I dream my painting, and then I paint my dreams. - Vincent van Gogh
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 131, Part II, 3 October 1997



A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern Europe,
Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the staff of Radio
Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This is Part II, a compilation of news concerning Central, Eastern, and
Southeastern Europe.  Part I covers Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia and is distributed simultaneously as a
second document.  Back issues of RFE/RL NewsLine and the OMRI
Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web site:
http://www.rferl.org/newsline

RUSSIAN MEDIA EMPIRES. Government and business entities control
many major Russian media. This special report on the RFE/RL Web
site lists the important players.
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/rumedia/index.html

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Headlines, Part II

* BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT PROTESTS TO YELTSIN

* MOSCOW SAYS SFOR SEIZURE OF BOSNIAN SERB RADIO, TV
UNJUSTIFIED

* PRISTINA STUDENTS PLEDGE TO RESUME PROTESTS

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT PROTESTS TO YELTSIN. Following Moscow's
decision not to allow the Belarusian leader to visit two Russian
regional cities, Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 2 October sent a telegram
to President Boris Yeltsin saying the incident "did not correspond" to
relations between the two countries and "contradicts the common
strategy" of integration, ITAR-TASS reported. Meanwhile, Belarusian
Foreign Minister Ivan Antonovich told the UN General Assembly that
relations between Minsk and Moscow are not proceeding "smoothly"
but could nonetheless serve as a model for relations between other
countries, Belarusian media reported. His remarks followed
increasingly harsh exchanges between the two capitals over the
nature of their relations, Interfax reported.

RUSSIAN REACTION TO CANCELED LUKASHENKA VISIT. Russian State
Duma Speaker Gennadii Seleznev says the forced cancellation of
Belarusian President Lukashenka's planned visit to Lipetsk Oblast is
an "unfriendly move" that may damage Russian-Belarusian relations,
ITAR-TASS reported on 2 October. The same day, Yeltsin said
Belarusian authorities should release Russian Public Television (ORT)
journalist Pavel Sheremet before Lukashenka visits Russia. But
Seleznev argued that is "absolutely unacceptable" to link a "simple
criminal case with inter-state relations." Also on 2 October, Governor
Anatolii Lisitsyn of Yaroslavl Oblast, which Lukashenka had also
been scheduled to visit, told Interfax that the cancellation of
Lukashenka's trip defied logic, commenting "Farewell, common sense!
Long live ORT!" Lisitsyn also said unnamed authorities in Moscow
tried to pressure him to cancel Lukashenka's visit but that he had
refused on the grounds that the visit would help the Yaroslavl
economy.

UKRAINIAN SECURITY CHIEF SAYS KYIV SLOW TO INCREASE NATO
TIES. Vladimir Gorbulin, the secretary of the Ukrainian National
Security Council, has complained that Kyiv has made "no serious
progress" in developing cooperation with NATO, Interfax reported on
2 October. Gorbulin made his remarks during the first meeting of a
new state commission intended to promote cooperation with the
Western alliance. He called on all ministries and state agencies to
work together to increase cooperation with NATO.

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT HOLDS EMERGENCY SESSION. The
government on 2 October convened an emergency session that was
also attended by defense forces commander Major-General Johannes
Kert, ETA reported. Following the meeting, Justice Minister Paul
Varul said nothing has been done to improve the situation in the
defense forces since the accident in mid-September in which 14
peacekeepers perished. He pointed out that it was only on 30
September that the head of the ill-fated peacekeeping unit was
relieved of his duties. Kert, for his part, said he had waited for the
government report to appear before taking action. He stressed,
however, that he would now act decisively. A government
investigative commission blamed the military leadership for the
tragedy. President Lennart Meri has sharply criticized the
government report and pointed to shortcomings at the Defense
Ministry (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 and 2 October 1997).

LITHUANIAN PREMIER SLAMS CHARGES AGAINST LANDSBERGIS.
According to Gediminas Vagnorius, claims that parliamentary
chairman Vytautas Landsbergis collaborated with the Soviet KGB are
"rude attacks inspired by personal and political motives...[and] based
on accusations by antagonistic Soviet security officers," BNS reported
on 2 October. Vagnorius is a prominent leader of Landsbergis's
Conservative Party. Also on 2 October, the chairman of the
parliamentary commission investigating deputies' possible links with
secret services abroad said that testimony against Landsbergis has
been received from only one former KGB official, adding that it
cannot be considered valid evidence. Earlier press reports claimed
that four former KGB officials submitted testimony (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 2 October 1997). Meanwhile, opposition deputies have
proposed that Landsbergis suspend his political activities while the
investigation into his past continues.

SOLANA SAYS NEW NATO MEMBERS MUST MEET ENTRY COSTS. NATO
Secretary-General Javier Solana has told top defense officials from
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary that they will have to bear
most of the costs of joining the alliance. Solana met with the Central
European officials on 2 October in Maastricht. U.S. Defense Secretary
William Cohen also stressed that the new members must
demonstrate their willingness to pay for expansion and not depend
on wealthier members.  Polish Deputy Defense Minister Andzej
Karkoszka, addressing an annual NATO gathering, said Warsaw is
willing and able to pay the costs. Czech Defense Minister Miroslav
Vyborny promised defense spending will double in the next two
years. His Hungarian counterpart, Gyorgy Keleti, said Budapest will
allocate 1.51 percent of GDP for defense spending in 1998 and 1.81
percent by the year 2001.

MORE POST-ELECTION MANEUVERING IN POLAND. Solidarity
Electoral Action (AWS) leader Marian Krzaklewski and Freedom
Union chief Leszek Balcerowicz have said they will meet soon to
begin to decide who will fill which posts in the new government, PAP
reported on 2 October. The same day, the leadership of the Polish
Roman Catholic Church said it would support the creation of a new
Christian Democratic Party based on the AWS. Meanwhile, the
outgoing government has made an announcement that the new
cabinet may find hard to live up to: according to Finance Minister
Marek Belka, the economy would grow by 5.5 percent and inflation
fall to 9.5 percent in 1998 if the current government's budgetary
plans were adhered to.

CZECH-GERMAN FUND TO BE LAUNCHED IN JANUARY. German Foreign
Minister Klaus Kinkel and Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus agreed
in Prague on 3 October that the Czech-German discussion forum and
the joint Fund for the Future will begin operations on 1 January.
Germany is to deposit DM 140 million ($22.6 million) and the Czech
Republic 440 million crowns ($13.5 million) in the fund. The January
1997 bilateral declaration on mutual relations provided for the fund
and stipulated that the money will be used for the victims of Nazism
but not as compensation to individuals. Kinkel avoided a reporter's
question about whether Germany will compensate individual Czech
victims of Nazi persecution with other funds. The establishment of a
discussion forum has been prevented until now by disagreement
over who should participate and whether hard-line Sudeten German
expellees should be included.

CZECH COURT HALTS PROSECUTION OF TWO ALLEGED 1968
TRAITORS. Prague's High Court on 2 October halted further
prosecution of two communist-era hard-liners, Milos Jakes and Jozef
Lenart, on charges of treason. Chief judge Vladimir Vocka told the
daily "Pravo" that the proceedings were halted because their crime
was "not a punishable offense." In May 1997, Jakes and Lenart were
indicted for treason in connection with having taken part in
negotiations at the Soviet embassy in August 1968 (during the
Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia) on forming a
"workers' and peasants' government."

DIGITAL "KOVAC CLOCK" TO BE REMOVED. Bratislava municipal
authorities on 2 October ordered the removal of a large electronic
digital rooftop clock showing the number of days left until President
Michal Kovac's five-year term in office expires in February. A local
official told "Sme" that  the clock, which faces the presidential palace,
is an "unlawful advertising device." Meanwhile, Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar told a rally of his Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia (HZDS) on 2 October that the party would like to have as
president a "person with national consciousness [and] a sense of
social and Christian values, respecting all people, uniting instead of
dividing them, and treating them as a father." He conceded that an
HZDS candidate would have no chance of becoming president but said
the possibility of combining the posts of premier and president
remains an "open question."

ZHIRINOVSKY MAKES "OFFER" TO HUNGARY. In an interview with the
Hungarian daily "Nepszabadsag,"  Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the
nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, has offered to help
Hungary regain territories that are now part of Ukraine and have  a
large Hungarian minority. The territories belonged to the former
Czechoslovakia between the two World Wars and were briefly
annexed by Hungary during World War II.  Zhirinovsky, who is in
Budapest on a private visit, also warned that Hungary "would swarm
with spies and provocateurs" if it joins NATO, AFP reported on 2
October. In other news, Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs on
2 October presented a piece of the barbed wire fence that separated
communist-era Hungary from Austria to the George Bush Library in
Houston, "Nepszabadsag" reported.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MOSCOW SAYS SFOR SEIZURE OF BOSNIAN SERB RADIO, TV
UNJUSTIFIED. The Russian Foreign Ministry on 2 October said  there
was no "serious justification" for the NATO-led operation the
previous day to seize control of hard-line Bosnian Serb radio and
television, Interfax reported. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman
Valerii Nesterushkin said "there are reasons to fear that such actions
may jeopardize the implementation of the Belgrade agreements of 24
September on overcoming the crisis in Republika Srpska and provoke
a new wave of confrontation." But the U.S. State Department has
rejected Russian criticism about the NATO seizures. State Department
spokesman James Foley noted the operation was "fully in conformity
with agreements" reached by the alliance's foreign ministers at
Sintra, Portugal in May and at subsequent meetings "to which the
Russians were a party."

UN-SUPERVISED EXHUMATION CONCLUDED IN BOSNIA.  A total of 87
bodies have been recovered from a mass grave at Hrgar, in
northwestern Bosnia, ending a month-long exhumation supervised
by the UN, Bosnian Television reported on 2 October   All the bodies
have been exhumed and undergone an autopsy, according to experts
involved in the excavation. To date, 43 of the victims, all believed to
be Muslim civilians, have been identified.  Residents from the
surrounding area with relatives reported missing have been asked to
help identify the bodies.  Hrgar was a Bosnian Serb artillery position
during the siege of the Bihac enclave. Several Bosnian officials said
the victims at Hrgar were civilians arrested by Serbian forces as they
tried to flee the area, HINA reported.

MORE RESULTS OF BOSNIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. The Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe on 2 October released the results
of the September local elections for a further 14 communities.
Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic's Democratic Action Party (SDA)
maintained its control of three of Sarajevo's four constituencies. In
the Muslim-controlled town of Bosanski Petrovac, which was 74
percent Serbian before the war, refugee voters ensured the victory
of a Serbian opposition coalition party. Similarly, in the formerly
multi-ethnic, now Serb-controlled town of Kotor Varos, the Muslim
coalition won the vote. Meanwhile, the Bosnian branch of the
Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has challenged the results in
Bosanski Brod , in which the Serbian bloc won 24 town council seats
and the Croatian-Muslim bloc 21. Local HDZ chairman Zdravko
Marinic said this is exactly what the HDZ had feared and why it had
wanted to boycott the elections, HINA reported.

PRISTINA STUDENTS PLEDGE TO RESUME PROTESTS... Pristina
University student leaders have pledged to resume protests by mid-
October unless the Serbian authorities implement the 1996 education
agreement between then Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and
Kosovar leader Ibrahim Rugova, the Kosovo Information Center
reported on 2 October. The previous day, student leaders agreed to
calls by Rugova and Western diplomats to postpone further protests
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 October 1997). Ernest Luma, deputy
chairman of the Student Union of  Pristina University, has said that
at least 100 students were beaten  by the police, of whom 13
sustained "severe injuries." Police are maintaining tight control on all
access routes to Pristina in a bid to prevent young people from
entering the city, ATA reported.

...AS LILIC WARNS KOSOVARS. Zoran Lilic, the left-wing candidate in
the 5 October run-off presidential  elections in Serbia, told Kosovo's
Serbian Radio Mitrovica on 2 October that ethnic Albanians in Kosovo
cannot attend schools in Serbia that use curricula drawn up in Tirana,
nor can they open universities. "There exists one university and one
education system [in Kosovo], which must be respected", he said,
adding, "they have the opportunity, if they choose to take it, to
attend classes in Albanology, to have the right to their own culture,
history, and  media in their own language. They have the right to
everything other  minorities throughout the world have." Lilic also
remarked that Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo will never be a
national minority, nor will there ever be another republic in Serbia
in addition to the Republic of Serbia.

YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT TAKES MEASURES AGAINST GRAY
ECONOMY. The government on 2 October announced that all
competent state bodies will undertake rigorous and coordinated
action to eliminate the parallel or gray economy, Tanjug reported.
The cabinet noted that the "illegal parallel economy has reached such
a level as to become a serious threat to the country's economic and
even political system." Measures will include tax reform and strict
enforcement of the penal code.

POLICE HEADQUARTERS ATTACKED IN ALBANIA. Unidentified
persons on 2 October used antitank shells to attack the police
headquarters in Saranda, in southern Albania, ATA reported. Police
believe the attack was linked with the detention of three persons
suspected of injuring a police officer and of robbery.  An explosion in
front of the town hall occurred simultaneously with the antitank
attack. Interior Minister Neritan Ceka and Interior Ministry
Secretary of State Ndre Legisi arrived in Saranda the same day for
talks with local government and police officials.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT ASKS SEVERIN TO SUBSTANTIATE SPY
ALLEGATIONS. The government on 2 October asked Foreign Minister
Adrian Severin to submit to the appropriate authorities evidence
substantiating his allegations that "foreign agents" are active in
political parties and in the media (see "RFE/RL Newsline, 23
September 1997). A governmental press release said the executive
will debate the issue again following the completion of the
investigation. Also on 2 October, the ruling coalition's Coordination
Commission recommended that the ordinance on the closure of mines
and on miners' compensation remain in force, RFE/RL's Bucharest
bureau reported. That decision contradicts the recent agreement
between Finance Minister Mircea Ciumara and leaders of the mining
trade unions (See "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 October 1997).

ROMANIAN SENATE TO  DEBATE ACCESS TO SECURITATE FILES. The
Senate has voted in favor of an urgent debate on Senator Ticu
Dumitrescu's draft law on accessing the files of the former
communist secret police. The debate will take place on 14 October
and is seen as support for Dumitrescu in his dispute with the
leadership of the National Peasant Party Christian Democratic (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 2 October 1997). However, an RFE/RL Bucharest
correspondent noted  there are doubts about the constitutionality of
the vote. The basic document stipulates that if a draft law affects the
state budget, it must be considered by the government before the
parliament can debate it. The Dumitrescu draft falls into that
category since it provides for the setting up of a body overseeing
access to the files and  for the financing of that body from the
budget.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT CONFIDENT ABOUT TRANSDNIESTER
SOLUTION. At a meeting with a visiting Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe delegation on 2 October, Petru Lucinschi said
he is confident that agreement  on a  solution to the Transdniester
conflict will be reached in negotiations at expert level in Moscow in
October, Infotag reported. He stressed Chisinau's intention to offer
Tiraspol broad autonomy within a unified Moldova. However,
Aleksandr Karaman, the breakaway region's vice president, told the
same delegation in Tiraspol that the Transdniester authorities view
the "joint state" as being made up of two equal entities with some
common structures jointly agreed on.

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT OVERRIDES PRESIDENTIAL VETOES. The
parliament on 2 October overrode President Lucinschi's vetoes of two
laws.  Lucinschi had refused to promulgate a law, passed by the
legislature on 25 July, that would abolish penalties for failing to
make payments to the state budget that were due by 1 July. The
president had argued the law would greatly reduce financial
discipline. The second piece of legislation he had vetoed would
amend the law on the State Accounting Chamber to require that body
to submit reports to the parliament within five days of receiving
such a request, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported.






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