You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol 1, No. 49, Part I, 10 June 1997


server.  We regret the inconvenience and have re-sent NEWSLINE for Monday, 9
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RFE/RL NEWSLINE
Vol 1, No. 49, Part I, 10 June 1997

This is Part I of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Newsline.
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 RFE/RL NewsLine are available through RFE/RL's WWW
pages: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/

Back  issues of the OMRI Daily Digest are available through OMRI's
WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/

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Headlines, Part I

* ZYUGANOV TO DEMAND INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED DOCUMENT ON DUMA DISSOLUTION


* PRIMORE POLITICAL ELITE DENOUNCE FEDERAL POLICIES


* RUSSIA SEEKS PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT TO AFGHAN SITUATION

End Note
NATO Is About Far More Than Russia

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RUSSIA

ZYUGANOV TO DEMAND INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED DOCUMENT ON DUMA DISSOLUTION.
Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov says he will demand a parliamentary
investigation into alleged plans to dissolve the State Duma, RFE/RL's Moscow
bureau reported on 9 June. The pro-communist newspaper Sovetskaya Rossiya on 7
June published extracts from a document allegedly circulating among President
Boris Yeltsin's advisers. The document suggests waging a media campaign to
discredit the Duma's activities and seeking "moral support" for disbanding the
Duma from foreign leaders at the June G-7 summit in Denver. The document also
advocates filing appeals in the Constitutional Court to undermine the Duma's
legitimacy and eventually issuing a presidential decree saying new
parliamentary elections will be held only if the government has enough money.
Speaking to RFE/RL, Sergei Shakhrai, Yeltsin's representative in the
Constitutional Court, neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the
document.

NEMTSOV MEETS WITH JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER. Russian First Deputy Prime
Minister Boris Nemtsov met with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on
10 June and delivered a personal letter from Yeltsin inviting Hashimoto to
visit Russia later this year, according to Russian media and Japan's Kyodo
news agency. Hashimoto said he will discuss the possibility of visiting Russia
when he sees Yeltsin at the G-7 conference in Denver, Colorado, later this
month. Nemtsov received assurances that loans worth $2 billion that Japan
granted to the Soviet Union would be restructured. Japanese Finance Minister
Hiroshi Mitsuzuka said Japan will back Russia's bid to join the Paris Club as
a creditor country.

FEDERATION COUNCIL RATIFIES RUSSIAN-BELARUSIAN TREATY. The Federation Council
on 10 June ratified the Russian-Belarusian union treaty and charter by a vote
of 144 to zero with three abstentions, ITAR-TASS reported. The State Duma
ratified the documents on 6 June.

PRIMORE POLITICAL ELITE DENOUNCE FEDERAL POLICIES. The Primorskii Krai
administration has claimed that Moscow officials are "destabilizing" the
situation in the krai, RFE/RL's correspondent in Vladivostok reported on 9
June. It has also accused the Moscow-based media of carrying out an
"information terror" against the krai authorities. Governor Yevgenii
Nazdratenko says federal debts to Primore have caused persistent energy crises
there. He continues to denounce proposed increases in local energy tariffs.
Federal officials say the energy crises have been caused by a two-tier pricing
system imposed by the Primore authorities. Favored local enterprises pay very
low rates for electricity, while federal-funded organizations in the krai are
charged exorbitant rates. Nazdratenko was elected governor in December 1995
and has said he will not leave office unless he loses a popular referendum or
early gubernatorial election.

OPPOSITION POLITICIANS, SOME GOVERNORS SUPPORT NAZDRATENKO. Former Security
Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed has sent a telegram of support to
Nazdratenko, asking the Primore governor to "stand firm" against pressure from
the federal authorities, RFE/RL's correspondent in Vladivostok reported on 9
June. According to the krai administration's press service, several governors,
including Eduard Rossel of Sverdlovsk, have also called Nazdratenko to express
their support. Meanwhile, the editors-in-chief of Sovetskaya Rossiya and the
opposition weekly Zavtra published an appeal on Nazdratenko's behalf in the 10
June issue of Sovetskaya Rossiya. The appeal said Nazdratenko had in effect
been illegally removed from office when extensive powers were transferred to
Yeltsin's representative in Primore, Viktor Kondratov (see RFE/RL Newsline, 9
June 1997). The appeal also called on Federation Council Speaker Yegor Stroev
to support Nazdratenko, whom it described as "a Federation Council member who
is being persecuted by the [federal] authorities."

CHUBAIS ISSUES INCOME DECLARATION. First Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii
Chubais on 10 June issued a declaration saying he earned 1.71 billion rubles
($297,000) in 1996, ITAR-TASS reported. Of that sum, Chubais reportedly earned
39 million rubles while serving as Yeltsin's chief of staff from July to
December and the remainder for "lectures, consultations, salary, and income
from stock transactions while working as the director-general of the Center
for the Defense of Private Property." Chubais also declared bank accounts at
Menatep (120 million rubles) and Most Bank (695 million rubles), a Suzuki car
worth 212 million rubles, a two-room apartment in Moscow worth 28 million
rubles, and land outside Moscow worth 35 million rubles. In January, Chubais
paid some $92,000 in taxes after the weekly Novaya gazeta reported that he had
evaded taxes on $278,000 earned during the 1996 presidential campaign.

YELTSIN ENDORSES DEFENSE MINISTER'S REFORM PLANS. At a meeting with Defense
Minister Igor Sergeev, Yeltsin approved a document outlining proposed reforms
in the military, Russian and Western news agencies reported on 9 June. Sergeev
vowed to stop bureaucratic waste and use scarce funds toward improving the
troops' combat readiness. He said 60% of funds allocated to the military went
to cover maintenance costs, such as the payment of allowances and the purchase
of provisions. Sergeev added that money could be saved by cutting the number
of installations and depots, reducing the duplication of responsibilities, and
selling off unprofitable enterprises run by the military. Yeltsin appointed
Sergeev in May to replace Igor Rodionov, who, according to the president, had
made little progress in reforming the military. Many Russian commentators say
Yeltsin himself is to blame for the slow pace of military reform.

MOST OFFICERS PLAN TO LEAVE ARMED FORCES VOLUNTARILY. Most Russian officers
say they will leave the armed forces when their current contracts expire,
Interfax reported on 8 June, citing Defense Ministry sources. Because of
persistent wage arrears, an estimated 61% of officers suffer from chronic
financial problems and 29% are living beneath the poverty line. The five-year
contracts signed by officers after post-Soviet Russia set up its armed forces
in 1992 will start to expire later this year. Yeltsin has charged a government
commission chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Chubais with drafting
proposals to "stabilize the financial and economic situation of the armed
forces."

CIS INTERPARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON TRANSDNIESTER, ABKHAZIA.
At a plenary session in St. Petersburg on 8 June, the CIS Interparliamentary
Assembly adopted a resolution that approves the recent agreement between
Moldova and the Transdniester breakaway region on normalizing relations and
stresses that the conflict can be resolved only on the basis of recognition of
Moldova's territorial integrity, according to BASA-Press on 9 June and
Nezavisimaya gazeta on 10 June. The assembly also adopted another resolution
calling for the implementation of the decision of the March CIS heads of state
summit on broadening the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping force in Abkhazia. On
9 June, the Council of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly held its first
joint session with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in St.
Petersburg. The two bodies signed an agreement on cooperation, Interfax
reported.

INGUSH VICE PRESIDENT APPOINTED TO RUSSIAN SECURITY COUNCIL. Yeltsin appointed
Lt.-Gen. Boris Agapov as deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council on 9
June, Russian and Western agencies reported. Agapov, who is a former border
guard general, is Ivan Rybkin's sixth deputy. Rybkin said he will be
responsible for "crisis management," while Security Council press secretary
Igor Ignatev said Agapov will focus on border disputes in the "post-Soviet
space."

FATE OF ST. PETERSBURG REFERENDUM IN DOUBT. The St. Petersburg electoral
commission has decided to withdraw its request that the city's legislature set
a date for a referendum on the performance of St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir
Yakovlev, ITAR-TASS reported on 9 June. Aleksandr Garusov, who heads the
commission, explained that the St. Petersburg City Court recently declared the
registration of the initiative group supporting the referendum illegal. The
court ruled that one of the proposed referendum questions was improperly
phrased. Although Garusov described the court's reasoning as "not convincing,"
he said his commission was obliged to abide by the court ruling. In May,
Yakovlev's opponents collected more than 250,000 signatures in favor of
holding the referendum.

CASE AGAINST NOVODVORSKAYA CLOSED. The criminal case against Valeriya
Novodvorskaya, leader of the radical Democratic Union, has been closed,
Moskovskii komsomolets reported on 10 June. Novodvorskaya was accused of
inciting ethnic hatred in two newspaper articles published in 1993 and 1994
and in a 1994 interview on Estonian television. In particular, she had
suggested that the typical Russian is afflicted with a "manic-depressive
psychosis" and that "laziness, poverty, spinelessness, and slavery" are
characteristics of the Russian mentality. Although similar charges against her
were dropped in September 1995, procurators opened a second case based on the
same alleged crime in April 1996. Novodvorskaya's defenders argued that she
was being persecuted for remarks intended as political satire. The case was
finally brought to trial in September 1996, but judges referred the case for
further investigation the following month (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 September
and 23 October 1996).

EXPERTS SAY OIL, GAS INDUSTRY CAUSES WIDESPREAD POLLUTION. Experts appearing
before the Government Ecological Committee announced on 9 June that widespread
"environmental violations" in the country's gas and oil industry has polluted
large swathes of Russian territory, ITAR-TASS reported. The specialists said
soil around most oil and gas drilling operations was contaminated and that in
oil-rich Tyumen Oblast alone, pollution has caused grazing pastures to shrink
by 12.5% and has contaminated some 30,000 hectares of forest. The experts also
said some 70 million cubic meters of untreated waste water was dumped annually
into Russia's rivers and lakes. In Tyumen and Tomsk Oblasts as well as in
Khanty-Mansi and Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, water pollution exceeds
accepted levels by ten times, the experts noted.

TRETYAKOV GALLERY SHORT OF FUNDS. Valentin Rodionov, the director of Moscow's
Tretyakov Gallery, says state subsidies to the museum are half of what it
requires, Interfax reported on 9 June. Rodionov said the museum needs 118
billion rubles (more than $20 million) a year to cover costs. But he noted
that the museum received only 15 billion rubles of the 50 billion rubles
allocated to it last year. Also on 9 June, Moscow's Mayor Yurii Luzhkov said
he would ask Yeltsin to ensure "proper" funding for the gallery. Luzhkov said
he would head a new foundation to support the Tretyakov, ITAR-TASS reported.
The 141-year-old Tretyakov reopened to the public two years ago after
renovations that took 10 years.

STAVROPOL GOVERNOR, TEREK COSSACKS DISAGREE OVER TERRITORIAL CLAIMS. At a
press conference on 9 June, Stavropol Krai governor Aleksandr Chernogorov
expressed disapproval of the stated intention of the Terek Cossacks to raise
the issue of the return to Stavropol of two raions transferred to the
Chechen-Ingush ASSR in 1958, ITAR-TASS reported. Chernogorov suggested he
considered Stavropol's claims on the two raions are valid, but he noted it is
Moscow's prerogative to rule on territorial divisions within Russia on the
basis of its constitution.

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

RUSSIA SEEKS PEACEFUL SETTLEMENT TO AFGHAN SITUATION. Russia Deputy Foreign
Minister Viktor Posuvalyuk has confirmed he met with a representative of
Afghanistan's Taliban during his recent official visit to Pakistan, Interfax
reported. Posuvalyuk said he told the representative that there is no military
solution to the problems in Afghanistan. He added that he encouraged political
dialogue between the various groups in Afghanistan. Posuvalyuk also positively
assessed his meetings with Pakistani officials, saying the results showed that
Moscow and Islamabad have "possibilities to cooperate..., to reconcile the
Afghans, and to achieve a settlement." Posuvalyuk confirmed this was not the
first time Russian officials had met with the Taliban.

U.S.-UZBEK MILITARY EXERCISES FINISH. The Ultra Balance-97 military exercises
were completed on 9 June, according to Interfax. The four-day maneuvers took
place in the Fergana Valley 80 kilometers from the Uzbek-Tajik border in
accordance with a 1995 bilateral agreement between the Uzbek Defense Ministry
and the U.S. Defense Department. U.S. officers also inspected sites in
Uzbekistan and Kazakstan where an 11-country military exercise is scheduled to
be held in late September under the Partnership for Peace program.

SENTENCES REDUCED FOR KYRGYZ JOURNALISTS. A municipal court on 10 June reduced
the sentences of four Kyrgyz journalists charged with libel, RFE/RL
correspondents in Bishkek reported. The four are from the Kyrgyz independent
weekly newspaper Res Publica. Editor-in-Chief Zamira Sydykova's sentence was
reduced from 18 months in prison to one year in a penal colony. Aleksandr
Alyanchikov had also been given an 18-months jail sentence, which has been
changed to a one-year suspended sentence. The decision to bar journalists
Bektash Shamshiev and Marina Sivasheva from practicing journalism for 18
months was also overturned. Yrysbek Omurzakov, who is on trial for slandering
the director of a Bishkek factory, has been released from detention until his
case comes to court again.

KYRGYZ SHARES ALLOTTED TO LOW-INCOME GROUPS. President Askar Akayev has signed
a decree whereby 8% of shares in leading enterprises will be distributed free
of charge among pensioners, invalids, World War Two veterans, and low-income
families, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported on 9 June. Shares will include those
in leading companies scheduled to be privatized such as Kyrgyztelekom,
Kyrgyzenergo, the national airline, and the two largest publishing houses,
Uchkun and Akyl. The measure is intended to "ensure social justice."

U.S. COMPANY TO SUPPLY FARM MACHINERY TO TURKMENISTAN. The U.S. company Saba
has signed a contract with Turkmenselkhoztekhnika to provide farming vehicles
and irrigation equipment to Turkmenistan, according to ITAR-TASS on 9 June.
Turkmenistan will pay for the machinery with a loan worth almost $100 million
that the country received from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The U.S. company
John Deere also supplies Turkmenistan with farming equipment.

ARMENIAN SUPREME COURT HANDS DOWN SUSPENDED SENTENCE IN "25 SEPTEMBER" TRIAL.
Dashnak party member Kim Balayan has received a two-year suspended sentence on
charges of inciting mass disturbances, Noyan Tapan reported on 9 June. The
charges refer to Balayan's alleged role in the 25 September attack on the
Armenian parliament building, which occurred shortly after last year's
disputed presidential election. Five other defendants were amnestied on 5 June
after receiving sentences of between 18 and 30 months (see RFE/RL Newsline, 9
June 1997).

PREPARATIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ABKHAZIA ALREADY UNDER WAY? In
his weekly radio address, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said on 9
June that "hard work is under way" to convene an international conference on
resolving the Abkhaz conflict, according to Interfax. Shevardnadze said Russia
could organize such a meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. He also
reiterated that "Georgia's president and authorities have done everything to
ensure the peaceful resolution of the conflict taking Russia's interests into
account" but without success, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 10 June. Abkhaz
President Vladislav Ardzinba was scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign
Minister Evgenii Primakov on 9 June, according to NTV. However, there have
been no reports on whether the meeting took place.

END NOTE

NATO Is About Far More Than Russia

by Paul Goble

        Both supporters and opponents of NATO expansion have tended to discuss t
 he
issue in terms of its impact on Russia. As a result, the increasingly heated
debate has failed to pay much attention to the other purposes that the Western
alliance has served and the purposes that the prospect of expansion has
promoted.
        Supporters of expansion typically argue that the Western alliance should
expand now to provide an insurance policy for countries in Eastern Europe in
the event that Russia regains its strength and reverts to the often aggressive
ways of the past. Opponents of any growth in the alliance, on the other hand,
have suggested that the Russian threat to Europe has disappeared along with
the Soviet Union and that any expansion would undermine Russian reform at home
and Russian cooperation abroad.
        Unfortunately, the heavy focus on Russia has obscured the multiple reaso
 ns
that lay behind NATO's founding in 1949, the multiple roles it has played and
continues to play in a variety of spheres, and the enormous contribution that
the prospect of expansion has made to laying the foundation for a more stable
and peaceful Eastern Europe. As more than one commentator has observed, NATO
was established to keep the Russians out of Europe, the Americans in, and the
Germans down. During the Cold War, attention to the first often obscured the
other two. Indeed, by preventing Soviet expansionism, NATO helped its member
countries to focus on domestic developments rather than on defense, as they
often had in the past.
        But during the discussions on forming the alliance, most of its future
members were far more worried about the two other factors: the possibilities
of a resurgence of German militarism and an early U.S. exit from Europe, as
had happened after World War I.
        By rooting Germany in a broader security arrangement, NATO has made an
important contribution to the rapprochement of Berlin and Paris and to the
construction of a more united Europe. And by creating an institution that
linked the U.S.'s fate to Europe's, NATO has served to limit the reemergence
of traditional isolationism in the United States.
        But NATO has, in fact, done far more than that. By promoting cooperation
  and
interoperability among the military and political elites of its members, NATO
has allowed them to explore their common interests and overcome their past
suspicions. In times of crisis, this ongoing cooperation has allowed the West
to act, as in the Gulf War, more quickly and easily than would otherwise have
been the case.
        Moreover it has helped promote democracy in member states such as Turkey
  and
Spain. It has integrated the military industries of its members in ways that
limit the ability of any one of them to act unilaterally. And it has even
contributed to the economic growth of all by eliminating many of the fears
behind national protectionism.
        More recently, the possibility of the expansion of the alliance has made
  yet
another contribution to European stability. It has prompted the countries that
hope to be included in the alliance to try to resolve some of their historical
quarrels. Among the pairs of countries that have done so are Hungary and
Romania, Poland and Lithuania, and Ukraine and Romania.
        And finally, because NATO leaders have made it clear that any country ho
 ping
to join must demonstrate a commitment to democracy, human rights, and a free
market, all the countries seeking admission have done more in this direction
than their past records on those issues might have led anyone to expect.
Historians may ultimately conclude that those developments are among NATO's
greatest achievements. But this particular contribution of the alliance will
survive only if its current members demonstrate that they will admit new
members not only now but also in the future.



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