Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Dostoevsky
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 180, Part I, 15 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 180, Part I, 15 September 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

* PUTIN OUTLINES PLAN TO ISOLATE CHECHNYA

* KREMLIN, GOVERNMENT REJECT DECLARING STATE OF EMERGENCY

* AZERBAIJAN CONDEMNS ALLEGED ARMENIAN CLAIM ON NAKHICHEVAN
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RUSSIA

PUTIN OUTLINES PLAN TO ISOLATE CHECHNYA. Addressing the
Russian State Duma on 14 September, Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin said he is absolutely convinced of a Chechen connection
in the Moscow bombings. He cast doubt on the sincerity of
Chechen leaders' denials of any involvement in those blasts,
arguing that their failure to take measures to prevent such
attacks is tantamount to approval of them. But, Putin
continued, Chechen complicity does not justify calls for
"annihilating the Chechen people." Putin proposed the
following measures to exert pressure on Chechnya: an
"objective" reassessment of the 1996 Khasavyurt agreement;
the imposition of a strict cordon sanitaire along Chechnya's
borders (he did not specify whether this would extend to
Chechnya's border with Georgia) and the "destruction" of all
Chechen guerrilla bands; and the creation of a Chechen
government in exile. The 1994 war in Chechnya began after
such a government, which was backed by Russia and was in
opposition to then President Dzhokhar Dudaev, launched an
abortive attack on Grozny with covert Russian military
support (see "RFE/RL Daily Report," 28 November 1994). LF

CHECHEN PRESIDENT ADVOCATES JOINT ACTION WITH RUSSIA AGAINST
TERRORISM. Aslan Maskhadov has written to President Boris
Yeltsin proposing joint action against terrorism in Russia
and the North Caucasus, Chechnya's permanent representative
in Moscow, Mairbek Vachagaev, told journalists on 14
September. Vachagaev added that Maskhadov has authorized him
to state officially that "ethnic Chechens and citizens of the
Chechen Republic Ichkeria" had no connection with the two
recent apartment building bombings in Moscow. Vachagaev cast
doubt on the veracity of Russian media reports that
Jordanian-born Chechen field commander Khattab was
responsible for the blasts. But he added that if those
reports prove true, Khattab will be expelled from Chechnya.
Interfax on 14 September quoted Khattab as denying
responsibility for the blast. Khattab added that he is
fighting the Russian army, not women and children. LF

CHECHEN FOREIGN MINISTRY CONDEMNS BOMBINGS. The Chechen
Foreign Ministry issued an official statement on 14 September
condemning the Moscow blasts and affirming that "Ichkeria
stands firmly against terrorism in any manifestation,"
according to Interfax. The statement also described as
"terrorist" the ongoing Russian air raids against villages in
southern Chechnya, which Russian Defense Ministry officials
say are directed against guerrilla bases. In an interview
with "Moskovskie novosti," President Maskhadov termed the air
raids "real aggression" and warned that if Russia again
invades Chechnya, more Chechens will take up arms in self-
defense than did so in 1994. Maskhadov again affirmed that
neither the Chechen leadership nor the Chechen people
initiated last month's incursion into Daghestan. LF

KREMLIN, GOVERNMENT REJECT DECLARING STATE OF EMERGENCY...
Prime Minister Putin advised members of the State Duma on 14
September not to rush consideration of a bill on declaring a
state of emergency in Russia (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16
August 1999). He said he is "convinced that an effective
application of current laws will remove from the agenda
discussion of the application of the outdated 1991 law on the
state of emergency." The same day, presidential chief of
staff Aleksandr Voloshin and his deputy, Igor Shabdurasulov,
dismissed Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov's claims
that plans are under way to declare a state of emergency
following the recent explosions in the country's capital.
Zyuganov told reporters earlier that he has seen two pages of
proposals from the presidential administration on introducing
a state of emergency and that the plans are aimed at allowing
the president to cancel elections. JAC

...AS DO BULK OF POLITICAL ELITE. Zyuganov's remarks
accompanied public comments from a wide variety of
policymakers, including State Duma Chairman Gennadii Seleznev
and former Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin, who are against
declaring a state of emergency. In an interview with "Trud"
on 15 September, the leader of the Fatherland-All Russia
bloc, Yevgenii Primakov, repeated his opposition to such a
move, noting that it "may be used by certain political forces
to further their own political interests." St. Petersburg
Governor Aleksandr Yakovlev said on 15 September that most of
his colleagues in the Federation Council do not think "a
state of emergency should be imposed." The upper chamber will
hold an extraordinary session on 17 September to discuss
recent developments in Daghestan and the explosions in
Moscow. JAC

MOSCOW CITIZENRY ORGANIZING MILITIAS... In addition to an
enhanced police presence, some Moscow residents have
organized themselves into self-defense groups to patrol their
neighborhoods in the hope of preventing another apartment
blast, AFP reported on 14 September. According to the agency,
in some districts kiosk vendors are being paid by residents
to watch comings and goings from their buildings. The
government newspaper "Rossiiskaya gazeta" reported the next
day that 14,500 agents of the Main Moscow Department of the
Interior Ministry and 9,500 Interior Ministry troops have
been deployed in Moscow. JAC

...AS REGIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS INTENSIFIED. Outside
Moscow, law enforcement officials are increasing their
inspections of trains and trucks that enter their regions. In
St. Petersburg, trade has been prohibited outside the city's
metro stations, "Izvestiya" reported on 15 September. In
Vologda, local policemen are working 12-hour shifts in order
to apprehend the suspected "terrorist" responsible for an
explosion at a local hotel on 14 September, according to the
daily. In Stavropol, local police have been instructed to
register all intercity transport. Meanwhile, local political
leaders have expressed various views on the crisis and its
causes. Novgorod Governor Mikhail Prusak recommended that
Chechnya be granted political independence from Russia and
that the border between Dagestan and Chechnya be made a state
border. Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov recommended
stopping all Russian military actions in the Caucasus and
trying to settle the conflict by political means,
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 14 September. JAC

COHEN PINS HOPES ON NEXT DUMA FOR START-2 RATIFICATION.
Visiting Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast, on 14 September,
U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen said Russian senior
defense officials have told him that the current State Duma
is unlikely to ratify START-2. ITAR-TASS quoted the U.S.
secretary as saying he is "sure" that the treaty will be
ratified by the next lower house. The following day, Duma
Chairman Seleznev told reporters that the Duma is not
planning to debate START-2 ratification in the near future,
according to the Russian news agency. Cohen was in
Severodvinsk to witness the destruction of Russian nuclear
submarines under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program
with the U.S. JC

IVASHOV THREATENS TO WITHDRAW RUSSIAN TROOPS FROM KFOR...
Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, the chief of the Russian
Defense Ministry's department for international military
cooperation, said in Moscow on 14 September that KFOR has
failed to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1244,
Interfax reported. Ivashov warned that Russia will consider
withdrawing its forces from Kosova, arguing that "80 percent
of Serbs living [in Kosova] have become refugees." He also
complained that KFOR has not allowed Yugoslav security forces
back into Kosova "As a result, the borders [of Kosova] remain
open.... Weapons and drugs keep arriving," he said. "If the
tendency for [Kosova's] secession from Yugoslavia becomes
irreversible..., the Federation Council may raise the
question of whether our contingent's further stay in the
region is expedient," Ivashov concluded. FS

...QUESTIONS UCK DISARMAMENT. Ivashov also said in Moscow on
14 September that he is "absolutely sure" that the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK) will not be disarmed by the
demilitarization deadline of 19 September. He claimed that
the UCK has so far surrendered only some 4,000 weapons, most
of which are outdated. He also said that "the UCK is evolving
into a political force and is replacing the local
government." UN Special Representative Bernard Kouchner is
scheduled to visit Moscow on 15 September to explain to
Russian officials the plan for the creation of a Kosova
Corps, ITAR-TASS reported. Russia earlier rejected the
creation of the corps (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September
1999). FS

MORE NAMES ADDED TO MORE PARTY LISTS... Delegates to the
congress of the Movement to Support the Army on 11 September
approved its party list for the upcoming State Duma
elections, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 14 September. The
movement's list will be headed by State Duma Security
Committee Chairman Viktor Ilyukhin, Duma deputy Albert
Makashov, and Yurii Savaliev, rector of the St. Petersburg
University of Military Mechanics. Meanwhile, Sakhalin
Governor Igor Farkhutdinov will head the regional list of Our
Home Is Russia movement, followed by Ilya Rosenbaum, general
director of the Geometall-Plus in Magadan, and Vladimir
Kolesnichenko, vice president of the Dalnii Vostok financial-
industrial group, Interfax-Eurasia reported the same day. JAC

