Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 121, Part I, 22 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

DUMA VOTES NO CONFIDENCE IN GOVERNMENT. By a vote of 241-70, with 20
members abstaining, the State Duma passed a vote of no confidence in
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's government, Russian agencies
reported. Although the vote was scheduled earlier over the government's
economic policies, the events in southern Russia influenced the outcome.
Only 226 votes were necessary for the motion to succeed. Additional
measures recommending the dismissal of Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai
Yegorov, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Interior Minister Viktor Yerin,
and Federal Security Service director Sergei Stepashin failed, primarily
because Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party did not support
them. The vote does not require the president to take action. He will
ignore the Duma vote since "he has no grounds for not having confidence
in the government," presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev told Russian
Public Television on 21 June. Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin, who abstained,
called the vote "a very dangerous move." A second successful vote would
require the president to sack his government or disband the Duma.
However, few believe the Duma will take another confidence vote in the
government. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

PARTY BREAKDOWN OF NO CONFIDENCE VOTE. Sergei Glazev's Democratic Party
of Russia (DPR) called for the no-confidence vote, saying it was "the
only constitutional measure available to the State Duma to overcome the
paralysis and lack of will in the executive branch," Russian TV
reported. The Communist Party, the Agrarian Party, the Liberal
Democratic Party, the Yabloko group, and New Regional Policy formed an
alliance with the DPR to denounce the government, Interfax reported.
Russia's Choice, Women of Russia, the Party of Russian Unity and
Concord, and Stability supported the government or abstained. Russia's
Choice's leader Yegor Gaidar said the government "had done its best" to
safeguard the lives of the hostages in Budennovsk, NTV reported.
However, he called for the ministers responsible for the use of military
force in Chechnya to be punished. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN ULTIMATUM AT CHECHEN TALKS. At the Russian-Chechen negotiations
in Grozny, Col. Gen. Anatoly Kulikov, commander of federal forces in
Chechnya, demanded that the Chechen delegates denounce terrorism and
hand over Shamil Basaev to federal authorities, Russian and
international agencies reported. Otherwise, Kulikov said, Russian forces
would reopen hostilities. A spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin contradicted Kulikov later on 21 June, stating that
although the Russian government did demand the extradition of Basaev, it
would not use the issue as "a pretext for resuming armed activities."
Nevertheless, the Chechen delegation later issued a statement which
"denounced all acts of terrorism" and promised to assist federal
authorities in the "search and arrest" of wanted terrorists. The
statement stopped short of promising to hand over Basaev, who is
reportedly in hiding in the Vedeno region of Chechnya. -- Scott Parrish,
OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN-CHECHEN TALKS YIELD PRELIMINARY ACCORD. Following the Chechen
concessions, the third day of negotiations in Grozny ended with the
signing of a protocol on military issues, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 June.
Under the agreement, both sides will simultaneously issue decrees for a
ceasefire, which will be monitored by a commission consisting of
Russians, Chechens, local clergy, and members of the OSCE mission in
Chechnya. The accord also calls for an exchange of all prisoners held by
both sides. The protocol calls for the disengagement of Russian and
Chechen forces, and outlines procedures for disarming Chechen military
formations and withdrawing most federal troops from the republic. If
successfully implemented, the accord could serve as the basis of an
overall peace settlement. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

MOSCOW MILITIA BOLSTERED BY 16,600 TROOPS. On 21 June, Interfax reported
that 16,600 army and interior troops had been assigned to help the
Moscow militia protect the capital. Some 4,000 elite paratroopers from
the 98th Guards Airborne Division from Ivanovo Oblast and the 106th
Guards Airborne Division from Tula were included, as well as students
and cadets from military training establishments. Col. Gen. Yevgeny
Podkolzin was quoted by Komsomolskaya pravda as saying the troops will
be patrolling the streets along with the militia and guarding
establishments of state importance. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN SUBMITS START-II FOR RATIFICATION. President Yeltsin has
submitted the START-II Treaty to the Duma for ratification, ITAR-TASS
reported on 21 June. The agreement, signed by Yeltsin and President
George Bush in January 1993, calls for deep reductions in the nuclear
arsenals of both the U.S. and Russia. The treaty faces uncertain
prospects in the Duma, where many deputies have criticized it. -- Scott
Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

DUMA ATTEMPTS TO AMEND CONSTITUTION . . . The Duma passed three proposed
constitutional amendments that would expand its power over cabinet
appointments, Interfax reported on 21 June. Under the draft laws,
crucial appointments, including deputy prime ministers, foreign,
defense, and interior ministers, and heads of the Foreign Intelligence
Service and the Federal Security Service, would be subject to approval
by the Duma. Currently the president only needs the Duma's consent to
appoint the prime minister. The Duma would also gain the power to pass
binding votes of no confidence in individual cabinet ministers. Duma
deputy Oleg Rumyantsev, who helped draft the bills, said the amendments
would bring Russia from "absolutist rule" to a "normal" form of
government. The Duma proposals are unlikely to complete the arduous
amendment process. Constitutional amendments must also be approved by
three-fourths of the Federation Council and passed by two-thirds of the
legislatures of Russia's 89 regions. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND ADOPT REFERENDUM RULES. A draft constitutional law passed by
the Duma in its second reading would limit the president's authority to
call a referendum, Interfax reported on 21 June. Under the draft law, a
presidential decree calling a referendum would have to be approved by
the Constitutional Court and a referendum could not be held
simultaneously with parliamentary, presidential, or local elections,
during a nationwide state of emergency, or within three months after a
state of emergency is lifted. Russia's constitution was passed by a
controversial referendum on 12 December 1993, the same day as
parliamentary elections and less than three months after Yeltsin
dissolved the parliament. The law must be approved by a three-fourths
majority in the Federation Council to become effective. -- Laura Belin,
OMRI, Inc.

COMMUNISTS CALL FOR YELTSIN'S IMPEACHMENT. The presidium of the
Communist Party's Central Committee has called on its Duma faction to
start collecting the 150 signatures necessary to begin the impeachment
process against President Yeltsin, Interfax reported on 21 June.
Impeachment ultimately requires a two-thirds vote in each house and is
extremely unlikely. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN SIGNS DUMA ELECTION LAW. President Yeltsin signed the law on
elections to the Duma on 21 June, Radio Rossii reported. Yeltsin had
vetoed an earlier version of the law on 23 May. The current version
contains many of the provisions Yeltsin opposed, particularly a
provision requiring that half of the Duma members be elected on party
lists. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA SEEKS INVESTORS. In a special edition of
Nezavisimaya gazeta published on 21 June, the newspaper's board appealed
to private investors to save the newspaper, which suspended publication
on 24 May. Nezavisimaya gazeta editor-in-chief Vitaly Tretyakov will
lead the joint stock company, which needs investments of at least $4
million in order to be registered. Other members of the organizing
committee include former Central Bank chief Viktor Gerashchenko, NTV
Director General Igor Malashenko, and head of the "Vox populi" opinion
polling service Boris Grushin. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

DAVYDOV ON FOREIGN DEBTS, INVESTMENTS. Deputy Prime Minister Oleg
Davydov detailed the structure of Russian foreign debt in an interview
with Rossiiskaya gazeta published on 21 June. He said Russia has a $130
billion debt, of which it owes $36 billion to the Western countries of
the Paris Club and $26 billion to the London Club group of private
banks. Additional debts are owed to other countries and private
suppliers. He said Third World countries owe Russia 90 billion rubles
which at the old USSR bank rate of 0.67 rubles to $1 would have amounted
to $148 billion, but the debtors reject that figure. Davydov added that
Russia has received $2.5 billion in foreign direct investment, 40% of
which is from the U.S. He expects more investment when Russia's debt is
restructured, which he hopes will happen by the end of 1995. -- Michael
Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

GRACHEV WANTS CONTROL OVER ALL MILITARY FORCES. Criticizing the clumsy
efforts to free the hostages in Budennovsk, Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev on 21 June indicated that he would renew his call for
centralizing all military forces under his ministry. Interfax reported
that he would propose at the next Security Council meeting that all
departments with armed forces--such as the border troops and troops from
the Interior and Emergencies ministries, as well as special sub-units of
the security service--be placed under his ministry. He proposed that the
people leading those other ministries be made deputy defense ministers.
Grachev made similar appeals in July and September 1994. -- Doug Clarke,
OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN MEETS WITH FINANCIAL-INDUSTRIAL GROUPS. President Yeltsin met
with the heads of domestic financial-industrial groups to discuss the
legal basis for this new form of holding company, on 21 June, Russian TV
reported. Meanwhile, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets said the
government should more actively promote the creation of financial-
industrial groups in the country, Rossiiskaya gazeta reported. He said
those groups deserve a place in the Russian economy and noted that 15
such groups exist in Russia today and another 20 will probably be
established by the end of 1995. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TAJIK PRESIDENT TAKES MEASURES TO SUPPORT NATIONAL CURRENCY. Describing
the progress of the newly introduced Tajik ruble as unsatisfactory,
President Imomali Rakhmonov, instructed his government to do whatever it
takes to guarantee supply of food stuffs, light industries, and other
branches of the economy within a week, Interfax reported. Industrial
enterprises are expected to fill the commodity market with foodstuffs
and essentials according to tight deadlines. He said the country can
begin exporting only after the domestic market has been satisfied. The
Tajik ruble became the national currency on 15 May, but the Russian
ruble is still circulating in the country. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

CFE LIMITATIONS AND CRIMEA. Ukraine and Russia are to complete the
division of the Black Sea Fleet ground forces by 17 November, Interfax
reported on 21 June. As the flank restrictions in the CFE treaty apply
to Crimea, Russian Foreign Ministry officials expect Russia will be
forced to remove its share of the ground units and their equipment from
the peninsula. Since the marines must be deployed by water, the Russians
side can only re-deploy its Black Sea Fleet troops in Kaliningrad if
Moscow does not wish to re-juggle equipment and personnel in the
Leningrad and North Caucasus military districts which are also covered
by flank restrictions. The possibility that the Russian share of ground
units may be totally disbanded has not been ruled out. To date, the
armament of the ground forces of the fleet have not been divided between
Russia and Ukraine. -- Ustina Markus, 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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