When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. - Mark Twain
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 155, Part II, 10 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

SLOVAKIA ASKS U.S. FOR EXPLANATION. Premier Vladimir Meciar, speaking on
Slovak TV on 9 August, said his government has asked the U.S. State
Department whether the U.S. is changing its attitude toward the Slovak
government. He noted that just 14 days ago, the view was positive;
however, during his visit to the U.S., President Michal Kovac told
Slovak Radio on 8 August that U.S. representatives said Slovakia is not
maintaining the same pace toward democracy and reform as are Poland,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic (see OMRI Daily Digest, 9 August 1995).
Foreign Ministry State Secretary Josef Sestak on 9 August said that
Slovakia has sent a note to the U.S. embassy in Bratislava asking for
clarification of the U.S.'s attitude. Meanwhile, Kovac has come under
increasing attack from the government coalition. Speaking on Slovak TV,
Meciar called Kovac's statements "very unfortunate." Presidential
spokesman Vladimir Stefko said that Kovac was not interpreting the
"official" opinion of the U.S. government but rather the opinions of
high-ranking specialists within the U.S. administration, Pravda reported
on 10 August. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S U.S. VISIT. Michal Kovac, meeting with top
representatives of the White House, the State Department, and the
Defense Department, identified three main reasons for political tension
in Slovakia: relations between the president and premier, between the
president and parliamentary majority, and between the coalition and
opposition. He also stressed the importance of solving problems between
the government, on the one hand, and trade unions, district
administrations, and universities, on the other. According to Kovac, the
coalition believes that "whoever wins the elections has the possibility
to proceed without regard for the opinions of the opposition," Pravda
reported on 10 August based on a fax sent to the Foreign Ministry by
Slovak Ambassador to the U.S. Branislav Lichardus. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN-BRAZILIAN RELATIONS. Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleksander
Nykonenko has said Ukraine is preparing to open an embassy in Brazil,
Ukrainian Radio reported on 8 August. He noted that Brazil was one of
the ten most industrially developed countries in the world, with a GNP
larger than that of either Russia or Ukraine. Trade between the two
countries in 1994 totaled $46 million. Brazil is also home to 500,000
Ukrainians, who have been actively seeking to promote closer cultural
and economic ties between the two countries. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
Inc.

CFE INSPECTORS IN BELARUS. A delegation of inspectors arrived in Minsk
on 8 August to check whether Belarus is complying with the 1990 CFE
treaty, Belarusian Radio reported. The group is to begin work on 11
August. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in February announced
that the republic was suspending CFE reductions because of financial
difficulties. To date, there have been no statements that disarmament
has resumed. Minsk has offered to show the delegation 72 sites around
Barysau and Machulishkau, but they may be shown other sites of their own
choosing. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

NEW PRESIDENTIAL CONTROL SERVICE IN BELARUS. Belarusian Radio on 8
August reported that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka issued a decree
renaming the Control Service of the Administration of the President. It
will now be called the Control Service of the President of the Republic
of Belarus. The decree aims at enhancing the president's powers and
making the work of the control service more effective. It also named the
head of the previous control service, Vasil Dalhaleu, as chief of the
successor organization. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN COMMERCIAL BANK TO OPEN BRANCH IN RUSSIA. The Rusian Central
Bank has given permission to the Estonian EVEA Bank to open a branch in
Russia, BNS reported on 9 August. EVEA Bank is the first Estonian
commercial bank to be allowed to operate in Russia. Its information and
advertising department head, Gennadi Gramberg, said that the bank
applied for permission to set up a branch because of the growing
interest in Russia in Estonian banking . The branch's primary tasks will
be the exchange of information, market research, and introduction of
EVEA Bank's services into Russia. It will be allowed to have only two
employees and will base its work on Russian legislation. * Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SAFETY OF LITHUANIA'S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. The Lithuanian Energy
Ministry held a press conference on 9 August to respond to a recent U.S.
report stating that Ignalina was one of four nuclear power plants in
Eastern Europe that were even more dangerous than the Chornobyl
facility, RFE/RL reported. A Swedish nuclear expert noted that the U.S.
report did not accurately reflect the current situation at Ignalina
because it was written in May 1993 and did not take into account various
measures taken to improve Ignalina's safety. He said that once all these
measures have been taken--at a cost of $100 million--the safety of the
Ignalina plant will be comparable to that of atomic facilities in the
West. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT APPROVES DRAFT LAW ON FOREIGN VISITORS. The Polish
government on 8 August approved a draft law on foreign visitors that
would allow someone to be refused entry to Poland if the aim of his
visit is unclear or if his stay could endanger public health. The law
also enables authorities to verify whether a visitor has sufficient
financial means to stay in the country. Deputy Minister of Internal
Affairs Jerzy Zimowski said the requirement that the visitor have $20-25
for each day of his visit will be enforced primarily for Romanian,
African, and Asian visitors. He added that the law follows Western norms
and will replace legislation from 1963, Polish media reported on 9
August. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON MILITARY'S INVOLVEMENT IN POLISH PRESIDENTIAL CAMAPIGN.
Minister of Interior Andrzej Milczanowski has created a special
commission to investigate revelations in the Polish press that
signatures supporting President Lech Walesa's candidacy were collected
from troops in Interior Ministry units under presure from commanding
officers (see OMRI Daily Digest, 9 August 1995), The Defense Minister
Zbigniew Okonski said no election campaigning has taken place in the
military detachments subordinated to his ministry, Polish media reported
on 10 August. Before the 1993 parliamentary elections, Gen. Julian
Lewinski, commander of the Warsaw Military District, ran a campaign
supporting a pro-presidential party. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIA STOPS HUNGARIAN RAIL CARGO. The Croatian government has asked
the Hungarian State Railway (MAV) to halt all cargo shipments bound for
Rijeka, a port on Croatia's Adriatic coast, Reuters reported. A MAV
spokesman on 9 August said that the official reason given by the Croats
was "traffic overload."He commented that it is not clear whether the
request is in any way related to fighting in Krajina. Rijeka is the main
port for landlocked Hungary, having been actively developed by Hungary
during Habsburg times. According to the spokesman, MAV officials on 10
August will hold talks with their Croatian and Slovenian counterparts on
ending the cargo halt. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN REFUGEES, SOLDIERS HEAD FOR SERBIA. The VOA on 10 August
reported that some 100,000 Serbs are on the road from the former Krajina
to Serbia via Bosnian Serb territory. A major problem is the presence of
armed soldiers among the civilians, although few of the troops have any
stomach for fighting. The Croats, who have just taken the last Serb
stronghold of Dvor, do not trust the UN to disarm the men. Nor do the
Bosnian Serbs seem to have much confidence in their nominal allies, whom
they are disarming and then keeping out of Banja Luka, the BBC said. AFP
reported that the International Committee of the Red Cross is concerned
about the presence of the soldiers and what it will mean for the safety
of the refugees. The International Herald Tribune added that Croatian
civilians are pelting the refugees with stones. A Croatian policeman
said that "these people are angry. You should be thankful they don't do
more" to the Serbs. Meanwhile in Zagreb, UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi
started talks on 9 August to scale down the UN presence in Croatia,
especially of soldiers. "We would like to have a reduced but effective
presence," Akashi told AFP. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIA TO SETTLE REFUGEES IN KOSOVO. AFP on 10 August cited Tanjug to
the effect that some "thousands" of Krajina refugees will be sent to the
roughly 90% ethnic Albanian-inhabited province of Kosovo. It is not
clear how many will be resettled there and what will happen to those who
do not want to go. Serbian nationalists have long dreamed of reversing
demographic trends in the impoverished area, which are the results of
steady Serbian emigration and a high Albanian birth rate. The Serbian
government to date has had little luck in enticing Serbs to settle there
voluntarily, even with generous benefits. The first refugees are
expected within days and some communities have volunteered to accomodate
them, but any mass resettlement will require more resources than the
authorities currently have at their disposal. Some observers have
painted bleak scenarios should Belgrade apply its "ethnic cleansing"
techniques in Kosovo. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. SAYS CROATIA NOT GUILTY OF "ETHNIC CLEANSING." Peter Galbraith,
influential U.S. ambassador to Croatia, rejected British and Serbian
charges that Zagreb is guilty of "ethnic cleansing." He told the BBC on
9 August that "ethnic cleansing is a practice supported by Belgrade and
carried out by Bosnian and Croatian Serbs, forcefully expelling local
inhabitants and using terror tactics." He added that the Croatian
military success could prove to be a positive step in resolving the
conflict through negotiations. A British journalist said that
international diplomacy has no new ideas anyway and that the problems
are being resolved by the military on the ground. A German editor added
that this is because the international community has no clout since it
has been unwilling to use force. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CIA HAS EVIDENCE OF SERBIAN WAR CRIMES IN SREBRENICA. The VOA and The
New York Times on 10 August reported on disclosures by a top CIA
official and a State Department spokesman on the possible mass murder of
Muslims by Serbs following the fall of Srebrenica last month. One spy
photo apparently showed a field near a soccer stadium with hundreds or
thousands of Muslim men and boys. A second photo, taken a few days
later, showed the field empty but with the earth disturbed in a large
pattern recalling that of mass graves elsewhere. There are some 6,000
people from Srebrenica still unaccounted for. The American officials
said that incidents of human rights violations committed by the Croatian
or Bosnian forces "do not approach the scale or systematic nature" of
those of the Serbs. The State Department official noted that, following
the Croatian reconquest of Krajina, there have been "scattered cases of
human rights abuses" but "no reports of the kind of atrocities that
followed the fall of Srebrenica." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MORE ON RUMORS OF A BOSNIAN CARVE-UP. The BBC on 10 August quoted a
British commentator as saying that Croatia knows it needs the alliance
with the Muslims for its own security and that the Croat-Muslim
federation "is the current game in town." Many Croats have wondered why
the British politican who produced the map, supposedly drawn by
President Franjo Tudjman, waited three months to do so, and why the
notes on the map contain no typical "Croatianisms." Tudjman, in fact,
has just presented top Croatian awards to his Bosnian counterpart, Alija
Izetbegovic and to Bosnia's foreign minister. Slobodna Dalmacija on 10
August quoted Bosnian Fifth Corps commander General Arif Dudakovic as
praising the Croatian role in relieving Bihac. Meanwhile, Tudjman has
refused to meet Serbian and Russian presidents in Moscow unless
Izetbegovic is present, Vjesnik reported. (See related items in the
Russian section) -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BELGRADE MASS RALLY DENOUNCES SERBIAN PRESIDENT. Up to 10,000 people
gathered in downtown Belgrade on 9 August to participate in a mass rally
against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, international media
reported the following day. The rally, attended by nationalist political
leaders and members of the Serbian Orthodox clergy, held Milosevic
personally responsible for the defeat of rebel Serb Krajina forces and
for the "loss" of rebel-held Croatian territory. Protesters called
Milosevic "a second Tudjman" and "ustasha." Officials from the Orthodox
Church, which called for Milosevic's ouster following Croatia's victory,
blessed the gathering. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC REPLIES TO KARADZIC. Serbian President Milosevic on 9 August
responded to Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's statements the
previous day denouncing Milosevic for allegedly selling out Serbian
national interests by "abandoning" Krajina, Tanjug reported. Milosevic
charged that Karadzic and the Krajina Serb leadership were responsible
for the "loss" of Krajina because of their "war-mongering" and
unwillingness to accept internationally mediated peace plans. "The
results of rejecting talks are a great loss of life, the loss of
Krajina, and an exodus of the population," Milosevic said. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ECOLOGISTS URGE SHUTDOWN OF SLOVENIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY. The Austrian
ecological group Global 2000 on 8 August called for the closure of
Slovenia's power plant in Krsko, AFP reported the following day. The
plant is located some 30 kilometers from the Croatian capital, Zagreb.
The group said that in view of recent developments in the region, it may
become the source of a major ecological disaster. It noted that "Serbia
has a military potential sufficient to unleash a nuclear disaster in the
region, which, even increased surveillance of the power station would
not help avoid." Serbian units were not far from the plant during their
1991 invasion of Slovenia but did not cause damage. The plant was built
jointly by Croatia and Slovenia, which share its output. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ETHNIC GERMANS CRITICIZE ROMANIAN EDUCATION LAW. Paul Philippi, leader
of Romania's ethnic Germans, said that a new education law will result
in the publication of schoolbooks that gloss over the role of Germans in
Transylvanian history, Reuters reported on 9 August. Philippi heads the
German Forum, the main organization of the 100,000 or so ethnic Germans
still living in Romania after a massive exodus dating back to
Ceausescu's times. The new education law has also been attacked by
ethnic Hungarians in Romania, who say it limits mother-tongue
instruction and curtails cultural rights. Radio Bucharest on 9 August
reported that the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania has decided
to step up actions protesting the law. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA OPENS FERRY-BOAT SERVICE TO TURKEY. Romania on 9 August opened
its first ferry-boat service to Turkey, Western agencies reported. The
new service, which links Romania's main Black Sea port of Constanta with
Samsun, will operate twice a week. The ferry-boat can take aboard 40
freight trucks and 70 cars. Transportation charges are expected to be up
to 25% lower than by road. Romania and Turkey, which are members of the
Black Sea Economic Cooperation association, want to increase economic
ties. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA, ROMANIA DISAGREE ON BRIDGE SITE. Transport Ministry experts
from Bulgaria and Romania have failed to agree on the site for a second
bridge over the Danube linking the two countries, Reuters reported on 9
August. Following two-day talks in Sofia, Bulgaria accepted the
recommendation of the British consulting firm Alexander Gibb to build
the bridge along the Western side of the common border, while Romania
said it wants the bridge to be built further east. The two countries
hope to agree on a location by mid-September and to present their
proposal to the EU, which is partly financing the project. Bulgaria and
Romania also disagree over financing. Sofia hopes to win financial aid
from Western countries, while Bucharest is in favor of loans from
international organizations. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

DATE SET FOR BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. President Zhelyu Zhelev on 10
August set the first round of local elections for 29 October 1995,
Bulgarian media reported. Under the electoral law, the second round has
to take place no later than 14 days after the first. In other news,
Irina Bokova was appointed deputy foreign minister on 9 August. She
replaces Stanimir Aleksandrov, who asked to be relieved of his duties
for personal reasons. Bokova was secretary of the Council of Ministers
for European Integration and chair of the Coordinating Commission for
European Integration. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA CONSULTS GERMANS OVER NATIONAL STOCK EXCHANGE. Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister for Economic Development Rumen Gechev on 8 August
met with the general manager of the Frankfurt stock exchange to discuss
setting up a Bulgarian stock market, AFP reported the same day. The
Bulgarian government, which wants foreign assisitance in this task, has
also consulted with representatives of the Paris and Chicago stock
exchanges. Gechev said that "under equal conditions," Bulgaria prefers
to cooperate with a European partner. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR "RECONSTRUCTION" OF DEMOCRATIC PARTY. At
the fourth conference of the Tirana branch of the Democratic Party on 9
August, President Sali Berisha called for the party to be
"reconstructed," for the pace of reform to be accelerated, and for the
party to increase its work in the countryside, Koha Jone reported the
next day. Berisha added that a dialog with voters is necessary. The
Democrats are expected to run a close contest with the Socialists in the
upcoming elections in April 1996. Transport Minister Albert Brojka was
re-elected as head of the Tirana branch. Meanwhile, the Albanian
Socialists have denied reports that they held a secret meeting with the
ruling Socialist Party of Serbia in Sofia on 29 July. -- 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
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. ISSN 1211-1570


[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