Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone. - Edith Cavell 1865-1915 (Spoken to the chaplain who attended her before her execution by firing squad, 12 Oct. 1915.)
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 152, Part I, 6 August 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 152, Part I, 6 August 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

* STEPASHIN TO STEER CLEAR OF ELECTIONS, CAMPAIGNS

* PURGE PREDICTED AT BEREZOVSKII'S MOST RECENT MEDIA
ACQUISITION

* AZERBAIJANI OFFICIAL DENIES DISAGREEMENTS WITH TURKEY OVER
BAKU-CEYHAN

End Note: DEMOGRAPHY AND DEVELOPMENT
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RUSSIA

STEPASHIN TO STEER CLEAR OF ELECTIONS, CAMPAIGNS. In an
interview with "Izvestiya" on 6 August, Prime Minister Sergei
Stepashin said he will avoid making public his political
likes and dislikes because the cabinet needs to stay above
the political fray in an election year. He noted that while
some of his predecessors "declared their membership in
certain political parties or even financial and industrial
groups," Russian citizens gradually began to link the
government's activities to the interests of certain behind-
the-scenes groups." This, he concluded, "was extremely
harmful for the development of Russian society." He added
that it is too early to speak about his possible
participation in presidential elections in 2000: "A statesman
these days should think about how to strengthen the Russian
state rather than dream about higher posts." "Kommersant-
Daily" reported on 4 August that the presidential
administration unsuccessfully tried to get members of the
governor's bloc, All Russia, to accept Stepashin as the
leader of a centrist electoral bloc. JAC

PURGE PREDICTED AT BEREZOVSKII'S MOST RECENT MEDIA
ACQUISITION... Leonid Miloslavskii has been appointed
director-general of the Kommersant Publishing House, Interfax
reported on 5 August. Miloslavskii, who is one of the co-
founders of "Kommersant-Daily," reportedly sold his 15
percent stake in the company to financier Boris Berezovskii.
"Moskovskii komsomolets" predicted on 6 August that mass
purges at "Kommersant-Daily" should be expected soon, since
"there will be few journalists who resign themselves to
following Berezovskii's line." According to "Moskovskii
komsomolets," Raf Shakirov, ousted editor-in-chief of
"Kommersant-Daily," has already received offers to head a
newspaper to be started by Right Cause, the movement led by
Unified Energy Systems Chairman Anatolii Chubais. Shakirov's
job is likely to be offered to Andrei Vasiliev, a former
executive at Russian Public Television, which is reportedly
controlled by Berezovskii, Interfax reported on 5 August.
"Moskovskii komsomlets" is considered close to Moscow Mayor
Yurii Luzhkov, a rival of Berezovskii. JAC

...AS PRESSURE EASING ON ANOTHER MEDIA BARON? "Kommersant-
Daily" reported on 5 August, without reference to any source,
that the Federal Tax Police Service has decided not to
institute criminal proceedings against Media-Most head
Vladimir Gusinskii for tax evasion (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26
July 1999). Gusinskii reportedly paid the entire amount owed,
along with fines. In addition, an unidentified person from
the presidential administration allegedly called the tax
service on Gusinskii's behalf. JAC

IMF POSTS AUDITOR'S REPORT ON CENTRAL BANK. The IMF has
posted on its website the report based on the audit of
Russia's Central Bank performed by the international
accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Media previously
reported that the Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko
did not want the report made public, while fund officials and
U.S. Congressmen did (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 July 1999).
The document is accessible at
http://www.imf.org/external/country/rus/fimaco/russia.pdf.
Contents of the report had been leaked to "The Moscow Times,"
which concluded on 31 July that the report confirmed the
worst allegations made by the bank's critics, since it shows
that the Central Bank kept separate books to hide
controversial transactions. JAC

FEDERATION COUNCIL WARNS GOVERNMENT OVER BUDGET. Federation
Council Chairman Yegor Stroev told reporters on 4 August that
the Russian government may run into problems passing its
budget for 2000 if it does not first consult with legislators
in the upper chamber, according to ITAR-TASS. "Vremya MN"
reported the next day that the council wants it own
representatives to participate in the drafting of the budget.
It noted that regional leaders do not care for the
government's economic plans, particularly the joint statement
by the Central Bank and government prepared for the IMF,
because those plans do not sufficiently take into
consideration the interests of regions and industry.
Federation Council Budget Chairman Konstantin Titov, who is
also the informal head of the Voice of Russia election bloc,
told Ekho Moskvy on 5 August that senators not only want to
participate in setting the budget's macroeconomic parameters
but also want input into the system of monetary transfers to
the regions. JAC

GOVERNMENT TO HIT UP EES, GAZPROM FOR LARGER CONTRIBUTIONS.
Tax Minister Aleksandr Pochinok is reportedly planning to
review this month all tax agreements that the government has
concluded with the country's largest taxpayers, such as
Gazprom, Unified Energy Systems (EES), and the Roads and
Transportation Ministry, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 5
August. According to the daily, these entities provide at
least one quarter of all revenues to the federal budget, and
the Tax Ministry wants to increase their tax payments in
keeping with increasing inflation and their growing level of
production. In addition, agreements on restructuring old tax
debts of the coal and banking sectors will reportedly be
finalized soon. JAC

FINANCES GETTING TIGHTER AT FATHERLAND? "Izvestiya" reported
on 6 August that former Tax Minister Georgii Boos has been
selected to head the election headquarters of the new
alliance between Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov's Fatherland and
the governors' grouping All Russia. The daily also reported
that Fatherland has been experiencing problems with
financing. According to the newspaper, the majority of
Fatherland's financing comes from the city- controlled
holding company Sistema, headed by Vladimir Yevtushenkov, but
the recent removal of one of Yevtushenkov's close associates
from the position of financial director has not "induced
Yevtushenkov to become more generous." The daily reported
that a number of departments within Fatherland have been
eliminated to tighten central control over financing, and
every large expenditure must be first approved in Moscow
headquarters. In an interview with "Kommersant-Daily" on 27
July, Yevtushenkov denied allegations that his company was
formed using money from the Moscow city government.
"Izvestiya" is controlled by Vladimir Potanin's Interros and
LUKoil. JAC

RUSSIA REWARDS TROOPS WHO ENTERED KOSOVA BEFORE NATO.
President Boris Yeltsin on 5 August signed a decree awarding
the medal "For Services to the Fatherland" to Major-General
Anatolii Rybkin, who commanded a unit that entered Kosova
from Bosnia on 10 June ahead of NATO troops. Less prestigious
awards went to the 205 troops who took part in the mission,
"Krasnaya zvezda" reported. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Igor
Sergeev has canceled a visit to Bosnia that was scheduled for
7 August, Reuters reported. A government spokesman gave no
reason for the cancellation. Sergeev had been expected to
personally hand over the awards to the soldiers (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 29 July 1999). FS

IVANOV, ALBRIGHT REITERATE COMMITMENT TO KOSOVA PEACE.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and U.S. Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright, in a telephone conversation on 5
August, stressed their commitment to the current peace plan
for Kosova, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin
told Interfax. He added that Ivanov called for the faster
disarming of the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK). Albright and
Ivanov also discussed possible cooperation "to give a new
impetus to the Middle East settlement, taking into account
the position of the present Israeli leadership." Furthermore,
the two agreed that U.S. and Russian experts will meet in
Moscow on 17 August to discuss the future START III arms
reduction agreement along with possible modifications of the
1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. FS

RUSSIAN OFFICIAL SETS CONDITIONS FOR RESUMING FULL CONTACTS
TO NATO. Rakhmanin told Interfax on 5 August that Russia will
resume full relations with NATO "under certain conditions."
He added that above all the Russian government hopes that
"the Yugoslav tragedy connected with [NATO's] military
operation...in the Balkans will never be repeated, that new
dividing lines will not be drawn in Europe as a result of the
implementation of NATO enlargement plans, [and] that [NATO]
will fully take into account our lawful interests and
concerns and strictly follow the provisions of the Russia-
NATO founding act." Russia suspended its relations with NATO
in March to protest the bombing of targets in Yugoslavia.
Rakhmanin added that "at the moment Russian-NATO cooperation
is limited to international peacekeeping operations in
[Kosova] and Bosnia, while all other spheres of cooperation
remain frozen." FS

FORMER FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIAL TO BE TRIED AS SOUTH KOREAN
SPY. The Main Military Prosecutor's Office has sent the case
of Valentin Moiseev, the former deputy director of the
Foreign Ministry's Second Asian Department, for trial,
"Vremya MN" reported on 4 August. Moiseev is accused of
passing classified documents to an adviser at Moscow's South
Korean Embassy, who was expelled from Russia shortly after
Moiseev's arrest last summer (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 July
1998). According to an unidentified Russian
counterintelligence officers, Moiseev is thought to have been
recruited by the secret services of South Korea while serving
in that country. He returned to Russia in 1996. JC

AKSENENKO URGES MEASURES TO MAINTAIN NORTHERN SHIPPING ROUTE.
Speaking at a Moscow conference on 5 August, First Deputy
Prime Minister Nikolai Aksenenko warned that unless the
government takes "well-calculated" measures now, Russia might
"lose" the Northern Shipping Route in the next five to 10
years, Interfax reported. In particular, Aksenenko pointed to
the poor condition of ice-breakers and the northern ports.
Only 1.48 million tons of cargo was transported along the
route last year, compared with 6.58 million in 1987,
according to data cited at the conference. Interfax also
reported that plans to increase the number of cargo vessels
are not expected to be realized because of the absence of
budget funds. JC

STAVROPOL SPIFFING UP LENIN MONUMENT FOR HOLIDAY. The
Stavropol Krai government is reassuring local Communists that
the bronze status of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in
Stavropol's central square will be renovated in time for the
7 November anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution,
"Izvestiya" reported on 5 August. The newspaper notes that
krai budget does not have enough money for the 3 million
ruble ($123,000) renovation but that local power suppliers
have promised to chip in the necessary cash for work to
begin. However, the daily notes that like the region, they,
too, are on the "edge of bankruptcy." Stavropol Krai Governor
Aleksandr Chernogorov, who ordered the fix-up, recently
declared his intention to the join the For Victory election
bloc, recently founded by Communist Party leader Gennadii
Zyuganov (see "RFE/RL Russian Federation Report," 4 August
1999). JAC

RUSSIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY TROOPS DEPLOYED ON DAGESTAN-
CHECHNYA BORDER. Responding to a request for assistance from
the leadership of Dagestan, Moscow sent Interior Ministry
forces to the republic's Tsumadin and Botlikh Raions on 4
August. Interfax the next day quoted unidentified "well-
informed" Russian intelligence sources as claiming that
Chechen field commanders and Dagestani extremists are
planning to seize the capital, Makhachkala, in late August or
September and overthrow the present Dagestani leadership.
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" commentator Ilya Maksakov, however,
argued on 6 August that the Dagestani leadership is in full
control of the situation. He noted that predictions of an
imminent coup underestimate popular support for State Council
chairman Magomedali Magomedov and Makhachkala Mayor Said
Amirov and exaggerate the strength of Nadir Khachilaev and
radical Islamist Bagautdin Magomedov. The last two have been
identified as responsible for the 2 August cross-border
incursion from Chechnya into Tsumadin Raion. LF

CHECHNYA INTENSIFIES BORDER CONTROLS WITH DAGESTAN. President
Aslan Maskhadov, for his part, has ordered that border
controls with Dagestan be tightened to preclude the
infiltration of armed groups into Chechnya, Deputy Prime
Minister Kazbek Makhashev told Interfax on 5 August.
Makhashev denied that any Chechen forces were involved in the
fighting in Dagestan earlier this week. He said Chechnya
respects the right of the population of Dagestan to self-
determination and has no intention of interfering in the
republic's internal affairs. He added that events in Dagestan
should not negatively impact on negotiations between Chechnya
and the federal center. LF

INGUSH PRESIDENT SAYS ABDUCTED RUSSIAN OFFICIAL HELD IN
CHECHNYA. Ruslan Aushev said in Moscow on 5 August that
Interior Ministry Major-General Gennadii Shpigun, who was
abducted in Grozny in early March, is alive and being held
captive in Chechnya, Interfax reported (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 8 March 1999). According to Aushev, Shpigun's
captors have demanded a $7 million ransom. LF

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT NOT TO ATTEND SIGNING OF TURKMEN
PIPELINE AGREEMENT. Interfax on 5 August quoted an unnamed
Turkmen government source as stating that Heidar Aliev will
not attend the 6 August signing in Ashgabat of an agreement
between the Turkmen government and the PSG company giving the
latter the rights to extract Turkmen gas and export it via
the projected Trans-Caspian pipeline. According to ITAR-TASS,
Niyazov and Aliev agreed during a telephone conversation on 5
August to meet in the near future to discuss both the gas
pipeline project and the "equitable division" of the central
sector of the Caspian. The recent announcement of huge
reserves of gas in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian has
called into question the viability of the costly and
technically problematic Trans-Caspian pipeline project (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 13 July 1999). LF

AZERBAIJANI OFFICIAL DENIES DISAGREEMENTS WITH TURKEY OVER
BAKU-CEYHAN. Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov told
journalists on 5 August that Azerbaijan and Turkey could sign
within one month the four main framework agreements on
construction of the Baku-Ceyhan export pipeline for Caspian
oil, Turan reported. He denied persistent rumors that there
are serious disagreements between Baku and Ankara over the
terms of the project (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 July 1999).
Also on 5 August, Interfax quoted Armenian First Deputy
Energy Minister Kalust Galustian as saying that routing the
Baku-Ceyhan pipeline via northern Armenia, rather than
Georgia as planned, would reduce the estimated $2.4 -$3
billion cost by $500 million. LF

STALIN'S GRANDSON ELECTED HEAD OF GEORGIAN LEFT-WING
ALLIANCE. Yevgenii Dzhughashvili has been elected leader of
the People's Patriotic Union of Georgia, Russian agencies
reported on 5 August. That alignment unites a number of left-
wing parties and organizations. Former Georgian parliamentary
speaker Vakhtang Goguadze told Interfax that the choice of
Dzhughashvili, who is 63 and a former Soviet army colonel,
could serve to consolidate left-wing forces in the run-up to
the 31 October parliamentary elections. But the United
Communist Party of Georgia objected to the choice of
Dzhughashvili over their leader, retired General Panteleimon
Giorgadze. LF

KAZAKH OPPOSITION BLOC THREATENS ELECTION BOYCOTT.
Representatives of six opposition parties aligned in the
"Respublika" bloc convened a press conference in Almaty on 5
August to demand unspecified amendments that would make the
present election law more democratic, RFE/RL's bureau in the
former capital reported. They said that if those change are
not made, they will consider boycotting the parliamentary
elections in September-October. The opposition leaders also
demanded representation on the national and local electoral
commissions. They said they have addressed an open letter to
President Nursultan Nazarbaev requesting that the elections
to the upper chamber of parliament be postponed from
September to December. LF

KAZAKH WOMEN END HUNGER STRIKE. Seven women members of the
Zher-Ana (Motherland) Party have ended the hunger strike they
began in Almaty three weeks ago to protest the planned
privatization of agricultural land, RFE/RL correspondents in
the former capital reported on 6 August (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 27 July 1999). But their leader said they will
resume the protest if the parliament returns to discussing
the draft bill on land ownership, which passed in the first
reading last month. Discussion of that bill has been shelved
indefinitely, and Prime Minister Nurlan Balghymbaev said last
week that conditions are not yet ripe for the sale of
agricultural land (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 July 1999). LF

KYRGYZ DETAINED IN KAZAKHSTAN TO BE EXTRADITED. Kyrgyz
National Security Ministry official Talant Razzakov confirmed
on 5 August that 17 Kyrgyz citizens detained by Kazakh police
three weeks ago in Jambyl Oblast will shortly be sent back to
Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. The Kyrgyz were
among 78 Sunni Muslims, including women and children,
detained for allegedly illegal religious activities at a camp
near the Kazakh town of Taraz (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 and
22 July 1999). The Kyrgyz Muftiyat has written to
Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry protesting the detentions,
which a Kazakh prosecutor said were carried out in response
to a request from Uzbekistan. The Uzbek Interior Ministry had
claimed that radical Islamists suspected of involvement in
the February bombings in Tashkent had gathered near Taraz.
Also on 5 August, RFE/RL's Almaty bureau reported that the
Uzbek embassy held a press conference on the ongoing
investigation into those bombings. Embassy officials said the
perpetrators wanted to kill President Islam Karimov and
establish an Islamic state in Uzbekistan. LF

AFGHAN FIGHTING 'NOT A THREAT' TO TAJIKISTAN. General
Aleksandr Markin, who commands the Russian border guard
detachment deployed on the frontier between Tajikistan and
Afghanistan, told Interfax on 5 August that the resurgence of
heavy fighting in Afghanistan between the Taliban and
Northern Alliance forces does not threaten Tajikistan's
security. Markin said his troops have adequate resources to
maintain the security of the border "under any
circumstances." LF

TURKMENISTAN TO CREATE NATIONAL BUREAU FOR REFUGEES. Mustafa
Djamil, who heads the UNHCR's regional office, said after
talks in Ashgabat that Turkmenistan will set up a national
bureau for refugees by the end of this year, "Nezavisimaya
gazeta" reported on 5 August. Djamil's discussions in the
Turkmen capital also focused on the need to expedite the
return to Tajikistan of refugees who fled during the 1992-
1997 civil war. LF

END NOTE

DEMOGRAPHY AND DEVELOPMENT

by Paul Goble

	The demographic crisis in the Russian Federation and
several other post-Soviet states not only serves as a brake
on economic development but also appears to be so deeply
rooted in the social fabric of these countries that economic
growth alone is unlikely to overcome it anytime soon.
	That pattern--one very different from countries in
Western Europe--almost certainly will limit the ability of
these societies to develop politically as well, thus further
restricting their chance to escape from their communist pasts
and to create the foundations for self-sustaining democratic
development.
	That disturbing conclusion is suggested in a new study
prepared for the U.S. Defense Department by a group of
scholars that includes Murray Feshbach, Nicholas Eberstadt
and Vladimir Kontorovich. Those scholars focused on the
Russian Federation, but their conclusion that the demographic
crisis there "is unique from other historical precedents"
clearly applies to other parts of the post-Soviet region as
well.
	Falling birth rates and rising death rates, the authors
note, mean that the Russian population will almost certainly
be smaller in the future than it is today. Indeed, last week,
the Russian statistics agency appeared to confirm that
viewpoint when it released figures showing that the
population of the Russian Federation fell by 346,700 in the
first five months of 1999 alone, an acceleration of a trend
that began earlier this decade.
	Because the number of deaths in the Russian Federation
exceeded the number of births there during that period by
396,000, the agency said, the decline would have been even
greater had it not been for the migration of some 47,000
ethnic Russians from former Soviet republics back to the
Russian heartland.
	Many analysts have blamed this situation on the economic
difficulties that the Russian Federation and other post-
Soviet states now face. But the authors of the Defense
Department study suggest that the demographic problems are
much deeper, appear to be getting worse, and are likely to
last even after these countries begin to recover
economically.
	Some of the problems, the authors suggest, are rooted in
ecological and epidemiological situations that the
authorities do not appear to have either the resources or
even the will to reverse. And these health problems,
reflected in both falling life expectancies and declining
populations, will in turn make it difficult for the Russian
Federation and other countries to bounce back economically as
quickly as many seem to expect.
	In many respects, the authors of this study suggest, the
health profile of Russia today currently resembles one of a
Third World country that is doing poorly rather than the kind
found in more developed states, even those that have
experienced an acute economic crisis or even depression.
	But perhaps the most important finding of this new
study, the one with the broadest application, is that
economic development by itself will not provide a sure cure
for the demographic difficulties found in the post-Soviet
states. Instead, these problems are likely in themselves to
create political challenges in each of the three very
different demographic regions of the former Soviet space.
	In the Slavic countries, where the demographic crisis is
the most severe, the aging and increasingly ill population is
likely to demand expanded health care at a time when the
authorities are trying to reduce government expenditures in
order to allow for economic growth. Such demands could
provide a base for political leaders interested in expanding
the size of the state at the expense of the economy.
	In the Baltic countries, where the populations are among
the oldest in Europe, pensioners are in many instances
turning away from the parties that led the drive to the
recovery of independence toward political groups promising to
take care of them and their pension and health concerns in
the future, a shift that may change the politics of all three
Baltic States over the next decade.
	And in the historically Islamic countries of Central
Asia, still high birth rates are not only putting more
pressure on existing facilities but are creating conditions
for future political instability by reducing the average age
of the population to levels more common in the poorest Third
World countries than in Europe.
	Demographic developments like these seldom attract much
attention as they are taking place, but their consequences
appear likely to prove far more important than many of the
events that now garner headlines.

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