It is easier to love humanity than to love one's neighbor. - Eric Hoffer
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 163, Part II, 23 August 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 163, Part II, 23 August 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

* BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT TO MEET OPPOSITION 'WITHIN FRAMEWORK'
OF 1996 BASIC LAW

* OPEN SPLIT IN SERBIAN OPPOSITION RANKS

* KOSOVA ALBANIANS PREVENT RUSSIANS FROM ENTERING RAHOVEC

End Note: LONG SHADOW OF AN OLD AGREEMENT
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT TO MEET OPPOSITION 'WITHIN FRAMEWORK' OF
1996 BASIC LAW. Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 20 August said he is
ready to hold a dialogue with political parties and public
associations on the "improvement of the election legislation
within the framework of the constitution currently in force,"
Belarusian Television reported. Lukashenka repeated his
earlier pledge to hold "free and fair parliamentary elections
in 2000" while taking into account "opinions of all political
forces" in Belarus. This means that Lukashenka intends to
organize elections to the National Assembly, which he created
following the 1996 controversial referendum on the
constitution. JM

BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER SAYS LUKASHENKA'S ACTS ILLEGAL.
Syamyon Sharetski, speaker of the opposition Supreme Soviet,
said in Vilnius on 23 August that all documents signed by
Lukashenka after 20 July are illegal since Lukashenka's
legitimate term expired on that date, Belapan reported. JM

UKRAINE HOPES FOR WORLD BANK LOAN TO PAY ARREARS... Deputy
Labor Minister Olena Haryacha said on 20 August that the
government currently owes 1.9 billion hryvni ($413 million)
in unpaid pensions and 1 billion hryvni in wage arrears.
Despite President Leonid Kuchma's order to clear those debts
by October, only a fraction of those amounts has been paid to
date. Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tyhypko said the same day
that the World Bank has tentatively agreed to provide a $100
million loan in September to pay back pensions and wages. He
added, however, that the loan is conditional on the
continuation of the IMF's aid program. JM

...LOOKS FOR MONEY IN ANOTHER EUROBOND ISSUE. The Finance
Ministry on 20 August announced that it has issued Eurobonds
worth 538 million German marks ($292 million), which will
mature in February 2001 at an annual interest rate of 16
percent, Interfax reported. The ministry has received
confirmation from the Luxembourg Stock Exchange that it has
included the Eurobonds in its listing. In February and May
1998, Ukraine floated the first issue of Eurobonds, worth 1
billion German marks. JM

PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER URGES UKRAINIANS TO ELECT 'SAVIOR OF
MOTHERLAND.' Oleksandr Tkachenko said in a statement marking
the eighth anniversary of the country's independence that "on
the threshold of the third millennium, Ukraine has abandoned
progressive development and walks the path of self-
destruction," Interfax reported on 21 August. Tkachenko noted
that 80 percent of Ukrainians are now living below the
poverty line. Meeting with Crimean parliamentary and local
deputies in Simferopol the previous day, he said that the 31
October presidential elections, in which he is a candidate,
will be a turning point in Ukrainian history, since the
people "must elect not simply a president but a savior of the
Motherland," ITAR-TASS reported. If elected president,
Tkachenko intends to reach an agreement with Russia and
Belarus on the "creation of a single economic space and a
defense union." JM

BALTS MARK 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF MOLOTOV-RIBBENTROP PACT.
Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians on 23 August marked both
the 60th anniversary of the pact between Nazi Germany and the
Soviet Union that cost them their independence and the 10th
anniversary of the Baltic Way, the 600 kilometer human chain
extending from Tallinn through Riga to Vilnius. The chain
marked a boost in the Baltic States' efforts to recover their
freedom. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who arrived
in Tallinn on 23 August to meet with Estonian officials, took
part in the celebrations, BNS reported (see also "End Note"
below). PG

ZHIRINOVSKII CALLS FOR RADICAL MEASURES AGAINST BALTS.
Vladimir Zhirinovskii, the leader of the Russian Liberal
Democratic Party, told a Russian media outlet on 20 August
that Moscow should adopt "radical measures" against all three
Baltic countries, BNS reported. He said that "the Balts are
laundering illegal money in the North Caucasus" and
"supporting the terrorists" there in a variety of other ways.
PG

ESTONIAN, JAPANESE DEPUTIES DISCUSS RUSSIAN BORDER ISSUES.
Japanese parliamentary deputies met with their Estonian
counterparts in Tallinn on 19 August to discuss their border
problems with the Russian Federation, BNS reported on 21
August. The Japanese deputies are members of the special
Okinawa and Northern Territories committee of the Diet. The
Estonians are members of the Estonian parliament's Foreign
Relations Committee. PG

RIGA URGES NON-CITIZENS TO ACCEPT ALIENS PASSPORTS. The
Latvian Citizenship and Migration Administration on 20 August
again called on all permanent residents of Latvia who are not
citizens to obtain aliens passports, BNS reported. If the
number of applicants does not increase, approximately 100,000
of people in this category will not have such documents by 1
January 2000 deadline. PG

LANDSBERGIS SAYS NATO SHOULD FOCUS ON RUSSIA. During a
meeting with visiting U.S. Congressional staffers, Vytautas
Landsbergis, the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament, said
that NATO should focus on the democratization of Russia even
as it maintains its traditional role as a defense alliance,
BNS reported on 21 August. Arguing that his country should be
included in the alliance, Landsbergis said Lithuania would be
a contributor and not just a consumer of security. In other
news, Landsbergis decided to give up land he had purchased at
a favorable price after his action sparked criticism in
Vilnius, according to BNS. PG

LITHUANIA TO INCREASE CONSULAR PRESENCE IN KALININGRAD. The
Lithuanian Foreign Ministry last week proposed increasing the
size of its consulate in Kaliningrad, BNS reported on 21
August. The Russian government has already agreed to this
step. Currently, the only other country with consular
representation in Kaliningrad is Poland. PG

INVESTIGATION OPENED INTO CLASH BETWEEN POLISH FARMERS,
POLICE. Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the 19
August clash between police and protesting farmers who
blocked a road at Bartoszyce, in northern Poland. Police used
batons, tear gas, a water cannon, and rubber bullets to
disperse the farmers, who started hurling stones and other
objects after the road was cleared. Eighty-three policemen
and a dozen civilians were injured in the clash. Deputy
Premier and Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz said the
government must "put those responsible for the rioting in the
dock," PAP reported. Balcerowicz added that farmers' protests
in Poland are provoked not by the government's agricultural
policy but by people who "try to profit from problems of the
Polish countryside." JM

CZECH OFFICIAL CALLS FOR OPENING COMMUNIST POLICE ARCHIVES.
In a statement released on the 31st anniversary of the Warsaw
Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Jitka Seitlova, deputy
chairwoman of the Civic Democratic Alliance-Freedom Union's
parliamentary group in the Senate, said the archives of the
former Czechoslovak secret police must be opened. The Czech
Republic, she said, must follow the example of Poland and
Germany, CTK reported on 20 August. The next day, the Office
for the Documentation and Investigation of Communist Crimes
said that 85 percent of those whose past is being
investigated for such crimes will not be prosecuted if no
charges are brought against them by 29 December, when the
statute of limitations will go into effect, CTK reported. MS

AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS BENES DECREES MUST BE
ABOLISHED. Wolfgang Schuessel says he will demand that the
1945 Benes decrees, under which the Sudeten Germans were
expelled from Czechoslovakia, be abolished as a condition for
the Czech Republic's admission to the EU, CTK reported on 21
August. The news agency cited a press release by the
Organization of Expelled Sudeten Germans, according to which
Schuessel made that statement at a meeting with the
association's chairman, Franz Neubauer. The press release
said Schuessel and the association's leaders agree that there
is "a great historical parallel" between the expulsion of the
Sudeten Germans and that of the Kosovar Albanians. In both
cases, it added, it is necessary to "restore full-scale
respect for human rights and the rule of law." MS

FORMER SLOVAK PREMIER SAYS HE WILL NOT TESTIFY IN ABDUCTION
INQUIRY. Vladimir Meciar told Slovak Radio on 21 August that
he does not intend to testify in the investigation into the
abduction of former President Michal Kovac's son in 1995, CTK
and SITA reported. Meciar said the parliament has no right to
relieve him of his secrecy oath, as the police had demanded.
He commented that he learned about the abduction only after
the crime was committed and that he has no knowledge of the
Slovak Counter-Intelligence Service's alleged involvement in
the kidnapping. He warned the government to "stop the circus"
of the investigation, saying that those now seeking to
investigate him are doing so out of "revenge" and are
themselves "committing crimes." MS

FINLAND REFUSES ASYLUM TO SLOVAK ROMA. The Finnish
immigration authorities have so far processed and rejected
300 applications for asylum filed by Slovak Roma who arrived
in Finland in late June, CTK reported on 20 August. The
agency cited a Finnish official as saying the Immigration
Office is likely to process all the 1,200 or so applications
by late October or early November. MS

HUNGARIAN FAR-RIGHTISTS WANT UN PROTECTORATE FOR VOJVODINA.
Ten thousand supporters of the extreme-right Hungarian
Justice and Life Party rallied on 20 August--Hungary's
national holiday--to call for re-drawing Hungary's borders to
include part of Yugoslavia's Vojvodina province, Hungarian
media reported. Party chairman Istvan Csurka told the
demonstrators that Vojvodina must be placed under UN
supervision to protect Hungarians there from "daily
injustices" and to prevent "another genocide in the area."
Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi rejected Csurka's
"irresponsible proposals," saying the Hungarian government
"does not want to change the borders but the nature of
borders." MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

OPEN SPLIT IN SERBIAN OPPOSITION RANKS. Vuk Draskovic, who
heads the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), said that "there
will be [no alliance] of the opposition under any
circumstances," "The Daily Telegraph" reported on 23 August.
He stressed that any new government must come to power
through elections, repeating his call for an early vote.
Draskovic added that he will not recognize any "street
cabinet elected on the streets" through mass protests. He
warned that mass demonstrations could lead to civil war.
Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic, who is Draskovic's
main rival, again demanded the resignation of Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic as a precondition for holding
new elections. Djindjic stressed that "politics is not made
in cabinets any more, but on the streets and squares,"
according to the London-based daily. PM

WHAT MAKES DRASKOVIC SO ADAMANT? Many members of the
opposition Alliance for Change believe that Draskovic has
concluded at least a tacit alliance with Milosevic, the
"Berliner Zeitung" reported on 21 August. Both men support
early elections (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19 August 1999). The
Berlin daily added that Milosevic's secret police may have
incriminating evidence about corruption among Draskovic's
supporters in the Belgrade city government. PM

OPPOSITION ALLIANCE TELLS MILOSEVIC TO GO. Vladan Batic, who
is one of the leaders of the Alliance for Change coalition,
said in Belgrade on 20 August that Milosevic must resign by
21 September. If he does not, the opposition will hold
protests throughout Serbia until he goes. Forms of protests
will include civil disobedience and a general strike, he
added. Batic stressed that "there will be no turning back"
for the alliance. PM

EIU SAYS YUGOSLAVIA POOREST COUNTRY IN EUROPE. The London-
based Economist Intelligence Unit said in a report released
on 23 August that the recent conflict in Kosova will
ultimately cost Yugoslavia some $64 billion. The study added
that the war inflicted "tremendous damage" on the economy and
infrastructure. This will cause GDP to shrink by more than 40
percent in 1999, making Yugoslavia Europe's poorest country.
The per capita GDP in Yugoslavia for 1999 is expected to be
$880, compared with $905 in Albania. GDP will remain at a
level well below that of 1989 for some time to come, the
report concluded. PM

VOJVODINA'S ETHNIC HUNGARIANS SET UP PROVISIONAL NATIONAL
COUNCIL. Three out of the six political organizations
representing the region's ethnic Hungarians--the Alliance of
Vojvodina Hungarians (SVM), the Democratic Union of Vojvodina
Hungarians, and the Vojvodina and Hungarian Civic Movement--
have formed the National Council of Vojvodina's Hungarians,
the BBC reported, citing Tanjug of 20 August. Subotica Mayor
and SVM chairman Jozsef Kasza was elected head of the 55-
strong council, which is composed of federal, republican, and
regional ethnic Hungarian deputies, as well as municipal
councilors representing the three organizations. Hungarian
Radio said that the council will act as a "mini-parliament"
of ethnic Hungarians living in Yugoslavia. A meeting of the
Vojvodina branch committee of the Socialist Party of Serbia
said the setting up of the council is a "political
provocation." MS

DRASKOVIC SAYS WEST SEEKS 'GREATER ALBANIA.' Draskovic told
Belgrade's Studio-B Television on 21 August that NATO seeks
to set up "a large Albanian Islamic state in the Balkans." He
added that Western countries intervened recently in Kosova
"to purge all Serbs from [the province], to take part in the
biggest crime...to help create a large Albanian state in the
Balkans. That's what they are doing." He did not elaborate.
Draskovic also charged that unnamed Western countries "even
want to mark all Serbian houses in [Kosova], saying it would
help protect them. But that would mean yellow ribbons, like
those Nazis imposed on Jews," AP reported. Observers note
that Serbian paramilitaries instructed local Serbs to clearly
identify their homes as Serbian during the Operation
Horseshoe ethnic cleansing campaign in the spring of 1999. PM

SERBS DEMAND OWN ENCLAVES IN KOSOVA. Kosova Serb leader
Momcilo Trajkovic said in Prishtina on 21 August that
Kosova's dwindling Serbian minority is not secure from
attacks by ethnic Albanians. He concluded that "the multi-
ethnic [Kosova] has failed. We think that cantonization could
stop the ongoing tragedy of the Serbian people." UN Special
Representative Bernard Kouchner said he "will study" the
proposal, but observers note that the UN is committed to a
multi-ethnic Kosova. Ethnic Albanian spokesmen rejected
Trajkovic's demand outright. Observers note that
"cantonization" was one of the models suggested at various
times between 1992-1995 as a possible solution for the
Bosnian conflict. Critics charged that it would make
permanent the results of ethnic cleansing. PM

KOSOVA ALBANIANS PREVENT RUSSIANS FROM ENTERING RAHOVEC...
Russian peacekeepers heading for Rahovec on 23 August turned
back after encountering a "huge roadblock" set up by local
ethnic Albanians, Reuters reported. Dutch troops have been
deployed in that town, but KFOR commander General Sir Mike
Jackson on 20 August ordered them to leave to make room for
the Russian contingent. An older man who emerged as the
ethnic Albanians' spokesman told Colonel Andrei Serdukov, who
is the deputy commander of the Russian contingent, that his
troops are not welcome. The man argued that Russian
mercenaries took part in Serbian atrocities in the area
earlier this year. He added: "We will stay here until someone
comes to tell us that Russians are not coming to Rahovec."
Serdukov replied that "no one will come to tell you that
because there is an international agreement that the Russian
army will come" to the town. FS

...AFTER SERBS TURN IN 600 WEAPONS. An unspecified
number of Serbian inhabitants of Rahovec had handed over
around 600 weapons to KFOR as of 22 August, Reuters
reported. KFOR the previous day put up posters
throughout the town's Serbian neighborhood listing the
names of those who had received weapons from Serbian
forces during the recent conflict. The posters ordered
them to turn in their weapons or face arrest. They also
warned that the peacekeepers will begin house-to-house
searches after the deadline expires. KFOR nonetheless
extended the deadline, arguing that the collection of
weapons is proceeding successfully but not yet finished.
KFOR also arrested three Serbian war crimes suspects
there on 20 August. Meanwhile in Prishtina, KFOR
officials declined to confirm claims by Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK) General Agim Ceku that the UCK has
met the second disarmament deadline, which expired on 19
August. They argued that KFOR must draw up a complete
inventory before confirming compliance (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 20 August 1999). FS

UNMIK TAKES OVER MITROVICA HOSPITAL. A UN administration
was installed on 22 August in a hospital in northern
Mitrovica, which will employ ethnic Albanian and Serbian
medical workers. Kouchner said that the hospital--
located in the Serbian-dominated part of the city--is "a
symbol in my eyes and it must be a symbol of the future
[of Kosova].... It will be a place where everyone [will]
work in tolerance, a symbol of life together." On 20
August, French KFOR troops escorted two Albanian
families back to their homes in northern Mitrovica,
while angry Serbs shouted curses at the peacekeepers. FS

DEL PONTE: TIME TO ARREST MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS. Carla Del
Ponte told the "International Herald Tribune" of 21 August
that she intends "to go after [top war criminals]
aggressively because they should be brought to trial." She
was referring specifically to Milosevic, paramilitary Zeljko
"Arkan" Raznatovic, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic, and former Bosnian Serb military commander General
Ratko Mladic. Del Ponte is slated to succeed Louise Arbour in
September as chief prosecutor for the Hague-based war crimes
tribunal. PM

CROATIAN VETERANS PROTEST REOPENING BORDER CROSSSING. Some
500 Dubrovnik-area veterans of Croatia's 1991-1995 conflict
with Serbian forces rallied on 21 August to protest the
recent reopening of the Ivanica border crossing to Serbian-
held eastern Herzegovina and the town of Trebinje (see
"RFE/RL Newsline, 6 August 1999). The veterans charged that
the international community and Croatian government did not
take local sensitivities into account when they decided to
reopen the crossing, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.
The veterans and many local people want several people living
in eastern Herzegovina charged with war crimes for their
alleged roles in the 1991 shelling of Dubrovnik. They include
Trebinje Mayor Bozidar Vucurevic. That town has long been a
Serbian nationalist stronghold. PM

ALBANIAN PREMIER ORDERS CHECKS ON HIGH OFFICIALS. Pandeli
Majko on 20 August ordered the Finance Ministry to conduct
checks on the personal business activities and the wealth of
high-ranking government, customs, and tax officials, dpa
reported. Majko also instructed the ministry to report its
findings to him on a monthly basis. The orders come amid
persistent press allegations of government personnel's
involvement in corruption and smuggling. A government
spokesman said that "the government is concerned that the
high [level] of corruption may pose a serious threat to its
efforts to revive the economy and to the future of the
country in general." He added that unspecified international
donors have asked "the government...to fight corruption and
smuggling in order to benefit from the [Balkan stability]
pact's economic projects." Majko also ordered the National
Information Service to install hidden cameras at border
crossing points. FS

ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE REBUKES ROMANIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION.
Kenneth Jacobson, assistant national director of the U.S.
Anti-Defamation League, said on 20 August that the Romanian
Football Federation (FRF) is "sidestepping the issue" in its
response to the International Federation of Amateur Football
(FIFA) complaint about the anti-Semitic activities of FRF
Vice President Dumitru Dragomir, AP reported. In response to
FIFA's request that the FRF launch an inquiry into the anti-
Semitic articles printed in the weekly "Atac la persoana,"
whose director is Dragomir, FRF president Mircea Sandu
replied that the Romanian Information Service and the
Prosecutor-General's Office informed him that "there are no
anti-Semitic organizations in Romania." Jacobson says that
the question is whether the Romanian authorities "are willing
to stand up against racialism and do something about it," not
whether organizations openly declare that they are anti-
Semitic. MS

OPPOSITION PARTY DEPUTY LAUNCHES ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK ON
SENATE CHAIRMAN. Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR)
deputy Miron Mitrea told a PDSR meeting in Focsani that
Senate Chairman Petre Roman, who recently announced his
candidacy for the presidency, should run rather "for chief
rabbi," "National" reports on 23 August. Roman's father, a
communist official, was Jewish. In response to a query by the
daily, Mitrea denied his remarks were anti-Semitic, saying
that "he who believes that being a Jew is shameful must be
considered an anti-Semite." He added that it is apparently
for this reason that Roman hides his Jewishness. Roman has
said that he is a member of the Romanian Orthodox Church and
has even published his baptism certificate. MS

MOLDOVAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS COMMUNIST PARTY APPEAL.
The Constitutional Court on 20 August rejected an appeal by
the Party of Moldovan Communists (PCM) against the
parliament's confidence vote in Ion Sturza's cabinet in
March, Infotag reported. The PCM said the vote was invalid
because the majority vote resulted from the absentee ballot
of deputy Ilie Ilascu, who is imprisoned in Tiraspol. The
court said it is not within its prerogatives to rule on the
matter, since this would constitute a "breach of the
principle of division of power" between the three branches of
government. MS

BULGARIANS FAIL TO DEMOLISH DIMITROV MAUSOLEUM. An attempt to
demolish the mausoleum of Bulgaria's first communist leader
ended in failure on 21 August. The building did not collapse
as planned after engineers set off a remote-controlled blast
of some 600 kilograms of explosives. The building remained
standing, although it tilted slightly to the left. A second
attempt also failed. Reuters quoted an onlooker as saying the
building was "just as stiff as communism," while AP quoted a
communist sympathizer as commenting that "there is just not
enough ammunition to destroy our ideas." The mausoleum will
now be demolished by bulldozers and cranes. MS

END NOTE

LONG SHADOW OF AN OLD AGREEMENT

By Paul Goble

	Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Molotov-
Ribbentrop Pact, the deal between Hitler and Stalin that
touched off World War II and that continues to cast a shadow
over Eastern Europe and relations between Moscow and the
West.
	On 23 August 1939, German Foreign Minister Joachim von
Ribbentrop and his Soviet counterpart, Vyacheslav Molotov,
signed a non-aggression pact between Nazi Germany and the
Soviet Union.
	Because this agreement eliminated the immediate threat
to Germany of a two-front war, it freed Hitler to launch the
attack on Poland that began World War II. And because it
allowed Germany to acquire numerous militarily important
supplies from the USSR, it helped to power Nazi victories in
Europe in 1939 and 1940.
	But even more important, this agreement--and especially
a secret protocol, the existence of which both Berlin and
Moscow long denied--drew a new line in Eastern Europe between
a German and a Russian sphere of influence, a line that
allowed Stalin to put pressure on and then absorb the three
Baltic countries.
	If much of the importance of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
was made irrelevant by Hitler's decision to attack the Soviet
Union in June 1941 and by the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany
in 1945, the sphere of influence the pact gave to Moscow over
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania has had a much longer life.
	Virtually all Western governments followed the U.S. in
refusing to recognize as legitimate Stalin's occupation of
these three small countries. Most maintained ties with the
diplomatic representatives of the pre-occupation authorities
and adopted other measures to show their non-recognition of
what the Soviet Union had done.
	And that policy, one that Baltic leaders have always
said encouraged them in their struggle against the
occupation, continued until August 1991 when Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania successfully achieved the restoration of their
state sovereignty as full members of the international state
system.
	But in an important sense, Moscow's sphere of influence
as defined by this pact continues to play a role in the
thinking of both Russian and Western leaders.
	Until almost the end of the Soviet period, Moscow
officials denied the existence of the secret protocol to the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. And when they could no longer deny
that, they retreated to an insistence that the Sovietization
of the Baltic States in 1940 had nothing to do with that
accord.
	However, as Baltic, Russian, and Western historians have
demonstrated, Stalin occupied Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
when he did only because of the assurances Hitler had given
him that these countries lay within Moscow's sphere of
influence.
	Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation
has changed again, but it is still the case that many in
Moscow call for Western recognition that the Baltic countries
lie within a Russian sphere of influence. And they advance as
the basis for that claim the notion that Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania were part of the Soviet Union.
	In the past, most Western officials were careful to
speak about the existence of 12 Soviet republics and three
occupied Baltic states and thus to implicitly reject Moscow's
pretensions in this regard.
	But more recently, senior Western officials and various
Western academic experts have made ever more references to
the supposed existence of "15 former Soviet republics." These
call into question the West's non-recognition policy.
Moreover, they are taken by Moscow as an implicit recognition
that the Soviet borders are still a dividing line in Europe.
	That pattern, in turn, has encouraged some in the
Russian capital to assume that Moscow can deal with the
Baltic countries in much the same way it has dealt with its
other neighbors, an assumption that threatens not only the
security of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania but also the
stability of Europe as a whole.
	As a result and despite all the talk about a Europe
without new lines of division and about the future inclusion
of everyone in all international structures, such comments
and assumptions appear to reinforce just such a line--one
drawn 60 years ago by two of the most evil figures of our
time.

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