You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 89, Part II, 07 May 1996


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Note to readers: Due to the observance of a Czech holiday, the OMRI
Daily Digest will not appear on Wednesday, 8 May 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

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BELARUSIAN ROUNDUP. The trial of opposition leader Yuriy Khadyka began
in Minsk on 6 May, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Khadyka has been
charged with causing public disorder for his part in the 26 April
demonstrations. He faces up to three years in jail if found guilty and
has been on a hunger strike since his arrest. Khadyka's lawyer said no
journalists or spectators were allowed into the courtroom. She added
that she was told to sign a declaration promising not to reveal details
of the proceedings. UNIAR reported on 4 May that members of the
Ukrainian nationalist organization UNA-UNSO who were sentenced to 30
days detention for their role in the demonstrations have also started a
hunger strike. -- Ustina Markus

CRIMEAN UPDATE. Crimea celebrated Constitution Day on 6 May, which marks
the anniversary of the passage of the 1992 separatist constitution,
ITAR-TASS and Russian TV reported. That basic law was annulled by Kyiv
last year. The Republican Party of Crimea issued a statement condemning
Kyiv for stripping the peninsula of its powers and leaving it in control
only of its police force, television, and economy. The party also noted
there were forces that wanted to turn Crimea into a national state for
Crimean Tatars. In other news, 2,150 cases of hepatitis "A" have been
reported in Sevastopol since the beginning of the year. The main reason
for the spread of the disease is the poor quality of Sevastopol's
drinking water. More than 300 km of water pipes in the city need to be
changed or repaired. No fewer than 95 accidents occurred along them in
the first quarter of the year. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON EU. Hennadii Udovenko told EU and
Ukrainian officials in Kyiv that Ukraine's strategic goal is to become a
full-fledged member of the EU, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 May. He said this
will be possible only once Ukraine has became economically "strong." He
called on the EU to help the country not only in its fiscal and
technical planning but also in expanding trade with EU countries. --
Ustina Markus

BLACK SEA MERCHANT VESSELS HELD IN PORTS WORLDWIDE PENDING DEBT
PAYMENTS. Twenty-six vessels from the Black Sea Merchant Fleet are being
held in various ports throughout the world over the company's debts,
ITAR-TASS reported on 6 May. The company owes more than  $207 million.
The Odessa has been held in Naples for more than a year, and its crew
has  begun a hunger strike in protest over non-payment of wages. The
Indira Ghandi has been held in the Suez Canal since last August and is
without electricity supplies. A meeting of Transport Ministry officials
is to be held in Odessa in mid-May to solve the shipping company's
problems, but any financial assistance will depend on municipal budget
revenues. -- Ustina Markus

ICELAND'S PREMIER VISITS ESTONIA. David Oddsson told Estonian Prime
Minister Tiit Vahi in Tallinn on 6 May that while Iceland has no
objections to visa-free relations with Estonia, such an arrangement
would have to be coordinated with other Nordic countries, ETA reported.
He added that Estonia would first have to ratify the European refugee
convention and pledge to step up its fight against crime. Vahi said his
Finnish counterpart, Paavo Lipponen, has confirmed that visa-free travel
between Finland and Estonia will probably be introduced in 1997. Oddsson
agreed with Vahi's suggestion that visa-free travel with Iceland begin
at same time. The two leaders also discussed trade relations and the
results of the recent Visby summit meeting. Before leaving Tallinn,
Oddsson met with President Lennart Meri and parliamentary chairman
Toomas Savi. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIAN AGRICULTURE MINISTER SACKED. Prime Minister Andris Skele on 6
May dismissed Alberts Kauls for calling the government's farm policies
"destructive" at a meeting with farmers in Skrunda three days earlier,
BNS reported. Skele, who reportedly was not pleased with Kauls's work,
had called the farming bill drafted by the Agriculture Ministry
"catastrophic." Kauls said his dismissal was a deliberate attempt to
"squeeze out" the Unity Party, which he heads, from the ruling
coalition. Skele appointed Economics Minister Guntis Krasts as interim
agriculture minister and asked the Unity Party to propose a successor to
Kauls. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA, RUSSIAN PREMIERS MEET IN VISBY. Mindaugas Stankevicius and
Viktor Chernomyrdin primarily discussed economic matters at their
meeting in Visby on 3 May, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reported two days
later. Stankevicius was surprised by Chernomyrdin's unexpected proposal
that the two countries sign an oil transit agreement that could result
in Russia abandoning its plans to build oil terminals in Kaliningrad and
St. Petersburg. Responding to Stankevicius's comment that most illegal
Asian immigrants to Lithuania have Russian visas, Chernomyrdin said they
were probably forged. -- Saulius Girnius

MINSK PROTESTS ANTI-BELARUSIAN DEMONSTRATION IN POLAND. The Belarusian
Embassy in Warsaw on 6 May protested to Poland's Foreign Ministry over a
demonstration on May Day outside the Belarus consulate in the Polish
northeastern town of Bialystok, Polish press reported. Some 50 people
protested the crackdown on journalists in Belarus, and one demonstrator
burned a portrait of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Among
the protesters were representatives of Poland's leftist Labor Union
party as well as members of the country's Belarusian minority. Minsk
expressed "astonishment" that the Polish authorities refrained from
taking action against the demonstrators. Meanwhile, Warsaw and President
Aleksander Kwasniewski have declined to comment on the incident. --
Dagmar Mroziewicz

UPDATE ON OLEKSY ESPIONAGE CASE. Poland's chief military prosecutor on 6
May instructed several state prosecutors to review the results of the
investigation into espionage allegations against former Prime Minister
Jozef Oleksy. Last month, Col. Slawomir Gorzkiewicz, who headed the
investigation, confirmed it had been closed after no evidence could be
found that Oleksy passed on information to the intelligence services of
a foreign country. Gazeta Wyborcza on 7 May quoted Justice Minister
Leszek Kubicki as saying that this is a routine check. Oleksy rejected
all accusations but resigned as premier when the investigation was
launched. He said the accusations, which came in the wake of former
President Lech Walesa's failure to be re-elected, were politically
motivated. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

POLISH CABINET CONSIDERS CHANGING ANTI-TERRORIST LAW. Poland is
considering tightening the country's anti-terrorist law following the
bomb attack last month on a Shell gas station in Warsaw (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 6 May 1996). Polish government spokeswoman Aleksandra Jakubowska
on 6 May said that an investigation has been launched and that the
government is "concerned" about the incident. She added that if it were
concluded that similar incidents could recur, "legal and organizational
measures will certainly be taken," Rzeczpospolita reported on 7 May. --
Dagmar Mroziewicz

SLOVAK PRESIDENT SIGNS TREATY WITH HUNGARY. Michal Kovac on 6 May signed
the Slovak-Hungarian treaty, Slovak and international media reported.
The treaty was signed by Prime Ministers Vladimir Meciar and Gyula Horn
in March 1995 and ratified by the Hungarian parliament last June. The
Slovak parliament ratified it in March this year, but it was submitted
to Kovac only on 2 May amid continuing discussions between the two
countries' Foreign Ministries over the interpretation of the treaty's
provisions on protecting minority rights. The date and place for the
final exchange of documents still have to be agreed, but Praca on 7 May
quoted a Slovak Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the remaining steps
before the treaty comes into force will proceed normally. -- Steve
Kettle

HUNGARY'S SOCIAL SECURITY DEFICIT SET TO SOAR. The Hungarian Finance
Ministry estimates that the country's social security deficit will
amount to 41.3 billion forints by year's end, Magyar Hirlap reported on
7 May. This amount is well above the 17.8 billion forints laid down by
the IMF as a condition for releasing a $300 million standby credit. The
ministry says, however, that the effects of such a large deficit will be
mitigated by a budget deficit that is expected to be below the initial
projection. It is now estimated that the deficit will be 3.9% of GDP in
1996. Following the departure of Finance Minister Lajos Bokros, who was
a strong advocate of radical social welfare reform, the government has
still not revealed a plan to reduce the social security deficit. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

FIRST BOSNIAN WAR CRIMES TRIAL BEGINS. The trial of the Bosnian Serb
prison worker Dusan Tadic began at the Hague-based International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on 7 May, international and
local media reported. This is the first war crimes trial since the ones
at Nuremberg and Tokyo, and Tadic was the first indicted war criminal to
be arrested and sent to The Hague. The International Herald Tribune the
previous day quoted a senior Western diplomat as saying that "Tadic is
nothing.... It is doubtful that this trial will make much of an impact."
The man in the dock is accused of killing, raping, and torturing, but he
held no major position in either the army, the civilian apparatus, or
the concentration camp system. Many observers doubt that any major war
criminals will ever be brought to justice. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERB SOCIALIST LEADER SAYS KARADZIC IS BEHIND BOMBINGS. The
political rifts among the Bosnian Serbs continue to deepen. Dragutin
Ilic, leader of the Socialist Party,  which is an ally of Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic, accused Bosnian Serb civilian leader
Radovan Karadzic of being responsible for a campaign of violence against
the opposition. Karadzic allegedly is to blame for intimidation, bomb
attacks, and sabotage in the run-up to the September elections, Reuters
quoted Tanjug as saying on 6 May. Meanwhile, the power struggle between
Karadzic and his loyalists in Pale, on the one hand, and the Banja Luka
leadership, on the other, has intensified, AFP reported on 7 May. Banja
Luka was known to the UN as "the heart of darkness" during the war
because of the Serbs' ruthlessness in conducting "ethnic cleansing" and
in destroying historical mosques. But the leadership there has since
tried to portray itself as a moderate alternative to the men in Pale.
Karadzic controls the police in Banja Luka and has used death threats
and intimidation against local leaders. Finally, the Sarajevo bi-weekly
magazine Slobodna Bosna reported that Karadzic held a secret meeting
with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman in Herzegovina last week. --
Patrick Moore

CROATIA CHARGES BOSNIANS WITH TERRORISM. Croatian Public Prosecutor
Drago Marcinel has formally charged five Bosnians with planning to kill
former Bihac pocket kingpin Fikret Abdic, who now lives in Rijeka, Novi
list reported on 6 May. A sixth man, a Croat, is accused of aiding
"international terrorism." The prosecutor said that they were acting on
orders from Bihac state security chief Ejub Ikic and were promised DM
100,000 for the murder. The Bosnian authorities have repeatedly denied
the accusations and suggested that the Croats and Abdic manufactured the
incident as a publicity stunt to promote Abdic's political comeback. --
Patrick Moore

BELGRADE-ZAGREB HIGHWAY RE-OPENS. Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic
has announced that the main highway between Belgrade and Zagreb will be
re-opened for civilian traffic on 7 May, Nasa Borba reported. The
highway was closed to private vehicles in 1991 when the war broke out.
The re-opening marks the beginning of concrete efforts aimed at the
peaceful reintegration of the Serb-held areas of eastern Slavonia,
Baranja, and western Srijem into Croatia. The Adriatic pipeline is also
expected to be re-opened soon. Meanwhile, the Croatian government on 6
May adopted a program of peaceful reintegration, Hina reported. It also
approved a law granting an amnesty to rebel Serbs in Eastern Slavonia
who committed criminal offenses other than war crimes. The law is
scheduled to take effect by 15 July. U.S. Gen. Jacques Klein, the UN
transitional administrator for eastern Slavonia, also attended the
session and said later that the reintegration of occupied areas could be
expected to be completed by mid-1997. -- Daria Sito Sucic

BELGRADE PROPOSES ELECTORAL REFORM. The ruling Socialist Party of Serbia
has proposed legislative amendments increasing the number of federal
electoral districts to 27 in Serbia and 12 in Montenegro and stipulating
that each party gain a minimum of 25% of the vote in a district to
qualify for parliamentary representation, Tanjug reported. Under
existing legislation, a party needs to win only 5% of the vote to hold a
seat. Opposition parties allege that the amendments are designed to keep
them out of office and will benefit the SPS and its allies. -- Stan
Markotich

KOSOVAR LEADER ADVOCATES CONFEDERATION WITH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Adem
Demaci, head of the Kosovo Human Rights Council, has said that it is
"imperative" for the Kosovar leadership to open talks with Serbia and
Montenegro on forming a "confederal Balkan community" in the event that
Kosovo gains independence. He pointed out that the recent outbreak of
violence in the region shows the need for urgent talks, adding that "We
have to do all we can to prevent an escalation [of the conflict]."
Demaci also called on the international community to force Belgrade to
the negotiating table. He rejected the idea of autonomy for Kosovo, AFP
reported on 6 May. -- Fabian Schmidt

CROATIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST ACCUSED OF WORKING FOR COMMUNIST SECRET
POLICE. Vjesnik, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Croatian
Democratic Community, has accused human rights activist Ivan Zvonimir
Cicak of working for the former Yugoslav secret police after 1966. The
Croatian Journalists Association, the Croatian PEN Center, and all non-
government organizations and media have protested the accusation. Cicak
was imprisoned by the former Yugoslav regime for alleged Croatian
nationalist activities. The Vjesnik article is seen as part of an
ongoing campaign against opposition figures in Croatia. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

ROMANIAN LOCAL ELECTION UPDATE. Opposition leaders have accused the
ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania of setting up bureaucratic
hurdles to prevent opposition candidates from registering for the 2 June
local elections, Romanian media reported. Ziua quoted a representative
of the Liberal Party '93 as saying that some election officials have
illegally demanded police clearance from candidates to discourage them
from taking part in the elections. Harassment and intimidation of
candidates have also been reported. In a separate development, the BBC
rejected accusations by Chamber of Deputies Chairman Adrian Nastase that
it is meddling in the Romanian election campaign by openly favoring the
opposition. Nastase has asked the National Audio-Visual Council, the
country's media watchdog, to investigate BBC reporting practices. -- Dan
Ionescu

MOLDOVA, RUSSIA RESUME TALKS ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL. Talks between Moldova
and Russia on the withdrawal of Russian troops in Moldova's breakaway
Dniester region resumed in Chisinau on 6 May, Moldovan and international
agencies reported. Defense and Foreign Ministry officials took part in
the negotiations, which have been deadlocked since February 1995.
Meanwhile, Yurii Karlov, the Russian presidential special envoy to the
Chisinau-Tiraspol talks, told Moldovan President Mircea Snegur that
Boris Yeltsin firmly intends to abide by the 1992 Moldovan-Russian
agreement ending the military conflict in the region. He added that
Yeltsin will consider signing an interim document stipulating the basic
principles of a conflict settlement that provides for Moldova's
territorial integrity. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT APPEALS FOR UNITY ON NATO MEMBERSHIP. Zhelyu Zhelev-
-speaking at a military parade on 6 May, which is St. George's Day in
Bulgaria--appealed to the public to support the idea of Bulgaria's
joining NATO, Bulgarian media reported. He noted that NATO membership is
"one issue that should not prove divisive" but, on the contrary, should
"unite us." Zhelev also said that NATO membership "would increase our
chances of solving national security problems." The government, led by
the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), seems to be in favor of closer ties
to Moscow, which is against NATO expansion. -- Stan Markotich

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             SUBSCRIBING/UNSUBSCRIBING
1) Compose a message to LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
2) To subscribe, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L FirstName LastName (include your own name)
   To unsubscribe, write:
     UNSUBSCRIBE OMRI-L
3) Send the message

                                  REPRINT POLICY
To receive a copy of OMRI's reprint policy, contact OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
or see the Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

                              OTHER OMRI PUBLICATIONS
TRANSITION
OMRI publishes the biweekly journal TRANSITION, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ


ECONOMIC DIGEST
The OMRI Economic Digest is for those who need more detailed economic
news from the region.  There is a four-week free trial subscription
available; for more information, write ECON@OMRI.CZ or go to the
Economic Digest Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Econ/Info.html


RUSSIAN DAILY DIGEST
The OMRI Daily Digest is translated into Russian and distributed the
following day.
1) Compose a message to MAJORDOMO@DEMOS.SU
2) In the body of the message, write SUBSCRIBE OMRI 
   (be sure to replace  with your own name).
3) Send the message
 
         

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole