Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. - John Lennon
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 54, Part II, 16 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

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT POSTPONES DEBATE OVER DUAL CITIZENSHIP BILL. The
Crimean legislature voted on 15 March to delay debate over a bill that
would provide for joint Russian-Ukrainian citizenship, Interfax-Ukraine
reported the same day. Such a provision would contravene the Ukrainian
Constitution. Serhiy Tsekov, who was recently reinstated as parliament
speaker, urged deputies to postpone the debate to avoid destabilizing
the situation in the autonomous region and complicating Russian-
Ukrainian relations. The issue of dual citizenship has been a major
sticking point in those relations. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN LEGISLATORS CRITICIZE DRAFT BUDGET. Members of several
commissions of the Ukrainian parliament have expressed disapproval of
the government's 1995 draft budget, Interfax-Ukraine reported 15 March.
Deputies from both the Left and the Right complained about the austerity
measures and cuts in both social spending and subsidies to ailing
industries and farms. Legislators said the draft, which aims to cut the
budget deficit to 7.3% of GDP, unjustifiably calls for increased
spending for the military. It would also cut spending for law
enforcement by half. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE TO SELL BOMBERS TO RUSSIA AT BARGAIN PRICE. Segodnya on 14 March
reported that Ukraine has agreed to sell Russia the strategic bombers it
inherited from the Soviet Air Force for $75 million, the sum offered by
the Russians. Ukraine had originally demanded $800 million for the 19
Tu-160 "Blackjack" supersonic jets and the 25 Tu-95MS "Bear" turboprop
missile-carrying aircraft left on its territory. Ukraine had no use for
the strategic bombers and could afford neither to fly nor to destroy
them. Segodnya said the bombers--and some cruise-missiles carried by
them--would be handed over to Russia in May. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS PRIVATIZATION DECREE. Belarusian Radio on 14
March reported that Alyaksandr Lukashenka has issued a decree renewing
the country's privatization program, which was suspended last summer
because of abuses and irregularities. The decree calls for the creation
of a data base that would inventory and evaluate all state assets. It
also instructs local authorities and the Ministry for State Property and
Privatization to work out a privatization program for communal
properties by 20 March. All shops, public catering facilities, cargo
transportation, and other services are to be privatized by the end of
the year. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN STRATEGIC MISSILES OUT OF BELARUS BY JULY. Interfax quoted the
chief of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces press center as announcing
on 15 March that the remaining SS-25 "Topel" strategic intercontinental
ballistic missiles would be withdrawn from Belarus by 25 July. Col.
Vladimir Krivomazov said 18 of the single-warhead mobile missiles were
stationed near Lida, along the Lithuanian border, and another 18 in
Mozyr, in southeastern Belarus, near the border with Ukraine. Krivomazov
said that while the missiles and their warheads would be returned to
Russia by July, it would take until the end of the year to withdraw all
the missile divisions' other equipment. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIA, RUSSIA SIGN PROTOCOL ON BORDER GUARDS. Col. Gen. Andrei
Nikolaev, head of the Russian Federal Border Guard Service, and Tarmo
Kouts, director-general of the Estonian Border Defense Department,
signed on 15 March a protocol regulating the activities of the two
countries' border guards and a plan for cooperation in 1995, Interfax
reported. They also coordinated a draft protocol on temporary
regulations for simplifying border crossing rules for residents of
border territories. Nikolaev, who was on a three-day visit to Tallinn,
invited his Estonian colleagues to observe the Russian border guards'
spring maneuvers, codenamed Zapad (West). -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN PREMIER FIRES LATVE-NERGO BOARD. Maris Gailis has dismissed the
board of the state company Latvenergo, the largest energy monopoly in
Latvia, BNS reported on 15 March. He justified this move by saying the
board had ignored recommendations by the State Auditing Office. Gailis
named State Energy Minister Juris Ozolins to take over the board's
duties until new members are appointed within a week. The government the
previous day agreed to recapitalize Latvenergo based on the
recommendations of an economic and technical analysis of the company to
be carried out by the Deutsche Bank. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH TAX RATES RULED ILLEGAL. The Constitutional Tribunal on 15 March
ruled that the 1995 tax law is unconstitutional because it took effect
after the start of the calendar year, violating the principle that the
law cannot have retroactive effect. The law retained the higher rates of
21%, 33%, and 45% that were imposed temporarily in 1993, rather than
restore the 20%, 30%, and 40% rates previously in force. After the Sejm
overrode a presidential veto last year, President Lech Walesa twice
challenged the law before the tribunal. Under Poland's current
constitution, the Sejm can override tribunal verdicts with a two-thirds
majority. The coalition's votes fall just short of this mark. In order
to get the necessary votes to override the president's veto in December,
the government struck a bargain with the left-wing Union of Labor,
promising to introduce a new 18% tax rate for low-income families in
1996. The new government will likely be forced to reaffirm that pledge
to secure necessary support in the Sejm. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

MORE CHURCH-STATE SPARRING IN POLAND. "The acceptance of capitalism does
not in itself signify a rejection of Marxist principles," Polish Primate
Cardinal Jozef Glemp told a press conference on 15 March. Glemp was
commenting on the Democratic Left Alliance's (SLD) indignant response to
his statement that Poland remains a "people's republic." Poland has yet
to "settle accounts" with the past and, in a moral sense, with former
communists, according to Glemp. "The shape of the new constitution will
prove whether the government is communist or not," Glemp said. Gazeta
Wyborcza reported that the primate will soon meet with Prime Minister
Jozef Oleksy. Meanwhile, Oleksy's seeming support for ratification of
the concordat has prompted fierce protests from within his own
(generally anti-clerical) SLD. The Sejm on 15 March voted down a motion
from the Polish Peasant Party to debate the Sejm committee report
concluding that the concordat does not violate the current constitution.
-- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

NO MORE POLISH TANKS FOR IRAN? Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski,
responding to a question from a Western journalist, announced on 14
March that Poland is halting its sale of tanks to Iran, PAP reported. He
said that the previous government of Waldemar Pawlak had decided to wind
up such trade and that it was the new government's intention to continue
that policy. In the 1980s, Poland's communist government supplied more
than 1,000 tanks to Iran. Recent Polish tank sales to that country were
not public knowledge. Col. Jerzy Kade, director of the defense
department in the Polish Ministry of Industry and Trade, took exception
to Barto-szewski's announcement. He told PAP on 15 March that "Our
position is that our obligations must be ful-filled . . . . We shall
agree to end the sales when the Americans show us the way to other
markets, or compensate for our losses." The agency noted that there was
no UN embargo on arms sales to Iran. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

POPE TO VISIT CZECH REPUBLIC AND POLAND IN MAY. The Vatican confirmed on
15 March that Pope John Paul II will visit the Czech Republic and his
native Poland in May, Czech media reported. He is due to visit Prague
and Olomouc in Moravia, where he will canonize a medieval Czech saint.
It will be the Pope's second visit to the Czech Republic; the first was
in 1991. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

NEW COMMUNIST PARTY FOUNDED IN CZECH REPUBLIC. The Party of Czechoslovak
Communists (SCK) was registered with the Czech Interior Ministry on 10
March, Rude pravo reported on 16 March. Among the founders of the party
is a leading member of the former communist regime, Miroslav Stepan, who
served a jail sentence for abuse of power after putting down student
demonstrations in 1988 and 1989. A spokesman for the existing Communist
Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), which has 10 seats in the 200-
member parliament, told Rude pravo that the creation of the new party
will strengthen the KSCM. It will be clear to the public that the SCK is
formed of "ambitious political bankrupts who . . . admit that they
themselves contributed to the fall of socialism and who now would like
to take control of the Left," the spokesman said. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI,
Inc.

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER ON RELATIONS WITH HUNGARY. Juraj Schenk, on
returning from Budapest on 15 March, told reporters that six questions
have to be resolved before the Slovak-Hungarian basic treaty can be
signed, Pravda reported. Those issues, he said, related mainly to the
Danube River and Gabcikovo dam project, the drawing of the common
border, and the question of minorities, particularly the interpretation
of European standards. Emphasizing that territorial autonomy for
minorities is "unacceptable," Schenk stressed that "the Slovak side
wants to sign a pact of stability, not a pact of instability." Premiers
Vladimir Meciar and Gyula Horn, scheduled to meet in Komarno on 16
March, hope to sign the treaty before the Conference on the Pact of
Stability opens in Paris on 21 March. In related news, Hungarian
Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Bela Bugar told Sme on 15 March
that contrary to allegations made by Meciar on Slovak Television the
previous day, "the Hungarian proposal does not discuss territorial
autonomy." Bugar added that his party does not support territorial
autonomy but rather educational and cultural autonomy. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

U.S. BRINGS TOGETHER LEADERS FROM CROATIA AND BOSNIA. Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman left for the U.S. on 15 March for talks on the new
international force to be deployed in his country. He will also attend a
ceremony and discussions with American, Croatian, and Bosnian leaders to
mark the first anniversary of the Croatian-Muslim federation and to help
shore it up. Participants include Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic,
Defense Minister Gojko Susak, Bosnian federal President Kresimir Zubak,
and Vice President Ejup Ganic. Tatjana Ljujic-Mijatovic will represent
the "forgotten Serbs" of Bosnia and Herzegovina who remain loyal to the
multiethnic republic, news agencies report. Nasa Borba on 16 March says
that Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic will also attend. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SESELJ OFF TO BOSNIA. Among the issues to be discussed in Washington is
the case of Herzegovinian General Vlado Santic, whom the Croats claim
was kidnapped by Muslims on 8 March. The Muslims deny that account,
which nonetheless still appears daily in the Croatian press. Meanwhile,
Nasa Borba reports on 16 March that Serbian Radical Party leader
Vojislav Seselj is in Bosnia. An official of his party told reporters
that he has 1,000 "volunteers" from Sandzak, "who will be a decisive
factor in solving the national problem of the [Bosnian] Serbs." Seselj's
paramilitary forces were among the most notorious shock troops and
"ethnic cleansers" in the Croatian and Bosnian conflicts. Finally, UN
officials told journalists that the Serbian blockade of Bihac is causing
widespread hunger and malnutrition. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BALKAN DIPLOMATIC UPDATE. Nasa Borba reported on 16 March that
Macedonia, like Croatia, also wants the mandate for UNPROFOR troops
stationed there changed. It appears that Skopje is pleased with the work
of the peacekeepers but wants them to have an organizational structure
distinct from that of UNPROFOR in Croatia and Bosnia. The independent
Belgrade daily goes on to say that Greek Foreign Minister Karolos
Papoulias is off to the Serbian capital to brief President Slobodan
Milosevic on his talks last week with the foreign ministers of Bosnia
and Iran. Vecernji list adds that Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister Ivo
Sanader has just returned from Athens. In an interview with the daily,
he stressed that relations between Croatia and Greece, a traditional
ally of Serbia, were good and friendly. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

RUMP YUGOSLAV ARMY OFFICERS ARRESTED. Nasa Borba on 16 March reported
that three rump Yugoslav army officers have been arrested and charged
with spying for Croatia. According to Tanjug accounts, "the security
service of the Yugoslav army and the security service of the Serbian
Interior Ministry put an end to the intelligence activities" of Lts.
Zoltan Kovac and Benjamin Zuban and Captain Enver Cavkusic. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN LEGISLATORS END BOYCOTT OF MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT. A number of
ethnic Albanian deputies in the Macedonian parliament took part in the
parliament session on 15 March, Flaka reported the next day. The
deputies, who boycotted the legislature after the police crackdown on
the Albanian-language university in Tetovo on 17 February, said they
will try to reach an "institutional solution" to the question of higher
education in Albanian. Members of the Democratic Peoples' Party and
independent candidates from the Arber Xhaferi group continued their
boycott. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVENIA BEGINS TALKS WITH EU. International news agencies on 15 March
reported that Slovenia's Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler has opened talks
with the European Union aimed at concluding an association agreement.
Italy recently dropped its veto against Ljubljana's efforts to reach
such an agreement. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA'S MAGYARS MARK HUNGARIAN NATIONAL DAY. Ceremonies marking the
147th anniversary of Hungary's 1848 revolution took place on 15 March in
many towns in Transylvania and the Banat with large ethnic Hungarian
populations, Radio Bucharest reported. More than 10,000 people
participated in a rally in Sfantu Gheorghe, while some 5,000 people
gathered in Targu Secuiesc. Bela Marko, leader of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania, and Erno Rudas, the Hungarian
ambassador to Bucharest, attended the meetings in Targu Secuiesc and
Targu Mures. In Cluj, some 300 people, ignoring a ban by the town's
extreme nationalist mayor Gheorghe Funar, laid wreaths at monuments
honoring 1848 revolutionaries. No incidents were reported, but Radio
Bucharest quoted Funar as protesting the presence of diplomats from the
Hungarian, U.S., and Swedish embassies in Bucharest at the Cluj
ceremonies. Funar noted that those embassies did not send
representatives to celebrations of Romania's national holiday on 1
December. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

NATIONAL BLOC SET UP IN ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest on 15 March reported
that three political parties have formed an alliance called the
"National Bloc." The organizations are the extreme nationalist Greater
Romania Party (PRM), the Romanian Party for a New Society, and the
Bratianu Liberal Union. The protocols of the new alliance were signed at
the PRM's headquarters by the leaders of the three formations. The name
"National Bloc" was used previously to designate a group in the Romanian
Senate that included the PRM and the Socialist Labor Party, Romania's
re-born communist party. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN OFFICIALS ON TRANSDNIESTER. Parliament chairman Petre Lucinschi
told the Tiraspol-based Soldat otechestva on 14 March that the Moldovan
leadership intends to publish its own version of a draft document on the
future status of the self-styled Dniester Republic unless a common
language with Tiraspol is found soon. According to Lucinschi, the draft
provides for broad territorial autonomy for that breakaway region,
including its own executive and legislative bodies. Interfax on 15 March
quoted Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Nicolae Osmochescu as saying
that the negotiations over the status of Transdniester were deadlocked,
with Tiraspol returning to the position adopted in September 1994. At
that time, Tiraspol proposed the signing of an interstate agreement
between Moldova and the self-styled republic. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN JUDICIAL COUNCIL CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION SERVICE HEAD TO BE
DISMISSED. The High Judicial Council on 15 March signed a proposal
asking President Zhelyu Zhelev to dismiss Ani Kruleva, head of the
National Investigation Service, Demokratsiya reported the following day.
The council said that during the last three years, the service's work
had deteriorated under her leadership, and it accused her of serving
"political interests." Kruleva was quoted as saying that "these are
accusations against all my colleagues." The High Judicial Council is
expected to vote for Kruleva's dismissal next week. Under the law on the
judiciary, the president has to issue a decree on dismissing Kruleva. If
the council votes in favor of her dismissal for a second time, he is
obliged to accept the decision. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN ARMS FACTORIES TO BE PRIVATIZED. Minister of Industry Kliment
Vuchev wants to privatize the country's military industry, Standart
reported on 16 March. Under a law passed by the parliament in 1992, the
sale of arms factories is prohibited until the end of 1995. But Vuchev
said the government can ask the moratorium to be lifted before that
date. The ministry plans to sell 60 factories and to begin privatization
procedures for another 70. Vuchev also said that some 100 firms may have
to be closed, as there are no prospects for selling or reconstructing
them. -- Stefan Krause, 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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