Some things have to be believed to be seen. - Ralph Hodgson
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 77, Part II, 21 April 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 77, Part II, 21 April 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT AGAIN DECLINES TO BREAK TIES WITH
NATO

* ALBRIGHT: NO TALKS WITH MILOSEVIC

* ALBANIAN, YUGOSLAV ARMIES CLASH AT KOSOVA BORDER

End Note: EBRD TAKES TOUGH NEW STANCE ON INVESTMENTS,
LOANS
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT AGAIN DECLINES TO BREAK TIES WITH
NATO. The Supreme Council on 20 April failed to pass a
motion calling on the government to suspend cooperation
with NATO. The legislature voted six times on the
communist-proposed motion, but the leftists were unable
to muster the required 226 votes. This was the second
time this month the Council tried to pass such a bill.
Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk said the same day that
Ukraine's foreign policy of integration into European
and Transatlantic structures remains unchanged. Tarasyuk
added that Yugoslavia has so far not responded to either
Ukraine's peace proposals for Kosova or Kyiv's
invitation to Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 16 and 19 April 1999). JM

RENATIONALIZATION OF ENERGY SECTOR IN UKRAINE? The
Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's Office has asked the
judiciary to revoke privately owned stakes in six
regional energy companies and return them to the state,
AP reported on 20 April. "As a lawyer, I ascertain that
gross violations were made during the privatization of
these companies," Deputy Prosecutor-General Olha Kolinko
said. The demand follows President Leonid Kuchma's
decision last week to fire senior government officials
over alleged abuses of authority in the energy sector.
Ukraine's 27 regional energy companies are considered to
be among the country's most attractive properties, since
each has a monopoly or near monopoly on electricity
supplies in its region. JM

OSCE CRITICIZED FOR IGNORING BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION.
Andrey Sannikau, Belarusian former deputy foreign
minister and leader of the Charter-97 opposition group,
has criticized the OSCE mission in Minsk for avoiding a
clear stance on the "most topical problems of the
Belarusian situation," RFE/RL's Belarusian Service
reported on 20 April. Sannikau took part in a Washington
human rights seminar on the role of the OSCE missions in
Kosova, Bosnia, and the former Soviet republics.
According to Sannikau, the OSCE mission in Minsk "simply
ignores the most essential political dates of 16 May and
20 July." The opposition Supreme Soviet scheduled
presidential elections in Belarus for 16 May, as
stipulated under the 1994 constitution, which it
observes. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's
term in office expires on 20 July. JM

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT POSTPONES DEBATE OVER CUSTOMS
TARIFFS. Lawmakers have voted to postpone until the end
of next month the debate on the bill providing for the
introduction of new customs tariffs, ETA reported on 20
April. The law, which was drafted by the opposition
Country People's Party, foresees, among other things, a
43 percent tariff on imports of pork, butter, and cheese
and a 49 percent tariff on imported eggs. The government
has rejected the bill, arguing that it contravenes the
norms of the World Trade Organization, which Estonia is
seeking to join. JC

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE BACKS KAMALDINS. The Latvian
parliamentary defense and internal affairs committee has
voted five to four to support the re-election of Lainis
Kamaldins as director of the Office for the Protection
of the Constitution, ELTA and BNS reported on 20 April.
Last month, Kamaldins was at the center of a controversy
following his suggestion that Latvian Jews may have been
involved in the 1998 bombing of the Riga synagogue. The
National Security Council, however, voted shortly
thereafter to nominate Kamaldins for another term in
office (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 and 25 March 1999).
The parliament is due to vote on his re-election next
week. JC

LITHUANIAN PREMIER RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT'S CHALLENGE.
Gediminas Vagnorius has issued a statement saying he is
prepared to step down "to follow the country's strategic
interests," Reuters and BNS reported on 20 April. That
statement came one day after President Valdas Adamkus
expressed no confidence in Vagnorius during an address
televised nationwide (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 April
1999). "Stability must be maintained in the country,
therefore the prime minister does not intend to
contribute to the escalation of political tension, as he
sees the interests of the state as a top priority,"
Vagnorius's statement read. Meanwhile, an extraordinary
session of the parliament is to be convened on 21 April
at which the ruling Conservatives will submit a
resolution expressing confidence in Vagnorius. The
opposition has already indicated it will vote against
that motion. The Conservatives and their Christian
Democrat allies, however, have a majority in the
parliament. JC

POLISH LAWYERS WANT TO GET RID OF FORMER COMMUNIST
AGENTS. The Supreme Council of Advocates has called on
lawyers who collaborated with the communist secret
services during the period 1944-1990 to leave the
profession. The appeal states that such collaboration
"contravenes the most basic principles of lawyers'
ethics." Lawyers constituted the largest professional
group on the three lists of confessed collaborators
published so far under Poland's lustration law. JM

OPPOSITION DEPUTY MOVES TO LUSTRATE POLISH PREMIER.
Tomasz Karwowski, parliamentary deputy of the right-wing
Confederation for an Independent Poland-Homeland, has
submitted a written application to the lustration
prosecutor to start examining the case of Prime Minister
Jerzy Buzek. Karwowski claims to have "serious
circumstantial evidence" that Buzek had contacts with
the communist secret services, while Buzek denies the
allegation (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19 April 1999).
Karwowski maintains that under martial law Buzek
witnessed the arrest of a Solidarity leader activist but
was not arrested himself. JM

POLISH AIRLINES TO BE PRIVATIZED. The cabinet on 20
April approved a privatization plan for Poland's
national air carrier LOT, PAP and AP reported. Treasury
Minister Emil Wasacz said selected airlines will be
invited to talks on selling 10 percent of LOT shares.
The 10 percent stake will be sold in the fourth quarter
of this year. The investor will be required to increase
the airline's capital to 38 percent of LOT's expanded
share capital. The state will hold a 52 percent stake
and employees the remaining 10 percent. LOT's net
profits in 1998 amounted to 1.9 million zlotys
($475,000). JM

HAVEL SAYS FENCE SEPARATING ROMANY HOUSING NO
SOLUTION... Czech President Vaclav Havel said on 20
April that a decision by a Romany organization and the
city of Usti nad Labem to build a fence separating Roma
from ethnic Czech residents "will not resolve anything,"
CTK reported. Havel said the problem between the two
groups "is, of course, much deeper." Mayor Pavel
Tosovsky and the chairman of the Romany Rainbow
organization, Tibor Badi, agreed to the plan last week
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 April 1999). PB

...PRAISES GOVERNMENT APPROVAL OF NATO REQUEST. Havel
also praised the government for allowing NATO to use
Czech airports for refueling planes, CTK reported. The
parliament is to consider that request on 21 April, and
approval is expected. Deputies will also consider a NATO
request to allow a train carrying NATO ammunition and
technical equipment to transit the Czech Republic on its
way to Hungary. PB

EU OFFICIAL UPBEAT ON SLOVAK PROSPECTS FOR EU. Hans van
den Broek, the EU commissioner for relations with
Central and East European countries, said in Bratislava
on 20 April that he is optimistic about Slovakia's
chances of making the "first wave" of EU applicants,
Reuters reported. Van den Broek said at a press
conference with Premier Mikulas Dzurinda that "Slovakia
belongs in Europe, Slovakia has the resources and the
capabilities." He added that the EU has "welcomed the
change in [the political] climate in this country." And
he commented that he expects a "success" at the EU
summit in Helsinki later this year. PB

SLOVAKIA ASKED TO ALLOW NATO TRAIN TO TRANSIT COUNTRY.
The Slovak government was asked by NATO on 20 April to
allow the passage of a train carrying NATO materiel
through Slovak territory, AP reported. The government
was expected to issue a decision on the request the
following day. The train would come from the Czech
Republic and would transit Slovakia on 22 April en route
to Hungary. The government of Premier Dzurinda supports
NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia, although a poll
released on 20 April showed that some 65 percent of
respondents oppose them. PB

RUSSIA RECALLS ITS AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY. Russia has
recalled its ambassador to Hungary for consultations and
canceled a planned visit by Hungarian Foreign Minister
Janos Martonyi to Moscow in response to Budapest's
holding up of a Russian aid convoy to Yugoslavia on 10
April (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 and 13 April 1999).
Foreign Ministry spokesman Gabor Horvath on 20 April
described the decision as regrettable and expressed the
hope that Russia will soon reconsider its stand. Defense
Minister Janos Szabo's remark one day earlier that
Hungary "will not hold any more talks with an unreliable
Russian partner" on the overhaul of MiG-29 fighter jets
may have contributed to Moscow's decision,
"Nepszabadsag" speculates. MSZ

GONCZ CANCELS TRIP TO NATO SUMMIT. Hungarian President
Arpad Goncz will not attend the NATO summit in
Washington because its program has been changed and will
be more of a working meeting than a protocol event,
presidential spokesman Andras Farago announced on 20
April. Goncz was to attend the summit as a guest of
honor, rather than a member of the official Hungarian
delegation, Farago explained. Goncz will visit the U.S.
from 7-9 June at the invitation of President Bill
Clinton. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ALBRIGHT: NO TALKS WITH MILOSEVIC. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright said in Washington on 20 April that
NATO will not negotiate with Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic, the VOA's Serbian Service reported. She added
that Yugoslavia needs a democratic government and that
only a democratic government can expect Western
assistance once the current conflict ends. Albright
stressed that "President Milosevic is responsible for
the ethnic cleansing and all the depravations that are
taking place, and we have questioned how he is going to
continue...while the [Hague-based] war crimes tribunal
keeps working." She noted that the purpose of NATO's air
strikes is not, however, to overthrow Milosevic but to
enable the refugees to go home. PM

BLAIR WARNS MILOSEVIC ON ALBANIA. In response to a
question by an RFE/RL correspondent, British Prime
Minister Tony Blair said in Brussels on 20 April: "We
have made very clear indeed...that any attempt to cause
difficulty or damage to Albania we will do everything
possible to prevent, and [we will] make sure we give
[Albania] proper protection. And I would like to pay
tribute to Albania for the unstinting work that it has
done in circumstances of very great difficulty to make
sure the refugees are properly looked after. And one of
the purposes of this action we are taking is to make
sure that this entire military machine of the Serbs and
Milosevic is degraded so he is not able to threaten his
neighbors." PM

ALBANIAN, YUGOSLAV ARMIES CLASH AT KOSOVA BORDER.
Yugoslav and Albanian soldiers exchanged fire for six
hours near Qafe e Prushit in the Has Mountains on 20
April. It was the most serious clash between the two
armies since the start of the Kosova crisis, Reuters
reported. An OSCE spokesman said in Tirana that one
Albanian soldier was injured in the fight. Previous
clashes with Serbian troops involved chiefly the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK). The Albanian army generally
restrained from interfering. UCK and Yugoslav forces
also clashed near Junik, inside Kosova close to the
border, on 20 April. At least two UCK fighters were
killed in the battle and 15 injured, RFE/RL's Albanian
broadcasters reported. Kosovapress added that there were
an unspecified but large number of victims on the
Yugoslav side. FS

APACHE HELICOPTERS ARRIVE IN ALBANIA. The first of 24
U.S. Apache helicopters arrived in Albania on 20 April,
RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. The deployment
of the "terrain-hugging" aircraft had been delayed due
to torrential rains in Albania in recent days. The
Apaches will be used mostly against tanks, armored
vehicles, and artillery in Kosova. About 700 U.S.
parachute troops arrived in Albania the same day to give
ground support to the helicopters. In Warsaw, the Polish
government decided on 20 April to send 140 mountain
troops to northern Albania to help guard the NATO bases
there, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported. FS

REFUGEE INFLUX FROM MONTENEGRO INCREASES. Nearly 2,500
Kosovar refugees arrived in northwestern Albania via
Montenegro on 20 April, Reuters reported. It was the
biggest single influx so far at the western part of the
Albanian-Yugoslav border. Most of the refugees came from
the region around Peja. At the Morina border crossing
near Kukes, OSCE observers reported only a handful of
refugees arriving. FS

