We are always the same age inside. - Gertrude Stein
NOTICE TO READERS: The Daily Digest will not appear on Monday, 1 May 1995, a Czech national holdiay. OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 84, Part II, 28 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

RUSSIA SENDS BACK SOME ASIAN REFUGEES TO LATVIA. Latvian Immigration
Police head Aivars Kurpnieks on 27 April said he cannot understand why
Russian border guards sent back to Latvia on that morning's Moscow-Riga
train five of the 15 Asian refugees that Latvia deported the previous
day, BNS reported. He claimed that the Latvian and Russian foreign
ministries had an agreement whereby Russia will accept refugees if it
can be proven that they came from Russia. But Aleksandr Udaltsov, deputy
director of the Second European Department of the Russian Foreign
Ministry, told Interfax that his department, which is responsible for
the Baltic States, "knows nothing" about any such agreement. He added
that Moscow notified Latvia of its willingness to "discuss the problem
of illegal emigrants in principle." -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA RATIFIES CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS. The Seimas on 27 April
unanimously ratified the 1950 European Human Rights and Basic Freedoms
Convention, BNS reported. Lithuania accepted the convention by joining
the Council of Europe in May 1993 and completed the formal ratification
within the required two-year period. The Seimas did not consider
ratifying Protocol 6 on the abolition of the death penalty, deeming it
inappropriate because of the high crime rate in the country. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT ADDRESSES DEMONOPOLIZATION EFFORTS. Oleksander
Zavada, head of Ukraine's State Antimonopoly Committee, told a
government session devoted to the demonopolization program that some 250
associations, composed of nearly 5,000 enterprises, continue to function
as monopolies, UNIAR reported on 27 April. He said many new joint-stock
companies have maintained the monopoly they had under communism and
continue to stifle competition in many sectors, particularly
agriculture. Zavada added that the government is moving to speed up its
demonopolization program, adopted in 1993, by completing work on 10
presidential draft decrees and government orders as well as five draft
laws related to the issue. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH COLONEL'S SENTENCE TO BE EXAMINED BY SUPREME COURT. The Polish
press on 27 April reported that the sentence handed down to Colonel
Ryszard Kuklinski for high treason will be examined by the Military
Chamber of the Supreme Court on 25 May. Kuklinski was involved in the
planning of martial law, proclaimed in Poland in December 1981. He
leaked those plans to the U.S. and escaped from Poland in November 1981.
Three years later, he was sentenced in absentia to death. Some 19,000
people recently signed a petition, organized by Tygodnik Solidarnosc,
urging that Kuklinski be acquitted. Many Polish commentators consider
his case to be a litmus test for how the current Polish authorities deal
with the country's communist past. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

SEJM TO CREATE PARLIAMENT COMMISSION OVERSEEING INTELLIGENCE SERVICES.
The Sejm on 27 April changed its procedural rules to enable it to create
a commission to oversee the intelligence services. The commission would
consist of no more than seven deputies. Candidates would be selected by
parliament factions or other groups of deputies with at least 35
members. Two opposition parties, the Freedom Union and the Labor Union,
wanted guarantees that they would be represented on the commission. When
they did not receive those guarantees, the two parties said they would
have no part in the commission, PAP reported. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI,
Inc.

HUNGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN WARSAW. Gyorgy Keleti, on the first day of
an official visit to Poland, met with his Polish counterpart, Zbigniew
Okonski, on 27 April, Polish and international media report. Keleti said
that Hungary and Poland would cooperate to "examine the problems and
conditions for joining NATO" with the goal of gaining entry within
several years. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PRESIDENT SAYS NATO SHOULD RE-DEFINE ITSELF BEFORE EXPANDING.
Vaclav Havel on 27 April said NATO should re-define its aims and purpose
before admitting new members, Mlada fronta dnes reported. "The expansion
of NATO should be preceded by something even more important, that is, a
new formulation of its own meaning, mission, and identity," the
newspaper quoted Havel as telling a conference of NATO armed forces
leaders in Mons, Belgium. Havel said the Czech Republic wants to join
NATO not simply to be protected but also to take part in joint defense
units. He said that membership in NATO should be open to all countries
that have democratic values. Havel added that he cannot imagine Russia
becoming a member but that the alliance should develop a strategic
partnership with it. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. CONCERNED ABOUT REHABILITATION OF WWII SLOVAK PRESIDENT. U.S.
congressman Tom Lantos, visiting Slovakia on 27 April, said the U.S. was
concerned about steps to rehabilitate World War II Slovak President
Jozef Tiso, particularly because representatives of the government
coalition are participating in such actions, Narodna obroda reported.
Lantos said that during discussions with Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar,
he made his position on the matter very clear. Slovak National Party
Chairman Jan Slota later told TASR that Lantos "does not know the
history of Slovakia" if he considers Tiso to be on the same level as
Hitler and Mussolini. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

