The fool wonders, the wise man asks. - Benjamin Disraeli
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 27, Part II, 07 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN SERBS BREAK OFF TIES WITH SARAJEVO GOVERNMENT OVER ARRESTED
SERBS. Pale has broken off contacts with the Sarajevo government and
threatened to block traffic into Serb-held suburbs if the eight recently
arrested Serbs are not freed, Nasa Borba said on 7 February. The Onasa
news agency reported the previous day that the government has identified
General Djordje Djukic and Colonel Aleksa Krsmanovic as responsible for
"a large number" of murders in eastern Bosnia and around Sarajevo. A
government spokesman said the two were arrested during "a routine
traffic control" on 30 January. Oslobodjenje on 7 February added that
Djukic served in the Yugoslav army in Belgrade but later followed
General Ratko Mladic to the Bosnian Serb general staff. The government
has asked the Hague-based International War Crimes Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia to take part in investigations. The other Serbs were
arrested for possessing quantities of weapons and explosives. Elsewhere,
Human Rights Watch has appealed to the UN Security Council not to lift
sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs yet. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

RUSSIA BLASTS ESTONIA FOR DEPORTING ULTRANATIONALIST. Russian Foreign
Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin on 6 February condemned the recent
expulsion from Estonia of ultranationalist Petr Rozhok, BNS reported.
Rozhok, a Russian citizen who was the Estonian representative of
Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party, was deported for "anti-
constitutional activity" in March 1995. Estonia subsequently granted him
visas to attend two court appeals but expelled him after those visas
expired. Officials in Moscow told BNS they do not regard the deportation
as aimed against a specific person but as a precedent-setting case for
expelling Russian citizens. -- Saulius Girnius

DANISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN LATVIA. Niels Helveg Petersen and his Latvian
counterpart Valdis Birkavs, meeting in Riga on 5 February, signed an
agreement to help finance Latvia's efforts to join the EU, BNS reported.
Denmark plans to allocate 35 million Danish kroner ($6 million) for
technical and administrative assistance to Poland and the three Baltic
states. Petersen the next day held talks with Prime Minister Andris
Skele, parliamentary speaker Ilsa Kreituse, and other parliamentary
deputies. He said that Denmark supports Latvia's membership in the EU,
NATO, and the World Trade Organization and added that visa-free travel
between Latvia and Denmark was also discussed. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER TENDERS RESIGNATION. Gintaras
Zintelis on 5 February submitted a letter of resignation, but Prime
Minister Adolfas Slezevicius refused to accept it, Reuters reported the
next day. Zintelis said his decision was not connected with the current
campaign to oust the premier, explaining that he wanted return to an
academic career. Meanwhile, Seimas deputy Bronislovas Genzelis, who
resigned from the ruling Democratic Labor Party in December, was
formally accepted as the eighth member of the Social Democratic Party
faction. -- Saulius Girnius

NEGOTIATIONS ON NEW POLISH GOVERNMENT CONTINUE. Leaders of the two
ruling parties in Poland--the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the
Polish Peasant Party (PSL)-- continue to discuss the formation of a new
government. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz (SLD), who was appointed prime
minister last week, said on 6 February that he wanted to have the
cabinet sworn in the next day. But former Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy
said the PSL was opposed to Privatization Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek and
Interior Minister Jerzy Konieczny. Jerzy Wiatr (SLD) and Leszek Kubicki,
a non-party Supreme Court Justice, are candidates for the education and
justice portfolios, respectively, Polish dailies reported on 7 February.
-- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH EDITOR SENTENCED FOR REVEALING STATE SECRETS. Jerzy Urban,
formerly spokesman for Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski and since 1990 editor of
the satirical weekly Nie, was sentenced on 6 February to a one-year
suspended prison sentence for publishing secret documents. The court
also ordered him to pay a $4,000 fine and banned him from working as a
journalist for one year. In June 1992, Urban had published documents
dating from 1959 suggesting that Zdzislaw Najder, who was head of
RFE/RL's Polish service in the 1980s, was a secret police informer.
Urban said he would appeal the sentence. His weekly has a circulation of
hundreds of thousands and frequently is critical of right-wing
politicians, Polish national symbols, and the Catholic Church. -- Jakub
Karpinski

RUSSIANS DENY CZECH SECRET SERVICE CHARGES. The Russian embassy in
Prague on 6 February denied Czech secret service (BIS) charges that
Russia has launched a campaign to discredit the Czech Republic in the
West, Czech media reported. BIS's annual report for 1995 accuses Russian
intelligence services of trying to hinder the Czech Republic's possible
admission to NATO and speculates that they could also try to influence
the Czech parliamentary elections in late May. An embassy official
called the reports "open provocation." According to Mlada fronta Dnes on
6 February, BIS estimates that around 400 Russian agents are operating
in the Czech Republic, including 56 accredited diplomats. Prime Minister
Vaclav Klaus refused to comment on the allegations, saying he has not
yet read the BIS report. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAKIA REJECTS NEUTRALITY. The Slovak Foreign Ministry on 6 February
issued a statement rejecting Russian Deputy Defense Minister Andrei
Kokoshin's recent proposal that a neutral zone be created in Central
Europe between NATO countries and Russia. The ministry said the Russian
plan "does not correspond with progress in discussions on the security
model for the 21st century." In other news, a 10-day joint Slovak-U.S.
military exercise began on 6 February in Zilina. Training is focused on
reconnaissance tasks for international humanitarian missions, non-
military rescue missions, aid to civilians in military conflicts, and
fighting terrorism, TASR reported. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK JUSTICE MINISTRY REACTS TO PROTEST AGAINST FOUNDATIONS BILL. The
Slovak Justice Ministry on 6 February issued a statement responding to
the ongoing campaign by the Third Sector Association against the bill on
foundations (see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 January 1996). The ministry
denied the association's claims that the bill was prepared within a
couple of days and without consulting those affected by it. It said the
draft bill has yet to be reviewed by the cabinet and that the parliament
will have the final word. Representatives of the Third Sector
Association are expected to meet on 12 February with Katarina Tothova,
deputy premier for legislative issues, Praca reported. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT DIVIDED OVER SCREENING LAW. Hungarian deputies on 6
February began to debate an amendment to the screening law, Hungarian
dailies reported. The law, which was passed under the previous
administration in 1994 and subsequently declared unconstitutional by the
Constitutional Court, forbids those who worked for the communist-era
III/III department of the secret service from holding public office.
Coalition and opposition deputies are at odds over who should be
screened. The cabinet's draft law provides for screening only those who
have taken an oath in the parliament, while the opposition wants to
include judges, prosecutors, and senior officers in the armed forces and
police. Ferenc Koszeg of the Alliance of Free Democrats, the junior
coalition party, argued that the law should allow all reports, not just
those maintained by the III/III department, to be made public, including
those on Hungarian emigres and enlisted soldiers. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ADMIRAL SMITH STILL WILL NOT SEND IFOR AFTER WAR CRIMINALS. John
Shattuck, the U.S. State Department's top official for human rights, has
taken NATO commander Admiral Leighton Smith by helicopter to two of the
most notorious sites of Serbian atrocities. The men visited the Omarska
camp and saw one building from which no prisoner is known to have
emerged alive. Shattuck called it a "killing camp" but arrived to find a
freshly painted Serbian army barracks with soldiers lounging around and
watching television. The Serbs said that the reports on the camp by
journalists and survivors were propaganda. The two officials later flew
to the Ljubija mine, believed to be a huge mass grave. Smith said he
still will not have his men "seek out" war criminals, because this is
not in their mandate. The BBC on 7 February commented that many doubt
that the war criminals will ever face justice unless IFOR becomes more
involved in hunting them down. -- Patrick Moore

PALE PREVENTS BANJA LUKA MAYOR FROM MEETING U.S. ENVOY. President Bill
Clinton's special envoy Robert Galucci is in Banja Luka to meet leading
personalities, Nasa Borba reported on 7 February. He spoke to the heads
of the Roman Catholic and Islamic communities as well as with some
Serbian politicians. But the Independent Social Democratic Party charged
the hard-line Pale leadership with having blocked his meeting with Mayor
Predrag Radic. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, Oslobodjenje quoted Michael
Steiner, the deputy of the international community's Carl Bildt, as
saying dialog between local Serbs and the government on reintegrating
the capital is progressing well. -- Patrick Moore

UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL MEETS WITH BOSNIAN SERBS. Elisabeth Rehn on 6
February visited the Bosnian-Serb stronghold of Pale to hold talks with
Republika Srpska Vice President Nikola Koljevic, parliamentary speaker
Momcilo Krajisnik, and Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic, Nasa Borba
reported. Rehn said Bosnian Serb leaders have granted her freedom of
movement to carry out her work, despite disagreement over the Hague-
based war crimes tribunal and mass graves in Bosnia. Krajisnik
complained that the trials in The Hague have been politicized, with
charges of ethnic cleansing and massacres unfairly slanted against
Serbs. He added that "Muslims were keeping Serbs as ethnic hostages in
government-controlled towns," according to AFP. Rehn told the reporters
she believes some missing Srebrenica citizens are still alive, "although
they were not in the Srebrenica area," Hina reported. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

U.S. ANNOUNCES INCREASED AID AMID CONTINUED EU CRITICISM. The U.S. on 6
February announced it is increasing aid to Bosnia, international news
agencies reported. A U.S. official speaking in Tuzla said his government
wants to allocate $200 million in economic assistance to Bosnia for the
remainder of the 1996 fiscal year. The U.S. previously had said it would
contribute only $600 million. It has come under ongoing criticism by the
EU, which expects the U.S. to provide one-third of the estimated $5.1
billion needed for reconstruction in Bosnia. An EU spokesman in Brussels
was also critical of Japan and the Islamic states. Meanwhile, a
spokesman in Washington said the U.S. will step up efforts to accelerate
the deployment of UN police to Bosnia. -- Michael Mihalka

APPEALS FOR MORE AID. Regional leaders attending the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland, have appealed for more aid, international
agencies reported. Bosnian Prime Minister Hsan Muratovic estimated
Bosnian war damage at $45 billion, while the Croatian delegation said
their country needed $17 billion. Rump Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje
Kontic estimated his country lost more than $200 billion directly and
indirectly through the war. Hungarian President Arpad Goncz asked that
some of money be earmarked for aiding Hungarian infrastructure.
Meanwhile, The World Bank reported that almost 90% of the Bosnian
population depends on international aid. -- Michael Mihalka

UNHCR SAYS NO BOSNIANS WERE COMPELLED TO GO TO AUSTRALIA. A UNHCR
official in Belgrade on 6 February denied that Bosnians have been sent
against their will to Australia, international media reported. He said
refugees who fled the enclaves of Zepa and Srebenica when they fell to
Bosnian Serb forces in the summer of 1995 "adamantly refused to go
back." But a spokesman for a group of some 100 refugees in Adelaide said
they had been sent against their will and wanted to return. The UNHCR
official said the refugees in Australia are welcome to return to Bosnia
but will have to wait their turn, since there are the tens of thousands
of other refugees seeking help in repatriation. -- Michael Mihalka

GAS CUT OFF TO ZAGREB. Many residents of the Croatian capital on 7
February found themselves without gas amid sub-zero temperatures, German
media reported. The energy firm INA is seeking to force the state-run
gas board to pay 28 million kuna ($5 million) in back debts. INA plans
to cut off more gas gradually. -- Patrick Moore

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT URGES UNITY IN GOVERNMENT COALITION. Kiro Gligorov
on 6 February appealed to the Social Democratic Union, the Socialist
Party, and the Liberal Party to keep the present government coalition
together, Reuters reported. Gligorov' statements followed reports that
Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski is preparing to name a new government
without the Liberals. "Excluding one member of the coalition from the
future reconstructed government is not a political platform I represent
[nor is it] the will of our voters," Gligorov said. The Liberals
complained that Crvenkovski excluded them from talks about a new
government. The dismissal of Macedonian TV editor-in-chief Saso
Ordanoski, a Social Democrat, may have been a result of the coalition
crisis. Macedonian TV Director-General Melpomeni Korneti, a Liberal,
reportedly disagreed with one of his editorials predicting there would
be no Liberals in the next government. -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT DENIES SEEKING MOSCOW'S HELP IN 1989. Ion Iliescu has
denied accusations that he sought Moscow's help during the December 1989
revolt, which many Romanians believe was hijacked by his leftist allies,
Reuters reported on 6 February. For the first time since he gained power
in December 1989, Iliescu's office issued documents allegedly proving
that he did not ask ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to help oust
Nicolae Ceausescu. The Presidency said the move was meant to deny
"fabrications by the media and politicians about the Romanian revolution
and the legitimacy of the National Salvation Front." Under Iliescu's
leadership, the NSF seized power after Ceausescu's overthrow. -- Matyas
Szabo

ROMANIAN SENATE VOTES ON COUNTERESPIONAGE BILL. The Senate on 6 February
adopted by a vote of 82 to seven with six abstentions a draft law on the
Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), Radio Bucharest reported. Under the
new legislation, the country's counterintelligence service will be
supervised by a joint panel set up by the Commissions for Defense,
Public Order, and National Security of the parliament's two chambers.
The SIE will be subordinated to the Supreme Defense Council, headed by
President Ion Iliescu. The bill has still to be approved by the Chamber
of Deputies. -- Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN DELEGATION IN BUCHAREST. A delegation from the Moldovan
parliament's Foreign Policy Commission have met with foreign policy
experts in the Romanian parliament's two chambers, Romanian media
reported on 6 February. The two sides agreed that the Romanian and
Moldovan parliaments will draw up by the end of their current sessions a
legislative proposal on easing border crossing restrictions. They also
discussed the free exchange of newspapers and publications as well as
issues related to national minorities. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN LEGISLATOR FOUND SHOT. Todor Todorov, chairman of the
parliamentary agriculture committee and a member of the Bulgarian
Socialist Party, was found shot in the head at his home in Malina,
northeastern Bulgaria, on 5 February, 24 chasa reported. He was rushed
to the hospital in Dobrich and operated on but is in a deep coma. Police
said there was no evidence of violence and are convinced that Todorov
attempted to commit suicide. Bulgarian media link the incident to the
criticism of the agriculture committee amid the ongoing grain shortage.
Standart cited Petar Komarov, a high-level official at the Agriculture
Ministry, as saying Todorov has frequently received telephone threats
against himself and his family and was disappointed by the attitude of
fellow party members. The BSP declined to comment on the incident. --
Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN SOCIALISTS ACCUSED OF PLANNING COUP. Rilindja Demokratike on 7
February reported that Italian journalist Pietro Zannoni has produced a
document, dated 3 March 1990 and signed by a Yugoslav Security Service
agent, allegedly proving that the Albanian Socialist Party was involved
in espionage and other activities. The document mentions plans to
finance agents in Albania "to control the communist apparatus." It also
refers to "preparations for a communist coup d'etat in Albania with the
support of Russia" and to preserving "relations between the Serbian and
Albanian Communists to maintain Serbian domination over Kosovo." The
Socialists have repeatedly denied the charges. -- Fabian Schmidt

HOLBROOKE ON CANCELED VISITS TO ATHENS, ANKARA. U.S. Assistant Secretary
of State Richard Holbrooke on 6 February said it was his decision not to
visit Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, CNN reported the same day. Holbrooke
said "we have decided on our own that this is not an ideal time to
visit," noting that there still is no new Turkish government. Greek
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis the previous day had made clear Holbrooke
was not welcome in Athens. Meanwhile, U.S. President Bill Clinton set
letters to Simitis, Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, and Turkish
President Suleyman Demirel thanking them for "for their cooperation in
successfully resolving the issue" of the disputed islet of Imia/Kardak.
-- Stefan Krause

[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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