When two people communicate, they each can be enriched - and unlike traditional resources, the more you share the more you have. - U.S. Vice President Al Gore
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 36, Part II, 20 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

UKRAINIAN NATIONAL BANK DELAYS FOREIGN CURRENCY BAN. The National Bank
of Ukraine has deferred a measure aimed at restricting the use of
foreign currencies in local transactions, Interfax-Ukraine and AFP
reported on 18 February. The government urged the bank to delay the
move, announced in November, in an effort to halt the rapid
"dollarization" of the Ukrainian economy. Ukrainian Deputy Premier Ihor
Mityukov said the ban was still necessary but that the government was
not yet prepared for it. Experts believe there are some $10 billion in
circulation in Ukraine or hidden in private savings. High inflation has
significantly devalued the temporary Ukrainian currency, the
karbovanets--although it has remained stable since December, trading at
130,000 and 145,000 karbovantsi to $1. Ukraine hopes to follow the
example of other former Soviet republics, such as Russia and the Baltic
States, which have banned the use of the dollar and other currencies in
domestic business. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS BALKS AT FURTHER CFE CUTS. Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka on 17 February announced he has ordered the halting of the
weapons destruction mandated by the 1990 conventional armed forces
treaty (CFE). Interfax quotes him as saying he did not intend to destroy
the country's armed forces under the guise of reforming them. While
Belarus has met the CFE's two interim destruction quotas, it must
destroy by 17 November 1995 more than 650 tanks, 500 armored fighting
vehicles, and 50 combat aircraft in order to comply with the treaty.
Lukashenka said the desire of neighboring Poland and Lithuania to join
NATO is giving cause for concern. He also revealed he intends to have
closer contacts with the Russian armed forces, provided Belarusian
troops are not required to serve outside the country. -- Doug Clarke,
OMRI, Inc.

SUNKEN FERRY "ESTONIA" TO BE PROTECTED. The Finnish Foreign Ministry on
17 February said that Estonia, Finland, and Sweden are to ban access to
the ferry "Estonia," which sank off the Finnish coast on 28 September at
a cost of more than 900 lives, Reuters reported. The three countries
will sign an agreement stating that attempts to raise victims or objects
from the ferry will be punished. The statement says: "The spot is
regarded as being the grave of the victims which the governments wish to
be respected as their place of burial." -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT IN POLAND. Algirdas Brazauskas told the Sejm on 17
February that distrust between Lithuania and Poland was fading into the
past, BNS reported. He said the "misunderstanding" over the Polish-
Lithuanian border "must be eliminated as soon as possible." He went on
to propose the creation of a common peacekeeping battalion and joint
control of air space and sea borders. President Lech Walesa and
Brazauskas signed a declaration on cooperation to improve bilateral
relations. He also discussed with Senate President Adam Struzik and Sejm
speaker and prime minister candidate Josef Oleksy issues relating to
ethnic minorities in both countries. Brazauskas returned to Vilnius on
18 February. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLAND, RUSSIA SIGN PIPELINE AGREEMENT. An accord on the construction of
a $2.5 billion segment of a natural gas pipeline connecting Russia's
Yamal peninsula with Germany was the main fruit of Russian Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's visit to Warsaw on 18-19 February, Gazeta
Wyborcza reported. The visit, postponed repeatedly since May 1994,
focused almost exclusively on economic issues, although President Lech
Walesa did use the occasion to restate Poland's determination to join
NATO. The pipeline agreement guarantees Poland natural gas supplies
until 2010. The Polish government will reportedly cover $300-350 million
of the costs and extend customs and tax preferences on the import of
building materials. The two sides agreed to restrict to Polish firms the
right to distribute gas in Poland and to allow Russia to employ its own
professionals in building the Polish segment. Construction of the first
102 km begins in April. But the two sides failed to sign planned
agreements on weapons production and fishing in the Sea of Ochotsk.
Scattered demonstrations against the Chechen war were held in Warsaw
during the visit. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE REACHES PARLIAMENT. The coalition parties
submitted a constructive no-confidence motion, signed by 111 deputies,
on 17 February, Rzeczpospolita reported. According to the constitution,
the vote may take place no sooner than seven days after the motion is
tabled. The Sejm could debate the motion during its 1-3 March session,
but Sejm speaker and prime minister candidate Jozef Oleksy told
reporters the vote would be scheduled only if the composition of the new
cabinet were settled beforehand. Oleksy met again with President Lech
Walesa on 18 February, but no agreement was reached on the defense and
foreign affairs posts. Walesa warned that he will take "tough decisions"
if the formation of the new cabinet drags on too long. Rzeczpospolita
reported that conflict has erupted within the Democratic Left Alliance
over Oleksy's plans to retain Wieslaw Kaczmarek as privatization
minister. There is also an internal dispute within the Polish Peasant
Party over Oleksy's determination to remove both Foreign Trade Minister
Leslaw Podkanski and Agriculture Minister Andrzej Smietanko. -- Louisa
Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

HAVEL ON CZECH-GERMAN RELATIONS. Czech President Vaclav Havel,
addressing a 17 February seminar on Czech-German relations, argued that
the time has come for the Czech Republic and Germany to stop issuing
apologies and sending "bills for historical grievances." He said both
sides should cease demanding war and post-war damages, with the
exception of compensation for Czech victims of the Nazi regime. He
argued against linking such historical events as the Nazi occupation of
Czechoslovakia and the post-war expulsion of Sudeten Germans with
contemporary political and legal issues. Both Czech Prime Minister
Vaclav Klaus and Foreign Affairs Minister Jozef Zieleniec welcomed
Havel's speech. But Franz Neubauer, the leader of the largest Sudeten
German organization in Germany, said Sudeten Germans were disappointed
with Havel's speech because "while until now he has rejected [the
principle of] collective guilt as inhuman and unjust, he is now
essentially making a large part of the Sudeten Germans jointly
responsible for their expulsion." -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK OPPOSITION PARTY VOTES FOR CONTINUITY. The post-communist Party
of the Democratic Left held its third congress on 18-19 February in
Poprad. Despite the party's poor performance in last fall's
parliamentary elections, in which it won only 13 seats, Peter Weiss was
re-elected as chairman, with 53.91% of the vote, Narodna obroda reports.
Brigita Schmoegnerova was elected deputy chairwoman for economic and
social policy, beating former Economy Minister Peter Magvasi. Milan
Ftacnik, Pavol Kanis, Viliam Sopka, and Juraj Horvath were elected
deputy chairmen. The victory of Weiss, Ftacnik, and Schmoegnerova shows
that the PDL remains committed to strengthening its position as a modern
social democratic party. It is expected that the PDL will be admitted to
the Socialist Internationale next year. Schmoegnerova said the party is
now preparing a shadow cabinet. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK JOURNALISTS PROTEST REMOVAL OF COLLEAGUE. Fifty-two journalists
from Slovak Radio have sent a letter to Slovak Radio director Jan
Tuzinsky protesting the recent dismissal of Washington correspondent
Peter Suska. Tuzinsky, a parliament deputy for the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia, claimed the decision was economic, not political.
But the letter, published in Sme on 18 February, maintains the decision
is not only political but also "endangers the independence of Slovak
broadcasting" and contravenes the constitution. The journalists claim
that Suska was removed because of his criticism of the Slovak
delegation's performance at the trade and investment conference in
Cleveland, Ohio, in mid-January. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ALBANIAN DIES IN ARMED RIOT IN MACEDONIA. One ethnic Albanian died and
28 people were wounded, including nine policemen, when shots were
exchanged during clashes between ethnic Albanians and Macedonian police
in Mala Recica, near Tetovo, on 17 February, Nasa Borba reported on 20
February. The riots followed a police crackdown on the self-proclaimed
Albanian-language university in Tetovo, which opened on 16 February. The
riots began the next day when some 200 ethnic Albanians tried to force
their way into the university building. Witnesses and official reports
say the first shots were fired by the protesters. The rector of the
university, Fadil Sulejmani, and a leader of the Forum for the Defense
of Human Rights were arrested the same day. The funeral of 33-year-old
Abduseljan Emini on 19 February was attended by about 10,000 people and
took place without incident. After the funeral, a group of youths
marched to the police station to demand the release of Sulejmani, but
they dispersed after one of their leaders appealed to them to avoid
excesses, international agencies reported on 17 and 18 February.
Sulejmani had warned of armed clashes before the university opened. --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ETHNIC ALBANIAN POLITICIANS ON TETOVO RIOT. Following his meeting with
Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski on 18 February, the leader
of the Party for Democratic Prosperity (the largest ethnic Albanian
party in Macedonia) said a compromise over Albanian-language higher
education can be found. But Menduh Thaci, an independent parliament
deputy and leader of a group that split away from the PPD, denounced the
police violence, saying neither the government nor the Macedonian
intellectuals have "a minimum of understanding" for the Albanians'
demands. Thaci called on Albania and international organizations for
assistance. In an interview with Deutsche Welle's Albanian-language
service on 19 February, he claimed that pro-Serbian forces were behind
the clashes. Flaka on 20 February reported that policemen painted the
symbol meaning "only force saves the Serbs" on the university building
during the raids. The Interior Ministry, however, denied Albanian claims
at a press conference on 18 February that Serbian police were involved
in the clashes. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS TO TETOVO CLASHES. The UNPROFOR representative
in Skopje, Hugo Anson, said the UN peacekeeping forces deeply regretted
the violence in Tetovo and urged ethnic Albanians and the Macedonian
government "to continue the path of dialogue, goodwill, compromise, and
restraint," AFP reported on 18 February. He added that the UN Security
Council is committed to ensuring respect for the "sovereignty and
territorial integrity" of Macedonia and asked all citizens to regard
themselves foremost as Macedonian citizens "and only afterwards as
members of various ethnic groups." The Albanian government condemned the
shooting as a "criminal act of violence . . . which does not serve the
too-fragile stability in the region," Reuters reported, citing a
declaration read on Albanian Television and Radio Tirana. "The terror
exercised against Albanians and the killing of a demonstrator shows the
existence of an anti-Albanian police state [in Macedonia]," the
statement said. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC REFUSES TO TRADE BORDER RECOGNITION FOR SANCTIONS LIFTING.
Nasa Borba on 20 February reports that Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic, during three-day talks with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev, categorically refused to recognize Croatia's and Bosnia and
Herzegovina's borders in exchange for the suspension of most UN-imposed
sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia. Kozyrev, for his part, had
arrived in Belgrade openly sympathetic to the president's position. The
two leaders issued a statement on 19 February saying "the lifting of
sanctions is the first essential step that needs to be taken toward a
definitive solution to the Yugoslav crisis." Kozyrev openly criticized
Western nations for what he called their "haggling" over peace in the
former Yugoslavia. He urged that Milosevic's peace initiatives be
rewarded with the prior lifting of economic sanctions, AFP reported.
Kozyrev and Milosevic met in Karadjordjevo, about 100 km north of
Belgrade, from 17-19 February, following proposals by the Contact Group
that the economic boycott against rump Yugoslavia be suspended if
Belgrade recognizes Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in their present
borders. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

LOCAL MEDIA ON KOZYREV-MILOSEVIC MEETING. Serbian authorities on 18
February slapped a media blackout on the Milosevic-Kozyrev talks. But
Reuters reported the same day that Serbia's state-run media openly
scorned any suggestions that Belgrade extend recognition to Croatia and
Bosnia and Herzegovina in exchange for the suspension of sanctions
against rump Yugoslavia. The state-run daily Borba rejected outright the
idea that recognition could be the first step toward solving regional
problems, noting that "the diplomatic table is burdened with problems
that would have to be solved in advance [of recognition]." Reuters also
reported that the Bosnian Serb leadership on 17 February was planning to
propose that Milosevic press ahead with the "unification of all Serbs."
-- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

OTHER DIPLOMATIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE YUGOSLAV AREA. News agencies
reported on 18 February that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, at a
meeting with U.S. Contact Group representative Robert Frasure, said
fears of new fighting are unfounded, despite Croatia's decision that
UNPROFOR must leave by 30 June. Frasure repeated American warnings that
Zagreb's policy is foolhardy since it places too much hope on a deal
with Milosevic and excessive confidence in the Croatian military.
Meanwhile, at the U.S. Air Force base at Ramstein, Germany, the UN
commander in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lt.-Gen. Rupert Smith, participated
in NATO exercises to simulate the possible evacuation of UNPROFOR from
Bosnia. On a more optimistic note, Bosnian Prime Minister Haris
Silajdzic told an international audience about his plans for the
economic development of his embattled republic. His government has given
priority to foreign backing for some 400 private and state enterprises
dealing with infrastructure and basic necessities. The goal is to
replace relief aid as soon as possible. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION OF ROMANIA ABOUT TO SPLIT? The main umbrella
organization uniting Romania's centrist opposition appears on the verge
of splitting after decisions taken by the organization's council on 17
February, Radio Bucharest and Romanian Television reported the same day.
The council rejected proposals submitted by the Party of Civic Alliance,
the Romanian Social Democratic Party, and the Liberal Party '93 that the
DCR be restructured to distinguish it from its member parties and civic
movements. The council also decided that member parties, with the
exception of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, must run
joint lists in the 1996 local and general elections and back the same
candidate in the presidential elections. Finally, the council demanded
that the HDFR explicitly state its respect for the country's
constitution, including the provision defining Romania as a "unitary and
national state." The HDFR, the PCA, the RSDP, and the LP '93
representatives refused to sign the modified protocol, prompting DCR
President Emil Constantinescu to say the implication is that the four
parties "are no longer active in the DCR." But he added that the
parties' leaders have 30 days in which to change their minds. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVA SETS DATE FOR GAGAUZ REFERENDUM. Moldovan Prime Minister Andrei
Sangheli told Interfax on 17 February that the referendum among
residents wanting to join the Gagauz autonomous region will be held on 5
March. Sangheli said the areas in which the referendum is to be held
will be determined by a government commission headed by Deputy Prime
Minister Valeriu Bulgari. He also said the elections for a Gagauz
assembly will take place in May. The Moldovan parliament approved in
December limited autonomy for the Gagauz minority. Villages in which the
Gagauz make up more than half of the population will automatically
become part of the autonomous region. The referendum is designed to help
determine which other areas become part of that region. -- Michael
Shafir, 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
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