Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 52, Part II, 14 March 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 COMMUNISTS HOLD SECOND CONGRESS. The Communist Party of
Ukraine, at its second national congress on 11-12 March in Kiev, claimed
it was the legal successor to the Soviet-era Ukrainian Communist Party,
banned by the Ukrainian parliament after the failed August 1991 coup,
Interfax-Ukraine reported on 13 March. Petro Symonenko, who was re-
elected as the party's leader, demanded that the ban be lifted and the
former party's property and assets restored to its successor. The party
blamed the country's economic crisis on the dissolution of the Soviet
Union and the introduction of capitalism in Ukraine. Symonenko also
accused Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma of failing to keep his
campaign promises and adopting the nationalist position of former
President Leonid Kravchuk. But he added that his party was willing to
cooperate with Kuchma if reforms meant that social welfare improved.
Elsewhere, some 400 separatists demonstrated on 12 March in Sevastopol
to demand the annulment of the Belaya Vezha accord of December 1991,
which formally dissolved the Soviet Union, Interfax reported on 13
March. The rally organizers denounced what they called Ukraine's
isolationist policies and called for civil disobedience in a campaign to
formally re-unite Crimea with Russia. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

KUCHMA DECREES FUNDS FOR ENERGY SECTOR. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma has issued a decree appropriating government funds and credits to
the country's troubled energy sector, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 13
March. He ordered the Finance Ministry to allocate money to the
Ukrainian Nuclear Energy Committee to complete construction and make
fully operational the sixth reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power
plant. The decree also provides for a stabilization fund for the energy
sector, which currently has to deal with skyrocketing prices and huge
debts for fuel imports. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

GAZPROM BIDS FOR STAKE IN UKRAINIAN ENTERPRISES. The Russian gas
monopoly Gazprom has drawn up a list of Ukrainian enterprises slated for
privatization in which it wants shares, Interfax reported on 13 March.
The list names 15 enterprises, including ferrous alloy plants and gas
storage and transport facilities. All enterprises on the list are
profitable and well-equipped. Gazprom wants a 30-50% share in all the
enterprises as partial payment for Ukraine's $1.5 billion debt but is
facing opposition within Ukraine. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRIME MINISTER IN IRAN. Before leaving for Teheran on 12
March, Mikhail Chyhir told reporters that the main purpose of his visit
is to promote economic cooperation between Belarus and Iran, Belarusian
Television reported. He noted Iran's close ties with the USSR and its
familiarity with Belarusian industry and technology, saying that it
could provide Belarus with materials Russia can no longer supply. Trade
with Iran in 1994 amounted to less than $2 million. Chyhir said this
indicated that there is plenty of room to develop economic ties,
especially since Belarusian enterprises are having difficulty breaking
into Western markets. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. VICE PRESIDENT VISITS TALLINN. Al Gore, accompanied by Estonian
President Lennart Meri, flew to Tallinn from Copenhagen on 13 March for
a six-hour visit, BNS reports. In a public address at Town Hall Square,
Gore said: "No outside power should ever again cast a veto over your
future; you must not be consigned to a 'gray zone' of fear and
uncertainty." He witnessed the signing of a U.S.-Estonian memorandum on
environmental protection in which the U.S. pledges $2 million for the
clean-up of the former Russian submarine base at Paldiski. Gore also met
with prime ministers Andres Tarand (Estonia), Maris Gailis (Latvia), and
Adolfas Slezevicius (Lithuania). He proposed that the three countries
take part in the development of an air traffic control system in Central
Europe. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

NEW VISA REGIME BETWEEN LITHUANIA AND RUSSIA. Lithuania has reached a
bilateral agreement with Russia modifying the visa regulations for
cross-border visits, according to Interfax on 13 March quoting Deputy
Director of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry's Consular Department
Arturas Zurauskas. Beginning April 1996, citizens of one country
permanently residing in the other will be able to travel to and from
their "ethnic motherland" without visas if they have an invitation.
There will be no charge for visas for visitors taking part in
scientific-technical and cultural exchanges, sports competitions, or
funerals of close relatives. Visas for children under 16 will also be
free of charge. The agreement gives law enforcement and other government
bodies the right to bar someone from entering the other country or
limiting the length of his stay without justifying their decision. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PREMIER SUPPORTS CONCORDAT, FOREIGN POLICY CONTINUITY. Attempting
to ease friction in Church-state relations, Jozef Oleksy on 13 March
proposed a meeting with Cardinal Jozef Glemp, saying the government
"will not refrain from doing all in its power to see that the concordat
[with the Vatican] is ratified," Rzeczpospolita reported. The parliament
voted last year to postpone ratification until a new constitution is
adopted, despite formal (if half-hearted) support from the government.
Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek on 13 March signaled that a compromise may be in
the offing on Article 15 of the draft constitution, which will define
Church-state relations. According to Pieronek, the Constitutional
Commission appears to be willing to refrain from using the terms
"separation" or "division." The Catholic hierarchy favors the statement
that the Church and state are "independent and autonomous" but
"cooperate for the human good." Commission chairman Aleksander
Kwasniewski prefers to bar religious denominations "from the exercise of
public power." Elsewhere, Oleksy told a gathering of foreign diplomats
on 13 March that his cabinet will pursue integration with the EU and
NATO. He also said it will "continue the foreign policy undertaken after
1989, which is an achievement [to be attributed to] society and not to
specific parties and thus may not be the object of domestic conflict."
-- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

MAFIA BOMB KILLS TWO IN WARSAW. A bomb attack in Warsaw on 13 March
killed two men associated with the "Wolomin gang," which reportedly runs
a local protection racket. This was the 17th criminal explosion in
Poland so far this year, and the 11th in Warsaw. No arrests have been
made in the bombings, but police on 26 February detained Grzegorz
Lindenberg, the publisher of the daily SuperExspress, after the paper's
staff scheduled a press conference to demonstrate how easily explosives
can be acquired in Poland. Lindenberg said he needed only three hours
and $2,000 to procure explosives from the anti-terrorist brigade at
Okecie Airport. He has been charged with illegal possession of
explosives. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK OPPOSITION PARTIES CRITICIZE PARLIAMENT SESSION. Koloman Pranay,
deputy chairman of the extraparliamentary Democratic Party, said on 13
March that the parliament's fifth session confirmed that the governing
coalition places its own interests above those of society. He cited the
setting up of what he called the unnecessary Ministry of Construction
and Public Works, the increased powers of state secretaries, the passage
of the "scandalous" budget for the National Property Fund, and the
reduced budget for towns and villages, Pravda reported. Meanwhile, the
Democratic Union said the session had centralized control in the hands
of the governing coalition, limiting the power of one of the country's
last independent institutions, the Slovak Information Service, Narodna
obroda reported. Party of the Democratic Left Chairman Peter Weiss
criticized the "schizophrenia" of the government parties. He said that
Association of Slovak Workers Chairman Jan Luptak's declaration on
Slovakia's neutrality during the recent workers' conference in Banska
Bystrica conflicts with the cabinet's program. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI,
Inc.

CLINTON ON SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN TREATY. U.S. President Bill Clinton, in a
letter to Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar, has praised Slovak efforts at
concluding a basic treaty with Hungary, Narodna obroda reports. Clinton
wrote "I was pleased by the news of your efforts leading to the signing
of the basic agreement with Hungary . . . Resolving the potential
sources of misunderstanding and tension in Central Europe is the most
important condition for stability in this region and the future of
European integration." Meetings between Slovak and Hungarian officials
continue in Bratislava and Budapest in an effort to secure the final
wording of the treaty, which Meciar and his Hungarian counterpart, Gyula
Horn, hope to sign by 20 March. If necessary, Meciar and Horn will meet
later this week in an effort to work out final details, Sme reported on
13 March. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL MISSION IN SLOVAKIA. Russian Security
Council Secretary Oleg Lobov, in Slovakia for a four-day official
working visit, has met with Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar and
Defense Minister Jan Sitek to discuss cooperation in the production of
military equipment. One project involves setting up a Russian-Slovak
holding company in Povazska Bystrica for the production of RD-35 motors
for Russian JAK 130 planes, Pravda reported. Lobov will also visit
defense industry firms in Dubnica nad Vahom and Trencin. His visit comes
after an agreement on cooperation in aircraft production signed during
Russian Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin's trip to Slovakia in mid-February.
-- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN TANKS MOVE INTO KRAJINA. The New York Times reported on 14 March
that "in the last couple of days, there has been a considerable movement
of tanks into eastern Croatia from Serbia" in apparent anticipation that
international monitors will soon be stationed on that border. Reuters
says that the U.S. has a draft proposal that would place about 5,000
troops in Croatia under a new mandate after UNPROFOR's expires on 31
March. Some 500-600 troops would patrol crossings on Croatia's borders
with Serbia and Bosnia and the whole force might be under the
supervision of the Contact Group, according to the Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WILL THE SERBS AGREE TO THE US-CROATIAN DEAL? American diplomats said
the Krajina Serbs have already given their tacit approval to the
project, but other observers doubt this. One Krajina spokesman said "no
one has the right to push us toward Croatia." The New York Times
suggests that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic will have the last
word in any case. The Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung and Nasa Borba point
to a fierce power struggle in Krajina between local strong men and those
taking their cues from Milosevic. The New York paper and Croatian
officials call the new situation "a triumph" for President Franjo
Tudjman, who has attracted international attention and obtained Western
pledges for troops to be stationed between the Krajina Serbs and their
allies in Serbia and Bosnia. The VOA said on 13 March that U.S. soldiers
will probably play a part. Government-controlled Croatian dailies on 14
March paint a rosy picture of domestic reaction. But some opposition
parties expressed doubts or criticism, while the BBC's Croatian Service
quotes The Independent as saying many Croatian refugees from Krajina
fear they will never be able to go home. Many Croats feel that any
international presence on the front lines with the Krajina Serbs will
mean the continued partition of their country. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

CROATS AND MUSLIMS REACH NEW POLITICAL AGREEMENT . . .  Nasa Borba and
the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on 11 March that leaders of
the Bosnian Croats and Muslims concluded a pact in Bonn the previous day
to strengthen their federation. Federal President Kresimir Zubak and
Vice President Ejup Ganic called for a series of steps to promote joint
communal and cantonal government structures as well as measures to be
considered by a federal constituent assembly. Details appear sketchy,
but the thrust seems to be to establish a strict timetable and to create
a police system that would facilitate movement and permit refugees to go
home. The two leaders stressed that the federation is open to the
Bosnian Serbs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

. . . BUT MILITARY LINKS SEEM LESS FIRM. Nasa Borba on 11 March also
quoted Bosnian civilian and military authorities as saying that the
Bosnian-Croatian joint staff set up on 6 March will play only a
coordinating role and that Sarajevo will retain command over Bosnian
forces. Previous reports suggested there would be a truly unified
command headed by Croatian Chief-of-Staff General Janko Bobetko. Some
sort of military integration will nonetheless be necessary, since the
republics have common enemies and since close links between Zagreb and
Sarajevo seem the best way of bringing Herzegovinian Croat military
units into line with Bosnian government forces. Relations have soured in
recent days because of what the Herzegovinian Croats call the kidnapping
of General Vlado Santic in the Bihac pocket by Bosnian government forces
on 8 March. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN MAYOR BANS MAGYAR RALLIES. Gheorghe Funar, controversial mayor
of Cluj, has banned rallies planned by ethnic Hungarians to mark
Hungary's national holiday on 15 March. Funar, who is also president of
the extreme nationalist Party of Romanian National Unity, was quoted by
Reuters as saying he has banned all public meetings because several
organizations, including Romanian nationalist groups, applied to hold
rallies the same day. A leader of the Cluj branch of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania described Funar's ban as "illegal" and
said that ethnic Hungarians would ignore it. Meanwhile, Radio Bucharest
on 13 March reported that Funar has urged Romanian President Ion Iliescu
to consult all parliament parties on the draft treaty with Hungary.
Funar sharply criticized the provisions of the treaty requiring Romania
to guarantee the rights of its large Hungarian minority and Hungary to
recognize existing borders. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PRIVATIZATION MINISTER IN ROMANIA. Jiri Skalicky on 13 March began
a two-day visit to Romania, Radio Bucharest reported. Skalicky, who is
heading a delegation of experts, met with Mircea Cosea, head of the
Romanian government's Council for Economic Coordination, Strategy, and
Reform, to discuss progress toward privatization in their countries.
Cosea asked for technical assistance in implementing a new Romanian law
on speeding up privatization, which is expected to pass soon through the
Chamber of Deputies. The two ministers also expressed willingness to
expand mutual economic ties. Skalicky is scheduled to meet with Romanian
President Ion Iliescu and Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

NATO OFFICIAL IN BULGARIA. NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe George
Joulwan arrived in Sofia on 13 March for a two-day official visit, BTA
reported the same day. Joulwan, who was invited by Bulgarian Chief of
Staff Tsvetan Totomirov, will discuss Bulgaria's participation in NATO's
Partnership for Peace program. Asked if Russian aversion toward NATO's
expansion eastward has consequences for Bulgaria's possible NATO
membership, Joulwan said this is a decision only Bulgaria can take. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN OFFICER ARRESTED IN MOSCOW. Reserve Colonel Stoyan Tsakov,
former deputy head of the Bulgarian Defense Ministry's Supply and Trade
Department, was arrested in Moscow on 10 March, 24 chasa reported on 14
March. Tsakov was dismissed last year together with his superior,
Colonel Valentin Popinski. Both have been charged in connection with an
alleged arms deal with Albania in which 100 mortars disappeared and
probably ended up in the former Yugoslavia. "I escaped to Moscow in
order not to be killed in Sofia," Tsakov was quoted as saying. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER IN ALBANIA. Karolos Papoulias met with Foreign
Minister Alfred Serreqi in Tirana on 13 March, international agencies
reported the same day. Papoulias said his government was determined to
improve relations with Albania. The two ministers agreed to establish a
joint committee to regulate seasonal work for Albanians in Greece. They
also decided to open more border crossings and to develop economic,
educational, and military cooperation. Papoulias, who expressed concern
about the human rights situation of the ethnic Greek minority in
Albania, will meet with Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi and President
Sali Berisha on 14 March. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

SS-SEIZED GOLD TO RETURN TO ALBANIA. Albania and the U.S. on 10 March
signed an agreement on the return to Albania of gold worth $13 million
and the settlement of U.S. property claims in Albania, Gazeta Shqiptare
reported the next day. The gold, appropriated by Nazi Germany during
World War II, is currently in the Bank of England and remains under the
jurisdiction of an Anglo-French-U.S. commission, whose three members
must all agree to the return. Deputy Prime Minister Dylber Vrioni said a
similar agreement will be signed with France soon, Reuters reported on
10 March. Britain gave its consent in 1992. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

[As of 1200 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
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