OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 228, 22 November 1995
PRESIDENTIAL AIDES CALL FOR CHANGE IN ELECTORAL LAW.
of Staff Sergei Filatov and aide Georgii Satarov have called for the electoral
law to be amended, saying that otherwise the elections could be declared
illegitimate, Russian Public Television (ORT) reported on 21 November. The two
spoke at a meeting of a commission set up by the Civic Accord, a
Yeltsin-sponsored initiative to reduce political violence. Other members of the
commission denounced the proposals as attempts by those in power to overturn
the elections if they are unhappy with the results. Duma Member Yurii Nisnevich
(Russia's Choice) pointed out that it would be impossible to agree on changes
in the time remaining before the elections, Russian TV reported. The commission
recommended setting up a conciliatory commission of both houses of the
parliament and the president to recommend amendments. -- Robert Orttung
SHUMEIKO DENOUNCES DUMA PLAN FOR FEDERATION COUNCIL.
Speaker Vladimir Shumeiko criticized the Duma bill on the Federation Council
adopted on 17 November as "short-sighted." Shumeiko, who wants the Federation
Council to initiate the legislation concerning its future, called on members of
the upper house to finalize a proposal to send to the Duma, ITAR-TASS reported
on 21 November. Filatov said Yeltsin would sign the Duma bill if the Federation
Council agrees to it, Radio Rossii reported. The Constitutional Court will hold
hearings on Yeltsin's request to clarify what the constitution says about the
Federation Council's formation on 7 December. -- Robert Orttung
KHAKAMADA, RUTSKOI SPAR IN FIRST DEBATE.
Common Cause leader Irina
Khakamada and Derzhava's Aleksandr Rutskoi participated in the first debate on
Russian Public Television on 20 November, the BBC reported. Most candidates
have rejected offers to debate, preferring to address the voters singly.
Khakamada proposed that regional
Interior Ministry heads be elected
locally to make them accountable to voters, arguing that this would boost the
fight against crime. Rutskoi denounced the idea as "ridiculous." He called for
a tough campaign against "the criminal power that has criminalized society." --
RUSSIA'S CHOICE AND WOMEN OF RUSSIA DEMAND GRACHEV'S RESIGNATION.
parliamentary parties called for the resignation of Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev on 21 November, Russian and Western agencies reported. The deputies
criticized Grachev for involving the military in politics by promising that the
army would support Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's Our Home is Russia (see
OMRI Daily Digest, 20 November). However, Moskovskii komsomolets
of 21 November suggested that the way the army votes will depend more on the
attitude of junior officers than of the high command. -- Constantine Dmitriev
RADIO STATION'S BROADCAST STOPPED.
Russkaya Radio's broadcasts were
interrupted at noon on 21 November after 20 men armed with submachine guns,
some dressed in police uniforms, broke into the studio and damaged the
transmitter, Russian media reported citing chief producer Aleksandr Bunin. A
representative of the Interior Ministry department responsible for broadcasting
said that the transmission was interrupted because the station lacked the
proper licenses, adding that broadcasting could resume as soon as the radio's
papers are in order, ITAR-TASS reported. Bunin, however, told Public Russian TV
that the incident was the result of the radio's decision to refuse air time to
an unnamed extremist right-wing politician. -- Anna Paretskaya
YELTSIN HAILS BOSNIA AGREEMENT.
President Yeltsin praised the Dayton
agreement as a "big step" towards resolving "the most tragic conflict in Europe
since WW II," Western and Russian agencies reported on 21 November. The
hospitalized president called on the warring parties to "strictly abide" by the
terms of the agreement, and urged the immediate lifting of UN sanctions against
rump Yugoslavia. Yeltsin added, however, that Russia would decide "later"
whether to participate in a NATO-led peace implementation force in Bosnia.
Russian Col.-Gen. Leontii Shevtsov, who is slated to command the Russian
contingent in the force, had said earlier that his troops would be assigned to
guard the strategic Posavina corridor, which links Serb-held territory in
eastern and western Bosnia. -- Scott Parrish
MILITARY LACKS MONEY TO DESTROY WEAPONS ON TIME.
Russia will be unable
to meet the 31 December deadline for destroying weapons shipped east of the
Urals in 1990 and 1991, a senior Defense Ministry official told Interfax on 21
November. Gen. Dmitrii Kharchenko said that the military does not have enough
money to destroy the weapons, and has proposed that the deadline be extended
until the end of 1998. To break an impasse over ratification of the
Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, then Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev in June 1991 pledged to destroy 6,000 tanks, 1,500 armored vehicles,
and 7,000 artillery systems from the weapons the Soviet military had shipped
east to exempt them from the treaty. Kharchenko said so far only 1,141 tanks,
608 armored vehicles, and 2,709 artillery systems have been destroyed and that
about 100 billion rubles ($20 million) are needed to complete the task. -- Doug
GENERAL DENIES RUSSIA HAS 100,000 TONS OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS.
Stanislav Petrov, head of the Chemical, Radiological, and Bacteriological
Defense Troops, told ITAR-TASS on 21 November that Russia has only 40,000 tons
of chemical agents in storage, as it had declared on 26 October (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 27 October 1995). Petrov refuted testimony earlier that day
from the head of the Interagency Commission on Ecological Security of the
Russian Security Council, Aleksei Yablokov, who told the Federation Council
that Russia had 100,000 tons of chemical weapons in storage at secret sites.
Petrov reiterated that all Russian chemical weapons storage facilities have
been declared and many visited by monitors under international agreements. --
OFFICIAL: RED MERCURY DOES NOT EXIST.
A new book, The Secrets of Red
Mercury, has been published by Gen. Aleksandr Gurov, Rossiiskaya gazeta
reported on 21 November. Gurov was the head of a Ministry of Internal
Affairs team that investigated rumors about the smuggling of red mercury in
1990. The substance, which supposedly can be used to accelerate nuclear
explosions, attracted sensational publicity in the West in the early 1990s.
Gurov concludes that red mercury does not exist and blamed the rumors on
"international swindlers" and foreign adversaries trying to discredit Russia's
nuclear program. -- Peter Rutland
LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES.
During the first 10 months of 1995, 5.9
million people, or 8.1% of the economically active population, were without
jobs, according to Goskomstat figures reported by ITAR-TASS on 21 November. The
number of officially registered unemployed was 2.2 million, or 3% of the
country's 73-million-strong labor force. -- Penny Morvant
MOSCOW PLANS TO TACKLE VAGRANCY.
In an interview with ITAR-TASS on 21
November, Moscow social security official Igor Syrinkov said that the local
authorities are planning to tackle the problem of vagrancy and begging,
described as "permanent features of Moscow's streets." He said that the porous
borders with other former Soviet republics and the lack of legislation against
vagrancy meant that poor people from the CIS were gathering on Moscow's streets
and stations. He said vagrants without the right to live in Moscow would be
expelled, while those who were, or had been, registered in the capital would be
found places in shelters and homes run by clinics. -- Penny Morvant
Eleven people, including a local mafia boss, were
found dead in an office in Saratov on 20 November in what police believe was
the result of a turf war between local criminal groups, Russian TV reported.
The chairman of the Grozd wine concern and 10 other men had been sprayed with
gunfire at point-blank range. The shooting is being investigated by a special
unit headed by First Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Kolesnikov. -- Penny
QUESTIONS SURROUND EQUITY/LOAN AUCTION.
Further details are emerging of
the first share/loan auctions that took place on 17 November. According to
Izvestiya of 21 November, the shadowy firm Euroresurs, which won 15% of
Nafta Moskvy in return for a $36 million bid, does not have the money to make
good its offer. In this case the shares will go to the bank that served as the
guarantor for its bid--the Bank of Tokyo. Nafta Moskvy is the successor to the
firm Soyuznefteeksport, which formerly handled 30% of Russia's oil exports. The
firm KONT is also questioning the rejection of its $355 milion bid for 38% of
Norilsk Nickel, in favor of a $170 million bid from Oneksimbank. The ostensible
reason was that KONT's bank, Rossiiskii Kredit, did not have sufficient assets
to guarantee the loan. -- Peter Rutland
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 228, 22 November 1995
COSSACK ATAMAN SENTENCED.
According to Russian Television on 21
November, an Almaty court has sentenced Cossack Ataman Nikolai Gunkin to three
months in jail after finding him guilty of holding an illegal demonstration in
January of this year (see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 November 1995). The
trial had been delayed for several days because Gunkin had launched a hunger
strike. Gunkin remarked that the trial "showed once again how anti-democratic
Kazakhstan's regime is." Trial judge Mirakhan Akhmetshiyeva countered by saying
that the defense and political opponents are hoping to benefit from the
publicity. -- Roger Kangas
YELTSIN ORDERS KOZYREV TO BREAK ABKHAZ DEADLOCK.
Moving to reinforce
Russia's assumed role of "broker" in the Caucasus, President Yeltsin instructed
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev to revive the currently suspended
Georgian-Abkhaz peace talks, Russian and Western agencies reported on 21
November. Continuing the recent Russian tilt towards Georgia, an anonymous
Russian Foreign Ministry official blamed the impasse on Abkhaz intransigence,
which he attributed to hopes that the 17 December Duma elections will trigger a
change in Russian policy. -- Scott Parrish
"TURKESTAN" FORUM OPENS IN TASHKENT.
An international cultural forum for
the peoples of Turkestan opened in Tashkent this week amid fanfare and
controversy. According to an ITAR-TASS report of 21 November, the forum of
cultural and intellectual figures from the Central Asian states met under the
slogan, "Turkestan--Our Common Home." Uzbek President Islam Karimov proclaimed
that "Our homeland--Turkestan--is one big home, one great household, one great
family." However, some participants objected to the very use of the term
"Turkestan." According to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, there is concern that the
forum will be used as a vehicle for Uzbek regional hegemony. As has been the
case for several regional meetings this year, Turkmenistan declined to send a
representative. -- Roger Kangas
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH TO OPEN AN OFFICE IN UZBEKISTAN.
Members of Human
Rights Watch are meeting Uzbek officials in Tashkent with a view to setting up
a working office in the city, Interfax reported on 20 November. A
representative of the group noted that Uzbekistan's past record on human rights
is cause for concern, adding that the situation of "democratic liberties" in
Uzbekistan should be a factor in determining international aid to the country.
-- Roger Kangas
KAZAKHSTAN OPENS CONSULATE IN IRAN.
A Kazakhstani consulate was
officially opened on 21 November in the northern Iranian city of Meshhed,
ITAR-TASS reported. Kazakhstan is the fourth country to open a consulate in
Meshhed, after Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. The recent detainment in
the city of several visitors from Kazakhstan, accused of violating Islamic
laws, may have played a part in the decision to open the consulate. The
visitors were eventually released and sent home after the intervention of
Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani. -- Bruce Pannier
BACK TO AFGHANISTAN VIA TURKMENISTAN.
The United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees and authorities from Afghanistan, Iran, and
Turkmenistan have reached agreement on repatriating 250,000 Afghan refugees in
Iran via Turkmenistan, IRNA reported on 20 November. The move makes way for
Iran to resume the repatriation of Afghan refugees under UNHCR supervision, a
process that was halted two months ago for security reasons. -- Lowell
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 228, 22 November 1995
UKRAINIAN DEBTS TO RUSSIA.
Ukraine has run up a debt with Russia of $186
million in 1995, of which $60 million is for gas supplies, Radio Rossii
reported on 21 November. In talks with Russian Gazprom officials the previous
day, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko agreed that Ukraine
will pay off the debt by the end of the year. Among other things, it will
transfer nine fishing trawlers--worth $60 million--to Russia. From 15 December
on, Russia will insist on payment for gas deliveries in advance. -- Peter
LUKASHENKA CALLS BELARUS BULWARK AGAINST WESTERN INFLUENCE.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka, in a four-hour speech to local officials on 21 November,
said that "Belarus has become a stumbling block against Western influence
permeating the Commonwealth of Independent States," Reuters reported. He
pledged to continue the country's cautious move to a market economy rather than
subjecting the republic to "shock therapy." He said that Belarus did not need
the military cooperation envisaged by NATO's Partnership for Peace program. He
also rejected offers of free military education because "our military has
enough experience, which we are willing to share." -- Saulius Girnius
RISE IN CRIME IN ESTONIA.
The Estonian Police Department announced that
the number of registered crimes in the first ten months of 1995 increased by
11.6% (from 29,444 to 32,852) compared with the same period in 1994, ETA
reported on 21 November. More than 90% of the increase was due to a 15.1%
increase in burglaries, even though automobile thefts decreased from 920 to
672. The number of murders and attempted murders declined from 296 to 269, as
did cases of serious bodily injury from 221 to 201. The percentage of crime
committed by juveniles increased from 19.3% to 20.7% and by groups from 32.4%
to 35.3%. -- Saulius Girnius
U.S.-LITHUANIAN AGREEMENT ON SECURITY OF MILITARY INFORMATION.
Defense Secretary William Perry and Lithuanian Defense Minister Linas
Linkevicius on 21 November signed an agreement on exchanging classified
military information, Radio Lithuania reported. This is the only agreement that
Perry will sign during his six-day trip to the Baltic states, Denmark,
Macedonia, and Austria. Perry told a press conference in Vilnius that US
military aid to Lithuania would be doubled next year, with the number of
students training at U.S. military academies increasing from 10 to 30. He also
noted that the U.S. Congress is debating a law that would provide for sending
surplus military technology and armaments to Lithuania. -- Saulius Girnius
WORLD LEADERS CONGRATULATE NEW POLISH PRESIDENT.
Aleksander Kwasniewski has received a letter of congratulation from U.S.
President Bill Clinton welcoming Kwasniewski's promises to support "Poland's
historic transformation since regaining democracy in 1989." French President
Jacques Chirac assured Kwasniewski that Poland could count on continued French
support for its bid for EU membership. Russian President Boris Yeltsin
expressed hope that Poland's new president would deepen bilateral trust. In an
interview with CNN, Kwasniewski on 21 November said he was sure that for NATO
politicians, it was most important "to have a democratically elected president
of Poland." Meanwhile, supporters of incumbent President Lech Walesa on 21
November said they would contest the election results, alleging that the ballot
had been rigged, Polish and international media reported. The Supreme Court is
required to decide whether the election was legal by 9 December. -- Jakub
POLAND SENDS BATTALION TO BOSNIA.
A 600-strong Polish battalion is to
leave for Bosnia, Chief of the Polish General Staff Tadeusz Wilecki said on 21
November, after talks with Commander of NATO Forces in Europe George Joulwan,
Gazeta Wyborcza reported the next day. The battalion is to join the
multinational Nordic Brigade, which will operate alongside American forces.
Poland is financing the operation but will have access to NATO's logistics,
communications, and transportation facilities. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz
CZECH PARTIES ON ROMANI, MINORITY CANDIDATES.
Jan Vik, secretary of the
extreme-right Assembly for the Republic-Czechoslovak Republican Party, has told
the press that his party's platform demands a law stating that "no one in the
Czech Republic has the right to be a parasite to the detriment of decent and
honest people." He went on to specify Roma as "black racists who are acting as
parasites." CTK reported his comments on 21 November in the context of
reactions to German minority candidates' request to be included on the election
lists of Czech parties. Vik classified the Germans as "anti-Czech" and the Roma
as "gangs" and "various mafias." The Czech Social Democratic Party said it
would not exclude Germans but did not mention Roma. -- Alaina Lemon
SLOVAK COALITION RESPONDS TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S RESOLUTION.
National Party deputy Jozef Prokes on 21 November proposed that the Slovak
parliament approve a response to the European parliament's recent resolution
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 November 1995). However, the opposition
refused to cooperate and walked out of the parliament, Sme reported.
Because less than half of all deputies remained, the vote could not take place.
Nevertheless, the coalition deputies approved a common declaration criticizing
the European parliament for not using all possible means of dialogue available
between the EU and associated countries. The coalition also complained that the
European Parliament addressed the Slovak government while ignoring the
democratically elected parliament. In other news, deputies from Slovakia's
ethnic Hungarian coalition on 21 November asked President Michal Kovac not to
sign the controversial language bill. -- Sharon Fisher
HUNGARY TO PROVIDE NATO SUPPLY BASE FOR BOSNIA.
Ministry and NATO officials are considering establishing a supply base for NATO
peacekeeping forces on Hungarian territory, international and Hungarian media
reported on 20 November. Hungarian Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti said "Hungary
is ready to help implement what is to be agreed on at peace talks." He added,
however, that the UN Security Council must first grant a mandate for
peacekeeping in Bosnia. Forty U.S. experts have visited Hungary this week to
examine facilities and sites in the south of the country where troops could be
stationed initially before moving into Bosnia. They are considering
establishing a military logistics base for peacekeeping troops in Bosnia and
arranging the passage of U.S. troops through Hungary. Foreign Ministry
Political State Secretary Istvan Szent-Ivanyi said Hungary could have NATO
forces on its territory in the second half of December. -- Zsofia
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
Vol. 1, No. 228, 22 November 1995
CLINTON ANNOUNCES "HISTORIC AND HEROIC" BOSNIAN PEACE AGREEMENT.
presidents of Bosnia-Herzergovina, Croatia, and Serbia on 21 November initialed
a text in Dayton consisting of 10 articles, 11 annexes, and 102 maps. It will
come into force after the formal signing, which is expected to take place soon
in Paris. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that it provides for
"one state with one capital" and a central government. The latter will include
a presidency, parliament, and constitutional court, with familiar Tito-era
legal mechanisms, such as rotating chairmanships and the assignment of posts
according to nationality. The Bosnian state will consist of the Croat-Muslim
Federation and the Serbian Republic and will remain internationally recognized
within its present borders. Free, democratic, and internationally supervised
elections will take place; refugees can go home; human rights will be
independently monitored; war criminals will be banned from public life and
there will be "full cooperation" with the international war crimes tribunal;
and some 60,000 NATO troops are expected to separate the hostile forces. The
status of Brcko along the Serbian supply corridor will be decided by
international arbitration. -- Patrick Moore
QUESTIONS ABOUND OVER BOSNIAN PEACE AGREEMENT.
While the agreement has
been widely hailed in the "international community," there are ample grounds
for skepticism as well. The three sides signed the document only after an
exhausting three-week marathon under intense American pressure. What everyone
does when they go home may be another matter, international media noted on 22
November. Croatia can be satisfied because it has achieved most of its aims and
could try to distance itself from any future conflict, as Slovenia did after
July 1991. Serbia can expect to have most sanctions lifted and will then be
free to go its way and claim it has no control over the Bosnian Serbs. The
Muslim-dominated government can look forward to the lifting of the arms
embargo, albeit in stages. It might not be too far-fetched to imagine a future
Serbian-Muslim conflict breaking out once Belgrade has successfully distanced
itself from Pale and once Sarajevo has acquired more heavy weapons. -- Patrick
ANGRY MEN OF PALE.
It remains to be seen whether the pact will come into
force, since controlling local warlords has been a problem for all sides.
Slobodna Dalmacija on 22 November, moreover, foresaw political
difficulties involving the Croats and their role in the unified state. Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic told his domestic media that an unjust peace was at
least better than war. But the big hurdle seems to be the Bosnian Serbs, whom
U.S. negotiator Richard Holbrooke on CNN called the "big losers." Their
parliamentary speaker, Momcilo Krajisnik, told international media that "the
agreement that has been reached does not satisfy even a minimum of our
interests." The BBC reported that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
frequently overruled Bosnian Serb members of his delegation during the talks,
and the Bosnian Serbs claimed that Milosevic showed them the final maps only
10minutes before the pact was initialed. Krajisnik called the maps "blackmail"
and denied that Milosevic could speak for the Bosnian Serbs. It may be that
Belgrade is ready to abandon Pale to its fate (as it did in the case of Knin)
or that, having just refurbished the Bosnian Serb military infrastructure, it
is simply performing a ruse to get the sanctions lifted. -- Patrick Moore
PEACE IN OUR TIME?
The agreement also contains a number of weak or
unclear points. Not everyone agrees with the Americans that there has been a
"fair division of territory," in which the Federation took 51.4%. It is
doubtful that most "ethnically cleansed" refugees will go home, particularly
Muslims who lived in Serb-controlled eastern Bosnia. The pact calls for a
unitary state, but it still sounds very much like a partition along ethnic
lines. There is no guarantee that the complex Tito-era constitutional
mechanisms will work any better than they did when the Serbs sabotaged them in
1992. It is not evident what the future armed forces and police units will look
like or whether the region will be demilitarized. Germany has recognized this
problem and called for a Bosnian disarmament conference. Nor is it clear what
"full cooperation" with the Hague-based tribunal will mean. Implementation
talks are to be held soon in London, and moves are under way to put together a
NATO force as soon as possible. Vecernji List quoted a Russian general
as effectively saying that Russia would control the Brcko corridor. -- Patrick
SERBIAN PRESIDENT SAYS DAYTON DEAL IS "JUST."
described the peace deal negotiated at Dayton as "a just solution." Speaking in
an interview broadcast by rump Yugoslav state television, Milosevic added "the
war is now definitely over." He observed that the Bosnian Serbs were the big
winners, noting that they have been apportioned "a far better" share of Bosnian
territory than under previous peace proposals. Land and strategic towns
previously slated for the Muslim-Croat confederation were now to come under
Bosnian Serb control, he added. Milosevic also observed that accompanying peace
would be a lifting of the international sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia.
The UN Security Council is "already moving to put an end to all sanctions," he
said. Meanwhile, the Serbian media hailed Milosevic as the catalyst behind the
achievement of peace. -- Stan Markotich
"WHAT WE ACCOMPLISHED HERE IS A REAL PEACE."
This is how Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman described the outcome of the Dayton talks, Hina
reported on 22 November. He said that the results confirmed Croatia's
international position and that all media agreed that Croatia has defended its
national interests and emerged a winner at the conference. Various opposition
parties, however, issued critical statements, charging Tudjman with giving away
too much in the dispute over the northern Bosnian Posavina region (the justice
minister recently resigned over the issue). Tudjman explained that Croatia had
to give up territories it recently took in western Bosnia in order to get what
it wanted in the Posavina. He denied there had been discussion in Dayton of
exchanging Croatia's Prevlaka peninsula for the Serb-controlled Dubrovnik
hinterland. -- Daria Sito Sucic
WILL THE SDA SANDZAK PARTICIPATE IN A CENTER COALITION?
was posed by Nasa Borba on 21 November after a meeting of the Muslim
National Council of Sandzak. The meeting, attended by representatives of 19
Muslim political organizations, concluded that the Muslims of Sandzak should
seek a solution to the minority conflict in the region in accordance with
international law and with respect for the integrity of international borders.
The council thus demanded to be represented at international conferences on
former Yugoslavia. Rasim Ljajic, leader of the Party of Democratic Action
(SDA), said he is conducting talks with Belgrade, adding that his party will in
the future participate in the political life of Serbia. The SDA did not run in
the last parliamentary elections but might form a coalition with the moderate
Serbian opposition or other minority parties. -- Fabian Schmidt
ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS NEW PENAL CODE.
Radio Bucharest announced on
21 November that the Chamber of Deputies has rejected the draft law on the
modification and completion of the Penal Code. Results of the vote will be
announced on 23 November, but "private parliamentary sources" were quoted as
saying that the Greater Romania Party (which recently left the ruling
coalition) and the Socialist Labor Party (a member of the government alliance)
voted against the draft, together with the opposition National Peasant
Party-Christian Democratic and the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania.
-- Michael Shafir
MOLDOVAN-DNIESTER MEETING CANCELED.
A meeting between experts from
Chisinau and Tiraspol scheduled for 21 November was canceled after the Dniester
delegation refused to attend, Infotag reported. The meeting was intended to
conclude preparations for a late November summit between Moldovan President
Mircea Snegur and the president of the self-styled "Dniester republic," Igor
Smirnov. According to Tiraspol officials, the Dniester negotiators refused to
attend because the "Moldovan leadership has subjected Tiraspol to a squall of
devastating criticism." Snegur expressed doubts that the Chisinau-Tiraspol
summit can be held given this latest development. -- Matyas Szabo
BULGARIAN PRESIDENT CANNOT RUN AGAIN, SOCIALISTS SAY.
member of the Executive Bureau of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, was quoted
by 24 chasa on 22 November as saying Zhelyu Zhelev cannot run for
another term as president under the present constitution. Zhelev is currently
serving his second term and, according to the constitution, cannot serve a
third term, Popov said. The BSP is considering asking the Constitutional Court
to rule on the question. Zhelev was first elected by the parliament in August
1990 and then by popular vote in January 1992, after the new constitution went
into effect. Meanwhile, some member parties of the Union of Democratic Forces
said they will support Zhelev if he runs again. -- Stefan Krause
THREE BULGARIANS INDICTED OVER DEATH OF TAMILS.
Western media report
that three Bulgarians have been indicted for the death of 18 Tamil refugees.
The Tamils were found in an abandoned Bulgarian-registered truck near the
Hungarian town of Gyor on 15 July (see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 and 20 July
1995). Among the three indicted is the the driver of the truck, who is accused
of multiple homicide. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. The
other two accused were indicted for illegally moving people across
international borders. They were released on bail. -- Stefan Krause
ALBANIA DEMANDS EXTRADITION OF FORMER COMMUNIST-ERA OFFICIALS.
is to apply for the extradition of several communist-era officials living
abroad, Koha Jone reported on 21 November. This announcement follows a
letter from the head of the Parliamentary Commission on Defense, Public Order,
and the Secret Service to Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi. The officials worked
mainly at the Defense and Interior ministries or for the secret services; some
were ambassadors or consuls. Among other things, they are charged with
corruption and espionage. The accused include Sofokli Duka, the former head of
the secret police, and former Defense Minister Kico Mustaqi, who is
charged with planning a coup d'etat and bearing responsibility for a violent
crackdown on a pro-democracy demonstration in 1991. -- Fabian Schmidt
ALBANIA OFFERS FACILITIES FOR NATO FORCES IN BOSNIA.
Berisha, in an interview with Albanian TV, repeated earlier offers to provide
NATO troops with access to Albanian airports and harbors. Berisha also
expressed the hope that the Dayton agreement will offer "real prospects for the
solution of the Balkan crisis, including its most delicate problem--the Kosovo
question," Rilindja Demokratike reported on 22 November. -- Fabian
[As of 1200 CET]
Compiled by Penny Morvant and Jan Cleave