The last of the human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's way. - Victor Frankl
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 74, Part II, 15 April 1996

New OMRI Analytical Briefs:
- "Amnesty International on Turkmenistan:  Words for Deaf Ears?," by
  Lowell Bezanis
- "Improving Czech-Polish Relations," by Jiri Pehe

Available on 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN AID CONFERENCE CLOSES. Representatives of 55 countries and 26
international organizations ended a two-day session in Brussels on 13
April, having secured the necessary $1.2 billion in additional
reconstruction aid pledges, Onasa reported. Bosnian Serb representatives
were not present because they refused to join a Bosnian delegation that
included federal officials. The international community's High
Representative Carl Bildt said the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic
should be arrested because it is "not acceptable" that indicted war
criminals continue to move about freely, Western news agencies noted.
The Bosnian Serbs will receive a share of the aid, but it will be linked
to their support for the Dayton agreement, Nasa Borba reported on 15
April. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE PLEAS FOR MORE CASH FOR CHORNOBYL. Ukrainian Finance Minister
Petro Hermanchuk on 14 April appealed to the EBRD board meeting in Sofia
to lend more money to Ukraine for the expansion of its energy sector,
RFE/RL reported. Ukraine's 15 nuclear reactors produce 40% of the
nation's electricity, and the country is currently completing an
additional five reactors. The EBRD is considering granting $1 billion to
Ukraine to enable the completion of the Khmelnitski and Rivne reactors.
-- Peter Rutland

BLACK SEA FLEET MANEUVERS. For the first time in two years, ships from
the Russian Black Sea Fleet put to sea to conduct a large-scale
exercise, NTV reported on 13 April. Fleet commander Admiral Viktor
Kravchenko told a press conference that the exercise will involve 46
ships in mine clearing and live firing drills. It is to culminate on 19
April with a marine landing. Ukrainian observers were present, but
vessels from the Ukrainian fleet were not involved. The maneuvers
coincide with the arrival in Kyiv on 15 April of NATO Secretary-General
Javier de Solana at the beginning of his 12-nation tour of Eastern
Europe. -- Peter Rutland

BELARUS DEFENDS FINANCIAL POLICY. Valyantsin Vasilevich, deputy head of
the Belarus National Bank, said on 13 April that Belarus may introduce a
fixed exchange rate within several months, RFE/RL reported. Valentin was
speaking at a meeting of the EBRD board in Sofia. The IMF has suspended
lending to Belarus, partly because it accuses the National Bank of
preventing the Belarusian ruble from depreciating. Meanwhile, the head
of the Belarus parliament, Syamyon Sharetsky, told a press conference
that preparations are under way for the creation of an
interparliamentary assembly between Belarus and Russia, Russian
Television reported on 14 April. A document should be ready for
ratification by the two parliaments by the end of the month. -- Peter
Rutland

LITHUANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER WANTS TO QUIT RULING PARTY. Linas
Linkevicius is planning to quit the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party
(LDPP), Lithuanian Radio and Reuters reported. No reason has been given
for his decision, which comes only two days before NATO Secretary-
General Javier de Solana's visit to Lithuania. If he leaves the party,
Linkevicius will also have to vacate his ministerial post, a government
source told Reuters. The LDPP, the successor to the Lithuanian Communist
Party, recently survived a government crisis that led to the resignation
of Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius. It is expected to suffer a defeat
in the October general elections. -- Jiri Pehe

CZECH PRESIDENT VISITS BALTIC STATES. Vaclav Havel departed for a visit
to Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia on the weekend. The heads of those
three states all visited Prague in late 1994 to meet with Havel. Before
his departure, Havel told journalists that "all states should have the
right to decide where their place is [internationally]. This should no
longer be decided by the army headquarters of big powers." In an
interview with the Latvian daily Diena on 13 April, Havel said the aim
of his visit is "to express our solidarity with the three Baltic States
and to contribute to a further deepening of bilateral relations." Havel
arrived in Riga on 14 April where he was met by Prime Minister Andris
Skele. -- Jiri Pehe

PRESIDENT OF POLISH PUBLIC TV APPOINTED. The Supervisory Council of
Polish Public TV on 12 April appointed Ryszard Miazek as TVP president,
Polish dailies reported. Miazek is supported by the coalition Polish
Peasant Party. Since two other board members are supported by the ruling
Democratic Left Alliance, the coalition now has a majority on the 5-
member board. TVP management recently experienced a crisis when TVP1
director Maciej Pawlicki was dismissed and former TVP President Wieslaw
Walendziak resigned. Both men were accused by the ruling coalition of
opposition sympathies. The opposition saw them as guaranteeing the
independence of TVP. -- Jakub Karpinski

SOLIDARITY GAINS SUPPORT. In an opinion poll conducted in March by the
Sopot Social Research Bureau, the trade union Solidarity received 17% of
the vote, up one percentage point on the previous month. The Movement
for Poland's Reconstruction, the Christian-National Alliance, the Non-
Party Bloc of Support for Reforms (created to back former President Lech
Walesa), the Freedom Union, and even the Labor Union -- which is opposed
to Solidarity's anti-communist stance -- have declared their wish to
establish an alliance with Solidarity for the 1997 parliamentary
elections. But the leaders of those parties have stressed they would
have difficulties forging an alliance with the other right-wing parties,
Rzeczpospolita reported on 15 April. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND TO JOINTLY MODERNIZE AIR FORCES. The Czech and
Polish defense and foreign ministers, meeting in the Czech town of
Vyskov on 13 April, agreed to create a Czech-Polish commission tasked
with recommending how to jointly modernize the two countries' air
forces, Czech media reported. Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec
said after the meeting that the commission will focus on the possible
joint purchases of airplanes and weapons as well as cooperation in the
aircraft industry and air traffic control. International media last week
reported that the Czech Republic and Poland are considering buying
jointly Western-made fighter jets. -- Jiri Pehe

DELEGATION FROM EUROPEAN JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION IN SLOVAKIA. A
delegation from the European Journalists Association (EJA), led by
Chairman Athanase Papandropoulos and Secretary-General Miguel Angel
Aguilar, concluded a three-day visit to Slovakia on 14 April, TASR
reported. The press office of the Slovak cabinet invited the EJA to come
on a fact-finding mission after the association passed a resolution
critical of Slovakia at its congress in Malta last fall. The delegation
was received by Deputy Prime Minister Katharina Tothova, other
government officials, and the heads of various media organizations.
Slovak journalist and EJA representative in Slovakia Juraj Alner,
however, was excluded from meetings with Slovak officials. The EJA
delegation refused to attend a gathering, headed by Culture Minister
Ivan Hudec, to which Alner had not been invited. It later issued an open
letter saying, "We came to learn about relations between authorities and
the media. The first impression was not very good." -- Jiri Pehe

ROMANI-SLOVAK DICTIONARY LAUNCHED. Slovak Culture Minister Ivan Hudec
and Archbishop of Bratislava Jan Sokol attended a reception introducing
what has been called a "unique" Romani-Slovak dictionary, TASR reported
on 11 April. Also present were other state and Church officials as well
as Romani representatives. The dictionary contains the 15,000 words most
frequently used by Roma in Slovakia, detailing from which of the several
Slovensko-Romani and Vlax-Romani dialects they originate. -- Alaina
Lemon

HUNGARY, POLAND SAY RUSSIA CANNOT VETO THEIR NATO PLANS. Hungarian Prime
Minister Gyula Horn and his visiting Polish counterpart, Wlodzimierz
Cimoszewicz, have said they will not let Russia interfere with their
plans to join NATO, Hungarian and international media reported. "We have
to take into account Russia's position, but we agreed that Russia cannot
veto our NATO membership," Horn said. He added that expansion of the
military alliance will strengthen rather than weaken security in Eastern
Europe. Cimoszewicz, who was on his first official visit to Budapest,
noted that Moscow's problem is "not NATO's expansion but NATO itself."
The two premiers nonetheless stressed the importance of further dialogue
with Russia. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

BUDAPEST STOCK EXCHANGE ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT. Zsigmond Jarai, head of
the Hungarian Credit Bank, was elected president of the Exchange Council
of the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE) on 12 April, Hungarian media
reported. Jarai plans to reorganize the BSE, have Hungarian shares
listed on international exchanges, and introduce foreign securities on
the Budapest market. Jarai defeated former Finance Minister Lajos Bokros
by a small margin. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN MUSLIM ELECTION CAMPAIGN BEGINS. President Alija Izetbegovic on
13 April kicked off his election campaign and made his first major
public appearance since his hospitalization earlier this year,
Oslobodjenje reported on 15 April. Speaking at a stadium at Zenica, he
lashed out at former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic, who on 13 April
formally launched his non-nationalist Party for Bosnia-Herzegovina. A
recent poll suggested that Silajdzic would defeat the president in an
election among urban Muslims, and Izetbegovic has warned that the new
party could split the Muslim vote in the elections due by this fall. At
Zenica, Izetbegovic said his critics refuse to give him and his party
credit for what are really massive achievements. Bosnian Croat leader
and federal President Kresimir Zubak said the same day that Izetbegovic
must be brought into talks aimed at shoring up the shaky Croat-Muslim
federation, Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on 15 April. -- Patrick Moore

BRCKO REFUGEES WANT TO GO HOME. Up to 15,000 mainly Muslim refugees from
the strategic northern Bosnian town of Brcko held a protest on federal
territory to the south on 15 April, Western news agencies reported.
Brcko controls the narrow corridor linking Serbia with Bosnian Serb
territories around Banja Luka. Its fate will be decided later by
international arbitration. Pale has settled many Serbs from Sarajevo
there this year in the hope of influencing the mediators' decision.
Mayor Munib Jusufovic said arbitration will be feasible only when the
people of Brcko have been allowed to go home, a message echoed by
Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic. Meanwhile in Tuzla, the first phase
of on-site inquiries into atrocities was concluded on 14 April, Onasa
reported. The UN experts returned to The Hague but declined to comment
on their findings. -- Patrick Moore

INTERNATIONAL HELSINKI FEDERATION ACCUSES SERBIA OF VIOLENCE IN KOSOVO.
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) on 12 April
urged the EU and the OSCE to "consider the current state of human rights
for Kosovo Albanians who continue to live under repression that is
utterly at variance with European and OSCE standards." The EU has stated
that its requirements for recognition of rump Yugoslavia include "full
respect for human [and] minority rights [and] the granting of a large
degree of autonomy for ...Kosovo." The IHF pointed out that these
requirements have not been met, saying there were 2,666 reported cases
of "severe mistreatment and torture in Serbian police custody" in 1995.
Meanwhile, Kosovar shadow state Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi urged the
U.S. to "continue not to recognize rump Yugoslavia." Bukoshi arrived in
the U.S. on 15 April, AFP reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT IN CROATIA. Kiro Gligorov met with his Croatian
counterpart, Franjo Tudjman, in Zagreb on 12 April, Reuters reported.
Both presidents ruled out a new union of former Yugoslav republics but
stressed the need for political and economic ties. "We oppose pre-set
formulas of a union, federation or confederation of former Yugoslav
republics," Gligorov said. He pointed out that the Balkans have had
"bitter experience with such political formations." Gligorov said all
partners should be equal and should build political, economic, and
cultural relations among themselves on a voluntary basis. Gligorov was
making his first trip abroad since he was injured in a car bomb attack
last fall. Unlike Macedonia, Croatia has not recognized rump Yugoslavia
owing to the continued dispute over the division of Yugoslav-era assets
and debts among the successor states as well as other issues. -- Fabian
Schmidt

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA. Qian Qichen and Macedonian
President Kiro Gligorov on 14 April agreed to promote economic exchanges
between their two countries, AFP reported. Qian also met with Prime
Minister Branko Crvenkovski. The two sides agreed to establish a joint
committee to develop exchanges. They also plan to sign soon accords on
protecting investments and avoiding double taxation. In October 1993,
China was one of the first countries to recognize Macedonia under the
name of Republic of Macedonia, despite Greek objections. -- Fabian
Schmidt

GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER CONCLUDES VISIT TO ROMANIA. Volker Ruehe on 12
April said it is only "natural" that the 12 states that have applied for
NATO membership cannot be accepted at the same time, Romanian media
reported. Asked what Romania should do to advance its chances, Ruehe
replied "more of the same." During his visit, he met with President Ion
Iliescu, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, and his Romanian
counterpart, Gheorghe Tinca. In Sibiu, he expressed satisfaction at the
situation of Romania's German minority. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIA, HUNGARY MAKE PROGRESS ON BASIC TREATY? Hungarian Ambassador to
Bucharest Ferenc Szocs on 12 April said he is optimistic that the basic
treaty between Romania and Hungary will soon be concluded, Adevarul
reported. Szocs said Romania has now agreed to the inclusion of
Recommendation 1201 in the treaty but that agreement still has to be
reached on how to include it. Szocs also said that other unresolved
issues are the Magyar minority's right to use its own language in
official contexts and setting up a joint commission to supervise the
implementation of the treaty. -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN DELEGATION AT CIS SUMMIT. The Moldovan delegation to the CIS
summit meeting in Moscow on 12 April took part in discussions on
cooperation in 1996, particularly on setting up a customs and payments
union, Infotag reported. The group, however, was not present at talks on
military and border defense issues. Premier Andrei Sangheli headed the
delegation. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN SUPREME COURT REVOKES SENTENCES OF PRE-COMMUNIST LEGISLATORS.
The Bulgarian Supreme Court has rehabilitated legislators who were
sentenced by the communist-era People's Court for high treason and
cooperation with foreign powers during the war. Of the 124 legislators
sentenced, 67 were given the death penalty, Demokratsija reported on 13
April. Bulgaria was an ally of Nazi Germany from 1941-1944 before the
Communists took power. In 1994, the Supreme Court rehabilitated nine
journalists, publishers, and lawyers sentenced by the People's Court. --
Fabian Schmidt

EBRD MEETING IN SOFIA. At a meeting of the board of governors of the
EBRD beginning in Sofia on 15 April, the 57 shareholding governments are
expected to double the ERBD's annual capital from $12.7 million to $25.4
million. Hans-Peter Lankes, a EBRD chief economist, said prior to the
meeting that Bulgaria "is one of the riskiest foreign investment sites"
in Eastern Europe, RFE/RL reported. EBRD Bulgarian director Oliver
Descamps said the country has the legal framework to attract foreign
investment, but he pointed out that the government has "obviously not
been able to reach any form of mutual agreement" with major potential
foreign investors. Nonetheless, he praised Sofia's policy of learning
from the experience of the Czech Republic in drawing up regulations for
its mass privatization program based on coupons. -- Fabian Schmidt

POLISH PRESIDENT IN BULGARIA. Aleksander Kwasniewski and his Bulgarian
counterpart, Zhelyu Zhelev, meeting in Sofia on 13 April, said they both
oppose a "new edition of the Soviet Union, whatever its form," AFP
reported. They called for NATO enlargement, despite Russian objections.
Bulgaria has been highly critical of Russian President Boris Yeltsin's
invitation to join a union of former Soviet states that includes Russia,
Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Kwasniewski pointed out that "no
other state, great or small, can impose conditions for joining NATO."
While Zhelev supports Bulgaria's speedy membership in NATO, the
socialist government has not yet applied. Bulgaria is a member of the
Partnership for Peace program. -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN ELECTION COMMISSION BANS ANOTHER 35 CANDIDATES. The government
commission vetting candidates for the parliamentary elections has banned
35 Socialists--including deputy leader Servet Pellumbi and Secretary-
General Gramoz Ruci--from taking part. The commission last week
prohibited the participation of six members of the Democratic Alliance.
The ruling Democratic Party daily Rilindja Demokratike on 13 April
published the names of the banned candidates under the title "The Red
Front, the Front of Spies." Seven of the Socialist candidates have been
banned because they were ministers in communist-era governments, while
27 are allegedly former secret police members or informers. The writer
Dritero Agolli has been banned from participating because he is a former
member of the Central Committee of the Albanian Labor Party. Democratic
Alliance leader Neritan Ceka charged that President Sali Berisha is
using the commission to weaken his opponents in the elections. -- Fabian
Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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