This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joy, and cutteth griefs in half. - Francis Bacon
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 123, Part I, 26 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

IMPEACHMENT MOTION FAILS IN DUMA. A motion to start impeachment
proceedings against President Boris Yeltsin received only 172 of the 226
votes needed to put it on the Duma's agenda for 23 June, Russian Public
Television reported. Communist deputies, who had collected 150
signatures in favor of the motion, vowed to raise the question again in
the near future. Beginning the impeachment process could protect the
Duma from dissolution if its standoff with the government continues. --
Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

DUMA CALLS FOR SACKING MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECHNYA. The State
Duma recommended that President Yeltsin fire Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev, Interior Minister Viktor Yerin, and Deputy Prime Minister
Nikolai Yegorov for their handling of the Chechen crisis, Western and
Russian agencies reported. A motion to dismiss Sergei Stepashin, the
director of the Federal Security Service, failed after garnering only
202 of the necessary 226 votes. Calls for the ousting of Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev, first deputy prime ministers Anatoly Chubais
and Oleg Soskovets, and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai also
failed. The Duma scheduled its decisive vote of confidence in Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's government for 1 July. If 226 members of
the Duma do not give the government a positive vote of confidence, the
president must sack the government or dissolve the Duma. This
requirement puts the Duma deputies in a difficult position since in
order to avoid being disbanded, they will have to reverse their earlier
no-confidence vote, a politically difficult move in the run-up to the
elections. Only 70 members supported the government in the 21 June vote.
-- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN, DUMA SEEK COMPROMISE. Chernomyrdin does not want to see
the Duma dissolved and plans to meet with the deputies before the 1 July
vote, NTV reported on 25 June. He said the Security Council and the
president will decide the fate of the power ministers at the Council's
29 June meeting, two days before the Duma vote. NTV suggested that
Yeltsin would dismiss Yerin and Yegorov if he were sure the Duma would
vote its confidence in the government, but that he would not fire
Grachev, with whom he has a close relationship. Nikolai Kharitonov, of
the Agrarian faction, said his colleagues could reverse themselves and
support the government if the president were willing to demonstrate that
he was taking their views into account. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN NEGOTIATORS CONSULT WITH CHERNOMYRDIN . . . The Russian
delegation to the Chechen peace talks returned to Moscow to meet with
Chernomyrdin, Western and Russian agencies reported on 25 June. After
the meeting, Chernomyrdin told Russian TV that "we will seek a political
solution to this problem, only a political solution." On 23 June,
Russian and Chechen negotiators agreed to an indefinite extension of the
three-day ceasefire put into effect on 20 June, and also signed a
protocol on holding elections in the republic later this year. However,
they remained deadlocked on Chechnya's political status and the future
role of President Dzhokhar Dudaev. Chechen negotiator Usman Isaev told
journalists on 23 June that "the documents we have signed mean that a
return to the use of force is not possible," and that outstanding
differences will be resolved "peacefully." -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

. . . WHILE CHECHEN CEASEFIRE REMAINS TENUOUS. The ceasefire between
federal and Chechen separatist forces has been violated several times in
the last few days, Russian and international agencies reported on 25
June. Federal forces shelled and bombed the area around the village of
Dargo, in the Vedeno region of Chechnya. Russian officers told ITAR-TASS
that the attacks were not a violation of the ceasefire, because they
were launched in order to "detain terrorists" led by Shamil Basaev who
had carried out the attack on Budennovsk. Russian military sources also
claimed on 24 June that Chechen separatists had "repeatedly violated the
moratorium on military actions," killing one federal soldier and
wounding another. Also on 24 June, a bomb explosion derailed a passenger
train crossing Chechnya near the village of Gertzel, injuring two
people, ITAR-TASS reported. Russian officials blamed Chechen separatists
for the attack. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

CHINESE PREMIER ARRIVES IN MOSCOW. Chinese Premier Li Peng arrived in
Moscow for a three-day official visit, Russian and international
agencies reported on 25 June. In talks with Russian officials, including
Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and President Yeltsin, the Chinese premier
will discuss economic cooperation, environmental protection, and
measures against organized crime. Among the expected results of Li's
visit is an agreement to construct a bridge across the Amur River,
linking the Russian and Chinese towns of Heihe and Blagoveshchensk.
Rossiiskaya Gazeta commented on 23 June that the visit signals a warming
in Russian-Chinese relations, even as U.S.-Chinese relations worsen. --
Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY PARTY WALKS OUT ON KNESSET CHAIRMAN. Vladimir Zhirinovsky's
Liberal Democratic Party walked out of the Duma as Shevah Weiss,
chairman of the Israeli Knesset began to give a speech, Segodnya
reported on 24 June. Zhirinovsky objected to the hoisting of the Israeli
flag by the Duma on the day of the visit. Zhirinovsky and his supporters
left the hall as Weiss, who was born in Western Ukraine, was thanking
the Russian army for liberating his family from the Nazis. -- Robert
Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

SOLDIER CHARGED IN JOURNALIST'S DEATH. The Interior Ministry soldier who
shot and killed journalist Natalya Alyakina in Budennovsk on 17 June is
in custody after being charged with mishandling a firearm, Russian TV
reported on 23 June. If convicted of carelessness in what military
prosecutors are calling an accidental shooting, the soldier faces one to
10 years in prison. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT AFFIRMS EX-CRIMINALS' RIGHT TO HOUSING. The
Constitutional Court struck down article 60 of the Housing Code, which
had been used to seal the apartments of convicted criminals even if they
served only a short prison sentence, Russian Television reported on 23
June. Judge Nikolai Vedernikov blamed the enforcement of article 60 for
making many ex-criminals homeless and therefore increasing the number of
repeat offenders. The court ruled that a citizen retains his
constitutional right to housing if he is absent from his residence for
up to six months, regardless of whether he is serving a prison sentence.
-- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

DUMA TO FOUND ITS OWN TV STATION? Dissatisfied by allegedly biased news
coverage on the Russian Public Television network (ORT), Duma deputies
may create their own "mini-tv- and radio-company," Radio Mayak reported
on 23 June. Sergei Kalashnikov, chairman of the Duma Committee on Labor
and Social Protection, complained that ORT refused to cover
parliamentary discussions surrounding the 21 June no-confidence vote but
broadcast extensive coverage of the government's meeting the next day.
Duma Deputy Chairman Gennady Seleznev told reporters he hoped a Duma-run
television company funded by the federal budget would be operational in
1996. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

YUSHENKOV WARNS AGAINST NATO EXPANSION. NATO's eastward expansion would
affect Russia's vital interests and cause nationalistic tendencies in
the country to grow stronger, Sergei Yushenkov, chairman of the State
Duma Defense Committee, told a conference in St. Petersburg on 25 June.
He said talk of such expansion enables "the reactionary part of the
Russian military brass to demand greater military spending," ITAR-TASS
reported. He also warned that NATO's enlargement could threaten previous
arms control agreements, such as the CFE treaty and the Open Skies
agreement. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIANS TO PUT SHIELD AROUND SUNKEN SUB. A Russian research ship
equipped with underwater robots left St. Petersburg on 24 June to
install a protective shield around the hull of a sunken Russian nuclear
submarine in the Norwegian Sea, ITAR-TASS reported. The Komsomolets sank
off northern Norway in April 1989 and 42 members of the crew drowned.
Besides its nuclear power plant, the boat was carrying two nuclear-armed
torpedoes. The report said the work would continue until the end of
July. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

MORE WOMEN DYING DURING CHILDBIRTH. The number of Russian women who die
during childbirth has risen sharply in the past three years, the Labor
Ministry reported to Interfax on 24 June. The rate is 10 times higher
than in industrialized European countries, the report said, adding that
since 1992, the childbirth mortality rate has increased from 47 per
100,000 to 52. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

DUMA PASSES BILL ON REFUNDS IN WAGE ARREARS. The Duma passed the second
reading of a draft law on delays in the payment of wages, pensions, and
stipends on 23 June, Segodnya reported on 24 June. The law requires
those guilty of delays to pay fines as well as wage arrears. Duma Labor
and Social Protection Committee Chairman Sergei Kalashnikov said he
doubts that President Yeltsin will sign the law since state agencies are
among the worst culprits for non-payment of wages. -- Thomas Sigel,
OMRI, Inc.

MEAT AND MILK PRODUCTION DECLINE. The production of meat and milk fell
almost 25% during the first five months of 1995 Segodnya reported on 23
June. Goskomstat figures revealed that the output of prepared meat
products, cheese, preserved milk, and low-fat milk products fell by 17-
35% on average. In the food industry, output of staples has decreased by
an average of 12%. Production of potatoes and margarine products fell by
34% and 20% respectively. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ETHNIC GERMANS HOLD CONGRESS IN KAZAKHSTAN. Ethnic Germans living in
Kazakhstan and other republics opened a congress on 24 June in Almaty
with the aim of strengthening their influence in the CIS, AFP reported.
Some of the goals are to create a German business class, increase the
number of young Germans attending universities, and secure
rehabilitation for the charges leveled at them under the Stalin regime.
Representatives from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Germany
attended the meeting, according to Ostankino's "Novosti." During World
War II, hundreds of thousands of Germans were deported from the European
parts of the Soviet Union to areas in Siberia and Central Asia.
Migration back to Germany has cut the population in Kazakhstan from 1
million in 1989 to 640,000 today. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

KYRGYZSTAN TO GET MONEY FROM JAPAN. The Japanese Foreign Economic
Cooperation Fund will give Kyrgyzstan up to $40 million for plants that
produce exports, Interfax reported on 23 June. In 1993 and 1994, the
Japanese government gave $100 million in credits which allowed
Kyrgyzstan to improve their cloth mills in order to produce, among other
things, export quality wool yarn. Japan is also helping to improve the
international airport in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, by providing air-
control technology. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

GEORGIA PASSES BANK LAW. The Georgian parliament passed a law that
establishes the legal framework for an independent central bank, AFP
reported on 23 June. The bank law permits the disbursement of $140
million worth of IMF loans starting on 28 June; its passage was a
precondition set by the IMF for the loans. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

DRO TRIAL TO PROCEED. Rejecting an appeal made by defense attorneys, the
collegium of the Armenian Supreme Court decided on 22 June that hearings
on the Dro organization will begin on 7 July, Interfax reported on 23
June. Last December, 20 members of Dro, which Armenian authorities say
is the military wing of the opposition party Dashnaktsyutyun, were
detained on charges of politically-motivated murder, drug trafficking,
and gangsterism. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

ZULFUGAROV UPBEAT. The head of Azerbaijan's delegation to the Helsinki
talks, Deputy Foreign Minister Tofik Zulfugarov, said the latest round
of discussions held under OSCE auspices were "fruitful," Turan reported
on 21 June, citing the BBC. During a BBC interview, Zulfugarov said
results from the negotiations could be expected "in the near future." He
also said that the major political agreement under discussion would not
resolve the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

EBRD FUNDS TO TURKMENISTAN. According to an EBRD official visiting
Ashgabat, a $150 million credit will be made available to Turkmenistan
for the renovation of the Turkmenbashi seaport, the Ashgabat-Mary
highway, and various other projects, Interfax reported on 23 June. --
Lowell Bezanis, 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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