Poetry must be human. If it is not human, it is not poetry. - Vicente Aleixandre
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 31, Part II, 13 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.

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

WALESA WANTS DIFFERENT COALITION. The Polish Peasant Party (PSL) voted
on 10 February to approve the ruling coalition's decision to replace
Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak with Jozef Oleksy of the Democratic Left
Alliance (SLD). But while the PSL endorsed its chairman's
recommendations, it selected a negotiating team that excluded Pawlak's
closest advisers (a sign of rising dissent within the party). The SLD
predicted optimistically that the new government would be ready by the
end of this week, Rzeczpospolita reports. But President Lech Walesa let
it be known that he will attempt to engineer the formation of an
entirely new ruling coalition, which would exclude the PSL. Presidential
legal adviser Lech Falandysz told journalists on 9 February that "the
enlightened postcommunist element and the best people from the
[Solidarity] opposition must join together in a single government"--
meaning a coalition between the SLD and the opposition Freedom Union
(UW). In comments meant to inspire a renewed sense of vulnerability
among coalition politicians, Falandysz also claimed that the
constitution gives the president the right to block the appointment of
any government approved in a parliamentary "constructive no-confidence
vote." As in the case of earlier threats to dissolve the parliament,
this argument distorts the sense of the Constitution (which says simply
that "the president appoints" a government formed in this fashion). But
it suggests that Walesa is determined to obstruct the coalition's
attempts to build a new cabinet. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

NEW ELECTIONS ON THE HORIZON? New parliamentary elections appear likely
should the two ruling parties fail to agree quickly on the composition
of a new cabinet. SLD leaders indicated privately that new elections
would be inevitable if Jozef Oleksy fails in his mission, Gazeta
Wyborcza reports. Meeting on 12 February, the opposition UW adopted a
strategy of maintaining "equal distance" from both the ruling coalition
and President Lech Walesa. UW floor leader Bronislaw Geremek compared
the coalition upheaval to "stirring the tea without adding sugar." The
party leadership instructed UW deputies to be prepared either to propose
the creation of a non-party government to serve until new elections, or
to lodge a no-confidence motion to clear the way for the dissolution of
the parliament. Walesa indicated on 12 February that, in the event of
new parliamentary elections this year, he would attempt to postpone the
presidential elections due this November. UW leaders revealed that
Walesa last month said he would try to strike a bargain with any new
Sejm to put off presidential elections by a year. Meanwhile, Foreign
Minister Andrzej Olechowski (who is still waiting for the president to
accept his resignation) announced that he is withdrawing from political
life and will not serve in a new government. He added that he will not
run for president if Walesa is a candidate. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE DELAYS INAUGURATION OF NUCLEAR REACTOR. The recently-completed
sixth reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, considered the
largest in Europe, will not be brought on line until the second quarter
of the year instead of the first quarter as planned because of a
breakdown in state financing, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 12 February.
Mikhail Umanets, head of Ukraine's civilian nuclear energy agency, told
Interfax the government had failed to provide the more than one billion
karbovantsi they promised last year in time to bring the sixth block on
line for testing this quarter as scheduled. The delay means that the
unit will not be fully operational until December. The other five
reactors at the plant, built in the 1980s, generate about 6% of the
energy produced in the country. The sixth block was one of three
reactors in Ukraine that were only partially constructed at the time of
the USSR's breakup and was only recently completed in Ukraine's campaign
to further develop the nuclear industry in light of its heavy energy
dependence on Russia and other CIS states. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI,
Inc.

DEVELOPMENTS IN UKRAINE'S MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. The sole working
prototype of the Antonov AN-70, which Ukraine was developing jointly
with Russia and Uzbekistan, crashed in a mid-air collision on 10
February, killing all seven crew members, international agencies
reported. The monitoring aircraft with which it collided, an AN-72,
landed safely. In other news, Interfax reported on 12 February that the
Ukrainian State Committee for Nuclear Energy plans to invite US, French,
German and Russian firms to take part in a tender to design a factory
producing nuclear fuel for its reactors. Ukraine currently relies
entirely on Russia for its supplies. An official from Ukraine's Space
Agency has said that Ukraine plans to participate in this year's air
show at Le Bourget where it will display a small scale model of an
aerospace complex. The project, known as the Svityaz, will cost $500-600
million and will be capable of launching an 8-ton payload to a near
earth orbit, and a one-ton payload to a geostationary orbit. On 10
February, Ukrainian radio reported that US President Bill Clinton has
refused Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's request to remove a
permanent delegation of Americans monitoring Ukraine's Pavlohradsk
mechanical plant, which previously produced ballistic missiles. Kuchma
made the request because he said the country could not afford the upkeep
of the delegation. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA WARNS ESTONIA OVER SUPPORT FOR CHECHNYA. The Russian Foreign
Ministry on 10 February summoned Juri Kahn, Estonia's ambassador to
Moscow, to hand him an official protest about the debate in the
parliament on a resolution entitled "On the Right of Self-Determination
of the Chechen Nation," Western agencies report. The protest called the
debate "barefaced interference in domestic affairs of the Russian
Federation, fresh evidence of Estonian authorities' support for the
Dudaev regime and of their attempts to undermine the foundations of
Russian statehood." The ambassador was warned that "if Tallinn continues
its anti-Russian activities, it will have a serious impact on Estonian-
Russian relations." -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIA WARNS IT WILL EXPEL FORMER RUSSIAN SOLDIERS. Interior Minister
Janis Adamsons said on 11 February that Russian military soldiers who
retired after 28 January 1992 and remained in Latvia in defiance of the
troop withdrawal agreements have to register by 15 February to obtain
residency permits or face expulsion, Interfax reports. The soldiers were
supposed to have left by 31 August 1994, but primarily due to a housing
shortage remained in Latvia. Adamsons noted that only 602 Russian
retirees were registered as of 8 February. Latvia claims that there are
about 4,000 such retirees while Russia says they number only about
1,000. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

HAVEL WARNS OF "NEW YALTA." A "new Yalta" or division of Europe could
happen if the West accepts that certain, particularly Central European,
countries belong to Russia's sphere of influence and thus should not be
allowed to join NATO, Czech President Vaclav Havel said. In an interview
with the German magazine Der Spiegel published on 13 February, Havel
said the opening up of NATO will serve the interests not just of the
reforming states of Central and East Europe who want to join, but also
benefit the West. Russia does not have the right to dictate to NATO who
it should accept as members and who not, he added. Havel said the
admission of new countries to NATO is a logical and natural way to
overcome a security vacuum in Central Europe, and for the Czech Republic
admission to NATO is a more urgent concern than joining the EU. -- Steve
Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

PUBLIC HEARING ON SLOVAK NUCLEAR PLANT. A hearing on Slovakia's nuclear
plant at Mochovce was held in Budapest on 10 February. Participants
included officials from the Hungarian Environment Ministry, members of
the Slovak and Hungarian Green Parties, as well as representatives of
the two firms building the plant, Slovenske Elektrarne and Electricite
de France. The Greens criticized the project, expressing concern about
nuclear waste and safety, TASR reports. A public hearing scheduled in
Vienna in January was canceled after the two firms building the plant
refused to attend; however, a panel discussion is expected to take place
there on 14 February. According to a Financial Times report on 11
February, the Austrian parliament voted unanimously on 9 February to ask
the government to consider pulling out of the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development if the bank chooses to give Slovakia the
loan it needs to finish the project. The EBRD will vote on the decision
in April. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

UN CONDEMNS SERB FLIGHTS OVER BOSNIA. The BBC's Serbian and Croatian
Services reported on 13 February that the UN ruled that all sides in the
Bosnian conflict have broken flight restrictions in that embattled
republic but that the Bosnian Serbs have been "especially active." The
report noted daily flights from Serb airfields in Banja Luka and in
Krajina in the past two weeks. The Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA quotes
Radovan Karadzic as saying that if Croatia attacks the Krajina Serbs,
his men will defend them, and that this would be the first practical
step toward the unification of the two rebel Serb states. The latest UN
report and the course of fighting around Bihac, however, help recall
that the two groups have long been working hand-in-glove and in
cooperation with authorities in Serbia proper. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

BIHAC FIGHTING AT CENTER OF ATTENTION. International media report on 13
February that combat in the Bihac pocket intensified over most of the
weekend and that Krajina Serb land reinforcements have arrived. The
Bosnian government singled out the situation around Bihac as demanding
immediate attention if the ceasefire that is largely holding elsewhere
is to be maintained. UN commander Lieutenant-General Rupert Smith met on
12 February with his Bosnian government counterpart General Rasim Delic
and now wants to see Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic. The 13 February
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung notes fighting on three fronts: Bihac
itself, Velika Kladusa, and Bosanska Krupa. Bosnian Prime Minister Haris
Silajdzic, for his part, already seems to have soured on the ceasefire,
saying it should not be extended when it expires on 1 May. He charged
that an extension "would serve the purpose of our enemies, and that is
to keep the status quo here forever." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

A SHAKY FUTURE FOR BOSNIAN CROATS. Among the worst victims of the Croat-
Muslim war of 1993 were the Croats of Bosnia, who, unlike those of
Herzegovina, live in widely scattered communities that are frequently
far from Croatia or other solid areas of Croatian settlement. Vecernji
list of 13 February quotes Bishop Franjo Komarica of Serb-held Banja
Luka as saying that his people are frightened and confused, wanting only
to get out. He laments, however, that the continued exodus on top of the
Serbs' own ethnic cleansing could mean the end for many age-old Croatian
communities in Bosnia. Meanwhile in northern Bosnia, on 12 February the
cantonal legislature of Posavina met in Orasje amid the presence of many
Bosnian and Bosnian Croat dignitaries, including federal President
Kresimir Zubak. The session dealt with a number of questions in Croat-
Muslim relations and marks a step toward the normal functioning of the
joint federation in northern Bosnia. The region has its own distinct
profile, and the Croats in nearby Gradacac kept their alliance with the
Muslims even in 1993. Many Posavina Croats suspect, moreover, that the
Zagreb and Herzegovinian authorities have repeatedly sold out their
interests. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman has often tried to mollify
the angry people of Posavina, many of whom feel he deliberately
abandoned their city of Bosanski Brod in a secret deal with the Serbs.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

FIVE KILLED IN BLAST NEAR BELGRADE. Tanjug reported on 11 February that
five persons were killed and one seriously injured in a blast at a
factory at Lucani, some 140 kilometers southwest of Belgrade. AFP
accounts suggest the victims worked for a firm which produces chemicals
for the military. In other news, the international sanctions applied
against the rump Yugoslavia continue to receive media attention; on 12
February Reuters reported that Belgrade's UN ambassador, Dragomir
Djokic, told a local radio broadcaster in Kragujevac that same day that
in his opinion sanctions may be eased, on humanitarian grounds, to allow
for the importation of gas from Russia. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER WARNS HUNGARIAN PARTY. Emil Constantinescu,
the chairman of the Democratic Convention of Romania, the country's main
opposition alliance, on 11 February warned the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania that further cooperation depended on the HDFR
leadership making a "clear and unequivocal" statement that it was
prepared to respect Romania's Constitution and legislation. The HDFR,
which is the main political organization of Romania's large Magyar
minority and a DCR member, recently stirred controversy by suggesting
that it favored a higher degree of autonomy for ethnic minorities. In a
separate development, a seven-person delegation from Romania, including
HDFR leaders Bela Marko and Laszlo Toekes, arrived in Atlanta, Georgia,
to take part in a seminar on ways to defuse interethnic tension, staged
by the Princeton-based "Project on Ethnic Relations" and the Carter
Foundation. On 10 February, the HDFR threatened to boycott the
conference if a deputy for the chauvinistic Party of Romanian National
Unity attended. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVA'S FOREIGN MINISTER SETS PRIORITIES. The Foreign Minister of the
Republic of Moldova, Mihail Popov, was quoted by Interfax on 11 February
as saying that close ties with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are top
priorities for his country's foreign policy. Popov added that this was
the core of a foreign policy concept approved by the Moldovan parliament
a few days ago; he also suggested that closer cooperation with the three
countries was the only way for Moldova to overcome its current economic
problems. Among Moldova's other foreign policy priorities, Popov listed
Romania and several Western countries, including the US, Germany and
France. Popov stressed that neutrality was the main principle of
Moldovan foreign policy and expressed the belief that the agreement on
the withdrawal of the 14th Russian army from Moldova, which was
initialed in October 1994, will be signed and implemented in due time.
-- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PROPERTY RECLAMATION BAN EXTENDED. The Bulgarian Parliament on
9 February extended a 1992 measure protecting tenants from being thrown
out of restituted property for a further three years, Reuters reported
the following day. Krasimir Premyanov of the Bulgarian Socialist Party
said "the law aims to attain greater social justice," as without it
there is "fear that 120,000 people will be left on the streets." The
opposition sees it as a step back towards communism, arguing it was
unjust. Aleksandar Dzherov of the People's Union said it "means an
explicit restriction of the rights" of owners of homes due to be
restituted. The ban on the reclamation of property nationalized after
1944 would have expired on 24 February. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIA SAYS GREECE OFFERED SECRET TALKS. The Macedonian government on
10 February said it rejected an offer by Greece to establish secret
contacts, AFP reported the same day. Macedonian Interior Minister
Ljubomir Frckovski said Greek envoys came to Skopje at the end of
January to propose secret contacts, adding that Macedonia has no
interest in them for the time being. Macedonia agrees to discuss
technical questions such as visa problems or contacts between firms "on
a professional level," but the Greek envoys soon raised political
subjects such as the controversy over Macedonia's name and flag. Greek
government spokesman Evangelos Venizelos on 10 February denied that
Greece proposed any such meetings and said that Frckovski's declarations
"are purely a product of his imagination." Greece never had any
intention and no reason to make any proposals to Macedonia, AFP cited
Venizelos as saying. Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias
and his rump-Yugoslav counterpart Vladislav Jovanovic met in
Thessaloniki the same day. Nasa Borba reported on 11 February that the
Macedonian question was the main subject of their talks, but gave no
details. The same day AFP cited Papoulias as saying that Greece supports
moves to lift the UN sanctions against rump-Yugoslavia because "we
believe that the international community's attitude towards Slobodan
Milosevic is unjust, considering the decisive contribution he has made
to peace in the region." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE AGAINST PRESIDENT OF ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT. Twenty-
seven legislators, mainly from the opposition Socialist Party and
Democratic Alliance, initiated a no-confidence vote against President of
Parliament Pjeter Arbnori, Aleanca reported on 11 February. Also among
the deputies who signed the petition were Abdi Baleta from the ruling
Democratic Party and Kosta Makariadhi from the ethnic Greek party
Omonia. The legislators claim that Arbnori deliberately broke
parliamentary rules and did not make regular reports as he is obliged to
do. They also accused him of exceeding his authority and using state
funds for personal purposes, including using a helicopter to travel to
Saranda to launch his new book. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Steve Kettle

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
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