Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light. - Jennie Jerome Churchill
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 175, Part II, 8 September 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

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT MAY RETAIN MONOPOLY IN KEY SECTORS. President
Leonid Kuchma's chief economic adviser, Anatolii Halchynskyi, told
Uryadovyi Kuryer on 7 September that the Ukrainian leader is ready to
issue two important economic decrees. One decree would allow the
government to retain 100% ownership of enterprises deemed strategically
important, including those that manufacture arms and "environmentally
hazardous" products, and to maintain a government monopoly in key
economic sectors, such as transportation, communications, energy, ports,
pipelines, postal services, and the manufacturing of spirits. The second
decree would give the state the controlling package of shares--51% or
more--in enterprises transformed into joint-stock companies but barred
from total privatization by the Ukrainian parliament. The restructuring
of all those enterprises is to be completed by the end of the year. The
decrees mark a shift in Kuchma's reform policies. -- Chrystyna Lapychak,
OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON BELARUSIAN POLITICAL CRISIS. Russian TV on 7 September
reported that the conflict between Belarus's parliament and president
continues. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has ordered government
officials not to have any contact with the old parliament, which began
its session on 6 September. He also avowed that he himself would not
have anything to do with the outgoing legislature. Following
Lukashenka's instructions, Minister of Finance Stsyapan Yanchuk refused
to give an account of the budget before the parliament. In turn, the
legislature issued a declaration blaming the president for inflaming the
situation. The deputies also lowered the minimum voter turnout from 50%
to 25% in order for parliamentary elections to be valid. Voters failed
to elect enough deputies to form a new parliament in May, and there are
fears that owing to the turnout requirement, no new legislature will
ever be elected. Parliamentary by-elections are scheduled for 29
November. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BALTIC PRESIDENTS MEET IN TALLINN. Presidents Lennart Meri (Estonia),
Guntis Ulmanis (Latvia), and Algirdas Brazauskas (Lithuania) on 7
September discussed economic relations, trade problems, and relations
with NATO, the EU, and Russia, BNS reported. In a joint communique
issued after the meeting, they stressed their states' desire to join
NATO as soon as possible. They backed Poland's proposal to have a summit
meeting of EU members and associate members to discuss concrete
questions on the union's expansion. And they also agreed to facilitate
transit through their territories and bolster control over their eastern
borders. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

MEETING OF LATVIAN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS. Valdis Birkavs held talks
with Andrei Kozyrev in Moscow on 7 September, BNS reported. The
discussions focused on economic questions, with the two foreign
ministers agreeing to create a joint committee to solve bilateral
economic issues. Kozyrev promised to speed up the departure of Russian
officers who should have left Latvia last year. Birkavs said European
security and NATO expansion was barely discussed. Deputy Foreign
Minister Sergei Krylov, who attended the meeting, appeared to modify his
reported assertion that Russia could not accept the Baltic States'
membership in NATO by saying that the question of NATO expansion was an
internal matter of that organization. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

