Miracles are natural. When they do not occur, something has gone wrong. - A Course in Miracles
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 123 Part II, 29 June 1998


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 123 Part II, 29 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

* BELARUSIAN DIPLOMATIC ROW CONTINUES

* HOLBROOKE SAYS WAR IS NEAR

* U.S. MEETS WITH REBEL KOSOVAR LEADERS
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN DIPLOMATIC ROW CONTINUES. The Russian Foreign
Ministry on 26 June said that actions of the Belarusian
authorities against diplomats in Minsk were "undiplomatic,"
but its spokesman indicated that Moscow still hoped for "a
balanced approach" in resolving the dispute, ITAR-TASS
reported. Meanwhile, four more countries have recalled their
ambassadors from the Belarusian capital, bringing the total
who have left in the dispute over control of diplomatic
property to 11. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka,
however, remained unrepentant. Appearing at the Crans
Montana meeting in Switzerland, he said that the ambassadors
could return once they got permission from Minsk. He also
commented that "everybody is accusing Belarus of every
possible sin. But in Belarus, we are civilized. No one is
shooting at each other. We have a lot of foreign investment,
we have McDonald's and Coca Cola too." PG

NATO MAY OPEN MILITARY MISSION IN UKRAINE. A NATO senior
official said in Kyiv on 26 June that the Western alliance
may open a liaison mission in the Ukrainian capital later
this year, Interfax reported. Klaus Kleiber, an aide to NATO
Secretary-General Javier Solana, said his boss will discuss
that possibility during a 8-9 July visit to Ukraine. On 26-
27 June in Crimea, Kleiber stressed the importance of
developing good relations between Ukraine and that region,
ITAR-TASS reported on 28 June. Those ties may improve
following a meeting in Kyiv on 26 June at which
approximately half of the 26 countries represented pledged
some $5 million to help resettle the Crimean Tatars,
Interfax reported. Kyiv has sought $13.8 million to help
this group, which was deported from the region by Stalin in
1944. PG

UKRAINIAN MINERS DEMONSTRATE; KYIV DISMISSES OFFICIALS. Some
250 striking miners blocked streets in Kyiv on 26 June to
protest wage arrears, Ukrainian and Western agencies
reported. The leaders of the action said it was "a gesture
of despair." In response to the mounting wave of job actions
in the mining sector, President Leonid Kuchma dismissed four
deputy coal industry ministers and named former union leader
Viktor Derzhak as head of the state coal concern, Interfax
reported. PG

YELTSIN'S VISIT TO UKRAINE POSTPONED. Boris Yeltsin's press
spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembskii said on 26 June that the
Russian president will not meet with his Ukrainian
counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, in Crimea in July, Interfax
reported. The informal meeting had originally been scheduled
for June. It was postponed until July during the recent
Russian economic crisis. But Yastrzhembskii did not give a
reason for this delay or announce a new date. On 25 June,
the Kremlin announced that Yeltsin will delay a planned trip
to Kazakhstan in July to an unspecified date in September in
order not to be away from Russia for several days during the
continuing economic difficulties. "Nezavisimaya gazeta"
argued on 27 June that the postponement of Yeltsin's visits
to Ukraine and Kazakhstan--where he was to have met with the
leaders of that country, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan--
"will further weaken Russia's influence in the CIS." PG/LB

RUSSIAN CITIZENS' LEAGUE REGISTERED IN ESTONIA. The Russian
Citizens' League has become the first organization of its
kind to be registered in Estonia, BNS reported on 25 June.
The league was set up in early March after leading members
had split from the unofficial Tallinn Union of Russian
Citizens. The chairman of the new organization, Vladimir
Lebedev, told BNS that league is "apolitical as required
under the Estonian law, and we plan to act only in a legal
way." He added that "there are many very important fields
where we can be active, such as the social, economic, and
humanitarian fields." JC

LATVIAN DEPUTIES DEMAND DELAY IN PUBLISHING AMENDED
CITIZENSHIP LAW. Thirty-eight parliamentary deputies have
submitted to President Guntis Ulmanis a document demanding
that publication of the recently passed amendments to the
citizenship law be delayed for two months, BNS reported on
26 June. During that period, the deputies will seek to
collect the signatures of least one-tenth of eligible voters
(some 95,500 people) in support of a popular referendum on
the amendments. If the campaign to collect the required
amount of signatures fails, the law will be published. JC

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES LUSTRATION LAW. Lawmakers on 25
June passed a law banning former KGB agents from holding
positions in government and state bodies for 10 years
following the passage of the new legislation, ELTA reported.
The law, which was initiated by parliamentary speaker
Vytautas Landbergis, also recommends that such persons not
be allowed to work as lawyers or in key industries, private
security companies, or the communications sector. The law
does not apply to those who left the KGB before 12 March
1990. The only previous attempt to pass a lustration law
failed in late 1991 when the author of the bill was himself
identified by the press as a former KGB agent. JC

LILEIKIS TRIAL TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER. A Vilnius judge has
set 1 September as the start of the trial of suspected war
criminal Aleksandras Lileikis, 91, BNS and Reuters reported
on 26 June. Lileikis, who is currently bed-ridden owing to
ill health, is accused of having sent scores of Jews to
death camps when he was head of the Vilnius security police
during World War II. He was charged earlier this year, but
his trial was postponed to allow testimony to be gathered
from two more witnesses, one of whom says Lileikis saved her
life. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has strongly criticized
the delay in starting the trial, saying it is
"outrageous...[and] does not reflect well on the will of
Lithuania to prosecute its countrymen who collaborated with
the Nazis." JC

SOLIDARITY OPPOSES NEW LEFTIST TV HEAD IN POLAND. Members of
the Solidarity-led governing coalition have said they will
seek to overturn a decision by the state television board to
name a former Communist as its head, PAP reported on 26
June. The board, whose members were selected by the previous
left-of-center government, chose ex-Communist Robert
Kwiatkowski shortly before their terms expired. PG

SOCIALIST-LED COALITION BECOMES UNLIKELY IN CZECH REPUBLIC.
Freedom Union leader Jan Ruml on 27 June said his party is
ready to form a coalition with Vaclav Klaus's Civic
Democratic Party (ODS) and with the Christian Democratic
Party (KDU-CSL), provided that no formation has a majority
in the government, CTK reported. But Ruml's deputy, Vladimir
Mlynar, said on Nova TV on 28 June that he "would not raise
his hand" for a cabinet that "would be a replica of the
previous government of Vaclav Klaus." Mlynar added that he
hopes the "political style" of the previous coalition will
change, so as to make it possible for the union to join it.
Social Democratic Party (CSSD) leader Milos Zeman one day
earlier called on other formations to "tolerate" a minority
government formed by the CSSD and the KDU-CSL. MS

HAVEL ON COALITION PROSPECTS. President Vaclav Havel on 27
June said he is "no great fan" of a "grand coalition" of the
CSSD and the ODS and would rather endorse a center-right
coalition, provided it "changed its methods of ruling."
Havel said he does not consider a coalition relying on
Communist support as "the best solution" but cannot rule it
out either. ODS deputy chairman Miroslav Macek on 28 June
said he believes it "would suit President Havel very much"
if both Zeman and Klaus failed to form a coalition. Macek
said that in such a case Havel would be able to "get fully
involved in the process" and appoint a government made up of
people close to him, CTK reported. MS

SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN TENSIONS OVER BILATERAL TREATY. Foreign
Ministry spokesman Milan Tokar on 26 June told TASR that
Hungarian worries about Slovak non-fulfillment of
obligations assumed in the bilateral treaty between the two
countries are "misplaced." He was reacting to a statement
made one day earlier by Hungarian Foreign Minister-designate
Janos Martonyi, who said Hungary must "make clear to
Slovakia that it must fulfill its international
obligations." Tokar said Martonyi would be "better
counseled" to ensure that Hungary fulfills its international
obligations, pointing to the verdict of the International
Court of Justice in the Hague on the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros
dispute and Hungary's failure to pass legislation allowing
minority representatives to have seats in the parliament. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

HOLBROOKE SAYS WAR IS NEAR... U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke
said on 27 June that the situation in Kosova is "only a few
steps away from a general war," an RFE/RL correspondent in
Crans-Montana reported. Holbrooke, speaking at the Crans-
Montana forum in Switzerland, said an observer mission made
up of diplomats would be arriving in Kosova "as quickly as
possible." Holbrooke said the U.S. lays the blame for the
"tragedy" in Kosova on Belgrade and said a change in
Kosova's status is essential to resolving the conflict. PB

...AS YUGOSLAV PREMIER WALKS OUT OF CONFERENCE. Momir
Bulatovic left the Crans-Montana economic forum on 28 June
after a session on security in Europe was abruptly canceled,
Reuters reported. The session was to include Holbrooke and
Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano. Nano refused to attend
the session, saying it was pointless "because they continue
to massacre the civilians." A Yugoslav Foreign Ministry
official called the incident "scandalous." PB

U.S. MEETS WITH REBEL KOSOVAR LEADERS. Holbrooke on 28 June
said that Washington has held its first official talks with
leaders of the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK), Reuters
reported. Holbrooke said that Robert Gelbard met with UCK
officials on 26 June at an undisclosed location. He added
that ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova was told of the
meeting and supported it. Holbrooke said talks with UCK
leaders will continue if those officials prove they have
control over their own military forces. In Belgrade, Russian
Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Afanasievskii said after
meeting with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic that the
Yugoslav president has kept "all of the promises" he had
made to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow last week.
PB

ALBANIAN PREMIER CLARIFIES POSITION ON KOSOVA. Nano said in
Crans Montana on 26 June that he does not support
independence for Serbia's Kosova province but added that it
should be given the status of a republic within Yugoslavia,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Nano called on Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces from
Kosova and on the Kosova Liberation Army to halt its armed
uprising. Nano said that Kosova shadow state President
Ibrahim Rugova "is a figure without real authority" and that
"the UCK should understand that behaving like civilians is
the best solution." He called for NATO air strikes against
Serbian military targets but said that a UN mandate would be
a precondition for such a step. FS

ITALY, GREECE, GERMANY, ANNAN WANT UN MANDATE FOR NATO
ACTION. Italian and Greek Prime Ministers Romano Prodi and
Kostas Simitis, meeting on Corfu on 28 June, said that they
want a UN mandate as a precondition for NATO action in the
federal Yugoslavia. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and
German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, who met in London on
28 June, expressed the same view. Annan said military action
without the mandate would constitute a "dangerous
precedent." Meanwhile, the international community's high
representative to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Carlos Westendorp, has
rejected a proposal by Bosnian co-Premier Haris Silajdzic to
allow NATO to use bases there for air strikes against
Yugoslavia, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported on 26
June. FS

FIGHTING CONTINUES IN KOSOVA. Heavy fighting was reported
between ethnic Albanians and Serbian police around the
village of Pantina, in central Kosova, dpa reported on 27
June. Belgrade Radio reported that UCK forces captured the
town the previous day. No casualty figures are available.
Armed ethnic Albanian forces are also reported to be
maintaining a cordon around the predominantly Serbian
village of Kijeva, between Prishtina and Peja. Serbian
forces, in turn, have encircled the Albanian forces and are
attacking them with Yugoslav army helicopters, RFE/RL's
South Slavic Service reported. The village has about 200
Serbian inhabitants. There were also numerous reports of
clashes along the Kosova border with Albania and along roads
leading to Prishtina. PB/FS

UNHCR ALLOWED INTO KOSOVA. The UN High Commissioner for
Refugees, Sadako Ogata, said that UNHCR and UN World Food
Program aid teams were allowed into Kosova for the first
time on 25 June, Reuters reported. Ogata said they were able
to bring food to some 600 refugees in the village of Junik.
She said the refugees, mainly women and children, are in
"pretty bad physical shape" and are living in makeshift
shelters. PB

MACEDONIA PROTESTS YUGOSLAV AIR INCURSIONS. The Macedonian
Defense Ministry on 26 June sent a letter of protest to the
Yugoslav embassy in Skopje over violations of its airspace
by Yugoslav fighter planes, AFP reported. A Defense Ministry
spokesman said two Yugoslav MiG-21s flew over Macedonia on
19 and 23 June. He called the flights intentional and
provocative. PB

WAR CRIMES SUSPECT FOUND DEAD AT HAGUE. Slavko Dokmanovic, a
Serb who was awaiting the verdict in his war crimes trial at
The Hague, was found hanged in his jail cell on 29 June, AP
reported. Dokmanovic was charged with playing a key role in
the massacre of some 200 Croats in Vukovar in 1991. PB

BOSNIAN CROATS FOUND NEW PARTY. Nearly 200 representatives
from all of Bosnia-Herzegovina's cantons have officially
formed the New Croatian Initiative, Hina reported on 27
June. Most of the party founders are former members of the
Croatian Democratic Community in Bosnia-Herzegovina (HDZ-
BH). Kresimir Zubak, the Croatian member of the Bosnian
presidency and the leader of the New Croatian Initiative,
said the party has a "Christian Democratic orientation."
Zubak complained that the HDZ-BH was favoring the interests
of Croats from Herzegovina over those of Croats from other
parts of Bosnia who want to live peacefully with Muslims and
Serbs. He added that the Herzegovinian Croats of the HDZ-BH
still support separation, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported. FS

BALKAN DEFENSE MINISTERS AGREE TO CREATE MULTINATIONAL
FORCE. The Defense Ministers of Italy, Turkey, Greece,
Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Albania agreed on 26 June
in Athens to create a multinational force. They scheduled a
meeting for the fall in Skopje to draw up a document
establishing such a force, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported. FS

CROATIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES GOVERNMENT PLAN FOR REFUGEE
RETURN. The Croatian government on 26 June approved a
government plan providing for the return of Serbian refugees
and other displaced persons. Zagreb has been under pressure
from the international community to allow the return of
Serbs. The plan was crafted with the help of Western envoys.
Foreign Minister Mate Granic said legislators helped the
government make "a great step toward the EU and Western
integration," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. The
law provides for the unconditional return of those displaced
by Croatia's battles against rebel Serbs from 1991-1995. FS

ROMANIA'S HUNGARIAN ALLIANCE TO REMAIN IN RULING COALITION.
The Council of Representatives of the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania (UDMR), meeting in Cluj on 27-28 June,
voted against a proposal to leave the ruling coalition now.
At the same time, the council set a timetable for the
government and the parliament to approve legislation meeting
the demands of the UDMR, saying the executive must take
"concrete measures" to set up a Hungarian-language state
university and the parliament must approve the regulation
amending the education law by 31 October, an RFE/RL
correspondent in Cluj reported. MS

TOKES REJECTS ALLEGATION OF COLLABORATION WITH SECURITATE.
At the same meeting, the council decided to set up a special
commission to examine how to tackle allegations that UDMR
leaders collaborated with the Securitate. Responding to the
publication last week in "Adevarul" alleging he was a
collaborator, honorary chairman Laszlo Tokes did not deny
the authenticity of a document he signed pledging to inform
if "national security" were at stake. He stressed, however,
that he was forced to sign that document and never acted as
an informer. He added that the latest public revelations
were orchestrated by Romanian Intelligence Service employees
who were seeking to retain control over the files and trying
to discredit genuine former dissidents. On 26 June, the
military branch of the Prosecutor-General's Office announced
it has opened an investigation against a SRI employee who
leaked to the press the document that attested to former
Health Minister Francis Baranyi's links with the Securitate.
MS

MOLDOVA TO PRIVATIZE ENERGY SECTOR. The parliament on 25
June approved a "Concept for Privatizing Enterprises in the
Energy Sector," RFE/RL's Chisinau Bureau reported. The
document stipulates that the majority share in three power
plants and five energy distribution companies is to be
offered to foreign investors in an international tender.
Deputy Prime Minister Ion Sturdza said the privatized
companies' debts will be covered by the state budget. He
said the energy sector is in need of urgent investments
totaling some $700 million and that the state budget "simply
cannot cover that huge amount." MS

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