MONTENEGRO CHARGES YUGOSLAV ARMY WITH 'WAR CRIMES.'
Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Dragisa Burzan said on
a visit to the Rozaje area on 20 April that the recent
killing of at least five Kosovar refugees and a
Montenegrin citizen by Yugoslav troops there is "a war
crime, a crime against humanity," "Newsday" reported
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 April 1999). In Podgorica,
Interior Minister Vukasin Maras said that General
Milorad Obradovic, who commands the troops in
Montenegro, must explain the killings, RFE/RL's South
Slavic Service reported. Milosevic's Tanjug news agency
reported that the army was pursuing UCK fighters in the
area. Burzan visited three villages, from which soldiers
had driven the ethnic Albanian and Muslim inhabitants.
In Brussels, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said that the
Yugoslav army has begun "ethnic cleansing" in
Montenegro. PM

SERBIAN PARAMILITARIES IN MONTENEGRO. An unspecified
number of Serbian paramilitary troops has entered
Montenegro near the border with Kosova, the BBC reported
on 21 April. Kosovar refugees in the area said that they
were "terrified" to learn that the paramilitaries were
nearby. PM

DJUKANOVIC REFUSES TO SUBORDINATE POLICE TO ARMY.
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic called
"unacceptable" and "out of the question" a demand by the
Yugoslav army that the Montenegrin Interior Ministry
place the pro-Djukanovic police under army command, the
"Financial Times" reported on 21 April. Djukanovic added
that the army must explain to the Montenegrin
authorities the killings in the Rozaje area. PM

CROATIA PROTESTS YUGOSLAV ARMY INCURSION INTO
MONTENEGRIN BORDER ZONE. Croatian Ambassador to the UN
Ivan Simonovic sent a letter to the Security Council on
20 April calling on Belgrade to withdraw the 300 troops
who entered the demilitarized zone in Montenegro, which
borders Croatia's Prevlaka peninsula. Simonovic wrote
that he hopes for a diplomatic solution but added that
"Croatia must be ready to use other means if necessary."
The next day, however, an unnamed Croatian diplomat told
Reuters that "everything that's happening is outside our
borders. No damage has been done to us and Croatia is
absolutely safe." The diplomat added that "this is a
strictly internal Yugoslav matter. They have been very
anxious to cut Montenegro off and now they have. This
really puts the stranglehold on Montenegro." PM

YUGOSLAV TROOPS CLOSE MONTENEGRO'S BORDER WITH CROATIA.
A UN monitor in the Prevlaka area told Reuters on 20
April that the situation there is "delicate, sensitive
and extremely tense." Earlier, Yugoslav troops took
control over and closed the border crossing of Debeli
Brijeg between Montenegro and Croatia near Prevlaka.
Prevlaka is Croatian territory, but Belgrade wants it
because it controls access to Yugoslavia's only deep-
water naval base. Prevlaka and an adjoining strip of
Montenegrin territory around Sutorina are demilitarized
and under the control of a 28-member UN monitoring
mission. PM

OSCE REPORTS 'SYSTEMATIC ABUSE' OF KOSOVARS. A NATO
spokesman said in Brussels on 20 April that Serbian
forces are conducting a "safari operation" in Kosova to
expel virtually the entire ethnic Albanian population.
In Skopje, members of the OSCE's monitoring mission in
Kosova issued a report based on interviews with 250
refugees. The monitors concluded that "total
lawlessness" reigns in the province. Uniform accounts by
refugees indicated that "large groups" of Yugoslav
soldiers, paramilitary police, and irregulars carry out
"a pattern of intimidation and harassment, combined with
assaults, pillage, shelling, killingsÖ, and
executions..., after which people flee or are simply
told to leave." The study noted that "the number of
reports on sexual assaults--including rape of groups of
women--is increasing. Other reports include torture,
ill-treatment, harassment, intimidation, and use of
groups of people as human shields," the monitors'
statement continued. The monitors also noted that some
interviewees were able to identify their tormentors. PM

GLIGOROV CALLS FOR 'STATE OF EMERGENCY.' Macedonian
President Kiro Gligorov said in a television broadcast
on 20 April that he wants the Supreme Defense Council to
declare a state of emergency. He said that the current
situation is "one of the most dangerous" since 1991,
when Macedonia declared independence. He stressed that
"dangers for Macedonia are growing" and that preserving
"internal stability and external security" are top
priorities for the authorities. He noted that some 4,000
NATO troops will arrive in Macedonia soon. Some 16,500
soldiers from the Atlantic alliance are already there.
PM

UNHCR DECLARES MACEDONIAN CAMPS FULL. A spokesman for
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said
in Skopje on 20 April that all camps in that country are
filled to capacity. The UNHCR had to leave up to 3,000
refugees without shelter in the no-man's land at the
border. Another 3,000 arrived at a mountain hamlet,
where the UN had no facilities for them, either. Members
of both groups said that "thousands" more refugees are
en route, AP reported. Inside Macedonia, some camps have
three times more inhabitants than UNHCR standards allow.
There are 25,000 people in the Brazda camp alone. Recent
arrivals stay in tents outside the camp and are subject
to harassment by local Macedonians resentful of the
influx of ethnic Albanians. PM

NATO HITS MILOSEVIC'S PARTY OFFICES. Aircraft from the
Atlantic alliance attacked a high-rise office building
in Belgrade on 21 April, causing considerable damage,
the BBC reported. The building houses offices of
Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia, his wife's
Yugoslav United Left, and his daughter's radio station.
Some of the targets of recent air strikes include
factories and refineries controlled by his family or
political allies. In Brussels, German Foreign Minister
Joschka Fischer said that the bombing campaign is likely
to last for some time. In Washington, Secretary Albright
expressed the same view. PM

UN POLICE MONITOR BOSNIAN-MONTENEGRIN BORDER. UN police
stepped up monitoring patrols along Bosnia's frontier
with Montenegro on 20 April. The move came following
reports by Kosovar and Sandzak Muslim refugees that
Bosnian Serb police robbed and intimidated them en route
from Montenegro to Sarajevo. In New York, Elisabeth
Rehn, who is the UN's special envoy to Bosnia, said that
many of the refugees are young males seeking to avoid
the Yugoslav army draft. PM

CROATIA ARREST WAR CRIMES SUSPECT. Croatian police
arrested Dragisa Cancarevic in Vukovar on 20 April. He
is the head of the local police in Borovo Naselje. The
ethnic Serbian police officer is suspected of committing
war crimes in Vukovar during the 1991-1995 war. PM

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT, DEFENSE COUNCIL APPROVES NATO AIR
CORRIDOR REQUEST. The Romanian government and the
Supreme Defense Council on 20 April approved a NATO
request to use Romanian air space for attacks on
Yugoslavia, Reuters reported. Premier Radu Vasile said
the decision does not "question Romania's sovereignty
over its own air space." Approval by the four-party
ruling coalition makes passage in the parliament likely,
as only the opposition Socialist Party and some
nationalist parties have objected to the request. Also
on 20 April, a group of prominent Romanian intellectuals
urged Romanians to back the government's decision. The
deputy chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff,
General Joseph Ralston, said in Bucharest the same day
that Romania can count on NATO to defend it in the event
of a threat from Yugoslavia. PB

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT CONSULTS BULGARIAN COUNTERPART OVER
NATO REQUEST. Emil Constantinescu telephoned with Petar
Stoyanov on 20 April to discuss the NATO request that
both countries give the alliance unlimited access to
their air space, Rompres reported. Officials said
Stoyanov has suggested that the two countries coordinate
their stances toward the NATO request. PB

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENTARY VOTE ON NATO REQUEST LOOMS AMID
PROTESTS. Thousands of people rallied in downtown Sofia
on 20 April to urge the parliament to reject a request
by NATO to allow the alliance full usage of Bulgaria's
air space, AP reported. Protesters chanted "NATO out of
the Balkans" and other anti-NATO slogans. Thousands of
people also demonstrated in the Black Sea port of Varna.
Officials said the parliament may vote on the request on
21 April. PB

END NOTE

EBRD TAKES TOUGH NEW STANCE ON INVESTMENTS, LOANS

by Ron Synovitz

	The European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD) is taking a new tougher approach to
lending and investing in Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet republics.
	The approach, a reaction to Russia's financial
collapse in August, became apparent at the EBRD's board
meeting in London even before plenary sessions began on
19 April.
	The EBRD was set up in 1991 to aid the market
transition of the former communist states of Eastern
Europe and the Soviet Union. It has already adopted a
conservative lending strategy, and bank funds are being
used as leverage to influence government policies.
	But EBRD governors meeting in London this week are
sharpening the strategy. They say they hope to instill
financial discipline, better corporate governance, and
long-overdue banking reforms in the 25 countries in
which the EBRD operates.
	Leading the new strategy is EBRD President Horst
Koehler, a former private-sector banker and state
secretary in the German Finance Ministry.
	Koehler took the top post at the EBRD in September-
-just weeks after Russia devalued its currency,
defaulted on domestic government debt, and declared a
moratorium on debt servicing to foreigners.
	The Russian crisis caused the EBRD last year to
declare its first loss in six years--more than $225
million. More important, Koehler says, it taught the
EBRD that its investments cannot be effective without
macroeconomic stability, together with a reasonable
legal and regulatory environment.
	On a country-to-country basis, that means
governments must move their reform programs forward or
forget about receiving money from the EBRD--one of the
last remaining institutions willing to invest across the
crisis-plagued region.
	Ukraine is a case in point. Koehler met with
President Leonid Kuchma and other senior officials in
Kyiv late last year to present the Bank's complaints
about slow reforms there.
	At stake are four EBRD projects, worth nearly $200
million, that have been stalled in the Ukrainian
parliament for more than a year. The EBRD also says it
will not approve Ukrainian railroad and water management
investments, worth another $70 million, until the
bureaucratic barriers to the earlier projects are
cleared.
	Lars Larsson, the director of the EBRD-administered
Nuclear Safety Account, also is taking a tougher stance
on aid recipients. Larsson says disbursements will go
only to projects that expedite the closure of hazardous
reactors in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.
	Lithuanian Finance Minister Algirdas Semeta
admitted there is increased pressure from the EBRD on
the closure of the Ignalina nuclear plant. But Semeta,
who opposes a shutdown without massive Western financial
support, attributes Larsson's harder line to what he
called "political pressure" from the EU
	"I don't think the EBRD, as such, is the decision-
making authority concerning the Ignalina power station,"
he commented. "Actually, the owners of the [Nuclear
Safety] Account itself, and other European Union
countries, are the major political forces which dictate
policies concerning Ignalina."
	In the telecommunications sector, the EBRD is
trying to coax several governments to create the proper
regulatory framework within which privatized firms can
operate.
	Legal assistance was provided last year to Belarus,
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, and Poland. A contract
for regulatory assistance has been finalized with
Albania, and similar assistance is moving forward in
Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Georgia.
	EBRD projects that develop capital markets and
improve corporate governance have been approved for the
Czech and Slovak republics.
	Plans also have been finalized to work with the
Russian Federal Commission for the Securities Market.
That project will focus on developing capital market
regulations and company laws. The aim is to increase the
transparency of markets and improve corporate
governance. Meanwhile, the EBRD is still trying to
resolve a dispute over the privatization of the Slovnaft
oil and gas monopoly in Slovakia. That dispute arose in
1995 when Slovnaft's state managers bought shares of the
firm at a fraction of the price paid by the EBRD and
other investors.
	EBRD officials cite Slovnaft as a classic example
of how insider deals and the lack of transparency can
damage the confidence of global investors in an emerging
market economy.

The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in Prague.
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