A good eater must be a good man; for a good eater must have a good digestion, and a good digestion depends upon a good conscience. - Benjamin Disraeli
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 232, Part I, 30 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
TOP POLICE OFFICIALS FALL VICTIM TO "CLEAN HANDS" CAMPAIGN. As part of
the "clean hands" anti-corruption campaign, Interior Minister Anatolii
Kulikov said on 29 November that he had sacked a string of senior
officials, including four generals, Russian and Western agencies
reported. Those dismissed included Moscow's deputy police chief, Valerii
Aksakov, who reportedly gave classified information on a witness to a
criminal group. Back in August, Kulikov said he was horrified by the
level of police corruption, noting that his own agents had been asked
for bribes at all but two of 24 checkpoints they had encountered while
driving a truckload of vodka across southern Russia, Reuters reported.
-- Penny Morvant
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

RUSSIA

SHUMEIKO MOVEMENT TO SUPPORT PRESIDENCY, NOT PRESIDENT. At an organizing
conference of his new movement, Reforms-New Course, Federation Council
Speaker Vladimir Shumeiko said that the group is seeking to "unite all
Russia and become a bulwark of presidential power," Russian TV reported
on 29 November. The bloc plans to support an as yet unnamed candidate in
the June 1996 presidential election. Shumeiko said his movement rejects
the government's policies but will not call for personnel changes. He
also announced that Sverdlovsk Governor Eduard Rossel will remain in the
bloc despite Rossel's 27 November announcement to the contrary, after
President Boris Yeltsin told him the bloc is "no good," ITAR-TASS
reported. Shumeiko refused to comment on the president's remarks, but
said that the head of state does not have the power to stop social
movements from forming. The founding congress is scheduled to take place
on 21 December. -- Robert Orttung

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA: YELTSIN BUILDING LUXURY DACHA WITH FEDERAL FUNDS.
President Boris Yeltsin is using the taxpayers' money to build a luxury
dacha in Kareliya, about 860 km north of Moscow, that will include a
helicopter pad, sauna, elevator, and tennis courts, according to
Komsomolskaya pravda on 29 November. Viktor Savchenko, a member of the
president's administration, admitted the building is nearly complete but
denied that it is exclusively for Yeltsin, saying that any top leaders
visiting Kareliya will be able to use it. -- Robert Orttung

KRO LEADER WANTS TO LIMIT VOTING RIGHTS. Sergei Pykhtin, deputy chairman
of the Congress of Russian Communities' Executive Committee, believes
that voting should be compulsory in Russia. However, he said he would
take away the right to vote from "approximately 10-12 million
foreigners" who lived in Russia when the USSR disintegrated but belong
to ethnic groups from the other 14 former Soviet republics. He clarified
the statement by saying, "I mean Georgians, Armenians, Tajiks, Uzbeks,
the Balts, and so forth." Pykhtin is running for the Duma on the KRO
ticket in Moscow, Moskovskie novosti reported on 26 November. -- Robert
Orttung

GRACHEV HAILS AGREEMENT WITH NATO . . . At a 29 November press
conference in Brussels, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev hailed the
Russia-NATO agreement on political control of the Bosnian peace
implementation force (see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 November 1995) as a
"model" for cooperation between Russia and NATO, international agencies
reported. Grachev rebuffed critical questions from Russian journalists
who wondered whether the agreement, that grants Russia a consultative
voice but no veto, actually gives Russia any influence over the
peacekeeping operation. Grachev also rejected suggestions that the
agreement indicated Russia had accepted a subordinate role in its
relationship with NATO. "This is only the first step," he added, noting
that the agreement allows Russia to engage NATO in an ongoing political
dialogue. -- Scott Parrish

. . . WHILE OTHERS ARE MORE SKEPTICAL. Some commentators in Moscow
shared Grachev's enthusiasm for the agreement with NATO, but others did
not. Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told Moscow TV on 29 November that
cooperation with the alliance could be used to counteract its plans for
expansion by allowing Russia a greater voice in NATO decisions. Duma
Defense Committee Chairman Sergei Yushenkov (Russia's Democratic Choice)
said Russia should use the agreement to become an associate member of
NATO. However, the deputy chairman of the same committee, Nikolai
Bezborodov, said that the "16 + 1" formula used in the agreement does
not allow Russia to actually participate in the control of the operation
but only to acquire information about decisions that will be made by
NATO. -- Scott Parrish

RUSSIA SENDS AMBASSADOR TO BOSNIA. Following the conclusion of the
Dayton agreement, Russia has dispatched its first ambassador to Bosnia-
Herzegovina, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 November. Yakov Gerasimov, a 49-
year-old career diplomat, will present his credentials to the Bosnian
government later this week, fulfilling a February 1995 agreement on
establishing full diplomatic relations between the two countries. An
anonymous Russian diplomat told Interfax that full diplomatic ties were
not established earlier "exclusively" as a result of Russian financial
difficulties. A Bosnian representative, Ibrahim Dzikic, has been working
in Moscow since 1992. -- Scott Parrish

MORE MONEY FOR THE COAL INDUSTRY. After President Yeltsin ordered the
government to take urgent measures to pay overdue wages to miners, First
Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais announced the allocation of an
additional 500 billion rubles ($110 million) to the coal industry by the
end of the year, Public Russian TV (ORT) reported on 29 November. The
government will also take 1.5 trillion rubles' ($330 million) worth of
coal in exchange for canceling tax debts, postpone tax payments, and
allow the mines to continue withholding some tax payments in order to
pay wages. The government has also recently allocated more money to
pensioners as part of a campaign to boost living standards and prevent
industrial unrest before the December elections. Miners in Vorkuta had
threatened to strike on 1 December, and their action was supported by
miners elsewhere in the country. -- Penny Morvant

NO GERMAN OR SWISS NUCLEAR WASTE TO KRASNOYARSK-26. Germany and
Switzerland have decided not to send spent nuclear fuel to Krasnoyarsk-
26 for processing, Krasnoyarsk Krai Deputy Governor Sergei Arinchin was
quoted as saying in Izvestiya on 30 November. The waste would have been
processed at the RT-2 plant--still under construction--in the formerly
secret nuclear center in Siberia. The Russian authorities had hoped to
finance the project by accepting foreign waste, enabling them to process
their own stocks. The Swiss and German pullout will deal a major blow to
the project. The decision is likely to be hailed by environmental
groups, which have strongly opposed the importation of nuclear
materials, arguing that Russia's waste storage sites are already
overflowing. -- Penny Morvant

WORKERS THREATEN TO SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR PLANTS. Workers at nuclear power
plants have threatened to shut down the facilities unless they receive
overdue wage payments, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 November. Union
officials say they have scheduled warning protests, but it is not clear
what form they will take. Energy consumers owe nuclear power plants
about 2.5 trillion rubles ($555 million), and on average workers have
not been paid for three months, according to the deputy head of
Rosenergoatom. -- Penny Morvant

UP TO 5 MILLION PEOPLE EXPECTED TO MIGRATE TO RUSSIA. The director of
the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS), Tatyana Regent, said at a
conference held by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in
Geneva that between 2 and 5 million refugees and forced migrants may
move to Russia from the CIS states and the Baltics due to military
conflicts, economic dislocation, and social difficulties, ITAR-TASS
reported on 29 November. The FMS is also concerned with the large number
of African and Asian illegal migrants who are attempting to reach the
West through Russia, she added. -- Constantine Dmitriev

RUSSIAN BORDER HAS "MASSIVE HOLES." A letter signed by 12 generals
complaining that the Border Guards are underfunded and unable to perform
their duties was published in Pravda on 29 November. The letter,
addressed to the Communist faction in the Duma, claims that the external
Russian borders are about 40% undermanned, and the situation on the CIS
external borders (such as Turkmenistan) is even worse. As a result,
hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have allegedly managed to
penetrate Russia, and 20% of the country's oil and minerals is illegally
exported. Pravda bemoans the fact that the "Iron Curtain" is no longer
there "to stop those who would steal our natural riches." Although the
Border Guards requested 12 trillion rubles ($2.7 billion), the 1996
budget allocates them 4 trillion rubles ($875 million). The letter
claims that guards have died because they lacked bulletproof vests (the
force has only 10% of what it needs). -- Peter Rutland

BANK WAR INTENSIFIES . . . Menatep bank will file a libel suit against
the three banks that accused it of having an unfair advantage in the
government's loan/share auctions (see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 November
1995), ITAR-TASS reported on 29 November. It has emerged that the
guarantee letter from the Bank of Tokyo which Euroresursy used on 17
November to obtain 15% of shares in Nafta-Moskvy was a forgery, and the
auction has been annulled, Kommersant-Daily reported on 28 November.
Mounting political pressure led to the cancellation of the sale of
federal shares in three defense plants (Sukhoi Design Bureau, Arsenevsk
Aviation Plant, and Ulan Ude Aviation Plant) planned for 7 December,
according to Finansovye izvestiya on 30 November. -- Peter Rutland

. . . BUT SOME AUCTIONS WILL CONTINUE. Despite those problems, the
government intends to press on with the loan auctions, since it needs
the money to cover the budget deficit. The acting chairman of the State
Property Committee, Alfred Kokh, told Russian Public TV (ORT) on 29
November that auctions have raised 2 trillion rubles so far and another
1.5 trillion rubles is expected by the end of the year. In one week, 78%
of the shares in the second-largest oil company, YUKOS, will be go on
the block--in an auction organized by Menatep on behalf of the State
Property Committee. The three protesting banks announced that they will
lodge a deposit of $350 million in order to bid for YUKOS shares. --
Natalia Gurushina and Peter Rutland

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJANI ELECTED PRESIDENT OF BLACK SEA ASSEMBLY. Rasul Guliev, who
was reappointed to the post of Azerbaijani parliament speaker on 24
November, was elected to the rotating presidency of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) at that body's
sixth plenary session in Istanbul on 29 November, Turan reported. Guliev
has reportedly been under a cloud of suspicion for his alleged
involvement in violations of voting procedure during the 12 November
parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan. On 28 November, Guliev met in
Baku with the UN Development Program representative, Paolo Lembo, to
discuss the creation of a free economic zone in Sumgait. -- Liz Fuller

GEORGIAN OPPOSITION MEETS TO DISCUSS COALITION. Members of approximately
15 opposition parties and organizations that did not win seats in the
new Georgian parliament met at the headquarters of National Independence
Party on 28 November to discuss possible unification, Iprinda news
agency reported the same day. At a post-meeting press conference,
representatives said consultations would continue in the future and that
99% of those assembled agreed to unite in one coalition of national
forces. -- Irakli Tsereteli

AKAYEV LEADING POLLS IN KYRGYZSTAN. With the presidential election less
than a month away in Kyrgyzstan, the International Institute for
Strategic Studies in Bishkek has released the results of a recent poll
in which President Askar Akayev received the support of 76.5% of the
respondents, Svobodnye gory reported on 25 November. None of the other
potential candidates, who have yet to be registered, received more than
4.4% in the poll. They are: Omurbek Tekebayev from the Ata Meken
(Fatherland) Party (4.4%), Bekmamat Osmonov, parliament deputy and
chairman of Osh Regional Council (3.9%), Medetken Sherimkulov, former
speaker of parliament, (3.5%), Jumgalbek Amanbayev, former first
secretary under Akayev in 1990-91 (1.9%), Absamat Masaliev, former first
secretary of Kirghiziya and current head of Communist Party (1.3%), and
Yuruslan Toychubekov from the Adilet Movement (1.1%). The opposition
claims that the media has a pro-Akayev bias. -- 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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