Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. - Mark Twain
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 78, 25 April 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIA CALLS UNSC SESSION ON BOSNIA. The United Nations Security
Council went into session on 23 April at Russia's request to
discuss the situation around Gorazde. All fifteen members
supported NATO's ultimatum to the Bosnian Serbs to withdraw from
two miles around Gorazde or face airstrikes. Russia's ambassador
to the UN, Yulii Vorontsov, said that Russia's support for
military action was limited to the 23 April UNSC discussion and
did not extend to bombing threats to protect declared safe areas
in general. While condemning the "absolutely unspeakable slaughter
of civilians in Gorazde," Vorontsov qualified his remarks as
saying that Russia was dissatisfied with the behavior of the
"military command" of the Bosnian Serb army. Vorontsov also
stressed that Russia had not yet expressed support for bombing of
war-making infrastructure, Russian and Western agencies reported.
Suzanne Crow, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN MEETS POLITICAL LEADERS. On 22 April Yeltsin met leaders
of political organizations, parliamentary factions and constituent
regions of the Russian Federation and discussed the prospects of
signing the Civic Accord. In their comments on the event, Russian
TV newscasts said that the document will be signed at 2 p.m. in
Moscow on 28 April. Up to 250 political groups are expected to
join the treaty. Most factions of the State Duma, except the
Yabloka reformist bloc and the communist party, have reportedly
agreed to sign the document. In order to persuade the opposition
to sign the Civic Accord, Yeltsin reportedly made some
concessions. Among them, Yeltsin agreed to abolish the "black
list" of 151 former Russian legislators who were denied
compensation and discriminated against in housing and employment
opportunities because they had resisted Yeltsin's decree
disbanding the parliament in September 1993. Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

YABLOKO WILL NOT SIGN CIVIC ACCORD. One of the few factions of the
State Duma that flatly refused to sign the Civic Accord on 28
April was the reformist bloc Yabloko, Russian television reported.
Its representative at the 22 April meeting with Yeltsin was quoted
as saying that the faction will do everything to achieve unity and
accord in Russia but won't sign the paper. In an interview with
Ostankino TV "Novosti plyus" on 23 April, the leader of the bloc,
Grigorii Yavlinsky, explained that the accord in the country
should be achieved via the constitution and that other documents
on the matter would only confuse the citizenry. Julia Wishnevsky,
RFE/RL, Inc.

RUTSKOI PREPARED TO FIGHT YELTSIN. Former Vice-President Aleksandr
Rutskoi told Independent NTV channel on 24 April that he will not
sign the Civic Accord proposed by President Boris Yeltsin. Rutskoi
added that those parties and organizations which sign the accord
would be "muzzled politically." He said that he seeks to unite
"those who are left" in a strong political mass opposition
movement to Yeltsin and his policies. Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

COMMUNISTS MARK LENIN'S BIRTHDAY. Pro-communist rallies were held
on 22 April near Red Square in Moscow to mark the 124th
anniversary of Lenin's birth. Reports gave varying estimates of
the number of participants, ranging from several hundred to 3,000
people. Interfax reported that demonstrators rejected President
Yeltsin's proposal for a Civic Accord. Sergei Belashev of the
hard-line Working Moscow Movement told the agency that if Yeltsin
really wanted peace in society, he would step down as president.
Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIANS DISSATISFIED WITH REFORMS? "Vesti" cited on 22 April the
results of an opinion poll held in 110 Russian cities and 66
villages. According to the poll, only 9% of the respondents had
said that they are satisfied with changes in the political system
in Russia since the advent of Gorbachev's "restructuring policy";
42% said they are "dissatisfied"; 26% are "extremely
dissatisfied", while the remaining 23% said they had not expected
any good from the development since the very beginning. Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN PUBLISHED MEMOIRS. President Boris Yeltsin has revealed in
his recent memoirs, excerpts of which were published by the Sunday
Times on 23 April, that he suffered from a deep depression after
feeling that he had broken the law when he ordered troops to seize
the parliamentary building last October. He stated that the army
and even his presidential guard had refused to obey his order to
storm the parliament during the armed rebellion. Yeltsin wrote
that the elite troops went into action only after a sniper killed
one of their officers. Yeltsin's account raises the question of
whether the military would defend him in future. In other
statements, Yeltsin claimed that Russia may reconsider cooperating
with the IMF and proceed along "its own way"; and he called Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin "a man who has never betrayed his
[Yeltsin's] expectations." He also said that the strong showing of
nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky in last December's parliamentary
elections indicates that "Russia is ripe for a mad leader."
Alexander Rahr, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN'S PROTECTIONISM SAID TO COST RUSSIA TRILLIONS. Two
democratic newspapers have published a series of articles accusing
President Yeltsin of grave financial violations. On 30 March
Novaya ezhednevnaya gazeta (NEG) published a photocopy of
Yeltsin's decree endowing a sports center owned by the president's
tennis teacher, Shamil Tarpishchev, with a number of financial
privileges such as a tax exemption for the export of oil and other
natural resources. On 8 April the same newspaper went so far as to
accuse Yeltsin of connections with a "sport Mafia" formerly led by
the controversial late athlete Otari Kvantrishvili. On 9 April
this accusation was echoed by the usually pro-Yeltsin
Komsomolskaya pravda. A report prepared by the Finance Ministry,
claims that Yeltsin's decrees giving privileges to various
commercial enterprises have caused the loss of over seven trillion
rubles in tax revenues. In violation of the constitution, NEG
noted, none of these decrees have been approved by either the
parliament or government. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

G-7 AND IMF ON RUSSIAN ECONOMY. The meeting in Washington of
finance ministers and central bankers of the G-7 group of major
industrial nations on 24 April heard cautiously optimistic
appraisals of the state of the Russian economy from Russian
officials and from representatives of international financial
organizations. According to an RFE/RL correspondent and Western
agencies, prospects are good for the accelerated disbursement of
up to $1 billion in funds from the World Bank that are already in
the pipeline and up to $4 billion in standby credits from the IMF
later this year. Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin called
for a more generous debt rescheduling deal from the Paris Club for
1994. According to The Financial Times of 25 April, Russia will
need $34 billion in external finance in 1994, in addition to the
$1.5 billion recently approved by the IMF. On 24 April, an IMF
official told a news conference that although Russia had failed to
meet three successive goals for economic stabilization, the Fund
was now confident that the Russian economy has reached a point of
no return in its transition to the market. Keith Bush, RFE/RL,
Inc.

STATE ALCOHOL MONOPOLY REINSTATED. On 24 April, Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin signed an order that reinstated the
government's monopoly on the production and storage of, and
wholesale and retail trade in, alcoholic beverages including ethyl
alcohol, liquors, and materials for making wine, ITAR-TASS and
Interfax reported. The order set deadlines for the issue of
regulations and quotas, and for the drawing up of penalties for
any infringements. Keith Bush, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA CUTS OFF ELECTRICITY IN CHECHNYA. Moscow has cut off
electricity to the breakaway republic of Chechnya because of a
reported non-payment of energy bills, ITAR-TASS reported on 22
April. The republic, which announced independence from Moscow in
1991, but continues to receive considerable subsidies from Russia,
is being punished for non-payment of a 12.5 billion ruble
electricity bill and an 8 billion ruble debt for gas deliveries.
Vera Tolz, RFE/RL, Inc.

CIS

BLACK SEA FLEET TALKS END WITHOUT AGREEMENT. After what appeared
to be a breakthrough in negotiations over the division of the
Black Sea Fleet, no agreement was reached when Russian defense
minister Pavel Grachev refused to sign any protocols without
resolving the issue of basing first, various agencies reported.
During talks between Grachev and Ukrainian defense minister
Vitalii Radetsky on 21-22 April, it was reported that the Russians
and Ukrainians agreed on a split of the fleet which would have
given Ukraine 164 operational vessels of the fleet's 833 ships
(some 20% of the fleet), and allowed Ukraine to sell the rest of
its 50% entitlement to Russia. The Black Sea Fleet had previously
been reported as having 440 ships, but the agreement was to
include many noncombat and small vessels. The negotiations
foundered over the issue of basing. The Russian side insisted that
Sevastopol be the main base of the Black Sea Fleet exclusively,
and that there should be no Ukrainian naval presence in Crimea;
the Ukrainians proposed that the fleet and Ukrainian navy jointly
share the Sevastopol base. Both sides blamed each other for the
failure to conclude any agreement. On 23 April it was reported
that the Ukrainian president, Leonid Kravchuk, called for the
presidents and prime ministers of the two countries to meet and
continue the negotiations, rather than their defense ministers.
Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL ASIA AND TRANSCAUCASIA

