|If there is technological advance without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery. - Michael Harrington|
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 95, Part II, 17 May 1999
________________________________________________________ RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 95, Part II, 17 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 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Headlines, Part II * BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION CONCLUDES PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT * KOSICE MAYOR WINS FIRST ROUND OF SLOVAK PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION * COHEN BLASTS SERBS FOR 'CROCODILE TEARS' End Note: WHILE EUROPE LOOKS ELSEWHERE xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION CONCLUDES PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT. According to Central Electoral Commission estimates, turnout at the unauthorized presidential polls that finished on 16 May was 53 percent or slightly more than 4 million voters, Belapan reported. The final results are expected on 19 May. Zyanon Paznyak, one of the two presidential candidates, had withdrawn from the vote last week, claiming election fraud (see "RFE/RL Newsline, 14 May 1999). Many commentators see Paznyak's withdrawal as the beginning of a serious split within the Belarusian opposition. Viktar Hanchar, head of the Central Electoral Commission, played down the opposition's differences by saying on 15 May that "the point of the elections was to show that Lukashenka is not legitimate and start his removal. Only after that can we hold free, democratic elections," Reuters reported. JM UKRAINIAN PARTIES NAME PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS. Several political parties on 15 May announced their candidates for the 31 October presidential elections, Interfax reported. Leonid Kuchma, the incumbent president, was nominated by the Popular Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party (United). Oleksandr Moroz was nominated by the Socialist Party, which he leads. His candidacy is also supported by the Social Democratic Party. Petro Symonenko, leader of the Communist Party, was fielded by his own party. Nataliya Vitrenko was also nominated by her Progressive Socialist Party. Former Premier Yevhen Marchuk was proposed by the Social Democratic Union, the Rural Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the Christian Popular Union. Marchuk has quit the parliamentary caucus of the Social Democratic Party (United), to which he had belonged since its formation last year. Each wing of the split Rukh nominated its own hopeful: Hennadiy Udovenko and Yuriy Kostenko. JM CENTRAL EUROPEAN PRESIDENTS BACK G-8 STANCE ON KOSOVA. In Lviv on 15 May, the presidents of nine Central European countries urged the Yugoslav government to accept the G-8 plan for ending the Kosova crisis. That plan calls for the deployment of international peacekeepers, the withdrawal of Serbian forces, and substantial autonomy for Kosova. The heads of states also proposed a "high-level conference on southeastern Europe" to work out a "comprehensive strategy for the stabilization of the entire region through economic reconstruction and the promotion of democracy." The statement--signed by the presidents of Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine--condemned ethnic cleansing in Kosova and deplored civilian deaths because of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Ukrainian President Kuchma was the only head of state at the Lviv summit to call on NATO to stop its air strikes. JM KALLAS RE-ELECTED REFORM PARTY CHAIRMAN. At a congress in Tallinn on 15 May, Finance Minister Siim Kallas was re-elected head of the Reform Party, ETA reported. Addressing delegates, he predicted that 1999 will be a year of "saving and reorganizing" while 2000 will be marked by "stabilization." Meanwhile, the Statistics Office has released preliminary data showing that GDP grew by 4 percent last year. JC BIRKAVS ASKS RUSSIANS TO 'FACE HISTORY.' Writing in the "International Herald Tribune" on 14 May, Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs asked Russia to "look at itself in the mirror" and Russians "to accept the facts of their own history." "An acknowledgment of Russia's role in Latvian history in this century will defuse many of the sensitive problems related to naturalization of noncitizens," Birkavs wrote, adding that such an approach would "also set a basis for Latvia and Russia to address together opportunities in business." The foreign minister pointed out that Latvia is currently establishing an "international historical commission" that will address such questions. Latvia's prosecutor- general is ready to "follow up on any substantive allegations of war crimes regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators," he added. JC REHABILITATION PLAN APPROVED FOR RIGAS KOMERCBANKA. The Latvian Central Bank has approved a rehabilitation plan for the failed Rigas Komercbanka (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 March and 28 April 1999) . Under that plan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the largest shareholder in the Rigas Komercbanka, will invest $9 million (part of which will be a loan), the Latvian government 1 million lats ($1.69 million), and the Bank of Latvia 15.5 million lats. JC WALESA NOMINATED TO RUN IN POLAND'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Christian Democracy of the Third Republic, a political party formed and headed by former Solidarity leader and Polish President Lech Walesa, has nominated its leader to run in the 2000 presidential election, Polish media reported on 16 May. Walesa has not yet taken a final decision, but he has said he believes he can defeat the incumbent, Aleksander Kwasniewski, who will almost certainly be the candidate of the Polish left wing. If Walesa decides to run, he will likely compete for votes against Marian Krzaklewski, Solidarity's current leader and head of the Solidarity Electoral Action ruling coalition. JM TEMELIN DECISION CONTINUES TO DRAW REACTIONS. Austrian politicians continued to blast the Czech government's decision to complete the Temelin nuclear power plant, saying the decision may complicate the country's accession to the EU, Czech media reported. Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima said the plant is not just an Austrian-Czech issue "but a European matter and part of the admission process to the EU," Czech media reported on 14 May, citing the Austrian daily "Neue Kronen Zeitung." German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin said the Temelin decision "was not a prudent step from the point of view of EU integration," CTK reported on 14 May. Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Czech Security Information Service, Jan Subert, said the service has no information about any threat of terrorist attacks against Temelin, CTK reported on 16 May. Subert was responding to a 15 May report in "Pravo" which cited an unnamed source from the service as saying that Austrian environmental extremists are preparing such an attack in collaboration with their Czech counterparts. Czech and Austrian environmentalists also dismissed the allegations. VG ZEMAN, DZURINDA AGREE ON PROPERTY DIVISION. Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman and his Slovak counterpart, Mikulas Dzurinda, have resolved one of the outstanding issues related to the division of Czechoslovakia, CTK reported on 15 May. The two leaders, meeting in the Slovak town of Smokovec, agreed that the countries' national property funds will carry out an exchange of stakes between the Slovak Vseobecna uverova banka and the Czech Komercni banka at a ratio of 1:1. VG KOSICE MAYOR WINS FIRST ROUND OF SLOVAK PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION... Rudolf Schuster won the first round of the Slovak presidential election with 47.38 percent of the vote, Slovak media reported. Former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar came in second with 37 percent. Both candidates, who will now advance to a second round of voting on 29 May, won considerably more votes than the last public opinion polls before the election had suggested. Former Czechoslovak diplomat Magda Vasaryova took just 6.6 percent of the vote, Ivan Mjartan 3.6 percent, and Slovak National Party chairman Jan Slota 2.5 percent. The turnout was just below 74 percent, TASR reported on 17 May. The OSCE observers' mission noted that voting took place in accordance with the law, but it added that TV Markiza did not give the same coverage to all candidates. At the same time, the mission added that TV Markiza's coverage did not affect the outcome of the vote. VG ...CANDIDATES COMMENT ON FIRST ROUND. After the results had been released, Schuster said he expects Meciar to engage in a "dirty campaign" in the run-up to the second round of voting, "Mlada fronta Dnes" reported on 17 May. He also said he was not surprised by the results, TASR reported the same day. Meciar said the elections had take place in a "relatively correct" fashion, according to "Die Presse"on 17 May, cited by TASR. Vasaryova said the first round of voting revealed the polarization of Slovak politics. She also conceded that her performances during the televised debates may have caused her to lose some votes. Mjartan said he would like to stay in politics and build a strong leftist force in Slovakia to counterbalance the country's right-wing movements. Slota said he was disappointed by the results and that he would call on his supporters to back Meciar in the second round. VG BREAKTHROUGH IN HUNGARIAN-SLOVAK DAM TALKS. The Slovak delegation to talks on the Nagymaros-Gabcikovo dam on 14 May in Budapest agreed to let Hungary draw up a proposal by September on how to bring about the joint operation of the Gabcikovo hydropower plant without building a second dam on the Danube, Hungarian media reported. The two parties also agreed that Budapest will outline its ideas on matters concerning the environment, flood protection, energy, and shipping. Laszlo Szekely, head of the Hungarian delegation, said Slovakia's readiness to discuss Hungary's position is "a success in itself," as Bratislava had earlier insisted on the implementation of the 1977 bilateral agreement. MSZ SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE COHEN BLASTS SERBS FOR 'CROCODILE TEARS.' British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wrote in the "Washington Post" of 17 May that "there have been perhaps hundreds of innocent casualties as a result of NATO action" against Yugoslav military targets. Cook and Albright stressed that they "deeply regret that.... But in a conflict as intense as this, it is impossible to eliminate such casualties." U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen said in Washington the previous day that "for the Serbs to lament publicly about the deaths of these refugees is almost tantamount to [Nazi war criminal] Adolf Eichmann complaining about Allied forces bombing the crematoriums. These are crocodile tears coming out of mass killers." PM U.S.: KORISA VICTIMS MOST LIKELY 'HUMAN SHIELDS.' Cohen also said in Washington on 16 May that the 87 displaced Kosovars killed in a NATO air strike on Serbian military targets in Korisa two days previously may have been deliberately brought to that village by Serbian forces as human shields. "I think there's no level to which [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic and his troops won't sink in terms of using refugees as human shields," Cohen argued. Elsewhere, U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering said that he also had heard reports from refugees that civilians were being used as human shields, although there is no independent verification of those claims, AP reported. "It is another tragic example of absolutely outrageous behavior on the part of Milosevic, trying to use innocent [ethnic] Albanians to protect his military forces," Pickering concluded. PM U.K.: SURVIVORS SAY SERBS USED THEM AS HUMAN SHIELDS. In London, British Defense Minister John Spellar said on 16 May that Serbian forces were using Korisa at the time of the air strike "as a military camp and command post with military vehicles and artillery present. We do not yet know the reason why civilians were at this location at the time of the attack. But it increasingly appears likely, however, that the civilians were used as human shields. We're aware of continued reports that according to survivors, the civilians were ordered by Serb police to return to the village from the hills where they'd been hiding for several weeks. On their return they were not permitted to live in their homes, instead they were herded into concentrated areas within the village and held there until the NATO attack took place," AP quoted him as saying. PM NATO: ATTACKS WILL CONTINUE. In Brussels on 16 May, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said that "we know that we're up against an adversary who has no scruples when it comes to using civilians as human shields." He noted that NATO considers the possible presence of human shields in selecting its targets. Shea also stressed that "we will never, never intentionally target civilians." He concluded, however, that the attacks will continue and that the Atlantic alliance will not be deterred in carrying out its mission by the Serbian use of human shields. PM CLINTON OUTLINES GROUNDS FOR INTERVENTION. President Bill Clinton said in Las Vegas on May 16 that U.S. intervention in Bosnia and Kosova was prompted by a desire to stop "ethnic cleansing [and] mass killing of people because of their ethnic and religious background. If we can't stop that in the underbelly of Europe on the edge of the 21st century, then we're going to have a very difficult world ahead of us because there will be a lot more of it," he continued. Clinton also stressed, however, that "we can't ask people not to fight each other if one group wants to secede and the other doesn't. He added that nor can "[we tell people] what their governmental arrangements have to be." Referring to what he called the "terrible, regrettable" conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Clinton said that it is a cross-border tribal conflict, Reuters reported. "Ten thousand