Странный это мир, где двое смотрят на одно и то же, видят полностью противоположное. - Агата Кристи

No. 41, Part I, 27 February 1996

New OMRI Analytical Brief:
-  "Iranians and Foreign Fighters Continue
to Plague Bosnian Operation", by Michael Mihalka Available only via the World Wide Web: http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Analytical/Index.html 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/Index.html ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ RUSSIAN FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE ANNOYED WITH FBI. Tatyana Samolis, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), accused the FBI of using "dirty tricks" to capture accused Soviet agent Robert Lipka, Russian and Western agencies reported. Samolis criticized the FBI for "recruiting under a foreign flag" by having its agents impersonate Russians during their investigation of Lipka. She said such practices violate unwritten "rules of honor" governing the post-Cold War "partnership" between Russian and U.S. intelligence services. Meanwhile, SVR spokesman Maj. Gen. Yurii Kobaladze warned that former Russian intelligence agents can be prosecuted for revealing state secrets if they publish memoirs that do not receive prior clearance. The FBI has suggested that former KGB Maj.-Gen Oleg Kalugin's memoirs helped them catch Lipka (see OMRI Daily Digest, 26 February 1996). -- Scott Parrish ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ RUSSIA MORE "PATRIOTIC" MOVEMENTS BACK ZYUGANOV. Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov continues to attract support from movements on the "patriotic" or nationalist wing of the political spectrum (see OMRI Daily Digest, 12 February 1996). He was most recently endorsed by Stanislav Terekhov's Union of Officers and Sergei Baburin's Russian Public Union, Radio Rossii reported on 26 February. Before the disappointing performance of the Congress of Russian Communities (KRO) in the Duma elections, Aleksandr Lebed was considered the most likely consensus candidate of Russia's patriotic movements. Lebed officially announced his candidacy in January, but he has drawn few endorsements beyond KRO activists. -- Laura Belin DEMOCRATS STILL SEARCHING FOR COMMON GROUND. Although the leaders of 10 pro-reform movements, including Russia's Democratic Choice leader Yegor Gaidar, Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii and Forward, Russia! leader Boris Fedorov, signed a statement on 23 February opposing the "threat of a new totalitarianism in Russia," Russia's "democratic camp" has yet to agree on a common presidential candidate. Gaidar said his party will endorse either President Boris Yeltsin or Yavlinskii, depending on whether Yeltsin is able to end the war in Chechnya, Russian media reported on 26 February. For his part, Yavlinskii told Komsomolskaya pravda in an interview published on 27 February that a candidate backed by all "noncommunist" forces in Russia could win 23% of the vote in the first round of presidential elections and would have a good chance against Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov in the second round. -- Robert Orttung and Laura Belin FEDERAL TROOPS WITHDRAWN FROM INGUSHETIYA. In accordance with an agreement between Ingush President Ruslan Aushev and 58th Army Commander Nikolai Troshev, federal military units have been entirely withdrawn from the territory of Ingushetiya, Russian media reported on 26 February. Army units and Interior Ministry troops entered the republic on 21 February, sealing off two villages near the Ingush-Chechen border and killing seven civilians (see OMRI Daily Digest, 26 February 1996). Although the army commanders claim that the units were simply passing through Ingu-shetiya en route to Chechnya, the Ingush authorities intend to ask the Russian Constitutional Court and Procurator General's Office to investigate the incident, Ekho Moskvy and NTV reported. -- Anna Paretskaya INCUMBENT MAYORS WIN RE-ELECTION. A series of regional elections in Russia on 25 February were almost completely swept by the incumbent heads of the local administrations. The current mayor of Kemerovo, five out of the six incumbent heads of local administrations in Stavropol Krai, and a majority of the current heads of the Yaroslavl Oblast local executive were re-elected, Russian media reported. All of Russia's local administration heads were appointed by President Boris Yeltsin in 1991, except for those in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Elections also took place in the Vologda and Yaroslavl regional and city legislative bodies, the Kemerovo City Duma, and the local self-government bodies of several towns in Krasnodar and Stavropol krais. In most places, the Communist candidates received less votes than they had expected. One of the exceptions was in Kemerovo, where the Communist-oriented Narodovlastie movement headed by Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleev won a majority in the city legislature. -- Anna Paretskaya RUSSIA CRITICIZES U.S. OVER CUBAN PLANE INCIDENT. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin expressed "regret" on 26 February over an incident in which a Cuban MiG-29 shot down two U.S. civilian planes but withheld judgment on the Cuban action pending further investigation, Russian and Western agencies reported. The U.S. has strongly denounced the Cuban action, imposed retaliatory sanctions, and requested that the UN Security Council condemn Cuba. Cuba claimed that the planes, piloted by Cuban exiles, had entered Cuban airspace. Karasin called on the U.S. to prevent further violations of Cuban airspace, which he described as a "provocative factor." Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, meanwhile, sent Cuban leader Fidel Castro a message praising the action, which he called "a victory over the American carrion crows." -- Scott Parrish KINKEL SAYS ETHNIC GERMAN IMMIGRANTS STILL WELCOME. On 26 February, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel rejected calls by opposition Social Democratic leader Oskar Lafontaine for restrictions on the immigration of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Western agencies reported. Kinkel said German policy is focused on improving the living conditions of ethnic Germans in the region but insisted that continued immigration is justified because they often face discrimination. He accused Lafontaine of pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment before three state elections scheduled for next month. Under current German law, ethnic Germans are eligible for citizenship, regardless of their place of birth. According to German officials, up to 4 million ethnic Germans lived in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. Around 2 million have emigrated to Germany since 1989. Last year, 218,000 arrived in Germany, compared with 223,000 in 1994. -- Scott Parrish NEW NUCLEAR WASTE PLANT FOR PACIFIC FLEET. A commercial plant to dispose of liquid radioactive waste (LRW) has been assembled in the Far East and is scheduled to go into operation in the next two days, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 February. Russian- designed, the plant is said to surpass all known LRW technologies. One of its developers, Academician Valentin Sergiyenko, told the agency that the LRW disposal problem in the Far East is now "practically solved." The plant relies on a sorption purification method rather than the conventional evaporation method. Sergiyenko said it could purify 100 liters of waste per hour and within a year should purify some 1,500 metric tons of waste, meeting the requirements of the Pacific Fleet. A smaller pilot-plant has been in operation for about 18 months. -- Doug Clarke FIRE ENGULFS MOSCOW TIRE FACTORY. Seven people, including two firefighters, were injured in a fire at a tire plant in southeastern Moscow on 25-26 February, Russian and Western agencies reported. Another firefighter is missing and believed dead. Komsomolskaya pravda described the blaze as the biggest in the Russian capital since the fire at the Hotel Rossiya in 1977. On 21 February, Gosgortekhnadzor, the agency responsible for monitoring safety at mines and industrial plants, said 609 people, including 221 coal miners, died in industrial accidents in 1995. According to the Labor Ministry, about 300,000 people suffered as a result of workplace accidents in Russia in 1995. The ministry said 124 enterprises were shut down last year following state inspections, ITAR- TASS reported. -- Penny Morvant DETAILS OF PLAN TO LIFT OIL EXPORT DUTIES. The government has released details of the commitment it made to the IMF to remove export duties on oil, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 February. From 1 April export duty will be cut from 20 to 10 ECU per metric ton, and abolished from 1 July, causing an 8 trillion ruble ($1.7 billion) loss to the budget. To compensate, excise duty (paid on all oil sales, including those inside Russia) will be raised from the current 39,000 rubles ($8) per metric ton to 55,000 on 1 April and 70,000 on 1 July. Minster of Fuel and Energy Yurii Shafranik told a press conference that he opposes these measures, fearing that they will harm energy consumers. He also complained that he was not allowed to meet with the IMF delegation last week. In an interview with ITAR-TASS, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin himself said that he is "not an advocate of foreign loans, which must be repaid with interest." -- Peter Rutland FOREIGNERS ENTER TREASURY BOND MARKET. For the first time, foreigners have been allowed to buy GKOs. In auctions on 7 and 21 February, non- residents bought $420 million of bonds, 35% of those on offer, Kommersant Daily reported on 24 February. On 26 February, foreigners bought 1.9 trillion of the 10 trillion rubles ($2.1 billion) sold. However, the Central Bank has now changed the rules, since it realized that foreign buyers could make an annual return of 50-60%. Foreigners must now buy the bonds through a subsidiary of the Paris-based Eurobank, using a special exchange rate, which will limit their return to a maximum of 25%. -- Peter Rutland CHICKEN WAR ON HORIZON. The Russian government has announced that it will halt U.S. poultry imports after 16 March, unless U.S. exporters prove that their products are disease- and additive-free, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 February. After an inspection of U.S. processing plants in January, Russian specialists claimed that U.S. poultry is contaminated with dangerous residues and salmonella. U.S. officials protested the Russian declaration. In 1995, Russia spent $13.3 billion on food imports, which accounted for more than 40% of the food supply. U.S. poultry exports to Russia rocketed from $79 million to $500 million in just three years, making Russia the largest export market for poultry in 1995. -- Natalia Gurushina TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA AZERBAIJANI PARLIAMENT DE-PUTY MURDERED. Ali Ansukh-skii, an ethnic Avar from Azerbaijan's Belokany Raion, died in hospital in Baku on 26 February shortly after being shot three times in the street by an unknown assailant, Turan reported. A prominent businessman, Ansukhskii was elected to parliament in 1990 and 1995 as an independent deputy. Meanwhile, in Armenia parliamentary deputy Boris Mkhitaryan was shot in the head on 21 February while traveling to attend a funeral in Vanadzor, according to Noyan Tapan. -- Liz Fuller DEMONSTRATIONS IN TSKHIN-VALI. Peacekeepers in Tskhinvali, capital of the Georgian autonomous formation of South Ossetiya, have been placed on alert following demonstrations calling for the resignation of the regional government, Iprinda reported on 26 February. The leadership of South Ossetiya aspires to unification with North Ossetiya in the Russian Federation. An emergency session of South Ossetiya's State Council ruled that its chairman, Ludwig Chibirov, should continue to occupy that post "temporarily," but relieved Deputy Chairman Atsamaz Kibisov of his post for embezzling funds allocated to the region's budget by Russia. Demonstrations began earlier this month to protest the alleged misappropriation of humanitarian aid by members of the regional government. -- Liz Fuller TAJIK CEASEFIRE EXTENDED. In an eleventh hour move, the Tajik government and opposition have agreed to a three-month extension of the ceasefire agreement that expired on 26 February, Western agencies reported. The opposition is reportedly ready to compromise on the issue of prisoner exchanges, one of their preconditions for an extension, but it will not drop the demand that all forces in Tajikistan remain in their present positions. Observers had feared that the 24 February kidnapping of an opposition representative to the UN mission in Dushanbe, Zafar Rakhmonov, would derail negotiations. Authorities have been unable to find Rakhmonov or his captors. -- Bruce Pannier KYRGYZ GOVERNMENT RESIGNS. Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev accepted the resignation of the government on 26 February, Reuters reported. However, the present government will remain at work in a caretaker role until a new government has been selected. The move follows the 10 February referendum in which citizens voted to accept amendments to the Kyrgyz constitution that concentrate more power in the hands of the president. Under the amendments, Akayev no longer needs parliamentary approval for cabinet appointments, except for the post of prime minister. In the case of the latter post, the revisions give the president the authority to dissolve parliament if it rejects his candidate for prime minister three times. Akayev has already mentioned he intends to keep Apas Jumagulov as prime minister. -- Bruce Pannier KAZAKHSTANI-U.S. MILITARY COOPERATION. Kazakhstani Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Alibek Kasymov and U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry signed a "Joint Statement of Future U.S.-Kazakhstani Defense and Military Relations" during Kasymov's current visit to the U.S.. Perry told a 26 February Pentagon press conference that the agreement called for regular meetings between senior military officers of the two countries and a schedule of military contacts, including an exchange program between the Arizona National Guard and the Kazakhstani Armed Forces. -- Doug Clarke [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Victor Gomez The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet Union and Central, Eastern, 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) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570

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