No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. - Edmund Burke
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 178, Part II, 13 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 178, Part II, 13 September 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
Russian Media Empires V (In English and Russian)
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/rumedia5/index.html
A pre-election analysis of media owned by Russian government
and business entities.

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Headlines, Part II

* KUCHMA APPEALS NOT TO CREATE 'PAPER CURTAIN' IN EUROPE

* KFOR WARNS OF SERBIAN DESTABILIZATION OF KOSOVA

* LIVE AMMUNITION USED IN MITROVICA CLASHES

END NOTE: Giving Yalta A New Meaning
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

LUKASHENKA DECREES RESTRICTIONS ON RALLIES. Belarusian
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has issued a decree "on
measures to prevent emergencies during mass events."
According to Belarusian Television, the decree was prompted
by the 30 May stampede in a metro passageway in Minsk, which
claimed 53 lives. The document prohibits holding rallies less
than 200 meters away from metro stations and bans the sale of
alcohol and beer within a 500 meter perimeter of a rally. The
decree does not apply to official events organized on state
holidays. According to Belarusian oppositionists, the decree
intends to restrict opposition actions planned for this fall.
Human rights activist Ales Byalatski told RFE/RL's Belarusian
Service that the authorities may now designate remote places
on the outskirts of Belarusian cities for opposition protest
actions. JM

BELARUSIAN POPULAR FRONT TO RECONVENE CONGRESS IN OCTOBER.
The Belarusian Popular Front (BNF) Board on 11 September
decided to reconvene the BNF sixth congress on 30-31 October
after the previous one failed to elect a BNF leadership on 1
August (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 and 3 August 1999). The
board rejected a proposal by exiled BNF leader Zyanon Paznyak
to divide the BNF into two allied organizations--a public
movement and a political party--and hold their conventions
separately. The session also invalidated Paznyak's directives
to dismiss Lyavon Barshcheuski from the position of BNF
acting chairman and to hold a separate congress of the BNF
Party. However, some members of the BNF Board refused to
register at the session and claimed that it lacked a quorum
to adopt decisions. JM

KUCHMA APPEALS NOT TO CREATE 'PAPER CURTAIN' IN EUROPE. The
10-11 September Yalta conference of 22 Baltic and Black Sea
states ended with a common pledge to promote regional
cooperation and to build a Europe without dividing lines.
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who hosted the Yalta
forum, appealed for attendants not to create a "Paper
Curtain" of travel restrictions between the EU and the rest
of Europe in place of the "Iron Curtain." "We are convinced
that visa and other restrictions should not become an
insurmountable obstacle for free movement of law-abiding
citizens of the states aspiring for European integration,"
Kuchma said. (see also "End Note"). JM

UKRAINIAN NATIONAL BANK CALM OVER RECENT HRYVNYA FALL. Last
week the hryvnya left the previously established exchange
corridor of 3.4 to 4.6 to $1 and was traded at 4.65-4.7 to
$1, Ukrainian Television reported on 12 September. Commercial
bank and currency dealers explain the hryvnya's fall by
speculative demand for hard currency in expectation of the
hryvnya's devaluation. They claim that the hryvnya will
continue to fall unless the National Bank (NBU) intervenes on
the currency market. However, NBU press secretary Dmytro
Rikberg said last week that "there will be no interference"
on the part of the bank and that the situation will stabilize
in the next few days once Ukraine has received foreign
credits. JM

MERI MEETS WITH ESTONIANS IN CRIMEA. Estonian President
Lennart Meri, in Crimea for the Yalta Summit, on 10 September
travelled to the town of Alupka to meet with ethnic Estonians
settled there. President Meri invited members of the
community to visit Estonia and to help strengthen the ties
between Estonia and Ukraine. The Crimean Estonian Society,
however, told Meri that they faced difficulty in obtaining
visas to visit Estonia. The society also plans to open an
Estonian-language school in the town of Krasnodarka,
according to BNS. Estonians have been living in Crimea since
the 1860s. While in Crimea for the summit, Meri also met with
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze and Bulgarian
President Petar Stoyanov. MH

LITHUANIAN PREMIER IN FRANCE. Prime Minister Rolandas Paksas
made a three-day visit to France on 8-10 September. His
French counterpart, Lionel Jospin, told Paksas that France
supports Lithuania's EU and NATO aspirations. Paksas and
French European Affairs Minister Pierre Moscovici discussed
Lithuania's EU integration bid, including issues concerning
nuclear power and several recent EU actions against Lithuania
for dumping. Moscovici also stated French support for
Lithuania's desire to begin accession negotiations with the
EU. During a meeting with Laurent Fabius, the speaker of the
French National Assembly, Paksas restated that Lithuania's
desire to join NATO is not directed at another country. MH

WIESENTHAL CENTER LAMBASTS LITHUANIA. The director of the
Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel, Efraim Zuroff, called
Lithuania an "ultimate haven" for Nazi war criminals, BNS
reported. This comes as a Vilnius District Court rejected a
prosecution motion to re-examine the health of war crimes
suspect Aleksandras Lileikis, and subsequently suspended the
trial (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September 1999). Zuroff
added, "I have no doubt that this unfortunate decision will
only increase and speed up the return to Lithuania of
numerous Lithuanian Nazi murderers living abroad who fear
prosecution in their lands of current residence." Zuroff
called for Lithuanian authorities to re-examine the case,
saying that it would "prove once and for all [Lithuania has]
nothing to hide in this regard." MH

POLISH PREMIER PROMISES CABINET RESHUFFLE IN TWO WEEKS.
Following a leadership meeting of the ruling coalition of the
Solidarity Electoral Action-Freedom Union on 10 September,
Premier Jerzy Buzek said decisions on a government reshuffle
will be taken within the next two weeks. Leszek Miller, head
of the opposition Left Democratic Alliance, said the same day
that his party backs early parliamentary elections, adding
that a cabinet reconstruction will not change the current
situation. Jaroslaw Kalinowski, head of the opposition
Peasant Party, said on 12 September that the government
should either change its economic policy or agree to early
elections. A poll in early September revealed that 71 percent
of Poles negatively assess the performance of Buzek's cabinet
and 58 percent disapprove of Buzek himself. JM

CZECH SOCIALISTS APPROVE CURTAILING PRESIDENTIAL POWERS. The
leadership of the ruling Social Democratic Party (CSSD) on 12
September approved the constitutional amendments proposed by
the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) on curtailing the
prerogatives of the president. The amendments will be
forwarded to the parliament in the next few days. CSSD deputy
chairwoman Petra Buzkova said on Czech television on 12
September that she opposes the amendment that makes possible
the removal of the president from office if he is unable to
carry out his constitutionally-stipulated duties for six
months. MS

EU COMMISSIONER SAYS CZECHS MAY NOT ACCEDE IN NEXT WAVE. In
an interview with the German weekly "Der Spiegel," EU
commissioner in charge of enlargement Guenter Verheugen says
the Czech Republic might fail to be included in the next wave
of EU expansion, CTK reported on 12 September. Verheugen says
this may be due to the previous Czech cabinet which "did not
take the talks with the EU very seriously." MS

CZECH POLITICIANS CONDEMN AD CALLING FOR KLAUS'S 'REMOVAL.'
President Vaclav Havel on 10 September said an ad published
by "Annonce" daily editor Josef Kudlacek on 8 September,
which promised a reward of five million crowns (about
$145,000) to "the person who will remove [ODS chairman
Vaclav] Klaus from the political scene" was "beyond the
limits of what is admissible" and demonstrated the "drop in
the general level of morality that I have been criticizing
for a long time," CTK reported. Prime Minister Milos Zeman
commented that "Kudlacek belongs partly in the mad house and
partly in prison, and if possible in both institutions." He
also called on the police to investigate the case. A police
spokeswoman on the same day said Kudlacek will not be charged
because he denies the ad called for the physical liquidation
of Klaus and says it was only intended to call for his
removal from politics. MS

SLOVAK CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS DECLARE INDEPENDENCE FROM SDK. The
Executive Council of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)
on 12 September decided that the KDH will run under its own
name in the 2002 parliamentary elections or in alliance with
other parties, SITA and CTK reported. KDH chairman Jan
Carnogursky said the decision "ends the discussion about the
relationship between the KDH and the Slovak Democratic
Coalition (SDK)." Premier Mikulas Dzurinda, who is also SDK
chairman, told the council that he sees the future
relationship between the two political entities as one of "a
political union or a confederation [of parties]." But he
admitted that the current legislation makes no provision for
such a "confederation" to be able to run. KDH deputy chairman
Pavol Hrusovsky told journalists after the meeting that the
party will "no longer be distracted by scuffles" between the
parties that make up the SDK. MS

SLOVAK SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DECISION ON LEXA. The Supreme
Court on 10 September rejected an appeal by Justice Minister
Jan Carnogursky against a July decision of a Bratislava court
to free from detention former Slovak Intelligence Service
chief Vladimir Lexa, SITA and CTK reported. Lexa is being
investigated on suspicion of abusing public office,
participation in the kidnapping of former President Michal
Kovac's son in 1995, theft, blackmail, and violation of
financial regulations. MS

SLOVAK ROMANY PARTIES AGREE ON UNIFICATION. Representatives
of 14 out of 15 registered Romany associations and political
parties, meeting in Kosice on 11 September, agreed to set up
a Council of the Coalition of Romany Parties and to meet
again in 30 days to approve setting up a single Romany
political representation, CTK reported. The chairman of the
Party of Democratic Unity of Roma, Jan Conka, was elected
chairman of the council. A spokesman for the council said
that the unification was necessary as Roma felt deceived by
both the SDK and by the previously ruling Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia. He said the Romany coalition will run
its own candidates in 2002 and expects to get as many as
300,000 votes. The delegates criticized Premier Dzurinda and
called for the resignation of Pal Csaky, deputy premier in
charge of human rights and minority issues. Csaky's
resignation was also demanded by representatives attending
the International Romany Congress in Bratislava on 10
September, SITA reported. MS

HUNGARY CELEBRATES BORDER OPENING ANNIVERSARY. Austrian,
German and Hungarian leaders on 10 September attended a
commemorative session of the parliament in Budapest that
marked the 10th anniversary of the day when Hungary opened
its border to Austria. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban
called the free passage of tens of thousands of East German
citizens to Austria "a turning point in European history."
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said he "brought the
gratitude of the German people," who will never forget the
deed that "made German reunification possible." MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KFOR WARNS OF SERBIAN DESTABILIZATION OF KOSOVA. A spokesman
for NATO peacekeepers said in Prishtina on 12 September that
KFOR troops have recently seen several dozen Serbian
paramilitaries in the province. The Serbs wore dark uniforms
and "insignia patches of a kind we haven't seen before." The
spokesman said that the paramilitaries clandestinely entered
the province, which all Serbian forces were to have left in
June. He added that the Serbs have decided on "some planned
activities to destabilize the situation [in Kosova]. These
are orchestrated, planned activities." The spokesman gave as
an example the recent clash between Serbian gunmen and
Russian peacekeepers, Reuters reported (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 7 June 1999). Several Serbian hard-line
politicians and some military officials have suggested in
recent weeks that Serbia will reintroduce its security forces
if KFOR fails to protect Serbian civilians. A spokesman for
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, however, explicitly
ruled out armed intervention by Belgrade (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 10 September 1999). PM

LIVE AMMUNITION USED IN MITROVICA CLASHES. Hospital staff
told AFP that eight out of a total of 150 people hurt in
clashes in Mitrovica on 10 September were hit by bullets (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 10 September 1999). They did not elaborate
on the ethnic background of the victims. French KFOR troops
fired only tear gas and stun grenades during the clashes,
meaning that the live ammunition came from the Serbs, the
ethnic Albanians, or both. Several hundred ethnic Albanian
protesters held a rally outside UN headquarters in Mitrovica
on 12 September, demanding that KFOR take measures to ensure
the return of ethnic Albanian residents to the northern part
of the town. Local UN Administrator Sir Martin Garrod
promised the protesters that "Mitrovica will not be a divided
city," an RFE/RL South Slavic Service correspondent reported.
FS

KOSOVARS PROTEST ARREST OF UCK LEADER. About 2,000 ethnic
Albanians gathered outside UN offices in Gjakova on 12
September to protest against the arrest of an unnamed local
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) commander, AP reported. KFOR
recently arrested the man on unspecified criminal charges.
Elsewhere, unidentified attackers fired shots at a Russian
checkpoint but no casualties were reported. FS

CEKU PLEDGES TO BEAT DEMILITARIZATION DEADLINE... General
Agim Ceku, who is the chief of the UCK's general staff, told
Reuters in Prishtina on 11 September that the UCK will
complete its disarmament by 16 September, three days before
the official demilitarization deadline. Ceku added: "Up until
19 September, there are 10,000 mobilized UCK [soldiers].
After that date there are none...including me." Ceku stressed
that the UCK commanders firmly back the demilitarization. He
added that recent attacks on Serbs and Roma are by criminals
wearing UCK uniforms and by others who wrongly claim to be
members of the UCK. He stressed: "If we had all those people
with us who now say they are UCK, we would not have needed
the help of the international community to liberate Kosova."
FS

...AND URGES CREATION OF KOSOVA CORPS. General Ceku also told
Reuters that he expects the international community to
establish a Kosova Corps (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September
1999) despite Russian objections. He stressed that the corps
will assist KFOR in case of emergencies and disasters and
that it "will not be armed in any way to endanger someone
else." Meanwhile, Zoran Andjelkovic, who was Serbia's
governor of Kosova until the deployment of KFOR, told the
state-run Tanjug news agency that including "some members of
the terrorist UCK into a civilian force [in Kosova] would be
a direct violation of [UN Resolution 1244]." Meanwhile,
General Vladimir Lazarevic, who was a commander in Kosova
during the war, claimed in an interview with Radio B2-92 that
the UCK has "handed over some antiquated...weapons [to
peacekeepers] but obtained, under KFOR guidance, new heavy
weaponry." He did not provide evidence of his claim. FS

KOUCHNER: MORE SERBS IN KOSOVA THAN BELIEVED. Bernard
Kouchner, who is the UN's administrator for Kosova, told the
UN Security Council in New York on 11 September that the
province's current population includes 1.4 million Albanians,
97,000 Serbs, and 73,000 members of other ethnic groups,
including Turks, Roma, Bosnian Muslims, and others. Most
recent estimates had put the number of Serbs left in Kosova
at no more than 30,000. In Belgrade, Tanjug called Kouchner's
report "vague [and] highly generalized," adding that "without
a good knowledge of the province, one would not be able to
understand what he was talking about." In New York, U.S.
Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke called Kouchner's
presentation "brilliant," adding that "Dr. Kouchner is the
right man in the right place at the right time," Reuters
reported. PM

MONTENEGRO PLANS 'MARKA' AS DINAR SLIDES. U.S. Professor
Steve Hanke, who is the advisor on currency policy to
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, said in Podgorica on
12 September that the result of upcoming talks between
Serbian and Montenegrin leaders will determine whether
Montenegro adopts its own currency. Hanke noted that the
planned monetary unit would be called the marka, backed 100
percent by German mark reserves, and pegged to the German
currency at one-to-one. On Montenegrin black markets, the
Yugoslav dinar recently fell to 14 to the German mark. In
Belgrade, Deputy Prime Minister Dragan Tomic said that "all
rumors of alleged devaluation [of the dinar] come from the
black market and those who are trying to take money from
gullible people," Reuters reported. The official exchange
rate is six dinars to the mark. The mark has been the
unofficial currency throughout the former Yugoslavia for
decades. Bosnia's successful new currency is closely linked
to it. PM

SERBIAN OPPOSITION, MONTENEGRIN AUTHORITIES MOVING CLOSER?
Serbian Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic told
Montenegrin television on 12 September that he, other
opposition leaders, and unnamed Montenegrin officials will
soon issue a joint political declaration. The text will deal
with promoting democracy in Yugoslavia and redefining the
relations between Belgrade and Podgorica. Djukanovic met in
the Montenegrin capital on 11 September with Djindjic and
several other opposition leaders, including Nenad Canak, Mile
Isakov, Jozsef Kasza, Rasim Ljajic, Rade Veljanovski, and
Branislav Kovacevic, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.
Djindjic spent several weeks in Montenegro during the NATO
air strikes in the spring, saying that he feared arrest (or
worse) in Serbia. Several opposition leaders are frequent
visitors to Montenegro, but they and Djukanovic have not gone
beyond vague declarations in their public remarks. Western
countries have urged Montenegrin and Serbian opponents of
Milosevic to work together for democratization. PM

SERBIAN COURT FINES OPPOSITION PAPER. A court in Cacak on 11
September fined the "Cacanski Glas" $13,500 for publishing an
article suggesting that Nikola Pavicevic, who is a local
official in charge of monitoring financial transactions, with
"shady dealings." The court decision came on the basis of a
year-old media law that gives the authorities the power to
take tough measures against offending journalists and their
employers. Another recent court decision fined "Cacanski
Glas" $22,600 on the basis of a private lawsuit by Pavicevic,
AP reported. A spokesman for the paper said that the article
merely reported charges made by Vuk Draskovic's Serbian
Renewal Party (SPO) against the official. The SPO did not
send anyone to testify on the paper's behalf in court. The
Serbian regime--like its counterpart in Croatia--frequently
makes use of lawsuits and fines to intimidate or bankrupt the
opposition media. PM

IN THE WINNERS' CIRCLE. Milosevic received ousted Bosnian
Serb President Nikola Poplasen in Belgrade on 10 September.
Also present was Momcilo Krajisnik, who is the former Serbian
representative on the joint Bosnian presidency. Serbian
Deputy Information Minister Miodrag Popovic denied that
Milosevic was trying to reinstate Poplasen. The minister
added: "we are not in the business of installing and removing
governments around the world. Some other people are," Reuters
reported. In Banja Luka, caretaker Prime Minister Milorad
Dodik said that "we are waiting for Poplasen to come back
from Belgrade to take his official car." Last week, Dodik and
SFOR took away Poplasen's office, bodyguards, telephones, and
cars (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 September 1999). PM

IMF TEAM REVIEWS ROMANIAN PERFORMANCE. An IMF expert team led
by the fund's chief negotiator for Romania, Emmanuel
Zervoudakis, met with Finance Minister Decebal Traian Remes
on 10 September, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The team
is reviewing Romania's economic performance to establish
whether it qualifies for receiving the second tranche of a
stand-by agreement approved earlier this year. Budget
expenditure in the first eight months of 1999 was 40 percent
higher than expected, throwing doubts of Bucharest's ability
to restrict its deficit to 3.9 percent of the GDP, as
conveyed with the fund. MS

ROMANIAN PREMIER CALLS ON PARTIES TO 'ISOLATE' OPPOSITION.
Prime Minister Radu Vasile, in an interview with the BBC on
12 September, proposed to all parties in the ruling coalition
to pledge that they will not join a coalition with the Party
of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) after the 2000
parliamentary elections, Romanian radio reported. If the
pledge is implemented, he said, the PDSR will not be able to
form a government even if it were returned as the largest
party in the parliament by the ballot. Vasile said he "hopes
this will solve the dilemma" of those of his party colleagues
who attacked him last month for saying that the National
Peasant Party Christian Democratic (PNTCD) should consider
entering a coalition with the PDSR after next year's
elections. He also said that he "does not rule out" leaving
the PNTCD if the opposition against him in the party
persists. MS

ROMANIAN COURT DECLINES COMPETENCE TO RULE ON OUTLAWING
EXTREMIST PARTY. Bucharest's Appeals Court on 10 September
ruled that it is not competent to decide whether the Greater
Romania Party (PRM) should be outlawed and sent the case to
the Constitutional Court, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.
The Justice Ministry, the Association of Romanian Lawyers for
the Defense of Human Rights, the Assistance Center for Non-
Governmental Organizations, and the Party of Democratic
Solidarity requested that the PRM be outlawed on the grounds
of violating constitutional provisions forbidding racial
incitement. They cited an article published in the PRM weekly
"Romania Mare" in August 1998 inciting discrimination against
ethnic Hungarians and Roma. MS

ROMANIAN PATRIARCH SENDS PROTEST LETTER TO PREMIER. Patriarch
Teoctist on 10 September protested in a letter to Premier
Vasile against the government's decision not to grant the
Romanian Orthodox Church the status of "National Church,"
RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported (based on an erroneous
report by Romanian Radio and Television, "RFE/RL Newsline" on
10 September reported that the status had been granted).
Teoctist said the government was "denying the Orthodox Church
the status that has been obtained through nearly 2,000 years
of Christian life." MS

OSCE EXPECTS PROGRESS IN TRANSDNIESTER NEGOTIATIONS. The OSCE
mission head in Moldova, William Hill, said on 10 September
that he expects the negotiations between Chisinau and
Tiraspol--set to resume this week--to yield progress, Infotag
reported. He told journalists that OSCE experts will go to
Transdniester to establish the necessary financial assistance
for the evacuation of the Russian arsenal or its liquidation
there. He said that contrary to reports in the media, he has
not received any official Transdniester warning that the
experts will not be allowed to come to Tiraspol. Hill also
said that the OSCE will not react to media reports that
Russia has demanded a military base for its contingent in the
Transdniester as this is a matter for Russian-Moldovan
bilateral relations, but added that the OSCE "advocates
prompt, complete, and orderly withdrawal of Russian troops
and their weapons." MS

BULGARIA, UKRAINE, CRITICIZE ROMANIAN BLOCKADE ON DANUBE.
Meeting in Yalta at the Black Sea-Baltic summit conference on
11 September, Transportation Minister Wilhelm Kraus and his
Ukrainian counterpart Ivan Dankievich said they consider the
Romanian blockade against Serbian vessels on the Danube River
(see "RFE/RL Newsline, 10 September 1999) to be
"uncivilized." Kraus told journalists that it is possible to
find "an efficient mechanism to force the Serb authorities to
reconsider their decision to set up artificial obstacles to
free navigation" on the river. He also said that Bulgaria,
Romania, and Ukraine will hold a trilateral meeting on 21-22
September to discuss the Serbian measures, as well as
possibilities to finance clearing the wreckage of bridges
destroyed by NATO air strikes, BTA reported. MS

MULTINATIONAL PEACE FORCE HEADQUARTERS INAUGURATED IN
BULGARIA. At the inauguration of the headquarters of the
Multinational Peace Force in Southeastern Europe at Plodviv
on 11 September, President Petar Stoyanov said that he is
confident that "the day will come when Serbia and other
republics of former Yugoslavia will join the peace force,"
BTA reported. The 3,000-strong peace force includes ground
forces from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Macedonia,
Romania, and Turkey. MS

END NOTE

Giving Yalta A New Meaning

By Paul Goble

	Yalta, the place where Moscow and the West divided
Eastern Europe in 1945, is now the symbol of the new and
independent role the countries between Russia and Germany and
the Baltic and Black Seas hope to play in the future.
	On 10-11 September, 14 presidents and other senior
officials from these and adjoining countries met there to
promote cooperation among themselves, to denounce the
emergence of any new dividing lines in Europe, and to demand
that no decisions about them be taken without them.
	This, the third international conference in a series
launched in Vilnius in 1997, represented the latest and most
dramatic effort by these countries to repudiate the great
power politics that dominated thinking at the Yalta
conference in 1945.
	At that first Yalta conference, Soviet leader Josef
Stalin, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, and British Prime
Minister Winston Churchill effectively created new spheres of
influence in Europe without consulting any of the nations
thus affected.
	From that decision, one that has many precedents in
European and world history, many once independent and proud
peoples were consigned to Soviet rule for nearly half a
century. And none of those affected has ever forgotten or
forgiven either that meeting or its results.
	Now, and largely as a result of the efforts of these
nations themselves, they are once again in a position to be
the active subjects of history rather than its mere objects.
	And thus virtually all of the leaders there echoed in
one way or the other the words of Ukrainian Foreign Minister
Borys Tarasyuk who said that " Yalta-99 has done away with
the spirit of Yalta-45."
	But that celebratory spirit was undercut not only by the
tight security arrangements surrounding the meeting but also
by expressions of genuine concern about whether the goals of
Yalta II, as some of the leaders described it, were likely to
be achieved anytime soon.
	Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, the host of this
year's meeting, pointedly appealed to the European Union not
to create a new "paper curtain" of travel restrictions in
place to the now-collapsed "Iron Curtain" of the Cold War.
	Such restrictions on the "free movement of law-abiding
citizens of states aspiring for European integration," Kuchma
suggested, could effectively divide the continent in ways
that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for states
once submerged in the Soviet empire to recover.
	Then, Estonian President Lennart Meri called attention
to one of the problems that many of the other leaders only
alluded to. While the countries of this region are now the
subjects of history, he said, "none of us are simply
subjects."
	As a result, the Baltic leader continued, his country
and its neighbors "remain its objects as well, driven hither
and yon by larger forces and larger states." Because of that,
Meri said, the countries of this region cannot take anything
for granted but must work together to defend their interests.
	And finally, in words that confirmed both the fears and
the appeals of Meri and the others, the Russian
representative at the Yalta meeting used the occasion to
oppose the expansion of a Western institution that many of
the countries in this region hope to join.
	Speaking on 10 September, Russian First Deputy Prime
Minister Viktor Khristenko argued that "NATO's further
expansion--including the Baltic states--would lead to the
creation of new division lines and would in no case assist in
the consolidation of security."
	Khristenko's appeal in itself reflects the continuing
view of many in Moscow that it and no one else should play
the dominant role in this region, a role that Stalin believed
the West had ratified at the first Yalta conference.
	But at the same time, Khristenko made these comments in
a city that is now part of an independent Ukraine and to an
audience consisting of leaders of countries who have either
gained or regained their independence from Moscow.
	And that fact demonstrates more clearly than anything
else just how much the world has changed since 1945 and how
significant Yalta II in fact was, both as a symbol of those
changes and as an expression of hope for the future.
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