He who knows nothing is nearer the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. - Thomas Jefferson

No. 186, Part II, 25 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


Supporters of former Prime Minister Jan Olszewski said that his campaign
office in an annex to the Warsaw Sobanski Palace was burgled during the
night from 22 to 23 September and documents were stolen, including
signatures supporting Olszewski's presidential candidacy. Strong
competition is going on to collect the 100,000 signatures needed to
register a candidate and Olszewski has not yet been registered.
According to former Deputy Minister of Defense Romuald Szeremitiew,
repairs to the annex started on Friday at night and Olszewski's
belongings were removed and sealed, but no documents were there.
Szeremitiew leads a split party once led by Olszewski; his offices were
located in the main building of the Sobanski Palace, which  Szeremitiew
recently gave to current President Lech Walesa for his electoral
campaign. Jacek Trznadel, the chief of Olszewski's campaign, demanded
"explanations from candidate Walesa," Polish dailies reported on 25
September. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

conference on the repatriation and accommodation of deported people
concluded in Yalta on 22 September, RFE/RL reported. OSCE High
Commissioner on National Minorities Max van der Stoel noted that about
250,000 deported Crimean Tatars had returned to the Crimea and about the
same number hoped to do so in the future. Unfortunately, neither Ukraine
nor Crimea have the necessary funds to pay for the absorption of the new
immigrants. He said that he would seek financial help from Western
governments for the returnees. The spirit of cooperation and
understanding with which Ukrainian and Crimean officials were addressing
the Crimean Tatar issue were an indication that a Yugoslav-type ethnic
conflict on the peninsula was unlikely, van der Stoel added. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS, UKRAINE PRESIDENTS MEET. Alyaksandr Lukashenka held talks with
Leonid Kuchma in Kiev on 24 September, ITAR-TASS reported. They agreed
that Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia did not need to strengthen their ties
by creating new structures and that cooperation should be boosted by
restoring the economic contacts that had existed in the Soviet period.
They also noted that the implementation of a free-trade agreement
between their countries was limited by the customs union of Belarus,
Russia, and Kazakhstan, but would work together to overcome this
problem. The presidents agreed to hold regular bimonthly meetings in the
future. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

Finnish Interior Ministers Edgar Savisaar and Jan-Erik Enestam signed an
agreement in Tallinn on 22 September setting up regulations for the
expulsion by one country and admission by the other of illegal
immigrants, BNS reported. This agreement and an earlier one on
cooperation in fighting crime were the two conditions Finland had set
for establishing visa-free travel between the two countries. Negotiating
teams for formal talks on visa-free travel should be named soon. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

put a plan to modernize its fleet of Russian-built  MiG-21 jet fighters
on hold while it studies a proposal to buy used American F-16 fighters,
Reuters reported on 22 September. Defense Minister Vilem Holan had
ordered three prototypes of the modernized MiGs to be produced, but his
plan was not supported in the parliament. The Czechs have suggested that
they might team with Poland to get a better deal on the F-16s. Pravo
reported on 23 September that replacing the MiGs with 24 F-16s would
cost around $280 million, more than three times the estimated price for
modernizing the MiG-21s. -- Doug Clarke and Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

Klaus said on 22 September that the Czech Republic will formally apply
next January for EU membership, Czech media reported the following day.
The government is expected to formulate the application, which does not
need parliamentary approval, in November. Hungary and Poland applied for
EU membership in April 1994, and Romania and Slovakia followed in June
this year. Lidove noviny on 25 September quoted Spanish Prime Minister
Felipe Gonzalez as saying at the weekend EU summit in Spain that the
Czech Republic could join Cyprus and Malta as a group when the process
of admission negotiations begins. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS. Following a cabinet meeting in the west
Slovak town of Trencin on 22 September, Premier Vladimir Meciar told a
public rally there are "three ways to remove the tension" on the
political scene. The parliament can accept a constitutional law to end
President Michal Kovac's term in office without an investigation; the
parliament can conduct an investigation of political changes since 1994;
or a referendum can be held, TASR reported. Meciar also announced the
cabinet's plans to make Trencin the center of Slovakia's military
industry; a new firm called Holding is being established. The republican
council of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) on 23 September
voiced unambiguous support for the cabinet in its call for the
president's resignation. In other news, an opinion poll taken by Slovak
Radio showed that the HZDS would win 31.6% of the votes if new elections
were held in the first half of September. A distant second would be the
Christian Democratic Movement, with 11.4%, followed by the Hungarian
coalition with 10.8%, the Democratic Union with 9.8%, and the Party of
the Democratic Left with 8%. The Slovak National Party and the
Democratic Party would also make it into the parliament. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

gathered in Bratislava's Slovak National Uprising Square on 23 September
to protest government social policies, particularly the cabinet's
cancellation in July of public transport discounts for the socially
disadvantaged. Alojz Englis, president of the Slovak Confederation of
Trade Unions (KOZ), which organized the demonstration, asked the cabinet
to stop making empty promises and meet workers' demands, Slovak and
international media reported. Englis pointed out that 10% of families
live below the minimum level and another 75% barely surpass that level.
The demonstration was one of the largest to be held in Bratislava since
1989. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SYMPOSIUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS ENDS IN HUNGARY. "Cultural and minority rights
are intertwined and should be protected on the same basis" Voyin
Dimitrievic, deputy chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission, said on
23 September in Budapest at the end of a four-day symposium on human
rights, Hungarian media reported the same day. The current, eighth such
conference was jointly organized by the Council of Europe and Hungary's
Justice Ministry and took place for the first time in Eastern Europe.
With some 250 participants, the symposium discussed citizens', cultural
and minority rights included in the European Human Rights Convention,
and argued for better implementation of existing standards rather than
the creation of new ones, Dimitrievic said. Hungarian Justice Minister
Pal Vastagh emphasized that the idea of once hosting a human rights
conference in Budapest seemed utopian 10-15 years ago. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIANS SEEK REFUGE IN HUNGARY. A group of 200 Bosnians sought
temporary shelter in Hungary over the weekend, border guard spokesman
Attila Krisan told Hungarian journalists on 25 September. The group
would be accommodated at a new refugee camp in the eastern city of
Debrecen. In the past few months, some 2,000 people from Serbia have
also taken refuge in Hungary. Over the past years, Hungary has given
shelter to thousands of refugees from Bosnia but tension is now
increasing along its southern borders, where 300,000 ethnic Hungarians
face the threat of forced eviction from their homes as a large number of
the approximately 150,000 Serb refugees fleeting Croatia's Krajina
region look to resettle in Vojvodina. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.


BOSNIAN FORCES FIND MASS GRAVE. Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic
announced that government soldiers had discovered a mass grave
containing the bodies of some 540 people in the village of Krasulje. The
International Herald Tribune on 25 September quoted him as saying that
"Serbian terrorists killed the Bosnians of the town of Kljuc and buried
them in a mass grave--that is genocide." Silajdzic added that the
massacre probably took place soon after the Serbs launched the war in
1992. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

rejected the government's call for the demilitarization of Banja Luka.
The BBC on 24 September quoted Silajdzic as saying that Bosnian forces
will therefore continue to put pressure on the Serbian stronghold. AFP
cited Fifth Corps Commander General Atif Dudakovic as telling reporters
that he will "pursue the Chetniks [Serbs] as long as they remain" in
northwestern Bosnia. He added that his goal is still to link up with the
Seventh Corps as they converge on  Banja Luka.  Vreme on 25 September
stated that a "Saigon atmosphere" prevails among the Serb refugees
crowded into that town.  -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND IN THE POSAVINA AREA. Serbian media said over the weekend that
Bosnian Serb forces had launched a counteroffensive, while Western news
agencies suggested that government troops backed by Croatian artillery
were holding their own. Fighting was intense around Brcko, Doboj, and
elsewhere along the Posavina corridor, with Bosnian Radio saying that
the Serbs flew 80 helicopter sorties there. There has been little
independent confirmation of the often highly contradictory reports
coming from the front. The International Herald Tribune on 25 September
stated that the internationally wanted war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic
"Arkan" was active around Sanski Most to the west of Banja Luka. That
same paper on 21 September had noted the close links between Arkan and
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

President Alija Izetbegovic announced that his government would not
attend the conference slated for 26 September in New York. The foreign
ministers of Bosnia, Croatia, and rump Yugoslavia have been invited by
U.S. diplomats to discuss Washington's latest project to carve up the
republic. Reuters on 24 September quoted Silajdzic as saying that "the
Serb terrorists and the regime in Belgrade wanted actually to partition
Bosnia, to make a Greater Serbia at the expense of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Partition is our main concern and main problem." Foreign Minister
Muhamed Sacirbey later said, however, that he might attend if certain
unspecified constitutional demands were met. Nasa Borba on 25 September
quoted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as stating that nothing
concrete has been agreed regarding borders. He received a delegation
from the Russian Duma and told them that peace cannot be established in
Bosnia without Russia and that "we are aware of all that Russia has done
to defend Serbian interests." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN MINISTER WARNS OF WAR. Rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan
Milutinovic, during a visit to France, on 22 September suggested that
the eventuality of Belgrade's involvement in regional conflict could not
be ruled out. According to Reuters, he said "There are many who would
really like to see Serbia in this war . . . if the call is made it would
no longer be a war of bows and arrows--I am speaking figuratively--all
means would be used." He alleged that "Yugoslavia is at least 10 times,
even 20 times, stronger from a military point of view than all the
states around it." The same day, Serbia's first lady, Mirjana Markovic,
delivered a different message through state-run media, saying Belgrade
should stay clear of military conflict in Bosnia and the regime should
add greater distance between itself and "ultranationalist extremists."
-- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

KOSOVARS DEMONSTRATE IN SWITZERLAND. An estimated 20,000 people from
Kosovo demonstrated outside of the UN in Geneva on 23 September,
protesting "ethnic cleansing" and "colonization" of Kosovo by Serbian
authorities, AFP reported the same day. Demonstrators filed a petition
urging UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to help "stop police
and military violence" in Kosovo, and also called for Kosovo's
independence. Most of the participants came from Switzerland, with large
contingents from neighboring countries also represented. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

reported on 20 September that meetings between Croatian Premier Nikica
Valentic and his Slovenian counterpart Janez Drnovsek in Maribor have
resulted in both sides agreeing that outstanding problems, particularly
those revolving on border questions, are nearing a resolution. For his
part, Valentic observed that on "all outstanding border issues [there
are only] questions of nuance left open." He did, however, add that the
differences over the Gulf of Piran are "important" and "major." A
Croatian consulate-general is slated to be opened in Maribor sometime in
early 1996. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

paid a one-day official visit to Romania, Radio Bucharest reported.
According to both Romanian and Yugoslav media, the visit permitted a
continuation of a top-level dialogue initiated during Romanian President
Ion Iliescu's visit to Belgrade in May 1993. Bulatovic's talks with
Iliescu focused on the Bosnian crisis, as well as on ways to restore and
boost traditional bilateral relations--especially in the economic field-
-after the UN embargo against Serbia and Montenegro would be lifted.
Bulatovic was quoted as praising Romania's diplomatic role in the
Balkans. At a joint conference, Iliescu spoke of a "new favorable
moment" in the Yugoslav negotiations, and said that he noticed that the
Yugoslav side was positively assessing the U.S. involvement in efforts
to settle the crisis. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

September told Radio Bucharest that Romania had several "trumps" in its
efforts to join NATO. According to Tinca, Romania and Poland have the
largest populations in Eastern Central Europe, have considerable
economic potential, and significant armies. Besides, Romania has
"clearly expressed its will" to join the alliance, a determination which
the minister described as a further trump for his country. Tinca also
said that the countries which joined NATO's Partnership for Peace
program do not consider that form of military cooperation as a
substitute for full-fledged NATO membership. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

September protested in Tiraspol against the economic policies of the
local authorities, BASA-press and Infotag reported. The rally was staged
by the Coordinating Council of several radical left-wing organizations
in the self-styled "Dniester Moldovan republic." The council's chairman,
Vasilii Yakovlev, criticized the current Tiraspol leadership and
demanded a stop to privatization plans and the setting up of a single
Dniester bank to replace the existing flurry of commercial banks. The
organizers of the rally asked Russia to admit the "Dniester republic"
into the ruble zone. A leader of the young Communists in the region
called former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev "a Judas," accusing him
and other former Soviet officials of having "destroyed the USSR." -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

September passed a law on "genocide and communist crime," which
effectively bars thousands of former Communists form seeking public
office until 2002, Western agencies reported the same day. The law
applies to members of the former Party of Labor of Albania's Politburo
and Central Committee, ministers, parliamentary deputies, presidents of
the Supreme Court, and former secret police agents and informers, who
are not allowed to hold posts in the government, parliament, judiciary,
and mass media. The law was passed by 74 of the 140 legislators.
Socialist and Social Democrat politicians denounced it as "revenge" and
an attempt to hit the opposition before the general elections next year.
At least seven of the 11-member presidency of the Socialist Party are
affected by the law, including chairman Fatos Nano, as is Social
Democratic Party chairman Skender Gjinushi. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

FLOODING IN ALBANIA KILLS FOUR. Heavy flooding across much of Albania
claimed four lives and caused considerable damage, Reuters reported on
22 September. Interior Ministry spokesman Nikolin Thana said that
helicopters, special troops, and engineers were deployed to rescue
people in isolated areas. Three people drowned in the northeastern
district of Has, and a fourth person was killed in Tirana. The northern
town of Shkoder and several districts in the northeast, and the district
of Lushnje south of Tirana, were hit hardest. Thana said authorities
were mobilized to provide tents and first aid to people whose houses
were destroyed, and that road repairs are underway.  Prime Minister
Aleksander Meksi and Interior Minister Agron Musaraj traveled to the
flooded areas to consult with local authorities. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Steve Kettle

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
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:

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
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver


News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole