Part of the sercret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. - Mark Twain
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 69, Part II, 6 April 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.
Back issues of the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are
available through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/OMRI.html

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINIAN DEMOCRATS DEMAND PARLIAMENT SPEAKER'S RESIGNATION. Several
hundred members and supporters of Ukrainian democratic parties and
organizations picketed the parliament building on 5 April demanding the
resignation of parliament speaker Oleksander Moroz and his deputy,
Oleksander Tkachenko, Ukrainian Television and ITAR-TASS reported the
same day. Leaders of such groups as Rukh, the Democratic Party of
Ukraine, and the Ukrainian Christian Democratic Party accused Moroz and
Tkachenko of blocking implementation of reforms and supporting attempts
by the leftist parliament majority to revive the communist regime in
Ukraine. They also charged the parliament leaders with corruption,
pointing to the recent arrest of one of Moroz's close aides for
allegedly embezzling government funds. Moroz maintains the charges are
false and part of a politically motivated conspiracy against him. He has
threatened to file libel suits against his critics. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN KGB DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ELECTIONS. Uladzimir Kuzhanau,
deputy head of the Belarusian KGB press service, has denied that the KGB
has been assigned to interfere in the upcoming parliament elections in
Belarus by intimidating some candidates, Radio Rossii reported on 4
April. Kuzhanau was responding to a statement by Zyanon Paznyak, the
leader of the nationalist opposition Belarusian Popular Front. He said
allegations of unlawful KGB activities in connection with the elections
were slander and propaganda stunts by some politicians. Belarusian radio
on 3 April reported that the majority of deputies will be running for
re-election in May. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

VAHI APPROVED AS ESTONIAN PREMIER. The Estonian parliament on 5 April
voted 62 to 34 with one abstention to approve the nomination of Tiit
Vahi, chairman of the election-winning Coalition Party and Rural Union
alliance, as prime minister, BNS reported. Vahi has seven days to
present his cabinet to President Lennart Meri, who will then have three
days to approve it. Vahi said before the vote that the coalition
partners would continue the market reforms launched by the previous
government. But he added that more attention would be paid to people in
rural areas by working out effective farm credit regulations. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ASIAN REFUGEE PROBLEM IN LATVIA REMAINS UNRESOLVED. The 100 or so Asian
refugees whom Latvia wants to deport to Russia remain confined to two
wagons on a siding at the Karsava railroad station, Western agencies
reported on 5 April. Sholastika Maksimenkova, chairperson of the Ludza
district Red Cross, which is taking care of the refugees, complained
that her staff was allowed only limited access to the wagons and had to
obtain permission from the border guard commander for each visit. Local
farmers and businesses have been donating food. Interior Minister Janis
Adamsons told a press conference in Riga that the refugees might be
moved to a nearby camp, but upgrading the facility would take time and
require $800,000--funds that Latvia does not have. -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN DESERTERS LEAVE LITHUANIA. Russian soldiers Alexander Vaselkov
and Ruslan Kurdiukov, who asked for political asylum in Lithuania on 27
March to avoid serving in Chechnya, were handed over to representatives
of the Russian embassy in Vilnius on 4 April and then returned to
Kaliningrad, BNS reported. They had requested to return to Russia,
apparently appeased by embassy officials who assured them they would not
be punished or sent to Chechnya. Lithuanian Foreign Ministry officials
said they had no grounds to reject Russia's repeated requests to
extradite the soldiers because the two countries signed a legal
assistance treaty providing for the return of criminals. Moreover,
Lithuania has not yet passed a law on refugee status and therefore
cannot grant political asylum. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PREMIER WANTS NATO DECISION ON EXPANSION. Jozef Oleksy, visiting
NATO headquarters in Brussels on 5 April, said Poland expects NATO to
make a "concrete decision" to expand eastward in 1996, Rzeczpospolita
reported. Oleksy chose Brussels for his first trip abroad since becoming
prime minister to emphasize that European integration is Poland's
foreign policy priority. At a Warsaw press conference, Oleksy dismissed
Russian objections to Polish membership. "This is a matter between
Poland and NATO," he stressed. He told NATO ambassadors that delay in
accepting Poland into NATO would disillusion the Polish public and
encourage "other countries" to voice ever stronger reservations about
expanding the alliance. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

WALESA TO MARK WWII ANNIVERSARY IN WARSAW. President Lech Walesa on 5
April announced he will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Victory Day
in Poland, having turned down invitations to attend ceremonies in London
and Moscow. "Years after the collapse of communism and the fall of the
Berlin Wall, Europe remains divided, and there are still better and
worse Europeans," Walesa said in a statement quoted by Gazeta Wyborcza.
-- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH TRIBUNAL RULES AGAINST WALESA. The Constitutional Tribunal on 5
April ruled that its interpretations of legislation are binding from the
time the law in question took force, rather than from the moment of the
ruling itself. The decision was prompted by a May 1994 ruling that
President Lech Walesa acted unlawfully in removing Marek Markiewicz as
National Broadcasting Council chairman in connection with the granting
of the country's only private TV license to the PolSat company. Walesa's
lawyers argued at the time that Markiewicz could not be reinstated
because the tribunal's ruling did not have retroactive effect--an
argument rejected by the tribunal. Some council members argued on 5
April that Markiewicz should be reinstated. The procedural issues remain
unclear, however, as the council now functions under the chairmanship of
Walesa loyalist Janusz Zaorski. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAWS VETOED BY PRESIDENT. The parliament on 5
April approved again two laws vetoed by President Michal Kovac, Sme
reported. One of the laws transfers the power to appoint and remove the
Slovak Information Service director from the president to the
government, while the other deals with foreigners residing in Slovakia.
Premier Vladimir Meciar told the parliament that since its creation, the
SIS has opposed his Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. Of the 130
deputies present, 81 voted in favor of the SIS law. Opposition calls to
allow each parliament party to have representatives in the body
overseeing SIS activities were rejected. Deputies are also to consider a
proposal to vote on the dismissal of Miroslav Kocnar, a breakaway member
of the Association of Workers in Slovakia, from his post as chairman of
the parliament Mandate and Immunity Committee. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI,
Inc.

SLOVAK MINISTER ON PRIVATIZATION. Privatization Minister Peter Bisak, at
a press conference on 5 April, said property worth 258 billion koruny
will be sold in the second wave of privatization, Pravda reports. Of
this amount, 40 billion will be sold through the coupon method and 73
billion through direct sales, while 90 billion koruny will remain state-
owned. Government officials said earlier that property worth 50-55
billion koruny would be sold in the second wave of coupon privatization.
The previous government, which drew up the program, planned to sell
property valued at some 70 billion koruny. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

POLITICAL MOVEMENT AMONG BOSNIAN SERBS. AFP on 4 April reported that the
Bosnian Serb parliament will meet next week to discuss Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic's plans for a federation with Krajina. He has
been pressing for closer ties between the two rebel Serbian states,
while the Krajina leadership has been divided over how far to embrace
him, given that he has fallen out with Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic. Meanwhile, news agencies said on 5 April that a delegation of
Bosnian Serbs loyal to the government in Sarajevo returned pleased from
their first official visit to Serbia. They met with numerous politicians
close to Milosevic and in the opposition, as well as Orthodox Patriarch
Pavle. The delegates, representing 200,000 Serbs living on Bosnian
government-controlled territory, expressed optimism that Serbia's
political climate is changing for the better. AFP on 4 April quoted a
Bosnian diplomat who met with Milosevic in late March as being similarly
optimistic about the prospects for Belgrade's recognizing Sarajevo,
although his first public remarks after the meetings were much more
sober. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MILITARY ACTIVITY IN EASTERN CROATIA. AFP on 5 April reported that
Croatian troops are quietly moving into the UN-controlled Sector West,
around Daruvar in Slavonia. The UN's future mandate in the area remains
unclear, and it is widely believed that Zagreb wants UNPROFOR out of the
sector. UN sources speculated that Croatia is anxious to achieve the
appearance of a military success at little or no real cost. The big
prize remains Sector East, beyond Osijek, which is rich in oil and
agricultural resources and which many think Milosevic plans to annex as
his price for supporting an eventual peace settlement. Reuters reported
that Krajina authorities have suspended permission for UNPROFOR patrols
in eastern Croatia. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

