We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 226, Part I, 19 November 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 226, Part I, 19 November 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 I, a compilation of news concerning Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Part II covers Central,
Eastern, and Southeastern Europe 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 I

* MOSCOW LASHES OUT AT FOREIGN SUPPORT FOR CHECHENS

* UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES VISITS INGUSHETIA

* FRAMEWORK DOCUMENTS SIGNED ON AZERBAIJAN OIL EXPORT
PIPELINE

End Note: FORMER LEADERS ARGUE OVER MEANING OF 1989
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

RUSSIA

MOSCOW LASHES OUT AT FOREIGN SUPPORT FOR CHECHENS. The
Russian Foreign Ministry sharply criticized Pakistan for
expressing concerns about a "humanitarian catastrophe" in
Chechnya and recommended that Islamabad "pay more attention
to its own problems," Interfax reported on 18 November. It
also criticized the Czech Republic for allowing Chechen
Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov to visit Prague, saying that
"such unfriendly acts will prompt a corresponding reaction
from the Russian side," Reuters reported. And the Russian
Defense Ministry told Interfax the same day that
"international extremist organizations" in Saudi Arabia,
Pakistan, and elsewhere have sent approximately $30 million
in aid to the Chechen fighters. Meanwhile, "Kommersant-Daily"
on 18 November carried an article suggesting that the West
has formed a "united front" with radical Muslim groups to
declare a "jihad" against Russia. "Kommersant-Daily" is
controlled by media magnate Boris Berezovskii. PG

YELTSIN MEETS WORLD LEADERS, LEAVES IVANOV TO SIGN ACCORD.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin on 18 November met with U.S.
President Bill Clinton and very briefly--for eight minutes
rather than the scheduled 45--with French and German leaders
at the OSCE summit in Istanbul before departing for Moscow.
He left Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov behind to sign the
European Security Charter on 19 November. Russian spokesman
suggested that at the summit, Yeltsin and Ivanov found
"understanding" for Moscow's campaign in Chechnya, Russian
agencies reported. PG

RUSSIAN FORCES TAKE ACHKHOI-MARTAN. Following talks with
local elders, federal forces took the town of Achkhoi Martan,
southwest of Grozny, "without firing a shot," Caucasus Press
reported on 18 November, quoting the commander of the western
contingent of Russian forces in Chechnya, Major-General
Vladimir Shamanov. The Russian Defense Ministry press service
said that Chechen defenders of Achkhoi Martan had retreated
either to the south or toward Grozny but that hostilities are
continuing in Urus Martan and Shali. Air and artillery
strikes on towns across southern Chechnya, including Alkhan
Yurt, Meskety, Serzhen Yurt, Shali, and Alleroi continued on
18 November. LF

UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES VISITS INGUSHETIA. Sadako
Ogata visited two camps in Ingushetia for displaced persons
from Chechnya on 18 November. She also met in the Ingushetian
capital, Magas, with President Ruslan Aushev. Interfax quoted
Aushev after that meeting as saying that Ogata told him UN
aid to the displaced persons is insufficient and may be
increased. She also assured him that the UNHCR is confident
that Ingushetia can distribute such aid efficiently. Aushev
warned that a further exodus of civilians from Chechnya can
be expected if hostilities continue and that food supplies
for the estimated 200,000 displaced persons who have already
fled are dwindling fast. LF

PUTIN, BEREZOVSKII DISCUSS NORTH CAUCASUS. Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin on 18 November met with media magnate
Berezovskii to discuss a possible political settlement for
the North Caucasus, Interfax reported. Berezovskii has drawn
up seven-point plan based on the notion that "Russia is one
and indivisible and Chechnya is an integral part of Russia"
and that "terrorists should be brought to justice in keeping
with international law" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 17 November
1999). But Putin in a separate statement made clear that
there will be no role for international judicial bodies in
that process. PG

PUTIN CELEBRATED AS 'RUSSIAN BRUCE WILLIS.' In its evaluation
of the first 100 days of Putin's premiership, "Moskovskii
komsomolets" on 18 November said that his soaring support
meant he is now "the Russian Bruce Willis." According to the
newspaper, the hitherto little-known former KGB officer has
become "not only one of the candidates for president of
Russia but the most realistic candidate." The newspaper
linked his popularity with the Russian military campaign
against Chechnya. According to polls reported by ITAR-TASS,
more than 65 percent of Russians back the use of force in
Chechnya, while only 10.9 percent are opposed. PG

CTB TREATY RATIFICATION POSSIBLE ONLY AFTER ELECTIONS?
Aleksei Mitrofanov, chairman of the State Duma Geopolitical
Affairs Committee, told Interfax on 18 November that the
Russian parliament will not have time before the 19 December
elections to take up the question of ratifying the
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, He added that "I am
afraid this treaty will share the fate of START II." Also on
18 November, Duma Defense Committee Chairman Roman Popkovich
said his committee is unlikely to support ratification of
either the CTB treaty or the revised Conventional Forces in
Europe treaty. He added that the new Duma should not rush to
put the ratification of those accords on its agenda. PG/JC

'SEGODNYA': ABM TREATY IS NOT 'HOLY WRIT.' An article
published in the 18 November "Segodnya" and co-authored by
Director of the Center for Strategic Studies Andrei
Piontkovskii argues that the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
should be amended to respond to current realities. The treaty
is not "Holy Writ, nor an embodiment of the Russian idea of
national security," according to the article. Rather, it was
an instrument to realize the "idea of strategic stability
invented by some politicians in 1972." The authors conclude
that since the "spectrum of threats and nature of relations"
between Russia and the U.S. are different today, both
countries should realize that "certain acceptable
modifications" are in their own national security interests."
"Segodnya" is owned by Vladimir Gusinskii's Media-Most Group.
JC

ARMS CONTROL SPECIALIST CHARGED WITH SPYING. Igor Sutyagin,
the head of the military studies department at Moscow's
Institute of the USA and Canada, was arrested on 27 October
and has been charged with espionage on behalf of a foreign
power, Interfax reported on 18 November. IUSAC director
Sergei Rogov told AP that Sutyagin spied for the U.S. In
connection with the case, security officials searched the
apartment of a U.S. Ph.D. student in Moscow, who has since
left Russia. PG

MOSCOW DENOUNCES CONVICTION OF EAST GERMAN LEADER. The
Russian Foreign Ministry on 18 November sharply criticized
the decision of a German court to uphold a manslaughter
conviction against former East German leader Egon Krenz for
his role in the shooting of those who tried to escape from
East Germany. The Moscow statement said that "we are left
with the impression that the stubborn persistence with which
reunited Germany brings politicians of the former East
Germany to trial is aimed at settling political scores, and
at presenting a once sovereign and internationally recognized
state as illegitimate and its leaders as a bunch of
criminals." PG

PUTIN CALLS URGES INCREASED STATE SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS.
At a cabinet meeting on 18 November, Prime Minister Putin
said the Russian government should provide more support to
small and medium-sized businesses, ITAR-TASS reported. Putin
said that such concerns account for 50-60 percent of GDP in
developed countries and about half of all jobs. "There are
25-30 such enterprises per 1,000 residents in European Union
countries, but only seven in Russia," Putin noted. The main
reasons for this Russian shortfall, he said, are "a low level
of legal protection" and "the existing tax system." PG

NO BREAKTHROUGH IN DEBT TALKS OR WITH IMF. Despite three days
of meetings, Russia and its Western creditors failed to reach
agreement on restructuring $30 billion in Russian debt,
Western agencies reported on 18 November. At the same time,
Interfax reported, the IMF indicated that it will not release
another tranche of loans to Moscow until the Russian
government produces internationally acceptable quarterly
reports on major monopolies. PG

SWISS PROSECUTOR SAYS KICKBACKS PAID TO YELTSIN AIDE. Swiss
prosecutors are convinced that the Mabetex construction firm
paid $11 million to Kremlin manager Pavel Borodin,
Switzerland's top court said on 18 November, AP reported.
Meanwhile, however, both the Kremlin and a Swiss bank have
denied a report in Moscow's "Versiya" newspaper that it had
proof Yeltsin had a bank account in Switzerland. PG

S&P TO RATE RUSSIA AS BEING IN SELECTIVE DEFAULT.
"Kommersant-Daily" reported on 17 November that the Standard
& Poor's rating agency will soon lower Russia's credit rating
to SD, or selective default." Only Pakistan has a lower
credit rating. This rating indicates that the agency believes
Russia is technically bankrupt and could default at any time.
PG

RUSSIAN FINANCIAL RESERVES FALL. Moscow's gold and hard
currency reserves fell by 5.7 percent over the last 12 months
and now amount to $11.5 billion, PRIME-Tass reported on 18
November. PG

