lt.-
Gen. Viktor Samoilov. Rosvooruzhenie was audited last year by the
Control Department of the presidential administration, the Finance
Ministry's Auditing Department, and a number of other specialists,
including Air Marshall Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, the president's
representative at the company. The results were then submitted to the
Prosecutor's Office. Both the audit and the transfer of documents were
ordered by President Boris Yeltsin personally, Izvestiya reported on 19
April. The inspection revealed numerous violations by arms traders while
the export of military hardware continued to fall and presidential and
government decisions were ignored, according to Segodnya on 18 April. --
Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

FOREIGN MINISTRY BACKS GRACHEV ON ARMS TREATY. Defense Minister
Grachev's recent warning that Russia may not fulfill some of the
provisions of the CFE treaty reflected "the Russian side's real concern
and requirements," according to Gregory Karasin, the Russian Foreign
Ministry's chief press spokesman. In the past, the Foreign Ministry has
tended to be in favor of full compliance. Karasin said Russia is
counting on the U.S. "and our other partners . . . to be understanding
of our position and to take account of the Russian Federation's
interests," ITAR-TASS reported on 18 April. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA TO SELL MISSILE SYSTEM TO U.S. The Russian Defense Ministry
intends to sell a unit of its most modern air defense missile system to
the United States, Izvestiya reported on 14 April. For a reported $60
million, the Americans are to receive an S-300V mobile missile system--
known to NATO as the SA-12 Giant--in a contract drawn up by the state
arms export company Rosvooruzheniye. Although badly in need of the
money, top military leaders are reportedly concerned at allowing the
Americans to learn so much about one of their best weapons. There was a
public furor recently when Belarus sold a similar, but less capable,
system--an S-300PMU (SA-10 Grumble)--to a private company acting on
behalf of the U.S. Defense Department. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA TO LAUNCH GERMAN SATELLITE FROM SUBMARINE. A Russian Delta III
class nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea is scheduled to fire a
converted SS-N-18 ballistic missile this June which will lift a
recoverable German satellite into space, Interfax reported on 15 April.
The launch is part of a joint project between the German Agency DARA and
the Makeyev State Rocket Center Design Bureau in Miass, in the
Chelyabinsk region. This civilian version of the SS-N-18--which was
designed to carry as many as seven nuclear warheads--has been named
"Volna." The German satellite will not be placed in orbit, but will be
used to conduct a 20-minute experiment in fundamental research in
conditions of little or no gravity before splashing down off the coast
of Kamchatka. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

TURKISH SUPPORT FOR PETRO-CHEMICAL PLANT. Moscow and Ankara are
discussing a $120 million loan to Russia in exchange for natural gas
deliveries to Turkey, Interfax reported on 18 April. The money would be
used to complete construction of the first unit of a polypropylene
facility in Budyonnovsk, Stavropol region, by the Turkish contractor
Tekfen. The plant, estimated to cost $280 million, is to yield 100,000
metric tons of polypropylene annually. Last year, Russia provided Turkey
with 5.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI,
Inc.

CIS

RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN TALKS. The latest round of Russian-Ukrainian
negotiations took place behind closed doors, Ukrainian radio reported on
18 April. After the talks, Ukrainian acting Prime Minister Yevhen
Marchuk told journalists that President Yeltsin agreed with Ukraine's
draft of the article dealing with mutual borders for the future treaty
on friendship and cooperation. That version states: "Both sides respect
each other's sovereignty and confirm that they will not violate the
existing borders between them." Yeltsin also agreed with Marchuk that
Crimea will never be a reason for any kind of conflict between Russia
and Ukraine. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN, MARCHUK DIFFER ON BLACK SEA FLEET. President Yeltsin and
Ukrainian acting Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk failed to reach agreement
on the division of the Black Sea Fleet during their 18 April meeting in
the Kremlin, and the two leaders offered two vastly different accounts
of their discussion. ITAR-TASS quoted a presidential press release in
which Yeltsin blamed the impasse on "the unyielding stand of the
Ukrainian delegation headed by Marchuk" and said there would be no
Russian compromises or concessions from their previous agreements. He
added that "new tough variants" of the solution to the Black Sea Fleet
problem offered by the Ukrainian government did not improve the chances
of Yeltsin visiting Kiev. Marchuk, for his part, told Interfax that the
two leaders had a "sincere . . . and rather constructive" dialogue on
the fleet, although he admitted the issue had not been resolved. He said
Ukraine is working on the April 1994 Russian-Ukrainian agreement under
which the fleet would be divided in half, and then Ukraine would give
two-thirds of its share to Russia as payment for its fuel debt. However,
Marchuk added that the agreement contained too many "generic" provisions
that need to be specified. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

DUDAEV'S FAMILY REPORTEDLY IN UKRAINE. The family of Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev is in Ukraine, according to parliament deputy Mykhailo
Ratushny, who was cited by Ukrainian Radio on 18 April. Ratushny had
accompanied members of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists (KUN)
party on a humanitarian aid mission to Chechnya earlier this month.
Russian forces reportedly hindered the mission's attempts to distribute
41 tons of food, medicine, and basic commodities. Ratushny claimed that
intervention by the International Red Cross cleared the cargo through
customs, but most of the shipment ended up going to the Russian army and
disappearing through "commercial agents." The Ukrainian cargo was
reportedly the first aid shipment to reach Chechnya. KUN members said
Dudaev's family has been granted asylum in Ukraine because they were
subjected to a manhunt in Chechnya. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
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