I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. - Rev. Martin Luther King 1929-1968
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 248, Part II, 22 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
$500 MILLION PLEDGED FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF BOSNIA. At a two-day meeting
in Brussels (see OMRI Daily Digest, 21 December 1995), representatives
from 50 donor countries announced that $500 million has been pledged for
the first three months of 1996, Nasa Borba reported on 22 December. They
said they hope to raise an additional $40-50 million and thereby exceed
the estimated $518 million required for immediate needs. The biggest
donors were the organizers of the meeting: the World Bank pledged $150
million and the EU $112 million. On arriving in Sarajevo, Carl Bildt,
the international community's high representative for reconstruction,
warned that the peace process will be endangered unless help from
outside the country comes soon. The next conference of donors is
scheduled for March 1996, when pledges for the estimated $5.1 billion
for the longer term will be made. -- Daria Sito Sucic
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN NAVY ON LATEST BLACK SEA FLEET DISPUTE. The Ukrainian Defense
Ministry press service, responding to acting Black Sea Fleet Commander
Petr Svyatashov's statement blaming Ukraine's navy for a skirmish on 17
December over a food depot in Donuzlav (see OMRI Daily Digest, 18
December) accused the Black Sea Fleet command of "deliberate
provocation," UNIAN reported on 21 December. Svyatashov said the
incident came about because two separate navies share the same territory
and because of poor control in Ukrainian naval units. The Ukrainian side
claimed the incident was the result of reluctance on the part of some
Black Sea Fleet officers to recognize the transfer of fleet facilities
to Ukraine's navy. It also denied that there had been any attempt to
seize facilities. According to Segodnya on 20 December, Russian navy
commander Admiral Feliks Gromov sent a message to the fleet command
stating that all facilities in Sevastopol and some in other areas will
continue to be used by the fleet after 1 January, the date on which
joint Ukrainian-Russian control of the fleet expires. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT RATIFIES AGREEMENTS WITH RUSSIA. The Estonian
parliament on 20 December ratified the two agreements signed by Russian
and Estonian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Lennart Meri in July 1994, BNS
reported the next day. The parliament, however, added four explanatory
declarations to the agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops. The
agreement on military pensioners was also complemented, with a
declaration stating that it applied only to military personnel in
Estonia who had received pensions from Russian sources before the
signing of the agreement. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW GOVERNMENT. The Saeima on 21 December
voted 70 to 24 to approve the government of 37-year-old businessman
Andris Skele, BNS reported. Previous attempts to form a government by
the rightist National Bloc and leftist National Conciliation Bloc failed
by small margins; Skele, who has no party affiliation, was thus selected
as a compromise candidate. He formed a government with the approval of
six of the nine parties in the parliament, five of which have a deputy
prime minister in the cabinet. Skele told the Saeima that his economic
goals are to maintain the stability of the lats, balance the budget, and
improve the investment climate. He added he will continue to strive for
membership in the European Union and NATO, while maintaining a stable
relationship with Russia. -- Saulius Girnius

HEADS OF TWO LITHUANIAN BANKS ARRESTED. Lithuanian police on 20-21
December arrested board chairman Jonas Mackevicius, director Gintautas
Preidys of the Litimpeks Bank, and board chairman of the Lithuanian
Akcinis Inovacinis Bank Arturas Balkevicius on charges of squandering
large sums of the banks' funds. BNS reported. According to preliminary
information, Litimpeks squandered 150 million litai ($37.5 million) and
LAIB 271 million litai. In a measure to prevent the banks from going
bankrupt, the parliament passed a law granting the government the right
to extend guarantees for interbank loans of up to 300 million litai to
commercial banks suffering from insolvency. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER, PREMIER ON SPY ALLEGATIONS. Internal
Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski--speaking in the Sejm on 21
December, one day before his declared resignation--said that the
ministry knew for some years that "one of foreign services" had a
permanent informer among Polish postcommunist political circles. In
1995, the ministry received information that Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy
"was an informer" and that between 1990 and 1995 he had "many meetings
with foreign intelligence agents" to whom he revealed classified
information. Oleksy told the Sejm he was "never anybody's agent." He
said he stopped meeting an unnamed Russian diplomat after being told by
the Polish secret services that he was a KGB officer. He rejected
Milczanowski's claim that the matter had come to light during the past
few months, noting that the Internal Affairs Ministry had been
collecting information against him for a long time. A 12-member Sejm
commission is to investigate the matter. -- Jakub Karpinski

HAVEL VISITS SARAJEVO. Czech President Vaclav Havel on 22 December began
a two-day visit to Sarajevo at the invitation of Bosnian President Ilija
Izetbegovic, CTK reported. He is the first foreign head of state to
visit the Bosnian capital since the signing of the Dayton peace
agreement. Before departing from Prague, Havel told reporters the aim of
his visit was to express solidarity with the people of Bosnia and
Herzogovina and show support for democracy and the principles of civil
co-existence. Havel was due to have talks with Izetbegovic and Bosnian
Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic during the visit. The Czech president was
accompanied by Defense Minister Vilem Holan and Cardinal Miroslav Vlk,
who was scheduled to remain in Sarajevo over Christmas. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK OPPOSITION ON DELAY OF TREATY RATIFICATION. Democratic Union
deputy Milan Knazko, at a press conference on 21 December, criticized
Meciar for not defending the Slovak-Hungarian treaty in the parliament,
commenting that the delay in ratifying the treaty was intended to hide
the conflict within the coalition over the issue. Christian Democratic
Movement (KDH) Chairman Jan Carnogursky pointed out that the treaty was
signed nine months ago, giving Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar sufficient
time to clear up any conflicting interpretations with Hungary. KDH
deputy Frantisek Miklosko said the passage of the controversial language
law in November was probably not sufficient to appease the nationalists
within the coalition. -- Sharon Fisher

DECLINING SUPPORT FOR SLOVAK PREMIER, PRESIDENT. According to an opinion
poll carried out by the FOCUS agency in early December, popular
confidence in Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar stood at 22.1%, a 3.8% drop
since October. Support for President Michal Kovac fell 2.8% to 16.4%,
while confidence in parliamentary chairman Ivan Gasparovic rose 3.2% to
15.3%. In terms of parties, support for Meciar's Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) fell from 29.9% to 25.7%, while the
popularity of the Association of Workers of Slovakia was down to just
3.2%. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES BUDGET, MEDIA BILLS. Parliament on 21
December approved the 1996 budget and--following five years of debate
and delay--the media bill on public and private broadcasting, Hungarian
media reported. The budget bill was supported by the two coalition
parties but rejected by the opposition, which said it did not contain
enough reform measures. Provisions of the media bill, which received
greater support, have not yet been publicized. The parliament also
approved state subsidies totaling 4 billion forints ($28.5 million) for
churches. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARY'S FERIHEGY AIRPORT WILL NOT BE NATO AIR BASE. Defense Ministry
spokesman Lajos Erdelyi on 20 December denied that a second NATO air
base would be established at Budapest's Ferihegy airport, Hungarian
media reported the next day. He said an erroneous report was released by
AFP the previous day quoting Col. John Martinson of the U.S. Embassy in
Budapest (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 December 1995). Erdelyi told
Nepszabadsag that air planes carrying military equipment will land at
Budapest airport, but shipments will be forwarded to military bases in
Taszar and Kaposvar, southern Hungary. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MUSLIM-CROATIAN FEDERATION SETS UP UNIFIED COMMANDS IN BOSNIA. The
federal parliament met in Sarajevo on 21 December and established joint
commands for the army and police--just after the 20 December deadline
set down in the Dayton treaty--the VOA's Croatian-language service said
the next day. There will be a joint defense ministry and command, but
recruits will be able to choose whether they want to serve in the
Croatian or mainly Muslim part of the army. AFP added that the two
police forces will also report to one center. The Muslim-Croat
federation is treated as one entity in the Dayton agreement, but the
allied armies to date have had only coordinated activities and do not
have an integrated command structure. On the contrary, the Bosnian Croat
army is closely linked to the Croatian military. Elsewhere, the
International Herald Tribune on 22 December reported that the U.S. has
named Pentagon Bosnia expert James Pardew to head the project to upgrade
government forces with Turkish assistance. -- Patrick Moore

UN CONDEMNS SERBS FOR SREBRENICA MASSACRES. The Security Council has
rebuked rump Yugoslav representative Vladislav Jovanovic, who tried to
claim that the Muslims killed their own people in Srebrenica in July.
The resolution clearly blames the Serbs for the murder, rape, expulsion,
and conscription into forced labor of civilians, and mentions
Srebrenica, Zepa, Banja Luka, and Sanski Most. It also singles out
Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic as
indicted war criminals, news agencies added. The massacre of around
5,000 mainly Muslim men has often been referred to as the single biggest
atrocity in Europe since World War II. A report by Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros Ghali and investigations by the Christian Science
Monitor, independent Serbian journalists, and others clearly point to a
mass killing, possibly led by Mladic himself. -- Patrick Moore

INTERNATIONAL POLICE TASK FORCE LAUNCHED. The Security Council also set
up a 1,721-strong international police force to train and monitor local
police and assist them as need be. This will be the biggest armed UN
presence in the area following the disbanding of UNPROFOR. The UNHCR
will supervise the upcoming exchange of prisoners. Meanwhile in Pale,
Karadzic told Red Cross officials that he will do all he can to make
sure that Dayton's 20 January deadline for releasing prisoners is met.
Elsewhere, Serbian villagers in Dojici, near the Croatian front lines,
gave a rousing welcome to British troops, Reuters reported on 21
December. They credited the Dayton agreement with saving them from a
Croatian occupation. -- Patrick Moore

IFOR COMMANDER MEETS WITH LOCAL CHIEFS OF STAFF. The chiefs of staff of
the Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian forces--meeting in Sarajevo on 21
December with the commander of the NATO-led implementation force (IFOR),
Admiral Leighton Smith--promised to cooperate with IFOR, Western
agencies reported. They said that they would restrain their forces,
leave the "zones of separation," and allow unrestricted access for IFOR.
Smith said after the meeting that the local forces have so far proved
extremely cooperative with IFOR. -- Michael Mihalka

SWISS NAMED HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN FOR BOSNIA. The OSCE on 21 December
named Swiss diplomat Gret Haller as human rights ombudsman for Bosnia,
Western agencies reported. The Dayton peace accord created the post and
invested it with responsibility for investigating alleged human rights
abuses and initiating proceedings against those involved. Haller
currently serves as the Swiss representative to the Council of Europe.
-- Michael Mihalka

SERBIAN RADICAL LEGISLATORS LOSE MANDATE IN MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT.
Eight former Serbian Radical Party legislators were suspended from their
duties in the Montenegrin parliament on 21 December, Nasa Borba reported
the following day. The parliamentary commission on immunity and mandates
was abiding by a decision taken by the Justice Ministry and the
Montenegrin election commission to ban the legislators from the
parliament. The commission concluded that following a split in the
Serbian Radical Party, the legislators were no longer members of the
registered Serbian Radical Party but of an unregistered
extraparliamentary party with the same name led by Drago Bakrac. --
Fabian Schmidt

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE WILL RESUME DUTIES. Kiro Gligorov has said
he will return to office at the beginning of 1996. In his first
interview since the attempt on his life on 3 October, published in Nova
Makedonija on 22 December, he rejected speculations about a successor
and said he is "convinced that the citizens of Macedonia will elect
their president in the next regular elections." He noted that the
attempt on his life "will [possibly] remain a mystery for a long time."
Gligorov said there is no change in the Macedonian position on the name
issue. He said that "after Dayton and Paris, Macedonia adheres to its
well-known position of being an independent and sovereign country
oriented toward European integration." He added that "Macedonia
maintains the standpoint that it is one of the six equal successors of
the former Yugoslavia." -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT ON 1989 REVOLUTION. Ion Iliescu--in an address to a
21 December symposium on the 1989 revolution broadcast live on Radio
Bucharest--denounced attempts to "denigrate and mystify" the
significance of the uprising. He said revolutions should be defined not
according to how they were carried out but according to what they
achieved. Viewed from this perspective, he said, the December 1989
overthrow of the communist regime was indeed revolutionary. Iliescu
denied accusations that he had in any way attempted to bring about a
Soviet intervention in Romania at the time. He said Washington wanted to
give Moscow a green light to intervene but Moscow refused. He also
denied accusations that he staged the shooting and killing of civilians
as part of a scenario to justify the takeover. Iliescu said he regretted
the quick trial and execution of Nicolae Ceausescu but argued that the
decision was necessary to stop the revolution from turning into a civil
war. -- Michael Shafir

IMF EXTENDS, INCREASES ROMANIA'S STAND-BY CREDIT. RFE/RL's correspondent
in Washington on 21 December reported that the IMF has agreed to extend
Romania's current stand-by credit line and to add $280 million to the
funds available. The extension follows lengthy negotiations. Earlier
this year, Romania was denied access to the remaining $110 million from
a 1994 stand-by loan because it had not met the original agreement's
performance criteria. The renewed program and the additional credit,
available through April 1997, will be used to support Romania's
adjustment and structural reform policies. -- Michael Shafir

ZYUGANOV ADDRESSES TRANSDNIESTRIAN ELECTORATE. Gennadii Zyuganov,
chairman of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which emerged
victorious in the recent parliamentary elections, has called on
Transdniestrian residents to take an active part in the elections to the
region's Supreme Soviet and the referendum on the region's constitution
scheduled for 24 December. Infotag and BASA-press on 21 December
reported that Zyuganov expressed his party's support for "the
Transdniestrian people's wish to be masters of their own destinies" and
said they should "demonstrate to the CIS people the common wish to live
in one family." Romanian President Ion Iliescu on 21 December remarked
that Zyuganov's address showed "flagrant disregard for non-interference
in the internal affairs of the new independent states." -- Michael
Shafir

KOZLODUY TO HELP SUPPLY BULGARIA WITH ELECTRICITY. Trifon Tsvetkov,
chairman of the Bulgarian National Electrical Company (NEK), said at a
press conference on 21 December that the country will not experience
problems with its electricity supply this winter, Bulgaria media
reported the next day. All three blocks of the coal-fired Maritsa Iztok
plant are functioning, as are all but one at the Kozloduy nuclear plant.
On 18 December, the French European Affairs minister had warned that the
country's chances of entering the EU were jeopardized by keeping
Kozloduy in service (see OMRI Daily Digest, 19 December 1995). It was
also announced that electricity consumption will rise by 1.2% in 1995.
Due to low prices, the NEK will lose 2 billion leva ($284 million).
Industrial enterprises owe the company 2 billion leva, while the factory
producing coal briquettes owes it 1.2 billion leva. -- Michael Wyzan

GREECE TO SEND TROOPS TO BOSNIA. Greek government spokesman Tilemachos
Hytiris on 21 December said the cabinet has decided to send three ships,
three helicopters, and 250 men to Bosnia as part of the multi-national
peace-keeping force, Reuters reported the same day. Greece, which
maintains good ties with Serbia, refused to participate in any
international missions to the former Yugoslavia before the signing of
the Dayton and Paris agreements, saying Balkan countries should keep out
of the conflict. -- Stefan Krause

[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 omripub@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