RUSSIAN GAS EXPORTS CONTINUE TO DECLINE. Gazprom will produce
540 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 1999, 20 billion
less than last year, Interfax reported on 18 November. The
natural gas monopoly expects production next year will be
down 45-50 billion cubic meters on this year's level. The
Russian Trade Ministry said it is fighting discrimination
against Russian exports, discrimination that is costing
Russia $1.5-2 billion a year, ITAR-Tass reported. PG

MOSCOW MAYORAL HOPEFULS TURN IN PETITIONS TO ELECTION BODY.
Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov and former Premier Sergei Kirienko
have submitted lists of signatures to the Moscow City
Election Commission to run in the 19 December mayoral
election, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 November. In addition,
electoral security deposits have been made by Dmitrii
Berdennikov, Vladimir Voronin, Pavel Borodin, and Aleksei
Mitrofanov. The deadline for registration is 23 November. PG

ROSTOV CITY FORMS VOLUNTARY MILITIA. The city of Volgodonsk
in Rostov Oblast has decided to re-establish voluntary
military units to patrol districts in the city, ITAR-TASS
reported on 18 November. The units may be compensated by
reduction in rents for housing, the news service added. In
September, a truck parked next to an apartment building in
that city exploded, killing 17 people and injuring scores. PG

PRIVATE REGIONAL TV CHIEF MURDERED. In what authorities said
was an apparent contract murder, the director of a private
television chief in Yekaterinburg was found dead near his
home on 18 November, ITAR-TASS reported. Igor Mironyuk, 35,
had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest, officials said. No
suspects have been identified. PG

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIA STRUGGLES TO MEET TAX REVENUE TARGET. The Armenian
government adopted unspecified urgent measures on 18 November
to ensure that the remaining 35 billion drams ($67 million)
needed to meet the annual tax revenue target of 191 billion
drams are collected, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported.
Minister for State Revenues Smbat Ayvazian told RFE/RL that
the third tranche of a $65 million World Bank loan is
contingent on meeting tax revenue targets. The second, $25
million tranche of that loan was disbursed in late September
after a three-month delay caused by Yerevan's higher-than-
projected budget deficit. Ayvazian said tax collection slowed
down after the 27 October assassination of Prime Minister
Vazgen Sargsian and other top officials and the delay in
naming a new cabinet. In addition, the August increase in
excise duties on cigarettes and gasoline has not brought as
much additional money to the budget as was expected, Ayvazian
added. LF

FRAMEWORK DOCUMENTS SIGNED ON AZERBAIJAN OIL EXPORT
PIPELINE... On the sidelines of the OSCE Istanbul summit, the
presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey on 18 November
signed agreements that constitute the legal framework for the
construction and operation of a oil pipeline from Baku to the
Turkish Mediterranean terminal at Ceyhan. Those agreements
are a bilateral treaty between Turkey and Azerbaijan
establishing the principles regulating transit issues; an
agreement between pipeline investors and the governments of
the countries through which the pipeline will pass; an
agreement on construction of the pipeline with Turkey's
state-owned pipeline company Botas; and Turkish government
guarantees on the agreement with Botas. Construction of the
1,730 km pipeline will begin after a feasibility study is
completed, probably in 2001, and must be completed in three
years. The Turkish government will meet costs exceeding $2.4
billion, which no oil company has yet committed. The
presidents of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a separate
declaration with their Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Georgian
counterparts pledging to export oil via the pipeline. LF

...TO RUSSIA'S CLEAR DISPLEASURE. While the presidents of
Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia as well as U.S. President
Bill Clinton greeted the signing of the agreements on Baku-
Ceyhan as "a historic event," Russian Fuel and Energy
Minister Viktor Kalyuzhnyi predicted that the project will be
difficult to implement, Interfax reported. He also noted that
the tariffs agreed on are twice as high as those for the
transport of Azerbaijan's oil via the northern Baku-
Novorossiisk pipeline. Meanwhile in Moscow, a member of the
board of Kalyuzhnyi's ministry told Russian State Duma
deputies on 18 November that Russia may halt exports of
Azerbaijan's oil via the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline "for
purely political reasons," according to Interfax. Russian
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, meanwhile, said that the U.S.
resorted to "political pressure" to secure the multi-state
agreement on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, according to Interfax
on 19 November. He added that the World Bank and other
experts doubt that the project is economically viable.
 LF

RUSSIAN OFFICIALS MAKE CONTRADICTORY STATEMENTS OVER
AZERBAIJANI AID FOR CHECHNYA. Turan on 18 November quoted
Russia's Minister for Emergency Situations, Sergei Shoigu, as
telling Azerbaijani journalists in Istanbul on the sidelines
of the OSCE summit that there is no evidence to substantiate
Russian charges that arms and mercenaries have entered
Chechnya via Azerbaijan. But he did suggest that criminals
wanted by the Azerbaijani authorities may have sought refuge
in Chechnya. A Russian Defense Ministry statement issued in
Moscow on 18 November, however, named among international
organizations said to have provided aid to Chechnya the Grey
Wolves organization which it claims still operates in
Azerbaijan, Interfax reported. The statement said that the
Grey Wolves trained 16 gunmen, three of them from
Afghanistan, whom they then sent to Chechnya. The Azerbaijani
Grey Wolves were founded by former Premier Iskander Hamidov
in the early 1990s and reportedly sent fighters to Chechnya
in early 1995. Their name was changed in 1995 to Party of
National Democracy. LF

GEORGIA, RUSSIA TO CONDUCT JOINT INVESTIGATION INTO
HELICOPTER ATTACK. A Russian Air Force commission is due to
travel to Georgia on 19 November to investigate, together
with Georgian officials, the circumstances under which three
Rusian helicopters dropped landmines on a remote Georgian
mountain village close to Georgia's frontier with Chechnya on
17 November, Reuters and Caucasus Press reported. On 18
November, Russian air force commander Colonel-General
Anatolii Kornukov denied that his aircraft carried out the
attack but added that Russian army helicopters may have been
responsible. Speaking at the OSCE summit in Istanbul on 18
November, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze called on
his Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, to take measures to
prevent a repeat of the incident, Caucasus Press reported. LF

TWO MORE GEORGIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES DISPUTE RESULTS OF
PARLIAMENTARY POLL. Mamuka Giorgadze, leader of the People's
Party of Georgia, said in Tbilisi on 18 November that
contrary to the official electoral returns released by the
Central Electoral Commission, his party succeeded in polling
the minimum 7 percent of the vote to qualify for
representation in the parliament, Caucasus Press reported. He
accused the ruling Union of Citizens of Georgia of "usurping
power" in the 31 October parliamentary poll. But Giorgadze
added that he does not see any point in appealing the results
in court. At an 18 November congress of the National
Democratic Party of Georgia, chairwoman Irina Sarishvili-
Chanturia similarly termed the 31 October poll "a devaluation
of the concept of elections," according to Caucasus Pres. She
said her party will immediately begin preparing for the next
parliamentary elections in 2003 but will not propose a
candidate for the presidential elections in April 2000. LF

LABOR LEADER ANNOUNCES PLAN TO RUN FOR GEORGIAN PRESIDENT.
Also on 18 November, Labor Party chairman Shalva Natelashvili
said he will contend the presidential poll due next April,
Caucasus Press reported. Natelashvili said he counts on
receiving the votes of those "who are sick and tired of the
fruitless promises of the ruling regime." While arguing that
"fair elections are impossible in Georgia as long as
Shevardnadze is in power," Natelashvili stressed that is
crucial that Shevardnadze should be replaced as president by
elections, rather than by force. He suggested that the
election victory of the ruling Union of Citizens of Georgia
was rigged in order to introduce amendments to the
constitution to allow one individual to serve more than two
consecutive presidential terms. Shevardnadze was first
elected president in November 1995 and has announced his
intention for running for a second term next year. LF

ABKHAZ GOVERNMENT IN EXILE REJECTS CHARGES OF EMBEZZLEMENT.
Speaking at a press conference in Tbilisi on 18 November,
Londer Tsaava, who is chairman of the Tbilisi-based Abkhaz
government in exile, denied claims by the Georgian Finance
Ministry that the government misappropriated budget funds,
Caucasus Press reported. He added that the government has
received only 65 percent of the monies it has been allocated,
resulting in delays in the payment of salaries to government
officials and of pensions and other allowances to displaced
persons. LF

CENTRAL ASIAN PRESIDENTS AIR SECURITY CONCERNS IN ISTANBUL.
In their speeches to the OSCE Istanbul summit on 18 November,
Kazakhstan's Nursultan Nazarbaev, Kyrgyzstan's Askar Akaev,
and Uzbekistan's Islam Karimov called on the OSCE to do more
to boost security in Central Asia, an RFE/RL correspondent in
Istanbul reported. Karimov said regional security in Central
Asia is as important as security in Europe, and he proposed
the OSCE open an international center for fighting terrorism.
Before departing for Istanbul, Karimov had accused the OSCE
of focusing exclusively on human rights and ignoring
security, economic, and humanitarian issues, according to
ITAR-TASS. Akaev said Kyrgyzstan has become the front line in
the battle against international terrorism following an
incursion by Islamic militants this summer. In an allusion to
OSCE criticism of this year's elections, Nazarbaev stressed
that Kazakhstan is an "Asian state" and should not be judged
by the same standards as Western countries. LF

KAZAKHSTAN, RUSSIA REACH AGREEMENT ON BAIKONUR LAUNCHES.
During talks in Astana on 18 November, Kazakhstan's Deputy
Prime Minister Aleksandr Pavlov and his Russian counterpart,
Ilya Klebanov, agreed to resume rocket launches from
Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome, with the exception of
Proton rockets of the type that exploded after blastoff in
July and late October of this year, AP reported. The
government of Kazakhstan had banned all further launches
until February 2000 following the October blast (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 29 October 1999). The two deputy premiers also
signed related agreements on coordinating the schedules for
launches from Baikonur and environmental protection measures
close to that site, Interfax reported. LF

OPPOSITION NEWSAPER IN KAZAKHSTAN AGAIN PREVENTED FROM
PUBLISHING. Bigeldy Gabdullin, chairman of the independent
daily "XXI vek," told RFE/RL's Almaty correspondent on 18
November that the head of the Agricultural Ministry's
publishing house informed him, on orders from the Kazakh
National Security Committee, that the ministry is no longer
prepared to print his newspaper. The ministry has printed
"XXI vek" over the past few months after a private company
had refused to continue doing so without offering any
explanations for that decision. Gabdullin said he is seeking
alternative possibilities to continue publication either in
Kazakhstan or abroad. LF

TAJIK PRESIDENT ADVOCATES OSCE ENGAGEMENT IN AFGHANISTAN.
Meeting in Istanbul on 18 November with OSCE Chairman in
Office Knut Vollebaek, Tajikistan's President Imomali
Rakhmonov suggested that the OSCE should join forces with the
UN to assist the latter in its attempts to mediate between
the warring parties in Afghanistan, Asia Plus-Blitz reported.
In a clear reference to the OSCE's refusal to send observers
to monitor the 6 November presidential poll, in which he was
reelected for a second term, Rakhmonov argue that in
promoting democratization in Central Asian states the OSCE
should bear in mind their specific traditions and cultural
and moral values. He affirmed that efforts are being made to
ensure that the February parliamentary poll will be free and
democratic. LF

TRANSCASPIAN GAS PIPELINE ACCORD SIGNED. At the same ceremony
in Istanbul at which the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia
and Turkey signed the Baku-Ceyhan oil export pipeline
framework agreements, Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat
Niyazov and his Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Turkish
counterparts signed a letter of intent on building an
underwater Trans-Caspian pipeline to export natural gas from
Turkmenistan via Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey, Reuters
and Interfax reported. That pipeline will cost an estimated
$3 billion, which the project operator PSG must now raise.
Until recently, disagreements between Turkmenistan and
Azerbaijan threatened to torpedo implementation of the
project. The Turkmen and Turkish presidents and Turkey's
Minister of Fuel and Energy Resources also signed a separate
agreement on natural gas exports to Turkey beginning in 2002.
Turkmenistan will eventually export 30 billion cubic meters
of gas annually via the Trans-Caspian pipeline, of which 14
billion cubic meters will be destined for European markets.
LF

TURKMEN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH RUSSIAN, UKRAINIAN COUNTERPARTS.
Saparmurat Niyazov met with Boris Yeltsin in Istanbul on 18
November on the sidelines of the OSCE summit, Interfax
reported. Yeltsin underscored Russia's willingness to expand
and strengthen mutually advantageous relations with
Turkmenistan. The two presidents also reached tentative
agreement that the next CIS summit will be held in Ashgabat
in May 2000. (The most recent summit was in Moscow in April.)
Meanwhile, Niyazov agreed with his Ukrainian counterpart,
Leonid Kuchma, that a Ukrainian delegation headed by Premier
Valeriy Pustovoytenko will travel to Ashgabat in the near
future to discuss the terms for resuming shipments of Turkmen
gas to Ukraine. Ashgabat suspended those shipments in May
1999 in a dispute with Ukraine over that country's debts to
Turkmenistan for earlier gas supplies and to Russia in
transit fees for that gas. LF

END NOTE

FORMER LEADERS ARGUE OVER MEANING OF 1989

By Jeremy Bransten

	Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, former British
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former U.S. President
George Bush, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former
Polish President and Solidarity union leader Lech Walesa, and
the wife of the late French President Francois Mitterrand
were all awarded high state honors in Prague on 17 November.
The awards were conferred by former dissident and current
Czech President Vaclav Havel.
	The visit of the former leaders was planned as a largely
ceremonial occasion. But at a panel discussion that preceded
the award ceremony, participants sharply disagreed over the
significance of the anti-communist revolutions and their
aftermath. The talk laid bare the ideological rifts that
still exist among some former adversaries and that could
threaten to bring more divisions between East and West next
century.
	Thatcher called the fall of communism a triumph of
freedom and capitalism, especially as espoused by Britain and
the U.S. She took a large measure of credit for the collapse
of communism and said the two countries provided a shining
example for the East to follow. Thatcher said the best thing
the U.S. and Britain could do would be to continue exporting
their values and way of life abroad. "I think our task today
is not to ponder on what happened in the last 10 years but to
see how we extend liberty to those countries that do not know
it," she commented.
	Thatcher's views earned a gentle rebuke from the
moderator, Oxford history professor Timothy Garton Ash, who
noted that other European democracies had also perhaps
contributed to inspiring the East's quest for freedom.
	But it was Gorbachev who took on Thatcher directly,
accusing her of communist-style rhetoric in the service of a
narrow ideology. He said that if anything, the past 10 years
have proven that new ideas are needed--something approaching
a synthesis between capitalism and communism, to solve
problems in an increasingly global world economy: "I think
that just as an inferiority complex is a bad thing, a
victor's complex is no less harmful. I think we should say
that no single ideology at the end of the 20th century can
answer the challenges of the 21st century and the global
problems that stand before us--neither liberal, nor
communist, nor conservative."
	Gorbachev also reminded Thatcher that it was the
Communists who saw everything in black and white, and he
questioned whether she had not stumbled down the same path.
	Former union leader and ex-President Walesa chastised
the West for congratulating itself over the end of communism
without providing sufficient aid and assistance to those
countries now trying to transform their economies. He drew a
parallel with the end of World War II and said Western Europe
has benefited from U.S. assistance through the generosity of
the Marshall Plan.
	But Walesa noted that 10 years after the fall of
communism in Eastern Europe, no comprehensive assistance has
been forthcoming from the U.S. and a now prosperous Western
Europe. He warned that in many countries across the East,
democracy is now endangered by the failure of economic
reform, crime, corruption, and a nostalgia among some people
for the old regime.
	Czech President Havel called the year of revolutions a
magic moment. But he said that it was not, as some once
predicted, the end of history. The revolutions of Eastern
Europe, he said, marked a victory for human dignity and
universal human values, not any particular ideology.
	"If I posed myself the question: what triumphed over
what or who triumphed over whom 10 years ago, then I wouldn't
answer that it was the victory of one ideology over another,
of one state over another state, or of one superpower over
another," he said. "But I'd say certain values triumphed.
Freedom triumphed over oppression. Respect for human dignity
triumphed over humiliation. Respect for human rights
triumphed over disdain for human rights. But it was one small
battle in an unending chain of battles, because the war
continues."
	Kohl said the revolutions of 1989 were clearly
interconnected, and he praised the bravery of those Central
and Eastern Europeans who stood up against communism and
overthrew it. But Kohl noted that both the former Soviet and
U.S. leaders deserve recognition for their role as catalysts
to the process. "No one in Europe, and this is my considered
opinion, should think there would have been success had it
not been that the two great powers set out on a rational
road."
	Bush, like Thatcher, noted the leadership of Britain and
the United States in ending the Cold War. But he also spoke
of Washington's initially cautious approach to the momentous
events of 1989: "The U.S. was concerned that if we provoke,
needlessly provoke, then President Gorbachev, who knows how
the forces to his right, his military, might have reacted.
And so we tried to be very careful about not dancing on the
[Berlin] Wall, for example."
	Bush paid homage to his host, Havel, and to Walesa. He
called both men heroes of the democratic revolutions of 1989,
whose example inspired the U.S. people. He argued that what
"got through" to the U.S. people were the "symbols" of the
new-won freedom, in this case, Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa.

The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in Prague.
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                     All rights reserved.
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Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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