Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. - Nathaniel Hawthorne
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 144, Part II, 26 July 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

TWO ACCIDENTS AT UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR PLANT KILL WORKER, RELEASE RADIATION.
Two accidents at the Khmelnytsky nuclear power plant on 25 July killed
an employee and leaked radiation inside the station, Western and
Ukrainian agencies reported the same day. The incidents occurred as the
station's only working reactor was being tested for a planned restart
since it was shut down on 20 April for maintenance. One employee
sustained fatal injuries and burns when a steam pipe burst during the
testing. Several hours later, radioactive water leaked into a nitrogen
storage area after workers failed to make a safety check. Plant managers
said radioactive contamination was limited to inside the plant and that
the leaks measured level three on the IAEA's seven-level scale for
nuclear accidents. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINE OPENS INSTALLATION TO DISMANTLE SS-19s. Ukraine will open a
facility on 26 July to dismantle and "neutralize" the 130 SS-19
intermediate-range ballistic missiles left on its territory by the
collapse of the Soviet Union, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 July. The
facility is located at the Yuzhmash plant in Dnepropetrovsk where the
Soviet giant SS-18 missile was built. Sources in the Ukrainian Defense
Ministry told the agency that the facility would be able to process four
missiles per month. The U.S. provided financial support for the project.
-- Doug Clarke

BELARUSIAN PARTIES UNITE AGAINST PRESIDENT. President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka has managed to unite seven political parties, ranging from
liberals to communists, that issued a joint denunciation of his rule,
Reuters reported on 25 July. Lukashenka is accused of violating the
country's laws and constitution, mismanaging the economy, and planning
to call a referendum on a new constitution and economic program that
would turn the country into a "totalitarian regime." The strong language
of the statement was unprecedented, as was the alliance of the seven
parties, and comes two days before the fifth anniversary of Belarus's
declaration of independence. The parties called for a round-table
discussion between the president, prime minister, and the parliament as
a way of resolving the dispute between legislature and executive. --
Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN APPOINTMENTS. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka issued a decree
appointing Alyaksandr Sazonau as Minister of Business and Investment,
Belarusian radio reported on 25 July. Before the appointment, Sazonau
had been a presidential aide. Yauhen Valadzko was appointed railroad
chief. His previous post had been Deputy Minister of Transport and
Communications. Alyaksandr Minin was appointed Deputy Minister of
Transport and Communications, and chief of road works. Zinovii
Pryhodzich was appointed first deputy chief of the State Committees for
Publications. -- Ustina Markus

CIA PLOT AGAINST BELARUS, UKRAINE DENIED. Russian Duma Deputy Viktor
Ilyukhin made a sensational statement charging the CIA with preparing
subversive activities against Belarus from Warsaw, NTV, UNIAN, and ITAR-
TASS reported on 25 July. He said a team of CIA agents were working in
Poland to arrange mass strikes in Belarus in August. During the strikes,
a couple of prominent members of the opposition are to be killed, and
their deaths blamed on President Lukashenka. Ilyukhin said $254,000 has
already been spent on the plot, a large part of which was paid to
Ukrainian radicals belonging to the Ukrainian National Assembly-
Ukrainian Self-Defense Organization (UNA-UNSO). Ilyukhin also said the
IMF was giving money to help repatriate Crimean Tatars to the peninsula.
Once a majority of Tatars move there, he said, a referendum on Crimea's
secession will be organized and Turkey and the U.S. will immediately
recognize the results. Belarusian and Western officials denied the plot
existed. (See related story in "Russia" section.) -- Ustina Markus

MOSCOW, CONSTANTINOPLE OFFICIALS MET IN ESTONIA. Heike Huttunen, the
vicar in charge of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church under
Constantinople and Father Superior Yenisei of th e Moscow Patriarchate,
headed delegations meeting in Tallinn from 22-24 July, BNS reported the
next day. The meeting sought to provide a realistic view of the two
Orthodox churches in Estonia, as information previously sent to Moscow
had reportedly been distorted. The delegation heads signed a document
establishing direct contacts to facilitate communications and laying the
foundation for constructive steps to resolve the conflict. In the next
round of negotiations, metropolitans of the two churches are scheduled
to meet in Tallinn on 20 August. -- Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH FARM PARTIES. The
Estonian Association of Industry and Employers on 24 July signed a
cooperation agreement with the ruling coalition's farm parties, the
Country People's Union, the Rural Union, and the Pensioners' and
Families' Union, BNS reported the next day. The parties, together with
the Blue Party, recently formed a pre-election alliance called National
Cooperation. Association chairman Viljar Veskivali said that since the
government had failed to provide equal opportunities to local producers
by allowing the import of cheaper farm products, the association was
breaking its ties with the Coalition Party. Its chairman, Prime Minister
Tiit Vahi, criticized the association's decision, asserting that it did
not understand the market economy and placed too much trust in direct
command. -- Saulius Girnius

SOLIDARITY GAINING IN POLISH OPINION POLLS. Opinion poll results
released this week indicate that the Solidarity "Electoral Action"
coalition of opposition groupings is gaining ground on the post-
communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), the leading party in Poland's
governing coalition, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 25 and 26 July.
According to the Warsaw-based CBOS polling agency, Solidarity would win
the parliamentary elections slated for fall 1997 if they were held
today, garnering 26% of the vote, compared to 22% for the SLD. A poll by
the Sopot-based Social Research Workshop placed support for both
Solidarity and the SLD at 27%. Both polls measured support for the anti-
communist Movement to Reconstruct Poland (ROP) and the Polish Peasant
Party (PSL), the SLD's coalition partner, at 13-14%, while support for
the center-left Freedom Union (UW) was measured at 8-11%. These
forecasts suggest that a post-election coalition of Solidarity, ROP, and
UW--assuming these fractious parties can cooperate--could displace the
post-communist SLD-PSL coalition that has ruled since 1993. -- Ben Slay

POLISH TV OFFICIALS SUSPENDED FOR ALLEGED MAFIA CONTACTS. A recent
meeting in a Warsaw nightclub between Polish TV officials and alleged
Mafiosi has resulted in a media scandal and the suspension of several of
the officials, Polish media reported on 26 July. Milan Subotic, the
director of the popular "Teleexpress" program, and two associates were
suspended by PTV because some of Warsaw's leading mafia figures attended
a celebration in the Dekadent nightclub earlier this month. The
"Teleexpress affair" has set off a heated debate in Poland on the
relationship between the press, the government, and the criminal
underworld, which is known to frequent the Dekadent. Some observers have
argued that party invitations from Polish journalists are a private
matter, and charge that the suspensions illustrate PTV's growing
subordination to the government. -- Ben Slay

CZECHS DESTROY LAST SOVIET MISSILES. The Czech Republic has destroyed
the last of its Soviet-supplied SS-23 intermediate-range missiles, CTK
reported on 25 July. In the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF)
treaty, the Soviet Union pledged to eliminate all its SS-23s. After the
treaty had been signed, the U.S. discovered that SS-23s had also been
supplied to Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany and an
international controversy followed. Czechoslovakia had received 4
launchers and 24 missiles, and, in 1994, pledged to destroy them all. --
Doug Clarke

SLOVAKIA'S RULING PARTY CALLS FOR CHANGE. Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia (HZDS) deputy Marta Aibekova on 25 July said certain steps
taken after the fall 1994 elections and seen by the West as
"undemocratic" will be revised, Narodna obroda reported. Noting that
much has changed in the past two years, Aibekova hinted that the ruling
coalition's absolute control of certain state institutions will be
loosened, giving the opposition a bigger role. HZDS legal expert Jan
Cuper stressed that "if the opposition shares in governing, it cannot be
a destructive opposition." Meanwhile, parliamentary Foreign Affairs
Committee Chairman Dusan Slobodnik, also a HZDS member, said the
spreading of "untrue information" about Slovakia is the reason for the
country's omission from the U.S. Congress's NATO expansion bill. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK GOVERNMENT APPROVES BILL ON STATE SYMBOLS. The government on 23
July approved a draft law on the use of state symbols, Slovenska
Republika reported the following day. If the bill becomes law, state
offices would no longer be required to display portraits of the
president. The bill would also prevent the public display of the
Hungarian flag in southern Slovakia except during official visits by
Hungarian officials. -- Sharon Fisher

NATO OFFICIALS IN HUNGARY. NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana and U.S.
General George Joulwan, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Forces in
Europe, arrived in Hungary on 25 July for a two-day visit, Reuters and
AFP reported. Talks with Prime Minister Gyula Horn focused on Bosnia and
NATO expansion, but Solana refused to comment on when enlargement will
take place. Solana and Joulwan also visited NATO troops in Hungary
participating in the IFOR mission. Regarding NATO's role in apprehending
indicted war criminals during the Bosnia peace mission, Joulwan said
there will be no change to the policy of apprehending war criminals only
if encountered. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN POLICE ENFORCE LAW AGAINST RACIST ASSAULT. Hungarian police
enforced for the first time a new law against racist assault, arresting
neo-Nazi skinheads accused of attacking a Nigerian man last month in
Budapest, AFP reported on 25 July. Police said most of those arrested
are members of the extremist Hungarian Welfare Society, which is
currently under investigation for neo-Nazi activities. The Nigerian
suffered slight injuries in the assault. A new Penal Code amendment
passed on 13 March punishes incitement of hatred by up to three years in
jail and ethnic violence by up to five years. -- Sharon Fisher

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES END TO HARASSMENT OF SERBS. Hasan
Muratovic told UN special envoy Iqbal Rizah and the head of the UN
police force in Bosnia, Peter Fitzgerald, that he will personally attend
to the security situation of the 8,000 Serbs still left in the Sarajevo
suburbs. UN International Police Task Force (IPTF) spokesman Alexander
Ivanko noted that some of the Serbs, who withstood intimidation by their
own people last winter, now feel so harassed by Muslim thugs that they
want to leave, Nasa Borba and Onasa reported on 26 July. Ivanko added
that because of Muratovic's pledge, IPTF, IFOR and federal police have
started patrols in the suburbs of Osjek and Ilidza. Meanwhile in Banja
Luka, the international ombudsman's office opened its first branch on
Serb-held territory to investigate human rights abuses, Onasa reported
on 25 July. -- Patrick Moore

IRANIAN DELEGATION IN SARAJEVO. Vice President Hasan Habibi arrived in
Bosnia with a high-level delegation, Oslobodjenje reported on 26 July.
He was met by Muratovic and will also have talks with President Alija
Izetbegovic. Cultural and economic issues will top the agenda,
especially Iranian assistance for post-war reconstruction. Tehran has
already pledged $50 million in aid, and an economic agreement is
expected to be signed following the first meeting of the new bilateral
commission. Iran provided the mainly Muslim government army with weapons
during the war and there is a hard-line faction in the governing Party
of Democratic Action that is sympathetic to Tehran. But the vast
majority of Bosnian Muslims are a secular, European people who want no
part of Islamic fundamentalism. -- Patrick Moore

DEADLINE FOR BOSNIAN REFUGEE VOTERS EXTENDED. The OSCE's Bosnian office
announced on 25 July an extension of the deadline for voter registration
of Bosnian refugees abroad from 31 July to 5 August, Reuters reported on
26 July. Bosnian state television said the foreign ministry had asked
the OSCE for an extension after finding that only 7% of eligible refugee
voters has signed up as of 22 July. Around 1.4 million Bosnian refugees
are dispersed in more than 35 countries, making it difficult for them to
find out about the procedure for registration. -- Daria Sito Sucic

EU DELEGATION IN ZAGREB TO PRESSURE CROATS. An EU delegation left for
Zagreb on 25 July to hold talks with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman
on the Mostar crisis, AFP reported. The EU apparently hopes that Tudjman
will pressure the Mostar Croats to participate in the new city council
they have boycotted, citing election irregularities. Bosnian Federation
Vice President Ejup Ganic, meanwhile, called an EU threat to withdraw
its mission by 4 August unless the Croats play by the rules a "bad
sign," Onasa reported. The Croatian Democratic Community said it would
refuse to prolong the EU mandate unless the dispute over the ballot has
been cleared. -- Fabian Schmidt

MOSQUE SET ABLAZE IN CROAT-CONTROLLED TOWN. A mosque was set on fire on
25 July in the town of Prozor in central Bosnia, the Sarajevo daily
Oslobodjenje reported the next day. Unidentified assailants broke into
the mosque, dumped gasoline and set it ablaze. The mosque's inside was
reportedly destroyed. The town had a 37% Muslim population before the
war, Oslobodjenje reported. In other news, a Bosnian railroad official
announced that the railroad from Sarajevo to Mostar, along with the
destroyed Mostar train station, will reopen next week for the first time
since the war, international agencies reported on 26 July. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

BREAKTHROUGH IN RUMP YUGOSLAV-BOSNIAN RELATIONS? Rump Yugoslav media
continue coverage of reactions to the two-day visit to Belgrade by a
fifteen-member Bosnian delegation, headed by Bosnian Vice President Ejup
Ganic (See OMRI Daily Digest 24 and 25 July). Nasa Borba on 26 June
reported remarks by Kasim Trnka, delegate member and Bosnia-
Herzegovina's ambassador in Zagreb. According to Trnka, the landmark
Belgrade visit failed to generate any substantial political
breakthroughs, and any "establishing of bilateral diplomatic relations
between Bosnia and Herzegovina and [rump] Yugoslavia will have to wait."
According to Trnka, Belgrade's insistence that Bosnia drop its "charges
of genocide," and rump Yugoslavia's insistence on recognition as the
successor state of Tito's Yugoslavia continue to block diplomatic
progress. -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIA UNHAPPY WITH HUNGARIAN RESPONSE. Deputy Foreign Minister Lazar
Comanescu said on 24 July that Romania was dissatisfied with the
Hungarian reply to its demand for clarifications concerning the
statement released 5 July in Budapest on the Hungarian government's
support for autonomy of ethnic Hungarian abroad, an RFE/RL correspondent
in Bucharest reported. Comanescu said the statement created tensions, as
did the announcement that Budapest is going to allot a fixed percentage
of its budget to assist Hungarians living in neighboring countries. --
Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ENDS U.S. VISIT. Teodor Melescanu returned to
Bucharest on 25 July from a 10-day lobbying trip to the United States,
Radio Bucharest and Reuters reported. Melescanu, who met with U.S.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher, U.S. legislators, and other
senior officials, said he was confident about Romania's prospect of
being among the first former communist countries to be admitted into
NATO as a full member. He reaffirmed Romania's opposition to a gradual
expansion of the alliance that he said would create a new divide in
Europe.  -- Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN PREMIER MEETS WITH KUCHMA. Andrei Sangheli met with Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma on 24 July in Foros, a resort in Crimea, BASA-
press reported the following day. The two discussed economic
cooperation, including cooperation in the energy sector; the
implementation of the bilateral free-trade agreement; the mutual
recognition of property rights; and the transit of Moldovan goods
through Ukrainian territory. The sides reportedly agreed upon the volume
and the conditions of deliveries of Ukrainian coal, but no precise data
were released on the amount of coal the Moldova plans to import this
fall or next spring. According to official statistics, Moldova imported
some 2 million tons of Ukrainian coal in 1995. -- Dan Ionescu

PIRINSKI SAYS HE WON'T RESIGN. The Bulgarian Socialist Party's
presidential candidate, Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski, said on 25
July that he will not withdraw his candidacy despite a Constitutional
Court ruling that effectively bars him from the presidency (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 24 July 1996), Duma reported. He accused the court of
taking political decisions and of exceeding its mandate. Pirinski said
"The situation in the country is complicated and tense enough and the
Constitutional Court decision ... adds more tension between state
institutions and society." -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIA FINALLY ADOPTS COAT OF ARMS. The parliament on 25 July adopted
a new coat of arms, 24 chasa and Standart reported. Some 110 deputies
voted for the Socialist proposal, 11 voted against, and seven abstained.
The total number of deputies is 240. The coat of arms depicts a golden
lion rampant in a dark red shield. The opposition walked out before the
vote to protest the fact that the lion is not crowned. The opposition
had demanded that the pre-1946 coat of arms of the monarchy -- which
depicts three crowned lions -- be restored and that a referendum be held
if consensus is not reached among the deputies. They argue the crown is
a sign of state sovereignty, while most Socialists say it symbolizes the
monarchy and is inappropriate for a republic. -- Stefan Krause

VAN DEN BROEK IN ALBANIA. EU commissioner for External Affairs Hans van
den Broek arrived in Tirana on 25 July to discuss with President Sali
Berisha the current political and economic situation in Albania and its
relations with the EU, AFP reported. He will also hold talks with Prime
Minister Alexander Meksi and Foreign Minister Tritan Shehu. Van den
Broek declined to comment on the content of the talks. He was also
scheduled to meet Albania's opposition parties and ambassadors from the
EU's 15 member states. Van den Broek will later fly to Macedonia for
meetings with President Kiro Gligorov and Prime Minister Branko
Crvenkovski. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Pete Baumgartner

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