True heroism consists not in fighting under a flag but in not fighting at all. - Freidrich Nietzsche
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 133, Part II, 7 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



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Headlines, Part II

* BELARUSIAN OFFICIAL KILLED BY BOMB

* SERBIAN PRESIDENTIAL POLL DECLARED INVALID

* GELBARD MEETS SERBIAN, KOSOVAR OPPOSITION

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN OFFICIAL KILLED BY BOMB. Yevhenii Mikolutsky, a
parliamentary deputy and chairman of the Mohilev Raion State
Control Committee, died of injuries sustained when a remote-
controlled bomb exploded in his apartment building on 6 October,
Russian media reported. Mikolutsky was a friend of President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka. The Prosecutor-General's Office has opened
a criminal investigation into the blast.

IAEA TO FUND REINFORCEMENT OF CHORNOBYL SARCOPHAGUS. The
International Atomic Energy Agency has announced it will create a
fund to reinforce the concrete shield around the damaged reactor at
the Chornobyl nuclear plant, Interfax and Reuters reported on 6
October. Environment Minister Yuri Kostenko was quoted as saying
that the IAEA has launched an international appeal for $350 million
to strengthen the so-called sarcophagus, which was hurriedly
constructed around the reactor after the April 1986 accident. The
total cost of the operation is put at $750 million. The Group of Seven
leading industrialized countries has agreed to provide $300 million
and Kyiv $50 million.

UKRAINE, RUSSIA TO ESTABLISH JOINT VENTURE ON NUCLEAR FUEL.
Ukraine and Russia plan to set up a joint venture to supply Ukraine's
nuclear stations with fuel, Interfax-Ukraine and Reuters reported on
6 October. An unnamed government source in Kyiv said Ukraine's
State Property Fund will take a 30 percent stake in the venture on
behalf of the state Energoatom company, while Russia's OAO TVEL,
which is the sole supplier of fuel for Ukraine's nuclear plants, will
have a 35 percent share. The remaining 35 percent will be divided
between Ukraine's VA-Bank, Russia's Inkombank, and the Ukrainian-
Andorran AMP joint venture. According to Interfax-Ukraine, the
venture is due to be finalized in December and will allow most
payments through barter of food and metals. Under a 1994 deal
between Ukraine, Russia, and the U.S., Ukraine transferred all
strategic nuclear warheads to Russia for destruction in exchange for
free fuel. That deal is due to expire by year's end.

ESTONIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON MILITARY TRAGEDY. Addressing
the parliament on 6 October, Andrus Oovel acknowledged his political
responsibility for the 11 September military accident but also
criticized Major General Johannes Kert, commander of the defense
forces, ETA reported. The accident, in which 14 peace-keepers
perished, could have been avoided if the Estonian chain of command
had been in force for the Estonian unit of the Baltic Peacekeeping
Battallion, Oovel said. Kert on 3 October published the chain of
command for BALTBAT, putting himself at the top. Meanwhile, the
parliamentary State Defense Committee on 6 October announced the
Defense Ministry was responsible for "insufficient legal regulation" of
the defense forces and BALTBAT. Also on 6 October, the United
Opposition, the largest opposition force in the parliament, called for
Prime Minister Mart Siimann to accept Oovel's resignation, tendered
shortly after the accident. Kert has also offered to step down, but
President Lennart Meri has not accepted his resignation.

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT NOT TO RUN FOR RE-ELECTION. Algirdas
Brazauskas said in a live television address on 6 October that he will
not run for re-election in the December presidential elections.
Brazauskas said he had feared his communist past would be the
focus of the campaign. "My earlier political career as a member of the
Communist Party, always mentioned in foreign media reports, is a
big minus for Lithuania," he commented. Brazauskas, who is 65 and
has consistently topped opinion polls as the country's most popular
politician, also commented it is time for the head of state to come
from a new generation. Five candidates have so far declared their
intention to run in the presidential ballot, including former deputy
prosecutor-general Arturas Paulauskas, Valdas Adamkus, a U.S.
citizen of Lithuanian origin, and parliamentary speaker Vytautas
Landsbergis.

POLISH FORMER COMMUNIST LEADER QUESTIONS DECISION ON
KUKLINSKI. General Wojciech Jaruzelski and 30 other communist-era
generals have sent an open letter to military prosecutors demanding
an explanation for the decision to discontinue the investigation into
Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski. Kuklinski, who had spied for the CIA since
1972, fled Poland weeks before Jaruzelski declared martial law in
December 1981. Kuklinski provided documents on Warsaw Pact
plans to invade Poland to curb the Solidarity movement. He was
sentenced to death for high treason in 1984, but the sentence was
later commuted to a jail term. Kuklinski, who has been living under
an assumed identity in the U.S., plans to visit Poland later this year
to receive honorary citizenship of the city of Krakow, Reuters
reported.

CZECH INTERIOR MINISTER JUSTIFIES HIS CHOICE FOR SUCCESSOR. Jan
Ruml said on Czech Radio on 6 October that he wants Labor and
Social Affairs Minister Jindrich Vodicka to succeed him at the
Interior Ministry, despite the fact Vodicka studied at the Odessa
naval college before becoming a captain in the Czechoslovak
merchant marine. Ruml, who intends to leave his post by the end of
this year, said Vodicka meets the criteria of decency and experience
in management and public administration. He added that it was not
important to take public reaction into account. Both the ruling
coalition and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party, to
which Vodicka belongs, are divided over whether to appoint Vodicka
or find a "new face."

MECIAR SAYS SLOVAK BANKS GRANTED UNCOVERED LOANS WORTH
$6.5 BILLION. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar , speaking on
Slovak Radio on 6 October, said he has told the police that the
country's banks have granted uncovered loans totaling 220 billion
Slovak crowns ($6.5 billion). Meciar described the situation as "fraud
that has gone unpunished" to the detriment of the state. He also
announced the government will soon start discussing several bills
intended to strengthen the authorities' ability to fight crime,
including clamping down on private security services.

SLOVAK POLITICAL SATIRIST SAYS HE IS UNDER THREAT. Rasto
Pisko, one of Slovakia's most popular political satirists, told
journalists in Bratislava on 6 October that he was injured in an
assault by an unknown assailant on 21 September. He said that one
week later, he began to be followed and harassed with threatening
telephone calls that referred to the previously unpublicized assault.
In his shows, Pisko frequently targets leaders from both the ruling
coalition and the opposition as well as President Michal Kovac. He has
also been outspoken in his criticism of the ruling coalition.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN PRESIDENTIAL POLL DECLARED INVALID... The Serbian
Electoral Commission has declared the 5 October run-off election for
president invalid because of insufficient voter turnout. The
commission said only 48 percent of eligible voters turned out at the
polls. Serbian law requires a 50 percent participation for a ballot to
be valid. The Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) said turnout was
particularly low in Belgrade and Vojvodina, Kosovo and the mainly
Muslim Sandzak area. The decision denied victory to hard-line
nationalist Vojislav Seselj, who won 49 percent of the vote. His
challenger, Zoran Lilic, gained 48 percent. Seselj predicted he will win
in new elections, which must be held within 60 days.

...WHILE OPPOSITION LEADERS CONSIDER RUNNING. The leaders of
the opposition Democratic Party and Civic Alliance said on 6 October
they may run in the next presidential election, Tanjug reported.
Alliance leader Vesna Pesic said the opposition received a hard blow
with the Zajedno coalition's collapse and has now decided to form a
"far broader and more cooperative model of cooperation than
before." Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic announced the
formation within 20 days of a broad democratic bloc that could
nominate a candidate for the next presidential elections. Djindjic, who
was ousted as mayor of Belgrade on 1 October, announced further
street protests as part of a "new offensive" by the non-parliamentary
opposition. "We have no recourse but to use extra-institutional
methods of struggle," he remarked.

GELBARD MEETS SERBIAN, KOSOVAR OPPOSITION. U.S. special envoy
Robert Gelbard met with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in
Belgrade on 6 October. He also held separate talks in the Serbian
capital with opposition leaders Djindjic and Pesic, vice presidents of
the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo Hidajet Hiseni and Fehmi Agani,
leader of the Parliamentary Party of Kosovo Adem Demaci, as well as
Serbian and Kosovar student leaders. Pesic said she had stressed in
her talks with Gelbard that the U.S. "must be crystal clear as far as
Kosovo's status is concerned." She said that Kosovo is part of Serbia
and that a "solution must be found within the existing framework."
She also commented that Gelbard confirmed the U.S. stance that
there will be "no more fragmentation and disintegration of states."

BOSNIAN SERB ARMY HOLDS FIRST MILITARY EXERCISES SINCE
DAYTON. Banja Luka TV on 6 October reported that the First and
Third Bosnian Serb Army Corps were beginning exercises near
Bijeljina, in the northeast of Bosnia, the first major military
maneuvers of the Republika Srpksa Army since the signing of the
Dayton agreements. General Bosko Kelecevic, the head of the First
Corps Command, said the maneuvers involved several units and large
amounts of military hardware. He said preparations for such
exercises can now be completed within 10 days, instead of the
prewar average of two months, because commanding officers and
units have the experience of the recent war. Kelecevic said the final
stages of the exercise will be held on 8 October on the Manjaca test
range.

DID KRAJISNIK PREVENT COUNTERATTACK ON SFOR? Momcilo
Krajisnik, the hard-line Bosnian Serb member of the all-Bosnian
collective presidency, prevented a counterattack on SFOR after
NATO-led troops seized four Bosnian Serb Radio and Television (SRT)
transmitters on 1 October, "Gradjanin" reported on 4-5 October,
quoting an unnamed Republika Srpska minister. The minister was
quoted as saying that Krajisnik is very angry with SRT Director
Mirosav Toholj for censoring a news conference by Hague Tribunal
Prosecutor Louise Arbour and thereby prompting SFOR to seize SRT
transmitters. The minister also said Krajisnik managed to stop the
police in Pale from organizing a "happening of the people" after SFOR
seized the transmitters. "Everything was ready for a counterattack on
SFOR in the areas of the seized television transmitters, but Krajisnik
decided this would have ended badly and did everything to prevent
it," according to the minister.

CROATIAN PORT REJECTS U.S. DRAFT ACCORD. The Ploce municipal
council on 6 October unanimously rejected a draft agreement on the
use of the town's port, HINA reported. The proposal was drawn up
by a U.S. arbitration commission and provides with Bosnian access to
the port. The news agency quoted municipal officials as saying the
draft was "based on destroying Croatia's sovereignty in Ploce and
would mean the disappearance of the Croatian identity in the
Neretva River valley and the town of Ploce."

TWO EXPLOSIONS NEAR SLOVENIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY. Two
explosive devices went off near the Defense Ministry in Ljubljana,
HINA reported, citing POP-TV on 6 October. The news agency noted
that official TV Slovenija did not mention the incident at all. Defense
Minister Tit Turnsek said civil police are investigating. He said the
ministry grounds did not suffer any damage.

ALBANIAN PREMIER CALLS FOR NEW STYLE OF DIPLOMACY. Socialist
Prime Minister Fatos Nano said on 6 October that he is in favor of
introducing a new style of foreign policy, in particular toward
Albania's Balkan neighbors, ATA reported. Speaking to newly
appointed Albanian ambassadors and diplomats, Nano said "we favor
the Balkans being without walls" and added that "in the hot,
problem-plagued Balkans, the only solution is dialogue, not violence."
Nano also called for reforming the Foreign Ministry's structures,
saying that Albanian diplomats should support the government's
programs and the defense of national interests.

ALBANIAN MINERS GO ON STRIKE. Some 500 coal miners in the
southern town of Memaliaj launched an indefinite strike on 6 October
to demand payment of three months' back wages. Meanwhile, the
daily anti-government rallies in Tirana have entered their third
week. The protesters are demanding the resignations of Nano and
parliamentary leaders. Former President and Democratic Party
leader Sali Berisha, who is organizing the protests, appealed to
demonstrators on 4 October to "unite in protecting democracy. That is
what Europe and the USA is asking of us."

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SUBMITS EVIDENCE ON SPYING
ALLEGATIONS. Adrian Severin on 6 October submitted to the
Romanian Intelligence Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service
documents reportedly substantiating his allegations that some party
leaders and journalists are foreign agents, Radio Bucharest reported.
The next day, he told the radio station that criticism directed against
him displays a "lack of responsibility" and that those criticizing him
should instead address the issue he has raised. Severin went on to
say that corruption is not restricted to the economic sector alone. On
6 October, the major coalition partner, the National Peasant Party
Christian Democratic, announced it will demand Severin's dismissal if
he is unable to substantiate his allegations, RFE/RL's Bucharest
bureau reported.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT AMENDS REGULATIONS ON MINERS'
COMPENSATION. The government on 6 October amended the
regulations on compensation to miners who accept early retirement
or being laid off. The offer will now apply only where the work force
is sufficiently large to ensure the continued operation of the mines.
Decisions on whether to offer early retirement are to be taken by the
six state mining companies depending on their envisaged needs,
RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Minister of Trade and Industry
Calin Popescu Tariceanu said the leaders of the miners' unions
participated in consultations with the government and agreed with
its decision. He said that of the 175,000 people who were employed
in the coal mining sector earlier this year, some 80,000 have left the
industry.

HUNGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER COMMEMORATES EXECUTED
GENERALS. Gyorgy Keleti on 6 October laid a wreath at a memorial in
Arad, Romania, to 13 Hungarian generals executed on 6 October 1849
by the Austrians, following the failed 1848 uprising. Romanian
Deputy Defense Minister Dan Zaharia also participated in the
ceremony, Hungarian and Romanian media reported. Until this year,
Romanian authorities raised objections to the participation of
Hungarian officials in ceremonies on the anniversary of the
execution, which is commemorated by the ethnic Hungarian minority
in Romania. Later the same day, in the presence of Keleti, Zaharia laid
a wreath at a monument dedicated to Romanian soldiers. The two
men also met to discuss military collaboration in general and the
planned joint peacekeeping battalion in particular.

BULGARIA TO SIGN CONVENTION ON MINORITIES. The government
on 6 October announced it will join the Council of Europe's
Convention on the Protection of Minorities, RFE/RL's Sofia bureau
reported. President Petar Stoyanov said he will sign the convention
during the upcoming Council of Europe meeting in Strasbourg.






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