OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 132, 10 July 1995
SHUMEIKO: YELTSIN WANTED GRACHEV TO RESIGN.
Chairman Vladimir Shumeiko, a member of the Security Council, revealed in a 9
July interview on NTV that President Boris Yeltsin wanted Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev to resign following the Budennovsk hostage crisis. Shumeiko said
he, Yeltsin, and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin all voted in favor of
Grachev's resignation at a 29 June Security Council meeting. Grachev survived
the 30 June cabinet reshuffle in which Interior Minister Viktor Yerin and FSB
Director Sergei Stepashin lost their jobs, but Shumeiko's remarks increased
speculation that Yeltsin is planning to sacrifice Grachev at a later date. --
Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.
KULIKOV, MIKHAILOV APPOINTED TO SECURITY COUNCIL.
appointed Interior Minister Anatolii Kulikov and Nuclear Energy Minster Viktor
Mikhailov to the Security Council on 7 July, AFP reported. Kulikov became
interior minister on 6 July, after Yerin was sacked. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI,
FEDERATION COUNCIL ACCUSED OF PRESERVING GOVERNMENT CONTROL OVER
In the 7 July edition of Kuranty, Duma official Yelena
Radnevskaya accused the Federation Council of trying to preserve the
government's financial leverage over the independent press. Radnevskaya noted
that the Council voted down a law to replace most media subsidies with tax
breaks a second time, even though Duma deputies removed the passages that the
Council cited in its first rejection of the draft law. Radnevskaya said the law
would guarantee the press access to publishing facilities and true financial
independence. The law has been sent to a parliamentary conciliatory commission,
but Radnevskaya warned that it could languish there for a year or more, while
newspapers could face increasing pressure to change their editorial lines or
lose state subsidies that keep them alive. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.
FORMER KGB OFFICERS SAID TO PLAN POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS.
A July 7
report in Komsomolskaya pravda claims that a secret organization of
former intelligence officers called the Feliks group is planning a campaign of
assassinations of leading government officials. The group was reportedly formed
by officers from the KGB and Main Intelligence Department of the General Staff
in 1991 and unites at least 60 officers. "Major Vladimir," a member of the
group interviewed by Komsomolskaya pravda, objected to the weakening of
the Russian state by "corrupt bankers and officials who are lackeys of their
Western partners." -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.
DESPITE KILLINGS, GROZNY TALKS CONTINUE.
Talks between Russian and
Chechen negotiators continued over the weekend, despite being interrupted by an
attack on a farm outside Grozny, international and Russian agencies reported.
Six Chechen civilians were killed in the attack on 7 July, reportedly carried
out by gunmen wearing Russian military uniforms, that led Chechen delegates to
walk out of the talks. However, they returned later and the two delegations
issued a statement announcing a joint investigation into the killings and
declaring that "the negotiations will continue and peace will come to
Chechnya." Russian military sources denied responsibility for the attack.
Resuming discussions on 8 July, negotiators reached agreement on a preliminary
political accord outlining the conditions for holding and monitoring elections
in the republic this December. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.
SHAKHRAI: FORCE WAS ONLY ALTERNATIVE IN CHECHNYA.
Beginning on 10
July, the Constitutional Court will consider the Federation Council's appeal
concerning secret decrees issued in November and December 1994 on deploying
Russian troops in Chechnya. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai expressed
confidence that the court will uphold the legality of the decrees as the
government's only constitutional alternative against Chechen separatists,
Russian media reported on 9 June. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.
PYATIGORSK COSSACKS DISCUSS FORMATION OF NORTH CAUCASUS REPUBLIC.
a meeting in Pyatigorsk, Terek Cossack atamans discussed the formation of a
North Caucasus republic that would incorporate Stavropol Krai and the Don,
Kuban, and Terek territories, Segodnya reported on 7 July. The idea of
forming such a republic was advanced in the aftermath of the Budennovsk hostage
crisis and the dismissal of Stavropol Krai Governor Yevgenii Kuznetsov, who was
proposed as the head the new republic at the meeting. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI,
WAGES FORM SMALLER SHARE OF FAMILY INCOME.
According to the Labor
Ministry, the share of wages from officially reported employment in the average
family's income has declined by almost 15% over the past year and now
constitutes only 40%, Segodnya reported on 7 July. Before radical
economic reforms were introduced in 1992, wages accounted for more than 70% of
the family income. Most of the income which is unaccounted for probably comes
from the second jobs in the informal economy, although some of it may consist
of unreported payments from the primary employer. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI,
SIBERIAN PRISONERS EAT CELL-MATE.
Two prisoners in Siberia murdered
their cell-mate and ate his internal organs "to add spice to their life,"
Russian and Western agencies reported on 7 July. The two inmates, aged 23 and
25, strangled their victim, cut out his innards, and cooked them over a burning
blanket. The two men, whose trial begins on 10 July, could be executed if found
guilty. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.
SUICIDE A PROBLEM IN MILITARY.
The Russian army has an "acute"
suicide problem, Colonel Pavel Demidenko told Interfax on 9 July. Demidenko,
who heads the military procurator's criminal investigation department, reported
that 423 Russian military personnel had committed suicide in 1994--many driven
to it because of hazing, or "dedovshichina" by older soldiers. He said another
2,500 military personnel had died last year as the result of "criminal
incidents." -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.
RUSSIA OBJECTS TO EXTENSION OF RUMP YUGOSLAV SANCTIONS.
for the Russian Foreign Ministry told Interfax on 7 July that Russia is
"extremely concerned" with the recent UN resolution that extends the suspension
of a number of sanctions against rump Yugoslavia for 75days. Russia would
prefer that these sanctions be lifted entirely. The resolution, which was
passed by the UN Security Council on 5 July, does "not correspond to current
Yugoslav reality," said the spokesman. The spokesman said Russia abstained on
the Security Council vote because the resolution links the permanent lifting of
all the sanctions with issues unrelated to those which motivated the sanctions
originally. He added that the continuation of even the reduced sanctions could
lead the parties to the Bosnian conflict--especially the Bosnian Serbs--to
conclude that the UN is "biased," which might lead to "undesirable
consequences." -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.
RUSSIAN HELICOPTER MAKER SEEKS CANADIAN CONTRACT.
Helicopter Scientific & Technology Co. of Moscow has signed an interim
agreement with a Canadian company to jointly offer the Kamov Ka-32 helicopter
in an expected Canadian procurement program, Helicopter News reported on
6 July. Canada is in the market for about 50 helicopters for its naval forces.
The Ka-32 is the export version of the Ka-27 widely used in the Russian navy.
The two companies also plan to offer the Ka-32 to the Canadian logging
industry. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.
FAPSI TAKING OVER CONTROL OF FINANCIAL MARKETS.
transactions on the Russian market will be carried out under the control of the
Federal Government Communications and Information Agency (FAPSI), Moskovskii
Komsomolets reported on 8 July. A presidential edict has given FAPSI the
task of establishing a country-wide telecommunications system to register
operations, including securities transactions, on the financial market. --
Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.
BELYAEV URGES FASTER PRIVATIZATION OF INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES.
Belyaev, chairman of the State Committee on the Administration of State
Property, urged Russia to speed up the pace of sales of government-reserved
blocks of industrial enterprise shares, Segodnya reported on 8 July.
Speaking at a St. Petersburg conference on privatization and development of the
real estate market, Belyaev said that out of 10,000 blocks owned by regional
property funds, only a little more than 3,500 have been sold. The government
intends to sell blocks of enterprise shares worth nearly 19 trillion rubles
($422 million) by the end of the year. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.
DUMA ADOPTS LAW ON REGULATION OF FOREIGN TRADE.
The Duma adopted a
law on state regulation of foreign trade, Segodnya reported on 8 July.
The initial draft was vetoed by President Boris Yeltsin on 12 May. The major
amendment requires presidential approval, not Federal Assembly approval, for
export items including arms, military equipment, certain raw materials, and
technologies which could be used for manufacturing mass destruction weapons.
