Miracles are natural. When they do not occur, something has gone wrong. - A Course in Miracles
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 120, Part II, 21 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

GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON BALTIC STATES' ENTRY INTO NATO. Volker Ruhe,
at a meeting of ministers and parliamentarians from Germany, Sweden,
Finland, and the Baltic States in Visby, said the Baltic States will not
be among the first new NATO members in the year 2000, the Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung reported 20 June. He said it is "totally unrealistic"
that the Baltic States will join NATO at the same time as Poland and the
Czech Republic. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt described
Ruhe's suggestion that the Baltics seek closer security cooperation with
their northern neighbors as "dangerous," noting that Sweden and Finland
were not capable of exporting security and stability. Former Swedish
Foreign Minister Margaretha af Ugglas urged the Germans to remember the
so-called "Acheson effect" of 1950. The failure of Secretary of State
Dean Acheson to mention South Korea as a US security interest helped
prompt its invasion by North Korea. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN PREMIER SAYS BALTIC SECURITY IS ALSO GOOD FOR RUSSIA. Tiit
Vahi, at a NATO seminar on political and military cooperation in Dresden
on 20 June, said the closer relations between the Baltic States and
Western Europe do not necessarily mean worsened relations with Russia,
BNS reported. On the contrary, he affirmed the Baltic States' security
is also good for Russia. Defense Minister Andrus Oovel also attended the
seminar, arriving from a three-day visit to France, where he held talks
with his French counterpart, Charles Millon, on French assistance in
building up Estonia's national defense, exchange of delegations, and
cooperation in European organizations. Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis
Birkavs and Lithuanian Defense Minister Lina Linkevicius also spoke at
the seminar on their countries participation in NATO' Partnership for
Peace program. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN LEADERS BELIEVE IN SABOTAGE OF BANKS. President Guntis Ulmanis
and Prime Minister Maris Gailis, after an extraordinary meeting of the
Latvian government on 19 June, told reporters that deliberate attempts
have been made to wreck Latvia's banking system, BNS reported the next
day. The bankruptcy of Banka Baltija could result in Russia exerting
political pressure, since the bank remains primarily indebted to Russian
financial groups. Ulmanis noted that Latvia's four intelligence services
at the Interior Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Home Guard, and the
newly created Constitution Protection Bureau had all failed to perform
adequately. The meeting commissioned the Finance Ministry, the Bank of
Latvia, and the Prosecutor's Office to submit to the cabinet before 26
June a plan for normalizing the finance and banking system. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN INFORMATION MINISTER ON STATE OF THE PRESS. Mykhaylo
Onufriichuk, in an interview with Demokratychna Ukraina on 20 June, said
the number of publications in Ukraine has increased to more than 3,000,
despite financial difficulties and declining circulations. He said
plummeting living standards and rising subscription rates caused the
total circulation of Ukrainian publications to fall from 63,700,000
copies in 1992 to 14,700,000 in 1994. He said Ukrainian publishers are
heavily dependent on imports from other CIS countries. Some 80% of their
supplies, mainly paper, are imported. Onufriichuk also said he was
concerned about the small number of Ukrainian-language publications. Of
the 400 nationwide newspapers, only 103, or 25%, are published in
Ukrainian. Most are in Russian, he said. While several printing
companies are scheduled for privatization this year, many publications
will remain subsidized by the government. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI,
Inc.

CHINESE PREMIER IN BELARUS. Li Peng arrives in Belarus on 21 June for an
official visit, Belarusian Radio reported the previous day. He is slated
to meet with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Prime Minister Mikhail
Chyhir. He will also visit the country's military-industrial
enterprises. At the same time, the Belarusian Cabinet of Ministers will
present to the parliament for ratification several agreements signed in
Beijing by China and Belarus in January. Lukashenka, in an interview
with the Chinese paper Guangming Ribao on 18 June, stressed the
importance for Belarus of economic cooperation with China, which is its
sixth largest trading partner outside the CIS. Lukashenka also praised
the peaceful way in which China has implemented reforms. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

