This is the true nature of home-- it is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from injury, but from all terror, doubt and division. - John Ruskin
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 138, Part II, 19 July 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 138, Part II, 19 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* OSCE PERSUADES BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT TO TALK TO
OPPOSITION

* OJDANIC SAYS ARMY BACKS MILOSEVIC

* KOSOVAR GROUPS AGREE ON CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES

End Note: A NEVER-ENDING UNIFICATION STORY
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

OSCE PERSUADES BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT TO TALK TO
OPPOSITION. Following meetings with Belarusian President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka and opposition parties, the OSCE
special mission headed by Adrian Severin announced on 18
July that Lukashenka has agreed to hold free
parliamentary elections in 2000 and enter a dialogue
with the opposition (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 July
1999). "The Belarusian president stated his commitment
to the holding of free, fair, and recognizable
parliamentary elections next year as well as his support
for a national dialogue on elections between the
government and the opposition," the OSCE mission said in
a statement. Talks are expected to begin in early
September. JM

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT ORDERS GOLD RESERVE DOUBLED BY
2001. National Bank Chairman Pyotr Prakapovich said on
16 July that the president has instructed him to double
the state reserves of gold and other precious metals
within two years, Belapan reported. Prakapovich said
there is no crisis in the Belarusian banking system,
noting that the country's 27 banks increased their
capital from 79.8 million euro ($81.4 million) to 190.7
million euro from January-June 1999. Lukashenka said the
same day that it is "still not clear" whether Belarus
will adopt the Russian ruble as its national currency.
"One thing needs to be known: we will not give up the
sovereignty and independence of our country [while
forging a single currency with Russia]; we will accept
[such a currency] only on a par," Belarusian Television
quoted Lukashenka as saying. JM

UKRAINE TO PAY GAS DEBT TO RUSSIA WITH GOODS. During
Russian Premier Sergei Stepashin's 15-18 July visit to
Ukraine, the two sides agreed that Ukraine will pay its
gas debt to Russia through commodity supplies, including
food, and Russian defense orders worth $300 million will
be written off as debt repayment. Russia says Ukraine
owes $1.8 billion for Russian gas, while Ukraine insists
that the state gas debt totals $1 billion, with the rest
owed by commercial traders. The sides failed to agree on
the prices of goods to be supplied in repayment.
Ukrainian Premier Valeriy Pustovoytenko is to visit
Moscow next month to sign an accord on the repayment
deal. In Sevastopol, Stepashin pledged to resolve the
financial difficulties of the Russian Black Sea Fleet,
adding that they should be addressed through the "mutual
cancellation of debts and direct supplies." JM

KYIV SUMMIT FAILS TO RESOLVE TRANSDNIESTER CONFLICT.
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Moldovan President
Petru Lucinschi, Transdniester self-styled leader Igor
Smirnov, and Russian Premier Stepashin failed to find a
resolution to the conflict in Moldova's Transdniester
breakaway region but said they hope to make progress
soon. The sides signed a joint declaration calling on
the conflicting sides to work toward reuniting in a
single state. "There are differences of principle
between us on the approach to the [Transdniester]
status," Reuters quoted Smirnov as saying. Moldova is
ready to grant wide autonomy to the Transdniester, while
the region seeks a "confederation" agreement with
Chisinau. JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT OKAYS TROOPS TO KOSOVA, AMNESTY FOR
40,000. The parliament on 16 July approved Kuchma's bill
on sending 800 troops to Kosova (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
16 July 1999). The same day, it endorsed a presidential
bill on amnesty, under which more than 40,000 convicts
are to be released from overcrowded prisons. JM

U.S.-BALTIC PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEE MEETS. The U.S.-Baltic
Partnership Committee, set up under the U.S.-Baltic
Charter, met for the second time in Washington on 16
July. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott
hosted Foreign Ministers Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia
and Algirdas Saudargas of Lithuania as well as Latvian
Foreign Ministry State Secretary Maris Riekstins for the
annual meeting. Commenting on the Baltic States'
integration into NATO, Talbott said, "I would stop just
short of saying it's inevitable," BNS reported citing
AFP, adding that "it is desirable and I think there is
considerable reason for optimism that it will occur
because of the extraordinary progress these three
countries have made." The three visiting officials
reconfirmed their countries' determination to raise
defense spending to 2 percent of GDP within a few years,
a move praised by Talbott. MH

IS WILLIAMS BACKING OUT OF LITHUANIA? U.S. company
Williams International has denied rumors that the
company plans to pull out of the deal to acquire a
controlling stake in Lithuania's oil industry. Head of
the Center Union and deputy parliamentary chairman
Romualdas Ozolas accused Williams of "packing their
bags" by withdrawing specialists and leaving a skeletal
representation only, BNS reported on 18 July. The
signing of the agreement to sell two-thirds of the
Mazeikiai Oil conglomerate to Williams has been
repeatedly delayed. MH

POLISH FARMERS' LEADER SAYS CABINET PROVOKING 'PEASANT
REBELLION.' Andrzej Lepper, leader of the radical
farmers' trade union Self-Defense, said on 17 July that
the government is forcing farmers to launch a "peasant
rebellion," PAP reported. According to him, farmers
fears that the state grain procurement system will lead
to chaos during the harvest are being confirmed. Lepper
added that out of 600 companies that want to be involved
in grain procurement, two-thirds lack liquidity. The
next day, Lepper said farmers' organizations must form
an electoral bloc for parliamentary elections and
propose a single candidate for president. Meanwhile,
farmers in Kruszwica, central Poland, have set up a
nationwide protest committee and are threatening to
erect road blockades if the government fails to meet
their demands on prices for grain and rape-seed. JM

UN SECRETARY-GENERAL IN CZECH REPUBLIC. Kofi Annan,
meeting with President Vaclav Havel in Hradecek,
northeast Bohemia, on 17 July, praised Havel's
controversial visit to Kosova last month, saying it
"encouraged those who are victims of the conflict" and
gave them hope. Annan also met with UN special envoy for
the former Yugoslavia, Jiri Dienstbier, who later said
they agreed that finding a solution to the problems in
Kosova is "complex" and requires "political, economic,
and humanitarian" efforts by the international
community. Also on 17 July, Annan met with Defense
Minister Vladimir Vetchy. Both men expressed the opinion
that "Kosova must gain broad autonomy, but not
independence," CTK reported. MS

CZECH PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO POLL SHOWING COMMUNISTS'
GROWING POPULARITY. Presidential spokesman Ladislav
Spacek on 17 July said Havel believes the agreement
between the ruling minority Social Democratic Party
(CSSD) and the main opposition Civic Democratic Party
(ODS) is one of the main reasons for the growing
popularity of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
(KSCM). Havel was responding to the findings of a STEM
public opinion poll published one day earlier, which
showed the KSCM as having overtaken the CSSD (the two
parties received 17.8 percent and 16.8 percent support,
respectively). The KSCM is now the second most popular
party after the ODS (23.4 percent). MS

SLOVAK PREMIER OFFERS FORMER PRESIDENT GOVERNMENT POST.
Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda on 16 July offered
former President Michal Kovac the post of government
commissioner for Slovakia's integration into Euro-
Atlantic structures, CTK reported. Dzurinda later
declined to say whether his offer was accepted, saying
only that the former president's reputation abroad is
"good" and that "it would be unwise not to take
advantage of this." Kovac said that he is "ready to help
the government and serve the nation." CTK said that he
has two to three weeks to make up his mind whether to
accept the offer. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

OJDANIC SAYS ARMY BACKS MILOSEVIC. General Dragoljub
Ojdanic, who is army chief of staff, said in Nova Varos
on 17 July that "the main task of all of us is to
preserve the stability of the state. [In Yugoslavia]
there are lots of people who have sold out [their
country] and vassals of the West, who want to remove the
[legally elected] authorities by force and push the
state into a new catastrophe.... [Those who seek to do
so] will not have popular support." Ojdanic is a
political appointee who has held his current post since
only 24 November 1998. Opposition journalist Milos Vasic
told the BBC on 19 July that it is unclear whether
Ojdanic speaks for anyone except himself and the
leadership of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The
Hague-based war crimes tribunal recently indicted
Ojdanic, Milosevic, and three other top-ranking Belgrade
officials for war crimes in conjunction with Operation
Horseshoe in the spring of 1999 in Kosova. PM

DRASKOVIC: OFFER MILOSEVIC IMMUNITY. Vuk Draskovic, who
heads the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement, told the
"International Herald Tribune" of 19 July that the
easiest way to get Milosevic out of power is to let him
remain "as a figurehead...[of a] transitional
government" that would prepare the way for new elections
at all levels. In order to persuade Milosevic to go
peacefully and to attract the support of some of his
backers, Draskovic argued that the new authorities
should give Milosevic immunity from prosecution and from
deportation to The Hague, where he is wanted for war
crimes. On 17 July, Draskovic told a crowd of 15,000 in
Kragujevac that the transition government should hold
office for between three and six months. Besides
preparing for elections, its tasks would be to get
international sanctions lifted and ensure the return of
Serbian refugees to Kosova. Observers note that the
international community is unlikely to lift sanctions as
long as Milosevic remains in office. PM

YUGOSLAV RESERVISTS END PROTESTS. In Nis on 18 July,
some 100 army reservists ended three days of protests
for back pay for recent service in Kosova. General
Nebojsa Pavkovic, who commands the Third Army, promised
in a local television broadcast to meet their demands.
He noted that the government owes reservists a total of
$82 million, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. A
spokesman for the Kragujevac reservists said, however,
that they will take unspecified "more radical action" if
the authorities do not keep their promises. In Prokuplje
on 17 July, an unspecified number of reservists blocked
off the main streets leading in and out of the town to
demand back pay. They ended their protest when army
officials agreed to meet their demands. PM

BELGRADE'S OLIVE BRANCH TO PODGORICA? Serbian Deputy
Prime Minister Bogoljub Karic told the Podgorica daily
"Vjesti" of 17 July that "he has nothing against...a
democratic and civilized" dissolution of Yugoslavia into
two "independent and sovereign states" if that is what
the Serbian and Montenegrin peoples want. If they prefer
to remain united in one state, he continued, Serbia and
Montenegro could each have its own currency. Karic added
that, in any event, the strongest Montenegrin party
should have the prime minister's post in the federal
government. Observers note that the leading Montenegrin
party is currently the Democratic Party of Socialists of
President Milo Djukanovic, who is an outspoken critic of
Milosevic. PM

KLEIN: CROATIA, SERBIA KEY TO BOSNIA'S FUTURE. Jacques
Klein, who is the UN's new special representative in
Bosnia, said in Sarajevo on 18 July that Bosnia's future
will be "problematic" unless both Croatia and Serbia
become democratic. He stressed that those two
neighboring countries currently "exercise a negative
influence" on the democratization and stability of
Bosnia. Klein stressed the importance of Milosevic's
departure from office for the peace and stability of the
region. Klein noted, however, that Milosevic retains
strong control over the Serbian media and that
opposition to him remains weak and divided. PM

KOSOVAR GROUPS AGREE ON CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES.
Several Albanian, Serbian, Turkish, and ethnic Slavic
Muslim delegates agreed at the first meeting of the
UN's new transitional council (see below) for Kosova
on a series of confidence-building measures, UN
spokesman Kevin Kennedy told RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service. Kennedy said that the delegates agreed in
Prishtina on 16 July on a procedure for recruiting
people from all ethnic groups for the planned UN
police force. They also agreed to create joint
commissions that will visit various parts of Kosova,
together with UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and KFOR
officials, to assess the needs of the local
populations. Furthermore, they agreed to quickly
resolve disputes surrounding the staffing and work of
Radio and Television Prishtina so that the station can
go on the air as soon as possible (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 14 July 1999). FS

UN TO HAVE BINDING ARBITRATION IN KOSOVA COUNCIL.
Kennedy told RFE/RL's South Slavic Service that the
transitional council is not a decision-making body. He
stressed that the members of the council will consult
with and advise UNMIK. He added that it will function
on the basis of consensus when possible. UN Special
Representative Bernard Kouchner will, however, make
binding decisions if the delegates do not agree among
themselves. Participants included the Kosova
Liberation Army's (UCK) Hashim Thaci, Rexhep Qosja
from the United Democratic Movement of Kosova, Serbian
Orthodox Bishop Artemije Radosavljevic, and publishers
Veton Surroi and Blerim Shala. The moderate Democratic
League of Kosova sent no delegates to the meeting (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 16 July 1999). The council is
scheduled to meet again on 19 July. FS

THACI HEADS PARADE IN RAHOVEC. Thaci and 300 UCK
fighters in uniform made a "triumphant entry" into
Rahovec on 17 July "in a show of political and
military force," AP reported. Thaci had received
special permission from KFOR to hold the parade, which
commemorated the deaths of UCK soldiers in the area
during the 1998-1999 conflict with Serbian forces.
Thaci said: "Our job is not done yet. We have to be
united more than ever for the independence of Kosova,
and the world must recognize our right to hold a
referendum on independence." He stressed: "We don't
want an ethnically pure city here. We must create
conditions for all the ethnic groups to live here." FS

'OBSERVER': NATO PREPARED TO INVADE KOSOVA. London's
"The Observer" of 18 July quoted General Sir Charles
Guthrie, who heads the U.K.'s Defense Staff, and his
deputy, Air Marshal Sir John Day, as saying that
commanders from the U.K. and U.S. finalized plans in
early June to launch a massive ground invasion of
Kosova. The project was called "Operation B-Minus" and
would have involved 170,000 troops, including 50,000
from the U.K. The invasion was slated to begin the
first week of September if Milosevic had not pulled
his troops out of the province by then. It is unclear
which other NATO countries were prepared to
participate in the project. PM

ALBANIA PRAISES MACEDONIAN PLEDGE ON UNIVERSITY. The
Albanian government issued a statement on 16 July saying
that the Macedonian government's recent decision to
grant "permission to open a university in the Albanian
language shows a willingness [by the Macedonian
government] to overcome problems and help our relations
grow," Reuters reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 July
1999). FS

ALBANIAN DEMOCRATS END PARLIAMENTARY BOYCOTT.
Delegates at an extraordinary congress of the
Democratic Party (PD) in Tirana on 17 July voted
unanimously to end the party's 10-month boycott of the
parliament, Reuters reported. Party leader Sali
Berisha told the delegates: "Fulfilling the request of
the U.S. government to return to parliament is the
least we could do after all that they did for
Albanians," by which he meant the U.S.'s involvement
in Kosova. Berisha pledged to propose making U.S.
President Bill Clinton an honorary citizen of Albania.
He added that "the Democratic Party commits itself to
creating a new political climate where nobody will be
excluded anymore." The Democrats launched a
parliamentary boycott after the killing of PD
legislator Azem Hajdari in September 1998. They
charged the Socialist-led government with being behind
the murder. FS

ALBANIA EXPELS TERRORISM SUSPECTS. Tirana Police Chief
Mithat Havari told Reuters on 17 July that police the
previous day expelled two Syrian brothers--identified
as Abdyl and Osama Naem--and Iraqi citizen Muhamed
Jasim. Havari said that the three did not have
"proper" documents. He did not provide other details.
"Koha Jone" reported that the three were arrested
early on 16 July and immediately expelled by plane to
Athens. The daily suggested that the three were
suspected agents of indicted Saudi terrorist Osama Bin
Laden. They worked for an Islamic charity organization
in Albania. Police had arrested two of them in
February, but a Tirana court released them in early
July for lack of evidence. In related news, Pentagon
spokesman Army Lieutenant-Colonel Steve Campbell told
Reuters in Washington on 17 July that security reasons
were only "a secondary reason" for U.S. Secretary of
Defense William Cohen to cancel his scheduled visit to
Tirana on 13 July. FS

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION CRITICIZES SENTENCING OF GENERALS.
The Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) on 16
July said it is "concerned" that the sentencing of
generals Victor Stanculescu and Mihai Chitac (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 16 July 1999) reflects a "dangerous
precedent" and was the outcome of pressure exercised on
the judiciary by the ruling coalition parties. PDSR
deputy chairman Adrian Nastase on 18 July said the
generals are "just the first two victims" of a
"political war" launched under "a scenario" whose
ultimate targets are former President Ion Iliescu and
Petre Roman, who served as premier after the 1989
revolution, Mediafax reported. The Defense Ministry on
16 July said it will appeal the decision of the court
ordering the ministry to pay damages to those wounded in
Timisoara and to the relatives of those killed in
December 1989. MS

ROMANIAN POLITICIANS PLAY 'MUSICAL PARTY CHAIRS.' Mircea
Cosea, deputy chairman of the Alliance for Romania Party
(APR), has been elected deputy chairman of the Rightist
Union Forces (UFD) at an UFD extraordinary congress,
RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported on 17 June. Cosea
said his decision to join the UFD stemmed from
ideological reasons and that the APR is gradually
abandoning its "liberal" persuasion in favor of a Social
Democratic orientation. Also, the UFD congress elected
to the UFD Standing Committee former Privatization
Minister Valentin Ionescu and Emil Tocaci, both of whom
last month resigned from their parties--the National
Peasant Party Christian Democratic and National Liberal
Party, respectively--to join the UFD. MS

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT SATISFIED WITH KYIV SUMMIT. Petru
Lucinschi, returning from the Kyiv summit on 17 July
(see above), said the meeting "marked an important step
toward a final settlement of the Transdniester
conflict," RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Lucinschi
said that "for the first time" the two conflicting sides
had agreed on the "principles" that must guide the
resolution of the conflict--namely the formation of
single "economic, judicial, and social space within
Moldova's existing borders, recognized by the
international community." He said it is now up to
experts from the two sides to work out how to implement
these principles. Lucinschi praised the "constructive
position" of the Russian, Ukrainian, and OSCE mediators,
saying that Russian Premier Sergei Stepashin has
"confirmed the intention...to proceed with the
withdrawal of armament and troops" from Moldovan
territory. MS

MOLDOVA TO SETTLE ROMANIAN DEBT WITH COMPANY SHARES.
Romanian Trade and Industry Minister Radu Berceanu on 16
July said a consortium formed by the Petrom company and
other Romanian companies will take over 51 percent of
the shares of the Moldovan Tirex-Petrol company in
exchange for Chisinau's more than $5 million debt to
Romania for electricity supplies, Romanian Radio
reported. The parliament in Chisinau on 15 July approved
legislation writing off Tirex-Petrol's debt to the state
budget and transferring a majority stake to the Romanian
side in exchange for the debt cancellation. MS

BULGARIA TO OFFER TRANSIT RIGHTS TO RUSSIAN KFOR TROOPS.
Foreign Minister Nadezhda Mihailova on 17 July told the
private Darik Radio that "in the next few days" Bulgaria
will offer land transit rights to Russian KFOR troops,
similar to those offered to other states contributing to
the peacekeeping force in Kosova, BTA reported. In the
same interview, Mihailova said Bulgaria is already a
"successful Balkan model of political stability and
multi-ethnic relations" and "we hope that very soon we
shall also be a successful economic model as well." She
added that what Sofia expects from the EU "is not praise
and kind words, but an invitation to start accession
talks." MS

END NOTE

A NEVER-ENDING UNIFICATION STORY

by Jan Maksymiuk

	Russian Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin announced
on 5 July that Russia will sign a treaty with Belarus
this fall, allowing the two countries "to enter the 21st
century as a union-state." For those who may have lost
count of Russian-Belarusian integration initiatives,
this will be the third major agreement on a single
Russian-Belarusian state. The first was signed in April
1996, the second one year later, in April 1997. There
are many signs that this year's proposed document--
heralded by Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
and Russian President Boris Yeltsin in a joint
declaration on 25 December 1998--will not be the
ultimate unification pact either.
	Stepashin's pledge of quicker unification was
preceded by attempted blackmail on the part of the
Belarusian president. Addressing the 2 July session of
the Belarusian-Russian Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk,
Lukashenka threatened to seek rapprochement with the
West if Russia continued to drag its feet on a closer
union with his country. Following consultations with
Yeltsin, Stepashin hastened to assure Lukashenka that
the treaty will be ready within a month and will not be
of simply a "declarative character."
	As for Lukashenka's threat to repair relations with
the West, Stepashin commented: "We would welcome that
[move], and a union between Russia and Belarus should
not in any case stand as an obstacle to creating a
unified Europe." Both Yeltsin and Stepashin are
perfectly aware that, as one Russian newspaper put it,
"there is no way to the West" for Lukashenka.
	Lukashenka's attempt at blackmailing Russia is
rather a sign of his weakness and frustration as his
presidency nears the completion of its fifth year on 20
July 1999. European democracies have not recognized
Belarus's 1996 controversial referendum, by means of
which Lukashenka extended his presidential term until
2001. So far, he has not appeared to pay much attention
to what the West thinks about his legitimacy after 20
July. Rather, he seems to have scented another danger:
What if Moscow strongmen--embroiled in their intricate
wars for power--begin openly questioning his legitimacy
and, consequently, his right to sign any interstate
documents? Such a turn of events cannot be ruled out as
Russia nears parliamentary elections in December and
presidential elections next year.
	There has been much speculation in the Russian
media that Yeltsin is willing to repeat the "Milosevic
scenario" in order to stay in power beyond 2000. The
creation of the Russian-Belarusian union could serve
Yeltsin's political longevity in the Kremlin in the same
way as the 1994 creation of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia helped Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
remain at the helm in Belgrade as the head of the
unified state of Serbia and Montenegro.
	Lukashenka is ready to accept Yeltsin as the union
president provided that he himself is given the post of
vice president. However, Kremlin planners have not
envisaged any union presidency or common government. And
what is more important, even such staunch proponents of
Russian-Belarusian integration as Russian State Duma
Chairman Gennadii Seleznev, Communist Party leader
Gennadii Zyuganov, and Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov have
not insisted on the introduction of a union presidency.
This should be taken by Lukashenka as a disappointing,
if not alarming, state of affairs: Russian political
elites have so far not devised any major role for him in
the struggle for power in Russia. Moreover, it is
unclear whether they ever intended to.
	Yeltsin recently announced that he is ready to step
down when his terms expires next year. Whether or not
that is true, he may at least be willing to wait to take
a final decision until after Russia's parliamentary
elections in December. If the elections suggest that his
preferred candidate will win the presidential race next
year, he will most likely leave the political scene,
placing the future of further integration with Belarus
into the hands of his successor. If not, a "union
option" that would prolong his rule might be used by him
in earnest. In any case, no one should expect a treaty
this fall that would allow Lukashenka to obtain the real
levers of power in Russia.
	Lukashenka recently declared that he will not
accept a non-presidential power structure in the union-
state. But it seems he will have no choice. If he
refuses to sign another watered-down union treaty
proposed by Moscow, he will find himself on the
sidelines of the integration process, which he has so
ardently championed. What is more, he may well find
himself on the sidelines of all politics. Neglecting and
even rejecting normal relations with Western
democracies, he has become hostage to his one-sided
policy of rapprochement with Russia. On the other hand,
if he signs such a treaty, he will hardly get what he
wants--namely, more power and more Russian resources to
bail out the sinking Belarusian economy.
	"From the very beginning [of his term], Lukashenka
was nothing more than a puppet.... The real power was in
the hands of the puppeteer behind the screen. The only
person who could allow himself [to move the puppet] was
Boris Yeltsin with his family," the Belarusian
independent weekly "Nasha Niva" commented on 28 June.
That comment appears all the more bitter in light of the
fact that most Belarusians still show no tendency or
desire to stop being entertained in such a way.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word subscribe as the subject of the message.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message.

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
hermanoval@rferl.org
________________________________________________
CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES ON THE WEB
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest
are online at: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/
_________________________________________________
LISTEN TO NEWS FOR 25 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour
LIVE Broadcast Studio.
http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html
_________________________________________________
REPRINT POLICY
To receive reprint permission, please contact Paul Goble
via email at GobleP@rferl.org or fax at 202-457-6992
_________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE STAFF
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Editor-in-Chief, CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Team Leader, MooreP@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Julie A. Corwin, CorwinJ@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Fabian Schmidt, SchmidtF@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org

FREE-LANCE AND OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTORS
* Pete Baumgartner, Jeremy Branston, Victor Gomez, Mel
Huang, Dan Ionescu, Zsolt-Istvan Mato, Jolyon Naegele,
Matyas Szabo, Anthony Wesolowsky

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630
_________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole