Words that open our eyes to the world are always the easiest to remember. - Ryszard Kapuscinski
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 112 Part II, 12 June 1998


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 112 Part II, 12 June 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

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Headlines, Part II

* AMBASSADORS TO BELARUS DELIVER LETTER OF PROTEST OVER
EVICTION

* NATO TO DISPLAY AIR POWER NEAR KOSOVA

* YELTSIN INVITES MILOSEVIC TO MOSCOW

End Note: HOW NOT TO FIGHT AN ANCIENT EVIL
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

AMBASSADORS TO BELARUS DELIVER LETTER OF PROTEST OVER
EVICTION. Diplomats from 14 countries who face eviction from
their residences at the Drazdy compound, near Minsk, have
delivered a formal letter of protest to the Belarusian
Foreign Ministry. The action was prompted by President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka's statement that he has postponed the
eviction but not canceled it (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 June
1998). The U.S. Embassy press service denied Lukashenka's
claim that U.S. Ambassador to Belarus Daniel Speckhard asked
for a postponement, RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reported. It
stressed that Speckhard has no intention of leaving his
residence. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS reported that the
ambassadors of Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia
have already left the compound. Russia, which has bought its
residence at Drazdy, has been promised by Lukashenka that
its ambassador will be allowed return after planned repairs
of utility systems have been carried out. JM

MORE THAN 1,000 MINERS END PROTEST MARCH. More than 1,000
coal miners from Pavlovhrad in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast have
ended a 600 kilometer protest march to Kyiv over unpaid
wages. They are picketing the Supreme Council, the Cabinet
of Ministers, and the Presidential Administration offices,
Ukrainian Television reported on 11 June. The protesting
miners say they will not leave Kyiv until all the wage
arrears have been paid into their bank accounts. Kyiv
residents are showing solidarity with the miners, providing
them with food and medicine. Prime Minister Valeriy
Pustovoytenko said on 11 June that beginning this month,
wages in the coal mining sector will be paid in full. JM

UKRAINE REPORTS FIRST GDP GROWTH SINCE 1989. Anatoliy
Halchynskyy, President Leonid Kuchma's adviser for macro-
economic issues, has said GDP grew by 0.1 percent during the
first five months of this year, Ukrainian Radio reported.
The State Statistics Committee said this is the first time
since 1989 that GDP has increased. According to Halchynskyy,
Ukraine is now experiencing "unstable economic balance." He
believes that 1998 will be a year of economic stabilization
for the country. JM

ESTONIA'S HANSAPANK, HOIUPANK SIGN MERGER AGREEMENT.
Hansapank and Hoiupank on 11 June signed a merger agreement
that will create the largest financial institution in the
Baltic States, ETA and BNS reported. Hansapank will have a
65 percent majority stake in the new entity, which will also
carry its name and whose assets will exceed 25 billion
kroons ($1.8 billion). The agreement still has to be
approved by the banks' shareholders, who are due to meet on
12 July. JC

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT FOUNDS CITIZENSHIP LAW COMMISSION.
Valdas Adamkus has issued a decree establishing a commission
to examine the provisions of the citizenship law and oversee
its implementation, BNS reported on 11 June. The president
also instructed the commission to draft amendments to the
law if such are deemed necessary. The commission will be
headed by presidential adviser Armanas Abramavicius and
include officials from the President's Chancellery and
various ministries. JC

KOHL SUPPORTS POLAND'S WESTERN INTEGRATION. Polish Prime
Minister Jerzy Buzek and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
opened an international youth center in the village of
Krzyzowa, in southwestern Poland, on 11 June. The center,
whose construction was financed by the German government, is
located on the former estate of a German count who staged an
unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Kohl
pledged Germany's support to Poland in its drive "to enter
the EU as swiftly as possible." "Our aim is for Poland,
together with the Czech Republic and Hungary, to join NATO
in spring 1998," Reuters quoted the German chancellor as
saying. JM

POLISH PRIMATE CENSURES 'EROTIC FREEDOM,' 'LUST FOR MONEY.'
Addressing a 20,000-strong crowd in Warsaw on Corpus Christi
Day, Polish Primate Jozef Glemp sharply criticized the moral
and socio-economic situation in the country, "Gazeta
Wyborcza" reported on 12 June. "Poland is trying to catch up
with Western Europe and in some spheres has even outpaced
it: erotic freedom is greater, pornography is available
everywhere," he said. Glemp added that Poland is witnessing
the "modern-day exploitation of man," where the "soulless
lust for money" pushes aside a "sense of honor and national
values." He also reproached the trade unions, saying that
"some time ago they defended workers while now they are
supporting their parties." JM

CZECH DEFENSE MINISTER URGES 'SHOW OF STRENGTH' IN KOSOVA
CRISIS. Michal Lobkowicz, speaking at the NATO meeting of
defense ministers in Brussels on 11 June, said that "without
a credible show of force, it is unlikely to find a political
solution" to the Kosova crisis, CTK reported. He added that
it is "premature" to suggest what the Czech contribution to
a military intervention might be. But he added that it would
be unlikely to have "enormous dimensions," as the Czech
forces are "already stretched to a maximum in Bosnia." MS

HUNGARY'S FIDESZ, SMALLHOLDERS AGREE ON COALITION
PRINCIPLES. Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian Civic
Party (FIDESZ-MPP) chairman Viktor Orban and Independent
Smallholders' Party (FKGP) leader Jozsef Torgyan have
reached an agreement on coalition issues that proved
problematic until now, Hungarian media reported on 11 June.
The "secret" meeting between the two party chairmen took
place in Torgyan's summer house outside Budapest. According
to FKGP sources, Orban will submit the lineup of his
coalition cabinet to the parliament on 18 June. The FKGP
reportedly will have the agriculture and defense portfolios.
Torgyan is likely to take over the former and FKGP deputy
chairman Zsolt Lanyi the latter. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO TO DISPLAY AIR POWER NEAR KOSOVA. NATO defense
ministers agreed in Brussels on 11 June that the alliance
will hold air exercises in Albania and Macedonia designed to
show Belgrade their resolve in ending the violence in
Kosova, Reuters reported. NATO said the military exercises
could be held as early as next week. In its communique, the
alliance condemned the use of "violence for political ends
by either the authorities in Belgrade or Kosovar Albanian
extremists." German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe said
several other options were discussed at the meeting,
including air strikes anywhere in Yugoslavia and the
deployment of ground troops. He said "meaningful military
measures" have to exist along with diplomatic efforts and
that "the bloodshed" has to stop. Other measures discussed
by the NATO ministers include creating a heavy weapon
"exclusion zone" in Kosova, a no-fly zone, and the
destruction of Yugoslav air defenses. In Belgrade, Serbian
Deputy Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj, an ultra-nationalist,
said Serbia will defend Kosova with all means at its
disposal. PB

COHEN SAYS SECURITY COUNCIL'S BLESSING NOT REQUIRED. U.S.
Defense Secretary William Cohen said after the NATO defense
ministers meeting in Brussels that UN Security Council
authorization to use force in stopping the violence in
Kosova is "desirable" but not required, Reuters reported.
Cohen said "the U.S. does not feel it is imperative." He
said that NATO military intervention in Kosova would be
justified if it were "collective defense in terms of the
instability that could be created" by a continuation of the
current situation. U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright said Washington's goal is to create a cease-fire
that would allow the two sides to resume talks. PB

YELTSIN INVITES MILOSEVIC TO MOSCOW. Russian President Boris
Yeltsin has invited Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to
visit Moscow on 15-16 June to discuss the Kosova crisis,
Russian agencies reported on 11 June. Meanwhile, Russian
Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin outlined
Moscow's position on Kosova. He said Moscow would only agree
to the use of force there with the approval of the UN
Security Council, where Russia has a veto. Russia could
foresee NATO troops being used only for monitoring Kosova's
borders with Albania and Macedonia. And while Moscow will
not oppose the expansion of autonomy for Kosova, it would be
against "tearing Kosova from Serbia or, especially,
Yugoslavia." Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev is to be
consulted in Brussels on 12 June about the NATO defense
ministers meeting. PG

BLAIR REASSURES RUGOVA IN LONDON. British Prime Minister
Tony Blair told Kosova shadow state President Ibrahim Rugova
on 11 June that Britain will try to gain the approval of the
UN Security Council for the use of force to stop the
violence in Kosova, Reuters reported. Rugova, who also met
with British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, thanked Blair for
his support and said the meeting was important for the
ethnic Albanians in Kosova. "We urged urgent action," Rugova
said. "There is a great danger that a massive ethnic
cleansing will take place." Rugova is due to arrive in Paris
on 12 June for a meeting with French President Jacques
Chirac. PB

BERISHA WANTS NATO, UCK TO COORDINATE ACTIVITIES. Former
Albanian President Sali Berisha has proposed that NATO
coordinate any intervention in Kosova with the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK)," "Gazeta Shqiptare" reported on 12
June. He added that "both sides have the same aim, to stop
ethnic cleansing." Berisha recently praised the UCK
publicly. "Koha Jone" reported on 12 June that Berisha's
relatives in the northern village of Vucitol, near Tropoje,
have turned their house and land into a base for UCK
fighters. FS

WESTENDORP SEES MODERATION IN SOME BOSNIAN-SERB AREAS...
Carlos Westendorp, the international community's high
representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, said on 11 June that
there have been "encouraging signs" of political moderation
in parts of eastern Republika Srpska, Reuters reported.
Westendorp spoke at the opening of a health clinic in
Rogatica, near Serbia. He said that support for the current
moderate government in Republika Srpska will be rewarded
with increased aid. "Your people cannot live just on
nationalism," he told them. "They need security, they need
jobs." PB

...BUT UN SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS INCREASED VIOLENCE AGAINST
REFUGEES. Kofi Annan said in New York on 11 June that
refugees and displaced persons returning to their pre-war
homes in Bosnia-Herzegovina are experiencing increased
violence, dpa reported. Annan said in a report to the UN
Security Council that the number of violent events has
increased dramatically in the last three months. Annan asked
the council to extend the mandate of the 2,000-strong
international police force in Bosnia. He said that local
police forces in Croatian areas of Bosnia and in the
Republika Srpska are opposing the integration of the forces
with minority officers. In Brussels, NATO defense ministers
agreed to extend the mandate of the 30,000-troop strong
Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia. PB

GERMANY APPROVES SAKIC'S TRANSIT TO CROATIA. The Croatian
Justice Ministry said on 11 June that Bonn has granted
Croatia permission for concentration camp commander Dinko
Sakic to change planes in Germany on his way to Zagreb where
he is to stand trial on war crimes, Reuters reported. Sakic
denies any wrongdoing during his term as head of the
Jasenovac camp in Croatia, where several tens of thousand of
people died during World War II. Croatia has until the end
of June to extradite Sakic from Argentina. In other news,
the Croatian government closed all schools a week before the
beginning of the summer vacation to avoid a strike
threatened by teachers over pay raises. Education Minister
Bozidar Pugelnik said the closure would end "this circus" of
failed negotiations between teachers' unions and his
ministry. PB

ALBANIAN POLITICIAN DENIES MAFIA LINKS. Ritvan Peshkepia, a
former legislator of the Democratic Alliance Party, told
"Gazeta Shqiptare" on 12 June that he is not involved in any
criminal activities. The daily wrote the previous day that
Italian police are looking for Peshkepia on arms smuggling
charges. Peshkepia said someone stole his diplomatic
passport in 1991 and that he suspects someone has since used
the document to pass himself off as Peshkepia. He added that
he has contacted the Italian embassy and Albanian
Prosecutor-General Arben Rakipi to clarify the matter. FS

ROMANIAN EDUCATION MINISTER OPPOSED TO HUNGARIAN UNIVERSITY.
Andrei Marga on 11 June told journalists that ethnic
Hungarians face "no restrictions" in studying in their own
language at universities and that setting up a separate
state-financed Hungarian-language university is above all a
"symbolic" demand. He said it is "deplorable" that
university education in Cluj has been turned into an
"ethnicized issue." Marga stressed that he continues to
support a "multi-cultural approach" such as exists at the
Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj. That approach, he
explained, allows each ethnic community to preserve its
identity without disrupting "inter-ethnic cultural
communication." Marga said a separate university in
Transylvania could be the harbinger of movements that are
"undesirable," an RFE/RL correspondent reported. In a
separate statement, the Education Ministry said solutions
providing for "ethnic assimilation or ethnic separation" are
"equally counter-productive." MS

MOLDOVAN COALITION STALEMATE CONTINUES. Premier Ion Ciubuc
and the leaders of the Democratic Convention of Moldova
(CDM) and the Party of Democratic Forces (PDF) have failed
to reach an agreement on the distribution of deputy cabinet
ministers posts, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported on 11
June. CDM co-chairman Mircea Snegur said after the meeting
that the "warning" issued recently by the CDM and the PDF
"remains in force" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 June 1998). MS

WORLD BANK OFFICIAL 'SATISFIED' WITH MOLDOVAN VISIT. Robert
Grawe, World Bank regional director for Moldova, said in
Chisinau at the end of a three-day visit that he was "very
satisfied" with his talks with Ciubuc and other Moldovan
officials. He said the talks produced a "partnership accord"
on financing several projects in Moldova. However, the two
sides did not discuss the frozen tranche of a World Bank
loan. Discussions on that issue will take place in September
depending on how the Moldovan economy performs, RFE/RL's
Chisinau bureau reported. MS

END NOTE

HOW NOT TO FIGHT AN ANCIENT EVIL

by Paul Goble

	Many governments and political leaders in the post-
communist states are responding to manifestations of anti-
Semitism and ethnic extremism in ways that seem certain to
make these problems worse.
	Some mainstream leaders deny that any problem exists
or claim that it is so marginal that it need not be
addressed. Others assume that banning the symbols of such
extremist groups will be sufficient to deal with these
phenomenon. Still others appear to believe that the best way
to deal with such groups is to adopt part of the extremists'
program in order to undercut the extremists.
	The history of Western Europe suggests that none of
these strategies will work. Even more, it indicates that
democratic leaders must take an active role in fighting such
phenomena to prevent the latter from expanding and
threatening democracy itself.
	Since the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and
the former Soviet Union, governments and mainstream
political leaders across the region have routinely denounced
anti-Semitism and ultra-nationalism. Sometimes leaders make
these declarations under pressure from the West. Sometimes
they do so out of a genuine commitment. Sometimes they speak
from a recognition of just what these extremist movements
might mean to the still fragile democratic systems in their
countries.
	But a rising tide of anti-Semitic and ultra-
nationalist activities across this region shows that these
leaders have not yet found a way to implement these
commitments.
	Not surprisingly, many governments and mainstream
political leaders have dismissed incidents like the attacks
earlier this year on the Moscow and Riga synagogues as the
work of a few extremists who enjoy little support in the
broader population. That is certainly what many in these
countries and the West want to believe, but public opinion
polls in these countries show that far more people continue
to harbor anti-Semitic and extreme nationalist views.
	A recent poll in Russia, for example, found that
approximately half the population could be described as
anti-Semitic to one extent or another. If the authorities
fail to bring those responsible for anti-Semitic or extreme
nationalist actions to justice, many people are likely to
conclude that the extremists enjoy even more support than
they do. And such conclusions, in turn, will give these
groups more influence, not less.
	Faced with that challenge, other leaders are
considering taking actions that would ban the symbols of the
extremists, such as the Nazi swastika. Such steps, these
leaders believe, would be sufficient to keep the extremists
at bay.
	However, as the experience of Western Europe shows,
such bans may have an unintended effect. They may even give
extremist groups the ability to win support among people who
do not share their core views but who are angry at the
government for other reasons.
	But the most dangerous pattern in the post-communist
region now, however, is not that of denial--either by
claiming the problem does not exist or outlawing hated
symbols. Rather, it is the tendency of governments or
political leaders to succumb to the temptation to exploit
anti-Semitic or ultra nationalist rhetoric or actions to win
support for themselves.
	Many times politicians do this without any apology.
Thus, Russian communist leader Gennadii Zyuganov used openly
anti-Semitic language in his effort to win votes in the last
Russian presidential race.
	But often political leaders advance a different
argument, one suggesting that they can only isolate the
extremists and win support for themselves by adopting part
of the extremists' programs. Unfortunately, all too many
both in these countries and abroad appear willing to accept
that argument, at least implicitly, thereby failing to see
that it can open the door to even worse horrors.
	A tragic example of this is the decree issued in
October 1993 by Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov and backed by
President Boris Yeltsin calling for the expulsion from the
Russian capital of "persons of Caucasian nationality."
	Seeking to exploit the hatred many Russians feel
toward persons from the North Caucasus and Transcaucasus,
Luzhkov and his backers apparently felt that they needed to
take this step to build up their own support in the wake of
the bloody conflict between Yeltsin and the old Supreme
Soviet.
	But despite violating the Russian Constitution and
despite its ominous echo of Stalin's decrees against Jews
nearly 50 years ago, this decree is still on the books,
nearly five years after the conflict that was used to
justify it.
	And even if, as some like to suggest, Luzhkov's decree
is at present not always enforced, its continued existence
not only casts a shadow over Russian democracy but almost
inevitably encourages other forms of ethnic extremism.
	That danger -- and it exists in many places across the
region -- underscores why it is too soon to declare victory
over these ancient evils and why it is absolutely necessary
that everyone involved continue the fight.

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