The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. - Thomas Paine
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 126, Part II, 29 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

MORE ON THE AFTERMATH OF CRIMEAN VIOLENCE. Law enforcement officials
told the Crimean Parliament on 28 June that weekend clashes between
Crimean Tatars and alleged organized crime groups in several towns
occurred spontaneously, Radio Ukraine reported the same day. They said
they are working to restore law and order in the region's bazaars and
markets and plan to hire up to 60 new police inspectors for communities
populated mainly by Tatars. They also said that on 25 June two suspects
were arrested in the killings of two Tatar merchants on 23 June, which
Tatar leaders assert were prompted by the merchants' refusal to pay
protection money to local gangs. In Kiev, Yurii Karmazyn, head of the
Ukrainian legislature's temporary commission on Crimea, said Ukraine
should step up its effort to obtain funds from Russia, Uzbekistan and
Kazakhstan to repatriate Tatars from their countries to Crimea. In 1944,
Stalin ordered the deportation of some 180,000 Tatars from Crimea to
other parts of the USSR. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC NEWS. President Leonid Kuchma issued a decree on 28
June to ensure enforcement of the privatization program for 1995, Radio
Ukraine reported the same day. The decree will allow foreigners to
participate in privatization of enterprises on equal terms with
Ukrainian citizens. The same day, lawmakers gave initial approval to a
bill enabling the creation of so-called financial-industrial groups,
which would unite Russian and other CIS capital with Ukrainian industry
in an effort to save ailing enterprises. The Russian weekly Delovoi
Vtornik reported on 27 June that the Ukrainian government plans to use
$10 million of a $1.9 billion IMF loan awarded it this year to build six
candle factories. The country's electrical power crisis and power
outages have forced many Ukrainians, particularly in rural areas, to
burn candles more frequently. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA COMPLETES MARKING BORDER WITH ESTONIA. Russian hydrography
workers reported on 28 June that they completed marking the border with
Estonia the previous day by placing buoys on Lake Narva, BNS reported.
As with the land border in 1994, Russia marked it unilaterally, ignoring
Estonia's claims that the border should be based on the Tartu Peace
Treaty of 1920. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov told his
Estonian counterpart Raul Malk on 26 June that Moscow would stand by its
decision not to recognize the Tartu Treaty and a border agreement could
be signed only when Estonia follows suit. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA LEGALIZES FREE ECONOMIC ZONES. The Seimas, by a vote of 50 to
27 with 9 abstentions, passed a Law on Free Economic Zones (FEZ) on 28
June, BNS reported. The law provides privileges on land, value added,
and profit taxes in the FEZ, but bans any economic-commercial activities
related to state security and defense, the production of weapons,
hazardous and narcotic substances, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco as
well as establishing or running gambling houses. The former Soviet
military airport at Zokniai near Siauliai and the port of Klaipeda have
already done most of the preparatory work for setting up FEZs in their
territories. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN MILITARY REFORMS. Acting Defense Minister Leanid Maltsau said
that the total number of people in the armed forces currently stands at
153,840, of which 90,400 are troops, Belarusian radio reported on 27
June. After reductions, the total number should be no more than 60,000
servicemen and 18,000 technical workers. Meanwhile, President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka appointed Maj. Gen. Valeryi Frantsavich as the first deputy
commander of the Main Staff of the Armed Forces; Col. Yuryi Syamenchanka
was named chief-of-staff and deputy commander of the 28th army corp; and
Maj. Gen. Viktar Osipau was appointed first deputy head of the military
academy of Belarus. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PARLIAMENT ON DEFENSE. On 29 June the Sejm adopted its own draft
of a controversial law on defense with 321 votes for, 26 against, and 19
abstentions. The Sejm's draft makes the chief of staff responsible to
the civilian defense minister, a presidential draft had made him
responsible to the president "in matters of command." According to
Henryk Goryszewski, the chief of the National Security Office, a
presidential veto is likely after the vote on the draft, Gazeta Wyborcza
reported on 29 June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PUBLIC OPINION ON FOREIGN POLICY. According to a Demoskop public
opinion poll taken in mid-June, 75% of Poles would support Poland's
entry to NATO and the European Union if a referendum on the issue were
held; 57% think that Poland is secure in its frontiers but 33% believe a
threat from "some country" is coming. Among the respondents perceiving
such a threat, 80% mentioned Russia as the source and 11% Germany,
Gazeta Wyborcza reports on 29 June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

DUTCH-SWISS GROUP WINS CZECH TELECOM CONTEST . . . The Czech government
on 28 June chose TelSource as the winner of a five-way contest to take a
27% stake in the national phone company SPT Telecom. Economy Minister
Karel Dyba told a news conference TelSource will pay $1.32 billion for
the stake and provide a further 131 million dollars worth of services
and know-how. The deal, the biggest partial privatization project in the
Czech Republic, is intended to double the phone network by the year 2000
to around 40 lines per 100 inhabitants and reduce the waiting time for a
line from 3 years to 14 days. PTT Telecom Netherlands owns 51% of
TelSource and Swiss Telecom the remainder, while AT&T is providing
technical support. Unsuccessful bidders included STET of Italy,
TeleDanmark and consortia involving American, German and French firms.
26% of SPT Telecom was sold to Czech investors in the second wave of
coupon privatization; the government will retain the balance. -- Steve
Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

. . . WHILE TOTAL PULLS OUT OF REFINERIES DEAL. The French company Total
withdrew from an international consortium negotiating a 49% stake in the
Czech Republic's two oil refineries just three days before a deal was
due to be finalized. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said on 28 June the
pullout came as a surprise to both the Czech government and the other
companies in the International Oil Consortium (IOC) -- Conoco, Shell and
Agip. Trade and Industry Minister Vladimir Dlouhy told Czech Television
the remaining three IOC companies have agreed to make up Total's stake
and should confirm their intention to continue with the deal, which
could be worth more than $500 million, by the original deadline of 30
June. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK MEDIA DEVELOPMENTS. An opinion poll carried out in April and May
by AISA SLOVENSKO and GfK-SLOVAKIA showed that the tabloid-style Novy
Cas continues to be the most popular daily in Slovakia, with 27%
readership. Leftist daily Pravda was next with 13%, followed by Sport
with 9%, Praca with 8%, Sme and Slovenska Republika each with 6%, Uj szo
with 5% and Narodna obroda with 4%. Only Sme and Uj szo saw their
readership grow since a fall 1994 poll. STV 1 continued to be the most
watched television station, with 64.2%, while the Czech private station
NOVA reached 16.8%, Sme reports on 29 June. In other news, according to
a Pravda report on 29 June, the dailies Sme and Smena have signed a
licensing agreement, according to which the two papers will be gradually
reunited. Sme emerged from Smena in January 1993 following government
intervention to replace top staff members. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

MECIAR RESPONDS TO KLAUS. In an interview with TASR on 28 June, Slovak
Premier Vladimir Meciar responded to Czech media reports that he refused
a meeting with his Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus the previous day
during the EU summit in Cannes. Meciar said he received an offer for a
meeting with Klaus just as he was going for a bath. At the time when the
meeting was supposed to take place, Meciar already had talks planned
with another delegation, he claimed. He also noted that the offer for a
meeting was "not at all serious, since such a meeting is prepared
through diplomatic channels." Meciar also complained that Klaus did not
accept his proposals for changes in the bilateral clearing agreement. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS. According to an opinion poll taken
by the Slovak Statistical Office in early May, a majority of Slovaks
approve the signing of the Slovak-Hungarian basic treaty in March,
Narodna obroda reports on 29 June. A total of 26% of respondents fully
approved, 29% somewhat approved, 4% somewhat disapproved, 4% fully
disapproved, 24% were not interested and 13% were undecided. Although
the Hungarian parliament recently ratified the treaty, the Slovak
parliament has yet to begin discussion on it. In other news, on 28 June
a delegation of Hungarian parliamentary deputies ended a four-day visit
to Slovakia. Visiting the district of Dunajska Streda, which is
predominantly ethnic Hungarian, discussion focused on government plans
to implement "alternative" (bilingual) education, which ethnic
Hungarians fear will lead to assimilation and threaten jobs of teachers
at Hungarian schools who cannot speak Slovak well. In a press conference
on 28 June, Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Bela Bugar
said the Hungarian coalition will press for the removal of Education
Minister Eva Slavkovska. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY TO GET RUSSIAN MILITARY ITEMS FOR DEBT. Russia will provide
Hungary with armored vehicles and jet fighter parts as partial repayment
for its remaining debt, CET and Reuters reported on 28 June. The reports
said the new agreement did not specify the exact amount involved. The
two sides were said to still be at odds over the exact valuation of the
Russian military equipment that will be provided. Under a deal reached
last year, Russia agreed to use goods and stakes in companies it is
privatizing to repay Hungary a $900 million debt from the communist era.
The reports said a Hungarian delegation will visit Moscow in July to
settle details of the new agreement. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA FIGHTING CONTINUES. Nasa Borba reports on 29 June that on the
previous day Bosnian government forces launched three separate attacks
on the approaches to the capital Sarajevo. Bosnian Serb forces
retaliated in part with renewed shelling of the city. One of the targets
of the 28 June attacks on the capital was the media facility of Radio
and Television Sarajevo. Vjesnik reports that at least four people were
killed and 38, including foreign journalists, injured as a rocket
exploded after slamming into the building, gutting the complex. At least
three other civilians were killed in Sarajevo as other parts of the city
also came under shelling. For at least the 12th consecutive day Sarajevo
civilians have been casualties of the unrelenting crisis. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

NATO ENDORSES PULL-OUT PLAN. NATO on 28 June endorsed a plan, known as
Operation 40104, for withdrawing peacekeeping operations from the former
Yugoslavia in case the peacekeeping mission collapses. The International
Herald Tribune on 29 June quotes one NATO official as emphasizing that
withdrawal is "only a last resort. . . . [and NATO] strongly supports
the continued presence of UN forces." If the plan were invoked, however,
up to 60, 000 troops, including some 25, 000 US soldiers, would be
dispatched to the former Yugoslavia to oversee the withdrawal of
peacekeeping forces. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

FERAL TRIBUNE BURNED IN PUBLIC. Thugs publicly burned copies of the
satirical independent weekly Feral Tribune in the center of Split on 26-
27 June. The action on the 27th also involved stealing large quantities
of the paper from kiosks. Journalists and television crews were present,
but the police were not to be seen. Novi list on 28 June quotes the
editors of Feral as suggesting that the ruling party may have been
behind the incident. The opposition Social Democratic Action, Dalmatian
Action, and Istrian Democratic Party have condemned the attacks. The
editors of the weekly fear that physical violence may now be used
against them. -- Patrick Moore, in Krk, Croatia., OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PREMIER ENDS MIDDLE EAST TOUR. Nicolae Vacaroiu on 28 June
ended a four-day visit to Jordan and Lebanon, Radio Bucharest reported.
Vacaroiu, who headed a governmental delegation, discussed in Amman with
King Hussein, Premier Zeid bin Shaker, and other Jordanian officials
ways to enlarge economic cooperation and the Middle East peace process.
Romania and Jordan signed agreements on trade and health cooperation. In
Beirut, Vacaroiu held talks with his Lebanese counterpart Rafiq al-
Hariri on boosting bilateral political and economic ties. The two
countries signed five agreements, including one preventing double
taxation. In a statement released on returning to Bucharest, Vacaroiu
described the outcome of the tour as "positive." -- Dan Ionescu and
Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN GERMANY. Gheorghe Tinca on 27 June began an
official visit to Germany, Romanian media report. On 28 June, Tinca
discussed with his German counterpart Volker Ruehe prospects for
bilateral military cooperation as well as Romania's cooperation with
NATO. The two sides agreed that a German military unit will participate
in a training program in Romania in mid-September as part of NATO's
Partnership for Peace program. Tinca's agenda also includes visits to
military units and German firms specializing in military equipment. --
Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN-MOLDOVAN SUMMIT. Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Moldovan
President Mircea Snegur on 28 June discussed bilateral relations in
Moscow, western media reported. The talks focused on the situation in
the Dniester region and the planned withdrawal of Russian troops from
eastern Moldova. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Snegur said
that Russia offered to mediate a settlement of the Dniester conflict.
The two presidents stressed the need to speed up negotiations between
Chisinau and Tiraspol aimed at granting a special autonomous status to
the breakaway Dniester region, while preserving Moldova's territorial
integrity. Snegur told Yeltsin that his country was not prepared to
accept military bases on its territory, since this contravened the
Moldovan constitution. He further insisted that Russia honors the
agreement initialed in October 1994 on the withdrawal of the 14th
Russian Army from eastern Moldova over a three-year period. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN BUSINESS BLOC SPLITS. Six of the 12 deputies of the Bulgarian
Business Bloc (BBB) left the party on 28 June, Demokratsiya reported the
following day. They are expected to leave the BBB caucus on 29 June and
declare themselves independent, together with another faction member who
does not belong to the party. The deputies left the BBB after a fight
with party leader Georges Ganchev over who should become vice-president
of the parliament. Ganchev tried to secure the support of the Bulgarian
Socialist Party for his candidate, Hristo Stoyanov, which the six were
not willing to accept. As one BBB deputy declared himself independent
earlier this year, the caucus will be reduced to five members from the
original 13. Ganchev himself had to leave the parliament in April after
his election was declared invalid by the Constitutional Court. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK PREMIER ATTACKS EU PARTNERS. On his return from the EU summit in
Cannes, Andreas Papandreou on 28 June fiercely attacked other EU members
for staging what he called an "orchestrated campaign" against his
country and asked his compatriots to form a "sacred union" to fight it,
AFP reported the same day. Papandreou had been isolated at the summit on
two central issues of Greek foreign policy, Macedonia and Turkey. He
said he had "seen the work of the directorate of the European Union,"
and that decisions are being taken by a "triumvirate of the great
powers." The Greek premier attacked French President Jacques Chirac for
his position on Macedonia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 June 1995), saying
it is a "provocation for Greece and myself personally." Papandreou made
it clear that Greece will not leave the EU, from which it will have
received a total of $45 billion by the year 2000. -- Stefan Krause,
OMRI, Inc.

GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER TO VISIT ALBANIA. Gerasimos Arsenis will visit
Albania in early July to hold talks with his counterpart Safet Zhulali,
President Sali Berisha, the head of the Albanian Orthodox Church
Anastasios, and high-ranking army officials, AFP reported on 28 June.
Arsenis will be the first Greek defense minister to visit Albania in 50
years. Albanian diplomatic sources were cited as saying that the visit
is designed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the
framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace program. -- Stefan Krause,
OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIA TO LEGALIZE PRIVATE HIGH SCHOOLS. Education Minister Emilija
Simoska on 27 June announced that a new draft law on middle and higher
education will allow private high schools to be opened, MIC reported the
following day. Foreign legal entities will be allowed to open high
schools at which the classes will be conducted in one of the world
languages. Classes at the university will still be held in Macedonian,
but classes at the pedagogical faculties can be conducted in the
languages of the nationalities, such as Albanian or Turkish. Nova
Makedonija reported that tuition in one of the minority languages in
middle schools will also be possible. -- Stefan Krause, 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
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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
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Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
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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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