The second change refers to the procedure for registering import-export deals
between Russia and foreign persons. The president insisted that such deals be
subject to registration, while the vetoed draft called for repealing this
procedure. Foreign Economic Relations Minister Oleg Davydov said that if the
registration requirement were lifted it would have made it easier for Russian
capital to escape abroad. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 132, 10 July 1995
TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA
CILLER IN TASHKENT.
Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller met with
Uzbek President Islam Karimov on 9 July and signed a memorandum of
understanding to expand bilateral relations in various areas including trade,
Western media reported the next day. Ankara also agreed to provide a $100
million loan to Uzbekistan, according to AFP. Karimov used a joint press
conference to appeal for more Turkish investment in Uzbekistan. At present,
Turkey is Uzbekistan's fourth largest trading partner outside the CIS. Ciller
noted that bilateral trade had increased to $143 million last year compared to
$75.5 million in 1992. Relations between Tashkent and Ankara have been strained
in the past over Turkey's regional pretensions and its decision to provide
refuge to Karimov's opposition; Ciller's visit signals an improvement in
relations that has been apparent since late 1994. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI,
TURKMENISTAN, IRAN, AND THE U.S.
Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani charged the U.S. with blocking plans for the construction of a
pipeline to carry Turkmenistan's natural gas through Iran and Turkey to Europe,
AFP reported on 7 July. Speaking during the weekly prayers at Tehran
University, Rafsanjani said the U.S. is also hampering oil and gas deals with
Pakistan and Armenia. Two days earlier, Tehran and Ashgabat signed another
accord to build part of the pipeline in question. Iran is to undertake the
design and 80% of the financing for a pipeline running from Korpedzhe field in
southwest Turkmenistan to the Iranian village of Kurtkui. -- Lowell Bezanis,
AZERBAIJAN, GEORGIA SIGN ACCORD.
On 7 July Azerbaijan and Georgia
signed an accord to export crude oil from Azerbaijan to world markets through
Georgian territory, AFP reported citing Interfax. Under the agreement signed by
Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Abbas Abbassov and his Georgian counterpart,
Zurab Kervalishvili, feasibility studies will be carried out by the end of
August on the delivery of the oil to the ports of Poti and Batumi. Though the
route has not been finalized the accord provides for the delivery of 4 million
metric tons of oil over the first 30 months of operations. -- Lowell Bezanis,
CANADIANS SIGN GOLD DEAL IN KYRGYZSTAN.
On 7 July, Canada's Cameco
Corp. signed an agreement to develop the Kumtor gold field in eastern
Kyrgyzstan near the Chinese border, according to Reuters. Cameco is working
with a syndicate of seven banks investing $360 million to mine for gold in what
is estimated as the eighth largest gold field in the world. Cameco will own
one-third of the joint venture and the Kyrgyz company, Kyrgyzaltyn, two-thirds.
The joint venture, the Kumtor Gold Company, is scheduled to make its first gold
extraction in 1997; before that, a million tons of glacier ice must be removed
from the area. The target figures for extraction are 12.4 tons in 1997 and 15.5
tons in later years. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.
KOZYREV: "THE CIS IS NO WORSE THAN NATO."
In a series of public
speeches last week, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev emphasized the
importance of the CIS in Russian foreign policy, Segodnya reported on 7
July. Speaking before a meeting of Russian ambassadors to the CIS states on 6
July, Kozyrev criticized both Western countries and Russian opposition
politicians for underestimating the potential of the CIS. He called for an end
to "discrimination" against the CIS by international organizations, asking why
the UN finances peacekeeping operations in Haiti but not similar operations in
the CIS. He said the CIS has accomplished more in its three years of existence
than such long-standing regional organizations as the Organization of American
States and the Organization of African Unity. He also commented that the CIS is
"no worse than NATO," implying that it deserves equal treatment in the
international arena. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 132, 10 July 1995
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
GERMAN CHANCELLOR ENDS VISIT TO POLAND.
Helmut Kohl, during his
first visit to Poland since 1989, met with President Lech Walesa and
representatives of the German minority on 7 July. The next day, he laid wreaths
at the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. He was accompanied by Polish
Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, an Auschwitz survivor. Kohl is to join
Polish Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy and French President Jacques Chirac for a
trilateral summit in the fall, Polish and international media reported. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.
UPDATE ON POLISH PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.
Polish ombudsman Tadeusz
Zielinski, backed by the leftist Labor Union party, declared his presidential
candidacy on 7 July. He said he would not resign as ombudsman because finding
his successor would be difficult during the summer recess. Democratic Left
Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski is currently leading the polls, with 25%
of the vote. He is followed by President Lech Walesa (12%), Polish National
Bank President Hanna Gronkiewicz Waltz and Zielinski (11% each), and former
Labor Minister Jacek Kuron (10%), Polish and international media reported. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.
POLISH-U.S. MILITARY EXERCISES.
Some 300 American troops from the
First U.S Armored Division, stationed in Germany, have begun joint exercises
with some 200 Polish troops from the Fourth Armored Division. The six-day
maneuvers, which are part of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, began on 10
July in Wedrzyn, 400 kilometers west of Warsaw. Named "Double Eagle 95," the
exercise aims to hone peacekeeping skills, such as protecting and evacuating
refugees, in conditions similar to those in the former Yugoslavia, Polish and
international media reported. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.
UPDATE ON LATVIAN ELECTIONS.
BNS on 8 July reported that the Latvian
Independence Party will put forward 11 of the 17 candidates on a joint list
with the Political Union of Low Income Residents. The Latvian Socialist Party
confirmed its list of candidates the same day. It included Alfreds Rubiks, a
former leader of the Latvian Communist Party who has been in custody since
August 1991 for attempting to seize power by force. The Supreme Court is to
rule on the case later this month. The Latvian Socialist Party will field a
total of 50 candidates. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.
CZECH GOVERNMENT APPROVES REFINERIES DEAL.
The Czech government on 7
July approved a deal whereby three international oil companies will take a 49%
stake in the two biggest Czech refineries, Czech media reported the following
day. The International Oil Consortium--made up of Shell, Agip, and Conoco--will
have equal shares in the project. They will pay a total of $173 million, with
investment over the next five years estimated at up to $500 million. The French
company Total pulled out of the consortium at the end of June, delaying the
deal by more than a week. An outline agreement is due to be signed by
Unipetrol, the holding company that will retain 51% of the refineries, and the
IOC on 11 July. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.
CZECH REPUBLIC, EU SIGN PHARE AGREEMENT.
The EU will provide the
Czech Republic with 330 million ECU over the next five years through the PHARE
program, Czech media reported on 8 July. Under an agreement signed the previous
day in Prague by EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek and Czech
Economy Minister Karel Dyba, the funds will be used for infrastructure projects
and to promote the Czech Republic's integration into the EU. Planned projects
include improving road links with Germany and Austria and upgrading the
Berlin-Prague-Vienna rail line. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.
KLAUS TO MEET KOHL SOON?
Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus, during a
three-day visit to Baden-Wurttemberg, said he hopes to meet German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl soon to discuss problems in Czech-German relations, Czech media
reported on 10 July. Baden-Wurttemberg Premier Erwin Teufel, a deputy chairman
of Kohl's CDU party, confirmed that Kohl wants to meet with Klaus during the
summer vacation. The issues of the expulsion of 3 million Sudeten Germans from
Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II and German compensation for Czech
victims of Nazism still dog bilateral relations. Klaus repeated his view that
both sides have to look ahead but that problems from the past must be solved
quickly so as not to complicate future relations. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI,
CZECH PARATROOPS EXERCISE WITH DUTCH MARINES.
The Czech Republic's
elite 43rd Airborne Mechanized Battalion--part of the recently formed Rapid
Deployment Brigade--began joint exercises with Dutch Marines in Chrudim,
eastern Bohemia, on 7 July, CTK reported. The previous day, 32 members of the
battalion jumped from Dutch F-27 troop transports. The two units will jump
together on 10 July as part of the exercise. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.
MEETING OF SLOVAK, HUNGARIAN, AUSTRIAN LEADERS.
Franz Vranitzky met with Slovak and Hungarian Premiers Vladimir Meciar and
Gyula Horn in the Austrian town of Rust on 7 June. According to Vranitzky, the
goal of the trilateral partnership is to create a zone of stability and
cooperation in Central Europe and to establish contacts for EU membership,
Slovak media reported. The three leaders signed an agreement on economic and
security cooperation. Vranitzky and Horn also signed a cooperation agreement
aimed at securing an EU credit to develop border areas. Pravda reported
Meciar as saying that Slovakia is still examining alternatives to the
controversial nuclear plant under construction at Mochovce. But after the
meeting, Meciar told reporters that Slovak Economy Minister Jan Ducky had left
for Moscow to discuss a Russian offer to help finance Mochovce, AFP reported.
According to Narodna obroda on 7 July, the German firm Bayernwerk has
already pulled out of the project. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
SLOVAKS FAVOR EU MEMBERSHIP, UNSURE ABOUT NATO.
According to a poll
conducted by the FOCUS agency in the first half of June, 58.8% of Slovaks said
they would vote in favor of EU membership, while only 8% were opposed. With
regard to NATO membership, 38.6% said they would cast their ballot in favor,
19.2% would voe against, 21.3% would not vote at all, and 20.9% were undecided,
Reuters and TASR reported. Askd to evaluate the current cabinet's socal
policies, only 2.9% of the respondents said they were "correct," while 57.7%
called them "incorrect." In a similar poll in May 1994 during Jozef Moravcik's
term as premier, 7.1% of respondents said government policies were correct,
while 37.6% called them incorrect, Narodna obroda reported on 8 July. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.
CHINESE PRESIDENT IN HUNGARY.
Jiang Zemin arrived in Hungary on 8
July for a three-day official visit, Hungarian media reported. Jiang told MTI
the next day that the main aims of his visit were to develop "further economic
and cultural links between the two countries." Jiang is to meet with Hungarian
President Arpad Goncz and Prime Minister Gyula Horn on 10 July. Reuters
reported that the Hungarian government hopes to persuade China to buy more
Hungarian goods and to increase investment in Hungary. Hungary has a growing
trade deficit with China, which it hopes to reverse. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI,
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 132, 10 July 1995
SERBS POUR INTO SREBRENICA.
Bosnian Serb forces continued to push
into the UN-designated "safe area" of Srebrenica, in eastern Bosnia, on 8-9
July. International media on 10 July indicated that their tanks are 1-2
kilometers from the town itself. Nasa Borba quoted a British UN
spokesman as saying that "the Serbs have limited aims," but a Serbian
representative told the BBC that his forces were determined to take the enclave
for military reasons. The UN blamed the Bosnian government for the death of one
Dutch peacekeeper, but the Serbs took another 32 of them away. A British UN
officer told the BBC on 9 July that the men were not hostages but merely
"enjoying the hotel" in nearby Bratunac. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
ARE AIR STRIKES IN THE OFFING?
Mlada fronta dnes on 10 July
ran the headline that the Serbs have taken hostages as insurance against NATO
air strikes. AFP quoted the UN as threatening the Serbs with airborne
retaliation if they attack a Dutch blockade barring the road to Srebrenica. "If
this blocked position is attacked, NATO close air support will be employed. The
[Serbs are] reminded of the grave consequences of ignoring this warning." Angry
Bosnian government officials are not impressed, however; and the
International Herald Tribune quoted Ambassador to the UN Mustafa Bijedic
as saying that "if Srebrenica falls, that will be the end of the UN mission" in
the embattled republic. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
OTHER BOSNIAN DEVELOPMENTS.
The BBC on 9 July quoted UN Secretary
General Boutros Boutros Ghali as telling all sides in Bosnia either to renew
the peace process and stop hindering UNPROFOR or to face the possible
withdrawal of UN forces. Unknown assailants the previous day shot at the
helicopters carrying EU negotiator Carl Bildt and his party near Konjic,
forcing them to land. But Slobodna Dalmacija noted that the UN is
showing spunk at least toward the Croats and that 2,000 French troops entered
the Tomislavgrad area, despite warnings not to do so until their mission is
clarified. Sky News on 9 July added that Bosnian Serb forces pounded Sarajevo
and Bihac. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
CONTROVERSY MOUNTING OVER MAZOWIECKI REPORT.
