The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. - Thomas Carlyle 1975-1881
NOTICE TO READERS: The Daily Digest will not appear on Monday, 1 May 1995, a Czech national holdiay. OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 84, Part I, 28 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, SHUMEIKO WILL NOT JOIN CHERNOMYRDIN, RYBKIN BLOCS. Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev announced in Washington on 26 April that
he will not participate in either of the new electoral blocs set up by
State Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin,
Ekho Moskvy reported. He said that if he participates in the campaign,
it will be as an independent candidate "in the presidential bloc."
Chernomyrdin had announced on 26 April that all the members of the
government would support his grouping. Minister for Social Protection
Lyudmila Bezlepkina said that the cabinet's support for the prime
minister does not mean that all the ministers will automatically
participate in the elections. Mikhail Poltoranin, chairman of the Duma
Committee on the Press, commented that Chernomyrdin's announcement would
lead to a split in the cabinet, Russian Public Television reported.
Speaker of the Federation Council Vladimir Shumeiko also announced that
he will not participate in the new blocs, according to Russian
Television. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

PRESIDENT WILL ACCEPT PARLIAMENTARY VERSIONS OF ELECTION LAWS.
Presidential aide Georgy Satarov said that Boris Yeltsin is willing to
accept practically any legislation on elections to the parliament and
the presidency adopted by the Federal Assembly, NTV reported. The
president is concerned, Satarov said, that the two houses of the
parliament will be unable to reach agreement on the electoral laws. The
president is willing to act as an intermediary to help resolve their
disputes but will not issue decrees that supersede the laws adopted by
the parliament, his aide said. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

ROSSIISKAYA GAZETA ACCUSES GRYZUNOV OF TRYING TO FORM "CENSORSHIP
COMMITTEE." The official government newspaper Rossiiskaya gazeta charged
on 26 April that a draft presidential decree would create a "censorship
committee" headed by State Press Committee Chairman Sergei Gryzunov. The
draft decree would form a Joint Federal Agency on State Information
Policy (Gosinform), consisting of the State Press Committee and the
Federal TV and Radio Broadcasting Service. Rossiiskaya gazeta alleged
that the plan, supported by Yeltsin's chief of staff Sergei Filatov, was
an "attempt to form a large propaganda machine to provide tight control
over the mass media." Such sharp criticism of a draft presidential
decree in an official newspaper points toward a split within the
administration; Gryzunov and Filatov are considered among the "liberals"
in the president's circle. On 14 March, two weeks after Yeltsin
intervened to halt the announced dismissal of Gryzunov, Rossiiskaya
gazeta accused the press committee chairman of mismanaging funds and
showing favoritism. Gryzunov took the case to the president's Chamber on
Information Disputes, which reprimanded the newspaper. -- Laura Belin,
OMRI, Inc.

JOURNALISTS' UNION BEMOANS LACK OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT. . . Many of the
350 delegates to the fourth congress of the Union of Russian Journalists
criticized the government for failing to provide financial support and
social protection for journalists, Russian agencies reported on 27
February. Union Chairman Vsevolod Bogdanov complained that many
publications were in debt, while the average salary for journalists was
only 150,000 rubles a month, NTV reported. Director General of Russian
Television (Channel 2) Anatoly Lysenko also noted the inadequate funding
for state-run television. He said that television networks no longer
have new ideas or new programs--only new sponsors, Russian Television
reported. State Duma Press and Information Committee Chairman Mikhail
Poltoranin regretted that Yeltsin had not signed a law on state support
for the mass media in time for the journalists' congress. The need to
"rejuvenate" the union and special problems faced by the provincial
press were also discussed at the congress. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

.. . . WHILE OTHER JOURNALISTS COMPLAIN OF GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE.
American journalist Steve Levine remains in Tbilisi, having been refused
entry into Russia en route to Almaty, Russian and Western agencies
reported on 27 April. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Levine was sent
back to Tbilisi in accordance with a 1992 CIS agreement to deny entry to
foreigners who were unwelcome in any CIS republic. The authorities in
Uzbekistan revoked Levine's visa in 1994. However, Levine's
accreditation was renewed recently in Russia, and he told Reuters that
he has traveled to Russia several times since being deported from
Uzbekistan. Levine connected the expulsion with his more recent articles
on Chechnya and Russian policy towards Central Asia. Meanwhile, the
editor of the weekly Sobesednik complained about the "unprecedented"
arrest of two of his correspondents, Ekho Moskvy reported. The
journalists are being held for "suspicion of hooliganism" but have not
been charged with a crime. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

GOVORUKHIN MAY RUN FOR PRESIDENT. Stanislav Govorukhin, the well-known
film director who heads the Duma's committee investigating the causes of
the Chechnya conflict, may run for president as the candidate of the
Democratic Party of Russia, Duma member Yury Yakovlev told his
constituents in Vladivostok. According to the Radio Mayak report,
Govorukhin will enter the campaign if he is assured support beyond his
own party. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

KOZYREV MEETS WITH CLINTON ON SUMMIT. The Russian foreign minister met
on 27 April with U.S. President Bill Clinton to discuss preparations for
the summit between the Russian and U.S. presidents to be held during the
VE celebrations in Moscow on 9-10 May, Western agencies reported.
Although Kozyrev and U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher
indicated at a news conference on 26 April that progress had been made
on a number of contentious issues, there has been little headway on
specific questions. When asked whether Christopher had persuaded him to
cancel the Russian nuclear deal with Iran, Kozyrev replied, "I don't
think so." Christopher, for his part, said "the United States has a very
strong national interest in engagement with Russia" and expressed the
hope that the forthcoming summit would help "to manage our differences
constructively." Christopher added that European security and Chechnya
were the major focus of his talks with Kozyrev, although arms control
was also discussed. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

IZVESTIYA: KOZYREV IS "SCAREMONGERING" ABOUT NATO. On 28 April Izvestiya
criticized Kozyrev's address in Minneapolis, in which the minister
departed from his prepared text and warned that any eastward expansion
of NATO would add grist to the mill of Russian nationalism. He is
reported to have said that the nationalists could devour even him and
that he would have to write his memoirs "from the Gulag." The paper
concluded that "diplomacy is too serious a business to be left to
diplomats" and complained that Kozyrev was "demonizing" Russian
nationalism. It also contended that "people in the West are not afraid"
of the foreign minister's "scaremongering." -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA "ALARMED" BY U.S. ANTI-MISSILE TESTS. Russia is "alarmed" by
recent U.S. anti-missile tests, Interfax reported on 27 April.  A
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Nikita Matkovsky, pointed out
during talks on differentiating strategic from non-strategic systems
that the U.S. is conducting these tests before an agreement has been
initialed on the issue. He noted that until this agreement is signed,
Russia cannot accept that these tests are non-strategic, as the
Americans claim, and thus conform to the ABM treaty. Matkovsky added,
however, that despite their technical complexity, he thought that the
talks had been productive and that the basis existed for agreement. --
Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

PART OF IMF LOAN ALLOCATED TO PAY FOREIGN DEBT. Russia will use the
first installment of the $6.8 billion standby loan from the
International Monetary Fund to service its foreign debt of about $120
billion (including debts inherited from the former Soviet Union), Deputy
Prime Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Oleg Davydov told Russian
and Western news agencies on 27 April. The first $1.1 billion
installment of the IMF loan will be paid to Moscow in May. Davydov said
that discussions with the Paris Club, the sovereign creditors on
Russia's foreign debt, initially scheduled for the end of April have
been postponed to 28 May at the request of creditor countries. The
deputy prime minister commented that Moscow wants to obtain foreign debt
restructuring over at least 25 years, but he added that certain Paris
Club members, especially France and Italy, are opposed to long-term
restructuring. In any event, Moscow will repay $1.2 billion to the Paris
Club this year on a $36 billion debt. Russia will also negotiate with
the London Club, which represents foreign creditor banks. -- Thomas
Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

RESTRICTIONS LIFTED ON U.S. BANKS. President Yeltsin signed a decree on
27 April lifting restrictions applied to U.S. banks that received
permission to operate in Russia before 15 November 1993, the Financial
Information Agency reported. The new edict supplements a decree on
banking issued on 10 June 1994 that authorized foreign and jointly-owned
banks with licenses from the Central Bank to work with Russian citizens.
That decree did not, however, apply to banks such as Chase Manhattan
Bank, which has been operating in Russia for more than 20 years. A total
of 12 foreign and jointly-owned banks have been licensed by the Central
Bank to carry out operations in Russia. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ON INTER-TAJIK CONSULTATIONS. . . Russia has assessed positively the 26
April agreement between the Tajik opposition and government to extend a
seven-month-old cease-fire and hold the fourth round of inter-Tajik
talks in Almaty beginning on 20 or 22 May, Interfax reported on 27
April. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Albert Chernyshev said both sides
displayed good will and wisdom and reached "good agreements." He
asserted that Russia itself is not a party to the conflict and that
Russian border guards and CIS peacekeeping troops will respect the
accords. He added, though, that the troops may use force if the
agreements are violated on the Tajik-Afghan border. The head of the
Tajik opposition delegation, Qazi Ali Akbar Turadzhonzda, praised
Russia's recognition of the cease-fire and its promise not to violate
it. But he noted that the delegations were unable to clear one obstacle-
-namely, the withdrawal of 950 government troops sent to Gorno-
Badakhshan in contravention of earlier agreements, as he termed it.
Turadzhonzoda said that the presence of those troops made the situation
"explosive" there and that the overall size of Russia's military
presence in Tajikistan should be strictly limited, as it serves to prop
up the Tajik regime and could threaten the security of neighboring
countries. Both sides have apparently agreed on the need to control the
movement of government and opposition troops: UN military
representatives may be called upon to monitor the movement of opposition
forces in Afghanistan with the permission of the Afghan government. --
Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

.. . . AND GOALS OF TAJIK ISLAMIC OPPOSITION. Speaking to journalists in
Moscow on 27 April, Turadzhonzoda pledged to "refrain from seizing power
even if we record sufficient gains in the next elections," AFP reported
that day. He went on to say that the sole goal of the Tajik Islamists
was to teach people the meaning of Islam as they had been distanced from
it during 70 years of Soviet rule. He also proposed the inclusion of an
article in the Tajik Constitution that would "exclude for the next 30 to
40 years the establishment of both a theocratic Islamist society and a
communist society." Since January, the opposition has insisted that the
agenda of the fourth round of inter-Tajik talks include a new political
order. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Penny Morvant

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday
through Friday by the Open Media Research Institute. The Daily Digest is
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