Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 119, Part II, 20 June 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

GONCZ REELECTED HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT. The Hungarian parliament on 19 June
elected 73-year-old Arpad Goncz to a second five-year term as president,
international media reported. Backed by the ruling socialist-liberal
coalition, Goncz won the necessary two-thirds majority, receiving 259
votes, compared with only 76 for his challenger, Ferenc Madl. Goncz is
not a member of a political party. -- Sharon Fisher , OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ON CRIMEA. Leonid Kuchma, during a visit to the
Black Sea peninsula, said the statement he with Russian President Boris
Yeltsin at the recent Sochi summit, has ended any disputes between the
two countries over the status of Crimea, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 19
June. He said now that Russia has reaffirmed its respect for Ukraine' s
territorial integrity, the Crimean legislature should turn its attention
to establishing a legislative framework for economic reforms. The
Ukrainian leader met with Crimean Tatar leaders to discuss ways to
increase financing for their repatriation from other CIS countries. In
other news, Kuchma announced that Ukraine has begun to develop its gold
deposits, Reuters reported on 19 June. Geologists have claimed that the
deposits, located near Kirovohrad, could yield 15 tons of gold annually.
-- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE REDUCES DEBT TO GAZPROM. Ukrainian Radio on 19 June reported
that in the first two weeks of June, Ukraine succeeded in reducing its
1995 gas debt to Russia to $405 million. Ukrhazprom paid $65.9 million
in hard currency, built housing units for Russian workers, sent goods to
Russia, and provided various services, Interfax reported. Since the
beginning of the year, Ukraine has paid Russia $280 million in currency
for gas supplies and provided goods and services totaling $330 million.
The payments were made possible in part because Ukrainians have reduced
their gas consumption. -- Ustina Markus , OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE' S DEFENSE MINISTRY ON TROOPS FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Ukrainian
Radio on 19 June reported that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense,
responding to a UN request for additional support in the former
Yugoslavia, has said it is prepared to send an engineering battalion in
March 1996 to the region. Ukraine plans to send an additional 120 troops
to Zagreb from a helicopter unit and three MI-8 and two MI-26
helicopters at the end of this month. Hryhorii Telnyuk, deputy head of
the training department, said the number of draft evasions was down 21%
this year, compared with the same period in 1995, while accidents in the
armed forces were down 37%. He added that the armed forces have been
unable to resolve the problem of maintaining servicemen' s living
standards, which continue to decline. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

NEW CITIZENS'  GROUP MONITORS UKRAINIAN MEDIA. A citizens'  group has
been set up in Kiev to monitor the Ukrainian media, UNIAR reported on 19
June. Leaders of the new group-- including Vitalii Karpenko, editor of
Vechirnyi Kyiv, and Pavlo Movchan, head of the Prosvita cultural
association--have accused Ukrainian Television and Radio of politically
motivated censorship and unfair distribution of air time. They have also
said there is a lack of quality Ukrainian-language programming and print
media. The group has set up an analytical center to follow trends and
collect information and make recommendations to the president, Ukrainian
Radio and TV, and the ministries of information, culture, and education.
-- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

GENOCIDE TRIAL BEGINS IN LATVIA. Former Latvian NKVD chief Alfons Noviks
went on trial in Riga on 20 June on charges of "genocide and crimes
against humanity," Reuters reported. The 87-year old Noviks is accused
of organizing mass killings and the deportation of more than 100,000
Latvians to Siberia. The trial is the first genocide case in the Baltic
States. If convicted, Noviks could be sentenced to life imprisonment. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA HOSTS JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES. Military exercises, called
Amber Hope 95 and involving soldiers from Lithuania, Poland, and
Denmark, were held at the Rukla military base from 14-18 June, BNS
reported on 19 June. The main purpose of the exercises was to train
troops for UN peacekeeping operations. Participants were instructed in
manning observation and control posts, checking the flow of refugees,
passing mine fields, and shooting exercises. The exercises were part of
Lithuania' s individual plan for the NATO Partnership for Peace program.
They will be followed up with other military exercises in the fall with
US troops. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PRESIDENT DEFENDS PRIEST ACCUSED OF ANTI-SEMITISM. Lech Walesa,
in an interview with Polish Television on 19 June, said the press
misinterpreted a comment made by a priest during a sermon at St.
Brigida' s Church in Gdansk. The priest had said that Poles "can no
longer tolerate governments made up of people who have not declared
whether they come from Moscow or from Israel." The The press has accused
him of anti-Semitism. Walesa, who was present at the sermon, said "many
things can be interpreted maliciously." The secretary of the Roman
Catholic Episcopate apologized to those whom the priest' s remarks had
offended. Meanwhile, the Jewish Student Union in Wroclaw has filed a
complaint with the Gdansk Prosecutor' s Office about the priest' s
inciting ethnic hatred, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 20 June. -- Jakub
Karpinski , OMRI, Inc.

PEPSICO INCREASES INVESTMENT IN POLAND. PepsiCo Executive Vice President
Robert Dettmer on 19 June said his company intends to double its
investment in Poland to $500 million by the year 2000. PepsiCo, which
began operating in Poland in 1992, employs a work force of some 5,500.
Overall U.S. investment in Poland amounts to $1.7 billion, with the U.S.
first on the list of foreign investors, Western agencies reported on 19
June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH OPPOSITION PARTY CONTINUES RISE IN POLLS. More than one-fifth of
Czechs would vote for the Social Democrats (CSSD) if elections were held
now, according to an opinion poll conducted by the Institute for Public
Opinion Research and published on 20 June. The poll put support for the
CSSD at 22%, a rise of 3.5% over the past month. The gap between the
CSSD and the dominant ruling party, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS),
closed further to 5%. The ODS received 27%, an increase of 2% since May.
Another governing party, the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA), for the
first time fell below the 5% barrier needed for parliamentary
representation, dropping to 4.5% from 6.5%. The CSSD has almost doubled
its support this year, benefiting from a rash of labor and social
disputes. Czech railworkers are due to strike on 21 June, after rail
unions and Transport Minister Jan Strasky on 19 June failed to reach
agreement on pay demands. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PREMIER MEETS WITH ETHNIC HUNGARIANS. Vladimir Meciar met with
the chairmen of the three Hungarian parties represented in the Slovak
parliament on 19 June, Slovak media reported. The meeting, the first
between Meciar and the Hungarian parties since 1992, focused on issues
involving the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, internal political
developments, and preparations for the ratification of the framework
agreement on the protection of minority rights and of the Slovak-
Hungarian basic treaty. Hungarian Civic Party Chairman Laszlo Nagy said
the Hungarian deputies supported the ratification of both documents,
while Meciar said he is convinced the basic treaty will be ratified
"even if no one from the opposition supports it." Areas of continued
dispute include the question of "alternative" (bilingual) education,
financing minority culture, and a draft law on state language. Meciar
argued that the language law is about the Slovak language and therefore
"interferes neither with the rights to use minority languages nor with
constitutional rights." But Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement
Chairman Bela Bugar dismissed the need for the law. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN SLOVAKIA. Dimitar Pavlov arrived in
Slovakia on 19 June for a three-day official visit, TASR reported. He
met with his Slovak counterpart, Jan Sitek. The two ministers signed an
agreement on cooperation in the areas of military reform, research, and
legislation. Pavlov is also scheduled to meet with Slovak President
Michal Kovac, Premier Vladimir Meciar, and other top officials. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBS REJECT SARAJEVO' S CEASE-FIRE OFFER. The Bosnian Serbs have turned
down an offer by President Alija Izetbegovic on 18 June to end the
government' s current offensive. The condition was that the Serbs
respect the 20-km-wide heavy weapons exclusion zone around Sarajevo, the
BBC and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said on 20 June. The
International Herald Tribune added that UN sources have confirmed
Serbian claims that the strategic Pale-Lukavica road remains in Serbian
hands. The Serbs have launched a counter-offensive and announced that
victory would be theirs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN CROATS BACK ALLIANCE WITH MUSLIMS. The Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung on 20 June quotes Bosnian Croat leader Kresimir Zubak as saying
his side will back the government forces and continue the offensive to
stop the blockade of Sarajevo "to the end." A top Bosnian Croat defense
official told Vecernji list that the two sides will continue to stage
coordinated actions to defeat the common Serbian enemy. Meanwhile in
northern Bosnia, the Serbs have stepped up artillery pressure on the
Croat-held territories on the Bosnian side of the Sava River. Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman, for his part, has begun a visit to Australia,
which has large emigre communities from throughout the former
Yugoslavia. Nasa Borba reported his arrival touched off noisy protests
by the local Serbs, but the Zagreb dailies note that Australian Croats
gave him a rousing welcome. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN EMISSARY MAKES LOW-KEY VISIT TO BELGRADE AND PALE. Former
Russian special envoy Vitaly Churkin has visited Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in a
previously unannounced visit. Western and Serbian media on 20 June noted
that the official purpose of the trip was simply to "exchange ideas" and
that Churkin brought along no new proposals. France, meanwhile, has
urged the new EU negotiator, former Swedish Prime Minister Karl Bildt,
to make fresh efforts to relaunch the peace process. It said the release
of the last hostages provides a good opportunity for such an initiative.
The International Herald Tribune notes that the Bosnian government
suspects the West of wanting to make a quick peace deal with the Serbs
that would give the Serbs far more than offered by the existing peace
plan. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN BELGRADE. Georgi Pirinski on 19 June met
with his rump Yugoslav counterpart, Vladislav Jovanovic, and Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic, Demokratsiya reported the following day.
After the meetings, Pirinski confirmed the Bulgarian government' s
position that a peaceful solution to the Yugoslav crisis can be reached
only by political means and a gradual lifting of UN sanctions against
rump Yugoslavia. While he stressed that Bulgaria is not violating the
embargo, he said he agrees with Milosevic on strengthening "bilateral
political and economic relations." Pirinski is slated to meet with other
ranking officials on 20 June, including rump Yugoslav Premier Radoje
Kontic. -- Stefan Krause and Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN GUARD SHOOTS ALBANIAN CHILD IN KOSOVO. A Serbian guard shot and
killed a 10-year-old ethnic Albanian in Hani i Elezit, near the
Macedonian border, while he was herding sheep, Kosova Daily Report said
on 19 June. The child reportedly walked into the courtyard of the army
barracks, about 70 meters from his home, to round up a stray sheep. The
army has not officially admitted any involvement in the incident but
informed the boy' s family that his body is in Pristina' s main
hospital. The incident brings the number of Albanians killed in Kosovo
by Serbian police and military in 1995 to 17. More than 100 Albanians
have been killed in Kosovo since the abolition of Kosovar autonomy in
1989. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT IN PARIS. Nasa Borba on 20 June reported that
Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov is in Paris together with an official
Macedonian delegation. Gligorov is slated to address a plenary session
of the Western European Union, meeting from 19-22 June in the French
capital. Observers believe this is a sign that Macedonia may soon be
granted associate membership in the European defense body. Meanwhile,
Macedonian Premier Branko Crvenkovski returned from a state visit to
Turkey, where he met with Premier Tansu Ciller and President Suleyman
Demirel. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN U.S. Gheorghe Tinca on 19 June started a
four-day visit to the United States, Radio Bucharest reports. Tinca is
scheduled to meet with U.S. Defense Department Secretary William Perry
and other officials. He is expected to sign a confidentiality agreement,
which is seen as an important step in developing bilateral military
ties, especially in the technological field. In an interview with Radio
Bucharest before leaving for Washington, Tinca said his agenda included
contacts with big firms in the defense industry. He mentioned Bell
Helicopter, which plans to assemble some 100 Cobra attack helicopters in
Romania. Bell and Romania on 15 June signed a letter of intent at the
Paris air show. The deal will help Romania acquire modern military
technology and thus pave the way for integration into NATO. -- Dan
Ionescu , OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN TRADE UNIONS RESUME TALKS WITH RULING COALITION. The National
Confederation of Romania' s Free Trade Unions-The Brotherhood, the
National Labor Bloc, and the Alfa Cartel on 19 June resumed talks with
the four parties backing the current left-wing cabinet over a future
social pact. Radio Bucharest reported that no agreement was reached. A
new round of talks, scheduled for 21 June, is expected to pave the way
for the signing of the accord the next day. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN GENERAL ON HUNGER STRIKE IN SUPPORT OF LEBED. Maj. Gen. Yury
Popov on 19 June started a hunger strike to protest the departure of Lt.
Gen. Alexander Lebed as commander of the 14th Russian Army based in
Tiraspol, Interfax reported. Popov--who is the head of the 59th
Division, a leading unit within the 14th Army--said he wanted the law to
be observed in connection with Lebed' s replacement. He also said he
feared that the changes at the top will be followed by purges among the
14th Army officer corps. Russian President Boris Yeltsin on 16 June
reiterated Moscow' s intention to downgrade the 14th Army, citing
financial reasons and a new defense doctrine. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS LAND LAW. The Constitutional
Court on 19 June rejected an amendment to the land restitution law as
unconstitutional, Bulgarian Radio reported the same day. The law, which
restricts the rights of land owners to freely sell their plots and
favors the establishment of agricultural cooperatives, was adopted by
the Socialist majority on 14 April and vetoed by President Zhelyu Zhelev
two weeks later. After parliament overruled his veto on 10 May, Zhelev
asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the constitutionality of the
amendment. Constitutional Court Judge Georgi Markov said the law
contradicts the inviolability of property guaranteed by the
constitution. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER IN ATHENS. Zhan Videnov arrived in Athens on 19
June on a two-day official visit, international agencies reported the
same day. He met with President Kostis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister
Andreas Papandreou, and Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias to discuss
the planned trans-Balkan oil pipeline. Also on the agenda were the
opening of new border checkpoints, the easing of visa requirements for
Bulgarians, and increased Greek investment in Bulgaria. Both premiers
stressed that relations between the two countries were good. Papandreou
said the planned pipeline is of greatest strategic economic importance
for Greece. An agreement between Russia, Bulgaria, and Greece to
construct a pipeline from the Bulgarian port of Burgas to
Alexandroupolis, in Greece, was signed in Moscow on 15 June. The
pipeline, which will have a daily capacity of 600,000 barrels, will give
Russia access to Western markets without having to ship its oil through
the Bosporus. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN COURT REJECTS APPEAL BY SOCIALIST LEADER. A court in Tepelena
on 19 June rejected an appeal by Socialist Party leader and former Prime
Minister Fatos Nano to review his trial. Nano was sentenced to 12 years
in prison in April 1994 on charges of misappropriating state funds and
forging documents. His sentence has been reduced in various amnesties
and under the new penal code, which took effect on 1 June. Defense
lawyers argued that Nano should receive a milder sentence under the new
penal code and be freed until then. Nano has claimed that the trial is
politically motivated, Populli PO reported on 20 June. -- 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 OMRI Daily
Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe,
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OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
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Copyright (c) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved.


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