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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 90, 13 May 1991



BALTIC STATES





BALTIC STATEMENT. Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas
Landsbergis, Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar, and Latvian
Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis noted in their May 8 appeal that
the Baltic States are not part of the USSR; "they were occupied
in 1940 and therefore none of them is 'seceding' or 'implementing
a transition' from the absence of statehood to the acquisition
of statehood. [...] At the present they are restoring their full
independence." The leaders ask that 1) in all forums and areas
of international cooperation their countries be treated as independent
states; 2) "any action of other states against the sovereign
rights of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania be [...] condemned accordingly";
and 3) "the three Baltic States be [...] assisted in realizing
their independence by re-establishing diplomatic [...] relations
with all [interested] states." (Dzintra Bungs)

BALTIC LEADERS REJECT THE RUBLE. Participating in the Geonomics
Conference in Vermont, Baltic leaders disputed a proposal by
Norbert Walter, chief economist of the Deutsche Bank, that all
Soviet republics, even if they go their separate ways, maintain
a single currency. Latvian PM Godmanis asked how the dissimilar
peoples that make up the USSR could share anything--let alone
a common currency and financial system. Marju Lauristin, deputy
speaker of the Estonian Supreme Council, asked if the peoples
of Europe would consider a common currency if Germany had won
World War II and today ruled the continent. Walter said he couldn't
answer, but still recommended the notion of economic integration,
reported RFE/RL's correspondent from Middlebury on May 11. (NCA/Dzintra
Bungs)

LANDSBERGIS IN LOS ANGELES. Landsbergis flew to Los Angeles after
meeting President Bush on May 8. On May 9 he met for 20 minutes
with former president Ronald Reagan, and while giving a speech
at the Nixon Library he received a phone call from Richard Nixon
that was broadcast live to the audience, the VOA Lithuanian Service
reported that day. Speaking at the Los Angeles World Affairs
Council on May 10, Landsbergis expressed his disappointment that
the US and other Western governments are, in his view, dragging
their heels in recognizing Lithuania's independence out of concern
for Gorbachev's position. (Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS IN CHICAGO. On May 11 Landsbergis flew to Chicago
where Loyola University awarded him an honorary doctorate. On
May 12 he met with leaders of Lithuanian organizations in the
US, urging them to cooperate more, the VOA Lithuanian Service
reported that day. At a later meeting with the Chicago Lithuanian
community, Landsbergis urged Lithuanian-Americans to play a more
active role in American politics, specifically urging them to
lobby support for proposals by Congressman Donald Ritter and
Senator Donald Riegle calling for the de facto recognition of
Lithuania. He is scheduled to meet on May 13 with the Archbishop
of Chicago, Joseph Cardinal Bernadin. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIA COMPLAINS OF LACK OF PROGRESS IN TALKS. Radio Independent
Lithuania reported on May 11 that Lithuanian Supreme Council
Deputy Chairman Ceslovas Stankevicius sent a telegram on May
10 to USSR First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Doguzhiev expressing
regret that the agreements reached during talks between the USSR
and Lithuania in April were not being carried out. It had been
decided at that meeting that the two sides would meet again at
the end of April or the beginning of May. Stankevicius said that
he had been unable to contact members of the Soviet delegation
and requested that the heads of expert groups and a joint work
group be appointed so that the work could continue. (Saulius
Girnius)

MONUMENT TO KONSTANTIN PATS EXPLODED. On May 10 Radio Independent
Lithuania reported that the monument to the interwar President
of Estonia, Konstantin Pats, was exploded at 2:20 A.M. on May
9. A monument to Pats had been dedicated in Tahkuranna, near
Parnu in 1939, but was destroyed by the Soviets on August 11,
1940. A similar monument was built and rededicated on June 25,
1989. (Saulius Girnius)

NEW BISHOPS IN LITHUANIA... On May 8 Pope John Paul II announced
the appointment of two more bishops in Lithuania, RFE/RL's correspondent
in Rome reported that day. Former political prisoner and current
rector of the seminary in Kaunas Sigitas Tamkevicius was appointed
Auxiliary Bishop of Kaunas and Vilnius Diocese Chancellor Juozas
Tunaitis was named Auxiliary Bishop of Vilnius. The appointments
raise the number of active bishops in Lithuania to ten. (Saulius
Girnius)

AND IN LATVIA. RFE/RL's correspondent in Rome also reported on
May 8 about the appointment of Msgr. Janis Pujats as Archbishop
of Riga and Father Janis Bulis as Bishop of Liepaja. The Pope
also named the apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of
Riga, Janis Cakuls, as Auxiliary Bishop of Riga. These appointments
suggest that prelates known primarily for their religious work
rather than their diplomatic skills vis-a-vis the Soviet regime
were chosen for the high positions. (Dzintra Bungs)

SHEVARDNADZE LINKS BALTIC CRACKDOWN TO HIS RESIGNATION. At a
news conference at Boston University on May 10, Eduard Shevardnadze
said that the recent Soviet military crackdown in the Baltic
States proves his belief that the USSR is becoming more hardline.
He added: "It shows that my resignation had some justification,"
reported AP on May 11. Shevardnadze resigned as USSR Minister
of Foreign Affairs in December 1990 warning of "the advance of
dictatorship" in the Soviet Union. (Dzintra Bungs)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


BESSMERTNYKH IN JORDAN. Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh
held talks with King Hussein of Jordan and Foreign Minister Takher
al-Masri on May 10 in Amman. TASS (May 10) characterized the
talks as "productive and intensive" and mentioned that the Palestinian
problem was an important question discussed during the talks.
(Suzanne Crow)

AND TEL AVIV. Bessmertnykh held talks with Israeli Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign Minister David Levy on May 10. TASS
said talks took place in a "businesslike and benevolent atmosphere."
After two hours of discussion, Bessmertnykh said "we have agreed
to continue the talks and to be in constant touch on the issues
in every way possible," AP reported May 10. According to an Israeli
Radio report, Bessmertnykh and Levy did not discuss the issue
of settlements in the occupied territories or other contentious
issues. A top aide to Shamir is reported to have said that Bessmertnykh
promised open emigration will continue. (Suzanne Crow)

AND CAIRO, AND BEIRUT. Bessmertnykh met with US Secretary of
State James Baker in Cairo for about 90 minutes on May 12. He
said as a result of the talks "small movements from all sides
can be felt," TASS reported that day. Both foreign ministers
are scheduled to hold talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
on May 13. Diplomatic sources in Beirut told Reuters on May 10
that Bessmertnykh will travel to Lebanon on May 14, marking the
first visit by a Soviet foreign minister since 1975. (Suzanne
Crow)

SUMMIT? President Mikhail Gorbachev's spokesman Sergei Grigoriev
said, "I guess in summer we will definitely have a summit between
the two presidents," during an interview on the American TV show
This Week with David Brinkley. TASS reported on May 12 that Gorbachev
pushed the idea of holding a summit in Moscow "soon" during his
recent telephone conversation with US President George Bush.
But, according to Reuters on May 10, foreign diplomats and analysts
of Soviet politics predict that the meeting will not take place
until autumn of 1991. A Pravda editorial May 11 said difficulties
in settling arms control treaty problems are "a symptom of the
difficulties rather than their cause." (Suzanne Crow)

NAVAL SERVICE CUT TO TWO YEARS. The USSR Supreme Soviet voted
on May 12 to cut military service in the Navy from three years
to two and approved a plan to staff several ships with volunteers
on an experimental basis. The reduction in naval service has
been long awaited and brings the Navy into line with the other
services. Reuters reported May 12 that the General Staff's General
Grigorii Krivosheev told the Supreme Soviet that the experiment
with voluntary service would run from 1991 to 1994. Under the
plan, seamen and petty officers in four large naval units will
be recruited on a contract basis, signing 3-year contracts; Krivosheev
said it would help determine the feasibility of moving to a professional
military. (Stephen Foye)

MOISEEV WINDS UP VISIT TO CANADA. A five-day visit by General
Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev to Canada concluded with the signing
of a military cooperation pact between the two countries, Reuters
reported on May 11. The agreement had been negotiated for over
a year and provides for better communication between military
authorities from the two countries to avoid dangerous military
incidents. In other comments to the press, Moiseev defended the
use of Soviet army units "to resolve internal problems" in the
Caucasus, the Baltic, and elsewhere. He also said that the Lithuanian
military port of Klaipeda would never become an "open area."
(NCA/Stephen Foye)

COSSACK UNITS IN THE SOVIET ARMY? Radio Rossii, quoting the independent
news agency Postfactum, said on May 10 that Defense Minister
Dmitrii Yazov has approved a plan to form Cossack units in the
army. The report said that the Soviet military oath would be
changed for the Cossacks so as to eliminate existing references
to the CPSU. Cossack groups first appealed to Moscow in March
of this year for the creation of Cossack units (Izvestia, March
18). If true, approval of this unusual measure is likely to raise
ethnic tensions in the North Caucasus; it also seems to be of
dubious legal standing and would contradict the Defense Ministry's
refusal to allow other ethnic groups to form their own military
units. (Stephen Foye/Ann Sheehy)

PAVLOV AGAIN CALLS FOR WESTERN INVESTMENT. In an interview with
Interfax released on May 12, Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov restated
the necessity for a long-term program to attract Western investment
in the Soviet economy. He reiterated the concept of a all-European
investment project to exploit and develop Soviet energy sources
for the benefit of consumers in Western and Eastern Europe. As
he has done previously, Pavlov referred to this latter proposal
as a new kind of Marshall Plan. With his insinuations of Western
bankers' plots, Pavlov has done much to discourage Western investment
in the USSR during the past four months. (Keith Bush)

VOL'SKY FOR SPECIAL REGIME. Arkadii Vol'sky, president of the
Scientific-Industrial Union (NPS), would welcome the introduction
of a special regime in the main branches of the Soviet economy.
Vol'sky, who is lately being identified as a kind of leader of
Soviet businessmen, told Trud on May 8 that the introduction
of a special regime would mean for workers a better material-technical
supply, higher wages, and an improvement of their social conditions.
Vol'sky said his organization supports the introduction of small-scale
private enterprises and is striving to preserve economic ties
between the enterprises of various republics. (Alexander Rahr)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



MILITARY ACTION IN TRANSCAUCASUS CONTINUES. Nine Soviet MVD troops
were injured in a dawn attack in Azerbaijan's Akstafa raion on
May 10. In retaliation Soviet troops surrounded and fired on
the Armenian village of Paravakar; the troops withdrew May 11
after coercing villagers to surrender all weapons. (Reuters,
May 11; AFP, May 12). On May 11 Azerbaijani OMON troops landed
by helicopter in Nagorno-Karabakh and attacked the Armenian village
of Seislan, killing one person, the Armenian Interior Ministry
reported the same day. TASS reported May 11 that USSR MVD troops
stationed in a hotel in Stepanakert were fired on by militants.
Restrictions on traffic were imposed in Nagorno-Karabakh and
the curfew brought forward 2 hours to 9 P.M. (AP, AFP, May 12).
(Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA ACCUSES MOSCOW OF ECONOMIC BLOCKADE. In an interview
given to Reuters May 11, Armenian Prime Minister Vazgen Manukyan
said that over the first three months of 1991 Armenia had received
only 30% of the anticipated food supplies from Moscow, and that
over the past month supplies had deteriorated even further. Manukyan
compared Moscow's action to the economic blockade imposed on
Lithuania last year. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA WANTS DEBATE AT UN. Speaking at a press conference in
Moscow May 12, Armenia's permanent representative Feliks Mamikonyan
accused Moscow of "trying to bring the Armenian people to their
knees." Mamikonyan argued that "Armenia can only count on world
opinion." He said that Armenia was putting its case to the UN,
but that as many countries view Armenia as part of the USSR any
such request "meets with a cold response" (AP, May 12). Acting
Armenian Foreign Minister Ashot Eghiazaryan is quoted (The Los
Angeles Times, May 10) as appealing for "moral and political
support from the West" to bring pressure to bear on Gorbachev
over the Armenian situation. (Liz Fuller)

US, UKRAINIAN OBSERVERS TRAVEL TO ARMENIA. The US State Department
said May 10 that it will send a representative from its Moscow
embassy to Armenia May 13 to talk in Erevan with Armenian Supreme
Soviet chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan; the official will then
travel to Baku to meet with senior Azerbaijani officials. TASS
reported May 12 that a Ukrainian Parliament delegation had arrived
in Erevan to asses the situation there and "attempt to find a
way to stabilize the situation." (Liz Fuller)

POPE ON ARMENIA. Radio Rossii reported on May 12 that the papal
nuncio in the Soviet Union, archbishop Francesco Colasuonno,
said in Erevan that the Pope is deeply concerned about the force
being used against Armenian population. He added that the Vatican
is well-informed about the situation in Armenia and that the
Pope prayed last Sunday for the restoration of peace on Armenian
soil. (Oxana Antic)

MEETING OF GORBACHEV WITH YELTSIN AND ASSR LEADERS. Gorbachev
had a five-hour meeting with RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris
Yeltsin and the chairmen of the Supreme Soviets of 14 of the
16 autonomous republics of the RSFSR on May 12 to discuss how
the autonomous republics should sign the Union treaty, TASS reported
May 12. Yeltsin has been insisting that they should sign it as
part of the RSFSR delegation and reportedly got Gorbachev's backing
for this when the 1 plus 9 agreement was signed in April. The
latest meeting does not seem to have resolved the issue as Mintimer
Shaimiev, chairman of the Tatarstan Supreme Soviet, said his
republic would sign it as "a subject only of the USSR--with subsequent
conclusion of a treaty with the RSFSR." (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN CALLS GORBACHEV AN ALLY. Yeltsin said that he has put
personal questions aside and now regards Gorbachev as an ally
of the democrats. Interfax on May 11 quoted Yeltsin as saying
that "Gorbachev today is clearly in favor of reforms." Yeltsin
emphasized that he and Gorbachev "as leaders of two state structures"--Russia
and the USSR--must combine efforts to prevent the Union from
"falling into pieces." Thus, Yeltsin acknowledged the decisive
role of the center--which he wanted to abolish some weeks ago.
(Alexander Rahr)

"SOYUZ" SUPPORTS RYZHKOV NOMINATION. At a meeting on May 12,
the "Soyuz" group of people's deputies agreed to support the
candidacy of former USSR Council of Ministers chairman Nikolai
Ryzhkov for the post of RSFSR president, TASS reported that same
day. (Dawn Mann)

RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WILL NOT BE POSTPONED. Despite calls
from some quarters (e.g., from the Coordinating Council of the
group "Patriotic Forces of Russia") for the postponement of the
RSFSR presidential election until September, election commission
chairman Vasilii Kazakov told Trud on Sunday that the election
will be held on June 12, TASS reported May 12. Those who want
to postpone the election claim that the time periods for nominating
candidates and campaigning are too short; Kazakov says that the
law requires the election to be held on June 12 and that to postpone
the election would only "keep Russia seething" for another three
months. (Dawn Mann)

REFORM COMMUNIST PLANS TO SET UP NEW DEMOCRATIC GROUP. A leading
reform Communist in the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies,
Colonel Aleksandr Rutskoi, plans to set up a new political movement
to offset reactionary and conservative forces. (Rutskoi heads
the "Communists for Democracy" faction in the Congress.) Radio
Rossii quoted him May 10 as saying that the new movement will
be open to Communists, former CPSU members and non-affiliated
people. He said it is to be called "Civic Accord" and will hold
its first session May 14 to adopt statutes and elect leaders.
Rutskoi said the new group aims to draw rank-and-file Communists
into the process of democratic renewal of society. He added that
"Civic Accord" will act against anti-reform forces in the CPSU.
(NCA/Vera Tolz)

GENERAL MAKASHOV PROPOSED FOR RUSSIAN PRESIDENCY. A pro-Stalin
demonstration, organized by the conservative movement Edinstvo,
took place in Moscow last Friday. Radio Moscow reported on May
10 that the rally was allowed to enter Red Square. Demonstrators
laid flowers at Lenin's tomb and Stalin's grave. They also called
for support for the candidacy of General Albert Makashov for
the RSFSR presidency. Makashov, who still heads the Volga-Ural
military district, had strongly attacked perestroika at the RSFSR
Party Congress last year. (Alexander Rahr)

DETAILS ON RSFSR PRESIDENCY ELECTION PROCEDURES. Vasilii Kazakov,
head of the central commission in charge of RSFSR presidential
elections, told Radio Mayak on May 6 that those candidates who
receive the support of 100,000 voters will be directly included
on voting slips. Other nominees will be included on the voting
slips only if they obtain the support of 20% of the deputies
at the RSFSR Congress. Kazakov said the deadline for nominations
of candidates is May 18. Until then, all candidates must be registered,
together with their running mates for the vice-presidency. He
stated that the election will cost the RSFSR approximately 155
million rubles. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR CP POLITBURO MEMBER ATTACKS YAKOVLEV. Gennadii Zyuganov,
Politburo member of the RSFSR CP, has attacked Presidential adviser
Aleksandr Yakovlev in an open letter published in Sovetskaya
Rossiya on May 7. Yakovlev had previously blamed the conservative
RSFSR CP for undermining reform. Zyuganov held Yakovlev responsible
for the rise of nationalism, and criticized him for having destroyed
the ideological basis of Soviet society and for abolishing censorship.
He charged that during Yakovlev's tenure as head of the crime-fighting
group at the Presidential Council, crime increased in the country.
(Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIAN TV TO BE STATE-OWNED. RSFSR television will retain the
status of "state television" Vremya reported May 12. Rossiiskoe
televidenie begins broadcasting today, on the second channel
of Central Television; the main newsreels are scheduled at 5
P.M., 8 P.M., and 11 P.M., Moscow time. "Our television can not
be an alternative to Central Television; such an alternative
can come only from an independent television, while we belong
to the RSFSR in same way that Central Television belongs to the
Union," said a representative of Rossiiskoe televidenie at an
inauguration ceremony on May 12. The announcement about "state
ownership" comes as a surprise and might be a compromise by the
RSFSR in its quest for access to the TV audience. (Victor Yasmann)


UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION BOYCOTTS PARLIAMENT, KHMARA RELEASED. The
Ukrainian parliamentary opposition, the Narodna Rada, yesterday
refused to attend the session of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
until the release of people's deputy Stepan Khmara, Ukrinform-TASS
reported May 12. Khmara, who was arrested in November and charged
with assaulting a militia colonel, is scheduled to go on trial
tomorrow. The opposition resumed its work in the Supreme Soviet
after the Ukrainian Supreme Court released Khmara at the request
of the presidium of the Ukrainian parliament. (Roman Solchanyk)


UKRAINIAN STATISTICS. Statistics for the first quarter of 1991
have been published (Silski Visti, April 30). All comparisons
are with the first quarter of 1990. GNP declined 2.7%, GNI 4.4%,
productivity 3.6%. Apartment building decreased by 10%. State
and local budgets received Rb 10.8 billion, 16.4% less than planned.
Budgetary expenditures were Rb 9.1 billion, 64.1% of planned.
Payment arrears reached Rb 1.8 billion, an increase of 10.1%.
Incomes rose Rb 6.1 billion to 32 billion. Savings increased
17%, to Rb 89.9 billion. Consumer spending rose 18.9% to Rb 23.7
billion. State consumer goods prices, like state and farmers'
market food prices, rose by 10%. 240,000 people became unemployed,
while 210,000 vacancies went unfilled and 900,000 people are
employed in coops. Ukraine's deliveries of meat to the Union
fell 47%, milk products 47%, eggs 82%. 489 leased enterprises
produced 8% of the total industrial output. (Valentyn Moroz)


TAJIK GOVERNMENT REDUCES RETAIL PRICES. The Tajik government
is continuing to revise prices in the republic in the wake of
the all-Union price reform. On May 12, Radio Moscow reported
that Tajikistan's Cabinet of Ministers had passed a resolution
to reduce retail prices of many goods produced in the republic
by up to 50%, and to cover resulting budget deficits by raising
the retail prices of alcoholic beverages by an average of 70%.
Officials in Tajikistan, as well as in the other Central Asian
republics, have sought to avoid social unrest by setting lower
prices for food and consumer goods. (Bess Brown)

LEADERS OF DEMOCRATIC PARTIES MEET. Radio Moscow reported on
May 11 that a meeting of leaders of democratic parties in the
USSR had started in Dushanbe. The Radio quoted a Postfactum news
agency report that the participants, who include leaders of the
Democratic Party of Tajikistan, the "Democratic Kyrgyzstan" movement
and the Democratic Party of Russia, are discussing whether to
create a unified all-Union Democratic Party. The choice of Dushanbe
for the meeting is somewhat surprising, as Tajikistan's Democratic
Party has had strained relations with republican authorities.
(Bess Brown)


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