You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 152, Part II, 7 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

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

EAST EUROPEAN TROOPS ARRIVE IN U.S. FOR PFP EXERCISE. Soldiers from 14
former communist states have arrived in the U.S. to participate in a
three-week exercise within the framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace
(PfP) program, international media reported on 7 August. Some 4,000
troops will take part in "Cooperative Nugget 95," which includes one
week of training and orientation and a two-week peacekeeping exercise.
Soldiers from Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Ukraine, and Uzbekistan will train with troops from the U.S., Canada,
and Great Britain. "Cooperative Nugget 95" is the first PfP exercise on
U.S. soil. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

NEW UKRAINIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER. President Leonid Kuchma has
appointed Pavlo Haidutsky as Ukraine's new agriculture minister, Radio
Ukraine reported on 6 August. Haidutsky, who previously chaired the
State Committee on Land Resources, is considered the chief architect of
the country's land reform program. In other news, the Central Election
Committee has scheduled by-elections for 10 December to fill 45 vacant
seats in the 450-seat parliament, Radio Ukraine reported on 5 August. --
Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

TENSION IN UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY. Ukrainian Radio on 5 August
reported that tension within the Defense Ministry has intensified
because some circles are attempting to remove Chief of Staff Anatolii
Lopata, who has increasingly been left out of important decisions. An
elite air-mobile unit based in Kremenchuk was recently transferred to
the jurisdiction of the border guards. Lopata learned of the decision
only after Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov signed the order. The unit
was transferred at the request of the commander of the ground forces,
Colonel General Vasyl Sobkov, who reportedly wishes to take over
Lopata's position. Opposition to the civilian defense minister is
reportedly growing in the army as well. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN DISARMAMENT UPDATE. The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs on 5 August issued a statement responding to recent reports that
Minsk has stopped sending its nuclear missiles to Russia for
destruction, as called for by the START-1 agreement, which Belarus
ratified in February 1993, Radio Mayak reported. The country's
leadership has never said it will stop the transfer of the remaining 18
SS-25 missiles on its territory to Russia, the statement said. President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka meant only that the pace of disarmament will slow
down. The reason for the slowdown was Russia's reluctance to deal with
the ecological damage left behind after troops and missiles have been
removed. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

MOSCOW MAYOR IN MINSK. Yurii Luzhkov, during his recent visit to Minsk,
signed agreements on trade, technical, and cultural cooperation and on
general cooperation between the Russian and Belarusian capitals, Radio
Rossiya reported on 6 August. A deal was also signed for Belarus to
supply Moscow with 12,000 tons of potatoes and 10,000 tons of cabbage by
the end of year. Luzhkov proposed leasing several shops in Moscow to
Belarusian collective farms since it is expected that supplies of
Belarusian food products to the Russian capital will increase
dramatically. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he was
pleased that traditional ties with Moscow were being restored. Luzhkov
noted that he and Lukashenka have the same ideas on privatization. --
Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ANTI-MAFIA COURTS IN ESTONIA. An Interior Ministry spokesman on 4 August
said the government is considering following Italy's example by
establishing special anti-mafia courts to try alleged mobsters, Western
agencies reported. The Italian courts operate under special rules to
protect witnesses and judges from gangland reprisals. Estonia has the
highest crime rate and lowest arrest rate among the Baltic States and
one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world. The number of
murders in Estonia increased from 137 in 1990 to 365 in 1994, partly
owing to battles for territory among Estonian gangs. -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

LATVIA DEBATES SENDING UNIT TO CROATIA. The Saeima on 3 August began
debating sending a Latvian armed forces unit as part of the Danish UN
peacekeeping mission in Croatia, BNS reported the following day. Prime
Minister Maris Gailis noted that Lithuania and Estonia already have such
units in Croatia. Latvia's refusal to do the same could endanger
military cooperation between the Baltic States and possibly end Western
support for establishing a Baltic peacekeeping battalion. Christian
Democratic Union deputy Anita Stankevica opposed sending the unit,
arguing that Latvia would be sending half-trained men to where no one
wanted to go. The Saeima will make a decision on sending the unit on 9
August. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

FIRST U.S.-LITHUANIAN MILITARY EXERCISES. The first-ever U.S.-Lithuanian
peacekeeping exercises began on 4 August at the Rukla training center in
central Lithuania, BNS reported. The three-week exercise, called "Amber
Hope '95," is being financed by the U.S. government and will involve 140
Lithuanian soldiers commanded by 10 American instructors. The exercises
will take place in two stages. The first will focus on using
communication equipment, setting up observation posts, reconnoitering
areas, and defusing mines. The second begins on 20 August with a
ceremony to be attended by top Lithuanian government officials, army
leaders, and foreign diplomats. The soldiers will practice freeing
captured civilians, shooting, mining, escorting convoys, and other
activities. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

WALESA DECLARES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY. President Lech Walesa on 5
August announced he will run in the upcoming presidential elections,
Polish and international media reported. He added that he has already
collected the 100,000 signatures required by the electoral law. Prime
Minister Jozef Oleksy expressed his fears that the campaign conducted by
the head of state may be detrimental to the normal work of the
government. The other candidates so far are Aleksander Kwasniewski of
the Democratic Left Alliance, who is leading in opinion polls; former
Labor Minister Jacek Kuron, backed by the Freedom Union; Ombudsman
Tadeusz Zielinski, supported by the Labor Union; and Supreme Court
President Adam Strzembosz and former Premier Jan Olszewski, both of whom
are backed by the right-of-center parties. Polish National Bank
President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz has not yet officially declared her
candidacy. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH POLITICIANS ON WAR IN CROATIA. President Vaclav Havel on 6 August
expressed support for Croatia's military offensive in Krajina, Czech
media reported. He argued that Zagreb has waited long enough for the
international community to settle the conflict between Croatia and the
rebel Krajina Serbs. When the international community proved unable to
enforce or negotiate such a settlement, "Croatia decided for military
action aimed at renewing the integrity of its territory," Havel said.
Responding to the killings of two Czech soldiers during the offensive on
5 August, Havel said he was in favor of withdrawing the Czech battalion
from Croatia. Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec, however, said on 6
August that Zagreb's military action was premature because the
possibilities for a negotiated settlement had not yet been exhausted.
"At the same time, we realize that [the offensive] is "an action within
the boundaries of a sovereign state," Zieleniec commented. -- Jiri Pehe,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT IN U.S. Michal Kovac, on a seven-day official visit to
the United States, received an award from the American Bar Association
in Chicago on 5 August for "his role in implementing political reform in
Slovakia after it became independent following the collapse of
Czechoslovakia in 1992," Slovak and international media reported. Kovac
told journalists the previous day that he considers the prize to have
been awarded to "all democratic forces in Slovakia that have striven for
democratization and the rule of law." According to the president, the
road toward building a democratic society, the rule of law, and a market
economy in Slovakia "is irreversible." -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBS SIGN SURRENDER AGREEMENT. Croatian Serb forces on 7 August agreed
to what the BBC called a surrender. They will hand over their heavy
weapons to the UN at four control points--in Topusko, Glina, Zirovac,
and Dvor --and then cross into Bosnia. They will be permitted to keep
their hand weapons, but the Croats soon charged that the UN was letting
them take a number of big guns, too. Croatian spokesmen said earlier
that the "Republic of Serbian Krajina" has ceased to exist. All roads in
Sector South are open to traffic. In eastern Slavonia, Serbs declared a
war alert and exchanged artillery salvoes with the Croats. Also in the
night of 6-7 August, two Bosnian Serb aircraft from Banja Luka attacked
a petrochemical plant at Kutina, in central Croatia, Reuters reported. A
rocket assault on Karlovac wounded five, and an air raid took place
against Nova Gradiska on 7 August. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

TUDJMAN VISITS KNIN. Hina on 6 August reported that Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman, paying a triumphal visit to the former capital of
Krajina, said that the Croats' victory means "more than just conquering
Croatian land, this means the creation of conditions for the stability
of the Croatian state for centuries to come." The town fell on the
morning of the previous day when Serbian units broke and fled before
advancing Croatian troops. There was widespread destruction following a
Croatian artillery barrage that began on 4 August, in the wake of which
the Krajina civilian and military leadership escaped to Bosnian Serb
territory. Reports of the death or injury of Krajina "President" Milan
Martic have not been confirmed. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

"OPERATION STORM" WAS NO MISNOMER. Croatian spokesmen on 6 August said
they have completed 80% of their objectives and will wrap things up by
the end of 7 August. The BBC quoted UN officials as agreeing with the
Croats. The myth of Serbian military prowess evaporated in the southern
part of Krajina, which the Croats easily overran. The northern area
proved to be tougher; but by the end of 6 August, Petrinja, Slunj,
Plitvice and its national park, and the Udbina airfield were in Croatian
hands, according to Hina. There were reports of Serbian artillery
attacks against Osijek, Vinkovci, and other Croatian areas in eastern
Slavonia, but Bosnian Serb centers such as Drvar and Trebinje were also
reportedly in a state of alert. Spanish Radio on 5 August said that the
Serbs shelled Mostar, not far from where Spanish peacekeepers are
stationed. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

"BIHAC IS SAVED." This is how Croatian spokesmen on 6 August described
the importance of Operation Storm for the embattled northwest Bosnian
enclave. International media noted that the Bosnian Fifth Army Corps
under General Atif Dudakovic broke through at Trzacke Rastele to join up
with Croatian forces. This movement and the advances of the Croats left
Krajina cut into several pieces. The Croatian role in saving Bihac was a
main factor in Washington's reluctance to criticize Croatia for
launching the operation. Secretary of State Warren Christopher even
spoke of "beneficial results." Serbia's traditional allies--Russia,
France, and Great Britain--led the field in condemning Zagreb, but the
Security Council and EU mediator Carl Bildt also added their criticism.
A Croatian UN spokesman replied that "Croatia is not the problem;
Croatia is the solution," the BBC reported on 5 August. Hina added that
Foreign Minister Mate Granic slammed Bildt in a letter that accused the
mediator of "a complete lack of political wisdom" both in recent days
and throughout the course of his work in the former Yugoslavia. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WHAT NEXT? Maj.-Gen. Ivan Tolj, the Croatian Defense Ministry's
spokesman, told Croatian media on 6 August that eastern Slavonia will be
reintegrated peacefully now that the Serbs have seen what the Croatian
army can do. The BBC noted, however, that there were several incidents
and fatalities as UN peacekeepers were caught in crossfire and at least
one Dane and two Czechs were killed. Mlada fronta dnes on 7 August
reported that the Czechs died after the Serbs hijacked the rescue
vehicle sent for them. What exactly happened in some other incidents
remains unclear. The biggest problem for the UN , however, appears to be
the flight of most of the Krajina Serbs. Croatian Radio appealed to them
to stay, and Hina said on 6 August that some did. But Serbian media
urged the Serbs to leave, and the UN expects that the largest single
migration of the Wars of the Yugoslav Succession will be the result. One
estimate said the total could go as high as 200,000, the BBC noted.
Bosnian government sources said they feared the Serbs were deliberately
bringing Krajina's panicked population to Bosnia to offset their
manpower shortages there. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

STANDOFF BETWEEN KARADZIC, MLADIC. The BBC on 5 August reported that
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic tried to sideline military
commander General Ratko Mladic by appointing him to coordinate
operations with Krajina. Mladic the following day responded that such a
job does not exist and that he will stay in his post as long as the
soldiers and civilians back him. Some 18 generals signed a letter
supporting Mladic. The two internationally wanted war criminals have a
history of differences over power and tactics, but rarely has their feud
become so public. It was dragged into the open at a session of the
Bosnian Serb "parliament," which backed Karadzic, saying that the
military must yield to civilian control. Karadzic appealed to Serbia to
help the Bosnian and Krajina Serbs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC CONDEMNS CROATIA. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic,
following meetings in Belgrade with UN mediator Thorvald Stoltenberg,
issued a statement saying "it has become apparent that Croatia
represents the biggest threat to peace in the Balkans . . . ; [the rump
Yugoslavia] justly expects that the international community takes action
in keeping with its proclaimed principles and commitment to peace," the
International Herald Tribune reported on 5-6 August. Meanwhile, federal
rump Yugoslav authorities on 6 August urged the UN Security Council to
undertake "urgent action" against Croatia, AFP reported. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BELGRADE ON WAR FOOTING? AFP on 6 August reported that the rump
Yugoslavia was fortifying its defenses along the border with Croatia.
Eye-witnesses the previous day reported having observed "a column of
armored troop transport vehicles and other military vehicles . . .
[leaving] the barracks of Banjica in Belgrade, headed for the Croatian
border." Meanwhile, Belgrade has reportedly ordered the partial
mobilization of specialized and elite units. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI,
Inc.

SESELJ DEMANDS BOMBING OF ZAGREB. Vojislav Seselj, alleged war criminal
and leader of the Serbian Radical Party, has urged bomb attacks on
Zagreb and Osijek. Speaking one day after being released from prison,
Seselj claimed that "the Serbian traitor (President) Slobodan Milosevic"
is refraining from a military response because he has reached a deal
with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman whereby the Croats capture Knin
in exchange for their giving up claims on eastern Slavonia, BETA
reported on 4 August. Seselj added that Milosevic is seeking the
"destruction of the political and military leadership of the Republic of
Serbian Krajina and the Republic of Srpska." Seselj was arrested after
clashes with police at an anti-Milosevic demonstration in Gnjilan on 2
June. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT OFFERS TAX BREAKS TO FOREIGN FIRMS. Western
agencies, citing Rompres, reported on 4 August that the Romanian
government has announced that foreign companies investing more than $50
million in the country's industrial sector will be exempt from some
taxes and duties. Such firms will enjoy a seven-year holiday for customs
duties and a five-year one for taxes on profit. The new regulations are
designed to attract big investors. So far, Romania has attracted mostly
small investors, including many from Turkey and the Middle East. Big
investors often cite bureaucratic hurdles and hesitant economic reforms
as reasons for staying out of the Romanian market. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

HEAD OF GAGAUZ PARAMILITARY TROOPS ARRESTED. Police in Comrat, the
capital of Moldova's Gagauz autonomous region, have arrested Ivan
Burgudji, head of the Gagauz paramilitary troops, BASA-press reported on
4 August. A leader of the former self-proclaimed Gagauz republic,
Burgudji is the de facto commander of the "Budjak" battalion, which was
disbanded after Chisinau granted the region broad territorial and
cultural autonomy. He was arrested after posting an announcement of guns
sale on the door of a local firm. Burgudji, who resisted the police and
threatened them with a grenade, later said he had posted the
announcement to draw public attention to the fate of the "Budjak"
combatants, who, he claimed, have not been paid wages since the unit's
dissolution. A local official rejected the claim, saying Burgudji was
seeking to destabilize the situation in the region. -- Dan Ionescu,
OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL JUDGES WANT TO TAKE GOVERNMENT TO COURT. The
Bulgarian Constitutional Court on 4 August unanimously decided to appeal
to the Supreme Court after the government announced it will move the
court out of its offices in the government building (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 4 August 1995), Demokratsiya reported the following day. The
judges argued that the cabinet has no right to change the offices and
thereby paralyze the activities of the Constitutional Court, the
Presidency, or the parliament. Constitutional Court Chairman Asen Manov
said President Zhelyu Zhelev has promised his assistance in the matter.
-- 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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Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ

            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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