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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 111, Part II, 8 June 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 111, Part II, 8 June 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

* DRAFT BELARUS-RUSSIA UNION TREATY DOES NOT ENVISION
PRESIDENCY

* ALBRIGHT BRINGS KOSOVAR RIVALS TOGETHER

* BELGRADE WANTS TO MONITOR RETURNEES

End Note: NATO WANTS MORE THAN WORDS FROM HUNGARY
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

DRAFT BELARUS-RUSSIA UNION TREATY DOES NOT ENVISION
PRESIDENCY. Working commissions have agreed on a final
draft of the Belarusian-Russian union treaty, RFE/RL's
Belarusian Service reported on 7 June. Alyaksandr Kozyr,
head of the International Affairs Commission in the
Belarusian Chamber of Representatives, told RFE/RL that
the draft treaty stipulates the creation of a "soft
confederation," whereby both countries preserve their
sovereign state functions and supranational bodies will
be of an advisory character. The document does not
provide for the posts of president or vice president of
the union. Rather, the union is to be governed by a body
consisting of the presidents, prime ministers, and
parliamentary heads of the two countries. A union
parliamentary assembly will be formed from deputies
delegated by each parliament. JM

KUCHMA'S RIVAL COMPLAINS OF OBSTACLES IN PRESIDENTIAL
CAMPAIGN. Oleksandr Moroz, head of the Ukrainian
Socialist Party and a presidential hopeful, has accused
the authorities of blocking his presidential campaign,
AP reported on 7 June. Moroz said the Central Electoral
Committee is refusing to give him forms to collect the
required signatures supporting his candidacy. "We are
facing a deliberate and planned campaign aimed at
preventing my participation in the elections," the
agency quoted Moroz as saying. The same day, the Supreme
Court began considering Moroz's complaint that he has
received only 110,000 forms, instead of the necessary
260,000. "I know that the strategy of Kuchma's present
team is to prevent me from registering [as a
presidential candidate]," Moroz told the 5 June "Zerkalo
nedeli." JM

TURKMENISTAN PRESSES UKRAINE TO REPAY GAS DEBT.
Turkmenistan is demanding that Ukraine either pay its
debt for gas supplies in 1998, totaling $120 million, or
restructure the sum into a "sovereign debt," the
"Eastern Economic Daily" reported on 8 June. Turkmen
sources estimate that Ukraine's debt for gas supplies in
1999 so far exceeds $300 million, while the total debt
for Turkmen gas received by the end of 1998 stands at
$450 million. Turkmenistan halted gas supplies to
Ukraine last month. JM

ESTONIAN INTERIOR MINISTER CALLS FOR EASING RESIDENCE
PERMIT RULES. Juri Mois told U.S. Ambassador to Estonia
Melissa Wells on 7 June that the regulations for issuing
residence permits should be eased. According to BNS, the
minister called for the normalization of the country's
demographic situation and a less rigorous permit
application process. He also emphasized the need to
remove bureaucratic problems in the application process.
MH

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT CALLS EXTRAORDINARY SESSION. The
Presidium of the Latvian parliament called for an
extraordinary session to be held on 16 June to debate
the language law. For Fatherland and Freedom (TB), a
member of the ruling coalition, sponsored the motion,
which was supported by most members of the non-coalition
People's Party and some of the Social Democratic
Workers' Party, BNS quoted TB deputy Juris Dobelis as
saying. The People's Party had originally come up with
the idea, which the TB had supported. However, as
backing an opposition motion constitutes a violation of
the coalition agreement, the TB itself officially
introduced the motion. President Guntis Ulmanis appears
to support the measure, saying "I think the parliament
has all the cards in [its] hands to adopt the law before
the summer recess," according to BNS. MH

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS CONTROVERSIAL OIL AMENDMENTS.
Valdas Adamkus on 7 June signed the controversial
amendments allowing Lithuania to sell the majority stake
of its oil industry. The parliament passed the motion
after a heated debate. Only the former ruling coalition
of the Conservative Party and Christian Democratic Party
supported the motion (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 June
1999). Opposition politicians called on the president to
veto the amendments, saying that otherwise they will
challenge them in the Constitutional Court. MH

LITHUANIA TO SUE FOR EMBASSY BUILDINGS? Lithuanian
parliamentary chairman Vytautas Landsbergis has said
that the government should sue to reclaim embassy
buildings taken over by Russia. The buildings in
question, located in Paris and Rome, fell into Soviet
hands after the illegal annexation of Lithuania and the
other two Baltic States by the USSR. Despite both Italy
and France's adhering to the "non-recognition" policy,
the embassy buildings were turned over and transformed
into Soviet diplomatic buildings. After the collapse of
the USSR, Russia "inherited" the buildings. Landsbergis
introduced a parliamentary resolution calling for the
legal action, according to BNS. MH

POLISH DEPUTY MINISTER RESIGNS BEFORE LUSTRATION
VERDICT. Deputy Transport Minister Krzysztof Luks
tendered his resignation on 7 June in connection with
his lustration statement, which was questioned by the
lustration prosecutor, "Gazeta Wyborcza" reported. Luks
denied that he had collaborated with communist-era
secret services, adding that "he has nothing to reproach
himself for and is calmly waiting for a [lustration]
court verdict." Luks explained that he resigned in order
not to make "any trouble for his party," the Freedom
Union. Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek has accepted Luks's
resignation. Also on 7 June, Pope John Paul II visited
Torun, the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, and
praised the astronomer's "On the Movement of Heavenly
Bodies." That book was denounced by Vatican in 1616 and
removed from the list of forbidden publications only in
1822. JM

CZECH PREMIER WANTS NATO TO PROTECT SERBS FROM 'UCK
TERRORISM.' Milos Zeman told journalists in Plzen on 7
June that an international force must enter Kosova "as
soon as possible" once Serbian troops leave the province
in order to "protect Kosovo Serbs from possible terror
by the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK)." Zeman said no one
has yet addressed this problem and that his view of the
UCK is "not very kind." "Just as we condemned Serb
terrorism against the Kosovo Albanians, there is now a
real threat of UCK terror against the local Serbs," CTK
quoted him as saying. MS

U.S. EMBASSY CRITICIZES CZECH POLICE FOR POOR
PROTECTION. In a statement released on 7 June, the U.S.
embassy in Prague said it "regrets" that Czech police
were able to intervene only some 30 minutes after
demonstrators attacked its building last weekend (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 1999)," CTK reported. However,
the embassy said it was "deeply grateful" to members of
police forces who tried to protect the building "at the
risk of their health." The statement said that the U.S.
"supports freedom of expression in democratic societies"
but argued that "mob wild rioting is a perverse abuse"
of that freedom. Deputy Foreign Minister Hynek Kmonicek
told the U.S. charge d'affaires that his ministry is
"sorry" for the attack. Meanwhile, Czech officials said
they plan to prosecute 25 people who threw stones that
broke the embassy's windows, AP reported. MS

FORMER SIS OFFICIAL RELEASED FROM DETENTION. Jaroslav
Svechota, the former Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS)
official who confessed to involvement in the abduction
of former President Michal Kovac's son (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 4 June 1999), has been released from
detention, Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner told CTK
on 7 June. Pittner said Svechota "should be pardoned" by
Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, who has that
prerogative until President-elect Rudolf Schuster is
sworn in next week. Pittner also said Svichota has "in a
way confirmed" suspicions that former Premier Vladimir
Meciar was involved in the abduction. He added that it
is not, however, Svichota's testimony but rather that of
former SIS chief Ivan Lexa that will be "decisive" in
establishing who ordered the kidnapping. Lexa, who is in
detention, is denying any involvement and refusing to
provide testimony. MS

SLOVAK DEPUTY DISSENTING FROM RULING COALITION. Robert
Fico, a parliamentary deputy of the junior coalition
Democratic Left Party, says Slovak politicians must
spare the public "political circuses" and follow "a
policy of bread." In an interview with the Czech daily
"Hospodarske noviny" on 7 June, Fico said such
"circuses" include the envisaged language law and the
scandals surrounding Lexa and former Interior Minister
Gustav Krejci. He added that the ruling coalition is
showing "arrogance" toward the parliamentary minority
and is still using "revenge arguments" in its political
discourse. MS

HUNGARY BACKS CONTINUED NATO ACTION IN YUGOSLAVIA.
Foreign Ministry State Secretary Zsolt Nemeth told NATO
Deputy Secretary-General Klaus-Peter Klaiber in Brussels
on 7 June that NATO must push through its Kosova peace
plan because Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has
"repeatedly misled the international community in recent
years." Nemeth said Hungary has offered to contribute a
260-strong police unit to a possible peacekeeping force
in Kosova. In other news, President Arpad Goncz proposed
to U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen during a visit
to the Pentagon on 8 June that Budapest become the
"center for the reconstruction" of southeastern Europe.
MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ALBRIGHT BRINGS KOSOVAR RIVALS TOGETHER. U.S. Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright met in Cologne on 8 June
with the rival Kosovar leaders Hashim Thaci from the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK), Ibrahim Rugova of the
Democratic League of Kosova, and Rexhep Qosja of the
United Democratic Movement of Kosova. It was the first
meeting between Rugova and the other two Kosovar leaders
since the Rambouillet talks in March. Albright said
later at a joint press conference with Thaci that "these
representatives of the [Kosovar] political leadership
have told me without any ambiguity that they will meet
the key commitments made at Rambouillet." She added that
the four discussed plans to set up a civilian
administration in Kosova "under a special representative
of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan," Reuters reported.
FS

THACI SAYS UCK WILL NOT ATTACK RETREATING SERBS. Thaci
said at the press conference with Albright in Cologne on
8 June that "the UCK very soon will declare that it will
refrain from attacking any retreating Serbian forces."
Albright confirmed that she received the same message
from Thaci during their earlier meeting. Thaci also
promised that the UCK will "give up its military
functions" once an international peacekeeping force
moves into Kosova. Albright said "the [UCK] will
demilitarize and enter into a process of transformation
[into becoming primarily a political organization.
Kosova's] political leaders will, I hope, cooperate to
make [Kosova] truly democratic." FS

UNHCR: SITUATION INSIDE KOSOVA DETERIORATING. A
spokeswoman for the UNHCR said in Skopje on 8 June that
recently arrived refugees report an upsurge in fighting
between Serbian forces and the UCK. She did not say
where the refugees have come from. The spokeswoman
added: "We are getting stories of people being bused
repeatedly to the border only to be turned around and
sent back where they came from. Many, many people trying
to get out are being prevented by Serb authorities and
by the increased fighting," Reuters reported. PM

SERBIAN POLICE INTRODUCE NEW TORTURE REGIMEN. In Kukes,
recently arrived refugees told aid workers that Serbian
police "have come up with a new mix of brutality and
bureaucracy" to torture Kosovar males in Mitrovica
prison, Reuters reported on 8 June. Police "call in
Serbian boys as young as 12 years old to beat and
humiliate [Kosovars] for five days before dumping them
at the border with Albania." The police also force the
Kosovars to sign statements in which they "confess" to
being terrorists, "as if [the police] could one day use
these documents to keep [the Kosovars] from ever
returning home," the news agency continued. Aid workers
said that they have no idea why the Serbian police have
introduced this program of "sadism sealed with red
tape." Some recently arrived refugees added that new
prisoners arrive at Mitrovica as soon as others are
released. PM

BELGRADE WANTS TO MONITOR RETURNEES. A Foreign Ministry
spokesman said in Belgrade on 8 June that Serbian border
police and customs officials must remain in Kosova in
order to ensure that only legitimate refugees come back
once a peace settlement is concluded. He stressed that
the Serbian authorities must keep out "people from
Albania proper...including those separatists and
terrorists who are active over there and will come and
start chasing Serbs," Reuters reported. PM

SERBIAN FORCES SHELL MACEDONIAN VILLAGE. Some 30 mortar
shells hit the ethnic Albanian village of Jazince on the
border with Kosova in northwestern Macedonia on 7 June,
Reuters reported. Some buildings were damaged but no one
was injured. One local man told reporters that the
Serbian forces "like to play games with us, to kill
Albanians." In recent weeks, many Kosovars have
illegally crossed into Macedonia in the Jazince area. In
Taipei the following day, Prime Minister Ljubco
Georgievski played down the shelling incident, adding
"this is the first time [Serbian forces have shelled a
Macedonian village].... I believe this is no big threat
to our national security because there are 16,000 NATO
soldiers to help keep stability in Macedonia and the
number will increase in the near future." PM

SERBIAN ARTILLERY HITS TARGETS DEEP INSIDE ALBANIA.
Serbian forces fired seven artillery shells about 25
kilometers into northern Albania on 8 June, an OSCE
spokesman told Reuters. The shells hit a village near
Bajram Curri, but no casualties were reported. The
previous day, two U.S. B-52 aircraft bombed Serbian
artillery positions inside Kosova after the artillery
fired numerous shells into Albania. FS

ALBANIA'S MEIDANI URGES NATO TO CONTINUE BOMBING.
President Rexhep Meidani on 7 June urged NATO to
intensify its bombing campaign and force Milosevic to
implement the peace agreement. Meidani argued that
"this language is the only language...Milosevic's
regime understands." He told Reuters that the failure
of the Kumanovo talks between NATO and Yugoslav
generals was "predictable" and that it is likely that
further meetings will also produce nothing. Foreign
Ministry spokesman Sokol Gjoka told an RFE/RL
correspondent that "this is not the first time that
the Belgrade government has tried to back out of
agreements it signed earlier under pressure of the
international community." He added that Milosevic "is
trying to gain time and carry out his [war] aims." FS

MONTENEGRO SEEKS TO BAR RETREATING SERBIAN FORCES. An
unnamed "senior government figure" told Reuters in
Podgorica on 7 June that the Montenegrin authorities
have "asked NATO not to allow Serbian forces [leaving
Kosova] to come through here. There is no need for that-
-they can go directly to Serbia without setting foot
here." The Montenegrin authorities have frequently said
that they fear that Milosevic will try to stage a coup
in order to take control of their mountainous republic.
PM

THREAT TO MILOSEVIC 'FROM THE BOTTOM'? Neither the
politically "servile" army leadership nor the divided
opposition constitutes the chief political threat to
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, the "Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung" wrote on 8 June. If there is any
serious challenge to the Yugoslav leader from inside the
political establishment, it comes from Montenegrin
President Milo Djukanovic, the daily continued. The
principal threat to Milosevic comes "from below," namely
from ordinary soldiers who have deserted their units in
Kosova and from ordinary citizens who have come to
realize that 12 years of Milosevic's rule have meant
four lost wars and much destruction. The newspaper notes
that Milosevic's hold on the provinces has weakened over
the years, and that most small- and medium-sized cities
are governed by the opposition. PM

SOUTH AFRICA: MILOSEVIC 'NOT WELCOME.' Officials of the
South African Foreign Ministry have informed the
Yugoslav embassy in Pretoria and the domestic press that
Milosevic "will not be welcome" at the inauguration of
President Thabo Mbeki, which is slated for 16 June. The
South African officials noted that the government is
legally obliged to arrest Milosevic and deport him to
The Netherlands because the Hague-based war crimes
tribunal recently indicted him, the "Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung" noted on 8 June. In London, "The
Sunday Times" recently reported that Milosevic's son
Mirko has transferred nearly $3 million to bank accounts
in South Africa in preparation for a move by the
Milosevic family to that country. Observers note that
Serbian business interests in South Africa have grown in
recent years. PM

BOSNIAN SERB WAR CRIMES SUSPECT FLOWN TO HAGUE. NATO
peacekeepers arrested Dragan Kulundzija near Prijedor on
7 June and sent him to The Hague. The war crimes
tribunal indicted him in 1995 for having allegedly
killed, tortured, or sexually abused Muslim and Croatian
prisoners while he was a commander at the Keraterm
concentration camp in 1992. Kulundzija is also charged
with "unlawfully seizing and imprisoning" people and
holding them under "inhumane conditions." PM

MUSLIMS, SERBS ELECT GOVERNING BODY IN SREBRENICA. The
42-member Srebrenica town council elected a government
consisting of nine Muslims, nine Serbs, and a Muslim
chairman on 7 June, Reuters reported. Ambassador Robert
Barry, who heads the OSCE's mission to Bosnia, called
Srebrenica "perhaps the most symbolically important
town" in that state. He added that "if reconciliation
can occur here in Srebrenica, it can occur anywhere in
Bosnia." Bosnian Serb forces seized Srebrenica in 1995
and subsequently killed possibly up to 7,000 of its
Muslim inhabitants, primarily males. The killings have
been widely described as the largest single atrocity in
Europe since the end of World War II. Srebrenica is now
located in the Republika Srpska. Former residents living
in various parts of Bosnia elected the current town
council in 1997. The 24 council members who are Muslims
continue to live in Muslim-held territory. PM

ROMANIAN COURT REHABILITATES FORMER TOP COMMUNIST SPY.
The Supreme Court on 7 June quashed two death sentences
handed down to Lieutenant-General Ion Mihai Pacepa,
former deputy chief of the communist secret police's
Foreign Intelligence Department. Pacepa was sentenced by
a military tribunal after his defection to the U.S. in
1978. The sentences had been appealed by the Prosecutor-
General's Office on grounds of "inconclusive evidence."
Pacepa's lawyer told the court that his client had been
sentenced for "high treason" while he had "only betrayed
the secrets of the Ceausescu clan, which was at the helm
of the country at the time," RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau
reported. Observers say the annulment of the sentences
is part of Romania's effort to improve its chances of
being admitted to NATO. MS

ALBRIGHT POSTPONES ROMANIAN VISIT. A Foreign Ministry
spokesman on 7 June said U.S. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright has postponed a short visit planned
for the next day because of the Kosova crisis. Also on 7
June, President Emil Constantinescu discussed with Prime
Minister Radu Vasile Romania's participation in the
reconstruction of Yugoslavia. Constantinescu recently
said Romania could help with exports of cement,
metallurgical products, and electricity, whose supply
exceeds demand on the Romanian market. MS

PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF MOLDOVAN LOCAL ELECTIONS RUN-OFFS
RELEASED. The Central Electoral Commission on 7 June
announced that the preliminary results of the local
election run-offs held one day earlier show that
independent candidates are leading the field in mayoral
races, having gained 19.1 percent. Of the political
parties taking part in the election, the Bloc of
Communists, Agrarians, and Socialists led the field with
12.1 percent, followed by the Democratic Convention of
Moldova (7.3 percent), the Centrist Alliance (9.4
percent ) and the Party of Democratic Forces (5.1
percent). All other political formations scored 2
percent or less. MS

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO PARLIAMENTARY RESOLUTION.
Presidential spokesman Anatol Golea told journalists on
7 June that President Petru Lucinschi views the
parliamentary resolution accusing him of breaching the
constitution as "an attempt to exercise pressure on the
Constitutional Court" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June
1999). The court has yet to rule on the legality of the
23 May non-binding referendum. In other news, Flux
reported that Ukraine will not renew electricity
supplies to Moldova as long as the government in
Chisinau persists in refusing to offer state guarantees
that it will pay off its $16.2 million debt by the end
of 1999. Citing a government official in charge of
energy supplies, the agency said that since Romania and
the Transdniester are unable to cover Moldova's
consumption needs, electricity shortages are likely to
continue. MS

END NOTE

NATO WANTS MORE THAN WORDS FROM HUNGARY

by Michael J. Jordan

	 Ask the average Hungarian about history, and he'll
likely recount the centuries of suffering at the hands of
foreign invaders. Thus when Hungary joined NATO on 12
March, it seemed motivated less by the desire to join the
"winning" side of the Cold War than by the wish for a
future of guaranteed security.
	It was cruel irony when on 24 March, just 12 days
after Hungary's induction, NATO launched its first air
strikes against Yugoslavia. Hungary was de facto at war
with its southern neighbor. More than two months later, the
Hungarians, to their consternation, find themselves being
dragged deeper into the war. While the public generally
supports the NATO air campaign and the free use of
Hungarian air space, recent opinion polls show a solid two-
thirds of the public opposes any attack from Hungarian
soil. An even larger number resist the possible use of
Hungarian troops in either a ground offensive or
peacekeeping mission.
	But the public outcry falls on deaf ears in Brussels
and Washington. With NATO prodding Hungary to meet its
alliance obligations, while dangling the carrot of a
significant role in post-war reconstruction of the Balkans
- the Hungarian leadership consented to the first launch of
fighter aircraft from Hungarian air bases. Last month, 20
of 24 U.S. Marine F/A-18 Hornets arrived in southern
Hungary. Equipped with laser-guided bombs, the Hornets
began flying combat missions on 28 May.
	Turkey, another NATO member, was more enthusiastic
about granting access to its bases last month. If no peace
agreement is forthcoming, missions from there may begin
this month, although Turkish aircraft are already flying
missions out of Italy. These are the latest steps in what
NATO officials describe as an intensified assault on the
regime of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
	Hungarians officials are lending their support to the
stepped-up air campaign. "This is exactly the kind of NATO
we wanted to join 10 years ago, one that stands for a
certain set of values," said Foreign Minister Janos
Martonyi, as he inspected the F-18s last month. "And now,
NATO is fighting to defend those values."
	Meanwhile, the mood among Hungarians has turned
fatalistic. This is especially evident in Taszar, the small
village adjacent to the air base where the NATO aircraft
are stationed. The base has also served as the staging
ground for NATO's peacekeeping mission in Bosnia since late
1995. "We never wanted them here, but nobody asks what the
simple people want," says retired truck driver Laszlo
Kalmar, as an F-18 roars overhead. "More and more people
around here are talking about World War III."
	While Mr. Kalmar and others in Taszar fear they may
now be targets for Yugoslav missiles, there is no denying
the strategic value of Hungary in NATO's military
operation. Hungary is the only NATO member that borders
Yugoslavia (it is, in fact, an island within the alliance
in that it borders no other NATO state). Its proximity to
Belgrade, the Yugoslav capital (100 miles away), and other
key cities makes NATO aircraft in Hungary more "deployable"
if quick action were needed. And were NATO to invade with
ground forces, the flat terrain and short distance between
Hungary and Belgrade is vastly more appealing than the
rugged mountains that separate Kosova from both Macedonia
and Albania.
	For now, at least, Hungary will host only aircraft.
Taszar is also awaiting as many as 18 A-10 Warthog
aircraft, "tankbusters" that could do low-flying dirty work
against Serbian forces on the ground in Kosova. These would
be used instead of the 22 Apache attack helicopters now
based in Albania, which U.S. President Bill Clinton
recently described as too "risky" to use against the Serbs.
	NATO officials say the launch of combat missions from
Hungary and Turkey would serve two purposes: it relieves
the workload at NATO's base in Aviano, Italy, and opens up
two new fronts against Milosevic.
	Elsewhere, NATO aspirants Romania and Bulgaria, both
next door to Yugoslavia, are allowing free use of their air
space. But Greece, which sympathizes with its Orthodox
Christian brethren, the Serbs, has been the only NATO
member to refuse use of its air space. Hungary has signed
on, but with deep reservations about how that move will
affect the 350,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Vojvodina,
the northern province of Yugoslavia that was Hungarian
territory until a post-World War I treaty.
	Vojvodina may indeed become a more central issue as
the search for a settlement to the Kosova conflict
continues. Both Vojvodina and Kosova had autonomy within
the old Yugoslavia until Milosevic abolished it in 1989.
Hungarians on either side of the border fear that if a
peace resolution for Kosova fails to address Vojvodina's
status, as the Dayton peace deal in 1995 failed to address
Kosova, the seeds may be sown for a future Balkan conflict.
	If anything, recent comments by right-wing Hungarian
politicians have only inflamed the situation. One ultra-
nationalist lawmaker, Istvan Csurka, pushes for Hungary to
protect the Hungarian minority with a border "revision"
that would annex parts of Vojvodina. And Zsolt Lanyi, the
chairman of the parliament's Defense Committee, went so far
as to suggest "statehood" for both Vojvodina and Kosova.
	Many observers denounced the statements. "It is
untimely," said Gernot Erler, deputy parliamentary leader
of Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party, "because it
reinforces the Serbian nationalist belief that the world
cooperates in order to disintegrate Yugoslavia."

The author is a Budapest-based freelance journalist
(michaeljjordan@csi.com).
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Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole