Praise yourself daringly, something always sticks. - Francis Bacon
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 122, Part II, 23 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

LUKASHENKA ON RUSSIAN-BELARUSIAN INTEGRATION . . . Belarusian Radio
reported on 22 June that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said that
once economic integration with Russia is achieved, living standards will
greatly improve in Belarus. He went on to say that under his presidency,
Belarus has not fallen further into debt, arguing that the $400 million
debt the country owes Russia was inherited from the previous leadership.
Interfax reported the same day that Lukashenka said he was ready to
abolish customs offices on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border and hoped
that when Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma visited Minsk in July the
relevant documents could be signed. Lukashenka again emphasized his
support for integration with Russia and other former Soviet republics.
-- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND ON CHINESE PREMIER'S VISIT TO BELARUS. Lukashenka, commenting
on the Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng's visit to Belarus, said he was
"pleasantly surprised" at Li's willingness to trade in hard currency
instead of bartering as the two countries have done in the past. During
the visit, China signed a treaty on extradition of criminals with
Belarus and a protocol on cultural cooperation. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
Inc.

BELARUS OFFICIAL ON TRADE WITH POLAND. Belarusian First Deputy Foreign
Minister Valeryi Tsapkala said that if Poland does not lower its customs
duties on Belarusian goods, Belarus will retaliate by raising duties on
Polish exports to Belarus, Belarusian Radio reported on 22 June.
Tsapkala said it would be better to sell Belarusian goods to European
Union countries where the tariffs were only 15%, rather than Poland,
where they are 30%. He also pointed out that Belarus does not charge
more than 15% duties on imports. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

GERMANY TO COMPENSATE ESTONIAN NAZI VICTIMS. The German Foreign Ministry
on 22 June agreed to pay Estonia DM 2 million ($1.4 million)
compensation to finance social programs for Estonians who suffered at
the hands of the Nazis, Reuters reported. The agreements ended
negotiations that began in 1993. Estonia agreed not to raise any
additional claims against Germany as part of the agreement. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

MORE SEA PASSENGERS AND FREIGHT IN ESTONIA. The Estonian Statistics
Department announced that 301,000 people arrived in Estonia by ship in
the first quarter of 1995, an increase of 41.8% over the same period in
1994, while the number departing via sea grew by 43.6%, BNS reported on
22 June. A total of 3.4 million tons of goods were loaded or unloaded in
Estonian ports in the first quarter of 1995, an increase of 12% over the
same period in 1994. Ships also brought 643,200 tons of goods, of which
383,200 tons were for Estonia and 260,000 tons for other countries.
Transit exports amounted to 1.8 million tons, with Estonian exports at
941,000 tons. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES WEU ASSEMBLY. Algirdas Brazauskas told
the parliamentary assembly of the Western European Union in Paris on 22
June that separating the Baltic States from other Central and Eastern
European states in the context of their relations with the EU, WEU, and
NATO would be a misfortune for both the Baltic States and the West, BNS
reported. He noted that Lithuania has clearly expressed its wish to join
these organizations, realizing that it "cannot ensure its security by
itself." Brazauskas also met with Jose Cutileiro, secretary-general of
the WEU Permanent Board, and Dudley Smith, president of the
parliamentary assembly. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

NEW PRESIDENT OF POLISH SUPREME AUDIT CHAMBER. The Sejm has elected
Judge Janusz Wojciechowski to head the Supreme Audit Chamber, Polish TV
reported on 22 June. The body is empowered to watch over government
activities and especially its financial policies. Wojciechowski is a
deputy from the Polish Peasant Party, the junior partner in the ruling
left-wing coalition. According to the opposition parties and the Polish
media, appointing Wojciechowski is tantamount to allowing the government
to monitor itself. The Sejm recalled Wojciechowski's predecessor, Lech
Kaczynski, on 26 May. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PRESIDENT DEFENDS TV PRESIDENT. Lech Walesa, meeting on 22 June
with the Polish TV Governing Board, said he will defend Polish TV
President Wieslaw Walendziak, who has been criticized by the ruling
left-wing coalition. The Polish TV Board of Directors has close links to
the coalition. Rzeczpospolita suggested that the Democratic Left
Alliance may join forces with the Freedom Union to bring about
Walendziak's removal. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

KOVALEV RECEIVES AWARD IN PRAGUE. Sergei Kovalev, chairman of Russia's
Presidential Commission on Human Rights, on 22 June received an award in
Prague marking his work in Chechnya. On receiving the prize, given by a
Czech foundation, Kovalev said the Chechen conflict was senseless and
has damaged Russia's image, Lidove noviny reported. Kovalev was one of
the volunteers who accompanied Chechen gunmen out of Budennovsk as a
guarantee of safe passage. Apparently suggesting that the situation has
become hopeless, Kovalev said the events of the last few days showed
there was little point in talking about human rights in Russia any more,
Rude pravo reported. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SUDETEN GERMAN WINS RESTITUTION CASE IN CZECH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. The
Czech Constitutional Court on 22 June overturned decisions by local and
district courts refusing a Sudeten German the right to reclaim his
family's house, which was confiscated after World War II, Czech media
reported. Rudolf Dreithaler failed earlier this year in an attempt to
bring about the annulment of one of the so-called Benes decrees, under
which 3 million Sudeten Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia and
their property confiscated. But the Constitutional Court ruled that the
circumstances of the seizure of the Dreithaler house in Liberec were
unclear and sent the case back to the original local court. Dreithaler
argued that the house was confiscated in 1949 and therefore should come
under Czech restitution laws; his lawyer also said the house was
registered in the name of Dreithaler's mother, a Czech, and therefore
was illegally confiscated. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH CENTRAL BANK ACTS TO CURB INFLATIONARY PRESSURES. Czech National
Bank governor Josef Tosovsky on 22 June announced radical steps to curb
inflationary tendencies and maintain the stability of the koruna, Czech
media reported. The CNB's Lombard and discount rates will rise by 1%
from 26 June to 12.5% and 9.5% respectively. From August, banks
operating in the Czech Republic will have to increase the percentage of
their reserves deposited with the CNB to an across-the-board 8.5%, a
move that Tosovsky said will remove 13 billion koruny from circulation.
Restrictions will also be put on banks holding short-term deposits from
abroad. This is intended to reduce by an estimated 10 billion koruny the
recent huge inflow of speculative foreign capital into the Czech
Republic. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK ROUNDUP. The Slovak parliament on 22 June approved an amendment
on child allowances as well as legislation raising minimum living
standards. Former Privatization Minister Milan Janicina said that
although the opposition will not be able to stop the passage of the
draft law on changes to the privatization program, it will be "ripe" for
the Constitutional Court immediately after it has been approved. He also
revealed that only about 60,000 signatures have been collected for his
petition to hold a referendum on the second wave of coupon
privatization, which was organized before the government's new plans
were announced, Janicina called the Slovak population "apathetic" and
"intimidated," Narodna obroda reported on 23 June. Meanwhile, following
the signature of a statement protesting government plans to implement
"alternative" (bilingual) education in Hungarian schools, the directors
of four secondary schools in southern Slovakia received letters that
they will be removed from their posts as of 30 June, Sme reported on 23
June. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN INDUSTRY AND TRADE MINISTER SACKED. Hungarian Prime Minister
Gyula Horn fired Industry and Trade Minister Laszlo Pal on 22 June,
Reuters reported. According to government spokesman Elemer Kiss, Pal has
agreed to leave office on 15 July. Imre Dunai, the ministry's
administrative state secretary, has been named as his replacement. Pal,
who served as a senior official in the ministry during the last
communist government, was associated with the left wing of Horn's
Socialist Party, which opposes the government's economic austerity
program and its plans for quick privatization of loss-making public
utilites. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

FRENCH MADE A DEAL FOR HOSTAGES' RELEASE. Western and Belgrade dailies
on 23 June report that French military authorities bargained for the
UNPROFOR hostages' freedom, even when Paris was saying publicly that the
prisoners' release must be unconditional. The UN commander in the former
Yugoslavia, General Bernard Janvier, held secret meetings with Bosnian
Serb commander General Ratko Mladic in Zvornik and Pale, and General
Bertrand de Lapresle came directly from Paris to cut a deal. As the
Bosnian Serb foreign minister said at the time, the Serbs received
assurances that there will be no more NATO air strikes against them in
return for releasing the hostages. The New York Times reported that the
UN commander in Bosnia, Lt. Gen. Rupert Smith, is at odds with Janvier
and opposed the talks. Nasa Borba quoted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic as saying that taking the hostages was a mistake. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ALBRIGHT CRITICIZES AKASHI LETTER TO SERBS. The VOA on 23 June reported
that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright released a statement
the previous day opposing UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi's recent
letter to Karadzic. Akashi had assured the Serbs that the new Rapid
Reaction Force would have no more teeth than UNPROFOR. Albright wrote
that "the method, timing, and substance of this letter are highly
inappropriate." The BBC, however, said the statement was prompted
primarily by domestic political considerations and by President Bill
Clinton's desire to overcome Republican opposition to financing the RRF.
Meanwhile, Akashi clarified his refusal to approve NATO air strikes
against the Banja Luka airport in response to Bosnian Serb violations of
the "no-fly zone." Akashi claimed that UN resolutions permit retaliation
only against aircraft, not against airports. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

UN REPORT SLAMS SERBIAN ATROCITIES. An RFE/RL correspondent quoted Le
Monde on 20 June as saying that for one year, the UN has known of a
report of its own showing that the Serbs alone have systematically
carried out war crimes as a conscious political policy. A recent CIA
study also blamed the Serbs for virtually all the atrocities, especially
those connected with deliberate "ethnic cleansing." The Paris daily adds
that the UN report clearly shows there "is no moral equivalence among
the warring sides" and throws into question attempts by former EU
mediator David Owen to treat all sides as equally responsible.
Meanwhile, Owen's successor, Carl Bildt, was in rump Yugoslavia for
talks with President Slobodan Milosevic. The BBC on 22 June said that
Bildt nonetheless has not yet chosen to reopen diplomatic contacts with
the Bosnian Serbs. International media added that the Serbs shelled a
line of people waiting for water in Sarajevo, killing several. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN OPPOSITION RESPONDS TO PRESS-GANGING. Nasa Borba on 23 June
reported that a member of the Democratic Party has sent a letter to
Serbian Premier Mirko Marjanovic and other officials criticizing the
press-ganging of ethnic Serbs, principally refugees, for military
service in Serb-occupied Croatia and Bosnia. The letter calls attention
to the fact that forcibly recruiting persons amounts to a "violation of
human rights." In a 22 June statement, the Serbian Renewal Movement
indicted recent events as "a savage hunt for people who are kidnapped
from student dorms...from apartments, and on the streets." The latest
campaign began on 11 June with a wave of kidnappings and police night
raids. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN PLANES VIOLATE ALBANIAN AIRSPACE. Two Serbian military aircraft
flew over northern Albania on 21 June, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 23
June. According to Kosova Daily Report on 22 June, Serbian military
aircraft have repeatedly flown low over various residential areas in
Kosovo recently. Elsewhere, Secretary of State Warren Christopher told
Kosovar shadow state President Ibrahim Rugova during his visit to
Washington that the U.S. will not allow the war in Bosnia to spread to
Kosovo and reiterated a warning issued to Serbia by U.S. President
Clinton earlier. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA FORMALLY APPLIES FOR EU MEMBERSHIP. Foreign Minister Teodor
Melescanu on 22 June in Paris submitted Romania's formal application for
full membership in the European Union. The application was accompanied
by a detailed "national strategy" for joining the union and the so-
called "Snagov Declaration," signed on 21 June by all parliamentary
parties in favor of Romania's rapid integration into Euro-Atlantic
structures. Melescanu, in an interview with Radio Bucharest on 22 June,
spoke of a "historic moment" for Romania, which, he said, has
"irreversibly" opted for "a zone of prosperity and stability." -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

HIGH-RANKING MOLDOVAN DELEGATION IN ROMANIA. A Moldovan delegation,
headed by Deputy Premier Ion Gutu, visited Romania on 21 and 22 June for
a fifth round of interdepartmental talks, Radio Bucharest and Infotag
reported. The delegation included nine ministers and five first deputy
ministers. The two sides focused on ways to boost bilateral cooperation,
especially in the industrial sector, as well as prospects for working
out a common strategy for joining European structures. Gutu was received
by Romanian President Ion Iliescu, Premier Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu,
and Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN DUMA ADOPTS BILL ON 14TH ARMY. The lower chamber of the Russian
parliament on 22 June adopted a bill opposing the withdrawal of the 14th
Army from eastern Moldova, Interfax reported. The draft law calls for
the reorganization of the army to be suspended until a political
solution to the conflict in the Dniester region can be found. It also
prohibits ammunition and weapons belonging to the 14th Army from being
moved or destroyed. The bill still has to be approved by the upper
chamber and signed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin. In a separate
development, Moldovan President Mircea Snegur expressed hopes that the
new 14th Army commander, Maj. Gen. Valery Yevnevich, would prevent any
illegal transfer of military technology into terrorist hands. He said
that the issue will figure on the agenda of his meeting with Yeltsin in
Moscow on 28 June. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES LOCAL ELECTION LAW. The National Assembly
on 22 June adopted the draft law on local elections on its first
reading, Demokratsiya reported the following day. Krasimir Premyanov,
leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) caucus, said the law lays
the foundations for effective policy on local government and will help
the reform process, but opposition deputies strongly criticized it on
several points. The main objections was to the provision that three,
rather than two, mayoral candidates take part in the second round of
voting, which, the opposition claims, favors the BSP. It also objects to
the provision that the number of candidates on party lists for municipal
councils equals the number of seats in the council, since this will
handicap small parties. Finally, the opposition claims that the law
imposes restrictions on the media in reporting about the election
campaign. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN, TURKISH INTERIOR MINISTRIES TO COOPERATE. Sofia and Ankara
will take joint actions against the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) and
coordinate the fight against drug trafficking, 24 chasa reported on 23
June. The two countries' Interior Ministries also agreed to simplify the
extradition procedures for Bulgarian criminals living in Turkey. A
Bulgarian police delegation is expected to go to Istanbul soon to
discuss further details. The Bulgarian Interior Ministry claims that
Kurds living in Bulgaria are not involved in terrorist activities and
are not trained in the country. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK-TURKISH UPDATE. Greek Defense Minister Gerasimos Arsenis on 21
June accused Turkey of "violating the elementary rules of international
law and order," Greek media reported the following day. He was
responding to Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller's statement the
previous day that an extension of Greece's territorial waters from six
to 12 miles would be a cause for war. Arsenis said that merchant ships
and warships will have "the right of safe passage [through the Aegean]
in peacetime." Both Ciller and Arsenis were addressing the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Western European Union in Paris. Meanwhile in Athens,
Greek Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias said "Greece's foreign policy
is a matter for our country and we are not interested in what Ciller has
to say." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

LAW ON PRIVATE EDUCATION ADOPTED IN ALBANIA. The Albanian parliament
passed a law on private education on 21 June, international agencies
reported. The law allows the establishment of religious and foreign-
language high schools, but only with government approval. So far, such
schools have needed special permits. In foreign-language schools,
instruction in Albanian will remain compulsory. Only Petrit Kalakula,
the leader of the Democratic Party of the Right, voted against the
draft. -- 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,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
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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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