You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 95, Part II, 14 August1997



This is Part II of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Newsline.
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 RFE/RL NewsLine are
available through RFE/RL's WWW pages:
http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/

Back  issues of the OMRI Daily Digest are available through
OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/

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Headlines, Part II

*BELARUSIAN KGB SEARCHES HOMES OF DETAINED JOURNALISTS


*FORMER ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ATTENDS STORMY PARLIAMENT
SESSION

*MONTENEGRIN COURT RULES AGAINST PRESIDENT


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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN KGB SEARCHES HOMES OF DETAINED JOURNALISTS.
Belarusian KGB officials searched the Minsk apartments of the
Russian Public Television (ORT) journalist Pavel Sheremet and his
cameraman Dmitrii Zavadskii on 13 August, RFE/RL reported. They
made a complete inventory of their property, Interfax reported,
adding that an official statement issued after the inventory states no
property was seized. The search took place on the same day as
Sheremet, a Belarusian citizen who heads the ORT bureau in Minsk,
began a protest fast in prison. Sheremet was arrested in July with his
cameraman and driver and charged with trespassing on the
Belarusian-Lithuanian border while working on a story about
smuggling. Sheremet and his cameraman have since been in custody
in Hrodno, while the driver has been released pending trial. No date
for their trial has yet been set.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN UKRAINE INCREASES. Foreign investment
in Ukraine totaled $335.5 million during the first half of 1997, a 46.1
percent increase over the same period last year, Ukrainian Television
reported on 13 August, citing the Statistics Committee. The largest
investors were the United States ($315 million), Germany ($165.9
million), the Netherlands ($160.2 million), Great Britain ($130.9
million), Cyprus ($116.4 million), Russia ($114.2 million) and
Liechtenstein ($103.1 million). Investments are mainly in the food
industry, machine building, metal processing, finance and insurance,
construction and construction materials production, and the chemical
and petrochemical industries.

LUHANSK MINERS CONTINUE HUNGER STRIKE. The Luhansk Oblast
administration on 13 August negotiated with pickets and hunger-
strikers from the Krasnodon mine, UNIAN reported. Of the 300
people who have been picketing the administration since 7 July, 170
are on a hunger strike. The miners are demanding the administration
abide by the constitution by fulfilling labot contracts and paying
wage arrears for the last nine months.

FUNERAL OF ODESSA EDITOR. More than 20,000 people attended the
funeral on 13 August of Borys Derevyanko, editor-in-chief of the
newspaper "Vechernya Odesa," who was murdered two days earlier
by an unknown assailant, UNIAN reported. Robert Menard, the
secretary-general of the Paris-based Reporters sans frontiers, has
sent a letter to President Leonid Kuchma expressing concern over
Derevyanko's murder. He called on the authorities to find the
murderer, investigate the motive, and ensure protection of
"Vechernya Odesa" reporters. Meanwhile, UNIAN reported 13 August
that Konstiantyn Serdiuk, the editor-in-chief of "Chernihivskiy
Pivden," an independent newspaper, was beaten up on 8. August by
three unknown persons. He was hospitalized and diagnosed as having
suffered brain damage with internal bleeding.

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN BORDER AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED BY YEAR'S
END? Estonian Prime Minister Mart Siimann told journalists in Tallinn
on 13 August that the Estonian-Russian border agreement is likely to
be signed this year, ETA and BNS reported. He was speaking after a
meeting with outgoing Russian Ambassador to Estonia Aleksandr
Trofimov. Siimann said that although some technical and political
problems remain, they can be overcome if both countries are
interested in a "positive result." He welcomed an earlier Russian
proposal to form a joint commission for dealing with economic and
humanitarian issues.

CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST DRIVERS IN TRAGIC ACCIDENT AT
LATVIAN FIREFIGHTERS SHOW. The two drivers of the hydraulic
basket lift at a firefighters show in Talsi in late June have been
charged with murder by negligence, BNS reported on 13 August. Nine
children died and more than 20 were injured when the basket fell
from a height of 20 meters. If found guilty, the two men face up to
two years in prison or a fine equivalent to 20 minimum monthly
wages. (The minimum monthly wage is currently 38 lats or $65.) It is
also planned to bring charges against the heads of the Riga and Talsi
firefighting services.

