The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 195, Part I, 6 October 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

YELTSIN HAILS BOSNIAN CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT . . . Russian President Boris
Yeltsin on 5 October praised the Bosnian cease-fire agreement announced
that day, Russian and Western agencies reported. Yeltsin termed the
agreement a "major step toward peace" in Bosnia and urged that it be
followed by the lifting of UN economic sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia, which he said would facilitate a comprehensive peace
settlement. Reflecting Russian pique at being marginalized in the
ongoing peace process, the president's statement omitted any reference
to the American mediation efforts that produced the agreement; it
mentioned only Russian initiatives. -- Scott Parrish

. . .WHILE FOREIGN MINISTRY STEPS UP CRITICISM OF NATO AIRSTRIKES.
Speaking to journalists before the announcement of the Bosnian cease-
fire accord, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin accused
NATO of employing double standards in Bosnia, Western and Russian
agencies reported on 5 October. Karasin complained that NATO bombed
Serbian missile sites on 4 October but did nothing after recent Bosnian
Muslim attacks around Sarajevo. Russian Foreign Minster Andrei Kozyrev
on 5 October rejected what he termed "NATO's claims to a monopoly" in
enforcing a Bosnian settlement. Moscow wants to participate in the
proposed peace implementation force for Bosnia but rejects placing
Russian troops under NATO command. -- Scott Parrish

CHERNOMYRDIN DISCUSSES TRADE IN CANADA. Following talks with Canadian
officials, a Russian delegation led by Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin signed several Russian-Canadian economic accords, including
a tax treaty, Russian and Western agencies reported on 5 October. The
agreements covered bilateral cooperation in the areas of medicine,
nuclear power, transportation, construction, and immigration. At a joint
press conference, Chernomyrdin and his Canadian counterpart Jean
Chretien pledged to double Russian-Canadian trade, which currently
totals about $500 million annually, within the next five years. Deputy
Prime Minister Aleksandr Zaveryukha told journalists that Russia might
import grain from Canada for the Far East this winter, as it is cheaper
to ship it from there than from European Russia. -- Scott Parrish

FEDERATION COUNCIL PROPOSES EXTENDING ITS TENURE. The Federation Council
proposed on 5 October that the State Duma consider legislation extending
the upper house's current term until the members of the next session are
able to meet, ITAR-TASS reported. The council's future membership is
unclear because it has not been decided whether its members will be
elected by popular vote or appointed from the local leadership of
Russia's republics and regions. The Constitutional Court will examine
the president's request to interpret the constitution in October,
according to Interfax. On 12 August, Yeltsin vetoed a bill passed by
both houses that would have mandated elections to the upper chamber. --
Robert Orttung

DEFENSE MINISTRY PREPARES FOR DUMA CAMPAIGN. Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev's announcement that the Defense Ministry will sponsor 123
candidates in the Duma elections has turned the ministry's Main
Administration for Educational Work into a campaign headquarters,
Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 5 October. The office is now tracking
political sympathies within the armed forces and among the civilian
population, its leader, Lt. Gen. Sergei Zdorikov, told the newspaper.
The ministry's analysis will lead to personnel changes in a number of
regions, according to the paper. Military experts predict that the
Communists, Our Home is Russia, Yabloko, the Congress of Russian
Communities, and the Liberal Democratic Party will win 10-20% in the
party-list voting and that candidates from Our Home is Russia and the
Communist Party will do well in the single-member districts. -- Robert
Orttung

OBSERVERS SAY ELECTORAL SYSTEM WILL NOT SERVE VOTERS. The law on
parliamentary elections, under which half the seats in the Duma will be
allocated by proportional representation, combined with the multitude of
political parties that have very similar party platforms, have rendered
Russian voters "incapable of making a responsible political choice" in
the December parliamentary elections, according to an article published
in Moskovskie novosti (no. 67). The authors argued that since voters
will be forced to choose among personalities rather than political
programs, and since few parties will overcome the 5% barrier to win
party-list seats, the next Duma will poorly reflect the views of
society, leaving most citizens "deeply dissatisfied." -- Laura Belin

CHARGES OF CORRUPTION AS PARTIES COLLECT SIGNATURES. Aleksandr
Kashcheev, former vice chairman of the Our Home Is Russia (NDR) bloc's
Stavropol branch, said he has been threatened by NDR activists and
hampered from collecting signatures after he resigned from the bloc to
campaign independently, Interfax reported on 5 October. According to
Komsomolskaya pravda on 3 October, people in Voronezh have been forced
to sign NDR petitions in exchange for an appointment with a Social
Protection Committee inspector. Earlier, on 29 September, Segodnya
reported allegations that Khabarobsk Foreign Ministry official
Vyacheslav Mikhaltsov, an Agrarian Party single-seat candidate, demanded
signatures in his support in exchange for passport and visa services. On
average, signatures for political blocs cost between 500 and 2,000
rubles, Russian newspapers report. -- Anna Paretskaya

FORMER BRYANSK GOVERNOR FACES CRIMINAL CHARGES. A criminal case has been
opened in Bryansk Oblast against former Governor Vladimir Karpov, ITAR-
TASS reported on 5 October. Law enforcement officials said the charges
are connected to Karpov's "abuse of his official position." Several
commercial enterprises allegedly linked to Karpov also face criminal
investigation. Karpov resigned as governor in August; he had frequently
been accused of corruption in both the local and national Russian press.
He was expelled from the Bryansk regional branch of Our Home Is Russia
in September. -- Laura Belin

GRACHEV CANCELS GERMAN VISIT. Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev
canceled his November visit to Germany, where he was to take part in a
seminar on European security with German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe,
ITAR-TASS reported on 5 October, quoting German newspaper Die Welt.
While Grachev explained that he was too busy, the paper said that German
government officials thought the step was prompted by the general
deterioration in Russo- German relations. -- Doug Clarke

GRACHEV OFFERS NEW FORMULA FOR MANNING MILITARY. Calculating the number
of members in the Russian armed forces according to the "European
standard" of 1% of the country's population is inapplicable to Russia
because of its "geostrategic situation and the specifics of its
territory," Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said. ITAR-TASS reported that
he told a group of veterans on 5 October that the calculation should be
based on the density of troops per kilometer of external borders. Russia
has 28 soldiers for each border kilometer, while for the United States
the figure was 62, Germany 77, France 79, and China 86, he claimed.
(Grachev's calculations do not take Russia's Border Troops into account,
a military force none of those countries possesses.) -- Doug Clarke

REAL INCOME DOWN 12% SO FAR IN 1995. Real income fell by 12% during the
first nine months of 1995 in comparison with the same period last year,
according to Economics Ministry data cited by ITAR-TASS on 5 October. It
is estimated that real income for the year will be down 10%. (In 1993
and 1994, living standards improved somewhat despite galloping
inflation, with real incomes rising by 10% and 16%, respectively.) The
report also said that in August a 15% increase was registered in
Russians' expenditure on foreign currency, while holdings in savings
accounts and shares declined. This follows a marked fall in spending on
foreign currency in the spring owing to the appreciation of the dollar
against the ruble. -- Penny Morvant

ELECTORAL COMMISSION DENIES IT HAS LIST OF CRIMINALS RUNNING FOR
PARLIAMENT. Central Electoral Commission Chairman Nikolai Ryabov said on
4 October that he had not received lists from the Interior Ministry of
candidates running for the Duma elections suspected of committing a
crime. Interior Minister Anatolii Kulikov said his ministry had
submitted a list of 85 names to the commission on 3 October. Ryabov
added that if he were to receive such information, his commission would
ask representatives of the blocs whose lists were affected to carry out
thorough investigations, ITAR-TASS reported. The commission would
reserve the right to publish the names if its call was not heeded. --
Penny Morvant

SEPTEMBER INFLATION AT 4.5%. Preliminary reports put Russia's inflation
rate for September at 4.5%, down 0.1% from August, Economics Minister
Yevgenii Yasin said on 5 October according to Interfax. January's
inflation rate stood at 17.8%. Speaking in parliamentary hearings
devoted to next year's federal budget, Yasin said that conditions must
be created in 1996 for industrial recovery and large-scale investment in
the economy. The government aims to achieve monthly inflation of 1-2% in
1996. -- Thomas Sigel

YASIN SAYS BREAD PRICES WILL NOT RISE. In spite of the poor grain
harvest this year (65-66 million tons, down from last year's 81.3
million tons), the government will try to prevent a rise in bread
prices, Russian Economics Minister Yevgenii Yasin announced on 5
October, ITAR-TASS reported. On 3 October, Agriculture Minister
Aleksandr Nazarchuk said that bread prices could increase to 5,000
rubles ($0.90) a loaf by the end of the year. A big jump in bread prices
on the eve of the December elections could undermine the Yeltsin
government's claim to credit for curbing inflation and could boost
public support for the Communists and other foes of Yeltsin's economic
reforms. -- Thomas Sigel

GOVERNMENT PREPARED TO RESTORE CITIZENS' SAVINGS. The Russian government
is prepared to restore citizens' savings that have eroded since the
beginning of economic reform, Economics Minister Yevgenii Yasin said on
5 October in the parliamentary hearings concerning the 1996 budget,
ITAR-TASS reported. He said that the government would first concentrate
on compensating the elderly. -- Thomas Sigel

TRANSCAUCASIA & CENTRAL ASIA

FORCED ABORTION IN UZBEKISTAN. Uzbek officials have been accused of
forcing two women, currently in jail pending trial, to abort their
pregnancies, according to a 5 October Reuters report. Nadira Khidoyatova
and Asya Turaniyazova, environmental specialists studying the Aral Sea
crisis, were arrested on 11 July on suspicion of attempting to export
cattle skins. As local legislation does not permit the detention of
pregnant women, authorities in Tashkent ordered the abortions.
Khidoyatova is the niece of former Justice Minister and Uzbek ambassador
to the United States Babur Malikov, a bitter opponent of President Islam
Karimov who was awarded political asylum in the U.S . in 1993. -- Roger
Kangas

UZBEK GOVERNMENT TO OPEN NATIONAL BANK. President Islam Karimov signed a
decree authorizing the replacement of the current central banking
institution with the National Bank of Uzbekistan, ITAR-TASS reported on
5 October. The new institution will offer a wide range of services,
including foreign currency deposits, and could attract a more active
foreign market. -- Roger Kangas

KAZAKHSTANI CABINET RESHUFFLE BEGINS . Kazakhstani president Nursultan
Nazarbaev has appointed several new ministers, Kazakhstani radio and
ITAR-TASS reported. A presidential decree issued on 3 October named
Konstantin Kolpakov as justice minister, replacing Nagashbai Shaikenov.
Shaikenov will retain his other post of deputy prime minister. Nikolai
Baev replaced Svyatoslav Medvedev as minister of ecology and biological
resources. Nazarbaev promoted Baltash Tursumbaev--an agriculture expert
who was removed from his post as head of Kustanai oblast last week--as
the new secretary of the Security Council. Tursumbaev replaces Tulegen
Zhukeev, who is one of the leaders of the recently created pro-
presidential Democratic Party of Kazakhstan. -- Bhavna Dave

COSSACK LEADER COMPLAINS RUSSIANS PERSECUTED IN KAZAKHSTAN. Members of
the Russian Duma's Council of Compatriots complained about Kazakhstani
persecution of Russian communities, especially Cossacks, at a Moscow
news conference on 3 October, ITAR-TASS reported. Yuri Bunakov, head of
the Russian community in Kazakhstan, told a press conference that he had
received a directive from Kazakhstani authorities warning of his
organization's dissolution. Bunakov also complained that the recent
constitutional referendum in Kazakhstan, which strengthened the
president's power base and "drastically curtailed" the rights of ethnic
Russians, was rigged. -- Bhavna Dave

GEORGIA REJECTS SMALL RUBLE NOTES. As of 9 October, the National Bank of
Georgia will stop exchanging banknotes of less than 5,000 Russian rubles
for the lari, Georgia's recently introduced national currency, Interfax
reported on 5 October. According to an official of the Georgian Cabinet
of Ministers, the decision is prompted by the anticipated flow of
Russian small bills onto the Georgian monetary market from neighboring
Armenia and Azerbaijan. -- Irakli Tsereteli

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
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Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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