This Date's Issues: 3094•3095
to CDI's Home Page I Return
to CDI's Library
Johnson's Russia List
17 March 1999
[Note from David Johnson:
1. AP: Russian Political Rules Get OK.
2. AFP: Congressman calls for US cash for Russian home loans project.
3. Moscow Times: Conditional START II Bill Drafted.
4. AFP: Primakov warns of new arms race should START II fail parliament
5. Alfiya Kulsharipova: RE: In response to Mr White/JRL # 3093.
6. Itar-Tass: There Is Violence in Every Fourth Family of Russia MP.
7. Janine Wedel: Re: Response to Donald Pressley/March 7/3080.
8. W. George Krasnow: Open Letter on the Russian Crisis. (Revised version).
9. Jonathan Weiler: Re: 3093-White/Sexual Harassment.
10. Itar-Tass: Zyuganov: No More Antisemitic Statements From
11. Reuters: USDA-'Key hurdle' erased from Russia food aid pact.
12. Mayak Radio Network: Primakov Addresses Academy of Sciences on Plans,
13. Moskovskiy Komsomolets: Natalya Shipitsyna, Yeltsin Outbids
IMF To Give Russia Three Times More Than We Asked.]
Russian Political Rules Get OK
March 16, 1999
By JUDITH INGRAM
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's executive and legislative branches tentatively agreed
Tuesday to a new set of political rules intended to increase stability ahead
of December parliamentary elections.
The draft truce largely calls for more dialogue between the branches of
government. A product of weeks of consultations, it was a vague and watered-
down version of some earlier proposals -- none of which had been acceptable to
The agreement also would establish a working group to look into whether the
constitution should be amended, and includes a proposal giving parliament a
say in forming a Cabinet, according to a copy transmitted by Russian news
The move toward political reconciliation came on the same day the lower house
of parliament, the State Duma, set a date for the start of its debate on
impeaching President Boris Yeltsin -- signaling how far the often-feuding
branches of government have to go to achieve accord.
Last year, Yeltsin fired the government twice and quarreled with parliament
over his candidate for prime minister. For its part, parliament blocked many
of the president's initiatives and launched the impeachment inquiry.
``The importance of the document increases as we move closer to the 1999
elections, which must form a new face of democratic authorities in Russia,''
Oleg Sysuyev, the deputy head of Yeltsin's administration, was quoted as
saying by Interfax.
The draft must be debated by the full parliament, dominated by the Communists
and other hard-liners trying to push through Yeltsin's impeachment. They said
the Duma debate on impeachment would begin on April 15.
The truce was initially proposed by Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov two months
ago, in what was widely seen as an attempt to create guarantees for his own
job through a provision that would have barred Yeltsin from dismissing the
Cabinet. Yeltsin has rejected the restriction of his presidential powers.
Since work on the truce began, many analysts have criticized it as another
instance of haggling over powers among Russia's political elite rather than an
attempt to ensure stability.
Yeltsin spent a mostly quiet day Tuesday in the hospital where he is
convalescing after a recurring, bleeding ulcer. He spoke over the phone with
Primakov about the need to quickly appoint a successor to Prosecutor General
Yuri Skuratov, presidential spokesman Dmitry Yakushkin said.
Skuratov abruptly submitted his resignation last month, citing health reasons.
Under Russian law, the upper house of parliament must accept Skuratov's
resignation and approve a successor proposed by the president.
Congressman calls for US cash for Russian home loans project
MOSCOW, March 16 (AFP) - A senior US Congressman said on Tuesday he wanted US
tax dollars to help create a new mortgage fund to enable millions of ordinary
Russians buy their homes at affordable prices.
Representative Curt Weldon (Rep., Pennsylvania) said that a healthy-home loans
system was key to revitalisation of the house building industry and creating a
middle class which would provide Russia with much needed economic stability.
"We want to have the government of America go further then they've gone
before," Weldon, a Russia expert and frequent visitor to Moscow, told
"Mortgages, which are the cornerstone of the economy in America, the housing
industry, that is what Russia needs to help create that middle class, to help
bring economic stability," he said.
Weldon said a US-supported fund could help entice the estimated 30-40 billion
dollars Russians are thought to have stashed away at home into the financial
system, he said.
"We've got to create some sense of confidence in the system, in starting a
mortgage system with total credibility," he said, adding that he had already
reached broad agreement on such a system with Russian deputies.
"This should be our number one priority," he said, adding "I'm willing to use
my vote in the Congress to provide some seed money," he said, declining to say
how much money he wanted the United States to stump up.
When Russia was borrowing money from the International Monetary Fund at 4-6
percent "there is no reason why that same money could not be used to provide
mortgages at below 10 percent rates," Weldon said.
"In my opinion, much of that money is going out of Russia, it's going to Swiss
bank accounts and US real estate investments and that has got to stop.
