Some things have to be believed to be seen. - Ralph Hodgson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 219, Part I, 9 November 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

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK HEAD DISMISSED. Russian President Boris Yeltsin
relieved Tatyana Paramonova of her position as acting head of the
Central Bank, Russian and Western agencies reported on 8 November.
Yeltsin nominated her first deputy, Aleksandr Khandruev, as the new
acting head. Khandruev was an academic economist and moved to the State
Bank of the USSR in 1988. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he
became deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Russia. -- Natalia
Gurushina
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

RUSSIA

REACTION TO PARAMONOVA DISMISSAL. Presidential economic aide Aleksandr
Livshits attributed Tatyana Paramonova's dismissal to the Duma's
repeated refusals to confirm her appointment, while commentators said it
was because of her tough line towards the commercial banks. Most
observers believe the appointment of her first deputy, Aleksandr
Khandruev, will not result in radical changes in the bank's policies.
"Paramonova and Khandruev are members of the same team," said Sergei
Glazev, head of the Duma's Economic Policy Committee. Khandruev is
reported to have support in the Duma, but approval of the bank head may
be postponed until after the December election. -- Natalia Gurushina

PARTY REGISTRATION ENCOUNTERS DIFFICULTY. Central Electoral Commission
(TsIK) Chairman Nikolai Ryabov expressed frustration on 8 November at
the difficulties he is encountering in trying to comply with the Supreme
Court ruling to register a number of blocs. After registering the Bloc
of Independents as the 39th competitor, the TsIK could not register the
Federal-Democratic Movement because one of its candidates, Valerii
Kamshilov, is also running on the Common Cause list. Kamshilov denied
that he had agreed to join the Common Cause list. The TsIK put off its
final decision until 9 November, Russian Public Television (ORT)
reported. Ryabov also excoriated the Russian Association of Lawyers for
so far failing to turn in its documents, making it difficult for the
TsIK to register it by the court-imposed 10 November deadline. The TsIK
has an additional four parties to evaluate, Ekho Moskvy reported. --
Robert Orttung

MORE RUMORS OF KOZYREV SACKING. Citing anonymous sources in the Foreign
Ministry, Izvestiya reported on 9 November that Andrei Kozyrev will soon
be sacked. The paper reported that a presidential decree firing Kozyrev
had already been drafted; only Yeltsin's illness has delayed its
signature and release. Kozyrev is no longer signing official documents
at the Foreign Ministry, signaling his imminent departure, according to
the report. Yeltsin's foreign policy aide, Dmitrii Ryurikov, is to be
appointed as his replacement. -- Scott Parrish

KULIKOV STEPS UP CAMPAIGN AGAINST CORRUPTION. Interior Minister Anatolii
Kulikov said that when he was named to his position in July, he could
not have imagined "the level of corruption in state bodies, particularly
the Interior Ministry," that he ended up finding. He said that if he had
not started by cleaning house in the ministry, the battle with organized
crime would have only addressed "superficial" problems, ITAR-TASS
reported on 9 November. Kulikov announced that he is creating a new
internal department directly subordinate to himself to investigate
ministry personnel. Kulikov was appointed the commander of the special
and operational forces of the ministry (i.e. the military wing) in 1992.
In February 1995, he was placed in charge of operations in Chechnya. --
Robert Orttung

PERRY, GRACHEV AGREE ON BOSNIAN FORCE FORMULA. The Russian and U.S.
defense ministers announced at a Brussels press conference on 8 November
that they had agreed that Russian troops would join the Bosnian peace
implementation under the operational control of NATO but not under NATO
command, Western agencies reported. They said that a Russian brigade of
two or three battalions would be part of a Russo-U.S. division. U.S.
General George Joulwan, NATO's supreme military commander in Europe but
also in command of all U.S. forces in Europe, would have "operational
control" of the division. A Russian general would make any specific
orders to the Russian troops. Grachev and Perry agreed that the question
of political control over the Bosnian operation has yet to be worked
out. -- Doug Clarke

RUSSIA, JAPAN AGREE TO BUILD NUCLEAR WASTE PLANT. According to an
official from the Russian Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources,
Russia and Japan will soon conclude a contract to construct a liquid
radioactive waste processing plant in the Far East, ITAR-TASS reported
on 8 November. The Japanese government will finance construction of the
plant by the Japanese Tomen company, as a part of its aid program aimed
at dismantling old Soviet military nuclear equipment in Russia. The
plant will be capable of processing up to 7,000 cubic meters of liquid
nuclear waste annually. -- Constantine Dmitriev

YELTSIN, MINISTERS, DISCUSS CHECHNYA. President Boris Yeltsin met with
Interior Minister Anatolii Kulikov and Minister for Nationalities
Vyacheslav Mikhailov on 8 November to discuss Chechnya and other issues,
Russian and Western agencies reported. In a statement released after the
one-hour meeting in the Central Clinical Hospital where he is recovering
from heart problems, Yeltsin endorsed the efforts of federal authorities
and the new Chechen government of Doku Zavgaev to bring about a peaceful
settlement in Chechnya. Meanwhile, the presidential press service denied
reports that Yeltsin's condition is worsening and that he may soon seek
treatment abroad. -- Scott Parrish

POWER SHUTOFF OF MILITARY AND OTHERS BANNED. The government on 8
November once again adopted a resolution banning power stations from
cutting off utilities to the most import facilities of the country,
including those of the defense, interior, and emergency services
ministries, the secret services, and the border guards, ITAR-TASS
reported. The ban, which will remain in effect until 15 May 1996, also
applies to vital civil facilities such as power stations, water supply
stations, and sewage facilities. On 23 September, Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin signed a similar resolution. -- Doug Clarke

WORKERS DEMONSTRATE IN FAR EAST. Thousands of demonstrators in the
Russian Far East city of Bolshoi Kamen called for the resignation of
President Boris Yeltsin and the government of Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, ITAR-TASS reported on 8 November. Most of the town's
population work at the Zvezda plant, Russia's largest nuclear submarine
repair installation. The head of the factory's trade union, Olga
Skripko, said the plant had not received payment for orders completed
last year. Many of the employees have not been paid for six months.
Workers also complained that electricity in the city is shut off for up
to 12 hours a day and many housing complexes are not heated. -- Thomas
Sigel

BUDGET COMMISSION VOTES TO INCREASE 1996 DEFICIT TO 3.85%. Russia's
Budget Commission voted to increase the 1996 projected budget deficit to
3.85% of GDP, which represents an increase of 6 trillion rubles ($1.3
billion), Interfax reported on 8 November. First Deputy Finance Minister
Vladimir Petrov said that the government-proposed budget deficit of 82
trillion rubles ($18.2 billion) will be increased to 88 trillion rubles
($19.6 billion). Petrov did not mention how the increased deficit would
be financed. The commission was formed by the Duma and Federation
Council to come up with a compromise acceptable to both houses, after
the Duma rejected the government's proposed budget on 18 October. The
Duma is to consider the revised draft budget on 10 November. -- Thomas
Sigel

OIL PRODUCTION CONTINUES TO SLIDE. Interfax reported on 8 November that
Russian oil output was 236 million metric tons in the first 10 months of
1995, which is a 12% decline from the previous year's levels. The Tyumen
region alone accounted for two thirds of total production (154 million
tons). The largest companies were LUKoil (46.4 million tons), YUKOS
(29.9 million), Surgutneftegaz (27.8 million), and Rosneft (10.6 million
tons). Oil production in 1994 amounted to 316 million metric tons. --
Peter Rutland

***********************************************************************
Would you like more details and expanded analysis on many of the topics
covered in the Daily Digest? OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal
Transition. The 3 November issue takes a special look at the Balkan
conflict, including these titles: -- "An End Game in Croatia and
Bosnia?" -- Tuzla: "Where Will All These People Go?" -- Mostar: "A Test
Case for the Muslim-Croat Federation" -- Other articles include an
interview with Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. The 17 November issue
examines the changing nuclear threat in the former USSR and Eastern
Europe with such articles as: -- "Nuclear Arms - A Soviet Legacy" --
"Kazakhstan Staggers Under Its Nuclear Burden" and -- 'The Chornobyl
Fallout Persists" -- For subscription info, send e-mail inquiries to
TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ
By mail to OMRI Publications, Motokov Building, Na Strzi 63, 140 62
Prague 4, Czech Republic. Tel.: (422) 6114 3303; Fax: (422) 426 396.
***********************************************************************

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARRESTED KAZAKHSTAN COSSACK LEADER'S LAWYER ATTACKED, DROPS CASE. Ivan
Kravtsov, the defense lawyer for Ataman Nikolai Gunkin of Semirechie
Cossacks in Kazakhstan, bowed out of handling the case after he was
robbed in his Almaty apartment and his wife beaten up by "four
unidentified Kazakhs," Interfax reported on 8 November. Interfax
reported that the procurator of Almaty earlier threatened to strip
Kravtsov of his legal license and reported allegations that prison
officials poured ice cold water over Gunkin to force him end his 11-day-
old hunger strike. Gunkin was arrested on 28 October in Almaty while
trying to register as a candidate for December elections on charges of
holding an unauthorized rally in Almaty earlier this year. -- Bhavna
Dave

KAZAKHSTAN TO RECEIVE IMF LOAN DESPITE RISE IN INFLATION. Inflation in
Kazakhstan jumped from 2.4% in September to 4.1% in October, according
to First Deputy Prime Minister Nigmatzhan Isingarin told Interfax on 8
November. Consumer prices rose 48.2% in the first 10 months of the year,
while industrial prices rose 29.7%. Industrial production went up by
9.4% in September, after falling 16% in the first half of the year.
Isingarin noted that "four to five months of continuous growth are
needed" before one can talk of successful stabilization. He added that
nonpayment of debts remains the most serious problem of the country's
economy: electricity arrears alone amount to 47.2 billion tenge ($7.6
million). Interfax reported on 8 November that the IMF will release a
$150 million loan to Kazakhstan at the beginning of 1996. The first $50
million tranche of the Systemic Transformation Facility loan was paid
earlier this year. -- Bhavna Dave

PLAN TO RENOVATE GEORGIAN OIL PIPELINE. Talks in Tbilisi between
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, the president of the Azerbaijani
National Oil Company (SOCAR), Natik Aliev, and the chairman of the
Azerbaijani International Operating Company (AIOC), Terry Adams, ended
on 8 November, Russian and Western media reported. The talks focused on
the renovation of the Baku-Batumi pipeline so it can begin to carry
"early oil." Aliev said a $245 million oil terminal with a capacity of
220,000 metric tons will be built off Supsa in "a few" months, with or
without Turkish financing. Meanwhile, another top SOCAR official told
AFP that a deal between Penzoil, Agip, and LUKoil to prospect for
reserves in the off-shore Karabagh oil field had been reached and would
soon be signed. -- Lowell Bezanis

PRICE HIKES IN TURKMENISTAN. The government increased retail fuel prices
by 250% on 8 November, Interfax reported the same day. The move aims at
ensuring "thrifty use of fuel resources and fuller compensation for
production costs." Prices will range from 20-25 manats per litre; as the
manat is exchanged on the black market for 500 manats to $1, fuel prices
remain dramatically below the international market price. Bread prices
also jumped 8-10 times the same day; Turkmen President Saparmurad
Niyazov condemned the increase and the "artificial creation of an
artificial deficit." His press office announced that the head of
Ashgabat's bread-baking plant and its storehouse chief will be sacked
soon. -- Lowell Bezanis

KYRGYZ AUCTION DISAPPOINTING. An attempt to privatize former state
companies in Kyrgyzstan has not yielded the expected results. On 8
November, the first day of the auction, only a few shares of one of the
13 companies on the block, the Tokchuluk meat processing company,
received bids, Western sources reported. A specialist for the U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) said the high asking prices
were to blame. The starting price from between $24,000 to $2.38 million
proved too costly to potential investors who can participate in a closed
auction on 9 November at which bidders have greater control over
starting prices and share amounts. As much as 70% of the 13 companies
are available to interested purchasers. -- Bruce Pannier

KYRGYZ CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION ANSWERS CHARGES. The chairman of the
Kyrgyz Central Electoral Commission, Mambetzhunus Abylov, rejected a
statement recently released by a group of presidential candidates
alleging that "all state media bodies are electioneering in favor of one
candidate--Askar Akaev," according to Interfax on 8 November. The
statement was authored by, among others, the heads of the Communist and
Ata-Meken parties and the Adilet (Justice) movement. So far, the only
candidate registered for the 24 December election is the incumbent,
Akaev, who has gathered a reported 800,000 signatures, representing
about one third of the eligible voters. Other candidates have until the
end of November to collect the required 50,000 signatures. -- Bruce
Pannier

[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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