On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers. - Adlai Stevenson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 217, Part I, 7 November 1995

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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

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
TsIK REGISTERS YABLOKO. The Central Electoral Commisthe Supreme Court
and registered Yabloko as the 38th party to compete in the Duma
campaign, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 November. The TsIK postponed its
decisions on whether to register six additional blocs until 8 November.
The TsIK denied registration to We serve Russia because it did not have
an adequate number of signatures. On 10 November, the TsIK will hold a
lottery to determine the order in which the parties will appear on the
ballot and the schedule for the television broadcast of free party
advertisements. * Robert Orttung
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

RUSSIA

ZYUGANOV SEES "PRE-REVOLUTIONARY SITUATION" ON BOLSHEVIK ANNIVERSARY. At
a meeting to mark the 78th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution,
Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov said the situation in today's
Russia is similar to the that on the eve of the 1917 revolution.
However, as he read his "Twelve Lessons of the 20th Century," he made
clear that the current Communists plan to take power through democratic
elections rather than by revolutionary means, NTV reported on 6
November. A poll of people living in St. Petersburg, the cradle of the
revolution, found that only 37% of the city's residents consider 7
November to be worthy of a holiday, Russian Public Television (ORT)
reported. * Robert Orttung

DUMA SPEAKER EXPECTS PRESIDENT TO SIGN BILL ON THE FORMATION OF THE
UPPER HOUSE. Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin said it is very likely that
President Yeltsin will sign the bill on forming the Federation Council,
Russian media reported on 6 November. The Duma forwarded the bill for
the president's signature after it overrode the upper house's veto in
October. Yeltsin's signature will depend on two changes to the bill. The
first revision is to exclude the provision that requires governors to be
popularly elected before they can join the upper house of parliament.
Yeltsin has appointed many of the governors to their positions. Second,
he wants the speakers of local legislatures who have extended their
terms in office to be barred from the Council. Rybkin believes that
because the deputies want the bill to be quickly approved, they will
accept the proposed amendments. * Anna Paretskaya

SOSKOVETS MEETS WITH YELTSIN. First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets
discussed key problems regarding Russia's economic development with
President Boris Yeltsin at Moscow's Central Clinical Hospital on 6
November, Russian and Western agencies reported. Soskovets told
reporters that the president looks very well and is being kept fully
informed. * Thomas Sigel

KHASBULATOV HOLDS TALKS WITH CHECHEN FIELD COMMANDER. Mediator Ruslan
Khasbulatov, former speaker of the Russian Supreme Soviet, held talks in
Grozny with Akhmed Zakaev, commander of Chechen separatist forces in the
southwest of the republic, Russian TV reported on 6 November. After the
session, Khasbulatov again called for renewed Russian-Chechen talks,
which he said should postpone discussion of Chechnya's future status.
Instead, he said talks should focus on ending the fighting and criminal
activity which dominate everyday life in Chechnya. On 6 November, a
quarrel between a Chechen vendor and a Russian servicewoman in the
Grozny marketplace ended in a shoot-out which left the servicewoman dead
and two bystanders wounded. Elsewhere in Chechnya on 6 November, there
were 30 attacks by separatist fighters on federal forces, one of which
destroyed a railroad bridge connecting Grozny and Gudermes. * Scott
Parrish

CHERNOMYRDIN MEETS CLINTON. Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
met briefly with U.S. President Bill Clinton on 6 November while the two
leaders were attending the Jerusalem funeral of Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin, Russian and Western agencies reported. Chernomyrdin
reassured Clinton about the health of President Boris Yeltsin and told
him that Yeltsin hopes to hold another summit meeting with his U.S.
counterpart in the near future. Russian media noted that Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev, whose future remains uncertain, did not
accompany Chernomyrdin to Israel. When asked to comment by Radio Mayak,
the Russian Foreign Ministry said Kozyrev was on vacation. * Scott
Parrish

ANKARA: TROOPS WILL NOT BE DEPLOYED ON BORDER WITH ARMENIA, GEORGIAN. On
4 November, the Turkish press widely reported on Ankara's decision to
concentrate troops on its border with Georgia and Armenia in the event
that Russia fails to reduce its conventional forces based in the
Transcaucasus by 17 November, as stipulated by the CFE treaty. Two days
later, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Omer Akbel said those reports
were baseless, Cumhuriyet reported. Russia has called for revisions in
the flank limitations of the CFE treaty on the grounds that the collapse
of the Soviet Union has altered the strategic balance. * Lowell Bezanis

NUCLEAR SALES ABROAD TO TOTAL $1.2 BILLION IN 1995. First Deputy
Minister of Nuclear Energy Lev Ryabev told Interfax on 6 November that
the ministry expects to earn $1.2 billion from foreign trade in 1995 and
to increase that to $1.5 billion in 1996. Ryabev said that Southeast
Asia could become a promising market for Russian nuclear power stations,
adding that although no new contracts have been signed yet, Indonesia
and several other countries in the region have expressed interest. Two
thirds of the nuclear power industry's export earnings currently come
from the sale of nuclear fuel (rather than technology), Ryabev noted.
* Scott Parrish

NUCLEAR WASTE PUMPED FROM DECREPIT TANKER. Liquid nuclear waste is being
pumped from an ancient tanker aground in a bay near Vladivostok, ITAR-
TASS reported on 4 November. Some 800 cubic meters of waste from nuclear
submarines have been stored in a ship designated TNT-5 for several
years, but the ship is in such poor condition that the Pacific Fleet is
in the process of an emergency transfer of this material to another
tanker, TNT-27. This ship, not in much better condition, gained
notoriety in 1983 by dumping some waste into the Sea of Japan. A fleet
official said the TNT-5 would be emptied in about a week and the waste
would be treated at a new fleet facility that has been able to purify
about 3,000 cubic meters of waste this year. * Doug Clarke

NEW ROADS PLANNED FOR SIBERIA. Russia's Federal Road Department will
develop new highways in resource-rich northwestern Siberia, Interfax
reported on 6 November. At present there are no paved roads giving
access to the oil and gas regions of Khanty-Mansii and Yamal-Nenets
north of Tyumen. A new east-west highway will be built from Tomsk
through Nefteyugansk to Khanty-Mansiisk, while another road will extend
north from Yugorsk to the coal-mining region of Vorkuta. * Thomas Sigel

COLD WEATHER CAUSES TRAFFIC FATALITIES. Cold weather turned Moscow roads
into sheets of ice causing 48 serious road accidents that killed at
least eight people, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported on 6 November. Cars
ran over 36 pedestrians, and as many as 120 drunk drivers were detained,
according to the reports. Snow mixed with rain on 3 November quickly
turned into slick ice over the weekend when temperatures dropped to -7 C
(19 F) in the capital. * Thomas Sigel

KAMCHATKA ATTRACTS FOREIGN INVESTMENT. Data compiled by the Kamchatka
regional statistical department shows that in the first six months of
1995 the inflow of foreign capital to that region reached $21 million,
Interfax reported on 6 November. Kamchatka now ranks eighth in Russia in
terms of incoming foreign investment (after Moscow, Tatarstan, the
Tyumen Region, and four other regions). According to the report, the
fishing industry, gold mining, and tourism attracted the largest amount
of capital. * Natalia Gurushina

OIL COMPANY PENSION FUND WINS THE FIRST LOANS-FOR-SHARES AUCTION. The
Surgutneftegaz Pension Fund has beaten two other contenders at an
auction for 40% of the shares in Surgutneftegaz, Russia's third biggest
petroleum company, Interfax reported on 4 November. The Pension Fund
offered the government a loan of 400 billion rubles ($89 million), in
return for which they will be given the shares as collateral. An
additional condition of the transaction is that the Pension Fund will
repay the oil company's 1 trillion rubles ($227 million) debt to the
federal budget within 10 days. * Natalia Gurushina

LABOR PRODUCTIVITY INCREASES. Experts at the government's Working Center
for Economic Reform claim that in the first nine months of 1995 (and for
the first time since 1991) a number of key industries experienced an
increase in labor productivity, Russian TV reported on 4 November. The
report shows a 3.9% productivity increase in the fuel and energy sector,
a 10.9% increase in metallurgy, and a 7.7% increase in the chemical and
petrochemical industry. The figures indicate that those sectors have
been shedding labor while maintaining, and in some cases increasing, the
level of output. * Natalia Gurushina

RYBKIN CALLS FOR TOUGHER STATE CONTROL OVER ECONOMY. The state should
play a more active role in managing the economy, State Duma Speaker Ivan
Rybkin told ITAR-TASS on 6 November, following his trip to the Voronezh
region in Central Russia. Rybkin urged the government to play a more
active role in fixing energy prices and condemned energy-producing
regions for "dictating" prices to their neighbors. * Natalia Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

PROTESTS CONTINUE OVER ARRESTED COSSACK LEADER IN KAZAKHSTAN. The
Cossack community has mobilized international support to protest the
treatment of Nikolai Gunkin, the ataman of the Semirechie Cossacks, who
was arrested on 28 October for holding an unauthorized rally, Radio
Rossii reported on 6 November. Those who have sent protests to President
Nursultan Nazarbaev include Cossack organizations in Belarus, the
Estonian Union of Russian Citizens, the leader of the Romanov house in
Paris, Queen Elena Romanova, and the Russian Orthodox Center in Georgia.
Gunkin also alleges that he has been denied registration as a candidate
for the December parliamentary elections. * Bhavna Dave

TAJIKISTAN MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF CONSTITUTION. Tajik President Imomali
Rakhmonov, in an interview on Russia's Radio Mayak, congratulated the
Tajik people on the first anniversary of the constitution calling it a
"historic event." Rakhmonov said there is room for many political
parties in the country, although he also warned that they would have to
operate within the framework of the country's laws. Anniversary
preparations on 6 November were marred by an explosion in one of the
capital's parks the previous day after a woman stepped on a land mine.
The Tajik government and the opposition have agreed to hold their next
round of negotiations in Ashgabat, according to a 6 November statement
from the UN Security Council. The location has been a point of
contention since the last round of talks were concluded in late May. No
announcement has been made concerning the date. * Bruce Pannier

PLOT THWARTED IN AZERBAIJAN? A report originating with the Azerbaijani
Interior Ministry indicated Faig Baghshaliev, a former OPON commander in
Agdam, has been arrested and will be put on trial for high treason for
his role in an alleged plot to kill President Heidar Aliev. The
plotters, also said to include Labor Party leader Mehmed Ali Aliev,
former chief of staff General Shahin Musayev, Vahit Musayev and
Huseyinbayla Huseyinov, allegedly planned to shoot down the plane in
which Aliev would be returning to Azerbaijan, Turan and Milliyet
reported on 6-7 November. Azerbaijani authorities claim that, once
again, the plotters are connected with former President Ayaz Mutalibov
and thereby implicitly with Russia, which has rejected Baku's demands to
extradite him. In related news, the Russian Interior Ministry arrested
Ilgar Safihavov, the former chief of the Azerbaijan's Interpol office,
Turan reported on 4 November. He is also charged under article 57 of
Azerbaijan's criminal code for his alleged involvement in an effort to
overthrow Aliev in October 1994. This represents the fourth occasion on
which Azerbaijani authorities claim they have prevented a coup. * Lowell
Bezanis

EREVAN BEGINS RECEIVING POWER FROM NUCLEAR REACTOR. One of the two
reactors at the Medzamor nuclear power plant has begun supplying Erevan
with electrical power for the first time in almost seven years. The
plant, which is 25 km southwest of the capital, was given permission to
begin operating on 14 October and on 27 October was formally switched
on. According to a 6 November Reuters report, the plant will function at
low power, producing only 50 mw of electricity a day, and will not reach
its full daily capacity of 450 mw until next week at the earliest.
Despite the controversy surrounding the opening, the International
Atomic Energy Agency gave Armenian officials their approval, conditional
upon extensive renovation of the plant. The plant was closed after the
devastating Armenian earthquake which took place in December 1988.
* Roger Kangas

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

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


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