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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 94, Part II, 14 May 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 94, Part II, 14 May 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

* CANDIDATE WITHDRAWS FROM BELARUS'S OPPOSITION
PRESIDENTIAL POLLS

* LARGEST NUMBER OF NATO RAIDS ON SERBIA TO DATE

* ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT RECOGNIZES THACI GOVERNMENT

End Note: RUGOVA AND THE KOSOVAR POWER STRUGGLE
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

CANDIDATE WITHDRAWS FROM BELARUS'S OPPOSITION
PRESIDENTIAL POLLS. Zyanon Paznyak, exiled leader of the
Belarusian Popular Front (BNF), has withdrawn his
candidacy from the opposition presidential elections in
Belarus. He accused the Central Electoral Commission of
violating the law by starting to collect ballots 10 days
before election day, 16 May, and of falsifying the
results. "The elections have been transformed into a
criminal adventure, into a deception that draws
comparison only with [President Alyaksandr] Lukashenka's
referendums," Paznyak said in a statement issued on 13
May. RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reported the same day
that many BNF members of regional electoral commissions
have ceased to take part in the polls. "[Paznyak's]
action in the current situation is the best gift for
Lukashenka," Central Electoral Commission head Viktar
Hanchar commented. Voting, however, continues.
Meanwhile, the other presidential candidate, former
Premier Mikhail Chyhir, is currently detained in jail on
charges of embezzlement. JM

LUKASHENKA'S AIDE SAYS UNION WITH RUSSIA IN 'DEAD END.'
Belarusian presidential aide Mikhail Sazonau told
Reuters on 13 May that Russia's political and economic
crisis is making the prospect of any unification with
Russia increasingly unrealistic. "We have come to a dead
end," Sazonau said, commenting on the formation of the
new union-state announced last December. He said "Moscow
made it very clear" that it will not change its
constitution to create a single state with Belarus.
Sazonau added that the dismissal of Russian Premier
Yevgenii Primakov was also a blow to integration. In his
opinion, the idea of the union-state will not be revived
until after Russia's presidential elections in 2000.
"The creation of a union-state promised us an economic
breakthrough. But it turns out that we're hurrying
toward a closed door," Sazonau said. JM

LUKASHENKA 'CATEGORICALLY AGAINST' IMPEACHING YELTSIN.
"I am categorically against the impeachment [of Russian
President Boris Yeltsin]," Belarusian Television quoted
Lukashenka as saying on 13 May. He added that Yeltsin's
impeachment is "practically impossible" and that Russia
should "normally live until parliamentary and
subsequently presidential elections." Commenting on the
consequences of Primakov's ouster, Lukashenka said there
will be no "shocks" in Russia since the Russian people
are in "awful apathy." In his opinion, Primakov was
dismissed because "those who have been stealing in
Russia" were unhappy about his holding the top
government post. JM

KUCHMA SAYS HE WILL SEEK SECOND TERM. Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma said at Lviv University on 13
May that he will seek a second term in the 31 October
presidential elections. "I simply do not have the moral
right to leave in the middle of the road everything that
has been done in the last five years in Ukraine. A
change of political leader in Ukraine is a change of
political course and I do not have the right to allow
that," Reuters quoted him as saying. Kuchma told the
agency that Ukraine has to keep on with reforms. "To
convince people of that is my task today, the task of my
team and of all those willing to support me," he added.
According to the presidential election schedule, the
official registration of candidates in Ukraine begins on
14 May. JM

LATVIA BANS FORMER KGB OFFICERS FROM POLICE FORCE. The
parliament on 13 May voted to ban former KGB and other
foreign security service staff from becoming members of
the country's police force. At the same time, the law
stipulates certain exceptions, allowing for such staff
to be temporarily hired if their expertise is required.
A law passed by the previous parliament prohibits KGB
and other foreign security service personnel from
holding public office. JC

UNEMPLOYMENT IN LATVIA KEEPS INCHING UP. Unemployment in
Latvia reached a new record high of 10.2 percent last
month, ELTA reported on 13 May, citing data released by
the Latvian Statistical Office. This represents an
increase of 0.1 percent over March. Unemployment remains
stable in Estonia, at 5.3 percent, while the number of
jobless in Lithuania fell by 0.4 percent to 8.1 percent.
JC

PAKSAS ENJOYS SUPPORT OF PARLIAMENTARY PARTIES, SAYS
PRESIDENT. Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus on 13 May
presented his candidate for prime minister, Vilnius
Mayor Rolandas Paksas, to the parliament. Following a
meeting with the caucus heads, Adamkus told journalists
that he was "pleased to find out that everyone
[including the ruling Conservative Party] approves of
[Paksas's] candidature," ELTA reported. Paksas, for his
part, has urged cooperation between all parliamentary
parties. A final vote on his candidacy is to be held
next week. JC

U.S. DEPORTS LITHUANIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECT. Kazys
Ciurinskas has been deported from the U.S. for
concealing his war-time activities when he applied for a
visa to enter the U.S. in 1949, BNS reported. According
to the U.S. Justice Department's Special Investigations
Office, the 81-year-old Ciurinskas, who was stripped of
his U.S. citizenship in 1997, led a battalion that was
involved in the mass killings of Jews and members of
other ethnic groups during the Nazi occupation. The
Lithuanian Prosecutor-General's Office says that it has
been collecting information on Ciurinskas for some two
years but has insufficient evidence to launch criminal
proceedings against him. JC

DUTCH PREMIER REASSURES POLAND ON EU ENTRY DATE. Dutch
Prime Minister Wim Kok said in Warsaw on 12 May that The
Netherlands will do everything possible to enable Poland
to join the EU by 2003, as desired by the Polish
government, PAP reported. Kok praised cooperation with
Poland, saying that Poland is his country's best partner
outside the EU. JM

WORLD BANK INVITED TO STUDY CORRUPTION IN POLAND. Deputy
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz
has sent a letter to the World Bank asking for help in
rooting out corruption, PAP reported on 13 May. "I would
like to invite the bank to carry out corruption surveys
in Poland, covering the household and business sectors,
with particular focus on possible corruption in the
public sector," Balcerowicz wrote. Balcerowicz pointed
out that the World Bank has carried out similar surveys
in Albania, Georgia, and Latvia. According to a recent
Interior Ministry report, corruption has worsened in the
decade since the end of communism in Poland. JM

POLAND'S GDP GROWS 4.8 PERCENT in 1998. The Main
Statistical Office reported on 13 May that Poland's GDP
grew by 4.8 percent last year, compared with 1997, to
total 551.1 billion zlotys ($158.3 billion, according to
the 1998 average annual exchange rate), or $4,096 per
capita. "Rzeczpospolita" reported that per capita GDP in
the EU last year was $21,600. JM

REACTION TO CABINET'S DECISION ON TEMELIN. Despite the
Czech cabinet's decision to complete the construction of
the Temelin nuclear power plant by 2001, various groups
have said they will continue to oppose it, Czech media
reported on 14 May. Radko Pavlovec, Austria's
commissioner for nuclear facilities, said his government
will do everything in its power to prevent the future
export of energy from Temelin. Meanwhile, European
Parliament deputy Marialiese Flemming from Austria said
the EU's legislature will send a delegation to discuss
the issue with Czech President Vaclav Havel, "Pravo"
reported. Jakub Patocka of the Czech environmentalist
organization Hnuti Duha said his group will try to delay
the construction and render it more expensive by using
the law on assessing environmental impact at every step
of the construction process. Nevertheless, the deputy
chairman of CEZ, the main investor in Temelin, said the
plant will be completed on time, "Mlada fronta Dnes"
reported on 14 May. VG

SLOVAK DEPUTIES APPEAL TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. A group
of deputies from the Slovak governing coalition on 13
May asked the Constitutional Court to provide an
interpretation of Article 102 of the constitution, which
deals with presidential amnesties, TASR reported. The
deputies made the request in response to former Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar's decision to prevent or cancel
all criminal proceedings related to the scuttled
referendum on NATO membership and presidential elections
in 1997 as well as to the 1995 abduction of former
President Michal Kovac's son. Meciar was exercising
presidential powers at the time. The court has already
accepted a request by 37 deputies from the Movement for
a Democratic Slovakia for an interpretation of the same
article with regard to Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda's
cancellation of those amnesties. VG

VISEGRAD FOUR MEETING IN BRATISLAVA. The prime ministers
of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary
gathered in Bratislava on 14 May in an attempt to
revitalize the regional Visegrad Four group, an RFE/RL
correspondent reported. The Visegrad group was
established eight years ago to facilitate regional
cooperation, but Slovakia's participation deteriorated
under former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. Current
Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda hailed the summit
meeting as a renewal of good political and regional
cooperation between his country and the rest of the
region. The one-day summit will focus on EU and NATO
integration in the region, joint economic policies,
cross-border transport and telecommunication projects,
efforts to reduce organized crime and illegal migration
as well as the Kosova conflict. VG

CORRECTION: "RFE/RL Newsline" incorrectly reported on 13
May that Slovak presidential candidate Rudolf Schuster
is the former mayor of Kosice. In fact, Schuster is the
current mayor of Kosice.

HUNGARIAN EXTREMIST PARTY NOT WANTED AT UDMR CONGRESS.
Csaba Takacs, the executive chairman of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR), has asked the
far-right Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIEP) to
disregard an earlier invitation to the UDMR's
forthcoming congress, Hungarian media reported on 13
May. Takacs told MIEP chairman Istvan Csurka that the
presence of an MIEP delegation at the congress would be
damaging owing to Csurka's recent remarks on the status
of the Yugoslav province of Vojvodina. Csurka had said
that the only way to secure the ethnic Hungarian
minority's existence in Vojvodina would be to give the
province to Hungary. "Such a border readjustment is so
trifling that it would not cause even as much damage to
Yugoslavia as one night of NATO bombing," Csurka
concluded. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

LARGEST NUMBER OF NATO RAIDS ON SERBIA TO DATE. The
Atlantic alliance said in a statement in Brussels on 14
May that "NATO has continued its intensive campaign
against Serbian forces [in Kosova], with the highest
overall sortie rate in a 24-hour period of the campaign
so far, with 679 sorties completed." Targets included
tanks, other military vehicles, artillery, and ground
troops, particularly in the Prizren and Shtima areas.
Reuters noted that the statement did not specify whether
all the sorties involved strikes. Two support aircraft
usually accompany each plane carrying out an attack. PM

NATO SKEPTICAL ABOUT SERBIAN WITHDRAWAL CLAIMS. A
Serbian army officer said in Prishtina on 13 May that a
"large number" of soldiers have begun withdrawing from
Kosova. Western journalists reported seeing about 120
troops in a convoy of busses, which the officer said
were en route to central Serbia. In Brussels, NATO
spokesmen said that the withdrawal is insignificant and
possibly a sham. Jamie Shea argued that "it's the
easiest thing in the world to put a few tanks on the
border, invite a TV crew and say `look, I'm
withdrawing,' and as soon as the TV crew goes back to
Belgrade, the tanks just go back over the border" into
Kosova. In Athens, Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle
Bulatovic told journalists that the withdrawal is
"proof" that NATO has failed to destroy Serbia's
military might, asking "if they have destroyed it, then
what is it that we are withdrawing?" PM

REFUGEES: POLICE PRESENCE REMAINS STRONG. At Blace,
Macedonia, newly arrived refugees said on 13 May that
the paramilitary police presence remains large in Kosova
and that Serbian shopkeepers refuse to sell food to
ethnic Albanians, AP reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 27
April 1999). One refugee added that Serbian forces have
"raided food stocks" belonging to the Mother Teresa
ethnic Albanian charitable foundation in unspecified
places in Kosova. PM

NIS MAYOR: MILOSEVIC MUST OUTLINE PLANS. Zoran Zivkovic,
who is mayor of Nis and a member of the opposition
Democratic Party of Zoran Djindjic, said on 13 May that
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic should "proclaim
what is our plan [for Kosova and make public] a list of
costs in lives and time" that he is prepared to pay in
order to keep control of the province. Meanwhile in
Brussels, Shea suggested that Milosevic's recent public
admission that Serbian forces have had "many" casualties
is "significant" and indicates that Milosevic is
"realizing that his army is being melted away" by NATO
air strikes (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 May 1999).
Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark added that
Milosevic has recently made a series of gestures--
including freeing three U.S. soldiers and allowing
Kosovar leader Ibrahim Rugova to leave Yugoslavia--
because "he's losing and he knows it." PM

U.K. STRESSES NEED TO 'STOP' MILOSEVIC. Prime Minister
Tony Blair said in Aachen, Germany on 13 May that
Milosevic is "determined to wipe a people from the face
of his country. We are determined to stop him. And we
will." In London, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook noted
that "the last two days of [air strikes] have been the
most successful [against Serbia] to date." Admiral Sir
Ian Garnett, who is Britain's chief of joint operations,
said that Serbian troops "show no sign of withdrawing"
from Kosova, Reuters reported. He added that the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK) is "tenaciously holding out in
small pockets" throughout Kosova. Garnett also noted
that "Milosevic's troops are showing an increasing
tendency to loot and burn their way around the country."
PM

MILOSEVIC SNUBS ROBINSON. Mary Robinson, who is the UN's
high commissioner for human rights, said in Belgrade on
13 May that "despite my requests, it has not been
possible to have a direct meeting with President
Milosevic. I was very anxious to meet him, because I
have had direct witness myself of the human rights
violations suffered by a large number of [ethnic]
Albanians." In Bonn, German television journalist Pit
Schnitzler said that his Serbian captors interrogated
and beat him daily during his imprisonment from mid-
April until 11 May as a suspected spy. In Canberra,
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on 14
May that the Serbian authorities have formally charged
two Australian aid workers, Steve Pratt and Peter
Wallace, with espionage. The Australian government and
CARE, which employs the two, have denied the charges. PM

DJUKANOVIC HAILS NATO AIMS, NOT MEANS. Montenegrin
President Milo Djukanovic said in Vienna after meeting
with Chancellor Viktor Klima on 13 May that he supports
NATO's basic aims against Belgrade but does not favor
bombing. Djukanovic stressed that the best way to remove
Milosevic from the scene is through new elections in
Serbia. Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel had
planned to meet Djukanovic in Montenegro, but the
Montenegrin authorities recently cancelled the meeting
"on security grounds" after "the Serbs had gotten wind"
of Schuessel's visit, "Die Presse" reported. PM

SWISS-GREEK-RUSSIAN CONVOY ARRIVES IN PRISHTINA. The
first Swiss-Greek-Russian humanitarian aid convoy
arrived in Prishtina on 13 May, nearly one month after
the Swiss government launched a joint aid initiative
that includes Russia and Greece. The five trucks carried
food and medicine, AP reported. It was unclear whether
and how the relief supplies will reach displaced persons
inside Kosova. As part of the joint initiative, the
first patients received treatment in a mobile hospital
staffed by 43 Russian doctors in Prokuple, near Nis,
ITAR-TASS reported. Russia's Emergency Ministry has
donated the hospital to treat victims of NATO bombings.
In Moscow, Russian and Greek officials suggested the
setting up of several "humanitarian zones" in various
parts of Yugoslavia, in which international relief
workers can work at a safe distance from military
operations. Meanwhile, the Iranian government held a
"solidarity day with the Muslims of Kosova," collecting
donations throughout the country for Kosovar refugees,
Reuters reported. FS

UNHCR COMPLAINS ABOUT LACK OF ALBANIAN REFUGEE
COORDINATION. Ray Wilkinson, spokesman of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Tirana, said on 13
May that only 3,300 refugees from Kukes have agreed to
leave the northern city for new refugee camps in central
and southern Albania. He added that "this is not an
overwhelming response," Reuters reported. Wilkinson said
that nobody is providing the various aid agencies with
information about the new camps, which have been built
by NATO troops. Nor, he said, is any central authority
coordinating the evacuation efforts. Wilkinson stressed
that the UNHCR is "not informed of many bilateral
agreements between various [national] armies." The
previous day, another 4,000 refugees arrived in Kukes
from central Kosova. About 100,000 out of the estimated
430,000 refugees in Albania are currently in that town.
FS

ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT RECOGNIZES THACI GOVERNMENT... The
Albanian parliament on 12 May adopted a resolution
recognizing the provisional government of Hashim Thaci,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Tirana the
following day. Presidential adviser Mentor Nazarko told
RFE/RL that "the provisional government is a temporary
institution, created on the basis of an agreement
between the main leaders in the military, civil, and
political life of Kosova." He added that "the [Kosovars]
must regain the same level of unity that they had at the
Rambouillet talks." Bilal Sherifi, an official of the
provisional government, told RFE/RL that "the Albanian
government has recognized the legitimacy of the
UCK...and the political agreement between [all Albanian
representatives] at the Rambouillet talks on the
creation of a provisional government." He added that the
previous shadow-state structures have "ceased to
function in Kosova...and its people were left without a
political leadership." FS

...WHILE OPPOSITION CRITICIZES THAT MOVE. Opposition
leader Sali Berisha, speaking to RFE/RL on 13 May,
criticized the recognition of the provisional
government. He argued that the parliament's resolution
rejects the legitimacy of the elected shadow-state
government of Bujar Bukoshi and its institutions. He
also pointed out that the resolution does not refer to
Ibrahim Rugova as "president of Kosova." Berisha called
on Rugova, Bukoshi, and the shadow-state legislators to
declare the resolution invalid. He added that the
resolution serves "pro-Serbian" interests and is "anti-
Albanian" because it will reinforce the political
division of the Kosovars into UCK and shadow-state
groups. FS

ROMANIA ALLOWS VOA BROADCASTS TO YUGOSLAVIA. The
Romanian government has authorized the country's
National Radio Communications Company to rebroadcast
Serbian-language Voice of America programs to
Yugoslavia, Reuters, reported on 13 May. The decision
came in response to a request from the U.S. Congress.
VOA will use its own equipment for the 24-hour
broadcasts, which will cover the entire territory of
Yugoslavia. In other news, opposition representatives
described the government's decision to link a package of
reform bills to a confidence vote as unconstitutional,
Rompres reported on 12 May. However, Petre Roman of the
Democratic Party said there is no need to make an appeal
to the Constitutional Court on the issue. The government
is expected to survive any vote of confidence in the
legislature. VG

MOLDOVAN COURT SAYS SNEGUR VIOLATED CONSTITUTION. The
Moldovan Constitutional Court ruled on 10 May that
former President Mircea Snegur violated four articles of
the constitution when he appointed the acting mayor of
Chisinau and four deputies, BASA-Press reported on 13
May. The court said mayors and local councilors must be
elected. Snegur made the appointments in 1995 after two
consecutive rounds of elections failed to register the
required turnout. Local elections are scheduled in
Moldova for 23 May. Meanwhile, Snegur criticized
President Petru Lucinschi's recent cabinet appointments
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 May 1999), saying the head of
state should have consulted the parliament on the
changes, even though the law does not require him to do
so, Infotag reported on 13 May. In other news, the IMF
announced that it is ready to provide Moldova with a
credit line of $70 million before the end of the year,
Infotag reported on 13 May. The first disbursement of
funds is expected to take place in August. VG

BULGARIA SENDS TANKS TO MACEDONIA. Bulgaria has given 31
tanks and 18 artillery pieces to Macedonia as a gift,
BTA reported on 12 May. Experts said the tanks were
repaired and fully equipped. Bulgarian Defense Minister
Georgi Ananiev and his Macedonian counterpart, Nikola
Kljusev, will attend a handing-over ceremony at
Giueshevo, located on their common border, on 14 May,
the Sofia daily "Standart" reported the previous day.
Meanwhile, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda
Mikhailova met with British Defense Secretary George
Robertson on 12 May to discuss the Kosova conflict as
well as the planned post-conflict reconstruction effort
for the Balkan region as a whole, BTA reported. In other
news, the editor in chief of the daily "Noshten Trud"
resigned after an interview with Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman published in the newspaper proved to be
false, AP reported on 13 May. In that interview, which
appeared in the newspaper on 26 April, Tudjman allegedly
said that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is a
"real chauvinist" who traded "Serbs like cattle." VG

END NOTE

RUGOVA AND THE KOSOVAR POWER STRUGGLE

by Fabian Schmidt

	Following more than a month of apparent captivity
in Serbia, Kosovar leader Ibrahim Rugova arrived in Rome
last week amid a power struggle in Kosova. Kosovar
politicians know that they have to build an efficient
administration quickly in order to win the war and plan
for the future, but past rivalries prevent them from
forging unity.
	The Kosovars were at their most united in March,
when a broad- based delegation signed the Rambouillet
agreement. That document offered the vision of peace
under NATO protection and the prospect of democratic
development based on the rule of law--a prospect that
had never before seemed so close at hand.
	In early 1990, the Kosovars had responded to then
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's abolition of
their autonomy the previous year by creating a multi-
party shadow-state, which was dominated by Rugova's
Democratic League of Kosova (LDK). In 1991, the shadow-
state organized a referendum on independence, which
passed by an overwhelming majority; and the following
year, it held underground parliamentary and presidential
elections. The LDK won that ballot and Rugova was
elected president. The shadow-state's legislature
appointed a government led by Bujar Bukoshi, who
developed the shadow-state's school and health systems
through financial contributions from the Albanian
Diaspora.
	But despite much international sympathy for
Rugova's non-violent political strategy, the shadow-
state failed to gain international recognition. The
Kosovars were left out of the frequent international
conferences on the former Yugoslavia, and many ethnic
Albanians came to the conclusion that the international
community only rewarded those who made war. When the
Dayton agreement ended the Bosnian war in 1995 and gave
the Serbs their own para-state, many Kosovars saw that
belief as confirmed.
	In early 1996, the activities of the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK) first came to public notice. But
despite widespread Serbian repression, the UCK did not
begin to receive broader popular support until Serbian
forces began conducting massacres of civilians in
several villages in February 1998.
	By the summer, Serbian police had driven some
200,000 ethnic Albanians from their homes, some 98,000
of whom fled Kosova. The UCK gained in strength, and the
shadow-state politicians had to recognize it as one of
Kosova's key players. It also increasingly received
attention from the international community, as
demonstrated by a well-publicized meeting of U.S. envoy
Richard Holbrooke with UCK leaders in a Kosovar village
in mid-June.
	The guerrillas' importance received another boost
when Serbian forces launched "Operation Horseshoe" in
January of this year and drove about 175,000 people out
of their homes, some 75,000 of whom fled Kosova. As a
consequence, the UCK became the only force on which
Kosovar civilians could hope to rely for protection. The
guerrillas' new importance was reflected at the
Rambouillet talks, where the Kosovar delegation included
Rugova and other LDK representatives but was led by UCK
leader Hashim Thaci.
	That unity proved short-lived, however. Even during
the Rambouillet talks, now Yugoslav President Milosevic
began his final "ethnic cleansing" campaign as part of
"Operation Horseshoe." Anything left of Rugova's shadow-
state collapsed in the process. On 31 March, less than a
week after the beginning of NATO air strikes, Serbian
forces captured Rugova and his family in their house and
prevented them from establishing any direct contact with
the outside world.
	In the ensuing weeks, Thaci and other Rambouillet
participants created a provisional government that has
close links with the UCK, which had set up bases in
Albania and remains the only Kosovar institution still
operating inside Kosova.
	Meanwhile, Milosevic used Rugova for several
appearances serving propagandist goals, including at a
meeting with Russian Patriarch Aleksii II. The Serbian
daily "Politika" on 29 April published a declaration
allegedly signed by Rugova and Serbian Premier Milan
Milutinovic. The text called for direct talks between
the Serbian government and Kosovar leaders, leading to
wide-ranging autonomy and respect for the territorial
integrity of Serbia. The declaration said that in these
talks, representatives of the international community
may take part only as "guests."
	 Meanwhile, tensions between Bukoshi and Thaci
grew. The provisional government demanded that Bukoshi
accept its legitimacy, which, in practice, would have
obliged him to surrender most of the shadow-state's
funds to the UCK. But Bukoshi's sympathizers refused to
give in. They pointed out that they also have a
guerrilla organization, albeit smaller than the UCK,
known as the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosova
(FARK).
	An attempt in early May by Albanian Prime Minister
Pandeli Majko to bring the rivals to the negotiating
table failed because of the two sides' refusals to
recognize each other. Meanwhile, the UCK's news agency
Kosovapress has banned the Swiss-Albanian daily "Bota
Sot" from using its news items. The UCK argues that the
daily, which is close to Bukoshi, is making a profit by
living from news that the UCK's journalists gather under
the constant threat of death.
	Rugova is now at the center of the strife. He has
so far failed to explain what happened to him in Serbian
captivity and to say whether the declaration in
"Politika" is authentic. He has also failed to state
unequivocally which of the two rival Kosovar governments
he supports. The Albanian parliament's 12 May decision
to recognize Thaci's provisional government will
increase the pressure on Rugova to make peace with the
UCK, which now holds the balance of power among the
Kosovars. It will not be an easy task. And the longer he
maintains silence on key questions, the more difficult
it will become.

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