This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joy, and cutteth griefs in half. - Francis Bacon
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 220, Part II, 13 November 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

***********************************************************************
Available now -- The OMRI Annual Survey of Eastern Europe and the Former
Soviet Union -- "1995: Building Democracy." Published by M.E. Sharpe
Inc., this 336-page yearbook provides a systematic and comprehensive
review of the most pivotal events in the 27 countries of the former
Communist bloc and former Soviet Union during 1995. Available to OMRI
subscribers at a special price of $25 each (plus postage and handling).
To order, please email your request to: annual@omri.cz
***********************************************************************

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE SLAMS RUSSIA OVER BLACK SEA FLEET. The Ukrainian Foreign
Ministry accused the Russian parliament of anti-Ukrainian behavior and
warned it would turn to the international community to solve the Black
Sea Fleet dispute, international media reported on 12 November. Foreign
Minister Henadii Udovenko said Kyiv would seek support from nuclear
powers to guarantee Ukraine's territorial integrity. The Ukrainian
parliament scheduled for next week a debate on Russia's withdrawal of
its 600-vessel share of the fleet from Crimea by 2000. Last month, the
Russian State Duma voted to stop the fleet's division, but the Russian
government distanced itself from the Duma resolution. -- Oleg
Varfolomeyev

UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER AT NATO HEADQUARTERS. Defense Minister
Oleksander Kuzmuk and NATO Deputy Secretary-General Sergio Balanzino in
Brussels discussed the further development of relations between Ukraine
and NATO within the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program, Ukrainian media
reported on 9 November. Kuzmuk on 11 November met with Dutch Defense
Minister Joris Voorhoeve to discuss cooperation between Ukraine and
Netherlands within the PfP program, ITAR-TASS reported. The ministers
agreed to begin exchanging training visits of Dutch and Ukrainian
servicemen. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS TO REUNITE IN UKRAINE. The country's two Christian
Democratic parties have announced plans to reunite at an upcoming
extraordinary congress in an effort to boost their chances in the 1998
parliamentary elections, UNIAN reported on 11 November. A group led by
Volodymyr Stretovych last year split away from the Ukrainian Christian
Democratic Party to form the Christian Democratic Party of Ukraine. The
parties claim that removal of the controversial founder of the UCDP,
Vitalii Zhuravsky, has paved the way for their reunion. In other news,
Rukh leader Vyacheslav Chornovil said recent accusations that
presidential Chief of Staff Dmytro Tabachnyk illegally obtained an
apartment were part of a campaign to discredit President Leonid Kuchma,
UNIAN and Vseukrainskie vedomosti reported on 11-12 November. --
Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN PEOPLE'S FRONT CALLS FOR PRESIDENT'S IMPEACHMENT. The
Belarusian People's Front accused Alyaksandr Lukashenka of grossly
violating the constitution and sabotaging the elections to the
Belarusian Supreme Soviet, the BBC reported on 13 November. The party's
governing body urged the Supreme Soviet to initiate impeachment
proceedings. -- Sergei Solodovnikov

LATVIAN PRESIDENT IN U.K. Guntis Ulmanis, accompanied by the foreign,
defense, and communication ministers, began his first official visit to
the U.K. on 11 November. The main aim of the trip is to promote Latvian
membership in the EU and NATO and increase economic ties. Britain is
Latvia's third-largest export partner and the greatest source of foreign
investments. Ulmanis discussed Baltic security issues with British
Defense Secretary Michael Portilo and toured British air force, marine,
and naval bases, BNS reported. Ulmanis is scheduled to meet with Queen
Elizabeth, Prime Minister John Major, and Foreign Secretary Malcolm
Rifkind before returning home on 15 November. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN, RUSSIAN BORDER TALKS. Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister
Rimantas Sidlauskas called the first day of border talks in Moscow on 12
November satisfactory, Radio Lithuania reported. He said the new head of
the Russian delegation, Aleksei Obukhov, who had been recalled from his
post as ambassador to Denmark after the arrest of his son in May for
alleged collaboration with Western secret services, left the "impression
of a very businesslike person" and not of an especially ardent Russian
nationalist. The two sides have reached agreement on 90% of the border
in three years of negotiations. Difficulties, however, remain with the
border in Lake Vistytis, the mouth of the Nemunas River, and the Baltic
Sea area called D-6, where there are possible oil deposits. -- Saulius
Girnius

POLISH-LITHUANIAN TELEVISION AGREEMENT. Polish Public Television (TVP)
President Ryszard Miazek and Lithuanian Radio and Television Chairman
Juozas Neverauskas signed a cooperation agreement, Polish media reported
on 13 November. The deal envisages trading and exchanging programs and
information materials. Lithuanian television will broadcast some Polish
programs nationwide, while TVP will air Lithuanian-language programs on
a regional channel; neither side will charge for use of its programs.
The approximately 260,000 Poles living in Lithuania make up 7% of its
population. In Poland there are 10,000-20,000 Lithuanians. -- Beata
Pasek

CELLULAR PHONES COMPETE WITH ETHICS OF POLISH POLITICIANS. Cellular
phone company Plus GSM organized a promotion campaign, "Friends of Plus
GSM," to provide cellular phones "for testing" to ministers, deputies,
higher civil servants, and public institutions. The company, which
recently received its license, sent several hundred offers to well-known
politicians and institutions. Freedom Union (UW) parliamentary leaders
refused the offer. But National Radio and TV Council (KRRiT) member
Andrzej Zarebski said he did not have ethical problems in taking the
offer, because KRRiT has no common interests with cellular-phone
networks. Several ministers are "testing" the cellular phones, Gazeta
Wyborcza reported on 13 November. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH PRESIDENT CRITICIZES OPPOSITION LEADER. Vaclav Havel on 12
November criticized Social Democratic Party leader and Parliament
Chairman Milos Zeman for alleging publicly that the Czech Intelligence
Service (BIS) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs were working hand in
hand. Under Czech law, the BIS is a separate organization not
subordinated to the ministry. Havel called Zeman's statements
irresponsible. Zeman responded by making an appointment with the
president for next week, at which, he said, he will present the
necessary evidence to support his statements. BIS Chairman Stanislav
Devaty resigned on 11 November after Christian Democratic Union leader
Josef Lux accused the BIS of following him. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN RESPONDS TO CRITICISM. Ivan Korcok on
12 November reacted to criticism that diplomatic protocol was violated
when neither Foreign Minister Pavol Hamzik nor State Secretary Jozef
Sestak accompanied President Michal Kovac on his current two-day
official visit to Holland, Slovak media reported. Former Foreign
Minister Eduard Kukan told Narodna obroda that the absence of Hamzik or
Sestak was "a slap in the face" to Holland, particularly since Holland
expressed special interest in Hamzik's participation. Although the
ministry considers the visit "very important," Korcok said, Hamzik had
to attend the 12 November cabinet session at which the 1997 budget was
discussed, while Sestak had business in Brussels. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT LOWERS TAXES. The parliament on 12 November lowered
the average rate of the income tax, profit tax, and consumption tax for
1997, Hungarian dailies reported. The highest personal-income tax rate
will drop from 48% to 42%. Tax deductions pertaining to salary incomes
will go up from 18% to 20%. Parliament also approved tax exemptions for
employers' meal contributions and granted taxpayers the right to
determine how 1% of their taxes should be spent. The bills were passed
in the absence of all opposition deputies, who had walked out earlier to
protest a vote on Constitutional Court judges. The Hungarian legislature
has amended tax laws every year since 1990, which has made economic
planning and tax-return filing problematic for firms and individuals.
Due to tightened tax laws last year, tax evasion has become widespread.
-- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION PARTY DEMANDS ANOTHER MINISTER'S RESIGNATION. The
Young Democrats on 12 November demanded the resignation of Ferenc Baja,
minister of environmental protection and regional development, for
failing to clean up pollutants around the waste dump of Gare in
southwest Hungary, Hungarian media reported. Although ministry officials
ruled out any threat of disaster, the party insisted that the 15,000
tons of hazardous waste, which were shipped to Gare by the Budapest
Chemical Works more than 15 years ago, have been contaminating the area.
Baja said the ministry has made repeated attempts to break the deadlock
over the matter and will order the Chemical Works to stop the spread of
contaminants within 15 days. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

WORST FIGHTING SINCE THE END OF THE BOSNIAN WAR. The armed confrontation
between Republika Srpska police and Muslim refugees trying to return to
their homes has led to the most serious fighting since the Dayton
agreement took effect. Local and international media on 12 and 13
November agreed that at least one Muslim has died and several persons of
both nationalities have been wounded in the separation zone between
Muslim-held Celic and Serb-controlled Koraj in northern Bosnia. Each
side blamed the other and IFOR blamed them both, adding that the
Sarajevo authorities may have deliberately staged a provocation. Russian
IFOR troops were caught in the cross-fire and briefly pulled back, but a
U.S. IFOR representative stressed that at no time did either side
directly fire at the U.S. or Russian peacekeepers. NATO reported on 13
November that the area was calm and that IFOR intended to "contain the
situation," AFP noted. -- Patrick Moore

MLADIC LOYALISTS WARN OF "FRATRICIDAL WAR." The cashiered Bosnian Serb
General Staff published a letter in the Belgrade paper Blic on 13
November warning of a "fratricidal war," AFP reported. They demanded
that the Republika Srpska police stop harassing those in the military
who are loyal to their sacked commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic. The police
are believed to be trying to cut off all communication links to Mladic's
command center at Han Pijesak. Mladic loyalists charge that the one
responsible for the "putsch" against them is Radovan Karadzic, the
indicted war criminal who is widely believed to be still the real power
in Pale, BETA noted. Both the group of 80 cashiered officers and their
replacements announced by Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic
claim that the army is behind them, Nasa Borba and Novosti noted. --
Patrick Moore

SERBIAN PRESIDENT INTERVENES IN CIVILIAN-MILITARY DISPUTE. Slobodan
Milosevic has taken the unusual step of publicly entering the
confrontation between the Bosnian Serb civilian and military
leaderships. On 12 November he sent Federal Yugoslav Deputy Prime
Minister Nikola Sainovic to Pale with the message that Mladic must step
down, AFP reported. U.S. envoy John Kornblum visited the Serbian
president and insisted that Mladic must go, Nasa Borba reported the next
day. Kornblum stressed the need for more democracy in Serbia,
particularly where the media and Kosovo are concerned, VOA added. It is
not clear why Milosevic has intervened against Mladic. Until now,
Belgrade has had stronger links to Han Pijesak than to Pale. -- Patrick
Moore

BOSNIAN PRESIDENCY AGAIN FAILS TO REACH AGREEMENT ON GOVERNMENT. In its
seventh session on 12 November, the three-man Bosnian presidency still
did not succeed in agreeing on a government for postwar Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Oslobodjenje reported the next day. The Muslim member and
chairman, Alija Izetbegovic, and the Bosnian Croat member, Kresimir
Zubak, advocate a government made up of five ministers and a premier.
Serb member Momcilo Krajisnik, however, wants two ministers and a
premier, in line with the Serb policy of limiting the powers of any
central body. The presidency did agree in principle on a common platform
for the Paris conference on Bosnia on 14 November. In other news, the
U.S. State Department said a delay in delivering a consignment of U.S.
arms to the Muslim-Croat federation is costing nearly $50,000 per day,
Reuters reported on 12 November. Washington is delaying delivery until
Sarajevo fires Deputy Defense Minister Hasan Cengic, whom Washington
considers too close to Iran. -- Daria Sito Sucic

"SPRINGTIME" FOR SLOVENIA? A possible alliance of three conservative
parties, the Slovenian People's Party (SLS), the Social Democratic Party
of Slovenia (SDSS), and the Christian Democratic Party (SKD) could
emerge with a total of 45 legislative seats and exclude the governing
Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) from power, Reuters reported on 12
November. The SKD, one-time coalition partner of the LDS, hinted that it
may stand firm with the alliance of conservative and rightist parties
grouped under the "Slovenian Spring" banner. SLS leader Marjan Podobnik
refused to rule out working with the LDS but said it is conditional on
several factors, including LDS leader Janez Drnovsek relinquishing the
premiership. Vote and seat tallying from the 10 November elections will
be made official on 15 November. -- Stan Markotich

SERBIA'S LIBYAN CONNECTION. Belgrade appears to be covertly helping
Libya with its medium-range ballistic missile program, AFP reported on
12 November, citing The Washington Times. According to the report, the
CIA has learned that the Serbian company JPL reached a $30 million
agreement with the Libyan Al Fatah missile development program. It is
unclear what specific role Serbian advisers are playing, since Serbian
technical knowledge is reportedly "limited to production of long-range
multiple-rocket launcher systems." On 7 November, the New York Times had
reported that Belgrade was secretly transporting arms shipments to Libya
-- further evidence of Belgrade's violation of the weapons ban imposed
by the UN after Tripoli refused to allow extradition of suspects in the
1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. -- Stan
Markotich

ILIESCU PLAYS THE NATIONALIST CARD AHEAD OF ELECTION. With the 17
November presidential run-off drawing close, incumbent President Ion
Iliescu's campaign has become radical, Romanian dailies reported on 13
November. At a rally in the Transylvanian town of Alba Iulia on 9
November, Iliescu accused the leaders of the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania of plotting Yugoslav-style secession from Romania.
Evenimentul Zilei wrote that Iliescu was becoming "Zhirinovsky-ized."
Meanwhile, a growing number of political parties, trade unions, and
organizations announced their support for Iliescu's opponent, Emil
Constantinescu. -- Zsolt Mato

DNIESTER LEADER REJECTS ALL PARTICIPATION IN MOLDOVAN VOTE. The
president of the self-declared Dniester republic, Igor Smirnov,
reaffirmed his opposition to any participation of Dniester residents in
the 17 November Moldovan presidential election, BASA-press reported on
12 November. His statement was addressed to Russian President Boris
Yeltsin, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, and the chairman of the OSCE
Permanent Council. Smirnov's remarks came in response to a proposal by
Moldovan Parliament Speaker Petru Lucinschi that polling stations be
opened at peacekeeping-force bases located in the Dniester areas where
ethnic Moldovans are in the majority. Smirnov said the vote could
destabilize the situation in the region. He pledged, however, that the
Dniester authorities would not prevent locals from traveling to Moldova
proper to cast their ballots if voters used their own means of
transport. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN PREMIER SURVIVES PARTY CONFIDENCE VOTE. At the end of a 22-
hour closed-door session, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Supreme
Council and the BSP parliamentary deputies on 12 November gave Zhan
Videnov a vote of confidence, RFE/RL and other media reported. Of the
158 delegates, 87 supported Videnov, 69 voted against him, and two
abstained. The vote means that Videnov can stay in office at least until
an extraordinary BSP congress meets on 21-22 December to discuss future
policies and leadership questions. The delegates also gave Videnov a
mandate to begin consultations on the introduction of a currency board,
as proposed by the IMF. Deputy BSP Chairman Yanaki Stoilov, Nikolay
Kamov, and Filip Bokov resigned from the Executive Bureau. All three had
signed a recent letter by 19 top BSP politicians demanding Videnov's
resignation. Bokov also gave as a reason for his resignation the failure
of the BSP's presidential election campaign, which he managed. -- Stefan
Krause

WERE BULGARIAN OPPOSITION HEADQUARTERS BUGGED? Bulgaria's military
prosecutor and Interior Ministry opened an investigation after Union of
Democratic Forces (SDS) Chairman Ivan Kostov complained of microphones
in the SDS headquarters, Kontinent and RFE/RL reported on 12 November.
Kostov said the bugs were hidden in his office and in the office of
President-elect Petar Stoyanov several months before the presidential
election in October-November, but the SDS decided not to report the
incident before the voting. Members of the security services might be
involved, Kontinent observed. -- Maria Koinova

GREECE, UKRAINE SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENTS. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma on 12 November wrapped up a two-day official visit to Greece,
ITAR-TASS reported. The previous day, Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros
Pangalos and his Ukrainian counterpart, Henadii Udovenko, signed three
bilateral agreements: on international passenger and freight
transportation, on tourism, and on science and culture. Udovenko said
the accords complement the friendship and cooperation treaty signed
earlier that day. Pangalos said Greece supports "the establishment of
Ukraine's close relations with the European Union [and] its developing
contacts with NATO as well as active participation in Balkan
cooperation." -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN TRADE UNION CONFLICT CONTINUES. Police on 12 November banned a
rally of Democratic Party legislator Azem Hajdari's breakaway faction
from the Independent Trade Unions (BSPSH), Zeri i Popullit reported. The
Socialist Party daily implied that Hajdari is the legitimate BSPSH
president. The government media, however, maintains that the congress in
Durres that elected Hajdari on 5 December had no mandate and that Valer
Xheka is the legitimate president. A Tirana court also ruled in Xheka's
favor. Xheka has asked parliament to lift Hajdari's immunity so that the
prosecutor could start investigations for slander. Hajdari had charged
Xheka with corruption and embezzlement of $17,000 from trade union
seminars in 1992. Meanwhile, Hajdari participated in BSPSH meetings in
Lezha and Lushnja, where he rallied for support. He also scheduled a
nationwide congress for 23 November and claimed that his office received
support letters from BSPSH branches all over the country. -- Fabian
Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
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