"The Russian people should be the beneficiaries of the IMF and World Bank and
US money, not institutions and not corrupt entities and not oligarchs who
think they can make more money out of programmes designed to help Russia
His comments came as five families in the second city Saint Petersburg became
the first to receive loans from a Russian mortgage firm offering cheap home
The scheme hopes to provide finance for scores of families in a city where 45
percent of the housing stock is in the form of so-called "kommunalki" or
communal flats shared by several households.
Five people signed up for the loans, which start at 5,000 dollars. To qualify
for a loan they have to prove earnings of at least 300 dollars a month to meet
the 90 dollar monthly repayments. That is well above average earnings in the
region of 29-56.5 dollars a month.
March 17, 1999
Conditional START II Bill Drafted
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Lawmakers presented a bill Tuesday to make approval of the START II nuclear
arms reduction treaty dependent on the United States continuing to honor a ban
on anti-missile defense systems.
The bill, which would have to be approved by the two houses of parliament and
signed by President Boris Yeltsin, would allow Russia to back out of the START
II agreement if the United States withdraws from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic
Missile treaty. The proposed bill was sent to Yeltsin for initial review.
The U.S. Senate, meanwhile, was reviewing a bill Tuesday that would commit the
United States to a national missile defense system that opponents say violates
terms of the 1972 treaty, signed with the Soviet Union. President Bill Clinton
has threatened to veto the bill.
The bill, expected to pass the Senate, perhaps by the end of Tuesday,
"increases the odds that Russia will end the reduction of nuclear weapons,"
said Senator Carl Levin, a Democratic opponent.
A congressional delegation was in Moscow on Tuesday trying to persuade
deputies to accept the U.S. proposal, intended to allow development of a
system to protect all 50 states from ballistic missile attack. The change is
based on a new assessment of the threat of attack on the United States from
ballistic missiles potentially developed in countries such as Iran, Iraq and
The ABM pact keeps both sides from building an anti-missile defense system.
It's based on the notion that if both are unprotected, they won't risk a
nuclear attack for fear of devastating retaliation.
Under START II, which Moscow and Washington signed in 1993, the two sides must
reduce nuclear stockpiles to 3,500 warheads each.
Communists who dominate parliament have long delayed ratification of START II,
saying Russia doesn't have the money to dismantle old missiles and build new
ones allowed under the treaty. Russia would also be unable to fund a new
missile defense system for itself.
Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov said Tuesday that if Yeltsin agrees to the
latest bill, lawmakers will begin debating START II before Prime Minister
Yevgeny Primakov heads to the United States on March 24.
Primakov warns of new arms race should START II fail parliament hurdle
MOSCOW, March 16 (AFP) - Russia and the United States will get sucked into a
new arms race if the Russian parliament fails to ratify a key nuclear
disarmament treaty, Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov warned Tuesday.
Speaking in a pre-recorded debate broadcast on national television, Primakov
said the United States would unilaterally pull out of a cornerstone missile
defence agreement should Russian lawmakers fail to ratify the Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty (START II).
"We have to protect ourselves against the possibility of the United States
leaving the ABM agreement," Primakov said, referring to the 1972 Anti-
Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty which limits missile defence systems.
"If we do not ratify (START II), then I am more than convinced that the United
States will leave (the ABM) ... and we will launch a new arms race."
The United States has aired controversial plans to build a ballistic missile
shield to protect itself against "rogue states," an umbrella which would
apparently breach the 1972 ABM treaty that has served as a cornerstone of
other nuclear non-proliferation agreements.
Washington has also grown impatient with the Russian parliament's failure to
ratify the 1993 START II agreement that provides for both countries' nuclear
warhead stocks to be cut in half.
START II has failed to reach the State Duma lower house of parliament for a
vote as the opposition majority feels the treaty puts Moscow at a nuclear
disadvantage compared to Washington.
But Primakov urged lawmakers to ratify the agreement in the coming months so
that Moscow and Washington could get down to negotiations on a new, START III
treaty, that would slash nuclear arsenals even further.
"An agreement with the United States allows us to keep nuclear parity,"
Primakov said, "and this is very important. We will immediately begin new
talks (on START-III). The start of these talks is linked to our ratification
Primakov was joined in the taped debate by First Deputy Prime Minister Yury
Maslyukov and the chief of the general staff, General Anatoly Kvashnin, as the
government re-doubled its efforts to get the nuclear bill on the Duma floor in
time for ratification this spring.
"We will have to ratify (START II) anyway because rockets pose a great danger
with time," Maslyukov said. "They will be like a new Chernobyl."
Kvashnin meanwhile said Russia's nuclear arsenal would remain large enough to
serve as a deterrent against potential aggressors for many decades to come.
"We need to be able to convince any potential aggressor that a war against
Russia is impossible," Kvashnin said. "START II ... allows us to convincingly
prove the might of our return hit."
The Russian parliament had been ready to put START II ratification on its
agenda last autumn, but fury over US-led air strikes against Iraq scuttled
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
From: "Kulsharipova, Alfiya (London)" <kulshalf@MLE.CO.UK>
Subject: RE: In response to Mr White/JRL # 3093
I would like to point out that I fully agree with Mr White when he says that
the sexual harassment issue is rather emotional and as such bound to provoke
emotional responses. However, I did not detect any traces of anger in Ms
Dent's response to his letter. She simply referred to examples from her
personal experience and I find them credible since they concur with what I
know on the subject from my Russian friends/colleagues/acquaintances. It's
all very well to employ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, etc.
while building theoretical argument as Mr White does but unfortunately all
international laws/treaties/factual data become irrelevant and quite useless
when it comes to protection of one Russian female faced with the problem of
UNWANTED - opposed to solicited - sexual advances from her boss. The fact is
that in such situations Russian women are completely unprotected despite the
existence of the relevant provisions in the Russian Criminal Code and often
too embarrassed even to admit the problem to anyone - forget going to court
One may only speculate whether Russia will or will not find its own solution
to the sexual harassment problem without using US expertise on the matter.
However, it would be worth remembering that the actual term - "sexual
harassment" - was only very recently - 6-7 years ago - introduced to Russian
professional environment. Although I'm sure the problem existed long before
the collapse of the Soviet Union, it started to be widely discussed only
after the relevant Western reports flooded Russian mass media. To do
expatriate community based in Russia certain justice, I have to note that
although some Western male executives follow the suit of their Russian
colleagues in sexually harassing their female employees, a majority of
Western firms introduced internal regulations on sexual harassment
immediately after opening their operations in Moscow. Moreover, Russian
employees - male and female - were briefed on internal company's procedures
for dealing with sexual harassment issues including the right to take the
matter to the company's headquarters outside Russia. This I know from my
personal experience. So perhaps it would not be such a bad idea to see
whether there's anything Russians can learn from Western long term, albeit
troubled, experience on dealing with this very sensitive problem.
There Is Violence in Every Fourth Family of Russia MP
MOSCOW, March 16 (Itar-Tass) - There is violence in every fourth family of
Russia, Chairwoman of the Duma Committee on Women, Family and Youth Alevtina
Oparina said at parliament hearings on Tuesday.
In her words, about 30 percent of first degree murders are committed in
About 2 million children aging less than 14 are battered by their parents
every year, 2,000 children commit suicide and over 50,000 children leave their
homes, she said.
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
From: Janine Wedel <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Response to Donald Pressley/March 7/3080
This is in response to USAID administrator Donald
Pressley's letter to the Moscow Times regarding its
favorable review of my new book,
Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid
to Eastern Europe 1989-1998 (St. Martin's, December 1998).
Mr. Pressley writes that Collision and Collusion "provides a
limited account of a vast subject" and "focuses on a few
sensational issues." As Collision and Collusion clearly
states, the book deals primarily with priority projects in
priority countries, as defined by the donors. The book
examines big projects to which donors devoted much money
and lip service (and which Mr. Pressley and other U.S. officials
frequently presented in Congressional testimony as the
hallmarks of this country's aid successes) such as
USAID's economic aid to Russia and USAID's privatization
program in Central Europe. The former, which was largely managed
by the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID)
has proven destructive to the Russian people and to U.S.-Russia
relations; the latter was misconceived and largely ineffective.
Tellingly, Mr. Pressley offers no response or defense of
these projects, with which he was personally involved
through the 1990s in various capacities. For example,
Mr. Pressley represented USAID on a high-level interagency
"Steering Committee" that favored HIID projects in Russia
and Ukraine. Some of the participants from HIID in those
projects are now under criminal and/or civil
investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
Mr. Pressley's only defense of U.S. assistance programs --
and only criticism of Collision and Collusion -- appears to be
that it misses the themes of "enthusiasm and idealism" that
characterized the aid effort and especially the American
volunteers working in myriad efforts overseas. But
the purpose of my study was to analyze the effects of U.S.
grant aid in priority areas, not to study volunteers, whose motivations,
enthusiasm, and idealism I do not question. Indeed, it is
telling that Mr. Pressley trots out volunteer programs in
defense of the aid program: Volunteer programs were never
a central monetary or strategic focus of U.S. assistance programs, as many of
the leaders and participants of these programs would attest
to, especially if they tried to raise money from the
U.S. government for their basic operations. And, although many
of the volunteer programs and people have made positive
contributions, it was not solely because of the "enthusiasm
and idealism" that Mr. Pressley cites. In fact, I found that enthusiasm
and idealism were constructive virtues
in the context of the policy and development challenges
of eastern Europe only when accompanied
by expertise, willingness to learn, and cultural
sensitivity. As detailed in Collision and Collusion,
the aid programs that were most effective largely became so
only after the initial phase of East-West contact that
I call Triumphalism, which was characterized by high
(and often unrealistic) expectations on both sides after
the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was only if and when recipients got
through the subsequent phase of Disillusionment -- during
which hundreds of often ill-prepared Western consultants
landed on the doorsteps of over-extended eastern European
officials -- and after a tense process
of learning on both recipient and donor
sides that there emerged a more constructive phase: Adjustment.
Adjustment was not characterized by blind "enthusiasm and
idealism" on the part of Western consultants and volunteers,
but rather by the developed expertise of those willing to
learn, the mutual interest of donors and
recipients, and good working relations (described
on pages 77-82 and 116-119 of Collision and Collusion).
I, along with Mr. Pressley, hope that eventually the
"benefits and results" of assistance programs will
"far outweigh the errors along the way." But what of the
hopes of the recipients, especially Russians?
Do U.S.officials feel no responsibility for the record
of U.S. economic aid policy to Russia? What of the
fact that many Russians now believe that the United States,
with its aid programs, deliberately set out to destroy
Russia? Until U.S. policymakers come clean about the
record of U.S. assistance -- especially in Russia where
assistance is especially tarnished -- I fear that
such hopes are mere fantasies and may further damage
Janine R. Wedel
The George Washington University
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
From: "W. George Krasnow" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Open Letter on the Russian Crisis
On behalf of my cosignatories to the "Open Letter on the Russian Crisis,"
I would like to thank you for posting it on JRL (#3083, March 10).
We have received a very encouraging response. Moreover, though we appealed
to "concerned American citizens," we have also been receiving strong
endorsements from non-Americans.
I want to make clear that we welcome ALL endorsements. JRL is a truly
global forum. More and more people realize that Russia's problems have
most serious global implications. "The world may be sleepwalking into a
crisis which could have catastrophic effect on all of us," writes one such
world citizen. We are convinced that the very survival of Russia as a
distinct civilization and a major contributor to the cultural
"biodiversity" of the planet is at stake.
It is in this global spirit that I ask you to run our Letter again, albeit
in an abbreviated form and with the names of new endorsers appended.
I would like to ask all endorsers to check out their entry for uniformity
(names, titles, position, affiliation, city, and country) and promptly send
corrections to me.
We plan to submit this briefer statement to high US government officials in
hopes of improving relations between Russia and the United States. We are
determined to make a difference.
We do not pretend to know all the answers to the Russian crisis. But we
find the current US Russia policy essentially flawed and in need of speedy
We welcome NEW endorsements. Stand up to be counted.
Send your endorsements to W. George Krasnow (aka author Vladislav Krasnov) at:
Or write to: W. George Krasnow
Russian American Goodwill Associates
1332 Vermont Ave. NW
Washington DC 20005
An Open Letter on The Russian Crisis
We, a group of scholars, business people, journalists, and students of
Russia, are alarmed over the ongoing crisis in Russia and the deterioration
of U.S.-Russia relations.
According to the U.S. News and World Report,
"Death is one business that flourishes in the catastrophe that has
overtaken Russia. Elderly pensioners dying of starvation no longer make
news. .. And the question for the country now is whether it can survive at
all as a coherent state, still less as a civilized society. The statistics
are staggering: At least 70 percent of Russians live near or below the
subsistence level...The decline of Russia in the 1990s is deeper than even
the Great Depression in the United States. From 1929 to 1935, American
national incomes and gross domestic product fell by a third; in Russia,
real per capita incomes are down by as much as 80 percent."
The weakening of the Russian state should give us no reason to gloat over
the demise of our former Cold War opponent. On the contrary, if Russia
disintegrates we would be faced with an arch of instability, starvation,
and armed struggle, stretching from the borders of NATO countries to China,
North Korea and the Sea of Japan. Should this happen, with Russia's
enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons and fissionable materials, our
present problems in the Middle East, Bosnia and Kosovo would pale in
We agree with the U.S. News and World Report that Russia's present
near-catastrophic predicament is "man-made," and that the U.S. and other
Western governments and institution have actively, if inadvertently,
participated in its creation. The financial crash of August 17, 1998, was
a collapse, not of the reforms that Russia needs and seeks, but of the
peculiar course of reforms that the "young reformers" imposed on Russia,
with America's advice and encouragement.
We do not wish to exempt the Russians from the main responsibility for
their present situation. However, we want the U.S. government to
acknowledge that serious mistakes were made in both formulating and
implementing our Russia policy.
We join former U.S. Senators Gary Hart and Gordon Humphrey in deploring
that "we have handed the U.S. foreign policy mandate to the International
Monetary Fund, while all but abandoning unilateral efforts to stimulate
Russia's dormant productive capacity." We too wish to summon "America's
vision and creative spirit" to assist Russia in her efforts to extricate
itself from the dangerous situation in which it landed on the advice of
U.S. officials. (The Washington Post, February 11)
We agree with Katrina vanden Heuvel and Stephen F. Cohen that a new policy
toward Russia is urgently needed. It should be "based on a very different
principle--not the intrusive, ideological conditions imposed by US and IMF
officials, but...by letting Russians, not our State and Treasury
Departments, decide what constitutes reform in Russia." Instead of trying
to transform Russia into a replica of America, the United States should
support "any Russian government that promotes the well-being of ordinary
citizens without abrogating the still fragile process of democratization."
(The Nation, January 11-18).
Unfortunately, the U. S. government has shown no willingness to acknowledge
the obvious failure of its Russia policy. Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright continues to nudge Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov to the
same course of "reforms" that, under his predecessors, brought Russia to
the brink of disaster. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin continues to cajole
the Russians to accept the dictates of the IMF--or else. Both the IMF and
the U.S. government have remained deaf to any other proposals for economic
reforms in Russia, including those advocated by prominent Nobel Prize
winning American economists.
IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus continues to refuse Russia
desperately needed loans "unless the government overcomes internal
resistance to market reforms." The trouble is that the catch word "market
reforms" has become anathema for the majority of the Russians whose incomes
have plummeted under the "reformist" oligarchic rule, for which the IMF is
partially responsible. And what about democracy? After all, Primakov's is
the first government since 1993 that is built on a consensus with the Duma
and that enjoys the support of nearly all political forces.
We are convinced that making our aid conditional upon the Russian
government's support for U.S. policy, be it on Iraq, Kosovo, or NATO, must
seem humiliating to the Russians. It is also unwarranted, as even our NATO
allies sometimes disagree with us on vital issues. We should respect the
right of Russia to conduct her own foreign policy based on her national
* We appeal to the U.S. government to re-invent its policy toward Russia.
Stop encouraging the intransigence of the IMF. Give a clear signal that we
are ready to cooperate with Primakov's government in rooting out the
oligarchy and the corruption it breeds. Instruct the FBI to work with the
Russian authorities in preventing the illicit capital flight from Russia.
* We appeal to the U.S. Congress to exercise its oversight duty over U.S.
foreign policy with greater vigor and rigor. Don't fall into the trap of
"the weaker Russia, the better for us." Russia is already weak way beyond
what is good for U.S. national security and world peace.
* We appeal to U.S. non-profit organizations working in Russia to open
their hearts and minds to all Russians, regardless whether they agree or
disagree with us. Advocate the principles of democracy, civil society and
free enterprise not just among the self-proclaimed "Westernists" and
"reformists," but among all Russians of good will.
* We appeal to the U.S. private sector. Be more creative and imaginative in
helping the Russians build a private sector. Don't tolerate the oligarchic
monopoly in Russia. Teach Russians to use anti-trust laws. Don't wait for
the governments. Do business, ignoring ideological strings.
* We appeal to the American people to show magnanimity to our World War II
ally who sacrificed tens of millions of lives to secure our freedom, too.
Why should we give a cold shoulder to the people who in 1991 chose freedom
and proclaimed the sovereignty of the Russian Federation, thus putting an
end to both Communism and the Cold War?
We want the Russian people to know that the American people have not
abandoned them in their most difficult times, that "Friends in need are
Dirk Bezemer, Economics Department, University of Amsterdam, the
Andrew J. Brown, PH.D. Candidate ( dissertation on daily life in
Kazakhstan, U of California, San Diego
Abraham Brumberg, independent writer, former editor of Problems of
Communism, contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Times Literary Supplement,
and other periodicals, Chevy Chase, MD
Mary Ellen Chatwin, Ph.D., Tbilisi, Georgia
Rachel Dubin, MA Candidate, International Affairs with concentration on
Russia, The George Washington U, Washington, DC
Ethel Dunn, Executive Secretary, Highgate Road Social Science Research
Station, author of books on Russian anthropology, Berkeley, CA
Colin Farlow, Exeter, UK
James K. Galbraith, Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public
Affairs, The U of Texas at Austin and Chair of Economists Allied for Arms
Mason Gaffney, Professor of Economics, U of California, Riverside, CA,
took part in Duma Parliamentary Hearings on Land Revenues
Adrian A. Helleman, Ph.D., Faculty of Philosophy, Moscow State U, a
Canadian citizen teaching in Russia.
Dr. Michael Hudson, President, Institute for the Study of Long-Term
Economic Trends (ISLET), author of numerous trade books on U. S. - Russian
Gabriel Hughes, Research Staff (Eastern Europe), Department of
Economics, U of London (Wye College), UK
Richard D. Jacobs, President and CEO of Newstar, Inc., an international
investment and advisory company with offices in Washington, D.C. and Moscow.
Andrew Jameson, Chair, Russian Committee, All Languages and Professional
Development, Lancaster, UK
C. William Kauffman, Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, U of Michigan, Ann
Nomeda Repsyte Kildsig, postgraduate student, U of Copenhagen, Denmark
Sara Frederick Knizhnik, graduate student, Monterey Institute of
International Studies, Monterey, CA
Philip L. Kohl, Professor of Anthropology, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
Larisa A. Koval, scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA), Washington, DC
Dr. W. George Krasnow (aka author Vladislav Krasnov), former professor,
Monterey Institute of
International Studies, president of Russian American Goodwill Associates
(RAGA), Washington, DC.
David E. Leventhal, science educator, St. Louis, MS
William M. Mandel, Hoover Institution Fellow in 1947, Soviet-affairs
scholar for fifty-nine years, taught at five universities, the author of
five books, Berkeley, California
Alexandra Mattson, Vice President, Russian American Goodwill Associates
(RAGA), intercultural communications specialist and trainer, Washington, DC
Bruce McClelland, Ph.D. Candidate, U of Virginia, former Director of
USIA/ IREX sponsored Internet Access Training Program for Russia and the CIS
Alex McDonough, new student at the U of Michigan, Las Vegas, NV
David W. McFadden, Associate Professor of History, Director of Russian
and East European Studies, Fairfield U, Fairfield, CT; Fulbright Scholar at
Hertzen U, St. Petersburg, Russia
Tatiana Metodieva, MA, Slavic Philology, U of Sofia, Bulgaria; worked in
the former Soviet Union; now Administrative Manager of an international
non-profit organization, Washington, DC
Andrei Nikitchyuk, an aerospace engineer and translator, Senior
Consultant, Russian American Goodwill Associates (RAGA), Herndon, Virginia
Erin Nikitchyuk, a software engineer, Program Manager, RAGA, Herndon,
John M. Oshust, ret. Chemistry Teacher, Snug Hollow Farm, lived in
Magnitogorsk, Russia and adopted a son from an orphanage there.
Diane Pearson, M.Ed., Baker School District Library Director, Baker
Catine E. Perkins, farmer from Bastrop, TX, member of The Transnational
Institute (now The Vladimir Soloviev Society), Moscow
Dr. Ronald R. Pope, Associate Professor of Russian Politics, Illinois
State University; President, Serendipity: Russian Consulting & Development,
William G. Rosenberg, Alfred G. Meyer Professor of History, University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Natalia Roudakova, Doctoral Student, Cultural and Social Anthropology,
Stanford University, CA
Just Rugel, Director of Hrast Ltd., Ljubljana, Slovenia, now in Moscow,
Michele Anderson Schmidt, Doctoral Candidate, U. S. diplomatic history,
University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Olga Shevchenko, Graduate Student, Sociology Department, U of Pennsylvania
Wendell W. Solomons, economist and author of July 1992 report to IRBD,
warning of catastrophe if privatization was nor supported by development of
commercial law and tax base in Russia, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Nathan Stowell, Commercial Director, ACI Industries International
Corporation, Moscow Representative Office
Olga Sudnitsin, aeronautical and mechanical engineer, Brisbane, Australia
David Swann, a physician, member of Physicians for Global Survival,
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Isaak J. Tarasulo, Director of the Bethesda Institute for Russian
Studies, editor of two books on Gorbachev's Russia.
Clive Tempest, Head of the School of Politics, University of the West of
Walter C. Uhler, Chief of Financial Services at the Defense Contract
Management Command of the Defense Logistics Agency, Philadelphia, PA;
active in the American People Ambassador Program, will lead a delegation of
U.S. defense analysts to Russia.
Michael Urban, Professor of Politics, University of Santa Cruz, CA
Dmitri Glinski Vassiliev, Research Associate at the George Washington
University, Washington, DC
Tony Vickers, Chief Executive, Henry George Foundation of Great Britain,
Larissa Wagen, New York Representative, ISI Emerging Markets, New York
Jason Wallace, Clemson University
Janine R. Wedel, Associate Research Professor, Department of
Anthropology,The George Washington University
Thomas E. Weiskopf, Professor of Economics, Director, Residential
College, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Dennis Whelan, Director, Center for Russian Law, Visiting Scholar,
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH and Moscow, Russia
Heide Whelan, Professor of Russian History, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
Anne Williamson, the author of the forthcoming How America Built the New
Russian Oligarchy, who since 1989 has shuttled between Moscow and New York
City where she now lives.
Stephen G. Wright, President, The Global Community Project, Inc.;
Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins U, Cross-Cultural Management; Visiting
Lecturer, Georgetown U, Understanding U.S. Culture and Business Etiquette
Michael Zarechnak, Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics, Harvard U; Professor
Emeritus, Georgetown U, Washington, DC
Geoff Zeiger, high-school student and debater on US-Russia relations,
Puyallup HS, WA
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
From: Jonathan Weiler <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: 3093-White/Sexual Harassment
T.S. White, in his most recent posting on sexual harassment
(#3093) asserts that sexual harassment is not a human right because the
phrase does not appear in the UN Declaration of human rights. However, he
is simply wrong to assert that this is the sole relevant guide to what
constitutes an internationally recognized human right. There are numerous
UN conventions that are legally binding on signatory states that comprise
the body of recognized human rights. Among these are:
The Convention for the Suppression of the traffic in Persons and the
Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (1949)
The 1979 Convention on the discrimination of women (CEDAW), mentioned by
Mr. White which, among other things, prohibits any distinction, exclusion
or restriction made on the basis of sex which "impairs or nullifies human
rights and fundamental freedoms of women in all areas."
The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against women (1993),
which cites violence against women as "one of the crucial mechanisms by
which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men."
These documents, combined with International Labor Organization documents,
also recognized as comprising international human rights law, all make
clear that coercion in the workplace, including the quid-pro-quo required
for retention of employment, does indeed violate international human
rights law. The fact that the words "sexual harassment" don't
appear in these documents is irrelevant in the face of the obvious
conclusions to be drawn from the weight of the documents governing
international human rights' law when it comes to women. The US
constitution, as is well known, does not mention the word "privacy," but,
lo and behold, it's still a constitutional right.
A second point is that, while I don't have the Dent and Varoli
pieces in front of me, I don't recall either of them pointing to the US as
exemplary with regard to the actual level of sexual harassment. Rather,
the relevant point is that the evolution in law over the past several
years has substantially increased the risks to employers in the US of
engaging in such behavior. Therefore, the lament about Russian practices
is partly, at least, about its overt nature there (with which there is no
comparison in the US) and the lack of recourse for doing anything about
it. It should be noted too that all of the US studies White cites are
the 70s and 80s, whereas I think virtually all observers would agree that
it was after the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 that the issue began to
be treated far more seriously, in law and public awareness, in the US.
Finally, whether Russian "culture" (as if culture is a singular
construct whose component parts can't be addressed separately without
inviting "social chaos") is more resilient and sophisticated than American
culture seems irrelevant to the discussion of whether sexual harassment is
a serious problem in Russia. Many Russian women feel that it is (at least
if the growing numbers of women's shelters and centers within Russia are
to be believed) and the non-responsiveness of authorities to the problem
of violence against women in general and sexual harassment in particular
remains a serious legal and social problem, regardless of whether a
substantial number of Russian women accept such practices as in the
"natural course of things." I'm more than happy to grant that sexual
harassment remains a serious problem in the US. It's simply a fact. It's
also a fact that it's more open nature and the greater impunity of those
who commit it in Russia is a problem worthy of Mr. Varoli's and others'
Zyuganov: No More Antisemitic Statements From Makashov
Moscow, March 12 (Itar-Tass) -- Leader of the
Russian Communist party Gennadiy Zyuganov assured journalists that there
will be no more antisemitic pronouncements from General Makashov.
Zyuganov, however, sidestepped the question asked by representatives of the
media whether the Communist party faction will back the draft resolution
of the Duma condemning deputy Albert Makashov's pronouncements. Zyuganov
noted that Duma had already adopted a resolution "against those who tried
to stir up ethnic hatred", which received the votes of more than 300 deputies.
"We have condemned rusophobia [as received], antisemitism, as well as
statements against any other peoples in the territory of our country, and
we would wish that this decision be fulfilled by all factions and
parties," he said.
USDA-'Key hurdle' erased from Russia food aid pact
WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department said Tuesday
it has clarified the transportation language in its PL-480 food aid pact with
Russia, clearing an obstacle that stood in the way of the massive aid package.
USDA said the amendment to the agreement clarifies each party's responsibility
for transportation costs and the use of non-Russian ports for the PL-480
package, "removing a key hurdle to the start of shipments under these
"The amended transportation language is now more specific about the actual
costs of shipping to the Russian border, reflecting discussions between
shipping agents of the Russian government and USDA transportation
specialists," the department said in a news release.
The United States and Russia agreed to a nearly $1 billion food aid package
late last year to help the Russian people through the winter after a poor
harvest and the devaluation of the rouble stirred worries that the country
faced a serious food shortage.
The aid package was also greeted warmly by U.S. farmers, who have experienced
sinking prices for most crops due to huge supplies worldwide as well as
decreased export demand from struggling Asian countries.
Under the pact, the U.S. will donate 1.5 million tonnes of U.S. wheat and will
provide low-interest, long-term loans for the sale of 500,000 tonnes of U.S.
corn, 300,000 tonnes of soybean meal, 200,000 tonnes of soybeans, 200,000
tonnes of wheat and 100,000 tonnes of rice.
The U.S. will also provide loans for 120,000 tonnes of beef, 50,000 tonnes of
pork, 50,000 tonnes of poultry and 30,000 tonnes of nonfat dry milk. Another
100,000 tonnes of food will be donated to private voluntary organizations in
Primakov Addresses Academy of Sciences on Plans, Funds
Mayak Radio Network
March 12, 1999
[translation for personal use only]
[Presenter] Next we have news about today's affairs
at the Russian Cabinet of Ministers. Here is our correspondent, Vladimir
Konyukov, with the details from Government House. Hello, Vladimir
Mikhaylovich, go ahead.
[Correspondent] Hello. Prime Minister Yevgeniy Primakov held a meeting
White House on Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment of the state commission for
celebrating the 275th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences, which, as
you know, will be held this year. This very fact speaks of the
significance that is being attached to this event, and also indirectly
shows that the peak of the worst times for our national science has
passed. The state is returning to a position of acknowledging the role
which science should play in society and the need to support it, even in
the country's most difficult period.
[Begin Primakov recording] The jubilee of the Academy of Sciences isn't
just a retrospective look, not just an assessment of what the academy has
done throughout the history of our state's existence, although the
jubilee could have been held even for the sake of this, because the
academy has done so much that it can hardly be compared with any other
institution which has existed for such a long time - service to the
homeland, service to science, service to civilization, service to
Russia's international links, service to Russia being a great power, and
if you like, service to Russia surviving as a great power, and to there
being stability in the world and the balance which has maintained this
stability for many decades. [end recording]
[Correspondent] Paying tribute to the traditions and achievements of the
science, Yevgeniy Primakov stressed in particular that the academy's
275th anniversary should not be viewed as a one-off event, but that the
jubilee year should be used for carrying out a whole range of tasks.
[Begin Primakov recording] Firstly, to secure the development of the
country's fundamental science. For my part I can say that the government
that is currently in the White House will do everything so that
fundamental science really receives a certain impetus this year,
financial, if you like. Secondly, it seems to me that this jubilee year
should contribute to Russia having the image of a great power, and it is
precisely the Academy of Sciences, our fundamental science, our science
in general, that has, of course, to create this image to a large extent,
and I hope that this year will be used to the maximum extent for this.
Thought has to be given to strengthening links with the international
scientific community this year. [end recording]
[Correspondent] Continuing this idea, Yevgeniy Primakov said he intends to
question of the need to exchange not only views but perhaps also joint
work in the field of non-strategic anti-missile defence.
IMF Loan to Russia Seen as 'Inevitable'
12 March 1999
[translation for personal use only]
Article by Natalya Shipitsyna under the "Politics and Economics"
rubric: "Yeltsin Outbids Camdessus. IMF To Give Russia Three Times More
Than We Asked"
After a four-month gap the IMF mission flies into
Moscow today. This visit is the last one before Primakov's meeting with
Camdessus in Washington scheduled for 23 March. The question to be
decided is whether Russia will get the money promised by the IMF or
whether we will be forced to announce the suspension of our foreign debt
payments as early as May....
Before leaving for Moscow Gerard Belanger, the new leader of the mission,
made a highly encouraging statement: The talks between Primakov and
Camdessus will center on the issue to Russia of no ordinary loan ($4.6
billion) but of a truly golden loan -- the $17.2 billion that the
Kiriyenko government agreed on last summer. Furthermore the IMF's money,
as before, will be intended for the stabilization of the ruble. With just
one difference: In summer our authorities pledged to keep the dollar in
the region of 6.2 rubles [R] whereas now it is within the budget
parameters (that is, at R21.5 to the dollar).
After the IMF's many refusals to give Russia money, such generosity from
the Western financiers seems extremely surprising. But if you analyze
recent days' events everything immediately falls into place.
First, the premier, refreshed by his vacation in Sochi, spent a good two
hours talking with Michel Camdessus. Second, Viktor Chernomyrdin has gone
to Washington to negotiate. Whereas First Vice Premier Maslyukov, whose
name was linked with the utter failure of the negotiating process, was
hastily sent on assignment to... Indonesia. And when President Yeltsin
stated that he will take part personally in the talks it finally became
clear that the foreigners are going to help us. Indeed, the president,
who is rapidly losing his political clout, is not going to have a better
opportunity to show his real power in the near future.
In the present situation Russia needs the IMF loan. Otherwise it will
be unable to repay its debts to the West: In the second quarter alone we
have to pay the international financial organizations around $6.2
billion. In the third quarter we must pay a further $5 billion, and in
the fourth quarter $7 billion. So far we have paid only $1 billion from
the Central Bank's reserves.
It is possible to sacrifice 85 percent of total budget revenue at a
stroke only by withdrawing all funds from state expenditure. To put it
more simply, this means the non-payment of pensions, wages, social
allowances, defense expenditure, and so forth.
The political aspect of the question is equally important for Russia.
The IMF holds all the keys to the West's cash boxes. As soon as the IMF
gives the go-ahead the World Bank and the other major creditor countries
will open their doors and the Paris and London clubs will agree to the
postponement and writing off of Russia's debts inherited from the former USSR.
Strange as it may seem, the IMF itself needs the issue of this loan. The IMF
has a mortal fear of a declaration of default.
Something like this has already happened in history. In 1918 Lenin, as
chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, completely repudiated the
young Soviet republic's responsibility for the czarist debts. If
Zyuganov, as the new Russian president, does the same to the West things
will be extremely difficult for the international officials. In short, a
loan is inevitable. The only question is, who is going to foot the bill