If we are to live together in peace, we must first come to know each other better. - Lyndon B. Johnson
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 142, Part II, 20 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

CENTRAL ASIA IN TRANSITION: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. This
six-part report on the RFE/RL Web site details how much has
changed since the collapse of the USSR -- and how much has not.
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/asia/index.html

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Headlines, Part II

* BELARUSIANS PROTEST RESTRICTIVE MEDIA LAW

* DJUKANOVIC WINS MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENTIAL VOTE

* PALE LEADERSHIP UNITES AROUND KRAJISNIK

End Note
THE SECURITY NATO CAN'T PROVIDE

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIANS PROTEST RESTRICTIVE MEDIA LAW. Some 1,000
people took part in a protest march in central Minsk on 19 October to
denounce new legislation that would allow Belarusian officials to
close any media outlet releasing materials that the government
believes threaten the country's national interests or defame its
president or other officials mentioned in the constitution, RFE/RL's
Belarusian Service reported. The new legislation would require that
all publications register with the state and not just, as now, those
whose circulation exceeds 500 copies. Among the marchers was
Pavel Sheremet, the Russian Public Television correspondent who
spent more than two months in a Belarusian detention center and
who still faces trial on charges that he illegally tried to cross the
Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

UKRAINE REJECTS ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE FOR CRIMEA. Prime
Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko told journalists on 17 October that
Kyiv may annul the Crimean parliament's decision to put the
peninsula in the same time zone as Moscow and to seek economic
independence from Ukraine, Interfax reported. Pustovoytenko added
that Crimea could make progress "only together" with the rest of
Ukraine. At the same press conference, he refused to answer
questions about the lawsuit brought against him by former Prime
Minister Pavel Lazarenko.

POWER PROBLEMS PLAGUE UKRAINE. A cracked pipeline recently
shut down another nuclear power plant, Ukrainian media reported.
Operators at the Zaporizhska nuclear power plant took that step after
discovering a leak. Shortly before, managers at the Chornobyl plant
announced that it will not start up again until sometime in 1998 (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 15 October 1997). Ukraine is also suffering from
a shortage of natural gas, ITAR-TASS reported on 17 October.
Ukrgazprom no longer has any reserves and hopes to draw from
state reserves. Meanwhile, unidentified thieves drilled a hole in the
Druzhba pipeline near the village of Suskovo in Ukraine's
Transcarpathian region, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 October. The
pipeline burst and several tons of oil flowed into a tributary of the
River Uzh, which marks a large stretch of the Ukrainian-Slovak
border. It is the third incident this year in which attempts have been
made to tap the pipeline that carries oil from Russia to Western
Europe.

UKRAINIAN RAILWAYS REFUSE TO HELP DEFENSE MINISTRY. The
railways are refusing to transport Defense Ministry freight and
passengers until the government pays what the ministry owes for
past services, ITAR-TASS reported on 19 October. The railways'
decision has blocked delivery of basic necessities to military bases
and may create chaos when some 100,000 draftees are discharged
from the service and sent home.

KINKEL MEETS BALTIC COUNTERPARTS. German Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel told journalists in Riga on 17 October that the European
Commission's recommendation that EU entry talks be started with
Estonia will benefit both Latvia and Lithuania, ETA and BNS reported.
Kinkel made that remark after meeting with his Baltic counterparts.
He stressed that Germany wants all three Baltic States to join the EU
as soon as possible and will make every effort to achieve that goal.
He also rejected as ungrounded concerns that investors will now
prefer Estonia over the two other Baltic States. Toomas Hendrik Ilves
of Estonia supported that viewpoint, noting that portfolio
investments are moving to Latvia and Lithuania. Similarly, Algirdas
Saudargas of Lithuania said investments into his country have
recently increased. Kinkel also commented that Bonn favors good
relations between the Baltics and Russia, and he urged the Baltic
States to sign border agreements with Moscow.

BALTICS SEEK TO ABOLISH NON-TARIFF CUSTOMS BARRIERS.
Meeting among themselves earlier on 17 October, the Baltic foreign
ministers agreed to sign in November an accord that will eventually
abolish non-tariff customs barriers, ETA and BNS reported. Initialed
in September, that agreement is seen as an important step toward
creating a Baltic free economic zone. Two other agreements, on the
free movement of services and labor forces, still require a great deal
of work, according to Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs.

RUSSIAN, LITHUANIAN BORDER DEMARCATION ACCORD READY FOR
SIGNING. Foreign Ministers Yevgenii Primakov and Algirdas
Saudargas held talks in Moscow on 18 October to discuss Lithuanian
President Algirdas Brazauskas's upcoming visit to the Russian capital,
during which the bilateral border demarcation agreement is expected
to be signed, BNS and ITAR-TASS reported. The previous day,
Russian and Lithuanian negotiators put the finishing touches to the
agreement, which both sides hail as signaling a new era in bilateral
relations. Brazauskas's visit to Moscow is scheduled for 23-25
October.

POLISH PREMIER-DESIGNATE BACK AT WORK AFTER
HOSPITALIZATION. Shortly after Polish President Aleksander
Kwasniewski asked him to form a government, Jerzy Busek was
hospitalized for a throat infection, PAP reported on 17 October. The
next day, however, Busek was released. He pledged to start work
immediately on completing the formation of the new coalition
government.

CZECH POLICE DISPERSE SKINHEADS. Police broke up a skinhead
gathering near Plzen on 19 October after participants began shouting
Nazi slogans, CTK reported. Seventeen of the participants were
detained briefly. According to the Czech news agency, the gathering
attracted some 500 skinheads from the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Germany, and Italy.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT, PREMIER IN RARE AGREEMENT. Slovak
President Michal Kovac and Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar issued a
joint statement on 17 October saying they will work together to
promote Slovakia's entry into the EU, Slovak media reported. This
rare display of unity between two men who have typically been at
odds was greeted with skepticism by virtually all other Slovak
political leaders.

HUNGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT ACCUSES OFFICIALS OF
EXERTING PRESSURE. Constitutional Court Chairman Laszlo Solyom on
19 October said Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs and parliamentary
chairman Zoltan Gal exerted pressure on the court before its ruling
on the referendum on foreign ownership of land, Hungarian media
reported. Solyom said that in a telephone conversation, the two
politicians reminded one of the judges of the court's responsibility.
Kovacs rejected the accusation, saying Solyom's remark was a
"political attack in bad taste." He said the telephone conversation was
only to brief the judge on the date of the planned referendum and
how it fitted into the NATO enlargement timetable.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DJUKANOVIC WINS MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENTIAL VOTE. The
Montenegrin Electoral Commission announced on 20 October that
Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic beat outgoing President Momir
Bulatovic in the previous day's elections by just over 6,000 votes.
Belgrade-based Radio B-92 said Bulatovic has conceded defeat. The
turnout was 72 percent. Djukanovic favors wide autonomy from
Belgrade, while Bulatovic is a loyal ally of Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic. Observers expect Djukanovic to concentrate his
energies on blocking attempts by Milosevic to increase the authority
of the federal government at the expense of that of the two
republics. Also in Podgorica, the Interior Ministry charged that the
Belgrade authorities sent 11 agents to Montenegro the previous week
to disrupt the vote (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 October 1997), "Nasa
Borba" wrote on 20 October.

U.S. CALLS FOR END TO KOSOVO VIOLENCE. A U.S. State Department
spokesman on 18 October urged the Serbian authorities in Kosovo
and the province's ethnic Albanian majority to end violence and
resume a dialog. In recent weeks, Albanian terrorists have attacked
Serbian police stations and other government installations. At the
same time, Serbian police have staged raids on ethnic Albanian
villages, and three Kosovars have died in police custody. Albanian
terrorists on 17 October attacked a camp near Decani housing ethnic
Serbian refugees from Albania. In Pristina, Kosovar shadow-state
President Ibrahim Rugova blamed the current violence on what he
called police attempts to intimidate Albanians. Rugova added that
now may be the last chance to restore a dialog, an RFE/RL
correspondent reported from Pristina. Meanwhile, on 18 October,
some 13,000 Albanians attended the funeral near Pec of a young
Kosovar killed in a raid on a police station.

PEACEKEEPERS INSPECT KARADZIC'S COMPOUND. French and Italian
peacekeepers on 20 October inspected the factory compound near
Pale where Bosnian Serb leader and indicted war criminal Radovan
Karadzic has his office. Observers said the inspection is part of an
effort by SFOR to remove from the scene Karadzic's bodyguards and
other special police units, which are illegal under the Dayton
agreements. Meanwhile on nearby Mount Jahorina the previous day,
angry crowds of Bosnian Serb civilians wielding sticks taunted Italian
peacekeepers as they attempted to inspect a former police station.
None of the peacekeepers were injured.

PALE LEADERSHIP UNITES AROUND KRAJISNIK. The steering
committee of the governing Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) agreed
that the party will take part in the 23 November parliamentary
elections. The committee also abolished the post of party president,
which had been held by extreme hard-liner Aleksa Buha, and
replaced it with a collective presidency. An RFE/RL correspondent
reported from Pale that the decisions to participate in the elections
and to set up a collective leadership favor the SDS's relatively
moderate faction under Momcilo Krajisnik at the expense of Buha's
group.

WESTENDORP SPOKESMAN ACCUSES BOSNIAN SERBS OF "SABOTAGE."
A spokesman for Carlos Westendorp, the international community's
chief representative in Bosnia, said in Sarajevo on 19 October that
the Pale-based Bosnian Serb leadership committed "sabotage" when
it disabled a television transmitter broadcasting programs of the
rival Serbian network, based in Banja Luka. The Pale Serbs had used
the transmitter, located at Veliki Zep near the military stronghold of
Han Pijesak, to broadcast their hard-line programs on 16 October.
NATO troops took control of the facility two days later and broadcast
Banja Luka's programs. But Pale loyalists meanwhile removed some
key parts, thereby rendering the transmitter inoperative. Meanwhile,
British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on 19 October pledged $50,000
in aid for Banja Luka Television.

SKINHEADS KILL ROMA YOUTH IN BELGRADE. A group of skinheads
murdered a 13-year-old Roma boy in central Belgrade on 18 October,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the Serbian capital. "Dnevni
telegraf" wrote that the boy appeared to have been killed solely
because of his ethnic origins. The opposition Democratic Party said in
a statement that the Interior Ministry has been so involved in
politics in recent years that it has neglected protecting average
citizens. Spokesmen for other human rights groups said the killing
reflects the growing polarization of society.

ITALIANS RAISE ALBANIAN REFUGEE SHIP. Brindisi authorities said
on 20 October that an Albanian refugee ship that sank in March has
been raised and is being towed to the Italian port. The ship is
believed to hold the bodies of at least 80 people who perished when
the overcrowded vessel suddenly sank. Authorities will seek to
determine how the ship went down. Many of the 34 Albanian
survivors charge that an Italian navy vessel deliberately rammed
the Albanian ship. Italy denies the claim. At the time of the sinking,
thousands of Albanians were fleeing the anarchy in their country by
seeking passage to Italy. The Italian navy had received orders from
Rome to discourage additional refugees from landing.

ROME, TIRANA SEEK $300 MILLION FOR ALBANIA. Italian Foreign
Minister Lamberto Dini, addressing an international conference on
Albania that took place in Rome on 17 October, said Albanian Prime
Minister Fatos Nano's goal of raising $300 million for his country
over the next 18 months is realistic. Dini stressed, however, that
foreign support for Albania will depend on the degree to which the
Albanians help themselves. World Bank Vice President Johannes
Linn added that his goal is to raise $1.5 billion for Albania over five
or six years, provided that Albania continues to promote democracy
and institutional reforms. On 22 October, donors will begin pledging
specific sums at a conference in Brussels.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT ANNULS AGREEMENT WITH
'REVOLUTIONARIES'... The government on 18 October annulled an
agreement recently reached with one of the organizations
representing the "1989 revolutionaries." It explained its decision by
noting that the organization does not represent all the
"revolutionaries." It also said the amended law abolishing the
privileges to "revolutionaries" will not be subject to an emergency
debate. Meanwhile, some 60 "revolutionaries" are continuing their
hunger strike in Bucharest. Dan Iosif, the chief spokesman of the
group, said on 19 October that the strikers will use Molotov cocktails
if police try to disperse the group. He also said the hunger strike will
continue for 200 days, after which the strikers will set themselves
ablaze, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.

...APPROVES DRAFT LAW ON OPENING SECRET POLICE FILES. The
government on 17 October approved a draft law on access to the files
of the former secret police, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.
Under the bill, the name of the informant would be erased from
copies of the files, but people who can prove they suffered on
account of the information contained in the files could ask for the
identity of the informant to be revealed. Access to the files would be
monitored by a nine-member National Council supervised by the
parliament. The bill also stipulates that officials, from the
presidential to the local government level, are required to declare
whether they collaborated with the secret police. Those who admit to
collaboration or those found to have made false declarations will be
requested to resign. If they refuse to do so, their names will be
published in the official government journal "Monitorul oficial."

ROMANIA'S FORMER POLITICAL PRISONERS DIVIDED. At a congress
in Bucharest on 19 October, the Association of Former Political
Prisoners in Romania (AFDPR) elected Cicerone Ioanitoiu as chairman.
Ioanitoiu was backed by Ion Diaconescu, the head of the National
Peasant Party Christian Democratic (PNTCD). Meanwhile, former
AFDPR chairman Ticu Dumitrescu, whose membership in the PNTCD
was recently suspended (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 October 1997),
plans to hold a rival congress in Brasov on 23-24 October. Dumitrescu
criticized the government draft on opening secret police files, which
is different from the draft submitted by him to the parliament. He
said parliamentary oversight of the body monitoring access to the
files amounts to "political supervision," which he said, is bound to
impair the process of revealing all available information on the files.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON UPCOMING CIS SUMMIT. Petru Lucinschi
told ITAR-TASS on 17 October that he plans no "special initiatives"
toward a settlement of the Transdniester conflict at the CIS summit
scheduled for 22-23 October in Chisinau. He said that the presidents
of Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine will meet with the Transdniester
leadership during the summit and that he hoped they will agree to
some "concrete measures" on the demilitarized zone. Meanwhile,
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the extreme nationalist Russian
Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), said he has designated Aleksandr
Saidakov, a former Minister of Industry in the Tiraspol separatist
government, to set up a branch of the LDPR in the region.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE RAPPORTEURS IN MOLDOVA. Two Council of
Europe rapporteurs told journalists in Chisinau on 17 October that
while Moldova has made progress toward democratization and
bringing its legislation into line with European standards, much
remains to be done in implementing legal reforms. They noted there
is "regrettably little progress" in finding a settlement to the
Transdniester conflict, which, they said, depends primarily on Russia
and the withdrawal of the Russian military from the separatist
region, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. They also commented
that in solving the problem of the Bessarabian Church, the rights of
association and freedom of worship must be strictly observed.

END NOTE

THE SECURITY NATO CAN'T PROVIDE

by Paul Goble

        Ever more East Europeans recognize that there are threats to
their national security that NATO membership, in itself, will not
solve. That recognition has not made most East Europeans any less
interested in being included in the Western alliance. But it has
transformed discussions about NATO in Eastern Europe and led an
increasing number of countries in the region to take steps aimed at
promoting their national security regardless of whether NATO invites
them to join.
        With the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and then of the Soviet
Union, virtually all countries in the region saw NATO membership as
the foundation of their future security. Many even tended to view
NATO membership as a panacea for all their problems. If they got in,
they would be taken care of and their security would be assured. But
if they did not, then they would be left without hope of a secure
future.
        Such perspectives helped frame the debate about security in
many of those countries, but three developments have helped change
both the understanding of NATO and the role those countries can
play in promoting their own national security.
        First, countries in Eastern Europe have had to deal with a West
that has been anything but unanimous about the desirability or even
the possibility of expanding the alliance eastward anytime soon.
Many Western leaders have worried about the dangers involved in
offending Russian sensibilities, and many Western populations have
been concerned about the costs involved, which many in the West
are reluctant to pay now that the Cold War is a thing of the past. As a
result, East European countries have had to think about a future in
which only a few may become members of the alliance soon and in
which many of them will never join.
        Second, NATO's outreach programs such as Partnership for
Peace have taught many East European leaders just what NATO can
do and even more important what it cannot. As ever more of them
understand, NATO is a military defense alliance intended, in the first
instance, to prevent or, in the worst case, to respond to military
aggression. Its goal is not to deal with violence within countries. And
as the West's reluctance to become involved in Bosnia has shown, the
alliance remains hesitant to deal with such violence.
        Moreover, NATO, as a political and military organization,
provides neither the structure nor the weapons to combat other
threats to national security that many countries in that region now
face. The Western alliance cannot prevent illegal migration or
develop a legal or judicial system for countries lacking such systems.
Nor can it create a stable banking system or tax regime, without
which any government is at risk of subversion. At best, the Western
alliance can create a climate in which governments and peoples can
take those often difficult steps. Indeed, many East European
countries have learned that NATO member states face many of the
same threats--such as illegal migration, organized crime, and
subversion of banking systems--without being able to count on
Brussels for a solution.
        Third, ever more East Europeans recognize that the threats that
NATO cannot defend against are precisely the ones they must
overcome and that the threat NATO was intended to combat is for
most of them less immediate. Virtually all East Europeans continue to
fear the possibility that Russia will once again seek to dominate the
region; they thus see NATO membership as a guarantee against that
possibility. But ever more of them also understand that the threat to
their countries over the next decade is less likely to take the form of
an invading army than that of the subversion of their banking
systems or economies.
        They also recognize that improving their own domestic
situations will have security consequences: it will attract ever more
Western investment, and that investment will tend to provide a
bulwark against the more immediate, non-military threats.
        Again, this new understanding in Eastern Europe has not made
the governments and peoples there any less interested in joining
NATO. Nor has it made NATO any less important for the future of
Europe. But it has meant that the countries of the region now
recognize just how much they must do to promote their own security
rather than waiting for someone else to do it for them. Paradoxically,
that, in itself, makes them even better candidates for inclusion in the
Western alliance.






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