We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 26, Part II, 6 February 1995

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning East-Central and
Southeastern Europe. Part I, covering Russia, Transcaucasia and Central
Asia, and the CIS, is distributed simultaneously as a second document.

The Daily Digest picks up where the RFE/RL Daily Report, which recently
ceased publication, left off. Contributors include OMRI's 30-member
staff of analysts, plus selected freelance specialists. OMRI is a unique
public-private venture between the Open Society Institute and the U.S.
Board for International Broadcasting.

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

POLISH PARLIAMENT WARNS WALESA. The Sejm on 4 February adopted a
resolution saying there are no legal grounds for dissolving the
parliament and warning President Lech Walesa that any dissolution
attempt would entail "constitutional responsibility" (a threat of
impeachment). The vote was 376 to 16 with 16 abstentions, Gazeta
Wyborcza reports. Opposition parties supported the resolution but also
criticized the government for contributing to the political crisis
through inaction and corruption. Presidential legal adviser Lech
Falandysz called the resolution a demonstration of "arrogance," while
Walesa commented that he "didn't know whether to laugh or cry." The
parliament also completed work on a constitutional amendment that would
enable it to remain in session until new elections in the event of a
dissolution order. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PREMIER UNDER FIRE. Meanwhile, Waldemar Pawlak's return from the
U.S. on 3 February failed to defuse the crisis. Pawlak was unable to
meet with the president, since Walesa's plane to Gdansk took off two
minutes before the prime minister landed in Warsaw. Pawlak told
journalists the same day that he saw no reason to yield to "actions
promoting unrest." Under attack from his coalition partners in the
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), he insisted he had not proposed Romuald
Szeremietiew for the vacant post of defense minister. But Walesa claimed
to have tapes of the conversation proving the opposite. The premier
further alienated the SLD by submitting to the president the names of
two candidates each for the Defense and Foreign Ministries rather than
the single candidates agreed upon with the coalition. Walesa accepted
the nomination of Janusz Ziolkowski (chief of the President's Office)
for the foreign affairs portfolio but rejected both candidates for
defense. Pawlak retaliated by refusing to countersign Ziolkowski's
appointment (effectively blocking it). Many SLD members called for
Pawlak's resignation. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH COALITION TO REBUILD GOVERNMENT? Walesa's brinkmanship appears
aimed at securing Pawlak's removal. The president told reporters on 5
February that he would not oppose the formation of a new government
headed by SLD leader Aleksander Kwasniewski, but he refused to rule out
dissolving the parliament. Kwasniewski said earlier that he was prepared
to take over "if such a need arose." Pawlak reportedly offered
Kwasniewski the posts of deputy prime minister and foreign minister on 4
February, but the SLD dismissed that offer as insufficient. The Polish
Peasant Party (PSL) initially rallied round Pawlak, but by 5 February
there were signs that party support was weakening. Deputy Sejm Speaker
Jozef Zych (PSL) conceded that ministers charged with corruption would
have to leave the cabinet, but he insisted that the PSL still had the
right to name the premier. Gazeta Wyborcza quoted "well-informed
sources" on 6 February as reporting that Walesa was planning to appoint
General Staff chief Gen. Tadeusz Wilecki to head a transitional
government until new elections could be held. Most politicians dismissed
this report as "absurd" and a deliberate leak meant to keep the Sejm
intimidated. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SAYS PARLIAMENT DEBATE OVER NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE IS
"ILL-TIMED." Leonid Kuchma called the parliament's recent decision to
debate a vote of no confidence in the government as ill-timed "from a
political and economic point of view," Interfax-Ukraine reported on 4
February. At a news conference in Donetske the previous day, Kuchma said
he did not understand the decision, given that "it is necessary [for
parliament] to review the upcoming bill on the separation of powers,
which stipulates that the president appoint the country's Cabinet of
Ministers." Kuchma said if the legislature refuses to approve his
proposed constitutional draft law on the division of powers--which would
significantly expand his executive powers to enable him to implement
badly needed economic reforms--then he would turn to the people by
organizing a poll on constitutional provisions. -- Chrystyna Lapychak,
OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN ENTERPRISES INFLATED 1994 PRICES. Ukraine's Economics Ministry
says more than half the country's businesses and organizations audited
by the state deliberately inflated prices last year, Interfax-Ukraine
reports. The mostly state-owned enterprises exaggerated costs, used the
market exchange rate for the karbovanets instead of the official one,
and employed "creative" accounting and book-keeping methods. Airline
companies and enterprises involved in the sale of oil products, iron and
steel production, and chemical manufacturing earned an additional 536
billion karbovantsi after padding their prices. The ministry has ordered
the firms to pay a total of 1.15 trillion karbovantsi (about $1 million
at the official exchange rate) in penalties. -- Chrystyna Lapychak,
OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT DEMANDS PARLIAMENT RESCIND LAW ON PRESIDENCY . . .
Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said he will take legal action if parliament
refuses to reassess the law, passed on 1 February, laying down the
conditions whereby parliament may remove the president, Reuters reported
on 2 February. Conservative deputy Henadz Kazlau said Lukashenka will
probably appeal to the Constitutional Court to have the law declared
illegal. When deputies ignored his proposals to change the law,
Lukashenka walked out of the session. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND THREATENS TO BLOCK DRAFT LAW ON PARLIAMENT. Interfax quoted
Lukashenka on 3 February as saying he would not sign the bill on
parliament, which, he said, would "tip the balance of power in the
republic" in parliament's favor. He will take the issue to the
Constitutional Court. The bill provides for special health care benefits
for deputies and gives them pensions for life worth 50% of their current
salary. Lukashenka said the bill provided "life-time welfare for
people's deputies," and he accused them of being more concerned about
their own well-being than implementing the country's economic reform
program. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN DEFENSE OFFICIALS TO CONTINUE IN OFFICE. Prime Minister Andres
Tarand on 3 February requested that Defense Minister Enn Tupp and
ministry chancellor Tarmo Molder continue in office until the 5 March
parliament elections, BNS reported the next day. Tupp offered his
resignation on 31 January after the security police began an
investigation, requested by Molder, into his role in purchases of
armored vehicles from Russia in 1991. Tarand said that if the two
officials were unable to settle their conflict peacefully, he would fire
both of them on 28 February. He said his decision was necessary to avoid
major disruptions in the ministry's work. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

DEPORTATION OF REFUGEES FROM LATVIA. Latvian Interior Minister Janis
Adamsons admitted on 2 February that some of the 149 Kurdish and Afghan
refugees held at an army barracks in Riga have been deported, BNS
reported the next day. The refugees were detained in December in Estonia
following an attempt to reach Sweden on a Latvian boat. Adamsons
declined to say how many refugees were deported but noted he would
invite the media to witness the next deportation. Latvia has discussed
moving the remaining refugees to an army training center outside Riga.
-- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ISRAELI DELEGATION IN LITHUANIA. Efraim Zuroff, research coordinator at
Israel's Simon Wiesenthal Center, retired judge Aryeh Segalson, and
lawyer Joseph Melamed have completed a week-long examination of
Lithuanian archives, BNS reported on 4 February. They were searching for
the names of people who collaborated with the Nazis in the extermination
of Jews during World War II but who, along with thousands of other
persons convicted by Soviet courts, have been unjustly rehabilitated
since 1990. President Algirdas Brazauskas, who plans an official visit
to Israel from 28 February-2 March, told the delegation that information
on unjust rehabilitations must be verified and "everything thoroughly
cleared up in order not to leave any white or black spots in our
history." -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH KORUNA TO BECOME CONVERTIBLE SOON? Czech economics ministers and
the Czech National Bank proposed on 3 February to ease restrictions on
the koruna in a bid to make the currency fully convertible in line with
IMF regulations. Czech firms will be able to buy goods, take out foreign
loans, or issue bonds abroad without limits on changing koruny into hard
currency or needing the CNB's approval, Czech media report. Czech
residents will also be able to invest abroad, but the current limit on
buying hard currency will remain in place for the time being. Until the
end of 1994, Czechs could purchase hard currency worth up to 12,000
koruny a year. This figure was raised to 100,000 koruny in January, but
Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said the limit will eventually be abolished.
-- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH MINISTER ON 1994 ARMS TRADE. Industry and Trade Minister Vladimir
Dlouhy said on 3 February that the Czech Republic sold arms worth $194.2
million to foreign customers in 1994. Reuters quoted him as saying this
was a 16% increase over the previous year. Aircraft accounted for nearly
80% of the sales, with 23 L-59 jets sold to Egypt and 28 L-39ZA planes
to Thailand. Both are variants of "Albatros" trainer/ground attack jet.
Dlouhy said the Czech Republic imported $43.6 million worth of arms in
1994, virtually the same amount as the previous year. Aviation-related
items accounted for the bulk of the imports. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

COUPON PRIVATIZATION IN SLOVAKIA TO CONTINUE IN JULY? Slovak economic
ministers and representatives of the National Property Fund and the
Supreme Supervisory Office met in Trencianske Teplice on 4 February to
discuss how to speed up the privatization process. The delegates decided
that Slovakia's second wave of coupon privatization will probably start
on 1 July, Pravda reports on 6 February. The second wave, planned by the
previous government, was scheduled to begin on 15 December. Despite the
tremendous popularity of the program (more than 90% of those eligible
registered), it was delayed by the current government, which claimed the
program was ill-prepared. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN HELICOPTERS FLY OVER BOSNIA. The BBC on 5 February and Nasa
Borba the following day report yet another story suggesting that Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic's break with the Bosnian Serbs is not as
complete as he would have people believe. The accounts quote Dutch
UNPROFOR sources as saying that as many as 20 helicopters flew from
Serbia to Bosnian Serb lines around the besieged Muslim enclave and
"safe area" of Srebrenica on 3 February. Elsewhere, the BBC reported on
6 February that the Bosnian Serbs agreed to a limited reopening of the
Sarajevo airport route. The new rules for use of the road benefit the
Serbs and exclude the commercial traffic that the Bosnian government had
wanted. Relief agencies will benefit most from the new system. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CROATS AND MUSLIMS AGREE TO BINDING ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES. The
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Nasa Borba on 6 February report that
U.S. mediators have succeeded in convincing top-level Croatian, Bosnian
Croat, and Muslim delegations to accept binding arbitration of disputes.
The two sides will have two months to list the problems that have
hamstrung setting up the Croat-Muslim federation in Bosnia and
Herzegovina. The nine-point plan for arbitration was adopted in
conjunction with a major international gathering of security experts in
Munich and a meeting of the Contact Group. The Croats and Muslims agreed
to a federation in Washington almost a year ago, but it has proven
difficult to put this arrangement into practice. EU-appointed chief
administrator of Mostar Hans Koschnik sounded the alarm last month by
making it clear that the Herzegovinian Croats, in particular, will have
to become more cooperative or he will be forced to give up his mandate.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIA AND RUSSIA AGREE TO CLOSER TIES. Nasa Borba reports on 6 February
that Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic and Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev held a joint press conference the previous day in Moscow.
The two countries agreed to exchange diplomatic representatives and to
take further steps toward establishing full relations. Kozyrev said that
Russia, which is a member of the Contact Group, supports the territorial
integrity of all former Yugoslav republics and urges the Bosnian Serbs
to accept the Contact Group's peace plan. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CONTINUED LOGJAM IN CROATIAN-SERBIAN RELATIONS? Croatian and Serbian
dailies on 4 February discussed extensively relations between the two
peoples. Attention centered on the international Z-4 group's plan for
the Serb-occupied territories of Croatia. The project would make the
Knin and Glina areas part of Croatia in name but largely self-governing
in practice. Western Slavonia would revert to Croatian government
control, but occupied Srem would be placed under temporary international
administration. The plan sounds too much like the partition or
federalization of Croatia to be acceptable to Zagreb, while for most
Serbs it does not go far enough toward ensuring their independence. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

EMBARGO ON RUMP YUGOSLAVIA VIOLATED BY BULGARIAN "PHANTOM" COMPANIES.
The UN embargo on rump Yugoslavia is being violated by Bulgarian
companies with falsified registration documents, Demokratsiya reported
on 4 February. The "phantom" companies are engaged mainly in large-scale
fuel smuggling. The Bulgarian authorities began investigating the matter
last year, but so far no company has been taken to court, owing to a
lack of evidence. Deputy Director of the National Investigation Service
Vladimir Stoykov said in an interview with Demokratsiya on 6 February
that 37 cases involving 12 companies are being examined. Meanwhile, 168
chasa reported on 6 February that two Bulgarians who were arrested for
trying to smuggle 5,000 tons of gasoline into Serbia are now living in
Belgrade. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO HARASS NASA BORBA. The independent daily
Nasa Borba on 6 February reports that its employees are in effect being
"thrown out of their offices." The staff has been deprived of such vital
materials as fax services, telephone connections, and direct links to
AFP and Reuters. Nasa Borba reincorporated itself in January after the
government appropriated the name and masthead of Borba. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN-ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTERS DISCUSS JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES.
Hungarian Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti and his Romanian counterpart,
Gheorghe Tinca, met on 4-5 February in Debrecen to discuss, among other
things, plans for joint military exercises drawn up in 1994. The meeting
was described as "unofficial." The two ministers decided to continue
talks in Bucharest within two weeks at "expert level" to clarify
"technical aspects" of their armed forces' presence on each other's
territory. It was also agreed to host an international seminar on the
implementation of the "Open Skies" agreement within the framework of the
Partnership for Peace program. Tinca told Radio Bucharest he was pleased
to see that the Hungarians were as willing to collaborate and establish
"good relations between the two armies and countries" as were the
Romanians. Keleti said the signing of a basic bilateral treaty was
closer now than ever and that the two countries' exemplary military
relations helped prepare the ground for it, MTI reports. -- Michael
Shafir and Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

DNIESTER REPUBLIC REJECTS MOLDOVAN-RUSSIAN AGREEMENT. Radio Bucharest,
quoting Radio Moldova, reported on 4 February that the authorities of
the self-styled Dniester Republic have prohibited the withdrawal of the
Russian 14th Army's assets, claiming they are the Dniester Republic's
property. Both Radio Moldova and ITAR-TASS reported that Tiraspol is
trying to prevent the implementation of the protocols signed in Chisinau
on 2 February detailing the withdrawal of the 14th Army (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 3 February 1995). Those protocols complete the framework of the
bilateral agreement concluded on 21 October 1994. ITAR-TASS quoted
Vladimir Kitayev, head of the Russian delegation to the talks, as saying
in Chisinau on 3 February that the 14th Army would take some assets when
it withdraws, while the remaining weapons and ammunition would be sold
or destroyed on the spot. Dniester leader Igor Smirnov issued an order
the same day "categorically prohibiting the removal from the republic's
territory of any assets belonging to the 14th Army." Those assets were
declared "property of the Dniester Republic." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI,
Inc.

ALBANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER CHARGED WITH ARMS SMUGGLING. Deputies from the
opposition party Aleanca Demokratike have charged Zafet Zhulali with
involvement in arms smuggling to the former Yugoslavia, Koha Jone
reported on 4 February. Deputy Perikli Teta and Aleanca Demokratike
secretary-general Arben Imami have claimed that in at least one case,
weapons were sent to Montenegro, suggesting they were destined for
Bosnian Serbs. In another case, weapons allegedly were brought to
Croatia on board the Vela Luka, which was loaded in Durres but arrived
empty in Slovenia. Documents submitted to the press by Teta and Imami
show that from April 1992 to February 1993, eight cargoes were sent to
Slovenia but do not appear in Slovenian customs records. Another
document, reportedly signed by Zhulali, authorized the Albanian company
Mjekes to export mortars to Croatia. Zhulali, in an interview with
Rilindja Demokratike on 4 February, described the charges as
irresponsible. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday
through Friday by the Open Media Research Institute. The Daily Digest is
distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe, send
"SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the quotation
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Digest, OMRI, Na Strzi 63, 14062 Prague 4, Czech Republic or send e-mail
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