When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary. - Anonymous
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 206, Part I, 23 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.
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

KOZYREV TO STAY, FOR NOW. Presidential spokesman Sergei Medvedev
confirmed on 20 October that President Yeltsin intends to keep Andrei
Kozyrev as foreign minister, Western and Russian agencies reported.
Yeltsin had suggested on 19 October that he would sack Kozyrev. -- Scott
Parrish

YELTSIN AND CHIRAC DISCUSS YUGOSLAV CONFLICT. Following talks on 20-21
October with his French counterpart Jacques Chirac, President Boris
Yeltsin told journalists that they had agreed on the terms of Russian
participation in a proposed NATO-led peace implementation force for
Bosnia, Russian and Western agencies reported. Yeltsin and Chirac also
jointly proposed a meeting of the Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian
presidents in Moscow before the end of October in preparation for the
scheduled November opening of Yugoslav peace talks in New York. -- Scott
Parrish

YELTSIN ADDRESSES UN. In a speech to the UN General Assembly in New
York, President Boris Yeltsin warned that NATO is overshadowing the UN
Security Council in the resolution of European security problems,
Russian and Western agencies reported on 22 October. Yeltsin denounced
NATO's recent use of force in Bosnia as "an obvious and clear-cut"
violation of UN principles. He also condemned the proposed expansion of
NATO, saying it would prevent the creation of "a unified Europe." Russia
will participate in policing a settlement in the former Yugoslavia,
Yeltsin added, but only under "a clear-cut mandate of the UN Security
Council." Yeltsin will meet with U.S. President Bill Clinton to discuss
Yugoslavia and other issues on 23 October. -- Scott Parrish

43 PARTIES SUBMIT SIGNATURES. Forty-three parties have submitted lists
of signatures to apply for registration in the 17 December Duma
election, Nikolai Ryabov, the chairman of the Central Electoral
Commission (TsIK), announced on 23 October. Sixty-nine parties had
announced their intention to collect the 200,000 signatures necessary to
compete, ITAR-TASS reported. Twenty-five of the parties submitted their
signatures on 22 October, just before the midnight deadline. Several
minor parties were a few minutes late and could not submit their
documents. The TsIK must check the authenticity of the signatures and
register the parties by 2 November. So far eight parties have been
registered: the Communist Party, the Congress of Russian Communities,
the Agrarian Party, Ivan Rybkin's bloc, the Trade Unions and
Industrialists of Russia-Union of Labor, the Women of Russia, the
Liberal Democratic Party, and Our Home is Russia. The deadline for
submitting signatures in the single-member districts is 27 October. --
Robert Orttung

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHAIRMAN SAYS DUMA MAY NOT BE REPRESENTATIVE. The
legitimacy of the State Duma could be questioned if more than half of
the electorate cast a ballot for parties that do not receive 5% of the
vote, Constitutional Court Chairman Vladimir Tumanov told Kommersant-
Daily on 21 October. Such an outcome would mean only a minority of
voters were represented in the Duma and could lead to appeals to the
Constitutional Court. Tumanov questioned the validity of a scenario in
which 30 parties compete but only five receive slightly more than the 5%
necessary to secure representation in parliament. In 1993, about 9% of
the voters supported five parties that did not clear the 5% barrier.
Party of Russian Unity and Concord leader Sergei Shakhrai has proposed
reducing the number of parties by forcing them to give the government a
10 billion ruble deposit that will only be returned if they win at least
5% of the vote. -- Robert Orttung

COMMUNISTS TO SUE YELTSIN. Duma Deputy Anatolii Lukyanov, a Communist
Party member, denounced recent remarks by President Boris Yeltsin as
"interference" in the election campaign and said the Communists plan to
take the president to court, Russian and Western agencies reported on 20
October. In a 19 October press conference, Yeltsin said he maintained
"normal" relations with all parties except the Communists and Vladimir
Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party. Lukyanov said the head of state
should not take sides before the December parliamentary elections, while
Agrarian Party leader Mikhail Lapshin accused the president of
advocating a "witch-hunt." -- Laura Belin

GRACHEV MAKES PEACE WITH MOSKOVSKII KOMSOMOLETS EDITOR. Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev's lawsuit against the popular daily Moskovskii komsomolets
appears to have been resolved. During a 21 October interview with
Grachev on Moscow TV, the paper's editor in chief, Pavel Gusev,
apologized for "emotional" outbursts and accusations following the
October 1994 murder of investigative reporter Dmitrii Kholodov. Grachev
accepted Gusev's apology and said that "journalists are not to blame for
the fall in the army's prestige." Grachev sued the paper last year for
alleging that he was involved in army corruption and Kholodov's murder.
ITAR-TASS speculated that the paper will offer an official apology in
court on 25 October to settle the case. -- Laura Belin

LOBOV SENDS MIXED SIGNALS ON CHECHNYA. Speaking at a press conference in
Grozny on 21 October, presidential representative Oleg Lobov said he is
"optimistic" at the prospects of a peace settlement in Chechnya, but
also that he agreed with Defense Minister Pavel Grachev that military
operations could be resumed if the 30 July military agreement is not
implemented, Interfax reported. A round-table conference of Chechen
political parties on 21 October rejected the idea of a nationwide
conciliatory conference and called for the resumption of the stalled
peace talks; the head of the Russian delegation to the talks, Vyacheslav
Mikhailov, told Russian Public TV (ORT) that they will resume on 24
October. Mikhailov also told Ekho Moskvy that the head of the pro-Moscow
Chechen government, Salambek Khadzhiev, has been offered a post in
Moscow; NTV reported that Khadzhiev has resigned and recommended that
the chairman of the former Chechen-Ingush Supreme Soviet, Doku Zavgaev,
succeed him. -- Liz Fuller

TURKEY DENIES TRAINING OF CHECHEN FIGHTERS. The Turkish Foreign Ministry
has formally denied that Chechen rebels are being trained in Turkey, the
Turkish Daily News reported on 23 October. The denial follows President
Boris Yeltsin's allegation on 19 October that Turkey is one of several
countries that are involved in training forces for Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev. The paper also noted that two of Turkey's largest
construction firms, ENKA and GAMA, have decided to scrap large contracts
they signed with the Russian-supported Chechen government to rebuild
parts of Grozny. Russia's failure to fulfill a promise to make advance
payments of $10 million to each company has reportedly soured the deal.
-- Lowell Bezanis

CASPIAN LITTORAL STATES TO CREATE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY. Meeting
in Makhachkala on 20-21 October, a group of legislators from the Caspian
littoral states voted to create an inter-parliamentary Caspian Assembly,
Radio Rossii reported on 21 October. Federation Council Deputy Chairman
Ramazan Abdulatipov will head a working group of representatives from
Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan that has been formed to draft the body's
founding principles. It is unclear how the assembly will divide
responsibilities with the Caspian Sea Council that was reactivated by
Russia two years ago. -- Liz Fuller

RUSSIAN MILITARY THINK-TANK RECOMMENDS RUSSIA-WEST CONFRONTATION. A
report by the Institute for Defense Studies, reportedly commissioned by
the Defense Ministry, concludes that "the U.S. and its allies represent
the main threat to Russian national security" and recommends a return to
a nuclear stand-off and reoccupation of the Baltic states to counter
Western attempts to isolate and destroy Russia, Segodnya reported on 20
October. The institute also recommends economic protectionism, a
military-nuclear alliance with Iraq, Iran, and Libya, and the creation
of a new state including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Duma
Defense Committee Chairman Sergei Yushenkov, a member of Russia's
Choice, said the report is a cause for concern as it reflects the
mindset of the Russian high command. -- Constantine Dmitriev

SENIOR OFFICIAL ACCUSED OF SMUGGLING CHEMICAL WEAPONS. Anatolii
Kuntsevich, former head of the State Committee for Converting Chemical
and Biological Weapons Production Facilities, has been accused of
smuggling 800 kg of toxic chemicals belonging to the military to the
Middle East, Western agencies reported on 22 October. Kuntsevich was to
run in the December elections on the ticket of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's
Liberal Democratic Party, but the party has now dropped him from its
list. -- Penny Morvant

FOUR ARRESTED AT OREKHOV DEFENSE RALLY. Four participants in an
unsanctioned rally in Moscow to support Viktor Orekhov were taken into
police custody on 20 October, Ekho Moskvy reported. One of the
detainees, Yevgeniya Frumkin, has already spent five days in jail for
participation in a similar rally on 17 September. Orekhov, a former KGB
officer who warned dissidents of impending investigations, was sentenced
to three years imprisonment in July on what his supporters say were
trumped-up charges. -- Penny Morvant

DUMA VOTES TO INCREASE MINIMUM WAGE. The Duma voted on 20 October to
increase the minimum wage, which provides the basis for calculating
numerous social benefits, from the current 55,000 rubles ($12) a month
to 57,750 on 1 November, 60,500 on 1 December, and 63,250 on 1 January
1996, ITAR-TASS reported. The increases would cost an additional 400
billion rubles ($90 million) by the end of the year. The Duma earlier
proposed raising the minimum to 63,250 on 1 November, which would have
cost an extra 1.7 trillion rubles--a sum Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin said the government could not afford. -- Penny Morvant

SIGNS OF ECONOMIC STABILIZATION. After five years of decline, the
situation in the Russian economy is improving, according to official
figures published in Segodnya on 20 October. Industrial output fell by
only 2% in the first nine months of 1995 (compared with 23% in 1994) and
GDP dropped by 3%. Metallurgy, chemical, and petrochemical industries
reported a rise in output, although production in light industry and
agriculture fell by 32% and 10-12% respectively. There was a 16%
increase in spending on consumer durables, although official data show
the real income of the population fell by 12%. -- Natalia Gurushina

BANKS' PLANS FOR INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION ARE HALTED. The Bank of England
has blocked recent applications by Russian banks to open branches in
London, Finansovye izvestiya reported on 20 October. The British
authorities object to slack Russian accounting practices and suspect
some of the banks of having close ties with politicians and organized
crime. The banks may, however, be granted permission to set up
representative offices. There are currently seven Russian banks
(including Alfa bank and Most-bank) with offices in London. -- Natalia
Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJANI PRESS MINISTER RESIGNS TO PROTEST CHESME VERDICT.
Azerbaijani Information and Press Minister Sabir Rustamkhanli announced
his resignation at a Baku press conference on 20 October, Turan
reported. Rustamkhanli's said he resigned in order to run in next
month's parliamentary elections, but he also sharply criticized as
"undemocratic" and "a violation of the law" the 19 October sentencing of
five journalists connected with the satirical samizdat journal Chesme to
two to five years' imprisonment (NOT 25 years as erroneously stated in
the OMRI Daily Digest, 20 October 1995) for insulting President Heidar
Aliev. -- Liz Fuller

SHEVARDNADZE WILL NOT TRAVEL TO NEW YORK. Georgian parliament chairman
Eduard Shevardnadze will not travel to New York to attend the 50th
anniversary session of the UN General Assembly, Russian media reported
on 21 October. Shevardnadze said that since Russia has refused to
extradite former Georgian Security Service head Igor Giorgadze, who is
wanted in connection with the 29 August bomb attack on Shevardnadze,
Giorgadze and his supporters could take advantage of his absence from
the country to perpetrate new terrorist acts in the run-up to the 5
November elections. Also on 21 October, the Stalinist Communist Party
announced that it would support Shevardnadze's candidacy for Georgian
president, Russian Public TV (ORT) reported. -- Liz Fuller and Irakli
Tsereteli

NAZARBAEV COMPLETES PERSONNEL RESHUFFLE AT TOP. President Nursultan
Nazarbaev announced that all personnel changes at the top echelons of
power are now complete, according to a 20 October Kazakhstani TV report
cited by the BBC. Nazarbaev said that about a third of the country's
regional administration heads (hakims) have been replaced. Nazarbaev has
also dismissed the members of the Constitutional Court and suspended its
operations. In his own office, he has appointed Sagynbek Tusunov to
replace Nurtai Abykaev as head of the presidential administration.
Abykaev has been named ambassador to Britain. Last week, Nazarbaev
appointed Kairbek Suleimenov to the post of interior minister. -- Bhavna
Dave

RUMORS OF COUP IN KYRGYZSTAN. The leader of the Human Rights Movement of
Kyrgyzstan, Medetkan Sherimkulov, has denied allegations published in
Slovo Kyrgyzstana that he is organizing a plot to overthrow President
Askar Akaev. According to the article, Sherimkulov and other opponents
of Akaev plan to picket the government building on 27 October, the fifth
anniversary of the president's election to office. Sherimkulov, the
former parliamentary speaker, is the leading presidential candidate,
according to a 3 October poll of the country's political experts by Res
Publica. -- Bruce Pannier

[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
Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
quotation marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
No subject line or other text should be included.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to
reprint or redistribute the OMRI Daily Digest. Before reprinting or
redistributing this publication, please write omripub@omri.cz for a copy
of the new policy or look at this URL:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ

Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole