He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mind, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 33, Part II, 15 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
U.S. CALLS NEW BOSNIAN SUMMIT. The State Department on 14 February
announced a top-level meeting to be held in Rome on 16-17 February.
Participants include the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia, as
well as the foreign ministers of the Contact Group countries. The BBC on
15 February reported that the purpose is to conduct "an intense
overview" of the implementation of the Dayton agreement and impress upon
the three presidents that they must meet their obligations. There will
be no renegotiation of the treaty or approval of any breaks in the
implementation schedule. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic will be
pressed to bring the Bosnian Serbs back to the implementation process,
while Croatia's Franjo Tudjman and Bosnia's Alija Izetbegovic will be
told to end the feud over the reunification of Mostar. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE NEEDS FUNDS NOW TO MEET CHORNOBYL CLOSURE DEADLINE. Environment
Minister Yurii Kostenko has said that procedures for obtaining credits
from the West need to be simplified if Ukraine is to meet its deadline
for shutting down the Chornobyl nuclear power plant by 2000, UNIAN and
Reuters reported on 13 February. Kostenko noted that according to
current procedures, it will be 18 months before Kiev receives any funds
for completing construction of new nuclear reactors at the Rivne and
Khmelnytsky atomic energy stations, which are to replacing Chornobyl's
two still-functioning reactors. He warned it would take another 30-35
months to finish construction, after which the lengthy process of
testing would have to begin. The minister said he would lobby at this
year's G-7 summit to speed up the allocation of the $2.3 billion in
loans promised by the G-7 powers for the shutdown. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT FINDINGS. The Belarusian Constitutional
Court has ruled that the rights of citizens as guaranteed by the
country's constitution have not been upheld over the past year, ITAR-
TASS reported on 14 February. The court found 16 legislative acts that
either partly or fully contravened the constitution, including 12
presidential decrees. In addition, the court said it was "criminal" that
the economic crisis in the country had not been dealt with. It stressed
that there has been no real parliament for most of the year, almost
paralyzing the legislative process and contravening the principle of
balance of powers. -- Ustina Markus

PRIVATIZATION OF ESTONIAN AIR. The Estonian Privatization Agency has
received six offers to buy shares in the state-owned national airline,
Estonian Air. Two-thirds of the company's stock is to be sold. The
bidders were Scandinavian Airlines System, American Airlines, two
Latvian aviation companies, and two Estonian companies currently holding
talks with other West European air companies. The EPA, which has until
26 May to make a final decision, began negotiations with officials from
the Scandinavian airlines on 14 February, ETA reported. The airline had
a turnover of 306 million kroons ($26 million) and a deficit of several
million kroons in 1995. -- Saulius Girnius

GAZPROM REDUCES GAS SUPPLY TO LITHUANIA. The Russian concern Gazprom on
13 February reduced the daily amount of natural gas shipped to Lithuania
from 12 to 9.1 million cubic meters after Lithuania failed to reduce its
financial debt of $27 million. Linas Cepukonis, commercial director of
Lietuvos Dujos, said gas supplies have been reduced to power companies.
Interim prime minister Mindaugas Stankevicius sent a message to Gazprom
on 14 February asking for the restoration of normal gas supplies and
proposing that Gazprom accept government securities in partial payment
of the debt, BNS reported. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRIME MINISTER ADDRESSES SEJM. Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz,
presenting his political program to the Sejm on 14 February, declared he
would seek to improve the credibility of Poland's state institutions. He
also pledged a full investigation into spy allegations against his
predecessor, Jozef Oleksy. Cimoszewicz promised to continue market
reforms and to pursue Poland's goals of joining Western institutions,
including the European Union and NATO. The Sejm is to take a vote of
confidence in the new cabinet on 15 February. -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTRY ON KALININGRAD-HRODNA TRANSIT ROAD. Polish
Foreign Ministry spokesman Pawel Dobrowolski on 14 February commented on
recent Russian and Belarusian press reports on the possible construction
of a transit road and railway tracks linking Kaliningrad with Hrodna in
Belarus via Poland. Dobrowolski said Polish experts' initial response is
that Poland should not approve the project. Rzeczpospolita on 15
February comments that if Poland agreed to the links, it would
strengthen Russian arguments against Poland's NATO membership.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported recently that the idea of the transit road
was raised by Kaliningrad Oblast governor Yurii Matochkin in a letter to
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. -- Jakub Karpinski

SLOVAKIA DEVELOPS RELATIONS WITH AUSTRIA, OECD. Slovak Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar met with Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky in Austria
on 14 February to discuss bilateral ties, Slovak media reported.
Vranitzky expressed support for the Visegrad countries' membership in
the EU. Meciar assured Vranitzky that the Slovak-Hungarian treaty will
be ratified in March and that Mochovce will be Slovakia's last nuclear
plant. With regard to the August abduction of President Michal Kovac's
son, Vranitzky stressed it is a matter for the courts, not a political
one. Also on 14 February, Jean-Claude Paye, secretary-general of the
OECD, held talks with top politicians in Bratislava over Slovakia's
membership in the organization. Paye praised Slovakia's macroeconomic
results and said full OECD membership is just "a matter of months." --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK COALITION PARTY QUESTIONS BANK PRIVATIZATION. Association of
Workers of Slovakia Chairman Jan Luptak on 14 February criticized
Meciar's plans to privatize the country's entire financial sector by
mid-February, saying it requires more thought. Luptak told TASR that the
issue has not been discussed at coalition meetings and that he fears it
will have a negative impact on citizens. While his party's view differs
from that of the other governing parties, it does not threaten the
coalition's stability, Luptak stressed. Deputy Premier and Finance
Minister Sergej Kozlik told OECD representatives on 14 February that
privatization of the banking sector will be concluded in the first half
of the year. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN POLITICAL UPDATE. The parliamentary caucus of the opposition
Christian Democrats on 14 February re-elected Tamas Isepy as its leader
after party president Gyorgy Giczy walked out of the meeting along with
his supporters. Isepy said the vote has no political message and
stressed that the parliamentary caucus will continue to support the
president, Hungarian media reported. Also on 14 February, Lajos Fur,
head of the opposition Hungarian Democratic Forum, announced he will not
run for re-election as party president at the national convention in
March. No reason was given for the decision. Sandor Lezsak, a founder of
the forum, and executive president Ivan Szabo are the only candidates to
date. -- Sharon Fisher

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

HAGUE TRIBUNAL TO INDICT MUSLIMS. A spokesman for the International
Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on 14 February said that the
court intends to issue its first indictments against Muslims soon. Serbs
and Croats have charged that the tribunal is biased, since to date it
has indicted 45 Serbs and seven Croats but no Muslims. The spokesman
told the BBC, however, that the reason for the delay is that Belgrade
and Zagreb have not cooperated in preparing cases against Muslims.
Croatia said it wants to press charges against some Muslims who served
in the rump Yugoslav army during its war against Croatia in 1991. Nasa
Borba added on 15 February that the first trial at the court, namely
that of the Serb concentration camp guard Dusan Tadic, is slated to
begin on 7 May. Elsewhere, news agencies reported that the U.S. has
again called on the Bosnian government to release the four remaining
Serbs it is holding, since there are no charges of war crimes against
them. -- Patrick Moore

IFOR WARNS AGAINST BOSNIAN SERBIAN ATTACK. U.S. Admiral Leighton Smith,
IFOR commander, warned in Sarajevo on 14 February that if Bosnian Serbs
attacked his forces, it would be their "worst mistake," international
media reported. He was responding to Vice President of the Republika
Srpska Nikola Koljevic's threat the previous day of an "appropriate
response" to the "illegal" detention of the Bosnian Serb soldiers by the
Bosnian government. International media reported that Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic equated their continued detention with a return
to a state of war. While Smith highlighted the practical difficulties of
NATO pursuing war criminals, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said in Brussels
that NATO was considering setting up checkpoints to make it easier to
encounter and detain such criminals. Meanwhile, Senator Bob Dole and
three colleagues have sent a letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton
expressing "outrage" at reports that Karadzic avoided apprehension at
NATO checkpoints over the weekend. -- Michael Mihalka

U.S. TROOPS FULLY DEPLOYED IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. The U.S. has completed
the deployment of more than 23,000 troops in Bosnia and Croatia, U.S.
Assistant Secretary of Defense John White said in Tuzla on 14 February,
international media reported. He stressed that the troops will not
remain longer than 12 months . Speaking earlier in Budapest, he said
that "under the auspices of NATO," U.S. troops may extend their stay
beyond a year at bases in southern Hungary." -- Michael Mihalka

SERBIAN GENERAL IN BOSNIAN ARMY TO BE SACKED? The weekly Svijet on 8
February quoted General Jovan Divjak as saying Izetbegovic is trying to
force him into retirement. Divjak is a Serb who remained loyal to a
multi-ethnic Bosnia throughout the war. Almost one-fifth of the Bosnian
army is non-Muslim, but critics charge that Izetbegovic is trying to
subordinate it to his Muslim nationalist party. Meanwhile, Nasa Borba
reported on 14 February that the Bosnian parliament has passed an
amnesty law for soldiers in all three armies. It covers deserters but
does not extend to war criminals. Its passage is considered crucial by
Serbs who served in the Bosnian Serb army and are now concerned about
their future under the Bosnian government. -- Patrick Moore

SERBIAN RADICAL LEADER TO VISIT THE HAGUE? Vojislav Seselj, leader of
the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and accused war
criminal, says he has applied for a visa to visit The Hague, Nasa Borba
reported on 14 February. Seselj has claimed that he does not fear
prosecution because he is not guilty of crimes against humanity and that
Hague officials have backed him on this point, BETA reported on 12
February. Seselj, whose paramilitary Cetniks are thought to have
committed some of the most heinous crimes against humanity during the
wars in the former Yugoslavia, said he wishes to testify against Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic. -- Stan Markotich

RUMP YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT IN KOSOVO. Zoran Lilic has called on the Kosovar
Albanians to "renounce separatism" and stop boycotting Serbian
government institutions, AFP reported on 14 February. Lilic said that
the "Albanians [are] contaminated by separatism [and] should give up
this crazy idea since Kosovo will never secede from Serbia." Meanwhile,
Vojislav Zivkovic, head of the Socialist Party of Serbia's Kosovo
branch, said autonomy should not be restored, arguing it would only
"encourage separatist aims." -- Fabian Schmidt

UPDATE ON MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT CRISIS. Since Prime Minister Branko
Crvenkovski's decision to appoint a new government earlier this week
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 12 February), President Kiro Gligorov has twice
made public statements aimed at saving the ruling coalition. Gligorov on
13 February admitted that the coalition has a poor track record but that
he would continue to act as president on the basis of the coalition's
platform. The new government reportedly will include only Gligorov's
Social Democrats, the Party of Democratic Prosperity, and the
Socialists. -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS IN PROTEST OVER CORRUPTION AMONG JUDGES.
Gen. Ion Pitulescu on 14 February tendered his resignation in protest at
what he called corruption among some magistrates, local and
international media reported. Pitulescu said individuals involved in
crime and corruption have repeatedly been set free or released on bail
by some judges who drive expensive cars and live in luxurious villas,
which, he said, they could not have bought on their incomes alone.
Minister of Interior Doru Ioan Taracila, reportedly taken unawares by
Pitulescu's statement, said he agreed with Pitulescu over the "system's
failure to fight against offenders." It is unclear whether Pitulescu's
resignation will be accepted. Taracila said he will discuss the matter
with Pitulescu. -- Michael Shafir

MAJOR ROMANIAN OPPOSITION PARTY CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS. The National
Peasant Party Christian Democratic on 14 February announced it will
submit to the parliament a resolution on early parliamentary elections.
The party leadership proposed that the ballot take place in May,
following the local elections, instead of in the fall. Emil
Constantinescu, presidential candidate of the Democratic Convention of
Romania, said there was a good chance that the parliament would pass the
resolution in view of the legislature's changing structure. But it is
unlikely elections will take place early since the laws on elections and
political parties have not yet been passed by the parliament. -- Michael
Shafir

UKRAINIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER IN MOLDOVA. Kostyantyn Hrishchenko, on
a three-day working visit to Moldova, said he has a mandate from Kiev to
look for new ways to solve the Dniester crisis and to consolidate peace
in the region, Moldovan agencies reported on 13-14 February. Following
his meeting in Tiraspol with Igor Smirnov, president of the self-
proclaimed Dniester republic, Hrishchenko said that given the large
number of Ukrainians living in the Dniester region, Ukraine was
interested in solving the conflict as soon as possible and in improving
the economic situation in the region. Smirnov said Russia and Ukraine
could become guarantors of stability in the region. Moldovan Foreign
Minister Mihai Popov recently suggested that "Ukrainian blue helmets
might be included in the peacekeeping troops." -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN INTELLECTUALS ON ZHELEV'S CANDIDACY. Accord for Bulgaria, an
association of Bulgarian intellectuals, on 14 February announced its
support for President Zhelyu Zhelev's candidacy for a second term, Trud
reported. The intellectuals said they are content with the way Zhelev
answered their questions (see OMRI Daily Digest, 14 February 1996) and
will start consultations with all opposition forces for a joint
presidential candidate. The writer Georgi Mishev called the Presidency
"the last fortress against a total seizure of power" by the Bulgarian
Socialist Party (BSP). -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIA TO SEND POLICE TO BOSNIA. The Bulgarian parliament on 14
February approved dispatching 50 police officers to Bosnia, Bulgarian
and international media reported. The officers will form part of an
international police force under UN auspices and will remain in Bosnia
for up to one year. Bulgaria has also offered to send a 350-strong
pioneer battalion if its mission is internationally funded. -- Stefan
Krause

ALBANIAN JUSTICE MINISTRY BANS NATIONALIST PARTY. The Albanian Justice
Ministry has refused to register the Party of National Reconstruction,
Reuters reported on 14 February. Justice Minister Hektor Frasheri said
the party's manifesto accepts directly or indirectly the use of force to
achieve its aims, including "liberating" the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
The National Reconstruction Party argued that the ministry has
overstepped its competence, and it denied endorsing violent or non-
democratic means. It will appeal the decision at the Supreme Court. --
Fabian Schmidt

GREEK MEDIA LAMBASTED FOR COVERAGE OF ISLET CRISIS. The Greek National
Audiovisual Council on 14 February said three domestic TV channels
provided coverage of the recent Greek-Turkish crisis that was "lacking
in journalistic ethics," AFP reported the same day. Mega, Antenna, and
Star--which together account for about half of audience ratings--were
criticized for bombarding viewers with footage of Turkish soldiers
planting their flag on the disputed islet of Imia/Kardak. The commission
said it "did not consider the journalists responsible but rather the
heads of the stations." Parliamentary President Apostolos Kaklamanis
last week accused the stations of disseminating "Turkish propaganda."
Meanwhile, the opposition criticized the government for seeking "to gag
the media to conceal its dangerous fiasco over the Imia crisis." --
Stefan Krause

TURKISH ACTING FOREIGN MINISTER IN BRITAIN. Deniz Baykal arrived in
London on 14 February to discuss with his British counterpart, Malcolm
Rifkind, the crisis last month over the Kardak-Imia islet in the Aegean,
international media reported the same day. Baykal has begun recently to
adopt a more conciliatory line, while continuing to push for direct
negotiations between Athens and Ankara over disputed islets in the
Aegean. Rifkind noted the "tremendous need" for such a dialogue, saying
he would appeal for direct talks when he goes to Athens next week.
Baykal is currently visiting various European capitals to garner support
from among Turkey's allies. -- Lowell Bezanis

[As of 1200 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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