It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. - Samuel Johnson
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 128, Part II, 1 July 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 128, Part II, 1 July 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 MIGHT RUN FOR BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN PRESIDENCY

* ANNAN TO SPEED UP ESTABLISHING CIVILIAN MISSION IN
KOSOVA

* TRIBUNAL'S RISLEY SAYS SERBIAN AUTHORITIES LAUNCHED
DESTRUCTION CAMPAIGN

End Note: WHY ORAL HISTORY MATTERS
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

LUKASHENKA MIGHT RUN FOR BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN PRESIDENCY.
In an interview with Russian Public Television on 30
June, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he
is prepared to cede most of his powers to the Belarus-
Russia union president if that office is created. He
added that he might run for the union presidency. "If
there is a union and its president is elected by the
people, why shouldn't I run against Boris Yeltsin for
the position?" he said. Lukashenka confirmed that the
next presidential elections in Belarus will be held in
2001. He rejected the opposition's claim that his
presidency will be illegitimate after 20 July. JM

BELARUSIAN LEGISLATURE IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS ON NGOS'
NAMES. The Chamber of Representatives on 30 June adopted
amendments to the legislation regulating the activities
of political parties, trade unions, and public
organizations in Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarusian Service
reported. The legislators banned the use of the words
"popular" and "national" as well as "Belarus" and
"Republic of Belarus" in the names of Belarusian NGOs.
Other amendments established the minimum number of
members required for registering an organization: 1,000
for political parties, 500 for trade unions. Under the
new legislation, people acting on behalf of an
unregistered organization will be fined up to 50 minimum
wages and detained for 15 days if they repeat that
offense. JM

KUCHMA, SYMONENKO PUT ON PRESIDENTIAL BALLOT. The
Central Electoral Commission has approved the candidacy
of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Communist Party
leader Petro Symonenko in the October presidential
elections. Kuchma's supporters collected 1.64 million
signatures supporting his electoral bid, while
Symonenko's gathered 1.2 million. The other 16
presidential hopefuls must present at least 1 million
signatures to the commission by 13 July in order to take
part in the ballot. JM

IMF APPROVES ANOTHER LOAN TRANCHE FOR UKRAINE. The IMF
on 30 June approved the release of a $115 million
tranche of its three-year $2.5 billion loan to Ukraine.
IMF Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer praised
Ukraine for meeting all economic objectives set by the
fund last September. At the same time, Fischer noted
that future payments will depend on successful debt-
restructuring talks. The release of the tranche came
after Ukraine and ING Barings agreed to extend the
deadline for the country's $163 million bond payment
until 9 July, Bloomberg News reported. "[The IMF] urged
the authorities and Ukraine's creditors to persevere in
their efforts to reach an agreement on terms comparable
to other recent agreements with other creditors,"
Fischer said. JM

VICTIM'S SON CONFESSES TO HIGH-PROFILE MURDER IN
ESTONIA. Estonian police have announced that the son of
Anatoli Paal, the director of Narva Power Plants, has
confessed to his father's murder (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
30 June 1999). Aleksei Paal reportedly confessed to
killing his father over a domestic dispute. Officials
said charges will be filed on 1 July. They clarified
that the murder weapon was a blunt object, not a gun, as
initially reported by Estonian news wires. MH

ESTONIA NAMES ACTING MILITARY HEAD. President Lennart
Meri has named Colonel Urmas Roosimagi as acting head of
the Defense Forces while Lieutenant-General Johannes
Kert is in the U.S. to take part in a year-long course.
That decision is causing some controversy as Chief-of-
Staff Ants Laaneots, who by law should be Kert's
temporary replacement, was bypassed. President Meri's
office explained that it would not be practical to have
Laaneots fill both positions, chief-of-staff and acting
commander, for a long period, "Postimees" reported.
Roosimagi is currently the head of the air defense
division. MH

LATVIAN PRESIDENT-ELECT ON RUSSIAN TV. Vaira Vike-
Freiberga, appearing live on Russian television on 30
June, defended Latvia's policies toward its Russian-
speaking minorities, saying its citizenship laws have
been approved by the international community, BNS
reported. "Russian-language speakers can take their
place within Latvia's community," she said, adding that
"the only thing we ask of them is to learn the state
language." Stressing that Latvia is one of a handful of
countries where ethnic disputes remain "peaceful," Vike-
Freiberga said: "I am very sorry to disappoint everybody
who believes the opposite, but it is true." MH

LEGAL ACTIONS BROUGHT AGAINST U.S. DEPORTEE. Lithuania
has brought legal action against Vincas Valkavickas, who
was recently deported from the U.S. over his activities
during World War II. Valkavickas has been linked to
several massacres of Jews while serving in Nazi-led
forces during the German occupation of Lithuania.
According to ELTA, the prosecutor plans to charge
Valkavickas within weeks, though the accused maintains
his innocence. Valkavickas voluntarily left the U.S. in
June before being deported for his wartime activities.
MH

CZECH COURT SENDS SKINHEADS TO PRISON. A court of
justice in Prague on 30 June sentenced three skinheads
to prison terms ranging from six-and-a-half to eight-
and-a-half years on charges of racially motivated murder
and attempted murder, CTK reported. The court said it
could not hand down more severe penalties because the
three were under age when they committed the murder. In
September 1993, the three, along with other skinheads,
attacked a group of Roma in Pisek, southern Bohemia, and
chased four of them into the Otava River. One Rom
drowned in the incident, while the others were helped
out of the river by police. Earlier this year, the three
were sentenced to the same terms by a lower court, but
that sentence was quashed on procedural grounds. MS

CZECH COMPANY HEAD DENIES ILLEGAL ARMS DEAL WITH NORTH
KOREA. Zbynek Svejnoha, chairman of the board of the
Liberec-based Agroplast company, who is being tried in
absentia for attempting to illegally export six
unassembled MiG-21s to North Korea via Kazakhstan (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 25 June 1999), on 30 June denied the
charge against him, CTK reported. He told Czech
Television that he had a valid license and that the MiG
spare parts were destined for India. MS

DEPUTY PREMIER APPEALS TO ROMA TO STAY IN SLOVAKIA. Pal
Csaky, deputy premier in charge of human and national
minorities' rights, has called on Slovakia's Roma not to
leave the country and "beware of those seeking to make
profit out of ethnic tourism." Csaky said the current
wave of asylum seekers in Finland appears to have been
"organized", as was the 1997 wave to the U.K. He said
that "no citizen has reason to leave Slovakia on
political or ethnic discrimination grounds" and warned
that the Finnish authorities have not yet provided
asylum to any of the Slovak Roma, CTK reported on 30
June. On I July, Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen,
whose country took over the EU rotating presidency one
day earlier, said Finland might oppose Slovakia's
joining the union because of the refugee flood. MS

SLOVAK PRIVATIZATION SCANDAL CONTINUES. The cabinet on
30 June approved the decision of Prime Minister Mikulas
Dzurinda to dismiss National Property Fund (FNM)
chairman Ludovit Kanik and his deputy, Ladislav Sklenar,
but called on the two officials to submit their
resignation willingly, CTK reported (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 30 June 1999). Dzurinda said the two had
acted in an "unprofessional manner." Kanik rejected the
suggestion that he resign. He said that the deal, in
which the U.S. Cinergy company bought from businessman
Vladimir Poor shares in a refinery that had been
illegally privatized, involved "political
responsibility" since the Economy Ministry had been
aware of the transaction. MS

BUDAPEST MAYOR HELD AT YUGOSLAV BORDER. Gabor Demszky
was kept waiting three hours at the Yugoslav border at
the start of his 30 June visit to Subotica to meet with
Jozsef Kasza, mayor of that city and chairman of the
Federation of Vojvodina Hungarians. After the meeting,
Demszky said Yugoslavia's reconstruction is impossible
without its democratization, and he urged cooperation
between cities in Hungary and Vojvodina, Hungarian media
reported. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ANNAN TO SPEED UP ESTABLISHING CIVILIAN MISSION IN
KOSOVA. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan chaired a
meeting in New York on 30 June aimed at quickly
developing the civilian administration in Kosova and
setting up an international police force there. Present
were top officials from the G-8 countries, 10 other
states, the EU, the OSCE, and the Organization of the
Islamic Conference. Participants made pledges to bolster
the new police force from 1,000 to 1,938 members, but
this still falls short of the 3,110 Annan wants to send
urgently to the troubled province. Participants differed
over whether reconstruction aid should be supplied to
Yugoslavia and over the role that the Kosova Liberation
Army (UCK) should play in an eventual local police
force. Annan appealed to his guests to increase their
contributions for the reconstruction of Kosova, "The New
York Times" reported. PM

CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS NEW KOSOVA COURT. In Prishtina on
30 June, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who is Annan's special
representative in Kosova, swore in nine judges for
Kosova's new independent judiciary, including two judges
in absentia. The nine are five ethnic Albanians, three
Serbs, and one ethnic Turk. The judges' first task will
be to try 221 people, recently detained by KFOR, for
murder, looting, and other crimes. De Mello called the
swearing in "a most important step forward toward
building a new multi-ethnic, independent judiciary."
Aziz Rexha, who is one of the five Albanian judges, told
Reuters, however, that he and the other Albanians will
not assume their duties unless the ethnic balance of the
judiciary is altered to more accurately reflect that of
Kosova, which is approximately 90 percent Albanian.
Djordje Aksic, who was a judge under the former Serbian
administration but not under the new one, argued that
there must be additional Serbian judges if the exodus of
Serbs from the province is to stop. PM

TRIBUNAL'S RISLEY SAYS SERBIAN AUTHORITIES LAUNCHED
DESTRUCTION CAMPAIGN. Paul Risley, who is a spokesman of
the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia, told RFE/RL on 30 June that that Serbian
forces deliberately destroyed houses in Kosova. He
argued that the scale of destruction proves that the
buildings were not damaged in fighting but that the
perpetrators must have set fire to them systematically.
He stressed that cities such as Peja and Gjakova are
almost completely leveled and that in some cases
artillery and mortar fire destroyed entire areas. Risley
stressed that army, paramilitary, or police units "must
have been directed or told to go to some areas
[and]...create these fires, and then move on." There are
currently five teams of international forensic experts
working in Kosova, while up to five more teams are
expected soon. The number of investigators will then
total about 350. FS

ADDITIONAL MASS GRAVES DISCOVERED IN KOSOVA. KFOR
troops on 30 June discovered several mass graves,
including the bodies of 119 people in two locations
northwest of Prizren, dpa reported. Elsewhere, KFOR
soldiers found 11 burned bodies in a house in Kalilane
near Peja. A KFOR spokesman in Prishtina said all 11
appeared to be members of a single ethnic Albanian
family. FS

UCK COMMANDER CALLS ON ALBANIANS NOT TO TAKE REVENGE.
UCK commander Rustem Mustafa Remi has called on ethnic
Albanians not to take revenge on local Serbs, RFE/RL's
South Slavic Service reported on 30 June. Remi said
that "revenge brings nothing good to the Albanian
people" and is "unacceptable to the UCK." He stressed
that the UCK intends to introduce the rule of law and
a democratic society for all citizens, independent of
their ethnic origin. Remi harshly condemned the
killings and maltreatment of Serbian civilians as well
as the burning of their homes and property by ethnic
Albanians. FS

MORE REPORTS OF KILLINGS OF SERBS. Serbian Orthodox
Father Radomir Nikcevic told the independent FoNet news
agency on 30 June that unknown persons killed four
Serbian civilians near Rahovec during the previous 24
hours and that an additional 19 Serbs have
"disappeared." A local Serbian Red Cross official added
that 4,000 Serbs fear revenge attacks by ethnic
Albanians and have taken shelter at a church, AP
reported. During the spring, Rahovec was the scene of
some particularly grisly killings of Kosovars by Serbian
forces. In Mitrovica on 30 June, KFOR sent doctors for
the first time into the Serbian part of the city,
RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

FIRST TURKISH TROOPS LEAVE FOR KOSOVA. A convoy of 52
military vehicles left Ankara on 1 July for Kosova via
Bulgaria and Macedonia. Turkey's NATO ally Greece
refused to allow the convoy to cross its territory,
thereby causing a delay in the departure of the
vehicles, Reuters reported. A second group of troops
will travel by train to Prizren on 2 July and a third
and final contingent will fly to Skopje on 7 July before
going on to Kosova. The Turks will be stationed in
southwestern Kosova, where many ethnic Turks live. Since
the collapse of communism, Turkey has shown a keen
interest in reestablishing close ties with several
Balkan countries that formerly belonged to the Ottoman
Empire. PM

DJINDJIC WARNS AGAINST ISOLATING SERBS. Zoran Djindjic,
who heads Serbia's opposition Democratic Party, said on
a visit to Prague on 30 June that democracy will not
come to Serbia so long as Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic stays in power, AP reported. Djindjic added,
however, that the international community should not
isolate the Serbian people in the meantime. "Isolation
of the government must not mean isolation of the nation.
We cannot expect people who have nothing to support
democracy. They could become an easy victim of
demagogy," Djindjic concluded. PM

MILOSEVIC TO RESHUFFLE CABINET? Yugoslav Prime Minister
Momir Bulatovic met in Belgrade on 30 June with
representatives of all parties represented in the
parliament to discuss reconstruction following the NATO
bombing campaign. The Serbian opposition parties
belonging to the Alliance for Change have no
parliamentary representation and were not invited.
Montenegrin parties opposed to Milosevic rejected the
invitation because they do not recognize the Bulatovic
government as legitimate. Observers suggested that
Milosevic may be seeking to solidify his power base by
ensuring that Vojislav Seselj's Serbian Radical Party
stays in government and by persuading Vuk Draskovic's
Serbian Renewal Movement to return to the cabinet after
having left earlier in the year. PM

YUGOSLAV ARMY BLOCKS MONTENEGRIN FRONTIER WITH CROATIA.
Yugoslav troops continue to prevent trucks and persons
without Yugoslav passports from entering Montenegro from
Croatia, "The Daily Telegraph" reported on 1 July (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 29 June 1999). The army recently
turned back "hundreds" of trucks in a single day. The
London-based daily added that Belgrade's goal is to
prevent supplies from entering Montenegro by land and
"place the country under partial siege." PM

CROATIAN FARMERS' PROTEST OVER. Farmers dismantled their
roadblocks at various locations throughout Croatia on 30
June after reaching agreement with the government on
back payments to farmers and on the price of wheat (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 30 June 1999). PM

ALBANIAN AIRPORT STRIKE ENDS. Tirana airport ground
staff returned to work on 30 June after being awarded a
30 percent salary increase, Reuters reported. The
workers will receive an additional 20 percent wage hike
in September. Commercial flights to and from the airport
have meanwhile resumed. They were halted on 28 June when
the 150 staff stopped work (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29
June 1999). FS

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAND, FOREST RESTITUTION
AMENDMENT... The Chamber of Deputies on 30 June approved
the amended law on land and forest restitution, RFE/RL's
Bucharest bureau reported. The maximum amount of land
that can be restituted to individuals has been raised
from 10 to 50 hectares. The limit on forest restitution
(which was not included in the previous version of the
law) has been set at 10 hectares for individuals and 30
hectares for monasteries and churches, as demanded by
the Democratic Party. The Senate has not yet debated the
law. MS

...BUT RETURN OF REAL ESTATE PROVOKES CRITICISM. Also on
30 June, Prime Minister Radu Vasile rejected criticism
from within the ranks of his own National Peasant Party
Christian Democratic and the Liberal Party about the
government's decision one day earlier to submit the
amended law on real estate restitution to parliamentary
debate under the so-called "urgency procedure" rather
than issuing a government regulation. Vasile said the
decision came after opposition threats to move a no-
confidence vote and differences of opinion within the
cabinet and among members of the coalition majority. MS

HUNGARIAN MINORITY CONTENT WITH ROMANIAN EDUCATION LAW.
Bela Marko, chairman of the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania, said on 30 June he is "satisfied"
with the Senate's decision earlier that day to approve
the amended version of the Education Law recommended by
a mediation commission of the parliament's two chambers.
The law allows the setting up within existing
universities of departments offering instruction in
national minority languages and the establishment of
"multicultural" universities, whose language of tuition
is to be established by separate laws. In high schools
that offer instruction in minority languages, history
and geography must be taught in Romanian. MS

MOLDOVAN PREMIER SAYS ECONOMIC SECURITY ENDANGERED. In
an article published in the daily "Moldova suverana" on
30 June, Prime Minister Ion Sturza said the country's
economic security is in danger and speedy, far-reaching
reforms are the only solution to that situation,
RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Sturza said Moldovan
GDP has shrunk by 60 percent since the country became
independent and per capita annual income is $500, thus
making poverty "the number one problem" for the
government. Also on 30 June, Sturza told journalists
that the cabinet has approved a number of draft laws
aimed at accelerating reforms, including legislation on
guaranteeing against the expropriation of property,
land-leasing, small and medium-sized enterprises, and
various social measures. MS

BULGARIA COMPLETES LIQUIDATION OF LOSS-MAKING STATE
COMPANIES. Finance Minister Muravei Radev on 30 June
announced that Bulgaria has sold 40 percent of its state
assets and met the IMF-set deadline for selling or
closing 41 large loss-making companies as part of its
market reform program, AP reported. Under the terms of a
1997 three-year stand-by agreement for a $800 million
loan, the companies had to be closed in order to cut
losses in the public sector. Of the 41 companies, 30
have been sold, including the national carrier Balkan
Air. Radev said that 7,000 jobs were cut and there will
be another 6,000 layoffs by year's end if none of the
nine remaining companies slated for closure is sold. MS

END NOTE

WHY ORAL HISTORY MATTERS

by Michael J. Jordan

	Placed before the conference participants was a
plastic three-ring binder, with three inches' worth of
newly declassified documents. Those documents revealed
the content of the Hungarian Politburo and Soviet-
Hungarian meetings during the country's 1989 transition
from Communist dictatorship to parliamentary democracy.
	But early on at the Budapest conference, as ex-
dissidents debated that peaceful "negotiated" transition
with their communist-era adversaries, those records took
a back seat. The former opposition was more preoccupied
with intrigue--wire-tapping, secret agents, back-room
deals.
	On the hot seat was Gyorgy Fejti, the Politburo
member who had controlled the Ministry of Interior and
its police, secret police, spies and informants. But the
tight-lipped Fejti gave his interrogators little
satisfaction. As he would later tell a foreign
journalist: "I'm here because 1989 was an exciting time
and I'm curious what their perceptions were, but I have
no desire to earn the everlasting love of these people.
I'm not an angel, nor am I the devil. I'm just an
average, down-to-earth guy."
	Still, the conference filled in gaps that could
never be drawn from archives. Other players explained
their actions, motivations, and emotions.
	On the heels of a similar meeting between U.S. and
Vietnamese officials earlier this month, it was the
latest in a growing number of "collective, critical"
oral-history projects that are bringing together players
from main Cold War events, from the 1962 Cuban missile
crisis to the Vietnam War and martial law in Poland in
1980-81. As more archives are released, historians
hustle to confirm all that they can while "witnesses"
are alive to recount their role in history.
	"Reality is composed of both fact and perception,
so documents alone don't come close to telling the whole
truth," says Thomas Blanton, executive director of the
Washington-based National Security Archive, a backer of
these conferences. "While you can't fully re-create that
reality or atmosphere of that period...you can get close
enough by restoring human will and human agency to what
happened."
	Oral history itself is nothing new--it predates
written history. But this new trend was spurred by a
need to learn the lessons of the past. In October 1987,
with a spiraling nuclear arms race between the U.S. and
Soviet Union, a small group of U.S. historians organized
a conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to discuss the
Cuban missile crisis.
	Later, during the mid-1990s, the nonprofit National
Security Archive and the Cold War International History
Project of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars teamed up to organize
a series of conferences in Central Europe, titled "Cold
War Flashpoints," on the anti-Soviet uprising in Hungary
in 1956, the Prague Spring in 1968, and the birth of
Solidarity in Poland, 1980-1981.
	One of the highlights of that series was in
November 1997, when Polish General Wojciech Jaruzelski
was forced to defend his decision to impose martial law.
Jaruzelski claimed he was a patriot, not a traitor, and
that he had prevented a Soviet invasion. But the
evidence presented at the conference, combined with the
live testimony of Soviet military officials, indicated
the Soviets would not have invaded.
	History, of course, is typically told by the
winners. But today there is a drive to get numerous
perspectives. Moreover, until 1989 most U.S. Cold War
historians relied on English-language texts based
primarily on U.S. or British accounts.
	Today, more archives are being unearthed,
transcribed, and translated. And that has triggered a
domino effect, says James Hershberg, director-emeritus
of the Woodrow Wilson project. "We're creating an
international openness movement, where openness is used
as...leverage against closed archives everywhere,"
Hershberg said. "An opening in one place encourages an
opening in another. We take newly released Soviet
archives to the CIA, which pressures the CIA to release
even more."
	While the key figures in history can freely publish
one-sided, self-serving memoirs of how events unfolded,
in these oral history roundtable discussions historians
can confront those figures with the evidence. Such was
the case in Budapest.
	"By preparing all those documents, we gave scholars
a chance to have an impact on how events are
remembered," says Csaba Bekes, director of the Cold War
History Research Center in Budapest. Participants "can't
just tell us anything, to mislead us as they would like.
We...squeezed more information out of them than they
otherwise would have produced."
	Conferences like the Budapest one also overcome the
initial suspicion of participants, build trust, and
encourage further participation. "Witnesses" have a
vested interest in attending these conferences, say
organizers. They cite the case of Jaruzelski, whose
actions continue to be a politically sensitive topic in
Poland.
	"History is going to get written one way or
another, so you might as well try to influence it,"
Hershberg says. "If you don't show up, you're leaving
your history to someone you may disagree with.
Sometimes, just to hear what their counterpart says is
incentive enough. We don't have to bribe them with
honorariums."
	On the agenda this October are conferences in
Warsaw and Prague, with others perhaps in Germany,
Romania, and Bulgaria. They will conclude in 2000 with a
large-scale conference in Moscow.
	But no one should expect a similar conference on
NATO's campaign against Yugoslavia. A "critical mass" is
necessary, says Blanton of the National Security
Archive. "Unless there is sufficient distance from those
events, with enough memoirs written and enough archives
released, it may be premature," he says. "We spend a lot
of energy trying to generate that critical mass."

The author is a Budapest-based journalist
[michaeljjordan@csi.com]
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