A thing well said will be writ in all languages. - John Dryden 1631-1700
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 139, Part I, 20 July 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 139, Part I, 20 July 1999

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

* LEBED DENIES HE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT

* IMF, WORLD BANK BOARDS TO CONSIDER FUNDS FOR RUSSIA THIS
MONTH

* KAZAKHSTAN STEPS UP PRESSURE OVER BAIKONUR
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

RUSSIA

LEBED DENIES HE'S RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. Krasnoyarsk Krai
Governor Aleksandr Lebed told a Tbilisi-based television
station on 19 July that "regarding any such idiocies that I
am running for president--I have made no announcement," ITAR-
TASS reported. Lebed called reports that he will participate
in presidential elections "smoke without fire." The Public
Opinion Fund reported last month that Lebed dropped from
second or third place to sixth in the popularity ratings of
Russian national leaders, citing polls it conducted from May
1998 to May 1999 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 June 1999). JAC

IMF, WORLD BANK BOARDS TO CONSIDER FUNDS FOR RUSSIA THIS
MONTH. As Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and Central
Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko on 19 July signed a joint
statement on development policy, Mikhail Zadornov,
presidential envoy to international financial institutions,
declared talks with World Bank and IMF completed, Interfax
reported. The joint statement was one of the conditions for
the bank to approve a third structural adjustment loan. World
Bank Country Director for Russia Michael Carter said that the
bank expects to resume lending to Russia at the end of July
or the beginning of August. According to Carter, the Japanese
government is considering co-financing with the bank both
that loan and one to the coal sector. The World Bank's board
of directors is expected to meet to discuss the loans on 23
July, Zadornov said. Five days later, the IMF's board of
directors is expected to discuss the $4.7 billion credit for
Russia. JAC

LOCAL ELECTRICITY SUPPLIER PULLS PLUG ON MILITARY RADAR.
Khabarovskenergo cut off electricity to the 11th air and air
defense army troops located in its region because of unpaid
bills. Radar units were unable to monitor the country's air
border temporarily when the emergency power system failed to
kick in, Interfax reported on 20 July. Troops currently not
only lack electricity but also cold water since artesian
wells have also stopped functioning. Military commanders are
concerned that without water supplies, their troops are more
vulnerable to the forest fires that have been spreading
throughout the region so quickly due to a continued bout of
dry hot weather that Khabarovsk Governor Viktor Ishaev
declared a state of emergency the same day (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 19 July 1999). According to Interfax, the region's
air and air defense army forces owe electricity suppliers 27
million rubles ($1.1 million). JAC

PASKO WALKS FREE FOLLOWING CONVICTION... Military journalist
Grigorii Pasko on 20 July was sentenced to three years in
prison for "abuse of power" but was immediately amnestied,
under the amnesty legislation passed by the parliament
earlier this year. Pasko, who was arrested in November 1997
and spent the last 20 months in jail, had already fulfilled
more than one third of his sentence, Interfax reported.
According to AFP, the court failed to find Pasko guilty of
espionage or treason but ruled that his passing of classified
materials to the Japanese media about the Pacific Fleet's
handling of nuclear waste was an "abuse of power." Pasko
criticized the verdict saying "Here, in Russia, if the KGB
takes up a case, there is never an acquittal. I came out
today but tomorrow someone else will go to jail. First of all
we need a precedent of an acquittal," AP reported. JAC

...AS OTHER ENVIRONMENTALISTS STILL FACE SCRUTINY. "The
Moscow Times" reported on 17 July that human rights advocates
in Russia believe the Federal Security Service (FSB) is
harassing ecologists on behalf of the military, which is
responsible for up to 60 percent of toxic contamination
within Russia. This month, authorities pulled the passport of
noted scientist Valerii Soifer for alleged mishandling of
classified documents about the Pacific Fleet's environmental
practices, while an American student exchange coordinator was
denied a visa to return to Voronezh for having reportedly
collected "secret environmental maps for the CIA," according
to the daily (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 14 and 15 July 1999).
FSB Director Vladimir Putin told "Komsomolskaya pravda" on 8
July that "foreign secret service organizations use not only
diplomatic cover but very actively use all sorts of
ecological and public organizations, commercial firms, and
charitable organizations. This is why, regardless of pressure
from the public and mass media, such organizations will
always be a subject of our attention." JAC

TATARSTAN OPPOSITION DECLARES HUNGER STRIKE. Representatives
of 16 opposition parties and movements began a hunger strike
on 19 July to protest the adoption of a law on elections to
the Tatarstan's legislative assembly or State Council,
RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported. The law has already passed
the first two readings and will likely be put to a third
reading this week. Opposition leaders object to the bill's
abolition of election to the State Council on the basis of
party lists. They also insist that the legislation should
include a provision prohibiting the election of raion
administration heads as State Council deputies. Among the 16
parties and movements represented are the nationalist
opposition parties Ittifak and Omet as well as Tatarstan's
Communist Party. JAC

RUSSIA TO END OIL-FOR-SUGAR DEAL WITH CUBA. Valerii
Pervukhin, head of the Russian Fuel and Energy Ministry's
external economic affairs department, told "The Moscow Times"
of 20 July the ministry has decided to end Russia's oil-for-
sugar deal with Cuba by the end of this year. Under a 1995
protocol creating two separate programs, Russia is committed
to exchanging oil for sugar and to channeling oil revenues to
maintain a listening post for spying on the U.S. No oil has
been shipped under the oil-for-sugar program for some two-
and-a-half years, partly because of the reluctance of oil
companies to take part; according to Pervukhin, the ministry
is seeking to expedite the transport of the 1.5 million tons
of crude remaining under that program. "The Moscow Times"
reports, however, that oil exports to fund the listening post
are "still going strong." According to the daily, this
program is more attractive to the oil companies because,
unlike under the oil-for-sugar program, they are allowed to
select their own shipping agents. JC

MONGOLIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MOSCOW TO REVIVE CROSS BORDER
TIES. At meetings with Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on 19 July, Nyam-Osoryn Tuya
discussed boosting Mongolia's ties with Russia, particularly
with its southern Siberian regions, ITAR-TASS reported. Trade
between the two countries has been dwindling recently:
according to Russian Trade Ministry data cited by Interfax,
turnover totaled $186.4 million in 1998, down 34 percent on
the previous year. Top-level diplomatic contacts between the
countries have also been below previous levels: as Tuya
noted, the Mongolian prime minister's last visit to Russia
was four years ago. The two sides reached agreement in
principle on a meeting of the two countries' premiers this
fall. In a forum on the problems of border regions earlier
this month, Belgorod Governor Yevgenii Savchenko complained
that Mongolia "was taking its goods to China" rather than
Russia because of poor roads and customs regulations,
"Rossiiskaya gazeta" reported on 10 July. JC/JAC

ARMED FORCES TO RECEIVE NEW WEAPONS THIS YEAR? Colonel-
General Anatolii Sitnov told Interfax on 17 July that despite
financial difficulties, the armed forces will receive new
weapons and other military hardware this year. Among the
planned acquisitions are 10 Topol-M intercontinental
ballistic missiles for the Strategic Rocket Forces, a TU-160
bomber for the Air Force, a nuclear submarine and anti-
submarine vessel for the Navy, 100 armored vehicles and 30 T-
90 tanks for the General Purpose Forces, and 10 satellites
for defense needs. At the same time, Sitnov warned that the
delivery of these and other items will depend on funding for
state defense contracts. That caution may prove well-founded.
Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov was quoted in the latest
issue of "Vek" as saying that the army will have to upgrade
its weapons because it does not have the money to buy new
ones, "The Moscow Times" reported on 17 July. JC

RARE VIRUS OUTBREAK ISOLATES SOUTHERN TOWN. Oblivskaya, a
small town in Rostov Oblast, is experiencing an outbreak of
what one top Russian health official called "Congolese-
Crimean hemorrhagic fever," "Izvestiya" reported on 20 July.
First Deputy Minister of Health and head sanitary doctor
Gennadii Onishchenko believes that the virus is transmitted
by insects and domestic animals. As of 19 July, 38 children
and 52 adults had been hospitalized with symptoms of the
virus, such as sudden fevers, severe headaches, and bleeding
from different internal organs. Onishchenko told Ekho Moskvy
earlier that officials are not planning to introduce
quarantine, but Russian Television reported that the town is
already in semi-quarantine, with bus services between it and
neighboring towns suspended and trains passing through
without stopping. Over the past two weeks, six people have
died from the illness, Interfax reported. According to
"Izvestiya," the last outbreak occurred in 1997 in Khabarovsk
Krai, where 225 people fell ill. JAC

