When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary. - Anonymous
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 79, Part II, 22 April 1996

New OMRI Analytical Briefs:
- "More Than a Cadre Reshuffle:  Nazarbayev Appoints New Head in East
  Kazakhstan," by Bhavna Dave

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
UKRAINE TO BEGIN CLOSING CHORNOBYL. During the G-7 summit meeting on
nuclear safety in Moscow, President Leonid Kuchma told French President
Jacques Chirac that Ukraine will shut down one of Chornobyl's two
working reactors by the end of the year, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 April.
Kuchma also discussed the nuclear power station's closure with Russian
President Boris Yeltsin. G-7 leaders reaffirmed their support for a
financial package worth $3.1 billion in grants and loans to help Ukraine
close Chornobyl by 2000. -- Ustina Markus
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

ARMENIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN UKRAINE. Armenian Foreign Minister Vagan
Papazyan ended a three-day official visit to Ukraine on 20 April, ITAR-
TASS reported. Papazyan met with President Leonid Kuchma, Prime Minister
Yevhen Marchuk, and his Ukrainian counterpart Hennadii Udovenko. Talks
covered a wide range of issues dealing with developing Ukrainian-
Armenian ties. -- Ustina Markus

INTEGRATION COMMITTEE MEETING IN MINSK. The head of the Russian, Kazakh,
Kyrgyz, and Belarusian integration committee Kazakh First Deputy Prime
Minister Nigmatzhan Isingarin was in Minsk to discuss the first series
of documents prepared for the integration process, ITAR-TASS reported on
20 April. Nigmatzhan met with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
who heads the international council for those countries. The documents
included a program for economic and humanitarian integration for 1996,
and the structure and mandate of the integration committee and its costs
for 1996. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIA, CZECH REPUBLIC SIGN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. Estonian Economics
Minister Andres Lipstok and Czech Trade and Industry Minister Vladimir
Dlouhy signed a free trade agreement on 19 April in Tallinn, BNS
reported. President Vaclav Havel who headed a Czech delegation that
completed a week-long trip to the Baltic states the next day noted that
his visit was intended not only to strengthen economic ties between
their countries, but also to stress solidarity with countries having
common goals and aspirations to join NATO and the European Union. --
Saulius Girnius

LATVIA, SLOVAKIA SIGN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. Latvian and Slovak Foreign
Ministers Valdis Birkavs and Juraj Schenk signed a free trade agreement
in Riga on 19 April, BNS reported. The agreement that has to be ratified
by the parliaments of both countries will go into effect from 1 July. In
1995 trade between the two countries was worth some $7.3 million, with
more than two-thirds being Slovak exports to Latvia. Earlier in the
week, Latvia signed a similar free-trade agreement with the Czech
Republic. Birkavs noted that the agreements would promote Latvia's
admission to the Central European Free Trade Agreement which he hoped
would occur next year after Latvia is also admitted to the World Trade
Organization. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH, LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTERS MEET. Polish Prime Minister
Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz met his Lithuanian counterpart Mindaugas
Stankevicius on 19 April in Augustow and Punsk in north-eastern Poland,
near the Lithuanian border. They agreed that the two countries will sign
a free trade agreement in June and accepted the setting up of a working
group of experts on cross-border affairs. They will also soon sign an
agreement on the spelling of names, guaranteeing that the minorities in
each country will be able to write their names according to their own
languages. A Polish-Lithuanian Euroregion of economic cooperation
"Niemen" is to be created, "even if Russian and Belarusian partners
would not be ready," Cimoszewicz said. The Polish side affirmed that
Poland will support Lithuania in its endeavors to join CEFTA and the
European structures. -- Jakub Karpinski

CHANGES IN THE POLISH TV 1 MAY PROGRAM. The new board of public Polish
TV (TVP) begins its operations on 22 April. The program of the country's
most popular channel, TVP1, planned for 1 May, a socialist and communist
holiday, has been changed by its new director Tomasz Siemoniak. His
nomination two month earlier caused a crisis in the TVP management that
led to the dismissal of the TVP board on 28-29 March and the nomination
of a new board on 12 April. Programs on 1 May that were scheduled by the
former TVP management but are now dropped are films on workers' anti-
communist manifestations in 1956 and 1980, Ryszard Bugajski's film
Interrogation about a woman imprisoned in Stalinist times, and a series
on anti-communist emigre writer Jozef Mackiewicz. Siemoniak said that
the program for the 1 May holiday should be lighter, Gazeta Wyborcza
reported. Last year the ruling postcommunist coalition strongly
criticized the anti-communist program aired on 1 May. -- Jakub Karpinski

RESULTS OF SOLANA VISIT TO POLAND. NATO Secretary General Javier Solana
told his Polish hosts on 17-18 April that Poland will be admitted to
NATO and will share all member rights and duties. Solana asserted that
there is no possibility of a limited or "only political" membership for
Poland and, when admitted, the country will be covered by the full
security guarantees of Article 5 of the Washington treaty. "NATO is not
interested in semi-detached members, and we are certainly not interested
in the idea of a political but not military membership in NATO," he
said. According to Solana, NATO will, however, do everything possible to
establish partnership relations with Russia. Solana met President
Aleksander Kwasniewski, Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, and
other officials. He addressed the Polish Atlantic Club and Euroatlantic
Association that are dedicated to Poland's aim of joining NATO, Polish
dailies reported. -- Jakub Karpinski

SLOVAK OFFICIAL ON NATO ENLARGEMENT. Foreign Ministry State Secretary
Jozef Sestak on 21 April said countries not accepted in the first wave
of NATO enlargement must be assured that they will nonetheless become
members of the alliance, Narodna obroda reported the following day. In a
television debate, Sestak agreed that NATO might take in "one or two"
new members first. But other candidates must be given reassurances that
they will also gain membership eventually, he said -- "otherwise,
destabilization will arise." Sestak added that Slovakia is among the
"most fervid" candidates for NATO membership and is on course to join
the alliance. -- Steve Kettle

WORLD BANK OFFICIAL URGES WELFARE REFORM IN HUNGARY. Visiting World Bank
Vice President Johannes F. Linn called for reform of the Hungarian state
health care system and pension funds, Hungarian dailies reported on 22
April. Linn, who is on a three-day visit to discuss a $500 million
credit agreement for Hungary, also called for curbing inflation and
further modernization of the banking sector. According to Linn, reform
of the banking sector should include refining a five-year-old bankruptcy
law to give more power to state banking supervision and winding up
insolvent banks. Part of the World Bank loan would assist with the
restructuring of banks and big state enterprises, while the rest of the
amount, yet undefined, is intended to co-finance welfare reform. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARY, BOSNIA SIGN PACT ON EXTRADITION, CRIME AND TERRORISM. Hungarian
Interior Minister Gabor Kuncze and his visiting Bosnian counterpart Avdo
Hebib signed an agreement on extradition, fighting organized crime, drug
trafficking, and terrorism, Hungarian media reported on 22 April. Kuncze
said the next item on the agenda will be the future of Bosnian refugees
in Hungary. "Hungary is interested in the return of these refugees, but
only on a voluntary basis and when appropriate conditions can be
created," he added. During the visit, Hebib thanked the Hungarian
government for receiving refugees from Bosnia during the war. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BRITISH IFOR REBUFFS KARADZIC. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic
through an aide blasted the decision by British peace keepers to move
their headquarters from Gornji Vakuf to Banja Luka, the major Serb
stronghold in western Bosnia. The aide, Jovan Zametica, telephoned the
British on 20 April to say that Karadzic had not given "his permission"
for the move, Onasa news agency reported the next day. The British
replied: "So what? We're entitled to go where we want... We don't need
his permission." Elsewhere, Bosnian authorities released a group of
Serbian prisoners, including Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic, for lack of war
crimes evidence against them. The government similarly released a group
of Serbian detainees. International media also said that about 800
Muslim and Croat refugees scuffled with some 1,500 Serbs trying to
prevent their return to their homes near Doboj. The area is part of the
Bosnian Serb entity, but the Dayton agreement allows all refugees to go
home. -- Patrick Moore

