You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 97 Part II, 22 May 1998


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 97 Part II, 22 May 1998

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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx SPECIAL REPORT xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE: MAKING IT WORK FOR HUMANITY Next
month, work will begin on the creation of a permanent
International Criminal Court. This four-part series explores
the ramifications of a new criminal court and how the
current war crimes tribunals are handling cases related to
the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/courts/index.html

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Headlines, Part II

* FIDESZ LEADER DENIES 'GRAND COALITION' PLANS

* ORTHODOX CHURCH SLAMS MILOSEVIC

* U.S. WARNS MILOSEVIC OVER MONTENEGRO

End Note: BRINKMANSHIP IN BELGRADE
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINE SIGNS MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY.
During Turkish President Suleyman Demirel's official three-
day visit to Ukraine, Kyiv and Ankara signed a military
cooperation agreement, ITAR-TASS reported on 21 May. Demirel
said he sees "great prospects" for bilateral cooperation in
the military sphere. His Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid
Kuchma, declined to comment on details of the agreement,
saying that "details will be tackled by the military."
Meanwhile, the 22 May "Turkish Daily News" reported that
Ukraine "is on tenterhooks" to sell T-84 tanks to Turkey,
which, the newspaper said, is "in the market for 1,000
battle tanks." Demirel announced in Kyiv that Turkey is
going to spend $150 billion on armaments over the next 30
years. JM

PUSTOVOYTENKO SAYS COAL MINERS STRIKES POLITICALLY
MOTIVATED. Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko
has said the recent strikes in the coal mining sector are
organized by political forces interested in destabilizing
and ousting the government, Ukrainian Television reported on
21 May. Pustovoytenko added that his opinion is based on
reports by the Interior Ministry and the Security Service.
"Today, the Hromada faction is collecting signatures to seek
the government's resignation," Ukrainian Television quoted
Pustovoytenko as saying. JM

FOUR CAUCUSES APPEAL FOR COMPROMISE IN ELECTING SPEAKER.
Four parliamentary groups have appealed for a compromise on
the election of a speaker and new parliamentary leadership,
Ukrainian Television reported on 21 May. The Popular
Democratic Party, the Popular Rukh, the Social Democrats,
and the Greens have proposed forming the parliamentary
leadership on the basis of equal participation of all
political forces represented in the legislature. The groups
believe that the speaker should be elected from among
centrist politicians who are not interested in seeking the
presidency in the 1999 presidential elections. Observers say
that since no party or bloc has an absolute majority and 13
candidates have been proposed for the post of speaker, there
may be a stalemate within the Supreme Council if no
compromise is reached on its speaker. JM

WORLD BANK LENDS KYIV $200 MILLION TO IMPROVE HEATING
SYSTEM. The World Bank has approved a $200 million loan to
Ukraine to modernize and improve the central heating system
in Kyiv. But the loan will be on hold until Ukraine makes
more progress in economic reform, Reuters reported. In
March, the World Bank delayed releasing $600 million in
loans to support business and strengthen the banking sector
because of the slow pace of microeconomic reform. World Bank
representative for Ukraine Paul Siegelbaum told Reuters that
the current loan is "investment lending" to the project,
which, he said, will pay for itself "in three or four years"
due to an increased efficiency in heat delivery. JM

BELARUSIAN TRADE UNIONS CALL FOR PROTEST ACTIONS. A national
conference of trade unions and working collectives held in
Minsk on 21 May called on regional trade union organizations
to organize protest actions against the deterioration of
living standards in Belarus, Belapan reported. The
conference demanded a change in the government's socio-
economic course and an increase in the minimum wage. If
those demands are not met, the trade unions intends to hold
a nationwide protest action in October and to seek the
government's resignation. JM

LATVIA PRESIDENT INSISTS ON ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY.
Guntis Ulmanis on 21 May called for the parliament
to review the recently passed criminal code, which provides
for maintaining the death penalty, BNS and Reuters reported.
In a statement, the president's press office said Ulmanis
stressed again his conviction that capital punishment should
be abolished in Latvia. He pointed out that Latvia undertook
to scrap the death penalty when it joined the Council of
Europe in 1995 by ratifying the sixth protocol of the
European Convention for the Protection for Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms. The parliament must comply with
Ulmanis's request to review the law but need not make the
changes he wants. If it does not amend the law, he cannot
ask for it to be reviewed again. JC

LITHUANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER RESIGNS. BNS reported on 21 May
that President Valdas Adamkus has signed a decree accepting
the resignation of Interior Minister Vidmantas Ziemelis and
appointing Justice Minister Vytautas Pakalniskis as acting
interior minister for the time being. Ziemelis, a member of
the ruling Conservative Party, admitted he was quitting over
disagreements with Premier Gediminas Vagnorius, who,
together with the opposition, has criticized the former
minister for poor performance in fighting crime. In
particular, Ziemelis has come under attack for the lack of
progress in solving the recent wave of bomb attacks in
Lithuania. JC

POLISH COALITION PARTNERS DIFFER OVER MEDIA CONTROL. The
appointment of a new Radio Board of Directors has provoked
quarrels between Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) and the
Freedom Union, "Rzeczpospolita" and "Zycie" reported on 22
May. The AWS accuses the Freedom Union of supporting the
opposition's media policies by making deals with the
opposition over control of the media. The new board consists
of two Democratic Left Alliance representatives, two Peasant
Party representatives, and one representative linked to the
Freedom Union. The Freedom Union proposes that the four
parties meet to seek a compromise before the appointment of
the Television Board of Directors, scheduled for next month.
JM

SLOVAK GOVERNMENT CLOSES GAP IN POLLS. The governing
coalition in Slovakia has slightly closed the gap between
itself and the combined opposition forces, Reuters reported
on 21 May. A poll conducted by the Bratislava-based Opinions
institute earlier this month shows the opposition's lead
reduced from 62 percent in April to 52 percent. The
coalition parties are now backed by 31 percent, 1 percent
less than last month. Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia is the single most
popular party (21 percent), slightly ahead of the opposition
Slovak Democratic Coalition (19 percent). The opposition
Party of Civic Understanding and Party of the Democratic
Left are backed by 13 percent each, and the Hungarian
Coalition by 7 percent. The ultra-right Slovak National
Party's has 8 percent support and the leftist Workers' Party
2 percent, below the 5 percent threshold for parliamentary
representation. MS

SLOVAKIA REJECTS AUSTRIAN CONCERN OVER REACTOR. Deputy Prime
Minister Sergej Kozlik on 21 May said it is "impossible to
consider" in a gesture of goodwill Austrian demands to
postpone starting operations at the Mochovce nuclear plant,
"especially when no adequate reasons are offered," Reuters
reported.The next day, 25 protestors from Austrian
environmental and anti-nuclear groups occupied a room in the
Slovak Embassy in Vienna, while others chained themselves to
the compound's gate. MS

FIDESZ LEADER DENIES 'GRAND COALITION' PLANS. Viktor Orban,
head of the main opposition Federation of Young Democrats-
Hungarian Civic Party (FIDESZ-MPP), on 21 May excluded the
possibility of a "grand coalition" of his party with the
Socialists. Cooperation with Socialists and their coalition
partner, the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), would run
counter to the meaning of democracy, as a democratic system
implies the existence of an alternative, he said. SZDSZ
chairman Gabor Kuncze said that if voters choose to unseat
the present government, they face uncertainty, since FIDESZ-
MPP has not named its potential coalition partners. On 22
May, Independent Smallholders' Party chairman Jozsef Torgyan
announced he is withdrawing 82 candidates in favor of
FIDESZ. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ORTHODOX CHURCH SLAMS MILOSEVIC. Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic turned down an invitation from Serbian Orthodox
Patriarch Pavle to meet with him and Montenegrin President
Milo Djukanovic in Belgrade on 21 May. After Pavle held
talks with Djukanovic and Montenegrin parliamentary speaker
Svetozar Marovic, a Church spokesman said Milosevic has been
arbitrary in his policy toward Montenegro and wants to
destroy the federal Yugoslav state (see "End Note" below).
Montenegrin Metropolitan Amfilohije and Bishop Artemije from
Kosova charged Milosevic with "consciously or unconsciously
helping those who want to destroy the joint state of Serbia
and Montenegro," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.
Artemije, who favors reconciliation with the Kosovars, added
that Milosevic "has suicidal tendencies, to which he has
subordinated the fate of the Serbian people." Both of
Milosevic's parents committed suicide. The Church has long
mistrusted Milosevic because of his communist background. PM

U.S. WARNS MILOSEVIC OVER MONTENEGRO. A State Department
spokesman said in Washington on 21 May that Milosevic's
ouster of Prime Minister Radoje Kontic three days earlier
was "of dubious legality" and was "intended to influence the
31 May parliamentary elections. Such blatant political
maneuvering by the political leadership in Belgrade by Mr.
Milosevic to maintain power diminishes public confidence in
democratic processes. [Milosevic's actions threaten]
instability not only in Montenegro but also in the rest of
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." The spokesman stressed
the Montenegrin vote must be free and fair and that all
parties must respect its outcome. He added: "We have made it
clear to Belgrade that its handling of Montenegro will
affect its relations with the international community.... We
regard this blatant political maneuvering as only
undermining international confidence in President
Milosevic's leadership." PM

SERBIAN MIG CRASHES IN KOSOVA. Serbian military spokesmen
said in Prishtina on 21 May that a MiG 21 crashed just east
of that city due to a technical failure. The pilot ejected
and landed safely. There was no independent confirmation on
the nature of the crash. The Kosova Liberation Army has
often claimed that it has Strela and Stinger anti-aircraft
missiles, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. And to the
west of Prishtina, Reuters reported that a Russian-built
Hind M-24 attack helicopter "hovered" over the Prishtina-
Peja road, which has been the scene of fighting for at least
two weeks. Journalists noted that half of the helicopter's
rocket launching pads were empty but did not see it fire its
missiles. PM

BELGRADE CLOSES LAST BORDER CROSSING WITH ALBANIA. Federal
Yugoslav authorities on 21 May closed the border crossing on
the road connecting Kukes and Prizren. It was the last open
checkpoint on the border between Albania and Yugoslavia. On
11 May, the Yugoslav authorities closed the checkpoints
between Montenegro and Albania. The remote city of Kukes is
largely dependent on imports from Kosova and Serbia. About
1,000 inhabitants of Kukes earn their living in cross-border
trade, mostly involving basic food stuffs, "Koha Jone"
reported. The daily added that residents of Kukes have begun
storing food supplies. In Prizren, shops are empty and
gasoline stations closed owing to Serbia's blockade of
Kosova that began earlier this week (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
18 May 1998). FS

MUSLIM PARTY TO JOIN DJUKANOVIC COALITION. A spokesman for
the Montenegrin branch of the Bosnian Muslim Party of
Democratic Action (SDA) said in Sarajevo on 21 May that the
SDA will join Djukanovic's party and two-other reformist
parties in a coalition following the 31 May elections. The
SDA will field 35 candidates on a list headed by Sefer
Medjedovic, "Oslobodjenje" reported. PM

NON-SERBIAN PARTIES BOYCOTT BANJA LUKA PARLIAMENT.
Legislators from the SDA and the Social Democratic Party
walked out of the Republika Srpska parliament in Banja Luka
on 21 May. They say they will not return until the
legislature changes the constitution to allow non-Serbian
parties to elect their own deputy speaker of parliament. In
Sarajevo, spokesmen for the international community's Carlos
Westendorp launched an open competition for a joint Bosnian
national anthem. The spokesmen added that Westendorp will
select the winner if the three ethnic groups cannot reach
agreement among themselves (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 May
1998). And in New York, the UN Security Council agreed to
add 30 more police to the existing contingent of 2,045
international police in Bosnia-Herzegovina. PM

AIR LINKS BETWEEN BOSNIA, YUGOSLAVIA RESTORED. An Air Bosnia
aircraft flew from Sarajevo to Belgrade on 21 May, the first
civilian airplane to fly a scheduled flight between the two
capitals in six years. Air Bosnia, Montenegrin Airlines, and
Serbia's JAT will fly several flights weekly to link
Sarajevo and Banja Luka with Belgrade and Podgorica. PM

CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER DEFENDS BANKS. Zlatko Matesa told
the parliament on 21 May that the overall situation of the
banking sector is "stable." He added that the government and
the National Bank are working on a solution to the liquidity
problems that some banks are facing. Newly appointed Defense
Minister Andrija Hebrang told the legislature that his main
task is to transform the army from being a wartime to a
peacetime institution. Hebrang said he intends to complete
the restructuring "within the next few months," "Novi List"
wrote. PM

SLOVENIAN PRIME MINISTER SURVIVES CONFIDENCE VOTE. Janez
Drnovsek won a vote of confidence in the parliament on 21
May. Opposition leader Janez Jansa recently demanded the
vote after charging that Drnovsek knew about a 1995 secret
security agreement with Israel (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18
May 1998). PM

ALBANIAN PRESIDENT AGREES TO CHANGE ELECTORAL LAW. Rexhep
Meidani on 21 May announced a change in the local electoral
law following negotiations with opposition leader Sali
Berisha, which Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe Ambassador Daan Everts mediated. The Central Election
Commission will henceforth make its decisions by a two-
thirds, rather than simple, majority, "Gazeta Shqiptare"
reported. Berisha, for his part, agreed that his Democratic
Party will field candidates in the local elections slated
for 21 June, which he previously threatened to boycott (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 21 May 1998). In other news, unidentified
attackers ambushed and killed two policemen near Burrel. The
officers were investigating organized crime in the area. FS

NEW POLITICAL ALLIANCE FORMED IN ROMANIA. The Social
Democratic Party of Romania (PSDR) and the Alliance for
Romania Party (APR) on 21 May signed an accord to cooperate
in the parliament, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The
two formations' deputy chairmen, Emil Putin and Mircea
Cosea, said the accord may eventually result in the "setting
up of a Social Democratic pole." They added that the
alliance is open to other Social Democratic formations. PSDR
chairman Sergiu Cunescu said the accord "does not affect"
his party's relations with the Democratic Party, with which
the PSDR ran in the 1996 elections on a joint Social
Democratic Union list. But Democratic Party leader Petre
Roman said he "fails to comprehend" the sense of an
agreement between a party that is a member of the ruling
coalition (the PSDR) and one belonging to the opposition
(the APR). MS

EU WELCOMES ROMANIAN INTENTION TO DECRIMINALIZE
HOMOSEXUALITY. The EU on 21 May said it welcomes the
Romanian government's "proposed amendments to the Penal Code
relating to homosexuality." Last week, the government
submitted to the parliament several amendments to existing
legislation, and in a 20 May interview with Reuters, Justice
Minister Valeriu Stoica said he hopes the amendments will be
passed in the current session. Stoica also said the proposed
amendments do away with libel suits under which journalists
have been convicted and for which the Council of Europe has
criticized Romania. MS

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES CIUBUC'S CABINET. After lengthy
negotiations between Prime Minister Ion Ciubuc and the
parties belonging to the Alliance for Democracy and Reform,
the parliament on 21 May approved the new cabinet, RFE/RL's
Chisinau bureau reported. The vote was 59 to 36. Ciubuc has
four deputy prime ministers: Ion Sturza of For a Prosperous
and Democratic Moldova Bloc (PMPD), Valentin Dolganiuc and
Nicolae Andronic of the Democratic Convention of Moldova
(CDM), and Oleg Stratulat of the Party of Democratic Forces.
Nicolae Cernomaz (PMPD) remains as minister of state but
Ciubuc was forced to agree to remove Interior Minister Mihai
Plamadeala, who is now replaced by Victor Catan (CDM).
Foreign Minister Nicolae Tabacaru, National Security
Minister Tudor Botnaru and Defense Minister Valeriu Pasat
kept their portfolios. Roughly one-third of the new
government's members served in Ciubuc's previous cabinet. MS

KOSTOV LISTS PRIORITIES. Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan
Kostov told RFE/RL on 21 May that his government's
priorities remain administrative reform and privatization.
He said he had underestimated the complexity of
administrative reform because of the extent of corruption
and crime. Bulgaria's "immune system" must be strengthened
to deal with those "diseases," he commented. Kostov said
that privatization has slowed down because the government is
seeking the expertise of foreign investment banks and
financial consultants in order to "privatize the
privatization process." This is necessary, he added, because
administration personnel are "corrupt, secretive and
reluctant to give up [their] power over the economy." MS

END NOTE

BRINKMANSHIP IN BELGRADE

by Patrick Moore

	Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is on a
collision course with the reformist leadership of Montenegro
under President Milo Djukanovic. Milosevic's immediate goal
may be to influence Montenegrin voters in the runup to the
31 May parliamentary elections, but the outcome of his
actions may have longer-term repercussions.
	The current political crisis began on 18 May, when
federal parliamentary deputies unseated Milosevic's prime
minister, Radoje Kontic. The following day, Milosevic
nominated as prime minister his ally Momir Bulatovic, who is
also Montenegro's former president and the political arch-
enemy of Djukanovic. The legislature quickly approved
Milosevic's choice on 20 May.
	Kontic's grave mistake in Milosevic's eyes was his
failure to help Bulatovic stay in office in Podgorica after
his term expired in January. At that time Bulatovic stirred
up violence and hoped to prompt Belgrade to declare a state
of emergency and prevent Djukanovic's inauguration, but
Kontic refused to intervene. In the end, the Montenegrin
police kept Bulatovic's rowdies under control and Djukanovic
took office on schedule.
	Djukanovic has mounted the strongest challenge to
Milosevic from within Serbia or Montenegro since the former
Yugoslavia collapsed in 1991-1992. Throughout last year,
then Prime Minister Djukanovic argued that Milosevic's
policies were keeping Yugoslavia isolated internationally
and consequently preventing the economic revival of
Montenegro, which traditionally depends on tourism and
shipping to earn foreign exchange. As president in 1998,
Djukanovic visited Washington and other Western capitals,
where he received a sympathetic hearing and offers of
political and economic support in his efforts to return his
country to membership in the international community.
	After Milosevic launched his campaign of repression in
Kosova at the end of February, Djukanovic disassociated
himself from the use of violence and called for
internationally mediated talks leading to autonomy for
Kosova. Speaking to French journalists on 13 April in
Podgorica, Djukanovic charged that "Milosevic is tragically
behind the times in his assessments and is always embarking
on new political failures." The Montenegrin leader dubbed
Milosevic's 23 April referendum against foreign mediation in
Kosova "the collective suicide...he proposes for the Serbian
people." Djukanovic urged the international community to
back his "efforts to form a block of reformist forces [in
Yugoslavia] capable of barring the way to the damaging
policies that Milosevic personifies."
	The spring of 1998 thus found Milosevic confronting
two crises that were largely of his own making. The first
was in Kosova, where his repressive policies had radicalized
much of the mainly ethnic Albanian population and driven
them into the arms of the shadowy Kosova Liberation Army.
His policies in Kosova also threatened to trigger the
reimposition of the political isolation and economic
sanctions that the international community had placed on
Yugoslavia during the Croatian and Bosnian wars of 1991-
1995.
	The second crisis was with Montenegro, whose
leadership insisted upon full equality with Serbia within
the federation and resented Milosevic's attempts to increase
his own powers at the expense of the republics. Djukanovic,
moreover, was clear about his own policy goals and had won
the support of a slight majority of the voters the previous
October.
	Moreover, he made it clear on 19 May that he would not
allow Milosevic to provoke "Montenegro into giving up the
idea of joint statehood [with Serbia] by engaging in
irresponsible, uncontrolled, and unpredictable moves on the
federal level," such as sacking Kontic and replacing him
with Bulatovic.
	With regard to his relations with Podgorica, Milosevic
may have sought to bring matters to a head in the runup to
parliamentary elections in Montenegro at the end of May. He
may have reasoned that a bit of pressure from Belgrade might
cost Djukanovic's supporters votes and bolster the chances
of Bulatovic's backers. The Yugoslav president may also have
felt that he needs to bring Montenegro into line as he
prepares for what may prove a longer confrontation with both
the ethnic Albanians and the international community over
Kosova.
	But that strategy could backfire on the Yugoslav
president. He is himself of Montenegrin origin and has
presumably made his calculations carefully; but a head-on
confrontation with Djukanovic is potentially fraught with
danger for Milosevic, and its outcome is not easy to
predict. In Montenegrin politics, the fault lines
traditionally involve relationships between clans and
tensions between supporters of unity with Serbia and those
who favor emphasizing a separate Montenegrin identity. But
even among those who back close ties with Belgrade, there
are few who would submit Montenegro to centralized rule from
the capital. Djukanovic, for his part, has made it clear
that he and his government will recognize neither the
sacking of Kontic, the election of Bulatovic, nor the
appointment of Bulatovic's government.
	Meanwhile, speculation is rife in Belgrade and
Podgorica as to whether Milosevic will now begin to purge
other prominent officials who have defended the autonomy of
their respective institutions and have not done his bidding.
One such individual is General Momcilo Perisic, the chief of
the General Staff, who kept the army out of the Milosevic-
Djukanovic feud and has been less than enthusiastic about
waging a war in Kosova. Whatever may happen in the coming
days, Belgrade is clearly faced with its worst
constitutional crisis since the breakup in 1991-1992 of the
Yugoslavia created by Marshal Josip Broz Tito.

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