The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 130 Part II, 9 July 1998


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 130 Part II, 9 July 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

* BELARUS BACKS DOWN OVER ULTIMATUM TO CLEAR OUT DRAZDY
RESIDENCES

* NATO WARSHIPS DOCK AT DURRES

* CONTACT GROUP ADOPTS KOSOVA PACKAGE

End Note: SECURITY ISSUES FOR MACEDONIA
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUS BACKS DOWN OVER ULTIMATUM TO CLEAR OUT DRAZDY
RESIDENCES. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has backed down
on its ultimatum to the U.S. and other countries to clear
out the residences of their ambassadors in the Drazdy
compound, near Minsk (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 July 1998),
RFE/RL Belarusian Service reported. A Foreign Ministry
spokesman said the embassies will be asked to move
furnishings "whenever the need arises, when we'll need to
carry out repairs in this or that residence." U.S. State
Department spokesman James Rubin commented that "this is
obviously a step in the right direction, but it's only the
first in many, many steps that need to take place if we're
going to go back to where we should be." A Russian Foreign
Ministry spokesman said Moscow "positively assesses" Minsk's
move, ITAR-TASS reported. JM

WORLD BANK RECALLS REPRESENTATIVE FROM BELARUS. David
Phillips, the World Bank's representative in Belarus, has
been recalled from Minsk owing to the Belarusian
government's failure to fulfill mutual agreements, Reuters
reported on 8 July. "If agreements have been signed and are
not fulfilled, we have to abandon Belarus," Phillips
commented. The World Bank granted Belarus a $170 million
loan and a $10 million grant to support economic reform in
1993-1995. In a memorandum signed last year, Belarus pledged
to take specific steps toward liberalizing the economy, but
this year the government has further tightened controls over
foreign exchange and prices. Phillips said Belarus is five
to six years behind its neighbors in terms of economic
reforms and needs $1.5 billion in annual investment to
effectively compete on world markets. JM

NEW SPEAKER OPTIMISTIC ABOUT UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT'S
PROSPECTS. Oleksandr Tkachenko, newly elected speaker of the
Ukrainian Supreme Council, told journalists on 8 July that
he is optimistic about the parliament's potential and
prospects, Ukrainian Television reported. "The current
parliament is able to function and it will prove this in
practical work," he commented. In his opinion, the
parliament's main task is to pass legislation to overcome
the economic crisis. He expressed his belief that Ukraine's
three branches of power will find "deep state
understanding." He added that he believes a parliamentary
majority will be formed by September. And he announced that
he does not intend to run in the 1999 presidential
elections. JM

USAID LAUNCHES AID PROGRAM FOR CHORNOBYL CHILD VICTIMS. The
United States Agency for International Development has
started a new program to help cure child victims of the
Chornobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, AP reported on 8
July. The three-year, $4 million program will provide
Ukraine's health care service with up-to-date methods of
early detection of thyroid cancer and the necessary
equipment to treat the disease. According to Ukrainian
government officials, the number of registered cases of
thyroid cancer among children in the areas polluted by
radiation exceeds1,000. The aid program will be implemented
chiefly in rural areas, where the health care system is
underdeveloped. JM

TALBOTT IN RIGA. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe
Talbott says that everyone would benefit if Russia would not
view the Baltic States as a "zone of its own interests" but
as a "gateway" to a new Europe, BNS and Interfax reported.
Talbott was speaking in Riga on 8 July, where he attended
the first meeting of the U.S.-Baltic Partnership Council,
established earlier this year by the Baltic and U.S.
presidents. That meeting yielded a communique providing for
joint efforts to secure the Baltic States' accession to the
World Trade Organization and to promote regional security
cooperation that would also include Russia. Latvian Foreign
Minister Valdis Birkavs noted that the council's first
session was taking place at a "rather significant time,"
when, he said, the Latvian economy was under "attack" from
Moscow. JC

POLISH FARMERS PROTEST GRAIN IMPORTS. More than 100 farmers
blocked the Polish-German border crossing at Kolbaskowo for
two hours on 8 July to protest grain imports and the absence
of a government grain procurement program for this year,
"Rzeczpospolita" reported. Another 200 farmers emptied 500
tons of Hungarian grain from railroad freight cars at the
Polish-Czech border crossing at Zebrzydowice. The farmers
are demanding that threshold prices be introduced for
imported grain and that such imports be subsequently banned
altogether. Agriculture Minister Jacek Janiszewski said the
government has already set a minimum price that make grain
imports unprofitable but noted that decision has not yet
been implemented . JM

BALCEROWICZ DENIES BACKING EU AID CUT. Deputy Prime Minister
and Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz has denied the
allegation by the Brussels-based daily "NRC Handelsblad"
that he telephoned the European Commission to express
support for its decision to cut aid to Poland by 34 million
ecus ($37.4 million) (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 June 1998).
"This is a lie," Balcerowicz told Polish Radio. His comment
came after the 8 July "Zycie" had quoted the Dutch-language
daily report, according to which a certain Polish minister
called to thank Brussels for "the slap in the face that
should sober up Warsaw." PAP reported that the European
Commission has also denied that Balcerowicz contacted it
following the decision to cut aid. JM

CSSD, ODS REACH AGREEMENT ON MINORITY GOVERNMENT. The
leaders of the Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and the Civic
Democratic Party (ODS), Milos Zeman and Vaclav Klaus, told
journalists on 8 July that their parties' leaderships have
approved the agreement reached one day earlier on a minority
cabinet headed by Zeman, CTK reported. Details on the
agreement are to be released on 9 July. Zeman said "no
constitutional changes" are envisaged and that the agreement
stipulates that the ODS will not initiate a non-confidence
vote by itself. Klaus called the document an "opposition
agreement" and said it contains no time limits. He also said
it provides for a "division of constitutional positions"
between the CSSD and the ODS. The leader of the Christian
Democratic Party, Josef Lux, said the new cabinet will lack
stability because "no protectorate has ever been stable." MS

HAVEL CALLS SENATE, LOCAL ELECTIONS FOR NOVEMBER. President
Vaclav Havel has called elections for the Senate for 13-14
November. The ballot is to be held in those constituencies
where mandates expire in the fall, a presidential office
spokesman announced on 8 July. Havel set the same date for
local elections. MS

SLOVAKIA'S DURAY ON NEW HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT. Miklos Duray,
honorary chairman of Slovakia's Hungarian Coalition Party,
on 8 July told the Hungarian news agency MTI that he "hopes
and believes" that Viktor Orban's government will keep the
promise that Orban made on the night of his election
victory. He quoted Orban as saying that "although the
borders of the Hungarian nation do not coincide with those
of the Hungarian state, the next Hungarian government will
be one of the whole nation." Duray said this is the
"intellectual heritage" of the cabinet headed from 1990-1993
by late Premier Joszef Antall. He added that the new
Hungarian government must draft its "policies for the 21st
century" to take into account ethnic Hungarians living
beyond Hungary's borders. MS

NEW HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT SWORN IN. The 16 ministers of
Orban's government took the oath of office on 8 July. Orban
said the cabinet gives priority to boosting the economy and
improving living standards. In other news, the parliament
approved the government's proposal to bring social security
under central government control and to nationalize pension
and health funds. The opposition protested the planned move,
while the largest national trade union federation said it
will appeal to the Constitutional Court over the issue. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO WARSHIPS DOCK AT DURRES. Warships from Italy, Spain,
Greece, and Turkey arrived in Durres on 8 July. Supreme
Allied Commander in Europe General Wesley Clark told
journalists that the visit is both a demonstration of NATO's
determination to help resolve the Kosova conflict and a show
of support for the Albanian government. He added that "the
visible capacity represented by these ships...demonstrates
the alliance's capability to participate in a constructive
solution and our resolve to do so." Clark called on all
sides in the Kosova conflict to stop the violence and start
dialogue. He stressed that "all those who are participating
in this conflict have to recognize and take account of
NATO's considerable capabilities." He warned that "we are
working on a series of plans" and added that "the government
of Albania is going to cooperate very, very closely with
NATO." FS

CONTACT GROUP ADOPTS KOSOVA PACKAGE... High-ranking
diplomats from the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Russia,
Italy and Spain agreed in Bonn on 8 July on a package of
"basic elements" to defuse the crisis in Kosova. The
negotiators said they will keep the text "confidential" and
communicate it to the parties involved in the dispute. The
"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported that the document
calls on both sides in the conflict to stop fighting and
return to the negotiating table. The Contact Group, the
German daily continues, urged Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic to keep the promises he made to Russian President
Boris Yeltsin in June, including a pledge to withdraw his
forces from Kosova (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 June 1998).
The diplomats called on the UN Security Council to consider
passing a resolution that will reflect the Contact Group's
decisions. PM

...CALLS FOR BALANCE. The diplomats ruled out independence
for Kosova and recommended broad autonomy within Yugoslavia,
according to the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung." They also
agreed in Bonn on 8 July to urge the Kosova Liberation Army
(UCK) to lay down its weapons. The negotiators stressed that
it is important to cut off the flow of funds to the UCK from
abroad, Reuters reported. The Frankfurt daily added that the
Contact Group wants talks to begin immediately, even without
a cease-fire. The diplomats have moved closer to the Serbian
position in this respect because of the growing strength of
the UCK, the newspaper noted. German Foreign Minister Klaus
Kinkel stressed that "the spiral of violence and counter-
violence must stop." PM

KINKEL MEETS WITH REFUGEES IN ALBANIA. Following the Bonn
meeting, the German foreign minister flew to Tirana, where
he discussed the Contact Group's decisions with Prime
Minister Fatos Nano and President Rexhep Meidani. Kinkel
expressed concern about the prospects for a political
solution, saying that time is running out and that radical
forces on both sides are gaining strength. He also met with
refugees in the northwestern Albanian region of Bajram Curri
on 9 July. German relief workers are currently setting up
emergency shelters as part of relief efforts for some 13,000
Kosovar refugees there. FS

SERBIAN OPPOSITION OUTLINES AUTONOMY PLAN. Vojislav
Mihajlovic, who is a deputy speaker of the Serbian
parliament and a member of Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal
Movement, said in New York on 8 July that Belgrade should
grant the Kosovars a four-part autonomy program, AP
reported. The plan would give Kosova a high degree of local
self rule in municipalities and towns, an autonomous
provincial legislature and government, and proportional
representation for ethnic Albanians in both the Serbian and
federal Yugoslav legislature and government. In Geneva,
however, a spokesman for the UCK said the guerrillas remain
committed to independence. PM

BELGRADE APPROVES PREVLAKA PLAN. The federal Yugoslav
government on 8 July endorsed a plan recommended by the
Montenegrin authorities to regulate the status of the
Montenegrin-Croatian border and of Croatia's Prevlaka
peninsula, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. Prevlaka
is under UN administration and controls access to
Montenegro's Bay of Kotor, where Yugoslavia's only deep-
water naval base is located. PM

SLOVENE NAMED BOSNIAN MEDIA CHIEF. Carlos Westendorp, who is
the international community's chief representative in
Bosnia, named Slovenia's Tomaz Petrovic in Sarajevo on 8
July as the "international arbitrator" on the committee that
supervises Radio and Television of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
governing body consists of five persons nominated by Alija
Izetbegovic, who is the Muslim member of the joint
presidency, and five persons selected by his Croatian
counterpart, Kresimir Zubak. In Bonn, Dietmar Schlee, who
heads the government's refugee return program, dismissed UN
criticism of Germany's policy aimed at repatriating
refugees. "I do not understand this artificial provocation
on the part of some UN people in Sarajevo," he said (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 8 July 1998). PM

POWER STRUGGLE IN DUBROVNIK. Jure Buric, who is the chief
executive of Croatia's Dubrovnik-Neretva County, dissolved
the county legislature on 8 July. He said that the move
comes in response to the parliament's failure to nominate a
successor to him within the 15 days prescribed by law
following the no-confidence vote deputies cast against him
last month, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

OSCE, COUNCIL OF EUROPE URGE ALBANIAN DEMOCRATS TO RETURN TO
PARLIAMENT. The Tirana branches of the OSCE and the Council
of Europe issued a joint statement on 8 July calling on the
Democratic Party to end its boycott of the parliament, "Koha
Jone" reported. The statement says that both organizations
are "deeply concerned" by the Democrats' decision to walk
out the previous day (see "RFE/RL Newsline" 8 July 1998).
The text added that the party should participate in a
"constructive political debate about the problems that the
future of the country faces." Elsewhere, Namik Dokle, who is
deputy speaker of the parliament, proposed to cut the
salaries of those Democratic parliamentary deputies who
declare in writing that they no longer recognize the
legitimacy of the legislature, "Gazeta Shqiptare" reported.
FS

NEW PROSECUTOR-GENERAL APPOINTED IN ROMANIA. President Emil
Constantinescu on 8 July appointed Mircea Criste as
prosecutor-general, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.
Criste was appointed a judge in Timisoara in 1995 and in
1997 became director of the General Directorate of
Penitentiaries. In other news, the National Liberal Party
(PNL) said its deputy chairman, Viorel Catarama, will no
longer be allowed to "make statements in the name of the
PNL." That move is in response to Catarama's criticizing the
party leadership for having "betrayed" its electorate and
for pursuing "leftist" policies. Party chairman Mircea
Ionescu-Quintus said the decision was not connected to
Catarama's refusal to submit a written declaration on
whether he had links with the former Securitate. MS

NATO SUPREME COMMANDER IN ROMANIA. On arriving in Bucharest
for a two-day visit on 8 July, Supreme Commander of Allied
Forces in Europe General Clark said that NATO continues to
consider Romania "a key country" regardless of whether the
alliance decides to continue its expansion, Rompres
reported. MS

TIRASPOL APPOINTS FINANCE MINISTER FROM MOLDOVA. Sergei
Gradinari, a former Moldovan parliamentary deputy who
represented the Socialist Unity-Edinstvo party, has been
appointed finance minister in the Transdniester, RFE/RL's
Chisinau bureau reported on 8 July, citing the daily "Flux".
Gradinari was recently proposed by the pro-presidential For
a Democratic and Prosperous Moldovan Bloc as deputy foreign
minister. He has now taken up the citizenship of the
separatist region. MS

FORMER BULGARIAN PREMIER APPOINTED UN AMBASSADOR. Dimitri
Filipov on 8 July was appointed ambassador to the UN, AP
reported. Filipov headed the first non-communist Bulgarian
government after 1989. In other news, the World Bank and
Bulgaria on 8 July signed a $16 million loan agreement to
finance a four-year program aimed at restoring polluted
areas around Pirdopis, Reuters reported. The Bulgarian
government will provide $5.7 million for the same purpose
and the local National Trust Eco Fund $ 3.3 million. MS

PROTEST AGAINST BULGARIAN ELECTRONIC MEDIA REGULATIONS. The
Belgrade-based Association of Independent Electronic Media
(AIEM) on 8 July said it is joining a protest launched by
the New-York based Committee to Protect Journalists against
government-proposed amendments to the law on radio and
television. AIEM says that although the legislation formally
abolishes the state monopoly on the allocation of channels,
it leaves decisions on allocating those channels to state
bodies. MS

END NOTE

SECURITY ISSUES FOR MACEDONIA

by Patrick Moore

	The emergence of the crisis in Kosova earlier this
year and the possibility that the violence could spill over
into neighboring countries have drawn international
attention to Macedonia and its security problems. The
country faces two sets of issues: long-term and more
immediate. Regional democratization and cooperation are the
keys to a secure future for the small, land-locked state.
	For Macedonia, the most basic fact of life is its
weakness. Its democratic institutions are new and fragile,
and the fate of the country's stability seems all too bound
up with that of one man, namely President Kiro Gligorov.
Politics, like society, are highly polarized by the divide
between the Slavic, ethnic Macedonian majority, and the
Albanian minority. The Albanians make up between 20 and 25
percent of the population and are concentrated in the
western part of the country, which borders on Albania and
Kosova. The Macedonian military came into being only after
independence in 1992 and is in need of extensive assistance
from NATO's Partnership for Peace program. Another element
of weakness is the economy in what was one of former
Yugoslavia's poorest regions.
	Geography also presents security problems. Macedonia's
main trade route runs from north to south along the Vardar
River valley. To the north is Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic's Serbia, which recognized Macedonia's territorial
integrity only in 1996 and which as recently as April 1998
called for changes in the Serbian-Macedonian border. To the
south is Greece, which conducted an economic blockade of
Macedonia from 1992 to 1995 in a dispute over Macedonia's
name and state symbols. Relations have subsequently
improved, but memories of what is seen in Skopje as Greek
hostility are fresh.
	Macedonia enjoys relatively good relations with
Albania to the west and especially with Bulgaria and Turkey
to the east. But it will be many years before projected road
and rail links connecting Durres to Istanbul via Skopje and
Sofia are operational. And even though Albanian Prime
Minister Fatos Nano recently said that his country,
Macedonia, and Greece have developed a "good partnership,"
Macedonia's ethnic tensions remain a potential difficulty in
its relations with Albania.
	The most pressing problems for Macedonia's security
since early 1997 have come from what might be called the
"arc of crisis" running from western Macedonia into Albania,
Kosova, and Serbia proper. Ethnic tensions rose in Gostivar
and Tetovo in western Macedonia during 1997 in response to
the Macedonian authorities' refusal to legalize the
underground Albanian-language university and in response to
a new law on the display of national symbols. Nano recently
reminded the authorities in Skopje that Tirana is not
indifferent to the situation of Macedonia's ethnic Albanians
and urged Skopje to recognize the university.
	The Albanian government has nonetheless repeatedly
made it clear that it has no interest in destabilizing
Macedonia or in conducting an irredentist policy against its
neighbors. Albania did become a factor for regional
instability in early 1997, however, when anarchy broke out
following the collapse of a series of pyramid schemes. The
June 1997 elections led to the formation of a stable
government and the restoration of basic security and
economic life, but the calm could prove illusory.
	The most pressing danger for Macedonia is the conflict
in Kosova because Macedonian Albanian and Kosovar societies
are closely linked following decades of common statehood in
the former Yugoslavia. Many of the leaders of the two
communities studied together at Prishtina's Albanian-
language university.
	Serbia's huge military power is the greatest direct
threat to Macedonian security, especially as long as
Milosevic remains in power. Persistent but unconfirmed
reports, moreover, suggest some formal or informal links may
exist between anti-Albanian nationalists in the Serbian and
Macedonian security services, which could bode ill for
regional security. Finally, Milosevic enjoys popularity
among some ethnic Macedonians who feel that only "Slobo"
knows how to deal with Albanians, namely through violence.
	There are at least four steps that the international
community might consider in order to stem the immediate
threats to Macedonia's security. First, NATO could station
troops on Macedonia's and Albania's frontiers with
Yugoslavia as a deterrent. Second, the Atlantic alliance
could consider what to do about Milosevic's capability to
wage war in Kosova and potentially against his Balkan
neighbors. Third, NATO could expand its Partnership for
Peace program in Albania and Macedonia. And fourth, the
international community could develop and implement a large
and comprehensive program to promote democracy in Serbia.
	In the long term, the democratization of Serbia might
prove the key to regional stability. A second factor would
be for Greece, as the only Balkan country that belongs both
to NATO and to the EU, to take the lead in integrating its
neighbors in Euro-Atlantic structures. Athens should avoid a
return to the nationalist grandstanding that has often
characterized its policy in the region.
	Third, the international community could augment its
already generous aid package to promote east-west
transportation links in the Balkans and thereby reduce
Macedonia's dependence on Serbia and Greece. Fourth, the
international community could take further steps to promote
the security and prosperity of Albania as an investment in
regional stability. And fifth, all citizens of Macedonia
should be given every incentive to concentrate their
energies on economic development and shun ethnic conflict.

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