We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers. - Martin Luther King Jr
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 230, Part II, 28 November 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, 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

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
LINTON SAYS U.S. MUST LEAD IN BOSNIA. President Bill Clinton made a 20-
minute televised address on 27 November aimed at securing popular and
congressional support for his plans to send 20,000 troops to Bosnia. He
acknowledged there would be losses but stressed that the U.S. was not
trying to police the world but rather seeking to bring peace to the
"very heart of Europe." The president argued that "in fulfilling this
mission, we will have the chance to help stop the killing of innocent
civilians, and especially children, and, at the same time, bring
stability to central Europe, a region of the world that is vital to our
national interests." Using a combination of moral and strategic
arguments, he told his audience that the troops' task would be clear-
cut, that America's friends and allies needed it to lead, and that worse
conflicts would follow if the U.S. tried to shirk its responsibilities
now. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

KUCHMA CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT, POLITICAL OPPONENTS. At a news conference
following a visit to the Ivano-Frankovsk region, Ukrainian President
Leonid Kuchma criticized Prime Minister Vitalii Masol's government,
UNIAN reported on 25 November. He noted that the government has failed
to act on economic reform programs and is about to lose international
credit as a result. Kuchma also voiced skepticism over the national
democratic forces in the country, saying that personal ambitions of the
far right are adversely affecting the political process. With elections
for 45 vacant seats in the Ukrainian parliament less than two weeks
away, such political sparring is likely to increase. -- Roger Kangas

UKRAINIAN CABINET OF MINISTERS DISCUSS 1996 BUDGET. The Presidium of the
Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers has begun discussing the 1996 draft
budget, UNIAN reported, as cited by the BBC. According to the draft
budget, the national deficit will be 6% of GDP, or 427,200 billion
karbovantsi. Budget revenues are pegged at 2.40 trillion karbovantsi and
expenditures at 2.83 trillion. Problems that have to be addressed
include the low output in the industrial sector, which is expected to
increase by only 0.8% over 1995; limited external financing; and the
chronic balance-of-payment and trade deficits. -- Roger Kangas

CASE DROPPED AGAINST RUSSIAN COMMUNITY OF SEVASTOPOL. Sevastopol's
Leninskii District Court has dropped a lawsuit filed by the city
prosecutor-general against the organization Russian Community of
Sevastopol, Russian TV reported on 27 November. The prosecutor-general
had urged the dissolution of the organization, charging it with
"escalation of interethnic tension" and "attempts to violate the
territorial integrity of Ukraine" by assisting residents acquire Russian
citizenship. The Ukrainian government is concerned about separatist
tendencies in Crimea, because elements of the Russian population there
insist that Sevastopol become part of Russia. -- Constantine Dmitriev

BELARUSIAN ELECTION UPDATE. Belarusian Radio on 25 November reported
that 865 candidates will compete for the 141 still-vacant seats in the
Belarusian Supreme Soviet on 29 November. More than a third of the
candidates (301) are independents, 121 belong to the Communist Party, 63
to the Belarusian Popular Front, 50 to the Agrarian Party, 37 to the
Party of Popular Accord, and 30 each to the Belarusian Patriotic
Movement and Social Democratic Hramada. Of the parliament's 260
deputies, 119 were elected in May. The legislature can begin work when
two-thirds (174) are elected. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has
promised to introduce direct presidential rule if a new parliament is
not elected, told a press conference on 27 November that he would
probably not vote because "people who should not even be allowed near
the parliament may get into it," Western agencies reported. -- Saulius
Girnius

ESTONIA'S TRADE DEFICIT INCREASES. The Estonian Customs Department on 27
November announced that the country's foreign trade deficit in October
increased by 163 million kroons over the September level to reach 788
million kroons ($70 million), BNS reported. Imports increased by 259
million kroons to 2.97 billion kroons, while exports grew by only 96
million kroons. Finland was the source of 40.1% of imports and 23.7% of
exports; Russia and Sweden both had a share of more than 10% share in
imports and exports. The leading exports were farm products (15.8%),
mechanical equipment (10.6%), and forest products (10.3%), while the
leading imports were mechanical equipment (14.3%). farm products
(12.1%), and electrical equipment (10.6%). -- Saulius Girnius

NATIONAL CONCILIATION BLOC PREPARED TO FORM LATVIAN GOVERNMENT.
Democratic Party Saimneiks Chairman Ziedonis Cevers, the prime minister
candidate of the National Conciliation Bloc, on 27 November said that
the bloc will announce its cabinet only after President Guntis Ulmanis
formally invites it to do so, BNS reported. He said the candidates for
economics, education, and interior ministers named in October have since
been changed. Joachim Siegerist--the previous nominee for economics
minister, whom Ulmanis refused to accept as a minister--is reported to
have been seriously injured in an automobile accident in Italy. Modris
Plate, who was to have been education minister, resigned from the Saeima
on 27 November, saying he was returning to work as a Lutheran pastor. --
Saulius Girnius

POLAND, BELARUS INTENSIFY COOPERATION. Polish Prime Minister Jozef
Oleksy and his Belarusian counterpart, Mikhail Chyhir, signed in Warsaw
on 27 November an agreement on cooperation in science and culture
guaranteeing national minorities the right to education in their mother
tongues. Representatives of Polish and Belarusian governments also
signed an agreement on cooperation in customs procedures and the
development of tourism. Work has already begun on drafting a clearing
agreement between the two countries, Polish dailies reported on 28
November. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

POLISH OPINION POLL ON STATE INSTITUTIONS. An opinion poll conducted
before the conclusion of the November 1995 presidential elections shows
that the rating of the Presidency has increased considerably, from 23%
in September to 51% this month. For the first time since 1991, more
respondents approved than disapproved of the institution of the
president. The ratings of the Sejm, the Senate, and the government also
improved. Polish Radio and TV and the army led the approval rankings,
with more than 70%. The Catholic Church received a 58% approval rate.
The poll was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) from
9-12 November and was published by the Polish press on 28 November. --
Jakub Karpinski

CZECHS INVITED TO JOIN BRITISH BOSNIAN FORCE. Britain has said that
Czech troops could be part of the British contingent in the planned NATO
Bosnian peace implementation force, a Czech Foreign Ministry spokesman
told CTK on 27 November. Karel Boruvka said British Foreign Secretary
Malcolm Rifkind made the offer in a recent reply to a letter from
Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec. The Czechs are thinking of providing a
unit composed of 600-700 troops to operate in northwestern Bosnia. --
Doug Clarke

SLOVAK ROUNDUP. Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk on 27 November told
journalists that "the political will" does exist in Slovakia to ratify
the bilateral treaty with Hungary. Slovak parliamentary committees will
begin discussion of the treaty on 28 November, and it is likely that it
will be placed on the agenda of the December parliamentary session. In a
press conference on 27 December, the opposition Democratic Party (DS)
described the coalition's actions during the recent joint session of
Slovak and European parliamentary deputies as "shocking and shameful."
DS Deputy Chairman Frantisek Sebej noted that immediately after the
European deputies left, the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS) began discussions about a law on the protection of the republic.
HZDS Deputy Chairwoman Olga Keltosova noted the possibility of reducing
funds for the opposition Democratic Union. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN, SLOVAK CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEES FAIL TO REACH AGREEMENT.
Meeting in Budapest on 27 November, the Hungarian and Slovak
parliamentary Constitutional Committees were unable to agree over
Slovakia's recent controversial language law, Magyar Hirlap reported the
next day. Jan Cuper, head of the Slovak delegation, told journalists
that the language law meets European norms and is neither
unconstitutional nor aimed at preventing ethnic minorities from using
their own languages. He added that he saw no opportunity for the two
foreign ministers to appeal to any international or European
organization to examine the legality of the law, since that would
constitute an interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign
country. Peter Hack, chairman of the Hungarian committee, said the law
violates several provisions of the Slovak constitution, including the
one guaranteeing the rights of national minorities. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC WARNS THAT SARAJEVO WILL BE EITHER BERLIN OR BEIRUT. The
Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on 28 November that Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic has said again that partition of the Bosnian capital is
essential for peace. He argued that if it were not divided like Cold
War-era Berlin, it would bleed like Beirut. He also warned that a "blood
bath" would result if anyone attempted to arrest him or other
internationally wanted Bosnian Serb war criminals. Nasa Borba quoted him
as arguing that "the Dayton conference recognized our struggle for
freedom and our state as well. I am the legal and official chief of
state." He also claimed that he and his people have nothing to do with
war crimes: "At the beginning of the war I ordered my officers to uphold
the Geneva conventions [on the conduct of war]. I am sure that my army
did not commit crimes." The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung added that
Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic issued a statement that his
army "would not give up Sarajevo." -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN PRESIDENT SAYS SERBIAN LEADER WANTS TO SPREAD WAR. Hina on 27
November quoted Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic as saying that
Karadzic was simply trying to scare world opinion with his threats.
Izetbegovic added that "my opinion is that Karadzic is afraid of peace
and wants to spread the war, but this time by using the Serbian people
[whom he has brought out to demonstrate]." Nasa Borba on 28 November
cited Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey as arguing that
Karadzic's attitudes could lead to a continuation of the war. -- Patrick
Moore

BITTERNESS IN CROATIA OVER DAYTON AGREEMENT. Nasa Borba on 28 November
also reported on the general dissatisfaction among Croats with the
treaty, which is widely seen as "legalizing [the results of] ethnic
cleansing," as Cardinal Vinko Puljic put it. Vecernji list added that
people in the Posavina region of northern Bosnia are especially
disappointed and that an assembly of refugees from there called the
agreement "illegitimate and illegal." AFP reported that some 700
refugees have meanwhile "laid siege" to Zagreb city hall in protest and
demanded that President Franjo Tudjman meet with them. -- Patrick Moore

REFUGEES RETURN TO VELIKA KLADUSA. Attempts are under way to return the
20,000 refugees from Kuplensko in Croatia to the Velika Kladusa region
in northwestern Bosnia. But there were only 600 takers by 26 November,
when more than 200 people went, Vecernji list reported next day. The
refugees are followers of local kingpin Fikret Abdic and are unwelcome
in Croatia and politically at odds with the Bosnian authorities. The
interior ministers of Bosnia, Croatia, and Turkey have agreed to work
together to enable them to return home safely. The ministers visited
both Kuplensko and the Velika Kladusa area to plan deployment of a joint
police force. -- Daria Sito Sucic

NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE DECIDES ON DEPLOYMENT PLAN. The NATO Military
Committee on 27 November decided on an operations plan for the
deployment of troops in Bosnia, Western agencies reported. But France,
which is not a member of NATO's integrated military structure, is
resisting turning over command of the operation to U.S. General George
Joulwan, NATO supreme commander, until the promised 20,000-strong U.S.
contingent arrives, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported the next
day. This could threaten the beginning of NATO deployment, which is
scheduled to take place after the formal signing of the peace treaty in
Paris probably in mid-December. The NATO foreign ministers are expected
to approve the operations plan at their meeting scheduled for 5-6
December. Under the plan, NATO forces will not be required to wait until
being fired on before shooting. -- Michael Mihalka

FUEL PRICES DROPPING ON SERBIAN BLACK MARKET. Bulgarian media on 28
November report that since sanctions have been eased against the rump
Yugoslavia, the black market rates for vital commodities is tumbling.
Most notably affected is the price of gasoline, which now sells at the
equivalent of $0.56. Rump Yugoslav media report that large quantities of
domestic fuel products are now on sale, partly in response to an
anticipated influx of nearly 50,000 tons of foreign fuel deliveries. --
Stan Markotich

UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VISITS KOSOVO. International agencies
on 27 November reported that Elizabeth Rehn was told by Serbian
officials that Albanians have chosen to boycott public schools and other
institutions and that the Kosovo conflict is an internal Serbian affair.
Rehn, however, disputed this claim, saying when such rights are in
question, "the international community has the right to interfere and
try to help people." She also met with Kosovar shadow-state President
Ibrahim Rugova and representatives of the Council for the Defense of
Human Rights and Freedoms. Meanwhile, Margit Savovic, rump Yugoslav
minister without portfolio in charge of human rights, declared that the
Albanians of Kosovo have been accorded rights that "far surpass"
international standards, AFP reports on 28 November. -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIA'S RULING PARTY ELECTS LEADERSHIP. The National Council of the
ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) on 26 November re-
elected Oliviu Gherman and Adrian Nastase as the party's chairman and
executive chairman, respectively, Radio Bucharest reported. The election
followed the third nationwide PDSR conference, held in Bucharest on 24-
25 November, at which the party adopted its new program and discussed
changes in its statutes. In a message to the conference, President Ion
Iliescu said if he decided to run for office again, he would do so under
the PDSR banner. The leftist PDSR, which has governed in coalition with
nationalist and neo-communist parties, is the most popular single party
in Romania. -- Dan Ionescu

OSCE CRITICIZES RUSSIAN DUMA'S RESOLUTION ON MOLDOVA. The OSCE has
criticized the Russian State Duma's recent resolution proclaiming the
Dniester region a zone of special strategic importance for the Russian
Federation, BASA-press reported on 27 November. According to a statement
released by the Office of the OSCE Permanent Council's Chairman, the
organization reaffirms its recognition of Moldova's sovereignty and
territorial integrity within its current borders. The statement says
that the OSCE regards continued talks as the only way to ensure a
special status for eastern Moldova and that it fears "the Duma
resolution can impede the process of finding a peaceful solution to the
conflict." The OSCE calls upon the Russian government to continue to
participate in the negotiations, pointing out the important role it has
played to date. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIA STOPS EXPORTS OF GRAIN. Despite an above-average grain harvest
of 3.5 million tons this year, Bulgaria is presently facing a severe
grain shortage, Bulgarian and Western media report. The government on 23
November banned the export of wheat, rye, and hops until 30 September
1996 in order to secure domestic supplies. A further export ban on
sunflower seeds and cooking oil takes effect on 11 December. Prime
Minister Zhan Videnov blamed speculators for the shortage but said
"there will be no problems with bread supplies." The government on 27
November dismissed the managers of seven state-run mills for exporting
grain, despite the ban. According to Agriculture Minister Vasil
Chichibaba, the government controls about 40% of the grain supplies in
the country. In order to secure fodder supplies, some 550,000 tons of
corn will have to be imported, he said. -- Stefan Krause

NANO'S SENTENCE INCREASED BY ONE YEAR... The Albanian Supreme Court has
overruled an earlier decision by an appeals court and increased Albanian
Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano's prison term by one year. A
presidential amnesty and several courts of appeal reduced Nano's
original 12-year term to four years. Following the introduction of the
new Penal Code in June, a Tirana appeals court shortened his sentence to
three years. Under this latest ruling, Nano will now have to spend
another three years and seven months in jail. The Socialist Party claims
that Nano, who was sentenced for misappropriation of Italian aid funds
as prime minister in 1991, is a political prisoner and that his
imprisonment is aimed at weakening the opposition. Amnesty International
has also called for Nano's release, pointing out irregularities in his
detention and trial. -- Fabian Schmidt

...PROMPTING RENEWED CHARGES OF POLITICAL MANIPULATION. Nano's lawyer,
Perparim Sanxhaku, responded to the ruling by saying it proved that the
court was politically manipulated, Reuters reported on 27 November. The
Socialist Party has accused President Sali Berisha of keeping Nano in
jail until Albania's parliamentary elections in May 1996. It has also
condemned a controversial "genocide law" barring people who held high
office until March 1991 from running for public office until 2002. Nano
is affected by the law. Observers suspect that Berisha might pardon Nano
by presidential amnesty on 28 November, Albanian Liberation Day, to
prove that the judiciary is independent and to resolve the political
conflict. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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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