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

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 205, Part II, 22 October 1998


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 205, Part II, 22 October 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

* UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TARGETS BARTER TRADE

* HOLBROOKE SAYS SERBS 'NOT COMPLYING'

* OPPOSITION WINS FIRST ROUND IN MACEDONIAN ELECTIONS
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REGIONAL AFFAIRS

BEREZOVSKII'S CIS REFORM PLAN REJECTED. At a meeting in
Minsk on 21 October of the working group on CIS reform,
CIS Executive Secretary Boris Berezovskii's blueprint
for reforming the commonwealth was unanimously rejected
by representatives of the 12 CIS member states, Interfax
reported. According to Belarusian representative Sergei
Posokhov, Berezovskii's proposal to create a
Coordinating Consultative Committee merely "mechanically
unites" the present functions of the Executive
Secretariat and the CIS Inter-State Economic Committee
but contains no new ideas on how to expedite CIS
integration. Posokhov said that working group members
took exception to Berezovskii's suggestion that
representatives at CIS summits be seated in accordance
with their country's financial contributions to the
organization. Addressing the group, Berezovskii ruled
out any changes to the present CIS charter. Such changes
were also rejected by a session of the CIS Inter-
Parliamentary Assembly several days earlier,
"Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 20 October. LF

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TARGETS BARTER TRADE. Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma on 21 October issued a decree
that will give special tax breaks to companies that
reduce the percentage of output bartered for other goods
rather than sold during the first half of 1999, Reuters
reported. The Ukrainian State Statistical Committee said
that during the first eight months of 1998, more than
one-third of the country's industrial output was
bartered rather than sold. The same day, Ukraine's
Agriculture Minister Borys Supykhanov complained that
the country's farmers are increasingly reluctant to
supply approximately 3.5 million tons of grain that they
had pledged earlier in 1998 in exchange for seeds and
machinery, AP reported. PG

OPPOSITION LEADER ACCUSES KYIV OF ASSASSINATION PLOT.
Pavlo Lazarenko, a former prime minister and currently
an opposition leader in the Ukrainian parliament, told
the "Kievskie vedomosti" newspaper on 21 October that
several high government officials are plotting to
discredit and then assassinate him. "They want to throw
me out of politics, out of Ukraine, and out of the
circle of the living," he said. Meanwhile, Interfax
reported the same day that Ukrainian Prime Minister
Valeriy Pustovoytenko has ordered an investigation of a
company associated with Lazarenko that benefited
excessively from the privatization of an airfield. PG

CRIMEA APPROVES NEW CONSTITUTION. The Crimean Autonomous
Republic parliament on 21 October approved a new
constitution that gives that region neither separate
citizenship nor a separate legal system, Interfax
reported. The constitution--the fifth one to be proposed
since 1992--must now be approved by the Ukrainian
parliament in Kyiv. PG

LUKASHENKA SEES UKRAINE JOINING BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN
UNION. Speaking in Omsk on 21 October, Belarusian
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Ukraine would join
the Belarusian-Russian Union "tomorrow" if the
arrangement began to work efficiently, Interfax. He said
that such a union of Slavic countries would "alter the
geopolitical situation of the world." At the Russian
Polyot defense plant, Lukashenka said that the
Belarusian defense industry remains among the most
powerful in the former Soviet Union: "We did not make
our defense industries manufacture saucers; instead, we
kept their production lines alive." Meanwhile,
Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Grigoryev told
ITAR-TASS that Minsk wants to help restart the
production of Kvarts television sets at an Omsk plant.
PG

VEIDEMANN SAYS NO MORE OSCE DEMANDS ON ESTONIA. In an
interview with BNS on 21 October, Andra Veidemann,
minister without portfolio responsible for nationality
issues, said that OSCE High Commissioner on National
Minorities Max van der Stoel told her earlier this week
in Switzerland that the OSCE will not make any new
demands on Estonia over the issue of ethnic minorities.
Veidemann quoted Van der Stoel as saying that the OSCE
recommendations made to date are "final and without any
follow-up." They include simplifying the procedure for
granting citizenship to children born in Estonia to non-
citizens, which, the minister pointed out, is the only
recommendation that Tallinn has so far failed to meet.
JC