ABKHAZ TALKS FAIL TO REACH AGREEMENT. Four days of UN-sponsored
peace talks in Geneva on the future status of Abkhazia ended
without agreement on 22 April, Interfax and western news agencies
reported, but the Georgian and Abkhaz delegations agreed to meet
again in Moscow on 10 May to consider a UN proposal on a federal
agreement that will maintain Georgia's territorial integrity.
Meanwhile one of the Abkhaz negotiators told Interfax that the
Abkhaz parliament will shortly adopt a new constitution specifying
that Abkhazia is a sovereign state. A conference of Georgian
refugees from Abkhazia failed to take place as planned in Tbilisi
on 23 April after its convener was temporarily abducted and
beaten, allegedly by adherents of the paramilitary organization
Mkhedrioni whose leader heads the Georgian delegation to the
Abkhaz peace talks. A Mkhedrioni spokesman has denied involvement
in the abduction. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

RUSSIA TO SECURE ITS BORDER WITH AZERBAIJAN. In an interview with
Interfax on 23 April a spokesman for the Russian Border Troops
explained the decision to impose tighter control on the border
between Daghestan and Azerbaijan in terms of preventing the
unauthorized export from Russia of consumer goods and raw
materials and the illegal transit of third country nationals from
Azerbaijan into the Russian Federation. He claimed that 60 such
infiltrators were detained in 1992-3, and 57 so far in 1994,
mostly from Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan. Contraband to the
value of 4 billion rubles was confiscated. On 22 April Reuters
reported that three persons, including an Azerbaijani and a North
Caucasian, had been arrested at Istanbul airport attempting to
smuggle uranium. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc.

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SERBS PULL BACK FROM GORAZDE. International media report on 25
April that Bosnian Serb forces have largely met UN and NATO
demands that they pull back three kilometers from the besieged
east Bosnian Muslim enclave. They were late in meeting the
deadline of 2 am on 24 April local time, and UN officials have
warned them to be punctual in meeting the next deadline of 2 am on
27 April, when they are supposed to have their heavy guns pulled
back to 20 kilometers away from the town. Meanwhile, 600
Ukrainian, British, and French peacekeepers have arrived in
Gorazde, as has a Norwegian medical unit and helicopters to
evacuate wounded to Sarajevo. The Washington Post reports that the
Serbs are nonetheless conducting a grudging "scorched-earth
withdrawal," leaving "a trail of flame and destruction in their
wake." On 22 April the Security Council passed a resolution
calling on the Serbs to cease fire and pull back, which was
followed later that day by a NATO ultimatum setting the 24 April
deadline and threatening air strikes if it were not met. On 23
April NATO wanted to bomb the Serbs in view of their continued
shelling of the town, but the UN rejected the request. Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVENIA AND CROATIA FEAR ITALIAN NEO-FASCISTS. Reuters reported
on 22 April that Ljubljana and Zagreb expressed concern at a
statement by Italian neo-fascist legislator Mirko Tremaglia
calling for Istria, Rijeka, and Dalmatia to be returned to Italy.
The Guardian on 25 April notes that it is feared that Tremaglia
might be "testing the waters" for a change in Italian policy that
would "tear up" the 1975 Italo-Yugoslav Osimo treaty that
confirmed the present frontiers. Former Italian Christian
Democratic and Communist officials warned against such a move,
while the Croatian and Slovenian media have long been concerned
about the ultimate aims of the neo-fascists. Some 150,000 Italians
left or were expelled after World War II from territories that had
belonged to Italy since World War I, having been first Venetian
and then Austrian before that. Many of them seek compensation for
the property they lost after 1945. Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

SERBIAN INTELLECTUALS MEET. On 22 April both Borba and Politika
reported extensively on a two-day meeting of Serbian intellectuals
from all parts of former Yugoslavia, which involved an estimated
1, 400 participants. The so-called Second Congress of Serbian
Intellectuals met ostensibly to discuss "the Serbian question
today" and to do so in as apolitical a manner as possible. Neither
the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia nor the Serbian Academy of
Arts and Sciences officially sponsored the affair; however,
prominent nationalist intellectuals such as Mihailo Markovic and
Milorad Ekmecic, instrumental in providing an intellectual
justification for Serbian expansionism, played a leading role at
the conference and questions of Serbian "national unity" dominated
much of the discussion. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

BELGRADE CONDEMNS ULTIMATUM. In other news, on 23 February AFP
reported that the rump Yugoslav government officially condemned
the most recent NATO ultimatum to Serb forces then besieging the
Bosnian town of Gorazde. Rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Vladislav
Jovanovic, while on an official visit to Romania, declared that
any NATO airstrikes at Serb forces would only serve to "aggravate"
the situation in Gorazde. Meanwhile, on 22 April Reuters reported
that both Britain and the United States resolved to evacuate
embassy staff from Belgrade. On 23 April Reuters reported that
Paris, in a similar action, decided to evacuate diplomats'
families from France's Belgrade embassy. The decisions to evacuate
followed in the wake of the NATO ultimatum to Bosnian Serbs. On 25
April the Serbian press continues its coverage of the situation in
Bosnia. Politika, for instance, runs a commentary titled "the
Inflation of Ultimatums" which purports to analyze the issuing of
the most recent ultimatum to Bosnian Serbs while the government
organ Vecernje novosti reports that it is really Bosnian Serbs who
are victimized under the headline "Crimes Under UN Protection."
Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ENDS IN BUCHAREST. A four-day conference
on the emerging free markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the
former Soviet Union and the Middle East, sponsored by the
Swiss-based Crans Montana Forum foundation, ended in Bucharest on
24 April, Romanian and Western media report. Romania's President
Ion Iliescu said in a closing speech that the event marked "the
rebirth of Romanian diplomacy" and helped place Bucharest "on the
circuit of great international meeting centers." Iliescu
emphasized the importance of the talks held during the conference
by Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat and
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. On 21 April Iliescu,
Arafat, Peres and Forum's President Jean-Paul Carteron co-chaired
a plenary session on the peace process and prospects of
cooperation in the Middle East, which has been described in the
media as the conference's climax. About 2,000 delegates and
journalists took part in discussions of economic, social and
political problems in many regions of the world, including the
Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Dan
Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN LIBERAL PARTIES HOLD ELECTION RALLIES. Speaking at a
meeting of the Liberal Circles on 23 April, the chairmen of the
Alliance of Free Democrats and Alliance of Young Democrats, Ivan
Peto and Viktor Orban, predicted that the current coalition
government will lose the upcoming elections, and said the main
issue of the elections will be whether the Hungarian Socialist
Party, the former reform communists, or the liberal parties form
the next government. While Orban reaffirmed that his party was not
ready to cooperate with the HSP, Peto did not exclude a coalition
with the HSP. At a separate rally the same day Orban declared that
cooperation between the AFD and the HSP would jeopardize relations
between the two liberal parties. He reiterated his view that the
HSP has become a "client party" of the trade unions, and has not
carried out the necessary personnel changes to transform it into a
democratic party. Orban warned if the HSP came to power old
communists would return to power at the local level and would seek
revenge against their political opponents. This was reported by
MTI. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ON ELECTIONS. Peter Boross told a rally
on 24 April in Sopron that he would like to stay prime minister
for the next four years because he feels that he is the only
candidate who has the know-how, style, and devotion to the country
needed to complete the country's democratic transformation, MTI
reports. Addressing the Hungarian Democratic Forum's performance
in the past four years, Boross stressed that the largest governing
party had learned from its mistakes. He reiterated that the HDF
could not accept the AFD as a coalition party because in his view
the AFD was dominated by a left-wing "hard-line group." In
separate development, Hungary's second largest Church, the
Reformed (Calvinist) Church, issued a statement urging believers
to vote in the upcoming elections. It appealed to Reformed
Christians to vote for parties which promote the country's moral
regeneration, and asked the faithful to examine the attitude of
parties in the past four years toward Church schools and
facultative religious instruction in schools. Edith Oltay, RFE/RL,
Inc.

SEJM REINSTATES EXCESS WAGES TAX. The new excess wages tax law,
modified to take account of President Lech Walesa's objections,
was passed on 23 April by 199 votes to 69, with 18 abstentions.
The law provides a penalty levy of 1.5 zloty for every zloty paid
in excess of the wage increase ceiling. It replaces the despised
tax that was introduced in December 1990 to force state
enterprises to keep wage increases within their own profit
margins, and abolished on 31 March 1994. Although the parties of
the ruling coalition used their opposition to the tax as an
election slogan, their leaders accepted the need for some form of
wage control. After Walesa vetoed the law because it extended
penalty levies to private and foreign companies, and earmarked
half of the revenue for an industrial agency, Prime Minister
Waldemar Pawlak--trying to curry favor with the unions--claimed
that his government could do without it, but a group of deputies
from his own party resubmitted the law minus the offending
provisions. If it is endorsed by the Senate and the president it
will take effect on the first of the following month, which could
mean wage freedom for several more weeks. Pawlak said the same day
that a 14% increase in wages in March alone was "no grounds for
concern." He also took credit for the fact that inflation in the
first quarter of 1994 was under 5%--the lowest figure in 7 years,
PAP reports. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

POLISH COAL STRIKE ESCALATES. Solidarity-sponsored strikers in
Poland's brown-coal mines have rejected Industry Minister Marek
Pol's offer to suspend the government's restructuring plans for
the energy sector pending the outcome of negotiations with the
unions, and have decided to continue the strike indefinitely until
the restructuring plans are completely abandoned. PAP reported on
24 April that brown-coal power and heating plants, which provide
about one-third of the national demand, could be forced to limit
supplies to industrial users as of 25 April. The government has
taken a conciliatory stance, offering immediate talks, but the
strike is a trial of strength for the Solidarity union, which is
contemplating the possibility of broader protest actions. Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc.

LIBERAL-DEMOCRATIC MERGER IN POLAND. The Democratic Union and the
Liberal-Democratic Congress held their unification congress on 23
and 24 April in Warsaw. The new party, to be called the Freedom
Union, is headed by former Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, with
the liberals' Donald Tusk as deputy chairman. The party sees
itself as a "strong party of the center," committed to
market-oriented reforms and a democratic social order, but not
insensitive to social justice. The new party plans to set up
permanent secretariats to deal with the specialized areas of
public administration; their task will be to prepare strategic
goals for "the second step" of Polish reforms. The heads of the
secretariats will form a shadow cabinet. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIA PROTESTS POLISH INTERPRETATION OF COMMON HISTORY.
Lithuanian Foreign Ministry sent a note to the Polish Foreign
Ministry protesting the interpretation of Lithuanian-Polish
history earlier in this century in the publication, "An Outline of
the History of the Polish State" that is being circulated to the
Council of Europe; that publication contains a map, dating from
1938, showing Vilnius and its region as Polish territory. On 19
October 1993 the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry protested over
another publication officially circulated by the Polish Foreign
Ministry: "Poland: History in Brief". So far no reply has come
from the Polish side to both notes, BNS reported on 21 April.
Meanwhile, the Lithuania-Poland Society, founded in 1989, has
resumed its activities in Vilnius in the context of preparations
for the visit of Poland's president Walesa later this week and the
anticipated signing on 26 April of a Polish-Lithuanian cooperation
accord, BNS reported on 22 April. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

TWO SLOVAK CENTER PARTIES MERGE. The founding session of the
Democratic Union of Slovakia (DEUS), which represents a merger of
the Alliance of Democrats and the Democratic Union (formerly the
Alternative of Political Realism), was held in Bratislava on 23
April. In a secret ballot, Premier Jozef Moravcik became the new
party's chairman, former Foreign Minister and AD Chairman Milan
Knazko was elected first deputy chairman, National Property Fund
Chairman Viliam Vaskovic was elected deputy chairman for economic
affairs, and Deputy Premier Roman Kovac was chosen deputy chairman
for social affairs and culture. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
deputy Milan Hudina joined the group on 21 April, bringing the
party's parliamentary representation up to 18 deputies, TASR
reports. Following his election as chairman, Moravcik said the
DEUS "will contribute to the stable political structure in
Slovakia." Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

US ENVOY EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR SLOVAK CABINET. Ending a 3-day
visit to Slovakia on 22 April, US presidential envoy to Central
Europe Richard Schifter expressed support for the new Slovak
cabinet during a meeting with Premier Jozef Moravcik, TASR
reports. Schifter and Moravcik also discussed possibilities for US
investment in Slovakia's infrastructure and aid to boost the
country's stagnating economy. Talks with Slovak Defense Minister
Pavol Kanis focused on Slovakia's affiliation with NATO. Sharon
Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc.

MECIAR STILL TOPS SLOVAK OPINION POLLS. According to a poll
released by the Slovak Statistical Office on 22 April, former
Premier Vladimir Meciar is still the most trusted politician in
Slovakia, with the support of 26% of respondents, up 1% from
March. Moravcik and President Michal Kovac were tied for second
with 25%, representing a 20% jump for the new premier since March.
Party of the Democratic Left Chairman Peter Weiss fell to fourth
with 13%, while all other politicians were at 10% or below. The
percentage of respondents who did not trust any politician fell to
25% in April, a 6% decline since March. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL,
Inc.

PARTIAL POLITICAL ACCORD IN CRIMEA. Thirteen Crimean political
parties signed an "Accord for Rebirth" at a roundtable, ITAR-TASS
reported on 22 April. Representatives of the Communist Party of
Crimea did not attend the session, and the local organizations of
the Ukrainian Republican Party and the Ukrainian Civic Congress of
Crimea refused to sign the document, noting the week-long
anti-Ukrainian demonstrations in front of the local parliament
building organized by the Russian Society. The Crimean Tatar
Mejlis also did not sign, saying the agreement made no reference
to the political rights of the Crimean Tatars. Roman Solchanyk,
RFE/RL, Inc.

GREEK AND ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS TO MEET IN ZURICH. Albanian
Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi is expected to meet with his Greek
counterpart Karolos Papoulias on 3 May in Zurich, Aleanca reported
on 25 April. The Ministers are expected to reach an agreement on
the number of diplomatic personnel in the two countries. After a
terrorist attack by the hitherto unknown Greek "Liberation Front
North Epirus" on a military barrack in Southern Albania on 10
April, Albania demanded that Greek diplomatic personnel be reduced
to six. Greece, in reply, expelled two Albanian diplomats, Gazeta
Shqiptare reported on 25 April. An Albanian-Greek commission
tasked with investigating the incident met on 20 April in Ioannina
but according to Koha Jone of 25 April but could not reach an
agreement. The Albanian side said it had proved that the
terrorists came from Greece and that the ammunition used was made
in Greece. Reuters on 24 April reports that Albania has detained
eleven people for illegal possession of weapons, and that the
authorities found Greek separatist propaganda in their raids.
Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

TRIAL AGAINST FORMER ALBANIAN PRESIDENT. The public prosecutors
have filed charges against the last Albanian Communist president,
Ramiz Alia, and nine other former Communist officials,
international media reported on 24 April. Alia, who was president
from 1982 to 1992, and the others are charged with
misappropriation of state funds, abuse of office and violation of
citizens' rights. Specific incidents underlying the charges
include the execution of 22 people without trial in 1951 and a
subsequent falsifying of court records. Alia has been in prison
since August 1993 and was previously under house arrest. Fabian
Schmidt, RFE/RL, Inc.

BULGARIAN DIPLOMATIC DEVELOPMENTS. On 25 April Macedonian
President Kiro Gligorov arrived on his third visit to Bulgaria.
Gligorov is to spend two days in Sofia, and will among other
things address the National Assembly and meet with his counterpart
Zhelyu Zhelev. Only four days earlier the country's first
ambassador to Bulgaria, the TV journalist Georgi Spasov, was
accredited in Sofia. In another development, on 23 April the
chairman of the recently founded Civic Alliance for the Republic
and a former Deputy Prime Minister and BSP member, Aleksandar
Tomov, spoke to BTA about his impressions during a seemingly
successful trip to Turkey. Tomov, who was received by Prime
Minister Tansu Ciller, Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin as well as by
President Suleiman Demirel, said he had tried to persuade the
government in Ankara not to upset the delicate internal political
balance in Bulgaria by asking Sofia to allow the transit of
Turkish UN soldiers despite the fact that this might seem the most
practical alternative. Over the past week Bulgaria has been
visited by Swedish Foreign Minister Margaretha af Ugglas, Dutch
Premier Ruud Lubbers, Slovene Deputy Premier and Minister of
Economic Relations and Development Davorin Kracun, and Slovak
Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Ustina Markus & Edith Oltay
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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole