Жизнь - это почти непрерывная цепь собственных открытий. - Г. Гауптман

No. 162, Part II, 21 August 1995

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning Central, Eastern, 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


NATO "WHY AND HOW" STUDY VAGUE ON DETAILS. The year-long study on the
why and how of NATO expansion will be vague on details, Der Spiegel
reported on 20 August. Potential applicants will be briefed on the draft
plan this fall and it will be formally endorsed at NATO ministerial
meetings in December. The study will contain no timetable nor precise
criteria for membership. Der Spiegel quoted one German diplomat as
saying, "No one should be able to say, `We fulfill all the criteria so
now you have to take us in.'" The weekly reports that NATO has
informally agreed to admit East European countries in stages, with the
Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary forming the first group and Romania,
Slovakia, Bulgaria and Slovenia the second. New members will not be
required to base foreign troops or nuclear weapons on their territories.
-- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

FIRST PFP EXERCISES BEGIN IN U.S. The sixth major NATO Partnership for
Peace exercise began at Fort Polk, Louisiana, on 18 August,
international agencies reported. Soldiers from 3 NATO and 14 former
Warsaw Pact countries were represented in the first such exercise to be
held in the U.S., which simulates peacekeeping operations on a island.
Participating countries include the United States, Britain, Canada,
Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan,
Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and
Uzbekistan. The exercise ends on 26 August. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI,

first incumbent, told UNIAN on 19 August that Ukraine's Military
Inspectorate-General will become operational on 30 August. He said it
will oversee the Ministry of Defense, the armed forces, the Border
Troops, the Interior Troops, and a number of other military and
paramilitary organizations. Hubenko said his inspectorate's main task is
to control the combat readiness of the forces. It will also investigate
cases of abuse, fraud, and violence. He said he will have a staff of 53
and insisted that his organization will be a "specialized presidential
body of military control and expert analysis" rather than the "holiday
group" that some journalists had branded it. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

LICENSING OF PRESS IN ESTONIA. Culture Minister Jaak Allik prepared a
draft government decree that stipulates licensing of periodicals partly
or fully under foreign ownership, BNS reported on 18 August. Several
newspapers expressed their opposition to the proposal, arguing that any
licensing of the press is wrong in principle. Igor Rotov, chief editor
of Aripaev, a paper 51% owned by the Swedish Bonnier media concern, said
the measure was an obvious attempt to curb the freedom of the press for
licensing would allow the government to control the media and jeopardize
democracy in Estonia. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

Lukashenka signed an order on 15 August allowing some investment funds
to renew their activities, Belarusian Television reported on 16 August.
Two funds which were not allowed to restart operations were "OSMAS-
invest" and "Narodny." Lukashenka had suspended investment fund
activities in April after the first round of privatization because of
alleged irregularities. As many as 100,000 Belarusian citizens had
handed their privatization vouchers over to the funds and then stood to
lose their newly acquired shares. The IMF made allowing the investment
funds to restart their activities a condition for the release of a
stand-by credit to Belarus. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

of strikes by metro and trolley drivers in Minsk, the Belarusian KGB
accused strike organizers of taking money and orders from the West, Ekho
Moskvy reported on 19 August. A representative of the KGB stated that
the independent trade unions which organized the strikes prepared for
the action by attending conferences abroad which were paid for by
foreign sources. The KGB official also said that the American Congress
of Trade Unions was ready to aid the Belarusian unions. The acceptance
of any foreign aid would make the Belarusian trade unions paid agents of
foreign powers, he added. Ekho Moskvy concluded that a campaign against
independent trade unions is being mounted in Belarus. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

CEFTA MEETING ENDS IN WARSAW. Trade ministers from the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, countries belonging to the Central
European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), ended a two-day meeting in Warsaw
on 18 August and agreed to lift tariffs on many industrial products as
of 1 January 1996. Slovenia's trade minister was also present. The next
meeting is scheduled in Brno, the Czech Republic, in September, where
CEFTA is to admit Slovenia as a full member, Polish and international
media reported on 19 August. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

is authorized to announce the date for presidential elections between 22
August and 22 September, said on 18 August that he would announce the
date in early September, a move that would put an end to rumors about
changing the constitution and extending current President Lech Walesa's
term of office for another two years. Walesa, himself a candidate, plans
to send Mieczyslaw Wachowski, the minister of state in his chancellery
and a controversial figure whose constant presence at Walesa's side has
further diminished the president's popularity, on a long vacation,
Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 21 August. In other developments, right of
center politicians meeting in St Catharine's Convent decided to support
Polish National Bank President Hanna Gronkiewcz-Waltz, but supporters of
former Prime Minister Jan Olszewski and the Confederation of Independent
Poland leader Leszek Moczulski disagree with the decision, Polish media
reported on 21 August. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

MECIAR'S PARTY BARS SLOVAK PRESIDENT. The leadership of Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) announced on
19 August that President Michal Kovac's membership in the party will not
be renewed after his current term of office expires, Slovak media
report. Kovac suspended his membership in the HZDS when he was elected
president. The HZDS has recently repeatedly demanded that the president,
who has been at odds with Meciar, step down. Slovak media report that
the HZDS leadership also accepted the offer of the Party of the
Democratic Left to discuss the controversial privatization laws that
Kovac recently vetoed. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY TURNS OFF BOSNIAN PIPELINE. Hungarian radio announced on 19
August that, at the request of the United Nations, Hungary has shut a
natural gas pipeline leading to Sarajevo. The UN asked Hungary on 15
August to turn off the pipeline after Bosnian government complaints that
it had not received any gas through it since May. Bosnian Serbs, who
hold the territory through which the pipeline passes, are believed to
have diverted the gas to their own use. In another development, five
busloads of refugees, mostly Muslims from eastern Bosnia, arrived in
Hungary on 18 August saying they had been expelled by Bosnian Serbs,
international media report. According to Hungarian border guards, the
261 refugees were the biggest single group to arrive from former
Yugoslavia this year. A border guard spokesman told journalists that "as
further humiliation, the Serbs forced the refugees to pay considerable
sums for their trip, as if they (the Serbs) were some sort of travel
agency." The refugees were granted temporary asylum and sent to camps in
Nagyatag and Bekescsaba. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.


August quoted UN officials as saying that some 10,000 Croatian soldiers
backed by tanks, artillery, and rockets had assembled in the Dubrovnik
area. The Croats exchanged salvos with the Serbs in the surrounding
heights as a prelude to what is widely expected to be a Croatian assault
to end the threat to Dubrovnik. AFP noted that Serbs shelled Osijek in
eastern Slavonia, killing one and injuring six. Bosnian Serb artillery
also hit the UN-declared "safe area" of Gorazde, killing three children.
Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey sharply criticized the UN for
not ordering air strikes in response, VOA reported on 21 August. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

from the Christian Science Monitor managed to get into the Srebrenica
area, where he found "compelling evidence" that the Serbs had massacred
Muslims. The BBC quoted him on 19 August as saying that he found human
bones near the reported mass grave site, as well as empty ammunition
boxes. The UN, for its part, has said that only between 1,000 and 2,000
people remain unaccounted for from Srebrenica, claiming that the Bosnian
government had originally given a far too high estimate of the total
population. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

expel Muslims and Croats from the Banja Luka area on short notice,
allowing them to take only what they can carry and making them pay a
$1,200 fee in German marks. The bishop of Banja Luka wrote to Croatia's
Cardinal Franjo Kuharic that "among many others, even my own old mother
was victimized when a local official grabbed her and pulled a knife over
her neck, saying he would 'slay her with pleasure' (as the bishop's
mother) unless she cleared out of her house within 15 minutes." During
the night between 8 and 9 August a grenade was hurled at the New
Nazareth convent in the village of Budzak." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KRAJINA UPDATE. Croatia's Operation Storm two weeks ago put an effective
end to the "Republic of Serbian Krajina," but Politika wrote on 21
August that recriminations continue among its erstwhile leaders over the
blame for the quick demise of Serbian forces . This defeat was all the
more amazing in light of a report carried by Vecernji list and AFP on 20
August on the massive stockpiles of Serbian weapons found by the Croats
at Dvor, Sveti Rok, Knin, and Petrova Gora. One Western expert called
the arsenal "unbelievable," and the Croatian commander said that the
Serbs could have waged war "for several years" with it. The BBC on 21
August reported that representatives of a Western human rights group
charged the Croats with burning, looting and systematic executions
following the fall of Krajina. The Croatian high command denied the
charges, stating that there were only individual graves and that the
dead were identified where this was possible, including Bosnian Serb
soldiers killed in the brief fighting. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

reported on 20 August that four British soldiers were killed when their
Lynx helicopter fell into the Adriatic. The previous day three members
of a five-man U.S. interagency team died when their armored personnel
carrier fell down a steep tree-lined ravine on Mt. Igman and its gas
tank exploded. The fatalities included Robert Frasure, who was
Washington's chief "ideas man" on the former Yugoslavia. President Bill
Clinton said that the U.S. would continue its diplomatic efforts in the
region. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic sent his condolences,
adding that the diplomats should have been talking to the Serbs instead
of going to Sarajevo. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole said that
the Serbs were indirectly responsible for the deaths, since they barred
the main access roads to the diplomats, VOA reported. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC, PAPOULIAS TALK PEACE. Greek Foreign Minister Karolos
Papoulias met in Belgrade with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on
18 August, Tanjug reported on the same day. The two men reportedly
shared "concurrent" views on the peace process in the Balkan region, and
Tanjug noted they both agreed on "the need to spur all-encompassing
efforts to step up the peace process and definitively create conditions
for an end to the military confrontation in the former Yugoslavia."
Papoulias, speaking on Greek Radio, observed that Athens always
"supported the lifting of sanctions against the new Yugoslavia because
one cannot impose sanctions against people who fight for peace, and
President Milosevic has been among the leaders favoring a peaceful
solution." Belgrade's new foreign minister, Milan Milutinovic, also
attended the meeting. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

international media reported on 18 August that prosecutors in Bucharest
indicted two Romanian journalists on charges of "insulting [state]
authority." Sorin Rosca Stanescu, the editor in chief of the daily Ziua,
and Tana Ardeleanu, who works for the same publication, were said to
have been "fabricating lies" last May, when Ziua alleged that President
Ion Iliescu had been recruited as a KGB agent during his student days in
Moscow in the 1950s. Iliescu denied the allegations. According to the
prosecution, Ardeleanu never set foot in Moscow, where she claimed to
have obtained documents proving the links. If found guilty, the two
could face imprisonment of between six months and three years, under a
new law that critics say is aimed at gagging the freedom of the press.
-- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

International agencies reported on 18 August that the national airline
TAROM has asked the government to bail it out of the worst financial
crisis facing the company in its 41-year history. The company is unable
to pay its debts, amounting to 300 million dollars. The government,
which underwrote the airline's 10-year foreign bank credit, accuses
TAROM of mismanagement and poor marketing and has threatened to assume
full control of management. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

general of the state-owned Moldova Gas company, told BASA-press on 18
August that, in order to pay back arrears for gas consumption, the
company has contracted agricultural products worth 35 million lei to be
exported to Russia. Arrears for Russian gas consumption for 1995 are
1,935 million lei ($452 million). Moldova is to draft a program of
payments to be presented to the Russian side in two weeks. The program
includes building a town in a Moscow suburb for the workers of the
Russian Gasprom company, which will require $20 million in expenditure.
Moldova Gas warned consumers that in case the arrears are not covered by
1 October, the economy will face "disastrous consequences" because the
supply of gas to Moldova might be stopped. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

President Zhelyu Zhelev told BTA on 19 August that the president did not
approve in advance recent changes in the Bulgarian military made by the
defense ministry. According to the aide's statement, "President Zhelyu
Zhelev will not allow any politically-motivated reshuffles of the top
brass of the army or structural changes that may harm the national
security of Bulgaria." Meanwhile, Zhelev's chief of staff added that
"the press has recently suggested the proposals had been harmonized with
the president, or even sponsored by his Military Office. These are
attempts at flagrant manipulation of public opinion and army officers."
These statements come in the wake of changes at the top level of the
military, announced by the government on 11 August, but even then in
part questioned by Zhelev's office (See OMRI Daily Digest, 14 August
1995). -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

Democratic League of Montenegro, Mehmet Bardhi, met with the deputy
leader of the Democratic League of Kosovo, Fehmi Agani, and other
Kosovar and Albanian party politicians, Montena-fax reported on 19
August. Bardhi, who is also the mayor of Ulcinj, discussed with his
guests possibilities of cooperation between the ethnic Albanian
political parties in former Yugoslavia and Albania. The politicians
jointly denounced plans to settle refugees from Krajina to Kosovo.
Meanwhile, Kosovar shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova accused the
Serbian authorities of placing the refugees "into ethnically pure
Albanian communities" and called it "a political rather than
humanitarian activity." So far, Serbian authorities have placed 2,350
refugees in Kosovo, but they expect to relocate a total of 16,000. Prime
Minister Bujar Bukoshi warned on 18 August that the relocation of
refugees could lead to war and added: "We Albanians won't be slaughtered
like the Bosnians. We will defend ourselves," international agencies
reported. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN-MONTENEGRIN BORDER INCIDENT. A 26 year-old Albanian was wounded
on 18 August by rump Yugoslav border guards, Montena-fax reported the
following day. The man reportedly went about 100 meters into Montenegrin
territory to sell cloth. The incident will be brought up by Albania on
the first meeting of a newly created joint rump Yugoslav-Albanian border
commission. It was the second such incident this month at that part of
the border. Meanwhile, about 100 trucks were jammed for hours at the
Albanian-Greek border because the official stamp used by Albanian
customs wore out, Reuters reported on 18 August. Tourists reportedly
were allowed through with unstamped documents. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Steve Kettle

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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