SLAVONIAN SERB LEADER CONFIRMS LOOTINGS. Goran Hadzic is the new
"interim president" of the Serbs in eastern Slavonia, the last part of
Croatia in rebel Serb hands. He indirectly confirmed reports that one-
third of the Serbs have been carting off property to Serbia, including
goods looted from Croatian homes, Reuters stated on 21 April. Hadzic
said that his main priorities are to "fight crime which has taken on
disturbing proportions" and to stop the ongoing exodus of Serbs. --
Patrick Moore

CROATIAN SERB UPDATE. In Zagreb the small remaining Serb minority on
Croatian-held territory has been forming a number of new organizations
in recent weeks. The latest is an umbrella group, the National Council
of Serbian Organizations (NSSO), Nasa Borba reported on 22 April. That
same day Vecernji list denied that the government is discriminating
against Serbs by cutting off funds to the paper Nas glas. The article
claimed that the paper had taken an anti-Croatian stance, as shown by
reporting stories on alleged atrocities in Krajina last summer. It noted
that other Serbian organizations continue to receive subsidies.
Meanwhile, the Sabor passed a law on cooperation with the war crimes
tribunal in The Hague, Vecernji list said on 20 April. The measure is
expected to facilitate the extradition of suspected war criminals.--
Patrick Moore

SERBIAN OPPOSITION RALLY BECOMES SCENE OF VIOLENCE. Three opposition
parties--the Serbian Renewal Movement, the Democratic Party, and the
Serbian Civic League--organized a rally on 20 April in the town of Novi
Sad which was marred by violence when supporters of Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia forced their way into the
crowd. Nasa Borba on 22 April reported that much of the violence was not
of a serious nature, and that, apart from minor scuffles, quelled when
police intervened to move Milosevic supporters from the scene,
"thankfully nothing more serious erupted." On April 20, however, AFP
reported that witnesses on the scene observed police officers
bludgeoning Miroslav Negrojevic, a legislator and member of the Serbian
Renewal Movement. Estimates suggest that about 10,000 opposition
supporters attended the rally which called for Milosevic's removal from
office. -- Stan Markotich

MONTENEGRIN PREMIER IN U.S. Milo Djukanovic, accompanied by the rump
Yugoslav republic's finance minister, Predrag Goranovic, left for the
United States on 21 April on what local media described as "a working
visit." The two Montenegrin officials are reportedly seeking to reopen
working relations with U.S. based financial institutions. Nasa Borba on
22 April reports that Djukanovic and Goranovic also regard the visit as
a means of reopening and sustaining bilateral talks aimed at "a
normalization" in relations. -- Stan Markotich

SWISS ENVOY TO ROMANIA SUSPECTED OF BEING CAUGHT IN ESPIONAGE WEB.
Romanian and international media reported on 19-20 April that the Swiss
ambassador to Romania, Jean-Pierre Vettovaglia, was summoned home after
investigations revealed a sentimental involvement with a Romanian
journalist who is suspected of being an agent of the Romanian
Intelligence Service (SRI). The journalist, Floriana Jucan, who works
for Evenimentul zilei, denied she was on the SRI payroll, but confirmed
the affair with the Swiss diplomat, who is married. The SRI also denied
that Jucan is on its payroll. Romanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sorin
Ducaru said the ministry regrets the "unpleasant situation" that has
been "intensely exploited in the media" and praised Vettovaglia's
"competence and professionalism" and his contribution to boosting ties
between the two countries. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS PROMISE TO BE SPORTY. Ilie Nastase, the former
Romanian international tennis star, on 19 April officially began his
campaign for mayor of Bucharest as the candidate of the Party of Social
Democracy in Romania (PDSR), local and international media report. At
his side was Nadia Comaneci, the former Olympic gold medal gymnast.
Comaneci arrived in Bucharest for her marriage on 27 April to U.S.
gymnast Bart Conner. Adrian Nastase, the executive chairman of the PDSR
(no kin of Ilie) will act as best man in what many political observers
believe to be an attempt to boost his party's electoral chances in the
autumn general elections. Other sport stars have also been recruited by
political parties as candidates in the local elections. Emerich Jenei, a
former coach of Romania's and Hungary's national soccer teams, is
running for mayor of Oradea on the list of the Democratic Party and
Gheorghe Raducanu, once the star goal-keeper of Bucharest Rapid, is the
candidate of the Democratic Agrarian Party in one of the capital's
districts. -- Michael Shafir

NATO OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA. Gebhardt von Moltke, NATO Assistant General
Secretary for Political Affairs, on 21 April was received by Foreign
Minister Teodor Melescanu, Romanian television announced on the same
day. They discussed NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, Romania's
relations with NATO and its participation in the Partnership for Peace
program. Melescanu reiterated Romania's aspiration to be received in the
organization in the "first wave" of new members. Von Moltke will chair a
meeting of the NATO Cooperation Council opening in Sinaia on 22 April.
-- Michael Shafir

RUSSIAN TROOPS IN THE TRANSDNIESTER TO BE REDUCED? Citing sources close
to the Russian troops command in the Transdniester, BASA-press reported
on 20 April that the troops will be reduced by 60% this summer. The cuts
are to be carried out at the orders of the Russian chief of staff, Gen.
Mikhail Kolesnikov. The agency said that as a result of these
directives, General Valerii Yevnevich could be replaced with a lower-
ranking officer as commander of the Russian troops in the Transdniester
and be promoted to a higher post in Moscow. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY DISCUSSES AGRICULTURE POLITICS. The BSP and
its coalition partners -- the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union
"Aleksandar Stamboliyski" and the Political Club Ekoglasnost -- on 21
April discussed the government's agriculture politics, Duma reported.
Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Svetoslav Shivarov said
that securing sufficient grain production is one of the main problems
this year. Many participants of the meeting criticized the government,
saying the farmers had lost faith in it for failing to resolve the
problems of agriculture which impoverished them. Boncho Rashkov,
chairman of the parliamentary agriculture commission, said the
government will fall if the agriculture ministry does not change its
policy. -- Stefan Krause

WHO WILL BE THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS?
Prime Minister and Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Zhan
Videnov said the BSP candidate in the upcoming presidential elections
must be "strong, and not a figure expressing an inner-party compromise,"
Duma reported on 22 April. Videnov told a party meeting in Sofia on 20
April that the candidate must remain "faithful to himself" after winning
the elections. According to Standart, one third of the BSP organizations
favor the candidacy of Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski. Problems could
arise from the fact that Pirinski was born in the U.S., and the
Constitutional Court might be asked to clarify whether this constitutes
an obstacle to his candidacy. Under the Bulgarian constitution, people
holding dual citizenship can not run for parliament or for president. --
Stefan Krause

BANK ROBBERS STEAL $300,000 IN ALBANIA. Unidentified culprits robbed the
National Trade Bank in Vlora of $300,000 on 18 April, Albania reported.
They injured a guard and teller during the robbery. It was the third
professional robbery in Vlora this year. Earlier victims of hold-ups
involved the local branches of the Savings Bank and the company VEFA. In
unrelated news two Albanians were killed by starving wolves when
attempting to illegally cross the border to Greece. Five others escaped
the wolves by hiding in trees for two days. They were eventually rescued
by Albanian border guards, international agencies reported. -- Fabian
Schmidt

ITALIAN PRESIDENT VISITS ALBANIA. Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
visited Albania on 19 April, Reuters reported. He pledged support for
Albania's integration into Europe and Italian help for an association
treaty with the EU. Concerning economic cooperation Scalfaro pointed out
that more than 500 Italian companies are active in Albania. Albanian
President Sali Berisha thanked Scalfaro for Italy's contributions to
Albania's transition and said the meeting had produced good results.
Scalfaro attended the opening ceremonies of a stretch of highway and a
drinking water system, the latter funded by the Italian government with
some $23 million. Italy has made available about 300 billion lira ($185
million) in aid and investments to Albania since 1992 and is considered
Albania's main trading partner. Outside the president's palace, police
arrested a man from Fushe Kruje who threatened to commit suicide with a
hand grenade unless he was allowed to speak to Berisha. -- Fabian
Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Saulius Girnius

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