Herald Tribune on 8 July reported that UN special envoy Tadeusz Mazowiecki
has issued another report on human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia. He
cited offenses by all sides and said that snipers in Sarajevo should be treated
as war criminals. The former Polish prime minister also mentioned the
stepped-up "ethnic cleansing" of Croats by Serbs in the Banja Luka area, even
though the Serbs refuse to let him visit their territory. The situation in
Mostar also attracted his attention, including the plight of the few remaining
Serbs. The 10 July Belgrade and Zagreb dailies center their attention on parts
of the report that suggest Croatian offenses against Serbs in western Slavonia
in May were worse than Zagreb has admitted. The Croats, however, remain adamant
that there was no systematic policy against Serbian civilians during Operation
Blitz. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.
MILOSEVIC TALKS TO TIME MAGAZINE.
Reuters on 9 July reported
that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has granted an interview to
Time. This is the first time in over a year that he has spoken to an
English-language publication. Milosevic stressed his commitment to working for
regional peace but stressed once again that international sanctions against the
rump Yugoslavia are hampering Belgrade's peace efforts. "Serbia is a major
factor for peace in the Balkans . . . but we are under sanctions; we are in
prison. The international community is making a mistake in expecting us to run
in our struggle for peace but do so with the chains of sanctions on our legs,"
he commented. In other news, Milosevic on 7 July presided over the opening of
Belgrade's first underground rail station in a ceremony that took part on
Serbian Uprising Day, which marks the revolt against Nazi occupiers, Nasa
Borba reported on 8-9 July. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.
MONTENEGRO PROTESTS NEW PASSPORT REGIME FOR MACEDONIANS.
has protested to Belgrade over a new rule requiring that Macedonians visiting
rump Yugoslavia travel with passports. Macedonians have so far needed only an
identity card to visit that country. Montenegrin Minister for Tourism Dragan
Milic said the regulation is "a direct attack on Montenegro's tourism
industry," AFP reported on 9 July. Tourism has been a major source of hard
currency for Montenegro since international sanctions were imposed on rump
Yugoslavia. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.
MONTENEGRIN OFFICIAL ON MEDIA.
Svetozar Marovic, speaker of the
Montenegrin parliament, attended a meeting on 8 July of the administrative
committee of Radio and Television Montenegro. He urged the organization to
grant air time to opposition political parties. "The state media have to give
everyone a chance, they have to hear everyone out," Montena-fax on 9 July
reported him as saying. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.
ROMANIAN PRESIDENT REBUKES HUNGARIAN MINORITY PARTY.
Ion Iliescu on
8 July told a delegation from the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania
(UDMR) that he sees no reason why he should not promulgate the law on education
recently passed by the parliament. But he said he will wait until the
Constitutional Court rules on the matter. The UDMR asked the court to declare
the law unconstitutional and demanded that Iliescu refuse to promulgate it.
Radio Bucharest quoted Iliescu as saying the UDMR's threats to stage
demonstrations and boycott schools were "politically dangerous" and could
"encourage extremism," leading to a repetition of the 1990 inter-ethnic clashes
in Targu Mures. Gheorghe Funar, leader of the extreme nationalist Party of
Romanian National Unity, published an open letter to Iliescu in Cronica
romana on 8 July saying the rights granted to the Hungarian minority under
the education law would "legislate segregationism" in education and promote the
"Magyarization of Romanians" in counties where Hungarians form the majority. --
Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.
ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS BUCHAREST MAY LOOK EAST.
Tinca said in an interview with Cronica romana on 7 July that Romania
may look to Russia for help in modernizing its armed forces if NATO expansion
into Eastern Europe does not include Romania soon, ITAR-TASS reported the same
day. Tinca said that even if the West pays greater attention to Romania's
defense needs, Bucharest will remain interested in cooperation with Russia,
since it needs spare parts from there. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.
VACAROIU IN VIETNAM.
Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, on a two-day
visit to Vietnam from 7-8 July, held talks with his counterpart, Vo Van Kiet,
President Le Duc Anh, and Communist Party Secretary-General Do Muoi, Radio
Bucharest and international media reported. The two sides signed a taxation
accord and agreements on consular affairs, cultural and scientific cooperation
and setting up chambers of commerce. Vacaroiu said Romania wished to renew its
"traditional friendship" with Vietnam and revive commercial and economic
cooperation. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.
14th ARMY BEGINS TO DESTROY EQUIPMENT.
Radio Bucharest reported on 8
July that Maj. Gen. Valery Yevnevich, commander of the 14th Army headquartered
in Tiraspol, has announced his troops have begun disposing of some military
equipment. Citing Radio Moldova, Radio Bucharest the next day said that for the
first time in three years, 14th Army troops were reinforced by 300 recruits
from the Russian federation. Previously, all new recruits were drafted from
"eastern Moldova." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.
MOLDOVA TO INTRODUCE COMPULSORY MEDICAL INSURANCE FOR TOURISTS.
Beginning 1 January 1996, Moldova will require all tourists to have medical
insurance, Radio Bucharest announced on 7 July. Citing the Moldovan Foreign
Ministry, the radio said entry visas will be issued only upon proof of valid
international medical insurance. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.
WORLD BANK APPROVES LOAN FOR BULGARIA.
The World Bank on 8 July
announced it has approved a $95 million loan for Bulgaria intended to help the
country restructure its railroads, Reuters reported the same day. The loan will
cover track renewal, training projects, and installation of modern signaling
and telecommunications equipment. The total cost for the restructuring of
Bulgarian railroads is estimated at $296 million; Bulgarian State Railroads,
the EU's PHARE program, and the EBRD will provide the balance. The Bulgarian
parliament recently passed a law on the relations between the state and the
railroads, a World Bank condition for approving the loan. -- Stefan Krause,
FORMER BULGARIAN DEPUTY MINISTER KILLED.
Lambo Kyuchukov was found
dead on 7 July on Mt. Vitosha, south of Sofia, Standart reported on 10
July. Kyuchukov was deputy education minister in charge of administrative and
economic questions until his resignation last January. Police reported he was
shot dead. He was last seen on 7 July at Sofia University, where he taught.
Kyuchukov was allegedly well informed about the "hidden privatization" of
student dormitories in Sofia, including bribes from Arab companies that wanted
to rent buildings in the neighborhood. He also discovered that some 20 million
leva ($300,000) were missing from the ministry's budget. According to
Standart, he received telephone threats after this discovery. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.
BOUTROS GHALI CALLS ON GREECE, MACEDONIA TO END DISPUTE.
Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali on 9 July urged Greece and Macedonia to
resolve their dispute over the use of the name "Macedonia," international
agencies reported the same day. Boutros Ghali, speaking on his way to Athens to
receive the Onassis Prize for International Understanding and Social
Achievement, said the main purpose of his three-day visit is "to reinforce the
relationship between the United Nations and Greece." According to Greek
officials, the discussions will include the Bosnian war and Greece's
differences with Turkey and Macedonia. Boutros Ghali is scheduled to meet with
President Kostis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, and Foreign
Minister Karolos Papoulias. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.
RAMIZ ALIA RELEASED.
In a surprise move, an appeals court on 7 July
ordered the release of Albania's former communist president Ramiz Alia,
international agencies reported. Alia was jailed in August 1993 and sentenced
in July 1994 to a nine-year prison term on charges of violating the rights and
freedoms of Albanian citizens. His term was later reduced by various courts of
appeal and a presidential amnesty. Alia lost a Tirana court hearing on 10 June
1995 after a new penal code took effect. But his case was reviewed when State
Prosecutor Sokol Parruca requested Alia's release following Albania's admission
to the Council of Europe on 29 June. European politicians accused Albania's
Democratic Party leaders of staging political trials against their old
communist rivals. Supreme Court Chief Judge Zef Brozi called Alia's release "an
example of the independence of Albanian justice." -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Victor Gomez and Jan Cleave