If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there. - Martin Luther
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 216, Part I, 5 November 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 216, Part I, 5 November 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

* COUNCIL OF EUROPE CALLS FOR CHECHEN CEASEFIRE

* BUDGET SAILS THROUGH SECOND READING

* KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT HOLDS OUT OLIVE BRANCH TO OPPOSITION

End Note: RADIO LIBERTY'S PETER DORNAN
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RUSSIA

COUNCIL OF EUROPE CALLS FOR CHECHEN CEASEFIRE. The
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a
resolution on 4 November calling on Moscow to cease
hostilities in Chechnya and to "abstain from any human rights
violations or raids on the civilian population," Reuters
reported. The resolution also affirmed its support for talks
between the Russian leadership and Chechen President Aslan
Maskhadov, according to Interfax, which quoted Ernst
Muellemann, chairman of the Assembly's committee on Chechnya,
as saying that assembly members would like to travel to
Chechnya to met with Maskhadov but for security reasons are
unable to do so. LF

MOSCOW HINTS AT READINESS FOR TALKS WITH MASKHADOV.
Addressing the assembly, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Aleksandr Avdeev said that attempts had been made to contact
Maskhadov. (Maskhadov's chief of staff Apti Batalov had told
Interfax on 2 November that neither fax nor mobile telephone
communications with Moscow nor the "hotline" set up in 1997
are functioning, so there is no possibility of direct
contact.) Avdeev said that it would be "difficult" for
Maskhadov to sever ties with field commander Shamil Basaev,
whom Moscow holds responsible for terrorist attacks elsewhere
in Russia, since Maskhadov is "financially dependent" on
Basaev. But Avdeev added that Moscow would "of course" agree
to talks with Maskhadov if he did disown Basaev. Avdeev
characterized members of the Chechen parliament currently in
Strasbourg as illegitimate and "Basaev's people." LF

RUSSIAN COMMANDER IN CHECHNYA WARNS AGAINST CEASEFIRE. In
comments published in "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on 4 November,
Major General Vladimir Shamanov, who commands the western
group of forces deployed in Chechnya, warned that many young
officers and some generals will quit the army in disgust if
Moscow decides to halt the campaign in Chechnya before
completely neutralizing the enemy, as it did in 1996. He
rejected the argument that the army "should stay out of
politics" and serve simply as an instrument for achieving the
civilian leadership's objectives. Stressing that "virtually
all federation subjects with a couple of exceptions" support
the Russian military's actions to "stamp out terrorism" in
Chechnya, Shamanov said that leaving the war half-ended could
precipitate a civil war in Russia that could result in the
emergence of 10-15 uncontrollable nuclear states. He argued
that "Russia is not simply affirming itself as a state, it is
becoming stronger. We are sick of seeing Russia humiliated,"
he said. LF

DID YELTSIN CUT SHORT VACATION TO DEAL WITH GENERALS? Citing
sources close to the government, controversial journalist
Aleksandr Khinstein writes in the 5 November "Moskovskii
komsomolets" that President Boris Yeltsin cut short his
vacation in Sochi earlier this week to avert a major scandal
over the Kremlin's alleged "recommendations" that military
leaders prepare for possible negotiations with Chechen
President Maskhadov. Those recommendations were said to have
stemmed from Kremlin officials "worried about Russia's
negative image in the West." Armed Forces General Staff Chief
Anatolii Kvashnin allegedly threatened to resign, along with
a group of military commanders who "authored" the Chechen
campaign, if the recommendations were not "disavowed."
Khinstein's sources say Yeltsin confirmed the Chechen
campaign will continue and denied there was any intention to
suspend it. "Nezavisimaya gazeta" has suggested that Yeltsin
granted the Hero of Russia award to several military leaders,
including Kvashnin (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 November 1999).
"Moskovskii komsomolets" is close to Moscow Mayor Yurii
Luzhkov. JC

SHOIGU VISITS CHECHEN-INGUSH BORDER. Minister for Emergency
Situations Sergei Shoigu and Ingushetian President Ruslan
Aushev traveled on 4 November to the border between
Ingushetia and Chechnya. Although procedures for admitting
fleeing Chechen civilians were relaxed, allowing some 3,000
people to enter Ingushetia over the previous 24 hours, Aushev
told Interfax that the situation at the border remains
complicated. Shoigu told journalists in Mozdok after talks
there with Russian commander Colonel-General Viktor Kazantsev
that opening a second crossing point on the border would
expedite transit in both directions. He said efforts will be
made to relocate displaced persons from Chechnya to other
parts of the North Caucasus, as Ingushetia's capacity for
housing them is limited. In Moscow, UNHCR representative
Christopher Carpenter said his organization will make
available $3 million in humanitarian aid for the displaced
persons. LF

BUDGET SAILS THROUGH SECOND READING... State Duma deputies
approved the draft 2000 budget in its second reading on 5
November. The vote was 284 to 10 with no abstentions, ITAR-
TASS reported. The level of expenditures and revenues-- 855.1
billion rubles ($33 billion)and 797.2 billion rubles,
respectively--is the same as in the version of the bill
passed in its first reading (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26
October 1999). The largest faction, the Communists, cleared
the way for the bill's passage by announcing before the vote
that its members could vote as they wish. "Kommersant-Daily"
on 5 November predicted the budget's eventual passage but
noted that no matter what the final numbers are, the
government will have little chance of gathering sufficient
revenues should the price of oil fall. JAC

...AS NEW RATES FOR INCOME TAX APPROVED. Also on 5 November,
the Duma passed amendments to the Income Tax Law in their
third reading. Under the new law, which will go into effect 1
January, people with annual incomes of more than 150,000
rubles ($5,700) will pay 30 percent in tax, while those
earning less than 50,000 rubles will pay 12 percent. JAC

RUSSIA TEST-FIRES SECOND MISSILE... Following the launch of
an anti-missile rocket from the Sary-Shagan test site in
Kazakhstan earlier this week (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4
November 1999), Russia test-fired another such tactical
missile on 4 November from the Kapustin Yar test site in
Astrakhan Oblast. Commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces
Vladimir Yakovlev said that the launch "extends the life
service" of the SS-21 missile to 22 years, Interfax reported.
The SS-21 was first deployed in 1976 and an improved version
was introduced 10 years later, in 1986. JC

...WHILE COHEN ACCUSES MOSCOW OF 'OVER-STATING' ITS CASE.
Responding to the launch from the Sary-Shagan test site, U.S.
Defense Secretary William Cohen told reporters in Washington
on 4 November that the Russians are "overstating their case"
by test-firing an anti-ballistic missile in apparent
opposition to U.S. plans to develop a limited national
missile defense system, Reuters reported on 4 November.
"Assuming they tested [the missile]," Cohen said, "it only
confirmed that they have an ABM system and we do not. So I'm
not sure of the point they are trying to make." JC

ROSVOORUZHENIE TO INCREASE SHARE OF GLOBAL ARMS SALES.
Aleksandr Kotelkin, a former director of Russia's arms trade
giant who was named chief marketing advisor to its present
head Aleksei Ogarev earlier this week, told Interfax on 4
November that the company is likely to conclude deals worth
$2-2.5 billion in the next few months. He added that total
arms exports for 1999 are set to reach $3-3.1 billion, of
which Rosvooruzhenie's share is $2.7 billion. Kotelkin said
that as a result of those deals, Russia will move up from
fourth or fifth to third place among world arms exporters,
after the U.S. and the U.K. Kotelkin headed Rosvooruzhenie
from November 1994 until August 1997. LF

BUDGET REVENUES RISE... Finance Minister Mikhail Kasyanov
told reporters on 4 November that the government succeeded in
bringing in additional revenues for the budget during the
first nine months of the year "for the first time in recent
history." According to "Rossiiskaya gazeta" the next day, the
government collected 386 billion rubles in cash, which is 6.8
percent more than was projected in the budget. Budget
expenditures exceeded targets by 3.5 percent because of
increased spending on defense and security. JAC

...AS GDP FORECAST RAISED. Kasyanov also announced on 4
November that because of the continued rise in industrial
production, GDP might even increase by 2 percent before the
end of the year rather than register zero growth, as had been
predicted earlier. GDP rose 1.8 percent in the third quarter,
compared with the same period last year, Interfax reported.
However, ING Baring's Phillip Poole cautions that more
investment is needed to achieve further boosts in industrial
output, but with the banking sector still recovering from
last year's economic crisis, the prospects for such an
expansion are dismal, "The Moscow Times" reported on 5
November. JAC

PURCHASING POWER SINKS AS GOVERNMENT SLOWLY REDUCES WAGE
DEBT. The population's purchasing power declined 14 percent
during the first nine months of 1999, compared with the same
period last year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin informed his
cabinet members on 4 November. Meanwhile, the minimum pension
and wage increased 15 percent as of 1 November, "Kommersant-
Daily" reported on 3 November. The backlog of unpaid wages
declined by 2.7 percent from 1 September to 1 October and now
totals 54.639 billion rubles ($2.1 billion), according to
"Kommersant-Daily" on 28 October. JAC

PENSIONERS IN SIBERIA MAY RECEIVE PART-PAYMENT IN GRAIN. It
is possible that pensioners in Buryatia will receive part of
their pensions in grain, the republic's Ministry for Social
Welfare and Labor told Interfax-Eurasia on 4 November. So
far, the republic has no more than 21 percent of the 26
million rubles ($1 million) necessary to pay pensions in
November, and local officials are prepared to try to cover
some of the payments due with high-quality and fodder grain.
JAC

CRIME RATE SOARS. The crime rate leaped 21 percent during the
first nine months of 1999, compared with the same period last
year, Interfax reported on 4 November, citing an Interior
Ministry official. According to the agency, serious and/or
violent crimes are increasing: unpremeditated murder by 5.7
percent, assault and battery by 3.2 percent, crime involving
abduction by almost 21 percent, armed robbery by 14 percent,
robbery by 23 percent, theft by almost 35 percent, and fraud
by 14 percent. The same day, AFP reported that more than
1,000 policemen in Moscow resigned in October rather than
work the extended hours required after the bombings of two
apartment buildings in the capital city. Policemen were
working 12-hour shifts with only one day off a week. JAC

DUMA CANDIDATES VERY FAMILIAR WITH CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
"Izvestiya" reported on 5 November that according to
unidentified sources in the Interior Ministry, 18-20 percent
of the candidates seeking seats in the State Duma have a
"criminal past." That Sergei Mikhailov, who is allegedly
known in organized crime circles as "Mikhas," will run from a
single-mandate district in Rostov Oblast has been widely
covered. Less well known is that the alleged head of the
Uralmash crime gang, Aleksandr Khabarov, will run from
Yekaterinburg, according to the daily. However, Khabarov, if
he is successful in his bid, will be deprived of the company
of Aleksandr Shmonov, the St. Petersburg businessman who in
1990 attempted to assassinate former Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 November 1999). Shmonov
has failed in his bid to register as a candidate in St.
Petersburg because he did not collect the necessary number of
signatures for the 19 December State Duma elections, "Vremya
MN" reported on 4 November. JAC/JC

YAROV DENIES CIS FREE TRADE ZONE DISADVANTAGEOUS TO RUSSIA.
CIS Executive Secretary Yurii Yarov told a press conference
in Moscow on 4 November that he disagrees with the State
Customs Committee's prediction that Russia would likely
sustain losses of up to $800 million as a result of the
creation of a CIS free trade zone, Interfax reported (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 25 October 1999). Yarov explained that
every Russian ministry has its own estimates of how the
creation of such a zone would affect Russian interests,
noting that those estimates have not yet been collated. He
added that the Russian Ministry for the CIS has calculated
that although tax revenues would fall by 3 percent, that loss
would be more than compensated for by an overall 10 percent
increase in trade turnover. LF

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

NEW ARMENIAN CATHOLICOS INAUGURATED. Archbishop Garegin
Nersisian, who was elected on 27 October to head the Armenian
Apostolic Church, was inaugurated as 132nd catholicos in
Echmiadzin on 4 November in the presence of senior clerics
and members of the Armenian leadership, RFE/RL's Yerevan
bureau reported. The former Archbishop of Armenia's largest
diocese vowed during the ceremony to intensify cooperation
between the Church and state. He also prayed that "the Lord
keep the Armenian nation united and the state unshakeable,"
according to Noyan Tapan. LF

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT PRESENTS NEW PREMIER TO CABINET. Robert
Kocharian on 4 November presented newly appointed Premier
Aram Sargsian to acting ministers, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau
reported. Sargsian is expected to name his new cabinet next
week. Kocharian told journalists that most current ministers
will retain their posts. LF

AZERBAIJANI OPPOSITION VOWS TO REVIVE NATIONAL RESISTANCE
MOVEMENT. In a joint statement issued on 3 November, the
leaders of the opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front, Musavat,
Azerbaijan National Independence, and Azerbaijan Democratic
Parties announced the establishment of a National Resistance
Movement that will oppose what they termed the "defeatist"
policy of the Azerbaijani leadership in conducting
negotiations on a settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Turan
reported. The signatories called for immediate compliance
with four 1993 UN Security Council resolutions calling for
the withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied districts of
Azerbaijan. They also demanded that the Azerbaijani
leadership make public details of the ongoing peace
negotiations. A similar national resistance movement was
created following the signing of a ceasefire agreement in
1994 (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 2, No. 42, 21
October 1999). LF

AZERBAIJAN VOICES OBJECTIONS TO RUSSIAN VISA PROPOSAL...
Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said in Baku
on 4 November that "it is hard to see the link between the
Russian military action in Chechnya and the introduction of a
visa regime on the border with Azerbaijan," Reuters reported.
Azimov added that "Azerbaijan has active economic,
humanitarian and cultural ties with Russia, and the
introduction of a visa regime would undoubtedly hurt those
contacts." Presidential staff official Novruz Mamedov told
ITAR-TASS he considers the imposition of a visa regime
unjustified and at variance with the emphasis laid on
integration between CIS member states. During a cabinet
meeting earlier that day, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin had called for the introduction of visas for citizens
of Azerbaijan and Georgia entering the Russian Federation,
and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin
said on 4 November that a note has been sent to Georgia
proposing talks on the issue, according to ITAR-TASS. LF

...WHILE GEORGIA SEES ADVANTAGES. Georgian Foreign Minister
Irakli Menagharishvili said on 4 November in Strasbourg that
he considers the imposition of a visa requirement for persons
wishing to cross the Russian-Georgian frontier unnecessary
but noted that Tbilisi is ready to discuss the issue with
Moscow, Caucasus Press reported. Menagharishvili added that
the requirement should apply not only to Georgia's border
with Chechnya but along the entire extent of its frontier
with the Russian Federation, including Abkhazia. Russian
Border Guard commander Lieutenant-General Valerii Chkheidze
said the requirement "will help restore order" at the
Russian-Georgian border and will serve as a reminder to
Russia that Georgia is an independent state. But Abkhaz
Prosecutor-General Anri Djergenia said he considers the
requirement "unacceptable," explaining that it will hinder
the entry into Russia of Abkhaz wishing to sell agricultural
produce and who depend on that trade as their sole source of
income. LF

GEORGIAN PRESIDENT DECLARES A NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION CRACKDOWN.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting on 4 November, Eduard
Shevardnadze gave the heads of government departments and
regional administrations one month to draft plans for
stamping out corruption and the shadow economy, ITAR-TASS and
AP reported. Economics Minister Vladimir Papava estimated
that the shadow economy currently accounts for 40 percent of
the country's economic activity, compared with up to 80
percent in the early 1990s. Shevardnadze had earlier declared
1999 a year of active struggle against corruption. LF

KAZAKHSTAN'S PRESIDENT HOLDS OUT OLIVE BRANCH TO
OPPOSITION... Nursultan Nazarbaev on 4 November told state-
owned Khabar TV, which is run by his daughter, that the OSCE
employs "double standards" in its evaluation of the level of
democracy in various countries, Interfax reported. The OSCE
evaluated the conduct of the 10 and 24 October elections to
the lower chamber of the parliament as falling short of OSCE
commitments to free, fair, and accountable elections (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 26 October 199). But Nazarbaev added that
he "does not want to divide society into winners and losers"
after that poll. The Otan party, which unequivocally backs
him, won a parliamentary majority in the elections. Nazarbaev
said he is ready to cooperate with the opposition and that he
would greet the return to Kazakhstan of former Premier
Akezhan Kazhegeldin. Nazarbaev added that he does not think
Kazhegeldin should be punished for "errors" made during the
privatization process. LF

...WHILE OPPOSITIONISTS CALL FOR NEW ELECTIONS. Leaders of
Kazhegeldin's Republican People's Party of Kazakhstan told
journalists in Almaty on 4 November that opposition forces
should unite to pressure the country's leadership into
admitting that the outcome of the October parliamentary poll
was falsified, RFE/RL's correspondent in the former capital
reported. Ghaziz Aldamzharov, who is chairman of the party's
executive committee and who failed in his election bid,
argued that new parliamentary elections should be held next
year and be followed by a presidential poll. LF

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT WRAPS UP VISIT TO KAZAKHSTAN. Alyaksandr
Lukashenka ended a two-day official visit to Kazakhstan on 4
November, having signed with his host, President Nazarbaev, a
10-year economic cooperation agreement and a cultural
agreement, Interfax reported. Lukashenka had told journalists
on his arrival the previous day that a "large number" of
agreements would be signed during his visit. Lukashenka
reportedly expressed interest during his talks with Nazarbaev
in buying crude oil and other minerals from Kazakhstan, while
Nazarbaev said his country is ready to export grain to
Belarus and buy tractors produced there. Nazarbaev also
commented that Kazakhstan is prepared to "cooperate" with the
envisaged Russia-Belarus union. On arriving, Lukashenka had
expressed optimism that if that union materializes, both
Kazakhstan and Ukraine will join it. He implied that such a
fusion could form the nucleus of the Eurasian Union, for
which Nazarbaev has been lobbying since 1994. LF

KAZAKHSTAN SENDS MEDICS TO SITE OF PROTON ROCKET CRASH. A
large group of medical personnel has been sent to the region
of central Kazakhstan affected by the 27 October explosion of
a Russian proton rocket shortly after blastoff from the
Baikonur cosmodrome, RFE/RL's Almaty correspondent reported.
Those medical personnel will screen all local residents
before the end of November. LF

KYRGYZ FOREIGN MINISTER ENDS VISIT TO IRAN. Muratbek
Imanaliev returned to Bishkek on 3 November following a two-
day visit to Tehran, RFE/RL's bureau in the Kyrgyz capital
reported. Imanaliev met with President Mohammad Khatami,
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and Mejlis speaker Ali Akbar
Nateq- Nouri and discussed bilateral relations and Kyrgyz
President Askar Akaev's upcoming visit to Iran. LF

IMF DISCUSSES TERMS FOR NEW LOAN TRANCHE FOR TAJIKISTAN. IMF
Second European Department Director John Odling-Smee held
talks in Dushanbe on 4 November with President Imomali
Rakhmonov on the possibility of further IMF support for the
Tajik economy, Asia Plus- Blitz reported. Rakhmonov said such
help is needed to reduce the country's budget deficit and
strengthen the balance of payments. Odling-Smee said that the
outcome of the upcoming elections and progress in
implementing political reform will "only partially" influence
the bank's decision on releasing the loan tranche, according
to Interfax. Other IMF officials said the decision on doing
so will be taken early next year. LF

TURKMENISTAN'S CENTRAL BANK TO MAINTAIN TIGHT MONETARY
POLICY. An unnamed Central Bank official told Interfax in
Dushanbe on 4 November that in the coming years the bank will
abide by its moderately strict monetary policy with the aim
of reducing annual inflation to 6 percent by 2005 and to 4
percent by 2010 and ultimately making the country's currency
fully convertible. Inflation for 1999 is estimated at 40
percent, double the figure for 1998. President Saparmurat
Niyazov had harshly criticized the work of the Central Bank
in September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 September 1999). LF
END NOTE

RADIO LIBERTY'S PETER DORNAN

By Mario Corti

	On All Saints Day (1 November), in Springfield in the
U.S. state of Pennsylvania, the former head of Radio
Liberty's Samizdat Unit, Peter Dornan, died of cancer at the
age of 76. He was the first editor of "Materialy Samizdata,"
a weekly Radio Liberty publication that became the biggest
collection of annotated documents on human rights violations
in the Soviet Union.
	"Materialy Samizdata," originally created for internal
use only, was soon made available to external subscribers. It
became the main source of information for scholars and
journalists interested in the subject of human rights
violations in the USSR. It was also a key source on Soviet
dissidents' struggle for their individual, political, social,
national, and cultural rights.
	Dornan joined Radio Liberty in 1956 as a research
analyst. He was instrumental in the creation of a samizdat
archive at Radio Liberty in 1968 and was its custodian until
1988, when he retired. He was also the author of the most
exhaustive study on Andrei Sakharov at the beginning of the
1970s (which was included in "Dissent in the USSR: Politics,
Ideology, and People," ed. Rudolf Tokes, Johns Hopkins
University Press). Thanks to Peter Dornan, samizdat documents
played a key role in Radio Liberty broadcasts.
	Indeed, it was thanks to samizdat and the efforts of
Dornan that Radio Liberty's broadcasts became a real
"domestic" service, broadcasting to the Soviet Union
documents about and authored by people living inside the
country.
	Dornan also acted as a talent scout for other
departments of Radio Liberty: it was on his initiative that
the current editor of "RFE/RL Newsline," who began her career
as a freelance translator of Georgian samizdat, was signed up
in 1980 by Radio Liberty Research.
	The samizdat archive, comprising more than 5,000
documents, is now housed at the Central European University
in Budapest. Dornan recently donated his personal archive to
the Drew University Library in the U.S. state of New Jersey.

Mario Corti is acting director of RFE/RL's Russian Service.
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               Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
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