He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mind, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 156, Part I, 11 August 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

YELTSIN PROPOSES NEW BALKAN PEACE INITIATIVE. After meeting with Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic on 10 August, President Boris Yeltsin
proposed that an international conference be convened on the conflict in
the former Yugoslavia, Russian and Western agencies reported. In a
statement read to journalists, Yeltsin said recent Croatian actions in
Krajina had brought the region to "the brink of a major war" and
expressed regret that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, under
"pressure" from other states, had declined to come to Moscow for talks.
In contrast, Yeltsin praised Milosevic's commitment to a negotiated
settlement of the conflict and said that UN sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia had become a major obstacle to its achievement. He added that
Russia would press for the lifting of the sanctions, adding that any
delay in addressing the issue might lead Russia to take "unilateral
steps." Yeltsin also renewed his bid to mediate an overall settlement to
the conflict, inviting Milosevic, Tudjman, and Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic to Moscow for a meeting to lay the groundwork for a later
international conference. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

RYBKIN MEETS WITH MILOSEVIC. During his 10 August visit to Moscow,
Serbian President Milosevic also met with Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin,
Russian and Western agencies reported. Rybkin echoed President Yeltsin's
comments that UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia should be lifted and
told Interfax that if an appropriate international decision is not taken
soon, the Duma is prepared to pass a law calling on Russia to
unilaterally ignore the sanctions. Rybkin added that all factions and
parties in the Duma supported his earlier statements condemning Croatian
actions in Krajina and said he expected Russian policy toward the
Yugoslav conflict to be discussed at the special session of the Duma
scheduled for 12 August. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

GROZNY TALKS STALEMATED. Negotiations in Grozny again made no tangible
progress on 10 August, Russian and Western agencies reported. Chechen
negotiators briefly walked out of the political talks in the morning
after claiming that they had been denied entry into the city by Russian
troops at a checkpoint. After the Russian delegation issued an apology,
discussions continued. The long-delayed prisoner exchange, which should
have been carried out on 7 August under the terms of the Russian-Chechen
military agreement, was postponed again on 9 August, as disagreement
persisted over the number of prisoners each side is holding. That
evening, however, in a move perhaps designed to accelerate the
implementation of the military accord, NTV reported that the commander
of federal forces in Chechnya, Anatolii Romanov, had ordered federal
troops to unilaterally withdraw from towns and villages in Chechnya. The
overall situation remained tense though, with other Russian military
officers complaining that pro-Dudaev fighters were descending from the
Chechen mountains and reasserting "control" over towns on the plains,
ITAR-TASS reported. In sporadic fighting overnight, 10 federal
servicemen were wounded. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

KULIKOV RESHUFFLES MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS. Two top generals in the
Ministry of Internal Affairs have tendered their resignations,
Moskovskii komsomolets reported on 10 August. Col. Gen. Mikhail Yegorov,
the first deputy minister who headed the fight against organized crime,
and Col. Gen. Yevgenii Abramov, the first deputy minister who was
responsible for the ministry's internal structure, are reportedly
leaving. Reports also said that Deputy Minister Vladimir Strashko, who
supervises the ministry's logistics and financial affairs, has been
asked to resign as well. The ministry's press center, however, pointed
out that the resignations must be accepted by President Yeltsin and that
it has not received word from his office yet, Radio Mayak reported on 10
August. After Internal Affairs Minister Anatolii Kulikov appointed a new
head of the local interior ministry in Stavropol from among the internal
troops, observers complained that the appointee would not be prepared
for the difficulties of battling the mafia. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI,
Inc.

RADICAL COMMUNISTS FORM ELECTORAL BLOC. The extreme Russian Communist
Workers' Party (RKRP) and the Russian Party of Communists (RPK) have
signed an agreement to form an electoral bloc without the largest of
Russia's Communist parties, Gennadii Zyuganov's Communist Party of the
Russian Federation, ITAR-TASS reported 10 August. Anatolii Kryuchkov,
leader of the RPK, complained that Zyuganov had set the requirements for
alliance with his party too high, but said he is hoping for future
negotiations. Zyuganov's Communists are unlikely to seek stronger ties
with the radicals since they would gain few votes while alienating some
of their more moderate supporters. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

TRETYAKOV MAY QUIT NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA. Vitalii Tretyakov, editor-in-
chief of Nezavisimaya gazeta since its creation in 1990, may quit if he
cannot lead the newspaper out of its financial crisis soon, Interfax
reported on 10 August. On 30 July, Tretyakov announced that the paper
would soon resume publication, which was suspended on 24 May. However,
Tretyakov told Interfax that closing the paper may be the solution to
the crisis. Meanwhile, the newspaper Novaya yezhednevnaya gazeta, which
closed due to financial problems in February, resumed publication as a
weekly on 10 August, Obshchaya gazeta reported. -- Laura Belin, OMRI,
Inc.

CONFLICT BETWEEN PRIMORSK GOVERNOR AND RUSSIA'S DEMOCRATIC CHOICE.
Representatives of Yegor Gaidar's Russia's Democratic Choice in
Primorskii Krai announced plans to sue regional Governor Yevgenii
Nazdratenko for accusing the party of instigating the July arrest of
Primorsk tax police chief Aleksandr Bondarenko, Segodnya reported on 10
August. Bondarenko is accused of helping fabricate corruption charges
against former Vladivostok Mayor Viktor Cherepkov in March 1994 (see
OMRI Daily Digest, 25 July 1995). Nazdratenko recently claimed that
Russia's Democratic Choice arranged the arrest out of revenge, after
Bondarenko exposed alleged tax evasion by a prominent local supporter of
the party. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

DETAINED U.S. OFFICER TO LEAVE RUSSIA. U.S. Army Cpt. Jason Lynch, an
instructor at the Military Academy at West Point who was briefly
detained by Russian security agents while working near the nuclear
center of Krasnoyarsk-26, will be leaving Russia voluntarily on 11
August, a U.S. Embassy spokesman told ITAR-TASS on 10 August. The agency
had previously reported that Lynch would be expelled for conducting
"unauthorized geodesic work" near the sensitive Siberian facility. He
had been invited to Russia by the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy
of Sciences to work on a joint Russo-American environmental project. The
embassy spokesman said he is leaving after having finished his part in
the joint expedition. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA DENIES SENDING ARMS TO AFGHANISTAN. Russian Foreign Ministry
spokesman Mikhail Demurin denied that Russia is exporting arms to the
Afghan government, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August. Earlier reports said
a Russian-made Il-76, loaded with ammunition for the Kabul government
had been forced to land in the Afghan city of Kandahar on 3 August by
anti-government rebels, who were holding its Russian crew hostage.
Demurin confirmed that the plane was owned by a Russian firm based in
the Tatar capital of Kazan but said that the ammunition had been legally
purchased in Albania and that the Russian government had no connection
to the shipment. Russia is pressing for the crew's release, noted
Demurin, adding that Russia does not "interfere in the civil war" in
Afghanistan and supports a negotiated settlement to the conflict. --
Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

THREE-MONTH INTER-BANK CREDIT RATES STABLE FOR TWO WEEKS. Interest rates
on three-month inter-bank credits (IBCs) have remained unchanged for the
past two weeks in 52 of Russia's 60 regions, the Financial Information
Agency reported on 10 August. Creditor banks now offer three-month IBCs
to commercial banks at an annual interest rate of 100-200%, and to the
Sberbank (Savings Bank) regional offices at 65-100%. Rates are lower at
savings banks because they are considered to be a more reliable holder
of people's savings. The relative stability of interest rates on IBCs is
due to the summer lull in business activity, the report noted. Experts
do not expect rates to fall because inflation expectations remain rather
strong. The high profitability of short-term government bonds (STBs) is
another factor that affects IBCs. The annual yields of STBs are now
above 150% which increases the price of credits on the inter-bank
markets. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

WESTERN-STYLE FINANCIAL CENTER OPENS IN MOSCOW. The Soyuznik insurance
company and the Stolichnii Savings Bank, one of Russia's major banks,
opened a financial center in Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 August.
The first of its kind in Russia, the center will offer clients banking,
insurance, and travel services. The Stolichnii Savings Bank has been
involved in joint projects with Soyuznik for more than a year. Several
thousand insurance certificates have been sold through Stolichnii's
affiliate banks, mainly for holders of international and Russian plastic
cards issued by Stolichnii. In the new financial center, Soyuznik will
offer insurance services that include life, health, medical, accident,
travel, and property. The Stolichnii Savings Bank and the U.S. American
Fidelity International Holdings are among Soyuznik's shareholders. --
Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

PROTOCOL SIGNED WITH WORLD BANK. The World Bank and the Russian State
Standards Committee signed a protocol on 10 August that sets the stage
for bringing Russian standards in line with international trade
requirements, the Financial Information Agency reported the same day.
The head adviser at the World Bank's Moscow office, Hasso Molineus, told
the agency that the project provided for extending to Russia a credit of
$24 million under which the State Standard Committee would receive the
necessary equipment for "increasing the committee's [ability] to certify
Russian products meant for export and products imported by Russia." The
World Bank will grant Russia the credit for 17 years with a five-year
deferment. The initial interest rate was set at 7.02% but will be
adjusted every six months depending on the current exchange rate. --
Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

INKOMBANK LEAVES CONSORTIUM THAT IS TO PROVIDE CABINET WITH CREDITS.
Moscow's Inkombank, one of Russia's five top banks, announced on 10
August that it is leaving the consortium of 10 banks that is to grant
credits to the Russian cabinet under guarantees in the form of state-
owned blocks of shares in privatized enterprises, the Financial
Information Agency reported the same day. According to the report,
Inkombank withdrew from the group because of a lack of clarity on the
distribution of shares among the consortium's members and the
deteriorating situation on the credit-financial market, which limits
credit reserves. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KAZAKHSTAN DENIES SALE OF URANIUM TO LIBYA. Kazakhstan was quick to
refute an 8 August report from the Libyan news agency "Jana" that it
planned to sell enriched uranium to Libya. The head of Kazakhstan's
Atomic Energy Agency, Ergali Bayadilov, told Reuters "Kazakhstan has not
been approached by Libya, and we are not prepared to sell nuclear fuel
to Libya"; he said Kazakhstan would abide by its obligations as a
signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. -- Bruce Pannier,
OMRI, Inc.

OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT: TAJIK OPPOSITION IN TASHKENT. The Tajik opposition
delegation has held talks in Tashkent with Uzbek Foreign Ministry
officials. According to an 8 August report on the Voice of Free
Tajikistan monitored by the BBC, the Tajik opposition delegation was
headed by the deputy chairman of the Islamic Rebirth Party, Akbar
Turadzhonzoda and took place on 5-6 August. Otakhon Latifi, chairman of
the Moscow-based Coordinating Center of Democratic Forces of Tajikistan,
said the visit was completed "successfully," according to the radio.
Additional information on the talks has not been made available. --
Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

CENTRAL ASIAN UNITS IN LOUISIANA. Central Asian military units are
participating in military exercises in the state of Louisiana under
NATO's Partnership for Peace program, Russian Public TV reported on 9
August. The exercises, which opened on 8 August, involve units from
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan and their counterparts from 11
European countries, the U.S., UK, and Canada. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI,
Inc.

CIS

PAPER: UKRAINE WAGING "FINANCIAL WAR" AGAINST BLACK SEA FLEET. A
representative of the Black Sea Fleet's financial service said Ukraine
is waging "a financial war against the fleet," Komsomolskaya pravda
reported on 9 August. While the fleet is nominally under the command of
both the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, only Russia is providing
money to maintain it, the paper reported. Russia allotted more than 137
billion karbovantsi (approximately $900,000) to pay military and
civilian wages through July. However, Ukraine required two of the
fleet's air bases to pay 23 billion karbovantsi (approximately $150,000)
in taxes, meaning that fleet personnel were only paid for June. -- Doug
Clarke, 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. ISSN 1211-1570


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