Величайшие истины - самые простые. - Л.Н. Толстой

No. 150, Part II, 3 August 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


SERBIAN PRIME MINISTER IN KIEV. Ukrainian Radio on 1 August reported
that Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic arrived in Kiev for an
official visit. Marjanovic met with his Ukrainian counterpart, Yevhen
Marchuk, who stressed that the conflict in former Yugoslavia should be
resolved by politicians and not by military means. He also said the UN
sanctions imposed against the former Yugoslavia were hurting the
Ukrainian economy. Ukraine lost an estimated $150 million in shipping on
the Danube last year because of the sanctions. Marchuk went on to say
that trade between Ukraine and Serbia now stands at $250 million
annually, although this figure could reach $1.5 billion without
sanctions. The prime ministers signed agreements on trade and on
creating a governmental Ukrainian-Yugoslav commission on economic and
technical cooperation. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE KEEPS TO IMF PROGRAM. IMF First Deputy Director Stanley Fisher
is upbeat about the possibility of the IMF extending further credits to
Ukraine, Ukrainian Radio reported on 1 August. Fisher was in Kiev to
discuss continued cooperation between the IMF and Ukraine with, among
others, President Leonid Kuchma. He noted that Ukraine was meeting
payment schedules for Russian gas and keeping inflation down, although
he added that at 4.8% in June, inflation was still somewhat higher than
IMF targets. Fisher also praised Ukraine's monetary reforms, saying it
was likely that within 18 months, Ukraine's economy will start to grow.
-- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

STATE OF UKRAINE'S COMMERCIAL BANKS. Leaders of the Association of
Ukrainian Banks told a news conference on 1 August that an audit of
major commercial banks revealed that many faced serious financial
difficulties because of overdue debts, UNIAR reported the same day. As
of 1 May, interbank and industrial debt amounted to 13.9 trillion
karbovantsi ($9.92 billion). Antonina Palamarchuk, the association's
vice-president, said 54 banks have suffered losses, 19 are insolvent,
and 12 have liquidity problems. But on a more positive note, banks are
showing increased interest in the treasury bill market, the interbank
currency exchange is expanding, and the demand for credit cards and
traveler's checks is growing. Palamarchuk reported the banks have
experienced a capital growth of 91.5% since April. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

August reported that a military unit composed entirely of contract
servicemen has been set up in Brest. The unit comprises some 70
soldiers, all of whom are being demobilized. Narodna hazeta reported on
20 July that the Belarusian military now has 8,600 contract servicemen
and plans to have them make up 60-70% of the armed forces personnel.
Most contract servicemen are rural residents who are looking for better
pay than offered on agricultural enterprises (traditionally among the
lowest paid sectors in the country). -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIA PASSES SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET. In an extraordinary session on 2
August, the Estonian parliament approved a supplementary budget of 65
million kroons ($5.9 million), BNS reported. The revenues are to come
from the alcohol excise tax. Sixty million kroons will be assigned to
local governments. With the transfer of the National Defense Academy
from the Culture and Science Ministry to the Interior Ministry, the
latter is to get 18.5 million kroons that had been allocated to the
former. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

and alliances have registered their lists of candidates for the
parliamentary elections on 30 September-1 October with the Central
Election Commission to meet the 1 August deadline, Reuters reported. A
pre-election poll of 1,542 voters taken on 5-11 July indicated that 62%
have already decided how they will vote, Diena reported. The coalition--
consisting of the Farmers' Union, the Christian Democratic Union, and
the Latgale Democratic Party--came first with 19.2%. Latvia's Way was
second with 17.4%, and the Democratic Party Saimnieks and the Political
Union of Economists came third with 11.3%. The last two parties,
however, have since decided to field candidates separately. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

PRICES FALL IN POLAND. Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Grzegorz
Kolodko told reporters on 2 August that consumer prices fell by 0.3-0.5%
in July. The monthly drop was the first since the transition to the
market began six years ago. Kolodko once again blamed National Bank
policies for this year's relatively high inflation, Gazeta Wyborcza
reported. Charging that the bank failed to neutralize the inflationary
impact of rising hard-currency reserves, he demanded a further cut in
interest rates. A bank spokesman rebutted Kolodko's charges, arguing
that the money supply rose only 1.5% above plan in the first half of
1995. He said lower interest rates would only rekindle inflation but
added that if prices continued to fall, rates might be cut in September.
-- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

in Poland reached a total of $5.39 billion at the end of June, according
to figures from the Polish Agency for Foreign Investment (PAIZ) reported
by Rzeczpospolita on 29-30 July. Investment commitments amounted to
another $5.089 billion, the report said. PAIZ counts investments of over
$1 million, so the actual total is probably much higher. PAIZ's figures
indicate that foreign companies have invested more than $1 billion in
Poland since the start of 1995. The total for all of 1994 was $1.28
billion, indicating that the pace of investment has quickened
substantially this year. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

brought against former Communist Party (KSC) officials over the 1968
Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Klaus on 2 August said
treason is a question that should be cleared up irrespective of how much
time has lapsed. "I think that every new generation must have the
feeling that this is something that should not be allowed and it must be
punished on merit," Klaus said in a radio interview. Five former KSC
functionaries have been charged with treason (see OMRI Daily Digest, 1
August 1995). Justice officials on 1 August said that former KSC
general-secretary Milos Jakes, former Prime Minister Jozef Lenart,
former KSC Central Committee member Jan Piller, and Zbynek Sojak, head
of the Secretariat of 1968 KSC leader Alexander Dubcek are accused of
trying to form an illegal government that would have sanctioned the
Soviet-led invasion. Karel Hoffmann, who at the time was in charge of
communications in Czechoslovakia, is accused of trying to use the media
to support the invasion. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

Representatives of several Romani parties and organizations have
protested the 2 August statement by Slovak National Party leader Jan
Slota on the recent killing by skinheads of a 17-year old Romani youth,
TASR reported the same day. They objected to Slota's use of the word
"Gypsies," saying such designations are especially significant in the
context of the ethnic tension following the incident. Robert Tsonka,
president of the Democratic Alliance of Roma and spokesmen for the
Romani parties, remarked that Slota was well aware that a "Gypsy
nationality does not exist in the constitution of the Slovak republic."
-- Alaina Lemon, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK MEDIA DEVELOPMENTS. Slovakia's Anti-Monopoly Office has asked the
Ministry of Culture not to give money from the state cultural fund or
other state subsidies to Slovenska Republika and Hlas ludu, both of
which support the ruling coalition parties. According to the office, the
allocation of funds to both dailies to publish supplements for national
minorities violates the law on the protection of economic competition,
Pravda reported. In other news, following a statement in late May by
ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) deputy Dusan Slobodnik
that the ratio of coalition-opposition coverage on Slovak Television
(STV) news programs is 50:50, the STV was asked to monitor its news
programs. According to a report covering 1 April to 26 May, the
government coalition received 272.6 minutes of coverage, compared with
16.4 for the opposition, Narodna obroda and Pravda reported on 3 August.
-- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN SLOVAKIA. The Slovak Statistical Office has
announced that foreign direct investment since 1990 totals approximately
$585 million, Narodna obroda reported on 1 August. In the second quarter
of 1995, foreign investment grew $19.6 million, or 3.4%, over the
previous quarter. A total of 8,079 Slovak firms have foreign capital
representation. Germany is Slovakia's biggest foreign investor, followed
by Austria, the Czech Republic, the U.S., and France. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

August said the survivors of the death truck incident in Hungary last
month have been refused refugee status, Western agencies reported.
Eighteen Sri Lankans, apparently illegal immigrants on their way to
Austria, were found dead in a truck parked near the west Hungarian city
of Gyor (see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 July 1995). The nineteen survivors
applied for refugee status under the 1951 Geneva Convention to the UN
high commissioner for refugees (Hungary considers applications only from
Europeans). According to the UNHCR office in Budapest, all but one--
whose case has not yet been decided--have been refused refugee status.
The Sri Lankans apparently wanted to escape economic hardship by
settling in the West. -- Jan Cleave, OMRI, Inc.


CROATIA HAS 100,000 MEN MOBILIZED. International media on 3 August
reported that the UN estimates that the Croatian military has completed
its mobilization. The 100,000 men must be sent into action soon or will
have to be demobilized for economic reasons. The Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung said troops are massing about 70 km south of Zagreb. The Krajina
Serbs' army is about half the size of the Croats', but they have much
heavy weaponry left behind by the Serb-dominated former Yugoslav army.
Five Serbian tanks have been brought up around Strmica, but the mood in
Knin is that Krajina's collapse is imminent. Slobodna Dalmacija wrote
that Bosnian Serb commander and indicted war criminal General Ratko
Mladic has met with his top generals. Krajina and Bosnian Serb civilian
leaders have appealed to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for
immediate military support, but their main supply corridor via Brcko
could be hit by Croatian artillery at Orasje. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,

3 August reported that the Croats shelled Drvar, while the Serbs hit
Gospic and Otocac with rockets. Krajina Serbs fired on two UN
helicopters flying over their territory, but one of their own planes
returned to base after being warned by NATO that it was violating the
"no-fly" zone. Croatia and Krajina are sending middle-level delegations
to Geneva for talks with UN mediator Thorvald Stoltenberg, but the BBC
quoted a UN spokesman as saying that his expectations for the meeting
were "realistic." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

speculating that the U.S. and some of its allies would not mind if the
Croats marched into Krajina and removed that issue from the
international agenda. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung added that U.S.
Ambassador Peter Galbraith's appeal on 2 August against an outbreak of
hostilities was probably just a formality and does not reflect a change
in the new Western attitudes toward Krajina. The New York Times on 1
August wrote that the feeling in many Western capitals is that the
Krajina Serbs deserve whatever they get following their invasion of the
Bihac pocket. Nasa Borba reported on 3 August, however, that special UN
envoy Yasushi Akashi called Milosevic's latest appeal for peace there "a
very positive initiative. " -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

UN ABANDONS ZEPA. Some 70 French peacekeepers are leaving the second of
the two UN-designated "safe areas" the Serbs overran in July. Thousands
of Muslim civilians and military-aged men remain unaccounted for. The
atrocities commited by the Serbs in Srebrenica and Zepa fueled a growing
international perception that the Serbs are the aggressors and must be
stopped. This led to overwhelming votes in the U.S. Congress to lift the
arms embargo against the Bosnian government, but the VOA said on 3
August that supporters of the plan may not, after all, be able to
override President Bill Clinton's expected veto. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,

August reported that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has been
roundly attacked by several opposition parties for his letter to Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic and Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko
Mladic appealing for peace. The ultranantionalist Serbian Radical Party
said the letter to "the war criminal Izetbegovic . . . comes at the time
of the greatest Muslim offensive against the Serbian people and
territory." It added that "Milosevic, instead of helping our brothers
and his compatriots . . . is surrendering Serbian forces." -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

of the Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo, said he rules out autonomy
for Kosovo under Belgrade's terms. BETA on 2 August said that the
province's Albanians are ready for a dialogue with Serbia but that
"Serbia does not want it." He called on the international community to
use political means to prevent a war in the region. According to
Krasniqi, the preconditions for talks with the Serbian government are
international mediation and an end to police repression in Kosovo. He
added that only the "legitimate representatives of the Albanian people"-
-namely, shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova--can take part in the
talks and that the only acceptable result is the establishment of a
Republic of Kosovo. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. OFFICIAL IN MACEDONIA. Sarah Sewall, deputy assistant secretary of
defense with responsibility for peacekeeping and peace enforcement,
visited Macedonia on 1 August, international agencies reported. She met
with Macedonian Defense Minister Blagoj Handziski and visited U.S.
soldiers serving as part of UNPREDEP. A joint statement issued after the
talks with Handziski warned that "due to escalation of fighting in
Bosnia, there is a danger of the conflict spreading to the southern
Balkans." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

Foreign Ministry on 2 August denied that Romanian authorities were
allowing passenger jets flying to Belgrade to load more fuel than needed
in breach of the UN embargo against Serbia and Montenegro. The statement
came in response to a recent article in The New York Times saying that
planes belonging to the Yugoslav airline JAT were overtanked in the
western Romanian town of Timisoara. The spokesman, speaking on Radio
Bucharest, said that international security measures require airplanes
to carry some extra fuel in the event that an emergency forces them
change their landing destination. Romania, he added, has always complied
with the UN embargo against the rump Yugoslavia. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,

Moldovan Premier Andrei Sangheli as officially declaring an end to a
five-year conflict with the Gagauz minority. The minority, consisting of
some 130,000 Orthodox Turks living in the southern part of the Republic
of Moldova, broke away in 1990 for fear that the country's possible
merger with Romania might erase their ethnic identity. Chisinau, which
began looking for a solution to the conflict in 1994. finally granted
the Gagauz territorial and cultural autonomy. According to Infotag,
Sangheli on 31 July presided over the surrender of arms by members of
the separatist "Budjak" battalion in the town of Vulcanesti. He praised
the move as an important step toward stabilizing the situation in the
region. But Deputy Internal Minister Mihai Gorincioi warned that Gagauz
continued to illegally possess weapons and ammunition. The deadline for
surrendering them is 27 August. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

TWO DIE OF CHOLERA IN MOLDOVA. One person died of cholera in the
Moldovan capital of Chisinau and another died of the same disease in
Tiraspol, Reuters reported on 2 August. The agency quoted Moldova's
chief sanitary inspector as saying that urgent measures were being taken
to prevent the further spread of the disease. According to the same
source, at least another 38 persons are infected. Local epidemiologists
blame imported food from Ukraine but also a lack of hygiene in Moldovan
markets and other public places. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

have once again forced the Russian 14th Army in Moldova's Transdniester
region to suspend the destruction of obsolete ammunition, ITAR-TASS
reported on 2 August. The agency quoted the army's commander, Lt.-Gen.
Valerii Yevnevich, as saying he is confident the elimination will resume
next week. He said that 5,000 shells and mines have been destroyed and
another 12,000 have still to be disposed of. The local authorities have
requested that a group of ecology experts seek a new and safer
destruction site. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

INCREASE IN ALBANIAN FOREIGN TRADE. In the first five months of 1995,
Albania's foreign trade turnover increased by about one quarter, BETA
reported on 2 August. The Statistical Office reported that exports
increased by some 22% and imports by 25%. Chrome, chrome-ore, and copper
exports increased by 29%, while the largest import increases were for
food and kitchen appliances. Car imports rose by 12%. -- 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
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570

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