Жизнь - это искусство извлекать значительные выгоды из незначительных обстоятельств. - С. Батлер

No. 25, Part I, 05 February 1996

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
reports that Bosnian Serb officials in Srebrenica told UN human rights
envoy Elisabeth Rehn that the missing men from Srebrenica were killed in
battle. The BBC the previous day noted that few people are willing to
believe that the deaths involved mainly combat casualties and will
conclude that up to 8,000 people were indeed massacred. AFP reports on 5
February that still more mass graves are believed to exist in the
Srebrenica area. The BBC said that the chief UN officer dealing with
missing persons, Manfred Nowak, stated that there will be no lasting
peace until the question of missing persons is cleared up. He added that
the three sides have agreed to form a joint commission to deal with the
matter. The broadcast noted that relatives of the missing, like the
women who protested in Tuzla last week, are "at the end of their
tether." -- Patrick Moore


dismissed Anatolii Halchynsky, his advisor on macroeconomic issues,
UNIAN reported 2 February. Halchynsky announced his intention to resign
in December along with another Kuchma aide, Oleksandr Razumkov, to
protest what they viewed as the growing and politically destructive
influence of the president's chief of staff, Dmytro Tabachnyk. Kuchma
named Petro Petrashko as his chief economic advisor in December.
Halchynsky has agreed to head the Ukrainian Stock Market Association,
made up of 20 companies so far, and cooperate with the Ukrainian Center
for Economic and Political Research, headed by Razumkov. In other news,
Kuchma dismissed Justice Minister Serhii Holovaty, Deputy Prosecutor
Olha Kolinko and Hryhorii Omelchenko, chairman of parliament's anti-
crime committee, from his presidential committee against crime and
corruption. Deputy Prime Minister Vasyl Durdynets will keep his post as
the committee's chairman, while the president appointed two new deputy
chairmen, Prosecutor-General Hryhorii Vorsinov and his predecessor,
Vladyslav Datsiuk. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

February adopted a law on the immorality and illegality of the former
Communist regime by a vote of 63 to 22, with 24 abstentions, Slovak
media reported. Some aspects of the original bill were modified; the
Communist Party was labeled "a party which did not prevent its members
from committing crimes," rather than "a criminal organization
responsible for violating human rights and spreading terror," as in the
original version. Peter Brnak of the ruling Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia (HZDS) expressed appreciation that "the parliament, in which
there are 92 former communists, found the strength to approve [the
bill]." The Party of the Democratic Left, the successor to the Communist
Party, said it may bring the law before the Constitutional Court. The
law was supported mainly by the HZDS and the opposition Christian
Democratic Movement (KDH). -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PREMIER IN CROATIA. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and
visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn agreed at a meeting in
Zagreb on 3 February to further intensify cooperation between the two
countries, Hungarian dailies reported. Horn and Tudjman told a news
conference that cooperation would focus especially on trade and
transport, including the improvement of road and rail links between the
two countries. Horn also stressed that the Balkan peace settlement would
not be complete if the Eastern Slavonia problem is not solved. In other
news, Horn and Hungarian Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti attended a
ceremony at Okucani, Croatia the same day, during which Hungary's IFOR
technical contingent was transferred to NATO command. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

Foreign Minister Siim Kallas and Russian ambassador Aleksandr Trofimov
on 2 February exchanged the letters of ratification for the agreements
signed by presidents Lennart Meri and Boris Yeltsin in July 1994, BNS
reported. The agreements dealing with the withdrawal of Russian troops
and social guarantees for Russian military retirees were ratified by the
Russian Duma in the summer and by the Estonian parliament in December.
Meri regretted that border talks between the two countries had been
unsuccessful for so long even though a border agreement is "essential,
necessary, and unavoidable." -- Saulius Girnius

Picca TV, told reporters on 2 February that the company would merge with
NTV-5 to form Latvian Independent Television, BNS reported the following
day. The decision to merge was due to financial reasons and the new
station would begin broadcasts at the beginning of April. Ekis forecast
that the number of television companies in Latvia would drop from the
current 46 to five in two or three years. -- Saulius Girnius


February that the international community's chief representative in
Sarajevo, Carl Bildt, said that the Bosnian Serb police could remain 45
days more in the Serb-held Sarajevo suburbs slated for return to
government control. He said this was necessary to avoid a vacuum in
authority and to reassure the Serbian population. BBC reported the next
day that the Bosnian civilian authorities had tried to thwart Bildt's
moves, but that the Bosnian military had complied. The Serbian police
have, however, announced a 9 pm to 5 am curfew in those suburbs, and it
is not clear how the Bosnian authorities will respond. Oslobodjenje
noted on 5 February that those suburbs will be under government control
alone after 19 March. The paper added that the government meanwhile says
that only IFOR and the international police should be armed there.
Bildt's arrangement calls for the Serbian police to wear sidearms. --
Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SHORTS. Some 100 Croatian police will help the force in Mostar
starting 10 February, Oslobodjenje reported on the 5th. The Czech paper
Mlada fronta Dnes said that Bosnian Serb parliamentary speaker Momcilo
Krajisnik stated that Pale does not recognize the new Bosnian republican
government announced last week, since Pale was not party to the
arrangement. Nasa Borba noted that Serbian refugees have begun returning
to the Mrkonjic Grad area, which is passing from Bosnian Croat to
Bosnian Serb control in keeping with the Dayton agreements. Most of the
homes there were so badly damaged that the refugees will not be able to
return permanently for some time. Vecernji list reported that a Serbian
radio station in Eastern Slavonia continues to urge Serbian refugees
uprooted in last year's allied offensive to move into Croatian homes
there. Western press reports last week said there are several signs that
the East Slavonian Serbs have no intention of letting the region return
to Croatian control as it is supposed to do. -- Patrick Moore

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINE MET. The Bosnian factions have withdrawn from
territory adjacent to the zones of separation or set to change hands
under the Dayton peace accords by the 3 February midnight deadline,
international and local media reported. Five Serb-held suburbs of
Sarajevo were being handed over are to the Muslim-Croat federation, as
were areas around the city of Mostar and an access corridor from
federation territory to the eastern enclave of Gorazde. The Serb
republic assumed control of the area around Mrkonjic Grad in northwest
Bosnia. Bosnian Federation Defense Minister Vlado Soljic said on
Croatian TV on 3 February that the Bosnian government and Croat forces
had fully complied with the deadline and that he didn't "think that any
side will run the risk of forcing IFOR to implement this part of the
agreement by force." Meanwhile, Major-General Mike Willcocks, chief of
staff of NATO ground forces in Bosnia, reported in Sarajevo on 3
February that the netural zones around the country had been violated
some 40 times but that all of these had been the result of
"misunderstandings, bad map reading or no map reading." -- Michael

ICRC FINDS 88 SERB PRISONERS IN TUZLA. The International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC) found 88 unregistered Serb prisoners on 2 February
when it was finally allowed access to the Bosnian government run prison
in Tuzla, international media reported. The ICRC gave no details on when
the prisoners might be released. The government had denied the ICRC
access to the prison since September 1995. The ICRC said on 1 February
that the Bosnian Serbs still hold some 20 prisoners in defiance of the
Dayton peace accords which mandated all prisoners be released by 19
January. -- Michael Mihalka

IZETBEGOVIC MEETS CHRISTOPHER. On 3 January U.S. Secretary of State
Warren Christopher met Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and other
government officials in Sarajevo to discuss civilian problems in
implementing the Bosnia peace accords, Onasa reported the same day.
Izetbegovic said while the military part of the Dayton peace agreement
was being successfully implemented, the civilian part that includes the
reunification of Sarajevo and Mostar and establishment of the federation
was going slower. He expressed his dissatisfaction to Christopher over
High Representative Carl Bildt's consent to Serb police staying in
Sarajevo for another 45 days, and over Serb destruction of factories and
buildings that are to revert to government control. Izetbegovic informed
Christopher there was little political freedom in the Republika Srpska
in regards to media and political activity, which are conditions
affecting elections, and discussed the release of prisoners. On
prospects for the country's reconstruction, Christopher said: "Bosnia
has a chance, it has a future with the U.S. and strong partners from
Europe." -- Daria Sito Sucic

February reports that during his visit to Belgrade the previous day, US
Secretary of State Warren Christopher held extensive talks with Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic on the question of Belgrade's cooperation
with the UN War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Milosevic
said he would allow an international war crimes investigator to
establish an office in Belgrade, but resisted pressure to say that his
authorities would extradite suspected war criminals, notably Bosnian
Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic, to face trial in
the Hague. Milosevic described the talks as "frank and open." For his
part, Christopher noted that US relations with rump Yugoslavia were
improving "step by step," but also observed that Washington was not yet
prepared to post an ambassador to Belgrade or to approve financial aid
to the rump Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich

Secretary of State Warren Christopher said that Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic agreed to the opening of an United States Information
Agency office in Kosovo, international agencies reported on 4 February.
During the talks, Christopher raised the issue of human rights
violations in Kosovo urging Milosevic to "ensure the status for Kosovo
that would ensure respect of political and human rights" for the Kosovar
Albanians. The International Herald Tribune on 5 February quoted
Christopher as saying that rump Yugoslavia "will never achieve full
acceptance into the international community, will never achieve full
approbation by the United States until it reconciles the status of
Kosovo." Albanian President Sali Berisha praised the planed USIA office
and the preconditions Christopher set for the admission of rump-
Yugoslavia into international institutions, Reuters reports on 5
February. -- Fabian Schmidt

February reports that in an interview on a BBC program the previous day,
Chief Prosecutor on the UN War Crimes Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia, Richard Goldstone, said that the chances of Bosnian Serb
leaders Karadzic and Mladic facing trial in the Hague are increasing.
According to the Nasa Borba, Goldstone appears to be of the opinion that
"Karadzic and Mladic are moving ever closer to the Hague," and said that
chances for their extradition seem greater now than ever before. He did
temper his comments by observing that he did not have a crystal ball,
and could not predict exactly how developments would unfold. -- Stan

February nominated its leader, Petre Roman, as a candidate for
presidential elections to be held in the fall of 1996, Romanian and
Western media reported. Speaking to a crowd of some 1,000 supporters,
Roman pledged to put an end to the "misery, indifference and influence
peddling which have become characteristic of the present authorities."
Roman also vowed to be a president "for the future not for the past," as
well as Romania's first social-democratic president. The 49-year-old
Roman, who was the country's first post-communist premier, was forced
out of government by street protests against his economic reforms in
September 1991. -- Dan Ionescu

Council of the chauvinistic Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR) on 3
February decided to remain in the governmental coalition, Romanian media
reported. Despite the recent conflict that emerged around the dismissal
of Telecommunications Minister Adrian Turicu, a PUNR member (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 31 January), party Chairman Gheorghe Funar said "we did
not join the governmental coalition in order to quit it." Another PUNR
minister, Valeriu Tabara, said however, that practically all of the
ministers who are members of the PUNR have been suspended, due to
systematic obstruction by the ruling Party of Social Democracy in
Romania (PDSR). Turicu was dismissed on the ground of having appointed
one of his proteges as director of the Romtelecom company. -- Matyas

of the Commonwealth of Independent State in Minsk rejected an
application for membership from the self-proclaimed Dniester republic,
BASA-press and Moldpres reported on 2 and 3 February. In reply to an
application submitted by Dniester President Igor Smirnov on 5 January,
the secretariat stressed that "Moldova, which includes the Dniester
region, is a CIS member since 27 June 1994, when the Moldovan parliament
ratified the CIS statutes." Cooperation within the CIS, the letter
added, is based on respect for the territorial integrity of its member
states and on refraining from any action which may encourage territorial
dismemberment. Over 80% of the participants in a Dniester referendum
held on 24 December voted in favor of the region's adherence to CIS as a
separate entity. -- Dan Ionescu

GREECE, MACEDONIA CUT VISA FEES. Delegations from Macedonia and Greece
on 2 February in Skopje ended two-day talks on normalizing relations,
AFP reported the same day. They signed an agreement aimed at making
traveling between the two countries easier. Visa fees will be cut by
about 80% and will cost no more that around $5. Both sides said this
agreement will "stimulate the exchange of people and goods [and] speed
up economic cooperation." The Macedonian and Greek governments have
agreed that delegations meet at least twice a year to discuss bilateral
relations. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIA TO INTENSIFY TALKS WITH NATO. The Bulgarian government on 2
February decided to intensify its talks with NATO, including on possible
membership in the alliance, Standart reported the following day. An
expert group from the foreign and defense ministries is scheduled to
prepare a document on Bulgaria's position on NATO enlargement by the end
of March. The decision comes after NATO Assistant Secretary-General for
Political Affairs Gebhardt von Moltke on 29 January called for an
"intensified dialogue" and asked Sofia to respond to that offer by the
end of March. So far, the Socialist government has said Bulgaria will
join NATO only if it becomes a system of collective security and takes
Russian objections into account. -- Stefan Krause

FORMER ALBANIAN PRESIDENT BACK IN JAIL. The last communist president of
Albania, Ramiz Alia, was arrested on 2 February, AFP and Reuters
reported. Alia is charged with political persecution, deportations and
ordering the use of firearms against civilians, including border
killings and ordering police to fire on protesters in 1990-1991. A
Tirana court rejected an appeal by his lawyer Kleanthi Koci to put him
under house arrest. Koci submitted a medical report saying that Alia
suffered from a serious heart problems. However, the court ruled that
Alia was "a danger to society". Alia was first arrested in 1992 and
sentenced to nine years in prison for abuse of power and human rights
violations. He was released in July 1995 following a series of amnesties
and the introduction of a new penal code. Investigations are continuing
into another 31 communist officials arrested and charged with crimes
against humanity. -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN JOURNALIST FREED. Altin Hazizaj, a journalist of Koha Jone who
was arrested on 31 January while reporting on the eviction of a squat in
Tirana, was released on 2 February. The release followed several
protests by international human rights groups who claimed that Hazizaj
was obstructed in fulfilling his journalistic duty to report on the
eviction of former political prisoners from an unfinished building they
had occupied. An investigation against Hazizaj for allegedly assaulting
two policemen will continue and he has to report to authorities twice a
week, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 3 February. -- 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) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570

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