Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 97, Part II, 19 May 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 PARLIAMENT PASSES BILL ON SEPARATION OF POWERS. Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma scored a major political victory on 18 May when
the Ukrainian parliament voted by 219 to 104 to approve a compromise
version of his bill on the separation of powers, Interfax-Ukraine and
Ukrainian TV reported the same day. The new law gives the president the
exclusive right to form a government; previously, he was required to
obtain the parliament's approval for his choice of key ministers. The
motion was passed after presidential spokesman Fedir Burchak proposed a
compromise version excluding articles that would have empowered Kuchma
to dissolve the assembly and allowed the legislature to impeach the
president. According to the final draft, Kuchma's right to call a
referendum is limited to issues related to the adoption of a new post-
Soviet constitution. Communists and socialists voted against the bill,
warning that it would lead to authoritarian rule. In addition, they
argued that the vote was illegal because it drew only a simple majority.
-- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

CRIMEAN TATARS MARK DEPORTATION ANNIVERSARY BY DEMANDING GREATER RIGHTS.
Nearly 30,000 Crimean Tatars marked 51 years since Stalin ordered mass
deportations of their people with a rally in Simferopol demanding
greater political and economic rights, Interfax-Ukraine and AFP reported
on 18 May. Protesters called for official recognition of the Mejlis, the
Crimean Tatars' self-styled assembly, as their chief representative
body. They also demanded more money for the resettlement of Tatars in
Crimea and for urgent steps to restore their language, culture, and
religion. Mejlis speaker Mustafa Dzhemilev condemned Crimean separatist
forces and warned "We will not let the separatists trigger another
Chechnya here." The crowd observed a period of silence for Moslem
Chechen victims of Russia's military crackdown. On 18 May 1944, Soviet
forces deported 200,000 Crimean Tatars to central Asia and Siberia. Many
have since returned, and Tatars now make up about 10% of the region's
population. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS UPDATE. Ukrainian Radio reported on 18 May that
Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn arrived in Kiev on an official
visit, the premier's first to Ukraine since that country gained
independence. It was also reported that Ukrainian parliament speaker
Oleksandr Moroz met with Moldovan ambassador to Ukraine Ion Russu. Moroz
said that "procedural obstacles" should not prevent the ratification of
the Ukrainian-Moldovan treaty. Russu noted that there were no obstacles
on the Moldovan side to the document's ratification. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN EDUCATION MINISTRY ON LANGUAGES IN SCHOOLS. The Belarusian
Ministry of Education has sent a letter to regional authorities asking
that they guarantee parents' rights to choose which language their
children be taught in during the first years of schooling, Belarusian
radio reported on 18 May. This decision appears aimed at forestalling
protests by parents following the 14 May referendum, in which 83% of
those who voted came out in favor of giving Russian the status of
official language, alongside Belarusian. Since 1992 there has been a
move to teach primary school students in Belarusian. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS RECEIVES MORE MONEY TO SCRAP MISSILE SITES. Belarusian First Deputy
Foreign Minister Valeri Tsepkalo told Interfax on 18 May that the United
States will allocate an additional $6 million to dismantle the launching
pads for Russian SS-25 missiles deployed on Belarusian territory. These
missiles were stored in garages with sliding roofs that permitted them to
be fired from the storage sites. The START-I treaty requires that the
concrete foundations of such garages be destroyed either by explosion or
evacuation. Two of the 81 sites have already been destroyed by explosion,
but Tsepkalo termed this method "unacceptable." He explained that it caused
"great ecological damage to the local environment. A lot of trees get
destroyed by pieces of concrete flying in all directions." -- Doug Clarke,
OMRI, Inc.

WORLD BANK HELPS FINANCE BALTIC SEA CLEANUP. The World Bank on 17 May
announced that it will join the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development, the European Investment Bank, the Nordic Environmental
Finance Corporation, and Nordic Investment Bank in financing seven
projects, costing $240 million, to clean up the Baltic Sea, Reuters
reported the next day. Lithuania and Latvia will undertake two projects
each and Estonia, Russia, and Poland one each. The projects are part of
a broader, long-term initiative that will focus on 132 trouble spots and
cost an estimated $1 billion. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIA, UKRAINE INITIAL FREE TRADE TREATY. Tiit Reiman, head of the
Foreign Trade Department at the Estonian Economics Ministry, announced
that Estonia and Ukraine on 18 May initialed a bilateral agreement on
free trade and an accord on maritime affairs, BNS reported. The free
trade agreement covers all products, including agricultural ones. The
Ukrainian government delegation is also scheduled to sign a protocol
outlining future activities, such as speeding up the conclusion of a
bilateral accord on avoiding double taxation. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI,
Inc.

POLISH PRESIDENT, PREMIER DISCUSS FOREIGN POLICY. Lech Walesa and Jozef
Oleksy on 18 May discussed Russian protests against plans to open the
"Free Caucasus" radio station in Poland. They also discussed the 4 June
commemoration of the Soviets' 1940 massacre of Polish officers at Katyn.
In other news, Gazeta Wyborcza on 19 May published an appeal by 130
intellectuals supporting former Minister of Labor Jacek Kuron's
presidential candidacy. Two days earlier, Adam Strzembosz, head of the
Polish Supreme Court and another presidential candidate, met on 17 May
with leaders of five parties that do not support his candidacy. He
declared that he would withdraw from the race if a right-of-center
candidate emerged who had better chances of winning than either himself
or Walesa. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH FINANCE MINISTER WANTS TO END WAGE REGULATION. Ivan Kocarnik on 18
May said he would like to end wage regulation immediately, Hospodarske
noviny reported the following day. Kocarnik told a forum of managers
that wages are expected to increase by between 16.5% and 18% this year.
"Of course, we will abolish wage regulation at some point. I'm for doing
it as quickly as possible," he said. Under current regulations, some
wage rises are linked to inflation and do not take into account the
performance of the company concerned. Labor and Social Affairs Minister
Jindrich Vodicka recently said that wages will most likely not be
deregulated this year. He and trade unions argue that the regulations
limit the inflationary pressures that would result from a free wage
market. Despite being a major bone of contention, the issue of wage
regulation was not discussed at a meeting of ministers, employers, and
unions on 18 May. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER ON TREATY WITH HUNGARY. Juraj Schenk said at a
press conference on 18 May that the bilateral state treaty signed by the
Slovak and Hungarian prime ministers in March will not be submitted to
the parliament in the near future, Narodna obroda reported. He noted
that the framework agreement on the protection of national minorities
will be discussed at the next parliament session, to be held in June.
Only after that agreement has been approved will the interstate treaty
be presented to the parliament, Schenk said. The framework agreement is
the main document on which the treaty is based and calls for individual
rights for minorities. Schenk suggested that if that agreement is
passed, the controversial Council of Europe Recommendation 1201, which
was included in the Slovak-Hungarian treaty, can be interpreted as also
guaranteeing individual rather than collective rights. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT SENDS OPEN LETTER TO SLOVAK TV. Michal Kovac on 18 May
wrote an open letter to Slovak TV Director Jozef Darmo in connection
with his appearance on STV the previous day. Kovac recorded a statement
for STV in response to calls by Premier Vladimir Meciar for a referendum
to remove him. He said he was told by STV staff that the statement would
be broadcast during STV's main newscast or shortly afterward. Instead,
it appeared much later than expected, with no prior announcement. "I do
not feel offended as an individual, but I can hardly consider the STV's
attitude as anything other than intentional manipulation, particularly
in relation to the public," Kovac said. The president also suggested
that the electronic media in Slovakia are not "sufficiently plural or
free," Pravda reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

IS MILOSEVIC PLANNING TO RECOGNIZE BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA? Politika on 19 May
reports that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has signaled to U.S.
envoy Robert Frasure that the rump Yugoslavia may be prepared to extend
recognition to Bosnia-Herzegovian. According to the daily, the two have met
to discuss the details of such a move. Nasa Borba quoted Lord Owen as
saying in an interview with the BBC the previous day that recognition on
Milosevic's part would constitute "a momentous step" in halting hostilities
in the war-torn country. Meanwhile, ultranationalists within Serbia are
said to be furious by the reports. Nasa Borba on 19 May noted that the
Serbian Radical Party, led by ultranationalist and accused war criminal
Vojislav Seselj, is planning to hold protest meetings on 17 June to show
that the Serbian people [will not] tolerate sell-outs." Vladimir Lazarevic,
a member of the New Democracy party, which is supportive of Milosevic's
Socialists in the Serbian legislature, is quoted by Nasa Borba as saying
that recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina would be "acceptable." -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN UPDATE. International media say that fighting in Sarajevo was
lighter on 18 May than on the previous two days. Only sporadic shelling
was reported, following intense clashes during the previous 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Hasan Muratovic, a Bosnian government minister without
portfolio, said at a conference in Morocco on 18 May that the arms
embargo against his country should be lifted as a means of bringing the
Serbian side to the negotiating table. "We need a big success on the
battlefield to bring the Serbs to discussions," he said. Nasa Borba on
19 May reported that General Rasim Delic, commander of the Bosnian
Muslim army, has said his troops are ready to liberate Bosnia. Finally,
Reuters on 18 May, citing UN sources, reported that some 155,000
residents of Bosnia's western Bihac pocket face real prospects of
starvation unless "its rebel Serb and Muslim besiegers stop blocking
relief convoys to the enclave soon." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

REFUGEES FROM SLAVONIA TO BE SETTLED IN KOSOVO. The Serbian administration
of Kosovo is preparing to settle thousands of Serbian refugees from other
former Yugoslav republics, Kosova Daily Report said on 17 May. About 10,000
Serbian refugees from western Slavonia are expected to arrive in Kosovo
soon. They will initially be housed in hotels, hostels, and tourists
resorts until permanent accommodation is found. Humanitarian organizations,
including the UN High Commission for
Refugees, will reportedly cater for their food needs. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE DELEGATION IN MACEDONIA. A delegation from the Council of
Europe's Parliamentary Assembly arrived in Macedonia for a two-day visit on
18 May, Flaka reported the following day. The delegation met with
parliament chairman Stojan Andov to discuss economic developments in
Macedonia. Meetings are also scheduled with President Kiro Gligorov,
Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, representatives of various political
parties, members of the Ethnic Relations Council, non-governmental
organizations, and religious communities. The delegation also plans to
meet with the rector of Skopje University to discuss higher education in
Albanian. Meanwhile, the university's Faculty of Drama has decided to
launch acting courses in Albanian and Turkish beginning this fall. --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT REFUSES TO EXPLAIN KGB ALLEGATIONS TO PARLIAMENT . . .
Presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu on 18 May said Ion Iliescu will
not explain to the parliament his position on allegations that he had
KGB links (see OMRI Daily Digest, 18 May 1995). Chebeleu said that while
several parliamentarians have suggested that Iliescu appear before the
parliament, the constitution does not state that the president is
politically accountable to the legislature. Radio Bucharest announced
that five opposition parties represented in parliament have agreed to
issue a joint declaration demanding a response to the allegations, which
they called "very serious" and possibly "detrimental to the country and
the institution of the Presidency." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND ATTEMPTS TO SPLIT HUNGARIAN MINORITY. One week before the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) is scheduled to hold
its congress, Iliescu has made an obvious attempt to exacerbate
differences between the UDMR's "radical" and "moderate" factions. At a
press conference carried by Radio Bucharest on 18 May, presidential
spokesman Chebeleu said Iliescu "appreciated" the "constructive
attitude" of Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn toward the negotiations
on the Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty. Consequently, he continued, the
president was all the more concerned about the "extreme-nationalist
positions" adopted by some UDMR leaders. Iliescu called on the
"responsible leaders" of the UDMR not to follow the "extremist path,
which never brought anything positive anywhere." As a possible solution
to differences with Budapest over the treaty's provisions, Iliescu
suggested that the document embrace the priniciples of Council of Europe
Recommendation 1201 but not mention it by name. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI,
Inc.

SLOVAK DEFENSE MINISTER IN ROMANIA. Jan Sitek, visiting Romania from 17-18
May, met with Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, with whom he discussed
integration into Euro-Atlantic structures and cooperation within the
Partnership for Peace program, Radio Bucharest reported. The two leaders
also discussed Slovakia and Romania's relations with Hungary and the
problem of the Hungarian national minorities in their countries. Both
sides agreed that minorities should be granted individual, rather than
collective rights. Sitek also met with his Romanian counterpart,
Gheorghe Tinca, who said agreement was reached on "a number of concrete
measures" for joint military maneuvers within the Partnership for Peace
program and cooperation in the field of military technology. Finally,
Sitek held talks with Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, who said the
two countries had many common interests--above all, that of integration
into Euro-Atlantic structures. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN OFFICIAL REJECTS LEBED PROPOSAL. Interfax on 17 May quoted Lt.
Gen. Alexander Lebed as suggesting that the 14th army perform
"peacekeeping functions" in the breakaway Transdniester region. Deputy
Chairman of the Moldovan parliament Nicolae Andronic responded by saying
the proposal aimed at "keeping Russian troops in east Moldovan districts
by any means," BASA-press reported on 18 May. He noted that the Russian
Defense Ministry was not authorized to make such a decision, since it
would contravene the agreement between Presidents Mircea Snegur and
Boris Yeltsin of July 1992. Also on 17 May, Interfax reported that
Moldova and Russia will discuss the withdrawal of the 14th Army at a
meeting scheduled for late July. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

SIGNING OF BULGARIAN-RUSSIAN AGREEMENTS POSTPONED. Bulgarian Deputy Prime
Minister and Trade Minister Kiril Tsochev on 17 May announced that two
agreements between Russia and Bulgaria will not be signed during Russian
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's visit to Sofia on 18-19 May, Reuters
reported the same day. He said that the two countries are ready to sign an
agreement on nuclear fuel but that there are objections from Ukraine and
Moldova, which are concerned about the safety of nuclear fuel transports
via their territory. The second agreement is on
preferentially priced natural gas deliveries from Russia to Bulgaria.
The present agreement expires in 1997, and experts from both countries
have been unable so far to reach agreement on new prices. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

G-24 MEETING ON ALBANIAN INFRASTRUCTURE. A G-24 meeting on infrastructure
investment in Albania was held on 17 May in Brussels, the European
Commission reported the following day. The Albanian delegation was led by
Minister for Construction and Tourism Dashnor Shehi. The meeting was also
attended by officials from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan,
Switzerland, Turkey, the United States, and
representatives of the IMF, the World Bank, and the EBRD. Discussions
focused on implementing the public investment program adopted by Albania
in 1994 and on the external assistance required for its implementation.
The participants reviewed projects submitted by the Albanian government
for possible external financing. These projects were in the transport,
energy, telecommunications, and water supply sectors. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVE TO SOLVE GREEK-TURKISH RIFT WITHIN NATO. NATO
Secretary-General Willy Claes, announced that a diplomatic effort will
be undertaken to resolve differences between Greece and Turkey before a
meeting of defense ministers in June, international news agencies
reported on 18 May. Speaking in Ankara following talks with Turkish
Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, Claes said a NATO delegation would shuttle
between Ankara and Athens to find a solution to disputes over budget
matters and the stationing of a rapid deployment force in the region.
The row has resulted in Turkey's blocking of NATO's military budget and
the forestalling of a 1992 decision to establish two new military bases
in the region. -- Lowell Bezanis, 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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