To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else. - Emily Dickinson
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 183, Part II, 20 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 183, Part II, 20 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
Headlines, Part II

* LUKASHENKA ACCUSES WEST OF 'PROVOCATIONS' AGAINST BELARUS

* UCK OFFICIALS BALK ON DEMILITARIZATION

* AVRAMOVIC URGES MILOSEVIC, MILUTINOVIC TO RESIGN
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

LUKASHENKA ACCUSES WEST OF 'PROVOCATIONS' AGAINST BELARUS.
U.S. Ambassador to Belarus Daniel Speckhard on 17 September
expressed concern over the disappearance of Belarusian
oppositionist Viktar Hanchar (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17
September 1999). French envoy to Minsk Bernard Fossier noted
that Hanchar's disappearance may "torpedo" the dialogue
between the opposition and the authorities in Belarus,
according to Belapan. Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka said the following day that "some politicians"
tend to destabilize the situation in Belarus by resorting to
"various provocations" and by claiming that Belarus is a
totalitarian state where people disappear without trace,
Belarusian Television reported. "I would ask the West to look
for [those disappeared people] in the West before making loud
statements," Lukashenka added. JM

IMF SAYS BELARUS MUST IMPLEMENT REFORM TO COUNT ON MONEY. IMF
spokeswoman Kathleen White on 17 September said Belarus will
have to lower inflation, liberalize its economy, and
implement structural reforms before applying for IMF
financial assistance, Reuters reported. White was responding
to Belarusian National Bank Chairman Pyotr Prakapovich's
announcement last week that Belarus will "insist and demand"
that the IMF lend it $230 million. Prakapovich had said Minsk
will ask for the money under emergency and stand-by loan
programs because of this year's poor harvest and other
problems. JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RAISES MINIMUM PENSION. The parliament
on 17 September voted 299 to eight to approve raising the
minimum pension from the current 24.9 hryvni ($5.4) to 55
hryvni, AP reported. Given President Leonid Kuchma's repeated
vetoes of several pension increases, the parliament's 17
September decision seems to be yet another example of the
confrontation between the legislature and the government
ahead of the 31 October presidential elections. State Pension
Fund head Borys Zaychuk commented that his fund, whose annual
revenues total 13 billion hryvni, will not be able to find
the additional 9.7 billion hryvni needed to pay for the
increase. JM

UKRAINE, KAZAKHSTAN SIGN DEALS ON OIL, GAS SUPPLIES. Talks
between Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and his Kazakh
counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbaev, on 17-18 September resulted
in the signing of several protocols on cooperation in the oil
and gas sectors and a 10-year cooperation agreement (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 17 September 1999), the "Eastern Economic
Daily" reported on 20 September. Ukraine wants Kazakhstan to
supply 5 billion cubic meters of gas next year so that Kyiv
is less dependent on gas supplies from Russia and
Turkmenistan. Kazakhstan agreed to supply 1.5 million tons of
oil to Ukraine by the end of this year. JM

BALTIC TRANSPORT MINISTERS PLEDGE FURTHER COOPERATION.
Transport ministers Toivo Jurgenson (Estonia), Anatolijs
Gorbunovs (Latvia) and Rimantas Didziokas (Lithuania) met on
16-17 September in the Latvian port city of Ventspils. The
three ministers pledged continued cooperation in transport
and fuel taxation as well as in the "Via Baltica" transport
link, LETA reported. MH

POLAND, GERMANY, DENMARK INAUGURATE JOINT NATO CORPS. NATO's
Multinational Corps Northeast, which is made up of three
divisions from Poland, Germany, and Denmark, has begun
operations at its headquarters in Szczecin, northwestern
Poland. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said at the
corps' official inauguration on 18 September that the event
signals the "true beginning" of Poland's activities in NATO.
"The corps' creation does not mean we are building new walls.
Europe cannot end at the eastern border of Poland," German
Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping said in Szczecin. The
corps, commanded by a Danish general, will specialize in NATO
peacekeeping and rescue missions. JM

SOLIDARITY LEADER SAYS 'POSITIVE RESULTS' OF REFORM SOON
EVIDENT. Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski told some
100,000 workers at a rally in Czestochowa on 19 September
that Poland will soon see "positive results from the reforms
and new programs" implemented by the current Solidarity-led
coalition, Polish media reported. According to Krzaklewski,
the movement has again been attacked by an "anti-Solidarity
virus." This time, he said, that virus is nurtured by "our
errors and our lack of faith" as well as by a "blockade on
media information about our activities." JM

PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR LIFTS BAN ON PROTEST IN WARSAW. Mazowsze
Province Governor Antoni Pietkiewicz on 17 September lifted a
ban on a trade union demonstration that some 100,000 people
are expected to attend on 24 September (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 15 September 1999). Warsaw Mayor Pawel Piskorski
had earlier banned the demonstration, arguing that it would
paralyze the city. JM

CZECH COMMUNISTS READY TO RETURN TO POWER. An opinion poll
conducted by STEM shows the Communist Party of Bohemia and
Moravia (KSCM) closing the gap with the Civic Democratic
Party (ODS), CTK reported on 17 September. The KSCM is backed
by 20.5 percent of the electorate, and if elections were held
now, it would gain 52 mandates in the Chamber of Deputies,
just two mandates fewer than the ODS, which received 20.9
percent support. The ruling Social Democratic Party is backed
by only 15 percent. The findings are in line with a poll
released one day earlier by the Institute for Social
Research. On 16 September KSCM leader Miroslav Grebenicek
said his party expects to win the next parliamentary
elections. He said the KSCM "would be glad to take over a
country whose economic state would be at least as good as
[how] it was left in 1989." MS

CZECH PREMIER CONCEDES TANK SALE TO YEMEN. Responding to
journalists' questions on 17 September, Prime Minister Milos
Zeman said the government decided two days earlier to sell
Soviet-made T-54 and T-55 tanks to Yemen, CTK reported. He
refused to provide any other details and said in response to
another question that he "knows nothing" about Yemen's
intention to re-export the tanks to a third country. Petr
Necas, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies' Defense and
Security Committee and a member of the ODS, criticized Zeman
for refusing to provide details of the deal, saying Yemen may
not be the end destination of the tanks. He said that
recently Poland has also sold tanks to Yemen, which then
resold them to Sudan. MS

CZECH PRESIDENT IN SLOVAKIA. Vaclav Havel, paying his first
official visit to Slovakia, told his Slovak counterpart,
Rudolf Schuster, that the days of "strained relations" are
over and ties between the two countries will continue to
improve. Havel said that the Czech Republic could learn from
Slovakia's strong civil society, CTK and SITA reported on 17
September. The two presidents said the problem of the
division of former federal property will probably be resolved
by year's end. Visiting Kosice on 18 September, Havel said
that Slovakia might be admitted to the EU ahead of the Czech
Republic. He also said he is heartened to see Kosice's multi-
ethnic population, commenting that "when I am sick of the
Czech political stage, I will come to be recomforted [sic] in
this friendly town." MS

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT SAVES EXTREMIST LEADER FROM PROSECUTION.
The parliament on 17 September voted 42 to 19 with 17
abstentions against lifting the parliamentary immunity of
Slovak National Party leader Jan Slota, SITA reported. Police
requested Slota's immunity to be lifted on suspicion of
incitement to ethnic and racial hatred. In a speech earlier
this year, Slota called on Slovaks to "level Budapest to the
ground" and insulted members of the country's Roma community,
saying he would never consent to having Roma defined as an
ethnic minority because they "are just Gypsies who steal,
rob, and pilfer." MS

HUNGARIAN JOURNALISTS TO PROTEST PLANNED TV DISMISSALS. The
Press Correspondents' Club announced on 18 September that it
will stage a protest against the pending dismissals of more
that 500 employees of Hungarian Television (MTV). The
statement said the 23 September rally will be staged to
defend the freedom of the press against the appointment of
"political commissars." MTV chairman Laszlo Zsolt Szabo
confirmed that a total of 1,000 staff will be laid off in two
phases. The cuts will result in a saving of 2.8 billion
forints ($11 million) next year, he explained. The opposition
Socialist Party said a "political purge" is taking place at
MTV, saying the reorganization is aimed at serving the
interests of the governing parties. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

UCK OFFICIALS BALK ON DEMILITARIZATION. The leaders of the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) on 20 September failed to agree
with NATO and UN officials on the future of the demilitarized
force and extended the demilitarization deadline by two days,
AFP reported. UCK political leader Hashim Thaci said after
all-night meetings with General Mike Jackson, the commander
of NATO's peacekeeping force, that "the process of
demilitarization is still ongoing." UN Mission chief Bernard
Kouchner joined the talks early on 20 September. Thaci and
UCK military leader Agim Ceku reportedly object to a NATO
plan to transform the UCK into an unarmed 5,000-strong Kosova
Corps to assist in humanitarian and rescue missions, and they
want the new organization to be the basis of a new armed
force for Kosova. AP reported that the two sides also
disagree over the number of weapons to be given to the Kosova
Corps, the right to wear UCK insignias, and control over
positions within the corps. PB

THACI CRITICIZES KOUCHNER, CALLS FOR INDEPENDENCE AT UN. UCK
political leader Thaci has accused Kouchner of not consulting
with Kosovar Albanians but says he is not calling for the UN
mission chief to resign, AP reported. Thaci, who was in New
York on 19 September for meetings with UN officials, said
"what we are asking for is cooperation. We are not asking for
a king." He noted that all of Kouchner's "negative positions"
could be improved. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan cited a
busy schedule when explaining why he did not meet with Thaci,
who instead held talks with an assistant to Annan and with
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke. Thaci also
insisted that Kosova must eventually become independent and
should have some representation at the UN. Annan said such a
request ran contrary to UN resolution 1244 and would not be
possible "for the foreseeable future." PB

UCK HOLDS PARADES THROUGHOUT KOSOVA. Tens of thousands of
people turned out for a parade of UCK soldiers on 18
September in anticipation of a farewell ahead of the deadline
for the force to disarm and disband, Reuters reported. UCK
military leader Ceku and commander Sulejman Selimi led the
parade through downtown Prishtina to the sports stadium,
where UCK leaders gave speeches to supporters. Political
leader Thaci said he is sure the international community
"will respect the democratic right for self-declaration and a
referendum [on independence]." Similar events were held in
Peje and in Rznic, where UCK fighters handed over Kalashnikov
rifles to Italian peacekeepers on 20 September to symbolize
the demilitarization. NATO officials said more than 10,000
weapons have been turned in by the UCK. PB

SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER CALLS FOR UN OFFICIALS TO RESIGN.
Vladan Batic, the coordinator of the Alliance for Change
opposition movement in Serbia, called on the UN mission chief
Kouchner and Kosova Stabilization Force (KFOR) officials to
resign because of their failure to protect the Serbian
population of Kosova, Beta news agency reported on 19
September. Batic said Kosova used to be "the cradle of the
Serbian people, but today it is their grave." In an open
letter to KFOR, Batic said that instead of protection, Serbs
are being offered reservations as safe havens. He also
criticized UN officials for supporting UCK leaders instead of
"liberal, democratically-oriented [ethnic] Albanian
politicians." PB

AVRAMOVIC URGES MILOSEVIC, MILUTINOVIC TO RESIGN... Former
National Bank Governor Dragoslav Avramovic said on 18
September that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and
Serbian President Milan Milutinovic must resign since they
are a "major obstacle for the future integration of
Yugoslavia into the world community," AP reported, citing the
Belgrade radio station B2-92. Avramovic said he knows that
Milosevic, being a "smart and responsible person, has enough
strength to step down." Avramovic curbed hyperinflation in
late 1993 as head of the Yugoslav National Bank and was an
ally of Milosevic. He is frequently mentioned as a possible
head of an interim government for Yugoslavia. Zoran Djindic,
a leader of the Alliance for Change opposition movement, said
on the same day that daily protests in 16 Serbian cities
against Milosevic will begin on 21 September and should begin
having an impact by November. PB

...AS DRASKOVIC SWINGS BACK TOWARD OPPOSITION. Vuk Draskovic,
the leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement, said on 19
September that his party will take part in protests against
the government only if Milosevic refuses to agree on early
elections, AP reported. Draskovic said the opposition, led by
the Alliance for Change, would have to draw up a document
calling for early elections and present an ultimatum to
Milosevic. Draskovic, who served earlier this year in
Milosevic's government, opposes installing an interim
government before early elections. PB

HIGH COMMISSIONER SACKS BOSNIAN OFFICIALS. Wolfgang
Petritsch, the international community's newly installed top
official in Bosnia-Herzegovina, dismissed two top Bosnian
Croat officials for obstructing the peace process, Reuters
reported on 17 September. Bosnian Croat Stipo Babic was
sacked as justice minister of the Herceg-Bosna canton, and
Borivoje Malbasic was fired from his position as the head of
the town of Drvar's municipal council. Petritsch said
implementation of the Dayton accords is "especially poor" in
Herceg-Bosna and "certain offenders and notorious suspects
appear to be immune from prosecution, while minorities are
extensively discriminated against." Malbasic was removed for
failing to convene regular sessions of the council. Drvar was
Serb-dominated before it was captured by Croatian forces in
1995 and has been the scene of violence between Croats and
Serbian returnees. PB

SRPSKA'S RULING COALITION WANTS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. The
Western-leaning Bosnian Serb Sloga (Unity) coalition will ask
the OSCE to hold a presidential election if Republika Srpska
Vice President Mirko Sarovic refuses to accept the
presidency, Reuters reported on 19 September, citing
"Oslobodjenje." Srpska President Nikola Poplasen was sacked
by former High Commissioner for Bosnia Carlos Westendorp in
March for obstructing implementation of the Dayton peace
agreement. He has refused to recognize the dismissal. In
other news, Russia's upper house of parliament, the
Federation Council, has approved extending the mandate of the
1,400 Russian troops serving in Bosnia. They will remain
there until 31 July. PB

POPE VISITS SLOVENIA. John Paul II, on a one-day visit to
Slovenia on 19 September, denounced rampant nationalism in
the Balkans and urged Slovenians to build peace in Europe, AP
reported. At a mass for some 100,000 people in Maribor, the
pontiff decried the nationalism evident during World War II
as well as during the wars of Yugoslav succession. He also
beatified 19th century bishop Anton Martin Slomsek, the first
Slovene to be honored in this way. The pope met with
President Milan Kucan and representatives of the Serbian
minority in Slovenia. The Catholic Church and the Slovenian
government have recently been at odds over property
restitution and religious education in schools. PB

ROMANIA'S HUNGARIANS DISAGREE ON PRIVATE UNIVERSITY. The
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania's Consultative
Council on 17 September announced that the private Hungarian
university about to be set up with Budapest's assistance will
be based in Cluj and have branches in Oradea, Targu Mures,
Brasov, Sfantu Gheorghe, Timisoara, and other Transylvanian
towns. The council thereby overruled the party's honorary
chairman, Bishop Laszlo Tokes, who had said that the
university will be a religious one based in Oradea. The
council also said that the setting up of the private
university does not mean that the demand for a state
university offering instruction in Hungarian will be
renounced. MS

ROMANIA'S FORMER MONARCH CLAIMS BACK PROPERTY. Former King
Michael, whose Romanian citizenship was restored in 1997, has
started legal proceedings to reclaim properties confiscated
by the communist regime, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported
on 17 September. AP quoted Simona Mezincescu, a close friend
of the royal household, as saying that the former monarch
wants the properties back in order to stay in them when he
visits Romania because "hotels are too expensive." MS

ROMANIA SAYS LAND MINES AD WAS 'MISTAKE.' The National
Defense Ministry on 18 September said that an advertisement
showing outlawed anti-personnel land mines was a "mistake."
The advertisement was run by the Romtehnica state-owned arms
manufacturer at an international arms fair in the U.K. The
ministry said that those responsible for including the
advertisement in the catalogue distributed at the fair have
been punished, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The
British Ministry of Defense has called for an investigation
into the incident. MS

BULGARIA, EU DISCUSS CLOSURE OF KOZLODUY UNITS. Meeting with
an EU delegation on 17 September, Bulgarian officials offered
three options for the early closure of four controversial
nuclear reactors at the Kozloduy plant, Reuters reported,
quoting Ivan Shilyashki, chief of Bulgaria's energy agency.
This is the first time that Bulgaria has shown readiness to
close the reactors earlier than planned. The EU has long been
demanding early closure and, in return, might allocate
funding for alternative energy projects. Reuters also quoted
Metodi Konstantinov, a member of the Bulgarian negotiating
team, as telling journalists that the three options envisaged
the closure of the four reactors one, two, or three years
earlier than the time frame set by the government. According
to the parliament's energy strategy, reactors one and two are
to be shut down in 2004-2005 and reactors three and four in
2208 and 2010. MS
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
* Asta Banionis, Pete Baumgartner, Victor Gomez, Dan Ionescu,
Zsolt-Istvan Mato, Jolyon Naegele, Matyas Szabo, Anthony
Wesolowsky, Martins J. Zvaners

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