Одно из прекраснейших утешений, которые предлагает нам жизнь, - то, что человек не может искренне пытаться помочь другому, не помогая самому себе. - У. Шекспир
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 80, Part II, 24 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 GOVERNMENT APPEALS FOR INTERNATIONAL AID TO CLOSE CHORNOBYL.
The Ukrainian government on 21 April appealed to the international
community for financial assistance in closing down the Chornobyl nuclear
power plant by 2000, Interfax-Ukraine and Radio Ukraine reported the
same day. The statement said that the closure would cost $4 billion. It
noted that Ukraine was concerned, among other things, about locating and
building safe storage sites for spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste
from the plant. The appeal also emphasized Kiev's inability to shut down
the station earlier than promised because of a shortage of energy and
lack of funds to pay for energy imports. But it stressed that the
government is willing to shut down either of the plant's two functioning
reactors if they prove unsafe. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON UKRAINE'S GAS DEBT. Kievskie vedomosti on 21 April reported
that Ukraine's gas debt to Russia stood at $2.5 billion and that Ukraine
is paying for only 50% of deliveries. The Russian company Gazprom has
proposed that Ukraine sign over shares in its gas pipelines and storage
facilities to pay off the debt, but the Ukrainian Ministry of External
Economic Relations has rejected the proposal. Under Ukrainian
legislation, such properties cannot be privatized. Ukrainian Radio
quoted Acting Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk as saying that enterprises
that have not paid their debts will have their supplies cut. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS RUSSIAN PROPOSAL ON UKRAINIAN BORDER.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka has criticized a Russian proposal to station
Russian customs officials along the Belarusian-Ukrainian border, Radio
Rossii reported on 23 April. Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
sent a letter to Lukashenka proposing that 100 Russian customs officers
be deployed along that border since Kiev has refused to join a customs
union with Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. Lukashenka responded that
Belarus was capable of controlling its Ukrainian border itself and that
Russia should trust Belarus. He added that Russian Deputy Prime Minister
Aleksei Bolshakov was responsible for the letter. According to
Lukashenka, Bolshakov gave Chernomyrdin the letter to sign and the prime
minister did so without reading it. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BALTIC ASSEMBLY AND COUNCIL SESSIONS. The sixth session of the Baltic
Assembly and first session of the Baltic Council took place in Riga on
21-22 April, BNS reported. The Baltic Council is formed by the Baltic
Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers. Latvian President Guntis
Ulmanis stressed that the three states must coordinate their actions
more closely in solving economic problems and preparing for integration
into European institutions. Estonian and Lithuanian Prime Ministers Tiit
Vahi and Adolfas Slezevicius did not attend the sessions because of
previous engagements. The Baltic Assembly expressed concern over the
statement by Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev that Russia might
use military force to protect its compatriots abroad. It also appealed
to the UN to examine the issue of "the right of the Chechen people to
self-determination and freedom from colonialism." -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

LATVIA, ESTONIA SIGN SEA BORDER MEMORANDUM. Latvian and Estonian Foreign
Ministers Valdis Birkavs and Riivo Sinijarv signed in Riga on 21 April a
memorandum pledging to avoid incidents on their maritime border, BNS
reported. Tensions emerged when Estonian coast guard ships repeatedly
stopped Latvian boats from fishing near the Estonian island of Ruhnu.
The talks on preparing a bilateral treaty on the maritime border and
economic zones will continue on 5 May in the Estonian seaside resort of
Parnu. The ministers also pledged that agreements simplifying border
crossing procedures and promoting free movement of goods between the two
states will be signed soon. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

CEI MEETING IN CRACOW. Representatives of the Central European
Initiative countries, meeting in Cracow on 21-22 April, appealed to all
sides in the Bosnian conflict to extend their cease-fire beyond 30
April. They also condemned Serbian attacks on Bihac, the killing of two
French UN peacekeepers, and the "terrorist bombing" of Dubrovnik
airport. Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina signed a declaration on national
minorities, endorsed previously by Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, and
Macedonia. The creation of a permanent Secretariat and the admission of
the five associate members (Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania, and
Ukraine) is to be discussed at the next CEI meeting, in Warsaw on 6-7
October. Poland, which is chairing the CEI in 1995, backs the full
admission of the five associate members, according to Polish CEI
representative Jozef Wiejacz. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH LAW ON POST AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMENDED. The Polish parliament
on 21 April amended the law on post and telecommunications, empowering
the government to auction off licenses for telecommunication operators
and courier services. The bill preserves the state-owned Polish
Telecommunications' monopoly on international telephone calls. The
Polish Post maintains its monopoly on handling regular letters and
parcels up to 2 kilograms. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH OPPOSITION LEADER RE-ELECTED. Milos Zeman on 22 April was re-
elected unopposed as chairman of the opposition Czech Social Democrats
(CSSD). Zeman, whose party is in a strong second place in the polls with
around 20% support, said the Social Democrats aim to win the next
parliament elections, due in June 1996. He said he will run directly
against Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus if the premier stands in Northern
Moravia. Petra Buzkova and Kvetoslava Korinkova gained the most votes of
the five deputy chairpersons elected at the congress, giving the CSSD
the strongest high-level representation by women of all Czech parties.
Meanwhile, the founding congress of the Party of Czechoslovak Communists
(SCK) elected former hard-line communist leader Miroslav Stepan as its
general-secretary. Stepan said the aim of the party is to re-establish
socialism, Lidove noviny reported. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PREMIER IN ITALY. Vladimir Meciar, during his working visit to
Italy and the Vatican from 20-23 April, met with Pope John Paul II,
Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, and Foreign Minister Susanna
Agnelli, Slovak media reported. Meciar was quoted as saying that the
meeting with the pope was of "great importance," not just in terms of
the pontiff's visit to Slovakia scheduled for this summer. At a meeting
with other Catholic officials, the Slovak premier discussed Church-state
relations and the founding of a Catholic University in Slovakia.
Stressing that Italian businessmen lack sufficient information on
investments in Slovakia, Meciar promised to issue them a list of firms
to be privatized. The Italian energy company ENI reportedly expressed
"great interest" in the privatization of Benzinol, Slovnaft, and the gas
industry. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

NUCLEAR MATERIAL SEIZED IN EASTERN SLOVAKIA. Slovak Interior Ministry
spokesman Peter Ondera on 21 April announced that one week earlier
police seized 17 kilograms of radioactive material and detained nine
suspects from Ukraine, Hungary, and Slovakia. According to Ondera,
specialists are currently investigating whether the material is weapons-
grade uranium. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY'S RAILROAD WORKERS END STRIKE. Hungarian Radio on 23 April
reported that the country's railroad workers ended a four-day strike
after reaching a new labor agreement with Hungarian State Railways
management. The 86-hour strike, which halted most domestic services and
all international traffic to and via Hungary, was the first indefinite
work stoppage on Hungary's railroads since 1904. Most of the country's
70,000 railroad employees took part in the protest. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI,
Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC BANS DIPLOMATS FROM SARAJEVO AIRPORT. International media
reported on 23 April that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has
announced that Sarajevo airport "is a Serbian airport" and that no
diplomats or other political visitors to the Bosnian government in
Sarajevo will be allowed to use it. He added that the Contact Group
diplomats are not welcome and that the Bosnian Serbs "will not accept
the Contact Group [peace] plan, never, ever." He sent packing a group of
U.S. and German diplomats who had spent the night of 22 April in
sleeping bags on the airport floor. UN mediator Yasushi Akashi also got
no farther than the airport on an attempted visit to Sarajevo. Karadzic
gave a variety of reasons for his stand, which international media
agreed is outrageous even by the standards of this conflict. But Reuters
stressed that his toughness is the outcome of a deepening rift between
the Bosnian Serb military and civilian establishments. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

FRENCH CHIEF-OF-STAFF IN SARAJEVO. France's highest army officer,
General Marc Monchal, arrived in the Bosnian capital on 23 April to
escort home the bodies of three peacekeepers who died in a munitions
accident the day before. These deaths brought French UNPROFOR fatalities
to a total of 36. AFP said that President Francois Mitterrand has
invited the presidents of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia-
Herzegovina, and rump Yugoslavia to ceremonies in Paris on 8 May marking
the end of World War Two in Europe. It is unclear whether Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic was also on the list. His presence would be
crucial if the French were to try to use the occasion to stage the
Yugoslav-area summit they have been pressing for. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS IN YUGOSLAV AREA. The 24 April Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung reports that the battlefields were largely quiet
during the Orthodox Easter weekend. The main exception was around Brcko,
in the narrow north Bosnian Posavina supply corridor, which links Serbia
with its conquests in Croatia and Bosnia. Croatian Radio, for its part,
said that armed Krajina Serbs blocked the reopened Zagreb-Belgrade
highway in two places. Hina reported the previous day that Croatian
Defense Minister Gojko Susak met with his Slovak counterpart, Jan Sitek,
who was visiting Slovak UNPROFOR troops. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC MEETS LEADERS FROM KRAJINA AND BOSNIA. Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic met with Krajina Prime Minister Borislav Mikelic,
Bosnian Muslim kingpin Fikret Abdic, and Bosnian Serb commander General
Ratko Mladic at Milosevic's residence in Belgrade, Nasa Borba reported
on 22 April. The men subsequently dodged reporters, who were unable to
obtain any further information. AFP commented on 24 April that the UN
war crimes tribunal in The Hague may also want to speak to Mladic. The
dispatch notes that Mladic and Karadzic are suspected of war crimes, but
no formal charges have been made. The Los Angeles Times on 22 April
reported that Germany has agreed to extradite Dusan Tadic for trial in
The Hague. Tadic is suspected of being the Bosnian Serb concentration
camp guard who killed at least 32 people and tortured 61 others at
Omarska. His trial would be the first international one for war crimes
since the end of World War Two. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOUTROS GHALI THREATENS TO WITHDRAW PEACEKEEPERS FROM CROATIA. UN
Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali has announced he may have to
withdraw UNCRO contingents if the Zagreb and Knin authorities do not
approve the peacekeepers' new mandate, AFP reported on 22 April. The
Serbs and Croats differ strongly over the number of soldiers needed,
where they should come from, what they should do, and where they should
do it. Reuters the next day reported on observances by Croatian Jews to
mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jasenovac. That
concentration camp was the worst in wartime Croatia, where the Ustasha
regime carried out its genocidal policies against Jews, Serbs, and
Gypsies. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

UN TAKES TOUGHER APPROACH ON RUMP YUGOSLAV SANCTIONS. According to Nasa
Borba on 22-23 April, UN Security Council Resolution 988 provides for
sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia to be partially lifted for periods
of 75 days rather than 100 days, as stipulated by Resolution 943. The
council also voted to impose stricter conditions for the easing of
sanctions against Belgrade. According to ITAR-TASS on 22 April, Russia
has already made known its objections to the council's decision. Russian
representative to the UN Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying that Moscow
objects, among other things, to additional limits on deliveries of
aviation fuel to Belgrade. Nasa Borba on 24 April reported that all
Serbian parties are highly critical of Resolution 988. Leader of the
Serbian Radical Party and accused war criminal Vojislav Seselj commented
that the endorsement of the new resolution is "evidence of [Serbian
President Slobodan] Milosevic's incompetence." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI,
Inc.

KOSOVAR OFFICIALS ON POSSIBLE DIALOG WITH SERBIA. Fehmi Agani, deputy
leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, has made clear his views on a
possible Kosovar-Serbian dialog by saying "Kosovo is not a Serbian
internal question," Nasa Borba reported on 24 April. The Kosovars are
demanding that a solution to Kosovar-Serbian differences be found within
the framework of the Geneva Conference on Former Yugoslavia. Meanwhile,
Kosovar President Ibrahim Rugova has said that such a solution would be
either an independent Republic of Kosovo or a confederation with
Albania, in the event that "confederations are established on the
territory of the former Yugoslavia." The Serbs, however, reject
international meditation in the Kosovar-Serbian issue. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

HEAD OF ROMANIAN PYRAMID SCHEME GOES ON TRIAL. Ion Stoica, head of
"Caritas," Romania's biggest ever pyramid scheme, went on trial on 21
April on fraud charges, Reuters reports. He is accused of having taken
some 90 million lei ($45,000) from Caritas donations for humanitarian
projects in the Transylvanian town of Cluj. Stoica faces up to 20 years
in jail if convicted. Stoica has been in custody since his arrest in
August 1994. Prosecutors are still investigating complaints from 600,000
people who lost their savings when the "get-rich-quick" scheme collapsed
in early 1994. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

STOCK EXCHANGE TO BE SET UP IN ROMANIA. The decision to set up Romania's
first postcommunist stock exchange was announced at a press conference
on 21 April, Radio Bucharest and Romanian TV reported. The stock
exchange will temporarily be housed in the building of the National Bank
of Romania and its managerial board appointed by 10 May. -- Dan Ionescu,
OMRI, Inc.

PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF MOLDOVAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. The Moldovan Central
Electoral Commission on 21 April announced the preliminary results of
the 16 April local elections, Interfax reported. The ruling Agrarian-
Democratic Party won almost 50% of the mandates (more than 640 out of
1,290). The opposition Democratic Forces Alliance received 275 mandates
(21.5%); the Moldovan Communist Party 205 (nearly 16%); and the bloc of
left-wing forces, formed by the Socialist Party and the Unity Movement,
90. In Chisinau and other cities, the elections were declared invalid
because of low turnouts and are to be repeated on 30 April. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES STATE BUDGET. The parliament's Socialist
majority on 21 April passed the 1995 state budget, BTA and international
agencies reported the same day. The budget was approved by 123 to seven
after an all-night session. Opposition deputies in the 240-member
assembly left before the vote, saying they had to attend Mass on
Orthodox Good Friday. The budget deficit is projected at 48.8 billion
leva ($746 million), or 6% of estimated GDP. Inflation is projected to
reach 45-50% in 1995. But Kontinent on 21 April reported that non-
government institutes estimate inflation will reach 60-120% this year.
-- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA MAY CLOSE DOWN NUCLEAR REACTORS EARLY. Yanko Yanev, chairman of
Bulgaria's Atomic Energy Committee, said on 21 April that the two oldest
reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant may be closed down years
ahead of schedule, Reuters reported the same day. Yanev said he will
propose to the parliament that a fund be set up for the decommissioning
of the two 440 megawatt reactors if reconstruction proves too expensive.
New safety systems, additional filters and earthquake protection are
needed, at an estimated cost of some $70 million. Reactor No. 1, the
oldest at the power plant, has already been closed down for inspections.
Yanev did not mention the two 1,000 megawatt reactors at Kozloduy, which
are also Soviet-built. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN OIL SMUGGLING REACHES LOW POINT. Reuters on 23 April reported
that profits gained by Albanians smuggling black-market fuel into rump
Yugoslavia have dropped from about $30 to $3.20 for one 200-liter
container since Bulgaria and Romania have grabbed a bigger share of the
illegal market. An Albanian official is quoted as saying that "trading
here is at a low point. It is about twenty times less than it once was."
Elsewhere, Italian coast guards held an Albanian cargo ship suspected of
carrying radioactive cargo for three days in Pescara. Police found no
trace of radioactive material, international agencies reported on 22
April. -- 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
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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