TV TIME SET FOR POLISH ELECTIONS. The National Election Commission on 7
September announced that each candidate for the presidential elections
will receive two hours on public TV and four hours on public radio free
of charge, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. The sum total of election
programming cannot exceed 16 hours on public TV and 32 hours on public
radio, the commission decided. If more than eight candidates register,
programming time will be shortened. Candidates, rather than public TV
and radio, bear exclusive responsibility for the contents of their
programming. The commission statement said nothing about paid TV
election spots, but a member of the National Broadcasting Council, which
supervises Polish broadcasting, told reporters that paid advertisements
will be banned. In related news, the Defense Ministry on 7 September
prohibited election campaigning and the collection of supporting
signatures at all military institutions. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S SON. Maj. Jaroslav Simunic, the police
investigator leading the inquiry into the recent kidnapping of President
Michal Kovac's son (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 and 6 September 1995),
received news in the middle of a press conference on 7 September that he
had been taken off the case, Slovak and international media reported.
According to Simunic, there had been interference in his work and
witnesses were being intimidated. He also said he had delivered letters
to Slovak Information Service director Ivan Lexa, Interior Minister
Ludovit Hudek, and parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic informing them
that SIS agents were possibly connected to the case. Although the
government has denied official involvement in the case, opposition
politicians think otherwise. Lexa is a close ally of Premier Vladimir
Meciar, who has been embroiled in a long-term dispute with the
president. Simunic told Sme on 7 September that he already had a list of
four suspects, the names of whom made him "feel a certain unease." --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS. The Slovak parliament on 7 September
reapproved laws on investment funds and state control over "strategic"
industries that had been vetoed by President Michal Kovac, Narodna
obroda reported. Kovac objected to the law on investment funds because
it prevents them from serving on the board of firms in which they have
shares. The opposition has said it will take the two laws, along with
one on bond privatization reapproved the previous day, to the
Constitutional Court. In other news, Premier Vladimir Meciar announced
at a party gathering on 7 September that the Slovak koruna will be fully
convertible from 1 October. He also promised that the cabinet will
neither raise energy prices in 1995 nor increase apartment rents until
1997, TASR reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE BEGINS IN SLOVAKIA. A joint military exercise on
7 September began in the central Slovak military training area at Lest,
TASR reported. Some 1,000 soldiers from the Czech Republic, Hungary,
Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and Slovakia are participating, while Austria
is attending as an observer. This is the first international military
exercise to be held in Slovakia. The Hungarian contingent the previous
day was detained for three hours at the Slovak border as customs
officials were reluctant to let the soldiers cross the border with
weapons in hand. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

IMF TO DISCUSS STAND-BY DEAL WITH HUNGARY. An IMF delegation has begun
talks in Budapest on a stand-by agreement with Hungary, international
media reported on 6 September. The agreement would involve two separate
loans totaling $800 million, which Hungary plans to spend on budget
reform and structural changes. The delegation is to review Hungary's
economic stabilization program, a three-year economic strategy plan, and
next year's budget. Preliminary reports say that the IMF is satisfied
with Hungary's stabilization plan and its proposed budget deficit for
1996 of 258 billion forints ($1.9 billion), which would represent 3.9%
of GDP. One of the preconditions for a stand-by loan was setting the
deficit at a maximum of 3% of GDP. The IMF also wants monetary and wage
reform as well as further austerity measures in addition to those
adopted by the government in March 1995. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CONTACT GROUP PREPARES PEACE PLAN . . . The international Contact Group
has finalized outline proposals for a Bosnian peace settlement, which
are to be presented at the first meeting of the foreign ministers of
Bosnia, rump Yugoslavia, and Croatia in more than 18 months,
international agencies reported on 8 September. The preparatory meeting
was attended by EU mediator Carl Bildt and his UN counterpart, Thorvald
Stoltenberg. U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke said the foreign
ministers' talks on 8 September will include constitutional arrangements
but no territorial issues. He refused to predict the outcome of the
negotiations, saying that failure of the talks would be "an absolute
disaster." Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher played
down differences with Russia over recent NATO air strikes. He said
Russia supported the Holbrooke peace initiative and added he believed
that "we'll be able to work and stay together with the Russians." --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

. . . BUT PEACE MAY BE HARD TO ACHIEVE. Holbrooke, after meeting with
rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic late on 7 September,
said "we had some problems" but gave no details, international media
reported. The meeting was requested by the Yugoslav delegation. Other
delegates also agreed that peace will be hard to achieve. Croatian
Foreign Minister Mate Granic is quoted as saying that he would be
satisfied if "only one piece of paper concerning some basic element
about constitutional arrangements" were produced. Negotiations between
Granic, Milutinovic, and their Bosnian counterpart, Muhamed Sacirbey,
began at the U.S. mission in Geneva on 8 September under Holbrooke's
chairmanship. The new proposal has not yet been published but is
reported to be based on a 51%--49% division of Bosnia between the
Muslim-Croat federation and the Serbs. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

NATO AIR RAIDS CONTINUE. NATO warplanes using night vision gear continue
to bomb Bosnian Serb positions around the clock, Reuters reported on 8
September. NATO said night attacks on military barracks and ammunition
dumps near Sarajevo and other strategic targets, including bridges and
radar posts in Foca and west Bosnia, were a "success." NATO pilots have
so far flown about 2,000 sorties. The Serbs said civilian targets were
also being hit. U.S. Secretary of State Christopher said the strikes
will not cease, adding that "this campaign can continue for some time."
Another U.S. official is quoted as saying "we've advised the Bosnian
government to be restrained militarily . . . [and] not to initiate their
own military operations under cover of the NATO-UN operations."
Elsewhere, a Yugoslav government statement called on the UN Security
Council to rein in NATO, saying "unacceptable and unreasonable" air
strikes put the peace process in jeopardy, international agencies
reported. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

SERBS REFUSE TO WITHDRAW. Bosnian Serbs on 7 September insisted that
more NATO air strikes will not make them pull back their big guns from
the 20 km exclusion zone around Sarajevo, international agencies
reported the next day. UN spokesman Alexander Ivanko said there was no
evidence the Serbs were about to comply with the UN demand that big guns
be pulled back. "We have checked and no heavy weapons have moved out of
the exclusion zone." Ivanko said. He added that "the Bosnian Serbs
continue to defy the will of the international community." -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. The UN Security
Council issued two separate statements rapping Croatia for the mass
exodus of 150,000 Serbs and condemning the lack of Bosnian Serb
cooperation in allowing access to Muslim prisoners, Reuters reported on
7 September. It demanded that access be provided to sites deemed
important by the International War Crimes Tribunal for its
investigations. The U.S. has produced evidence that between 2,000 and
2,700 Bosnian civilians were machine-gunned to death soon after
Srebrenica fell in July. UN investigators have not been allowed to visit
those sites. About 10,000 civilians from Srebrenica and 3,000 from Zepa
are unaccounted for. The second statement on Croatia expressed "deep
concern" at the mass exodus of local Serbs. The council demands that
Croatia "immediately investigate . . . report [on the burning of houses,
looting of Serbian property, and killings], and take appropriate measure
to put an end to such acts." The council also demanded respect for the
rights of local Serbs, including their return in safety. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIA TO RECEIVE $200 MILLION IN FOREIGN AID. Donor countries and
international organizations belonging to a consultative group chaired by
the World Bank have agreed on new aid for Macedonia worth $200 million,
Reuters reported on 7 September. Together with some $400 million saved
through a debt rescheduling accord reached with the Paris Club in July
1995, the new credit will cover Macedonia's 1995 external financing gap
of about $600 million. World Bank Director Rachel Lomax said financial
support for Macedonia in 1996 looked strong, since the country has made
great progress in economic reforms since 1994, despite "adverse external
circumstances." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA'S AUDIO-VISUAL COUNCIL BANS BBC NEWS ON STATE TV. The National
Audio-Visual Council, in a communique broadcast by Romanian TV on 6
September, demanded that Romanian TV stop broadcasting a special BBC
Romanian-language newscast, claiming that the broadcast breaches public
television rules. According to its statutes, the council is not
empowered to influence the contents of newscasts by public and private
broadcasters. Reuters on 7 September reported that the demand amounts to
banning the program, launched last week and sent by satellite to
Romanian TV and several private television companies. The council said
that "international rules that hold in both Britain and Romania"
prohibit public stations from "airing news programs made by foreign
public stations in the language of the recipient." The ban was echoed in
an editorial in the government daily Vocea Romaniei accusing the BBC of
disseminating news that is "openly hostile to the Romanian government."
-- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ILIESCU ON ANTI-SEMITISM, MARSHAL ANTONESCU. Romanian President Ion
Iliescu pledged in a letter to members of the U.S. Congress, published
in the daily Adevarul on 8 September, that he would be "the first" to
oppose anti-Semitism "if there were any real threat" of its resurgence
in Romania. U.S. politicians had expressed concern about attempts to
rehabilitate war-time leader Marshal Ion Antonescu and the government's
failure to react to the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest.
Iliescu said the rehabilitation demands "have no anti-Semitic
connotation," since they are "disparate attempts" by war veterans who
fought under Antonescu's command. He claimed nobody denied the "negative
role" played by Antonescu in pitting Romania against the Allies during
World War II and his "responsibility for the crimes committed against
Jews." Meanwhile, Radio Bucharest on 7 September reported that Senate
Chairman Oliviu Gherman told a visiting Israeli delegation that
compensation for the property confiscated from the Jews by the fascist
and communist governments was not "a matter that can be settled from one
day to the next or in a year or two." Chamber of Deputies chairman
Adrian Nastase told the delegation that the restitution of property
owned by the Jewish community must be dealt with in a law on restitution
of property to other national communities as well in order to avoid
"discrimination." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON RESOLUTION OF TRANSDNIESTRIAN CONFLICT. Mircea
Snegur told Hungary's Duna TV that he is confident the Transdniestrian
conflict will "sooner or later" be solved by political means. He said
the Moldovan side will display "as much patience and persistence" as is
needed in order for Tiraspol to understand that "their intentions to set
up a confederation do not have a chance." Snegur said granting Gagauz-
type autonomy status to the Transdniestrian region would be "a fair
solution," Infotag reported on 7 September. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI,
Inc.

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN SOFIA. Andrei Kozyrev arrived in Sofia on 7
September for his first official visit to Bulgaria, AFP reported the
same day. He met with his Bulgarian counterpart, Georgi Pirinski, and
President Zhelyu Zhelev. Talks focused on the situation in the former
Yugoslavia and a possible eastward expansion of NATO. Kozyrev said the
Yugoslav conflict has to be solved by the warring sides, rather than
outside forces. He also repeated Russia's position against a NATO
expansion, while Zhelev said the decision to apply for membership was
Bulgaria's sovereign choice and was not directed against Russia. The two
sides also signed a new consular treaty. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT, PREMIER ON EUROPEAN INTEGRATION. Zhelyu Zhelev and
Zhan Videnov on 7 September addressed the National Assembly to mark the
creation of a Bulgarian-EU parliamentary committee, Bulgarian newspapers
reported the following day. Both stressed the importance of closer ties
with the EU. Zhelev said Bulgaria will be able to present its request
for EU membership within months. He called integration into European
structures the best guarantee "for [Bulgaria's] democratic and stable
development." Videnov said his government is preparing a strategy for
beginning negotiations on full EU membership, which he described as
Bulgaria's main foreign policy priority. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK-MACEDONIAN UPDATE. AFP on 8 September reported that the foreign
ministers of Greece and Macedonia, Karolos Papoulias and Stevo
Crvenkovski, will meet in New York on 12 or 13 September to sign an
agreement between their two countries. The Greek Foreign Ministry said
the accord "should enable mutual recognition." Tanjug, citing Macedonian
press reports, reported that Greece and Macedonia will sign a seven-year
friendship treaty, drafted by the U.S., the EU, and the UN, that will
require Macedonia to change its flag and clarify certain articles of its
constitution. Greece, for its part, will lift the embargo on Macedonia
and stop blocking Macedonia's admission to certain international bodies.
Only the name issue will remain frozen for the time being. Reuters on 7
September cited Macedonian Finance Minister Jane Miljovski as saying
that a name change was not realistic and that the dispute over it had
not been rational from the start. -- 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
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

Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to
reprint or redistribute the OMRI Daily Digest. Before reprinting or
redistributing this publication, please write varnumk@omri.cz for a copy
of the new policy or look at this URL:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

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