If there is anyone listening to whom I owe money, I'm prepared to forget it if you are. - Errol Flynn
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 145, Part II, 27 July 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

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT BARS PATRIARCH BURIAL IN ST. SOPHIA'S. Leonid Kuchma
has said he will not agree to allow Patriarch Volodymyr, head of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, to be buried in St.
Sophia's Cathedral, Reuters and Ukrainian TV reported on 26 July. This
was Kuchma's first public statement on the issue since the 18 July
clashes between riot police and mourners at the patriarch's funeral.
Kuchma explained his decision by saying he wanted to avoid further
tensions between the various rival Orthodox Churches in Ukraine. He also
noted that his government will strictly adhere to the separation of
Church and state and will refuse to favor one Church over another. He
said the use of force by riot police against unarmed mourners was
"inexcusable" and stressed that top officials who gave orders to attack
the crowd will be held responsible. Kuchma also accused leaders and
supporters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which broke away from the
Moscow Patriarchate in 1992, of a deliberate effort to destabilize the
socio-political situation in Ukraine by provoking violence. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE BANS HARD CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS. The Ukrainian government has
banned the use of foreign currency in cash transactions in the retail
trade and service sectors beginning 1 August, UNIAR reported on 26 July.
Permission to accept hard currency as payment will be limited to duty
free shops at border crossings and airports, foreign travel services,
and hotels for foreigners. The National Bank of Ukraine announced the
move as a first step toward monetary reform. Ukrainian Radio reported
the same day that President Leonid Kuchma said Ukraine would introduce
its new currency, the hryvna, by the end of October. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE'S ENERGY DEBT. Ukraine has paid $606 million since the beginning
of the year to meet its debts to Gazprom, Business segodnia (issue no.
27) reported. Besides cash payments, this total includes $10.2 million
for the construction of housing for Gazprom workers, $46.7 million worth
of goods, and $377.2 million in services. Gazprom is to supply Ukraine
with gas worth $1.365 billion for the year. According to Vek (issue no.
27), Kiev has spent more than 60% of the credits it received from the
IMF and EBRD to repay its energy debts to Russia and Turkmenistan. The
Deutsche Bank, which has been advising Ukraine on economic and financial
affairs, has urged Ukraine to change its energy policies and develop gas
and oil deposits discovered in Crimea to reduce its dependency on
Russian and Turkmenistan. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN CUSTOMS UNION ENCOUNTERS DIFFICULTIES. Russian Public
Television on 26 July reported that the customs union between Belarus
and Russia, set up less than two months ago, is being violated by the
Belarusians. The agreement on the customs union stipulated that Belarus
levy excise duties on various goods in line with Russian duties. But the
Belarusian customs committee has apparently levied fees on only a third
of the goods considered by the Russians to be covered by this provision.
As a result, cars, gasoline, precious metals, and other products can be
imported cheaply from Russia into Belarus. The report gave the example
of four Belarusian importers who managed to import some 4,000 BAZov
trucks from Russia to Belarus in less than two months without paying $5
million customs duties on them. The customs committee is now trying to
collect the duties retroactively. The television report said it hoped
Belarus would soon institute proper controls over imports from Russia.
-- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

CONGRESS OF ESTONIAN RURAL PARTIES. Prime Minister Tiit Vahi told a
congress of rural parties in Tallinn on 26 July that the biggest crisis
in the country's agricultural sector was over, BNS reported. But despite
his optimism, the congress passed a resolution calling on the government
and parliament to exempt private farmers from income tax and to halve
the sales tax on agricultural products. It also called for stricter
food-quality and veterinary checks on the Estonian border. Vahi said it
was possible that the country may introduce import duties on some farm
goods, adding these would not exceed 10%. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN GOVERNMENT ADOPTS COMMERCIAL BANK REGULATIONS. The Latvian
cabinet on 18 July adopted regulations on commercial banks,
bankruptcies, and guarantees for depositors. Because the Saeima was not
in session at the time, the rules remain valid unless rejected by that
body. Prime Minister Maris Gailis on 26 July met with the leaders of
caucuses to discuss the new regulations, BNS reported. With the
exception of the For the Homeland and Freedom caucus, the leaders raised
no objections and proposed various amendments, which Gailis agreed to.
The Saeima is to vote on 27 July on whether to approve the regulations.
-- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH RIGHT IN DISARRAY. Preparations for this year's presidential
elections are working to divide rather than unite Poland's right wing,
as a growing number of groups claim the right to select a single right-
wing candidate for president. The landscape became more confused on 27
July when a number of parties and splinter groups, including the
Confederation for an Independent Poland and the Non-Party Reform Bloc,
announced the formation of the Patriotic Political Camp, which plans to
collect petitions for five different potential candidates. The new
group's formation appears as conflict threatens to divide another
umbrella organization, the St. Catherine's Convent, which has been
unable to agree which candidate won its own straw poll. In other news,
the government's Public Administration Office has worried opposition
parties by instructing voivodship chiefs to gather information on
presidential campaign rallies, Rzeczpospolita reported. -- Louisa
Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH TRADE DEFICIT DEEPENS. The Czech Republic's foreign trade deficit
for the first half of 1995 totaled 46.9 billion koruny, the Statistics
Office reported on 26 July. For the same period last year, the country
had a surplus of 4.2 billion koruny. This year, imports have increased
by 32.4% to 261.6 billion koruny, while exports have risen only 6.4% to
214.7 billion koruny. However, the June deficit of 9.2 billion koruny
was less than in May, when the shortfall was 11.4 billion koruny. --
Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAKIA CABINET WANTS TO REINTRODUCE DEATH PENALTY. The Slovak cabinet
on 25 July approved a note to the Council of Europe asking that the
council revise its recommendation that the death penalty be abolished,
Reuters reported the following day. The cabinet argued that Slovak
citizens believe "the current protection against, and effective
prevention of, brutal crimes is insufficient." It stressed that between
January 1991 and May 1995, Slovak courts found 48 people guilty of
unusually heinous murders, adding that Slovaks needed protection from
organized crime. The death penalty was abolished in Czechoslovakia in
May 1990 and is forbidden by the Slovak Constitution. Opinion polls
published by TASR on 26 July showed that 70% of Slovaks support
reintroducing capital punishment, while only 20% are against it. The
Slovak National Party, a member of the government coalition, has long
been in favor of reintroducing the death penalty. Robert Fico, a deputy
for the opposition Party of the Democratic Left who represents Slovakia
on the European Commission for Human Rights, said he believes the death
penalty is important in the fight against crime, Pravda reported on 27
July. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

U.S. SENATE VOTES TO LIFT BOSNIAN ARMS EMBARGO. The Senate voted 69-29
on 26 July to end the embargo against the Bosnian government once
UNPROFOR withdraws or within 12 weeks of Sarajevo's asking it to do so.
Majority Leader Bob Dole said it was a matter of "whether some small
country that's been ravaged on all sides, pillaged, women raped,
children killed, has any rights in this world." He received strong bi-
partisan support and enough votes to override President Bill Clinton's
threatened veto. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein warned that the
Serbs want to set up "a Fourth Reich dedicated to the genocide of a
people just because they are different." Bosnian Prime Minister Haris
Silajdzic had asked the Senate to "untie our hands so that we may
protect ourselves," and later welcomed the outcome of the vote. The VOA
called the ballot "a stinging rebuke of [Clinton's] Bosnian policy." --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MLADIC CALLS ON GORAZDE TO SURRENDER. Bosnian Serb commander General
Ratko Mladic told the defenders of Gorazde that if they laid down their
arms, his forces would not attack them, Bosnian Serb Radio reported on
26 July. Meanwhile, what the VOA called "another example of Serbian
ethnic cleansing" continues at Zepa, where the UN said that 8,000
refugees are "on the run . . . [in] another humanitarian disaster in the
making," AFP reported. There is still no word on the fate of Zepa's
military-aged men, but refugees arriving in Sarajevo and Kladanj called
the UN presence "useless," the BBC said on 27 July. The refugees were
dumped on the edge of no-man's land, which they had to cross on foot to
Bosnian government lines. UN mission chief Yasushi Akashi said, "We are
watching the situation most attentively." AFP reported from Geneva that
UN special rapporteur for human rights, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, has resigned
his post in protest over the international community's inaction in the
wake of the disasters at Srebrenica and Zepa. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

CROATS MAKE BREAKTHROUGH SOUTH OF BIHAC. Hina on 27 July reported that
Bosnian Croat forces (HVO) have made great advances along the line
between Tomislavgrad and Grahovo. The biggest gains are in the Livno
region, and the HVO is now 4 km from Serb-held Glamoc and 8 km from the
strategic town of Grahovo. Some 250 Serbian refugees fled to Knin, while
the total of Muslim refugees from the Serbian advance to the north has
reached 8,000, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Fierce
fighting continues on all fronts around the Bihac pocket, which has a
population of about 180,000. Local Muslim renegade Fikret Abdic on 26
July proclaimed a Republic of West Bosnia, but the BBC called his
gesture "meaningless" since Abdic is dependent on the Serbs. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOUTROS GHALI DELEGATES AUTHORITY FOR AIR STRIKES. International media
on 25 July reported that the UN secretary-general has authorized the
UNPROFOR commander, General Bernard Janvier, to approve air strikes in
conjunction with NATO, effective immediately. The Atlantic alliance was
anxious to remove the hesitant Boutros Boutros Ghali and especially
Akashi from the chain of command. Turkey, meanwhile, announced a long-
term military cooperation agreement with Bosnia but said that it will
not unilaterally break the arms embargo, which it nonetheless opposes.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that "a genocide
is going on in Zepa, Srebrenica, and Bihac . . . [and that] no UN
official must remain neutral in the face of the aggressor and the
victim." Iran declared a week of solidarity with Bosnia, and in Athens a
demonstration against war and nationalism took place in front of the
rump Yugoslav embassy, BETA reported on 26 July. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

WHAT DID MILOSEVIC TELL KOZYREV? BETA on 26 July reported that at his
recent meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Andreii Kozyrev, Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic used the occasion to inform Russia that
Belgrade is prepared to recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina, but only in
exchange for a the lifting of all sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia.
Since at least May 1995, Milosevic has insisted that he will barter
recognition for a lifting of sanctions, prompting a wave of diplomatic
initiatives aimed at securing such an exchange. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI,
Inc.

SLOVAK PREMIER IN ROMANIA. Vladimir Meciar on 26 July began a two-day
official visit to Romania, Radio Bucharest reported. In an initial
statement to the press, he praised bilateral relations and expressed the
hope that economic cooperation could be further expanded. He also said
that problems related to ethnic minorities in the two countries will be
discussed during his visit. Both Romania and Slovakia have large
Hungarian minorities. Meciar the same day met with his Romanian
counterpart, Nicolae Vacaroiu, to discuss developing ties in
infrastructure, banking, services, and privatization. They also
considered prospects for their countries' integration in Euro-Atlantic
structures. Finally, Meciar met with Romanian Senate Chairman Oliviu
Gherman, Chamber of Deputies Chairman Adrian Nastase, and
representatives of the Slovak minority in Romania. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT SETTLES ACCOUNTS WITH INDEPENDENT PRESS. The
Romanian government, in a communique released on 26 July, sharply
attacked the independent daily Romania libera for an article published
the same day. Signed by the newspaper's director, Petre Mihai Bacanu,
the article alleged that Romanian Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu "endorsed oil
contraband" to the former Yugoslavia. The cabinet dismissed the
allegations as "gross fabrication ...that seriously damages Romania's
[international] credibility." It accused the newspaper of waging a
campaign of "forgery, calumny and denigration" aimed at compromising
Romania's chances of joining Euro-Atlantic structures. It also stated
its intention to take Bacanu to court on charges of calumny against the
cabinet and the premier. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

DESTRUCTION OF 14TH ARMY AMMUNITION HALTED. Local authorities in the
Transdniester region of Moldova have forced the Russian 14th Army to
stop the experimental destruction of old ammunition, Russian agencies
reported. ITAR-TASS was told on 26 July that Igor Smirnov, leader of the
breakaway region, put a stop to the operation. Interfax the same day
said that city officials in Rybnitsa--where the tests were conducted--
had objected. Some 2,000 freight car-loads of ammunition are stockpiled
in ammunition dumps near the village of Kolbasna, on the border with
Ukraine. Some of the ammunition was produced before World War II.
Interfax reported that the Russian military and the local administration
were continuing negotiations on a suitable site to continue destroying
the obsolete explosives. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS LIKELY IN OCTOBER. Bulgarian Socialist Party
caucus leader Krasimir Premyanov on 26 July said local elections will
most likely take place on 15 October, Bulgarian media reported the same
day. He was speaking after meeting with President Zhelyu Zhelev to
discuss the issue. Zhelev on 27 July will meet with leaders of the
opposition caucuses to discuss the date of the elections and possible
changes in the composition of the Central Electoral Commission.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties have again failed to agree on a common
candidate for mayoral elections in the capital. At a meeting of the six
parties that signed a cooperation agreement in June, the People's Union
insisted that the national leaderships of the parties convene to discuss
the matter. This was dismissed by the other organizations. The Union of
Democratic Forces, nonetheless, invited the group's leaderships to meet
on 27 July, saying the nomination of a common candidate is the "duty of
all non-communist forces." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN OFFICIAL ACCUSED OF VIOLATING SANCTIONS AGAINST RUMP
YUGOSLAVIA. Former Director-General of the Bulgarian State Railways
Atanas Tonev has been charged in connection with violations of the UN
embargo against rump Yugoslavia, Standart and Trud reported on 27 July.
Tonev has been charged in 10 instances, but prosecutors did not say what
evidence they have against him. The press says the charges include the
illegal export of fuel, furniture, and cement to the rump Yugoslavia.
Standart reports that former deputy prime ministers, ministers, and
parliamentary deputies will soon be questioned. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

ALBANIAN SUPREME COURT POSTPONES REVIEW OF NANO'S CASE. At the request
of Prosecutor-General Alush Dragoshi, the Supreme Court has postponed
reviewing the case of Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano until September,
Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 27 July. Dragoshi explained that Nano's
appeal writ was missing. He also requested the removal of Supreme Court
Chief Judge Zef Brozi from the case, but the court rejected that
request. Dragoshi argued that Brozi was biased, since he had announced
earlier that Nano should be released. Nano is serving a prison term for
the misappropriation of some $9 million in Italian aid. He has appealed
for his release, saying his term has been reduced by various amnesties
and the new penal code. An appeals court ruled earlier that Nano should
have received a higher sentence under the new penal code and therefore
should stay in jail. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIANS PROTEST DRAFT LAND LAW. Albanian demonstrators had to use a
foreign express delivery service to send a petition to the parliament
protesting a draft law land after lawmakers told them it had to arrive
by post, Reuters reports on 27 July. The protesters had tried in vain
for two days to hand over the list of signatures before resorting to use
of the delivery service. Opposition parties have criticized the draft
law, saying it will undermine the property rights of those who owned
property before communism. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK PRIME MINISTER ON DISPUTE WITH MACEDONIA. Andreas Papandreou said
Greece and Macedonia do not agree on 10% of the disputed questions, MIC
reported on 26 July, citing the Greek daily Elevtherotypia. Papandreou
said Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov continues to stress that the
Greek embargo against his country must be lifted before he will make any
concessions. The Greek premier said Greece cannot lift the embargo
unless Gligorov undertakes "specific measures." According to Papandreou,
words are not enough. Both the Macedonian flag and constitution must be
changed before the embargo is lifted, he said. -- Stefan Krause, 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. ISSN 1211-1570


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