Love cures people--both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. - Karl Menninger
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 64, Part II, 29 March 1996


New OMRI Analytical Briefs:
-  "Romania to Apply for Full NATO Membership," by Dan Ionescu
-  "Russo-Belarusian Union:  New Beginning, or Dead End?," by Peter Rutland
-  "Hungary's OECD Membership is Now Official," by Zsofia Szilagyi

Available only via the World Wide Web:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Analytical/Index.html

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
WASHINGTON MAY BE "HIDING EVIDENCE" OF SERBIAN WAR CRIMES. Bosnia's UN
Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey said that the US is concealing evidence
linking Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic -- a signatory to the U.S.-
sponsored Dayton agreement -- to indicted war criminal Zeljko
Raznatovic, known as "Arkan." Sacirbey claimed that former U.S. envoy
Richard Holbrooke gave Milosevic a whole file of evidence on Arkan, Nasa
Borba reported on 29 March. Sacirbey added that the U.S. has not made
the evidence public or brought charges against Milosevic for his ties to
the man widely believed responsible for some of the most grisly war
crimes. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN, RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET. Ukrainian Defense Minister
Valerii Shmarov met with his Russian counterpart, Pavel Grachev, in
Tysovets, Ukraine on 28 March, Western and Ukrainian media reported. The
ministers finalized 10 documents on expanding military-technical
cooperation between their countries and fixed a schedule for the
transfer of Ukraine's dismantled nuclear arms to Russia. They also
agreed to a timetable for the second phase of the division of the Black
Sea Fleet, but offered no details. However, the ministers decided the
issue of sharing Crimean naval facilities -- the last unresolved matter
in the dispute -- was political and should be handled by the countries'
prime ministers. Russian President Boris Yeltsin said he would cancel
his scheduled visit to Kyiv on 4-5 April if a final agreement on
division of the fleet is not included in the overall bilateral treaty,
Russian agencies reported. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

TEXT OF RUSSO-BELARUSIAN UNION TREATY REVEALED. Russia and Belarus are
due to sign a new treaty on 2 April, called "On deepening integration
and comprehensive drawing together." The treaty has not yet been
publicly released and the Belarusian parliament debated the issue on  27
March without having the text before them. OMRI has obtained a copy of
the treaty draft in Minsk, and its 26 articles suggest that the two
countries seriously intend to merge many of their economic and legal
policies. They will form a "Union (Community)" with a set of
supranational institutions including a Union Council (Sovet Soyuza),
consisting of the two presidents and the heads of the governments and
parliaments. The two states will retain their independence, and
decision-making in the supranational bodies will be by consensus. Thus
the main thrust of the treaty lies in the voluntary harmonization of
economic and social legislation. The two sides commit to joint
protection of their common outside border, but there is no specific
pledge to introduce a common currency. -- Peter Rutland

BELARUS OPPOSITION SENDS LETTER TO YELTSIN. Fifteen opposition parties
and organizations in Belarus, including the Belarusian Popular Front,
sent an open letter to  Yeltsin on 27 March urging him not to sign the
union treaty with Belarus on 2 April, RFE/RL's Belarusian Service
reported the next day. By signing the treaty, Yeltsin would share
responsibility with Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the
betrayal of the interests of the Belarusian people, the letter noted.
The signers stated the treaty would hinder the good neighborly relations
between the two countries and reserved the right to defend the
independence of Belarus by all available means. -- Saulius Girnius

NO PROGRESS IN ESTONIA, RUSSIA BORDER TALKS. Estonian and Russian
delegations in Tallinn on 27-28 March failed to move closer to an
agreement on a border treaty, BNS reported. Although admitting the
question of recognizing the validity of the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty
remained unresolved, Russian delegation deputy head Sergei Lazarev said
that "the negotiations were not in a deadlock" The next round of talks
are scheduled for 22-23 May in Pskov. There are no disputes on the sea
border and it should be settled after a meeting on 3 April with Finnish
experts that is to establish the point where the three borders meet in
the Gulf of Finland.  -- Saulius Girnius

GDANSK COURT BEGINS TRIAL ON 1970 MASSACRE. Court proceedings began on
28 March in the Gdansk provincial court against former President
Wojciech Jaruzelski and 11 former communist leaders for their alleged
role in the 1970 deaths of 44 workers during violent protests in coastal
towns, Polish and international media reported. More than 1,000
protesters were also injured in the violence. The former officials are
charged with ordering fire on demonstrators who were protesting food
price increases. Jaruzelski, who at that time was defense minister,
pleaded not guilty, while expressing his "regret and feelings of
compassion" to the families of the victims in the courtroom. The trial,
which may last into the next century, comes after a five-year
investigation that did not begin until the former opposition took power
in 1989. The Gdansk court decided to reconvene on 13 June. -- Dagmar
Mroziewicz

CONTROVERSY OVER POLISH PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO BELARUS. Poland's President
Aleksander Kwasniewski will meet with Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka on 30 March, Polish dailies reported. The opposition had
earlier said Kwasniewski's planned Saturday visit to Belarus could be
seen as a sign of support for Lukashenka's policy of trying to unite his
country with Russia. The  Freedom Union (UW) and Movement for
Restoration of Poland (ROP) headed by former Polish Prime Minister Jan
Olszewski have opposed the visit and there have also been appeals from
the opposition in Belarus for Kwasniewski to stay away. Polish Foreign
Minister Dariusz Rosati and Sejm Speaker Jozef Zych, consulted by
Kwasniewski, both urged him to make the long-projected visit.
Rzeczpospolita on 29 March quoted Rosati as saying that "the basis for
resolving all difficult problems and reaching any agreements is to
maintain dialogue." -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY MEETS WITH CZECH REPRESENTATIVES. Malcolm
Rifkind on 28 March met with top Czech officials to discuss EU and NATO
enlargement, CTK reported. As British Queen Elizabeth II spent the day
in the Moravian capital of Brno, Rifkind told Czech President Vaclav
Havel that her visit to the Czech Republic is not only of symbolic
importance but also reflects the two countries' effort to strengthen
ties. Rifkind said he believes in closer relations between Britain and
the Czech Republic in the framework of European and other Western
institutions. Before his visit to Prague, Rifkind stressed that more
access to EU markets should be given to Central and East European
countries. -- Sharon Fisher

UPDATE ON CASE OF SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S SON. Police investigator Jozef Ciz
on 28 March said he has written proof that a suspect identified by
Michal Kovac Jr. as one of his kidnappers was somewhere else at the time
of the abduction, Narodna obroda reported. Appointed to the case after
two previous investigators found evidence of involvement by the Slovak
Information Service, Ciz also confirmed that he has questioned Peter
Krylov, an ethnic Slovak who made accusations against Kovac Jr. from his
German prison cell. Also on 28 March, Ladislav Pittner, a Christian
Democratic Movement deputy who heads an independent investigation group,
demanded that Interior Minister Ludovit Hudek explain why Jan Kostov was
named director of the police investigation department despite suspicion
of his involvement in serious criminal activities. A 28 March headline
in the pro-government Slovenska Republika read:  "Opposition efforts to
cripple the SIS are directed at the destabilization of the state." --
Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT SIGNS WAGE DEAL WITH PUBLIC EMPLOYEES. The
Hungarian government on 28 March signed a three-year wage agreement with
public sector unions, Hungarian dailies reported. The deal guarantees
that real wages will not decrease by more than 2% this year and will not
fall after 1997. Prime Minister Gyula Horn, speaking at the signing
ceremony, described the agreement as a political milestone. The long-
debated deal was sealed ahead of the ruling Socialist Party's annual
congress this weekend. Ways of protecting the population from sinking
living standards will be high on the agenda of the congress. Real wages
fell by an average of 14% in the public sector in 1995, prompting a
number of unions to hold protest rallies. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

UN FINDS MASS GRAVES IN SARAJEVO SUBURB. International police confirmed
on 29 March that five graves in Hadzici contain at least 20 bodies, AFP
reported. The return of the area to Bosnian government control and the
arrival of spring weather has enabled investigators to look for evidence
of atrocities by Serbs against their Muslim and Croat neighbors at the
start of the war four years ago. Police spokesman Alexander Ivanko said
that this was not the first, but certainly the largest of such finds.
The biggest single grave held at least ten corpses. -- Patrick Moore

"WAR AGAINST CROATIA PLANNED IN BELGRADE." Testimony continues before
the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The
Hague regarding three officers of the rump Yugoslav army. They are
charged in connection with the massacre of Croats, including hospital
patients, after Vukovar fell to the Serbs in November 1991. The hearings
clearly indicate that that war was planned and directed from Belgrade,
Novi list reported on 29 March. In Washington, the State Department said
it would protest plans by President Franjo Tudjman to re-bury Croatian
soldiers from World War II at the site of the Jasenovac concentration
camp, news agencies noted on 28 March. A spokesman likened this to
honoring murderers along with their victims. -- Patrick Moore

CROATIA'S SERBS ORGANIZE. The mass exodus of Serbs from formerly Serb-
held Croatian territories in 1995 reduced the republic's Serbian
minority from about 12% of the population to only perhaps 2-3%. Those
remaining Serbs insist nonetheless that the government guarantee their
rights. The Supreme Council of the Community of Serbs of Croatia (ZSH)
met and called upon the government to guarantee funds to ensure the
Serbs' "civil, cultural, and national rights," including cultural
autonomy, Slobodna Dalmacija said on 29 March. In Zagreb,
representatives of the Serbian Democratic Forum, the Prosveta cultural
society, and some regional Serbian groups founded the League of Serbian
Organizations (SSO). Spokesmen said that no political parties have been
included at this stage to underscore the SSO's non-party character. Its
chairman is nonetheless likely to be the prominent Serbian political
figure Milorad Pupovac, Novi list reported on 29 March. The SSO stresses
the traditional Austro-Hungarian concept of "personal ethnic autonomy"
as opposed to group territorial autonomy, which is realistic given that
the remaining Croatian Serbs live widely dispersed. -- Patrick Moore

FORMER CROATIAN MINISTER KILLED. Anton Marcelo Popovic was shot dead
outside his home in Vrsar, Istria, on the night of 27 March, Hina
reported the next day. He had been minister of tourism in 1991-1992 and
most recently was director of the Anita-Vrsar hotel chain. Interior
Minister Ivan Jarnjak said that the killing had been planned and that
"there are indications that it was the work of a professional killer."
An investigation has been launched, but persons close to Popovic ruled
out any political motive for the killing, Vjesnik noted on 29 March.
Popovic belonged to the governing Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ)
and was active in sports as well as in politics and business, Vecernji
list said. -- Patrick Moore

WAR CRIMES PROSECUTOR CALLS BELGRADE A CRIMINAL REGIME. Prosecutor Clint
Williamson concluded before the International Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia that the rump Yugoslav authorities are a "criminal"
government, AFP reported on 28 March. Prompting the justice's remark was
the fact that Belgrade has refused to extradite the three officers of
the Yugoslav army (JNA) involved in the Vukovar massacre(see above).
"When a government gives refuge and support to criminals in the eyes of
the world that government then too becomes criminal.... And that is
exactly what the Belgrade government has done in this case, "Williamson
said. Not only has Belgrade failed to extradite the accused war
criminals, but the independent Radio B92 on 21 March reported that one
of the suspects, Veselin Sljivancanin, was even promoted recently from
major to colonel. -- Stan Markotich

SERBIAN PRESIDENT HONORED ON "NATIONAL DAY." Most high-ranking political
and military officials in rump Yugoslavia extended Serbian President
Milosevic "congratulations" on the occasion of the 28 March national
day, Tanjug reported the previous day. On that date in 1989, the Serbian
legislature passed amendments to the republic's constitution that
revoked the political autonomy of Vojvodina and Kosovo. What
characterized this year's "national day" was the somewhat toned-down,
albeit far from absent, nationalistic rhetoric. Serbian Premier Mirko
Marjanovic's message to Milosevic observed that "owing to a persistent
policy of peace, Serbia's people have secured a place in the
international community... [something] to which Serbia's unity and
stability had contributed." -- Stan Markotich

MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAW, BLOCKS PETITION DRIVE FOR EARLY
ELECTIONS. The Macedonian parliament on 28 March voted in favor of a law
governing citizens' petition drives for parliamentary elections. The law
carried with 53 deputies for, 15 against, and one abstention, according
to Nova Makedonija. It invalidated a four-day petition drive for early
parliamentary elections mounted by the largest opposition bloc, made up
of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party
for Macedonian National Unity and the Democratic Party. The bloc was
able to garner a reported 162,000 signatures from voters seeking early
parliamentary elections, according to Dnevnik and Nova Makedonija. A
Liberal Party initiative to have the law exclude the current petition
drive failed. The law seems to guarantee the continuation of the seated
parliament in office through the conclusion of its term in 1998. --
Duncan Perry in Skopje

ROMANIAN ARMS INDUSTRY WORKERS PROTEST DEFENSE BUDGET. Five trade union
organizations on 28 March staged a rally in Bucharest to protest what
they described as insufficient budgetary allotments for their industry,
Radio Bucharest reported. The protesters asked that their demand for
increases be discussed with cabinet members in the presence of President
Ion Iliescu.  They threatened to stage a further rally on 3 April in
case negotiations failed. Romania's arms industry has been in a deep
crisis in recent years. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIANS, ITALIANS DISCUSS ORGANIZED CRIME. An Italian delegation of
experts in Mafia-style organizations visited Romania between 27 and 29
March, Radio Bucharest reported.  The delegation discussed ways to step
up the exchange of information on organized crime with senior Romanian
officials from the Interior Ministry. Romanian Interior Minister Doru
Ioan Taracila said that the two countries plan joint actions in
combating trans-border crime. -- Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN GOVERNMENT TO FIGHT CRIME, CORRUPTION. The Moldovan government
on 28 March ordered the Interior Ministry to form a department to fight
crime and corruption, Moldovan agencies reported. It also announced that
inspections at some 100 financial institutions revealed hard-currency
revenues totaling $18 million and DM 6.3 million that have illegally
been kept abroad. Foreign Affairs Minister Mihai Popov noted that almost
half of the diplomatic passports issued since 1993 have gone to people
not entitled to such documents. Justice Minister Vasile Sturza said that
despite decentralization, many state organs and civil servants still
have the authority to issue permits. The government also decided that
within three months, all civil servants will have declare revenues, bank
accounts, and other assets. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT RATIFIES WATER, BORDER TREATIES WITH GREECE. The
Bulgarian parliament on 28 March ratified an accord with Greece on the
use of water reserves, ending a long-standing dispute between Sofia and
Athens, Reuters reported. Under the accord, Greece is guaranteed 29% of
the average annual water flow of the River Mesta/Nestos, totaling 1.5
billion cubic meters,  over the next 35 years. The opposition refused to
vote on the agreement and accused the government of betraying national
interest by agreeing to deprive some Bulgarian communities in the area
of needed water.  -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN ROUNDUP. Officials from nine Balkan countries agreed on 28
March to hold a conference on regional security and cooperation in
Sofia, AFP reported. The conference is likely to take place in June and
will be attended by the foreign ministers of Albania, Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, and
rump Yugoslavia. In other news, 24 chasa reported that the Bulgarian
government called on former Tsar Simeon II to renounce all claims to the
throne before visiting Bulgaria. Government spokesman Nikola Baltov said
Simeon is expected to "make a clear public statement that he is a loyal
citizen of the Republic of Bulgaria who obeys...the constitution and
laws of the country." The government also said it will ask President
Zhelyu Zhelev to recall the ambassador to Spain, Mihail Petkov, for
inviting Simeon to a National Day reception at the embassy on 3 March.
-- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN ILLEGAL EMIGRANTS PERISH IN ADRIATIC. Some 29 illegal emigrants
perished in the southern Adriatic Sea in an attempt to reach the Italian
coast, international media reported on 28 March, citing Albanian state
radio. The emigrants, among them women and children, had left the
Albanian port of Vlora in one of several boats. Italian coast guards
found the bodies of two Albanians. Illegal traffic to Italy is in the
hands of the local Albanian mafia, which reportedly asks up to $600 for
the passage. -- Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Chrystyna Lapychak

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday
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            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
 
         

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