The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. - Eden Phillpotts
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Part II, 1 November 1996

 

This is Part I of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part I is a compilation of news concerning Russia, Transcaucasia and
Central Asia. Part II, covering Central, Eastern, and Southeastern
Europe is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues
of the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are available
through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/Index.html

RUSSIA

YELTSIN CANCELS HIS REGULAR ADDRESS. On the advice of his doctors,
President Boris Yeltsin will skip his regular Friday morning radio
address because of his preparations for heart surgery, Reuters reported
on 31 October. Meanwhile, American heart surgeon Michael DeBakey is
planning to arrive in Moscow on 4 November for consultations with his
Russian colleagues and Yeltsin. DeBakey noted that if everything goes
well the operation may be carried out any day after 4 November. --
Nikolai Iakoubovski

DISCORD WITHIN OUR HOME IS RUSSIA. Conflict continues to fester within
the pro-government movement Our Home Is Russia (NDR), according to the 1
November Izvestiya. Although publicly all hints of a schism have been
denied, the paper said sources indicate privately that the government is
increasingly dissatisfied with the NDR State Duma faction and its
leader, Sergei Belyaev (see OMRI Daily Digest, 16 October). Deputy Prime
Minister Vladimir Babichev, who heads the NDR's executive committee, has
reportedly restricted Belyaev's contact with Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin. Belyaev's critics note that he has failed to create an
effective anti-communist coalition within the Duma, even though deputies
not allied with the Communists make up nearly half of the lower house
(only 67 deputies are members of the NDR faction). The NDR Duma faction
has occasionally displayed an independent streak, for instance, by
opposing the government's own draft 1997 budget. -- Laura Belin

CHERNOMYRDIN WARNS AGAINST LEAKS. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
told cabinet members that they should be open with journalists, but
warned that it was not acceptable for ministers to communicate with each
other through the press, ITAR-TASS and Russian TV (RTR) reported on 31
October. He criticized newspaper reports citing unnamed "well-informed
sources" in the government and said a leaked report on the economy by
Finance Minister Aleksandr Livshits, which was published in Moskovskii
komsomolets on 30 October, was only Livshits's personal opinion. --
Laura Belin

ZYUGANOV PUBLISHES IDEOLOGY OF PATRIOTISM. Communist Party leader
Gennadii Zyuganov presented his new book, Russia Is My Motherland: The
Ideology of State Patriotism, ITAR-TASS and Radio Mayak reported on 31
October. The book identifies three aspects of the current crisis in
Russia: the collapse of the industrial base; "the awakening of the
masses," which could lead either to "constructive actions or chaos;" and
conflict within the executive branch. Zyuganov said the state should
respect civil liberties and the rule of law; he added that certain
aspects of Marxist ideology should be "clarified and corrected." Radical
communists have repeatedly attacked Zyuganov for rejecting the theory of
the class struggle and emphasizing patriotism, state-building, and the
importance of traditional institutions such as the Orthodox Church. --
Laura Belin

RUSSIA, U.S. TRADE CHARGES OVER FAILED ABM AGREEMENT. Russian Foreign
Ministry spokesman Mikhail Demurin on 31 October expressed "surprise and
regret" over the collapse of a Russo-American agreement on tactical
ballistic-missile defenses, ITAR-TASS reported (see OMRI Daily Digest,
31 October 1996). Implictly blaming Washington for the collapse of a
Geneva signing ceremony, Demurin argued that a September bilateral
agreement on the issue had called for a review of progress on a second-
stage agreement covering higher-speed interceptors at the same time as
the first agreement was signed. U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas
Burns, however, insisted that Moscow had torpedoed the signing by
backing away from the earlier agreement and attempting to link the first
and second-stage talks. -- Scott Parrish

PRIMAKOV IN ISRAEL. Although Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov
had criticized Israeli policy on previous stops in Syria, Lebanon, and
Egypt, he received a cordial welcome from his Israeli counterpart David
Levy on 31 October, Russian and Western agencies reported. After their
meeting, Levy reaffirmed the importance of Moscow's role in the Middle
East peace process, and said that Primakov had brought "very important
information" from Damascus, Beirut, and Cairo. Playing up the meeting's
significance, Primakov said it showed that "contrary to the past,"
Israel now accorded "Russia the importance it is due" as a co-sponsor of
the peace process. -- Scott Parrish

BATURIN: RUSSIA WANTS BASE IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Defense Council
Secretary Yurii Baturin told Ekho Moskvy on 31 October that he would
like to see a continued Russian military presence in former Yugoslavia
even after the withdrawal of UN and NATO-led peacekeeping forces. He
said "it would not seem strange," if Moscow raised the question of
having a military base in the area, since he claimed the U.S. is already
planning to establish military bases there. He added that the idea of
Russian bases "has become particularly topical in view of the proposed
NATO expansion eastward." -- Scott Parrish

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER THREATENED IN BASHKORTOSTAN. The independent
newspaper Otechestvo was confiscated twice in October and anonymous
death threats have been made to its staff, State Duma Deputy Aleksandr
Arinin (from Bashkortostan) told OMRI on 31 October. Sergei Kuznetsov
and Vitalii Brykin, editor-in-chief and general manager of the paper,
respectively, were told on 30 October that they would be killed if they
continued publishing the paper. Arinin said he believes the threats came
from republican law enforcement agencies, which disaproves of the
paper's outspoken defense of the interests of the Russian population.
The entire circulation of the newspaper, 10,000 copies, was confiscated
twice when it published articles attacking republican authorities and
criticizing Bashkortostan's six-year-old declaration of sovereignty. --
Anna Paretskaya in Moscow

PRO-NIKITIN DEMONSTRATORS ARRESTED. Police broke up an unauthorized
demonstration of 30 people protesting the detention of environmental
activist Aleksandr Nikitin in front of the Federal Security Service
headquarters in St. Petersburg on 31 October, RFE/RL reported. Several
people were detained for many hours, including the deputy chairman of
Democratic Russia's Choice, Igor Solshnikov, and the vice president of
the human rights organization Citizen's Watch, Yurii Vdovin. Nikitin was
arrested last February for having written a report for the Norwegian
Bellona group on the environmental threat posed by nuclear debris from
naval vessels in and around the Kola peninsula: he was accused of using
classified information in preparing the study. -- Peter Rutland

KULIKOV MEETS CHECHEN INTERIOR MINISTER. Russian Interior Minister
Anatolii Kulikov met in Moscow on 30-31 October with his counterpart
from the Chechen interim government, Kazbek Makhashev, to discuss the
transfer of functions from the present joint commandant's office to new
law enforcement bodies that are to function "in accordance with laws of
the Russian Federation which do not contravene Chechnya's interests,"
ITAR-TASS and RTR reported on 31 October. -- Liz Fuller

CHERNOMYRDIN TOURS MILITARY BASES. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin,
accompanied by Defense Minister Igor Rodionov, arrived in Ryazan on 1
November for a tour of local military facilities, including the locally-
based airborne regiment, ITAR-TASS reported. At a Ryazan airfield,
Chernomyrdin met with Col.-Gen. Igor Kalugin, commander of long-range
aviation, and inspected Russian strategic bombers. -- Scott Parrish

MILITARY WORKERS PROTEST IN MOSCOW ... About 300 members of trade unions
representing military workers demonstrated at Pushkin Square in Moscow
on 31 October, RTR reported. Union representatives claimed the action
was simultaneously held in other Russian cities. Demonstrators, both
military and civilian, demanded that the government pay back wages and
revise next year's military budget. -- Nikolai Iakoubovski.

. . . AND DEFENSE PERSONNEL IN THE FAR EAST. Civilians working for
defense ministry installations in the Pacific fleet staged a strike on
31 October, ITAR-TASS reported. Vasilii Grechko, the head of the
region's defense workers' trade union, said the financial situation had
deteriorated sharply since the presidential election and most of his
members have not been paid for five months. Twelve shipyards in the
Murmansk region also joined the strike. The action was a follow-up to a
similar day of protest on 19 September. -- Peter Rutland

WAGE ARREARS OF MOSCOW, PETERSBURG CITIZENS TOTAL 3 TRILLION RUBLES.
Wage arrears for Moscow and St. Petersburg citizens total almost 3
trillion rubles ($550 million), ITAR-TASS reported on 31 October.
According to a poll conducted in St. Petersburg, more than half of the
respondents noted that either their pensions, scholarships, or wages
were unpaid, while in Moscow 39% said that they face arrears. The
majority of poll respondents blamed the federal government for arrears.
-- Ritsuko Sasaki

FIRST MEETING OF BUDGET CONCILIATION COMMISSION. The commission of
government and parliamentary representatives set up to rework the 1997
draft budget (rejected by the State Duma on 11 October) began meeting on
30 October, ITAR-TASS and ORT reported. The head of the Duma's Budget
Committee, Mikhail Zadornov, suggested that both revenues and
expenditures would have to be cut, as they could not be achieved under
the10% annual inflation forecast for 1997. However, Federation Council
representatives supported the government position, Segodnya reported.
Zadornov also complained that the govenment's April decision to remove
oil and gas export duties cost the 1996 budget 17 trillion rubles. The
commission agreed to the government's suggestion to introduce a 15% tax
on state securities transactions--while noting that this will make it
more expensive to float treasury bills. But it rejected the state's
proposal to remove tax credits for investment. -- Natalia Gurushina and
Peter Rutland

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

NOTHING NEW IN THE LATEST ROUND OF NAGORNO-KARABAKH TALKS. No progress
was made at the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict sponsored
by the OSCE's Minsk group that ended on 30 October in Moscow, RFE/RL and
Russian media reported. The OSCE urged all parties to agree on a
"declaration of principles" of the conflict's settlement before the
December summit in Lisbon. The Minsk group released a statement
criticizing the plans of the Nagorno-Karabakh leadership to hold
presidential elections on 24 November, Noyan Tapan reported on 31
October. Despite similar criticism from Azerbaijan, Russia, and the
U.S., Karabakh authorities said on 30 October that the elections will
take place. -- Emil Danielyan

GEORGIA TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON ABKHAZ ELECTIONS. Georgian President
Eduard Shevardnadze has issued a decree on conducting a referendum on 23
November in which ethnic Georgian refugees who fled Abkhazia will
declare whether or not they approve of the Abkhaz parliament elections
to be held on the same day, AFP reported on 31 October quoting ITAR-
TASS. On 2 October the Georgian parliament condemned the proposed Abkhaz
parliamentary elections as invalid given that the former Georgian
population of Abkhazia is unable to participate. The UN has called for
their postponement, but on 29 October Abkhaz President Vladislav
Ardzinba reaffirmed that they would take place, Reuters reported. -- Liz
Fuller

GEORGIAN OPPOSITION CREATES COMMITTEE TO LOBBY FOR RUSSIAN TROOP
WITHDRAWAL. Seventeen Georgian opposition parties have created a
committee to lobby "by peaceful means" for the withdrawal from Georgian
territory of all Russian troops stationed there, AFP reported on 31
October. Russia currently leases four military bases in Georgia, but the
Georgain parliament has threatened to annul this agreement as it is
conditional on Russian assistance in reasserting Georgian control over
Abkhazia. -- Liz Fuller

MONEY FROM OIL SALES MISSING. Sarybai Kalmurzaev, the head of the
Kazakstani State Property Committee, said that over $500 million from
oil sales over the past few years was never received. During a press
conference on the privatization of the oil and gas industry, he said
that a corrupted system of trade rather than nonpayments between
enterprises is to blame. The sum is equal to 3 million tons of crude
oil. -- Slava Kozlov in Almaty

MORE CHANGES IN KAZAKSTANI GOVERNMENT. A reshuffling of the government
continued on 31 October when Gen. Mukhtar Altynbayev was appointed
defense minister, replacing Alibek Kasymov, who reportedly left this
post due to "health problems." Altynbayev, 51, was a deputy minister and
had commanded the Kazakstani Air Force since 1993. President Nursultan
Nazarbayev also appointed Abish Kekilbayev as state secretary of the
republic, Hayrolla Ospanov as industry and trade minister, and Qirimbek
Kosherbayev as Nazarbayev's press secretary. These appointments have
been made in the absence of Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who is
currently in Japan. -- Slava Kozlov in Almaty

JAPANESE GIVE MONEY TO UPGRADE UZBEK AIRPORTS. The Japanese government
announced on 30 October that a credit of 15.5 billion yen (more than
$140 million) will be given to Uzbekistan to upgrade airports in
Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench, ITAR-TASS reported. The three cities
date back to the days of the Silk Route and are the sites of many
historical monuments. The Uzbek government hopes that improvement in the
airports will aid the tourism industry, with profits then channeled into
industry. -- Bruce Pannier

CENTRAL ASIANS AT DONOR CONFERENCE IN JAPAN. The prime ministers of
Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are in Japan for a three-day
conference for countries that give aid to Central Asian states, ITAR-
TASS and NTV reported. Japan was the only country to go on record with
new funding schemes for the three countries. Kazakstan was pledged $200
million for projects ranging from building new bridges to constructing
medical centers, according to Kazak Television monitored by the BBC.
ITAR-TASS reported Tajikistan will receive about $2.25 million in
credits for construction of international airports at Dushanbe, Khojent,
and Kulyab. -- Bruce Pannier
[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Pete Baumgartner

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              SUBSCRIBING/UNSUBSCRIBING
1) Compose a message to LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
2) To subscribe, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L FirstName LastName (include your own name)
   To unsubscribe, write:
     UNSUBSCRIBE OMRI-L
3) Send the message

                                    BACK ISSUES
Back issues of the OMRI Daily Digest are available through the World
Wide Web, by FTP and by E-mail.
WWW
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/Index.html

FTP
ftp://194.108.1.176/Pub/DailyDigest/

E-Mail
Send the words "index daily-digest" to MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ


                                  REPRINT POLICY
To receive a copy of OMRI's reprint policy, contact OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
or see the Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

                              OTHER OMRI PUBLICATIONS

TRANSITION
OMRI publishes the biweekly journal TRANSITION, which contains expanded
analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For subscription
information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ or visit the Transition
Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Transition/TransitionInfo.html


ECONOMIC DIGEST
The OMRI Economic Digest is for those who need more detailed economic
news from the region. There is a four-week free trial subscription
available; for more information, write to ECON@OMRI.CZ or go to the
Economic Digest Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Econ/Info.html


OMRI RUSSIAN REGIONAL REPORT
The OMRI Russian Regional Report is a weekly publication (published
every Wednesday) on initially focusing on the local elections taking
place throughout Russia during the Fall of 1996. After the election
season is over, the Russian Regional Report will continue, turning to
broader social, political and economic issues of Russia's regions. To
subscribe, please follow these instructions:
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE REGIONS YourName
   Fill in your own first and last names where shown
3) Send the message


PURSUING BALKAN PEACE
Pursuing Balkan Peace focuses on the implementation of the Dayton
Accords in the former Yugoslavia.  This weekly publication, published
every Tuesday, contains both brief news summaries and longer essays on
specific events or issues facing the people of the region.  To
subscribe, please follow these instructions:
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE BALKAN-PEACE YourName
   Fill in your own first and last names where shown
3) Send the message


RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE OMRI DAILY DIGEST
The full text of the OMRI Daily Digest is translated into Russian and
distributed the following day.
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@ISF.RU
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI YourName
   Fill in your own name where shown
3) Send the message


[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