CONTINUED CONTROVERSY OVER SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN TREATY. Democratic Union
Deputy Chairman Ludovit Cernak, at a press conference on 27 April, said
his party will probably not support the ratification of the Hungarian-
Slovak treaty because it is "disadvantageous" for Slovakia and because
it grants minorities collective rights. Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar
said ratification of the treaty might be postponed owing to the negative
stand of his coalition partner, the Slovak National Party, Narodna
obroda reported. He commented that his party will try to get the SNP to
change its mind. Meanwhile, the Slovak Ministry of Education called
meeting of ethnic Hungarian educators in Komarno on 22 April a
"destabilizing" step. It said the protesters' criticism of plans to
implement bilingual education in Hungarian schools is "demagogic,"
Slovak media reported on 27 and 28 April. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PRIVATIZATION OFFICIAL RESIGNS. The Hungarian government on 27
April announced it had accepted the resignation of Istvan Farkas,
commissioner in charge of state bank sales, Hungarian media and Reuters
reported. A government spokesman told journalists that the cabinet
relieved Farkas at his own request. His resignation came, however, just
as Hungary unveiled plans to speed up the floundering sales of state
property. The government is to abolish the post of commissioner. Selling
off the state-owned banks will become the task of a new privatization
authority that Hungary plans to set up in May. The new body will combine
the various agencies now involved in the sale of public property. --
Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN ARMY TO "LIBERATE SARAJEVO"? Hasan Muratovic, the Bosnian
government's representative for relations with the UN, told the city
council on 27 April that the army may have to free the capital from the
Serbian siege if international negotiators fail to broker an agreement
to demilitarize Sarajevo. AFP quoted the independent ONASA news agency
as saying that preparations for talks are under way, but it is not clear
which international body will sponsor them. U.S. Ambassador to the UN
Madeleine Albright wants the Contact Group to discuss at its 28 April
meeting the Serbs' continued closure of the Sarajevo airport and their
demand for a veto right over the civilian passenger lists. Meanwhile,
Serbian shells continued to hit Sarajevo over night, and fighting goes
on in the Brcko corridor connecting Serbia with its conquests in Bosnia
and Croatia, Western agencies reported. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CONTACT GROUP TO MEET AS BOSNIAN CEASE-FIRE RUNS OUT. The international
negotiating body consisting of the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and
Russia is to meet in Paris on 28 April to discuss what to do when the
four-month old Bosnian cease-fire expires on 30 April. Repeated attempts
to bring the Bosnian Serbs around to accepting the current peace plan
have failed, and neither side shows much interest in a formal
prolongation of the cease-fire. The truce was never in effect in the
Bihac pocket, where Krajina Serbs and Muslim rebels were not party to
it, and the agreement has largely broken down in several other areas
since mid-March. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MILITARY BALANCE IN BOSNIA. The BBC on 28 April quotes British dailies
as concluding that neither the government nor the Serbs have the
strength to win an outright military victory. The mainly Muslim army has
manpower, motivation, and mobility on its side, while Radovan Karadzic's
forces have more heavy guns and tanks. The government has been trying to
launch offensives in areas where the Serbian guns are of little value.
Its weakness could be offset somewhat by Croatian artillery and armor,
and attention is now on a battle line stretching roughly from the Bihac
pocket down to the Croatian stronghold of western Herzegovina. A victory
for the government's Fifth Corps and its Croatian allies could cripple
links in this sector between Krajina and the Bosnian Serbs and open the
way for the allies into Serb-held western Bosnia. In such a case, most
observers feel that Belgrade would intervene militarily much more
directly that it is now. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

UN FINALIZES TERMS FOR NEW MANDATE IN CROATIA. The Security Council is
set to adopt a resolution clarifying the terms of a new mandate for
peacekeepers to be known as UNCRO. AFP on 27 April said the text is
based on a 18 April report by the secretary-general and will involve a
cut in forces from about 12,000 to 8,750. This is a bigger reduction
than the Serbs want but less than the Croats demand. Russia is likely to
keep its troops in the area, which Knin insists on. But it is not clear
whether Zagreb will get its wish to eliminate Third World units from
UNCRO and have them replaced chiefly by NATO troops. Meanwhile, Nasa
Borba on 28 April provides a list of 95 detention camps for Serbs in
Croatia since 1991. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN RADICAL LEADER ON WAR CRIMES CHARGES. Leader of the Serbian
Radical Party (SRS) and accused war criminal Vojislav Seselj said at a
27 April press conference that if Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadic
and his military counterpart, Ratko Mladic, have been named war
criminals by the International War Crimes Tribunal, then why not the SRS
leader himself? Seselj has sided with Karadzic in his apparent feud with
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, and his latest remarks likely
signal continuing solidarity and support amid allegations that the
Bosnian leadership is corrupt and accountable for crimes. Seselj
continues to deny involvement in war crimes. He has said he does not
fear prosecution and will willingly go to The Hague if summoned, Nasa
Borba reported on 28 April. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BELGRADE BRACES FOR WAR? Rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Vladislav
Jovanovic on 27 April told Tanjug that a resumption of wide-scale
fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina may be in the offing. He warned that the
Bosnian Muslim authorities "lacked sincerity and [have been] massively
violating the truce." As a result, he commented, any possibility that
civil war will not resume in Bosnia has been destroyed. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

DIRECT TALKS TO START OVER SANDZAK? Nebojsa Leskovic, deputy leader of
the tiny New Democracy Party in Serbia, announced that talks between the
Party of Democratic Action (SDA) in the Sandzak and the Serbian
government are likely to begin within the next two weeks. The SDA
represents the Serbian Muslim minority, which mainly lives in the former
Ottoman Sandzak of Novi Pazar, an area divided between Serbia and
Montenegro. Since the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars, frequent human
rights violations have been reported in the Sandzak, and this question
is expected be discussed at the talks. The SDA is reported to have
declared its respect for the territorial integrity of rump Yugoslavia,
but party leader Rasim Ljajic has nonetheless demanded that talks take
place under international mediation. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN PROTESTERS DEMAND GOVERNMENT'S RESIGNATION. Speakers at a
rally in Skopje on 27 April demanded the government's resignation,
international agencies reported the same day. The so-called Meeting of
the Hungry was staged by the League of Independent and Autonomous Trade
Unions to protest economic hardship. Union Secretary Atanas Lefterov
told protesters that the government has to resign "because there is no
room for it in this country." He also demanded early elections within
the next three months. Previous talks between the union and the
government failed to produce any results. Government spokesman Guner
Ismail on 26 April announced that the government intends to adhere to
its reform course. Nova Makedonija on 28 April cited Ismail as saying
that the nationalist opposition was behind the protests, which he called
"not a trade-union but a political action." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON ROMANIAN RESPONSE TO STRASBOURG DECISION. A government
spokesman on 27 April said that Romania was closely watching the debates
in Strasbourg in order to formulate its own official stance after the
Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly voted to make Recommendation
1201 mandatory for all council members, Radio Bucharest reported.
Chamber of Deputies Chairman Adrian Nastase admitted that the issue has
been "somewhat dramatized." But he added that Article 11 of the
recommendation, dealing with autonomy based on ethnic criteria, was
"unacceptable" to Romania. Bela Marko, Chairman of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania, expressed satisfaction with the
assembly's decision. He also said statements made the previous day by
Romanian President Ion Iliescu and his spokesman, Traian Chebeleu (see
OMRI Daily Digest, 27 April 1995) were "shocking." Iliescu, in a
statement released on 27 April, said documents adopted by the assembly
were neither mandatory nor expected to be ratified by individual member
states. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT WANTS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE RENAMED. Mircea Snegur,
addressing the parliament on 27 April, suggested that the name of the
country's official language be changed from Moldovan to Romanian,
Interfax and Infotag reported the same day. Snegur admitted that the
decision to use the term "Moldovan" in the 1994 constitution was
politically motivated. He announced that a draft law on amending
Articles 13 and 118 of the constitution, which deal with the language
issue, will be forwarded to the parliament soon. The Constitutional
Court, he added, had already endorsed the changes. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS DUMA RESOLUTION. The Moldovan parliament on
27 April adopted a declaration saying the recent Russian State Duma
resolution on the 14th army was "an unfriendly act toward Moldova and a
violation of UN and OSCE documents." Parliament chairman Petre
Lucinschi, in an interview with Interfax, said the Duma document speaks
of the "Dniester Moldovan Republic," despite Russian leaders' having
repeatedly acknowledged that the Dniester region was part of the
Republic of Moldova. He noted that the planned reorganization of the
14th army was Russia's internal affair. But he praised the army's
commander, Lt. Gen. Alexander Lebed, as the "most suitable candidate"
for this position under the present circumstances. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT QUESTIONS LEGALITY OF LAND LAW. Zhelyu Zhelev on 17
April issued a decree returning the law on the restitution of farm land
to the parliament for further discussion, Demokratsiya reported the
following day. Presidential spokesman Valentin Stoyanov said the
president opposes the land law in principle because it would effectively
halt agrarian reform and because it contradicts the constitution. The
law, passed on 14 April, restricts the right of land owners to sell
their plots. If the Socialist majority reapproves the law, Zhelev will
appeal to the Constitutional Court to overrule the amendments. Zhelev
has so far contested three laws passed by the Socialist majority, but it
is the first time he has said he will take the matter to the
Constitutional Court. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

POLITICAL COMMISSION FAVORS ALBANIAN MEMBERSHIP IN COUNCIL OF EUROPE.
The rapporteur of the Council of Europe's political commission dealing
with Albania's membership has concluded that Albania should become a
member of the Council of Europe, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 28 April.
In a report presented to the council, he said that the Albanian
government may resolve the issue of Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano,
who is serving a 12-year prison term for embezzlement and falsification
of documents, by announcing an amnesty. But it is more likely that his
case will be reviewed later this year by a court of appeal. If Albania
becomes a member of the council, it will have to sign a number of
protocols dealing with human rights, including one stating that every
citizen can appeal to the European Court of Justice. Such a move may
offer another solution to the issue of Nano's prison term. -- 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
distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe, send
"SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the quotation
marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
No subject line or other text should be included.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole