A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner. - Samuel Johnson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 123, Part II, 26 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

KUCHMA APPEALS TO PARLIAMENT TO REINSTATE GENERAL PROSECUTOR. President
Leonid Kuchma appealed to Ukrainian lawmakers to overturn their 21 June
resolution dismissing General Prosecutor Vladislav Datsiuk, Ukrainian TV
reported on 23 June. Kuchma's appeal says the decision contravenes
article 44 of the new law on separation of powers where the parliament
is authorized to appoint and dismiss the general prosecutor only upon
the president's recommendation. Legislators sacked Datsiuk for failing
to deal with growing crime, but Datsiuk claimed the move was politically
motivated in an effort to halt investigations into high-level
corruption. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE TIGHTENS BORDER CONTROLS. The head of Ukraine's border guard,
Viktor Bannikh, has said that Ukraine is tightening its border controls
along the Russian frontier because of the situation in the northern
Caucasus, Ukrainian radio reported on 22 June. The move aims to prevent
armed bands from penetrating Ukraine's border. The decision follows the
recent deployment of Russian marines from the Black Sea Fleet in Georgia
where they are advancing on Abkhazia with Georgian troops. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

LI PENG IN UKRAINE. Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng arrived in Kiev on 23
June for an official visit, Ukrainian radio reported. Li met with his
Ukrainian counterpart Yevhen Marchuk and President Leonid Kuchma. Talks
focused on economic cooperation. Last year Ukraine's trade with China
amounted to more than $800 million and there are now over 40 joint
ventures between the two countries. The two sides signed further
agreements on cooperation and Li passed on a letter in which China
promised financial assistance to Ukraine. Marchuk said that China was
Kiev's third largest trading partner after Russia and Turkmenistan, but
the latest talks showed that trade potential between the two could
increase two to three times over the next year. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
Inc.

CRIMEANS VOTE IN LOCAL ELECTIONS. Just over 50% of eligible voters in
Crimea cast ballots in local elections on 25 June, filling some 75% of
seats on local councils, Russian radio and television reported on 26
June. Over half the candidates represented the Communist Party. Crimean
Tatar leaders said their community didn't participate in the poll
because less than half of the 200,000 Tatars repatriated from other
regions of the former Soviet Union have taken Ukrainian citizenship. The
elections were rescheduled from 29 April after Ukraine clamped down on
Crimean separatists by canceling the region's constitution and
abolishing its presidency in March. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN LAW ON FOREIGNERS. The Estonian Citizenship and Migration
Department told Interfax on 23 June that the government had decided the
previous day to submit draft amendments to the law on foreigners. The
government proposed removing a provision calling for the expulsion
within a year of non-citizens who did not apply for residency and job
permits by 12 July. It, however, suggested raising the cost of
processing applications from 30 kroons ($2.67) to 300 kroons after 12
July. Non-citizens who do not apply by the deadline will lose the right
to participate in the fall local elections. The department noted that
about 140,000 of the 400,000 non-citizens had not yet submitted
applications. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA PROTESTS RUSSIAN AIRSPACE INCURSION. Two Russian Antonov AN-2
planes on 22 June flew from Belarus to Kaliningrad across Lithuania
without asking for permission. One of the pilots told air traffic
controllers that they were carrying coffins and did not have enough fuel
to fly around Lithuania. Deputy Foreign Minister Albinas Januska said:
"We cannot tolerate such acts, If Russia continues to violate
Lithuania's airspace, this can touch upon Lithuania's goodwill attitude
towards Russian military transit," Reuters reported on 24 June. The
incursion occurred while US Undersecretary of Defense Walter Slocombe
and the warship "USS Phillipine Sea" were visiting Lithuania. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PARLIAMENT ON RESTITUTION. The Sejm left-wing majority voted on
23 June against restitution draft laws prepared by President Lech Walesa
and the opposition party Freedom Union. The drafts provided for
confiscated property to be returned to former owners, or offered
comparable property in exchange or compensation in treasury bills. The
Sejm sent two other draft laws on restitution to committees for further
elaboration. A government draft provides for an inheritance tax up to
90%, while a Polish Socialist Party project proposes very limited
compensation in treasury bills. According to an OBOP public opinion poll
conducted in June, 65% of Poles favor returning property to former
owners, Polish media reported on 24 June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT ON 1996 BUDGET. The Polish government accepted on 24
June general assumptions for next year's budget. They provide for a 20%
capital gains tax and a budget deficit of around 10%. Pensions are to
rise by 2.5%, Polish media report. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

EIGHTEEN DIE IN CZECH RAIL CRASH. The Czech Republic's worst rail crash
in 25 years took place on 24 June when four runaway goods wagons smashed
head-on into a single-car passenger train. Czech media reported that
most of the 21 passengers were youngsters on their way to a dance. The
driver and guard were among 18 people who were killed; four others were
seriously injured and only one escaped with minor injuries. The goods
wagons, loaded with iron and wood, were apparently not properly secured
and rolled away from a station at Cechnov in East Bohemia. After running
free for about 5 kilometers, they hit the oncoming passenger train on
the same track at about 100 kph. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

MECIAR PUBLICLY ACCUSES HIS PREDECESSOR OF ELECTORAL FRAUD. Slovak Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar on 25 June publicly accused Democratic Union
(DU) chairman Jozef Moravcik of electoral fraud. In a debate on Slovak
Television, Meciar said a parliamentary investigation commission has
confirmed claims that the DU did not gather the required 10,000
signatures to take part in last fall's elections. Moravcik, Meciar's
predecessor as prime minister before the elections, termed the statement
"political irresponsibility and stupidity" and said the commission has
not yet published its findings. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK, HUNGARIAN PRESIDENTS MEET AT ETHNIC FESTIVAL. Michal Kovac and
Arpad Goncz both attended a festival of Slovakia's ethnic Hungarian
minority in the southern Slovak town of Gombasek on 25 June and held
informal talks afterwards, international media reported. In a speech at
the festival, Kovac said Slovakia is and will be a good homeland for all
its citizens regardless of their nationality, religion or political
convictions. Hungary's parliament on 13 June ratified a bilateral treaty
with Slovakia, but Slovakia's parliament has yet to do so. Kovac
reportedly told Goncz he expected ratification before the end of this
year. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ZAGREB PROTESTS RUMP YUGOSLAV ARMY PRESENCE. Vecernji list on 26 June
reports that the Croatian president's chief-of-staff and head of
Croatia's commission for UNCRO Hrvoje Sarinic has contacted UN special
envoy Yasushi Akashi by letter to protest the increasing presence of
rump Yugoslav forces on Serb-occupied territories of Croatia. According
to Sarinic's letter, the rump Yugoslav army presence in terms of men and
materiel has been increasing appreciably since the recent transfer of
Lt. Gen. Mile Mrksic, formerly of the rump Yugoslav army, to the post of
commander of the Krajina Serb forces. Sarinic also observed that since
Belgrade began press-ganging ethnic Serb refugees on 11 June throughout
the rump Yugoslavia for forced military service, an estimated 4, 000 men
have arrived in Krajina. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BILDT ON BOSNIAN CRISIS. International media reported on 25 June that
new European Union mediator Carl Bildt spent time that day briefing
French President Jacques Chirac on developments in the former
Yugoslavia. Almost no details of the closed-door meetings, described as
"informal," are expected to emerge before the EU summit in Cannes on 26
June, where discussion on Bosnia is slated for the first day. Bildt has
also spoken to representatives of the international five-member Contact
Group about details of his first mission to the war-torn country, which
involved a rapid and dramatic exit from Sarajevo as the EU negotiator's
convoy came under fire, Nasa Borba reports on 26 June. In other news,
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's cabinet on 26 June resolved to send
military back-up for UN peacekeeping operations in Bosnia. The historic
decision has yet to receive parliamentary approval. -- Stan Markotich,
OMRI, Inc.

"MORALE IS HIGH" SAYS BOSNIAN COMMANDER. Bosnian army Chief of Staff
Rasim Delic, assessing the military situation throughout Bosnia, has
concluded that Bosnian Serb forces are overextended and weakening while
"morale is high" in all Bosnian government units . "We will try to
maintain the present advantage at all costs," he was quoted as saying by
the Croatian news agency Hina on 25 June. Meanwhile, Bosnian government
military sources have said for the record that the siege of Sarajevo is
not, contrary to Bosnian Serb reports, weakening and may be expected to
continue throughout at least the summer; on 25 June international media
reported that on that same day Bosnian government forces captured a
strategic hill just outside Sarajevo that had been occupied by Bosnian
Serb troops. Finally, on 25 June Reuters reported that the Bosnian army
continues to block peacekeepers' movements while it awaits clarification
of the role of 'rapid reaction' reinforcements for the UN mission." The
Bosnian government has expressed concern that the forces' presence may
effectively hamper offensives against the Bosnian Serbs. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

NINE KILLED IN SARAJEVO. Reuters reported on 25 June that a shell
exploded near a playground in the war-torn city, killing three adults
and three children and bringing the death toll from shelling and sniping
for that day to nine. At least thirty others were wounded, police
sources reported. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SCANDAL OF MILITARY ATTACK ON ILIESCU CONTINUES . . . The leader of the
extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, told a
press conference on 23 June that his formation continued to support
President Ion Iliescu, Radio Bucharest reported the same day. Tudor said
his party's weekly had published the letter of the 300 active and
reserve officers implying the president was guilty of high treason (see
OMRI Daily Digest, 21 June 1995) in the name of "freedom of the press."
The daily Evenimentul zilei reported on 24 June that Iliescu said he
believed the Prosecutor General's office was manned by "professionals"
who know how to "go about their business," in what seems to be a threat
to sue Tudor. Meanwhile, three opposition parties, the Liberal Party
'93, the Democratic Party-National Salvation Front and the Social
Democratic Party, called on the Supreme Council of National Defense to
investigate the affair and take action if the letter proves to have been
forged. The daily Romania libera on 26 June quotes the chairman of the
Senate's Defense Committee, Alexandru Radu Timofte, as saying that the
letter had been written by just one person and the 300 signatories "do
not exist."-- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AS DOES SCANDAL ON ALLEGED ILIESCU KGB LINKS. The daily Ziua
reported on 23 June that two agents of the Romanian Intelligence Service
(RIS) have been identified while taking videotapes of the journalist who
first revealed the alleged past links of President Ion Iliescu with the
KGB. The journalist, Tana Ardeleanu, was filmed while meeting a reporter
for the independent news agency Mediafax. An official of the RIS
admitted that the two had taken the shots, but claimed that the
operation had nothing to do with the allegations against Iliescu. The
two agents, he said, were on a mission to "catch two spies" but had
erred and also "acted unprofessionally." Ziua on 26 June said it was
suing the two agents and the RIS. The Association of Romanian
Journalists said in a press release carried by Radio Bucharest on 25
June that it was "astonished" by the RIS deed, which was branded as "an
illegal action of a political police, directed against the independent
press," and said the explanations of the RIS were "puerile." -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA OPENS STOCK EXCHANGE. The first stock exchange in nearly 50
years was reopened in Bucharest on 23 June, Radio Bucharest reported on
the same day. President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu,
the Governor of the National Bank, Mugur Isarescu, and members of the
parliament attended the opening ceremony. The director general of the
stock exchange, Stere Farmache, said real trading on the stock exchange
will start in the fall. Till then there will be "simulacrum operations"
testing the ability of the exchange market. Prime Minister Nicolae
Vacaroiu estimated that it will take some two years until the stock
exchange will become "the barometer of our economic activity." More than
120 former state-owned companies issued public shares so far. More
potential stocks may come from a mass privatization program approved
last week. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

GRACHEV IN MOLDOVA, SNEGUR IN MOSCOW. Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev on 26 June begins a visit to Chisinau to discuss the
implementation of the agreement on the withdrawal of the 14th Army,
Radio Bucharest and international agencies reported on 24 June. He will
also go to Tiraspol in the breakaway Transdniestr region, where the army
is based. At the same time, Moldovan President Mircea Snegur starts a
visit to Moscow, where he will discuss with Boris Yeltsin the
implementation of the pullback agreement, Radio Bucharest reported on 25
June. The visits take place against the background of a declaration
issued by the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in reaction to the
bill adopted by the Duma on 21 June opposing the withdrawal of the 14th
Army. The declaration, carried by Infotag and BASA-press on 23 June,
says the Duma "continues to hinder the process of a political settlement
of the Transdniestrian problem" and its position "contradicts the
principles of international law," amounting to an "interference in the
internal affairs of a sovereign state." The withdrawal of the 14th Army,
the ministry says, remains one of the conditions for the peaceful
settlement of the conflict. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT REPLACES STATE MEDIA BOSSES. The National Assembly
on 23 June elected new directors of national television and radio and of
the state-run news agency BTA, RFE reported the same day. Ivan Granitski
replaced Hacho Boyadzhiev as head of Bulgarian National Television,
Vecheslav Tunev took over Bulgarian National Radio from Ivan Obretenov,
and Milen Valkov became new head of BTA. He replaced Stefan Gospodinov,
who died last week. Most opposition deputies voted against the
candidates, who had been nominated by the Bulgarian Socialist Party
(BSP). The BSP majority rejected opposition proposals to have the three
candidates come to parliament and explain their future plans, to have
the outgoing directors explain to the assembly the reason for their
removal, and to broadcast the debate live. Opposition speakers called
the replacement a move to put state media under effective BSP control.
-- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF ALLOWING MANIPULATION OF SECRET FILES.
Skender Gjinushi, leader of the Social Democratic Party, accused
President Sali Berisha before the Constitutional Court on 23 June of
encouraging manipulation of former secret police files, international
news agencies reported the same day. He also asked the court to ban
Rilindja Demokratike, the newspaper of Berisha's Democratic Party. The
paper had accused Gjinushi, who was education minister in the last
communist government, of having worked for the secret police Sigurimi
under the code name Agap. This information can only come from Sigurimi
files, but officially they have not been opened do far because there is
no law on their disclosure. Gjinushi in return accused the newspaper of
manipulating Sigurimi files, adding that "the President knows about
this" and that Berisha is using these files "to threaten his opponents."
The court did not announce its ruling on the case, but a ban of Rilindja
Demokratike is unlikely. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

NEWEST U.S. SPY PLANE TO FLY FROM ALBANIA. The Pentagon is sending its
newest unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to Albania where it will fly
missions over Bosnia in support of NATO and U.N. forces, U.S. media
announced on 23 June. The aircraft, called the "Predator", is a new-
generation aerial reconnaissance system still in the experimental stage.
It can stay airborne for up to 40 hours, and its sensors can see through
clouds. In early 1994, the CIA for several months flew some older
reconnaissance drones out of the airport at Gjader, in northern Albania.
-- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Steve Kettle

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
quotation marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
No subject line or other text should be included.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
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.


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole