I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. - Rev. Martin Luther King 1929-1968
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 90, Part I, 10 May 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

MOSCOW VICTORY CELEBRATIONS CONTINUE. Veterans from the Chechen campaign
were sighted in the parade that marched through Red Square on 9
May, news agencies reported. Several Western leaders had earlier said
they would only attend the ceremonies if there was no Chechnya
connection. However, U.S. National Security Adviser Anthony Lake said he was
satisfied that the Russians had kept their pledge. After the parade of
veterans and soldiers on Red Square, Russia put on a display of its
most advanced military hardware, sending tanks, rocket launchers, and
columns of troops past a new war monument on Poklonnaya Gora in western
Moscow, while aircraft flew overhead. The military parade was not held in
Red Square for the first time as a concession to Western leaders who
refused to attend a parade displaying military equipment. During a 45-
minute meeting with Yeltsin, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl told him that
the ongoing Chechen conflict is harming Russia's relationship with the
West. According to AFP, Clinton made no mention of Chechnya in his public
statements during the day, but an administration official said it is
sure to come up during their talks on 10 May. In St. Petersburg,
thousands of people filled the city's cemeteries to mourn their
relatives who died in the Nazi siege of Leningrad. -- Robert Orttung,
OMRI, Inc.

ALTERNATIVE RALLY IN MOSCOW. Thousands of demonstrators waving red flags
and carrying portraits of Josef Stalin marched through the capital in an
alternative Victory Day rally, Russian and Western agencies reported on
9 May. The march was organized by various opposition groups, including
the Communist Party, Viktor Anpilov's Workers' Russia, and the Officers'
Union, and attracted an unusually large turnout. Police said about
30,000 people took part, including many veterans. Participants argued
that Yeltsin has no right to lead celebrations marking the victory over
Nazi Germany. One veteran quoted by AFP said 1945 marked "the victory of
the Soviet people and not that of these traitors to the Soviet Union who
are running Russia." In his address, Anpilov said Yeltsin had put too
much emphasis on Russia's rather than the Soviet Union's contribution to
the war, while General Valentin Varennikov argued that "what Hitler
failed to do, the current regime has done through betrayal and lies."
Speakers called for the restoration of a unified state on the territory
of the CIS and for bringing "patriotic forces" to power in Russia. The
Moscow authorities had initially tried to prevent the opposition from
rallying in central Moscow. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA TO COMPLETE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN IRAN. In his talks with German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl on 9 May, President Yeltsin stressed that Russia
would honor its contract to complete the nuclear power reactors in Iran,
Interfax reported the same day. Yeltsin's foreign policy aide, Dmitry
Ryurikov, said the president once again asserted the peaceful nature of
the deal. Yeltsin said Germany's positions on nuclear aid to Iran and
the "Chechen problem" are not as "tough" as those of the U.S., ITAR-TASS
reported. Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for
Foreign Economic Relations Oleg Davydov said a decision on supplying
equipment for the nuclear power reactors to Iran would be put off until
after the 10 May summit between Yeltsin and U.S. President Bill Clinton.
While Davydov said a compromise is possible, "one should not forget that
Iran is Russia's neighbor and it is not in our interests to create
opposition on our southern borders." Davydov also confirmed that the
U.S. has "familiarized the Russian leadership with studies according to
which one can draw the conclusion that Iran intends to come closer to
creating nuclear weapons." -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN: NO HASTY NATO EXPANSION. Russian President Boris Yeltsin
reiterated his opposition to the hasty expansion of NATO in his talks
with British Prime Minister John Major on 9 May, Interfax reported the
same day. According to Yeltsin's foreign policy aide, Dmitri Ryurikov,
the Russian president stressed that "a solution [must] be found in the
interests of Europe, Russia, and the world as a whole." Meanwhile,
Russian State Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin held talks with Bulgarian Prime
Minister Zhan Videnov on 9 May about methods for developing a collective
security system in Europe based on the OSCE. Rybkin spoke against haste
in expanding NATO and added that Russian membership in NATO would create
a "lasting belt of peace from Vancouver to Vladivostok." -- Michael
Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

U.S.-RUSSIA ECONOMIC PACKAGE DRAFTED. Russia has drafted an economic
package which endorses continued bilateral economic cooperation with the
U.S., Russian Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Oleg Davydov told
Interfax on 9 May. Davydov said U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to
Russia for the upcoming summit will be significant if the U.S. continues
to support Russian economic reforms, including foreign debt restructuring
and Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization. -- Thomas Sigel,
OMRI, Inc.

GRACHEV ASSESSES THE ARMED FORCES. In a speech at the 9 May ceremonies
on Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said the
Russian armed forces are "battleworthy, under control, and ready to
defend the state from any encroachment and guarantee the country's
national security," First Channel TV network reported. In it, he said
the military should "only serve the people and their state." While
acknowledging that the confrontation of the Cold War was a thing of the
past, he cautioned that regional armed conflict is capable of sparking
another major war. As long as there is "a complex combination of
historical, territorial, political, economic, and inter-ethnic
contradictions, we must strengthen and qualitatively renew our armed
forces," he said. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

ACCUSATIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN "SLUSH FUND." The political
commentator Sergei Parkhomenko charged in the 30 April-7 May edition of
Moskovskie novosti that presidential security operatives are maintaining
a "slush fund" for Yeltsin's re-election campaign. Quoting anonymous
sources within the government, parliament, and counterintelligence
service, Parkhomenko said the president's "inner circle" has given up
plans to cancel the elections and is now concentrating on acquiring
campaign funds. He asserted that money is being obtained from Russia's
most profitable sectors: the oil industry, the arms trade, and the
precious metals and stones industry. Parkhomenko named Maj.-Gen. Georgy
Rogozin, a close associate of presidential security service chief
Alexander Korzhakov, as the most likely head of the "slush fund." --
Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

PROSECUTOR GENERAL ISSUES ORDER ON FIGHTING EXTREMISM. Acting Prosecutor
General Alexei Ilyushenko issued an order demanding "uncompromising
efforts against manifestations of fascism and other forms of political
extremism," Interfax reported on 6 May. He urged all prosecutors to
better enforce both laws on the equality of citizens and bans on
associations that call for changing the constitutional order by force.
The order also instructs prosecutors to apply tougher measures against
people who circulate fascist and extremist materials. At the same time,
Ilyushenko ordered judicial bodies and agencies in charge of media
registration to ensure stricter observance of laws protecting freedom of
the press and media, Ekho Moskvy reported. On 23 March, Yeltsin issued a
decree instructing government officials at all levels to step up the
battle against fascism in Russia. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA'S PATRIOTIC FRONT FORMED. The fourth congress of the National
Salvation Front and the Union of Deceived Investors of the "Tibet"
Concern agreed to form a new electoral bloc called Russia's Patriotic
Front, Radio Mayak reported on 6 May. Vladimir Voronin, leader of the
Tibet investors, said the bloc will win widespread support among
Russia's approximately 80 million deceived investors, who have no chance
of getting their money back under the current regime. He said the main
competition for Russia's Patriotic Front would be Alexander Rutskoi's
Derzhava movement and Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party.
National Salvation Front chairman Ilya Konstantinov told Russian TV that
the new bloc is preparing "scandalous actions" for the near future, but
he refused to be more specific about the group's campaign plans. --
Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

WASHINGTON HINTS AT CFE TREATY CHANGES. The top American arms control
official said on 8 May that the CFE treaty could be amended to meet
Russian objections if Moscow continues to comply with the pact. Reuters
reported that John Holum, director of the U.S. Arms Control and
Disarmament Agency, said Washington is "dead set" against any changes
before the May 1996 review conference, but would be receptive to
"revisiting" some portions of the treaty at that time "because of
changes in the security situation." Russia has objected to the terms
which limit the amount of weapons they can deploy in the North Caucasus
Military District. Those limits go into effect in November, at which
time the Russians will almost certainly have more arms in the region
than the treaty permits. Holum speculated that discussions might be held
before November about the changes to be considered the following May,
and implied that the Americans might overlook those Russian excesses "so
long as the Russians are committed to live up to their obligations." --
Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

CONCERN ABOUT BRAIN DRAIN. The youngest and most talented scientists are
abandoning the research sector, creating a brain drain that will have a
damaging impact on Russia, according to a 5 May report in Kuranty.
Between 1990 and 1993, the number of scientists fell by 1.2 million, or
by almost a third. Most go into business, where wages are considerably
higher. In 1993, for example, the average wage for scientists was 38%
lower than that in industry. The brain drain abroad is on a smaller
scale, but also significant. The report said 34,000 scientists had
emigrated over the last six years, mostly to Israel, Germany, or the
U.S. No data are available for the number working abroad on temporary
contracts, but it is likely to be higher. Spending on scientific
research and development as a percentage of national income is now a
quarter of what it was in 1985, while GNP itself has fallen by nearly
half. Fundamental research has suffered the most, with 60% of the money
allocated for it being spent on wages, leaving virtually no money to
purchase equipment. -- Penny Morvant and Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

MORE RUSSIAN GAS TO TURKEY. An agreement to double Russian natural gas
supplies to Turkey has been reached, Russian media reported on 9 May.
Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller held talks with her Russian
counterpart Viktor Chernomyrdin in conjunction with her visit to Moscow
for V-E day celebrations. The talks focused on economic relations
between the two countries with Russia registering its willingness to
increase its natural gas exports to Turkey from nearly 5 billion cubic
meters to 9.2 billion cubic meters. In addition to announcing their
mutual aim to boost bilateral trade, currently estimated at $2.2 billion
a year, Chernomyrdin assured his Turkish counterpart that Russia had not
and will not help Kurdish separatists in any way. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES LESS PROFITABLE IN SIBERIA, FAR EAST. The
majority of unprofitable industrial enterprises are located in Western
Siberia, Eastern Siberia, and the Far East, Russian Radio announced on 4
May. According to a Russian Economics Ministry report, the unprofitable
enterprises represent 30% of the entire industrial potential in those
areas. In contrast, the number of unprofitable enterprises in
Northwestern Russia and Central Russia amounts to only 18%. As for
Moscow, St. Petersburg, and the Moscow and Yaroslavl regions, only 10%
of industrial enterprises are unprofitable. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

FORMER PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN ARRESTED IN MOSCOW. Former Azerbaijani
President Ayaz Mutalibov, who has been living in Moscow since his
abortive attempt to regain power in May 1992, was detained by Russian
security services on 7 May, Interfax reported on 9 May. Successive
Azerbaijani leaderships have demanded Mutalibov's extradition. He faces
charges of complicity in the January 1990 Soviet military crackdown in
Baku and the February 1992 killings of Azerbaijanis in the Karabakh
villages of Khodzhaly, and of involvement in the alleged coup attempts
of October 1994 and March 1995. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

ARMENIA, IRAN SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENTS. Armenian Prime Minister Hrant
Bagratyan signed ten agreements on economic, technical, and political
cooperation with Iran during a four-day official visit to the country
ending on 6 May, Russian and Western agencies reported. The economic
agreements include one under which Iran will supply Armenia with natural
gas for a period of 20 years through a pipeline specially constructed
for that purpose; Iran will also supply electricity, according to
Interfax. Armenia's energy sector has been crippled for the past three
years by repeated sabotage of the pipeline that supplies Turkmen gas to
it via Georgia. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

KOZYREV: UN SUPPORTS RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPING. Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev said on 9 May that Russia's peacekeeping activities in
the CIS are getting "full support" from UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali, Interfax reported the same day. Kozyrev said President
Yeltsin pressed Boutros-Ghali on the need for the UN to eliminate the
double standard of financing peacekeeping in Bosnia and Croatia but not
in the CIS. Boutros-Ghali said his talks with Kozyrev centered on
economic issues, not peacekeeping. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday
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