Peace is indivisible. - Maxim Litvino
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 112, Part I, 9 June 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
AGREEMENT REACHED ON ELECTORAL LAW. President Boris Yeltsin and both
houses of the Federal Assembly have reached an agreement on the State
Duma electoral law behind closed doors, NTV and Russian Public
Television reported on 9 June. The leaders accepted an equal division
between party-list and single-mandate seats. In a compromise, however,
the federal part of the list will only contain 12 candidates, while the
rest of the candidates must represent a particular region. Candidates
running simultaneously on a party list and in a single-mandate
constituency must collect 5,000 signatures in their support. However,
those signatures will be considered as part of the 200,000 that each
party must collect to register its list for the campaign. The compromise
allows government and media employees to continue their jobs during the
campaign, but a vaguely worded clause prohibits them from abusing their
office for campaign purposes. The committee retained the Duma's proposal
to set the minimum voter turnout for the elections to be valid at 25%.
-- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

RYBKIN FORMS LEFT-CENTER BLOC WITH RUSSIA'S REGIONS, AGRARIANS. The
Russia's Regions association elected State Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin its
leader at its second All-Russian Conference in Moscow on 8 June,
Interfax reported. Rybkin said Russia's Regions will form a bloc with
the Agrarian Party. If the bloc wins a majority in the Duma, Rybkin will
again become speaker and Mikhail Lapshin, head of the Agrarian Party,
will be the leader of the combined bloc of the Agrarian Party and
Russia's Regions, NTV reported. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN ADVISER: ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST BALTIC STATES POSSIBLE.
Abdualakh Mikitaev, head of the presidential Department of Citizenship,
told journalists that economic sanctions against the Baltic states could
be an acceptable means of protecting Russians living there, Segodnya
reported on 8 June. The presidential aide qualified his statement only
by adding that sanctions should be designed so as not to injure those
they would be intended to support, as had happened earlier when a
Russian natural gas embargo led to unemployment for many Russian workers
in the region. Mikitaev also criticized Estonia for its recent
deportation of a Russian political activist, Petr Rozhek. -- Scott
Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

DOUBTS ABOUT ELECTORAL PROSPECTS FOR CHERNOMYRDIN BLOC. Members of the
Russian government may run in single-mandate districts rather than on
the party list of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's right-center
bloc, Izvestiya reported on 9 June. By running in carefully-chosen, safe
districts, the ministers guarantee that they will be members of the new
Duma, even if Chernomyrdin's party does not win sufficient votes on the
party list to guarantee their leaders seats in the Duma. -- Robert
Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

POLICE OFFICER KILLED IN SHOOT-OUT WITH SECURITY FORCES. In a clash on 7
June between a group of police officers and Federal Security Service
(FSB) agents, one officer was killed and another injured; two FSB agents
were also injured. Police responded to a report of armed men on Moscow's
Profsoyuznaya street., and a gun-battle ensued between them and the men,
who were actually FSB agents in the process of arresting an alleged
uranium thief, Ekho Moskvy, NTV, and Interfax reported. The incident is
being investigated by military and city prosecutors. Last December,
security service officers clashed with members of Alexander Korzhakov's
Presidential Guard outside the Moscow mayor's office. -- Penny Morvant,
OMRI, Inc.

DUMA REJECTS EXTRA-BUDGETARY FUNDS BILL. After a stormy debate, Duma
deputies on 7 June rejected a draft law tightening control over extra-
budgetary funds, Segodnya reported. The bill would have required the
budgets of all social funds to be submitted to the Duma for approval and
to be audited, and fund contributions to be collected by the State Tax
Service. Argument was fiercest over the Pension Fund, with the bill's
opponents arguing that turning over collection to the Tax Service would
wreck the pension system. The chairman of the Duma Labor and Social
Support Committee expressed doubts that the Finance Ministry would be
able to " look after the money more efficiently than the funds do."
Segodnya commented that the deputies appeared to have overlooked the
fact that the main thrust of the bill was to make spending by social
funds accountable to the Duma. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA FEARS REPETITION OF SOMALIA IN BOSNIA. Despite reassurances from
Western leaders, the Russian government still has reservations about the
deployment of a NATO rapid reaction force to Bosnia. A senior Russian
diplomat told Interfax on 8 June that he feared the new peacekeeping
troops might turn " into a group for enforcing peace, and then into a
multi-national force like the one...in Somalia."  He added that only the
full incorporation of the NATO force into the existing UNPROFOR command
would completely defuse such concerns. Also on 8 June, opposition
deputies in the State Duma continued to criticize what they termed "
unilateral power actions by NATO in Bosnia,"  Interfax reported. --
Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

KULIKOV DISPUTES REPORT ON INTERNAL TROOPS REORGANIZATION. Col. Gen.
Anatoly Kulikov, commander of the internal troops of the Russian
Internal Affairs Ministry (MVD), has disputed claims made in an article
on the reorganization of the internal troops that appeared in Obshchaya
gazeta, the same newspaper reported in its 8-14 June edition. Kulikov
claims that the internal troops' civilian and military personnel number
only 264,000 and not 800,000 as reported in the article. Kulikov also
said, " The internal troops...do not have a structure or organization to
carry out combat operations against an external enemy, nor are they
armed with heavy weapons."  However, Kulikov's statement contradicts a
number of eyewitness accounts. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

NORTHERN PORT DECLARED A CLOSED CITY. President Yeltsin on 8 June
declared the northern port of Polyarny--located some 20 km northeast of
Murmansk--to be " a closed administrative and territorial unit,"  AFP
reported. A naval repair facility for Northern Fleet nuclear submarines
is located in Polyarny as well as several nuclear-waste storage and
transport ships. There were some 30 closed cities in the former Soviet
Union, many of which have been opened. In July 1994, Yeltsin closed the
Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk-26 where plutonium for Soviet nuclear
weapons had been produced. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

MiG DEAL WITH MALAYSIA FULFILLED. A senior official at the Moscow
Aviation Production Organization (MAPO) told Reuters on 8 June that the
factory had delivered the last of 18 MiG-29 jet fighters to Malaysia in
fulfillment of a 1994 contract worth $550 million. The same official
said four MiG-29s would be delivered to India in August--part of a ten-
plane order--and indicated that talks on selling the jet to the
Philippines are underway. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD BALLISTIC MISSILE FIRED. An intercontinental ballistic
missile built in November 1976 was successfully fired from Baikonur in
Kazakhstan by Russian space troops on 8 June, ITAR-TASS reported. The
RS-18 missile--known in the West as the SS-19--had been " combat ready"
for more than 18 years before being given a dummy warhead and used in
this test. As many as  350 SS-19s were once deployed in the former
Soviet Union, including 130 in Ukraine. The space troops would like to
convert some of the missiles into space launch vehicles, and have
stressed their high reliability. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RAILROADS TO REMAIN STATE PROPERTY. Anything connected to railroad
transportation cannot be privatized, Railroad Minister Gennady Fadeev
told the State Duma Industry, Construction, and Energy Committee on 8
June, Interfax reported. The committee endorsed a bill which preserves
federal ownership of the railroads. Fadeev said a railroad takeover by
joint-stock companies would disrupt economic links inside the country
because 15% of the lines, such as the Transbaikal and the Baikal-Amur
Railroads, might be cut because they cannot survive without subsidies.
-- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

MOSCOW GOVERNMENT ADDRESSES OPEN LETTER TO CHUBAIS. The Moscow
government addressed an open letter to First Deputy Prime Minister
Anatoly Chubais on 8 June expressing their disagreement with his support
for increasing customs duties on imported foodstuffs, Russian agencies
reported. Chubais wants to raise import duties on food to encourage
people to purchase domestic goods. The letter told Chubais that everyone
who is familiar with the domestic agricultural situation knows that food
producers are only able to fulfill 20-40% of Moscow's needs. Moscow
experts estimate that with import duties increasing by 5-6% on 1 July,
consumer prices for milk powder and butter will rise by 40%, beef 70%,
vegetable oil 60%, and sugar 80% -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

NAZARBAEV CALLS FOR EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION. Kazakh President Nursultan
Nazarbaev, speaking at the International Conference on Disarmament in
Geneva on 8 June, used the opportunity to again bring up his idea for a
Eurasian economic union. Nazarbaev called the area from Russia to India
a " belt of uncertainty"  which belongs neither to the West nor the
East, according to Western agencies. The Kazakh president emphasized
that such a union would be in the economic interest of all countries in
the region, and would mitigate the need for arms build-up by promoting
regional cooperation. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF TAJIKISTAN MEETS IN ALMATY.
Delegates to a congress of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan voted to
relieve party chairman Shodmon Yusuf of his duties, Interfax reported on
5 June. Yusuf, who now lives in Iran, had been strongly criticized for
his support of Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov in last November's
elections. The party named Dzhumaboi Niyazov, who is from the Leninabad
region in Tajikistan's north, as the new chairman. Niyazov was recently
released from jail where he had been held for about two years. The
congress was held in Almaty because the party has been banned in
Tajikistan since 1993. According to the party's first deputy chairman,
Abdunabi Satorzoda, 14 party members attended the congress, representing
3,000 supporters, half of whom " remain outside Tajikistan."  -- Bruce
Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

KAZAKHSTAN TAKING BIDS ON OIL INDUSTRIES. Kazakhstan announced on 8 June
it is prepared to take bids on three major oil enterprises and is
offering up to 90% of the shares. On the block are the Aktyubinskneft
and Yuzhneftegaz production associations and the oil refinery in
Shymkent. Companies wishing to purchase the enterprises are expected to
help in the building of an east-west pipeline across central Kazakhstan,
Reuters reported. The Kazakh government expects to take in $3 billion
from the sales. At a recent conference on privatization, Kazakh Prime
Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin said that in light of recent criticism from
the West over the referendum extending the term of President Nursultan
Nazarbaev, this is a chance to show Kazakhstan's commitment to reform,
Reuters reported. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

UZBEK MILITARY DOCTRINE. An Uzbek draft military doctrine has been
unveiled for national discussion, Interfax reported on 7 June. The draft
says Uzbekistan is guided by the principles of peaceful co-existence,
non-interference in the affairs of other states, and the inviolability
of inter-state borders. It pledges Uzbekistan will not initiate military
operations against any country unless it or any of its allies is
attacked. The draft reiterates Uzbekistan's committment to nuclear non-
proliferation, a global ban on nuclear testing, the elimination of
nuclear, chemical, and bacteriological weapons, and reductions in
conventional armed forces. It also calls for Central Asia to become a
nuclear-free zone and seeks to strengthen the UN's role in ensuring
security. The draft will be submitted to the Uzbek parliament following
a nationwide discussion of its merits. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

YELTSIN-KUCHMA SUMMIT OPENS. President Yeltsin and his Ukrainian
counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, arrived in Sochi on 8 June, Interfax and
Western agencies reported. The main item on the agenda for the summit is
the future of the Black Sea Fleet, over which serious disagreement
between the two countries persists. Neither delegation seems to
anticipate resolving the issue of the fleet at this meeting. Kuchma told
journalists that he had come to the meeting with " good intentions,"
and added that " it will be necessary to find a compromise,"  but he
also said he did not expect the long-simmering dispute to be " solved in
one day."  -- Scott Parrish, 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
through Friday by the Open Media Research Institute.  The OMRI Daily
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Copyright (c) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved.


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