Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Dostoevsky
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 131 Part II, 10 July 1998


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 131 Part II, 10 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 STRIKES CONCILIATORY NOTE IN DIPLOMATIC STANDOFF

* AGREEMENT SIGNED ON CZECH MINORITY GOVERNMENT

* DIPLOMATS UNDERTAKE FIRST MONITORING MISSION IN KOSOVA
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUS STRIKES CONCILIATORY NOTE IN DIPLOMATIC STANDOFF.
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has appointed Deputy Foreign
Minister Uladzimir Herasimovich to lead negotiations with
charges d'affaires of the countries whose ambassadors have
been recalled from Belarus over the diplomatic housing
scandal, Belapan and RFE/RL Belarusian Service reported.
Herasimovich said on 9 July that the Belarusian government
is taking "no tough positions" on the relocation of
ambassadors and that "no deadlines" have been set for
diplomats to remove their belongings from the Drazdy
compound. He added that Minsk has already reached agreements
with France and Germany on moving their ambassadors to other
residences. But dpa quoted a German Foreign Ministry
spokesman as denying that claim. JM

EU TO INTRODUCE VISA RESTRICTIONS FOR BELARUSIAN OFFICIALS?
Referring to "European diplomatic sources," ITAR-TASS
reported that EU countries on 10 July will draft a
resolution on restricting the number of EU entry visas for
Belarusian senior officials. That resolution will reportedly
be approved by EU foreign ministers on 13 July at an EU
Council session. According to the Russian news agency, the
resolution is a punitive measure for the eviction of EU
diplomats from the Drazdy compound, near Minsk. The agency
adds that the visa restrictions will also be supported by
East European countries applying for EU membership. JM

SOLANA SATISFIED WITH NATO-UKRAINE COOPERATION... NATO
Secretary-General Javier Solana stressed during his 8-9 July
visit to Ukraine that NATO cooperation with Ukraine is
"fruitful" and has "good prospects," Ukrainian Television
reported. Solana visited Kyiv to mark the first anniversary
of the signing of the NATO-Ukraine special partnership
charter. He said NATO wants to cooperate with Kyiv in
peacekeeping operations as well as in the spheres of
military command and communications. JM

...WHILE KUCHMA SAYS NATO HAS NO ALTERNATIVE IN EUROPE.
After his meeting with Solana on 9 July, President Leonid
Kuchma said NATO has no alternative in the creation of a
security system in Europe. Kuchma added that Kyiv is "on the
right path" by cooperating with NATO. Ukraine and NATO will
cooperate "on a much broader scale" than simply in military
issues or within the Partnership for Peace program
framework, Ukrainian Television quoted him as saying. The
Russian Foreign Ministry is lobbying for an increased role
for the OSCE as the cornerstone of the European security
system.JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT ELECTS DEPUTY SPEAKERS. The Supreme
Council on 9 July elected two deputy speakers proposed by
newly elected speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko. The parliament
voted by 270 to 23 to appoint Communist Adam Martenyuk as
first deputy speaker and Social Democrat Viktor Medvedchuk
as deputy speaker. According to Ukrainian Television, the
Popular Rukh and the Popular Democratic Party strongly
opposed both candidates. After holding 19 rounds of voting
to elect its speaker, the Supreme Council broke another
record on 9 July when 22 votes were needed in order to pass
the motion to elect both deputy speakers in one ballot. JM

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT NOT TO SIGN LUSTRATION LAW. Valdas
Adamkus's adviser on social policy, Darius Kuolis, told
reporters on 9 July that Valdas Adamkus will not sign the
recently passed lustration law (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29
June 1998), Interfax reported. That law bans former KGB
agents from holding posts in government and state bodies for
10 years following the passage of the legislation. Kuolis
said that the law creates "moral, legal, historical, and
national security problems that call for very subtle
solutions." He also noted that the director of a center for
the study of genocide against Lithuanian residents convinced
Adamkus that documentary evidence on former KGB agents in
Lithuania is "scant." According to Interfax, Adamkus has
until 11 July either to return the law to the parliament or
not to sign it and let the speaker do so instead. Speaker
Vytautas Landsbergis initiated the lustration law. JC

POLISH PREMIER PLEDGES TO FULFILL NATO RESPONSIBILITIES.
Jerzy Buzek, on a three-day visit to the U.S., said during a
9 July meeting in Washington with Congressmen that Poland
will spare no effort to become a trustworthy partner in
NATO. "Poland wants to prove in the near future that our
country will meet all commitments under North Atlantic
Alliance membership," "Rzeczpospolita" quoted him as saying.
According to AP, Buzek pledged that Poland will participate
in all NATO's out-of-area operations, including any possible
intervention in Kosova. JM

AGREEMENT SIGNED ON CZECH MINORITY GOVERNMENT. Social
Democratic Party (CSSD) leader Milos Zeman and Civic
Democratic Party (ODS) head Vaclav Klaus on 9 July signed
the agreement on a CSSD minority cabinet. The agreement
stipulates that the ODS will receive the chairmanship of
both houses of the parliament as well as of the lower
house's Budget Commission and other key parliamentary
commissions. The ODS agreed not to initiate a non-confidence
vote during the chamber's four-year term, AP and Reuters
reported. Zeman told reporters that the agreement was a
"long-term one" that could remain in force if the election
results were reversed in 2002. Klaus said the ODS is "moving
into the opposition" and that it remains a "political rival"
of the CSSD. MS

HAVEL WANTS 'EXPERT OPINION' ON CONSTITUTIONALITY OF
AGREEMENT. President Vaclav Havel said after meeting with
Zeman that he will "in all likelihood" nominate Zeman as
premier but will first seek "expert opinion" on whether the
agreement is constitutional. Havel said he worries that the
agreement may lead to "a permanent limitation of political
pluralism." The leader of the Christian Democratic Party,
Josef Lux, called on Havel to reject the accord. He said the
agreement is "anti-democratic and anti-constitutional"
because it attempts "to replace the old [constitutional]
article on the leading role of the Communist Party with a
similar role" for the CSSD and the ODS. MS

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT FAILS AGAIN TO ELECT PRESIDENT. The Slovak
Parliament narrowly failed to elect a new president in two
rounds held on 9 July. In both rounds (the ninth and the
tenth since the end of former President Michal Kovac's term
on 2 March), the candidate backed by the governing parties,
Otto Tomecek, was four votes short of the required 90 votes.
Since the opposition parties have 81 representatives in the
legislature, it is clear that some of their members or some
independent deputies must have voted with the government.
Deputy Prime Minister Josef Kalman, attending the opening of
Slovakia's EU mission in Brussels, told journalists that the
failure of the parliament to elect a president for four
months must not be interpreted as an indication that
Slovakia is unfit for EU membership. Rather, he said, it is
a "sign of democracy, of respect for the opposition,"
Reuters reported. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DIPLOMATS UNDERTAKE FIRST MONITORING MISSION IN KOSOVA.
Diplomats from the U.S., U.K., Russia, The Netherlands, and
Belgium visited the Prizren, Gjakova, and Peja regions of
Kosova on 9 July, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.
The envoys, who traveled without journalists, said that
their mission helps them to identify regions that require
additional monitoring. An U.S. diplomat told the VOA that
both sides are more likely to "be on their best behavior" if
they know they are being observed, even though the monitors
have no authority to intervene (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7
July 1998). In Vienna, spokesmen for the OSCE said that the
Yugoslav authorities have agreed to admit OSCE monitors to
Kosova. Until now, Belgrade refused to allow OSCE missions
to work in Kosova until that body restores Yugoslavia's
membership, which was suspended in 1992. PM

HOLBROOKE SAYS KOSOVA 'TOUGHER THAN BOSNIA.' U.S. special
envoy Richard Holbrooke said in Washington on 9 July that
the crisis in Kosova "is tougher than Bosnia [and]
enormously dangerous." He added that Kosova "is a crisis,
and it could, without too much difficulty, slip into an
emergency if things go wrong. In Bosnia we didn't get
engaged for two or three years. Here, we got engaged early
because the danger of this fighting exploding into a general
war is very great." In London, unnamed officials of the
Foreign Office told Reuters that the meeting of the Contact
Group in Bonn the previous day was "very difficult."
Diplomats from the U.S., U.K., Russia, Germany, France, and
Italy agreed on a package aimed at giving Kosova broad
autonomy within Yugoslavia (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 July
1998). PM

NANO HAILS CONTACT GROUP PLAN. Albanian Prime Minister Fatos
Nano on 9 July welcomed the peace plan for Kosova. Speaking
to the government in Tirana, Nano said that Serbia "should
create all conditions for the safe return of the Albanians
displaced from their homes in Kosova." He added that
Belgrade should allow international observers full freedom
of movement throughout Kosova and invite EU monitoring teams
there. Nano stressed that "the Kosovar Albanian negotiating
team should be as representative of all ethnic Albanians as
possible." That comment suggests he advocates including the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK). But Nano warned against
inviting Belgrade to resume its role in international
institutions until the Kosova dispute is settled. FS

THREE ALBANIANS REPORTED KILLED IN BORDER INCIDENT.
Villagers from Letaj north of Kukes said Serbian border
guards shot and killed three Albanian citizens inside
Albania on 9 July, "Gazeta Shqiptare reported. They added
that Serbian forces took three other Albanians hostage.
Albanian authorities have not confirmed the report but have
sent police and border guards to the village to investigate.
FS

ALBANIAN CUSTOMS SEIZE WEAPONS. Customs authorities
confiscated one-and-a-half tons of arms and ammunition in
Durres on 9 July but made no arrests. The weapons were
hidden in a van with a Zagreb license plate that arrived on
a ferry from Ancona, "Koha Jone" reported. Durres
prosecutors declined to comment on the preliminary results
of their investigations but said they believe the arms were
bound for the UCK. Customs officials in Durres seized a
large quantity of arms on 18 June. FS

KINKEL SAYS 'TIME RUNNING OUT.' German Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel said in Tirana on 9 July that not much time is
left to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Kosova,
the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" wrote. He added that
the Contact Group wants the province to have broad autonomy
but not the full status of a republic that Serbia and
Montenegro enjoy. Kinkel noted that Russia agreed in Bonn to
the stationing in Kosova of "mixed" police units that would
include foreigners, Serbs, and ethnic Albanians on a model
similar to that used in Bosnia. Kinkel urged the
international community to give Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic positive incentives to end the crisis. The
minister stressed that the prospect of renewed OSCE
membership could be a "light at the end of the tunnel" for
Milosevic and help convince him to change his policies in
Kosova. PM

MONTENEGRO SAYS NO RECOGNITION OF BULATOVIC. A spokesman for
the Interior Ministry in Podgorica on 9 July denied recent
accounts in the domestic and foreign media that the
Montenegrin and Yugoslav federal authorities have reached an
agreement on Montenegro's border with Croatia (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 9 July 1998). The spokesmen said that Podgorica
does not recognize the federal government of former
Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic, whose election to
that post Podgorica considers illegal, RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 May 1998). PM

WASHINGTON, BRUSSELS SUSPEND SARAJEVO AID. A spokesman for
the international community's Carlos Westendorp said in
Sarajevo on 9 July that U.S. Agency for International
Development and the EU have suspended $20 million in
development assistance for the Bosnian capital. The payments
will resume only when the city honors the pledge it made in
March to allow up to 20,000 non-Muslims to move back to the
Muslim-controlled city. Since the Dayton agreement was
signed at the end of 1995, only 2,000 or so non-Serbs have
returned to the Republika Srpska and 36,000 Serbs to the
Muslim-Croatian federation, about half of whom went back to
Sarajevo, AP reported. PM

TWO DEAD IN ATTEMPT ON LIFE OF BOSNIAN SERB POLICE CHIEF.
Two men were killed instantly in Bijeljina on 9 July when
they tried to plant a bomb in the car of Ljubisa Savic, also
known as "Mauser." He is the local chief of police and is
loyal to Republika Srpska President Biljana Plavsic. Savic
led a paramilitary unit known as the Panthers in ethnic
cleansing operations in the area during the early stages of
the 1992-1995 war. PM

ROMANIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ON POPE'S VISIT. The Romanian
Orthodox Church on 9 July said it "remains open to the
possibility of a visit" by Pope John Paul II to Romania but
wants such a visit "to be thoroughly prepared" by "creating
an atmosphere of [mutual] understanding" between Orthodox
believers and [Rome-affiliated] Uniate Church members in
Transylvania. That understanding would "contribute to a
rapprochement between the Orthodox Church and Catholic
Church," it added. Observers say the statement in effect
amounts to a rejection of the Pope's visit. In a press
release, the Orthodox Church said it has "repeatedly asked"
the Uniate Church to "begin a dialogue on litigious
problems" between the two sides. It noted, however, that
such a dialogue cannot begin because the Uniates insist that
Uniate churches and other properties confiscated by the
Communists first be returned by the Orthodox Church. MS

ROMANIA'S NEW 'STRATEGIC CONCEPT' FOR NATO INTEGRATION.
Foreign Minister Andrei Plesu on 9 July told Supreme
Commander of Allied Forces in Europe General Wesley Clark
that Romania's "new strategic concept" for integration into
NATO is one of "active attendance." Defense Minister Victor
Babiuc told journalists after meeting with Clark that this
new concept, first presented by Premier Radu Vasile, does
not signify that Bucharest no longer gives priority to NATO
integration. Rather, it seeks "to avoid over-dramatization"
in the event that Romania again fails to be invited to join
the organization in 1999 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 June
1998). MS

MINERS' LEADER FREED FROM PRISON. Miron Cozma, the leader of
the miners who several times went on a rampage Bucharest in
1990-1991, has been freed from prison after completing an
18-month sentence for his role in the September 1991
disturbances (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 June 1998). On 9
July, he was welcomed in Petrosani by Ilie Neacsu, a
parliamentary deputy of the extremist Greater Romania Party
(PRM). Cozma joined that party while in pre-trial detention.
Neacsu said it is up to Cozma to decide whether he will run
for the legislature on the list of the PRM or return to his
former position as miners' union leader. MS

OSCE DISCUSSES WITHDRAWAL OF RUSSIAN TROOPS FROM
TRANSDNIESTER. Participants at a 9 July OSCE meeting in
Vienna on "Military Transparency in Moldova" said the
process of Russian troop withdrawal from the Transdniester
is "stagnating" and must be accelerated, Romanian Radio
reported. Moldovan delegation member Mihai Critincea told
the forum that Romania is ready to assist Moldova and Russia
financially for the purpose of accelerating the withdrawal.
MS

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT IN BRUSSELS. President Petar Stoyanov on
9 July told the permanent representatives of NATO member
states in Brussels that the situation in the Balkans in
general and the Kosova crisis in particular are "additional
arguments in favor of Bulgaria's accession to the
organization" as soon as possible. Stoyanov said Bulgaria's
and Romania's accession would "create a security belt"
between the organization's northern and southern flanks, BTA
reported. Meeting with the president of the European
Commission, Jacques Santer, one day earlier, Stoyanov said
he was bringing "a realistic assessment of our achievements
but also an awareness of what remains to be done." Santer
said the commission has registered Bulgaria's efforts toward
political and macro-economic stabilization but noted that
Sofia must still implement reforms of the economy, public
administration, and judiciary. MS

CORRECTION: "RFE/RL Newsline" incorrectly reported yesterday
that a former Bulgarian premier has been appointed
ambassador to the UN. Filip Dimitrov (not Dimitri Filipov,
as reported) was in fact appointed ambassador to the U.S.

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