The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. - Thomas Paine
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 101, Part II, 25 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 DELEGATION APPEALS FOR WESTERN INVESTMENT. A Ukrainian
delegation headed by Acting Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk has appealed
for greater Western private investment as Ukraine enters the second
phase of economic reforms, Reuters and Radio Ukraine reported 24 May.
The delegation was taking part in a London conference for foreign
investors organized by the Adam Smith Institute. Marchuk told the
gathering that the Ukrainian leadership was ready to endure the pain of
reforms but stressed that much of their success depended upon a "serious
inflow" of private capital. He said foreign investors are viewed as
equal to their domestic counterparts. Viktor Pynzenyk, deputy prime
minister in charge of reforms who was also part of the delegation,
warned that opponents of free-market changes are expected
to continue resisting reforms. -- Chrystyna Lapychak , OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT CONFIRMS SECURITY CONCEPT. Ukrainian Radio on 24
May reported that Ukraine's parliament has adopted the Concept on
National Security on its first reading. The document sets out Ukraine's
priorities as ensuring state sovereignty, preserving its territorial
integrity, and upholding the inviolability of borders. It also calls for
overcoming the economic crisis, developing democratic institutions, and
integration into the world and European community. Among the threats
listed to Ukraine's security are interference in the country's internal
affairs, territorial claims, instability and conflicts in neighboring
states, separatism, and violations of the constitutional system. The
document also lists economic threats to the nation's security. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

CRIMEAN LAWMAKERS PROTEST DIVISION OF PROPERTY. Crimean legislators have
called on the Ukrainian government to suspend a 5 May order dividing up
jurisdiction over long-disputed property on the peninsula between Kiev
and regional authorities, Interfax-Ukraine and Ukrainian Television
reported. The decision turned over 729 properties-- including state
farms, Defense Ministry installations, research and training institutes,
and several sanitariums and boarding houses--to Kiev. Some 230
factories, institutes, and organizations remain under Crimean control.
Some of that property is earmarked for privatization. The deputies have
asked the Ukrainian parliament to set up a joint commission to settle
the property dispute. The government ruling says that all proceeds from
privatization in Crimea will remain in the hands of local authorities.
-- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS IN MINSK. Reuters reported on 24 May that some
300 students demonstrated in Minsk to protest the referendum decision to
restore Soviet-era state symbols. The students marched in front of
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's residence and flung one of the newly
approved Soviet-type flags into a public toilet. Police broke up the
demonstration, beating several students and detaining 29. As the
referendum must still be confirmed by parliament, it is uncertain
whether the Soviet-type flag or the red-and-white Belarusian one is
legal. The day after the referendum, an aide to the president tore down
the Belarusian flag from the president's building and shredded it. --
Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

MEETING OF BALTIC, NORDIC DEFENSE MINISTERS. The annual meeting of the
defense ministers of the three Baltic States and four Nordic Council
states was held on 22-23 May on the Danish island of Bornholm, BNS
reported the following day. The Nordic ministers described the formation
of the Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion as a model for East-West military
cooperation and praised the Baltic States, especially Lithuania, for
their active participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace program.
Lithuanian Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius noted that although
financial difficulties prevented Lithuania from participating in all 11
planned PfP military exercises, it would participate in six. The next
annual meeting of the defense ministers will take place in Vilnius in
the spring of 1996. -- Saulius Girnius , OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT IN ESTONIA. Leonid Kuchma, on the first day of his
visit to Tallinn on 24-25 May, signed a declaration on developing
cooperation and partnership with his Estonian counterpart, Lennart Meri,
BNS reported. The 14-point declaration is intended to give the
"necessary dynamism" to the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty, signed on
26 May 1992. Both sides expressed the desire to increase cooperation
vis-a-vis international organizations, particularly in gaining
membership in the European Union. Foreign Ministers Henadii Udovenko
(Ukraine) and Riivo Sinijarv (Estonia) signed agreements on free trade
and cooperation in the sphere of sea navigation. Kuchma will also meet
with Prime Minister Tiit Vahi and visit the Estonian parliament before
returning to Kiev. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIA'S BANKING CRISIS. Prime Minister Maris Gailis on 24 May accepted
the resignation of Andris Piebags as finance minister, BNS reported.
Gailis also expressed his support for retaining Einars Repse and Ilmars
Rimsevics as Bank of Latvia president and vice president. A no
confidence vote in the two bank officials, proposed by 16 deputies from
the Popular Concord Party, the Political Union of Economists, and the
Democratic Party, is to be held in the Saeima on 25 May. Jukka Paljarvi,
International Monetary Fund representative in Estonia, praised the lats
stability and Repse's role in setting up a stable state financial
system. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER ON POLICY PRIORITIES. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski on
24 May presented to the Sejm the country's foreign policy priorities,
which, he said, have remained unchanged since 1989. These include
membership in NATO and the European Union as well as friendly relations
with all neighbors. Poland considers NATO membership a guarantee for
security in the region. Bartoszewski commented that Moscow's objections
to the pact's enlargement have caused fear that a policy of the "spheres
of influence" is returning, Polish media reported. -- Jakub Karpinski,
OMRI, Inc.

POLISH ZLOTY TO BECOME CONVERTIBLE? Polish Finance Minister Grzegorz
Kolodko and Polish National Bank President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz on 24
May sent a letter to the International Monetary Fund committing Poland
not to limit currency exchanges and asking the IMF to approve the
convertibility of the zloty, Polish media reported. Of the 179 IMF
members countries, 100 have convertible currencies according to IMF
standards. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PARLIAMENT FAILS TO OVERRIDE HAVEL'S VETOES. The Czech parliament
on 24 May failed to pass two draft laws that President Vaclav Havel
recently refused to sign. The two bills are on rewarding resistance
fighters who fought against the Nazis in World War II and on restricting
smoking and reducing alcoholism and other drug dependency. Havel
objected to the first bill because he considered it would exclude those
resistance fighters who later collaborated with the communist regime. He
argued that it was not acceptable to make the rewarding of heroism
during the war conditional on subsequent acts and behavior. In vetoing
the anti-smoking bill, Havel said that while he was not opposed in
principle to restrictions on smoking, the bill contravened the Paris
Convention on the Protection of Industrial Products. He also commented
that it would cause economic losses. Some deputies said after the
unsuccessful attempt to override Havel's vetoes that they would modify
both bills toreflect the president's objections and resubmit them to the
parliament. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON DEMOCRATIC UNION ELECTION LISTS. Police officials are
questioning the 14,929 citizens whose names appeared on the Democratic
Union's petition lists to ensure that their signatures are valid, Sme
reported on 24-25 May. The DU needed 10,000 signatures to run in last
fall's parliamentary elections, but the ruling Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia has claimed that a number of the signatures it collected were
forged. Attorney-General Michal Valo said on Slovak Radio on 23 May that
although some people could be prosecuted for forging signatures, the
composition of the parliament should not be affected. He also stressed
that citizens whose names appear on the lists with false signatures will
not be considered guilty. DU Chairman Jozef Moravcik said in an
interview with Smena on 24 May that his party regards the investigation
as a violation of the criminal code. He commented that the police should
be used for matters other than "political persecution." -- Sharon
=46isher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK ECONOMIC OVERVIEW. The Slovak cabinet on 23 May discussed the
budget deficit, which reached 4 billion koruny during the first quarter
of 1995, Sme reported. But contrary to expectations, it did not debate
options for the Czech-Slovak clearing agreement. Although Slovakia
recently revalued its currency by 4 percentage points against the
clearing ECU, the Czech Republic prefers to cancel the agreement. In
other news, Narodna obroda on 24 May reported that in April, Slovak
imports totaled 19.2 billion koruny and exports 21 billion koruny. In
the first four months of the year, Slovakia registered a trade surplus
of 1.4 billion koruny. Slovakia's biggest export markets in 1994 were
the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Italy, and Russia. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES AUSTERITY PACKAGE. The Hungarian parliament
on 23 May passed the bulk of an austerity package designed to reduce the
country's $4 billion deficit, international and Hungarian media
reported. The package includes the introduction of new taxes and
university tuition fees, and the abolition of family allowances as a
civic right. A final vote is scheduled to take place in a few days after
experts have made sure that none of the amendments are mutually
exclusive. The drive to cut the deficit began on 12 March when the
government announced it would slash 170 billion forint ($1.35 billion)
from the 450 billion forint budget deficit. While most of the measures
proposed by the government were approved, the parliament rejected a
proposed 20% cut in financial support for municipal governments. -- Jiri
Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

UN THREATENS AIR STRIKES . . .  The United Nations on 24 May issued an
ultimatum to the warring sides around Sarajevo either to silence their
heavy weapons by noon local time the following day or face the threat of
NATO air power. It also demanded the return by the same time of four
heavy guns pilfered by Bosnian Serb forces just outside Sarajevo. All
other heavy weapons are to be surrendered to the UN or removed from the
exclusion area around the city by noon local time on 26 May. If they are
not removed, the warring sides will again face the possibility of air
strikes, according to the ultimatum. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic has reacted forcefully, insisting that Bosnian Serb forces will
treat UN soldiers as "hostile" if NATO launches air strikes. Reuters
quotes Karadzic as saying that "if the UN orders air strikes, we are
going to treat the UN as the enemy." According to international media,
Sarajevo and its environs were relatively calm and quiet on the morning
of 25 May. -- Stan Markotich , OMRI, Inc.

. . . AFTER VIOLENCE FLARES IN SARAJEVO. UN calls for NATO air strikes
come in the wake of some of the most serious fighting to hit the Bosnian
capital over the past year at least. The Croatian news agency Hina on 24
May reported that at least five people were killed and 30 injured when
Bosnian Serb artillery pounded the city and surrounding areas the same
day. It also observed that phosphorous bombs, forbidden by Geneva
conventions, were among those used in the latest attacks. -- Stan
Markotich , OMRI, Inc.

PEACEKEEPING IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. Reuters on 24 May reports that UN
Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali will formally outline by 26 May
a series of proposals for the future of peacekeeping operations in
Bosnia, which may include withdrawals, greater use of air strikes, or
scaling back operations. It is reported that unlike in the past, Boutros
Ghali is likely to refrain from preferring one option over the other.
Meanwhile, Nasa Borba and Vjesnik on 25 May report that if UN
peacekeepers do withdraw from Bosnia, up to 50,000 NATO forces may be
dispatched to offer the peacekeepers protection during the withdrawal
process. The dailies also observe that U.S. Secretary of Defense William
Perry has suggested that half the NATO contingent may come from the U.S.
-- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

OTHER NEWS FROM FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Nasa Borba on 25 May quotes UN human
rights envoy Tadeusz Mazowiecki as suggesting at a press conference in
Pakrac the previous day that the Croatian army may have committed some
human rights violations against Serbs during its advance on rebel Serb-
held parts of western Slavonia earlier this month. But the daily also
notes that Mazowiecki offered few details to back this claim. Hina
observed that Mazowiecki noted his understanding of the situation was
still somewhat "murky." The envoy's probe into alleged human rights
violations continues on 25 May in Zagreb. Meanwhile, Nasa Borba also
reports on Moscow envoy Alexander Zotov's second day in Belgrade, noting
that the Russian representative has already said he sees little reason
for the international community to insist on the continued imposition of
sanctions against rump Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ANOTHER ETHNIC ALBANIAN CONVICTED IN MACEDONIA. Musli Alimi, a former
university professor from Kosovo, was sentenced to eight months in jail
on 24 May, international agencies reported the same day. He was
convicted on charges of obstructing the police during riots in February
when thousands of ethnic Albanians tried to prevent policemen from
closing down the self-declared Albanian-language university in Tetovo.
One Albanian died during the clashes. Alimi is the fifth ethnic Albanian
sentenced in connection with the riot. -- Stefan Krause , OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN COALITION ABOUT TO SPLIT? The ruling Macedonian coalition,
currently facing its most serious crisis since it was formed seven
months ago, may be on the verge of splitting, Reuters reported on 24
May. The Liberal Party, second-largest of the three members of the
ruling Alliance for Macedonia, has announced it will press embezzlement
charges against Finance Minister Jane Miljovski, deputy leader of the
Social Democratic Alliance, the largest coalition partner. Miljovski is
accused of depositing into his party's account 8.1 million denars
($212,000) designated for the Liberals. The Liberal Party has invited
the two major opposition parties to attend its next congress, which will
discuss the future of the coalition. The Alliance for Macedonia won 93
of the 120 seats in the fall 1994 parliamentary elections. The Liberals
hold 29 of these seats. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAW ON SPEEDING UP PRIVATIZATION. The two
chambers of the Romanian parliament on 24 May voted by 249 to 147 to
approve a report by a mediation commission on the draft bill on
accelerating privatization in Romania. Radio Bucharest said the report's
approval amounted to the de facto ratification of the law itself. The
controversial legislation had already been passed by both chambers but
in slightly differing forms. The same source described the 24 May
debates as "heated and occasionally even tense." Members of the
opposition announced that they would ask the Constitutional Court to
block the law. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA'S STRATEGY FOR JOINING EU TAKES SHAPE. The government commission
charged with working out Romania's strategy for joining the European
Union convened on 23-24 May at Snagov, near Bucharest, Radio Bucharest
reported. The commission pledged to present in early June the drafts of
a framework program for joining the EU and a "white charter" on
Romania's integration into that organization at the beginning of the
21st century. The conference was attended by senior officials, including
Mircea Cosea, the head of the government's Council for Economic
Coordination, Strategy, and Reform, and National Bank Governor Mugur
Isarescu, as well as leading religious and cultural figures. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

DUMA PASSES LAW ON 14TH ARMY ON FIRST READING. The Russian State Duma on
24 May approved by 227 to two with five abstentions a draft law on the
14th Army on its first reading, Interfax reports. The bill provides for
a moratorium on plans to reorganize the army and withdraw it from the
Dniester region as well as continued financing for the army from the
federal budget. The Duma also adopted a resolution on ensuring the
safety of all weaponsagreement signed during
Russi4I=EFy=A3_=81=81=C4=F5W=9D=DC=9DW=A6=B8=D2=C4O/epresentative Istvan=
 Gyarmati, who is paying a
visit to Chisinau, that he was opposed to the idea that the 14th Army be
granted peacekeeping functions. -- Danepresentative Istvan Gyarmati, who
is paying a visit to Chisinau, that he was opposed to the idea that the
14th Army be granted peacekeeping functions. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA'S LAST COMMUNIST PREMIER TO HEAD STATE-RUN COMPANY. Andrey
Lukanov is to head the Bulgarian-Russian gas company, which will be set
up in accordance with an agreement signed during Russian Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin's visit to Sofia on 18-19 May, Standart reports on
25 May. The newspaper says that his return to an official post after
five years puts him in a key position both in the field of economics and
in relations with Russia. Lukanov was first deputy prime minister in the
1980s and was elected to the Politbureau in 1989. From 1989 to 1990, he
was Bulgaria's last communist premier. In order to head the new company,
Lukanov will have to resign his seat in the parliament. -- Stefan
Krause, 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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