people have been killed there. No one has suggested that some third party should intervene and fight both of them," the president concluded. PM JOINT CHIEFS: GROUND TROOPS NEEDED. The members of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have written to U.S. Secretary of Defense Cohen that ground troops must be committed in the conflict in Kosova to "guarantee fulfillment of the administration's political objectives," "Newsweek" reported on 17 May. The military leaders added that "a ground war would have to commence by the beginning of August, and the forces required must start assembling by the beginning of June" if the hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons are to be back in their homes before winter. PM REFUGEES POUR INTO MACEDONIA. More than 800 Albanians arrived on 16 May at the Macedonian border crossing of Blace, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Ron Redmond said that most of the refugees are from Ferizaj. He suggested that this is only the beginning of a new wave of refugees from Kosova. Redmond told Reuters that "when the word spreads that the border is open, we are going to see more and more people...it can easily be in the tens of thousands, it could be more than 100,000." Refugees told AP that there are constant food shortages in Kosova and that Serbian forces conduct sporadic killings. One refugee reported that Serbian forces separated the men from the women in her village and gunned down about 40 males. Refugees also said that Serbian shopkeepers refused to sell food to ethnic Albanians. FS FIGHTING ALONG NORTHERN ALBANIAN BORDER. Serbian forces and Kosova Liberation Army fighters exchanged fire inside Albania for about five hours in the village of Zogaj, near Tropoja, on 16 May, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Tirana. Government officials in Tirana said that Serbian forces shelled the village of Dobruna in the Has Mountains and that women and children left the village, while the men there have taken up fighting positions. Nearby, Albanian border guards and Serbian forces exchanged fire in the village of Letaj. The previous day, NATO jets pounded targets in the village of Zhur, on the Kosovar side of the Kukes region. FS REFUGEE INFLUX TO ALBANIA STOPS. Only about a dozen refugees arrived in Kukes over the weekend, apparently signaling a virtual halt to the flow of refugees, Reuters reported on 15 May. In Tirana, Information Minister Musa Ulqini said on 15 May that there are currently about 80,000 refugees still in Kukes, despite UNHCR efforts to evacuate refugees from the town. Elsewhere, AP reported that the only international agency bringing humanitarian aid to about 3,000 refugees in Bajram Curri is the Irish aid group Concern. Other agencies avoid the remote town owing to frequent armed robberies in the area. FS YUGOSLAV MILITARY ABDUCTS ALBANIANS IN MONTENEGRO. Refugees arriving in Albania on 16 May said that Yugoslav army forces ordered about 150 ethnic Albanian males of military age to get off busses en route to the Albanian border crossing of Hani i Hotit, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Tirana. Refugees said that the males were taken away in the direction of Ulcinj. It is unclear what happened to them. The refugees were part of a group of some 400 people from the areas of Klina and Peja. FS MONTENEGRO WARNS OF 'CREEPING COUP.' After the Yugoslav army moved to close the border with Albania, it took control of the western frontier with Bosnia, AP reported from Podgorica on 17 May. Two days' earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Dragisa Burzan said that the army is preparing a "creeping coup" aimed at ousting the democratic government of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic through a series of incremental steps. On 14 May, Djukanovic said in Paris that he condemns Milosevic's policies. He argued that Milosevic seeks "to create internal conflict in Montenegro, but we won't fall into that trap because our priority is to maintain peace in the country." In related news, the Yugoslav navy on 16 May prevented a cargo ship from docking at Montenegro's port of Bar with a cargo of much-needed flour. PM BOSNIAN MUSLIMS, CROATS AGREE ON ECONOMIC PROGRAM. Bosnian federal Prime Minister Edhem Bicakcic, who is a Muslim, and Deputy Prime Minister Dragan Covic, who is an ethnic Croat, agreed on 14 May in Sarajevo on a package of concrete measures aimed at reviving the economy. The measures deal with accelerating privatization, strengthening the currency, reforming several socialist-era economic institutions, and establishing an integrated railway system. Western observers have frequently criticized what they regard as pervasive corruption and bureaucracy in Bosnia. The observers note that reform must take place quickly because Bosnia will need to attract more foreign investors in the coming months once many postwar aid programs come to an end. PM CORRECTION: A "RFE/RL Newsline" report on 14 May was based on a source that did not make clear that Romania has agreed to permit international FM broadcasting to Yugoslavia from its territory and that this FM net carries programs to Yugoslavia 24 hours a day from RFE/RL, VOA, Deutsche Welle, and the BBC. ROMANIA'S HUNGARIAN FEDERATION RE-ELECTS LEADER. At a 15-16 May congress in Miercurea-Ciuc, the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) re-elected chairman Bela Marko for another four-year term, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Marko criticized Romania's governing coalition, in which the UDMR is a partner, for not following its program with regard to minority issues. He also acknowledged that the status of minorities in Romania, while still not "perfect," has significantly improved over the last decade. The congress, which was marked by heated debates between "radical" and "moderate" wings, modified the UDMR's statute and program to include a "strategic partnership" with Romanians from Transylvania. The congress also adopted a statement describing the NATO campaign in Yugoslavia as "inevitable and justified." ZSM ROMANIA, BULGARIA REACH AGREEMENT ON DANUBE BRIDGE. Romanian President Emil Constantinescu and Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov agreed on 14 May to build a bridge linking their countries over the Danube River at Vidin-Calafat, BTA reported. Constantinescu said the conflict in Yugoslavia changed Romania's views about building a second bridge linking his country with Bulgaria. He also said Bulgaria will have to arrange financing for the new bridge. The two presidents, who met at the Central European summit in Lviv, said they will ask their transport ministers to hold urgent meetings on the problem of Danube shipping. In other news, the foreign ministers of Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece met in Sofia on 14-15 May to discuss the conflict in Yugoslavia. The ministers said the conflict should be resolved by political means and without any border changes. They said any solution should be followed by a Balkan stability pact to help integrate the region into European structures. VG BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR ON VISAS FOR MOLDOVANS. Bulgarian Ambassador to Moldova Petar Vodenski said his country's decision to apply visa restrictions to Moldovans is not related to Chisinau's refusal to allow Bulgaria to transport spent nuclear materials through Moldova, BASA- Press reported on 14 May. Vodenski also denied that visa requirements were related to demands by the Bulgarian minority in the Taraclia district of Moldova for autonomy. He said the visa decision is part of Bulgaria's attempts to bring its laws into line with EU standards. On 12 May, Moldovan government adviser Nicolae Chirtoaca rejected that explanation, saying Bulgaria had not applied visa restrictions on Ukrainian and Russian travelers. Chirtoaca said the "true motive" for the restrictions was related to Moldova's stance on the used nuclear materials. VG END NOTE WHILE EUROPE LOOKS ELSEWHERE by Jan Maksymiuk As NATO continues to bomb Yugoslavia, the chances that Belarusian democrats will be able to turn the political situation in Belarus to their advantage are becoming increasingly remote. Thanks to Belarus's official propaganda machine, NATO's air strikes in Yugoslavia have become a powerful stimulus for advancing President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's idea of "Slavic unity" and reintegration with Russia. Russia's Yegor Gaidar has complained that by dropping bombs on Yugoslavia, NATO is bombing Russian democracy. That statement is even more true with regard to Belarus and its democratic opposition. What seemed a far-fetched idea when first voiced by ultranationalist Serbian Deputy Premier Vojislav Seselj in Belarus in May 1998 has come true one year later: the Yugoslav parliament recently applied for membership in the Belarus-Russia Union and was supported in its bid by the Russian State Duma, not to mention the Belarusian legislature, which is subservient to Lukashenka. Most would argue that joining the " Slavic union" was simply a propaganda exercise on the part of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic as he and his regime face international isolation. Doubtless such is the case. But that move has also added a dimension and given increased publicity to what initially looked like a whim primarily of Belarus's authoritarian president. It is hardly conceivable that the idea of Slavic unity idea would ever appeal to Poland and the Czech Republic, which are now safely in NATO, or to Slovenia and Bulgaria, both yearning to be there as soon as possible. But Lukashenka's appeals are intended primarily for the ears of Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians--the "East Slavic core" of a possible union state that he so much covets. The NATO action in Yugoslavia has reanimated and strongly inflamed Soviet stereotypes about the "NATO aggressive block." Lukashenka's bid to transform what he calls today's "unipolar world" into a bipolar one--as, for example, in the Brezhnev era--is finding more and more backers in the former Soviet republics. As for Lukashenka, he continues to consistently promote himself as a "tough" leader who can make this transformation happen. Lukashenka's propaganda campaign has three major pillars: the Belarus-Russia Union (which he hopes will expand to include other countries) should counterbalance NATO by building up its military power; both Belarus and Russia, while remaining sovereign states, should delegate extensive executive powers to the Union leadership in the sphere of military and economic policies; and the Belarus-Russian Union should help Yugoslavia militarily. In their coverage of the Kosova conflict, Belarus's official media provide graphic examples of how "total propaganda" techniques are utilized to achieve Lukashenka's political goals. The coverage is extremely biased--there is virtually no reports on the problem of Albanian refugees and, consequently, no reference whatsoever to the reason for NATO's intervention in Yugoslavia. The most "insightful" official explanation states that Yugoslavia can be found guilty only of desiring to exist "according to its own laws." Addressing flood-stricken villagers in Brest Oblast, Lukashenka explained NATO intervention in Yugoslavia even more simplistically: Yugoslavia is being attacked because it is one of the "richest regions [where] people mine gold and other precious metals." In this atmosphere of prejudice and manipulation, Belarus's official media present the Belarusian opposition as a West-sponsored group of nationalists backing NATO intervention in Belarus. When former Premier Mikhail Chyhir, a candidate in the opposition presidential elections, somewhat carelessly told journalists, that the situation in Belarus may worsen to the point where it will be necessary to bring in peacekeeping troops, Lukashenka's propaganda machine did not miss its chance. Chyhir's statement was interpreted as an open invitation for NATO to bomb Belarus. According to one of the five main tenets of classical propaganda, the so-called "rule of orchestration," the message was subject to endless variation, including condemnation by Lukashenka. And when Chyhir was subsequently jailed on charges of embezzlement, his image in the media had been sufficiently sullied to "officially justify" his arrest and possibly enlist public moral support for this measure. The first piece of bad news for the Belarusian opposition is that its orientation toward Western democratic values has become very vulnerable to propaganda attacks that claim such values have to be supported by bloodshed. When U.S. Ambassador to Belarus Daniel Speckhard said during his short trip to Minsk that the Belarusian authorities should not resort to force in dealing with the opposition, the official response was damning: "If the U.S. path to democracy and integration leads through bombing and destroying a civilian population in an independent European state, we advise Mr. Speckhard that he should [promote] something else in his own homeland," Belarusian Television commented earlier this month. The second piece of bad news is that by pressing so hard to achieve a satisfying solution to the Kosova problem, European democracies are tending to ease their pressure on the Lukashenka regime. That, at least, is how the situation is perceived by many Belarusian commentators and oppositionists, who fear that the prospect of Belarusian democracy--a minor problem in comparison with the Kosova crisis--will be sacrificed on the altar of a Kosova solution. According to Belarusian pessimists, the arrest of Chyhir and the OSCE's refusal to send observers to the opposition presidential elections in Belarus are the first signs of such a sacrifice. Moreover, it would doubtless be an irony of history if by seeking to depose one dictator in the Balkans, Europe helped another one to consolidate his hold over Belarus. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx HOW TO SUBSCRIBE Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word subscribe as the subject of the message. HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE Send an email to email@example.com with the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message. 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