I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself. - Aldous Huxley
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 178, Part II, 12 December 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

* KUCHMA WARNS OF "RED REVENGE" IN UKRAINE

* MAJOR BALKAN HIGHWAY PROJECT LAUNCHED

* IZETBEGOVIC CALLS FOR MUSLIM-WESTERN
COOPERATION

* End Note: SLOW PROGRESS ON NEW CONVENTIONAL
ARMS TREATY

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

KUCHMA WARNS OF 'RED REVENGE' IN UKRAINE.
President Leonid Kuchma told an economic forum on 11
December that left-wing forces in the parliament, led by its
speaker Aleksandr Moroz, "are longing for power, for the
purpose of bringing back the socialist system to Ukraine," Itar-
Tass reported. Kuchma said that he hoped the Ukrainian people
would take this into consideration when they vote for a new
parliament in March 1998. But despite his clashes with the
parliament -- also on 11 December, the Verkhovna Rada again
voted to fire Kuchma's privatization chief -- the Ukrainian
president said that he would not dissolve the parliament in
violation of the constitution.  He said that he did not operate on
the assumption that "no parliament equals no problems."  PG

UKRAINE, RUSSIA INCREASE SECURITY, ECONOMIC
COOPERATION. The Ukrainian-Russian strategy group will
seek to promote a new "hotline regime" between the presidents
of the two countries, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 11
December.  The group's Russian co-chairman, Yeltsin press
spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembskii, said in Kyiv that its
members must become "lobbyists in the positive sense of the
word," defending Ukrainian interests in Moscow and Russian
interests in Kyiv.  Meanwhile, Ukrainian and Russian experts
agreed to meet in the Ukrainian capital on 13 December to
discuss cooperation in manufacturing An-70 airplanes. And
Ukrainian officials said that they were almost finished with a
draft for expanded economic cooperation with Russia.  PG

UKRAINIAN CITY 'NATIONALIZES' SOVIET WAR
MONUMENT.  The Lviv city council in western Ukraine has
voted to change a monument erected in honor of Soviet troops
who liberated the city from Nazi troops at the end of World
War II into one commemorating "fighters for the freedom of
Ukraine," including the OUN, UPA and other groups that fought
against Soviet power there in the 1940s and 1950s, Itar-Tass
reported on 11 December.  PG

LUKASHENKA: BELARUS NEED NOT COORDINATE
REFORMS WITH RUSSIA. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
told Interfax on 11 December that his country and Russia could
integrate even if the two remain far apart in terms of economic
reforms.  He suggested that Russia should consider
synchronizing its reforms with Belarus rather than the other
way around, noting that Belarus represented "an example of
reforming without making the mistakes of Russia."  And
Lukashenka again rejected wholesale privatization: only
inefficient firms should be privatized, he concluded.  PG

POLISH PARLIAMENT BANS SEX EDUCATION.  In an
indication that the new Polish parliament will undo many of
the policies of its socialist predecessor, legislators voted on 11
December to ban sex education as a separate subject in state
schools, PAP reported. The vote was along party lines with the
government coalition voting for, and the ex-communist Social
Democratic Party (SLD) voting against.  Meanwhile, Poland's
supreme court dismissed 21 challenges to the recent election
results; it concluded that none of the offenses charged would
have affected the outcomes of the races.  PG

POLAND BLOCKS EU MEAT.  In a response to the European
Union's ban on the importation of Polish meat products, the
Polish authorities on 11 December  blocked some 100 trucks
carrying EU meat toward the post-Soviet states at the Swiecko
crossing point, PAP reported. Polish officials said the trucks did
not have the required veterinary transit permits.  PG

STANDARD & POOR'S RANKS ESTONIA HIGHEST IN
POST-SOVIET STATES. Standard and Poor's, a leading
international rating agency, on 11 December gave Estonia the
highest credit rates among the post-Soviet states: BBB+ for
foreign currency and A- for national currency, BNS reported.
Latvia received a BBB rating and Lithuania a BBB- rating.
Kazakhstan and Russia received the lower rating of BB-.  The
new ratings will reduce Estonia's international  borrowing costs
and make it an even more attractive place for foreign
investment.   PG

ESTONIA, LATVIA COMPLETE BORDER DEMARCATION.
On 8-9 December, a joint Estonian-Latvian commission
completed the demarcation of the land border between the two
countries, BNS reported on 11 December.    PG

SIX-MONTH CARETAKER CZECH GOVERNMENT TO BE
PROPOSED.  Christian Democratic Party (KDU-CSL) leader Josef
Lux, who has been given the task of forming the government
by President Vaclav Havel, on 11 December said he will
propose to Havel to appoint a six-month caretaker
administration and to call new elections in 1998. Lux told Czech
Radio that the leaders of the other parties with whom he
conducted talks expressed "political agreement" to have the
next elections conducted in June, Reuters reported. A public
opinion poll conducted by the private STEM institute shows
that the opposition Social Democratic Party (CSSD) is backed by
a plurality of voters (26.3 percent,) followed by outgoing
premier Vaclav Klaus' Civic Democratic Party,  which is backed
by 20.3 percent. Lux's own KDU-CSL is supported by 13.6
percent and 5.1 percent back the Civic Democratic Alliance.
Almost three quarters of the respondents (74 percent) said
Klaus should leave political life, CTK reported. MS

CZECH SOCIAL DEMOCRATS BACK NATO INTEGRATION.
Addressing a conference on NATO integration on 11 December,
CSSD leader Milos Zeman said his party fully supports the Czech
Republic's integration into NATO and the European Union, an
RFE/RL correspondent reported. He promised that if the CSSD
comes to power, the country's foreign policy orientation will
not change. Zeman said the CSSD wants accession to NATO to be
submitted to a referendum because the issue is so important
and deserves more public debate. He said he hoped the results
of the referendum would show an even higher backing for
joining NATO than the 85 percent support showed by the
Hungarians. NATO special advisor for Central and Eastern
Europe Chris Donnelly told the conference that the socialist
system had destroyed the region's economies by military
overspending and that NATO has no intention of making similar
demands on its members. MS

SUSPECT IN BOMB ATTACK ON PILIP ARRESTED. A 43-
year-old man from Brno was arrested on 11 December on
suspicion of involvement in the bomb attack on the Prague
home of Finance Minister Ivan Pilip on 6 December. The man
was charged with illegal weapons possession. He faces up to
three years in prison if convicted, CTK reported. Citing "reliable
sources," the agency says the suspect is a former employee of
the communist secret police. He became assistant director of
the town's transportation department after 1987.   MS

SLOVAK PREMIER CONSIDERS LEAVING POLITICS.
Vladimir Meciar on 11 December said he was unsure whether
he would run at the head of his Movement for Democratic
Slovakia (HZDS) in elections scheduled for autumn 1988, or
even if he would complete his current term in office, Reuters
reported.  Speaking in a political debate on Slovak state
television after a month-long stay in the western Slovak spa of
Piestany for unspecified health problems, Meciar said that if he
does run in 1998 and loses the elections, he will retire from
political life. He also said he would not consider being a
presidential candidate when President Michal Kovac's ends his
term in March 1998. MS


SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MAJOR BALKAN HIGHWAY PROJECT LAUNCHED.
Representatives of the U.S. and Albanian governments signed
an agreement in Tirana on 11 December that provides Albania
with an initial grant of $10.3 million to build an east-west
highway from Durres to Qafe Thane on the Macedonian border.
Albania will improve an existing road and build a rail line by
2003, and then it will build a completely new highway by
2010. The U.S. also will provide $20 million to Macedonia and
Bulgaria to extend the route to Varna on the Black Sea.
Improved east-west traffic links among Albania, Macedonia,
and Bulgaria will not only strengthen ties between the three
states but reduce Macedonia's dependence on transportation
routes across Greece or Serbia. Turkey is also a strong
supporter of the project. FS and PM

WORLD BANK GIVES $30 MILLION CREDIT TO
ALBANIA. The World Bank issued a credit of $30 million on
10 December to support the reform of Albania's banking
system, government and administration, "Koha Jone" reported.
The credit is the first part of a $70 million package promised
by the World Bank at an international donors' conference in
October. The aim of the credit is to modernize the country's
economic system and to fight poverty by reducing
unemployment and improving social security. FS

INTERNATIONAL HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR KOSOVO?
Edita Tahiri, a member of the presidency of the Democratic
League of Kosovo, the main Kosovar political organization, said
in Pristina on 11 December that the international community
should appoint a high representative for Kosovo on the model
of the high representative for Bosnia. Tahiri added that the
Yugoslav delegation's recent walkout at the Bonn conference on
Bosnia showed that Belgrade is a destabilizing factor in the
Balkans and it is not interested in solving the Kosovo question,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Pristina. The Yugoslav
and Bosnian Serb delegations left the Bonn meeting to protest
the inclusion of references to Kosovo in the final declaration
(see "RFE/RL Newsline, 10 and 11 December 1997). PM

U.S. FIRM ON KOSOVO. A State Department spokesman said
in Washington on 11 December that the Serbs' walkout could
have the opposite effect on world public opinion from what the
Serbs wanted. "What the walkout did was to highlight what
continues to be an important issue on the agenda of the
international community, namely, the serious problems in
Kosovo. Belgrade's objections to including Kosovo in the
communique... only reinforce our determination -- the United
States' determination and commitment-- to press for real
progress in Kosovo." PM

SANDZAK MUSLIMS SAY HUMAN RIGHTS NOT
INTERNAL AFFAIR. The federal Yugoslav government issued
a statement in Belgrade on 11 December that praised the
walkout.  The statement stressed that Kosovo is an internal
Yugoslav affair, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the
Serbian capital. Rasim Ljajic, the president of the Party of
Democratic Action (SDA) of Sandzak, said in Novi Pazar,
however, that human rights issues can never be the internal
affair of any one country. He told the Belgrade daily "Danas" of
12 December that top British, German, and U.S. diplomats also
have called attention to the human rights issue in Sandzak.
Sandzak is the former Ottoman Sandzak of Novi Pazar and is
now divided between Serbia and Montenegro. Muslims make
up just more than  half of its population and most of them feel
close political and cultural affinity with the Muslims of Bosnia.
Ljajic's SDA is a branch of the Bosnian party of Alija
Izetbegovic. PM

OSCE CALLS FOR KARADZIC, MLADIC ARREST. Robert
Frowick, the head of the OSCE mission to Bosnia, said in Vienna
on 11 December that indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic
and General Ratko Mladic should have been arrested and sent
to The Hague long ago. Frowick added that the OSCE will need
to maintain a presence in Bosnia for at least several years to
come. Meanwhile in Pale, hard-line Serbian leader Momcilo
Krajisnik played down the decision of the Bonn conference to
expand the authority of Carlos Westendorp, the international
community's high representative in Bosnia. Krajisnik also
stated that the Dayton agreement is being implemented "very
successfully." But in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska President
Biljana Plavsic urged the Serbs to conduct policies "based on
reality" and to "professionalize" their media in order to deny
any grounds for foreign intervention in Bosnian Serb affairs.
PM

WESTENDORP HOPEFUL ON YUGOSLAV SUCCESSION
TALKS. Westendorp told an RFE/RL correspondent in Brussels
on 11 December that he hopes that the Bonn gathering will
have a favorable impact on the ongoing talks in the Belgian
capital about dividing the assets and obligations of the former
Yugoslavia. Westendorp suggested that the former Yugoslav
republics could begin by dividing up among themselves the
Yugoslav hard currency reserves held in Swiss banks. Previous
succession talks were hamstrung by Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic's insistence that his state is the sole legal
successor to Tito's. The other republics demand a division of
the assets, although they differ among themselves about how
the division should take place. PM

IZETBEGOVIC CALLS FOR MUSLIM-WESTERN
COOPERATION. Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic told
the closing session of the three-day summit of the Organization
of the Islamic Conference in Tehran on 11 December that
Muslims should work together with Western countries. He said
that "Islam is the best, but we [Muslims] are not the best... The
West is neither corrupted nor degenerate.... It is strong, well-
educated and organized. Their schools are better than ours.
Their cities are cleaner than ours... The level of respect for
human rights in the West is higher and the care for the poor
and less capable is better organized. The Westerners are
usually responsible and accurate in their words... Instead of
hating the West, let us... proclaim cooperation instead of
confrontation." PM

UN SLAMS MUSLIM SECRET POLICE. A UN police
spokesman said in Sarajevo on 11 December that the Muslim-
run intelligence organization known as AID is the spy-arm of
the SDA and is not responsible to the Muslim-Croat federal
government. He said that political parties cannot operate secret
police operations, although governments certainly can. The
Muslims claim that they need their own intelligence arm
because the Croats can obtain sensitive information from
Zagreb and the Serbs can get intelligence from Belgrade. PM

BELGRADE CHALLENGES MONTENEGRIN PRESIDENTIAL
VOTE. Yugoslav federal prosecutor Vukasin Jokanovic said in
Belgrade on 11 December that  the Montenegrin supreme court
violated federal law when it ordered an updating of voter rolls
before the October presidential elections won by Milosevic's
opponents. Montenegrin President-elect Milo Djukanovic has
warned Belgrade not to meddle in Montenegro's affairs. PM

FORMER ROMANIAN PRESIDENT TESTIFIES IN COURT.
Ion Iliescu on 11 December told a court in Bucharest that it was
"preposterous" to claim that the miners who rampaged
Bucharest and brought about the dismissal of the government
headed by Petre Roman in September 1991 had been
summoned by him, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Iliescu
testified at the trial of miners' leader Miron Cozma, accused of
"undermining state authority." Cozma told the court earlier that
Iliescu should be with him in the dock. Roman said the miners
had arrived at the instigation of the former president. In other
news, a court of justice on 10 December sentenced former
Securitate boss Tudor Postelnicu and former Interior Minister
Gheorghe Homostean to 18 years in prison for their role in the
killing of hijackers and hostages in 1981, when they acted at
the orders of communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu. MS

IMF CHIEF NEGOTIATOR MEETS ROMANIAN PREMIER.
Poul Thomsen on 11 December met with Prime Minister Victor
Ciorbea and National Bank governor Mugur Isarescu, Romanian
media report. They discussed the continuation of the reform
program and agreed that reforms must be accelerated and
inflation reduced. Thomsen said inflation was above the 30
percent agreed on with the government by the IMF and said it
is necessary to trim the budget to reduce inflation. Details will
be worked out at a meeting scheduled for January 1988. MS

CHISINAU-TIRASPOL EXPERTS MEET. Experts representing
Moldova and separatist Transdniester met in Chisinau on 11
December to continue discussions on elaborating a document
outlining a "joint economic, social and judicial space," RFE/RL's
Chisinau bureau reported. The experts also discussed the case
of the Ilie Ilascu group, whose members are detained in the
separatist region. The Transdniester experts said the document
most likely to emerge from the meetings will be one of
"intermediary nature." They said the document would have to
include the agreements reached by President Petru Lucinschi
and separatist leader Igor Smirnov, as well as "some last-
minute proposals," such as that of "double citizenship" for
Transdniestrians.  Moldovan presidential advisor Anatol
Taranu, cited by BASA-press, said that the conditions of
detention of the Ilascu group "are deteriorating." MS

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT POSTPONES RUSSIAN VISIT.
Petar Stoyanov on 11 December told reporters in Sofia that his
18-20 December  visit to Russia has been postponed due to
President Boris Yeltsin's illness, BTA and Reuters reported.
Stoyanov said he had spoken to Yeltsin in the morning and
they agreed that the visit will take place in February or March
1998. At a joint press conference marking the end of the visit
of Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski,  the two
presidents told reporters that their countries' bids to join NATO
are not prompted by fear of Russia and pledged to develop
friendly ties with Moscow. MS

SLOW PROGRESS ON NEW CONVENTIONAL ARMS
TREATY

by Roland Eggleston

        Negotiators in Vienna hope that a new treaty limiting the
danger of an arms build-up in Europe can be achieved by the
end of next year, although they warn considerable political will
to reach agreement will be required on the part of some
countries.
        The negotiators are revising the 1990 CFE treaty between
NATO and the former Warsaw Pact, which placed limits on the
number of tanks, artillery, armored cars, war planes, and battle
helicopters located between the Atlantic and the Urals. The
new treaty will replace the bloc-to-bloc ceilings imposed on
both alliances with national and territorial ceilings.
        National ceilings place a limit on the size of each country's
armed forces, while the territorial ceilings impose a limit on the
overall number of military forces deployed in any single
country. In most cases, the territorial ceilings will be higher
than the national ones, but the actual limits are still being
worked out.
        A senior negotiator told RFE/RL that the national and
territorial ceilings on the number of tanks, artillery, and other
weapons are among the most difficult issues to resolve. "They
go to the heart of the security of individual states, many of
which remain suspicious of each other" he said. "Each
government wants to be certain that the treaty allows it
enough forces to meet its legitimate defense requirements."
        Thirty countries are participating in the negotiations,
including the U.S., Russia, and most of the states of Western,
Central and Eastern Europe, including Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Georgia, and Moldova. The neutral countries and Central Asian
states, with the exception of Kazakhstan, are not involved.
        Gregory Govan, the chief U.S. negotiator, told RFE/RL  that
the talks are proceeding "slowly but methodically." He said one
of the biggest political problems is Russia's attempts to impose
conditions that would limit the effects of NATO enlargement.
For example, Russia wants to restrict  the degree to which the
original 16 members of NATO can deploy forces on the
territory of the alliance's new members, either permanently or
temporarily.
        NATO believes fixed limits should be established only for
ground forces, while Russia wants also to include fixed limits
for warplanes and battle helicopters. NATO argues that
including aircraft and helicopters is unrealistic. It is relatively
easy for inspectors to determine whether ground forces are
within the limits set by a treaty. But aircraft and helicopters
can be flown in and out of a territory within minutes, making
effective inspection virtually impossible.
        NATO diplomats say the alliance considers Russia's fears
of  a possible buildup of Western military power in countries
near its borders to be exaggerated. However, it understands
those fears and is trying to quell them. To this end, the  U.S. has
proposed the creation of a  "zone of stability" in which the size
of military forces would be limited. However, it insists that the
zone include other countries as well as the new NATO
members.
        Under the U.S. proposal--which has now been accepted
by NATO as a whole--the "zone of stability" would include
Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belarus, northern Ukraine,
and Kaliningrad. The U.S. suggests that territorial limits in this
zone would be the same as the present national limits,
effectively preventing a build-up of foreign forces in any of
those countries. The same conditions would apply until the next
review of the treaty,  scheduled for 2001. The U.S. further
proposes that the treaty be reviewed every five years.
        Govan says that, in addition to political issues, there are
many technical problems to be resolved. Among them is the
system for checking that signatories are honoring the treaty.
"One of the best features of the 1990 CFE treaty was its system
of verification and transparency," he said. "Everyone agrees
that it worked well and should be continued. The problem is
how to maintain the same degree of assurance and confidence
in a much more complicated treaty."
        According to Govan, the attitude of some countries is also
a problem. "One group of countries at the talks has strong ideas
on how a future treaty on conventional forces should look," he
said. "There are other countries that don't have this outlook.
Some have difficulties adjusting to a new kind of treaty that is
not based on a bloc-to-bloc approach. Govan did not identify
any countries but acknowledged that some NATO countries are
among those nostalgic for the ease of decision-making under
the old system.
        Originally, the new CFE treaty was expected to be ready
by summer 1998, but few diplomats believe this timetable is
realistic. Most now hope the negotiations can be completed by
November 1998, allowing the new treaty to be signed in
December by the heads of government attending a summit
meeting of the Organization on Security and Cooperation in
Europe.  However, the signing ceremony is still many months
and many problems away.

The author writes regularly for RFE/RL.
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               Copyright (c) 1997 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
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