FEWER CASES OF HAZING IN LITHUANIAN ARMY. Lithuanian
Defense Ministry officials say that the incidence of
hazing in the armed forces is declining, BNS reported on
21 October. Whereas last year 57 such cases went to
court, so far this year there have been only 34. Defense
staff headquarters chief Colonel Antanas Jurgaitis said
he believes it is essential to improve the living
conditions of the troops and accelerate prosecution in
criminal cases in order to combat hazing. In addition,
officials hope that army discipline will be maintained
by the Military Police. A law regulating the activities
of that force is currently under discussion in the
parliament. JC

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTRY WELCOMES GERMAN STANCE. The Czech
Foreign Ministry said it is pleased that the new German
government is focusing on the future in its approach
toward the Czech Republic's prospective EU membership,
CTK reported on 21 October. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Monika Pajerova said that comments by Foreign Minister-
designate Joschka Fischer (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21
October 1998) showed Bonn's support for the Czech-German
declaration. She added that bilateral relations should
not be "burdened with political and legal relations from
the past." PB

SLOVAK PARTY WANTS ETHNIC HUNGARIANS IN COALITION...
Robert Fico, the deputy chairman of the Party of the
Democratic Left (SDL), said on 21 October that the SDL
wants the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) in the
government, TASR reported. Fico said talks on forming a
government have been "complicated and difficult" but
that the SDL wants the ruling coalition to have 93 seats
in the parliament, meaning it wants all four parties
involved in the negotiations to be included in the
government. Ninety seats are required for the three-
fifths majority necessary to change the constitution.
Fico also announced that SDL chairman Jozef Migas will
be nominated as parliamentary chairman. PB

...BUT HUNGARIANS DON'T FEEL WANTED. Bela Bugar, the
chairman of the SMK, said on 21 October that the SDL
continues to hamper negotiations on forming a government
by insisting on a greater proportion of ministerial
posts, CTK reported. Bugar said the SDL "wants to have
more ministers than it is entitled to according to the
election results." He added that the ethnic Hungarian
party will "not sign the coalition agreement at any
cost." Bugar hinted that the SMK's inclusion in the
government is crucial to Slovakia catching up to its
neighbors in the integration process. "Everyone should
realize that our participation in the government ranks
among the conditions of the resumption of our EU entry
negotiations." Mikulas Dzurinda, the chairman of the
Slovak Democratic Coalition and likely prime minister in
the new government, agreed that the talks have been
protracted, adding that "the people expect more from
us." PB

PRIME MINISTERS REVIVE VISEGRAD GROUP IN BUDAPEST.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Czech and
Polish counterparts, Milos Zeman and Jerzy Buzek, agreed
on 21 October in Budapest to resume the Visegrad Group
to coordinate the three countries' bid to join the EU
and NATO. The premiers agreed to meet at least twice a
year and welcomed the possibility of Slovakia's return
to the group. Orban said cooperation will be extended to
the spheres of culture and telecommunications. The
Visegrad Group was formed in 1991 when the presidents of
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland met in Visegrad,
Hungary, and agreed to a framework of cooperation to
integrate with Western Europe. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

HOLBROOKE SAYS SERBS 'NOT COMPLYING.' U.S. special envoy
Richard Holbrooke said in Paris on 21 October that "the
Serbian forces [in Kosova] are not in compliance with
the UN [Security Council] resolution, it's as simple as
that. If the situation is not rectified in the next six
days, it can only lead to the most dramatic
consequences." In Belgrade, AFP reported that Serbian
forces fired heavy artillery in the Mt. Berisha area
west of Prishtina during the night of 20-21 October. The
Kosovar news agency KIC wrote that Serbian forces have
recently shelled 14 ethnic Albanian villages in the
Drenica, Malisheva and Trapeza areas. Yugoslav army
sources said in Prishtina, however, that the army has
not carried out "any offensive action" in recent days.
Elsewhere in Kosova, international monitors on 22
October continued to investigate reports of shellings
and armed clashes. They sent their preliminary findings
to NATO headquarters in Brussels the previous day but
did not make them public. PM

KOSOVARS WARN COOK ABOUT SETTLEMENT. Fehmi Agani and
Edita Tahiri, who belong to the Kosovar shadow state's
negotiating team, told British Foreign Secretary Robin
Cook in Skopje on 21 October that the interim political
settlement outlined in the recent agreement between
Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is
far short of the minimum that the Kosovars will accept
(see "RFE/RL Bosnia Report," 21 October 1998). They
added that U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Chris Hill's
plan, which expands on the Milosevic-Holbrooke
agreement, is not acceptable to the Kosovars, even as a
basis for further talks. Cook told the two negotiators
that Holbrooke obtained the best terms he could for the
Kosovars in long and tough negotiations with Milosevic
and that Hill also faces difficulties in his talks with
the Serbs. PM

MACEDONIA OFFERS ITS AIRPORTS FOR NATO AIRCRAFT. Prime
Minister Branko Crvenkovski has offered airport
facilities to an unspecified number of NATO aircraft to
be deployed in the Balkans within the framework of NATO
surveillance over Kosova, "Koha Ditore" reported from
Skopje on 21 October. NATO asked Macedonia on 17 October
to allow the deployment of unmanned spy planes and
unspecified other aircraft as well as ground staff.
Crvenkovski, however, stressed that the deployment "does
not mean that Macedonia [itself] will participate in the
NATO verification mission" in Kosova. Observers noted
that Macedonia is anxious to prove itself worthy of full
NATO membership but does not want to strain relations
with Belgrade. The surveillance mission is slated to
begin "in a few days" and will involve 20 intelligence-
gathering aircraft, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported. FS

SERBIAN JOURNALISTS DEMAND RELEASE OF COLLEAGUES. Some
100 journalists marched through Belgrade on 21 October
to demand the release of Tanjug journalists Nebojsa
Radosevic and Vladimir Dobricic. The protesters
presented a petition to officials of the U.S. embassy
that read: "only the U.S., as the creator and main
guarantor of the [Milosevic-Holbrooke pact], can
efficiently influence the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK)
political and military leaders to release all [Serbs who
have gone missing], including our colleagues." The two
Tanjug journalists disappeared recently in Kosova and
are widely believed to have fallen into the hands of
UCK, although the UCK's spokesman denies it (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 21 October 1998). PM

OSCE CALLS ON SERBIA TO RESCIND MEDIA BAN. Freimut Duve,
who is the OSCE's chief spokesman on media rights and
freedoms, appealed in Vienna on 21 October to the
Serbian authorities to repeal the new media law that
enables the government to shut down newspapers and
broadcasters who offend it (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21
October 1998). In Belgrade, spokesmen for the
independent electronic media called the new law
"scandalous and uncivilized" and argued that it will
greatly harm Serbia's image abroad, RFE/RL's South
Slavic Service reported. PM

OPPOSITION PARTY CALLS FOR TUDJMAN TO RESIGN. Radomir
Cacic, who heads the Croatian People's Party (HNS), said
in Zagreb on 21 October that his party wants President
Franjo Tudjman to resign and call new parliamentary
elections in the wake of the growing scandal over the
undisclosed bank account of his wife, Ankica Tudjman
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 October 1998). Cacic added
that the HNS and the Istrian Democratic Forum will table
a motion in the parliament calling for an official
investigation into the Tudjman family's wealth.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Croatian Peasants'
Party issued a statement praising the courage of Ankica
Lepej, the bank clerk who leaked details of Ankica
Tudjman's bank account to the press, RFE/RL's South
Slavic Service reported. PM

OPPOSITION WINS FIRST ROUND IN MACEDONIAN ELECTIONS. The
coalition of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary
Organization (VMRO-DPMNE) and the Democratic Alternative
(DA) won 15 out of the 35 legislative seats at stake in
the 18 October elections, according to the final
official returns released on 21 October. The governing
Social Democrats took 10 seats and the coalition of the
two largest ethnic Albanian parties eight. The Liberals,
who represent the interests of some members of the
business community and of the ethnic Vlach population,
took two seats. Observers suggested that in the second
round on 1 November, which will decide 85 seats, the
opposition coalition will likely maintain its lead and
attract the support of smaller parties. The key question
is which parties, if any, will join VMRO and DA in a
coalition government. PM

ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES FOR REFERENDUM ON
CONSTITUTION... Albania's Socialist-dominated parliament
on 21 October approved the draft constitution and agreed
to put it up to a referendum. That vote will take place
on 22 November. All 115 government coalition legislators
in the 155-seat parliament voted in favor of the new
basic law. There were no votes against the draft, but
the Democratic Party did not take part in the vote.
Former Prime Minister Fatos Nano hailed the document,
saying it "embodies the aspirations of all Albanian
progressive forces." He stressed that it will give
Albania "stability in governing by averting government
crises and [precluding] cabinets without parliamentary
backing." Krenar Loloci, who is a legal expert from the
constitution drafting commission, told Reuters that the
draft makes clearer the distinction between the roles of
the president, the national government, regional
governments, and the judiciary. FS

...WHILE BERISHA PLEDGES TO PRESENT HIS OWN DRAFT.
Democratic Party leader Sali Berisha told a press
conference on 21 October in Tirana that his party will
soon publish its own draft constitution, "Albanian Daily
News" reported. Berisha said that earlier, the Democrats
had wanted to merge the government- and opposition-
sponsored drafts into one that would have the support of
all political parties. He added that the Democrats'
National Council will soon decide whether to call for a
boycott of the referendum. The Democrats refused to
submit to the parliament their suggestions on the draft
because they do not regard the legislature as
legitimate. They demanded instead that the Socialists
discuss the constitution with them at a roundtable. The
Socialists, however, refused to do so. FS

ROMANIAN PREMIER DEMANDS END TO INFIGHTING. Radu Vasile
criticized his cabinet on 21 October for arguing more
than any other government in Eastern Europe, Reuters
reported. Vasile said upon his return from Brussels that
EU officials "cannot understand what is happening in
Romania." Vasile said no other government in the region
spends as much time "criticizing steps taken by the
government." In other news, Interior Minister Gavril
Dejeu sacked ten top officers on corruption charges, AP
reported on 22 October. The officers allegedly misused
millions of dollars earmarked for public projects from
1993-1997, the daily "Libertatea" reported. PB

MOLDOVA URGES RUSSIA TO WITHDRAW TROOPS. The Moldovan
Foreign Ministry released a statement on 21 October
urging Moscow to honor an agreement on the breakaway
Transdniester region by withdrawing its troops from the
area, AP reported. The statement asks the Russian State
Duma to ratify the treaty that ended the five-month war
in 1992. Chisinau approved the treaty in 1994. The
agreement left some 5,000 Russian troops in
Transdniester. The statement said Russia's failure to
withdraw the troops could lead to a worsening of
bilateral relations. PB

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES BILL BANNING COMMUNISTS
FROM HOLDING OFFICE. The parliament passed a law on 21
October that would ban top communists and secret service
agents from holding top government and civil service
posts for five years, Reuters reported. The vote was 133
to 79 and now awaits the signature of President Petar
Stoyanov before becoming law. The Socialist Party, made
up mostly of former Communist party members, boycotted
the vote, saying the law violates human rights. It also
commented that it will file an appeal with the
Constitutional Court and international human rights
organizations. PB

BULGARIA CLOSES CASE ON MARKOV MURDER. Nestor Nesterov,
Bulgaria's chief prosecutor, said on 21 October that the
state is closing the file on the murder of dissident
Georgi Markov, Reuters reported. Nesterov said the time
limit for the investigation had expired. Markov, a free-
lancer for RFE/RL who also worked for the BBC, was
poisoned in London in 1978 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21
October 1998). British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said
in Sofia the same day that "Communism has gone away with
its secrets and the Markov case is one of them." PB

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