Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality. - Goethe
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 143, Part II, 21 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

*LUKASHENKA CALLS FOR TIGHTER CUSTOMS UNION


*PRAISE FOR DJUKANOVIC VICTORY IN MONTENEGRO


*ALBANIAN MILITARY CHIEF SAYS BERISHA PLANNED "MASSACRE"

End Note
MILOSEVIC'S RIVAL WINS MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENCY

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

LUKASHENKA CALLS FOR TIGHTER CUSTOMS UNION. Belarusian
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has sent a message to the heads of
the three other members of the customs union within the CIS calling
for increased economic integration, Interfax reported on 20 October.
He sent the message in his capacity as chairman of that body's
interstate council, even though Moscow indicated on the same day
that it would like to see the chairmanship handed to one of the other
member states (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 October 1997).

UKRAINE HOPES FOR BETTER TRADE TERMS WITHIN CIS. Nikolai
Doroshenko, a senior official in the presidential administration, said
on 20 October that Kyiv hopes the upcoming CIS summit in Chisinau
will resolve trade problems within that organization, Interfax-
Ukraine reported. But Doroshenko noted that Kyiv is not satisfied
with many provisions of the documents drafted for that meeting. He
also criticized the emergence of the four-member customs union.
Meanwhile, Mikhail Shmakov, the leader of the Russian independent
trade union federation, told Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma that
he hoped "integration ties" between Russia and Ukraine will be
revived, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 October. In other news, the IMF
began a review of its standby loan for Ukraine because Kyiv has not
kept to the monthly budget deficit ceiling.

CHORNOBYL DRIVERS STAGE PROTEST IN UKRAINIAN CAPITAL. Some
50 truck drivers who work in the "dead zone" around the troubled
Chornobyl nuclear power plant staged a protest in Kyiv on 20
October to demand payment of wage arrears, Ukrainian media
reported. The Ukrainian Energy Ministry said it would like to pay the
drivers but has no money to do so.

ESTONIAN WRITERS HINDERED FROM ATTENDING FINNO-UGRIC
SEMINAR? Five Estonian writers say they have been hindered from
attending a workshop of Finno-Ugric authors in Komi Republic,
Russia, ETA and BNS reported on 20 October. Arvo Valton, who is also
a former parliamentary deputy, was denied a visa, while the four
other writers received visas with incorrect entry and departure
dates. Valton claimed the action was deliberate, saying it was not the
first time Russian authorities have sought to obstruct scientific and
cultural cooperation among Finno-Ugric nations.

ALLEGED SLANDER AGAINST LANDSBERGIS TO BE INVESTIGATED.
The Lithuanian Prosecutor-General's Office has initiated criminal
proceedings to investigate allegations of slander against
parliamentary chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, BNS reported on 20
October. The decision followed a request by a parliamentary
commission screening deputies for possible collaboration with the
KGB. The commission had refused to regard as evidence testimonies
submitted by former KGB officers alleging that Landsbergis had links
to the Soviet security service in the 1960s.

POLISH PARTIES AGREE ON DIVISION OF MINISTRIES. Solidarity
Electoral Action (AWS) will control the Prime Minister's Office and 10
ministries, while its junior coalition partner, the Freedom Union will
have seven ministries, PAP reported on 20 October. That division
was agreed to only at the last minute after a sharp debate within the
AWS parliamentary faction. Neither party has yet announced its
candidates for all its slots. Also on 20 October, the parliament elected
Maciej Plazynski as speaker, while President Aleksander
Kwasniewski urged the coalition parties to work together to help
Poland join NATO and the EU.

U.K. MAY REIMPOSE VISAS FOR CZECHS, SLOVAKS. Faced with a rising
tide of Roma seeking asylum, the British Home Office announced on
20 October that London may reimpose a visa requirement for Czechs
and Slovaks, CTK reported. British officials stressed, however, that no
decision to do so has yet been reached.

OSCE REJECTS SLOVAK CHARGES. The Organization on Security and
Cooperation in Europe released a statement on 20 October dismissing
charges by Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar that the body has
adopted biased policies. OSCE High Commissioner on National
Minorities Max van der Stoel said his organization has paid equal
attention to the Slovak minority in Hungary and the Hungarian
minority in Slovakia and has not "written off" the former, as Meciar
has charged.

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION LEADER WITHDRAWS RESIGNATION. Ivan
Szabo has withdrawn his resignation as chairman and parliamentary
faction leader of the Democratic People's Party (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 16 October 1997), Hungarian media reported on 20
October. He said that if his vision of the party's future is endorsed at
the November national convention, he will not give up his posts.
Addressing a meeting of the party's parliamentary faction, Szabo said
his party cannot adjust its program to meet the expectations of either
the government or the opposition; rather, he said, it should develop
an independent profile.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

PRAISE FOR DJUKANOVIC VICTORY IN MONTENEGRO. A U.S. State
Department spokesman called Milo Djukanovic's triumph in the 19
October elections a "hopeful sign," adding that Washington hopes for
an improvement in bilateral relations and for greater Montenegrin
support for the Dayton peace agreements. In Belgrade, Serbian
opposition leaders Zoran Djindjic, Vesna Pesic, and Vuk Draskovic
each issued statements praising the Montenegrin election results.
Pesic said that Djukanovic's win marked a victory of "the future over
the past." Observers in Montenegro noted that Djukanovic owed his
triumph mainly to the support of young people, the coastal regions,
and the Albanian and Muslim ethnic minorities (see also "End Note"
below).

BELGRADE CHALLENGES DJUKANOVIC. Yugoslav Justice Minister
Zoran Knezevic said in Belgrade on 20 October that the Montenegrin
presidential vote was "a farce." He added he does not "believe [the
official election results reflect] the choice of the citizens of
Montenegro." Meanwhile in Podgorica, outgoing president and
defeated presidential candidate Momir Bulatovic said he will
challenge the results on account of unspecified irregularities.
Bulatovic's office issued a statement saying that "as long as doubts
over the poll's regularity have not been lifted, we will not recognize
[poll] and we will call for it to be scrapped." Observers said Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic and his allies in Montenegro want to
exert pressure on Djukanovic, either to force him from office or to
compel him to tone down his opposition to Milosevic.

PROTESTS IN BELGRADE OVER MURDER OF ROM. Some 1,000 people
demonstrated in Belgrade on 20 October to protest the murder of
Dusan Jovanovic, a Romani teenager, by skinheads two days earlier.
The protesters charged that the killing was the latest example of
increasing violence by skinheads against Roma. They also accused the
police of not providing sufficient help. A spokesman for the
Belgrade-based Roma Congress Party said the murder highlights the
growing insecurity felt by Roma across Federal Yugoslavia.
Spokesmen for the Belgrade Center for Human Rights and the
Antiwar Campaign said the killing mirrors what they called the
general social decline brought about by the current political system,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Belgrade. Meanwhile, police
have detained two 17-year-olds in connection with the murder.

KOSOVAR LEADER OFFERS DIALOG WITH BELGRADE. Kosovo shadow-
state President Ibrahim Rugova said in Pristina on 20 October that
the current situation in the province is difficult and could become
worse, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Pristina. Rugova
singled out what he called the provocative and aggressive behavior
of the Serbian police for criticism. He called for talks with the
Belgrade authorities aimed at finding a lasting solution to the Kosovo
problem, but only with the participation of the U.S. and the EU.
Observers noted that the Serbian authorities reject any foreign
involvement in the Kosovo issue, which Belgrade considers an
internal Serbian matter.

UN CALLS FOR "MORE PROGRESS" IN EASTERN SLAVONIA. The UN
Security Council on 20 October urged Croatia to implement its
obligations on the return of refugees and on other matters related to
the transfer of Serb-held eastern Slavonia to full Croatian control.
The Council added that Zagreb has enough time to meet its
obligations by the projected 15 January deadline for UN
administration of the region to end. Croatian Ambassador to the UN
Ivan Simonovic said he is glad that the resolution mentions the 15
January deadline. In Vukovar, UN administrators said they welcome
the Croatian government's recent appeal to the local media to show
more tolerance and balance in covering interethnic relations in
eastern Slavonia, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Vukovar.

NATO USES AIRCRAFT TO BROADCAST TO BOSNIAN SERBS. SFOR
began using a special aircraft on 19 October to jam a frequency
normally used by hard-line Pale TV in eastern Bosnia. Broadcasts
from the plane over the same frequency told television viewers that
NATO took Pale TV off the air because of its bias and hate-
mongering. The NATO broadcast added that Republika Srpska
President Biljana Plavsic's Banja Luka TV will soon be seen
throughout Bosnian Serb territory. SFOR spokesmen in Sarajevo
noted this was the first time that NATO had used such an aircraft to
jam unwanted television transmissions and to broadcast its own
message. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Carlos Westendorp, the
international community's chief representative in Sarajevo, has
warned Pale TV against trying to get back on air by using pirate
transmitters (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 October 1997).

ALBANIAN MILITARY CHIEF SAYS BERISHA PLANNED "MASSACRE."
General Aleks Andoni, the Socialist-appointed head of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, said in Tirana on 20 October that former President Sali
Berisha and his top military officials gave orders to use air strikes
and other means of force to quell the unrest earlier this year.
Addressing a meeting on the disintegration of the military at the
time of the anarchy, Andoni claimed that Berisha planned a
"massacre" of civilians. Prime Minister Fatos Nano praised soldiers
and pilots who disobeyed Berisha's orders to attack civilians. He
added that the authorities should take legal measures against those
individuals responsible for the disintegration of the army.

ALBANIAN COURT DROPS CHARGES AGAINST LAST COMMUNIST
CHIEF. A Tirana court on 20 October dropped charges of genocide and
crimes against humanity against former President Ramiz Alia and
other former communist leaders. The Supreme Court recently
recommended that the charges be dropped because the men's actions
were not criminal under the law in force at the time (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 16 October 1997). Alia left office in 1992 and was
subsequently jailed on two occasions. He fled prison and the country
during this year's anarchy. Alia's friends in Tirana have said he will
return to Albania once he has recovered from eye surgery in
Sweden.

ROMANIAN 'REVOLUTIONARIES' STRIKE WIDENS. Members of the
UNORD "revolutionaries" association on 20 October joined the hunger
strike launched twelve days earlier by other "revolutionaries"
protesting the government's decision to amend the law granting
benefits to participants in the 1989 uprising. UNORD members went
on hunger strike in 11 towns after the government annulled the
protocol signed with their organization (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20
October 1997).

HUNGARIAN PREMIER IN BUCHAREST. Meeting with his Romanian
counterpart, Victor Ciorbea, on 20 October, Gyula Horn praised the
developing partnership between Budapest and Bucharest. Horn
stressed Hungary's readiness to share with Romania its experience on
integration in Euro-Atlantic structure. The two premiers also
discussed widening economic collaboration and Hungarian
investments in Romania. Later the same day, Horn told a crowd in
the Transylvanian town of Sfantu Gheorghe (Sepiszentgyorgy) that
both countries must act against the "evils of extreme nationalism"
that have marred the history of bilateral relations. He added that it is
the duty of governments to respect minority rights, which he
pledged his government will do, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION IN ROMANIA. Meeting
with a visiting delegation led by parliamentary chairman Dumitru
Motpan, Ghiorghi Prisacaru, the head of the Senate's Foreign Policy
Commission, said conditions are ripe for concluding "as soon as
possible" the basic treaty between the two countries as well as a
partnership pact, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Prisacaru said
the two sides reached agreement that Moldovan and Romanian
experts will resume work on drafting the basic treaty later in
October. The delegation also met with Prime Minister Ciorbea, Senate
Chairman Petre Roman, and Foreign Minister Adrian Severin.

MOLDOVA'S SOCIALISTS PROPOSE ELECTORAL BLOC WITH
COMMUNISTS. Valeriu Seniuc, the chairman of the Socialist Unity--
Edinstvo faction in the parliament, told journalists in Chisinau on 20
October that he has sent a letter to Vladimir Voronin, the leader of
the Party of Moldovan Communists, proposing that the two parties
form an "electoral bloc" for the 1998 parliamentary elections. BASA-
press quoted Senic as saying the "left wing" of the Agrarian
Democratic Party of Moldova could also join such a bloc.

BULGARIA, IMF AGREE ON DRAFT BUDGET. Bulgaria and the IMF
have agreed on a draft budget for 1998, a spokesman for the
Ministry of Finance said on 20 October. He described the proposed
budget as an "austerity" one that envisages a deficit of 2.7 percent of
GDP, compared with 6.2 percent this year, and an inflation rate of
16-17 percent. An IMF team has been in Sofia over the past two
weeks to review the country's economic performance, RFE/RL's Sofia
bureau reported. Finance Minister Muravei Radev said Bulgaria has
prepared a letter of intent on the government's economic priorities
and hopes to receive the fourth installment of a $510 million loan by
December, Reuters reported. Also on 20 October, the government
approved a list of 66 state enterprises to be sold through foreign
investment banks, BTA reported.

END NOTE

MILOSEVIC'S RIVAL WINS MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENCY

by Patrick Moore

        Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic is the new president of
Montenegro. But the only other certainty about his election is that
Podgorica's relations with Belgrade will never be what they once
were.
        Milo Djukanovic beat outgoing President Momir Bulatovic in a
run-off vote on 19 October by just over 6,000 votes or less than two
percent of the total number of votes cast. Turnout was 72 percent.
During the campaign, Bulatovic charged that his rivals denied him
fair television coverage. Djukanovic, for his part, claimed that
Bulatovic's backers manipulated the voting lists and brought in
agents from Belgrade to disrupt the elections.
        The campaign was acrimonious because the stakes were high.
The main issue was the future of Montenegro's relations with the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, of which Montenegro and Serbia are
the two constituent republics. Bulatovic is a loyal ally of Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic, who until recently was president of
Serbia and who now wants to increase the Yugoslav president's
powers. To succeed, Milosevic needs to control Montenegro, because
Montenegro and Serbia have an equal number of votes in the upper
house of the Yugoslav parliament. That body must approve any
constitutional changes to increase Milosevic's powers.
         Djukanovic, for his part, is committed to autonomy for
Montenegro, and he described the election as a referendum on that
issue. Djukanovic charged that Milosevic's policies have led to
Yugoslavia's isolation, which has hit Montenegro especially hard,
since that republic is dependent on tourism and shipping.
        The rivalry between Djukanovic and Bulatovic has dominated
Montenegrin politics all year and led to a de facto split in the
governing Democratic Socialist Party (DPS). The majority of the DPS's
governing body backed Djukanovic, but Bulatovic and his supporters
still claim to constitute the "real" DPS. Nonetheless, it seems only a
question of time before one or the other faction founds a new party
under a new name.
        According to one theory of how Podgorica's relations with
Belgrade will develop, Djukanovic is set to lock horns with Milosevic
in a major political fight. The outcome of that struggle could be that
Montenegro secedes from Yugoslavia and declares independence
rather than accept a strong federal presidency. Or it could be that
Milosevic is defeated over the constitutional issue and somehow
finds a way to become president of Serbia again in order to maintain
power.
        Another view is that Milosevic will not accept defeat over
constitutional change but might precipitate a new ethnic conflict as a
means to consolidate his power, should Djukanovic win the upper
hand in parliament. According to that view, Milosevic may use the
current violence in Kosovo to provoke a Slav-Albanian conflict that
could spill over into Macedonia. Others, however, point out that
Serbian forces are already in fairly firm control of Kosovo and that
Milosevic's credentials as a Serbian nationalist are tarnished after he
failed to aid the Serbs of Croatia and Bosnia in 1995.
        Yet another theory is that Djukanovic's election will not lead to
any major changes because he and Milosevic are both reputedly
crafty politicians who will strike a deal rather than engage in a
political duel. Those who hold this view point out that Djukanovic has
not called for full independence and that he worked together with
Bulatovic and Milosevic for years. During this time, Djukanovic
reportedly built up a fortune through sanctions-busting.


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

SUBSCRIBING:
1) To subscribe to RFERL-L, please send a message to
        listserv@listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu
2) In the text of your message, type
        subscribe RFERL-L YourFirstName YourLastName

UNSUBSCRIBING:
1) To un-subscribe to RFERL-L, please send a message to
        listserv@listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu
2) In the text of your message, type
        unsubscribe RFERL-L

Current and Back Issues
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are online
at:
http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/

Listen to news for 13 countries
RFE/RL programs for countries in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia
and the South Slavic region are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour
LIVE Broadcast
Studio.
http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html

Reprint Policy
To receive reprint permission, please contact
Paul Goble, Publisher
Email: GobleP@rferl.org
Phone: 202-457-6947
Fax: 202-457-6992
Postal Address:  RFE/RL,  1201 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20036  USA

RFE/RL Newsline Staff:
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Acting Editor (Transcaucasia) CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Acting Deputy Editor (West Balkans)
MooreP@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir (East Balkans) ShafirM@rferl.org
* Laura Belin (Russia) BelinL@rferl.org
* Bruce Pannier (Central Asia) PannierB@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Mike Gallant, GallantM@rferl.org

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole