The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 191, Part II, 2 October 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

UKRAINIANS WORRIED ABOUT RUSSIAN PRESSURE OVER SEVASTOPOL. Despite
President Leonid Kuchma's assurances that his weekend visit to Moscow
helped resolve differences between the two sides, a number of media
reports were skeptical. Reuters reported on 1 October that Kievskie
vedomosti linked the 20% import tax Russia plans to impose on Ukrainian
goods with Ukraine's intransigence over allowing Sevastopol to be
exclusively Russia's naval base. Recent statements by Russian Security
Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed and other Russian politicians claiming
that Sevastopol was never legally handed over to Ukraine have increased
apprehension among Ukrainian politicians over potential territorial
claims. Deputy Yurii Karamazin said the five nuclear powers that pledged
to guarantee Ukraine's security when it gave up its nuclear weapons in
1994 should step in and defend Ukraine against such economic pressure
from Russia. -- Ustina Markus

SIX JUSTICES APPOINTED TO UKRAINIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. President
Leonid Kuchma has appointed the first six justices to Ukraine's
Constitutional Court, Ukrainian TV reported on 1 October. The six
include Ivan Tymchenko (the president's chief legal advisor), Mykola
Kozyubra, Petro Martynenko, Mykola Selivon, Volodymyr Tykhy, and
Volodymyr Shapoval. Twelve more justices have yet to be selected: six
each by the legislature and a congress of judges. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT'S REGIONAL ELECTION COMMISSIONS CALLED ILLEGAL.
Viktar Hanchar, head of the Central Electoral Commission, said President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka's establishment of regional commissions to
organize and oversee the referendum are illegal, ITAR-TASS reported on 1
October. Hanchar said the commissions parallel similar groups from the
Central Electoral Commission, and are performing the same functions. He
stressed that only the central commission can appoint such regional
commissions, and not the president. The same day over 20 parties
appealed to the legislature to start impeachment proceedings against
Lukashenka. (See Russian section for news on Russo-Belarusian
integration.) -- Ustina Markus

LATVIAN PRESIDENT TO ASK FOR LARGER DEFENSE BUDGET. In a bid to increase
Latvia's chances of being included in the first wave of NATO expansion,
Guntis Ulmanis said on 1 October that he will ask the parliament to
approve a larger Defense Ministry budget, BNS reported. Ulmanis made the
announcement after a meeting with Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs and
Defense Minister Andrejs Krastins to discuss the recent joint statement
by the three Baltic presidents, in which they pledged to seek greater
international support for NATO membership and to upgrade military forces
to bring them in line with NATO standards. The parliament budget and
finance committee has approved a Defense Ministry budget of 25.6 million
lati ($46 million) for 1997. The first reading of the full budget is
scheduled for 7 October; Ulmanis can submit his proposals to the
committee for the second reading. -- Saulius Girnius

NEW RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO LITHUANIA. The collegium of the Russian
Foreign Ministry has approved 59-year-old career diplomat Konstantin
Mozel as the new ambassador to Lithuania, Radio Lithuania reported on 1
October. Mozel, the director of the Foreign Ministry's Cultural Liaisons
Department, has vacationed several times in Lithuania's coastal resorts
of Palanga and Nida and has even learned some Lithuanian. The previous
ambassador, Nikolai Obertyshev, was transferred to another post in
August. Russia had apparently reacted to strong objections voiced in the
Lithuanian press to his possible replacement by Russia's ambassador to
Tajikistan, Vyacheslav Sienkevich, who is widely regarded in Lithuania
as an imperialist, and chose a candidate more acceptable to Lithuania.
Mozel's formal appointment, however, may be delayed by President Boris
Yeltsin's illness. -- Saulius Girnius

FORMER POLISH PRIVATIZATION MINISTER INDICTED. Janusz Lewandowski,
Poland's privatization minister from 1991-1993, was indicted on 1
October by the Krakow prosecutor, Polish dailies reported the following
day. Lewandowski was charged with failing to sell the Krakchemia and
Techma firms to the highest bidders, costing the Polish government 2.4
million zloty ($1 million). Lewandowski, now a deputy for the opposition
Freedom Union, called the charges "untrue and absurd." Lewandowski was
unexpectedly supported by Wieslaw Kaczmarek, his successor as
privatization minister. Kaczmarek said on TV on 1 October that the
figures in the indictment were "absurd," and that better offers would
have been accepted had they been made. Kaczmarek also agreed on 1
October to serve as a secretary of state in Poland's new Treasury
Ministry where, according to President Aleksander Kwasniewski and
Treasury Minister Miroslaw Pietrewicz, Kaczmarek will continue to be
responsible for privatization. -- Ben Slay

CZECH PARLIAMENT SETS UP BANK INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE. The Czech
parliament voted on 1 October to establish a special 12-member committee
that will investigate the recent collapse of Kreditni banka, Czech media
reported the same day. The Social Democrats, who proposed the creation
of the committee, and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus' Civic Democratic
Party will each be represented by 4 deputies; the other four smaller
parliamentary parties will be represented by one deputy each. The
election of the individual members of the committee, as well as its
chairman, will take place in the next few days. The committee is to
present a report on its findings to the parliament by the end of
February. -- Jiri Pehe

CZECH JEWISH COMMUNITIES TO PRESS FOR RETURN OF MORE BUILDINGS. Tomas
Kraus, secretary of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech
Republic, said on 1 October that the group will apply for the return of
some twenty synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, using last week's decision
of the Czech government to return some buildings to churches. The
government decided in 1993 to return 202 pieces of property to Jewish
communities but, according to Kraus, Jewish communities are still
negotiating the return of some 31 of those objects, which are currently
in the possession of municipalities or individuals. Negotiations over
the fate of some 70 others have stopped because the current owners
refuse to hand them over to Jewish communities. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK AGRICULTURE MINISTER SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. An opposition
proposal for Peter Baco's dismissal failed during a special parliament
session on 1 October, Slovak media reported. Baco survived the vote
despite his ministry's approval of illegal grain exports, constituting
one of the biggest corruption scandals since Slovakia gained
independence. At the next parliamentary session, Education Minister Eva
Slavkovska will be subjected to a similar vote resulting from the
controversial university law passed despite protests from the academic
community. Also on 1 October, Slovak Culture Minister Ivan Hudec fired
Slovak National Theater (SND) director Dusan Jamrich, who had
participated in an ongoing campaign against government interference in
the SND's affairs. Jamrich's firing was expected after Hudec survived
two parliamentary no-confidence votes initiated by the opposition. His
replacement is Miroslav Fischer, SND opera director and a candidate of
the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia in the last elections. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAKIA, RUSSIA TO STRENGTHEN MILITARY TIES. Mikhail Kolesnikov, chief
of the Russian Armed Forces' General Staff, said in Bratislava on 1
October that Russia and Slovakia are interested in deepening military
cooperation, ITAR-TASS reported. The basis of this cooperation was
established in an agreement signed in August 1993. Meeting with top
Slovak politicians during his three-day visit, Kolesnikov also discussed
Russian reservations about NATO's eastward expansion. Speaking with
RFE/RL prior to a meeting in Washington with U.S. Defense Secretary
William Perry, Slovak Foreign Minister Pavol Hamzik stressed the
importance of Slovak membership in NATO. -- Sharon Fisher

JOURNALISTS QUIT SLOVAK PRO-GOVERNMENT DAILY. Twelve journalists
announced their departure from Slovenska Republika on 1 October in
protest against personnel changes made by the daily's publisher, Salus,
which is 100% owned by the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS),
Narodna obroda reported. The journalists opposed Salus's appointment of
Rudolf Zelenay as general director, Eduard Fasung as editor in chief,
and Milan Rusko as Fasung's deputy. Zelenay is the husband of HZDS
deputy and Slovenska Republika commentator Eva Zelenayova; Fasung
formerly worked as editor in chief at the leftist opposition daily,
Praca. -- Sharon Fisher

POLL SHOWS 48% OF HUNGARIANS IN FAVOR OF NATO MEMBERSHIP. A poll
conducted by the Hungarian Gallup Institute shows that 48% of those
interviewed would support Hungary's admission to NATO if a referendum
were held on 6 October, Magyar Nemzet reported on 2 October. Another 27%
responded with a definite "no," while 25% were undecided. In a
Eurobarometer survey conducted for the European Commission last
November, the respective figures were 32% for joining NATO, 22% against,
and 46% undecided. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MIXED BOSNIAN SERB REACTIONS TO NEW PRESIDENCY. The two most prominent
Bosnian Serb politicians had very different things to say about the
first meeting of the three-man presidency on 30 September (see Pursuing
Balkan Peace, 1 October 1996). The Serbian representative on that body,
Momcilo Krajisnik, told news agencies that he was pleasantly surprised
by the session: "It is hard to sort out the feelings. I thought that
such a meeting was in the far future, that work in joint institutions is
a fiction. ... Here, now, it became reality." The president of the
Republika Srpska, Biljana Plavsic, stressed, however, that the
unification of all Serbs in one state remains her ultimate goal. AFP
quoted her as saying: "Whether this ultimate goal is reached in 10 or 15
years matters little.  There is no force in the world that will prevent
us acting towards this end." -- Patrick Moore

PENTAGON: U.S. TROOPS IN BOSNIA UNTIL MARCH. Pentagon spokesman Kenneth
Bacon said U.S. troops will be in Bosnia until March as part of a new
force to cover the withdrawal of IFOR, AFP reported on 1 October. Bacon
said the U.S. troops will start arriving in Bosnia soon. According to
AFP, the new force will conform in size and make-up to a plan being
considered by NATO for a reduced version of IFOR remaining in Bosnia.
There are fears that war could break out in Bosnia if IFOR ends its
mission on 20 December as scheduled. Bacon said the covering force's
mission will be for a defined period of time. Richard Holbrooke, former
U.S. envoy for Bosnia, said earlier that Bosnia needs "some kind of
follow-on international security presence." European allies have said
they will participate in a post-IFOR force only together with the U.S.
-- Daria Sito Sucic

SECOND ATTACK ON BOSNIAN CROAT OPPOSITION POLITICIAN. Following a hand-
grenade attack on the home of the Croatian Peasant Party's Josip Jole
Musa (see Pursuing Balkan Peace, 1 October 1996), unidentified gunmen
seriously wounded Musa by spraying his apartment with machine-gun fire,
Oslobodjenje reported on 2 October. Political violence was rampant in
Mostar before the 14 September elections, but this is the first instance
of it since then. Musa's party blamed the Croatian Democratic Community
(HDZ) for the grenade attack, arguing that no such act can happen in
west Mostar without the party's knowledge. In central Bosnia, a 46-year-
old Roman Catholic nun was found dead in Kakanj, which | under Muslim
control. Onasa reported on 1 October that police are hunting for the
killer. In the formerly Serb-held Sarajevo suburb of Grbavica, forensic
experts are investigating 31 garbage bags found in a garage that contain
human remains. -- Patrick Moore

MURATOVIC PLEADS WITH IMF TO REDUCE BOSNIA'S DEBTS. Bosnian Prime
Minister Hasan Muratovic said Bosnia has met all the IMF's conditions
for assistance, calling for "immediate" negotiations to secure financial
support for Bosnia and establish its creditworthiness, AFP reported on 1
October. Muratovic called for reducing and reprogramming Bosnia's
foreign debts, saying it was "a precondition for successful restoration
of the country's borrowing power and for attracting additional funds for
reconstruction." IMF officials have estimated the debt owed by Bosnia to
government and private creditors at about $2 billion. They have said
talks in Sarajevo could begin after the formation of a new Bosnian
government at the end of October. EU foreign ministers said the same day
that the EU should contribute for another two years to the peace process
in Bosnia. The EU has put op some $398 million in 1996 to help rebuild
Bosnia-Herzegovina. -- Daria Sito Sucic

HAGUE TRIBUNAL TO HOLD FIRST JOINT TRIAL. The International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia rejected on 1 October motions for
separate trials filed earlier this year by three Muslims and one Croat
charged with murder, torture, and rape at the Celebici camp in central
Bosnia, Onasa reported. The court decided that the four cases were
properly joined and there was no conflict of interests, and that
separate trials would involve much duplication of testimony, AFP
reported. The tribunal's new chief prosecutor, Louise Harbor, said that
the main responsibility for apprehending those accused of war crimes lay
not with IFOR, but with the countries where the accused are currently
residing. The former chief prosecutor, Richard Goldstone, had said he
was saddened that IFOR did not capture indicted Bosnian Serb war
criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic. -- Daria Sito Sucic

UN SECURITY COUNCIL LIFTS SANCTIONS AGAINST BELGRADE. The Security
Council voted 15-0 on 1 October to formally end trade sanctions against
rump Yugoslavia, imposed in 1992 for the country's role in fomenting the
war in Bosnia, Reuters reported. The sanctions were suspended last year
following the Dayton agreement. At the U.S.'s insistence, the council
did not lift Yugoslavia's suspension from the UN General Assembly and
other UN bodies or make any provisions for it to rejoin financial
institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. Nor did it release
Yugoslavia's frozen assets, which remain disputed by the various
Yugoslav successor states. The resolution warned that the Security
Council would consider reimposing sanctions if Serbia-Montenegro or the
Bosnian Serbs failed "significantly to meet (their) obligations under
the peace agreement." But Russia would probably veto such a move.
Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic will meet in Paris on 3 October to discuss building peace in
Bosnia and normalizing mutual relations. -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN RULING PARTY ACCUSED OF 'DIRTY ELECTIONEERING.' A group of
journalists on 1 October accused the ruling Party of Social Democracy in
Romania (PDSR) of trying to manipulate voters ahead of presidential and
general elections due in a month, Reuters reported. According to them,
the PDSR commissioned a nationwide telephone opinion poll meant to
denigrate its rivals. The poll included a question suggesting that Emil
Constantinescu, Chairman of the Democratic Convention, wanted to restore
monarchy in Romania; it also cast shadows on Petre Roman, another major
rival of Ion Iliescu in the presidential race. A PDSR spokesman said the
journalists, helped by opposition members, had broken into the Bucharest
premises of the institute conducting the survey, and called their action
illegal. He admitted that the PDSR had funded the poll, but said it had
no knowledge of the survey's contents. -- Zsolt Mato

FORMER BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER KILLED. Andrey Lukanov was shot dead at
his home on 2 October, Bulgarian and Western media reported. Police and
the Interior Ministry declined to give any information, but neighbors
said Lukanov was shot in the head and the chest while leaving his home.
Coming from a family with a long communist tradition, Lukanov was a
candidate member of the Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo from 1979-
1989, minister of foreign economic relations from 1987-1989, and deputy
prime minister from 1976-1987. After the fall of long-time party and
state leader Todor Zhivkov, Lukanov became prime minister in February
1990 but was forced to resign in November 1990 following strikes and
mass demonstrations. Lukanov -- an outspoken critic of Bulgarian
Socialist Party (BSP) leader and Prime Minister Zhan Videnov -- belonged
to the BSP top leadership until 1994 and even afterward remained one of
the key power brokers within the party. He was also an influential
businessman. In July, Lukanov was dropped as chairman of the board of
the Russian-Bulgarian Topenergy company. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN HOSPITAL CHARGING FOR STAYS. Patients of the hospital of
Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city, have to pay for hospitalization
although the law provides for free medical treatment, Kontinent reported
on 2 October. Due to the hospital's financial situation, patients are
also asked to bring their own bed-sheets and pay for their food and
treatment. Hospital Director Gospodin Halachev said if the hospital did
not ask for money it would be forced to close down altogether. Health
Minister Mini Vitkova is reportedly informed of the situation but has so
far not reacted or commented. Meanwhile in Petrich in southwest
Bulgaria, a 17-year old boy died of meningitis. It is the second recent
death in Bulgaria. He had recently traveled to Hungary and returned via
Romania. A doctor said it was a unique and isolated case. -- Stefan
Krause

CROATIAN PREMIER VISITS ALBANIA. Zlatko Matesa and his Albanian
counterpart Alexander Meksi signed agreements on cultural cooperation
and consular services in Tirana on 1 October, ATSH reported. On the
first day of a two-day official visit, Matesa also met with President
Sali Berisha and discussed deepening mutual economic ties. Both sides
agreed on regional security policy issues and in particular on the need
for a peaceful solution of the Kosovo crisis and the return of Eastern
Slavonia to Croatia. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Tom Warner

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