You can't fake listening. It shows. - Raquel Welch
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 102, Part II, 26 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 ISSUES ULTIMATUM OVER CRIMEAN REFERENDUM. The
Ukrainian legislature has said it may dissolve the Crimean parliament if
that body refuses to cancel a 25 June regionwide referendum on the
banned Crimean Constitution and does not submit the draft of a new one
by 1 June, international and Ukrainian agencies reported on 25 May.
Crimean deputies missed a 15 May deadline set by Kiev for drafting a new
document. Ukraine requires the new draft to be in line with a 1992
Ukrainian law delineating authority between Kiev and Simferopol. Its
most recent move amounts to a rejection of a recent offer by Crimean
parliament leaders to cancel the poll if Kiev overturns its annulment of
the disputed Crimean Constitution. Crimean deputies said that in such a
case, they would be willing to abolish those articles that contravene
Ukrainian law. -- Chrystyna Lapychak , OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN SOCIALISTS PROPOSE COMPROMISE ON SEPARATION OF POWERS LAW. The
socialist caucus in the Ukrainian parliament has submitted a compromise
version of a resolution and constitutional amendment allowing the formal
implementation of the law on the separation of powers, Ukrainian Radio
and Interfax-Ukraine reported on 25 May. Sixty-eight articles of
Ukraine's current Soviet-era constitution need to be suspended by a two-
thirds majority in order for the landmark legislation, giving Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma greater powers to carry out reforms, to take
effect. Leftist forces who oppose reforms have threatened to block the
passage of the amendment because it would significantly dilute the
legislature's authority. But the socialist faction on 25 May said it
might agree to a temporary arrangement whereby the articles would be
suspended until 1 January 1996, when parliament would review
implementation of the law. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

OFFICIAL RESULTS OF BELARUSIAN ELECTIONS. The Central Electoral
Commission on 24 May announced the official results of the 14 May
parliamentary elections and referendum, Belarusian Radio reported. A
total of 2,348 candidates competed for 260 parliamentary seats, and 18
succeeded in being elected. The Agrarian Party won five seats and the
communists three. Turnout was 64.7%. A second round of elections will be
held in 216 electoral districts on 28 May. As for the referendum, 83.3%
voted to give the Russian language state status, alongside Belarusian;
75.1% voted to change the country's national symbols to Soviet-type
ones; 83.3% were in favor of integration with Russia; and 77.7% voted to
give the president the right to dissolve the parliament. The last
question is not legally binding, like the others. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

NEW LATVIAN FINANCE MINISTER. The Saeima on 25 May confirmed the
nomination of Indra Samite as finance minister, BNS and Interfax
reported. Samite replaces Andris Piebalgs, who resigned because of the
continuing banking crisis. Born in Philadelphia in 1959, Samite
emigrated to Latvia in 1991 where she worked as a consultant to a Saeima
commission. In September 1994, she was appointed state minister for
credit distribution. Also on 25 May, Bank of Latvia President Einars
Repse appointed his adviser Uldis Klauss as the new president of Baltija
Bank. -- Saulius Girnius , OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES ELECTION LAW. The Saeima on 25 May approved
the law on its election, BNS reported. Under the new legislation, the
Saeima is to be elected by direct, proportional, and secret voting, with
only political parties and alliances having the right to field
candidates. Parties have to surpass a 5% barrier to gain parliament
seats. Those who cannot run for office include former officials from
foreign security services as well as those who held office after 13
January 1991 in the communist party, the Latvian SSR International
Workers' Front, the United Council of Workers, the War and Labor
Veterans Organization, and the Committee for Saving Latvia's Society.
Candidates must be able to demonstrate a high proficiency in Latvian. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN, POLISH AGREEMENT ON EXTRADITION PROCEDURES. Following two
days of talks in the Polish town of Suwalki, a Lithuanian delegation,
headed by Prosecutor-General Vladas Nikitinas, reached an agreement with
Polish officials on procedures for extraditing criminals and handing
over material evidence in such cases, BNS reported on 25 May. The two
countries already have signed a legal assistance treaty and an agreement
on cooperation between prosecutor's offices, but the absence of an
extradition order has created problems for border authorities. Kestutis
Vagneris, chief Lithuanian prosecutor for information and international
relations, said that the two sides also exchanged information on
organized crime, smuggling, and illegal migration. -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER ATTACKED BY FORMER PREMIER. The Sejm on 25 May
debated Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski's presentation the
previous day of Poland's foreign policy priorities. Polish and
international media quote former Premier Waldemar Pawlak of the United
Peasant Party as asking: "Did the minister appear as Poland's foreign
minister or as an EU and NATO expert?" He commented that "our
contemporary pro-Europeanism is turning into an ideology of servility
towards the wealthy capitalist world." Deputies from other parties
defended Bartoszewski. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH COLONEL'S SPYING SENTENCE QUASHED BY SUPREME COURT. The Supreme
Court on 25 May revoked the sentence handed down to Ryszard Kuklinski,
an army colonel accused of spying, Polish and international agencies
report. Kuklinski fled Poland in November 1981 after allegedly passing
over to the U.S. plans for the introduction of martial law the following
month. He was sentenced in absentia to death for high treason in 1984.
The Supreme Court ruled that the 1984 military tribunal did not have
sufficient evidence to convict Kuklinski. Its acting president,
Stanislaw Rudnicki, was quoted by Reuters as saying that Kuklinski was
perhaps trying to counter "the direct threat of invasion by informing
rulers of countries who had influence over the world's fate." -- Jakub
Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DECISION FAVORS OPPOSITION. The
Constitutional Court on 24 May ruled that a law passed by the parliament
in November canceling 54 direct sale privatization projects approved by
the previous government is unconstitutional. Stefan Gavornik, president
of the National Property Fund's Presidium, said the parliament's
decision was taken "in the interest of society," but he stressed that it
is necessary to respect the decision of the court. Slovak National Party
Chairman Jan Slota said that he is "very sorry" about the court's
decision and that it could cause "large-scale damage" to Slovakia. Peter
Weiss, chairman of the opposition Party of the Democratic Left, said
that "If the government coalition was not so arrogant . . . , our
republic could have spared the needless damage to its reputation,"
Pravda reports on 26 May.  Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan
Carnogursky said the court's decision confirms that, despite many
difficulties, "democracy still functions" in Slovakia. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK RULING COALITION REMAINS FUNCTIONAL. A 25 May meeting of the
representatives of the four ruling parties has confirmed that the
coalition remains united. Premier Vladimir Meciar, who is also chairman
of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, said the talks "confirmed
that the coalition is functional and the interest of every partner is to
maintain it . . . Basic political differences among the coalition
parties do not exist." Slovak National Party Chairman Jan Slota said the
coalition is "100% solid," while Association of Workers of Slovakia
Deputy Chairman Stefan Gavornik commented that the coalition functions
better at higher levels than at the district level, Sme reports. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

WALESA IN HUNGARY. Polish President Lech Walesa, on a three-day official
visit to Hungary, met with Hungarian President Arpad Goencz, Prime
Minister Gyula Horn, Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs, and other
politicians on 25 May. Goencz and Walesa agreed to cooperate in their
efforts to join NATO and the European Union. "We see the world very
similarly," Goencz told reporters after his talks with Walesa. The
Polish president confirmed that the two countries had agreed to
coordinate their views and "support each other." In what appeared to be
indirect criticism of the Czech Republic's unwillingness to coordinate
its efforts to join NATO and the EU with Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia,
Walesa said that East European states are not cooperating enough in
their bids to join Western institutions. Walesa travels on 26 May to
Keszthely, on Lake Balaton, to participate in a meeting of eight Central
European presidents focusing on regional cooperation. -- Jiri Pehe,
OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO AIR STRIKES IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. Six NATO planes on 25 May struck
a Bosnian Serb ammunition depot near the Bosnian Serb stronghold of
Pale, outside Sarajevo,  Nasa Borba and international agencies reported
the following day. The NATO attack came after Bosnian Serb forces failed
to comply with an ultimatum that they return four heavy guns stolen near
Sarajevo. The Bosnian Serbs responded swiftly by launching attacks
against five of six of the country's designated safe areas: namely,
Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Tuzla, Gorazde, and Bihac. In Tuzla, a shell
exploded in a downtown area lined with cafes. The town's mayor has said
that at least 50 people were killed in the incident, while as yet
unconfirmed reports say the toll may be at least 70 dead and some 150
wounded. Meanwhile, UN spokesman Major Guy Vinet has told Reuters that
"all nine weapons collections points have been blocked by Bosnian Serb
soldiers." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

REACTIONS TO NATO AIR ATTACKS. Bosnia's Muslim-led government welcomed
NATO's actions against the Bosnian Serbs. Vice President Ejup Ganic told
reporters at a press conference following the Bosnian Serb response that
further NATO action was needed. "NATO must carry out a massive
bombardment of the Serb artillery . . . What happened in Tuzla tonight
and in Sarajevo and Gorazde must not go unpunished," he said. Meanwhile,
NATO officials have indicated that their organization is prepared to
launch other strikes against the Bosnian Serbs if they do not withdraw
heavy weapons from the exclusion zone around Sarajevo by 10:00 GMT on 26
May. The Belgian news agency Belga quoted NATO Secretary-General Willy
Claes as saying that NATO has targets of "importance." He gave no
further information. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

FORMER KOSOVO POLICEMEN ON TRIAL. Some 44 ethnic Albanian former
policemen went on trial in Prizren on 25 May, international agencies
reported the same day. They are accused of forming a shadow Kosovar
police force and face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. The
defendants have denied the charges, saying the only reason they formed
an independent police union was to protect their rights. The state
prosecutor has claimed the union served "as a shield for forming an
illegal police force." An ethnic Serbian defense lawyer said that the
trial is purely political and that the defendants were tortured by the
police during interrogation. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN CABINET DISCUSSES COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONVENTIONS. The Romanian
government convened a special meeting on 25 May to discuss ways to bring
Romania's human rights legislation into line with Council of Europe
standards, Radio Bucharest reported. A government spokesman said the
ministers approved the signing of the council's charters on local
autonomy and on minority and regional languages. The government also
decided to start ratification procedures for other conventions,
including those on extradition and combating terrorism. The spokesman
added that the legislation package on Romania's relations with the CE
will soon be sent to the parliament for emergency debate. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ROMANIA. Josef Zieleniec on 25 May began a
three-day official visit to Romania, Radio Bucharest reported. Zieleniec
and his Romanian counterpart, Teodor Melescanu, discussed ways to speed
up NATO's expansion as well as their countries' integration into
European structures. Both ministers praised the development of Czech-
Romanian trade relations. Melescanu stressed that Romania regards the
Czech Republic as a model for political and economic transformation.
Zieleniec, who was also received by President Ion Iliescu and Premier
Nicolae Vacaroiu, pledged his government's help for Romania's ethnic
Czech minority. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

IMF WITHHOLDS LOAN INSTALLMENT FOR ROMANIA. An International Monetary
Fund mission concluded an eight-day visit to Romania on 25 May, Radio
Bucharest reported. The delegation, headed by IMF's chief negotiator
with Romania Maxwell Watson, was received by President Ion Iliescu,
Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, and other senior government officials.  Watson
said at a press conference on 25 May that Romania was making progress on
reforming its economy but that the process was hampered by serious
problems, including hesitant mass privatization and enormous inter-
company debts. He suggested that the IMF continue examining Romania's
economic situation before a second installment of a $250 million loan is
released. Another IMF inspection team is expected to visit Romania in
June. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN FOREIGN MINISTER CRITICIZES DUMA. Mihai Popov, in an interview
with Interfax on 25 May, expressed concern over what he described as the
Russian State Duma's attempt to "torpedo" an October 1994 bilateral
agreement on the withdrawal of the 14th Army from eastern Moldova. Popov
said that a law recently adopted by the Duma on preserving the 14th
Army's arsenals amounted to a moratorium on the withdrawal, since it
linked it with a settlement to the crisis in the Dniester region. In a
related development, a Moldovan delegation led by parliament deputy
chairman Nicolae Andronic left for Budapest on 25 May to attend the
North Atlantic Assembly session there. Andronic said Moldova will seek
international support for the implementation of the Moldovan-Russian
agreement on the withdrawal of the 14th Army. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

NEW BULGARIAN POLITICAL ALLIANCE IN THE MAKING? Duma on 26 May reports
that President Zhelyu Zhelev sees a realistic chance for forming a new
political alliance. Dimitar Ludzhev, chairman of the Center New Policy
party, was quoted as saying that the United Democratic Forces would not
be a presidential grouping but an alliance for the people. Ludzhev,
together with Asparuh Panov and Stefan Gaytandzhiev of the Radical
Democratic Party (RDP), met with Zhelev on 25 May. Ludzhev's party has
already held talks on the formation of a new alliance with the People's
Union, and talks with the RDP are scheduled. The RDP, in turn, has
invited the Union of Democratic Forces to attend talks but so far has
not received a reply, Gaytandzhiev said. -- Stefan Krause , OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT URGES GREECE TO START TALKS. Kiro Gligorov, on a
state visit to Italy, has urged Greece to lift its embargo against
Macedonia and start direct talks with his country, Reuters reported  on
25 May. Gligorov was quoted as saying that Macedonia will not be "an
equal partner in direct talks" if the embargo is not lifted. He also
urged Greece to take a bigger role in the Balkan peace process, saying
it has "a responsibility as the only Balkan country in the European
Union and NATO to bring stability to the region." Gligorov praised the
UN peacekeepers stationed in Macedonia and said their presence is a sign
that "the war cannot expand south." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK-ALBANIAN TALKS START IN "GOOD ATMOSPHERE." Greece and Albania have
started wide-ranging talks to try to improve bilateral relations, AFP
reported on 25 May. Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Konstantinos Bikas
said the first sessions in Athens and Tirana, held on 23 and 24 May
respectively, took place in a "good atmosphere." The talks focused on
immigration and legal and consular problems. Further meetings will take
place in Tirana on 26 May-6 June to discuss public order, cultural
links, and military cooperation and in Athens on 5 June to debate
economic relations. AFP cited an unnamed Greek source as saying Athens
is considering granting 100,000 seasonal work permits to Albanian
citizens. -- 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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