HERZEGOVINIAN CROATS KIDNAP THEIR BISHOP. Western and Croatian media
reported on 5 April that an angry mob of Croats in Mostar abducted
Bishop Ratko Peric and his secretary four days earlier. The two men were
held in a car at a Franciscan monastery for eight hours before being
released. Peric previously ordered that diocesan priests replace
Franciscans in Mostar. Tensions between the regular clergy and the
friars date back to the Middle Ages. The hierarchy in Zagreb and Rome
regards the Franciscans as unruly and too nationalist, while many
ordinary Croats in Herzegovina consider them to be truly close to the
people. Vjesnik reported on 6 April that Croatian primate Cardinal
Franjo Kuharic condemned the kidnapping in his name and in that of the
pope. Nasa Borba added that Pope John Paul II marked the third
anniversary of the war in Bosnia by issuing yet another call for peace
and reconciliation. In Banja Luka, news agencies on 4 April reported
that Bosnian Serb authorities denied a Belgian cardinal permission to
visit the town's dwindling Roman Catholic community. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN FARMERS SCORN "SUPER DINAR." Nasa Borba on 6 April reported that
farmers in Serbia's Sumadija district are the latest to express a lack
of confidence in the stability of rump Yugoslavia's currency, the dinar.
They are now asking the government for payments in sugar refined from
locally produced sugar beets, and not in cash. The "super dinar" was
pegged to the value of the German mark at an exchange rate of 1:1 in
January 1994. But it recently plunged in value, trading on Belgrade
streets at a rate of 5:1. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

NINE ETHNIC ALBANIAN POLICEMEN ON TRIAL IN KOSOVO. The trial of nine
ethnic Albanian former policemen and members of the Independent Trade
Unions of Kosovo began in the Kosovar town of Pec on 5 April, the
Albanian-language service of Deutsche Welle reported the same day. The
Albanians, who were arrested during a police crackdown in November 1994
in which more than 200 people were taken into custody, are charged with
separatism and creating a shadow-state police force. The accused deny
the charges, saying their only concern was trade union interests.
Meanwhile, Serbian police arrested the mother of Yussuf Gervalla, a
Kosovar political activist who was killed in German exile in 1982 by the
Yugoslav secret police. Deutsche Welle, however, said that the motives
behind the arrest are unclear. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN MOSCOW. Gheorghe Tinca on 5 April began a
three-day visit to Moscow, Rompres and ITAR-TASS reported. He met the
same day with his Russian counterpart, Pavel Grachev, with whom he
discussed, among other things, increased military-technology
cooperation. Preliminary agreements were reached on joint military
exercises, exchange programs for military experts, Russian servicing of
Romanian military equipment, and the use of Russian communication
satellites by Romania. Tinca and Grachev also discussed the two
countries' differing views on NATO's eastward expansion. Before
departing for Moscow, Tinca told ITAR-TASS that Russia was practically
the only state in Eastern Europe capable of ensuring its own defense
without having to join military alliances. Romania was the first state
to enroll in NATO's Partnership for Peace program. -- Michael Shafir,
OMRI, Inc.

U.S. SAYS ROMANIA COMMITTED TO NPT. The U.S. Embassy in Bucharest,
responding to reports that Romania tried to develop a nuclear weapon,
said on 5 April that the U.S. was satisfied that Bucharest was committed
to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the "exclusively peaceful
use of nuclear energy," Reuters reported the same day. The embassy said
that Romanian press reports resurrecting a 1992 story about plutonium
production in Romania were "inaccurate and misleading." The reports
cited the discovery in 1992 of 2 milligrams of plutonium that Romanian
scientists had separated from a fuel rod on a research reactor.
Discovery of the plutonium extraction project in 1992 prompted
Washington to ban Bucharest from importing nuclear products. President
Bill Clinton has waived the order, the embassy said. -- Michael Shafir,
OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON CHISINAU STRIKE. Radio Bucharest, citing Radio
Moscow, reported on 5 April that Mircea Snegur hopes to soon make
proposals leading to an end to the strike in Chisinau within one month.
He noted that he intends to use his presidential prerogative to initiate
legislation in the parliament but added that this takes time. He
appealed for an end to the protest actions and urged striking students
to resume attending classes. Radio Bucharest and Romanian Television on
5 April reported that the students are calling for the resignation of
Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli and Minister of Education Petru Gaugas.
Members of the strikers' committee put up tents the same day in front of
the parliament building, saying they would stay there as long as the
strike continues. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

PERSONNEL CHANGES IN BULGARIAN SECURITY SERVICES. The Supreme Judicial
Council on 5 April elected Boyko Rashkov as interim director of the
National Investigation Service, Otechestven Front reported the following
day. He will hold this post until the council elects a permanent
successor to Ani Kruleva. The council on 29 March voted to dismiss
Kruleva as director on grounds of incompetence. Rashkov is one of six
deputy directors of the National Investigation Service and head of the
Sofia Investigation Service. Also on 5 April, Interior Minister Lyubomir
Nachev appointed Lieut.-Col. Pavel Nikolov as deputy director of the
National Security Service. He replaces Lieut.-Col. Borislav Rangelov,
who was dismissed on 4 April. According to Otechestven Front, another
three high-ranking officials in the National Security Service are to be
fired in the next few days. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK-MACEDONIAN TALKS UNCERTAIN. Radio Skopje on 4 April, citing
Matthew Nimetz, U.S. President Bill Clinton's special mediator in the
dispute between Greece and Macedonia, reports that the date for direct
bilateral talks is still not known. Greek officials said earlier that
talks were scheduled to begin in New York on 6 April under UN mediator
Cyrus Vance. Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, in an
interview with Le Monde on 4 April, said that Macedonia is willing to
negotiate but "it's difficult to negotiate seriously while the [Greek
embargo against Macedonia] remains in effect." The interview prompted
speculations in the Greek press that Macedonia might be willing to start
talks even with the embargo in place. Greece has said the embargo will
remain in force during the talks, while Macedonia has insisted it will
not negotiate unless the blockade is lifted. Greek diplomatic circles
said there is not enough time to start talks on 6 April, the Athens
daily Elevtherotypia reported on 4 April. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIA SIGNS GAS DEAL WITH RUSSIA. Albania has signed an agreement with
the Greek-Russian company Promitheas providing it with 1 billion cubic
meters of Russian natural gas per year, AFP reported on 5 April. The
pipeline, which runs from Russia via Bulgaria and Greece, is still under
construction. According to a Greek-Russian agreement, it is scheduled to
carry 50 billion cubic meters of gas for a period of 25 years beginning
in December 1995. A pipeline to Albania will also be built. Albania has
a 300 km natural gas network that has been out of use since Albanian gas
reserves were exhausted. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN SOCIALIST LEADER'S CASE TO BE REVIEWED? The case of Albanian
Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano, who still has 4 years and 10 months
of a 12-year prison term to serve, will probably be reviewed later this
year, international agencies reported on 4 April. Nano was found guilty
of embezzlement and falsification of documents. His sentence has been
reduced in several amnesties following international protests, but the
opposition has repeatedly called for his release. The Interparliamentary
Union, which has complained about human rights violations in Nano's
arrest, detention, and trial, requested that his case be reviewed.
Government officials said the review may take place when a new
procedural law comes into effect later this year. -- 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
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