IVANOV DENIES ETHNIC CLEANSING IN KOSOVA, SLAMS NATO...
Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov told "Komsomolskaya pravda"
of 20 July that the NATO campaign against Yugoslavia was not
justified. "I traveled to Yugoslavia often, there was not a
situation which would have required an...intervention, " he
said. "There was no massive ethnic cleansing, although of
course there were incidents. But the [Western] mass media
created an image of [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic,
Yugoslavia, and the situation around it, designed to
[justify] decisions that NATO had taken in the previous
months. First, to use forces without a UN Security Council
resolution. Second, to use forces outside NATO's sphere of
responsibility." FS

...BUT CALLS FOR BETTER RELATIONS WITH THE WEST. Ivanov
also told "Komsomolskaya pravda" that Russia maintained
good relations with individual NATO countries throughout
the Kosova crisis, despite freezing relations with the
alliance itself. He also called on his fellow countrymen to
improve relations with the West. Ivanov warned that there
is a rise of "anti-American feelings in Russia, especially
among young people," adding that it is the "task not only
of the president and the government but of entire public
opinion to overcome negative [images] by solving concrete
problems." FS

RUSSIAN EXPERTS ESTIMATE DAMAGE TO YUGOSLAV REFINERIES.
Valerii Yevlampiev, director-general of the Nizhnii Novgorod
regional department for foreign economic relations, told
Interfax in Moscow on 19 July that Russian experts estimate
the damage to the Novi Sad and Pancevo oil refineries at
about $400 million. He added that three companies in Nizhnii
Novgorod designed parts of the refineries in the 1970s and
1980 and are hoping to receive post-war reconstruction
contracts. Meanwhile on 19 July, the Russian Emergency
Ministry sent a chemical and radiological laboratory to
Yugoslavia to assess the environmental impact of the war. Six
military trains carrying 682 paratroopers, 39 armored
vehicles, 207 other vehicles, and more than 600 tons of cargo
left Tula and Ryazan bound for Leskovac. And Russian railways
resumed regular passenger traffic between Moscow and
Belgrade, ITAR-TASS reported. FS

A CANDIDATE FOR ALL SEASONS. "Obshchaya gazeta" reported in
its No. 28 July issue that Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
leader Vladimir Zhirinovskii plans to run in not just two
upcoming gubernatorial elections but five. According to the
newspaper, after a failed bid for the governor's seat in
Belgorod, Zhirinovskii is preparing to run in the following
elections: Sverdlovsk Oblast on 29 August, Novgorod Oblast on
5 September, Omsk Oblast on 5 September, Leningrad Oblast on
19 September and Tomsk Oblast also on 19 September. The
newspaper claims that Zhirinovskii is not seeking victory for
its own sake, since the "trash of life in the provinces is
not for the LDPR leader." Zhirinovskii "merely wants to tone
his reflexes on the eve of federal elections." JAC

CHECHENS, RUSSIANS EXCHANGE FIRE. Chechen attacks on Russian
border posts on 19 July left two Russian soldiers dead and
five wounded, the Russian Interior Ministry told ITAR-TASS.
In response, Russian forces launched 40 missiles from
helicopters based in Stavropol Krai. PG

CHECHNYA CLOSES REGIONAL MISSIONS IN RUSSIA. Chechnya's
general representative to the Russian Federation told ITAR-
TASS on 19 July that he is temporarily closing all of
Chechnya's representational offices in the regions of the
Russian Federation. Mairbek Vachagayev, who took up his
duties in Moscow the same day, said that these offices will
remain closed "until the Russian side provides an official
explanation" for the detention and then release of Chechen
State Security Minister Turpal Atgeriyev. Meanwhile, Russian
prosecutors announced that they lack evidence to charge
Atgeriyev with the crimes for which he was detained. PG

NEW ZEALAND CITIZEN RELEASED IN CHECHNYA. Cruz Ribeio
Geraldo, a citizen of New Zealand and representative of the
International Red Cross, who was seized by Chechen gunmen in
Nalchik on 15 May 15, has been freed "as a result of a
special operation carried out by the North Caucasian
department for combating organized crime," the Russian
Federation Interior Ministry told ITAR-TASS on 20 July. PG

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIAN NEWSPAPER PREDICTS EXPANDED WAR WITH AZERBAIJAN.
Even as Armenian President Robert Kocharian and Azerbaijani
President Heidar Aliev expressed satisfaction with their
recent meeting, the Armenian newspaper "Golos Armenii"
suggested that Azerbaijan will eventually earn enough money
from oil and gas exports to be able to finance a new and
larger war against Armenia. Writing in that newspaper's 17
July issue, V. Grigoryan said that "it will then become
increasingly harder for Armenia to maintain military parity
and a full-scale war will be unavoidable in 10 years' time."
PG

STALIN WAS 'RUSSIAN' PHENOMENON, SAYS GRANDSON. Speaking in
Moscow on 18 July to a meeting of those opposed to burying
Lenin, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili said that his grandfather was
"not a Georgian but a Russian phenomenon," Caucasus Press
reported on 19 July. And he said that those who try to blame
Stalin on the Georgians are making a major mistake. PG

SHEVARDNADZE WILL 'PROBABLY' RUN AGAIN... At his weekly news
conference on 19 July, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze
said that he will "probably" run for a second term but added
that "to be serious, I haven't yet decided," Reuters
reported. In other comments, reported by Caucasus Press,
Shevardnadze expressed his believe that the "president can
head a political party," suggesting that he will seek to run
as the leader of one. PG

...WELCOMES GROWING TIES WITH U.S. The Georgian leader said
that "relations between Georgia and the U.S. are gradually
assuming the nature of a strategic partnership," ITAR-TASS
reported. But he commented that "this cooperation is not
aimed against anyone." He again expressed interest in NATO's
participation in finding a solution to the Abkhaz problem. In
related developments, Tbilisi announced that the parliament
will consider sending 20 Georgian servicemen to Kosova, ITAR-
TASS reported. A representative of the Georgian military will
go to Italy in August for NATO training, according to
Caucasus Press. PG

GEORGIA RAISES THRESHOLD FOR PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION.
The Georgian parliament on 20 July voted to increase the
voting threshold for representation in parliament from 5
percent to 7 percent, Caucasus Press reported. The vote,
which will make it more difficult for some smaller parties to
gain representation in the parliament, results in the first
amendment to the country's 1995 constitution. But President
Shevardnadze dismissed it as having little importance for him
and his political future. PG

CENTRAL ASIANS TO FORM SECURITIES MARKET. Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan will form a securities
market, the Kazakhstan government announced to Interfax-
Kazakhstan on 20 July. PG

KAZAKHSTAN STEPS UP PRESSURE OVER BAIKONUR. Meibek
Moldabekov, the head of Kazakhstan's Space Agency, told
Reuters on 20 July that his government will seek a percentage
of profits from all future Russian launches from Baikonur as
well as a say in future launch schedules. But he acknowledged
that "Kazakhstan does not have the legal right" to limit the
number of launches at the site, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported
the same day. PG

KYRGYZSTAN, RUSSIA SIGN BORDER CONTROL ACCORD. Under the
terms of a 17 July agreement, Kyrgyzstan will assume
responsibility for parts of its border that have been under
the control of Russian border guards, Interfax reported on 19
July. PG

TAJJIK MUSLIM LEADER RE-ELECTED. Haji Amanullo Negmatzoda was
re-elected to the chairmanship of the Tajik Muslim Religious
Board for another five years, Interfax reported on 19 July.
PG

UZBEKISTAN PRESIDENT PROPOSES AFGHAN PEACE PLAN. Speaking to
a meeting of the "Six plus Two" group in Tashkent on 19 July,
President Islam Karimov called for a cease-fire, an exchange
of prisoners, and the end of all blockades of humanitarian
assistance in Afghanistan, Interfax reported. Karimov said
that "our most coveted and greatest desire is to see a
peaceful, stable, and secure Afghanistan." PG

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1999 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 of the message.

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

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
hermanoval@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 25 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs 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
via email at GobleP@rferl.org or fax at 1-202-457-6992
_________________________________________________
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
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Julie A. Corwin, CorwinJ@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Fabian Schmidt, SchmidtF@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org

FREE-LANCE AND OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTORS
* Pete Baumgartner, Jeremy Branston,  Victor Gomez, Mel
Huang, Dan Ionescu, Zsolt-Istvan Mato, Jolyon Naegele, Matyas
Szabo, Anthony Wesolowsky

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