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT ASKED TO INTERVENE FOR JOURNALISTS
DETAINED IN BELARUS. Algirdas Brazauskas has received a letter
from Ludmila Sheremet, the mother of one of the Russian Public
Television (ORT) journalists being detained in Belarus, asking for
Lithuania's help in securing the journalists' release, BNS reported. A
presidential aide told the news agency that the detention of the
journalists is an "affair between Russia and Belarus." But he added
that Vilnius may try to urge Belarus to "solve the problem
objectively" when the Lithuanian capital hosts an international
conference in September, to which Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka has been invited. Lithuania may also "draw attention to
the necessity to observe democracy, human rights, and other
international norms," the aide said.

MORE STATE AID FOR CZECH FLOOD VICTIMS. The Czech government
on 13. August approved the disbursement of a further 3.5 billion
crowns ($103 million dollars) from the state budget to help pay to
repair damage caused by the recent flooding in eastern Bohemia and
Moravia, "Hospodarske noviny" reports. The funds will be used for
rebuilding local infrastructure, assisting flood damaged companies,
and supporting housing construction. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus
said local authorities will receive up to 500,000 crowns ($14,700) in
subsidies for every new rental apartment built. He says the
government is requesting permission to use some 2.3 billion crowns
($67.6 million) from the EU's PHARE program for repairing
transportation and river-related infrastructure.

CZECH -ROMANY RELATIONS STRAINED, AS ROMA PACK BAGS FOR
CANADA. In a report delivered to Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus on 14
August, the government Council on Nationalities accused the cabinet
of failing to do anything fundamental to help bridge the growing gulf
between Roma and the "white" population, "Mlada Fronta Dnes"
reported. The report said 70 percent of Roma are unemployed and
20-30 percent earn income from criminal activities. Klaus on 13
August insisted the government has done everything possible to deal
with Romani issues and that they have no reason to leave the
country. So far this year, 419 Czech citizens have requested refugee
status in Canada, according to Canadian officials. Romani leaders say
up to 5,000 Roma plan to emigrate to Canada as a result of ongoing
racism and following a recent TV show depicting Czech Romas
happily settling in Canada.

SLOVAK OPPOSITION, HUNGARIAN MINORITY PARTIES PREPARE FOR
POST-ELECTION COOPERATION. The Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK),
an alliance of five opposition parties, and the Hungarian Coalition
(MK), a coalition of three Hungarian minority parties, have reiterated
their resolve to sign a written political agreement probably as early
as September, RFE/RL's Slovak Service reported on 13 August. The
agreement is expected to lay the groundwork for post-election
cooperation between the SDK and the MK and for forming a post-
election coalition government. Public opinion polls indicate that the
two blocs could win half of the mandates in the new parliament.
Until now, only the Democratic Party and some Christian Democrats
have signaled their desire to see ethnic Hungarians in the
government.

COMMUNIST STATE SECURITY FILES TO BE MADE PUBLIC IN
HUNGARY. An office containing communist state security files will be
open from 1 September to researchers and those who believe they
were under observation during the communist era, office head
Gyoergy Marko announced on 13 August. The office will be set up
temporarily at the Interior Ministry building in Budapest. Marko
estimated that in the summer of 1989, the security services had files
on some 160,000 people under observation. He said it could take up
to five years to process the approximately 15-20 million pages,
Hungarian media reported.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

FORMER ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ATTENDS STORMY PARLIAMENT
SESSION. Sali Berisha and other deputies from his Democratic Party
ended their boycott of the new parliament on 13 August. Berisha told
the legislature that the Democrats "have not come here to show that
this is a legal parliament. We came only because this parliament is
the only political solution." Socialist faction leader Pandeli Majko said
that Berisha today is "only a shadow" of the leader he was when
communism fell in 1990. Majko also slammed the former president
for not mentioning in his speech all the people who died in the
violence that marked his final months in office. Later, the parliament
approved Arben Rakipi of the Socialist Party as attorney-general.

MONTENEGRIN COURT RULES AGAINST PRESIDENT. The Constitutional
Court on 14 August ruled that only Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic is
the legal presidential candidate of the governing Democratic Socialist
Party (DPS), an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Podgorica.
President Momir Bulatovic must run as the candidate of another
party or as an independent if he wants to seek reelection in the
October vote. The court ruling came after one DPS faction nominated
Djukanovic and another selected Bulatovic. The Election Commission
accepted both candidacies as legal, even though the law states that
each party may nominate only one candidate (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
13 August 1997). The court ruling is a clear setback for Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic and his backers in Montenegro.

SERBS IN MONTENEGRO PROTEST CONCESSION TO ALBANIANS.
Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic told representatives of
the Democratic Union of Albanians in Ulcinj on 13 August that he will
restore to Tuzi the status of municipality that it enjoyed until 1961.
Municipal status for the mainly Albanian town will mean more jobs
for local politicians. The Serbian Party of Montenegro (SSCG)
protested the decision as "a cheap political trick" to win the support
of the Albanian minority, which makes up 8 percent of the republic's
population, and to convey the image abroad that Montenegro deals
generously with its Albanians while Serbia does not. The SSCG added
that Djukanovic is treating Montenegro's Serbs, who form 10 percent
of the population, like an ethnic minority and that the SSCG will
appeal to the Supreme Defense Council of Yugoslavia to discuss
Djukanovic's actions. Similar appeals to Belgrade from Serbs outside
Serbia preceded the wars in Croatia and Bosnia.

NATO COMMANDER CALLS ON KARADZIC TO SURRENDER. U.S. Gen.
Wesley Clark paid an unannounced visit on 13 August to Pale, the
mountain headquarters of Radovan Karadzic and the other Bosnian
Serb hard-liners. Clark said that Karadzic is an "indicted war
criminal, he needs to turn himself in voluntarily." The general also
criticized the use of 3,000 special police as bodyguards for Karadzic.
Clark said the police should guard only government officials and
their guests and that they should not have a military-type
organization. NATO member countries have been putting political,
diplomatic, military, economic, and psychological pressure on
Karadzic in recent weeks to give himself up or at least to disappear
completely from public life.

ALBRIGHT DENIES SHE OFFERED DEAL ON KARADZIC. Together with
the White House and the State Department, Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright on 13 August denied that she offered Republika
Srpska President Biljana Plavsic a deal to send Karadzic into exile in a
third country and stressed that the only place for Karadzic is in The
Hague (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 August 1997). Albright said that
she hopes that Plavsic remembers her obligations under the Dayton
agreement better than she remembered the conversation in which
Plavsic alleged that Albright had offered her the deal. Also in
Washington, the Pentagon denied reports that NATO commandos are
training to catch war criminals. News agencies added, however, that
Defense Department officials privately confirmed the report.

BRCKO UPDATE. Robert Farrand, the international supervisor in the
contested northern Bosnian town of Brcko, said on 13 August that the
Bosnian Serb authorities continue to refuse to issue identity
documents to Muslims and Croats returning to their homes. He said
that the refugees' documents from the Croatian-Muslim federation
will remain valid until the Serbian authorities change their policy.
Republika Srpska Prime Minister Gojko Klickovic responded that
"technical difficulties" are the reason that the Serbs have not issued
the refugees new papers. He accused Farrand of trying to encourage
an influx of refugees into the town. The Serbs, Klickovic added, insist
that any returns take place "at a normal pace." In Sarajevo, SFOR
troops went on heightened alert after receiving what spokesmen
called "a security threat."

TALKS UNDER WAY TO SEND INDICTED BOSNIAN CROAT TO THE
HAGUE? Negotiations are in progress to send one of the most wanted
indicted Bosnian war criminals, Dario Kordic, to face the Hague-based
war crimes tribunal, the Zagreb weekly "Globus" reported on 14
August. Kresimir Zubak, the Croatian member of the Bosnian joint
presidency, said: "I think it is possible they will manage to agree and
that [Kordic] will go to The Hague on the condition that the trial
begins reasonably quickly." Kordic may well go to The Hague as early
as within the next 10 days, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from
Zagreb. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman has been under strong
U.S. pressure to send indicted Bosnian Croats to the court. Gen.
Tihomir Blaskic has been in The Hague since April 1996 as a result of
negotiations with the tribunal. Both he and Kordic were indicted for
crimes connected with the 1993 Croatian-Muslim conflict.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT, TRADE UNIONS REACH AGREEMENT.
Representatives of the main trade unions met with Prime Minister
Victor Ciorbea and members of his cabinet on 13 August and reached
an agreement on wages for the period August-December 1997,
Romanian media reported. This latest agreement stipulates an
increase of 15 percent for August and September and a further 14
percent increase for October through December. The minimum salary
will be 225,000 lei (some $30) in August and September and
250,000 lei for the remainder of the year. Also on 13 August, local
media reported that most miners at the Deva copper mines have
registered to receive government compensation for employees at
companies undergoing liquidation, even though the Deva mines are
not on the liquidation list.

RUSSIAN COMMANDER IN TRANSDNIESTER CRITICIZES TIRASPOL
LEADERSHIP. Gen. Valerii Yevnevich, in a statement published on 13
August, says the Transdniester leadership's claims on Russian army
assets are "a provocation" and "may wreck the process of a peaceful
settlement of the Transdniester conflict," ITAR-TASS reported on 13
August. Representatives of organizations calling themselves
"voluntary" and "civic" (such as the United Council of Work
Collectives, the Women's Union, and the Union of Cossacks) recently
appealed to Yevnevich not to contribute to the Moldovan-Russian
maneuvers scheduled for October by providing equipment which,
they claimed, belongs to the Transdniester and is "temporarily used
by the Russian army." Yevnevich said in his statement that this was a
"slanderous campaign" against the Russian troops.

MOLDOVA TO SELL MIG-29S. Two high-ranking Moldovan officers
said in a televised interview on 12 August that Moldova plans to sell
MiG-29 fighters and purchase combat helicopters, BASA-press
reported. Gen. Ion Nanii, an adviser to Defense Minister Valeriu
Pasat, and Col. Dumitru Braghis, who commands the Decebal aviation
brigade, said the government has not yet decided to which country to
sell the airplanes. Braghis denied reports that six MiGs have already
been sold to Belarus, explaining that the planes had flown to Minsk
for repairs and would return to Moldova. The two officers said the
number of helicopters to be purchased depends on the amount
obtained from the sale of the MiGs. They added that details of the
deal are a "state secret."

MOLDOVAN PREMIER DENIES INTENTION TO RECOGNIZE
BESSARABIAN CHURCH. Ion Ciubuc has said that Gheorghe Armasu,
the director of the government office in charge of religious affairs,
"misinformed" the Chisinau Court of Appeal when he said the
government will recognize the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church on
13 August (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 August 1997), RFE/RL's
Chisinau bureau reported on 13 August. Ciubuc said the
government's agenda for its 13 August meeting had never included
the Church's recognition. The Bessarabian Church is subordinated to
the Bucharest patriarchate and has been denied recognition for five
years. Armasu told the court that the reason for the denial of
recognition was that "Bessarabia" (the name of the Romanian
province whose bulk makes up today's Moldova) does not exist at all.

BULGARIAN POLICE SEIZE PIRATED VIDEOS. Continuing the drive to
crackdown on audio-visual piracy (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 July
1997), police on 13 August seized some 2,000 illegally produced
video cassettes, BTA reported. The raid was carried out in 63 stores
and companies that distribute video cassettes in the Bulgarian
capital. The confiscated cassettes are valued at some $8,200. The
Ministry of Interior released a statement saying that since the
beginning of 1997, more than 200,000 illegally produced compact
discs, 100,000 audio cassettes, and 30,000 video cassettes have been
confiscated.

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               Copyright (c) 1997 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
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