Человек - это то, во что он верит. - А. П. Чехов
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 76, Part II, 18 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 PRESIDENT TO ORGANIZE POLL? UNIAR on 14 April quoted President
Leonid Kuchma as saying he will not dissolve parliament over the dispute
on presidential and local powers. But he added that he may organize a
poll in May on whether citizens have confidence in the president and in
the parliament. Under Ukrainian law, a poll is not legally binding but
will strengthen the president's hand in dealing with the legislature.
Kuchma has reportedly been considering such a poll since the debate
began over his decree on state government and local authority. Also on
14 April, Kuchma issued a decree rescinding five resolutions passed by
the Crimean parliament that contravened Ukraine's legislation, UNIAN
reported. The resolutions dealt with excise duties, exports, and land
rentals in Crimea. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

40% OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN UKRAINE TRANSFERRED TO RUSSIA. Oleksandr
Serdyuk, head of Ukraine's nuclear forces control center, said on 17
April that Ukraine has transferred to Russia some 40% of the nuclear
arms once on its territory, UNIAN and Interfax reported. Serdyuk was
apparently including tactical nuclear weapons in this total, since he
confirmed that only 40 of the 176 strategic missiles in Ukraine have
been dismantled. He also announced that two more strategic nuclear
regiments would be taken off duty at the end of April and the warheads
on their 20 SS-19 missiles returned to Russia. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI,
Inc.

BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULINGS. The Constitutional Court has
ruled that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's decree authorizing state
television to issue broadcasting licenses to other companies violates
anti-monopoly laws, Reuters reported on 14 April. State television was
ordered to reorganize by 1 July. But the court upheld Lukashenka's
decree subordinating the state publishing house to the president's
office. It also supported Lukashenka's decree on state television and
radio. Opposition deputies accused Lukashenka of trying to monopolize
the country's electronic media and printing facilities. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN ELECTIONS OFF TO BAD START. Alyaksandr Abramovich, head of
the Central Election Commission, has said the government has allocated
only half of the 68 million Belarusian rubles ($6.5 million) promised to
finance the elections, Interfax reported on 17 April. Abramovich warned
earlier that the elections may not take place at all because of a lack
of funds. He also said that 10% of the registered candidates were
disqualified because of violations of the election law. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT SWORN IN. President Lennart Meri on 17 April swore
in the new government of Prime Minister Tiit Vahi, BNS reported. Meri
pledged his full support for the new government "which has committed
itself clearly and unambiguously to the priorities of Estonia's national
security--namely, the continuation of reforms and speedy integration
into the European Union and European defense structures." The parliament
must elect a new deputy chairman, since Edgar Savisaar vacates that post
on becoming interior minister and deputy prime minister. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN-ESTONIAN MARITIME BORDER DISPUTE. Estonian coast guard boats on
14-15 April stopped two Latvian fishing boats near the Estonian island
of Ruhnu some 2-3 nautical miles inside its 12-mile economic zone and
ordered them to leave, BNS reported on 17 April. Latvia has never agreed
to Estonia's unilateral demarcation in March 1993 of its maritime
borders in the Bay of Riga. It argues that the borders should be set by
an interstate agreement. Latvia's Fish-Farming Board senior specialist
Uldis Rinkis said there have been no conflicts between Latvian and
Estonian fishermen. He also noted that the number of fish caught by both
countries is regulated by the International Baltic Sea Fishing
Committee. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

WORLD BANK LOAN FOR LITHUANIA. The World Bank has approved an unusually
flexible loan to Lithuania to help strengthen its banking system and
support the development of private and newly privatized enterprises,
RFE/RL reported on 14 April. The loan consists of $22 million and 4.5
million German marks ($6.3 million). Half is to be repaid in a single
payment at the end of 10 years; the other half over 20 years. Sweden has
agreed to provide another $10 million to increase the capital funds of
commercial banks. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN CZECH REPUBLIC. Direct foreign investment in the
Czech Republic increased by almost 52% in 1994 to $862,400,000, Rude
pravo reported on 18 April. Citing data released by the Czech National
Bank, the paper said Germany accounted for by far the largest share of
last year's investment, with 48.4%. It was followed by Austria (9.2%),
France (8.9%), and the U.S. (4.6%). Since the demise of communism,
almost $3.1 billion have been invested in the Czech Republic.
Volkswagen's stake in the Skoda auto company, which became a majority
holding in 1994, is the biggest element in Germany's 36.2% share of the
total foreign investment since 1989. The U.S. comes next with 21.2%,
followed by France (11.6%), Austria (7%), and Belgium (6%). -- Steve
Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK OPPOSITION CRITICIZES CABINET. Representatives of the opposition
Democratic Union and Party of the Democratic Left, meeting on 13 April
to discuss ways to cooperate in the parliament, agreed that "an
authoritarian regime with a concentration of economic power" is being
built in Slovakia, Narodna obroda and Pravda reported on 15 April. PDL
Chairman Peter Weiss warned that the policies of the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia are becoming "right-wing to extreme right-wing." DU
Chairman Jozef Moravcik added that privatization is benefiting a narrow
group of individuals rather than citizens in general. He added that the
parliament can ratify the Hungarian-Slovak treaty only after the
conflict over the inclusion of Council of Europe Recommendation 1201 is
cleared up. Both parties warned that recent declarations by Slovak
National Party members glorifying Jozef Tiso, who was Slovak president
during World War II, are damaging the country's image abroad. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES TO FIGHT BLACK ECONOMY. The Hungarian
government, in a bid to channel illegal revenues from the black economy
to the state budget, has decided to set up a group charged with
investigating black market activities, Magyar Hirlap reported on 14
April. Elemer Kiss, state secretary in the Prime Minister's Office,
announced that the group will be composed of officials from the National
Police Headquarters, the Tax Office, the National Customs and Excise
Office, the Border Guards, and the National Security Office. He said the
group, to be headed by an official from the Prime Minister's Office,
will "strictly apply current legislation and exclude publicity." An
additional 250 police officers are to investigate economic crimes. --
Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC THREATENS WAR "UNTIL FINAL VICTORY." At a two-day session of
the Bosnian Serb parliament in Sanski Most, General Ratko Mladic spoke
for nearly three hours and lambasted the politicians for not doing
enough to win the war against the Bosnian government, Nasa Borba
reported on 17 April. The BBC said that the Bosnian Serb army is well
integrated with the armed forces of Serbia-Montenegro and Krajina and
that its only real problem is a shortage of manpower. But Mladic and his
fellow officers feel, the broadcast continued, that Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic and other civilians are interested in prolonging the
conflict so that they can profit from the black market in fuel and other
goods. Karadzic nonetheless told the parliament that he will press for a
military victory if a political solution proves impossible, Vecernji
list reported on 18 April. He also stressed the need to unite the
Bosnian Serb territories with Krajina. Nasa Borba, however, stresses
that Karadzic's aggressive words ring hollow in view of the deep
divisions between the military and civilians. Politika adds that the
parliament was characterized by a militant "Patton syndrome." -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS IN THE YUGOSLAV CRISIS. Montenegrin President Momir
Bulatovic has said that relations between the Bosnian Serbs and rump
Yugoslavia are getting better, according to Nasa Borba on 14 April.
Meanwhile in Sarajevo, two French peacekeepers were killed in separate
incidents over the Easter weekend. French television showed the second
killing, and Minister of Defense Francois Leotard flew to the Bosnian
capital to investigate the soldier's death at Serbian hands. The
minister threatened to withdraw French peacekeepers unless safety
improves, but Politika senses that Leotard's dramatic words may have
been prompted chiefly by considerations stemming from the upcoming
French presidential election. Vjesnik on 18 April quoted Bosnian Prime
Minister Haris Silajdzic as saying that the solution to the conflict in
his republic lies in the hands of the international community. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN UPDATE. Nasa Borba on 18 April suggested that relations between
Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic Party (DS), and former rump
Yugoslav President Dobrica Cosic are improving and may be aimed at a
political alliance. The daily quotes Djindjic as saying that Cosic is
"one of the people that we [the DS] are counting on" to exercise a
decisive influence over Serbian politics. Cosic responded by saying that
"I believe in the DS." Also on 18 April, the independent Belgrade daily
ran an article suggesting that sources in Russia are aiding Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on Serbia's independent media.
It reported that shipments of much-needed production materials are being
prevented from reaching their destinations in Serbia. -- Stan Markotich,
OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN BORDER PATROL KILLS ALBANIAN. A Macedonian border patrol
killed a 19-year-old Albanian who illegally crossed the border to
Macedonia in the night of 14-15 April, international agencies reported.
The Macedonian Interior Ministry said police were tipped off that a
criminal group would try to sneak across the border near Debar. There
were reports that the man was killed in a shoot-out, but the Albanian
Interior Ministry said he died immediately and made no mention of a
shoot-out. Reuters quoted the ministry as saying that a "commission of
Albanian experts concluded that it was a premeditated killing by
Macedonian authorities." Albania has protested the killing. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

FORMER MINISTERS IN SLOVENIA CHARGED. International media on 17 April
reported that former Defense Minister Janez Jansa and former Interior
Minister Igor Bavcar have been formally charged in connection with a
1992 arms smuggling plot. Police sources confirm that an additional four
suspects have also been charged, but so far no names have been released.
This is the biggest political scandal to have erupted in independent
Slovenia. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

DISPUTE OVER ROMANIAN TV AND RADIO ELECTIONS CONTINUES. Radio Bucharest
on 17 April reported that the Free Trade Union of Radio and TV Employees
has declared the conflict over elections to the Radio and TV
Administrative Council reopened. The parliament voted on 4 April to hold
new elections for unoccupied seats on the council, and the legislature's
committees on the mass media defined the criteria according to which
employees can participate in the elections. The Free Trade Union
announced it has forwarded to the management proposals on organizing the
elections along the lines established by the parliament. It said
management's role should be limited to supervising the elections. But
management responded that the trade union representatives were elected
to negotiate salaries, not organize elections. It also noted that the
Free Trade Union is one of five unions representing TV and radio
employees and that each should have two representatives participating in
the organization and supervision of the elections. -- Michael Shafir,
OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN STRIKE SUSPENDED. The committee representing striking teachers
and students in Chisinau decided on 15 April to suspend the protest
until 4 May, Radio Bucharest and international agencies reported. The
strike will resume if the protesters' demands have not been met by that
date. Anatoli Petrenco, leader of the strikers' committee, told Interfax
that the decision was taken in the wake of President Mircea Snegur's
moratorium on implementing the decree that is to replace Romanian
history courses with Moldovan history instruction and his forwarding to
the Constitutional Court a draft law on changing Article 13 of the
country's constitution. Snegur told the press on 16 April that the bill
tends toward defining the state language as Romanian rather than
"Moldovan," which is one of the strikers' main demands. Meanwhile,
students in the northeastern Romanian town of Iasi held a meeting of
solidarity with the Moldovan students on 15 April. They decided to send
a delegation to Chisinau that is to "become involved directly" in the
events in the Moldovan capital. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. Local elections were held in Moldova on 16
April, international agencies reported. Radio Bucharest, citing the
Moldovan Central Electoral Commission, reported on 17 April that
preliminary results indicate that the ruling Agrarian Democratic Party
won most of the votes. Turnout was very low in urban areas, including
the capital city of Chisinau, where less than 50% of the voters went to
the polls. The final results are expected within a few days. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN BUSINESS BLOC LEADER LOSES PARLIAMENT SEAT. The Constitutional
Court has ruled that the election of Georges Ganchev to the parliament
was illegal, Bulgarian newspapers reported on 14 April. He was stripped
of his parliament seat because he had dual citizenship at the time of
the December 1994 elections. Under the Bulgarian Constitution, a
Bulgarian citizen who holds another citizenship cannot run for the
parliament. Ganchev claimed that President Zhelyu Zhelev and the
opposition Union of Democratic Forces were responsible for his ousting.
He said he would appeal the ruling to the European Court of Justice.
Constitutional Judge Mladen Danailov said that Ganchev's dual
citizenship was proved in a letter from U.S. Ambassador William
Montgomery, Demokratsiya reported. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT AMENDS LAND RESTITUTION LAW. The Socialist
parliament majority has passed a controversial amendment to the land
restitution law, Reuters reported on 14 April. The amendment states that
owners wishing to sell their land have to offer it first to the state,
which has two months to decide whether to buy it. It also restricts the
right to sell small plots that are part of larger land blocks and to
plant crops different from the ones in the rest of the block. The
opposition boycotted the vote on the amendment. Vladislav Kostov of the
Union of Democratic Forces said his party will take the matter to the
Constitutional Court, Demokratsiya reported on 15 April. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA, GREECE, RUSSIA AGREE ON OIL PIPELINE PLAN. The Bulgarian,
Greek, and Russian foreign ministers have agreed to speed up the
construction of a pipeline that will bring Russian crude oil from the
Urals via the Bulgarian port of Burgas to the Greek harbor of
Alexandroupolis, Reuters reported on 14 April. The $700 million pipeline
is to be completed in 1997 and will have a daily capacity of 600,000
barrels of oil. Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias was quoted as
saying that experts from the three countries will meet in Moscow soon to
discuss details and sign a protocol agreement. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

GREECE, RUSSIA SIGN ACCORD ON CLOSER RELATIONS. Greek Foreign Minister
Karolos Papoulias and his Russian counterpart, Andrei Kozyrev, on 15
April signed an accord on bilateral relations, AFP reported the same
day. Greece will open consulates in Saint Petersburg and Novorossiisk,
while Russia will open a consulate in Thessaloniki. Kozyrev said he and
Papoulias also discussed cooperation in resolving problems in Bosnia-
Herzegovina and elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. -- Stefan Krause,
OMRI, Inc.

BLACK SEA CONFERENCE ENDS IN ATHENS. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation
organization ended its conference in Athens on 15 April with an
agreement to develop an international center to study the economics,
industry, and technology of the region, Western agencies reported.
Member countries are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece,
Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The group failed
to agree to a Greek proposal to demand that sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia be lifted. But Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine joined
Greece in sending a statement to the UN requesting that the sanctions be
lifted because of the long-term damage to the region's economy. Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said Russia did not add its signature to
the statement because it felt it was too far away geographically to be
hurt by the embargo. -- Michael Mihalka, 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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