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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 115, Part II, 14 June 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 115, Part II, 14 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

* LUKASHENKA SAYS HE MAY RUN FOR BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN
UNION PRESIDENCY

* NATO FORCES ENTER KOSOVA

* UCK: RUSSIANS MUST GO

END NOTE: Moscow's Third Way
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CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

LUKASHENKA SAYS HE MAY RUN FOR BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN UNION
PRESIDENCY. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
told the 11 June "Tribuna" that he may run for the post
of president of the Belarusian-Russian Union if such a
position is created. "If my rating is fairly high, there
will surely be people willing to nominate me. If not,
why should I run?" Lukashenka said. The draft union
treaty that was agreed to in early June does not provide
for the post of union president (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
8 June 1999). Meanwhile, there has been speculation in
the Russian press that Russian President Boris Yeltsin
may take advantage of the creation of the Belarusian-
Russian Union to remain in power by assuming the post of
its first president. JM

THREE SENTENCED FOR MURDER, TERRORIST ACT PLOT AGAINST
LUKASHENKA. Belarus's Supreme Court on 11 June sentenced
three residents of Mahileu--Viktar Yancheuski, Anatol
Haurylau, and Raman Radzikouski--for their roles in the
murder of Yauhen Mikalutski, a regional presidential
official in Mahileu, and for preparing a terrorist act
against the president. President Lukashenka said last
year that the case of Mikalutski, who was killed in a
bombing on 6 October 1997, was connected to an attempt
on his life and suggested that a plan to assassinate the
Belarusian president was prepared in the Drazdy
residential compound, near Minsk, where several Western
ambassadors had their residences. The court sentenced
Yancheuski to 11 years in prison, Haurylau to five
years, and Radzikouski to four years, though Radzikouski
was immediately freed under an amnesty. JM

KUCHMA CONDEMNS SOVIET REPRESSION AGAINST RELIGIONS. In
a statement released on 11 June, Ukrainian President
Leonid Kuchma condemned the Soviet policy of repression
against religion and the Church, Interfax reported.
Kuchma recalled the liquidation of Ukraine's
Autocephalous Orthodox Church in 1930 and the Uniate
Church after World War II, as well as repression against
Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Muslims.
"Although the Ukrainian state was not involved in these
persecutions and bears no responsibility for them, I
share the view that the Church should be exonerated
morally and politically as a public institution harmed
by the totalitarian regime," the statement reads. JM

UKRAINIAN MINERS LAUNCH PROTEST MARCH FOR KYIV. Some 200
miners from the town of Krasnodon in eastern Ukraine
have started a protest march due to reach Kyiv next
month, Reuters reported on 11 June. Mykhaylo Volynets,
head of the Independent Coal Miners Trade Union, told
the agency that the march is a spontaneous protest
action by people who have not been paid for more than 14
months. Volynets added that the government owes
Ukrainian miners some 1.37 billion hryvni ($346 million)
in unpaid wages and that miners are planning massive
nationwide protests next month. JM

SPEAKER OF GERMANY'S LOWER HOUSE IN ESTONIA. German
Bundestag speaker Wolfgang Thierse reiterated German
support for Estonia's EU integration and the timetable
for a targeted 2003 entry during a visit to Tallinn on
11 June. Thierse told his Estonian counterpart, Toomas
Savi, that "I like Estonia's self-consciousness, which
is expressed in setting a concrete date [for EU
accession]," BNS reported. He stressed, however, that
Estonia needs to accelerate the process of harmonizing
its laws with those of the EU, as well as enhance public
administration and personnel training. Estonian
President Lennart Meri said while meeting with Thierse
that German policy towards the Baltic Sea region could
be strengthened. MH

LATVIA AND HUNGARY SIGN FREE-TRADE DEAL. Visiting
Latvian Prime Minister Vilis Kristopans and Hungarian
Prime Minister Viktor Orban signed a free-trade
agreement in Budapest on 10 June, as well as an
agreement on the promotion and protection of
investments. The signing ended a visit to Hungary by
Kristopans and Defense Minister Girts Valdis
Kristovskis. MH

POPE TELLS POLES GOD ANSWERED HIS PRAYER. Pope John Paul
II on 13 June celebrated a mass for some one million
Poles on a square in Warsaw where 20 years ago he called
for a new Poland. In 1979 the newly-elected pope--on his
first trip to the communist homeland--ended his homily
with a prayer for the Holy Spirit "to renew the face" of
Poland. "Is not all that happened [within those 20
years] in Europe and the world, beginning with our own
homeland, God's response?" the pontiff asked the crowd.
During the mass, the pope beatified 1O8 Poles killed
during World War II. JM

POLISH RABBI APPEALS TO POPE TO REMOVE LAST AUSCHWITZ
CROSS. During the pope's meeting with Polish religious
leaders in the parliament building on 11 June, Chief
Rabbi of Poland Menachem Joskowicz addressed John Paul
II with a request to have the last cross at the
Auschwitz camp site removed. "The rabbi's plea was
rather embarrassing and is not characteristic of Polish-
Jewish dialogue. It was more of a protest," Polish
government spokesman Krzysztof Luft told Reuters.
Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the cross
is a "local matter," suggesting that the Vatican will
take no action. Jerzy Kichler, head of the Association
of Jewish Communities in Poland, condemned Joskowicz's
impromptu request. "Rabbi Joskowicz was speaking on his
own behalf. His term of office ends in two days time and
I hope he will leave Poland then," Kichler said. JM

HAVEL WARNS AGAINST 'BALKAN ILLUSIONS.' President Vaclav
Havel on 11 June said the end of the war in Yugoslavia
was "a significant step towards peace" but that he feels
compelled to "warn against the illusion that everything
is solved by this and that this is an end of the Balkan
conflicts, ethnic tension, and confrontation," CTK
reported, citing presidential spokesman Ladislav Spacek.
On 12 June, Spacek cited Havel as saying that the
situation in Yugoslavia "still includes many possible
reverses and risky moments, such as the Russian units'
unexpected entry" into Kosova earlier that day. Also on
12 June, Havel told a group of politicians and
intellectuals that he was "seriously considering"
visiting Kosova and will start making preparations for
the visit "in the near future." MS

CZECH PREMIER REACTS TO RUSSIAN TROOPS' ARRIVAL TO
KOSOVA. Milos Zeman on 12 June said that he would
consider it "normal" for the operations of NATO and
Russian peacekeeping forces in Kosova to be "coordinated
by the relevant UN institutions," since KFOR's mission
is based on a mandate from the UN Security Council.
Zeman said that this will help avoid "conflicts similar
to the ongoing one, which I consider unnecessary."
Foreign Minister Jan Kavan on 13 June said he was "not
much worried" about the Russian occupation of the
Prishtina airport, explaining that the step would "speed
up" an agreement on where the Russian troops will be
deployed within the KFOR mission and what will be the
structure of the KFOR command, CTK reported. MS

WORLD ASSOCIATION OF NEWSPAPERS CONDEMNS CZECH PRESS
LAW. The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) says a
press law proposed by the Czech government is "an attack
on the freedom of the press" and calls on President
Vaclav Havel and the two chambers of the parliament to
reject it, a WAN press dispatch released on 12 June
says. The association is particularly disturbed by the
envisaged bill's provision to grant the right of reply
to anyone whose "honor, dignity or privacy" were
infringed, "even if the reporting was true." WAN also
deplores the provision imposing fines on publishers who
contravened the law and making possible the suspension
of newspapers for up to one year. MS

CORRECTION: "RFE/RL Newsline" incorrectly reported the
exchange rate of the Czech crown to the dollar on 11
June. The correct rate is approximately 36
crowns/dollar.

SLOVAK SUPREME COURT JUDGE CHARGED. Jozef Stefanko,
deputy president of the Supreme Court, has been charged
by the Justice Ministry with use of "extreme violence"
to break into an apartment with an ax and of physically
attacking an employee, CTK reported on 11 June, citing
Slovak television. Stefanko's rent-free use of an
apartment has been canceled by the court, which also
ordered a change of its locks. He reportedly refused to
accept the order, broke into the flat several times, and
after the lock was secured with a steel plate, he
"opened" it using an ax and attacked a court employee.
Stefanko was elected Supreme court deputy chairman in
February 1998, with the support of the then-ruling
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. MS

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS VOJVODINA LEADER.
Jozsef Kasza, chairman of the Federation of Vojvodina
Hungarians, told Janos Martonyi in Budapest on 11 June
that ethnic Hungarians could play a role in a future
Yugoslav government, depending on domestic political
developments in Serbia. Martonyi said that the inclusion
of ethnic Hungarians in the government could boost
Belgrade's democratic credibility. Kasza and Martonyi
agreed that the three-tier autonomy scheme for Vojvodina
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 June 1999) should become part
of the democratic process in Yugoslavia. MSZ

HUNGARY REJECTS RUSSIAN REQUEST FOR USE OF AIR SPACE.
Hungary on 11 June refused to allow Russian planes
carrying troops to Kosova to use its air space,
Hungarian media reported. Foreign Ministry spokesman
Gabor Horvath said foreign armed forces can enter the
country's air space only with the approval of the
parliament. "Russia originally was given permission for
six planes with a 10-member crew each, but did not use
the opportunity by the deadline, so the permission lost
its validity," Horvath explained. "It turned out later
that the Russian planes intended to carry an armed unit
of 600 troops," he added. The parliament is expected to
pass a resolution on the transit of KFOR forces later
this week. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO FORCES ENTER KOSOVA. British peacekeepers crossed
from Macedonia into Kosova on 12 June. By the early
hours of 14 June, French, German, U.S., and Italian
forces had entered their respective zones as well (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 11 June 1999). Crowds of ethnic
Albanians turned out to greet the forces of Operation
Joint Guardian with cheers and flowers. Some Kosovars,
including males in Prishtina, said that this was the
first time they had left their homes in nearly three
months for fear of letting Serbian forces know where
they are. PM

INCIDENTS REPORTED FROM THE START. British troops'
progress toward Prishtina was slowed on 12 June by the
need to clear mines and booby-traps. Once in the
capital, they killed a Serbian policeman who reportedly
fired on them. German troops in the Prizren sector
killed at least one Serb who shot at them from a car the
following day. Unknown gunmen killed two German
journalists from the magazine "Stern" near Duha. They
were photographer Volker Kraemer and reporter Gabriel
Gruener. Deutsche Welle on 14 June quoted a German KFOR
spokesman as saying that the journalists had "no
business" being in Duha at that time. A third German
journalist was killed near Prizren. The BBC reported
that incidents are likely to continue as KFOR seeks to
establish order and disarm Kosova Liberation Army (UCK)
fighters emerging from hiding as well as retreating
Serbs. Other incidents took place in which ethnic
Albanians jeered retreating Serbs and threw objects at
them. PM

RUSSIAN TROOPS, NATO IN STAND-OFF NEAR AIRPORT. Some 200
Russian paratroops arrived by land from Bosnia via
Serbia on 11 June, thus becoming the first foreign
forces to enter Kosova. Serbs in Prishtina gave them a
hero's welcome. The Russians took control of the airport
and denied access to British and French forces that
wanted to enter, telling them that the airport is "their
sector." NATO forces had planned to make the airport
their headquarters in Prishtina. Much confusion
surrounds the circumstances under which the Russians
were ordered into Kosova and what their future role
there will be (see stories in Part I). Observers note
that, whatever the case, the Moscow leadership is
clearly using the presence of Russian troops on the
ground to strengthen Moscow's hand in its ongoing
negotiations with Washington over Russia's unresolved
role in Kosova. PM

UCK: RUSSIANS MUST GO. Hashim Thaci, who heads the UCK-
backed provisional government, said in a statement in
Tirana on 14 June: "We are concerned about the entrance
of these Russian troops into Kosova without permission
of the international community or the Provisional
Government.... This partition of Kosova that Russians
intend to [establish] will be unacceptable for the
Provisional Government of Kosova. We cannot guarantee
the security of the Russian troops that entered Kosova.
They must leave Kosova as soon as possible." PM

ANOTHER MASS GRAVE IN KOSOVA? Ethnic Albanians alerted
KFOR peacekeepers over the weekend to a group of
freshly-dug graves in a cemetery near Kacanik. On 14
June, peacekeepers inspected the site and called in
forensic experts from the Hague-based war crimes
tribunal. Local Kosovars told reporters that Serbian
forces brutally killed an unspecified number of ethnic
Albanians in May. The BBC said that this will be the
first reported mass grave in Kosova to be examined by
KFOR and the tribunal. PM

YUGOSLAV GENERAL PRAISES HIS TROOPS. General Vladimir
Lazarevic, who commands the Yugoslav Army's Prishtina
Corps, told state-run television on 13 June that his
troops performed "brilliantly and heroically" in
defending their country and defeating "separatist-
terrorist" forces in Kosova, Reuters reported. "The
Prishtina Corps was the focus of the defense of
Yugoslavia." NATO, he continued, sought "to enslave,
subjugate and humiliate an entire people...the Serbian
people. [The allies] have done great evil to our
country, committed unprecedented crimes against the
entire population, against humanity and against peace."
PM

SERBS FLEE KOSOVA. Retreating Serbian paramilitaries and
other forces began leaving Kosova over the weekend with
vehicles loaded with refrigerators, stereo equipment,
televisions, bicycles, and other goods. Elsewhere, aid
workers in Rozaje, Montenegro, said on 13 June that more
than 9,000 ethnic Serb civilians had passed through the
area in recent days. Some of the Serbs said they were
leaving Kosova until their safety there was assured.
Other Serbian civilians took all their possessions with
them and said that they were leaving for good. In
Prishtina, local Serbs appealed to villagers passing
through the capital to stay. In Prizren on 14 June, some
local Serbs waited for assurances of safe passage
northward through areas held by the UCK. PM

SESELJ QUITS GOVERNMENT. On 14 June, Serbian Deputy
Prime Minister Vojislav Seselj made good on a previous
threat to leave the government if a NATO force occupied
Kosova and took his Serbian Radical Party out of the
government. Seselj said that his party has no reason to
stay in the government since Kosova "is under
occupation." The Radicals hold two deputy prime-
ministerships and 13 cabinet posts. The BBC reported
from Belgrade that Milosevic will have "no trouble"
finding other people to join his government by promising
them jobs and patronage. PM

DJINDJIC CALLS FOR NEW ELECTIONS. Serbian Democratic
Party leader Zoran Djindjic told Inforadio Berlin that
new elections should take place this fall rather than in
2000, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" of 12 June
reported. He stressed that the opposition can get its
message to the voters if it has sufficient access to the
media. He added that the opposition will also benefit
when soldiers return from Kosova and tell people that
the war was unnecessary and could have been avoided. PM

MONTENEGRO TO SECEDE? Montenegrin President Milo
Djukanovic said in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 14 June that
"Yugoslavia needs a democratic turnaround. If Serbia
remains a prisoner of the former policy, Montenegro will
look for its own legal status." He has repeatedly said
that he does not seek independence but stressed that
Milosevic's policies are detrimental to Montenegrin
interests. In Podgorica on 14 June, a group of
intellectuals formed the Movement for the Independence
of Montenegro and called for a referendum on separate
statehood. They issued a declaration in which they said
that "federal institutions, instead of protecting
Montenegro, are the cause of instability and
insecurity," AP reported. PM

IS THE UCK DISINTEGRATING? An unnamed UCK fighter told
the "The Observer" in Kukes on 12 June that "there [are]
fights...between the officers and the [regular soldiers
in an UCK camp in Albania].... The men want to go [into
Kosova]. If NATO is there with hundreds of journalists,
they feel they should be in there. It is also their
victory and they're very [upset] that no one is
acknowledging what they did." Another soldier stressed
that "all the soldiers who are here on the front line
want to go home and check out their own villages.... The
UCK [is] going to have a hard time trying to keep their
men together." A Dutch mercenary, who resigned from the
UCK, said that "the commanders [are] battling for
positions between each other. Every commander has two
bodyguards.... The commanders are afraid of each other.
Things are going to get very bad." FS

UCK, GERMAN TROOPS SEND REFUGEES BACK INTO ALBANIA. At
the Morina border crossing on 14 June, UCK soldiers and
German KFOR troops told about 300 Kosovar refugees to go
back to their camps, AP reported. UNHCR officials want
the refugees to remain in their camps until NATO
peacekeepers have restored order, cleared minefields,
and established conditions for an orderly return, an
UNHCR spokeswoman said in Geneva. The priority of the
UNHCR is the return of internally displaced persons
before the refugees can come home from abroad.
Meanwhile, the UNHCR is preparing to send its first
humanitarian aid convoy into Kosova. Thaci's government
issued an appeal calling on the refugees to remain in
Albania. It added: "We appeal to the Kosovar people in
Albania to be patient for a safe and organized return at
the right time and in the right place." FS

GEORGIEVSKI CALLS FOR RECONSTRUCTION, RETURN OF
REFUGEES. Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski
said in Taipei, Taiwan on 11 June that the return of the
250,000 Kosovar refugees and a comprehensive
international plan for Balkan economic reconstruction
are necessary if he is to realize his plans for his
country's development. Unnamed sources with his party
told AP that work will begin in July or August on a
Taiwanese-financed "industrial zone" near Skopje
airport. The project will cost some $200 million and
include about 20 factories that will manufacture or
assemble high-technology products for the European
market. PM

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT SAYS MILOSEVIC SACRIFICED YUGOSLAVIA.
Emil Constantinescu, in an address on national
television on 11 June, said that peace in Yugoslavia has
been achieved at the price of an "enormous destruction"
for which "a whole generation [of Yugoslavs] will have
to pay" because "the Milosevic regime preferred to
sacrifice the country and its people" rather than opt
for a "solution that would have been possible from the
very beginning" of the conflict. Constantinescu said
Romania has passed the test of its alliance with NATO
"with flying colors," and despite the economic
difficulties caused by the crisis has managed to avoid
defaulting on its foreign debt. He pledged to personally
support an initiative to set up an association of
businessmen to promote Romania's participation in the
reconstruction of Yugoslavia. MS

ROMANIAN OFFICER INVESTIGATED FOR TREASON. The Defense
Ministry on 13 June confirmed a report published in the
daily "Ziua" which said that a Romanian officer is under
investigation by military prosecutors on suspicion of
treason. The accused is suspected of having sold secret
documents to a British citizen suspected of espionage,
Mediafax and AP reported. The officer, who has been
placed on reserve, is alleged to have sold the secret
documents for $2,000 to the Sibiu-based Geo Strategies
digital mapping company, a joint British-Romanian firm.
Two Romanian civilians are also under investigation. In
other news, the Teachers' Trade Union Federation on 12
June decided to reject the government-proposed agreement
on ending its strike and is continuing the labor
sanctions. MS

BULGARIA DELAYS RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN AIR CORRIDOR
REQUEST. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry on 12 June
said Russia has requested "through diplomatic channels"
an air corridor for the transportation of troops to
Kosova. The spokesman said that the request "was not
made in line with existing requirements" and it "has
been agreed" that Moscow send to Sofia "an additional
note" detailing "the movement of the envisaged units."
When the request is received it will be considered "in
line with existing procedure," the spokesman said. He
added that Bulgaria hoped that "by that time, the talks
on the single command of the peacekeeping forces in
Kosovo will be successfully completed and the order of
their movement regulated." MS

BULGARIAN PREMIER DEFENDS GOVERNMENT POSITION ON KOSOVA.
Ivan Kostov on 11 June said in the parliament that the
government's position on the Kosova crisis has been
praised by the international community and has led to a
reconsideration of Bulgaria's "strategic role" in the
restoration of peace and stability in the Balkans, BTA
reported. Kostov was responding to Socialist Party
deputy Ivan Genov, who accused the government of having
"militarized its foreign policy" and of having
"sacrificed national security" in order to ensure its
stay in power.

BULGARIA, MOLDOVA DISCUSS TRANSIT OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL.
Visiting Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Nicolae Andronic
on 11 June discussed with Bulgarian President Petar
Stoyanov the transit of spent nuclear fuel from the
Kozloduy nuclear plant to Russia via Moldova, BTA and
Infotag reported. Andronic will present a report to the
Moldovan parliament, which is to debate the ratification
of the November 1997 agreement on the transit signed by
Russia, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine. In 1998, the
parliament rejected the ratification and allowed only a
one-time transit of the spent fuel. Andronic told
journalists that he also discussed with Stoyanov the
lifting of visa requirements imposed by Bulgaria on
Moldovan nationals. The talks also covered the status of
the Taraclia district in Moldova. The ethnic Bulgarians
there view the district's incorporation into the Cahul
county as an infringement of there rights. MS

END NOTE

Moscow's Third Way

By Paul Goble

	The introduction of some 200 Russian troops into
Prishtina and their continuing occupation of the airport
there reflect Moscow's continuing effort to navigate
between cooperation with NATO and confrontation with
Western creditor countries.
	This essential continuity has been obscured over
the weekend both by often apocalyptic Western
commentaries and by Western governments anxious to
overcome the difficulties that arose when 200 Russian
soldiers unexpectedly showed up in the Kosovar capital.
	Commentators in leading U.S. and West European
newspapers speculated that this latest Russian action
could mean one of two things: It could be a rogue
operation by Russian generals and thus an indication
that President Boris Yeltsin is no longer in control of
the situation in Moscow.
	Or, these same analysts suggested, it could mean
that Yeltsin has had a change of heart and now shares
the nationalist agenda of many of NATO's most vociferous
critics in the Russian capital. In either case, the
prospects for East-West relations are extremely gloomy.
	At the other extreme were spokesmen for both NATO
forces and Western governments who went to great lengths
to suggest the Russian presence in Prishtina was a "bump
in the road" and that the differences between Moscow and
NATO that it reflected would soon be overcome.
	Each of these three views--the notion that Yeltsin
does not have total control of his government, the idea
that Yeltsin's views about the West are evolving, and
the belief that this "bump" will soon be overcome--
captures part of the current East-West geopolitical
reality.
	And only a combination of the three provides not
only an accurate description of what is going on but
also a picture of just where Russian policy on
Yugoslavia and on the West now is.
	As reporting from Moscow on Saturday and Sunday
shows, few Russians care very much about who ordered the
introduction of Russian forces--Yeltsin, the Defense
Ministry, or a particular general. Instead, they are
pleased that Russia has been able to create a fact on
the ground that NATO was earlier unwilling to grant but
is equally unwilling to directly challenge.
	Yeltsin will gain support abroad in at least two
ways. On the one hand, the Serbs and other states angry
at NATO and the United States will see Russia as their
spokesman/protector, even if Moscow eventually backs
down.
	And on the other, the Russian president will almost
certainly be able to extract some greater concessions
from the West in order to bring the Russian forces into
conformance with NATO's plans, something Yeltsin will be
better positioned to do if there is confusion about just
who gave the order to send them there in the first
place.
	Moreover, reporting from Moscow also makes it clear
that Yeltsin is evolving in his views about the West
under the impact of NATO's actions in Yugoslavia.
Yeltsin is clearly less uncritical of the West than he
was a year ago, and he is very much interested in
demonstrating his own and his country's power,
especially because both have so obviously declined.
	But Yeltsin also remains very aware of his
dependence on the West and also the dependence of his
country, an awareness that helps to explain why Moscow
has taken such a carefully calibrated action. It also
supports the idea that the Russian president was very
much involved in the deployment decision. If the
introduction of Russian troops into Prishtina had been a
rogue action or if it had been the product of a new
anti-Western Yeltsin, it might have been both larger and
more dramatic than it in fact has proved to be.
	Indeed, the Prishtina operation appears to reflect
a desire to put pressure on the West without taking a
step that would totally alienate the leaders of
countries to which Moscow still looks for assistance of
various kinds.
	NATO will certainly seek a compromise that will
keep the Russians "on board" as various Western leaders
have said. Indeed, precisely because some in Moscow--
including Yeltsin--have positioned themselves to deny
full responsibility, the West may again as it has in the
past give Yeltsin credit for backing away from something
that he may have been responsible for starting.
	And even if that happens--and the odds of a
settlement on this point are probably quite good--Moscow
and Yeltsin undoubtedly assume they will walk away
winners, not only by signaling their support of the
Serbs but also by underscoring the West's largely self-
imposed requirement that Moscow be included in all
future discussions about Kosova.
	Consequently, Moscow's pursuit of a third way in
this conflict appears likely to bring it far greater
benefits than either of the extreme alternatives. And
that in turn suggests that Yeltsin, who has practiced
this style of politics before, almost certainly is
heavily involved in this case as well.

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Updated: 1998-11-

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