Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man. - Leon Trotsky
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 110 Part I, 10 June 1998


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 110 Part I, 10 June 1998

A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern
Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by
the staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This is Part I, a compilation of news concerning Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Part II covers Central,
Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and is distributed
simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of RFE/RL
Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's
Web site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part I

* FEDOROV TO PURGE TAX OFFICE

* WAS JOURNALIST'S MURDER POLITICALLY MOTIVATED?

* KARABAKH PARLIAMENT REBUFFS PRESIDENT
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

RUSSIA

FEDOROV TO PURGE TAX OFFICE. The director of the Federal Tax
Service, Boris Fedorov, announced on 9 June that he will
"purge" his office of senior officials suspected of
corruption, Interfax reported. Fedorov also spoke of the
need to improve coordination between the tax police and tax
inspectorate and repeated the call for the creation of a new
"ministry of revenues," which would unite several bodies now
working independently. In a country of 150 million people,
only 3.2 million tax declarations were submitted last year,
Fedorov said. He added that his first targets will be rich
Russians and foreigners. AW

MORE DETAILS EMERGE ON ARREST OF YURKOV. Fedorov's
announcement followed the detention of Yurii Yurkov, the
director of Russia's State Statistics Committee, on
suspicion of distorting information about major companies to
help them avoid paying taxes. The Prosecutor-General's
Office later the same day announced that more than 20 people
were involved in the scheme, including the head of the
agency's data processing center, Boris Saakyan. In a
statement, the Prosecutor-General's Office said both Yurkov
and Saakyan have pleaded guilty to the charges. More than $1
million was found in Yurkov's apartment, while another
$500,000 and a large amount of jewelry were seized from the
residences of the others arrested. AW

KIRIENKO LAUDS ARRESTS, BUT RATING AGENCY UNIMPRESSED. Prime
Minister Sergei Kirienko said on 9 June that the arrests
highlight government efforts to battle economic crimes,
ITAR-TASS reported. "I do not think that today's arrest of
Yurii Yurkov is a misfortune," Kirienko said, adding that
the arrests were a combined effort of the Russian security
service and the Prosecutor-General's Office. But the
international rating agency Standard and Poor's seemed
unimpressed. Citing tax problems among the reasons, the
agency on 9 June cut Russia's long-term foreign-currency
rating to B+ from BB-. Standards and Poor's said, however,
that the long-term outlook is stable. And it praised
Russia's commitment to low inflation, running at an annual
rate of 12 percent. AW

TAX SERVICE PRESSED TO INCREASE COLLECTION. Russian Deputy
Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko announced on 9 June that
the government has instructed the Federal Tax Service to
boost collections by 40 percent in June, ITAR-TASS reported.
Khristenko said the tax service's work overall is
"unsatisfactory" but added that urgent measures implemented
at the end of May will greatly improve tax collection. AW

MORE MONEY FLOWS OUT OF COUNTRY. Russian security officials
said on 9 June that more than $25 billion has been smuggled
out of Russia illegally since the collapse of the Soviet
Union in order to dodge paying taxes, Interfax reported.
Most of the money has ended up in bank accounts in
Switzerland, Cyprus, Britain, and Israel, Interfax said.
Investigators said they have leads on $5 billion of the
smuggled funds. AW

WAS JOURNALIST'S MURDER POLITICALLY MOTIVATED? Leading media
outlets, human rights organizations, and some politicians
are alleging that the murder of Larisa Yudina in the
southern republic of Kalmykia, was politically motivated
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 June 1998). The Kalmykian
authorities, however, deny that was the case. Yudina was co-
chairwoman of the local branch of the pro-reform Yabloko
movement and an editor of "Sovetskaya Kalmykia Segodnya,"
the republic's only non-government newspaper. That newspaper
frequently published articles critical of Kirsan
Ilyumzhinov, Kalmykia's president and a wealthy businessman
. Following harassment by the local authorities, it was
forced to print outside Kalmykia. NTV reported that
demonstrators took to the streets of Elista, Kalmykia's
capital, on 9 June carrying banners that read "Ilyumzhinov--
who killed Yudina?" FF

SKURATOV TO HEAD PROBE INTO YUDINA'S SLAYING. Prosecutor-
General Yuri Skuratov has agreed to lead the probe into
Yudina's murder. The State Duma backed Yabloko's request
that he head the investigation. Meanwhile, Skuratov has
responded by ordering a special group of Moscow
investigators and prosecutors to Kalmykia and personally
taking charge of the case, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported
on 9 June. AW

MEDIA MOST OFFICIAL TO HEAD GAZPROM MEDIA. Gazprom head Rem
Vyakhirev has said that Media Most president Sergei Zverev
will become his deputy, RFE/RL's Russian Service reported on
9 June. Vyakhirev said Zverev will head Gazprom Media, which
is in charge of structuring and developing Gazprom's
numerous media assets. "Kommersant-Daily" reported the next
day that Viktor Ilyushin, who until now headed Gazprom
Media, will become head of Gazprom's public relations and
regional relations department. Vyakhirev said Zverev was
appointed as part of a "reorganization" of Gazprom's media
holding. Gazprom owns a 30 percent share in NTV, Media
Most's main electronic media asset. Russian media said on 10
June that Zverev will head the group of consultants advising
former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin in his bid to
become a member of the Duma before running in the 2000
presidential election. FF

RUSSIA DENIES S-300s ALREADY DEPLOYED ON CYPRUS. Russian,
Turkish, and Turkish Cypriot spokesmen have all denied a
Russian newspaper report that Russia has already sent S-300
air defense missiles to Greek Cyprus, the "Turkish Daily
News" reported on 10 June. Yevgenii Ananev, head of the
Russian arms export monopoly Rosvooruzhenie, has repeatedly
said that the missiles will be sent on schedule to Cyprus,
in August. But "Segodnya" reported on 9 June that the
missiles have already been shipped to the island. A
Rosvooruzhenie spokesman said the "Segodnya" report is
"thoroughly baseless." Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman
Vladimir Rakhmanin said Russia "is a reliable commercial
partner" and will fulfill its obligation to supply the S-
300s on schedule, Reuters reported. LF

DUMA POSTPONES START-2 HEARINGS UNTIL FALL. The Duma voted
by 235 to 39 on 10 June to postpone hearings on the START-2
nuclear arms reduction treaty from June 16 until the fall,
ITAR-TASS reported. Communist Duma speaker Gennadii Seleznev
has warned that the hearings will be further delayed if U.S.
President Bill Clinton continues to pressure Russia to
ratify the treaty. Clinton has said he would prefer to visit
Moscow for a proposed summit with Yeltsin after START-2 has
been ratified. Retired General Albert Makashov, a communist
deputy who backed ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party
leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky's proposal to put off the
hearings, said the Kremlin wants Duma deputies to convince
their colleagues to ratify the treaty. But Makashov added
that "it's Clinton who needs [the treaty ratified]." AW

RUSSIA CONTINUES CUTS IN TRADE MISSIONS. Russia announced on
9 June that it will continue reducing its overseas trade
missions by consolidating offices in South Africa,
Mozambique and Nigeria, ITAR-TASS reported. In 40 countries,
Russian trade missions, often separate entities with their
own support staff and facilities, have already seen their
operations cut as part of the government's efforts to reduce
spending. AW

RUSSIAN PATRIARCH NOT TO ATTEND TSAR'S REBURIAL. After a
meeting of the Holy Synod on 9 June, it was announced that
the Patriarch of All Russia and Moscow Aleksei II will not
attend the ceremony to bury the remains of Nicholas II and
his family on 17 July in St. Petersburg, Interfax reported.
Metropolitan Yuvenalii said the Church still has doubts
whether the bones are genuine. A government commission said
in January it is satisfied that exhaustive tests conducted
in Russia and abroad proved the bones found in Yekaterinburg
in 1991 were those of Nicholas II and his family. The
commission also agreed to hold a funeral in the former
imperial capital exactly 80 years after the family was
murdered. Metropolitan Yuvenalii also repeated calls for a
symbolic memorial grave to be set up as a place of
repentance for the sins of the communist era and of prayer
for its victims. AW

SIBERIAN TEACHERS TAKE OFFICIAL HOSTAGE TO DEMAND BACK PAY.
ITAR-TASS reported on 9 June that teachers in Siberia's
Maiminsk region are holding a local administration chief in
his office to demand months of unpaid wages. It said the
teachers, who have barricaded the office for two days, will
not free the official until their wages are paid. AW

NO PROGRESS IN NORTH OSSETIAN HOSTAGE CRISIS. The five
Ingush bus passengers abducted in the North Ossetian village
of Zilgi and another six Ossetians kidnapped the previous
day (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 June 1998) have not yet been
released, despite an agreement between the premiers of the
two republics that the groups will be exchanged,
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported. North Ossetian President
Aleksandr Dzasokov has proposed a meeting with his Ingush
counterpart, Ruslan Aushev. Aushev, who has enjoyed good
working relations with Dzasokhov since the latter's election
as president in January, accused the North Ossetian
leadership of being unable to control the situation in North
Ossetia. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Khristenko, Federal
Security Service chief Nikolai Kovalev, and other leading
law enforcement officials arrived in the North Ossetian
capital, Vladikavkaz, on 10 June, ITAR-TASS reported. LF

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

KARABAKH PARLIAMENT REBUFFS PRESIDENT. The parliament of the
unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic voted overwhelmingly
on 9 June not to allow President Arkadii Ghukasian to assume
the duties of prime minister, arguing that this would
"disrupt the balance" among the three branches of power,
RFE/RL's Stepanakert correspondent reported. Murad
Petrosian, chairman of the parliamentary Defense and
Security Committee, argued that Ghukasian's performance
record since taking office last September has been
unimpressive and that therefore it makes no sense to place
any further "burden" upon him. Petrosian also criticized
"political games" by the Armenian leadership "aimed at
excluding any influence by Nagorno-Karabakh on Armenian
foreign policy." LF

ARMENIAN REVOLUTIONARY FEDERATION ISSUES ULTIMATUM.
Following the 9 June parliamentary session in the Nagorno-
Karabakh Republic, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation's
Karabakh organization issued a statement criticizing the
enclave's leadership for deviating from the path of
democracy and national unity, RFE/RL reported. The statement
called on Ghukasian to take immediate measures to safeguard
Karabakh's "victories." Those measures included pre-term
parliamentary elections, elections to local government
bodies, a major government reshuffle, an active policy of
economic development, and the resettlement of the occupied
territories adjacent to Karabakh. LF

GEORGIAN OPPOSITION TO DEMAND PRESIDENT'S RESIGNATION. Akaki
Asatiani, parliamentary speaker under Zviad Gamsakhurdia and
leader of the opposition Union of Georgian Traditionalists,
has said his party will begin collecting signatures to
demand the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze,
Caucasus Press reported on 10 June. Several other opposition
parties have called for Shevardnadze's resignation following
the expulsion of some 30,000--40,000 ethnic Georgians from
Abkhazia last month (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 1,
No. 15, 9 June 1998). Asatiani told "Nezavisimaya gazeta" in
March that he will contend the 2000 presidential poll rather
than allow the country to become "a battlefield between two
former Georgian Communist Party first secretaries," meaning
Shevardnadze and his successor, Djumber Patiashvili. LF

AZERBAIJANI PARLIAMENT PASSES CONTROVERSIAL ELECTION LAW.
The parliament has passed the law on the presidential
elections in the third and final reading, Turan and Reuters
reported on 9 June. The legislature will set the date of the
poll, due in October, only after its summer recess, to the
annoyance of international observers. Although numerous
amendments have been made to the original draft on the
recommendation of the OSCE, opposition politicians still
object that it is undemocratic, pointing to the provision
for deploying police and security officials at polling
stations. Azerbaijan Popular Front deputy chairman Ali
Kerimov, Musavat Party chairman Isa Gambar, Democratic Party
chairman Ilyas Ismailov, and Liberal Party chairwoman Lala-
Shovket Gadjieva have all declared their intention to
boycott the elections. A leading member of the Movement for
Democratic Reforms and Democratic Elections told Turan that
the movement will stage demonstrations to protest the law.
LF

EVACUATION OF BARSKOON AREA COMPLETED. Kyrgyz Minister of
Health Care Naken Kasiev told a press conference in Bishkek
on 9 June that the evacuation of the Barskoon area, on the
southern shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, has been completed, RFE/RL
correspondents reported. The evacuation follows the spill
last month of sodium cyanide into a local river when a truck
belonging to the Kumtor gold mining operation overturned.
Kasiev said the authorities have temporarily relocated 4,800
people to the northern shore of the lake. and that 5,349
people from the affected area have sought medical help. Two
experts from the World Health Organization said at the same
press conference that the level of sodium cyanide in the
water and ground is now at acceptable levels and pose no
danger to the population. BP

NAZARBAYEV GIVES INTERNET INTERVIEW. Kazakh President
Nursultan Nazarbayev appeared on nationwide television on 8
June to answer questions put to him via the Internet. He
said that $188 million has been spent on government
buildings in the new capital, Astana, and that part of that
sum was contributed by foreign firms. Some $250 million has
been spent on other structures. Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan
has a free press and that journalists who feel that their
rights have been violated can take their case to court. The
president praised the work of Prime Minister Nurlan
Balgimbayev's government, noting that Kazakhstan now ranks
among the leaders in the CIS in terms of per capita foreign
investment ($500) and average monthly wages ($120). The
economy, he added, shows signs of improvement, despite
declining world prices for oil and metals (which are among
Kazakhstan's leading exports). BP

TURKIC SUMMIT IN ASTANA. The fifth Turkic summit took place
in the new Kazakh capital, Astana, on 9 June, ITAR-TASS
reported. The leaders reaffirmed their commitments to
cooperating in the fields of economics, culture, and
science. They also released a statement calling on India and
Pakistan to halt nuclear testing and sign the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty. BP

KARIMOV ON TURKIC UNITY, "EXTREMISTS." Before departing for
Astana, Uzbek President Islam Karimov on 8 June said that
past summits have shown "unhealthy rivalry and competition."
He argued that there should be limits to Turkic unity,
pointing to the example of to the Uyghurs in China's
Xinjiang Province: "Uyghurs...want Turkic-speaking states to
help them. If we support them, our relations with the great
China might be destroyed tomorrow." At a press conference
following the summit , Karimov spoke out against religious
extremism, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Karimov said the
idea that an ideological vacuum has been created in Central
Asia following the break up of the Soviet Union is "a myth."
He also said the fight against Wahhabism should not be
regarded as a fight against Islam in general. "Islam is the
religion of 70-80 percent of Uzbekistan's population...[and
is] sacred to us." BP

KAZAKH DEMONSTRATORS ARRESTED. A protest march to the new
capital, Astana, by about 200 residents of the southern city
of Kentau was halted by police and National Security forces
on 8 June, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. The group was
protesting wage and pension arrears. Most of the protesters
were requested to return home. However, 29 were arrested, of
whom 14 are to remain in detention for up to two weeks. BP

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with the
word "subscribe" as the subject or body of the message.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with the
word "unsubscribe" as the subject or body of the message.

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
webmaster@rferl.org
________________________________________________
CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES ON THE WEB
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are
online at: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/
_________________________________________________
LISTEN TO NEWS FOR 18 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs for countries in Eastern Europe, the
Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia and the South Slavic region
are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour LIVE Broadcast Studio.
http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html
_________________________________________________
REPRINT POLICY
To receive reprint permission, please contact
Paul Goble, Publisher
Email: GobleP@rferl.org
Phone: 202-457-6947
Fax: 202-457-6992
Postal Address:  RFE/RL,  1201 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20036  USA
_________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE STAFF
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Editor-in-Chief, CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Team Leader, MooreP@rferl.org
* Laurie Belin, BelinL@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Bruce Pannier, PannierB@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org

Freelance And Occasional Contributors
* Fabian Schmidt
* Matyas Szabo
* Pete Baumgartner
* Jeremy Bransten
* Jolyon Naegele
* Anthony Wesolowsky
* Julia Guechakov
* Floriana Fossato

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630
_________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

[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