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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 113, Part II, 10 June 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 113, Part II, 10 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

* WORLD BANK CALLS FOR UKRAINE TO PRIVATIZE, PAY OLD
DEBTS

* NATO, SERBIA REACH MILITARY AGREEMENT ON KOSOVA

* UCK PROMISES NOT TO FILL POWER VACUUM IN KOSOVA

End Note: ALBRIGHT BRINGS TOGETHER KOSOVAR LEADERS
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

COUNCIL OF EUROPE URGES BELARUS TO HOLD FREE ELECTIONS.
The Council of Europe on 9 June called on Belarus to
hold free elections under international supervision. In
a statement, it commented that "internationally observed
and accepted free and fair elections will be the first
step toward rebuilding Belarus's relations with the
Council of Europe." Belarus lost its special-guest
status in the council in 1996, when President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka disbanded the legitimate parliament. The
council also appealed to the Belarusian government to
release former Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir, whose
arrest is widely seen as politically motivated.
Lukashenka said the same day that Belarus's dialogue
with the OSCE and other European organizations must be
based on "non-interference in internal affairs."
Meanwhile, the Belarusian government has not responded
to an OSCE offer to hold talks with the opposition in
Bucharest on 11-14 June. JM

WORLD BANK CALLS FOR UKRAINE TO PRIVATIZE, PAY OLD
DEBTS. Gregory Jedrzejczak, World Bank representative in
Ukraine, has urged Ukraine to accelerate privatization
and use the proceeds to service its foreign debt.
Ukraine has to repay $1.2 billion this year and an
estimated $2.3 billion next year. World Bank Vice
President Johannes Linn said in Kyiv on 9 June that
Ukraine may receive $400 million in loans by next summer
if the government moves to implement the bank's
requirements, commenting that "the issue number one is
to ensure that the privatization process is very
transparent and clearly competitive," according to
Reuters. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS quoted Ukrainian officials
as saying that the World Bank will "soon" extend to
Ukraine two tranches worth $100 million each. The agency
also reported that the IMF will release by late June an
unspecified tranche under its loan program for Ukraine.
JM

UKRAINE, BULGARIA TO SEEK COMPENSATION FOR LOSSES IN
BALKAN CRISIS. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and his
Bulgarian counterpart, Petar Stoyanov, said after talks
in Kyiv on 9 June that their countries will seek
compensation for economic losses due to NATO's bombing
of Yugoslavia. Kuchma said the Balkan crisis was the
main topic of discussion, adding that the two countries,
along with Romania, will coordinate their efforts in the
post-war restoration of Yugoslavia and the Danube
waterway. Both presidents also stressed the need to
boost economic cooperation. Bilateral trade turnover
totaled $325 million in 1998. JM

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT HOLDS ANOTHER MARATHON SESSION OVER
BUDGET. Lawmakers on 9-10 June held another all-night
session over the supplementary negative budget. As
expected, the second reading of the bill faced massive
delays due to opposition tactics. The opposition Center
Party, opposing the 1 billion kroons ($67 million)
cutback, introduced 559 amendments. Parliamentary rules
allow a 10-minute break between each amendment.
"Postimees" predicted four consecutive 24-hour sessions
will be needed to deal with the amendments. Centrist
deputy Olev Raju threatened that the party could
introduce 10,000 amendments, according to "Eesti
Paevaleht." The lead editorial in "Postimees" ran under
the heading "What's Bad for the State Is Good for the
Center Party." MH

LATVIAN CENTRAL BANKER URGES BUDGET CUTS. Bank of Latvia
Governor Einars Repse has urged the government to
quickly amend the 1999 budget. Testifying in front of
the parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee, Repse
stressed his concerns over the growing budget deficit
problem. "Direct, bold and enterprising steps are
expected from Latvia--in this case, amendments to the
budget," LETA quoted him as saying. Earlier, the
government announced plans for a 32 million lats ($54
million) cut in the fall, but the central bank called
for faster and deeper cuts to offset the projected
financial deficit of 92 million lats, according to
Reuters. Repse also noted that failure to act quickly on
the deficit could adversely affect Latvia's credit
rating, saying that recent macroeconomic indicators
constitute "a red flag for foreign investors." While
Finance Minister Ivars Godmanis said amendments are
"inevitable," the government appears reluctant to tackle
the issue before the summer recess. MH

LATVIAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN UNDER WAY. Two of the five
declared candidates for Latvia's presidency hit the
campaign trail on 9 June. New Party candidate and well-
known composer Raimonds Pauls detailed his priorities
for the presidency. " I will make sure those in power
are no longer removed from the worries of the common
people," LETA quoted him as saying. Pauls also stressed
unity among all Latvian residents. People's Party
candidate Vaira Paegle, meanwhile, called for Baltic
unity in the bid to join both the EU and NATO: "The
Baltic States were perceived as one during the fight for
independence." The 100-member parliament elects the
president by a secret majority vote. MH

SOLIDARITY LEADER CRITICIZES STATE MEDIA, WANTS
LEGISLATIVE CHANGES. Marian Krzaklewski, chairman of the
ruling Solidarity Electoral Action, has criticized the
state media for biased coverage of reforms implemented
in Poland, PAP reported on 9 June. "There are no
positive teints in those reports. People are depressed
by concocted reports. They are not told that, for
instance, there are thousands of enterprises in Poland
that are doing well," Krzaklewski said. He blamed the
current board of Polish Television for that state of
affairs. Krzaklewski said the government will submit a
draft law to the parliament on a new way of appointing
the members of the state radio and television
supervisory boards. According to Krzaklewski, those
boards should be appointed by groups that have "moral
authority." He did not elaborate. JM

POLISH LUSTRATION COURT EXAMINES CASE OF OPPOSITION
DEPUTY. Aleksander Bentkowski, parliamentary deputy from
the opposition Polish Peasant Party (PSL), disclosed on
9 June that the Lustration Court has launched lustration
proceedings regarding his case. He stressed, however,
that he did not collaborate with the communist secret
services. Bentkowski added that if the court rules that
he is guilty of collaboration, he will quit politics.
PSL parliamentary caucus head Janusz Dobosz told PAP
that the party will not take any decision on Bentkowski
until the court passes its verdict. Bentkowski was
justice minister in a previous cabinet. JM

CZECH PRESIDENT CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT OVER KOSOVA
CONTINGENT... Vaclav Havel on 9 June criticized the
government for its plans to provide only 150 soldiers
for the envisaged peacekeeping force in Kosova, saying
Czech involvement in the Yugoslav province should be "as
big as possible," CTK and AP reported. One day earlier,
the government decided to offer a platoon of 150 men.
The parliament must still approve that decision.
Speaking to journalists after meeting with Prime
Minister Milos Zeman, Havel said he is "on the side of
those who think the unit should be bigger," adding that
"any investment we make now into our platoon...or into
the postwar reconstruction will pay back a thousand
times." Zeman said that if deputies are so
"hypocritical" as to refuse to ensure the budget
contains funds to help Kosova refugees, they should not
criticize the government's decision. MS

...BUT BACKS IT ON EU INTEGRATION EFFORTS. Also on 9
June, Havel said he backs the government's efforts to
take measures to speed the country's accession to the
EU. He said the government-proposed amendment to the
constitution rejected by the Chamber of Deputies (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 9 June 1999) was not an attempt to
"seize the right to pass laws," since it gave the
parliament the right to veto legislation approved by the
ministers within 30 days. "I am on the government's
side" on this matter, CTK cited Havel as saying. But the
president also added that it is questionable whether a
minority government that encounters difficulties in
pushing through legislation can remain in power till the
next elections, scheduled for 2000. MS

SLOVAK PARLIAMENTARY CHAIRMAN WANTS BROADER POWERS.
Josef Migas on 9 June told CTK that he is demanding
broader powers in order to discipline deputies for
absenteeism and for speaking on matters that are not on
the agenda. Migas said that in September he intends to
submit proposals for changes in the parliament's house
regulations. He noted that the absence of many deputies
of the ruling coalition from debates last week led to
the failure to pass legislation proposed by ruling
coalition deputies and was fully exploited by the
opposition. MS

CORRECTION. Based on an ambiguously worded CTK dispatch,
"RFE/RL Newsline" on 9 June reported that the Slovak
cabinet had approved the minority language bill. In
fact, the bill was approved by the leadership of the
four-party coalition. The government has yet to debate
it.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO, SERBIA REACH MILITARY AGREEMENT ON KOSOVA. Near
Kumanovo on 9 June, military representatives of the
Atlantic alliance and Serbia reached an agreement on the
Serbian military's withdrawal from Kosova. NATO air
strikes ceased shortly thereafter, although spokesmen
for the alliance in Brussels stressed the strikes have
not been officially suspended. According to the
agreement, the Serbian military must leave Kosova within
11 days in stages along prescribed routes. NATO had
previously demanded that the Serbian forces leave within
seven days. In Kumanovo, Yugoslav General Svetozar
Marjanovic said that "the war has ended." In Belgrade,
crowds appeared in the streets to celebrate. State-run
media reported that Yugoslavia had reached an agreement
"with the UN." PM

NATO WAITING FOR SERBIAN WITHDRAWAL. Spokesmen for the
Atlantic alliance said in Brussels on 10 June that NATO
is waiting for verification that Serbian forces have
begun to leave Kosova before ordering a "suspension" of
air strikes against Yugoslav targets. In Cologne,
British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said: "We have
already seen some empty trucks and vehicles going into
[Kosova] and hopefully that's a sign that they are
preparing themselves to transport their troops and their
equipment out. It looks as if we're in the end game."
British General Richard Dannatt said in Skopje that NATO
peacekeepers could begin to arrive in Kosova as early as
11 June if NATO confirms the withdrawal. PM

U.S. TROOPS ARRIVE IN MACEDONIA FROM ALBANIA. "Hundreds"
of U.S. troops and an unspecified number of helicopters
arrived on 10 June at the NATO military camp at
Petrovec, Macedonia, from Albania, Reuters reported.
Some 1,700 U.S. troops are expected to arrive in
Petrovec by the end of the day. Observers suggest that
the troops are going into Kosova via Macedonia rather
than directly from Albania because the roads are better
and less likely to be mined. PM

UNHCR: GET TROOPS IN QUICKLY. A spokesman for the UNHCR
said in Geneva on 10 June that it is important that NATO
troops enter Kosova as soon as possible to prevent
further incidents. "If you look at the record of
paramilitary forces elsewhere and their recent record
[in Kosova], there is a major danger that they will burn
and loot before leaving," he said. Other observers noted
that a NATO presence is essential to prevent retreating
Serbs from killing or injuring remaining Kosovars and to
prevent Kosovar civilians and guerrillas from taking
revenge on local Serbs. PM

UCK PROMISES NOT TO FILL POWER VACUUM IN KOSOVA. The
provisional Kosovar government's Deputy Defense Minister
Colonel Bislim Zyrapi told Reuters on 10 June that the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) "will hold [its] positions
while the Serbian forces withdraw and NATO arrives." He
said it will not fan out to fill the vacuum left by
retreating Serbian forces. Zyrapi stressed that
protecting the local population is the UCK's first
priority. He added, however, that he cannot rule out
cases of revenge attacks by returning refugees. Zyrapi
stressed that the UCK will not disarm until all Serbian
forces leave Kosova. He also said that the UCK should
continue to exist as a small military force, but he did
not elaborate. FS

MILOSEVIC SHORING UP POSITION? Yugoslav President
Slobodan secretly met with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister
Vojislav Seselj and other members of the ultra-
nationalist Serbian Radical Party at an undisclosed
location over the weekend, the "Financial Times"
reported on 10 June. Milosevic secured the Radicals'
pledge to remain in the government, which they had
threatened to leave after a dispute with Milosevic over
the peace terms for Kosova (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4
June 1999). In Belgrade on 10 June, Democratic Party
leader Zoran Djindjic called on the opposition to launch
a campaign for Milosevic to resign. Observers note that
the question remains whether Milosevic can remain in
power after having started and lost four wars within
eight years. PM

LAWYERS FILE CHARGES AGAINST NATO IN THE HAGUE.
Independent lawyers from Britain, Canada, Greece, and
Switzerland representing unspecified peace groups have
filed formal charges at the Hague-based war crimes
tribunal o against several NATO officials and other
Western leaders for "violations of international
criminal law in causing civilian death, injury and
destruction" in NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia,
AP reported on 9 June. Chief Prosecutor Louise Arbour
met with the lawyers to discuss the case. Tribunal
spokesman Paul Risley said that "the prosecutor has
asserted jurisdiction over all persons responsible for
serious violations of humanitarian law or crimes of war
within the territory of former Yugoslavia.... No person
is excluded from the authority of the tribunal." FS

DJUKANOVIC PLEDGES HELP FOR SERBIA. Montenegrin
President Milo Djukanovic said in Cologne, Germany, on 9
June that Milosevic "is a politician who belongs to the
past," adding that his polices are "quarrelsome and
arrogant." The Montenegrin leader noted that Montenegro
"is willing to make an effort to assist Serbia to
democratize and to embark upon such an avenue together
with us." He added: "I think that prospects for
stability in the region can only be achieved if there is
a substantial autonomy [in Kosova], within Yugoslavia,
which will ensure full guarantees of minority [rights]
and democratization within Yugoslavia as a whole." U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called Montenegro
"a shining example of what is possible" in the former
Yugoslavia. PM

MONTENEGRINS CHARGE ARMY RESERVISTS WITH OFFENSES. In
Podgorica on 9 June, Montenegrin officials gave Colonel
Miroslav Samardzic, who is the Yugoslav army's chief
prosecutor in Montenegro, a list of 151 criminal charges
against an unspecified number of Yugoslav army
reservists for offenses they allegedly committed in the
mountainous republic. The charges involved unruly
behavior, assaults on Montenegrin police, endangering
the environment, theft, and unlawful detention. It is
unlikely that the military prosecutor will act on the
charges, AP reported. PM

CROATIAN JOURNALIST ESCAPES DETENTION BY YUGOSLAV ARMY.
Antun Masle, who is a reporter for the independent
weekly "Globus," arrived in Croatia after fleeing from a
hospital in Podgorica where he had been held by the
Yugoslav army on charges of espionage, "Vjesnik"
reported on 10 June. Media reports in Yugoslavia and
Croatia suggest that the Montenegrin police may have
helped Masle escape, the Zagreb-based daily added. PM

FORMER CROATIAN INTELLIGENCE CHIEF ARRESTED... Police in
Zagreb arrested Miroslav Separovic on 9 June for
allegedly leaking "state secrets" and other confidential
information to the press. The leaks resulted in media
reports about the politically motivated fixing of soccer
matches by intelligence agents (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4
June 1999). Separovic resigned as director of the
Croatian Intelligence Service (HIS) in January. He
complained of many problems within that organization,
Reuters reported. PM

...CAUSING POLITICAL CONTROVERSY. Representatives of
several opposition parties and independent journalists
met in Zagreb on 9 June and called for Separovic's
release, "Novi List" reported. Separovic told reporters
that he believes that Ivic Pasalic, who is President
Franjo Tudjman's chief aide, ordered his arrest.
Separovic added that Tudjman is aware that Pasalic
deliberately made problems for him during his tenure at
HIS. Pasalic said that Separovic is himself to blame for
his difficulties there as well as for his decision to
leave that organization. PM

ROMANIAN PREMIER, STRIKERS FAIL TO REACH SOLUTION. Prime
Minister Radu Vasile on 9 June met with leaders of
unions representing striking teachers, but the two sides
agreed only to continue their talks. A union leader said
the strikers will not end sanctions until the government
fully implements agreements reached last October. Also
on 9 June, a planned meeting between Vasile and some
members of his cabinet and the leadership of the
opposition Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR)
did not take place. The PDSR leadership claimed it had
not received "on time" the invitation to attend. Vasile
commented that PDSR's failure to attend is a "sign of
ill will." The meeting has been rescheduled for 16 June,
RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. MS

HUNGARIAN ETHNIC LEADER CRITICIZES ROMANIAN PRESIDENT.
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania Chairman Bela
Marko on 9 June said President Emil Constantinescu's
recent comment on the significance of a document calling
for the autonomy of Transylvania and the Banat and for
Romania's federalization was "over-exaggerated" and
"smacked of electoral campaigning" (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 7 June 1999). Marko said the document may
well exist and have been circulated among Transylvanian
intellectual circles, but he pointed out that Romanian
and ethnic Hungarian intellectuals who allegedly signed
the document have denied doing so. Marko said the ruling
coalition must deal with the country's real problems
rather than engage in "electoral campaigning," RFE/RL's
Bucharest bureau reported. MS

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENTARY CHAIRMAN IN U.S. Dumitru Diacov,
who is currently on a visit to the U.S., met on 9 June
in Washington with Congress members and Carlos Pascual,
director-general for relations with the New Independent
States in the National Security Council, Flux reported.
The previous day, Diacov informed World Bank officials
about legislation initiated by the government on the
privatization of the energy and telecommunications
sectors, of agriculture and on improving fiscal
supervision. On 24 June, the bank's executive board will
discuss the agreement on granting a $40 million stand-by
loan to Moldova. Diacov asked the members of Congress
with whom he met to help Moldova in its effort to
implement reforms. In an interview with ITAR-TASS, he
said Moldova wants to pursue broad-based cooperation
with Russia and remove "all suspicions" that have
persisted since 1990. MS

BULGARIA CALLS ON YUGOSLAVIA TO RELEASE DETAINED ETHNIC
LEADER. Foreign Ministry spokesman Radko Vlaykov on 9
June told journalists that the ministry has appealed to
Yugoslav authorities to show "understanding" and to
release from detention Marko Shukarev, leader of the
Democratic Union of Bulgarians in Yugoslavia. Shukarev
faces court-martial for desertion, having failed to
report to the unit in which he was drafted after leave
of absence (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 June 1999). On 8
June, meeting with the leader of the Helsinki Committee
for the Protection of Bulgarians in Yugoslavia,
President Petar Stoyanov called Shukarev's detention "a
frivolous act of ill-intent" that could "torpedo the
future of joint efforts of Bulgarians, Serbs, and all
Balkan people to turn the region into what they wish it
to be," BTA reported. MS

END NOTE

ALBRIGHT BRINGS TOGETHER KOSOVAR LEADERS

by Fabian Schmidt

	U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has
taken a major step toward putting a stop to infighting
between three Kosovar leaders.
	An 8 June meeting on the sidelines of the G-8
summit in Cologne brought together Hashim Thaci of the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK), Ibrahim Rugova of the
Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), and Rexhep Qosja from
the United Democratic Movement of Kosova. That meeting,
which received little attention in the international
media, took place at Albright's urging. Since the
Rambouillet talks, Albanian, French, and other European
governments have all failed to achieve such a gathering,
despite their persistent efforts to persuade the three
rivals to overcome their differences.
	The secretary of state has thus demonstrated that
Kosovars, like many Europeans throughout most of this
century, have been unable to solve problems among
themselves unless the U.S. took the initiative and
forced them to agree on a basic democratic platform,
thereby demonstrating its supremacy on the international
scene.
	Albright secured a commitment from the three
Kosovars to honor the pledges they made at Rambouillet
on creating a democratic interim framework for Kosova.
The three agreed to coordinate their efforts toward
setting up a post-war civilian administration in the
province supervised by "a special representative of UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan." The draft UN Security
Council resolution proposed by the G-8 countries
stipulates that the UN is to establish such an
administration, but it is likely that the OSCE will be
charged with doing the job and will have to work closely
with the Kosovars to make that administration a success.
	Few details of the meeting have been released, and
UCK spokesman Sabri Kicmari told RFE/RL only that
Albright later met with each of the three leaders
separately. It is likely that during those meetings
Albright was hammering out details of future
cooperation. Late last month, Albright had urged the
Kosovars to create a National Security Council,
following a suggestion by Albanian Prime Minister
Pandeli Majko (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 May 1999). That
council, made up of a variety of Kosovar political
groups, would serve as Kosova's interim legislature
until parliamentary elections are held under
international supervision and would serve as a check on
the provisional government during the interim period.
The council may thus bring together the two governments
that currently exist--the provisional government of
Prime Minister Thaci and the shadow state government of
Bujar Bukoshi of the LDK.
	This is the second time that the rival Kosovars
have agreed to form a broader platform. The first time
was during the Rambouillet talks in March, when the
Albanian government played a role in having the rivals
sit at the negotiating table. In the end, it was the
U.S. that helped them formulate a clear and credible
vision for a democratic and free future in Kosova. That
vision was credible because it included an international
protectorate with strong foundations, including heavily
armed NATO forces that would guarantee all Kosovar
inhabitants the necessary security against both Serbian
forces and enemies of the peace settlement within the
province.
	The vision also provided for internationally
supervised free elections, in which the rivals would
have to compete openly and on equal terms. The main
reason Rugova's LDK was so hesitant to join Thaci's
government was that the latter had weak democratic
credentials and an opaque guerrilla organization.
Without assurances from the U.S. and NATO, the LDK was
afraid that the UCK, with its military structure,
dominant position in the province and limited democratic
experience, would eventually become a stumbling block
for a truly democratic post-conflict development.
	But fears were allayed once Western leaders made it
clear that Western organizations will take the leading
role in setting up Kosova's future police force, which
is to be placed under civilian and democratic control.
Albright stressed at a press conference after the 8 June
meeting that "Kosovo's political leaders will, I hope,
cooperate to make Kosova truly democratic." Therefore, a
firm commitment by the UCK to disarm and transform
itself into a political organization was at the center
of her talks with the rival Kosovars, she added. At the
same time, a new local police force will probably
include former UCK fighters.
	The Rambouillet accord envisaged that the Kosovar
police force will be trained and supervised by the
international community. It is, in fact, likely that
this will happen soon after the deployment of
international forces. Albright explicitly told
journalists after the 8 June meeting that "these
representatives...told me without any ambiguity that
they will meet the key commitments made at
Rambouillet.... The [UCK] will demilitarize and enter
into a process of transformation." Thaci added that the
UCK will "transform itself into a political entity."
	Rugova, who has twice been elected as shadow state
president and has so far refused to recognize Thaci's
government, said: "We can do it together." He did not
elaborate. And Albright stressed that "the leaders I
have met with intend to go forward with vision and
courage."
	Indeed, the three will very soon have to
demonstrate the credibility of their vision as well as
their ability to set up the necessary state
institutions. The challenges facing their administration
will be huge. During and after the return of the
refugees, they will not be able to meet those challenges
unless they unite quickly now and keep to their promises
to promote democracy.

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