I'm going to turn on the light, and we'll be two people in a room looking at each other and wondering why on earth we were afraid of the dark. - Gale Wilhelm
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 186, Part II, 25 September 1998


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 186, Part II, 25 September 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT CREATES STATE BROADCASTING GIANT

* WESTERN OFFICIALS WARN MILOSEVIC

* NANO REAFFIRMED BY PARTY
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT CREATES STATE BROADCASTING GIANT... In
accordance with a recent presidential edict, the Ukrainian
government on 24 September announced the establishment of
Ukrainian Television and Radio Broadcasting, a state
shareholding company that will unite state-run broadcast
media, AP reported. Several national television channels and
radio stations as well as 27 regional state-run television
and radio companies that are not subject to privatization
will be united in the new entity. The cabinet appointed
Mykola Knyazhytskyy as the company's board chairman.
Information Minister Zynoviy Kulyk said the government is
currently able to finance only some 20 percent of
broadcasters' needs. "It is entirely possible that we shall
cut the national radio broadcasts, for instance, from 22
hours a day to seven or eight hours," the agency quoted him
as saying. JM

...TRIES TO CALM PUBLIC FEAR OF FINANCIAL COLLAPSE. Ukraine's
regional government leaders agreed on 24 September to launch
a nationwide information campaign to restore confidence in
the national currency, AP reported. In the wake of the
Russian crisis, the Ukrainian hryvnya has fallen from 2.1 to
$1 in mid-August to $3.25 to $1 on 24 September. Official
estimates put the inflation rate in September at 7.5 percent,
up from 0.2 percent last month. Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy
Tyhypko told regional leaders that "psychological factors"
have played a "most significant role" in Ukraine's current
economic slump. National Bank Chairman Viktor Yushchenko
added that panic among the population is the only obstacle to
stabilizing the hryvnya and curbing inflation. JM

UKRAINIAN PENSIONERS TRADE UNPAID PENSIONS FOR FOOD.
Authorities in 14 towns in Kharkiv Oblast have organized
fairs at which local pensioners can obtain food as
compensation for pension arrears, the daily "Fakty" reported
on 24 September. Some 3,000 people in the town of Valky are
able to choose among pork, beef, milk, sugar, and other
foodstuffs provided by enterprises that owe money to the
State Pension Fund. Despite the government's repeated
attempts to crack down on debtor enterprises, the total debt
to the fund remains virtually unchanged, at some $3 billion
hryvni ($900 million). JM

LUKASHENKA SAYS BELARUS SHOULD EMBRACE CHRISTIAN VALUES.
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka told visiting
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksei II that Christian
values should become "the state ideology of Belarus," ITAR-
TASS reported on 24 September. "We are an Orthodox country
and we will always be devoted to Orthodoxy," Lukashenka told
the patriarch, who is on a four-day visit to Belarus.
Lukashenka added that Aleksei II is the only man in whom he
"unconditionally trusts." Speaking about his initial
impressions of Belarus, Aleksei II said the country is
leading a "normal life. A lot has been done to increase the
birth rate. While flying to Minsk, we saw harvested fields."
JM

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT ADOPTS 1999 DRAFT BUDGET. The cabinet on
24 September adopted a 1999 draft budget whose volume is
18.451 billion kroons ($1.37 billion), ETA reported. The
budget surplus of 20 million kroons will be channeled into
the stabilization fund, a government spokesman told the news
agency, adding that the cabinet will continue to boost the
fund next year. Finance Minister Mart Opmann noted that all
ministers have managed to cut their budgets by 2 percent,
while the expenditures of the national investment program
have been reduced by 10 percent. The deadline for submitting
the budget to the parliament is 30 September. JC

MOSCOW ACCUSES LATVIAN PRESIDENT OF 'UNFRIENDLY' UN SPEECH...
The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement accusing
Guntis Ulmanis of delivering an "openly unfriendly" speech to
the UN General Assembly in New York, Russian news agencies
reported on 24 September. The ministry said that Ulmanis's
speech was based on "speculation on historical themes in
which an anti-Russian undercurrent was clearly discernible."
It added that Ulmanis sought to shift the blame for the
"intolerable status" of Latvia's national minorities on to
the "consequences of Soviet occupation," rather than the
"discriminatory" policies of the Latvian government. JC

...WHILE LATVIAN OFFICIAL REJECTS ACCUSATION. Latvian Foreign
Ministry Secretary of State Maris Riekstins told BNS on 25
September that no "subtexts" or "unfriendly gestures" could
be found in Ulmanis's speech to the UN General Assembly. "The
issues addressed by Ulmanis were internationally well-known
facts about the tragic history of the Baltic States and
Europe," Riekstins said. Ulmanis had called on nations to
address the issue of "one of the most inhuman regimes--Soviet
totalitarianism," adding that Latvia is ready to "cooperate
actively." Noting that the Latvian people survived both the
Nazi and the Communist occupations, he argued that he
therefore has the "full right to call on the world community
to do everything so that neither the brown nor the red plague
endangers humanity ever again." JC

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT AGREES TO REVISE LAW ON PENSIONS.
Lawmakers have voted to revise the newly adopted amendments
to the pensions law, BNS reported on 24 September. President
Ulmanis returned those amendments to the parliament earlier
this week. Welfare Minister Vladimirs Makarovs threatened to
resign after the amendments were adopted, saying they are
"unfeasible" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 September 1998). But
Prime Minister Guntars Krasts has asked him to remain in
office. JC

KRZAKLEWSKI RE-ELECTED SOLIDARITY LEADER... The 10th
Solidarity Congress has re-elected Marian Krzaklewski
chairman of the Solidarity trade union until 2002, "Gazeta
Wyborcza" reported on 25 September. Krzaklewski, who was the
only candidate for the post, received 256 votes out of the
321 delegates who voted. Krzaklewski repeated his pledge to
resign as chairman of Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), a
party created by Solidarity to win the last parliamentary
elections. He also promised to cede 80 percent of his powers
as AWS parliamentary caucus leader to the AWS Presidium. JM

...WHILE WALESA PANS SOLIDARITY FOR POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT.
Addressing the congress, former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa
bitterly criticized the trade union for its political
involvement and its failure to defend employees' rights. "I
see that my children have gone astray. I am going to give you
a fatherly admonition," he told the delegates. Walesa
reproved Solidarity leaders for combining trade union and
government tasks, which, he argued, corrupts both
institutions "Trade unions cannot be a transmission belt
between the party and the masses. That is a Bolshevik
practice that completely distorts the idea of a trade union,"
he commented. JM

HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA ORDERED TO APPEAR IN THE HAGUE. The
International Court of Justice in the Hague has ordered
representatives of Hungary and Slovakia to appear before the
court on 7 October in connection with their dispute over the
Danube hydropower project. Slovakia had appealed to the court
earlier this month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September 1998).
In other news, the EU has warned Hungary that unless it
proposes suitable projects on which to spend the 34 million
ECU ($29.3 million) remaining in its allocation in the 1995
PHARE budget, it will have to forfeit that money. MSZ

HUNGARY READY TO SUPPORT POSSIBLE NATO ACTION IN KOSOVA.
Hungary will provide logistical support and offer the use of
its military bases and air space to assist in possible NATO
operation in Kosova, the Hungarian delegation attending the
NATO conference in Vilamoura, Portugal, said on 24 September.
Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi told Hungarian journalists in
New York that his country has not yet received a request to
take part in any operation, but if a request is made, the
parliament "must approve any such participation." MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

WESTERN OFFICIALS WARN MILOSEVIC. The U.S. and Germany on 24
September warned Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to
comply with UN and NATO demands for a cease-fire in Kosova
soon or face an ultimatum. U.S. Defense Minister William
Cohen, speaking at the NATO meeting in Vilamoura, said that
"time is of the essence" and that NATO's "credibility is on
the line." His German counterpart, Volker Ruehe, said failure
by Belgrade to end Serbian offensives could lead to NATO
issuing an ultimatum in as soon as 10 days. U.S. Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright said in New York that Milosevic must
end the "tragedy in Kosova" or face military intervention.
Russian officials argue that another UN mandate is needed
before military action can take place. On 24 September, the
Russian Foreign Ministry stressed its opposition to NATO air
strikes in Kosova. But contact group countries U.S., Germany,
and Britain argue that further UN approval is not needed for
military strikes. PB

MILOSEVIC SAYS THREATS WON'T SOLVE PROBLEM. Yugoslav
President Milosevic said on 24 September that NATO threats
"only feed the illusions" of the Kosova Liberation Army
(UCK), AP reported. During a meeting with UN High
Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata, Milosevic said
"pressure on Yugoslavia" did not help solve the problem. In a
meeting of his ruling Socialist Party the same day, Milosevic
said "Albanian separatism and terrorism" are to blame for the
crisis, and he declared that "the rooting out of terrorism"
is the country's top priority. UN spokesman Fernando del
Mundo said in Prishtina that some 15,000 civilians have fled
the latest Serbian offensive in the central Drenica region.
Serbian forces are reportedly routing UCK resistance in the
area. PB

RUGOVA ALLY WOUNDED IN ATTACK. A top aide to ethnic Albanian
leader Ibrahim Rugova, Sabri Hamiti, has been wounded by an
unknown gunman in Prishtina, Reuters reported on 25
September. Hamiti was hit by three bullets, but his condition
is reported not serious. Hamiti is a member of the General
Council of Rugova's Democratic League of Kosova. A writer,
Hamiti is also president of the Kosova chapter of PEN. In
Tirana, hundreds of people attended the funeral of Ahmet
Krasniqi, who was murdered earlier this week (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 22 September 1998). Krasniqi was the top defense
official of the Kosova government-in-exile's Armed Forces of
the Republic of Kosova, a rival to the UCK. PB

NANO REAFFIRMED BY PARTY... Albanian Prime Minister Fatos
Nano was given the full support of his party's top leadership
at a meeting of the Socialist Party in Tirana on 24
September. Nano said after the meeting that he is convinced
he "has not lost the confidence" or trust of his party. The
party leadership also approved the continuation of the
coalition government. Nano called the meeting after being
criticized by some members of his party for his handling of
the uprising in the capital on 12 September. In other news,
U.S. President Bill Clinton sent a letter to Albanian
President Rexhep Mejdani urging him to mediate a dialogue
between the government and the opposition to end "violence
and polarization," which Clinton said is a "destructive force
in Albania's development." PB

...ANNOUNCES STABILIZATION PLAN. Nano also announced a plan
that aims to help reduce tensions in Albania and restore
stability, Reuters reported. Nano said the government will
step up efforts to find those responsible for the killing of
deputy Azem Hajdari, which sparked days of violence in the
city. He added that the state will purge itself of police
that took part in the violence or the demonstrations that
followed. His three-month plan also targets economic
stability and corruption, which he said will be tackled by
reforming the justice system, customs, and tax collection.
Interior Ministry spokesman Artan Bizhga said the leader of
the Monarchy Party, Ekrem Spahia, has been arrested for his
actions in the "armed uprising." PB

EU OFFICIAL CONCERNED ABOUT ALBANIA. Hans van den Broek, EU
commissioner responsible for Eastern and Central European
affairs, said that no one in the EU supports the actions of
former Albanian President Sali Berisha, ATA reported on 24
September. Van den Broek said "we continue to be concerned
about the developments in Albania." He singled out the fact
that "both the ruling parties and the opposition" are not
cooperating to normalize the situation. Van den Broek made
his comments to Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo at the
UN in New York. PB

NATO WILL MAINTAIN ROLE IN BOSNIA. NATO Secretary-General
Javier Solana said on 24 September that the alliance "will
not abandon Bosnia," AP reported. Solana, speaking after the
NATO meeting in Portugal, said the international peacekeeping
force in Bosnia-Herzegovina "will continue to play a pro-
active role" in maintaining security in the country. U.S.
Defense Secretary William Cohen said that some NATO allies
are hoping that "military forces and missions can shrink as
civilian authorities play a larger role" in Bosnia. The
peacekeeping operation is to be reviewed in December. PB

BOSNIAN SERB MODERATES SIGN AGREEMENT. Three top moderate
Bosnian Serb politicians signed an agreement in Banja Luka on
24 September pledging to continue to advance democratic and
economic reforms, dpa reported. Republika Srpska President
Biljana Plavsic, Premier Milorad Dodik, and Zivko Radisic,
whose parties formed a coalition in the elections, signed the
accord. While Plavsic has conceded defeat in her bid for re-
election, many observers say that Radisic beat Serbian hard-
liner Momcilo Krajisnik for the Serbian seat of the Bosnian
presidency. PB

MACEDONIAN POLICE ARREST SUSPECTED UCK MEMBER. Macedonian
police said on 24 September that they had arrested an ethnic
Albanian suspected of carrying out bomb attacks in Macedonia,
AFP reported. The man is part of a UCK squad arrested during
a police operation on 17 September in which another man was
killed. The police are seeking two others who escaped. Police
suspect the group of eight bomb attacks at police and
military installations in several Macedonian towns between
December 1997 and July 1998. PB

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word subscribe as the subject of the message.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message.

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
listmanager@list.rferl.org
________________________________________________
CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES ON THE WEB
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest
are online at: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/
_________________________________________________
LISTEN TO NEWS FOR 23 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour LIVE
Broadcast Studio. http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html
_________________________________________________
REPRINT POLICY
To receive reprint permission, please contact Paul Goble via
email at GobleP@rferl.org or fax at 202-457-6992
_________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE STAFF
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Editor-in-Chief, CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Team Leader, MooreP@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Julie A. Corwin, CorwinJ@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Bruce Pannier, PannierB@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org

FREE-LANCE AND OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTORS
* Pete Baumgartner, Jolyon Naegele, Fabian Schmidt, Matyas
Szabo, Anthony Wesolowsky

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630
_________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole