... сердце человека для того и скрыто от глаз, чтобы не все могли заглядывать в него. - А. Казбеги
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 235, Part II, 5 December 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/Index.html

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
CROATIAN GOVERNMENT, OPPOSITION BATTLE FOR CONTROL OVER ZAGREB ASSEMBLY.
The Croatian government on 4 December overruled decisions taken by the
opposition coalition in the Zagreb City Assembly and Zagreb County
Assembly two days earlier (see OMRI Daily Digest, 4 December 1995). The
government said these two bodies had not been legally established
because they lacked a two-thirds quorum and thus the documents they
adopted were invalid, Hina reported the same day. The first full
sessions of the two assemblies are scheduled for 2 January 1996.
Meanwhile, the Bosnian Croat military organization has a new chief.
General Zivko Budimir replaces indicted war criminal Tihomir Blaskic,
whom Croatian President Tudjman recently promoted, the BBC reported on 5
December. -- Daria Sito Sucic
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT IN CHINA. Leonid Kuchma, in China on an official
four-day visit, signed several agreements with his counterpart, Jiang
Zemin, on 4 December, international agencies reported. Included were
accords on the peaceful use of outer space and the prevention of double
taxation. The same day, the Ukrainian National Bank and the People's
Bank of China also signed an agreement. Kuchma told reporters that China
is Ukraine's second-largest trading partner and that bilateral trade
this year will exceed $900 million. According to official figures, trade
between China and Ukraine in first nine months of the year reached only
$310 million. Ukrainian officials claim this figure is distorted since
most trade is conducted through intermediaries in Russia. It is hoped
that the banking agreement will accurately reflect the volume of trade
by eliminating middlemen and the use of third currencies. Kuchma said he
hoped bilateral trade will reach at least $2 billion annually by the end
of the decade. So far, there are 56 Sino-Ukrainian joint-ventures, but
Kuchma said these were insufficient to realize the real trade potential
between the two countries. -- Ustina Markus

NEW BELARUSIAN AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM. Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka on 4 December told Interfax that a unique air defense system
has been developed by the Belarusian military-industrial complex. His
announcement comes some three months after a U.S. air balloon was shot
down in Belarusian air space, killing both pilots. The new system is to
be marketed abroad, and Defense Minister Leanid Maltseu is to submit a
proposal on the subject in the near future. Lukashenka said China has
shown a special interest in the system. -- Ustina Markus

TWO ESTONIAN PARTIES MERGE. The right-of-center Pro Patria and the
Estonian National Independence Party, meeting in Tallinn on 2 December,
completed their merger to form a new party called the Fatherland Union,
BNS reported. Former Economics Minister Toivo Jurgenson was elected
party chairman. -- Saulius Girnius

BIRKAVS REELECTED HEAD OF LATVIA'S WAY. At a congress in Riga on 2
December, Latvia's Way reelected Valdis Birkavs as party chairman, BNS
reported on 4 December. The congress also adopted a resolution noting
that the current division of the Saeima into two equal blocs was
unfavorable for the formation of a stable government and that a broad
coalition would be in the best interests of Latvia. It also decided to
forge ties with democratic and reformist forces in Russia such as
Yabloko and Our Home Is Russia. The party has 435 members, of whom 150
are involved in private business, 67 are politicians, and 93 work in
other government offices. -- Saulius Girnius

CLOSE SUBORDINATES DEFEND POLISH CHIEF OF STAFF. Four Polish generals on
4 December published an article in the military daily Polska Zbrojna in
defense of chief of the General Staff General Tadeusz Wilecki, who is
currently hospitalized. Colonel Zbigniew Czekierda, spokesman for the
General Staff, said the article was a clear signal that there is unity
among the General Staff's leadership, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 5
December. The daily added that the ruling coalition of the Democratic
Left Alliance and Polish Peasant Party has been looking for a new chief
of General Staff among Wilecki's deputies. Wilecki is considered a
strong supporter of outgoing President Lech Walesa. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH MILITARY WANTS MORE NCOS. Defense Minister Vilem Holan on 4
December announced that by the year 2005, there will be more non-
commissioned and warrant officers than commissioned officers. CTK quoted
Holan as saying there are currently 20,000 commissioned officers in the
Czech armed forces and only 10,000 NCOs and warrant officers. "Over the
next 10 years we are going to have to turn this pyramid around by 10%
each year," he said, adding that in 1996 the military would dismiss
1,400 officers and only recruit 400. About 100 NCOs would be retired
while 1,100 would be recruited.  -- Doug Clarke

SLOVAK RULING PARTY REJECTS CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DECISION. Leaders of
the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) on 4 December criticized a
ruling by the Constitutional Court that the creation of parliamentary
investigative commissions is illegal, Slovak dailies reported the
following day. In particular, the ruling (see OMRI Daily Digest, 30
November 1995) affects the bodies set up to examine the events
surrounding the fall of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's previous
government in March 1994 and the circumstances of the death of Alexander
Dubcek in 1992. After a meeting in Bratislava, the HZDS leadership said
it could not accept that the court's ruling was "non-partisan." It added
that the constitution authorized the parliament to create committees
within which such commissions could operate. -- Steve Kettle

U.S. ADVANCE FORCE FAILS TO SHOW UP AT HUNGARIAN AIR BASE. Some 100
domestic and foreign journalists waited in vain for the arrival of a
U.S. advance force at Hungary's Taszar air base on 4 December,
Nepszabadsag reported. The arrival date was apparently changed because
of U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to Germany last weekend. The
newspaper also reports that U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry has
signed an order to send 3,000 U.S. soldiers to Hungary, of whom 2,000
will be in charge of logistics, and 1,000 will serve in technical teams.
-- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT TO FUND PROGRAMS FOR ROMA. Csaba Tabajdi, political
state secretary at the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office, has announced
that the government will develop a program to improve living standards
for Roma, MTK reported last week. The program is intended to promote
initiatives in several areas, including education, agriculture, social
welfare, and affirmative action. The cabinet also announced the
establishment of a Coordination Council for Gypsy Affairs and a Public
Foundation for Gypsies in Hungary; the 1996 national budget allocates
150 million forints ($1.15 million) to funding these new bodies. Tabajdi
stressed that Romani citizens in Hungary have been more adversely
affected by the market changes than any other group. -- Alaina Lemon

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

"FORGOTTEN SERBS" HAVE IDEAS ON SARAJEVO. The Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung on 5 December pointed out that many Bosnian Serbs reject the
nationalism of Radovan Karadzic. They have chosen to remain in
government-held areas under the leadership of Mirko Pejanovic's Serbian
Civic Council (SGV) and deny Karadzic's claim to speak for all Serbs.
The newspaper suggested that as many Sarajevo Serbs live in government-
held areas as those run by Pale and that Serbs in the Bosnian capital
have experienced the shelling and siege just like their Muslim and Croat
neighbors. Pejanovic told the daily that international bodies should
begin soon to send mediators to calm the fears of Serbs in Sarajevo
suburbs that are about to pass from Pale's to government control. He
also called for restoring telephone links between the divided halves of
the city and for amnesty for Serbian militia members who have not
committed war crimes. -- Patrick Moore

SOME PROBLEMS FROM WAR WILL TAKE TIME TO SOLVE. UN High Commissioner for
Refugees Sadako Ogata has said that Bosnian refugees should be allowed
to go home gradually. Hina reported on 4 December that this means that
those who do not wish to return immediately should not be forced to
leave their countries of refuge. She called for the UNHCR to prepare a
plan for resettlement and for those refugees living in Serbia and
Croatia to come back first. The Bosnian authorities, however, want
refugees "in remote countries" to return first before they adapt to
their new surroundings. In another development, the Croatian news agency
said that some 3 million mines were laid in that country after 1991 and
that 100,000 unexploded shells also remain. Croatia's top defense
council met to discuss the big problem of these dangerous devices in the
"newly liberated areas" and to deal with the transition to a peacetime
military. -- Patrick Moore

EU DELAYS CONFERENCE ON BOSNIA RECONSTRUCTION. EU foreign ministers,
meeting in Brussels on 4 December, decided to postpone a conference on
funding the reconstruction of Bosnia until 1996 because of uncertainties
over how much funding individual countries will commit, Western agencies
reported. The EU had scheduled a conference for 18-19 December in the
expectation that EU, the U.S., and Japan and the rest of the world would
each pay one-third of the estimated $6 billion required. But the Clinton
administration has said it cannot contribute more than $600 million. --
Michael Mihalka

TURKISH DIPLOMATS IN BELGRADE. A Turkish diplomatic mission arrived in
the Serbian capital on 4 November as part of a move to normalize
relations between Ankara and the rump Yugoslavia, AFP reported. This is
the first time high-level diplomats have held talks in one of the two
capitals since ties were reduced to the level of charge d'affaires in
1993. Relations began to thaw after Turkey sent Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic a note last month expressing appreciation for his
role in the peace process. In other news, the Turkish Foreign Ministry
has announced that Turkey is prepared to contribute 1,300 troops to the
NATO force that will oversee the enforcement of the peace accord signed
in Dayton, AFP reported. -- Lowell Bezanis

SLOVENIA'S RECOGNITION OF RUMP YUGOSLAVIA STIRS ACRIMONY IN BELGRADE.
Tanjug on 3 December carried a vitriolic commentary on Ljubljana's 30
November decision to recognize the rump Yugoslavia. Serbia's state-run
news agency suggested that Slovenia's move was prompted by self-interest
and that the Slovenian government has retained its "hard-core anti-Serb
and anti-Yugoslav position." The report goes on to maintain that
economics played a determining role in Slovenia's move, since prior to
the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia's exports to Serbia and
Montenegro amounted to some $3 billion. Total exports to the rump
Yugoslav now hover around $7 million. -- Stan Markotich

WAS SARIN USED IN KOSOVO IN 1990? The Kosovo Information Center has
linked mysterious poisonings in Kosovo in April 1990 to reports about
Sarin nerve gas production in rump Yugoslavia and Serb-held territory in
Bosnia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 November 1995). Some 7,000 Kosovar
youngsters were hospitalized five years ago with symptoms of nerve
poisoning. ATSH says that UN toxicologists have come to the conclusion
that some unspecified kind of nerve gas was used in 1990, probably Sarin
or Tabun. -- Fabian Schmidt

POLICE RAID SKOPJE SUBURB IN CONNECTION WITH ATTEMPT ON PRESIDENT'S
LIFE. Macedonian police on 2 December conducted large-scale raids in the
Skopje suburb of Kisela Voda in connection with the assassination
attempt on President Kiro Gligorov, MIC reported on 4 December. Some
3,000 houses, garages, basements, and shacks as well as a couple of
thousand cars were searched. Passers-by were also searched. According to
Vecher, the police were interested in scissors for cutting wire, anyone
involved in the sale of spare car parts, and legal and unregistered car
services. The police also handed out a photograph of a man believed to
be linked to the attempt. -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON TERRITORIAL DISPUTE WITH UKRAINE. Teodor
Melescanu on 4 December told the Senate that Romania has a "well-
prepared file" on the territorial dispute with Ukraine over the Serpent
Island in the Black Sea, Radio Bucharest reported the next day. He said
Romania is ready to settle the dispute in parleys with Ukraine but added
that if necessary, it is prepared to take the case to the International
Court of Justice in The Hague. He said that the Serpent Island is not an
economic asset at the moment but may become one due to "important oil
and natural gas reserves" found there. The island is also important for
the purpose of drawing marine boundaries between Romania and Ukraine,
Melescanu added. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIA RELEASES BULGARIAN NUCLEAR BARGE. Romania has released a barge
carrying nuclear fuel to Bulgaria's controversial Kozloduy power plant ,
Reuters reported on 4 December. The barge was stopped last week because
it lacked transit documents (see OMRI Daily Digest, 1 December 1995).
"The barge and the tug have left after the Transport Ministry and
nuclear authorities granted permission to cross our territorial waters",
the deputy commander of Romania's Danube port of Cernavoda was quoted as
saying. -- Matyas Szabo

ROMANIAN CDR LEADER JOINS OPPOSITION PARTY. Emil Constantinescu,
chairman of the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR), has joined the
National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic and will run on its lists in
the 1996 elections to the Senate, Radio Bucharest reported on 4
December. Constantinescu is also the chosen CDR candidate for the 1996
presidential elections. Radio Bucharest also carried a CDR press release
saying the selection of CDR candidates running in the 1996 local and
general elections will be made on the basis of evaluating the
candidates' "morality, correctness, professional skill, and
organizational capability." -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON NATO EXPANSION. Mircea Snegur has said he sees no
danger for Moldova if NATO expands eastward, Radio Bucharest on 4
December reported, citing ITAR-TASS. But he added that NATO would be
well advised to consider all consequences deriving from such a step.
Snegur reiterated that, as a neutral state, his country is
constitutionally prevented from joining NATO or any other military pact,
including the CIS Collective Security Pact. -- Michael Shafir

PRO-SNEGUR PARTY TO SEEK ALLIES AGAINST "ANTI-REFORMISTS." President
Snegur, in a veiled allusion to the Agrarian Democratic Party of
Moldova, has said his Party of Revival and Conciliation of Moldova
(PRCM) will "start consultations with other parties and political
movements" with an eye to devising "common tactics to counter-balance
the anti-reformist and anti-democratic actions of some political
formations," BASA-press reported on 4 December. Snegur told the PRCM
Edinet branch, which held its first gathering, that the party has 27
local branches and that more branches are "to be set up throughout
Moldova by the end of this year." -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIA STRIKES OIL DEAL WITH IRAN. During Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Trade Kiril Tsochev's visit to Tehran, Bulgaria and Iran on
4 December signed an agreement on broad economic cooperation, AFP
reported the same day. Most notably, Iran will sell more than 2 million
tons of crude oil to Bulgaria annually. The two countries also agreed to
raise the level of bilateral trade to $500 million and to establish a
regular airline connection between the two capitals. The agreement was
signed at the end of a three-day session of the two countries' joint
economic commission. -- Stefan Krause

DISBURSEMENTS ON BULGARIAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS LOAN HALTED. The World
Bank, the EBRD, and the EIB all confirmed on 3 December that there have
been no disbursements in 1995 on a joint 1993 loan to Bulgaria's
telecommunications sector, Demokratsiya reported the next day. The heads
of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTK) and the Committee for
Posts and Telecommunications denied that this is the case, however.
Bulgaria received $4.24 million and 92.26 million DM during 1993 and
1994 under this agreement. Resumption of disbursements depends on BTK's
substantially raising prices and paying off debts to foreign
telecommunications companies. -- Michael Wyzan

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO ITALY DIE IN BOAT ACCIDENTS. A boat carrying 23
illegal immigrants from Albania to Italy has sunk and another with 16
Albanians on board has been missing for 10 days, Koha Jone reported. Two
bodies from the first boat were found near the Puglian coast on 1
December, and five survivors were rescued by the German military vessel
Koln; the remaining 16 illegal immigrants are missing. -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN CHIEF EDITOR'S TRIAL DROPPED. Human Rights Watch officials have
announced that the trial of Blendi Fevziu, the chief editor of Aleanca,
was dropped on 4 December. Head of the State Control Commission Blerim
Cela had charged Fevziu with slander. Fevziu in August published a list
of allegedly corrupt officials; that list had previously been read out
in the parliament by Democratic Alliance deputy Perikli Teta. Cela's
name was included on the list. International human rights groups had
protested the trial. Fevziu, a Democratic Alliance candidate, could have
been barred from running for the parliament in May if convicted. --
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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