POLITICAL NEWS FROM BELARUS. Yauhen Luhin, head of the Belarusian
Peasant Party, has suggested that upcoming parliamentary by-elections be
held on the basis of party lists, Belarusian Radio reported on 20 June.
Viktar Chikin, a leader of the Party of Communists of Belarus (PCB),
stated that the abolition of the presidency is not the party's current
priority, although it is on the party's agenda. He said the PCB's main
goal is to have as many members elected in the by-elections as possible.
It was also reported that the Party of Popular Accord has a new leader.
Henadz Karpenka was replaced by the newly elected deputy Lanid Sechka.
The party has espoused the idea of uniting all centrist factions into
one social-democratic party. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PRESIDENT ON ANTI-SEMITISM. Polish President Lech Walesa, in a
telephone conversation with Knesset President Shevakh Weiss on 20 June,
said that "as long as he is president, he will not allow any
manifestation of anti-Semitism" in Poland. Walesa apologized to Jews if
they felt offended by a comment by Walesa's priest in Gdansk earlier
this month (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 June 1995). Walesa the same day
issued a statement saying that "all manifestations of anti-Semitism, in
Poland as elsewhere, should encounter general contempt and
condemnation." In related news, Polish Foreign Affairs Minister
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski on 20 June told the Sejm Foreign Affairs
Commission that he intends to appoint former Ambassador to Morocco
Krzysztof Sliwinski as his plenipotentiary for contacts with the Jewish
Diaspora, Polish media reported on 21 June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI,
Inc.

NEW POLISH ECONOMIC MINISTRIES. The Polish government on 20 June
approved the reorganization of the country's economic ministries as of 1
January 1996. The new ministries are Treasury, Economy and Foreign
Trade, and European Integration. The ministries to be abolished are
Industry, Economic Foreign Cooperation, Territorial Economy and
Building, as well as the Central Planning Office, Rzeczpospolita
reported on 21 June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH RAILWORKERS CALL OFF STRIKE. The Czech Republic's 105,000
railworkers on 20 June called off a strike at the last minute after the
government met most of their pay and other demands. Union leaders, in a
final meeting with Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and Transport Minister
Jan Strasky, won a monthly pay rise of an average 840 koruny per
employee as well as promises to replace the administrative board of
Czech Railroads and halt the transformation of the rail system, which
includes plans to privatize part of the network. An indefinite strike
was planned to begin just after midnight after earlier talks ended in
deadlock. "If the government had intervened earlier, this critical
situation need not have occurred," Mlada fronta dnes quoted the leader
of the largest rail union, Jaromir Dusek, as saying. -- Steve Kettle,
OMRI, Inc.

CHINA PROTESTS TAIWAN PREMIER'S VISIT TO PRAGUE. China on 20 June
expressed "deep dissatisfaction" over a private visit by Taiwan's Prime
Minister Lien Chan to Prague earlier this week, Czech media reported.
Newspapers quoted a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus violated the principles of Czech-Chinese relations
by meeting with Lien. To reinforce the protest, Chinese officials
refused to sign a prepared agreement with the Czech government on
student exchanges and left Prague earlier than planned. -- Steve Kettle,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK CABINET APPROVES DRAFT LANGUAGE LAW. The Slovak government on 20
June approved a draft law on the state language that limits the use of
other languages in schools, state institutions, and the media. The law
provides for the establishment of so-called "language police," who would
serve as inspectors under the Ministry of Culture. The cabinet also
passed a draft law on large-scale privatization effectively canceling
the second wave of coupon privatization. It approved Slovakia's
application to the European Union, which will be presented at the
upcoming EU summit in Cannes. At the Slovak parliament session beginning
on 21 June, deputies will discuss, among other issues, the ratification
of the framework agreement on the protection of national minorities,
Slovak media reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT WILL NOT RUN AGAIN. Michal Kovac, during a visit to the
southern town of Komarno on 20 June, announced that he will not run for
office again, Pravda reports. At the same time, he stressed he will not
resign from his post before his five-year term ends in 1998. Kovac, a
former member of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), has been
involved in a long-term dispute with HZDS Chairman and Premier Vladimir
Meciar. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

NATIONAL BANK OF SLOVAKIA AIMS FOR CONVERTIBLE KORUNA. NBS vice governor
Marian Jusko, in an interview with Narodna obroda on 21 June, said the
Slovak koruna should be convertible by January 1996, at the latest. In
the meantime, limits on the purchase of foreign currency will be
liberalized. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SARAJEVO'S "WORST FIGHTING SINCE FRIDAY." The VOA quoted UN observers on
21 June as saying that the Bosnian government's offensive around
Sarajevo and the Serbian counteroffensive have intensified. Fierce
combat is reported on the hills surrounding the capital. The Bosnian
army on 20 June denied permission for two large UN aid convoys to
proceed beyond Kiseljak to Sarajevo and for two smaller ones to head for
Serbian-held territory. The soldiers first said that the roads were not
safe and then claimed they had no authorization for the convoys. UN
officials are investigating. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

FRENCH DESTROY SERBIAN TANK. French UNPROFOR troops, in an unusual
display of fighting spirit, fired 90mm anti-tank rounds at a Bosnian
Serb tank north of Sarajevo. The International Herald Tribune on 21 June
quotes a spokesman as saying that "the turret was [then] separated from
the main body of the tank." The pesky Serbian vehicle had generally kept
itself well hidden but had been a source of problems for the
peacekeepers. It destroyed an armored personnel carrier and fired 15
shells at a UN observation post before the French shot back. Elsewhere,
international media quoted UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali as
calling the UN operation in Bosnia a failure. He said it could not keep
the peace because the "protagonists" do not want peace. Prominent U.S.
Senator Sam Nunn also said recently that UNPROFOR has failed and become
"nothing but hostage invitations." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KARADZIC BANS ALCOHOL IN BARS AND RESTAURANTS. Nasa Borba on 21 June
reported that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has forbidden
restaurants and other public establishments from serving alcohol for the
coming month. It is not clear whether Karadzic, whose own fondness for
strong drink is well known, will ban alcohol sales elsewhere. Meanwhile
in Belgrade, UN officials again condemned the current roundup of draft-
age men--including Serbian citizens--for the Krajina Serb army. Slobodna
Dalmacija quoted a top Krajina general as urging the military to become
more involved in economic, cultural, and general public life. He did not
openly refer to the new arrivals from Serbia, who are officially known
as "volunteers." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN DIPLOMATIC UPDATE. Russian diplomat Vitaly Churkin continued his
talks in Pale and Belgrade on 20 June, international media reported the
next day. The VOA said there was a "new Russian peace initiative." Nasa
Borba, however, quotes State Department officials as saying that no
coordinated diplomatic action has been agreed upon, although Bosnia was
discussed at the recent G-7 summit. It remains unclear exactly what
Churkin is discussing and why he is representing Russia in its latest
efforts, given that his dislike for the Bosnian Serb leadership is well
known. Meanwhile in Mostar, EU negotiator Carl Bildt held talks with
Bosnian government officials. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN ECONOMIC UPDATE. Nasa Borba on 21 June reported that the rump
Yugoslav currency, the so-called "super dinar" is currently trading at
2.3-2.5 to the German mark. When introduced in January 1994, the new
dinar was pegged to the value of the mark at an exchange of 1:1. Its
value on the black market has dipped appreciably several times since its
introduction, but the daily observes that the latest free fall, unlike
previous ones, has not triggered public anxiety. -- Stan Markotich,
OMRI, Inc.

RUMP YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTER ON BULGARIAN MINORITY. Standart on 21
June quoted Vladislav Jovanovic as saying that "the Bulgarians in Serbia
are indeed encountering problems, but these should not be exaggerated."
Jovanovic made the statement after meeting his Bulgarian counterpart,
Georgi Pirinski, who is on an official visit to Belgrade. Pirinski on 19
June met with local Socialist politicians in the Serbian border town of
Caribrod but not with representatives of the Democratic Union of
Bulgarians in Yugoslavia (DSBYu), the only registered party of the
Bulgarian minority. According to Demokratsiya on 20 June, DSBYu
representatives had not been allowed to meet with him. Two days earlier,
he had reportedly held talks in Sofia with DSBYu Secretary Todor Petrov
but had insisted that the meeting remain secret in order not to anger
the Serbian government. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

MEMBER OF KOSOVAR SHADOW PARLIAMENT TORTURED BY POLICE. Isak Maxhuni, a
member of the Democratic League of Kosovo and a legislator in the
Kosovar shadow parliament, has been badly tortured by Serbian police
while in custody, Kosova Daily Report said on 19 June. The politician is
allegedly suspected of illegal arms possession. His brother is also
reported to have been tortured and is now in the hospital. The torture
reports have not been independently confirmed. The parliament was
elected in May 1992, but Serbian police have prevented it from
convening. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT AGAINST NEW FEDERATION. Kiro Gligorov, addressing
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Western European Union in Paris on 20
June, said "there can be no new experiments" to create a new state
entity on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The independence of
the successor states has to be guaranteed, and they have to be
integrated into European structures, Vecher on 21 June quoted Gligorov
as saying. Asked about relations with Greece, Gligorov said his country
"was and still is prepared to negotiate," but only on an equal footing.
Gligorov also met with French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette, who
said France will make every effort to help resolve the Greek-Macedonian
dispute. Meanwhile, Nova Makedonija reports that Foreign Minister Stevo
Crvenkovski left for New York on 20 June to meet with UN mediator Cyrus
Vance. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN OPPOSITION, ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADERS MEET IN TETOVO. Ljupco
Georgievski, leader of the nationalist Internal Macedonian Revolutionary
Organization (VMRO-DPMNE), has met with Shaban Aliti, a member of the
ethnic Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity (PPD) and mayor of
Tetovo, to discuss possible cooperation between their parties at the
local level. The PPD is member of the ruling anti-nationalist coalition
and the VMRO-DPMNE is in opposition, but their leaders nonetheless
concluded that a coalition is possible. Meanwhile, six VMRO-DPMNE local
councilors in Skopje rejected the idea of a coalition, threatening to
leave the party. It is unclear whether the Liberal Party would support a
VMRO-DPMNE mayor in a coalition with the PPD, Flaka reported on 20 and
21 June. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN NATIONALIST WEEKLY PUBLISHES ATTACK ON PRESIDENT. Romania Mare,
the weekly of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party (PRM), has
published a memorandum accusing President Ion Iliescu of deliberately
weakening the army. The memorandum, which bears the signatures of over
300 active and reserve officers, sharply criticizes steps taken in
recent years to modernize the army and prepare Romania's integration
into Euro-Atlantic structures. It charges Iliescu with high treason and
suggests he deserves capital punishment. Romania's top-selling daily
Evenimentul zilei on 21 June reported that the document, whose
authenticity has still to be proven, amounts to instigation to military
rebellion against Iliescu. Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the controversial PRM
leader, has launched similar attacks in the past aimed at influencing
the policies of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

YOUTH EXODUS FROM ROMANIA'S NATIONAL PEASANT PARTY. A group of 62 young
people who recently left or were expelled from the National Peasant
Party-Christian Democratic (PNTCD) said at a press conference that they
intend to set up a new organization called "Popular Action." They
accused the PNTCD leadership of betraying the party's original line by
tacitly agreeing to play the role of an "operetta opposition" in
Romania. They also criticized what they described as the infiltration of
former communist activists into the party. Some independent journalists
believe the generation conflict within the PNTCD will further weaken
Romania's opposition. The PNTCD is the leading force in the Democratic
Convention of Romania, an opposition umbrella organization. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

YEVNEVICH FORMALLY TAKES OVER 14TH ARMY COMMAND IN MOLDOVA. Lt. Col.
Alexander Lebed on 20 June officially handed over the command of the
14th Russian Army headquartered in Tiraspol to his successor, Maj. Gen.
Valery Yevnevich, Interfax reported. Lebed, who resigned over Russian
Defense Ministry plans to downgrade the 14th Army, is expected to return
to Moscow soon. Meanwhile, Konstantin Kobets, the head of an inspection
team sent by the Defense Ministry, urged the group of Dniester women
protesting the replacement of Lebed to refrain from interfering in army
affairs. Interfax further reported that Maj. Gen. Yury Popov was
continuing a hunger strike to protest Lebed's replacement. -- Dan
Ionescu, 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,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
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To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
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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

Copyright (c) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved.


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