One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try. - Sophocles
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 63, Part II, 31 March 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 63, Part II, 31 March 1999

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

* LUKASHENKA, YELTSIN AGREE TO COOPERATE IN ASSISTING BELGRADE

* CLINTON WARNS SERBIA MAY LOSE KOSOVA

* KOSOVARS CONTINUE TO FLEE

End Note: THE JACKALS AND THE LION

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINE RECEIVES WORLD BANK CREDIT... The World Bank
announced on 30 March that it has granted Ukraine loans worth
$110 million, AP reported. The move had been expected after
the IMF agreed to renew a $2.2 billion loan to Kyiv (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 29 March 1999). Presidential adviser
Valeriy Lytvytsky said the World Bank loan will lead to
greater financial stability in Ukraine. Kyiv had warned it
might default on its $2 billion or so foreign debt unless it
received new loans. Finance Minister Ihor Mitiukov said that
even with the IMF and World Bank loans, Ukraine is some $100
million short of the money needed to service its debts this
year. PB

...DEFAULTS ON TURKMEN GAS PAYMENTS. Prime Minister Valeriy
Pustovoytenko said on 30 March that Ukraine will ask
Turkmenistan to suspend gas shipments beginning next month
because Kyiv cannot afford them, AP reported. In December,
Ukraine and Turkmenistan signed a $720 million deal for
deliveries this year of 20 billion cubic meters of natural
gas. Pustovoytenko said Kyiv currently owes Turkmenistan some
$100 million for gas already received. Ukraine is also
reported to owe Russian giant Gazprom some $1.4 billion for
gas  supplies. In other news, tens of thousands of students
from 58 schools in the Kyiv and Mykolayv regions were sent
home after their teachers went on strike over unpaid wages.
The Education Ministry said it expects more teachers to go on
strike soon. The government owes them some 427.8 million
hryvni ($109 million). PB

KUCHMA NOT TO MEET WITH MILOSEVIC. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma said on 30 March in Ljubljana that he will not go to
Belgrade to meet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic,
Ukrainian TV reported. Kuchma is on a two-day visit to
Slovenia, where he held talks with President Milan Kucan and
signed three bilateral economic agreements. PB

CORRECTION: "RFE/RL Newsline" on 29 March incorrectly implied
that the Ukrainian parliament had adopted a resolution
calling for Kyiv to rearm with nuclear weapons in response to
the NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia. In fact the
parliament debated the issue but failed to adopt such a
resolution.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DETAINED. Mikhail Chyhir,
the former Belarusian premier and a candidate in the
opposition presidential elections scheduled for May, was
detained and interrogated on 30 March in Minsk, AP reported.
The Interior Ministry said he was being questioned as a
witness in a case against Belagroprombank, which he
previously headed. His detention comes one day before he was
to be officially registered as a candidate for the
alternative presidential election, which the government has
declared illegal. Chyhir said "this persecution is not
criminal but political.... I am innocent, but in Belarus
there are lots of people kept in custody without trial." He
said that "the election must take place even if [opposition
central election commission chairman Viktar] Hanchar and
Chyhir are arrested." Popular Front leader Zenon Poznyak,
living in exile in the U.S., is also expected to be
registered as a presidential candidate. PB

LUKASHENKA, YELTSIN AGREE TO COOPERATE IN ASSISTING BELGRADE.
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Russian
President Boris Yeltsin agreed on 30 March to coordinate
their countries' efforts in sending aid to Yugoslavia,
Belapan reported. The agreement was reached during a
telephone conversation between the two leaders, who also
condemned NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia and
agreed to place the issue on the agenda of the 2 April CIS
summit. PB

ESTONIA'S KALLAS PREDICTS 1 BILLION KROON GAP IN BUDGET.
Finance Minister Siim Kallas has forecast that expenditures
will outstrip revenues this year by 1 billion kroons ($71
million), ETA reported on 30 March. Kallas noted that the
setback would be temporary and that money in the country's
stabilization reserve would not be used to bridge the gap.
Before his government was sworn in, Prime Minister Mart Laar
had announced that the cabinet's most urgent task is to
submit to the parliament a negative supplementary budget (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 23 March 1999). Also on 30 March, the Bank
of Estonia released a report arguing that to ensure the
further shrinking of Estonia's current account deficit,
budget expenditures need to be cut during 1999 through
supplementary budgets. JC

ESTONIAN RULING COALITION TAKES MOST COMMITTEE CHAIRS. Seven
of the 10 parliamentary committees are headed by members of
the ruling coalition, ETA reported on 30 March. The Center
Party, the largest opposition group, has the chairmanship of
only one parliamentary committee (environment), as do the
opposition Coalition Party (agriculture) and Country People's
Party (defense). JC

LATVIAN PROSECUTOR DECIDES AGAINST CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
OVER 'FEARFUL YEAR.' Prosecutor-General Janis Skrastins has
decided not to launch a criminal investigation into the
activities of Leonid Inkins, who in 1997 re-published "The
Fearful Year," according to "Diena" on 30 March. The book,
which describes crimes committed against Latvians under
Soviet rule from June 1940 to the end of 1941, first appeared
in print in 1942. Latvia's Jewish community has protested its
re-publication, arguing that the book contains anti-Semitic
propaganda, while Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir
Rakhmanin was also strongly critical (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
16 January 1999). According to the daily, Skrastins considers
that the book can serve as a source of historical
information. JC

ADAMKUS GIVES FIRST ANNUAL REPORT... Lithuanian President
Valdas Adamkus, in his first annual report to the parliament,
"showered" the government with criticism, as ELTA put it on
31 March. Adamkus said that a strategy for the "modernization
of the state" must be drawn up, stressing the need to "curb
the increasingly growing power of administration." "We have
failed to achieve much in setting up a modern, efficient
civil service able to respond promptly to the interests of
citizens and the nation," Adamkus noted. He also argued that
the lack of independence of local government "in real terms
is becoming a serious obstacle to the development of civil
society" in Lithuania. And he said that the government has
failed to essentially improve the work of law-enforcement
bodies, adding that government bodies are "too complacent"
about possible corruption cases. JC

...EXPRESSES SURPRISE OVER NOMINATION FOR ENVIRONMENT
MINISTER. Also on 30 March, presidential spokeswoman Violeta
Gaizauskaite told ELTA that Adamkus was "taken aback" by
Premier Gediminas Vagnorius's nomination of  Danius Lygis as
environment minister to replace Algis Caplikas, who resigned
early this month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 March 1999). Lygis
is currently deputy minister. Gaizauskaite said Adamkus was
surprised by the nomination because Vagnorius had known that
the president, himself an environmental expert, favors the
head of a local environmental research center with whom he is
personally acquainted. JC

NAZI SLAVE LABOR GROUPS MEET WITH GOVERNMENT. Officials
representing former Nazi slave laborers met with members of
the Polish government on 30 March to discuss ways of
coordinating their efforts toward receiving compensation from
Germany, AP reported. More than 400,000 Poles forced to work
for Nazi Germany during World War II are to file claims
against Germany for compensation in the coming weeks, said
Marian Nawrocki, the head of the Association of Polish
Victims of the Third Reich. The government said in a
statement that it understands the "moral and political
dimensions" of the problem. PB

HUNGARIAN OFFICIAL SAYS NATO PLANS TO BRING GROUND TROOPS TO
KOSOVA... Istvan Simicsko, head of the foreign affairs
department of the Federation of Young Democrats--Hungarian
Civic Party, said on 30 March that "it is common knowledge"
that ground troops will be sent into Kosova during the third
phase of NATO's military campaign. His remarks came after
NATO officials warned the Hungarian government to "exercise
more caution" in their declarations. One day earlier, Defense
Minister Janos Szabo had said on Hungarian television that
NATO does not plan any troop movements from Hungary, but from
Macedonia. NATO attributed that statement to a
"communications problem," but Simicsko said on 30 March that
Szabo "had not revealed any secret." MSZ

...WHILE CZECH AMBASSADOR TO NATO SAYS GROUND OPERATIONS
'RULED OUT.' Karel Kovanda, who is currently attending NATO
Council meetings in Brussels, told CTK on 30 March that a
ground operation against the Serbs in Kosova "has been ruled
out." Kovanda said that "no [NATO member] government is
willing to send ground forces." He said that the possibility
"was only mentioned among [various options] discussed"  last
summer but "was immediately pushed aside." In other news,
President Bill Clinton on 30 March sent a letter to President
Vaclav Havel to thank him for supporting the air strikes. MS

FRENCH MINISTER OF EUROPEAN AFFAIRS IN SLOVAKIA. Meeting with
Premier Mikulas Dzurinda and members of the Slovak cabinet on
30 March in Bratislava, Pierre Moscovici said France supports
inviting Slovakia at the Helsinki summit in December to start
accession talks with the EU.  Moscovici said he expects the
EU to admit new members before 2006 and that "any of the
fast-track countries, but also Slovakia and the Baltic
States," have a chance to be among the first to join.
Moscovici said Paris is in favor of Slovakia, Bulgaria,
Romania, and the Baltic States being admitted to NATO. He
praised the Slovak cabinet for allowing mid-air refueling of
NATO planes over Slovak territory during the military
operation in Yugoslavia, CTK reported. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CLINTON WARNS SERBIA MAY LOSE KOSOVA. President Bill Clinton
said in Washington on 30 March that "if there was ever any
doubt about what is at stake [in the Kosova conflict],
[Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic is certainly erasing
it by his actions. They are the culmination of more than a
decade of using ethnic and religious hatred as a
justification for uprooting and murdering completely
innocent, peaceful civilians to pave Mr. Milosevic's path to
absolute power.... Today he faces the mounting cost of his
continued aggression. For a sustained period, we will see
that his military will be seriously diminished, key military
infrastructure destroyed, the prospect for international
support for Serbia's claim to [Kosova] increasingly
jeopardized We must remain steady and determined with the
will to see [the campaign of air strikes] through.... We must
not allow, if we have the ability to stop it, ethnic
cleansing or genocide anywhere we can stop it, particularly
at the edge of Europe." PM

WESTERN LEADERS SAY MILOSEVIC MUST STOP KILLING... Clinton
said in a statement in Washington on 30 March that
Milosevic's conditional peace offer to visiting Russian Prime
Minister Yevgenii Primakov is "unacceptable." Clinton made
the statement after a telephone conversation with German
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, whom Primakov had previously
briefed in Bonn. The Serbian leader told Primakov he will
"begin to withdraw part of his forces" from Kosova if NATO
stops the bombing, ends any "support" for the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK), and removes its forces from Macedonia,
AFP reported. Schroeder said that the offer is "no basis" for
a settlement. In London, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook
stressed that Milosevic must stop the killing before the air
strikes can end. Cook added that NATO is "now widening the
range of military targets" for air strikes. NATO Secretary-
General Javier Solana told a Paris radio station on 31 March
that "with the current situation on the ground, it is
absolutely impossible to engage in political negotiations."
PM

...AND FACE CONSEQUENCES. French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin
told the parliament on 30 March that Milosevic and other
Serbian leaders are responsible for the atrocities their
forces have committed in Kosova. Jospin added that the
Serbian leaders may soon be indicted by the Hague-based war
crimes tribunal (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 March 1999). In
Brussels, a NATO spokesman said that the extent of Serbian
"ethnic cleansing" in Kosova "is something we have not seen
since the forced evacuation of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge
in the mid-1970s." Other alliance officials compared Serbian
policies in Kosova to Stalin's terror in the USSR in the
1930s. PM

SERBS SEEK TO 'DRIVE ALBANIANS OUT.' Refugees fleeing Kosova
gave virtually identical accounts of a "methodical, well-
organized government campaign to drive ethnic Albanians out,"
"The New York Times" reported on 31 March. The behavior of
the paramilitaries who spearhead the Serbian campaign is
"systematic, methodical and deadly," the "International
Herald Tribune" commented. One refugee told the newspaper
that the paramilitaries of Franko Simatovic "will not leave
even one [ethnic] Albanian alive" in Peja. An unnamed former
interior minister, who now opposes Milosevic, called
Simatovic's men "criminals and killers." The paramilitaries
often give the Kosovars only a few minutes to leave their
homes, which armed Serbs then loot and burn, according to
consistent but unconfirmed refugee accounts. In Vienna, an
OSCE spokesman said that some 20 local OSCE staff in Kosova
are "missing." PM

HAGUE COURT INDICTS ARKAN. Louise Arbour, who is chief
prosecutor for the Hague-based war crimes tribunal, said on
31 March that the court indicted paramilitary leader Zeljko
Raznatovic "Arkan" in 1997 for unspecified crimes but kept
the indictment secret in the  hope of arresting him. She
added that "the time has come where the diminishing prospect
of an arrest outside Yugoslavia must yield to the necessity
of sending...an unambiguous signal to all his associates that
they should be under no misapprehension as to whom they are
dealing with," AP reported. PM

KOSOVARS CONTINUE TO FLEE. OSCE monitors in Tirana told
Reuters on 31 March that some 100,000 Kosovars have arrived
in Albania in recent days, including 18,000 in the previous
24 hours. A Foreign Ministry spokesman told AP that the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees did not
adequately prepare for the influx. Some 20,000 Kosovars have
recently sought shelter in Montenegro, RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service reported. In Skopje, Macedonian officials said they
will continue to admit refugees, even though Macedonia is now
hosting  nearly 10,000 more than the 20,000 it is willing to
accept. The Foreign Ministry is holding talks with officials
of unspecified "neighboring countries" to urge them to take
some of the Kosovars, AP wrote. Macedonian ethnic Albanian
leader Arben Xhaferi said that local ethnic Albanians will
accommodate the refugees in villages. The Macedonian
authorities have virtually closed the border by extending the
amount of time they take to process each refugee's papers
there, the BBC reported. PM

BRZEZINSKI'S PLAN FOR KOSOVA. Zbigniew Brzezinski, who is a
leading U.S. expert on Eastern Europe and was President Jimmy
Carter's national security adviser, wrote in the
"International Herald Tribune" of 31 March that air strikes
are not enough to end "the mini-genocide and mass ethnic
cleansing" in Kosova. First, Brzezinski recommends an
"immediate shift to a combined strategic as well as tactical
air campaign" in order to destroy Milosevic's ability to kill
Kosovars. Brzezinski adds that Western policymakers should
recognize that "one cannot expect to wage war without
suffering casualties." Second, he argues that the West must
arm the UCK in order to prevent the "social extinction" of
the Kosovars. And third, Brzezinski stresses that Serbia has
lost "any moral or political right" to Kosova. He concludes
that NATO must not accept any settlement "that entails the
retention of Mr. Milosevic's authority" in Kosova. PM

RUGOVA BACKERS WANT GROUND TROOPS. Hafiz Gagica, who is a
spokesman for shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova, said in
Bonn on 30 March that the Serbian policy of "chaos, terror,
and anarchy" has made the Rambouillet accords "history." He
urged the international community to recognize an independent
Kosova and to send in NATO ground troops. He added that
Rugova has sustained unspecified injuries and gone into
hiding. PM

ALBANIA TO ALLOW WEAPONS SHIPMENTS. In New York, Albanian
Ambassador to the UN Agim Nesho said on 30 March that his
government will allow shipments of weapons to the UCK across
its territory "if the international community sees that this
is one of the ways to defend the innocent population and to
save them from the genocide of the Belgrade regime." PM

ALBRIGHT WARNS MILOSEVIC OVER MONTENEGRO. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright told Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic
by telephone on 29 March that she remains concerned "about a
possible attempt by Belgrade to oust his government," State
Department spokesman James Rubin revealed the following day.
She stressed that any attempt to undermine Djukanovic would
promote regional instability and increase Milosevic's
isolation from the international community, RFE/RL's South
Slavic Service reported. Milosevic seeks to destabilize
Djukanovic by "flooding the country with refugees" and by
undermining him politically, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung" reported on 31 March. PM

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON KOSOVA. The
parliament on 30 March adopted a resolution calling for
creating conditions for ending [NATO] military operations [in
Yugoslavia], resuming negotiations, and "ending any violent
repression of civilians, especially members of the Kosovar
Albanian minority." The resolution also called for preserving
Yugoslavia's territorial integrity, while stressing Romania's
firm resolve for integration into NATO," RFE/RL's Bucharest
bureau reported. Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR)
leader Ion Iliescu criticized the "one-sidedness" of the
government's position vis-a-vis the conflict, but the PDSR
nonetheless voted for the resolution. The Greater Romania
Party voted against the resolution, while 13 lawmakers from
the  Party of Romanian National Unity abstained. MS

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON POSSIBLE YUGOSLAV THREAT.
Defense Minister Victor Babiuc has said Romania "will not
tolerate the violation of its air space" by Yugoslav aircraft
and will react in such an event "as would any other state,"
namely, "by stopping those planes before they take off,"
Mediafax reported on 30 March. Babiuc, who was inspecting a
military unit in Ploiesti, said that "many of those
[Romanians] who are sentimentally backing the Serbs forget
that in Yugoslavia there are several hundred thousand
Romanians who cannot freely express their national identity."
In an opinion poll conducted by INSOMAR and published by
"Adevarul" on 30 March,  70.9 percent of respondents wanted
Romania to take a neutral stand in the conflict. Only 11
percent wanted Bucharest to back NATO, while  6.1 percent
were in favor of supporting Serbia.  MS

MOLDOVAN PARTY LEADER INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION COVER UP?
General Nicolae Alexei, chief of the government's Department
for Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption, told Moldovan
Television on 27 March that Party of Democratic Forces (PFD)
leader Valeriu Matei has tried to cover up and influence an
investigation into the Trans-Marconi company. In a letter of
protest addressed to President Petru Lucinschi, Matei claimed
the PFD headquarters, which are in the same building as the
Trans-Marconi offices, were searched on 16 March. Alexei
denies the allegation. Trans-Marconi is headed by PFD member
and former Minister of Transportation and Communications
Tudor Leanca, whom Alexei accuses of forgery and links with
organized crime. He said he is suing Matei for "insulting"
him during the search at Trans-Marconi. The department has
complained to the Prosecutor-General's Office, accusing Matei
of attempting to obstruct an investigation, RFE/RL Chisinau
bureau reported. MS

BULGARIA REJECTS YUGOSLAV PROTEST. Bulgarian Foreign Minister
Nadezhda Mihailova told journalists on 30 March that
Bulgaria's ambassador to Belgrade has rejected a Yugoslav
Foreign Ministry protest against NATO's alleged use of
Bulgarian air space, Reuters reported. Mihailova said the
note came on the heels of opposition Socialist Party leader
Georgi Parvanov's statement to the parliament last week that
the cabinet is concealing the fact that NATO is using the
country's air space. "The government will not allow itself to
become involved in speculation about taking sides in the
conflict," she said, adding that Sofia pursues neither "a
pro-Serbian nor anti-Serbian policy but the policy of
Bulgarian national interest." MS


END NOTE

THE JACKALS AND THE LION

by Paul Goble

	As the Commonwealth of Independent States prepares for a
summit in Moscow on 2 April, one of Russia's leading foreign-
policy commentators is arguing that Moscow should stop trying
to integrate the former Soviet space on the basis of the CIS
and instead deal one-on-one with each of the former Soviet
republics.
	Appearing at a roundtable discussion organized by the
Russian foreign-policy journal "International Affairs,"
Sergei Karaganov suggests that the CIS today "is a rare
example of a retrograde movement in history" and that
overcoming "illusions" about it will serve Moscow's interests
as it attempts to expand its influence in the countries that
now belong to the commonwealth.
	Karaganov, who is chairman of the prestigious Russian
Council for Foreign and Defense Policy and deputy director of
the Academy of Sciences' Institute of Europe, has frequently
been a bellwether for Russian policy toward the former Soviet
republics. And as a result, his argument now is likely to
affect how Moscow approaches the upcoming CIS summit.
	According to Karaganov, the CIS "has long been moving
increasingly in the direction of its own disintegration." He
suggests it crossed that Rubicon five or six years ago, when
it failed to serve as the basis for creating an integrated
economic space on the territory of the former Soviet Union.
It has been retained, Karaganov insists, largely because
current Russian leaders bear some responsibility for the
demise of the USSR.
	Because that opportunity was missed, Karaganov
continues, the increasing differences among these countries
have now made it impossible to create such an integrated
economic space. The more than 1,000 CIS agreements that some
of the commonwealth's members have signed have had the effect
of discrediting the very idea of future cooperation.
	Karaganov goes on to argue that the non-Russian
countries made "a major strategic mistake" in not agreeing to
a tight political arrangement five years ago, one that would
have restricted Russia's freedom of action even more than
their own. Indeed, he suggests that this mistake was "a
paragon of foreign-policy idiocy."
	But in fact, several CIS leaders, particularly
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, did push at that
time for a more precisely defined arrangement among the
commonwealth countries, while Russian leaders routinely
refused to agree, a reflection of their recognition at the
time of what Karaganov is suggesting now.
	Karaganov also suggests that the non-Russian leaders now
recognize their "mistake" and are forming various coalitions
and alliances--such as GUAM, which unites Georgia, Ukraine,
Azerbaijan, and Moldova and may expand to include others--to
gang up on Russia as Karaganov suggests they did at the CIS
summit in Chisinau in October 1997.
	In describing these moves, Karaganov offers the
following metaphor. He suggests that the non-Russian leaders
now recognize that "only a pack of jackals can tear a lion to
pieces." He asks rhetorically what policy the lion, even if
he is "sick and wounded," should adopt. And he suggests that
"more likely than not" there is only one answer: "to crush
the jackals one by one."
	Unfortunately, as Karaganov notes, Russia lacks "the
political and economic resources" needed to do so and
therefore should remain calm, recognizing that at present
"there is no need to crush anyone."
	While some observers may see this comment as vitiating
his metaphor, many of the leaders of the CIS member states
are likely to perceive it as something else: an effort to
pressure them into following Moscow's line lest Moscow deal
with them one by one in the future, as Karaganov's wounded
"lion" might deal with individual "jackals."
	While some of these leaders may be impressed by
Karaganov's logic, others certainly will not be, thus setting
the stage for a possibly contentious CIS summit on 2 April
and an even more contentious future set of relationships
between Russia and its neighbors.

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