Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Dostoevsky
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 167, Part II, 28 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

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

POLAND'S WALESA FIRES WACHOWSKI. President Lech Walesa on 25 August
dismissed Mieczyslaw Wachowski, his closest aide for the past four
years, Rzeczpospolita reported. The move was widely interpreted as a
last-ditch attempt to win the support of former allies for his
presidential campaign; most commentators said it came far too late. The
president had for years resisted pressure to remove the shadowy
Wachowski, who served as Walesa's chauffeur in the Solidarity era. He
vanished from the Solidarity chairman's entourage in 1983, only to
resurface during the presidential campaign of 1990. Wachowski had faced
accusations, never conclusively substantiated, that he collaborated with
the communist secret police. He had also been criticized for cultivating
illicit ties with high-ranking military and police officials. The
president also fired his spokesman, Leszek Spalinski. Replacements have
not yet been named. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

GRONKIEWICZ-WALTZ WINS ENDORSEMENT. The leadership of Poland's largest
right-wing party, the Christian-National Union (ZChN), endorsed National
Bank chief Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz for president on 26 August, Gazeta
Wyborcza reported. She defeated Lech Walesa by a vote of 20 to 17. The
decision ended weeks of wavering during which some ZChN activists had
declared their support for Walesa. The endorsement makes Gronkiewicz-
Waltz the clear right-wing favorite in the upcoming elections. -- Louisa
Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENT PLANS TO CONVENE. The old Belarusian parliament
plans to hold its next session on 5 September because a new parliament
has not yet been elected, Kommersant-daily reported on 26 August. Under
Belarusian law, the old legislature retains its powers until a new one
is in place. Deputies plan to discuss new citizenship requirements and
jurisdiction over the parliamentary Customs Committee, which, according
to Foreign Relations Committee head Pyotr Sadouskyi, Belarusian
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka plans to place under his own control.
The parliament is opposed to such a move. Sadouskyi also said that a
bill will be submitted specifying which bodies are authorized to oversee
enterprises with foreign capital investment. He added that at present,
these companies are overseen by "anyone who comes along." -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS URGES RUSSIA TO COOPERATE MORE ON DEFENSE. Belarusian President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka wants Russia to "make better use" of its
cooperation with Belarus on defense, Interfax reported on 25 August. He
said Russia will never be able to create a defense belt on its western
border equal to the "highly-skilled, well-trained, and well-armed
personnel" of the former Belarusian Military District. He added that
Belarus has neither "demolished a single military strategic facility"
since independence nor charged Russia rent for the use of facilities on
its territory. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

PRIVATIZATION IN CRIMEA. The chairman of the new Crimean Property Fund,
which is charged with selling off state-owned enterprises in the region,
said a maximum of 30% of Crimean enterprises will be privatized while
the rest will remain "in the hands of the state or the people," UNIAN
reported on 26 August. Oleksii Holovyzin said his agency will begin with
the privatization of small companies and unfinished construction
projects. He added that he planned to set up a non-budgetary investment
fund for large-scale privatization. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE PARTY CONGRESS. Delegates to the Estonian
National Independence Party congress in Tallinn on 26 August voted
unanimously to unite with the Pro Patria party, BNS reported. The
congress approved the draft unification agreement by a vote of 95 to two
with 10 abstentions. Unification still has to be approved by a Pro
Patria congress. A joint congress would then be held to adopt a new
party program and constitution as well as to elect new leaders. The new
party will assume all ENIP and Pro Patria obligations, and current
members will automatically become members of the new party unless they
decide otherwise. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT DEPUTY RESIGNS. Following his election to the
board of the Lithuanian Savings Bank on 24 August, Social Democrat
Audrius Rudys has announced the he is voluntarily resigning his seat in
the Seimas, RFE/RL reported. It is expected that his resignation will be
approved by the Supreme Election Commission on 29 August and that he
will be named a deputy chairman of the bank's board. According to
Lithuanian law, Rudys should be replaced in the Seimas by the next
candidate on the Social Democratic Party election list, but Presidential
adviser Justas Vincas Paleckis is not expected to accept the post. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANI INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL IN CZECH REPUBLIC. An estimated 1,000
people attended "Romfest 95" in Straznice na Hodoninsko on 26 August,
CTK reported. More than 300 Roma from Slovakia and the Czech Republic
performed at the Fourth International Festival, among them the Klincovci
from Detva, the Horvaths from Brno, a group of Romani youth from the
conservatory in Kosice, and a children's group from Olomouc. The event
was partly sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, with most of the money
being used to rent the park and pay security forces. The performers
agreed to play without fees. -- Alaina Lemon, OMRI, Inc.

HUMAN SMUGGLING AT HUNGARIAN BORDER CROSSING. AFP on 27 August reported
that Hungarian customs officials detained 16 illegal Turkish immigrants
in two separate incidents at a checkpoint on the Romanian border over
the weekend. Four of the immigrants were found hidden beneath personal
belongings and watermelons in the trailer of a sedan, while the other 12
were stowed away in a truck delivering ready-made clothes from Romania
to Britain. The British driver of the truck and the Turkish driver of
the sedan, together with his son and another person, were arrested. The
illegal immigrants apparently wanted to reach Germany or France. Hungary
has tightened up its border controls since 18 illegal immigrants from
Sri Lanka suffocated in a Romanian trailer truck last month. -- Jan
Cleave, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SHELLS KILL AT LEAST 32 IN SARAJEVO. Reuters and AFP on 28 August
reported that a shell landed 30 meters from the Markale market place
around 11:00 a.m., killing at least 32 people and wounding at least 40.
The centrally located market, now enclosed, was the site of a similar
shelling in February 1994, which killed 68 and led to international
outrage against the Serbs. In the latest incident, six shells also hit
the main street nearby. The morgue said that it took in 15 people in the
first 20 minutes alone. Bosnian Radio said that the shells came from
Serbian positions to the south. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIA UNIMPRESSED WITH U.S. PEACE PLAN. The attack came as U.S.
diplomat Richard Holbrooke was preparing to resume talks in Paris aimed
at a settlement to the Bosnian conflict. The VOA quoted him as warning
the Serbs that they should sign on in the coming week or risk the "heavy
involvement" of NATO. Given the track record of threats of NATO air
strikes, it is doubtful that Pale will be very impressed by such
remarks, and the latest shelling could perhaps be seen in that context.
The Bosnian government, for its part, has launched its own 12-point
plan. Its military commander, General Rasim Delic, has dismissed the
U.S. project as not "having either a head or a tail." He added that
Bosnia "cannot expect a lot from the international community. We have
only one direction--to continue fighting." Meanwhile in Bonn, Hans
Koschnik, EU administrator of Mostar, threatened to withdraw the
European police unless the Croats and Muslims unified their respective
police forces. He also accused the Croats of virtually blockading the
Muslims and said this action must stop, Reuters reported on 25 August.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA TO CALL FOR RESUMPTION OF GAS DELIVERIES TO SERBIA. Rump Yugoslav
Trade Minister Djordje Siradovic, returning from talks in Moscow, said
Russia will call for an immediate resumption of gas deliveries to the
rump Yugoslavia, TV Belgrade reported on 25 August. Siradovic said the
talks were held in "a very positive and friendly atmosphere in which we
found complete understanding on the Russian side and their readiness to
talk openly and very constructively about all key issues concerning
trade and economic cooperation." Other issues discussed included the
export of rump Yugoslav wheat and corn to Russia, and long-term imports
of Russian oil to the rump Yugoslavia. The agreement on the construction
of a gas pipeline via Bulgaria is ready to be signed. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN SOLDIERS KILL KOSOVAR ALBANIAN. Three rump Yugoslav soldiers
shot and killed an ethnic Albanian near Djakovica on 26 August,
international agencies reported the next day. The Democratic League of
Kosovo said the incident occurred as the soldiers were passing a group
of local people. The soldiers reportedly insulted and beat up the locals
before opening fire on them. It was the 11th killing to date of an
ethnic Albanian by the rump Yugoslav military or police. Meanwhile,
Serbian forces are being redeployed in Kosovo and Serbian civilians
mobilized, the BBC reported on 26 August. Elsewhere Albanian TV on 26
August said that Kosovar shadow state President Ibrahim Rugova has
called for better cooperation among Kosovar Albanians following the
settling of Serbian refugees in the region. According to the Serbian
authorities, about 6,000 Serb refugees have so far arrived in Kosovo,
BETA reported on 27 August. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

TUDJMAN CELEBRATES REOPENING OF RAILWAY. Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman, together with his government ministers and 600 guests, took a
ten-hour "freedom train" ride from Zagreb to Karlovac, Gospic, Knin, and
Split on 26 August. It was the first time in over four years that the
key rail route to Dalmatia has been open, international and Croatian
media noted. Enthusiastic rallies greeted Tudjman in what was both a
display of patriotic sentiment and the opening of the parliamentary
election campaign. He said Croatia will reintegrate eastern Slavonia
either through negotiations or, if necessary, by force. Tudjman called
on Croats living abroad to come back and help resettle the former
Krajina. With regard to the Serbs who fled, the president said that they
"disappeared ignominiously, as if they had never populated this land. We
urged them to stay, but they didn't listen to us and, well, bon voyage."
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KRAJINA CONTROVERSY CONTINUES. The Croatian authorities and the UN have
again traded charges over allegations of Croatian atrocities in Krajina.
The BBC on 28 August reported that the UN produced a film allegedly
showing two Serbian civilians deliberately killed by Croatian troops. A
UN spokesman talked of "arson and murder." Croatian authorities said
Croatian soldiers had been on an operation to mop up the last remaining
pockets of Serbian resistance, in this case in the rugged Plavno area,
20 km north of Knin. Some 70 Serbian peasants asked for and received
Croatian identity papers. But Reuters on 27 August quoted General Ivan
Cermak as saying in Grubor that "three [armed] Chetniks and two
civilians were killed in the action. I have come to supervise the action
personally in order to prevent further accusations that Croatian troops
are burning Serb houses." Meanwhile in Serbia, Nasa Borba on 28 August
reported that the authorities near Cacak have banned that independent
daily as reading material for the Krajina refugees. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS. U.S. Ambassador to Romania Alfred Moses
told a Reuters correspondent in Bucharest on 25 August that it is
unlikely Hungary and Romania will sign a bilateral treaty soon. He said
there has been "much vitriol on both sides" and "the climate has been
spoiled." Romanian-Hungarian relations suffered various setbacks
recently. The Romanian daily Libertatea on 23 August reported that a
book published by the Romanian government's Information Department,
called Romanians Hunted Down in Their Own Country, has "poured oil on
the fire" of the Romanian-Hungarian interethnic conflict. The book deals
with atrocities allegedly committed by members of the Hungarian minority
after 1989 against ethnic Romanians. The Hungarian Democratic Federation
of Romania (UDMR) believes the book is aimed "at serving propaganda
purposes and at purposely distorting reality." The UDMR on 25 August
announced further protests against the controversial new education law.
-- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. CONGRESSMEN IN ROMANIA. Three U.S. congressmen who are members of
the White House's Security Committee began a three-day visit to Romania
on 25 August. Romanian media reported the same day that committee
chairman Floyd Spence met with National Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca,
Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, and Chamber of Deputies chairman
Adrian Nastase. Discussions focused on the political and military
situation in the region, U.S.-Romanian political, economic, and military
relations, and the implementation of the Partnership for Peace program.
-- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA UPGRADES MiG-21 IN JOINT PROJECT WITH ISRAEL. Romanian media and
Reuters on 24 August reported that Romania's Aerostar consortium and the
Israeli company Elbit have launched a project to update 100 Romanian
MiG-21 fighters in line with NATO standards. A spokesman for the
Aerostar group said Israel will supply modern technology and equipment
for the $300 million project. He said the upgrading includes adding new
air defense radar and other equipment enhancing the aircraft's
performance in strike missions. Romanian TV reported that one upgraded
MiG-21 has been successfully tested. The project is expected to last
four years. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ELECTED HEAD OF NEW PARTY. Mircea Snegur on 26 August
was elected leader of the Party of Revival and Harmony at its first
congress in Chisinau. Reuters reported the same day that Snegur, who
quit the ruling Agrarian Democratic Party of Moldova in June, accusing
it of "dictatorial ambitions," told the delegates that the new party
"will be based on centrism, tolerance, and civic accord." He also said
the party will further democracy, boost reform, and support all
nationalities in Moldova. Snegur accused the ruling party of having
"reduced reform to a mere reshuffling of administrators." General
elections are due in Moldova in December. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

THREE BULGARIAN OFFICIALS CHARGED WITH ARMS SMUGGLING TO SERBIA. Three
Bulgarian military officials on 25 August were charged with diverting
arms worth $670,000 to Serbia in November 1993, AFP reported the same
day. The accused are Colonel Valentin Popinski, head of the Defense
Ministry's commercial department, his assistant Colonel Stoian Tsakov,
and Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Nikolov, an Interior Ministry official
who monitors arms deliveries. They were in charge of supplying the
Albanian Defense Ministry with 100 mine launchers and 1,000 mines and
ammunition, but the consignment, which was to have been transported to
Albania in trucks, went "missing" in Skopje. The three men face between
10 and 30 years in prison if convicted. The military prosecutor
reportedly has a contract signed by Popinski and the Serbian private
firm Target for the delivery of the same cargo. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

FLOODING IN ALBANIA. Heavy rains on 25 August flooded roads near Lezha
and cut power and telephone lines in several northern Albanian
districts, AFP reported on 26 August. Five people died when their truck
was hit by water rushing down from the mountain near the village of
Kalivac. Large tracts of agricultural land were under water. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN ALBANIA. Amr Moussa arrived in Albania on
27 August, international agencies reported. His talks with Albanian
Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi are to focus on relations between the
two countries and developments in the Middle East and Bosnia. Serreqi is
due to pay a two-day visit to Greece to discuss bilateral problems and
the conflict in former Yugoslavia with his counterpart, Karolos
Papoulias, later this week. The Albanian Foreign Ministry said his visit
is "very important to strengthen [both countries'] already good
relations." -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

TRIPARTITE BALKAN MEETING. The foreign ministers of Romania, Bulgaria,
and Greece, meeting in the northern Greek city of Ioannina on 26 August,
reiterated a call to lift UN sanctions against the former Yugoslavia,
Romanian media and Reuters reported the same day. They also advised NATO
and the UN not to use force in that country. Telecommunication projects
and two proposed highways linking the three states with other parts of
Europe were discussed. One of the road projects has been delayed by a
dispute between Bulgaria and Romania over the location of a new bridge
across their common border along the Danube. No agreement was reached on
this project, and the two countries asked Greece to mediate. Greek
Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias warned his Bulgarian and Romanian
counterparts, Georgi Pirinski and Teodor Melescanu, that a "deal should
be reached fast," because expected EU financing of the project "will not
wait for ever." Melescanu told Romanian TV on 27 August that the problem
will be discussed by the three countries' ministers of transportation.
-- Michael Shafir, 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
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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