The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts. - Charles Darwin
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 163, Part I, 23 August 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 163, Part I, 23 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

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Headlines, Part I

* ALL RUSSIA ELECTS NEW LEADER

* MILITANTS DENY RUSSIAN FORCES HOLD KHARAMI PASS

* GUERRILLAS IN KYRGYZSTAN TAKE NEW HOSTAGES

End Note: LONG SHADOW OF AN OLD AGREEMENT
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RUSSIA

ALL RUSSIA ELECTS NEW LEADER... The recently allied All
Russia and Fatherland movements held separate congresses on
21 August. More than 450 delegates to the All Russia congress
in Ufa elected St. Petersburg Governor Vladimir Yakovlev its
chairman, according to "Izvestiya." Fellow movement founder,
Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev, had been the
movement's de facto leader. Earlier, it was announced that
Yakovlev will occupy the third spot on the alliance's party
list for the upcoming State Duma elections, after former
Prime Minister Primakov and Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 18 August 1999). Ingushetia's President
Ruslan Aushev, who is also a founder of All Russia, told
congress attendees that the most important question for All
Russia is who will represent it in the State Duma. He added
that too many Muscovites are currently on the federal party
list, commenting that "it's more like All Moscow than All
Russia," he said, according to ITAR-TASS. JAC

...AS FATHERLAND DRAWS UP PARTY LIST... Meanwhile, more than
700 delegates gathered for Fatherland's congress in Moscow to
discuss candidates on the draft party list, according to
RFE/RL's Moscow bureau. Fatherland-All Russia election
headquarters chief Georgii Boos told the bureau that the
fourth position on the list will be offered to a "pleasant
female candidate" and the fifth to Agrarian Party leader
Mikhail Lapshin. He added that of the first 18 spots, two
will go to the Agrarians. According to Interfax, Boos's own
name is also on the list, along with Moscow Deputy Mayor
Sergei Yastrzhembskii, Sistema head Vladimir Yevtushenkov, as
well as Andrei Kokoshin, Andrei Isaev, Artur Chilingarov, and
Aleksandr Vladislev, all of whom are also members of
Fatherland's political council. Among the regional leaders
represented are the president of Mordovia and the governors
of Karelia, Yaroslavl, Primorskii Krai, and Nizhnii Novgorod.
JAC

...AND LUZHKOV SLAMS YELTSIN. Fatherland leader and Moscow
Mayor Yurii Luzhkov used the occasion of the congress to
lambaste Russian President Boris Yeltsin. He declared that
"the country is being robbed in a way that is unprecedented
in its cynicism and permissiveness. Russia's weak authority
is the only reason behind this." He added that the Kremlin
has "turned into a regime which people cannot understand and
which threatens the country." He also noted that "President
Boris Yeltsin's proposal to give regions as much sovereignty
as they can stomach is being poorly digested." Addressing the
All Russia congress, its new leader, Yakovlev, called for
passing a law that would guarantee a safe and dignified life
for retired Russian presidents. "We can see what is going on
in the country when the president and his insiders are afraid
of what would happen after they step down," he said. JAC

STEPASHIN TO GO IT ALONE... Former Prime Minister Sergei
Stepashin on 21 August announced that he will compete in the
Duma elections as an independent because negotiations with
the so-called centrist-right groups such as Right Cause, New
Force, and Our Home is Russia (NDR) have failed. Right Cause
is headed by Unified Energy Systems chief Anatolii Chubais
and New Force by former Prime Minister Sergei Kirienko. Right
Cause member and former First Deputy Prime Minister Boris
Nemtsov had announced earlier that "everyone, including our
most ambitious politicians, agree that Sergei Stepashin
should lead the right-wing bloc." However, Stepashin said
there have been "too many personal ambitions" involved in the
attempt to form a coalition that he would head and too much
"attention to names and to a position on the [party] list."
Talks between Stepashin and Yabloko also failed to result in
an agreement (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 August 1999). JAC

...WHILE NDR CHOOSES INDEPENDENCE. According to RFE/RL's
Moscow bureau, NDR leader Viktor Chernomyrdin had wanted
Kirienko, Voice of Russia's Konstantin Titov, Forward
Russia's Boris Federov and Common Cause's Irina Khakamada,
and Transformation of the Fatherland's Sverdlovsk Governor
Eduard Rossel to be included on the potential coalition's
list. However, he had opposed giving Kirienko one of the top
three spots. NDR member and Saratov Governor Dmitrii Ayatskov
announced on 20 August that since negotiations with Stepashin
and the other groups have failed, NDR will likely run in the
Duma elections on its own. NDR faction leader Vladimir
Ryzhkov told NTV the same day that while his group is "warmly
disposed toward Stepashin," it is "negatively disposed toward
Democratic Choice of Russia and Right Cause." JAC

STALINISTS FORGE SINGLE BLOC. The leaders of four movements
announced on 22 August that they have formed a new election
coalition called the Stalinist Bloc. The bloc is composed of
Workers' Russia, the People's Patriotic Youth Union, the
Officers' Union, and the Union Movement, according to ITAR-
TASS. Workers' Russia leader Viktor Anpilov said the goal of
the new alliance is to restore the Soviet Union and abolish
the post of presidency. The grandson of former Soviet leader
Joseph Stalin, Yevgenii Djugashvili, will occupy the third
spot on the coalition's party list. Officers' Union head
Stanislav Terekhov will be second and Anpilov first. JAC

BEREZOVSKII TO LAUNCH NEW GOVERNORS' BLOC. Media magnate
Boris Berezovskii told journalists on 20 August that media
reports about bank accounts in Switzerland being frozen are
"absolute lies" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19 August 1999). The
previous day, Berezovskii met with Sverdlovsk Governor Rossel
in Ekaterinburg. "Izvestiya" suggested on 21 August that
Berezovskii is trying to create a new bloc of governors to be
led by Krasnoyarsk Krai Governor Aleksandr Lebed. JAC

MILITANTS DENY RUSSIAN FORCES HOLD KHARAMI PASS. Federal
forces intensified their bombing and artillery strikes on the
villages of Ansalta (reportedly held by Shamil Basaev's men)
and Tando on 20 August. On the morning of 22 August, a
Russian military spokesman said that federal forces had
secured the strategic Kharami mountain pass, but Sirazhdin
Ramazanov, self proclaimed prime minister of the Islamic
Republic of Daghestan, later denied that claim. A Russian
Interior Ministry spokesman said last week that federal
troops had taken control of that pass (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
19 August 1999). Later on 22 August, Russian forces
surrounding Tando prevented an attempt by some 100 Islamists
to break through Russian lines and killed approximately 20 of
the rebels. On 21 August, a Russian Defense Ministry
spokesmen estimated that the militants' losses total to date
an estimated 500-700. The previous day, Interior Minister
Vladimir Rushailo said that 35 Russian troops had been killed
and 164 wounded to date, ITAR-TASS reported. LF

IVASHOV SLAMS U.S.-RUSSIAN DISARMAMENT TALKS... General
Leonid Ivashov, head of the Defense Ministry's department for
international cooperation, slammed last week's U.S.-Russian
talks on START-3 and the ABM treaty, saying the negotiations
yielded no results, Interfax and Reuters reported on 20
August. Ivashov, who took part in the talks, said that U.S.
plans to develop a national anti-missile system would violate
the 1972 ABM Treaty. That document, he argued, is "the basis
on which all subsequent arms control agreements have been
built. To destroy this basis would be to destroy the entire
process." The next round of talks is scheduled to take place
in Washington next month. JC

...WHILE LUKIN SAYS ABM AMENDMENTS POSSIBLE. Meanwhile, State
Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Vladimir Lukin
said that he does not rule out amendments to the ABM treaty
if those changes do not alter the treaty's "backbone,"
Interfax reported on 20 August. "If we understand the
directions in which the Americans intend to adjust the ABM
Treaty, it would ease the State Duma debate of the START-2
Treaty ratification," Lukin told the news agency. He added
that the main parameters of START-3 should be discussed ahead
of that ratification, stressing that the number of nuclear
warheads allowed under START-3 should be reduced from 2,500-
2,000 to 1,500 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 August 1999). JC

RUSSIA DELIVERS MISSILE SYSTEMS TO GREECE. The first
four out of 21 Russian TOR anti-aircraft missile systems
for the Greek army arrived in Thessaloniki on 20 August,
AP reported. The Greek Defense ministry paid 56 billion
drachmas ($180.6 million) for the systems. Defense
Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said the purchase is "very
important" for upgrading Greece's air defenses. AP noted
that the short-range missiles are part of a major arms
buildup aimed at "keeping pace with Turkey." Fifteen
Russian military advisers will train Greek personnel in
the use of the systems. FS

MAYORSKII SAYS RUSSIA TREATS BELGRADE 'WITH FULL RESPECT.'
Senior Russian diplomat Boris Mayorskii told ITAR-TASS on 20
August that "we treat the [Yugoslav] government with full
respect.... And there are no reasons for contacts to be
broken just because other countries see the relations with
Belgrade differently." Mayorskii added that his government
cannot base its policy toward Yugoslavia on the protests in
Belgrade on 19 August (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 August
1999). He argued that "complicated processes are happening in
Yugoslavia now and we see them as a manifestation...that a
normal democratic development is going on in the country. It
is up to the Yugoslav people to master its own fate."
Mayorskii also said that the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK)
failed to meet the 19 August deadline to surrender 60 percent
of its weapons. KFOR did not confirm Majorskii's claims (see
Part II). FS

'ILLEGAL DRAFTEES' FILE SUIT AGAINST MILITARY COMMISSIONS.
"Noviye Izvestiya" reported on 19 August that for the first
time in the history of the Russian armed forces, lawsuits are
being filed against military recruitment agencies for illegal
conscription. Last week, the Moscow Izmailovskii Municipal
Court was to have considered a lawsuit filed by 20-year-old
Vladimir Sapronov against the Military Enlistment Commission
of Moscow's Eastern Administrative Department. Sapronov was
drafted into the army despite having received regular medical
treatment over the past 13 years for a serious nervous
disorder that leaves his whole body twitching. The commission
nonetheless decided Sapronov was fit for military service.
According to the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers, doctors and
military enlistment commissions frequently act in collusion
in an bid to fulfil the draft plan. Consideration of the
Sapronov case has been postponed because members of the
Moscow commission are currently on vacation. JC

DID LUZHKOV GOVERNMENT TRY TO BLOCK RELIGIOUS GROUP
GATHERING? The government of Moscow Mayor Luzhkov reportedly
tried to stop the local Olimpiiskii Sports Complex from
hosting the annual congress of the Jehovah's Witnesses on 20
August, "The Moscow Times" reported. The congress went ahead
as scheduled, according to the daily, but not without "days
of talks including foreign human rights activists." The head
of the St. Petersburg Jehovah's Witnesses said that the
administration of the stadium received a "serious demand"
from the city government that the stadium lock out the group.
The stadium's deputy director told the newspaper that he does
not know precisely where the order came from. JAC

ZHIRINOVSKII SAID TO HAVE HOSTED OCALAN. Kurdistan Workers'
Party leader Abdullah Ocalan spent two weeks last fall at the
dacha of Liberal Democratic Party of Russia chairman Vladimir
Zhirinovskii, Reuters reported on 21 August, citing ORT.
Ocalan reportedly spent his time playing soccer and
telephoning with State Duma deputies from the dacha, located
close to Moscow. Russian officials had repeatedly denied any
knowledge of Ocalan's whereabouts after he left Syria in
October at the request of that country's leadership (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 21 October 1998). Ocalan was arrested when
he arrived in Rome on the night of 12-13 November aboard a
Russian air lines flight from Moscow. Zhirinovskii, who
earlier denied Turkish media reports that he had helped
Ocalan, has not commented on the report. LF

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIAN, AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENTS MEET IN GENEVA. Armenian
President Robert Kocharian and his Azerbaijani counterpart,
Heidar Aliev, met for two hours in a lakeside villa near
Geneva on 22 August, a correspondent for RFE/RL's Armenian
Service reported. After an interlude, the talks resumed in a
relaxed atmosphere in the presence of the two countries'
foreign ministers, Vartan Oskanian and Tofik Zulfugarov, as
well as Armenian National Security Minister Serzh Sarkisian
and Azerbaijani State Foreign Policy Advisor Vafa Guluzade.
President Aliev told journalists later that he and Kocharian
agree that the conflict must be resolved through a peaceful
compromise. He added that the two countries' defense
ministers will meet shortly to discuss measures to strengthen
the cease-fire that has been in force since May 1994. Both
presidents characterized the talks as productive and useful.
LF

ARMENIAN FORMER MINISTER REPORTEDLY BEATEN IN PRE-TRIAL
DETENTION. Lawyer Karo Karapetian told journalists in Yerevan
on 20 August that his client, former Education Minister Ashot
Bleyan, was beaten in pretrial detention in Nubarashen jail
two days earlier, Noyan Tapan reported. Bleyan, who now heads
the opposition Nor Ughi party, was arrested in May and
charged with embezzlement (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 March
and 14 May 1999). LF

DETAILS EMERGE OF AZERBAIJAN TV STATION MURDER. Turan on 20
August reported that Telman Didirov, who was murdered three
days earlier on the premises of the independent DM TV station
in Balakan Raion, was a technician, not a journalist, as
reported earlier (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 August 1999).
Didirov's brother was fired as president of the local TV
company on 6 June. LF

UNKNOWN FIGHTERS AGAIN VIOLATE GEORGIAN AIRSPACE. Two
unidentified aircraft crossed the border from Daghestan into
Georgian airspace on 19 August and circled the village of
Omalo before heading toward Chechnya, Caucasus Press reported
the following day. Russian aircraft mistakenly crossed from
Daghestan into Georgian air space earlier this month and
dropped mines in the vicinity of Omalo (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 10 August 1999). LF

KAZAKH OFFICIALS DENY GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN MIG SALES TO
NORTH KOREA. Meeting in Astana on 20 August with Kazakhstan's
Prime Minister Nurlan Balghymbaev, Japanese Foreign Ministry
official Keizo Takemi demanded clarification of media reports
that Kazakhstan sold the six MiG fighter aircraft impounded
in Baku in March to North Korea, Reuters and ITAR-TASS
reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 March and 13 August
1999). Balghymbaev said the Kazakh government "had nothing to
do" with the sale of the MiGs. He refused to divulge details
of the ongoing investigation into the scandal. U.S. experts
are participating in that investigation. Also on 20 August,
Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Toqaev told ITAR-
TASS that Kazakhstan did sell a consignment of some 35-40
planes, some of which ended up in North Korea. But he
stressed that the transaction "went out of control of the
president and the government." LF

GUERRILLAS IN KYRGYZSTAN TAKE NEW HOSTAGES. Kyrgyz government
troops on 23 August launched an operation against two groups
of guerrillas from Tajikistan who took new hostages in two
separate incidents on 22 and 23 August, RFE/RL's Bishkek
correspondent reported on 23 August quoting presidential
spokesman Kanybek Imanaliev. On 22 August, a band of some 20
guerrillas crossed into Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan and took
some 320 villagers hostage. The following morning, a second
band seized the commander of the Kyrgyz Interior Ministry
forces, General Anarbek Shamkeev, and four Japanese
specialists near the Altyn-Jailoo goldmine. It is unclear
whether either band is the one which took four Kyrgyz
officials hostage earlier this month. Defense Minister
Myrzakan Subanov said on 22 August that the operation to
neutralize that group has been completed. Presidential
administration security and defense department head Bolot
Januzakov told Reuters on 20 August that some of those
guerrillas were killed or wounded as a result of bombing and
artillery raids launched by Kyrgyz forces on 19 August. LF

ONE NEW POLITICAL PARTY REGISTERED IN KYRGYZSTAN... The Ar-
Namys party founded in June by former Bishkek Mayor Feliks
Kulov has been formally registered by Kyrgyzstan's Ministry
of Justice, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported on 20 August
quoting a party spokesman. Kulov resigned as mayor in April,
accusing President Askar Akaev of condoning actions by his
subordinates that violate democratic norms and the rule of
law (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 April and 12 July 1999). LF

...AND ANOTHER FORMED. Some 125 delegates from throughout
Kyrgyzstan attended the founding congress in Bishkek on 21
August of a second communist party, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau
reported. The party split from the Party of Kyrgyz
Communists, headed by Absamat Masaliev, who is a former First
Secretary of the Central Committee of the then Kirghiz
Communist Party. LF

TAJIKISTAN'S PARLIAMENT HIGHLIGHTS PRESS SHORTCOMINGS. The
Tajik parliamentary committee for international affairs,
international relations and culture met with editors of a
dozen of the country's newspapers on 19 August to discuss the
media situation, Asia Plus-Blitz reported the following day.
Committee chairman Ibrohim Usmonov told the agency that
newspapers are "full of information on violence, cruelty, and
wars" and ignore the promotion of "high human values" and
"protecting the national dignity of the Tajik people." There
are currently some 30 weekly newspapers in Tajikistan, of
which 10 are state-owned. However, there is no daily
newspaper. LF

UZBEK PARLIAMENT ENDORSES ELECTION DATES. Deputies on 20
August approved the election timetable proposed the previous
day by President Islam Karimov, Russian agencies reported.
Elections to a new 250-seat parliament will take place on 5
December, together with elections to city and local councils.
The presidential poll will be held on 9 January. The
parliament also voted to amend the existing election
legislation, abolishing the 5 percent threshold for
parliamentary representation. Karimov told deputies that he
anticipates that "a large number of alternative candidates"
will contest the parliamentary poll. All five registered
political parties will be entitled to field candidates. LF

SAUDI GOVERNMENT DELEGATION VISITS UZBEKISTAN. President
Karimov on 20 August received a delegation headed by Saudi
Minister of Trade Osama Jaafar Faquieh, Interfax reported.
The Saudi delegation is attending the first session of the
Uzbekistan-Saudi Arabia intergovernmental commission for
economic cooperation, which opened in Tashkent on 18 August.
Addressing that gathering, the Saudi minister noted an
increase in trade between the two countries but added that
the potential for expanding trade ties is not being fully
realized. LF

END NOTE

LONG SHADOW OF AN OLD AGREEMENT

By Paul Goble

	Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Molotov-
Ribbentrop Pact, the deal between Hitler and Stalin that
touched off World War II and that continues to cast a shadow
over Eastern Europe and relations between Moscow and the
West.
	On 23 August 1939, German Foreign Minister Joachim von
Ribbentrop and his Soviet counterpart, Vyacheslav Molotov,
signed a non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the
Soviet Union.
	Because this agreement eliminated the immediate threat
to Germany of a two-front war, it freed Hitler to launch the
attack on Poland that began World War II. And because it
allowed Germany to acquire numerous militarily important
supplies from the USSR, it helped to power Nazi victories in
Europe in 1939 and 1940.
	But even more important, this agreement--and especially
a secret protocol, the existence of which both Berlin and
Moscow long denied--drew a new line in Eastern Europe between
a German and a Russian sphere of influence, a line that
allowed Stalin to put pressure on and then absorb the three
Baltic countries.
	If much of the importance of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
was made irrelevant by Hitler's decision to attack the Soviet
Union in June 1941 and by the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany
in 1945, the sphere of influence the pact gave to Moscow over
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania has had a much longer life.
	Virtually all Western governments followed the U.S. in
refusing to recognize as legitimate Stalin's occupation of
these three small countries. Most maintained ties with the
diplomatic representatives of the pre-occupation authorities
and adopted other measures to show their non-recognition of
what the Soviet Union had done.
	And that policy, one that Baltic leaders have always
said encouraged them in their struggle against the
occupation, continued until August 1991 when Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania successfully achieved the restoration of their
state sovereignty as full members of the international state
system.
	But in an important sense, Moscow's sphere of influence
as defined by this pact continues to play a role in the
thinking of both Russian and Western leaders.
	Until almost the end of the Soviet period, Moscow
officials denied the existence of the secret protocol to the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. And when they could no longer deny
that, they retreated to an insistence that the Sovietization
of the Baltic States in 1940 had nothing to do with that
accord.
	However, as Baltic, Russian, and Western historians have
demonstrated, Stalin occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
when he did only because of the assurances Hitler had given
him that these countries lay within Moscow's sphere of
influence.
	Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation
has changed again, but it is still the case that many in
Moscow call for Western recognition that the Baltic countries
lie within a Russian sphere of influence. And they advance as
the basis for that claim the notion that Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania were part of the Soviet Union.
	In the past, most Western officials were careful to
speak about the existence of 12 Soviet republics and three
occupied Baltic states and thus to implicitly reject Moscow's
pretensions in this regard.
	But more recently, senior Western officials and various
Western academic experts have made ever more references to
the supposed existence of "15 former Soviet republics." These
call into question the West's non-recognition policy.
Moreover, they are taken by Moscow as an implicit recognition
that the Soviet borders are still a dividing line in Europe.
	That pattern, in turn, has encouraged some in the
Russian capital to assume that Moscow can deal with the
Baltic countries in much the same way it has dealt with its
other neighbors, an assumption that threatens not only the
security of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania but also the
stability of Europe as a whole.
	As a result and despite all the talk about a Europe
without new lines of division and about the future inclusion
of everyone in all international structures, such comments
and assumptions appear to reinforce just such a line--one
drawn 60 years ago by two of the most evil figures of our
time.

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                     All rights reserved.
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