...AS LEBED SAYS HIS PARTIES WON'T RUN. On 15 September,
Krasnoyarsk Governor Aleksandr Lebed told reporters that the
People's Republican Party of Russia and the Honor and
Motherland movement, both of which he heads, will not
participate in State Duma elections, Interfax reported. Lebed
said that it would be a "shame" to participate in such a
ballot. "One and the same people, who everyone is sick and
tired of and who for 10 years have known what should be done
but don't say it, are running," he added. JAC

KHAKAMADA TO RUN FROM ST. PETE IN DUMA ELECTIONS. Irina
Khakamada, a leader of the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS),
told Interfax-Northwest on 14 September that she will run
from an electoral district in St. Petersburg in the upcoming
State Duma elections. She noted that the SPS has decided to
rise to the challenge of notorious television journalist and
nationalist Duma deputy Aleksandr Nevzorov, who was behind a
recent report shown first by Russian Public Television (ORT)
and then by Petersburg Television that mocked several liberal
politicians, including Khakamada. As a result of its decision
to re-broadcast that program, for which ORT had already
received a warning, Petersburg Television was taken off the
air by the Mass Media Ministry for some 42 hours (see "RFE/RL
Russian Federation Report," 8 September 1999). Khakamada
occupies third place on SPS's election list, after former
Premier Sergei Kirienko and former First Deputy Premier Boris
Nemtsov. JC

SOME SCHOOLS REMAIN CLOSED IN ALMOST A DOZEN REGIONS.
According to the union of education and science workers, more
than 10,000 education workers at 400 schools in 11 regions
are continuing their strike to demand payment of back wages,
Interfax reported on 14 September. The eleven regions are the
Republics of Khakassia and Altai as well as Chita, Smolensk,
Kursk, Kurgan, Tver, Kostroma, Volgograd, Irkutsk, and
Sakhalin Oblasts. Teachers and other education workers are
owed a total of 11.4 billion rubles ($446 million), according
to the union. That figure is down 14 percent, compared with
the beginning of the school year in 1998. ITAR-TASS reported
that the situation last year was considerably more tense with
some 2,500 schools remaining closed after 1 September (see
"RFE/RL Russian Federation Report," 8 September 1999). JAC

PRESIDENT INAUGURATED IN KARACHAEVO-CHERKESSIA. Vladimir
Semenov was formally sworn in as president of the Republic of
Karachaev-Cherkessia on 14 September in Ust-Djeguti, the
republic's second-largest town, "Nezavisimaya gazeta"
reported. The ceremony took place against the wishes of the
Russian leadership and neither Semenov's defeated rival
candidate, Stanislav Derev, nor Moscow's appointee as
temporary head of the republic, Valentin Vlasov, attended.
Semenov appealed for harmony and tolerance between the
republic's ethnic groups. International Cherkess Association
leader Boris Akbashev, one of Derev's most prominent
supporters, told "Nezavisimaya gazeta" that if Semenov is
inaugurated as president, the republic's minority Cherkess
community will establish a temporary parallel administration
representing the Cherkess autonomous territorial formation
that they are demanding. Semenov has said that the issue of
splitting the Karachaevo-Cherkess Republic should be put to a
referendum. LF

NEW TRANSNEFT HEAD IN THE PIPELINE? Fuel and Energy Minister
Viktor Kalyuzhnii on 14 September dismissed Dmitrii Savelev,
the head of the giant pipeline company, Transneft, and named
Semen Vainshtok, a former vice president of LUKoil, to
replace him. Deputy Fuel and Energy Minister Vladimir Stanev
told reporters that the ministry is dissatisfied with the
company's management and financial performance. He added that
dividends on the company's shares have been paid only once in
the last six years. Last year, the company's financial losses
totaled 495 million rubles ($19.4 million), according to
"Vremya MN" on 15 September. In the meantime, Transneft has
sent a letter to Prime Minister Putin complaining that
Savelev's dismissal breaches the law on joint-stock
companies, "The Moscow Times" reported. Savelev said since
the decision was illegal, he is refusing to step down and
will not let Vainshtok on company premises, according to
ITAR-TASS. JAC

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIAN, AZERBAIJANI DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET. Vagharshak
Harutiunian and Safar Abiev met on the northern frontier
between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 14 September to discuss
strengthening border security and preventing violations of
the cease-fire that took effect in 1994, Reuters and RFE/RL's
Yerevan bureau reported. The two countries' presidents agreed
to the meeting last month during talks in Geneva (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 23 August 1999). Speaking at a press briefing in
Yerevan on 14 September, presidential press spokesman Vahe
Gabrielian said that at their most recent meeting in Yalta on
10 September, Robert Kocharian and Heidar Aliev agreed that
peace talks under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group should be
resumed, according to Noyan Tapan. They also agreed on
unspecified confidence-building measures in the border zone
and in the vicinity of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic. LF

AZERBAIJAN CONDEMNS ALLEGED ARMENIAN CLAIM ON NAKHICHEVAN.
Azerbaijan's State Foreign Policy Adviser Vafa Guluzade has
said that a recent statement by Armenians from the
Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan constitutes an Armenian
government claim on Azerbaijani territory, Noyan Tapan
reported on 15 September. Guluzade hinted that Baku might
respond to that claim by demanding the return to Armenia of
some 200,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis who fled in 1988. Meeting in
Yerevan on 11 September, representatives of an estimated
400,000 Armenians who originated from Nakhichevan formed a
National Council of Nakhichevan Armenians. That council
adopted an appeal to the Armenian parliament to declare
invalid the provision of the 1921 treaty whereby Nakhichevan
was designated part of the Azerbaijan SSR. The region had
formerly been part of the Yerevan province of the Tsarist
Empire and of the independent Armenian Republic in 1918-1920.
Presidential spokesman Gabrielian pointed out that the
National Council of Nakhichevan Armenians is a public
organization, not an official government body. LF

UN MEDIATOR TRIES TO KICKSTART ABKHAZ TALKS... UN special
representative in Georgia Liviu Bota held talks with Georgian
Minister of State Vazha Lortkipanidze in Tbilisi on 13
September but reportedly failed to set a date for further
talks between Tbilisi and Sukhumi on resolving the Abkhaz
conflict, Caucasus Press reported. The following day in
Sukhumi, Bota met with Abkhaz President Vladislav Ardzinba,
who backed Bota's proposal to convene a session of the
Georgian-Abkhaz Coordinating Council before the end of this
month to discuss security issues, according to Interfax.
Arzdinba told Bota he had written to Georgian President
Eduard Shevardnadze expressing concern at reports that
Georgian guerrillas plan subversive activities in Abkhazia's
southernmost Gali Raion in the runup to the Abkhaz
presidential elections on 3 October. Tbilisi does not
recognize the validity of that poll, in which Arzdzinba is
the sole candidate. Bota, who has been appointed Romania's
representative to the OSCE, extended his term in Georgia
after Russia vetoed all other candidates proposed to succeed
him as the UN Secretary-General's special representative
there. LF

...AS NATO RULES OUT KOSOVA-STYLE INTERVENTION. Chris
Donnelly, who is an adviser to NATO Secretary-General George
Robertson, told the Georgian parliament's Defense and
Security Committee on 13 September that NATO will not
intervene in Abkhazia, Interfax reported. Donnelly explained
that NATO's intervention in Kosova was launched only after it
became clear that all other peace efforts had failed and that
the situation in the former Yugoslavia threatened European
security. By contrast, Interfax quoted Donnelly as saying,
NATO does not consider Abkhazia such a danger. He added that
it is time to work out a model for resolving conflicts in the
South Caucasus. Leading Georgian politicians have for months
been campaigning for NATO military intervention in Abkhazia.
LF

KAZAKHSTAN RETRACTS ORDER FOR FORMER PREMIER'S ARREST.
Kazakhstan's Prosecutor-General Yurii Khitrin on 14 September
retracted the order for the arrest of Akezhan Kazhegeldin,
RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. The Russian authorities had
rejected that request, saying the charges brought against
Kazhegeldin are not adequately documented. The former premier
is accused of tax evasion and illegal possession of property
abroad. The Russian OMON guards outside Kazhegeldin's room at
the Barvikha sanatorium, where he is under observation after
suffering a suspected heart attack, were removed late on 14
September. In Almaty, members of Kazhegeldin's People's
Republican Party of Kazakhstan who tried to stage a protest
demonstration outside the Russian Embassy on 14 September to
demand his release were immediately dispersed by police. Six
of them were arrested, fined, and warned that they would
receive labor camp sentences if they participated in further
such unsanctioned demonstrations. LF

KAZAKHSTAN HOSTS REGIONAL SECURITY CONFERENCE. Foreign
ministers from 16 countries (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China,
Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia,
Palestine, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and
Uzbekistan) signed a declaration on the principles of mutual
relations at a conference in Almaty on 14 September.
Observers from 10 other countries also attended. Kazakhstan's
President Nursultan Nazarbaev told participants that the
problem of ensuring regional security is of special
significance for Asian states, since the region accounts for
two-thirds of the world's population and 55 percent of global
GDP. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov stressed that
security in Asia is a key priority of Russia's foreign
policy. The conference is intended to function as an Asian
security body modeled on the OSCE (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3
June 1999). LF

KAZAKH AUTHORITIES ARREST MIG SALE SUSPECT. Kazakhstan's
National Security Committee has arrested a man suspected of
acting as intermediary in the sale of some 30-40 MiG-21
fighter aircraft to North Korea, AP and Interfax reported on
14 September. AP quoted National Security Committee press
spokesman Kenzhebulat Beknazarov as saying that the man was
paid $1.8 million for his services. Kazakhstan's Foreign
Minister Kasymzhomart Toqaev on 12 September denied that the
Kazakh government had any knowledge of the sale (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 13 September 1999). LF

UZBEK GUERRILLAS AGREE TO TALKS WITH KYRGYZ MILITARY. Kyrgyz
human rights activist Tursunbek Akunov told an RFE/RL's
Kyrgyz Service correspondent in Batken on 14 September that
Yunus Abdurakmanov, the leader of the Uzbek guerrillas
holding a group of hostages in southern Kyrgyzstan, has
agreed to talks with Kyrgyz officials and will not demand a
ransom for the hostages. Interfax quoted Akunov as saying
that the guerrillas are prepared to negotiate with the
commanders of Kyrgyz troops deployed in the region but that
those troops cannot agree to such talks until they receive
permission to do so from the government in Bishkek. LF

KYRGYZ PRESIDENT ENDS VISIT TO GERMANY. On a three-day
official visit to Germany, Askar Akaev met in Berlin on 13
September with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to discuss
bilateral economic cooperation, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service
reported. President Akaev thanked Germany for its support
during the first stage of economic reform in Kyrgyzstan and
requested German financial support for construction of a new
hydro-power station and in exporting electricity to
neighboring China. Akaev also requested a DM 75 million ($40
million) loan to support small business in Kyrgyzstan and an
additional DM 20 million in technical help. In addition,
Akaev held talks with President Johannes Rau. In Bonn on 14
September, two cooperation agreements were signed between the
German and Kyrgyz governments. Under one of those accords,
Germany will grant Kyrgyzstan a DM 60 million low-interest
loan for improving the health care service and reconstruction
of the energy system. LF

INTERNATIONAL WATCHDOG CALLS FOR INVESTIGATING TURKMEN
DISSIDENT'S JAIL DEATH. Human Rights Watch on 14 September
called on the government of Turkmenistan to launch an
investigation into the circumstances of the death of Khoshali
Garaev, who was found dead in his prison cell last week (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 13 September 1999). The Turkmen
authorities claim he committed suicide. Garaev, who was 37,
had recently written to relatives saying he was in good
health and hoped to be amnestied by the end of the year. Also
on 14 September, Amnesty International issued an appeal on
behalf of Mukhametli Aymuradov, who was sentenced in 1995
with Garaev on charges of "anti-state crimes." Aymuradov is
53 and in poor health. LF

FIVE PARTIES TO CONTEST UZBEK PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. A
spokesman for Uzbekistan's Central Electoral Commission told
journalists in Tashkent on 14 September that five political
parties have received permission to contend the 5 December
parliamentary elections, Reuters reported (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 23 August 1999). They are the People's Democratic
Party (the former Communist Party of Uzbekistan), the Adolat
(Justice) party, the National Revival Party, the For the
Progress of the Motherland Party, and the Fidorkorlar
(Selfless Ones). LF

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