To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else. - Emily Dickinson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 179, Part I, 14 September 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 Central, Eastern, 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

COMMUNISTS SEEK YELTSIN'S IMPEACHMENT OVER BALKAN CRISIS. The Communist
faction in the State Duma has revived an earlier attempt to impeach
President Boris Yeltsin because of Russia's position on the former
Yugoslavia. In July, the party had collected 175 signatures to begin the
complicated impeachment process, but the motion was abandoned when
Yeltsin entered the hospital with heart trouble. Since then, only one
deputy has withdrawn his signature, Ekho Moskvy reported on 13
September. According to Deputy Duma Speaker Gennadii Seleznev, Yeltsin's
decision to brush off the Duma's resolutions adopted at the 9 September
special session that called for a halt to NATO bombing of Serbian
positions provoked the action, ITAR-TASS reported. -- Robert Orttung,
OMRI, Inc.

REGIONAL AUTHORITIES VIOLATE RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION. Kemerovo Oblast
adopted its regional charter 12 September, giving "practically unlimited
power" to the speaker of the local Legislative Assembly, Amangeldii
Tuleev, number three on the Communist Party's electoral list, Segodnya
reported on 13 September. The charter gives the assembly the right to
appoint the oblast's governor and grants the assembly chairman the power
to sign any normative act without the agreement of the administration.
According to critics in the Kemerovo Justice Administration, "the
charter has nothing in common with the Russian Constitution" since it
violates the division of power. Bashkortostan has also violated the
Russian Constitution by naming its own procurator, although with the
tacit approval of Moscow. According to the constitution, the Russian
procurator general should name the local procurators with the approval
of local authorities, Kommersant-Daily reported on 13 September. --
Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. EMBASSY IN MOSCOW HIT BY GRENADE. A rocket-propelled grenade
blasted through a wall of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow on 13 September,
causing minor damage but no injuries, Russian and Western agencies
reported. No one claimed responsibility for the attack. The U.S. State
Department dismissed speculation that it was linked to differences
between the U.S. and Russia over NATO air attacks on Bosnian Serb
positions around Sarajevo, insisting that it was an isolated incident
committed by someone who "was either sick or a zealot." The U.S. also
praised Russian law-enforcement agencies for their "excellent
cooperation" in helping to secure the safety of U.S. diplomats, AFP
reported. There have been numerous bomb attacks in Russia in recent
years, mostly using explosives pilfered from military bases. Last year
more than 300,000 grenades were stolen from army warehouses or dumps. --
Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN TV ATTACKS NATIONALISTS IN WAKE OF U.S. EMBASSY BOMBING.
Following the 13 September attack on the U.S. embassy, a commentary
aired on fully state-owned Russian Television (Channel 2) accused
nationalist forces of trying to stir up "a psychosis of hostility
towards the outside world" in order to distract voters from domestic
problems and ultimately turn Russia into a "beseiged fortress" and a
"giant prison camp behind barbed wire." The more pro-government, 51%
state-owned Russian Public Television (Channel 1, ORT) put a different
spin on the attack. ORT reports emphasized that law enforcement
authorities were taking swift action to crack the case, invoking a
"level number 1" alert for the first time since the violent street
clashes around the parliament in October 1993. The independent NTV
speculated that the attack was connected to continuing NATO air raids
against the Bosnian Serbs. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

POLITICAL PARTIES GUARANTEED EQUAL FREE TIME IN STATE-OWNED MEDIA.
Aleksandr Ivanchenko, deputy chairman of the Central Electoral
Commission, confirmed that the commission will require state-owned
electronic media to give 30 minutes of free air time to all registered
politicial parties and electoral blocs between 15 November and 15
December, Russian Public Television and ITAR-TASS reported on 13
September. Parties will be allowed to buy additional time for political
advertising. The final version of the rules on campaign coverage, which
will not apply to the privately owned media, will be released next week,
Ivanchenko said. In a separate directive published in Rossiiskaya gazeta
on 13 September, the commission announced that journalists who are
themselves running for parliament or are authorized representatives of a
political party or electoral bloc will be prohibited from covering the
campaign in the mass media. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

NEW SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC BLOC FORMED. Russian Movement for Democratic
Reforms (RDDR) leader Gavriil Popov, Russian Social-Democratic Union
(RSDS) co-chairman Vasilii Lipitskii, and the academician Oleg Bogomolov
will top the party list of the new electoral bloc known as the Social-
Democrats, Radio Rossii reported on 13 September. Popov, the mayor of
Moscow from June 1991 until June 1992, led the RDDR's independent
campaign for parliament in 1993, but his party failed to win the minimum
5% vote necessary to secure representation in parliament. Lipitskii's
RSDS had previously been allied with Aleksandr Rutskoi within the
Russian Social-Democratic People's Party (RSDNP), but the RSDNP split
earlier this year after Lipitskii refused to join Rutskoi's Derzhava
movement (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 March and 4 April 1995). -- Laura
Belin, OMRI, Inc.

KOZYREV SAYS RUSSIA DOES NOT WANT NEW MILITARY BLOC. Speaking with
journalists on 13 September after a meeting with his Belarusian
counterpart, Uladzimir Syanko, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
said Russia does not plan to form a military-political bloc of CIS
states to counter NATO, Western and Russian agencies reported. Kozyrev
said that President Yeltsin's recent comments on the implications of
NATO expansion should be interpreted as a "warning of what could happen
if other forces decided to create lines of demarcation," not as an
expression of Russian policy preferences. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER IN MOSCOW. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
arrived in Moscow on 13 September for scheduled talks on bilateral
issues and the Middle East peace process with Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, and Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev, Western and Russian agencies reported. Rabin also told
reporters before his departure from Kiev for Moscow that he would raise
the issue of Russia's planned sale of nuclear power reactors to Iran,
which Israel views as a threat to its security despite Russian
assurances to the contrary. However, also on 13 September, a spokesman
for the Russian Ministry of Nuclear Power told ITAR-TASS that
construction on the first of three planned reactors at the Bushehr power
station in southern Iran would begin in one month and rejected Israeli
concerns as "completely unfounded." -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA CRITICIZES UN AND NATO OVER SECRET MEMO. Russian officials
criticized the UN and NATO on 13 September over a secret memo on the use
of NATO air power in Bosnia, which was not approved by all members of
the UN Security Council before the air strikes began, Western and
Russian agencies reported. After strident protests from Russia, the UN
Secretariat released the text of the memo that Russian Ambassador to the
UN Sergei Lavrov said "confirms a lot of our bad feelings." Earlier,
Russian officials claimed that under the terms of the memo, the UN had
abdicated its authority over the use of air power to protect the "safe
zones" in Bosnia, without consulting Russia, despite its permanent
membership on the Security Council. Duma International Affairs Committee
Chairman Vladimir Lukin told ITAR-TASS such an agreement between the UN
Secretariat and NATO was "unprecedented" and had effectively divided the
Security Council into "first and second class members." Despite recent
verbal salvos from Moscow, First Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov
said in Geneva that Russia would continue to cooperate with the other
members of the international Contact Group. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

GOSATOMNADZOR CEASES MILITARY INSPECTIONS. The State Committee for
Nuclear Safety (Gosatomnadzor) on 13 September halted inspections of
military nuclear facilities, in line with a presidential decree signed
in July giving these functions to the Defense Ministry. Gosatomnadzor
Chairman Yurii Vishnevskii was very critical of the decision, taken
while Yeltsin was in hospital with heart trouble. According to Western
agency reports, he accused the powerful military nuclear lobby of
scheming to take advantage of the president's illness and said the
committee is very concerned about aging nuclear submarines and the
storage of spent nuclear fuel at military sites. Gosatomnadzor was given
responsibility for nuclear safety in the military in 1991, but in
practice its inspectors were often turned away (see OMRI Daily Digest,
16 August). Also on 13 September, Gosatomnadzor officials said two cases
of theft of radioactive material (low-enriched uranium) have been
registered this year. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

HARD TIMES AHEAD FOR MOSCOW RESIDENTS? Moscow flour mills are now paying
world prices for grain and the price of bread is expected to increase by
40-50% by the end of the year, Moskovskii komsomolets reported on 13
September. Consumer prices in Moscow rose 7.3% in July, contributing to
a 7% fall in the average real income of Moscow residents compared to the
same period last year, according to Vechernyaya Moskva on 13 September.
Sixty-two percent of the capital's inhabitants are now reported to be
living on incomes below the official poverty line. -- Peter Rutland,
OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

NAZARBAEV CONCLUDES CHINA VISIT . . . Responding to Kazakhstani
President Nursultan Nazarbaev's call for greater bilateral cooperation,
Chinese President Jiang Zemin said the prospects for it are "vast,"
Xinhua reported on 13 September. At the conclusion of Nazarbaev's three-
day visit, both countries concluded agreements on reducing border
military forces and establishing links between their respective defense
ministries. They issued statements condemning separatist activities;
Japan's Kyodo news agency said on 13 September that Kazakhstan promised
not to assist any of the moves for independence in China's Xinjiang
Uigur Autonomous region, which borders Kazakhstan. The two sides signed
a series of agreements on bilateral economic cooperation on 11
September. -- Bhavna Dave, OMRI, Inc.

. . . DIFFERENCES OVER NUCLEAR ISSUE . . . As expected, the nuclear
issue played a critical role in bilateral talks. Nazarbaev said he had
"discussed" the nuclear issue with Chinese President Jiang Zemin on 11
September, Kyodo reported the next day. China conducted two of its
proposed five underground nuclear tests on 15 May and 17 August at the
Lop Nur test site in Xinjiang. The Kazakhstani Foreign Ministry issued
statements expressing serious concern, RIA reported on 18 August. At his
news conference in Beijing, Nazarbaev recalled the damage to the health
of half a million people in Semipalatinsk, the Soviet-era nuclear test
site in Kazakhstan. However, the joint call for an end to nuclear
testing issued on 12 September contained no specific provisions, Kyodo
reported. -- Bhavna Dave, OMRI, Inc.

. . . CALLS FOR KAZAKH-RUSSO-CHINESE COOPERATION. The expansion of
transport links between Kazakhstan and China will contribute to the
revival of the "Great Silk Road" and increase the prospects for
commercial and economic cooperation between the two countries as well as
with Russia and the Asia-Pacific region, President Nazarbaev told ITAR-
TASS on 13 September. Touching on President Boris Yeltsin's upcoming
visit to China, Nazarbaev called for more tripartite cooperation, noting
that important rail and road links between China and Russia run through
Kazakhstani territory and are most suitable for carrying cargoes between
the Urals and the western Siberian regions of Russia, ITAR-TASS
reported. -- Bhavna Dave, OMRI, Inc.

JAPANESE BUSINESS DELEGATION IN TASHKENT. A group of more than 90
Japanese businessmen representing 16 different companies have been
meeting with Uzbek officials, Uzbekistan Television reported on 12
September. To date, the Japanese have invested more than $300 million
into the Uzbek economy. -- Roger Kangas, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

BLACK SEA FLEET DIVISION PROCEEDING. Although final agreements on the
division of the Black Sea Fleet have not been reached, the fleet is, in
fact, being split between Ukraine and Russia, Russian Public Television
reported on 12 September. By 15 October, Ukraine is to receive one of
the most modern bases of the fleet, the aerodrome complex at Donuzlav.
The base is reportedly the only one which can house hoover crafts. All
of the equipment on the base will be divided evenly between Russia and
Ukraine; the flying regiment will be reorganized and moved to another
base; and a helicopter regiment will be dissolved. -- 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
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Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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