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Newsline - June 7, 1995


OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
CHERNOMYRDIN SAYS WILL NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT.
After meeting with the Krasnodar branch of his electoral bloc Our Home Is Russia, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said he will not run for president in 1996, Interfax reported. He said he hoped to advance Russian reforms by winning the December parliamentary elections. Chernomyrdin's recent entry into partisan politics caused speculation that he would challenge Yeltsin in next year's presidential elections. * Laura Belin

SHUMEIKO READY TO COMPROMISE ON ELECTORAL LAW.
Federation Council Speaker Vladimir Shumeiko is ready to accept an electoral law that lets half of the Duma members be chosen by party lists, according to the head of the Council press center Yury Algunov, Interfax reported on 6 June. Shumeiko's decision to accept the Duma's position represents an about-face for the upper house speaker, who as recently as 1 June said the Council would never allow the current ratio of party-list members in the Duma. * Robert Orttung

SHAKHRAI'S POSITION IN DANGER?
Rumors that President Yeltsin is angry with Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai and wants to fire him appeared in the 3-4 June edition of Kuranty. ITAR-TASS general director Vitaly Ignatenko recently took over Shakhrai's responsibility for supervising media affairs. The paper suggests that Shakhrai was targeted for criticism because he was becoming too powerful. His competitors within the administration feared that by controlling over the media and playing a major role in Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's new right-center bloc, which he helped to found, Shakhrai would have undue influence over the campaign. Another scenario suggests that Shakhrai is being punished for being too critical of the way Russian Public Television was created. * Robert Orttung

EFFORTS TO IMPROVE NEWS COVERAGE AT RUSSIAN PUBLIC TELEVISION.
Sergei Blagovolin, director general of the partly-private Russian Public Television company (ORT), told Vechernyaya Moskva on 6 June that ORT executives planned "decisive" measures to improve ORT's news coverage, including a new weekly analytical program along the lines of NTV's highly-regarded Sunday show "Itogi." NTV attracts higher ratings than ORT for news, which are the only programs currently produced by ORT itself. Blagovolin noted that most programs shown on Channel 1 continue to be produced by state-owned Ostankino, but ORT orders shows from independent TV companies as well. ORT took over Channel 1 broadcasting from Ostankino on 1 April as part of a controversial restructuring plan ordered by President Yeltsin in November 1994. * Laura Belin

GOVORUKHIN ATTACKS MEDIA COVERAGE OF CHECHNYA.
In a 6 June interview published in Krasnaya zvezda, Duma Commission on Chechnya Chairman Stanislav Govorukhin attacked the mass media for allegedly spreading lies about the Russian armed forces in Chechnya. Govorukhin singled out NTV and the newspapers Moskovsky komsomolets and Komsomolskaya pravda for reporting that Russian soldiers slaughtered civilians in Samashki on 7-8 April. He called such coverage a "revolt" led by the mass media against the president, the government, parliament, and the Russian people. * Laura Belin

GRYZUNOV ON MEASURES AGAINST EXTREMIST PUBLICATIONS.
During the past six months, the Russian Press Committee has issued at least 30 warnings to newspapers and magazines for their content, but none of them have been shut down, Sergei Gryzunov, the committee's chairman, wrote in Izvestiya on 6 June. There are currently only two cases (against Zavtra and Al Kods) before the courts. Gryzunov complained that the authorities are more interested in taking superficial measures than actually dealing with the root causes of extremism in Russian society. He added that even if the press committee closed all of Russia's extremist papers, they would immediately reappear under a new name, just as Zavtra has replaced Den. * Robert Orttung

ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE CLOSES.
The first All-Russian Congress on Environmental Protection, held in Moscow from 3 to 5 June, issued a resolution promising to support political parties and movements "that demonstrate a serious and consistent approach to ecological problems," Izvestiya reported on 6 June. According to Komsomolskaya pravda, the 1,000 or so environmentalists found the army to be one of the biggest polluters, noting in particular the problems of radioactive waste disposal and the destruction of military equipment. Up to 20,000 cubic meters of liquid and 6,000 tons of solid radioactive waste are produced by nuclear-powered vessels each year, much of which is regularly dumped into the northern and far eastern seas. * Penny Morvant

JUVENILE CRIME INCREASING.
Juvenile crime has increased by about 50% over the past five years, according to officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The number of repeat juvenile offenders has increased by 60% over the past three years, Radio Rossii reported on 2 June. Young people aged between 14 and 18 account for 8% of the Russian population but committed 16% of all recorded crimes. Teenagers committed 60 murders in Moscow last year. * Penny Morvant

RUSSIA HAS THIRD HIGHEST SUICIDE RATE.
Russia has the third-highest suicide rate in the world, according to a report in Vechernyaya Moskva on 6 June citing Gennady Osipov, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sociopolitical Research Institute. The number of suicides increased from 39,150 in 1990 to 56,136 in 1993. In addition, 3.6 million people sought psychiatric help in 1993, a 9.6% increase over 1992. In 1994, the suicide rate increased 11%, according to a late March edition of Pravda. * Penny Morvant

RUSSIA REASSERTS POSITION ON CASPIAN SEA REGIME.
Russia reserves the right to take measures to block the "unilateral actions" of other states in the Caspian Sea, asserted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesmen Grigory Karasin on 6 June. According to Interfax, Karasin told a briefing in Moscow that Russia regards the Soviet-Iranian treaties of 1921 and 1940 as the basis of international access to the Caspian Sea. Any changes in this regime, he argued, "must involve all the Caspian states," and attempts by outside states to "intervene" were "inappropriate." Karasin also rejected the suggestion that international maritime law is applicable in the Caspian Sea, which he described as an "internal continental basin." The statement is the latest Russian move in the ongoing dispute with Azerbaijan over the issue of oil exploration and exports. * Scott Parrish

RUSSIA SOFTENS STANCE ON NATO FORCE FOR BOSNIA.
On 6 June, after talks with his British counterpart Douglas Hurd, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said he is "somewhat reassured" about the NATO plan to create a "rapid reaction force" to support UN peacekeepers in Bosnia. The weakening of earlier Russian objections to such a force followed assurances by Hurd and other Western officials that its deployment would have to be approved by the UN Security Council, Western agencies and Interfax reported. Kozyrev said Russia could agree to an additional deployment of troops under UN auspices, but said it could prove counterproductive and trigger an escalation of hostilities in Bosnia. Also on 6 June, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev told Interfax that Russian peacekeepers would remain in Bosnia, although he said there are no plans to reinforce them. * Scott Parrish

RETAIL PRICES INCREASE IN MAY.
Retail prices in Russia increased 7.9% in May, Izvestiya reported on 6 June. According to Goskomstat figures, food items were up 8.8%, consumer goods 5.6%, and consumer services 11.1% from the previous month. During the first five months of this year, retail prices increased 67%, according to the report. * Thomas Sigel

BUDGET COMMITTEE REJECTS PARAMONOVA.
The State Duma Budget Committee rejected President Boris Yeltsin's recommendation to name Tatyana Paramonova as Chairwoman of Russia's Central Bank for a second time, NCA and Interfax reported on 6 June. Paramonova currently serves as acting director of the Central Bank. The committee will recommend that the upcoming Duma plenary conference reject Paramonova's candidacy for the bank post. * Thomas Sigel

DUMA TO CONSIDER DRAFT LAW TO TIGHTEN CONTROL OVER EXTRA-BUDGETARY FUNDS.
The State Duma presented a draft law on 6 June that would tighten control over extra-budgetary social and economic funds, Interfax reported. The vote on the first reading of the draft, scheduled for 7 June, could prove to be a test of corruption in the State Duma, according to Oksana Dmitrieva, the chairwoman of the Sub-Committee for Budget Systems and Extra-Budgetary Funds, since monitoring of these funds has been lax. The draft calls for budgets of extra-budgetary social funds to be audited before being submitted to the State Duma together with the draft federal budget. The draft law would also require these funds to open accounts in the Central Bank and its branches, not in commercial banks. Dmitrieva said the volume of extra-budgetary social funds in 1994 was 115 trillion rubles, which was equal to 70% of federal revenues. * Thomas Sigel

PRIVATIZATION OF SBERBANK POSTPONED.
A Sberbank representative told Segodnya on 6 June that the state savings bank decided to postpone until the end of 1995 an extraordinary shareholders' meeting to discuss the question of privatization. The bank is waiting for the State Duma Budget Committee to prepare a proposal to amend the Law on the Russian Central Bank, which in part bans the bank from owning shares in other commercial banks, specifically Sberbank and Vneshtorgbank. * Thomas Sigel



OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
MILITARY ACTION FLARES UP IN TAJIKISTAN AS PEACE TALKS STALL.
In the wake of negotiations in Almaty between the Tajik government and the opposition, it appears the opposition has decided to step up pressure on Dushanbe by playing the military card. Although agreement was reached on repatriation of Tajik refugees in Afghanistan and an exchange of prisoners, the two sides failed to agree on the vital issue of restructuring the government to include members of the opposition. The new commander of the CIS border forces in Tajikistan, Lt. Gen. Valentin Bobryshev, repeated old allegations that Islamic extremists, financed by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and "some other countries are still trying to solve political problems by force," according to Interfax. Novosti and Ekho Moskvy reported that the frequency of incidents on the Tajik-Afghan border has increased dramatically since the talks ended in Almaty on 2 June. * Bruce Pannier

AZERBAIJAN AND NATO.
Following talks between the deputy commander of NATO combined armed forces in Europe, Jeremy McKenzie, and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Hasan Hasanov, Azerbaijan is ready to sign a document outlining areas of cooperation with the alliance, Interfax reported on 6 June. Mckenzie said NATO could help Azerbaijan in various areas such as training, defense budget planning, creating anti-terrorist units and natural disaster relief. The June NATO conference in Brussels is to discuss the timetable for Azerbaijan's participation in joint military exercises under the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. Azerbaijan joined the PfP in June 1994. * Lowell Bezanis

AKAYEV OPENS REGIONAL COOPERATION CONFERENCE.
The Central Asian Conference on Regional Cooperation opened on 5 June, not 12 June as was reported in the 6 June edition of OMRI Daily Digest. According to Interfax, in his opening speech to the conference Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev proposed the creation of a new institution to promote trans-border cooperation. The new body would involve representatives of different branches of authority, political parties, and ethnic groups. Akayev was in favor of giving the conference on regional cooperation permanent status in order to forestall economic, military, and political conflicts. The Kyrgyz president also suggested the creation of a consultative council, which would promote cooperation, work out a regional development strategy, and study the effect of the global economy on Central Asia, according to Interfax. * Bruce Pannier



OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT CANCELS TRIP TO ROMANIA BECAUSE OF DOMESTIC CRISIS.
Leonid Kuchma has canceled a scheduled trip to Bucharest for a summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization at the end of June, Reuters and Interfax-Ukraine reported on 6 June. Foreign Minister Henadii Udovenko told reporters that the domestic political crisis forced Kuchma to make the decision. He stressed the move was in no way connected to a territorial dispute between Kiev and Bucharest over land annexed by the former Soviet Union under the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Diplomatic sources said the meeting had been expected to serve as a forum for the Ukrainian and Romanian leaders to sign long-awaited friendship and border treaties. * Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL SEEKS PARLIAMENT'S CONSENT TO INDICT DEPUTY SPEAKER.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's office is seeking the legislature's consent to prosecute its first deputy chairman, Oleksander Tkachenko, on charges of embezzling government funds, Interfax-Ukraine and Radio Ukraine reported on 6 June. The parliament must strip Tkachenko of his immunity from prosecution to allow law enforcement officials to indict him on charges of misappropriating state funds while chairman of the Zemlya i Lyudy agricultural association. Lawmakers on 6 June voted to temporarily suspend both Prosecutor-General Vladyslav Datsiuk and Tkachenko from their duties and set up a special inquiry committee to look into the matter. Tkachenko and other legislators have accused Datsiuk of heading a "politically-motivated" conspiracy to remove the conservative deputy speaker from his post. * Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT INITIALLY APPROVES NEW FOREIGN INVESTMENT BILL.
The Ukrainian legislature on 6 June gave its initial approval to a new bill on foreign investments in Ukraine, the third such draft since 1991, Interfax-Ukraine and Radio Ukraine reported the same day. The bill outlines the legal guarantees and privileges available to foreign investors. According to government sources, foreign investments have declined since 1991, accounting for only 2.3% of GDP last year, down from 4% in 1993 and 3.8% in 1992. * Chrystyna Lapychak

EURASIAN SOCIALIST CONGRESS FOUNDED IN KIEV.
CIS socialist parties, meeting in Kiev, have founded a Eurasian Socialist Congress, Interfax-Ukraine reported 6 June. Oleksander Moroz, chairman of the Ukrainian parliament and leader of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, was elected chairman. The congress espouses "integration processes and humanitarian cooperation, development, and propaganda of a modern socialist alternative." Socialist parties from Spain, Serbia, France, and Romania sent observers to the new body's founding congress. * Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINE RESUMES MERGER OF AIR, AIR DEFENSE FORCES.
Interfax on 6 June reported that Ukraine has begun to merge its Air Force and Anti-Aircraft Defense Force to form the Ukrainian Air Defense Force. It quoted the commander of the new service, Lt. Gen. Volodymyr Tkachev, as saying the purpose of the merger was to abolish redundant structures and increase effectiveness. A similar merger was announced in early 1993, only to be suspended in December of that year. * Doug Clarke

BELARUSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER RESIGNS UNDER CLOUD.
Col. Gen. Anatol Kastenka has resigned following an investigation that revealed illegal financial and commercial dealings in his department, Radio Minsk announced on 6 June. The report criticized Kostenko for his "lack of control" over the military. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka accepted his resignation and appointed Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Leonid Maltsev as acting defense minister. Kastenka's predecessor also resigned over a financial scandal. * Doug Clarke

BALTIC NAVIES TAKE PART IN NATO EXERCISE.
Warships from the three Baltic States are taking part in the NATO naval exercise Baltops '95, which began in the Baltic Sea on 6 June, Interfax reported. A Lithuanian frigate and mine-sweepers from Estonia and Latvia are participating--as are naval forces from Poland, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the U.S. During the Cold War, the Baltops maneuvers were annual NATO-only naval exercises in the Baltic demonstrating a NATO naval presence in that area. Participants in the Partnership for Peace program and others have recently been invited to take part. * Doug Clarke

ESTONIA NOT TO EXTEND DEADLINE FOR RESIDENCE PERMITS.
Prime Minister Tiit Vahi told the press on 6 June that the government has decided not to extend the 12 July deadline for aliens residing in Estonia to apply for residence permits, Interfax reported. He emphasized that residents who do not apply will not be regarded as "illegal immigrants, subject to automatic dismissal from their jobs and deportation from the country." They will retain their property and labor rights but will not be able to participate in local elections. The Estonian Citizenship and Migration Department said that only 200,000 of the country's 400,000 aliens have applied for residence permits. * Saulius Girnius

UZBEK PRESIDENT IN LATVIA.
Islam Karimov and Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis signed a bilateral friendship and cooperation agreement in Riga on 6 June, BNS reported. Foreign Ministers Abdulaziz Kamilov and Valdis Birkavs signed agreements on air communications, transport, tourism, and scientific cooperation as well as a protocol on consultations between their foreign ministries. The Uzbek delegation travels to Vilnius on 7 June for a two-day visit. * Saulius Girnius

POLISH GOVERNMENT APPROVES ANTI-INFLATIONARY POLICIES.
Polish Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko on 6 June won support from the cabinet for anti-inflationary measures allowing the liberalization of food imports, more government intervention in the food market, tighter wage and price controls, and stricter budgetary discipline. Kolodko urged the Polish National Bank to slow down the monthly devaluation of the zloty against a basket of hard currencies, Polish and international media reported. Also on 6 June, the government approved tougher anti-drug legislation that introduces prison terms for drug possession and makes no distinction between hard and soft drugs. * Jakub Karpinski

CHINESE DELEGATION IN POLAND.
A Chinese parliamentary delegation on 6 June met with members of the Sejm Foreign Affairs Commission. Answering questions about the June 1989 Tienanmen Square massacre, General Shu Shin said intervention had been necessary and only criminals were arrested there. The Chinese delegation demanded that the press be ordered not to cover the meeting, but commission president Bronislaw Geremek assured them that the press would be objective, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. * Jakub Karpinski

BANK GOVERNOR SAYS FOREIGN CAPITAL IS FLOODING CZECH ECONOMY.
Foreign capital in the Czech economy exceeded $3 billion at the end of May and is producing strong inflationary pressures, Czech National Bank Governor Josef Tosovsky said on 6 June. He told an international conference the economy cannot absorb the huge inflow of foreign capital, adding that the bank's hard currency reserves have risen from $6.2 billion to $9.5 billion, Hospodarske noviny reported. Tosovsky said much of the foreign capital is short-term speculative money. The government is expected to approve a new hard currency law next week. Since the parliament will not discuss the new legislation until September, the earliest date the koruna can become convertible is October. Tosovsky also said that expected GDP growth of 3.5% this year is "fragile." * Steve Kettle

SLOVAK PREMIER ON NEW PRIVATIZATION CONCEPT.
Vladimir Meciar and Deputy Prime Minister Sergej Kozlik on 6 June told journalists that under the new voucher privatization concept in Slovakia, the National Property Fund will distribute bonds worth 35 billion koruny, with each citizen receiving bonds worth 10,000 koruny. Citizens will be able to use bonds not only to buy shares in companies that are to be privatized but also in a variety of other ways--for example, as down payment on an apartment. The Slovak government also decided not to abolish the import surcharge, which the Czech government recently cited as one of the reasons for proposing that the payments clearing system used in bilateral trade be abolished. Pravda on 7 June reported that Meciar, has sent a letter to Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus reacting to Czech efforts to abolish the clearing system. * Jiri Pehe

HUNGARIAN PREMIER MEETS CLINTON.
Gyula Horn, on an eight-day visit to the U.S., met with U.S. President Bill Clinton in the White House on 6 June , international media reported. After the meeting, Horn told reporters he expected Hungary to join NATO in 1997 and that Clinton had assured him the U.S. supports Hungary's membership in NATO. However, a White House official told reporters that "timetables did not come up in the Oval Office." A White House statement said that Clinton affirmed to Horn "that NATO will take in new members on a country-by-country basis, in a steady, gradual, and transparent fashion." Horn also met with representatives of the International Finance Corporation, the private sector affiliate of the World Bank, and representatives of the U.S. Overseas Investment Corporation. The two organizations will provide Hungary with a $105 million loan to develop a nationwide digital cellular telephone network. * Jiri Pehe

EAST EUROPEAN MINISTERS MEET EU COUNTERPARTS IN BRUSSELS.
Ministers from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the three Baltic States met with EU counterparts in Brussels on 6 June to discuss how to prepare for membership, Reuters reported the same day. Czech Trade and Industry Minister Vladimir Dlouhy was reported as saying that the East's integration into the EU should be "a two-way street." Polish Undersecretary of State Janek Saryus-Wolski complained that Eastern applicants were being asked to do more to apply EU rules than current members, who have so far enacted only 92% of EU laws. * Michael Mihalka



OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Vol. 1, No. 110, 7 June 1995
SERBS FREE 108 HOSTAGES.
International media reported on 7 June that Bosnian Serbs the previous night sent 108 of their captives to Novi Sad via Mali Zvornik, on the Serbian-Bosnian border. The men will be flown out from Belgrade and include 17 British, 32 French, and 58 Ukrainian soldiers, plus one Spanish military observer. The Serbs still hold about 150 peacekeepers, whom they indicated would also be released soon. Mlada fronta dnes said the three Czech hostages continue to be held. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's security chief had held long talks with the Bosnian Serb leadership, as had the Greek foreign and defense ministers, who then also met with Milosevic. Nasa Borba reported that the Greeks are claiming credit for the releases, but the BBC noted that Milosevic will be anxious to take credit for himself to pry more concessions from the UN on the lifting of sanctions against Serbia-Montenegro. * Patrick Moore

SERBS TAKE WEAPONS FROM UN COLLECTION SITES.
Bosnian Serb troops took one tank and a 100 mm gun from UN storage depots near Sarajevo, AFP said on 7 June. The M-36 tank was driven from Bare, where two French peacekeepers still refuse to let the Serbs take them hostage. Vjesnik reported from Orasje that the Serbian assault on the Croatian-held pocket in northern Bosnian has now gone on for over a month. The BBC noted that the food situation in many of the besieged, mainly Muslim areas of Bosnia is becoming acute, with supplies being given only to the weak and sick in some places. * Patrick Moore

"PANIC IN KNIN."
This is how Vjesnik on 7 June described the situation in Krajina following the advance by Croatian forces to within shelling range of the Grahovo road connecting Knin with Banja Luka. Western news agencies speculated on growing rifts within the Krajina leadership under President Milan Martic, who recently sacked the prime minister, considered Milosevic's man in Knin. Nasa Borba added that the first refugees have already begun leaving Krajina for Bosnian Serb territory. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's top aide, Hrvoje Sarinic, said Zagreb is willing to talk with Knin. Krajina is impoverished, and speculation is rife that Milosevic has written it off in a secret deal with Tudjman that would let Serbia hold the rich area of eastern Slavonia in return for giving less desirable real estate back to Croatia. * Patrick Moore

BELGRADE TALKS HIT IMPASSE.
Negotiations between US envoy Robert Frasure and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic aimed at securing the rump Yugoslavia's recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina in exchange for the lifting of sanctions broke down on 6 June, Reuters reported that same day. The talks hit an impasse when Milosevic objected to the idea of introducing a mechanism whereby a body other than the UN Security Council may reintroduce sanctions. * Stan Markotich

ETHNIC ALBANIAN LEADER RELEASED ON BAIL IN MACEDONIA.
Nevzat Halili, leader of the ethnic Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity-Party for the People's Union (PPD-PUPM), has been released on DM 70,000 bail, Flaka reported on 6 June. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison on 19 May for preventing the police from carrying out their duties in connection with a police raid on the self-proclaimed Albanian-language university of Tetovo. The 17 February raid led to clashes between ethnic Albanians and police in which one Albanian was killed. Halili has been criticized by nationalist ethnic Albanians for his moderate stance in the parliament. * Fabian Schmidt

JAPAN CONTINUES TO ASSIST MACEDONIA.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono on 6 June said Japan will continue extending financial and technological aid, totaling $5.9 million, to Macedonia to help promote stability in the Balkans, Reuters reported the same day. Kono made the pledge at a meeting with his Macedonian counterpart, Stevo Crvenkovski, who currently is visiting Japan. * Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT OFFERS UNIONS SOCIAL PACT.
The Romanian government, in an effort to stem recent labor protests, has offered a "social pact" to the three main labor unions. The pact, presented at a press conference organized by the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, includes a 10% pay increase by the end of 1995 if the unions call off the strikes and stay out of politics. Leaders of the National Confederation of Romania's Free Trade Unions-The Brotherhood, the National Labor Bloc, and Alfa Cartel responded by announcing that the protests would resume on 14 June. The government's move follows a week of strikes and protests in the power and rail sectors. A strike by electricity workers ended on 6 June after they were granted a 5% wage increase effective from 1 June and an additional 12% by the end of the year. * Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES ETHNIC HUNGARIAN LEADER.
Ion Iliescu on 6 June met with Bela Marko, chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR), Radio Bucharest reported. The two men discussed the resolutions adopted at the UDMR's recent congress in Cluj. Marko complained about Romanian nationalist parties' attacks on those resolutions, which urge greater self-determination for the country's large Magyar community. Both Iliescu and Marko stressed the need for closer contacts between the Presidency and the UDMR. * Dan Ionescu

JUSTICE MINISTERS CONFERENCE IN BUCHAREST.
An unofficial conference of European justice ministers began in Bucharest on 6 June, Radio Bucharest reported. The meeting, organized by the Council of Europe and the Romanian Justice Ministry, focuses on the role of justice ministers in coordinating the legislative process and international cooperation in Europe. The inaugural session was opened by Romanian President Ion Iliescu and Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Peter Leuprecht. * Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT SAYS RUSSIA HAS SPECIAL ROLE IN DNIESTER REGION.
Mircea Snegur has said Russia plays a special role in efforts to settle the conflict in the Dniester region, Interfax reported on 6 June. Snegur made the comment after accepting the credentials of the new Russian ambassador in Chisinau, Alexander Papkin. He proposed that Papkin brief President Boris Yeltsin on a draft document outlining a special status for the Dniester region based on recommendations by the OSCE mission in Moldova. Snegur is expected to discuss the draft at his meeting with Tiraspol leaders on 7 June. * Dan Ionescu

KULIKOV IN BULGARIA.
Marshal Viktor Kulikov, commander of the Warsaw Pact forces from 1977 until that organization's demise in 1991, criticized aspects of Soviet foreign policy during a recent visit to Bulgaria, AFP reported on 5 June. Referring to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, Kulikov said "With the benefit of hindsight and as a soldier, I condemn this action." He did, however, defend current Russian policy in Chechnya, insisting that Moscow's military action was in response to violations of the constitution. Kulikov also met with former Bulgarian communist dictator Todor Zhivkov. * Stan Markotich

Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave

Copyright(c)1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.



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