Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -

No. 159, Part I, 16 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


that widespread fighting might resume in Chechnya, President Boris
Yeltsin said on 15 August that if Chechen "bands" do not immediately
begin to disarm, federal authorities will take "extraordinary, energetic
measures" to force them to do so, Western and Russian agencies reported.
Coming the day after a similar declaration by Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, Yeltsin's remarks were a response to Chechen military
commander Aslan Maskhadov's refusal to accept an earlier Russian
disarmament proposal. Interfax quoted Yeltsin as setting a deadline of 6
p.m., local time, for the disarmament process to begin, but presidential
spokesman Sergei Medvedev later denied the president had issued an
ultimatum with a fixed deadline. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

Yeltsin's statement, General Anatolii Romanov, the commander of federal
forces, and his Chechen counterpart, Maskhadov, held a joint press
conference in Grozny at which they assured journalists that despite the
recent harsh verbal exchanges, fighting would not resume. Maskhadov
said, "There will be a fulfillment of the signed agreement," referring
to the military accord concluded on 30 July, and added that "all the
combatants will disarm," except those that the agreement defines as
local self-defense guards. Maskhadov and Romanov also said the first
concrete steps in the disarmament process would begin on 16 August.
ITAR-TASS later reported that disarmament would start in the Nozhai-Yurt
region, under the personal supervision of Maskhadov and Romanov. Chechen
delegates to the ongoing talks on Chechnya's political status, which are
scheduled to resume after the disarmament process gets underway, left
Grozny on 15 August to consult with Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev.
-- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

FSB ACCUSES FRED CUNY OF SPYING. An unnamed senior official in the
Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that U.S. aid worker Fred Cuny,
missing in Chechnya since April, is alive and working for Chechen
President Dzhokhar Dudaev as a member of the U.S. security services,
Russian sources including Pravda and Interfax reported on 15 August.
U.S. State Department representative David Johnson dismissed the
allegations as "groundless," ITAR-TASS reported. The State Department
said it has no concrete information on Cuny's whereabouts. He
disappeared while working on a medical relief program sponsored by the
Soros Foundation. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. efforts to promote a political settlement in the former Yugoslavia,
but U.S. and Russian approaches to a resolution of the conflict "do not
correspond in all respects," Mikhail Demurin, a spokesman for the
Russian Foreign Ministry, told ITAR-TASS on 15 August. Russia considers
the "military aspects" of the latest U.S. proposals, which Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev recently discussed with U.S. National
Security Adviser Anthony Lake, as "unacceptable," Demurin noted. He also
reiterated Moscow's view that lifting UN sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia would be an important step towards resolving the conflict, a
view the U.S. does not share. The same day, President Boris Yeltsin sent
a letter to Arab leaders in which he denied that race or religion play a
role in Russian policy on the Yugoslav conflict. Arab nations have
frequently expressed concern that Russia favors the Orthodox Serbs in
their conflict with the Bosnian Muslims. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

Kalmyk President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov called for new presidential
elections in the republic, which will be held on 15 October, Russian TV
reported on 15 August. The day before, the legislature had voted to
extend Ilyumzhinov's current term by two years until April 2000, but the
president decided on elections instead. Ilyumzhinov said that his move
was a recommendation to President Boris Yeltsin that by calling early
elections, he would be able to win them. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

Russia in the next decade will be migrants from the other former Soviet
republics, a Russian Ministry of Labor Official, Aleksandr Tkachenko,
told ITAR-TASS on 15 August. Tkachenko cited specialists who believe
that the most numerous will be Russians living in the other former
Soviet republics (3-4 million out of the 24 million), especially from
Central Asia and the Caucasus (2 million, with 1 million from Kazakhstan
alone). Some 100,000 are expected to move from Moldova. He estimated
that no more than 300,000 of the nearly 1.6 million Russians in the
Baltics will migrate to Russia. The minister also remarked that "besides
the Russian-speaking population," the specialists expect many
"indigenous peoples" from the post-Soviet states to move to Russia in
search of work. -- Alaina Lemon, OMRI, Inc.

service announced on 14 August that the president has signed the Law on
Operational Investigation Activity, Radio Rossii reported. The
legislation, passed by the Duma on 5 July, regulates surveillance
methods and the use of undercover agents and informers. On 15 August,
Moskovskii komsomolets argued that it gives law enforcement agencies
expanded powers to keep suspects under surveillance, noting that special
services will be able to conduct investigations for 48 hours without
notifying a judge if they have information about a crime. On 6 July,
Segodnya characterized the law as contradictory saying it strengthens
citizens' legal guarantees during investigations while at the same time
it expands officers' powers to monitor mail, tap telephones, and so on.
-- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

criticized a recent presidential decree giving control over nuclear and
radiation safety at military installations to the Defense Ministry
rather than the State Committee for Nuclear and Radiation Safety
(Gosatomnadzor). The paper argued that although the change in the rules
makes little difference in practice, because the Defense Ministry has
long been reluctant to give Gosatomnadzor access to its nuclear
facilities, it codifies an exception to a unified nuclear safety
supervision system. In all other cases, Gosatomnadzor specialists run a
check on organizations before they are given permission to use nuclear
materials. Kuranty contended that Gosatomnadzor is now paying the price
for being highly critical of the military's "negligent attitude towards
radiation safety." -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

DRAMATIC INCREASE IN DRUG SMUGGLING. Porous borders and widespread
corruption have created ideal conditions for a dramatic increase in drug
trafficking, Interior Ministry officials told a news conference on 15
August. Drug squad head Nikolai Arsipov said 1.5 million Russians are
now abusing drugs and that in 1994 the authorities seized 82 tons of
drugs as compared with 4 tons in 1985, according to ITAR-TASS. Osipov
said the turmoil that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union left
Russia's borders virtually open to smugglers traveling via former Soviet
Central Asia, adding that many Russian army officers in Tajikistan are
involved in the drug trade, Western agencies reported. The authorities
have also registered massive flows of poppies from Ukraine and Lithuania
and hashish and marijuana from Kazakhstan. Home production of narcotics
and thefts from medical facilities have increased rapidly as well.
Osipov and other officials complained that the implementation of a state
anti-drugs program approved recently is being hampered by a lack of
funds. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

ROSTOV MINERS GO ON HUNGER STRIKE. More than 140 coal miners from the
city of Shakhty in Rostov Oblast went on an indefinite hunger strike on
15 August in protest against wage arrears, Ostankino TV reported. The
miners have received no wages since May. Hundreds of miners from all 26
mines belonging to the Rostovugol association in the Russian Donbass
rallied outside the associations' headquarters to demand that their
wages be paid. At an emergency meeting in Moscow the same evening, trade
union and Rosugol representatives and First Deputy Prime Minister
Anatolii Chubais agreed to a timetable for the payment of debts owed by
the government, ITAR-TASS reported. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN MAJOR JAILED FOR SPYING. The Supreme Court Military Collegium on
15 August sentenced former army Major Vladimir Lavrentev to 10 years
imprisonment for spying for Germany while serving in the former Western
Group of Forces in eastern Germany, Russian TV reported. Prosecutors
said Lavrentev was recruited by German intelligence in March 1991 and
paid a total of DM16,000 for passing on classified documents. The court
stripped him of his rank and confiscated half his wealth. -- Penny
Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA WILL SIGN TEST BAN TREATY. In response to U.S. President Bill
Clinton's recent announcement that his country will support a
comprehensive ban of all nuclear tests, Russian Foreign Ministry
spokesman Mikhail Demurin announced on 15 August that Russia would also
sign such an agreement, provided it is "non-discriminatory," Russian and
Western agencies reported. Demurin added, however, that details of a
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) that would allow signatory states
to assure the reliability of their nuclear arsenals after the ban takes
effect are still outstanding. The treaty is expected to be concluded in
1996. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

NEW STEALTH FIGHTER TO BE SHOWN. The prototype of a new MiG "stealth"
fighter will be demonstrated for the first time at the upcoming Moscow
Air Show, RIA reported on 15 August. The aircraft, said to carry the
factory name "Article 1/44" was reported to have "specially arranged
nozzles to enable it to hover over a target for pinpoint strike
accuracy." Mikoyan is known to have been working on a stealth aircraft
comparable to the U.S. F-22. Western analysts had referred to it as the
I-42. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

$190 MILLION SPACE DEAL SIGNED. Russia's Khrunichev Space Center and
U.S. Boeing Defense and Space Group signed a $190 million deal on 15
August to develop and launch the first module of a new international
space station, Russian and Western agencies reported the same day. The
module, known as a Functional Energy Block, will be the first component
of the $30 billion Alpha space station, the world's first international
high-tech orbital laboratory and the future replacement for Russia's Mir
Station. The 200-ton, six-man Alpha space laboratory will consist of
several modules and is scheduled for completion by the year 2001. Boeing
will provide the $190 million required for Khrunichev to develop and
manufacture one block for launching. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.


TAJIK INTERIOR MINISTER REMOVED. Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov
replaced his interior minister, Yakub Salimov, with Security Minister
Saidamir Zukhurov on 13 August, according to Western agencies. The
official reason for the move is Salimov's appointment as ambassador to
Turkey but there is speculation that his growing opposition to the
president prompted the change. Rakhmonov has been critical of the
Interior Ministry and Salimov for failing "to put an end to lawlessness"
in Tajikistan, ITAR-TASS reported. Zukhurov's position will be filled by
Deputy Security Minister Saidanwar Kamolov. A presidential press officer
said Zukhurov and Kamolov had vowed to carry out a merciless crackdown
on serious crime. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

KAZAKH DIPLOMACY AND THE PIPELINE. A framework agreement on the
establishment of a consortium, in which "every country can participate,"
for the building of a pipeline to export Kazakh oil has been advanced by
Kazakhstan and accepted by Turkey. According to a 16 August report in
Yeni Yuzyil, the Turkish side offered its own plan and Almaty rejected
it. The paper quoted Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev as saying a
pipeline which would reach the Mediterranean Sea via Turkey is a "new"
alternative. He stressed that Russia would also have to participate in
any such venture. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

PKK ACTIVITY IN KAZAKHSTAN. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which
has been waging a bloody campaign against the Turkish state in the name
of Kurdish rights if not independence, is ensconced in Kazakhstan,
according to a 16 August report in Yeni Yuzyil. The paper noted that
"PKK militants" appeared in the republic in 1992 and "divided" the local
Kurdish population; reportedly the PKK has its own publishing organ and
is heavily involved in certain markets, notably for fruit, vegetables,
and automobiles. The Kurdish population in Kazakhstan, originally exiled
to the republic by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, is also said to have
strong connections with local Meshketian Turks. The paper speculated
that the prospects of bringing an end to PKK activity in Kazakhstan are
nil. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

Minister Tansu Ciller concluded her visit to Kazakhstan on 15 August
with a set of agreements signed in Almaty, including an offer to open a
$300 million credit line to Kazakhstan, ITAR-TASS reported. Part of the
proposed $300 million credit will be used to boost privatization in the
Kazakh agrarian sector. "Turkey has already invested 2 billion dollars
in construction in Kazakhstan -- we want to increase that to 4 or 5
billion in a couple of years," Ciller told Reuters on 15 August. Among
other things, the deal included a bilateral treaty on double taxation,
mutual assistance in criminal investigations, and extradition. -- Bhavna
Dave, 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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Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved. ISSN 1211-1570

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